Value of Life

April 22, 2012

When you read some news or hear about some incidents this thought comes to mind, What is the value of a person’s life?

Two security guards were killed and the District Collector was kidnapped by Maoists. This is following the kidnap of a politician and a couple of Italian Tourists by the same group. Fact.

When you commit a murder, no matter whom you murder, you will get the same punishment. This stems from the “Rule of Law” propounded by A V Dicey in 1885 to apply to all societies. It has three main characteristics

  • The rights of individuals are determined by legal rule and not the arbitrary behaviour of authorities.
  • There can be no punishment unless a court decides there has been a breach of law.
  • Everyone, regardless of your position in society, is subject to the law.

This in principle states that everyone is equal and will be punished only by the court of law and only when the said person has breached the laws of that land. So, it inherently says all lives are equal. Fact.

 

These principles seem utopian and that is the reason why we see atrocities in the society but maybe they are not so idealistic or impractical as they are construed to be. Coming back to the first fact, the Maoists chose to kidnap politicians, foreigners and bureaucrats and not just anyone. This clearly shows that their lives are more valuable to the people of this country than say of a petty farmer. Agreed, these are the people who will effect change in larger way and others are guests in our country. Does that mean the farmer can be left to die? Maoists who claim to fight for such petty farmers dont value their lives that much too. Neither do they value the life of a bureaucrat who is trying to improve the lives of the same people for whom these Maoists claim to be fighting for. In midst of all this, what value do you give to the lives of those guards who were killed. Media conducted the interview of the family of the abducted collector  and even published a statement made by his wife. I still dont know if those guards had wives or kids. The guards’ families must sure have lost all hopes since parents have lost sons and their hopes of future. Just because they signed up for a job in which they will put their bodies between bullets and the person they are protecting, do they lose any and all kind of value for their lives? The collector’s school teacher’s statement is also in the news article but except the names of the guards, Kishun Kujur and Amjad Khan, I dont know whether they had wives, fathers, mothers, children, or did they go to school, were they bright students or not, did they have to deal with trauma of death in the family or whether they had Facebook accounts and if they updated it with any important viewpoints (All of which I know about the collector). I really dont know any of this and I have searched on the net but could not find much information on them. This is where we as people of this country fail

 

Considering different set of facts, we can now focus on the supporters of Maoists. Of course there will be difference of opinions in a large population and everyone would want their ideology to be propagated. But that does not mean that we must use means of violence and force it on others which is what these left wing extremists are doing. Over and above that they support the Islamist militancy and say that it must not be opposed since it is anti-US and anti-imperialist in nature. But then, isnt it also anti-human in nature? Regardless, kidnapping bureaucrats who have good reputations of helping the down trodden does not help us in believing that they are indeed fighting for the cause that they put out. They are in fact fighting for the ideologies rather than their goals (bringing peace to the people who are suffering at the hands of the present government). They have spread wide and far in the country yet they wont jump to action when an honest cop is killed protecting law by the hands of goons. They wont kill the leaders of land mafia who are cheating lakhs of poor people, but they will kill the police officers who are trying to maintain law and order citing one or two bad cops. Hindering the development of roads to remote location saying that they are being built to ease the travel of special forces to check the Maoists and then blaming the government for doing nothing for the poor is a definition of hypocrisy.

 

There is a lot to write about these two issues but much has been written, read and forgotten(bane of human mind). This is just a reminder to all that no one is absolutely right in a society. Compromises are a must to exist in a group, no matter how small that group is. When someone fails to compromise then the chaos starts. It can be absorbed by someone else’s compromise and even if they are adamant then the chaos grows bigger and slowly there is destruction, not just physical but also moral. When the chaos has stayed for a long period of time, thats when we must check for signs of corruption. Ideologies are means to achieve goals. But over the time, Maoists have forgotten that and are trying to impose their ideologies on everyone. In this long time we, the people of India, have forgotten too what democracy is for which we fought for so many years. I think that is the fault here. We fought for a long time for an ideology but we forgot the goals. It was not just those who formed the first government and wrote the constitution, but every citizen of that time had fought for Democracy. But they forgot, during that long struggle, both the meaning of Democracy and their ultimate goal of peace and prosperity. As a result, we are blaming the Maoists and they us. Both are wrong here and only when everyone realises this we will be able to attach the proper value to a life. Every life is precious.

