Are you being led by the right people?


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj
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On Friday (March 2, 2012) I read the article posted by Pastor Mike that I  have reproduced below. I commented on Pastor Mike’s website:

Pastor Mike,
I really like this post especially the Memorandum. May I reproduce this post in my blog “Impressions” (https://tvaraj.wordpress.com)?

He promptly answered back:

Certainly….

I wrote to him:

Thank you. I will be posting it on March 4, 2012 with proper credits to you.

Pastor Mike replied back:

I thank you, but I am in no need of credit. A lot of people do this for the glory, but I do it for the glory of God, so if it reaches someone for Jesus then leave me out of it and let the Holy Spirit work…:)

I feel that this is the beginning of a friendship budding between a man devoted to Jesus and me – an old doubting Thomas, who finds it hard to come out of the Agnostic web that he has fallen into.

Even if Pastor Mike doesn’t want the credits, surely, I am not a plagiarist.

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Pastor mike says

Are you being led by the right people? Here’s a work and life lesson for you.

Yesterday was an amazing day for me. I have been struggling at work for a while now, and quite honestly, I was worried about my job. Nothing seemed to be going right, and I just couldn’t seem to make things work. I prayed, I begged, I pleaded, but nothing was working. So late in the afternoon, a time when most firings occur, I was called into the owners office with the General Manager. Now usually I’m pretty confident when it comes to work, but to be honest with you, despite my hard work and efforts, they would have been justified in letting me go. Even though I was trying harder than anyone else, the dominoes were not falling into place. What happened next really made me realize what true leadership and caring for your employees really meant.

As I sat there in the “Hot Seat” staring at the owner ready for the ax to fall, he started telling me about what he expected, and of course, how I wasn’t meeting those expectations. Then he dropped the bomb. He said he wanted to start a new position for me where I could use my talents instead of focusing on what wasn’t working for me. Wow, what a great concept. Instead of focusing on my shortcomings (Which I was reminding myself of daily), he was more intent on allowing my God-given talents to be used in a way that would build the Company and myself up. As I walked out of the office in total amazement and a new-found sense of motivation I realized what a great example of Christ-like leadership he had shown. It just makes me proud and joyous to be working for someone like this.

Having said this, I found a story that I have posted below that shows how a worldly employer would look at their employees versus how I was treated today. Bear in mind that this concept applies to our Godly relationships as well. It shows how giving up on people without understanding and loving them will only make you miss out on what God has blessed you with. Thank you Glen and Cheryl for believing in me and seeing the strength in me that I couldn’t see. May the Lord bless you with a tremendous amount of prosperity because you use it wisely.

Below is how the world would have suggested that the  greatest leader ever, Jesus,  should have handled the “employees” he chose.

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Memorandum

TO:
Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcrafter Carpenter Shop
Nazareth

FROM:
Jordan Management Consultants
Jerusalem

Dear Sir:
Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.

It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale.

We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic depressive scale.

One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.

We wish you every success in your new venture.

Sincerely yours,
Jordan Management Consultants

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Eradicator of Polio – Dr. Jonas Salk


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Myself 

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Polio Egyptian Stele
Polio Egyptian Stele

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The effects of polio have been known since ancient times. Egyptian paintings and carvings depict afflicted people with withered limbs, and children walking with canes to support. The photo on the right is that of an Egyptian 18th Dynasty (1403–1365 BC) stele thought to represent a polio victim.

At the turn of the twentieth century, small, localized paralytic polio epidemics began to appear in the United States and Europe. During the first half of the twentieth century, polio epidemic outbreaks reached pandemic proportions in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Prior to the 20th century, polio infections, in most cases afflicted children six months to four years of age. It was rarely seen in infants before six months of age. Around 1950’s the peak age incidence of polio in the United States shifted from infants to children aged five to nine years; and almost one-third of the cases reported were in persons over 15 years of age. Hence, the rate of paralysis and death due to polio infection also increased during this time. In 1952, the United States, saw the worst outbreak of the polio epidemic in the nation’s history. Around 58,000 cases were reported that year out of which more than three thousand died, mostly children, and more than twenty thousand were afflicted with mild to disabling paralysis of the limbs.

