A PVC Pipe, A Sickle and His Own Hands

Violence

I was returning home from office. I usually board the suburban train at a major crowded railway station. One such day while I was waiting for my train to arrive, all of a sudden people starting whispering among themselves, all of their gazes directed towards one corner of the platform. What I saw stunned me. Firstly I had never seen such shocking incidents happen in front my eyes. Secondly I despise being at places where such things happen.

A group of guys wearing completely unbearable and completely tarnished looking dresses each holding one weapon in his hand. His own hands being one of the weapons. As hundreds of people in the platform confusingly watched the much filmy incident unravel, one from the group hit the PVC pipe on some guy’s right hand, one fellow smashed unendurable blows right on the guy’s face and the other was holding huge sickle in his hand. Before anyone could realize that a group of men were attacking just ONE guy, they realized everyone watching them and in the wake of getting caught, ran away. The sickle had no work to do at least.

By then my train had arrived, I got in and while it slowly started to depart, I gazed at the boy holding the sickle. It was nerve-racking. Even if it feels like I am exaggerating it was indeed nerve-racking to watch him just hold the sickle. The boy looked not more than 20 years of age. I did not get a chance to look at the boy who was attacked.

While this is a first person encounter, I have heard hundred other stories of revenge drama, most of which could be made into movies. My village was once upon a time one of the most feared of places. Things have improved drastically at present. Just while I was feeling happy about how my village isn’t the way it was earlier, I heard a story of a group of men from my own village attacking a guy from nearby village. The guy who was attacked was last heard to be in ICU.

Besides the fact that almost 90% of such stories I hear involve boys, the fact that such mindless and imprudent brawls happen itself feels bitter. Having seen and heard so much about such violent incidents, a few questions arise, for which my pessimism in general shoots up to innumerable levels. When I try to contemplate over the possibility of positivity in resorting to such unlawful and unpleasant acts, I fail to find a proper positive reason. There isn’t any.

Although sometimes resorting to non-violence might also be insufficient to settle an issue, most of the times talking and settling things would lead to better and peaceful settlement. Violence is lawful only when there is threat to your life. You kill an ant since it brings you pain physically. You kill breeding mosquitoes because they are the source of diseases that are lethal. Again a physical threat. Violence can only be justified when you are at the receiving end of it.

Harvard University physiologist Walter Cannon coined a popularly obvious term Fight-for-Fight. His research shows that we are naturally and psychologically vested with instincts that help us “survive”. When we sense danger, Adrenaline is injected into our blood stream making our heart beat faster than usual making faster blood flow to muscles. At its extreme also considerably rare, a phenomenon called Hysterical Strength sets in giving us super-human abilities to get over the situation. Naturally human body is wired to enable survival.

You could resort to violence if not doing so is a threat to your own life. After all you are the most important being of your own self. Other wise resorting to violence just means things in you are wrong. When you hit someone without the fact that your life is under threat, such an act is not natural. You are just not wired to do that heinous act. Also not to mention violence is unlawful. I have nothing to opine about law. Law and justice has a long way to go before it breaches its own barrier of unlawfulness.

Next time when you resort to violence remember its is not the natural you.

Plastic isn’t The Problem, People Are!

Garbage

Since this is my first post on The Opinion, I decided to give the half a dozen people who accidentally clicked this, an idea about how I and my article operate, before saying something morally, socially, and/or politically incorrect in your humble opinion. What I write isn’t meant to just appear on the internet and disappear after a few people say something along the lines of “Good one! Keep it coming!”. It’s meant to incite people and make them angry. It’s meant to slap people across their minds and evoke responses shoved down my throat. It’s meant to bring out comments that strangulate me or at the least, make me uncomfortable. Now that I’ve gotten that off my mind, I shall proceed to write.

A particular incident happened today, and it is that which acts as stimulus for this article. I dropped a plastic wrapper on the road today, while driving around. A few minutes later when I was waiting for a traffic signal to turn green, a man came up to me, asked me to lower the windows, and gave me a plastic bag, saying “Keep this for the next time you decide to litter” before turning around and driving away.

Now, ideally, if this had had any impact on me, I’d have wallowed in shame and embarrassment and eventually cried myself to sleep. Instead, I’m here writing an article with the only emotion on my mind being fear. Fear of being featured on some click-bait article that goes “This Man Threw Plastic on the Road. What Happened Next Will Shock You!

