Let's talk it out
“One dimensional man” is a theory propounded by Herbert Marcuse. According to this theory man has turned into nothing but a Consumer only. A man has no other attributes. I would like to expand this theory from sphere of Economics to Social sphere here. I propose that man is one dimensional because of various filters which he inherits from the social constructs.
A man belongs to a religion, to a caste, to a region, to a nation, to a sex, to a class and to many more such social constructs which narrow down his vision and limit his thinking ability. One may wonder that these are more than one dimensions, so how a man is a one dimensional. I would say, these are all constraints and conditionalities which make a man to walk on a straight line. These constraints and conditionalities make sure that a man doesn’t get to know that there are many more paths and dimensions, which sometimes have same aim but different journey experiences. This is how these constraints control the thinking process of a man, by not letting him know what to think about.
Half truth is still not a truth, logically speaking. Also there is no significance of a Truth if you are not aware of the False and their differences. So how a man would know that his religion is the Truth without knowing the False. Mind it, I am not saying any religion is false. Its about where a man stands, its all relative. False itself it Truth. And Truth is False. All religions restrict their followers to only one religion and make them believe that theirs is the best religion. Religion puts constraints on human mind to think or explore the other religion, to expand the dimension of human personality. Thus it deprives him from experience of other dimensions.
Similar is case with caste, region, nation, sex and class too. These all make a man one dimensional. These constraint don’t allow a man to add more dimensions to its personality. So, how a man can be a complete without exploring or adding many more dimensions to his personality.
If a man wants to know how it feels to be a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Christian he can not learn if he thinks, his religion is the best. If a man thinks Break the shackles, come out of prejudice, learn , experience, and then he will feel being a complete man. At this point of time, a man would not be thinking about Truth of False, but the experiences and learning which he would have missed had he not broken those social chains.
Universe is multidimensional so as the human personality. Let us break all these social constraints, which make us walk on one dimensional path, to enjoy the many criss-cross paths with many crest and troughs to make the journey- journey of life-a fun ride.
I am writing this post to answer many questions which I was asked for my support to Caste Based Reservation. People have also asked me, why not income based reservation? I will try to answer these two questions.
Let me start by saying that ultimate aim of reservation is to reduce inequality. In India there are two types of inequalities viz., Social and Economic. Both types of inequalities cannot be(should not be) solved using similar or same methodology.
So, lets take Social inequalities. People from lower castes have not be allowed to enter into the temples and they are still denied entry into many temples across the country. Similarly they are not allowed into the schools. There is famous mythology of Karna and Eklavya who were not taught by their teachers(Gurus) only because they were from lower castes. There were punishments for lower caste people if they somehow -even by mistake- listen a couplets of Sansakrit. Many of you will be surprised to know that still students from lower castes are discriminated in the schools. They are not allowed to sit with the upper caste students, they are asked to clean toilets, they are not allowed to sit with upper caste student for mid-day meal. Not only in the elementary education but also in higher education there are huge discrimination against lower caste students. These discrimination becomes visible in practical marks. Still in many colleges across the country your practical marks are decided by your caste.
In such a harsh, socially discouraging situation where even a Member of Parliament(MP) is not allowed in a temple because of his caste, it becomes necessary to reduce the effect of discrimination based on the caste. So it was decided to provide affirmative action policy or reservation for the socially and educationally backward section who have been left behind due to this discrimination.
Now let us come to Economic inequalities. This kind of inequalities are mainly due to monetary reasons. This inequalities can be easily handled through the cheaper loans and subsidies. Government is trying to handle this economic inequality also through BPL(Below Poverty Line) Cards rout where people having BPL cards get benefits from the government. Also there is creamy-layer concept in the OBCs bracket to allow poorer-OBCs people to get the benefits of the reservation.
