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Mahatma Gandhi's [Images] concept of ahimsa (non violence) and Bhagvad Gita's essence of nishkam karma (self-less action) would resonate at the Vatican during Good Friday prayers next month as an Indian Archbishop, bestowed with a rare honour by the Pope to prepare the prayers, would incorporate the two messages.

Seventy two-year-old Archbishop of Guwahati of Salesian Order Thomas Menamparampil has been asked by Pope Benedict XVI to prepare the meditation prayers for Way of the Cross, which the Papal Head himself will lead on Good Friday on April 10 at the Roman Colosseum.

He is the first Indian and second Asian to prepare the meditation prayers for the 'Way of the Cross', where '14 stages' of Jesus Christ [Images] are meditated upon.

Thomas, a native of Kerala [Images], would give an Indian touch by blending the concepts of Mahatma's ahimsa and nishkama karma in the prayers for Way of the Cross, which reflects on Christ's journey to Mount Calvary before his crucifixion.

"Without using the words ahimsa and nishkama karma, I have woven these concepts into the prayers in a language that will be understood by all globally," Thomas, who is also the Chairman of Catholics Bishops Conference, told PTI over phone.

"In my prayers I have tried to be perfectly Christian and also perfectly Indian and Asian," said the Archbishop, who has written on sufferings of Dalits and been engaged in conflict resolutions in restoring peace among warring ethnic groups of North-East for over 12 years.

 "I have drawn on the Indian concept of building the inner spiritual strength, of being committed to a cause and performing an action without expecting its fruits and blended it with Christ's teaching of forgiveness, benevolence, respect for all and pursuit of the good, despite all sufferings," Archbishop Thomas said.

"It is a universal message that will echo from Himalayas to the Alps, right to the Andes," he said.

The Archbishop said he might not physically take part in the prayers in Rome, which is attended by thousands of pilgrims from across the globe and an event that is globally televised in a big way.

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Fareed Zakaria has an established reputation as one of the most thoughtful, articulate, nuanced voices on American television -- a rare voice, what is more, that can take America out of its self-absorption and focus its attention on what is going on in the rest of the world.

In 2008, Dr Zakaria raised the bar even higher with a double whammy. First up, he published his best-selling book The Post American World, which argued an end to the rule of the United States as global hegemon and postulated that the rest of the world was catching up. Close on its heels, he became the first Indian American to host his own show on a major network, when CNN launched the hour-long Fareed Zakaria GPS on Sunday prime time.



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In May 2008, Pakistan's tribal province of Orakzai was in the news. The majority Muslims did not allow the Hindus to cremate their dead at the place that had been the designated crematorium for over a century.

The next month, the Pakistan government signed a peace treaty with the Taliban. It was among many other such treaties and not much was made of it, especially since the latter agreed that it would recognise the writ of the government.

But in the next couple of months, the few Hindu families began facing the heat.

"It was like the smoke before the fire. The Taliban's presence was not very evident in the following two months. But things were becoming obvious. A group of locals who supported the Taliban gave us the distinct feeling that we were not wanted there," says Jagdish Lal Sharma, who says he is a Pandit from the region.

Though there were no direct threats, the Hindu families were never left in any doubt about their minority status. Sometimes it would be a warning not to stare at Muslim women for long, at other times, it would be the subtle coercion of the local administrators to sell their land when the situation was still normal. The families were weighing their options until October when they were asked to wear a red patch in their pagadis (turban).

"We were told Hindus are not supposed to wish a Muslim even inadvertently and that is why, in order to make it obvious for a passing Muslim that we were Hindus, we ought to have some element of red in our headgear," Hardwari Lal, who is now in Amritsar with his family of 13, says.

In Amrtisar, they found Surinder Kumar Billa, a local religious leader at the Durgaina temple in Amritsar, who has promised to help them get Indian citizenship.

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An interesting comment on rediff website by Someone Called "Bodh Ramdeo"-

"Everyone the world over knows of the Holocaust, where the Nazis forced Jews to wear the Star of David on their clothes- then they were all forced into concentration camps and butchered- including Gypsies and sundry' undesirables,
Yet, for Hindus who have been meeting the same fate at he hands of Islamo-fascist butchers, there's not a word, the merest peep, against this genocide from a single govt, not even the filthy scumbags right here in Hindustan- a land now run by a Catholic Italian and her coterie of 'secularists' butt-licking sycophants.Yes, right here in Hindustan, Hindus are butchered and driven from their legitimate homeland in Kashmir, and M'me SMG and her slavish coterie of shameless, butt-licking sycophants are totally jubilant at this destruction of the communal, anti-secular Hindus- she only has eyes and ears for her Muslim votebank- only! Long live the 'secular' front. Yeah right!"


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