5C’s Lok Sabha Candidate Petition for Good Governance

Dear Friends/ Citizens

Recently we have experienced very traumatic times when our beloved country has been threatened both from beyond our borders and within.

Troubling times are upon us with Indian fighting Indian on grounds of caste, creed, community, region, language and culture for political advantage of the few, putting at grave risk the many.

Corporate India has lost its ethical moorings underwriting the mayhem created by the political class for the singular pursuit of profit.

The sanctity of Parliament has been compromised by persons with criminal histories a mile long; unable to debate on issues of national importance, squandering crores of public money on un-conducted business in an unattended Lok Sabha. Thereafter, our representatives enjoy the highest levels of security afraid of the citizens they represent.

Once again the Lok Sabha Elections are around the corner.

From 1.2 billion people we have to choose 542 persons with impeccable credentials to serve and provide leadership.

While we have enjoyed a far from impressive track record doing so, till date, another opportunity is upon us to make the difference that we have been seeking for so very long.

If we citizens have to bring the change then, we have to respect each other’s political differences and arrive at a consensus  seeking good governance from the political parties that represent us.

Please consider this an appeal from one Indian citizen to another,setting aside religion, community, language caste etc.

May I request you to read the contents of the petition below and then visit the link to sign it.

In order that this petition may receive the widest possible circulation and signatures, may I request you to do the following:

* Translate it into any and every Indian language.

* If any individual, group or organisation wishes to replicate the petition in an Indian language and place an electronic version on the petition online website, please contact citizen.positive@gmail.com. This is only to ensure that there is no duplication of the petition in any one language.

* For those with no limited or internet access, please take a print out  of the petition and have the same signed, or thumb imprinted.

* For those groups, organisations etc, obtaining signatures on a hard copy, please have a representative sign the petition, providing email address,valid registration number of organisation and number of signatures obtained.

* For those groups of people with no internet access, the original hard copy may be sent to the, Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India, with photcopies to each of the poltical parties marked ” 5C’s Criteria For Lok Sabha Candidates” in a language of your choice.

* The electronic version of the petition will also be sent to the Election Commission of India, with copies to each of the poltical parties

Let’s make the difference…


Ranjan Kamath

The petition title is: 5C’s for Lok Sabha Candidates.

The petition URL is: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/5CLS09/petition.html

The petition is directed to: Political Parties of India _ National, Regional, Local

The start date is: .January 31st, 2009

The end date is: ..March 1, 2009

The petition statement says:

To: The Political Parties of India (National, Regional and Local)

5C’s for – Clean,Credible,Competent,Corruption Free and Committed – Candidate

Dear Sirs/Madams,

I am a citizen of India seeking good governance. By signing this petition I am committed to setting aside labels of caste, creed, community and ideological differences to unite with my fellow citizen in seeking good governance.

Very soon candidates from your parties will be campaigning in my constituency, visit my village, my neighbourhood, my apartment block, and fold his/her hands at my doorstep, seeking from me my most valuable possession as a citizen – my vote.

Please note that I wish to be treated with the respect deserved by a citizen of India – not a vote bank statistic. Therefore, my vote cannot be purchased with pouches of illicit liquor and Rs. 500 notes; it cannot be stolen at the polling booth and I will not squander it on false promises. I shall invest my vote in good governance alone.

Before your candidates seek my vote, allow me to seek a commitment from all political parties to good governance for the greatest good of all.

Also, expected from all Parties is a commitment to arrive at a consensus on all issues in the national interest – specifically national security – irrespective of ideology.

The above commitments must reflect in the election manifesto of your parties.

Party candidates representing your parties for the forthcoming Lok Sabha Parliamentary elections must comply with the following criteria:

•       Clean Image: free of any previous history or pending cases of criminal or economic nature in any court of law in this country. Declaration of assets  and all sources of income.

•       Credibility: possessing the credentials to represent a constituency with either a record of service in the public domain and/or an expertise in a particular profession.

•       Competence: to represent the voice and concerns of his/her constituency on issues of local, national and international importance. Candidates selected in order to pander to vote banks on the basis of caste, creed, community or business interests shall be deemed unacceptable.

•       Corruption Free: with no history of corrupt practices or, the aiding and abettment of the same in his/her professional or public life.

