From Delhi to Kathua

Two days back, a baby pigeon landed on my balcony, with injured wings. I tried to feed it and provide a shelter, but it didn’t come near me. I am a stranger for it. But I can see the parents of the pigeon through my window, always near to their baby, sometimes landing in my balcony to console the child. It makes me think about the parents of a girl in Kathua, who were searching for her everywhere for 8 days only to find the dead body of their daughter in a terribly abused state in the forest nearby.
People say that nothing has changed since Nirbhaya case of Delhi, but I have to disagree. A lot of things have changed since Nirbhaya Case and it is evident from the way the social and political organizations handled Kathua case.
When Nirbhaya Gangrape happened in Delhi and the society learned about the atrocities committed on her and the way the perpetrators behaved, there was a huge outcry. The people irrespective of their societal allegations condemned it and there were candle light marches everywhere in Delhi and protests at India Gate braving the water cannons of Delhi Police. A former justice of Supreme Court of India went to the protest site himself and joined hands with the protesters. There was no need for political heavy weights or even the surety that there will be sufficient people in the protests, to force people to come out and begin the protests. Everyone agreed the crime was a ghastly one and condemned the perpetrators alike.
I am not forgetting the single voices here and there, who were responding with ‘What was she doing at the odd hours in the bus station’, or ‘She was roaming around with the boyfriend and deserved this’ etc. But their numbers were very few and those few ‘nays’ was crowded out by the overwhelming ‘ayes’ from the society as a whole. Though the demands were, at times, too much unrealistic, the people of the country clearly showed the world and who ever cared to see that they have a soul and conscience.
This soul and conscience is what was lost in the past 5 years from our society when we see how the Kathua case is being handled by our society. A group of people came in support of the rapists and sloganeered for their release, the lawyers in the court tried to interrupt the proceedings of the court and the lawyer of the victim was threatened to withdraw from the case by her own fellow beings. Two ministers in the state from the party which is not only a part of state government, but also a part of the party which rules the centre lead the pro-rape faction of society. The people are still bargaining over the merits of raped against the rapists and vice versa. It took 3 days of intense media coverage for our Prime Minister to give a statement on the issue.
Yes, a lot has changed in the past 5 years and India of today is not the India which I loved so much and kept close to my heart always. The India I studied in school as a nation in making, where we were trying to integrate the nation, to build a common consciousness through our maxim of ‘Unity in Diversity’. That nation building has failed miserably if we have to know the cast and creed of criminals and victims before deciding which side has its merits.
I can see few people in the social media asking, ‘why only this case, why do not you protest against that rape case’. This case is one with very few parallels in the modern society with regard to the modus operandi of the crime as well as the savageness with which it was planned and committed. You cannot compare incomparable, you cannot generalise extremes. Mean, median and mode of extremities will never measure realistic tendencies. When issue at hand is extreme, trying to have a neutral middle stand is in itself the gravest sin. That’s why Dante’s said ‘The deepest part of hell is reserved for those who remain neutral at the time of moral crisis’.
Again I can see someone with a news article about the rape of a Hindu woman by 9 Muslims for 9 days. But I can’t see any Muslim organization that tried to interrupt the law or tried to even support the accused. Surely, It is a huge difference.
In case of Kathua Gang rape, if media is to be believed, the girl was kidnapped and drugged, kept in a village temple and gang raped repeatedly subsequently killed and disposed to terrorise the Bakarwal Muslims who migrate to this village every winter. It was part of a planned, chilling strategy to instill fear and drive the nomadic tribe out of the region by the Hindu Brahmins who normally live in the village. The signs of religious fanaticism and fundamentalism is evident from the charge sheet submitted in the court. I have seen people questioning the purpose of presenting the religion of victim and accused. When religion was the sole reason for atrocity, the religion has to be said. Ignoring the reality never makes better what had happened. When the crime was perpetrated based on identity the identity is a weapon and ignoring it is ignorance to the social realities.
But that doesn’t mean that all Hindus are rapists or all Muslims are victims. There are rapist Muslims, rapist Hindus , victim Hindus and victim Muslims as there is every sort of people in the society. However, while we cannot taint whole community for a few persons mistake, we shouldn’t forget that the communal identity was a factor in the crime and communal elements tried to use it to their advantage. The actual issue is that the ‘one nation-one religion’ theory put forward by Hindutva, including the terrible means to achieve it includes every barbarism of medieval era from lynching to rape. Unfortunately, this Hindutva takes form of much more lenient compassionate avatar when it is not strong enough and when it knows it may be condemned. This two faced Hindutva is a terrorising demon which every civilized human has to be afraid of.
The atrocities committed on the girl, the torture she suffered, is incomparable and all the systemic abrasions and deformations can’t be an excuse. The blatant violation of an 8 year old, with intentional malafide, to terrorise a community, to the extent of drugging her for a week and abusing her continuously, is beyond any type of human comprehension. Being a disproportionate crime, it requires a disproportionate response and please don’t compare it with the lack of response for other cases, because this case is much and much bigger in magnitude to other cases.
Tail End: I usually enjoy the arguments with people who have different ideological and political positions and viewpoints including in the social media. But I dont enjoy the debates and decided to unfriend anyone who comes up with argument in favour of the rapists, because those who support rapists are potential rapists and being close to them is risky. I prefer people who are normal and left with atleast a semblance of humanity in them.

