Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August Kranti

Only a life lived for others is worth living - Albert Einstein.

Anna Hazare. You can like him, hate him but cannot ignore him. Will Anna Hazare be the person who brings down Dr.Manmohan Singh? Honestly, I am waiting for Dr.MMS to drop his facade and say: "Enough is Enough. I am sick of being a person who can make no decision". What else can you expect from our ageing Prime Minister? I felt angered when Loh Pursuh LK Advani called Dr.MMS a weak PM. The whole nation was aghast when this tirade went on. But now, the entire nation says in unsion that our PM is not the person we expected him to be.

In the past 48 hours, the Central Government has come across as being powerful, authoritarian, confused, afraid, and stupid in front of world's second most populous nation. The Government has tried every trick in its bag to prevent Anna Hazare's movement, with little success. Had it ignored Anna Hazare and let him begin his fast, this movement might have fizzled out. No, they never learn from past mistakes. They made Baba Ramdev a hero by scooping down on his protest and now they have made Anna Hazare a Goliath, with the heart of David!

But unlike Baba Ramdev, Anna's protest is seeing unprecedented support from public, on its own. It is heart warming and totally shocking to see that the "Aam Admi" (this word being the only success of UPA) support swell for Anna and his team. All of us are feeling the effect of a corrupt system. We never raised our voice as we had our lives to lead.

No change is possible unless there are sacrifices. We need not look beyond our own struggle for freedom. We all know that Corruption is rampant and we have come to accept it as a way of our lives. The powers that be have also ensured that we live in a country where action against a corrupt minister takes years to come where as Police action against an activist can happen in 3 minutes. Irony is that both are lodged in the same prison. So, basically we are 1) Afraid to dirty our hands 2) Lack that conviction to see things to its logical end and 3) Lack that guidance for fighting against the system.

Now that Anna Hazare has emerged as that leader, the Government is in a fix. This government appears to be the most corrupt one since Independence and that must be rankling high on their minds. With the leader, starts a movement and with the movement starts a following. In the new age, Twitter trending shows the popularity of a person or an incident and certainly Anna Hazare seems to be red hot, so hot that the Government cannot handle. The Delhi Police must be at its wits end having to act as errand boys for the power corridors.

Maybe the Jasmine Revolution has reached Indian shores. This is not what our country needs. Dr.MMS should take moral responsibility for what is happening. I cannot believe this is the same person who gave economic freedom to India is now stifling the right to lead a corruption-free existence. Well, if things have come to this level, then Dr.MMS is surely responsible for this fiasco. Cutting up of the Indian Melon aka the License Raj has enabled corruption to take strong roots in India. Being the architect of our economic freedom, Dr.MMS is also responsible for its side effect: Rampant Corruption. I am sure after this term gets over (hopefully soon), Dr.MMS will come out with an autobiography or an authorized biography stating how helpless and singled out he was in all his decisions and that given a chance might like to redo or undo certain decisions.

Its things like these make me believe in proverbs like No use crying over spilt milk etc. Like Russel Peters says: "Some body gonna get real hurt today. Be a Man" Its time that our ruling powers wake up and face the nation like Men. If you are so sure of your decisions, dissolve the government, take moral responsibility for huge corruption in the country, cleanse your party and face fresh elections with relatively cleaner candidates. If you come out honest, we will support you too.

Quid pro quo. Game?

Till then, its high five to Team Anna. I think he is now following Gandhiji's words: Be the Change you want to see.

