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Our Church Should Launch Joseph M Puthuserry as an Independent Candidate in Thiruvalla

Our Church should launch Joseph M Puthuserry as an Independent Candidate in Thiruvalla
Time to Reconstitute Orthodox Congress

It is evident, UDF did injustice to our Church, the second largest Christian body of voters in Kerala, and it is visibly clear in denying Thiruvalla constituency seat to Joseph M Puthuserry, the sitting MLA of Kalooppara. In the present assembly, we had two members, Oommen Chandy (Congress) from Puthupaaly and Joseph M Puthuserry (Kerela Congress M) from Kalloopara. Traditionally both Thiruvalla and Kalloopara, belonged to Orthodox Church Candidates. During early days late Mr. P.C.Thomas, who was a member of our Paliakara Church, was the representative of Thiruvalla constituency for many years. After him, Mammen Mathai and Mathew T Thomas represented Thiruvalla, both from the Marthoma Church.

Joseph M. Puthussery is a prominent young political leader from Kalluppara St. Mary’s Orthodox Church. He was also elected three times as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (M.L.A) from the Kallooppara constituency in the year 1991, 2001 and 2006. He is the sitting M.L.A of the Kalloopara constituency and is a member of the Kerala Congress (M) group.

But in the case of Kalloopara, it completely belonged to Orthodox Church Candidates, at least for the last 30 years though. T.S.John and Joseph M Puthuserry (both are from Kaloopara Parish) represented Kallopara. However, due to the recent constituency resettlement, Kalloopara vanished away and became part of history. Now a lion part of former Kalloopara constituency has been attached to Thiruvalla. LDF offered the seat to the sitting MLA Mathew T Thomas, who is a member of Marthoma Church, whereas UDF denies seat to Joseph M Puthuserry, the beloved son of our Church. In fact, he deserves the Thiruvalla seat, which the UDF allottes to Victor Thomas, a member of Marthoma Church. This we cannot accept, because in both Thiruvalla-Kalloopara area, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has many Parishes and has a majority of voters in comparison to Marthoma Church. To substatnitate this, let the numbers talk: Orthodox Church has two main ancient Churches in this Constituency, namely, Palliakara Church and Kalloopara Valliapally and have more than 85 parishes in this area. Marthoma Church is playing power politics and in the recent years both UDF and LDF chooses candidates only from the Marthoma Church. Their plus point is that their headquarters is situated in Thiruvalla.

Clearly, it is time for us to change our political policy. If not, we cannot expect more than one member (Oommen Chandy from Puthupally) in the coming Kerala assembly. So we have to put pressure on both fronts. If we are not getting favor from these two fronts we have to launch independent candidates in at least 10 constituencies. Although our candidates may not win everywhere, we can exhibit our strength in these areas. But I think, in Thiruvalla we can win. Joseph M Puthuserry has a good reputation in this area, and in addition, Thiruvalla is the headquarters of the Niranam Diocese. If H.G.Christostomos Thirumeni and our all priests from Niranam and all our beloved Church members put their hands together and are united for this right cause and extend their support to Puthuserry he will surely win.

It is time to reconstitute Orthodox Congress, a movement of the eighties. Church should allow her members to actively participate in politics with explicit support and should stand as a mouth for the powerless. This kind of advocacy will improve the confidence of our people and it will be ultimately a benefit for our Church. Joseph M Puthuserry should courageously and confidently launch an independent candidacy in Thiruvalla. Our Church should extend our whole heated support and shower her abundant blessings upon her beloved son. Puthuseery, go ahead. You will have the support of your Mother Church. May the God bless you!

Fr. Thomas Philipose
A voter of Thiruvalla

37 replies on “Our Church Should Launch Joseph M Puthuserry as an Independent Candidate in Thiruvalla”

Being an ORTHODOX is a disqualification in politics?

Orthodox Church said that “no member of Orthodox Church should be neglected on the basis of his community affiliation”. Demands from certain religious communities have forced the UDF and LDF to set apart a good number of seats for them.

Being an ORTHODOX is a disqualification in politics? Had Mr.Joseph M. Puthussserry been a Roman Catholic, would Mani have denied seat to him? Mr. Puthussery is one of the best legislative member.

