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Definitely, I am an animal !

It is said that human beings after all are animals and hence possess qualities that are called commonly as “animal instincts”. However, one of the reason why these animal instincts are not displayed very often in public space is because human brains have an extra ‘layer’ of sanity, education, sense of ‘good vs bad’. But when circumstances push and push human beings to the limit of sanity, the strength of these animal instincts become so forceful that it overcomes all other senses and is then displayed in bouts of madness, extreme behaviour that defies common sense and understanding.

Therefore, whenever we see such incidents, we feel that is the limit of humanity and then we are on that grey corridor of uncertainty between an animal and a human being. This limit varies between person to person and probably gets dictated by the cumulated mental state of mind the individual has been for some months or years. Otherwise, how will you justify that in situations of mob violence, many ‘sane’ persons tend to lose themselves for that fraction of a second and actively participate in the act of insanity. Some gets triggered by the sense of frustration on the system and breaks down into a bout of extreme violence only for a couple of minutes. After that, you will very often find that person not only normal but also regretful with his insanity accompanied by self questioning of “how could I do that ?”

But today’s topic is not animal instinct – rather on the fact whether we ‘sane’ animals love to see acts of ‘animal instincts’ in play when human beings disintegrate amidst strong and pushy atmosphere ? If there are certain players doing this and we see a live (or rather edited) display of the mental disintegration on television, do we love to see that ?

I believe so ! Because that’s what reality shows like Big Boss (the Indian version of Big Brother) tends to do. We sit on a sofa, drinking tea, waiting for some explosive scenes to happen within a group of diversified individuals being mentally pushed to a limit. And if one episode ends without any quarrel or any clashes, we feel ‘bored’ and switch off the television. Basically, in the name of a contest, we human beings love to watch animal instincts being displayed by human beings, who in normal life are known to be well-behaved and dignified.

To trigger the most unpredictable behaviour amongst the people, the producers selects people who have varied upbringing experiences, who are mentally strong (and hence can be brittle as well) and put them in a ‘circus’ arena to bring out their ‘animal instincts’. We, the common people, sit around to see the circus and applaud loudly if someone screams or threatens to hit out others in scenes of extreme stress.

We sometimes are not so much interested to speculate on who will win this years contest, but we are definitely well-informed through the ‘trailers’ whether tomorrow’s episode has a quota of violent behaviour and hence, we make ‘time’ to watch the episode at any cost, in spite of tolerating the break in continuity through the numerous advertisements.

Definitely, I am an animal … are you ?

 

Of dictators and oppression ….

Very recently one of the leading newspapers screamed in its headlines “The Last Dictator is dead” and rightfully so as the world celebrated the death of Gaddafi amongst a turmoil burning in the streets of Libya. These incidents are often described as the win of the good over the evil and hence supported by most sane people over the world. I also fall amongst the same category – but this incident forced me to think a little beyond the apparent dictatorship and the oppression of the common people, who look for a decent and happy life with his / her loved ones.

Whenever we think of oppression, the obvious picture that haunts us a ruthless dictator stealing away fundamental rights, freedom and stalls the voice of dissent or difference in opinion with a strong hand, resulting in deaths without trials and extreme violation of basic human rights. However, if the same or similar incidents happen with a democratically elected body or a country’s government or even a philosophy followed by thousands, do we react in the similar manner ? Is it that actions against oppression happens only when we have certain individuals implementing those acts and not when groups or governments do the same ? Is it that military action is successfully carried out when the world tries to remove dictators like Hitler, Saddam Hussain, Gaddafi, but the same world remains not to carry out aggression against groups or governments carrying out similar acts ?

Let me ask some questions that come across my mind and leave to you to define whether this is oppression :

  • When freedom of speech is stopped by a certain sect of political philosophy and currently ruling big nations in the world, is this not oppression ?
  • When certain policies of democratically elected governments take away the daily livings of common people without much options given to them, is this not oppression ?
  • When certain foreign policies of powerful countries goes “all out” against some weak but strategical nations rich with natural resources, is this not oppression ?
  • When certain corporations neglect safety measures that lead to disasters which are termed as “accidents” resulting in death of hundreds of innocent people, is this not oppression ?
  • When corporate greed leads to unethical practices resulting in crisis across the world resulting in erosion of hard-earned money of commoners leading simple lives, is this not oppression ?
  • When deadly weapons of mass destruction are invented and stored by any country for the purpose of saying “just listen to me or you might be in trouble”, is this not oppression ?

The questions are too many and my mind says that the answer is quite simple and obvious.

