Thursday, 30 September 2010

Ayodhya Verdict- Land to be Divided between Hindus and Muslims

The whole nation waited with bated breath, glued to television sets when the verdict was disclosed to the media at about 4.30 PM.
The disputed land is to be divided between 2 Hindu groups and the
Muslim Board. On television Hindus displayed satisfaction and relief whilst the Muslims guardedly said they accepted the courts decision and would decide whether to challenge it in the Supreme Court.
An uneasy calm prevails everywhere and till now there have been no reports of violence or provocation. Extreme precaution has to be exercised from now onwards. Schools will remain closed. I shall refrain from going to the District Court tomorrow where I had some business to attend to. The streets are deserted and many shops closed by 3PM. The milieu remains dangerous and volatile.
In the media everybody is making fervent appeals for calm and communal harmony. But India is very unpredictable a small spark can ignite a blazing inferno. It is for people not to give in to their hurt religious sentiments and listen to rumours or provocation.
This is a historic moment for our country and we must stand together as children of one God.
According to media interpretations, no one has 'lost ' so to speak. Both religious groups should let go of the past and share the space allotted to them. I don 't know the details of the judgement but this much is clear. India can rise up to the occasion and show the world that people of different faiths can live in peace and harmony side by side.

Below is a news update from the New York Times website.
(All photos are taken from the Internet)

NEW DELHI — With the nation on high alert, an Indian court handed down a long-awaited decision on Thursday over control of the country’s most disputed religious site by splitting the land into three portions to be divided among Hindus and Muslims, according to lawyers in the case.

Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press

Much of the detail and rationale behind the decision issued late Thursday by a three-judge panel in the state of Uttar Pradesh remained unclear. The court was expected to release the complete ruling only later in the evening. But lawyers in the case, interviewed on Indian news channels, said the panel had unexpectedly ruled by dividing the land in a way that gave something to both Hindus and Muslims after a legal battle that originated six decades ago.
The case focused on a site in the city of Ayodhya, which many Hindus have long claimed as the birthplace of the Hindu deity Ram, but which also was the site of a mosque, known as the Babri Masjid, built in the 16th century by India’s first Mughal ruler. In 1992, Hindu extremists destroyed the Babri Masjid, sparking riots that would claim the lives of about 2,000 people, mostly Muslims.
One of the central questions in the case had been whether a Hindu temple had existed on the site before the construction of the Babri Masjid. Lawyers in the case said the court’s ruling would reserve one-third of the land for construction of a temple to Ram, another third for another Hindu party to the case, while designating the final third for Muslims to build a mosque.
“The judgment is in favor of Hindus,” said H. S. Jain, a lawyer for one of the Hindu groups in the case. “The belief of Hindus that this is the birthplace of Ram is upheld.”
But Zafaryab Jilani, a lawyer representing one of the Muslim parties, denied that the ruling represented a loss to Muslims.
“There is no reason of any loss of hope,” Mr. Jilani said, noting that the judgment was several thousands pages long. He added: “We do not agree with the formula of giving one-third of the land to Muslims.”
Despite Thursday’s ruling, the court said that the status quo at the contested shrine would remain in place for three months. Lawyers representing both Muslim and Hindu groups said they would appeal the verdict to India’s Supreme Court.
The 1992 violence became a searing rebuke to modern India’s secular identity and deepened the religious passions invested in the Ayodhya case.
In recent weeks, India’s government has beseeched the public to remain calm, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the leaders of the major political parties issuing appeals for peace.

As a precaution, the Home Ministry deployed almost 200,000 paramilitary officers from both state and federal forces across Uttar Pradesh, which includes the contested site. One unit was assigned to stand guard outside the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra. The ministry also placed a temporary nationwide block on bulk text messages as a measure to block rumors or efforts to organize mass protests.
By early Thursday evening, with the details of the case becoming public through television reports, there were no reports of protests or violence. Earlier, P Chidambaram, the home minister, had predicted the Indian public would respect the court’s finding.
“I think, India has moved on, young people have moved on,” he told the Indian media. “I think young people have recognized that the India story is much more than a dispute over a place where one religious group claims they are entitled to [rather] than another religious group.”

