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c m y k 2 Chennai ● ● Wednesday ● ● 19 January 2011 c

c m y k

2 Chennai Wednesday 19 January 2011

k 2 Chennai ● ● Wednesday ● ● 19 January 2011 c m y k D

c m y k

DDCC

Nobel laureate Antony Leggett spoke at Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Distribute relief to family of

Nobel laureate Antony Leggett spoke at Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Leggett spoke at Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Distribute relief to family of child killed during

Distribute relief to family of child killed during Chennai Sangamam.

to family of child killed during Chennai Sangamam. Union minister Narayanasamy called on chief minister M

Union minister Narayanasamy called on chief minister M Karunanidhi.

Issues

called on chief minister M Karunanidhi. Issues “The Christian community in India - Church assets need
“The Christian community in India - Church assets need protection Catholic and Protestant - have
“The Christian
community in India -
Church assets need protection
Catholic and Protestant -
have thousands of crores
of rupees worth property
and assets, which are out-
side the regulatory con-
trol of any law. The
community has practi-
cally no say in the
administration of
these huge
wealth/assets,
which are
being squan-
dered and mis-
appropriated
by the priestly
class,” argues
JCAC, a body
of leading peo-
ple who wish to
see such mis-
use being
ended.
J. STALIN
temporal
DC | CHENNAI
Jan. 18: Lord Jesus Christ
had said, “My Kingship is
not of this world” (John
18:36). This meant that His
disciples and their succes-
sors should keep away from
the temptation of ‘temporal
wealth’. But, today, Chris-
tianity is in grave crisis as
there are several litiga-
tions alleging misap-
propriation of funds
and attempts to
grab church prop-
erties. Rising to
the occasion,
eminent per-
sonalities like
judges, lawyers
and bureaucrats
demand formulat-
ing a separate law
like Muslim Wakf
and Sikh Gurd-
wara Acts, to pro-
tect the properties
and finances of Indian
churches.
Foreign missionaries and
the forefathers of Indian
Christians purchased landed
properties in the name of
churches, educational insti-
tutions, trusts, hospitals and
orphanages for the noble
cause of doing service to
society. As a result, various
educational institutions,
hospitals and orphanages
flourished and were doing
yeoman service to the
nation. Almost all Christian
congregations own proper-
ties in every metropolitan
city and town in India.
According to advocates
P.T. Perumal, E. Edwig and
V. Varghese, who are han-
dling cases relating to
church properties, “With so
much wealth under their
control and with no effective
mechanism to monitor them,
the heads of Christian
organisations are
Churches
property
own a lot of
property but Christianity
is the only religion with-
out laws to proetct them,
avers JCAC
allegedly tempted to dilute
those properties. As a result,
litigations pile up based on
allegations of corruption,
forgery and misappropria-
tion. Recently, a bishop of a
Christian congregation was
put in jail. Violent incidents
and law order problems
were created in a bishop’s
headquarters in Tiruchy in a
group fight over sale of
properties.”
Justice K.T. Thomas, a for-
mer judge of the Supreme
Court, former IAS officers
L.M. Menezes and M.G.
Devasahayam, former Ker-
ala minister N.M. Joseph,
Major Joseph Victor, presi-
dent, CSI Laity Association,
Bhaskar Benny, president
Indian Christian Party,
Andhra Pradesh, and others
have formed a Joint Christ-
ian Action Council (JCAC).
The JCAC held its first con-
vention meeting on ‘Protect-
ing Church Properties and
Assets’ in Chennai on Nov.
20, 2010, in which
Catholics, Lutherans and
Christians belonging to the
Church of South India, rep-
resenting Tamil Nadu,
Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and
Puducherry, participated.
According to JCAC, “The
Christian community in
India - Catholic and Protes-
tant - have thousands of
crores of rupees worth prop-
erty and assets, which are
outside the regulatory con-
trol of any law. The commu-
nity has practically no say in
the administration of these
huge wealth/assets, which
are being squandered and
misappropriated by the
priestly class”.
Muslim Wakf and Sikh
Gurdwara Acts, enacted
under Article 25 of the Con-
stitution, were protecting the
properties and assets of
these minorities without
government intervention.
Article 26 of the Constitu-
tion permits religious
denominations to own and
acquire moveable and
immoveable property and
administer them in accor-
dance with law.
Christianity was the only
religious community that
has no law to protect its
properties, the JCAC added,
and passed a resolution,