Uniform Civil Code – Outside the Constitution

Please Read the Uniform Civil Code – The Constituent Assembly before reading this for a better understanding. This can be read as a stand-alone article also.

Based on constituent assembly debates, we can see that inclusion of Uniform Civil Code in DPSP was not a random event but by choice after considering all possibilities in the constituent assembly, and not only Muslims but others including Hindus had oppositions to it. But constituent assembly after due deliberations accepted it and most importantly, there were no uniform personal laws among any of the communities in India be it Hindus or Muslims and the prospect of UCC affected all, minorities and majorities alike.

Throughout India, preference for scriptural or customary laws varied, because, in many Hindu and Muslim communities, these were sometimes at conflict; such instances were present in communities like the Jats and the Dravidians. The Shudras, for instance, allowed widow remarriage—completely against to the scriptural Hindu law. The Judicial system during British Raj was leaning towards Brahmanical system as the official Hindu Custom, ignoring the other systems due to convenience as well as due to its wishes to appease the upper castes.

When it comes to Muslims, it is more surprising as the Muslim Personal Law (based on Sharia law), was never strictly enforced in India and had no uniformity in its application at lower courts. Hence, in practice, Muslim customs became often more discriminatory against women. Women, mainly in northern and western India, often were even restrained from property inheritance and dowry settlements allowed by Sharia. The Shariat law of 1937 stipulated that all Indian Muslims would be governed by Islamic laws on marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption, succession and inheritance putting an end to this.

The Hindu customs were more discriminatory against women as it deprived them of inheritance, remarriage and divorce and the situation of women especially that of Hindu widows and daughters were pathetic. Social reformers from Hindu religion forced the British to bring about changes in this. Thus reforming laws were passed which were beneficial to women like the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act of 1856, Married Women’s Property Act of 1923 and the Hindu Inheritance (Removal of Disabilities) Act, 1928, which in a significant move, permitted a Hindu woman’s right to property, for the first time.

The women associations in India like All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) were desperate about the need for equal status of women and they even criticised the male dominance in the constituent assembly as the reason for the delay in reforms.

In between, there was a Special Marriage (Amendment) Act passed in 1872 that allowed Hindus to go for a civil marriage by renouncing their religion and the right to property. Later this was amended in 1923 to allow marriage either under their personal law or under the act without renouncing their religion as well as retaining their succession rights and extended this to Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains.

The attempts for a Uniform Civil Code started immediately after the independence but was met with stiff opposition from Orthodoxy in Hindu as well as Muslim religions. While a majority of Muslim leaders opposed the reforms, Hindu opinion was divided and there were demands from women’s organisations in India. The government decided to use this opportunity to reform personal laws at the least for Hindus and moved the wishes for Uniform Civil Code to DPSP to ensure its implementation at a later time when the minorities can be convinced.

As Law Minister, B. R. Ambedkar was in charge of presenting the details of this bill and argumentum ad hominem against Ambedkar as he had severely criticised Hindu social structure to the level of abuse, did not help the matters either. Ambedkar’s frequent attack on the Hindu laws and dislike for the upper castes made him unpopular in the parliament.

Apart from that, the Hindu bill itself received much criticism and the main provisions opposed were those concerning monogamy, divorce and inheritance to daughters including the President of India. The fundamentalists called it “anti-Hindu” and “anti-Indian”, and to delay the Hindu Code Bill they demanded a uniform civil code.

Initially, the women members of the parliament, supported the fundamentalists, but reversed their position and backed the Hindu law reform as they realised that allying with the fundamentalists would cause a further setback to their rights in the long run. This was a huge morale booster for Nehru-Ambedkar team.

Due to all the opposition and controversies, Nehru hesitated to move further and it said that Ambedkar threatened Nehru with resignation to persuade him. Finally, a lesser version of Hindu code bill was passed by the parliament in 1956, in the form of four separate acts, the Hindu Marriage Act, Succession Act, Minority and Guardianship Act and Adoptions and Maintenance Act. It was decided to add the implementation of a uniform civil code in Article 44 of the Directive Principles of the Constitution.In 1954, The Special Marriage Act was also passed, to allow civil marriage to any citizen irrespective of religion, thus permitting any Indian to have their marriage outside the realm of any specific religious personal law without renouncing the religion. Under this act polygamy was illegal, and inheritance and succession would be governed by the Indian Succession Act, rather than the respective Muslim Personal Law. Divorce also would be governed by the secular law, and maintenance of a divorced wife would be along the lines set down in the civil law.

The controversy again was raked up during the Shah Bano Case. When Shah Bano aged 73 years was divorced by a triple talaq and was denied maintenance quoting Islamic Law, the honourable Supreme Court had to interfere and provide her with the rights based on the “maintenance of wives, children and parents” provision (Section 125) of the All India Criminal Code, which applied to all citizens irrespective of religion.

There were national level campaigns against the Supreme Court decision. To appease the Muslim minority and put an end to the controversies, the government under Rajiv Gandhi passed the Muslim Women’s (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act in 1986, which made Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code inapplicable to Muslim women.

The politicisation led to argument having two major sides: the Congress and Muslim conservatives versus the Hindu right-wing and the Left. We can see that the politicisation began as a delay tactic for Hindu Code Bill by Hindu fundamentalists and reached its peak in the argument against Shah Bano judgement by Muslim patriarchy.

