Your omnipresence drives me
To the drudgery of lonliness.
Like a dagger drilling through my heart; through my raw living flesh,
Like the meaning of self getting devastated by dependency.
Still the haunting chill of my amorphous words; those unordered idioms
Ceases to take my last breath away.
And like a fool I live.
Like living in a virtual glass house of memories.
Awaiting a stroke of torment which will compel me to break it;
To break it to tell you or yell for you ……..
Your omnipresence make my vision blind,
Like a glare in front of my spectacles.
And I still drive home expecting the console of death,
For what value should I owe to my presence, when I feel your omnipresence.
Your omnipresence drives me
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Categories : General, Literary
I was just checking a mail in my gmail inbox when I happened to find a curious text advertisement link with an article entitled ‘Science that Backs Up Faith‘. It did not contain any surprising revelation and was in expected lines of a ‘Christianity Today‘ weekly. But something really shook me when I read through the whole article. The whole concept of Intelligent Design Theory although claimed by its proponents as a secular alternative scientific theory was being projected as the best weapon for supporting (dogmatic) religious faiths as against a rational dialogue. This is an interesting feature of any religious institution; ie. find shelter in some arguable scientific logic when in crisis and then propagate its age old dogmatic beliefs. A strange mixture of sophist arguments and ‘thou shall not since such is the logic’. If so what is the distinctive features of science and such religious supported pseudo theories?
The organisation called ‘Centre for Science & Culture’ and ‘Discovery’ has very many scientists working and propagating I.D. Theory. The have an FAQ about it. Hmm … that sounds nice. But let us go deeper.
1. What is the theory of intelligent design?
Ans:- The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection
Is it?. The obvious logical flaw in here is the casual usage of the term intelligent. What can be considered as more intelligent, let us say than human beings? If something is more intelligent than the best human brain, it has a very direct implication that all dynamics of its action can never be explained by human race at any point of time. So the purpose of science is futile in this regard. Scrap all questions and investigations about universe and believe what you feel like (aka go join a seminary and learn all those bull craps and never question for it is out of human reach).
Next comes the issue of what we perceive as intelligent. Out of a million possibility it is just one that can happen (if we exclude the multiverse theory). If we all – the people born as the result of that possibility – stand up and say that its probability was just one in a million and so it was directed does this fit to some logic? Well, if the change was well directed by whoever-it-be all that we think turns out to be the direct or indirect consequence of a directed thing. ie the outcome was predestined. There was no other possibility. So why bother to think about it at all. Or we might be thinking since that happens to be our destiny. So as per the theory even the upper hand of scientific community that rejects their claim is (or was) also the destiny. Why should they blame them (if they still use logic)? Further all foundations of logic is irrelevant since things happen because they are ought to. This might make a orthodox religious person happy but not a science student in me.
This has in fact been the stereotype response from religious bodies to scientific investigations. You can put a full stop to any investigation by introducing a God’s hand. It is a perfect theory. Also the most flexible one. This full stop can be put at where you like. Anywhere. So the very usage of intelligent design and supporting evidence that they project from scientific investigations is a parody in itself. They showcase evidence resting on the base of science and then try to redefine science by introducing an arbitrary element which is undefined. This is synonymous to a statement “English alphabets starting from a to z and punctuations are wrong and too incapable to write this language”. I think the fallacy inherent is quite obvious for any student of logic. The issue of encapsulation.
Other questions that it raises all becomes irrelevant when the founding logic itself is inconsistent. But let also try to discuss issues like ‘Darwinism’ and ‘Creationist’ arguments. Darwinian theory is not a theory complete in itself. It was the first rational investigation about the phenomena of life. It has its defect like most established scientific theories. But the point is its consistency with the scientific rigour. Science is not knowledge in itself. All it does is a methodical arrangement of knowledge. Thus it interconnects most information and observations with other natural phenomena by a rigorous and well explained logic. This is in direct contrast with religious methodology which bases everything on some age old faith which is unchangeable. Science too keeps some basic faiths, like universe is consistent and ‘laws of nature’ does not change with time. But there are no observable evidence or compelling logic to change these as of now. Still, if the need be, it will adapt with the new observations and redefine unlike religions. So a scientific debate about Darwinian theory should be based in the realms of science and not faith which contradicts established scientific notions at any level.
