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Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. X No. 4 Bulletin October–December 2007
News Update | Articles | Researchers
New Arrivals | Mails & Emails
National Seminar on BRAHMABANDHAB UPADYDAY
The National Seminar on
Brahmabhandab Upadhyay: Seeker - Believer - Prophet, organized by the
Goethals Indian Library and Research Society on October 7, 2007, was a great
success. It was held on the occasion of Brahmabhandab's death centenary. For the
inaugural session the St. Xavier's School A.V. Room was full, with around 120
Fr. Felix Raj, Director
of the GILRS, gave the welcome address, mentioning the significant role played
by Brahmabandhab in the foundation of Viswa Bharati, Santiniketan. Fr.
Gispert-Sauch of Vidyajyoti College of Theology, who has made extensive
research on Brahmabandhab over the years, delivered a very scholarly inaugural
Taking off from one of Fr.
Gispert's remarks, Prof. Amlan Datta, former Vice-Chancellor of Vishwa
Bharati University, Santiniketan, and a well-known scholar, gave deeply
thoughtful reflections on how far - and how - a believer can be a seeker at the
same time. Fr. George Pattery, Provincial, in connection with Brahma-bandhab's
attempt to combine the Catholic-Hindu identity, helped to reflect on the problem
of multiple identities, especially when religious faith is involved.
After the tea break, five speakers - Rev. K. P. Aleaz, Dr. Bishwanath Ghosh,
Shri Jaiprakash Veeramani and Sch. Pandab Hansda, S.J. - presented papers on
different aspects of Brahmabhandab's contribution.
The GILRS thanks all - professors, staff, and students - involved in the
organization for this highly stimulating and well-organized seminar. At the end
a delicious lunch was served for all.
Cricket! Cricket! Cricket! – a name which is in the air, it is in every
newspaper or magazine, on every television channel as a commercial. It seems
every one is eating, breathing, sleeping and dreaming cricket.
Such is the craze of cricket that a person in the Indian state of Bihar had
offered 111 coconuts and intended to offer 10001 more had the Indian cricket
team come back victorious! A large corporate house and the local unit of the
Bhartiya Janata Party in Mumbai offered prayers at the celebrated Siddhivinayak
Temple and distributed sweets, and a youth in Gujarat went on a fast unto death,
and both the above two commitments were not for the well being of the country
and its people in general but for the Indian cricket team.
It seems our country has whipped itself into mass hysteria over a game of
cricket. Such is the obsession of cricket in India that it comes before any kind
of priority. Such obsession is driving our youth away from a work related
culture. Burning issues of development, employment, eradication of poverty and
even human life take second place, at least after cricket.
Cricket has undermined other sports as well. Through narrowing our interest in
sports in just one game we have starved other sports of not only much needed
funding but also our encouragement. Other sportsmen have realized no matter how
much one excels, they will never achieve the recognition they deserve, they will
never get the endorsements, nor will soft drink firms, tyre companies, sports
manufacturers or oil corporations promote their sport. Our obsession with
cricket has brought us to the point that within a decade, there would be no
other sport being played or promoted in this country.
Cricket itself is a sport to be admired but nothing to be obsessed with. Is this
madness worth it for a ball and six wooden stumps? We should ourselves ask this
“Is the Indian media manically obsessed with cricket?”
Cricket is a religion here. Cricket stars are deities and the media and the
public its worshippers. Such is the craze for the game in India or so the media
feels that the coverage of the sport goes against the basic law of economics-
supply overshooting demand. Yes, indeed the media is manically obsessed with
cricket and the amount of print space and airtime the media spends on covering
the game is testimony to my claim. The media it seems has made it its obligation
to cover every aspect of the game oblivious to the fact whether it is actually
required in reality. The birthdays of cricketers become a cause for national
celebration, their marriages more so; their visits to salons are carefully
monitored for obviously they are trend setters. The minutest details of the game
and the cricketers are regular front page news and headlines.
The question that has to be asked is whether such kind of obsessive media
coverage is required? The answer is an obvious NO. Cricket sells and so the
media covers the game, it brings in the readers, viewers and so on. One wonders
to just what extent the country’s media is inadvertently helping turn sporting
passion and national pride into what can only be described as mass hysteria. I
rue the fact that such a powerful medium of communication and a medium of such
significance and magnitude can stoop to such a low level. Cricket rakes up the
TRP’s for the media by firstly drumming up mass support and showering praises
where it is not due and then slamming the team for its appalling performance.
There seems to be no doubt that the mass media is adding fuel to this fire of
manic behavior among supporters. On the other hand the media goes against the
“professional and ethical standards” of journalism when they resort to selective
reporting by reporting only one side of the conflict. Secondly there is a
feeling that media is sometimes biased and influenced in their reports and
writing. The articles published about cricket are often in bad taste and that
the media inflames the news is not noble in itself.
Not that I have something against the game but the excessive coverage dilutes
the attention to the other issues of national importance. It is in the interest
of the public and the nation that the media start covering important issues
which affect the masses directly. Cricket in India has never lacked coverage,
funds and support from any quarter, actually it is a perfect case of monopoly.
