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Archive for November, 2007

Role Reversals

seh.jpg 

Cultural de rigueur is sometimes so mindless that it oversteps the borders of plain hilarity to plain craziness. My friend decided to go into relapse after having sworn off all social glitterati gatherings by attending a wedding of the unknowns i.e., you only know that your parents know them of course but you were clueless until the invite showed up with an insistent ‘with family’ in bold letters and loudly insistent invitors along with it.

 

She decided to tag along with the all-game-for-it party and had very important insights about many people in general- will they ever get a life? Having had to suffer from the guilt of pigging out on the buffet of the unknowns, to make her misery greater, she had to socialize with the relatives of the unknowns. Nosey MALE relatives who asked her with abominable impudence if she was single or hooked… 😉 it’s another thing that her pointed MYOB looks slid off the wall around their heads. In addition, the fact that they are leaning so close into your face that you can count the hair in their eyebrows is not helping.

 

Getting back to what the intention of this post was, my friend notices the that bride has been on the stage smiling prettily sitting on the imitation Victorian-georgian-elizebethan- whatchamacallit contraption of a chair all alone. The traditional ghagra is draped daintily all around her and her head is covered with a veil of exaggerated workmanship. Oh! & What do you turn around to see! The bride groom has arrived amidst a jolly rallying herd of relatives, the poor guy is lead by a trustworthy friend lest he might trip and fall over his lavish 9 yards Sehra. I shall attempt to describe what a sehra looks like, it’s a head gear made up entirely of jasmine flowers and from which extend long strings of jasmine flowers and roses or any other flowers of your liking. You might add to this sweet-smelling strangeness by stringing in party glitter- ribbons. The bridegroom then proceeds to sit beside the bride. To give it to them, maybe they are saving the girl from the scare of a lifetime?

 

This is what the Muslim weddings have come to, cultural manifestations of the ridiculous. Where the woman is in greater need of covering her modesty what in the world is the man doing by covering himself from head-to-toe with strings of flowers??? He grins at people by parting the curtain of flowers that is covering his face! It’s not a surprise that my friend came back with a sober – contemplative mind, how far can one go astray from the truth? The band flown-in from another state to play at the gathering helped only in increasing the intensity of this question. May Allah (SWT) always guide us to what is right and give us the courage to step away from the norm to do what is right.

 

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sainik 

I remember the time when I’d read about one particular victim of the Godhra Carnage. It was a stricken phase drenched in the shameless vermilion of communal red. Every shopkeeper, vendor, worker was whispering grimly on the streets. Shaking their heads at the sheer callousness of the people involved. But this story ripped me open, I felt myself crumbling into hopelessness, into bitter disappointment. It featured a woman in her advanced pregnancy victim to the brutality of the sainiks. Her protruding belly had been sliced open mercilessly, as if the monstrosity of the act was not big enough, a greater monster drove them wild. They set the still screaming woman on fire along with her foetus.

I remember how I felt the ground give away, of intense rage and the helplessness battling inside me, looking for an outlet. To pour forth & to not be at the same time. I knew what it felt to be shell-shocked, resigning into numbness, feeling exhausted.  I haven’t written about it until now, and a clear head is indispensible.

 N Modi

The criminal actions of the state officials was no surprise, something blazing at the rate at which and the intensity with which it swallowed regions whole could only be state sponsored. Nobody was disillusioned about where all interests lay. The riot story has been played out in cat & mouse details in the media- the political parties and the media exchanging roles ever so often. But yes, the media, when it decides to be braver for longer periods of time, must be acknowledged and it can do only so much.

The latest expose was long due but it’s never too late for the truth to find its place. With gathering revelations, the people will perhaps open their eyes wide and do more than blink. The fallacies of judicial proceedings, the seedy nature of the trials, the law that is so easily given to manipulation has raised the debates to a feverish tempo. Will it again be for naught?

There are very many reasons why ‘justice’ is all but dead in these cases. The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has chosen to define who is really ‘Bharatiya’ and who is not and therefore these oddities are open to annihilation with whatever means that be. Clearly according to them this should be decided on an absurd argument based on religious grounds. Muslims having invaded India thousands of years ago are still seen as invaders and must be driven out by school -bully tactics. Nothing deems consideration in this light, not even the millions of Muslims who have been accepted as Indians much before these tottering politicians were born. Pray what would become of India itself if its multicultural civilization was cleansed based on the ’invader’ argument- there would be no India to speak of!

Indian history (the real one, not the one concocted by BJP’s puppet-historians) goes far back to reveal how –oooh brace yourself- Sanskrit is not the language of the native Indian but is Indo-European in its origins. How there were other religions that thrived on the Indian soil much before the Vedas or the Upanisads. How every Indian of Aryan origin could very well be thrown out on this very obnoxious ‘invader’ -argument.

All references or diatribes based on countless invasions are themselves beside the point. What slaps one in the face is the reductionist insult of all time! Not seeing India as it is now! If one decides to become blind to how wonderfully interwoven the cultures in India are, snipping away at its threads in this heinous way can only amount to ruin.

Not for long

 The moral and psychological implications of such a matter are immense. These self-serving political parties (BJP, VHP, RSS in particular) are creating an increasingly damaging and dangerous identity of the Indian public, insulting its intelligence. One cannot divide the people into nebulous masses driven by passionate violence to cleanse all things foreign. Thankfully the ‘India Shining’(BJP’s propaganda line during elections) chariot fell before it could roll out the driveway- a glimmer of hope perhaps of the still surviving Indian who takes pride in his/her multicultural heritage, who shall see a charade under disguise for what it really is. This Indian should invoke all his/her fellow citizens in one cleansing that should be, must be- that of its governmental bodies. Would we have our children come to an awakening that could very well show their elders as accomplices in their passivity? Having had the power but having done nothing, of having let someone else define what exactly ‘By the people, For the people and Of the people’ really means.

Can we for once get hold of ourselves and stop whining at the bureaucracy. We are it! *seismic shake* If we don’t jump in and do our bit, veering into a blighted future is inevitable.

Longblackveil shall convince you further of the grimness of our plight.

Peace in all its colors.

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