Farmers begin protest in Punjab, Haryana in India over contentious farm bills

Sep 25, 2020, Economic Times

As many as 31 farmer organisations, under aegis of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) have joined hands for the complete shutdown of Punjab.

(AFP photo)

Chandigarh: Farmers on Friday began their protest as part of the ‘Punjab Bandh’ call against the contentious farm bills that were recently passed in the Parliament.

As many as 31 farmer organisations, under ageis of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) have joined hands for the complete shutdown of Punjab.

Among farmers’ unions which are supporting the bandh call included Bharti Kisan Union Krantikari, Kirti Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and BKU (Lakhowal).

Several organisations in Haryana, including the BKU, have also extended support to the nationwide strike called by some farmers’ bodies against the bills.

Police personnel in adequate strength were deployed across the state to maintain law and order, officials said.

While the ruling Congress and the AAP have extended support to the farmers’ protest, the Shiromani Akali Dal has announced to hold road blockades.
Farmers at several places in the state started gathering at roads for stopping the movement of traffic.

Women protesters under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee in Amritsar took out a protest march.

Shops and commercial establishments at many places in Punjab remained shut on Friday morning in the wake of farmers’ stir.

Shopkeepers had been appealed to keep their shops shut in support of farmers.

Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal said farmers would hold protests at over 150 places across the state adding that they were getting support from traders, transporters and taxi operators among others.

The Punjab Bandh call is getting support from government employees’ unions, singers, commission agents, labourers and social activists.

Farmers on Thursday had started a three-day rail blockade against the bills and squatted on tracks at many places in the state.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said on Thursday the state government was fully with the farmers in their fight against the bills and no FIRs would be registered for violation of Section 144, which bars assembly of more than four people.

The protesters have expressed apprehension that the Centre’s farm reforms would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system and they would be at the “mercy” of big corporates. The farmers said they would continue their fight till the three farm bills were revoked.

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were passed by the Parliament earlier this week.

Unleashing the Power of Intercessory Prayer: Pray in the Spirit

SpiritualDirection logo

My wife and I would often have passing conversations with couples at Mass, but that was it, just passing conversations. It was not until we started to invite these couples over for dinner that we really got to know them. We invited, and they responded; we opened the door (both to our home and to our hearts), and they entered. We now speak with them regularly, no longer in brief interactions after Mass, but in substantial conversations.

Are our conversations with the Holy Spirit of the passing kind or of a more substantial nature? Substantial conversations are fruitful conversations. Our goal should be to have the best possible sort of substantial conversation — one with the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit is the substance shared between the Father and the Son.

Inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit into our prayer is the first tip of this book, because without it, our prayer would lack the necessary substance to be what it ought to be. What the switch is to a light, the Holy Spirit is to our prayer.

To invite is to invoke, summon, call upon, or make an appeal. In our intercessory prayer, we are invoking the presence of God into our lives and making an appeal before Him to transform the life or situation for which we are praying. Jesus said He will be with us always (see Matt. 28:20), and by virtue of the gift of the Holy Spirit, He is!

Our invocation is the fruit of an interior action — the opening of our hearts. To invite the Holy Spirit into our lives of prayer is a response to an action that God has already performed. God is always one step ahead of us; He has first knocked on the doors of our hearts (see Rev. 3:20). Therefore, our first step toward Him is always a response to His initial invitation (see CCC 2567).

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7). Behind every good asking, seeking, and knocking is the goodness of theHoly Spirit. When talking about the Holy Spirit moving in our lives, it is not uncommon to use such words as “nudging,” “prompting,” and “motivating.” All these words have their reference point in the Holy Spirit, who inspires. We are nudged, prompted, and motivated to do what we ought to do because we first have been inspired by the protagonist of all good prayer — the Holy Spirit. In intercessory prayer, we have so much more power than we realize, not power from within, but from without — the power of the Holy Spirit given to us as gift. When we pray without the Holy Spirit, we are without the breath of God (out of breath); when we pray in the Holy Spirit, we are full of breath — full of life!

The gift of the Holy Spirit is unlimited. In Christ’s words, “For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; the Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand” (John 3:34–35). To paraphrase Father David Pivonka, President of Franciscan University of Steubenville, God does not portion out “a serving” of the Holy Spirit to each of us; instead, He gives all of the Holy Spirit to everyone — unmeasured. As a people, we are not satisfied until we are full. We always want more. We want everything supersized. God is that “more” because He is infinite. He is the “supersize” because there is nothing superior to Him. The word “super” is derived from the Latin supra, meaning “above,” and there is nothing above God.

