Archive for the Culture Category

Because Society Says So!

Posted in Culture, Social with tags on July 7, 2013 by swatiaiyer

“Oh, we don’t mind.  Really, but we have to do this because we have to live in this society”.  How many times have you heard this?

Your son/daughter does not want to get married.  But you are under”social pressure” to get them married, more so if it is a daughter.

Your son/daughter is in a live in relationship or worse still in a gay/lesbian relationship.  What will society say?

Your off-spring marries outside the caste, religion, nationality, takes up a course of study that is off the beaten track.  What will the all pervasive society say?

Yes, of course, you would not have said anything.  You would have let them have their way, had it not been for that society.

Your daughter-in-law does not wear all the symbols of marriage.  She does not perform poojas and rituals.  Your young widowed daughter/daughter-in-law/sister ….. is ‘seeing’/going out with someone or is planning to get married.  She goes to a social event all dressed up nicely – what will society say?

You lost your husband and are hesitating to attend a social function because you are afraid of “society”.  You are afraid of wearing bright coloured clothes.  You do not want to bless a newly married couple.  You are childless and are afraid to bless a new born baby.  Why?  The bogeyman society is watching you.

Ask anyone.  They do everything they do because society demands it.  They have to do so if they have to live in society.  Do they believe society is right?  May not necessarily be so.  “But we cannot change society” is the refrain. PRAY, WHO IS THAT SOCIETY?  Who cares today what you do or what you don’t?

You take up a line of study which that “society” expects you to take up.  Marry according to the diktats of “society”.  You are miserable tomorrow.  Where is that “society”?  Get onto the rooftop and holler for help?  You can be crying in the wilderness.  Is anyone bothered?  So who is going to live with the effects of their actions?  You or society?

Why do we choose to live with such a herd mentality like brainless, witless sheep and refuse to truly “LIVE LIFE” on our own terms and condition?  Food for thought isn’t it?


Does Our Culture Really Allow For Violence?

Posted in Culture, Media on March 15, 2013 by swatiaiyer

Slap! Slap!! Slap!!!  Three resounding, echoing back handed slaps across the face.  The husband slaps the wife.  The mother slaps the son.  The brother slaps the sister.  The sister slaps the brother.  The sister-in-law slaps the brother-in-law ….. and so on.  The worst of them all are scenes of the police/CID slapping criminals to make them confess.  Basically the virtuous person slaps the person “lacking in virtue or moral values” or the person who “has gone astray.  It is perfectly justified if we were to believe the innumerable soaps on television.

Everything is defined clearly in black and white.  There is no hue of grey to be seen anywhere. There is no scope for such a shade in human life.  It just cannot be allowed.

So what exactly are the censors doing?  An innocuous kiss which is an expression of love and affection is not allowed, it is something that is censored and cut off mercilessly.  It is not fit for viewing by children under a certain age.  Mind you, I am NOT saying that there should be no censorship.  But then how is that violence of this kind is considered alright for viewing by children?  What is the message being conveyed to them?  Or for that matter what is the message being conveyed to the masses whose opinions are so easily swayed by the media?  That physical violence is alright?  That it is alright to correct wrong by physical violence?  That two wrongs make a right?  That slapping a person CAN set him/her right?  That third degree torture is alright to extract confessions?  Where are concepts of human rights?

How do we expect any social changes or decrease in violence on women and children and deaths due to such events?

Is this the “Indian culture and traditions” that we wax eloquent about and shout out from the rooftops about?

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