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.

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.

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.

Letter to My Ex-Best Friend

Friend

Dear Ex-best friend,

Yes, I called you that! 2 years ago if someone had told us that this would have been our future, they would have received a punch on their face. But today, here we are embracing the harsh truth of reality.

Today morning on my way to the office I saw three kids engrossed in a conversation, which I couldn’t help eavesdrop. They were crazy, they had the same amount of craziness that we once had. And, then it struck me maybe somewhere we did not take enough efforts to save our friendship. We went to the same college, the same office and then what happened? Something went a different way. We did not mind balancing things. And that’s how three became two.

I wish I could say I miss you, but I don’t! Strange that I just said that, but I really don’t. Given that, I sometimes stalk your facebook profile to see how you’re doing. And, I see you with all your new friends in a far off land and then I realized that it really doesn’t matter to me who you are with anymore. Because you’re not that girl who urged me to bunk classes with you, you are not that trouble maker for whom I would do anything. You are now this whole new person now, the one I really don’t know.

You have changed so much, so much that I am really finding it hard to recognize the new person that you have become. Everything inside you has turned into plastic. You have changed so much that you wouldn’t even tell me that you were leaving town.

When was the last time we spoke? I still remember the phase of our life where we couldn’t go a day without exchanging as much as a pointless text. So much has happened since we last talked and I’ve wanted to tell you about it all, but you’re no longer the person you promised you would be.

Do you even understand how any of this feels? We were supposed to be friends for eternity, we were supposed to be planning my wedding together. We were supposed to go on a world tour together. We were supposed to torture and haunt people together. We were supposed to be making memories. Instead, you are somewhere and I’m here trying to avoid  people who ask me why things are not like before.

It sometimes drives me crazy to know that all these years of our friendship meant nothing to you. All the vows that we took have become nothing but words. I wouldn’t forgive you for that. Not today, not any day. We both had to choose a path in our lives and I wish mine never intersects yours. Not anymore!

Not hate, not love either,

Me

Mother (Women) India

women

Disclaimer: Not for or against to whomsoever it may concern.

“Thaaye un peyar sollumbodhe idhayathil mellisai paayudhey…” goes the lyric of a famous song about India. But the topic in discussion is nothing related to the inspirational and eternal history of the country, rather it is about the part of the society whose pronoun is used to address the country as a whole. While ‘Mother India’ or ‘Bharat Maatha’ is beginning to lose her value across the world, the ‘mothers’ and ‘maathas’ in the country have never been valued, let alone losing it. The appreciation and salutations of women have been restricted only to literature.

Hitler quoted, “Women are nothing but child-bearing machines!”. Here, the basic difference between an average Indian male and Hitler is that Hitler was brave enough to tell it out. Even in mythologies and History, the ladies who were described to be ‘powerful’ were more or less inferior to one male or another. Kannagi burnt a whole city, but she was helpless when she came to know her husband had a secret affair. So why are women projected weaker than a man? The answer is very simple, Indian society is male-chauvinistic!

When the Government announced a 33% reservation for women a couple of years back, it was a surprise for people all over the country because, we people, in our head never believed that a woman would not dare get into public and handle power. But the bitter truth is that for a decade now, even in Board exams, the percentage of girls clearing it, is more than that of the boys! And then suddenly, the country began to encourage (or more precisely, ‘hyped’) the female society. In every field, may it be sports, politics, research and even cinema, females were given more importance. This was and is the problem of our country, we either over-rate something (or someone) or under-rate them.

Old, conservative country was drastically replaced by a newer and more modern country (only physically). Women were made to wear ‘exotic’ and sexier attires to make others believe they were no less to a man (‘lesser’, attires to be more precise.) This change was accepted only by certain parts of the society. Entertainment industry and politics used it as a strategy to gain familiarity. But, middle and lower middle class found it hard to accept.

Even now, though women are given equal importance in education, the crime against women has constantly been rising. The famous ‘Nirbhaya’ and ‘Swathi’ incidents were just a sample of what’s happening in the country for many centuries now. It’s of no use talking about development and empowerment when the very existence of a part of the society is questionable.

This violence against women can be minimized only by strict laws and instant justice. That said, it is only in people’s hands to bring about a change, however trivial and philosophical it may sound.

Again, not all men in the society are cruel or evil, but then, there is a theory in statistics which states ‘The behavior of a population can be determined from its samples’ and the samples we choose determine the society. Respect the other gender and you’re already pronouncing the ‘D’ of Development!

Selfless Souls

Plato and Aristotle

Over the years, we have had one or many favorite teachers at a point of time. Even if we get stuck in an asylum-like college, there will always be one life-saving, cool teacher who instantly becomes our favorite. If you haven’t had one yet, wait-for-it.

But in all honesty, how much do we know about these people? To be honest, not much. Of course we get to know about some of their family issues now and then via some of the honest, rambling teachers. But do we really understand their feelings?

We pass out of our respective schools or colleges, partying with our friends, celebrating with our beloved parents, make the customary phone calls to relatives we meet only during family functions or reunions, but we don’t bother to even make an effort to go see the teachers who played a big part in what we are today.

