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Dr Mar Seraphim on Kuwait visit for X’mas, New Year, Epiphany

KUWAIT CITY : Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Bengaluru Diocese, travels to Kuwait for the Yeldo and Denaha Feast at the St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Safat, Kuwait.

The visit from December 19, 2011 to January 7, 2012, will see the Metropolitan leading the Christmas and New Year services at the St Gregorios Maha Edavaka.

The itinerary also includes services at the St Thomas Indian Orthodox Syrian Church, Ahmadi and ecumenical meets.

This will the first visit of Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim after his enthronement as a Metropolitan. Metropolitan had earlier visited as a Vicar (Fr V M Abraham) in his capacity as MGOCSM General Secretary. A meeting of the MGOCSM has been planned on December 23, Friday.

On New Year day, Dr Mar Seraphim will lead a retreat and ‘Get Together’ at the St George Chapel, Abbassiya, from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm.

Dr Mar Seraphim will depart for Kuwait City from Bengaluru International Airport (BIAL) on December 19, Monday morning by an Emirates flight. After a four-hour transit halt at the Dubai International Airport, the Metropolitan will reach Kuwait International Airport only by evening.

The St Gregorios Orthodox Parish, Managing Committee and Members have made elaborate arrangements to extend a warm welcome and a comfortable stay during his visit.

Diocese News Features News

A broken and contrite heart as gift to Jesus for Christmas: Dr Mar Yulios

‘Let us make ourselves worthy to be the spotless gift to baby Jesus’
‘Remain holy, sinless and give ourselves to the Lord’
Celebrate feast of Martyrdom of St Thomas with Holy Qurbana on Dec 21

AHMEDABAD : Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Yulios, Metropolitan, Ahmedabad Diocese, has urged the faithful to observe three days fast from December 18-21, with special devotion and prayers to remember St Thomas, great founder Father of Christianity in India.

In a Bull No 89, dated December 7, 2011, issued from Ahmedabad, Dr Mar Yulios has called to celebrate the feast of the martyrdom of St Thomas with a Holy Qurbana on December 21 after 3 days of fasting.

On Christmas and birth of Jesus, His Grace notes that the birth of a child is always an occasion of happiness. “We have always overwhelming joy to watch a newborn. It is the innocence and sinless nature of a newborn that makes us joyous. Christmas recalls the occasion of the birth of our Lord, the second person of the Holy Trinity, who became a child!”

This God-child is fully identical with any other human child (Hebrews 4:15), but remained holy and knew no sin (II Cor 5:21). St Peter describes this child as ‘a lamb without blemish or defect’ (I Pet 1:19).

And the same child would exhort us to remain sinless throughout our lives. This is from where Christmas draws its depth and profundity. Nativity of our Lord is the season that calls us to remain holy and sinless. And the reward of being sinless is the Kingdom of Heaven, the eternal happiness with the angels, saints and all glorified departed.

The Metropolitan notes that we all are inherently happy to give gifts and presents to newborn children. The Holy Bible proclaims Magi from the far-east undertook an adventurous travel to present precious gifts to the new born baby Jesus. What will be the gifts that we would give to baby Jesus this year? Let us give ourselves to the Lord as gifts by being sinless during this Christmas and thereafter.

Just as Psalmist says, ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise’ (Psalm 51:17). Let us give to the baby Jesus a broken and contrite heart that hastens towards holiness as our sincere gift during this Christmas season.

St Paul portrays the Church as without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:27) and let us make ourselves worthy to be the spotless gift to the baby Jesus!


Diocese News Features News

Mathikere St Gregorios is the best choir, lifts K O Koshy Memorial Trophy

St Mary’s Orthodox Valiapally, Jalahalli is runner up
Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim compliments MGOCSM, OCYM
“You are not the future leaders, you are the present leaders. Let us continue this spiritual journey”

BENGALURU: St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Mathikere has emerged as the best choir among all Orthodox churches in the Bengaluru Diocese and lifted the K O Koshy Memorial Trophy.

In a fierce competition, favourites St Mary’s Orthodox Valiapally from Jalahalli, had to content itself in the second spot as runner up.