I feel we should give shock treatment to UDF in Thiruvalla, Chengannoor, Haripad, Mavelikara, Kottayam seats. In most constituencies, 3000-5000 votes are enough for a candidate to win or lose.

Thomas achen’s opinion is agreed to subject to upholding Holy Bible and Fore Fathers teachings.Church task in this world is GODs Kingdom reconstruction. This is our first and foremost priority. Holding this aim, we can ask our believers to participate politics to serve nation. Those who were attended Thiruvanthapuram meetiing and Alwaye , it is difficult to support LDF during this election. We have to take a judicious decision after prayer during this lent period. We pray to GOD to give us good mind and thoughts regarding this issue which shall have to get good appreciation during post election tenure

In my view it is high time for the Indian Orthodox Christians to launch a political party of its own in Kerala and this is the apt time to do that. Joseph Puthussery along with Church leaders should come forward and take that bold step.Shobhana George and Puthussery should contest from Chengannor and Thiruvalla respectively under the MALANKARA ORTHODOX CONGRESS banner and show the strength.
Whren Kerala Catholics launched KERALA CONGRESS several decades back, did anyone thought that it would become such a force in the Kerala Politics as it is now.Kerala Congress was an organised effort by the Catholics to show their strength in Kerala Politics and now people from all walks of life and all commumiites are members of that party and it has become a deciding factor in Kerala Politics.
In the beginning MALANKARA ORTHODOX CONGRESS may not win but can become a force eventually. Both Sobhana and Puthussery must contest as INDEPENDENTS or under the banner MALANKARA ORTHODOX CONGRESS now with the Church support and I am sure they can win .

I remember, a few weeks before, Mr. Thuklan Thambu, Secretary of Jacobite Church told Manorama Reporters that “Jacobite Church knows well as to what to do in the forthcoming Kerala Assembly Elections. They got clear vision and their candidates Mr. T.U. Kuruvila and T.M. Jacob are going to win the election. Mr. P.P. Thankachen is not contesting this time. Otherwise, they would have got atleast 3 MLAs and few Ministers!

What about Orthodox Church? Being an orthodox church member, I am ashamed to see the sorry state of affairs of this church! Its leaders and the church members have lost their vision. They are experts in saying so many things that they will do this and they will do that, but doing nothing! To me, Mr. Oommen Chandy cannot be considered as an Orthodox church representative and he is not trustworthy. Where are Joseph M. Puthussery and Sobhana George? Of late, it is heard that Joseph M. Puthussery is not ready to contest! Shobhana George is not seen anywhere!

In my opinion, the best way Orthodox church members should select is to vote for the LDF candidates. After all, at least 4 Orthodox church members are candidates in LDF assembly list!

why church is asking for seats?
if the purpose is to make social reforms and changes, church can do those without joining any political party.
Christ never asked for seats and never had any support but still our lord changed the world with his words and deeds.
Our church made remarkable achievement in northern states by helping others (macodia,yacharam,kunigal to name a few) and never had any support.
So when church intiate something new ,peoples follows and end result is big change.

We are still debating whether we should contest or not to contest., whether to support UDF or LDF. Inspite of the insults heaped on us , we are still debating endlessly. I can’t understand why we are limited by UDF /LDF. Its time we look at other alternatives like BJP. We can make strategic alliance with BJP for the benefit of our community and our Church. However for any venture to succeed adequate planning is required and just by issuing statements 10days before election , we will not get the desired results. On the contrary we will be just laughing stock in front of others. Also to succeed in the political field , it is paramount that we unify our people first before any loud announcements. We must be united first then rest will be easy.

