Christmas is most important events in Christian calendar, commemorating birth of Jesus Christ. The word Christmas derived from Christ’s Mass, celebrated on 25th December, is public holiday throughout civilized world. It is festive time, the event that changed political, social and cultural environment of Western world, which was dominated by Rome, ruled with brutality, slavery, loot mentality and empire-building at its heart.
Christmas is family event when entire family gathers under one roof, enjoying Christmas dinner, exchanging gifts, having fun-filled holidays, although traditional turkey dinner is slowly losing its appeal, as many Westerners, especially British, are turning to vegetarianism, a healthy life-style!
Hollywood has exploited this era, this theme to give us block-buster movies in droves and TV has shot so many interesting and informative documentaries, chartering the course of this era with research, speculation and soft propaganda. My favourite movie set during the height of Roman Empire is Spartacus, for beautiful setting, scenery and splendid acting of Kirk Douglas.
This is also my favourite time to watch TV, as so many movies, shot with Christmas theme, get saturated coverage with inevitably happy ending, triumph of hope, aspiration, truth and faith over greed, selfishness, brutality and such human failings. In sharp contrast, our soaps like EastEnders spread gloom and doom, with sex, murder and family breakdown as main attraction!
I am sure followers of Hinduism, a religion thousands of years older than Christianity, who celebrates Lord Krishna’s birthday in August with equal zest, panache and enjoyment, will not miss similarity between these two noble religions, sharing so many events that could not be just coincident, such as parting of sea and virgin birth!
One downside of this festive season is homelessness that is so often the theme of locally produced TV soaps that brings home ever widening gap between “Rich and Poor, Have and Have Not” generation that is shame on us, the fifth biggest economy, yet some 600 homeless people died in 2017 on our streets with average age of 44 years!
Yet, this does not stir politicians’ conscious, even though couple of homeless died just outside Westminster, “Seat of Power” for Britain. We are more interested in policing the world, looking after world’s poor with ever-rising Foreign Aid budget; increasing “Defence Budget” to look after super rich countries like Germany, our Defence Secretary going to Ukraine to express our solidarity with Ukrainians when he should be at Gatwick airport that was shut down for three days by supposedly “Rogue Drone Operators” spoiling holidays of thousands of innocent people, due to failures of this out of touch government which stumbles from one crises to another, yet nothing stirs their conscious!
Bhupendra M. Gandhi