Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Ah Humanity !!!!

…….. so it finally happened. It’s too tempting to say that I’d predicted it, but at the very least I was not as dismissive of the POTUS elect as the world order in general and the media in particular. Without examining the finer aspects of the campaign and issues at hand (yeah right, issues), there is a lesson everyone seems to always ignore: the lesson from history…and the alarming frequency with which it repeats itself.
There is a tendency among the sections of the media and certain educated classes to overestimate the “inherent goodness” of the human race and an even further ostrich like, “neck in the sand” tendency to ignore sentiments of xenophobia and majoritarianism. The unfortunate tendency to underestimate the power of the demagogue. Few words sum it up better than those of Burt Lancaster (Ernst Janning) in “Judgement at Nuremberg”- “Lift your heads, Be proud, there are devils among us: communists, liberals, Jews and gypsies. Once these devils are destroyed your misery will be over.”
It was not the first or the last time, that the enthralled masses lifted their heads, out of fear, out of self-love and self-preservation and wrote and rewrote infamous pages of history. From the hunter-gatherer communities of yesteryear to the silicon age human, I wager the following experiment will always play out in the same manner. Give a large (and partly heterogenous) community a choice of survival at status quo and throw in the choice of a “perceived” better existence at the expense of a few minorities and social outcasts, and every time, the majority arises to supress the “others” to advance their myopic sense of self-preservation. Rawlesian philosophy has never been at the forefront of human behaviour.
Karl Marx perhaps misjudged in his famous opening lines. The words should have been “A spectre is sweeping across Europe, the Spectre of majoritarianism”. It may be class, religion, ideology, fear, hatred or a combination of these, but arguably the most potent human force is that of majoritarianism; that which compels (for no apparent reason) individuals to come together and beat down an established order, or to follow blindly a demagogue, even though he rushes them through the gaping gates of hell. Little wonder then, why the so called “liberals” garner such sparse popular support; and the rabble rousers and liars, stoke the flames which burn the world at large.
Even as I write this piece, the media already trying to put an anti-establishment spin to the upheaval. Trying to convince us that somehow the vote is a rejection of the established political system; the public uprising of a middle class long neglected, their aspirations stifled and their voices unheard. If that were the case, back home, you would have seen a much earlier wringing out of the “so called first political family”, who, in-spite of years of status quo and a near feudal rule, continued raking in public votes…..well,  at least till “you know who” happened.
…and there is another, even greater omnipotent entity, which has reared its ugly head and bared its toxic fangs. An entity which lies dormant but forever prevalent, one which achieves its ends through surreptitious and almost surgical attacks on the community it targets. An entity which the common educated man (and unfortunately even woman) descries as fictional. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Patriarchy and its offspring Misogyny. A woman’s shortcomings (genuine or perceived) are scrutinized through a thousand filters, dissected to a sub-atomic level, and magnified to gargantuan proportions to create the perfect villain, against whom all should rail. The other side, well, whatever has been said, done, or written; may be simply passed off as locker room banter. The real misfortune is, that without the implicit compliance of women themselves, this system would crumble overnight. The fact that women so willingly contributed to this fa├žade, reveals the length of the journey to be covered before this demon is slayed….but I’ll halt on patriarchy for the moment (requires another day…or many more so).
Let us now face the unpleasant facts and make our peace with it. Humans are not a pleasant species. An incredibly stupid (if you judge the corresponding cerebral development) and an agonisingly petty and selfish community, who among all species seems most intent upon self-destruction. The soon to be Commander in Chief is hardly the most racist, misogynistic, homophobic, psychopath in history. That spot is reserved, for all eternity, to a character to whom all others pale into insignificance, a character to whom these deluded humans kneel and pray in earnest, every day of their lives, seeking petty gratification and a false sense of absolvement. The greatest genocidal maniac in all of history or fiction (depending on which side of the fence you stand). It is perhaps this character, the masses see reflected in their chosen leader.
At the risk of awful repetition, I cannot end before (for the gazillionth time) quoting Gaiman -

Ah , Humanity….you never cease to amaze me. 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

As Clouds Roll By....

These thoughts are brought on by a short visit to Shillong over the past mid-week. After a hot, humid and generally ‘in your face’ 3 months, it was pleasant getting away into the mountains. I was put up in a comfortable but secluded guest room, away from the hub of the rest of the station – with only an old caretaker for company (throwback to the scenes from old tales). The inclement weather meant the telephone line to the room had snapped, as had the cable TV line. My mobile, at the best of times, showed only the solitary ‘danda’ of network strength. The locale however, was resplendent.