•       Commitment to the principles of secularism enshrined in the Constitution of India

In the event that the candidates nominated by your parties – for any constituency – fail to comply with the above criteria, citizens such as myself and fellow signatories of this petition shall enjoy the following choices:

•       To recommend a candidate from within your respective parties to represent your party for the constituency, complying with all of the above criteria.

•       To recommend to a political party the replacement of a standing representative who is in breach of the above criteria during his completed tenure as Member of Parliament.

•       Reserve the right to support an Independent candidate seeking election  complying with the above criteria

•       Reserve the right to nominate an ‘Aam Aadmi’ candidate for each constituency, who will seek election as an independent enjoying the support of the signatories belonging to the same constituency.

Rather than devaluing my vote by voting ‘against’ the candidates chosen by your political parties, I wish to cast my vote ‘for’ good governance.

It is my endeavour to circulate this petition in every Indian language to every nook and corner of this country, by email and on paper, across the internet and on foot, to solicit thumbprint and signature.

I beseech you not to ignore the pleas of this petition. I look forward to your co-operation and the opportunity to participate in bringing the change I wish to see in our great democracy.


Rome City Hall holds Convention on Christians in Today’s World

christians-in-todays-worldROME, Italy – A three hour convention is scheduled to take place in the City Hall Rome (P.za del Campidoglio, 1) on the topic entitled: Christians in the World Today (Cristiani nel mondo oggi), Tuesday, 3rd February 2009, 4 – 7 pm. Among the speakers are: Fr Guiseppe Caramazza (Joint-director of MISNA – Missionary News Agency); Prof. Scaria Thuruthiyil former dean of the Philosophy Faculty (Salesian University Rome) expert on problems confronting Christians in India; Fr Livio Tagliaferi, Comboni Missionary expert on Sudan; and Salesian Fr Ferdinando Colombo (Founder-Director of International Volunteers for Development) is expert on Congo, Ruanda and Burundi.

Each speaker will brief on their topic of expertise for about 25 minutes. Prof Scaria’s presentation will open with a five minute video on the recent anti-Christian violence in India, particularly in Orissa with a commentary in Italian language. It will be followed up with power point presentation on Christianity in India, rise of Hindu revivalism with fundamentalist tendencies.

“I will attempt to answer the question: how is it that Hinduism which has preached and practiced ‘tolerance’ for millennia (in fact the most tolerant of all religions) suddenly became so intolerant?” says Dr Thuruthiyil.

“The scope of the convention is not only to give information but also to take decisions and propose concrete action against such violence and ensure basic human rights are upheld,” Dr Thurutiyil adds.

The convention is held under the patronage of Rome Corporation Councilor Honourable Antonio Stampete and Collector of the Lazio region Honorable Marco Di Stefano.
For further information contact: cmpaul53@gmail.com

Pray for India, says Widow of Martyred Missionary

By Nirmala Carvalho

widow-jan-20-2009MANOHARPUR, India – Ten years have passed since the night of January 22, 1999, when Hindu extremists burned alive the Australian Christian missionary Graham Stewart Staines and his sons Philip and Timothy (ages 9 and 7, in the photo) while they were sleeping in their station wagon in the village of Manoharpur, district of Keonjhar (Orissa). The widow Gladys Staines talks to AsiaNews about the drama of Hindutva violence and the recent anti-Christian persecution in Orissa.

The woman has been back in Orissa since June of 2006, together with her daughter Esther. About the recent anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal, she says “I feel very sad and I am pained at their suffering.” On January 22, there will be a commemorative Mass in Monoharpur, at the site of the murder. On the morning of the 23rd, a prayer service will be held at the Baripada Mission, which will conclude with the inauguration of a new physiotherapy hall.

Staines remembers her husband and sons calmly, with tenderness. “During these ten years, there have been times of sadness, I feel sad that I do not have my husband to support me, to guard me, but these are just momentary emotions of sadness which also fill me with great hope, the hope of heaven and of being reunited with my husband and children in paradise and seeing the Father face to face. This guarantee fills me with consolation.

“I cannot express that how I felt when I got the news of my husband and sons being burnt alive. I told my daughter Esther that though we had been
left alone, we would forgive and my daughter replied, ‘Yes, we will’.”

