Education & India: Part 1 of 2

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.

I’m a student and I have problems with the education that issupposedly ‘imparted’ to me. That’s where this post begins from andthat’s also where the part 2 of this post will end.

There’s a reason I chose ‘Education “&” India’ instead of whatshould have been ‘Education “in” India’. It being the same reason thatwe can’t and don’t produce enough talent, educated talent. There is noeducation in India. It’s a myth. And whatever is, is the word education& its association with India. Thus, the title.
I remember my kindergarten and primary school days. Everyday, I usedto be more than eager to attend school. Not because of my friends,teachers or to study. (Or may be it was one of them, I was too littlethen to remember anything about it now.) One of the reasons being, likemost others of my age, who were in other schools from mine, I didn’thave the worry of appearing in exams and performing poorly, at an agewhen I barely even understood what ‘competition’ meant.
Having come a good 8-10 years since that point, having come throughsecondary school, junior college and studying in an engineering collegetoday, most the facts, myths and so-called-beliefs about education inIndia, are busted to me, and these are undeniable (of course, a fewexceptions).
  1. Education is a business. A business, like none other. And a bountiful one, for that matter.
  2. The quality of education, depends on the fees of the school or college you are in, nothing else.
  3. There’s nothing really to ‘learn’ or ‘understand’. You rote, mug up, puke it out in your exam papers, get the marks, go to a goodcollege/university, repeat the previous steps, get a job.
  4. You don’t have a heart. You don’t have a life. You have just competition to face. And that too, a fierce one.
  5. You may lose your admission to someone less deserving, but from abackward class. So, if you’re a student from the general category, you have to hate those who are not.
These are the things that are understood, told to, perceived, andaccepted by everyone who is a student in any part of India right now(Please don’t shower me with exceptions right now, please?). The pointis, everything that I’ve said above, is just the gist of the things Ihave understood in the last few years.
We make robots, not students or humans, in packs of thousands andthousands. Those who compete for every mark they can get, in every examthey ever give. We can’t think out of the box because our educationcripples us to think in one line. Every time we think outside thoseboundaries, we are losing out on our marks, our parents are on our backs to score, and then we’re back on track to the end of the manufacturingline, till the end, again.
And then we’re proud in saying that NASA, Intel, Microsoft, Google,doctors in USA, etc. are Indians. Ivy League colleges have Indian deans. Heads of MNCs are Indians. Did they study in India? And did they eversay that solely their study in India made them their life in USA? Or any country of the world, for that matter? Why do educated (and/0r) wealthy Indians send their children abroad for studies?
Simple.
We all, each one of us who is alive in this country, knows that theeducation system of the country is something we are not and can’t beproud of. And if we are, we are just fooling ourselves, truly.
And, no matter how much we talk about changing it, it’s not changing. Just not.
They say, Bollywood does what anything else can’t. For the latest,polio was eradicated completely after Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Do BoondZindagi Ke’ campaign (applauds), and there are numerous other exampleswhich each one of us knows about. In fact, the reason India changes, iswhen Bollywood calls it to. And even after having our eyes soar ofcrying while watching ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and laughing till our stomachhurts, while watching ’3 Idiots’, we didn’t particularly learn anythingfrom either.
Or may be we did, but did we apply it to our lives? We are happy andwhen we’re out of the theatres, that’s it? There goes our desire tostudy and make our children study (for those who are, or will beparents) in a better and more sensible environment?! Just like that?
Well, for anyone else it may. For me, it doesn’t. For Not Just TheTalks., it doesn’t. I’m tired, really tired of not doing anything. And I am going to. From now, and I will keep doing, for everything that I say on this blog that I will.
In this 2 part blogpost, I’m going to cover a few things that are myreal concern with the education system in India. In part 1, I will talkabout the over-all situation of education in India (a lot of which Ialready did) and then about the school-specific problems and reforms Ithink are the need-of-the-hour. In part 2, it will be a broad go fromcolleges (junior, graduate and PG) to reservation.
Also, I had designed what ‘My Dream School’ should/would be like,describing it with every minute detail, 2 years ago. I will put that upon my personal blog, after these 2 posts.
And so, to part 1…
The first thing that we need to bust, for every entrepreneur,coaching class owners and teachers and politician who enters theeducation sector with a view to exploit, earn, and be seen noble. Well,it is not a diamond-mine, you retards. We’re humans, children. Innocent, delicate, culpable, and we’re impressionable.
But, at the same time, we are not stupid, mindless or unaware to not see what you do! Enough said.
It hurts to see such things happen, mostly in colleges, and I’ll talk about it in detail in my next post.
Then comes my other major concern, the quality and techniques ofeducation. They say, those who fail at everything else, teach in India.Seems pretty true with the quality of teachers I have seen in mypost-school life (even in coaching classes). Techniques, well, rotelearning never had me backing it. I always was the guy who understoodevery concept and wrote them down in his words. Still am. And willalways be. But, I think over such theoretical studies (which isprimitive and the portion is worn out, not in-sync with the currentscenario of the world), practical knowledge, applications, logic, andpromoting these, should be emphasized.
We live in a digital world. I know that digitization hasn’tpenetrated so deep in the Indian cities yet (let alone villages), but,using technology and internet to our benefits, is the only way forward.Not being slaves to them, but, making them our media to communicate andease our lives, yes. I would want to say do away with paper stationarycompletely and go digital! But, that’d be utopian and nonsensical.Reducing it, by a major, would do the trick to begin with.
Next up, the competition we are faced with. The forceful studying.Why should I study physics when I know I don’t want to be a physicist or even an engineer? What if I know I want to go medical? Or musician,actor, director, author, archeologist, sportsperson? Who deserves tomake that choice if not me? Of what I do with my life? And that’s whatwe need. The ability to choose our lives, through what we are good at, over what we can force ourselves to be good at.
Coming to the last part of this post. Schools.
Kindergarten. The most expensive and weird business I have observed.Utterly unnecessary expenditures. People coughing up sums of money toget their kids into some XYZ K.G. where he/she’s just gonna play?!Interviews of a 4-year kid for giving him/her admission? I think that’sthe lowest our society can (and more so I hope, should) fall to.
Well, I think where I studied, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya, hasleft pretty good an impression on me about the no-exams-till-sixth-grade thing. Let your children enjoy life till they are 10 or 11, parents!Let them play, laugh, dance, sing, and be happy. Why burden them withstudies till then? Why bombard them with the pressure to score?
Although, at the same time, teaching them their very well basics and building their blocks, for the future.
Marks for everything co- and extra-curricular. You have the right toget recognition for something exceptional that you do in the fieldswhich are not related to academics in any way. But, they’re still veryimportant. You have that right. And that should be given to us. Thatdevelops a student, in all the aspects of his personality, and not justas a popping parrot who would answer your questions, in the words of the text-books.
That’s pretty much it for now… Part 2 is gonna be much more hard-hitting and intense, I promise.
Till then, adios!
Update (02-04-2012): The part 2 of this post is up here.
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It’s not just India. It’s the world. KONY 2012.

