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Camels in the western Indian state of Gujarat. These animals are part of a herd owned by the nomadic Maldhari herders.
Shaina Shealy for NPR
It's nighttime in a forest in the western Indian state of Gujarat. By the light of his cell phone, camel herder Jat Saleh Amir, 18, pumps milk from the teats of groaning camels. The milk smells strong, like gamey butter.
Later, I join his family around a fire by grass reed huts. Everyone watches as I take my first sip of frothy camel milk from a steel bowl. I gag a little and smile apologetically – the milk is fatty, sour and salty. It's nothing like any milk I've had before. "Tell them I like it!" I elbow my local interpreter Liyakat Ali Notiyar. When nobody is looking, I slide Notiyar the warm bowl. Having grown up on camel milk, he slurps it clean in an instant.
Jat Saleh Amir, 18, a Maldhari herder with fresh camel milk in front of his herd in Kutch, Gujarat.
Shaina Shealy for NPR
Few Indians outside this district of Kutch and its community of camel herders drink camel milk. But that's about to change as one of India's largest dairy brands is set to mass market it. The milk will be sourced from this community of nomadic camel herders called Maldharis who roam the district of Kutch.
Maldharis have herded camels and consumed the animal's milk for centuries. They drink camel milk tea and serve it plain with breakfast, lunch and dinner. And they consider the milk a cure-all – they tell stories about camel milk curing everything from acid reflux to fever and pregnancy ailments. They also believe it can help manage diabetes. Elisha Harissa, 45, who has diabetes and lives in a nearby village regularly drinks camel milk. He claims it regulates his blood sugar. A few studies suggest there may be some scientific merit to these claims – camel milk seems to help regulate insulin secretion and blood sugar levels in patients with Type1 diabetes – suggesting it could potentially be used alongside other medical treatments to manage diabetes. However, scientists are still investigating the therapeutic potential of camel milk.
Meanwhile, Amul plans to market camel milk primarily to people with Type1 diabetes. And the company's managing director, R.S. Sodhi, is confident the product will succeed, especially given the growing number of diabetics in the country. But he acknowledges there will be challenges. The main reason: the taste. Indians may not take to the unusual taste of camel milk. Even Kutch natives used to camel milk, like Asmok Ghor, whose grandparents transported goods back and forth to Pakistan on camels, can only stomach the sour milk if it's boiled with sugar or concealed as ice cream. "I'm sorry," Ghor says. "It's not about the camels, I don't like the milk."
A Maldhari woman prepares a baby bottle of warm camel milk for her one year-old. Children in this community grow up drinking camel milk from a very young age.
Shaine Shealy for NPR
Sahjeevan is working with the local Kutch Camel Breeder's Association to market creative camel products, including camel milk soap and camel milk chocolate. A few years ago, they even brought a European expert to teach herders how to make camel milk cheese. Amed Taju says the chocolate was a hit among the herders, but the cheese didn't take off.
The success of Amul's efforts with camel milk may help determine the future of Maldharis. Government-imposed restrictions on grazing land in recent years, a decline in the camel-for-transport market and the mining industries' encroachment on grazing land have led to a decline in the number of camels owned by these communities. Amed Taju, a community elder, has had to sell many of his camels to get by. Now, his herd is half the size it was five years ago. Life is hard these days, says Taju. His children aren't in school and he can't afford health care. "We are poor people," he says. "We are earning and eating, not saving."
Camel milk is often used in tea in the district of Kutch in Gujarat. It is easy to find camel milk chai in villages like Desalper.
Shaina Shealy for NPR
This is where Amul can help, says Sodhi. Amul will purchase the milk for at least twice its current value, encouraging Maldharis to increase their herds. It won't be huge business for Amul, Sodhi says. "But for camel herders it will be big."
If he's able to sell camel milk routinely to Amul, Taju says he will build solid homes and send his grandchildren to boarding schools. "I see a future not for my sons and daughters," he says. "But for my grandson and granddaughters."
Udupi, Dec 12: Two women were caught by pro-Hindu outfits at Herga in Parkala here on Monday December 12 for allegedly trying to convert people to a Christian denomination.
The women have been identified as Seneta of Perampalli and Soumya from Mission Compound, Udupi.
It is said that the women had been going door-to-door handing out religious pamphlets to people in the area for the past one week. The women were also collecting addresses, mobile numbers and other personal details from the people, it is alleged.
On receiving information, pro-Hindu outfits along with some locals confronted the women on Monday and handed them over to Manipal police.
The women reportedly belong to a committee propogating beliefs of 'Jehovah's Witnesses'.
The women were arrested and a case was registered in Manipal police station.
Intolerance has a chilling effect on freedom of thought and discussion. It places democracy under siege.
An unmistakable feature of any nation which professes to be democratic is the prevalence of tolerance therein. Tolerance is not merely a goody-goody virtue. It is vital because it promotes the receiving or acknowledging of new ideas and this helps to break the status quo mentality. Tolerance is particularly needed in large and complex societies comprising people with varied beliefs, as in India. This is because readiness to tolerate views other than one’s own facilitates harmonious coexistence.
A liberal democracy accepts the fact that in a free country, one can have different opinions and should have equal rights in voicing them. This is pluralism, and tolerance is its ultimate rationale.
Tolerance accords high respect for human rights, especially freedom of conscience and freedom of thought. Disagreement with the belief and ideology of others is no reason for their suppression, because there can be more than one path for the attainment of truth and salvation. Even if there is only one truth, it may have a hundred facets.
