Gods, Warriors and Battle Cries – A Critical Analysis of New Development Endangering the World

The days of fear of collision of intellect of super powers and destruction through nuclear holocaust are gone. Humankind is now endangered by bigger fear by the Battle Cry of Gods warriors. The spiritual awakening under the belt of multitude of religions is causing a huge threat to modern society as never before. Christiane Amanpour of CNN through her six hour episodes on Christian warriors, Jewis warriors and Muslim Warriors brought out this naked reality. This combined with Global Warming, Climate Change; increased Natural Catastrophes is making human life miserable and endangered. The CNN has fulfilled its journalistic role of bringing the problem to the lime light for the intellectuals to think. But the question left behind is what are the real cause and what is the solution. Many of these warriors, by their half awakened spirituality are psyched for Mother of all Battles. With all the fire power of matter behind them, the scenario emerging is deadlier than before the era of super power and tensions of nuclear war.

Author could perceive the evolution of our world to the present day situation as he was working as a researcher in biotechnology. He realized that humankind is inching to self destruction because of the lack of interrelationship and oneness of nature [Truth of Nature]. In a turning point of his life he chose to stay with his consciousness and left the research world to seek Truth. He notes that only Truth can save the world from the impending disaster and calls the attention of the world to it. Modern world is the product our divisive approach to understand nature. The author feels it should come from the opposite. From two decades of research author produces the Fundamental Design and Principle on which nature is constructed, related and is working perpetually in cycles. The knowledge not only accounts for the all the developments in science and bring them together, but goes ahead to explain the spiritual reality. It has potential to cause the unity of all religion thus defusing the tension endangering humanity.

Though author is spiritual and New Born, he feels that blind or half bread spirituality is dangerous. It is power full than atomic bombs, accurate and non failing than the best of the missiles mankind has developed and it has additional capacity of self programming and to breed its copies. With more and more people turning spiritual and spirituality aiming the seat of power and judiciary, the situation is turning to a point of triggering Mother of all Battles and self-destruction. A half bread spiritual leader in the seat of power can create more havoc than a half bread intellectual, [selfish /corrupt] person in the hierarchy. Reasons are simple

1] Human existence is a struggle to know the Truth of his existence in Nature. There are two paths. An intellectual is a person who seeks the Truth from the material world and depends on what he sees from his senses. Undoubtedly it is inferior. He perceives the disorder, disturbance and death as coming form the opposite thus sets out to conquer and corrupt the opposite. He is driven by fear and his basic motive is to protect life and have life. Thus he develops weapons primarily for self protection, but his ignorant self manifest as conquering motive and corruption leading to upsetting of the balance, creating disorder destruction. He breaks the Mother of all Laws by his ignorance and calls upon himself death.

2] Spirituality is a second path that is opposite to intellect and materialistic path. It is awakened by the disturbance, disorder created by the intellectual path leading the whole to death. It is positive and emerges as resisting and balancing factor. Human quest for spirituality is also is triggered by his quest to know himself and nature. Spirituality is real, superior and is the foundation on which nature exist. Science has proved that energy and mass are the same. Mass/matter is simply encapsulated form of energy or spirit. What this means life and all organic matter and material matter has its origin from one source, the Spirit or Energy. However, today humanity is caught in the material vortex. The modern, money and power oriented culture, lack of order and justice, the excessive competition has led to a limit, making individual and collective mind restless. Our media has an important role in this. They feed the unreal into the young and growing minds. The young minds when faced with reality turns restless and disoriented, thus breeding increased violence and destruction.

Mind when it is disoriented seeks some orientation. The revival of spirituality has its root in this natural evolutionary trend or the instinct of the system to survive. In fact the break down and disorientation of mind of humanity could be traced to break down of foundation of science and defeat of Einstein in the battle of Copenhagen. Since then our growth has no direction and control and has become random and disoriented. The disoriented mind disturbs the flow of energy in living system leading to the development of heat in the body, mind, soul and it inches to death.