 

 

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Theory of life continues

October 10, 2011

Well its been over an year that I have written something here. Under the beautiful night sky I pondered over things a lot and I will try to put them here. This post will make a little more sense if you read this. So, now my basic premise in that earlier post was that humans are in fact robots with hardware and software. That got me thinking again since I was wondering about the purpose of life and other questions on similar lines. My train of thoughts wandered into the movies about robots and how they usually are about the robots developing emotions or higher cognitive powers and trying to take over the world. Its a very logical idea. The most obvious outcome of such a power. Power, in whatever form it might be, is very difficult to control. So, when a machine gets such power it turns evil. Truly logical and proven by humans many times. So, I got thinking about the same and thought of the following scenario in the boundaries of the above mentioned post (I might cross the boundary a bit here)

Let’s assume we do in fact have a creator and he created us. Now since we are all robots it might have happened the same way as we make the movies about the robots. May be its there at the back of our heads and it just comes out every time we try to write a story about a robot. Maybe as we started developing emotions we might have rebelled against our creator and he let us rot here on this planet. So, if we assume this theory is true then my conclusion in the previous post about life being pointless is reinforced. Of course we as humans have created notions such as GOD. Purpose of life is to please him and pass all his tests so that we become one with him. But to agnostics who consider the universe itself to be the god, no matter we are good or bad we will end up back in the same universe as matter and energy. So, there is no test here but rather a pointless existance. The morals that guide us to the almighty are varied in different schools of thought and heaven is different in different religions. When there is no consistency in anything that is supposed to explain everything (including quantum physics) its really logical to conclude that this life is pointless.

Having made that statement, I do not encourage depression or apathy towards life. In fact I want to convey that one must think logically in life. One must be in control of their own life. I must not do something because GOD says its right. It must be by choice. My choice. Then only will I be able to take responsibilities of these acts. When happiness comes its because of GOD but when there is sorrow its because of my bad karma? No. Its all a chance. Culmination of your choices coming out as one of many outcomes. If the choice to do something was mine then the outcome is also due to me, good or bad. The invention of GOD I believe is to have a control with with you will measure your actions. Other than that there is no purpose for it. The world is very complex and so are the people in it, unpredictable in every possible way. By my experience so far I think we must always approach a situation by logic for it alone is consistent. Out of control feelings are always bad news but logic never fails. Hence, the theory of us being robots makes sense to me.


Your best teacher

May 20, 2010

Photo Courtesy of Kejal - Thank you

Many many “great” personalities have talked many many things about humans and their virtues and their actions and have tried to interpret the behaviours of others and themselves and have tried to put forward their own hypothesis about life and its mysteries. One thing that is most essential to put forward a generally acceptable hypothesis is good presentation. A good presentation of the most obvious and known facts will always find acceptance by people who read it.

All most all think about “stuff” but they are not well equiped to organize those train of thoughts and put them in sentences that are free flowing and comprehensively cover all the facts and yet have an artistic air to them, how ever feeble it may be. As a result, they tend to put those occasional thoughts out of their minds. But when they come across an article or a poem desribing what they had been thinking about, they just stand there amazed at how true it is what they are reading. It kind of “fits” into the big picture of life they have. It adds more pixels and hence makes that picture more clear and good to look at. Maybe they wont realize that they had thought about the exact same thing, or they might. If they do, they will exclaim, “I know exactly what you are talking about!!” Of course they know. Dont even have a doubt in your mind that they dont. They might have a much better realization of that than you yourself do. But they have one basic shortcoming; they cannot present it as well as you can.

Hence, one must always practice humility and be open to the fact that others around you are also reasonably intelligent and perhaps more so than yourself. When you try to explain to others how you feel and inwardly keep complaining that they will never understand, the listener might actually have guessed where you are going with whatever you are talking and the listener might have formed a solution to your problem as well. Its just our ego that makes us think that no one has the capability to conceive what our mind sees. So, when it comes to any quote by any famous personality or any song by any famous writer its all about the presentation. You already know or will learn about that in your life. But its your job to hold on to that life’s lesson and keep it in your mind. Maybe you will not be able to express it so well as others, but isnt that lesson more important?

Ultimately, you choose. The choice defines you as a person. You choose which lesson to remember and which one to forget. Hence, what you are today is because of those choices. Maybe they were difficult to make and hence you let go of a few, but it was ultimately your decision. You were put to a test and you did what you wanted to and hence the result today stands as it is, a bunch of choices that you made.