So government is trying to solve both kind of inequalities through the different methods which are effective in their respective sphere. So, instead of abolishing reservation system we should focus to make it more targeted. We should try to make it so effective that only deserving ones get the benefit of reservation. Also we should not include the issues which can be solved by other means into the reservation, for example Economic backwardness. We should focus to reduce and ultimately abolish reservation not by law but by making everyone coming out of reservation eligibility criteria by effective implementation of the reservation policy. By not keeping the SCs/STs seats vacant for purpose of converting them into the general seats, but by giving the reservation to them who deserve it the most. Lesser is the leakages, faster we will be able to overcome the policy of reservation.
Historically and contemporarily all the discrimination are caste based. So its logical to have caste based reservation. Similar is the case for the sex-based discrimination and reservation too.
These days lots of things are going on in India which are mostly related to being Hindu or language Hindi. Most of people have wrong rather incorrect understanding of Hinduism. Here I am not going to explain what is Hinduism but what is not Hinduism.
Firstly, Hinduism is not Brahmanism. Brahmins constitute less than 6% of total Hindu population in India. While other castes make the rest. So statistically speaking Hinduism is not about Brahmanism. In fact if Hinduism needs to be associated with any caste it should be associate with caste “”A” which constitute x% of total Hindu Population, where A is not Brahmins and x is greater than 6%.
Secondly, Hinduism is not about being Vegetarian. Again I will put some fascinating data here. Out of total Hindu population x1% are non-vegetarian while x2% of Brahmins themselves are non-vegetarian, where both x1 and x2 are greater than 50. If you take the people eating eggs as non-vegetarians then this number will again tilt in favor of the non-vegetarian.
Thirdly, Hinduism is not about Sanskrit(the language). There are hardly any people who are speaking Sanskrit. In fact number of people speaking or having knowledge of Sanskrit are less than 1% of total Hindu population. Today only those Brahmins learn Sanskrit who want to earn by their profession(performing various rituals) otherwise they prefer to learn English over Sanskrit as it provides more opportunity. This surely is not wrong. This is how it should be, people should learn what they want to, not for the sake of false pride or tradition.
In fact Hinduism is neither about Hindi. There are huge number non-Hindi speaking Hindu. In fact, in Bihar most of people have dialectics of Hindi as mother tongue like Bhojpuri, Maithili etc. and its true for UP too. Similarly in Haryana there is Haryanvi language surely it’s derived from Hindi and very close to it. But still its not Hindi.
Except UP, Bihar, MP, and Delhi hardly there are any states where along with Hindi regional language is not prominent. For example Odiya in Odisha, Bengali in West Bengal, Marathi in Maharashtra etc.
So, what is Hinduism about? As we know today, Hinduism is about untouchability, its about hierarchical caste system, its about intra-caste marriage, its about opposing love jihad, its about Khap-panchayat, its about superstition, its about few organisms claiming to be defender of Hinduism, its about Dowry and expensive marriages, its about ‘ghar wapasi’.
Seriously, all these need to be changes. I, and many more like me, would like Hinduism again to be associated with tolerance, modernism, knowledge and vasudhaiv kutumbhkam. This what Hinduism is truly about.
We all would have heard about the heroic act of Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna and Subhadra. He is know for breaking into the Chakravyu of Kauravas while his father Arjuna was away and other four Pandavas were unaware of the technique to break in the Chakravyu. Abhimanyu learned this technique while he was in his mother’s womb. Once Arjuna started telling these techniques to Subhadra but she fell asleep after listening the breaking-in techniques. So she could not hear about the exit technique from the Chakravyu. Thus Abhimanyu after breaking-in the Chakravyu got killed as he was not able to exit from it.
Many of us doubt whether it is possible to learn in the womb. Many of take this as a myth, as just a story. But many of also keep thinking what if this is possible to learn in the womb and go further contemplating what all a child can learn in the womb. All these questions are answered by the Dr. Annie Murphy Paul in her TED talk.
According to her a child learns through mainly two sources viz, sound, and taste. Thus child is able to recognize the mother’s voice as it has heard her voice maximum times. Child’s taste is also determined by what mother ate at the time of her pregnancy. In fact Dr. Paul explains that child learn the culture through the taste and language through the sound.
