Sunday, 26 February 2012

Love, Women and Indian Society

“First love is sweet despair”

What is love? Of course there is no definition for it. When we are young our hormones are the predominant factor in deciding whom we love. Science is of the view that in men the brain functions in such a way as to allow them to choose the most productive of women that would bear their child. Women, on the other hand are geared to choose the man that would provide them with all sorts of support. And how exactly does either of them decide about their partners? Smell, gait, voice, eyes, the way of looking and other trifles that would otherwise hold no meaning. This is what a friend of mine once remarked, infatuation. But, what when they grow up?

The parameters doubtlessly change when boys and girls grow up. One has to remember that those just out of their teens are aimless and afraid of their futures. Fear gives rise to either to the fight for survival or to bullying. Parents and teachers would have the children take the former path. So should they, if they have to live and lead a luxurious life. Nothing wrong there. Society will not feed you.
Wait a minute bane, the heading says, “Women and society” and what are you talking about? Patience my dear reader, patience. Something our Indian society now lacks. Allow me to recount an incident.
‘A girl joins a college to pursue higher education. So does a boy. Of course the scene is set in the same college. The girl is not of best academics. The boy is better in studies. The girl lacks self confidence. The boy doesn’t have a clear aim. Having met the girl and finding that she suits him, he foresees a future. He helps her out in her studies and she finds for the first time in her life, someone who cares. They fall in love. [Pay attention now dear reader].
What are your views regarding their love? 

Do you think they were actually in love? Or was it just complementing each other. What one didn't get at home, one finds in a partner. The girl was considered a burden by her parents. The boy had yet to decide a path for his life and future. When he met the girl, he was suddenly taken over by the idea that he has a purpose in life. To protect his love, to care for her, to support her. She always wanted, but, lacked such care. They were now under the impression, they were made for each other.

Let us now take a look at the parents' perspective. The parents of the boy had obviously no objection (apparently) and as for the girl's family they were initially in agreement of their union. Initially I said and I mean it. Something happened and the result was something that was straight out of some Bollywood masala movie.

A highly posted official of that college saw her and fell for her. Considering she was 18, he was almost double the age. A year later he proposed to her family, and, the family, seeing his position and bank balance, immediately agreed. The girl had almost no say in this. She was forced to accept the marriage and she gave in.

The boy was threatened and warned of dire consequences if he even went near her. So, at age 19-20 she was engaged only to be married a few months later. She had no choice. The men in power always have their say.

So what is your point bane? This happens all the time. Why bother?
Yes. It happens all the time. It happens that a girls family considers her to be burden. It happens that a girl in India is never asked for her opinions for her life. It happens that a girl may not fall in love, may be married off at young age, to a much older fellow. It happens that a girl in India may have to bear a child and carry out the duties of a wife at an age when she hardly knows herself.

The girl in the above mentioned story asked her family only this much, that if they want her marry the man they want, atleast let her grow up. Let her complete her studies. She was beaten to silence and submittance.

The girl and the boy may be wrong. They may be rash in deciding their life's route, but, tell me do you find it meek that a girl in India should have no right to choose? There was a time when women in India chose their husband in a ritual called swayamvar. It is a thing of the past now.
The women are suppressed inspite of numerous women welfare and rights laws. They do not yet have a say. A society that can not respect its women is bound to doom. It will eventually fail. And this is quite visible. The values are losing their merit  and acceptance among the youth. Not only the boys but also the girls use language that might be called beggarly or filthy. They do not have respect for elders and scoff at parents advice.

These young boys and girls will become parents of tommorrow but will they be able to impart any culture or value to their children? No. The society will break. Evil will run rampant. All this just because we today will fail to give the best values to our children. 

Every parent wants the best for their children. However, in their decisions, the children's feelings should not be hurt.

I know the girl will fall in order of events in her life. She will eventually forget her first love and learn to adjust in her new environment. She will be a good wife and a good mother. Her first love? Sweet despair.

I believe the women will be liberated from such hapless conditions and will have a greater choice  and say in their life. Hoping for the general good.

(This is not fiction; it is based on a true story of my friends and the fate of their love)

Friday, 17 February 2012

What is thy aim ?

The world doesn’t know who you are underneath; it’s what you do that defines you
-          Batman
I was asked by a teacher what my objectives for my life are. I simply replied: “I want to innovate in a new software system.” To this he replied: “will the completion of this objective give you ultimate satisfaction? Will this suffice all your wants?” It is true that I didn’t have an answer to this question. Then I thought, after much musing, does any one of us have an objective? A purpose? The ancient sages told us to meditate, to introspect and find the purpose of the gift that the lord almighty has given us. It took years, to know it. When one stumbled upon this truth, he was considered to be enlightened. What or how then we, young men, who haven’t had much experience of this world, could possibly know the purpose? Again what is this purpose? One of my dearest friend said that our aim should be to strive for knowledge and be of service to mankind in general.
Now comes the big question, in the real world scenario, is such mentality feasible? In a country where to earn food is one of the most difficult task, is there any time or health for others? Do we care for others, for philosophy? For values? No. We all will be too busy earning our own livelihood. I will know a technique and my peer will know one more. I will be busy taking on him so that I get beyond him in career. I will be hungry for money, respect and superiority. I know I will be not the best of the citizen; I will pay bribes to get my work done. I will walk along the set lines of fanciful and immoral conduct, and become a legal trickster. Objective whoever talked of that? I will be alive.
I think it will be almost impossible to be the idealist that we think of, if ever we do think of it. At the end I know I will hate myself for being what I would become in life. Considering these thoughts all I would say in the end is this: “whatever or however I live my life, I will die a respectful death.”
May all those who are aimless find a purpose in life. Read the first line now. Again, carefully.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Indians and the Agneepath way !