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Dr. Jonas Salk
Dr. Jonas Salk

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In early 1950s, this scourge brought fear into the hearts of everyone, especially the parents of young and teenage children, as it was very well publicized with extensive media coverage of any scientific advancement that might lead to a cure. Thus, the scientists and researchers working on polio became some of the most famous of the century.

This burden of fear was lifted forever when an American dedicated researcher and virologist, Dr. Jonas Salk made the “impossible possible” by developing a vaccine to fight polio. Dr. Salk became world-famous overnight, but his discovery was the result of many years of painstaking research.

Jonas Edward Salk was born on October 28, 1914 in New York City to parents from Ashkenazi Jewish Russian immigrant families. Although his parents themselves did not have much formal education, they were determined to see their children study and succeed.

Salk had an immense passion for science. It was because of this that he finally chose medicine over law as his career goal. During his years at the New York University School of Medicine he stood out from his peers, according to Bookchin, “not just because of his continued academic prowess—he was Alpha Omega Alpha, the Phi Beta Kappa Society of medical education—but because he had decided he did not want to practice medicine.”

After obtaining his M.D. degree at the New York University School of Medicine in 1939, he worked as a staff physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Later, he joined  the University of Michigan as a research fellow. There,  at the behest of the U.S. Army, he developed a vaccine for influenza. In 1947, he joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as director of the Virus Research Laboratory.

Jonas Edward Salk (Photo courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies)

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While developing the influenza vaccine, he had observed that protection could be established using noninfectious, inactivated (killed) viruses. So, in Pittsburgh Salk developed the techniques that would lead to his polio vaccine. Vaccines against smallpox and rabies were induced by infecting by a living virus, but Salk thought otherwise – he conceived the idea that protective immunity could be induced, without infection by a living virus.

Basil O’Connor, president of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, showed interest in Salk’s research. His organization decided to fund Salk’s research to develop a killed virus vaccine against paralytic poliomyelitis.

The vaccines developed by Sak’s team were tested first by injecting monkeys and then on patients who already had polio. Next, in order to test the vaccine on people who had not had polio, Salk injected himself, then his wife, his three sons, his laboratory staff, and volunteers. All of them developed anti-polio antibodies without encountering any bad reactions to the vaccine.

Finally, national testing of the polio vaccine began in 1954. One million children, ages six to nine, who became known as the ‘Polio Pioneers’ were injected: half of them were given the vaccine, while the other half received a placebo.

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On April 12, 1955, Dr. Thomas Francis, Jr., of the University of Michigan, the monitor of the test results declared that vaccine to be safe and effective. When news of the vaccine’s success was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a “miracle worker”, and the day almost became a national holiday.

The average number of polio cases in the US was more than 45,000 in the two years before the vaccine was made widely available. In 1962, that number had dropped to 910.

Dr. Jonas Salk never patented the vaccine, nor did he earn any money from his discovery. He preferred to see it distributed as widely as possible. When the late television personality Ed Murrow asked him, “Who owns this patent?”, Salk replied, “No one. Could you patent the sun?”

This great humanitarian researcher died in June 23, 1995.

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By 1988, polio had disappeared from the US, UK, Australia and much of Europe and South America, but remained prevalent in more than 125 countries. The same year, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to eradicate the disease completely by the year 2000. 

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The WHO Americas region was certified polio free in 1994, with the last wild case recorded in the Western Pacific region (which includes China) in 1997. A further landmark came in 2002 when the WHO certified the European region polio-free.

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In 2012, Polio remains officially endemic in four countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and India. Despite so much progress, polio remains a risk with virus from Pakistan re-infecting China in 2011, which had been polio-free for more than a decade.  India is on the verge of being removed from the list having not had a case since January 2011.

Klok beats the clock


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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If you are asked to perform 10 illusions within a span of 5 minutes can you take on the challenge? The handsome Dutch illusionist Hans Klok beat the clock by performing his fastest illusions in 5 minutes – faster than he ever did.

Dutch illusionist and actor Johannes Franciscus Catharinus “Hans” Klok was born in Purmerend, Netherlands on 22 February 1969. He began his career in magic as a teenager. By the time he was sixteen he had won awards in several international competitions. At the age 23, he was part of a touring show along with famous Dutch comedian André van Duin.