We may make fun of them, criticize them and even go to an extent where we swear at them. But like it or not, we are indebted to them in some way or other. I consider imbibing knowledge in others as a godly deed. They may fail to impress you at times, but be reminded that at some point of time they taught us something. It may have been somethingwe should follow or an example of what we shouldn’t become.

I remember when I was a little boy, one of my school teachers once saying these exact words when I refused to listen to him, “You will become a teacher, this is my curse!” in a funny way of course. Although it tickled my funny bone back then, but now I understand the depth of what he said. We will never know what they go through unless we are in their position.

Why am I writing this all of a sudden you ask?

This was called for again by one of my teachers. First day of a new semester in college and I sat as usual waiting for the new teacher to arrive. He did eventually and asked us about our performance in the finals. The mundane “Not bad sir” echoed across the classroom. He then asked us if any one of us went to the respective teachers to tell them how he/she had done or informed about the results. As expected the answer was a big fat zero.

He sighed deeply and said the words which prompted this outburst of mine, “We don’t expect you to come meet us with large sweet boxes or ask for parties. All we expect is a small conversation telling us about how you fared, be it good or bad. We don’t expect a thank you. We just hope you remember us after we part ways, academically.”

Although he said all this with a small smile on his face, there was genuine pain in his words. So next time you finish an exam, go meet those selfless souls, it will definitely make their day.

I would like to quote Alexander the great here,

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”

And do you know who his teacher was? The great philosopher, Aristotle.

Nothing is Breaching The Constitutional Code of Conduct

right to free speech

A major chunk of Indian citizens are unaware of the Fundamental Rights that they are entitled to. Most don’t even know the existence of Fundamental Rights. I doubt even if 999 people of 1000 have gone through The Preamble to the Constitution, let alone The Constitution of India. What’s ironical is that an extensive collection of only those of 999 go on protests and least foolishly put up Facebook statuses that are never going to be heard. And ironically only those 999 people talk about politics being “dirty-man’s-den”. There is so much cliche about politics in India. Some day I would like to talk about the common notion about Indian politics. This introductory passage is nothing much in sync with what this article is about, however it is healthy rant against those 999. The little sync is in my reference to The Constitution of India.

It takes much pain, pressure, support, diplomatic power and unending support from people to change the law. It takes more of the above said to amend a constitutional right. The Jan Lokpal Bill’s failure to be passed in parliament is a perfect example of it. We believe we have a strong Constitution framed. I don’t doubt it.

“Udta Punjab” and Anurag Kashyap have been under scanner for a while now, so is “Iraivi” and Karthik Subburaj. The Mumbai High Court cleared the former with just 1 cut and “A” certificate. When I tried to research if what Anurag is undergoing is constitutionally fair, I extensively had to scratch my hair to baldness to completely understand the ever charming, ever controversial and never ending idea of “Right to Freedom of Speech & Expression”. I am no voice of people. Any thing I say can spark controversies. I am now not going to conclude anything about this fundamental right. But I still hold the “Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression”. So let me continue.

“Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression” has been the most intricate of Fundamental Rights that an Indian can hold according to the Constitution of India. You seem to understand it for a minute but it ditches you the next minute and takes a different stand. It is distinctly exercised among the world nations. A glance through the “Article 19” of the Constitution of India would tell you this. ↓

Article 19

All Indians are free to express anything of their interest unless it doesn’t affect an existing or to be made law, unless it is a threat to the state in some form of the other, public order or unless it is against decency and morality and of course the most important of it unless it doesn’t defame someone. Udta Punjab probably does nothing. Iraivi is out of question.

While we talk of cinema it pains to talk about people like M.M.Kalburgi and Govind Pansare who were brutally murdered while they were only exercising their fundamental constitutional right. They did not affect law, did not agitate public order, did not defame anyone nor did they go against morality. “Right to Freedom of Expression” also gives “Right to Protest”, which is indeed right to talk, write and go against something. All of this is Fundamental Constitutional Right.

But take the case of Aseem Trivedi, he was arrested for drawing a cartoon that depicts the parliament building as a western style washroom closet and a toilet paper rolling besides it. What does it do? It defames the parliament. At least that was what the reason he was arrested. On one side it is of course an act of sedition. Parliament is a common entity. Common to any Indian, so are the national emblem, national flag and entities of that sort. Poking fun of this common entity that is supposed to be the pride of India can of course be charged with sedition. A lot of people argue that it quashes the “Freedom of Speech and Expression”. We cannot deny. However going by Constitution of India, it is an offence.

If you can’t talk what is supposed to be right, then talk what is written as right. If you can’t talk what is written as right, try to make it right. When you can’t make it right, live by what is written as right.

Eventually what is common matters. The law is common. The Constitution is common. It matters. Change it or live by it.

 

Patience is a virtue

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A popular liquid hand-wash brand promises to kill germs within 10 seconds. 10 seconds? A speech bubble popped up-”Why? Am I going to turn into an alien thereafter?” I shared this thought with my friend but he argued that given our hectic lives, time wasted in these trivial activities such as washing hands, could be spent better. But are we really that conscious about spending our time wisely?