So, one may wonder why child start learning in the womb and how its important for a child. Well its very important for the child’s survival after s/he is born. It even cries in the same pitch in which its mother’s mother-tongue is. It tries to find out which food is safer for it. So basically this learning serves to the survival instinct of a child.
So, in a way our mythology are not just myths, they are having some of the very truth of the life and its learning. Dr. paul tells us that we are all born Abhimanyus. She also explains about importance of the pre-natal care in her presentation.
Firdausi was a famous Iranian poet. He felt very sorry when the king of Iran offered him a monetary award for his work. He decided to leave his kingdom instead.
Here I was with another Firdausi. It was 6th of March. It was Holi of 2015. It was first time when I celebrated a Holi with total strangers belonging to all castes and religions. This was first Holi when me, and my two sisters-one elder to me and another younger to me – were very sad still very happy to be together when no one was around us known to us.
It was a famous premise of a private Hospital in the Varanasi, the city of Ghats. This Hospital is famous for handling critical patients, my younger sister was admitted here.
We three decided to let others from our family celebrate the Holi and sent them all home. Considering there are kids and its very big festivals, we three stick together for each other and let others make kids happy at home. We, in a way, felt very happy to be together in an ICU of the Hospital and felt a bit of pride in making others happy on the occasion of the Holi.
But suddenly, I realised there is only one nurse taking care of whole floor where all ICUs were present. She was busy, she was tired, she was alone, but she was still humble and dutiful. She was Firdausi. She was not getting irritated like the other nurses, neither she was showing unnecessary attitude.
We all think that if someone celebrate festivals of other religion then only she can be true secular. But what if someone from other religion offers help to people of other religion so that they can celebrate their colorful festival with their loved ones. Is not she a true secular? In my opinion she is.
This is what our Firdausi did. She did not go to home, not because she does not like Holi. On contrary she had enjoyed a lot her previous Holis. But this was her first year in the Hospital and she offered to stay back. She let the Hindu people go home and celebrate Holi. In fact she insisted on staying back alone when another Hindu nurse offered to stay back to give her a company.
She kept running whole day. At last, evening came and few nurses and a doctor came to the third floor ICUs. They brought sweets and sat in the office just outside the ICUs. Someone claimed “let me take the sweet first,I am a Brahmin” . She, our Firdausi, interrupted and said “take sweets first on the Eid, I am tired and hungry I am going to have it first”. Everyone laughed and they all ate together. In fact doctor had promised that he would offer sweet to my ill sister. He did offer her a sweet but advised not to eat it. So I had it at last.
This was our Firdausi. Who did not leave but fought and won. I wish Iranian Firdausi could have stayed and taught some good lesson to his king too. Nevertheless I got to learn another meaning of Secularism. A meaning which might have taken years to sink, sunk in, just in one day. I felt delighted by this act and new meaning of the Secularism. I wish one day we can all learn this meaning of Secularism too.
“Now could you please stop laughing! You are laughing continuously since last five minutes” scolded Madhuri’s ma. This was first,and perhaps the last, time when Ramesh saw Madhuri. He still remember her rosy smiling lips, restless eyes, long silky hair, cute nose and fair skin. She did not look like if she belongs to a shoe maker family. Everything about her was royal except that she herself was not royal. She looked if some bird who wanted to fly but has been caged.
After nearly 15 years, today Ramesh heard from his brother that Madhuri has changed now. Ramesh’s brother,Samir, was talking about the Madhuri’s extra-marital affairs. He told Ramesh that now she is working as a peon in a school now. “She has married now third time” added Samir.
Ramesh was taken aback. He still remember the rumor that Madhur’s parents married her to a older man as they were poor and also they were looking for the monetary help from the older man. Samir confirmed that she had extra-marital affairs with the Kshatriyas of that village where Madhuri was married to a relatively richer man from her own caste. Samir did not tell anything about the second marriage of the Madhuri neither Ramesh asked further.