appealing to Parliament and
state legislatures to enact a
suitable law to protect the
properties, assets and insti-
tutions of Christian church-
es.
It also entrusted with
JCAC the task of drafting a
model bill to be submitted to
the authorities and pursue
other means if the law is not
formulated in time. A copy
of the resolution was sent to
the President, Prime Minis-
ter and Union law minister.
Mr Devasahayam and
Clement Selvaraj, JCAC
members from Chennai,
said Mr Devasahayam
received a copy of the com-
munication from the Presi-
dent’s Secretariat, forward-
ing the petition to the Union
home ministry stating that
the petitioner would be
informed of the action
taken, after intimation to the
President’s Secretariat
When attempts were made
to get comments, CSI bish-
op V. Devasahayam was
unavailable, according to
CSI office, and Dr A.M.
Chinnappa, archbishop of
Madras-Mylapore, could
not be reached over phone.
Greed rampant in priestly
class, says ex-IAS officer
GEORGE ADIMATHRA and
ANISHA FRANCIS
BYGONE ERA
Adyar river, which formed
part of the D’Monte Trust
DC | CHENNAI
Jan. 18: During their incep-
tion in India, the objective
of both Catholic and Angli-
can Church missionary
groups was to spread the
Christian faith and deliver
education to the far reaches
of the continent, particularly
the deprived classes. These
men braved all opposition
and aided by beneficiaries
sowed the seeds of what we
see as the modern Christian
institutions in India.
However, according to
Major J. Victor, general sec-
retary of the Laity Associa-
tion of CSI-Madras Dio-
cese, the era of those dedi-
cated people has long gone
with the Church in India
now transformed into a “lair
of hyenas”, vying for the
vast amount of riches that
the foreign missionaries left
behind.
“’Money is the root cause
for all evil’ is a true saying
and it has become a chronic
disease in many of the
church leaders too. From
minor cases like the crimi-
nal case against Madras CSI
bishop for allegedly misus-
ing of `4.82 crore collected
from abroad without the
knowledge of CSI to the
FIR registered against the
present CSI moderator for
allegedly diverting large
amounts of money from the
Bishop Cotton’s boys and
girls school into his person-
al account, corruption in the
church is being exposed to a
great extent. The inspiration
◗ The eraof dedicated
people running the
church is long gone,
says Major Victor
with the archbishop of
Madras-Mylapore as the
trustee, originally measured
105 acres. But, by 1995, it
had shrunk to about 12 acres
◗ A case has been filed
against a Madras CSI
bishop for alleged
misuse of Rs 4.82
crore.
(212 grounds - Bens Gar-
den). In 2001/02, this rem-
nant of the John D’Monte
trust was alienated to two
private parties in violation
of the trust conditions.
The charge is made
that corruption is ram-
pant in school manage-
ment.
However, the approval for
leasing out 150 grounds to a
leading businessman was
turned down by the Madras
high court and, subsequent-
Prime land near Adyar
river has shrunk to 12
from acres from 105.
for the Church of South
India (CSI) was born from
ecumenism and inspired by
these words from the Holy
Bible: “That they all may be
one, as thou, Father, art in
me, and I in thee, that they
also may be one in us: that
the world may believe that
thou has sent me.” (Gospel
of John 17.21). However,
those heading the CSI of
Tamil Nadu seem to believe
and follow only the last por-
tion of the quote, that they
are God’s own installation
upon the earth and can carry
forth anything as per their
wish,” Mr Victor said.
Mr M.G. Devasahayam, a
retired IAS official and con-
vener of the Joint Christian
Action Council, formed
recently to protect the prop-
erties of churches, said,
“The most prime property in
Chennai, on the banks of the
ly, he vacated the premises.
But approval for leasing out
another 50 grounds to the
other party was not at all
sought from the high court.
The businessman still occu-
pies the property. The sec-
ond attempt to lease out the
same 150 grounds also did
not materialise. Because of
this, the trust properties
have got encumbered or
entangled in litigation. The
properties are not earning
any revenue whatsoever and
this has resulted in grave
loss to the trust. All these are
due to rampant corruption
and greed among the church
authorities,” Mr Devasa-
hayam alleged.
All attempts to contact the
archbishop of Madras-
Mylapore A.M. Chinnappa,
and CSI bishop V. Devasa-
hayam failed as calls to both
the bishops’ mobile phones
were not attended and the
office-bearers stated that
they were either attending
‘important’ meetings or
were ‘out of station’.
— KGS
meetings or were ‘out of station’. — KGS DC DEBATE Do newspapers care about readers’ views?

