Redeeming the Hindu Identity

The pinnacle of unabashed corruption, lawlessness and suffocation of the Hindu idealism in particular that swept the country with a nationalistic fervor a few years back was largely because of the organic efforts at diminishing the Hindu identity that has now rebounded and hit back with a metamorphosed Hindutva narrative that only seems to be growing. But the ingredients it takes for an unshakable robust Hindu identity to establish a strong and well-knit Hindu society is still far from missing!

What really is a Hindu identity today? What is it that we feared and still fear so much about our traditions and ideals getting evaporated slowly? And more importantly what really are we doing to exhume the fading glory of our religious values? And are we doing enough?

One can define a Hindu identity as a ruminant reflection of our way of living where our way of living is largely influenced by a Dharmic bent of mind that is nurtured by the guiding lights of our scriptures leading us towards the path of righteousness and truth. The moment this Dharmic aspect is removed from our everyday actions, the society begins to deteriorate gradually into an unsophisticated maze filled with paths of greed, hate, vengeance, ego, immorality, lies and brazenness consumed by selfishness with no meaningful goal in life. Essentially the Hindu identity cannot be separated from the spirituality embedded in our social and religious lives where cultivating the habit of thinking and seeking the truth, to be conscious to oneself is primal to its existence.

Although we boast of our spiritual spirits and cultural values it is not at all uncommon to see Hindus let down fellow Hindus. So are we leaving our foundational idealism back home just before we step out into this materialistic world? Or is there is a foundational flaw in grasping and practicing this idealism? Or have we simply learnt to be schizophrenic, shedding the bag of moral ethos when it comes to money and ego and donning it back when we choose to appear philosophical and prudent? Or is it simply because we have disconnected ourselves from our roots of spirituality and forgotten to be fully aware of the world and its relation to the self!

But then it’s a brutal world out there and cultivating honest ethical practices or expecting the reciprocation of the same is the biggest challenge one encounters in an ever expanding and expensive market dynamics! If you do not overtake somebody else will, and your honesty and adherence to ethical principles will only prove to be the biggest hindrance in your growth. And the crux of the matter is and has always been about a few extra bucks!

A few bucks of bribe to the municipal officer, a few bucks of tip that your cylinder boy demands, a few extra bucks the rikshawala rips you off, a few bucks of bribe in the name of CSR, a few bucks to deviate your housing plan, a few bucks to the cop , the local politician, , many more bucks to the donation funds of education institutions and the list goes on! Tapping in or letting go of that few bucks is what it boils down to because it is all about money and less about being human enough. And interestingly these few bucks decide whether you are a pro-active, practical and a positive persona or a miserly, right path taking, always complaining wronged negative loser! The filthy rich will pay their religious obeisance to all their money grabbing sins via a VIP visit to Thirumala and redeem their Hindu identities while even a poor thief will do so by shaving his head off, mocking that very symbolism that is meant to make him reach the awareness of the symbolic reality!

It is just a matter of a few bucks, isn’t it? But remember, those few bucks define the few values left within you!

It is true that the run for fame, money and material has corrupted our minds and snatched away our real identities as a society. But the Hindu identity is not just about becoming austere and relinquishing wealth or worldly life but to cultivate a conscious mind that is not altered by time and place, to cultivate that transcending vision that can see and sustain and uphold truth along a good life. Good life may mean to be doing good deeds but then good deeds are more about upholding the truth and less about only being nice. Today, our resilience to corrupted minds is so much that we are unable to distinguish the filth from the finesse or so we pretend, because we lack the courage to be conscious. That consciousness that we have never sought!

The state of socio-political affairs is directly proportional to the level of spirituality left in a society!

Today there is an unofficial dual economy that runs parallel to the main stream one that we all know of – one is the Hindu economy and the other a minority /Muslim economy! One may deem this as a crass communal narrative and wonder as to what this dual economy or market dynamics has got to do with Hindu idealism or spirituality but the fact on ground remains that these separate markets out there for the Muslims and the Hindus although politically instituted indicate the reality of how conscious we are of our filthy attitudes.

While the Hindu vendors/ businessmen leave no stone unturned to cheat and let down their fellow Hindus, the Muslims are extra cautious not to let down their own! Their own – and this is what makes the difference! You will not see many Hindus think like this in their day to day transactions or dealings! This is not data driven but just my observation of ground realities that is shriller than one can imagine. Often times vegetables, fruits, consumables, commodities in Muslim dominated markets or markets near Mosques are much cheaper than any other markets. One may argue that there are many instituted privileges granted to them along with much constitutional support but one cannot deny the strange camaraderie or it could be their assumed feeling of separateness that perhaps binds them better and closer, which makes the poor Muslims become extra subservient to their rich Muslim clients and in turn the rich Muslims are more considerate towards their poor.

While the innate ideals of Hinduism are based on practicing good deeds, doing our duties and adherence of Dharma, a united atmosphere is unlikely to come across casually amongst Hindu groups or communities as they are constantly and craftily competitive, lesser compassionate and show no morality or respect towards fellow Hindus who may or may not be subservient to each other. They don’t seem to be interested in reasoning or reflection of their words or actions nor care much for building healthy relationships as they bear no more value in a world full of blind egotism and the run up to the mounds of money and manipulative powers or the sacrosanct supreme feeling of having had the last word! Fortunately there is a growing trend among educated and middle class Hindus to be more empathetic towards the lesser privileged Hindus but unfortunately the reverse is not true as most of the times they have been fed with the victimhood theory of oppression by the rich and reminded about their rights with no obligation of duties or respect for hard work.

If that was not enough, even an educated/rich Hindu dealing with another wealthy/educated Hindu succumbs to the vices of greed, hatred, treachery, disrespect and ego wherein he lets down his own people on ground but will cry for unity in the virtual world, he will not shun his own ego but will call others as egoistic! Even the most intelligent and educated are spiritually bankrupt where yesmanship is deemed more intelligible than knowledge itself. It has become almost as if we can be respectable or professional only in our paid job environments lest we let our mind and tongue loose in all our everyday interactions with our own people.

Take for example the Make in India initiative, it has sprouted a series of indigenous companies and most of them who started these as I have seen are people from the corporate world who have experienced the MNC culture but sadly they do not extend the same culture that they enjoyed to their hires locally although they go out of their ways to accommodate when it comes to hiring a white! It is this self loathe or underestimation/ under-valuing of fellow Indians that has to change.

If at all there is anything binding the Hindus more vigorously today, it is the shared distress or atrocity than the shared progress or prosperity! It is a dangerous syndrome that needs to be uprooted. Perhaps the Hindus must be explicitly taught in religious discourses to respect fellow Hindus if at all this Sanathana Dharma has to prosper and thrive. And this can be achieved only when every single Hindu makes an effort at not just reading but also inculcating the essence of our scriptural values and be in sync with our real spiritual idealism which is the foundation for a prosperous civilization or a vibrant community to stand robustly against all odds or invasions.

A Hindu is freer to make his spiritual choice for all his deeds unlike the Muslims where there is a messiah who dictates through the Mullah and the Masjid but when we Hindus forget the value of this freedom and its intrinsic responsibilities and doomed in materialistic fears there will be no freedom but only be fiefdom!

 

Does Rationality Really Exist!

There is nothing called ‘Rationality’ in this world, as every saga has the sagacity of the storyteller embedded in it! And every story is told with a perspective, every narrative has a viewpoint, an opinion, a belief. It could be individual views or an ideology of a group of individuals masquerading as universal veracity. When these opinions find either large social acceptance or solemn silence they manifest as the rational truths although it may or may not be the truth.

Social acceptance can be measured by two means, one is when people demonstrate their acceptance with enthusiasm and side with it openly and the other is by solemn silence whether or not one agrees but they choose to follow nonchalantly or almost blindly. But the spirit of rationality is alive only when individuals make their adverse voices heard lest silence shall be presumed as consenting steps in the ladder of rationality which is one big frame of many individual opinions. Having said that being neutral is no rationale for rationality because there can only be a right or a wrong in any given situation and it is only rational to be siding with that rationality which has withstood the test of time and that rationality which can illuminate souls even when in deep dark dungeons.

But to accept something as rational, one should be able to see the truth and inculcate the habit of hearing harsh truths no matter how bitter it can make you feel. And to do this it is important to separate the self from the matter at hand because the essence of truth is not lost on us when we separate that egotism and focus on the root cause analysis of a problem, to arrive at a meaningful solution. Most times when you choose to make your adverse opinion heard, people feel offended and resort to personal attacks as a defense mechanism, the strategy is put to best use when one is attacked in packs. When 10people contradict you, it is a lot easier to break you down and it is just amazing to note that just like how terrorists are well networked, Adharma often adheres to building a nexus of people because it does not have the strength to stand on its own! And it thrives when just voices watch mutedly! It is human to deny our actions, dilute and digress the issue when confronted with the fact of our fallacies but training our minds to treat all issues as plain data that needs to be processed without attaching the self is one step towards furthering the ascension of rationality, to put it in more simple terms being rational is that one step or decision that aids a clean sleep with a pure conscience of having spoken the truth than suffer silently forever and it really does not matter if it is your truth or my truth as long as we make space for each other’s rational discourses and debates.

 

CBSE 10th Board exam results doesn’t matter anymore!

The 10 std CBSE results will be soon announced but honestly the arrival of the results(so late) make no decisive impact today as admissions for most PU and 11th std schools are already done and even the classes for the new academic year have begun!

The schools/colleges have made their creamy choice selecting only those students who have secured a 9pointer and above for science stream, 8pointer and above for commerce or arts. And all these calculations are based on the grades/performances obtained from the internal exams/FAs/tests/pre-boards conducted by schools that accounts for 70% of the academic assessment of a student rendering the importance of board exams to only a 30% leverage. In the context of the current admission processes followed by most schools where children are enrolled for 11th standard based on their yearlong performance(10th std) or even previous year’s academic records(9th std) that are taken into account, the board exam is reduced to just a mere formality.

While people might argue that the actual potential of a child is measured through the CCE where every exam adds to the final score thereby reducing the stress levels of the child who previously accumulated all that stress for the final board exams where only one exam determined the fates, at the outset it sounds all holy and chaste and seems to make lot of sense but the fact is that the burden today is simply passed on to the parents from the child where only the length of your pockets decide the institute that one would get into because every school is busy racing for ranks and cherry picking 9+pointers or atleast that is what they seem to declare like morally upright and meritorious institutes when in reality they are doing a disservice to the meaningful cause of education by devising these cut offs where a certain percent of merit is of course taken but the same cut off is thrust at the face of other parents to craftily collect donations and normalize a channel for exorbitant collection of money.

 It is impractical and unbelievable that a whole batch of students enrolled in a class are all toppers with only cent percent marks. Are these cut offs just a mechanism to mint money? Most parents pick those CBSE schools that have 1-12th std so that they do not have to worry about looking for newer colleges after  matriculation but unfortunately many schools deny seats to their existing students after 10th std while enrolling newer students from other schools and collect fat donations from them under the garb of building funds and stuff like that and all this is done even before the board results are announced, as if it does not matter at all!

Is it some kind of nexus amongst private schools where even a 9pointer is shown out and denied the subject of his/her choice thereby forcing parents to cough up for the donations that come under various terminologies like building fund, charity fund!

Today the fees in a private school in Bengaluru starts from anything close to a lakh rupees and this is the standard slab across 1-10std. This exorbitant amount is somewhat normalized and hence made imperative in the mindsets of parents that it is okay to shell another additional lakh or so towards donations for the 11th standard admissions! Some schools are charging a fees of around 90 thousand plus the donation of another 75 thousand, plus bus fee of 26-40thousand plus uniform which is another 3-4thousand, books 4-5thousand! Additional coaching classes for 11 would be another lakh rupees! Education industry has simply become a loot bazaar of late and a politician’s side business!

The CBSE rule advocating that schools cannot force parents to purchase books is another joke, as most schools charge anther 4-5 thousand rupees for books, and this is compulsory, there is no question of reusing previous year’s books, as each year they purposefully add or remove/twist/rephrase some content to make it look like a changed version but nevertheless they do ironically preach about reuse, recycle, global warming, how to be ecofriendly and dedicate many activities for the same by again cutting some charts and making big banners! I have heard that even for NEET seats, most colleges are collecting Rs.5000 in cash for blocking a seat lest they have to let go of the seat and it is non refundable and no receipts are given for this amount!

Coming back to the trauma of this transition period of moving from 10th to 11th, the post is incomplete without mentioning about the extra coaching classes and all those crafty institutes running the same, without succumbing to whom the parents are in a parental peer pressure to compulsorily admit their children lest their children lag behind in regular school. These institutes have good teachers compared to the regular schools but why cant regular private schools hire these very good quality teachers instead of letting these after school institutes blossom? Or are the schools and the institutes are being run by the same people?

Most teachers even in the top schools today are women, who decided to kill time by taking up a teaching profession, sometimes they take it up because they get holidays at the same time as their children and also because it is seen as a light job without much stress! This is not to demean women or underestimating their abilities but to reflect on how the teaching profession is today looked upon. During our times, people took to teaching because of their passion to teach, we had equal number of male and female teachers because teaching profession was thought of as a noble and serious profession with a lot of responsibility of shaping young minds but today it is not unusual to find mostly housewife turned teachers across schools. Again I reiterate that this is not to demean those ladies who are passionate teachers and there is nothing wrong if one takes up a job that aids in balancing home and work life as long as they love teaching but it is shocking to see that the male teachers are almost missing from schools and on the contrary are found in bigger numbers in the coaching institutes! What explains this? Is it because teaching in schools is seen as below dignity for engineers and doctors who pursue teaching profession? Is it because high qualifications and merit are met with meagre pay scales in private schools or is it the lack of social respect for the teaching profession itself in primary and secondary schools that forces the qualified and deserving people stay away from school atmosphere!? Women too are present in these extra coaching institutes but certainly not in the same numbers as men! Are the deserving and the dedicated deliberately hired only in extra coaching classes leaving the schools with substandard candidates, if this is not the case why then are some CBSE schools openly running integrated programs in alliance with these coaching institutes? Or is it that the schools are money happy and don’t bother much about merit or meaningful education anymore? Or are the schools unable to do justice to push for perseverance among students because of CBSE’s very own guidelines of ‘less homework less writing policy’ wherein schools cannot impose or give elaborate writing work, hence encourage external coaching centers to churn marks which is challenging to achieve in the current scenario where rules bind the hands of the CBSE schools in leading the children to practice to perfection by writing more?

The results will be out anytime from now but there is absolutely no excitement or eagerness in awaiting a board result today unlike our times where the 10std board exam results shaped our paths and our choice of educational streams and institutes! The board exams for 10th std in its current form seems to have lost its relevance as an important exam that was once a turning point for many, either the HRD ministry should attach more importance to it and make it a deciding exam by announcing the results before the admission deadlines or at least there should be a rule where schools/colleges can proceed with admissions only after taking into account the board exam results along with the internal exams of the schools.

Should Sanskrit be made a compulsory subject in schools?

The three language directive introduced by the CBSE aids the students to learn two different languages in addition to English however the focus has largely been on the thorough study of the second language elective while the third language elective is often very elementary syllabus for upper primary children. This existing directive of compulsively having Hindi as one of the language electives has left South Indians juggling to make that hard choice between the love for regional language and the awe for Sanskrit, as Hindi is made compulsory.

Such concerns have always met the ire of linguistic nationalism but let me make it overtly clear that South Indians can walk and talk in Hindi today, so certainly this is not a Hindi hating post bringing about the North – South divide, but to talk about the apathy of the treatment meted out to Sanskrit amidst a fearmongering and polarized ecosystem where any efforts for the revival of this rich language called Sanskrit is unapologetically termed as saffronization while unwaveringly taking pride in English.

Today English is the mode of instruction in most educational institutes barring Government schools and a few regional medium schools .It has unofficially become the official language in every other private and business sector, English is the chosen language even in our highest judicial courts. Thanks to the centuries of English propagation that has made us Indians feel that – all what is written in English is gospel truth – which was precisely the intent behind its introduction – to have people read and believe only a particular narrative. Back then Sanskrit was a big obstruction to the cause of English and to the cause of evangelism hence it was serially disconnected from all organized and unorganized institutes of education. States were created on linguistic grounds to uphold the regional chauvinism to keep divisive spirits eternal and quiet naturally I may be seen as succumbing to it when I say that today I am made to either take Sanskrit or Kannada and I cannot have both because Hindi is a mandatory elective.

Languages in schools have always been seen as mere marks garnering subjects and the introduction of foreign languages like German, French with their job promising aspect have fascinated many adding to the toll on regional languages. In places like Bangalore with the millennial generation accommodating to an exploding non-kannada populace, today one can come across only traces of Kannada, even in an eloquent Kannada family as most conversations are often mixed with English and Hindi these days. Essentially whether one takes Sanskrit, Hindi, Foreign or a regional language it is the spoken language that matters to nourish any language as such and today without doubt the millennials are more comfortable in spoken English than in their own mother tongues especially in Southern India and more so in Karnataka, particularly in Bengaluru. Interestingly Hindi has picked up and many who have never studied Hindi are also able to speak in Hindi with ease(although with regional accents), blame or bestow  the credit on Hindi cinema and serials but spoken conversations make an impact.

It is quite ironical that Sanskrit literature that was mined inside out by the British evangelists in the 17th century to form the very basis of their English identity leading to the massaged renaissance of their civilization where the richness of our Vedic past was ingested and surmised off as their own lost past, today that Sanskrit is reduced to a 2nd or 3rd language elective which may or may not be selected over choices of other foreign or regional languages. We cannot undo the past nor can we regressively get rid of English even in the distant future, as English has become a hegemonic yet compulsive necessity considering the job fetching aspect and more importantly to warily understand the scheming English mind! Also more people seem to believe that learning German or French or Japanese will be beneficial from a job perspective and financial gains than learning any regional language or Sanskrit, hence it becomes imperative to educate the masses about the future benefits of studying Sanskrit along with its promotion.

There are more than 14 universities in Germany that are teaching Sanskrit today and the growing number of German Indologists and German Sanskrit scholars in almost all the elite universities are testimony to the importance and relevance of Sanskrit. Recently a British school has made Sanskrit studies compulsory as they believe that this ancient language helps perfect them in Maths, philosophy and Science. In a world scenario where countries like Germany, Britain and America have dedicated institutes set up for pursuing Vedic science and Sanskrit, it is only in India that Sanskrit is still obsessively associated with religion and plagued by polarizing politics obstructing and delaying its rightful sanctity of being enumerated and incorporated as a heritage language that would build a sense of pride and civilizational commonness to integrate the masses at large.

In this backdrop wouldn’t it be prudent for HRD ministry to rejig its three language policy by mandating Sanskrit as a compulsory core subject much like English, Social studies, Science or Maths that needs to be studied from class 1-10. Such a step would also enable promotion of regional languages along with Hindi where Sanskrit is made available not as an optional language elective but imparted as a civilizational and cultural studies. The exploration of political, philosophical, historical, cultural and civilizational aspects present in the Sanskrit literatures would also shun the myth that Sanskrit is just a religious subject. And its study from the foundational levels would enable Indians to get a firsthand viewpoint instead of always looking up for translated versions of westerners! As a pilot project the HRD ministry could actually introduce spoken Sanskrit sessions from classes 1-10 by employing well-trained, very articulate mentors with excellent communication skills to make the sessions interactive and interesting. It is important to keep it interesting as most Sanskrit students of the past have found the grammar and its syntaxes extremely difficult and are unable to interpret long sentences and it was largely due to the fact that it was just theoretical and no spoken sessions happened for any better interpretation or understanding.

The intent of the linguistic demarcation of states in India have fetched profitable political prices for the visionaries of this divide and it may seem impossible to shuffle these regional boundaries today as a sense of linguistic demarcation has already seeped deep into minds and hearts that has led to grouping and linguistic chauvinism even when they cross the regional borders. It is for undoing this regional bias that we need a common language to unite us all that we can all call as ours officially!

It is in this context that I am not opposed to growth of Hindi because by making Hindi a compulsory subject one is bound to learn the Devanagari script and by learning the Devanagari script half the foundation is laid for Sanskrit learning!

Most people deem languages as just a scoring subject and are reluctant about addition of any more languages but it is important to understand the that for any civilization to thrive it has to have a good understanding of its past and take pride in its past and learn from its past mistakes and this is where the crux of the matter lies, language is an important medium for mass communication and mind shaping, our past is hidden in our ancient native writings and it is important to understand the power games of the past to take control of the present, and this can happen only if we revive and rewrite our true history as for far too long we have been fed with fibs of atrocious English literatures that has continually demeaned our history, destroyed the idea of our commonness and divided us. With the Sanskrit rage picking up amongst offshore scholars, there might a time when even Sanskrit literature would be sullied with fabricated theories by the western Sanskrit scholars if we continue to see it as just another marks garnering language burden!

Sanskrit is known to make stiff fingers and stiff tongues flexible but will it bend the stiff secularism rants or will it remain a sabotaged saffron lingo is to be seen but until then should we procrastinate and rant in English about how Hindi is not our national language as per the constitution and how my regional language is neglected?

Thy Name Is TROLL!!

The UPA tenure was marred with scams and a series of corruption charges where most news debates revolved around one scam or the other or about 2002 riots, however the 2.5years of Modi government though debated largely, most debates are often not on its deliverance or performance but on issues of seeming intolerance largely orchestrated by using University campuses as political battlegrounds by the opposition! One can ponder if this is an indication of dearth of development issues to debate about or is it a hangover of pre-Modi era to continue with the venomous vilification of Modi or perhaps both!

The time tested tools of communal polarization and customized news is fast eroding away with the rage of social media that leaves no stone unturned in calling out the white lies of the left liberals. The strategy of scoring single runs by projecting individual student victims across university campuses has perhaps misfired by stoking sixes of nationalistic fervor amongst common citizens who are only getting more intrigued and informed about the political scenario in contemporary India by each passing day. The nationalism word seems to have scared many in the cozy elite circles, hence there are rigorous campaigns propagating that “nationalism is not so cool after all’ on one hand while making pawns out of that very nationalism on the other hand!

Social media is a great platform to share views, news and ideas and if one decides to go vocal about their opinions it is only imperative that it is out of their own free volition they chose to be there _ to be heard! And people knowingly share information on platforms like Twitter or Facebook so that people read, like, share or comment on them, that being the normal, now one cannot expect everybody to agree and hail them as there is always bound to be an adverse viewpoint whether in the online world or outside.

And when people choose to talk about the country and take social or political stands they should have the courage and conviction to counter contrary views with facts and reasoning lest they can simply ignore the comment or even block people but to challenge someone openly and then resorting to ostrich syndromes playing victim/women card when met with hard facts is not done! Unbiased debates are an essential part of a democratic society where views are exchanged in a civil way and any disagreement or a counter argument, be it a satire version or humorous take, as long as it is not disrespectful or threatening, it is still a viewpoint. But unfortunately a lot of twiterratis and facebookers today seem to lose it when they find themselves incapable of countering with facts or when they are unable to reason out or articulate enough and when their bluff is called out., they either resort to name calling or play the victim card. So powerful is the ecosystem of the Left-Congress and their newer prodigies like AAP, that any dissenting voice which even remotely appears to be vehemently saner is today branded as Sanghi or right leaning troll and their Twitter and Facebook handles get suspended! But paradoxically it is the Congress and AAP that cry foul about getting trolled when the very jargon social media troll came into being along with the birth of AAP!

Yes the newest and trendiest word in town is TROLLING! And the ugly duckling is always a Troll!

The recent overt coverage of the Gurmehar issue by the media and the full on rebuttal in the social media exposing the orchestrators behind the whole victimhood soap has exposed the osteoporotic ribs of double standards of the left, the whole plot was out in the open when Gurmehar tweeted that she was withdrawing from the campaign and that people could contact @voice_of_ram which happens to be the official twitter handle of Ram Subramanian, the media advisor of AAP! Her older tweets reveal that she has constantly been in touch with senior journalists like Burkha Dutt whom she has declared in her tweets as her inspiration!

To cut the story short it was a well-coordinated drama along with the Main stream media, AAP and the leftist universities to garner media time for yet another intolerance drama. it is a shameful irony that the opposition whose MPs resort to sexist slandering of women cadre of BJP in the parliament house and in the social media with unthinkable filth( like Tehseen Poonawala’s tweet for Smrithi Irani) are today talking about women getting trolled in the online world! And a chief minister of a state Arvind Kejriwal, who starts and ends his day with abusive tweets/rants against Modi by employing the most acrimonious and derogatory epithets certifying others as trolls is when irony just died a disgusting death!

Rape threats are highly condemnable and certainly a grave threat which needs to be reported first and foremost to the law keeping forces, the fact that Gurmehar chose to contact the NCW and the media instead of the police is intriguing.  As always the media was zealously quick with outrage to cry foul that Freedom of expression was attacked and that women were bullied on social media, calling many sane voices as Trolls!

The media might not have taken the issue of trolling earlier but this is not the first time that a rape threat was given to a woman, there have been many cases where right wing women cadre were met with the filthiest abuses and threats thrown at them in the online world, yet ironically there was never a debate on TROLLING on any of our news channels until a left leaning Gurmehar emerged the torchbearer for Freedom Of Expression!

The problem of the left is essentially this _ “My dissent is dignified as long as I get your dignity denigrated but your dissent is simply a dud remark”! And this is what makes even a Virendra Sewag an illiterate or a Sanghi as labelling or name calling is the sharpest retort when unable to retaliate logically in a civil way.

“My dissent is dignified as long as I get your dignity denigrated but your dissent is simply a dud remark”!

Although people are getting labelled as TROLLS only from recent times, the art of trolling itself is not something new as it is not limited to just the online world nor is it gender based. It has always existed in a subterfuge manner but revealed only recently due to a change of guard who are changing the very discourse of debates.

One of the leading national dailies derogatorily referred to Smrithi Irani in a headline as ‘Aunty National’, in the aftermath of the Ramjas college protests many national dailies carried out a picture of the SFI head thrashing another student but labelled him as a ABVP goon, was it a printing mistake? Were they not trying to vilify the ABVP? Does it not amount to trolling?

Trolling is all about vilifying someone or an organization, how is it that when common individuals express opinions it becomes trolling and when established newsrooms and newspaper brands do the same it is categorized and passed off as news?!

