Tamil People have their own peculiarities. They are intelligent, perceptive, knowledgeable and argumentative. When in mid and later 20th century Periyar advocated SOCIAL JUSTICE ( samuga needhi) they accepted it wholeheartedly. Even then they did not pursue higher education except some small minority. I remember when I asked a rich trader why he was not sending his son for higher education he replied “how much a Tahsildar gets salary. If my son works in my trade he will earn ten times what a Tahsildar earns”. But due to Periyar’s persuasion he understood that a Tahsildr with less money had more powers than his son. The Tamil people accepted this argument and started to send their sons and daughters to educate themselves whatever the status of their lives are.
But when it comes to the teaching of Atheism by Periyar, they did not argue with him but continued to follow and pray to the gods and goddesses in their own way I was little amused at the crowd in Athi Varadar darshan recently and also at Adi Amavasai when people thronged to these places in this land of Periyar.
This is only my perception. some people may not agree with this blog. I accept and respect their objections.
There are lots of views on NEP by supporters and critics most of them not experts either on education or child rearing, politicians and non experts making some punch statements to attract attention. One good article was published in the Hindu dated 31 July 19 from an expert. All people who rush to the media to express their opinions must read this article from an UNICEF expert on nutrition of children and then give their opinions.
There was an item in THENEWS MINUTE that marriage within community would be increasing infertility. I am all for love and marriage according to one wishes whether inter or intra communities. But it is not clear in which scientific journal the research work is published. In arranged marriages there are some advantages in marrying within the same “social circles”. The young bride will be more comfortable with the known habits and rituals in the environment of in-laws and will be able to adjust quickly . Of course there are cases Indian boys marrying European or American women successfully but they were not arranged marriages. Atleast in India for the past 2000 years marriages have been within communities and till last century there appears to be no infertility problem. The couples had six to ten children. Only recently the couples of arranged marriages are having fewer children more for economic reasons. So scientific discussions are necessary in the above research work.
We had enough of strong heads of Indian government. Indra Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Narendra Modi. We also experienced coalition governments, those of Janata dal, Gujaral, Gowda and even Manmohn Singh and Vajpayee. The strong leaders only provoke strong feeling both FOR and AGAINST them. They are likely to take unilateral decisions without consulting either the Cabinet or the experts or the general society and the decisions are not invariably good for the society. I do not think strong governments are even efficient governments in a democracy. Strong governments may be efficient in dictatorships and you can mostly expect violence and perhaps assassinations. It is better to have weak governance than efficient governance. There would be less chance of big mistakes. Any country, particularly India is a complex country and in any society that changes can be effected only slowly. There cannot be revolutions. Revolutions only lead to dissonance but not great benefits to the society. The reactions to revolution are going back to pre-revolution governance which is worse. Indian society is not a unitary society but consists of many cultures, religions and beliefs (even within a religion). That is why I am ready to put up with less efficient coalition governments consisting of large number of parties of sub-societies and sub-cultures. May happen that a corrupt party which is part of the coalition may threaten the government but if any complaint of corruption or wrong-doing is looked into by a LOKPAL this may be to some extent controlled. If the complaint is false the complaining unit must be punished. Action by Lokpal should be time bound (maximum one year). No solution can be fool proof for all time.
During the ensuing General Elections in India in April-May 2019 I am always amused at the public expressions of not only politicians but also the intellectuals, journalists and TV fraternity and the general public. They are excited as if the function is like marriage or death has occurred in their families. For an individual this is a simple operation of choosing a person or a political party whom one likes. That is why I do not believe in the concept of “winning party” and advice given to the public to vote for the winning party “so that the vote is not wasted”. If I vote for an individual or a party and even if she or the party do not win how is the vote wasted. It will be revealed the number of voters supporting that party or individual, so that in the course of years this individual or party increase ( or decrease) her or its influence in the political field. So i suggest to all voters to vote for the individual or party who are better of the lot in their view, even if the chance of that party winning is low.
What is meant by a person being secular? I am not thrilled by any religion. At the same time I do not have any view if somebody with whom I come into contact has a strong religious feeling. I neither respect his/her religion or disrespect. I do not congratulate him or her during his/her religious days because religion is private to individual or group. I keep away from them on religious days or functions. I do not expect a non-Hindu or a non-believer to celebrate Hindu festivals with religious marks on the forehead. Nor do I expect a Hindu to put on skull cap or cover his or her head to attend a Muslim or Christian religious function. According to me such a person is not secular buy only trying to please the other person (borderline of hypocrisy). That is why I am secular. People may consider me insensitive. They have the right to have that opinion.
My posting on the article in the Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/indias-epic-dilemma/article17960992.ece?utm_source=true&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Newsletter#comments
This is a very interesting article on the Hindu epics. I am of the same opinion that these epic stories are only ethical texts. To impose on them ideological or moral percepts is wrong. Rama may be called MARYADA PURUSHA but he was still a man constrained by the mores and customs of the age and the place. Such epic stories must be debated in each age.. I enjoy rereading of these epic stories from Iravathi Karvet to Devadutta Patnaik. It is not only religiously orthodox people who find ideological meanings behind them. Even Peiyarists (followers of Periyar) find ideological meaning in the stories. One Periyarist says that he was intrigued by Ravana who kidnapped his somebody else’s wife but never molested her is considered bad whereas Indra and Krishna are considered as gods. Indra is (atleast now) is not considered as god of the pantheon but Krishna is. The periyarist gives ideological meaning to the epic stories. But Krishna is an epic hror and very fascinating character with his amorality (yes I repeat amorality) both in this young age when he flirted (perhaps even more) with the girls older to him or as a war hero during his adult period who maneuvered to see that his friends Pandavas win (hook or crook). In Peter Brooks depiction Krishna agrees at the end that there was no other way out for good people (comparatively) to win. Yes I also agree Bhisma was ambivalent in his RAJA DHARMA. He kidnapped the three daughters of Kashi king for his blind brother and this shows that Bhisma considered women as property. That is the reason why he quietly allowed Draupadi to be molested in the open court. He may have given many advises to the warring clans on his deathbed but my feeling is he was repeating some well established ideological percepts. See http://www.harekrsna.de/artikel/bhisma.htm. The eldest Dharmaputra in spite of his dharmic character erred in many ways. Durdyodhana and Karna the darling of the Radicals were full of false morality. Duryodhna abetted the disrobing of his cousin’s wife in the open court Karna enjoyed disrobing because Draupadi refused his love, similar to the present day boys killing the girls whom they love unilaterally. I welcome re-interpretation of epics, particularly Mahabharata, by every age and more number of times in each age.