DO FOOD HABITS AFFECT CHARACTER FORMATION?


The other day the neighbor maid while sweeping the courtyard accidentally and unawares picked a snake mistaking it for some natural waste. Realizing  the reality she threw the wriggling thing instantaneously with a sharp shrill. It was 7’o clock and my wife was about to depart for her workplace.She turned around to hear the strident voice and took a cudgel to strike the snake. The snake was lying still on the ground as the rough ground was too uncomfortable for it to move on. I was in a quandary, whether to strike or not was the question pestering me. I snatched the cudgel from her and commanded her to leave .

It was there a matter of prestige and pride for me.If I did not strike then all my esteem and prestige would have vanished into the thin air.  My inner voice stood against killing any living being.The external pressure of circumstances, at last, had the last word. For the first time in my life I was about to kill a living thing.(exceptions:mosquito, ants,very small insects and micro-organisms)My mind was unwilling, hands shivering still circumstances trigger me to commit killing in cold blood. I struck with the cudgel right on the hood of he snake. There was no need of another thump. Its tail till wagged. I closely examined the being to know that It carried all the traits of viper.

As for me the event turned the morning rather a moody,murky one. The scene of the wagging tail, wide open mouth of the reptile really had made me sick. The sick mind was not just thanks to the ugliness of the being but comprehensively due to the compunction heaved from the empathy with another living being which also had felt the same pain (any human would have felt) when it was thumped with a cudgel.After all, why humans turn inimical to snakes.His very reflex action is but killing the poor being. In the instant case the reptile was lying on the ground helplessly trying to get out of the rough patches..the maid picking it up inadvertently…. It is striking that the reptile did not strike. In spite of all the curtsy it was mercilessly attacked and killed. Now I understand that mostly the cause of violence is fear. The snakes hiss, bite humans; the humans kills them at the very sight…all this conduct grounded on fear and prejudices.

By any standard killing a snake may be a trivial thing. But as for me it looked like a deviation from my real nature. I have been unacquainted with ways of violence. Nonviolence was there in my blood.Yes, the stress on AHIMSA has been there in my blood, handed down from generations..My mom,Dad,their parents and all their forefathers were supposed to be Swaathikas or good natured, nonviolent people.They were pure vegetarians too! Are we all good natured just because we are pure vegetarians? Are all the ill natured people are so just because they eat non vegetarian food? Does food effect character? If so things would have been easier to reform criminals! The reality is that the seed and the Terrain do equally contribute to the formation of character.I am a pure vegetarian, still I do not think that I am nonviolent to all living beings because of this. Conversely I am a vegetarian due to my nonviolent traits. I have been so from the seed, from the homely terrain. The fact may be that I hold firm to the view that I am part of the whole world, nay! the whole universe where every living being is uniquely entitled to its life and share of resources.It is not just the survival of the fittest…it is the survival of the fittest who can survive the mutations and adapt themselves to the new challenges. Those who cannot adapt will wither away to oblivion.The term ‘fittest’, therefore, cannot be equated with muscle power.

The killing of the snake and the surrounding thoughts have revisited my mind at the glimpse of the sad visage of my young daughter, Surya. She was stunned to see a the sad spectacle of a dying cat. The cat carried no bleeding injury. It was weak and  had limped upto her and then collapsed before her…She had to witness the demise of the cat.The sight had stirred her mind…The feeling of empathy rose high and there were tears in her eyes. After a few words of wisdom I could relieve her of the intense feeling of grief. I was happy to see that my daughter literally takes after me in showing empathy to all living beings as I had taken after all my forefathers. Conversely it is the powerful expression of moral courage. It is never a frailty. My vegetarianism too has deep roots into the soil of moral courage which activates me to choose nonviolent life in every respect, at any cost.

Hence he answer is that the inability is rooted in moral courage and not grounded on the ineptitude of cowardice.The moral courage not to commit violence or an offence which is harmful to other living beings is not there just because of one’s food habits. A person, a vegetarian, may be incapable of perpetrating physical violence on others; but at the same time he may be a person who has no qualms to mentally harass others and that he may have no scruple to commit any sin. Food habits have, therefore, no role in evolving one’s character. The three forms of violence, violence of mind, words and physical deed, are equally harmful to the victims. A perpetrator of violence of the first two types are in no way of lesser culpability than the  third one.

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YOGA AND EXERCISES AND FITNESS PROGRAMS


I’m a beneficiary of this gift of our ancient heritage…

The richness of the bliss handed down by the sage

Made invisible to us by those who kept us in seige

 The Great Man Modiji has regained  our lost visage!

He helps us recover our lost lustre in history page!

The great United Nations was made to cheer Yoga

 Dear Modi could make twenty first July Day of Yoga!

