10 January 2007

SPEED 13 - ENVIRONMENT - FINAL SAY

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Mother Nature
Mother Earth
Mother Country
Mother Tongue
I have grown hearing that all my life
Mother is supreme, every one accepts that fact. But we let our mothers suffer and we don't let our mothers decide on our future.


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When ever you have time please click on the 'next blog' You'll find it on the top right.
Please check ten blogs at a time, and check their profiles.
This is what I found.
On the average 6 are females, 3 are males and one doesn't say anything and I assume it to be a female. So it is 7 females to 3 males for every ten blogs.


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Is it because women have nothing else to do ?
No, They have so much to say.
They have ideas, they want to be read they want to be heard
Are we listening to them ?


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Male domination is completely against the laws of nature.
That is why we are in a mess today, facing extinction, walking on a blood soaked earth, sitting on a pile of weapons of mass destruction that could wipe out all forms of life and make this planet unlivable.


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Ruth gives me a wonderful news. Michigan State University has two women presidents. I think we are moving in the right direction, we need more women who have the power to decide on our future.


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Evolution of human mind brought the end of slavery. Evolution of human mind accepted the importance of women. Today's man does not consider women as weak or inferior being. Today men are willing to give equal status to women. But it is not happening, largely due to wrong people sitting at the top who are very few in number but are most powerful.


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This is not a debate on who is superior or who is stronger.
This is a debate on management skills.


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HOW THINGS WENT WRONG

I have to apologise for some misinformation I gave in my earlier posts. The first humanoid appeared seven million years ago according to recent studies and not four million years as I had mentioned. The first human who could do the job of a football and boxing refree appeared four million years ago.
By that time the human race was male dominated.
The first blunder. Everything went wrong after that.
This is long before we created God and long before the first religion appeared.

We created the present God only some seven thousand years ago and the holy scriptures that appeared some three thousand years ago made the position of women still worse.


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This planet is run and managed entirely by the female species. A fact conveniently ignored by all major religions. Only we humans are male dominated.


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Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don't permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner- GOD Almighty.

You don't need a doctrate in theology to know who is behind such lunacy, the holy scriptures claim that those are the words of God.

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If Genesis is true, I would salute Eve for taking the risk of biting the genetically modified fruit of knowledge. (Yes God already made GM food in Paradise, not a very good news for our genetic engineers) I salute her again for being held responsible for bringing the downfall of man for throwing us in this exciting though misguided world.


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According to Hindu scriptures a woman has no right to education and is not supposed to touch or learn the holy scriptures, even if she belong to the highest cast.

Though Islam claims equality, the condition of women in Islamic world is pathetic. A woman priest in Islam is unthinkable
.


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You have heard about the controversy of women ordained as Catholic priests. The Cardinals the Popes don't like it for the reasons mentioned above.
Don't women have sense to deliver a sermon ?
I think they will do a better job on the pulpit saving human race from extinction. They have better ideas to remove poverty.


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This is an environmental issue. I have brought religion in to it becase most of the people of this world follow some faith or the other, and none of the faiths consider damaging the environment as a sin.

We humans have defied every law of nature, not the animals

Now please tell me who is better off, the female dominated animals or the male dominated humans ?

what ever problems animals or plants have, are caused by us humans. Human race is merrily singing its way towards extinction.


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A woman would scream at her neighbour but she will never jump in to her neighbour's yard with a dagger in her hand, this is something a man would do. A weapon is not in the list of her options, but she has always been submissive to a club weilding male humanoid who went about boinking every one who did not agree with him.

Is the fear of the club which made woman submissive ? perhaps it was.



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This was the scene long before religion came. Religion brought more bloodshed more wars. Not a woman's idea, they would have preferred to ignore or negotiate and avoid killing and bloodshed. Men had very poor management skills.
A club to a nuclear weapon, we have come a long way.
Its the same thing.
Things started going wrong from page one.
And the animals kept watching us with glee.
Believe me, all the animals would love to see us all go extinct.


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Perhaps it was the fear of the club which saw the beginning of poverty. Those who were the strong, grabbed the fertile lands out of greed and insecurity which still exists. Those who were weak were made to work as slaves to survive or forced to migrate. The strong and powerful needed labour, So the weak survived in poverty and slavery. Religion did not help.


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Until early 20th Century women were stripped naked and sold openly in the markets in African and Asian countries. None of the religions objected to the shamful practice, None of the religions condemned the slavery. God supported the rich and the powerful, the poor and the slaves were given dreams of freedom, dreams of life in paradise after death.they worked for God until they died.


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This is not how women would have wanted. But they had no say. They had no power.

"Yes, I am fond of history."

"I wish I were too. I read it a little as a duty, but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all -- it is very tiresome:" -Catherine Morland, in Northhangar Abbey (1803), by Jane Austen


With such a background in history How do you expect women to have equal status, if not domination ?
It was bad decisions right from day one. Because women had no say.


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"women’s physical weakness and the task of rearing children had placed them at a disadvantage and made it hard for them to compete with men. This disadvantage had been increased by the exclusion of women from knowledge, from work and from property ownership and political rights" - William Thompson


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Winds of change started blowing in the beginning of ninteenth century in Europe and England. Radical thought began in France.
Things started looking up.

