Skip to main content

Yours Iconoclastically

I'm breaking a rule I gave myself this month: that I will write blog posts only for the A2Z Challenge I took up. I'm breaking the rule for a creative cause: to write for my favourite blogger community, Indiblogger, whose current weekly theme is:

Do you follow rules? How do you feel when you see people flouting guidelines/culture/traditions etc.?

I have resisted the temptation thrown into my face by this topic for the last 5 days. I can't anymore. 

I am with Jesus with my whole heart and soul (add whatever else you wish) when it comes to rules: break them if required for promoting love. Love is more important than rules, Jesus said too many times which irritated the primary guardians of rules in those days: the priests. "Which one of you will sit at home watching your favourite movie in absolute obedience to the Covid-rule about coming out if you're told that your pet dog has got into trouble on the road?" Jesus would ask that. 

Love is a rather dangerous concept to be a foundation for any ethical system, let alone be the major premise of a logical argument. Goodness, let us say. What promotes the welfare of other people can be a better starting point. Mahatma Gandhi would immediately come to my support. 

Jesus was a rule-breaker. Gandhi was. Every great person was. You can't toe the line all the time and do anything great for the people. The ordinary chap obeyed the rule of Sati and put his brother's wife on her husband's funeral pyre. Thousands of Indians obeyed the caste system and perpetuated injustices of all sorts. Similar atrocities were perpetrated on large communities of people all over the world - in the name of traditions, culture, gods, and so on. 

It is easier to commit heinous crimes in the name of traditions or rules. That is what Hannah Arendt's banality of evil teaches us. An Adolph Erichmann could send millions of Jews to what the noble race of Hitler's Aryans called The Final Solution without feeling any remorse because he was obeying his master's rule. A lot of crimes like mass lynching became acceptable and even holy in the last few years in India because of a political system that resembled Hitler's in however small ways. 

My answer to the Indiblogger question is an emphatic No. I don't consider rules as holy even if they are written by gods in the sacred scriptures. What is good for my fellow beings is my rule. Traditions can go to hell for all I care unless they promote goodness. Culture is not a rotting fossil for me. 

I'll be writing next week about Albert Camus's book, The Rebel, as part of the A2Z series. A genuine person is a rebel. I choose to be as genuine as I can. 


  1. Keep flowing the words from your speed breakers...let the flow of thoughts finds its speedbreakers along the stream...

    1. I hope to go on and on. Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. I read an interesting quote recently that said tradition is mostly peer pressure from dead people. We often fail to look at the reasons behind it. And about rules, they need to be constantly reviewed as times change. Who is to say that something is right just because it is a rule?

    1. 'Peer pressure from dead people' has given me a hearty laugh. Thank you.

  3. Right you are. Following rules / traditions considering them as sacrosanct and neglecting what is just, equitable, kind, humanitarian or rational is definitely convenient for the (blind) follower but seldom adds any value to the world or the mankind.

    1. People don't realise that usually. They're often like animals and hence require bridle and bit.

  4. I remembered my seventh day Adventist friend and his defence of the rules when love is at stake..good writing.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Ugly Duckling

Source: Acting Company A. A. Milne’s one-act play, The Ugly Duckling , acquired a classical status because of the hearty humour used to present a profound theme. The King and the Queen are worried because their daughter Camilla is too ugly to get a suitor. In spite of all the devious strategies employed by the King and his Chancellor, the princess remained unmarried. Camilla was blessed with a unique beauty by her two godmothers but no one could see any beauty in her physical appearance. She has an exquisitely beautiful character. What use is character? The King asks. The play is an answer to that question. Character plays the most crucial role in our moral science books and traditional rhetoric, religious scriptures and homilies. When it comes to practical life, we look for other things such as wealth, social rank, physical looks, and so on. As the King says in this play, “If a girl is beautiful, it is easy to assume that she has, tucked away inside her, an equally beauti

The Adventures of Toto as a comic strip

  'The Adventures of Toto' is an amusing story by Ruskin Bond. It is prescribed as a lesson in CBSE's English course for class 9. Maggie asked her students to do a project on some of the lessons and Femi George's work is what I would like to present here. Femi converted the story into a beautiful comic strip. Her work will speak for itself and let me present it below.  Femi George Student of Carmel Public School, Vazhakulam, Kerala Similar post: The Little Girl

Face of the Faceless

“When you choose to fight for truth and justice, you will have to face serious threats.” Sister Rani Maria, the protagonist of the movie, is counselled by her mother in a letter. Face of the Faceless is a movie that shows how serious those threats are. This movie is a biopic. It shows us the life of a Catholic nun who dedicated her life to serve some Adivasis of Madhya Pradesh [MP] and ended up as a martyr. If it were not a real story, this movie would have been an absolute flop. Since it is the real story of not only a nun but also the impoverished and terribly exploited Adivasis in a particular village of MP, it keeps you engrossed. It is a sad movie, right from the beginning to the end. It is a story of the good versus evil, the powerless versus the powerful, the heroic versus the villainous, the divine versus the diabolic. Having said that, I must hasten to add one conspicuous fact: the movie does not ever present Christianity or its religious practices as the only right way

The Little Girl

The Little Girl is a short story by Katherine Mansfield given in the class 9 English course of NCERT. Maggie gave an assignment to her students based on the story and one of her students, Athena Baby Sabu, presented a brilliant job. She converted the story into a delightful comic strip. Mansfield tells the story of Kezia who is the eponymous little girl. Kezia is scared of her father who wields a lot of control on the entire family. She is punished severely for an unwitting mistake which makes her even more scared of her father. Her grandmother is fond of her and is her emotional succour. The grandmother is away from home one day with Kezia's mother who is hospitalised. Kezia gets her usual nightmare and is terrified. There is no one at home to console her except her father from whom she does not expect any consolation. But the father rises to the occasion and lets the little girl sleep beside him that night. She rests her head on her father's chest and can feel his heart

All the light we cannot see

Book Review Title: All the light we cannot see Author: Anthony Doerr Publisher: Fourth Estate, London, 2014 Pages: 531 What we call light is just a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum. Most part of the electromagnetic spectrum remains beyond ordinary human perception. Such is human life too: so many of its shades remain beyond our ordinary perception and understanding. Anthony Doerr’s novel, All the light we cannot see , unravels for us some of the mysterious shades of human life. Marie-Laure LeBlanc leaves Paris with her father Daniel who is entrusted with the task of carrying a rare diamond, Sea of Flames , to safe custody when the second world war breaks out. The National Museum of Natural History, Paris, has made three counterfeit diamonds of the Sea of Flames. Four men are assigned the task of carrying each of these diamonds to four different destinations. None of them knows whether they are carrying the original diamond or the counterfeit. Marie-Laure a