Reflections and rumination, Society & Culture

The holy cow of dissent

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There is serious misconception about what dissent is, what is the idea of a nation, and what is democracy. Democracy enables one to participate in the idea of the nation. You are the nation in many ways. It takes time to build this idea of the nation, and each election, each generation adds a little into it. If at any point, any individual feels that the current state of affairs are a sharp departure from this collective idea of the nation, they are entitled to notify their dissent. However, their dissent cannot be against the shared idea of nation itself, it can only be against those who execute the will of the nation.In short, dissent needs to identify where the government ends, and a nation begins. The moment they dissent from the idea of the nation, they move from the dissent to treason.
Why is dissent against the idea of nation treason 

Nationhood is a contract that we agree to. When we identify as citizens of any particular country, we agree to recognize it’s collective idea. In return we enrich it with our participation through the elective process, and abide by it’s laws. This contract is the basis for our stay, and protection by the state. The moment we dissent against the shared idea of a nation, we no longer have the moral right to enjoy pleasures of the nationhood.

Then what should a disgruntled dissenter do?

To start with, they can continue to participate in the elective process by choosing the right representatives. If they can’t find anyone to represent themselves, they can contest elections themselves. If they feel they are completely at odds with the shared idea, and would not get much support in elections, they can choose to find another nation that is more in tune with their idea of the nation. Or, they could make themselves indispensable, enrich the nation with their contribution, thus gaining more influence, and then attempt to seed their ideas again. Sadly, none of the prominent ‘dissenters’ of India are enriching her with contributions beyond their dissent. The hollow, impotent dissent has no takers. However, they are not the only one who do not understand dissent. The government of the day, doesn’t either.

How the state should approach dissent 

The idea of the state has moved from being a ‘parent’ to a ‘facilitator’. The responsibility thus on those that run the nation, is not to crush any voice of dissent, but to simply facilitate means of intellectual purification. A dissenter must be asked to validate their dissent with actions, as the state provides the means. For example, in the context of J&K, it could be asking the dissenters to build model of governance, and provide a model village for implementation of the model. If the dissenter rises to the occasion, then confidence on state is built up, if they don’t then they lose face.

Unfortunately, we are at a strange Mexican standoff as far as the idea of dissent is concerned. Those who employ it, are not judicious in it’s use, and those who are to tackle it, are caught up with indecision. In Yuval Noah Harari’s thought – provoking book – ‘Homo Sapiens’. He remarks how all the nations are but figment of our imaginations, and depend on our willingness to accept the idea as a reality. Coming days will tell us exactly how willing we as a nation are to accept a uniform idea.

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Humanity, Reflections and rumination, Society & Culture

How demonetization made me healthier

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Frankly I am tired. Of all the cribbing around the long lines, about elaborate hyperbole on how  it hasn’t done anything at all. I think one must look at every policy change positively. I think demonetization is helping the common man get healthier.

Here is why: 

  • I walk more in search of working ATMs.
  • I stand more than usual due to queues.
  • I avoid junk on street as well as copious chai I used to consume.
  • I sleep on time, because I need to get up early to hit the bank.
  • I am making a lot of friends at the bank, so social life is booming, and that is good for my mental health.
  • Finally, I have completely stopped drinking, because I would rather spend what money I have on food, and other basic necessities.

Honestly, the inner fakir is loving it. 🙂 🙂

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Activities, and hobbies, Life changes, Literature, Reflections and rumination

Coming full circle: why editing doesn’t make me cry anymore

In my younger days as a writer/content writer, a heavily edited script used to make me feel miserable. I hated my editors and managers, and thought that they don’t know English. There have been times when I have cried myself to sleep over a document that bled with red marks of shame.

Today, things are a little different. Just finished editing this page from an upcoming story that I am writing. It looks like it has been through a war of thousand cuts. Yet, I feel immense joy and pride in this work. It’s not perfect, it will never be perfect. However, with every edit I bring it little closer to perfection. As a writer, I think that is what counts.

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Experience, Humanity, Reflections and rumination, Society & Culture

A Karnataka Bandh Story

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So there is another ‘bandh’ scheduled in Karnataka over the water being released to Tamilnadu. I don’t have a position on this, neither do I support the idea of shutting down business. However, I do have a bad habit to being a storyteller, and being inexplicably attracted to real-life stories.

