Sunday, August 16, 2015

Timeless observations by an administrator of the British Raj in India

"One of the evils which press most upon Indian society is the necessity which long usage has established of squandering large sums in marriage ceremonies. Instead of giving what they can to their children to establish them, and enable them to provide for their families and rise in the world, parents everywhere feel bound to squander all they can borrow in the festivities of their marriage. 

Men in India could never feel secure of being permitted freely to enjoy their property under despotic and unsettled governments, the only kind of governments they knew or hoped for; and much of the means that would otherwise have been laid out in forming substantial works, with a view to a return in income of some sort or another, for the remainder of their own lives and of those of their children, were expended in tombs, temples, sarāis, tanks, groves, and other works—useful and ornamental, no doubt, but from which neither they nor their children could ever hope to derive income of any kind. The same feeling of insecurity gave birth, no doubt, to this preposterous usage, which tends so much to keep down the great mass of the people of India to that grade in which they were born, and in which they have nothing but their manual labour to depend upon for their subsistence. 

Every man feels himself bound to waste all his stock and capital, and exhaust all his credit, in feeding idlers during the ceremonies which attend the marriage of his children, because his ancestors squandered similar sums, and he would sink in the estimation of society if he were to allow his children to be married with less." (Paragraphing mine)

- Rambles and Recollections of an Indian official, William Sleeman (published 1915)

Not much has changed in the last 100 years (1st paragraph), except maybe the reasons (2nd paragraph). The harmful impact continues to be the same (3rd paragraph).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

O, O and O

Can omniscient God,
Who knows the future,
Find the omnipotence
To change His future mind?

- Karen Owens

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More stupidity

WTF from the BBC news site -

Essentially, "A group of rabbis and Jewish mystics has taken to the skies over Israel, praying and blowing ceremonial horns in a plane to ward off swine flu".

To top that, they portray their self delusion as well with this statement - "We are certain that, thanks to the prayer, the danger is already behind us." Maybe all worst hit countries can hire a few and stop the pandemic?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Atheism = Not Collecting Stamps

Link via India Uncut

In a nutshell,

"Atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby".

Most boneheaded religious fanatics fail to get this simple point.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Whose planet?

Hyderabad has this huge crowd of street sweepers maintained by the municipality. Night falls, traffic lessens and they come out, in their shabby light blue uniforms with glow strips, brooms and small carts in hand. Sweeping Hyderabad's streets and lanes.

They should be kept off the streets for a month.

Let the the garbage pile up. And let us realize the porcine attitude we have towards public cleanliness.

Admit it. We are without any civic sense. I only have to go and stand on the steps of my office building at around 1700 hours to prove it. There's a fast food place right in front of it inside the building compound. Along with other shops. And a huge red garbage bin next to it which is never so full that you cannot throw something in it.

Still, people saunter by, grab a sandwich or a roll, and drop the paper plate, cup or small plastic packet wherever they are standing. Yes, right there. In the middle of the steps. In the middle of the road. As if they are standing
inside the dustbin. Imagine them doing the same thing inside their drawing rooms. 'Done Ma!' screams the kid, carefully dropping the leftovers on his house's marble clad floor, and pouring some water from his glass over it for good measure. Does this image seem ridiculous? How? You take such good care of your house. You should. It's your property. But the road is not? Is that what you think the reason is? An unsaid stepmotherly attitude towards what is (or what you think is) not yours?

How long does this attitude take to encompass the lakes? the trees? the few places which have real green grass? None at all. We do it all the time.

It's time we grew up. And realized that the environment
does belong to us. Because if we don't, soon there won't be any environment left to write blog entries about.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nation to be led by a ...whoa!

Ever since India's president wannabe Pratibha Patil confessed to having conversations with a spirit or some such nonsense and this, naturally, made front page news on most national newspapers, I've been wondering about the logic behind such a confession. Either the person is amongst the seriously deluded who believe
in Sai Baba and similar frauds and thus have hallucinations from time to time to maintain their insanity, or she is trying to project an image of being having divine powers to the gullible, of which millions abound, to cover up the other bad news about her that has been exposed recently.

Thanks to Jayeeta for this image - feel free to put it up on your blog.