The insu!ts of seculars offset  with pride of Yoga!

 

 

mohana's space

 
   
 
            
 
 

 

2 minutes each side.
Bend left knee, place left foot under right hip. Bend right knee, place right foot on left side of left knee. Hold left knee or right foot with the left hand – keep right knee on the left of left arm. Turn tunk to right, look back over right shoulder, right hand on ground or on waist as close to left thigh as possible.

    Repeat with left knee bent and trunk turning to left.

You may also hold hold hands through the gap below the raised knee.

Increase the elasticity of the spine, and massage the abdomen and internal organs
2 minutes
Promotes healthy secretion of the circulatory, respiratory, alimentary and genito-urinary systems. Keeps the spine flexible preventing the bones from early ossification. Supplies large quantity of blood to the spinal roots of the nerves, thereby giving them…

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PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM VIOLATION OF SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS WITH REFERENCE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT OF 2005.


 

PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM VIOLATION OF SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS WITH REFERENCE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT OF 2005.

Sex and Reproduction are two unique and inseparable facets of spousal relationship. They are one and the same, still as antonymous as between sea and the shore. They are mutually exclusive and inclusive like the two sides of the same coin. Sex is possible without reproduction; reproduction can be possible without sex, in the surge of new scientific inventions. Sex provides the natural impetus for reproduction. The two are intertwined and have inseparable connectivity pertaining to the health of the engaging partners. As health is a precondition for the quality of life as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, the denial of the precondition conducive to attaining this right can be legally redressed through Constitutional remedies.

In matrimony impotency is a ground for divorce. But if a woman is denied sex due to the apathy of the husband, she has no choice to leave the matrimony. If she is denied the excitement of consummation during sex she has no remedy. This is too personal a matter for law to lay its hand on. Denial of sex to the spouse is indirect cause for the commencement of domestic violence. This is a case of emotional abuse which has serious ramifications in family life. If a man can keep his woman happy on bed he is assured of a peaceful home. As between a husband and a wife lack of sexual relations can lead to incidence of domestic violence. Sex is not a mere tool for reproduction as Sex is a rejuvenator of relationships.

Domestic Violence and Other Wrongs:

Domestic Violence is a standalone type of a wrong which evade\s a satisfactory, comprehensive, all-inclusive definition. The unique facet of DV is that it takes place in the intimate relationship, in the apparently safe shared household. Whereas other wrongs are perpetrated, maybe, by a stranger on another stranger. One occurs in the private sphere of life and the other in the public sphere of life. The State is more concerned about peace in society than peace at home.The state cannot allow the delinquent to have his capricious ways as it is disconcerting to the State. The State employs punishment to the sinner to promote deterrence and to have retribution to satisfy the victim. The other aspect is the need of rehabilitation of the offender as he cannot be allowed to freely roam in society. The protection of the victim appears to be the last priority of Criminal Law. The emphasis is on social control through correction, deterrence and retribution. The aim is social security and not the security of the victim alone.

Domestic violence cannot be called a singular, exclusive incident of violence of the perpetrator on the victim. It is a continual infliction of violence by manifold, unknown machinations. The crime of a stranger on another is punishable by law; but the same act if perpetrated by the husband on the wife could be qualified as a crime, is a moot point. Law can take its due course despite the fact that the offence has occurred within wedlock. The attitude of general Law is not gender sensitive to protect the woman. Hence the need and relevance of a gender sensitive law.

In reference to the issues of sexual and reproductive rights the occurrences wherein these rights are denied need not be singular. In wedlock a single incident of violence is condoned; the violence does not stop there. It is repeated in fresh cycles of violence. The woman is in utter helplessness and in a dilemma as to whether leave or not. The recurrence of violence is endemic in domestic relationships. There is no deterrence, no retribution , no correction, owing to nonreporting of the incident.

Forced Sex:

The wrong of marital rape does constitute a domestic violence in the Act of 2005 or in any of the Indian statute books. This discrepancy between the treatment of Law to the same act in two realms of human life, namely, Private and Public is discriminative and prejudicial to women. Though Indian Law does not treat forced sex as a wrong, the law on Human Rights has made inroads into the private sphere of life. The Law on Human Rights of course has got the voice of International Law criteria, and the same spirit is deeply engrained our Constitution in its Fundamental Rights.

