Hare Krishna faces Kazakh wrath
In Kazakhstan, Hare Krishna devotees are experiencing State hostility as for several years the authorities have been trying to close down a farm owned by the Krishna community on the outskirts of the country'scapital Almaty, the only Hare Krishna farming commune in the entire Commonwealth of Independent States. Despite previous failures to close the commune down, the authorities are continuing their attempts. Hare Krishna devotees now face a new absurd accusation that the community acquired the land in 1992 using forged documents. At the same time, the Akim [Mayor] is trying to seize the agricultural plots from their Hare Krishna owners. From this, it is quite evident that the head of the administration is simply carrying out orders from higher up. Although the Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan had appealed several times to the Kazakh Government'sCouncil for Relations with Religious Organisations but nothing has happened. There are 3,330 religious communities registered in Kazakhstan, 13 of which are Hare Krishna communities. Although the state authorities argue that the relations of Hare Krishna communities with their neighbouring representatives of other faiths, who are openly hostile to the Krishna believers? presence, are not very good. Whereas the reality is that the hostility to the Hare Krishna commune comes from State authorities. So, it is high time the Indian government raised the issue with Kazakhstan as both countries have good relations.
Salman in praise of Shahabuddin
Congress leader and Secretary, UP Congress Salman Khurshid recently commented in an article titled ?Issues before Indian Muslims? published in a daily from Mumbai, shamelessly added the histroysheeter Bihar RJD MP Syed Shahabuddin, a person responsible for deaths of several Hindus during riots in Mau, in a list of community leaders at par with Dr. Zakir Hussain and President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
He wrote, ?Shahabuddin from Siwan and Mukhtar Ansari from Mau?may not be as well understood and admired amongst others but the electoral result speaks volumes of their hold over the community. Shamelessly justifying Muslim vote bank politics he said, ?Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan, and Mayawati unselfconsciously espouse the interest of the caste they belong to.
?Their communities support them unashamedly. But dare anyone accuse them of being castetist? If a Muslim leader did the same thing how long would he or she take to be dubbed a communalist? Think of Sulaiman Saith, Banatawala and Syed Shahabuddin.?
Indirectly favouring the inclusion of Muslims in OBC list of states, although Islam does not accepts caste and for years Left historians have formulated a theory that in Muslim period no forcible conversion was done as majority of Hindus converted to Islam as it was casteless religion, he further pointed out, ?What was once a minority has become in part OBC and in part not the OBC. It is another matter that Muslim OBCs are still to get their fair share amongst OBCs (to the exception of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh).? Although Andhra High Court has rejected the inclusion of Muslims as backward and providing reservation ?unconstitutionally.?
Suicide rates are increasing in developing countries. An article titled ?Suicide prevention and developing countries? by Murad M Khan published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine reveals suicide rates are on the increase in developing countries and argues for the establishment of regional centres for suicide monitoring and surveillance. The articles says, ?In China incidence of suicide is about 25/100000 but it has the highest number of people (287 000) who kill themselves every year. Similarly, India has a rate of 10-11/100 000 but is second only to China in the actual number of people (110 000) who kill themselves. Put another way, the total numbers of suicide in the top ranking European nations?Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the Russian Federation?is less than the total number of suicides in India.? The World Health Organisation estimates that one million people kill themselves each year. Despite advancements in the treatment and recognition of depression, suicide rates have steadily increased over the last 50 years. The article underlines the influence of religious and social factors on the diagnosis and registering of suicides coupled with the stigma of mental disease leads to under-reporting, which may be as high as 30-100%. Coupled with poverty, many developing nations are governed by regimes that provide only a fraction of what is needed to health and social sectors. ?For example, in Pakistan, only 0.7% of GDP is allocated to health compared to 4.6% for defence, it says.