Tuesday, January 22, 2013

#DelhiGangRape Part2

The good part about the social networking via internet is , people have a forum to come together and ‘talk’ as soon as a rape happens. The ideas can be creative or destructive to the point of being silly. Sadly the notion that technology can be the greatest social leveller has been proved wrong. Either you’ll have to move in the ‘popular people’ camp or you will have to be heard for the wrong reasons. The ‘different’ voices fail to be noticed.

When we say the ‘rapists’ have to be taught a lesson through the lumbering giant of Indian  criminal laws, then we may have to tread the much uncomfortable waters of defining the act of ‘rape’. Now it may not be as easy as what we see in the films- the middle aged balding guy pouncing on the young girl braving her kicks and bites. It can be forced or voluntary; painful or pleasurable; hetero or homo. Thus the definition of rape might spill into a much wider spectrum. Hence we might not be able to generalize the punishment too.

Unlike murder or robbery, rape is not needed for the sustenance of life. Rape is also not done for any material benefit nor it’s done for any ideological purpose. I believe we can safely say that it’s a very unnatural & deviant act and has to be treated that way. The belief that strict laws can deter a rapist is very childish conclusion of a snobbish community. Laws only act as deterrence to the minimum level. Laws aren’t for moral science lessons. Moral science has to come from somewhere else.
Same is the case when we raise hue and cry over hanging the juvenile. I ask a question in return if you mind jailing a kid for stealing a piece of rubber. When we say law has to be same for all, first try to picture how would it sound when it’s your family at the other end. Law isn’t solution for everything and it can turn a monster when you build a behemoth out of it.
The law should be to punish someone who hinders the positive growth and sustenance of the society by his own free will. But how free are we in making our choices? We are too influenced by the elements around us and most often regret the decisions we make. When I take a page out of the college life, there were a bunch of kids who fought each other for some political ideology. Many skulls were smashed and much blood was shed. But today I wonder, given a choice if they will make those choices again.

Meanwhile someone raked up another issue on the parallel lines. This time it was about  an old ruling by the social crusader Justice Katju. In the case a village woman was raped by an influential guy in the village. He was punished and jailed. Later the woman withdrew her complaint. The reason being the rapist offered to settle the issue in lieu of some money. She told the court, ‘ I’m in need of money’. The rapist was let out. Now who’s the bad guy in the story- The rapist? the woman? Or is it our justice system?

Some decades ago our society was very protective of its women. But today they have to work like men, sit late at office, use the same facilities and compete on the same lines. As a society we have become more competitive and aggressive. The aggression has spilt into every walk of life and even to our sexuality. Today we dress ‘comfortably’ in lieu of attracting the people around you . Earlier when the kids were supposed to dress angelic, they are no longer so. The ‘comfortable’ outfit starts quite early in life. I doubt if the ‘comfort’ isn’t good enough to raise a primal aggression.

So here we have a whole load of people pushed daily to the fringes unable to reach out to the benchmarks they set in life. They don’t have race, creed, class or caste. They may be educated or otherwise. Rape happens when these people reach out to what is been denied to them- sexually, financially or socially.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

#DelhiGangRape Part1

By the time i put this down, the embers of the rape would’ve died down. The subject would no longer provoke the sensibilities of the ‘outspoken’ Indian youth. Twitter is turning out to be a forum for the silent cacophony of voices. The loudest noise wins and starts trending. The rest just fades away or gets branded as Trolls.

So when you shout out about the #DelhiGangRape, you will have to
   1)      Put all the blame on SheilaD and SoniaG. They will have to step down as soon as you finish your tweet.
   2)      Castrate all politicians
   3)      When a 1000 people watc, multiply it by 1000 and claim that India is on the verge of revolution.
   4)      Police must be provoked to perform atrocity. In the end when some innocent guy dies, scamper around.
All this you can do in the comfort you room.  This phenomenon is called ‘talking’ about rape. 

I go out on regular walk with my friends, preferably on weekends. We talk a lot- mostly bitching about our respective jobs. One evening we picked up the topic of Delhi rape. Seeing that I was not very much touched by the incident he started describing the intricate details of every gory details complete with facial expressions. I was more horrified by the ‘navarasas’ blooming on his face than the violence. Anyways, seeing that I was suitably horrified, he dropped off the subject.

