Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And sending pink underwear is a way to tackle a problem?

We Indians have a disease of reacting in the extremes. Or a variation could be acting in extremes. Right now it was this "pub-culture" issue. Now it's the glorification of an inane campaign which involves collecting and sending pink coloured underwear to the offending party.
The truth is that everyone of us wants to be a part of a movement which takes on some tyrannical establishment/party/association head-on. Somewhere we all want to fight against some system gone wrong. Essentially it's a good sign that the people of India are awake and have the will to be a part of some Movement. But Pink Chaddis? Come on!
Yes, Sri Ram Sena is SAD. I am a very glad and proud Hindu. I feel lucky to be a part of Hindu Culture. Now by "Hindu Culture" I mean not just traditions but our ancient sciences of Yoga, Pranayam, Ayurveda and our reasons for doing a lot of things which till sometime ago were rubbished as being too archaic or even superstitious. I love the reason for putting chandan( sandalwood paste ) on the forehead or even the reason why we take blessings of elders by touching their feet! And this is Indian/Hindu culture for me. And adhering to that, I regard my body as a temple in which the living-breathing God resides. So, I do NOT drink or smoke or dope. Nor do I think of being ABLE to drink, smoke or dope as a sign of "freedom". But I still maintain that Sri Ram Sena is a very sad chapter and I feel disheartened to see "Hindus" or right-wing candidates being blamed as a whole for the dastardly acts of a handful of people. SRS is wrong, un-democratic, un-constitutional AND un-HINDU.
But on the other hand I don't think I can support some random chaddi campaign too. I would like to see the campaigners fighting for a true cause like the issues of farmers for example. Are we so cut of from the rest of our country that we are fighting for a "right" to be able to booze at a pub whenever we want rather than standing up for another countrymen who are losing lands, water, crops and harvest and most importantly LIVES? The gusto with which pink chaddis are being sought out from cupboards and bought in dozens is appalling. If only we could have that zeal in sending help in whatever form to truly needy people of the country.
We all dream of an ideal India. But treating only one insignificant part of an entirely diseased body is not going to restore health complete health.
We expect tolerance. But can we tolerate intolerance? We react to intolerance with our intolerance.
Can we be tolerant? The answer is absolutely "YES". We will be peaceful and tolerant when we are peaceful from deep inside...when both our bodies and minds are in harmony.
India has been a land of wise and spiritual people and that's exactly why despite numerous attacks and invasions, the lifeline of spirituality still beats strong in the country's heart. This is the only Golden Path to peace within us and without. Demanding a right to celebrate some day or right to drink is hardly a movement! It's surely not a campaign!
There has to be an upsurge of Human values. A wave of spirituality. A wave of Yoga-the science of uniting with the source-uniting the body and mind. A wave of recognising India's true spiritual wealth.
That's a Movement.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pub Culture-Vulture Hai Rabba!

There's an extremely interesting controversy-cum-debate raging in urban India today: Whether or not pub culture should be encouraged...whether it goes against the Indian values of what culture should be and so on....
As expected the Media is twisting facts, putting words in mouths and basically fanning the fire to see to it that people of India have a completely deluded picture of what "freedom" means, what exactly is "responsibility" and what "moral" or "immoral" constitute.

And now, my two cents...

As far as my memory goes, I don't remember anybody being lauded or hailed as a hero or even someone to look up to if he or she visits a pub, exercises his/her so called "freedom" by drinking and splurging moolah by going regularly to pubs/discs/whatever. What freedom are we fighting for over here? Freedom to get drunk? Freedom to put oneself in smokey bars and pubs to inhale carbon monoxide( and God knows what else)? Freedom to be out "partying" with inebriated men and women? Is this the freedom that young Indians are fighting for? Ridiculous. And this is apparently a "choice". But these very bunch of "freedom fighters" do not realise that after they become parents, their kids are going to be out "partying" too. I cannot somehow imagine a parent not being concerned or in fact mighty worried about his/her kid out in a pub, exercising "freedom" and making a "choice" by going and drinking at a pub/bar/disc! Is this generation THAT myopic??
Now one might argue that one has complete "freedom" to spoil one's own health by drinking. What has the moral police got to do with individual choices. But in any case the "I, me, myself and mine" syndrome has swung now to the extreme end! One does not stop to think that every action and inaction has an effect on the society as a whole. No matter how much we disscociate ourselves from society, the fact remains that all individuals are a part of society and we are interdependent. Just one person alone without assistance and encouragement from others can't do nothing! So, it's only sensible that one is aware of the choices that one makes. And I fail to understand how health is not an issue in the mind when one chooses to indulge in pursuits which are clearly harmful! Healthy individuals make a healthy nation. It's so simple. And a healthy nation means a prosperous nation.
It's really not about Indian culture against western culture. It's just about beind sensible. Atleast little sensible to start with.
Yoga, Pranayam, Secularism, Hospitality, seeing Omnipresent Divinity, Respect for elders, Ayurveda, regarding the body as a temple...these are a part of the amazing Indian culture. How about starting with atleast the first two in the list as a primer to our ancient culture?
Personally I don't even regard going to a pub as "culture" of any sort. But maybe it's time for Urban India to experience Indian culture too. That way they can make a more "informed" choice.