The long religious and secular weekend is over. The Bank Holiday draws to an end and the liturgical celebrations of Easter reached their climax the day before yesterday. As Quakers do not keep these 'times and seasons', I find myself caught in a challenging no-woman's land at Easter and Christmas.
A former close associate of Indian prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has reportedly urged that Muslims be forced out of ‘Hindu areas’. This follows other threats by leaders of the far-right Bharati Janata Party (BJP), intensifying fears about what might happen if he wins power.
In Holy Week, as the Prime Minister grew ever more vocal about his personal faith and the importance of Christian values, the Daily Express brought us the glad tidings that the PM’s colleague Iain Duncan Smith is ‘Winning the War on Benefits’. That’s a war on financial assistance to people who are old, sick, disabled, unemployed or working but paid too little to make ends meet.
Those of us whose trade is words do well to remember the relative value of a picture and a thousand words. The front page of the Guardian yesterday (17 April 2014) presented an unforgettable instance of the power this adage can carry.
The University and College Union (UCU) in Scotland has responded to the report by Rashida Manjoo, a United Nations human rights expert and rapporteur, who says Britain's sexist culture is more 'pervasive' and 'in your face' than any other country she has visited, by getting the backing of unions across Scotland for action on campuses.
So Easter is upon us. But the darkness of Good Friday has to be endured before the time of waiting and the anticipation of resurrection. This is always the Christian story. The ashes and the glory go together - a thought which makes looking back on where we have come from this Lenten season an important part of the continuing journey forward.