When Sex is viewed from the angle of health rights it has umpteen diverse dimensions. Sex of course is a precondition for begetting progeny. Indian law on domestic violence has not criminalised forced sex or marital sex. That is, consent is not a legal requirement. In short, law condones or even permits rape if it is within matrimony. Invariably, the victim is the woman. The after-effects of rape within marriage and without marriage are differently apprehended by Indian law. Certainly this stance of Indian law may have its own unique reasons. Cultural relativism plays a role in the making of different criteria in the formulation of domestic violence in different national laws.  The same Indian law which takes unnatural sex as an offence even in marriage, though with consent, is strangely blind to the more heinous crime of marital rape. Though marital rape can be broadly termed sexual abuse, inflicting irreparable damage to the body and psyche of the victim, it has failed to figure in as a specific offence or wrong in any of the Indian statute book. If consent is not a prerequisite in marital sex, what right is left in marriage, as for women? This is a serious blemish on an otherwise spotless enactment. The grave denial of sexual and reproductive justice to women cannot be viewed just as a personal issue. It has to be taken to the human right jurisprudence, so that the private matter could be brought to the public dominion of human rights. Personal becomes political. Her predicament is not biologically determined, conversely it is socially determined.

The D.V Act is found ineffective and insufficient in protecting the reproductive rights of the woman in the shared household. Domestic Violence may be seen as men’s counter reaction to women’s ever-growing yearning for emancipation from the oppression of home as men want women to remain tied to their domestic prison called home. If a woman challenges the patriarchal order by venturing out of the shared household in a nonconforming outlook, she will be indicted by society as misguided beings who have sacrificed life for success.

Woman’s status in Adultery vis-a-vis Marital rape: Glaring illustration of denial of sexual rights:

Woman is an object and Man is the subject. In S.497 of IPC the husband of the woman who has abetted adultery is entitled to proceed against the man who has committed adultery with his wife. Woman is here denigrated as property or  chattel of the husband who is the master or the owner. If the property called wife is stolen by another man, the latter could be nabbed on a complaint by the owner of the property, the husband. This is a clear indicator to the patriarchal attitude of law. The same attitude is seen expressed in the case of marital rape. The violence perpetrated by the husband is not weighed in terms of propriety or neutrality and criminality as the married woman is an asset owned by the husband for his exclusive enjoyment and possession. The (lack of)law on marital rape and the law on adultery are violative of the sexual rights of married women as victim and abettor, respectively. The woman is not held as a human, but only as property of men for his possession and enjoyment. As a property she has no right of her own. The abettor woman in adultery is not liable because the owner of the property has to continue with the possession of the property. The abettor woman is set free not because of the gender sensitive law but for certain patriarchal reasons. In a country where justice is administered to women as if she were a property under the ownership of men cannot guarantee the sexual and reproductive rights of women.

Right to Healthcare and Addiction:

Smoking is injurious to health; passive smoking is more injurious to health. The victims of passive smoking are the members of the family, those who are intimate to the smoker. He is exposing his wife and children to health hazards, with no fault of theirs. The bad effects of smoking are harmful to the reproductive health of the woman and the safety of the foetus inside.

Consumption of alcohol is another grave menace to the peaceful ambience of family. The intoxicated condition alone cannot be branded as the very reason for violence. Alcohol is but the stimulant to externalise the internal attitude of the perpetrator. The alcoholic husband can cause fatal injuries to the woman and children leading to the denial of reproductive justice of the woman in unseen, umpteen ways.

Personal Law and Domestic Violence:

Prevalence of Personal Law is a threat to application of general law in family law matters. Religion and culture are too blended to separate one from the other. Personal law is the customs, rules of the respective religion, imbued with the status of law. The rights and duties of men and women in family life are governed by personal law. The rites of marriage, the prerequisites, inheritance, divorce, adoption etc, of the people of one religion can be different from the people of another religion. Cultural relativism is the harmful outcome of personal law. The desired unique uniform civil code is upset by the overemphasis on personal law. Consequent on the prevalence of personal law, the issues concerning (eg. Bigamy, divorce) family matters could be distinct from one person to the other depending on the religion he or she belongs to.

The national as well as the international stakeholders are in two minds as to whether it is appropriate to apply uniform civil code or to maintain the culture, customs and usages of personal law in order to protect the identity of every culture, to stop invasion of minority rights , etc, As a consequence of personal law and the orthodox customs embedded in it the women are made to suffer. This is so because the personal law is based on religious rules, age old customs and usages which are patriarchal. Under the influence of religion women have to turn pregnant against their will as victims of marital rape. This repeated, recurrent pregnancy of the woman becomes a real threat to her health. Not only the woman, but the progeny too is disregarded and ignored, giving way to a new generation without health or wealth. In this context it is apt to voice support for a uniform civil code for the overall progress of the nation in general and the women in particular.

