Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thoughts on Valentine's day

It is Valentine's day today and many millions of couples and wannabe couples are expressing their love for each other in many millions of creative ways. I, for one, do not believe in "celebrating" Valentine's day... I see its promotion by card-companies as a well-planned marketing strategy. I am not against it, either. If people want to express their love on a specific day, then so be it! If they want to celebrate their love all year-round, then let them!

Sepia Mutiny gives an interesting information. Apparently the perennial trouble-mongers, the Shiv Sainiks, want to marry off the couples that are seen together on V. day, if they are Hindu!. I could not contain my laughter for some time! When will they understand that Afghanistan should not be the model for our country? I am all for social health, but to have a healthy society, I think that it is necessary to have some minimum level of open-ness and personal freedom. (In the same article on Sepia Mutiny, there was another, more hilarious bit about some women's organizations working to thwart the sainiks in their attempts to disturb lovers, but let's not go there.)

Near my house, almost daily I see couples (I am sure they are not "just friends") standing and talking for hours together.. Once a policeman shooed a couple away, saying "ಏನು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಸು ಕೊಟ್ಟು ಕಾಲೇಜಿಗೆ ಕಳಿಸೋದು ಇದಕ್ಕೇನಾ?".. I had mixed feelings about this incident. On one hand, I felt that the kids did not need to be shooed away so rudely.. As long as they are not in the way of law and order, it is fine.. But, on the other hand, at 15-16 years of age, one usually does not find lasting loves. Gullible and insecure girls may become victims of malicious people, even if only emotionally. In that sense, it is good to have a sort of moral policing (how I hate the term!). At any rate, I am sure that the parents of the two kids would be grateful for the policeman, for giving them a good talking-to.

I think that a good way to solve this problem would be to accept dating as a fact of a teen's life (grrrr! To think that we returned from the US because we thought it was easier to bring up kids here!). Parents should keep track of who their children are talking to, and should set the limits for their kids, and most of all, believe in them. Yeah, yeah, I know this sounds too simple to be of any practical use, but we have to do something like this to keep our kids safe and our society healthy. Clandestine affairs have not done a lot of good to anyone.

I am worried about little biyadiya...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Karnataka Bandh

Yesterday was Karnataka bandh, called by a few pro-Kannada activists. The news reports say that the bandh was total in many parts of Karnataka. In districts like Mandya and Mysore, where people are more emotionally tied to the river Kaaveri ( I do not like splling it Cauvery), there were some incidents of destruction of public property and violence, but it has been peaceful otherwise.
Near my home at Basaveshwaranagar, there was absolute silence. There were a few stray two-wheelers moving about, but otherwise, the roads were so deserted that children were playing cricket outside, without any hesitation. It was nice to see kids playing outside the house, for a change.
This said, was the bandh really necessary? I would accept a bandh as necessary if and only if I had a legitimate demand, and that demand was not even considered by the government. This bandh would have been necessary if the state Govt. were happy to abide by the orders of the tribunal. Now that the Govt. has already decided to appeal against the verdict, where was the necessity to do all that was done yesterday? Bandh is wrong, think of the implications on the economy! This was like cutting the nose to spite the face! Aren't there more effective ways to let others know the opinion of the public? Like hanging placards outside your houses/shops, etc? Writing about it to the almighty - newspaper? Non-violent protest-marches? I suppose asking people to think, would be too much!
Interesting read here -