So, it is extraordinarily difficult in this world for the mind to be free. The politician and the so-called religious person talk about freedom, that is one of their catchwords, but they jolly well take care that you are not free because, the moment you are free, you obviously become a danger to society, to organized religion, to all the rotten things that exist about you. It is only the free mind that will find out what is true, it is only the free mind that can be creative; and it is essential, in a culture of this kind, that importance be given, not to the following of a pattern, a doctrine, or a tradition, but to allowing the mind to be creative. But the mind can be creative only when it is free from conditioning, and such freedom is not easily come by; you have to work extraordinarily hard for it.
On 6th /may/2012 the super star Mr. Aamir Khan starts a bold movement named as “SATYAMEBA JAYATE” where the special focus is on female feticide and there was lots of discussion on that. On that TV program by the help of sting operation few sensitive cases of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where, how the doctors and nurses are illegally indulge in these, we saw and this also helps to increase the TRP of program. This kind of news is no way, new to the society. They also lunch FIR against those antisocial elements but, So far no action is taken on them. Even the rumor says the reporters are in trouble, means they are counter attacked by Indian Law. As per result the reporters are hovering around court till today. Again I found a new session is going to start shortly with some more cases and they also start investigation on those old cases. The honorable CM of Rajasthan Mr. Ashok Gaholat appreciate Mr. Khan and also helps to arrange a meeting with chief justice to put light on these serious issues .As outcome of this discussion the Govt. plan to establish few fast track courts for these cases ,where the victim can get fast justice.
In top of all, the time will say what will happen, how far these decisions will be fruitful for society.
But, what I want to discuss here is? Whatever reason the TV show “SATYAMEBA JAYATE” want to focus are those are responsible for these seen? In my opinion NO. If we want to cure a plant then we have to check the soil quality rather than cutting all branches and leaf. What I feel in this TV show there were no discussion on the root cause of this seen. The questions remain same How to solve? How to stop?
My question is? Why everybody in our society wants a baby boy? Even if we refer our ancient time i.e. kings age they did PUTRESTHI JANGYA for above. Who told only a boy can give GATI-MUKTI to his parents. Who told only a boy can give MUKHA-AGNI? The answers of these questions I won’t get from “SATYAMEBA JAYATE”. Whereas the fact is the TV show so sensible because of the real victims with real stories. For that Mr. Khan become talk of town.
What I believe the problem lies in our so far called tradition and custom. In our every VEDAS, GRANTH and UPANISAD like RAMAYAN, MAHABHARAT everywhere the importance is given to boys. From the very beginning this false concept we want one boy child in any how required.
In ATHARBA VEDA it was mention the wanting of boy instead of girl child. In RUG VEDA it was mentioned YAMI told her husband the new upcoming boy child will be greatest grandson. In MAHABHARAT also PANDU asked to KUNTI as he got curse that he can’t go for relation with his wife so for that reason he asked to go for relation with any other man who is of equal or more in standard. In Ramayana also the king Dasaratha did a PUTRESTHI JANGYA no need to elaborate it as we all know what happen next. From the Ramayana time also the Devi Sita recovered from soil. In that time the people throws the girl child as garbage in drains and wells. MANU also wrote for a boy child a husband can divorce has a wife and same time can have more than one wife.
My question is to born a boy child who is required? The answer is a girl only. From one male get more than one wife? That time even though the girl child in unwanted but at least they didn’t throw them like todays.No where we found any JANGYA for a girl child. From this all we can conclude the reason behind this female feticide is to get a MUKTI from boys.
In T.V serials we all everyday watching so many torture on women but, no one put light why it happen? Every year in India so many female feticide cases why? Why the people have such strong superstitions that boy can only help in various regard like the right owner of parental properties, can give light towards MUKTI and for next generation?
And, the most peculiar is the rate female feticide is more in township than village. Why, because people are more educated!! In INDIA every year so many cases on female feticide. People no way reluctant for abortion if it is girl child, so many girls we found in drainage. That is why in last population counting we found a long gap between male and female.
My demand is we have to come over this traditional superstation. We have to give same credential to boy and girl. And we have to stop imaginary peace “MOKSHA” for future and need to think for present.