I remember a very few names. Mary Walstonecroft, you'd love her biography,comes from a very interesting family, married Percy Shelly and Wrote Frankenstein, other name comes to my mind is Agusta Ada, the first one to write the first ever computer language at the age of 18, somewhere around 1830's, she was the daughter of lord Byron but she never met her father. Mary Ann Evens, though used a male pen name of George Elliot, had the courage to swim against the current.
There are many others like them who brought a wave of awakening.


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Opression of women in the west nearly has come to an end but independant thinking is still missing.
The situation remains the same in Asian and African countries. Women still work till death like slaves, Treatment of widows is pathetic in India. When old, they are abandoned by their own families.



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With widespread female infanticide (details of which are too shameful to write) only male child is prefered and pampered.


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Women are supposed to remain within the four walls of the husbands house until death. Only their dead body is supposed to come out. Some willingly remain within the four walls, this includes both Hindus and Muslims. They don't want any freedom, it is against their religion. Who wrote the religion and all the laws ? Well ! you can take a wild guess.


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Those who are allowed to come out, have their faces covered with a veil. This is the present situation in educated families as well.


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Women have been depicted in poor light right through the history and mythology.When gods can have multiple wives so can we. There are many godesses, but they wait on male gods. Men and women grow up with such myths. Such stories are considered as absolute truth by both men and women.
This is not history. It is still happening today in India
.


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Some realise the injustice and walk to freedom. There is a wave of freedom in urban areas, equality is a distant dream though, unthinkable in rural India, but they walk with confidence, not with fear.


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I do not ask for total domination, All I ask for is equal say for women in education agricultural and environmental issues at the local level.

Think local, please don't think global.

There would be no result if we do anything at the global level. Things will only go from bad to worse.


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There is no woman here in a village conference on farming issues in Karnataka. My friends here welcome the participation of women. After years of opression, women hesitate to come forward. They have ideas too. They will come out with unique but practical solutions. Most of the solutions end up on paper as unpractical.


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There are some women here in a village meet, but they are always out numbered by men.
Poverty is one major issue of environment. Religion or philosophy doesn't seem to solve it



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I don't see any revolutionary change if women emerge as world leaders. There was absolutely no help from leaders like Indira Gandhi, Margret Thatcher or Golda Meir. There are some coming up. But that would hardly make any difference. Entire system is sick.

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The rectification should begin from the local levels tackling only local issues, with women having deciding powers. It will take hundreds of years. But it will be good for the future of our children and our planet. Perhaps we would merge with the nature one day. We are completely alienated now.


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Took the picture of little girls praying in Sikkim 25 years ago, hope they are all happy and breathing in freedom today.
All my love

BLUNT KNIFE
WILDPIC

.

59 comments:

Anoop Saha said...

Amazing photographs and an excellent post.

Rauf said...

Thank you Mr. Saha, and thanks for linking this post. Hope the message gets across.

Anonymous said...

superb! well said! may wisdom prevail!

FOUR DINNERS said...

been a few nasty powerful women through history but generally absolute power doesn't seem to corrupt them in quite the same way it does males. mind you I know who's in charge in my house and it ain't me!!! - that's why I have such a happy life. fantastic pics as always.

Rauf said...

Marathon Post Magic eye, sorry for that, thought of splitting it in to two but decided against it as the flow would be lost. It is not a happy subject, thought of aborting it many times. Took refuge in the festivals that came in between, that gave me some time. suddenly decided after reading one of Ruth's post.

Thank you MagicEye, wisdom hasn't really helped so did religion and philosophy. I really wish we could join nature, I don't find right words, what I want to say is we are just using nature and we are not in it like the Animals.

Anonymous said...

nice photographs and an excellent point...

Rauf said...

Aaha! FOUR DINNERS, you are a happy man for various other reasons too. You are a product of natural selection going in the right direction. A great husband and a great Dad!!

Indira Gandhi misused her power a great deal and paid the price.
We had a highly corrupt local lady chief minister of our state of Tamil Nadu. She rectified herself and gave some good administration, but spent all her energy pouring venom at her opponents.
Can't say the same for Margret Thatcher. Being a tough lady doesn't really help. She was a woman with a man's mind.

Rauf said...

Thank you Madhat. I can see the atmosphere of change which is positive, but change itself hasn't really started. It will take hundreds of years for the human race to join back into the forces of nature. We have been alienated for most of the four million years. It will take some time. The launching pad has been created.

ruth said...

I feel breathless. On one hand, your voice gives so much joy and love, and the photos, well I just don't have words.

On the other hand, it is so miserable.

Do I have hope? Yes, I do. Listening to Nancy Pelosi yesterday talk about Pres. Bush as I've heard no one else have courage to do gives me hope. I hope she will be a good woman leader. She seems to be already. But after tonight's Bush speech, and what Congress decides to do, or can do, who knows? More war? More soldiers?

In India, with you there, and others who are compassionate toward women, things must change. Also, the pressures from the rest of the world, do you think that will help? As the world becomes more filled with good female leaders, and as women's rights are more commonly protected, will India succumb to this pressure?

Rauf said...

Ruth, These women don't want to change, defying what religion tells them is a sin.

