Safety: A Birthright of All

Our constitution grants us the Right to Life under the many civil rights that it has provided for its citizens. This privilege promises that the state has to make provisions for the well-being and the safety of its citizens, something that it has failed to do in recent times. An individual’s safety includes protection from abuse, harassment, and predators.

How is it that no number of rules or laws can stop these sexual carnivores from inflicting a lifetime of pain and trauma on unsuspecting individuals? Cases of such hideous crimes are often brought up by the media and left to become breaking news. However, what surprises me the most is how gender-specific safety has become. There are laws and laws that are being passed to ensure that every Cinderella reaches home unscathed, without having to call upon a Fairy Godmother. Women now are in possession of a prerogative which exempts them from any legal action, if found guilty of the murder of their assailant while defending themselves. But in this “We-stand-for-equality” era, aren’t the males of the society equally prone to being targets for these demons in human forms?

Last week, the news highlighted the story of a 36-year-old woman who sexually attacked a nine-year-old boy several times for more than a year, all over a family dispute. The devil dwells in a female figurine as well and is capable of causing the same amount of anguish. There is a greater need to focus on the safety of the males in this country and not leave them to defend themselves with the weapon of masculinity. The perils of avoiding sex education and making it a taboo are faced equally by both the genders. When the judiciary decided to support the rights of the LGBT community, it was unaware of the dangers that could follow. Last month, the nation heard of a case in which a woman was guilty of abusing another woman. It is not just a man with cheap sexual fantasies that a woman needs to be aware of. Her own kind is capable of wounding her in a way she never thought possible. Well, for the feminists with the singular motto of “What men can do, women can do better”, this point is definitely in your bag.

A 14-year-old boy in Mumbai reported sexual assault by a man, soon after which he died of rat poison consumption. In India, the minimum punishment for raping a boy is 10 years in jail, compared with 20 years for assaults on girls under 16. Why this discrimination? While there still is limited awareness, focus and advocacy on women’s rights in sexually violent circumstances, it is even less so when men are the victims of these crimes. A man’s culprit deserves a severe punishment like a lady’s. Every person, be it a male, a female or a transgender, has the right to feel safe and secure walking down a deserted street at any time of the day. It is the need of the hour that we start addressing the issue of male security in the country and around the globe. After all, feminism is not about one gender being better than the other; it is about all of them being equal.

While the Nirbhaya rape case of 2012 succeeded in raising awareness regarding the safety of women in the country, male victims failed to gain much attention. The masculine gender happens to be the most neglected sufferer of sexual assault. A victim cannot get over the psychological trauma easily. It is essential that we try to understand their perspective and ensure that their voices are heard. One can spend a lifetime trying to forget a few moments that lie in the past. Martin Luther King Jr. aptly said our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. From infancy, males are told that they should strive to be masculine, i.e. resilient, self-sufficient, dominant in sexual interactions and able to defend both themselves and those relying on them for protection. This has to change. We, as a society, need to understand that these assumptions, very often, become barriers for them to open up and share their experiences. They believe that encounters of such abuse may contravene with these expectations. The right to equal safety provisions has to change
as an under-discussed phenomenon. It’s work that we all have to start right now.

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The Game of Life

“Was the moon landing fake?”, “Was Avril Lavigne replaced by a clone?” , “Was time travel possible?” These were the questions that consumed me once I introduced myself to conspiracy theories. They overtook the mundane thoughts I generally had: food, the unpredictability of the future and several replays of witty conversations. Even though some of them sounded far-fetched, like the flat Earth theory, there was something fascinating about them. I couldn’t help myself from sleuthing around; I needed answers. The ones with substantial proof made me question everything; Nothing seemed real anymore. Among the several evidence bearing theories, one particular theory intrigued me the most, the theory that stated the possibility of the earth being a simulation. Every other theory had enough shortcomings for me to accept that it might be a coincidence, but this one had more “What ifs” than “That’s absurd”. Of course, saying “We are a bunch of characters in a computer game” sounded insane, but something within me couldn’t discredit all the coincidences that had happened in the past and how they seemed connected to a computer game.