Ironically, Muslim Personal laws as applied in India right now are “Anglo-Mohammadan” rather than solely Islamic and it is sometimes more regressive than the actual teachings of the Prophet and Quran. It even includes some provisions which are rejected by Islamic countries like triple Talaq. The clergy must be sticking to these laws to ensure their control over the community rather than for any religious reasons. Lower literacy rates in Muslims, lesser social awareness in Muslims and lesser political and social empowerment of Muslim women are the reasons for the continuance of this issue. The religion of Islam does not make it essential for a Muslim to follow the personal law word by word and there is enough scope for Muslim rituals to be practised within Uniform Civil Code off course without limiting the rights of women.

Politicisation and Uniform Civil Code identified as a Right Extremists agenda also created suspicion in the community. Now, we need the educated Muslims to stand up for equal rights, Muslim women to renounce clergy and demand Uniform Civil Code and the secular-minded people to educate as many Muslims as possible about the need for Uniform Civil Code. That is the only hope for an egalitarian society for Muslim women in India.

Uniform Civil Code – The Constituent Assembly

PART IV
DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
44. Uniform civil code for the citizens.-
The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.

A Civil law is a body of rules that delineate private rights and remedies, and govern disputes between individuals in such areas as contracts, property, and Family Law; different from criminal or public law. In India, we already have a set of civil laws. But personal laws are not included in this civil laws. Personal laws are parts of civil laws. Personal laws are distinguished from public law and cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance. In India, we have had different personal laws for different communities according to the customs and practices mandated by their religion and our Constitution makers wanted to change this.

The British, especially after 1857 was afraid of opposition from community leaders and refrained from interfering with the domestic sphere, though they had framed some personal laws for Hindus and Muslims. The demand for a uniform civil code was first put forward by women activists in the beginning of the twentieth century, with the objective of women’s rights, equality and secularism. The conditions of divorce, marriage and inheritance in all communities had its patriarchal design with more say for the men.

There was a demand for Uniform Civil Code from Prime Minister Nehru and women’s activists at the time of independence itself. But it was met with strong opposition in the constituent assembly. Mr Mohamad Ismail Sahib said, “Now the right to follow the personal law is part of the way of life of those people who are following such laws; it is part of their religion and part of their culture.” and he opposed any restriction on it except by choice of the individuals concerned. Mahboob Ali Baig Sahib Bahadur even said that the article should be for civil laws except for personal laws and from his speech in the constituent assembly he thought the framing committee made this article only for civil laws except for personal laws.

The article in DPSP was opposed not only by Muslims but also by other religious leaders including the Hindus. Some organisations even questioned the right of constituent assembly to regulate such matters. In the words of B. Pocker Sahib Bahadur, “Sir, just like many of you, I have received ever so many pamphlets which voice forth the feelings of the people in these matters. I am referring to many pamphlets which I have received from organisations other than Mussalmans, from organisations of the Hindus, who characterise such interference as most tyrannous. They even question, Sir, the right and the authority of this body to interfere with their rights from the constitutional point of view. They ask: Who are the members of this ConstituentAssembly who are contemplating to interfere with the religious rights and practices? Were they returned there on the issue as to whether they have got this right or not?Have they been returned by the various legislatures, the elections to which were fought out on these issues?”

But K M Munshi gave a balanced reply to these apprehensions presented in Constituent Assembly, “As regards Article 19(Current Article 25) the House accepted it and made it quite clear that-“Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or preclude the State from making any law (a) regulating or restricting”-I am omitting the unnecessary words-” or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practices; (b) for social welfare and reforms”. Therefore the House has already accepted the principle that if a religious practice followed so far covers a secular activity or falls within the field of social reform or social welfare, it would be open toParliament to make laws about it without infringing thisFundamental Right of a minority.
It must also be remembered that if this clause is not put in, it does not mean that the Parliament in future would have no right to enact a Civil Code. The only restriction to such a right would be article 19 and I have already pointed out that article 19, accepted by the House unanimously, permits legislation covering secular activities. The whole object of this article is that as and when the Parliament thinks proper or rather when the majority in the Parliament thinks proper an attempt may be made to unify the personal law of the country.”

He also said “I know there are many among Hindus who do not like a uniform Civil Code because they take the same view as the honourable Muslim Members who spoke last. They feel that the personal law of inheritance, succession etc. is really a part of their religion. If that were so, you can never give, for instance, equality to women. But you have already passed a Fundamental Right to that effect and you have an article here which lays down that there should be no discrimination against sex. Look at Hindu Law; you get any amount of discrimination against women; and if that is part of Hindu religion or Hindu religious practice, you cannot pass a single law which would elevate the position of Hindu women to that of men. Therefore, there is no reason why there should not be a civil code throughout the territory ofIndia.”

Mr K M Munshi also pointed out the presence of different personal laws in Hindus. “Take for instance the Hindus. We have the law of Mayukha applying in some parts of India; we have Mithakshara in others, and we have the law-Dayabagha inBengal. In this way, even the Hindus themselves have separate laws and most of our Provinces and States have started making separate Hindu law for themselves. Are we going to permit this piecemeal legislation on the ground that it affects the personal law of the country? It is therefore not merely a question of minorities but it also affects the majority.”