Mutilation of female genital parts is another incidence of damaging the sexual and reproductive health of the women.Under the adverse influence of religion women are denied right for abortion. As a consequence of recurrent occurrence of pregnancy and child birth followed by child care the women are always at the receiving end. Anyhow, the Indian DV Act is succour to women who are reeling under the tribulations perpetrated by their life partners on them due to the respective personal law. In India women are misguided by men to the degree that they are made to think that religion is higher than their own health rights. Under this ploy the women victims turn a blind eye to the protections of the DV Act and take recourse in the orthodox personal law remedies which are patriarchal. Unless women take the initiative to safeguard their rights through DV Act by eschewing the personal law, women will have to lie low suffering from the patriarchal personal laws. 

Three fold Encumbrance.

A woman in wedlock has to engage three fold responsibilities viz. of a house-wife, mother and a worker. On the other hand her male counterpart is not to share the responsibilities of the household. She is reeling under the yoke of maternity, menstruation, pregnancy, household work, professional hardwork. As a consequence she becomes a physical wreck. The bitterest experience for her is the apathy of her mate. She has no rest even at a time when rest is inevitable for her very existence. In joint family households rest was compulsorily imposed on her during menstruation. Though this is held by us as an orthodox Hindu custom, in real life terms this period of rest was for her a blessing in disguise. Now the woman of today has no respite anywhere, any time for any exigent reason.

The home is often the place of masculine domination in which men expect the women’s labour to secure the peace they crave. The terms for an ideal home are fixed by his standards. Women are blamed by men for not meeting his standards in maintaining an ideal home. Her standards, health rights, preferences are ignored.The pretext of biological determinism has been employed to tie women to domestic responsibilities. In reality, the inferiority of women is socially constructed rather than biologically determined. This factum can be verified and explained by real life social situations where the degree of inferiority is a variable from society to society. Women’s disabilities are enforced and not biological or natural. The world is Male and the Woman is the ‘other. (de Beauvoir, 1949).Her socially determined burdens and the biologically determined duties have made women incapable of playing a vital role in public life. Her entry in public life is discouraged by men with allegations of misguided conduct. Her domestic services remain unpaid. Her role in procreation, protection, rearing of the offspring goes unrewarded by society. Instead of rewarding women, the patriarchal society is victimising her as she is perpetually subjected to gender violence in a shared household.

What de Beauvoir said about women’s plight in 1949 holds good to contemporary India. Humanity is man. He is the essential and she the incidental; he the main, she the subsidiary or the relative. The life in private sphere becomes explicit in public life. The tribulations of women in one sphere are transferred to the other and vice versa. That is why the author had said, ‘personal becomes political’. The personal ordeal of a woman in a shared household is reflected to the political or public sphere of life through the introduction of Human Right law which does not labour under cultural relativism. Its appeal, content and spirit are couched in universal language.

In short, the three fold tribulations of women have consequently degraded them to a physical wreck, totally and adversely jeopardizing her health. This has exacerbated their sexual and reproductive life, meting out abject injustice usurping the very fundamental rights of human existence. 

Lack of toilet facility:

The Government and its administrative machineries are lukewarm in addressing the issues faced by women in respect of menstruation. Toilets are not there in adequate numbers. Houses are not bath or toilet attached. This has raised serious concerns of health and hygiene hazards in the reproductive life of women. In the backdrop of absence or inadequate toilet facility women are forced to store urine in bladder to harmful levels. This, therefore, is a clear case of denial of sexual and reproductive rights. Society or the Government was patriarchal in approach towards the life and death tribulations of woman’s life. Only now the Government and the society have risen to the need of the hour to have toilets in every home, with the new impetus given to cleanliness through the movement National Swachchata Mission. The recent incident of suicide by a girl due to lack of toilet at home shows how critical this issue is for a woman and her self-respect. The absence of toilet in the shared household is essentially to be considered a gender abuse under the law of domestic violence. Marriage of a woman to a household where there is no toilet facility must be checked by law by making toilet facility a precondition for marriage.. This grave issue does not find a specific, deserving mention in the DV Act of 2005.

Domestic Violence: Standpoint of Law.

In a society where everything is patriarchal it is not reasonable to expect something unique from Law. Presumably and explicitly Law is neutral. Bizarrely it is addressing exclusively and essentially the Male. The dichotomy between explicit and implicit is suggestive of hypocrisy. Hence law is an imposter in reference to its proclaimed objectivity, rationality and impartiality. Undoubtedly and unfailingly the reasonable man of Law rules out women from its ambit. In other words, the generic reference to law is Male. Women’s fate is adjudged by standards set by men for men. Men are subjects of law and women its victims. Woman is still invisible to Law as law looks at women with the same standards as it looks at men. Law is made by men as a result of gender inequality in public life. Every administrative and academic branch of Law is governed by men and their patriarchal outlook. A woman’s life is regulated by law, religion and social policy. The paradox about gender justice is that the victim’s fate is adjudged by her very oppressor. Hence her autonomy is a fiction. Grave issues of women are mainly within the spheres of intimate shared household and they still remain largely unregulated by law.

