Gram Nyayalay Bill: Taking justice to Aam Admi's doorstep

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Six decades of Indian democratic history tells us the story of political parties who have managed to win elections based on the promise of "Bijli-Sadak-Paani" (Electricity-Roads-Water). Successive governments promised the same "Bijli-Sadak-Paani" over and over again, Aam-Admi (Common man) went on voting for the same promises, election results repeatedly shown that 'Bijli-Sadak-Paani' philosophy has worked only until recently. The issue of 'Justice' to Aam Admi was never raised as an election issue. "Justice - Social, Economic, Political", enshrined in the preamble of our constitution, was not that easy for the common man to get. Madam (Indira) Gandhi promised the much awaited justice during the time of emergency. Her government only managed to insert a new article in the constitution, "Article 39(A): Equal justice and free legal aid" [42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976]. But, Madam Gandhi's government was careful enough to insert that clause in Part-IV of the constitution, i.e. in Directive Principles of state policy, so that if government cannot provide free legal aid, it cannot be challenged in the court of law. Unlike the fundamental rights, "Free legal aid" is not an enforcible right, but it's left to the policy makers to ensure as and 'when they feel necessary'.

A solid framework of justice for rural India is one of the most fundamental instrument essential to achieve socio-economic freedom. It took over sixty years for the parliament to start contemplating about speedy and timely justice to the rural poor. Parliament (only Rajya Sabha as of now) has unanimously passed Gram Nyayalaya Bill 2008 which is aimed at providing inexpensive justice to people in rural areas on their doorstep. The story is not over yet, it's only after Lok Sabha passes the bill and President approves, the bill will become law. One can only hope that the process will get over soon, at least before Dr.Manmohan Singh's government completes it's term.

The journey leading to the passage of bill wasn't that easy. It wsa in August 1997, Lokasatta movement raised voices for fundamental democratic reforms. The key goals of the movement included "establishment of local courts for speedy, accessible and affordable justice [Loksatta]". A brief history of it's journey can be found here. It's very interesting to note that the Lokasatta movement was started by Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan, not the famous freedom fighter-politician Jayaprakash Narayan but a former IAS officer who quit his prestigious Administrative post to fight for social justice and fundamental democratic reforms.

Highlights of Gram Nyayalaya Bill
  1. It is aimed at providing inexpensive justice to people in rural areas on their doorstep.
  2. For Gram Nyayalayas, Centre will bear the full cost on capital account. The cost of litigation would be borne by the state and not by the litigant.
  3. The Bill provides for first class judicial magistrates dispensing justice.
  4. It establishes Gram Nyayalayas (Rural Courts) as the lowest tier of the judiciary for rural areas.
  5. These courts will sit at the district headquarters and in taluks. They will go in a bus or jeep to the village, work there and dispose of the cases.
  6. Each Gram Nyayalaya shall be headed by a Nyayadhikari, who shall have the qualifications of a first class magistrate and be from a cadre created by the Governor and the High Court.
  7. Nyayadhikaris “are strictly judicial officers. They will be drawing the same salary, deriving the same powers as the first class magistrates working under the High Courts.”
  8. Gram Nyayalayas shall try those cases whose maximum punishment is a year’s imprisonment, is only a fine, or in which offense is compoundable. They shall also settle civil suits dealing with land, water, etc.
  9. In civil disputes, Gram Nyayalayas shall not be bound by the procedure in Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, or the rules of evidence in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. In criminal cases, the court shall follow procedures for summary trials.
  10. Appeals in civil and criminal cases shall be heard by the senior civil judge and the assistant sessions judge, respectively. Further appeals are not permitted.
If the Gram Nyayalaya idea is successfully implemented, it will be a revolutionary step for bringing justice to the doorstep of rural poor. It can fulfill the vision enshrined in our constitution - "to secure to all citizens the Justice - social, economic, political [Preamble]."

Read More:
  1. Journey of Gram Nyayalaya Bill - Loksatta page.
  2. News reports on Gram Nyayalaya bill: The Hindu, Times of India.
  3. About Loksatta, Jayaprakash Narayan - founder of Loksatta.

Ajmal Kasav is lucky, he was caught alive in India

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"I think there should not be a legal process and it’s useless in our country. Such terrorists (Kasav) should be hanged publically in front of Gateway of India. That's our demand", says Shiv Sena MP and party spokesman Sanjay Raut. I wonder what would have happened if the same statement was given by MNS's "Raj Thackeray and his band of goons"*. I feel, the young blood of Bombay [read Mumbai if you are Raj Thackeray or his fan] would have wrecked "Raj and his band of goon's"* neck! Law maker Sajay Raut should have at least remembered laws of his own land before he made such pedantic statement.

Ajmal Amir Kasav is extremely lucky to have been caught alive in a country where fundamental right of "life and liberty" is never denied to anyone. Many people, like Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut, who feel Kasav should be deprived of legal assistance, are right in some way. Simply because he was caught red handed and the crime he committed is conspicuous. His Pakistani nationality has nothing to do with this denial; terrorist is a terrorist no matter which country he belong to. There are other section of people who say, however heinous his crime may be, he should be given legal assistance at least for the sake upholding the law of the land and morally defeating those who preach hatred and violence. The legal experts say, the dilemma of whether to provide legal assistance to Kasav can be solved by declaring Kasav as "enemy alien" under the Article 22(3), so that he can no longer have the fundamental right of life and liberty.

I feel Kasav's case may have far reaching impact on domestic laws for preventive detention. Today, "exceptional" status of Kasav's case is unquestionable, "the trauma resulting from the terrorist attacks may be used as a justification for undue curtailment of individual rights and liberties. Instead of offering a considered response to the growth of terrorism, a country may resort to questionable methods such as permitting indefinite detention of terror suspects, the use of coercive interrogation techniques, and the denial of the right to fair trial....the most prominent the treatment of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay who were arrested by U.S. authorities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. It is alleged that they have detained hundreds of suspects for long periods, often without the filing of charges or access to independent judicial remedies. [CJI of India]"

So, the point here is, denying legal access to Kasav may just be a pretext to the misuse of preventive detention laws in the name of terrorism. "In some circles, it is argued that the judiciary places unnecessary curbs on the power of the investigating agencies to tackle terrorism. In India, those who subscribe to this view also demand changes in our criminal and evidence law — such as provisions for longer periods of preventive detention and confessions made before police officials to be made admissible in court. While the ultimate choice in this regard lies with the legislature, we must be careful not to trample upon constitutional principles such as ‘substantive due process.’ This guarantee was read into the conception of ‘personal liberty’ under Article 21 of the Constitution of India by our Supreme Court.** The necessary implication of this is that all governmental action, even in exceptional times, must meet the standards of reasonableness, non-arbitrariness, and non-discrimination [CJI of India, K.G.Balakrishnan]."

Thus, at least for the sake of completing legal procedures under our laws, Kasav should get legal access, so that the perpetrators can be brought to the book soon, so that the souls of many innocents and brave officers who lost their lives may rest in peace.

* Excerpts from widely circulated SMS: Where was Raj Thackeray and his band of goons when South Mumbai was burning? He should have been at the forefront of action trying to save Mumbai from the terrorists! How on earth did he allow north Indians and Indians from some other locations who are in the NSG to dare come and save Mumbai???!!!! Go get the terrorists Raj! Go get 'em!!].

** This idea of ‘substantive due process’ was incorporated through the decision in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, AIR 1978 SC 597. In a way this was an answer to Madam Gandhi's misrule during infamous emergency. The law of preventive detention was widely misused. All the opponents of Madam (Indira) Gandhi, like Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, were put behind the bars. Madam Gandhi even ensured that her opponent Maneka Gandhi was deprived of her passport. Maneka Gandhi challenged the "reasonableness" of denial of her passport. Supreme Court intervened and upheld Menaka Gandhi's appeal. Ultimately, government had to give passport to Maneka Gandhi. The apex court simply said, why only Maneka Gadhi, out of thousands of others who had applied for passport? That's where the question of "reasonableness" of government's action lies.

From 'Womb to Tomb', influence of terrorism is pervasive

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lot has been written and said about Mumbai massacre, media and online social networking community produced voluminous literature on every bit of that horrendous crime. "India has learned that not all terrorism stems from Pakistan: the country has faced attacks from Indian Islamists, Hindutva groups and ethnic-chauvinist organisations in the north-eastern States. Each form of hate has fed and legitimised the other. But this circle of hate has been driven, too, by organisations based in Pakistan, jehadist groups that have demonstrated that they, while being friends of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, are enemies of the people of Pakistan [Frontline]." Read more here. Wherever the terror originate, it has become conspicuous now that 'subconscious fear' has been created in the minds of ordinary people. At every stage of our life, from 'Womb to Tomb', terrorists/fundamentalists have made their presense felt. The fear of grave consequences of terrorism is now transforming into public anger fighting against government's apathy.

On 26th November, all political parties looked like they are united in the fight against terrorism, but "the message of unity that was sent out in the immediate aftermath of the attacks was lost in less than 24 hours". Probably opposition felt it's too risky to support ruling UPA government, in it's actions against terrorist, ahead of Delhi and Rajasthan assembly elections. The blame game began, not just in the speeches of politicians but Newspapers too carried advertises echoing slogans against government to woo voters in Delhi. This blame game incinerated public anger and just after our bravehearts fired final bullets in the battlefield, the angry citizen's voice was reverberated in every corner of India.

There is absolutely no doubt that despite intelligence inputs, government failed to act, but why do we always feel so proud to attack the politicians and blame the government for it's inaction?
"Why should we keep finding fault with only the politicians? Isn't there something wrong with us, the common populace? Aren't we to be equally blamed for the mess? How is it that we find scapegoats in politicians, security forces, and all others except ourselves? What is it that we have done to keep the country safe? Has our behaviour been conducive to the security forces' fight? Shouldn't we do something about it? Why should we keep on blaming the politicians, instead of just booting the opportunistic lot of them out of power by the power of ballot? Have all those who have been crowing about bad politicians, ever voted? Did they exercise their franchise? Isn't casting a vote the duty of the common man? If you have not liked a politician or political party, did you cast your vote against them? If you have found that no political party is worth your vote, did you take care to ensure that your vote is not cast to anybody by going to the polling booth and not voting for anybody? [Indian Current Affairs blog]."
Protesting and showing disapproval for government's action/inaction is our democratic right but just doing that doesn't help niether to the nation nor to ourself. Ask not whether the system is going to change, ask whether you can change. So what is that we can do? We just need to answer the above questions and act, otherwise we don't need to be vociferous.

Walkathon 2008: 'Walk' to express your solidarity towards disabled

Monday, December 1, 2008

In India, there are 16.4 lakh people who cannot speak, 12.6 lakh people who cannot hear, 61 lack people who cannot walk, over 22 lakh people who are not lucky enough to be mentally strong. We might not be able to eradicate disability of 2.2 crore people in India [Census 2001], but we can definitely show our solidarity towards "differently abled" people. We may take few more years to eradicate the feeling of discrimination against disabled, but we can definitely start taking initiatives to make that discrimination a distant memory.

