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.
BBC WORLD VS CNN INTERNATIONAL
I live in India. I am moderately hearing deficient. I view TV with a headphone so that I can clearly hear the audio. For some time I am viewing BBC World and CNN international. I prefer CNN because the audio is very clear, with NEUTRAL accent and also loud enough for understanding what the commentators talk. They talk with open mouth. On the other hand I find that it is difficult to clearly understand the audio in BBC World. The news readers and the commentators talk with clipped and probably heavy local accent and speak with almost closed mouth. The worst offenders are the second generation of immigrants to England who seem to think that they should talk with classical British accent ( I presume it is British accent as I have never lived in England wales, Scotland or Ireland.). These immigrants’ children seem to impress that they are more English than the English. Sometime I do not clearly hear even their names, though I should be familiar with the names..
This is my personal view. Perhaps this may be due to some problem in my hearing. Because of these accent problem (particularly in conversation) in Indian TV channels movies and other programmes in English do have English sub titles which are very essential for those who are not familiar with England’s or American accents but have done English as second or third language.
BBC world should not take this as a complaint but look into the problem particularly with Non-English nations and change if necessary. Remember “world” is the operative word in BBC World just “international” is operative word in CNN international.
In the past two days there were two instances of assault and murder of two young women by disgruntled lovers. Till about ten to twenty years back there were not much “love” between boys and girls both in schools, colleges and workplaces. Everybody accepted their location in the society and agreed their mothers to choose their spouses. Even though there was Agananuru and other love poetry in Tamil I think there was not much “LOVE” in the middle class society in Tamil country. Only recently due to the influence of movies both foreign and Indian and increase of Tv serials and also books Tamil boys have come to know of “LOVE”. But they are still followers of chauvinistic Tamil society where MAN is the higher being and WOMAN is lower being to serve MAN. The already educated sub sect of society and newly educated liberated sections of society came to know of LOVE. But they have not liberated themselves of sexist chauvinism of the society. The MAN thinks that once he likes (loves??) a WOMAN she immediately becomes his property (ennudiya pon). It does not matter at all whether the WOMAN agrees to his wooing. WOMAN”s acceptance or otherwise is not relevant to him. More so if WOMAN first agrees to his proposal and later rejects him, it is an INSULT TO HIS MANLINESS. Woman is a property and if the property is taken by anybody else murder is only the solution. It is worse in the case of married couple. If wife wants a divorce the man thinks it is again an insult to him. He is not able to understand women have a right to accept or reject an offer and even if she accepts first she has the right to change her mind. This clearly shows that Tamil society and culture is not something great. Our culture is as bad as some other culture though every culture may have some good and many bad points. That is why I am amused when an Indian finds an American or westerner follows our culture and habits (eating with their hands) we are greatly thrilled and feels that our culture is very great (IT IS NOT). Let us not cheat ourselves of the greatness of culture.
Only solution is that both boys and girls must be taught even from their childhood that what LOVE is and means and how not only to love but also to respect each other. The present elders are not fit for this job because they are the culprits. Have you ever heard of a mother ever accepting that her son was in fault (except in ancient poetry). Tamil society has to learn lots of things.