Should We Ban The Intent Or The Content?

Indias-Daughter

India is one of the very few surviving democracies with such a huge and diverse population where Freedom of Speech/Expression is embedded in the culture. Obviously, this has been translated into reality in its constitution that was framed after independence in 1947. This freedom hardly served the artists/filmmakers within India filled with controversies right from the extent of protest against their work to a complete ban (needless to mention the vandalism of property of the artists). The uproar surrounding the documentary India’s Daughter comes as no surprise as India is known for its aversion towards anything that its polity/government is not comfortable with.

India’s Daughter stands apart for its intent rather than content with many questioning the prerogative of an outsider (British) to comment on India’s problem. It is further fuelled by its perceived stereotype of Indian males on the issue of patriarchy. When Mukesh Singh (rape accused of Nirbhaya’s case 2012) in the documentary says Girls are meant to stay at home and not to party or go out at night, without any slightest sign of remorse for the crime committed, even the conservative faction of the society is outraged. What is more worrying is the impression of India that ruins the reputation of NRIs affecting their normal life. For example, the recent case of a German professor refusing admission to an Indian student on the grounds of rape problems in India is atrocious.

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Of course, this was followed by a fitting reply by a German ambassador upholding the values of his country at the same time demolishing the prejudice of a professor.

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Staunch liberals of India who generally take a firm stand against the ban also went on to criticize the documentary for its providing undeserving attention to the rape accused and his lawyers—whose comments were even worse. Perhaps, it is due to the fact that BBC is known for publishing condescending news articles projecting an image about India that are far from reality. The following are some of the useless story headlines about India that have made it to BBC news for no reason but sensation:

“Snake charmer sparks office panic”

“Indian snake charmers ‘held photographer captive’”

“The cash machine with a free cobra”

“The bull whose semen is worth $3,000 a shot”

“Cow dung burning ban near Taj Mahal”

“India cow row settled by DNA tests’”

After reading these, I was wondering that the intention behind such headlines maybe is the key to unlock the world’s peace and prosperity. 🙂

There is no denial by Indians about the content of the documentary and its veracity, but the questions asked are, “Why is a rape accused the main focus of the documentary? Why does BBC malign India and its prospects through such works? Despite having one of the lowest rape per capita in the world (taking into account the unreported cases), why is India projected as the rape capital of the world?”

The Indian Government was also unintentionally baited into this issue creating a sensation through the ban. Indians would have probably just overlooked the documentary as yet another one from BBC if not for the undue publicity by its own government. Proponents of free speech including me are baffled about this on how to handle such works that are true but give rise to unpleasant consequences leading to the question, “Should we ban the intent or the content?” —maybe neither. Whatever it may be, it is disheartening to hear the stories of direct victims of the documentary.

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Not Beautiful Enough

The phone rang, her first call
She said hello
and you knew you were falling
Her voice
The sound of her laughter
Her sleepy good morning wishes

That you had never
Seen her, touched her, felt her
It never mattered
For, you had felt her soul, her being
She was perfect

What a farce!
A heartbreak so pure
She came, in person
But what did you see?
Dark like the tribal women they’re afraid of
Hair with no shine
Not the most beautiful smile either
A little fat maybe?

Disappointed, disillusioned
Poor little you
Fooled by a lady
Not so beautiful too
Beauty as society understands it
Beauty as you understand it
She wasn’t beautiful enough for you.

Her intelligence, her words
always baffling you
The kindest, most humane
Serene, the tranquility of her self almost unbelievable
But did it mean anything at all?
After all, she wasn’t beautiful enough for you.

You broke to shreds, she healed you
You raged like a violent ocean, she calmed you
You laughed like a child, she laughed along
You were lost, yet never alone
All ceased to matter now
For you wanted beauty, but she wasn’t beautiful enough.

