Ground Zero Mosque Thursday, May 27 2010 

Against:

  • “I think it’s despicable. That’s sacred ground. It’s a slap in the face. How could anybody give them permission to build a mosque there?”
  • “What I’m frightened about is that it’s almost going to be another protest zone — a meeting place for radicals.”

For:

  • “to establish a vibrant and world-class facility in New York City that promotes tolerance and pluralism that will strengthen relationships and attract those of other faiths to integrate and learn about Islam”.
  • “Religious intolerance, demagoguery, and fear-mongering have no place in the discussion about development on and around the World Trade Center site.”

From here.

Bastards No Longer! Wednesday, Feb 27 2008 

Live-in relationship is becoming common in India today. Economic boom, job opportunities for women and the lure of urban life have contributed to it.

Parents who have accepted ‘working woman’ status for their daughters and reluctantly let them go and live in a city alone and away from family are a worried lot today.

Indian society, which stigmatizes even love marriage, is grappling with the phenomenon of live-in relationship and searching for ways to deal with it.

But what surprises me most is the courage of these couples to prefer live-in relationship to marriage and face their parents and society firmly.

In a recent landmark judgment the Supreme Court of India has given legal protection to live-in relationship and legitimacy to children born of it. The court has said that such a relationship between a man and a woman is not a state of “concubinage”.

The ruling gives legitimacy to and upholds the property rights of children born of couples who have lived together for long. The court frowns upon inference of bastardy.

It’s a remarkable judgment and I hope it’ll encourage live-in couples to have children. They don’t have to fear the stigma of their children being bastards: They are legitimate in the eyes of law, at least.

But the Supreme Court cannot force societal acceptance of live-in couples and their children through its ruling. Ours is not an enlightened society. Custom and tradition have strong hold on it and most people feel safe following them.