Thursday, October 19, 2017 0 comments

Happy Diwali 2017


Happy Diwali, everyone. Hopefully all of you are having a good time with family and friends, and enjoying the festive season in India.

For me, this year has been eventful so far. It actually seems like it whizzed past by. And less than two months left for 2017 to end.

I joined a new organization, new role, new colleagues, new city, new experiences. Lot of new things on the professional front. And lots of learning as well. Shifting from Mumbai to Kolkata made me feel a bit apprehensive at first, but I am glad that I have (Almost) settled in. Being a native of West Bengal obviously makes things easy for me.

On the personal front, perhaps it wasn’t that positive but at least it made me learn few new things as well. I got into a relationship which did not work out, but made me learn lot of things.

Made few new friends here, unfortunately not enough. Discovered a Board gaming cafe in Kolkata, which was surprising, and also became part of a small Gamers group, which is probably my only social activity in Kolkata so far. Need to expand my circle probably.

I also travelled quite a bit this year, and quite a few places for the first time. I finally managed to make a trip to Rajasthan, which I wanted to for some time, and later also to Uttarakhand, which is another great state, especially for people like me who love the mountains. Ranchi was another city which I went for the first time. Saw MSD’s house as well. Will probably write about my travel experiences in a different post.

Recently, some of you might have noticed the #metoo hash tags being shared widely on social media by many people, most of them being female. That was a trend started to share the fact that the respective person has also been a victim of sexual harassment.

For many men, (at least in the Indian context), it came across as a complete surprise that so many women were saying ‘Me too’. But the depressing reality is that Almost every woman has been a victim of sexual harassment at some point in their lives, and many have witnessed it several times.

This is sad and shameful to say the least, but what makes it even worse is the complete apathy to this situation by many men. While its certainly true that not all men indulge in sexual harassment, it is also true that most of them have not done anything to oppose or stop it, or try to support the respective victim, instead of blaming them for getting harassed in the first place.

So it is upto us, especially men, to try to make the living and working environment women friendly and opposing harassment in every form. That is the only way we can hope to achieve gender equality.

Till next time, keep enjoying.

P.S.- PS4 Gaming is still on. And so is extensive reading.

Sunday, July 16, 2017 1 comments

Homo Deus


In the era of Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc, I seriously feel that the attention span of people has gone down. People are highly addicted to their virtual environments and have little time for real face to face conversations or doing simple things which do not involve cameras or mobile phones.

I believe we should make an active effort to detoxify ourselves or this is only going to end badly. Most people would not even prefer to read detailed articles on blogs, and can seldom go beyond a few paragraphs. We all need instant gratification, immediate pleasure. Meaningful relationships are giving way to the Hook Up culture. Even when people go out to travel, they are more focussed on taking selfies and uploading pictures than living in the moment.

Most of the youngsters constantly crib about their work life and their bosses, but very few of them actually do anything about it. We really do not know what is the kind of future we are heading towards. I would recommend anyone who likes to read, to get hold of the two masterpiece novels written by Yuval Harari, ‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus’, to get a broader perspective on life and human beings in particular.


Monday, February 27, 2017 0 comments

I am a Feminist, and why you should be one too


Okay, to be honest, this post is not about Describing or explaining Feminism, or about bashing pseudo feminists. Lot of people have already done both in the past. I am simply trying to put into words the reason for me being a feminist. Do note that I shall mainly be focussing on the Indian context only, as I have little or no experience of Feminism views outside the country.

In the past few years, Feminism as a principle has been bashed almost unequivocally throughout the country. By media, journalists, politicians, social activists, college students, working professionals, the common man, and so on. It has almost become a fad of sorts- If you are a feminist, you should be treated akin a criminal. How dare you even think of supporting women, who have just no other work than to surpass men and disparage their efforts in every possible way. How can you be so blinded by their hogwash? Can’t you see they are just trying to dominate, and make lives miserable for men? Girls are asking men to stand up for a reserved seat in a bus or a train. That is just beyond criminal. How can we think of reserving seats for them in the Parliament or in top Business schools such as IIMs? How can women claim to be equal to men and then ask for reservation? Isn’t it the height of hypocrisy? How can a girl log onto a dating app as Tinder and claim she does not want to ‘Hook up’. Isn’t that criminal?

