Monthly Archives: February 2009

Lead us to Light

The Mangalore attack has left most of us speechless. There is this man going about saying anything under the sun in the name of “Indian Culture” and there is no one to shut him up. Least of all the Karnataka CM who clearly said that there is no question of banning Ram Sene. They go about molesting unsuspecting girls, issue them threats and warning them of dire consequences in case they wear noodle strap and tight jeans, then their God Father Mr. Muthalik turn into a father figure declaring that all dating couples will be married off on the spot on Valentine’s day. All for what; Indian Culture.

I don’t understand why do they even use the word “Culture” when it is an ever evolving phenomenon. They should say, “Indian Tradition which we will twist to suits us” that would be the appropriate way of putting it.  “In the name of Indian Culture which we will twist to suit us, we won’t let women wear certain clothes because that makes us horny and since we can’t keep our libido under control we would rather ask the women to be in covers”.  “In the name of Indian culture which we will twist to suits us, we won’t let women inside pubs because if they get drunk then who will cook our dinner and procreate to bear good sons”.  All this in the name of Tradition which They want to hold on to.

We respect our culture and no one needs to preach us on that. Our parents have done a good job in letting us know how a good Indian should be, a good human being should be.  But only if they had some trust in our parents who are more aged, gray and wrinkled than Mr. Muthalik probably is. We have gone to good schools where our teachers have taught us to be culturally and morally responsible citizens but only if Mr. Muthalik had some faith in the Indian education system. Our constitution has given us some basic rights irrespective of our gender but only if Mr. Muthalik had some faith in the leadership of our country and in the country’s constitution.

My question is why do we even need to hold on to traditions? I mean it is good to know the tradition of one’s ethnicity but not every tradition is practical these days.  There are things which are good to know but may not be good enough to be followed anymore.  And if you still want to pass these on  in the name of “Culture” then Cricket, Hockey, Football also is western, we should ban these sports too and patronize Gilli Danda, we should stop Modern Medical Science and stick to Ayurveda, stop all institutions of Modern Technology and Modern Education because they are not a part of Indian Culture. We should stop widow remarriages and open more ashrams for widows where they can lead an ugly life of white saree, shaved head and plain, bland food. After all that’s what we have been practicing till today in Benaras. We should revive Devdasi culture, we should also reintroduce Sati and child marriage should be made legal. They all have been part of our glorified Culture at one point of time. Why just target few things? Let there be a revolution of Indian Culture.

And why just target girls in jeans, let’s all discard men’s underwear and get back to good old days of langoti. I am sure your Ram Seniks would feel more comfortable in langotis. Lets’ go back to the days of bullock carts because cars and automobiles are also western, cell phones are western, computers are western too.

 What culture are we talking about when we talk about Indian Culture,?  India has been a land where different cultures have amalgamated from time immemorial. Harappa and Mohenjodaro was also our culture, the culture of Mughals and British had also influenced our culture, Mauryan culture, where women did not even wear a blouse, was also our culture, the naked Indian aboriginals, who still exist in many parts of India, are also our culture. Gandharva vivah, Kamasutra, Swayamvar, endogenous marriage all have been a part of our Indian culture. So which part of the culture are we so forcefully trying to impose?

Now I know how much difficult it must have been for a Dayanand Saraswati or a Raja Ram Mohan Roy to go against the so called Muthaliks of their times yet they won and did a great favor to all of us. I wish if Karnataka’s CM could show at least 5 percent of the guts these great men had and do something about Ram Sene and Muthalik.  The appeal is not favor of going to pubs or celebrate Valentines day. The appeal is to make sure that every citizen feels safe, can wear anything they want, can go anywhere they want.  We don’t need people to preach us on Morality.  Morality to these moral brigades is a synonym for Sex; Immorality means a lot of Sex and Moral means the absence of it before and after procreation.  These are people are as confused with the concept of Indian Culture as they are with the definition of morality.


What we need is leaders, mentors and social reformers who will make sure that today’s youth does not get involved in substance abuse, gets a good education and learns to respect every individual, every living being and the environment. We need leaders who we can look up to and not feel scared and run away.  That’s what we need.

This 14th Feb would be a great day to declare a day of  free hugs where everyone will hug each other and carry placards saying, “Public Display of Violence is against Indian Culture.”

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Life’s Forgotten Lessons

What happened this morning was very trivial but it made me think something very important that I was taught as a child and probably had forgotten.

 

In the morning rush hour when I was frantically getting ready, my 2 dogs in their usual style were continuously fiddling with my things. Pondi was busy chewing my quilt and Alleppey was busy sniffing around the side table where I keep my phone, books and bottles. With her continuous inquisitive investigation of the table I knew she was soon going to drop something from the table and “thud!” goes my expensive phone. Luckily nothing happened to my phone but in that sudden impulse I called her a “stupid dog”. Hurt, she left the room but in that moment I realized that for her the expensive phone is just another plastic toy.

 

No matter how many thousands of rupees we must have spent on our furniture, music systems, other valuables, at the end of the day they hold no value to them. They are just there for them to sit and chew and break. What really matters to them is “us”. They adore us, we are their mom and dad. Every evening they wait for us to come home to play with them, every night they need to be wished goodnight with a kiss on their wet noses else they would keep whining the whole night. Every morning they need to come rushing to our bed to give us our 1st morning lick and these are the things which hold utmost importance in their lives.

 

As a child I also learnt the value of family, friends and love and how to cherish them. But as I grew up and got busy with my job and pay cheque, inflation and grocery bills somehow my expensive cell phone took priority over my life rather than the phone calls from loved ones for which I have the phone in the 1st place. I say this because I sometimes don’t even bother to answer my phone when I don’t feel like talking but if I leave my phone at home by mistake I would probably go all the way back to my home to pick it up. As if I were really bothered about the missed calls. I mean who am I fooling.

 

As a soon to be mother I need to remember the value of human emotions because that is what I would want my child to remember too. These little nuances of life like what happened today morning teach you so many forgotten things. Like our dogs teach us everyday how important we are to them than any other thing in the living room.