DC DEBATE

Do newspapers care about readers’ views?

O ver the years, I have written innumerable

letters to the press, here and abroad, mostly

published and largely edited and many a

times consigned to the waste paper basket. Why do readers write and give their free opinion to the press? To satisfy their own egos to see their names in print? To vent their pent-up feelings? To share their opinions with fellow readers and get noticed? Who really cares? Do the govern- ments or the authorities ever read and sit up and take note to redress the grievances? Invariably, one is left with the feeling that one is merely filling up available space in the readers columns, and much to the chagrin of the writer, invariably, the Editor chops and changes the whole letter to fit in his available space or kills the gist of the opinions expressed by foisting and replacing the Editor’s own. Who benefits from these letters to the Editor? What do my fellow readers feel about this?

Raju Umamaheswar, Thudiyalur, Coimbatore

Do you agree with the letter-writer that no one cares? Can any paper afford to publish letters in their entirety? We invite readers to share their thoughts. Write to info@deccanmail.com

to share their thoughts. Write to info@deccanmail.com REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK They write their own textbooks ANISHA
to share their thoughts. Write to info@deccanmail.com REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK They write their own textbooks ANISHA
to share their thoughts. Write to info@deccanmail.com REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK They write their own textbooks ANISHA
to share their thoughts. Write to info@deccanmail.com REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK They write their own textbooks ANISHA
to share their thoughts. Write to info@deccanmail.com REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK They write their own textbooks ANISHA
to share their thoughts. Write to info@deccanmail.com REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK They write their own textbooks ANISHA

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK

They write their own textbooks

ANISHA FRANCIS

CHENNAI

Jan. 18: There are no text- books in this class; each stu- dent writes and illustrates his or her textbook. Music is played during class hours and lessons are taught through movements and expressions. To learn measurement, the class is taken bushwalking through mountains, and to learn the gist of religions, every possible festival is cel- ebrated traditionally. Learning is radically dif- ferent at schools that follow the ‘Waldorf’ education sys- tem, which is an application of ‘anthroposophy’—a spir- itual philosophy that had its roots in Chennai’s Theo- sophical Society. The ‘anthroposophic’ approach to education seems too good to be true, but Chennai schools are slowly warming up to late Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner’s free-spirit-

“Anthroposophy when applied in education, aims to make the child a confident, imagina- tive person, who thinks independ- ently, but is emo- tionally resilient at the same time,” explains Dr Laksh- mi Prasanna, pedia- trician turned prac- titioner of holistic anthroposophic medicine.

ed take on child develop- ment. “Anthroposophy when applied in education, aims to make the child a confi- dent, imaginative person, who thinks independently, but is emotionally resilient at the same time,” explains

but is emotionally resilient at the same time,” explains Dr Lakshmi Prasanna, pedi- atrician turned practitioner
but is emotionally resilient at the same time,” explains Dr Lakshmi Prasanna, pedi- atrician turned practitioner
but is emotionally resilient at the same time,” explains Dr Lakshmi Prasanna, pedi- atrician turned practitioner
but is emotionally resilient at the same time,” explains Dr Lakshmi Prasanna, pedi- atrician turned practitioner
but is emotionally resilient at the same time,” explains Dr Lakshmi Prasanna, pedi- atrician turned practitioner
but is emotionally resilient at the same time,” explains Dr Lakshmi Prasanna, pedi- atrician turned practitioner