But time has not taken away the sadness. Last week, Gladys and Esther visited the Hebron Ooty school, where Philip and Timothy studied. Gladys tells AsiaNews, “I feel sad that I do not get to see my sons growing up. Christ has been my companion, but at times I miss the support of my husband. God gives me great support, and the prayers of people has been
a source of great consolation, and this is the solidarity I share with the widows of Kandhamal. It is Jesus who is the source of every consolation and support. God gives us the strength to be able to carry our cross and to live in
His will. Our life and our work here on earth has to go on according to His holy will.

“These sisters of mine in Kandhamal who have sacrificed their husbands
for the sake of Christ – I tell them be strong, stay strong, and Christ will be
your support, your companion, your guide and your strength. When God is working with us, nothing can be against us. I am in prayerful solidarity with them, I share their sufferings and I want to encourage them with hope. It is painful and sad but importantly – it is not how we live, but what matters is ‘whether we are in the will of God’. Support them with your solidarity and prayers.”

Staines says that she will always continue working to fulfil her husband’s dream to live in peace and harmony, and work together for the good of all. “I forgive the other, because I have first received forgiveness from Jesus Christ – I have encountered the presence of Jesus in my life and this is the spirit I share. When we forgive, there is no bitterness and we live our lives and continue the task entrusted to us – with His grace and peace. These Kandhamal widows have also been touched by Jesus. All Christians who have known the intervention of Jesus in their lives will have this gift to forgive and to be the witnesses of His peace and presence. Support them with your solidarity and prayers.

“To the people of the world I say, do not give up hope, pray for India.”

The New President of the United States Mr. Barak Obama addresses the People of the United States

My Fellow Citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor — who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’ s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive… that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Delhi Diocese Gets Auxiliary Bishop

NEW DELHI – Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Father Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese, the auxiliary bishop of Delhi.

Born in Kerala state, 45-year-old Mulakkal was ordained a priest for Jalandhar diocese in 1990. Except for a few years that he spent in Rome doing a doctorate in Moral Theology, he has served most of the time in various parishes and institutions in Jalandhar. He also headed the department of Theology at the Holy Trinity Regional Major Seminary in Jalandhar from 2001 to 2007.

Currently the international treasurer-cum-animator at the head office of the Apostolic Union of Clergy, and Consulter of Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue in Rome, he is expected to arrive in Delhi, January 22.

“I congratulate Father Franco on his being appointed the auxiliary bishop of Delhi. Being fluent in Punjabi, Malayalam, Hindi, Italian and German and being a dynamic priest, he will be a great asset to the Archdiocese of Delhi and certainly a great help to me in my work,” said Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao.

Tata, Mittal and Ambani endorse Narendra Modi as Next Prime Minister

INDIA – The collective amnesia of the captains of Indian industry, Messrs.Tata, Mittal and Ambani embracing Narendra Modi and endorsing his candidature as future PM of India, disturbed me immensely. This petition is my humble effort to engage the conscience of corporate India and make it known to them that the Indian citizen is not to be trifled with.Just as we can vote for or against the poitician, we can pinch the corporate bottom-line in order to engage their attention to mend their ways. It is not an easy task for us to keep our cell phones and Blackberries switched off for an entire day on January 30th,- the 61st anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. However, it ought to be sufficient to get the message across to corporate India that we will not tolerate the endorsement of fascists as future Prime Ministers. May I request you visit the link below to sign and thereafter circulate the petition below, if you feel as strongly about this matter sincerely Ranjan Kamath The petition title is: Cellular Silence Day_30th January 2009. The petition URL is: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/30JAN09/petition.html The petition is directed to: India Inc. The start date is: ..January 15th, 2009 The end date is: ..January 30th, 2009 The petition statement says: Dear Messrs, Ratan Tata, Sunil Mittal and Anil Ambani I am one of a billion Indian citizens. I am somewhere in the middle of that pyramid that you wish to give voice – from bottom to top – through wealth creation. I am proud of the brands you represent that have made India proud. I am one of the burgeoning Indian middle-class that share your aspirations of mutating India from indolent elephant to thundering tiger. It ends there… I have hitherto been accused of being indifferent and apathetic, simply because I am overawed and felt overwhelmed in a system replete with Goliaths. But when I saw you embrace the fascist mastermind of state sponsored genocide as a future Prime Minister and endorse the Modi-fication of India, it was disappointingly apparent that the brands that aspire to make India rich shall continue to languish in ethical poverty. While I am filled with revulsion at your endorsement of Narendra Modi, I must respect your right to do so as a fellow citizen. In writing this petition I am a mere David amongst the mightiest corporate Goliaths but I feel empowered to address your collective amnesia – through recollection of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 – by the true Goliath among Gujaratis in particular and Indians in general – Mohandas Gandhi. All those who sign this petition will switch off their Tata Indicomm, Airtel and Reliance cellular phone and broadband connections from midnight on January 30th 2009. It is eminently possible that I might be the one voice in a billion who will observe the 61st death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on as Cellular Silence Day. Then again, there might be close to a billion who could join me on January 30th, 2009 expressing their solidarity and silently insisting that the captains of India Inc adopt an ethical, compassionate path to wealth creation rather than the single-minded pursuit of the bottom-line. We shall know that by the end of 30th January, 2009

