I wish all the fellow Indians a very happy 70th Independence Day. Indeed it is a matter of pride for every Indian to celebrate the day for which many people sacrificed their lives or lived under atrocities of their foreign masters. Freedom is a gift given to the present generation for which we should ever be thankful. We have come a long way since the day we gained our freedom and has taken many independent decisions towards the development of our country. However, I still like to question sometimes that are we really free?
Even after 70 years of Independence are we free enough to question our government or a national party without being harassed in one of other way, to press freely without being bought by a political party, to follow and express our religious faith, to eat whatever we like without offending or told by people of other faith and to demand execution of government proceedings without bribery. A bigger question of all would be does this definition of freedom also includes people from lower economic background and women. Women are probably deprived of most of the rights that men enjoy freely in all strata of life. Looking from a womens perspectives in India, it probably doesn’t make any difference if she is under a foreign rule or not since she is in slavery of her family or domestic masters even after her country has gained independence.
Celebrating Independence day should not just be feeling proud upon the fact that our leaders made the foreigners run away but also to ponder over the salient issues of injustice, inequality, religious bigotry, poverty and growing corruption in the government offices. We could only be truly free if we consider ourselves not just to be free physically but also mentally. Our thinking needs to change and it is only by the change in our thinking that we would ever be able to gain our true freedom.
I have been chauffeuring my mother and two of her colleagues from and to her work today and caught in between of women’s chit chat on several occasions. Among all the womanly gibberish there were some concerning and interesting elements that caught my attention. Most concerning was that many hospitals both private and public have sprung in our city and none of them seem to be empty due to lack of sick people. On the other hand most of them are over crowded and sometimes patients are on the waiting list to be seen. For a country like India it is a good thing that we have an increasing number of hospitals to take care of our people, but it is also a matter of great concern that so many people are still getting ill inspite of all the advancement in health care and clean India movement run by the government.
Some of the reasons that I could think of concerning the health of the Indian people are lack of awareness about health and hygiene, food adulteration, increasing mental stress to cope up with the lifestyle of a growing economy and lack of physical exercise. Of these I think the most concerning are food adulteration and lack of awareness about the hygiene.
I have traveled many places in India and I have never seen a clean public toilet that is maintained by the government. In many places including my city even the private malls do not have clean toilets. Sometimes it feels like that our benchmark for a clean toilet is so low that no matter how much of cleaning is done it is still dirtier as compared to toilets anywhere else in the developed world. Government of India has launched Swach Bharat abhiyan to promote use of toilets and hygiene in the country. However, a turn around change would only be possible when common people understand the importance of hygiene in the context of herd immunity. It doesn’t matter how strong your immunity is, if your neighborhood is weak in collective immunity, then you are more prone to falling ill as compared to the person whose own immunity is low, but lives in a stronger herd. We also have to improve our thinking regarding the importance of constructing good toilet setups at our home. In most of Indian homes toilets are the last place that people allocate the space for while designing their houses. In many homes it is not surprising to find toilets below the stair case or outside in the veranda under a shed or the smallest place possible in the house. To be honest it doesn’t matter how big or small is your toilet as far as it is clean, but it does show the temperament of the people towards hygiene.
We will be celebrating our 70th Independence day tomorrow and even after becoming 70 years old we are still teaching people the basics of health and hygiene. We still do not have any understanding of throwing rubbish in the bins or how to segregate rubbish into wet and dry waste. If you ever go to an old crowded parts of Indian cities you will find people throwing rubbish from their balconies on the street, thinking that their job is done and now it’s government’s problem.
To add up to growing waste management and hygiene issues the current government is all about putting cows on the alter. So many cows on the street littering wherever possible is another nuisance. Hindu people believe in the holiness of cows and therefore anything that comes out of a cow is either holy in itself or has therapeutic value, for example drinking cow piss can get rid of stomach related ailments or rubbing it on a wound or skin allergy can heal it. Many of the Ayurvedic medicines have cow piss as an active ingredient.
Indeed it is proud to think that we are advancing in medical sciences, but having more hospitals does not only shows our advancement but also shows the state of our health. Hence, the more number of hospitals in your city is directly proportional to the more number of sick people your city is generating. The underline cause of the illness is not the lack of medical facility but the lack of hygiene. And in the end we always need to think about our immunity as a fraction of the herd we are part of.
Bab Ramdev is a figure head of Yoga and Patanjali Ltd. in India. He became famous for his yoga teachings around the country and due to his liaising with influential people. Through his yoga and public appearances he earned popularity among the people and gained the capability of manipulating them by using their nationalist emotions. He has a staunch pro Hindu and pro BJP stance.
Though he gained his popularity because of his Yoga classes, but now he is known more for his company called Patanjali. He himself does advertisements for many of Patanjali’s products and because of his image as a yoga guru people blindly fall for his products. He boasts about his food and cosmetics products being all natural and condemns all the similar products being sold by other companies for being just harmful chemicals.
