It was 8:30 am on the clock, and as I sat sipping the hot cup of tea today morning, my eyes scrolled through the front page of AM (Ahmedabad Mirror). The headline read, “Muslim woman swaps kidney with Hindu wife to save husband”. As I took interest to read it through, the article touched me and set my mind churning into so many thoughts, inspiring me to write this post.
RELIGION is a word which is commonly heard from birth itself. As we grow to start understanding what the world around us looks like, how people around us are, whether who is a girl and who is a boy, we are first taught which religion we belong. As a child I used to understand it as teams of some sports game. Just like there are separate teams in any game, I considered that religion has different types to teams and I belonged to one. But I soon realized, it was much more than that.
Let us check upon the actual meaning of this word ‘religion’ - a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith, a personal set or institutionalized system of beliefs and practices. (Webster Meaning). Belief comes from ‘to believe’, to accept some truth confidently. But whom should we believe in? We all are aware as human beings that some supernatural force made this universe and we all exist on a planet called earth! But have you ever tried to question as to who divided the humans into ‘teams’ (would still like to use this word) which we formally term as religions today? How many of us accept our religion confidently, and not in some fear from someone or something? How far this belief goes, to what extent?
When the supernatural force made a human being, it did not label him with a religion neither print a name on his forehead saying you will be called so from now. That human being was in all terms pure, clean, transparent, natural and free. But when he stepped on earth, it was a globe of divisions - Divisions of religion, divisions of colour, divisions of rich and poor etc. And human being has become more a product having certified features than a being himself. What is natural left about him when everything he is explained from is artificial? His thoughts too have become artificial with the countless ‘beliefs’ around him!
He is more a HUMAN-THING rather a HUMAN-BEING!
Coming back to religion, which is the main aspect of all the divisions while other are sub-divisions, let us talk about only faith and belief for a while. As a human I am born free. Then if I choose not to believe in a particular type of God, and respect the supernatural force as it is, what am I? Well, that’s another category in itself again. There two kinds of people in this word based on this concept of religion, ‘atheists (those who don’t believe in God)’ and ‘theists(those who believe in God)’
People often say that, if these divisions weren't there, the world would be a chaos and there would not be any order. And everything revolves around this issue. But isn't the world a chaos now as well? What went wrong? Han't human actually made a business out of every belief today? Why don't we fear killing someone by will/by mistake and rather fear a ritual and take it for granted to cover our sins!
Love, they say is a natural feeling, "ho jata hai' ( happens on its own) and it cannot be controlled? Really? Think again. Now rewind back to the cases you hear often that a boy and girl belonging to different religions fell in love and this was not accepted by the families of either. What happens in such cases most of the times? Either the couple has to leave their homes and find a hide-out or the last option - suicide. But who was responsible for this? Parents blame their bringing up in these matters, the couple blames the parents and world, while the actual culprit is still a question mark! This is just one type of example, the number is infinite actually when it comes to cases related to discrimination as per religion. How many people must have given twice a thought for a girl or a boy in terms of love when it came to religion? Well, love can happen anytime, anywhere with anyone, but it eventually gets controlled by religion becoming a barrier between faiths, beliefs and humankind!
From a certain age, we are indirectly made to understand to know our religion better than the other, to worship a certain kind of God, to pray in certain kind of a temple and the labels just go and on. We believe or we are made to believe ...is what I don;t understand. Where am I in this all when I was only told to do all this and I keep doing it in some mere fear!
I am not against the existence of God or any supernatural force. I know someone is there watching my actions, helping me out in ways unknown and that someone is not visible but is there in each one of us. But what more? I thank that force, I am all respects for it, but why should I divide that force just because its my way of considering it as one. Nobody gave humans the right to divide that supernatural force and drag people into believing what they do. Today people need excuses to fight in the name of religion, oppose, revolt, comment, taunt and post/advertise just to probe. And all this has a selfish attitude involved. If it was really based on a faith and belief of your own, it wouldn't matter whether the other followed it as per you or not. It's your heart, its your belief, why force it on some one? Everyone has a right to follow it in their own way and moral values take care of other things. But if moral value and humanity is only missing, then be it any religion, it cannot be defined or blamed. The humanity of the person is to be blamed if he has committed a crime because a criminal does not have any religion.
Please note: I haven't mentioned any particular religion in this article, so I don;t mean to hurt the sentiments of any particular religion in person. This is just a general approach from my thinking and put here in form a post. Thank you for the read.
Strangely, the reality revolves around a totally opposite notion. Our society sees 'Dressing' as an act of being civilized, mannered, homely and majority of people make conclusions on our character as per the dress worn. This post is mainly meant on the so called norms of dressing that many girls, like myself face even today with the trouble of choosing what to wear in order to please the society and family. Or I would rather say, in fear of the society and family!
