(These are excerpts from the speech delivered by Arvind K.Pandey at Jagat Taran Girls Degree College, Allahabad, on January 12, 2014 in a programme organised by Kritisankalpa Society to celebrate birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Other notable speakers who expressed their views on this occasion included Swami Nikhilatmananda, President, Ramakrsihna Mission, Allahabad; Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand; Justice. Palok Basu (Retd.), Allahabad High Court; Dr. Milan Mukherjee; Devendra Tiwari and Senior Advocate Ashok Mehta.)
Today we find that youths are at the receiving end of so many challenging issues.The transition phase has introduced them to complex living patterns, which has left them high and dry. They not only remain the most exploited lot but also remain frustrated and depressed. That’s because pressure to perform is at its peak in materialistic times. They are unable to choose right means of survival. Worse, imposition of outdated patterns of living by the silver hairs has made youths a sorry figure. Against this backdrop, the values shared by Swami Vivekananda seem to be last ray of hope as they infuse within the being supreme confidence and positive feelings.
Swami Vivekananda truly recognized the potential of youths. He always believed that “strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone” can change the face of globe. “A hundred such and the world becomes revolutionized.” However, when we look at the state of affairs prevalent in their lives, it leaves any thinking soul quite worried and sad. Very recently, police entered inside the campus of Allahabad University and students got beaten black and blue with laathis as if they were hardcore criminals and not innocent students. If you hear about the experiences of these youths, you would be in great pain to hear about their exploitation. Acharya Manu rightly states that silver hairs alone do not constitute wisdom but in Kaliyuga the white hairs have become confirmed sign of knowledge! No wonder they are always in conflict with younger generation. They are more often than not involved in quashing the innovative spirit of youths, leading to dissipation of enthusiasm from the lives of youths.
Swami Vivekananda believed that each soul is a “potentially divine soul” but misguided silver hairs with their outdated notions have turned these younger souls, bubbling with optimism, into a potentially destructive soul. Swami Vivekananda possessed a revolutionary spirit who had dared to ask uncomfortable questions from older lot. He rightly believed that “each generation should be inspired afresh” and “men should not be taught to imitate a personal ideal, however great”. One of the fatal errors committed by older generation is that it tries to impose its views all in name of sharing experience.
Some of the well-made flicks like Three Idiots, Rang De Basanti, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and Paan Singh Tomar, to name a few, capture well the conflicts generated by old minds in the lives of youths. It’s evident that optimism and energy found in youths deeply impresses any conscious thinker of Vivekananda’s stature interested in creating new order of things.” My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions.” It’s another thing that in a nation which prefers argumentative tradition-something highly praised by Amartya Sen-the youths get tamed on one pretext or another.
The lives of youths seem to have got trapped in ills of modernity. Or, why else are we seeing advertisements related with prevention of AIDS on National Youth Day? Isn’t this sad reminder of the fact that there has been erosion of values among the youths? Or is this indicative of fact that things have gone out of control since what was once upon a time treated as immoral has gained some sort of acceptance in Indian society? Whatever it is, it indicates crisis of values. We also need to accept that priorities of youths have changed and their role models have also changed. Their role models are the ones which do not inspire them to be do good and be good. They are the ones which encourage them to earn name and fame within short span of time. So what’s the role of a spiritual powerhouse amid this new set of perceptions?
Even if we take into account new changes that have hit the lives of youths, there is still much space left for spirituality. That’s because materialism cannot give them real peace of mind. It cannot quench the thirst which exists inside our soul. No wonder youths have been hit hard by giant dragon called depression. Let’s also not forget that India is land of discovering inner peace. It’s not the land to multiply external source of happiness. And so likes of Swami Vivekananda would always be influencing our lives. They are the ones who keep us above from the realm of negativism. Youths are depressed because external world has limited means of satiating one’s desires, wherein seekers are more than suppliers! On the other hand, the inner world is infinite in nature and the competition to own this inner world is less. So people in race of inner peace have greater chances to remain happy than the majority which is in the race to conquer external world.
