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Why this Cruelty?

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Lennox was killed on July 11, 2012 by the Belfast City Council. He was a pit bull look alike captured by the Belfast City Council under the Breed Specific Legislation that permits them to kill ‘dangerous’ dogs. Lennox was part of a human family, a constant companion to their little girl, and the Council’s expert described Lennox as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across. He was incarcerated 26 months ago, his family fought an uphill legal battle, and lost. There was a candle light vigil to save Lennox right before the day he was reportedly killed.

Reportedly’, because a lot of activists have questioned why the family was refused a last visit, why the body would not be handed over (but ‘some ashes’ may be sent by mail), and why Lennox was not seen for months. It is a suspicion that has been growing, and is likely to find a very strong voice, that the Council had killed Lennox a long time back, and was manipulating the judicial system to save face. That he was ‘humanely’ put to death in a ‘secret kennel’ is fuelling speculations that may appear largely justified to the supporters of this cause.

Lennox: Victim of Abuse of Breed Specific Legislation

This atrocity happened in a city with thousands others protesting it, and tens of thousands more all around the world joining in. There are Irish who have publicly declared that they are ashamed of their heritage after what the Council did. And all this over one little dog. I am happy to say that at least one somewhat similar incident comes to mind: cats were taken into the Writers Building to get rid of a mice pestilence, and when the cats bred as they do, there was a plan to kill them off. Animal welfare organisations all over the State protested and had their way. However, not one of my Indian friends on Social Media sites seemed the least bit interested over the story of Lennox that was literally rocking the world, and still is. That does not make them better or lesser than anyone. That makes them indifferent, and I wish it were otherwise.

This was to be the concluding article to the series regarding vivisection, and animal testing in the cosmetic industry. I did not plan it to be like this originally, but I wish the murder of Lennox will not have been in vain. I wish more of us would take proactive steps to stop the daily torture and killing of innocent animals. There is no point in getting rid of your favourite brand of razor or shampoo just because somebody said so. What I write here is not as important as what you can find out for yourselves. You will find documented evidence (as opposed to unsubstantiated claims) if you search the internet on which brands are into animal testing. And I dare say, you will be shocked.

If you wish to make a difference, please stay informed. Leapingbunny.org: ‘The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC) Leaping Bunny Program administers a cruelty-free standard and the internationally recognised Leaping Bunny Logo for companies producing cosmetic, personal care, and household products.’ instead of maligning companies that do practise animal testing, Leapingbunny encourages consumers to invite their favourite brands to the cruelty free program which apprises them directly of consumer sentiments. Boycotting certain brands is relatively easy, but it is a more positive step if we make an effort to convince them to be cruelty free.

(Originally published in Pet Theory, htcity, hindustan times, Kolkata, Friday, July 13, 2012)

Written by kapush

July 20, 2012 at 2:07 am

Kill with Kindness, Cat, Fish and Compassion

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People who work for animal welfare organizations, ones that really want to make a difference, that is, are usually passionate about what they do. Consequently, they are often vegetarians, and some will not wear leather shoes. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), for example, expects as much from its members, and PETA has been doing wonderful work around the globe.

I am often asked if I am a vegetarian. I am not. I have a couple of friends who do not actively work for animals, but have given up meat. I work approximately six hours a day on strays and stray-turned pets, and have given up so much of my residence to an ill-maintained cat shelter that I have to live in a rented house with my family. I may appear to be passionate about the work I do, and yet, I wear leather shoes and partake in killing animals, namely fish, to feed the strays that I shelter.

My fish supplier goes to absurd extents to make sure the strays are fed, even if it means cycling 15 km and back when there is nothing available locally. He also spent out of his own savings when my finances were so low that I could not pay him. I had run up a debt upward of Rs. 20, 000, and all he did was ask me not to worry about it. And yet, this man would chop the fins off fish before he killed them, until he realized how cruel that was.

