Posted in Political

Who Defines What.

‘Classical is a hoax’ claimed a Carnatic vocalist/writer.

I have always felt different about things than my friends.

Why are the colours black and white considered inauspicious by Hindus. Black especially bears the brunt but it happens to be my No.1 fave colour followed by dull tones such as grey.

Why and how did the hyena get portrayed villain in the Lion King. Why should always Lion be considered the king of the jungle. If you watch wildlife channels such as Natgeo or Animal Planet or Discovery, it is pretty evident that the male lion is no hero but feeds with the cubs on the hunt brought home by the lioness. Even the lioness waits for the hyena pack to finish the prey first if they can, lingering in the sidelines to pounce on the kill at the right moment. The hard work is done by the hyena and other scavengers and the lions mostly pride on others’ trophy. This lion-hyena angle always used to be explored by my son who’s all the way for social justice. The hierarchy we have defined for in the predatory world out there is justified neither.

Why do scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, lizards and cockroaches make us squirm. Why is it that the butterfly makes our heart flutter, not the earthworm that does the dirty but necessary work. Why do we shy away from the skunk or the porcupine.

How many nations in the world teach/tell their children the painful truth. Will American kids be told outright that they ethnic cleansed mercilessly the native Americans and are merely squatters. Will the British and other European text books explain how many ethnic races were wiped out clean by their forefathers for the spoils they loaded back in their merchant ships to sail back home. Today we talk of immigration as if we parachuted into this 21st century from nowhere.

I wouldn’t want to be drawn into Tamil Nadu politics or PSBB or Siva Shankara Baba issues. I heard a statement by a topnotch woman from the reputed school. I would like to point out that not the finest IITian until today can repeat the immaculate Stapathi engineering work of the Brahadeeshwara temple at Tanjore or for that matter, any engineering feat executed in ancient India. And these stapathis had the calculations in their head. They did not have to attend organized institutions with research labs to derive at their math. Tanjore temple by Raja Raja Chola that is a millennium old is earthquake proof with a circular base that can rock and shift. This is the secret that the Tanjore dolls hold. Which community did the Tanjore stapathis belong to. We had the Grand Anicut dam built by Karikala in the 3rd century CE. Every single ancient Hindu temple to those like heritage houses for instance of Chettinad etc., were erected by whom. India is sprinkled with ancient architectural and engineering marvels every single square kilometer east to west, north to south. May I know who were the brains behind these impossible creations. We had circular stairs in our home before it was demolished. Completely calculated and executed by an illiterate mason of those times. How he arrived at the angular steps and load bearing capacity – who can guess. Madam PSBB, detaching myself totally from political issues, I would like to bring to your attention that, your IITians and IIMs who may be products of your so-called superior and elitist schooling are fit for only one thing: when they have to be on equal footing with everyone else, they are ready to flee the country for a few extra greenbacks. I am talking about the marvelous engineering that belonged to the lowest castes of India all these centuries in which none of the upper castes partook anything. They are the brainchild of none from FCs. The men who built ships, who studied the flow of the water stream and erected wells, the men who raised great cities and townships and the men who designed the finest jewelry of precious gems and metals from the mines they unearthed and worked, the men who ran the economy and founded banking systems, the men who specialized in metallurgy and mixed minerals and practised medicine – I am sure all these did not belong to the forward community at all. Yet we had the state of art, precision technology like the Konark sun markings and the hanging pillar in Andhra. The least celebrated brains of India, today it is a shame that any particular community must try to snatch their victories and claim success for themselves. Whoever it is, I condemn such a thoughtless and horribly prejudiced statement. It shows how ignorant and shallow some minds can stay without evolution or betterment of any kind.