 If you are not aware, "The World Disabled Day" is celebrated on 3rd December world over. Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled has planned to mark this wonderful day by organizing the "Great Walkathon." It's not a marathon, but it's an opportunity for all of us to walk for a noble cause. Walkathon is a platform to bring together people from different walks of life along with the differently abled and create a feeling of solidarity. The Great Walkathon intends to sensitize the public about the plight and difficulties of the disabled people and raise awareness find solutions to their prevalent problems.

Walkathon, when? where?
Date: 6th of December, 2008
Time: 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Venue: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangaluru

The walk is for about 3.5kms starting and ending at Shree Kanteerava Stadium. The event is followed by cultural activities by our very talented blind & disabled children and from other institutions. Organizers are expecting a gathering of around 25,000 enthusiastic participants in this year’s walkathon.

Coincidently, "this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making the commemoration of World Disabled Day all the more relevant. With 10% of the world’s population being differently abled, and a majority of this population living in the developing countries, creating awareness & sensitizing the public about this issue becomes very imperative. So let us come together to enforce the judiciary to make the State and Private infrastructure “Disabled Friendly”[Samarthana]."

If you think you "can be" a part of this event and express your solidarity for differently abled people, please do so. It's a precious opportunity for all of us.

If you would like to contribute towards the event, please do so. Contact Supraja for registration. You can reach her at 98452 09884. Registration details and other benifits are as follows.

A) Registration Fees(Will be used for supporting differently abled people): Rs.50/-, Rs.150/-, Rs.500/-, Rs.1000/-, Rs.5000/-, Rs.10000/-

B) Additional Benifits:
  • Participation Certificates 
  • Cap 
  • T-shirt 
  • Tax Exemption Receipt under Section 80G 
  • 100% Tax Exemption Receipt under Section 35AC which would be used for the "Vidya Prasad, Mid-day Meal" programme of Samarthanam. 
  • Mementoes 
  • Souvenir
C)Modes of payment: Kindly issue Cash/Cheque/DD in favour of  ""Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled", Bengaluru.
You Can transfer funds through online: Axis Bank A/C No- 227010100054029, ICICI Bank A/C No. - 005301026969, HDFC Bank A/C No.-01331110000020.

Walk in the Walkathon, express your solidarity, make a difference!

IBM's next 5 in 5: James Bond fictions to become norms in 5 years

Friday, November 28, 2008

Imagine, what if
  1. Your house siding, windows and paint created enough solar energy to heat your entire home.
  2. You could surf the Internet, hands-free, by using your voice.
  3. You had a personal shopping assistant to bring clothes and accessories right to your dressing room.
  4. Your doctor gave you a personal health forecast based on your DNA.
  5. You could easily recall any conversation from wherever you are, whenever you need [IBM News].
People often say, "Imagination is more important than knowledge". We are not completely sure if our existing knowledge is sufficient to realize those five revolutionary technological imaginations. But IBM seems to be extremely confident to see those "James Bond fictions" to become norms in the near future.

What is next 5 in 5?
"IBM Next Five in Five" is a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. The Next Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible [IBM Press Kit]. IBM also says, "These five innovations will change how people around the world work, play and live over the next five years. But this is not just our thinking, we have included the input of some 150,000 people from 104 countries who took part in "InnovationJam", a recent online brainstorming session... along with insights from our Research labs and business consulting think tank"

1. Healthcare prognosis: more flexible, accessible, affordable:
Genetic mapping will become your healthcare “crystal ball”
  • Computational biology and supercomputing can help determine our expected longevity, the likelihood to develop certain diseases and the impact of daily routines on our health.
  • We’ll use this information to decide which habits we can change to avoid diseases, choose the most effective medications given our genetic makeups, and take other preventative measures that could help us live longer, smarter lives.
  • Advances in genetic mapping will help the pharmaceutical industry change the ways it develops new drugs, to produce medicines that are the most effective for treating your individual needs – rather than focus on the general population.
When our doctors can increase the use of genetic sequencing to map our health destinies and help us adjust our lifestyles, the results will be huge:
  1. Big savings in healthcare costs,
  2. Better health services and
  3. Increased chances for healthier, longer lives – all based on the information each of us carries in our genes. 
2. Micromanaging our environment down to the nano-level: Energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows. IBM plans reduce the cost of producing solar cells by 50%.
  • IBM is working on breakthroughs in “thin-film” solar cells, a new type of cost-efficient solar cell module which doesn’t use costly and limited silicon. Thin-film solar cells can be 100 times thinner than silicon-wafer cells and can be produced at a lower cost.
  • IBM is working on projects that may help to create brand new thin-film solar cells that could be arranged on a flexible backing, suitable for the tops and sides of buildings, tinted windows, cell phones, notebook computers, cars, and even clothing.
3. The Internet moves to the 3rd dimension: You will have your own digital shopping assistants
Ever find yourself in a fitting room with all the wrong sizes and no salesperson in sight? IBM says, "In the next five years, shoppers will increasingly rely on themselves - and the opinions of each other - to make purchasing decisions rather than wait for help from in-store sales associates."

4.Real time speech translation will become the norm: You will talk to the Web...and the Web will talk back
  • Feel connected at all times. No longer will you be tied to a keyboard and a computer.
  • Enable the underprivileged to create, produce, host and share information and services with others.
  • Examples:
    • IBM MASTOR software was designed to improve communication between U.S. military personnel and Iraqi forces and citizens. It provides bi-directional English to Iraqi Arabic translation. MASTOR works just like a human translator -you talk, and your conversation is translated instantly. It can be used for exchanging simple courtesies to providing support for more sophisticated conversations. MASTOR is also available in two-way English to Modern Standard Arabic and Mandarin Chinese; additional languages are planned.
    • IBM TALES (Translingual Automatic Language Exploitation System) software provides real-time monitoring and translation of Arabic broadcast media. TALES software allows users to search, and then view or listen to, news from foreign language broadcasts and Web sites.
5. Get ready for mind-reading phones: Presence" technology allows you to be found on the network, whether it's a computer network, mobile phone network or any other kind. Presence technology in its current form amounts to instant messaging applications. In five years, however, mobile devices will have the ability to continually learn about and adapt to your preferences and needs.
Earlier, I worked on IBM's WebSphere Presence Server and Instant Messaging technology and I have no doubt that at least this will become a reality in the near future.

Even today, barely 17 percent of the world’s population has access to the Internet. Many factors serve as a hindrance for Internet to impact the remaining 83 percent of the human population: poverty, handicap, illiteracy, a lack of computer knowledge and irrelevance of available content. On the other hand, the cost of a phone is significantly lower than a computer, and the knowledge required to operate a phone is minimal as compared to a computer, especially when the phone is used as a device.

Thomas J Watson asked the world to "THINK". The very word is so powerful that today, it's changing the lives around.

References and further reading:
  1. IBM Reveals Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years
  2. Five innocations that can change our lives over the next five years 
  3. Video on you tube - IBM's 5 in 5
  4. IBM's next 5 in 5 - Press release 
  5. IBM’s ‘High Five’ List of Innovations (that can change the world)

Appointment of judges to Supreme Court: A tug of war?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Framers of our constitution judiciously avoided the supremacy of any organ of our democracy. Our parliament is not supreme unlike in United Kingdom, Judiciary is not supreme unlike in United States, Executive is not autocratic like any military ruled states. The perfect balance sought by the framers of Indian Constitution saved the infant democracy in spite of madam Gandhi's misrule during emergency. Every now and then, each organ (Executive/Judiciary/Parliament) of our democracy made significant attempts to prove their supremacy.

Yet again, by refusing to reconsider its decision on elevation of three High Court Chief Justices as apex court judges, Supreme Court has asserted judiciary's primacy over executive[The Hindu]. Was the apex court acted adamantly by refusing to reconsider it's recommendation? Was Dr.Manmohan Singh's government wrong in asking supreme court to reconsider it's recommendation? Legally, both supreme court and government exercised their right, there is no need to sensationalize the matter. Whatever has happened, has happened for good.

Article 124 of Constitution says, Every judge of the Supreme court shall be appointed by the President of India. The president shall consider the advice of his council of ministers and shall consult the Judges of Supreme court and High court. Constitutionally the advice given by Supreme court is not binding on government. Until 1982 (First Judges Case), Supreme court held that consultation of president does not mean concurrence (meaning, Agreement of results or opinions). But in 1993 (Second Judges case), a nine judge bench of supreme court held that consultation means concurrence. So, if "consultation means concurrence", then, both government and the supreme court must mutually agree in the matter of appointment of judges. Supreme Court opined that, members of the judiciary are well qualified than others to give their opinion in the matter of appointing judges. In that historic judgment, Supreme court had virtually arrested the irregularities in the appointment of judges to supreme court. In fact, the judgment has made appointment of judges more transparent than ever. Supreme Court laid down a clear procedure in appointing judges. Here is a quick look,
  1. The collegium comprising of Chief Justice of India and four senior most jusdges of the Supreme court has to be formed to render advice to the president (i.e. to the government).
  2. View of the senior most judge (if he is not the part of the collegium) who hail from the High court where the person to be recommended (as judge to supreme court) is functioning as judge, must be obtained in writing.
  3. The collegium must consider the following factors in recommending the judges for the appointment
    • Merit should be the predominant consideration. On what basis the merit will be judged? Earlier judgments given by the judge, respect he commands in the legal fraternity, his legal qualifications, and any such considerations.
    • Not only that, Cogent and good reasons should be recorded for recommending a person of outstanding merit regardless of his seniority.
    • "For recommending one of several persons of more or less equal degree of merit, the factor of the High Courts not represented on the Supreme Court, may be considered."
    • And any such factors may deem necessary.
  4. Supreme court then prepares it's recommendations, everything in writing, stating all the factors cogently and with significant reasoning.
  5. If two or more members of the collegium disagree with the names (to be recommended), then Chief Justice of India should not persist with the recommendation. If the collegium agrees to the names, the recommendation is sent to the executive.
  6. Constitutionally, Supreme Court's recommendation is not binding on executive, so the executive may refuse to accept the candidates recommended by supreme court for the appointment. But government must provide genuine reason for it's refusal. In case govt accepts Supreme court's recommendations, matter ends there, the judges will be appointed as recommended.
  7. If the government refuses to appoint the person recommended by supreme court, the materials and information conveyed by govt must be placed before the original collegium or the reconstituted one.
  8. If the collegium accepts the opinion of executive, then CJI, in his discretion, informs the person earlier recommended for his non appointment. The names recommended by executive will then be final for appointment.
  9. In case collegium refuses to reconsider the request (as it happened now) and unanimously reiterate that the appointment of recommended candidates must be made, then, government (President) has no choice but to appoint them.
Thus, the procedure seems to be transparent if one look at it without any bias. If the government think that it is smarter than Supreme Court and if Supreme Court is adamant with it's recommendation, then the conflict arises and harmony is lost between the organs of democracy.

