Monday, May 21, 2007

One special Hindu

He is Rahul Easwar, Grandson of the Head Priest.... in Sabrimala or Guruvayoor. Both associated with traditions which we modern people think obsolete...

But.... now, as I hear him today on TV and once earlier in a discussion on NDTV...

It does not matter that he belongs to a temple in Kerala which is currently being considered controversial - Guruvayoor temple. It does not matter that he is on the receiving end of people who think that sabrimala temple should be opened upto women. Inspite of all my liberal thoughts I think this man has the profound depth in his thought, is from the roots he is talking of, and can visualise the issues with far higher sophistication & sensitivity than the trigger happy religious fanatics, liberals, seculars, and the all other thought processes. I feel it in my guts, that this is one genuine person who knows the purpose, relevance and the essence of what he is dealing with.
While all those protesting the traditions are speaking from without and like to break things. He is from within thinking of change - but with consideration and a clear understanding of the insititutions. That in my eyes makes him a man of much greater worth than all of us sitting on PCs, chairs, and charity posts telling the world how to behave.

Going to keep a watch on him and see how things go for him in this otherwise complicated country. Wish him the best.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Time to destroy all Hindu erotica?

What the invaders over the centuries could not do to us, we are about to to do onto ourselves?

For long I had thought, but would not express it due to a loss of words, authority and lack of historical confirmation. But I read something today, which echos how I see the current wave of Hindu hardliners taking the task of moral policing - which is so unlike what I understand the common man in India, even the most conservative. Old conservative ladies who I have discussed with - everything under the sun... or is it about the part of the country I live in?

The sentence comes from a line from Mr. Ranjit Hosakote's reaction to the recent 'fundamentalist intrusion into an art exhibition' which led to the arrest of a student, who actually is a son of a carpenter and not one from the 'elite' as the fundamentalist would have wished for. I am quite disheartened to see the flexibility, vastness and variety of Hinduism being appropriated by a section of people who see it in just there narrow regressive manner. And the line I refferred to earlier well sums it up:

"It appears that the champions of a resurgent Hindu identity are acutely embarrassed by the presence of the erotic at the centre of Hindu sacred art. As they may well be, for (their roots) do not lie in Hinduism. Rather, they lie in a crude mixture of German romanticism, Victorian puritanism ...."

One can read more of this article here...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thank God I am not a woman in Bangalore.

When I was in college hostel, I remember one girl telling me how sad it is that she could cannot enjoy going out after midnight and enjoy the late night tea and parantha outside our college - something which all the male students relished, especially during exams - unless she was accompanied by other men. That too would be a matter of taking 'care' and worrying about remarks from others.

That was in a city in North India, for the short time I was in that part of the country. South, though still India and with its own worries, I thought, always allowed greater freedom and safety for women.

So, a number of such thoughts were running in my head as I visit New Delhi, the capital of India. And I stand in a corridor when a revulsive manager shouts at a lady executive - for all of us to hear. I think this is some franchisee of citibank. They sound like people working on daily pressures - like the ones I see in american movies ... in a door-to-door sales outfits - loud mouth chief executives, shivering managers and then a loud mouth manager and shivering executives and so it goes down the heirarchy. And I thought to myself - 'Such behaviour would not happen down south.' (even as I feel bad about generalising...)

But today's news I hear from Bangalore is really disheartening. Females will not be allowed to work late into the night. Its a punishable law and the government says its aimed at the companies and not the women and the minister also refers to Indian culture - women are also housewifes and they need their time.

True, many women would also be housewives. Maybe, many women would not like to work late in the night. But if one women does want to - who is the government to decide otherwise?

Sometime ago one lady was murdered in the night. And there are cases of sexual harrasment in the office. But is that not a separate subject to deal with?

Is a democractic world supposed to be meant only for the majority? Because most women should stay home are we supposed to question the one who walks out in the night? Is that the issue?

If I was a woman today I would rebel in my mind. I would find legitimate reasons to be negative. About breaking laws, norms and culture.

I mean... the culture we have, if we have, is because people retain it out of love and choice. Not because of any government ruling....

There ... I start repeating myself again. I was born in a much more free India than its today and its getting worse.