Ambedkar categorically rejected all the amendments because the amendments will dilute the essence of the article. He quoted examples to show that there is no uniform religious personal law among Muslims of India as claimed. ” My honourable friends have forgotten, that, apart from the North-West Frontier Province, up till 1937 in the rest of India, in various parts, such as the United Provinces, the Central Provinces and Bombay, the Muslims to a large extent were governed by the Hindu Law in the matter of succession. In order to bring them on the plane of uniformity with regard to the other Muslims who observed theShariat Law, the Legislature had to intervene in 1937 and to pass an enactment applying the Shariat Law to the rest ofIndia.
I am also informed by my friend, Shri Karunakara Menon, that in North Malabar the Marumakkathayam Law applied to all not only to Hindus but also to Muslims. It is to be remembered that the Marumakkathayam Law is a Matriarchalform of law and not a Patriarchal form of law.”

He also stated that the article is read in too much depth than wanted, as it is only a directive principle and not legally binding. The arguments were accepted by the constituent assembly of India.

So what I want to say is that 1)all possibilities were discussed in the constituent assembly, 2) not only Muslims but others including Hindus had oppositions to it, 3) but constituent assembly after due deliberations accepted it and most importantly, 4) there was no uniform personal laws among any of the communities in India be it Hindus or Muslims and the prospect of UCC affected all, minorities and majorities alike.

Also, read Uniform Civil Code – Outside the Constitution – A brief history of attempts to implement Uniform Civil Code and why it is opposed.

Neutrality is The Sin

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
Whether Dante Alighieri said it or John F Kennedy made it up in the name of Dante, It is a catchy phrase. It is also a strong warning to those who play safe by avoiding confrontation wrong doers of the world. It is a piece of philosophy repeated by many thinkers across many time.
On the way to my college in Calicut, on a bus stop at Eranhippalam, a statement from Vagbhatananda was displayed saying that “You should not rest as long as there is an injustice, fight restlessly”. I used to get inspiration from this quote every week, to continue my political crusade in the college. Jesus whipping the traders from Jerusalem Church, Prophet Mohammed saying that a Muslim is duty bound to speak out in favour of the truth and justice, even if it is to our own loved ones, all are examples of the same philosophy. When Krishna says to save the world from oppressors, I incarnate from time to time, same philosophy is exhibited.

Martin Niemöller’s poem categorically showcases the need for a response when a neighbour is attacked. Following the rise of Nazi’s to power, the German intellects had chosen silence when the government purged group after group. It was also an expression of his own guilt for not standing with Jews when execution started. He believed in Hitler’s ideology and was a Nazi supporter in the beginning, but changed his opinion after an imprisonment for opposing Nazis’ state control of the churches.

Now, India is going through a phase of lynchings. Upper casts find lynching the lower casts as a universal solution to their problems, Dalits lynch Upper casts to solve their issues, Hindus finds it easy to kill few Muslims to solve their problems. Those who are in the majority in an area find the presence of minorities irritating and want to eliminate them. It is not confined to a community or caste. It is there in every cast and community. Because India is a Hindu majority nation and the feudal patriarchal system of social relations ensure that certain communities and casts suffer more than others.

If everyone wants to kill others, it is due to rising intolerant attitude in the population. People are frustrated and disillusioned about the progress made by the humanity in the ongoing era. They are looking for a solution and are attracted to easy solutions like the Nazis. Nazis were satisfied that the reason for all their problems was defeat in First World War and that in turn was due to Jews. We forget that the problems of life and its solutions may not be so simple at times. It may be an interweaving of multiple factors playing at different levels.

I don’t think that the killings happening in India are state sponsored as some of the intellects want to say. It is neither encouraged by the state. State machinery was never used in the recent killings. State machinery never talked in favour of the killings.

But to add to this I cannot ignore the fact that State also does not discourage the killings considering the quantum in which a state is duty bound to discourage crime. The state machinery never acted promptly to ensure that the justice is ensured to the killed individuals. When Mohammed Akhlaq was beaten to death, the first debate was whether it is Beef or Mutton, as if there is no wrong in killing him if it were Beef. The meat sample was immediately sent to the laboratory for examination, while the case of murder was set aside for later. Many of the members of ruling party, including the members of legislature openly coming up with hate speech and threatening the peace and security of the nation, without any attempt to prosecute them as per law of the land.

Certainly, though the state and the government are not guilty of commission of any crime, it is guilty of omission for not doing its duty properly. There is a clear dereliction of duty entrusted by the Social Contract when people die and State is a silent observer.

Many of the intellects and the common men who are enjoying their life, without being bothered about the killings around them, not interested in the politics of killings and killings of politics, they are also to be compared to those cowards who fail to respond when his brethren is destroyed.

People who claim to be neutral are to be burnt in the hell of conscience for their cowardice because neutrality is a disguised malice. People mistake neutrality is a virtue, while it is actually a vice. People are confused between neutrality and impartiality. Impartiality is a judgement based on merit. It may not be a neutral position. An impartial person will lean to one side which has more merit according to him. But a neutral person keeps the same distance from right and wrong. A neutral person is actually promoting evil by being silent while an impartial person judges the merits and decides what is evil before questioning it.

The state is only as powerful as its people and if the people doesn’t rise against injustice around them, the state is hopeless and useless.

*Vagbhatananda (1885 – October 1939) was a social reformer in British India who found the Atmavidya Sangham, which was fundamentally a group of professionals and intellectuals who sought change.
*Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) was a German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known for his statement “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a Socialist. … Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.”

