Sunday, 21 April 2013

Discourses (Mod Age Haiku)

Discourses, Mod Age Haiku, by Remi de Souza

We, the civilized, love scriptures, philosophies etc. They provide plenty of food for dogmas. Countless commentaries pour in, just as in the past from the elite cream of civil societies. Particularly in the ages of technologies such as, Paper, Printing, ET-IT... and Mass Media etc., there is a lot of churning and chewing of old bones that go on and on.

The spread of Mass Higher Education and easy money adds on to the volumes. They talk standing on a platform, while ignore what is bellow. They provide ample quantity of Quotes. It hardly has either face of and/or insight into People.

©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Mumbai for Women by Women

Remi’s open thinking on the issue


We appreciate the initiative “Mumbai For Women” by The Times Of India and IndiBlogger. We, however, feel women should take the lead for the action; hence “By Women” is added.

Mumbai and its Centralized Power

Mumbai's area, population and its socio-demographic-economic diversity are mind-blowing or rather mind boggling. But above all of them is its magnitude of power, or of the centralized power above the regions far and wide.

We have heard that 'power breeds corruption'. Power in every possible aspect of public domain shows corruption, not only economic but even intellectual, which may appear in form of dogmas.

The powers, legally or illegally, cause atrocities on weaker sections. The apparent causes could be any ? land, water, language, region, caste, religion etc.; gender is one of them.

We have seen children are made to beg by gangsters. Women and children become soft targets for atrocities.

Here we are addressing an issue of atrocities on women. These may be prevalent in patriarchal societies across times and places with difference in degrees. We are familiar with names of Sita, Draupadi etc. There have been cases of Sati, child marriages etc. in some societies.

But now the scale of atrocities is unprecedented.

For example: SC slams govt for equating housewives with beggars (HT, July 24, 2010)
It (SC) has also taken strong exception to the government clubbing them with prostitutes, beggars and prisoners in the Census.

I had seen the Census Survey of India of 1980, which mentioned this category. It also categorizes women them as ‘non-workers’, while in reality their share of work larger than males. Perhaps this practice has been going on since British Raj. Hopefully it might have changed now.

We can certainly say this is an act of offense (even by oversight or negligence) by the Government of India.

Mumbai is mini-India / mini-Bharat

There are the First World India, Third World India and Fifth World India (of the displaced and marginalized), and also the Fourth World India (of Adivasi – aborigines).

The Fourth World India is living in the backyard of Mumbai. Their women visit Mumbai, almost daily to sale forest produce, so that they can earn some cash for the family. Aborigines never settle in urban areas.

Of course, they are also living in the National Park at Borivali, since ancient times, long before Gautama Buddha was born.

Hence, we could say the Fourth World India, too, is now in the jurisdiction of Metropolitan City of Mumbai, by Design or Default, to expand Mumbai’s centralized power. Their status, however, in the city is not defined, or is forgotten.

Mumbai's Grey land-use zone – slums – proliferated in urban areas

This is the fallout of legal actions taken by the successive governments since Nehru Era, or even earlier during British Raj, for the Industrial and Economic Development. This has been done without due Rehabilitation of the affected, which creates social, economic, regional imbalance, beyond doubt.

It has also created a class of neo-rich, who indulge in splurge, consumerism… and indulgences! One may take a walk in Mumbai and be an eyewitness to the overpowering disparity and despair.

This is an assault on the weaker sections of the society; by default it affects women.

What is the role of 'For Women'?

If we recall Mumbai’s role in shaping India's freedom, there are many events. Here we mention only one: 'Quit India' movement that started at August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai. We deliberately refer this to Mumbai.

This is part two: 'For Women'. Forget men. Women must take the lead 'For Women'. This is not an elite kitty party. But the kitty parties also may join in.
The last part ‘By Women’

The women should take initiative and start the action. This third part may need some input: 'Learning from the People'. Women in Mumbai, however, should decide their agenda and their course of action. This is not an activism, but it calls for “action” at a personal level, first!

Learning from People: Women in Rural India

1. Among the aborigine communities there is No Gender Discrimination, no prostitution, no female foeticide. Widows and divorces can remarry. The youth (males and females) receive instructions about sex and marriage from the elders.

Besides, no one in their communities suffer from ‘Identity Crisis’, as in the Industrial Societies.

2. We have heard about 'Chipko Movement' started by Chandiprasad Bhut. Women of Bishnoi tribe in Rajasthan practiced it long ago.

3. Sitayana, instead of Ramayana, is composed in 'Ovi' form of poetry in Marathi by peasant women in Maharashtra. They speak about the injustice done to Sita by Rama (compiled by Tara Bhavalkar).

They indeed go beyond popular faith and/or beliefs.

4. Other example: Peasant women forced to shut down the 'licensed' (Read, Legal) liquor shops in their villages, in many parts of the country. They were harassed by their liquor boozer men in their families.

Everything legal does not necessarily mean to give justice.

Urban women, irrespective of their social-economic-political status, must take the lead and run this movement.

Action Plan for the Authorities


The Formative Age
 Any adult may check how the formative age has influenced her/his personal course of life; and also find out about the others - known or well-known persons. 

The criminals should be clinically examined by the social and psychiatry scientists as an ongoing research. What more a sick and decadent society could do?

Each offender/criminal should also be treated as a mentally and physically sick / lunatic person. Each one should be treated as a case-study, as if rare / rarest offense.

The details of their Formative Age, work and leisure activities, their companions, family background, education, socio-economic conditions... should be investigated.

In short, find out what leads them to commit any crime/s against females in the society. May the criminals be young or old, irrespective of their status in the society, higher the status of the offender rigorous should be the investigations.

The findings and results should be made public.

Investigate Social Aspects in Multimedia

Multimedia, here, include the cinema, television, Information Technology outlets, such as Internet, games on computers. Most vulnerable exposure to violence (hand-in-hand with love) takes place in cinema and 24x7 television programmes.

Women, being familiar with TV programme, should investigate and evaluate the programmes – serials, news, advertisements etc. On the TV there is always a band running that appeals the viewers for their objections.

Finally, it is necessary to come out of UTOPIA as well as leave the Web of VIRTUAL REALITY, and come down ‘DOWN TO EARTH of Reality’.
What is most essential is one has to go beyond personal likes and dislikes, and look at the whole issue Holistically beyond personal, in the Collective Domain.

Remigius de Souza


'Heroine of the Desert' by Donya Al- Nahi - I am reading this book (in Marathi, translated by Shobhana Shiknis). It is Donya's own real life story of her mission to bring back the children to their mothers; this is an Action, not merely activism. It is an example what a woman can do for the justice to women in distress.

1. Emergence of The Fifth World India
2. Indian Schooling
3. Nature (Science weekly) has recently published a special issue, Women in Science: Women’s work. A special section of Nature finds that there is still much to do to achieve gender equality in science (06 March 2013).
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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.