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Lifestyle Crime

hate_crimeI woke up today with the news of Rs 500 crore betting racket of IPL matches (I consider IPL matches a Business more than a Game) with Sreesanth, Ankit Chawan and Amit Singh admitting their involvement. But what caught my attention was this small footnote at the bottom which read : Boy Murdered to Pay for IPL Bet. The victim named Aditya Rankha, aged 13 was stabbed with kitchen knife several times by his cousins and finally burnt to death a little outside Mumbai after a ransom plan didn’t pan out the way his assailants had planned it. These muderers had lost Rs 10 lakh in illegal IPL bets and hence they kidnapped Aditya and demanded a ransom of Rs 30 Lakh for teen’s safe return, to which Aditya ‘s father did not agree.

The killers are not strangers, but relatives Aditya had grown up with, trusted and perhaps loved. The accused are neither hard-core criminals, nor professional killers. They represent the aam aadmi on every level. So what is the malaise in our society that is leading such people to commit dastardly crimes? Do they really think they’ll get away with murder? Do they think at all? Or is the glitter and glamour of instant gratification far more compelling than the risk involved? What about the reactions of their young wives and children? Other family members? The shame and ignominy of it all?

We are used to such urban crimes and we find nothing unusual about such stories. Thats why such articles find place at the footnote at the bottom of Dailies which we wearily read, get bored and turn the page. These killers were reported splurging wildly at nightclubs and ‘enjoying’ themselves. This idea of “enjoyment” has become a social disease that recognises no bounds. From a slum in central Mumbai to a penthouse on Pali Hill — it is no longer a distant dream or fantasy. It is happening. It is achievable. It is worth murdering a cousin for.

The scary truth is the lure of a luxurious lifestyle has completely blinded young urban India to consequences — moral or otherwise. There seems to be nothing at stake anymore. Everybody is chasing some impossible dream that promises paradise. Sometimes, one looks at the TV commercials (especially the ones that are telecast during the ongoing IPL) and wonders. They are so clever, so subversive they startle and shock the unwary! Most tap into middle-class frustrations, with wives and children demanding more and more and more from harried husbands and fathers (exotic summer vacations, bigger TV sets, pricey air conditioners). Banks offer attractive zero per cent interest on loans (come on, guys! who are you kidding?) urging the gullible to splurge on the latest smartphone or even a beach villa. Irresistible and heady as such offers are, there is always a catch.

That’s where these killer typos get phasaoed. Unwilling to wait for goodies that require some effort to acquire, they start gambling, first with currency, then with life itself. Young Aditya’s murder is emblematic of this rotten syndrome. As of now, one can only see a further escalation of similar crimes. The stakes may get higher. But lives will definitely get cheaper.

Categories: Society

Are We Civilized?

While waiting for my dinner to arrive, I was casually browsing through the headlines of the Deccan Chronicle, a major daily in Southern India. Suddenly a headline caught my attention, which read, “Father arrested for sexual assault of his daughter”.  The details, which followed the headline, were astonishing (the father had intimate relations with her own daughter for continuous three years after she attained puberty and the FIR was lodged by his own wife). I asked myself, “If a woman is not safe in her own house, then where else she can seek shelter?” The extent of moral deterioration  which is confirmed by the heinous incidents presented by media on daily basis poses the question, Is man civilized in 21st Century?

Strictly speaking, man today is as much a beast as he had been in the age when victors used to erect mountains of heads, breasts and other vital organs after indulging in a massive carnage of subjugated civilian population. Or the age when slaves were compelled to ‘fight’ with hungry lions or were simply put to flames for amusement’s sake. The difference lies only in the saga of advanced technology of the modern age. Now instead of organizing a ruthless slaughter (though it also happens) powerful nations drop nuclear bombs, cluster bombs, napalm bombs etc. instead of burying alive the girl child (though it also happens) now they are killed in the very womb of mothers.