Well, the bottom line is that it may not be the ultimate truth (if at all something exists) that we might be heading to, but just some new vocabulary to address its manifestations. This process, with its discipline, constitutes science. It may not be the panache of all human issues in any age. But it certainly gives better insight about the physical universe as it proceeds through time. This is easily verifiable by the historical role played by faith based and scientific institutions in any age. Rationality may not be the key for all life questions, but its part is undeniable. Therefore, let faiths survive but let them never be the dominant factor but the balancing hand to inculcate some values for social stability.
PS:- I do not loath religions but certainly their dogmas and hegemony in social life.
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Categories : Science and Society
Kimi varthaka sanjaya.”
So began Bhagavat Gita. It is no coincidence that the epic which moved along the emotional battle fields of its infinitely many characters had its climax in a real war. And the very fact the eternal human dilemma – ‘to be or not to be’ – requires a well constructed logical argument sequence to be resolved, made a Gita inevitable. Perfect in every context. Even if we extend it outside the frame of its time of occurence (or conception of the author) this is true. But Mahabharata is much deeper than that. So much as there exist no comparison to it. Not even ‘Lord of the Rings’, the whole of ‘Harry Potter’, ‘War and Peace’, complete storyline of Bible or any human literary work. Its uniqueness emerges from the infinite scope which the author(s) have left for the reader’s imagination and interpretation. No preach of sermons or attempt to prove ‘truth’ when the whole script is taken into its entirety. It is literature at its best where each character is an epic in itself which is so complete and possesses a unique identity.
My granny used to tell me a lot of stories when I was a kid. Stories about animals at first, in which cats, crows, donkeys, monkeys, lions, cows and a few human beings used to be the characters. I would have not felt any difference about them from being real life stories. Not even the concept of humans and animals should have existed for any child. To any new born which has seen life outside the uterus for only two to five years, they are as real as real. But then, after a few years- let us say two more – she used to tell stories about princes, queens, magical people whom they called as incarnation of Gods and many others. At some point she connected them together and described them as the stories from an epic. She called it ‘Mahabharata’. Obviously the child did not know what an epic meant or whether it is real or not. Still those stories imprinted a unique picture in its mind. I grew and once I realized that they belonged to a unparalleled collection of myths – the greatest one ever written by humanity – the one and only MAHABHARATA, the wonder knew no bounds.
For long, the characters of this epic remained with an aura of magic. Bhishma, Karna, Drona, Yudhistira, Draupathi, Kunthi, Panchali, Krishna, Vidhura, Vyasa and a countless many. Once I tried to ponder deep, the magic enmated with the thoughts about life and became something much higher to being divine. It became the real definition of art. Anand, the renowned malayalam writter, described ‘krithi’ or literary work in these words- “Shrutiyum smritiyum vismrithiyilekkum pinne mrithiyilekkum marayumbozhum krithi nilanilkkunu.” A ‘krithi’ – true literary work – remains even after ‘shruti’ – vedas, brahmnas and upanishads – or ‘smriti’ – other interpretations like puranas and shastras- disappears and eventually dies in the depth of our memories. Truly, Mahabharatha, whether written by a single Krishnadwaipayanan (Vyasa) or many, is an epitome of all possible thoughts about human nature. It is not a story written for conveying few then contemporary or arguably eternal morals, but a descriptive portray of human psyche.
Mahabharata is the most brilliant collection which India has contributed to the world. Uniqueness of each character and the closely interweaved web of stories complete in itself has rarely not evoked the imagination of any kid who have heard it once. In fact, it requires a whole ‘wikipedia’ to do some justice to the entireness of the epic. And when I think about it, at least some ten characters come to mind with whom I have empathised. Still, an empathy for one, when I go deep becomes a wonder for the creater of the epic and still deeper, a state of numbness devoid of words to think or covey. I have felt it with respect to very many characters. Let us say Karna and Kunthi. Who deserves more empathy? I maintained Karna did. But when thought from the perspective of Kunthi, the grounds becomes shaky. ……
Kunthi who was granted a boon from Durvasrav maharshi happened to test the power of the ‘mantra’ in her teenage spirit. There is no logical reason resisting an innocent girl, filled with the curiosity of the age not attempting that. Once Surya (Sun God) appeared before her as the result of the divine power of the ‘mantra’, there was no way out for her. Also, she could not have resisted the handsome, young, divine and powerful God of light by any human measure.