The instability of the mind is contributed by the modern world. It is apparent that at some it point should lead to collapse. The survival instinct forces a turn around. Such turnaround and fall occurs invariably under the banner of a religion and the mind and intellect becomes submissive to it. Faith calls upon us to submit our intellect to consciousness in order to find order through the Higher Intellect. When a mind/intellect submits to this consciousness, it unites with the Universal Consciousness that gives Life. This feeling is unique a person one who stands on the other side of the river will never will be able understand it. Since his transformation happens under the belt of one or the other religion his mind and intellect now becomes subservient to religious force. The world divided on many religions automatically Get Warriors to fight for their religion and enforce it on others

We human seek God when we are disturbed and there is always an intent behind our quest. In the famous Vedic teaching, the teacher teaches the student the art of liberating mind to seek Truth. The teacher leads the student till the seventeenth step but leaves the student to tap and open the last door. Every one who taps the door and opens it utters “This is Not”. It clearly tells us that every human fails at the last door step, for all humans approaches the God with intent. The Vedic and other ancient religious scriptures tell us that God Himself enacts from time to time to lead Humanity in the right direction and perpetuates His Creation.

What most religious groups have failed to understand is that the Universal Consciousness is only the feminine face, there is masculine face called Intelligence or the Intellect of God, which Creates, give life and actually controls the whole thing. The completeness of the spirituality and its initialization occurs only when one transforms through the Intellect or intelligence of the Creator. Here the man made barriers of religion breaks and all the darkness vanishes and light and pure knowledge, the knowledge of interrelationship and oneness emerges.

This knowledge of the Divine cannot come to any one who approaches Truth through his intellect and its five manifested senses. It also will not be opened to any one who approaches it with intent. Author was a non-believer; he took to research with a consciousness hoping to contribute something to humanity as he lives his life. Confronted by a choice, his mind revolted than submitting his Consciousness and bowing his intellect to darkness clothed in white. Author chose to sacrifice his dream of an academic career, freed himself to be a small farmer living one with nature. Here he pursued Truth without intent through his intellect. Truth was so near yet so far. Eventually in a Golden moment author submitted, his intellect unconditionally to the Higher Intellect or Intelligence Guiding Nature. In that moment not only author experienced the Love of the Universal Consciousness, but was shown the Simple Design and Principle working behind the complex world. This revelation was also accompanied by duty to be a warrior fighting for Light and defending it. Not as a support of any religion but to break and cause its unity before the inevitable Time Change happens. Author could perceive immense Love of the Father the Creator in the simple revelation of interrelationship and oneness. The realization of interrelationship and oneness is the only way out of the impending danger of self destruction to which humanity is tending in the name of God.

The Divine Secret which the author also calls as the Quantum Secret is explored in depth in his site

The site speaks of the fundamental design and principle by which a quantum particle exist, how they go to form various quantum systems [matter particle], how matter particle shows creativity to form organic and inorganic compounds, how life is formed from these particle, how human being is different from plant and animal kingdom, how the qualitative diversity exist and so on. In fact it answerers all the fundamental questions of science and spirituality and takes our understanding of nature to higher level of unity and oneness. It gives a new plat form and orientation to human mind. The new orientation is the opposite of what the divisive approach that western civilization contributed to the world. It is kept as humble challenge to the temples of Science and Religions.

Important conclusion that the site makes is that, time and its cycle is inevitable. The time associated with the universal system collapses and initializes to go in cyclic manner. [Quantum Wave Collapse]. We are going through a phase of such collapse and initialization. This is very much predicted in most ancient knowledge systems. [ Veda, Bible, Mayan culture]. Mayan’s, who are time keepers of the world, have predicted it to be 2012. This means, the years ahead could be highly destructive if humanity does not awaken to the inter relationship and oneness. Nothing can stop the collapse. The Bible truly compares it to pains of mother bleeding in order to give Birth. The blood shed, the disturbed state of earth, sun, solar system, the distant space, Global warming and increased natural catastrophes Etc., are sure signs and a call to for humanity to awaken to the Truth of Nature and its Oneness

This press release is released with the best interest of bringing awareness of interrelationship and oneness of nature to cause awakening of human consciousness and intelligence such that awakened individual and the society takes guard of his abode. The media is humbly requested to take the matter to the world for evaluation.

