Friday, August 21, 2009

Why all the Sufferings

Why all the sufferings

It was on 29th December 1987. Immediately after the Malankara Syrian Christian Association Meeting to elect Bishop designates and the Priest trustee of our church, the MGOCSM Annual Conference was held on the same venue in the Mar Elia Cathedral Compound. I was very tired of my work as Chief Election officer of the meeting. After the counting of the votes and causing the election results to be announced by H.H.The Catholicose, I came late to the meeting and sat among the students.

Then H.G.Paulose Mar Gregorios after his speech was prompting the student audience to ask questions. I also prodded the one sitting on my side. He stood up and the poser was “ Why should God who is goodness and love, allow all distress, sufferings, hunger, famine, nakedness, wickedness and peril in this world “.

H.G.Paulos Mar Gregorios replied. (I am not quoting him. But this is what I understood from his explanation)
“I cannot give a definite and satisfying answer. But I surmise as follows”.

God created the Universe and everything including man. It is moving towards Heaven, its final Goal of perfection and of being with God.

It is like a massive Symphony Orchestra. The 6000 million players and what is there in the Universe as animate and inanimate things with their different instruments (features or personalities or character) are playing on the stage to the tunes and signs of the creator-conductor.

The sounds produced from the bowed, wood, wind, brass, and percussion instruments of all kinds are there. Some are shrill; some bass, some barking, some cooing, some hooting, some loud, some very low and so on. They are pop, jazz or rock. Each one separately may be disgusting, distasteful, nauseating and others unappreciable. But together they form the most celestial music. It is the music of the Universe: music of the conductor: God.

After each session the orchestra makes the music more better and move to perfection. Similarly man and the Universe after each performance or moment of existence move towards its perfection, which is its end. This end is the life with God in Heaven.

In this orchestra all kinds of instruments of tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, wickedness, and adultery are all necessary just as much as their opposites. Darkness and light are both creations of God. Without darkness we cannot know what is light. Evil is necessary to know what is good.

“I bring both blessings and disaster” Isaiah 45:7. Hard things and sufferings are also from God. See John 4:6, 7. God created a leafy plant over Jonah’s head to protect him. But he also created a worm to eat it away.

God is love. God is good. God created everything in this world. Everything he created is good .The good people and saints are as much needed as the wicked and the bad. For Him all these are necessary to move his much loved sons to perfection. For Him none of these are bad. Jesus does not condemn even the woman caught in adultery. John 8:11. Each one of his creations has a role to play in the orchestra.

All the wickedness and sufferings are created as challenges to man to overcome them. All of us perceive, understand and try to solve all these sufferings and wickedness and thus by step-by-step move forward in our march to perfection. So whatever we find as bad around us is our hurdle and stepping-stone to heaven for those who want to go there. And God wants everyone to be there.

Prof Joseph K. Alexander

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Department of World Peace

A speech by Prof. Joseph K. Alexander at “Towards establishing a Department of Peace in Sovereign states” discussion on 3rd march 2006 at Press Club Hall organized by IIPA and Gandhi Media Centre and Centre for Gandhian Studies, University of Kerala.

Department of World Peace

Pre- Society man.
Man is a social animal. But individually he is a bundle of unlimited material and immaterial human wants, a self-seeker, a fighter to satisfy his wants with any and all around. So his life in the Pre-society stage was “brutish, nasty and short” The cave man used to do whatever he thought was good to him. Hazlitt in his essay “On going a Journey” says that if you are alone in a train compartment, you can do whatever you want; to go naked, to dance or even stand on your head. But if there are others in the compartment, you cannot do these things.
Post-Society Stage.
When one becomes a member of a society, there are a lot of rules to obey. Basic nature of social life is desoverignised individual. He gives up a part of his absolute sovereignty or freedom to the society, so that the society can be formed and man can live peacefully together. The Social contract theory of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau highlight this aspect. Man in his different facets of life is a member of different social organizations. As a political animal, he has to obey the rules of state, as member of the religious group he has to keep the rules of the religion, as a member of the club; he has to keep to the rules of the club and so on. In other words peaceful existence in social life warrant self-control and obedience to the relevant rules of the organizations one is a member.
Globalised World.
With the onslaught of information technology and modern methods of mass communication the whole world has shrunk to a tiny ball about which we come to know whatever and whenever it happen in any apart of it. In this globalised world, peaceful existence warrant obedience by all States or nation states to the rules of co-existence. In other words each nation has to have self-control and respect for other entities. Thus world peace can come about only when each individual, each family, each society, and nation- state impose self discipline, respect the rights of other similar social and political units and keep the rules of the game of world peace.
It is the inadequacies of the present day social life that led many visionaries to dream about an ideal society and how to organize it. It is the concept of perfection inherent in human mind and the imperfect behaviour of man that prompted thinkers to imagine about a better social life and a social structure to lead homosapiens to a happy, prosperous and peaceful life. These dreams were social Political, economic, religious and what-not.
Sir Thomas Mora’s Utopia, Plato’s Ideal State, Marx’s Communist society, Gandhiji’s Rama Rajya or Grama Swaraj, Budhism of Guthama Budha, Maha Vir’s Jainism, Christ’s Sermon on the Mount and teaching to obey thy God and love thy neighbour as thyself, Bhgawat Githa in Ramayana are all examples.
Self-restraint is the rule.
All these dreams have the basic approach. Man must restrain his instincts to sovereignty for the sake of peaceful existence as a social being with others. Respect and recognition of the rights of one’s neighbours is the essence of social life.
Attempts to bring international Peace started lately with the Peace Bureau originated by the peace Congress in Rome in 1891. A number of pacifists groups aspired for a peaceful existence
But then the militant imperialists brought the First World War. At the end of it the Word agreed to create the League of Nations to end the World war forever. The old Peace Bureau was given a decent burial in this League of Nations.
Even the League could not bring peace. Various peace movements that sprang up to counter the spirit of militarism even before the First World War, specially spearheaded by the socialists, also professed the peace move. But these very socialist were forced to abandon their professed ideal during the Second World War when they aligned with allies to defeat Germany and its Axis powers.
The end of the Second World War brought about a number of international organizations like the World Bank, IMF and The United Nations to end the War forever. USA led the world in these organizations to champion the cause of world peace.
Meanwhile the cold war between the west and the east led by Soviet Union, ended with the dissolution of USSR under the leadership of Gorbechov and his glasnost and perestroika.
The question was must the post -cold war international system should evolve according the play of power and interests of the nations? Would the bipolar world eventually end in uni-polar world led by UNO or would it fragment into a multi-polar-system with new threats and issues on ethnic and regional terrorism and violence?
If we look at the world after 1996, the prospect of world peace in a uni-polar system is bleak enough to be skeptic.
In the Middle East the Palestinian- Israeli conflict still remain unsolved. In the former Yugoslavia wide-scale fighting between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in 1998 later forced Milosevic to accept a peace plan. But the issue still simmers, though he was extradited to Netherlands.
In Northern Ireland the Belfast agreement in 1998 was signed by Ireland and Northern Ireland, the issue of decommissioning the paramilitary groups continue to undermine the agreement. The British Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 on a formula of “one country two systems’. But now China is forcing Taiwan to endorse one China policy. In 1998 India and Pakistan started a series of nuclear tests despite the opposition of nuclear powers. .On the other hand the two Koreas have agreed to cooperate
Economic globalization brought benefits and cancers. The IMF, WB, WTO are now considered by the underdeveloped countries as machines of exploitation of the weaker nations of the world.
These all show how difficult it is to bring about peace.
A mere opening and operating a special department of peace cannot do much in bringing world peace. It can serve at best as an educative process towards world peace, whenever it can come up later in the world.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Malankara St.Thomas Syrian Orthodox Church Feud


(Summary of a speech delivered by Prof. Joseph K. Alexander at the 94th Annual Conference of the MGOCSM on 27th Dec. 2002)

Recently there was a Sangamam of the members of the Dioceses south of Kottayam of the Malankara Orthodox Church (MOC) at Trivandrum. When asked why you aren’t coming for the meet; a youth told me. “No. I am not interested. I go to the church only for my spiritual needs:- of seeing the qurbana, for spiritual services like baptism, marriage and burial .I have no other interest and no time to spare”. This is the routine answer of most of the growing up members of the Church.

