The terrific response which the part one of the travelogue generated really overwhelmed me. It confirmed the sentiment that travelogues, loaded with good photos, leave an everlasting impression on all the sections of people, no matter to which nation they belong.
Photographs are like time machine since the flight of imagination, after viewing them, transcends the normal course of time to move either backward or even forward in an unusual way. They record the present moment for the posterity. That’s why the same photograph viewed at a later stage tells a different story to each viewer. That’s one of the reason why I am pretty conscious when I am dealing with camera. I was sad that I did not use a good camera, but in the aftermath, I felt happy that somehow I managed to get real good pictures.
The part two of this travelogue has awesome views of Siddhnath Ki Dari, a place one kilometer away from Shakteshgarh Fort; glimpses of landscape around that place; images of ancient Goddess Durga temple and images of Ganges flowing by the side of Chunar Fort. Although Part II of the travelogue unleashes some personal sentiments, it nevertheless never misses to create an universal appeal.
Like to inform the readers that Siddhanath Ki Dari is a place known for its huge waterfall, which comes alive in rainy season. However, it belonged to a Yogi (saint) named Siddhanath who in ancient times used to meditate here. I shall not forget a hilarious incident which occurred at this place, when my friend and I were held hostage by lots of monkeys. They did no harm to us but left us only when their gang leader came to us, searched our pockets and got in possession of few mangoes which we had kept inside our pockets! The gang leader did that in a very smart fashion without harming us!
I had no time left to have the photographs of Chunar fort, which as per legends was built by the king of Ujjain Maharaja Vikramaditya in 56 B.C. for his brother Bhartihariji- a great yogi who took samadhi inside the fort! The fort later came to be associated with Babar, Humayun, Shershah Suri, Akbar, and finally it came under the rule of Britishers. Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of Bengal, came to take refuge here for quite some time. It’s a matter of pride for me that my mother’s residence is adjacent to this fort situated on the banks of Ganges.
The Place Intimately Associated With Me During My Childhood…Now It Lies In Tatters….I Remember In My Childhood The Place Was Full Of Lively People! The Owners Left This Place And Now It’s An Abandoned Place!
My Tryst With Vindhya Mountains: An Interaction With Breathtaking Beauty Of Deep Jungles! ( A Photo Story)
Writing is a hugely taxing affair, especially if you are doing it in unfavourable conditions. I always meet tough resistance from so many forces during penning of important posts. That makes it imperative for creative souls to venture into isolated corners away from the maddening world. That not only refreshes them but also tunes their mind to receive new insights. No wonder when writing affair starts turning into a routine affair, instead of being a source of joy, I take a short break and get lost in unheard corners of mother earth. Usually, I visit my village and mother’s original residence since both these places being set against great scenic backdrop offer solace needed by my soul.
However, this time I decided to move into valleys formed by Vindhya Mountains. “The Vindhya Range (Sanskrit: विन्ध्य) is a range of older rounded mountains and hills in the west-central Indian subcontinent, which geographically separates the Indian subcontinent into northern India (the Indo-Gangetic plain) and Southern India.”
I came to visit Shakteshgarh, located in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, nineteen kilometers away from Chunar, which is mainly known for Swami Adgadanandji’s Aashrama. He is a well known saint in this area, who has penned a commentary on Srimad Bhagvad Geeta known as “Yathartha Geeta”. The localites informed me that a visit during the monsoon period is more appropriate since gorgeous waterfalls falling in these region come alive at that point of time. Anyway, I found that even during the odd period, the places like Siddhanath Ki Dari, one kilometer away from Shakteshgarh, which encaptures the the charm and the seduction of a huge waterfall, appear so breathtaking.
During the end of this very beautiful and memorable journey into awesome valleys, full of mystic appeal, I came to capture beautiful images of Ganges flowing by the side of Chunar fort, adjacent to my mother’s residence in Chunar. Over all, the visit really uplifted my sagging spirit. For my readers, I have captured this beautiful images from not so good camera, yet I feel they would come to realize photographic sense is not dependent on a costly camera! You need mind’s eye and not a very costly camera to click a good image! I hope they also come to realize that India is really so beautiful that we need not to venture outside the nation to trace real beauty. The area I visited was haunted by Naxal terror, yet in the end only divine beauty prevailed in form of ancient temples like Durga Temple and etc.
Globalization Is A Great Leveller: Patterns Of Exploitation And Corruption Now Become Same In India And Peru!
Globalization has reduced differences in geographical terms. But, at the same time, it has also changed the geography in a crude way by mindless destruction of flora and fauna. The sad thing about whole affair is that the stories depicting better aspects of globalization do reach us regularly but the negative sides either get censored or, for that matter, fail to get extensive coverage. Just to take an example, the commercials promote McDonald’s pizzas and burgers but are there enough advertisements which highlight the negative effect of consuming them? Globalization believes in the fact that “all that glitters is gold”. It has nothing to do with pains of exploited workers who work in MNCs like a caged parrot, having no power to execute their discretion other than one serving the interests of global masters.
Sometimes back S Ambika, a 22 year old woman factory-worker, permanently employed at Nokia Telecom Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sriperumbadur in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, got killed in a tragic way when she tried to repair the jam inside the loader machine. It proved to be fatal exercise for her since she was not a technician, but she still came to do that to meet the production targets. A wait for the technicians meant slowing the pace of production! That’s one of the stories, which reveal in sad way the plight of people working in MNCs.
Vaibhav Mani Tripathi, a by-product of Jawahar Lal University (JNU), in his research paper titled, “Democracy and globalization: Are they really compatible”, highlights the ways and means employed by the MNCs to ensure growth in democracies across the globe. ” In democracies of third world, which are new and have lesser degree of accountable governments; methods of bribery, and loot system were adopted by MNCs, in order to get established. By dealing in such ways MNCs get some illegal relaxations and manage to cut cost by getting cheapest labour and denying rules of pollution control etc. In democracies, which are most established and transparent, MNCs change their techniques. By promising high taxes and employment to countrymen, they demand for special industrial estates or special economic zones. This is the biggest irony of Globalization. They demand tax relaxations in order to get established and they promise government to pay huge aid for fighting poverty, pollution and social evils like AIDS!”
One having a close look at the progress stories of various countries, especially the nations trying to emerge as economic giants, one would find that exploitation of workers along with rapid destruction of ecological balance are the integral part of every such story! Before I contrast the happenings in two different countries, India and Peru, to highlight the woes of globalization, I wish to highlight grave tale of negligence which suggests that so-called progress is not only destroying cherished values but also destroying cultural artifacts. One of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids, which remained in existence for more than 2,300 years, got destroyed by a construction crew involved in a road project.The company used the structure’s limestone walls as road fill! In fact, Time Magazine reports that “much of the monumental architecture at Belize’s San Estevan site, which dates back to 800 B.C., was bulldozed during the late 1990s to provide material for roads.”