Florida Property Division – Who Gets What?

Marital assets and debts must be listed in your divorce Financial Affidavit or Marital Settlement Agreement. Even for uncontested divorces when the property is not already divided or if you own real estate, you need to identify all the assets and debts each of you have, the values, and who gets each one after the divorce. You have to do the same in a contested divorce.

The most efficient way to divide your property is to create a list with all your property and debts. Make columns for the assets name or description, current value, debt, who the debt is with (the creditor), which of you owns the property or whether it is jointly owned and who will get it after the divorce.

Remember that the general rule for property division is a 50/50 split. Also keep in mind that retirement benefits other than IRAs will require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to divide the account. Since QDROs are complicated and require hiring an expert to write, most people find it more practical to “trade” other property worth half of the retirement account to avoid the whole QDRO issue.

If your case goes to trial, Florida Statute 61.075 directs the judge to consider these factors in deciding what is “equitable” or fair when making the division for you:

  1. Contribution to marriage by each spouse, including homemaking
  2. Economic circumstances of parties
  3. Duration of marriage
  4. Interruption in career or education of either spouse
  5. Contribution to career or education of one spouse by the other spouse
  6. Keeping an income-producing asset intact & free from interference, like a family business run primarily by one spouse
  7. Each spouse’s contribution to acquisition, enhancement, production of income, assets, and/or liabilities
  8. Whether it is in minor child’s best interest to keep the marital home until child turns 18 & if financially feasible
  9. Intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after or within a 2 year period before filing Petition
  10. Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties

As you can see from this list, there is no way to determine what a judge will decide based on these factors. Since you can make any property division the two of you agree on, it is best to make a written agreement to divide your property rather than allowing the judge to decide. The chart will help you by giving you the total of all your assets and debts.

If you are representing yourself and have issues like co-mingling or non-marital property used during the marriage, one option is to consult a financial expert to help you with the property division. A Certified Public Accountant with either the Certified Financial Planner designation or one who is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst has the knowledge to help you. Both of you can be clients of a CPA. Your second option is to hire a Florida family law attorney only for consultation and to review your chart and the agreement. The attorney can only have one of you as a client.

It is possible to represent yourself in a Florida divorce, but you need to know your rights, how to use the Family Law forms and the court process. Before you sign any agreements, be educated about your rights and the procedures in Florida divorces.

Styles and Strategies of Policing

Community policing conveys an array of expectations relating to the law enforcement departments of our society. These expected responses actually depend upon how we as individuals and groups view the roles set aside for the police within the confines of our system. If we exist within a center city atmosphere than our beliefs and observations are understandable different then those people who reside in a rural environment. It only stands to reason that when the officer’s understanding of their role and the citizen’s perception of that role are in conflict that problem often arise.

Not everyone perceives the officer’s role equally however these roles can be broken down into several diverse divisions. On the one hand we have those citizens who view the law enforcement personnel as community leaders devoted to public safety. They are afforded as a group the option of a broad discretion in the manner in which they conduct themselves and perform their job. Then you have some people who view the peace officers as a psychological crutch to provide resolutions on a short term basis. Lastly, you have a number of people who know the risks associated with the profession and appreciate their service within hostile environments.

Throughout the discussion we must continually keep in mind the aspects for which police work entails, such as rapid ability to make split instant decisions, the ability to work as an independent entity, and accomplishing the dangerous work which they do for the benefit of society as a whole.

Once the officer has completed his training and has been released in the field he often develops his own brand of operational style. During his study of eight different police departments there were three specific styles identified by James Q. Wilson in 1968. They were the Legalistic, Watchman and the Service style. The various typology associated with these three styles are just as useful today as it was when the styles were initially defined. I will attempt to compare the three styles in order to qualify one as more important then another.