I used to watch Sims playthroughs for fun, but after hearing about this theory, every second of every video became an opportunity for comparison. In the game, the player was allowed to control several people at once. Their likes, dislikes, actions and lifestyle, everything was in the player’s hands but in the latest versions, the people were allowed to have a say of their own. For example, in the earlier versions if the person wasn’t given an action, they’d stay idle till an order was given, however now it was possible that the person would begin to do whatever they pleased if no orders were given and they also had the ability to deny the order and do something else. This got me thinking, what if the orders were analogous to our inner voices. Sometimes we pay heed to them, sometimes we don’t, just like the Sims characters. There were so many tiny factors like this that boggled my mind. In the game, the player had an option to cancel the character’s actions from a lineup. This seemed very similar to something that kept happening to me- I’d go into a room for some reason, then I’d forget why I was there. Another thing about the lineup was that the order of the actions could be changed, just like our order of priority. This was relevant to the fact that sometimes procrastinate homework to do something less important. We could blame that on poor willpower, but what about the times I decided to put nature on hold just to continue scrolling aimlessly on my phone. The game also allowed time to pass by faster at the click of a button. Nothing of that sort ever happened in our world, right? What about the times when time would drag on till the point where we thought our watches were broken? The times when every minute was definitely lesser than 60 seconds? It made sense.

The next 2 epiphanies I had regarding this topic were not as concrete as the previous ones, they were sillier. First, a computer simulation would explain every paranormal experience anyone had ever had, especially strange occurrences involving movement of furniture and other objects, from their original positions. The game had a feature where we could change from “game mode” to “build mode”. Game mode was the mode in which the game was played and build mode was the mode in which we could rearrange furniture, buy and sell objects etc. Second, the character’s wants would show up at the bottom of the screen and you’d have the choice of whether or not to fulfil them. This was a lot like the law of attraction, which states that “if you believe you will obtain something, it will manifest into reality”. Obviously, an object dropping from the sky would be outrageous, but the coincidences involving people getting what they really wanted were too many to ignore.

But if the world was indeed a simulation, that would mean that there would be glitches in the system? It would mean resurrection and immortality weren’t impossible. I was left with so many questions, more than when I began sleuthing around. What if the simulation crashed? Would life continue from a checkpoint, like in the games? Was that why Mandela effects existed? What was the purpose of this simulation? Who created it? And why? Who controlled us? I couldn’t believe anything as it was, everything had something hidden behind it.

 

The Blemishes of Indian News Media

Media is regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy, and rightfully so. Job of the media is to hold the government accountable. It is to keep the people of the country knowledgeable. It is to report facts and truths. It is to uphold the values and integrity of our democracy. And in the last few years, our beloved media has spectacularly failed to do any of the jobs it should have done.

Gone are the days when the press defied oppression and took a stand against Indira Gandhi’s draconian Emergency. Gone are the days we actually saw a journalist asking important questions to people in power and following up on those questions. We all remember when Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, left an ongoing interview by Karan Thapar when asked about his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Now what we have is a PR agency, a PR agency which pulls out all stops to push government propaganda. An agency which has long left the job of reporting facts and truth, but rather promotes bigotry, Islamophobia and fascism in the guise of patriotism. Tune in to news channels during primetime and witness it for yourself. Anchors, instead of asking questions to spokesperson of the government, rise to clamour against guests who question them, and by doing so, they’re killing our democratic instinct. This happens due to the association of news channels with political parties. Republic TV is founded by Arnab Goswami in partnership with a BJP member of parliament. Its implications can be seen on his show as a place which is meant for debates and discussions gets drowned in Hindu-Muslim, National-Anti-national debates. Let the farmers commit suicide, let the mob lynchings be turned into another Hindu-Muslim debate, let the real issues take a backseat, all to soothe the egos of the officials in power.
There’s also been a rise of competition amongst news channels lately.

Competition is good, it helps organisations deliver their best, but that is not what’s happening in this case. In the bid to be the number one news network, quality content is lost. Republic TV and Times Now fit this description aptly. Both their ads try to degrade the other, both claim to be the number one English news channel, and both fail to get out of the boundaries of Hindu-Muslim, Ram-Mandir “issues” which has become the new normal.

Everyday, we see news channels stooping to new lows, and it doesn’t even surprise us any longer. From panellists getting into physical fights and anchors branding anyone who doesn’t agree with them as Anti-Nationals, to openly lying on national television in primetime shows. Sudhir Chaudhary claimed after demonetisation that the new 2000 Rs. Notes contain a nano-chip which will help the government track notes. This claim was found to be a lie circulated on the popular messaging application, WhatsApp. One of the most viewed journalists of the country lied in such a blatant way and didn’t even consider it important to retract his statement, shows his irresponsibility.

