ശ്മശാനത്തിലെ പൂക്കള്‍

ആളികത്തിപ്പടരുകയാണ്. ഒരു പിടി ചാരമാകാന്‍ വെമ്പല്‍കൊള്ളുന്ന ജീവനറ്റ ഒരു ശരീരം.   അടക്കിവെച്ച സ്വപ്നങ്ങളെ നിര്‍ദയം ഗ്രസിക്കുന്ന ആ തീവ്രഗ്നിയെ, പ്രണയിച്ചുക്കൊണ്ടു അകലെയായി ഒരു ജന്മവും.   പേറ്റുനോവിലാണ്. കാലന്‍ കടന്നു വരാത്ത ആ ശ്മശാനഭൂമിയില്‍, ഇനിയും വിടരാത്ത ദളങ്ങളെ നോക്കി, … Continue reading ശ്മശാനത്തിലെ പൂക്കള്‍

മുളയ്ക്കാതെ പോകുന്ന ചില വിത്തുകള്‍

ചില വിത്തുകളുണ്ട് മുളയ്ക്കാതെ പോകുന്ന ചില വിത്തുകള്‍.   അമര്‍ത്തിയരച്ച കാല്പാദങ്ങളാല്‍ മരണത്തെ വരിക്കുന്ന ബീജങ്ങള്‍. വെള്ളവും വളവും വെട്ടവും വെളിച്ചവുമുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.   വലിച്ചെറിയപ്പെട്ടവയുണ്ട് വിതച്ചതും വീണു പോയതുമുണ്ട് ചില ബലിയാടുകളും.   പാഴ്നിലത്ത് വീണു ചിലതു കളകള്‍ക്കിടയിലും.   സ്വഭാവിക … Continue reading മുളയ്ക്കാതെ പോകുന്ന ചില വിത്തുകള്‍

Waiting for a Godot

pexels-photo-54379The most amazing part of almost all human lives is that we all wait for someone, intentionally or unintentionally for a magical transformation of our life. We believe that we all need a hand of God to pat our back so that we will be charged enough to bounce back thrashing the villains. The villain can be anything, right from a hard core enemy to the self-destructing force inside.

We wait. We wait for someone to clear our path. We hope that someone will come accidentally to our life and make it fruitful. We think that it is the way of life and we all wait for that Godot.

Sometimes, it works. Please don’t ask how. I don’t know. I think it’s a matter of power of dreams that makes things happen. A Little bit of Paulo effect but there is some truth in that. Because when we believe in the most impossible manner, the entire universe conspires to help you to achieve it. There is an another element to it, the absence of fear. You believe in such a way that it will eliminate the possible fear that created the hurdle in your path. When there is an absence of fear, you will strike hard with the power of the superhuman that lies within us.

No wonder that humans have not realized their true potential even now. We don’t believe in ourselves but we believe in lucks. Haven’t you a heard a million times, Oh, it’s purely luck, nothing else. Otherwise, how can he!. We fail to congratulate others genuinely because we think they don’t deserve it. It is also a matter of jealousy as well. It’s very difficult to accept the fact that others have achieved something while you are still waiting for the call.

No more waiting. Nobody will come to feed you with luck. There’s no point in blaming others for your failures. It’s you who is the master of your destiny, not anyone else. It’s your dreams, your work that is going to matter. So, gear up and challenge yourself. It’s our time. You are the Godot, waiting to be triggered.

 

The legends of Somalia, demystifying the rare Indian species

Why Kerala has failed to endorse the development model of Gujarat?

For the umpteenth time, the thundering Pakistanis has outraged against custodians of holy Indian cows by shamelessly conducting beef fests all throughout Kerala. Blatantly protesting against the sacred cattle slaughter ban, the vociferous Malayali clan has rubbished the Central government orders. By vigorously disregarding the aura of gau mata, the self-proclaimed cyber trollers in Kerala has launched an indefinite meme strike targeting K Surendran and Kummanam Rajasekharan.

This is not the first time the state office holders of the Central ruling party has become a vulnerable prey to the intelligentsia. Many a times, including the recent past and the upcoming future, Surendran and Kummanam are likely to be lampooned again. Though it has become a customary to troll half-witted political leaders, their sheer perseverance and indomitable determination to get trolled again, deserves a special appreciation!

Not just the local leaders, even the party supremos faced several backlashes while attempting to lure the educationally spoiled Kerala society. Comparing Kerala to Somalia on infant mortality rate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi could no way save himself from the incessant shower of innumerable hashtags.

Malayalees have a great knack of understanding communal venoms. The recent visit of Amit Shah to the state and the gusto with which #Alavalathi Shaji become a trend depicts that the Hindutva agenda propagated by RSS has not gained a foot hold in Kerala despite having a member in the legislative assembly.