Swami Vivekananda’s views will always remain relevant among youths since they enable the youths to rectify their approach towards life. They rejuvenate our dull spirit, by making us shift attention from the external world to inner world and in the process this great truth gets revealed: “The aim of life is to realize God…He alone is real and everything else is false…Religion is realization.” And once you attain realization you come to feel every moment that” all power is within you, you can do anything and everything.”
P.S.: This post also appeared in Northern India Patrika On January 18, 2014.
Any close observer of the happenings in modern India would easily confirm that secular governments have unleashed a sort of war against Hindu saints. They have been framed in number of heinous crimes right from sexual crimes to crimes against national security. The paid media ensures that one-sided coverage gets highlighted not only within Indian landscape but also in International arena. In such matters wherein Hindu saints are involved, a striking feature is that news coverage is full of lies and twisted truths spread by secular press. None of the mainstream media dares to reveal both sides of the story in an impartial way.
One important reason is that most of the Indian media houses are in some way controlled by hidden powers in Western nations. How can we then expect truth to make its presence felt? After all, the mainstream media which harps about involvement of Sadhvi Pragya in blasts never found it important enough to report in same candid fashion about severe violation of rights of prisoners, about inhuman treatment meted out to her inside the jail! The same media is so hyper-sensitive about rights of Devyani who made mockery of India’s honour in West but yet she is being portrayed as if she committed no crime at all! That’s because she is part of the system. But anybody who dared to expose the misdeeds of government was branded as criminal in a well-planned manner!
What I am trying to ascertain that we have given way to era wherein propaganda has become more powerful than version close to truth. One of the most important job of media is to reveal the real picture but exactly opposite has taken place: Media has become carrier of falsehood and distorted versions. It’s main agenda has become to shield dubious powers in rule. Like a prostitute it keep changing its loyalty or, in other words, it generally speaks the language of rulers! Remember the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati in year 2004 in most humiliating manner for allegedly playing a role in murder of Sankararaman, manager of the Sri Varadarajaswamy Temple. The then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,J Jayalalithaa, in an attempt to appear more secular than others and to give an impression that no one is above law ensured his arrest! The Kanchi seers were charged with” criminal conspiracy, misleading the court by giving false information, criminal trespass and supply of funds to carry out the criminal activity.”
The head of a 1,000-year-old Brahmin monastic order was presented as petty criminal in mainstream media and even before case was put to trial he was portrayed as accused. Let’s remember that Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is one of the oldest Hindu mutts in the country and Shankarcharyas belonging to this mutt command a great respect among Hindu communities across the globe. In fact, Swami Jayendra Saraswati is a highly respected figure having profound knowledge of Hindu scriptures. He like his predecessors provided new heights to this mutt established in 9th century by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, enjoying similar status the way Vatican enjoys amid Christians. However, clash of interests between J Jayalalithaa and DMK chief Karunanidhi, who represented anti- Brahminical movments, ensured that this highly revered pontiff got disgraced.
Prominent media analysts of that period conveyed the impression that “police would not have acted unless they had sufficient evidence.” Ironically, the prosecution at that time was supremely confidant about involvement of Kanchi seers in abetting murder of Sankararaman, claiming that it had “incriminating evidence”. The investigating officer Prem Kumar came out with version that made mutt head appear guilty: “We have strong evidence about the involvement of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi in Sankararaman’s murder. There has been animosity between the two for the past four years and further investigation is on to corroborate the evidence collected on the involvement of the Kanchi Acharya.” The allegations had deepened with revelations of Tamil magazine Nakkeeran. Amid these bizarre turn of events, the case got transferred to Pondicherry to ensure fair trial. To make the matters worse for Kanchi mutt head, even allegations of sexual exploitation surfaced. (The Hindu)
However, the truth had the last laugh when verdict delivered by a special court in Pondicherry acquitted all the accused involved in this sensational murder. The verdict was delivered on November 27, 2013 after nine years of suspense and drama of all sorts. They were acquitted of all the charges which included “criminal conspiracy, misleading the court by giving false information, criminal trespass and supply of funds to carry out the criminal activity.” The main witnesses failed to corroborate the prosecution’s theory. More than 80 witnesses went against the story presented by the prosecution.
