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Letters to the Editor: 23 February, 2020

letters to the editor, afternoon voice,

Anti-virus needed to contain Coronavirus

Dilip Piramal of VIP Industries made the shocking revelation that his economists friends from abroad have warned that 8 to 10 crore people across the globe can die of Coronavirus in the days to come. Bill Gates too had predicted of somewhat similar numbers sometime back and COVID-19 is more dangerous than people believe which should not be taken lightly. Hospital director in Wuhan too has died of the disease on Tuesday which should sound alarm bells globally.

Economic impact on account of Coronavirus is going to widen deeply and we urgently need an anti-virus to contain the epidemic. The world unfortunately is heading towards its worst recession ever as nothing can be as alarming as loss of human lives in lakhs and crores. WHO should issue warning bells and the globe should take a note of it. Checklist to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be circulated and strictly followed. India is a populous country after China and we need to be extra careful to prevent the spread of the virus here which could be extremely dangerous on our shores.


Issue series of commemorative postal-stamps in memory of selfless monks

Jainism is known for totally selfless spiritualism of its monks who at times lost affection to their wealth worth millions and billions before becoming monk. In recent past, a rich and extra-ordinary talented topper youngster became Jain monk in Gujarat with even his family-members whole-heartedly supporting him to go on path of spirituality. An extra-ordinary rich Jain family showered all their wealth before adopting path of spiritualism. Such monks are real saints in an era when many commercial self-acclaimed babas are now exposed with some of them even put behind bars.

Even there are real saints in Arya Samaj also like former Parliamentarian late Swamy Rameshwaranand, known for his indefinite fasts for public-cause, who even declined lunch and dinner at public-cost while attending to meetings of Parliamentary committees unlike many commercial ones adopting saffron clothes just for commercial purposes. Jain monk Tarun Sagar got special honours by being invited to address legislative-assemblies of Madhya Pradesh and Haryana that too in consensus of ruling and opposition parties. He was known for his Katu Pravachan (bitter talks for reforms). He kept best ideals of spiritualism by leaving the hospital towards end of his life.   It is good that public has now started recognising commercial saints and at times humiliating them in public.

Department of Posts should make a survey about such real saints and monks like Jain monk Tarun Sagar and Arya Samaj saint Swamy Rameshwaranand who were totally devoted to spiritualism and public-interest without taking any advantage of their themselves being in politics or close to politicians, and issue a series of postal-stamps on such departed monks and saints of twentieth century. But all stamps of commemorative series should be in commonly used denominations. Followers of Jainism and Arya Samaj will purchase bulk of such postal-stamps giving postal-department huge revenue-earning besides popularising postal-service facing competition from private courier-agencies.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

Cooking by menstruating women

It refers to sermon by Swami Krushnaswarup of Swaminarayan Temple of Bhuj wherein the seer said that menstruating women cooking food will be reborn in next birth as female dogs, while men consuming food cooked by menstruating women will be born as bullocks. If it would have been so, then population of non-Hindus not adopting this practice would be declining fast. It is noteworthy that it is the same Swaminarayan Temple which runs Shree Sahjanand Girls Institute (SSGI) where 66 girl-students were allegedly made to strip to check if they were menstruating.

Such statements by Hindu religious seers are totally unrealistic, and tend to defame Hindu religion. Rather such self-acclaimed preachers of Hindu religion are totally unaware of real facts about Hindu religion and its practices including like not cooking food by menstruating women. Practices of ancient-most Hindu religion of the world are based on basic principles of life, and are made religious rituals so that these may be adopted by people voluntarily and mandatorily.

Practice of menstruating women not cooking food was in fact adopted because women during this period are physically weak and require resting apart from hygienic aspects. If this practice would have been explained in such realistic manner, perhaps people of other religions would also have appreciated Hindu religion.

There are many other such practices like fasting etc on certain occasions which are good for health. In ancient times, people especially children from trains used to throw coins in rivers while the train crossing the river because coins usually used of copper at those times, and combination of copper with clean water used to further purify water. But this practice is now of no use because coins are not of copper, and river-water is as dirty as sewer-water.

Madhu Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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