Let’s briefly identify the first style offered by Wilson as the Legalistic style. This is the most typical of all for it concentrates upon the acts associated with violations of the law. Its principle tools lie in the use of threats and the ultimate act of arrest in order to resolve disputes between individuals. The legalistic style officer is commitment to following the letter of the law and often views his arrests as a focus upon community safety. This style is recurrently found within large metropolitan areas.

The watchman style relies upon the informal methods to resolve disputes and is frequently found within the poorer communities. This style is dominated by informal police interventions which use methods such as persuasion or threats rather than the usual arrest. These areas are powder kegs ready to blow up so the officers must use caution since their number one priority is to maintaining public order.

Lastly, we have the service where the emphasis is usually placed upon the community as opposed to law enforcement. The service style is intended upon helping the community in a close hand in hand effort complimented by working closely with the local social service agencies. These officers usual prefer to use a referral rather than to arrest the offenders or initiate formal court actions. The service style is prominently found in the more wealthy communities.

We can not say with any certainty that each officer selects one or the other of these styles since each would react differently according to the situation but rather they tend to develop a delicate balance composed of a little of each. I personally feel that there is no specific style that is better then the others. The legalistic approach would best serve the community in general. Rules are rules and the law should be obeyed. If minor infringements are continually overlooked then we may as well not have the law on the books at all. However, we must tamper our zealousness with compassion and attempt to place those individuals who desire help to the proper authorities for disposition therefore a measure of service must be included as well.

In view of the terrorist threat which continually menaces our society since the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9-11, it is felt that certain concessions have taken place within these styles. The issue of terrorism is a fairly new subject in the field of criminal justice and has been initiated in a methodical manner into our police directive. With a disaster of that proportion it is inevitable that changes would necessarily take place. I feel the largest change has occurred within the confines of the Legalistic style officers. They have developed a more intense method of completing their patrols then they previously had employed. They now are aware that foreign as well as homegrown enemies are actively performing their trade within America’s boarders. By the use of systematic terrorist violence these people attempt to attain their political objective at the expense of innocent people while their actions are frequently intended to influence a specific audience. The patrols have gained a new insight and are now particularly vigil for suspicious individuals or property that could be the handiwork of terrorist agents. They respond in a quicker but safer manner to alarm activations or reports of unusual activities.

Their coordination with their homeland security counterparts has increased greatly. They now freely exchange information as they work closely within a joint effort of law enforcement. Aggressive patrol has been increasing within the field while some citizens still complain that the process is an inconvenience to them when random traffic stops are conducted. They often forget how the actions accomplished could perhaps save their lives.

Although Wilson may have initially established the ramp for law enforcement styles he was quickly joined by people such as John Broderick with his four versions of the police community with William Muir and his input to the topic close behind. There is never a shortage of categories to place our law enforcer’s into. I suppose the ultimate definition would be how the officers themselves would define their style of policing.

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish

Bollywood After 9/11 – The Depiction of Islam and the West in Indian Cinema

Since the dramatic events of 9/11, Bollywood cinema has shown an unusual interest in the terrorist film genre, especially as regards to international terrorism and global tensions between Islam and the West. Striking examples of this genre include Kabir Khan’s New York (2008), Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan (2010), Rensil D’Silva’s Kurbaan (2009) and Apoorva Lakhia’s Mission Istanbul, to name a few. Films like Anil Sharma’s Ab Tumhare Hawale Watam Sathiyo (2004) and Subhash Ghai’s Black and White (2008) focus on terrorist issues within the Indian subcontinent itself. The latter films have continued in the tradition of pre 9/11 terrorist films like Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Mission Kashmir (2000), Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se (1998) and Bombay (1995). Ratnam’s Bombay dealt with the devastating Hindu and Moslem riots in 1991, which cost over a 1000 lives. Chopra’s Mission Kashmir dealt with a scenario of local terrorist activity in the Kashmir region sponsored by international terrorist cells working from Afghanistan. In this way the terrorist genre is not an entirely new genre in Bollywood, nor is terrorism an unfamiliar phenomenon in the day to day activities of the Indian subcontinent (the most recent and brutal terrorist attack was the Mumbai massacre in 2008). What makes the recent spate of terrorist films interesting is that they have entered the global sphere and have become part and parcel of a transnational dialogue between East and West and Islam and the other.