If this is so, then where are the world forums and others going “all out” to finish off these kind of oppression ? Where are the tough talks from various leaders threatening of more actions including military actions to eliminate these elements ? Haven’t seen much so far and I doubt whether I will have the privilege of witnessing in my lifetime …

Last question before I end – why is that we don’t see ‘actions’ to eliminate these kinds of oppression ? Why is that we see only selective ‘actions’ when the evil is removed for the sake of the good ? Is it that behind these actions (and lack of actions), there are bigger motives of self-prosperity and economic dominance from the powers of the world ?

Well, nobody answers these questions and frankly speaking, I do not expect any explanations – while the world will wake up after few months or years to find many more dictators and eliminate them all for the good of the people ….

Do what you want to do …..

Films reflect the happenings of our society – it’s a mirror of the current happenings, the positives and the negatives of our current society. Hence, films are nothing but us – you and me; and this realisation is not a rocket science invention. Very often, some of the films do touch us quite deeply – this happens because we as individuals either feel very strongly about the theme of the film or we are often ‘victims’ of life on the same issues that are depicted so strongly in the movie. Films are really a ‘strong’ story-teller in all respects.

Recently watched the movie “Zindagi Na Mile Dubara” – the overall theme of the film was that of many others including the hit “3-Idiots”. All it says is Do What You Want To Do … go for what makes you happy and pursue your dreams. A simple yet powerful philosophy – simple because even a school kid will know this, powerful because very often the more matured adults gets coerced into doing something totally different in the race called life.

Why do people always call jobs as a rat-race ? Maybe it’s a race towards reaching the top and in that process edging out others, sometimes legally, sometimes illegally. But I am sure the real significance of the definition is the word ‘rat’ – even if you win or lose this race, at the end of the day, you live the life of a ‘rat’ ! You become a RAT ! And while in the peak of your career, you very often look behind the path which could have been your path of life – and then gulp down some drinks, or take a few deep breaths and again you carry on being the RAT the very next day … It’s also sometimes called as “Abhimanyu’s Chakrabuha” – you know to enter the vicious circle, but don’t know how to exit. The only exit route you know is when you exit the orbit of life.

Why is this so difficult to achieve ? Is it that monetary and positional excellence is too tempting ? Is it that the ‘pressure’ of life forces you to always follow a path which is always about how to increase your bank balance and / or how to become a boss – from a ‘small’ boss to a big ‘boss’ to a bigger ‘boss’ and so on ?

When is the last time when you spent valuable time with your best college friends ? When is the last time when you did not think of deadlines, but just put your arms on the shoulders of your best friend ? When is the last time when you did not talk about a client presentation, but just talked nonsense with its quota of gaali’s with your friend circle ? When is the last time you did not think of your elegant dress getting spoilt by sitting on a dirty bench with your classmate’s and having a good laugh ?

If the answers to the above questions comes with an answer of “last time was more than 6-7 months ago (if not years)”; then I can only say DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO ! 

The choice for choices ?

It has been reported in Indian press that very soon, the Government of India will be allowing 51% FDI participation in Retail in India. This will be an occasion which will trigger of huge amount of debate amongst the people here with mixed opinion.
One one hand, we will have supporters of this decision as they want more options, more choice and more attractive prices amidst a free-for-all cut-throat competition. It is often stated by many people in US that Walmart is one of the factors that has helped America control her inflation. Whether this is the sole factor or not, I don’t know – but definitely cut-throat open market helps the consumers as they can go for multiple choices and get the best deal from the so many players in the market. However, critics say that the benefit is passed ONLY to the extreme end of the supply chain – the consumers, people like you and me.

 

The views on Walmart and it’s impact on the lives of people have been debated for long and will be debated in the future as well – one of such viewpoint is provided below:

 

Whether this will help the other end of the supply chain is a big question to be debated – specially in the Indian social context where you have poor farmers, distributors getting impacted by this process. The Indian market context is very much different from that of the developed nations like US, UK, Germany. Here, we have a big factor of un-organised retail, the “local” shop who caters to many consumers, knowing their likings by name and often passing on a credit-based business model. This chunk of population will be the most impacted – because the huge middle-class people having more purchasing power might shift loyalty from their “favourite” local shops and go for the big retailers. This is because they will enjoy the shopping experience, will enjoy the more choices and of course, will enjoy the prices more.

 

How this will impact India overall is something that time will only tell – however, there will be a lot of noise coming out from the Opposition within India and lot of talk will happen on “protecting” the weak and the poor players on the sourcing side of the supply chain. But I as an individual might be smiling soon !

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