Indian leaders have warned that an eruption of violence might derail the economic and social progress the country had made since the 1992 outbreak. The destruction of the Babri Masjid occurred a year after the national government initiated reforms that have transformed India into one of the world’s fastest growing major economies, if also a country of deep inequality. Moreover, the political potency of the Hindu nationalist movement, which took the destruction of the Babri Masjid as a rallying cry, has since eroded.
Hari Kumar contributed reporting.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Where Does God Live?

On the eve of the much awaited Temple/Mosque Judgement Day I want to draw the attention of my readers to the words from the Bible

Jesus said" God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
Gospel of John, Chapter 4 (Bible)

Words of Saint Paul to worshippers in Athens

24"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
25nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
26and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
27that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

Act 17 (Bible)

A Hindu man prays on a train station

Minarets of a Mosque

A church in Medak, India

Night falls in the temple town of Ayodhya

Police Patrol in Ayodhya

Tomorrow is the D-Day and the whole of India is poised for it. The media is a-buzz with messages for peace and calm from the government, civic authorities, social political and religious leaders , celebrities and people from all walks of life.

True worshippers worship God in spirit and in truth as He does not dwell in buildings made with human hands this is something to reflect upon against the backdrop of this temple/mosque battle.
The whole nation had been put on high security alert, I got its feeling when I passed the city centre this evening. A flag march was taking place with truck loads of police and paramilitary jawans. I didn 't mind the traffic jam as the presence of security forces made me feel less nervous of untoward incidents taking place. Later on we saw a helicopter on air patrol.
The news will be out on Thursday between 3.30 and 4 pm.
We are praying that the outcome of this long judicial process will be peacefully accepted by both Hindus and Muslims.

(All the above photos have been taken from the www)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Judgement After 60 Years

New Delhi: Sixty years after it first went to court, there shall be a verdict in the Ayodhya title suit on Thursday. This, after the Supreme Court today rejected a petition seeking that the verdict be deferred and said the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court could go ahead and deliver judgment on the property dispute.
(Map taken from BBC News)
(The Ayodhya dispute: A timeline)The High Court is expected to deliver its verdict on Thursday, September 30, after 3 pm. On Friday, October 1 one of the judges hearing the case, Dharamvir Sharma, retires.The verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute will decide whether the 2.7 acres of disputed land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992, belongs to the Sunni Central Waqf Board or to the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.In the Supreme Court today, Chief Justice of India HS Kapadia read out a one-line order to reject the petition of retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chand Tripathi, who had sought that the verdict be deferred and the matter be settled through reconciliation. Justice Kapadia said, "Having considered the detailed arguments advanced in this cases, we are of the view that the special leave petitions deserve to be dismissed. Accordingly, we hereby pass the following order: Special leave petition (C) Nos 27466-27467 of 2010 stands dismissed."
(The Mosque before it was demolished on Dec 6,1992)
The court heard arguments for over two-and-a-half hours before announcing its order. The decision of the three-judge bench - comprising Chief Justice Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice KS Radhakrishnan - was unanimous. (Read: Will High Court judge DV Sharma get extension?)Centre appeals for calm, issues advisory (Read: Centre issues advisory ahead of the Ayodhya verdict)With a date set for the verdict, the Centre has appealed for calm. In an advisory issued today, the Home Ministry also said that,
32 places have been identified as "sensitive."

(A sadhu walks amid security)

Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have been identified as trouble-prone.
Central forces would be 10 minutes away and on call with extensive deployment near sensitive spots.
India Air Force aircraft would be on standby to transport troops to eight places across the country. (Watch: Appeals for calm after Ayodhya verdict)Read more at:

(News story from NDTV}
The next 2 days will be very tense for all of us. My state and city are highly sensitive spots. We were told that 4 truck loads of para millitary policemen disembarked just a block away from our campus on the main street. Earlier there were flag marches in certain parts of the city.
Everyone is hoping that the contending groups will show maturity and restraint after hearing the judgement. The aggrieved party can appeal to the Supreme court , that option is open.