The musical extravaganza titled Zamar 2011 was held at the Christ University campus on December 18, Sunday, with leading playback singer K G Markose as chief guest.

In fact it was double whammy for the young Mathikere Church choristers. The previous night they bagged the First Prize in Shantharathri, a contest organised by Youth Movement of Jacobite Church.

As winners, Mathikere Church was awarded the annual K O Koshy Memorial Rolling Trophy and took home a cash prize of Rs 5,000. Jalahalli Valiapally as runner up got Rs 3,000.

The 16-member winning Mathikere Church choir consisted of Anish Cherian, Abraham P John, Shenoy Mathai, Biju Thankachan,Shibu Mathew, Libin, Sino, Cyril, Joji, and Ciji. The female group had Anitha Mathew, Anju George, Anu, Siji George, Soumya and Sibi.

Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Bengaluru Diocese, in his presidential address hailed the hard work by the MGOCSM, OCYM volunteers towards making the competition a success and ringing in the Christmas season.

Earlier, the Metropolitan lighted the traditional lamp to begin the musical programme.

Dr Mar Seraphim wrote on Facebook: “God has made Zamar 2011 a great success. Let all glory goes to Him. On the other hand he used Rev Fr Saji Daniel, Ajith George, Aaron Mathew, MGOCSM and Youth members of Marthahalli Mar Baselios Church and other Bangalore youth members as instruments. And they responded to His call and Zamar 20011 became a memorable one. As the Diocesan Metropolitan, I thank you all for the dedicated service for the success of Zamar. The presence of Mr K G Markose, the priests of Bangalore city, senior members and well wishers of MGOCSM and Youth Movement added beauty to this event. I hope that we will continue this spiritual journey together. I am really proud of the youth of Bangalore Diocese. You are not the future leaders, you are the present leaders.”

In the end it was a great show by all the teams which put in their best efforts. Mention must be made of Bangalore Orthodox Choir with outstanding efforts of choir leaders Johnson Joseph and Roby.

Congrats also to Mar Baselios Youth, Marthahalli which hosted the event. Mathew John and team from their church strove hard to make it a success. K R Puram Church made their debut at Zamar from this year.

With this the curtain has come down on an eventful year-long event of the Diocese which began with Youth Lenten Retreat and included Bible Study Training, Cultural Day, Leadership Camp, Charity Month, Annual Conference, First Annual Sports and rounding off with Zamar.

MGOCSM and OCYM Vice President, Fr Saji Daniel along with office bearers, vicars of all Bengaluru diocese parishes and other spiritual
organisations did a commendable job in conducting the programmes throughout the year. The OCYM & MGOCSM also handed over a charity fund to the Eluru Mission (AP), a charity project of the Diocese on the occasion.

OCYM members feel that the stupendous and flawless event of such a magnitude has definitely raised the bar for next year’s Zamar.



Church News Features News

Fr Shaji Mukadiyil Baby – New Finance Director for Parumala Hospital

PARUMALA: Fr Shaji Mukadiyil Baby is appointed as the new Finance Director of Parumala Hospital. He replaces Rev Fr Alexander Koodarathil.

Fr Shaji Baby was former Vicar of Muscat Maha Edavaka from 2004 to 2008 and was a priest at Kolkata Diocese. It was during his tenure as Vicar that LL Dr Stephanos Mar Theodosius passed away in Muscat in 2007.

Achen is qualified with a post graduation in MSW and MA.

He is a resident of Mukadiyil House, Mathoor PO, Pathanamthitta in Kerala.

Fr Shaji is a good organizer, able administrator with attention to detail.
Achen lives with his spouse, Jeena Shaji and children Shiji Mariam, Stoffel Baby Varghese

Santhosh Mukadiyil, secretary of St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Philadelphia is the brother of Fr. Shaji M Baby

Church News Features News

Dr. Joshua Mar Nicodimos released the Book ‘Sneha-Samvedanam’ at Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA: Dr. Joshua Mar Nicodimos released the Book ‘Sneha-Samvedanam’ written by Fr. Johan Thomas Karingattil on Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at St.Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Philadelphia as part of celebrating Mar Osthathios’ 94th birth day.

After the Holy Qurbana, Joshua Mar Nicodimos released the book by handing over the first copy to Fr.M.K.Kuriakose, the vicar of Philadelphia St. Thomas Church.