Once again the question of political involvement in elections has cropped up. Once again, the pride of the orthodox masses has been brought up. Does any average orthodox person bother about such matters strictly as orthodox agenda? Or, is it another avenue for a few privileged persons to get ahead using “orthodox” as cover? Let me narrate two incidents how the Orthodox treats its own.
Decades ago, a poor pally mooppen (church caretaker) sent his son to post-graduation. After his son’s graduation, the mooppen approached the vicar to get his son to a lecturer post in a college run by the Church. The vicar thought he had the confidence of the Metropolitan. They both went to see the bishop. Metropolitan heard the story of the mooppen, how the family sacrificed to have the son educated. But the lecturer post would go to him only if the poor mooppen managed to bring in Rs. 75000/=. Thinking that his son at least would have a job, the poor chap mortgaged his only land possession and secured the required amount. With great anticipation, the vicar and mooppen again went to the Metropolitan with the money only to be told the post was given to an Ezhava who provided Rs. 5000/= more!
The second incident happened in the last UDF rule. One of our metropolitans wanted certain favour (on Church matter) from a minister. He and an achen who has some influence with the leaders went to see the minister. The minister, as usual, was surrounded by big and chotta leaders. There were two influential orthodox leaders in the crowd. Both of them dived from the scene, not even bothering to say a word to the metropolitan. Seeing the slight, some Catholic politicians approached the metropolitan, enquired about the purpose of his visit, took him to the minister and got what he wanted.
I am sure there are hundreds of such instances out there. Let us improve how we treat each other within our own community before complaining about how others treat us.

I totally agree with K T George, it’s a good observation. Let us get better the way how we treat our members and then think of how we are treated by others. When an Orthodox Xi’an candidate tries for a job in our school or colleges is the church giving them an opportunity without getting donation in lakhs? If the answer is a big NO, I do agree we have to join together and fight for the ignorance by the political parties.

HG Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos in his Kalpana to youth rightly pointed how an Orthodox faithful should treat Election candidates.HG exhorts:-“We are now fast approaching Assembly Elections.St. Mathew Ch.10;18 tells us to be wise like serpents and be innocent like doves. We must prayerfully and cautiously avoid those candidates who work against Church and prevent justice to its genuine rights and needs.Be vigilant to the instructions from Church hierarchy which shall be conveyed to the faithful at the appropriate times.”

Church should not play politics but responsible politicians who get unconditional support from Church , should not play ‘politricks’ with the Church.

Dr.Vinu Thomas,dubai, commented in ICON

When Mr. Joseph Puthusseri have got no guts and backbone to contest as an Independent candidate, I fail to understand why the Orthodox church people should be after him?

It is heard at last that Mrs Shobhana George is an independent candidate from Chengannur, supported by Orthodox church members. Good! But it is to be seen whether she will withdraw her nomination at last moment, owing to the pressure from Oommen Chandy & others!

I wonder why no sincere and trustworthy youth from Orthodox church who have got some love for this church, are not ready to come forward and contest as Independent candidates for the sake of this church?

It seems Mr Puthussery has fallen for some offers from Mani. I think we need not take teh trouble of supporting these gutless who seek our help and then desert us.

What we need to do is to train young me who develop leadership skills, moral vallues and courga based on Orthodoxy. The Church should begin an institute in New Delhi for this purpose.

We need to develop some theology for participating in social service and political activism. Now our church seems to be divided on certain aspects and role of church in politics.

We have three more years as Lok Sabha elections will be held after 3 and half years.

We should have an institute for social, political, media, public relations related to Theology and Christian studies. This institute should come up in New Delhi

Dear all
We must vote for our sabha members who is contesting as independents even. At Niranam, there is a campaign started for Vote “Niranam Rajan”, who is a member of Niranam Valiyapally (St.Mary’s Orthodox Church)

I totally agree with the observation of Mr. KT George. Lot of our church members might have experienced such high handed behaviours. We never care for our fellow members , we are ready to sell all our vacancies in our establishments to anyone who offer more money. In fact, when comparing with Malankara Catholics or Marthomites, we do not have many institutions as well. We need to grow much more . Please do not bring church to politics. A learned priest is writing this kind of article is disheartening. I will not vote according to the wishes of orthodox church. I am sure a majority of us will not do so, yes, we can apply our mind on these issues wisely, but not dictated by anyone.

