IAPC Atlanta Chapter Reconstituted With New Office Bearers

IAPC Atlanta chapter has demonstrated over the years its unique quality of accepting changes and promoting new officers for each term.Exiting president Sabu Kurian (appointed to the national committee) recommended sitting secretary Jomy George as the next president, and Anie Anuvelil seconded the recommendation. Then the Vice president’s nomination was approved by Lukose Tharian and Philip Thomas. Followed by the secretary’s request for the new term, the suggested name was Sam T Samuel and Joint secretary Philip Thomas. The recommendation was unanimously seconded by Joseph K V and Thomas K. In addition, Grace Tharian is elected as Treasurer, and  Leelamma S.M as Joint Treasurer.

Thomas Kalladanthiyil was appointed as the Advisory board’s Chairman for the new term. The following members were selected to be the advisory panel – Harmeet singh, Dominic Chackonal, Roy Augustin, Lukose Tharian, and the Chapter unanimously agreed to the recommendation. The appointed executive officers gave their acceptance speech, and the New president declared the goals and vision for the Chapter for the new term. Secretary shared his vision to strategize the Chapter in a reformed way. Also, the treasurer shared unique ideas to make the Chapter financially sound for the new term. The future and the possibilities of the IAPC Atlanta chapter are endless and exciting. New executive members are motivated to see what the future holds for the Chapter with their talents and vision.

Founder Chairman Ginsmon Zacharia, Chairman Kamlesh Mehta, Board Secretary Ajay Ghosh, Directors Dr. Mathew Joys, Mini Nair, Sabu Kurian and General Secretary C. G. Daniel congratulated and offered all support and cooperation to the Newly elected Office Bearers at IAPC Atlanta.

Wife Swapping Progressing!

Years back, while in North India, I heard about a young couple’s secret group enjoying ‘bhang’ (a potent herbal intoxicant). While the lights are off, they enjoy sexual relationships with strange partners in the group inside closed rooms. I could not digest the concept then.

Even there was a TV series called Wife Swap which takes on hot-button issues like politics, class, race, and gender. This show finds out what happens when two very different families exchange spouses for two weeks.

The topic of discussion is more sensitive as it happens live around us, nowadays.

Recently, there have been reports of people enjoying sex by cheating on their wives. The news was about a group in which a man who cheated on his wife and exchanged his wife to another guy for sexual gratification. The wife of one of them complained to the police when she could not bear it. That’s how it turned out. What is the state of mind of those who commit such acts? Has the sense of the Malayalees changed to such a state? ” There are some factors behind the transition of Malayalees to a state of mind where partners are shared” says  Dr. S.S. Arun B Nair, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. ( courtesy: Mathrubhumi).

As a result of the influence of the Internet, there are many opportunities today to see and learn firsthand what is happening in many parts of the world. In it you get a chance to see live scenes of sexual experimentation and sexual perversions. Sex videos, including dating, are widely available on the Internet. With this, Malayalees have come to the attitude that it is a very natural thing to do in many parts of the world, and there is nothing wrong with doing it.

In the lockdown following the epidemic, the Internet became the most important pastime for the Malayalees who could not get out of their homes. Naturally, there was a rush among people to watch sex scenes and series on the Internet and try many of them. It is often the case that such groups are created using chat groups and social media groups on the Internet. Those groups get together somewhere and move into such activities

The second important factor is the changes in family relationships over time. Often, family members do not spend enough time together at home. Inside the house, the husband, wife and children live in their own world. Their lives are immersed in the internet. With this, the family members are not able to talk and interact with each other with an open mind. This not only increases the psychological estrangement of each other, but also increases the tendency to seek out other relationships.

The third thing that leads to this is the impatience and temptation that has permeated human nature in modern society. Modern life gives man an opportunity to make all his desires happen immediately. All we need to do is watch a movie or buy some food. All this will motivate us to do new experiments. It motivates man to seek new things, to seek new relationships and to go through new experiences. This journey of innovation will surely lead man to this kind of state.