When she conceived her first child, nothing could have saved that poor princess bound by royal responsibilities and manners from abandoning it. The pain endured by a woman to deliver her first child is reasoned to be the most acute physical pain which can be endured by any human being. Also, the attachment to it begins from the ten month long nurturing inside her womb when the child was just a naive fetus feeding up on its mother. Like any mother, she would have loved to care it and bring it up. But no! So forced the situations. She must have wept for days, tormented for months. The debt she owed to the piece of flesh and blood which once resided inside her uterus, cut off from her physical self by the mechanical process of dissecting an umbilical chord, the emotion snatched away by the cruel world around that she can not even weep for him in front of the public, must have tortured her for a life time. A cruel game up on the life of two individuals for preserving the existing social manners. Whose fault is it? Was it anybody’s fault at all? Unanswered questions about life…..
The noble Karna, brought up by a charriot rider (Suuth) and wife got insulted infront of the whole royal family and public when Drona questioned his ‘kula’ – caste – when he (Drona) could not deny his merit and was overwhelmed by the selfish love for his disciple Arjuna. There was just one Duryodhana (some texts refer as Suyodhana) who offered some human consideration apart from his adopted parents in his whole life. Duryodhana is portrayed to be an unholy character in the later turn up of events. So should he reciprocate the favour of his friend or not? This is an ultimate dilemma in any social or political decision making………
Karna opted to side his only friend and his brothers (and the only sister Dushala). In every walk of life including death he receives insult and lack of consideration. Even a ‘poetic justice’ is denied to him for a reason of his birth. Look at his death itself. Arjuna killed him up on the advice of Krishna when his chariot wheel gets trapped in a gutter! An ultimate tragedy of life! A virtuous person from whom his protective armour gets snatched away by fraudulence of Indra (king of Devas and the biological father of Arjuna) first and then by own biological mother!
What could have that mother felt when caught in between Arjuna and Karna? Her love for Arjuna can be traced back to her bringing up of the child. The one she had seen throughout her life to that point. The child which has reciprocated her love by all measures to the extend of sharing his wedded bride, Draupathi, with the other four brothers including two step brothers (Nakula and Sahadeva, children of Pandu’s second wife Madri) up on her request. But there always remains a heart breaking urge for her first born. The strongest emotional battle. Whether to choose her abandoned (due to circumstances) son or the brought up son …….. Well, wouldn’t she have wept …….. ? The whole consequence of war becomes irrelevant for her ….. What is there for her to choose? What about the poor Karna who lived and died in misery?
The same Kunthi went for ‘sanyas’ (saintly life in forest) with Ghandhari and Dritharastra and when Krishna asks her after the war what she would like to have as a boon she replied. “Dear Krishna, I want only pain. Just pain. The pain with which I lived my entire life and the same pain which haunts me …..” Pain, pain and pain alone ……… No wonder when asked about the epitome of Ramayana, a saint replied “It is just melancholy and melancholy alone …….”. If it is so about Ramayana – just an ancient story about morality and life- how much more true should it apply to Mahabharata?
When I go deep, the puzzle becomes recursive. It is not about solution but about mental state that one have to endure in life. Rarely have I seen a work which has described such dilemmas in its vastness and depth. Not just about a Karna and Kunthi but about the interrelations pertaining to every character. Ekalavya and Drona, Ghandhari and the war, Krishna and the role of politician which he had to play, everything……… These thoughts make me convince something about literature – a good old verse. “Sloka comes from shoka.” It is pain that gives birth to a masterly literary work……..
Now I feel for the pain of characters. The pain of the master brain who when glorified feels a more intense pain up on his fate to play the role despite convictions……. The real meaning of people being pawns of an unknown destiny………
Dear Vyasa, you are simply the best in the world. Who else have created such an epic which presents the most univocal dialogue between time and human life?