Eventhough I share the feelings of Fr.Thomas Philipose and Punchakonam achen,I totally dis agree to having Orthoodx candidates for some selected constituencies. Malankara Orthodox church is more than a political party. Of course we should have concern and opinion of political matters. I have few thoughts about this subject. Is the UDF the only party ignored Orthodox politicians. What about the other political parties. When advocating for Sobhana George and Joseph Puthusserry or any other politcian for candidature, do you think they are the real representatives of the church. There were situations when the church needed political help . I am not sure any politician ever came up in the church side. When the Orthodox church members including priests were lathi charged at Thiruvananthapuram no political leader (belonged to the orthodox church) ever published a statement. I know many times our Cahtolicoses wrote recomendation letters for many people for various matters many politicains even the orthodox political leaders didnt give any value. So instead of supporting some candidates we must support and help the talented leaders to grow. We have so many political leaders in our church. There are Managing committee,working committe and various other committees like Corporate School Mangement Governing body, College Governing Body etc. How many of our orthodox political leaders are in the committees. We should nominate some of them in these committees. First acknowledge them our support and expect their loyalty and then support them. Let the political parties know that they are our leaders.
Now a days our church priests have become Event Managers. Our main agenda has become to conduct public meetings processions etc. In all these first confirm the presence of a minister MLA and MP then we approach the Catholicose or bishop . We value the presence of a minister or MLA more than a bishop. In many of our public meetings in churhes dioceses and even at Devalokam it is a stage for the political leaders. We must value our bishops more than ministers . Copare the value media is giving to NSS General Secretary SNDP Secretary and Catholicose.The political parties approach NSS SNDP secretaries or catholic bishops while our bishops approach thepoliticians instead. It is mainly because we ourselves give more imprtance to political leaders than thirumenies. and Also we have witnessed mny times that achens thirumanis and some leaders try to get personal favour from politicians instead of getting a favour for the church. The politicians usually experts to manipulate from the situatins. So basically we must show our bargainig power and should create some loyal orthodox leader in politics and support them.

The believers should make out the hidden agenda of our church leaders and all they bargain for themselves not for us. This is the time to think ourselves, if the church leaders are ready to provide jobs in colleges or schools to the members in the church without donation in lakhs. No for sure then what is the point to say that the leaders are fighting for the members in the church they don’t have the right to say like that. So the point here is the Bishops and leaders will lecture something and will do something else and say all in name of God.

Ommen Chandy is one of the Orthodox politician who is a staunch believer and who helped our church in so many ways. But many people are not aware of what he has done for the church. So many of our bishops and priests and layity received personal favours from him as a political leader. When ever the church needed he was there. As a national leader he has limitations. Now every body considers him as a national politician without siding any particular group. He has to be beyond criticism from the public as an Orthodox activist. Once he is identified as an Orhtodox politician standing only for the Orthoodx people the present Ommen Chandy will not be there. His position will be changed to a communal leader . Then he will not be able to do what he is doing now. But many of our people mis understood him and criticised him. He is more religious and leads a better spiritual and moral life than many of us. His day starts with prayer with his whole family at 5 am. Even when he is not able to attend the church service he lights a candle at a shrine and prays on sundays. We have to undestand how busy he is. I experienced some of our othodox political leaders ignoring the presence of even our bishops. But once a priest or bishop approaches Oommen Chandy he will stand up and show his reverence. I have great respect for him and his family .

Church has to devote its time to enrich the believers to stand for the Lord .It is not the duty of the church to play any role in the dirty politics.Atleast help the orthodox believers to have a steadfast faith in the Lord


Fr. Daniel Pullelil wrote: <<< Also we have witnessed many times that achens thirumanis and some leaders try to get personal favor from politicians instead of getting a favor for the church<<<

In essence, this is what is happening behind the scene. The political leaders are crooks to exploit any such situations. Should we subject ourselves to this type of political game? Think about it.

I fully agree with Leny when he says: Church has to devote its time to enrich the believers to stand for the Lord. Does the Church fulfil its duty to spiritually nourish us? There are leaders in priestly class who are more interested in party politics and event management than honestly engaging in real spiritual mission.

When we take care of each other in our community and grow spiritually, others will respect us and seek leaders from our community. There are parishes in our Church where problems are solved not by the Church hierarchy but by the courts. Simple problems are not solved in time and they multiply into complex problems in course of time. When you write to the Church hierarchy about problems, the leadership does not even acknowledge your complaint lest about solving it. I know about a parish where the priest enjoys sharing confession secrets to his cronies and taking delights from his dirty habit. The matter was raised up to the spiritual head. Not an iota of action taken against the priest and as result some people at least are denied their spiritual need of truthfully confessing before a priest. When we ignore the needs of our own people, we lose the moral right to ask others to respect us and give us political or other privileges. Even if we get those privileges, only the few people close to the top would be benefited and they share the spoils of power among their own.