In the recent case, "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his reservations about the elevation of three judges recommended by Supreme Court on the ground that seniority had been overlooked and certain States were not represented in the apex court [Read More]." But supreme court feels that merit of a judge is more important than relative seniority. Given the contemporary circumstances, merit must be the decisive factor without ignoring the seniority and that's exactly what Supreme Court is doing. Dr.Singh was absolutely right in asking Supreme Court for reconsidering it's recommendation. Executive has the legal right to express it's opinion and should be done with all respect to Supreme Court. On the other hand, Supreme court has done nothing wrong in refusing to reconsider the recommendation since it feels that meritocracy is more important than seniority and representation of the state (supreme court considers the states' representation factor even before recommending). The process of consultation must be treated as a routine legal activity and should not be sensationalized as it is being done these days.

Makkala Habba (ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಹಬ್ಬ) - Rediscovered the childhood again!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Today, I had a wonderful opportunity to have some "quality time" during an event called Makkala Habba (ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಹಬ್ಬ). Looking at many children enjoying their time as if there is no tomorrow, I thought, I wish I had a perpetual childhood! Neverthless, it was yet another opportunity to rediscover the child within. Makkala Habba (meaning Children's Festival) was organised in Association with Aasare (ಆಸರೆ, meaning support) and EVOLVE groups of volunteers. The whole day event had a spirited and dynamic support from volunteers and well wishers of Samaja Vikasa Kendra Trust. The children of "Makkala Mane" and "Asha Kirana" (meaning Ray of hope) had a rare opportunity to showcase their talent in various sports and cultural activities. The program was held at the premises of Government Boys Middle School, B.P. Wadia Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore-560004.

 Follow this link to see the pictures taken during the event

Infy's sabbatical policy: Cost Cutting or Corporate Social Responsibility?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Today, I came across this article about an interesting HR policy of Infosys. "Infosys has issued letters to its employees stating they could opt for a one-year sabbatical to engage themselves in philanthropic activities." According to the company, "while the move may have coincided with the global financial turmoil and slowing growth rates of IT firms, it should be perceived as a pure voluntary act by employees who are prompted by altruistic motives and inspired by the example of its chairman and chief mentor, NR Narayana Murthy."

What will employees get? 50% of their salary during that one year sabbatical + Any payment while working at any NGO or any such organization + Personal satisfaction for helping the needy.

Who is eligible? Any Infosys employee who is on Infosys payroll for two consecutive years.

Why is Infosys doing it?
"It's a part of Narayana Murthy's desire to give back to society."

How does it help changing the lives around?
According to Infosys, many of their employees quit their job to pursue philanthropic activities. This would give such employees (I hope there are many!) an option to pursue their hobby while still continuing with the jobs, even if they will be paid a small amount by the company. This ultimately brings fresh talent and renewed dynamism in NGOs or any such organization they work for or to any philanthropic activity which employee takes up.

This idea was Narayana Murthy’s dream and has been on the cards for a while. It is the way one can give back to society. But why is Infosys doing especially during economic turbulent times? I digged more into this and found that, Infosys has infact made this policy public way back in December 2006. But, according to this article in The Hindu Business Line, the motives then seems to be different,
"The company has also initiated a pilot project for employees giving them an opportunity to opt for a one-year sabbatical at any point in their careers. This could be used for childcare, eldercare, higher studies or for health reasons" [More here].
So, clearly, in December 2006, the sabbatical policy was employee centric, now it just got bigger and has a social element in it. After almost two years, when employees are in the middle of worst economic crisis, this policy can serve two purposes: Corporate Social Responsibility and Cost Cutting. One cannot blame Infosys for giving new life to this policy. Simply because choice is completely left to employee's discretion and it is voluntary in nature and more importantly they did not chose to issue pink slips without prior notice. More over, it has "Social Responsibility" factor in it. If significantly good number of employees take this opportunity to change the lives around, why not? No matter what kind of financial turmoil we are facing.

"I would like to believe the reason is more to do with the Corporate Social Responsibility element rather than the cost cutting element. But, the timing of the move has coincided with turbulent times. Only time will tell if this was a strange coincidence[src]."

I wish I was in Infosys :)

Congratulations Mr. President-Elect, Yes you can!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today, Barack Obama, the President-elect, is living the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. On 28th August 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., Martin Luther King delivered one of the most powerful speeches in the history of mankind.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!
His "I have a dream" speech electrified the crowd gathered to protest against racism. "It is regarded, along with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Franklin D. Roosevelt's Infamy Speech, as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory [wiki]." Take a look at that famous "I have a dream" speech, full text here.

Forty five years later, Americans finally fulfilled the dream of Martin Luther King. Americans sent a message to the world that they are not just a collection of Red States and blue states, but they are "United States of America". Who else can reflect that message better than Barack Obama, the first African-American president of America,
"It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America."
Here is Obama's Victory Speech: "Change Has Come To America", delivered at Grand Park Chicago. Full text of Victory speech here.

ಕನ್ನಡ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಅರ್ಹವೇ? ಎಳ್ಳಷ್ಟೂ ಸಂಶಯ ಬೇಡ!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

ಕಳೆದ ಕೆಲವು ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನಮಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಅರ್ಹವಲ್ಲ ಎಂಬ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿಗಳ ಮಾತಿನಿಂದ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಮನಸ್ಸು ನೊಂದುಕೊಂಡಿತ್ತು. ನೊಂದ ಮನಸ್ಸು ಹೋರಾಟದ ಹಾದಿ ಹಿಡಿಯಿತು. ಹೋರಾಟದ ಹಾದಿ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನವನ್ನು ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಹತ್ತಿರಗೊಳಿಸಿತು. ಕೊನೆಗೂ ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸರಕಾರ ತಲೆದೂಗಿ, ತೆಲೆಬಾಗಿ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಬೇಡಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಈಡೇರಿಸಿತು. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಹುಟ್ಟುಹಬ್ಬದ ದಿನ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನ ಬಂದದ್ದು ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರಿಗೆಲ್ಲ ಒಂದು ಅಪೂರ್ವ ಸಂಗಮದಂತೆ ತೋರುತ್ತಿದೆ.

ಅದಿರಲಿ, ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಅರ್ಹವೇ? ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನದಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕಾಗುವ ಲಾಭಗಳೇನು? ಇಂತಹ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಬೇರು ಸಹಿತ ಕಿತ್ತು ಹಾಕಲು ನನ್ನದೊಂದು ಸಣ್ಣ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಇಲ್ಲಿದೆ.

ಯಾವುದೇ ಒಂದು ಭಾಷೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನ ಪಡೆಯಲು ಬೇಕಾದ ಅರ್ಹತೆಗಳೆಂದರೆ,
(೧) ಭಾಷೆ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಪ್ರಾಚೀನವಾಗಿರಬೇಕು, ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸರಕಾರದ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಭಾಷೆ ೧೫೦೦-೨೦೦೦ ವರ್ಷಗಳಷ್ಟು ಹಳೆಯದಾಗಿರಬೇಕು.
(೨) ಆ ಭಾಷೆಗೆ ತನ್ನದೇ ಆದ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯಿರಬೇಕು.
(೩) ಅದರ ಉಗಮ (ಹುಟ್ಟು) ಬೇರೊಂದು ಭಾಷೆ/ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯ ಪ್ರಭಾವಕ್ಕೊಳಪಡದೇ, ತನ್ನದೇ ಆದ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ನೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಾಗಿರಬೇಕು.
(೪) ಆ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಪ್ರಾಚೀನ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ವಿಪುಲವಾಗಿರಬೇಕು ಮತ್ತು ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟವಾಗಿರಬೇಕು.

ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಆ ಎಲ್ಲ ಅರ್ಹತೆಗಳಿವೆಯೇ? ಎಳ್ಳಷ್ಟೂ ಸಂಶಯ ಬೇಡ!

(೧) ಕನ್ನಡದ ಪ್ರಾಚೀನತೆ:
  • ಕ್ರಿ. ಪೂ. ಮೂರನೇ (300 B.C.) ಶತಮಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಸೇರಿದ, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಲ್ಲಿ ದೊರೆತಿರುವ ಅಶೋಕನ ಶಸನವೊಂದರಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ’ಇಸಿಲ’ ಎಂಬ ಪದವೇ, ತೇದಿಯುಳ್ಳ ಪ್ರಾಚೀನತಮ ಪದ ಎಂದು ವಿದ್ವಾಂಸರಾದ ಡ್.ಎಲ್.ನರಸಿಂಹಾಚಾರ್ಯರ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ.
  • ಈಜಿಪ್ಟ್ ದೇಶದ ಟಾಲೆಮಿ ಎಂಬ ಭೂಗೋಲ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಜ್ಞನು ಬರೆದ ಗ್ರಂಥದಲ್ಲಿ, ಭಾರತದ ಅನೇಕ ಊರುಗಳ ಹೆಸರುಗಳನ್ನು ಹೇಳುವಲ್ಲಿ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಅನೇಕ ಊರುಗಳ ಹೆಸರುಗಳೂ ಉಲ್ಲೇಖಿತವಾಗಿವೆ. ಇದರ ಕಾಲ ಕ್ರಿ.ಶ.೧೪೦.
  • ಕ್ರಿ.ಶ. ೨ನೇ ಶತಮಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಸೇರಿದ ಗ್ರೀಕ್ ನೆಗೆನಾಟಕವೊಂದರಲ್ಲಿನ ಕೆಲವು ಪದಗಳನ್ನು, ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆಯವೆಂದು ಊಹಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.
  • ಕಿ.ಶ. ೪೫೦ ರಲ್ಲಿ "ಹಲ್ಮಿಡಿ ಶಾಸನ"ದ ರಚನೆಯಾಯಿತು. ಹಲ್ಮಿಡಿ ಶಾಸನದ ಭಾಷೆ ಪ್ರೌಢವಾದ ಗದ್ಯ.
ಮೇಲಿನ ಮೊದಲ ಮೂರು ಅಂಶಗಳಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಪ್ರಾಚೀನತೆ ೨೦೦೦ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಗಿಂತ ಹಳೆಯದೆಂದು ಸಾಬೀತಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಅದರಲ್ಲೇನಾದರು ಸಂದೇಹವಿದ್ದರೆ ಹಲ್ಮಿಡಿ ಶಾಸನದ ಕಾಲವನ್ನು ಗಮನಿಸಿ. ಒಂದು ಶಾಸನದ ಭಾಷೆ ಪ್ರೌಢ ಗದ್ಯವಾಗಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಅದರ ಹಿಂದ ಕೊನೆಯ ಪಕ್ಷ ಒಂದು ಶತಮಾನದ ಚಾರಿತ್ರಿಕ/ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕ ಹಿನ್ನೆಲೆಯಿರಬೇಕು. ಅದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಮುಂಚೆ ಆ ಭಾಷೆ ಸರಿಸುಮಾರು ೨-೩ ಶತಮಾನಗಳಷ್ಟಾದರೂ ಜನರ ಆಡು ಮಾತಾಗಿ ಬಳಕೆಯಾಗಿರಬೇಕು. ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ಕೊನೆಯ ಪಕ್ಷ, ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ೧೬೦೦-೧೬೫೦ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಇತಿಹಾಸವಿರುದಂತೂ ಗಟ್ಟಿ.