The failure of law to address the issues of women was mainly due to its patriarchal outlook and its generic reference to male. As for law woman was nonexistent. The solution to this problem is introduction of gender sensitive law both in public and private spheres of life. The Domestic Violence Act of 2005 is a humble beginning in this direction. Dowry Protection Act of 1961 was followed by introduction of Section 498 A and Section 304 B in Indian Penal Code. All theses enactments indicate a steady progression of law towards gender sensitive laws, especially to protect women from domestic violence perpetrated on them in the intimate relationships of a shared household.

Constitutionality of Gender Sensitive Domestic Violence Law:

Right to equality is guaranteed by the Indian Constitution in Articles 14-18. Article 15(1) commands, ‘the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of only on religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. The principle of equality before law is a necessary corollary of ‘rule of law’. This mandate of equality which is but non-discrimination has enlarged the scope of Article 14.

Inter alia, it is striking to note that the Supreme Court while commenting on S.497(Adultery) of IPC, ‘….Articles 14 and 15 taken together validate the sentence of S.597, which prohibits a woman from being punished as an abettor of the offence of adultery.’[1]It is strange that the abettor under S.497 and the victim under S. 498 A of IPC are protected by this Constitutional provisions, though under different jurisprudence. The PWDVA of 2005 is held by Delhi High Court as ‘class legislation’ by upholding the Constitutional validity of the Act.[2]

The Constitution enjoins upon the State to make special provisions for women in prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sex. Besides the fact of the neutrality of law is a myth and only gender specific laws can protect the woman victim from domestic violence. In the privacy of a shared household Articles 21 and 14 find a place in order to protect the woman victim of domestic violence through ratifying the international instruments on Human Rights Law by the national government. It is no longer inappropriate to introduce the Constitution in the home.[3]

 

 

[1] Yusuf Abdul Aziz V. State of Bombay, AIR 1954, SC 321.

[2] Aruna Pramod Shah V Union of India, Writ Petition (Crl) 425/2008.

[3] Delhi High Court in Harvinder Kaur V. Harminder Singh,( AIR 1984, Del 66) had voiced discontent on introduction of Constitution in the home.

Campus Realities.


He was away in the Gulf doing pedagogy in an international school. The Kerala PSC had called him for appointment as a Lecturer in English in the reputed college in the city.The college welcomed him with strikes by politically motivated students movements.His coming was an insignificant event to anyone except he himself. This was so because teaching was his passion,especially teaching English, that too in the most reputed government college in the state, wherein he himself was an alumni. His joy had no bounds. He went into the Principal’s room,elbowing through the hooligan student activists. There he saw the plight of the lady Principal. The students were around her, shouting slogans. He tried to show my face in the eagerness to join the college in the forenoon session itself. Yes he was looking forward to this great moment as his tongue was itching for imparting literary spirit into the receptive minds. Without understanding his whereabouts or credentials the Principal asked me to get out of the room. Despite that he tried to introduce himself. Instead of listening to his words she cried out to the security to clear him out of her room. He was never in his life that much embarrassed. Before the security would manhandle him he got out of the pandemonium. On coming out of the room he inquired the security himself the reason for the strike. He had no clue of it. Th security then asked the new incumbent why he had entered the Principal’s room without permission. He continued, ‘only students use to go in without permission’. He replied the security that he had come there to join as a teacher in English, showing the appointment letter. The security, on hearing this, took him to the English Department. That was a large room with pictures of great pedagogues. He saw there pictures of teachers on the wall. He stood there in awful respect for them.

One thing there he had failed to come across, namely,teachers. There was none. I was told by the sweeper there that they were already gone for their personal engagements. It was total strike. But why there was a strike at all…, this time he asked the question in aside. The sweeper murmured, ‘ maybe sir the poster of one union got torn by another union activists’. Just for this reason, the whole college is struck. He just compared the working style  abroad with the same of the colleges in |Kerala. He was disappointed as he had to postpone his inaugural session of teaching to the next day. That day he failed to mark his attendance.