You in all your fair glory,
much wiser now
A frantic search for tranquility
only leads you to chaos
You keep looking, waiting
Your desire to find something real
Only met by pretence

You think of her,
the only thing true
You hope, but you know
she has risen, flying on
Busy painting the world
with the fire within her;

Such an air of nonchalance,
that you could never see
She wasn’t beautiful
She was a fuckin’ masterpiece.

No Country For Men

  • A girl is raped every 20 minutes in India.
  • Only about 1% of the rape victims report their crimes in India.
  • Of the more than 600 rape cases reported in Delhi in 2012, only one led to a conviction.
  • Sexual violence within marriage is common, with 20% of men admitting to forcing their wives or partners to have sex.

Shocked, are you?
But you might already be aware of these facts. You would have seen them floating around on the internet, because that’s where I’ve picked them from. I don’t know if they are true, but most of the sources seemed reputable, and given the news I read/see everyday, I’d go ahead and say that these stats still seem modest to me. But why am I blabbering about some of the many problems Indian women have to face in India, while the article’s name clearly suggests it is about men. Because the newspaper is full of crimes and inequalities subjected on woman, and that is necessary. But who will write about us? Who will write about the men, the men of India.

I try to look for such shocking numbers as the ones I started the article with, but this time they are about men. But they are hard to find, almost not there.  Why? Is it because gender inequality only exists with women?

No.
Do you know that 98% of the 498a cases filed against men are false?
Do you even know what the 498a is?
It’s a law to protect women against any forms of cruelty subjected on them by their husband or the husband’s family. Though the term cruelty is defined in the article, the definition can easily be twisted and turned to mean a lot of things. Read this. Anyway, what the law primarily protects them from, is dowry.

Do women need protection? Obviously.
Do women need a law which resides absolute power in them by allowing them to file a case of dowry based only on their word?

No. But that is what they have, because the way IP-498a has been devised, and the way it is implemented, makes sure that there is no room whatsoever for any doubt in judgment. And why are there laws? Or a court? Or lawyers? To make sure that a citizen is not branded guilty until there is even a tiniest bit of doubt. Even the Supreme Court has branded 498a as legal terrorism. Now why would the most powerful court in the country do that, unless obviously it is true? There has been improvement; recently the Supreme Court has decided that there will be no arrests under anti-dowry law without a magistrate’s nod.

Is that good news?
Partially. Because now atleast there is some theoretical protection being offered to men. But I’ll repeat, it’s ‘theoretical’, because before you reach the court, you have to face the harassment of society, police officers, lawyers and feminist groups. The society frowns upon you because that’s what it does. Lawyers and the police do it because they are looking to make quick money, and because they are under pressure to act quickly in cases of crimes against women. Because hey, who are we kidding, they don’t even register a rape case, much less get to the victims on time. So the pressure is justified. That brings me to the final group of people, who I personally believe is the most responsible for this negligent gender inequality. It is the so called feminist groups. Do not take me wrong, I’m a pro-feminist myself. But the feminist groups you see protesting in the news are not real feminists, atleast majority of them are not. They are pseudo-feminists, much like there are pseudo-intellectuals, pseudo-gamers, pseudo- ‘anything that’s in’. Feminism as an idea is growing, and it should, but what it is also doing is injecting ignorance and superiority in some women who fail to understand the true meaning of feminism. It is about equality, not giving preference to women.

For example, let’s consider the Delhi metro, something a lot of you can relate to. I understand the concept of having a woman’s coach in the Delhi metro, because apparently men can’t be trusted around women in India (no sarcasm intended). And personally, I’m not against the seats reserved for women in the other coaches. But what people, and more importantly women need to understand is that according to equality, why should I give my seat to a woman, who’s equally capable of standing as I am, unless I’m doing it because I should as a gentleman. But in today’s world, chivalry isn’t respected, or for that matter even expected. I, or any other man, do not mind giving his seat to a lady who deserves it. And by deserves it I mean- she is aged, pregnant, or visibly in need of a seat more than I am. But even then it is a case of humanity, plain manners. But anything other than that is not equality. Then it’s just basically women using the feminism tag to take what they want. I’m 21 and I in no perfect sense understand why I should give my seat to another 21 year old women. To this, one might argue, and infact a lot of people do argue, that women are physically less strong. Wow, way to go equality. Not any human, much less feminists should be able to say that. And feminist never will, it’s the pseudo- feminists who do this, because they are the ones who share random and fake Marilyn Monroe quotes on the internet. They are all about empowering women (Rahul Gandhi, anyone?), and mostly at the cost of putting men down. But even then, I and many other men get up from a ladies seat as soon as we see a woman around. And we should, because