And it’s not just the T.V. media, but the print media as well, which has a fair share of blame to shoulder. The cobrapost sting on various newspapers showed the editors were ready to accept money in place of promoting right-wing Hinduism.
The loosening threads of trust need to be woven tightly again for an India which can fearlessly dissent from the norm. Any association between a political party and a news outlet should be banned as it becomes a source of propaganda. Any organisation flouting this rule shouldn’t be allowed to air on T.V. or be printed. An independent body, like the judiciary and election commission, should be setup which can check for hate speech and lies promoted by an organisation. Sweeping changes and reforms have to be made for the resurrection of Indian media so that it’s able to earn the trust it once had. It’s high time that necessary steps are taken to not let our fourth pillar completely collapse- endangering our great democracy.

by Akshat Kashyap

अनिष्ट(disagreeable, undesirable)

India is changing in a thousand ways. Not all of them are good, not all of them are bad. What we have seen in the past two or three years is a wave of saffron spreading over our country. The Bhartiya Janata Party, founded as the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, an organisation committed to turning India to a Hindu nation concluded a resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh, the evidence of the ascendance of its single-track politics aimed at benefiting orthodox Hindus and marginalising everyone else. For the first time in its electoral history, UP did not send a single Muslim MP to the Lok Sabha in 2014. Paradoxically, this was when the legislative assembly had the highest Muslim representation — 63 were elected in 2012.

 

“Those claiming to be secular and progressive do not have an identity of their parents and their blood. One will get self-respect through such identity, I will be happy if someone identifies as Muslim, Christian, Brahmin, Lingayat or Hindu. But trouble will arise if they say they are secular.”                                                                                                                   Anant Kumar Hegde, Union Minister of State for Employment and Skill Development

 

Not doing anything in the face of religious tension or intolerance is almost a trademark of our government. The whole government is probably not to be blamed, a leadership wherein the PM himself is responsible for the deaths of hundreds in communal riots in Gujarat is not a leadership at all. Our chief ministers are Hindu priests and brahmacharis, why do we expect the Muslims to not be marginalised anyway? Our habit of judging the character of all Muslims by keeping some random terrorist as an example of the otherwise peace-loving group of people does not help us much either.

 

“Crimes against women happening in urban India are shameful. It is a dangerous trend. But such crimes won’t happen in ‘Bharat’ or the rural areas of the country. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes.”                                                                                                                                          Mohan Bhagwat, Chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, mentor to the BJP

 

I’m really sorry to say this sir, but rapes, as big a bane they are on the beautiful populace of our country, do happen everywhere. Day in day out we read reports of young girls being raped mercilessly in some or the other dark corner of our country, and yet we do not see any concrete action being taken by the esteemed leadership of our glorious country. According to estimates by The Quint, India witnesses about a staggering 106 rapes a day, and that is when about six out of ten rapes go unreported. In the face of such a tragedy we face every day, the mentor to our PM decides to blame it on urban values and not on the ineffectiveness of the law and order situation in our country. How inane is that?

 

“Those opposing Narendra Modi are looking at Pakistan, and such people will have place in Pakistan and not in India.”                                                                                                          Giriraj Mishra, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

 

My grandfather was born in Pakistan and he migrated to India during the partition. As one of the pioneers responsible for bringing electricity to the state of Madhya Pradesh, I can proudly say that my grandfather did his bit for the country. His political leanings are inconsequential to the fact that he did everything in his power to help the country in spite of the fact that he is Pakistani by birth. Our mentality has been modelled in such a way that we inadvertently vote for the party that appeals to us not from the perspective of the work they have done for the nation, but from the perspective of religion. If the leadership of the party respects your religious faiths and beliefs, that party automatically becomes your first choice. The whole task of deciding upon the government trickling down to the ambit of religious and geographical differences is wrong.

 

“As a memorial to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the statue will not only remind every individual of our great nation’s freedom struggle but will also inspire the people of our country to inculcate Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s visionary ideologies of unity, patriotism, inclusive growth and good governance… a fully functional, purpose-serving tribute that will spur all round socio-economic development.”                                                                           Official website of the Statue of Unity, Government of India

 

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stood for the downtrodden and poor. He always ensured that the poorest sections of the society had access to all the freedoms that the British enjoyed in the country. Spending almost 3000 crores on his statue is simply defiling every ideology he stood for. These funds have reduced his legacy to nothing a cheap stunt for political gains. What these funds could have done for the poor people of our country would have immortalised the legacy of the Iron Man of India. Consider the fact that the bronze panels used in the statue were not manufactured in India as no Indian firm had the capability to do it, and hence the foundation of the statue was inherently Made in China.