Somehow, working for animals has become something ‘they’ do and we do not, ‘they’ being people with a lot of money and time for ‘such things’. It was not so long ago that people who chased strays with sticks if they tried to steal food would also make sure they were fed on leftovers. That was not labelled as animal welfare, and was something that ‘everyone’ did. Today, all refuse is carried out of localities infested with multi-storied buildings, and strays are seen as a nuisance.

It was a practice in East Bengal to stop eating hilsa fish between Dashami and Saraswati Puja. The fish spawn during that period, and the custom was not unlike that of not cutting down or even pruning trees that have just borne fruit. Traditions that are both practical and humane.

Homeless

I wish animal welfare did not have to be the work of a group of people who appear to be ones with a lot of restraint, or just plain eccentric. You need not prevent cruelty by turning vegetarian. You can, however, ask your butcher to treat animals with kindness while they are still alive – without appearing self-righteous. You may also want to pick one dog in your locality to give a small treat to on your way home from work every evening. A single biscuit will reward you with an expression of genuine gratitude that, if you care to notice it, will stay with you forever.

It isn’t that we aren’t compassionate, but it’s just that we do not always know what we would like to be compassionate about. Most people are not sadistic, or cruel: they just don’t realize that there are so many different ways of being kind, and so many in need of such acts of kindness. If we can believe that animal welfare is not something that only eccentric people and celebrities indulge in, we would probably find many happy strays in every locality, and a lot less cruelty against them.

(Originally published in Pet Theory, htcity, hindustan times, Kolkata, Friday, February 17, 2012)

Written by kapush

June 19, 2012 at 12:59 am

Striking Comments: Article One

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Striking Comments_Article One

When we were young, late seventies that is, Bangla Bandh was an occasion of some importance, and rarity. It was also fun. It was a day when we could play football or cricket on the VIP Road, or ride to our school in Ganganagar on our cycles and then come back to Baguiati.. Ever since people began saying ‘yet another Bandh?’, strikes lost their political and sociological relevance. 

Everyone likes a surprise holiday – once in a while. Even lazy people like myself do not look forward to multiple Strikes in a year or sometimes even in the space of a month. This political instrument has been misused and abused to an absurd extent. Today Economists can talk about how Strikes do not change a darn thing about price hike. An irrelevant observation, if you ask me: Strikes are not for people who understand the intricacies of Economics. While we are on the topic, who understands the intricacies of Economics other than Economists? I certainly don’t. Strikes are a show of power and solidarity among people brought together by common interests. It is a way of showing the administration that no government can function without a work force, and so, it had better pay attention – or else. Strikes are a way of making your presence felt. It is unfortunate that today we all know what happens when such presence is felt too often. 

I personally support the Government’s initiative to end Strikes in West Bengal. However, the good intentions fall flat when you look at the methods adopted to ensure that. The Hon’ble Minister Shri Madan Mitra does not appear to have changed much from his questionably famous 1, 2, 3 days. He is still using the same tactics with regard to ‘illegal and unlicensed’ auto rickshaws. It is probably okay to force no work no pay on a Strike day on Government employees, and it would certainly be effective to drive home the point with a service break threat – if there were legal provisions for such a move. As it turns out, there is none. It is also rather disturbing that the representatives of the Government should keep referring to the Countrywide Strike as a plot hatched by a single political party which must be defeated. The challenge game, let us face it, is immature at best. 

As for ‘wasting’ fuel by keeping the Government buses plying: perfectly justified in view of the fact that there is no other way to assure the general populace that they have a choice. Why do most people not go out on a Bandh day after all? For one, they are not sure that there will be sufficient transport available, and then, they wonder if they are going to come back home in one piece or at all. Admirable move, then, by the State Government, to keep the buses plying even without passengers. No sarcasm here: if we are to banish the Strike Virus for good, some amount of initial loss is inevitable. Call it investment. That takes care of the first part of the problem. Unfortunately for us all, we are more uncertain than ever of coming back home safely when journalists are thrashed and the Chief Minister publicly dismisses it as a plot hatched by a certain news channel. Ransacking a Party Office of the Opposition is perhaps justified since we all know how the Left Front Government has done absolutely nothing useful in the last thirty four years. 