It is important to note that sometimes people who go into a mental state such as certain sexual dysfunctions i.e. sexual paraphilia lead such activities. Some individuals experience a state of sexual pleasure when they see their spouse having sex with another person in private. The onset of guilty feelings about having the affair, in the first place, further zaps whatever energy the partner having the affair might still have left. Today we have the opportunity to see firsthand the realities and adventures of the world that were known only through stories or pamphlets told over thirty years ago. Then it becomes a very important factor as well as a tendency to experiment in one’s own life

Another important factor is the use of intoxicants, Marijuana or liquor in such groups. Many people who are often overly interested in these sexual experiments may use a variety of intoxicants. Many of the substances in the category of other intoxicants, including cannabis, are substances that aid in sexual stimulation. It is more likely to get lyrical stimulation in the first stage of using it. But it is also true that gradually, with constant use, the lymphatic capacity will be eliminated. As a result of the effects of these drugs, people are becoming more and more interested in such sexual experiments.

Now it is not a legal offense for a couple to have sexual relations between two persons by mutual consent. But it becomes a legal issue where a person is forced into a kind of sexual relationship that he or she is not interested in. It becomes a moral and legal issue where one tries to seduce, intimidate, influence or sometimes intimidate those who are not interested.

“However, in this mate swapping, women often fall in love with the man in that situation, which can be a problem and can lead to mental health problems” said Dr. C.G.John, Ernakulam Medical Trust Hospital. The husband or wife may find more attractive features in the newly shared partners, which will end up to  break the original married relationship. OMG, what a deterioration of cultural and moral values, much ashamed I am!

Radical Socialist Statement on Afghanistan: A Double Tragedy

We mourn with the Afghan people their double tragedy. The first tragedy—the US’s illegal and utterly unjustified military invasion twenty years ago—helped prepare the ground for today’s tragedy, the accession to power of the Islamo-fanatical Taliban. Condemnation of the latter must not mean any softening of the criticism of US and Western imperialism or in shedding tears at its departure from the country.

The single most important democratic advance in the whole of the second half of the 20th century was the end of foreign colonial and imperialist rule even where this unfortunately resulted in the emergence of indigenous dictatorships. In a world where peoples are constituted as belonging to separate and multiple states, the fundamental moral-political principle to uphold (minus the rarest of exceptional cases) is respecting the freedom of agency of a people to overthrow their own tyrants. This is why it was the responsibility of Indians to overthrow British rule, of Indonesians the Dutch, of South Africans against Apartheid, and so on. Calling for external help of all kinds, even military aid, was one thing; calling for external military liberation, No!

In the 1978 ‘Saur Revolution’ a secular and reform-minded pro-Soviet ‘Communist’ party, the PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan) came to power but was bedevilled by internal armed faction-fighting and had no real social base beyond Kabul. The Soviet invasion in 1979 to support this government was morally unjustified and condemnable while politically disastrous, handing over as it did the mantle of ‘popular nationalist struggle’ against the foreign invader, to a host of ethno-tribal Islamist groups including Al Qaeda and Taliban. The primary military aiders, equippers and trainers of these were the US, its British/French allies along with Pakistan. The Soviets finally withdrew in 1989 with its factotum government collapsing three years later amidst a civil war waged by the various Islamists until the Taliban capturing  90% of the territory established its dominance in 1996.

In 2001 the US government deliberately refused to characterise the assault on Twin Towers and Pentagon as what it was, namely an international crime against humanity. For that would have meant going after the criminals and their network only. Instead, by declaring a ‘Global War on Terror’ and claiming that no distinction would be made between the guilt of the perpetrators and that of the governments of countries which the US declared to be ‘housing terrorists’—the way was cleared for the US to transform a conflict between itself and a non-state network into one against any number of countries in West and Central Asia in keeping with its wider geo-political ambitions of achieving global dominance. In the new millennium Afghanistan was the first of many to suffer such military assaults. The US foreign policy establishment had already identified China, Iran and Russia as the ones to watch out for and were accordingly well aware that Afghanistan, apart from Pakistan, abuts Iran, China and pro-Russia Central Asian Republics, the latter also a region having large relatively untapped sources of oil and gas.

