Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Caste Census or Caste Senseless!!

So, the government has decided to do a population census of India. Agreed. Now to make a complete social profiling of the country they have decided to add certain parameters to this survey. Caste being one of them.

Uh! Didn’t India just spend coupla decades/centuries just fighting this evil? And now that its breathing its last (though not so much in the rural areas), why would someone want to revive it. Ah! Vote banks I may think. What else? Or reservations? Or how to manipulate the existing laws for certain castes.

Ok, again I go back some 2000 years ago. Caste system may have made sense then. People of the same intellectual/social/financial/skill level herded together. The 4 major groups Kshatriyas (Royal families, warriors, essentially the wealthy lot with Kothees and Palaces), Brahmins (Poojarees, teachers, professors essentially the God fearing intellectual lot), Vaishyas (Farmers, traders essentially the business men), and Shudras (Plumber, shoemaker, painter essentially the service providers). Now, this classification in the society made life easier and also made sense. Within these major groups also existed sub-groups again depending on various other factors. One Kshatriya may be superior to other cause they are Royalty and other Brahmin would be superior to the next cause he worshipped in a bigger temple.

Within these castes the family tradition/skill/trade would be passed on to the next generation and they will carry out and pass on to their children so on and so forth. This all worked fine within a set number of people/community then. Children weren’t allowed to move out of the family tradition and pursue other activities by will. People were born into the profession/tradition that would define them.

Now back to year 2010… are we really sticking to it? To think of it if caste mattered I should be Royalty. But there is nothing Royal about my bank balance today. None of my family is Royal anymore. All working people, regular upper middle class working people. How would knowing anyone’s caste in today’s time help the census I wonder. Maybe helps in deciding any further division in the already existing reservations. Again a political strategy. What will that do to the common man? Nothing.

Here again I just touch upon one more point – Reservation. Relevant in today’s time? No. Was relevant 50 years ago? Yes. Because caste system was prevalent and opportunities to the so called ‘lower’ caste were least. Now that 2 generations (or more is it?) have taken advantage of it shouldn’t it be discontinued? Yes. But is someone listening? No. Cause that will affect the so-called vote banks. Reservations are in today’s time just preventing the eligible students/candidates from getting admissions/jobs. Let it be the survival of the fittest now enough opportunities have been given.

All in all the entire caste census seems pretty senseless considering the time and age. Rest lets wait and watch.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Naxals: What do they ‘really’ want?

Yesterday I was watching an interview of my favourite star on one of the news channels, when suddenly the presenter interrupted and said that some important news is coming in and we will have to suspend this show… The news was – another attack in Dantewada by Naxals… further by night news came in reporting the number of causalities and the innocent women and children who were killed in the attack. Sad!

Where is India heading? We have outsiders invading us and igniting fights and rifts between two religious communities. We have our very own politically strong ‘leaders’ selling communal peace for money. We already have so much wrong going in for us in our country…

As a layman what I know about Naxals – Men and women from under-developed areas of India – essentially tribal – fighting for a right to earn, to be educated, to be developed – basically their human rights. What they are fighting for – understood. How they are fight for it – beyond comprehension.

Do they understand that what they are doing is killing their own people – whom they claim to be fighting for. They aren’t any better than the militants that are infiltrating our borders and spreading violence in the country. These are their very own people. Don’t they get the point? Will killing the security forces or innocent civilians bring them justice? They say they are fighting for their human rights. Human? Rights? Do they know what these words mean? How many human’s rights have they violated? Do they have the right to have these rights also? Nope I don’t think so.

Somehow the purpose for which they are fighting seems to have been lost. I believe with peace and little patience these basic amenities can be worked out. And what I believe is you can’t just sit around and expect some one else to feed you. What have they done to develop themselves? Are they taking initiatives of educating themselves/their children? Are they going around hunting for jobs? India has come a long way since the 1960s when the first of the Naxal groups were formed. I am sure India has many more initiatives to educate and provide means of earning for these areas. But the Naxals just seemed to have spread and grown since then. What is the difference between them and the Daakus that we had back then? What is the difference between them and the terrorists that are terrorizing the country? They beg not be categorized with either of these. But I don’t see any difference. No, really.

