Who Empowers?

Merriam-Webster says to empower is to give official authority or legal power to act on ones behalf.

It could also mean to enable

It could also be to promote the self-actualization or to influence.

Do we need someone to really empower us? Doesn’t the constitution already empower every citizen of the country immaterial of the sex? The fundamental rights go

  1. Right to equality
  2. Right to freedom
  3. Right against exploitation
  4. Right to freedom of religion
  5. Cultural and educational rights
  6. Right to constitutional remedies.

On one hand we have given the rights to patriarchy, age, and whatever suits us and the other hand we talk oppression. The issue here is actually ignorance, we know not either of our duties or of our rights, how many women actually ask their spouse what they are signing up for when they get married? Think of it, college women are typically given to declaring for one or the other thing, my mother’s generation it was marriage, my generation we were confused, now it is career, and only later did they find to their surprise that they should cope with both – while men try to figure out how to get out doing either.

Like my grandmother told me, that we need to be more generous and favourable to the men than our ancestors, particularly the ones from the north, and we do this by not putting unlimited power into the hands of the husband, the saddest thing a girl can do is to dumb herself for a man; at the end of the day, all men could be tyrants if they could.  How dare someone, be it a masculine gender or his mother, tell me how to dress, how to talk, how to behave any being who does that is not human. The fact is all women can make it on their own, it’s not about needing a man or not – it just means every woman knows she can do whatever she sets out to do—the disempowerment here is not knowing what she wants to do.

The north Indian society, has always been patriarchal and male chauvinistic they would rather deal man to man than a woman, when they have to deal with a woman, particularly an articulate woman, they struggle to place her, she is not married to any man, clearly she is not the mother of a son, she has not gone to school with his sister, and she is definitely not going to bed with him.. That leaves him asking what the hell is happening here? What is she here for?

True that we begun raising our daughters like sons… we still do not have the courage to raise our sons like our daughters. If only one generation would take action, in raising their children as humans instead of raising boys and girls then the society can get rid of this misogyny lot earlier. woman power

Let’s take a pause…  think this over, when your parents choose your groom, the criteria is…more qualified than you, higher income than you… older than you… all the power equation…for every woman who we know who has been given substandard treatment by her parents, used by her husband or boyfriend, discriminated by her employers, and ridiculed by society is a man who has been burdened with family responsibility since childhood, humiliated by his girlfriend, bullied at work, pushed by society and harassed by his wife, everybody is fight a battle of their own.

Through life there are distinctions, clothing for men, and clothing for women, etiquette for men, and etiquette for women, toilets for men, and toilets for women but at life’s end it is the same six feet under or the pyre of wood for everyone.

Barking up the same tree —

https://parwatisingari.com/2017/03/09/until-next-march-8th/?frame-nonce=f8426732fb

https://parwatisingari.com/2017/03/08/taming-the-shrew/?frame-nonce=f8426732fb

Honoring the Victims and Preventing the Future

Honoring the past victims and preventing the future,

Is what the international day against chemical war fare is there to remind us.

Serious efforts towards preventing chemical warfare were launched a century ago. When the world first witnessed the disaster of chemical warfare.

France was the first country to use chemicals in warfare, ethylmoboacetate and chlorbromacetone.

However it was Germans who used chlorine and mustard gas who brought home the horror of it all. it was the 22nd of April 1915.  This was despite the agreements of no chemical warfare, the loophole that the Germans used was very legal, they did not deploy a explosive or weapon, they just opened the canister and let the fumes waft.

1,124,000 were used in the first world war and the race for the deadlier chemical weapon began.

Over the years the world has seen really scary effects of chemical warfare, like 1919 British deployed adamsite through a summer to village in Russia that was held by the Reds, the civilian causalities are not accounted.

1988 saw the Iraqi’s deploy mustard gas on the Kurds of Halabja, it was rather scary, the day had begun with routine rocket barrage that sent the civilians into hiding into the basement, allowing the Iraqi’s to achieve their target for the poisonous gas is heavier than the air in the atmosphere and sediments bellow causing death, and maiming people.

In 2011 when the fights in Syria took to streets the Assad commenced the use of tear gas and chlorine, from there they eventually graduated to mustard gas and nerve gas in 2013, the US and Russia then stepped in threatening to take action.

Which is why Organization for the prohibition of chemical warfare has classified it as customary international humanitarian law?

Chemical warfare agents are classified as per their potency, there are persistent agents are added to ensure persistency.  Choking, blisters and effects on blood and nerves are the intensity of these chemical agents on human body.  they are dispersed through air, thermal activation.

India declared a stockpile of 1044 tons of sulphur mustard in 1997, and entered the chemical weapons convention formed in 1993, India is one of its original signatories. By 2006 about 75% of the weapons were neutralized and May 14 2009 India declared to United nations that it had completely destroyed its stock pile of chemical weapons.

Could we take a minute honor the dead, and hope to prevent future deaths by chemical warfare? More importantly can we visualize an India where chemical warfare does not turn domestic?

Earth Day

April 22nd it is Earth day again.