Man has gone from arrows to atomic bombs, from a loincloth to a suite/dress, from being bare foot to wearing shoes, from living in a cave to living in a flat/mansion, from walking to riding in a car, from watching the birds fly to making his own iron bird and flying & to the landing on the moon but what about the development of man himself. While there has been great advancement in the technology and innovations, there is a constant degradation of human morality and civilization on the whole. This is well illustrated by the famous Urdu poet Allama Iqbal in this couplet:

Unhe fikr hai ki sitaron ke par ja na sake

Hamen afsos hai ki zamee ko zameen bana na sake.

It can be put into English as they (scientists) are anxious that they could not cross the stars but We regret that we still could not make this earth a good place for living. The man of 21stcentury thinks that he has an edge over his ancestors who did not had access to the comforts, which are now just a click away from him. Isn’t it true that our ancestors lived happier life than we are now entitled to? They owned PEACE which we yearn for and which we are ready to acquire by the greatest possible sacrifice. They would have never come across news where a suicidal bomber blew himself to kill his own community of people or security guards or where doctors engaged in stealing the organs of babies or where the son killed his father to claim the insurance money or where man sliced his daughter into pieces for marrying a Hindu or a boy outside her cast (the modern term given to it is Honor Killing) or where police personnel killed the innocent life in fake encounter for merely earning good will of the minister at whom hands he is a puppet. I could go on but let me stop here and ask you what is civilized about all this? If we think we are civilized, we are living in the fools’ paradise. Isn’t it funny that we print pictorial warning that smoking causes cancer and at the same time promote its sale with advertisements? We understand that prostitution is a black mark for human race; still we leave no stone unturned to legalize the same?

Let us all join hands and take steps to curb the ongoing moral deterioration and make this earth a good place for living.

Categories: Society

Unguided Youths

The youth of today is nations hope. If the youths are guided and nurtured in the righteous manner, only then they can become the men of value and efficient leaders to arrest corruption and lead the nation to the path of progress. But my question is how much society is concerned about transforming these youngsters into leaders of tomorrow?

Well, out of five stages of life (infancy, childhood, adolescence, middle age and old age), adolescence is the toughest stage. Life for many youths at this stage involves a painful tug-of-war consisting of mixed messages, unanswerable questions of emotions and incompatible demands from parents, teachers, friends etc. The transition from childhood to adulthood is a difficult process. For teenagers, it is a confusing time involving tremendous and emotional change. Parents are now too busy and do not have time to talk to their children about these physical and emotional changes. Some feel shy to discuss about this subject with their children. As a result, many youngsters have no choice but to talk to their friends about sexual matters or remain in the dark area of sexuality.

Another day while I was returning from college in the train, one of my friends asked me, why does the sex drive starts at age thirteen, but one is not licensed to use it until marriage? I gently smiled and replied, My Dear, we wait for buses at bus stands, we wait for trains at railway stations, we wait in queue for getting tickets, we wait at ration shop for our turn to come, so why not wait for the apt time to use your license? of course, this is the common question that every individual of my age carries in his/her mind. There is no proper guidance for these young people who are experiencing the most critical phase of life. You know, if you leave a field untouched, dont irrigate it, dont bow the seed, then automatically weeds and insects will find place into it. These youths, with no proper guidance, become sexually educated by myths and concepts generated within the society. We are in the age where technology has taken over emotions. Media is shaping these youngsters in its own way. Sex is being used to sell everything from toothpaste to tea. Half of the advertising we see and hear is connected to sex appeal. God has given us a mind and a free will to choose what goes into that mind. We ought not to fill our minds with the so much garbage that media offers.

Internet is the main source of pornography which is major factor encouraging continued masturbation.. This may become a serious area of conflict affecting even the future of youth. I have heard that 99 of one hundred boys & girls masturbate and the other one is liar. Clothes are getting shorter and shorter in the name of fashion, which is considered to be a new morality. I would rather call it as immorality, a way of skin show. There is much difference between being fashionable and being modest. When I whizz past my memories back to some 8 years, I remember that Tamilians were an example for those who adhere to their own culture. But I am pained to say that now WESTERN INFLUENCE has crept into Tamil life style too. I agree that fashion is cultural, but within the various cultures, masculinity must be preserved. It is rightly said that Many people use their youth to make their old age miserable.

Categories: Society