Well, it’s true that Kanchi seers got acquitted but in the process it caused irreparable damage to the reputation of an institution, which represented the collective psyche of Hindus. This “collective psyche” of Hindus made its presence felt again the way Kanchi Mutt Head responded to this verdict: ” Dharma has prevailed. Truth has won. That is what matters…I have been trained by my Guru to bear everything. There is no question of situation being tough. Times were challenging because we were facing completely new set of situations. ..There are several invaders who vandalized our temples. Today when you see the disfigured temples you remember the invaders and their acts of vandalism. What was perpetrated on the mutt has been termed as an act of vandalism by several people.” (Kanchi Sathya Org)
It’s really saddening that moments allegations against Hindu saints surfaces, the whole mainstream media goes berserk and paints them in wrong colours, forgetting that its main task is to report the incident and not to conduct trials. Worse, when the allegations are found false and saints get acquitted the same news item does not get prominence. Acquittal is never important than false stories planted by vested interests. No wonder acquittal of Kanchi’s Shankracharya did not get the same coverage. After all, it strengthens cause of Hindus, which is antithetical to secular spirit of this nation. The mainstream media is more interested in propaganda than emergence of truth.
The secular forces always convey the impression that no one is above law. And so will they dare to arrest Shahi Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari against whom so many cases have been registered? Will they dare to bring in open and convict Christian missionaries involved in conversion of tribals in remote corners of India? That will never take place. The law exists only for Hindu saints. It’s an instrument of oppression for Hindus and all that which represents self-pride of Hindus. It’s there to support propaganda and not to sustain truth.
It’s a matter of great satisfaction that prominent publications related with mainstream media have begun to embrace issues related with men in a fair way. The various bodies working for the cause of men across the nation have decided to ferociously protest against the recent amendments made in Hindu Marriage Laws which are not only anti-male but also do not augur well for the cause of society. I must appreciate The Times of India and its correspondents some of them whom I know personally quite well for being sympathetic towards issues sensitive in nature. The complicated issues cannot be dealt with in a proper way unless we know both the sides of story and this type of fair reporting allows us to be more informed about aspects which remain neglected owing to lack of dissemination. Right now some of the well known Men’s associations based in Bangalore, Pune, Nagpur and elsewhere are working hard to create awareness regarding misuse of laws, which they call legal terrorism. The activists right now are engaged in having dialogue with Members of Parliament with a hope to apprise them of with concerns of Men’s Associations. I am sure the day is not far when gender-neutral laws would get introduced to provide a better shape to Indian society now on the verge of disarray due to blatant misuse of power by the feminists, enjoying support of negative powers operating within the nation and in foreign lands.
(Also published in Northern India Patrika, December 22, 2013)
Once upon a time Hindi movie songs acted as anti-depressants. Now Hindi film music gives rise to depression! Modern songs devoid of meaning and set upon incoherent beats in the name of music give rise to headache instead of removing it! Earlier songs depicted certain philosophy, which added a new dimension in the script of the movie. The movies made by Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor effectively used songs to introduce new twist in the story. It’s altogether a different story in modern cinema. There are item numbers or poorly inserted hopelessly romantic numbers.
First, there is dearth of talented lyricists and, second, there is lack of good music directors. The bunch of music directors that we see are primarily technocrats, relying heavily on technology. Some will argue that we have talented lyricists but the ability to write one or two catchy one-liners doesn’t make anyone a lyricist! Listen the lyrics and it would be hard for you to decide whether it’s an English song, or a Punjabi song, or a Hindi song. Look at the music compositions. It’s either for the hip-hop generation or it’s for the night clubs. It’s not merely that times have changed and we need to adjust to new trends. There is something terribly wrong with the creativity involved in making of songs! Should we not assume that capitalistic traits have murdered real creativity? Overseas rights of distribution, heavy fees extracted from rights of satellite channels and numerous other equations enjoy greater concern than ensuring bliss!
I do not wish to appear stupidly nostalgic caught in the time warp. As an evidence of the creativity, which prevailed in 50s and 60s, I am presenting four songs of lyricists who have really inspired me a lot. Every time I come to hear a song written by them, it leaves me in state of intoxication. I am referring to trio comprised of Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badauini and Shailendra. These “Triple S” always stirred my emotions to no extent.