Mar Nicodimos reminisced Mar Osthathios, the great teacher, theologican and social reformer who was his teacher at the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. As an outspoken person, Mar Osthathios was always a spokeperson for the poor and the downtrodden.

Fr. M. K. Kuriakose while introducing the book to the public remembered Mar Osthathios, his own teacher, as a dedicated leader and reformer who answered all questions that touched human life. The book is the result of a personal interview with Mar Osthathios by Fr. Dr. John Thomas Karingattil. Many pertinent questions regarding faith, social injustice, women issues, etc. are dealt with in the 100 pages book.

The US edition of this book was published by Indian Orthdox TV, Atlanta.


Features News Parish News

Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Jamshedpur Consecrated

JAMSHEDPUR: “Church is the body of Christ” said Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius, Metropolitan of the Diocese of Calcutta. The Metropolitan was speaking after the Consecration of the newly-built Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church at Kadma, Jamshedpur.

Consecration and dedication of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Jamshedpur, took place on November 25 and 26, 2011.

On Saturday, November 26th , 2011, Morning Prayer started at 6.30 a.m. sharp, followed by the second part of the Consecration including Holy ‘Qurbana’ (Mass), Procession and Benediction.

Metropolitan Joseph Mar Dionysius was the chief celebrant. Fr. .Geevarghese Ramban, Fr. P.T.Thomas, , Fr. Shaji Mukudiyil,, Fr. Jacob Skariah, Fr. T.S.Mathai, Fr. Joby Peter, Fr.Varghese Joshua, Fr.Shaji Joshua, Fr.John Jacob, Fr.Lijo, Fr.Aju.K.Varghese, Fr.Kurian, Rev.Toms Ninan assisted the Metropolitan in the consecration service.

The public meeting held in the evening from 5.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., also attended by a number of distinguished guests, was presided over by Metropolitan Joseph Mar Dionysius.

Most Rev.Felix Toppo Bishop Of Jamshedpur R.C Diocese, Dr. J. J. Irani, former M.D. & Director, Tata Steel, Mr.A.P.R. Nair, Chairman of Kerala Samajam School also spoke on the occasion. All the distinguished guests were thanked for their support and cooperation and felicitated by the Church by presenting of attractive mementos to them.

Fr. P.S.Varghese was honored for his exemplary leadership with a plaque. Plaques were also handed over to all members of the Construction Committee, the Managing Committee and the Souvenir Committee, and the building contractor Mr.Md.Zahoor, who completed the construction in record time. A Souvenir brought out on the occasion was released by the Metropolitan by handing over the first copy to the Chief Guest.
Melodious singing from the Sunday school students added color to the proceedings.

The Vicar, Fr.P.S.Varghese, welcomed the gathering K. S. Mathew, General Convener of the Consecration Committee, proposed the vote of thanks. Sam Mathew, Sheelu Sam and Liba Shibu were the masters of the ceremony.

Earlier, the Jamshedpur Parish accorded a grand reception to the Metropolitan in the traditional style with lighted candles and devotional hymns, on November 25, 2011. Fr. P.S.Varghese, the Vicar, welcomed the Metropolitan by handing over a lighted candle and the Metropolitan then lit the oil lamp.

To mark the commencement of the ceremony, Metropolitan Mar Dionysius cut the ribbon and entered into the newly-built Church, thereby declaring the Church is open to the goodness and to the humanity at large.


Speech by Dr.George Joseph at Pampakuda kudumbha samgamam

Speech by Dr.George Joseph at Pampakuda kudumbha samgamam
MTV Video

Articles Youth And Faith

Doubting Thomas

This author has often heard many a people, especially in the West, using the pejorative phrase ‘Doubting Thomas’ to address St. Thomas, one of the twelve Disciples of Christ. This sarcasm has often pained me for it refers to my forefather. The case in point is the outcome of the encounter of Christ with his well-beloved disciple St. Thomas after the resurrection. It seems to be a deliberate attempt on the part of the Western church to belittle St. Thomas, the patron saint of the Indian Church and the apostle of Christ to India. Was he a doubting person? Was he a kind of person with all sorts of negativity? Did Jesus Christ disdain or reprimand St. Thomas on his genuine doubt? To me, in fact, he was not so. He was indeed, I must say, a man of courage and quixotic. He can best be qualified for the title ‘Daring Thomas’ rather than ‘Doubting Thomas’.

