Reflection of an Overseas Mangalorean

Sep 28, 2008

On this beautiful sunny and humid morning, sitting at my desk 2,550 kms away from my home town, following up on the current affairs taking place in Mangalore certainly sows seeds of concern in my young mind.

Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat and lately New Delhi remind me of only one thing that what ever the dire circumstances we pull up our socks and get back on track irrespective of our caste, creed, religion, etc. During such acts of terror, do we ask an injured person whether he or she is Hindu or Muslim or Sikh or Christian or Parsee or Buddhist? Do we walk up to them and enquire whether they are Dalits or Brahmins or a matter of fact, any caste? We just walk up or run across to help them out!

In the rest past Bihar, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands have been affected by natural calamities ranging from floods to tsunamis and even earth quakes or volcanic eruptions. The volunteers going to these places are from the Indian army or NGO’s or college students who do not go there just to help just a few sections of the affected society but rather all the affected people.

Recently the Times of India, kick started the campaign called ‘Teach India’. This campaign called for volunteers from Schools, Colleges, Corporates, NGO’s and social organisations to spare some of their time to teach and educate children in need of education across 4 cities (For the moment). Now does this mean that volunteers are going out there only to help a certain section of society (i.e. lower caste), the answer from each of the volunteers if queried on this would be a loud, “NO”

Attacks on sacred places of worship will certainly NOT win any accolade in any strata of society. I strongly believe that professing ones faith in whatever manner is acceptable as long as it falls in line with the general norms of society and the religion by itself. As far as I am aware no religion tells its followers that humiliating, killing or even destroying place of worship of other religions is the way out. All religions propagate peace and dialogue and believe that they can co exist in a peaceful manner in society.

The current trend that we have been witnessing in Gujarat, Kashmir, Orissa and lately in Karnataka and Kerala does show a disturbing trend across the country. Our secular fabric which was our country’s most prized asset seems to be slipping away to oblivion.

Politicians can be blamed only to a certain extent because we as voters elect our representatives to fight it out for our needs and wants. We have to ultimately take the responsibility of placing such people in power to do as they desire, here I am only speaking about a few people who misuse their authority for their own interest or that of their community. In hindsight, we do have representatives who fight for our cause it is just that they need to get the facts together before acting on the various problems in society.

We as people have an instinct of pointing fingers at others or rather well known as the, ‘Blame Game’ once we encounter any problem. In the current scenario we were prompt to blame the government, without even looking a little further into the situation. The whole situation arose due to the unethical behaviour and reaction of the civil authorities i.e. the Police. There was certain poor treatment by the cops who went on a rampage by caning innocent people even those attending their weekly church service. This led to people getting aggressive and resorting to pelting of stones. This shows that there was lack of knowledge and information on behalf of the Police who went on their merciless rampage.

Moving over from the national perspective to back home from where I started, in few words, “It does not look Good!!’ It has always been a pleasure to spot any news related to Mangalore in the local dailies being published here in the U.A.E. but unfortunately I can’t say the same of the publications over the past one week. The depressing news of communal clashes between the Hindu and Muslims around 2 years ago and the latest issues between Christians and Hindus, does not show Mangalore in good light.

Mangalore known as a sleepy town along the western coast of India has suddenly been woken up from its deep slumber by Communal violence. Such a drastic change in image has certainly not been digested by many of us in and those away from Mangalore. It is with deep regret that we look up to such news articles which shows Mangalore, the Mangalore that each one of us have grown up with, in such bad light and taste.

I for once fail to understand what runs through the mind of such activists who go around propagating such acts. Those who are brainwashed by their leaders fail to understand that if they are caught in such acts their leaders, the main culprits who instigated such actions, will disown them just to avoid social and political embarrassment. Members of their own community too wonder what runs in the minds of these people when they go ahead with such acts.

This is where media, highly criticised at times for biased and incorrect information, comes into play. The media should refrain from publishing or telecast information that is biased and which could flare up communal tensions. Media be it Radio, TV, Print or the new age web based resources, should be responsible in their conduct and only relay news that would help in getting the message across without igniting any new tension.

Protesting for ones rights is totally acceptable but with the current scenario was possibly the wrong move given the reaction they received from all quarters especially the local police in spite of conducting a peaceful protest. The protest has been highlighted in different aspects and given rise to new issues.

Having said this any organisation or community that feels that there has been wrong doings against their particular groups, should come forward with proof and evidence to substantiate such claims. Merely reacting to word of mouth or rumours cannot and will not be tolerated. One cannot afford to take justice in their own hands and enact law enforcement of their own kind on the streets. Anger if any should be vented out in the right form/manner and in the right place.