1) It’s according to the law, and
2) it’s what we are taught, and rightly so.

And no, it’s not a favour. No one does it because you’re a women, and that’s what this is all about. You shouldn’t be treated differently because you’re a woman. It’s a random act of kindness, something that I’ve seen a lot of young women do for aged people (they’re the real feminist now). But when I see women shouting and poaching at men to get up and give them a seat, even while these women are infact in lesser need of a seat than the man sitting on the seat, it boils me up. And before you refuse it, it happens, and this comes from someone who has spent almost half his adult life travelling in the Delhi metro. So, where’s the equality now? But then again, there is no equality, it’s just pseudo-feminists, using real victims of gender (female) inequality to express their dominance in a country (world?) that’s already biased towards men.

But is the answer to a patriarchal society a matriarchal society?
No, you don’t fight fire with fire. It’s equality.
Feminism = Equality. Feminism != Women dominance.

Now to make my case a stronger one, I’d like to put forward a few more facts/statements:

  • As per Indian laws, while a man can be booked and jailed for adultery (IPC 497), a woman can NEVER be booked for adultery
  • Again, as per Indian laws, a man can never be a victim of domestic violence. All this, when in almost half the cases of actual domestic violence, it is men who are at the receiving end. Now that’s some equality.
  • When it comes to dowry, anything or everything the bride says she’s given the groom as dowry will be taken and returned to her. Even when she hasn’t actually given anything or some things (which is wrong).
  • Exploiting these laws has literally become a scam of their own , wherein women marry and divorce almost every other month. They harass the groom and his family by not registering a false FIR in return of huge amounts of money and obviously, a divorce.
  • When it comes to 498a, the word ‘cruelty’ is not properly defined, and even a case of a light argument can be considered harassment, and in turn cruelty, and in turn a visit to the police station at the minimum.
  • If a woman has consensual sex with a man, but the man later breaks up with her/refuses to marry her, she can easily say that she was raped. A man on the other hand, if dumped by a woman can do no such thing.

In conclusion, I’d like to say that yes women have it bad when it comes to gender inequality, and we should continue to protest and fight and better ourselves to make this country a better place for women to live in. The government might have been ineffective, but really if we have to bring in any change we need to accept that we are equally responsible for all the cases of molestation and inequality against woman. But what about the inequality against men. Who will protest and fight for us? Who will protect the men of this country? Frankly, ever since I’ve known about all these things, it has instilled in me a fear of marriage. I’m too young to worry about such things, but when you look at the absolute power given to women, it does something to you, something deep down.

What stops a woman from blaming and destroying my entire life? Almost nothing!

And men have been destroyed, and they will continue to be destroyed, until everyone is aware of the inequality men have to face.

P.S.- Some incidents I think I should mention-

  • I’ve personally seen women bargain auto rates over the pre-decided rate by threatening to file a complaint of eve-teasing against the auto driver.
  • I’ve had female acquaintances who would flirt with their teachers to get extra marks and to obtain other privileges and then come home and put Facebook status’ claiming all men to be “horny desperate pigs”
  • A friend has a friend (okay, this already looks questionable) whose girlfriend’s parents called the police on him after they caught her hurting herself when the friend asked her for a breakup. The girlfriend’s parents blamed him for manipulating and taking advantage of their daughter and he had to pay the police a lot of money to avoid going to the police station.