Many people advocate that we field independent Orthodox candidates and show our strength to the political brass. It is a frog-in-the-well proposition. Let us face the facts. We are about 20 lakhs in a population of 12210 lakhs in India – which works out to be 0.16% of Indian population. What scare can we impart to the all India leadership? I have a feeling we will have more than one orthodox candidate fighting against each other in the same constituency. Let us also face another fact. There is at present no leader like the great Kallasserry Bava who could inspire us with his Kalpanas – no disrespect to the current leadership.

Let us listen to Christ and live to his ideals. The greatest Christian ever lived in India is dead – Mahatma Gandhi. The greatest Orthodox sympathiser living in Kerala languishes in a jail now – Balakrishna Pillai; let us pray for him. We get more help from leaders like Pillai than from our own.

I strongly disagree with those who ever plead that the Malankara Orthodox Church should not exert any political interest in Kerala. To me, like any other Christian community in Kerala, ( Roman Catholics, Marthomite, Jacobite, etc.), Malankara Orthodox Church should have its say in the rule of the State. The church is always duty bound to protect its own wealth and to look after the interests of its own population. The church properties should be protected and its freedom and independence should be honored! It is in this context, the church requires political support! Without extending support, how can one take support from others and from whom?

To all those who oppose the church interference in politics, may I ask a few questions :

(1) Where were you when many of our church priests and innocent church
members were mercilessly lathi – charged a few years back at
Trivandrum for leading a rally, while demanding justice for the

(2) Why not the main culprit (Jacobite priest) in ‘Malankara Varghese’ murder
case is not yet arrested by CBI and brought before justice?

(3) Why not some of the court verdicts in favour of Othodox church are not yet
implemented by the ruling Government?

Some of the friends are of the opinion that we are just only 20 lakhs in a population of 12210 lakhs in India! Why we should go to India now? Let us think of Kerala first! These 20 lakhs population is a deciding factor and can tilt the balance in favor of any ruling coalition in Kerala! Especially, when the fight is going to be very tough this time and the winning candidates lead is expected to be in between 5000 to 10,000 votes!

Some of our friends assume that we are a united group of people working for common benefit. The message of my earlier post and that of many others is that we are not a cohesive group working for the common cause, but some in our group work for the benefit of themselves. Two million people ( we are definitely more than 1 million) in a population of 1221 million cannot do much locally if this group is a divided entity. This group cannot command the respect of the national leadership unless we have a leader of national calibre – which we do not have. The reasons for this state of affairs are many, but one common trait is that we do not respect each other. The so called leaders in our community work for themselves. The ego derived from misguided family superiority complex inhibits growth beyond the inner circle. There is a general decline in the quality of ecclesiastical leadership at Church level – that respecting commanding voice is missing. Corruption permeates in the system in many ways.

Some argue that we field independent candidates to show our strength. Who decides those candidates? In the last layman trustee election, two from the same family contested. So if someone is to be fielded in a constituency, what is the guarantee that he/she will not be opposed by another for whatever reason? We will then become a more laughing stock in public life. You cannot order the faithful to field only one candidate because that commanding voice is absent in the community. That commanding voice cannot be the Catholicose because he cannot enter into party politics.

Remember, SNDP tried and failed. NSS tried and failed. Both organizations are much more powerful and coherent than ours. Both these organizations are community organizations and now are said to keep a policy of equal distance from both left and right front. Or, they work in such a way that their interests are looked after the best way possible. Ours is a Church; its mission is different from mere community organizations. Our approach to politics will be scrutinized differently in our secular democracy.

The better way is to develop leaders from within our ranks who can look after our interests without being perceived to be too narrow minded. We need to have local and national leaders. We used to have leaders like Dr. John Mathai, C. M. Stephen and E. John Jacob etc. who commanded our respect. Follow their example.

About the lathi-charge and other Jacobite related events: I think we should abandon this Jacobite phobia from our mind. It is getting too distractive if not destructive. Are we entering politics to avenge those injustices? Then we enter into another wrestling rink with the opposing politicians. The image of the whole community will then be further tarnished because of the way politics work in India. Were E. John Jacob alive at the time, I think he would not have allowed the priests to demonstrate like political mass in front of the secretariat. He would have known the danger that would befall. He would have led the movement himself with the faithful and achieved the result with the priests spared. We need leaders like him. What we now have are leaders who enjoy the benefit of sacrifices by the masses rather than leaders who have the class of sacrificing for the masses.

