August 15th is the day of India’s Independence. I would like to dedicate this post to him who gave India its national anthem. A Japanese Nobel laureate described his appearance as:
“His white hair flowed softly down both sides of his forehead; the tufts of hair under the temples also were long like two beards, and linking up with the hair on his cheeks, continued into his beard, so that he gave an impression, to the boy I was then, of some ancient – Oriental wizard”
Rabindra Nath Tagore’s contribution to India is an example of how some fights can be won by strong writing. Gitanjali, a legendary book that is a compilation of his poems would touch anybody’s soul. The poems have based on humanity with shades of spirituality.
“Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut?
Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!
He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the path-maker is breaking stones.
He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust.”
I feel fortunate to have learnt about Tagore and his writings that fills me with immense pride and love for my country.
“Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments
by narrow domestic walls; …
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit; …
Into that heaven of freedom,
my Father, let my country awake.”
Arazu, a single Afghan mother of four smuggled herself with 2 sons from Afghanistan to Germany after bribing exorbitantly at the borders. This was in 2011. She still awaits the reunion with her daughters.
Hyeonseo Lee, a North Korean national escaped the country for the better world only to reunite with her family after 14 years.
Kunsang, a Tibetan woman who left her home country with her daughter in order to survive from ruthless invading Chinese army. Though she is over 90 she has never been able to return to her country. Living an exiled life.
And it’s just not them. There are thousands of people every day who put their lives at risk to find out ways to escape from extremist countries. I am left flabbergasted with the immense courage and determination (of course loads of money!!) displayed by these people to leave that toxic political and social environment in desperation.
Living in a democratic country I still crib about the corruption and bureaucracy prevails in India however when I read such stories I feel so fortunate to be a part of it. It is sad that some of us are very unfortunate not because we are born in poor families or with some disorders but to take birth in a country like Afghanistan or North Korea!! There, the life of an individual is not his or her but it is heavily dependent on the political scenario of the country. In North Korea not even that option as there is only one man rule. I have been wanting to write on Kim Jong-un since long but have never been able to understand how one family has been able to hold its control on its people for that long even after incidents of insurgencies all around the world. Pick up a history of any subdued nation there is always one section of society raising its voice against autocratic rule and starting some sort of Guerrilla Warfare against the ruler but it is disappointing how we haven’t read any such revolt in North Korea.
It is quite despairing, you take birth in this world only to find yourself on the behest of country leaders. Suddenly your life is not yours. You are scrutinized, monitored and live in constant surveillance. And making matter worse if you are born with shit luck you would either end up losing your life in a suicide bomb attack or a vegetable life in a concentration camp.!!!
“Give me your crown, Jesus. Give me your cross, your thorns so that I may bleed. But give me life, because I have more to do for this country and these people. Do not take me yet.” – Hugo Chavez
So here is the moment for which every Indian citizen waits for -The Financial Budget. The budget for FY2013-14 is out and brings with it set of joys to some and woes to others. Since the time I have started understanding the functioning of a country, I have never seen any one set of people satisfied totally with the country’s budget. There will always be a section of society cribbing and grumping about it. So what am I bemoaning about..Rs.10 billion or about US$185 million of funds for women’s upliftment. For those who think Indian Government is not concerned about their women hear it out a whooping Rs.10 billion for us. But what I am concerned about is the utilization of it. Yesterday, the Financial Minister announced that the Government is coming up with a first all-women Bank by 2013 end i.e. a bank run solely by women from top to bottom, additionally the bank will serve only to women as in not only women account holders but also women run NGOs, women run companies etc. My concern is this gender segregation no matter how well intended it is. Isn’t there enough gender segregation in this country already- special trains only for women, women compartments in trains and metro, only women policies etc. and now a women Bank!!! that was the last straw. I understand these actions are only for women safety and empowerment but what about the collective progression towards women empowerment taking along men of the same society. Just to provide everything specially for women is not a solution to everything, that will only make them aliens in their own country. In my view the idea of all women bank is a total rubbish and should be discarded right away instead why not introduce the policies to promote women empowerment in present ‘Unisex’ banks.
If the idea of a women bank means increased employment for women then there is an equal dearth of employment for both the genders and I have seen more women working in Unisex Banks than men. And if the idea means escape from sexual harassment then how will you save a woman from another woman!!! I mean they are not always best of friends. I have never face any sexual harassment at my workplace but yeah harassment by women I do have seen. So, i would rather choose not to work at a place full of women. So, my point is I don’t see any strong change that this all-women bank will produce. I am an Indian women of modern India and I would appreciate my government taking steps for my betterment but I don’t want to go ahead in my life like an outcast from the rest of my people. So stop being sexist in disguise when I am ready to become a non-feminist. What I want is both men and women progressing together for each other’s betterment.