Truth?Or Lies?

One of my favorite ways to pass time is to go over to the TED app on my iPad and watch speech after speech.Today I stumbled across this speech by this courageous woman who fled from North Korea.This post however is not on her escape neither on the problems of North Korea.The first minute of her speech got me thinking about an entirely different topic.On how where we are brought up and what we read in our books or rather what is fed to us through them determines what we think about historical events or personalities.

Somehow I started thinking about Operation Bluestar.With two sentences, the lady had made me doubt my Political Science book. I don’t think that this incident was written in a blatantly pro-government, or pro-Indira Gandhi way in my textbook, but was it tilted towards supporting Indira Gandhi’s Operation? Did my textbook gloss over the torture and killings of the Sikhs? Have I learned about the political history of my country from a very biased point of view?

I remember reading how history is always written from the point of view of the victors. I have always been aware that the history of the same place, same incident, written by two different people or two different governments, will probably be very different. I have always known that the Pakistani textbooks talk about the Partition in a different way than the Indian textbooks. But this impersonal knowledge had never struck home. I had never made the connection that the things I studied in school, what I was taught, might be biased and inaccurate. What in the history of my country has been deliberately left out of the school textbooks and what deliberately written wrong? How much of the true happenings do I really know?
We’re all so used to hearing only about the good in Gandhiji and Nehru; when have we ever heard about the bad?

Isn’t it time we stop glossing over the uncomfortable truths of our history?

Shame On Us

“Guwahati’s Shame”
That’s the tagline going around in electronic & print media after the shocking molestation of the teenaged girl in a busy thoroughfare of the city.
It’s a shame for any and everyone of our country.
Being originally from Guwahati,I was as stunned as I was outraged on seeing the visuals.
Knives are ofcourse out on the city police for late action.I,however,wouldn’t like to focus on that issue.
What I am ashamed of is the reaction of the bystanders.Despite so many people standing around,only three came forward to support the girl.Even more outrageous,some took out mobile phones and started recording the brawl.As I said, I was stunned.This is not the Guwahati I know.How are these scoundrels any less guilty then the eleven who molested the girl?
Has the average Indian lost the courage to take a stand?Why couldn’t the bystanders do something to stop such an outrage,to save the girl?Or,are they just as immoral as the perpetrators?

Sad as it is,but we seem to live in a country where the character of a girl is decided by if or not she goes to a partying,if or not she goes to a pub.
Remember Pramod Muttalik and his gang of clowns in Mangalore?The panchayat(‘Talibans’ would describe them better) of Baghpat in UP?
Just shows that at least in one field, equality shines in India.
Shame on us.
It’s time we do some soul-searching.It really is.

Darling,how could you do this to me!

A friend of mine,a good one at that has been ditched by his ladylove.If you ask me it was about time anyway-they have been together for the last FIVE years!
But,I sympathize with the poor guy,though when I see how hard he’s making this for himself,all sympathies tend to evaporate.

I might sound like a preacher,but thing is,you don’t make your life living hell just because a girl,who doesn’t give one hoot,let alone two,has decided to torment another wretched soul is not done.Just not done.

I will give you a scenario to put things into perspective. It’s a bit ‘improper’,but these are bad times,so bear with me!
A man is walking down the road wearing,let’s say shorts.The shorts suddenly decide to give in to gravity and promptly fall off.
Question is,what would a normal person do?
Hide his face in shame?
Sulk and start weeping?
Jump in front of a running car?
Nah…All he would do is pick up the stupid shorts, wear them,and move on as if nothing’s happened.
That,my friend,is the way to deal with things.Easier said then done,I know,but when something goes wrong,use the negative energy around you and try to make something positive out of it!
Live life,don’t run away from it.

Now, I am beginning to sound like a shrink,so bye!

Some Things Never Change

I had gone to the grocery store in our housing complex.Generally speaking,I am too lost in my own thoughts to listen to others,but today,call it my misfortune,I did.

(conversation was in Hindi,but I will translate.)
Customer 1-How are you Gopalsaab,hardly see you this days!
Customer 2-Arey nahi Anandji,just busy with work.
Customer 1-Aren’t we all,but thank god the Eid is on a monday this year,we can get a three day holiday.
Customer 2-Ah yes,but thank god,there are no Muslims in our complex,can you imagine the mess there would’ve been during Eid otherwise?That too,twice a year,haha!

I had by then paid the bill,and had no intention of hearing two fools speak nonsense,so came out.

Problem is it is very
easy to generalize, very
easy to typecast things. I know way too many Hindus who have no problem living in perfect harmony with Muslims…Same with the latter,most of them will live in perfect understanding with Hindus.However,like the two fools above,there’s also the set,on both sides of the spectrum, who pass judgements on a person based on his or her religion.A lot of Hindus have decided that all Muslims are like “that”. Same with a lot of Muslims.They have decided that India is not for them and they can’t progress in India or that they will always be
oppressed.
Sadly enough,we still have political parties who encourage this divide.My question is,aren’t the people to blame for this?If they had risen above religion,these parties would have shut shop for good.

But then I guess,somethings never change,and unfortunately the thinking and outlook of these scoundrels will never change.Period.
As one of my favourite novelists Tahmima Anam puts it,”There are no bad muslims and good muslims,there are bad people and good people.”
Likewise of course for Hindus,but who can explain that to the extremist idiots…

My lord,ARE YOU SURE?!

Yes.This is my first out and out rant.Hope it makes sense!The issue,dare I say, is explosive,so if you think I am wrong,please make sure I get an earful!

The Honourable Madras High Court recently passed the judgement that if a man calls his female colleague a ‘bitch’,then he would have committed an act of sexual harassment.You read it right.SEXUAL.
By the way,I wrote Madras and not Chennai,because I still don’t know why they changed the name.As Shakespeare would have said “What’s in a name?”But that’s another rant,another day.Let’s focus on the issue at hand.

I will make this clear from the outset,that in no way do I stand by the rascals who abuse women.I don’t.But hold on,sexual?Of course it’s a derogatory comment to make,who denies that?But does it fall under the purview of sexual crimes?I am sorry,but my small knowledge of the English language denies the motion.
I will raise a few points here-

1.A man calling his colleague a ‘bitch’ is an act of sexual harassment.Well and good.What if she, my dear reader,calls him a DOG?

2.What if she calls him the “son of a bitch”?But then I guess,that would mean a dog,so I have covered it in the first point.

3.What if one woman calls another a ‘bitch’?Will she be arrested for a SEXUAL crime too?

The most important point is why should a court of law have to step in?Today’s women are well capable of taking care of themselves.If she is abused in her workplace,99 times out of 100 she will fight back,and rightly so!Why should the Honourable Court waste time in passing senseless judgements when we have far more serious cases waiting for ages to be heard?

If someone abuses you using this specific word, make sure you pay him back on his own coin,but for God’s sake don’t call him a sexual offender.That would mean belittling the crimes of the real sexual offenders,if nothing else!

That’s it.