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.

As Indians, we know how it is like to live in a diverse country. And thus, it’s easier for us to multiply those daily culturally different experiences by 7 so that we can somewhat figure out what the situation of the 7 billion people alive in the world we live in, and their diversity, is. Or, may be we can’t imagine.
Africa. The first thing that comes to our minds (all of our minds) when the name of this continent strikes, is that it is a third-world continent. Not a country, a continent. We have come to generalize Africa as a third world continent, as almost all of its countries are such.
Having said that, the second thing that pops into my mind (not sure about anyone else) is the way the people live over there. Since the advent of imperialism, the African people have suffered to the hands of their European, American, Australian and Asian colonizers. And wars (inter-country and intra-country both), have always been existent in the whole continent for power, control and most of all, resources.
Coal, mineral oil, silver, gold, diamond. Every single time, the same old story. No difference. Some random army guy with a lust for power and money, turns a rebel. Kills people without a reason, kidnaps kids from villages and tribes. Turns guys into his soldier and girls into sex workers. Millions are killed, everytime a civilian war has begun in the continent. Every (literally) bloody single time.
Movies like Blood Diamond, Hotel Rwanda, The Last King Of Scotland, among others, have shown us what the situation of the people there is, truly. And, those blood-smeared faces and bodies, those sad-but-hopeful eyes, those acts of cruelty, everything, is something I can’t forget.
One thing that has been common, in all these movies is that they depicted a phase of revolution, instability that was. Not existent in the current world scenario. But, it always frightens me, what if it was real, even today? And well, we know for sure, it is. Just that we want to close our eyes to it.
Now comes the sad part. The world doesn’t even know, most of the times. We see a 2-minute coverage of such situations in our daily prime-time news, every once in a while, we get sad, we speak foul about the people doing it, and then we’re back to doing what we were doing. That’s it! That’s all we have done all along.
Not anymore. Not anymore for at least me or the other bloggers posting for NJTT.
KONY 2012
KONY 2012
Enough is enough, and this carnage has to stop.
 

