I belong to the most discriminated group

There are several groups in India that are severely discriminated. Almost all of these are discriminated in a conspicuous way and people acknowledge it. However, the group I belong to, although discriminated conspicuously, isn’t really acknowledged by people. Most even think it is a joke.

The group doesn’t have a name. Most members have faced hardships due to their belonging to the group but no one has thought of coming together to fight for our rights. Again, if such a thing is mentioned, people dismiss it as a joke.

I call the group HYMIBA. Its an acronym for all the characteristics the members possess which makes them target for discrimination. The letters stand for the following:

H = Hindu
Y = Young
M = Male
I = Information Technology professional
B = Brahmin
A = Able bodied

There is a sub group called HYMIBAR and I belong to this. The R stands for religion free. Although the H and B have religious connotations, they are mainly cultural. We don’t subscribe to any religious of caste ideas. Yet it is attributed to us, but that is alright and we accept it. When there can be Dalit Muslims, why can’t there be Hymibars?

As a Hymibar, I face imperceptible inverse discrimination. One must remember that carbon monoxide too is imperceptible but it is lethal. Inverse discrimination means age wise, disability wise, gender wise, caste wise, religion wise and economic status wise I am a “privileged” citizen. Because I am classed as privileged, a positive adjective, the discrimination is imperceptible.

In buses and other public places we see signs to the effect of “Please allow women, children, older people and disabled to sit”. I’ve always said it’d be much direct (not that we fail to get it) and much much paint could be saved if they just write “All young able bodied men better stand” because signs like these are everywhere. God forbid (just an expression) we show a sign of tiredness, we are in for a lecture on how young men must be full of energy. Society harasses those young men who don’t pay heed.

And God double forbid if we ever say we aren’t in the mood to go to work some day, or quit the job and take a break from work for some while. We have to face a wall of text equivalent of unsolicited lecture about how men must not sit at home and idle away. While society condemns lecturing  women about being a good home maker terming it regressive and gender stereotyping, society forces men to be the bread earner of the house, and take responsibility of everything, even the women who are supposed to be liberated. I won’t even talk about alimony forced to be given to educated women.

Not to mention how being a male is an automatic misogyny in society. It is as though possessing facial hair and penis is a crime in and by itself.

Only because some distant ancestors of some of us were practicing some abhorrent inhuman casteist policies like untouchability etc every Brahmin, descendant of such disgusting people or not, must suffer and carry  what I call, “Brahmin’s burden” or “Brahmin’s guilt”. Unfortunately, such practices are very much prevalent even today, but the practitioners from other castes outnumber Brahmins by a long margin. At best, only those Brahmins still involved in traditional priestly duties at temples are likely to follow casteism. (Note that due to government policies, one can’t always conclude a priest to be a Brahmin because the reservation (affirmative action) allows non Brahmins to become priests.)

People laugh at Brahmins at urinals when they tie their janivara up onto their ear. People recite gayatri mantra in a funny way, like it is supposed to hurt and insult Brahmins. We irreligious ones don’t care but the  religious ones do feel a pained and angry. Brahmins are also ridiculed for their juttu and kachche.  The movies depict every anti hero rowdy as a poor Brahmin boy, which is extremely wrong and plain lies, except the poor part. People make fun of how Brahmins are vegetarian and don’t have physical strength. They don’t know the R ones eat meat and workout. They taunt us with slurs like “bomman” and “shastri” and  “pulchar”. Ahimsa is our creed, so we let them go.  The worst is, we are made to look like criminals if we show a bit of intelligence when others are gaping at problems, or we are called sly and patronizing if we genuinely complement or try to help someone. We have to remember to tone ourselves down.

If that is about caste, coming to religion, increasingly, simply being a Hindu is seen by media and intellectuals as being non secular (aka Muslim & Christian hater). It doesn’t matter that we are cultural Hindus, we are classed with rowdy right wingers and treated badly. Funnily, when we point out that we are religion less, right wingers accuse us of being secular (or sickular, meaning Muslim & Christian lobbyist) or communist.

