Anna Hazare – Keep up your Fight against Corruption without political or religious Influence – 17 Aug 11

Dear Anna,

It is great to see the turn that your campaign took and how the protests are getting bigger. I am here in Germany and keep an eye on the Indian media to see what is going on there. Yesterday evening I heard that the government sent you a release warrant and although everybody had gathered outside of the Tihar jail to welcome you, you refused to come out until you don’t receive a written permission to continue your fast without limitations of place or number. It was a good decision which gave new energy to supporters and general people all over India who are hoping for a country without corruption.

Last time, when you were fasting in April, we all saw how quickly the government accepted your demands in order to stifle the protests which were rising fast. You and we all were disappointed by what happened then – you said yourself that the government cheated you. Now the government doesn’t know what to do anymore. You won’t let them cheat that easily once again. You showed how a serious campaign can be led, not how Baba Ramdev did.

They wanted to release you after a few hours, maybe regretting the arrest altogether because they saw the uproar happening in the country. After your arrest ministers of the government, including the Home Minister, gave explanations, telling the media that it was a necessary step in order to install law and order. They made the attempt to justify the arrest but now they say you would be free to go where you wanted! They change their colours like a chameleon! What happened, what changed? It is the public voice. The country is burning with the desire to support you, to have a voice against corruption!

Please continue and don’t accept their terms. These are the same people who cheated you in April and only three days ago one of them accused you in media that you and your team are corrupt from head to toe yourselves! They tried to kill democracy by stopping your protest but the country did not let it happen. Stay strong and don’t sign that you will back down! Let them sign that you can have your peaceful protest!

What now? If they really give you this permission, the government is lost. They won’t only give you the permission to protest, it will be as if they had already accepted your proposal for a strict law, the Jan Lokpal bill. It will be as if they accept all your terms. They don’t want that in any case to happen, because they are the ones who have to fear this law themselves.

The opposition parties, such as the BJP, as well as other non-political organizations, such as the RSS, see that the government is in a weak position and they don’t want to miss the opportunity to oppose the government. But please remember that they are also corrupt people! They only want to take advantage of the anti-government atmosphere! They are the same people, though, who don’t want to make the law against corruption strong because they, too, are corrupt! Don’t take political influence into your campaign and also not of other organizations. The RSS, VHP and other organizations with their right-wing and non-secular ideas also want to come, join you and like to be seen in your support in order to get more public support. If you admit that Hindu religious leaders are standing behind you and influence you, you can lose the support of members of other religions. You have to remain free of any party or religion, otherwise you weaken your case. So take care that they don’t sneak into your campaign. Keep your campaign a campaign against corruption, not against a certain political party and certainly not from a religious point of view.

If the government had supported this cause against corruption and if they had been the ones to pass a strong law against it, their names would be written in golden letters in the book of Indian history. But they didn’t. They lost the chance to take this credit when they arrested you and put you in jail. They took years to put corrupt ministers into jail but only a few hours to put you to jail. They are not willing to fight corruption because they all know that they are corrupt themselves.

You have become a hero once again. Even voices against you have become quiet and partly even turned to your support. People are tired of corruption and take the chance to fight for it.

I am physically not present there but with my writing I want to contribute in my way to fight corruption in India.

Sending you lots of love and the best wishes for success,

Mark Zuckerberg, please look in the Eyes of the Animal that you are about to kill – 27 Jun 11

Dear Mark Zuckerberg,

I don’t really know you and you probably have never heard of me. You, the founder of facebook, have become so popular simply through this social network that nearly everyone who uses the internet will know you. There are many stories about you online and sometimes I read one or the other. I liked to read that you, too, have signed the pledge of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, to give a big part of your wealth to charity.

On one of the last days I came across an article about your resolution for the year 2011. The article told that in this year you would only eat meat of animals that you have killed yourself.