The doubt of St.Thomas is described in the eastern orthodox tradition as “blessed”, for it was not a doubt of resistance to truth, but one that desperately desired a truthful answer –a “ doubt which gave birth to faith” –when the answer was revealed. In a hymn of the Orthodox Church, Christ says to Thomas, “Your doubt will teach my Passion and Resurrection to all,” and we affirm that his doubt “brought the hearts of believers to knowledge”. The conversion of Thomas’ doubt into faith led him to the clearest confession of Christ’s divinity, addressing Jesus as my Lord and my God. (St. John 20:28). Jesus’ meeting with St .Thomas happened to be a milestone in the history of Christianity. But for this glorious event, the world would not have known completely of the truth revealed to humanity through the incarnate Christ. The statement, “My Lord and My God”, from St. Thomas was so revealing. The Christian understanding of Christ’s divinity finds its fullness in this great proclamation of St. Thomas having looked at the risen Christ and hence it happens to be the tap-root of Christology. This profession of faith by St. Thomas turned out to be the key-phrase for the Nicene Creed formulated in 325 CE. On comparison, we can see that there is a degree of depth on theological understanding of the Person Christ in the proclamation made by St. Thomas (“My Lord and My God”)rather than the proclamation made by St. Peter(“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”) as recorded on Mathew 16:16.

We read from the holy Bible that St. Thomas dared to be outside when all other disciples hid themselves inside a closed room for fear of the Jews following the death of Christ(John 20: 19). He was, in fact, longing to have a deep and direct knowledge of his master by touching the nail prints on the palms of Jesus Christ for the reason that he might have been more kinaesthetic than auditory and visual.( In terms of Neuro- Linguistic Programming[NLP]). We all know that senses are the gateway to knowledge. Each person differs in their sense of perceptions. Some people comprehend something profoundly by way of touching rather than by merely seeing or hearing. The importance of using all senses is clear in the verses of St.John, the evangelist. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and declare to you that eternal life which was with the father and was manifested to us –that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his son Jesus Christ . And these things we write to you that your joy may be full” (1 John 1: 1-4).

By this very act of touching the wounds of Christ, St. Thomas got the complete healing for his whole being just like the woman who with the issue of blood had been healed( St.Luke 8: 43-48). It was to redeem us from the punishment of our sins that Christ, our Lord and Saviour, came to the world and bore our sins. “Christ himself carried all our sins in his body to the Cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that we have been healed”. (Isaiah 53:5, St.Matt8:17, I Peter 2: 24) But one must be receptive and must accept this Salvation of God. (Romans10:9). St. Thomas, in fact, was receiving that Salvation rendered by God by way of touching the crucified and risen Christ. Thus, he was giving us an example how we too can be healed by touching the body of Christ. And this is possible in the present time by touching in faith the holy things like the Altar, Cross, Oil, Priestly Vestments, Relics of Saints, etc in the Church.

With the analytical mind of a scientist, St.Thomas, after having made the observation and experiment, came to the inference that Christ was both full man and full God. This proves beyond doubt that the Christian faith on the resurrection of Christ is based not just on hearsay but a scientific truth leaving not even an iota of falsehood. But at the same time, it was with the innocence and inquisitiveness of an infant that St. Thomas approached the resurrected Christ. The ‘infant’ in him or his ‘child nature’, in terms of Transactional analysis, was curious of knowing the truth and exploring his surroundings. It was also the fulfilment of his prayer: “Send forth your light and you truth; let them guide me and bring me to your holy mountain and to the place where you dwell. Then I will come to the altar of God, to the God who makes glad my youth; I will give thanks to you with the lyre, O God, my God”(Psalm 43:3-4). Moreover, he might have believed that it was “in Him (Christ) dwells all the fullness of Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2: 9) and that it was necessary to go near Him to obtain mercy and grace. (Hebrews 4:16).

