Social Media in today’s world is something that I feel even an elementary student can describe elaborately. We have been living a virtual life, for quite some time with social media gradually becoming an addiction for the majority of the population using it. Be it politics or entertainment or sports – we cannot deny the unprecedented role that social media is playing.
There are pros and cons to almost everything that the world has to offer us. One of the biggest boons of technology is the invention of social media. However, for the last couple of years, one cannot refute the divisive role social media is playing. Currently, everything is perceived as ‘linear’ – either black or white, good or bad! Where is the existence of the middle path or for that matter the ‘grey’ area?
Continue reading The Complicated Society and the Role of Social Media
Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez have become household names recently, though sadly after their untimely demise at the hands of some rowdy goons. In a tragic incident on 20th October, these two youths were knifed to death for protesting against eve-teasing. While they were being mercilessly stabbed, the crowd stood there watching the crime taking place like mute spectators. It is said that Keenan’s girlfriend was being teased by the main accused Jeetendra Rana when she along with four other friends came out for paan after having dinner at a restaurant. When Keenan protested against the evil gesture, Rana went away only to return with 20 more drunkards. Firstly, they stabbed Keenan and when Reuben tried to save his friend, he met with the same fate.
There are no words to describe the morbidity of the entire incident. I feel extremely ashamed to even think that we co-exist in the society along with sociopaths like Rana who suffers from personality disorders and can manifest any form of brutality without even an iota of hesitation! As a girl I am very sure that each and every girl in this society, whether pretty or ugly, fair or dark, fully clothed or scantily clad, have faced situations similar to this, if not worse. Though eve-teasing is rampant in India, there are many countries and their citizens who have never heard of such a word. It again reveals the shameful state of affairs of the Indian society. Thousands of eve-teasing incidents occur every day, most of which are either ignored or unreported. Many people tend to point to the fact that not a lot of girls come out and protest such incidents. My question to them is how many incidents can you protest, when every other day you face similar situations? The action which we generally tend to take depends on the severity of the malady. In some cases you don’t even understand who is physically assaulting you in a crowded bus. What will you do in such cases? There is not only a single manner in which eve-teasing is done. Some of them can be handled by simply being strict, for some others you need to actually hunt for the actual culprit. These psychopaths are extremely intelligent, they know when to catch their prey without getting caught, and if caught they are sure to make things horrible for the victim and their near and dear ones.
Another aspect which caught my attention was the role played by the crowd, of being mute spectators of the heinous “tamasha”. Why can’t so many people muster enough courage to fight against those drunkards TOGETHER? What has happened to the term UNITED? If all those people standing there, rather than being indifferent, fought in unison against those rowdies, the scene would have been different. Maybe the lives of two young people would have been saved. Such incidents again and again prove that we actually make a hype of what is called the Mumbai spirit. When it was actually required, to fight against some highly spirited (intoxicated) individuals, the spirit vanished.
Continue reading Eve-Teasing – The Social Malady
To begin with, the sentiments and opinions written in this post are entirely mine. They have nothing to do with any particular religion or the rituals associated with it. It is just to share my traumatic experience which happened in the name of religion and above all, GOD.
It happened just a month ago – the immersion ceremony of Goddess Muthyalamma. She is one of the many forms of Goddess Durga/ Kali. We all know idols are taken for immersion in processions. From my childhood, I had been a great admirer of such processions. The sights and sounds of merriment associated with processions always mesmerized me. Though I had never been a part of such processions, yet I adored them to the core. To ever have a negative outlook of such processions is something that I never imagined.
The immersion procession for Goddess Muthyalamma also started in a similar fashion of enjoyment. At around 9p.m. a procession went past my house. I enjoyed the sounds of the crackers and the dhaks, relished the prasad along with my parents. It was all nice and good. Being the month of May, it was extremely hot and humid. The day being a Saturday, I went to sleep quite late unknown of the fact what lay ahead. It all started at around 2p.m in the night. The electricity went off and I again cursed the Bangalore Electricity Board for being so inhuman. But the fact was that it was the beginning of long night of processions of a dozen of idols through the narrow lanes of Bangalore. Puja organizers from various parts of the city followed the same route for the immersion event. The quite narrow 3rd Cross of Kalappa Layout being one of the chosen paths. Each and every organizer gave their best shot to make the event successful. They finely decorated the idols, hired various kinds of dancers and instrumentalists, decked them with peculiar outfits and also managed to get the noisiest of firecrackers. All the idols stopped in front of every alternate houses and thus advanced at snail’s pace. The local people, aware of such annual events, were busy offering pujas to each and every idol. The sound of the firecrackers and the dhaks kept on increasing. In the midst of it all, I made a failed attempt to sleep.
Continue reading A Perspective on Religious Rituals
Yes, water can act as an enemy. Yesterday, I saw a tele-serial which dealt with the issue. It was a story of a doctor and her fight, set up on the backdrop of a temple. The doctor witnessed a peculiar trend of people being admitted to her hospital with similar symptoms at a particular point of the week. She found out that people visiting the nearby temple, known for its miracles, and consuming the ‘charanamrita‘ were the ones with the symptoms of the fatal disease. With more probing, she came to the conclusion that the charanamrita water, being polluted, was the main culprit. From here started her fight against superstition and stigma. She tried to convince the management of the temple as also the people, but without any success. She proposed to shut down the temple for a few days in order to clean the water. The management took offense to it. The local system was also of no help. She received a little help from the media initially, but found herself alone at the end. Eventually, she had to give up her life to prove herself correct.
The story, for me, is nothing new. Satyajit Ray, in his movie, Ganashatru made in 1989, has already dealt with the crisis. The phenomenon of people consuming polluted water in a temple and still considering it holy shows how glaring the problem is. In India, Ganges, the holy river has a large number of temples at its banks. As we visit these places of worship, we are alarmed to see the amount of waste floating in the water which people use. Religious fanaticism and superstition do not deter people from referring that water as ‘holy’ and which can cause miracles ! It is understandable in a country where a large segment of the people are illiterate.
The actual problem lies with the management, who take advantage of such superstition and fanaticism. India is a land of temples where many of them have been pronounced as tourist spots. We can actually witness a lot of foreigners thronging here and there along the threshold of the temples and the areas surrounding it. Being a tourist spot the temples draw a huge amount of money as donation. Hence, the management does not want to close a temple for even a single day. Here, comes to the forefront the perils of greed even when the place is on the verge of an epidemic. It is the media which can play an active role in unmasking the voracity of the management during such times. On the contrary, what we generally witness is the collusion of the media and the bureaucracy.
Continue reading Water – An Enemy