 

“The countries in the world are unsure about how to tackle terrorism. The UN is also not in a position to guide them. It is heartening that Prime Minister of Bangladesh despite the fact that she is a woman is openly saying that she has zero tolerance for terrorism.”                 Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

 

I feel appalled at the fact that we always are puzzled when it comes to empowering the women in our country. When you sit down and realise that our honourable Prime Minister feels that ‘despite’ being a woman, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina having zero tolerance for terrorism is a unique thing to be noted is an instance that explains his true stance towards women. When the leader of the country believes that a female prime minister fighting terrorism in her country is a happening out of the ordinary, I sincerely see no serious women empowerment happening in our country. No matter how much we try to sugar-coat things, all of us know that Modi was responsible for thousands of deaths during the Godhra riots, and is unfit to rule a country as diverse as ours.

 

In the end, it all comes down us. What we think and what we do determines where our country heads . Leaving the decisions to leaders like the ones we have as of now is the worst mistake we could make.

 

आलोचना और स्वतंत्र विचार ये क्रांतिकारी सोच के अहम बिंदु है I (Bhagat Singh, 1930)

 

Distinction Achieved

“May I come in, professor?”

“Yeah, sure Ritika. Have a seat”, said Mr. Roy.

Fidgeting, she sat down on a velvet couch, exposed to his deep stare. She looked around her. Even though it was quite a normal cabin, it seemed plush and spacious than the rest.

Mr. Roy, an ex-attorney, was an eminent law professor at The Institute of Legal Studies, Ranchi. Apart from taking classes of criminal law, he was also in charge of training the undergraduates for the internships. In the current circumstances, Ritika Dey, one of his top students had just screwed up on a very crucial case.

After what seemed like an eternity, Ritika spoke, “I am terribly sorry, sir. Just give me a chance. I ca-”

“I am sorry. It’s not in my hands anymore”, she was interrupted by Mr. Roy. His voice was soft but his intentions were clear.

Disappointed, she left his office. Unsure of her next step, she strolled the corridors for a while. Her eyes fell on a guy, loitering in the hallway. It was Dhruv Talwar, her former partner in that case. Suddenly, she felt a surge of anger rise within her. What a jerk! He was the one who had messed up and then backed out shamelessly.

Dhruv was among the popular guys in college. He was handsome, had rich parents and hanged out with all the cool kids. Being in the same batch, they knew each other to the extent of acquaintanceship. It was only after Mr. Roy handed them a case together, as a part of the innocence project, that they began interacting with each other. Their case began on a good note. But as always, Ritika remained invisible while Dhruv took all the credits. Deep inside she was furious, but she knew it was pointless. It would be only a matter of time before the project would be over and they would move on with their respective lives.

However, the prison visits were the worst. The inmate, Jay, was thrown to jail based on accusations of illegal trade with a potentially dangerous drug dealer. Though the shreds of evidence were inadequate, he was facing a death sentence. From a prosperous businessman, he merely became a nameless criminal.

Ritika knew that they had to meet with him every week and highlight the loopholes in his arrest documents. What she didn’t know until recently was the fact that the two guys with whom she worked were attracted to each other. Dhruv had arranged quite a few illicit visits to the prison. And it was the hidden CCTVs that had captured their rendezvous, thus bringing an end to the show. The prison officials obviously didn’t suspect their romance, but instead made an allegation of some conspiracy. Moreover, Dhruv was reluctant to come forward with his orientation. He was afraid of his reputation. This further jeopardized their case. She could tolerate gay dudes but her teammate going behind her back was not at all acceptable.

Ritika was snapped back to reality as a green light flashed on her phone.

Called the federal prison this morning. Your case is dropped. Jay’s visitation rights will be suspended from Thursday. Only a day and a half left. Do something ASAP.

Her best friend, Tiyasha’s message popped up on the screen. With long strides, she rushed home. Her classes were almost over. Dhruv was as lazy and useless as he could be. Thus, it was about time she took the reins and straightened things out.

Alone in her room, Ritika began contemplating her plan. It was vague.

The thought of his life lying in her hands made her even more anxious. She had to think fast. Now!  She started all over again, from the very beginning.