Next day he came to the college at  8 am. He knocked at the principal’s door. It opened ajar. The lady Principal was not there. The peon told,”teacher may be absconding…Whatever step is taken, one of the student unions will be discontent, poor teacher”. Charge was not handed over to any teacher. He was in quandary, again. As for him teaching was more important. But he was not assigned any duty. In his over-enthusiasm he asked the Head of the Department whether he could go to the class…He replied,”but at your own responsibility” as he had not formally allowed to join the college by the head of the institution. He wondered why teachers were so. They were earnest only for the shell and never for the kernel. The students interests were ignored…Our protagonist was firm; he went to a class where there was no teacher.
On his entry there was no curiosity on the face of students, though he was a new face. They even sat sans a salutation. They were all busily absorbed in the mobile phones. Hence the room was comparatively silent. All on a sudden one particular student came up to him and told that he belonged to a student organisation, that the organisation had declared black day. Hence he wanted to deliver a speech on the issue.He asked the student whether he was the lone member of the organisation. This question had irritated the student leader. He forcefully pushed the teacher from the high platform. The student leader began to speak. The student did not listen to him though.
The student told that there would be a Beef Party to protest against the alleged lynching of a man somewhere in UttarPradesh. Our teacher was stunned to hear this. There were other ways to protest. Why did they choose this method? The students got happy to hear about the beef party. Many of them got on to their legs to go out and to join the party. The students had no real,political hatred in their minds… but they are fascinated by a kind of unity which always feared loneliness.
He could not deliver a single word on lessons of grammar or literature. He was a totally disillusioned person. He stood stunned there as the students were rushing out. A few minutes later he heard cries, violent shouts, painful appeals….There seemed to have happened violent clashes between beef party and non-beef party students.
This time his eyes searched the class; there was one little girl sitting. He went upto her and asked whether she was not going for the beef party. Hearing this she began to weep. Her voice increased. He was confused and asked her why at all she was crying.Words stuck in her mind, she told in agony…”sir, I want to study…. the majority of us want to study…only a handful were causing trouble in the campus…the teachers were not sincere. They wanted only salary every month. They did not teach..they were more engaged in real estate and other money making business”. Yes that was the truth about student strikes and hartals. Nobody wants it and everybody tolerates it with agony.
The India of today is shining under Modiji. The whole world is appreciative of our new confidence under Modiji, but in Kerala it is from bad to worse…

TOLERANCE.


Microsoft Word gives synonyms for Tolerance: easiness, patience, charity, forbearance, acceptance, lenience, open-mindedness, and broad-mindedness. If we search for individual synonyms of these synonyms of Tolerance we get on verge of exhaustion. The varied meaning of the same word is staggering and astounding to any amount of human perception. In such a bizarre context I have to listen to the voice from within, that of wisdom to make a judicious choice irrespective of the given synonyms.

Tolerance is often termed as a virtue. In the teachings of Buddha and Gandhiji   we are amply familiar with the term. These great teachers or philosophers have used the term with a thrust on its positive facet. According to them Tolerance is well nigh Love or Ahimsa. In spite of all the Gandhian, Buddhist positivism, I am stuck, I am held back to its appeal of negative indifference. The negative dilemma posed by the noun may be closely affiliated to its verb form, namely, Tolerate. Though I am reluctantly assenting to the positive content of Tolerance I cannot agree with the positive content in its verb form, Tolerate.

Inescapably sticking to the negative indifference of the term, Tolerate, I have too many misgivings of the term, Tolerance. In the light of this, can tolerance, therefore, be equated with easiness?  Isn’t Tolerance an uneasy affair? When do we tolerate? Of course it has something to do with patience. It may be charity to forebear accepting reality as such, as there is no other go. How can we be lenient while we show tolerance as tolerance springs from incapability to react or inevitability of the context? In short, Tolerance is the net product of inaction, incapability, timidity, negative desire for status quo. The peace we arrive at from tolerance is the peace of the graveyard. It is short lived.

I am haunted incessantly by the negativity of the term, Tolerate, whenever I am occupied with the thought of Tolerance. I may have tolerance with someone who is not too dear to me. I just tolerate the snoring co-passenger; I just tolerate my short tempered superior. But can you say that you have just tolerated the naughty conduct of someone like your own kid who is so close to your heart. Our concern for them springs from the positive feeling of love. We tolerate conduct or undesirable actions maybe because we are incapacitated to react; whereas we just enjoy even the misconduct of our dear ones; there we are not tolerating due to incapability. We are capable and we are superior enough to take action against the naughty conduct; still we allow the naughtiness to prolong just because we love the doer. Hence tolerance is a term which is opposite to love because the misconduct is allowed to continue not because of some positive feeling, but just due to inability. Actually we hate the doer and the act done equally though we are incapable to react against either. Despite our hatred to the doers and their actions we do not give vent to our feelings.