His debut in USA was in 1994, when he performed for the first time on the Las Vegas Strip, as part of NBC’s “The World’s Greatest Magic.” This was broadcast live from Caesars Palace to an audience of over 60 million people.

He then toured Europe and China for 10 years and appeared in Las Vegas once more.

During the opening ceremony of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, he enthralled around 500 million football fans in 152 countries, by making the 18-carat gold World Trophy appear out of thin air in a glass cage.

In 2012 he broke his own world record for the most illusions done in 5 minutes on the BBC show, “The Magicians.”

Hans Klok has also acted in films and TV:

2002 – Le plus grand cabaret du monde (TV series) in Episode dated 14 December 2002.

2003 – De D van dag (short drama – 22 mins)

2004 – Sinterklaas en het geheim van de Robijn (adventure, family film 115 mins) in whcih Hans Klok appeared as Bisschop van Zwitserland.

2007 – The 2007 World Magic Awards (family, fantasy TV movie 120 mins). Roger Moore appears as himself at the host of the show. The Hans Klok and Pamela Anderson team was fun to watch as well as the other performers.

2009 – De Dik Voormekaar show (comedy TV series). In Episode #1.10, Meneer De Bok hopes Klok will make his wife disappear.

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Back again to square one …


This is a sequel to the article “Big Brothers are watching you…” that I posted yesterday after installing Collusion the new Add-on for the Firefox browser.

Today morning I switched on my laptop, opened my Firebox browser and out of curiosity I checked Collusion and here is the screen image of what I saw:

So, even after I shut down and switched on the computer the following day, I find that the Big Brothers are still there stalking to watch my movements on the web.

Exasperated, I clicked the orange drop down tab “Firefox” at the top left-hand corner, and then clicked “Options”:

Now on the options page I clicked the ‘Privacy’ tab and I checked the box under Tracking – “Tell websites I do not want to be tracked” and then clicked “clear all current history” and cleared ‘Browsing & Download History’, ‘Cookies’,  ‘Cache’, and ‘Active Logins’.

ext I checked Collusion and I was elated.  This is what I saw – a clean slate.

Next I logged into WordPress Dashboard.

Then I entered the web page of “The Telegraph”

And here is the screen shot of Collusion while browsing ‘The Telegraph’.

Next I searched Google. After about googling 6 sites, I checked Collusion and was confounded.So, I was back again to square one.

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Big Brothers are watching you…


You all know that there are many Big Brothers watching every click that we make, hoping to make a profit by trying to sell us something we browsed through or bought, as if we are going to buy more of the same.

Earlier today an experimental add-on for the Firefox browser called Collusion was introduced by Mozilla that shows how companies are tracking us as we surf the Web.

I installed a fresh copy of Firefox 7 today and then I installed this add-on. I was able to see all the uninvited third parties who are tracking my movements across the web.  Collusion show in real time, a spider-web of inter action between companies and other trackers.

I closed the Firefox browser and after some time I opened it. I was shocked to see a hive of trackers tracking my every move. Here is a screen shot of my Firefox screen:

I advise you to install this add-on for your Firefox browser.

Pilgrimage to the Grotto Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes – Emmitsburg, Maryland


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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IMG_0640

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This is a sequel to my post  “GROTTO SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES – EMMITSBURG, MARYLAND” of February 16, 2012.

Our recent visit on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes on 11th February 2012 was an unforgettable experience for my wife and me.  Though it was snowing that day, we were  indeed happy to be there at this holy Shrine at Emmitsburg, where Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church, had trod a long time ago.

Coriander Leaves and Kidneys


Readers have viewed this post more than 102,275 times.

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Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Kidney2

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The pair of bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a fist, are vital organs in our body located, one on each side of the spine, near the middle of our back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys perform many functions to keep our blood clean and chemically balanced.

Our body uses food for energy and maintenance. Wastes in the blood come from food that we consume and from the normal breakdown of active tissues, such as muscles. Every day, a person’s kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood and filter out about 2 quarts of waste products and remove excess water. The wastes and excess water flow to the bladder through two tubes called ureters as urine. The bladder stores urine until releasing it through urination.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also called cilantro, koththamalli (in Tamil),  or dhania (in Hindi) is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. In the English-speaking world (except for the U.S.) the leaves and seeds are known as coriander. In American culinary usage, the leaves are generally referred to by the Spanish word cilantro.