As we invite the Holy Spirit into our prayer, we are inviting what is infinite in value. I have prayed for others while lacking confidence (faith) in what God would do for the one for whom I was praying. But to pray in the Spirit, who is the unmeasured gift, is to pray with confidence in the fact that God withholds nothing in our requests. Even if God’s response is not to our liking, it remains infinite in its value because God’s response always has salvation in mind.

One way to get at what this Holy Spirit–filled prayer looks like is to imitate the Spirit-filled prayer of Jesus.

Want to Grow in Prayer? Work on Virtue

SpiritualDirection logo

We all have ups and downs in our prayer life. Sometimes we see obvious growth. Other times we might miss a day of prayer, then another, and find ourselves having to re-establish the habit. More often, however, we plateau. How can we keep growing in prayer?

St. Teresa of Avila, named a doctor of the Church for her teaching on prayer, addressed this question many times. Her answer might surprise us. Growth in prayer is closely connected with growth in virtue. If we recall that prayer is the means to intimacy with Christ, its connection with virtue makes more sense. We cannot grow in intimacy with someone whom we constantly oppose. Of course, very few people would establish a habit of prayer if they are constantly opposing God. But we typically hold back from him in many ways.

Here are some suggestions for growing in virtue that can also boost your prayer life:

1) Go to Confession once a month (or more). Frequent Confession reminds us of our weaknesses and gives us the grace to overcome temptation.

2) Make a daily examination of conscience. We want to monitor our progress on the days between our monthly confessions to stay motivated.

3) Avoid the near occasion of sin. We promise to do this with every Act of Contrition, but do we really think it through? Start considering what leads you to sin. Is it late nights in front of the TV, going out with a certain group of friends, or surfing the net? Minimize these occasions of sin as much as you can.

4) Practice humility. In the book of her Life, St. Teresa calls humility the bread that goes with every kind of food. In other words, it must accompany all the virtues and all growth in prayer.

5) Do your duty well. Are you a married person? Serve your spouse and children. Do you work full time? Be a model employee. God works through our vocations and positions in life to bring us closer to himself.

6) Make little sacrifices. Choose one thing a day that you enjoy and give it up out of love for Christ. Start with something small, like drinking water instead of coffee. Making sacrifices trains our will to seek God over earthly pleasures. Then when temptation comes, we are better able to triumph.

St. Teresa writes in Interior Castle, “All that the beginner in prayer has to do — and you must not forget this, for it is very important — is to labor and be resolute and prepare himself with all possible diligence to bring his will into conformity with the will of God. As I shall say later, you may be quite sure that this comprises the very greatest perfection which can be attained on the spiritual road.”

Growth in prayer does not depend on just the thirty minutes we spend exclusively with God. As we let go of sin, we make space for God in our lives. We show that his desires are important to us. We respond to the grace he is offering us through our daily prayer practice. We take a step toward God. We can trust him to reciprocate, by drawing nearer to us in prayer.

This Day in History: September 25

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Vasco Núñez de Balboa 1513 – Pacific Ocean sighted by Balboa. On this day (or two days later) in 1513, Spanish conquistador and explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, standing “silent, upon a peak in Darién,” on the Isthmus of Panama, became the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean.

Sonny Liston

1962 – Sonny Liston became world heavyweight boxing champion with a first-round knockout of Floyd Patterson in Chicago.


1777 – Philadelphia, then the American capital, was occupied by British forces during the American Revolution.

BLM-Antifa Thug Arrested and Charged with Attempted Murder After Hurling Mother-of-all-Molotovs at Portland Police

On Wednesday night antifa-BLM mob set off the Mother-of-All-Molotov Bombs in downtown Portland. The rioters threw what appeared to be a massive Molotov Cocktail or firebomb at police, just hours after two officers were shot during the riot in Louisville. BLM-Antifa has been rioting in Portland for over 100 straight days. The radical left has…

Source: BLM-Antifa Thug Arrested and Charged with Attempted Murder After Hurling Mother-of-all-Molotovs at Portland Police

The “just right” leadership approach in this era

Art Petty September 24, 2020 smartbrief.comSearching for the "just right" leadership approach in this era Pixabay

For hundreds of years, individuals known as alchemists searched in vain for the mythical Philosopher’s Stone, a substance that was imagined to have the properties essential for turning basic medals into gold or generating the elixir of immortal life.

Today’s equivalent search is for that one leadership style capable of turning crisis into survival and then prosperity.