PS :- No wonder the wiki page about Mahabharata and its links could not even describe the tip of the iceberg. Well, I guess it might take a whole new www to discuss and appreciate the whole storyline and its implications. But I wonder how such a classic text whose leagacy could be shared by all Indians be described as a ‘Hindu religion’ text! Neither is it Hindu in the religious sense and nor religious as per the standards of religion (like uniformity in streams of thought and propaganda of a moral code).
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Categories : General, Literary
Here when I am asleep, the world has awaken.
When intense flames of pain take me to the lunatic extreme,
I lay to redeem those unfulfilled pledges
And consuming dreams.
Each cigerette burns my existance.
The fumes of nicotin creeps through the nerves.
A drama played in dialogues of silence,
Yet the solitude devastated in the contours drawn by time.
Never have I felt to kill my life.
But is to live a mere saga of endurance?
……… ….. …..
The laughter began and ended.
The comedian made his way through.
His sorrows made them laugh.
The stage entralled but for a coincidence.
…… …….. …………..
When his heart wept, very many laughed,
And when it laughed so many pained.
A strangeness of boundless expressions.
Life in real when potrayed.
…….. ……………….. …..
My birth, my love, my passions and accomplishments
All are but scribes on a pappilon leaf.
Some might lay burried and some uncovered.
But for their meanings ever to be interpreted.
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Categories : General
A legend has passed away, leaving behind melodies and classics which still reverbrates in the heart of every malayalee. How can those ever green film songs composed by this maestro, fade away? Devarajan, Baburaj and Dakshinamurthy truly represents the divine trio of malayalam music. Very much like what Thyagarajan, Muthuswami Dekshithar and Shyama Shasthri represents for Karnatic music. An athiest who composed the most touching religious songs like ‘ Guruvayoor ambalanadayil oru divasam..’, ‘Nithya vishudhayam kanya mariyame …’.;the ‘gandharvan’ – celestial lover – who meserised generations with his tunes and the maverick who defined new levels of meanings for the writen words through his compositions. Rebellion, love, pain, piety, everything; every emotion flowed out so uniquely though his works. And when his voice and tunes become yet another page in our memory, he vanquishes death with his art. In deed, a true artist will never die.
It remains a wonder as how a person could cling malayaalee to the radio set (and later T.V.) from the beautiful songs in the black and white era to the uncomparable melodies like ‘arikil neeyundaayirunnenkilennu njyan ..’ in the medival era. The rebellious drama songs he composed for K.P.A.C still remains unparallel. The classical touch without ever compromising on melody aspect, is too remarkable for any composer. I still get stuck to the A.I.R when I hear the announcement about a song with ‘sangeetham, Devarajan’. The old gramphone records and noon time ‘chalachitra ganangal’ will ever go blessed by his tunes. Even in this age of ‘zig-zag’ F.M. radio stations, no malayalee will ever find a replacement for the enchanting voices of Yesudas, Jayachandran, M. G. Sreekumar, P. Susheela, S. janaki, P. Leela, Shanta P. Nair, reciting the divine notes of this emperor in the kingdom of music.
I always wondered how music actually communicates more than the poetry in its words. And still that wonder has never ceased. But when I listen to the brilliant works of the likes of Devarajan, it metamorphasises into a deep reverence for the skill of the composer. Whatever words I write goes dumb when even lesser elegant words becomes magical by the touch of a maestro like him. And what if even the words too comes from the pen of poets like Vayalar, O. N. V., P. Bhaskaran etc. It becomes a metephor, just like the usage of gold with fragrance.