Should the youngsters of today's India resort to weapons?

"...यार इन सभी नेताओ को लाइन में खड़ा करके गोली मार देनी चाहिए... " We most often than not may have heard the more ardent of the patriotic youngsters say this. I have myself said this more times than I can recall. Now, a question has arisen in my mind, is it really the right way? Is it the only way to subdue the obnoxious presence of the omnipresent corruption? Will this cure the country of this disease and restore it to some pristine state?

          Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was only 24-25, when in 1893, he was thrown off a train in South Africa. He did not fight back with the racist englishmen who considered themselves a superior race. He took up path that was peaceful, long term, diplomatic and non-violent. Ahimsa (अहिंसा), was his supreme tool of action. He was fondly called Bapu (बापू), or the father of our nation and it is the belief of historians and people alike that it was his non-violent struggle and his persistence that won the Indians their freedom. True, but, is  it absolutely true?
           Have you ever considered the flip side of this?
Do you not think that if it were not for the forceful struggles and resistance provided by the so called extremists; Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Ram Prasad Bismil, Chandra Shekhar Azad and other not so famous men, freedom was not possible?
When most men were talking of non-violence under gandhiji's teachings, there were some who were killed or who lost their loved one's to british bullets. So, when they were killing us why should we have not struck them back in the hearts and minds? We did and the above mentioned men were the most prominent in these attacks. A  जलियांवाला बाग़ massacre was reciprocated by Bhagat Singh, Azad killing Dyer, who ordered the killings.
Shubhash Chandra Bose was earlier a common indian politician, the first indian man to break the taboo that indians cannot enter civil services. He had differences with Gandhi, and he left Indian Congress and was exiled by British Indian government. He went on to take refuge in Japan and built the Indian National Army. He planned to attack India and win it back from the british. He couldn't succeed, but, he showed the rulers what Indians are capable of. He used force, but, highly organised force.

              Coming back to present times, we have seen that youth of India boiled at the idea of reservations and discrimination on the basis of caste. Some went on to say that the minister who brought it in should be killed. Their inspiration: Rang de Basanti,  a movie that depicts five youngsters killing the corrupt defense minister of India because of whose actions their friend died. Although, it tried to depict youth awakening  and patriotism, it simply showed some revenge taking. Justified?
              Coming to almost the end of my discussion, I will talk about the title of my post, Agneepath. A movie that made waves when it was shot with Amitabh Bachchan as its lead actor and causing a frenzy still when it has been remade with Hrithik Roshan. The point? "Avenge the wrongs done to you", the violent way. We see corrupt and the shit about it, criminals taking up elite positions in the Indian government. It is not restricted to any one party. All are same. We talk about being the youngest country, but, we do not yet have a bright future. Not with criminals having the balance of power. Crime is rampant and although it may not affect everybody resulting in the illusion that we are safe, it is spreading like a wildfire. Political, Cyber, social everything. Our laws are good, but, outdated. Many clauses have lost their significance, but, the amendment procedure is too long and cumbersome. Result? Justice delayed and justice denied and most unfortunately justice inappropriate. 
               Law and politics is becoming the game of power brokers and when there is law-lessness, there rises violence. To settle their disputes, the ordinary citizen takes up weapons and hell breaks loose. Think about it all my readers and suggest the ways to make a peaceful, non-corrupt and dignified, decent society. Take care.!!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Promote Indianism !

                 I have been told time and again..."Anurag, why don't you wear a jeans and a nice shirt instead of those loose and hanging clothes? You look so morosely old fashioned....".
                This insistence of my friends has made me think about the fate of Indian culture. We are one of the oldest civilization in this world. 5000 thousand years and on. We have a dress sense that is old and time tested. However, the young Indians do not seem to be much interested in the history rather they want some toung-in-cheek type hype to be created when they wear anything.
                It all happens because the young guns grow up watching the idlers (read movie actors) wearing all those fashionable clothes besides the fact that the MNC's that provide bread and butter to these young guns when they grow up is the incentive for them to wear fancy clothes.
                A girl once told me she wears jeans and tops because she is more comfortable in them for her day to day chores rather than salwar-kamez which I had suggested her to wear. Now, as for her day to day chores, I don't really think jeans-top does her any good. Never mind, the other fact that they do not want to look odd amidst their peers.

               Now, such attitude can be changed only if we are our own bread producers. The west controls us financially. We have to break free of such bondage and make our own empires that do not profusely depend on western help. Only then can we regain the respect for Hindi and Indian attire back in the hearts of our young Indians.