Recently I have realized, that a girl does not decide what she wears, it is the society norms that decide her clothing. ( shocked? seems ridiculous right?) But it is true. We don;t realize that because we are at the far end of this chain while the beginning is somewhere unknown! Let us shortlist the general questions which must be coming to the mind while choosing a dress for yourself, or lets say, you must be indirectly expected to think twice before wearing something? These are some questions revolving around just one thought - The judgement of Others!
Log kya sochenge ( What will people think?)
Ma-papa kuch bolenge toh nahi? (What will my parents think? )
Would they even allow me to go out of my own house wearing that?
On the other hand, parents think - Kuch ho gaya toh? Naam kharab hoga ( If something happens to her? society reactions!!) and all the crap! Well I understand they feel protective about us, but this is controlling someone's way to express! This gives rise to Fear and eventually compromising on tastes, just always! Why all these questions revolve solely around a girl? She is always being watched upon in different ways right from her own house to wherever she goes. There is this famous proverb : Charity begins at Home. Which means that you should try to help your family and friends before you think of helping other people. If restrictions begin at home itself, where do you think the mentality is taking the society?
So many people still believe that a girl invites trouble for herself, because she dresses in a certain way. But no one asks as to who gave the right to take it as an Invitation after all? People give a mean look to girls wearing short, sleeveless, glamorous dresses. Often elderly people are found saying : Western culture has spoiled the girls, and this statement comes from the way she dresses. She is judged from just one mere look, scanned through and the comments start flowing. Who is to be blamed for those judgments Who is to be blamed for those passing lewd comments and harassing? Who probes them? Me, you, the family who brought him up or the society and cultural norms that influenced his mindset....who has to be held responsible?
Girls have become a subject of symbolism and a status symbol. They are therefore adorned and portrayed in a certain way as to being presented as an identity of the family. But what is wrong if she takes decisions for herself? What is wrong if she is independent and wants to live as per her choice? Well, it is wrong because you are questioning her freedom. You are making her think that her choices don't matter. You are making others think that she is born to adjust with the society and family. A little of this thinking gives rise to a chain reaction of negative thinking. The more a person is stopped from doing something, the more he is probed to do it. And this is something our society needs to understand. You tell a girl not to cross a certain line, who will tell the boys to do the same?
The rate at which the rape cases are happening in our country, there are millions of issues arising daily questioning the society in different context. This is one major context in which the victim is questioned upon! As a result, other girls in the society don;t get to live as they want to. Wearing something is still a small issue, the other big ones are relative to that.
When we talk of changing the society. nobody realizes that the change is required in the way we SEE, THINK and DO as an individual ourselves. Blaming the girls for what they wear, is not the solution, it is a way of declaring that what happened was in result of the actions of the girl! You cannot even blame the parenting for a way girl dresses. It is her right to wear what she wants. Misusing someone for the reason that she likes to live by her choice is a crime!
I know many people will not agree with my piece of writing here and many would have agreed too. But I want to ask, do you really respect the women in your lives? Nothing can surpass respect. But the definition of respect will change if it comes by suppressing the needs of her! It will be a forced one in that case!
On the other hand, how many times have you exclaimed or passed a comment on seeing a girl dressed in glamorous way or watched her like a scanner? How many of you have exclaimed that she isn't a heroine to be wearing it? Why that comparison?
You cannot control someone else's state of mind, urge or thinking. You can only INFLUENCE IT! A criminal's mind cannot be controlled may what come. A person forcing upon his rights on other, is a sign of cowardliness and weakness. Increasing fear, will only increase the crimes. You may stop a thousand girls from dressing in a certain way, but the crime - rate will not decrease, because the basis lies in the narrow - mindedness in the way things are looked upon.
If you observe nature, everyone is born free and everybody has the right to survive. In the name of safety and security hidden behind the curtains of society, we humans do not gain the rights to control someone's way of living.
True respect comes with open mind only because it is then you accept someone with his/her dignity, maintaining their self respect and yours too. If a child understands this, he/she will never grow to be a criminal, may what comes.
Photo credits: Website: http://ipaintingsforsale.com/painting/wondering_at_las_brujas-29035.html
Fabian Perez Paintings - Fabian Perez Wondering at Las Brujas Painting
I often wonder…
Am I so addicted to you?
When I keep craving to relive all those moments with you;
I often wonder…
Am I still in Love with you?
When you keep going away and I only run after you;
I often wonder…
What keeps me pulling towards you?
When your eyes sparkle and peep me through.
I often wonder…
Will my dreams ever come true?
When I close my eyes to sleep and all I see is YOU!
Answers in blunder…
Life seems like a long queue
Where I stand waiting for the pearl-like morning dew.
Still I wonder…
Could there be someone better than you?
When my heart lies scared of separating from you.
Will any of above ever come true?
What lies beneath me is silence all through.
My mind ponders...
Revolving around a mystery with shallow clues;
Glimpses of memories which made me fall in love with you.