In such a situation the media can promote other sports in the country so that
they can come out of obscurity and virtual darkness. The media has an overall
role to play in highlighting the case of other sports as well and should play
its part well.
The media is a window an intermediary between the government and the public and
can literally do magic with its strength if only it resorts to constructive
journalism which in any case looks like a thing of the past. When I see protest
against the players of Indian Cricket team by the media then I am forced to
think why this anger should not be diverted against the policies, appeasement
politics and the incapability of the government. Why shouldn’t the
ineffectiveness of the courts be questioned, why shouldn’t corruption amongst
public servants be front page news more often, why should not the farmer
suicides be highlighted more often and a solution demanded. Is not this the
media’s prerogative. The media does not realise its potential and its
responsibility and this is a shame.
SAURAV BAJAJ, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata
Indian Media is manically obsessed with Cricket
There are humans in the media after all. The media, being an inherent part of
the nation and society, seems to be influenced by the complexities that exist,
despite being expected to present an objective rendering of the issues, as we
have reached a stage such that two out of three articles on the front page of
any newspaper are on cricket. The unmaking of champions evokes more interest
than the making does. Instead of admiring the grit of Sourav trying to make it
back into the team or allowing Greg Chappell to do his job, the media acts as a
soothsayer to predict when Sourav will make a comeback to the team or when
Chappell’s strategies will start working. Cricket is no longer an individual
pursuit but a media obsession which hangs like a guillotine over the players’
Following the media coverage of cricket over a week can be a roller coaster
ride. Sourav is dropped on Sunday. We beat Sri Lanka on Monday. South Africa
beats us on Tuesday. The crowds boo Greg Chappell on Wednesday. He shows them
his middle finger on Thursday. The MPs raise a privilege motion against Chappell
questioning his understanding of Indian values on Friday. Ganguly gets recalled
on Saturday and on Sunday we have a Team India huddle, a superficial expression
of bonding between conflicting egos. In the meantime the media manages to get
millions of eyeballs and billions of fingernails chewed off in anticipation
which eventually translate into TRPs and advertisement revenues.
Hysterical ex-cricketers, whose past records would hardly fill up a piece of
paper, constantly lynch the cricketers taking out the frustration of their own
dismal performances in the past on the present lot. They are characterized by
their never ending sentences or meaningless monosyllables or in some cases
ex-cricketers. In their constant efforts to up the TRPs they cross the limit of
decency such that a bowler who has hardly played 10 test matches “critically
analyses” the technique of a batsman with over 100 test matches to his credit
and tells him how to play a particular shot!
Day in and day out the media is obsessed with Ganguly’s heel or Sachin’s elbow.
Nobody is interested if Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi make the Davis Cup
final or Dhanraj Pillai is the highest goal scorer in the Olympics. Sania Mirza,
the only non-cricketing sports personality who makes ripples in the media, does
it mostly because of her exquisite fashion sense. Most Indians do not even know
who is Samaresh Jung although he holds the greatest honour by an Indian
sportsman at the international level, that too, the honour for the best player
among all the nations of the commonwealth. Yet most people know that Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev had been invited to participate in the closing ceremony
of the Commonwealth Games despite the fact, cricket has been played only once in
the Olympics in Paris in 1900 and once in the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia in
The media is more interested in a sport played in ten countries rather than in
sports that have worldwide appeal. A senior sportswoman, who ran a ten kilometer
race in the Olympics, has to take the rickshaw to get to her hostel everyday
while our great cricketers parade about in Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Despite
the lack of playing facilities and a level playing field coupled by
infinitesimal coverage by the media, the Indian team stood fourth in the
Commonwealth games but their effort was belittled in the media by which devoted
only a small snippet of the morning news to this landmark achievement
A lot of people feel that media attention is good for cricketers. Well, to a
certain extent it is. It can however be counter productive as well because many
companies attempt to capitalize on a player's popularity by getting him to
endorse their products and services which end up distracting players and taking
up a good deal of their time.
A case in point is the gargantuan media hype and attention lavished upon the
Indian cricket team before their World Cup campaign started. To a
extraordinarily high extent, the expectations of the country were built up by a
wide-ranging series of advertisements. Even when the team played very badly,
this too became the focus of media attention, overshadowing all other news. Our
own cricket fans in turn, who had been led by the same media to fantasize about
our World Cup win, expressed their disappointment and anger not only through
acts of aggression on the streets but also in what is now the most effective
form of protest. Thousands of fans declared that they would no longer buy goods
endorsed by our cricketers, sending shivers down the spines of sponsors who were
reduced to taking out large advertisements in the newspapers, pleading for the
people to be more understanding of the cricketers.
The fairness and honesty, once so symbolic of cricket, is now gone. While the
revered cricket journalists are still writing florid accounts on the wondrous
deeds of our cricketers, the stench of match-fixing is growing stronger with
each dubious game. The Chandrachud report on match-fixing was a huge setback
with far-reaching consequences for the game. When you watch a game nowadays you
tend to wonder whether it is real or orchestrated by the media.