'Serve your man you serve God'

all scriptures say the same. They don't want freedom. Women are deeply religious. That is the problem. Condition is worse in Islamic countries. Being submissive is an act of virtue and freedom means nothing to them. Free thinking is defying God.

My cousin's husband is a sweet guy, gave her all the freedom but she wouldn't take it. 'serving you is my faith' She threatened to walk out on him when he objected to her wearing a veil. Situation is very complex.

We are talking about three fourth of women population of the world. They are deeply influenced by their religion. So the original and unique line of thought that could come out of women is locked up for ever. It will not come out. Those unique ideas will be good for the future of human race.

Ruth, Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton is not good news. they are all the same. The presidents of Michigan state university is good news. Local woman county sherrif is good news. Woman chief of a local savings and loan bank is good news. And you Ruth, as an adviser and a guide for English Department is good news. Nothing has changed so far, we just have an atmosphere of change. Change will come. It has to start at local levels all over the world.

The huge dam built by religion to stagnate rich and unique thinking of women has to break. It will break. I have hopes on you Ruth.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm...:)
enlightening post. i will be back to read it again, but so well presented.

Rauf said...

Thank you so much Mystic Rose, I need your contribution and your point of view, its very important to me.

ruth said...

I know too well how religion binds women. My father was a Baptist minister, and my mother submitted to him and the Church and Christ utterly. She was a talented concert pianist who also wrote music. She had a teaching master's from Columbia University. She was a genius, and I mean that literally. Yet she was not allowed to be a leader in the church. It is idiotic.

I respect your opinion, dear Rauf, but I disagree with you about women like Pelosi and Clinton not making a difference. They may not make a big difference in politics as usual. Where they will and are making a difference is as role models for young women and girls. Girls see them and think it is normal now for women to be leaders. That is incredibly important, as ideas are formed at a young age. Image is vital for changing the way people think.

Rauf said...

Dear Ruth, I fully agree with you, yes such ladies can be a role model not only for young women but for young men as well. Unfortunately with extreme ignorance in rural India, the only people they look up to are the movie stars. these unfortunate people blindly believe in myths and blindly believe what they watch on the cinema screen as truth.

What a pity Ruth, it is such a loss for the Church and its members, your mother could have led the congregation to a better understanding. Since most of the people of this world follow some faith or the other, religion has an important role to play. Women priest would guide them in the right direction and not misguide them as it is happening in most cases. I have never heard of a Hindu woman priest too. I have heard and read only about zen masters. I have read about only one woman zen student who disfigured her face because she was getting additional attention as she was very beautiful.

Edith said...

Hi Rauf you really are a genius with a camera and you certainly have an eye for the situations. There is something I quite can't figure out though. There are a number of pictures showing happy faces. Thinking about their situation as humans they should look sad. Explain to me please, are they looking happy because they were taking photographs of? Or do they think they have a happy life? I am quite pussled. Edith.

ruth said...

Of course you are right, women leaders are role models for boys and young men also. All of us embody gender-less mirrors to every other human.

Rauf said...

Thank you Ruth,
Its such a marathon post, i realised how long it is just now.

Rauf said...

Dear Edith,
I just add pictures in between a very long post, it becomes easy to read short paragraphs under a picture. It is difficult to read one long and lengthy post and no one has time for it. Some pictures may not be relevant.

Thank you for bringing this subject up.

We humans have committed lot of blunders in the past. One of them is imposing our ideas on the natives who in our view are very unfortunate people. they are not.
They are happy as they are.
We think we are more civilised than others, this is a very gross gross gross misconception. We have stuffed democracy down the throats of very unwilling people thinking it is good for them. blunders after blunders and we never learn.

There is a great deal of joy and contentment in rural India. I may wonder why these people consider movie stars as gods. How ignorant of them ! I am not doing much with my knowledge. They are a lot better off, may not be materially. They are happy as they are. They have already reached a state of bliss which I am yet to achieve. They are much superior to me. I may be educated, carrying a camera and an iPOD which doesn't make me any superior to them.

I have mentioned that women stay within four walls till they die, perhaps they are happy. What I am hoping is not a change in their lifestyle and traditions, I am just hoping that rural women be given a voice. We need their ideas and suggestions. Women are deeply religious, they don't come forward to participate or to protest on any issue. Yes they have suffered the opression. But things are changing. the situation was same until last century in the Europe as well.

--Sunrise-- said...

The photos in here were so powerful for me... reminded me of my home, sweet home... seeing all these women clad in their traditional clothing, going about their dailys lives, not pausing to think, question and reflect...

Oh. You are making me miss home !

Are all these pictures by you? And are you really 58, if you don't mind my asking?

~ Sunrise.

Rauf said...

No I don't mind your asking --Sunrise-- I turned 59 three days ago. I saw the number 58 there and I was a bit surprised as there are 58 pictures in this post, only yesterday I counted them all, what madness ! I was wondering why I posted 58 pictures, some are relevant some are not, but they are all like puntuation or a pause in between the text to make it easier to read. This post is not about pictures. There is a message and some questions.

Yes I clicked all those pictures, I am trying to compile my pictures in Flickr under different subjects, so that my blog friends can use them without seeking my permission.

Welcome to Daylight again -Sunrise-

Anonymous said...