Ramesh’s heart sunk. He though about that smiling girl who was forced to stop smiling or scolded for smiling too much. He remembered her restless eyes and though to visit the school where she is working. But he decided against it. He thought people are accusing her but nobody accusing the Kshatriyas or poverty or her parents, nobody is daring to ask why she had extra-marital affair? Was because her husband was rich but old or caste system still gives upper hand to Kshatriyas or law and society is blind to crime against downtrodden? No one inquired if she was forced, blackmailed or opted out of biological compulsions?
“People do not laugh at the Madhuri’s first old husband. Neither they point fingers at the Kshtriyas. People surprisingly show sympathy to her parents who literally sold Madhuri out. This society needs to change. It should start pointing finger at the criminals not at the victims.” Ramesh kept thinking.
Most of people, including some of my friends, think that religion is not about rationalism. I think, if its not then it should move towards rationalism.
Let me remind you of Vivekananda, Rajaram Mohan Roy, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, they all talked about disobeying those provisions of religious text which defy human reason. This was a fight against irrationality. This was about giving more importance to human being than God. This was about ending suffering in this world not in the some hypothetical world. This was about giving confidence to people that they can achieve anything if they desire. This was about giving more power to masses than those sitting in temples or mosques. This was about giving equal respect to women and Dalits.
But here again, after more than a century, we fighting against the rationality. We are not ready to follow the path suggested by Hegel -dialectics of ideas. According Dialectics of idea, through discussion only we move from lesser idea to greater idea. From thesis to anti-thesis to synthesis and this cycle doesn’t stop till we achieve the ultimate truth. But many people in India are not allowing to take discussion on religion. They opposed Wendy Doniger and now its PK.
I would put a theory from the Cryptography here. If someone discover a fairly safer method to crypt his/her information, then its NOT fully secure if this method is not in public sphere. Meaning this method has not been fully scrutinized and whenever it will be known to anyone it will be broken and lots of important information will be leaked. Thus its important that this method to crypt should be put in public space so that if there are any shortcomings people can point out and creator of method can fill that gap. After many iteration this method becomes secured enough for use. Thus what makes this method secured is scrutiny and we in India not even allowing people to question our religion. Can we really think of moving towards greater good?
This is the time,We, The People of India, come forward and support any rational discussion in public space whether its on religion, on gender or on Article 370. Without discussion we will not be able to remove the shortcomings in our religion. Hasn’t the sati and untouchability used to be part of our religion? Wouldn’t it would have kept us backward had not stalwarts like Rajaram Mohan Roy, Ambedkar and Gandhi had come forward? What you think about US when policeman shooting a black US citizen was acquitted?
Think, when our Prime Minister is thinking to make India a powerhouse of knowledge,the Jagat-guru, then can we afford to take passion over rationality in any sphere of our life including religious sphere.
P.S.: “Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.” –Bertrand Russell
Let me start with a short story. Once upon a time there were two friends Raman and Karan. Both were very good friends during their school days. They were neighbors and their family are very close to each other. Both were equally good in study. Only difference was Raman family was richer than Karan. Thus Raman could afford to an expensive coaching for JEE and got into the IIT while Karan joined a UPTU college HBTI.
Both after completing their graduation joined job. Given Raman went to IIT he got a very good paying job but Karan got an average salary job. Now it was time for getting married. Given Raman was from a conservative family he married a girl who was from same caste but less educated and unemployed. However Karan married a girl who was as much educated as Karan was and earn almost as much as Karan.
Thus Raman was earning more but his wife was not earning anything. At the same time Karan and his wife both were earning. Thus total earning of Karan’s family became higher than that of Raman’s family. Now Karan could afford better housing and better car than Raman. Some people found it strange that how suddenly Karan was doing better than Raman.
Most of you now have understood my point. This difference between Raman’s and Karan’s family came because there was less or no inequality between Karan and his wife while same was not true in case of Raman’s. So by minimizing inequality Karan’s family started doing better than Raman’s family. Think if Raman would have married a working woman then inequality in his family would have been lesser and his family would have beaten Karan’s family.
Thus for a better growth its important to minimize the inequality. This can be achieved by social securities provided by government and by curbing the corruption.