Thursday, February 12, 2009

Prem Mahotsav

This is a tag. By Ajit. Write a story on the 6th picture of your 6th folder. Well, I didn’t have 6 folders in my Pictures folder, but this is the 6th picture. I use it as a wall-paper.

And these are my thoughts, and not a story. Under normal circumstance, looking at this picture inspires me to think about Hindu Philosophy, the Big Bang and what-not. These days, it made me think about the people who claim to protect and preserve my religion and culture. The saviours of Sanatana Dharma, if I may. So what defines a culture, in particular Hindu culture? What makes it mine, and not yours? And do we have to delineate? If yes then how do we do that? Would not that process of delineation vary from person to person, as per her/his weltanschauung? Is acting on one's common sense and using one's intelligence a part of it or not? From the eyes of an Indian and a Hindu, culture for me is a living-breathing organism, which is ever evolving. It is a product of the environment it exists in, and it contributes to it as well. And Hinduism, I believe, is designed to survive the worst. It’s all encompassing nature shall ensure that. That is why we still have Hindus living in India and in large numbers too. That is why it is the Santana Dharma. And you cannot dictate terms of evolution to an organism. The process of evolution has no rules except one. To survive the test of time. And it will have to purge itself every now and then, to ensure its existence. But the moment we put a cap on it, we will stunt its growth. I say this as objectively as possible- Valentine’s Day is not a part of Hindu culture. But Love is. A very significant and immutable part of it. One word, Krishna, says it all. And that is why, in an indirect manner, it does become a part of it. V - Day is supposed celebration of love after all . This day never meant a lot to me, as it is more a marketing orgy for the card-chocolate-roses selling kind of corporations, a hallmark holiday. Most of the damned cards are dripping with red and pink and laced with extremely sugar coated quotations, that makes me want to throw up. All the hype and hoopla on V-day is nothing but one giant load of sappy crap to me, if you want to celebrate love, and then why not do it all year round as compared to one particular day? But thanks to Shree Ram Sena, it does mean more to me now. As IHM says, this year, it is more about liberty and freedom, than love. If India is a free country , then the choice to celebrate it is mine and mine alone .

On a side note, I hope all this Moral Police VS V-Day battle is not a part of some secret marketing strategy with the aim of pushing the sales of V-Day related products. Just a stupid thought, no offence to the women who got hurt intended. And in the same-crazy-line-of-thought, I hope Muthalik and his gang were not miffed by Hallmark or Archies, that they decided to, take it out on V-day.

As far as drinking is concerned, I will be damned if somebody says that it is not a part of Indian culture. Going to pubs to drink may be not. But somras and madeera-pan are. And most importantly, isn't drinking a vice and vice alone? Why make a crime out of it? If these guys are so anti-alcohol, then why don't they call for a making India one huge dry country? And why take it out on women alone? Why not men? It is the same liver, isn't it? And why drinking? Why the hell not smoking, which is far more dangerous and deadly than consumption of alcohol? What about prostitution? We know it is illegal in India, and we all know about red-light areas that exist in every bloody city. What about the upliftment of those poor souls, many of whom I believe were forced by circumstances in to the flesh trade. Which just strengthens my belief that what a pathetic charade all this is, to preserve Indian/Hindu culture. By their demented logic, a Hindu celebrating a non-Hindu festival would be against the ethos they are hollering about as well. And they would never dare campaign against banning alcohol or tobacco for sure. The powers that be would not allow them, because alcohol and tobacco together are one the largest sources of revenue. No matter what, “baap bada na bhaiya, sabse bada rupiya” does hold true.

Back to the favourite festival of India now. How this is for an idea, fuse the concept of Valentine’s Day and Krishna, and Indianise it? Make it more spiritual and less commercial. We can call it "Prem Mahotsav" and make Lord Krishna the patron God of it, and lo-and-behold, it is a part of our Sanskriti. And this could be a celebration of love across genders or relationships, sans stupid cards or overpriced chocolates. Pure, pious and pristine Love. What say, the-hoodlums-who-think-they-are-the-Moral Police? And I must add that I do not say this in jest . To all the children of my beloved Bharat Maata , Prem Mahotsav ki hardik shubhkamnayein . :)

A couple of interesting reads

1. Kanchan Gupta
2. The Rational Fool


Kartikey said...

The Krishna photograph is a story by itself.

Anonymous said...

If not Valentine's Day then Sree Krishna Jayanti should be Prem Din.

I don't think there is any conspiracy as such because we have become so paranoid that our mind suspects anything to be that these days.

Kislay said...

Indeed .
Just an idea . And the conspiracy theory - Just a crazy thought . :)

Indian Home Maker said...

Yeah and if you ask me I suspect the West stole the idea of a festival of love from us...

You now what I feel Kislay that these guys were neither Moral Policing, not worried about the Valentine's Day. All they want is votes.

But what's to stop us from having many festivals of love, one on the 14th Feb, one Holi (famous in all where ever Krishna is popular),then Teej with all the dresing up and swings, Karvachauth (modern Shah Rukh Khan's DDLJ version) are all all about celebrating love.
And there is nothing wrong with cards, chocolates and heart balloons either, kiddish yes, it's like asking a child to celebrate birthdays with pooja-path instead of cake cutting and gifts and fun and games.
Why not take the best from everywhere and enrich our culture the way we love to enrich our brains and coffers :)

A culture just a language is a living thing .. why not let it live, change, grow and evolve?

Lastly can something be wrong ONLY because it came from the west? Is that reason enough?

Indyeah said...

dude after seeing your comment on mine I HAD to come here and say Iread yours...and I was so amazed that I decided to write in the morning..:)so much to say you see..
I loved this post and don toyu go around calling it silly!
in the morning then:)

Ajit said...

good one dude.... :) brilliant....
make V day a part of our culture and celebrate it....
wah wah.... :)
great job on the Tag.....

Indyeah said...

''culture for me is a living-breathing organism, which is ever evolving. It is a product of the environment it exists in, and it contributes to it as well.''

beautifully said Kislay:)....and yes Hinduism has survived the worst and will continue to do so...the main reason that I think it has managed to survive is because it has no fixed rituals to follow, no one guru who is the end one god who is to be worshipped..even worshipping is not a must...therefore it is pretty elastic and has managed to survive for so long...
but the thekedaars of hinduism are hell bent on changing alll that ...and we wont let them...

as you say,''And it will have to purge itself every now and then, to ensure its existence. But the moment we put a cap on it, we will stunt its growth''
so true!
you are right V day as a term was not a part of our culture ever....and yetthe basic concept the world over is the same is it not?
why just Hindiusm,I think India will take this new element and make it a part of its own or throw it out if it doesnt like it...

as India has been doing for centuries....

I agree with the fact that its all becoming a marketing gimmick...but at the end of the day all the msarketing will not make us like somthing if we don want to and we will chuck that out....
if we like it then nothing can make India's people let go of it for anything!

loved the idea ..:)prem mahotsav!unique and very Indian!:)

Anonymous said...

Kislay, Did you check Cupid and Kamdev's picture Abhi posted in her blog? Isn't it so similar? What does it tell us?

You are so right. We need to celebrate Prem Mahotsav. All fanatics need some loving.

Kislay said...

Not everything that is Western can be bad . As not everything eastern is good . Veru true .
@Indyeah & Ajit
Thank you very much .
Maybe the fanatics would stop being fanatical if they had more love . :) And yes , Cupid does seem to be inspired by Kamdev .