I saw this video a few days ago, and then sent a personal message to 50 of my Facebook friends (the most influential of the lot), to share it, as much as they could. And truly, I’m saddened by the lack of response. I posted it myself on multiple groups, pages, etc. And there has none or barely any activity. Right now, I hope that changes.
So, what is KONY 2012? What the freaking hell is this all about?
Joseph Kony is a thug, simply said. Grown into power in one such struggles (as described earlier), he is a military dictator who has done many a wrong-doings that he deserves to be punished for. He holds the 1st spot (much above Saddam Hussain, bin Laden and others) in the world’s top criminals list (since the first edition of the list), let out by International Criminal Court, for his crimes in Uganda and has never been caught, till date. Till date.
That’s the important part. And that’s what you must watch the video for. To find out how to get through this ’till date’ part. It is a long video (30 minutes). But trust me, it’ll be a well spent 30 minutes of your life.
‘Not Just The Talks.’ began as a platform to speak and bring about change within India, and for the people of this country. But, we at NJTT feel that if any such movement needs our support, we won’t shy for it. It’s for the humanity, for our brothers and sisters, the world over. And thus, today, I myself, Pratik and Raj, support this cause fully and will do as the video demands, when it demands. Kony has to be brought to justice, and we hope he will be, too.
Make sure you watch the video, I repeat, for the nth time probably.
As the little girl says before Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal The World’ song, ‘I think about the generations, and they say they want to make it a better place for our children and our children’s children. So that they they they know it’s a better world for them and I think they can make it a better place.’
So can we.
Let’s make this world a better place.
Peace.
(Before posting this, I have read a few articles that talk against this whole movement like this and this. But, I also have read, and would want you to read this before raising any fingers against this movement. We support it, we absolutely don’t endorse it.)

Women, Vowed to be Woed.