Much like the alchemist’s search, finding the “just right” leadership style in today’s maelstrom of issues and wicked problems is elusive. Yet, for those striving to lead successfully, there is hope, and it comes in the form of a blended, adaptive model of leading. When mixed in the right proportions for the situation, the properties of leading we describe as wartime, servant and resilient prove capable of transmuting crisis into hope and progress.

Consider the leadership environment in our world

If you elevate your altitude and survey the environment, the variety and volume of problems are breathtaking in a negative way.

  • People are frightened about their health, lives and their jobs.
  • Many businesses — large and small — face an existential threat and must adapt or die.
  • Everyone is learning to work, teach, govern and engage in new ways.
  • The mirage of seamless, low-risk supply lines stretched across the globe has been exposed for everyone to see.
  • Frustration and disgust over inequitable and unconscionable practices in society and our organizations have reached a fevered pitch. The bill for these past practices is due.
  • The pursuit of shareholder wealth as the unimpeachable purpose of a business is being challenged with a shift to a broader stakeholder focus.

Add in the challenges posed by global terrorism, geopolitical fractures, the environment, and others, and you find a series of wicked problems where there are no single or even visible combinations of approaches that promise a positive outcome.

Leading has been challenging enough over the past two decades as the macro forces, mainly driven by technological change and globalization, created tectonic shifts in how business was conducted around the world. Now, the stakes are raised, and it’s not clear what the leadership approach is that’s “just right” for this environment.

It turns out; there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but rather a blended, adaptive model that draws upon the strengths of at least three distinct leadership styles.

Exploring 3 styles of leading

1. The wartime leader

The wartime leader in our organizations is driven by the need to fend off existential threats.

This leader generates a laser focus on the mission and draws upon the Commander’s Intent to provide clarity and acting parameters. Short-term sacrifices are made to improve the odds of success for the whole, while communication, feedback and learning operate at hyperspeed.

The wartime leader is working the clock and pushing people and teams to do the impossible with the resources available. This individual leads through purpose focused on a specific adversary.

2. The resilient leader

In my article “Toward a New Style of Leadership—Leading for Resilience” in SmartBrief on Leadership, I defined leading for resilience as “making the strategic, structural, operational, and talent decisions that enable organizations to survive a shock and sustain their mission.”

The resilient leader focuses on a longer time horizon than the wartime leader and is continually working to see around corners and identify emerging opportunities and threats.

This leader inspires individuals to think differently and experiment to find “next” for the business.

3. The servant leader

The servant leader is all about vanquishing fear and reducing the organizational friction that gets in the way of people doing their jobs. The focus is on eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks and streamlining decision-making in pursuit of a better future.

The servant leader’s hallmark is empathy, focused on meeting people where they are, and offering them the support of a healthy working environment where they are motivated to chase their potential.

While the term “servant” might connote weak leader to some, the reality is this leader is the strongest of the three types, striving to lift the organization through and with people constantly.

What’s the right leadership approach for this era?

We’re fighting a multifront war in our organizations as we strive to keep our workforces engaged, make sense out of situations, reinvent and survive. Many leaders have adopted a wartime posture, which makes sense. However, it’s not sustainable and not enough for what’s in front of us.

As some new definition of normal emerges — hopefully, driven by a vaccine — the wartime footing must give way to the effort of designing our organizations for “next.” The resilient leader is looking for new opportunities in a re-emerging but different world while simultaneously rethinking and investing in creating business models that hedge against future disruptions.

And then there are the people: the caregivers, medical providers and everyone else in every organization who are shell-shocked from the sudden, adverse changes from the familiar world to one that is, on a good day, frightening.

The same leader above, who is already leading the wartime charge and designing the organization for resilience against future challenges, must do the most important job of all: regain the creativity and ingenuity of the people. Enter the servant leader.

3 styles, 1 leader: Is this possible?

My answer to whether this blended, adaptive leadership style is possible is a qualified “Yes, but it’s not easy.” I’ve seen examples in my community: with small-business owners who transformed their businesses, as well as organizational leaders doing the same in various private and public institutions. Their success in leading during crisis while building for the future and keeping their colleagues engaged and inspired gives me hope.

However, we need to manifest this blended, adaptive leadership approach at scale across all sectors of society.

Bottom line

We’re playing a complex game of tridimensional chess, where pieces move horizontally and vertically on multiple levels in our world. The leaders who bring the emotional intelligence and mental acuity to adjust and adapt their style on the fly, based on the needs of the people and organization, are people we desperately need.

Unfortunately, there is no Philosopher’s Stone for developing leaders or turning crises into prosperity. This is going to be hard.

Strategy For Reframing How You Deal With Challenges

Tanveer Naseer
Learn about the 3 archetypes of challenges and how this can help you focus on what will help you achieve your long term goals.

