All posts by Rajdeep Banerjee

Birth of Jesus of Nazareth: How it changed the world



And the angel answered and said unto her,
The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,
and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:
therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee
shall be called the Son of God

                                                Luke 1:35 (King James Version)

Christianity is a religion spanning twenty centuries of history. Christianity started as a tiny group within Judaism and was almost inconsequential for many centuries. Such a small group transforming into a world religion spanning across all continents is nothing less than a miracle!The variety of sects within Christianity show the diversity of the religion. Many prominent groups such as Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, Anglican, Prebyterian etc. now constitute the Christian faith. It all started in Judea which was at that time ruled by Romans. In such harrowing times of Roman domination, Jesus’s miraculous birth has been described in all the gospels. He was then baptised by the John. He later went to the wilderness for praying and fasting for forty days.Jesus predicted his imminent arrest and death during the Passover seder. He then went to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives where he prayed to the god and the Temple Guards then arrested him with the help of Judas Iscariot. A summary trial took place the same night but the witnesses testimonies were at great variance and thus it was not possible to convict Jesus. But on his acquiescing of being the ‘Messiah’, he was charged with the capital offence of blasphemy. When taken to Governor Pilate, he was unsure of the alleged crime and tried to free him in recognition of Passover but could not do so and instead ordered for his crucifixion which took place at Golgotha. 

Gospels describe the then rising of the Christ and his transformation.The birth of the church came after Christ’s ascension at the beginning of the feast of Shavuot or ‘Pentecost’. Though during the early years the Church was exclusively Jewish and Gentiles were not allowed to be baptised,but later with the baptizing of Cornelius,a Roman centurion by Apostle Peter the trend changed leading to a massive spurt in the number of followers. Later Paul worked tirelessly to popularize the new faith by baptising high number of Gentiles which made the new sect different from the Jews. But the Roman authorities were becoming increasingly suspicious of this new faith. Persecutions followed as the believers of the new faith were no longer having the legal immunity which the Jews had. Persecutions increased and situation deteriorated so much that following this new faith was made a capital offense. But times changed and the conversion of Constantine the Great to Christianity led to the end of this agony. This new religion was now the state religion. Christian symbol painted on Constantine the Great soldiers’ shields clearly indicated the future of this faith. ‘Edict of Milan’ was promulgated which granted Christian legal rights. The first Ecumenical Council was also conveyed during his tenure.

After this the new faith never faced any serious challenge. The religion continued to grow and more people continued to embrace the new faith. Works of Christian scholars like St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Maximus the Confessor helped the new religion tremendously. Though there was later division in the order because of certain ecclesiastical differences in the fourth Ecumenical Council (Great Council of Chalcedon) yet the disassociating Churches like the Ethiopian Church, the Syrian Jacobite Church, the Coptic Church only fuelled the further growth of this religion.Even the division of the ancient Catholic Church into Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches in the year 1054 A.D. which formally broke the communion between the sees of Constantinople and Rome and the later ‘Reformation’ did not hinder the popularity of the religion and Christianity continues to remain the world’s largest religion.


Cantos LXXV & CVIII(Book VI)(Yuddha-Kánda): The epic battle culminates with Ráma slaying Rávan

Sugriva spake in words like these:
‘Now, Vánar lords, the occasion seize.
For now, of sons and brothers reft,
To Rávan little hope is left;
And if our host his gates assail
His weak defence will surely fail.’
                               –Excerpt from Canto LXXV (Book VI)(Yuddha-Kánda)
Urged onward by his charioteer
The giant’s foaming steeds came near,
And furious was the battle’s din
Where each resolved to die or win.
The Rákshas host and Vánar bands
Stood with their weapons in their hands,
And watched in terror and dismay
The fortune of the awful fray.
The giant chief with rage inflamed
His darts at Ráma’s pennon aimed;
But when they touched the chariot made
By heavenly hands their force was stayed.
Then Ráma’s breast with fury swelled;
He strained the mighty bow he held,
And straight at Rávan’s banner flew
An arrow as the string he drew
A deadly arrow swift of flight,
Like some huge snake ablaze with light,
Whose fury none might e’er repel,
And, split in twain, the standard fell.
                                  –Excerpt from Canto CVIII(Book VI)(Yuddha-Kánda)

A dreadful encounter started between the two kings. The Rákshas and the Vánaras were surprised to see the epic duel. Two mahabalis Ráma and Rávan started discharging arrows. Rávan’s arrows were becoming useless whereas Ráma’s arrow broke Rávan’s flag staff which further enraged Rávan and he started a downpour of shafts. But finding that they were not working against Ráma, he started using gadas, parighas, chakras and musalas, mountain tops, trees, darts and parashus. The seven oceans thundered with the sound of maces and musalas. Both were determined to kill each other. One of Ráma’s arrow cut Rávan’s head but alas instantly arose another head resembling the former. It was also swiftly cut-off but there arose another one and this continued endlessly. Ráma finally took the flaming and dreadful arrow of Brahma, given by the great Rishi Agastya, and discharged it at Rávan which pierced his body and thus brought the end of Rávan.