Well any knowledge and/or every knowhow is a treasure accumulated with practice and perfection, be it cattle rearing or costume designing or agriculture. No occupation or art is acquired without training hard. Simply every intelligence counts. When you associate a particular acumen with a overhyped community and claim to be the best among the worst lot, it means your world view is limited or distorted. You don’t take into cognizance the sum total input of the entire community who in every little/single way chip in and help sustain a society. I will have to refer again to ‘the Elephant and the blind men story.’ Staking claims of tallest order is the mindset of a meanest coward in my opinion. You have to be sick. Over politics, it is these reckless statements that hound me because they’re welcome with applause by a convoluted section among us.

What happens when our contorted education breeds this kind of one or two dimensional academics. They are good with their books but India hardly boasts of fresh innovations. Memorizing is what has been the inherent gene in some communities for centuries and that will enable them memorize to the letter t every single word in journals, magazines, textbooks, etc. The real thinking, analyzing, innovating, executing brain is not this. With this limited scope wisdom, you can at best become from the desk clerk to the CEO but not the deviser, discoverer. That’s my take in any case.

I don’t expect the state politicians to talk responsibly or sensibly but I do expect it of an educationist.

We live in a world where credit is quickly and hastily given to the superficial layer without a consideration to the actual workmen. All the science and engineering and mathematics of ancient India have been claimed ownership by one particular community which is sad. Countless nameless science and math achievers have been brushed just like that under the carpet for the reason they did not bother to document their expertise. Take the case of Bharat Natyam. Once the dance form of the Devdasis, it is not anything new. It has been in existence for eons. Only dusted now and adapted to current times.

Bhoodan movement saw landbanks that were donated by wealthiest of this country for equitable distribution to marginal farmers and the landless, to usher in a sense of justice. The banks of the Vaishyas were nationalized overnight. Princely kingdoms were taken over and even their pensions annulled. Nobody fled India because everyone gave up for India out of love for the nation. Only one group wants to leave India if they have to share everything with everyone. I am by no means casteist.

Years back I came across a thesis that, a literate gene travels 14 generations. And imagine the family trees branching thereof from both paternal and maternal sides at each level. It means, once you learn a letter, the mutation can carry your memory gene for as many generations (do the permutations and combinations for 14 generations taking in the branching families either sides). Your genes remember. From far and wide. Imagine the sum total effect on the cumulative benefit derived from two millennia of such an education even if by word of mouth for some forward communities. So that much of fixed deposit some communities are already born with. How can you even pit them against the downtrodden who are taking to books hardly in last 30-40 years. This Hindu hypocrisy is very unsettling. You are discrediting them of everything when you have had a headstart in everything: from being endowed with the best of residency in the heart of a township to education and comforts of life. The banished ones who had to fend for themselves cannot even today claim equality. Your children have to attend the creamiest schools yet you would want reservation at par with the municipal school children. How much more unfair can this world be.

These inequalities disturb me terribly. I hate both casteism and classism. If I raise this topic with friends, I risk losing them. It pains me so much that nobody is even willing to listen. When I hear my thoughts reflected in some one else’s mind and words, it brings a drop of tear to my eyes. I just stand vindicated. I know now I am not a freak for the way I feel at the bottom of my heart. The weakest and the most vulnerable always have my heart.

My maid, my ironwalah, my autowalah, even my future vettian – these are not here by their choice. They are here by BIRTH (that you cannot find in any other place on earth) because I pushed them down to this level so that I can climb up on their hunched backs. By I, I mean my ancestors/forefathers. I had to stamp down on someone and see to that they had to wait for centuries to produce a first graduate with govt quota, is proof enough of how much I have made good living at someone else’s expense all these ages… So is it not time that I feel the remorse and make some amendments long overdue?

I don’t expect anyone to grow up, because they seriously do not have it in them. If I hate India for anything, it is for this reason. I just know, someone gifted with such an empathy is a rare find. It calls for intellectual honesty, something most of us remain in denial of.

Meanwhile the preening peacock dances away as India’s national bird and the common crow stays boo-hooed. A dollop of soul searching will do everyone some good.