Tag: society

The faultless, the nationalist and the holier-than-thou.

Recently, I read in the social media about an Indian couple who beat up a wheelchair user in a theater for not standing during the national anthem in Goa. How sickening is this?

This is not an isolated incident in the country. These incidents, however, may not be called a trend, but has been increasingly reported in the last 10 years and very much in the media since past couple of years. It may be because these incidents have increased in past years or the media cover of these types of cases have increased. No matter whether it has increased or has been constant in the past 70 years of freedom, it definitely does not seem healthy for a free society.

People are openly beaten up or even lynched for eating certain kind of meat (beef). Couples are trashed in public parks for being together. Night parties have been attacked by a group of people who claim to be the makers of a better society (what an irony?). Some are even beaten up for not chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (Hail mother India)  as few believe it is the way to prove patriotism. A few media channels have promoted themselves from being neutral reporters to the judges of highest courts (of their own standards) by making judgments and declaring people guilty and even pointing out the anti-nationals.

 Poor people are beaten up for transporting cattle in the name of stopping the slaughter and are seized unlawfully, but later the cattle is sold by the same people for profit. This is one of the few businesses which includes no hard work but returns both fame and money.

The driver of a bigger vehicle would most probably be beaten up by passersby if he hits a smaller vehicle on the road even if it is not his fault. Tragically enough, people are more bothered to beat up the driver than to call an ambulance or take the victim to a hospital.

People from Bihar and UP have been trashed in their own country (in Mumbai) because some believe that they have the highest form of lawless behavior in the country. One must find out how lawful it is to beat somebody up unlawfully. In my opinion, it is nothing less than the Nazis who believed that Jews were the destroyers of the civilizations, however, they never realized that they themselves were the uncivilized and the real destroyers of civilization.

Everyone thinks they are better than the other person. Self-righteous people of every religion portray others as inferior all the time. Self-declared patriots threaten others’ right to celebrate patriotism in their own ways. Many of us do not miss any opportunity to point fingers at a person with a fault and sometimes, even without any fault, people beat up others just because they can.

Every time I hear about such incidents, one thing that comes to my mind is the incident where a woman was brought to Jesus convicted of adultery by the preachers of the laws and some self-righteous people. They asked Jesus whether the woman should be stoned, as the laws says an adulterous woman must be stoned to death. I admire what Jesus replied to this. He said “If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. Hearing the reply, all of them who accused the woman left the place one after another and as the verse emphasizes ‘the older ones first’. 😉 John – 8: 3-10.

In the same way, are we all not guilty of any sin? Are we not humans who commit mistakes in our daily lives? In other words, when Men visit brothels, it is gratifying their sexual needs but women in the brothels are called whores and secluded from the society in a way that jeopardizes their health and well-being. In addition to this, rapists and people indulging in violence against women in their homes are teaching how women should dress and when they should go out, under the banner of culture, tradition and religion.

If we take a moment and look within and be empathetic before we judge and disgrace others for their mistakes or raise our fingers, the world would be a much better place.

Let the law of the state, which is intended to maintain order in the society take its course. Why are we becoming so judgemental and self-righteous and taking law into our own hands?

Let he who is free of sin throw the first stone…

Finally, one thing I have observed in my life is that the higher the level of hypocrisy in a person the more judgmental she/he tends to be and more the finger pointing. I may be wrong in my observations, scientific study needed. LOL.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. Jesus in Matthew 7:5

Thanks

God bless

A Thousand splendid suns – A Review

“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,

Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”

– Persian poet Saib-e-Tabrizi, 17th Century

51jkAgidvAL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The book ‘A Thousand splendid suns’ is another masterpiece of Khaled Hosseini. Some say it is better than ‘The kite Runner’ but I would say both are equally great and cannot be compared.

‘A thousand splendid suns’ describes lives during the cold war and post-cold war, specifically how the intrusion of Taliban had affected lives in Afghanistan. It covers lives during three decades of war in Afghanistan.

The writing is so deep & real that it can give readers an opportunity to experience Afghanistan of that time. There is pain, remorse, fear, hostility, betrayal, joy, love, sacrifice, courage and some more beautiful emotions that can make you cry and admire as well.

I won’t give you an overview of the story but can tell you that ‘A thousand splendid suns’ describes the lives of two women from their childhood to adulthood forced to live almost without any rights. In the midst of suffering they have proved that life is worth living and showed in the midst of hatred, love never abandons anyone. They shone through the dark clouds of hatred because they were the ‘thousand splendid suns’. Like ‘The kite runner’, once again the writer has illustrated pure friendship and ultimate sacrifices.

Khaled Hosseini has described the two wonderful women as “splendid suns”. Women’s strength and their significance in a society have been described skilfully through this brilliant art. It will make you believe that Women are one of God’s most wonderful creations. It has touched my soul and will touch yours.

The story telling ability of Khaled Hosseini is simply remarkable. The way he has portrayed characters and incidents will keep you occupied.

It is a masterpiece and a must read…Before reading these two books I had never thought that I would want to visit Afghanistan in my life.

God Bless…

Who is the master of his/her own destiny???

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Man is a social animal. Men and women can’t live to their fullest without society. People who live as part of society have always better life than people who live in isolation. The person who roams around without having anything, a person who begs in the street and doesn’t have a home and a family and are not part of a society, don’t enjoy life the way people who have a family and society do.