Each Earth Day we faithfully put out the power for an hour, I really wonder who we do this farce for.

Anyway let’s get back to the “celebration of the day” I was looking up the events, it is an absolutely America oriented climate law. The theme for the year is March of science, and science has become euphemism for Pharma and computers, gone are the days when Science emcampassed the botany, zoology, and the bio-cycles.  Oh! Yes it is also about climate literacy, maybe we should start with climate defining climate, then go with the factors that influence climate, once we reconnect to the roots we might take stock of the damage and go for damage control.

By the way if I were to quote the Earth Day 2017 theme and event then it is March for Science, Climate literacy, to create Green Voters, this to me creates a image of a humoid with chlorophyll in the their cells, green technology, green environment.

Let’s start with greenery, green leafy vegetables, well nature has leaves of various hues, if you doubt me, have a look at the crotons, and the Bougainville’s you will can see the hues for yourself.  This entire Earth Day was created in 1970 as a peace vending event there are 193 countries today negotiating loopholes through the climate laws, and America safe guarding her interest.

Let’s look at Goa, this entire creation of fly-over’s which is unnecessary we are only going to have more tourists zooming and more accidents, trees have been mercilessly chopped, the Goankars who keep talking about “Indians ” have not bothered about the massacred trees, which was one of the things that brought people to Goa. There is not a single PIL or RTI about this issue, Goa as has very little agriculture land, the existing little has been grabbed by the Land sharks from Delhi and Bombay the land being pimped by Goans. We will be dealing with increased Pepsi bottles, coke bottles, and lays wrappers.

Airtel has popped up its towers all over the state, this disturbs the birds, their flights and even their very existence, I do not know who authorizes these installation, neither do I see any RTI or PIL with regarding to this, all the environment groups seem to happy that their Airtel network is working.

Turn on the television, and you have the over-exposed irritatingly monotonous Mr.Bacchan talking about composting… well Mr.Bacchan that has also been your way out of dealing with Shit…yes the biologic waste because that is the carrot dangled in the rural areas for building toilets. While I do agree with this, my point is simple,

Earth or nature has what is called as a chain, the bio-waste of one species feeds another, when it comes to seed dispersion the bio-waste is a vehicle, it no doubt also disperses pathogenic components like maybe worms and cholera, we were so focused on those that we forgot about this. Now with compost it is not the natural one, we talk about collecting wet waste and processing it, when we go overboard what next? Someone has come up with a bus that runs on Human-waste and I thought Naravahana was the epithet of Kubera the chancellor of the Gods.

With all this anguish vented, I wonder if

  • we can plant more trees than people for a change,
  • if we can do away with the concrete layer around our buildings and quench the earth’s thirst
  • If we could revive the old rainwater harvesting instead of ripping the ocean and river bed?
  • We could go back to those architectural techniques that did not violate the environment?

I guess to this we need to be Earth citizens who in their mind and heart know the Earth is the foundation of everything they do, and they care for the earth like they care for their own bodies.

What I found interesting is a citizens group in Hyderabad, has taken on the reforestation of a public park space, they do not have any architect or landscape person there, they have the urban re-forestation department, which educates children on the natural plant habitat they let the children choose the plant from the natural habitat and plant and nurture it, the child has to take the onus of digging planting and rearing the urban reforestation department does not assist in labour or they are the knowledge partners this is hands on learning process.

I had assumed that the Earth, the spirit of the earth, noticed exceptions, those who wantonly damage it and those do not, but the Earth is wiser, it has given itself into the keeping of all and that makes all of us accountable.

 

World Gypsy day

One of the dance forms we learnt in our Bharatnatyam curriculum was the gypsy dance, the costume would vivid, with gold spangles, and colourful hair tassels’, a tambourine in the hand and quick beats. Most of us loved it for the sheer energy it created. Gypsies seemed exotic.

Gypsies the Nomads..

Travelling in caravans, in their own habitat, camping at night the sound so romantic, authors I read be it Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle they all have gypsies the mysterious, mystics who listen to the soul.

Something very romantic, mysterious about them their closed lifestyle and passionate living, their constant run in with the laws of  the so called civilized society these community has fascinated many creative writers, the Banjaras of Hindi movies the Romani’s of Europe.

The term gypsy was applied to the Roma by outsiders, possibility assuming that they were Egyptian in origin.  Gypsies or Romani are nomads of Europe they are believed to have ethnic origin in the northern region of Indian subcontinent like Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. The exact origins are not really known but the history as retold by the clan family customs like singing and storytelling talk of a migration from India, the motives could be anything from famine, or military invasions from Alexander the great (356-323 BCE) or Mahmud Ghazni (971 – 1030 CE)

Though Kuntari or the Hindu based concept of universal balance is the fundamental of Romani spirituality, they tend to practise the dominant religion of the state.

Pope John Paul           II exhorted his followers to treat the Romanies with compassion and respect and proposed the dedication of April 8th to understanding Romani culture as part of international civil culture awareness.

2003 saw the Dalai Lama light a candle to commemorate the day.

2004 Adam Ereli of the US state department brought up the human rights issues on the abuses faced by the Romani’s in Europe.