The Church members may be categorised into 3 groups. This is the first of them. The second are the knowledgeable grown-up intellectuals like professors, doctors, engineers: professionals in general. For them, the present day disputes and skirmishes are communal and fundamentalist. India is a secular state. Christianity a religion of love and peace shall not stoop down to such un-Christian activism in India. Some of them even say that our ecclesiasts have lost spirituality. The third group is mostly elderly who still have a lot of churchmanship in their beliefs and behavior. In this group women are a little more in number. Some children who are procreated in the same vein by these elders also come under this category.

If we examine we can understand that disputes, dissensions and divisions were the very essence of Christian Church history. Till 313 AD Christianity was the religion of the poor and the have-nots, of the destitute and of the downtrodden. It was Christ who kindled hope of a better life for them. So these persecuted used to hide in the caves and meet there together to rekindle their faith in Christ and to share the little food they had among themselves. Thus the original Christianity was of the poor. It was emperor Constantine of Constantinople who made Christianity his State religion

Thence it became a Royal Church with 3 features of:-
(1) Spirituality,
(2) Worldly possessions in the form of church edifices, convents, asrams, educational institutions, hospitals and mundane reproductive capital of all sorts to create more income for rendering more Christian services to the poor; and
(3) Structure with Prelates like Pope, Catholicose, Patriarchs, Arch Bishops, Bishops, Episcopas and their Holy Seas, Dioceses and Bishoprics.
These worldly acquisitions and positions led to personal differences and one-upmanship. Thus new groups and churches arose. Later they attributed dogmas and liturgy for these new Churches. This is how the two thousand plus Christian Churches of today came into being. The latest we know is the new Society Church created by Mar Thomas Dionysius, the newly created Sreshta Catholicose of the Patriarch faction in Kerala.

Disputes and Divisions in Christendom
The first major division in Christendom was the separation of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in 451 AD after the Chalcedon Synod. The second was in 1054 AD when the Catholic Church got separated from the main stream. The third division was in the 15th century when Calvin and Luther created their own new Churches .Thus including Catholics, in Christendom there are 4 major divisions and over 2000 sub-groups.

Disputes among St.Thomas Christians
This sort of division was repeated in every part of the World where Christianity existed including Kerala. Here St. Thomas Christians existed from 52 AD. They were a free group ruled by their Arch Deacons. Christian travelers and missionaries from other parts of the World used to visit, influence and even rule them for short periods. Now we have plenty of Christian Churches in Kerala.

Syrian, Roman, Latin, Canaanite, and Antiochan Rite Catholics with many exclusive orders of priests and nuns in each of them; The Malankara Orthodox Church; Former Jacobite Church now transmuted to the New Society Church; Church of South India with many sub-groups like Syrians, London Mission, Dalits, Bassel Mission etc; Mar Thoma Church with Sathyam & Pathyam factions; Kaldaya Nestorians; Thozhiyoor Church; Yooyomayam; Brotherens of many hues; Salvation Army; Many kinds of Pentecosts and churches of Individual pastors ,In short, division and dissentions are the rule in Christendom. Hence decrying the present day disputes among Christians as unchristian is denial of Christian history.

A Christian Church is a particular faith with its own liturgy and dogmas. Any change in them leads to another Church. A Church has its spirituality, structure and worldly possessions. Today without these 3 features a Church cannot exist. The Prelate of the Church is the main trustee. His Bishops and priests are his representatives. They have a two-fold duty to dispense spiritual services to the people and to protect the structure and the worldly possessions of the Church.

Now may I pose a question .Can any Christian Church go back today to the pristine and ideal Christian life that existed among our fore-fathers in the 1st or 2nd century AD? Impossible. So, saying that one is neutral in disputes, or such disputes are unchristian is only evasion of the problem. It is sheer escapism.

Civil Cases
.Let we go through a very brief summary of our church cases.
1. Mavelikara Padiola (1836) was the first dispute and was with the CMS missionaries.
2. Seminary Case. This second was for the ownership of the Malankara Sabha properties filed by H G Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius IInd in the Alleppy District Court in 1879. The Royal Court finally decided it in 1889 in favour of Pulikottil Thirumeni of Malankara Orthodox Church. The defendants left the Church and formed Mar Thoma Church.
3. Arthat Case. Pulikottil Thirumeni filed separate cases for the churches in Cochin State and won those cases also.
4. Vattippanam Case. Mar Thoma VI the Malankara Metropolitan gave 3000 poovarahan to the East India Co. as fixed deposit. In 1909 Patriarch Mar Abdulla came to Malankara to further consolidate their rule in Malankara. He excommunicated Vattaserril Thirumeni and ordained in 1911 Mar Coorilos as a rival Malankara Metropolitan .This rival claimed the annual interest of this Vattipanam. So the State Secretary of the British Government, deposited it in the treasury, and filed an interpleader case in 1913 to decide the right claimant. Thirumeni won, then lost and finally in the review appeal won the case in 1928
5. Samudaya case. Paulose Athanasios of the patriarch faction claiming Malankara Metropolitan ship filed the case in the Kottayam District Court on 10-3-1938. After a series of appeals and review, Catholicose party won the case by the Supreme Court Judgment of 1958.

Then the two factions joined into a single Church in 1958 by mutual acceptance of the Prelates and ecclesiasts. Catholicose accepted the Patriarch subject to the provisions of the 1934 constitution of the Malankara Church. Then as per this constitution the Patriarch was invited to attend the consecration of Augen Bawa in 1964 as the new Catholicose. He came and attended the ordination. Later on 31st Dec 1970. the last combined meeting of the Malankara Association was also held to elect Vattakunnel Mathews Mar Athanasios as the Malankara Metropolitan designate. The erst-while Patriarch faction kept quiet till the elapse of 12 years in 1970 to escape the Supreme Court award of all the expenses to the Catholicose party.

.By the 1934 constitution and the 1958 Supreme Court Judgment, the Patriarch’s spiritual powers over the Malankara Church had reached a vanishing point He never had any temporal powers over it, though he tried for it. Yet this foreigner started fomenting disputes in the combined Church. One after another he violated the provisions of the 1934 constitution and created a rival Sreshta Catholicose and 4 bishops in Malankara. He even started issuing orders to the Catholicose. So the Catholicose party was forced to file cases. Thus the case O.S.4/79 was filed to prevent these illegal metropolitans entering the Church properties.

6. Second Samudaya Case A special additional district court was created to hear all these cases: 8 of them and their appeals were later transferred to the Kerala High Court. The 2 member judgment of 1st June 1990 decreed that the defendants are illegally created Bishops and issued a permanent injunction to them from performing any religious services or sacraments. It also declared that Malankara Church is Episcopal and is not a federation of parish churches and it is governed by the 1934 constitution.

The Patriarch faction filed an appeal in the Supreme court. The Supreme Court gave the verdict on 20-6-1995 in favour of the Catholicose party by affirming the High Court verdict of 1990.