Human beings without society have low quality of life which includes physical Health, psychological well being, social relationships and environment. Low quality of life hinders a person to even dream big. Without health which includes all these domains a person can’t be productive, creative, hard working and persistent which are so important to prosper in life in every way. So if you are successful today or you have achieved what you dreamt to achieve, it is because you had better social and environmental circumstances. It is to them who say they are self made and master of their own fate to think that without the society and all these privileges where would you be today.

Since childhood parents, siblings and other caretakers play a vital role in making you the person you are today. They play a major role in building your life, then come teachers and friends. All the socialization process helped build the person you are today. Even your thoughts, ideas, creativity and character were shaped by the process and made you the person available for many and for the wonderful work you are doing today. If you want to study in an institute or for a job, you need a recommendation letter. Sometimes to fulfill a little dream you need so many people. A small recommendation letter would stop your admission to an institute, today which has given you a strong foundation to your future. A small degree of change can make a great deviation from your aim at the end. Therefore, a small help can have a big impact in your life and can make a big difference. So it is to think now whether you are the master of your own destiny or so many people have made contributions to it. It is excellent to have self confidence and positive attitude about yourself and about your success, but it is noble to share credits with people who made your journey beautiful in reaching to your destiny.

Your life depends infinitely upon the family you were born into. Your birth itself determines your destiny. I was blessed to born in a family and in a society where there were better options, resources and opportunities to get proper education, exposure, nutrition and hygiene etc. If I was born in a place where there were no options, opportunities and resources, where would I be today? The behavior of People, who involve in anti social activities, can be attributed to the kind of community they grew up in and the kind of exposure they had in their valuable childhood. So we are what we are because of the opportunity that we had, not because of we built our life by ourselves alone. That is true that if one is successful s/he has utilized and worked upon the opportunity through hard work, practice and patience but it would not be possible if one would not have the opportunity and options. The concept ‘I am the master of my own destiny’ signifies that whoever is not successful it is because of their own fault and they are only responsible for their condition.

I work alongside a marginalized community, and have seen them, I have listened to them closely and observed and found, in every problem there is an external factor responsible than they themselves. I have seen many who work hard, even more than many of us but there living standard is much poorer than us. So I found they are poor because they have fewer options, lack of information and lack of resources.

Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision USA writes in his book ‘The Hole in our Gospel:

“What I have discovered in my travels to more than forty countries with World Vision is that almost all the poverty is fundamentally the result of a lack of options. It is not that the poor are lazier, less intelligent, or unwilling to make efforts to change their condition. Rather, it is that they are trapped by circumstances beyond their power to change. I have found that the poorer people are, the harder they work, usually. In fact, their daily labor is more strenuous than most of us could tolerate. It is their circumstances that conspire to prevent their hard work from bearing fruit”.

Yes, there are people in spite of tremendous opportunity have not done great because of their laziness, lack of zeal but there are millions who did not have the option and the opportunity. But whoever is successful today it is because of opportunities, their surroundings, and the socialization process and off course their hard work.

Former US president Bill Clinton once said: “During our lives we had all been presented with opportunities of one kind or another, and second, that we had worked hard to capitalize on those opportunities and that our hard work had paid off”. – The hole in our Gospel

The idea of ‘ I am the master of my own destiny’ is not possible with human beings because we are made in such a way that we need family and society to live with, only then we can be the person of our dream. First, we should be thankful to the GOD Almighty and then people around us, opportunities, options then we, our hard work that paid off. Therefore, we are a shareholder of our success and the master is GOD alone who put everything in the right place for us to be the person we are today.

Who is the master of his/her own destiny???       Not a single one….

This is not to discourage anyone but to help to be thankful in life and maintain right amount of confidence, and to keep one’s cup ready to be filled at anytime. May God take you to your dreams and may you have good success.…..

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Photo courtesy: Rachel Raj

God bless….

Abinash

Boasting immorality…

I stopped to drink tea at a tea stall while coming back from the field after a village meeting. I started to talk to the person who was selling tea, just to know about him and to know different lives. It was a good conversation. Then he told me something which was funny and at the same time it was weird too. He told something, that no one could share so proudly, especially to a stranger.

He was telling about how he started the shop and how is he surviving. He has completed his Bachelor of Arts. There is a secret behind how he passed all exams since his 10th standard….. He used to pin Rs. 100 or 50 notes inside his answer paper as a bribe to the examiner. Whichever paper he was little doubtful he did it. When I asked that there was a possibility that you could get caught and be expelled? Humorously, he told nothing would happen because he knew; money is everything in today’s world. Little amount of money can convert 05 into 50 on your answer papers. He said, even you don’t have to explain the reason for the money you keep; the examiner would understand.

bribe

(A random downloaded photo)

But the astonishing part was not that he kept money in his exam paper but the way he was explaining it. He was humorous, and there was a sense of pride in his talk that he had done the job so skillfully. It seemed he did not even realize that he had bribed to the examiner. He was happy and boasting about himself without a sign of guilt on his face.

I don’t mean that the person is bad or good but I was just amazed by the way he shared it. I liked talking to him throughout as he was so freely talking to me. I am sure that it was not his own idea but he had learnt it overtime in his socialization process. Teachers, who are supposed to be the backbone of any society in its progress, are entertaining this. Such things have become so common in our society that we don’t even realize that they are social evils. The sense of guilt has gradually disappeared by doing the wrong things continuously.

This is similar to a beautiful quote by Thomas Paine – “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” 

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God Bless…..

Abinash Biswal