Modern generation has moved far too away from creating an identity for themselves by and large. This cannot be blamed as a cultural invasion per say. Such cliched usages only depict our incompetancy. Real talent is in creating a space for one through unchartered waters; through unexplored ways and making it conversant with common people’s emotions. Our old maestroes did that quite remarkably. Beatles were great and so was Elvis Presly, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix etc. They brought rock and roll, folk or blues to a new level. Rolling Stones, Metalica, Radio Head etc all had their unique signature in compositions. But come back to our contemperory Indian music. How far has it retained an identity apart from the traditional or imitation-gold-of-western-styles? More when it comes to regional languages. Truly, standing in this transition era, our greatest crisis in every field is our identity crisis. We are too reluctant to search for our identity too. How many classics exist in our music, our films, our theatres or even literature to a large extend contributed by this present generation? And still we take a hollow pride in a ‘Lagaan’ or ‘Devdas’ which by any measure has no comparison with ‘Pather Panjali’ or ‘Elipathaayam’ . We boast about the literary works of a few hyped up pop works like ‘God of small things’ (strictly in the literary context alone) while ‘Khasaakinte Ithihaasam’ remains an ‘ithihaasam’ – a legend – eventhough often not praised to the same level. We boast about Indian rock bands with appreciation from outside while none has created anything which could be deemed as a master piece. The greatest thing we still boast is about our economy, which floats openly on the soap bubble of a current trend……… One hundred more things to say, still understanding the life and works of a maestro serves as the best lesson for a retrospective.
I am a malayaale at heart in every sense of cultural identity and would ever like to be. This is not as a ‘conservative regime’ thought stream. But as a liking for ‘white mundu’, tender coconut, traditional food, literature, music, river, rain and the ever present green serene beauty. For the passion towards democrazy, egalitarian ideals, political thought and importantly to be a moderate in views to all possible extend of convictions. This very identity makes me feel the lose of one of our greatest composers as unreplaceable. Perhaps nothing is irreplacable, but that doesn’t console.
In here, Banglore, as once Arun rightly described as the paradise of Ayn Randists, what makes me puzzled is the earnestness among Kerlalites to despice and often abhor the very circumstances which made them what they are…….Perhaps we may not be able to expect O. V. Vijayans, who while being one among the greatest critic of communism and CPI(M) in Kerala wrote the most memorable and touching obitury to Com. E. M. S., any more – “Tuchamaaya tharkangal Keralam marakkum. Onnumatram njyan ariyunnu, angillaayirunnenkil njyangellavarum ennathe niyalil ninnum ethrayoo cheriya manushyaraayi theernneene. Saghave Lal Salam. – Published in Malayalam weekly” – Kerala will forget our trivial debates. But I know one thing for sure, had you not been there we would have been far lesser mortals. Red Salute comrade.
I remember even my mother – a supporter of Congress(I) – chanting these words while his funeral march was being telecast in 1998- “He was simply great. There is one and only E M Sankaran- the first chief minister of kerala.” When I consider that she (and me too) belongs to a family from which excess land was taken by the Land reforms act, I find this remark as a great reminiscence about the towering figure, who redefined history and by that process walked ahead of time earning respect of all people cutting accross ideologies. But do we, the present generation, cherish any reminiscenes? Did we address the question, how we became us? Forgetting past is easy, but when you do that, what we create is a future we owe to no one. And therefore, a future in which even our children and grant children finds it easy to forget. History can be a chain but for that realisation we need to feel and understand it. This exactly is the idea that bothers me, when a Devarajan’s death is just another demise for the Malayalees here – the people who takes pride in proclaiming themselves to be ‘fraud mallus’ for whom eating hamburgers, (even if dosa is available and tastes better), inserting three M.T.V slangs in every sentence(even when a better off or even elegant English is not unknown) and swearing by Nirvana or Ramstein sounds fashionable (even when at heart, no music could touch them deeper than the melodies of mother’s lullaby)- it is our identity crisis that gets exposed. The cliche of a ‘fraud mallu’, I wrote may not be applicable to all including rock lovers and burger eaters. But still a wide majority.
My concluding words is from a beautiful song composed by Devarajan master.-
Ee manoohara theerathu tharumoo,
Eniyoru janman koodi,
Enikkiniyoru janman koodi ….. And if, you are reborn let it be as the creater of more divine melodies for the generations to come ….. Lal Salam.
PS:- Does any one have more information to update this wiki entry about Devarajan Master – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devarajan -?
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Categories : General
- Are the editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten illegitimate forms of expression?
- Does Iran possess the right to go nuclear?
- Should pornography be banned?
- Are homosexual marriages or intercourses legitimate?
Here are four distinct with very little obvious common grounds, yet equally controversial debates of the day. Can we address all these issues from the same platform? Or do they really share some common platform? Quite vague, isn’t it. Let us try.