From Belize in Central America, now, let’s move to Peru in South America to notice the impact of gold rush in amazon! The lust for gold in other nations keeps increasing but the heavy price other nations pays to satiate the lust never becomes subject of discussion in mainstream media. True, there is lack of jobs and illegal gold mining ensures survival of large number of families but then how can one ignore the dangerous consequences of deforestation in Amazon? A report issued by NASA says that ‘with the price of gold skyrocketing (360 percent in 10 years from 2001 to 2011), unlicensed miners began pouring into Peru’s Madre de Dios. They cleared 12,500 acres from the forest between 2003–2009. Landsat images showed local deforestation increasing at a rate of 26 percent per year.”
The report also highlights the fatal consequences of mercury used in the mining process. The extracts of mercury which after vaporization turn airborne contaminate the water resources, which later enter into the bodies of residents. A very recent study suggests “unsafe levels of the toxic metal in almost 80% of adults and 60% of fish sold at local markets” in Peru. The Peru’s mining department taking stern steps against illegal mining began raiding Madre de Dios. That has led to tense formation between miners, environmental activists and the authorities. However, it appears that such strict steps are now a necessity to reduce the loss of forest area in amazon, which has already lost 18,000 hectares. Needless to state, that Peruvian amazon is remarkable for its large degree of biodiversity.
India is also facing severe consequences caused by deforestation. One of the major causes of deforestation has been depletion of forests to extract minerals of various types. Expansion of agriculture, timber harvesting and shifting cultivation are some of the prime reasons for loss of forest area in India. However, another grim consequence has been displacement of tribal people, leading to militant movement like Naxalism. It establishes something quite well that pattern of exploitation in India and Peru is one and the same and in both the places original inhabitants are in direct conflict with the authorities. If Peru is tormented by illegal gold mining, India is haunted by illegal coal mining and diamond mining! The “Coalgate scam” has clearly revealed that how sensitive rulers of this nation have been while dealing with mineral resources of this nation. In other words, globalization has ensured huge profits for government and private bodies but the same profit never got distributed to tribal people-ones who were responsible for protecting these resources. On the contrary, they got displaced and faced bullets instead of receiving rewards for their indigenous efforts. Now if we see such developments in light of environmental issues, like erratic weather pattern in Indian subcontinent, the situation is pretty grim.
It’s good that people, the ones affected by government’s poorly planned projects, have learnt to come in conflict with the authorities. Nandigram bears testimony to the fact that the Special Economic Zones, not taking care of interests of people in judicious way, shall always meet fierce opposition from people. The farmers in Uttar Pradesh also entered in violent protests in year 2011 over land acquisition policy framed by the state government. The trend pattern involved is that big corporate houses either forcibly acquire the land or they come to acquire it in fraudulent means by keeping in dark the actual content of the deal. The Allahabad High Court staying Ganga Expressway project, expressed deep anguish the way it got initiated without having environmental clearance! This project involving JP Group required acquisition of huge lands situated in the alluvial belt and still no homework was done on part of state government.
One can notice that how rules get manipulated to benefit big corporations, caring a damn for the interests of people. In fact, the concerns related with environment also get neglected. It’s not hard to decipher that two nations even if they are situated in different continents could still exhibit similar pattern of exploitation and corruption. Globalization has not only roped in similar lifestyle patterns across the globe but also introduced identical methods of corruption. And who is the victim? The underprivileged, who never gets a chance to visit McDonald, who never gets a chance to buy gold ornaments, and who also never gets a chance to drive SUV on Expressways! Noam Chomsky sounds quite right when he says that ‘ Market discipline is perfect for poor people in El Salvador, or working mothers in the slums. They have to learn responsibility, but not the rich and the powerful. They have to be protected.”
“Democracy and globalization: Are they really compatible”- An article by Vaibhav Mani Tripathi in Aavartan.
In the long writing career, spanning over nearly two decades, I got many chances to interact with enlightened minds and share with them a piece of my mind in matters pertaining to critical issues. A long back ago when I was regular contributor for The Statesman’s Viewpoint Column ( Calcutta Edition), I came in touch with Jeremy Seabrook who was then writing for one of its popular columns.
This conversation related with falling standards of education system took place after I came to read his article” Learning Revisited” published in The Statesman on March 14, 2005.
Your write-up is an eye-opener, allowing one to reckon with the hidden facets of education. I am appalled at the manner in which institutions offering so-called gems of knowledge, which in reality are antithetical to creative tendencies lying latent within the recipients, have solidified their base. One reason for it could be that parents are now no longer interested in “value-oriented” teaching methods, simply because it stands in the way of attaining ‘name and fame’. No wonder this could be the reason behind the mind-boggling network of coaching factories, which are making huge profit in the name of offering conductive atmosphere for cracking the entrance tests.
This attitude of parents has brought a sea change in the attitude of present day students, who weigh everything in materialistic yardsticks or, in other words, in rupee:dollar ratio. After all, who has time for values in the fast-paced life of ours! The real quest for supreme knowledge would always remain a distant dream in absence of change of mindset, especially the parents. Well, it’s never too easy to change mindset without giving way to measures mired in transparent means. What has guaranteed failure of projects in this regard has been wide gap between theory and practice besides infrastructural bottlenecks. Let’s realize that mere propaganda is not going to solve this issue.
Unfortunately, this is what both Left and Right wings are used to. Their stances, diametrically opposite to each other, have wiped out the vigour of those wishing to make worthwhile contributions, so much so that if one does not yield to their outdated notions one is bound to invite troubles of all sorts. The message is clear: Rise above ideological fanaticism to stop the degradation of education system, something so imperative to prevent the innocent minds turning into robot.
Vivekananda rightly remarked that ” education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and run riot there, undigested, all life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas”. Will anyone please translate this into reality?
Jeremy Seabrook’s Viewpoint:
Many thanks for your helpful and kind e-mail. Indeed, education has become not an end in itself, noble and worthwhile, but an instrument for material gain and industrial conformism. In this sense, of course, the educational system is only an emanation of the society that produces it, and an expression of the social values and mores of which it is a symptom. Intervention for change involves a complete change in the social and moral structures of globalism-no small thing, but a project we should not abandon simply because of its apparent attainability.
About Jeremy Seabrook:
My first book was The Unprivileged, 1967, the story of my own family, a path breaking oral history from the late 18th century to the 1960s. This was followed by City Close-Up, a portrait, through the words of the people, of Blackburn in Lancashire.
