Friday, November 28, 2008

warzone mumbai... 26-28th november...

I am writing this post with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and extreme sadness in my heart as the terror in Mumbai enters its 46th hour..

This is all iv been seeing from the last two days, flipping from one news channel to another... a series of highly unfortunate events unfolding in the financial capital of India one after another....
leaving almost 150 people dead and more than 350 injured..

What has our country become??? a mere banana republic... is it?

The NSG forces, mumbai police, navy commandos have been fighting the terrorists from the past two days...
We know it will be over in a few hours... when the last terrorist at The Taj dies...

But there are deeper issues that need to be addressed...
Who is to be blamed for all this?

The police? who were informed by foreign investigative services about a possible attack but did nothing..
The so called 'foreign hand'? (I'm not blaming any country or any religion here, cos' terrorist will continue to exist.. it is the country which makes the decision if they want to be vulnerable towards such attacks... 9/11 changed they way US dealt with terrorism.. and there has been no major terrorist attack ever since)

who is to be blamed???

Its the government...
And I'm not just talking about the current UPA coalition.. I'm talking about all the parties. ALL
every damn minister on this land has failed to do anything about terrorism.
all they do is hold high level meetings, and call press conferences and 'POLITICISE' terrorism.. by blaming the government at centre...
They choose to indulge in blame-game rather than doing something about the intelligence agencies of our country or bringing about police reforms...

The politics of the leaders has failed the State... the nation.. the people...
(p.s L.K Advani gave out statements that the PM and he were supposed to come on the same flight to mumbai, and even looked a bit sympathetic with what had happened.. but just when i thought this event will bring the parties and leaders together, BJP came out with a huge quarter page anti-govt Ad in all major national dailies.. And this is exactly how they'v failed the country)

26th november 2008, a sad day in the history of this country..
As much as it sounds cliched... but it is still the 'mumbai spirit n Delhi soul' which keeps us going...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sabarimala, celibacy and the great Indian ritual system…….

okay i wrote this article some two years back... it was the first thing i wrote after i joined my college.. its kinda raw..and unedited.. but has a soft corner.. and also i wrote it when i 'had' feminist tendencies...
Out of nowhere, actress Jaymala came into picture claiming that she visited the sanctum sanctorum of the legendary and well celebrated Sabarimala Temple when she was infantile The temple board offended by her statement spent a whopping rupees ten lakhs on a one week long sanitization ceremony. Why?

Lord Ayappa, the God to whom the temple is devoted was actually celibate. Celibacy is the state of being unmarried with abstinence from any kind of sexual activity and is considered a form of asceticism. The whole hubbub about Jaymala entering Sabarimala took place because women between the ages of 10-50 are not allowed in the temple complex as according to the temple board and devotees (male, off course); women arouse men, and hence deviate men from their motive of visiting the shrine, i.e. offering their prayers to the almighty.

This entire ruckus about women not allowed in temples, offer NAMAZ in mosques or given consent to do Seva in Gurudwaras (namely Harminder Sahib) is a derogatory blot on the standing on women in Indian social order. A member of The Muslim Board of India once made a statement that- Women not allowed to offer Namaz while those unsafe days, is like a compensation given to free them of the physical exertion. But the question that really comes up is; why give women this respite of taking rest in those three days, when she does not crave for it and is ready to pray even when she is having her periods.

One thing that has come up from these debates is that the real reason why women are being discriminated in our ritual system is basically because of the biological system of a woman. Most of the religions still very much consider a woman tainted while she is having her periods. Menarche, puberty and periods are still a very cloak-and-dagger affair for many people. Not only the biology but the physical appearance of a woman too has landed her in all the trouble she is facing. But it’s not always the prostitutes that get all the attention from men. Irrespective of what a woman is wearing, a housewife clad in a sari, businesswoman wearing a power suit, little girl wearing a frock, there seems to be something in men’s intellect, which gets stimulated or aroused every time they see a female. Then why in the world women have to forfeit the penalty for something they have not even done. Why?

It has been ages since women have faced a lot of hardships and now it’s time they stand up to what is wrong. And it can only be done when they are attentive of the rights they have. They should be aware of the mores that have been around from primordial epoch and not just blindly follow it because they do have some kind of a logical and rational reason as for why they were practiced.

But what is still a very debatable issue is that, had there been a goddess instead of lord Ayappa, who was celibate and sabarimala was a temple exclusively for women and a man had entered the complex; would there have been the same hullabaloo about it too? Had anyone raised a finger against that man for stimulating women in the temple? No, because we being a patriarchal society, are in a habit of blaming women for everything.

So, the Indian ritual arrangement still shows the bitter facade of the grade of women in the social order.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Homosexuality- A Sin?

So there's this article in Times Of India about homosexuality, and I'm inspired to write about something that I feel very strongly about.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code states-
"Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine."

There has been much discussion over this, as quite a few people, many of them celebrities, have come out of the closet and are quite open about their sexual preferences. And I say, WHY NOT?
What's wrong in having a different sexual orientation? Doesn't everybody have a right to live according to their own wishes?

In our society, there have always been people who have been more interested in what's happening in other's lives.
Like the neighbourhood aunties, who gossip about the teenage girl found to be roaming about with a guy from her school. And the wife, who comes late from office, and sets many tongues a-wagging. It doesn't matter whether the girl's 'boyfriend' actually turns out to be a brother, or maybe the woman comes late because she's handling double shifts to sustain her family.
It is this mindset that we have been brought up with, and it is this that makes us peep into other's lives instead of minding our own business. So what if a person is homosexual? Does it make him/her a criminal? Does it make him/her any lesser than any of us normal, heterosexual people? Does it make him/her any less able to handle a job? NO.
Then why the discrimination?

Our astute politicians are quick to term this increasing self realisation as 'westernization' and are even quicker to condemn it. I ask these people, have they been left out of the so called wave of modernization and westernization?? They have half naked women dancing on stages on so called 'Janmashtami Celebrations' and our politicians and various other party workers dancing along with them in inebriated states. That's OK, Homosexuality is not.

I think it's time we let go of our centuries old beliefs, and learn to accept people without any prejudices. Being a homosexual is not wrong, not until you're being forced to turn into one :P .

It's time for us non-homosexuals to come out of the closet. All the talk of world peace and brotherhood can become a reality only if we stop judging people and take them as they are.

welcome to our blog...

so there we have it... misty's and maggie's joint blog...
we had been planning to do something together for long... make a short movie (but didnt have a camera and didnt know how to edit), make a band but i cant sing.. i could have only offered to manage their band...
so this was the perfect thing we could have collaborated for.. a blog.. :)
since we both love to write... and we both think on the same mental levels...
and also because our current blogs serve no other purpose than being our personal diaries... where we crib about our personal lives, share even the minutest details, and etc etc...

so we co-administer this blog...
we'll be writing on issues under the sun... problems we feel strongly about,, our opinion, our ideas, and what not!!!

this will be double the fun... yayyy to us!!! :D