It has been a left landscape all along ever since the last several decades and the sudden takeover of the political narrative by the right wing and the total hijack of the very idea of journalism by the social media common folks has skewered and skinned their propaganda that has perhaps shaken their grounds beneath. With a lackluster leadership and lack of credibility and a total lacunae in understanding the mood of the nation, the opposition in spite of fumbling under its own shadow of the past and present, continue with their never say die spirits, as their hunt for innovative disruptions continue unhindered with yet another Dadri, yet another Vemula, yet another Gurmehar but the larger question is whether the BJP will continue with its lame pellet policy or rebut with the grenades once for all by reforming and restoring the constitution to its true secular sense is something to be seen and until then the victimization card is here to stay as we the commoners are left wondering whose troll is it anyway?

 

 

What is that white man doing in BANGUR Cement?

bangur-cement

There was a time when an entire thirty minutes slot or even a one hour slot would be dedicated to pure creative content without any interrupting commercial breaks except for technical interruptions! Then came the world of ads which was again reasonably placed exactly in the middle of the program that too only for a short while! Then came more sponsorships and ad time was extended but thankfully all ads would be continuously played giving the viewer ample time to shuttle between other chores before settling back in their seats! But today the ads have outpaced content and one can see more creativity in ads than any cinema or serial for that matter! That the world of ads have annoyingly penetrated everywhere even into the 6inch gadget is an untold digital abuse of the consumer, is another topic for another day yet I cannot stop being amused by the plethora of creativity and craftiness of mind games that goes into these ad making!

The modern day ad has in many ways shunned the traditional concept of stereotype short films of blatant promotion of products, as today, it is not just about selling a product but about catering to the psyche of the consumers and playing with the trending moods. With the specialization job markets and technological advancements, ad making is a great career in itself as creativity is weaved like a bespoke costume, customized to suit a definite audience.

Ads these days are not just captivating but also thought provoking but then there was this off the track ad that intrigued me _the Bangur Cement ad where a Gora serves as the mascot of credibility of the cement with his authenticating line in firangi accent ‘Sastha nahi sabse accha’!

I wondered what the f… is that white man doing in an Indian cement ad?

Why does it take a white man to vouch for the credibility of an Indian brand of cement? Okay the fact that I am talking about this ad has already served the purpose of the ad maker which is to catch the attention span and remember the product. But JK cement was no less when it comes to grabbing eyeballs when they chose a bikini clad model to walk out of a beach to promote toughness of their product! Ads have always banked on glamour and white skin but only until Ramdev baba broke that myth!

The Bangur ad frustratingly tells of a fair skin obsessed society where the ad makers reiterate that Indians tend to believe in whatever a white man says far more easily than their own brown brethren.

The western constructs might have by and large influenced us so much that perhaps our mindsets are today toned or tamed to unquestioningly accept their version as ultimate truth and tend to castigate away voices within. This I say  because I find that even today during the discourse of many TV debates or generic casual talks remains that ‘the Americans say so’ or ‘the Wikipedia says so’, we often refer to some event of the west and try to authenticate our facts or base our logic on some western instances or beliefs. I am amused to see people sharing whatsapp videos where white westerners are found talking and reaffirming our scientific or spiritual matters that we Indians have been saying all along but it becomes a standard validating mark only when a western concurrence is seen! We hear more carefully and believe more easily when a western scholar confirms something what our scholars had been saying all along. Of course we are gradually changing and  unlearning all that we learnt in history classes that only the west gave us great inventions but the phenomenon of unlearning is not yet complete, as there is this frenzied obsession about the white skin that is hard to shun, not that it is wrong to have a white skinned model or a liking for fair skin but the catch in the ad is all about establishing credibility of a product which the ad makers have vehemently tried to persuade a vast brown audience by getting a white man to vouch for it as if we still naively believe in all that glitters is gold and I cannot help but coin this white obsession as Bangur syndrome henceforth!

 

 

Rape of Humanitarianism with Identity Politics

Soumya, the 23 year old who protested a rape was brutally assaulted and thrown out of a moving train in the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train in February 2011. After pushing her out of the train, the one armed handicapped beggar Charly Thomas alias Govindachamy had brutally raped a bleeding Soumya, who died 5days later.

 

wiki-charly-2(Here is a Wikipedia screen shot about his alias names)

There would have been a huge media outrage if the victim, instead of the perpetuator, was a Christian minority.

The trial courts had awarded death penalty to the accused but Charly Thomas or Govindachamy as the main stream media has conveniently rehinduised him, appealed in the Supreme Court that has now quashed his death sentence and awarded a 7years jail term as they could not find any substantial evidence to prove that he had pushed her from the moving train or that he had pushed her with an intent to cause death.

It is another thing that all the legal and judicial procedures from investigations to arrest to trial and the final judgement in this case was completed in record time.

The Supreme Court is supreme law governing us under the constitutional framework but amidst luminous legal arguments, piquant political correctness and robust rapist representations can we ignore the fact that it was the sinister circumstances or intent to outrage the modesty of a woman, that had led to Soumya’s fall which reduced her into a vegetative state? It is perhaps immaterial or still irrelevant in the naked world of judicial emperors against whose new clothes the common man cannot speak about hence we all bow down to their interpretations and directives!

But who is this Charly Thomas or Govindachamy?

Is he really an ordinary unstable beggar as claimed by his lawyers?

Various news articles have reported about records that state that this 30 year old Charly is a habitual offender who has in the past been convicted and wanted in several robbery, rape and murder cases.

As per a report in The Hindu, he was convicted in the following cases:

2004: Tindivanam Court sentenced him to imprisonment for three months under Sections 457 and 511 of IPC;

2005: Kadalur Court (for 45 days under Sections 457 and 511 of IPC); Palani Court (for eight months under Section 379 of IPC);

2006: Erode Court (for seven months under Section 379 of IPC);

2007: Tambaram Court (for five months under Section 380 of IPC); Thiruvallur Court (for three months under Section 379 of IPC);

2008: Salem Court (for six months under Section 379 of IPC)

But it certainly is intriguing that this petty beggar as his lawyer claims could afford a high profile lawyer like Biju Anthony Aloor who charged 15lakhs for this case.

Incidentally Biju Anthony Aloor has represented another rape accused in the Nayana Poojari gang rape case, he had also offered to fight Pakistani Terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s case.

It is another thing that people representing rapists, thugs, political thieves, the corrupt and the morally naked are often termed as high profile these days.

But in the Indian scenario, beyond money or political power there is an invisible identity cult dominating all public discourses under the white man’s gaze that restricts, regulates and controls the native orientalists(as they refer to us) for the sake of cultural and economic exploitation and for global supremacy.

Today we Indians often refer to US as a global power; their supremacy is normalized without a question! While they have made their mark technologically and economically that we all today concede with, what we don’t read is that there is a parallel attempt to mark their cultural and ideological supremacy that sinisterly compromises ours. And this happens by accentuating our shortcomings and reiterating their efforts on humanitarian causes to make us look like a vandalized inhuman lot. Not that the change in the name will make the brutality any less but it is for this reason that a Charly Thomas is guarded by humanitarian boundaries while a Govindachamy is vilified.

Today anybody who understands this western identity based supremacist agenda will be alarmed at words like humanitarian, charity, benevolence, love and compassion!

Philanthropy is an old garb of proselytization!

Today it is very common in Kerala or Tamil Nadu, Andra or Karnataka where you come across many orphanages or care homes  and various other words of hope

These organizations often seek support and solicit financial donations on online portals for a humanitarian cause putting up pictures of destitution to churn sympathy and funds.

naked-children1

A study reveals that at least 25 million orphan children are under the care of these kinds of care foundations who volunteer to help and adopt the poor and needy.

This large figure could be a result of overall poverty, health issues, financial instability to sustain large families because of illiteracy affecting family welfare, death of breadwinners, Abandonment due to poverty or illegitimacy, alcoholism, abductions.

While it is true that a developing nation like India has to do lot more for child rights but that does not mean we should let a free run for the menacing beggary mafia which exploits all of the above mentioned concerns!

The humanitarian cadets take it over from the inhuman beggary agents to rehabilitate them in their homes of hope.

Soul harvesting becomes easier when the prey is innocent, ignorant or illiterate, poor, destitute or a child.

Child converts prove very valuable as they can be easily molded.

The Christian missionaries are actively dominant amongst economically lower strata people like pourkaarmikas, maid servants, drivers, farmers, beggars, ragpickers or any ground level helpers.

It is alleged that Charly Thomas, the brutal beggar is one such evangelical activist who works with Akasha Parvakal(Birds In The Sky), an evangelic missionary group that targets to convert beggars and ragpickers into Christianity that propagates prevention of abortion under a cool name called pro-life theme.

Perhaps Charly with his handicap was an epitome of destitution who met his target numbers, religiously emerging as a Robinhood for conversion activities in TN, Kerala and Andra hence the political and state weightage behind a ruthless inhuman beast of a person.

A Malayalam newspaper reported that he was not only an evangelist but also a political pawn who raised funds from the beggary racket and finished many unwanted rivals as he is alleged to be the henchman of the CPIMas that openly stood by him.

Dr.Unmesh who conducted the post mortem initially and provided many valid points was sidelined and another Dr.Sherly Vasu was inducted into the team. It is reported that apparently both the lawyer Biju Antony and Dr.Sherly Vasu are Christian evangelist activists who are part of the same ‘Birds In The Sky’ missionary group. This possibility of blatant interference of the church in matters of judicial prudence to the extent of supporting anti-socials and brutal criminals and influencing cases to favor the cross could turn out to be a dangerous Chimera brewing in our backyard.

The current state of affairs where humanitarianism is sold at the hands of soul harvesters certainly does not empower women nor inspire faith in the legal, judicial systems prevailing in our country. And in this context it is imperative that the conversion laws in our country is revisited as the Soumya murder case is not just about brutal rape but about the growing audacity of lawlessness and rape of humanitarianism with identity politics!

(Source of Information pgurus.com)

The Nationalism Debate: Is Humanism the new word to replace secularism??!!

Picture from Google Images

 

Free India turned 70 yesterday amidst a jubilant nationalistic fervor! it is another thing that our Independence was just a convenient well crafted handover of power batons from the white master to his brown apprentice until recently where it took us almost seven decades to elect a common man to represent India and the idea of India.

 

The social media was abuzz with ‘Happy Independence Day’ wishes and Whatsapp groups soaked itself in tricolor.

Not to be left behind the print media too made some tricolor pitches with blown up product advertisements leaning on a dash of patriotism while some media channels paid tributes to its soldiers and martyrs who laid down their lives for this country but there was this one program on CNN IBN18 hosted by Bhupendra Chaubey that caught my attention!

When the whole of India was busy celebrating its freedom and when our soldiers were being shot from across the borders and stoned from within, interestingly enough this program was debating about how much of nationalism was too much for this nation and if the very idea of nationalism was dividing the country!

Like all debates there was a nationalistic narrative and then there was an anti that narrative, I do not know if I should call that anti-national narrative because it was something more than that so I chose to anyway hear out their version of the alleged dangers of overt nationalism to see if the discourse made any real cuts about the problems faced by India and how we could move forward with integrity and unity.

But the debate was less about India or its independence and audaciously more about why any Indian should pride himself about India’s independence or its tricolor where the anchor Mr.Bhupendra Chaubey vehemently tried to prove in vain that there was nothing nationalistic about holding a 8feet long tricolor flag and that people didn’t have to wear patriotism on their shoulders to prove their patriotic penchant.

Although other panelists like Tejasvi Surya argued that just like a man sporting a beard is proud to flaunt it as a religious symbol, it was only spontaneous and natural for a sportsperson representing India internationally or any other Indian to splurge in the tricolor as it is symbolic of national pride.

Although the debate hovered between a sympathetic secular tone and the usual penchant for anything anti-majority where panelists like Mr.Saad Bin Jung made unconnected remarks on a national platform that today’s nationalists divided people using those very symbols of pride like the Bindi(Hindu Tilak) and the Thali(mangalsutra)!

Whatever secularism and tolerance meant?! Whatever respect for other faiths and symbolisms meant! Weather the debate weaved together the non-believers or witch-hunted the believers of nationalism in an open debate on a national news channel but certainly yet subtly the whole debate disguisedly emphasized on one aspect _ that the strong card of secularism(read pseudo) has given rise to overt nationalism and that it has forced the erstwhile secularists to downplay or even discard the Secular serendipity and come up with an alternative term or perhaps coin a new word called Humanism for an inclusive India.

Yes, Humanism is the new catch word of the liberals!

Humanism has always been an essential part of our inclusive indigenous dharma so much that we have often extended it to other forms of life as well and needs no reintroduction to its netizens.

Yes, humanism is a welcome gesture as long as it is extended in sync with the ambit of our constitution and is not lost into the contours of many political isms at the hands of fake human rights activists where one human is made out to be superior because he is a sympathized victim over the other human being who might be a simple law abiding citizen rightfully discharging his duties.

Humanism is relative when it is subject at the hands of leftists, socialists, capitalists or communists however the nationalism debate ended with a dream of a developed and integrated India bereft of any caste divisions and communal chaos 30years down the lane when India completes her 100th Independent year.

But the bigger question is will the media and its masters make a sincere attempt to merit its own monologue and let go of caste and all its political embellishments in their future course of discourses. I did not know that there existed a lingayat votebank or a Vokkaliga votebank until the media highlighted it, hence I find that the media is equally guilty of sculpting divisive mindsets sometimes with over emphasized caste card and sometimes with misinformation overload and many times with half information offloaded!

The fact that there was a nationalism debate on one of our national news channels that too on our Independence Day about why it is not so cool to wear patriotism on your sleeves where a panel gets to decide as to how patriotic can one be or not be and whether it is really important or irrelevant to qualify as a nationalist in today’s scenario, should compel the editorials of these media houses to introspect and analyze themselves if they can ever castigate caste away from their narratives and if they in their quest to score over and suppress an ideology are desperately disgruntled so much that they have to resort to an anti-national pitch to counter the growing dominance of an alternative narrative!

 

 

 

 

An Ode To An Adonis

suicide

She might have been extremely cautious while cropping his tender nails, making amply sure that he is not hurt the least bit, she might have tip toed into the room lest she disturb her angelic toddler who was fast asleep. Like you and I she might have dipped her hand into the hot water tub just before bathing him, to make sure if the heat was just right, she might have blown the boiling smoke away from the hot porridge bowl and even burnt her tongue making sure that the food she fed was warm enough!

Then she would have waited eagerly for her child to return from school every single day, making his favorite dishes!

Perhaps her whole world revolved around him tending and attending to all his needs so much that she had perhaps started living her dreams through him.

Today he had chosen to call it quits!

He had quietly returned home from school and jumped off from the top floors of the high rise building leaving a note saying that he didn’t deserve to be their son!

What could have been raging in his mind, what were those lone regressive battles he fought in his young little mind? Was it humiliation versus helplessness or inability versus indifference, self-worthiness versus social sanctity or was it simply because of all that incessant physical tending and aesthetic attending in the due course of which a corroborative connection with the mind and the heart was lost?

Sometimes kids hurt themselves physically or even exaggerate about a certain physical ailment in order to get our attention as we have, with or without our knowledge led them to believe that only a physical damage can get our attention, by rushing only when the wound is visible!

I have never met this mother nor the unfortunate child but the fact that this incident has happened in the close proximity of my vicinity brings sleepless nights and indescribable uneasiness that continues to seep in and haunt me.

A tender young life who could have had a promising life has been lost! And I feel really very helpless too!

This forces me to ponder and reflect upon myself as a mother and wonder if I have done enough or am I over doing it?

There are no perfect parenting tips in this world. Neither can anyone advocate a certain style as a conventional doctrine of parenting, as individual is different and most often the upbringing of a child is directly proportional with various factors ranging from the very parent’s upbringing, financial and social circumstances, the societal expectations, mental well-being, status symbolism and of course the very system around us where the merited are suffocated to emerge more meritorious in the limited space of academia coupled with the hypocrisy of our Governmental organizations that systematically wedge a social divide into the society with various socialist reservations and quotas threatening the very idea of social egalitarianism bleeding large sections of the society that are getting stressed and depressed by the private educational institutions that preach us parents with paid parental orientation sessions about avoiding parental pressures on children when they themselves proclaim that it cannot be anything less than a 97% to board their bus!

The biggest irony is that schools and colleges openly set cut off points rendering all career counseling sessions as a mockery. Today, only a 9 pointer or above can opt for science, those above 8 can opt for commerce and the rest can go for other left out options.

Isn’t this blatantly suggesting that Science alone is above everything else? No wonder opting for Science has become symbolic with false prestige and intelligentsia status as nobody wants to be called a dimwit or lesser intelligent!

And that is the reason there is a mad rush for opting science alone even at the cost of paying donations thereby encouraging systematic corruption leading into a shortage of scope for those who seriously want to pursue a particular stream. This precedent also belittles other professions so much that today there is a dearth of awareness about the importance and availability of various other career options.

Our Indian children are perhaps the only ones who have so far braved against all the academic and aesthetic pressures so resiliently because they are required to excel in English, learn Hindi as it is our national language, learn the regional language for the love of the land, if possible also take up Computers and a foreign language to increase one’s chances of global opportunities, you should be a wizard in Science and a topper in Maths to qualify your grey matter amidst peers and parents yet kick the football high amidst the dust and strike a chord on the guitar to establish your cool dude image lest you are a nerd, you should also be socially sensitive species who will spend extended hours on compulsory social activity project and also finish those additional online assignments and various other Olympiads and value addition programs just before hurrying up to the private tuitions without which one is a deemed to be doomed!

Yes, you cannot classify all that supposed vibrancy that these private schools are trying to inculcate in our children as an obnoxious burden but then the larger question is whether this systematic loop of elite eloquence about specific education streams alone enable our children to be resilient enough, of which even parents play a huge part in!

Children repose enormous faith and confidence in us parents, so much that I can never be wrong for my child! I am kind of an encyclopedia for him throughout his growing years. And my opinions and demonstrations form a large part of his outlook that goes on to shape his mind and idea of himself and the society at large.

My opinions will always mirror in his imaginations, thought process and self-worth.

But as he grows up it is important for me to shed my strict parental cap and reiterate back to him that like him even I am human and that whatever I say or do is largely as per my beliefs and principles that I have acquired over the years with many failed and many successful attempts and achievements and that even I can err or be wrong or become angry at times for which I will need his support as well.

There are times when I express to my teenage son that I am tired and feeling very low because I lost a writing contest or was unable to do a certain project on time and get enough readership and that I would love it if he made some tea for me, not that I cannot make it for myself but only to demonstrate that he can relate and reciprocate like this when he is feeling low as well.

Now who does not yell and scream or itch to raise your hand or punish in ways that we believe can reform our children, I guess it is only instinctive at times as it is extremely difficult to make our children focus and put in efforts which has never been imparted from day one as schools today hardly give any homework only to face the blues later. But it is most important that we do not drag on our ego or grudge and instead choose to patch up almost immediately by sitting down and talking things out calmly with our children.

When you are angry just remember that your child is some 25 30 years younger than you!

Our teenaged children may not be mature enough to understand our views, thus it is upon us adults to balance things out but this reiteration that you care and are willing to share and discuss his grievances or try to ease them will certainly enable them to think freely beyond the standard conventions and aid in them with self-esteem and confidence to explain their position and believe in themselves.

I know it is indeed easily said than done more so if it is a boy that you are raising, as a mother of 2 boys I see that when they grow up they don’t easily connect with you or share things with you, so it is important that while we chase them like werewolves we also connect with them, listen to them and honor their little decisions that makes them feel that they are heard and taken seriously as well.

When I was a child my mother let me make my decisions in life, in fact she even banked on my opinions for matters that concerned all her household affairs and financial matters at my early age of 12, which in a way has empowered me with such confidence that it not only helped me decide independently and enabled me to pick the right against the wrong but also kind of bonded me to be honest with her no matter what and never let her down.

Remember you had patted and petted your child all along when they were little and today, your sudden spurted spurious behavior at the helm of their teens will confuse and send them into a cocoon. Some children may react by rebelling wildly and some others may mildly go mute. And it is these muted symptoms that parents have to be wary of!

Unlike our childhood days where we were punished black and blue and were trained to be rugged from the initial days, our children have not been exposed to any kind of harshness or hardships because of our own ceremonious pampering and yielding to all their demands after letting them footloose until their 10th grades. But here is a tricky situation where suddenly you gear up and start chiding him cutting down his play time, restricting him in all ways possible pushing him to the study table which when not sustained by your child you resort to aggressive and repulsive rile rants without your knowledge, without realizing that you had not trained your child to be rugged like you, without realizing that there can be no lush green vegetation under the dominant shadow of a banyan tree.

Every child needs acknowledgement, sometimes verbally, sometimes with a small physical touch of care and love in subtle forms like a little pat on the back or a small considerate hug or just some oiling of the hair or even stroking the hair gently or tucking them in their sheets before bed, remember you did all this and much more when you cuddled them obsessively in their younger days and now suddenly are shying away but it is a proven fact that a physical touch of care and concern by parents reassures an adolescent child and strengthens them emotionally, no matter how big they are.

And talking about the limited stream of opportunities, believe me there is no dearth for them and no, one, stream is above another, as every finger in the fist has a role to play. You can be anything from a biotechnologist to an economist to a media person to a writer to an artist to a digital animator to a voice artist to an advertisement creator or a cartoonist to a lawyer to an army person to a photographer to a travelling archeologist to a historian to an anthropologist to teacher to an RTI activist to a politician to a TV anchor to a sportsman or a businessman or an entrepreneur or even go on to become a Steve Irwin!

There are many doctors, chartered accountants and engineers who have become film actors and movie directors today, so essentially a stereotype science subject or an Engineering stream or an American scholarship alone does not necessarily make you successful.

In fact when in school I was often called to silence another teacher-less class through my ridiculous extempore stories, I was always interesting in essays and debates and dance but I could not figure out my strengths or interests so I ended up taking up commerce. Numbers and statistics scared me off in college and I seriously thought it was below dignity to be attending a dry commerce class that I could never relate to and always found myself participating in a whole lot of cultural events or would prefer sitting alone under a tree.

People around thought I was only good at cooking useless stories and indulged in nonstop chattering! But as life had it, I later found myself in staunch marketing roles and counseling and hiring jobs that required talking all day and today, yes, I do what I always did best, cooking up stories and articulating my views for the world to read.

Success is only when you emerge out of a trying situation with confidence and conviction and this confidence is churned only with constant care and a lot of connection with your child on a daily basis.

A precious life is lost in a hurry without ever knowing how and when those days of merry transformed into a sudden unceremonious melancholy. No amount of words or wishes can ever come remotely close to compensate for the loss and guilt with which the parents may have to lead their lives and in my opinion it is totally insensitive and unproductive to blame the parents for this ill-fated short destiny.

The least we could do to pay an ode to this Adonis is to stop, and take time to reflect upon ourselves.

 

 

The Fear Factor

US-Terror-CampsIt has been a bloody Ramadan this year with mass killings at Orlando, Paris, Lebanon, Yemen, Baghdad, Istanbul and Dhaka, today one can say that terms like ISIS and terrorism can be used interchangeably!

As a child I remember watching the movie ‘Kaabuliwaala’, the story of a friendly Afghan man selling sundry articles to make a living back home but I do not know when the destitute Kaabuliwaalas turned into dreaded Talibans running for the trophy of Khilafat.

Did they change jobs? Or did they suddenly excel in the economic, educational, technological and military spheres? Or did the futility of their meagre earnings redefine their rigidity?

Well the very definition of Terrorism goes like this

Terrorism is the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes”.

So it is important to understand who is ISIS (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria)?

The Middle East or the Arab countries is a cradle of Abrahamic religions. The Gnostic and Iranian religions were replaced by Judaism, later Judaism split up into Christianity and Islam. The Jews and Christians pride themselves as superior to Islamists and mostly use them as pawns in any given crisis.

The desert clan was a savage community that fought amongst each other for power and mostly sought to meet its basic requirements, either by conquest or conceit or simply conniving with power masters.

Around 1902 due to an oil spillage incident it was found that the Arabian Peninsula might be a great resource for oil. During the First World War, the need for oil reserves was strongly felt. Both America and the Soviet Union invested in the Arab land for further digging of oil.

A pipeline network of 3200kms of sea route in the Suez Canal was built to facilitate large scale supply of oil in alliance with King AbdlAziz.

Since Soviet Union and America the super powers with robust military and technological advancements, the duo constantly compete with each other by cutting down each other’s power abettors. But sometimes they shake hands and make up and share the loot at the end.

Ever since America set its eye on the oil reserves in the Arabian countries, it has carefully pitted every king, every little country and every tribe against each other so that the Americans can continue to rule them.

In the 1970s the CIA used the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt to disrupt the Soviet expansion and prevent the spread of Marxist ideology.

A former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of Western intelligence agencies and that the CIA nurtured Osama Bin Laden. Mr. Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means an abbreviation of “the database” in Arabic, was originally the computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists, who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis, in order to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan. (Ref link)

Al Queda was actually a carefully planned foreign policy of the US.

Later when Saddam Hussain’s power was growing, initially the Americans used him to wage a war on Iran and later when he refused to be a dummy for them and showed signs of independent ambitions, the Americans together with the Britain and France spread rumours of fear across the world that Iraq had undeclared piles of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and that Saddam Hussain might perpetrate a chemical, biological, bacterial and even zoological war perhaps:)!

war-on-terrorA bloody war was declared on Iraq in 2003 and in a short time Saddam was ousted and plucked out by public hanging.

The Iraq oil belt had temporarily quenched the oil thirst of the US and in 2005 the US intelligence terminated the search efforts for any unconventional weaponry in Iraq.

The Iraq Intelligence commission concluded that the judgements of the US Intelligence about any existence of weapons of mass destruction was misconstrued and wrong.

But the Western agencies will never be blamed for their inhuman interference upon other nations.

It reminds me of Yamadharmaraya’s story, the story goes like this:

Once Yama’s mother was upset that the whole world would curse and accuse her son for causing death and regard him abhorrently as the death giver, Yama then calmly showed a glimpse of the affected families and friends…

At one home, the inmates cried that their beloved son died in an accident, they blamed the truck that hit their dear son. In another home the wretched Cancer had caused the death, in yet another house a murder, so on and so forth…. Yama smiled reassuringly at his mother and told her…See nobody ever curses your son, in fact I am revered as the Lord of death”

While Yama is diligently doing his dharmic duties, the West continues its dubious adharmic quest for the greed of global power without anybody pointing fingers at them!

In an interview with Fern Britton on a TV program, Tony Blair the then prime minister of UK claimed that even if he knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq he would have still waged a war on Iraq.

Clearly winners get to write history, the other side is often a victim of vilification.