On a more serious note, though, this piece of writing stems as a response to such self proclaimed, pseudo-environmentalists so hell bent on garnering attention and validation for being some sort of a social superhero. Because let’s look at things practically,

First of all, I cannot bring myself to believe that a person, who drove on a petrol fuelled vehicle for about 6 kilometers just to dump plastic into my car, is conscious about polluting. The level of hypocrisy on that is beyond me. Secondly, the plastic bag he gave me did not contain my wrapper. So the world just stays as it is, except that I somehow have an extra plastic bag? Basically you thought that I was littering this town, so you littered my car? How does that work? Wouldn’t picking up and disposing of the plastic I discarded make more sense? Also, I wondered what the response would have been if I had just thrown the plastic bag out of my window and into the street as well. What, give me another plastic bag?

I am not saying it is wrong to be concerned. It is only wrong to be pseudo-concerned. It is wrong to bring the social media’s “like” thirsty mentality into any issue. This incident merely hits home the point that “Thoughts and Prayers” are useless in terms of crisis. Action is needed, but not one that is mindless. Go, invest in trash cans, start an NGO, ask people to actively stop littering, instead of driving to a conference about air pollution and stopping on the way back for a couple of smokes before going home, and posting a status message about it in your air conditioned room.

Why ISRO’s Scramjet Engines are ‘The Need of the hour’ ?

ISRO

From the MARS Orbiter mission (Mangalyaan) to the recent successful Flight Testing of domestically designed Scramjet Engine, we have come a long way in the field of space research. We have seen undeterred success in the satellite launches using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV) till date.

Why Scramjet Engines are ‘The Need of the hour’ ?

To understand Scramjet let us travel back in history, when the term ‘Jet Engines’ was the buzzword. One biggest advantage of a Jet Engine is that it can be used to take off from the runway. Jet Engines can take us up to MACH 3.5, that is 3.5 times the speed of sound (1Km/s). So a Jet Engine cannot take us into the Hyper-sonic regime which is about MACH 5. The main limitation in the Jet Engine is that the speed of flow that passes through the COMBUSTION chamber is very much Sub-Sonic. A Jet Engine primarily consist of 4 blocks. First is the Intake, followed by the Compressor, then comes the Combustion chamber  finally the Exhaust. The role of the compressor in a Jet Engine is to raise the level of Pressure and Temperature. But when we are operating at very higher speeds, the Intake and the Compressor has to reduce the flow to sub-sonic levels to facilitate the Combustion chamber. This process of slowing down generates a great amount of Pressure and Temperature, high enough to facilitate the combustion. So the role of Compressor and Turbine(that drives the compressor) becomes futile.

When you discard Compressor and Turbine in a Jet Engine, you end up with a Ramjet. A Ramjet Engine needs the air to to be pushed into its intake at Super Sonic, which then is reduced to Sub Sonic levels. But the act of pushing air into the Ramjet (called RAM-effect) increases the temperature to higher levels. At that point of time, we needed a Jet Engine which can keep the speed of flow at Super Sonic levels even inside the engine and also weigh less(without compressor, turbine and other mechanical overheads). Thus a Scramjet was developed. The oxygen needed by the Scramjet Engine for combustion is taken from the atmosphere passing through the vehicle, instead of from a tank on-board unlike the previous systems. This makes the craft lighter and faster.

The Scramjet technology significantly cuts down the cost of launching rockets by reducing its weight by more than half. On July 30, 2002, the University of Queensland’s HyShot team and international partners conducted the first ever successful test flight of a Scramjet. Though 14 years looks like a long period, but for a country with an economy like us, this is a phenomenal achievement. The Hyshot team had funding across the globe but Hyshot 1 failed miserably. But in a jiffy,we have come an inch closer in establishing a reusable space transport system for every future mission of ours. This is what, that makes ISRO stand tall in the Space Race– A low-cost, indigenous and a successful Scramjet mission in the very first attempt.

Duly quoting….

This test-bed could be a pathfinder for a future unmanned reusable launch vehicle that could take off like a rocket, deploy a satellite in orbit, and return to Earth and land on a runway. ”

-ISRO

Following the Scramjet, ISRO is all set for revolutionary missions in the next 10 years. That includes India’s first manned mission into moon, the Chandraayan 2; the SAARC satellite, a communication cum meteorology satellite which is regarded as the Brainchild of Mr.Narendra Modi; Aditya 1, the first Indian mission to study the sun; NISAR mission, the biggest collaboration of all time between two key players in Space Research-  NASA and ISRO. ISRO’s budget for a fiscal year is just 3 percent of the NASA’s budget. So it cannot and should not be seen as a competition. ISRO is already a key player in the field of Space Exploration and with the years to come, ISRO will be regarded in the same way as that of NASA.

GODSPEED ISRO !!!

A Waste of talent and opportunity – Maybe Shobhaa De was right about the Olympics

Rio slums favelas Olympics
The slums of Rio, in sharp contrast to the excesses of the Olympics.
Source : adventuresofjk.com

Jackie Collins (1937-2015) was an author popularly known as the “queen of trash literature”.