With many of us now adapting to remote working as no longer a short-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the ‘new normal’ for how our organization will function for the next few years, there’s been more focus lately on how leaders and their employees are adapting to this new work reality.

Some of the leadership virtual talks I’ve given recently have focused on leading within this new reality, and one of the common themes that arose is how leaders are having to deal with unexpected challenges brought forth by the global pandemic. As I pointed out in these discussions, what’s needed here is for leaders to reframe how they view these challenges. And with that in mind, I’d like to share a simple strategy for how you can do this.

In their book “The One Thing”, Gary Keller & Jay Papasan share this idea of how we can become more effective by asking ourselves a single question, what they call a “focusing question”, which will lead us to one of three kinds of answers – doable, stretch, or possibility.

In the context of understanding what kind of challenges we should be taking on, I’d like to retool their concept of three kinds of answers as three archetypes of challenges all of us face in our professional lives:

1. Doable challenges

These are challenges that – although having a certain level of difficulty – are nonetheless ones we’re confident we can successfully overcome.

2. Stretch challenges

These are the challenges that we often talk about in the context of learning. Of pushing our current skills or abilities in order to stretch them further and therefore, gain more use or value from them.

3. Possibility challenges

These are those challenges that dare us to ponder ‘what if’. These are the challenges we often tend to categorize under wishful thinking or being where the dreamers live. Consequently, we tend to be dismissive about it not being worthwhile to expend any real effort to take them on.

If we look at our everyday lives, it’s easy for us to see that the majority of the challenges we tend to focus on are those doable challenges. These challenges fill are To-Do lists and make us feel like we’re getting things done because, well, they’re challenging, but doable.

This is also what’s behind that collective sense of busyness that so many of us before COVID-19 would refer to when we were asked “how’s it going?” Sure, this kind of challenge can make us feel productive, but it also makes us feel like we’re just going through the motions and not creating any real value or change.

That’s why so many of us begrudgingly welcome challenges that stretch us. That by taking on stretch challenges, we know we’ll grow our strengths and push ourselves in order to increase the value of what we contribute. And perhaps if pushed enough, we might also increase our relevance in a world that’s continuing to evolve and change regardless of whether we want it to.

While stretch challenges push us to re-evaluate how we view ourselves and what we can contribute – of how we can make a difference – the truth is these stretch challenges are still within that realm of what we ultimately know we’re capable of accomplishing. The only difference between the doable and stretch challenges is that we don’t have the past experience and consequently, the confidence to know that we can be successful in overcoming these challenges.

And this leads us to the third type of challenges, possibility challenges. Those challenges that bring to mind possibilities of ‘what if’. Possibility challenges push us into the realm of the change makers and innovators. It’s those kinds of challenges that if we tell people we’re thinking of taking them on, they might tell us that we’re crazy. Or they scoff at us and say they’ll be waiting on the sidelines simply to tell us “I told you so”.

But possibility challenges also give rise to that collective awe and admiration for those visionaries who are not willing to play it safe. Who push themselves outside their comfort zone because their hopeful vision of the future is far greater than any concern over fears of their inability to achieve it or worse, failing in the eyes of those around them.

The willingness to take on possibility challenges is what defines not only the best leaders, but the very best of us – those people who weren’t willing to settle for the status quo because they not only believed, but knew we could do better. And they pushed us – along with themselves – to prove it.

Given our collective tendency to focus on doable challenges with the odd stretch challenge sprinkled in, the efforts of these people might seem herculean and exceptional. And without question they are.

But the truth is each of us has the potential to be exceptional. To take on challenges that push us beyond our comfort zone in order to explore our own version of what if and what could be [Share on Twitter]. We just have to make that subtle shift of not limiting ourselves in terms of what we think we’re capable of.

And therein lies the necessary truth of finding purpose in our lives – our sense of purpose not only informs us as to why we need to do something, but also gives us that internal motivation to keep pressing ahead despite what obstacles stand in our way [Share on Twitter].

And given all the problems we’re witnessing right now – not just in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in terms of environmental disasters and growing social divisions in various countries – what your employees need more than ever is reconnecting with their why. Of why their efforts matter and how their contributions are making a difference.

By reframing how you view challenges, you can move past that tendency to play it safe with those doable challenges and focus more on those stretch challenges to ensure your organization doesn’t simply survive this global pandemic, but comes out stronger in the end.

And hopefully, you’ll be encouraged to aim for one of those possibility challenges so that your efforts move beyond incremental improvement to igniting transformative change that will lead to that better, brighter future we all so desperately need to see shining in our collective horizon.