Remember Muammar Gaddafi of Libya? Oh my god, he was a real bad bad guy! Another dictator, Isn’t it?

The propagandists employed at their hands through various media houses were deployed in the task of vilification of Saddam Hussein as a dictator, a ruthless and a wretched leader. They blew up the theory of a biological bacterial war telling the world how it was the need of the hour for America to intervene and play the super protector in their sincere humanitarian effort to save the world from terror when they are the manufacturers/co-producers of terror.

Much later the American citizens realised that George Bush and Bin Laden’s families were long time partners in many dubious businesses.

The fact is that today with no evidence on the WMD, Iraq is reduced into a lawless, leaderless land seized by looters and stooges of the imperial west to reap their opportunistic fortunes amidst the distressed and unsettled communities.

Today the CIA claim that as per their intelligence reports Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction are hidden buried somewhere in Syria hence their humanitarian urge yet again to intercede and bomb Syria.

Syria’s Shia president Bashar Al Assad is a Soviet sympathiser and an ally of Iran. After Israel and Egypt, Iran is the next growing country with nuclear ambitions, a Shia dominant state which is a threat to Jewish Israel. Also Iran lies between Syria and Iraq, now that Iraq is a fallen state, Syria is the next target to weaken Iran for their idealism of global domination.

The US, UK and France are unable to push their agenda of going for a war in their favorite battleground _ the middle east through UN approvals as China and Russia will veto down their aspirations. Hence the trio can either go to NATO or play their usual humanitarian and world protector card because they want only Israel to remain powerful in the Arab region as it fits their power equations.

As to why the US and Israel act like conjoined twins can be largely attributed to the political Zionism lobby and their shared intelligence and military interests.

(Zionism is overt and covert methods for a pro Jewish policy across the world).

The CIA in its bid for its WMD theory has deployed its media houses to prove to the world how much they care for humanity even while they are supplying arsenal, recruiting and funding rebels in 62nations across the world.

This is the advantage of popularising a common lingo _ the English education to your subordinates, your mind is easily enslaved to their ideology as you can never read or comprehend an Iraqi or Iran’s point of view because of the language barriers.

But after Bush and Bin Laden’s secrets were out how can they still run their foreign policy in the same name hence they have now scripted a new name called ISIS with an invigorated focus on Iraq and Syria, as if to tell the world and Iran in particular that first it was Iraq then, and now it is Syria, next it will be you!

Although Syria is a sympathizer of the Soviet, the Russians and the Americans might shake hands and share power consensually in their common quest for oil and power.

It is  upon every other nation to challenge the western foreign policy instead of being mute spectators because today it is Syria, tomorrow it might just be anybody who dreams of growing big.

Syria is bound to fall if the soviet and the other powerful nations of the world are simply going to watch.

The US army does not like to shed much Christian and Jew blood of their soldiers across foreign soils hence they do local recruitment by misleading the youth of the newly sieged country in the name of Islamic Jihad.

Interestingly ISIS never messes up in China or Russia or North Korea or Japan for that matter, it is only in countries that might grow to be a potential threat and who are Soviet sympathisers or neighbours of powerful nations.

Today the new bad boy in town is the North Korean leader Kim-Jong-Un, he is ambitious ruthless wretched and a hard core dictator as projected by the media. Whether or not the Koreans think so who cares, we think so because we will believe what we are being led to believe and yes his growing nuclear aspirations are a threat to US and UK and Russia too.

Today the Imperial West is pumping crores of rupees into India for establishing Wahhabi Universities across India.

Wahhabiism is an extremely conservative form of Islam that propounds the theory of hatred, violence and injustice against non-Muslims and their own creed of Shias and modern Sunnis and women who don’t subscribe to the rigid theory of Sharia.

Wikipedia suggest that it might be the British Secret Service that set up and strengthened the arm of Wahhabi Islam along with their dummy puppet sheiks in Saudi Arabia. Interestingly these Saudi sheiks have all Jewish/Christian wives and Saudi as a state is just a glorified dictatorial family business of the west and less of a nation as people do not enjoy any rights or freedom.

As per an India Tv report Rs.1700crores was pumped into India recently for establishing Wahhabi centres of preaching, Rs.800crores have been allocated to set up Wahhabi institutes.

The equation for India is clear, with Pakistan on the west and now Bangladesh on the East and a treacherous China and a whole chunk of Wahhabism pumped into India with poster child faces like Owaisis and Zakir Naiks, the new catchword is ISIS and one can see it surrounding us in Kerala, Kashmir, UP, West Bengal, Hyderabad and parts of Karnataka with their fear mongering strategy because like the Mountain Mist slogan Darr ke aage jeeth hai if this fear is extinguished then they will be unable to rule us.

(Here is a video of ISIS fake beheading)

In the wake of such serious scenario at our door steps, it is a right step if the centre axes the root by stopping Saudi funding and banning faces of terror in totality.

If the US is serious about its War On Terror then it could simply stop aiding financial and military supplies to the ISIS, why ISIS, it could stop its arms supply to Pakistan first of all. It could contain them by blocking Youtube channels and other social media sites of ISIS across the globe, it could cut their food supplies but if they did all of this how can they remain powerful? So it is quintessential for them to keep the diplomacy of divide and rule and continue to spread fear through fake money and fake terror but with real blood!

Our media is going berserk covering the innuendos of the Islamic terror and eagerly showing smiling pictures of youth sporting guns like Vandom, and then we cry it is because of Islam! No I am certainly not saying unrealistic things like ‘terror has no religion”. Yes, today rigid Muslims have become synonymous with the face of terror. The conservative concept of Islam and their heinous crimes in history has besieged and drawn India backward by many yard miles but what are these Islamic terrorists worth without the western military and financial backing? Why the hell should Indian media call any Owaisi or Naik or a rigid mullah on a national debate unnecessarily glorifying him? Nobody would today care a damn if they were arrested and imprisoned or executed but for the unnecessary limelight and secular sympathy!

Why is the west together with their Indian media houses pitching only an Islamic face for terror? It is because the desert clan has already made its savage mark in history through its various invasions and inhuman acts. If it has worked in the past why change the game now when they can easily flare up a communal angle to anything and everything.

Also the first and second world wars have reflected poorly on the humanitarian image of the imperial West and today they have set up many councils for the cause of World Humanity and other fallacious foundations which will come out as farce if they blatantly began another world war hence the new strategy is religious terror and cold wars.

The vehement attempt of the West in keeping the turbulent history alive has been a huge success in India so far and if it goes any further, India will never be able to stand up and resolve its issues on its own. India should neither rely on Russia nor US as they are both like Pepsi and Coke with not much difference in their ill effects and dependability for good health.

The Mossad, the CIA, the British Secret Service have their own dedicated illegal and unscrupulous banks and printing machineries to run a dual and dubious economy so that they keep their recruited rebels that includes not just terrorists but also politico, activists, journalists, NGOs warm and running.

Maybe the Indian ministry at the centre today, should focus on similar tactics and buy out these glorified pseudo intellectuals and gruesome goons within, by compensating them as much as their western counterparts with the same dubious mechanisms and completely confiscate their Foreign incomes and cut contacts or deal with them with iron hands lest millions of rupees will be wasted in the futility of endless meaningless debates in and outside the parliament on a farcical fear mongering called freedom of faith.

Dar Ke Definitely Jeeth Hai if the central government really wishes to curb this foolery of fear once and for all from the roots lest you never know tomorrow the CIA and MI might say that Saddam had shipped his weapons of mass destruction to India!

Hallelujah!

Gods Must Be Crazy

thanksgiving

The thanksgiving ad in the Thursday newspaper left me wondering if Gods really read newspapers! How sure are we that they read only English dailies? And being the supernatural omnipresent power that he is what if he was updated with the latest technologies and read by just swiping and scrolling the clouds aside, what if he also had an Instagram or Facebook account and never read from the superseded print media at all?

All these questions amused me about the immense faith people still repose in expressing gratitude so superficially that too at an advertising expense of Rs.1600 per box and how relevant is it in the Indian context?

thanksgiving1

So here is a brief about how the whole idea of thanksgiving started.

In the month of September 1620 the Pilgrims(religious reformists of the Church) from Europe set sail across the Atlantic ocean and reached the rocky shores of the new world that was inhabited by the native American tribes called Wampanoags.

The Pilgrims were welcomed by the local red Indians with open arms and shared their food supply with the Pilgrims as it was their custom to help the visitors and be courteous to them.

(They were called Indians because the initial voyagers of Europe had assumed this new land to be India.)

The wheat that the Pilgrims had got did not grow on the rocky soil and they survived only by the kindness and accommodative nature of the local tribals _ the Wampa no ags.

In 1621 the Pilgrims met a tribal called Samoset who could speak English and were thrilled when he entered their Plymouth colony and said ‘welcome’ in English!

Soon Samoset got another tribal named Squanto who could speak better English and he was regarded as an instrument sent by god by the Pilgrims.

Squanto taught them the many ways of survival in the new world as these European Pilgrims mostly lived in dirt, short supply of food, medicines and did not know how to survive the cold winters. Squanto brought them dear meat, beaver skin, taught them how to cultivate corn and other vegetables and build new homes like the red Indians.

He explained how to dig and cook clam, showed them medicinal plants and pointed out poisonous plants to stay away from, he told them how to use sap from maple trees and how to use fish for fertilizer and dozens of other skills that improved the lifestyle of the Pilgrims.

In order to celebrate this good fortune the pilgrims initially invited Samoset, Squanto and Massasoit (leader of the Wampanoags) and their families for a thanksgiving feast but when the tribals arrived in overwhelming numbers the pilgrims were unable to feed them, for which the tribals themselves arranged for all the food once again!

Soon as the number of Pilgrims increased, they began to disrespect the local faith and became intolerant which led to a deterioration of their relationships. Any Indian who came near their vicinity was looted, enslaved or murdered. Soon enough they constructed cannons and prepared for the military destruction of the locals, they even beheaded some Wampanoags and displayed their heads on wooden spikes in their colonies. By mid 1630s a new group of 700 more Europeans who called themselves Puritans arrived in the new world and settled in Boston, only increasing their attacks on the Native American Indians.

Perhaps the Pilgrims regarded their voyage quests of expansion and invasion as a pilgrimage and the Puritans’ regarded their baptizing  efforts of cleansing the native faith and ethnicity as purification.

Squanto was taken as a prisoner and  taken as a slave to Spain after baptizing him as a Catholic!

In 1637, some 700 Pequot Indian tribes were trapped and killed by the whites after which the governor of Massachusetts Bay colony declared “a day of thanksgiving’ because 700 innocent unarmed civilians were killed.

By 1675, the Massachusetts Englishmen were in a full- fledged war with the Wampanoags who were now reduced from some 24000 to just 750 in number after many a genocides and their lifestyle and culture steadily eroding after various European imposed laws and values.

In 1676 the Wampanoags leader Metacomet was killed and his different severed body parts were displayed in different parts, his head was struck on a pole in Plymouth on the real first ‘day of public thanksgiving for the beginning of revenge upon the enemy’

Thus after a brutal holocaust of hunting down the friendly redskins the then declaring a thanksgiving day as an honorary day to celebrate not the brotherhood of man but the deceitful defeat of natives was introduced.

With more and more frenzied killing of the natives who were either enslaved or exterminated, the thanksgiving became synonymous with a feast after each massacre.

The brutal history of ‘thanksgiving’ and all that killing of the natives 350years ago, is today sweet coated with testimonies of veneration and words of nationalistic fervour extending gratitude to the lord for the bounties and blessings for all their unkindness.

Yes, today, America is an evolved nation with very many races, however their(read white invading Europeans) flagship methods of seeking, securing and finally seizing power after a sumptuous loot is still the same which is time and again carried out under names like #BREXIT or immigration of Syrian refugees to Germany and various other ethnic cleansing methods but it is really outright hilarious and interesting to note that we in India, blindly follow this Western practice which no way has any relevance in the Indian scenario, whatever ‘Thanksgiving’ meant but thanks to the indomitable spirits of secularism we are abound with, one can never fathom the idea of questioning the farce of any faith whatsoever! Isn’t it?

References from Dr.Habib Siddiqui’s material on Islamicity website

Brewing of a new cult called Saiism?

thomas babington macaulayThomas Babington Macaulay a radical historian posted in the East India Company, the catalyst behind abolishing Sanskrit and Persian and introducing English education in native schools to further the imperial legacy to culturally contain the native Indians, in his minutes of Feb 1835 on the Indian Education Act quoted thus……

I accept catholic beyond the across and across of India and I accept not apparent one getting who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such abundance I accept apparent in this country, such top moral values, humans of such caliber, that I do not anticipate we would anytime beat this country, unless we breach the actual courage of this nation, which is her airy and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I adduce that we alter her old and age-old apprenticeship system, her culture, for if the Indians anticipate that all that is adopted and English is acceptable and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their built-in self-culture and they will become what we ambition them, an absolutely bedevilled nation.” –

http://planningcommission.gov.in/reports/genrep/pl_vsn2020.pdf (Read page 17)

Even Max Mueller whom Swami Vivekananda revered as a scholar was a Jackal in sheep’s hide, in one of his letters to his wife in 1886, Mas Mueller writes……..

I hope, I shall finish that work (translating the Rigveda).  It(Veda) is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung up from it during the last three thousand years.” 

And on 16th December, 1868 he wrote to the Duke of Argyll, the then Secretary of State for India – “The ancient religion of India is doomed, now if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?”

In their quest to contain and create sublimely submissive masses the modus operandi was to establish their superiority by belittling other faiths, their first and foremost tool of oppression was to thrust their language on us by which they could sow their beliefs on the Indian civilization and hoped to produce a brown breed of English speaking and English thinking natives, which they did succeed to a large extent but could not tear apart the religious beliefs successfully because in spite of the natives speaking multiple languages and worshipping multiple forms of Gods and Goddesses, most philosophies often concurred that Brahma Vishnu Maheshwara were the supreme trinity who formed the basis for this entire cosmos to exist.

The British had realized and witnessed that Indians by and large revered Gurus and saints to seek the path of spirituality and they also knew that they would get debunked if they got some Christian saint to do the preaching and tried direct penetration amidst the already initiated, so they resorted to its disintegration first.

 “When you cannot convince, Confuse them……..” was their mantra…

So the white man promoted everything that was adverse to the majority beliefs and customs, he inflicted various Godmen, venerated them in writings, propagated and pilloried them so much that they became new Gods in the 19th century and enjoyed instant fame with a curiously quick propaganda.

Such propaganda that it is today a multimillion dollar industry!

One such industry is called the Sai business industry.

saibaba original pics

The story goes like this….. In the early 19th century ie…just 90years back there came a Fakir amidst the farming community in a small village called Shirdi, who lived in a dilapidated mosque wearing white robes and head gear who is believed to have preached ‘sabka mallik ek’ while he blessed everyone with the words “Allah Mallik”!

Sri-Sai-Samadhi-Mandir

Mazar of Shirdi Saibaba

He died in 1918 due to old age and sufferings like any other mortal being. A few reports suggest that after his death his body was buried in a nearby Krishna temple after removing the idol and then a Mazar(an Islamic tomb) was built which today the devotees call as Samaadhi!

Saibaba's Mazar in 1950s

Saibaba’s Mazar in 1950s

In the Hindu customs a Samaadhi is built for saints who could choose death at will while in penance, in a sitting posture not when they die of old age like ordinary mortals.

Abdul baba, devotee of Saibaba

For some time a Muslim devotee Abdul baba was in charge of the Mazar but later in 1922 it was taken over by a lawyer Hari Sitaram Dixit after winning a petition and a Sansthan trust was formed.

saibaba sculptor

In 1952, a marble Sai statue was built on a silver throne with Lord Shri Rama’s picture in the backdrop it was now called Samaadhi Mandir. This marble was donated from Italy!

We love Italian marble isn’t it?

Even some scriptures were produced after lifting from the biographies of other saints and endorsing it as Saibaba’s teachings.

Govind Dabholkar alias Hemadpant (1856-1929) wrote a devotional biography “Shri Sai Satcharitha” in Marathi, he had begun only two chapters in 1916 and in 1918 Saibaba died but he resumed the work again in 1923 after he became a member of the Sai Sansthan Trust. Later the book gained a new English adaptation by N.V.Gunaji who cleverly omitted Baba’s Muslim context and fixated a Vedantic edge to it, Gunaji ignored frequent use of Urdu words and Muslim practices of baba like Namaz and Sufi teachings, goat slaughter practices endorsed by Shirdi Sai and ascribed many alleged miracles to Saibaba’s credentials, this version was widely propagated and read.

Dr.Marianne Warren urged that an overlay occurred in much reporting about Saibaba, tending to obscure the Sufi dimensions of his profile with an evident attempt to Hinduize his teachings.

The academic commentator described the same book thus:

“A detailed presentation of alleged miraculous phenomena…. the intent of the work is clearly hagiographic, aiming at the expansion of Sai Baba’s popularity among the public at large.” (19)

A lie repeated a hundred times goes on to become the truth and it doesn’t take much time to blow up beliefs over bigotry that too with a thesis in miracles!

Image from shirdisaibabaexperiences.org

Image from shirdisaibabaexperiences.org

Those white robes have turned saffron today!

Today you can see SaiBaba’s pictures mostly in the backdrop of Shiva or Ram or Krishna!

saibaba iwth krishna and ramasaibaba iwth ganeshasaibaba with shiva

Why this coalition religiotics!

sai-baba-durga-devi

saibaba as krisna

Why this ardent insistence on this Hindu theme?

And not to forget, there will be Saibaba I, II and III, the latest being Aniruddha Baba who claims he is the reincarnation of Saibaba in this 21st century!

But the Oscar goes to this picture below:

None of our Saptarishis enjoy this kind of fame or power and the Hindu temples today are all hypothecated to the Murzai trusts. Moneys from Hindu Hundis are siphoned off for proselytizing activities, subsidy for Haj and upliftment of backward vote banks.

Today the Shirdi Saibaba temple is one of the richest temples owning over 380kg gold with an annual turnover of Rs.350crores with an autonomous control by a selected few trustees.

Earlier the temple trust was run by a 15-17 member committee which constituted of mostly Congress clan, but in March 2012 the Bombay High Court disbanded the committee and has appointed a three member panel after a PIL by two Shirdi residents.

The court had also banned the temple committee from auctioning the gold, silver and diamond articles which the temple had received from devotees after a petition argued that the valuable were offered to the god, not to the temple for raising money from them. Today the Modi government is baiting them with an interest of 1.25crores for depositing their gold in Gold Monetizing scheme but there is a HC ban on melting of temple gold offerings.

“Sai “simply means saint in Islam and Saibaba didn’t utter a single Sanskrit word but Wikipedia deciphers the origin of the word ‘Sai’ thus:

However, Sāī may also be an acronym of the Sanskrit term “Sakshat Eshwar”, a reference to God.[citation needed] Sakshat means incarnate and Eshwar ( Ishvar) means God’.

This is how seeds of provincial prowess are sown to contain the masses through mass submissions with tools of religion and linguistic similarity.

There have been many saints in the past who are still revered amongst us because they equipped us with the prudence to distinguish between the divine and the dubious by not elevating the messengers of Gods as Gods themselves.

Yes it is true that people can choose their faith by all means but a faith that is founded by lifting scriptures of an already prevalent faith only reiterates the fact that there is a constant attempt to vehemently dilute and deviate people’s beliefs to create more cults. Yes it is also true that these religious model business houses are doing their bit to provide food, education and medical facilities and employment to various people but even the Christian Missionaries do the same with a hidden agenda of keeping minds under subservience for global political-power one-upmanship!

A few thousand years back Buddhism and Jainism propped out as offshoots of Hinduism, a few hundred years back Sikhism was born out of Hinduism as people carved out a new cult and today confuse and claim that Buddha is the 9th Avatar and not Balarama! One other theory by the Tamils is that Murugan is the 9th Avatara!

Today there is a similar attempt to create another cult called Saiism that is soon brewing rapidly altering our religious identity and the religious scientists are trying their best to inflict Saibaba into our scriptures, into our hymns, they are turning “Jai Shri Ram” into “Om Sai Ram”! If I contest this, my own clan will team up against me! The white man’s dream is achieved!

200years from now somebody might even argue that he was one of the Dashaavataras and slowly denigrate the original texts. 200 years from now you never know even the followers of triple Sri or Sadguru might accredit some miracles to their beloved seers and proclaim newer Avataras like the canonization theory of the Church!

Yes in a country where even Jayalalitha, Khusboo, Sonia and Rajanikant have temples built, it would come as no surprise if tomorrow there is a temple built for triple Sri or Sadguru and their likes. It is in this context that I say, belief is an obligation and truth your choice, by not succumbing to the ballistics of propaganda politics as you owe to the future generation the knowledge of the original dharma and truth in its real sense and expose them to our ancient scriptures.

I do not know if Saibaba and his likes performed any miracles, I do not know if he really preached with the absolute knowledge and enlightenment that is credited to him but surely the Macaulays who dreamt of breaking this country’s culture have miraculously succeeded to a large extent with their tremendous foresight and vicious agendas and this new trap of cultism is a potentially becoming fatal tools of disintegration!

Devdutt Patnaik: The Myth Behind The Mythology

devdutt 6_2Watching Television for entertainment or enlightenment is a huge risk nowadays. While news channels have turned into high decibel zones, serials have turned into venom breweries and comedy is reduced to its lowest crass with obscene debauchery to tickle your nerves, sports is all about IPL and swerving shiny bottoms so I was left with only travel and history.

The first time I watched this channel called EPIC TV I was quite impressed and I started watching more of it! With program topics ranging from travel, history, ancient lifestyles, kings and famous personalities, wars, pre-independence era, religion, spirituality, politics, sports together with cuisines and their origin, films, art and culture and all our gory filled as well as glorious pasts told from an Indian perspective, it has become the talk of the town!.

I was instantly fascinated with this channel and particularly the sketching stories with crisp narrations in the ‘culture machine’, the “Stories of Rabindranath Tagore”, although they are mostly stories of debauchery and extra marital affairs of the rigid Bengalis in the pre-independence era, the stories, the depiction and narrative somewhat touches you especially when their crew cast with artistically relatable big eyed white-saried seductive actresses showcase and portray a women’s perspective along with the spectacled men with coats and dhotis taking you into an Eastman era.

The main attraction seemingly is the narratives and interpretations of Devdutt Patnaik, a self-declared mythologist, although I admire his explanations and interpretations that keeps the uninitiated curious the fact that he calls the Vedic history as a myth is something I cannot agree with.

Interestingly the channel also hosts programs anchored by people like ‘Nasir-Uddin Shah’ and ‘Mahesh Bhatt’, whose anti-national left leaning credentials and outright support for terrorists is no secret. So I mused as to what, an impressive speaker like Mr.Patnaik was doing amidst this crew and this only intrigued me further into reading more about him and his other works on his website and Facebook page and twitter as well.

I enthusiastically began following him on Twitter and was surprised to see that his Dharmic tweets are mostly politically angled to suit today’s Indian political scenario and of course with an unseen subtle judgemental pitch oscillating between Modi and his strategies.

He also says when he interviewed Wendy Doniger that “Anyone who is serious about studying Hinduism needs to study the works of Wendy Doniger (b.1940), who for over 40 years has been researching, translating, and commenting on Hindu scriptures and stories. Had it not been for her, I would not have had access to so many tales hidden in our scriptures”.

Most of the people he follows on twitter are the same enigmatic brigade who cried intolerance a while ago. I know that Retweets and one’s choice of whom they follow on social media are not categorical endorsements of any ideology as such but I would mostly follow people whom I can relate to or I am curious about!

I also read his article on the Scroll.in where he attempts a Dharmic narrative with a seeming obsession with Narendra Modi’s past and future like most twitterattis he follows!

I shall quote a particular interesting line from that article

Only the asura, says Krishna, thinks he created the wave. He assumes he controls nature. He assumes the world exists for him, or should exist for him.

A deva submits to a world where there are forces at work that are beyond his control. He gracefully accepts the fruit that comes to him.

Remember the author is giving a dharmic discourse in comparison with Modi’s political past and future, although he claims the write up is not about Modi!

Whoever the Asura here is in our political context that Mr.Devdutt Patnaik refers to who he thinks created a wave, but in writer’s lexicon this kind of writing is called subtle ideological baptism or in short “subtle agenda poison” where the writer cleverly downplays or degrades someone yet he projects as if he does not take a stand but compares and contrasts leading the audience into a compulsive conclusion!

It is not a new concept that spiritual gurus and Dharmic discourses quote political contexts for better explanations, but unlike today in earlier times spiritual gurus made their affiliations clear to their followers by endorsing certain ideologies but the threat today is the disguised propaganda and hidden agendas of our own people who use religious discourses to influence political decision making or culture bending. Art and literary work have often been seized for cultural makeovers, as they are portrayed subtly but have the potential to mesmerize the moron and the mastermind! Loud messages are often sent in the most muted forms!

It’s a smart world out there today where wars are no longer fought with violence but with agenda based propagandas, inflicting cultural terrorism by diluting beliefs and misleading masses with sweet words where the biggest tool to bond or break people always has and is religion.

False propaganda or cultural terrorism is more lethal than violent wars today as it has become the modern artillery of western nations vying to climb the power ladder.

The Puranas and Vedas can be best understood by individual interpretations if attempted with the same detachment and humility of our ancient sages but it is important that these epics, their scientific and spiritual significance be passed on in the same original form without distortions or forcing other’s interpretations as truth.

In today’s scenario where religion is a rage and Dharmic gurus and amateur historians are sprouting up from all corners of the world, you need to first enlighten yourself about the reliability and genuineness of the author/guru and ascertain his credentials of integrity before you seek the real enlightenment!

Puthravathi Bava!

putravaathiAs the perfectionist walks in like a queen bee, the hullaballoo of the lesser mortals is quickly hushed into chronic whispers! She is the master chef who will roll her sleeves to prescribe the finest recipes, she is the nutritionist who will add five portions of lentils and vegetables and seven varieties of fruits in her child’s diet, she could be the next brand ambassador for Scorch Brite who will scrub and sterilize everything around the house sparklingly clean with disinfectants, she is an omnipresent mother with eyes and ears everywhere, never letting that Cerelac drip anywhere beyond the bib, she is the Cindrella who will jump at the stroke of the next feeding hour lest her child’s growth goes haywire, she will panic if the milk powder is 0.001mg lesser and will wait for the calcium to dissolve and integrate into the body and shoot up as little nails on the finger so that she can file them on time! She will starve for chocolates herself lest her child should pick up that habit, she will keep her child away from violent visuals, teach when to say excuse me and when to say thank you. With an only child to care for, a single child parent leaves no stone unturned brandishing the baby with branded products the baby’s bum is spic and span on time and the skin is supple and soaked in one or the other cream. A single child parent can emerge as the messiah of logic and the counsel all with mindboggling parenting tips that can actually make you go weak in the knee feeling like a serial punitive parent caught red handed. To cut the story short, a single child mother is the personification of motherhood and can be nominated for the Oscars in the world’s best mom category or so she thinks!