To make the terrorist genre more palatable, Bollywood has traditionally spiced up the violence and suspense with the hallmark Bollywood song and dance interludes and sentimental romantic exchanges between the hero and heroine. Mission Kashmir is notorious for its graceful dances and stirring emotional exchanges between the main protagonists, played out on the violent backdrop of terrorism in Kashmir. Mani Ratnam’s Bombay likewise mixes up the most brutal scenes of Hindu and Moslem hatred and violence with delicious comedy and a forbidden love affair between a pious Moslem girl and a boy from a highly placed Shaivite Hindu family. His father is the trustee of the village temple and both the family patriarchs are violently opposed to the children marrying outside their caste and religious community.

Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan

Following in the Bollywood tradition of mixing genres (known in the industry as the masala or spicy recipe film), Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan blends comedy and romance with the political hot potato of post 9/11 bigotry and racial hatred in the US. The film’s theme of ultra-nationalist extremism culminates in the senseless killing of a young Indian boy Sam or Sameer, who is beaten to death by youths in the football ground, in part due to the adopting of his stepfather’s name Khan. Overflowing gushes of emotion and heart stirring romantic songs, such as the mixing of the 1960’s counter culture anthem “We Shall Overcome” (sung in both Hindi and English), occur throughout the film to both lighten the tension and to exemplify the presence of light and hope in a world darkened by the bitter shadow of global terrorism. The fact that the central protagonist Rizvan Khan is a pious Moslem, and politically neutral to the hysteria of the debate, is significant. Brought up by his mother that there are no fixed labels such as Hindu and Moslem, but only good and bad people, Rizvan Khan freely practises his religion with equal love and respect for all other races and creeds, only differentiating between what is in the hearts and minds of people, not to what religion they profess, or to what race, culture and nationality they belong.

My Name is Khan is also significant for Bollywood fans in that it reunites the biggest heart throb couple of Hindi cinema from previous decades, Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan. The duo was previously paired in two of Karan Johar’s earlier blockbusters Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1995) and Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham (2001). Both of these films were sentimental gushy romances, literally overflowing with juicy outpourings of emotion and feeling; a phenomenon which is termed rasa in India. The song and dance sequences were also very elaborately staged and combined a balance of the traditional Indian music and dance forms (Hindustani music and traditional folk dances) as well as modern Western forms. This ensured the films’ immense popularity in both India and diaspora countries like Canada, the US and the UK.

Karan Johar continues to utilise the Bollywood masala formula in My Name is Khan, exploiting a sentimental and occasionally drawn out love affair between the autistic hero Rizvan Khan and his eventual Hindu wife Mandira, a proprietor of a successful hair dressing salon in San Francisco (the “city of love” which symbolizes the 1960s counter culture movement exploited by Johar in the “We Shall Overcome” sequence). In the preliminary scenes of the film, America is portrayed as the land of freedom and opportunity, the nation where all races and religions are given the possibility to move forward and achieve prosperity and happiness in a way that is seen to be almost impossible in a country like traditional India, buffeted as it is with caste and religious prejudices and between half and two thirds of its population living in poverty.

For foreign nationals or NRI’s (non-resident Indians), however, 9/11 radically changes this formula and shatters the American dream nurtured for decades by an Indian diaspora which has merged its Indian cultural roots with American ideals of individual freedom and consumer prosperity. According to Johar’s film, this is now the plight of the Khans who, instead of continuing to act as fully integrated members of the mainstream community, now suddenly find themselves on the periphery of a post-9/11″us and them” rhetoric, fuelled by an ultra-nationalist Republican President, who perceives the world in black and white realities, which have little to do with the everyday lives of the average individual. It is no coincidence that it is the newly elected President Barack Obama (played by his look alike Christopher B. Duncan) who greets Rizvan Khan at the end of the movie and applauds him for his faith in God and his humanity and perseverance. For Karan Johar, Obama’s election is symbolic of the “us and them” divisions in the US psyche being brought to a close along with the restoration of the innate ideals for which the American Republic and its people stand.