Bimal Roy’s Madhumati (1958) is very close to my heart. Not only it strengthens our belief in re-birth, a prominent concept in Indian philosophy, but also it makes us believe in the power of true love. As per this movie the impact of true love transcend many generations. This movie is really a classic in world cinema. Right from the first scene till the last frame of this movie, it keeps the viewer in state of trance with its gripping presentation of the story and its enchanting music. I remember when I went to see this movie in a theater couple of months ago in a film festival, the theater was jam-packed. Not a single seat was available. And I saw many of the viewers sitting on the floor of the balcony and many others still having argument with the gate-keeper to move inside even as the movie had started. Shailendra and Salil Chaudhary made each song a masterpiece. Well, this time I wish to introduce first song of this movie “Suhana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen”. Every time I move on a beautiful passage passing through the valleys, I always come to remember this song. Shailendra has borrowed the appeal present in poems of Wordsworth. Nature has come alive in this song where one can actually feel that clouds are kissing the earth! – “Ye Aasman Jhuk Raha Hai Jameen Par”. Notice the wonderful prelude of this song. It’s so impressive that it has virtually become part of my consciousness! Immediately you come to realize that this song features mountains! That’s the magic of these songs. One of my favourite past-time in school and college days was to identify the song after listening clip of prelude. Anyway, it’s time to listen the whole song! Also notice the way how great maestro Bimal Da has picturized this song!
That’s a song which speaks volume about the singing ability of Mohammed Rafi. It’s been so deeply and soulfully sung by Rafi that it leaves you speechless. Aadmi was released in 1968 which had music under direction of Naushad and songs were penned by Shakeel Badayuni. Naushad had a special place for Shakeel in his heart and he went out of the way to help Shakeel in his last days troubled both by financial crisis and bad health. The movie highlighted love triangle and fascinating performances on part of Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rahman and Manoj Kumar made it an unforgettable movie. The song makes it clear that one can be strong willed even if one’s heart and mind have been shattered by the cruel twists and turns of the fate. The song has tragic melody which not only depicts personal loss but also highlights that pain ultimately leads to realization of highest type- perfect union with the Lord! The camera work is wonderful in this song as it captures the roaring sea waves hitting the rocks! The song makes an appeal that someone who has begun a new journey should not be haunted by the past episodes of life!
पुरुष अधिकार से जुड़े संघटनो की कुछ प्रमुख चिंताए:
* संशोधन का मूल प्रारूप (मुख्य बिन्दुएँ)- पतियो के खिलाफ पक्षपाती है.
* इस आधार पर तलाक मांग सकती है कि उसका दांपत्य जीवन ऐसी स्थिति में पहुंच गया है, जहां विवाह कायम रहना नामुमकिन है. ‘विवाह सम्बंध टूटने और किसी भी सूरत में रिश्ता बहाल न होने’ को भी तलाक एक आधार के रूप में मान्यता प्रदान किया गया है “हिंदू विवाह अधिनियम”, 1955, और स्पेशल मैरिज एक्ट, 1954 में.
* पत्नी को हक़ है पति की तरफ से पेश तलाक़ याचिका को विरोध करने का इस आधार पर कि वो गहन आर्थिक संकट से ग्रस्त है. कोर्ट इस गहन आर्थिक संकट से निज़ात दिलाने के प्रावधान अपने विवेक पर कर सकती है. (पतियो के संग पक्षपाती है)
* उन बच्चो के भरण पोषण का समुचित प्रबंध माता पिता के द्वारा उनकी आर्थिक हैसियत के अनुरूप जो अवैध संतति है.
संसदीय समिति- महिला संघटनो के द्वारा सुझाये गए प्रस्तावो से गलत तरह से प्रभावित है:
* ‘विवाह सम्बंध टूटने और किसी भी सूरत में रिश्ता बहाल न होने’ को भी तलाक एक आधार के रूप में मान्यता प्रदान करने की संस्तुति करना.
* महिला संघटनो के सुझावो से प्रेरित होकर उस वैवाहिक संपत्ति पर भी पत्नियों का अधिकार होगा जो विवाह के उपरांत अर्जित की गयी है दोनों के सहयोग से.
