Remembering Rapes and Rain on Vijaydashmi 2013

Today is Vijaydashmi.

My greetings.

This Vijaydashmi has many peculiarities. First the thunderstorm two days ago. We woke up with lightning and heavy showers. For a long time we have not seen so much thunder and lightning. By luck nothing was struck by lightning. At least nothing is in news, so luck is presumed. But the rain in October is very rare.

Rain in October.

Second peculiarity is that it had rained in October last year too. Just before Vijaydashmi or Dashahra.
Vijaydashmi literally means ‘tenth day of victory’. Actually it should be and is meant to be the ‘the tenth day in the Calender when victory occurred’. Today is tenth day of month of ‘Ashwin’ in the year 2069 of Vikrami Calender. Vijaydashmi is celebrated every year on the 10th day of this month. Generally it falls on some day in October to early November. It is a day of victory over evil. Continue reading

Enigma of hurt, anger and violence!

Emotional hurt.

Physical hurt is, ordinarily, a temporary affair. The pain finds a plateau and subsides. Emotional hurt is like skeletons in an empty box. A blow of air, a shift in pace or a stumble on a perceived step, anything can cause carrion to rattle. Hurt turns inward as despair or depression. Hurt, when reflects outwardly, it is an anger for catharsis. That is good part of it, if there is anything good in it. The worse is that cinder of hurt keeps burning inside charcoal of despair or depression and looks for next opportunity of catharsis by anger or violence. What causes emotional hurt? People? Society? Illogical people? Injustice? Illness? Failure (whatever that means to an individual)? Physical deformity? Other’s success (whatever that means to an individual)? Other’s failure?

Continue reading

Violent students on shoot out spree! Why?

Newtown in 1906

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Violence in educated people particularly students is a very serious matter. Adolescent age is the age of rebel. The newly acquired identity seeks protection by rebelling against known authority. Hormones do not help. Attention seeking behavior adds to the problems of adolescent. While adolescent age passes by, the habits acquired in this period do not part company easily. Children are raised in a pattern of military discipline, in schools, right from the Kinder Garden. Teachers often forget the human sensitiveness in their zeal to maintain school discipline. Matters get worse when the distinction between school and home is blurred for the purpose of discipline. Inside every mind are dark valleys of pain and dispair over disappointments over un-achieved results which everyone expects. A young lad keeping to himself, not mingling with his friends or having friends is a sure sign that he is drifting to the dark valleys of mind. Once in that valley, no relationship matters for pain overwhelms. For a parent killed by such an offspring, it becomes the last ignorant mistake in parenthood. The second last being the training to handle such weapon with dexterity.

Newtown in Connecticut is a small town with an area of 60 miles but population of less than thirty thousand and average household income of about $111000. It is also birthplace of famous game Scrabble. As regards Crime, the statistics for 2010 are as under:

Violent Crime      1
Rape                2
Robbery             3
Property Crime      248
Burglary            52
Motor Vehicle Theft 5
Larceny-theft       223

The above crime list shows one thing that people are not violent as the violent Crime is non-existent. In the face of above this is the news report, which was on front page of newspapers in India, as well:

A young gunman killed his mother and 25 other people, including 20 children, when he went on a shooting rampage inside US school, before turning the gun on himself, in one of the deadliest such incidents witnessed in the country.
The shooter whose act of firing indiscriminately at students and staff left the Connecticut city of Newtown shocked and paralyzed was identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
He first shot and killed his mother and then shot 20 students in the classroom before killing himself inside the school.
The incident occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown city of Connecticut state.
Lanza came dressed in all black carrying two guns. He opened fire first at the school’s office, then in his mother’s kindergarten class, according to news reports.” (Source:

It is time that we reconsider our need for discipline with the need for co-operation. There is complete lack of teaching for co-existence. Individuality has touched a new low in which personal feelings have precedence over community or parents or any other living being.
We must acknowledge that young people, do not understand transient nature of frustration and commit by taking drastic violent action in a very trivial matter. USA has a piquant position. Right to bear arm is a constitutional right. Controlling availability of arms has not been easy. It never will be. Killing in games, movies, TV and where not, has made it painless experience which is not true. Position is not very different in India, even though number of such incidence of violence are few and number of casualties have rarely passed beyond one or two. But one thing can not be denied that young alone can not be blamed. Educational Institution also can not escape its responsibility. Unless channel of communication is broken, hope keeps frustration lingering. Respect for life what to speak of human life is stooping low.

Full facts have not surfaced yet. Small Towns are often more private than they appear to be. If schools are not safe, no place is. But it is a time that some mechanism may be brought into existence to study all such cases of violence and shoot outs and to recommend changes, which must be implemented even if it requires drastic changes in our way of living.