(೨) ಕನ್ನಡದ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ: "ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತದಿಂದ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ್ದು ಎಂದು ಕೆಲವರ ಆಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ. ಆದರೆ ಇದು ಸರಿಯಲ್ಲ. ಕನ್ನಡ ಪಂಚದ್ರಾವಿಡ ಭಾಷೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು. ತಮಿಳು, ಕನ್ನಡ, ತೆಲುಗು, ಮಲೆಯಾಳಂ ಮತ್ತು ತುಳು, ಇವುಗಳನ್ನು ಪಂಚ ದ್ರಾವಿಡ ಭಾಷೆಗಳೆಂದು ಕರೆಯಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಐದೂ ದ್ರಾವಿಡ ಭಾಷೆಗಳಿಗೆ ತಾಯಂತಿದ್ದ ಮೂಲದ್ರಾವಿಡ ಭಾಷೆಯೊಂದು ಇದ್ದು, ಈ ಐದೂ ಕಾಲಕ್ರಮೇಣ ಕವಲೊಡೆದು ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಭಾಷೆಗಳಾದುವುವೆಂದು ಭಾಷಾಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಜ್ಞರ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ [ಜಿ.ಎಸ್.ಶಿವರುದ್ರಪ್ಪ]." ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ತಮಿಳಿಗೆ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯಿದೆ, ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕಿಲ್ಲವೆಂಬ ಮಾತು ಮಲತಾಯಿ ಧೋರಣೆಯೇ ವಿನಾ ಬೇರೆನಲ್ಲ. ಭಾಷಾಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಜ್ಞರ ಲೆಕ್ಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಇತಿಹಾಸ ತಮಿಳಿನಷ್ಟಾದರೂ ಹಳೆಯದು ಎಂದು ಸಾಬೀತಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಚಾರಿತ್ರಿಕವಾಗಿ, ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕವಾಗಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ತನ್ನದೇ ಆದ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿದೆಯೆಂಬುದು ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟ.

(೩) ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸ್ವಂತ ನೆಲೆಯಿದೆ, ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತದಂತಹ ಭಾಷೆಗಳ ಪ್ರಭಾವ ಶಿಖರದ ತುದಿ ಮುಟ್ಟಿಲ್ಲ: ಸುಮಾರು ೧೬೦೦-೨೦೦೦ ವರ್ಷಗಳಷ್ಟು ಪ್ರಾಚೀನವಾಗಿರುವ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ರಚನೆ ಆರಂಭವಾದದ್ದು ಯಾವಾಗ ಎಂದು ಖಚಿತವಾಗಿ ಹೇಳಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲ. ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಭಾಷೆಗಳಿಗೂ ಇರುವಂತೆ, ಲಿಖಿತರೂಪವನ್ನು ತಾಳದ, ಬಾಯಿಂದ ಬಾಯಿಗೆ ಹರಿದು ಬರುವ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯಾಭಿವ್ಯಕ್ತಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆಗೂ ಇದ್ದಿರಬೇಕು. ಕನ್ನಡದ ಮೊದಲ ಗ್ರಂಥವೆಂದು ಭಾವಿತವಾದ ’ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂತಹ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಇದ್ದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಸೂಚನೆಗಳಿವೆ. ಹೇಗೆ? ಯಾವ ಸೂಚನೆಗಳು? ಕವಿರಾಜ ಮಾರ್ಗ ಒಂದು ಲಕ್ಷಣ ಗ್ರಂಥ. ಎಂದರೆ, ಕವಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಕಾವ್ಯ ಲಕ್ಷಣವನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಸುವ, ಚರ್ಚಿಸುವ ಗ್ರಂಥ. ಕಾವ್ಯ ಎಂದರೇನು, ಕಾವ್ಯದ ಪರಿಕರಗಳು ಯಾವುವು, ಕಾವ್ಯದ ಸ್ವಾರಸ್ಯ ಎಲ್ಲಿದೆ, ಕಾವ್ಯದ ಗುಣ ಯಾವುದು, ದೋಷ ಯಾವುದು, ಕಾವ್ಯದ ಉದ್ದೇಶ ಪ್ರಯೋಜನಗಳು ಯಾವುದು ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ ಸಂಗತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಕುರಿತ ಗ್ರಂಥ. ಇಂತಹ ಕೃತಿ ಯಾವಾಗಲೂ ಸಮೃದ್ಧವಾದೊಂದು ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವಿದ್ದಾಗ ಮಾತ್ರ ಹುಟ್ಟಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯ. ಕೆಲವರು ’ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗ’ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ಕವಿ ದಂಡಿಯು ಬರೆದ ’ಕಾವ್ಯಾದರ್ಶ’ ಎಂಬ ಅಲಂಕಾರ ಗ್ರಂಥದ ಅನುವಾದ ಮಾತ್ರ ಎಂದು ಮೇಲೆ ಹೇಳಿದ ಮಾತನ್ನು ಅಲ್ಲಗಳೆಯುವುದುಂಟು. ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಪ್ರಜ್ಞೆಯಿರುವ ಯಾರೇ ಆಗಲಿ, "ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗ ದಂಡಿಯ ಕಾವ್ಯಾದರ್ಶದ ಅನುವಾದ ಮಾತ್ರವಾಗಿಲ್ಲ, ತಕ್ಕಷ್ಟು ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯನ್ನೂ, ವೈಚಾರಿಕತೆಯನ್ನೂ ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸುವ ಕೃತಿಯಾಗಿದೆ" ಎಂಬ ಸತ್ಯ ಎದ್ದು ಕಾಣುತ್ತದೆ. ಒಂದು ಭಾಷೆಯ ಲಕ್ಷಣ ಗ್ರಂಥದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ದೃಷ್ಟಿ ಇದ್ದಮೇಲೆ ಅದಕ್ಕ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರವಾದ ನೆಲೆ, ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ ಇರಲೇ ಬೇಕು ಎಂಬ ಮಾತು ನಿಸ್ಸಂಶಯವಾದದ್ದು.

(೪) ಪ್ರಾಚೀನ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ವಿಪುಲ್ಲವಾದುದು ಮತ್ತು ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟವಾದುದು: ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ಸಮಗ್ರ ಇತಿಹಾಸವನ್ನು ಅವಲೋಕಿಸಿದಾಗ ಕಾಣುವುದಿಷ್ಟು. ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಉಲ್ಲೇಖವಾದ ಚೆತ್ತಾಣೆ ಬೆದಂಡೆಗಳ ಕಾವ್ಯರೂಪಗಳಿಂದ ಹಿಡಿದು, (ಅ) ಚಂಪು (ಆ) ವಚನ-ರಗಳೆ-ಷಟ್ಪದಿ (ಇ) ಕೀರ್ತನ-ತ್ರಿಪದಿ-ಸಾಂಗತ್ಯ (ಈ) ಭಾವಗೀತೆ-ಗದ್ಯ ಮತ್ತು (ಉ) ಕಥೆ-ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗಳವರೆಗಿನ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ಉದ್ದಗಲಗಳು ಒಂದು ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಭಾಷೆಗೆ ಬೇಕಾದ ಉದ್ದಗಲಗಳಿಂತ ಒಂದು ಪಟ್ಟು ಹೆಚ್ಚೆ ಎನ್ನಬೇಕು. ಒಂದು ದೇಶದ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಧರ್ಮ, ಚರಿತ್ರೆ, ಮತ್ತು ಜನಜೀವನದ ಚೌಕಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿಟ್ಟು ಭಾಷೆಯನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ಮಾತ್ರ ಅದರ ವೈವಿಧ್ಯತೆಯ ಅರಿವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಆ ವೈವಿಧ್ಯತೆ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕಿದೆ, ಅದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅನುಮಾನವಿದ್ದವರು ಮೇಲೆ ತಿಳಿಸಿದ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಪ್ರಕಾರದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಸಿಂಹಾವಲೋಕಿಸಿ ಒರೆಗೆ ಹಚ್ಚಿ ನೋಡಬೇಕು.

ಮೇಲಿನ ಎಲ್ಲ ವಿಶಯಗಳಿಂದ ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟವಾಗುವುದು ಇಷ್ಟು. ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನ ದೊರಕಿದ್ದು ಕೇವಲ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಹೋರಾಟದ ಪ್ರತಿಫಲವಲ್ಲ, ಅದು ಇಡೀ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ವೃಂದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ತೋರಿಸಿದ ಗೌರವ ಮಾತ್ರ. ಅಷ್ಟಾದ ಮಾತ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಮುಂದೆ ಉಳಿದ ಭಾಷೆಗಳು ಗೌಣ ಎಂದರ್ಥವಲ್ಲ. ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರೆಲ್ಲರ ಆಚಾರ ವಿಚಾರ, ನಡೆ ನುಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆರೆತ ಪರಭಾಷೆ-ಪರಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇರುವ "ಸಹಿಷ್ಣುತೆ" ಇಂದು ಮತ್ತು ಮುಂದೆಯೂ ಪ್ರತಿಬಿಂಬಿಸಬೇಕು. ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಭಾಷೆಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರೀತಿಸು, ಕನ್ನಡವನ್ನು ಪೂಜಿಸು ಎಂಬ ಕವಿಯ ಆಶಯ ಸದಾ ಅಮರವಾಗಿರಬೇಕು. ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನಕ್ಕೆ ನಮ್ಮೆಲ್ಲರಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಮ್ಮೆಯಿರಲಿ ಅಹಂಕಾರ (Chauvinism) ಬೇಡ!

ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನದಿಂದಾಗುವದೇನಿದೆ?