Intolerance stems from an invincible assumption of the infallibility and truth of one’s beliefs, the dogmatic conviction about the rightness of one’s tenets and their superiority over others, and with the passage of time, this leads to forcible imposition of one’s ideology on others, often resulting in violence. At present, the virus of intolerance has acquired global dimensions. Religious and political persecution has become rampant and curiously that too sometimes in the name of God Almighty or some Divine Power.
An intolerant society does not brook dissent. Suppression of dissent by censorship is an indispensable instrument for an intolerant authoritarian regime. Censorship, indeed, is its natural ally.
The necessity for tolerance has been internationally recognised. It is noteworthy that the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations proclaims that to achieve the goals of the Charter we need to “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours”. Another significant UN instrument is the Declaration of November 25, 1981 on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief which emphasises that it is essential to promote tolerance and requires states to adopt all necessary measures for the speedy elimination of intolerance in all its forms and manifestations. It is evident that there is an essential linkage between tolerance, human rights, democracy and peace.
Intolerance does not always emanate from official or state action but also from certain groups or sections in society. A not too recent instance was the determined effort to ban the exhibition of the film Ore Oru Gramathiley by a group of persons who regarded its theme and presentation as hostile to the policy of reservation of jobs in public employment and seats in educational institutions in favour of Scheduled Castes and backward classes. There were threats of attacking cinema houses where the film would be shown.
The Madras High Court in an incredible judgment revoked the certificate granted by the Board of Censors to the film and restrained its exhibition. The Supreme Court promptly reversed the judgment in a landmark decision, S. Rangarajan vs P. Jagjivan Ram, where Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty, speaking for the court, laid down an extremely important principle: “Freedom of expression protects not merely ideas that are accepted but those that offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the
population. Such are the demands of the pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no democratic society”.
Intolerance has a chilling, inhibiting effect on freedom of thought and discussion. Remember how Galileo suffered for his theory that the sun was the centre of the solar system and not the earth. Darwin was a victim of intolerance and was lampooned and considered an enemy of religion for his seminal work, The Origin of Species. Nearer home we have the example of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, whose efforts for reform, especially for the abolition of Sati, evoked fierce opposition because of intolerance. We must not revert to those dark days because when that happens democracy is under siege.
We must combat intolerance and its manifestations resulting in human rights violations by appropriate legal remedies. However, the crucial point is that tolerance cannot be legislated. No law can compel a person to be tolerant. Therefore, we must develop the capacity for tolerance by fostering an environment of tolerance, a culture of tolerance. Stereotypes and prejudices about certain classes and communities must be eschewed. Educational institutions have a vital role to play in this connection. The immense value of tolerance must be ingrained in the hearts and minds of the students.
Our Supreme Court’s judgment in Bijoe Emmanuel vs. State of Kerala is significant. Students belonging to the faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses, stood up when the national anthem was sung to show their respect but declined to sing along. The students were expelled by the school authorities. Their expulsion was upheld by the high court.
The Supreme Court reversed the high court judgment. Justice Chinnappa Reddy, who headed the bench, in the course of the judgment, observed that the students did not hold their beliefs idly or out of any unpatriotic sentiment but because they truly and conscientiously believed that their religion forbade singing the national anthem of any country. After a careful consideration of the issues, the Supreme Court concluded: “Our tradition teaches tolerance; our philosophy preaches tolerance; our Constitution practices tolerance. Let none dilute it”.
This is a classic judicial affirmation of tolerance. Let us resolve to promote tolerance in our multi-religious, multi-cultural nation and thereby strengthen and enrich our pluralist democracy which is the pride of our nation.
Certain fundamental duties have been prescribed by Article 51 A of the Constitution. To my mind, the practice of tolerance is the most fundamental duty of every citizen to curb the growing menace of intolerance.
DJSQUEEZE: You have real talent there! Your comment: " LOL 😎 😎 😎 You couldn't be further from the truth, pun intended. IF you're offended, I apologize. but note: I made no definitive statement(s). " .... may be grammatically technically true but it projects your OPINION that you have already judged Eoin to be and apostate, which is why you wre issuing the warning, albeit the warning having NO BASIS IN ACTUAL FACT. Such things are how witch-hunts begin ... casting suspicions without a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER. .... and then trying to weasel-word out of your self made trap .... sigh...... .
you can ask if someone can download it, and add it on a dvd for you, so you have it, !!
"Melinda has her letters that she doesn't send. I have my books. We're all encouraged to have our say in our heart to Jehovah and leave it at that, wherever possible. Reveal stuff in the context of where it may help, and there are such times, but don't put it on the clothesline in the front yard where the whole world sees......" ---TrueTom Never wrote any letters; never sent any. Think Anna said she did that as a coping mechanism. Read again.
Although, of course, reality is a bit of a subjective term. I suppose we could ask who's reality? Anyway, I suspect you (and @JWInsider) mean that "the real world" that "some prominent brothers" are divorced from has reference to the set of circumstances experienced by non-SPOOFT Jehovah's Witnesses in their day to day interface with: JWs, (congregational, social, and family life). non-JWs (relatives, interested ones, neighbors, peers in education and the workplace, the non-JW community at large). others (marked, inactive, disfellowshipped). If that is the "reality" to which you are referring, then I would say that, in some cases, rather than a possibility, divorce from this "reality" is a certainty. And is likely a condition experienced by more than "some prominent brothers". I would suggest that other such "la-la Land" inhabitants might include some brought up as Jehovah's Witnesses by Jehovah's Witnesses.