Netting

I don’t know . This line keep on hitting back . It can be an absence of words. Some expressions can’t be conveyed by words. The reliance on internet further makes the handicap more acute.there is a human being , out there, from the woods, mountains, crowded shining city, glued to that black microbox. He may cry, shout, laugh, paranoid, ecstatic , irritated. Too distant inspite of the long chatter.still the heart seeks that voice, touch, smell( even stinky!).

The flowing of information is humongous .like being lost in a complex jigsaw puzzle, a twisted maze. we seek opinions of others. As soon as some quote of a thinker is placed on say, Facebook. The comments section is exploded. Most of them deal not with what is being said. It is a judgement of agreeing or disagreeing. The context, the meaning of the sentence gets twisted according to the mind of the audience. Reflection is but minimum. The debate with the one of contrary opinion s reduced to a battle for superiority which if not online,would be a tirade of slangs, punches and probably murder.the people who agree form their own gangs.military artillery are loaded against the other. Whatever viel of sobriety and coquettish manners which were exhibited in public life even towards a pricky rival is discarded. The vulgar sword is brandished with a strange satisfaction that nobody can catch me. I can go out naked as I am. It is more obscene,pretensious, strangely real. The enlightened anarchy visioned by Gandhi would be blushing at the site of this mobocracy

 

 

 

 

Warmth

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back.”

Albert Camus

warmth: the quality or state of being warm in feeling,the quality or state of being warm in temperature.

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the experience of being warm touched me today after long time. my senses felt active. i cried few times today- not out of sorrow, feeling its beauty. i felt there r so many moments to be cherished & remembered.

one of my friends sang one song. i listened to the song, the soothing music, the sad lyrics, the refreshingly somber yet serious voice made me realize how important is music as companion which reveals beauty even in pain. how powerfully it comforts us even with the darkness & heaviness weighing our souls. Harrison’s song ‘all things shall pass’  helped me see how change that happens cn be welcomed like the sunset, rainfall,departure of the beloved. In between, i too tried to sing without need to do it well. the experience energized me, resonated my nerves, instilling freshness  in my bones.

today, little sis visited the room. giving me some pencils,she smiled & took the notebook. drawing some faces, doodling. she went smiling. this showed me how giving she is without even knowing. she gives smiles, laughter, hugs, mischief, tickles, surprises so often, it made me see how closed adults round me have become. the greatest joy comes from sharing. seeing the changing clouds, barking of dogs, the unassuming rose,muddy lotus, sunshine gives us with love, without need of our merit.  sweet child o mine then came to my mind where the singer feels the beauty in smile, hair, eyes of the child.

i would put it in other words ( in the movie-bawarchi)=

Kisi badi khushi ke intezaar mein … hum yeh chote chote khushiyon ke mauke kho dete hain

‘In waiting for a big happy moment … we miss these small small happy moments’

Gaman( going)

i had written this piece some months back in Hindi. Today, i came across it.

I saw a serious,subtle story. its name is Gaman. it means to go. maybe to go away forever. To be deprived of one’s family, roads, villages, warmth,friendship and humanity. Ghulam was forced by poverty to come to Bombay. The glittery, beautiful city could give him only taxi, bed & khaki uniform.  he use to sent borrowed money to his old mother & quiet wife( khartun).Remembering them, he drove strangers to their destinations. He was worried that he too,could suffer a unknown, merciless end like Ramu kaka.

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His innermost desire was to leave everything ,go to the door of his house, take the hand of his mother &  express his love to khartun. but poverty doesn’t permit him. it has swallowed his dear friend, Lalu too.

 

The Illusion of Merit and the Privilege of Caste – Why Affirmative Action is Justified.

Exploreable

Content note – discrimination, especially caste-based.

A barebones introduction to the caste system

India has had a long history of casteist oppression, and it looks like the practise is still rampant, with nearly 1 in 4 people across the country admitting to practising untouchability.

To anyone who is not familiar with the caste system; caste is an oppressive social force that imposes a hereditary social and professional hierarchy; with a caste traditionally associated with priests (called Brahmins)  being top of the social pecking order, and a group that were (and importantly, still are) considered untouchable bearing the brunt of oppression from those higher up the caste hierarchy.

The correct label to use for the group that is oppressed by untouchability is Dalits , for that is the identity they have themselves assumed, and not another traditionally used derogatory term imposed on them by the upper caste-hegemony, led by the…

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Will this Progress end?

I was thinking of studying today. Did try to see some topics. The book was talking about development. What is development ?. It is improvement/ progress. Rise in percapita income, access to nutrition, healthcare,education for human wellbeing. Per capita income underestimates leisure, mom’s work and overestimates wastage by govt, false needs by advertising.It was also mentioned that per capita income doesn’t automatically lead to increase in human happiness.

It was quite ironic. Our education is bent on increasing our capacity to work effeciently.To earn well. To consume well. It grades workers in to categories : A,B,C,D,E,F. The workers are then told fatalistically that their can’t be mobility within the groups. The ‘topper’ will be able to sell himself well. The last kid is doomed to do low end jobs or even kill himself.  There is no room given to alternatives: like calm mind, simple living, staying still for a while, empathising,communicating with our fellows, experiencing nature, being non busy at times, tasting the dish with ease, to the care and love which we give and recieve. The workers are facing nervous breakdown. There life is planned for only one purpose which is given to them. The meeting of failure to produce effeciently, accelerate angst and despair. They have accepted their fate given to them by the economy. Surviving on some addictions: drugs, drinks, pills,bribes- the prostitution of the soul continues. The fellow workers also are very lost. The fatalism is passed on to his family. This dead being is escaping from his angst. Trying to run after a never ending race to the bottom. His essence has overtaken him completely. Will he/ she be trapped in this cycle of production, consumption and investment forever. Will the worker have a dasein?. Will the condemnation to be free cause him to land up in more dilemmas?