And as these thoughts go on I realise that the day, is a day no more and the setting sun gives rise to hope that the next morning it will bring along with it tolerance and understanding for the benefit of Society and OUR nation.

by Colin DSouza - Abu Dhabi
Colin M. D’Souza is a 24-year-old, resides is Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. A product of the famed Jesuit institution, St. Joseph’s College of Commerce – Bangalore, India, Graduated in 2005 as the Best Outgoing Male Student. He has a keen eye for nature and keeps himself updated about happenings all over the world. Collin has a flair for writing and has been contributing to various English Magazines and periodicals from time to time.
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Comment on this article

  • Megha, Bangalore

    Tue, Oct 07 2008

    Hey Colin AWESOME stuff!!!!!!!......really didnt know u write sooo well...very well written and you seem to have gotten all the points across really well also :):).....yeh Mangalore is in a bad shape and its good that you got it out in Abu Dabi also...Great stuff...keep up the good writing...and waitin to see more articles published by you now!!!!!

  • Charles, India

    Thu, Oct 02 2008

    Nice article Collin. It has indeed become a "Blame Game". There is aboslutely no use blaming the police or any party, we know how they work, we blamed them decades ago and now we are still stuck with it. Today Mangalore, the place where we were proud of for it's communial harmony, the place that gave us the distinct "Mangalorean" is in a bad shape. We have now taken it internationally with rally's and demonstration right from the US to the middle east rather than containing it within mangalore.

    Let me cite a few examples of attrocities in mangalore a few decades back, when the land to the tiller act came about and wiped out the landed gentry, did anyone reach out to these international countries. Was it a right of the government to decide who gets land and apply it specific to mangalore when the other parts of Karnataka was not touched. The coffee planter had more land than these agriculturists, did they get a ceiling?, I am not saying that they should have been affected, but only stating that the law was not uniform.

    Bihar zamindar's were not touched either and I can go on with examples. I am sure all of us got affected with this act and so did the hindu's, jains and brahmins, but we contained it. Today the agriculture in this region has gone from non existant to "petty". Similarly, Harmony can have the same fate.

    We have contributed invaluably to education and health, but remember we still get subsidies from the government. We should be integral to India's framework and not defy it and get solace by the support of foreigners. For them, we may not be more different than the "arabs" or "afghans". I think we are quite powerful in this place and we should have stepped up and handled the situation with dignity and avoided this mass gathering. I feel the priests used us as a front, by collecting us all in one place, which in any strategy was wrong. We created this boundary and put the rest of India on the other side. I would have rather taken the first hit or attack, However many churches there may have been and firmly stopped it. I know that I will get critized for this , stating that the situation was not that simple, but let us agree that it was a handfull of miscreants who got this event coordinated and hit us when we least expected it.

    It was not that all the hindus from mangalore joined in. I am sure if we absorbed this first wave of attacks and then discussed it in the open, we would have got more support from the local hindus, as at the time we had their sympathy that our place of worship was destroyed. We acted in haste to claim that the hindus attacked us and played the minority card. I too was in the church when this happened and I was condemned for my view, stating that I was weak and scared. The youth blood that has never seen a disaster or calamity and thinks only about glory. I have fought a war, it is not the fighting part but what comes after it.

  • Harrel & Prashanth, Mangalore/Dubai

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Excellent article Collin. Keep up the good work.

  • Roshan Pais, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    We humans are social animals and thats why when we are away from home we form groups and try to have social life for us and our children. Its natural to have smaller groups so that there is effective participation and enjoyment. I dont find any wrong with this. People who dont understand this naturally think they are like ABC koota and pass comments. True jealousy is part of human nature too...

  • Shaila Pinto, Perne/Managalore/Dubai

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Excellent article. Very thought provoking. Didn't know you had these skills :)

  • Rolphy Almeida, Udupi/Bangalore

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    We want our old Mangalore/Daxina Kannada back. Although we speak different languages, our culture is one, our food habits are similar, we have studied together, we played together, we shared each other’s festivals and delicacies and above all we enjoyed our happy moments and consoled each other on any sad occasion. Then how can we hate our very close Hindu/Christian friends? Jesus said “love your neighbor as you love yourself. Also love your enemy” so that there is no enmity in the world.

    We all know that there is only one God, and then what made anyone to think that only his God is good and powerful. Why anyone should hurt others belief. I don’t think any decent Hindu or Christian will ever hurt his neighbor’s feelings. Then how this hatred spread in the society? Who is involved in this? What is the reason behind this? Who will gain from this? We Hindus and Christians in totality Mangalorians lost everything, our peace for the ulterior design of a small group supported by some politicians. Why we should lose our peace for somebody’s gain? Jesus said, “If you want to follow me, then take up your own cross and follow me”.

    If anyone converts to Christianity for any gain, he is not a Christian rather a selfish person. Christianity does not accept such people. Let’s forgive each other work for the future of our nation.

