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Goethals News Bulletin
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 participants.

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 address.

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.

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Cricket

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 question.

“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’ heads.

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 1998!

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 in money.
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

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New Arrivals

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, 2004.

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 Publication, 2007.

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, 2003.

Sri Caitanya’s Vaisnavism and its sources, by Sinha K. P, Punthi Pustak, Kolkata, 2001.

Symphony of Progress, Eastern Railway, 2003.

The Philosophy of Vivekananda by Jhanji Rekha, Aryan Books International, New Delhi, 2007.

Tribal Culture of North-East, by Choudhury Kamal Narayan, Punthi Pustak, Kolkata, 2003.

World Peace, by Chattopadhyay Santi Nath, Punthi Pustak, Kolkata, 2001.

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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.

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Mails & EMails

Thank you for the interesting news we receive regularly from you.
Archives BML
, 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.
Fr. Sunil Rosario, Kolkata.

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 and Christianity.

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.
Catherine Britt, Australia.

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Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: goethals@vsnl.com  Web-site: www.goethals.in 
Director: Dr. Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Staff: Mr. Sunil Mondol and Debu Mondal.

 

 
 

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