Deep caste conflicts in evangelical firmament
God’s Own Untouchables, Ulahannan Thoppil, Vitasta Publishing Pvt Ltd, Pp 305, Rs 299.00
In this novel, the author, an alumnus of FMS, Delhi and chief editor of Yuva Sabdam, a publication of the Youth Congress in Kottayaam, depicts the story of Bishop-designate Aaron Micah who is elevated to become a bishop even as he replies to a query from the special correspondent of a Malayalam daily if he is a Pulaya, “Yes, I am one as the colour of my skin perhaps testifies but not certainly by my blood that has little to distinguish between.”
A septuagenarian nun, called Sister Thomasina is about to die and sends for Aaron Micah to make her last confession to him. She tells him about her infatuation for a young army man, a Pulaya by caste and who had come to see her when she was a young girl. He agrees to marry her without a dowry and her people are thrilled at this because they were so far unable to get her married due to their inability to give a dowry. It is here that Thomasina’s (who is called Mariachi before becoming a nun) grandfather discovers that the young man who wants to marry his granddaughter is a Pulaya. He gets livid and refuses to agree to the marriage because how can a Syrian Christian marry a Pulaya, who are neo-converts and treated as untouchables in the community.
Thomasina even tells the bishop that the young man’s name was Pathrose. At this the bishop’s curiosity is aroused because he finds that even his father name was same. He decides to pay a visit to his village to find out the true story about such a coincidence – the name Pathrose Micah and his inability to marry Mariachi.
The proliferation of private education shored up by the charisma of the church and the brand attraction of ‘missionary school’ which elevates the church to a commanding height in the field of education, is no longer so.
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Reverse Your Thoughts, Reverse Your Diseases: Retracing Your Path Back to Health, Anil Bhatnagar, Global Vision Press, Pp 357, Rs 245.00
It has been proved by various studies, particularly in the ancient system of alternative medicine called Ayurveda that any negative thought can trigger a certain emotion which gets translated into a physiological response in our body. Such a response manifests itself in the form of an illness or disease. There is a strong connection between thoughts, emotions and health. The key to unlocking one’s power and health lies in positive affirmations. So to remain healthy, continuously repeat positive and empowering affirmations to spread healing energy through your body, rejuvenate yourself, boost your immune system, strengthen your health and cure any disease you may be suffering from. Here the author cites advantages of positive affirmations, which become the most important steps to changing the physical state of one’s body and improvement of health. To give a chronological review of the book, the first part shows that when we suffer from any illness, we start taking medicines and gradually as days pass, we become dependent on them. We get stuck in the world of medicines whereas the body knows how to heal from within, if only given a chance. We need to take responsibility for our health and examine our will to bounce back to optimum health; doctors and medicines are a poor excuse for not doing so. Nature gives us disease to teach us the lesson we need to learn and that is, we must “correct our inner software – our thoughts, emotions, imagination and beliefs.”The second part of the book shows how to develop emotional awareness and control them. Made up of six chapters, the first three chapters raise awareness about the nature of emotions and the other three discuss proactive, reactive and ‘emotion-specific’ strategies to manage our corrosive emotions.The third part comprises two chapters of which the ninth helps to diagnose the symptoms, emotional causes, metaphysical reasons and affirmations for nearly 150 diseases which are detailed in the last or tenth chapter. It also provides dietary and other suggestions for each of the diseases to help accelerate our journey back to health. It also shows how, when we practice affirmations along with emotional awareness, we can regain our physical health and integrate our spiritual lessons to evolve further. (Global Vision Press, 4855/24, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi–110 002)