Coriander is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. It is also rich in many vital vitamins essential for optimum health including vitamin-A, beta carotene, vitamin-C and folic acid. By the way, vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant.

A study found both the coriander leaves and seed act as antioxidants, however, the leaves were found to have a stronger effect. Hence, Coriander like many other spices can delay or prevent spoilage of food seasoned with this spice. Chemicals derived from coriander leaves were found to have antibacterial activity against Salmonella choleraesuis, caused in part by these chemicals acting as nonionic surfactants.

Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic (a substance or drug that tends to increase the discharge of urine) by boiling equal amounts of coriander seeds and cumin seeds, then cooling and consuming the resulting liquid.

The powerful anti-inflammatory capacities of coriander can help one deal with symptoms of arthritis. Coriander also increases HDL cholesterol (the good) and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad).

Cholesterol – the good and the bad

Cholesterol is not all bad. It is an essential fat. In fact, it provides stability in every cell of our body. The liver makes some cholesterol and some come from diet. Cholesterol cannot dissolve in blood, so transport proteins called lipoproteins carry it to locations where it needs to go.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol 

The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol particles are less dense than other kinds of cholesterol particles. Each microscopic blob of LDL cholesterol consists of an outer rim of lipoprotein surrounding a cholesterol centre.

What Makes LDL Cholesterol Bad? It is just its chemical makeup. Here’s how high amounts of LDL cholesterol leads to plaque growth and atherosclerosis.

  • Some LDL cholesterol circulating through the bloodstream tends to deposit in the walls of arteries. This process starts as early as childhood or adolescence.
  • White blood cells swallow and try to digest the LDL, possibly in an attempt to protect the blood vessels. In the process, the white blood cells convert the LDL to a toxic (oxidized) form.
  • More white blood cells and other cells migrate to the area, creating steady low-grade inflammation in the artery wall.
  • Over time, more LDL cholesterol and cells collect in the area. The ongoing process creates a bump in the artery wall called a plaque – made of cholesterol, cells, and debris.
  • The process tends to continue, growing the plaque and slowly blocking the artery.

An even greater danger than slow blockage is a sudden rupture of the surface of the plaque. A blood clot can form on the ruptured area, causing a heart attack.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol

The High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol particle is dense compared to other types of cholesterol particles. Each microscopic blob of HDL cholesterol consists of a rim of lipoprotein surrounding a cholesterol centre.

The well-behaved HDL cholesterol is a friendly scavenger that cruises the bloodstream. It removes harmful bad cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong. High HDL levels reduce the risk for heart disease — but low LDL levels increase the risk.

Experts believe HDL cholesterol may act in a variety of helpful ways that tend to reduce the risk for heart disease:

  • HDL cholesterol scavengers and removes LDL cholesterol.
  • HDL reduces, reuses, and recycles LDL cholesterol by transporting it to the liver where it is reprocessed.
  • HDL cholesterol acts as a maintenance crew for the inner walls of blood vessels (endothelium). Damage to the endothelium is the first step in the process of atherosclerosis, which causes heart attacks and strokes. HDL chemically scrubs the endothelium clean and keeps it healthy.

Coriander leaves offer great relief from stomach indigestion problems and the like. It also helps reduce feelings of nausea. Since it has strong antioxidant properties, it helps promote healthy liver function.

A friend suggested that consuming an infusion of Coriander leaves is a good remedy for kidney pain. This is the instruction my friend gave me to prepare a decoction using coriander leaves:

“Wash and clean a bunch of fresh coriander leaves thoroughly in water to remove the dirt and any residual harmful pesticides that might be sticking on them. Chop the leaves as small as possible. Put the chopped leaves in a vessel, pour filtered water and boil for 10 minutes. Filter after cooling using a sieve. Pour the filtered liquid into a sterilized glass bottle and store it in a refrigerator.”

She said: “Drink one glass of the liquid daily and you will notice all salt and other accumulated poison coming out of your system while passing urine. Also, you will notice that you feel healthier than before.

