Monday, August 29, 2016

Arms in Kerala Temples?

Kadakampally Surendran, Kerala's Devaswom Board minister, has raised a very serious allegation against the RSS in the state. According to a Facebook post of the minister, the RSS is perpetrating certain illegal activities in some temples.  The minister claims that RSS is plotting to convert the temples into storehouses for arms and ammunition.

It is a very serious allegation.  Both the RSS and the minister's party [CPM] are at loggerheads with each other.  Both have attacked each other violently leading to many deaths in the past. If the RSS is converting temples into arms stores, the situation needs immediate action.

In the last two years the right wing in the country has become more violent than ever.  There have been attacks on many people belonging to minority communities in different parts of the country.  Even the Dalits are not spared by certain activists.

Kerala is a state with a high non-Hindu population. Communal riots can become conflagrations quickly.  Hence the minister's allegation requires urgent attention.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Whose country is it?

Courtesy: The Indian Express
Thanks to the media, a Dana Majhi or a Salamani Behera makes a brief appearance in the history of the country.  Who are they?  We will ask that question tomorrow.  We will forget them.  Because they don’t belong in history.  It was merely a freak chance that put them there.  Dana Majhi entered by carrying the dead body of his wife on his shoulders for a distance of over 10 km.  With his teenage daughter walking beside suppressing her grief.  The picture would shake the conscience of anyone who has a conscience.  Salamani Behera was an 80 year-old woman whose dead body was broken at the hip in order to fold it into two so that it could be packed and carried on a bamboo pole. 

How much is a human being worth in this country whose Prime Minister is hopping on and off airplanes in order to carry the greatness of his nation far and wide?

History always belonged to the rulers and their minions.  Pick up any history book and we will read about kings, queens, and wars.  History belonged to them.  History now belongs to their contemporary counterparts: Presidents, Prime Ministers and their minions. 
Courtesy: The Indian Express

I wish our Prime Minister could actually materialise at least a fraction of what he promises.  I wish the cess we are paying for Swach Bharat, for example, was made accountable.

I wish the Prime Minister was accountable.  If ten percent of politicians were accountable, Dana Majhi wouldn’t have to carry the body of his wife for kilometres.  If one percent of politicians were accountable, Salamani Behera’s body wouldn’t be broken into half like a twig and packed in a sack...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Metaperceptions of the Ego

Long ago, when I was young and more foolish than most of my contemporaries who were worldly wise, my godfather told me that I was a narcissist.  I possessed all the characteristics of a person suffering from the narcissistic personality disorder, he said.  Then he read out the list of my personality disorders from a diary.

1.     You have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
2.     You expect to be recognised as superior even though you have achieved nothing worthwhile
3.     You exaggerate whatever little you manage to achieve.
4.     You are often in your own dream world, fantasies about...

Then he stopped and looked at me.  “Am I correct this far?” he asked.  I nodded my head like a penitent at the confessional.

“... fantasies about success, power, intellectual brilliance...”  He paused and stared into my eyes again.  “Are you with me?”

“Bound to you with a chain,” I wished to say.  But I was trained to listen quietly when  the ‘personal scrutiny’ was being communicated.

5.     You believe that you are superior and can only be understood by some special people.
6.     You require constant admiration from others.
7.     You have a sense of entitlement.
8.     You take advantage of others to get what you want.
9.     You are insensitive to the needs of the others.
10.            You are envious of others in the community.
11.            Worst of all, you are arrogant and a total misfit in the community.

He pursed his lips and probed my eyes.  I felt like the lamb whose throat was going to be slit for the next day’s feast.

I saved my throat by leaving the community.  I chose to live as alone as possible.  But I was bound by an invisible chain to my godfather.  Godfathers have more tentacles than the octopus.  Protean tentacles. Eternal tentacles that tether the lamb with an invisible chain to some spooky pillars. 

Like Kafka’s protagonist, the lamb strayed through the labyrinthine corridors of the human world looking for the redemptive Ariadne’s thread.  Redemption is an illusion.  Godfathers are real.

When I saw the latest Indispire theme, No one knows you better than yourself.... Peep into your heart and describe yourself in one sentence #Knowyourself, this post materialised in the musty corridors of Kafka’s Castle.

Who am I?  In one sentence?

My Twitter profile describes me as “Destiny’s Clown.”
My Facebook profile describes me as “The Joker in the Pack.”
That’s a natural climax of narcissism, I hear my godfather snickering sitting invisible somewhere in Kafka’s Castle.

Note: In psychology, a metaperception is how a person views other people's views of him. It is essentially how an individual perceives others' perceptions of himself. In other words, they are how we feel about how others feel about us. Metaperceptions are frequently inaccurate - they are shaped by our individual self-concept and personal biases.

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