Ever wondered who supplied them with Arms and Ammo? China might be having a laugh at India’s expense knowing how porous our country is. Knowing how easily not one but two neighbours can screw us left right and center. And I mean it literally.

I don’t know what I can do as a citizen to control this situation. But 10 years from now will the urban cities that we are living in be safe enough as well? Will I wonder when I leave home for work every day, whether I will return alive or not. Is it only the government’s responsibility or we as citizens can do something about it? I don’t know, but I am willing to contribute to peace in whatever manner I can.

Let peace prevail. Please stop this carnage.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do men really assume that working independent women are available?

Prologue: I am a working woman – that is my first identity. I am independent – financially, yes and pretty confident about it. I am married – I love my husband and my family.

What men assume: I am a working woman who is independent; I am ready easy and fast and available.

The truth: I am working because I think I have a talent other than housekeeping and I can use this to give back to the society in whatever way I can. I love working. I have brains. I love the financial independence and the fact that I can contribute equally in the house.

I am writing this because of the many experiences that I have had in the corporate world and the world beyond likewise. I have attended umpteen conferences, have interacted with several men, all in all I draw one conclusion, men will try their luck with you. There have been instances when the men know that I am married and very happily so, yet, they would ask you out for coffee/dinner/drinks out of the work context. We aren’t really friends are we? So what’s the point of going out for coffee? You wanna have coffee? Come to my office I shall offer you. You wanna socialize, ok, get your wife along, I will get my husband.

Working women have their set of friends that they are comfortable with. We may not really be interested and seeing you guys after the interaction we have because of work. Honestly. And sex with you hasn’t even crossed our mind. So lay off.

I work with an MNC and I have typically seen this attitude in Indian men, who will keep trying till they become a nuisance for you. When men from other cultures (mainly western) realize you are not interested (or are married), they lay off.

Just because a woman gets out of the house, wears a business suit and looks confident does not mean she is available. Single, married or involved, women have their choices and preferences about men they want to do business with, date, talk to or make friends. All the mentioned categories are independent of each other. Just cause a woman attends conferences and speaks with you cordially and reciprocates pleasantries doesn’t mean she will sleep with you. Simple.

These are points of view. Yours are welcome for discussion.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Khap Panchayats - Do we really need them?

One blog that I read instigated this thought. And hence this blog where I will write things beyond creativity. Will talk of practicalities affecting us. 

The latest being the many incidences of so called - 'Honour Killings'. What are these and do we need a group of mentally demented people killing our families for the matter of honour? When will this stop?

I have one comment on the same Gotra marriages - Not marrying in the same Gotra was logical when the population was meager (I may be referring to 2000 years ago). Same Gotra man and woman may have similar genetic programming cause they may be related. As we all know that similar DNA programming of partners may result in 'not so genetically perfect' children. Now, with the population ever so increasing and so many permutations and combinations in families these calculations are obsolete.

Point to note here is that by 'adopting' a girl/guy to make the marriage possible does not really change the genetic programming of the individual. The basis of same Gotra marriage not being allowed IS infact the genetic make-up. So this so called 'upaya' is a farce for the so-called society/community that we live in.

We are in a world where we are talking about touring the Universe and achieving unbelievable scientific feats, does believing in such calculations which might have been logical 2000 years ago make sense now? What about the educated and politically influential people supporting such Khap Panchayats? Isn't there a way where we can drill sense into these people? I am a young woman who was blessed to be born in an urban family with modern thinking parents. But I have educated friends who still believe in these so called values. Is it because this is what is taught to them since they come to there senses. Will Indians ever grow out of their inability to adopt to changing times. Will Indians ever be more acceptable towards new ideas and broader sense of being.

Our culture and vedas are great and going through them makes sense. But shouldnt we use our brains to realize what may/may not hold true in todays times? Food for thought... Think about it.