Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Father the Mighty

The mountain my father he is
Who shelters and protects
And exposes me to every danger
With parental grace.

He inspires me strength to face risks
And sense to pull my wits
He whispers of uneven weather and
Holds it till my destination.

He blocks the cloud and
Brings down the rain to serve
The trees and animals and me
Big heart he is my father the mighty.

He adorns himself in multi colour
Every time I come along
He wants me to return often
With promise of gaiety and sunshine.

Bo too loves him a lot to
Keep coming back to the hardship
This relationship is a secret one
Between me and my father the mighty.

Islam Baiting

Some pseudo-wise man in America makes a provocative video and sarcastically names it ‘Innocence of Muslims’ and immediately as if on cue the entire Muslim world dances with rage. Joining the fun and enjoying the desperation of the Muslims another one such wise guy makes some more cartoons in France. The Muslims are now going red beyond rage, but can very well see that the Christians are playing with them. The earlier Denmark cartoonist must be grinning widely on all his 32 teeth. The more the Muslims will agitate, the more the Christians will continue to poke fun. I guess Muslims and Christians share a great love for each other. They can’t live without each other. Otherwise there is no justifiable reason why one purposely provokes the other and the other gets provoked knowing fully well the intention and the consequence. It is said that love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Greater the love; greater is the hate. If there was no love there would not have been any hate. That makes the Muslims the greatest lovers on earth because there is always a simmering tension between the Hindus and Muslims in India as well.

On a serious note, I would say that both the groups are wrong and are being immature. One group uses the phrase ‘freedom of expression’ to say and get away with insults.  It is their sophisticated manner of expressing their anger. Since their civilization has evolved to a level that murder is looked down upon, they resort to ridicule. As they say, the pen is mightier than the sword. The other side is more basic and simplistic in their emotions and expression, shying away from sophistication and diplomacy and where killing is the ultimate way to resolve a dispute. Both the sides get angry very fast and react only to hurt. Both sides do not actually believe in God, do not respect and love God, inspite of arguments purported to the contrary.

Communal baiting has for centuries been seen all around the globe. It portrays the culture of groupism the propagation of a homogenous population which sees and does things in a common fashion and therefore results in reduced levels of survival related fears and tensions. To survive with safety and comfort has always been the basic instincts of humans and strength is always in the numbers. Any attempt to break this logic accentuates the fear and is therefore not tolerated. However as evolution progressed humans have learnt and realized that individual freedom is also possible and can be placed on the same pedestal as community freedom. But sadly some people have still not evolved.

For one group I would say that the term ‘freedom of expression’ is meant to allow the voice of the weak to be heard, against the atrocities of the powerful. It is not meant for hurting with an intention to hurt, especially when there is no ground to justify the resultant hurt. When the purpose is to ridicule, the idea of freedom of expression should be used wisely, lest someone else takes advantage of it and use it against them. Jesus has said to do onto others what you would want them to do onto you. Secondly the need to ridicule arises because of a feeling of superiority and inferiority on either side.  In a globalized world where man is dependent on each other for the survival of human race, who is superior and who is inferior? If nature wanted it so, then someone would have been born with an extra pair of arms.

For the other group I would suggest to look inwards, introspect. What is there to lose? Is the faith so fragile that a mere insult can destroy it? In India we say, when the Elephant walks the Dogs always bark, but that does not affect the Elephant. It has faith in itself and its strength. When the hurt community agitates and attacks the offender community, they end up giving too much importance to them as well as make them look justified, which is much unwarranted. To react to provocation and agitate betrays a sense of inherent weakness instead of any strength. Rather to ignore such irrational provocation would make the perpetrators look foolish as they really are. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A take on current affairs

The struggle going on in India these days is the attempt by citizens towards the preservation of the existing structure and form of living as against the unknown structure of the future. The past and its traditions have been overthrown by the generation born after independence. This generation has grown up without any baggage of rules and culture in a new country trying to find its feet and match steps with the rest of the world. Corruption has now come to be accepted as a national cancer; malice with no cure. The scams (2G telecom, Common wealth games, Coal blocks, etc.) that are being reported in the media these days do not strike any cord of a sense of national shame anymore, but rather has become a spectacle to laugh at those who were not smart enough to cover their steps properly and foolishly got caught. The current commercial philosophy is, ‘steal since you must but don’t get labeled as one’. Of course a fair proportion of the obnoxious remuneration doled to top corporate executives is meant to ensure that both the organisation and the individual escape entrapment. But when one looks at the country as a whole, to maintain material growth in the economy, which is also a so-called democracy, with multiple variation of population pulling in diverse directions, requires both blind faith and raw guts. The past decade has been spent in learning from mistakes and trying to placate political friends and foes with various arguments and theories as well as horse trading. Now once again the country charts ahead with bold moves concerning foreign direct investment and aiming to woo internationally floating capital funds which is expected to stimulate material growth and lift people out of poverty. These moves have once again raised the cacophony which forecast a bleak future and enslavement by some quarters. The central government is now however committed on moving into an unknown future because prolonged discussion and debate on this subject have yielded no single common perception.

My personal take on permitting FDI into retail trade is that it will benefit both the consumer and the producer and will wipe out the existing middlemen. These middlemen who are basically traders and hoarders and contribute mainly towards cost escalation and inflation will now have to search for new occupation. The ill effect would be that cheap foreign products will swamp the market place too. The consumers will have to decide judiciously on which product to buy that which will help the national cause.

On the side, the double talk of one of the political parties was also exposed in the past few weeks. The Lokpal bill of Anna Hazare was being opposed tooth and nail by the political party on the ground that the Parliament alone has the right to debate and decide, that the Parliament is supreme, and that after a proper debate on its pros and cons inside the Parliament the Lokpal Bill would be passed. Now all of a sudden there is a change in strategy and the political party thinks that a debate on the Coal blocks allocation scam inside the Parliament would only dilute the seriousness of the charges and the pages of newsprint is the appropriate place to fight this out. Politics is indeed a slippery path.