I was all of this and much more until I was mom, yet another time!

While parenting a single child is no child’s play, the addition of one more child into the family tree is like a drop of nirvana in the ocean of parental saga as it teaches you to be super pragmatic in life and turns you into a new leaf. You will quickly learn how to suddenly multiply your hands to tend to hungry mouths and meet the messy challenge of how to put on the oxygen mask first and then go about saving other’s lives! But there are some common salient features of a second pregnancy:

The moment you announce your second pregnancy, the fleet of supporters at home that you were flaunting until recently will suddenly fall sick or go into a spiritual deluge and go on a pilgrimage unattached from your new attachments, at office your manager will suddenly talk of gender equality and levy more loads of work on you. At a personal level _ with the nostalgia of your first baby still showering in your bed and that stench still fresh in your and everybody else’s minds, baby shower will be a taboo word, and since there is already a downsizing threat in the corporate corridors, your hubby might suddenly turn romantic and get you only a beautiful red rose instead!

At social gatherings, family and friends will bless you stressing on the ‘Putravathi bava’ phrase even if they know that you already have a boy, and by chance if your blood is boiling with those women rights activism, save that energy as you have not quiet deciphered the hidden meaning when elderly women bless you that way! It secretly means ‘why should you have all the fun when I have toiled tons to bring up my sons only to be my daughter-in-law’s husbands’!

As a mother of two boys, I can now somewhat relate as to what it is to bring up sons and keep consoling myself _All is well_ I am only a facilitator! No this post is not about sons versus daughters it’s just about first time parents versus experience!

Once you are promoted as a parent of two kids you are now more envisioned and research oriented, perhaps the previous experiments are driving you close to the god particle and now that recipe, that nutrition you researched earlier will radiate resplendently on your belly, the discipline, the time table and all that perfect parenting instincts will circle around your eyes like freshly laid kohl, slowly the staunch timetable of calculated healthy portions will be tossed and wrapped over like masala dosa as they now appear obsolete, hyper rigid and monotonous, not that your family is turning squint and famished, it’s just that you will bite and binge on anything that looks like food. Sleep and piping hot food were never so pricelessly precious perhaps!

Also you will suddenly want your spoon fed first child to become terribly independent at once now so that you can go back to square one with your second stint at parenting but since that is a distant dream now, you can only fancy a whimsical wish that there were more than 24hours in a day or perhaps a school/baby care that runs in night shifts!

With the elasticity of the tummy comes the flexibility and adaptability in your approach, your ideas and insights will change like candidates jumping into new political outfits. The clean scrubbing, finicky freak that you were, will now feel, immunity is something that kids should develop naturally, the earlier the better! You will suddenly start appreciating your child’s choice and independence and not fret when he does not finish a portion. Soon it will dawn upon you that being overtly vigilant about your child is more about over protectiveness and less about caring hence it is best to let them test the waters and learn to handle their little problems themselves at the playground while you enjoy an evening walk.

Earlier the worries revolved around how the hell can I make him polish the bowl? Now it is ‘how the hell do I meet their never ending demands’? The younger siblings usually learn quickly from the older ones making your life lot easier when it comes to eating habits or personal hygiene or reading for that matter. Earlier I was obsessed with time but today time seems to be obsessed with me, setting new deadlines and newer targets each day!

Today the branded products sit at the shelf and expire unperturbed as I now know that the shine and suppleness on the face is not because of those creams anymore, it’s more about the spunk in your mind that you stride with and a sparkle in the eye with that acquired patience, perseverance and learning that comes only with parenting, more so if you are a proud parent of two notorious kids!!

The worst fears of single child parents that they will end up with additional responsibilities and less time for them is half baked, yes the initial years are demanding but as children grow up slightly the siblings learn to appreciate each other’s presence leasing you with a lot of leisure time.

The idea of this post propped up to me when I walked past a single child mother diligently run behind her cycle happy kid, with portions of fruits and nuts crying hysterically “it is energy time beta”, the bête noire of “Hum do Humare Do” that she was, her penetrating grimaces clearly indicating her dissent for the uncaring or careless parent that I was to leave my kids on their own as I swung my arms in Yogic fervor wielding more power as against her but I smiled candidly, secretly blessing her with another “Putravathi Bava” hoping that a drop of parental nirvana drops on her too!

This Article Was Originally Published in mycity4kids.com

Reading The Upanishads

I am trying to read the Upanishads but it is more difficult than any religious texts, as spirituality and religion are two different aspects altogether. I would have read two or three novels in the time I took to read just 40 pages so far. But it is certainly intriguing and inspiring!

Reading about metaphysical phenomena and getting initiated philosophically is more difficult than I had perceived, as it requires acute concentration and dedication to decipher the real meanings! But you don’t need to be sceptical and resolutely reserve it to be read only by retirement, because there is no point chest beating about our spiritual heritage without once trying to read them. So for the beginners here is a brief about what really are Upanishads.

The Upanishads have represented philosophy, spirituality and life for thousands of years and have influenced in the past many nations far beyond the boundaries of India, Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, Ceylon, Malay and even the westerners as many ancient Indian texts were found buried under the sands of the west.

The Upanishads are a philosophical quest that inspires and helps one to understand life in the right perspective without any rigidity and rise above the glamour of fleshly life, by aiding philosophical answers to the material problems and spiritual questions of life.

The connotation Upa(near) ni(down) shad(sit)  means sitting down near knowledge. (In ancient times, pupils sat down by the river banks to seek knowledge from their Gurus).

The root sadh means ‘to loosen’, ‘to destroy’, ‘to reach’

Essentially Upanishads are Bramhagyan or Bramha knowledge by which ignorance is loosened or destroyed and it is intelligible only to the initiated. In short it is a spiritual vision with philosophical arguments.

Gordon Milburn, an evangelist who studied Upanishads said “Christianity in India needs Vedantha. A very useful step would be recognition of certain books or passages in the Vedantha as constituting what might be called Ethnic Old Testament”.

Popularly there are 108 Upanishads, the Latin version of Upanishads_ Oupnekhat has 50 Upanishads but of all, the principal ones are:

Eesha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Maitreyaneya, Taithreya, Aithreya, Chandogya, Bhrad Aranyaka and Svethasvatara.

The Upanishads were not written by any one person or with any one philosophy, they were teachings that developed over parishads or spiritual retreats where teachers and students discussed and defined different views.

The Upanishads are Sanaathana _timeless!

Some of the sages who wrote the Upanishads are Aaruni, Yaghnavaalkhya, Baalakhi, Svethakethu and Shandilya…..

108 chapters to give solutions to the problems of life, maybe this is the reason we have 108 as the emergency number.

The Vedas and Upanishads are the history of the world and India in particular. They hold the authoritarian influence the world over, because of their inspirational values as they are vehicles of spiritual illumination and a treasure-trove of wisdom and knowledge. Earlier they were orally passed on from generation to generation but with time people found it difficult to comprehend and remember hence it was written down.

The Rig-Veda is the oldest literary monument of the world which reveals the high civilization that existed in pre-historic India whose borders extended far beyond today’s geographical boundaries.

The Rig Veda deals with hymns and prayers of praise,

The Yajur Veda deals with sacrificial formalities,

The Saama Veda deals with melodies,

The Atharva Veda deals with magic formulas.

Each Veda consists of

  1. Samhithas are a collection of mantras or hymns, prayers, benedictions, sacrificial formulas and litanies.
  2. Brahmanaas are the prose essays that explain mantras from Samhitas in simpler ways, for better understanding and discuss the significance of sacrificial rituals and ceremonies.
  3. Aranyakaas or forest texts were evolved when hermits did not have enough resources to follow conventional sacrifices or rituals, the Aranyakaas focus on meditative thinking. The word Aranya originates from Arana, in Vedic age those who continued their studies without marrying were called Aranas or Aranamaanas, they lived in hermitages or forests. The forests where the aranas lived were called Aranya.
  4. Upanishads deals with solutions to the problems in life, they are difficult to comprehend hence they are taught in the end of the Vedas, hence the word Vedantha meaning Vedasya Antha _ that which is taught at the end of the Vedas. Some scholars use Vedantha and Upanishads interchangeably while some argue that they are different.The Vedic civilization extended far beyond the middle east, when Iran was known as Iriya, Palestine was known as Pali sthan(the land where Paali was spoken).Ahura Mazda is the fire god of Zoroastrians, Avesta is their scripture and Avestan is an Iranian religion pre-dating the Islam. The lines “despised and persecuted remnants moved to Yezd and Kirman” reveal that the Yezidis have a Vedic past and worship many Hindu symbols like the peacock which is the vehicle of Murugan, it is perhaps for this reason that they are being exterminated today.

The Samhitas and the Brahmanas represent the Karma-Kanda or ritual portion of the Vedas while the Upanishads represent the Gnana-Kanda or knowledge portion of the Vedas.

The Vedic civilization extended far beyond the middle east, when Iran was known as Iriya, Palestine was known as Pali sthan(the land where Paali was spoken).

Prof.E.G.Browne writes “when in the 7th century, the warlike followers of the Arabian prophet swept across Iran overwhelming in their tumultuous onslaught, an ancient dynasty and a venerable religion, a change apparently almost unparalleled in history was in the course of a few years brought over the land where for centuries the ancient hymns of Avesta were chanted and sacred fires had burned, the cry of the Mu ezzin summoning the faithful to prayers rang from minarets reared on the ruins of temples at Ahura Mazda. The priests of Zoroaster fell by swords, the ancient books perished in the flames and soon none were left to represent a once mighty faith but a handful of exiles flying towards the shores of India and a despised and persecuted remnant in solitary Yezd and remote Kirman”.

But in spite of centuries of Islam, the Vedic thoughts are not totally effaced from some passages of the Quran as it still has mystic interpretations echoing their past religious beliefs.

Ahura Mazda is the fire god of Zoroastrians, Avesta is their scripture and Avestan is an Iranian religion pre-dating the Islam.

The lines “a handful of exiles flying towards India” does not reiterate any Aryan invasion theory because the Vedic civilization was not limited to the boundaries of today’s India alone, it extended wide across the middle east and far west as well. The Zoroastrians who fled to India are today called Paarsees.

Some astounding similarities between the Indo-Iran(Persian) terminologies are:

In India, we refer to Varuna as the water god and lord of rta In Iran, Ahura is the water god and lord of aasa
Varuna is allied with Mitra, the Sun God Ahura is allied with Mithra, the Sun God, in fact Iran had a religion called Mithraism that pre-dated Christianity and was in rivalry with Christianity.
Dyaus means sky in Sanskrit Zeus is the sky god in Greek and Avesta.
Vrthrahan is slayer of Vrthra, sometimes regarded Vishn. Verethragna is an Zoroastran god in the Avestan times
Apamnaapat is a deity which in Sanskrit means ‘sons of cosmic water’ which is a form of Agni. Apa means water and Napat means grandson Apam Napat, in Avestan means sons of water. Apa means water, napat means grandson.
Yajna or Yagnya means worship or oblation through fire Yasna means worship or oblation through water.
Gandharvas are celestial beings in Vedic beliefs. Gandharewa are celestial beings in Zoroastrianism.
Yama is the God of death Yima is the God of death
Hotr or Atharva, is a priest Zoatr or Athravan, is the priest
Vaayu is wind Vayu is wind
Krsaanu Keresaani

Both the Zoroastrians and Hindus revere the Sun and involve use of fire in their oblations but while Hindus revere and worship the Devas, the Zoroastrians regard them as demons and vice versa, perhaps the Zoroastrianism was established rebelling against its predecessor, that has unmistakable similarities with Vedic systems.

Zoroastrianism was founded by the prince Zarathusthra, which sounds very similar to “Dhritharasthra” to me, maybe their race continued somewhere in the AryaVartha or Airiya or Iriya or Iran but there is no evidence anywhere whatsoever.

But the larger point is that most beliefs that exist today are offshoots of the Vedic practices, where some got corroded while some colluded and rebelled against its roots forming newer faiths and followers. And it is in this context that some faiths follow the stark opposite of the other, just to prove its upmanship over the other.

And it is in this scenario of the society that spirituality outdoes religion, to enlighten and inspire us for the everyday obligations of life.

References from “The Principal Upanishads” by S.Radhakrishnan.

Have we lost our responsiveness?

There was a time when we would do things at the first instance of being told, responsiveness came like an inbuilt trait, those days! I do not know if it was the pattern of participation in the family affairs or perhaps the diligence we were wired with, that ensured we did things the way it were expected. But somehow today there is a growing trend of people all around who have grown thick skinned to this important interactive credential, as people just don’t think it is important anymore to heed to, at the first instance.

Although responsiveness has always furthered knowledgeable folks to be in the epicentre of good work and good will keeping the others in the periphery, oftentimes I find that responsiveness is becoming rationed and people take niceties for granted and respond only when nefariously yelled at or sarcastically nudged in public!

A travel website recently duplicated my content without seeking my permissions, I refuted several times politely asking them to remove the post but was able to get a response and get them to act only when I resorted to threatening them to naming and shaming them publicly on social media sites.

At an other time an arrogant muscly neighbor, mellowed down only when his reputation was at stake in public, it is indeed intriguing how people no more respect good words in good faith and succumb only when the defaming whip is lashed!

It is an unconscientiously hypo critic world out there where fear of a reduced reputation rules over responsiveness or rightfulness. A few other replace credible moral reputation with money and yes men, with whom yelling or ridiculing is an easy option to extract responses and actions but short lived as it ruins our mental peace and reflects poorly upon us but how do you handle the many occasions in life where you have to deal with the not so nice people with absolute niceties and still get your work done?

I often resort to pathetic humour to make a point, sometimes at my cost and even force myself into a metaphysical trance to counter the insensitivities! Because some viewpoints and mind sets deserve only a befitting laugh than logic and when you cannot please everyone, just tease them!! What do you think?

The Bed Bugs Of Journalism

The release of the accused JNU student leader #KannaiyaKumar on interim bail is being jubilantly celebrated, not just in the JNU campus but across the pro Congress, pro Marxist media channels.

I was casually surfing channels to ascertain how each channel brings out this news, it was indeed entertaining to see white lies and biased opinions aired so benevolently without the slightest remorse of being dishonest to one’s own conscience.

ravishkumar

However one such channel that caught my attention was the NDTV, the news anchor Ravish Kumar was chatting up with a few JNU students trying his best to down play a serious sedition charge and converting the coverage into an image makeover session.

For those who are clouded with confusion about freedom of speech and use the jargons like sedition and dissent as interchangeable words, it is important to know that 5 of our policemen gave up their lives to protect and uphold the honour of our parliament_ that parliament which is the sacred sanctum of  building and developing this nation called India. And an attack on India’s parliament is a blatant challenge to her very sovereignty and honour. If not for those brave cops who died fighting the gun wielding terrorists encircling our parliament house, our thick skinned politicians would not be here to make these tall rhetoric speeches about freedom of speech.

Kannaiya Kumar the student leader who organised a commemoration day for the terrorist Afzal Guru, the mastermind behind the Parliament attacks is unfortunately being made a hero when he was very much channelizing and coordinating anti-India sloganeering like “Bharat tere tukde honge and Bharath ke barbaadi thak”. The Supreme Court of India ordered the judicial execution of Afzal Guru but the fops of free speech will continue with their agenda of dividing this nation and show their contempt for court decisions by celebrating and organising Martyrdoms for terrorists and Maoists.

What Kind of Azzadi do they really want _another attack on the parliament??

Well in this case, Kannaiah is only released on interim bail and the matter is still subjudice in courts but Kannaiah’s speech was scripted no less than a Bollywood flick, he hinges largely on an anti Modi pitch but fails to make a point. He mixes up things and takes a complete U turn on the famous Azaadi mania, he now cries Azaadi from corruption and Manuvaad and RSS. Whatever secularism meant!! But Manuvaad and Brahmanvaad are very fashionable terms these days and the speech is incomplete without a reference to farmer suicides! He goes on to say that the backward people are forced to take up jobs in the police and builds up a link to the farmer issue by saying “and these poor people who take up the jobs in the police force are sons of poor farmers and that nobody cares for the suicides of farmers”

Ironically most farmer suicides occurred during the Congress regime and the Modi government is only trying to ease out things for them at the cost of once again burdening the general category by levying taxes on EPF and removing the subsidy on cylinders but a speech is a speech and it has to compulsively have some peculiar if not secular stuff in it.

He rants that the poor police cop in the Tihar Jail does not get to study in JNU like him and cries foul that private education is expensive!

Some 60years back my father studied in a Government college that had the best professors, and yes they were general merit category professors who taught in Government schools and colleges, there were no private educational institutions then nor any reservations, he didn’t pay a dime but got the best of education. Today if anybody is to blame for the pathetic state of affairs in the founding years of primary education _ it is the vicious policy of reservation as all the teaching jobs are today occupied by reservation quota candidates who are ill equipped and unqualified to teach.

Today the Manuvaadis and Brahmanvaadis and all general category merit classes are classically castigated aside in the name of reservation quotas to make way for minorities and backward classes even if they didn’t deserve it. It is for this reason that general merit candidates are almost devoid of any posts in the Government jobs and not otherwise. As a result of which corruption has grown multifold with undeserving candidates without the ability or qualifications occupying posts that they cannot handle and do justice to.

A Government job today is seen as the goose that lays golden eggs, and people pay lakhs of bribe money even to get into the post of a Hawaldar, such is the scope for looting the stupid common man, with whose tax money people like Kannaiah get to hold the mike to massacre the society with hatred and divide.

93% of our educational institutes are run by the Government and only 7% by the private players that too with an RTE prick, how else can this 7% sustain if they didn’t make their courses expensive after paying those fat bribes for all those approvals and sanctions by the government babus!

But the enthusiasm on Ravish Kumar’s face resplendently revealed how much he wanted to say “Mere Rago Mein Khoon Ab Baara Guna Zyada Daud Raha Hai….. Aap Ko Ab Kaisa Lag Raha Hai” but he did not stop there!

Mr. Ravish Kumar, a senior journalist of NDTV proudly broke the investigated news to us on national TV that Kannaiah did chase away the bed bugs from the JNU hostels!

But the larger question is who will chase away these bed bugs in the nasty world of journalism? Who will stop the Kannaiahs who blatantly instigate a social divide amongst the youth in the name of backward and forwardness which is very dangerous to the integrity and unity of our nation? Who will fumigate the bed bugs of divisive rabble rousing news channels that are setting a dangerous precedent of showcasing to the youth of this nation that it’s cool to be anti-nationalistic in the name of free speech?

 

Make And Take In India

Impact of innovative mantras like Digital India, 100 Smart cities, Skill India and Make in India has boosted the morale of Indians across the globe. India is rapidly growing in her economic stature in the global market and today India is the most sought after destination for investment and technological innovations!

With the concept of Make in India revolving around facilitating and fostering investment and innovation we have been quite successful appealing to the global citizens at large with our make in India surge and are pacing up on the growth, innovation and leadership index but the bigger challenge lies back home in India to make the Make in India impact more successful! Although we take pride in these wonderful initiatives outwardly the ground reality is somewhat different.
A recent encounter with a medical counselor at a renowned eye hospital revealed how we Indians are engineered to believe that everything that is of a foreign make is superior to a product manufactured in the Indian subcontinent.

The lady gave us 3options before the cataract surgery _ first a German made lens _ the most expensive one, second an American make _ the best sold lens in the market she exclaimed confidently and lastly the Indian lens which she meekly offered and admitted that very less people sought them. When I enquired if the qualities were at par she said they were all equally good, then I asked her if the imported ones were better in any way she said she was not quite sure and that the general public sought the imported ones and so far there were no negative feedbacks about them.

By now, we were half convinced that we better go with the audience poll, even without looking for any data if the people had really sought them!

But I enquired again if the Indian ones had any negative feedback, she smiled and told me that there were none. I then prodded her as to why the others were more expensive? Because it is imported came the reply!

I came back home wondering which one to choose, just then a detergent Ad screamed out on TV _ “power boosters with German technology”!

At the furniture shop, the salesman exclaimed that it was Malaysian Mango wooden frame with Srilankan leather and Indonesian legs, hence expensive! I turned the radio on and the RJ yelled that the hottest property in town was some blablabla brand with Italian marble with latest German fittings! I am not implying that all Indian stuff _ even those incompetent ones should become as expensive as its foreign counterparts but I am only trying to understand why we still have this kind of colonial hangover!

I recently went to an export house sale and discovered a heap of waste tags of an expensive foreign brand apparel company which is a prestigious rage in India, but the apparel and even its ‘Made in XX’ tags are manufactured here in India but interestingly we do not stop short of flaunting that Made in Japan, Germany tag, wait! our foreign fetish does not end there; a distant relative in the family wants only a US/UK based NRI for a husband! Hanging out at Tacobell is somehow more trendy as against polishing an IdleeVada plate at a fast food joint as it is a little unsophisticated claim my teen friends! A domestic travel experience is far too primitive and below dignity to be shared and our Bolly/Tolly/Sandalwood numbers are incomplete and even obsolete without the white skin baring junior artistes!

Anyways succumbing to the Junta Ka Vote and our apprehensions that God has blessed us with only one pair of eyes and that we cannot risk it, we finally chose the American lens and now after 3 months realise that the vision is still little blurred and the eyes feel slimy.

When we sought an advice from the hospital we were told that it was a normal symptom!
It is another thing that we read in the newspaper, a little later after my mom’s surgery that the famous surgeon who operated upon my mom had to undergo a cataract procedure himself from a German doctor who was specially summoned to India for the surgery!!

I am not averse to the wide choices available today but certainly amused at our glorious myths of take outside of India and all that mind engineering that goes into it! The word risk still rings in my ears and wonder why we think anything Indian is risky and anything beyond that is fantastic with eyes closed!

The day we start believing in our systems, our machinery and management, the day when the Government body delivers and aids us to believe and take pride in everything Indian, that day the Make In India mission will be fully accomplished!

India will be a stronger economy only if we make up the Indian minds to make and take in India!

 

When Rama became a Refugee in his own land!

The Ram Mandir debate is back on the forefront, but it was indeed refreshing to see a sane debate between Dr.Subramanya Swami and Mr.Owaisi with ample time for each of the parties to put across facts and truths at hand without making it another hysterical shouting match!

There were 4 things that were being reiterated time and again by Mr.Owaisi, one that the Modi Government has deviated itself from the promise of development to religion politics yet again, two that the Mandir issue is raised only during elections, three that the building of the temple would trigger communal split and tensions and four, that the Supreme Court’s decision will prevail upon all, to which Dr.Swamy rebuts point to point in his usual best!

However, firstly we need to understand that every nation is built with an ideology with inferences from its past, aspirations of the present and futuristic ambitions, where geo-political, social, cultural and religious aspects are inter connected and go hand in hand in shaping a country’s overall outlook. And this is true for all nations in the world! Whether we like it or not ethnicity, religion, politics and culture are closely knitted and decisively have a hand in defining a nation’s identity!

If religious conviction has divided people, the spiritual essence of a religion has also united people, it has influenced their thinking, their priorities their do s and don’ts as most religions have been identified based on an ideology, that ideology which has sprung out from the basket of traditions, customs and beliefs! That belief which has risen out of history that went on to become habits. Essentially religion is an ideology that has evolved from the history of our habits!

Habits that become moral values and some of these time tested moral codes went on to become laws of a society!

Every nation reflects upon its history in its social, political and cultural scenarios as societies are made of individuals and individuals are driven by beliefs and experiences they imbibe and inculcate in their paths of pursuit. In most Western nations the state policies are largely influenced by the church, in Saudi Arabia the laws and policies are clearly governed by religious decrees of the Sharia, whereas India, even with a tolerant Hindu majority that is today racing with the world, is a pluralistic democracy, and in our pursuit to develop and integrate everyone in modern India, it is really immaterial as to what core faith is applied to draft its policies as long as it is for common good and in the spirit of the constitution, because faith, laws and politics have always been interconnected from time immemorial that will continue to be so as the paths of religion are not as ineffective as it is tapered and tailored out at news hour debates because laws are an extension of moral teachings found in one or the other religious scriptures.

While Modi, known for his explicit religious inclinations has displayed a mature and balanced statesmanship with his hands full, with developmental projects and proposals for the larger good and has done pretty well taking along all sectors of the society, the yellow eyed are still struck with the C (read communal) word and question him and his counterparts on the issue of terrorism which itself is an over hyped religious bigotry in the aftermath of an ugly concoction of politics, power and religion induced by the west along with the radicals.

Ironically Owaisi questions Modi on containing terror but Hyderabadi youth get caught while escaping to join ISIS!!

While Owaisi declares that he is not an invader’s son but a Hindustani, he inadvertently or knowingly well defends the actions of an invader (Babur), who demolished the holy sites of Hindus. He says that BJP is polarising the issue and propagating communal divisions in the country but if he is really secular then why can’t he respect history, agree and affirm to his Hindu brothers, the fact that Ayodhya is indeed one of the sacred sanctums of Hindus! And the debate can never be Invader Vs God!

With the arrest of Qasmi, another mullah in Bengaluru, for alleged links with terror outfits, the Muslim groups have claimed that they will support him. Will Owaisi condemn this act and advise Muslim bodies to stay out and not polarise matters at the cost of the nation’s security? Will he condemn those supporting Afzal Guru? Or has he ever condemned his own brother for making defamatory and infuriating speech?

He suggests that the Modi government should focus on achieving economic prowess and take the country forward but will he first grow beyond the petty religious Votebank politics and establish his secular credentials in all his earnestness!?

An Owaisi supporter was all charged up amidst the debate who berated that the construction of a mosque or the Muslim community at large needs no support and does not accept any donations from Hindus in whatever form, but does the Muslim community even realize that Crores of tax payers(Largely Hindus) money are being expended into the Haj subsidy and minority welfare schemes! It is this fanatic bigotry pushed with fallacy of facts that is pedaled amongst uneducated gullible masses to keep the torch of communal fire burning eternally, and it is this ignorance that the bearded pseudo mascots of Islam are cashing and thriving upon for their votebank interests that has to dealt with iron hands!