Please pray that peace may prevail in India.

Monday, 27 September 2010

John Wanamaker and India

Mary Wanamaker Girl 's School was established more than 100 years ago by a generous gift from a leading American businessman John Wanamaker.
Women education was almost unknown in India at that time. There were very few schools for girls . They were taught the skills of housekeeping and married off at an early age. Mission schools tutored Christian girls and those from progressive homes.
Now after more than a 100 years this school can boast of cultivating , rearing and training thousands of women of all religions, castes and economic backgrounds. Many of them are highly placed in society and have caused changes in their own spheres of life.
My mother graduated from this school and went on to pursue her Bachelor 's degree in the Isabella Thoborne College in Lucknow ( our state capital) IT College as it is known is a renowned Methodist institution of old. Princesses from royal estates studied with my mother. My mother finished her Master 's from the Allahabad University and returned to her Alma mater to teach for 37 years.

The above photograph is from the 1978-79 yearbook.In the front row my mother is seated 5th from the left. Aunt Sybil is seated 2nd , Aunt Marjorie 8th ,Aunt Virginia is seated 10th. And Aunt Maya is standing 6th in the first row. All these ladies mentioned belong to my family.Aunt Marjorie was the Headmistress of the Primary section , she was a dedicated and selfless social worker too.

This is a staff photo . The lower grade employees, clerks, cleaners, watchmen and ayahs are also included in the picture. I remember most of them from my childhood. The school was a big part of our lives although we studied in the Convent School.

Here are some pictures of the old part of the school.

My mother tells us that the Wanamaker stores used to send pencils to the students as Christmas gifts but not anymore.

It looks like an enchanted castle.

John (Nelson) Wanamaker (July 11, 1838 – December 12, 1922) was a United States merchant, religious leader, civic and political figure, considered by some to be the father of modern advertising. Wanamaker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wanamaker's "Grand Depot" at 13th & Market Sts.
He opened his first store in 1861, called "Oak Hall", at Sixth and Market Streets in Philadelphia, on the site of George Washington's Presidential home. Oak Hall grew substantially based on Wanamaker's then-revolutionary principle: "One price and goods returnable". In 1869, he opened his second store at 818 Chestnut Street and capitalizing on his own name (the untimely death of his brother-in-law), and growing reputation, renamed the company John Wanamaker & Co. In 1875 he purchased an abandoned railroad depot and converted it into a large store, called John Wanamaker & Co. "The Grand Depot". Wanamaker's is considered the first department store in Philadelphia.
In 1860 John Wanamaker married Mary Erringer Brown (1839–1920). They had six children (two of them died in childhood):
John Wanamaker an outstanding American businessman of the 19th century put together one of the most successful careers of his time. Whe asked what he considered the best investment he ever made, he replied"I have made large purchases of property in my lifetime involving millions of dollars. But when I was only 11 years old, I made my biggest purchase of all. From my teacher in a little mission Sunday school, I bought a small red leather Bible. It cost me $ 2.75. I paid in small installment
from my own money that I earned." John Wanamaker knew the value of the Bible and he lived by it.
The seed he sowed in India has become a large tree. You never know what great fruit your smallest act of kindness may yield.

Friday, 24 September 2010

The Ram Temple and Babri Mosque Judgement Delayed

There were mixed reactions from the general public after we heard the deferment of the crucial judgement till Sept. 28th. The Supreme Court has given the two contending groups, Hindus and Muslims a few more days to seek an amicable solution. But neither party displays any eagerness for that. What could not be done in the past 60 years cannot be accomplished in a week.