Recent Miss America crowning of Nina Davuluri, an American lady of Indian origin attracted lot of media attention in India as well as in US. Here in US it was some what controversial because of many racist comments on twitter about her origin (some thought she was Arab or Muslim or from some non American country), most of them were angry that how come person with non American looks can win Miss America beauty contest. I am sure this was not about whether she deserves this title or not, I am sure she is an American citizen, so all this was because of her looks and origin. I am personally no at all interested in these beauty pageants, they are heavily commercialized events and solely intended for marketing purpose of beauty products targeting specific markets, even these titles are awarded with intention of targeting markets of specific countries or ethnic groups, there is no real purpose behind these contests except to attract media coverage and make money, every country has its own version of Miss, Mr or Mrs something. But this post is not about these pageants or their relevance but about some people’s obsession about fair skin, they are obsessed with it so much that having dark skin is considered as ugly and unfortunate. I already wrote one post about definition of beauty but in this post I want to focus on stigma associated with dark skin in some cultures.
Most contestants entering beauty contests fit into commercial definition of beautiful, as far as their bodies and looks are concerned the only difference which I see is in developed places like US or Europe skin color variety is more, one can find both dark and fair colored (and in between) contestants participating in the event but in most Asian countries by default all contestants are fair skinned even though in some countries (like India) most people are dark skinned. This is not because dark skinned people are not allowed to compete or being barred to participate but because they don’t make the cut, they all get rejected in preliminary screening. The main reason behind this is obsession of people from these countries with fair skin. One can clearly see this just by looking at name of some of most popular skin care products in India like “fair & lovely” or “Fair & Handsome”, companies or people who advertise and sell these products don’t even see anything wrong in these names or in contents of their advertisement.
I have no idea from where this skin color bias has originated, I think at least in India it can be linked to presence of British or Europeans, they were very powerful and ruled the region for long time, so I think people relate white skin with some kind of superiority, may be same logic can be applied for other places in world where white skin is considered as more superior than dark one. Apart from this I don’t think there can be any other reason, according to me any skin color is beautiful white, black, brown, dark or fair all are beautiful, at least I can not pick one over other, so the preference to one particular skin color in people’s mind must have some social reason as it has absolutely nothing to do with beauty. Heavy commercialization of beauty products has resulted in aggressive advertisement of all brands which these companies want to sell, in this process they don’t care what they show in those ads or even what they claim their products can do, all they want is to sell their product at any cost and they take advantage of these type of social stigmas. They also encourage people to mold themselves to fit into their definition of beauty. In India I have seen with my own eyes stigma associated with dark skin, parents of children with dark skin worry about their kids future, specially how their kid will get married with person with fair skin, this worry is special concern for parents of girl child, they even have to pay more dowry in many cases just because of dark skin of their daughter, all this just because of a ark skin.
People who think fair skin is better or more beautiful than dark don’t even realize that indirectly they are practicing some form of racism, calling someone ugly just because of his/her skin color is not less than racism according to me, we need to question this attitude and object to all advertisements who encourage such thinking no matter which company is making them and which actor or celebrity is endorsing them. These companies have total right sell their product in market but they should not advertise them in a way they are doing it now (at least in India). The advertisement which Shahrukh Khan did for ‘Fair and handsome’ cream is really disgusting, I wonder how he didn’t realize it. I hope people get over this false notion of considering one skin color more beautiful than other, we all come in different colors, shapes and sizes, we all are beautiful no matter which advertisement says what. We need to remove stigma associated with any skin color in our society, person’s skin color or external appearance should not be the only criteria to judge that person and brand him/her beautiful or ugly. I think our society has evolved to such a level where we can understand that beauty is more than just external appearance and we all are beautiful, no matter what shape, size or color.
It is important to see, is it not?, that no one can give us freedom from the conflict of relationship. We can hide behind the screen of words, or follow a teacher, or run to a church, or lose ourselves in a cinema or a book, or keep on attending talks; but it is only when the fundamental process of thinking is uncovered through awareness in relationship that it is possible to understand and be free of that friction which we instinctively seek to avoid. Most of us use relationship as a means of escape from ourselves, from our own loneliness, from our own inward uncertainty and poverty, and so we cling to the outer things of relationship, which become very important to us. But if, instead of escaping through relationship, we can look into relationship as a mirror and see very clearly, without any prejudice, exactly what is, then that very perception brings about a transformation of what is, without any effort to transform it. There is nothing to transform about a fact; it is what it is. But we approach the fact with hesitation, with fear, with a sense of prejudice, and so we are always acting upon the fact and therefore never perceiving the fact as it is. When we see the fact as it is, then that very fact is the truth which resolves the problem.