I think you get the idea. Female bashing has become the new trend. Shortly after the New Year incident in Bangalore (Sexual Harassment of hundreds of women), a new Hash Tag was born- #NotAllMen. Of course the men had to stand up for this shocking incident. By proudly proclaiming that Not all men were rapists or molesters. That there are many good men like ‘them’ in the world as well. How dare the women say that all men are criminals (its unsure who and where said that though). More and more men were coming forward and bravely posting their comments on Social Media, as to remind everyone(especially women) that Not all men were bad, not all men were sexually harassing others. That is such a noble thing to do, isn’t it? [Note- Heavy Usage of Sarcasm, and if you could not get it, then bless you]

A few days ago, I read a comment on Quora [A Popular website on writing Questions and Answers or General topics] in which a girl had mentioned that she is Proud not to be a Feminist, as she believes Males should get equal rights as Women. Reading that statement actually sent me into a state of shock. Here is the Dictionary Meaning of Feminism, just to get it clear:-

-‘The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes’- Webster
-‘The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes’- Oxford
-‘Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women.’- Wikipedia

If you go through any of the above meanings, it becomes apparent that nowhere Feminism endorses the denigration of rights for men. It is really unfortunate that many people, even now, feel that feminists try to belittle men and criticise them for anything and everything. Most of these people have not read about the history and the past, where women have struggled for even basic rights. They did not have the right to vote, the right to live an independent life, or even the freedom to marry someone of their own choice,or to have legal and social equality. I would recommend everyone to read about the three different waves of Feminism, and more on the History of the past few hundred years before jumping to any conclusion.

I first heard of the term when I was in school, maybe in Standard 9 or 10. One of my schoolmates told me that he considered himself to be a ‘Feminist.’ He tried to explain to me what it was, but at that time, I could not really comprehend what it was all about. But what I did notice is that lot of males shy away from using the term to describe themselves, even if they believe in equal rights for men and women. Some of them think the term ‘feminist’ is too effeminate. It will make them look unmanly if they start calling themselves a Feminist. Others think that one can only be a Feminist, if he or she attends Protests or Demonstrations holding Placards and Charts advocating women rights, shouting at the top of their voices. Hence it is highly probable that if you ask a person, especially a male, if he is a feminist, he will answer in the negative. Fortunately, over a period of time, I learnt that gender discrimination is wrong. Girls have just as much of a right to education and a decent living as boys do. It is high time that men learnt to keep their (gender) superiority complex in check.

Lot of men write that Women abuse lot of laws to their advantage. A notable example being the infamous Sec 498A in the Indian Penal Code, which has been misused by several women to imprison their husbands or his relatives, on the pretext of harassment, and to get hold of his property/money. Or maybe the law on Adultery (Sec 497), which is currently biased in favour of women. While it may be definitely true that women might have used the law to their advantage, but the fact is that Both men and women use the law to their advantage. It would be extremely unwise to focus on one aspect and ignore the other. If there are laws which (presumably) favour women, then there are many laws which favour men too. We still do not have a concrete stand on Marital Rape or even Domestic Abuse, which is prevalent throughout the country, and almost all the victims being women. The majority of victims of sexual harassment continue to be women, and there appears to be little improvement in this regard. We continue to bash the victim with an archaic mindset(blaming her clothing, her upbringing, her nature and everything else except for blaming the criminal). This is a typical drawback of a highly Patriarchal society such as India.

Hence the call of the day, is that we need more Feminists. We need them to come forward and promote the cause of Equality, while supporting social, judicial, economical and legal rights for women. And we definitely do NOT need more men reminding us that they have never harassed a girl and how proud they are of themselves for doing so(almost as if it is an achievement- ‘not to molest’). If you are a man, I would just ask you to put yourself in the shoes of a woman for just a few minutes. You might perhaps understand, that women are judged every single day. For their looks, for their behavior, for their basic actions. We live in a society where women have to be on their toes throughout, in fear of being attacked or harassed(physical, mental, emotional, anything).

Let us come forward and do our best to make our society a better place for women. There is lots to be done.

 
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