In the 1970s, I wrote What Went Wrong? Working People and the Ideals of the Labour Movement; a book which, when published in the USA, was sub-titled Why hasn’t Having More Made People Happier?
Mother and Son, a memoir, appeared in 1980, and an indictment of Thatcher’s Britain,Unemployment, in 1982.
Work on India and Bangladesh followed, notably, Notes from another India and Children of Other Worlds, a comparison of child labour in nineteenth century London and present-day Dhaka in Bangladesh. My book, Love in a Different Climate, described how male same-sex relationships in India differ from those in the West.
I have contributed to most major newspapers in Britain over the years, and have written for Granta. I am a regular contributor to New Internationalist – which has published three of my books in the last decade, most recently Consuming Cultures: Globalization and Local Lives. I write for Race and Class and Third World Resurgence, based in Penang, Malaysia.
More About Jeremy Seabrook:
“He became an associate honorary fellow at the University of Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies 1995 to 1998 and an associate at the Institute of Race Relations, UK, from 2004 onwards.
He has made several documentaries for BBC radio and TV on social, environmental and developmental issues.
Since 1963, Seabrook has written for publications including: New Society, the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, New Statesman, New Internationalist, Race and Class, Third World Resurgence, Third World Network and others.
He has also written over 40 books, including;
Travels in the Skin Trade – looking at the psychology of western men who travel to southeast Asia for sexual adventures (Pluto Press).
A World Growing Old – the implications of an ageing population, north and south (Pluto Press).”
Courtesy: The Guardian
The Statesman ( Kolkata Edition)
Reflections on Hyderabad Twin Blasts: How Long Will Muslims Take To Feel That They Truly Belong To India?
How will you define the separatist feelings in Indian Muslims? How long will they take to feel that they truly belong to India? Have you ever visited Muslim locality during India-Pakistan Match? They celebrate Pakistan’s victory as if Pakistan has gained something incredible. They never celebrate it in sportsmanship style. In fact, I also, being a cricket lover, feel happy if Pakistan wins after displaying good strategies. However, that’s not the way Muslim celebrate it. It’s a different celebration altogether. It speaks volume about their mindset. They are Muslims first and nationalists later.
Before I proceed further, it would be interesting to read what a conscious Indian thinks about blasts which hit Hyderabad on Febuary 21, 2013:
“Arvindji, Pakistan keenly wants Hindu-Muslim riots in India to destabilize India and malign our image in front of international community. They want Hindus and Muslims to fight with each other. If a riot happens, Pakistan will blame India for torturing Muslims. If a riot happens then Indians will suffer and Pakistan will be very happy. If India wages a war against Pakistan, then also India has much to lose. A war will destroy our economic growth. Pakistan, whose economy is in shatters, has not much to loose.India needs a powerful and independent agency, formed jointly by state and centre, which must work to build a strong internal security and intelligence gathering system. India has to prepare itself to fight against foes who are hidden among us.” ( Prasanjit Saha, Hyderabad)
Very well said, my dear conscious Indian! We have always suffered because we always dared to read the intentions of enemy lightly. That’s why traitors like Mir Zafar, hand-in-glove, with foreign powers ensured that India became battle ground for dubious foreign powers in past! The right strategy is that we should crush the enemy to an extent that it dares not make an attempt to give force to divisive forces. Our decency is seen as weakness even as it win friends in International circles. Safety of our individuals is first than ensuring that we have friends in foreign lands. That should be our top priority. If our people are dying like street dogs, then to have happy face is cowardice and sin.
You can control an enemy- a simple enemy. But how will you control an enemy with a dubious mindset. The problem with Muslims is not that they are Muslims. It’s more about their mindset. How would you change that? That too when government at Centre, is lame duck, which refuses to see problems pertaining to Muslims as threat to national integrity. Obviously, it’s all about politics to retain power. However, in this great game the victims are ordinary citizens, who have no other desire than to live dignified life, peaceful life.
How will you ensure who is friend and who is foe when foes appear in form of friends? In Hindi you have better term to express it: “Genhu ke Sath Ghun Bhi Pis Jaate Hai” ( Few good people also die in an attempt to eliminate the enemy).This situation would not have arisen unless the members of Muslim community had given clear indication of their intentions that they in no way identify with negative forces operating within their community.So it’s a catch 22 situation. Isn’t it? The intelligence reports, which government dares not to make it public, or rather citizens are not conscious enough to read it, or else it would have given insights how the home grown terrorists are operating from one corner of the nation to another remote part of the nation.
“According to IB reports, the ISI has set up strong modules of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in the Gulf. The Oman module is also very strong and directly connected to the modules in Kerala. ..The annual remittance through hawala channels into Kerala is a whopping Rs 20,000 crore. This figure tells the story of a state, which has today become a hub for extremists….The National Investigating Agency, which has its eyes on this state, has also found that large sums of money, which has been pumped in from the Gulf, had been used to execute the blasts at Delhi, Bengaluru and also at Ahmedabad.”
Worse, how can you ignore the fact that there are many who see a strong intelligence as a threat for secular fabric of this nation? They are the ones who will immediately give way to propaganda via International media that it’s a move to terrorize minorities. See it in light of human rights violation allegations heaped upon security forces operating in Kashmir!! It’s anybody’s guess that with this sort of political will and dismal scenario, the war against terror is not on the right track. It’s time to tackle divisive forces with iron hand, to ensure a safe future for India, better future for India.