In one of his advertisements regarding Mustered oil he claims that a USA based agency called NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) has proven that adding mineral oil to Mustered oil leads to cancer and hence Patanjali is the only company that is preparing Mustered oil that is free from mineral oil and is prepared by natural process. There are few things that Mr. Ramdev ignorantly doesn’t know about, that NCBI is not the kind of research center that does such kind of research. It is a federal government center that maintains several databases to store publicly available biotechnology related data. The research paper that is shown in the Patanjali’s advertisement is actually a research paper that is stored in NCBI’s PubMed/PubMed Central literature database. The actual research is done by someone else and not by the NCBI itself. Ramdev did not even bother to show the title of the research paper that claims such an evidence and nobody even knows if there is a statistically strong evidence to support this hypothesis. Claiming that NCBI has proven something is actually stupid. It is similar to saying that Google tell us that cancer is a disease. Google doesn’t tell anything it just gives you a list of websites that carry your searched terms. Google itself doesn’t have those pages. However, people in India are so blinded by his aura that they just given into whatever he says on the national television.
Apart from Ramdev’s mineral oil nonsense, he is also very loud about his food products being FSSAI approved as though every other food product in the Indian market is not FSSAI approved. His biggest bullshit is that every other product is made up of chemicals that are not good for humans. One should explain to him that even natural products are chemicals themselves and not all of the them are good for humans. Snake venom is a natural product, is it good for humans? Pathogenic bacteria and virus are natural, are they good for humans? No, not everything thing that comes out of nature is good for humans.
One of the things that really irritates me is that he doesn’t like to call India as “India” instead he prefers to call it by its Hindi version “Bharat”. According to him India is a word given to us by the Britishers and he despises it. Ironically all his products are named in English and on their packages everything is written in English including the phrase “Made in Bharat”. He simply uses nationalist and Hinduism stance to emotionally manipulate people to fall into his prey.
I don’t know how long would it take for India to eradicate such phony people out of the country. It may probably never happen because the divide in India due to caste and religion is so deep that people would always find one or the other way to hack into the hearts and brains of Indian masses.
Ever since Modi government took place, their policies have received extreme reactions from the public. Initially they were seen as a progressive group of leaders which now turns out to be nothing more than a religiously motivated, anti democratic and self righteous bigots. Until now their decisions have mostly impacted people economically however, with the recent events their decisions are going to hamper the education of children, higher education and even scientific research.
Disclosure of UP budget by the CM Yogi Adityanath has revealed highest cuts on the secondary education. It is not something welcomed among the educated people, but surely it doesn’t matter to many with less education and awareness. Yogi bhakts are instead praising Yogi for his decision to increase budgets for primary education. Their argument is that primary education is more important than secondary or higher education. In my opinion also getting primary education is a fundamental right of every child in the country, but if you look at the bigger picture then primary education can only teach children how to read, write and speak. It doesn’t provide them with the ability to reason, understand complex political agenda, contribute in science and technology or make a decent living for themselves. This is what BJP is looking for to education people enough to make them capable of casting votes for BJP and do not question their policies.
In addition to hike in primary education budget they have also increased support for students hailing form backward classes, which is again a vote bank politics. Supporting poor and needy is important in any society, but supporting one group of people on the basis of their caste rather than economic condition is just trying to create a divide among the people. BJP has always been very good in clustering people into groups of their own and others.
Apart from the cuts in secondary education budgets BJP has also severely decreased funding for scientific research. Many of the projects have been shut down including some of the pilot projects that were running for more than a decade and were at their final stages of completion. Budget cuts had costed the jobs of many brilliant research associates forcing them to quit their scientific career.
Every government in India proclaims that they will remove corruption from the society and BJP boasts about it. However, they have forgotten that corruption is a mindset and culture of uneducated people and it can only be eradicated by supporting education at every level of a persons developmental stage.
I have been recently traveling in India and since I stayed in India for a couple of months I had no choice but to switch to an Indian cellular service provider. There are many things that are great about Indian phone companies, one of them is that they are quite reasonable with many different plans to choose from. But I did find some unethical behavior in many of their operational methods. The most annoying one is sending unsolicited advertisements either via SMS or through a recorded phone call. This is something that I have never witnessed during my travels to the western world.
Recently, I tried calling one of my friends who uses Idea sim card (@ideacellular) and I was shocked to hear that they preferred to play an advertisement about their new 3G plan rather than letting me connect to my friend’s phone. This is ridiculous, what if I was in an emergency and I need to talk to someone at that moment. And even if I am not in an emergency why should I have to listen to their advertisements, I am paying my phone bills and my friends is paying his phone bills then we should only get the facility that we are paying for. Why are we being forced to listen to their advertisement?
I am sure that this is also the case with other cellular companies as well in India, though I have received better reviews about Airtel and Vodafone in such regard.
