Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Beard war intensifies, as official punished for not smoking (The Funny Side)
An atheist friend got in my car the other day and I snapped him into prayer mode with a single line: "Put on your seat belt, I want to try something." Heh heh heh.
 
Religion is on my mind after seeing a news report from China.
 
Recently, communist party officials were shocked to hear that one of their members had failed to be sufficiently disrespectful during a meeting with a group of religious citizens.
 
Local party secretary Jelil Matniyaz did not smoke a single cigarette at a meeting with Uyghurs in Xinjiang province, despite knowing that clean-living spiritual groups disliked such practices, the Global Times reported. 
 
"A dutiful party member would choose to smoke in front of religious believers in order to demonstrate his or her commitment to secularism," an official said. Insulting clean-living faith groups is mandatory. He and other disapproving colleagues stripped Jelil of his duties and demoted him, Agence France Presse reported.
 
Your columnist was forwarded this report by an old China hand who follows Beijing's war on spirituality. His report reminded me of the time Chinese communist party officials got rid of a divinely chosen leader from Tibet and replaced him with their own divinely chosen leader. People on both sides asked how a strictly atheist group could have such advanced knowledge of divine choices. Flustered officials, having no answer, made it illegal to ask the question.
 
In 2011, party bosses were alarmed to notice that members became less materialistic and more spiritual as they aged. They issued a regulation extending severe restrictions on what party members can believe in the period between retirement and death. "There are clear rules that retired cadres and party members cannot believe in religion," an official told the BBC.
 
In 2014, party members in Xinjiang started offering cash handouts to citizens who reported that their neighbours were growing beards. The logic was that beard equals spiritual person equals dangerous weirdo. This is surely wrong. I'm sure it is scientifically possible to be a bearded man and not be a dangerous weirdo, and it is pure coincidence that that two-word phrase is a perfect description of pretty much all my friends who have large amounts of facial hair. 
 
The no-beards rule was copied by China's neighbour, Tajikistan, where police in 2015 boasted of having shaved 13,000 men, many of whom they had just snatched off the street for that purpose. 
 
The curious thing is that big beards are the height of hipster fashion in the West, so it's likely that baffled American tourists are being snatched for committing facial hair crimes against society. This may actually be an appropriate response.
 
The most recent twist in this story is intriguing. The Chinese government has become alarmed at the lack of morality in society and leader Xi Jinping has launched a campaign to revive traditional beliefs and values. "These are the same traditional values that the party spent 60 years trying to destroy," the Economist magazine noted.
 
Life is weird. There's really nothing quite like it.
 
Here endeth the sermon. Amen.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Hayath MS

5 months ago

Atheist society will be immoral and violent place because to destroy religion all its teaching needs to be destroyed and all religions have plenty of such good guidance and teachings and supporting assumption of punishment and rewarding articles .

Wipro 'sacks' hundreds of techies for non-performance
Bengaluru, Global software major Wipro "sacked" at least 600-700 employees in fiscal 2016-17, ostensibly for non-performance or not rising to its expectations, said a company source on Thursday.
 
"Attrition takes place every quarter when employees leave voluntarily for various reasons or involuntarily when asked to go for non-performance or not measuring up to the expectations during appraisal," a Wipro source told IANS on condition of anonymity.
 
The source, however, declined to specify the number of techies "sacked" in the fourth quarter (January-March) of the just-concluded fiscal (FY 2017), as the company was in "silent period" ahead of its results on April 25.
 
Asked how many employees left involuntarily in the quarter (Q4) or during the fiscal under review, a Wipro spokesperson said the company made a performance appraisal regularly to align its workforce with its business objectives, strategic priorities and requirements of its global clients.
 
"Our performance evaluation triggers actions such as mentoring, retraining and up-skilling. The appraisal also leads to the separation of some employees from the company and their numbers vary from year to year," the spokesperson said in a statement here later.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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RBI monetary policy panel warns of upside risks to inflation
Citing upside risks to inflation from price pressures as the main reason for keeping its key interest rate unchanged earlier this month, the RBI's monetary policy committee (MPC) said there is room for banks to further cut interest rates, minutes of the MPC meeting on April 5-6, released on Thursday, showed.
 
At its first bi-monthly policy review of the 2017-18 fiscal, the RBI preferred to maintain status quo on its repurchase (repo) rate, or the short-term lending rate it charges on borrowings by commercial banks, saying it awaited further macroeconomic data before deciding on any changes. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 
"After moderating continuously over the last six months to a historic low, retail inflation measured by year-on-year changes in the consumer price index (CPI) turned up in February to 3.7 per cent," according to the minutes of the MPC meeting. 
 
"While food prices bottomed out at the preceding month's level, base effects pushed up inflation in this category. Importantly, inflation excluding food and fuel has exhibited persistence and has been significantly above headline inflation since September 2016," it said. 
 
Although committe member and RBI Executive Director Michael Patra favoured an increase in the repo rate by 25 basis points as a pre-emptive move to check inflationary pressures, at the end the six-member MPC unanimously decided to maintain status quo.
 
In the monetary policy statement, the RBI said risks are evenly balanced around the inflation trajectory at the current juncture. "There are upside risks to the baseline projection," it said. 
 
"Inflation developments have to be closely and continuously monitored, with food price pressures kept in check so that inflation expectations can be re-anchored. At the same time, the output gap is gradually closing. Consequently, aggregate demand pressures could build up, with implications for the inflation trajectory," it added. 
 
RBI Governor Urjit Patel told the MPC that "the outlook for inflation calls for close vigilance" and there is room for banks to further cut interest rates. 
 
"There is still room for banks to cut lending rates. For efficient transmission, it is important that interest rates on small savings are not out of line with interest rates on other comparable instruments in the financial system," Patel said. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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