* पुरुष संघटनो के हर सुझावो की उपेक्षा की गयी.
कानून मंत्री द्वारा किये गए अन्य संशोधन- पुरुष हितो के विपरीत प्रावधानो की स्वीकृति:
* पत्नी का हिस्सा उस संपत्ति पर जो विवाह के पूर्व और उपरान्त अर्जित की गयी है.
* पत्नी का हिस्सा पति के द्वारा अर्जित और अर्जित करने योग्य पैतृक संपत्ति में.
* पत्नी का कोई योगदान नहीं होता पति के द्वारा अर्जित पैतृक संपत्ति में और उस संपत्ति पर जो उसने शादी से पूर्व अर्जित की गयी है. उसको संज्ञान में लेकर प्रावधान बनाने की जरूरत नहीं.
* उस संपत्ति के बटवारे में कोई भी फैसला जो पति ने शादी के उपरांत अर्जित की है आँख मूँदकर गलत तरीक़े से नहीं होना चाहिए। पत्नी के योगदान का आकलन करना चाहिए। दो महीने की शादी और बीस साल की शादी की अवधि को एक ही मापदंड से नहीं देखा जा सकता.
* ये तर्क दोष से बाधित संशोधन है कि स्त्रियाँ शादी को नहीं तोड़ती. स्त्रियाँ ना सिर्फ शादी को तोड़ती है बल्कि कई बार शादी कर सकती है और इस तरह पूर्व में की गयी हर एक शादी से संपत्ति अर्जित कर सकती है. इस तरह के कई उदाहरण आये दिन समाचार पत्रो में प्रकाशित होते रहते है जहा लालची पत्नियों ने धोखधड़ी से शादी करने के बाद संपत्ति पे अपना दावा पेश किया या फिर झूठे 498 A के मुकदमे दर्ज कराये संपत्ति की हवस में.
इन संशोधनों के परिणाम/अंजाम:
* वैवाहिक वादो के गहन अध्ययन के बाद ये बात स्पष्ट उभर कर आई है कि ज्यादातर वैवाहिक विखंडन का कारण पत्नी का जबर्दस्ती उस संपत्ति पर हक़ जताना रहा है जो पति या उसके रिश्तेदारो ने अर्जित की होती है.
* विवाह अपने पवित्र संस्कारो से वंचित हो जायेंगे और ये सिर्फ संपत्ति अर्जित करने का श्रोत बन जायेंगे। ये अब धीरे धीरे एक परंपरा बनती जा रही है कि भौतिक लाभ की लालसा शादी के द्वारा बढ़ती जा रही है और इस तरह के गलत संशोधनों के व्यापक दुष्परिणाम उभर कर सामने आयेंगे।
* ये अब एक प्रचलित हथियार बन गया है कि हर नाकाम वैवाहिक सम्बन्धो में स्त्रियाँ IPC 498 A और घरेलु हिंसा अधिनियम का व्यापक दुरुपयोग कर रही है संपत्ति हथियाने में. अब ये संशोधन भी एक प्रमुख औजार/ज़रिया बन जाएगा समाप्ति अर्जित करने के लिए.
* संपत्ति का अर्जन कई वर्षो की मेहनत का परिणाम होते है ना कि कुछ वर्षो के वैवाहिक संग का. असफल वैवाहिक सम्बन्धो के चलते अपनी गाढ़ी कमाई से अर्जित संपत्ति से हाथ धोने के वजह से पतियो के आत्महत्या के दर में खासी वृद्धि देखी जायेगी जो कि पहले से ही पत्नियों के आत्महत्या के दर की दुगनी है. अपराध दर में भी इस वजह से वृद्धि देखी जायेगी।
* इन अपूर्ण, गलत और भ्रामक संशोधनों को वापस लिया जाए. कानून को लिंगभेद से ऊपर रखा जाए (जेंडर न्यूट्रल), पति या पत्नी शब्द को जीवनसाथी (spouse) शब्द से सम्बोधित किया जाए.
* संपत्ति में हिस्सा पति और पत्नी के वित्तीय योगदान के आधार पर किया जाए.