After initially acting in British B-movies, she went on to write thirty-two novels about sex, infidelity and gold digging socialite adulteresses who usually fell for gangsters. Her writings were called “nasty, filthy and disgusting” and she was charged with “creating every pervert in Britain”.

Moving on to a certain Shobhaa De’s Wikipedia profile:

Shobha Rajadhyaksha also known as Shobhaa De (born 7 January 1948), is an Indian columnist and novelist. De is best known for her depiction of socialites and sex in her works of fiction, for which she has come to be known as the “Jackie Collins of India”.

Now here’s what India’s own habitué of rich people’s literature-viagra had to say about the 2016 Rio Olympics:

Okay, Ms.De’s elevator doesn’t quite go up to the top floor, it’s probably dust and cobwebs up there. 

But still, she might be right about the Olympics being a waste of money and opportunity. Her statement would have been more dangerous and on-point if it weren’t accompanied by her room temperature level IQ.

The Olympics have always left a trail of bankruptcy, abandoned venues, and cost overruns. Be it London, Athens, Rio or even Tokyo.

London

General societal message: “Good evening Mr.Bond” said Queen Elizabeth, as the London Olympics painted a success story which will stay in the minds of people across generations.

Reality: Organizers of the 2012 London Olympics made a £53m loss in the 18 month period to the end of September last year, official accounts show. There were unsold tickets of a quarter of a million and a drop in the number of visitors, along with the slowest sales growth numbers in all of that year.

Athens

General societal opinion: The Olympics went back to its birthplace. A tradition was revived, sanctity was restored. Something along these lines.

Reality: A well-cooked goose moussaka amounting to $356 billion. 

Rio

General societal opinion: The mayor of Rio called the recently completed Olympics “a success”. He also did some sort of victory lap while the announcement. I hope he had ample water and energy drinks.

Reality: Between 70,000 and 90,000 evacuated. Charges of rampant corruption and fear of water pollution and Zika attacks. 

Tokyo

General societal opinion: Super Mario, shocking Shinzo Abe cameo and LED box like things. Obrigado Arigato.

Reality: Cost overrun by more than 100%, from eight to fifteen billion dollars.Plagiarism allegations over the official Tokyo Olympics logo, and abandoning of a two billion dollar stadium investment. Oopsie already.

More than two million people have been forcibly evicted or displaced as a part of the Olympics between 1988 and 2008. The event has never been conducted within budgeted cost, since 1960.

The Olympics have always been a mess. The glamorous medals and the awe-inspiring closing ceremonies will never justify all the foolish decisions that were made along the way.

The mountains of cash that could have been used for other practical pursuits, instead of this:

The Olympics, what a waste of money and opportunity.

Happy Dependance Day

Indian-Flag

It know this post is a bit late. But still an Opinion is an Opinion whatsoever.

70 years. In these 70 years, India has seen rise and fall, war and peace, victory and failure, humiliation and honour, equality and suppression. The country has grown with it’s citizens and is still growing, making considerable progress. We have always been a happy lot: singing in our miseries, smiling our way from failure to success… we have reached the 70th year of independence… or a guise of what we fool ourselves to be independence.

A country comprises a society which is a group of homes and families containing individuals. Now, are these individuals truly independent? Do you wake up to go to a college to study a course which you never wanted to choose? You turn in your sleep to see your snoring husband whom you’ve never loved but was forced to marry and wanna turn away and continue the rest of what would be another sleepless night? Ever seen a rock-band playing amazing tunes or a cricketer hitting your favourite shot and wondered if my dad had signed me into that course in that training academy a few years back? The list goes on, doesn’t it.

Independence in it’s truest sense is never having to be a solicitor to make your own decisions. The first half of our life is already scripted by what Gopal uncles and Pinky aunties have envisioned for their children. By the time we realise that we are living someone else’s life, it becomes too late and we are sitting in a Digital Signal Processing lecture, not understanding a word that is being spoken and praying that we clear the paper.

Again, we as a society have grown together. We have learned the ways of life. Be it to pray, to eat or to impose, we have learnt it together. But, in any point in time, we can unlearn what we have learnt and start anew. All it takes is the will to turn back and walk in the opposite direction. no doubt this would lead to chaos. But even chaos would form a pattern, eventually unfolding to provide us with solutions. If this could be done, maybe instead of more than a lakh unemployed engineers, we could have more of Na.Muthukumars, Deepa Karmakars, Kalki Koechlins, Dhonis why even another Gandhi.

