Saturday, October 24, 2015

Violence-an eight letter word? : Bhavi Barad

Violence-an eight letter word which has the strength to permanently damage anything and is contagious too. How casually it is said, "Unn logo ko toh chappal uthakar maarna chaiye, ye baato se nai manenge.", "Bau bol nai ek laafo maari dais." and so on...! And also, that saying: "Laato ke bhoot baato se nai maante." As if beating up somebody is the last thing one can do to solve the problem. It's weird how we have restricted our thoughts. We don't think what is beyond one's action. It is unbelievable how easily we have accepted violence as a part of our lives. Since the time we were little toddlers, we are conditioned to behave how the society accepts us. We are taught to be scared than to love each other. Fear gives rise to insecurities and these insecurities become so heavy on our minds that we cannot think of things other than them and this results into frustration. We are taught to suppress our emotions which gives rise to anger, frustration, stress, depression.....VIOLENCE too. Why do we always forget that we are given the ability to feel for a reason? The senses are not for their name-sake, they are to give us the best experience of the beautiful world around us through sensations. Why can't we accept love, friendship, happiness, appreciation, respect, truthfulness, etc. as a part of our everyday life? Is it so hard to live life simply, by not complicating it at all? Sexual harassment, molestation, physical assault, abuse, rape, domestic violence, etc. All are the results of suppression of some or the other emotion.
A child tends to do/ be more attracted to something he is denied to have.(Remember, the times you denied your child not to eat the food in the plate, he/she/it did!) The scenario doesn't change even when the child grows up. If he is already conditioned not to express his/her/its emotions, he/she/it will express them all, but in a different manner. A child notices how elders behave and tend to copy them. If one has always seen violence in movies or anywhere around oneself since childhood, one tends to accept it quite easily and also practice it whenever any such situation arises. We have not seen the better ways to express ourselves and that is why we are stuck in impressing others through our actions. The act of violence has now become the latest trend, an easy way to express, a faster medium to reach out to people and to tell them about your opinion. What a myth!
Gandhiji once said that a non-violent person is stronger than a violent person because to beat up somebody and get your frustration out on someone is quite easy but to be calm and composed in a situation where everywhere, every single thing is provoking you to satisfy your ego and be violent, is difficult. 
"What is right is not always easy and what is easy, is not always right!"

Monday, October 19, 2015

It's FEAR, ohh MY dear: Gaurang Raval

Have you ever wondered why people get so violent on trivial matters and support some highly illogical ideology? Have you ever thought why it's easier to gather mob to spread violence than to gather 10 people to plant trees? Have you ever tried to understand why riots on the basis of religion, region or caste get support from 'educated' or so called 'civilized society' ? 

The answer my friend is...Politics of fear! As a child, most of us have faced the politics of fear when our parents make us do things they want us to do by spreading fear of ghost, cockroach, punishment, police or some really weird animal which actually doesn't exist...! Unfortunately, the politics of fear isn't restricted to families. This politics is actually used by our political and religious leaders on massive scale. World over, leaders create fear among people to divide people and win elections by polarizing votes, silent all crucial questions raised by common people against the administration (poverty, corruption, unemployment etc) or to gain support in favor of dictatorship or sometimes even to sale their products! (Yes products! Don't we know how few powerful counties sale their weapons to other countries by fearing the word on the name of terrorism?!) 

We know how religion, caste, regionalism become so important to people as soon as we witness elections in our country. 'There will be a massive threat of the existence of XYZ religion if ABC party comes to power' 'we need leader of 'our' caste so that he/she can protect our community' 'This election is a battle to protect the pride of our state' 'There is a threat from neighboring country and only one leader can save our country' 'Democracy has not helped this country. We need "powerful" leader'. We do hear such statements very often. Many feel that such statements or ideology do not make much of the damage but such ideology plant fear among common people. Also Such fear questions the existence of common people constantly and when this fear reaches to its saturation point, what all it need is a trigger to fire. Fear plays very important role in spreading all kinds of ideologies in our society. Sometime, fear is the biggest enemy of logic. The root causes of recent incidences in India and elsewhere in the world is fear. Ones insecurity/fear becomes a threat to another. 

The question is how to we combat the politics of fear? Fear can be combated only by spreading security and safety. And that will be possible only when we as human come out of various masks of identity. We need to see ourselves and other humans above any religious identities, caste based identity and even national identity. If my religious, caste and nationalist identity don't matter to me then how are you going to make me scared? If I just see myself as human then I will be left with only one fear and that Is death which in any case everybody is going to face one day. We must come out of our 'all social identities' and we must start accepting diversity. The more we accept diversity the more we will feel secure with different people and different culture around us. 
Remember what Gandhiji said "our fear is our biggest enemy". Do remember this line before you fall on the trap of politics of fear ! 

About author: Gaurang is the co-founder and currently the managing trustee of Sauhard. He strongly strongly advocates principles of  equality and social inclusion.   

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Gujjus ROCK: Gaurang Raval

Yeah! This time, Gujjus have not only rocked navaratri with dodhiyu, popatiyu, be tali and heech but also rocked our tradition to celebrate diversity. Gujjus have rocked in real sense by staying united over threats given by a few groups to restrict non Hindus from entering Garba venues. Not only the Khelaiyas, but also the organizers have defeated the shameful attempt to divide people on the basis of religion and create fear among non Hindu youth. 

However, Gujjus known for playing Garba in every possible occasion, showed that love and celebration among communities are far more powerful than hate.

I am sure, we will be able to preserve our true culture of equality and unity in diversity for centuries to come. Don't forget, Christmas, Eid, Kite Flying festival, and many more festivals are coming soon and Gujjus would celebrate all these festivals inclusively !!

About author: Gaurang is the co-founder and currently the managing trustee of Sauhard. He strongly strongly advocates principles of  equality and social inclusion.