PS: This protest has not caused any problems in the stock market, Infact, Sensex has gone up by 110 points today. So our India Story is unshakable just that the side effects are starting to kick in big time!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Relativity of Wrong

Two and two makes four. Have we ever contradicted that? Or questioned that? What if two and two makes some thing else, a car? Odd? Rightly so. These are something which we have been told and we follow it with out questioning it in any way,as there is some logic associated with it. Issac Asimov in his book, The Relativity of Wrong questions this logic of ours. Introduced to his writing by my cousin, who researches on renewal energy in the US, I took to his works immediately. A self confessed Physics afficianado, the book was nothing short of a revelation. Physics is some thing which I can very easily relate to. This comes from my belief that everything in life is centered around physics and marketing/sales. Another loose end? Well, let me tie them together.Physics and its principles are present in every single activity we do. Right from brushing our teeth to walking, from lying down to eating, every single action is governed by laws of physics. Now why do we do all this? Brush, groom ourselves etc?? We need to sell ourselves every single day. The planning is what I call marketing. You may argue, biology, chemistry and maths all play their part in our lives. But still, the blood that flows is in a liquid state. The mitochondria in our cells, have a defnitive shape. The number of chapatis we eat is still a shape. The our very soul is encased in an entity called our body, which is again a shape. All these things are fundamentals of physics. So in essence physics rules the world.. or the science behind physics runs the world.

Is physics God then?

Relate to my first question. We have not questioned His presence. And people who do so are shunned from society. I dont say there is no God. To a beLIEver, religion/God is the faith he has in a particular set of rules that guides his path to enlightment. My belief is my strong relation to Physics. Doesn't this branch of science help us in understanding the arrangement of the planets in our solar system? The same Ragu and kethu etc that we follow, is explained by physics in a different name. Temples are supposed to be the residence of the God Almighty. It is believed that the altar is the concentration of the ominous powers. I dont contradict that either. Infact, the design of the tall towers and spires of temples have been constructed in such a way that the energy concentrates through it and is maximized in the sanctum sanctorum. If you take the hymns and mantras that are revered, you can immediately see that even these mantras hold the five forces viz, Water, land, sky, fire and wind to be the most important thing in world. Rudram, Namakam, Chamakam, Sree Suktham and Purusuktham are one of our most important hymns which I was introduced at a very very young age. When I set about finding the meaning of these hymns, I learnt that even these hymns sang praise of these five forces.

Sandhyavandanam is one of the customary rituals that has to be performed by every brahmin who has undergone Upanayanam. This is a ritual that is meant to wash away our daily sins. I love doing the Sandhyavanadanam as they have a logical flow to it. Starting from the Achamanam, where we take 3 sips of water to the way we finish it, there seems to be a reason for doing it. We utter mantras throughout the 20-25 minute ritual while being seated, doing breathing exercise and also standing up. Even the achamanams have been so placed that after a prolonged spell of chanting mantras, these drops of water really help in
quenching the parched throat. Also, the 10 Pranayamas in the ritual help in breathing. The "namaskarams" we do at last also help in stretching our body. Finally, all the mantra that we utter help in exercising our facial muscle and gives a chiseled look to person who religiously practices Sandyavandanam. Its another fact that I have stopped doing it because of sheer laziness.

Now, my family is orthrodox in every sense. And so its no surprise that my family is aghast when I say that I am not a complete believer. They consider that being blasphemous. And when I said that I am stopping my visit to the temples, they almost gave up on me. I tried explaining that I cannot view God in the form that we worship, an idol etc, they strongly believe that I am a gone case. If God is omnipresent, then what is the need of visiting temples? Moreover, I am a strong believer in the five natural forces, which I am able to relate to. I don't see what is wrong in this. If there can be a reason that I am able to relate to, then I will be more than happy to visit temples. Another major factor is the way temples are fucntioning these days. Its more of a commercial center than a place of worship.

If my questioning the age old traditional practices, visiting the temples have rankled seniors and the learned, is it not their duty to explain things to me and set me on the right path? I prefer a logical explanation to each of our practices, which I can follow without an iota of doubt. But unfortunately, people find it wrong and stop short of even having a discussion with me on the topic. All I asked was this: Why should we go to temple to worship? Why should we idolize? What is the meaning or logic behind each of our rituals?

I'd be more than happy to understand this and follow my religion in full earnest. Until such time, I prefer staying agnostic.