Hence if you say you tolerate your wife, it insinuates that you are just unable to stop her from the undesirable behavior; so you only ‘adjust’ with her conduct as there is no positive feeling of love. Marriage is often a sad story of mutual tolerance. Mutuality is seen only in adjustments and not in love. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours is the attitude. If no mutual scratching, the marital story could abruptly end in a fiasco. Tolerance, therefore, is a more polished substitute for the pragmatic, viable term ‘adjustment’ though it is never on equal footing with sublime Love. The more you tolerate, the less you love, that is the more you tolerate the more you really hate; There may be an internal sea of anger waving in your mind, against the evil-doer. The pent up feeling is more harmful to the aggrieved than the very expression of it.

Tolerance is a sleeping volcano; it has the latent tendency or potential to erupt any time. Tolerance is there because inaction, indifference, incapacity  have hushed up the intolerance within.  Hence without you are tolerant and within you are boiling with intolerance. And if you put a question which one is desirable in a society where co-existence is inevitable….Better tolerate than and not to become intolerant as the latter would lead to violence. I opined so especially in the matter of tolerance of religions and faiths…Let us tolerate for the general good of the nation, if you cannot love your neighbor as thyself…It is all a matter of priorities. If your love for the country holds a higher rung on the ladder of priorities, other issues become personal and your patriotism will remain unaffected by your other identities of religion, caste, sex, age, etc….

Grandma, Forgiveme !


Now myself I am a Grand Father….I can feel the intense affection towards the grandson…..It is more intense feeling of love and warmth,

mohana's space

          While I was too young to look after myself I had someone who loved me so much , always around me.Yes , she was none other than my grandma whom I styled mattemma or the other mother.The term was to differentiate between my mother and grandma.
MY grandma was in her seventies.I remember that she did not wear a blouse to cover her breast part. But I do not know whether she used a blouse at all or she at some point of her old age stopped the practice of wearing it. Instead she had a piece of long clothe worn around her neck.
She was an embodiment of love and to this moment I cannot find any one who has loved me so much.She used to take me with her during her day long trips to the relatives” through the meandering pathways in my remote village.This gave me a…

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NOSTALGIA…


Festivals are not just occasions for celebrations. A fesival stirs in us memories of the past. This we call nostalgia. Nostalgia is like a flower which is beautiful, fragrant; simultaneously it has the thorn with it. Hence there is pleasure and pain at once…For example, Onam imbues our minds with nostalgia, with endearing memoirs of the past…We glorify the celebrations of Onam in the past years of our life. Festivals happen to be occasions for nostalgia. We compare this year with the past years. We now are nostalgic about the good old days though we were then down to earth critics of the social, economic, social and cultural realities of those so-called good old days. This nostalgia springs from our incapability of reconciling with the changes which have occurred from time to time. The endeared term to refer to this psychic incongruity is ‘generation gap’. Actually the reactionary in us unfailingly resisted to approbate change, be it good or bad. Nostalgia, therefore, is an offshoot of one’s adamant resistance to change and is in always disagreement with the present trend, mindset.
Such humans who labour under the vice( virtue?) of nostalgia may not be in a psychic state to cope with the emerging generation. They find fault with everything and everyone. This divide between generations has been there from time immemorial. It is nothing but a symptom of ageing. Such persons are obstructing social change and are holding firmly on to status quo. Ultimately these humans too will fall victims of change as no one can withstand the tide of time and change. They consequently turn out the victims of change. Such people have been so throughout their life. The resistance to change and preference to status quo will remain with them till their last breath.
Hence to come out of one’s shell of rigidity and intolerance one has to train oneself. That could lead you to the status wherein you will become the master of change rather than the victim of it. Exalting the past and disparaging the present are the hallmark of nostalgia. Like the ageing, the emerging too are victims of this psychic condition. As for the young and the youthful they disparage and ignore whatever and whoever belonging to the past and glorify the present. The father may be a fan of Bacchan and the son a fan of Dhanush. The son of today becomes the father of tomorrow. He too will have to differ on a later day with his son.

The MANGOSTEEN in My Courtyard!


I reblog it because the tree is nomore there…It was uprooted in the midnight rainy storm, the othere day….It bore numberless thick leaves which had lead to its very end due to the overweight of the wet leaves….
The tree was there because my beloved Dad had planted in the courtyard quite a decade ago…
I feel dejected as I feel it the demise of the tree and the second demise of my Dad as well…..
I dedicate the post to my dear Dad!!!

mohana's space

I am there with the mangosteen!The Mangosteen with Mango tree.

The evergreen Mangosteen, a home for the flies
Bearing leathery leaves thick, and large berries
Blessing, enriching our home with cold shade
A spectacle to the eyes bringing cold wind.

Her name maiden though Garcinia Mangostana
She being styled Mangosteen with love
She standing there front fore like Eve
She though not needing an Adam for progeny.

The majestic shade under the canopy bringing
The memories back while peacefully sitting
Ya, the fond memories of my Dad who planted you
Who nurtured, watered and softly carressed you.