To top these, people constantly assume that because we work in IT industry, we are all stinking rich. Nothing can be farther from the truth. We are harassed so much that we can’t wear upscale clothes, not even merely “upscale looking”. Or have latest gadgets. Or have lunch at good restaurants. Or drive a big SUV. Or take an auto till our houses. Or office. Non IT colleagues generally give us this look of mixed envy and disgust. Auto drivers will start incessantly pleading for tips when they don’t rig the meters to fleece money.

Having at least one criteria of Hymiba can be quite an ordeal, imagine having everyone of them. Its a living hell. We are raped. Mentally. Day in and day out.

I am pretty sure, and I bet my janivara and koupina, that if a Hymiba is beaten to death in broad daylight by rowdies it wouldn’t make as much news and noise as a non Hymiba being the victim. In fact one need have just one letter missing, preferably the non-I letters, and all hell will break lose.

No political parties talk about Hymiba. Its a joke to the society if we narrate our ordeals. What are we supposed to do, make a noose out of the janivara and hang ourselves? We pay out taxes, probably the biggest tax payers. We are rightful citizens.

Yet the society doesn’t care about us, about me.

I call all fellow Hymiba(r)s to join me in making a political party, or at least a lobby group, for equal rights. The perception of majority that we are privileged must not be used as an excuse to discriminate against us.

PS: I wanted to call it Bhimya, but I didn’t want the other group accusing me of hate and misuse the law to send me to prison.

PPS: If you read this and thought this must be a bad joke, shame on you. Its people like YOU who discriminate us. Shame. On. YOU.

 

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About Akbaruddin Owaisi’s speech

Let me start off by reviewing it. The plot was missing, the screenplay was all over the place, the dialogs were cliched and made you cringe, the camera work was shoddy and the acting was non existent. The supporting actors were confused about their cue and the lead actor was more juvenile than anything. He needs to speak proper Urdu if he needs a wider audience. Every time he used a khaaf in place of a qaaf I died a little.  He needs to improve his overall approach if he wishes to contend for a spot among the great hate mongers. However I must say there was this weird entertaining factor that you find with a badly made C movie. Would I watch it again? Sure, why not. To sum it up, it was like Zakir Naik meets Tahir ul Qadri meets Arnab Goswami

Although the previous paragraph was mostly in jest, the last line wasn’t. This man and his speech must be given same treatment as one would to people mentioned: chuckling and ignoring. However, the majority of the citizens, including the liberal intellectuals, are dead against such speeches and there is a huge uproar about arresting him and imprisoning him. The offense is exacerbated as he is an MLA.

While conventional wisdom says he must be prosecuted as the speech was hateful, indecent and against spirit of co existence, and there are indeed laws to that effect, I have two things to say.

First and foremost, this hate speech is harmless. You might be shocked (and probably wondering if I am a  Muslim myself  – you naughty naughty ) but don’t be. This is another instance of the rule I talk about here . Apply that to this and you shall see what I mean.

Secondly, wouldn’t an MLA always look to say and do what his future voters would like, whether or not he endorses them at a personal level? Isn’t an MLA supposed to appease his constituency and reassure them? Looking at it that way, he was just being an your typical Indian politician elected to represent a constituency.

My verdict on the Ayodhya verdict

Today is Gandhi jayanthi. It has been two days of magical peace and harmony since the verdict on the Ayodhya dispute was pronounced by the Allahabad high court. Gandhiji would have really been moved to tears at this non violent gesture by the people. It is still unclear to me if this rare display of maturity is due to the heavy security deployment that thwarted the political parties always responsible in creating havoc or is it due to the majority community, the Hindus, having a sense of vindictive victory or if the people have really moved on. Whatever may be the reason, the end result is certainly a huge sigh of relief to every sane normal citizen.