कल तथाकथित प्यार करने वालो का परम पुनीत दिवस है। कुछ कहने की जरूरत नहीं है कि फर्जी इमोशंस के साथ बहुत सारे गुलाबो का आदान प्रदान होगा। गुलाब का तो पता नहीं पर वो अगर समझदार लड़की होगी तो उसका काम तो लह गया क्योकि गुलाब तो मुरझा जायेंगे, चाकलेट उदर में समा जायेंगे लेकिन गिफ्ट हो सकता है अगले साल भी किसी और को देने में काम आ सकते है। क्योकि एक साल में बहुत से इस साल वैलेंटाइन डे मनाने वालो लड़कियों के बॉयफ्रेंड इनके द्वारा ऐक्स्ड (axed ) कर देने के कारण एक्स-बॉयफ्रेंड हो जाते है। एक्स- गर्लफ्रेंड भी अस्तित्व में आ जाती है। खैर ये सब पुराने प्रेमी नहीं कि जाके किसी सॉलिड रॉक के ऊपर कोई दुखांत सा गीत गाये। इतने संवेदनशील नहीं कि शोक मनाये। कुछ एक जो थोड़े दुखी होंगे वो जरूर सॉलिड रॉक कुक्कुर धुन में रचे गीत जैसे” जो भी मै कहना चाहू बर्बाद करे अल्फाज़ मेरे“ को गाने या सुनने के बाद “तू नहीं सही कोई और सही” को चरितार्थ करते हुएँ किसी नए के दामन से लिपट जायेंगें। अब कितने सारे आप्शन माने विकल्प ”जोड़ी ब्रेकर” के रूप में भटक रह होते है। वो तो पुराने प्रेमी थे जो बेचारे कितने साल महीने आंसू टपकाते थें “प्यार की आग में तन बदन जल गया” गाते थें। अब तो आप इतने व्यापक विकल्पों वाले है कि मौका मिले तो “मेरे ब्रदर की दुल्हन” भी आपकी हो सकती है।
बाज़ार में देख रहा हूँ कि भोजपुरी गीतों के रोमांटिक एल्बम भी बहुत सारे आ गए है जिसके ऊपर “लभ” वाले चिन्ह बने हुएं है। मतलब प्यार का व्यापार ग्रामीण संस्कृति में गहनता से व्याप्त हो गया है। अहसास तो यही होता है। वर्ना ये अजंता-एलोरा की आधुनिक संस्करण तो भोजपुरी वाले “लभ” में इंटरेस्ट दिखाने से रही। जितनी तेज़ी से भारत ग्लोबल हुआ उतनी तेज़ी से लव का ग्राफ भी बढ़ा ये तय है। दोनों में समानुपाती रिश्ता सा लगता है। खैर एक चीज़ ये है कि इंडिया ने अब इतनी फ्रीडम जरूर दी है कि अगर इतने सारे आप्शनस लॉन्ग टर्म, शार्ट टर्म, लिव-इन के बावजूद भी आप अगर अकेले रह गए तो आप अपने सेक्स के साथ भी लव कर सकते है। इससे आप का कॉन्फिडेंस लेवल तो बढेगा ही और साथ में आप सब पे धौंस जमा सकते है प्रोग्रेसिव बन कर। कम से कम लोगो को अपने अनुभव से उत्पन्न प्रोग्रेसिव लेक्चर तो झाड़ ही सकते है। थोडा अच्छा लिख लेते हो तो क्या पता आप एक दो नोवेल भी लिख दे और पुरस्कार वगैरह मिल गया, जो ऐसे थीम पे अन्तराष्ट्रीय या राष्ट्रीय जगत में कुछ न कुछ मिलना तय ही है, तो युवा वर्ग की नब्ज़ पकड़ने वाले तमगो सहित आप की लेखक के रूप में उभार तय है।
वैलेंटाइन डे के ठीक एक दिन के बाद भट्ट कैम्प की मर्डर थ्री रिलीज़ हो रही है। ये सीरिज मैंने नहीं देखी है और ना मै चाहता हूँ कि इस सीरिज की कोई फ़िल्म देखने का सौभाग्य कभी भविष्य में बने लेकिन इस नयी फ़िल्म के पोस्टर में लिखी पंच लाइन आज के लव की हकीकत बयान कर देती है। लिखा है कि आप अपने प्रेमी को कितना जानते है? मतलब साफ़ है कि अगर आप सचेत नहीं है तो लव के बाद धोखा अवश्य है। वैसे अच्छा है वैलेंटाइन डे के ठीक एक दिन के बाद ही बहुत सारे नए नए प्रेमी भूतपूर्व प्रेमी हो जायेंगे। एक्सपीरियंस बढेगा युवाओं का। कैसी संस्कृति है कि वफ़ा की सोच भी रखना जुर्म से कम नहीं। सब में मिलावट, सब में खोट है चाइनीज़ माल की तरह। कब फुस्स हो जाए पता नहीं। एक युग था कि सरल और सीधा होना सम्मानजनक था। आज आप के नाकाबिलियत का परिचायक है। आप के विरुद्ध निकम्मेपन का तमगा है। शातिर दिमाग होना ही बुद्धिमानी बन गया है। खैर ये लव करने वाले प्रेमी उगते रहे, पनपते रहे। लेकिन चूँकि गाँव में “लभ” पाँव पसार चूका है इसलिए सरकार को जैसे शहर में लव के डाक्टर माने साइकोलोजिस्टस है जो प्यार के साइड इफेक्ट्स डिप्रेशन या टीनेज प्रेगनेंसी के केसेस को देखते है ऐसे कुछ डाक्टरों को ग्रामीण क्षेत्रो में नियुक्त किये जाए। ताकि कम से कम प्रेम के बाद जो शॉक्स झेंले पड़े उनका निदान वैज्ञानिक तरीके से हो। खैर मेरी तरफ से सब प्रेमी जनों को शुभकामनायें।
मेरे अन्दर तो साहिर की यही पंक्तियाँ उभर रही है:
हर चीज़ ज़माने की जहाँ पर थी वहीं है,
एक तू ही नहीं है
नज़रें भी वही और नज़ारे भी वही हैं
ख़ामोश फ़ज़ाओं के इशारे भी वही हैं
कहने को तो सब कुछ है, मगर कुछ भी नहीं है
हर अश्क में खोई हुई ख़ुशियों की झलक है
हर साँस में बीती हुई घड़ियों की कसक है
तू चाहे कहीं भी हो, तेरा दर्द यहीं है
हसरत नहीं, अरमान नहीं, आस नहीं है
यादों के सिवा कुछ भी मेरे पास नहीं है
यादें भी रहें या न रहें किसको यक़ीं है
I am neither misogynist nor anti-feminist, and not even a Men’s Rights Activist (MRA). Many of my friends working for these organisations feel I should be one like them in a formal way, but being on a different route, I prefer not to identify with any organization, be they ones from spiritual or political background. So it would be useless to measure the worth of author’s views as someone acting as mouthpiece of any organization. Let’s not forget that to come up with entirely different set of facts, a different version of reality not in tune with set patterns, is not bizarre. On the contrary, it’s the result of having viewed the world from close angles! An open mind would certainly realize it. To follow a different route does not make anyone regressive, biased, much less a Talibani with a capacity to issue a fatwa! Ridiculous assertion!
Why should every analyst of our times present a syrupy version of happenings taking place in world of present times women, wherein “every bad thing any man has ever committed highlighted and exaggerated; every bit of good systematically undermined, vilified or ignored”? It’s only that I feel inclined to represent the cause of men, not out sense of any “same gender” feeling but only from justice point of view, which demands that other side should also be heard well. It’s the other side of the fence that I am presenting with total sincerity, different perspective and neutral stance !
कुछ नहीं दिखता था अंधेरे में मगर, आंखें तो थीं,
ये कैसी रोशनी आई कि सब अंधे हो गए।।
(Though we cannot see in dark with our eyes,
It’s strange that we cannot see even as there is light around us)….
