It’s Acceptance! Not Equality!

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Yes, indeed! But, in ways that differ.

This week, women and men the world over took up the cause for gender equality  up, close and in certain cases, very personal. Women’s Day had arrived yet again! Hallelujah! But was it here to stay? The bitter truth is most obvious. An optimistic ‘Yes‘ and a doubtful ‘No‘ would be the most apparent answer in the present tense. In view of the United Nations effort to bring about a change and, to champion the cause for gender equality, it had launched its campaign for ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality‘ under the watchful eyes of the UN Women; the organization’s entity that looks into the cases for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Prior to a recent panel discussion that I was fortunate to have participated in, which, revolved around the theme as highlighted above, I had a round of insightful dialogues with my fellow colleagues,  teammates and, those within my peer groups. These primarily included the self driven, self nurtured employed women who belonged to categories such as the ‘married’, the ‘to be married’ and, to the ‘I have no clue what’s going on here‘ kinds. The question that I had put forward to them mostly revolved around as to what stopped them from moving further and to run head to head with their male counterparts. And, in the majority of cases, what I’ve noticed was a far out cry, not for the cause of equality, but rather for a state of acceptance of the individual that they represent; for respect; for kindness; for politeness. I have felt that this is also the true underlying principle that gets overshadowed in the very act of feministic views which, in recent times under the advent of extensive role that social media has to play, has been taken in for a ride.

Equality by itself, by definition, is a dangerous term to be put forward, especially in cases involving the sexes. Under the present context we see the two sexes being portrayed as two powerful opposing forces. I for one, is of the strong notion that the cause for equality without the traits of consideration and acceptance is a recipe fit for disaster in the longer run. The reason I believe that gender equality has taken up centre stage in many a cases is because that it can win you elections. As plain as that. It can be termed as the icing on the cake, the cherry on top or the well fabricated halo that seals a book of propaganda, which ever way you wish me to say it. The bedrock of the issue is that, we as a society have invariably and saddeningly have forgotten the act of interaction; of conversing and of actually listening through all the noise that is being played about.

The equality of the sexes cannot be considered on the same tasks at hand. Yes, it does depend upon the individual in person, but things which men are good at cannot be in all cases be replaced by women and the same goes the other way round. I say this with utmost due diligence and respect for both parties at hand. For, a mother can never be replaced by his/her father and in the same way a mother cannot be the best replacement for her/his father. The keyword here is not equality, but acceptance. Feminism is a powerful force in itself but, it should not be channelled in ways by which roles have to be taken up in one’s individual capacity but should be channelled effectively in cases of injustice, mistreatment and, cases of abuse against women in it’s righteous form and principle. And, as an evolving society it is an absolute necessity to listen and not just be heard.

One sees what she/he looks for.

 

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A Date with, Hypocrisy.

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We stand by you Paris. None the less.

A summary of what exactly had transpired on the 15th of November, 2015:

  • 21:20 CET: A series of well orchestrated and planned terrorist strikes rips apart the heart of Paris, France.
  • 21:21 CET: The whole world takes notice.
  • 21:22:00 CET: Mark Zuckerberg does his part by putting up a brand new photo filter. What else can the man do? He had to do something, right? Admit it. Facebook isn’t as cool as it once was. He had to do something! He had to cash in. And, he did.
  • 21:22:01 CET: My entire news-feed page gets soaked in blue, white and red. They had to follow suit. How can they not?!
  • 21:23 CET: Modi tweets! A million others re-tweet!

In the end, around 120 innocent lives were lost; leaving many others wounded.

My question here, is as to why only the rich kids, in the block always seem to garner all the attention? Earlier this year, when Paris was previously attacked by the same terror outfit; that had claimed many a lives, on account of the clashes in views with the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the media was on a rampant reporting spree. What went unnoticed however, was how, another faction of such extremists, the Boko Haram with ideologies that are in parallel with those of it’s Paris counterpart had carried out a massacre of almost 2000 people in Nigeria. The world went unnoticed. Nobody bothered to paint their faces with the Nigerian national flag or no media bothered to report the state of affairs in that country. The simple reason being that, Nigeria sadly wasn’t ‘sexy‘ enough for mainstream media or for it’s viewers as a whole.

The same can be sited for the state of turmoil that had gripped South East Asia, where, a number of Muslims living as minorities were beheaded and massacred in cold blood by radical Buddhist Monks in Burma. Such riots and genocides have been a ritual taking place in that country for as far back as 1997. No one bothered. None. Then, why this special status for Paris? My argument should not be misunderstood with the view that terrorist strikes or any activity for that matter, that violate basic Human Rights should not be condemned. But, opposed to this, I argue that all such, should be condemned and responded to, equally on a war footing, as in the likes of Paris, as it is happening now.

Examples, such as these are in abundance, if one simply turns his/her gaze on to the African continent where millions upon millions die and perish each year. Are these breaking news anywhere? No. Did Facebook come up with a filter? No. Is this the definition of Hypocrisy? Yes.