In our country everybody wants everything done, instantly. For example, take the clichéd case of a government office. We want our job to be finished instantly, so we bribe the official. But we never realize that there are thousands of people just like us who want the same job done, and have bribed the same official. So due to our lack of patience we end up corrupting the entire system and still get the same slow result. These days, at government offices, people rarely ask what forms to fill up, or what are the eligibility criterias, rather they ask “How much should we pay to get this job done?” We have to understand that all government processes take time; primarily due to our country’s overwhelming population and of course, depending on the process everything has certain formalities and a time frame. For instance, if we require a passport, we have to mandatorily fill in our details and wait patiently for the policemen to complete the verification. We really must be smart enough to apply for the passport well in advance and not apply just before a few days from when it’s required. Realize this, and corruption in our country will be a thing our children might study as a part of history.

Hastiness is another alarming trend growing throughout our country. This is a spin-off from the above mentioned ‘instant results’ culture. On this note, I would like to share my recent experience on road. The signal was red. It was about to turn green, with the timer indicating that there were 5 more seconds left. Suddenly, a guy in a two-wheeler with his son as pillion accelerated and raced off! I hadn’t even blinked, when I saw the others racing off as well. A mix of emotions surfaced. “What if a vehicle from the other side, hit them?” ran as an infinite loop within me. I went home and reflected upon the incident again. Another speech bubble popped up-“What on earth was he going to do, in those five seconds?” I realized how hasty, people (even the so called grown-ups) were. In spite-of endless warnings that ignoring traffic rules could lead to death, we are begging fate, to add us to the list of tomorrow’s obituaries. We not just cause danger to our lives, but to those who are proper as well. We never think of the guy from the other side that got hit because he followed the rules. Why should a guy who has obeyed all the rules get hurt for no fault of his? Is it because we didn’t have the patience to wait for 5 seconds? Just imagine how harsh it would be on him.

In the end all of this comes to a simple, but a very effective quality- Patience. Ask yourselves, “Are we really such time conscious workers? Do we really have so much to do, that we don’t have even mere seconds of spare time?”  After all, we’re from a society, which wants working hours in companies to be reduced to six hours, based on a survey which says such revised timings improve the quality of work. While in contrast, there are people in countries like Japan, who work 60 hours a week. This doesn’t mean we’ve to do everything patiently; we just need to prioritize better. Yes, some things like paying income taxes, periodic vaccinations, paying your insurance premiums and so on, need to be done instantly. Stop saying “I don’t have time!” when in reality, our lack of proper time management skills is the problem. So the next time you make a decision, always keep in mind that patience is a virtue. Remember, you needn’t always have to be the one, to do it first. Sometimes, it is enough if you be the one, to do it right.

 

The Ultimate Experience

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One has to experience at least some amount of sadness to get a real experience of happiness.

Yes you read that right!

It is not possible to stay gleeful and satisfied at all times. Neither are your woes permanent! Just like it takes a vacillating mind to come up with most innovative ideas, it takes a broken heart to understand the self and realize the feeling of absolute pleasure or delight.

What is sadness?

Sadness is an emotional state of being which tends to highly demotivate a person and create a state of imbalance in the mind. It is a feeling that affects everyone.

There might be several reasons for the cause of unhappiness. Scientific studies reveal that only a single particular part of the brain (left pre-frontal cortex) is affected when a person is depressed. And it is this, which is responsible for one of the most commonly experienced emotions which are caused mostly by the mundane activities revolving around an individual’s life. There could be several reasons to this; burden of responsibility, anxiety and strenuous working or living environments.

Life has many ups and downs. A flat line in an ECG isn’t the one that indicates life, it’s the zigzag line that does. Similarly it is these ups and downs are the ones that help a person to evolve. Sadness and pessimistic feelings are not permanent. They are just essential.

People always interpret grief as highly negative thought. It is actually that part of the emotion that induces a sense of awareness in one’s life. Now you might argue that this an insane thought but I feel that it’s a necessary evil.

Take pessimistic people as examples. Since they tend to consider and expect the worst possible result in everything they do, they are better prepared to handle the outcomes of any scenario, no matter how severe it is. The mind is well prepared to take a fall. Now, imagine the feeling or emotion of a person who has expected the worst and has got a good or slightly moderate outcome. Pessimists are in a much better and mentally stable state than others who have the anxiety of failure, because they are already prepared for the extreme outcomes. Hence, it is always better to consider the glass of water as “half-empty” rather than “half-filled”.

The experience of happiness by a dejected person is almost similar to a man who has lost his way and has discovered a city. Imagine the intensity of joy and relief one would experience.

Thus, rather than being in a happy state always (which is actually not possible all the time in a real life!), a state of sadness can help a person retrospect, think and be better prepared for anything that may not go their way.

The most colourful rainbow appears only after the fiercest thunderstorms.

So, shed some tears, embrace the agony, let go of your inner ego and pick yourself from the ground to experience what it is like to have undergone all this and finally get the true sense of composure and joy.