By the way, coriander can produce an allergic reaction in some people. So, please consult your physician before consuming the coriander decoction.

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Teach me how to pray …


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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I love listening to the mellow voice of my all-time favourite singer late gentleman Jim Reeves. My heart starts palpitating and tears flow from my eyes whenever I listen to his rendering of “Daddy my daddy teach me how to pray …”

One night a sleepy little boy knelt beside his bed.
He smiled and looked into my eyes and this is what he said:
“Daddy, my daddy, you‘ve taught me lots today;
So daddy, my daddy, teach me how to pray.”

“You brought me home a brand new kite, and you showed me how to fly;
And there ain’t no other kid whose dad can knock a ball so high;
I’d like to thank God for you but I don’t know what to say;
So daddy, my daddy, teach me how to pray.”

I had to turn and leave this room and he began to cry.
I didn’t want my boy to know but so did I
His best pal had forsaken him but what was there to say?
For daddy, his daddy, had forgotten how to pray.

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This song always makes me read the Gospel of Mathew 6:7-15 again and again.

When his disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, he tells them:

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” (Mathew 6:5-6)

And then Jesus presents them with an example of a communal prayer that stresses the fatherhood of God and acknowledges him as the one to whom all of us owe our daily sustenance, forgiveness, and deliverance from the final trial.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

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Music Makes the Difference…


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

Music - 02Music has a profound influence and plays an important part in our lives – makes us dance, dream, loved, laugh, and cry. Mostly, I love listening to the invigorating beats of the drums and other indigenous instruments of the Indian sub-continent, Sri Lanka, Africa, and the Caribbean.

To make a scene come alive, any music won’t do. For example a year back, T-Mobile made a spoof video of the Royal Wedding and most of us have watched it on YouTube. Last year, it was rated second most watched video in the UK on YouTube.

I saw the T-mobile spoof video of the Royal Wedding, in April 2011.  It was a spoof alright, and it made me laugh, but I felt something was missing.

A few weeks later I saw the same video but titled “Some Royal Wedding Punjabi Style” uploaded by salik6823 on May 5, 2011. And then two days later I watched “The Royal Wedding Sri Lankan Style” uploaded by MonkeyArtCreations on May 7, 2011 with the comment “This is what the Royal family would have done if Sri Lankan Papare music was played!!! :D”

After watching the versions with Punjabi and the Sri Lankan music I figured out what I was missing in the original version – the actors of the T-mobile spoof were lively but the original music score was not.

Watch the 3 versions and you decide.

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Well said Mr. Udaya Kumar …


Anti-nuclear activist Uday Kumar on Friday criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the his statement that the NGOs based in the United States are fuelling the Kudankulam nuclear plant protests, and asked the Prime Minister either to prove the charge or step down.

This is the report that appeared in IBN Live India.

“The Prime Minister should take back his statement. If the Prime Minister can’t prove his charge then he should step down. The Prime Minister is not an elected PM but a nominated one, that’s why he is insulting the people of India,” said Kumar.

“It is nonsense to say that NGO’s from the US and Scandinavian countries are funding the Kudankulam protest,” he said.

“The Prime Minister, who is the head of the country, can’t make such remarks. He has no sympathy. Lakhs of people are struggling and instead of acknowledging, he is accusing us of receiving money. We are not receiving money from any NGO,” said Kumar.

“His ministerial colleague Narayansamy said the same thing. Why can’t he produce some evidence to prove his charge? The Prime Minister insults the people of the country,” said the activist.

Hiting out at anti-nuclear activists for the first time and questioning the source of their funding, Manmohan Singh, in an interview in the journal ‘Science’, said, “The atomic energy program has got into difficulties because these NGOS, mostly, I think, based in the US, don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase energy. The local NGO-led protests have stalled the commissioning of two 1000 MW nuclear reactors.”

However, supporting Manmohan Singh’s claim, Iowa State University scientist Dr Sivramiah Shantharam said, “The Prime Minister is right on the dot. It is a very well known fact that international NGOs, both from US and Europe, who in alliance with local NGOs whip up trouble. All the frenzy was whipped up by them after receiving funding to create anxiety and suspicion about bio-tech advancements.”

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of what comes to my mind.

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