പ്രമുഖ നടന്റെ ഫേസ്‌ബുക്ക്

മലയാളത്തിലെ ഒരു പ്രമുഖ നടൻ അടുത്തിടെ ഫേസ്‌ബുക്കിൽ സജീവമായി. ലോകത്തു നടക്കുന്ന നല്ലതും  ചീത്തതും ആയ എന്തിനെ കുറിച്ചും ആധികാരികമായി അഭിപ്രായം പറയുക, അതിനു വരുന്ന പ്രതികരണങ്ങൾ ആസ്വദിക്കുക. വിവാദ വിഷയങ്ങളിൽ പ്രതികരിക്കുമ്പോൾ കൂടുതൽ ജനശ്രദ്ധ കിട്ടും എന്ന് മനസ്സിലാക്കിയ നടൻ പിന്നീട് വിവാദവിഷയങ്ങളിൽ കൂടുതൽ ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചു തുടങ്ങി. 400 ലൈക്കിൽ നിന്നു 4000 ലൈക്കിൽ നിന്നും 45000 ലൈക്കിലേക്കും എത്തിയപ്പോൾ അദ്ദേഹം മനസ്സിലാക്കി ജനങ്ങൾക്ക് ഉള്ളിന്റെയുള്ളിൽ ഒരു സ്ഥായിയായ ഭരണവിരുദ്ധ വികാരം ഉണ്ട്. അതു പൂർണ്ണമായും മുതലെടുക്കുന്ന വിമർശനങ്ങൾ കൂടുതൽ ജനശ്രദ്ധ പിടിച്ചു പറ്റും. വിമർശിക്കാൻ പുതിയതൊന്നും ഇല്ലെങ്കിലോ? നല്ല കാര്യങ്ങളുടെയും മോശം വശം ചികഞ്ഞെടുക്കുക,  അല്ലെങ്കിൽ എന്തെങ്കിലും മോശമാണ് എന്നു വരുത്തുക, വിമർശിക്കുക.

ആദ്യമേ തന്നെ പറയട്ടെ, ആൾ നല്ല കഴിവുള്ള, അഭിനയം കൊണ്ട് ജനശ്രദ്ധ പിടിച്ചുപറ്റിയ നടൻ ആണ്. അല്ലാതെ തട്ടിക്കൂട്ടും ഗുസ്തിയും അല്ല. എന്നിട്ടു പോലും ഫേസ്‌ബുക്ക് ലൈക്കുകൾ അദ്ദേഹത്തെ മോഹിപ്പിക്കുന്നു എന്നത് ഒരു അത്ഭുതം അല്ലെ? നമ്മുടെ എല്ലാവരുടെയും ഉള്ളിൽ പതുങ്ങിക്കിടക്കുന്ന ആത്‍മരതിയെ (Narcissism) പരിപോഷിപ്പിക്കുന്നു എന്നതാണ് എല്ലാ സാമൂഹിക മാധ്യമങ്ങളുടെയും വിജയരഹസ്യം. ഏത്ര പ്രശസ്തനായ വ്യക്തിക്കും ഒരു പിടി കൂടെ പ്രശസ്തനാവാനുള്ള ആഗ്രഹം, അതു മുതലെടുക്കുന്ന മാധ്യമങ്ങൾ.

ഞാൻ വസ്തുതപരാമല്ലാത്ത വിമർശനങ്ങളെ കുറിച്ചു മാത്രമാണ് ഈ അഭിപ്രായം പറയുന്നത്. പക്ഷെ, അങ്ങനെ വരുമ്പോൾ വസ്തുതാപരമായ തെറ്റു കരുതിക്കൂട്ടി വരുത്തിയതല്ല എന്നു ഉറപ്പ് വേണമല്ലോ. തെറ്റ് ചൂണ്ടിക്കാട്ടി ഞാൻ പ്രസ്തുത നടന്റെ പോസ്റ്റിൽ ഒരു കമന്റ് ഇട്ടു. കരുതിക്കൂട്ടി വരുത്തിയ തെറ്റല്ലെങ്കിൽ തിരുത്താൻ നമ്മൾ അവസരം കൊടുക്കണമല്ലോ. ഒരു മറുപടിയുമില്ല! തിരക്കുള്ള ആളല്ലേ, നമ്മുടെ കമന്റ് കണ്ടുകാണില്ല. നമ്മുടെ കമന്റിന് താഴെ നടന്റെ പോസ്റ്റിനെ പുകഴ്ത്തി ഒരു കമന്റ് വന്നു, കാര്യമായി ഒന്നുമില്ല. അങ്ങ് പറഞ്ഞതാണ് ശരി, അങ്ങ് മഹാനാണ് ലൈൻ. ഉടനെ വന്നു നടന്റെ ലൈക്ക്. അപ്പോൾ കാര്യം മനസ്സിലായി, കാണാത്തതല്ല, കാണണ്ട എന്നു തീരുമാനിച്ചതാണ്. 