* अगर वित्तीय योगदान शून्य है तो एक फॉर्मूले का ईज़ाद किया जाए जो शादी की न्यूनतम अवधि का आकलन करे संपत्ति के बॅटवारे के हेतु और उस एक फॉर्मूले का ईज़ाद हो जो योगदान के बारे में सही रूप से निरूपण कर सके.
* शादी से पूर्व इक़रारनामे (pre-nuptial agreement) को कानूनी मान्यता दी जाए.
* इस बात को बहुत तीव्रता से महसूस किया जाता रहा है कि असफल वैवाहिक सम्बन्धो के चलते पत्नियों को गहरे वित्तीय संकट का सामना करना पड़ता है. विवाह एक संस्था है जो अगर ना चले तो एक लिए पुरस्कार (पत्नी) और एक लिए सजा नहीं होना चाहिए (पति). अगर पत्नी गहरे वित्तीय संकट का सामना कर रह है तो उसकी दूरी के लिए व्यापक प्रबंध किया जाना चाहिए ना कि निरीह पति को इसके लिए दण्डित किया जाना चाहिए. इस सन्दर्भ में हमारा सुझाव ये है है कि:
# हिन्दू विवाह उत्तराधिकार एक्ट 2005 का कड़ाई से पालन किया जाना चाहिए. स्त्री का हिस्सा जो उसके माता-पिता के घर बनता है उसको या तो शादी के दौरान या तलाक़ की अर्जी देने के समय (किसी भी पक्ष के द्वारा) अपने आप दे देना चाहिए.
# अगर स्त्री बेरोजगार है या जिसका कैरियर एक लम्बे अंतराल से बाधित हो गया हो तो इस तरह के महिलाओ के भरण पोषण की जिम्मेदारी और उन्हें रोजगार मुहैय्या कराने की जिम्मेदारी सरकार की होनी चाहिए बजाय इसके कि पति पर इस तरह का भार डाला जाए. इस तरह की पत्नियों के वित्तीय संकट दूर करने के लिए “तलाकशुदा पत्नी कल्याण कोष” का गठन किया जाना चाहिए।
This is Hindi version of a letter addressed to the Parliamentarians prepared by the Men’s Rights Association.The Hindi version has been prepared by the author of this blog post.
कही न कही तेरे मेरे बीच
में एक पुल है
जिस पर से गुज़र कर मै
अक्सर पहुच जाता हूँ तुम तक
हां वो पुल दिखता नहीं है
इस यथार्थ से भरी दुनियाँ में
ठीक ही तो है कि दिखता नहीं
या फिर मैंने ठीक ही तो किया
जब मैंने इसे सच्ची दुनिया में
दोष बाधा से बंधी नज़रो से उलझती
हर इस तरह के तिकड़मो से ऊपर रखा
और नहीं बनाया सबको दिखने वाला पुल
वो एक पुल
जिस पर से गुज़र कर मै
अक्सर पहुच जाता हूँ तुम तक
बनता या बनाता इसे दुनियाँ में
तो निश्चित था कि वो ढह जाता
छल कपट से भरी हर निगाहो से
निकलती हर एक उतरन सें
और मिट जाता वो एक सहारा भी
जो अभी मेरे जीने की एक वजह है
वो एक पुल
जिस पर से गुज़र कर मै
यथार्थ के बीच से होता हुआ
अक्सर पहुच जाता हूँ तुम तक
हर रोज, हर एक गुजरते लम्हे में!
उस दुनियाँ में जहा कोई नही होता
सिवाय तेरे और मेरे अस्तित्व के.
For Non-Hindi Readers:
There exists a bridge between
You and I
And I travel across it
To reach to you each day.
This bridge remains invisible
In the world governed by reality
Glad that it is non-existent!
In a world marred by evil eyes
It remains invisible to naked eyes
In love with concrete images
And I did the right
By not giving it a shape
To a bridge I travel across
Each day to reach to you.
Had it been built by me
Surely it would have collapsed
Facing every passing moment
The rays of eyes dipped in
Evil and falsehood, treachery and crime,
And I would have lost something
Which sustains my earthly existence
There exists a bridge between
You and I
And I travel across it
Through the realities of visible world
To reach to you each day
In every passing moment
To arrive at a world
Where no one exists
Other than you and I.