1) Irreparable Loss
Ananth Kumar was a great leader who had won the hearts of millions as evidenced by his consecutive wins in the Bangalore South constituency. His decisions, particularly with the price reduction of stents for heart patients, Neem Coated Urea to prevent pilferage and hoarding and the introduction of generic medicines have affected, directly and indirectly, every last one of us. He was engaged in the noble act of feeding millions of school children daily by causing for the provision of hot and nutritious ‘midday’ meals to them, through the organisation ‘Adamya Chetana’ founded by his mother Shrimati Girija Shastriji. As human beings, we are here for a limited period and a man truly ‘lives forever’ in the form of the legacy he both lives and leaves behind him. Let us pray for Ananth Kumar and swear to dedicate ourselves in fulfilling our responsibilities and duties in life so that we can produce something productive and make many people happy.
– C.K. Subramaniam
2) Totally cashless
Even though the step by Election Commission to reduce cash-transaction limits both for receipts and payments by political parties and candidates to Rs 10,000 from Rs 20,000, yet ideal and most-needed ultimate step to make the process completely cashless. All government-payments after demonetisation of old currency on November 8, 2016, have rightly become totally cashless. There is no reason why contributions made to and received by political parties and candidates and also expenses made by them may not be made totally cashless. It is noteworthy that the central government is regularly promoting even petty payments through various apps on mobile phones. For petty payments, political parties and candidates can purchase travellers or gift cheques from banks, and fill the name of payees. The system will make more bank-accounts to be opened by those receiving such petty payments from political parties and candidates.
The Election Commission should also ask the central government to make electoral-bonds transparent by making names of political parties and contributors public on these bonds, to prevent chances of presently opaque electoral bonds being missed as a sort of bribe to ruling political parties. Recommendations of Election Commission made public may compel central government to bring transparency in contributions made to political parties.
– Madhu Agrawal
3) Catholic weddings and customs
Until recent years, the idea of a Catholic marrying outside the faith was practically unheard of. Such weddings took place in private ceremonies in the parish rectory, not in a church sanctuary in front of hundreds of friends and family. These days, many people marry across religious lines. The rate of ecumenical marriages (a Catholic marrying a baptized non-Catholic) and interfaith marriages (a Catholic marrying a non-baptized non-Christian) varies by region.
If the non-Catholic is a baptized Christian (not necessarily Catholic), the marriage is valid as long as the Catholic party obtains official permission from the diocese to enter into the marriage and follows all the stipulations for a Catholic wedding.
A marriage between a Catholic and another Christian is also considered a sacrament. In fact, the church regards all marriages between baptized Christians as sacramental, as long as there are no impediments.
Good-quality marriage preparation is essential in helping couples work through the questions and challenges that will arise after they tie the knot.
Because Catholics regard marriage as a sacred event, the church prefers that ecumenical interfaith couples marry in a Catholic church, preferably the Catholic party’s parish church. If they wish to marry elsewhere, they must get permission from the local bishop. He can permit them to marry in the non-Catholic spouse’s place of worship or another suitable place with a minister, rabbi or civil magistrate – if they have a good reason.
– Jubel D’Cruz
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)