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Monthly Archives: April 2008

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Tibet: Meet Tenzin Tsundue


The Olympic torch has arrived in India and obviously Indian government has lost its sleep! If protests like what happened in France, and England happen here, what reply we will give to China! I do not agree with this policy, but there is no pointy in going into details. Well, protests will happen, they should happen and Tibetans have the right to protest for their rights! India is home to a very large Tibetan population as refugees.

Meet Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan poet, rebel and general secretary of the Friends Tibet. When asked about the potential of violence during protests in India, he summed up the things in a very succinct manner:
“Why is the media doing this? Because of the media, the entire event is heightened. The media is depicting the torch relay ceremony as if it is a war. The government has pitched in 15,000 security people for a ridiculous torch, which is not even worth Rs 2. Because of the security, the torch has lost all value.”
He added:
” Why do you believe propaganda of the Chinese government? We have Dalai Lama in heart, Gandhiji in mind and we are Buddhists. There will be protests on Thursday (April 17, 2008), but it will be non-violent.”

Very well, Indeed! I am all for peaceful demonstrations by Tibetans for their right to self-rule!

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Unite India, Pak and Bangladesh!

It is not a wishful thinking. I favor that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh should try to unite and regain to be the one we knew as India. We need to undo what we did years back.
Given the events and shapes Pakistan and Bangladesh have shown in last many decades, this unification effort may seem to be a dangerous plunge to many. In fact the most vocal critics of this idea say that we do not want to inherit the problems Pakistan and Bangladesh have created in last many decades, i.e., their pointer is towards growing extremism and fundamentalism. They often say that any efforts towards unification with these two Islamic countries means inheriting the ‘hell’ they have created in the name of religion. Herein lies the solution itself: India did not go that way because we chose to be a secular polity and not a theistic state! We chose plurality, tolerance as our guiding principles and that is why the monster of fundamentalism and extremism has not been able to raise its head in India to that extent that our survival could be at stake!
Thus any talk for unification must include embracing the basic constitutional framework of a secular polity: secular constitution as our lynch pin!

I do not see why the countries of Indian sub-continent can not come together to form a bigger India. Let the estranged brothers come together! We have so much in common, and the differences of religion can be overcome by implementing the governance based on modern laws of land and not by religion. Well, we are already spending so much money on guarding our boundaries against each other, much lesser money will be required to maintain ‘communal harmony’ if people are afraid of the communal monster! Religion is a real serious impediment towards the idea of unification of these 3 nations, but it is possible to overcome the differences if we rise above the occasion! This needs statesmen and not petty political approach as we see by our modern leaders of the three countries! We need statesmen to come forward and carry this idea to a meaningful conclusion!
The advantages gained by unification are: 1. Bigger land area, thus netting more natural resources 2. Lesser money required to spend on defense and moreover, and 3. It will be a natural culmination of efforts to regain the lost boundaries which were divided -as we often like to say- by not us but by erstwhile powers (Britain)!

World Health Day

Today -April 7- is World Health Day. This year’s theme is: “Protecting Health from Climate Change”. In 2008, World Health Day focuses on the need to protect health from the adverse effects of climate change. WHO selected this theme in recognition that climate change is posing ever growing threats to global public health security.

A WHO press release on this occasion says: “Climate change will erode foundations of health”.
WHO Director-General warns vulnerable populations at greatest risk of projected impacts. Read the full story….

China is Being Exposed

Olympic torch for the upcoming Olympic games to be held in Beijing is facing protests. Today, it happened in France. The authorities had to actually cancel the torch relay because of frequent interruption in Paris. The protests against authoritative rule of china against Tibet have been on the spread globally. It is a voice against China’s cultural invasion of Tibet.

Will China listen! So far it has acted in a repressive manner, even its tone and tenor towards the global community suggests that China is in no mood to acknowledge the facts! But if the disrepute continues, the Dragon’s colors may change! Tibet needs world’s voice!

President for 24 Hours!

While taking a stroll after the dinner, I asked my 9 years oldie what would he do if he became the President of the country (USA) for a day!

He thought for a few seconds and replied: 1. Stop Iraq war, and 2) Ban cars which use less than 60 % ethanol.
So we have buddies who are against wars and want a greener earth! It seems the word about global warming is reaching the masses.

Peace-Makers

Andrea Riccardi founded a religious community -Sant’Egidio- in 1968 when he was just 28 years old without big plans: pray together and aid the poor. Now his community has grown into a big international organization so much so that they broker peace. When there is so much unrest, violence and hatred and divide in the world, who listens to the likes of Riccardi? Well, he says: ” We all are volunteers. Our lack of vested interest gives us moral authority”. That is so aptly said! For details about his work, please visit http://www.santegidio.org

Vegetarians: Keep in Mind

Being vegetarian has an advantage. More so if you are a Lacto-ovo vegetarian (one who consumes milk products as well as eggs)! Veganism- they typically reject milk and milk products and eggs- does pose some health concerns.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians, who consume dairy products or eggs, usually present with few nutritional concerns, according to Jatinder Bhatia, M.D., FAAP, a member the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Nutrition. “Studies show that the growth of (lacto-ovo) children are pretty equal to those who eat regular diets,” Dr. Bhatia said.

Now if you are a vegetarian, what are the concerns? There are concerns that you may develop some nutritional deficiencies.

1. According to the AAP Pediatric Nutrition Handbook, iron is by far the nutrient most commonly deficient in vegetarian and vegan children. This is in part because iron sources in meatless diets are nonheme and plant-based, which are less bioavailable than the heme iron found in meat.

Solution: You may have to be careful to consume more items that are iron-rich, like apple, guava, jaggery (commonly available in developing nations).

2.Another common deficiency is vitamin B-12, which is found only in animal products. Therefore, youths who do not eat dairy products, eggs or meat should take a supplement or consume foods fortified with the vitamin.

3. For example, low calcium and vitamin D intake in childhood, possibly due to a vegan diet, can lead to a lifetime of weak bones and an increased risk of fractures. Adequate consumption of certain vitamins and minerals, therefore, is crucial during these formative years. This may not be a problem in lacto-ovo vegetarians, though!

And advantages of being a vegetarian: Plentiful, indeed!

Here is a summation:

Despite potential nutritional deficiencies, however, a well-balanced vegetarian diet can hold many health benefits over traditionally meat-laden American fare. Vegetarian children take in fewer calories and consume a diet lower in fat and higher in carbohydrates, Dr. Schneider said. Vegetarians also consume more calcium, folate and other nutrients than non-vegetarians, and a plant-based diet can mean vegetarians consume more whole grains, vegetables and fruit, and fewer processed snacks than do their meat-eating counterparts.

“They’re not going to McDonald’s for the burgers and fried chicken,” Dr. Schneider said. “They end up with a relatively healthier diet.”

Vegetarian families often take more time and effort to plan nutritious meals, and generally tend to emphasize healthy lifestyle choices, Dr. Barsky said. “They know how to approach the diet and they eat more organic foods. They give their children less junk food, make sure the kids are physically active. Most have already done the research about how to best feed their child.”

With input from: AAP News (April 2008)

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