  • Valerian , Belle/ Abu Dhabi

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    very well said Colin! Keep up the good work. God Bless u.

  • Raj, udipi

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Everybody is feeling sad with what happened in Mangalore.Now we discuss how to avoid it in future.Its not simple as we talk. Every action of ours is on caste basis. We got a shop we think whom it belongs to, You made every institution's, banks,on caste.You fill up any govt document , you give your caste,you your political leader on caste, you go to gulf again you start A,B,C-kuta. You go on doing this for what? To create problems? We must keep our religion inside the house, then only we can have good our own people.

  • Naveen, Bangalore

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Colin, thanks for yor good article. As you said Protesting for ones' rights is totally acceptable but with the current scenario was possibly the wrong move by Bajrang Dal /VHP/SP/RSS/RS activities."Conversion" is the reason to such activities for recent attacks on Churches across india. Here is the fact: As per Justice Wadhwa Commission Report, Between 1991 to 1998 the Hindu Population rose by 2.52% whereas the Christian population rose by 0.008%.Here is christian population as per census in India : 1971 - 2.59 1981 - 2.43 1991 - 2.32 2001 - 2.04 Why this percentage is low if such conversions are happening in India ?

  • Antony D'Cunha, Permude, Mangalore/Muscat

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    What an in-depth analysis/review of current affairs of our homeland? Style of presenting the facts is excellent and it is a pleasure to go through articles.

  • Colin M.D., Bendur/ Abu Dhabi

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Firstly I would like to thank each and every one of you who felt my article deserved such appreciation and I promise to write more clear and better articles in the future. Coming to all those who gave their critical opinions, I would certainly absorb them to the fullest to enable me to write better articles.

    Zeroing down on Mr. Prabhu's comments I would like to Thank you for appreciating this first piece of mine. I agree with the point raised viz Crowd mentality something that I usually get worked up about too. But what I wanted to stress here is that the protest was 'Peaceful' and was located inside the church compound. You would not like any one roughing you up inside your own house when you are talking about your rights, thats why I highlighted the action of the cops.

    A senior cop would speak to representatives of the agitating community to try and fizz out the protest. You do not give orders to wack people to their senses when they are causing no harm to anybody. Ultimately we have to keep our faith in the current governance, let them do their job. They have highlighted the root of the problem and have acknowledged that attacks on the various Christian places of worship will not be tolerated. They are fulfilling their duties! Thanks a ton Once again!!!!


    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Dear Colin Many thanks for your good and balanced article. It is a eye opener for everybody...I wish we will get more writings from you..good luck..

  • Theo D'Silva(Kamath), Kadri, Mangalore/Canada

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Its a non baised article. But we have to be brave to face the facts of life. We the so called manglorean catholics/christians were orginally Konkans mostly saraswat brahmins as far as I know and these bajrang dals are our blood relatives. But, since we strongly believe in Jesus Christ and his principles we should try to follow his foot prints. and non voilence as far as possible.

    Remember India got independence because of non-voilence policy not with war. You see the in future the world can be distroyed with a suit case of bomb. so, let the people know the limit of their attrocities against the minorities.

  • Vishenth Prabhu, Valencia, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Good article BUT remember you said "The whole situation arose due to the unethical behavior and reaction of the civil authorities i.e. the Police. There was certain poor treatment by the cops who went on a rampage by caning innocent people even those attending their weekly church service. This led to people getting aggressive and resorting to pelting of stones.

    This shows that there was lack of knowledge and information on behalf of the Police who went on their merciless rampage." Ultimately you blamed the "Police" force too. It is our stupidity that has caused this problem. Police force is meant to keep order everywhere. If section 144 was d, don't we Catholics (Catholics/Christians all mixed up these new branches have all messed it up for us) have enough reasoning to follow the orders ? Do we have to be beaten up to understand some clear instructions ? Only animals understand that sort of language. I have nothing to do with the Police force but I think we need to discipline/educate ourselves first. If you follow the law no matter what you do, you will always have (at least hope) for the law to be on your side.

    Being a Catholic (just like you hailing from Mangalore) I think we have some new things to learn to live among others. We have to use our reasoning and commonsense instead of this well known crowd mentality. It is like this small school children playing football they all run after the ball without knowing what it is all about. We, as responsible adults cannot afford to do this. Everyone who has been following this knows what the initial triggering incident/factor was. Thanks Collin, keep up the good work but please keep in mind that our original essence is slowly dissolving, if you know what I mean. We have lot of time in our hands and do not know what to do with it who I usually call as NTDs (Nothing To Do) in the bargain go ahead and screw it up for others.

    You might have even read some incendiary comments by and handful. When I see a speeding car I always get annoyed and once told a guy to go and hit a lonely tree but don’t kill others around you. I think I have the same message to all NTDs.