ഉള്ള കാര്യം പറഞ്ഞാൽ പ്രസ്തുത നടനെ കുറ്റം പറഞ്ഞിട്ട് ഒരു കാര്യവുമില്ല. സമ്പദ്‌വ്യവസ്ഥയെ പറ്റി പോലും സാമ്പത്തിക വിദഗ്ദ്ധൻ പറയുന്നതിനെക്കാളും നമുക്ക് സ്വീകാര്യം വല്ല നടനോ, ക്രിക്കറ്റ് കളിക്കാരനോ പറയുന്നതാണ്. മഹാനടൻ ബ്ലോഗിൽ ഏഴുതുന്നത് സത്യവും വിഷയം പഠിച്ച അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര വിദഗ്ദ്ധൻ പറയുന്നത് തെറ്റും ആവുന്ന നാടാണിത്. ശ്രീജിത് മൂക്കൻ(വിശ്വ വിഖ്യാതമായ മൂക്ക്- ബഷീർ) വിഷയത്തെ പറ്റി എന്ത് പറഞ്ഞു എന്നതിന് വേണ്ടി കാതോർക്കുന്ന ഒരു ജനതയാണ് നമ്മൾ. 

ആദ്യമേ തന്നെ നമ്മൾ വിഷയത്തിൽ അവഗാഹം ഉള്ളവരുടെ അഭിപ്രായത്തിന് കൂടുതൽ വില കൊടുക്കാൻ പഠിക്കണം. ഒരു ക്രിക്കറ്റ് കളിക്കാരൻ, അയാൾ എത്ര നല്ല കളിക്കാരനാണെങ്കിലും ഒരു നല്ല രാഷ്ട്രീയക്കാരനോ, ഒരു അഭിനേതാവ് അയാൾ ഏത്ര നല്ല നാടൻ ആണെങ്കിലും ഒരു നല്ല സാമ്പത്തിക ശാസ്ത്രജ്ഞനോ ആവണം എന്നില്ല എന്നു നമ്മൾ മനസ്സിലാക്കണം. അവഗണിക്കേണ്ടത് അവഗണിക്കാനും സ്വീകരിക്കേണ്ടത് സ്വീകരിക്കാനും നമ്മൾ ശീ ലിക്കണം

Abuse – The weapon of weak…

I had been to a marriage recently where we were part of grooms side and bride’s side was attempting to win Jhoota chupai. Jhoota chupai is a game of hiding the groom’s shoes. Bride’s sisters and cousins try to hide the shoes of the groom which he has to remove while entering the mandap(sort of stage) for the ceremony. Groom has to pay a ransom to get it back after the marriage is over. We could successfully save the shoes and the bride’s cousins were after us to get it back. In the heights of despair, she started abusing us to provoke us and get the shoes. We remained cool and our groom’s side won the game.

Yes, abuse is a weapon used by the weak, when they are desperate to win a fight, but unfortunately have no chance to win as all the odds are against them, be it a game or a political debate. In a debate, if you are no more having the valid points to argue, you will resort to abuse, knowingly or unknowingly. You want to provoke the opponent and deviate him from the topic of debate to move on to the abuse and counter-abuse.

I have had made posts on controversial topics in social media. I try to be as objective as possible with my posts. I try to judge issues impartially(as much as my value premises allow me to) and take a stand. Some people because of their obvious dislike to my final standpoint starts arguing with me and sooner or later looks at my profile, identify me by my Muslim name, and resorts to abuse religion called Islam or start to abuse me personally. It may be low-level provocation like calling me an idiot (which I can’t complain because I have never tried to measure my intelligence and I am not sure that I am not an idiot) to calling me terrorist and even anti-national. Most of the time the abuse beyond a level doesn’t come through the post comments but through the inbox.

Some people, irrespective of the stand I take, are unhappy with my arguments and starts abusing me on that also. That was a case when I posted about Jallikkattu and said that there is no issue if it is a sport of racing, but it seldom is a harmless race in reality. But the antagonist focussed on the tortures on animals documented and was hell bent on finding a reason to abuse me and that was that I am a nonvegetarian and has no right to talk about animal rights. That’s where I realise that humans have an exceptional quality to see small mistakes while large positives are easily ignored(of course, including me).

I have seen abuse as a tool in political debates in news channels. When one among the participants comes up with exact statistics he can’t counter, he resorts to abuse. This technique is being used even by party spokespersons, and even some anchors who host the show.

One special case of corporate abuse is also there when the boss abuses the subordinates to hide his mistake and blame the subordinate for what went wrong.

Sometimes the abuses reach absurd levels showcasing the cultural turpitude of the abuser. The funniest aspect is that the abuser may be arguing for superior cultural values that were supposedly existing in his identity group and resort to showcase his cultural superiority by low-level abuses. It can even be used by refined, educated, social beings and those fine pristine prudent women.

These abuses stem from the inability to succeed by logical argument as I already pointed out and deserve to be ignored as there is no merit in answering them. If you decide to answer them, you will deviate from the topic of debate and will lead to a competition about who can be a better abuser. Budha had explained this to his disciples through and example. Once someone approached Budha while he was talking to his disciples and started abusing Budha. Budha just smiled and continued what he was doing. The intruder left after some time and a disciple asked Budha, why he didn’t reply the intruder. Budha asked a question. If someone comes to you with a gift and you didn’t accept it, to whom does the gift belongs? The disciple answered that it belongs to the donor as long as it is not accepted. Budha smiled and replied that same is the case with abuse.

Argumentum ad hominem is not something new. The fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of seeking to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument as a principle of argument was followed even in ancient Greece. Often the fallacy is characterised simply as a personal attack and in modern days it is willing to stoop to the lower levels of naming and shaming.