Issue terrorism in not new for our civilization, our society has dealt with various forms of terrorism during different stages and different eras. Most ugly form of terrorism is physical violence and most people are mainly worried or scared about this form but it can also manifest itself in so many other forms. There is no doubt that any form of terrorism is harmful to any society or civilization. Arms and weapons industry is huge and it has tremendous influence on how world politics works, the market of this industry depends on feeling of fear and there is nothing better than terrorism to infuse this feeling among people of any country. Any society suffering with any form of terrorism faces so many problems, first of all day to day lives of its citizens get affected, many people live in constant fear of attack and it creates feeling of insecurity and distrust among its people. All these things are not signs of healthy society, so it is always better to address problems related with any sort of terrorism on priority basis. Ignoring such problems doesn’t make them to go away on its own, rather they can give rise to so many other problems which can be very damaging to any country. Many countries are battling with issue of terrorism in various forms for years. As a born Indian I know very well how it feels for a country to be at receiving end of terrorist attacks on regular basis. People try to label these acts of terrorism in so many ways, many times these terrorist groups label them themselves to identify with certain region, ethnic group or religion. In last few years there is increasing use of terms like ‘Islamic terrorism’ all over world or ‘saffron terrorism’ in India, these terms try to link some particular religion with terrorist activities happening in that region. The clear intention behind this is to indicate that that particular religion is used to incite people to perform acts of terrorism. So the question we need to ask is, is there any relationship between religion and terrorism? Especially when almost everyone claims that all religions teach peace, and it is widely claimed that all of them spread message of love then what is the reason same religion can be so easily used to spread hatred and violence? Why are people willing to kill each other in name of religion? Or is it possible that in reality almost all religions teach both hate and love, peace and violence? And as both options are available people conveniently use the portions of that particular religion which suits to justify their actions. I know some of these questions might make some people feel very uncomfortable and might even offend some but nevertheless we need to ask them. It seems people very easily get offended now a days, I was surprised to hear that now a days speakers have to give a ‘trigger warning’ before saying anything which might be contrary to some popular belief or against some widely accepted ideology. We need to ask these questions so that people can understand if there is any relationship between religion and terrorism, and if there is then they should be careful in dealing with some aspects of religion and those violent risks should to recognized and acknowledged.
Most of religions went through various forms of struggles to establish themselves in this world, one can easily read about these things even on internet. Some religions originated in very hostile environment and have to fight some bloody wars to defeat their enemies, so many of them include recommendations to fight against their opponents. These recommendations might have been necessary at that time as that was time of ‘might is right’ era but such conditions don’t exist any more. We all now understand that all these religions are like personal hygiene products in market, the only difference is that in this case people get this product from their family or parents and few of them chose on their on (by using the process called conversion). But the truth is that it is a form of personal welfare product so different people can have different religions as it suits their requirements and needs. Now most of us also understand that there is no eminent threat for any ideology or religion in most of civil societies. Most civilized countries offer their residents right to practice religion of their choice. If that particular religion is relevant and useful it will survive or it will fade away with time. This is a simple rule of market, if the product is popular and sellable it will stay in the market or something else will replace it. As I said most countries have freedom to practice any religion, some Islamic countries don’t have this freedom and we all know the situation of human sights and freedom of expression in those countries. The point I am trying to make is, any violence propagated in name of some religion is in extreme danger is false and a lame attempt to justify bigotry.
The truth of matter is every religion needs to own things happening in its name, doesn’t matter if it is good, bad or ugly, they need to take responsibility of all these things. The propagators and followers of any religion can not be selective in owning things about their own religion. They just can’t only talk about good things happening because of their religion and ignore all the bad and ugly things. This is called hypocrisy, where someone tries to project only one side of any issue or topic conveniently ignoring other sides as they don’t suit their purpose. Historically every major religion has been used to commit autocracies on its non followers at some point of time. Some sort of discrimination was practiced or still is in practice against non believers of that religion. Rather than accepting these things various explanations are offered to justify these acts either directly or indirectly. This is one of the reason why most people don’t hesitate to justify the violence in name of religion as almost everyone has done it, so it seems these heinous acts get some sort of legitimacy if they are committed in name of some religion. Some how every religion will have some group of followers who will justify such things and dominate the course of discussion. It seems religion has capacity of generating extremely good or extremely bad emotions in people, and some groups use both these extremes to serve purpose of their organizations. But the problem is most followers are really prompt and attentive in praising good deeds by people from their own religion but at the same time they are little hesitant or completely reluctant to accept many bad acts committed in name of their religion. People need to owe these acts and criticize them in strongest terms if they consider them wrong. Strong criticism from out side of that religion helps to radicalize some of its supporters and it helps the purpose of groups who want to misuse that religion. Because no religion takes criticism from outsiders very kindly, because it is assumed that outsiders will criticize out of hatred or jealousy. This is why it very important that strong criticism should come from various factions of that same religion and then only any reform is possible. Until these things start happening on large scale it is quite possible religion will be vulnerable for misuse by some bigots from their own fraternity. Today it is Islam tomorrow it will be something else or something new. Our social and political class need to show courage and commitment to address this problem without getting in to trap of not hurting anyone’s sentiment type of mentality. Please remember that as most saints belong to some religion most terrorist also have religion and they clearly mention it. It is a job of everyone to reject these violent ideas no matter from which holy book or religion they are coming from. Unless we all unite to fight this evil we will suffer because of it, so lets unite and fight this evil of religious terrorism.
Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.
Few days’ back I came across this amazing talk by Dr. Guy Winch on TED based on practicing emotional hygiene like we practice physical hygiene. I loved the way he presented this great idea of need to practice emotional hygiene. We all pay a lot of attention to follow physical hygiene; we try to keep our body and surroundings as clean as possible because we know that if we don’t then it might result in some kind of illness. But rarely do we pay that much attention towards our emotional hygiene. We all go through different type of emotions every day of our life; some of them are good some of them are bad. Some of them make us happy and encourage doing better but some of them make us sad and might affect our behavior in negative way. We all also consciously or unconsciously develop our own methods to deal with all these emotions which affect us both in positive and negative way. We all know that happiness and sadness are part of our lives, no feeling or situation is permanent but still we sometimes struggle to deal with some negative thoughts and feel overwhelmed by some situations.
Cluttered mind can always cause some problems and that is why I think suggestions offered in Dr. Winch’s talk are so important and relevant. No matter what we do most of us can’t avoid getting affected by different emotions, even while watching a movie or reading some book we get affected by situations presented in them or get emotionally attached to characters of the story. Human being is a very emotional animal, actually all animals are emotional to some extent but we humans know how to display it in much better way and that’s why we get affected by it more than any other species around us. This why it becomes extremely important to practice emotional hygiene. Lingering on with any emotion doesn’t help any of us, the only thing which is constant in life is change and we all know it theoretically but most of us struggle to understand this in real life. I myself have very bad habit of thinking too much about small things and I am constantly working towards getting rid of it. I know it is not easy to get rid of some habits easily but we need to give it a real try if we see that it is affecting our behavior.
I personally understand the importance of practicing emotional hygiene and that is why this talk impressed me so much. In this talk Dr. Winch explains us the importance of it by citing some examples from his own life that’s why I encourage readers to listen to this talk. We all should understand that emotions are not going to go anywhere; they are going to be integral parts of our lives so we need to get better in dealing with all types of emotions. Many times we have no control over the situations in life which we face (like loss of some near and dear ones) but we can control the way we react to these situations and this is where our capacity to practice emotional hygiene comes in to play. I know that it is not easy but it is necessary. Wrong way of dealing with emotions can land us in serious psychological issues and not all these issues are serious enough to clinically label them as mental illness but they can affect our lives considerably. So it is better to be aware of these things rather than being ignorant and suffer without even knowing why we are suffering. I feel this talk will give people some insight into their own emotional health and according to me being aware of emotional hygiene is better than not knowing about it. So please listen to this talk and get benefited.
Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic…….Prof.Hitesh Mohapatra
Experience the stage of being a detached observer by gradually creating the following thoughts:
I am aware of the present moment and of time… The whole world is out there… I let go for a moment of what is happening around me… It is as if the world continues to turn, but I have stopped for a few minutes and turned into an observer… Mentally, I take a step back… I look around me as if I were in the inside of a room… the room of my mind… In this place, I can be with myself… at peace… calm… free… Here I do not have pressures, or worries, or fears… Nothing and nobody can influence me… I can think… see things as they really are…
I am sitting like an observer, seeing through two windows… These windows are my eyes… I am not my eyes… I am aware of who is looking through these eyes, a tiny sparkling star like energy, the soul… I am different from everything I am seeing… I perceive that separation between the observer and the observed… I observe the things that surround me without judging, without analyzing… I simply observe, remaining at peace with myself…
I see this world as a stage of a great unlimited theatre play… each human being is an actor, a soul playing their own role via their physical body… I simply observe from my inner room… things come and go… nothing is permanent… I do not need to worry about anything or anybody… I let things be… flow… I am at peace… calmed… I share this vibration of peace with all that surrounds me.