I am not criticizing India as whole, it is a big and vibrant country but when it comes to ethical issues I must say that India lack that culture. People as well as companies are very self centered, corrupt and does not bother about whether their actions can hurt someone directly or indirectly.
Similar to my previous experiment on finding incestuous culture among people through IRC chat channels, I did another experiment to find out how popular it is to use twitter for porn sharing and sex chats. To be honest, initially I joined twitter with a fake account to follow some porn stars. I always had this curiosity to know what they talk about in their day to day life. So I followed some famous and some not so famous porn actress and sadly the only reason they use twitter is to promote their movie release or to tell people when they are coming online for cam chat or when they are performing in a strip club or that they are tested for STDs and can be booked for movies. I found following porn actresses as the most boring experience on twitter. The only porn actress who talks about anything else than when she is getting fucked is Mia Khalifa @miakhalifa.
After getting disappointed from porn actresses I tried to search what else I can find if I search for sex or porn. Interestingly, I bumped into many users with Indian or Pakistani names with a popular word “Bhabhi” in many accounts. These people, presumably with fake accounts are there for sleaze chats, porn pic and animated gifs exchange. I followed around 400 users and shared tweets with pics attached to many of them. I also chatted with personal messages with few of the “Bhabhis”. In Hindi this word means the wife of your elder brother and for some reason in India it can be used in a very naughty way. So all these women are married and are either not happy with their married life or are just looking for some extra spice by anonymously talking to strangers. There were a few accounts with very submissive females who want others to abuse or call out names to them. Most of the tweets sent to them were written using English alphabets but with words from different language presumable Hindi or Urdu.
Some of the popular and very active members I remember were:
@rekhabhabhi @bhabhi_pooja @bhabhi_for_u @madhu_bhabhi @SabaBhabhi @SlutPreeti @chhamiyarani @hema_patel87 @komal_bhatiya @kuttiyaruta @priasen24 @sexipreeti @simran20521 @sissy_candy @randi_aisha @gpinky091 @hottie_simmi86
These experiments have really shown me a very different side of Indian and Pakistani cultures. When it comes to sex, openly they do not appreciate the idea of promiscuity, pre-marital sex or casual sex, but secretly they do fantasize about these things and the internet has given them a way to let their heart out. Although the number of people I followed on twitter is negligible in comparison to the population of these nations so drawing any conclusion for the whole country will be pointless. But considering the low literacy rate and the lack of opportunity to use web technologies for everyone, does indicate that there might be many more with similar ideas whom we can never know about. Anyway, I think these things are there in every community and country around the world, in some cultures they are more open and acceptable in others they are not.
Reading about the recent controversy going on in India about a hate statement given by the RSS top leader Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, against the service of renowned and Nobel Prize winner for Peace Mother Teresa, I bumped into this website http://hinduexistence.org/. This post is not about what Bhagwat-Teresa controversy was but it’s about how ridiculous I found this website is.
What I figured out while reading a few articles on this website is that it is like a news bulletin which talks about how threatened the future of Hinduism or Hindus are in India. Most of the articles are either anti Islamic or anti Christianity. Anti Islamic because they either report a Muslim involved in some kind of vandalism (as the whole world think Muslims have only one thing to do) or they are planning to do something vicious against Hindus. Anti Christianity because they think all the Christians have a sole agenda of their life to convert more people into Christianity. It does not matter whether a Christian person or a Christian organization is charity related or education related (which as a matter of fact, many of the best education hubs and charities in India are run by Christian churches and missionaries) they only provide service so that they can convert more people to Christianity.
I got intrigued to find out how the population of India is divided among various religions. Referring to the Census of India Website I found a PDF document which reveals that Hindus are in majority with 80.5% of the total population, followed by Muslims and Christians with 13.4% and 2.3% respectively. I got really puzzled that how come Hindus who are in majority with much more than 50% margin are struggling for their existence. Then I realized that probably it’s not the struggle for survival, but its the struggle to gain more and more power by few top leaders of the Hindu extremist organizations. As nowadays the best way to make people support your agenda is to tickle their religious sentiments.
The main agenda of these organizations is to make India a nation only for Hindus and bring back the original Hinduism. I doubt that anyone actually knows what original Hinduism was because this religion follows many books and uncountable number of Gods. In my opinion bringing back original or former Hinduism is not a good idea for India because it will also bring back the setbacks associated with the staunch Hinduism such as caste system and practice of Sati. India is a becoming a future superpower not because it is standing on its religious extremism, but because it is still the largest democracy where people have shaken off and continuously getting rid of discriminations based on caste, sex and religion. People in India are still free to have an opinion without being threatened by the extremist organizations. But giving in to the powers of such organization in the hope of bringing back the old culture will only bring more adversaries than good. Culture is what people build, and it should be to help the humanity to unite one another, to love one another and to grow for the common good. Aggravating and dividing people on the basis of religion as only destroyed nations throughout the history.