has a lot of fans in his home state of Kerala.
Some of his fans took out a procession to show their support as well as
to solicit others’ sympathy. A few of
them seem to think that the cricketer is innocent. The thinking of quite many of them,however,
may deserve a serious scrutiny.
thinking was reflected in a TV programme presented by the Malayalam channel,
Asianet, yesterday. The crux of the
programme’s argument is: There is rampant
corruption in India. There are
politicians as well as others who make crores of rupees through fraudulent means. Why single out Sreesanth?
a similar issue being discussed in Kerala these days. A Malayalam actor, Kalabhavan Mani, was
involved in a drunken brawl with some forest guards. Mani beat up some of the guards and is now
absconding. Yesterday the ADGP of Kerala’s
Intelligence Bureau, T P Senkumar, came out with an interesting argument. He asked whether the police would have dealt
in the same way with actors like Mammootty or Mohan Lal. What he implied was that the police chose to
be stern with Mani because the latter belonged to a low caste and hailed from
an economically poor background. Senkumar said that the Kerala police was
following the colonial habit of seeing dark skinned people as inferior! [Fair
& Lovely and Fair & Handsome
can hope to sell more in the state and save people from discrimination.]
the instances reveal a highly flowed thinking.
The thinking implies that we can mitigate one evil by comparing it with
another bigger evil.
is lethal thinking. Because such
thinking eventually can justify any evil.
You trivialise one evil by comparing it with a bigger one which in turn
can be trivialised by further comparison, and it can go on ad infinitum. No evil is serious enough. Even Hitler can be exonerated. You only need to find the right comparison,
the right arguments.
there is much corruption in India, that corruption also has to be dealt with in
the right way instead of using that for mitigating apparently lesser evils. If there is discrimination in the name of
caste or class, that evil has to be dealt with instead of
using it for justifying other evils. The moment we start this sort of
justification of evils by comparing their degrees, we are perpetuating a system
of evils. Perhaps we have already done
that: perpetuated a system of evils.
introduced A C Grayling’s book, The God Argument, in two earlier posts.This post presents the professor’s views on
posits seven characteristics of a
first characteristic is that a good
life is a meaningful one.Meaning is “a set of values and their
associated goals that give a life its shape and direction.”Having children to look after or achieving
success in one’s profession or any other very ordinary goal can make life
meaningful.But Grayling says quoting
Oscar Wilde that everyone’s map of the world should have a Utopia on it.That is, everyone should dream of a better
world and strive to materialise that dream, if life is to be truly
to form relationships with other
people is the second
characteristic.Intimacy with at least
one other person is an important feature of a meaningful life.“Good relationships make better people,” says
Grayling.Broken relationships are one’s
own making, though others might have contributed to the failure.
Activity is the third characteristic.It is about doing, making or learning
something.Life would be a big bore
without its inevitable demands and obligations.Activity is about meeting those demands and obligations.“We are animals who thrive when engaged, and
suffer from idleness,” says Grayling.The normal human occupations can take the place of activity.But Grayling recommends another important
occupation: express one’s ideas and invite others to test them and criticise
them.This is similar to what science
does.Science invites others to test and
challenge its inventions and discoveries.Our ideas mature when we do this.We become fuller human beings in the process.
good life is consistently marked by honesty or authenticity.This is the fourth characteristic.This is about a “directness, emotional
honesty, a refusal to escape into pieties, nonsense or comforting illusions,
but above all an ability to ‘see things steadily and see them whole’...”We live in a world of compromises and
pretences and bald untruths which enslave us.Authenticity gives us freedom.Autonomy
is a better word.Autonomy means “being
one’s own lawmaker at the core of one’s moral being.”It is the inner freedom one achieves in spite
of the constraints imposed on one by one’s upbringing, society, and other
external factors or forces.
last three characteristics are
highly inter-related and Grayling discusses them together.They are:
Manifestation of one’s autonomy:
This means that the individual accepts responsibility for the choices that
shape the course of his/her life.Contrast this with what the fundamentalist does.The fundamentalist puts the blame for all
evils on others and goes on to impose his narrow truths on others.The fundamentalist is one of the least
A felt quality of life: A person who
lives a good life (in Grayling’s sense) feels the richness of his/her
life.Obviously this richness is
absolutely different from the riches that most people run after.
Integrity:This is a feeling of inner wholeness or
completeness. The individual good
consists in harmony between the different elements of the soul, said
Plato.That harmony is what is meant by
presents this system in the beginning of the second part of his book.The first part is a criticism of religion and
theism.The second part proposes
humanism as a viable alternative to religion.Humanism is based on the simple assertion that human beings are rational
enough to understand themselves and their positions in the world and hence make
responsible and meaningful choices which in turn will make life much more
beautiful and meaningful than any religion or belief in god(s) can.
religions have done so much harm in the world, it is a good idea to think of an