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Should Christmas be observed as a festival in India?

It should be a matter of concern for our society that we have been under the tremendous influence of western culture. And as a result of it, our younger generation is lagging behind in many of our cultural values.

Christmas also marks the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Pixabay
Christmas also marks the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Pixabay

NEW DELHI: Here comes the Christmas Eve and one of the most celebrated festivals around the world. Christmas is a Christian holiday to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. The tradition to go with it calls for exchanging of gifts with your near and dear ones. This day does spread the spirit of joy and fervor.

But at the same time, we being  Indians must not forget our heritage and custom values. We should celebrate other festivals also but not at the cost of throwing wind to our own heritage. It should be a matter of concern for our society that we have been under the tremendous influence of western culture. And as a result of it, our younger generation is lagging behind in many of our cultural values.

There are few other occasions of great significance which comes around Christmas only but they are been overlooked by our own people, have a look below:

Birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

There are very few people who remembered the great deeds of leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee on this day. He has been the strength of pillar strength to our nation for many years. Vajpayee was also the former Prime Minister of India and man behind many of the successful economic reforms like the introduction of Fiscal Responsibility Act, Privatization, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Telecom revolution and many more. It was his dedication to serve the mother nation that enabled India to garner some global reputation.

Swami Shraddhanand Martyrs’ Day

Even some days back, it was Swami Shraddhanand Martyrs’ Day on 23rd of December. But again, no one even talked about it and nor it was covered by our media extensively. He was the founder of Arya Samaj and helped in rebuilding the entire Indian nation & Hindu society. He launched campaigns agents Untouchability and even proved that there was no such thing ever existed in our Vedas. He also raised his voice against child marriage and widows’ remarriages which were very much prevalent during those days.

Tulsi Pujan Diwas

December 25, is also marked as Tulsi Pujan Diwas by the Hindu community. Tulsi plant is regarded as sacred and a source of prosperity. It also produces more oxygen as compared to other plants and is holds great medicinal values. There is also a mention of Tulsi plant in Hindu scriptures. But again, there was almost no mention of it, neither it was carried the way Christmas articles and news were covered by our media houses.

So, we should honor our days and public figures like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Swami Shraddhanand and pay rich tribute to their work and achievements. And it can be only possible if we pay more attention to our history and culture, rather going after other glittery things.

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Christian Blasphemy Suspect in Pakistan Jumps from Building to Escape Torture

Supporters of Pakistani civil society groups protest in favor of the Christian community in Karachi, Pakistan, Feb. 26, 2018. An official said Sajid Masih, a Christian blasphemy suspect, who suffered serious injuries after jumping off a federal building, is now in stable condition. VOA

Authorities in Pakistan are investigating reports that a Christian blasphemy suspect jumped from a four-story building and suffered serious injuries to escape torture in custody.

Officials and doctors say Sajid Masih is recovering from his “fractured legs and jaw” in a hospital in Lahore where the incident took place on Friday.

Masih and one of his cousins were taken into custody for allegedly posting anti-Islam content on Facebook. They were being probed by cybercrime experts of the Federal Investigation Agency, or FIA, at its main office in the eastern Pakistani city when Masih jumped from the fourth floor of the building.

FIA officials denied charges the man was being tortured or abused, saying “no one had even touched” him. They insisted Masih panicked after “he was asked to unlock his cell phone” for screening.

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In a video message circulated and shared via social media, Masih has accused several FIA officers of “severely” torturing him and snatching his cell phone in the process. Pixabay

He alleged the officers were coercing him and his cousin into sexually assaulting one another before he decided to jump from the window.

Dozens of Pakistani human rights groups and activists strongly condemned the incident in a joint statement Monday. They raised serious concerns over persistent misuse of Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, specifically against Christian and other religious minorities.

“The law enforcement authorities have not only failed in their duty to protect minorities but have actively participated in violence against them,” the statement said.

The groups called for an independent inquiry into the incident, rejecting the FIA’s ongoing internal probe as unacceptable. Wikimedia Commons


They also demanded that area police withdraw the case of attempted suicide against Masih. Activists say they suspect the police case was meant to cover up and protect FIA officers who made the Christian community member jump off the building.

Insulting Islam and its Prophet Mohammad are extremely sensitive issues in Pakistan and can carry the death penalty, although no one has been executed under the blasphemy laws. Right groups say the laws are often misused or exploited to settle personal disputes.

ALSO READ: Pakistan’s handling of Balochistan is reminiscent of its step brotherly treatment to East Pakistan

Mere allegations of blasphemy have provoked mob lynchings of suspects or their targeted killings in Pakistan. Pixabay

In Monday’s joint statement, activists have also demanded authorities take immediate steps for safety and protection of Masih and his relatives.

Last year,23-year-old university student Mashal Khan was beaten to death by fellow students and others at the campus, accusing him of sharing blasphemous content on social media, charges investigations later determined were false. The incident happened in the northwestern city of Mardan, provoking a nationwide outcry against Khan’s brutal killing.

Earlier in February, an anti-terrorism court sentenced one person to death and 30 others to jail terms, including life imprisonment, for their role in the lynching case. (VOA)