– Look around Paris. You’re not alone.

25

Oh Homer! That feel!

Oh Homer! That feel!

Dear Conscience,

How have you been? I should’ve returned your call sooner than later. I deeply apologize; I really do. This perhaps is the first time I’m returning you a reply despite your repeated knocks at my doorstep. I write this out to you as I stand here at the cusp of realization; as an adult whom I would say has lost his way traversing the well trodden path rather than cult one up for himself. One among-st the many. Yes, I agree; ironic indeed. I sit here, brooding over all that you had whispered to me over these years past. Of all those thoughts you’ve shared, of all those times when you’ve asked me to hold back and those times where you’ve asked me to fire away. But, in all those moments, I fear, I’ve failed you miserably. I should’ve not. Retrospection, rather than regret would be a more apt way of viewing my reconciliation towards you. I would like to let you know that I now hold you in the highest of my regards, just like those many voices like mine who’re gearing up to treat you the same as they turn 25 this year and in years to come.

The shout outs of a 25 year old is in every way, a very lone voice of descent. He shouts his lungs out but, none to lend him an ear. He stumbles, but none, to pull him back up. He becomes an idol of not worship, but rather of mockery and sarcasm. His every step, his every move, scrutinized for reasons most bizarre. The longing for a voice as surreal as yours to take up a form in person is immense. It’s not a question of a choice of good over evil but more of a question of right over wrong, for in most cases what is good needn’t always necessarily be what is right. The mind is troubled indeed. It lacks the sense of direction it once had.

I write this out to thee, to where ever is it that you may reside to lend me an ear, to pull me out, to idolize my very train of thoughts, to galvanize it from whatever it is that may turn it to rust.

Truly your’s.

Resource’d’ and Outsourced.

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Bottom’s Up!

‘Today, we have two new “resources” who’ll be joining us from here on’. It was with these words that I was led into my team by my manager on day one. I still remember those lines to this very day. Why? It felt rather very awkward, that’s why. It’s more appropriate to refer to an individual; a being that’s merely human by his name rather than refer to him as a mere blender! It struck a wrong note somewhere and, something definitely didn’t sound right. It even had me wondering whether if it was some unsaid and undefined protocol that was upheld all throughout. This was my first project; all excited and at the same time, jittery and downright nervous. I saw curious fresh new faces everywhere; in that small conference room, right in the middle of nowhere in the Deccan city of Hyderabad. When I say ‘in the middle of nowhere’, believe me, it really does mean nowhere. Faces that were curious; sizing me up from head to toe. Some had smiles on their faces with a pinch of sarcasm in it (new guy in town, boy! you have a long way to go), a few who weren’t the slightest bothered (the kind I prefer the most) and a couple of others who were genuinely excited; fresh blood I guessed, maybe from last week’s intake; all smiles and jumpy.

It was with this welcome note that I had started off work in the corporate poop chain. The ‘Great Ugly Indian Software Dream’ as I call it these days. If someone came up to me and asked me to describe myself in a line or two, this would be my best answer: ‘A job level 3 Systems Engineer who prefers not to work on weekends‘. It’s as simple as that. I’m that one in a million young lads in this country  who got lured into this ‘promising’ rat race. The money smells good. I’ll never say no to that (when has it not?). Satisfied? Obviously No. I’m but only flesh and blood!  But like many others, I sin myself everyday, waking up and going about the same mundane tasks day after day, year on year. Well, if the non Indian reader wonders out loud as to why we keep at it; well, it’s because this generation of mine is cornered to use such opportunities as mere lifebuoys. We make use of these to survive not our marriages, but those of our kin, our close aides, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and so on. For you see, the moment you’re 22 in this country (I speak from a male perspective), and if you happen to be unemployed, attending your best friend’s/sister’s/brother’s wedding or any other occasion for that mater, will be your exclusive access to hell or a dimension that’s closely parallel to it. I’m sure anyone who’s gone through it, agrees best. You’ll find yourself alienated among-st the mob of people who jeers you at the back of his/her head. You find people embraced in unison, laughing, making merry, but, somehow you feel the jokes on you. You try to converse, but conversations don’t last. People don’t seem interested in you anymore. In short, you smell money everywhere, and for once you despise it. Society is by and large a devilish reincarnation of the devil himself. Period.

And, that my friend is why, those like me sin myself everyday; and, not because we embrace it. Because, for you see, as long as I have this lifebuoy on, my next door neighbor won’t shoot me point blank for stealing a wink at his daughter, to name another, I’ll always be treated with respect and courtesy the moment I step into a bank. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter if you the reader happens to be a Job Level 1 Gardner preparing a bed of roses or a Job Level 1000 President of some Third World Nation planning to nuke someone; the idea is to keep marching forward. To keep searching for what truly excites you, to what you desire the most and to persevere until the day you reach the blessed shores of what you had been yearning for and on that day you’ll finally get to shed off this lifebuoy of yours for all of eternity.

– Just another blender.