Maturity is also an ability to ignore what is to be ignored when it is to be ignored and ignoring those who deserve to be ignored.

Economic Reservations? 

Recently, it has become fashionable to demand discontinuation of current reservation policy in India. The advocates of this argument want us to believe that the reservation is a reason for backwardness in India and by reservation, we are choosing ineligible fools over eligible intelligentsia just because of their cast or religion. They also argue that this policy is being misused by the rich in the lower casts and there are more poor people in upper casts than lower castes currently. They suggest the economic reservation as the alternative to the existing policy where poor irrespective of cast enjoys the reservations.

Considering these arguments one by one, is there any basis for the argument that reservation is the cause of backwardness? Are social reservations existing in other countries, especially developed ones?

Such reservation policies are not exclusive to India. They exist in many other countries including the developed countries. For an example, you can take social reservations for Native Americans in the US. Native Americans were pushed to the periphery by migrations into the US during the medieval era. This resulted in the destruction of their culture, practices and livelihood. When modern man realised this, he introduced some reservation policies for Native Americans in education and healthcare. They even have a right to demand schools run by government funding in those areas where it is needed. If reservation didn’t pull the US down, why should it pull us down?

This argument is closely related to another fascist argument of racial superiority. They promote a worldview that a particular race, ethnicity, religion, social class, nation, or culture is superior to other variations of that trait, and it advocates that those who identify with it dominate, control and subjugate those who do not. This unscientific worldview negates the egalitarian distribution of opportunities and rights. If you want to understand how these two are related, you should have a closer look at statistics.

A survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) put the OBC population in the country at 40.94%, the SC population at 19.59%, ST population at 8.63% and the rest at 30.80%. More than two decades after implementation of Mandal commission report, which mandates 27 percent reservation for OBCs in central government jobs, an RTI data shows that less than 12 percent of employees of central government ministries, departments and statutory bodies are from other The situation classes (OBCs) as on January 1, 2015. Though there is 15% SC and 7.4% ST in government employment, 80% of these are distributed in the lowest class of employment. Hence we can see that the 30.8% of upper casts are employed in 66% of government posts even with reservations. Government job is just an example. The situation is much worse in other areas. How can we explain this disparity? Either it is due to the racial superiority of the upper casts or it is because of denial of equal opportunity to the lower casts.

It may also be noted that we are not picking absolute fools over intelligent people by the policy of reservation. If you carefully see the selection lists of candidates, it is just a difference of 1 or 2 percentage marks that differentiate between others and OBCs and may be a maximum of 3 or 4 percentage marks in case of SC and ST. They may be slightly slower in catching up but are not fools. If you add up the adverse situations from which many of them came up, they may be even more intelligent than the general category candidates who had access to more resources to ensure performance.

Coming to the second argument, is it being misused by the relatively well off in the backward classes. This argument is true. It is being misused. I had a classmate in my pre-degree days who had a scholarship for poor while her father and brothers worked abroad, but never sent money home by legal routes. So, what is the solution?

To solve this issue, we have to see why people tend to underreport their income. One cause is the need to pay tax. The tax slabs sometimes are not realistic and reduce the disposable income so much that advantages of better earnings are lost in tax. But that is a less relevant issue. The greatest issue I have seen is the complexity of procedures. To file an Income tax return, the person has to fill a form, which asks you about deductions under 80cc, 80c etc. Why we presume that the taxpayer should know the exact acts and rules under which he is getting a deduction. Instead, ask ‘how much do you pay as house rent?’, ‘how much amount is invested with LIC?’ etc. More people will willingly file ITR.

There are also some people who underreport the income deliberately for reservation benefits also. They are doing it because they know they will get a certificate for lower income from the authorities. They are also confident that they will never be caught. So it is also an issue with our faulty enforcement mechanisms.
One more issue is there. Being rich shouldn’t be a disqualification to the reservation in most of the cases. Reservation is not an economic tool designed for poor. That is the same reason why I reject economic reservations as a solution.

Those who suggest economic reservations are the fools who haven’t learnt their history, and whatever they learnt was only a bunch of words to score marks in the school tests.

First of all, reservation is not a poverty eradication scheme. It was instituted to correct the historical imbalance in the society due to which some classes were not given equal opportunity to compete with others. Education and health pass through the generations in a family due to the improved awareness coming with education. Upper casts had access to education even during medieval era while it was denied to lower classes and casts. This has lead to perpetual inability among them to compete equally. To provide equality of opportunity we are forced to grant some enabling conditions for socially backward classes and casts. It was in this context we came up with reservation policy as a temporary measure. But we had to extend it again and again because we haven’t yet succeeded in making them equal and our society truly egalitarian. Of course, it may not be easy to repair the damage of 5000 years in just less than hundred years. Those who are arguing for economic reservations is ignoring this entire history and thinking of reservations as a poverty eradication scheme.

Hence, we cannot abolish reservations anytime soon, though we may need to modify it a little here and there to make it more effective and efficient. Alas, the modification never includes the prospects of economic reservations.

