Monday, November 20, 2006

Our society still backward, Constitution modern

HindustanTimes.com » Print Editions » Lucknow » Other Cities » Gorakhpur » Story
Our society still backward, Constitution modern: Katju
HT Correspondent Varanasi, November 19
JUDGE Markandey Katju of the Supreme Court stressed the need for women’s emancipation to make India a modern industrial nation.
“No doubt Article 15 (1) prohibits the state from discriminating against women, but it does not prohibit society from doing so, and in fact such discrimination is widespread beginning from the very birth of a child”, said Justice Katju while mentioning about sexual discrimination in Indian society. Justice Katju, who was delivering a lecture on ‘India and the Constitution’ in BHU here on Saturday, said: “Crime against women has increased lately, the courts are flooded with cases relating to dowry deaths, rape, domestic violence etc and all this shows that our society is still backward even though the Constitution is modern.”
“It may be mentioned that I.Q. tests in modern psychology have shown that the I.Q. of an average woman is the same as that of an average man”, he said adding, “If equal opportunity is given, a woman can perform as well as a man can e.g. Madame Curie who was the first person in the world who won two Nobel Prizes-one for physics and another for chemistry, Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great who were great statesmen etc.”
“The stories and novels of great Bengali writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay clearly bring out the great oppression which the Indian women were subjected to in our country.
Hence, it is not due to any inherent inferiority but only due to the fact that women were not given education and other opportunities that they could not come up to the level of men”, he said.
“No doubt, by a mere declaration of equality as a Constitutional right discrimination and inequality can not immediately be abolished, but it can certainly set forth an ideal which all patriotic and modern minded nations should strive for”, he observed.
“The great right in Part-III of our Constitution (i.e. the fundamental rights) would be meaningless unless it has a socio-economic content. The right in Part-III becomes only formal empty right unless people are guaranteed certain socio-economic rights e.g. right to employment, right to education, right to housing and medical care etc”, he said.
“A hungry man has no use of the right to freedom, of speech and expression. Similarly, an unemployed man has no use for the right to liberty. Hence, our Founding Father borrowed from the Irish Constitution, the Directive Principles and incorporated them in Part 4th of the Constitution”, said Justice Katju.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cross-cultural dressing is in

Auroville fashion diversity - Dianna Is Auroville fashion taking on a new dimension?
Is Auroville fashion taking on a new dimension? Clothing in Auroville used to be a matter of covering and cooling, but in these more prosperous times, with space for wardrobes, ironing boards, and maybe even a washing machine, clothes are taking on a new dimension. For the ladies, anyway.
Cross-cultural dressing is in; in the snap of a finger, women can transform themselves for a trip to the Ashram in the discreet layers of a Punjabi salwar kameez and dupatta and then go back to the Californian look with jeans and tees, or better still, shorts and an itsy-bitsy top for tea at New Creation Corner.
The layered look is particularly popular with the older woman, but all that coordinating of bits and pieces of fabric can become quite time consuming. The hazardous bike trip to Pondy needs to be faced with large hats for the sun, goggles for dust, and scarves streaming behind that can double up to wipe sweat from the brow – then one is hardly recognisable.
This constant presence of dust and sweat leaves its mark on the clothes, and demands an almost military regime of laundering, that is, if you've set yourself some standards; if not, all the better. Laundry here is an organic process that is often not about getting things cleaner.
T-shirts and shorts gradually merge into a muddy coloured harmony; white undies turn into a sort of reddish grey. Clothes that would serve you for two years in Europe are exhausted in a season, especially if they are pounded by the amah. A washing machine is definitely gentler, but the process can last a whole day if the power goes on and off.
All is compensated for, however, by that fresh smell of sun-dried clothes and the constant miracle of its drying speed, except during the monsoons, of course. Then it's rush out when the rain stops to hang up the washing, and rush out again ten minutes later to rescue it from a downpour. Later, in full monsoon season, the laundry just sits around the house for days developing a wierd smell.
Monsoon time is also time for a wardrobe change with the magnificent billowing raincoats enveloping rider, bike and rucksack in strange shapes. Some speed by, reminiscent of those dashing couriers in war movies. Others, in the neon rainbow shades of Indian raincoats, ride by on bicycles, precariously balancing large black umbrellas. Peaked caps and goggles keep the rain out of eyes and, nowadays, even the occasional Wellington boots can be spotted.
Talking about footwear, wearing pretty sandals in India always seems pointless as you take them off when you get to your destination, that is, if you haven't broken your left one while kick-starting your motorbike. But unlike chappals (flip flops), they rarely disappear from the footwear piles lying outside the Solar Kitchen; only they look so vulnerable lying there.
Accessories are minimal here, despite the tempting wares of the Kashmiri shops in Kuilapalayam. Silver oxidizes too easily with the humidity and leather belts grow a grey fuzz and patches of mould and even your favourite outfits soon sport nibbled holes.
Thankfully, things are easily and cheerfully replaced at the Free Store in Bharat Nivas. It is Auroville's fashion centre with a constantly changing range of styles, sizes and shapes. Carefully arranged rows of white trousers or little tops invite you to transform your tired self. In a few months you can return them all with a blessing for their next owner.
It is the young tourists who brings a dash of chic with their chunky silver jewellery, voluminous Rajasthani skirts and skimpy tops. But the sudden exposure of white, pink or red sunburnt flesh can shock the eye that has become used to a certain decorous modesty, and respect for the erogenous zones of another culture. But all's not perfect; sometimes their hair reminds you of those long Indian train journeys when dust and sweat have congealed it into a sort of mat.
The fashion scene on the beach is another matter. It can get bizarre with tourists in their g-strings besides the Indian women in flowing saris. A big contrast to the New Creation swimming pool, where modesty and efficiency are the rule of the day, plus those compulsory unisex plastic swim caps that makes every Aurovilian look like an athlete.
But the beautiful Tamil women seem to have none of these dilemmas. They don't have the confusion of labels, the endless selection of styles, or the constant search for miracle fabrics. They have found their style in their sari and they stick with it, always looking fresh, elegant and colourful, and somehow, perfectly right. They are definitely the lucky ones! Home > Journals & Media > Journals > Auroville Today > October 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I chose love

Ned Says: November 15th, 2006 at 10:28 pm I should quickly introduce myself on this forum, since I have been a lurker here for quite a while, but I haven’t contributed anything yet. I’m a friend of Alan’s and have known him for quite some time now. I had a kundalini awakening after being sexually abused. In healing from sexual abuse and dealing with a lot of other issues as well, I discovered spirituality (I was previously a secular agnostic) and Integral philosophy. Perhaps some day I can share my experiences in detail. Two things I have noted about this forum:
(1) Where are the women? Everyone here seems to be male! (I’m a woman, in spite of my nickname. )
(2) Alan is totally right about this forum being over-intellectual. Integral theory is missing the point. Spirituality, at its core, is not about theory. Theory is a very useful tool, but it is just that — a tool. In healing from sexual abuse, I ended up having to make a choice: will I enslave my ability to love unconditionally to my faculty of reason, or will I enslave my faculty of reason to my ability to love unconditionally? I chose love, and that is why intellectual disagreements or challenges don’t threaten my faith anymore.