In these 20 years the US military and its puppet regimes (themselves corrupt and internally fractious) have carried out massive bombings (‘daisy cutters’, cluster bombs), drone attacks (extending into Pakistan) and brutal and indiscriminate ‘search and destroy’ missions against unknown insurgents and their families. US deaths (soldiers and contractors) have been around 6500.

In contrast, by extremely conservative estimates, total Afghan deaths up to the end of 2019 (government soldiers/police, opposition fighters, civilians) were around 160,000. Other sources which try to take account of unreported deaths have estimates of civilian casualties alone running from a few hundred thousand to over a million in an overall population between 35-40 million. Four million Afghans have been internally displaced with another 2.7 million external refugees. As of now around 48% are below the national poverty line. Some progressive laws and reforms have taken place but they no more justify US presence and rule than the fact of the British building hospitals, schools and introducing some legislatures, elections and limited franchise would have justified the persistence of colonial rule in India.

That the 300,000 plus official Afghan forces (soldiers, police, special militias) numbering 5 to 6 times more than Taliban fighters and also equipped with the most advanced arsenal of weapons and having full mechanical control of airspace should have so dramatically collapsed, indicates that the Taliban did have a measure of ground support and public acquiescence (no doubt considerably fear-induced) beyond its predominantly Pushtun base. However, it is strongly hostile to the Persian-speaking Tajiks who make up 27% of the population as compared to the 42% of Pushtuns which means there is every reason to fear serious internal repression and even a possible civil war type situation in the future. Taliban may or may not have learnt something from its past international isolation and avoid some forms of social  and civic repression. But given its history and social/civic programme of religious sectarianism, anti-democratic, anti-women measures—it has declared it will impose Sharia Law—there is every reason to oppose it forthrightly and without equivocation.

Governments everywhere including India’s, will shed crocodile tears for the Afghan people, but are in fact (accompanied by respective bus loads of ‘strategic experts’) only motivated by the crude and amoral considerations of realpolitik. Claiming to pursue the ‘national interest’—standardised subterfuge for the actual pursuit of ruling class interests that these different states actually represent—they will decide whether or when to establish diplomatic relations of some kind with the new Taliban government; or else to join hands with other self-serving major powers and their cohorts be these the Western Alliance or the possible front of Russia, China and Pakistan that looks more favourably at the new dispensation in Afghanistan.

No Afghan government has ever accepted the Durand line and the Taliban with even stronger sympathies with Pushtuni nationalism is not as beholden to Pakistan as the Islamophobic Modi government (some of whose Hindutva prescriptions are as debased as those of radical Islam) would like to make out for the purpose of whipping up anti-Pakistan sentiment domestically which then pays dividends for deepening repression in Kashmir.

It is the good of the Afghan people not our supposed ‘national interest’  that must be our point of departure for reflecting on what we must support and oppose. There should be no economic sanctions against Afghanistan. These hurt the people much more than the elites that govern. Humanitarian aid on an appropriate scale routed through progressive international and civil society organisations to this war-torn country is a must. No recognition to the Taliban regime while political, diplomatic and cultural pressures of various kinds (but not military) can play a role in pushing it to be less repressive in its laws and actions against women and ethnic and religious minorities.

A basic test for the West and many other countries will come with regard to the posture they adopt towards the flow of Afghan refugees now and afterwards. There should be no restriction to those seeking refuge or asylum and adequate provision be made for them to stay or relocate to where they can. This holds for India as well. Even before the advent of Modi, India was and remains a non-party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol which among other things rejects refoulement (forcible return of refugees to their places of displacement/persecution).