Added on 17 Dec. 2012:

The 21st Century religion called psychiatry is biggest hindrance. They think that by making few cosmetic changes they can discipline people. Here discipline is part of problem. What we need is to live and demonstrate a compassionate way of life based on co-existance. We should get rid of the 18th Century, violence based mentality and make a new beginning.
It appears that mother was shot dead by the son at home and then he headed to school in her mother’s car to finish little toddlers. The inhuman behaviour is explained by inhuman or violent way of life. It appears that mother was a gun enthusiast who owned five registered guns in her name and perhaps she taught her son how to shoot which resulted in precise shooting killing everyone who came in the way.
Any person who considers shooting by gun a sport, is barbaric. This is the problem. No one will admit to be a barbarian. Hence there shall be no solution to the problem which is hypocrisy.

Added on 22 Dec. 2012:
This is the picture of a school building with all its grandeur. On 18th December a 17-year-old boy studying in class XI jumped off the roof of this school building, due to his poor performance in the exams. Teacher had no clue. Nor can she have when there are 50 students in the class. Education with minimum interaction. What a loss of life. What a shame. Suicide is no different from killing. It is violence with self.

modern convent school sector 3 dwarka delhi

© Sandeep Bhalla

Lost history and meaning of Vegetarianism in Hinduism and in West!

Definition of Vegetarian

In ordinary parlance any body who confines himself to a diet which excludes animal flesh or body parts is vegetarian. An extreme form of vegetarianism may involve complete abstinence from animal products i.e. Milk and eggs etc. as well. Not to use dead animal’s skin for footwear or other body wear may also be part of oral vegetarian practice. Vegetarianism is essentially a way of life which involves least violence.

Non-violence and least violence

Non-violence may be nearest translation of the Sanskrit/Hindi word “Ahinsa” (also spelled as Ahimsa) but that is not correct definition any more. In reality it is difficult to find true vegetarian. To understand this dichotomy, we should dwell on “Non-violence”, a little more.

Gandhian non-violence

The Non-Violence is of course an English word but it became a translation when Gandhi started Civil Disobedience and Quit India Movement against the English Rule on the principle what he called was Ahimsa. That was a political movement and not religious or spiritual movement. It was the determination of Gandhi, who as a leader would dare the English Police to arrest him, for that he and his followers would not accept foreign rule and thus disobey every order. Even the order to vacate the street. People would sit down or even lie down on the street in support. Now this movement for freedom was non-violent in the sense that Gandhi and people following would suffer injury from the arms of English Police but would not retaliate or attack physically. But as history tells us it had a far worse retaliation on the psyche of the attacker. Now with all due respect, it was not a Non-violence. It was Non-Retaliation. Even if we assume that it was Non-violence, then it had nothing to do with vegetarianism. Wikipedia and everybody got it completely wrong. To understand the ahimsa and true non-violence or vegetarianism, we have to dwell deeper into the matter. Continue reading

Military Kinder Garden

Spirit of competition.

It was a bright and sunny winter morning. We were strolling in the Garden, basking ourselves in floating golden rays when we noticed those toddlers. About ten of them. They were hardly more than 5 years in age. Their faces bright. Their eyes curious with all the new adventure of a strange place. A Garden with green grass and trees that were touching the sky. Flowers blooming around to inform arrival of springs. They were part of a group. They were lead by two young ladies who appeared to be their teachers or instructors. They were from some nearby play school. First they were made to sit in two parallel lanes very wide apart so as to create resemblance of an audience with an arena between them. Soon two kids were picked up to race in the middle. And the race begun. One would feel the joy of winning and other the disgrace of loser. The life begin with its worst side. Could it not wait a little longer? Few more years, perhaps.

Training toddlers.

Above incident generated a curiosity and after some research the only conclusion which could be reached was that all present day schools owe its ancestry to army training schools.
In India the earliest known education institution was Gurukul. Young children aged about 10 years were sent to jungle where the family guru or teacher would teach them the art of fighting with and without weapons besides other things like morality, religion and language etc. till the age of 25. But this arrangement was for Princes and elite only. Common man was not permitted. Read the story of Eklavya for that.

Martial law.

In China the ancient Martial Arts schools vouch for the fact that these were earliest known education institutions.
In ancient civilisations like Roman and Greek, the earliest known mass training was for wars strategy only. Fine arts like philosophy, writing or craft were matters of personal learning rather individual skills.

Training for living and co-existence.

The present day schools are nothing less than military schools. They tell everything about fight and strength. About chasing and winning. About team spirit for selfish win. There is not even a whisper about LIVING and CO-EXISTENCE. At best some lessons of morality and charity are added to make curriculum less cruel but overall the education only creates good soldiers for Corporations to fight their marketing wars if the students survive the violence in schools and on the street.

Students’ violence.

The surprise is that in this scenario people are wondering about causes of violence. Shoot out in schools or by students is more of a routine. One student killing another over mundane things like facebook posting is reality not just news. It also reflect the stress from competition.

A society which has defined individuality as right to snatch from weak, can not live in peace. It has to live with the painful consequences.

Just another lazy thought on lazy Sunday.