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Category Archives: Current Affairs

HAVE AN OPINION. OR MAYBE NOT!

We are busy people. Busy with our everyday lives, earning a living, cooking food for our families, taking our children to their respective activities, and basically going about our lives. We are secure in our own worlds where nothing goes wrong. At the end of the day we sit down with our families for dinner and have the satisfaction of believing that all’s well in our world. But is it enough?

 

The reality is that all’s not well in the world we live in. There are gross injustices going on all around us all the time. We read about them in the papers, see some feeds on online platforms, then fold the newspapers and log out of our online platforms to go back to doing our own thing. As long as it does not touch our safe little worlds or affect the people directly connected to us we don’t bother finding out what really happened and how it can impact people. We passively consume the news and get on with life.

 

In the last few weeks there have been two rather powerful occurrences that have the potential to change the social fiber of the world in which we live. I am talking about the HC ruling against Triple Talaq and the stand on Marital Rape. How many of us have bothered to find out more about it or to even understand who gets affected by these. Some days back someone asked me what I thought about the Triple Talaq verdict and to my dismay I realised I didn’t have any opinion on it. While I was aware something was being done towards it, I had no idea how much it meant and to whom. I felt sad about my passive attitude and planned to educate myself and if I find it strong enough, raise my voice in support of those affected.

 

And then I hear a Bang! A loud bang which echoes across the country and leaves us all stunned. Gauri Lankesh – a very strong voice which dared to rise above the din and speak against the establishment has been silenced. I get afraid. I question my resolve and think that maybe it’s best to stay out of controversy. Afterall, I have my own life and family to think of. And a scary realisation creeps in – they have won! The perpetrators of fear have won by scaring us into silence. Is that what Gauri’s life was worth? To be knocked out by just one blow? No, I look around and find that with the felling of one, many more Gauri’s have risen. They are mistaken if they think that she was alone.

 

We live in a very dynamic world. A world where there are no boundaries and information and support is always at hand for those who seek it. It is for us to decide whether we want to let them use this to set an example or to scare them back. To rise above our fears and speak up against the injustices been done around us. So next time you hear a neighbour scream do not turn up the television volume. Next time you read about a rape in your city do not turn the page. Join the march. Get informed, have an opinion.

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Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Current Affairs, Daily Life, People

 

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Are we moving forward or backward?

God created all creatures equal. He did not send any instructions tucked away in the collar of Adam and Eve on how each should be treated in this world. He did not send any documents signed with His almighty seal prescribing the way one should regard the other. Then where do I ask did these holy scripture come from? These extremely biased scriptures which define the roles and rules governing men and women!

Every other day we hear of some or the other holy governing body slapping some fine or punishment for women doing something or the other. One country says you wear a burqa or you are killed, another country says wearing burqa not allowed. One says elementary education is compulsory and a right for all children, irrespective of caste and religion while another says girls should stay indoors and not meet any boys whatsoever.

The recent fatwa against women working in public/private companies where they come in direct contact with men is just outrageous! In a day and age where women all over the world are learning and gearing up to be more and more independent this comes as a solid blow. While the educated crust of the Muslim society may go unscathed, this new madness is going to cause some serious and long lasting scars on the growth of Muslim women.

One fine day, some old men sitting idle with nothing to do but meddle in the ways of the world decide that women are in serious danger of offending god if they as much as talk to men!!! What age is this??? Why suddenly? Where were they all this while and how come no one saw this directive until today? And why is there never a fatwa governing men or telling them not to beat their wives, or have innumerable children or take more than one wife? I want to ask is there no way we can stop these mad men from ruling and ruining the lives of millions of women all over the world? Is there no way that the entire population of this world can tell these handful of madmen to shut up and mind their own business?

I guess that’s not the way it works. We live in a world where words like ‘equality’ and ‘freedom’ are used at people’s convenience. When people in power have an agenda to push they start talking about equality – of casts, colour, gender – and freedom of men and women. Once their interests are met no one has the time to look who they have wounded and how!

 
 

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Is it really a bad Omen?

I was born on a solar eclipse day. It was considered to be one of the major ones. My mother shares her memories of the day when she was in the hospital with me and my father was at home with my two elder sisters to make sure they don’t venture out.

 

People have a lot of theories, some scientific and some religious/traditional of how a solar eclipse can effect babies that are in the womb and even new born babies. Some talk about physical abnormalities and some talk about mental abnormalities. Since I was born on a solar eclipse day i have found the perfect excuse for all my essectricities 😀

 

On a serious note, one wonders what people in the stone ages thought and felt during a solar eclipse. For people who thought that thunder and rain were punishments from god, one can only imagine what a solar eclipse could mean. To some it was a bad omen. That was then, when there no science to prove the process and reasons for it. What is surprising is how even today educated people believe in the old norms and beliefs and consider this scientific marvel to be a bad omen.

 

Considering my personal example, my parents could have taken my birth to be a bad omen, as I was a third daughter after my two elde sisters. My mother could have suffered a lot for giving birth to a cursed daughter in the family. Thankfully, my family, though not very educated, was sensible enough to not torture her, and i think it helped that I turned out to be physically and mentally fit.  In fact, as I grew up my father called  me his ‘Lucky Daughter’ as he felt that our life took an upwards turn after my birth.

 

My mother and I may have been lucky these superstitions still exist. Why don’t people accept the change and understand that somethign happening thousands of miles away in the space cannot change the gender of a baby lying in a woman’s womb?

 

This year the solar eclipse was a major event across the world. Millions of people got up early to catch it, the net is flooded with images of the diamond ring and videos of the eclipse. However, this is still the scene in urban India. I hope that by the time it happens the next time the world has progressed enough to take it as another scientific occurance or even as another of god’s creations, rather than a bad omen.

 

Old newspaper cut-out of a solar eclipse some 3 decades ago

Old newspaper cut-out of a solar eclipse some 3 decades ago

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2009 in Current Affairs, Memories, Nature

 

One Nation-One Examination

Our new HRD minister has given wind to quite a storm by proposing the slogan ‘One Nation-One Examination’ as part of his 100-day plan. Going by the initial reactions, I’m not sure how it will be taken. While the idea has been doing the rounds of the academic circles for some time now, it will take very careful consideration before it is actually implemented. Some of the initial reactions that have come up are:

Against –

  1. The states wouldn’t want to lose control that a state board provides them with
  2. How will the system test the IQ and EQ of children at an all India level through just one examination
  3. The X board exams act as a wake-up call of sorts to students to prepare them for the final XII board exams

For –

  1. This will help reduce undue pressure for school children and their parents; children should not be made to go through the double stress of first X and then XII exams
  2. The earlier system of Higher Secondry worked very well and can be replicated here with reforms to suit the present day needs
  3. It will help reduce the numer of drop-outs that mostly happen after class X
  4. It will help create a more systematic grading system that will do away with un-natural college cut-off percentages

This is, however, not an exhaustive list of arguments on the issue. While some states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have shown support to the idea, Kerala for one thinks that the government could be acting in haste. What becomes of the proposal only time will tell. One can only hope that it does not end up becoming another of those issues that lose their real relevance and get lost in the political battle that they happen to kick up.

 

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