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Showing posts from August, 2017

Friend, Unfriend

My FaceBook account is accessible only to my friends.   At least, that’s how I intended it and fixed the settings.   The reason is that I want only those people who know me to read what I write in that social media which is not as civilised a place as the blogosphere.   Moreover, I make a lot of political statements there and many people may not like such statements, especially those who are known as bhakts these days.   The other day I made a comment on a link posted in FB by a blogger friend.   I used to avoid her ever since I discovered that she and I were poles apart in our attitudes to the current politics in the country.   But something provoked me to make a comment.   She reacted saying that she does not appreciate such comments and I should not use her space for writing such things.   I unfriended her immediately.   When there arise conditions and restrictions on what you can express, it is no more friendship.   I don’t make rude or vulgar comments anyway.   But

The abundance of Onam

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Onam unfolds a floral carpet for Maveli (From last year's Onam celebration in my school) Onam celebrations have already got underway in Kerala though the actual festival falls on 4 Sep this year.   But Onam is a season in the state, not just a day.   It is a mega event which brings together flowers and music, dances and boat races, and of course the legend of Maveli or Mahabali.   The legend is pregnant with the typical Malayali sarcasm.   Mahabali was an asura king, according to the legend.   Asuras are demons and are opposed to the devas or gods.   Mahabali (literally means ‘great sacrifice’) tilted the cosmic balance by refusing to be as evil as asuras are supposed to be.   He was too good, in fact.   He created a utopia in what now is Kerala.   He brought prosperity to his people who lived in perfect bliss.   There was no evil.   Onam celebrates the memory of that great king who made Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas a reality.   The most popular Onam folksong recou

Redefining God

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In Bertolt Brecht’s Stories of Herr Keuner someone asks Herr K if there is a god.   Herr K said, “I advise you to consider whether your conduct would change in the light of your particular answer to this question. If it would change, then I can help you at least to this extent, that I say, you have already decided. You need a God.” When Dostoevsky’s Ivan Karamazov declared that “There is no God and hence everything is permitted,” it was a painful realisation that God was a need for most people to give the necessary reins to their behaviour.   God is a moral police who tells us what is right and wrong and why we should do the right things.   That’s why we find the gods in various scriptures giving too many commandments.   As many thinkers have pointed out, however, “A God whom one needs, is not needed.”   Catholic theologian Hans Kung, in his magnum opus Does God Exist? , explains this thus: “… God can never be a function or a means to an end (for the education of chi