And there is the time factor too. The judgement ha s to be pronounced by Sept. 30th because Justice Sharma . one of the judges of the 3 judges bench is retiring on Oct. 1st. If the judgement does not come by then , a new judge will have to be appointed and all the hearings repeated , causing months of delay.It is a very complicated situation.

Some people heaved a sigh of relief as all of us were preparing for a self imposed curfew for the next 3 days, fearing the worst. I was invited to a ladies Bible study yesterday but did not go. We cancelled today 's prayer meeting. Two much awaited movie s were not released today. Some schools had already announced a holiday today, so children missed a day 's study. Please pray for peace in our land.

Below is a news report from NDTV.

New Delhi: The verdict on the Ayodhya title suit has been deferred by at least five days by the Supreme Court. It was scheduled to be delivered on Friday by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The Supreme Court will now hear a plea before it again on Tuesday, September 28. (Watch: Ayodhya verdict deferred) The warring parties may see reason and try and bring a solution so that the judgement is not delivered," said Mukul Rohtagi, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court. Zafaryab Gilani, the counsel for the Muslim Wakf Baord said after today's court order,"I don't think there is any chance of reconciliation.""There can be a reconciliation only after there is a proposal from the other side. Otherwise, we will respect whatever the court decides," Mahant Bhaskar Das of the Nirmohi Akhara told NDTV. In the Supreme Court on Thursday, there was a difference of opinion between the two judges who heard Tripathi's petition. Justice HL Gokhale said, "Even if there is one per cent chance of reconciliation, it should be given. Consequences for ordinary people, but not for the petitioners.If there are consequences, people will blame the Supreme Court."
Another key decision by the Supreme Court on Thursday was making the Centre a party to this case. After the divided opinion, the court has issued notice to all parties in the Ayodhya case and to the Attorney General, which means that the Centre, which had hitherto not been a party to the case, can now put forth its views.
A three judge bench is now expected to hear the case as a detailed order on the Ayodhya deferment plea says in view of the difference of opinion between the two judges, the matter will be placed before the Chief Justice for constituting a larger bench.All eyes are on whether there will be a verdict by the end of this month. This because one of the High Court judges hearing the case in Lucknow retires then. If the verdict is not delivered before September 30, the entire trial may have to be conducted again. The Supreme Court took this into account before fixing its next date of hearing for deferment to September 28. The centre has been wary in the run up to the Ayodhya verdict. There have been appeals from the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the cabinet.
There is unprecedented security at the Lucknow High Court and many battalions of paramilitary forces. 60 years after the case was first dragged into court, the dust over the Babri dispute still refuses to settle down, and the court order is still a way out. But the next few days are an opportunity for the wisemen of the two communities, who in 1947 decided to share a nation - the Babri dispute is over just 70 odd acres of land.

The woman who comes to help me a with a little cleaning work arrived this morning with her face shining.
She is uneducated and belongs to an impoverished background. She lives with her husband, mother-in-law and 4 children in a small shack .Their living conditions are deplorable.

This woman has a myriad of struggles to make ends meet as her husband is an alcoholic. Her son is lazy and un-settled and loses interest in any employment he finds. Both men hardly contribute to the family 's income.The 3 daughters are of marriageable ages (teens) and the mother is worried for them. They are conservative and don 't allow the girls to work.
There is no running water in their house. A neighbour had been giving them water in lieu of payment, but a few months ago he stopped that as his water supply dropped. Poor N has been going to a roadside tap to collect water for her entire family, every morning before coming for work. She washes the family clothes at our garden tap. Her men do not lift a finger to help her and the girls are not allowed to go to the roadside.
Today this lady was all smiles because a community leader finally managed to get a water connection for their shanty settlement. She was so excited and told us that the workmen have already started laying the pipes. She is planning to save some money and get her own connection from the community pipeline she told us proudly.
It was as if she has discovered an oil gusher in her back yard.