The Modi government has carried this out to a number of Rohingyas simply because they are Muslims. This hostility to Muslims and Islam is also reflected in the Citizenship Amendment Act applicable to Afghanistan. While New Delhi may in current circumstances allow for selective refugee influx this is not enough. Free flow must be allowed even as there can be discussion among neighbouring states for sharing the responsibility. Moreover, those Afghans, students and otherwise who are already in the country and wish to remain must have their visas extended until such time as they feel confident of returning back or they can in due course apply for Indian citizenship. NO TO IMPERIALISM, NO TO THE TALIBAN

A Malayalee Family Feeds The Poor In Australia

A Malayalee family feeds the poor in Australia and India by collecting bottles from the streets and beaches! Recently, Australian and Malayalam newspapers have been reporting on a Malayalee who has been involved in charity work in various places, starting with a slum school in Mumbai, Uganda, and Indonesia.

“A helping hand to those suffering from Covid in various parts of the state under the leadership of a young foreign Malayalee, George Thomas (34), son of KozhencherryKeezhukaraKoikalethuAniyan, who works in Australia, distributed food kits as part of the Restore Kerala project. In the first phase, 400 food kits worth Rs.1000 each. The next step is to prepare for the distribution of the drugs. George is the Director and CEO of the Mustard Seed Family Project, a social service organization based in Australia.” that is what I read off-late about this strange family. Joshi Emmanuel, my friend, and a social activist in Australia, has referred to Georgie, a Malayalee trying to improve the lives of the poor by collecting and selling bottles. Curious to know more, his phone number was sought from Joshi.

George Thomas, a senior manager at a hotel in Australia earlier, is currently the driver of the Australian luxurious Ghan Train,  that runs all the way from Darwin to Adelaide for the last two years. I wished to hear the details from the horse’s mouth itself. Australian time is sixteen hours ahead of American Las Vegas time. I tried on the phone several times. When we finally got online, we were delighted and talked in detail for a long time. When the relevant parts of his dedicated charitable efforts were reflected in his thoughts, proudly thought of presenting this particular youngster and family among the few young people who had humanity in mind.

“I can not describe how the hardships in the lives of my companions entered my heart. But the cries of hunger at home and in Australia, where I live, kept coming back to haunt me. It is not right to say only to me; it was a pain for my whole family,” said George. “I studied hotel management. And was the manager of a restaurant at Adelaide Airport with a five-star status and often enjoyed the top class food too. Life meticulously looked good. But when I see people around me begging for food, there is a sigh somewhere inside. Not only me but my wife Minu had the same experience as me”.

“But how can that help? Where can I find the money for it? (While I was saying this, Minu was helping people with the money she got from her job and also sponsoring the teaching of children in the country.) The demand was exceedingly curving up. But we could not go on without finding extra money”. “So one of the ideas was to pick up bottles from the streets and beaches and give it to Recycling for money. If we work a little more challenging, we can help some families without reaching out to others. Then we decided to look at the same path without any hesitation.”Besides, the government pays 10 cents (five rupees) per bottle. This is an earnest project implemented by the South Australian government,” says George, referring to the idea of ​​the Ten Cents 4 A Family.

His family and I started collecting bottles on the third of January 2019 roaming the streets and beaches to pick up leftovers. The money raised was used to buy food for Salvos’ inmates, a leading Australian charity. George and his family bought canned food and juices that had not been spoiled for some time. George is proud to say that they have also started delivering food to a village in West Bengal. “As the project entered its second month, our expectations have doubled. More and more bottles could be collected. So we wanted to do things a little more extensively. That same month in Australia, we could pay all the hospital bills of a child who was diagnosed with blood cancer. We were also able to distribute tin food that month,” George continues.