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.
Disclaimer: As the author of this post, I personally recommend only those who are aged 16+ (an adult according to many republics around the globe) to go ahead with reading this post. Others, a sincere request, don’t read it right now at least. Please abide by this request. And as always, this is just a point of view, solely my own.
All those who have been regular readers of my posts for Not Just The Talks., would wonder why this post. Those who aren’t, this part is for you. I had said in my previous post that the first topic I talk about will be ineducation.
But, here I am today, posting about the Social Evils, the topic I was planning to write about the last. Reason? Events occurring in and around my life that pushed me to the limit of acceptability of things happening the way they are, have been, but, will not.
It’s a fact that the life of women is hard. Like, really hard. And then there’s another fact. No man will ever acknowledge that her life is harder than his. If you ask me, I would say that the man who cannot acknowledge this, is a male chauvinist coward.
Having said that, the life of a baby girl forming as a foetus in a mother’s body, her being born, her teenage, her adulthood, her life in complete, flashes in front of my eyes. And over it all, the problems she faces in all those (mind you, much more than what a guy would phase in one particular phase) seem to occupy my mind. From being abandoned even before being born, to being burnt alive. From not getting the support of her family when she needs it, to having to give up her dreams just because she has to ‘run a home’. From being pushed into a marriage as soon as she completes 18 or graduation (luckily that!) to being divorced for not being a virgin. That’s the life we Indians are known to give the women whom we promise to treat as equals! That’s our tradition!
In this post, I think I’ll stick to going from phase to phase, starting at the youngest.
1) The Innocent Infant:
A few months ago, I read a Mumbai Mirror report (sorry, don’t have the link) of some particular kind of sonography machines being seized from clinics across Mumbai. Now I’m no expert in medical equipment (thus the inability to name the instrument), but I know for one, that it was the machine which could help parents recognize the gender of their baby, even before it is born. They’re not allowed to be used in India, as per the law of the country.
The reason? Female foeticide. The abortion of a foetus, in the process of its development, because it is recognized to be a girl. I remember reading a report in TOI a few years ago of a massive unearthing of female foetuses found dumped in Noida.
And I’m not afraid to say that the reason this happens is the Indian culture, the heritage we are so a part of.
It is a social stigma (or so they say) since ages, for a girl to be born in a family. She brings bad luck, she’s a curse, etc., etc. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to say more, everyone of us knows the various pronouncements of it. And that is, not just in rural India, but even in the urban, so-called civilized India. Similarly, that is not just in the lower strata of the Indian society, but equally deep-rooted in the higher, economically ahead families.
My take: Sex determination instruments, should be allowed, lawfully. The parents of the child have the right to know what gender their offspring is going to be!
Yes, knowing that the ‘tradition’, ‘culture’, and the orthodox India that we live in, will then promise to thereby reduce the female population furthermore. But, is this the solution?
The deep-rooted misconceptions, the evils that make us inhumane have to be rooted out. And there is considerable progress in this direction, which I won’t fail to accept. But, there’s an even more considerable lot that remains to be done. That change can be brought about by us, the youth, in our actions and thoughts. That’s what I’m talking about.
2) The Growing-up Stage (if you’re 16, I’m pretty sure you know what I mean to say):
Puberty. The phase where a girl becomes a woman (over-rated, I believe).
Just a few days back I heard of a girl not getting to perform some specific ritual in her own brother’s wedding, just because she would ‘probably’ be on her monthly cycle. The particular incident reminded me of what I have seen, heard, read in all these years. Women not allowed in temples, in ceremonies, in festivals, etc. is not just a popular myth, but a fact that is of the worst and most illogical of them all.
The times when they need support of their families, those trying times, they being treated by their families like they are a mistake to be born as girls, in the name of rituals and religion, is the worst thing that can happen to her. For Christ’s sake, those monthly periods are the reason she gets to be a mother at some stage of her life!
My take: Women, girls, stand up for what your rights are. Take a stand. Don’t let the compact-minded, orthodox elders determine what you get to do and what you don’t. To guys, support those girls who stand up for this. They need you to be there for her.
Enough said.
3) Ambitions in vain:
I’ve seen this too much to be true. Fought for it, till I won. And I will, all my bloody life!
Having to forgo what they want to do with their lives, what they want to become, just because the life they want to pursue asks of them long working schedules, so that they can manage their homes as well as they are supposed to, so that they can serve their in-laws, and what not… It makes me want to die in hell, every time I hear something like this. What kind of a society, what kind of a country do we live in? Seriously this?
My take: No one, forget the gender he/she/it is, should ever have to let go of their dreams, ambitions, or the professions they want to see themselves in, just because of such stupid inhibitions of the third-world country that ours was.
4) Born to Marry:
It seems so to me, and aptly I assume, that women are born to marry. They are married the first thing they qualify as per the law (sometimes even before) or they complete their basic graduations. No questions asked, no wishes heard, tears falling to deaf ears.
What if the girl doesn’t want to marry at such a tender age? What if she wants to work? What if she wants to go for a job? ‘Nope. Nothing doing. You’re a girl. What will the society say if there’s a spinster of your age about us? Think about the image of your parents, grandparents…’ And it all goes on and on… Finally, the girl gives up her own dreams, desires and compromises to live the life her family expects her to live.
My take: The age when anyone (not specifically a girl) should marry, is when they feel they’re both physically, mentally and economically mature to sustain their ownselves and their families. And that, is their personal choice, not something that parents or other elders, should have a say in. It’s not a number game, it’s how psychologically prepared you are to take the responsibility of living a life linked to another human being, in any and every way.
5) Cook, Serve, Starve:
Yes, the post-marital life.
The secondary member of the family. The person who should make sure food is available at the times demanded. The person who should keep the house clean. The person who has to make sure the clothes are well washed, dried and ironed. The person who has to keep the home full of supplies necessary.
Oh, these are not the tasks of different servants! This is what an ‘Indian bahu’ is expected to do and be.
My take: Common! You really expect me to say anything here? (And by the way, getting a different servant for everything is not the solution!)
6) A body that’s never hers:
It’s usual for a girl to have snide comments passed on her, to be an object of visual abuse, to be made fun of in every possible and cheap way. That’s something she has to be fine with, completely.
Everyday, everyday, every bloody day, there’s at least one news report of a 
girl being raped somewhere. Just yesterday, I saw the account of a girl on TimesNow who was raped at gunpoint. I had read in TOI that according to the number of cases of rape, filed every year, there was a rape occurring in the country every 4 minutes. And that’s the rapes whose reports are filed with the police!
I can’t believe how horny men are and can be. Seriously. And these are the same men, who will then divorce their wives because they didn’t qualify the virgin test (I can’t be more blunt, sorry).
I can’t imagine the trauma the girl who is expected to live a life of normalcy after she is forced into a sexual encounter. I just can’t imagine.
My take: This is not just a problem in India, but over the world. All I can say is, not every guy is a jerk. Women must know to protect themselves from jerks. They’re everywhere, sadly. (I loathe myself for being unable to provide a sane solution for this, trust me.)
This brings me to the conclusion of this post. There’s a lot more that each one of us knows about, and many of you would’ve probably even expected me to write about. But, writing or not writing about it. The thoughts we have, the feelings we feel, the actions we take, make the change. That’s the reality. And that’s the only reality.
I’m disappointed in the women of this country for bearing everything that has been happening to them over generations, and them not standing up for it. I’m disappointed in the men of this nation, for not standing up for their wives, sisters, daughters. I’m disappointed in the culture of this country, and the Gods of this diverse country, if this is what they’ve preached and that’s what we follow. I’m disappointed in the respected Constitution of India, for not being able to bring the change and wipe of the socially backwardness of our country. I am. But, I also add that it’s never too late.
But, I am hopeful, too.
We live in a democratic, free country. A country where everyone is promised to  be treated equally with the rights they are conferred upon. And that’s what I will fight for. That’s what I want you to fight for.
And I know that we are making progress even as I write this. I know that we would have made progress even in the time from when I type this to when you read it. That’s because we are not alone. There are thousand, probably millions others, who think the same way that I and you do (I know you think alike me because you’ve read 1900 words of this extensively long post so far).
Yes, right now, to the moment, I feel that women, are vowed to be woed, by virtue of them being the feminine kind of the human race. And yes, I hope that changes by the time I make my way to hell…
I’m sorry if I have hurt the sentiments of a particular section of the society, or any person in particular. I didn’t mean to.
Signing off… Until the next post… Peace.
Note: To all those who know me personally, I hope this post doesn’t change the relationship we share, in anyway.

