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Rays of hope in ways of humanity

Click here to read in Gujarati
I was one of the founder trustees, the framer of Constitution and Chairman of the first Board of the local NGO – “The Guardian Trust, Kanodar”. I worked for first seven years in team spirit with my fellow trustees to achieve the goals of the Trust and now I am retired. Here, I am pleased to disclose one of the objects of the Trust which will be self explanatory to my Readers and particularly those NRIs and PRs of Kanodar residing elsewhere representing young generation to know about this village, its community, its culture and many other aspects of its heritage descending from the ancestors for the last half millennium since the foundation of this village by Kaano (Kanji) Patel whose name reflects in the word ‘KANODAR’.

The text of the above referred object of the Trust is as follows:

”The Mo’mineen (Muslims) of Kanodar have spread all over the world with their own identity that they live with love with others, accept others with their differences and make their contributions in their social lives wherever they live. This Trust will encourage the individuals and various organizations of this peculiar community to continue to set an example to other communities to respect everybody’s dignity and rights and to carry out social responsibilities for the common good of people.”

To build up integrity and reputation of the village, many honorable personalities have contributed in past; and present leadership also is on the same track walking on the footprints of the former devoted Chiefs. This Article is aimed to remind the new generation the culture and traditions of the community, inspire them to preserve the image of this village intact with good behavior and pass on the same heritage to the next generation by providing the live examples to them. During my life span of almost seven decades, I have been the witness of the hundreds of those local heroes who have devoted their most of time to uplift the village to higher summits of its fame. Due to my limitation to the size of the Article, I am unable to highlight the services of all those ever shining stars in detail.

But, I would like to bring out in knowledge some opinions of other people about this village of Kanodar in order to mention in general its integrity, peace and prosperity. Most of the people may be familiar with the name of Swami Sachchidanand. He is a Karmyogi Saint of Gujarat engaged in social, literary and spiritual activities. Some years past, he was invited to the opening ceremony of the local High School for its starting of Science stream. Swamiji had never visited this village but while on his way from Petlad to Kanodar, he was given some briefs and feedbacks about the village. Endowed with sharp intellect, spirituality and own intuition, he knew everything about the village and its people as if he had visited the village previously and lived here. While delivering his speech he said, “If the Lahore Conference for the discussion of partition of India would have been organized at Kanodar, India would have remained united.” These words are the best compliments to the village and at the same time making conscious to the natives of Kanodar to remain firm and deserving for the preservation of conception of integrity of not only our village, bur wherever we live. Generally, Swamiji was being honored with donation to his Ashram wherever he was invited, but here he donated Rs.25,000/- to the High School from the funds of his own Trust.

If we go to some past, the memories of Dr. H. L.Purohit, a Maharashtriyan Brahmin and Dwarkagiri Maharaj, a gymnastic practicing Saint (અખાડા સાધુ) from U.P. (India) will surely revive into our minds. Dr. Purohit as a Physician rendered his services to the local Hospital for about 33 years and Dwatkagiri Maharaj as a worshipper of the local Temple of Shiva; but mainly with his social services, had devoted his whole life for the welfare of the village. Both these personalities had so high opinions as well as feelings for this village that they wished to have their last breaths here and get their funeral services in the earth of this village. Dr. Purohit was not fortunate in this regard as his offspring called him at his native place Baroda after retirement, but Bapji breathed his last here and was buried in the position of Samadhi in the premises of the temple. They both, having their Hindu creed, told emotionally in public that if the God gave them rebirth in any form, they would prefer to be here not only once but again and again. These words are the great rewards to the local Muslim community and also strong enough to bring tears of gratitude into our eyes.

There is no room for remembering the specific contributions of numerous Muslims (both male and female) here in this precise Article; but in general, I may say that they people remained rays of hope in ways of humanity. They people laid a firm foundation of Secularism and Unity in the village. It is a fitting time to recall all these memories in the prevailing situation everywhere in world when violence in various forms has risen high and universal peace is thrown in danger.

As mentioned in my earlier Article “A full circle swallowed 22 years”, the new generation of the village has spread over all continents of the world to meet with their financial needs. We should thank God that He has been kind and merciful to lead the world think broadly for globalization and liberalization and thus windows of settling abroad have opened. As a result, hundreds of youths with their spouse and offspring have migrated elsewhere in the world. This old man (me) thinks by heart that all these youngsters are the representatives of our secular village of Kanodar, Gandhiji’s Gujarat and our great country, India to spread the mission of Universal brotherhood and peace.

I would just remind, to all NRIs and PRs residing elsewhere in world who are natives of Kanodar and in wider sense to say any human wherever it lives, the story of migration of Zoroastrians (Parsis) during 18th century from Iran to harbor of Sanjaanaa in Gujarat (India). They had assured the ruler of Gujarat then that they will mix up with local people as sugar mixes in milk. My brothers and sisters, we know the exemplary role played by these Parsis such as Jamshedji Tata, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, and Homi Jehangir Bhabha in the progress of India. You have to awaken and mobilize the people with whom you happen to come in contact as a neighbor, a co-worker, a businessman or in any other status with mission of secular ideology, feelings of mutual co-operation and motto of ‘Live and Let Live” of ‘Sarvoadaya-ism’ founded by Vinoba Bhave and Jay Prakash Narayana.

While nearing to sum up my Article, I’ll quote somebody’s experience from unknown source in the words as “When I was running in the pouring rain, without an umbrella, wearing a spiffy suit, on my way to a meeting, a kind lady (a stranger) offered me her umbrella, gave me her address, and trusted I would return it when the rain died down.” This is a very little weighing episode, but a heavy and hidden sense lies therein. Here is the importance of mutual trust, not the cost of umbrella. One should take such affordable risks to be helpful to others to make the foundation of trust with human to human strong and I am sure it will not go in vain.