This event was, of course, an enrichment of the spirit of the human (Thomas) when the Spirit of the divine (the resurrected Christ) met him in the upper room at Jerusalem and melted into him. This episode obviously speaks of the nature of sensitivity of St.Thomas and the nature of tangibility or palpability (Tactus) of the resurrected body of Christ. In other words, this meeting was the reflection of a deep devotion of a devotee to the Divine. St. Thomas, as an ardent believer, aspired for a personal nexus with God so as to make their relationship stronger, perfect and lively. It is worth mentioning that the appearance of the risen Christ to His disciples for the second time was mainly and exclusively for St. Thomas proving that St.Thomas was so precious in the sight of the Lord Jesus and that He treated everyone equally. What the testimony of the women or the other disciples could not accomplish, the radiant presence of the Risen Christ must certainly have sufficed to do in an instant. St.Thomas was no longer the sceptic, the waverer (Jn14:5), the troubled man (Jn. 11:6). It was an entirely different man who confessed the divinity of Christ, and so wholeheartedly! His cry: “My Lord and my God!” was to be on the lips and hearts of countless future Christians in the presence of the Eucharist, the hidden but living God. St. Thomas’ words were the occasion for Jesus to give reassuring praise to the faith of those who ask for no tangible sign.

If we take these verses from the gospel of St.John chapter 20 for granted, there arises a question whether just he alone was a doubting disciple of Christ or was there someone else? What about St.Peter? How about St.John and the rest of all? (Read Luke 24:11, 38, John20:8). Even the priest Zechariah doubted (Luke1:18-20).

St. Thomas deserves to be respected for his faith. He may seem to be a doubter but his doubt had a purpose –he wanted to know the truth and to affirm his faith. He did not idolise his doubts; but gladly believed when given a reason to do so. He expressed his doubts fully and had them answered completely. Doubting was only his way of responding, not his way of life.

His commitment to his vocation is vivid in his venturing a voyage to the Far East. He came all the way from Jerusalem down to India for disseminating the gospel of Christ, and that too at a time when transportation facilities was not so advanced as that of today. It is worth mentioning that he has covered a vast geographical area as part of his mission work with the sole and noble intention of establishing the holy Church for and on behalf of our Lord Jesus. It is a notable fact that there was no one to accompany him or to assist him except the Spirit of God and that too he was having his herculean and tiresome journey all by himself. It is an astonishing fact that he made his marathon missionary journey covering a vast area starting from Jerusalem to Persia, to North India, then to South India and even to the shore of China. This was more than what St.Paul had done. And finally he became a martyr in South India for the sake of his Lord and God Jesus Christ. It is believed that St. Thomas during his missionary work in Persia happened to see the Magi (the wise men from the east who came to see baby Jesus) and baptised them into Christianity.

It is a pity that there is no one in the Christendom to acknowledge his great service rendered for the extension of the Kingdom of God. He is indeed worthy to be called the ‘Patron Saint of the Diaspora or the Immigrants’.

As an ardent disciple and a true follower of Christ, he paid the cost of discipleship by relinquishing his personal and earthly security like family and homestead. He even sacrificed the honour due to his parents which he was supposed to render to them. Luke 9:57-62, 14: 25ff speak in detail of the cost of discipleship.

History says that he was first brought to North India as an architect by the merchant Habban, precisely to the place called Taxila in 45 AD, where he converted many including the King Gondaphorus by his sincere and dedicated mission work. After that, he is believed to be taken back to Jerusalem in a whirlwind to have a last glimpse of the mother of God, St.Mary, following her demise. Tradition holds that before his arrival in Jerusalem, the holy body of St. Mary was transported to heaven by the angels. Seeing that glorious event, he prayed to St.Mary to bless him. And it is said that the girdle tied around her loin fell into his hands as a shower of blessing. That girdle is still kept as a holy relic of St.Mary with all reverence in a Syrian Orthodox Church in Holms.

Let us glance through the salient features of the person – St.Thomas.