Fragrant rolling pine woods, carpeting the ground with dried needles...wild flowers blooming madly in the undergrowth without any semblance of artificial culture.....stems of plants encrusted with thick moss....early morning clouds sweeping by your feet even as you stood viewing the sunrise over the reaches of the distant slopes.

I was enamoured and moved with a sudden deep desire to stay there forever , away from the mad rush of humanity......writing....strumming....walking...reading. No phone calls, vehicles, smoke and noise....just fresh mountain air and wherever one looked, the colour green.
.....and just then , the other half of this ‘civilised’ brain answers back with a vengeance.
“Dude , its Ryder Cup’ll miss the opening 2 sessions of foursomes and fourballs.”
“What if you don’t get back all weekend at all....what happens to the Arsenal-Chelsea game?”
“What about the season ending Yankees-Red Sox series at Fenway with the AL East pennant on the line?”
Further disillusionment followed as I sat down to a frugal dinner of aaloo beans, dal and chapattis – what wouldn’t I have given for a succulent steak and fries followed by some gourmet dessert. The water in the room was a suspicious yellow and the electric voltage at best half of normal.
The experience left me smiling at the irony....I was become too much of a city boy....too dependent on technology....too strongly enmeshed in the perks of civilisation, the ills of which I was often the first one to chide.
Nature v Nurture indeed...nurture had too strong a leash over me to overcome all the attractions nature offered. As I bid farewell, with more than a tinge of regret to that balmy clime.....I was wondering if I could change the words of Jagger n Richards.

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the pine woods fair.
Wildflower blossoms I can see
But not for me.
I sit and watch
As clouds roll by.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Atheist Morality

This post was mooted after reading an internet article recommended to me. It challenged the claims and the reasons thereof for morality among prominent modern day atheists, notably the likes of Dawkins and Dennet , and the fact that , for all their brilliant arguments in the rejection of god and religion , the arguments for the reasons of morality in the modern day atheist do not quite possess the same persuasiveness. For instance, Dawkins denounces the widespread clamour in favour of religion – that it is a great driving force towards morality in society and leads to a great deal of philanthropic work. The article challenges the atheist philosopher’s claim that “without religion , the good will still do good and the evil will still do evil , but for a good person to do evil , requires religious motivation”.
As has been my wont, at the face of it, I was ready to denounce the article as another bit of creationist trash talk, but it made much more sense than that. Indeed some of the arguments propounded in it were ones which had previously crossed my mind; hence they set in motion a chain of thought which I was compelled to pen down, quite a long time back actually , but have finally got around to doing it , almost 3-4 months after I read the article.
Before proceeding to air my perhaps inconsequential thoughts, I feel it noteworthy to mention that I am totally unschooled in any of the so-called important philosophical works, which over the years might have (and still may) pulled weight in literary circles. Neither am I aware of much of the philosophical / spiritual / ethical theory which may have been propounded. Perhaps that is the good bit about philosophy; one can say whatever one feels likes and then claim – “well, it is my philosophy”. Voicing ideas contrary to those of Hume, Nietzsche, Freud, Marx, Russell etc, is hardly comparable to claiming the overthrow of General Relativity.