Lost dreams are one thing, lost lives are another. Let us practice an independence, allowing us to venture out and choose our own colours to paint unique lives. Just because your children have small fingers, don’t drag them holding their arms. Allow them to walk their own paths… that is how people reach a destiny that is rightfully theirs.

Understanding our existence

Meteor

NASA had predicted the Perseid Meteor showers on Aug 11th and 12th. The annual event in August is due to a comet “Swift Tuttle” which flew around the Sun in 1992. Although the next trip around the Sun is only in 2126, the remnants of the comet is what causes the meteor shower. Earth passes every year through the trail of debris left behind by the comet. Scientists from NASA had predicted at least 60-200 shooting stars per hour in the northern part of the sky

The predictions in the southern hemisphere of our planet was not quite promising. But, being an ardent space enthusiast since childhood days, I wasn’t the one to give up on even the slightest opportunity. I spent quite a bit of time on the roof of the house hoping to catch some live action of this interstellar event (and also come up with wish or two).

Of course living in the heart of Chennai city has its perks; but not tonight. The darker the sky, the better are your chances of spotting them. The light pollution and dust from the surroundings caused a dip in my enthusiasm, as all I could see was a bright moon and a smog filled sky. After an hour of patience filled wait, the metropolitan glow really had me annoyed. Slowly as I began to accept the fate, I plunge into my mind. As I probe into my thoughts, questions about our life and existence pour out like a water from a broken dam.

All the activities, struggles, joy, hatred and war exist only on an insignificant small scale when compared to the whole expanding universe. I wonder why we get stuck in the cycle of life and death. Sometimes, all it takes is looking up at the vast sky and understanding how our living is just a tiny tiny fraction of a much larger creation. Some say that we are all as old as the universe itself because matter in its form can neither be created nor destroyed.

“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravity of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.”

— H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, 1895

With a broken heart I crawl into my bed giving up my hunt for meteors this year. With unanswered questions pricking my mind, I close my eyes. Then it all starts. As I try to sleep, I get lost in galaxies that are yet to be found.

My fascination for space keeps on increasing as I try to contemplate the answers behind our evolution and purpose of life.

Choice Machine

Choice Machine

We generally meet up for smokes, after coming back home for vacations. Our first meet would be on a local hill overseeing the city, among birds, cigarette butts and dogs. I would not get scared of them as I had Vishnu beside, though he is equally scared of dogs. We were just there for each other, in our own zones of fear.

On that day, the first day of our vacations, when Vishnu was done with his college and applying for his Masters in U.S.A, I had to meet him at the same hill. My dad had taken his Bike, and I had to walk. The walk on a sunday afternoon is actually pleasant as the city would be in its afternoon nap. The walk then becomes contemplative, fueled by the desire to smoke, as well as the excitement of meeting a friend who’s completed his education and got a lot of brokerage money back from his college.

Vishnu used to stay in an apartment with a damaged electrical unit counting meter. His flat had an A.C for each room. Since the meter was damaged, the unit count would never increase much for humungous usage of A.C’s. This attracted attention when Vishnu and his flat mates were vacating the flat. Students came running to him asking him to refer them to the owners so that they could live in the flat and rip the electricity board of its money. Vishnu said this “Whoever pays me the highest brokerage money would get the flat”. He got 7,000/- from a guy, and took the next train to Hyderabad to celebrate with us. The meet on the hill was the start of that celebration.

The walk, as I remember saying is mostly pleasant if not for a turn near a big garbage dump. A family of dogs live breed and raise its count, bearing ownership of the place, overthrowing any power coming close to the sewage. People were scared to properly throw garbage into the sewage dump. They would generally scatter garbage near the vicinity of the dump, which in turn increases the size of the dump significantly day by day, until the road becomes a small part of the dump.

I was to walk near the dump today. I could see dogs chilling after their evening lunches, some lying on their stomachs, the younger ones, with a lot of adrenaline, playing around, and most of them wandering and safeguarding the dump. On Sundays, the dogs have a royal lunch of chicken bones and uncooked muttons. Today was a Sunday, and the lot with higher adrenaline were waiting for mates of opposite sex to play around or to boss over meeker beings from other humbler species like cats, rats or humans.

I was a meek human and one healthy rough looking dog spotted me. I sometimes sing to overcome the fear. I started to sing when the dog started to bark and come near me, signaling mates and displaying its dominance onto an unarmed living being. If I had a gun, things would be different. But, all the events that unfold happen because I didn’t have something that I should have had at that point of time.