Just then…

When you know it’s the end of something,
When the heart cries for it to stay,
Just then is when all hope is lost,
For things to ever be back that way…

When the moment fades and dark engulfs you,
When the uncertainty isn’t far stretched but rare,
Just then is when I want to talk to you,
Not for a moment, but a lifetime to bear…

When the eyes shudder and scream in pain,
When the tears don’t talk a happy talk,
Just then is when you want to give up,
Get on your knees and pull a sad face up to walk…

When the reality is just crystal clear,
When there’s none to dare and lots to fear,
Just the distant star speaks to me,
That’s may be the last time, you’ll ever see the tear…

When the world is collapsing to a coin,
When significance of things is a bitter lie,
Just then is a wounded heart healed,
Caressed and kissed, bitter is the last goodbye…

And when the curtains come down on the stage,
When the characters of the act come back to life,
Just then you wake up to reality,
The dream had to end, and you had to see your strife…!

——————————————————————–

Wrote the rough copy of this poem as a draft while I was on a bus from Pune to Mumbai, 4 months ago. Made a few changes and posted it today…

The next post is coming soon…

Adios! 


To Freedom, To Life.

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.
It’s been a while since my inaugural and only post for Not Just The Talks, ‘It’s Time To Not Just Keep Talking.‘ came by. Well, to be real, a long time. All this while, I have been wanting to push forth this effort that was born in my and my friends’ minds, sometime back in March last year, but couldn’t, for some reason or the other. Regardless of that, any apologies I make today, for promising to initiate change, and then not committing to it, cannot be justified for.

Having said that, I do add that today, as I write this post, I am deeply motivated to make my efforts count, anew. This time, I won’t stop. No one can stop me. And if you join in, I know for once that you will make sure no one can stop you. Because, at the end of the day, we know that this is about not just talking, it’s about living. So, to the post for today…

Freedom. A word with a million meanings and interpretations. Never has a struggle for a better humanity, a better civilization, a better country, or a better person, even, begun without the desire of freedom, in its fundamental sense. Here, I talk about these very fundamentals, of our very century, and of our very mindset, which we seek.

To freedom from ineducation.