Dr Lakshmi Prasanna, pedi- atrician turned practitioner of holistic anthroposophic medicine. Dr Lakshmi Prasanna and her colleague Michael Koki- nos are in Chennai to intro- duce parents and teachers to the spiritual philosophy that has a strong Chennai con- nection—its founder Steiner was deeply involved in the Theosophical society in Adyar, whose president Anne Besant made him head of the society’s German chapter. A kind of marriage between religion and pagan- ism, Anthroposophy was created by Steiner after he broke away from the Theo- sophical society. “In the Waldorf system, the same teacher continues teaching the same class for seven years,” explains Dr Lakshmi. “This way, the teacher forms a bond with every stu- dent, and understands each child and his abilities.” In kindergarten, there are

each child and his abilities.” In kindergarten, there are no blackboards or books, and in primary

no blackboards or books, and in primary school, the main lesson is only taught between 8 and 10 am in the morning. Music, arts and theatre are part of the curriculum; gym- nastics is a must to improve coordination and ‘hand- work’ class includes practi- cal skills like metal casting and carpentry for older chil- dren. “We believe that there are 12 senses, and not just five,” says Dr Vasudha Prakash, whose school V-Excel has adopted the Waldorf system. “Nourishing these senses of balance, warmth, ego, self- movement, language, con- cept and life sense is impor- tant for the child’s develop- ing brain.” While there are 1,000 Wal- dorf schools across the world, the handful of Indian schools can only follow the system until class ten, after which students appear for the CBSE board examina- tion.

which students appear for the CBSE board examina- tion. History book grabs magic of yesteryear DC
which students appear for the CBSE board examina- tion. History book grabs magic of yesteryear DC
which students appear for the CBSE board examina- tion. History book grabs magic of yesteryear DC
which students appear for the CBSE board examina- tion. History book grabs magic of yesteryear DC
which students appear for the CBSE board examina- tion. History book grabs magic of yesteryear DC

History book grabs magic of yesteryear

DC CORRESPONDENT

CHENNAI

Jan. 18: Rich tributes were paid to the legend of Telugu film industry and former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nandamuri Tarakarama Rao or NTR as he is fondly known, by Tel- ugus in the city on his 15th death anniversary on Tues- day. The occasion was marked by a release of a book on his history – Yuganikokkadu. Authored by senior jour- nalist U. Vinayaku Rao, the nearly 350-page book, was released by C.M.K. Reddy, president of the All India Telugu Federation at a func- tion here. Noted film pro- ducer K. Murari received the first copy. Distinguished actress of yesteryear Anjali Devi who was to have released the book could not attend the function due to the senate meeting of the Tirupati Uni- versity. Speaking on the occasion,

of the Tirupati Uni- versity. Speaking on the occasion, C.M.K. Reddy, president of All India Telugu

C.M.K. Reddy, president of All India Telugu Feder- ation releases the book - Yuganikokkadu, auth- ored by U. Vinayaku Rao. Noted film produc- er K. Murari receives the first copy. — DC

Mr Reddy recalled the yeo- man service of NTR and said he was a legend of his times. He had introduced several reforms including equal share in ancestral property for women. D. Sathyanarayana, presi- dent of South Indian Telugu Welfare Association, Mr Vinayaku Rao, M. Audise- shaiah, V. A. K. Rangarao and K. Prasad were among those who spoke.

Welfare Association, Mr Vinayaku Rao, M. Audise- shaiah, V. A. K. Rangarao and K. Prasad were
Welfare Association, Mr Vinayaku Rao, M. Audise- shaiah, V. A. K. Rangarao and K. Prasad were
Welfare Association, Mr Vinayaku Rao, M. Audise- shaiah, V. A. K. Rangarao and K. Prasad were
Welfare Association, Mr Vinayaku Rao, M. Audise- shaiah, V. A. K. Rangarao and K. Prasad were
Welfare Association, Mr Vinayaku Rao, M. Audise- shaiah, V. A. K. Rangarao and K. Prasad were
Welfare Association, Mr Vinayaku Rao, M. Audise- shaiah, V. A. K. Rangarao and K. Prasad were