So , to get down to business – at the very outset , I’m not overtly thrilled by the use of the terms “good” and “evil” or “moral” and “immoral”. Outside of human society , there exists no meaning for these terms anywhere in the living world as is known to us. Why then do they hold such prominence in our society , which is after all an offshoot of the same laws of nature that govern all , from the bacterium to the chimpanzee.
A dangerous territory to tread this very point has been championed by all creationist , anthropocentric propaganda. The oft quoted invocations to the human soul and the work of god , which allow a moral human society to be separated from a barbaric animal one is well known. However the reasons thereof are not far to seek and well mooted in Darwin’s venerable theory as is aught else that concerns life on the planet.
Society arose simply to divide labour among individuals and to this very day essentially serves that purpose, although the spectrum of labour indeed may have magnified considerably in the 21st century as opposed to the days of our cave dwelling ancestors. The simplest society was the one of the male and the female...the pregnant and the nursing female stays in the shelter to protect and rear the offspring while the male is out hunting / hunting gathering : a fact which perhaps explains the genetically superior physical prowess of the male of our species. For a moment ignoring the hormonal influences of such evolution , it would have been interesting had males evolved the capacity to nurse the young after the female gave birth ...the periods of child rearing (pre and post partum) might then have been more equally shared and perhaps we might have seen Usain Bolt and Marion Jones competing for similar times in the 100m....however as is glaringly obvious , such a development would have conferred far less evolutionary advantage to the species than the one which has evolved.
Back then to human society – from couples to group of couples to communities , initially nomadic followed by settlers...initially hunters / gatherers followed by food growers. As society grew in size , so did the number of tasks required for the community....and so there were hunters , farmers , soldiers , masons , craftsmen , teachers and so on. With the development of religion and worship as the integral component for survival and well being , priests who conned all and sundry (and continue doing so even today) gained eminence : In a nutshell labour was significantly divided and each individual was assigned tasks only upon completion of which would he be entitles to the common resources of the community for his and his family’s upkeep.
The role of the individual and the manner in which it leads to the fragmentation of society is not my purview today , but yet another idea. With growing complexity in the organisation of society , there became requirements for regulations which all members of the community had to follow to prevent the balance of the community from tipping over and the entire structure degenerating into chaos. Individuals failing to abide by these regulations would be meted out punishments – whatever they might be as per memetic evolution and the severity of the so called ‘crime’.
It is my belief that the very basic of these requirements , the ones which if not strictly adhered to would precipitously harm the balance of the society , are the very ones which over the course of generations have been evolutionarily ingrained into the human psyche as morals. It can hardly be doubted that strong legal sanctions reinforced by a rigid mental stance against a particular behavioural pattern serves twice as strong a deterrent to the pattern proliferating and ultimately endangering the integrity of the community. 2 such pretty universally condemned actions which invoke almost universal condemnation in any society are murder and there you have it , the evolution of 2 of the strongest moral dictums.
“Thou shalt not kill”
“Thou shalt not steal”

It is easy to see therefore, how religion and its methods were drawn towards morals from an embryonic stage ...morals reinforced the stability of society, and religion, by using morality as its chief brand ambassador , entrenched its roots ever deeper into the human psyche. Again, I shall not delve into the monster that religion really is and how it has twisted the concept of morals and usurped its real origins to use it lethally against the very thing it evolved to protect – the stability of society.
To come to the point which got me writing in the first place: how do atheists explain the need for moral behaviour? Here is where I hazard my answer. “Atheists have no requirement for morals.” As outrageous as this sounds, the claim is based on the assumption that new age atheists are men of science, logic and reason. The very logic and scientific reason that leads individuals to accept atheism, are the reasons which would (or should) lead to the concept of individual responsibility towards the society and the community. The role of an individual in society is symbiotic – do your bit and it repays you by providing the resources required for you and your family to subsist.
In a perfect society (my Utopia), there would be no need for morals to be indoctrinated to children ; the society would be based on an adamantine foundation of laws – initiated by men of logic and reason , who comprehend the structure of society , its evolution and the role of the individual within it. Once such laws are in place and their implementation is in place, there will be no requirement for the half baked moral code in vogue today which is often illogical and mutually contradictory, not to mention at times completely removed from the fabric of modern society.
Of course the practical achievement of such a society and its implementation are likely to be practically nigh as impossible, as for instance, the success of a communist society without degenerating into totalitarianism (but that topic is for another day). As is glaringly obvious, in a system like this, that omnipresent power struggle and desire for one-upmanship (ratified by none other than Darwinism itself) is likely to pervade deeply and threaten a complete overthrow of the system. That notwithstanding , the initial contention for writing the mail , is that the atheist understands the structure and the evolution of society and hence his role within it. As a result scientific laws are good enough to ensure that the balance of society is not tipped over by him. The real problem lies with the creationists , who attempt to enforce downright stone-age philosophy into a society where it is simply not compatible with leading to well....we are all witness to the chaos it creates.

As the memorable quote runs (of course taking the words good and bad with a pinch of salt): “Without religion the good will still do good and the bad will still do bad, but for the good to do bad , it requires religion”

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reminiscing the Days of Tyranny

Its 6 in the evening...the day’s work is done....and all of a sudden an enormous sense of freedom and pleasant emptiness grips me....a sensation that was scarce known for the last 3 yrs....and indeed for the best part of the last 5 years (since the time I began studies for the PG entrance exams in any real earnest)..... a wonderful sensation of not having deadlines to meet...not having to look forward to a dreadful day at work (for which my preparation would as usual have been abysmal)...more importantly not having to go back and STUDY..... study for presentations , clinical meetings , and the chief tyrant of them all....VILE EXAMINATIONS.