Universal basic income(UBI)

Gandhi would have been conflicted by UBI. He wanted every citizen to be guided by inclusive development but he was also worried bout the laziness, hypocrisy & crime that would  increase due to giving of doles.

UBI has three components: universality (no exclusion), no conditionality &  agency to the people( to make choices where to spend money not determined by the state). It is proposal to reduce poverty by tackling with the problem of misallocation, exclusion & leakage of resources which is massive in the present welfare schemes. it incentives high skilled work by insuring buffer money during search for jobs. laziness isn’t consequence of UBI, becoz the money given would be minimal & work is generally associated not purely  with necessity but also with dignity, self-reliance etc. This step is an affirmation of the idea of social justice where certain economic security is provided to every person in  the society.

There r some important concerns with UBI. It is considered that it will give rise to consumption of vice goods like tobacco etc. but nss data suggests that with higher consumption levels, the share of these goods reduces. the pilot project in m.p further gives evidence that expenditure from UBI is mostly in productive activities( better seeds, Fertilizers etc). Dreze says  that cash transfers will be subject to erosion by inflation. This concern is remedied by indexing for inflation & also the proposal by Debraj ray (calculating Universal income as proportion to GDP). Practically the fiscal costs to be gathered for this scheme is quite prohibitive. The survey estimates the cost to be round 5% of the GDP. how will it be made feasible, when India’s tax/GDP ratio is one of the lowest in the world, there r subsidies to the rich, tax exemptions etc?. there r some legitimate questions being rised by scholars that UBI is not being considered  redistributive, but means of pulling back of state from the welfare sphere( cutting of subsidies).There needs to be some form of exclusion of the well-off sections  by self-verification,voluntary giving up etc. For its gradual introduction, there r some proposals which focus on women, urban regions etc then extending it to other citizens. there is an urgent need to work rigorously on the access to banking facility & their usage by the poorer sections along with addressing the concerns of breach of privacy & cyber security issues.

UBI is conceptually sound, but needs clear vision of redistribution, well thought out design, funding & implementation to  actually make a severe dent on poverty in india.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unhappy Family

This post is bout crisis facing my relatives. My cousin was showing violent,silent & depressed behavior. the matter was discussed among the elders. the discussion was the stereotyped demonizing of the ‘bakid’. He has to be corrected by nagging him to study hard, be obedient, cheerful etc. he had to be placed under strict elderly supervision to see progress. his phone needs to be confiscated. The tuition’s need to be properly attended. failure to clear the tests can’t be tolerated. He needs to fulfill our ambitions- be successful in mythical future.

all these remedies proved to be futile. the child got much more defensive. he was beginning to close down his mind, heart, hands to most of the world.  the nagging sessions for his welfare, mde him more insensitive & indifferent to the concerns of his family. the respect was fading. the constant scolding  was further inflammatory. they were planning to take him to specialists to cure their diseased child. 

these situations have taught me how dangerous is the idealizations of family. it is not just bout some people coming together ,having kids, security etc. the dy to dy living with people, cn turn out to be extraordinarily difficult. it is place for tremendous violence despite the claim to love made so often.One of the way to make it work is to come out of our narrow prisms of prior knowledge, stereotypes, conclusions.To accept differences more than expect conformity. To focus much more on giving, understanding, listening than possessing, instructing, forcing our ides.To democratize, engage meaningful with empathy To make the relationship venues for growth. free society can be realized  only in free family.

 

 
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It’s okay to be fear

I would tell you an anecdote that happened few months ago. Mother was suffering from a mild stomach ache. Her first reaction, like many of us, is to chalk out escape routes from any form of pain.so, she began calling others to get pyschological comfort.her voice was quite rushy and anxious. I was sitting relaxed near her. I told her why is she calling so many people. This question irked her. She stared at me, telling me I had no senstivity. I said, it’s pain. Why can’t we live with it, rather than run away. She finally thought it to be a new perspective for her. It did calm her a bit, much more than friendly advices.

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Another instance I read about, impacted me deeply about fear. Goldstein, once went to a meditation retreat under a teacher. He had to find meaning of seemingly irrational couplets. The teacher was time and again telling him , that his reply wasn’t correct. His last task, was to find answer to a sutra. He decided to recite a sutra. When he went to the teacher, he jumbled up the recitation. This was because, he had past fear in his childhood, over reciting poetry. When he messed it up, his teacher told him, this was perfect. It was the exposure of the rawness, vulnerability which he actually experienced. A state of groundlessness, when the rug is pulled, when you can’t cover it up. It has the fruits of deep anxiety but also opens doors of knowing about our own selves better.

It makes us understand that life can’t be planned. It has its own course, if we can live with it as it is, we can explore much more. The need for ground, makes us resist the tides. Accept the waves, start surfing on it. The obstacle is the path!