Faiths Unite amid Ruin in India

By Nachammai Raman Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 3, 2005 | Go to article overview

Faiths Unite amid Ruin in India


Nachammai Raman Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Amid the tossed fishing boats, overturned railroad tracks, and piles of splintered thatching, this religiously diverse community on India's southeast shore has found new strength within itself after last week's tsunami.

It took the government three or four days to reach certain areas of Nagappatinam, the hardest-hit district on the Indian mainland where some 6,000 died, leaving the survivors to rally their own forces to begin the cleanup. With a religiously mixed population - half are Hindus, a third are Muslims, and the remainder are Christians - this has meant reaching out across faith barriers in a country that is often torn by religious strife.

One of the first places to provide shelter to displaced survivors was Neelayathatchi Amman Temple. Built 2,000 years ago, it is an important Hindu shrine, according to Sethurama Gurukkal, who has officiated at the temple for 20 years. A Brahmin priest, his old- school training would normally look askance at the ritual impurities and inconveniences of more than a thousand people eating, sleeping, and washing clothes within temple walls. On top of that, UNICEF has built toilet facilities in the temple's front yard.

Yet Mr. Gurukkal doesn't mind. "When these people are in distress, how can we speak of our inconveniences?" he says.

The people camping at the temple belong to fishing communities that make up the bottom of the caste hierarchy, or are not Hindu at all.

Periyanayam Arokiadas, one of the 40 or so Christians staying at the temple, was grateful for all that the temple management was doing. "They gave us clothes. They're giving us food." And she had no qualms about staying in a temple. "In our opinion, all gods are the same."

About 6 miles south of Nagapattinam, volunteers cleaned up Vailankanni, one of India's most important Roman Catholic shrines. One group clad in white dhotis and kurtas particularly impressed Arul Raj, who works for the church. He reckoned they were Hindus from their chants.

"But Hindus or Muslims or whoever they were, they did so much. They sang bhajans [Hindu hymns] as they picked up bodies and buried them. That was very uplifting."

According to A. Anthonysamy, who mans one of the two chapels, groups come in every day to help. "Everyone, right from the government to volunteers, has been helping a lot. There's no room for complaint.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Faiths Unite amid Ruin in India
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.