It started to increase its pace when it suddenly leaped onto me, when I tried to duck unsuccessfully, falling down on my back near sewage pipes kept near the dump, probably for the construction of underground sewage lines. The dog was just about to jump on me, when everything stopped moving around me. The dog was mid air, with its saliva dripping mid air, water puddles with tadpoles remained motionless, the “paan” spit out of the man’s mouth stopped mid air, and the lovely gazes shared by a couple in love from opposite balconies too stopped mid air. This was an incredible amount of detail getting registered when I wanted to see other interesting things that stopped mid air, on the other side of my vision.

I turned my head near the sewage pipes, when my neck gave a cracking sound and locked itself. I tried to move it, but in vain. My vision was now locked into the interiors of the pipe that went 20 feet long, which seemed warped and elongated at that point. When I was slowly getting lost to that eternal length, a contraption of gear wheels and monitors came out from the inner walls of the pipe. The contraptions set itself, displaying three monitors before me.

When my gaze when to the first monitor, it switched itself on and played the series of events that unfolded a minute ago in my life, me walking, the dog spotting, the dog leaping, me falling down, and the dog leaping on me. The monitor then displayed “check the next monitor”. I shifted my gaze to the next one, where the dog leaps on me, starts mauling me, when other dogs join him. I get my pants torn, my head in a puddle, as other dogs come closer to smell me, if I am cooked enough for their dinner, when all of a sudden, a stone hits a dog and the dog yelps and runs. Other stones reach other dogs eventually, making them run hither thither. As I search for the transmitting end of the stones, I see a beautiful girl in her 20’s, with a boy cut and driving a splendor. For the first time, a splendor actually looked splendid in the company of this girl. This girl then runs towards me, lifting me as she puts me on her splendor. She drives me to her place, as I smell her hair which had this beautiful fruity fragrance, and I speculated that she just had had her bath with a fruity smelling shampoo. That smell itself was like Dettol, slowly healing my wounds, when we reached her place. She dressed my wounds, took me back to my place, smiled and asked for my number to ask me if I was feeling fine later. After a few days, I take her out to the hill, overlooking the city, as she has this faint smile on her lips. The monitor said, “Check the last monitor”.

The next monitor had the same events unfolding unto the dog leaping on me, when a idea sat in my head slowly expanding its territory as it ultimately reached the conscious information processing part of my brain. The idea was not a statement. It was a question. A profound one indeed, that being, “If all this was a dream or was it really happening?” Of course, dreams could be coherent, but this was coherent beyond its scope. When this question was getting processed in brain-time, I got a real time idea to check if it’s a dream or not. Rajnikanth in “Baba” gets a couple of mantras, and to check if they work checks it on random things like making a kite land on his lap. For that, he puts his fingers in a certain posture, like a “Yo” and chants the mantra. What could a paralyzed man like me do? So I closed my eyes and opened it to see if everything was still there. All in the midst of the video playing. When I opened my eyes again, the video that was smoothly playing in 720p, changed to 144p and got stuck. What an idea! Everything started to crumble and move around me when my neck cracked again. I was able to move it, when I saw all the contraptions of monitors and wheels closing into normalcy, with the pipe becoming a normal sewage line from an apparent choice/free-will displaying machine.

The “paan” fell on to the ground, tad poles started moving, love gazes and information got exchanged, when the dog completed its leap on me. I took a stone and smashed its head. It ran hither thither making other dogs run too. I got up to see the whole family of dogs running, when I saw the girl driving the splendor come into the street. The street was slowly being filled with the fruity fragrance as she drove past me, not realizing the magnitude of events that would have unfolded if not for my survival instincts to live had acted upon. This was the dichotomy. A potential mate for pleasures with some bruises or bites, or with no one and a perfect body. All interesting things happen to the man who takes up the wrong choices at the wrong times. Literature, Cinema, and poems come out of repentance of not taking up the right choices. I was a walking literature material. Shakespeare too wrote on tragedy, and tragedy is born out of wrong choices.

I met my friend, had a couple of cigarettes. We decided to go to a local bar, with extremely friendly waiters, and have a couple of beers before waiting to meet our working friend. I never told them about what happened to me on that afternoon. Nowadays, whenever I walk by huge pipes kept near roads, I look into to them hoping for some contraption to come out. Lizards and rats come out with their kids for their lunch. I walk away.

What is Wrong With Us

Women

A few days back, I was talking to a friend of mine. She was in quest of a place to stay, near her office.

She: My friends and I are looking for a house around this area. Would you help us in finding one ?

Me: What are you looking for, 2BHK or 3BHK ?

She: No, I am actually looking for PGs.

Me: Rented houses would be more comfortable than PGs. Why do you go for a PG ?

She: No, parents wouldn’t feel safe putting us in independent houses.

Why does an independent woman in an independent country feel unsafe to make a living.

Whats wrong with us ?

A few excerpts from the official statements made by socially accepted individuals.