The gist of the court’s observations and Decree were:-
!. Patriarch faction cannot question the 1934 constitution of the Church and the Catholica Simhasanam created in 1912 in Kerala, because both have been unconditionally accepted by Patriarch Yacoob IIIrd in 1958 when he signed the mutual acceptance agreement and by Patriarch’s acceptance to participate in the ordination of the Augen Bawa in 1964.
2.The area of operation of the Patriarch and of the Malankara Metropolitan were demarcated in 1964 By this order issued by the Patriarch he has given up all spiritual rights over the Malankara Church
3.Parish churches are governed by the 1934 constitution (clauses 6 to 44)
4.As per the constitution the Patriarch‘s spiritual powers over Malankara church verges on to nothingness and he never had temporal powers over it.
5 St.Thomas has Simhasanam and Malankara Metropolitan occupies that. He can also use the honorific His Holiness.
6.Articles 46 and 71 stands amended by the Supreme Court to give more realistic representation to parish members in the Malankara Association meeting .
7.The court ordered for the immediate meeting of the Malankara Association to approve or not all the bishops and priests separately appointed by the two factions after 1971 and to assign Dioceses to them.

Objections to stall the meeting. Mar Thomas Dionysius insisted for the immediate implementation of the Supreme Court Order .The Catholicose issued notices for the Association meeting Then the Patriarch faction raised a number of objections like:-
a), The Court should issue fresh explanations for the judgments of 3/1996 and of 2/1997
b). V.R. Krishna Iyer may be appointed as mediator to the dispute
c) Supreme Court should issue orders for the conduct of the Association instead of the Catholicize
d) Marthoma Mathews IInd of the MOC is not a legally elected Malankara Metropolitan and he is the Catholicose only of the Catholicose party.
e) That the Court should order all ecclesiasts and Catholicose to declare allegiance to the Patriarch
f). The name of Patriarch should be mentioned in all prayers.

Supreme Court heard and dismissed all of them on 28-11-2001 and ordered to hold the Malankara Association before 31-3- 2002. Again Mar Thomas Dionysius poked many more spokes to stop the meeting.

The handling of the Malankara Sabhha case by the Supreme Court judges headed by Justice Kripal was very unique. In order to make both parties to unite together the judges prompted the Catholicose party which won the case to yield too many of the demands of the opposition... Bawa Thirumeni even agreed to resign if the Association declares that he is not the Malankara Metropolitan. So as agreed by both parties, the Court appointed Justice Mali mud, a judge of the rank of the Chief Justice to observe the conduct of the Malankara Association and the election and to report back for the final verdict of the Supreme Court. As an abundant caution both parties were asked to deposit Rs.50,000 (later raised to Rs.1 lakh) each as security.

The Malankara Association. was thus held on 20th March 2002 and justice Malimud reported that the Association was held observing all formalities and that the Association elected Bawa as the Malankara Metropolitan of MOC with 3464 votes and only 10 persons abstained from voting.
On the basis of this report the Supreme Court gave the final verdict on 12-7-2002 that Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews IInd is the Malankara Metropolitan and that this decision is final and unchallengeable in any court or forum.

Having found that none of his gimmicks succeeded ,Mar Thomas Dionysius somersaulted and went to Damascus and got him ordained as Sreshta Catholicose of a New Society Church. There is only one Church in Malankara .Patriarch has no spiritual or temporal powers over it.

Mar Dionysius and his faction thus reaffirmed their exit from the MOC and its constitution This being the case he and his faction have no claim over any parish church or properties belonging to the 1662 parishes in the combined Malankara Orthodox Church that came into being in 1958.

Root of all these cases
All these cases that cited above happened in the MOC only because of the greed of the Antiochan Patriarch for worldly possessions. When Patriarch Patrose III came to the ”Gods own country”, he got enamoured and decided to become the owner and overlord of these people and their church properties by hook or crook.. .He and his successors used all means including spiritual excommunication weapon on Malankara Prelates and their people. Their villainy can be seen from the series of these, they employed.

Excommunication Weapons.
1. The first excommunication was applied on 21-9-1843 by Patriarch Ignatius Elias IInd on Cheppad Dionysius the ruling Malankara Metropolitan to install in his place Palakunnath Mathews Mar Athanasios ordained by himself. (1)
2. The second was 32 years later in 1875 .Patriarch Patrose IIIrd excommunicated Palakunnath Mathews Mar Athanasios to install in his throne Pulikottil Mar Joseph Dionysius IInd
3. The third was 14 years later in 1889 when the Royal Court Judgment denied temporal powers to the Patriarch. So Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius IInd was excommunicated by the same Patrose IIIrd on the plea that he did not do the needful in getting proper court judgment. (2)
4. Patriarch Mar Abdulla excommunicated 22 years later Vattaserril Thirumeni in 1911 because he refused to persuade the Malankara churches to surrender their church and properties to the Patriarch as ordered by him He also cursed Thirumeni and all his successors, ecclesiasts and priests of the Malankara Church.
5. The next was on Augen Bawa on 16-07-1974 .Patriarch Yacoob IIIrd also sent the notorious letter saying that St. Thomas the apostle of Christ was not even a sexton.
Of these excommunications the only one withdrawn was the one on Pulikottil Thirumeni when he gave the golden Amsa Vadi to the Patriarch.

Some say naively to divide the parishes to solve the dispute.
A parish church in Malankara is established by the local people who believe in a particular faith and liturgy. It becomes a church only when it is consecrated by the Bishop of that faith. They are also bound by its constitution. Thus a church is a unit of a structure having a common faith, liturgy, constitution and an ecclesiastical hierarchy. None of such churches in that Church can claim independent existence or can secede from it. So a division of any of the parish will be violation of the practice and the Constitution of the Church and of the Supreme Court Order. Division cannot be a solution .That is the legal reason why by the verdict of the Supreme Court and its direction; all the 1662 churches of the Malankara Orthodox Church were invited and directed to attend the Malankara Association held on March 20th 2002.Some parishes abstained from it. That was unlawful and futile. They cannot go out of the Church.
The claim of the new metropolitans created in the new Society Church that they can enter any church in Malankara is frivolous and shows either ignorance of the law or criminality of that faction.

Mar Thomas Dionysius , Society Catholicose
Finding that the law of the land and of the Malankara Church are against his aspiration to become a successor to Catholicose, Mar Thomas Dionysius cornered a few around him to violate all the rules of the Church and unlawfully got ordained as rival Catholicose by the ever-willing Patriarch who wants stooges to put his foot in India. This ordination is not only illegal, but also immoral and vulgar for a spiritual leader. He is the Catholicose of a new Society Church and new faith .Patriarch has no right to ordain him for 2 reasons.
1. Though Patriarch of Antioch as per the 1934 Constitution of the Malankara Orthodox Church (MOC) is the supreme head of MOC, he never had any temporal powers over it and his spiritual powers verged on to nullity. Now by the Supreme Court judgment of July 2002 there is and there can be only one Church in India that accepts him so. And its supreme prelate in India is Mar Thoma Mathews II who. is the Malankara Metropolitan and the Catholicose .This fact is unchallengeable in any court or forum. Moreover the Patriarch can act in India only through Catholicose .Since he has ordained Mar Thomas Dionysius as Sreshta Catholicose on his own and without the approval and concurrence of MOC, that ordination is not only vulgar but also null and void.
2. On the same day of the Malankara Association meeting at Parumala on 20-03-2002, Mar Thomas Dionysius by an illegal parallel meeting declared the creation of a new Society Church, faith and its constitution. He also declared himself as the Malankara Metropolitan of this new Church. By this action he has not only gone out of the MOC, but also has severed his connection with the Patriarch who is the supreme head of the only Church in India. There cannot be another Indian Church that can recognize him so. Mar Thomas Dionysius, is a bishop of another Church. He cannot receive an ordination to be a Sreshta Catholicose in India from the Patriarch of Antioch. He can receive such an ordination from a Prelate of the Armenian , Coptic or any other Church, but not from the Antiochan Patriarch. So he is neither a Sreshtan nor a rival to the MOC Catholicose. .In short, legally Fr. Thomas is not even a Bishop.
Mar Thomas’s argument that individual parishes are independent, only shows his ignorance about the clauses 6 to 44 of the 1934 constitution of MOC. Even if his stand is conceded for argument sake, it may be noted that the lateral observation by the Supreme Court Judges about not giving any decision regarding individual parishes as they are not parties in the case , is about the 1662 parishes of the MOC. Mar Thomas is now out of them. He has no right to talk anything about the MOC parishes. Hence his argument is like the barking of a dog at the moon