....oh , How I have come to hate examinations..... more than 30 years of this mundane existence....and the only constant that I can remember , since as far back as I can trace memory are those of examinations..... be it in school , trying desperately to remember the number of pillars in the Meenakshi Temple.....or the terrible evening before the Math paper in Plus 2, quite literally mugging up the solved examples in OP Malhotra , in a desperate attempt to achieved that prized 40 %..... on then to the never ending tests and entrance exams.....the innumerable formulae which were so often memorized yet erased at the bat of an eyelid....projectile motion....gas laws....conversions in organic chemistry and so on.

But these were but the gentle outswingers with the new ball compared with the never-ending barrage of bouncers that awaited in Medical College...and add to it a new monster that reared its head and right upto the very latest days has more than once threatened to devour me....the evil Practical and Viva exam. Oh the painful memory of the night before the Anatomy prelim exams and the desperate attempt at a first ever reading of neuroanatomy.......and abandoning the effort at midnight totally flummoxed somewhere between the nuclei and the connections of the corpus stratum....the terror on the eve before the anat viva was something I thought would never be revisited ( how wrong I was).....the vain attempts at trying to make last moment revisions of the muscular attachments on the various bones would be littered my visions of Zag sharpening a particularly ugly looking battle-axe , his face perpetually etched with that unforgettable malicious smirk.
...what then o Kaisers of the miserable night before the forensic prelim....indeed , what pathetic creatures we were to have made a monster out of forensic medicine.....but let it just be mentioned that without a couple of bottles of rum and some ingenius diplomacy; the K2 batch might just have wrought some rather unpleasant history in the annals of AFMC.
Final MBMS brought its own share of terrors.... the night before the first university exam has always been one particularly heinous....never was it more so than before the dreaded medicine paper....I swear, sitting in the library as the last dregs of sunlight faded away to a darkness that drained all hope....there was not one person sitting in that AFMC library that did not wonder what they had been thinking the time they chose to enter this profession.
If medicine theory was the most mentally taxing, there was none more so than the night before the surgery theory paper I..... I remember vividly , no gap after Medicine paper II....and the syllabus , enormous.....sat through the whole evening and night with just 45 mins sleep (from 2-30 to 3-15) and yet a sizeable chunk of the syllabus couldn’t even be touched.
Medicine viva carried its own share of has perhaps till this day the exam I freaked out maximally over on the previous night (Anatomy notwithstanding). Those pages of Hutchison seemed greek and latin that final night and I was all geared up to repeat after six months.
Surprisingly , the levels to which confidence levels drooped prior to the exams , the same never affected me after finishing the paper....that fear was limited only for one exam , the final MBBS surgery practical exam....after quite haplessly messing up the long case and one short case , the dreaded red mark seemed a very real possibility....and the fears were not unjustified , as I escaped by the skin of my teeth with 51 marks on 100.....putting an end to the miseries of MBBS once and for all.
A bit of a breather after threat of exams for a good three years till the monster of post graduation reared its head....the preparation for PG was perhaps the single most dedicated and intensive slog I’ve put in towards any exam in my life...add to it the growing hysteria of a perpetually deflated Puneet Saxena....but they were probably also one of the more memorable and enjoyable preparations....well all they served was to open the veritable gateway to hell.
PG was a black hole...sure , Pune was good....lot of good things happened , but the mental strain during the three years was at times just unbearable.... thesis , presentations , clinical meetings , calls , exams , bum jobs.... there was anger , mistrust , spite and a forever growing frustration at anything and everything that surrounded one. At times you’d lie on your pillow at night simply hoping not to wake up in the morning.
Quite befitting then that it should be crowned by the worst exam of my life and the ony other one where failure loomed as a realistic possibility....the viva was tortuous , ridiculous , senseless.....
Ah well....all is done and dusted. End to residency , exams and tyranny !!!
.... Indeed , now I know how Frodo felt....