India is a land of glaring contrasts. There are those who have luxuries like these pictured below.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Ayodhya Dispute

Many people in the West may not be aware of the 100 year old Temple/Mosque dispute in India which has caused a lot of communal disharmony, violence and terrorism in our country.
Ir revolves about the ownership of a 16th century Mosque which the Hindus claim was built on the remains of a temple in the birthplace of god Ram, which the Muslims destroyed.

After a century long litigation a case was filed 60 years ago in post Independence India which has dragged on till today taking on many political and religious twists and turns.

Today the judgement concerning the ownership of the disputed land was to be pronounced by the (State) Allahabad High Court. The whole state ( and several parts of India) have been in a state of high security alert fearing clashes between Hindus and Muslims after the pronouncement of the judgement. There has tension , fear and nervousness in my city. It was due to virtually close down for the next 3 days and there was panic buying etc.

But today the country 's apex court -the Supreme Court in Ne w Delhi has deferred the judgement until Sept 24th. So everybody is again on tenterhooks.
Below is the history of the land dispute and reactions to it.


The decades long Ayodhya dispute revolves around the claim over the land in Ayodhya, which is considered scared by Hindus as it is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram while Muslims seek to defend the Babri Masji at the site.
Land in question:

Hindus believe that Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. The land is, therefore, considered sacred and befitting the profile of a holy pilgrimage spot.The communal tension over the land took root in the construction of the Babri Masji, by Muslim emperor Babur, who in 1527 defeated the Hindu King of Chittorgarh, Rana Sangram Singh at Fatehpur Sikri.The king left his general, Mir Banki as the Viceroy of the region. Mir Banki, who enforced Mughal rule over the population, came to Ayodhya in 1528 and built the Mosque.There are claims that when the Mosque built, the Ram temple at Ayodhya was either demolished or modified largely.Over the years, Hindus have sought to reclaim the 'Ram Janmabhoomi' while Muslims have sought to defend the Babri Masjid.Growth of dispute over the years

According to literature dating back to 1987, before the 1940s the mosque was called Masjid-i Janmasthan ('mosque on birthplace') by Indian Muslims

1947 - A Government order prohibited Muslims from being around the site (at least 200 yards). The main gate was locked. However, Hindu pilgrims allowed to enter through a side door.

1984 - The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) started a campaign to reclaim the site for Hindus so that a temple dedicated to the infant Ram (Ramlala) could be erected.

1989 - Allahabad High Court passed an order that the main gates should be opened up and restored the site to Hindus for eternity.But the communal discord re-erupted when the Hindus intented to make modifications of the Islamic style structure built by General Mir Banki.When they inaugurated the proposed new grand Temple with Government permissions, unrest erupted across India as the Muslim community was against this.This is when Government moved the court, turning the dispute sub-judice

1992 - The dispute took a rather ugly turn on Dec 6, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished during a political rally. This led to riots in which over 2000 were killed.Ten days after the Babri Masjid demolition, the Liberhan commission was set up to probe the circumstances that led to the demolition.

2003 - On the order of the High Court, the the Archaeological Survey of India carried out excavation at the disputed site of Rama Janmabhumi - Babri Masjid from 12 Mar,

2003 to 7 Aug, 2003. The study reportedly found evidences of an ancient temple. A 574-page report with maps, drawings as well as opinions was presented before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court in Aug 2003.Based on the archaeological evidence the the ASI report noted that the remains had distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India and said that there was sufficient proof of existence of a massive and monumental structure having a minimum dimension of 50x30 metres in north-south and east-west directions respectively just below the disputed structure.