An idea struck her. She gathered her files and hurried away. An introvert, shy and apprehensive, the twenty-one-year-old had never before made the journey to a prison alone. But, here she was. Trying to look confident, Ritika Dey entered the large iron gates of the prison and walked straight, hoping for her strategy to succeed. After all, it was her life. She was going to be a lawyer. She had to assert her presence, with or without any help.

The Minor Majority

I am a nationalist.
There. I said it.

And I’m not ashamed of being dubbed one. I’m just sick and tired of how this concept has become one associated with rebels and radicals.
With the rise of the so called ‘pseudo-liberal’ junta in our country, nationalists being compared to terrorists is not uncommon.
Our country has just recently passed 3 landmark judgements. The abolishment of Triple Talaq, removal of Article 377 and allowing women to visit the Sabarimala Temple.
Now these judgments are instrumental, and they have given relief and happiness to millions of Indians.

However, our so called ‘Liberals’ don’t seem satisfied.
Rehana Fathima recently raised furore all over the state of Kerala after breaking into the Sabarimala Temple without permission and causing nuisance.

In doing so, she instantly made headlines all over the country, in a bid to revive her dead modelling career. But did she ‘really’ need to do it?
Fathima doesn’t really care about Lord Ayyapa, the main deity at the Sabarimala. She just wanted to prove a point. In the midst of that, she created nuisance at the temple and hurt the sentiments of thousands of ‘true’ devotees. Did she really need the publicity so bad?

Such stunts are quite prevalent in our country now. They seem hidden to the public eye. But after some observation, I’ve seen that these stunts are quietly ubiquitous.
‘Sanju’: A biopic on Sanjay Dutt, released to much fanfare this July. While the movie was enjoyable, the hidden assault on Hinduism was in very bad taste. While it is well known that Dutt was friends with Dawood Ibrahim, the film decided to portray underworld via a Tilak-clad Ganpati devotee. Now this is not a one off instance. Who can forget the ‘Shiva’ scene in P.K?

Even during festivals, there is sudden increase in news articles about the harms that firecrackers pose towards animals and how Idol immersion is bad for water bodies.

I do agree that these practices are harmful but the way our media portrays Hindu festivals is obnoxious and cynical. Where are they when Bakri-Eid or Moharram is on?

Similarly, why didn’t Rehana Fathima chose one of a thousand mosques where women aren’t allowed?
Why didn’t she hesitate to do the same at a place considered sacred by people of another faith?

‘Oppression’.

This is the word which would’ve been in the headlines if Sanju included Dawood. If articles got published on Bakri-Eid. If Fathima trespassed a mosque. If a person from the minority community is asked to stand up for the national anthem.
Why can’t we call a spade a spade and drop the victim mentality?
It’s high time facts stop being twisted to suit one community and target another.
It’s high time we start treating others as equal.
It’s high time we stop disgracing nationalism.

The Job at Hand

We have been living in an era of uncertainty. An age where our very existence relies solely on pure speculation of what lies ahead and conjecturing conclusions and outcomes out of scenarios and circumstances. Outcomes that may at times overwhelm us with their complexity and gravity. In other cases, their inexplicable nature and the perplexity involved with them makes us question our very being and relevance with respect to the ever-changing dynamics.
There have been pre-existing apprehensions surrounding the advent of newer and newer technological innovations in several sectors of our economy. That has however been the least of our worries, which is for a fact, quite unsurprising. For decades our economy has thrived upon these innovations, beginning with the Green Revolution in India, and the subsequent IT Revolution which introduced numerous breakthroughs in field of science and technology, and prospects for several others, but not without compromise. With the ever-increasing sophistication of machines and automation of industries and commercial centres, our reliance on the products of the evolving technological paradigms is growing at a rate that is unprecedented in the history of mankind.
Considering the current situation concerning our country’s economic order, we can establish unemployment as a major striking issue which continues to plague thousands of helpless and unfortunate Indians. The implications of such a predicament are not limited to a few sectors of our economy but are rather widespread and have infiltrated its roots, primarily the agricultural sector. India, for the past several decades has predominantly been an agricultural economy, and even today it supports the sustenance and livelihood of close to half the population of India even though it only contributes around 17-18 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In an economic survey released in Parliament recently, it was noted that Indian farmers are adapting farm mechanization at a faster rate in comparison to the recent past. Impressive growth has been recorded in the automation and mechanization of agricultural processes, ranging from the usage of tractors for ploughing the fields to the harvesting of crops using mechanical combines. All this has greatly contributed to the enhancement of agricultural productivity and efficiency. While the trend has been viewed by the government to be encouraging, to the keen observer it also presents itself as a distress call for an impending crisis. It is estimated that the percentage of agricultural workers of the total work force would drop to 25.7 percent by 2050 from 58.2 percent in 2001. The disturbing aspect of this trend is the rate of increase in employment in the industrial and service sector is insufficient to fill in the void caused by the diminishing dependence on manual labour in the field of agriculture. This has negatively affected the livelihood of peasants and semi-skilled labourers who primarily rely on this source of employment for their subsistence and that of their families. These people are mostly involved in seasonal employment, which due to current prevailing conditions, is mostly covered in a cloud of doubt. Such undesirable circumstances have strained their earnings, and have further added fuel to their desperation.