P.P.S. – Just like all men are not assholes, the above article also talks about some women. Some feminists have been doing some great work out there, and this article is in no way intends to hurt them or someone else.
If this article has been an eye opener for you then please share it with others. Let there be equality, in the truest sense of the word.

#NoCountryForMen


gender-equality
If you’re looking for some fun stuff to read about and would really like to know how paranoid some of the men are about 498a, read the suggested points here. Some of them are hilarious, and honestly I can not vouch for how effective or ineffective they are. This post was not to make men paranoid(okay,maybe a little) and i would please request all the men out there to not get too insecure, or they might have a tough time finding a suitable bride.

Psychological Pluralism- Why Everyone Is A Hypocrite.

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“The road to power is paved with hypocrisy”
 – Frank Underwood

The one human trait I used to hate most profoundly was hypocrisy. Notice how I mention ‘used to’? It is because one random day, out of nowhere, I had an epiphany. How can I justify the term hypocrisy, when I myself do not possess a singular string of thought? Do you? When we sit and gather all our ideas to decide on something, are we not faced by contradictions, fallacies and comparisons? This in turn makes me think, do all the quotes about being ‘you’ even matter. Because I can’t possibly believe that I am contained of a singular self. No. Both you and I possess an internal pluralism. For every particular thought in your mind is not derived from a single source or even based on a single ideology. Within you, there are, for the lack of a better word, multiple ‘yous’. There is no singular identity we possess. Instead it is a congregation of multiple identities that regularly clash with each other. This is what gives rise to the term ‘Hypocrisy’- the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case. In layman terms, when you criticize your friend for checking in at Facebook, and then go ahead and do the same the very next day, you theoretically become a hypocrite. But what I believe is that in each of the two cases, a different identity from your multiple identities rose above the others. Most of us fail to realize this because of the basic human attribute of only acknowledging the winner or of only accepting the results. At a particular time, we only confirm the identity that won, every other voice fades into the background. And it is not just two voices- the good and the bad, the pros and the cons, the positive and the negative. Blacks and Whites do not exist; it’s multiple non-uniform shades of grey. One overpowers the others, and becomes you. At different times, you are different versions of yourself. If all of your psychological identities start to agree with each other, you become too much of an idealist, and as the term itself suggests, no man can really be a perfect idealist. We can try, and in fact I persist that we should. For as we strive for singularity in thought, we tend to detach ourselves from all our psychological identities and observe them from a distance. This allows us to acknowledge not just the winner, but hand out a participation certificate to every identity. As we move further and further away from this boardroom-meeting between our identities, our view becomes more and more eternal. And with this eagle vision, we can explore each and every nook and cranny, and extract any hidden/suppressed identities of ourselves. Who knows how this might change our principles and beliefs. With every step that we take into this direction, our thinking becomes more logical and more consistent, and we eliminate or at least reduce everyday hypocrisy.

As I read what I have written, I realize one might question how simple I’m making it look. With so many thoughts/media/content being thrown at you every second, how can you comprehend each and every one of them and align them across a single straight line? This is a question for learned men and women, and unfortunately I don’t happen to be one. However, I need you to know that a voice within me fights the other on the toughness of this path of ‘singularity in thought’. But the very fact that I can at least acknowledge two aspects of this argument, somehow gives me comfort. There are still multiple aspects to be found, analysed and channelled into a singular self. In every thought, I struggle with the multiple psychological identities that exist within me, and maybe so do you. Each day I strive towards singularity, and so should you. I might overcome this pluralism one day, but as of today I am a hypocrite. But then again, I am pretty sure, so are you!

Why That Relationship Shouldn’t, and Wouldn’t Last

Some recent circumstances led me to this mirror shattering revelation that friendships can suddenly break into nothing but shreds and pieces of memories that once relished your mind. I know, you must wonder what is so new in this. Aren’t human relationships, in general, platonic? They’re bound to crash regularly. I’m not here to tell you that life runs its course, people change and all the other bullshit that your neighbourhood optimists preach. No! I’m here to share, how with this experience I understood an important rational aspect of the human nature.