Anyway, the CP(I)M is getting what was coming to them, everyone knows that. They are the worst thing that could have happened to West Bengal in the last – that’s right, – the last thirty plus four years. Problem is, when the Opposition is murdered – let’s say the investigation will reveal that the Dewandighi victims were murdered by a combination of internal strife and spontaneous outburst of public rage – we are still not safe even though we are bhadralok who have nothing to do with politics. The Chief Minister and her Ministers have made enough well thought out comments to give the impression to a lot of people that explaining away any kind of act is easy. Which is why there is a distinct echo of Ms. Banerjee’s comment when the recent murder of Sagar Mete in Nanoor (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/cpim-worker-beaten-to-death/970368.html ) is dismissed by TMC local spokesperson on camera as consequence of internal strife. It is either internal strife, or, in case of farmers’ deaths (who, incidentally, are not really farmers at all, we are told), problems within the family, and if all else fails, there is the conspiracy theory. How long before we are either in the wrong place at the proverbial wrong time or before we realize that there was a lot of internal strife within our family because of which nothing happened to us that was not fabricated?

Trinamool Victory Should Assure Another Three Decades of Left Front Rule & Beyond Politics

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Musings: 

Trinamool Victory Should Assure Another Three Decades of Left Front Rule


This one ought to have been titled ‘Musings’ in keeping with my blogging tradition, since I came up with it musing about my voting rights and choices. Actually, it was, until I reached the end and read it over. Now I want others to read it too, and that too, before they vote. Pity my brilliant ideas come so late. Still, better late than never. And so, the keyword dense eye catching (hopefully thought provoking) title.

I am serious, however. I really think that another Left Front rule is just waiting to happen, one with more audacity, more ‘Big Brother is Watching’ and ‘Big Brother Knows Best’ kind of attitude that has brought it to where it is now. This is not much of a puzzle to be figured out. How did the present Government last so long anyway? Apart from its unquestionably precise and efficient organizational skills, it is the Congress of the ’72 that assured this. Now, that memory has faded away and the apathy for the Left is so strong that people will vote for anyone but the Left. Trinamool offers itself as a choice, no matter the kind of choice, and people are willing to take it just to rub the Left’s nose in the dirt and say ‘how does that feel?’

Understandable, except for the fact that this time the Left was well and truly scared, and might have done a bit of house cleaning if they won. If they do not win, a Trinamool Government will convince the masses pretty soon that they were better off with the lesser evil, and the ’72 will be replaced by a 2011. Big Brother will know that they are the Biggest Brother of all. What will stop them from being even more smug, even more pretentious, even more interfering and even more everything else that is so despicable about them that people will right now opt for anyone but them? Nothing. They will know that people know now that there is no alternative. Finally the fact will be established, and a condescending Left will deign to come back in power and say ‘ok, lets see, where were we before ya’ll decided to start thinking for yourselves?’

Now TMC members will call me I don’t know what. TMC supporting intellectuals and common people will call this a subversive tactic to win votes for the Left, doubtless. All the rest will ask the well deserved question: How the heck do I know? Maybe the new Government will be better – after all, what could possibly be worse than the present one? May be, even if they are worse, the Left will do a house cleaning anyway when they come back. Maybe……… Right. I DO NOT KNOW.

I do have an imagination, however, which sometimes prompts me, on the basis of certain facts, to come to certain conclusions. Oh, and it takes the help of whatever logic my mind possesses. Lets come to the facts then. And by the way, this article is for self preservation. I want the Left to win this election. More importantly, I do not want TMC to come to power. I mean,really …!

The Facts

&

Beyond Politics


Before I got assigned to my current job there, Helencha was for me the name of a leafy vegetable akin to spinach, and Bagdah, a variety of crustacean.