Dearest Rauf

A daring post. A labor of love, undoubtedly.
The pictures speaking volumes about women. About how you view women, society.

- Your words resonate as being so right when you fault religion for the status of women around the world. It has kept a lot us in the Stone Age...
Obviously, it is not biology that has ruled, as it is only in the third month of gestation that the fetus' gender "evolves" from the female to male.
All fetuses are female for the first three months - how is that for a reality check!?
The story should read: Adam was made from the ribs of Eve...

- Native American’s belief (religion?) is completely nature based. At this moment, it is the only one that holds any interest/appeal for me. Their entire culture revolves around being in harmony with nature. I would like to familiarize myself with it even further.

- It is the role of leaders to affect changes by example. Only then (walking the talk, as we say over here), will the masses follow. It took one man to implement an idea, to take a chance in his beliefs, he got the Nobel “Peace” Prize last year: Muhammad Yunus - one small step can bring on profound changes to the lives of many…

- On the topic of priests… Now and then I attend a very progressive church in our area – more for social reasons, than any other. The minister/pastor is a woman, a gay woman. (I ONLY know, because someone had told me before hand. Although, I have no prejudice in this, I was not quiet sure how I was going to react to the entire thing)
I must say, that if I had to describe what a “priest should be”, it would be impossible not to think of her. She shows those qualities desirable in a spiritual/social/community leader in all fronts.

- A lot of lip service is given to “mothers” as you also stated – here in the west, particularly in the US and Canada women/mothers are – in my opinion – going through an identity crisis, brought on by the natural backlash of an ill-conceived (or gone awry) “women’s liberation movement” that failed to take into account that it was not only about liberating women, but also liberating our children, our future generations (female AND male)
Time to go back to the drawing board.

Thank you for giving your time and skills to promote awareness and give opportunity to dialogue.

Many blessings, lots of love and warm hugs to you my friend

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what has happened here... I be happy if you accept my apologies and one, the last one of the posted comments - which by the way - NONE show on the blog.

Chinna said...

nice pics rauf. particularly the goat-herd and the one in the backwaters in a boat.

i think the debate should move to how we can choose sensible leaders and then get them to make sensible decisions once in power!

we should move away from the confrontationist man vs woman, state vs state, religion vs religion ... which is the real enemy.

Edith said...

Hi Rauf, thank you so much for your answer to my question. It was very satisfactory to read your view. One shouldn't force foreign habbits on people. It confuses and make life insecure. Thanks again.
By the way, I have my own webside now
http://edith.kjaersweb.dk

Claudia said...

Thought provoking post, Rauf. Local government and NGOs have a very high percentage of women in them, certainly much higher than central governments. While I believe the world desperately needs more women in strategic and powerful places (Hillary Clinton as USA president, Angela Merkel as Germany's Chancellor, Segole Royal as French president) I also know that as long as hardcore capitalism dominates the world the system can't change much. In my view religion and God are (and have always been) too often used to cover up much more materialistic motives.
As always, I loved your photos. I particularly liked Lord Boo's.
All the best for you.

L.L. Barkat said...

Astonishing pictures... you take my breath away!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rauf!
I enjoyed reading and the most watching today these wonderful pics.
I clicked only on the next 5 blogs as you suggested and found 4 was femeles, 1 mele. And I found one interesting blog (femele)for improve my English. Thanks for this suggestion.
I'll be back to read more this interesting and controversial post.
(scrolling to the comment section takes too much time)

Peace and Love!

Rauf said...

Thank you dearest Angeldust for all the trouble you had to take to post your comment. i think I'll have to switch to Google soon.

Native Americans' confused state is a good example. they were considered uncivilised and we dumped our values on them, they had their own which were considered inferior, all done in good faith, but we only suceeded in taking away their identity and now we are trying to give it back to them. They perhaps don't know what to do. Any way they sold the Manhattan island for 24 dollars.
This has happened in India too. most of the tribals who were living in accordance with nature have lost their identity.

It is a female foetus first. Thank you Angeldust for reminding me.
Adam from eve's ribs is a bit hard for the priests to digest. I am glad about the woman priest. But her personal life matters most here
as she is addressing a couple of hundred people who take her word as truth. A priest's word carries more weight than a doctor's. She has to keep her record clean, there is no problem if the members of the church accept her for what she is. there is no point of her being a priest if the members don't believe what she says.
I have watched some very smooth talking priests or evangelists on TV, they stink of money, surprisingly people fall for their words. It is a very powerful position and this position is often misused than used. women would use this position carefully because women are closer to nature.
that is why we say mother earth, mother nature. Ten woman priests can do what ten thousand environmentalists cannot do. That is why I place importance to women priests despite the fact that I have no faith. I will not waste my time listening to any priest, man or a woman. But we are on the brink of extinction. Priests can help making people aware much faster and with a greater effect.
They are not doing it now as damaging or tampering with the nature is not a sin in any faith.
Love and Hugs Angeldust

Rauf said...

chinna, the foundation was wrong. And on the wrong foundations human race went on adding floors of different designs and different architects. Now we find that the whole structure is unsafe. not to mention the WMDs placed in every other floor. We have to rebuild the whole structure with new foundation.

there is no confrontation of any religion or country. the entire human race is at fault. Chinna just imagine an alien attack, the entire human race would forget the differences and fight together.
Still its not too late. We can bring about changes before the planet becomes unlivable. Actually I don't believe myself saying that the priests specially woman priests are the best candidates for flashing the red light.
Only you and i will not listen to any priest Chinna but millions would listen to them. In India movie stars enjoy such a power.
Bipasha Basu can save the human race here.

