Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Vicar

Excellent article in Asian Age (http://www.asianage.com) by M.J. Akbar. Once again it demonstrates how a great writer can pen difficult to articulate ideas as well as put the things in a context that literally spans over a century.

I am in a country where there are many, even faithfuls, who believe President Regan brought down the Iron Curtain single handedly. But as MJ Akbar has rightly pointed out, this Pope was one of the most critical elements of forces to bring down the evil empire. He is one of those rare Popes who has been on the right side of the History – not by an accident, but by his faith and intellect. It is perfectly in the character of this Pope - been there, did what required and moving ahead leaving History to worry about what role he played.

There are many people in today’s world, including truly yours this author, who are fundamentally rationalists but are slowly understanding limits of a rational attitude in dealing with Life which is full of other humans, emotions, politics, job losses, tsunami, one’s own limitations and constraints. It is like, gee I have beaten this rational path to death; but that promised land of Happiness is still effectively not reached. There is some one standing along the road named Faith, should I ask her? May be my road, the very same road, would become bearable if I talk to her and take her help as relevant and continue my journey. This Pope had been in that illustrious tradition of wise people, like the Faith waiting on the treacherous road, helping anyone who may need help. May be, after all we do not have to celebrate the Stairway to Heaven only in the music of Led Zappelin; but it is something possible in real life if are open for Faith.

How true when MJ Akbar says - you do not have to agree with Pope John Paul in order to respect him. That is right. The guy was with guts and possessing something which is hard to find and describe; something like “non arrogant moral superiority”.

How pleasing to read this article.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA
April 2, 2005.

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