In fact, Helencha Colony is a village and a Gram Panchayat in Bagdah Block, about nineteen kilometres away from Bongaon and seventeen short of the Bangladesh border. If you get off at Helencha Bajaar, you will find the road bifurcated: the one on your left goes towards Duttaphulia and the one straight ahead to Bagdah and Boyra.

About two and a half  kilometers beyond Helencha and about five kilometers to your right parallel to the road to Bagdah and Boyra is Ronghat Gram Panchayat comprising of villages Ronghat, Pulia and Rajkole and fourteen more. Pulia and Rajkole have the largest percentage of minority (read Muslim) population (read voter), approximately 55% and 45% respectively. Muslim population is indigenous to the region while the Hindus are mostly refugees from Bangladesh (or their descendants).

It is  significant that communal strife is the one thing that is missing in this politically active region.This used to be an area predominantly Congress. The Left Front somehow crept in and made a place for itself. With the disappearance of Congress from the Political scenario of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee has found a way in and now with a feeble presence of original Congress followers still sticking to their beliefs and ways, a major section of the populace is supportive of Trinamool, hateful of CPIM and generally disdainful of the Left Parties like the Forward Bloc.

In 2008, near Eid, the Trinamool found a novel way of attracting minority voters. There is a Government approved cow slaughterhouse in Hariyarpur,a village in Ronghat Gram Panchayat. A few leaders had a brainwave and promised the Muslim Community that if elected, they would arrange for the same in every village.

Among them were Kartick Bayne, who had shifted to TMC in late 2007, but was a candidate of TMC supported Nirdal Congress (I) in 2008; Ramesh Shikdar, also Trinamool, and our very own Dulal Bor. Rumour has it that Didi is rather displeased with this person and so Upen Biswas has been roped in this time. Whatever.

The trio, along with others, went to Pulia and Rajkole with their full contingent, organized the Qurbani to prove their point in about four places. Five cows were slaughtered in the name of politics between ten and twelve in the morning and noon. By the time Ganapati Biswas (CPIM), then Panchayat Pradhan of Ronghat had information of this, everything was over.

Now a word about Ganapati Biswas: he was awarded the President’s award Nirmal Gram Puroshkar as Panchayat Pradhan. With that came five lakh Rupees to Ronghat Gram Panchayat and Project Sajal Dhara to supply water via pipes to all of Bagdah.  Public Health Engineering heads this with three projects, one at Kola with 1 crore 46 lakh Rupees investment and covers 13 villages. The pipeline has been completed, and construction of overhead tank is under way. Central Government bears 75% cost and the rest is borne by the State.

After the Qurbani stunt, Ganapati Biswas lost his position as Panchayat Pradhan and Kamalakshmi Biswas also lost.

Apparently, the two incidents are related, and the TMC had played its cards well. The real story makes us a little hopeful, however. There was about 2% change in vote in favour of Trinamool because of the slaughters. The rest of the votes were lost due to various reasons including internal strife amongst the Left Front leaders and because of the fact that Ganapati Biswas was at that time given employment in a college in Helencha (Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Satabarshiki Mahavidyalaya)  and people were apprehensive that he may not be as effective as Panchayat Pradhan any longer.

The Motua, a sect on whom I would love to write something informative sometime later, were alienated by the Helencha Local Committee Secretary of the CP(I)M when he spoke disparagingly of their idols Thakur Harichand and Thakur Guruchand, both pioneers of education. This, and other minor reasons cost the Left the seat of MLA which was occupied for the last twenty five years by Sri Kamalakshmi Biswas (Forward Bloc).