Focussing the general elections in 2019, the party leadership is fishing in the troubled waters of Kerala.  However, the beef eating state with its high literacy and global health care standard has vehemently opposed any attempts of saffronisation perpetuated by the self-proclaimed avatars.

When the much lauded Gujarat development model has failed to attract the prudent Kerala society, BJP has got nothing left but to play the communal card. Though a multitude of states have followed the bandwagon embracing the saffron ideology, the clan of rational Indian species, upholding individual rights and liberties has stood up revolting against fascism.

 

Of the gau, by the gau and for the gau

How India has dwindled into a land of pandits, peacocks and parrots

An exasperating farrago of Hindutva ideology masqueraded as cow vigilantism perpetrated by the paragons of RSS has tainted the fabric of secular India today.

With the increasing attacks against Muslims and Dalits in the name of cow protection, the country, once lauded for unity in diversity has fallen into a fathomless dung pit orchestrated by the mentally malnourished gau rakshaks.

Blinded by the vote bank politics, when the prime minister of a nation conveniently ignored the hues and cries of the marginalised sections, an array of definitions sprout out, muting the age-old custodians of secularism. Even the so called intelligentsia vehemently endorsed the phenomenal substitution of mother with cow. A plethora of scientific excavations on cows and peacocks recently unearthed by a former judge of Rajasthan High court exemplify the pathetic state of judicial neutrality. The values and ethics that once embellished the judicial system have been apparently replaced by popular ideology and nationalist propaganda.

The alarming number of anti-national slacktivists has outraged the political dronacharyas that they tend to mute them through threat, slander and violence. The voices of differ and opposition have been nullified, driving the country towards a unanimous affirmative nod. By faithfully standing up for national anthem in theatres, they paraded their national consciousness to safe guard themselves from the eternal vigilantes of Bharat Mata. They choose to become parrots than patriots, tolerating the intolerance of a hyper tolerant society.

Right from the killing of Narendra Dabholkar in 2013, the country has witnessed rising intolerance in almost every walks of life. It has reached a stage where the government will decide what one should eat or watch. By censoring the ‘anti-national’ documentaries and by muffling the dissidents, the government seems to have only interested in disseminating a culture of silence.

With zero tolerance to cow slaughtering while quietly supporting the barbarity of gau rakshaks, it’s time to redefine the prime agenda of the government.

Again and again and again…

I failed today

as I couldn’t meet the expectation of some other.

 

I am down

Not because I truly deserve it

But because I thought, I put a hell of a lot into it.

 

I cried

I wept that I missed an opportunity

I blamed myself

It was my mistake

I shouldn’t have done that

I should have put a little more effort.

 

True that I prepared

But,

I don’t know where I went wrong.

I thought.

 

This is not the first time.

I have failed earlier.

 

But, this time again

I wondered why.

 

Cleared my mind

Opened up my heart

And I realized

THE REASONS WERE SAME!

 

I failed yesterday

I failed today

I will fail tomorrow

Unless and until, I change.

 

It’s painful,

looks odd.

But, it’s true.

Sticking to my daily old routine,

I have forgotten to learn.

To study something, to make a difference.

 

A comfort zone, it was.

Happily buried my dreams under the poshness of my laziness.

 

But I was dying

deep inside my heart

and these were nothing

but the symptoms

of a pseudo amnesia.

 

Memories do matter.

It’s late but never too late.

Something I have quoted earlier.

 

BACK AGAIN

But this time, not to lose.

 

 

Sabarimala: Truth Untold, a Case Study

India, notable for its rich diversity and plurality, has been known to be an egalitarian society. With the right to equality enshrined in the Indian constitution, the discrimination based on caste, class, gender and religion, has seemingly obsolete in the modern era. Nevertheless, the blatant injustice suffered by the marginalized sections in the hands of the patriarchal world unveils the fact that inequality is still a palpable truth in the so-called “progressive” society.

Right from the segregation on wages among men and women at work to the denial of access to women to certain places of worship, inequality lingers around the nook and corner of the society. Apparently, the religious institutions which ought to have ensured impartiality among the people explicitly created a barrier discriminating the opposite sexes. Sticking to the age-old customs and traditions, the vehement opposition of religious heads towards the entry of women in certain religious places like Sabarimala in Kerala foregrounds the breach of fundamental rights manifested in the Indian constitution.

The restriction regarding the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 in the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala in Kerala traces back to the time immemorial. But the constraint became a law, following the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a devotee on the ground that Lord Ayyappa was celibate and the entry of women belonging to the aforementioned age group should be prohibited to prevent the deviation of the idol from celibacy. In 1991, Kerala High court issued directions preventing the entry of women in the particular age group.

In the year 2006, another PIL was filed by the Indian Young Lawyers Association in the Supreme Court against the rules and regulations provided by the Travancore Devaswom Board, the authority which controls Sabarimala Temple and the State Government. This was based on the fact that the regulations which restrict the entry of women in Sabarimala violate the right to equality (Article 14 and 15) and the right to freedom of religion (Article 25) of women (Lawyers Collective). The State governments which ruled over the years took contradictory stands with the government under United Democratic Front supporting the prohibition whereas Left Democratic Front opposing it.