Rauf said...

Thank you Edith for the site address, I'll update my links soon. I'll be free to visit all my reader's blogs in a couple of days. just a little bit of pending work and have to spend a day with a friend of mine.

Rauf said...

Thank you dear Claudia, I was very skeptical about women leaders at global level as we don't have a pleasant history of them. I had to change my view after reading Ruth's comment. That is why reader's contribution is so important to me. Yes They can influence young minds. More over we are a much open minded society this century than the last perhaps ten times more aware.

Women members in NOG's andd local government is a very positive step, they have to slowly climb up the ladder. It will take time. Hope rest of the world follows the trend, the day is not far, I am very hopeful. thank you so much for your contribution Claudia.

Rauf said...

Claudia, forgot about the picture you mentioned, I honestly envy your power of obervation, this proves my point doesn't it ?

It is indeed Lord Boo. Took the picture when she came to see me on the day she left for England, we both were very sad. We are in touch almost everyday.

Rauf said...

Thank you Mr. Barkath. the post is about something else.

Rauf said...

Hi Krystyna !
Thank you for checking. That makes 80%? Any way, we need not go into statistic, I am not fanatical about proving my point. You can always guide and correct me if I give any wrong information.

Blogging or any platform would be used well by women, they have so much to say. They were not allowed to all these years. Only 2% of Indian population has touched a keyboard. I wish Rural women in India and in rest of the world are given similar platform to express themselves.

I understand your desire to improve your English. Yes, there are spelling and grammatical errors in your comment.

Krystyna, you too prove my point. You have expressed your point so well without hesitation. You have succeeded in communicating and getting your point across, which is more important than command over any language. Please feel free to express your views, they are important to me. I really don't care about the language or spellings. My language is poor too and my spellings are horrible.
I understand English is not your 'MOTHER' tongue. not mine too, you are doing great Krystyna.
there is always a room for improvement.

I am sorry the post is too long and
its a very long journey to the bottom of the page to post comments. You said that without hesitation Krystyna. That is really great. Thank you so much.

Cari said...

Rauf -

Photos were beautiful

Thank you for this post. It helped rekindle
hope for a brighter future for women ...

I hope this world sees their potential and worth
too ...

Rauf said...

Thank you Caroline, You are a young mother, you have all the love and and giving in you, I know the all sacrifices you had to make.
I close my eyes and wish you well Caroline. Wish you the best of nature always.

Anonymous said...

rauf ji,
you know, in the indian scriptures it also says, where the women are worshipped, there the gods reside.
I think if you leave aside the spiritual part of this message(since you are a non-believer), its quite common sense, since the amount of security that flows from that kind of love and respect, is really nurturing, and women are, I beleive the gentler creation, to alrge extent we create the fabric of society, not just by our presence and contribution but also as the ones who raise children, and I htink in that kind of environemnt, it is eaiser to provide a balanced and loving setting for them. It makes a huge impact on society.

Everyhting has its negatives and positives, partly if you look at it, the purdah and all that came into existence more in the north, especialy after the moghuls arrived. It was to protect the women..and I think it needs ot be viewed as such. If the moral fabric of the indian society is so well structured, and the kids are in general intelligent and balanced, constructive I think the credit goes to the women of India. In many ways, we've had role models laid out of r us in the Indian texts. So were role models laid out for men.

perhaps as you say, part of it is dominance and suppression, I've seen it both ways, I've seen women from the so-called lower classes, who refuse ot do anything immoral(or what they consider worng) simply because thier husbands are doing it. For them, the thinking was very easy..let hin go on the wrong path if he wants to, I stand by my dharma and it has always captured my heart..the simple reasoning. and they tolerate also simply because they have to hold the faily together.
Imagine how it would be if the wife said oh, he is going wayward..let me also do it...sometimes sophistication can be such a head ache :))

Yes, then there is the cae os abuse and sufering it simply because we cannot think of any other way of supporting ourselves.

I do believe, although well intentioned, ( just as how the castes came into being such a rigid structure) the social structure and rules and traditions made women the weaker and more abused gender in general in India.

But it also depennds on the upbringing rauf ji. I f a boy is taught to respect women in general, or he sees his own mother suffering, I think he grows up to be more sensitive and gentle.
In our own family, I've conme to realsie as I observed my parents and grandparents and close relatives and comparing to my friends' not a word was ever said in a strong or aggressive tone. Women were very well educated even before it was the norm. I rememrb one of my Uncles who was posted as the Chief Commisioner of Police in the city we were living. He was there for a bout three years I think. And during that time, the orders were issued that not one woman was to be stopped for routine traffic checks, etc. I remember trainee cadets were posted at all bus stops to deter eve teasing, my friends were simply amazed, but for me it was not that unusual. All of my uncles and cousins were and still are like that. But now Im beginning ot realise why the difference has occured.


just a bunch of thoughts, but I agree with you entirely. I just wish the male population in India could be educated about how to treat women with respect.

and perhaps I will do a post on this. :) thanks for inspiring me to think.