Mar Thomas Dionysius is licking the dust.
Now he is pleading and prostrating before every political leader, media persons and camera, and spiritual leaders of all hues and every other, to mediate . The fun is that many without understanding the issues have offered to mediate. Who in India can be a better mediator than the Supreme Court Judges ?. Moreover, where were these mediators when there was a second division in the Church in 1971 and when Patriarch started fomenting trouble in this Church?

Mar Dionysius says he is ready for any mediation. Because anything that he can get through the mediation, even if it is only a candlestick from the Malankara Church, it will be legalizing his illegal actions. It will be a contract out of Supreme Court .So what the Catholicose fought for 100 years in the courts will be nullified by such mediation. This is why the Malankara Metropolitan H.H.Marthoma Mathews IInd says that he is ready for mediation provided he is given peace with justice. Nothing less than the supreme Court Order will be injustice to the Malankara Orthodox Church.

Mar Dionysius claims that he has not filed any case and there are over 300 cases against him. That only shows his criminality. How can a wrong doer originate a case. It is the victim who goes to the court for justice. He even says that 80 % of the judges do not judge properly. Why. ?.He knows it better.

He claims prayer, fasting and Christian witness as his motto. But it is his group that dragged on the case from 1995 to 2002; that murdered late Malankara Varghese; that forcefully entered many churches not for prayer but to preach and foment ill will ;and was organizing Chaverpadas .
The murder of late Malankara Varghese by the faction spear-headed by Mar Thomas Dionysius is more Satanic than the similar murder of ANA PAPPY ,the self-imposed body guard of Vattaseril Thirumeni on Saturday 30th March 1912 .I am constrained to lament like H.G.Wells in his World History, when he describes the murder of King Philips by his own son Alexander the Great. It is tragic that 20 centuries of Christian teachings has not even encrusted the thinnest film of Christian ness and culture on the skins of Arab Christian Prelates and their rank and file ,even in Kerala..
1. The only legal and peaceful solution to the problem is that these illegally created Catholicose and his Bishops and priests must get out of the 1662 parish churches of the Malankara Orthodox Church because they have gone out of the faith and the 1934 constitution and has created a new Society Church .Moreover this was what was done on earlier occasions by the parties who lost the cases. Marthoma Church left and created new churches for themselves when they lost their case in1889. Similarly in 1929 Mar Ivanios left the Church, He did not try to take any Malankara parish church with him.

Many argue that the two factions should settle the issue by dividing the parishes on the basis of membership. The Catholicose, His Synod, Working Committee, Managing Committee or the Malankara Association cannot and will not accept this. because it is illegal. But if any individual parish members at the grass root level agree for collecting funds for their fellow members who have gone out of the Church for the construction of another church building for themselves, they may do so..

The root cause of all the trouble is the Patriarch’s attempts to exercise spiritual powers in Malankara Church. He is a foreigner He should be prevented from doing this through the diplomatic channel. Moreover as per the 1934 constitution clause 101 the present Patriarch Zakka I was can not be recognized .He was ordained against the provisions of clause 101. So his exercise of spiritual powers in Malankara is illegal. He could have been recognized had the Catholicose and the Patriarch mutually were to accept each other at or after the March 2002 Association meeting. This also was not done.

Again the 1934 constitution of the Church has been accepted by the Supreme Court. So the Patriarch can operate in the Malankara Church only through the Catholicose. Hence his creation of Mar Thomas Dionysius as a rival Catholicose is violation of the Supreme Court order and is ultra vires of the 1934 constitution of the MOC.

Again there cannot be any other Church in Malankara recognizing the Patriarch of Antioch, So Mar Dionysius‘s claim that he has created another Society Church under the Patriarch is wrongful and illegal. His new church can be a part of any other oriental Orthodox Church, but not under the Patriarch of Antioch.

So a writ petition should be filed against the Patriarch’s violation of the Court Orders.

2.. Yet another solution is to convince the State Govt. Executive this point that the Patriarch is acting illegally. So it is the duty of the Government to implement the orders of the Supreme Court.” And this court doth lastly order that this order be punctually observed and carried into execution by all concerned” This is an order of the Supreme Court to the State Executive. Convince them by a dialogue that they have to execute it

3. Still another solution is that a case may be filed against Mar Thomas Dionysius for non-compliance of the Supreme Court Judgment of 2002 , with a prayer to the Court to direct the State Government executive to take necessary steps to implement the Judgment and to report back to the Supreme Court in 30 days time from the receipt of the order. Mar Dionysius is the only living appellant in the original Appeal suit 331 of 1980 in the Supreme Court . He has to comply.

4. Lastly Mar Dionysius is fomenting trouble only in less than 200 parishes of the four Metropolitans who continue to remain in the combined Church. File individual cases for these parish churches for implementation of the Supreme Court order.
These are some of the possible ways to tackle the evil. Mediation in the dispute or division of the parishes is not the solution.

Demands of His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews II
1.There is only one Church and its unchallengeable Prelate in any forum, is Himself.
2. All the 1662 Parish churches belong to the Malankara Orthodox Church .All of them are to be governed by the clauses 6 to 44 of the 1934 constitution of the Church.
3. The New Society Church and its new prelate Mar Dionysius and his followers are no longer members of the Malankara Orthodox Church and cannot remain under the Patriarch of Antioch..
4. Anybody; Society Church members, Marthomites, CSI, Catholic or other Christians may enter and see the services in these parishes. The Catholicose do not want direct possession of any parish church or its properties. But the priests and Bishops that officiate and conduct sacraments in all these parish churches and institutions of the CHURCH shall be ecclesiasts ordained and appointed by Him and His Bishops only and should be governed by the 1934 constitution.
Note. 1 Cheppad Mar Dionysius was excommunicated by Patriarch Ignatius Elias IInd.
1. This can be seen in para 158 of the Royal Court Judgment. There we read exhibit Q-Q. a letter written by Palakunnath Mathews Mar Athanasios to Major General Callan that Cheppadan has been excommunicated and hence he is the right claimant for Malankara Metropolitanship. The date in my posting is the date of this letter. I could not come across the actual date of the excommunication because that letter presented by Yuyakim Coorilose was declared unacceptable and hence was suppressed by Mar Coorilose.
2. Z.M.Parret. "Malankara Nasranikal" Vol. III Ch 6." Mathews Mar Athanasios" Page. 170 . Sub-heading Cheppad Divanasiosine Mudakki.
3. P.Cherian - "The Malabar Syrian Christians and the Church Missionary Society", Kottayam.1932. Page 203. reiterate this information.
Note .2. Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius II nd was also excommunicated.
Patriarch Patrose IIIrd returned from Malankara in 1877. He wrote later on 7th November 1892 when he was 91 years old a Kalpana from Syria when he learned that the Royal court Judgment has denied him temporal powers. This letter was an exhibit in Samudaya case 111 of 1113 in the Kottayam District Court and in Vattipanam case as Exhibit No. J.N. Parts of this letter are reproduced in
1. Z.M.Parret- "Malankara Nasranikal " Vol iii. Page 234 to 240. on page 238 this suspension is worded.
2. K.C.Mammen Mapillai." Autobiography". It is reported to me by a friend that this is reported in that book also. But at present I do not have that book with me.

