Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cry Freedom

This post would be a sort of a tribute to the two editorials I came across in two newspapers. One in Times Of India (yes, surprisingly!!) and the other in Hindustan Times.

One about a woman who has been on a hunger strike for six years fighting for respect, dignity and a life worthy of a citizen of India and another concerning the judiciary system of India and how it is unfortuantely playing into the hands of mass appeasement of the publich thirst for vengeance.

In this post I will talk about the former.

Irom Sharmilla is a woman from Manipur - a state torn apart by continuous conflict which has led the Indian government to impose the ASPA, which basically gives the Army a freehand to monitor every aspect of life at Manipur.

While almost invariably in cases of human rights the armyman is at the receiving end of the pseudo humanist, who ridiculously voice their support for the same set of people who aid, abett terrorism both directly and indirectly - in this specific instance it can be said and not without reason that they have erred. Had it been a case of an ambush of a group of people for security reasons or even for that matter carrying out an operation against seemingly innocent people,however irrational it may sound, it would still be acceptable.

What is not acceptable is the violation of women, sexual exploitation, and total disregard for the very citizens and the structure of the society which they are sent to uphold.

I, for one, believe that the degree of civility or the moral advancement of a society is indicated by the position of women in that society. Whether the right of a woman is perceived as equal to that of a man, whether a woman is looked upon as an object of sexual merriment or just another citizen and whether she is not been discriminated against just because she is a woman - all of these are vital parameters for any civilized nation to judge itself. In spite of India's resurgence in areas of trade and commerce and a continuously expanding high-disposable-income Indian middle class, as a country we are probably taking two steps back for every forward step taken.

Irom Sharmilla has fought for the last six years. If she lives for the next six, she is going to die anyways. But she has shown what it takes to take on an establishment which enjoys a hallowed position in our minds and 543 parlamentarians without resorting to any kind of violence and only with the faith, that some day, we might, just might uphold the basic right of civilization - freedom.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Icing On The Cake

That day I was very happy.

That is something, you know. I mean, I have never felt happy like this before, where I can view my happiness objectively. It is funny that when you detach your feelings from yourself how wonderful life suddenly appears to be.

I called up my friend a few days back. His marriage is round the corner. And as with every relation, it was expected or apprehended that things would not remain the same post marriage between us, considering the fact that the entire time would be invested towards a satisfying, fulfilling married life. So, when we were talking about a possible post-marital meeting I was quite stunned with the ease with which it was accepted that we would not be in touch.

And it made me real happy.

But there was an icing on the cake to this. The fact that I would not in most likelihood be able to attend the marriage was absolutely aggreable to my friend.

And it made me real happy again.

What's in a marriage day anyways? The sun rises on the same direction and sets in the same. And there are 24 hours in that day. Basically, it is just another day. Just that, on that day something changes. And it is supposed to be the most important day in one's life.

After I kept the phone down, I just wondered for a moment. Just for a moment, mind you.

Somehow, in this incredulously happy moment I was able to appreciate others more. Those who were moronic enough to stand by promises made in golden evenings during lovely walks and nonsensical chit-chats in school bunked afternoons, those who cared not to forget and those who care still to want me to share a "homogenity of a lovely experience".

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Looking For Howard Roark

I have no problem with religion as long as it does not encroach upon the right to not believe and yet be accepted as perfectly normal and not branded as a communist (or whatever). But there is one question which has intrigued me time and again.

Why is it that we believe in God?

I have a few theories as to why. These theories, as in most cases, with almost all of the beliefs that I have on every conceivable thing on earth is borne out of books I have read, articles I have come across and most importantly the fruition of many ‘adda’s that I have had with friends.

Theory 1: Lack of Confidence

It goes like this. We are all basically mentally very weak. The fact, that we are incapable of handling defeat or adversity on our own, the very unwillingness to admit that our success or failure may be due to our incapacities or due to a combination of various factors which by simple probabilistic calculation can occur and is no exception leads us to assume that there exists someone out there who is controlling everything.

And I fail to understand it.

Many a time I have heard people say “Its destiny”. I, for one, would like to believe that man makes his own destiny. To me it’s a simple case; there are ‘n’ number of persons in this world. And they are vying for ‘x’ number of things where x is always way smaller than ‘n’. So isn’t it obvious that for majority of the times a lot many people will be deprived of things they want?

Now, the question is who or what decides which amongst those would be the chosen ones. Ability. And a variety of other factors which are completely unconnected to one another. (Now, if 'that' is called GOD then I have no problem) If we were to fail in our endeavours, we would tend to turn a blind eye on ourselves and try to find a scapegoat, an entity whom we can blame.

We do not have the confidence in our abilities or in our rational minds to comprehend and more importantly accept that we have not succeeded. That GOD has nothing to do with it. That it just did not happen. Like many other things which have not and like many others which will not.

Theory 2: Lack of Guts

It takes a lot of courage to believe that I am responsible for my actions. And whatever is bequeathed upon me is due to my own actions or inactions. I depend on no one, certainly not GOD and if I were to succeed the plaudits should entirely be mine and if I were to fail the reasons should only be attributed to me. Or an acceptance that on that day and time someone else was a shade better than me.

I am yet to see such a person. Apparently, communists are atheists. If that is the case, I would like to meet one. Communists by definition are neither atheists nor socialists, they are opportunists.

But would it not be wonderful to know that there exists someone like that?

Theory 3: Upbringing

This has possibly the most prolific effect on us. From the very day we are in our senses we are taught to pray, taught to believe that for anything that we intend to do it is essential to ask for HIS blessings and that whatever happens HE is there.

The mind at that young an age does not have the power to reason and for many intricate and sensitive incidents of lost toys, injured egos, hurt feelings we turn towards HIM. That is the begining. And from then on, it moves in only one direction. Before any major examination, before proposing to a girl, before the first job interview, after the dream job - everywhere HE is supposed to answer.

Shall we ever realize that if we play to our full potential and always believe that the intrinsic ability of man is far more powerful than any single entity, we can create something which might, just might be better than the best HE is supposed to have created?

Shall we ever find a Howard Roark?