Panamagate fallout: PM Nawaz Sharif flabbergasted as top Constitutional Court of Pakistan disqualifies him over graft charges.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan taking a stern view on the alleged irregularities has finally debarred Nawaz Sharif from the Majlis-e-Shoora. The top court in its latest order came to this conclusion after pursuing the investigation report of the specially constituted Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which was comprised of officers of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Security & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).

Many questions were posed by the Supreme Court: How did a company in question came into being; what led to its sale; what happened to its liabilities; where did its sale proceeds end up; whether certain respondents in view of their tender ages had the means in the early nineties to possess and purchase certain properties; whether sudden appearance of certain letters was a myth or a reality; how bearer shares crystallized into the flats; who, in fact, is the real and beneficial owner of certain companies, how did a particular company came into existence and certain other queries. The Supreme Court had earlier opined that a thorough investigation was required. The Supreme Court had thus previously constituted a JIT comprising of officers of various departments. The Court then vide order dated 05.05.2017 constituted the JIT which submitted the complete investigation report on 10.07.2017.

Petitioners submitted that the JIT had collected sufficient evidence proving that Nawaz Sharif, his dependents and benamidars owned, possessed and had acquired assets which were disproportionate to their known sources of income and that that neither Nawaz Sharif nor any of his dependents or benamidars before or during the course of investigation could account for these assets, therefore, he had become disqualified to be a Member of Parliament.

Before the Court, Nawaj Sharif unsuccessfully contended that all the material collected and finding given by the JIT did not deserve any consideration inasmuch as they were beyond the scope of investigation authorized by the order of the Court. Also the respondents were not questioned about or confronted with any of the documents tending to incriminate them and it exceeded its authority while obtaining documents from abroad.

But the Supreme Court held that a careful examination of the material so far collected revealed that a prima facie triable case under Section 9, 10 and 15 of the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999 was made out vis-à-vis various assets in question. The Supreme Court thus directed the National Accountability Bureau to file before the Accountability Court on the basis of the material collected and referred to by the Joint Investigating Team (JIT) in its report and such other material as may be available with the Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) and NAB having any nexus with the assets or which may subsequently become available including material that may come before it pursuant to the Mutual Legal Assistance requests sent by the JIT to different jurisdictions references against Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz Sharif  and Capt. (Retd) Muhammad Safdar relating to the irregularities.

The Constitutional Court thus declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets in his nomination papers filed for the General Elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation, Nawaz Sharif was not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and therefore was disqualified to be a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). It further directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to issue a notification disqualifying him from being a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) with immediate effect and thus ceasing to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Labour Party election gains fall short of ousting the Tories

The recent election results of UK General Elections have thrown a lot many surprises. Though neither the Conservatives nor Labour won the support of a majority of voters, yet it was a big opportunity lost by Corbyn. Although many political pundits have forecasted a change of regime, yet the election results proved them wrong. Theresa May has somehow managed to continue, but with reduced numbers. In fact many Tories are now challenging her leadership and asking her to resign.

The Labour Party had huge chances of winning the elections. Their manifesto catered to the public in general which promised to create a million good quality jobs and guarantee a decent job for all. It further proposed to invest £500 billion in infrastructure and industry, backed up by a publicly-owned National Investment Bank and regional banks, to build a high skilled, high tech, low carbon economy. Further investment in the high speed broadband, energy, transport and homes to allow good businesses to thrive, and support a new generation of co-operative enterprises. It further promised to build a million new homes in five years, with at least half a million council homes. To provide relief to tenants it promised to introducing rent controls, secure tenancies and a charter of private tenants’ rights, and increase access to affordable home ownership. In industrial law, it promised robust employment rights from day one in a job, end exploitative zero hours contracts, and create new sectoral collective bargaining rights and stronger Trade Unions. In the health sector, it promised to end health service privatisation and bring services into a secure, publicly-provided NHS and integrate the NHS and social care for older and disabled people, funding dignity across the board, and ensure parity for mental health services.

In the education sphere, a new National Education Service, open to all throughout their lives with a universal childcare to give all children a good start in life, allowing greater sharing of caring responsibilities and removing barriers to women participating in the labour market was promised. To ‘insource’ public and local council services, increase access to leisure, arts and sports across the country, and expand publicly controlled bus network along with government control of Railways. To shrink the gap between the rich and the poor, a progressive tax system was to be introduced.

Whereas the Conservatives promised to secure the best deals from Brexit to control the laws, borders and money and also to form new trade deals for UKs goods and services with different states. Affordable housing, new rights and protections for workers, create more and better-paid jobs, tackling the cost of living by capping rip-off energy tariffs and keeping taxes low have been promised. There would be increasing school funding every year which would provide real technical education for young people. There will be increase in the NHS budget every year to ensure every family gets proper medical care. Though the election results have dealt a brutal blow to Theresa May yet the Labour Party’s inability to form a majority has raised many questions on Corbyn’s ability to head the party.