29 October 2006

Problem with intellectuals

In every country and almost everywhere intellectuals are against the government. Anarchism seems to be only solution acceptable to them. I talk about this because I was reading this, thttp://www.tehelka.com/story_main14.asp?filename=hub110505_In_India_CS.asp interview given by Aundhanti Roy, where she talks about oppression, morality, corruption etc.
The day I find an intellectual who offers a practical solution to real world problem, I shall appreciate their existence. All the time I see so called intellectuals opposing every solution that an authority comes up with, and almost everything that exists in society. That is the problem with the intellectuals. They highlight problems and aggravate it by halting some solutions that may work partially. They never offer a solution. It is all in bits and pieces. Do not like that, that is wrong, That is oppression blah blah.....
Solutions? No they have no idea.

20 October 2006

Napoleon's March on Moscow

This photo might belong to somebody. Being used just beause it looks nice. All right belongs to authors.

Bengaluru - Fetch me a glass of milk!

The day Bengaluru will be called by its name and when the colours of colonialism have faded, I will be so much satisfied. A feudatory of the Vijayanagara Empire and called Bengluru by my ancestors is an international city that truly deserves its own name.

It pains me to read those who say that the city is being renamed. No. A common name is being officially declared to clear the confusion. It is called Bangalore in English, Bangalour in Hindi and Bengaluru in Kannada.

Locals have sovereign right to call their cities by their own name. Imposing the name liked by the immigrants to the city can at best be undemocratic. I did not know until I was 16 that the capital city of my province was also called Bangalore. It smacks of intolerance when immigrants from other parts of India hate local culture and disrespect the language. I have been humiliated in Bengaluru for speaking the language of my mother. A native can not be a sitting duck, when his own language is being disrespected in the capital of his province.

Today the name of my country to the English educated is India. There is no harm in calling us what others call us. We should not forget what we call ourselves. Germans always call themselves Deutsch. Dutch are from Nederland. Belgians are from Koninkrijk Belgie. The French call themselves Français. The sacred Sahyadri mountain ranges are a strange name! Western Ghats are a more familiar name.

It is for us to learn respecting freedom of the people. Respect everything that contributes to the identity as something of value. I do not want New Delhi to be Hosa Dehali (as in Kannada). But I would vociferously protest those who think that Bengaluru is not trendy and the city does not deserve to be called by the simple yet soothing name.
Eight years ago I was standing in one of the bus stops in Bengaluru. A smartly clad guy, who until now was talking in Kannada, asked me if the bus in front goes to the Bengaluru city centre. I said, "Yes, It does" and turned to my brother. I was wondering why he was asking me, a man who has just seen the city a day before. My brother pointed towards the rubber slipper I wore. He said, "Your rubber slipper told him that you can read Kannada"!

Fetch me a glass of milk, now my capital will be called in my mother's language.
Ragu Kattinakere

19 October 2006

Deepavali: The Festival of Lights

(Image: Thanks to Sushruta Dodderi)
Deepavali is one of the festivals celebrated in the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the biggest festivals Indians celebrate. Sanskrit name Deepavali is a compound word made up of 'Deepa' (light) and 'Avali' (row). These two words are joined by most frequent of the Sanskrit compounds, 'Savarna Dheerga'. etymological meaning would then be 'row of lights'. [Most popular name however is the corrupted from which is 'Diwali']. Let us see how the festival is celebrated in my part of India.

This is a four day festival yet festivities go beyond. The festival starts on the 29th day of the 7th month (Ashwija) of traditional calendar and ends on the 1st day of 8th month (Kartika) [Note that months are divided into two groups of 15 days].
On 28th day (Krishna Paksha Trayodashi) it is time to clean and worship the water spring (water well). Kids go to every house in the village with bells and cymbals (Jaagate) and participate in spring worship performed by the women of the house. People believe that the water they use everyday as a symbolic representation of the Holy Ganges River (River Ganga). It is in fact called the Ganges worship (Gange Pooje). Kids leave for next house after munching the fresh coconut sugar mix. The lady of the house sprinkles the water freshly drawn from the well on everyone around.

Most interesting thing happens during the same night of the 28th day of Aswija month: The Steeling Night! It is called Boore Kalu Haayuvudu in Kannada language (Steeling for Boore Festival). People are free to steel from other's produces on that night. Normally the things that were traditionally required for the next day's festival are stolen! Mostly youngsters steel Coconuts, Beatle nuts, and some other agricultural produces. This probably stems from 'Charvakas' the atheist group of Hindus. They believe in life, not in GOD ("Borrow and eat but live happily").

