I owe the readers of this blog a narcissistic apology for not writing more frequently. But I intend to repair it; I promise I will be more frequent. The past couple of months have been electric. I yearned for a super-fast/hectic lifestyle when I was applying for my master’s degree. And I am happy that I have it J
I wanted to be surrounded by assignment schedules, late night discussion over project and seriously missed the tension caused by never ending exams. For those who are making fun about this, wait till you start working!
The atmosphere here in United States is very topical to say the least at least with respect to the election. Both parties are leaving no stone unturned to make sure they get their hands on the next term. I believe the United States government has behaved irresponsibly in the past however it is the only country which is capable of repairing the global crisis both economically and politically.
My friends and my family tease me for taking interest in US politics as they quizzically ponder whether I become another “Wannabe Immigrant”? My answer is No. Not yet.
The reason I wasn’t very interested in Indian politics was because of its stymied nature. When I walked past roadside tea/coffee shops there used to be a sign which read “Discussing politics is not allowed”. Even in social situations when people began discussing politics there used to be an elder in the crowd who would say “Now, let us not spoil this wonderful evening by discussing politics”.
I empathize with everyone who has a disparaging view about politics but I feel it is morally and intellectually irresponsible for an educated adult to ignore politics. Media proliferation is a huge factor as I am amazed by the brazen nature with which each political issue is being dissected. Every politician up there is at the mercy of the viewers which makes the competition fun to watch.
I find it funny that people are so uptight that they hold “values” more than people. These ideas or borrowed morals are so revered that they voluntarily override the basic humanity which I like to believe we are born with. Take an example
Right to Second Amendment: The right to second amendment states that every American has a “right” to carry a weapon to defend them. My humble question is if United States has the largest army in the world (More than 16 countries combined) why can’t it protect its citizens? Why do fellow Americans pay tax money which goes to defense but still have to acquire firearms to defend them? Is the amendment more precious than someone’s life?
Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Hoax: It amuses me that US is one of the very few countries which still has this debate going. I understand that in democracy you must agree to disagree. But how far is far enough? What’s the next great debate going to be about, Gravity a hoax?
Homosexuality/Atheism: I had a very naïve impression of what homosexuals suffer as they were always a subject of ridicule in India. They are at best, a last resort to an expletive in my country. People still cannot fathom why they should be given equal rights. And I think media has a huge role to play in it. For example how do you make a bald-well built-tattooed all over the body-psycho maniac even scarier? The answer: Make him gay.
And the people who defend homophobia say that they don’t feel right about it and that’s why they don’t approve of it. Pardon my French but when your feeling impedes another individual’s way of life, you have progressed from being a douche to a c*nt.
The same goes for people who cannot identify with a religion or a god. As far as I know no atheist/agnostic takes offense to the fact that the other person is a Hindu/Christian/Muslim/Jew or whatever. In that case why should religious people take offense to the ones who cannot or won’t identify with one?
How come when it comes to healthcare, politicians scream personal rights but when it comes to their belief, sexuality or abortion it’s a government policy?
Values: There is something very interesting article which was a part of our course work. (http://userhome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/irudowsky/PM/articles/TheExperienceTrap.pdf)
It talks about how managers assume that their cumulative experience makes them the best judge of the situation, even though the circumstances have changed. And how it has been identified as the chief reason why experienced people fail at IT projects.
I don’t know enough to comment about the values that the founding fathers in US preached. But I certainly do when it comes to my country.
As a kid we are taught that the greatest contributions by India to the world are our values. From family bonds to social architecture and that we have been at the pinnacle of civilization at every turn of the century. And we take that fact for granted and somehow it’s misrepresented across generations. Should these values be shielded from reasoning?
I think most of us happen to believe that these traditions or values somehow have a life and would wobble and cry if we scrutinized them. Or somehow our forefathers would take offense to our curious nature and fart upon us during our nuptials.
Look at any social justification for rape, dowry, caste discrimination, genocide, war or nepotism the underlying reason is “It is our tradition and it has worked for us so far, so don’t question it”. People would go great lengths to defend thoughts which aren’t theirs to begin with.
The real reason I am proud of being an Indian are not the values but the effort of thought that went into them. Indus valley civilization, contribution to mathematics, medicine and literature, Gall of individuals who went against the grain like Gandhi, Bose, Ambedkar, Vivekananda, Ramanujam, Chanakya, Valluvar, Rk Laxman, Verghise Kurein etc… They empowered several others to think, question and act.
We don’t have to achieve greatness, but the least we can do is commit our reasoning to the values that are forced upon us.
I could very well end this post with an inspiring quote which would amend my exhibitive pretentiousness which was omnipresent. But these are my thoughts and I don’t require an oracle’s wisdom to approve it.
Go ahead, commit a thought crime.