(೧) ಭಾರತ ಸರಕಾರದ ಕೇಂದ್ರೀಯ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾನಿಲಯಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತು ವಿಶ್ವದ ಅನೇಕ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾನಿಲಯಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಕನ್ನಡ ಕಲಿಕೆಗೆ ಪೀಠಗಳ (Professional Chairs) ಸ್ಥಾಪನೆಯಾಗಲಿದೆ.
(೨) ಪ್ರಪಂಚದೆಲ್ಲೆಡೆ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ವಿಶೇಷ ಮನ್ನಣೆ ದೊರೆಯಲಿದೆ. ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷಾ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆಗೆ ದೇಶ ವಿದೇಶಗಳಿಂದ ಬೆಂಬಲ/ಸಹಕಾರ ದೊರೆಯಲಿದೆ.
(೩) ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ದುಡಿದ ವಿದ್ವಾಂಸರಿಗೆ ಗೌರವಿಸಲು ಎರಡು ಅಂತರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಬಹುಮಾನಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಟಾಪಿಸಲಾಗುವುದು.
(೪) ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸರಕಾರದಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿಗೆ ೧೦೦ ಕೋಟಿ ರೂಪಾಯಿ ಲಭ್ಯವಾಗಲಿದೆ.
(೫) ಪ್ರತಿ ವರ್ಷದ ಬಜೆಟ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕಕ್ಕೆ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಕೆಲಸಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ೫ ಕೋಟಿ ರೂಪಾಯಿ ದೊರೆಯಲಿದೆ.
(೬) ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷಾ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿ ಮಂಡಳಿ (Kannada Language Promotion Board) ಸ್ಥಾಪನೆಯಾಗಲಿದೆ.
(೭) ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಚರಿತ್ರೆಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನಕ್ಕೆ ಮತ್ತು ಸಂಶೋಧನೆಗೆ ವಿಶೇಷ ನೆರವು ದೊರೆಯಲಿದೆ.

ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಸರ್ವತೋಮುಖ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆಗೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಸ್ಥಾನ ದೊರಕಿದ್ದು ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸಂದ ಅರ್ಹ ಗೌರವ. ಸರಕಾರದವರು, ಸಾಹಿತಿಗಳು, ವಿಧ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿಗಳು, ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾನಿಲಯಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಉಳಿದೆಲ್ಲ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರು ದೊರೆತಿರುವ ಅವಕಾಶವನ್ನು ಪರಿಣಾಮಕಾರಿಯಾಗೆ ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಿ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಇತಿಹಾಸವನ್ನು ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಎತ್ತರಕ್ಕೆ ಕೊಂಡೊಯ್ದರೆ ಸಂದ ಗೌರವ ಸಾರ್ಥಕವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ.

ಸೂ: ಇದೇ ಲೇಖನವನ್ನು  ನನ್ನ ಸಂಪದ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಬಹುದು.

The greatest knowledge in the world is knowing that you know nothing!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Whenever I get some time during a visit to my village, my octogenarian grandfather finds some fun in dragging me into serious arguments. He always throw some interesting questions on variety of topics: "Origin of the universe", "Seed or a plant: which one is first?", "How did human birth took place?", "Why are we doing things which we are doing?", "If God created us, who created God?" and many more on those lines. At first, I always thought I should not get into these discussion since it's a waste of time and it's absolutely impossible to convince an octogenarian who does not have the scientific background (He's never been to school, but his moral qualities are highly respected by people around him). It was only because of his love and affection towards me, I used to spend decent amount of time to explain him what I knew. But he was tough, never got convinced with my so called "scientific explanations."

Over the years, I did realize that I should just compassionately think the way he does and make him happy about his 'knowledge' about things he is curious about, so that I could at least save my time without disappointing him. On temporary basis I started acting like a theist though I am agnostic, I started showing my belief in hypothetical stories from Vedas and Puranas though I haven't read/heard them, I started basing my arguments on unscientific things though i never believed in them. He didn't take too much time to realize that I am no more interested in 'healthy' arguments about those topics. Some times, I did confess saying that, "I cannot convince you because you don't have that fundamental scientific base." He openly accepted that fact and said, "These are some fundamental questions which every human being wants to know. Every generation is interested in knowing about them. Vedas and Puranas interpreted them in their own way, scientist have their own way to explain, but the questions still remain unanswered.... The more you think about them, the more you discover about yourself. The greatest knowledge in the world is knowing that you know nothing....." Last few words put me in a serious contemplation.

PS: (1) If you have ever answered any one of those questions to anyone like my grandfather, please do let me know, I would love to try and get into some serious conversation with him again! (2) Originally Socrates had said something similar to what my grandfather had said (and of course, being not much educated, my grandfather doesn't know anything about Socrates), "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing[wiki]"

'Hindutva as a secular ideology' is not required in a "Secular State"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

'Secularism' is a dubious word, capable of diverse meanings and having huge potential to confuse the common man, leaders, intellectuals, religious fanatics, etc... "Given that more than 90 percent Indians, hailing from various religious communities, are conservative, tradition-bound and adherent of basic religious principles, the question of alienating the average Indian from religion is as good as chasing a mirage. Confusion regarding definition of secularism prevails primarily because of respected elite’s tendency to link it only with being non-religious, atheist and/or a-religious [src]."

This state of confusion has been set at rest by authoritative pronouncements made by the Supreme court in a nine-Judge decision on Bommai Vs Union of India case. According to the judgment,
  1. Secularism, in India, does not mean that the State should be hostile to religion but that it should be neutral as between the different religions.
  2. Every individual has the freedom to profess and practice his own religion, and it cannot be contended that "if a person is devout Hindu or a devout Muslim, he ceases to be secular."
  3. The neutrality of the state would be violated if the religion is used for political purposes and advocated by the political parties for their political ends. An appeal to the electorate on grounds of religion offends the secular democracy. Politics and religion cannot be mixed. If a state government does this, it will be a fit case for application of Art. 356 of the Constitution against it.
  4. It is in this sense that secularism is to be regarded as basic feature (also called as Basic Structure) of the Constitution [Courtesy, D.D. Basu].
"India, under the constitution, is a 'Secular State', i.e. a State which observes an attitude of neutrality and impartiality towards all religions. A secular state is founded on the idea that the state is concerned with the relation between man and man and not with the relation between man and God which is a matter for individual conscience [Dr.D.D. Basu]."

On the other hand the Sangh Pariwar's ideology of "Hindu Rashtra" is even more confusing. "The notion of "Hindu principles" (Hindutva)... is intended to be inclusive of the multiple indigenous traditions of India, including Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. However these religions do not consider themselves to be Hindu [wiki]." "Hindutva ideologues often try and confuse matters by claiming that India is already a Hindu Rashtra [The Hindu]." Ironically, BJP has never used the term "Hindu Rashtra". Lal Krishna Advani himself asserted that, "The term Hindu Rāshtra was never used during the Jana Sangh days, neither had it ever been mentioned in any manifesto of the BJP." In contrast to Advan's statement, " Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh openly espouges the concept of Hindu Rāshtra [wiki]."

The protogonists of Hindu Rashtra claim that Hindutva is a secular ideology and they argue that,
"Even Muslim and Christian Indians are Hindus, as their ancestors were Hindu, and despite their religion, their culture and heritage is the same as that of India's natural Hindu majority."
The extremists of Hindutva say that,
"So called Indian Muslims & Christians cannot be called as Hindu because their Holyland is not the Hindusthan but Arabsthan and Rome are their Holylands.Muslims and Christians cannot be called as nationals unless they abandon their faith in antinational religions like Islam and Christainity and also unless they embrace again their original religion from which they were forcibly converted to their present status [source]."
A (hindutva inspired) retired  IAS officer says,
"Defining Hindutva is formidable. It is beyond definition. Hindutva is neither Hindu religion, nor a political ideology. It cannot be expressed in concrete terms. It is an abstract value system that manifests itself in behaviour and reactions of Hindus in general. It is a mindset that Hindus have inherited. It represents their collective psyche. It is a way of life for that defines description."
"Hindutva as secular ideology is something which has not been clearly and unambiguously defined in any of Sangh Pariwar's literature [source]." On the other hand, Hindutva as secular ideology has not been proved in any of the BJP lead governments in the states. "If Hindutva is a tolerant political ideology which respects secular values, why is it that in all the States which are ruled by the BJP there is a systematic attack against Christians and Muslims? Why is it that tribals, who are not, and never have been, Hindu are being terrorized into converting to Hinduism? [source]"

For the sake of the argument, assume that Hindutva is a secular ideology. In that case, why do we need an another secular ideology when India itself is a secular state? The Constitution of India clearly says, "There shall be no 'state religion' in India. The state will neither establish a religion of its own nor confer any special patronage upon any particular religion." More over, Supreme Court of India has clearly defined the meaning of 'Secular State' (as we have seen above). In fact, the concept of secularism in Indian Constitution is much more wider than that of Sangh Pariwar's 'Hindutva as a secular concept'. Hence, Hindutva as secular ideologyis not congruous in a secular state like India.

The bottom line is, It is not just "terrorism inspired by Islamist fundamentalist groups or the dilemmas in Kashmir (despite their seriousness) that poses the greatest danger. It is our home-grown version of religious-political fanaticism striving for ever greater power that poses the greatest threat to our very existence as a secular and democratic polity and society [The Hindu]."

Keep your religious life personal, No need to show your veneration

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Few days back, one of my friend came back to me saying that he did not agree with some of my argumentse related to Amarnath issue. In a broader perspective, I told him that, "God's name is there behind most of the violences, riots, unrests, terrorist attacks and many other heinous crimes (recent Anti Christian violence, Amarnath issue, terrorist attacks are perfect examples of heinous crimes in the name of god and religion). It's all a communal misunderstanding in the name of God, who, i am not sure if exist." He hit back saying, "It doesn't matter whether YOU believe in god or not. It doesn't change the fact that more than 95% of the people do. And it is more important to them than anything else." If they just believe in certain faith/religion, it's not a problem, but religious chauvinism coupled with misguided and misinterpreted history of religion and god lead to communal violences. Liberty of 'belief, faith and worship' promised by framers of our constitution are for peaceful coexistence. 'Freedom of religion' enshrined in our constitution (Article 25-29) are not intended for any kind of induced proselytization.

Hindu fundamentalist argue that, Islam by itself is a imperialistic idea. According to "dar al-harb (territory of war or chaos) and dar al-islam (territory of peace) muslims are expected to bring God's word and God's will to all of humanity, by force if absolutely necessary, and attempts by the regions in dar al-harb to resist or fight back must be met with a similar amount of force []." One of my open minded Muslim friend told me that, the original philosophy of dar al-harb and dar al-islam were not for creating Islamic world. It was meant to fight immorality. i.e. Destruction of region of immorality (dar al-harb, the territory of war or chaos) by the morals of dar al-islam (territory of peace).

Another ideology sited quite often is Jihad. But meaning of Jihad is not 'holy war',
"The Qur'anic concept of jihad refers to exerting efforts, in the form of struggle against or resistance to something, for the sake of Allah. This effort can be fighting back armed aggression, but can also be resisting evil drives and desires in one's self. Even donating money to the needy is a form of jihad, as it involves struggling against one's selfishness and inner desire to keep one's money for one's own pleasures. Jihad can, therefore, be subdivided into armed jihad and peaceful jihad. Armed jihad, which is the subject of Chapter 4, is only temporary and is a response to armed aggression. Once the aggression has ceased, armed jihad comes to an end. Armed jihad, thus, can take place only when there is an aggressive, external enemy [source]."
But Muslim fundamentalist interpret Jihad in a way that directly contradicts the original meaning of Jihad. Same is the case with philosophy of dar al-harb and dar al-islam.