“but if of ships I now should sing , what ship would come to me
What ship would ever bear me back across so wide a sea”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tiger in the Woods

One of my everlasting memories is of Tiger Woods in his customary sunday red , pitching out of the bunker at the 16th hole in Augusta in the year 2005 ; and the resulting commentary exultation – “In your life have you seen anything like that ???”.....followed by a rather more sedate "This guy's pretty good."
Tiger , the sporting icon , has been writ large over our generation , across nations and continents in a manner very few athletes have – Michael Schumacher , Roger Federer , Michael Jordan and Lance Amstrong are the only ones that spring to mind. As a golfer, there is only one other in any that has yet played the game to compare with him. Tiger’s influence reaches far wider than the 14 majors and the 60 odd tournament victories to his credit. He is the only reason golf enjoys the global popularity that is does , the overwhelming desire (more than ever before) among increasing hordes of youngsters to pursue golf as a career is down whole and sol to the Tiger factor.....And then we are let to believe that the man has let us and the sport down; by actions in his personal front he has betrayed not only his family but the legions of fans and the sport that has granted him immortality. Tiger has been hounded by the flesh feeding carrion of modern society Media..., his life dissected threadbare , cheap stand up comics on TV earning rating points by cracking lewd jokes at his expense.......alas , that this should be so....the fallout of Tiger’s recent discomfiture brings out aptly though disappointingly , how little understanding of sporting greatness and physical endeavour that the world truly possesses.We who love and live our sport, crave only the sheer excitement and ecstasy the athletes professing their trades provide on the field.....sporting greatness is not conferred by the millions of dollars of endorsements that an individual holds, if that were the case , David Beckham might well have eclipsed Don Bradman and Pele in the list of true sporting gods..... not by the number of charities one patronises , or how wonderful a parent or spouse an athlete has been.When the years have passed, and the striplings of today have grown to witless greybeards.... it will be remembered that George Best was a supreme artist of football, and not as one who wasted his life cohorting women and alcohol.....What will be remembered will be the look of incredulity on Mike Gatting’s face to a then obscure blonde youngster’s first ball in Ashes cricket spinning viciously from outside leg to catch the top of off. , and not the number and content of text messages Shane Warne had sent to nurses , barmaids and have what you may......In a similar vein, when the dust settles and the fickle attention of the media turns elsewhere , what true sports fans will remember , will be memories of Tiger , hobbling on one leg with a torn cruciate ligament to win the epic US Open battle in 2008 against Rocco Mediate.....and hopefully many many more memories of similar ilk (maybe even some in the 2nd weekend of April 2010).By all means, criticize your sportstars when they fail to achieve those standards for which they are so outrageously paid.Criticise Alex Rodriquez when (till last year at least) his overwhelming slugging feats would repeatedly come to an abrupt halt come the beginning of the Major League playoff season.Criticise Warnie for his persistant failures against the Indian batting and the likes of Tendulkar and Laxman.Criticise Federer for his repeated shortcomings against Nadal , Zidane for his head butt on Materazzi, and Henry for the hand ball against Ireland.We are privileged to be part of an era that watched Tiger at his prime. Future generations will wonder at the enormity of his exploits, much in the same way that we do at those of Bradman and Ruth. Here’s hoping that trivialities of family life do not hinder the golfing genius of the, lies and all the rest notwithstanding.....when the man finally steps up to the tee on the first at Augusta on the 8th of April....and the first shot of his so-called second coming is invariably heralded by the screams of “get in the hole”, here’s hoping that whatever he goes on to achieve is judged merely on his sporting accomplishments and not on the myopic scales of human morality.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pick up my Guitar and play

These are heady days….days of especially headstrong winds of change…..not least because they affect me….or better, affect the few avenues in the labyrinth of the world that concern me.
The world of humans is a bizarre place…by far the most intricate and multi-faceted , yet outrageously wasteful biological , socio-cultural and technological ecosystem of all species , meant ultimately , only to sustain that Darwinian rat race called survival.
Morality….theology….art…culture….all radically different from that crazy little helix that works ceaselessly, mindlessly ; ensconced in its little cell….yet ultimately lies at the heart of all creation…be it biological or otherwise.
At certain times…one , each with a set of impoverished 46 XX or XY , is wont to feel distant and aloof….a tiny fragment amidst matters of far greater importance.
Yet at other times one feels at the centre of it all, and why not…if the universe (by which I mean the memetic universe of man , not the cosmic one) is infinite , then each of us is at the centre…the veritable arachnid from which a vast web stretches out…each move of the spider, shaking even the most distant strings…..and conversely…any influence , even on the furthest edges , transmitted to the inhabitant in the centre.

I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen,
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been.

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world shall be,
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall never see.

For there are so many things
That I have never seen,
In every wood, in every spring,
There is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago,
And people who will see a world
That I shall never know.