One of the most prevailing, and according to me, the root of all the problems we face today. Ineducation. In fact, I think that even the education that is imparted to us today, is a form of ineducation. There’s no denying that the education system we are a part of today, is terribly and incredibly flawed. And even though the law-makers and educators deny that, deep inside, even they know that it’s so.

Some may argue that Indian professionals reach the top jobs world over and have reputations like none other. About professionals, let’s get it straight, MNCs recruit Indians not because they are more knowledgeable, but because they’re easy preys to their not-so-lucrative offers, cheaper salaries, and dreams of working abroad in an MNC and making everyone in their extended families proud and jealous, over those professionals who graduate from ivy league institutions the world over. That’s a fact, everyone knows.

At the same time, I don’t doubt the intellect or the ability of Indians. I’m just pointing out the dubious situation our education system, puts us in. Also, the uneducated lot among us, the ones who are not lucky enough to experience the very basics of education, are affected worse. And that, in my opinion, is the freedom we desire and need, first.

To freedom from corruption.

Much has been said, seen, done and talked about the ‘India Against Corruption’ movement in the last 8 months. And there’s enough evidence that there’s no lacking the utter desire of change of the people of this nation. But, what are we fighting? I believe, we are fighting we are fighting our own psyche, the Indian psyche, which we have born and bred upon, which is filled with a fact we don’t think we can challenge, corruption.

Let’s face it, corruption, in its nascent and most innocent forms, is instigated into our mindsets, right from the day we understood material and monetary portions of life. It begins at toys, clothes and shoes, goes to watches and gadgets, and ends up in a funny juxtaposed monetary reality which we blame on the Governments that govern us, the bureaucrats that work for us, the judiciary that gives us justice, the police that protect our rights, and the people who try to ease our lives, everyday.

They are the sons and daughters of the same motherland. They have learnt it the way we did. And they became the masters of greed because we trained them on how to receive more, to get our work done easiest and fastest. And to the count of this day, even in the wrong-est possible ways. The freedom, the fight for corruption isn’t about one bill or one Government or a couple of Ministers, it’s about a deeply rooted comprehension of the reality forth us. That freedom, is ours to take or leave.

To freedom from social evils and social bondage.

For me, the society is any group of individuals which aims at strengthening and helping each one of them, in their own special ways. But, living in India, changes the definition to the very opposite of it, completely. We live in a society which is headed by illiterate goons who shred it into pieces on the basis of caste, creed, language, religion, sex and what not! Then, there are the religious, caste, gender implications which you ‘must’ abide by to be a part of the society that you are a part of. Otherwise, you and your family, will be thrown out of it. How fair!!

I thought secularism something we Indians were proud of. I really did. But, when I see TV commercials about websites promoting only inter-caste marriages, read about reports of dowry, Sati among other malpractices, I laugh at my own self for thinking that today morning, I woke up in a better India. In fact, even watching censored scenes from Hollywood movies, in an Adult-only movie, makes me feel about how constrained the way we Indians think, is! Freedom from this orthodox life, we sure need.

As far as I know, ‘Right to Freedom’, is a fundamental right given to us by the Honourable Constitution of India. But, we are afraid, feared. To change and to be free, from even all that we think is wrong. Because we think the system will change us, instead. I speak today, for the generations to come by, because I know that if not us, they will stand for freedom, and I would rather gift it to them than see them fight for it. I would rather fall fighting for the freedom that I deserve, than sit back and watch the world in the current avatar. I would rather have my last breath knowing that I tried, than feeling pity on my country, my motherland.

In the coming posts, I will be writing about my take on each one of these, with the solutions that I think are the steps we take to begin with, in detail, stay tuned. As for this list, it’s not a comprehensive one, but well, these are those issues which I feel are the most important.

Till then, fight for your freedom, in your own little ways. I will, too. And after a few years, if not tomorrow, we will wake up in an India we would be more proud to call ours.

For a better India, for freedom, to the death!

To Freedom, To Life.