On November 28, 2006 Manish Pitambare laid down his life to relieve his
motherland from the dreaded terrorist Suhail Faisal. The next day’s headlines
and breaking news:” Indian team goes down 4-0 to South Africa in the one day
series.” Is the media so shameless and insensitive? Will it always continue to
celebrate the trivial and shun the martyrs? Has it got no introspective powers?
These are the questions that continuously arise in our minds. This incident
proves that the current Indian media is not a reflection of national consensus
neither is it concerned about the goodwill of the nation. It is only interested
Debleena Banerjee, National Institute of Technology, Durgapur
Indian Media is manically obsessed with cricket
During world cup with every drop of Pepsi, even our hearts said “Hu Ha India,
Jeetega Bhai India” Cricket is the game of kings as well as the King of Games.
Being a cricket loving nation, Indians also take lot of interest in it. Yajnas
are made, deities are fed. The Tele-media is the most powerful affluent of
social change. The media pounces on the untold - the unseen- the unpronounced to
create a fire out of a spark. One match pulls hundreads of advertising agencies.
A single loss changes everything. The media cannot violate right of privacy and
intrude into the personal lives of cricketers, nor can it play up the conflicts
and petty spats between cricketers, to give raw, distorted news to people.
Doesn’t it require a change? The answer perhaps is unknown to everybody!
Abhishek Mukherjee, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata
A Comprehensive History of Indian Buddhism, by Dr. Chatterjee Asim Kumar, Punthi
Pustak, Kolkata, 2005.
A Hand Book for Correctional officers, by Ramakrishnan, S, Prisons Directorate,
West Bengal, Kolkata, 2007.
A. k. Sadhoker Gopan Diary, Brhamachari Ramananda, Howrah, 2005.
Bhagavad-Gita As it is (Bengali), by Das Brahmachari Shyamrup, Brihat Mridonga
Bhavan, Nadia, 2003.
Buddhism in Indian Literature, by Dash Narendra K, Aryan Books International,
New Delhi, 2007.
Christianity in India, by Gispert-Sauch, G, VIKING Penguin Group, New Delhi,
India Remembered, by Mountbatten, Pamela, Pavilion Books, London, 2007
Indica by Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture, 2007
Odissi an Indian Classical Dance Form, by Hejmadi, Mohanty, Priyambada, Aryan
Books International, New Delhi, 2007.
Passenger Transport subsidy in West Bengal, by Gupta Sudakashina, Manak
Reflections on Indian Wisdom, by Kar, Bijayananda, Aryan Books International,
New Delhi, 2007.
Samatat by Dashgupta Asok & Ghosal Mukul, Samatat Prakashan, 2005.
Some Logical Problems Concerning Existence, by Shaw J. L, Punthi Pustak, Kolkata,
Sri Caitanya’s Vaisnavism and its sources, by Sinha K. P, Punthi Pustak, Kolkata,
Symphony of Progress, Eastern Railway, 2003.
The Philosophy of Vivekananda by Jhanji Rekha, Aryan Books International, New
Tribal Culture of North-East, by Choudhury Kamal Narayan, Punthi Pustak, Kolkata,
World Peace, by Chattopadhyay Santi Nath, Punthi Pustak, Kolkata, 2001.
Researchers at the Goethals
Fr. Hubert Hanggi SJ. Switzerland, on Indology.
Fr. K. T. Thomas SJ. St. Xavier’s School, Haldia, on “Our Field”.
Fr. Vinnarasu, CMF, Barrackpore, on Santhal, Tribe & Religion.
Mr. Avijit Sikaria, Kolkata, on Vedic Mathematics.
Mr. Ayushman Datta, Kolkata, on Astrology & Numerology.
Mr. Begrich Roger, Switzerland, on Anthropology.
Mr. Clement Rudolph Lakra, Kolkata, on Astrology & History.
Mr. Nitin Sarawagi, Kolkata, on Vedic Mathematics.
Mr. Rafat Ali, Kolkata, on Islam in Mediaeval Period.
Mails & EMails
Thank you for the interesting news we receive regularly from you.
Brussels - Belgium.
Thanks for sending the Goethals News. The articles on Brahmabandhab Upadhyay
should be very useful for our readers. Hence, I may print them in "The Herald'
to commemorate his death centenary. I hope you will have no objection using the
articles for the Herald. Thanks once again for the enormous research work done
through Goethals. It's a great boon to the city of Joy and worldwide.
Thank you for the sending this invaluable reading material. I have forwarded it
to my brothers. I would love to read more about the Indian culture and religion
I recently went to Malaysia and have discovered that my father wrote 11 books on
Christ I think the Catholic Church at that time was against my father for
publishing the books on Christ and Krisha. He translated portions of the
Upanishad and found many mantras. Apparently his treatise is in the National
Indian Archives. He may have used his own name here -Silas Naidu Anthony. He
attended a seminary in Bangalore - I am not sure which one. It is either St.
Peter's or St. Joseph's.
I would be very interested if you can assist me with locating information about
these books. I was told that the university of Kolkata may have.
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa
Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: email@example.com
Director: Dr. Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Staff: Mr. Sunil Mondol and Debu Mondal.