Kamalakshmi babu, as I call him,is one of the most honest and perhaps for that very reason, eccentric individuals I have ever known. He has all along refused to put his name in plaques wherever he has done any work as an MLA, and so the people are generally under the impression that he has done nothing during his tenure. Well, that is a different story. Kamalakshmi babu was replaced by Sri Dulal Bar, whose claim to fame is breaking of furniture at the Assembly, and more recently, being accused of involvement in the murder of a housewife. My point being, even then, acting the Big Brother way by a half wit LCS who now is seen getting real friendly with the Motua, alienated a section of the masses so much so that they would vote for anyone but the Left. It did not matter to them who they would be replacing with what.(Ahem).

I was wondering: if this area where people wake up with politics in their mind and go to bed thinking and dreaming of politics can avoid getting communal, why can’t the rest of us? Perhaps we ought to conduct a research to find out if genes or regional anomaly or whatever is responsible for such conduct. Perhaps we could then mass produce an anti communal vaccine. And second, if only the Left Front were a little less full of mean minded high handed individuals, we could avoid such disturbing incidents in the name of politics.

Thankfully, the TMC is an unorganized body and could not conceive of Qurbani in all the villages of Ronghat Gram Panchayat at once. Thankfully they do not have that organizational capacity. On the other hand, thanks to the Left Front, we could very well be looking forward to a TMC government who are not organized enough to be as predictable a threat as the Leftists are. The common man is at stake while our so called leaders fight it out.

I cannot help but remember what Aristotle said about this common man: that whoever disdains politics and keeps his hands clean risks having an inferior man rule over him. I do not know how many people I am superior to, but I really wish more of us had kept our hands less clean. I might just make time from my usual schedule of eight hour daily commute to the workplace and taking care of forty odd cats and dogs, to join the Left Front as an official member if TMC comes to power this time. Not much use sitting on the sidelines and cribbing, hm?

Written by kapush

April 24, 2011 at 2:08 am

About Depression … and possibly, other things

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I think I am going to treat this post like a diary and keep adding entries to it. Not a healthy habit, obviously, writing consistently about depression. Still, there is something I call ‘Creative Depression’ . It is the kind that people with some amount of creative ability may indulge in so that they may – well, create. Sounds ridiculous, maybe, but it is a fact. The depression is real too, as are its causes. Nothing is a fantasy – just richer in content than your run of the mill, average depression that simply puts you out of phase and fills you with lethargy. Look at me: I am typing in the middle of the night because I am creatively depressed. You do NOT have to tell me that this piece of writing is NOT art. Or very creative. I know that. I also know that I have not written in ages, and if this bit of musing converts into the (virtually) written word, I will take it. In any case, it proves my point – or, actually, I am not trying to prove anything here, so I think I’ll revise that : In any case, it illustrates my point – Creative Depression is the kind of depression that helps you create.

This kind of depression is often brought on by cloudy skies, windy afternoons and cloudy skies, and thunderstorms (mixed reaction here: also makes you euphoric sometimes). The nastiest of all depressions, I find, is the one that kind of hovers between the Creative and the Lethargic. It can go either way, or both, one at a time. Imagine that it has been hot as hell for days. Imagine that you have prayed for rain. And now it has rained. In drops, then in buckets. After that there is no rain, just the wetness. The roads are wet or damp. The trees look damp. The sky is dull. When the sun shines, it is hot again, and you see the dampness all around. And, there is no wind. No cool, or even warm summer breeze. There is no movement, just damp vegetation and walls and roads and an after-taste of rain that has been. The weather is cooler than it was, yes, but uncomfortable somehow.

I don’t know about you, but this kind of weather really, really gets me down. Oh – and, please remember this: if you want to get depressed real good, you have to be alone or relatively alone, and preferably with a lot of work . If you are a party animal that spends days and nights in an air  conditioned environment you are not likely to feel anything but a hangover, maybe. Or so I have been told. Not being judgemental here. Not being able to feel depressed because of the weather is probably not one of the finer points of being a good human being or even a bad one. You are probably not any less if you have made arrangements to not allow the weather to affect you.