Feminism, as a movement, was started in late nineteenth century to demand female rights in society. “At the end of the nineteenth century was that women began to realize that it is unfair for them to be constantly under the power of men simply because the social system has traditionally favored males.” At this point, it’s inappropriate to discuss the impact of this movement in West, but this movement seems to have lost its impact there in modern times. May be because women have gained enough rights there but, in my eyes, it’s because both have realized well that battle of the sexes serves no purpose other than breeding animosity. “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back”.
The Indian women, who have misplaced beliefs that having all the rights ensures better days should, at least, have the guts to critically analyze the impact of such divisive and lethal movement in Western societies. Anyway, it’s better that I confine myself to Indian landscape. It’s better to understand the essential elements of Indian society, viewing it not through the myopic terms coined by the so-called progressive elements, but in a conscious way to tear apart the great game of gender equality. It’s interesting that many arguments have been forwarded to show the worth of female mind. Many love to cite the growing academic excellence of Indian women as one of the parameters to upheld the intellectual superiority of women. However, wisdom and real understanding have nothing to do with academic excellence. Many of the great contributors, in fact, nearly all creative geniuses, were very poor in academic terms plus they were never part of institutionalized structures. I say that not to lessen the importance of academic excellence but to highlight the worth of education offered in Indian schools and universities, which are killing all the good elements which a child possesses.
The Indian society might have so-called patriarchal model but it’s a sheer diabolical myth that it was framed to suppress the position of women, much less, exploit the women. The Indian society has always been women-centered society. The concept like “”Ardhanareeswara”, aimed at equality of women, which ensured that Shiva without female principle “Shakti” means nothing, always made Indian women enjoy dignified position in Indian society. Even in modern Indian Hindu families, having a balanced and sensible approach, the women always gain upper hand in all issues. All important issues have her consent, wherein her views gain as much importance than any male member. Have a look at the marriage vows. They in clear terms ensure that women come to enjoy an equal ground.
Gribhnami te saubhagatvaya hastam mayapatya jardastirayathasah|
Bhagoaryyamma savita purandhiramahyam tvadurgaharpatya devah||
That is – “Oh dear! On this auspicious occasion of our life, I take your hand in mine in the presence of invoked deities. Oh blessed woman! You be with me as a fortunate partner for a very long time. I hand over the control of my family in your hands, discharge your duties joyously.”
It’s a fallacious assertion that men enjoyed privileges in past while the women remained an oppressed lot. “Society is largely constructed for the benefit of women and children and always has been, otherwise it doesn’t survive. …It takes a gigantic lack of imagination (usually the sole province of baby feminists) to believe that women wanted the economic and political involvement they claim now when the demands and risks of these endeavours were as they were then (ancient times)”. The Indian society is also no exception. It’s always portrayed as if women in the past were some sort of domestic slaves, devoid of any sort of right to decide by themselves. Well, such a claim can only be made by people who have not bothered to know Indian society in its entirety. Even the most ancient ladies in Indian history had the right to chose their husbands via a ceremony called Swyamvara. The women were well versed in scriptural knowledge and many among them were qualified scholars.
True, with advent of time many of the glorious traditions (the great spirit which led to their origin) faded away to give way to their corrupt versions. It would not be out of place to mention that practice like dowry was basically the Streedhan to ensure that a woman is “not left wanting anything after the wedding”. The impression of men being unconcerned about the rights of women is quite powerfully projected but lesser known aspect is that men have played an instrumental role in any movement aimed at improvement of women. The greatest example in this category is abolition of Sati Pratha and banning of child marriages. Anyway, the division in labour in Indian society was done by the sages, who played an impartial role while framing laws related with basic structure of Indian society. It favoured none.
Had Indian society been truly patriarchal in nature, as suggested by new age scholars, it would have never led to emergence of bold Indian women who always played equal role in Indian society. Be they queens of ancient era, or the women freedom fighters of pre-Independence era, the Indian women played a significant role. It would not have been possible had women been denied the right to make choices. The modern Indian society is facing new set of complexities but the solution is not devaluation of ancient practices. The empowerment of Indian women does not mean women be entitled to make arbitrary choices on the grounds that men also did the same! In fact, it presupposes that men enjoyed unlimited freedom of all sorts. It’s totally false and erroneous notion. Their choices were also determined by the prescribed rules, keeping in mind the interests of women and children. Let’s be clear that the empowerment of women does not mean to give way to propaganda that “women alone have sufferings and women alone have problems in life”.
At present, the situation has become pretty confusing and dangerous for the growth of Indian society. The men are being repeatedly portrayed as abusers, leading to anti-family and anti-marriage laws. Indeed, there are problems related with Indian women but then effective measures in form of stringent laws are already there to take note of them. There are many institutions to take care of plight of women, whose recommendations have led to new rules, fresh amendments and etc. in form of Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Act and Maintenance Act, to name a few. In Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, the Supreme Court of India in 1997 laid down the guidelines to ensure that sexual harassment at the workplace does not take place, which resulted in framing of the “The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012″. The problems pertaining to women are being systematically dealt with, and much of the problems have not arisen out of lack of concern for the cause of women in Indian society, but because of lack of effective implementation. So it’s really shrewd to suggest that patriarchal society favours men!
Let’s understand that in name of personal freedom and personal choices one cannot give way to lifestyle which ensures conflicts and dilemmas of disturbing nature. A choice has to be in league with prevalent norms and customs. Or else, women need to effectively satisfy that their choices would not lead to turbulent state of affairs. There is nothing like absolute freedom. She has to convince what would be the state of affairs in such a society, which allows women unrestricted freedom in name of personal choices? That’s because, if there comes no plausible explanation, and still we went in for such a society, it would be hard to wipe out the new set of complexities. That’s the case in other parts of the hemisphere. To see the resistance offered by men, or by the people belonging to old order of living patterns as an attempt to hold back the privileges enjoyed in the patriarchal set-up is not the right interpretation. It’s also not fear to lose the power or monopoly. On the contrary, it’s an attempt to prevent the citadels of society from crumbling down.
It’s simply not issue of having choices/making choices in free manner; it’s more about long term consequences of having choices, which indicate the high probability of single women, pills, abortions, extra-marital relations, same-sex relations, stress-related burdens, broken families, deviant kids and etc.? What about the dangerous interference in the evolutionary process, wherein for ages men played the role of protector and women the role of nurturing the kids? With this kind of perverted “role reversal”, are’t we on the wrong track? One of my friends, during gender related conversation, referring to Sunita Williams ( as if only after that Indian women learnt the art to make exceptional choices) stated that she did not have kids for the sake of work! It would be suffice to say that if all women made such a choice, it would not be hard to imagine the fate of evolution of human species! However, this is classic example of selective approach, wherein a woman seeks benefits of traditional society when she feels trapped by her weaknesses but she is absolutely modern when it comes to making choices and rights. That’s paradox at its best since.
