Watched the picture ‘Padman’ based on real life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, with Akshay Kumar in the lead.
Not really new to local scene, it still is a powerful message to hit rural India. Firstly, womanly matters are deemed too private in India. At least that is how it was until very recently. Now that even I can bring myself to write about it, I guess we are changing.
How a school dropout single handedly takes up the women’s hygiene issue is astounding. But knowing about the steadfast determination of fellow Tamils especially from the south of the state, I am hardly surprised. I was browsing a Whatsapp post that was comparing the Dravidian women with Aryan women. Modern historians would like to challenge the Aryan invasion theory. I wouldn’t want to get into that. Seetha from Ramayana and Nalaayini are two women from northern India who were pitted against Kannagi of Silapathigaram, and with Manimegalai and Kundalakesi of the south to showcase how liberated women from Dakshina Bharat were even 2000 years back, from before the birth of Christ. We had women court poets. Excavations in Tamil Nadu reveal a very literate society with constructed grammar and literature in usage at least two millennia before. Whatever happened to us in the interim ages. Murugantham’s clamour for a solution to women’s health woes somehow reminded me of our roots.
Muruganantham aka Padman is invited to TED talks, to Harvard, to all the IIMs in India! Unwavering he says, he will not commercialize his invention of breaking down the complex and 10-million US$ sanitary napkin-making machinery into simpler uncomplicated production units hand-operatable by villagers, because, that will defeat the very purpose of his intention and invention. He refuses to be bought over by corporates and uses his Indian patent to take the new economic sanitary pad revolution to rural India personally so that the illiterate and poor women of our villages would stand to benefit. What a refreshing change to the mindless commercialization of anything and everything. I am neither a capitalist nor a communist. In India too, we have a mixed economy with active participation of both private and public sectors when it comes to nation building. The key sectors such as our nationalized banks, central insurance agencies and railways are with the government so that the profit making by private enterprises would not deny essential services to the economically vulnerable sections of the society.
You need to be a very balanced humanbeing to deny yourself the golden chance of becoming a billionaire after all the spade work that you put in. Hats off to Padman. The picture in question is based in Madhya Pradesh to give the idea the pan-India appeal so that it reaches every nook and corner of India. You need to get a grasp of the socio-cultural undercurrents, the local customs and practices, the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’… and what a delicate subject to touch. Every single reaction of the villagers in the movie is justifiable really. You can call them country brutes but then I live in such a society. May be not exactly being urban based, but then India is like a huge village even now…
The Padman’s naive and yet bold initiative is what touched my heart. His single-minded pursuit of his ambition and confident drive. And his strong determination in adhering to the very purpose of his pet project not to be side-tracked to becoming one more money minting modern day start-up.
I doubt whether you can find a soul or story like this in China. Was watching ‘One child nation’ – the award winning documentary. The very chinese ruthlessness is so disturbing. Such a coldblooded calculation about everything. Remorseless. This you can notice from how they haven’t had the decency to apologize to the world community for destroying so many economies and for being solely responsible for wrecking havoc of unimaginable magnitude across the entire globe, with thousands of lives lost.
How can we even compare India with China. Padman for instance, is one of the million reasons, why we shouldn’t. You know, one thing common about both Padman and One Child Nation is that, both deal with fertility issues of women with the supposed weaker sex at the receiving end. How we go about these sensitive matters is the question. Both are physical to say so, but take a heavy emotional toll on women as well. It was sickening for me to watch the chinese documentary (of course not made by chinese). These are the guys who manufacture plastic rice, plastic eggs and add melamine to baby food. What standards are they setting for the world now. How can China even be deemed a super power. Is this really some growth story. Where is the heart and soul in chinese. Or is their heart made of plastic as well.
Indian kids who go to the US for university education bring back stories about China from their chinese friends. There is no mention of ‘Tianenmen square’ in their history. Kids born after 1990 have been ‘tutored’ into believing and contesting that the Tianenmen NEVER unfolded in their soil. It is shocking how the communists have successfully erased a political memory from the psyche of an entire nation. Reminds one of George Orwell’s 1984. If this is the nation that is to become the no.1 super power in future, then it is doomsday for Planet Earth. This country China does not believe in barring ivory trading or whaling. They think they own up everything from Tibet and Hongkong and Taiwan to Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh but do not have an ounce of honesty or shame in them to own up to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. China is the cancer of the world. China is the one truly lethal virus that we are all fighting. Only the sidekicks Pakistanis will lick the chinese boots like their lapdogs. All for a few crumbs of bread, what else.
Now no more does poverty in India concern me. The Covid-19 scare is revealing to us the humane side of the Indian society. The poorest amongst us are the strongest physically and emotionally. As for economics, they can survive with bare minimum. The truly handicapped are the better-do-do among us.
Heartwarming real life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham shows how humanity still has a chance in India. Our temples and classical music and dance forms and lighthearted movies reveal to us the beautiful side of our human nature. Science exists so that art can flourish. Not the other way around.
India too has populations issues. I am not saying ours is a land of milk and honey. Family planning is mostly suggested to us Indians. The choice is ours to make.
A pregnant wild elephant that forayed into a Kerala village was fed with a pineapple laden with firecrackers (to ward off the animal feeding from on agricultural farms). As the cracker exploded, the elephant with its bleeding mouth ran with searing pain to the river nearby. Refusing to be rescued by the forest officials, it died standing for hours in river water moving an entire nation. Now this is our headlines. The young mother elephant with its unborn calf in the womb broke a billion hearts as the nation mourned for the mother-child duo that bore the brunt of extreme barbarity at the hands of humanity. I remembered how China refuses to curb ivory trading and in fact deals in and promotes trades in wild life skins, hides, organs, teeth, nails etc endangering myriad species that are already in the verge of extinction. Who can stop them ever. When I think of the agony of the mother elephant, I think of how millions in this country of mine hold unshed tears for the voiceless gentle beast demanding justice to be served to the assailants. Mistakes and horrors happen everywhere, but there must be a willingness to acknowledge and admit to them and correct them.
China will NEVER pass the acid test of Democracy & Secularim. China will die and dissolve into thousand parts if they are put to this imminent test someday. China feeds and thrives on suppressed human rights. Now that is a simmering volcano that is bound to explode one fine day.
This soulless nation China can never become a super power or world leader in true sense. We must not allow that from happening either. Let India develop at her own pace. We are in race with none. Let us work and learn to serve not always with a profit motive. Let us go to the mandir, let us do the bhajans, let us dance and sing or just waste away lying bored in the sofa doing nothing. Let us laugh with friends, go out and have a jolly good time not making money. Because, this is how we are meant to be. We are not robots. Not everything is for sale in India as in China. Not everything has to have a price tag.
One of the greatest regrets of my life, is to stop with one kid. But that was a decision based on my circumstances. I see the lower middle class women in my city voluntarily opting for family planning. Not everyone goes for a second kid. This is an informed decision, not an enforced one. The success of India lies therein. But this applies only to Indian Hindus and Christians and Sikhs who put nation first over their religious affiliations. India is fighting the population jehad as well yet, family planning is not mandatory for us.
I would never want India to become the next China. Not in a million years. Let us see to that we are always the country where God wants to dwell in, not the devil. Let us be that divine spiritual beautiful temple, not a glazed lifeless mall that is China. The Padman Muruganantham with his life mission of taking affordable sanitary napkin to rural Indian women and the women of China abducted for sterilization, with their homes pulled down for going for a second pregnancy are the defining differences between us.