I understood that the only thing that keeps us together is not our profound love for the other person; it’s not even the likes/hatreds we share. That is a ubiquitously altered perception created in your mind, the perception of the constant need to maintain and encourage healthy emotional relationships. The idea of a society, sanctuary and safety for all, has somehow introduced within us, a particular affinity for relationships. With civilization came a series of realizations- our responsibility towards our family, our community, our state, our country, the human race and eventually the whole world. These subtly affected the process of the nurturing of our brain, our young innocent fragile minds. So when on your 3rd birthday, you looked at all the happy faces, you began to understand, that happiness multiplies when shared with close ones. Plus all the famous movies said it too. When you became a teenager, the people with most friends were considered the happiest, the outgoing-popular-extroverts who everyone liked. Come the pre-adult years, and everyone around you had a special someone they would go out on movies with. And couples all around you looked happy, strolling the streets, hand in hand, laughing and blushing over their conversations. And with this, the idea of creating strong threads of contact with other humans became more and more deeply embedded in your mind. By the time you become an adult, the hardships of responsibilities and the absence of honest and real people makes you cherish the deep bond you share with your childhood friends even more. And eventually, you settle into a cocoon of emotions that time and opinions have created around you. Effectively, what I believe is that we were raised into a community of socially adept monkeys who, after suddenly progressing under the reign of language, believe that integration of humans is the way to go.

“United we stand, divided we fall”
“All for one, and one for all”

But unity or coming together is not always the solution. What we are taught is not necessarily the right way. And now you might question, so why, day in day out, I go against my discernment and endure the everyday toils of friendship? Maybe the answer you expect isn’t the one I’m going to give, for like I told you, I’m not here to sell rainbows. The reason behind friendship is nothing, but the basic requirements to fulfill social and psychological constraints. You don’t worry about how much you will miss the person. The real fear, the true trepidation, is the idea of trying to somehow fit this ending into the already existing notions of society in your mind. How will people react to the fact that you suddenly stopped talking to him/her? What about all the common friends/relatives we share? Shouldn’t I accept their flaws? Isn’t human relationship about compromise? These questions, somehow lead to the introduction of a characteristic guilt, which in turn makes you accept things as they are. Things continue ahead as they previously did, until you are forced into the same questions again, and until you choose the same answers. You request people for advice, but all they ask you to do is forgive and move on, which mind you, is something you should do. But are all friendships/relationships worth the effort? No. A simple study of the human nature shows you how susceptible we are to making mistakes under certain circumstances. Sometimes these mistakes, they tend to stick with us. And these mistakes can be 5 or 10 years old, but they still remain mistakes. This deeply rooted belief, of the importance to maintain human relationships, has to go. Don’t misunderstand me, everyone needs a certain amount of human contact, to motivate their spirit, to double their happiness; but that time, in quantity and quality is not what has been defined for us, hard-wired into our brains. We need to be choosing this for ourselves, like we need to choose our endings. (Endings should not be hurtful, specifically if you want these endings) But what you don’t choose is the society you live in, which only seems right because it compares anything and everything with its own perception. But when the greatest men/women have failed to introspect and establish an unbiased cognitive opinion, what makes you think 7 billion average humans can do that collectively. So if you have somehow managed to read through this “so called pessimistic” view of relationships, consider this the next time before you make a decision about friendships- People might have changed, life might have changed and you might have changed, but in the end these things should not matter, because in all true sense, if you think it has to end, it has to end. Don’t conform to the regulations of society; it was created by drunken fools who were too busy maintaining friendships.

P.S.- This was written a long time ago, and I was reluctant to post it here, given how people might call it a pessimistic view on human relationships. I’ve tried to weigh relationships via the logic that initiated the idea of togetherness in humans, and if this comes out as a negative view of the same, then I humbly point out that this is a subjective opinion and that you shouldn’t judge the rest of the blog via this particular post. Thank you for your time.

