Readers’ Response/Opinion

The Right to Live in Our Homes

Thank you for ‘Clock is ticking for the UK over Charges” by Dr Sean Carey (22 July 11) – another superb instalment in that unfolding saga.

Yet those who have watched, and enjoyed, the ‘Yes, Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minster’ series – British or Indian – must be permitted to wonder whether ‘undoubtedly clever civil servants’ are the ones who should be deemed to be mainly at fault, allowing bamboozled ‘often inexperienced ministers’ to claim ‘pas moi sa, li sa!’. Come on: Jack Straw? David Miliband? And…?

Professor J. Manrakhan

* * *

Environment and Religion: ‘Prayer
ardent opens heaven’

The environment has been created by God for the well-being of the people. So, we are living in a divine environment. Simply speaking, the environment is our surroundings. It comprises the land, mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, air, forests, etc, and it includes humans. Man has been allowed to make use of all materials pertaining to the environment to satisfy his needs.
Since the beginning of time, in the performance of religious services, man has made use of materials drawn from the environment. For example, during services in temples and elsewhere, the officiating priests make use of flowers, leaves, fruits, water and other natural ingredients. Some ceremonies are performed near rivers, lakes and the sea. During the Maha Shivaratree festival, pilgrims from every nook and corner of the island walk up to the sacred lake at Ganga Talao to perform religious rites and collect the sacred water to be poured on the Siva Lingum.
During the Cavadee festival, the devotees attend the banks of rivers, lakes, and the sea to take the sacred bath and perform their religious rites. The Cavadee that they carry on their shoulders is a structure that represents nature. It is constructed using wood, flowers, fruits, leaves, etc,.
Mountains occupy a very important place in religions. Lord Shiva’s main abode is the peak of Mount Kailash where He dwells and supervises all our actions and showers on us His blessings. Lord Jesus Christ has delivered one of His sermons on the mountain where He declares: “The humble men are very fortunate for the kingdom of heaven is given to them.” One of the abodes of Lord Muruga is the mountain at Palani where thousands of devotees throng to receive His blessings. The great temple of gold dedicated to Lord Mahavishnu is situated on top of the seven hills at Tirumala, India.
All the above examples are an illustration of the spiritual nature of the environment. That is why we have a sacred duty to protect and preserve our environment.

Actually we note with much concern that our environment is in a desperate situation. Our land, water, and atmosphere have become heavily polluted as a result of industrial and other developments. Climate change is giving rise to catastrophic situations across the globe. In some countries there is widespread flooding and in others there is severe drought.
Mauritius is actually facing its worst severe drought ever. Environmental experts in the developed countries, inspite of their tremendous efforts, are unable to redress the situation. Many international conferences and workshops are being held to address these environmental issues, but there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
The situation is worsening because people across the globe are not willing to change their mode of living and their attitude towards the environment. They are becoming more and more materialistic and greedy. So, in order to save our environment from utter destruction, we have to adopt a new attitude — a spiritual one. We have to lead a less  materialistic way of life. We have to stop plundering our natural resources to satisfy our greed. Our environment is sacred and it deserves our respect and protection. We should start praying and ask for God’s mercy. Prayers should be at the centre of all our actions aiming at preventing an environmental disaster. As it has been said: ‘Prayer ardent opens heaven.’ God is an ocean of mercy. So, He will never leave our prayers unanswered. 

Meghanaden Naghen
Associate Member, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, London

* * *
Hétéro-, Homo-sexualité

A « ceux qui sont pour la Justice » (Mauritius Times, No 3116), je dois dire que j’avais fait ressortir que j’allais considérer le côté biologique, médical et social de l’homosexualité. Je laisse la considération de l’aspect religieux à d’autres. En passant, il me paraît que l’Eglise catholique avec le Vatican soit un bon « punching bag ».

L’hétérosexualité de l’espèce humaine fait partie de la Nature, de l’ordre des choses et sa pratique normale doit être respectée. Les désordres dans sa pratique comme les viols et les crimes sexuels sont, je suis totalement d’accord, à proscrire et à punir, de même que la pédophilie, la sodomie et la zoophilie.

La procréation médicalement assistée n’est pas sans problèmes, la discussion à ce propos prendrait plusieurs colonnes et abuserait probablement de l’hospitalité du journal.

Vous dites : « Les véhicules causent beaucoup de morts, de blessés et d’accidents sur la route ». Avec tout le respect que je vous dois, je voudrais faire ressortir que vous faites fausse route et que les responsables de ces accidents sont des humains, et non pas des machines. Ce sont, entre autres, ces humains non-disciplinés qui n’observent pas le code de la route, ces motocyclistes qui ne respectent pas les passages pour piétons, même s’il est évident que d’autres automobilistes s’arrêtent pour eux, ces humains qui ne maintiennent pas leur véhicules en bon état, les autorités qui n’assurent pas le bon état des routes et des panneaux de signalisation, qui placent des arrêts d’autobus trop près d’un tournant, ceux qui ne contrôlent pas suffisamment l’alcoolisme ou le téléphone mobile au volant, etc.

Vous dites aussi : « Donc il faut interdire ces aliments-là », en vous référant à « certains aliments et ‘fast food ». Là aussi, je dois dire que c’est leur mauvaise habitude alimentaire qui est à blâmer, pas ces aliments eux-mêmes.

« Les épices peuvent être une source de maladies comme l’ulcère de l’estomac ». Voilà une affirmation qui fait partie de la croyance d’une bonne partie du corps médical du siècle passé. Tous les médecins savent maintenant que l’ulcère de l’estomac est dû à ce microbe, Helicobacter pylori ; cette découverte ayant été récompensée par un Prix Nobel récemment. Vous faites bien de condamner la gourmandise. Cependant, est-ce la quantité de nourriture consommée qui est à blâmer ?

Je suis tout à fait d’accord pour l’interdiction totale du tabac et le contrôle plus strict, plus assidu de l’alcool, mais qui ira ‘bell the cat », ce « fat cat » qui collecte tant en termes de taxes ?

Pour conclure, ce qui est en question, c’est le mauvais usage des instruments, des facilités etde nos organes, sexuels inclus, qui est en question.

Dr François Saw Lan Ip
Port Louis

* Published in print edition on 29 July 2011

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