2006 Maud de Boer-Buquicchio of council of Europe brought up the issue of antiziganism, and discrimination.

2009 Hillary Clinton spoke about protecting their rights.

2016 the external affairs minister of India, Sushma Swaraj wanted the Romani’s to be recognised as part of Indian Diasporas. Gypsiology or Romani studies are an emerging interdisciplinary ethnic studies field concerned with the experiences of the Romani people.  Terms like Zignology, Ciganology, Romology, Romalogy and Romistics are often used.  The focus, of these studies however includes the origin of the Romani people, the sociology, anthropology, linguistics, politics, the experiences of persecution, and political oppression. This study has its origin in the United Kingdom, and was designated formal in 1990.

Yet when one says Gypsies this how it resonates –“I have always considered myself a person with a gypsy heart, and I Surrender my dreams to my soul, for it’s a free sprit who believes in no boundaries of region and religion.”
― Megha KhareWrite like no one is reading 2

No HouseWork Day

There are something’s akinned to Chinese torture.. Endless… repetitive and monotonous one of them is house work. The clean becomes soiled, the soiled is cleaned over and over again, dust-bunnies seem to invade the minute you take a shut eye. It is kind of like growing up never finished.

April 7th is that utopia day of #NoHouseworkDay, I put in the twitter status and went right back to making breakfast, maybe I should have called few friends and we should gone out for coffee, well instead, I am serving left-overs and finishing my outdoor work.

This holiday was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy, at Wellcat.com; you are permitted to do anything this day except doing house work. It feels good when the reason not do house work is legit.  Initially it was the National No Housework Day at Uncle Sam’s Land, now it has gone worldwide.

I was wondering how I could celebrate it

Maybe trade places, I lie in bed and get MrD to do all the housework…maybe book a slot at Relooking for a head massage. Maybe head to this club with a wonderful library and great coffee and camp for the day… no still better I plan to ignore the sunken sink, the grimy floor, and damp laundry, at the end of the day, if the item does not multiply, smell, catch fire or block the refrigerator door, turn a blind eye, apparently no one else cares, so why should you?

Happy No HouseWork day…

Manusmriti and Forbidden Food.

Goa University runs what is called Visiting faculty public lectures, these are usually a one credit course, for those who want accreditation else it is just a learning process. Most of us are there many taking time off from work the classroom is a pleasant mix.

Initially I had the time I attended a lot now I choose. Prof.Dr, Kumkum Roy is a faculty I love listening to. And this time she had the right mix that interested me, the Theragathas, Manusmriti and more.

Actually what we like to visualize as ancient India, the glorious age of Hinduism, had no Hinduism, it had a way of life with right and wrong,  and Manusmrithi was not really very touted or adhered to, having said that lets just have a look into what does Manusmrithi actually say about meat eating.. What Manusmrithi prohibits is the meat of an unconsecrated animal (5.27 – 57).

They don’t for a Brahmin is quite stringent but since I was curious about meat I am just focusing on it.  The Manusmrithi of course prohibits all carnivores’ birds, and single hoofed animals, but interestingly it allows a lot of poultry.

The Manusmrithi calls a man who eats the meat of some animals as eaters of that animal’s meat but a fish eaten is referred to as eater of every anima’s meat, therefore he must avoid fish. The pathhina, the rohita fish are allowed when they are used in an offering to gods or ancestors, while Rajiva, Simhatunda and Sasaka fish can be eaten any time.

While wandering and unknown animals or birds are prohibited. Animals with five nails are permitted, like the porcupine, hedgehog, monitor lizard, rhinoceros, the tortoise and the rabbit get edibility permit, so do animals with incisors in only one jaw with the exception of camel.

On the other hand a village hog, garlic, a village fowl, onion or leek intentionally eaten topples the Brahmin off his caste (11.213, 219)

Sacrificing animals and birds and feeding their dependents is permitted to Brahmin.

Eating meat is allowed if it is sacrificially consecrated at the behest of the Brahmin.  The Brahmin is also allowed meat when his life is at risk.

The food chain as created by the Prajapati is the hierarchy of the life breathe or the prana… mobile and the immobile need nourishment for life breathe, the immobile are food for the mobile, the fangless for the fanged, the handless for the handed, the timid for the brahve, the eater does get defieled byh eating living beings suitable for eating if if he eats them day after day, for the creator himself fashioned both the eater and the what is being eaten.

The Manusmrithi very specifically states that when a man eats meat whether it was purchased, procured by himself, or offered by someone else after making an offering t the gods and ancestors, he does not become defiled. The twice born is also allowed meat when faced with adversity. But eating ritually consecrated meat is allowed.  But killing an animal for futile reason or eating because of an urge is not acceptable.

Interestingly a person abstaining from meat and a man who offers the horse sacrifice every year for hundred years gain the same merit and the horse sacrifice or the ashwamedha entails, eating the meat of the sacrificed horse.

Very categorically the Manusmrithi says there is no fault in eating meat, in drinking liqueur, or in having sex these are natural activities of creatures, however abstaining from such activity, however brings great rewards.