Fr Vettah Earns Doctorate in Spirituality

C.M. Paul

ROME – A hall mark study on Blessed Michael Rua’s governance of the Salesian congregation in the aftermath of Don Bosco’s death conferred doctoral degree in Spirituality on Guwahati province Salesian Fr Joseph Vettath from the Theology Faculty. Over 60 Salesians and well wishes were present at the defence held at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), Rome, 14 January.

Hailing from Kerala, Fr. Vettath, 46, is 18 years priest and has served in the formation sector as Socius and administrator in the novitiate at Sunnyside, Shillong and Dean of Studies & Vice Rector and successively Rector at Pre-Novitiate House Bosco Mount, Tura. He has a diploma in Pastoral Counselling and Religious Formation from National Vocation Service Centre, Pune (2000). He did his Master’s degree (2006) in Spirituality from UPS-Rome with magna cum laude. Besides shortly joining the Spirituality faculty at Sacred Heart Theological College Shillong, Dr. Vettath will also be visiting professor at the national Don Bosco Renewal Centre Bangalore.

Bl. Michael Rua’s Style of Governance

The doctoral dissertation The mode of government of Blessed Michael Rua, Rector Major of the Salesian Society (1888-1910) offers a descriptive practical synthesis of the fundamental orientations, choices and characteristics of the government of Don Rua, the first Successor of Don Bosco.

The defence panel included five professors along with dean of Theology faculty Dr Zevini, UPS Registrar, guide Dr Aldo Giraudo, and readers Dr Francesco Motto and Dr. Joe Boenzi.

During 22 years of Don Rua’s rule the number Salesians increased to over 4,000 members spread over 300 houses. Don Rua’s 12 member general council accompanied him for 20 years.

“I am amazed at the candidate’s capacity for work, his tenacity to examine the handwritten reports of 22 years of the General Council meetings and other primary sources in Italian,” said his guide Dr Giraudo complimenting the work.

“The work is well done, ample and responds to the exigencies of the topic pertaining to an unexplored personality,” said founder director of Salesian Historical Institute, Rome, Prof. Francesco Motto commenting on the work which ran into 717 pages printed single space.

Fr Motto has officially invited Dr Vettath to be present in Turin in October this year for the international conference marking the opening of the death centenary of Don Rua.

Fr Boenzi instead recommended that Dr Vettath brings out his research in a four volume publication, highlighting Don Rua’s style of government towards, Rector, Salesian Cooperators, Formation and Salesian Mission-charism.

Golden Jubilee: 33 confreres studying abroad

Out of 408 confreres in the province, 24 are doing higher studies in Europe (UPS-7, Testaccio-3, Gerini-3, Crocetta -1, Jerusalem-6, Belgium-2 and Germany-2) and another 9 in the U.S. and elsewhere.

“Higher education is a need, and not a luxury,” insists Guwahati provincial Fr Joseph Almeida.

“In fact, we Salesians in Guwahati (or the North-East) are moving into the so-called the second stage, the first one being the frontline mission activities. Even now the needs of mission ad gentes are high (we have 40 parishes spread in ten different dioceses of the 15 North-Eastern dioceses and also other youth ministry activities). While we continue on the frontline missions, our role now, is also to animate,” explains Fr. Almeida marking the golden jubilee of the province this year.

For compliments: vettathjose@yahoo.com