2005 - On July 5, 2005, five terrorists attacked the site of the makeshift Ramlalla temple, in Ayodhya. All the five terrorists were killed in the ensuing gunfight with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), guarding the area. The attack claimed life of one civilian, who died in a grenade blast that the terrorists triggered to breach a cordon wall. 2009 -

In Nov 2009, some of the findings of the Liberhan commission was leaked to the media. These leaked reports indicted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.Read: Vajpayee, Advani indicted for Babri demolition

2010 - On Sep 24, 2010, the Allahabad High Court was slated to give its verdict on the Ayodhya title suit on ownership of the disputed land. On the eve of the judgement, the Supreme Court deferred the verdict by a week on a deferment plea and scheduled hearing of the postponement petition on Tuesday, Sep 28. Read: SC stays Ayodhya verdict; to hear deferment plea on Sep 28

More news on:
ram temple
babri masjid
Ayodhya verdict: UP in tight security, high alert
Babri row: Govt bans bulk SMS, MMS till Sep 25
Congress leaders wanted Ram temple: VHP
Advani dreams of a 'grand' Ram Temple
Respect Ayodhya verdict: AIMPLB tells Muslims
BJP likely to move to SC over Babri verdict
Related news

Ayodhya: Americans cautioned on possible violence
No provocative remarks on Babri verdict: PC
Topics: ayodhya, ram temple, babri masjid, hindus, muslims, vhp, bjp, allahabad high court, ayodhya hc verdict

Ayodhya verdict deferment a bad precedent: Soli
Smitha Nair , CNN-IBN Posted on Sep 23, 2010 at 19:00 Updated Sep 23, 2010 at 19:15

New Delhi: In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee on Thursday said deferment of the Ayodhya verdict by the Supreme Court has set a bad precedent for the future.
"Is it really expected that in a week a settlement will be found when persons of different shades of public opinion different political personalities have tried and failed…is blind irrational optimism," Sorabjee said when asked to comment about the apex court's decision to stay the verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case.
The Supreme Court has said the deferment is in public interest and has posted the matter for further hearing on September 28.
"Settlement of a case in any matter is welcome. In this case efforts have been made for a settlement over months… nothing has come out of it. Is there any scope of settlement? I'm sorry there's none," he said.
The political atmosphere was conducive to the verdict and the Supreme Court's decision has led to a lot of complications, Sorabjee said.
"Let the verdict be given. Look at the complications, the judge is going to retire. Because of the political parties, because of the appeal of the Muslim Board, the atmosphere was good.
"We had to go on with the verdict. What's the idea of putting it off? If there was real possibility of settlement I'm all for it," he added.
"This will be an unhealthy precedent for future. It should not be repeated," he said.

Videos from the temple town

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Mary Kom of India wins World Women 's Boxing Title

Mary Kom, a mother of two little boys won the World Women 's Boxing Championship. In a TV interview gave thanks to Jesus Christ who gave her success. Read her story taken from The Hindu newspaper. And watch the BBC video which will tell you about her humble beginnings.

May Kom wins World Women 's Championship


Before the bout, Kom had said about her opponent - "I never take my opponents easy. On her day anybody can be dangerous. I have beaten her twice before and that gives me a good feeling but I can't really say whether it would be easy or tough."
After winning the World Women Boxing Championship title for a record fifth time, India’s M.C. Mary Kom is now targeting a medal in this year’s Asian Games and the 2012 London Olympics.
The boxing sensation outpunched Romania’s Stelut Duta 16—6 in the 48 kg final in Barbados Saturday.
“I would like to thank my husband and my sponsors for giving me the will power and encouraging me. I’m really really happy and I thank God,” said Mary Kom, a mother of twin sons from Manipur.
“I celebrated the victory with all members of the squad,” the 27—year—old said.
India will be hoping that Mary Kom wins the gold in 2012 London Olympics, where women’s boxing will make its debut.
“I can’t say anything about gold, but I will try my level best to win a medal in London,” said the champion boxer.
Women’s boxing will also feature in the Asian Games at Guangzhou, China, Nov 12—27. “I have been training hard to win medals in the Asian Games and Olympics,” she said.
It was a memorable victory for Mary Kom, who become the only woman boxer on the circuit to have won a rich haul of six medals in as many World Championships.
The Indian beat the Romanian for the third consecutive time.
Apart from Mary Kom, Kavita Chahal is the other Indian to win a medal in the championship, winning bronze in the 81 kg.
It was Mary Kom’s first title in the 48 kg category after winning the previous world titles in the 46 kg category.
In the inaugural World Championship in 2001 in Pennsilvania, Mary Kom won silver in the 48 kg category. She won her first world title in 2002 in Antalya, Turkey, and went on to successfully defend her 46 kg gold medal in the next two editions in Podolsk, Russia, and at home here.
She came back from a two—year sabbatical to clinch her fourth successive world title in 2008 in Ningbo City, China.
This year, the 46 kg category was dropped and the lowest weight category was 48 kg.
She was awarded India’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, in 2009.
However, India’s overall performance in the championship dipped.
India were the champions at home in 2006 winning eight medals, including four gold. India finished fourth in 2008 with one gold, one silver and two bronze. This time they will have to contend with a gold and bronze each.