But that doesn’t mean that the decision was welcome with open arms. What would have become a bloody street fight in the previous years has transformed into a raging debate. Is this India growing past its juvenile years? I certainly hope so.

There was a lot of talk, by everyone, prior to the judgment of completely accepting and respecting the verdict. And it seems these people didn’t really expect such a creative and sagacious judgment that would pave way for the long pending dialogue leading to harmony. And this, people could not take and have started whining about.

Some people may call it “Ayogya” verdict but I disagree.

I am a person who doesn’t respect any religion or faith. I am not a blind hardcore atheist but experience and history has provided ample evidence leading me to loathe. While every religion no doubt preaches love, peace and harmony among other things, the practitioners seem to overlook that and squabble about the superiority of what they follow, leading to deaths and destructions. They however do tactfully use the “love, peace and harmony” card when necessary to defend their faith. Yet, even I found this decision to be a good one and hence my description of sagacious.

I, like many, accept that the destruction of the mosque in 1992 was a shameful act, not only unlawful and unconstitutional at a legal level but also dividing people at an emotional level. The perpetrators must be prosecuted accordingly, irrespective of their supposed stature. But the main argument against the verdict is that it is based solely on faith and sentiments and not on hard evidence. That to me is a hypocritical and inane argument.

People’s lives revolve around some kind of faith and belief or the other and no one can deny it. Even atheists like me believe that belief and faith are futile. So it is impossible and impractical to leave out belief.

Why would a witness take an oath in the court of law that is supposed to be not a place for faith and sentiment? And why the statements of a witness under oath are trusted and why are witnesses committing perjury punished? Shouldn’t a scientific method like a polygraph be employed instead?

Then, it is incredibly bold and dumb of the “intellectuals”, that comprise of Muslims, including Zafaryab Jilani and “secular” Hindus, to argue that faith of Hindus alone cannot be a valid point that is central to the verdict and hence they are grieved. The very same people (Muslims) later go on to say that according to Shariah law, not even an inch of the site that had a mosque could be acceded and hence they will appeal to Supreme Court. Now, what is this Shariah? Is it some kind of scientifically moderated and proofread document or a document that is considered sacred solely by faith?

People argue that if such a precedent is set by the judiciary where matter of faith outweighs evidence then a lot of litigations may follow suit and win purely on the matter of faith. I don’t say it is wrong but it is a lot more complicated than such oversimplification.

Faith is like sedimentary rock. Over a period of time since its inception, layers upon layers of embellishments pile up. Every generation adds its own version that leads to amplifying the potency of the faith.

Let us suppose a building that was built upon a site previously owned by Nithyananda (the infamous scandalous sex guru from Bangalore) was demolished by his followers. When the followers claim faith in him for their actions, it won’t stand ground, at least in his own generation, as people will be fully aware of his “deeds”. How many skeptics are out there to expose the Sathya Sai Baba? But look what has happened to Shirdi Sai Baba. Because he belonged to a couple of centuries earlier, enough time has passed to strengthen his cult. That is same with Ayyappa, Raghavendra or even Guru Nanak, Jesus and Muhammad. In fact, that has what has happened to each and every historical or mythological prophets, god-men and good-men. Their cult has strengthened over time. Even Jesus and Muhammad had to famously face tremendous opposition in their own times. Whereas Jesus chose the path of peace, at least according to apostles, to maintain his claims, Muhammad chose a hardened path. But after thousands of years, their faithful outnumber their skeptics (who culturally belong to the same religion as the faithful).

The same way no one can prove that Abraham of Judaism, Christianity and Islam existed and corroborate his story, and yet he and the stone he placed at Kaaba, Mecca are revered unconditionally by the Muslims, it follows that Rama, Krishna etc of Hinduism and their associated places of sanctity must be understood and respected as well just based on the built up faith in the Hindus.

Faith and sentiments cannot apply to just one party.