Man & Animal

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I felt a thirst, an everlasting thirst within me. I checked my lips; they did not have the dryness of a thirsty man. The thirst within me could not be quenched with water, for it was stirred, not by the instinct of survival but by the desire of losing control and of letting go. This need overtook me because I slowed down the car and parked it into an empty space to my right. I closed my eyes, for facing the reality with open eyes was not something I could do. I took out a circular chip from my pocket, it was supposed to help me garner the strength to stop. I desperately scratched it, trying to erase one of the words embedded on it. But the very fact of embedding something is so that it cannot be removed. So how can I fight something that has been deeply rooted within me? I unlocked the door and got out of the car in a hurry. One drink wouldn’t really hurt. I opened the door of the bar across the street and went inside. The man across the bar nodded to my presence and immediately started filling a glass. I sat down on a table; I quite enjoyed my own company. The glass arrived and as I picked it up with my left hand, the watch on my wrist caught my attention. It read 01:03:37 PM. I had to be at the hospital by 1:30, so I had to leave in 10 minutes. I remembered that – 10 minutes, one drink and then I leave. I raised the glass to my lips, but as the crystal touched my teeth, I stopped. I still hadn’t done it; I still had the option to choose. Today I was either going back to the same 10 years of my life or I was finally going to embrace the last 5 months that I’ve lived with a sober view. As I rocked the glass between my fingers, my mind oscillated between the choices every man has to make. To accept who you are or to acknowledge who you are supposed to be. I did not know what the universal right to this question is, but I knew the socially acceptable choice is the latter. People around us want us to conform to a set of ethics and morals, because the majority fits in within this structure. But the few outcasts like me do not get a chance to embrace the spirit within them. We are left to be functioned as robots, following algorithms and pre-written instructions. I raised the glass and the first few drops of alcohol flowed through my tongue. I could feel it, as each and every drop slowly sizzled through me, and just as my insides began to go numb, my brain started to feel and express more than it ever has. My glass was replaced with another, and then another, and then another. The spirit inside me, which had been weighed down by responsibilities forced upon it, welcomed the spirit that I gulped down my throat. It was the meeting of two spirits, animal and liquid, and it had been long time coming. But as the alcohol burned the chains that bound me, the animal within me started to take shape. For with every drop of alcohol I drank, it demanded two more. And so I drank, and then I drank more. The horse and the rider, the passenger and the driver, the man and the animal had finally been re-united. Together, they drowned in moments of nostalgia. The man across the table stared at me, and his eyes carried a gleam of appreciation towards me. I am where I should be, where I am accepted, respected, maybe even valued. I was home, I was among fellow alcoholics. The man continued to stare at me and then used his fingers to shape out a cell phone. I was sure he was not asking for my number, so I realized what he was pointing to- My cell phone was ringing, it had been ringing for quite some time now. I looked at the number flashing on the screen, it was the hospital. I looked at the time: 2:31:41 PM. I had missed my wife’s first pregnancy, I had missed the birth of my first child, and I had basically missed another chance of being the man people wanted me to be. But I did not care; I felt no guilt within me. Yes when she told me she was pregnant I was emotionally motivated to quit the one thing that kept me going. But she never accepted me for the man I was; however damaged, broken or drunk I was, I had always loved her. But like others who wanted to barricade me within these walls of rules and regulations, she was no different. I took out the chip from my pocket and started rubbing it in between my fingers. It was supposed to show me the right way in times of distress. The chip had embedded within it, in bold letters, the words ‘Alcoholic Anonymous’. I had to choose which letter I scraped of it, because only one of the two men survives today. I tapped on the desk and the bartender bought me another drink. My cell phone rang again; I cut the call and switched it off. Today, I choose to be the man I want to be, by accepting the animal I am. Today I break free of all emotional and moral expectations, for an animal is best left in the wild. Yes, I’m not going back to my wife. Yes, I don’t want to see the face of my own child. Yes, I don’t care what you think of me. Yes I’m an alcoholic.