Keywords: Mary Kom, Women's Boxing, boxing world champ

I congratulate Mary Kom who worked so had to achieve he r goals an d become a world champion. Although in my opinion boxing should be reserved for the men 's arena, I am old fashioned. What about you? Do you think boxing should be a women 's sport?

Spiritually speaking we all are athletes on the track field of life. Let' s train with a purpose to win the imperishable prize.

24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9 (New Testament)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Master Weaver

I struggled as a teenager growing up in Delhi. For those of you who have read my story in Walking from East to West, you'll know failure was writ large on my life. My dad basically looked at me and said, "You know, you're going to be a huge embarrassment to the family—one failure after another." And he was right given the way I was headed. I wanted to get out of everything I was setting my hand to, and I lacked discipline. During this time, India was at war and the defense academy was looking for general duties pilots to be trained. So I applied and I went to be interviewed, which involved an overnight train journey from the city of Delhi. It was wintertime and we were outside freezing for about five days as we went through physical endurance and other tests. There were three hundred applicants; they were going to select ten. On the last day they put their selection of names out on the board, and I was positioned number three. I phoned my family and said, "You aren't going to believe this. I'm going to make it. I'm number three. The only thing that's left is the interview. The psychological testing is tomorrow, and I'll be home." The next morning I began my interview with the chief commanding officer, who looked to me like Churchill sitting across the table. He asked me question after question. Then he said, "Son, I'm going to break your heart today." He continued, "I'm going to reject you. I'm not going to pass you in this test." "May I ask you why, sir?" I replied. "Yes. Psychologically, you're not wired to kill. And this job is about killing." I felt that I was on the verge of wanting to prove him wrong—but I knew better, both for moral reasons and for his size! I went back to my room and didn't talk to anybody. I packed my bags, got into the train, and arrived in Delhi. My parents and friends were waiting at the platform with garlands and sweets in their hands to congratulate me. No one knew. I thought to myself, "How do I even handle this? Where do I even begin?" They were celebrating, and yet for me, it was all over. Or so I thought. I was to discover later that God is the Grand Weaver of our lives. Every thread matters and is there for a purpose. Had I been selected, I would have had to commit twenty years to the Indian armed forces. It was the very next year that my father had the opportunity to move to Canada. My brother and I moved there as the first installment, and the rest of them followed. It was there I was in business school and God redirected my path to theological training. It was there that I met my wife, Margie; there my whole life changed. The rest is history. Had I been in the Indian Air Force, who knows what thread I'd have pulled to try to wreck the fabric. Thankfully, our disappointments matter to God, and He has a way of taking even some of the bitterest moments we go through and making them into something of great significance in our lives. It's hard to understand at the time. Not one of us says, "I can hardly wait to see where this thread is going to fit." Rather, we say, "This is not the pattern I want." Yet one day the Shepherd of our souls will put it all together—and give us an eternity to revel in the marvel of what God has done. Our Father holds the threads of the design, and I'm so immensely grateful that He is the Grand Weaver.
Excerpted and adapted from Ravi Zacharias's The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007).