It’s been a while since my inaugural and only post for Not Just The Talks, ‘It’s Time To Not Just Keep Talking.‘ came by. Well, to be real, a long time. All this while, I have been wanting to push forth this effort that was born in my and my friends’ minds, sometime back in March last year, but couldn’t, for some reason or the other. Regardless of that, any apologies I make today, for promising to initiate change, and then not committing to it, cannot be justified for.
Having said that, I do add that today, as I write this post, I am deeply motivated to make my efforts count, anew. This time, I won’t stop. No one can stop me. And if you join in, I know for once that you will make sure no one can stop you. Because, at the end of the day, we know that this is about not just talking, it’s about living. So, to the post for today…
Freedom. A word with a million meanings and interpretations. Never has a struggle for a better humanity, a better civilization, a better country, or a better person, even, begun without the desire of freedom, in its fundamental sense. Here, I talk about these very fundamentals, of our very century, and of our very mindset, which we seek.
To freedom from ineducation.
One of the most prevailing, and according to me, the root of all the problems we face today. Ineducation. In fact, I think that even the education that is imparted to us today, is a form of ineducation. There’s no denying that the education system we are a part of today, is terribly and incredibly flawed. And even though the law-makers and educators deny that, deep inside, even they know that it’s so.
Some may argue that Indian professionals reach the top jobs world over and have reputations like none other. About professionals, let’s get it straight, MNCs recruit Indians not because they are more knowledgeable, but because they’re easy preys to their not-so-lucrative offers, cheaper salaries, and dreams of working abroad in an MNC and making everyone in their extended families proud and jealous, over those professionals who graduate from ivy league institutions the world over. That’s a fact, everyone knows.
At the same time, I don’t doubt the intellect or the ability of Indians. I’m just pointing out the dubious situation our education system, puts us in. Also, the uneducated lot among us, the ones who are not lucky enough to experience the very basics of education, are affected worse. And that, in my opinion, is the freedom we desire and need, first.
To freedom from corruption.
Much has been said, seen, done and talked about the ‘India Against Corruption’ movement in the last 8 months. And there’s enough evidence that there’s no lacking the utter desire of change of the people of this nation. But, what are we fighting? I believe, we are fighting we are fighting our own psyche, the Indian psyche, which we have born and bred upon, which is filled with a fact we don’t think we can challenge, corruption.
Let’s face it, corruption, in its nascent and most innocent forms, is instigated into our mindsets, right from the day we understood material and monetary portions of life. It begins at toys, clothes and shoes, goes to watches and gadgets, and ends up in a funny juxtaposed monetary reality which we blame on the Governments that govern us, the bureaucrats that work for us, the judiciary that gives us justice, the police that protect our rights, and the people who try to ease our lives, everyday.
They are the sons and daughters of the same motherland. They have learnt it the way we did. And they became the masters of greed because we trained them on how to receive more, to get our work done easiest and fastest. And to the count of this day, even in the wrong-est possible ways. The freedom, the fight for corruption isn’t about one bill or one Government or a couple of Ministers, it’s about a deeply rooted comprehension of the reality forth us. That freedom, is ours to take or leave.
To freedom from social evils and social bondage.
For me, the society is any group of individuals which aims at strengthening and helping each one of them, in their own special ways. But, living in India, changes the definition to the very opposite of it, completely. We live in a society which is headed by illiterate goons who shred it into pieces on the basis of caste, creed, language, religion, sex and what not! Then, there are the religious, caste, gender implications which you ‘must’ abide by to be a part of the society that you are a part of. Otherwise, you and your family, will be thrown out of it. How fair!!
I thought secularism something we Indians were proud of. I really did. But, when I see TV commercials about websites promoting only inter-caste marriages, read about reports of dowry, Sati among other malpractices, I laugh at my own self for thinking that today morning, I woke up in a better India. In fact, even watching censored scenes from Hollywood movies, in an Adult-only movie, makes me feel about how constrained the way we Indians think, is! Freedom from this orthodox life, we sure need.
As far as I know, ‘Right to Freedom’, is a fundamental right given to us by the Honourable Constitution of India. But, we are afraid, feared. To change and to be free, from even all that we think is wrong. Because we think the system will change us, instead. I speak today, for the generations to come by, because I know that if not us, they will stand for freedom, and I would rather gift it to them than see them fight for it. I would rather fall fighting for the freedom that I deserve, than sit back and watch the world in the current avatar. I would rather have my last breath knowing that I tried, than feeling pity on my country, my motherland.
In the coming posts, I will be writing about my take on each one of these, with the solutions that I think are the steps we take to begin with, in detail, stay tuned. As for this list, it’s not a comprehensive one, but well, these are those issues which I feel are the most important.
Till then, fight for your freedom, in your own little ways. I will, too. And after a few years, if not tomorrow, we will wake up in an India we would be more proud to call ours.
For a better India, for freedom, to the death!