Logic – the looking glass

April 25, 2010

Dated 20 feb 2010:

Courtesy 9thnova.com

Life sometimes seems to be going completely out of hands. You are surrounded by thousands of challenges and you do not seem to know where to begin. death is the biggest one among them. To handle death is not an easy task, no matter how experienced you are. It puts you off your track. A heavy weight rests at the bottom of your heart and you cannot just get rid of it. And that is the time when the flood gates open. You seem to remember every damn thing that has happened to you which was not supposed to happen. The thought process becomes too abstract and fundamental questions begin to pop up in the head. And the answers to these do not exist or our brain cannot synthesis or imagine it. It is limited in that capacity, it can ask good questions but not generate commensurate answers to those questions. Some say its not what life is about. Life is about small things, small happiness, small setbacks, etc, etc, but i feel that its just some fairy tale that you have woven to avoid the other real questions.

Pain, suffering, setback and every negative thing has to be seen through a looking glass. A glass that blocks these negativities which manifest themselves as emotions and lets you look at life in an objective way. If you can learn to do this then you can very well deal with all these problems. This is where the logic comes in. It gives you a set of guidelines through which you can see a situation, kinda like looking glass. The situation can then be tackled much more effectively and quickly. Of course, this glass will be opposed by primal emotions like anger but eventually you will be able to deal with it without creating much problems to others. It requires patience and perseverance so as to be able to develop this ability. But then again, its just one method to deal with the problems faced and not THE method.


System

April 24, 2010

Dated : 16th Feb 2010

The whole world seems to be a system. As any other system, this system has its own characteristics and its own principles and its own rules. You are also a part of this system and to be successful in this system you must play by the rules of this system. If you adhere to there rules, your success is 100 percent guaranteed. But if you try to defy the system then you will end up in one of the two extreme situations. Unlimited glory or complete annihilation.

If you choose to be a part of the system and play by its rules there are obvious negatives. First of all a system will give you a fixed output. No matter how intelligently it is designed it will always have some limits. But, we know for sure that human mind is not so limited in imagination. Hence, there will come a time, very soon too, when we will start to feel the monotony of the situation and will be left wanting for more. Then there is the obvious frustration due to the fact that we cannot do anything to make our life more dynamic; that is we fail in our own eyes as we clearly notice that we are not in control of our own lives. This leads to perpetual unhappiness and discontent in their hearts. The list is not exhaustive but it gives a fair idea of what the drawbacks are. But I feel that it is only fair to suggest that the above mentioned negatives are only applicable to people who have aspirations which are beyond the boundaries of this system. For an unambitious person these may not apply or may apply conditionally which are quite conceivable and hence I will skip.

Now, you are not satisfied and decide to rebel against the system then also you will find yourself at the vortex of many problems. If you really think, these problems are much more severe yet more exciting to an open mind. The decision to rebel is filled with obvious risk as mentioned earlier, an endeavour which might result in finding a new improved system or else getting lost forevermore. I don’t think I even need to attempt to list out the problems in this choice. It is quite known and I think most of us are facing them in different quantum. But these problems are dynamic and more exciting and hence worth the risk if you ask me.

What will you do? What is your answer? This is a very difficult question. To answer this question is to make a choice. A choice that will reflect your character and define your entire future!


Privilege

November 17, 2008

Disclaimer :
Views expressed here are strictly personal and are only my interpretation of the subject under consideration. I do not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiment in any way. I merely express my views and understandings with regards to the topic.

I debated a lot on whether or not this post should be featured on my blog.

Scenario 1: Attending private school with a fully packed lunch box and a classroom full of cheerful people.

Scenario 2: Attending school along with other seniors and juniors in a small dingy room or under a tree with free lunch.

Scenario 3: Attending training camps to learn how to fire a machine gun along with the other kids.

 

There was a poem by Milton when I was in school. I dont remember the exact words, all it said was that there is a lot of suffering in this world and we must not worry about it and start felling miserable. Atleast thats what my teacher told me while she made us read it. Anyways, I belong to the first scenario. I have not had any problem to get hold of something I wanted throughout my academics. A good library, access to internet and teachers whom I can question have always been a part of any phase of my student life. I have been a “privileged” all the time. 

