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Friday, April 03, 2015
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Good Friday -- the day the Son of Man was crucified on Golgotha!

The faithfuls believe that the Son of Man was crucified for the forgiveness of the sins of Mankind, a 'Good event' for the 'Goodness' of the human race for eternity, and therefore, that Friday is celebrated as 'Good Friday' the world over. And it is called 'Dukha Velliyaazcha'(Mournful Friday) in Kerala, and 'Holy Friday/ Great Friday or Mournful Friday in different parts of the world. Good Friday is the day when Christians remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for their sins “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani”, Jesus cried out at the ninth hour, which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” As he gave up His spirit, the whole country was covered in darkness that lasted for three hours, the curtain at the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, earth shook and the rocks split. (Matt 27: 46,51) -- "He really was the Son of God", said the army officer who watched all the happenings at the crucifixion!

Jesus is clearly depicted as one who is in control of his destiny and nothing in the world can take away that spiritual aura and confidence. "You have authority over me only because it was given to you by God", He told Pilate, the Roman governor, during the trial. And finally, Pilate told the crowd, "I am not responsible for the death of this man! This is your doing”! “Let the responsibility for his death fall on us and our children", the crowd shouted. And ever since, people around the globe have been wondering why the Jews have been persecuted; perhaps it may have something to do with that thoughtless statement in front of the Son of Man and Pilate on that day - that's my line of thinking, anyway!

Jesus celebrated the Passover Festival with his disciples and during this special supper, 'The Last Supper', He said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me - one who is eating with me; the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him” (Mark14: 21); Jesus told Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly". As soon as Judas went, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him” (John13: 27, 31); Jesus added, “But how then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say “It must happen this way”? Over the centuries, Christianity has portrayed Judas as the betrayer, the disciple who took the thirty pieces of silver from the High Priests and a traitor with qualities such as greed, hypocrisy and unfaithfulness. The name Judas represents evil in the Christian history - German law even forbids parents to give a child the name Judas! According to the four Gospels, Judas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and the treasurer of the group. One wonders why Judas is talked about in the literature more than any other disciples, especially when he was the least talked about in the Bible.

There is no denying the fact that it was him ‘Who handed over Jesus’ to the priests on that night at the Calvary. One should also remember here that it was 'Jesus, who chose Judas to be one of his disciples'! The handing over' on the night of the betrayal was according to the scriptures -- an act of God and therefore, should the person who carried out the will of God be ridiculed, slighted or demonized? When Judas found that his Master was condemned, he was overcome with remorse and tried to return the money. As the priests refused to accept it Judas threw the thirty pieces of silver and hanged himself. One could argue here that Judas truly believed that his Master was too powerful to be captured by the High Priests and therefore he was heart broken at what happened. But, it was God's will that the Scriptures be fulfilled. There have been many paintings based on the Last Supper and the betrayal by Judas. The most famous of them all is the 'Last Supper' by Leonardo da Vinci that represents the scene when Jesus told his disciples that one of them was going to betray him.

Celebrations vary in different parts of the world and most of the believers fast till after the '9th hour' – the Biblical day starts at 6:00 AM, making the '9th hour' for us, at 3:00 PM, and this 'Biblical 9th hour' is still followed as the time of Jesus' crucifixion, the world over! 'Way of the Cross' with processions of people carrying wooden crosses over their shoulders or flying kites made of wooden handles and the kites in the shape of a cross, fasting the whole day and breaking the fast by eating rice kanji and green gram or hot cross buns, etc are few of the celebrations. There is a deep sense of sorrow behind these celebrations, but there is also a glimmer of hope because of the resurrection of Jesus on the third day and thereby a new life for humanity! What follows the holiest day, the 'Good Friday', is 'Holy Saturday', a day for remembering the Dead, when prayers and candle vigil at the tomb of all the dear departed are held in the presence of the relatives and friends. Prayers are held in the church through the night and then it is the expectant wait for the jubilant 'Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday'!
©EMenon April2015



International Women's Day and Leslee Udwin's Documentary, 'India's Daughter'
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International Women's Day and Leslee Udwin's Documentary, 'India's Daughter'

I wish a 'Very Happy International Women's Day' to all the Women and Girls out there, and a better tomorrow!

As we celebrate 'International Women's Day', women are still fighting for Justice and Equality! I just watched 'India's Daughter' and I thought Leslee Udwin has done a very good job! The comments by the rapist or the lawyers are their own words and do not reflect the views of others! But the pitiful words of the defence lawyer about women make you wonder whether this is truly the 21st century! I wish everyone would see Leslee Udwin's documentary, 'India's Daughter', as it allows the viewers to be faced with the situation! Banning it from public viewing is utterly undemocratic and it's beyond me to understand why it is banned in India! What they don't realise is that they let the Nation be in bad light in front of the whole world by banning the documentary -- they don't want to be faced with the real truth and the vulgar mindset of some of the rotten ones in our society that includes all classes of people! It is about time that the men in India change their attitude towards women -- of course the rotten ones spoil it for the rest!

I urge everyone to watch the documentary before ridiculing it! The interview with the rapist just shows his lack of remorse and his attitude towards women and his views on how the women in India should behave -- perhaps reflecting the views of at least some of the men in our society, who should have a rethink about their appalling attitude! I hope and pray that the ban is lifted and the documentary is released to the Nation on 8 March, which is the International Women's Day, failing which would bring shame over India's democracy, as this beautiful documentary was intended to show the world how India and the mindset of its people were changing to fight the gender inequality to bring on 'Gender equality and Justice'!

A situation where women and children needing protection from men should not happen in any part of the world, and least of all in India, where female deities, ‘Parvathy, Lakshmy and Saraswathy’ are worshipped as goddesses! It just shows lack of morality and self-respect, and people forget their civic sense -- civic sense also includes respect towards fellow being, irrespective of their colour, gender or creed, and the willingness to help those in need. Sadly, moral decline is rampant in our country, and it's about time that we woke up to this fact and acted on it, instead of being laid back and reacting only when tragedy strikes! In an ideal world, women should feel free to travel anywhere, any time of day or night. But we are not living in an ideal world and therefore, I feel that women and children should take more care, if at all that’s possible, especially now, when the morality is at its lowest, with the mobile phones and internet at their disposal! This is the twenty first century and women are at the forefront, holding jobs at the top levels in all walks of life, having to travel day and night and it is about time that men accept this fact and learn to treat women with respect – I am not saying this, forgetting those who do!

Women and children have to be protected by the authorities till such time when the civic sense of our people improves to respect women and children and to stop looking at women of all ages as sex objects! Children should be taught this at home and at school so that when they grow into adults they know how to respect women and children and protect them when the need arises. On this prestigious day, when we celebrate the 103rd International Women’s Day, we should be spending our time and effort to bring this change of attitude in our society, hoping for a world where Women and Children are treated with respect, and look forward to mainstreaming a gender perspective so that men and women benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated, reaching the ultimate goal of gender equality -- till then, the guilty must be punished severely, irrespective of their status in society! But there are important issues to be addressed, domestic violence, lack of sharing domestic responsibilities, Political representation for women, etc, and these have to be dealt with individually and collectively!

Leslee Udwin's Documentary: http://urbanasian.com/whats-happenin/2015/03/bbc-releases-indias-daughter-on-youtube/

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