Acceptance.

No beating around the bush tonight and saying how long it has been since my last blogpost, etc. Straight talk, no nonsense.

Let’s face it. Acceptance is a tough nut to crack.

In the course of these 18 years of my life, and especially the last few months and years, I have come to realize this. Strangely, it’s a fact that everyone of us knows about. Just that, very few of us can accept it. Acceptance of the acceptance? Sounds a bit weird, isn’t it? Let me get clearer in saying what I’m trying to, here.

When we’re children, we are used to having things our way. Our wishes, our endless rants, our innocent tears, seemed to get us whatever we want, from our parents and practically whoever was concerned! As time went by, our methods change, but, we still are keen enough to just have things our way, and no other way. We learn to hear, but not to listen and comply. The toughest thing to do, is to let go of what we ‘want’ and how we picture things to be, to accept something for the way it is.

Sounds like eating an ice-cream, right? But it’s much more difficult. True thing.

When was the last time you fought or argued with someone? Anyone? I believe, not so long ago? The reason? The difference of opinion, their actions which hurt your feelings, their words which punched through your heart. Really?

Whom are we kidding? The fact that hurts us is not that their opinion is different, but, that they can’t accept and comply by our opinions instead. The fact that hurts us is not their actions, but our desire that they wouldn’t and shouldn’t do that. The fact that hurts us is not that their words were hurtful, but that they were different from what you wanted and expected from them.

Long ago, I wrote a post titled ‘Need, Want or Expect‘, this one begins from just there, where I left that one. We may understand what we need, want or expect, but, do we understand, and over that, do we respect what someone else needs, wants or expects? In this daily tryst of life, don’t we stop at being who we are to accomplish all that we need, want and expect?

Face the facts. You do that. I do that. All of us, surely, at some point, every bloody day, do that.

But, we fail in ‘accepting’ the same. We justify ourselves to someone who gets hurt from our opinions, actions or words. But, we don’t want to be justified to! We do believe that someone is wrong, but not accept that we can go wrong. We do believe that we were fair in doing what we did, but, they were wrong in doing what they did.

We have all our excuses, loaded with reasons and unending explanations, but not a ear to listen to someone else’s story.

And more than it all, how far do we and would we go to accept that someone didn’t do something as we expected them to, and yet, be happy and completely fine about it without adding any bitterness to the relationship we share with that person?

I know I don’t. I’m a very rigid person myself. I have my own set of rules and values, which I can’t and don’t give up on. And I do expect those close to me, to abide by them and respect them, regardless. You answer for yourself, I won’t judge.

Are we taking away from someone their individuality by forcing our feelings and beliefs on them? Are we trying to make them someone that suits us, over someone they are? Are we actually making someone a replica of our own selves?

I don’t mean to say that compromises and adjustments we make, for being happy in our relationships and ultimately, life, are wrong. They are necessary, no second thought. But, what about the ideology of an individual and his/her own set of values? Should we change them too?

I do understand that after one point of a relationship, the best thing would be to have a common ground on the most fluctuating issues, but, only with complete acceptance of the fact that it’s for the best of the people involved. I do know that it’s necessary to know and feel the way the person you are sharing the relationship with, does.

Still, maintaining our individual traits. Still, knowing who we are. But still, accepting that even though we are giving up what we wanted, it’s great. Still, being happy and content. Still, not just being fine, but being ‘happy’ about doing things the way someone who matters to us, wants. Still, knowing that what the person wants us to do, is for our best interest.

I have understood that this acceptance breaks the back. I have been trying to accept a variety of things, since when I learnt the very meaning of this word, and yet, I can’t bring myself to accept them. There are somethings that I just can’t help but get angry or upset about! But, there’s where the acceptance has to stem from. That’s where the acceptance begins from, US.

The acceptance that things won’t always be the way we want them to, and they can still be perfect. The acceptance that our lives, though ours, won’t be just ours and is about a lot many other people, too. The acceptance that our actions might hurt someone, but, at times that hurt is something you can’t avoid. The acceptance that just the way your heart is pricked, someone else’s is tormented, too. The acceptance that living is about not being selfish. The acceptance… Yes, the acceptance of life.

I do believe, that, acceptance is noble. To accept, is to respect…

Happy New Year 2012, my dear readers! May 2012 teach us how to accept!