Before the nation’s divisions are healed, however, the Khan’s experience extreme personal hardships due to their ethnicity. These hardships culminate in the tragic death of their teenage son Sameer, beaten to death in the school playing field by racist youths. In her grief, Sameer’s mother Mandira blames her husband Rizvan, accusing him of the fact that if she and her son had not taken the name of Khan, he would not be dead. She then tells him that the only way he can atone for this stigma of being a Khan and, by implication a Moslem, is to meet the US President (at the time it is George W. Bush) and to tell him that: “My Name is Khan and I am not a Terrorist.” This simple phrase becomes a kind of mantra throughout the film, powerfully confronting the viewer’s post-9/11 prejudices by refusing to link the two concepts of Islam and terrorism together: i.e. my name is Khan, therefore I am a Moslem, but at the same time just because I am a Moslem, does this mean that I am a terrorist? Unhappily, during the hysteria that followed in the wake of 9/11 for many Westerners the two terms, Moslem and terrorist became pretty much synonymous.

This is a film therefore which, unlike its predecessors, is not only aimed at instructing Indians and West Asians (it broke all records in Pakistan), but is also aimed at educating and enlightening Westerners. This it does in a very subtle and didactic way, not only through its exploitation of familiar West Asian icons, but also through its exploration of themes and images universal to the US and the West: the 1960s counter culture, the plight of the coloured people in the South and references to the civil rights movement via the film’s theme song “We Shall Overcome.” This famous anti-establishment song from 1960s when sung in Hindi by a devout Moslem in a black gospel church gives the audience an almost surreal feeling of both merging and, at the same time transcending, national, racial and socio-religious cultural borders: a path to world brotherhood and unity which has been courageously expounded by two of the twentieth century’s great spiritual leaders, India’s Mahatma Gandhi and America’s Martin Luther King.

Karan Johar thus draws upon both the Western ideals of liberty and individualism, as well as propounding the roots of West Asian religious piety and communal solidarity. By doing this My Name is Khan proposes an alternate model of global brotherhood and transnational identities and exchanges. This new global model for Johar is one which draws its inspiration and ideals from the grass roots level- from the poor coloureds of Georgia, from the socially ostracised Moslems, and from the autistic and mentally handicapped. All of them are an integral part of this global humanity and in the end the figure of Shah Rukh Khan, the biggest megastar in the global forum today (including Hollywood), speaks for all of them, when he says my name is Khan and I am not a terrorist, not an outcaste and not a threat to the US or the essential values which it seeks to export to the rest of the world. Rather, as pious Moslems, those like Rizvan Khan have something of value to contribute to the US and the West, and when those in power allow them to do so, the essential values which have made the US great can not only be maintained but increased and broadened. On the other hand, ultranationalist extremist practises will only create more and more hatred and division, so that even those who have assimilated the American Dream will grow to become its most sworn enemies. This is the main theme of Kabir Khan’s New York, which I will briefly discuss in part two of this article.

Kabir Khan’s New York

Although not as successful at the box office as Karan Johar’s blockbuster, Kabir Khan’s New York is perhaps an even more interesting example of the transnational trend in the Bollywood terrorist genre. Released in 2008, New York focuses on the lives of three trendy young Indians studying at New York State University together. The usual Bollywood masala romance dominates the first half of the film, focusing on a sentimental love triangle between Maya (Katrina Kaif), Sameer or Sam (John Abrahams) and Omar (Neil Mukesh). Both Katrina Kaif and John Abrahams, as well as Irrfan Khan (playing the FBi agent Roshan) are well established stars in Bollywood (Irrfan Khan also starred as the policeman who interrogates the main protagonist in Slumdog Millionaire). And the presence of these stars, along with the solid musical score and the dramatic love triangle scenario, assured the film’s success despite its controversial theme. Significantly, Sam and Maya fall in love and shatter Omar’s emotional world at around the same time as the two hijacked passenger planes are driven into the Twin Towers. As with My Name is Khan, actual footage of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre is utilised in the film.