Last time I faced a Bandh, it did lead to something completely amazing. I was completely caught unaware about the Bandh, and had forgotten to stock up supplies. I drove throughout the refreshingly empty streets of Benguluru. That in itself is a good reason the support the Bandh. 😛

Apart from the serene ride, there wasn’t much luck in finding anything to eat, and I had not had proper dinner the night before. I had to meet a friend in a hospital in Kormangala, so I headed there in hopes that I might find something in Kormangala. As soon as I decided to leave the hospital though, torrential downpour began, with the rain gods deciding to support the bandh. There was no way I could ride and search for any hotel in those rains. So I decided to walk around a bit. Suddenly, out of nowhere I heard a call in a heavy voice.

Khana chahie kya? (Do you want food?)

I nodded eagerly to the voice, which belonged to an elderly waiter of a famous hotel. For sake of protecting their identity, I will not reveal the name of the hotel. The waiter asked me to follow him through the backdoor, to the kitchen, and then another very narrow staircase. By now, I did not care about the food I was about to get, the experience itself had made me excited. I was thinking that there would be a small cramped up place to eat here, but at least I will get some food. Boy, was I surprised!

The dingy staircase opened up to a dingy small room, which had a rickety old door that opened to a huge dining hall. It was exquisite in every way with chandeliers, an air conditioner and with jazz music playing on the background. I asked hopefully

“Kya milega bhaisaab? ( what will I get to order)”

My attendant, who was far better dressed than me, just gave me their usual menu card, and I ordered a hearty Indian meal of Paneer Tikka Masala, Pineapple Raita, and some Rotis. I was concerned about the bill, but I shouldn’t have been as it was just under 400 INR, quite decent for the quality of food. Just as I was about to leave the place, the same elderly waiter stopped me from getting down the staircase. He said

“Neeche gadbad hai saab, doosra door se mere saath chalo aap ( There is trouble downstairs, you follow me. )”

He took me through yet another maze of rooms and corridors, through a hidden dressing room for waiters which smelled like urine for some reason. As I was escaping from the backdoor, I could see the miscreants trashing the place, and harassing other patrons. I thanked the waiter, and offered him extra tip. He was gracious enough to take it from me, and asked me to keep visiting.

Well, perhaps I will go again tomorrow, courtesy another band in Namma Bengaluru. 🙂

 

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Economics and Politics, Literature, Music & Movies, Reflections and rumination, Society & Culture

The trouble with online shopping

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I have always been a very reluctant buyer. I don’t particularly enjoy going from one shop to the other, heckling with the shop owners, or getting the newest craze on the market. So traditional shopping has been a downer for me. Things changed when I moved to online shopping.

I now spend a considerably longer time surfing through online shopping portals for things, I don’t need. I have bought too many books that I will probably never read, and movies that I would never see. So nothing wrong with spending money on stuff I don’t need right? Wrong.

I recently realized that when I actually need to buy things that I would probably use more often, I have no money left for it. There is always credit card, and easy EMI option, but I wouldn’t have had to take a loan if I had didn’t spend purchasing needless stuff.

Then again, when I look at my bookshelf, it does look kind of awesome. 🙂

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Food, Humanity, Reflections and rumination, Relationships & Families, Society & Culture

Eat up for feminism!

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I see many young girls, women starve themselves, and count pleasure of life in little chunks. Usually next to them, are their plump spouses , boyfriends, brothers, friends, merrily sucking out life from a juicy piece of carb. The girl next to them looks at that piece of carb with eyes that could melt the Antarctic, yet she would never touch it, come what may.

Something isn’t right about this picture. Nothing pleases me more than seeing a foodie enjoy his or her meal. So girls, women, sisters, take my advise. Don’t worry about that extra calorie every time. Don’t buy into the stereotype of perfect figure that the society wants to set for you. Next time you see a hot pizza smoldering with cheese, or a delightful chocolate cake oozing with life, just devour it. Because you are not eating for yourself, you are sticking it to ‘the man’.

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