After all, it involves taming of the men species to ensure that inequality gets reduced! That has begun in a cruel fashion. Men are now supposed to do something which is never their strength, and a retaliatory gesture on their part is enough to get them the tag of being an abuser and an oppressor! Who will bear the consequences of ”placing men and women in a conflicting role and creating confusion in values”? But that’s still not as ominous as an attempt to create a society which denies even the right to protest on part of men. ”Under cover of the notion of chivalry, as understood by Modern Feminism, Political and Sentimental Feminists alike would deprive men of the most elementary rights of self-defence against women and would exonerate the latter practically from all punishment for the most dastardly crimes against men. They know they can rely upon the support of the sentimental section of public opinion with some such parrot cry of: “Treat a woman in this way!”/ “What! Hit a woman!”.
It’s interesting that women learnt to move out of their houses, refusing to remain confined to prison like state of affairs within the home, and began to notice that world outside is a different affair altogether. It missed the “having all the pleasure factor” which they had assumed prevailed in men’s life as they began to venture outside. The world would remain a hell’s replica and it would not going to change whether women remains inside the home or moves outside, fulfilling their aspirations and dreams in fullest manner. However, having said that, let’s make the world safer and better for the women community. Nobody said that problems pertaining to women’s life, be they of any type, sexual assault, low wages, discrimination, should be ignored.
What I wish to suggest is that while dealing with women’s issues, the gender politics should not get mixed with the reforms. An attempt to distort the intimate relationship with men and women should not become the prime motive in guise of welfare. Sadly, that’s how one feels while analyzing the current state of affairs, wherein right from biological facts, psychological facts and legal truths, all are being selectively quoted, or quoted in perverted manner to suit the vested interests acting as agents of change in world of women.
That’s why all conscious souls, interested in right developments, should become alert when “there is no distinction between potential and probability. An allegation suffices for proof. Hearsay is taken for gospel.” (Charles E. Corry). Rohan, Men’s Rights activist, Bangalore, conveys the same sentiments in a different way: ” Women have the right to be seated when in a bus or in a train. They have the right to 50% reservation in govt. jobs and academics. They have the right to claim alimony and maintenance, even in a live-in relationship. They have only rights and men only have duties. This is called equality, according to feminazis.”
Precisely, it’s for the very same reason it has become need of the hour to present the happenings taking place in world of men in an aggressive and conscious manner. The happier side of the movements aimed to improve the life of women has been “demolition of the idea that women are inherently nice”. The thing that’s now taking place is that discrimination and abuse stories related with women are being presented both in right and wrong way, with help of paid media. Facts, right and wrong, are flowing thick and past to show that how women have been underprivileged and suppressed lot. No one is bothered to check either the authenticity of facts nor the source, forget about probing them from wide angles.
Anyway, since all this is happening in the name of ensuring a better world for women, I am but compelled to endorse them. But with a condition and appeal: Let’s also reveal the true picture of the sufferings, pains, humiliation, torture faced by men side-by-side the stories which talk about sufferings of women, with the same honesty and intensity! That alone will bring the true story, true picture. At present, we are witnessing with abuse stories related with women only. That’s unfair to hear/see only one side in any story and jump to flawed conclusions applicable to totality.
Why such a wish irks those concerned with rights of women? Will society be a better place only if you enable the women to have all the rights? Why shouldn’t the rights of men be discussed in the same breath? Why should not adequate attention be paid to silent sufferings of men? It leaves me aghast that tragedies, stories of discrimination associated with men, their precarious state of affairs being involved in hazardous and tough activities and regular interaction with dilemmas and ironies of peculiar type are being talked about in matter-of-fact tones. Worse, any attempt to bring the truth get checkmated by giving the impression that since men are about to lose the power, lose the privileges, these are reactionary backlash. That’s an absurd and fleeting observation. The right interpretation is that men have now begun to get organized to make “gender equality” attain a right shape, a right balance, a right proportion. And this would never stop.
P.S.: Many thanks to my friend, Rohan, whose views I have borrowed from the conversation we had on Instablogs on one of my posts having the same theme. He is Men’s Rights Activist hailing from Bangalore.
Society Always Tilted Towards Women
The women community seeking “equality of gender”, should either accept this concept in entirety, or else, follow desirable norms. The point is why so much insistence on rights for behaving as you want, for doing whatever you want? Why not give way to responsibilities shared, supposedly always considered as role of men since time immemorial! That includes all menial jobs requiring intense labour in tough conditions. That also means serving the men community, inside homes, for ages. The men community did that for ages, supplying money like ATM machine, despite suffering severely at hands of cruel wives. That too silently! These employed, high salaried women, should also marry unemployed youths and offer them all comforts for many centuries without feeling the pinch just the way men community did that in past! I am just trying to convey that this drama of gender equality gained momentum in wake of the world becoming a sophisticated place to live, largely shaped by men and women in the same patriarchal mode, which the bunch of derailed feminists saw as an obstacle for the emancipation of woman.
I am not interested in narrating the consequences of feminism in other parts of the world, but in Indian context, it has given rise to new set of complexities. There was already healthy division of labour but with the rise of feminism, or call it curse of modernism, the world inside home got projected as insult to the capabilities of women. The traditional roles were projected as subservient. However, as the modern women, shattering so-called shackles, stepped out of the confines of home, they realized that world is not bed of roses, or on par with their expectations, largely because of limitations caused by their physicality. So another set of calculated efforts came into action, to make the outside world seem a safer domain. And for that very reason, males were advised to co-operate inside homes, doing household work, after all, that’s what true equality demands! That also meant loving ”fathers, brothers, sons” all be presented as “potential rapists” so that a false alarm can be raised, and thus, International bodies can come to dictate us, calling it a nation, which does not respects and honours women! The problems pertaining to women were highlighted in exaggerated way so as to ensure that hocus-pocus, called feminism, can make its presence felt in India.
It’s not that the problems related to woman community do not exist but a shrewd attempt to use them to create rift between the relationship, using the same bothering issues, is simply an attempt to hit hard at the cherished institutions called family and marriage. One never said that problems related with women be it female foeticide, rising sexual crimes, health concerns, low literacy level and etc. should never be dealt with in a conscious way. However, why should one not be alarmed when these very issues became a part of the plot to destabilize Indian society? It’s amazing that lesbians, drunk female girls, prostitutes not by condition but by choice, females involved in all sorts of complex relationship should be hailed as appropriate but the same women living inside the confines of home as an ideal wife is seen as insult to womanhood! I mean what sort of values are being professed in name of equality? What’s being achieved? It leaves one in deep pain that even the most heinous crimes “rapes” are also being used as tool to ensure that gender imbalance sharpens in name of equality.