As people would have me believe…..these are the days of history making presidents …. upheavals …… markets …computers ….some say days of terror…some say days that are better.
I wonder…if the sum total of all this…..makes my life happier…and then I smirk. Happiness indeed !!! What on earth was I thinking.
At most times I was wont to be Benjamin the donkey….remember…. “Windmill , or no windmill ; life will go on exactly like it has , and that is…badly.”

I can already discern someone making eyes at me…. “Sour Puss” was it ?...or perhaps “little piece of sunshine”….but little hobbits who sway between “Tookishness” and “Bagginsism” can hardly be blamed.

Barack Obama is already my favourite political personality , at least among the ones that I have heard of till date….and this because of one statement of his -
“Given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”
Religion and God , I fear (indeed I know) will not die away till the last human on earth ceases his miserable breathing. However there is some hope that in the future there may yet be a day where such outrightly ridiculous, unscientific and delusional affiliations would be limited to a purely personal level….or at the very least , that they may be completely segregated from the administrative , logistic , professional and social commitments required of an individual as part of a community or a state.
In other words….the day when any proforma for personal particulars / bio data ceases to have a column titled “Religion”.
Maybe my hopes are too premature and ultimately misplaced…yet such words from a political statesmen are music to the ears…that have grown accustomed to holier than thou eulogizing by all and sundry.

Well , people tell me that we’re in the midst of a recession….the greatest economic meltdown in three quarters of a century. Companies declare bankruptcy , and masses of people all of a sudden find themselves out of a job …. I am mighty unschooled in markets and such things but one thing which always struck me , whether it be recession or a global economic boom is that, after all isn’t there only so much to go around. How long can a community subsist on writing programs , creating softwares , building computers , evading taxes ( and helping others do the same) and investing resources (what these may be I cannot fathom) to generate so called wealth out of sheer nothingness it would seem (or is it). Everything about the ‘markets’ seems a basic violation of the principles of thermodynamics to an unschooled person like me. Earth…wood…water…and stock….are after all limited…and at most times Malthus makes total sense….they cannot live forever, can they ???
(Shyam , if you read this…please explain).

These days , every few months , it would seem ; the snooty upmarket urban Indian is shocked…….when his own security and survival flashes before his eyes. The last such was when smoke and flame bellowed from the famous turrets of the Taj Hotel. An unquestionably barbaric act……but then you do not expect anything else from individuals who have ceased to acknowledge the principles that form the foundation stones for human civilization. However if the act per say was villainous , the knee jerk reaction that followed was downright absurd.
And at the head of it all was that all-powerful social virus of the technological age – the media. The Indian Media – and its cumulative single mindedly dastardly whorehouse , has made a mockery of all possible norms of ethics, honesty and value systems , never better borne out than in their actions during and succeeding the Mumbai horror.
The media….print or electronic…hardly ever gives you what you should hear…it doesn’t even give you what you want to hear. What it dishes out is a dangerously potent cocktail, meant simply to arouse passions at the expense of any kind of logic or scientific reason. It eats into society like a canker ….dividing it regionally , communally , economically , professionally , linguistically and in every other divisive nature possible ; with one and only one objective : to strengthen its own self and make itself indispensable to the masses. The basic behavioral pattern of selfishness and self above all else is epitomized by the media , ironically a system that is supposed to be working for the masses irrespective of bias or prejudice.
Nothing or no one creates more unrest in the society than the media….neither violent acts of terror , nor controversial movies , nor vitriolic comments made by random individuals….but the manner in which the same are processed, packaged and fed to the unsuspecting crowd in a maliciously ingenius honey coated psycho-toxin.
Facts of any kind are conspicuous by their absence, and what emerges is a garbled up fictitious account more suited to the desks of B grade movie scriptwriters. The other thing the media breeds is decadence and phobia…and worst of all by proffering its own ‘shining’ example encourages an ignorance of basic scientific norms , in exchange for outrightly ridiculous and atavistic mumbo-jumbo.
So much for the media , it is of course an accepted bed-fellow of the highest bidder……what of the rest…. People held hands…..held up posters….lit candles ( a novelty in the Indian context….can anything we do for once cease to be inspired from films.)….and retired into the comfort of their homes.

But from where I stand….ol’ Pete was dead right -

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that's all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they are flown
In the next war

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again.

There's nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

Sunday, November 23, 2008


If you really isn't sacred....human life none more so than any other.....however , the way human society is structured... it is imperative that human life be deemed sacred and precious.
The sanctitiy of life is actually a delusion on which the bastions of society are based.