Before getting on to the central theme, I would like to begin with a sketch of some of my personal experiences. It was during my 9th standard that I happened to watch a real pornographic movie from a video tape. I belonged to that comparatively privileged section of lower middle class with a VCP (Video Cassette Player) at home. A year later while in the 10th standard, we (my batch) had a unique educational session on a Saturday- a ‘sex education’ class. In a society were the word sex raises eyebrows of the common people and where any public discussion about the same is a social taboo, this happened to be a highly progressive move by a ‘Christian Missionary’ school management. More so, when we consider the historical fact that ‘Victorian moral codes’ were assimilated by the Indian (or Hindu) society due to the influence of Christian missionaries during the British Raj. But the class turned out to be a real boring session for us boys who had seen the ‘supposedly not to be seen during puberty’ things. A priest who was our ex-headmaster showed a video clip and a delivered a lecture. The evening session turned out to be a horror, since he virtually made it a church ceremony speech, holding Bible in his hands, chanting biblical statements and unending list of sermons. Naturally, the things least appreciated by 15 or 14 year old boys.
When I came to college (Christ college, Irinjalakuda) for my pre-degree course, the world around changed drastically. My teachers, especially the language lecturers, were more open minded so as to discuss many a social taboos at length. An enlightening period and more, a time when watching a porn movie was too easy a thing. It became a sort of adventurous spirit for us boys to watch an adult movie with friends in the nearby theatre. In Engineering College, during the first year, I got the ‘privilege’ to watch many from a computer in the hostel. My classmate Swaminathan (not the real name) brought his P.C. which became our ‘dream theatre’. Time went on shortly I, like most in our batch, got the confidence to speak about sex in front of any audience for a debate.
This quite naturally can be the story of any person, especially from India. But its obviousness shouldn’t inhibit us from pondering deep in it. The point is about the way convictions are born, the growth in thought and at the very fundamental level, the concept of freedom. In fact, all these ‘mischievous’ acts were arguably wrong for the society. But then, hardly have I known people who haven’t done any of these. At least the majority. This statement should not be translated as an argument against non requirement of any social controls. Far from it, this exactly is the social dynamics at work and the way society proceeds and so the alleged mischiefs of the day will probably become accepted moral or social code of the next generation. Now, deeper into that, then what exactly is a freedom? Who defines it and what should be the fundamental criterion for defining it?
Let me make my conclusions clear. Freedom can only be defined in the context of the existing social structure. Yes, I mean there exists no absolute freedom and will never. In fact, any ideal or entity can never be addressed from an absolute frame or coordinates. More so with respect to intangible things like ideals. Sartre put it right when he said, “freedom is what you do with what has been passed on to you.” We only create new spaces from the grounds created far before by our ancestors. And therefore social taboos are bound to exist in every society in all ages. Their character might change, but liberation is never a destiny in itself. It is only a process by which a person or society create more space for its existence. Now, the question is what should be the governing concept – if at all – which serves humanity better in its never ending quest through which ideals can be redefined? We all might have our own distinct opinions here. According to me, the governing concept for the present should be co-existence, nonaggression into others’ space and most importantly sustaining and perpetuating the known historical process of creating own space and extending it to unchartered arenas. This should also imply that we should grant sections which are historically lacking behind in this aspect, a decent amount of time to rearrange itself and others should make some positive input into it. Also, it is lack of historical foresightedness which often grips the ‘hot blooded mortals’ so as to argue for ‘freedom that he or she or it enjoys in a social setup’ to be imparted or forcefully applied at the same level and same time to a different social setup. Well, the former statement is not to be deemed as an absolute remark, it is a value judgment. The criterion whether or not a freedom prevailing in one society be existent in another should be subjectively analyzed based on the criterions mentioned earlier.
I believe that I have my premises clear. Now let us proceed with the issues. With respect to editorial cartoons published by the Danish newspaper, I do not consider it to be a genuine and positive freedom of expression. Again, I emphasize that this is from an existing social perspective. In fact, much more vulgar forms of expressions about Islam, Christianity or any religion or ideal exist in the cyber world. The issue comes also due to the accessibility and popularity of the print media. Also, the news that the same newspaper refused to publish some cartoons depicting Jesus is a clear double standard. I find it quite absurd for any person to attack alleged present misgivings of a sect by portraying their ‘prophet’ – a person who no longer exist and in fact dead before many centuries – in unnecessary and illegitimate ways. So the very social taboo that applies for Christianity should be extended to any other religion. What will it look like if one portrays, Jesus responsible for the misadventerous and immoral political barbarianism of George W Bush, who is a proclaimed follower of Christianity?