He offered to forgo the Haj subsidy and proposes to divert it towards minority girl child education, if he is really affected and genuine about his concerns then can he talk of some women emancipation asking fellow Muslims to shun bigamy/polygamy and include their women in the mainstream and give them their basic rights?

Today, religion has shunned compassion and got into competition, inner peace is split into pieces and Lord Rama has become a refugee in his own land,!

I have not visited Ayodhya, but want to visit and worship at peace without getting a feel of being choked in the neck like in Mathura or Kashi!

Whatever the outcome, it was indeed heartening to see a mellowed down Owaisi sharpening his grace to match the wits and acumen of Dr.Swamy!

And then I watched SPECTRE

james bondThe sanskaari hashtags trending on twitter about the new Bond flick that made long headlines for cutting short its kissing scenes, with such hullaballoo made out as if the movie Spectre was reduced into a local version of Byomkesh Bakshi episode, thanking Mr.Pahlaj Nihalani, the censor board chief, I decided to watch it with my entire family as it was no big deal after all now. Incidentally we had some free tickets and Spectre was the unanimous choice and why not when journalists turn salesmen and scream their lungs out with all that pulsating fervor on the newshour debates almost instigating even a not so fond of bond movies person to actually go watch it, but for all that hyped bonding of the media with James Bond and the numerous intolerant bashing sessions of unilateral liberalism, the movie however proved utterly disastrous and disappointing.

Spectre turned out like a Farah Khan movie where bits and pieces from old flicks are lifted and implanted onto a new canvas in as is condition, the movie revolves around Daniel Craig uncovering the existence of a secret organization called SPECTRE and in this process amidst various jumps and falls he constantly needs revival doses of CPRs to recover from the obsolete asphyxiation of the storyline and hence ends up kissing all and sundry no matter how unconnected the scene is, but no, it’s not sexism or objectification of women it’s just creativity and more empowerment of women around the world! You simply can’t stick your sanskaari nose everywhere mind you! This Hollywood flick was more desi than you could ever imagine because it was all so relatable when the dashboard screen displayed ‘Ammunition not loaded’ and it could not get any better when James Bond discovers that the villain is none other than his own ‘mele mein bhichida huvaa bhaai’, our Shaakaal and Mogambo could go green eyed seeing Christoph Waltz, the villain bhai drilling a needle into Bond’s skull and delivering lengthy dialogues allowing Bond ample time to trick him and escape in true Bollywood istyle, and in the end Bond does not kill him but hands him over to the cops _ ‘kaanoon kabhi haath mein nai lena chahiye’ (never take the law into hands) perhaps it is for this reason that the Indian media got all touchy about this movie as it was way too desi to let go!

The 007 series that usually banks on a strong storyline, stunts, suspense and sensuality suddenly seems to saddle everything on its brand name but with the former 3 elements missing this time around and the latter element not working anymore in the current scenario where Bollywood items are more sleazier by the day than the Bond girls and people seeing more value for money in the Bollywood Tumkaas and Latkaas than the never ending crisis stricken chases and gun battles and not to forget the advent and rise of our own machos in the form of Akshay Kumars and Ajay Devguns has actually laid down the grim picture of 007 bare or is it really time to say ‘Will James Bond Ever Return’??

 

Rhythm of Rationalism

Every time a debate brews on the importance of freedom of speech, it conclusively boils down to classifying some as radicals and some as rationalists when the point of contention is who decides who is rational or radical?

Often times, those who advocate their beliefs in their choicest abuses in the name of freedom of speech are endorsed as rationalists and those who question and refuse to acclaim the same are termed radicals.

As per the Indian constitution of India under section 153(A) and section 295(A) of the penal code, any expression written or spoken, by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquility and under section 295(A) of the Indian penal code whoever insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of any class of citizens of India, . . . shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

And MM.Kalburgi’s statements amounted to all this and more but nevertheless he was a pronounced rationalist! The murder of MM.Kalburgi at whose hands we do not know but is definitely sad and deserves criticism but to project him as a rationalist is perhaps irrational as most of his advocacies were open blasphemy, here is a link that shows how radical and hate mongering his speech was..

in which the noted literati mindlessly goes on to say that it is superstitious to worship an idol and casually jokes that another Kannada writer _ Dr.U.R.Ananthamurthy who is also a Jnanapeetha awardee, had once urinated on an idol of God(Shiva) but no adversarial effects had harmed him, Mr.Kalburgi almost uses Anathamurthy’s outrageously anti-Hindu  stance as a proven theorem to justify his expressions and belief that idol worship is superstitious and meaningless.

Incidentally or co-incidentally these literary laureates are also awarded the most prestigious literary awards of the nation.

Isn’t it communal or hate brewing to ridicule other’s beliefs pointblank? Would Kalburgi or his likes ever question the custom of stoning the shaitaan or the circumcision or will they advocate English education in Madrasas? Will they poke their nose in Christian customs like thanks giving or the very concept of an altar when they don’t believe in idolatry? Will they question the Benny Hinns breeding rampantly in our backyard, everywhere in India today?

Obama receiving the pope becomes glorious breaking news and protocol but our PM is branded as communal.

In modern day India, a hateful expression is often packaged by the literati as unconventionally bold and creative, such creative fodder is often pushed in main stream media as liberalism and modern thinking. One such staunch example of contemporary times is the MF Hussain case, where his paintings glared with disrespectful travesty to ridicule and belittle Hinduism but our media termed M.F.Hussain as creative, free thinking, often such superlative adjectives are coined to honour the brave crusaders of creativity who are often in quest for free thinking and pick on dharma ironically only Hindu dharma at large.

Below are MF Hussain’s creativity, wonder why he didn’t choose his faith for inspiration!!

Nude Sita sitting on Ravana

Nude Sita sitting on Ravana

Goddess Parvathi in the nude

Goddess Parvathi in the nude

A nude bramin with a fully clothed muslim king

A nude bramin with a fully clothed muslim king

Nude Goddess Laxmi sitting on Ganesha

Nude Goddess Laxmi sitting on Ganesha

A pen is mightier than the sword they say, so it is inherently important that a writer/jounalist who plays a vital role in shaping mind sets and streaming opinions in a society be sensitive to that very society’s beliefs yet bring out the truth from all perspectives without any prejudice.

There is an uproar that freedom of speech is threatened and intolerance to rationalism is growing but what really is rationalism? Who really is a rationalist?

newhour

In this news debate video Arnab is clearly allowing more time to the so called activists and rationalists but interrupts and cuts down Rahul Eashwar and Indira’s time but when Indira is forced to resort to the same tactics as Arnab to make herself heard he accuses her of interrupting when in the first case he never gave her a chance to completely express her views.

This is the kind of rationalism that exists today and it is almost fashionable to witch hunt Hindus beliefs. I am amazed why Arnab didn’t call the Owaisis for a rational debate!!

Although India is a Hindu majority, our constitution says we a secular country where there is equal respect for people of all faiths and beliefs but how rational is this tweet from this rational journo nikhil wagle's tweets

It is because of such consistent and sustained maliciousness that today Indian communities remain divided with hatred for each other, on one hand the dalits in the country get reservation and all hell breaks loose for achieving social equality but on the other hand they merrily vilify the merit class in their free run for freedom of speech, ironically all those who spew venom against the merit class are self proclaimed rationalists. In fact liberalism today is synonymous with hating the Bramins community and demeaning Hinduism.

We have all heard of Narendra Dabholkar, an atheist who asked for the anti superstition bill, he was acclaimed as a rationalist again, he was also awarded Padmashri posthumously for his social activism but nobody knows about Sanal Edamaruku who also fought against superstitions prevailing in the Church, his investigated report about a crucifix at ‘Our Lady of Velankanni’ church in Mumbai dripping with water from the feet, indicated that the dripping was caused by capillary action from a clogged drain but in April 2012 the Catholic Church in Mumbai filed a blasphemy complaint under Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code in several police stations around the city against him and he was forced to flee to Finland to avoid arrests but interestingly the Indian media never uttered a word about this incident.

Ideally rationalism is the theory of believing with logical reasoning without any prejudices or favoritisms but in this quest for intellectual reasoning it is also imperative to keep in mind the fact that my truth and my logic could be different from yours, it is important to respect others faiths and beliefs, because when you cross this thin line and cannot differentiate between a hate speech and free speech and resort to judgmental accusations, derogatory statements, degradation of other beliefs then there is no more reasoning left to qualify one as a rationalist, in fact he ceases to be one and is actually a hard core radical fringe element disguised and glorified as a liberal.

But thanks to the social media as it often blows up these volatile rhythms of rationalism loud and clear.

From Bapu to Asaram Bapu

Whether or not Asaram Bapu is guilty or a victim of vilification I do not know, but surely his case has been going on in the courts from the last 2years without any conclusive evidence even after our enthusiastic media picked up his files before the courts did but today we easily see him as a bogus baba who, disguised in his Karmic attributes secretly sought and exploited carnal favours from his bewildered bhakts.

Asaram Bapu claims that he is not guilty and that he is made to pay a price for voicing out against the Gandhis, but in today’s world where the loudest loathe becomes truth we tend to believe everything instantly at face value in the current context of a dissipated scenario that surrounds us, where if you spoke for him you are branded a right winger and if you spoke against him you are a leftist but in all this furore of the left vs the right is there really any scope for a rationale debate?

The words Bapu and all this fuss about ashrams takes me back in time but will we ever dare introspect the truth behind our tall legacies or lie gacies of hypocrisies?

In India and elsewhere the very term ‘Gandhiji’ is seen as synonymous with honesty and truthfulness, a portrait of the Mahatma is always hung in all police stations, legal and educational institutions, in fact a whole nation is taught early in life to inculcate and exude the Gandhian way of non-violence and truthfulness, he is still the star in all our freedom struggle commemorations and our academics.

In that very spirit of Gandhiji to seek truth and divulge some rationale objective views in order to understand the father of our nation I delved deep and read his biographies, scanned many journals and read various bits and bytes about the Mahatma, who with his penchant for experiments be it with life or non-violence, vegetarianism, truth or with celibacy itself Gandhiji comes out as a split personality to me.

We have all read about Gandhi for his ideals, for his Ahimsa or non-violence but what we did not know was that it was the same Ahimsavaadi who pledged to become a recruiting agent and rain Indian soldiers upon the British royal empire acknowledging their sovereignty over us in bargain for a little triumph card of goodwill and was instrumental in extending our unconditional support to the British masters during the World War where at least 2lakh Indian soldiers died in the bloody battlefield.

While his Quit India movement and his satyagrahas are seen as robust facades of freedom struggle, most written communications sent by Gandhiji during this period are seeming reassurances of his loyalty to the British empire and fragile appeals often in bargain for our compromise on one thing or the other, his Dandi march, his anti-apartheid stands, we have read his merrier sides but the murkier side that is darker than the many conundrums of sexual abuse that we hear today left me wondering if Bapu was any different from what Asaram Bapu is made out to be today?

Image from Indiatoday.in

Image from Indiatoday.in

In his ‘experiments of truth’ he writes that he regrets not being by his ailing father’s side because of his intense carnal desires to be with Kasturba that night when his father breathed his last, he later tries diets that reduces such desires, he advocates to practice celibacy even while he is married to Kasturba but strangely after her death he sets newer goals and admits in his writing that he is experimenting with young girls by sleeping naked with them to arrest his carnal desires.

Abha and Manuben the two grandnieces who were regarded as Gandhi’s walking sticks to whom Gandhiji often clung to in all his freedom marches, were in reality guinea pigs or course material for his self-proclaimed experiments of Bramacharya. He writes about bathing together with his secretary’s attractive sister Sushila Naayar and claims that he shut his eyes while she bathed and also talks about sleeping with women of his ashram who often vied with each other for this bedside honorarium.

If at all our constitution was written a little early then I wonder what criminal sedition charges, articles and sections these experiments would attract. For a moment I shuddered to think …what if Arnab Goswami was a contemporary of Gandhiji then!

In ancient times when the sages wanted to conquer their minds over their bodies they meditated under harsh hostile conditions of the Himalayas or in some forests renouncing all worldly pleasures but Gandhi wrote his own rules for Bramacharya, in his quest to seek an unconventional spirituality behind closed doors in the afterhours of a socially and politically over active life did Gandhi not physically, emotionally and psychologically abuse those vulnerable young girls?

In one of the diaries of Manuben Gandhi, discovered recently, it reveals that she came to him an orphan at the age of 12 and ever since then he is like a mother to her, at the age of 18 Manuben was sleeping naked with the 77year old Gandhi for all his bramacharya experiments. Although she says that she sees it as a pious experiment she also notes that her diaries were signed by Gandhi personally each night.

Rhonda Brynes’s “The Secret” says that thoughts make a person, if you keep saying I should not spill the milk, you are invariably attracting that thought of spilling the milk and will end up spilling the milk.

It is hard to digress that a great personality like Gandhi did not realise this simple truth and in his quest for experiments he had knowingly or unknowingly jeopardized innocent lives around him.

Gandhi’s secretary, Pyarelal mentions that Gandhi cared for Manuben’s education, food, dress and sleep so much that he supervised her every aspect and even shared his bed with her, if a girl’s mind is innocent then she will not be embarrassed to sleep with her mother.

This is same as saying a rape victim invites the rapists with her dressing sense!

But the contentious point here is no mother would ever ask her 18 year old to sleep naked next to her and bathe and massage her body.

Now if Gandhi was reading and signing her personal diary notes each night then there is little scope to believe that she dared to write the truth. She died at the age of 40 silently somewhere without making any furore on Newhour, without the aid of any women empowerment clout but my fears are what if the Bapus of today claim to follow these Gandhian path and experiments? Will we just brush it aside saying every great man has some kind of kink or will we extend the same motherly theory and make Mahatmas out of the current day Bapus or will we question what it takes to be a real Mahatma?

Digging up history will often leave you branded as a right wing or left winger today in India but a wise quote by Voltaire says “To learn who rules over you simply try to find out who you are not allowed to criticize”!

Attaching a few online reference links

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/mahatma-gandhi-experiment-sexuality-manuben-discovered-diaries/1/278990.html

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/excerpts-from-manuben-diaries-mahatma-gandhi/1/278953.html

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/excerpts-from-manuben-diaries-bapu-mahatma-gandhi/1/278974.html

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/excerpts-from-manuben-diaries-mahatma-gandhi-pyarelalji/1/278969.html

writingcave

Will Indians ever learn to wait in a queue?

You are soaring over the skies at 35000feet drifting amidst the expanse of loosely knit bales of clouds, there is empty space all around you making you feel you are the only one beaming beneath the golden rays and then suddenly there is an announcement from your captain that the flight will shortly land, and within minutes you experience a tumultuous uproar around you not because of any external roughage but the internal rage and urge of fellow passengers to get out first, especially if it is a flight full of joyous explicitly emotional Indians.

A few years back I was the privileged one to encounter such overwhelming gestures of a hurried frenzy which turned out to be quiet a horrid one for me. I had just dozed off at the end of a weary flight with a sick child with me, just then suddenly a heavy hand bag crashed on my head almost breaking my neck as a fellow passenger was in a great hurry to unload and get set even when the plane was still moving on landing.

This is a killer instinct embedded in most Indians _ it’s called the “me first, no matter what!” syndrome.

You head to the conveyor belt your luggage is not doing ringa ringa roses yet and you almost want to choke that moron who put your bag last, you head to the taxi stand, your intolerance factor gets rising and you wish you could have had the first taxi at your disposal. So far so good, then you head on to the road that is raging with rebellious road revelers who are all smitten by the fury of great hurry and seem to say ‘me first’ so much that one can be inspired to make a new video game on surviving the Indian traffic.

You head to a restaurant and you will find many glorious well-dressed hungry beggars who will gape and inch towards you with every spoonful that you empty eyeing to lay siege to your seat, this is because we don’t trust the queue system as all that we are left with now is the push and rush system.

At the bus stop and in the bus you have to apply Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest, sweaty armpits, elbowing passengers welcome you but you have to fight the brutes and fight them hard until you get back the change from the conductor who usually absconds to the far end just before you have to get down first!

At the billing counter, people will click their tongues and curse you for making a detailed shopping list and say ‘arre bhaiya hamara sirf dhohi item hai’! Hamara pehle bill kar do!

At the parent teacher meeting you will get shoved sophisticatedly by educated brutes who otherwise share all possible moral values and positivity in their virtual social worlds.

At the wedding reception too, the more important ones bypass this trivial tail of travesty that the whole event has reduced you to and all you can do is stand tall on your stilettoes and curse your luck while your eyes scan if you knew somebody ahead in the queue.

At the park, at the clinic, at the result announcement, at the traffic signal, at the air show, at the cinema ticket counter, at the railway station, hotel, metros you name it and we know how to simply elbow them out, we know how to get there first.

If you have climbed a local train in Mumbai, if you have driven on Avenue road in Bengaluru and walked without getting hit on Agra’s narrow roads then you can even trick death or drive in hell and still be first in the line!

Any those silly westerners think they will issue driving licenses to us Indians who can zip zap zoom whichever way we want?

Now of all these queue breakers the most outrageous and offensive are the devotional geeks who seem convinced that the more they push the more devotional you get, the more you elbow, the closer the salvation. The harder the Darshan … the more Paapa Parihaara it is! Bigger the mad rush, higher is the spiritual significance!

Time and again we hear about stampedes in religious places but neither the shrine administrations nor the government neither the religious heads nor the devotees at large give any thought about it because we are never taught and will never learn to wait in a queue.

Maybe the religious heads should really make earnest appeals to pilgrims to follow this basic need to wait in a queue patiently! The government should simply get rid of the Hundi system as it is because of the greed to fill these Hundis controlled by state governments that unsuspecting and uncontrolled numbers of devotees are sandwiched into a stuffy wait! The significance of an auspicious day should be explained and perhaps could be extended to the whole month so that people don’t end up rushing at the same time.

Customs are made in context to contemporary situations, 50 years back people in South India donated the Nava Dhaanyaas and some goodies to the married ladies all packed in a wooden winnowing tray(marada baagina) but today when no woman uses this traditional method of winnowing and in this age where we buy cleaned and packed stuff, how relevant is a wooden tray?

I am certainly not questioning the ritual but the obsolete mode of practice?

I live in an apartment that houses 1200 houses but only with one swimming pool now, imagine if all 1200 with their families adding up to some 3000 were to come and jump into the pool at the same time, then there is bound to be confusion and chaos, so it is about rationing and making optimal utility of a facility available with utmost regard for everyone in stake.

But today in spite of most shrine administrations earning crores of rupees there is little regard for the sanity of spiritual sanctity or sanitation and almost no hope for crowd management techniques.

With no proper regulations, where all rules are relaxed for the rich and powerful,commoners are stuffed like petty fillings in the swelling columns of overflowing devotion to brim up the pots of offerings.

With no stipulated control on the total number of people a place can hold and no limitations set, are we really reminiscing the spirituality in us for real?

Back then a south Indian would be more than happy if he visited Rameshwaram in his lifetime but today with the ease of connectivity and affordability the list is only getting longer.

The last time I went to Tirupathi, Nathadwaara, Vrindaavan or Amritsar, with my little one clinging on to me these thresholds of spirituality meant to evoke the humaneness in us thrust me into an endless wait amidst unruly harrowing push systems the crowds resorted to where the decency to decipher spirituality is thrown into thin air as if only the robust and mighty could make it to the finishing line. Such was the insane pulling and pushing that I only hoped and prayed to god that I got back home intact in one piece with family and with a little bit of spirituality still left in me because following a queue system is a distant dream for Indians to accomplish unless there is some very stringent law adopted to control crowds and heavy penalties levied on the administration who mindlessly allow lakhs to gather when the place cannot even hold thousands.

A Thank You Letter To Kareena Kapoor

When the country is raging with writing open letters how can I lag behind so I decided I will write but a thank you letter, that too to somebody distant from the word-ly and worldly affairs but distinguished as a sizzling hot item number.

Disclaimer: The term item number here does not in any way mean a listicle number of the provisional items that you need to buy while getting back home!

Dear Bebo,

Recently my heart skipped a beat when my hubby declared that we would be watching a Salman Khan movie alongside Kareena! Now since most reviews did not reveal to me how much you had revealed yourself and I could not afford to watch a movie twice to decide if it is appropriate for kids or not because nowadays a person carrying outsourced popcorn into a cinema theatre is seen as someone smuggling gold into a mall which if confiscated will be deported to the dustbins and will cost me a bomb if I have to buy them from the mall, then what say about the tickets!

Okay now coming back to the topic, in the current worldwide scenario where Indian Cinema is rated as the most sexist against women where our liberals have raised the bar of sex appeal for Indian women in the name of creativity and freedom, an ‘under parental guidance’ tag in the Indian scenario is still under-defined and unheard of. So for a parent like me who has to worry even when kids watch a news program, sports or cartoon channel that are usually packed with many obscene anchors and ads playing content unsuitable for kids, your characterization in those beautiful salwar-kameezs was very relatable and refreshing for a change.

salman-kareena-bajrangi-bahijaan-759

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for wearing decent clothes covering all your valuable assets, we never got curious about your body throughout the movie of Bhajarangi Bhaijaan we were only curious about the story thankfully.

I thank you from my soul as I did not have to hang my head in shame or embarrassment while watching it with kids and family at any point of time in this movie.

I thank you for believing in yourself that you can actually carry yourself extremely well even while you are fully clad.

I thank you for believing in your acting skills than body flaunting skills.

I thank you for choosing a sensitive role and not a glamorous role.

For a word buff like me, glamour means just a style quotient but today it is deceptively  used for packaging obscenity as a cool commodity.

And finally I thank you for believing in equality in its true sense and covering yourself entirely in such cold snowy mountains at par with your male counterparts.

All in all we enjoyed watching this movie and you did make an impact even with your short presence if not with short and hot pants.

With Love

An affected parent

 

Skin Care with Ayurveda and Yoga

Beauty lies not in the eyes of the beholder anymore but beneath that squeezy tube that Sharukh Khan, Arjun Rampal and John Abraham endorse because why should girls have the fun! It is indeed funny that India, despite being a tropical country where even the whitest Indian is actually brown as per global standards people here are so obsessed with fair skin and all its salesmen and women who thrust at us the most harmful and harsh chemicals in the name of enhancing beauty.

Research has found large amounts of spurious chemical carcinogens beyond permissible limits in these beauty creams and shampoos that mostly contain chemicals like phthalates (synthetic fragrance), parabens, ureas, sulfates, petrolatum, parafins, amines, quats, antibacterial compounds which do not break down and may cause bacterial resistance, synthetic polymers, synthetic colours, chelates which do not biodegrade easily, nanos that can even cause fatalities like cancer but are marketed as natural and safe because they know that we only want to Get ready in Paanch minute and flaunt our mardowali baath!

Today we cry hoarse about one product containing lead, Nickel etc. when we are enveloped in a world of chemicals starting from your toothpastes, soaps, deodorants, sprays, creams, moisturizers, oils, food and beverages and even fruits, vegetables, air and water. While we gloriously consume the loads of toxin thrust at us in colorful packages blindly believing in the multinational tags and labels for whom we might be informal guinea pigs, we hesitate to believe in our own sciences, scriptures and texts written thousands of years ago which has always withstood the test of time with the tenacity of its truth.

Ayurveda, an ancient Indian science of longevity inherited from our Vedic rishis beholds a treasure trove of medical sciences and remedies to enhance the beautiful being in you by holistically healing the mind, body and soul in a natural way in harmony with nature.

Ayur means ‘longevity’ and Veda means ‘science’, thus Ayurveda essentially is the science of long life achieved by detoxifying the inner you.

Beauty is skin deep they say but in Ayurveda the idea of beauty itself is much more deeper where skin plays an important role as it is like a mirror to the inner you, it reflects your habits, health and happiness, a healthy glowing skin is a result of an overall purification of your mind body and soul which is the essence of Ayurveda.

Our skin is porous and absorbs all that we feed them hence adopting natural home remedies and Ayurvedic skin and health care can yield best results for our health without any side effects.

The soaps that we use today actually dries our skin altering the PH value hence we end up looking for all kinds of moisturizers and creams that our role models woo us day and night on TV.

What is PH?

PH value is the ratio of acid/alkaline in a substance, on a scale of 1-14, 1 is highly acidic and 14 is highly alkaline, 7 is neutral. Our skin has something called as acid mantel which is slightly acidic with 5-6ph that actually protects the skin, any damage to the acid mantel with variance to the PH making it too acidic or alkaline will result in skin damage causing acne, irritation, dryness etc. so it is very important that the PH value is balanced.

Most of us concentrate only on our facial skin and keep trying everything on the shelf and ignore the body when actually your limbs, neck, spine and shoulders needs calming too, which can be best achieved by oil massages, when we were kids castor oil soaking and bathing with natural soap nut powder was a weekly ritual. During college days I was very fond of these beauty rituals but today I am a lazy person and bank heavily on internal diet.

Apart from external applications a healthy nourishing diet with lots of water, vegetables, legumes and fruits and tons of laughter constitute the simplest recipe for a healthy glowing skin. Simply start your day with a mouthful of almonds and a liter of water instead of tea and coffee and see the results. Also a complete vegetarian diet keeps you away from many skin problems and skin aging effortlessly.

If eating right is one important aspect exercising just enough is another important thing that helps blood circulation, when you exercise and sweat you are actually throwing out the toxins out of your body via sweat. Also getting enough sleep, sleeping and waking up at the same time everyday accelerate the production of epidermis. Practicing Yoga keeps a person youthful and agile, it has several health benefits. If practiced properly it can even cure chronic diseases and also enable proper circulation of lymph which is the root cause of many ailments. Ayurveda and Yoga are like two arms of India that behold the secrets of goodness to a healthy and hearty lifestyle. Ayurveda and Yoga are both royal inheritance from Vedic civilization that flourished then and still is cherished. But for the radicals who shun Yoga saying it is Hindu then I say English is Christian, if Yoga is Hindu then Allopathy is Jewish, if Yoga is Hindu then eating pizza is pagan, if Yoga is Hindu then the Gregorian calendar is Roman Catholic, if Yoga is Hindu then building your house with Tata steel is Zoroastrian, if Yoga is Hindu then Karate is Buddhist, if Yoga is Hindu then internet is atheism, so what all will you shun? Oh yes! Yoga and Ayurveda are Hindu/Vedic and I will adopt everything that benefits mankind!

Did you know that the red sandal wood has high medicinal values and is a highly priced ingredient in the western smuggling markets!  

THE ART OF SHUTTING UP

It is the talking parrot that often gets locked in a cage while the silent ones soar up amidst plush woods they say but does that mean we all get into a ManMohanSingh mode and simply watch the drama unfold?

