Thursday, August 29, 2013

Parenting as an atheist

My first daughter, as any five year old kid, would keep asking many questions.  Some of those questions started with the characters she saw on TV.   She saw monsters and goblins in some of the shows, and she was quite frightened, and asked me if they were for real, to which I responded that they were not real.  When Shrek scared off the villagers carrying pitchforks, she asked me the same question, and once again my answer was the same – that he was not real. 

After few more questions in the same vein, I formalized my answer.  I told her that certain characters exist only in stories, in books and on TV, and that they don’t exist in real world.  I extended this notion to tell her that ghosts, ghouls, zombies, and all other threatening and menacing characters do not exist in reality.  [I came to an understanding with my wife that she will not scare our kids with any reference to monsters to make them eat up their supper.]

Monday, August 26, 2013

Telangana: Grow up, Andhras, Let go!

[Originally published on other forums on 6th August 2013].

Today, when I see the slogan on the streets of Seemandhra, ‘Telangana Vaddu, Samaikyandhra Muddu’, I cannot help but wonder how insensitive you people are to the sentiments and aspirations of Telanganas.  First, you say you don’t want Telangana (‘Telangana Vaddu’).  That’s fine with us, because, you don’t want Telangana, and we don’t want Andhra.  We are on the same page.  So what’s problem?  Why are you protesting? 

Second, you want united Andhra (‘Samaikyandhra Muddu’).  Well, you can have it.  We never wanted to break up Andhra.  We are only keen on making our region Telangana a separate state without touching your Andhra.

So, when you say, ‘Telangana Vaddu, Samaikyandhra Muddu’, this is what we think of your demand. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Stoking imaginary fears to stall Telangana

After CWC and UPA took the decision on 30th July 2013 to carve out Telangana as the 29th state in India, the Seemandhra TV channels started a tirade against their own leaders for inaction – and urged their people to agitate, instigating them with telecast of pictures and video clips of Telangana Movement.  These Seemandhra TV channels called their own leaders incompetent, disunited, and lacking in conviction, as opposed to the determined leaders of Telangana.   That program was relayed again and again for nearly two days.  It was done with a clear agenda and purpose - to ratchet up the sentiments and emotions amongst Seemandhra people so that they rise up to oppose the formation of Telangana.

Within few days the mood started to change in Seemandhra.  People started to protest on the streets forcing their leaders to comply with their demands to oppose formation of Telangana.  To sustain agitations that do not have a clearly defined goal other than greed and selfishness, imaginary fears were created amongst Seemandhra population. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

World’s Ugliest Movement

Imagine white people of the United States coming out in hordes in 1960s protesting and agitating against the Civil Rights Act that gave political freedom to the black people.  It would indeed be the world’s ugliest movement because it is not a fight for their rights but to deny those rights to others.  It is not a fight for freedom for themselves but to deny that freedom to others.

Luckily the world did not witness such an ugly movement.   The whites of USA accepted the rights and freedoms given to the former slaves.

Unfortunately, one such ugly movement is taking place in the region called Seemandhra of Andhra Pradesh, India, where hundreds of Seemandhra people come out onto streets to roll back the achievements made by Telangana people after sixty years of their struggle. 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Bad Parenting: Vegetarian Bullying

Where do we get our prejudices?  How do we form our biases against certain kinds of people?  How does discrimination perpetuate through generations? 

The answer lies in bad parenting.

The parents indoctrinate their kids with habits, ideals, values and most importantly prejudices.   I argue in Indian values are actually habits I and Indian values are actually habits II that Indians equate habits with values.  What this means is that Indians give precedence to dietary habits, like not eating meat or not drinking alcohol over other values such as honesty or integrity, or not taking bribes. 


Thursday, August 01, 2013

Creation of States in India

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With the announcement for creation of Telangana, similar demands for separate states have erupted from various other regions in India. One is from Gorkhas, currently in West Bengal, who have been asking for a separate state for nearly hundred years now. The other is Vidarbha from Maharashtra which was proposed by NDA government but was kept in cold storage. Mayawati proposed breaking Uttar Pradesh into four new states. 

Lot of people in India, especially those who are not exactly entangled in Telangana and Andhra issues, are asking one question – when will these divisions end? Will it result in breakup of India? Did Telangana open a Pandora’s Box?

Telangana: Funny Facts about Indians