Transcending Trivialities

I miss holidays!

While back to college has caused a spike in my frustration levels, I must say things haven’t been as hectic as it was during last semester. I suppose the real action is yet to start. I don’t think I’m looking forward to it, though.

Well…there is a thought that has been stuck in my mind for the past few months. I felt it’s time I let it out. And, with yesterday’s Charlie Hebdo terror attack serving as background, I think this would be a good time.

[ Before reading on, please note that I’m talking specifically with reference to the situation in India, as I know it ] 

Once, sometime in November, during class, one of our teachers somehow came upon the topic of Muslims. I don’t remember what exactly we were discussing. Initially, she said she wouldn’t say anything but, when some of the students (my classmates) ventured to comment (negatively), she added to it, expressing her dislike for Muslims. A few of my classmates agreed with her, reacting very vehemently, much to my shock. They almost ganged upon another classmate who questioned their bias. I kept quiet, listening to their argument. From the way they spoke, it seemed like they held Muslims responsible for every shit that happens in the world. I was dumbstruck.

For a bunch of individuals who are going to be media professionals sometime soon, this kind of strong prejudice could be lethal. The most shocking part, for me, was that the teacher supported their thoughts instead of pointing out how wrong it was. It might already be obvious that I have very high regard for teachers. Nevertheless, I don’t believe in giving respect to people who don’t deserve it. This particular lecturer’s comments had an instant effect on me – I began to dislike her from that very second! In another class, she gave some more absurd views about family planning. That was the final nail in the coffin!

But that’s not the topic of this post.

Just a cursory glance through the major events of last few months would show you how Muslims have been collectively victimized for most of them, if not all. Of course, there are terrorist organizations wreaking havoc in ways more than one. And they seem to be blinded by their religious fanaticism. But is that reason enough to hate Muslims as a whole? Because that’s what seems to be happening right now. I’m not justifying the ones who caused death and destruction; don’t go on and call me a traitor. I’m raising the question of why we seem to blame ALL Muslims for whatever is happening. If you were to commit a mistake, would your entire family, including distant relatives and friends, be persecuted for it?

What is the sense in alienating persons of a whole community/religion just because some fanatics acted in the name of that religion? Haven’t other faiths also had such people who killed and ravaged? Did we also treat every individual of those religions with equal hatred? I doubt it.

I don’t support terrorists or their activities. Neither do I support denigrating anyone based on their beliefs. Like a close friend once mentioned, however well-educated a person might be, every bit of sense goes out the window if the topic of religion comes up. For a race which is considered highly intelligent and superior, I find it really contemptible that we fight over religion and borders. Especially considering the fact that both were created by man!

As of now, all I can do is hope that people (my classmates and lecturer included) start thinking and acting more sensibly. Maybe, someday soon, we’ll see a world with men who look beyond details like one’s faith and nationality.

 

Sometimes Parents Choose NOT To Talk…

When I opened up this page to type out a new post, I had a completely different topic in mind. I was dying to write about it. But then, there were some random blogs I had stumbled upon and thought I’d read them before writing the post. And while reading one such post, I was moved so much that I wanted to write about it right away!

The post I read – When A Mommy and Daddy Love Each Other Very Much – is by a journalism major, which is why I was drawn to the blog, in the first place (I have a thing for journalism, you see!). And when I read this post, I realized that I could relate to what she was talking about…they were so similar to what I felt regarding the issue. And the issue I’m talking about is sex/sex-education.

I DO NOT understand why sex is a taboo topic even now! Particularly, in a family (with special reference to Indian families)! When a kid enters teen/adolescent years or attains puberty, it is natural to be curious about sex. All of us have gone through the same phase. So, why do parents reproach kids for raising sex-related questions? Why are kids forbidden from talking out loud about it?

Frankly, I think parents and teachers are responsible for educating their children/students on sex. Because how much ever they try to deny or ignore it, sex is a part of our lives, part of our basic instincts. And kids, as part of growing up, can have a lot of wrong concepts about it…not to mention, a hell lot of curiosity! I knew a grown-up girl who actually believed kissing could get her pregnant…and trust me when I say I’ve heard worse! I don’t get it. Who else should be telling them the right concepts…their friends? Well, not that friends can’t do it right! Because it wasn’t from my parents or teachers or any elder that I learnt about it! Even though I’m no parent or authority on the subject, I’m doing what I can so that others don’t end up in the same situation. For instance, since I know my mom won’t be having this talk with my little sister, I do it. And she has complete freedom to ask me anything she wants to know. I might not know it all in entirety but atleast, I’m able to tell her what she needs to know!

It’s high time that parents and teachers tried to impart the necessary knowledge related to sex, particularly the need for safe sex, to teenagers. Because they need it. And it is, after all, your responsibility to guide them on the right path. And, NO, just sending them to school doesn’t ensure they are on the right path. The subjects they study at school aren’t helpful enough to prevent one of them from ending up with an unintentional pregnancy! Instead of letting them get all the wrong ideas and end up in trouble, take it on yourself to  give them the right kind of information. If you find it difficult to talk about, you could try asking someone else to talk to them, preferably someone the child is comfortable with. Or you could even try providing them with some useful books. Do what you can, in your own way. Don’t give yourself any opportunities to regret, later in life. I’m sure your child will thank you for it…maybe not right now, but, someday eventually, for sure! 🙂