Proud am I to have you in my courtyard
You to me are a source wherefrom emits
The very Inspiration, drawn by the Bard,
Basheer,standing,showering only benefits.

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WHAT I BELIEVE AND WHAT I DO NOT BELIEVE….


The question is simple but the answer is not so. It is easier to list the entities I do not believe in: whereas it is a real task to enumerate entities in which I believe. I can well say that I do not believe in God with sound and reasonable justification of my own. Humans from time immemorial has been attributing things or phenomenon which are unexplainable by human understanding to God. As and when these phenomena are got explained they are no more God. They are, on the other hand, plain truth or reality. Belief in God is a lie of convenience generally and willingly accepted by society in order to maintain social harmony and descipline. God is a Big Lie told by religion and the priests are agents of this non-existent entity. Priests spread the Lie of God to promote religion. As I have no faith in God as a natural corrollary I do not believe in rituals and temples.
Secondly I do not believe in karma or rebirth based on karma. Karma and the return ensuing from it is decided here and now and not in the make-belief world of rebirth.
Thirdly I have no belief in morality; maybe because morality generally springs from lack of opportunity and envy.A Keralite is unfailingly labouring under this kind of fake morality. He is more concerned about his neighbour rather than himself:Of course not in the wellbeing of his neighbour. He wants some thing ill to happen in the neighbouring household. If he detects some clandestine extra-marital relation between the woman of his neighbourhood and a man, he will spare no time in exposing it; of course not thanks to his virtuous indignation but thanks to his fire of envy springing from the despair of lack of opportunity.
Fourthly, I do not believe in unconditional relashioships. People speak very high of love which is unconditional or platonic, but I have never come across any thing of that genre. I can prove with this instance. Suppose a bereaved wife happens to see a letter sent to her husband by his fiance. There will be a virtual explosion of ill-feeling to her dead husband in the prevailing conditions of Kerala. Here the grief of death is displaced by hatred against the dead. It indicates that every relationship is conditional. If you are faithful, I will be too, is the attitude. Everything is reciprocal or bilateral and nothing is unilateral.In a wedlock the husband and the wife are two sides of the same coin, always running parallel to each other, their interests never meet, they never make an eye to eye contact. They just adjust, duck and evade…It is their sons and daughters which compel them to go for a go-ahead.
I have no belief in rejuvinating broken links with my close relatives.. I have tried to explain myself to them through words of mouth, through gestures of reticence but to no avail.Hence words too often lead to more confusion.
I do not belive in the postulates of either Marxism or Capitalism because the two are two sides of the same coin, running parrallel to each other.They are in perennial clash. In Marxism or communism the pre-requisites are the exploited labour and the exploiting capital.If they are not there Marxism is out.
I disbelive in caste system and discrimination stemming from it. I am not believing in reservation system as this will protect only the rich and the creamy layer of the related caste or community.
I have no blind belief in our Constitution. It is not unalterable. Every thing has to undergo change, even religious texts. So why not a Constitution?

I believe in Change as change in the right direction is growth and development. In the wrong direction it is cancer. I would like to be the master of change rather than be a victim of it.
I believe in the wisdom of my mind. I have faith in my strong affinity to virtue and goodness. I do things with a resolute mind. I also believe in inaction. I have found occasions when I could succeed just thanks to my inaction. So I believe in action and inaction.
I believe in coincidences. I have too many examples to quote. I have faith in my luck. Whatever I have done with confidence has come fruitful in the end. I believe, therefore, in being positive.
I believe in the unearthed potential of my mind and body.I believe that I can become what I think of myself.
I believe in my power of prediction. This is because prediction is made possible from being commonsensical. I believe that I have common sense though common sense the rarest of all senses. I believe that I have got this rarest of the rare sense of Common Sense.

And last but not the least I do believe in the capabilities of Shri. Narendra Damodardas Modi, our Prime Minister. I disbelieve all the allegations against him.

REAL WORLD Vs VIRTUAL WORLD…


mohana's space

I do not know whether the title is appropriate in today’s world. This is so because the conventional dualism of real and virtual appears to be dwindling day by day.The description , ‘Virtual may be relevant in some sensory aspects, that the interacting parties are incapable of feeling the real physical touch of skin with skin, nose with nose, etc…Of course eye contacts are opening up the sea of relationships…as eyes are the communicative organ through which one throws one’s intention into another.The role of sound is immensely used through virtual media. The distinction between the real and virtual world are, therefore, narrowing down in the actual personal experience. Will then both these experiences become one and the same if technology comes up with a finding to enable real body touch prospects?Suppose a lover can see,talk and even kiss his lady love…Will the lover be satisfied with this on-line virtual…

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