Next comes the most heated issue of violent retaliation in Islamic nations. As per the existing notion and consensus about freedom, the burning or Danish or European countries’ consulates are uncivilized and unnecessary. The refusal of Danish premier to meet diplomats of the Arab nations surely was the fuel to this fire. Now the retaliation is a consequence of the first affirmative action. The real freedom is when, a form of expression which portrays a totally different sect with different morals and ethos as barbarians and root of all evils while consciously neglecting the doings of some of the proponents of ‘total liberation’ in the same context, is socially banned (as against legally banned). This issue needs to be addressed in a broader dimension. Dr Madhukar Sukla’s blog, provides some valuable insight towards, social taboos in various countries. But we often value our premises too much as to totally ignore the perspective of the other person.
The question of Iran going nuclear is same. I am not going into the pros and cons of a nuclear umbrella, but rather the legitimacy of ‘equally or more treacherous nations’ to impose their law up on another nation. We are far from having an international consensus up on such issues. This basically is from the prevailing equations of power politics and greed of nations to enjoy more autonomy by indulging into hegemony. The concern of Iran’s prospective nuclear arsenal being the trump card of terrorist can be quite easily negotiated and much of rogue activities can be kept at bay once a common standard for freedom, acceptable for all is set. No such move happens to exist in the cards of parties concerned. So, my opinion is that, India should have abstained from voting at IAEA, for strategic reasons and as a beginning of a new diplomatic dialogue for better freedom of the whole world. From a centrist view about freedom of nation states, I do not think Iran’s nuclear policy is neither any lesser nor any more deplorable than the ones of the existing nuclear states.
After the debate about international politics, let me try to address the question of pornography from the stand. From own experiences, I believe it to be an issue to be left to the natural course. Which means, not to blow out of proportion since every emerging generation is defining its own liberties and exposure of children to pornography to be maintained as a social taboo until an encroachment of more deviant forms of sex (which are socially unacceptable) appears so that the issue takes a new dimension.
I maintain that explicit pornography is a better safety valve to illegitimate violent sexual acts from implicit pornography. It should also be noted that in ancient societies, sex was not this big a taboo as today. It was more the spirit of medieval Christianity which made it one and therefore in a fast paced world where information and misinformation travels with the velocity of light, pornography is a better option which need not be given an explicit consent at present at least.
Homosexuality, is an issue similar to the earlier one. Gay and Lesbian expressions are illegitimate in most societies while quite legal in many Scandinivian and other European counties and in States of US federation, it is legal. But here, the issue of natural taste is also involved. While as a person with natural sexual orientation, the gay expression could never arose my taste, it still should be deemed genuine by standards of freedom. If we argue from our present social context where a ‘love letter’ to another sex and consensual sexual intercourse is not a legal offense, I opine the same need be applied to this. The issue of social sanctity as marriage requires a time frame to be addressed. The point of not blowing it out of proportion still holds here. Society requires a time to adjust and therefore more liberal values require time to assimilate. But when it is a question of human rights, which the present and vocal international society has accepted as ideal, laws need be remade and in the process, some of the notions redefined.
Well, after this discussion spanning various issues, what I find is a need of understanding social dynamics which contributed and exist while defining freedom. I find the need of understanding the subjectivity and relativism in definitions among various societies quite pertinent. This is the sum total of this essay too. There need be a global consensus about freedom at large like the international charter of human rights. Such a move has a lot to contribute towards better peace and harmony among world nations and could possibly alleviate many an unnecessary ‘jihads’.
I would some up like this. The best example for a person to understand the nature and character of freedom its implication in real life situations is a retrospective of own’s life. Every person is sure to find instances of positive and negative social taboos in own past life. Whether or not an existing social taboo is futuristic, is again a moral judgement, but still we all can share at least some common grounds at a fundamental level. Why not redefine through a retrospective. I repeat – Liberation is a never ending process and not a destiny in itself. These words apply well to society as much as its philosophic connotations.