Communication is an art, a skill of understanding and analysing what the other person wants to or does not want to hear and how best you could connect and convey your thoughts with clarity and moral conviction by even crediting the constructive critiquing views and opinions of others but how do you do this when people around you are not in your perceptive league at all where debate has become a one sided verbal diarrhea and communication is all about cutting down others’ views by amplifying only your opining decibels, deviating and diluting the topic which gets bereaved in a squirming mudslinging match that is often fed with sarcastic spicy juices to enhance one’s ranting rendezvous with futile and fervently funny remarks that essentially conclude nothing.

While a good communicator is someone who connects, represents facts, asks questions and clarifications with brevity and seeks answers genuinely, the successful ones are those who also listen up and know when to shut up. Sounds gross? If effective communication is an art then shutting up at the right time is a science!

Yes really, when the world goes gaga over captivating speeches and conquering speakers, silence has its own sophistication and dignity that at times can rule the rioting ones.

Just because you didn’t have the last word it does not mean you are inferior or incompetent because silence is the loudest scream practicing which is like meditation in a disco Tec and greed, gossip, revenge and tit for tat syndromes will distract you like Menake, Urvashi and Rambha and you will itch to babble especially if you are the talking parrot types but remember you can ascend the pinnacle of this art only with a composed mind, courage and strength to retreat, control and put your acerbic tongue to shavaasana.

But believe me it will yield the best results with time, more so if you know when to leverage it. In fact silence sometimes enables better thought process and better understanding of the whole situation around you.

You can practice this with your maid, mother in law, wife, husband or pesky and pugnacious people around.

Remember speech is silver but silence is golden!!

(By silence I mean shutting up once in a while at least)

When AK became PK

I have never done a movie review before but this one although a little late was compulsive not because of the hype and controversy but because of the blatant insensitive hypocrisy of the celluloid who shape millions of minds.

I normally watch Aamir Khan’ movies without any scepticism because they are usually watchable with family with a well written and well told story so after much anticipation I watched the movie PK leaving aside all prejudices.

The movie begins with Aamir Khan doing a Kate Winslet when he lands nude in a Rajasthani desert posing with only a necklace but much to our surprise it suddenly turns out like Kapil’s Comedy when his space ship remote, a chain like accessory is chain snatched leaving the nude alien with the famous tape recorder, remember the extensive promos of PK!

pk

I almost thought it was a film to encourage some scientific temperament but this alien is more interested on religious research work, no! you got it all wrong, the alien is truly secular where only 97% of the movie is Hindu deriding and rest 3% is allocated delicately to other non-interfering and peaceful religions, now don’t ask me why he grabbed an obsolete tape recorder in this mobile era but whether he grabbed a tape recorder or a gramophone disc is really immaterial as long as the marketing decibels trumpet about the egalitarian rights of males in a female dominated Bollywood where sleaze is constricted only to item girls.

Anushka Sharma plays Jaggu, not the chota bheem Jaggu! a poetry lover who falls in love in 5minutes and gets dumped in 2minutes at the altar by a Pakistani boy in Belgium as the boy neither has a smart phone nor is smart enough to get a data connection on his phone but it is all the Hindu Godman Tapasvi Maharaj’s fault as he had predicted their break up and is solely responsible for the lovers not pursuing their love. Anushka lives up to her role and at times has outdone Aamir although the lip redo will take us a while to accept but the problem is the goof up of the story.

Aamir Khan the Charlie Chaplin like confused hobbit without any language codes embedded into him who can only communicate by reading minds by holding hands roams around mutedly stealing money and clothes from men and women from dancing cars, the idea of dancing cars is a recreation novelty in a rigid rural Rajasthan where urban coats meet rural lehangas to pay homage to Adam and Eve, anyways incidentally the alien is hit by Sanjay Dutt’s vehicle who makes a cameo as Bhairon Singh a village folk ends up taking care of the alien, on realising the hitches of this touch mode alien he converts him into the voice mode by introducing him to a prostitute whose Bhoipuri binary code gets downloaded into the alien in 6hours by holding hands. Aamir’s acting gets monotonous in this movie with his usual wide eyed gestures, that the script requires the alien to be wide eyed forces Aamir to further widen his eyes making it too dreary, artificial and forced. Aamir’s best efforts to look different in each movie has gone awry in PK even the acting is far too mediocre killing all our expectations.

Jaggu now a reporter spots Aamir the alien in the crowd with long ears sticking out quite naturally and is amused by his erratic ways of finding god by posting missing pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses on the streets. She shadows him for his secular approach and figures out that he is an alien looking for his lost remote and is seeking god’s help as people tell him that only god can help him find it ___ “sirf bhagwan hi madath kar saktha hai” after which he begins his hunting stint for “bhagwan” in temples, mosques, churches, Gurudwaras provoking controversies if not thoughts he is eventually branded as PK (pee kay meaning boozed up) by people around.

There are some funny scenes here and there when the alien tries to understand the various customs of different sects that are in stark contradiction to each other which easily tickles kids but the funny quotient soon loses grip and trickles out as blatant mockery of Hindu beliefs. At one point the humour subjectively turns hurtful where Aamir Khan smears paan as kumkum on a round stone to prove a point and people start worshipping it but who decides where and how one should pray? Of course there have been funny movies like Johnny English mocking the would-be pope but never about the beliefs and practices, will Aamir and Rajkumar Hirani show this innocuous courage about namaz? Thank god the remote was apparently with the evil Hindu priest and not the pope or the prophet else Bumman Irani would not be pointing about his pierced buttock instead he would have gone missing or would not have his head between his shoulders.

I do not know why people of Aamir and Hirani’s caliber had to resort to cheap slapstick scenes like Lord Shiva running out of a toilet and hiding amidst people’s feet and use lines like “Jo dar gaya wo mandir gaya” which was irrelevant and could have been portrayed in a more subtle way.

Sanjay Dutt who in real life is convicted in the 1993 bomb blast ironically gets blown in a bomb blast abruptly without any connect or significance to the storyline but never mind the unusual questions and looks of the alien take him to a prime time debate on national TV, he questions Godmen and calls them ‘wrong number’, the TV debate is set on fire when Anushka’s Pakistani love story goes live and it is here on national TV that she comes to know that the whole ditching drama was because of a silly cat but there is no shame in being secular and that too in a Hirani film, eventually the godman loses to the scholarly questions by PK and PK gets back his remote without anybody knowing that he is an alien. In true bollywood style the alien ends up falling for the girl but never gets to romance her like in all his films. He finally embarks on his journey with loads of Duracell batteries only to come back with another good looking hobbit that looks like a fairer version of Neetu Singh.

PK is more like a PJ where in the first half you try to understand the numerous characters introduced and in the second half you are trying to connect the story so far, of course it looks like they are struggling all along to make a point or two and give a message to temple going duffers amidst loads of Hindu bashing but emotions strode really high and I was completely overwhelmed with its creative script writing and almost on the verge of tearing my neighbours’ seat at one particular scene when the whole of the Pakistani embassy folks __ the liberal messiahs__rejoice and celebrate the love story and say “jaggu ka call aagaya” as if it were a call from Obama.

For PK’s information only

Idol worshipping is done solely to fix our concentration because the whole world believes that God is everywhere but nobody prays in a toilet. Praying is an attempt to keep your mind steady to put your soul at solace for which you need focus and a spiritual decorum that is the reason we have a dedicated pooja room/prayer place at home, that is the reason people go to a temple, masjid or church or gurdwara where one achieves concentration by focussing mind on a form which could essentially be an idol, a book(quran) or a picture, whether I call it as Krishna, Rama or Vishnu or Shiva or anything else is my choice and my belief and nobody’s business to poke fun.

Also a temple sanctum is considered holy because of the Vedic mantra chanting that invokes positive vibrations and energy for all and this is precisely the reason Vedas are recited in the Buckingham palace

Veda Chanting by British Kids in Sanskrit at the Buckingham … and the Gayathri mantra is aired as a morning show in Britain radios, the USA has set up a vedic city to promote our Hindu values but here are our stalwart crusaders of secularism who go all out to rebuke our faith, I am not even sure if the movie was really conceptualized to give a social message as most commercial flicks or TV shows today know that religion and only religion sells faster than anything else in India more so when it is a derogatory about Hinduism. But any amount of jingoism about pseudo secularism and selective democracy will only lead to more radicalisation of the society polarising one sect against another.

PK was a huge disappointment and a complete waste of time and money as the story is no novelty and thoroughly loses grip forcing many irrelevant scenes and characters without any substantial hold on the subject taking undue liberty in outraging beliefs in the guise of freedom and creativity. I wonder why Leela Samson didn’t quit over PK we should thank her for not banning this movie as it clearly exposes her bigoted clan who are all bent upon denigrating Hinduism.

Raising awareness about the evils of any religion is fine but doing so selectively and insensitively without talking about evils of shariat laws, rampant conversions, women’ rights, and only stalking Hinduism on all its aspects is like a witch hunt that exposes their chicken headedness or bias or both.

I could still agree with Aamir that all godmen are thugs and thieves if he donated all those crores collected from PK to

run orphanages or schools or hospitals like what some unholy evil Hindu Godmen are doing, Aamir are you listening?

What Does The Dog Say??!!

Whoever said ‘it’s is a dog’s life’ think again because that bony creature you thought of as puny is a today a well fed, plump, macho mongrel enjoying celebrity status, if it were to stand for elections it would easily win a whopping victory with sympathy votes amidst the frenzy of merciful NGOs, animal rights activists and a zillion confused compassionate people out there talking about Karma that you actually owe the dog.

You Google it, it’s all there Sarvodaya, Karuna, Jaagruti, Paws, CUPA, Aasha, Bluecross, Voice of Strays and many more echelons of love and compassion unlimited for the stray dogs but surprisingly they are not moved by the inhumane killings of the cow, pig, hen or the goat not even at the gross gluttony of the marine world. Probably they need all that protein in their bellies to garner enough energy to fight for the poor dogs and why not when we are living in a country where the cow is communal and the dog is secular.

dog marrying girl

All those lovely noble souls fighting and screaming their throats out for the dogs have they ever heard of something called as Halal, do they even know how much beef is exported from India although it is illegal? Why don’t they muster the same courage to save the harmless cows? Has that compassion evaporated after a heavy chicken biryani or a beef steak?

Saving a cow would make more economic and ecological sense for India but sadly India is today the 3rd largest exporter of beef.

So where is compassion? Is it auctioned at the tables of hypocritical NGOs or can it be earned by giving moral science classes in the casinos of Mizoram serving Hot Dog?

The street dogs of Bangalore that were once humbled with left over curd rice have suddenly developed a palate for meaty grubs thanks to the insane mounds of open garbage and a chain of regulated and unregulated eateries popping up each day in every nook and corner strewing food waste mindlessly with primitive policies and antique administrators with an even more insensitive urban crowd that wakes up only when they are affected.

The ABC(animal birth control) rules notified in Dec 2001 under prevention of cruelty to animals act 1960 prohibit killing of stray dogs except in special cases when they are rabid or terminally ill. It rules that stray dog menace can be controlled only by sterilization and vaccinations and all this has to be done humanely without inflicting any pain else strict action will be taken.

So much for the dog my God!!! But the dog menace and disease control that has to be handled by the municipality is currently delegated to animal rights groups funded by NGOs whose financial sources we don’t know. With 3 vans on paper and only 1 dog catching van in use for all practical purposes for the whole of Bangalore city that has almost 3lakh stray dogs today are struggling to catch and sterilize dogs in spite of the tens of millions of tax payer’s money allocated by the government for ABC and animal welfare programs and policies where neither animals nor humans have seen the light of welfare.

Dogs that were domesticated from their wolf family today have no natural predators, it can litter twice a year adding up to 20pups each year/bitch, even with so much of hype about sterilization the dog population is only ballooning out of proportion in stark contrast to what the animal rights activists claim.

In fact the aggressive nature of the city dogs leaves one pondering if the sterilization program has contained or aggravated the scenario as medicos claim that ABC actually creates a hormonal imbalance in the dog making it more irritable and aggressive in contradiction to the sterilization myths.

Legality:

The WHO says ‘Promote and enforce pet control laws, undertake sustained re-immunization and eliminate unwanted dogs’ for the control of dog population.

The Karnataka High Court has ruled in PIL filed in 2012 that all dogs, which are a menace or cause nuisance, irrespective of whether they have or not attacked anybody, could be exterminated in a humane manner — even if they are vaccinated, sterilized and free from diseases — as per the provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act 1976.

The animal welfare lobbyists thrust ABC as the only legal option to control the stray population where crores of public money is wasted with unscientific and shoddy implementation practices by our Municipalities, is it too much to ask for a little sympathy for the basic human rights of moving fearlessly in our surroundings?

Natural defense to save your lives from any impeding danger is a universal right. There is a ‘Save Tiger’ campaign because it does not walk on our streets traumatizing us every day. Man and dogs have been friends from times unknown as the dog is known for its loyalty and intellect but a dog obeys kuthe kaminey dogand wags its tail at the master only because he feeds and takes care of its hunger similarly man likes to believe he is superior to all and puts everything around him to use, the day man stops feeding it, this friendly soul will revive its pack behaviour and hunt us down just as the man would swat or spray on cockroaches and mosquitoes and ants that does not add value to him in any way.

It is another thing that these creatures add lot of revenue to companies like Hit and All out.

Man you know ‘bada kutta kamina hotahai’.

The loyalty and all that celebrated love is just mutual convenience. If you don’t believe me feed not your dog and see for yourself. Dogs are directly dependent on humans for food and cannot fend for themselves unlike other domesticated animals that can graze or find food on its own. So when there is no food available it will definitely attack us, in order to avoid this scenario there should be no ownerless dogs.

Stray dogs without any vaccinations are a threat to the society as it may cause Rabies but sadly neither the BBMP nor the dog activists are ensuring that all dogs are vaccinated and re immunized , they only run noisy crusades for the dog without owning any responsibility for the welfare of the society they live in.

Here is what Mahatma Gandhi had to say about stray dogs:

“A roving dog without an owner is a danger to society and a swarm of them is a menace to its very existence…. If we want to keep dogs in towns or villages in a decent manner no dog should be suffered to wander. There should be no stray dogs even as we have no stray cattle…. But can we take individual charge of these roving dogs? Can we have a pinjrapole for them? If both these things are impossible then there seems to me no alternative except to kill them.” 

The icon of ahimsa the father of our nation who said show your other cheek to the one who slaps you could say something so harsh but only the truth because he thought it was an insult to throw a crumb at the starving dog by not adopting him and keeping it in your homes.www.karmayog.com/dogs/gandhijiletter.htm

Okay it is barbaric to kill and we are nobody to decide about other’s lives but if that is the case why are snakes and leopards that stray into our territories killed. Poor guys they have not built this kind of lobbying clout. I really wonder where all that money is coming from for these dog rights activists? They protest all across India and handicap and arm twist the government from taking any sane decision and in turn the government allocates millions of tax payer’s money to fund these kinds of misplaced compassion in the name of social justice which is denied to others who cannot bark.

In fact there was not so much of dog menace nor such aggressive behaviours before any of these dog legislations took shape, the BBMP argues that ABC is well implemented but it is no secret that the dog population has exploded in the last few years leaving one wonder if this is some well-orchestrated money minting scheme where only money is allocated and no action happens in reality, no accurate statistics of dog census is available nor is the number of dogs sterilized measured and authenticated by the authorities. It is a herculean task to get the BBMP dog squad to even register and attend to your problems.adoption dog Is there really any animal love involved in protecting dogs or is it just obedience and subservience of authorities to a larger profitable industry who pay authorities promptly. In a country where most trade statistics are easily available, the money involved in the dog industry that includes dog food, accessories and services sold each year in India and how much revenue it generates is a big secret.

But what really is the solution to these menacing man-hunting stray dogs?

  • A private player without any kind of interference from NGOs and BBMP should be given the task of implementing the ABC program effectively on a fast track basis, if it is not done within a year he should be shown the door.
  • A friendly dog adoption programme should be promoted where all stray dogs could be adopted and taken home by genuine dog lovers.

One such program is run by a Bangalore based NGO called ‘Lets Live Together’ who has been promoting adoption of Indian dogs in the city. And interestingly most takers for these Desi Indian stray dogs are foreigners who claim that Desi Indian dogs have unique temperament and build, they are athletic, highly intelligent, highly alert, quick learners, calm indoors and fast outdoors and sensitive and adaptable to environment and don’t fall sick easily. travelling dog Wow!! From Cottonpet to Canada!! Isn’t fantastic? Really every dog has a day!!

  • Humane extermination of aggressive, unwanted and diseased dogs is another method employed by most countries to keep a tab on the strays.

The Royal Lineage:

These street feral strays that are reduced to scavenging today at our gutters and garbage dump yards were once owned by the royal families. When the British came, everything Indian took a toll and everything native was classified as cheap, the Desi Indian dog was beaten and thrashed and left to fend on leftovers by the street side.

The Mudhol, Rajapalayam, Combai,Chippiparai, Jonangi, Kanni are a few of those Indian royal dog breeds that enjoyed the dignity of regal legacies that walked as royal companions and went hunting with their kings. Soon the craze for anything English picked up and breeds like Pedigree, Poodles, Mastiffs, Cocker Spaniels were smuggled into India and seen as status symbols replacing and discriminating against our Desi breeds. When the Pedigree became friendly with some abandoned native dog the new cursed breed of the ‘Desi JungleeKuttha’ was born to be starved and strayed for eternity.

Some poopy information for you :

Cow Dung:

The cow provides 100 million tonnes(as of 1990)of dry dung a year costing 5000crores which saves 50 million tonnes of firewood which again means that many trees saved and more environmental damage prevented. It is calculated that if these 73 million animals were to be replaced, we would need 7.3 million tractors at the cost of 2.5 lakh each which would amount to an investment of 180,000 crores. In addition 2 crore, 37 lakh and 50 thousand tonnes of diesel which would mean another 57,000 crore rupees this is what we stand to lose by killing them.  The biggest energy contribution from cows and bulls is their dung. Cow’s dung, far from being contaminating, instead possesses antiseptic qualities. This has been verified by modern science. Not only is it free from bacteria, but it also does a good job of killing them. Believe it or not, it is every bit as good an antiseptic as Lysol or Mr.Clean.

(Refered from Dr.Subramanya Swamy’s article)

In spite of the immeasurable service that the cow offers it is killed ruthlessly in the most unbelievable and barbaric way to savour the palate and protein requirement when there are richer protein sources like soya beans and ground nuts available.

Where is compassion? Humans are simply bigoted hypocrites adapting moralities that suit their convenience. Moral values are gripped by rationality they say but I say rationality is subjectively subject to perception and perception is never reality. Your reality may be a fallacy to me.

Dog poop.

Dog waste is an environmental pollutant. In 1991, it was labeled a non-point source pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), placing it in the same category as herbicides and insecticides; oil, grease and toxic chemicals; and acid drainage from abandoned mines.

dogs attacking nilgai picture by vicky dubey

neelgai attackedImage courtesy Conservation India.

Ownerless dogs are not just a threat to the urban population but the unmeasured explosion of dog population is also a threat to our wildlife and endangered species like Neelgai, Blackbuck, blue sheep etc as these stray dogs are not just sharing space with city inmates but also are encroaching the jungles and passing all pathogens from here to there and vice versa.

So why is taking a measured and sustainable approach to bringing down numbers not on the development agenda? Are we really so obsessed with selective compassion and selective legalities even if it were to create ecological imbalance?

Lets Really Talk Periods

A new campaign ‘LetsTalkPeriods’ caught my attention, the campaign claims to raise awareness among women and the society about the superstitions followed blindly during menstruations. The video uploaded has an Adivasi girl talking about how they are shunned into a separate hut during periods and how she raised her voice against it all and fought it out.

At the first look it looks inspiring and refreshing but one deeper thought into the whole matter left me pondering why those girls were sent off to a separate hut? Is it because of blind superstition or is it because of lack of sanitation facilities, lack of education and educational facilities among these tribal folks? Why is it that these Adivasis remain as adivasis even after 65years of independence, why have they been denied of the privileges that any urban educated girl would get? It is interesting to note that these campaigns are not aiming at facilitating any sanitary aid or building toilets nor are fighting for setting up of educational institutes here but are only offering a suggestive malice towards a practice that is of late being categorically classified as a superstition.

Periods or menses to a woman is a subtle reminder of her feminine self and of course there is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about it in fact in South India as soon as a girl attains puberty it is tom tomed amongst the whole circle of relatives and neighbourhood and celebrated but unlike that fair urban girl sporting a white outfit who can trek, jump and dance in that sanitary napkin ad, in reality girls do experience an unpleasant inconvenience varying from cramps, aches, anger and mood swings during those days and this is no big secret. It was for this reason that in olden days women who otherwise had their hands full with household chores were barred from their routines to give them some rest on those inconvenient days.

It was a practice devised to save young women from monstrous mom in laws and mountainous house hold chores and the unhygienic intercourses during chums. The religious ceremonies involved long hours of sitting which was not practical for a chumming woman during those days when no modern sanitary aid was available. The bacteria and the stench without proper cleaning facilities coined the whole affair as ‘impure’.

It is also believed that the temples are places with positive energies created by the vibrations of holy chanting and the aura of menstruating women emit negative energies hence the taboo to enter temples during periods.

The taboo using the ‘dirty’ word was probably embroiled and cooked up to avoid tiresome cooking and elaborate rituals which are usually implicit with all ceremonies and festivals.

Some rural and urban households still practice it willingly true to its purpose where the woman is relieved from all her routine chores and the other members of the family keep the house functional, in case of nuclear families the husband and the kids learn to care and also understand what it takes to run the routine show. This mechanism is practiced to simply give her a breather when she needs it most but unfortunately like many other practices even this one today is deviated and misunderstood in most homes making it irrelevant in the modern times.

Also education, science and modern methods of hygiene have eased out women from this menstrual untouchability.

Although most women today do not follow it in its innate sense and freely enter the kitchen to slog their day out they still succumb to the self-imposed taboos of their own mind set of staying away from poojas and festivals not because it is dirty but because it is uncomfortable and considered immoral to disrespect the sanctum of spirituality.

But like I said it is still only a matter of choice and there is nothing big to rebel about it when you have all the other 25days to pray and worship, if at all something should be rebelled it should be about the meagre participation of men in the household chores, it should be about the poor educational and medical facilities available so that people can make their own choice.

The once super mechanism introduced in the institute of the family has evolved to become a superstition today only because of unscrupulous venomous folks who have used this practice to restrict and harass their own womenfolk mindlessly without understanding the core value of why this system was introduced in the first place.

It is another thing that in spite of being one among the modern day crop of English speaking, culture questioning rebellious women I would still like to become a little superstitious if I were to be given a good break of 5days in a month with nothing at all to do and simply accept all delicate services at my command but alas my family is not superstitious!

When this custom is prevalent across rural and urban parts why is it that only tribal areas where education and spiritual orientations are low owing to extreme poverty and underdevelopment are selected for campaigning, why don’t they knock the doors of upper caste clusters where it is more prevalent to campaign against such practices? If at all they want to break myths and empower and liberate women truly then why don’t they talk about Hijab?

One can only hope that it is not a disguised missionary sponsored proselytizing package offered under the celebrated banner of social service, awareness and upliftment programs triggering cultural and religious revulsion when the actual problem lies elsewhere hidden in the paucity of educational and economic progress because social uplifting can be achieved only by equipping our women to make their own choice.

On Your Mark, Get Set Go

The CET counselling has just picked up and the fevers are running high, 18lakhs for an electronics seat, a crore + for a medical seat and much more but still there is no dearth for takers because you cannot turn your back in this race that began a decade ago when your child was only in primary school attending all those science and maths Olympiads, ABACUS, Vedic maths, ACE, BASE and what not.

Even a 97% will not do as merit is only a minion at the hands of CET s and COMEDK s where eligibility is long swashed off by the tides of quotas and reservations leaving destitute parents and deserving students red eyed in the middle of an organized loot bazaar called education.

But still we Indians are obsessed with Science and Maths only because we are the lineage of Aryabhatta and his likes hence anything other than Science or Math is demeaning, denigrating and invariably qualifies you as a dud.

The neighbors and relatives ask ‘how much in Science and Maths?’ If you succumb to their curiosity your credibility to pronounce ‘Science’ will be scrutinized, if you pass the animosities of their analyzing eye Q not IQ then your fluid intelligence is further explored to ascertain the density of neurons left in your head and if it is in compliance with your CET score.

No, it does not end there! You are also assessed for your socio-economic status depending on the college and stream that you settle for your child. If you didn’t comply with the trending norms your IQ is at stake!

Because only dimwits with 80% who can’t afford the ticket for this edu-race will enroll in all other backward courses but we blame our luck and move on with our forage for Science and Maths.

A recent chain of mails on a common forum only reiterated this vogue, a signature on the mail affirmed aloud “IIT something” to prove his point, I wondered if even I had to add a signature too, maybe something like a “house cook” okay “Cooker” to make it a little more regal sounding because even cooking is a science you see.

But on a serious note even Science has a history that is passed on to us by scriptures, the various arts and many civilizations and their observations, calculations, explanations about natural world around us have all contributed immensely in evolving the modern day science.

Science is simply an understanding of how things work in the world around us. It is an on-going process of observation that will help you learn and explore. It is also an elixir of interpretations from art, history, geography, spirituality, nature, language and calculations derived by our forefathers for the betterment of humanity but if this calculation is applied for destruction and reduction of our environment then it is only scarcity of science.

But with today’s rage for economic prowess, knowledge is only a tool that has been divisively devised to elevate one subject over the other. Is it because we are largely influenced by the academicians who shape our beliefs or is it because it is more profitable economically for an individual if not the country? Going by this logic the proprietors who run the educational institutions as businesses are more scientific than the primitively prejudiced parents.

But why only Science when there are so many other professions like radio jockeys, journalists, counselors, sports, media anchors, travel anchors or maybe even a job like Steve Irwin’ as I explain this to an aunt of mine she giggles, what? You want your son to be a haavadiga(a snake charmer)!

If only Arnab Goswami ever heard this then Arnab and the nation will want to know why Indians are so obsessed with Science and Maths?

Of course any nation with scientific advancement is more powerful as Science today is more about bloating the defence powers of a nation and less about the purpose of humanities but what rhetoric ……

Dumbo don’t you know what is the square root of….. I scream as I want a new signature “mother of an IITian” what to do we Indians are like this only.