Before coming to Australia, George worked as a hotel manager in Goa, Dubai, and London and hailed from Kozhencherry in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. Minu Idukki is a laundry helper in Australia. Although George and his family started collecting on the bottles for charity, one of their friends explained its other social benefits. “What George Thomas is doing is not just a good thing. It’s a fight against plastics that harm the earth.”  That’s when I realized another aspect of its common good. I was excited to hear from someone else that I’m protecting the earth,” says George, who started doing charity work knowing that it was also against plastic waste.

To the slums of Mumbai

At first, he did not operate as a registered entity. The money raised from the sale of the bottle was set aside for the activities of any organization. But as people became aware of the need for the event, we were forced to undertake only one mission each month, ‘said George, registering as a charitable trust.  “Since 2019, we have been thinking about expanding the activities of ‘Ten Cent for a Family’ to a slum in Mumbai. At the end of the deliberations, I sought the help of a friend who was there. I went to Mumbai with my father,” said George, adding that what he saw in Mumbai was heartbreaking.

George reveals that visiting that slum that day in Mumbai was another turning point in his life

Food kits (consisting of rice, sugar, biscuits, nuts, oil, and chocolate) were distributed there?.

“I planned to start a school there. But how do those who have no food go to school? In addition, the children work and bring home around Rs. 200 per day. We have to make sure that we get that amount when we send our children to school. Then they said let’s leave it at school. We were willing to accept their terms.

“I rented a flat in that slum. A school was started in it. The school aims to provide basic education to children between the ages of 6 and 14 years. The primary purpose of the school was to teach the children the alphabet, arithmetic, and Hindi,” explains George.

School started in Mumbai.

The children who came to school started giving lunch every day. Forty children are studying in this school. .Activities in Mumbai are not limited to schools. For example, sewing classes were started during the holidays to empower slum girls and mothers. He says a lot of women and girls come there to learn sewing.George’s activities in India are not confined to Mumbai Blankets were distributed in Tukalpur, UP. Then, some charitable deeds as possible in Punjab as well. In the meantime, Kerala has not been forgotten.

Mission Australia

When the “10 Cent 4A family” started, my goal was not just Australia. The goal was to take care of the upliftment of my country that had brought me up. Australia feeds me. My country is the reason for my progress”Georgie continues. Georgie’s 10 Cent 4A Family collaborates with the Childhood Cancer Association, the Red Cross Army and the Salvation Army as part of Mission Australia. Georgie and her family are actively involved in Mission Australia, which aims to provide housing for the homeless poor Australian citizens, provide security for girls who are victims of domestic violence, help liberate those addicted to alcohol and drugs, and provide job training for the unemployed.

George and his family have expanded their efforts to promote the social upliftment of the African nation of Uganda.

Another project “4U Café” is just a pay it forward cafe, with potential upfront payments for the next person or homeless people, and free meals for those in need. The cafe, which distributes like this, is thriving. Paid 4U Cafe, I will run for a week , and next week my wife will run the cafe with the volunteers”.Paid 4U Cafe is where distressed families and the homeless can receive coffee training, providing them with accredited training and job training experience to help them return to a normal lifestyle.

George and his family are now in the process of distributing medical kits to many poor families in Kerala in the next phase, as we have supported over 400 families with monthly food kits and other essentials under the Restore Kerala project. George was also in a good hurry due to the hot summer in Australia. So George is busy picking up bottles on the beaches and roads after the hotel is busy. During the summer, when the water level rises, the number of bottles in public places also increases that creates more resources”

The long conversation between Georgie and me ended at 10:30 pm Australian time. At that moment, he noticed that some bottles were lying on the roadside. He cut himself off, saying, “There’s no room in the car, still  I have to pack it 8in the car.” George exemplifies that if at least a little bit of humanity and goodness remains in the mind, we can prepare the poor and the deserving poor for a better life and steps to survival.His witnessing life marks the culmination of a long and arduous journey. Irrespective of how others view it, in a blaze of glory or a torrent of tears – the journey itself is a tremendous story of loving kindness for the struggling human beings around us.