(Prof. Joseph K. Alexander , Retd Director , Collegiate Education ,Kerala Govt. Service is an economist, He was the principal of Govt. college, Kottayam, was a member of the Orthodox Church official bodies including the Church Planning Committee,3 times Chief Election Officer of the Malanakara Association, Senior Vice President of the MGOCSM for 14 years in the 1980 s and ‘90s and so on. Currently he is in the Faculty of the Civil Service Academy of our Church at Trivandrum and is the Treasurer of MGOCSM.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009




The onslaught of Science and the views of Darwin, Freud and Marx have conditioned the intellectual base of modern man. So it is not news that religion, which warrants implicit and complete faith in God, the creator, lacks rapport in reasoning, in the not-so-discerning minds in this Post-Christian Era. The emergence of ever-newer human wants and the plentitude of modern gadgets and pursuits that make life on this planet more pleasant, has made modern man a victim of a nexus of want-satisfying hectic pursuit for money and privileges on the one hand and happiness on the other- a vicious circle. The shortcomings of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the impossibility of a colossus-like leadership in the Church in these days of universal education and Church divisions, differences, and civil cases, have also contributed their might in weaning away the ordinary man from the Church and religion. The increase in the membership of Churches has also contributed to the number and magnitude of the problems within Parishes and Churches. All these factors have inculcated a cultivated formal indifference on the part of laymen--at least in the Malankara Orthodox Church--towards the Church and its leaders, and vice versa. The Education Orientation Camps organized by the MGOCSM is an attempt to dissipate this situation and to remind the Church and its members the necessity for mutual concern.


When faced with difficult situations in the Church in the 1970’s, some of us like this author had to experience this indifference of the intellectuals of the Church. So the problem is to create a concern among them for the Church and vice versa.
Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement (MGOCSM) was originally devised as a Movement for the youth of the Malankara Church. It became later a Movement of the Youth and College Students. In recent years its activities have been extended to the School level. Habits ingrained into one during young days continue till the end. So with the active co-operation of the then (1979-’80) President H G Dr Philipos Mar Theophilos, Senior Vice-President Prof. Joseph K. Alexander Rev. Fr. P.C. Cherian, General Secretary and other leaders decided to start a High School Wing for the MGOCSM.

In the career of an educated man an im­portant junction in life is the days he go through his Xth standard in school and Pre-Degree course in college. His future depends to a great extent on his efforts, achievements and decisions of this period. It is this thought that prompted us and H. G. Philipos Mar Theophilos, to devise a special project for the students entering this important phase of their life.

This project prepared by the Senior Vice-President Prof. Joseph K. Alexander was approved by the President H G Philipos Mar Theophilos and H H Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I, Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicos, the supreme head of the Church. His Grace, then the 70 years young President of the Student Movement was ever willing not only to imbibe new ideas, but also, implement it immediately.

Human Society, at all times in history, have been directed and controlled by the inte­llectually superior. In our Church and society, also, it is such of them who decide the modes and destinies of others. So the MGOCSM decided to bring together the intellectually superior students within the Church, who are to provide the leadership for tomorrow. The best pre-SSLC students - boys and girls – of just about 14+ years in age are to be identified and brought to the camp for an educat­ion orientation, to be conducted during the annual vacation of April-May. The scheme envisages the following short-term perspectives.

1. The proved ability of students with higher IQ. in memorizing, convergent thinking and in scoring higher marks in the school is to be augmented by suitable modalities and training so as to equip them for higher intellectual pursuits.
2. To enable these students to develop into polished rounded personalities with fewer idiosyncrasies in behavioral patterns, citizenship, church life, etc. In other words they are to be guided into inte­grated persons harmoniously blending their family, social, church, vocational and citizen facets of life into a single whole.
3. To encourage and help the development of cultural and artistic talents in them.
4. To help them in identifying their vocation in life and to goad them to strive hard to achieve the same.

In order to achieve these objectives of the Education Orientation camp, the project has been devised as follows.

(a) Venue;
The venue of this camp in the beginning 1980’s was the Sophia Centre in the Old Seminary at Kottayam, the whole atmosphere of which stands charged with a spiritual aura. The Theological Seminary and the star-studded faculty continuously charge and keep the intensity of the spiritual force of the Seminary atmosphere. Moreover the very sands of the Old Seminary have to remind the campers of the hoary history of the church and the tribulations our church leadership had to pass through. H.G Paulos Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan of Delhi and the Secretary in charge of the Sophia Centre was kind enough to permit us into this ideal abode for our camp.

(b) Campers:
Identification and selection of students of the church with the highest IQ was the problem. MGOCSM secretary-in-charge visited schools and consulted teachers and Head Masters in identi­fying such students and in persuading them to apply for the camp and course. The applications thus received were sieved and the best available, selected on the basis of academic excellence were invited to attend the camp. We preferred students getting more than 80 % marks-

(c) Resource persons:
An equally taxing task was the identification and recruitment of suitable resource persons for the classes. The Secretary in consultation with the Corporate Management of our schools, Head Masters and staff of the Theological Seminary selected persons of proved ability and allot them time, with instructions on the course and campers they have to address. Getting the best of them is an on-going and continuous process.

(d) Course content:
Classes held on Xth Std. (SSLC) curricula papers were intensive and were devised to ensure 100% marks for the campers in each of their exam paper. The content of each subject, the nature of its question paper and how to study each lesson from the beginning of the year so as to answer all the questions completely were all taught. It was the methodology of learning that was taught in the camp- A student who is prepared to persevere as instructed in the camp was assured of scoring 100 % marks, thereby instilling into him complete confidence to face the examination. It was the experience of each participant that he goes out of the camp with a good deal of enthusiasm and confidence to face the future and particularly the SSLC exam.

Besides the three hour classes for each paper of the SSLC examination, classes of shorter durations were also held by experts on objectives of education, reading habit, faith, churchmanship, Christian fathers, Bible, personality development, social behaviour, leadership qualities, emotional tensions in student life, health and first aid, etc.

The course also included two hours of cultural activities every day and competitions in them. Winners were awarded prizes and certificates. It is heart-warming that society is coming forward to institute more and more prizes to the campers.

The retreat, confession and holy communion- part of the course content-- by all the participants including the elders was a real thrill in the life of many of the campers. Lay leaders, Bishops of our church and seminary professors and senior friends of the Movement visited the campers and met them as often as possible. H.H.Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I The Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan give the campers every year audience at his Palace at Devalokam and give Apostolic Blessings to each one of them personally. This ritual is being continued by the present Catholicos H.H.Marthoma Mathews II.

(e) Finance:
The project is expected to be financially self-supporting. The nominal fee for the course, in 1981 was only Rs.40. Inspite of the price situation, the 2005 camp charged only Rs.700-per camper. Scholarships have also been instituted to accommodate poor, but deserving students, provided they produce the necessary certificates. It was the munificence of some good hearts that enabled us to give excellent food for the campers. Now the deficit is met from the General funds of MGOCSM.

