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