This refers to some of the observations made by Mr. K.T. George on my comments about the Police lathi-charge at the Trivandrum Orthodox Rally few years back and other Jacobite related events. Mr. George profess that ” I think we should abandon this Jacobite phobia from our mind. It is getting too distractive, if not destructive”. Are we entering politics to avenge those injustices?

I would like to simply answer that only those persons and their families who have undergone/ are still undergoing sufferings at the hands of the Jacobite faction, particularly those Orthodox faithful at North Kerala (Piravom etc) ; would only knew what does the above statement means. In order to get an appropriate answer, we should ask this question to the orphaned family members of :- ( 1) Late Mr. Varky Varghese (Aana Pappy – body guard of St. Vattasseril Thirumeni – who was murdered 100 years ago (2) Late Mr. Malankara Varghese – who was murdered few years back by the Jacobite goondas and all others those who have laid down their lives to upheld the freedom of Malankara Orthodox Church. The list also includes this writer, who underwent stone throwing attack at the hands of ‘Antioch Bhakthans’ at Chingavanam, on his way to attend the 1974 Catholicate Day Rally held at Kottayam.

To all others, those who profess ‘Eccuminism’ and who ‘sits at glass houses’ ; always becomes hard and difficult to understand what does it mean!

>>>>>He stated: “We are also proud to note that our National Ecumenical Movement is going to observe its centenary in 2014; it is a great honour for all Indian Christians to be part of one the most ancient ecumenical movements. As you cross these important milestones, we pray to God to shower His guidance and strength to make this movement more vibrant and extend our support in strengthening the Indian Ecumenical Movement.”<<<<<<<<<

This is an exceprt of the speech given by HH Bava Thirumeni at Nagpur on April 8, 2011, which appeared on the Herald under 'News'.

Is he also "sitting at glass houses'?

Of late, when I invited my brother-in-law, who happened to be a Mar Thoma Church priest to attend the holy communion at our Orthodox Church, he answered that he don’t have permission from his church leaders to do so! He went on to add that no Orthodox priest can also take part in their holy communion too; as both the churches don’t accept each others holy communion! It is only with prior permission from higher ups, the priests from both these churches, can take part in some joint X’mas celebrations and or gospel conventions! This is the case with Roman Catholic and other priests too!

If this is the real situation today , I fail to understand what great milestone has been achieved by the 100 years old Indian Ecumenical Movement! I do recollect the saying of ‘someone great’ , who has compared the Indian Ecumenical Movement to a motor car, which always runs in a circle! So, in my humble opinion, the readers question “Is he also sitting at glass houses” should be directly addressed to our HH Bava Thirumeni!

This is a ridiculous argument by Achan. It is a wrong nation to say that only an orthodox MLA can do justice to orthodox community. If all the Hindus of India think the same way then Manmohan singh and Sonia Gandhi would not be occupying the positions they are hoding now. People like you should remember that India is a secular country.By making these ridiculous arguments,you are only helping the cause of BJP,and Some Muslim fundamentalist groups.It is high time we stopped discussing the caste of our politicians and concentrate rather on the contributions they are doing to the society and vote according to the merit. Let anyone become our CM or Minister or MLA,etc -merit alone should be the criteria. It is unfortunate that educated people like you are taking such a narrow and absurd stand.May god bless you

Puthussery is having a bounded duty to stand line with UDF because he enjoyed the fruits of UDF from 1991 onwards. But he joined hand with CPM and created the unpleasant situations on the last assembly election to weaken the Orthodox member to becoming the C M our state……………. Sri Oommen Chandy is the secular face of the U D F.
The sole territorial potion of the of the old Thiruvalla constituency including Thruvalla Municippality and 9 panchayats are within the newly constituted Thiruvalla and so itself it can not be considered as the part of old Kallooppara. More over thOnly because of the inefficiency of Puthusserry as the sitting MLA, Kallopppara constuecy merged with Aranmula, Ranny and Thiruvalla. Now only 5 Grama panchayats (puramattam, kalloppara, mallappally, anicadu and kunnamthanam) only merged in Thiruvalla and he can not claim for Thiruvalla.

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