The real long-term perspective of this project is the creation of a fraternity or lay-order of the intellectuals of our Church, who in later years of their life will be occupying important positions in the different sectors of our society. Since our Church membership in these days is scattered over the whole of India, nay of the whole world, a conscious, and intentional creation of such a fraternity is imperative to make each one of the camper a success in his future individual, vocational and social life. If he is to be a successful doer of things, whatever his field & wherever he is, he requires help and support of many others. A camper should get it in his future life and vocations from at least this fraternity of Education Orientation Camp.

A camper should feel that the orientation campers of different years- 25 years campers should be around 1300 - ? are a special fraternity and are intimately related to him and that he can and should be of help to all other members in their vocational, social and spiritual life. They may be engaged in different occupations in different parts of the world. This fraternity should also act as a bulwark against the problem of "alienation feelings" and "identity crisis problems" of its members. The fraternity should make every member feel a sense of "belonging". In times of his needs--individual, vocational, social or spiritual--he should feel free to "demand and get help from other members placed in important positions in different walks of life. In order to inculcate this intimacy among the fraternity they are encouraged to be in regular communication with each other throughout their life.

To facilitate this communication process the following measures are being implemented:
I. At each camp, camper is given a group photo and a book containing the address of his colleagues.
2. Every three years regional one-day get-together of ex-campers are held in different places'
3. Quiniquinnial one-day get-together of all the ex-campers were organized at Kottayam and we hope to continue it every five years. In 2003 MGOCSM called all the available in the fraternity from 1981 onwards for a one day conference. A good number attended and refreshed their contacts.

An annual newsletter OSMEON-Orthodox Student Movement Education Orientation News - containing the latest address of the ex-campers, their vocations, positions and achievements in life etc, is being organized. We hope the OSMEON will develop into a useful organ of the Movement.

In 1989 our one-day refresher conference of the Orientation fraternity, was converted into a week long camp with more definite aims. The objectives of this post-SSLC camp is to equip and prepare them for a College Career, selection of a suitable course of study and shouldering responsibility not only of molding one’s own life, but also of the society through training in community leadership. Under the able guidance and help from Prof. P.C.Alias, Mr. Jacob Zachariah and a galaxy of experts in the faculty, the participants have made good use of the course. This year we are having the 16th post-SSLC camp at the MTSC of the Kottayam Students center.

The Secretary in-charge of the camp maintains regular office and files at the MGOCSM Office at Kottayam. For each camper a file was opened to keep all records about him and even communications from him. Our aim is to keep in contact with each camper till God calls him back. The camp’s secretary at the MGOCSM office is the fulcrum. He is also liaison between campers if they loose contact by mistake. He is again a counselor to the campers. He tries to keep in touch with each camper by circular letters, greetings of the seasons, birthday felicitations and even personal messages. All these demand organizational ability and manpower. The MGOCSM is trying to rise to the occasion.

Twenty three Orientation Camps have so far been conducted and nearly 1300 members have been inducted to the Fraternity. We are moving to our Silver Jubilee in 2005 and the Centenary of the MGOCSM in 2008. We propose to celebrate the jubilee of the Orientation Fraternity by publishing a Directory of the Fraternity and a two Days Conference in April 2005.Let us all pray for its success.

Through mistakes and omissions we are gradually moving towards our ideals. In spite of a number of shortfalls, our camps have been successes. Some of our campers have come out with flying colours in the various exams, snatching their coveted educational courses. Many of the earlier members of the Fraternity are occupying important positions in life and are doing very great service to our Church and Society. We are striving to make our campers greater success and our fraternity a living one, useful to the campers and the society. May God give us strength and insight to make our movement a success?

By Prof. Joseph, K. Alexander, Addl. DCE (Retd.) Trivandrum.
Director, Education Orientation Camps of MGOCSM

Sunday, August 9, 2009


The reveries of a senior
Prof. Joseph K Alexander.

{Professor Joseph K Alexander is the Retired Director, Collegiate Education, and Kerala State. He is currently the Chairman of Kerala Regional Branch of the Indian Institute of Public Administration ( IIPA) and Honorary Treasurer of the MGOCSM India. He has been holding senior official posts in the MGOCSM ever since 1976.}

The MGOCSM is celebrating its centenary. In a hundred years the small seed sowed by the early visionaries has grown into a giant tree. The original aim was to deepen the spiritual life and creating in them (students) a livelier sense of fellowship. But in a hundred years the aim of the Movement has flowered into three: Worship, Study and Service: Training students in personal and corporate worship, deepening the study of the liturgy, history and ambit of the Church and above all, service to the fellowmen. In recent years the third motto of service has become important in the annals of MGOCSM.

In the globalised competitive spectrum of modern world, skewing up of the income and wealth and endowments into the hands of the more adventurous few is inevitable. Marginalization and increased disparity between the haves and the have-nots also is inevitable. Striking a balance through inclusive growth, so that the disparity is reduced and the marginalized is not left out in the onward march is the only solution to this malady. MGOCSM through its FASES (Financial Assistance to Self Employment Schemes), education scholarships, and total education programme and charity schemes is precisely trying to do this. Hence one cannot but felicitate MGOCSM for its new direction of activities. MGOCSM should try to ameliorate poverty and marginalization of all kinds and must uphold its service motto. All the same this new orientation of inclusiveness and self sacrifice for the service of others shall not be at the cost of the worship and study motto.

Looking forward, MGOCSM has to venture more actively into some other areas also, like:

1. Seeking the targeted students. The exhortation given at the 99th Annual Conference of the MGOCSM on 27th Dec. 2007 at the St. Mary’s Cathedral church, Thumpamon by H B. Paulos Mar Milithios, Catholicose Designate, is very relevant. He said, “so far the students and youth used to come to the clarion call of the MGOCSM. But in the New Century the students and youth shy away from religion. MGOCSM has to seek them and go after them”. MGOCSM has to find out methods to meet this new challenge of the 21st Century.

2. In the 20th Century the Syrian Student Conference was the barricade against the creeping cultural hostility to Christianity. In this new Century this role has to be more vigorous and effective. The failure of the family, church and school to bring up the modern youth in faith and spirituality; the mis-interpreted secularization of the society as ir-religiousness; and the role played by media in upholding it; make students to shy away from religion. Moreover, in the wake of pursuit of new types of enjoyment and pleasure youth have less leisure and time for religion and such meditative reflections. Modern youth consider it a waste of time to spend on such doubtful ideas as God and religion. Concurrently, individual’s reason has emerged as the bench mark of truth. Unless one gets logically convinced, he refuses to believe. So anything that seem unreasonable to one’s mind is untruth and bunkum. To them God may appear as a mere human fantasy. So MGOCSM must act as bulwark against this agnostic trend which is ghastly getting universalized.

3. Evangelists for the Third Christendom. Religiosity is still prevalent and strong in the older civilizations in China, Japan, India and the Far East. With the weakening of the communist suppression, religion in Russia and China have resurrected with greater vigour. So a Third Christendom with Philippines as epicenter is quite a possibility in the 21st century. (The coming of the Third Church” –Walburt Buhlmann). The First Christendom of the Middle East was destroyed by the militancy of the Arabs, the Crusades and post-Crusade fanaticism and Turkish invasions. The Second Christendom of the 13th Century onwards was dissipated by the western Colonial exploitation and the new scientific enquires that questioned unreasoned faith of man in God. Renaissance and reformation expedited this dissolution

We of the St. Thomas Tradition have a right and duty to train our students to be participants in the creation of the Third Christendom. In the wake of globalised centrifugal scattering of employment opportunities, our trained MGOCSM cadre employed all over the World can be ambassadors of Nazranis of Kerala. MGOCSM can and should play a vital role in the evolution of this Third Christendom. It is its inevitable duty. Proselytism is not the modality. They should mirror Jesus in their life and thereby be evangelists of the Third Christendom.