“The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities; we should regard the female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness.”

“When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her sexual organs.”

“Direct thought is not an attribute of femininity. In this, woman is now centuries … behind men.”

“If rape is inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

“The poor fellows, three of them have been sentenced to death. Should rape cases lead to hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes. Two or three have been given the death sentence in Mumbai. We will try and change such laws…we will also ensure punishment of those who report false cases.”

“Hindu women should have between four and ten children”

“Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark. They should ensure that they do not board buses with few passengers. The woman should have thought twice before boarding the suspicious private bus that night. Though the incident was condemn-able, she should also have behaved keeping in mind the situation. Although it [Delhi gang-rape] was a minor incident, Soniaji made it a point to meet the protesters when they called on her.”

“Pakistan’s powerful Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has passed a draft proposal for a bill which recommends that “husbands must be allowed to lightly beat their wives” in case the later behaves erratically.”

Ain’t equality a birthright of every individual ?

What’s wrong with us ?

From the advent of civilization, we have collectively taken a hypocritical stand in one aspect, which is prejudice against a sexually dimorphic human species. Our rivers are named after women, our Vedas insist the parents to gift their daughters the intellect and the power of knowledge before she gets married, our customary practices reiterate women to light the lamps for Agni to symbolize the absence of darkness and grief, and the very same custom was cool with pushing a widowed woman into the same Agni.

The same hypocrisy still exists in our everyday life.

Those “Don’t cry like a girl.” provokes from the elders, those “ Are you a girl ? Won’t you come outside and play with us” taunts from your seniors, those ” Girls will marry and go, you should work hard to get settled” free advice from the entire world.

Those “She has a good hand writing and ability to mug up” lame excuses we tell our parents when the girl next door scores better than us.

If a Woman voices her opinion call her a “Slut” , If a woman is successful call her a “Witch“, If husband fails in his business, call his wife “Unlucky“, above all if a girl refuses to accept your proposal, “Strew acid at her” or lest “Kill not just her but also her character“.

Ain’t Gender difference a matter of chromosome ?

What’s wrong with us ?

In a society where still a girl’s dress speaks about her character, the caste flashes first in the headlines instead of the fact that a girl was raped, the concept of Consensual Sex is worth unmentioned.

Equality shouldn’t stop with drafting just a bill. It should be in the very essence of society, right from “building toilets in motels where men find open ground to pee and women are left with just two choices; One is to go in search of darker places or lest control the advances of kidney” to “treating a woman with good will not because she is a woman but an individual”.

Respect a woman not because you have a mother or a sister. Respect her for the person she portrays.

Misogyny is no less shittier than racism.

How Technology Has Changed Over Time?

tech

‘Mom…! Hurry up, dad is online.’ It was a typical morning for the Dunst household. Mr Dunst is a war soldier and his family is in Oregon.

Well, isn’t it fascinating just to realise that despite of being miles apart, you can talk to anyone at any given time? Not just that, you can keep a complete track of your loved ones, exchange gifts, send them money and what not. Living in 21st century, I tell you… It has definitely made the world closer and smaller.

Technology, a word covering decades of transformation and revolution. I remember my dad’s first cellular phone in the 90s… A thick metal box like walkie-talkie device, an antenna sticking out of it, adding a bomb sum to the bill every time he made a call. Today, he has his world captured in his ultra-slim smart phone.

Over the past couple of years, we have seen times which children of today’s generation will even find hard to believe. Will your 8 year old nephew believe that you had to stand in queues for hours together just to book tickets for a family holiday which you all plan to go 3 months later? Today, it is just a click away. A play of buttons and you can have a virtual tour of your favourite city, turn on the air conditioner in your home or even learn how to make a robot.

The first mobile phone would cost almost $200 (and that was a lot to pay in those days) and you could only make or receive calls. In the late 80s, the SMS generated a new wave and made communication easier. Gradually, the mobile phone prices started declining too. As we entered the 90s, technology turned new stones over every passing year. The phones had features like videos recording, coloured screens and voice messages. Late 90s brought in the internet which took the world by a storm and then nothing could ever stop it. Looking at the way technology is pacing, the day is not far to see the advances in your favourite Hollywood film turn into something real and a business of day-to-day life.

These phones have become extremely easy-to-operate. In fact, children these days know them better than their parents.

Today, the buttons of those QWERTY keypads have been replaced by bright glare free, shatterproof, scratch resistant touch screens and more software have made space in these technological wonders. Now, you can have the best of the technical world for the cheapest price.

Today, a smart phone can detect your blood sugar, be your best guide with GPS, remind of the oodles of calories you had throughout the day and a lot more. Google, the most widely used web portal or the IOS, the most advanced operating system, various networking and operating systems have made life a lot smoother.