However, I would personally feel secure knowing that you are aware that there is a weather out there that changes now and then. Why? Because I would feel that my world is real, at least as real as yours is. That stamp of approval is necessary for me these days. This is not an answer to an examination question, and I am not going to elaborate. This post is just an extended twit, largely meaningless but for the person who wrote it and some kindred souls that may empathise with it.

I have to see whether I really use this post as a diary.

Written by kapush

May 24, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Posted in musings

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Land Acquisition _ Study Leave for Research not Granted

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The Statesman, 02.04.2010(South Bengal Plus)

Senior VU reader denied study leave for research

1 April 2010

Shyam Sundar Roy

MIDNAPORE, 1 APRIL: The President and Prime Minister have frequently stressed that university teachers should engage in research activities for the country’s development. However, the decision makers of Vidyasagar University (VU) recently prevented a senior teacher from pursuing research in the institution.

The teacher was not granted study leave for the purpose by the CPI-M-controlled executive council to conduct advanced research on the problems of land acquisition for industries by the Left Front government.

The affected teacher is Mr Abhijit Guha, a reader in the department of anthropology of the VU. He applied for study leave for two years from 10 December 2009, as per provisions under Section 122 of the Vidyasagar University First Ordinances, 1985. Curiously, the VU authorities sat on his application for more than three months, despite repeated appeals by Mr Guha.

Finally, the VU registrar informed him on 31 December 2009 ~ three weeks after the scheduled commencement of his leave ~ and several days after the VU executive council meeting, saying, “The executive council, in its meeting on 17 November 2009, has not accepted your request for study leave, as you haven’t mentioned the name of the institute where you wish to conduct the study.”

However, the VU Ordinances have no provisions to ask an applicant seeking study leave to mention the name of the institute where he would conduct research. Section 122 of the Ordinance clearly states, “Study leave for advanced study and research may be granted to a full-time permanent employee of the university by the executive council, provided such employee has put in at least two years’ service. And, there shall be a gap of at least three years between two periods of such leave.”

Mr Guha has been serving the VU for more than 24 years and he did not take any study leave even when he wrote the book, “Land, Law and the Left” in 2007 criticising the LF government. The book had earned him national and international recognition.
When contacted to comment on the matter, the VU Vice Chancellor, Professor SK Pramanick, was enraged and slammed the phone. The fuming VC belittled The Statesman correspondent alleging, “Are you acting as personal secretary of Mr Guha?”

Written by kapush

April 2, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Political

Mother can cook

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I am not going to write ‘in my opinion’ repeatedly or even once (apart from this once) in the course of what is to follow. It is my opinion that I write about. To improvise on Abraham Lincoln: I do shine my own shoes.

One of the shortest routes to emancipation for women is to retain their maiden name – or surname actually. One wonders what is achieved by such practice. Obviously the so-called identity that is linked to a name is preserved. Or it becomes a combinatin of one name and two surnames. Imagine what would happen if the latter two were to be, say, Roy Chowdhury and Bhattacharya. One long full signature, that! Jokes apart, there are perhaps more worthwhile things to do in this imperfect world of ours. I do not wish to be both misunderstood and despised, therefore I will clarify: a woman who has otherwise proved herself (to herself) by doing something useful – anything she decides is useful, has the right to assert her independent identity by keeping her surname intact after marriage. Those in regular jobs and regular lives and with no contribution out of the ordinary are taking a shortcut to emancipation. Further clarification: the typical housewife does a wonderful job of managing the homefront, and is in no way lesser than a career woman – not even one that manages both her career and her home. Still, what have these two classes of woman really done to claim a different identity for themselves than the usual? They have simply shown that they are good for something. That by itself does not constitute exceptional contribution, or usefulness. Loosely speaking, we are all useful, all good for something. However, if that usefulness is limited to one’s own survival only, then it is hardly anything out of the ordinary.