From this point onwards, a film which has been mostly centred upon a sentimental love conflict between three friends now becomes a political indictment of the Bush administration’s post-9/11 terrorist policies. Sam, as part of the FBI’s nationwide hunt for terror suspects, is arrested, incarcerated and tortured. These tortures are graphically depicted in the film and are apparently based on true life accounts of innocent victims, who have been illegally arrested and incarcerated for no other reason than their having the wrong ethnic background and religious persuasion. During the final credits a grim note to this effect informs the viewers of the facts that: “In the days following 9/11 more than 1200 men of foreign origin in the US were illegally abducted, detained and tortured for as long as 3 years. The government did not find evidence linking a single one of them to the 9/11 attack….”

The central protagonist Sam or Sameer functions as a prototype for these 1200 men. Indeed, from being a totally assimilated American before his torture and arrest, Sam now becomes a Moslem Jihadi, fusing his hatred for the United States with that of terrorist cells in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East. His old friend Omar is recruited by the FBI to spy on Sameer and his Hindu wife Maya and to crack open Sameer’s links to international terrorist cells. Omar is coerced into betraying his friends at the threat of disappearing into the FBI’s custody and being tortured for months on end as Sameer had been. In this way, even if the film does not actively promote Jihad as a fundamental tenet of Islam, it does portray a sympathetic psychological profile of the terrorist mind-set. Sameer’s friend Omar eventually understands this also when he is given Sam’s story and the barbaric nature of the ordeals he has had to endure and which have caused him to become an international terrorist.

Unlike Rizvan Khan, who has no qualms about informing the FBI about the fanatic Doctor Faisal’s terrorist plot in My Name is Khan, New York’s Omar is torn between his sympathies for his friend Sam/Sameer and the US system of liberty and justice, which he sees as being seriously undermined by George Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and his repressive domestic policies in the US, where under the Patriot Act fundamental individual rights and liberties of American citizens are apparently violated for no other reason than that they are of another ethnicity, culture and religious persuasion than the mainstream white majority. Omar, as the voice of reason and sensibility in New York, also represents the neutral observer, who is both within the system (he is educated at New York State University) and is outside it (he is an NRI national from Delhi living in the US). He has also been in love with Sam’s wife Maya but has tried to detach himself from these feelings, indeed from feeling anything at all. As such his decision to infiltrate his friend’s terrorist group and take part in its Jihad is significant. Omar is an “undecideable”; he is unsure of his identity, unsure of his ideals and his loyalties. Eventually, he betrays Sam and his group and communicates Sam’s plan to blow up the FBI headquarters to the FBI agent Roshan and the relevant authorities.

Despite promises from Roshan and the FBI executive heads, both Sameer and Maya are shot dead by FBI snipers during negotiations for Sameer’s surrender. According to Kabir Khan’s controversial film, this kind of FBI brutality and overkill is symptomatic of the new post-9/11 ultra-nationalist America which, in its unrelenting quest to punish the guilty, also leaves in its wake the bloodied corpses of the innocent: not just Maya, but arguably also Sam himself. This is a theme which has been taken up courageously and sometimes uncompromisingly by Hindi cinema.

Another powerful example of this uncompromising condemnation of post-9/11America occurs in Rensil D’Silva’s Kurbaan. Here, in an open discussion university forum, the main protagonist Riyaaz condemns US intervention in Afgahanistan and Iraq, claiming that the world’s biggest terrorists are the white super powers. Riyaaz informs the ethnic white students present about certain uncomfortable realities in US politics, such as the fact that the Taliban was a creation of the CIA and that more than 500,000 civilians were killed in Iraq. Much to the horror and consternation of the students present, Riyaaz concludes his speech by saying that “just because you wear a suit and call yourself President does not make you any less a terrorist.” This is pretty bold stuff and seems to be reflective of the growing dissatisfaction of certain Bollywood filmmakers towards a period in history where the West appeared to go totally wrong taking the downward path from humanitarian ideals of universal equality and democracy to policies of religious bigotry and totalitarianism.