Even ambitious schemes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (NREGA) have failed to permanently resolve this persistent issue largely due to several financial inconsistencies and inadequacies, as a result of leakages and corrupt implementation by the erstwhile UPA government. In 2015, the present NDA regime launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), which is a skill development initiative scheme for the recognition and standardization of skills. The primary aim of the scheme is to encourage aptitude towards employable skills and to increase working efficiency of probable and existing daily wage earners, by giving monetary awards and by providing quality training to them. However, the inherent flaw in the scheme lies in its very initiative. While the scheme is progressively meeting its assigned targets to train 1 crore Indian youth by 2020, it itself doesn’t guarantee any placements and merely provides placement assistance. The scheme imparts 150-300 hours of training for 221 job roles, and the candidates are either school/college dropouts or are unemployed. This may seem to be an intuitive approach to attract the youth, mostly from a rural background who lack the means and resources to afford higher studies in private or government institutes. For them this represents itself to be a valuable opportunity. But once again, there is an uncertainty which prevails in the present financial situation. It is a prevalent fact there is a dearth of jobs and sources of employment in the country even after the initiation innovative schemes such as Digital India. There are several instances where people fail to get jobs even after graduation from reputed institutes, and have to on numerous occasions cope with periods of unemployment. In such a scenario, maintaining even the slightest expectations of assuring stable jobs to even 10 percent of the trainees under the PMKVY scheme would be ambiguous gesture to say the least.
Our government’s policies have aimed at only softening the blow of mass employment and focussed majorly on damage control. But this isn’t a solution-oriented approach from a government which promised a stable governance and economic and social prosperity for all citizens under the pretext of coming into power. There can be no denial to the fact that a crisis of an unfathomable magnitude is at close proximity. It is essential for the citizens of this nation and the government in power to realise the gravity of the situation and conjure a more effective and productive strategy to counter mass-unemployment. The policy makers need to focus their resources on re-evaluating their current strategies in place and focus primarily on creating new avenues for innovation and development, while at the same time make efforts to strengthen the capacity of existing avenues through direct investment or encourage skilled and semi-skilled individuals to take up fields of study and research specific to prerequisite skill requirement and technical know how for that particular work environment. The quality and standards of existing government and private-run institutes needs to be further reinforced, and these standards need to be maintained in the case of newly established institutes of higher learning through appropriate infusion of funds and proper resource management by the government. Unless we take such evasive measures to avert the crisis in the present time frame, we would eventually witness the greatest threat to democracy, which is none other than the rage and frustration of the 1.3 billion that constitute the world’s largest democracy.

Analysis of Emotions

ANALYSIS OF EMOTIONS.

I was the weirdest student. I took up psychology as an elective in 11th and 12th grade despite being a science student. Apart from the constant “Psychology is an arts subject vs Psychology is a science subject” debate, there was a lot more to arguments than just reaching a consensus. For example, look at my first sentence. Obviously, I wasn’t the only science student to take up Psych (pardon my use of short form, it’s how I prove to the world that I know more than them), there were others just as thick in the head. But it’s a general tendency to derogate oneself in order to feel more important. Half of you probably just thought, “Well, I don’t do that”. Again, a lot of people don’t. You’re not special here. And with that, maybe now it’s easier to realise that: we’ll do anything to make ourselves feel like we’re different and more important. You’re a unique snowflake alright, but a snowflake at the end of it, just like everyone else.