Summing up, we should remember that hate can never be ceased by hate. Let us renew and spread our hope in humanity. If we are going to err, let us err on the positive side of compassion, generosity and tolerance.

Friends, it is time to close now. Bye,

– Valibhai Musa
Dtd.:
August 6, 2008

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2008 in Article, લેખ, Humanity, MB

 

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Mercy Killing or Merciful Death – A Debate

Click here to read in Gujarati
Subject
of my today’s Post is extremely confusing and difficult also to reach any concrete conclusion. It is such a long standing and controversial debate which has no end because both the groups of thought have hundreds of arguments in pros and cons. Here, my Readers will find my sincere attempt to study the issue neutrally without any approval or disapproval to it from my end. The issue of ‘Mercy Killing’ or in other word ‘euthanasia’ has been debated all over the world for many years and here I am like one of them entering the debate. Mahatma Gandhi has said, “Our life is a long and strenuous quest of truth.” As previously said in some my blog post, we can reach a truth, but we cannot reach the truth.

Now, let us know first what kind of killing this is. As in my title above, the words ‘mercy’ or ‘merciful’ are common; but ‘killing’ and ‘death’ are different though to be meant in the same meaning as ‘to end the life’. I have traced out two definitions by surfing the Internet: (1) An easy or painless death or intentional ending of the life of a person suffering from incurable or painful disease at the patient’s request. (2) The intentional termination of the life of one human being by another.

Both these definitions represent the same thing in different manners; but, I would like to name the first as “Merciful Death” and the second as “Mercy Killing”. Why? It is obvious that in “Merciful Death”, the consent of the person being ceased to live is included into the action; but, in second one, it does not seem so and the decision and/or action is being taken by other than the patient and therefore echoing the meaning ‘killing’ therein. The “Merciful Death” becomes the “Mercy Killing” in the cases when the patient slips into coma (or is brain dead) or the patient is a child unable to speak or it is still in mother’s womb.

Many Medical Organizations, Ethical Institutions, Governments and their Judicial Systems and also many Humanist Individuals worldwide disapprove such practice of terminating human lives on the basis of ‘mercy’ under their various arguments related to ethics, public opinions, medical traditions and fundamental right of human being to live as long as it is in Power of the Almighty Creator and also the respective person is able to live the life.

But, ideologies and realities are different. It is easy to condemn such killings for those who are not put in such a critical situation and also have not come under tension of taking such hard decisions. Merciful Death or Mercy Killing must have the strong reasons to justify such as unbearable pain, physical discomfort or loss of quality life. In the words of Darwin’s theory, we may say that the person deserving ‘Mercy killing’ is not fit to survive. The reason of ‘treatment is too expensive and time-consuming’ is not an acceptable excuse for such killings.

Such termination of life can be handled with the collective decision of patient and/or nearest relatives, doctors, State laws and also Judicial System. Such a very paining and hard task, in case of any attempt at recovery seems futile, may be undertaken simply by withholding or withdrawing medical treatments or life supporting systems. In view of some people, installing of such life supporting system is not an act of saving life and, similarly, removing it will not be an act of killing. Sometimes, certain permitted and medically approved methods such as using a lethal injection are practiced. At the first sight, such an act undertaken by a Physician may seem to be a cold blooded murder of the patient; but it is not so. This is simply a Physician assisted suicide of a terminally ill patient. Here, such act is not a killing but it is the mercy towards the patient or we may call it as a part of caring of him.

Between the lines, let me tell my Readers frankly that I do not expect the words of appreciation or a pat on my back for presentation of this informative Article as the real credit goes to our family members Dr. Zohrin A. Musa, M.D. (Radiologist) (Gold Medalist) and Dr. Anish Musa, M.S. (Opthalmologist) for their guidance and specific information provided specially here below.

Now, I’ll take the issue of unborn babies on debate. Under advanced technology in the medical field, some prenatal tests can forecast the children’s congenital defects of the head, face, hands, feet etc.. In such cases, if the mercy killing of the foetus (fully developed baby) is in the best interest of the child and of the family, many people support it, though it being shocking but, as a mother’s rightto have an abortion. Medically and also ethically, the foetus and newborn baby have no any sharp distinction. But difficulty is that the diagnosis of the problem in discussion can be done only in the state of foetus only; and in genuine cases, if the abortion becomes the must, it may be carried out though it becomes an act of killing just as a newly born child. We should bear it in our mind clearly that the sex selective abortion is the greatest crime and it is not permitted by any State and Religious laws.

Plastic and Reconstructive surgery is a medical specialty, now a days, and through which the child’s physical deformity can be corrected and a more normal appearance can be restored in cases of cleft lip or palate, abnormal head shape, jaw deformities etc.. Facial ugliness only is not the strong base for killing a child. In brief to say, the ‘mercy killing’ may be allowed in the cases of severely disabled unborn babies only though it may be regrettable but overall it must be admirable.

Before I conclude my Article, I would like to appreciate all those parents worldwide living or deceased who might have preferred to let their helpless children take birth in spite of the medical advice of opting abortions. They people have accepted the challenge to fight against the destiny of the children as well as their own families. They people have spent a lot of money either their own or borrowed for the repeated costly Plastic surgeries of their babies. Salutes especially to those mothers who had not seen their children yet as still they were in their wombs and allowed them to come out and breathe the fresh air of this world.

Summing up my Article here, I have simply to say that the subject discussed above is of an ongoing debate which has no any definite conclusion being it sensitive, confusing, sentimental and solely subjective also.

Hope the Article aimed at the parentsbe commented feeling free.

– Valibhai Musa
Dtd.: 25th January, 2008

 
27 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2008 in Article, લેખ, MB

 

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