 

YOURS TRULY ARROGANCE

Arrogance and acumen are like identical twins appearing the same but in reality are two different entities separated by a thin line of humility.

Humbleness if often lost in the mist of pride, arrogance takes birth unlike acumen that matures with the elixir of ethics, experience and empathy.

But why is acumen so vulnerable to arrogance?

When acumen is dignified with authority pride sets in and takes over knowledge kicking the adrenaline of arrogance that rushes into the head bloating the fattest of egos blinding one from facts and realities so much that in their fight to uphold the sovereign of intellect it is humility that is sacrificed at the altar of egotism.

 How does egotism emerge?

Heads I win Tails you lose is a confident attitude as long as it is used for something constructive and idealistic. But the problem starts when you and only you choose to decide who and what is really idealistic.  When confidence is prefixed with ‘over’ egotism creeps in.

Arrogance is normally an outburst of extreme emotions it is either extreme inferiority or extreme superiority complex, when one is superior the other invariably becomes inferior if not he will be doomed and deemed so. And when this inferior person questions an arrogant person he is belittled without a response if he still dare to pursue he better be ready for some wrath as he has questioned the unquestionable who only like to lead. It is okay to take lead but leadership is all about taking people along else it will fascism.

Of late whipping your opinions upon others is regarded as a skill which I see everywhere in the media debates, meetings, Facebook, Twitter, emails chains where the core issue itself is hijacked to satisfy the thirst for winning a debate. I wonder if these faceless social conversations are becoming anti-social where the scope of perception is disregarded with vengeance and only read between lines

Why are we becoming so arrogant?

Mostly arrogance emerges when we become judgmental about everything and do not open up to other’s views. Arrogance becomes a tool to cover your fears when you cannot appreciate somebody and accept that here is someone who is better than me or different from me. When one succumbs to narcissism surrounded by the air of rigidity anybody disagreeing with him becomes a potent enemy because it is all about me and even my clan. Sometimes even regional or linguistic fanaticism causes unacceptability of local ideology.  A country like ours with so much diversity should people be taught to ‘be Romans in Rome’?

Although English is not our native language people in India seem to regard English very highly and its speakers as demi gods they willfully display their butler English but despise the regional language I do not know if it is lack of  self-esteem or a colonial hangover but a good English orator seems to hijack any debate. If you cannot convince confuse them with complicated English seems to be the new mantra. Every language has something to offer but the language of arrogance often becomes directionless.

Is it Intellectual arrogance?

No these days arrogance is not restricted only to the intellectual but even the ignorant flaunt it. Today even the way you dress matters your tone your accent your slippers your bag and of course your gadgets do more talking for you. You are rated based on your appearance and not your acumen.  Of course we don’t wear our acumen but has wearing arrogance become fashionable?

We teach our children to be kind and helpful but demonstrate the contrary leaving them confused. In the race to outdo others are we sinking the sportsman spirit and sailing away in the storm of arrogance?

I recently attended a sports meet in a school where the veteran cricketer Mr.Javagal Srinath emboldened the idea of playing a sport everyday as it not only relieves stress but also teaches life skills of dealing healing and helping.  Play a sport for the sake of playing. You will learn to appreciate others, accept and understand your ability. He aptly stressed the need of the hour and asked the children these simple questions ‘did you help someone today?’, ‘did you appreciate someone who did a good job today?’ these questions have struck a chord in my mind. It is so simple to keep out arrogance all you have to do is learn to be modest in your approach as it will help you to accept any amount of success or defeat gracefully.

A sportive spirit certainly equips you to deal with the many games life can play on you.

The CARTOON Crusaders

Mommy did you know the Chennai Express guy actually talks like Oggy said my little one enthusiastically. Puzzled I was I sat down with him to watch who this Oggy was.

‘Oggy and the cockroaches’ a popular cartoon oggyshow is the story of a cat called Oggy and 3 foul cockroaches that keep running all along the sewage lines and toilet seats constantly messing up with Oggy their lone target of all pranks. I was amused on seeing Oggy spoofing and mimicking our evergreen hero Sharukh khan. If only Sharukh ever watched this program where a filthy cat that always ends up ditching its head in the commode mimics him I swear Sharukh will jump into a bowl of water.

In India the general perception is that cartoons are meant only for children but many foreign animated movies cater to adults too as animated movies are widely watched by one and all in those countries.

When these foreign cartoons are telecast on Indian screens most people are not even aware about this fact and don’t bother to check on the content of the program their children would be watching. Whoever thought it was okay for kids to watch cartoons think again.

Most cartoon programs show violence and destructive behavior as fun. These shows are no less than any action movie. It has stunts, a wily villain a macho hero and even a glamorous animal faced female cartoon that sways its voluptuous human like female body clad in the pinkest of pink racy dresses with heavily swollen lips batting its long lashes to seduce the romeo like rat or cat who drools after her.

One cartoon my kids are savvy about and over which I have no control is Doremon my kids will do anything to watch this show. Doremon can invariably stop any amount of shrilling cries at once it can cure nausea stricken children and help them gulp down their portion of food without any trouble. Doremon is a good bargain material if you want to buy your peace. In short Doremon is like a nanny to the kids.

Doreamon is a good natured robotic cat that keeps supplying its insane robotic gadgets to save the ever lazy trickster and flirty master Nobita who is a bundle of lies and crocodile tears always trying to trick his mother and is on the run for some pranks. He is the most loved character among kids.

The wild imagination of gadgets and the shrewd wit is really hilarious and makes you cry in laughter occasionally making you fall out of your seat but it shows parents in poor light as if they are objects of mockery. This program glorifies Nobita who consistently tells lies, never works hard and looks for shortcuts, flirts and disrespects parents and teachers this might set a bad precedent in kids. I hope kids don’t take it at face value. Oh! Nobita how much I hate you….

This is one program you have to watch like in a David Dhawan movie where no logic prevails it is complete entertainment at the cost of the parents. Apart from the lies and parent tricking this program is genuinely entertaining.

One other cartoon on Pogo is Chota Bheem a Bheem09break-through animation work in the world of Indian cartoons. Chota Bheem the Indian super boy has downplayed all the other macho-mans and has emerged a big hit among Indian kids. He has been the flavor for many years now although it started off decently well over time it has denigrated like any other never ending saas-bahu serials.

Chota Bheem is the story of a small boy called Bheem who is the sole savior of an always helpless king rescuing the whole village of Dholakpur with a troop of half-naked kids who keep challenging each other for a fight or a race. The hero Bheem always wins as he is mighty and can bash anyone to teach them a lesson. Yes ‘teach them a lesson’ this phrase is extensively used throughout the show.

The incredibly poor class of English with a regional accented narration and misleading connections of mythological characters is sure to confuse the kids about the real epic. We were once watching a puppet show of Krishnaleela and when Poothana the raakshashi appeared a nearby kid asked if it was a sea monster.

Also most thugs, thieves, mischief makers and all bad greedy characters are shown as Bramins. I wonder why personal vendetta had to take refuge under creativity to defame and ridicule a caste in particular. Why this poisoning in a kids program?

Another poor quality cartoon mixing up mythological characters is ‘Roll No.21’, in this show Krishna and Kamsa are directly derived from our epic Mahabharatha and placed as contemporary characters who keep going back to their original forms once in a while. Kamsa or Kanishk sir is the Principal and Krishna or Kris is a student in some school that is always up to a mischief. The animation quality is pathetically low and denigrates our potential. Are Indians really so incapable of producing something original and creative for our kids? This program is of zero value in terms of morals, teaching or information. It only shows evil everywhere with no focus on imparting any education.

Most cartoon programs are either borrowed from religious epics or it is always crisis stricken on the Tom and Jerry lines. The dearth of innovative and original ideas has sadly led to dilution of our religious epics. Time and again same stuff is churned and reproduced spilling many copied versions.

In spite of a wide variety of satellite channels our screens are still infested with cheap quality copied adulterated entertainment which is also overpoweringly marketing its cartoon characters and making money through their toys, t-shirts, bags, pencil boxes

Some good programs like FAQ, M.A.D, Art Attack are really educative some cartoons like Oswald, Noddy, Agent X, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (toodles) are a better choice for younger kids they are edutainment emphasizing on good values and mannerisms.

Most of the material shown today is either vengeance, violence and a lot of adult stuff not appropriate for kids to watch. Some programs are also found to cause short term attention and learning problems in kids.

As a kid I remember watching ‘Alice and the wonderland’ we really explored along with Alice. But it was simple entertainment with a lot of wild imagination that we watched and never took home anything.

Cartoons are here to stay as long as the cartoon crusaders keep them alive.

Cartoon shows are every child’s delight it is just that you need to be a little cautious about what your child is watching.

Bum Bum Bole

fat peopleNo its not about a handsome eight pack framed Aamir sticking a rubber nose and dancing crazily in a classroom sorry this post is about our eating habits to check if we are drifting away from our healthy food practices and swinging to the tunes of the junk food industry.

Oh dear you have lost so much weight! Why is your kid so thin? Don’t you feed him enough?

Familiar and annoyed with such questions well people just have to say something to begin a conversation when the truth is most people asking these questions are cramped with fatty acids themselves.

Chubby cheeks and fat kids are always adorable and cute. Chubbiness is strangely attributed to being healthy in India. As per a research over 80% of obese kids end up as obese adults

See more at: http://www.indiatogether.org/2013/jun/hlt-obesity.htm#sthash.FkFGodEH.dpuf

People fail to understand that the accumulation of fat through excess consumption of fatty food reduces the artery space narrowing the blood vessels which creates high pressure (BP) in the blood flow which is fatal for the heart.

Although we are probably the only nation whose kitchens are functional 365 days a year and indulge in elaborate cooking we are slowly falling prey to the western food invasion and becoming slaves of western lifestyles.

The boom of the IT industry in India has completely altered the lifestyles and thinking of our people. Thanks to all the software companies and their engineers who tutored our kids to eat out in Mc.Donalds, KFC and Pizza corners, this epidemic like trend has only become contagiously fashionable.

Have you once stopped and thought why we crave so much for those sausages which only fill your tummy with high sugar and high calorie that leave you hungry and starving within minutes of snacking asking for more?

Why does your child crave for that packaged ‘Lays’ chips or ‘Kurkure’ and not the traditional potato chips? Why are school going kids so huge nowadays? I certainly cant attribute it to healthy eating.

Is this food engineered to create a craving?

Although many companies deny using trans fats and MSG (mono sodium glutamate) time and again it has been found to be used in most junk food items like fries, burgers and chips. MSG is a haphazardly man-made protein used to enhance taste in the food industry which is hazardous for the body when consumed in excessive portions.

What does an MSG do?

Our brain receptors can sense protein filled food and instantly creates craving to consume that food. Protein being an essential nutrient the brain sends signals to crave for more protein bound food.

MSG the man-made protein tricks your brain to believe that the food contains protein but when there is no substantial nutrient in the food that our body needs then reflexively the brain signals hunger again.

A friend of mine recently exclaimed that her children feasted on chips and biscuits for breakfast and spoke proudly attributing it to their individualistic choices. In reality she was doing more harm than good as she is stocking up a trans- fat loaded pack of slow poison into her own child’s diet.

We introduce and stock up all sorts of unwanted hazards for our children like junk food high-fi gadgets and then fret about their addiction. Parents complain that their children don’t get out to play we have to demonstrate to our children as we are their role models.

Remember your child is consistently watching the inconsistent rules that you set and preach but don’t practice.

Our body needs high nutrients to satisfy hunger but most of the fast food items are loaded with high sugar, high calorie, low on nutrients which is probably the reason you feel hungry when you get back home.

Did you know that America is one of the fattest nations of the world today?

The exploitative advent of fast food or rather fat food culture that has made a rapid ingression into their lives has led them to this state. But are we gearing up to head their way?

Fast food outlets like Mc.Donalds KFC Pizza-hut have monopolized not just the western world but are now penetrating into our food markets as well.

According to a Forbes report the countries with the largest numbers of people with diabetes are in India (40.9 million), China (39.8 million) and the U.S. (19.2 million).

The Indian fast food market is already worth £7bn, and this is expected to double by 2016 according to a report.

Mauled by the mall culture and western influence packaged ready made food is soon becoming the order of the day in India.

There is no proper regulation of the fast food industry in India there is no control on the ad world as well. A weak food labeling and low consumer awareness coupled with a corrupt government has led the multinational brands to tear into our markets packaging every little thing and inculcating the habit of eating stale frozen food. Thanks to the ad-media world that lure the middle class Indians like a pied piper with umpteen junk options. Even schools sell these products at their canteens.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/unhealthy-trans-fats-in-popular-fast-food-brands-study/469654/

Do a quick health check up here by checking your BMI:

A body mass index indicates the right weight that you need to maintain in proportion to your height.

Here’s how you could calculate your Body Mass Index. Click link below:

http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&ved=0CFsQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.medindia.net%2Fdoctors%2Fclinical_cal%2Fbmi.asp&ei=j1A8UuSxEMfYigfM2oHICQ&usg=AFQjCNGlFdTB1iGM8ZWeYcAaUrbg3Vu8ng

Are you worried then take a walk, exercise a little and eat loads of healthy home made food.

Are we becoming an intolerant society?

The recent article in The Hindu ‘Pray, what wrong did I do, asks Nashik teacher’ http://communalism.blogspot.com/2013/09/india-school-teacher-salve-says.html is a grim reminder of the growing intolerance levels in our country. bth_intoleranceA country known for its diversity of religions, cultures, beliefs and languages is it fast grappling in the storm of secular-communal divide? If so who is responsible for it? Is it an over doze of the pseudo secular/communal debates that we watch every day. When the country is already burning with so many issues of corruption, inflation, failing economy and many foreign intrusions all across our borders when we are mired in the midst of demands for separate states as if these divisions were not enough how justified and how responsible are our media fraternity who roar about divisive politics but do not hesitate to publish an article that out rightly outrages and divides the society in the name of freedom.

This article talks about a person called ‘Sanjay Salve’ a teacher who has approached the courts to protest praying at his school assembly as he was a follower of Buddhism. The epicenter of his thoughts seem to be based on some ego clashes between him and his seniors which has sadly taken a communal turn his hatred for Hinduism looms large than his love for Buddhism.
How is it wrong to simply fold your hands and stand in the prayer hall thereby abiding by the school discipline? Whether Mr.Salve prays or does not pray is his personal choice but isn’t the media communalizing this issue by putting it on the front page. The fact remains that India is a Hindu dominant country where every nook and corner has a history revolving around Hinduism and no one can deny that. Most societal practices like meeting and greeting people, conducting ourselves in a gathering are bound to be influenced by the traditions and cultures of the prevailing beliefs. The main idea of starting the day with a prayer is to inculcate discipline and societal sanctity which every teacher and student should comply with.

In many middle-east countries people of all religions are expected to kneel down where ever they are during namaz times would Mr.Salve file a complaint there? It is only in India that people have all the liberty to rebuke and ridicule the beliefs of the majority.
Even today in many hotels when guests arrive they are greeted with a tilak and a garland which is symbolic to our traditions. One cannot be called communal if they greeted someone saying Namaskar.

There are many Christian schools and convents where carols and many Christian prayers are taught and children from different communities simply learn them and sing along. Any religious binding is just a way of achieving concentration on cleansing the soul. It is just a way of disciplining oneself. I have sung carols during Christmas, went to church with my Christian friends, attended many Sai bhajans, wear a headgear when I visit gurdwaras and dargahs, have even attended many Bhajans of the Jain community whenever I visit jain temples because I respect all religions and at the same time know my roots and I am well connected to my faith with a firm foundation. Nobody can baptize me what so ever having said that I am proud of my country’s cultural history and believe that every other faith and sect of people in this country have emerged and branched out of our history of Hinduism. If there have been invasions and ingression of newer religions that is again our history which one should respect and live with it but by despising one’s own roots and origin are we not running away from the truth and creating false boundaries for ourselves separating one another. Just by folding hands or kneeling down in prayer is only a sign of showing reverence and by no means can it shake one’s foundation of faith.

The Hindu majority has weaved a strong bond with people of various other religions and faiths but the many attempts to bring down the communal harmony by some vested interests by way of falsely instigating people in the name of pseudo-secularism and trying to bring about a drastic divide within Hinduism and its branches in the name of freedom are really alarming and concerning. It’s time both the print and the broadcasting media worked on some positive news that could bind us all together.

KANTHABAI.COM

She came she cleaned and she conqueredmaid

Housekeeping is a dreaded task in Indian homes as it involves elaborate cooking, cleaning with less dependency on packaged food, machines and more on women who are often socially obligated to fulfill all the household chores. The many factors like mental stigma of men not participating in the domestic chores, class consciousness, unequal distribution of wealth, hectic working schedules and a blissful huge poor population have led to the rise of the powerful, dreaded loathed but the indispensable Kanthabais.

I recently celebrated the second anniversary, Yes my domestic help had completed 2 years in my house and this was my longest record but alas even before my celebration ended she was high jacked and promoted to a cook in the neighborhood leaving me in destitution for a few extra hundreds without any notice period.

This is one job which is highest in demand but lowest on the remuneration and recognition front. It is also the most unprofessional stream of work where both employer and employee do not abide by any binding regulations or any moral code of conduct. It is purely run on a certain mutual comfort level, a little bit of trust and a lot of luck, tolerance and pampering.

There are 3 kinds of employers the first type are the cool-headed moderates who don’t bother much about that extra penny paid and overlook the shoddy work done second is the sulky brooder who shut their mouths before the maid but go tom-tom in the whole community abusing their maids from morning till night thirdly it is the harassed types of employers the clean freaks who are impulsive and keep throwing tempers and maids out who are often at the mercy of the maid servant waiting for some salvation.

There are many kinds of employers here but there is only one kind of maid servant the one who is always unsatisfied and demanding for more money and less work.

I oscillate between the harassed type and a fourth category of weird aloof people who cannot tolerate any helpers’ presence around for a long time curtailing my space. The harassed type often go into the do it yourself mode as that fired maid fumes venom and works like a mafia agent against you poisoning the whole servant community destroying your harmony leaving you snapping at the whole world.

Although we loathe them so much surely there is one aspect that we should all learn from them their undeterred unity the kind of unity that can bring back the British and throw them out all over again. Strangely I see this unity only among maids rickshaw drivers and cooks who call it quits and come down to streets revolting against the smallest injustice meted to a peer. I wish the middle class imbibed this quality to fight against fascism thrown at us in the name of indirect democracy.

Although we Indians draw a lot of influence from the west, dependency on the servants is one aspect that we will never shun. Even with the advent of many latest technologies where markets are flooded with machines that work at the touch of a button we still cannot relinquish our Kanthabai s and Shantabai s, down South it is usually Gowrammas or Lakshmammas. Currently mine is a Snake amma meaning Nag amma whom I regard as an Ichhadhaari nag as she turns up as per her whims and fancies and works as per her terms and conditions.

We often do not rely on machines as the Kanthabais are much cheaper, more efficient and importantly don’t wear out, become obsolete or give a technical snag. Until yesterday they were usually thought about and treated like this but not any more slowly things are changing domestic workers are beginning to make their importance felt. They are no-nonsense maids meaning they will give back what they get. They keep our heads spinning on their fingertips.

There are many NGO s and rights activists fighting for their cause I appreciate that but I cannot help but think that they must be having a naïve and trouble-free maid servant which is why they are involved in such causes. Oh how I wish we the harassed mistresses also had an NGO’s shoulder to cry upon.

So beware when she skips work next time she might be attending some anti-mistress meeting in a workers’ union or complaining against you with an NGO.

In India 70% of the population is believed to be into agriculture but off late due to the rapid urbanization and poor earnings from agriculture farmers are quitting their family tradition and fast adopting the cosmopolitan culture of the cities with innumerable lucrative job offers more and more people illiterate and the semi literates are turning to cities and taking up jobs as domestic helps, cooks, drivers, security guards and cleaners at various malls, factories, retail outlets and urban homes. Today’s Kanthabais and Ramu Kakas are very clear that they do not want their children to tread on their paths and clearly understand the importance of education. There are many second generation helpers who have put their children in English medium private schools and trying hard to make ends meet.

Recently the legislation of the Minimum Wages Act for the domestic helpers adopted by a few states is a welcome measure but of little respite for them because it is the middlemen trafficking workers who is benefitting from it and making quick money as majority of workers are not even aware of this law. The ones directly hired as part-time helpers are better off than the full-time live in helpers who are often underpaid and treated like bonded slaves.

This law is flawed and crippled as there is no centralized legislation and monitoring every household is impossible. Even fixing a definite law is hard as each house is different in size with varying number of people and varying chores.

For the betterment of workers in unorganized sectors and for their social security the center has come up with pension scheme known as Swayalamban pension scheme that is sponsored by the center. Two states Haryana and Karnataka have announced a co-contributory scheme that would contribute an additional Rs.1200/pa along with the center’s contribution of Rs.1000/pa to the registered pension accounts of the unorganized workers under this scheme http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=69986

But unfortunately not many are aware of this and do not avail any benefit from it. So all thee moderate employers get your helper registered under this pension scheme.

It is certainly heartening to know that some legislation is brought about in this un-thanked job but not all apples are bad there are many employers who are silently supporting and aiding their domestic helps in their hour of need so any regulation brought about should lead to a win-win situation where workers’ demand of minimum wage, bonus, leaves are met with the employers’ demand of authenticity, accountability, notice period and professionalism like in any private sector where most of us work but get no protection against indolence and inefficiency.

Kanthabais are a monopolistic brand by themselves if you want some calm and peace in your life then

Bolo Kanthabai ki jai.

My special thanks to Jack for customizing this cartoon for my post. You can contact him on http://mysay.in/ mysayindia@yahoo.com

BIG v/s small

God created all humans equally but man was gifted by god with a brain, a brain that conceived that big was better than small. Born with his inbuilt trait of satisfying his hunger for food and water he began to understand that the bigger the catch bigger was the contentment.

Bigger the group bigger was the strength. The big catch empowered him with big physical strength which in turn gave birth to a mighty mind that automatically learnt to suppress others in the habitat to gain control. He soon began to think that big was always better. Man subdued the animals and used them for his convenience. He understood that using might made his life easy. Even mighty animals use their strength and prey upon weaker animals which is a natural food chain but remember they prey upon other species of animals strangely man is one animal who does not follow any code of conduct because he is blessed with a brain that manipulates making him the biggest threat to humankind and all other creatures. He suppresses his own clan and his own people sometimes with his physical prowess and sometimes with his social status as the head of the family smitten by conventional societal dogmas. He subdues his prey called a family member which could be a wife/mother/daughter with his bodily might or verbal valor shaking their emotional solidity as he seeks to take control of their lives within four walls consumed by a possessive vengeance hiding his own insecurities and frustrations.

Yes I am talking about domestic violence the big silent problem in India and across the globe.

What is domestic violence?

Any kind of abuse by your partner or a family member constantly denying your social, financial rights, assaulting you physically, demeaning and violating you sexually and harassing psychologically amounts to Domestic Violence.

You are a victim of domestic violence if you are constantly being criticized, intimidated, isolated, humiliated, hurt, blamed for no fault or even injured physically by your partner or family member which frightens you to even speak about it.44482771

You are being subject to Domestic Violence if your partner is always jealous, overly possessive, does not heed to your medical needs, refuses financial support, incessantly controls you, beats you up and demands sex cruelly even if you were sick and makes you feel low.

Although domestic violence is not confined only to women as there are many men out there who are silently suffering without realizing that they are being abused and subject to this killer called Domestic Violence India is a country where men enjoy a better social status than women and are almost worshipped. Men are still the key decision makers who take complete control over the lives of their womenfolk in all their social economic aspects of life. Domestic violence can happen to anybody irrespective of their class, education, race, religion, sex and age.

There are many laws against domestic violence there are many forums which educate and provide counseling to both victims and culprits refer link for more information www.bellbajao.org but 8 out of 10 people do not even acknowledge it fearing the social stigma or they do not know about the very existence of these laws and do not want to complain about their dear ones hoping that they will change someday.

But a person abusing women is often somebody who thinks very low about women and believes only in his superiority. Many times he himself has an abused background which instigates him to behave like that. For your own safety it is better to confide in somebody what you are undergoing.

Factors and Symptoms for this violent behavior:

It could be inferiority, jealousy, loneliness, selfishness, lack of empathy, abused childhood, has seen his parent behave like that resulting in churning an impudent behavior in him. He may be an unaccomplished person shuttling between means and goals somebody who hates the way his life is and conceals his frustration, helplessness, regrets, failures and fears by way of venting out all his distress on the gullible womenfolk of the family blaming them for his position. But he may be very normal and sometimes even very jovial with others in his work life.

Big V/S Small

Why is it that there is a big cry or a big headline when something very negative happens? Why can’t small positive things be showcased constantly excessively everywhere? Why do we read everyday on front page that a 5year old was raped why can’t we read about her rehabilitation on the front page.  Are we drawing inspiration from negativity? The idiot in me ponders this idiot called conscience constantly questions me if the idiot had died down in human race? I cannot help thinking why does Big score a point over Small?

Everybody wants a big house, big job, big money big fame big name but what about high morals high integrity high ethics high compassion to sustain which requires a big heart to appreciate the small joys of life by sharing and caring? Each time Big is celebrated it reminds me of an old poem

If I am not as big as you

You are not as small as me

a popular line from ‘The Mountain And The Rat’.

According to me Big and Small have the same status to accept it you have to start believing it.

What is the big deal in showing one’s prowess rendering someone puny and helpless by subjecting force? Every order of animal does it so what is the difference between animals and we the gifted humans? When I say puny I do not mean any offense to women I am only showcasing the puny mindedness of the so called bodily powerful.

What is the big fuss in appreciating small virtues that build a big strong relationship?

A big shout causes fear and damage but a small consideration creates confidence and a safer world.

Steps  I would suggest to tackle violence against women:

  • Reject the violence the very first time it happens.
  • Educate yourself and speak about it with your trusted ones, it is not shameful but painful to be abused and suffering silently. Your silent tolerance is your weakness and works against you.
  • If you see a friend behave abusively with his partner invite him home to see your happily married life and explain to him that mutual respect is equally important as much as love without hurting his ego. Friends often make remarkable impact on us.
  • Don’t be mute spectators when you witness an act of domestic violence happening to somebody try to stop it by expressing that you are concerned and at the same time show that you are unhappy about it or report it to a counseling forum and seek help.
  • Take the victim into confidence and report it to the police.
  • In case your maid or somebody is being beaten and abused by a drunken husband guide them to seek help from alcohol rehabilitation centres.
  • Reduce the consumption of alcohol as 85% of men who are violent with their wives are daily alcoholics and more than half of the abusive violence happens under the influence of alcohol.
  • Treat your children both girl and boy equally and respectfully by avoiding temper spills as children learn from demonstrations and inculcate them.
  • Connect and network with people when you are angry and feeling low, share your problems and avoid isolation.
  • Keep a healthy relationship with your spouse by respecting each other’s space. Angry arguments do not solve but calm reasoning can often conclude in amicable solutions. It is hard but try practicing it.
  • Practice yoga if possible.