 

The third scenario is something that everyone is familiar with. Brutal truth that has the ability to disturb the cool of anyone’s mind. well, not anyone, but those who care. Greed of people moivates them to plumet to such animalistic levels. And there is no strong voice that fights for these people. The only voices I have heard is when someone wanted a death sentence to be waved off a terrorist. The world defines hipocracy better than wikipedia! 

 

Anyways, in my college a group of students are collectiing a book, pencil and eraser from all of us to donate it to an orphanage. I liked it. Its a start and I hope they go all the way. There is an orphanage right opposite to my college. Went there once, but I did not know what to talk. Its filled with more happiness than I had expected. But then, we never know what sorrows lie behind those innocent smile. Mom and dad go there on their anniversaries. They give fruits and make other contributions every year. A lot of people from my college have visited the place and done something from their side. Be it sharing food or bringing a smile on those children’s face. I hope one day there will be no kid who would face the last two scenarios. I hope one day all kids would be privileged.

 

All those who read this, do something from yourside. If you ask what difference can I make? then read on


 

A beach was strewn with starfish and  a little girl was picking them up and throwing them back in the ocean.

‘Little girl,’ a passerby said, ‘what are you doing?’

‘I’m saving the starfish,’ she replied.

‘But there are so many! Your efforts can’t possibly make a difference.’

The little girl picked up another starfish and said, ‘It makes a difference to that one.’ and she threw it into the ocean

 

So, dont worry about the millions, just think about the one you help


who am I

October 18, 2008

This post is a result of this post and a conversation I had the next day with my aunt and cousins. If you have time, read that post and my reply to it. This is also connected to my previous post. Now, lets go through the events of that day. Me and my friend went to meet our principal after our classes. We wanted to screen a documentary in our college and we needed his permission. We returned unsuccessful as expected!! Then I went and met other friends who were getting ready to organize our annual departmental fest. Again, we needed the head’s permission for it. So, I suggested them to take a faculty along with their proposal. So, they decided to talk to a few lecturers and again, as expected, did not succeed in their efforts. So, finally we went to our HOD who, as expected, was convinced and agreed to accompany us. Then it was a procession of 20 people led by our HOD, from our department to Principals office. We then waited for our turn and only HOD went inside. She was inside for about 10 minutes and when she came out, I knew what her answer would be. yet again, the proposal had been declined, oh! yes as expected. This is my college life. Sooo….. PREDICTABLE!!!!!!

Anyways, we then started chatting in the parking lot, deciding on our next big quest, the class trip to Kerala! Oh come on! You didnt think that we, the EC guys, would give up on hope so soon! We get an output, no matter if its just random noise, we not only get it, we get it approved by our incharge as the correct output!! 😀

Then, I and my other friend BM had to drop our GATE applications in IISc. So, we said bye and took off from there. Then it was straight to IISc, but alas! we reached there at lunch time. Never-the-less, we thought of exploring their food facilities and visited their nearby canteen. We had a sandwich and a bun-omelet each. Then returned to the “GATE office” and dropped our application and then he went to his home, and I went to my aunt’s place which was very nearby. So, finally after all the wandering, we come to the main part. After they had finished their lunch and other work, my aunt and cousins and me sat together in the living room. The conversation began with the sms jokes in the newspaper(the little column that comes these days). Then my aunt went on to another curious article that showed a man who could hold a live electric wire and yet not get affect by its power. Then she turned to me and asked… well, let me put it out as a conversation

‘What to say about these things? I know its possible, but how do you explain it?’

mind you, this happens in Kannada and i am just translating. My aunt is very philosophical and intelligent and questions before accepting anything and being a Arts major, she argues awesomely! 😀

‘Yes, its just that there will be resistance in his skin that is more than others’, I said distractedly

‘More? You mean there is some in us too?’ she pressed on

‘Yes, thats why you wont get the shock when you hold a battery between your fingers’ I said, smiling

‘Hmm. But how can he only have more resistance?’

‘Well, maybe his skin is drier than ours without any of the oils and moisture content’ I said. Thats the best I could come up with. Then again, there may be many other physiological reasons behind that!

‘Hmm… maybe. But what do you say about this person near Shimoga?(A city in Karnataka that happens to be very close to her birth place) Stones fall out of her eyes daily. She sits with he head like this (And she tilted her head sideways and bent a bit down) and the stones falls out of her eyes. Daily!”