4. Finishing School. The education Orientation Course started in 1981 had been trying to develop the human abilities of the students to be leaders of the future society. Universal learning, information technology and use of websites for latest information make Global competition very intense and technical. Hence a restructuring of the Education Orientation course is necessary. They have to be trained to face the Universal competition arising from competitors of all parts of the World. So the training must include some kind of finishing curriculum that will equip them to face successfully the competitive World. This is to be given at the end of their professional and general education courses.

All these dreams require new orientation and training for our members, workers and youth. Let us pray for such developments in our programmes so that MGOCSM will not merely be more relevant, but also will be in the vanguard. I am certain that my dreams are only a glimpse into the future. A more thorough examination can bring more ideas and modalities of working for the MGOCSM of to morrow. May God and our Patron St. Parumala Mar Gregorios guide and equip us to take up these challenges.


Terrorism as a factor in National and International politics

Terrorism as a factor in National and International politics

Prof. Joseph K Alexander
Speech at the IIPA Seminar on this subject on 24th March

Terrorism is a violent or destructive act of groups to intimidate a population or Govt. to concede to their demands. So it is dramatic to get wide publicity and destructive to strike fear and terror.

Terrorism is a factor to be reckoned with in human society. National and international terrorism are inevitable. This distinction is also unwarranted. The linkage between the two is so ingrained that national terrorism feeds on international Diaspora support and the two cannot be separated. Universal education and awareness of one’s rights on the one hand and increase of inequality in economic growth make the deprived and marginalized to cry out and revolt against the existing Govt. / social / religious order that perpetrate these deprivations and inequality. Ideal state or Rama Rajya is an aspiration and dream of every reasoning mind. He expects a dignified, participatory and non-discriminatory life in such a dream land. In real life situation, the failure of the Govt. / society to provide these dreams is the background of all terrorism. All Govt.s / societies face terrorism and try to alleviate its pains. India is no exception.

The causes of terrorism in India are of four kinds:
Political. In Assam and Tripura terrorism arose due to the failure of the Govt. to control illegal migration of Muslims from Bangladesh and other nearby states. So the sons of the soil felt economic deprivation and revolted. PLA, ULFA, NDFB are all examples.
Ethnic. In Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur it is the ethnic separateness that create terrorism. The entire North East is the home of about 200 ethnic communities spread all over including the nearby states of Tibet, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan. The autonomy movements of many were solved by the creation of the Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. In Assam and these states the tensions among these tribal groups within the states create terrorist insurgency including tribal conflicts.
Economic. Bihar, MP, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh are all parts of the BIMARU states in India. They are under-developed compared to other states. Absence of land reforms, absence of the Govt. depts. and machinery in the remote areas to look after the economic welfare of the weaker sections, rural unemployment; and poverty in general, paved the way for ideological groupings of the people under various names like Naxalites, Maoists etc. Insurgency and attack on police stations and minor terrorist violence are perceived in these areas.
Religious. Punjab before 1995 and J&K since 1989 are clear examples of religion based terrorism. (The Babbar Khalsa, a Sikh terrorist group, blew up Air India's Kanishka aircraft off the Irish coast on June 23, 1985; The Khalistan Commando Force, a Sikh terrorist group, kidnapped foreign diplomats and others) Muslims under the Liberation Front banner demand a Muslim State for all the Muslims in India, Pakistan and China. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen want J&K to merge with Pakistan. Since 1980 in the thousands of violent incidents in J&K 26,226 lives have been lost. The insecurity of the people in their every day life is a greater loss to the community.
Political terrorism comparatively is less suicidal. But religious terrorism resort to suicidal attacks, mass annihilation of human life by suicidal human bombs, vehicle bombs and air craft high jacking and destruction

Caste and communal clashes leading to atrocities against dalits and retaliations by bhumi senas and dalit senas are a minor variety of terrorism existing in India. But the recent birth of a new type of terrorism of the new Hindutva organizations like Rama Sena and Bhajranga Dal is unfortunate. They attacked a couple of weeks ago the women in a pub in Mangalore and prevent boys and girls of different communities sitting and chatting or riding in bus as violation of moral codes. This is communal terrorism. The same thing happened in Orissa when the Dalit Christian community and their priests and churches were attacked by the Hindu majority. While the former is an attempt to get mileage in election by the BJP, the latter was more an economic based communal attack of the poor by the rich.
Religious and ethnic terrorists have external links and moral and material support from overseas Diasporas. Clandestine contributions from Pakistan’s ISI (Inter service Intelligence), Pan- Islamic Jihads in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, Criminal groups like Dawood Ibrahim and funds from Narcotic smuggling, pour in to help these terrorists. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar provide sanctuaries and training facilities for these terrorists. The recent 26/11 Bombay Taj Mahal terrorist attack by Pakistanis is a typical example.
Powers of the State Govts have been enhanced by various legislations and administrative and financial provisions to combat terrorism. Apart from the police forces a number of para military forces have been created all over the country. A network of intelligence agencies like RAW, CBI, Dept, of Economic & Business intelligence, etc; have also been created. A number of legislations like National Security Act 1980, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002 have all been passed to combat special kinds of terrorism. The TADA (Terrorist & Disruptive Activities Prevention Act) and POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) were repealed in 1995 and 2004 respectively because of the opposition to their misuse by certain governments like Gujarat which arrested thousands and jailed them on flimsy grounds.
India has also played a major part in strengthening international consensus against terrorism in UN, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). India is party to major international conventions against terrorism and has also incorporated them in domestic legislation...Pakistan is also a party to international conventions of UN and SARC. Yet it is they who harbor the entire anti-Indian terrorist. The countries around us want India to be pre-occupied with anti-terrorism than concentrate on Economic planning and progress It is true that part of our resources are spent to combat terrorism It is the duty of all normal Govt.s. to adopt such preventive measures. Yet national and international terrorism by the very definition of it will continue to exist in any and all human societies.


Friday, August 7, 2009



    Prof. Joseph K. Alexander
    Chairman. IIPA Kerala Regional Branch
    What is Public Service
    One evening, a cousin and a student of the University College, called in for a chat. During that he mentioned that he joined a student wing of a political party. He continued, “My aim is to be an MLA or MP for at least one term. I will amass enough for the next 3 generations of me.” In real life over the last 20 years, he made himself a political leader of sorts.

    Man is essentially selfish. He is also inherently religious. God is in him. Man from his birth conceive and develop a god in his mind. It may be a stone, an idol, a bird, an animal, or finally a god in his own image. The evolution of creating god may or may not stop at that.

    Man live in society with other men and the flora and fauna of the environment. All idealistic systems: religious, political, social and economic, try to liberate man from his selfishness to godliness in him, to love all others around and to live in such a way as to preserve his environment for the sustenance of the human life and Universe. The aim of excellence in PS is also the emergence of this ideal society of the greatest happiness of the greatest number and a good quality of life for all. It must provide him the basic minimum needs of life such as shelter, potable water, health, education, decent employment and participatory infrastructure and role in civic life. Now a days this is hindered by the increase in functions and functionaries of the government, and lack of Will of public servants and politicization of administration and corruption. This corruption is as old as public administration. It is the greatest hindrance to excellence in public service. In quantity-constrained regimes like India corruption has permeated to all sectors and aspects of life of the citizen. Political will to cajole, persuade and compel the administration is the remedy to excellence in public service.

    Who renders Public Service?
    One kind of public service is to be a politician. Being a bureaucrat of the government is another kind of public service (PS).