What I am talking about here is leadership – or passive following – for a cause larger than one’s own periphery of existence. It could be anything, don’t ask me. Begin with World Peace if you are ambitious. Failing that, devise a plan to take out the garbage from the immediate vicinity- not just your own comminity. Or perhaps get together some elderly folks to arrange for workshops to revive the lost art of hand woven sweaters. Anything larger than your circle of essential existence counts. However, once you are at it, you will probably have little time to worry about whether you want to revive your maiden name or not. Romeo (yes, the character was speaking, not Shakespeare) may not have been entirely wrong, but one must admit there is magic in a name. As the Americans are so fond of saying: You look like a Fred!

What I would like to know after all this pseudo intellectual staff is whether the children are going to inherit their mother’s maiden surname as well. A survey in some newspaper some years back showed all the emancipated ladies saying that they would like their children to bear their father’s name. Very curiouser, wouldn’t you say?

I have a solution, one that I did not try to implement in case of my own family because of certain very good but personal reasons: let the boy carry the father’s name, and the girl the mother’s. That way it will be possible for the mother’s father’s surname to live on if the girl takes after the mother and retains her maiden name after marriage too. The boy can try and see what he can do with his legacy – and his wife. The inevitable solution seems to be to beget two children per emancipated family, one girl and one boy. Perhaps astrologers will be of help here since the only other way of determining the sex of the foetus leads to someplace usually dirty and full of mosquitoes and humans with questionable manners and intentions sitting right outside.

Suitably confusing, I hope, but eminently sensible if I may say so. I should think identities are preserved naturally with one’s achievements: Jaya Bachchan was known always as Jaya Bhaduri to our generation and Tina Ambani is what we have recently adapted to. I can think of none of my lady Professors going the emancipated way although I can not in my wildest dreams believe to come anywhere near them in knowledge, or ability to impart education. I personally know very few males who can. Funny thing is that this is probably the first time in my life that I have consciously classified my Teachers into genders. They had always been individuals, and apart from what constitutes the argument of this article, they still are.

Collecting the previous line of thought here: I wonder if the concept of Daddy’s Girl has something to do with this phenomenon of preservation of identity. After all, the only thing that is being preserved is the father’s surname. The woman strong enough to assert herself cannot possibly be dumb enough to have not noticed that. If it were her own identity she wanted to protect in an otherwise male dominated society, she simply would have chosen to remain a name without a surname tagged on for effect. I don’t know if that is legally possible, but emancipation is not easy. If necessary, efforts ought to be made to pass relevant laws to that effect. You need to work for it if you want Identity of all things! Anyway, the way it stands, certain women simply cannot bear the insecurity that marriage may bring to them, the sense of losing oneself and surrendering to a whole new person and his household customs. The very way one is used to being addressed changes along with living space and routes for travel. The newly married woman is wrenched out of her former existence of her own volition – because people calling her husband ‘ghar jamai’ will simply not fit in her agenda of emancipation as also because that would be a more violent way of disturbing status quo. So here they are, leaving behind every little thing they grew up with and going away to begin a new life. It is not so unfair that they may want to retain a little something while that happens. The more self conscious and therefore insecure ones would. I will not talk about intelligence here: that is an elitist approach and not acceptable. Intelligence, like most other concepts, is highly relative. How come there are so many male chefs is a common point of argument. Women are not intelligent enough to choose as profession what they naturally acquire from their mothers. They leave that to the male: the intelligent monkey stands out. That was just a figure of speech by the way. Shaker’s Radhuni is my favourite show. Well, it is my mother’s, and I sometimes watch.

Mother can cook fantastic is a commonplace, but when the father does the occasional mutton curry, he is the hero who can do it all!-but does not, since there are people who are there for the job, namely, the mother-class.

Still, one must have something to write on… and emancipation and the shortcuts associated are a wonderful subject. It is easy to get noticed, and better than a scandal. I am referring to the likes of myself here, who cash in on such emancipation. May all the independent ladies live long and prosper!

p.s. I am male, and I have retained my maiden name after marriage, and you can contact me for cooking lessons via my website kapush.net

Written by kapush

March 12, 2009 at 10:04 am

Posted in musings

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