27 August, 2016

The Myth called Equality

All of us talk about India being a progressive society. That we are catching up the "modern" world. That women are now treated equally... or atleast will be.

It is a good thought to pursue, since India is one of the few nations in the world where we have the existence of a matriarchal society, where the woman of the house has the right to property, money and business. Don't get me wrong, it is not about the money, but more a sense of power and rights, and the notional symbols attached to it by our society. Needless to say, in most cases, the woman is forced to fight for this right, despite being the care giver towards the later parts of life. And again, by woman, I don't necessarily mean daughter... it could well be the daughter-in-law who has been doing what it takes.

But what good is all this power, when the same woman is beaten, raped in wide open streets, and then is told that she is at "fault" and is tainted... ironically due a crime committed by someone else. Power has to, first, come in the mind. And it is more critical to change the mindset, not just of men, but of fellow women as well. When a women is not allowed in a temple during her menstrual cycle, it is more often a fellow women who forbids her.

But even that is not the point... because the most elementary concept of any society is Survival of the fittest... and that holds true irrespective of gender, space or time. Fitness not just of the body, but of the mind. Women will be easy prey, till they fight back. They will be taunted till they raise their voice and speak their thoughts.

14 August, 2016

Patriotism versus Nationalism

Ever since BJP has come to power in the centre, there seems to be too much discussion by the paparazzi and the Fourth estate about how the decisions are swinging from the center to the right... progressively towards the extreme right.

This recent article by Gurcharan Das in The Sunday Times on Patriotism versus Nationalism brings back the same thoughts. 
Strangely, if you look at the dictionary meanings to the two words, they seem almost identical... both referring to a patriotic feeling.

nationalism.
[ˈnaʃ(ə)n(ə)lɪz(ə)m]
NOUN
1.patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.
"an early consciousness of nationalism and pride"

patriotism.
[ˈpeɪtrɪətɪz(ə)m]
NOUN
1.the quality of being patriotic; vigorous support for one's country.

"a highly decorated officer of unquestionable integrity and patriotism"

Then why is it that the media seems to be equating nationalism with jingoism, and patriotism with something more controlled. Both emotions are strong, referring to our love for our country. Extremism exists in all emotions, and none are justified, but that doesn't justify the usage of the words to our convenience.

Though I agree with the intent of what Gurcharan Das has to say, I somehow disagree with the use of the words chosen.