    What Mother Theresa, Florence Nightingale or Mahatma Gandhi did is still another type of individual public service. Paulose Mar Gregorios Award 2005 for Creative compassion was presented to Baba Amte at New Delhi. On that occasion A.P.J. Abdul Kalam President of India wrote in his message “ Baba Amte is a living legend and an example of the Gandhian spirit in his approach to solving social problems of our nation”. This is the public service we expect from public men

    NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) render public service. Christian managements started schools, colleges, engineering and medical colleges. The Vellore Medical College started by Miss Ida Scudder is a classic example. Other religious groups like Rama Krishna Mission emulated it as a socio-economic-political need in Kerala’s pluralistic religious groupings. This is another variety of public service.

    Public service done by government is still another variety. In Kerala the current event is the passing of the “Kerala Professional Colleges Act 2006” In the context of conflictive politics of Kerala the party in power wanted to impress the voters of their agenda of one-upmanship over the opposition in serving the marginalized and poor. The whole Act and its implementation procedure were with enough loop holes to be thrown out through civil suits. The political will necessary to implement it was not there. This is often the tragedy of this kind of PS.
    Pre-war Era
    We shall confine our discussion to the Government’s public service rendered by politicians and bureaucrats. In the early days when the State was simplistic, its function was limited to preservation of law and order within and protection of the boundaries of the State from foreign invasion. So public service was merely political administration. In the classical age the goal of public service was the greatest good of the greatest number of the citizens.

    “Praja sukhe sukham rajyaha praja namcha hitehitam
    natma priyam hitam rajaha prajanam cha hitam priyam“

    “ In the happiness of his subject lies the king’s happiness, in their welfare his welfare. He shall not consider as good only that which pleases him but treat as beneficial to him whatever pleases his subjects.” Kautilya’s Arthasasthra.

    King Rama went to the other extreme of divorcing Sita to satisfy the rumormongers of the state. The style of functioning of the civil servants then was of impeccable integrity and honesty. Even in pre-independent India the ICS servants of the British Raj was famous for
    this style of work. Gandhiji also insisted that the public servants should be trustees. They should use the power for the benefit of the people and in a non-exploitative and uncorrupt manner.

  • Modern Governments of Developed Countries.
    With the advent of division of labour and industrialization, wealth and income rose. The State functions evolved out to new areas of provision of public goods like roads, bridges, waterways, and services like education, hospitals, health facilities, transport systems etc.

    The 2nd world war necessitated a large amount of planned movements of men and materials to the war front. Economic planning to win the war or reviving the economy or for greater economic growth became the principal function of the Government. The theoretical underpinning of the Keynesian technique of demand management came handy to revive the economy. Thus application of the Monetary and Fiscal policy techniques became a significant work of public servants.

    As marginalisation of the weaker sections was increasing, equity and justice in the dispensation of public service became another equally important phase of PS.

    With the increase in the functions and size of bureaucracy efficiency in PS deteriorated all over the World. Modern governments adopted new corporate management and marketing techniques and some New Public Management (NPM) system to induct efficiency in PS. Better emoluments and business orientation is prescribed for civil The State also tries now to become a facilitator than provider of services.

    Developing Countries and corruption.
    In developing countries like India generally resources are far less compared to the teeming millions of people. So these quantity constrained regimes find it difficult to have enough public servants, to cater to the needs of the people. The supply of goods and public services are far less than the people’s demand for them. The costly parliamentary elections add to the worry.

    Most of the candidates personally and their political party leaders separately collect funds massively. Some of these collections are extortions. Thus corruption and criminalisation became the style of elections and government. Some of these candidates are goondas.

    Corruption isn’t specific to India. It is all over the World. The lawmakers, their cabinet members and party bosses extort millions. Their civil servants bask on the crumbs that fall from the table to the floor.
    Transparency International (TI) is the leading global non-governmental organisation devoted to combating corruption worldwide. WWW.Transparency International It examined corruption in 62 countries in 2004 to mark the UN International Anti-Corruption Day. Its report was published in Berlin on 9th December 2004. The report says, that in India legislatures and private sector business are the worst scoring 4.6 and 4.5 respectively, in the scale 1 to 5; 5 being cent percent corrupt.
    Political parties 4.6 ;Parliament/ Legislature4.6; Legal system/ Judiciary 4.0;Police 4;Business/ private sector 4.5 ;Tax revenue2.9 ;Customs 3.4 ;Medi3.9a ;Medical services2.7 ;Education system 3.8; Registry and permit services 3.8; Utilities 3.7 ;Military 3.5 ;NGOs 1.9 ;Religious bodies 2.7

    Controlling corruption
    Political will is the only remedy for corruption. If that can be mustered, many others can be added to enforce that “WILL” like Judicial activism, insisting on the accountability of the executive and civil services, simplifying the procedures of decision making and implementing them, insisting on transparency etc. In these days of declining standards hoping for such a “WILL” is at least now beyond imagination. It is the political parties and the parliamentarians that perpetrate corruption in developing countries. So what is wanted is a special training or orientation to the politicians. More NGO activity like “Parivartan” of Aravind Khejeriwal is also warranted.

A critique on the Criminal Procedure Code

A critique on the Criminal Procedure Code process in India

Human society in its evolution instituted standards of conduct for family, school, religion, their working places and all kinds of other groupings. Survival of the group is the basic goal of all these rules and systems. Criminal law is one among them. While tort is an action against individual, criminal act is against the society. So preservation of the society is the aim of criminal law. Hence a criminal law that does not protect the vulnerable and weaker sections, which form the majority cannot be said to be just.

What I find most intriguing in the working of our CPC System is that often the poor are the victims in criminal cases. Except for a few underworld and rich mafia who are in the dock of the CPC system, 99 % or more of the criminal cases, actions against, and jail term before and after conviction, are of the marginalized, poor, dalits, and downtrodden. Is it because the poor and hapless alone are the criminals in our society, or is it due to corruption of the police-judiciary-bureaucracy-politician nexus that can thwart any CP action against them; or is it because that others in the society are more literate and adopt sophisticated modalities that leave no trace for CPC system to inculpate them in any criminal case?

The Amnesty international in a critique on the Malimath Committee Report point out the that its recommendations do not address the human rights of these underprivileged and vulnerable of the society. So the recommendation of this Report fails to make the criminal Justice system just.

A second issue that is seeking solution is that our CPC System tries to protect the accused. Rule of law and the rule that no person is guilty unless proved by law make the system circumlocutory and favouring the accused even at the cost of the victim. The law fails to protect the victim. This is flagrant in the rape cases where the victim is harassed in many different ways to disprove the case and to protect the accused. Any reform that does not address this can be said to be just.

The third problem is about the aim of CPC system. Reform of the offender and warning to the criminals is an objective of the implementation of CP system. In the notorious Aluva murder case Antony Manjooran dastardly murdered in cold-blood 6 persons of a family in a single night. The court sentenced him to death. He appealed to convert it to lifetime imprisonment. . Last week the court rejected the appeal on the ground that the death sentence should remain as a warning to criminals. But the prolonged interment of pre-trial, under-trial and regular imprisoned criminals make the jails in India overcrowded and a hotbed of criminals to imbibe new crimes and new ways of doing them. The very purpose of CP system gets defeated. Can we suggest a solution?

Another poser is the trial by media pointed out a fortnight ago by the 200th report of the 17th Law Commission appointed by the Government of India. The press and the electronic media discuss cases under trial threadbare and their opinions often influence the judges. The crime may get mollified and the criminal escapes and the victim of the crime is denied justice or the crime is aggravated and an innocent man is punished while the real culprit escape. Is this desirable or not?

888888888 Prof.Joseph K. Alexander