Recently, the controversy regarding the prohibition was brought into the spotlight with the change of stance by the State Government deviating from the additional Affidavit filed by the previous government which advocated the ban. The Supreme Court has reserved the decision on whether the Constitution Bench has to be instituted or not. Meanwhile, the Travancore Devaswom Board, Ayyappa Dharma Sena and Ayyappa Devotee Associations vigorously oppose the current stance of the State government which favours the entry of women in the temple. The questionable aspect lies in the constitutional provision regarding the religious freedom which is highlighted in the Article 26 (A). It reads, “Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right to manage its own affairs in matters of religion”. The ambiguity regarding the extent to which religious denominations can exercise its power on matters like the entry of women in temples is evident in the provision which is essentially used by the people supporting the ban.

Though the ban regarding the entry of women belonging to the age group 10-50 is widely reported by the media, it can be noted that majority of the media doesn’t go beyond what have been fed to them. The media has quoted the statements by the Supreme Court and the opinions on both sides verbatim but it failed to analyse the real issue. The media did not even carry the real reasons behind the practice that was imposed centuries ago.

The age group on which prohibition is imposed clearly denotes the physical condition which is during when the women menstruate during her lifetime. This can be directly linked to the notion of “purity” that prevails in the mindset of the patriarchal world. The concept of “impurity” with respect to the menstruation provokes the conservative society to discriminate women as they attain the age of puberty. This preconceived notion regarding menstruation is what reflected in the prevention of entry of women in the temple. However, the majority of the media reports that have been taken for the study had not mentioned this fact.

As the tradition belonged to the bygone era when the transportation and the travel through the forest were difficult, it appears to be senseless to hold the same tradition when the times have changed. The restriction on menstruating women on earlier times was primarily due to the fear of the attack of wild animals while traveling through the hilly region. But, as the times have changed, the restriction which was meant for the safety of women has turned into a prohibition.

Some of the media appear to have been supportive of the restriction on women. The article by Dinesh Unnikrishnan appeared in First post (dated Nov 8, 2016) says:

Sabarimala is not a case of caste or colour-based oppression or ostracisation of any particular community from the mainstream. It is also not an institution that has upheld any social evil like Sati or child marriage. The reason why for centuries, the temple has not encouraged women in the age group of 10-50, to enter within its walls is an age-old faith that has been the cornerstone of the very existence of temple.

Faith says that the deity of the temple, Lord Ayyappa, is a brahmachari (a celibate God) and he is averse to the presence of women of the menstruating age group. Women outside this age group can enter the temple and that has been always so.

Similarly Rahul Easwar, president of Ayyappa Dharma Sena who wrote an analysis on the issue in Hindustan Times (dated Nov 8, 2016) points out: “The deity in a temple is a legal entity who is a perpetual minor, according to Indian law, the Constitution and dozens of Supreme Court verdicts. The deity has rights like you and me.”

But both the articles did not look upon the breach of the constitutional right of women. What mirrors in these write-ups is their inability to perceive the concept of God. By the personification of God, what Easwar conveniently ignored is the perception of God that is often beyond human understanding. Further, when he writes, “Article 25 and dozens of Supreme Court judgments protect the right to faith, temples and deities”, he forgets the fact that right to equality is as important as the right to faith.

The article by Satya Prasoon which appeared in The Wire (dated Nov 7, 2016) throws light into important constitutional provisions. It clearly states:

According to Article 25(2) (b), the state has the overriding power to bring a legislation to provide for social reform or throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus. This power can be used to reform all retrograde aspects of religious practice and customs, especially in matters of temple entry.

Article 25(2) (b) is living proof that the constitution-makers were quite wary of unfair, discriminatory practices within religious customs and committed to purging them.

The social media campaign #ReadyToWait which supports the ban on women did not really substantiate the logic behind their stance. Padma Pillai, the campaigner simply says that the deity “prefers” it.

Charmy Harikrishnan in her article which appeared in Economic Times (dated Sept 4, 2016) observes that the restriction was just 25 years old. When she says, “The queen of Travancore is also reported to have visited the temple in 1940 when she might have been just 45”, it is evident that the recent restriction is nothing but a curb inflicted upon the women by the orthodox patriarchy.

The reportage on Sabarimala issue has not taken into account several factors including the causes that led to the restriction. Except for a few media, others tend to support the prohibition. As the people have a tendency to follow the bandwagon, the media too, haven’t really taken the initiative to make them understand the violation of fundamental rights in the name of religion. The people who advocated the ban made use of the vagueness in the Article 26 of the Indian constitution. Further, even the women consider the discrimination faced by them as a part of tradition and the media appears to be supporting it.