  • Leticia dsouza, Mangalore/Dubai

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Excellent Colin, a very nice article.keep it up. god bless you.

  • Marian, Mangalore - Falnir

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Good Article by Colin. Unfortunately as everyone keeps on saying that the root cause for these unsavoury events is 'Conversions',No actualy it is the beginning of the implementation of the hidden agenda of the communal forces for whippng up passions ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due sometime in May 2009 to gain majority through clandestine means by subverting the democratic process. After the nuclear accord the popularity ratings of the Manmohan Singh government have gone up considerably.Inflation also is now very much under control as a result of the monetary measures by RBI and Finance ministry .

    Fearing a poor showing in the forthcomnig general elections and as per their own internal assessment of not getting over 140 seats ,this is a dubious strategy for consolidating the support base of the ruling party in Karnataka after a disasterous performance in its first 100 days of "GOOD" governance. Hope the enlightened electorate of our state will see through the game plan and defeat the evil designs of these fascist forces in the coming general elections so that peace ,harmony and goodwill among communities is once again restored.

  • Ronald S., Udupi

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    This article begs the question: Does one need to be outside the place of action to be able to think clearly and write a balanced article on a touchy issue like the M'lore mayhem and attrocities ? I dont want to take away anything from young Colin, who should be encouraged to continue to write.

    The only thing I disagree in his write-up is his statement: " The whole situation arose due to the unethical behaviour and reaction of the civil authorities i.e. the Police......" Remember, it is not they who first desecrated the places of Christian worship -let the reader understand !

  • Savitha,

    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Good article collin! All the best for more such reflections. I wish some destructive leaders get to understand some of the things that you have written, instead of harping wrong things or taking law into their hands. May peace reign in the entire country once again.


    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Good Article Colin. Keep it up and wish you all the best. Keep writing. Urban Sequeira

  • Mohan H Naik, Mangaluru

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Dear Colin, Good article. Yes, it’s true, at the hours of misery and agony, only humanism triumphs. Human are God made. Religion is man made.Keep on writing.

  • Richard Mendonca, Vamanjoor Padav/Abu Dhabi

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Colin good sharing which will surely touch the hearts of miscreants and local authorities. Keep it up.

  • R Prabhu, IXE/KSA

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Nice article. Its truly Josephite !!

  • Jane Noronha, Kundapura/Doha Qatar

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    A very nice article Collin ,Keep on writing,

  • Nicola M. Rodrigues, Mangalore, Valencia

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Keep up the good skills of writing you have. It really makes one feel so proud in having persons with such good qualities in them. Please continue writing and I wish you the very best in the future. Real good article. thanks,

  • anthony, Goa/Dubai

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Nice article, but i sincerely wish the CM/DK Police/ Bajrang Dal /VHP/SP/RSS/RS etc. could make sense of this article, alas to them it would be a blank paper.

  • Ajju, Riyadh K.S.A

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Exellent Article.Welldone Daijiworld Team

  • Cresal, Mangalore/Abu Dhabi

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Good excellet Article!!! Keep writing more.. very all the best for u r future!!

  • Prem Colaço , Sakleshpur/Muscat

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Dear Colin, Nice write up .Keep up the good work.


    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Dear Colin,keep it up! God Bless you

  • Nelson D'Cunha, Mangalore/Riyadh, KSA

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Nice article Colin keep it up

  • Rohan Pais, Bendur / Kuwait

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Excellent article Colin, keep it up. Keep Writing.....

  • Stanley Noronha, Udupi/Kuwait

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    A very nice article, dear Collin, keep on writing. Yes it is true that these past events of attacks on churches and christians damaged severely a very peaceful community and our dear Mangalore. Hope and pray that true leaders will work hard to achieve peace and harmony in the society.


    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Dear Colin, I believe that we (Indians) are so unfortunate to have such kind of people among us who enjoys the destruction of other's feelings & property.

  • Santosh, Udupi / Bahrain

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Very good article. Pls keep doing the good work. This is the bright side of Mangalore.

  • Dr Eugene D'Souza, Mumbai

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    A good assessment of the happenings in India in general and in Mangalore in particular by Collin D'Souza. By his article it is evident that he keeps a close watch on the happenings in his native land with the help of the print and electronic media. Keep it up Collin.

  • Mary Pereira, Kundapura/U S A

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Thank you Colin for your beautiful reflection.I srongly support it.

  • Rajesh, Barbados

    Sun, Sep 28 2008

    Quality of a good writer is being independent and impartial. Just like Indian Military! Scoring higher percentage etc is just the supporting stuff for the existing skills. I couldn’t feel it, may be I got to look at with different perspective? Anyways, good luck.


    Sun, Sep 28 2008


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