Apart from misinterpretation of religious text, there is another issue of proselytization. "Majority of the Muslims of India are converts to that faith from Hinduism through force of circumstances [Mahatma Gandhi]" and so are Christians of India. "Poor people who wander about, find no work, no wages and starve, whose lives are continual round of sore affliction and pinching poverty, cannot be pround of the constitution or its law [Dr. Radhakrishnan]." Obviously they do not mind converting to other religion if they can get what they do not have, i.e. source of livelihood. It doesn't really matter if the law preach secularism or even if it bans forced/induced proselytization. The fundamental question behind induced proselytization is of 'honourable existence' i.e. the economic freedom. If that is not attained, the results are horrendous incidents like Anti Christian violence, and even extreme fundamentalism. More over, the so called "proselytisers" must realize that, the respect and value for a particular religion must be earned and should never be induced nor demanded.

Though the protogonists of religious philosophies claim to preach peace and humanity, they often forget the importance of coexistence of various faiths and beliefs. The parochial attitude of inflicting thoughts like 'superiority of one faith over other' are foundations of communal violence. If you practice a perticular religion, keep it to yourself, keep it within your home. There is no point in going out and showing your veneration for the religion/god you believe in, that neither help "purify" yourself nor it brings peace in the society.

"ಉಪ್ಪು ತಿಂದ ಮನೆಗೆ ಎರಡು ಬಗೆಯುವ ಎಲಾ ಕುನ್ನಿಗಳೆ!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ಮುಂಬೈಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ವಲಸಿಗರು ಥ್ಯಾಕ್ರೆಯ ಸಿಂಹಗರ್ಜೆನೆಗೆ ಬೆಚ್ಚಿಬಿದ್ದರು. ಸ್ಥಳೀಯ ನೆಲ, ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಭಾಷೆ, ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಗೌರವಿಸುವ ಪಾಠ ಕಲಿತರು. ಆದರೆ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿಗೆ ಬಂದ ವಲಸಿಗರಿಗೆ ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ನಮ್ಮ ಜನರಲ್ಲವೇ ಎಂದು ಸಹಿಷ್ಣುತೆ ತೋರಿಸಿದರು. ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದ್ದೇನು? "" ಅಭಿಯಾನ! ಸ್ಥಳೀಯ ನೆಲ, ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಭಾಷೆ, ಭಾವನೆಗಳ ಅವಹೇಳನ. ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಜನರಿಗೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಕಲ್ಪವೃಕ್ಷವಿದ್ದಂತೆ; ಮೊದಲ ನೌಕರಿ, ಮೊದಲ ಸಂಬಳ, ಮೊದಲ ಕಾರು, ಮೊದಲ ಮನೆ, ಎಲ್ಲಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಮಿಗಿಲಾಗಿ ತಾಳ್ಮೆಯುಳ್ಳ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಸ್ನೇಹ-ವಿಶ್ವಾಸಗಳೆಲ್ಲ ದೊರೆತದ್ದು ವಲಸಿಗರ ಸೌಭಾಗ್ಯವಲ್ಲವೇ? ಇದನ್ನು ಮರೆತ ಕೆಲ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿ ವಲಸಿಗರು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಮೂಲಭೂತ ಸೌಕರ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ತಿರಸ್ಕೃತ ಮನೋಭಾವನೆಯಿಂದ ನೋಡುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ಅವರ ಸಂಕುಚಿತ ಸ್ವಭಾವಕ್ಕೆ ಹಿಡಿದ ಕೈಗನ್ನಡಿಯಾಗಿದೆ.

"ದೇಸೀ ಮಾತು" ಬ್ಲಾಗಿನಲ್ಲಿರುವ "ಹೋಗುವುದಿದ್ದರೆ ಬೇಗ ತೊಲಗಿ ಪೀಡೆಗಳೆ" ಎಂಬ ಲೇಖನದ ಶಿರ್ಷಿಕೆ ಹೇಳುವುದನ್ನು ನೇರವಾಗಿ, ಪರಿಣಾಮಕಾರಿಯಾಗಿ ಹೇಳುತ್ತದೆ. ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಸುಮಾರು 60%ಗಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಜನ ವಲಸೆ ಬಂದವರು. ಅವರೆಲ್ಲ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿಡಾರ ಹಾಕಿದ್ದರಿಂದಲೇ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂಲಭೂತ ಸೌಕರ್ಯಗಳ ಕೊರತೆ ಶುರುವಾಗಿದ್ದು. ಅದನ್ನು ಮರೆತ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿಗಳು, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ರಸ್ತೆಗಳು ಸರಿಯಿಲ್ಲ, ಟ್ರಾಫಿಕ್ ಮಿತಿಮೀರಿದೆ, ಪರಿಸರ ಮಾಲಿನ್ಯವಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ, ಜನರಿಗೆ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಎಲ್ಲಿಲ್ಲದ ’ಗರ್ವ’ವಿದೆ, "IT Hub" ಹೋಗಿ "Begger hub" ಆಗುತ್ತಿದೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಸರಿಯೇ? ಅಷ್ಟೇ ಅಲ್ಲ, "ಎಲ್ಲ ಭಾಷೆಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರೀತಿಸಿ, ಕನ್ನಡವನ್ನು ಪೂಜಿಸುವ" ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರಿಗೆ, ಕನ್ನಡದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ದುರಭಿಮಾನವಿದೆಯೆನ್ನುವುದು ನ್ಯಾಯವೇ? "ಉಪ್ಪು ತಿಂದ ಮನೆಗೆ ಎರಡು ಬಗೆಯುವ" ಈ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿ "ಕುನ್ನಿಗಳು" ಇದ್ದರೆಷ್ಟು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಬಿಟ್ಟು ತೊಲಗಿದರೆಷ್ಟು, ಹೋದರೆ ಹೋಗಲಿ, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಉಪ್ಪಿನ ಋಣ ಅವರನ್ನು ಅನ್ನ ಸಿಗದ ನಗರದಿಂದ ಪುನಃ ಕೈಬೀಸಿ ಕರೆದಾಗ ಗೊತ್ತಾಗುತ್ತದೆ ಈ ನೆಲದ ಘನತೆ.

ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ "ವಿವಿಧತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಏಕತೆ" ಇದೆ ಎಂದು ಎದೆತಟ್ಟಿ ಹೇಳುವ ನಾವೆಲ್ಲರು(ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರು+ಕನ್ನಡೇತರರು), ವಿವಿಧ ಭಾಗಗಳಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಭಾಷೆ, ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಗೌರವಿಸುವುದನ್ನು ಕಲಿಯಬೇಕು. ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಪ್ರದೇಶದ/ಭಾಗದ ಭಾಷೆ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯನ್ನು ಗೌರವಿಸುವುದರಿಂದ ನಮ್ಮ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಗೇನು ಧಕ್ಕೆಯಾಗವುದಿಲ್ಲ; ಬದಲಾಗಿ ಇನ್ನೂ ಲಾಭವೇ ಎನ್ನಿ. ಬೇರೆ ಭಾಷೆ/ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯನ್ನು ಕಲಿಯುದರಿಂದ/ಗೌರವಿಸುವುದರಿಂದ ಎರಡು ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಗಳ ಮಿಲನವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ, ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಯ ಸಾಹಿತ್ತಿಕ ಉದ್ದಗಲಗಳು ಹಿಗ್ಗುತ್ತವೆ. ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗೆ, ಮಹಾರಷ್ಟ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಹೋಗಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಸಂಸ್ಕ್ರತಿಯನ್ನು ಗೌರವಿಸುವುದರಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೇನು ಧಕ್ಕೆಯಿಲ್ಲ, ಆದರೆ ಆ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯ "ಒಳ್ಳೆತನವನ್ನು" ಕನ್ನಡಿಸಿದರೆ ಕನ್ನಡ ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಶ್ರೀಮಂತವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಅದೇ ರೀತಿ, ಮರಾಠಿಗರು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದು ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯ "ಒಳ್ಳೆತನವನ್ನು" ಮರಾಠಿಗೆ ಕೊಂಡೊಯ್ದರೆ ಮರಾಠಿಗಷ್ಟೇ ಲಾಭವೇ? ಕನ್ನಡದ ಹೆಸರು ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಹರಡುವುದಿಲ್ಲವೇ? ಇದನ್ನರಿಯದು ಮೂರ್ಖರು "" ನಂತಹ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು ನಿಜಕ್ಕೂ ಶೋಚನೀಯ. ಸದ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ, ವೆಬ್ ಸೈಟಿನ ಎತ್ತಂಗಡಿ ಕಾರ್ಯ ಮುಗಿದಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ ವಲಸಿಗರಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಸಂಕುಚಿತ ಮನೋಭಾವ ಭೂದಿ ಮುಚ್ಚಿದ ಕೆಂಡದಂತಿದೆ. ಅದನ್ನು ಆರಿಸಲು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಬ್ಬ ರಾಜ್ ಥ್ಯಾಕ್ರೆ ಹುಟ್ಟಬೇಕೋ ಏನೋ...

ಸೂ: ೧) ಈ ಲೇಖನದ ಶಿರ್ಷಿಕೆ ಕುಮಾರಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಕಡಾಕೊಳ್ಳರವರ ಟೀಕೆಯಿಂದ ಆಯ್ದುಕೊಂಡದ್ದು. ೨)ಇದೇ ಲೇಖನವನ್ನು ನನ್ನ ಸಂಪದ ಬ್ಲಾಗಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಬಹುದು.

ದಾಸರೆಲ್ಲರ 'ವಸ್ತು' ಒಂದೇ ಆಗಿದ್ದರೂ, ಸಮಾಜಿಕ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಕೋನ ಅಪೂರ್ವವಾದದ್ದು

Saturday, October 11, 2008

ಹಬ್ಬ ಹರಿದಿನಗಳಿದ್ದಾಗ ನಮ್ಮೂರಲ್ಲಿ ಭಜನೆ-ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳ ಮಹಾಪೂರವೇ ಹರಿಯುತ್ತದೆ. ಊರಿನ ಜನ ಧರ್ಮ-ತತ್ವ-ನೀತಿಗಳನ್ನೊಳಗೊಂಡ ಭಜನೆ-ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮನದಣಿಯುವತನಕ ಹಾಡಿ ಮೈಮರೆಯುತ್ತಾರೆ.ಕೆಲವೊಮ್ಮೆ ನಾನು ಸಹ ಆ ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿದ್ದುಂಟು. "ಅಂಬಿಗ ನಾ ನಿನ್ನ ನಂಬಿದೆ", "ಎನ್ನ ಮನದ ಡೊಂಕು ತಿದ್ದೇಯಾ...", "ಗಿಳಿಯು ಪಂಜರದೊಳಿಲ್ಲ..", "ಮಾನವ ಜನ್ಮ ದೊಡ್ಡದೊ.." ಹಾಗು ಅನೇಕ ಹಾಡುಗಳು ಪದೇ ಪದೇ ಕಿವಿಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಬೀಳುತ್ತಲೇ ಇರುತ್ತವೆ. ಬಹಳ ದಿನಗಳಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಚ್ಚ ಹಸುರಾಗುಳಿದ ಕೀರ್ತನಕಾರರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇನ್ನಷ್ಟು ತಿಳಿದುಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕೆಂಬ ಆಸೆ ಇದ್ದರೂ ಸೋಮಾರಿತನದಿಂದ ಅದರ ಗೊಡವೆಗೆ ಹೋಗಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಕೊನೆಗೂ ಆ ಸಾಹಸ ಮಾಡಿದೆ.

