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dimensions.     She oozes confidence in herself as a liberated woman, typical of Bangalore, or, may be, of any city in India today.

We have progressed, haven’t we, from the days when girls were over protected and advised by elders to walk with their heads bent down  when walking along the road and even cycling was taboo for them?


55)   Islam and Worship

The worship in the mosque is simple and austere, consisting of a few verses from the Qur’an.

28 Aug. 2004                                                                                            From:-  “The Middle East” by Bernard Lewis

56)   Monotheism of the Jews

The idea of monotheism was not entirely new.   It appears, for example, in the hymns of Akhenaton, pharaoh of Egypt, in the fourteenth century BEC.   But such ideas were sporadic and isolated, and their impact was temporary and local.   The first to make ethnic monotheism an essential part of their religion were the Jews, and the evolution of their beliefs from a primitive tribal cult to a universal ethical monotheism is reflected in the successive books of the Hebrew Bible.   The same books reflect the growing Jewish awareness of how this belief isolated them among the idol-worshipping and polytheistic neighbours.

The Jews were, however, not alone in recognising and worshipping one universal ethnical God.   Far away to the East on the high plateau of Iran, two kindred peoples, the Medes and the Persians, had evolved out of their ancient paganism a belief in  a single, supreme deity, the ultimate power of good, engaged in constant struggle with the forces of evil.   The emergence of this religion is associated with the name of the prophet Zoroaster.      

28 August 2004                                                                   From:  “The Middle East” by Bernard Lewis

57)   Jews and Islam

This accessibility of Hellenistic culture, Jewish religion and Roman polity all helped to prepare the way for the rise and spread of Christianity, a missionary religion whose followers believed that they were the possessors of God’s final revelation, which it was their sacred duty to bring to all mankind.   A few centuries later a second universal religion arose, Islam. and inspired its adherents with a similar sense of certitude and mission albeit with a different content and method.   With two world religions, sustained by the same convictions, driven by the same ambition, living side by side in the same region , it was inevitable that, sooner or later, they would clash.

28 August 2004                                                                            From:  “The Middle East” by Bernard Lewis  

58)   A  Teacher’s  Reward

I have been called upon during my teaching days in Bombay to oversee high school students doing their research projects for Talent Scholarships.   I was expected to put them  through the  right method of investigation.   My knowledge of Physics was (and is) limited and my students were brilliant young boys who expected more form me than I could deliver.   But I did ‘guide’ many of them successfully to secure recognition by the National Council for Education and Research Talent.   

Some of those boys later went to the US for further studies and research in pure sciences.   A couple of them came to Bombay during their vacation and met me in the school.   They expressed their gratitude to me not only  for helping them through their projects in the high school but also for training their minds to comprehend and analyse a problem and to plan the right approach to deal with it.  Their professors in the States, they said, were surprised that students form India could think of methodical planning, experimenting and reporting the results.   The visiting students continued to say, ”Sir, do you know what we told our professors?   We told them ‘we were trained by our teacher, Mr. Norman in Bombay.’ ”   I didn’t know that I had made such an impression in their minds.  

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