‘I have no idea how that could happen!’ I said showing no interest in it what so ever

‘She also says that it hurts when the stone comes out and it does everyday!’ she said. ‘Also, there is this women in a village in Andhra who looks like a rag picker and lives on the street. She has no home, no bed, nothing. But she is known to have precognitive powers. People visit her with their problems and she has her own strange way to solve it. When ever people go to visit her, they just sit there, they dont approach her. She will only call them. Her appraoch is arrogant though; she say “Oye! you! come here” and when the person comes, she hands them a pot and tells “Go and fetch some water”. When they do that, she pours that water for them to drink. Then without them telling her anything, she predicts what they are here for and gives them relevant answers

‘Like this once, two brothers who were fighting over a property for many years in the court, they came to her. After the water was brought, she addressed one of the brother who had carried the pot. “You! You will win the case. Now go home!” Thats all! They went back and the brother won the case. He was so happy that he came back to thank this women. But when he did say thanks, she said “What thanks? Go home!! You will be dead in a few days!” And he indeed died a few days later’ she finished. ‘Even the politicians go to her these days!’ she added

‘Well, everyone goes to the oracle these days’ I chuckled. Unabased, she continued

‘No no, there is one more near Chikbalapura. He is a barber by profession, but only on few days he enters the temple and the gets the ability to foresee everything. Two people had been to meet him from Bangalore. When they arrived there, they were surprised to know that they were being expected. Apparantly, the seer had told the others that, “two people would come from Banglore, lead them straight to me. Prepare some snacks as they will be tired due to travelling”. And of course, he already knew what they were here for and they got their probelm solved. While they were returing, he warned them about a snake that would cross their path at a particular point, and indeed the snake was there to greet them!’ she said satisfyingly as she had finally seen that I was interested in this conversation.

As a rule, i go by scientific explanation and my aunt too tries to see it that way, yet she is a believer and hence doesnt try too hard to find explanation to all these “anomalies” if you like. She also talking about a ring encrusted with precious stones that had a scratch on it. Hence, it brought about eradication of wealth and happiness where ever it went. Finally it was rested in a Temple near Mysore. She recollected a lot of stories that day. So, when I got back home, I had a lot to think about. Again, this is connected to my previous post if you had read about how humans are robots. You see, these things, or powers are just a variations in hardware or software of the humans and nothing else. What if science doesnt have an explanation yet. It will have someting later! So, what I want to say is that, Clairvoyance maynot be supernatural in every sence. Maybe, its possible to develop it. And indeed, many parapsychologists have suggested the same. The yogis and sadhus of ancient India were known to predict the future. And it is possible to develop you ESP(Extra Sensory Perception) by the means of Yoga and meditation. There by, being able to predict the future or atleast the near future. Having effects like ‘Deja Vu’ that are voluntary.

More over, if you know about the Chinese Martial Art, Kung Fu, you may have seen the spectacular performances they give. Break a pile of bricks, take a blow from a steel rod on their head or stomach and instead of their skull getting shattered, the steel rod gets broken! A discovery video featured this art and they showed how these masters concentrated their energies to those body parts that were about to be get hit, thus reinforcing them with trememdous resistance. The thermal imaging showed the concentration of power in those specific areas as well. Now, the man with ability to with stant electric shock may also have been, subconsciously, using the same technique!

There are a lot of things that we need to consider supernatural. The people who can create paintings that can amaze the whole world. People who can compose music that will impress millions, people who can use the language such a way that it would leave people sepll bound. There are supernaturals everywhere around the world be it administration, academics, half the scientists, entertainment, sports, arts, cooking, etc. Point is, its not exactly supernatural. They have this “add-on” that will allow them to use one of the brain’s many amazing capabilities. But, not everyone comes with these add-ons. These add-ons may be a software add-on or some modification in the hardware. So, this would make normal people like me and some of you being termed ‘natural’, others as ‘supernatural’. Even in the differently abled, there are these distinctions!

Yet another way to look at this is the “bad guy’s” way. The people with these abilities are the normal people. Those with superior genes. And the rest of us are just manufacturing defects!

But, we can also say that we are the normal people and these supernatural people are the new, improved genetic vaiants. They will keep us from becoming extinct. Ironically, I care more about humans becoming extinct as a species and not about the present situation!!! Even though both seems equally pointless! Yet another irony 😛

In the end, whether I am natural, supernatural, better mutation or anything else. What does it matter to ME? Depressingly nothing!!

*Shakes his head*