ಇಡೀ ದಾಸ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಅವಲೋಕಿಸಿದರೆ, ದಾಸರೆಲ್ಲಾ ಹಾಡಿದ್ದನ್ನೆ ಹಾಡಿದ್ದಾರಲ್ಲ ಎನಿಸಿಬಿಡುತ್ತದೆ. ಯಾವುದೇ ಕೀರ್ತನೆಯನ್ನು ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳಿ ಅದರ ಉದ್ದೇಶ ಇಷ್ಟೆ, "ಆತ್ಮವಿಮರ್ಶೆ, ಆತ್ಮನಿಂದನೆ, ಮೋಕ್ಷ, ಮುಕ್ತಿ, ತತ್ವ ಮತ್ತು ನೀತಿ." ಆಧುನಿಕ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಹೊರತುಪಡಿಸಿದರೆ, ಇಡೀ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣುವ ಸಾಹಿತ್ತಿಕ ವಸ್ತು ಬರೀ "ಧರ್ಮ-ತತ್ವ-ನೀತಿ" ಮಾತ್ರ. ೧೨ನೇ ಶತಮಾನದ ವಚನಕಾರರಿಗಿಂತ ಮುಂಚೆ ಪಂಪನ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ (ಪಂಪಯುಗದಲ್ಲಿ) ಕವಿಗಳು ಹೇಳಿದ್ದಿಷ್ಟೆ, "ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಇರುವುದು ಜನರ ಶ್ರೇಯಸ್ಸನ್ನು ಸಾಧಿಸಲು. ಇದು ಪಾಪ, ಇದು ಪುಣ್ಯ, ಇದು ಹಿತ, ಇದು ಅಹಿತ, - ಎನ್ನುವುದನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಯ ಹೇಳಲು. ಒಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಪುರುಷಾರ್ಥ ಪ್ರಾಪ್ತಿಗೋಸ್ಕರ [ಜಿ. ಎಸ್. ಶಿವರುದ್ರಪ್ಪ, ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯನಿಗೆ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಚರಿತ್ರೆ]." ಕೆಲವೊಮ್ಮೆ ಧರ್ಮದ ಉದ್ದೇಶವೇ ಕಾವ್ಯದ ಉದ್ದೇಶವಾಗಿದ್ದುಂಟು. ಪಂಪನ ನಂತರ ೧೨ನೇ ಶತಮಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದ ವಚನಕಾರರು ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಕ್ರಾಂತಿಯನ್ನೇ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದರು. ಆದರೆ ಅವರ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ವಸ್ತು ಮಾತ್ರ ಮತ್ತೆ ಅದೇ, "ಧರ್ಮ-ತತ್ವ-ನೀತಿ". ೧೫ನೇ ಶತಮಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದ ಕುಮಾರವ್ಯಾಸನು ಕೂಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ವಸ್ತುವಿನ ಆಯ್ಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪಂಪನ ಹಾದಿಯನ್ನೇ ಹಿಡಿದನು. ವಚನಕಾರರ ನಂತರ ಬಂದ ವ್ಯಾಸರಾಯರು, ಪುರಂದರದಾಸರು, ಕನಕದಾಸರು ಕೂಡ ತಮ್ಮ ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳ ವಸ್ತುವಿನ ಆಯ್ಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಕಮ್ಮಿ ವಚನಕಾರರ ಹಾದಿಯನ್ನೇ ಹಿಡಿದರು. ’ಪಂಪ-ಕುಮಾರವ್ಯಾಸರು’ ಮತ್ತು ’ವಚನಕಾರರು-ದಾಸರಲ್ಲಿರುವ’ ವ್ಯತ್ಯಾಸ ಇಷ್ಟೆ, "ಪಂಪ-ಕುಮಾರವ್ಯಾಸರು ಸಂಸಾರಿಕ ಜೀವನದ ನಶ್ವರತೆಯನ್ನು ಎತ್ತಿಹಿಡಿದು, ಮೋಕ್ಷವೇ ಜೀವನದ ಅಂತಿಮ ಗುರಿ ಎಂದರು. ಆದರೆ ವಚನಕಾರರು-ದಾಸರು ಸಂಸಾರಿಕ ಜೀವನವನ್ನು ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಸಹಾನುಭೂತಿಯಿಂದ ನೋಡಿ, ಸಂಸಾರದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದುಕೊಂಡೇ ಭಗವಂತನ ಸಹಾಯದಿಂದ ಮುಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಪಡೆಯಬಹುದೆಂದರು." ನಂತರ ಬಂದ ಹರಿಹರ ಕೂಡ ರಗಳೆಗಳ ರೂಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಭಕ್ತಿಯ ಮಾರ್ಗವನ್ನೇ ಹಿಡಿದ, ರಾಘವಾಂಕ ಮತ್ತೆ ಪಂಪ-ಕುಮಾರವ್ಯಾಸರ ಹಾದಿಯನ್ನು ತುಳಿದ. ಇಡೀ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಧುನಿಕ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಮಾತ್ರ ವೈವಿಧ್ಯತೆಯಿಂದ ಕೂಡಿದೆ ಅನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಸಾಹಿತ್ತಿಕ ವಸ್ತುವಿನ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಿಂದ ಅದೇನೆ ಇದ್ದರೂ, ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಮತ್ತು ಸಂಗೀತದ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಿಂದ ವಚನಕಾರರ ಮತ್ತು ದಾಸರ ಕೊಡುಗೆ ಅಪೂರ್ವವಾದುದು. ಬಸವಾದಿ ಶರಣರು ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ವಚನಗಳೆಂಬ ಅಪೂರ್ವ ಕಾಣಿಕೆ ಕೊಟ್ಟಂತೆ ಪುರಂದರಾದಿ ದಾಸರು ಕೀರ್ತನೆಳಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಶ್ರೀಮಂತಗೊಳಿಸಿದರು.

"ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳು ಹುಟ್ಟಿಕೊಂಡದ್ದು ಹಾಡಾಗಿಯೇ, ಹಾಡುವುಕ್ಕಾಗಿಯೇ. ಮೊದಲು ಪಲ್ಲವಿ, ಅನುಪಲ್ಲವಿ ಅನಂತರ ನಾಲ್ಕು ಪಾದಗಳ ಕೆಲವು ಪದ್ಯಗಳು. ಇದು ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳ ರೂಪ. ಮಾದ್ವಮತದ ತತ್ವಜ್ಞಾನ, ತಾರತಮ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಅನುಸರಿಸಿ ದೇವತಾ ಸ್ತುತಿ, ಪರಮಾತ್ಮನ ವಿವಿಧ ಲೀಲೆಗಳ ಉಲ್ಲೇಖ, ವೈಯಕ್ತಿಕವಾದ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆ, ತೊಳಲಾಟಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಸಮಾಜ ವಿಮರ್ಶೆ, ಇವು ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳ ವಸ್ತುಗಳಾಗಿವೆ[ಜಿ. ಎಸ್. ಶಿವರುದ್ರಪ್ಪ]." "ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಭಾವ ಭಕ್ತಿ. ವಿಶ್ವದ ಮೂಲಭೂತ ಸತ್ಯದ (Fundamental truth of the world) ಅರಿವಿಗೆ ಈ ಭಕ್ತಿಮಾರ್ಗ ಸುಲಭವೆಂಬುದು ಕೀರ್ತನಕಾರರ ಒಟ್ಟು ಧಾಟಿ. ತಮ್ಮ ಇಷ್ಟದೈವವನ್ನವರು ಭಕ್ತಿಯ ನಾನಾ ಮುಖಗಳಿಂದ ಅರ್ಚಿಸುತ್ತ ತಮ್ಮ ದಾರಿಯನ್ನು ಕಂಡುಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲೂ ಒಂದು ಹಾದಿಯನ್ನು ಸಿದ್ಧಪಡಿಸಿದರು. ಸಂಸಾರದ ನಿಸ್ಸಾರತೆ ಸಶ್ವರತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಎತ್ತಿ ಹಿಡಿಯುವುದು, ತನ್ಮೂಲಕ ಲೌಕಿಕ ಭೋಗದಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿ ಯಾವ ಹೇಯಕ್ಕಾದರೂ ಸಿದ್ಧವಾಗುವ ಮನಸ್ಸನ್ನು ಭಗವಂತನ ಕಡೆ ತಿರುಗಿಸುವುದು. ಹಾಗೆ ತಿರುಗಿಸಿ ಶಾಶ್ವತವಾದ ಸುಖದ ಕಡೆ ಜನಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರನ್ನು ಒಯ್ದು ಸ್ಥಾಪಿಸುವುದು. ಇದು ಕೀರ್ತನಕಾರರ ಒಟ್ಟು ಗುರಿ. ವೈಯಕ್ತಿಕ ಮೋಕ್ಷದ ಸ್ವಾರ್ಥಕ್ಕೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ತಲ್ಲಣಿಸದೆ ಇಡೀ ಒಂದು ಸಮಾಜದ ಉತ್ಥಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸಿದ ಈ ಭಕ್ತ ಪರಂಪರೆಯ ದೃಷ್ಟಿ ಆ ಕಾರಣದಿಂದ ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟವಾದುದು; ಮತ್ತು ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕವಾಗಿ ಮಹತ್ವದ್ದು [ಡಾ. ಎಚ್. ಎಸ್. ವೆಂಕಟೇಶಮೂರ್ತಿ, ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯನಿಗೆ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಚರಿತ್ರೆ]."

ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವಿದೆ, ಸಂಗೀತ ಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಸಂಗೀತವಿದೆ, ಆಧ್ಯಾತ್ಮ, ತತ್ವ, ನೀತಿ ಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಅದೂ ಇದೆ. "ದಾಸರ ರಚನೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಗೀತದ ಮಾಧುರ್ಯವೂ, ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ಸ್ವಾರಸ್ಯವೂ, ಧರ್ಮದ ಸಂದೇಶವೂ ಸರಿಸಮಾನಾಗಿ ಬೆರೆತು ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಪ್ರಿಯವಾದುವುಗಳಾಗಿವೆ." ದಾಸರ ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತದ ಆಡಂಬರವಿಲ್ಲ, ಸಂಧಿ-ಸಮಾಸಗಳ ಕ್ಲಿಷ್ಟತೆಯಿಲ್ಲ. "ಅಂತರಂಗದ ಅನುಭವಗಳನ್ನು, ತುಮುಲಗಳನ್ನು ನೇರವಾಗಿ, ಪ್ರಾಮಾಣಿಕವಾಗಿ, ತಿಳಿದ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ, ಜನಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರಿಗೆ ತಿಳಿಯುವಂತೆ" ಹೇಳಿದರು. ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗೆ, ಜಾತಿ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ದಾಸರಿಗಿದ್ದ ಅಸಹನೆಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿಬಿಂಬಿಸುವ ಪದ್ಯವನ್ನೇ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದು.

ಹೊಲೆಯ ಬಂದನೆಂದು ಒಳಗೆ ದೇವರ ಮಾಡಿ
ಗಣ ಗಣ ಗಂಟೆಯ ಬಾರಿಸುವರಯ್ಯ
ತನುವಿನ ಕೋಪವು ಹೊಲೆಯಲ್ಲವೇ?
ಪರಧನ ಪರಸತಿ ಹೊಲೆಯಲ್ಲವೇ?
ಹೊರಗಿದ್ದ ಹೊಲೆಯನ ಒಳಗೆ ಬಚ್ಚಿಟ್ಟರೆ
ಇದಕೇನು ಮದ್ದೋ ಪುರಂದರ ವಿಠಲ||

"ದಾಸರು ’ಹೊಲೆತನೆಂಬುದು (ಕೀಳುಜಾತಿಯೆಂಬುದು)’ ಹುಟ್ಟಿನಿಂದಲ್ಲ, ಗುಣಕರ್ಮದಿಂದ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ಅನೇಕ ಹೋಲಿಕೆಗಳಿಂದ ಚಿತ್ರಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಹೀಗೆ ನಡೆದವನು ಹೊಲೆಯ ಎಂದು ಪುರಂದರದಾಸರು ಕೊಡುವ ಪಟ್ಟಿ ಅವರ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯ ನೈತಿಕ ಮೌಲ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಸೂಚಿಸುತ್ತದೆ." ದಾಸರು ಜನ ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರ ಭಾಷೆಯನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿದರು. ಗಾಯನ ನರ್ತನಗಳ ಮುಖಾಂತರ ಜನತೆಯ ಮೌಢ್ಯ, ಕುಂದು ಕೊರತೆ, ಲೋಪ ದೋಷಗಳನ್ನು ಕಟೂಕ್ತಿಯಿಂದ ಖಂಡಿಸಿ, ತಿಳಿ ಹೇಳಿ ಅಸಮಾನ್ಯ ನೈತಿಕ ಧೈರ್ಯವನ್ನೂ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಪ್ರಜ್ಞೆಯನ್ನೂ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸಿದರು. ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳ ಮುಖಾಂತರ ಸಮಾಜದ ಸಾರ್ವತ್ರಿಕ ಏಳ್ಗೆಗಾಗಿ ದುಡಿದರು. ದಾಸರೆಲ್ಲರ ಕೀರ್ತನೆಗಳ ವಸ್ತು ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಕಮ್ಮಿ ಒಂದೇ ಆಗಿದ್ದರೂ, ಅವರ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಕೋನ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಚ್ಚ ಹಸುರಾಗಿ ಉಳಿದಿದೆ.

-> ಇದೇ ಲೇಖನವನ್ನು ನನ್ನ ಸಂಪದ ಬ್ಲಾಗಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಬಹುದು.

You too can make children's day special!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Looking at a child on street, how many of you have thought, "I wish he was in school, I wish I could help him"? Some of you might have even contemplated, "I really want to help him to whatever extent I can, but that is not even a tip of the iceberg. Whatever I do is so insignificant that, it doesn't even inspire him to struggle for his own education." Well, most of the time, we might not be able to 'change the lives around' alone. But if we can join hands for a noble cause, who knows, miracle can happen in someone's life.

Imagine, what if we bring 300 less fortunate children together and train them for a day? What if we teach them how to study, inspire them to have a dream, throw light on skills required to realize those dreams? What if we train them to earn their daily bread? If at least 3 out of 300 children are able to make it big in their life, is it not a fantastic effort? I guess it is. If you think such an effort to train those less fortunate children is worth, please come forward to realize this idea.

Buoyancee is organizing such training camp on coming November 14th (Children's day) under "Build India" banner. This training focus on following aspects which are vital for many children.
  • Course on 'Importance of Studying', 'Confidence building', 'Etiquette', etc..
  • Life skills training through activities for better Emotional Health.
  • Teaching in house activities like 'Candle making' to the children so that they can be self reliant.
This day long training also includes a stage performance at the end by participants. Children will be provided with lunch, snack and course materials. The cost per child will work out to Rs. 150/- per child. Buoyancee's plan is to reach minimum of 300 children.

I am sure, you won't give a second thought to spend 150 rupees which can actually "change the lives around". And yes, your contributions may be 'insignificant' for a greater cause, but its very important that you do it. Collective effort can definitely make a difference. You can contact Buoyancee (follow this link) for your contributions or you may contact me, I am just an email away.

Incidents of crime against women - Heart breaking statistics

Saturday, September 20, 2008

In India, According to police reports, for
  • every 26 minutes a woman is molested,
  • every 34 minutes a rape takes place,
  • every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs,
  • every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped,
  • every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry
1/4th of the "reported rape cases" involve girls under the age of 16 but vast majority of the cases are never reported. Half of the total number of crimes against women related to molestation and harassment at workplace. Eve teasing is a euphemism used for sexual harassment or molestation of women by men. Many activists blame the rising incidents of sexual harassment against women on the influence of "western culture"[Kurukshetra, September 2008]. Several laws have been passed, Supreme court has issued guidelines, commissions on women empowerment were setup, but still, the number of crime against women reported are heart breaking. Take a look. Remember, these numbers are from official records, the actual number of crime against women may be much more than that. Several incidents never gets reported.

Incidents of Crime against women registered with Police authorities during 2001-2006

Crime head    2001    2002    2003    2004    2005    2006
Rape 16075 16373 15847 18233 18359 19348
Kidnapping &Abduction 14645 14506 13296 15578 15750 17414
Dowry death 6851 6822 6208 7026 6787 7618
Torture (Cruelty by husband and relatives) 49170 49237 50703 58121 58319 63128
Molestation 34124 33943 32939 34567 34175 36617
Sexual harassment 9746 10155 12325 10001 9984 9966
Importation of girls 114 76 46 89 149 67
Sati Prevention Act 1987 0 0 0 0 1 0
Immoral Traffic (prevention) Act 1956 8796 6598 5510 5748 5908 4541
Indecent representation of women (prevention) Act 1986 1052 2508 1043 1378 2917 1562
Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 3222 2816 2684 3592 3204 4504
TOTAL 143795 143034 140601 154333 155553 164765
Source:Crime in India 2006, National Crime Records Bureau

Related Articles:
  1. Women's Reservation Bill - The end of U turn?
  2. Niketa's challenge is not about 'morality', but about 'dignity of life'

The best way to predict the future is to invent it

Friday, September 19, 2008

10 years back, when I wanted to prepare for a school essay competition, I had to spend many evenings in the public library near my home. I had to be "very nice" to the librarian so that he could let me use library's archive of newspapers, magazines etc.. Today, I don't need to be nice to anyone, I just google it. Life is much easier these days.

At times, If I don't find the answer on google, I feel, what if I had a search engine which could
  • search exactly what i wanted, without even breaking everything down to keywords?
  • search the stories/articles based on image I have?
  • find me a video relevent to my blog post contents so that i can embed it in my blog?
More over, what if I could
  • search using natural language, for example, "Find me a story with an exciting chase scene and a happy ending."
  • do a search in one language (say English) and find the answer if it exists in another language (say Kannada)?
  • do pervasive search, i.e. do search anytime anywhere?
Looks like all that is possible in my life time. Find out more here. I loved this: "how about a wearable device that does searches in the background based on the words it picks up from conversations, and then flashes relevant facts?" Bond 007 suff? Well, looks like it's not far from reality. I guess I can buy one in my life time :)

Imagine, what if you can't access google search for few minutes? You may still be breathing, but for a moment you may feel that world has stopped functioning. "The Internet has had an enormous impact on people's lives around the world in the ten years since Google's founding. It has changed politics, entertainment, culture, business, health care, the environment and just about every other topic you can think of [Google at 10]." As Alan Kay said, "the best way to predict the future is to invent it." Google has "changed the lives around" by inventing innovative search engine before even systematically organizing the searchable data around the world. Looks like they are going to invent many more things in the future to change the way world function today. I found this "Google at 10" series of articles very interesting. Take a look if you find some time. It's worth looking at the future.

Marissa Mayer talks about Google at 10 Years - And the Future

Kentucky Fried Cruelty: Think twice before you eat in KFC

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If you love eating chicken, please eat, but respect one of the most precious gift of nature, i.e. Life. Nature has given every species a right to live with honor. It's very important that we respect the life of other animals. Carnivorous consumers are there in food chain. It's understandable, "Survival of the fittest" still rules. But that does not mean that Homo Sapiens are given a free licence to kill animals like what KFC is doing.

"KFC suppliers cram birds into huge waste-filled factories, breed and drug them to grow so large that they can’t even walk, and often break their wings and legs. At slaughter, the birds’ throats are slit and they are dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water—often while they are still conscious. It would be illegal for KFC to abuse dogs, cats, pigs, or cows in these ways. KFC’s own animal welfare advisors have asked the company to take steps to eliminate these abuses, but KFC refuses to do so. Many advisors have now resigned in frustration. []"

Take a look at this cruelty. The trailer and accompanying descriptions in the first video here are a fictional dramatization inspired by true events.

"In July 2004, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) revealed the results of an investigation into a KFC-supplying slaughterhouse in Moorefield, West Virginia, where workers were caught on video stomping on chickens, kicking them, and violently slamming them against floors and walls. Workers also ripped the animals' beaks off, twisted their heads off, spat tobacco into their eyes and mouths, spray-painted their faces, and squeezed their bodies so hard that the birds expelled feces—all while the chickens were still alive.[source]"

Check out this original footageI must warn you that the video may be disturbing.

That was one of the most cruel video I have ever seen in my life so far. It took some time to get back to normal. I have decided not to eat chicken in KFC for the rest of my life, will definitely try my best to avoid others dragging me into KFC outlets. If you think you respect animal life, please think twice before you go to KFC, if not, at least think again!

Read more about Kentucky Fried Cruelty on
Kentucky Fried Cruelty link via Churumuri blog.

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This work by Manjunath Singe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. The views and opinions expressed in this work are strictly those of the author and do not represent his employer's views in anyway.