Grouping Indians

Indians have very strong opinions on various issues, and I have found that these opinions are often in conflict when topic changes. On the surface the topics seem unrelated, and indeed most people won’t see the relation, but at closer examination we can easily see the common nature of the topic. There is a definite underlying pattern that unifies various topics when the details are abstracted away.

I have devised a small list of questions that might help understanding the fluctuation and contradiction of opinions. Although this is by no means exhaustive, it is quite effective because it is about ‘hot’ topics, the ones that generates a lot of heat and noise.

I have created a table for each theme. People can be grouped based on the cells they occupy in some tables due to their answers. A person can occupy only one cell per row per table. The insight gained will be enormous, especially if the tables are filled anonymously.

Sense of justice

inhuman

inhuman but

unfamiliar with the details

hyped

hyped because

Palestine issue

Kashmir Pandits issue

inhuman

inhuman but

unfamiliar with the details

hyped

hyped because

2002 Godhra

1984 Delhi

Sense of correctness

yes

yes but

unfamiliar with the details

no

no but

Independence to Kashmir

Independence to NorthEast

Independence to Tamil Eelam

Independence to Kurdistan

Stop at once. Look at the horrific things done

Comen on, don’t mix one thing with another

Relation with Pakistan

Watching Salman Khan movies

About hero worship

Pervert and sicko. Look at all his horrible deeds

Epitome of humanity

No man is infalliable, so why not consider only the good deeds

Can’t care less

Muhammad

Mohandas ‘mahatma’ Gandhi

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.

 

On society, its people, and its problem

Based on their opinions on any issue in a society, people can be arranged in a table as shown.

Agree

Disagree

Neutral

Indifferent

Unconditional

Conditional

Lets begin with the first row.

Agreeing and disagreeing is indicative of their intelligence  and liberalness. It also indicates their bias, like hate and love. No doubt most people are concentrated here.

The indifferent ones are  normal people. Although it is the most prudent of the stances, it is not good to have this stance for every issue as there is a chance it will degenerate into neutral stance.

Neutral people are the worst. They are either too timid to take a stand or hopelessly uninformed. They pretend to have arrived at their stance after careful weighing of both sides of a story and being rational, no less. It shouldn’t be surprising if these people are sly, with ulterior motives.

Now lets look at the second row.

Here, only two valid stance are valid: agree and disagree. The stance may not be “correct”, but it is a committed one. Note that people can switch between agreeing and disagreeing, and it is perfectly alright in the light of new information.

Using the table, excluding the indifferent ones, people can be divided into two groups based on which row they appear in. The second row people are thinkers and rationalists while the first ones are sycophants, haters, fakes etc.  Not everyone occupies same cell for every issue. How rational one is is a measure of how often they appear in the second row.

The problem in society, probably root cause of every problem, is that most issues have more people occupying the first row most times.

On Society and Moral Policing

For better or for worse, women have always generated a lot of angst and debate in society. Wars have been fought. Cities have been burnt. Philosophies have emerged. Policies have been abolished . Policies have been framed.

Recently, the news has been ridden with stuff like:

MLA blames women for eve-teasing
Women should dress carefully…
Women should dress ‘carefully’: NCW chief
Misogyny in popular culture: Indian cinema is equally culpable
Rajasthan: MLA calls for ban on skirts, gets one

Of course, where there are ‘regressives and conservatives’ there are bound to be ‘progressives and liberals’. I will paraphrase some of the clichés and platitudes most favored by liberals.

Wearing revealing clothes isn’t a license to rape a woman
It is my body and I’ll wear whatever I like
The problem in the society is due to the misogyny in movies
Movies featuring rapes and item songs are ruining the society

The SlutWalk thing, which is invariably supported tacitly by liberals, had plenty of posters like Stop Staring: This Is Not an Invitation to Rape Me

The point is, the liberals say moral policing of women’s way of dressing is wrong, and even misogynist in this rabidly patriarchal society, while censoring entertainment media for the moral good is necessary and recommended. I find this stance inherently contradictory. The statements boil down to these two questions:

  1. Does a woman who dresses in a certain way invite sexual harassment, or even assaults?
  2. Does a form of entertainment featuring women in a perceived negative light instill and propagate such morals in the society that lead to the negative consequences embodied in the first question?

There are, in general, two categories of people: those who generalize their answer with a “yes”, and those with a “no”. I find both stance stupid. So now I have to show two things – why is the liberal stance contradictory and why is the generalization stupid. Let’s analyze.

The two questions are specific instances of the general structure – Looking at provocative things leads to bad action. Actually, the question can be reduced further, by leaving out such subjective and loaded words like “provocative” and “bad”, but this is the form that interests us (also, we would eventually arrive at this specific case from the general case, so let us start from here directly).

When we apply this structure as a rule to the above questions, how can one produce a TRUE and another FALSE? This is why I find the liberal stance contradictory. Does it mean there are different kinds of provocations, kind of weighted by their evil?  No. How provocative is a provocation depends on a particular person.  It is a conditional thing and cannot be generalized. Causality in society is conditional. I’ll show how. To answer “why?” one would have to go into a proper social psychology study. But instead, let us do a simple thought experiment.

Imagine an open roofed room separated by a wall making two rooms. Let’s call the left side the “wrong side” and the right side, well, the “right side”. Let the whole population be divided into three groups, not necessarily equally. The first one belongs to left and the second one to right. People are free to jump across the wall. The third group stands on the wall. Walking up to the wall and climbing it is a necessary step to stand on it. The actions moving up to the wall, climbing it and jumping across are caused by a provocative thing. Jumping shows committing to the action. Thus the left side has people who have finished the action as provoked completely.

Let there be a series of provocative things exposed to the right side population emanating from the left side. It shouldn’t difficult to see that not everyone not already on the other side would jump across. Neither do everyone who walks up to the wall climbs it, and nor do all wall standers. Some jump across and remain there. Some stand on the wall forever. Some wall standers almost jump. Some wall standers fall. Some never budge from their position, wherever they might be. Some keep jumping across. Some stand close to the wall. There are endless scenarios.

Let’s see how this room metaphor works with the provocations cited in the two questions. If the left side room is filled by rapists and the right side room is exposed to a woman wearing ‘sexually provocative’ clothing, what would happen? The truly pure might avert their eyes (I we stop and think, we can see that probably these are the most vulnerable and unsure of themselves, so have to resort to forceful aversion by closing their eyes). Many might ogle. Many of the oglers might fantasize. Some might molest. Some might attempt to rape. Some might succeed in raping. Similar thing will be observed in case of the left room being filled by murderers and rapists and the right room exposed to sleazy and violent movies. Because it is a conditional thing, generalization is stupid (In fact, all generalization is stupid :p). Not only stupid but lies, misleading and dangerous.

QED.

PS: I have said “jump across”, which implies people from “wrong side” could come over to “right side”. Does it mean people reform? Well, that’s another story for another time.