 

“You have the potential, you just don’t realise it”, is a statement twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools. You either get the Rudyard Kipling reference or you don’t. You can’t possibly have the ‘potential’ to get it. This is a very deceiving statement, it lets you believe that you’re intelligent. And perhaps you are, good for you. But what it unfortunately does is; it let’s you justify your laziness. “Oh, I have the potential, I just haven’t gotten around to really showing it”. Well how very noble of you. If there’s a boulevard people would hide behind, it’s this one. The real problem rises when high achievers become complacent and low achievers tire their souls out to the point that they sacrifice their own health. The statement in itself isn’t ‘damaging’. It’s just unfortunate that very few people can find a balance that does more good to them than bad. And until everyone hasn’t found that balance, the statement should be tweaked and reconstructed.

 

But what really is the point of these two random paragraphs, I mean, people don’t write out of nowhere, right? Point number three. Stop analysing where it isn’t required. Not everything has a reason we can be consciously aware of. My psych teacher had a extravagant quote that she’d say on repeat, “There are no just because in life, only because ofs”, and if you peel that onion it basically means that everything has a reason behind it. What half my class failed to understand was that she didn’t imply to us to ponder over the entirety of the incidences in our life. NO. That’s insane, it’s completely and utterly, and I say this in a very crude manner because no other word would quite express the same intent: STUPID. You can’t live your life wait deep in thought, trying to understand the WHY’s of life. Focus on the WHAT, move on. The whole meaning of her statement was that things do happen for a reason yes, but that reason doesn’t necessarily need to be in our consciousness. Lesson time, there are three levels of consciousness: The Conscious, The Sub Conscious and The Unconscious. The conscious is in the here and now. It makes us aware of the immediate things happening. The second lets us have intuitions and gut feelings and the third, well, we’ll never know. And that’s the point. Some things are better of not being known, so there is NO POINT, in trying to make sense of everything around us. Move on.

 

Now at this point in this piece of writing, you’ll realise that the title seems purely irrelevant. I am clearly not talking about different emotions and how they make us feel. But I am also clearly not in primary school. Anger, sadness, ecstasy, happiness, these are all noble emotions, but the subtle change in your body as you’re dipped in unexplainable emotions, this is what makes life worth living. Again, you either get that, or you don’t. My aim here was to make you feel, not just emote. To stir more than just tags for an emotion. To make you think, yet relate. The Fault in Our Stars really just taught me one thing; life is abrupt. Not everything has a conclusion. Not everything has an end to give you a closure. Not everything will feel complete.

And with that, I’d just say, peace out. The lame pun very much intended.

 

Unheared Whisper

Trees sway when I blow,
Plants rejoice when I flow.
When plants get energized and stimulated,
Nature turns serene and is never infuriated.
I am the moving air,
I am this earth’s au pair.
I blow around with a gentle breeze,
Whispering and making your life one of ease.
Everything had gone well for millions of years,
Then I realized something dire, I developed a fear.
A large monstrous figure is engulfing our earth,
It is spreading sorrow and not any kind of mirth.
This monster is developing at a very fast rate,
I don’t know what will be mine and my fellows’ fate,
This monster has taken birth due to human greed,
Pollution, air conditioners, vehicles, factories, take the lead.
Now when I blow, I don’t notice any greenery,
Now when I blow, I don’t see any picturesque scenery.
I mostly see droughts, famines, floods and fallow lands,
I do see industries where once used to be grasslands.
I see the animal kingdom in dismay and despair,
Oh! Isn’t there anybody to give them love and care?
When they lose their habitat, they move to cities and towns,
Even the lion king is killed and has to part with his crown.
Don’t kill and torture them by taking their homeland,
Don’t convert the forest patches into a wasteland.
I see the same anguish in the eyes of polar animals,
Humans are not less than ruthless cannibals.
For the frigid zone animals, I truly feel sad,
The ice has started melting, which is bad.
I also have a tough time seeing this disaster before my eyes,
Humans do nothing for the environment, except telling lies.
There are so many poisonous gases around me,
I can see them acting as my coffin keys.
I am also getting suffocated here,
I know my death is, indeed, quite near.
I have realized that nature will vanish soon,
Dear humans, it is a bane, not a boon.
One day, you will gasp for air and long for life,
Wake up humans, the time has come to strive.
Do something sensible or in hell you will be pinned,

This letter is from-
Yours sincerely,
The Wind.