Rauf said...

What a contribution Mystic Rose, can't thank you enough. I always adopt a very harsh and blunt approach but my blog friends like you have made me civilised and made me change my views many times.

I will talk only about India in this response to your comment Mystic Rose.
Today men treat women as their equals with respect, Indian constitution guarentees equal rights. This is largely due to the evolution of human mind.

More than half the seats both in public and private buses in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are reserved for women and children, they have a seperate entrance.
There are seperate ladies coaches in Indian Railways. It was very good to see police posted where the ladies coaches stop in suburban railway stations. The police gives the signal that all women have boarded safe, then goes the signal of the guard. This is a recent development.

I understand women wear purdah or ghoonghat for protection
from whom ? It shows an element of fear.
this practice has history.
It is a shame on the society if it can't provide safe atmosphere for women.


With all the freedom guarenteed women still don't come forward to participate in local issues. Today men welcome the participation of women. After thousands of years of opression women hesitate to come forward.
So I have to go in to why things went wrong. Had to discuss the foundation on which today's society stands.

Mystic Rose kindly allow me to give you some quotes from the vedas and shastras. Since children read this blog and the comments, I have selected only those which are not gory and obscene..


Treating women as unequal. Women, that is, even women belonging to Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya varna are not entitled to upanayan and the study of the Vedas. For them, marriage is equivalent to upanayan and service of their husbands is equivalent to the study of the Vedas in the gurukul.[37] Even if the husband is morally degraded, engaged in an affair with another woman and is devoid of knowledge and other qualities, the wife must treat him like a god. [38] A widower is allowed to remarry but a widow is not. [39] Besides, women are not considered fit for being free and independent. They are to be protected in their childhood by father, in youth by husband and in old age by son. [40] They should never be allowed by their guardians to act independently. [41] A woman must never do anything even inside her home without the consent of her father, husband and son respectively. [42] She must remain in control of her father in childhood, of husband in youth and of son after the death of her husband. [43]

So much so, that for begetting a son, 'Vedas' prescribe a special ritual called 'Punsawan sanskar' (a ceremony performed during third month of pregnancy). During the ceremony it is prayed:

"Almighty God, you have created this womb. Women may be born somewhere else but sons should be born from this womb" - Atharva Ved 6/11/3

"O Husband protect the son to be born. Do not make him a women" - Atharva Ved 2/3/23

In 'Shatpath Puran (shatpath Brahman)' a sonless women has been termed as unfortunate
"Lord Inder himself has said that woman has very little intelligence. She cannot be thaught" - Rig Ved 8/33/17
There cannot be any friendship with a women. Her heart is more cruel than heyna" - Rig Ved 10/95/15
'Yajur Ved (Taitriya Sanhita)'m- "Womens code says that the women are withouth energy. They should not get a share in property. Even to the wicked they speak in feeble manner" - Yajur Ved 6/5/8/2

Shatpath Puran, preachings of the 'Yajur Veda' clubs women, with 'shudras' (untouchables), dogs, crows together and says falsehood, sin and gloom remain integrated in them. (14/1/1/31)


Last year on a similar post my friends asked why am I beating a dead horse ?
The fact is opression of women still continues in India. with all the legislations against it, female infanticide is still in practiced in most educated families.

There's a lot more Mystic rose, I have lots of stories too, my experiences.

India lives in villages. They form the bulk of Indian population. Hope one day women pick up the courage to speak out.

Anonymous said...

rauf ji,
I totally agree with you on all this, part of the reason why women dont participate or appear apathetic to their own condition is perhaps the tradtiion has been too strong. it will perhaps take another genration for that to disappear to a certain extent.

and regarding the veda, yes, this is strange..but this is not necessarily the vedas, its is the shastras, many things have been added later on,dictated by men in power ofcourse. and in history you will see a lot of women have held powr and have been respected for their expertise in their fields. but this, i guess comes from an enlightened society via the rulers. in south indian hindu cultures, if you see, (or atleast ive seen) there's alot of respect for the mother and other women in the family. maybe not be across the whole society.

But still, i agree with you totally about hte present state of women..but the main theme being suppression and dominance, there were other subthemes , undercurrents that lead to this.

one thing we have to consider is samayaanuchaar, that is, a person hwo was in power religiously or politicially may hvae done something that suited those ages and then it gets carried blindly over and over.

Take the instance of muslmim women and marriges for instance. prophet mohammed had said that each man is 'allowed' to take upto five wives..the reason? because of the wars, and the carnage the ratio of men to women was so very low and it would have been wiser then, even in pov of women, to allow this. it is necessary to follow the biological rhythms of the body, and women find fulfillment in marriage and raising thier families, etc. but that was then...

i think people need to start using their brains and see what is beneficial for them and what is not. and discard anything, in terms of traditions or rules of society that is harmful or goes against compassion and peace.

even if someone is a religious person, he needs to realise that this brain, the intellect and the wisdom are God given and it would be an insult ot not use them..and if he suffers, because of this, then the blame lies entirely at his own door step. But in htose times, the common man needed to be extraordinarily brave and ffol hardy as well, to defy the conventions.
Not anymore, there's enough protection n most of the countires for people to choose their way of life.