This sort of heightened false consciousness in Indian women is a necessity because the governments in future would largely be shaped by minorities and women, and so it’s necessary to appease them, to keep them ignorant about real implications of chasing imported theories related with equality. At global level, this sort of destabilized society, wherein men and women, are living highly individualistic lives, caters well to the needs of consumerist society. So why would corporate demons make women aware of consequences of aping such wayward lifestyle, which is resulting in single women, divorced couples, broken homes, fatherless children, eventually leading to rise in crime level too? It’s safer for them that women come out of their homes, work for them, leading to greater productivity.
On the other hand, political class is all prepared to use them as a tool to make their political dreams come alive with their help. Only to attain such diabolical interests, the concept called feminism-the great game of gender equality-came in effect. It’s a myth that it got introduced to make their lives better. At least, in India, it’s not the case. Indeed, women have a set of their own problems, but to remove them, was it necessary to fall in the trap of complex notions of feminism, having goals which even Western world has failed to exhibit in totality or demonstrate with perfection? However, the problem starts when New Delhi starts living the pattern of life found in New York and Washington. That’s why borrowed concepts become a necessity. That’s why “equality” also becomes a necessity. That’s why a highly reputed media publication is bound to see “Sunny Leone” as woman of exceptional talent and merit. And that’s why it’s necessary to give rise to conflicts wherein woman is equal when it comes to enjoy benefits of modern society but woman feels no longer equal when threat is directly to her body. At that point, she is woman! Be equal to enjoy benefit, but be a woman in helpless positions!
Bringing qualitative differences in lives of woman is quite a different issue than using these very issues to demonize men, or, in fact, use the same issues to shatter the citadels of society. The positive side of this gender equality is that it has allowed men to reshape their own priorities. It has given them a huge chance to realize their own worth and get united to fight for the cause of men in a spirited way-something never done until now. This gender equality is a great phenomenon. At least, now everything related with woman shall be put on trial and it’s a great chance to shatter all stereotyped notions with them. They are no holy cows, and they are as shrewd and manipulative as men needs to be ably projected. It’s a myth that they are a weaker sex and that they were the harassed lot in past. They have always enjoyed deep respect, care, both in external world and within the four walls of home. However, it’s ironical, and diabolical too, that instead of highlighting this aspect, all the men got clubbed in one category of abusers of women. So it’s time to tell that who actually has been abusing-man or woman? The men community should discuss their own issues in a more organized way-their concerns, their dilemmas, their worries, their pain and their sufferings etc. should get highlighted in a better way. It’s for them to decide that they have to live like a male or as a female in a male body. That’s the real agenda of feminism- to curb the instincts of men to make them in tune with absurd concerns of women.
Lastly, there is nothing like gender equality. There are honorable differences and these differences should persist for the growth of society in a better way. Radha, Seeta, Draupadi, Savitri and other such great women were the by-product of same patriarchal society. Even in modern times, the same society has produced women for whom their fathers have been the role model. Let’s not topple such a society or else the future will be more darker than one would have imagined. Agreed that women have suffered discrimination and face problems. But are the lives of men devoid of problems? Aren’t they facing host of complex problems? Some times back in Kargil War, the Indian soldiers were killed in barbaric manner. Their genitals were cut. That was simply treated as war crime. The same done with woman would not have not only been treated as a war crime but also as sexual assault, rape. Now there lies the difference. That’s the paradox. One wishing true gender equality should treat both bodies as mere bodies! If that’s not possible then stop this nonsense about gender equality. At present, there is a difference and no difference in the name of equality. Difference when you can’t face the heat and no difference in sophisticated scenario. That’s not equality. That’s opportunism. That’s selfishness. That’s shrewdness of highest type.
Pic Two Internet
कहते तो है कि भारतीय गणतंत्र बड़ी उम्मीदें जगाता है विश्व के उन कोनो में जहाँ और सरकारें तमाम तरीको के विरोधाभासों में लिपटी हुई है। उनके लिए भारत में गणतंत्र का लोप एक खतरे के घंटी से कम नहीं है। खासकर जब चीन से तुलना की जाती है तो ये जरूर दर्शा दिया जाता है कि वह पे कितनी दमनकारी व्यवस्था है जहा लोगो पे जुर्म तो होते है, लोगो को सताया तो जाता है लेकिन सेंसरशिप की वजह से कुछ सामने नहीं आ पाता। पडोसी मुल्क पाकिस्तान में फैली अराजकता को देखे जो वैश्विक आतंकवाद का पालन पोषण करने वाला है तो अपना देश किसी स्वर्ग से कम नहीं लगता। तो क्या परिस्थितयां वाकई इस देश में इतनी सुधरी है? लगता तो नहीं है अगर हम सूक्ष्म निगाहों से देखे तो।
इसकी एक वजह ये है कि इस देश में सरकार जरूर आम लोगो के दम से बनती है लेकिन उसका आम लोगो के दुःख दर्द से इसका कोई सरोकार नहीं। एक दिखावटी लगाव जरूर है लेकिन वह मूलतः अपने को सत्ता में बनाये रखने भर का जुगाड़ भर है बस। ये कैसी बिडम्बना है कि जिस सरकार ने गरीबी हटाओ का लक्ष्य दिया उसी ने इमरजेंसी भी थोपी इस देश में। सारी संवैधानिक संस्थाओ को जानबूझकर कमजोर किया गया। ये उस सरकार के द्वारा किया गया जिसके नुमाइन्दे आज लोगो के सुरक्षा का दम भरते है। हमारी भोली जनता जनार्दन फटी शर्ट में हाथ में मोबाईल लिए ये समझती है कि हम किसी सुनहरी दुनिया में प्रवेश करने वाले है भविष्य में। इस मृग मरीचिका में भारत वासी उलझे हुए है। क्रिकेट, लौंडिया, बेतहाशा पैसा कमाने का जूनून किसी भी कीमत पर ये हमारे देश के नेशनल पैशन है। लोगो को की इस बात से परवाह नहीं है कि उनकी चमचमाती गाड़ी गाली गलौज, खुले मैनहोल और गड्ढो में सड़क पर चल रही है बढ़ी हुई पेट्रोल के कीमतों के साथ ही बढती रफ़्तार के साथ।