Reading about this idea gave me two feelings which are very different from each other. The first one was simply ‘What? How can you do that?’ and the second feeling, maybe a second after the first one was ‘Well, okay, you want to know what you are eating’. It showed that you don’t only want to eat what you buy in the supermarket, probably because the meat there has a history of suffering, cruelty and violence or simply because you want to know what is in the meat that is on your plate. It shows sensitivity and that you want to feel what you eat. I appreciate this wish to be aware of what you are eating.

People like you have inspired millions of people and there are millions of eyes looking at each of your actions to either criticize or praise them. Many of these people follow what you are doing. Have you thought about them when you started your resolution? You now eat vegetarian meals a lot but in between you again and again set out to find an animal to kill, be that fish, chicken, pig, goat or others. Will people start following you in this point, killing the meat they eat? But don’t you think that it will be difficult for the common man to do that? You can do this because you are Mark Zuckerberg, not everybody has the chance to kill the animals they will eat.

With your resolution I understand that you wanted to make a connection between you and your food. I appreciate the idea but at the same time I feel that you, the person who was able to connect 600 million people online, over the internet, are still not able to connect with the animals you eat. I once wrote about a friend who could not eat in a restaurant because they killed the fish in front of the customers’ eyes. I thought you might have the same feeling for animals and would not be able to kill them. I was never a witness of how you killed any of the animals you eat and I have the question on my mind whether you stroked the goat before you killed it. Did you look into its eyes before you did it? If you did, were you not even then able to make a connection with this animal? If you had made a connection, I am sure you would not have been able to kill it.

Maybe you had this idea by looking at the history of the Native Americans who were hunting for their food because they only had this. Maybe you thought of the respect that these people gave to their food and wanted to have this feeling of respect. They had a connection and were thankful for the life that was given to sustain their lives. The reality is that they had nothing else to eat. We are living in the 21st century though, in the facebook-time, when we can go into a supermarket and buy all kinds of grains, vegetables, fruit and more. We don’t need to kill in order to survive. There is plenty of food available without killing any animal. And it is even proven that would people not eat meat, would there not be the extensive meat-production, there could be enough grains to feed the hungry of this world.

I am sure you have heard about researches that show that our human body and system is not made for digesting meat. You probably have also heard scientists telling people that a balanced vegetarian diet is much healthier for the body than eating meat. Even with all the medical and scientific reasons telling us that it is better to be vegetarian, this is not why I am writing to you today. I am not writing to tell you that it is medically not good for you to eat meat. I am writing to ask you about your sensitivity.

For me being vegetarian is a question of sensitivity. It is also not a question of religion, tradition or ideology! It is about sensitivity. Why do we kill animals if we have lots of other food available that can nourish us much better? I am writing to you because I love animals and because I see in your resolution that you also love animals. But even though you love animals and don’t want to eat meat out of mass production and mass killings, you were not able to connect with the animals.

So the next time, when you decide to kill an animal, first stroke it, feel the life in it, look into its eyes and try to understand the language of its eyes. It wants to say you something. It knows that it is going to die, what does it tell you with its eyes? It may not be able to talk to you in your language but its eyes will tell you that it doesn’t want to die. I am sure you will not be able to kill this animal.

I would be happy if you could make a resolution to be vegetarian, not only for one year but for your whole life. With love and compassion for animals, you can set an example for the whole world. We don’t need to kill in order to eat, mother earth gives us enough food.

Much love,

Goodbye-Letter to my little Friend – 9 Feb 09

My dear little friend Celina,

today I am writing my diary for you. To see the tears in your eyes while saying goodbye made me cry and writing these lines I get emotional again. I really thank you from my heart for your innocent love. We had a great time this week with all of you. I know you will miss me and I will also miss you. You made us promise that we would come back. You asked us when and we will come whenever you say. But I also want you to promise that you will come to India this October. I was in your home and now I would like to welcome you in my home. I believe your parents will bring you there. I have left a little gift for you and hope you will like it. It was very nice in Hamburg yesterday evening; that was a great idea of you.

Sending you lots of love,