Nice discussion rauf ji. I enjoy it. :)

Anonymous said...

but you know, rauf ji, when i read your post and read all the postive changes that have been made,I feel very happy and hopeful. That's an issue that is dear to me, and the photos are very nice..all the children with their bright eyes.

Rauf said...

You are putting me under pressure by calling me rauf ji, I am not a serious person Mystic Rose. I may sound bitter and angry in my blogs. One big pointless goof I am. I shock people with my goofs and stupidity. Now my favourite pastime is chatting with kids who have suddenly grown up have email IDs and send me all kinds of funny stuff online. I love it. I get funny greetings every day. I spend a lot of time with children.

Rauf said...

Mystic Rose, there is one particular high cast community in Kerala where daughters get all the property. Women run the show. I'll get the details.

I collected the vedic quotes from various sites, some of verses were quite obscene, but they were not from hate religion sites. One was on Manu shastra. thank goodness they are not followed now, but the society stands on such a foundation. they are not dead yet.
recent case of Sati shocked the world. The site of Sati, called Sati sthal was worshopped. It is still alive. Yes all the shastras were written to suit that particular time.

Thank you for reminding me about multiple wives Islam allows. I completely forgot about it. This is one case of religion being misused. The situation was different 1400 years ago. Most of the people were either labourers or traders. They had to travel from place to place riding on camels. It used to take weeks or months to reach a place, and a year to get back home. In such cases having wives at different places was allowed. But today it is invalid. You have breakfast in Madras lunch in Bombay tea in Delhi and get back home the same day. Religion has to evolve according to changing times. But unfortunately Islam is refusing to evolve.

Worst enemy of women is woman herself. This is one big stumbling block in women's progress Mystic Rose. It is women who insist on female infanticide. It is the mother in law who insists on a son.( All communities, Hindus Muslims Christians alike) It is women who demand a dowry. Daughter in law always has to face the atrocities of her mother in law. Situation is so complex in India. There are pros and cons of joint families breaking up. Things are looking up.
but the attitude towards a girl child is not changing. This is my personal opinion and obervation. There's a big celeberation and fanfare when a son is born, but not much for a daughter. i have seen people crying when a third daughter was born. I get very angry and have made a fool of myself protesting on many occasions.

Anonymous said...

That's true,, esp the last para that you've written, but here I think we need patience, the situation right now is better than it was a couple of generatons ago, and will continue getting better, esp as more and more girls are educated. but in the meantime, things like this will continue to happen. But Im glad you protest, maybe enough people do...

But yes, there's still a lot of effort to be put in. its a matter of educating the current generationas those who are too old are too set in their ways.

I wont say ji anymore if you odnt like it :))

Rauf said...

Mystic Rose, My friend Nancy furnished this information

Nairs followed Marumakkathayam (Matrilineal) system of inheritance. It is exceptional in the sense that it was one of the few traditional systems that gave women liberty, and right to property. Under this system, women enjoyed respect, prestige and power

In some Nair families, the children carry the last name of their mother instead of the father, and are considered part of the mother's family, and not the father's. Nairs connect to and trace their lineage to a tharavadu - not to a member of the family. Tharavadu names are quite an important element of social reckoning - though decreasing in importance these days. The Kerala rulers also followed the Marumakkathayam system.

Thank you Nancy

Anonymous said...

Hi Rauf!
"We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes people proud. But love builds them up.
-"Those who think they know something still don't know as they should". - from Bible.
All the best to you!

Rauf said...

Hi Krystyna !
the Essential function of knowledge is to make us aware of our ignorance and not to make us proud.

Anonymous said...

whoa whoa... Rauf, this is one powerful post. I see so much frustration in here and i know why. I have a lot to comment on this, but will cut it short for the risk of being called a male chauvnist, which you know i am not. I have always been in favor of women's liberation and rights.

I know no one is perfect. Neither men nor women. Each have their strengths and weaknesses. Men are physically strong and women are mentally strong. It is all a matter of understanding what one can offer to the other person instead of demanding something right out of the box. One should accept others weakness and offer their strengths to strike a balance. I have mentioned this a coupla times in my previous comments on your blog that the root cause of all these behavioural issues lies in the way one is raised. Kids look up to their parents and do exactly what the parents do thinking it is the right for them. If the father is a ego-centric male chauvnist, there is no doubt the son will grow up to be the same and treat women the same way. It is the parents responsibility to make sure the child learns the right thing and differentiate between right and wrong and to respect everyone. I dont have any kids yet, but i know exactly what i would teach them when the time is right.

I agree with most things you have mentioned in your post, but i think it shows only one side of the coin. I would tend to disagree a little bit on the domination part. It is not just the men who dominate, there are women who dominate too. Women have misused power in the past and ruined things. Take bangladesh for example. Two women fighting against each other for power, so much that they have set the country in a backwards direction. You are right about Indra Gandhi too. I dont know if having more women leaders is going to make this world a better place but i see them emerding at a furious pace now. There have been a lot of women in power in the past. To name a few women currently in power... the chancellor of germany, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the president of philippines, the president of Chile and the rest click here for more

Women who can create families and keep them integrated can also ruin and destroy them. Whether the reason be a dominating mother-in-law, a scheming daughter-in-law or a mistress, I have seen families crumble and disintegrate. Women are as much responsible for the downfall of culture and civilization as much as men are. The difference lies in individual perceptions and how one looks at it.