1. St.Thomas, a man of immense courage and great philanthropist:

His courage was so immense that he spent all the resources which he got from the King, Gondaphorus, to get the Royal palace built. He showed the temerity in demanding the Emperor for more and more funds amounting to what he could spend on charity for the poor and the needy as if he was spending the whole sum for the cost of construction of the regal mansion. Prima facie, it seems to anyone as a sheer example of a deceptive deed, but his good intention, his concern for the poor, his prospective approach to his true calling, and his deep faith in God, all made it possible to have a fruitful result. We see in the biography of St. Thomas that God in a mysterious and quite a miraculous way setting and offering a beautiful abode in heaven for the resented king and thus saving St. Thomas from the edge of the king’s sword. This kind of his brave commitment for the cause of Christian mission is a good example for us to emulate for which he deserves great applause. He was an honest man who used his potentials and opportunities in a prudent way to accomplish his mission. If not an exaggeration, he was indeed the greatest Christian missionary whose contribution to the Church was so unique and extraordinary. But, quite unfortunately, this great personality has been shrouded in the clouds of parochial attitude in the history of Christianity.

2. St. Thomas, an obedient man of God who yielded to the values that he upheld:

Although our glimpses of St. Thomas are brief, his character comes through with consistency. He struggled to be faithful to what he knew, despite what he felt. At one point, when it was plain to everyone that Jesus’ life was in danger, only St. Thomas put into words what most were feeling, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (John11:16). And it is true that he did not hesitate to follow Jesus. This bold and inspiring statement from the unwavering mind of St. Thomas is an unwitting prophecy of his own future martyrdom. It was indeed a great revolutionary one. He was inspiring and exhorting his fellow disciples to be willing to pay off the cost of discipleship as envisaged by Christ our Lord. (Luke 14: 25-33). His later life story proves beyond doubt that it was not merely his figurative platitude, but, in fact, he lived on those words courageously; which teaches us of a fact that “A true Christian discipleship goes to the extent of martyrdom”. In simple terms, he walked on what he talked proving his identity and integrity. It also illustrates the path that all believers must take –that we die daily to the world for the sake of following Christ. (Luke 9:23-26).

“I am the way, the truth, and the life”. This perpetual word of promise from our Lord Jesus Christ was first revealed to St.Thomas. It is clear from the Bible that Christ, our Lord, had chosen 12 persons to be with Him, to be sent out for undertaking his mission of preaching, healing and exorcising (Mark 3:13) and further, in Mat 28:28, we see Christ sending the twelve out as part of His last commissioning. All of them were given equal authority on earth and in heaven, to bind and to unbind, to absolve the sin and to retain the sin. (Ref. St.John 28:18, St.Mat 20:23). The word ‘Apostle’ is a derivative of the Greek term ‘Apostolos’ which means “one who is sent for a specific purpose for and on behalf of with the same authority as that of the sender”. It was obvious that they were sent out with authority as Jesus himself was sent to this world with authority by his Father in heaven. Thus, we can be sure that St. Thomas too had the very same authority, privilege and right as that of every other apostle. There is no room for any sort of argument on the superiority or the inferiority attributed to any apostle such as the hierarchical supremacy of St. Peter on administrative matters and the intellectual supremacy of St. Paul on theological issues. To some, he may seem to be the last among the apostles, but it is a fact that he was not the least. To me, he is a coal turned into a diamond coruscating in the firmament of Christian history.

With every reverence, may I salute this great man of God who happens to be the founder and patron saint of Indian Orthodox Church! O Mother India! You are blessed for you carry on your soil the indelible foot prints of his holy man.

Diocese News News

Brahmavar St.Marys Cathdral ground becomes the center of attraction at State level sports meet


BRAHMAVAR: “Sports which evoke emotions play a major role in an individual’s growth. Winning and losing is just a part of the game which needs to be taken in sportsman spirit,” said Udupi zilla panchayat president Katpady Shankar Poojary.

He was speaking after inaugurating the state-level primary and high school students’ sports meet held at SMS Pre-University College, Brahmavar here on Saturday November 26,2011.

He further said that with government aid and help of generous donors such successful sports can be conducted more often. This sports meet has opened a new chapter in the history of Udupi district, he added.

The Sports Meet was organized under the aegis of the district administration, zilla panchayat, public education department of the district and SMS Pre-University College, Brahmavar.