29th day (14th day of Krishna Paksha) is Naraka Chaturdashi also called Boore Habba in Kannada. According to Indian mythology this day 'Naraka' a daemon was killed and hence is a day of victory. Almost everyone goes for an oil massage bath called Boore Meeyuvudu. Then wears a block bindi prepared by women of the house called Boore Kappu.
The last day of the festival is Bali Padyami, the day of Cow and Bali worship. Cow enjoys the day with nice starters (Turolge), main course (Rice) and desserts (Banana!). This is believed to be the day of King Bali, an honest and beloved king of the people as mentioned in the Bhagavata one of the ancient Indian chronicles. The 5th incarnation/Avatar of the GOD is named Vaamana. Vaamana steps on Bali and sends him to the world beneath the earth called Patala. But grants him a boon that he will be honoured with a day dedicated to him where it is believed he returns to earth. King Bali is thus remembered every year.

Evening that day is the time to party, a torch party. Folk songs galore. People sing songs while they march to the temple with torch in their hands. They shout, "Light Light Light So Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet". Climax comes when they set fire in front of the temple and start singing folk songs in rural dialect: "Mettilu mettilu chanda eemane mettilu chanda...."

Cotton immersed in vegetable oil glows with a blissfull light in earthen crucibles, rows of them as you see in the picture above. That is Deepavali Festival of Lights. The message festival carries is simple, "Asatoma Sadgamaya". From falsehood to truth, darkness to light, mortality to immortality.

To culminate, I should pray not in my own words but in the words of Tagore, "To that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake"

17 October 2006

Waiting To Fall

I will, believe me! It is snowing you know, so early in the autumn. I am waiting I said, I am waiting to fall. Nobody hates snow. (I do!) But this ice that makes us float on the land is hmmm..... frustrating.
That is why I am going to fall. It is slippar everywhere. This should be last blog before y bones are broken.


15 October 2006

God of Nasty Things

Woh! 'God of Small Things' is an old title, other alternatives we may think of for titling God related articles are, 'God of Small Thugs', 'Beware of God', 'Gods are not allowed' etc etc.. I however choose a little indecent looking one 'God of Nasty things'.

May peace be upon you. God save gods. Now I am going to talk about them all. Before all that can happen we have to some analysis on the existence of god. Here we go! Science until now has not been successful in proving or disproving GOD. That makes agonistic beliefs more scientific than theistic or atheistic beliefs. However neither atheistic nor theistic belief can be branded unscientific.

Gödel’s incompleteness theorem: "...The implication is that all logical system of any complexity are, by definition, incomplete; each of them contains, at any given time, more true statements than it can possibly prove according to its own defining set of rules. ". It goes on..... "Perhaps doomed also, as a result, is the ideal of science - to devise a set of axioms from which all phenomena of the external world can be deduced.". "Gödel showed that provability is a weaker notion than truth, no matter what axiom system is involved ... " (I am not talking for Vatican! Believe me. I am not impressed.) (Source: http://www.miskatonic.org/godel.html)

So.... we do not know...... but there is GOD!, at least in heads of majority of human beings on earth. That unfortunately is not good news as we would have expected. My supervisor told me about the concept of "Meme". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme). How correct can the arguments that our ideas are right, be true?

In an attempt to claim superiority of our own ideas and imposing them on others, all religions have undermined divinity. "Difference in faith is a by difference in thought" said a thinker (Beremati bere mata Mankutimma -DVG). The business of divinity can not be proprietary of some group. Some have argued that faith is an indication of weak mind.

I have attributed atheism to refusal to accept the weakness of our minds. Psychological studies have shown that child needs a great amount of affection and care to feel safe. I shall argue that habitual trait is dormant in our minds and surfaces unconsciously (sometimes consciously). It is then that we see a support in at least the hypothetical entity, if not in a physical (parents) one.

My parents taught me to pray. I find it difficult today to pray standing in front of an entity whose existence is questionable. I have been an atheist for a while and now I have made a decision. Isn't there some ego involved in not believing GOD? Existence or non-existence of GOD is irrelevant. One can deny GOD but not the bliss in devotion.

I believe in GOD fully knowing that such an entity may not exist. I believe in GOD because it is useful to me.

Stolen Thoughts

Not that I have not stolen. I was caught stealing a bunch of beatle nuts from my neighbour's attic, when I was a kid (must be 5 or 6). No, I did not steal anything this time around.