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Somewhere right now, a kid is born.
Perhaps a sperm from the semen has fertilized an egg but was it X or Y, is not yet known.
Somewhere right now, an electron has tunneled through a quantum barrier,
What forces decide the play of quarks is yet unknown.
Somewhere right now, a string had a strange vibration
And what effect it stretches over the 11 dimensions, yet unknown.
I should say that I am not very good at tenses. Well, this is not about grammar where, past, present, future with its forms is distinct. It is about the tenses of nature or life. Are they really distinct? Every instance has a saga to tell- the saga that precedes and invariably affects the next instance. The future instances are always unpredictable, at least to the limit of ‘h’ bar divided by two pi (physics jargon). Only after the occurrence can we think of the real correlation between both. That is science. What I propose is that, so is life. Trivial is it? May be not so much …….
The question of destiny has always haunted me. What in fact is a ‘destiny’? When you say something about future to be your destiny from the present, your statement is based on the fundamental axiom that ‘future is decided’. This sure is a good consolation for a weak person or even a normal person under the extreme pressure of bad circumstances. But deeper into that if that axiom is true there should or should not be something that decides it. If there is in deed something, if I go to the next level of recursion there should be something which is beyond that which decides its future too and ad infinitum ….. Well, you cannot argue there is none for, if you stick on, it only serves as a hypothesis beyond all streams of logic. Next if you still hold that there is in fact nothing which decides future but it is, then world is bound by a particular law which enables the decision of future. If so that law is nothing but yet another form of natural laws that have been discovered so far. We can just add one more to the fundamental laws. No change in the regular set of scientific beliefs. Then, after all we are in the right path; we are searching for the physical laws as far and long as we exist.
Alright, I will come to the crux of it. Ultimately as individuals, as long as somebody believes in free will, he/she/it needs to address the present alone. Even ‘future perspective’ is a notion of the present and hence it is included. There are people who go by the early morning dreams and one among thousand (perhaps ten thousand, million, billion or ….) might have come true. This becomes great news! A human tendency of course by which you avoid the billions or trillions whose dreams (or thoughts or visions or whatever) has never come true. I know there might be one hundred naïve explanations regarding pure soul or power or …some bullshit …. But I wonder how these exceptions could be attributed to the ‘wonders’ of a ‘neo-apostle’ or hegemony of faith? Hey… please do not crucify me! How can I ask when you did it to very many noble souls starting from Socrates (according to known history)! So far so good or is it?
Buddha, proponents of some branches of Upanishad philosophies, Jesus etc were all people who challenged the dogmatic religion of that age; denial of the prevailing axiom about the form of super natural. It propelled a new life for the next human thought. So will (or should) it extend to the present too. I am not trying to be the next messiah or philosopher. But a form of agnosticism or atheism existed in every age. It will continue to exist too (my axiom). Still, there remains questions unanswered and will. Is that the real measure? After all the axioms of science or mathematics, too is based on observations. Unobserved is a riddle in every age.
My conclusion about something that happens now is to let people decide it based on their set of axioms, provided there still exists a window to modify it. Well, but still I am skeptical about the form of ‘GOD’ as described by the systems in the present age.
I know that it was misguiding to talk presuming the convictions of an atheist – I do not consider it bad and same applies even if it is substituted by a religious one – although it surely served as a window of my logic. Even the axioms are not unchallengeable from a fundamental level. Sure, in that level disproof might not be possible but argument for the proof might be quite weak (in a larger perspective).
Since I do not have any ‘theory of everything’ to convince everyone (that is impossible too- I mean to convince everyone), I stop here.
Still, I wonder why did that Y chromosome from my father fertilized the egg of my mother? What factors attributed to it? What would I have been had that been an X chromosome? What if actually, I were an adopted child of my parents? What if I were dead while I was born or my mother dead? Looks like the theme of the movie ‘Butterfly Effect’, is it? J ….. Some questions are always unanswered (at least in the life of an individual)…. So let it be …….:)
Oooh , this is too complex, is it? Better word which I found is life. 🙂
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