This day the TWENTY FIRST OF JUNE, IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND AND NINE has been celebrated as the FATHERS’ DAY in India. This is in-keeping with the tradition started in the US of A. Wikipedia has the following to say on the Fathers’ Day:-
The first observance of Father’s Day is believed to have been held on July 5, 1908 in a church located in Fairmont, West Virginia, by Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South of Fairmont.  The church still exists under the name of Central United Methodist Church
Another driving force behind the establishment of the integration of Father’s Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Creston, Washington. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis‘s efforts to establish Mother’s Day. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. The first June Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA, at the Spokane YMCA.
Now, we humble Indians are not merely following the American tradition but are enthusiastically following FATHERS’ DAY.The word FATHER could mean different things in different contexts. But from the historical background that is made available to us by WIKIPEDIA, it seems that there are two essential ingredients viz. the male parent should have fathered and secondly he should have parented.
The first FATHERING is a matter of conjecture and the second of PARENTING is the only idea that could be inferred from the male parent’s behaviour & conduct.
In the US, by the beginning of the Twentieth century it was common for women to divorce or be divorced and to have children from other males. Therefore they had different fathers but all siblings were raised in the same family. The new husband, besides fathering his own children thru the woman, also played the role of the provider as a parent. He might not have played the FATHERING role to the children of the woman thru her earlier marriages, but he may have to play the role of a PARENT to his step children. Therefore it must have become essential for the FATHER ( the child’s mother’s boyfriend/ new husband) to find approval within the community and also a good opportunity for the man to declare the status of the children fathered by him outside the wedlock (it is not uncommon for women not to get married yet have children before the real marriage- pl refer to the marriage between Kamal Haasan and Sarika who had 2 children before they married even in India).
This FATHERS’ DAY in the USA must have been celebrated for all these difficult realities that the church going Christians had got themselves into over a period of time.
Later, as we all know The MOTHERS’ DAY got so commercialized that even the originator of the concept regretted that. Wikipedia has the following to say:-
The modern Mother’s Day holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, as a day to honor mothers and motherhood; especially within the context of families, and family relationships. It is now celebrated on various days, in many parts of the world.The holiday eventually became so commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a “Hallmark Holiday“, i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. Anna ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create.
When such an American concept is imported to India and celebrated or at least recognized in the Churches, it appears to be a practice not in consonance with Indian ethos or realities.
In most of the churches, FATHERS are asked to stand up during worship service and handed over a stalk of flower ( like in FREE CHURCH at Parliament Street, New Delhi) or a memento like a bookmark or a pen (some symbolic fathering that!!) and prayed for.
Churches SHOULD NOT START PRACTICES that are not in-keeping with the scriptures. Otherwise like the LUKEAN injunction “do this in remembrance of me…”(communion) shall end up overshadowing John’s injunction ” wash each others feet to show that u serve each other and not Lord over others..” (Jesus’ humility in washing his disciples’ feet.)
If u haven’t followed what i was driving at read the four gospels regarding communion:-
26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 14:23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
22:17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 22:18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 13:5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 13:6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 13:11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 13:12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. 13:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 13:21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 13:22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 13:25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 13:28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 13:29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
Except for the Gospel of St.Luke, there is no mention of DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME stuff. St.Luke, if it was the Dr.Luke to St.Paul, it must be inferred that Luke was a votary of Paul and carried away by the Paulian doctrine, which was neither first hand in flesh nor concurred with by St.John (a cousin of Jesus and the disciple who lived the longest in flesh and wrote his Gospel later than all the 3 other gospels). I am very certain in flesh and in spirit that if Jesus had made that statement in flesh, John would have reported it, but what has been reported as regards WASHING OF EACH OTHERS’ FEET is conveniently ignored!!
We thereby end up doing things that are convenient and ignore the unpleasant, but cardinal injunctions of CHRIST.