I recently happened to encounter a husband and wife shrieking out at their old mother who must have been around 80years. The frail old lady shuddered standing still without a word even as her eyes pleaded that she did not deserve it after having given the best part of her life for bringing him up. But the man would not stop there. We had assembled at that common terrace to witness a lunar eclipse as the screaming got louder I simply stepped forward and asked the old lady if she can come to our house for coffee. There was a stony silence the man walked away quickly but I had communicated to him that it was not tolerable. Since I was scared that I might have made things worse for the old lady to get back home I spoke to the daughter in law and befriended her asking her to click some pictures of that eclipsed night.

After which each time I met her I ask her if the old lady was doing fine even as she fumed and gave me a despising nod. And each time I met the old lady I offered her to join the senior citizens group within the community or come out for an evening walk or participate in some religious bhajan groups but she smiled and declined saying she had to babysit her grand-children till the son and daughter in law came back home from work even as I wondered why such a small empathetic gesture was missing in that big man who failed to see the big trauma he had caused to his own mother. If only he had realized that the big brazen yelling had reduced him so small in my eyes.

The Big here is the body and the Small here is the soul.

This is my entry for the ‘RING THE BELL’ contest a campaign for violence against women.Ring the bell contest

JUMPING JAPONG ‘JUMPAK JUMPAK’

The TV news anchor was screaming out loud and quizzed the panelists as to why women were raped what were the reasonsmainimage behind it and things like that. The honorable panelists argued that it was a sick mindset, lack of education, ineffective laws, poor policing etc but recently I saw a 6 year old boy tell his friend that she could not play cricket with him as she was supposed to stand aside and cheer for him singing the IPL song ‘Jumping Japong’. I was completely shocked and tried to figure out how the little mind had drawn that conclusion refusing his friend outright. All the arguments by those panelists had gone down the drain as nobody spoke about the quality and control of objectionable content being broadcast on television programs these days.

I was upset and helpless to know how some bizarre marketing gimmicks could affect young minds that could prove to be fatal in an already gender biased society. That young kid is not at fault because when women are shown as pleasurable items on screen he applies and implies that in real life too as what you see is what you believe. I pondered how a B grade act was glamorized and glorified into an A grade art. After all why do you need skimpily clothed girls dancing in cricket?

So I decided to understand how this spell called cricket works and how it emerged to be so popular:

Cricket was first played in the 13th century by a few shepherds’ children in England it was seen as a great way to kill time and soon became popular among the elite too that it went on to become the official sport of England in the 18th century.

Cricket came to India along with the East India Company via British Raj. Cricket although not native to India it has the widest audience and viewership any sport could ever have.

Initially only test cricket was played but who had the time to wait and watch for five long days so in 1971 the one day international matches were introduced which became a rage among the young and the old until the Twenty20 innings swept  over to satiate the cricket savvy time constrained fans of cricket.

Lalit Modi the man behind the brand IPL, the engineer of Twenty20 construed and conceptualized the richest and most entertaining form of short duration cricket ever played in the history of Indian sports.  He designed and packaged a perfect product comprising of the three Ws Wine Wealth Women which is always a best seller especially when it is associated with the glamour industry and backed by powerful syndicates so powerful that it consumed him. The cheering by the crowds was made official by introducing the cheer leaders or the dancing dames swaying their voluptuous bodies in a typical Bollywood style.  The feminist in me ponders if we ever had skimpily clad men cheering for women’s sports but the fact that these cricketers are auctioned and sold off like slaves for a harem consoles and provides me some solace shunning any eruptions of feministic thoughts.

The IPL is more amusing than any Bollywood flick as it is all geared with the perfect recipe for a sure success. It has the presence of the powerful rich star owners, cabaret dance by the cheer leaders which is nowadays dignified by the term ‘item number’, a chorus of glamour stricken chattering commentators, menacing marketing by the ad industries which no other sport in India receives, extensively covered by the media and backed by business tycoons, politicians and promoted by the demigods themselves ‘the cricketers’ selling and endorsing various brands of commodities on that TV screen who are almost worshipped and celebrated by millions.

With so much of well worked calculation IPL is a sure hit with an expected turnover of US$ 1 Billion in the next 5 to 10 years 40% of which will go to the IPL, 54% to the franchisees and 6% as prize money. Who cares if the match was fixed, who cares if a star cricketer is tainted with spot fixing we are a crazy nation of 1.27billion population who mourn and miss terror abettors like Sanjay Dutt of Bollywood fame and wait to welcome him back and we vote criminals as our political leaders and watch endless cricket even if the money in it were being diverted to underworld dons to kill our own kith and kin. Who cares about all this jumpak jummpak I must admit the IPL song is very catchy.

I am certainly not against cricket in fact I love the spirit of the game, it teaches youngsters to deal and negotiate among team members and helps in developing interpersonal skills, leadership qualities and making decisions in crucial times. It toughens one to deal with everyday problems as it teaches us to be a sport at the end of the day no matter who wins or loses. I like the Twenty20 cricket especially the concept of players from different countries playing as one team but I cannot understand why only cricket gets so much limelight. Why does money always get accumulated with the rich making them richer? Why are we so obsessed with individual cricketers Bollywood stars who do not contribute to the society in any way and are only interested in their personal financial gain?

We are an impressionable society drawing high influence from the west. If there is a Hollywood we’ve created Bollywood, if they made ‘Big Brother’ we came up with ‘Big Boss’, if there is ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ we counter it with a ‘Kaun Banega Crorepathi’.

The British left India but they left behind Cricket which has now become absolutely indispensable that it haunts me and I muse over it asking myself what if that 1billion US dollars was used for a noble cause?

During my school days I studied about great engineers like Sir.M.Vishveshwaraiah and great physicists like C.V.Raman, great mathematicians like Srinivasa Ramanujam. Today even my kids are also studying the same history. Alas! Don’t we have anything other than cheap manpower of outsourced software engineers, IPL cricket matches and corruption to brag about? India has great brains and potential to rule over the world but are we stagnated when it comes to innovations and inventions? Are we only talking and taking pride in our glorious past. What about our present contributions for the future generations?

Cricket certainly is entertaining and generates employment and lot of revenue but is this revenue reaching and benefitting our government is questionable? When revenue earning giants like BCCI and IPL do not pay tax our economy becomes poor and the common man much poorer in spite of investing his precious time and money. ParliamentaryPanel finds BCCI IPL did not pay taxes and routed
http://realityviews.blogspot.com/2011/08/parliamentary-panel-finds-bcci-ipl-did.html                                

1365969689_501851812_1-Pictures-of--Original-Kookaburra-IPL-Match-Ball-Brand-New

Some cricket info for you:

 The ball used in IPL cricket matches is Kookabura ball which costs Rs.12999/-

 Other cricket test matches and Ranjhi Trophy matches use Sanspareils Greenlands(SG) test balls, Sanspareil Greenlands are main manufacturers of cricket balls in India.

 Did you know when you are enjoying watching a cricket match there are hundreds of Indian children stitching footballs and cricket balls for the sports industry?

Sachin Tendulkar is the richest sportsperson in India who is doing his bit to the society by associating himself with an NGO called Apnalaya and sponsors more than 200 children for their education and daily needs every year.

Gujarathis  are the best and most consistent businessmen be it cricket or any other enterprise.

THE GOLDEN MANIA

bollywood-celebrity-aishwarya-rai-in-stunning-guluband-gold-necklace-in-jodha-akbar-4to40_com_If there was a rating scale on the intelligence levels of people I would rate the early civilizations like Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, Mayan, Indus, Egyptian as the most innovative and intelligent people. These cults of people employed everything around them for their benefits. They discovered cooking with fire, made vessels, weapons, introduced community living, built magnificent layouts with planned drainage systems they even dug the earth deep down to find water and may be ended up finding metals. Probably the mining concept was first discovered by these early civilizations known to us.

One such golden discovery by them must have been gold. The yellow metal was called the sun’s sweat because of its golden bright shine like the sun and its malleability. Gold was used by earlier civilizations mainly for making accessories like jewelry.

Till date there is no authenticated affirmation about the actual date of discovery of gold but archeological studies suggest that civilizations that existed 6000 years ago had used gold.
But this is one discovery that went on to become the most sought after commodity from civilization to civilization and millennium to millennium.
WHY IS GOLD SO EXPENSIVE?
Anything that is rare and hard to obtain is much sought after thus becoming valuable. Gold was and is considered precious because of its rarity, beauty and endurance. This was some 5ooo years ago that man discovered gold and employed it in the making of accessories, coins, idols, artifacts it was also a medium for barter. It later became a medium of trade because of its preciousness.

But why are Indians so crazy about it even today?
In ancient Indian tradition wearing gold was believed to improve our health this is one of the reasons why even today people wear bits of gold on their body. The metallic property of gold attracts sun’s powerful energy which is believed to protect and restore the essence within. Also when we bathe the water that touches gold and then our body is believed to purify the toxins within. In olden days gold was also consumed in small quantities via paan(betel leaf with areca nut) and sweets.
Ayurveda practiced by ancient sages advocated consumption of gold dust for curing joint pains.
Gold is symbolic with purity and high quality it is often associated with the ‘best’ that is the reason we have phrases like ‘golden moments’, ‘golden years’ or ‘a person with a golden heart’ and things like that. Even today academic toppers in educational universities get a gold medal. All those people calling Indians as gold savvy and silly watch out!! Olympic medals and Oscar awards are made of gold and not steel. India was invaded by several westerners mainly for its gold and precious gems.
Gold is synonymous with honor, prestige and prosperity. Possession of gold is always equated with richness it is believed to bring some esteem and pride to the person wearing it.

Like I said earlier anything rare is always much sought after and goes on to become expensive, anything expensive and rare is a substance to possess and flaunt around by the elite and rich. And by the way who wants to be called poor?
Gold apart from being lustrous and beautiful is also soft, ductile, non-corrosive making it apt for making jewelry. The unfading luster and its beauty especially when worked with colorful precious gems make it the most sought metal. Apart from the mesmerizing qualities of gold even the cultural history of India is in a way responsible for the gold savvy mindset of the people.

ROYAL CONNECTION
2005092006410201India a country with a past of reigning dynasties and kingdoms that splurged in gold and flourished with rich heritage of culture, traditions, art, dance forms known for its gems, spices, great architecture of temples, mind-blowing jewelry designs and silk sarees. India was dominated by kings and queens until the Britiish sneaked in and started ruling us.

The ancient Indian kings and queens and all the royal descendants had an affair with gold. They used thrones, palanquins, crowns made of gold. Rare and precious gems were embedded in all the gold ornaments adorned by them. Gold coins were given away as rewards. Idols of gods and goddesses were incarnated in gold. Temple shrines were built from gold. Royal lunches were served in golden plates and cups. It was not just ornaments even their robes and attires were sewn with golden threads. Such was the royal extravaganza and engagement with gold.

It is only since the last 6 decades that India has adopted democratic form of Government and is fast competing with developed nations. This royal lineage and traditional sway still encompasses the Indian minds and societies.

Why do we buy so much gold, what satisfaction does it give in particular that you shun wearing any other metal?
We see so many brands of gold retailers today in contrast to the earlier system where only a few local goldsmiths used to hand-make elementary jewels like a mangalsutra(the neck chain worn by Indian women as a sign of marriage), bangles, nose pins, ear rings.

There is no marriage without gold in India, it is considered below dignity to wear a look-alike yellow metal or any other metal, the buying power has marginally increased and so is the sellers’ competition, thanks to the IT invasion that has inflated our markets in the name of globalization so much and left the common man high and dry.

Lastly and most importantly Indians are trained and greatly encouraged to make that little savings from the beginning. We save a minimum of at least 30% of our incomes by way of investment in gold or land which works like a contingency reserve for any given financial crisis. Most Indians don’t rely much on any stock markets. If economy of a country was rated on the amount of gold possessed India would be the richest economy.

SOME GOLDEN FACTS (drawn from wikipedia):
• The world consumption of gold produced is about 50% in jewelry 40% in investments and 10% in industry.
• India is the largest consumer of gold in the world although it produces only 0.5% of its annual gold consumption.
• Indian households alone hold gold worth over $950 billion which in turn is around 50 per cent of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) in dollar terms, says a report http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-12-05/news/30474783_1_gold-imports-tonnage-terms-gold-demand
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-12-29/news/30568918_1_gold-demand-gold-jewellery-gold-purchases
• India is the No 1 gold importer in the World.

USES OF GOLD
• Gold is used for electrical wiring in some high-energy applications
• Gold has its use in medicine gold in a particular form is used to cure rheumatoid arthritis.
• Gold alloys are used in restorative dentistry especially in tooth restorations, such as crowns and permanent bridges. The crowns made of gold give more satisfaction than the porcelain crowns.
• Gold is an efficient and reliable conductor of heat hence gold is used in circuitry. Micro-processors, memory chips, socket connectors all contain gold. Gold coated films are used in spacecraft to reflect infrared radiation and stabilize temperature of the spacecraft.

HAZARDS OF GOLD
The gold production creates hazardous pollution. Thirty tonnes of used ore is dumped as waste for producing one finger ring of gold. Gold ore dumps are the source of many heavy elements such as cadmium, lead, zinc, copper, arsenic, selenium and mercury. Water becomes unsuitable for human consumption if these heavy metals are dumped in water which also leads to acid mine drainage. The gold ore dumps are seen as long term man made hazardous waste next only to nuclear waste dumps. Clearing this hazardous debris of heavy metals involves spending billions of dollars.
Investment in gold at an individual level would be a saving but it is certainly not good for our economy as we have to shell out billions of dollars for importing gold which will weaken the rupee value and imbalance our economy.
But the fact that many of you clicked on this article about gold is proof enough about the attractive property of gold and its priority in our lives.

Image courtesy: Google images.

SIMMER DURING SUMMER

After a hectic year of running up and down attending to your little ones’ schooling needs, one would wait for summer to sit down and relax a little. Summer is here and it is every reason to pamper yourself with loads of leisure activities, time to catch up on your sleep, travel, catching up with friends and relatives and spending your vacation in a unique and memorable way.12580808-group-of-happy-children-lying-on-green-grass-outdoors-in-spring-park

I am sure each one of us would have already made our travel plans, get- together, sleep over, party arrangements or simply choose to lay back and stick to our routine in a much more relaxed manner.
Your travel merry could be over, the sleep over and the get together will all be over soon enough but remember its summer time and the vacation is longer than any of your plans. Keeping your kids busy and making time for yourself at the same time will be a challenge, it could turn into an anger management live assignment for you.

One easy way out that most parents resort to is pushing their little ones to summer camps. Summer camps are a great way to keep your kids active and away from boredom. But is your kid not active when at home? Think again it is just that your kid is hyper active and you are unable to cope with it.

These summer camps sometimes innovative, many a times monotonous with the same structured classroom sessions of art, craft, cooking pottery and science classes buzzing in the whole of your neighborhood could sometimes turn your child off. Have you ever thought what your kids really want to do during free time? Have you ever asked them about it?

For the fear of an academic learning gap during summer and for the fear of being left behind in a society where everybody wants a super child we as parents try to focus only on learning all the time we are only seeking edutainment unaware of the fact that out-door play time is most crucial for a child’s mental, emotional, social development. It is during play time that a child learns sharing, negotiating, communicating, decision making, problem solving skills which forms an integral part of a balanced growth into adulthood. Playtime relieves stress for both adults and kids.

Your child could be playing with simple toys or simply messing around with household objects but remember to keep your cool and balance it out as he is only a child and is inquisitively learning about his surrounding. Play time especially out-door play time is not just beneficial but it is essential for a healthy mind and body. It is only during summer that kids get to stay home and 8167743-multiracial-friends-having-fun-playing-hopscotch-on-drivewayenjoy their free time playing, eventually as they grow up the responsibilities and challenges only increase cutting down their play time. Finally when they take up a job and start working there is no looking back from the race. Essentially it is these golden years of childhood that one gets to enjoy with all that careless free time but I pity today’s children as they are the victims of organized activities and structured supervised institutions often curtailing their creativity and imaginative skills. For some reason parents like to believe that playing or crafting something complicated will empower their kids better and shun them from doing simple activities ignoring the fact that a simple observation of an apple falling from a tree led to a great invention.
Remember when we were kids we were never forced into any summer camps but were instead let out totally free allowing us to explore and have fun in our own unique way. The days were spent mostly on the playgrounds creating our own games and setting our own rules the afternoons were mostly spent at a friend’s house pretending out role plays playing roles of mom, dad and all other fictional stories that we had heard of. We would cozy up at night listening to a whole lot of stories from mom and dad.
We never bothered our parents for any play stations or internet games or any TV time but we socialized with our friends aunts grannies adapted to their friends and neighbors, engaged in activities that we never did through the whole year like cutting vegetables, press our clothes, clean up the house, wrap our books or simply went exploring the neighborhood. There were no phones and no follow up by our parents but we were home at the right time as we knew our responsibilities.
I am not saying that camp learning is bad but it is just that it should be sufficient enough to keep your child motivated and not become a burden for your child.

I cherish those days when a child was accepted in an’ as is’ condition and was allowed to be a child. We had lots of space to play around. No honking vehicles or the threat of being mauled by a stray dog nor getting knocked by a speeding vehicle nor had the fear of being taken away by a stranger. But today’s children are deprived of all that space, free time and most importantly their parents’ time in the right doses. With excessively decorated homes submerged in a whole lot of fragile show pieces and electronic gadgets our children are restricted at home and outside owing to space constraint in the name of modernization and development.

We cannot create space for them overnight but at least we could take our time out and spend some quality time with them by way narrating stories, playing with them at least for one hour (½ hour of indoor and ½ hour of outdoor activities), we could engage them by assigning roles and responsibilities, teach them how to shop, watch all the old videos or simply talk to them and share your experiences. Make a list of ‘do it yourself’ activities that you think would help them like planting a sapling, watering them, you could also ask them to paint the pots of those plants with their initials this would keep them busy for at least one hour.

Our children look up to us and learn from us but I would say that learning becomes mutual when you are dealing with a kid, many a times a simple question from your child could have you stick your head into a google search. The biggest thing that we learn from kids is ‘PATIENCE’ which we have to practice and put to use especially during summer.

IS IT A woMAN’s WORLD OUT THERE?

When mankind started probably in earliest forms of socialization the chimps introduced the division of labor Hands tied up with chainswhich worked like a boon for them as they had learnt that they needed to hunt and also be taken care of which was arduous to accomplish when they worked individually. So they went hunting in groups which fetched them better and helped them to garner more food. The males hunted for the meat and females collected vegetables from the nearby proximity taking care of their young ones and the group’s camp. This was practiced largely because they understood that the female was biologically more important than the male and had a much greater stake as she bears and rears the young, they would not risk sending her for the more dangerous works like hunting as they feared that the death of a female would be a great blow to the specie’s survival hence they segregated work based on gender in order to safeguard their progeny from predators.

 Popular theory is that the intelligent version of today’s man has evolved from the apes. He imbibed many dynamics from his forefathers. Thus the science of survival practiced by the chimps was adopted by the humans.

Among humans, work was segregated and shouldered based on physical strength the more laborious and tougher jobs were done by the males and the more tactful and skillful jobs of managing the home front which requires lot of group holding skills and patience were undertaken by the women. This way there was a perfect balance in the families and ample emotional support extended for one another. But this practice slowly deteriorated from being healthy to discriminative so much so that it became an abusive social law forbidding women from participating in any major socio-economic cultural decision making. This self-imposed social law was and is more of a convenience and adapted accordingly to suit the situation confining women to limited boundaries.

I could probably agree on this widely accepted theory only if women voluntarily wanted to stay home and cater only to the emotional and social needs of the family. Today’s woman is more informative, capable, ambitious and aspires to make a successful career but she is often struck prioritizing between work and home life, this is because somehow from the beginning we have been fed with the thought that it is the woman who takes care of house hold chores besides rearing the children. This was true then and now.

Although women are shouldering every other responsibility and managing laborious tasks at home and at workplace the equation has not quiet changed. Most women in spite of being well educated, sharing the same space with men in all platforms, earning the same kind of salary after accomplishing all that when she returns home it invariably becomes her responsibility to get the dinner ready and care for the kids while the man of the house becomes a couch potato or spends time hitting the gym and makes room for all his social pass times. This kind of life has been accepted by the majority and sanctified that women have to do 90% of the domestic chores whether or not you choose a career, it is this myth that makes working women juggle balancing between the work life and the home front thereby ending up taking compromising roles even if the growth aspects were stagnant.

Some of them with little choice simply opt out donning a stay home mom’s role which is most of the times voted as a thankless job strangely regarded by most people as a demeaning role done by lesser intelligent people ignoring the fact that a strong foundation is often built and imparted to a child at home mostly by mothers. It is a systematic thought process strategized by the society leading to this kind of a mindset and attitude towards women.

It begins early in life, if you look at a nursery level book it describes a father as reading a newspaper and mother as the one working in the kitchen, again the brother helps the father in all the outdoor work and goes out to play but the sister helps the mother in the kitchen. Children begin to grow with this kind of thought that is penetrated into their mind which later brews as a conventional attitude that you get to see everywhere deep rooted in the minds of the young and old.

15810308-sexual-discriminationThe male and female interaction is never encouraged from the childhood. Hence the boys who don’t get to interact, play or bond much with the girls are not sure how to behave with a girl in their adolescent years and mostly resort to behaviors imitating from ‘Bollywood’ the Indian film industry, the encyclopedia of moral science and values only for women which shows women as only a pleasurable item who is always vulnerable to any kind of explicit violence or victimization waiting to be protected by a man. Although there might be few movies which show woman on the other extreme side where she is as powerful as any goddess, it does not quiet inspire the youth as they think it is superficial and are influenced easily by the deep clinging thought that they are more superior to any woman around. Moral values and ethics take back seat when physical strength is celebrated and glorified.

Young girls are often viewed as an obligatory liability for a family as she is parceled off like a commodity with a price called dowry.

Contemporarily many youth may argue that they never took dowry but tell me who paid up for the entire wedding cost? Was it shared by both the boy and the girl’s family? 99% of the times it is borne by the girl’s family even if she earned a six digit salary. Respecting women and treating them at par with dignity is something that has to be inculcated early but in many parts of India among rich and poor families where rigidity and conservative attitudes rule respect for women is a farce. A boy all along his childhood would have witnessed that a woman only stays home and swings to the tunes and moods of the man of the house. Fed with such primitive thoughts when he encounters any women on the street he cannot possibly digest it when he sees her driving a vehicle or heading for college socializing with other male counterparts. It becomes imperative for him to hide his intolerance and unacceptability of a woman’s freedom hence simply throws his inferiority, misogynistic attitude by way of harassment either by stalking, abuse (of any kind), passing lewd comments, groping and thereby violating her freedom to move around freely thereby traumatizing the girl completely.

Young boys often group up contesting amongst themselves to taunt a girl which probably gives them a high, a macho image within their male group. Many a times these types of group attack on a girl have gone awry and this dangerous trend is increasing day by day the reason being obsolete and ineffective laws, lack of fear for existing laws due to corrupt officers and fragile sluggish dealing with perpetrators who often go scot free without any drastic punishments imposed on them.

In the corporate scenario although women have made their presence felt, the ability to accept and appreciate women who are equally capable and many a times far better than their male counterparts is technically an incorrect statement for most employers. The discretion of selection always perceives that a male can be a better fit than a lady for a particular demanding role as she may have to shoulder responsibilities both on the home and work front and is scanned with apprehensions about her goal accomplishments discarding her multi-tasking abilities, this is sometimes accompanied by malicious and misogynistic attitudes reducing the presence of women in important and decision making arenas.

Most women achievers who have made it big are single or widowed. Does this mean that women with potential can accomplish and achieve better only if they were single? Did they choose to be single to steer clear of all that juggling and struggling to reach where they are?
Many a times men and women who accommodate and share the responsibility equally with their spouses or partners are often regarded as a hen pecked person by the same society who cry foul when faced with gender bias. How hypocritical are we in our approach and actions?

In this world of advanced science and technology with rapid developments everywhere, scope for innovative inventions, growing economies, booming markets, cut throat competition it is ironical that so many educated brains are either forced to stay home or discouraged just because of a traditional myth that has churned out so many invisible discriminations than originally intended. The economic growth of the country is also impacted because of gender bias.

In spite of so much advancement, awareness women are still being burdened with social evils such as female infanticide, molestation, rape, sexual harassment, discrimination all because of a surviving skill dangerously misconceived and misused. What does it take to shun this deep clung primitive practice of rigidity in gender roles? Questioning our prejudiced conformity to social norms built around us will probably untangle some knots without succumbing to any feministic rebellious thoughts.

Upbringing matters a lot, children learn from demonstration than teaching and preaching. If you as a parent demonstrate and shoulder responsibilities equally and show respect to each other a seed is sown for an egalitarian society. Laws alone cannot bind us to show respect and to empathize with others it has to be inculcated early from within by way of proper upbringing and imparting good social values not to forget our basic human values allowing everybody a fair and unbiased opportunity where nobody is intimidated by use of physical prowess which only reflects an imbalanced weak mind.

Our Government has tried to improve the status of women workers through legislation directly targeting women (Maternity Benefits Act (1961), Equal Remuneration Act (1976)), or indirectly (Plantations Labor Act (1951), Contract Labor (1970), Inter-State Migrant Workers Act (1979), Factories Act (1948), and Mines Act (1952)).

Despite the Government’s attempts to improve women’s working conditions, there are alarming inequalities everywhere as there are no checks on the implementation of all these legislations. When our women are not allowed to step out at all and most of them don’t have access to education how will they come to know of such legislations. And those who are making their presence felt are getting subdued either by way of rapes, molestation or harassment as there is no stringent law exercised against these everyday crimes and brutal perpetrators.

Freedom cut down is freedom denied that oppresses our voice.

Harsh laws with honest law abiding forces and quality education will surely lead the light to equal empowerment without any kind of biased thoughts about men and women. Any radical change has to start from home so be the change and make this world everybody’s beautiful world.

The chimps that strategized to save their species would be puzzled at today’s human species who disregard their own begetter.