Interestingly, although these themes have also been taken up by Hollywood, in films such as James Cameron’s Avatar, they have been depicted in a less direct way. In Avatar, for example, the” shock and awe campaign” unleashed upon the indigenous inhabitants of the planet Pandora (clearly a reference to Bush’s shock and awe campaign against Iraq), occurs in the context of an ingenious fantasy universe, where the brutality of corporate capitalism and US neo-imperialist policies is downplayed in that it not only happens in the safety of another continent, as with Iraq and Afghanistan, but occurs on another planet entirely!

The new Bollywood terrorist genre is therefore a more uncompromising and indeed disturbing contribution to the global debate than films like Avatar. This is due to the fact that West Asian directors depict terrorist activity from the contemporary political standpoint, along with exploring relevant issues connected with the stigmatised cultural and ethnic group, which has been largely denied a voice in this debate ever since the 9/11 event took place. As has traditionally been the case in Indian cinema, the new Bollywood terrorist genre gives the Moslem minorities a voice, telling their story from the inside, making them subject and not object and narrating the plot from the perspective of their culture, religion and community base. In My Name is Khan, for example, Rizvan’s sister in law Hasina is persuaded to remove her hijab (head scarf) after being attacked and having it forcibly removed by an unknown assailant. Eventually, she restores the hijab to her everyday dress, including her lecturing job at university. Here she says to her students: “M y hijab is not just my religious identity. It is a part of my existence. It is me.”

In Rensil D’Silva’s Kurbaan, the central protagonist Riyaaz is also instrumental in educating white university students about their preconceptions of Islam as a violent religion and the Koran as a scripture promoting Jihad. Riyaaz flatly informs the students that the word Jihad is in fact mentioned in the Koran only 41 times, but that the term mercy and compassion is mentioned 355 times. In this way, the film’s viewers are also informed that Islam is predominantly a religion of compassion and peace and not violence and bloodshed, as right wing vested interest groups have led us to believe in the past decade or so.

It is these perspicacious insights from within the socio-religious roots of West Asian culture which makes Indian cinema, often dismissed in the West as sentimental and trivial, such a profoundly didactic medium from which audiences, especially in the West, can increase their scant knowledge about the psychology behind Hindu and Moslem icons and spiritual practises. In an increasingly global world, where these icons and practises are continually crossing over and clashing with Western standards, this knowledge and awareness is not only relevant to us in the West, it is fundamental to our very existence.

Films like New York and My Name is Khan are an integral part of the teaching of that awareness.

Robert Rintoull

PhD Graduate

Copenhagen University

How to Determine If a Criminal Justice Degree is Right For You

Many have asked themselves whether a criminal justice degree is right for them. Obtaining a degree in criminal justice can be very rewarding for the right person. But to enjoy these rewards, you must be interested in the law enforcement industry above anything else. More than requiring pure interest, a degree in criminal justice is often ideal for either: students who have a strong passion for justice and law enforcement, or those currently working in law enforcement, who are trying to become promoted or achieve a higher feeling of growth in their profession.

For students, a degree in this field is not absolutely necessary to enter into law enforcement, but it is certainly recommended and will most likely lead to more money and hiring preference. Before you start, really ask yourself if this degree program is right for you. For instance, have you ever imagined yourself at the scene of a crime, solving the case by putting together the crucial pieces? Your calling might be a job in forensics or crime scene investigation, and a degree in criminal justice could help get you in the door. Can’t decide between a profession in medicine or law? You can work in both areas by becoming a legal nurse consultant and protect workers’ legal and medical rights.

For those already in the law enforcement and justice administrative industry, you may want to further expand your growth, and obtaining a degree in criminology will help tremendously. There are a number of degree programs that will be most appropriate, depending on your position. For example, police officers and detectives can obtain an associate degree as well as a bachelor degree. In addition, individuals who work in the homeland security division can continue their education by becoming a holder of a Master of Arts degree.

If you are one who takes pleasure in fighting for justice and working in a constantly changing environment, a criminal justice degree may be the perfect one for you.