District youth service and sports department assistant director Sitanadi Vittal Shetty delivered the key note address. DC Dr M T Reju, B S Anantha Nayak, zilla panchayat vice president Jyothi S Shetty, former MLA Basavaraj, taluk panchayat president Devdas Hebbar, pre-university education board director S S Shindha, Ashok Kumar Shetty, Karunakar Shetty among other eminent personalities were present as chief guests.

Arjuna award recipient, International sportsman S D Eshan lit the torch. He encouraged the children to participate more in sports which would help them to grow in a healthy manner.

MLA K Raghupati Bhat presided over the function. Bellary entrepreneur Gurme Suresh Shetty hoisted the flag. Brahmavar Sports Club president Dr Prakash Tholar received the honour(the salute).

SMS Pre-university College principal S Noronha welcomed the gathering. Aruru Thimappa Shetty, Sathishchandra Shetty, Susheela Rai compered the programme.

SMS College vice-principal B Srinivas Bhat, physical education director Chandrashekar Hegde, and Madhukar S among others co-ordinated in arranging the sports meet.

Prior to the stage program the dignitaries were welcomed with a spectacular procession. In the sports meet about 4,000 athletes from 34 districts across the state and 1,000 officers including umpires participate.

News sent in: Fr. Abraham Kuriakose

Features Gulf News

M. P. Samadani, the guest of honour at ocym meeting to mark 40th national day of the UAE

DUBAI: M. P. Abdussamad Samadani, was the guest of honour at the OCYM meeting to commemorate the 40th UAE National Day and to express solidarity with the movement in Kerala regarding the Mullaperiyar Dam on Dec.2, 2011.

A noted politician, Muslim scholar, orator, and a two-time member of Rajya Sabha, Mr. Samadani is now a Member of Legislative Assembly of Kerala. He is elected from Kottakkal, in Malappuram district. Quoting copiously from sources as varied as poet Iqbal’s Sare Jahan Se Acha and from the German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s view that respect for our fellow man is the basis of all religions, in his hour long speech, Mr. Samadhani emphasized the common heritage that all Indians have and the deep rooted ties between the UAE and India that have lasted over the centuries.

Samadani also talked about his longstanding ties with Christian leaders and with the orthodox church in particular. Values are essentially the same across different countries and different cultures with very slight variations depending on the location. All religious leaders including Christ and Prophet Mohammed have emphasized how important it is to treat our neighbor as we treat ourselves. Though religions are not one, they have a common language; that of love and respect for one’s fellow being and we should bear this in mind when it comes to the Mullaperiyar issue.

With the passage of years, man’s spiritual selves have become less visible with our carnal and more violent aspects coming to the fore. Mr. Samadani exhorted the audience to reawaken their spiritual selves and to return to their roots and to pass on the love for our very unique culture, language and heritage to the coming generation. He felt that both the Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments instead of politicizing the issue on a regional or party basis should keep the interests of the people at heart to reach an amicable settlement that would benefit everyone. It would be a crying shame to the federal system of government of India if a peaceful resolution of the Mullaperiyar issue cannot be brought about. In spite of small issues that have reared their heads on various occasions, India is known for its plurality and the peaceful coexistence of different communities, religions and cultures and we should all strive to maintain and develop this reputation.

Addressing the give and take relationship that has existed between the UAE and India for centuries, Mr Samadani talked about how Indians have contributed to the growth of the UAE as a nation right from its inception while the UAE has provided and continues to provide a livelihood for millions of Malayalees right from labourers to craftsmen to doctors, nurses, lawyers and teachers. He encouraged the members of the audience to remember that while we live in a foreign country, we are the ambassadors of our country here and should bring credit to our nation through our behavior and our work culture in the UAE.

After Mr. Samadani’s rousing speech, two resolutions were passed by the members of the OCYM; one presented by the secretary Reju. S. John pledging our commitment and support to the residents, citizens and the rulers of the UAE on the occasion of the 40th UAE National Day and one on the Mullaperiyar issue presented by the treasurer of the OCYM, Johnykutty Idiculla vowing support to the citizens of Kerala and the Kerala government and seeking a peaceful resolution of the Mullaperiyar issue.

The meeting concluded with a rendition of the national anthem.

News sent in: Manoj Thomas