Profanity: why we need it

It was Friday, I was visiting my home as I do every three weeks or so. It was my bad luck that this time I didn’t get a window seat but the train journey was only two hours. As I didn’t get a window to look outside at, I was peeking at the person sitting next to me as one does. She was watching Game of Thrones on her phone. I cursed myself for not charging my mobile beforehand. With twenty-three percent, I can only listen to songs. Soon enough, my eyes went back to her phone screen shamelessly. It was the Battle of Black-water episode, a brilliant one yet my instincts went alarming. ‘This one has nudity in it! Like a lot of it!’ I remembered immediately and looked around.

Naturally, the person sitting next to her, a man in his forties was peeking just like me. As expected, the scene came up and I was curious what she would do. She kept watching not minding the next person.  I observed that man who noticed a college girl watching nude scenes in a public place and he gave the most judgmental look I’ve ever seen. The awkwardness went away as soon as the episode moved on to the action scene.

Smiling at the situation I put on my headphones. I was listening to Eminem, a rap singer who curses a lot to express emotions. My parents used to give a similar look when I listen to him on loudspeaker, so I had to switch to headphones. Grown ups were always hypocritical about youngster’s line of interests.

The train reached the destination and I took a rickshaw, got down at the edge of my street and walked home.

Usually the street looks alive filled with children playing hide and seek or badminton. I was one among those children a few years back until studies became a priority. Although, this Friday the street was unusually dead. There were no playing kids, no one was around.

After entering my place, having some food and rest, passing some time, I looked at the street again. It was still deserted. I asked my mother as to why there were no children playing. ‘Oh, you didn’t know? Lakshmi, from the next building died yesterday. It was a suicide’ she broke the news

‘What?! How?!’ I asked shaken

‘She had to write Quarterly exam the next day. Her parents were in the AC room while she was studying in the hall or at least that’s what they thought she was doing.  The next morning, they woke up, they saw her hanging by her mother’s….’ My mother went on to explain the details

‘Yeah, okay I get it. Stop’ I stopped her as I felt the back of my neck thinning and filling with uneasiness. ‘I used to play with her’

‘She studied Eleventh standard, in your school only. Your school is infamous for students ending up like this under stress, you have no idea how concerned I was when you were there’ my mother explained but I had to disagree immediately ‘My teachers are nothing like that! I mean, there was stress, anxiety and problems but…’ I wanted to argue but I couldn’t finish the sentence. I wasn’t able to tell her exactly how I didn’t end up killing myself even though I too had my fair share of dark days.

That night I couldn’t sleep but think and wonder, what would’ve happened to her to make her take that decision and why something like that didn’t occur to me.  I remember my first day in eleventh standard, my new maths teacher gave an introductory class of maths in general and he took an example sum of infinite series. He explained how one could easily get the answer for nine plus ninety-nine plus nine hundred and ninety-nine and so on. When I walked out of the class after it ended on my way to home, I looked at a BMW car and it’s hot engine, I looked at beautiful house where a gardener was watering the plants that had roses of different colors and all of them melted into the number nines, the infinite nines all crowded and standing in my way like a giant spider made of nine’s.

‘All of this? That car, that house, that garden. I can get all of this only if I go through this complicated maths?’ I thought, confused, stressed. ‘Did my mother and father go through this so that they can feed me? Is there no other way?’ I asked myself as the thought of finishing the assignment before the deadline was killing me. It was almost like Math was choking me and telling me I am the weakest person in the world.

I grew up in the same school for the first ten years with the same set of friends but I had to join the bigger school because the IIT coaching there was better. Being the new fish for the first time in my life didn’t help either. I had to face bullies for the whole first year and deal with them.

Thinking back about all of this in my bed that night made me wonder how, how did I get through all of that?

The age of 16 is very confusing. You are not an adult yet but you’re not a child anymore either. You use curse words or talk about sex, it’s inappropriate. You talk about free things that come along with Kellogg’s Chocos or dolls you wanted to have, that’s inappropriate too.  I remember seeing a video of a baby when given a candy or a favorite toy, the baby would stand up and clap its hands in excitement while jumping up and down. The same baby would cry aloud spitting everywhere and agitate in frustration if the same toy or candy is taken away. There is no shame is saying that adults come across similar situation all the time but crying or jumping as you clap is seen as straight up bad behavior. Well, for a person who’s sixteen and has been treated as a child up until that point, he or she have been expressing their emotions one way all this time, now they’re expected to express it another way but are never shown or taught how. Continue reading