The next generation of smartphones is going to be context-based and aware due to the physical sensors and data exchange options. These phones will start keeping track of your personal data, yet adapt to the information you will need based on your search history. New applications and new kind of phones. The world is already obsessing over Pokémon Go’s augmented reality innovation. More is yet to come. Android Nougat, Allo and Duo, new iPhone in the making… Phew! The list is long.

An array of mobile applications of almost everything you can imagine, just like a piece of cake… This reminds me, I need to order online, a cake and a bouquet for my mom… Good day, folks.

People’s Opinion on Terrorism

Merin is a school teacher who worked in a school for disadvantaged in a state in southern India. A soft-hearted woman of not so bold characteristics. One of her close associates happens to be a potential recruiter for terrorist outfits particularly the ISIS. Radicalization happens. Merin along with the other radicalized mates vanish, travel to Colombo from where they fly to Iran where ISIS operates in camps. They would join the ISIS forces at Syria. Now the world has one more extremist to bother about.

Boko Haram of Nigeria, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al-Qaeda and more and more. Human life to these terrorist outfits is a torn chocolate wrapper. They can’t go about their life without tearing it and they do it without a second thought. In 1945, post the end of second world war, about 50 nations united to establish United Nations Organization. Since then world wars are forgotten reminders of uncontrollable extremism. Just when world nations thought they are free of civil wars, extremist outfits like these have risen to authority.

Beyond the control of world nations, world leaders, defence forces, these organizations operate with sufficient funding, radicalizing people. Since 2013 more than half a million people have been killed and 2.1 million people have fled Syria. European countries are facing severe refugee crisis. People who once were of dignified cadre in Syria now wash dishes in Belgium. The crisis is looming too large to be controlled. News that the Iraqi army busted ISIS from the province of Fallujah was a relief medicine. Retrieval of just that one province has been a tough task. Such is the enormity of ISIS.

While so much atrocity is being committed by these outfits, majority of the world nations are joining hands to tackle terrorist and extremist groups and some day there is going to be an end.

We at The Opinion spoke to a few wonderful opinionators asking their thoughts on Terrorism. Read what others like you had to say.

Ganesh R

GANESH R

I would like to start with a small snippet of how an infamous terrorist organization got into existence.

“In 1979, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to fight against a rebel group who called themselves as Mujahideens. These insurgent groups inturn gets funded by United States and few Arab monarchies. Few started to see this war as a religious struggle. Many young men both the educated and the uneducated flock towards Afghanistan to join this holy struggle. This sows the seeds of extremism in them. Among them two notable persons were a well educated rich man named Osama Bin Laden and a petty criminal named Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. After 10 years Soviet troops withdrew. Now Bin Laden grew his troops successfully called as Al Qaeda, unlike Zarqawi. Now both return to Afghanistan, Al Qaeda lauches the most gruesome attack on September 2001. This sparks the US to invade Afghanistan. Bin Laden flees to Pakistan and Zarqawi flees to Iraq. In 2003 US invades Iraq putting an end to Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.Many unemployed Iraqi soldiers join the Insurgency. Many Jihadists across the middle east join this insurgency thinking that yet another Holy war has begun. Zarqawi deliberately attacks Shia sparking a Civil War between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Now in 2004 a weakend AL Qaeda forms an alliance Zarqawi which led to the formation of a militant group called Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Soon US executes Zarqawi in an air strike and withdrew its troops.

Now when all looks safe and stable in Iraq, an Arab Spring spreads across the Middle East. The dictator of Syria Bashar Al-Assad releases Jihadists from prison to tackle both the rebels and the foreign governments that will supposedly fund them. Now the remains of AQI in Iraq reforms themselves into a more severe militant group called Islamic State in Iraq. They start a new Al Qaeda branch in Syria to support rebels and meanwhile recruits other Jihadists from Iraq prisons and also new ones. ISI gets bigger and bigger and spreading into Syria eventually becoming ISIS. Their goals and gruesome activities are needles to say.”

Thanks for reading the most cloddish story ever told. Well that’s what terrorism is. Well I do not mean to say ISIS is the only terrorist group in the whole world. There are many other insurgent groups voicing their claims in the most extremist ways. Terrorsim wouldn’t stop unless you stop participating in it. The snippet elucidated it to finest of perfection, and I leave it utterly to the reader’s perception on who should be held responsible for the rise of this most infamous Terrorist group. According to me, Terrorism is a highly cumbersome method of meeting the needs of one part of a community at the cost of the rest.

Going back to the Organic way of lifestyle is good, giving back to the society is welcoming, but rolling back to the barbaric way of making a living is completely unaccecptable.
And never dare to take a life for granted.