I know some men play gods to their wives and treat them like dirt and physically abuse them. The Dowry Harassment law was passed in india to make sure that oppressed women get justice. Unfortunately, this law is being twisted and badly misused by the women to settle scores and seek revenge, not justice. It has become a money making business in some parts of the country where the money transactions amount up to several lakhs. Everyone is involved in this business, right from the cops to the members of the judicial system making a mockery of the law.

We all make mistakes. When men do, they are put up on the altar, grilled, stoned and dealt with the harshest punishment. When women make mistakes, and if they happen to be pretty and beautiful, they are usually let go with a softer form of punishment or none at all. This has been proved so many times. I have seen this all the time growing up and i still see it.


Take care Rauf and a Happy new year to you. Thanks for posting Boo's photo. I miss her lots!
P.S: I hope you have settled comfortably in your new house and are in a good health. Dont want you to fall sick as you are pretty careless in taking care of yourself.

-me

Rauf said...

Aamir, hope things are fine, Sl Sr Dad, your mom dad are fine too.

Going out early in the morning to the Chengleput side villages for Mattu pongal I'll come back and write

Thanks so much Aamir. My love to SL Sr and Dad, No news from Boo
lots of love

Anonymous said...

Just lost all my writing this time...

But, thank you dear Rauf (and Mystic Rose) for having given me the opportunity to read your wonderful exchange.

Will have to come back and finish reading every last word.

Love and hugs

Rauf said...

Aamir, I agree with you completely,
I wanted to add all that in the post but it already had become too long. Its a long journey down to the comments link. Then I thought I would add that in the comments and concentrated more on How things went wrong and the foundation on which our society stands now. I have added most of it in response to Mystic Rose's comments. (Women themselves being the enemies of women) Except mine (not me but my father) all the other famililies I know are dominated by women. But I turned out to be quite different from my father, I am a big pain in a different way for my sisters when I fail to contact and inform them of my whereabouts. I go to such remote areas from where i cannot contact them. Even Boo is always worried about me and advises me like my grand mother, I call her my naani. I've been a big pain for sweet Boo as well. Now there's has not been much fighting since she is very busy.

I have seen domestic violence in my house, not physical but mental torture. Now its history, my mom and dad both no more. This change in attitude is recent, I mean from the later half of 20th century. This is a positive change.

Had some fun in the villages watching Mattu pongal, couldn't wait for more celeberations as it was getting dark. Went to Chengleput and my friend Jawahar took me to surrounding villages on his bike. I heard every one complaining that things are not as they used to be, now no one has time for Mattu pongal, they all go to the cities to have fun. And half the families have migrated to the city to work as labourers to escape starvation.

Long time pending is Indian farming post which will come next and after that I'll post Mattu Pongal pictures.
My love to you SL Sr
Take care Aamir.

Rauf said...

Oh Angeldust,
the response from my readers has always opened my windows letting in fresh air. Their contributions are most valuable to me. I feel lot richer now, I am so thankful to them for spending their time to think and contribute their perspective adding another dimention to the post. Without their contribution this blog has no life.

Love and Hugs

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post Rauf. I agree and disagree with it though. My mom once told me that men may think they are in charge, but it is the woman who raises the boy who becomes the man. I have also known a lot of women in my time that were much meaner then men when it comes to revenge or dealing with hurtful situations. I personally feel that women and men need to come together as equals. Both sexes have wonderful traits that would make a powerful presence if they could stand hand in hand on equal footing.

I always enjoy reading about all religions. All have their failings, and strong points. I have not read though the part of the Christian bible you quoted.

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write this post. The entire post is wonderful. I loved the pics.

Mysti

Rauf said...

Mysti, This blog became too long, so i couldn't add many details. But I have added them in response to the comments. What you say is quite true. Worst enemies of women are women themselves. Situation in India is pretty bad. Its mostly women who participate and practice social evils. On the other hand they get a raw deal from the society in rural India.

Anonymous said...

wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!i am speechless!!!super cool!!!!i guess i keep saying thz!!!

Rauf said...

Thanks vinay, but this post is not about pictures.

Anonymous said...

Amazing and very thought provoking post. Thanks:)

Anonymous said...

I might not "completely" agree with your comments, but awesome photos..

monsoon-dreams said...

raufeepa,
i was searching for this post,and i found it:-) yes rapoot,ladies are better administators than males,i too think so.if women could get rid of the inferiority complex thrust on them by the society over the years,they'd make this world a better place to live in.have a good day,raufeeda

Ruth said...

Ahh, rauf, I just re-read this, after a year and a half. Well I think I've read it since Jan. 2007 a time or two. In light of my post yesterday at sync, I came back to read, also after Gwen's post and you reminding me of your solution here.

I'm beginning to see through your eyes, Abi. You've been a good teacher since I first came here in April 2006. My eyes are a little clearer today than they were then. I kiss your feet, Abi. I mean that, I am in awe of your eyesight.