Moreover, this has always been an issue involving faith and sentiments, which can never be resolved by any courts anywhere. But because people took it to courts, they would have to abide by the court’s decision. Our democracy and legal system sure allows the party dissatisfied with the verdict of lower courts to appeal to higher courts but that sort of hardened stance overlooking this golden opportunity of reconciliation is going to be disastrous. If and when the Supreme Court pronounces a clear winner and a loser, I hope people would have moved on further and would show absolute apathy and indifference to any provocations that may ensue.

I had been advocating a school or a hospital at that site. I believe that education and health are the basic building blocks for the development of our country. One more school/hospital will go a long way to help achieve progress compared to one more (or less) temple/mosque. I, like all, had never expected this kind of a verdict by the court. It truly reflects our secularism. Granted, I haven’t read the judgment like most but the end verdict is truly sagacious, despite what some pundits describe as “panchayati”.

Irrespective of further appeals, at least now,  that a verdict of sorts is out on this, we can move on to addressing the real burning issues that hold value to our future, like poverty, unemployment, corruption etc. As I said elsewhere, shall we now concentrate our energy and spending on prosecuting and awarding some prison time aka Krishna janmasthan to corrupt authorities, starting with Kalmadi and co?

Mahendra Singh Money

Dhoni has just about put himself down in the eyes of keen-eyed  cricket lovers. At least for me, what he said after Chennai’s win over Punjab in the 2010 IPL about how the franchise pay them so much hence they must at least be in semifinal and so he got emotional after the close win blablah, has stood in stark contrast to the casual remark he made after the loss to Sri Lanka after the T20 WC loss that sums up to T20 World Cup happening every alternate year and this humiliating 2010 campaign being no big deal; something to the effect of finding out Salman Khan is gay… completely shocking and unbelievable!

I don’t want to but am forced to join the IPL bashing bandwagon. Money, it seems, has finally corrupted the minds of (our)cricketers. Fans’ emotions is not a big deal compared to the IPL franchise owners’ investment. I don’t think the days of young cricketers dreaming of playing for the highest paying IPL franchise and not India, T20 and not test cricket, are not too far.

However, in a way, there is some truth to Dhoni’s statement.  A World Cup must not be “just another tournament”, as it seems to be at the moment. It  must carry pride and anticipation. So, I would like to suggest to the ICC (darn my fortitude!) that both the 50 overs and 20 overs world cups must be held once every 4 years, and both the cups held back to back with one month rest in between. Also, this being a world event, the member boards must be advised to alter their schedules accordingly. Let The World Cup year, as I call it, begin from 2015.

Anyway, I am still, as of 2010 May 12, the day after the unceremonious exit from T20 WC, waiting to see if at all Mahendra Singh Money is going to apologise, albeit perfunctory, to the fans. I am basically curious to listen to his logic and excuses.

PS: I am still not sure if the IPL comment he made was a tongue in cheek public humiliation to the bosses who were constantly nagging about the performance.

Swami and his friends

The latest buzz about a sleazy video of Nithyananda is a bit puzzling to me. I mean, I don’t get what the fuck (pun intended) is the problem. Unless he was involved in human trafficking or pimping or any other such heinous activities, whatever happens behind closed doors is private stuff. I don’t know his preaching; I hadn’t even heard of him – I am not into gurus and stuff.  So unless he had preached that sex is a sin and must be done away with or unless he had preached abstinence, in which case he turned out to be fake and impressionable people got what they deserved, I honestly cannot see any issue here. By the same note, if someone hides a camera in his toilet, would people cry foul that god-man pees and poops?!

People may argue that he duped people into donating money but I say if most of that donation, if not all, was used to build charitable and/or humane institutions (I don’t endorse that however), what the fuck is the problem.  Are people, men mostly, jealous that god-men have easy “access” to actresses and other “beauties”, the ones who remain unreachable to the common folk?

Being a god-man is a viable and lucrative career option, especially for people who have panache and are too lazy or under qualified for conventional jobs. If you intend to give it a shot, just make sure you don’t get caught with your dhoti up.