Bhargavi Ramesh

BHARGAVI RAMESH

Terrorism has been the one phenomenon that has held this world in a tight grip time and again. Right from the occasional shoot outs that appear on the news to the well planned terror attacks on cities, everything has instilled a fear in us. Countless super powers, with the notion to conquer and to grow in power, have bombed and invaded several cities and countries that they feel would help them strategically. Many of the countries in the world, especially the developing and the under-developed countries are still under serious threat.

Everything said and done, one question has arisen at this moment. Why the sudden increase in these types of incidences? Why is the media filled with so many of these incidences than it was there before? Is it because the number of attacks have increased over the years or is it because the media has finally got the “freedom of speech and expression”, like it is put? So many questions have been left unanswered and the search for the reason still continues.

Nations have become vigilant about the rising situation and are trying ways by which they can curb this at the roots. Few of these incidences seem to have a political vendetta behind it and few seem to rise out of personal interests of an individual. The sudden burst in the number of news articles that have been doing the rounds about terrorism and shoot outs are, just an opinion from my side, a result of the cry for people from people who are weak to take the actions on their own. In the end, all the efforts to build a better world by those who consider themselves to be higher in power would be to no use, if they cannot tackle the unrest that is stirring up. It is high time that the “super powers” wake up and attend to the calls of those who need help or sadly watch as the world goes to the dumps.

IMG-20160728-WA0008

PREET

When I was asked to write this piece on the surge in terrorism, the first thought I had was “Is there even a surge in terrorism or just in the conversation about it?”
And so I checked. Statistics, and charts, and graphs. And I found the strangest thing. We are actually at the lowest point in the graph of terror attacks since the ’40s, them having peaked in the late ’70s and the early ’90s. The graph reads the same way the world over.

The reason, I believe, we feel terrorism has risen is plainly because terror is peaking. While there are fewer attacks, they often catch us underprepared at best and the death toll rockets. The sophistication of terror attacks is worrisome but what is scarier is that today, an average terrorist could have had an ivy league education.

When the world’s image or who is attacking them goes from being that of a cattle herder with strong religious beliefs and a gun in his hand with little or no education, to a regular corporate slave riding the bus alongside them and bitching about the government, living a life seeming just as mundane as theirs, it scares the living daylights out of them.

The deaths have rocketed and the attacks have surpassed in more ways than one whatever strategies the governments had once devised to deal with terrorists but never evolved. Terrorism is growing into an industry of the elite, albeit without a trace of morality and the people in charge of the world must take stock of where we stand and evolve. Fast.

Anirudh

ANIRUDH M

Terrorism must be uprooted at all costs, has been the motto of the world from the beginning of this millennium. Hunting down and killing prominent heads of terrorist organisations has been nothing but miniscule victories in our “war on terror”. I consider these moves, as acts of revenge and not an inch in the direction to eradicate terrorism. ‘Elimination by destruction’ may be found true in the case of weeds and not people. As long as their ideology lives, there is always a cause for people to take up arms and fight for it. Though not always, but more often isolation, boredom, loneliness, absence of healthy social interaction and the urge to do something useful and ‘heroic’ in their life has pushed teens and pre-teens to join these organisations, by accepting the cause they represent. A sample of interviews of ISIS extremists by Quantum Communication says there were ‘thrill and status seekers’ among others fighting the Assad regime.

So what could possibly help us keep a tab on their growth? I think any sort of offensive attempt would only wash off the surface and does not aim to resolve their cause. And asking the countries to stop using ‘gun for a gun’ would be superficial.

In my opinion, lack of awareness of their history is the primary cause. When we get to read history which is not politically polarized, which is rare to find, we know what gave rise to terrorist organisations.

Anyone whose reasoning ability is clouded becomes an easy victim.So, as long as stories from each side arise to justify their causes, the fight will continue.

May the true story win!

MONICA MADAN PAUL

“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” That is only a subtle way of putting it. “Terrorism.” What we commoners visualize as brutality is the survival ethics for terrorists. There comes the rift between us. I just mentioned it again, them and us. We have been stuck this way for more than ‘a while,’ if we could call it that. It’s the fury of ‘them’ unleashed upon ‘us’. It’s not about pointing the accused or the victim because it differs from eye to eye. ‘Them’ trying to bring in a change by wrecking colossal havoc on ‘us’ is exactly the opposite of their cause.

How do you aim to voice out your cries by evoking more cries from the other side?

The balance is crippled here, so is their cause. Centuries may pass but the balance wouldn’t be achieved if this persists. It’s a pity that ‘their’ belief will be their doom.

What do you think of terrorism? Comment below to get the world into opinionated discussion.