My college sweetheart decided she was going to do a march on the state capital for ‘justice’. She calls me in hoping I would be, as usual, available for her charms. I ask her, ‘Why you doing this?’. ‘Justice. We want them hanged.’ ‘So hanging them going to solve the rape problem?’ ....No answer... The end result I lost my sweetheart and was labelled as a moron.

We have a pretty cute actress, who has been trying to project herself as ‘Champion of Causes’- Rima Kallingal. Now she acted in a Malayalam movie where she was cheated and raped by her boyfriend. So she avenges by castrating him. She posts a photo which says the perpetrators ought to be castrated. Now I’m in a mood to pick up the fight. I tweet something back. To my surprise the Champion responds to the tweet of an ordinary human being. She picks up the challenge and we do the mutual mud throwing late into night. As a response, I’m reported as a potential danger to society and gets a temporary ban out of Twitter.

Now I stop it here. I’ve decided to put rest ...in a new post... Watch out darlings!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bengali Mallus

It was almost 10 at night. I was out for a walk as I had nothing better to do. Then came a cacophony of voices. I turned around to see a bunch of queer looking guys talking loudly, with some sort of electronic music playing from the player (may be it’s the mobile). The mouths were loaded with some kind of tobacco/ paan and inspite of that they were making the cacophony in clear eligible sounds.

In a short time these slim, short, squint eyed guys from north-east have occupied an inherent part of otherwise impenetrable Kerala population as manual labourers.

Kerala always faced a shortage in unskilled labour category. People migrate fast into the skilled domain. The social inequality in Kerala landscape is more or less flattened by education and NRI remittances. But even when there’s a labour shortage, there’s no shortage with opportunities. Hence we had to look out for the inevitable manpower to do the ‘menial tasks’.

I remember the thin scrawny guy and his wife who came to work in our fields- Lukose and Rahel. I remember calling him ‘Glucose’, taking a jibe at his scrawny frame. The response was the toothy smile. Years rolled on by. We sold off the fields and migrated to city. Then we learnt that ‘Glucose’ daughter did well in her academics to end up as a college professor. For an idealist its a glowing example for utopian society. But for a bourgeois it means shortage of natural labour.

Then came the villain of villains- recession. The malayalees who were out to set the markets on fire, realised it’s better to invest on materials that can seen & touched. Huge money started flowing into Gold & land. Real estate boom ensured that the human resources that were already in shortage, was sucked up. This opened up doors of opportunity for impoverished, illiterate , out of work young men from northern parts of India. Here they were ready to work for a pittance. Soon the laws of natural selection prevailed and the ‘cheap’ labour started dominating the labour landscape of Kerala.

They worked from morning to night, demanded little, ate little, never talked back and chewed a lot of paan. These illiterate men seemed to be eligible to don the mantle of saviours. Even with little education many were capable of making out letters in Malayalam. They would take off all of a sudden to their homeland for a couple of months. This would irk the ‘contractors’ who took them on sub-contract. It’s these ‘contractors’ who hit the gold mine by recruiting these ‘cheap labour’. In turn they rented them out for higher wages. Another interesting phenomenon was, Hindi language which were not at all in Kerala landscape started to be heard around Kerala.

The inherent tension when a foreign element tries to embed itself into your otherwise comfortable system came into fore. Soon rumors and subsequent media reports on terrorism and robbery by these migrant community started to surface. The neo-liberal saviours started to be looked on with tension and suspicion. The absence of any valid ID proofs became a hindrance for the police officers to track them down. The ‘cheapness’ in labour also started to reduce when they started organising and demanding more wages.

Even then, these illiterate group of people were very successful in embedding themselves in every walk of life. Today no hotels or construction firms can run without them. Recently a regional issue flared up which saw these people immigrating back to their homeland. Soon the alarm bells started ringing and the top ministers had to cajole them to stay back. Although the cleanliness level is very low and the food cooked is no where near palatable, the hotels have no choice but to employ them. When put to do something, they do it but perfection is not at all taught in their moral science classes.

Looking into the future, I see quite a few settling down here. They might get married to our women and produce the squint eyed version of Malayalees. We will see some Hindi & Bhojpuri hoardings coming up. Soon they will run for the elections and the ‘ethnic’ Mallus will fight it out.

May be the recession turned out to be a great demographic leveller after all,

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.