मार्कंडेय काटजू, भूतपूर्व सुप्रीम कोर्ट जज, लोगो को मूढ़ तो मानते है लेकिन ये जरूर दर्शा देते है कि साहब इस देश में असल शासन तो सिर्फ आम जनता का ही है। उनके हिसाब से यहाँ राजशाही नहीं प्रजातन्त्र है जहा हर अधिकारी जिसमे नेता और जज भी शामिल है आम आदमी का गुलाम भर है। ये नौकर है और आम आदमी उनका “मास्टर” है। जैसे काटजू साहब लोगो की क्षुद्र मानसिकता पर सवाल उठाते है उसी तरह मुझे भी समझ में नहीं आता कि इनके इतने हसीन इंटरप्रिटेशन को, इतने सिम्प्लिस्टिक अप्प्रोच को किस निगाहों से देखा जाए जहा पे किसी ख़ास पार्टी के गुंडे इसलिए पुलिस अधिकारी को अपनी जीप के पीछे लखनऊ के सडको पर घसीटते हुए ले गए थें कि उसने प्रतिरोध किया था उनके गलत तरीको का। या कोई अदना सा पुलिस का कांस्टेबल भी किसी प्रोफेसर को सडको पर माँ बहन की गालिया दे सकता है जरा सी बात पर। तो आम आदमी को क्या इज्ज़त मिलती होगी सरकारी चमचो से ये सहज ही सोचा जा सकता है। आप भी सोचे कि हमारा गणतंत्र कितना वास्तविक है जो मेरी नज़रो में अय्याशो और गुंडों पे टिका भीड़तंत्र है । धूमिल की ये पंक्तिया आज भी बहुत सटीक बैठती है:
“हर तरफ धुआं है
हर तरफ कुहासा है
जो दांतों और दलदलों का दलाल है
वही देशभक्त है
अंधकार में सुरक्षित होने का नाम है-
कायरता के चेहरे पर
सबसे ज्यादा रक्त है।
जिसके पास थाली है
हर भूखा आदमी
उसके लिए, सबसे भद्दी
हर तरफ कुआं है
हर तरफ खाईं है
यहां, सिर्फ, वह आदमी, देश के करीब है
जो या तो मूर्ख है
या फिर गरीब है”
It really fills my heart with bliss that this part of the world originally hailed as Aryavrata, now known as Bharat (India), has always produced evolved souls, having the capacity to delve deep into the world of mysticism in effortless manner- a reason why this part of the land is viewed with great wonder by people living in the other part of the hemisphere. I often meet yogis/saints, witnessing many such mysterious phenomenon related with world of Yoga, but this feeling saddens me that, back in past, when great saints and spiritually advanced yogis, roamed on this land quite frequently, I wasn’t fortunate enough to be the part of that era! It’s interesting to note that these great souls played different roles as per need of the society. Some roamed in jungles, some lived in caves, some lived as householder, and some became part of mainstream affairs, even as they retained their ascetic robes, to shape the destiny of Bharat-the land of divine principles.
True, many fake Gurus, have turned religion into a most lucrative affair, but it remains ultimate truth that India is intrinsically wedded to yogic principles. This land, in absence of spiritual values, would not be able to survive. May be currents of time sometimes lead to clash of values, but this nation has the capacity to absorb contradictions and conflicts in easygoing way. Like myself, others too, would have not believed the glory of Indian spiritual world, had saints like Swami Vivekananda not appeared in the modern phase of civilization. His presence was certain sign of the fact that supreme consciousness was still in operation. Swami Vivekananda removed my doubt that great yogis were mainly confined to storybooks; that great tales of yogic feats were exaggerated description of imaginative minds. However, after reading life-sketch of, Sri Aurobindo, I became truly confirmed that people in league with extraordinary psychic powers, were not only part of ancient India but they were very much part of modern India as well.
However, today I wish to remain confined to world of Swami Vivekananda, since on this very day, 12 January, 1863, this Avatara of Lord Shiva, manifested on earthly plane. He was an extraordinary person in his lifetime but one who had normal childhood. He involved in naughty pranks like any other child of that age. However, the thing that separated him from others was that he frequently got absorbed in higher form of consciousness. As he grew up and took admission in college life, he was the one who loved to read various philosophies, roped in by great teachers in past. In other words, he remained hooked to intellectual plane alone! That was not the final destination of a great mind like him placed on route to realization. The Updesha Vakyas (Directive Statements) found in Upanishads were yet to culminate into Anubhuti Vakyas or Anubhava Vakyas ( realized truths).
A great truth of the world of spirituality is that a willing seeker or a qualified seeker soon comes to find a Guru (The Master). The same thing happened with Swami Vivekananda, when he met with Sri Ramakrishna. Naturally, that turned out to be life-defining moment for Swami Vivekananda. He soon emerged as a realized soul. In fact, he was always a realized soul and able Guru like Sri Ramakrishna merely ensured that ignorance inside him which made him see himself as ordinary mortal get vanished for forever. It’s interesting to note that in pre-Independence era, we had host of great spiritual souls, who ensured that India’s journey in future as independent nation takes place amid certain special values. The Western world, and we Indians too, remember him mainly because of his great speech at Parliament of the World’s Religions, delivered on 11 September 1893, in Chicago. Not many are aware of the fact that it wasn’t a smooth journey and there was lack of funds to sponsor this visit, and surprisingly, he was not allowed to participate in the conference because of lack of endorsement from a well known organisation. It was only after the intervention of Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University he got the chance to participate in this conference. Wright was so taken aback that he had to say: “To ask for your credentials is like asking the sun to state its right to shine in the heavens.”
Anyway, a soul of his stature, does not appear on earth for attainment of petty goals. He arrived to make supreme consciousness part of this land, which appears to be heart of the universe. If it stops functioning, the other civilizations are bound to collapse one after another. Although if one has a close look at the life of Swami Vivekananda, one would notice that he suffered life-long at the hands of mediocre minds but today when he is now no more in physical form, his own words have come true that real significance of his achievements would manifest after many years of his death. I must say that now when India is struggling hard to keep its ancient identity- the land of spirituality- intact, the words of Swami Vivekananda offer great solace, great strength. In other words, his thoughts and thoughts of other great minds are keeping at bay values antithetical to its spiritual essence. These great souls have now become active at subtle level, considering the way we have begun to realize that their thoughts alone could brighten our lives marred by ills of materialism.
It’s upon us that we either follow their way and emerge as an evolved being or ignore their wisdom to emerge as “dirty picture” of crass values. “All the powers in universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.” (Swami Vivekananda). Isn’t it the right thing to live life in light of these great values? Is there any merit in dying like a retarded lamb when you could have always roared like a lion? Let’s attempt for such huge transformation from this very moment.