വക്കീൽ സാബ്

വളരെ പണ്ട് ഒരു വക്കീൽ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു. വളരെ എന്നു പറഞ്ഞാൽ, അത്ര മുന്പൊന്നും അല്ല, ഒരു 20 -25 കൊല്ലം മുമ്പ്. ഞാൻ സ്‌കൂൾ വിദ്യാര്ഥിയായിരിക്കുമ്പോൾ. ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു എന്നല്ല, അദ്ദേഹം ഇപ്പോഴും ഉണ്ട്. അദ്ദേഹം അന്ന് ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു എന്നതിനേക്കാൾ അദ്ദേഹത്തിനോട് എനിക്ക് അന്ന് ഒരു പാട് ബഹുമാനം ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു എന്നാണ് ഞാൻ പറയേണ്ടിയിരുന്നത്. ബഹുമാനം എന്നു പറഞ്ഞാൽ വെറും ബഹുമാനം മാത്രമല്ല, ഒരു തരം വീരാരാധന. 

എന്റെ ഉറ്റ സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ അമ്മാവനാണ് കക്ഷി. അമ്മാവന്റെ വീരകഥകൾ കേൾക്കാതെ 30 ദിവസം തുടർച്ചയായി കടന്നു പോവുക അസംഭവ്യം ആണ്. തന്റെ വീട്ടിലേക്കുള്ള വഴി അടച്ചുകെട്ടിയ അയൽവാസിയുടെ വേലി രാത്രി പൊളിച്ചു മാറ്റുകയും, അതി രാവിലെ തന്നെ കോടതിയിൽ പോയി അതിർത്തിതർക്കം പറഞ്ഞു സ്റ്റേ വാങ്ങുകയും ചെയ്ത വക്കീൽ. കേസ് കഴിയുന്ന വരെ വേലി പൊളിഞ്ഞു തന്നെ കിടക്കും. പാവം അയൽവാസി. അയൽവാസിയുടെ പ്ലാവ് വെട്ടി കിണറ്റിൽ ഇട്ടിട്ട് അയാൾ അറിയുന്നതിനു മുൻപേ സ്റ്റേ വാങ്ങിയ വക്കീൽ… അങ്ങനെ അങ്ങനെ ഒരു പാട്…

നമ്മുടെ ഡാഡിയും വക്കീലാണെ. ഒരു സാഹസിക കൃത്യവും ചെയ്യാത്ത ബോറൻ വക്കീൽ. ചിലപ്പോൾ ഒക്കെ നമ്മുടെ വീട്ടിൽ ഉള്ള വക്കീൽ ഇത്തരം വീരകൃത്യങ്ങൾ ഒന്നും ചെയ്യാത്തതിൽ അത്ഭുതവും, കുറച്ചു അരിശവും തോന്നിയിരുന്നു.

ഇപ്പോൾ ഈ വക്കീലിനെ പറ്റി ഏഴുതാൻ എന്താണ് കാരണം എന്ന് പറയാം. ഇന്ന് അദ്ദേഹം കറ കളഞ്ഞ ഒരു ആർ എസ് എസ് അനുഭാവി ആണ്. സാമൂഹിക മാധ്യമങ്ങളിലെ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ പോസ്റ്റുകൾ ആണ് ഈ കുറിപ്പിന് കാരണം ആയത്.

കള്ളനോട്ട് കേസിൽ ഒരു യുവമോർച്ച പ്രവർത്തകൻ അറസ്റ്റിലായ വാർത്തക്ക് അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ മറുപടി പണ്ടെങ്ങോ ഒരു സിപിഎം പ്രവർത്തകൻ സമാന സംഭവത്തിൽ അറസ്റ്റിലായതിന്റെ പത്രവാർത്ത, മറ്റാരിൽ നിന്നോ ഷെയർ ചെയ്തതാണ്.

മറ്റൊരു തമാശ, ഇല്ലാത്ത ബീഫ് നിരോധനത്തിനെതിരെ പ്രതിഷേധിക്കുന്ന കമ്മ്യുണിസ്റ്റുകൾക്കുള്ള ട്രോൾ ആണ്. നിയമം അറിയാവുന്ന വക്കീലിനോട്, ഞാൻ എന്തിന് ഇന്ത്യൻ ഭരണഘടനയിലെ ഏഴാം അനുഛേദത്തെ കുറിച്ചും അധികാരവിഭജനത്തെ കുറിച്ചും എന്തു പറയാൻ. അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ മറ്റൊരു ന്യായം ക്യൂബയിൽ കന്നുകാലി വധം നിരോധിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട് എന്നതാണ്. ജനാധിപത്യ രാഷ്ട്രത്തിന് ഉത്തമ മാതൃക. അതിനു അവിടെ  തക്കതായ കാരണം എന്തെങ്കിലും ഉണ്ടോ ഇല്ലയോ എന്നതും അദ്ദേഹത്തിന് വിഷയം അല്ല.

എന്നാൽ ഈ കുറിപ്പിന് കാരണമായത് ഇതൊന്നുമല്ല. ഈയടുത്ത് കൊച്ചി മെട്രോ ഉൽഘാടന യാത്രയിലെ കുമ്മനത്തിന്റെ സാനിധ്യം ആണ്. ഇന്ത്യൻ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിയെ അദ്ദേഹം ബി ജെ പിയുടെ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി എന്നും, കേരള ഗവർണറെ ബിജെപിയുടെ ഗവർണർ എന്നും, കുമ്മനത്തിനെ ബിജെപി സംസ്ഥാന പ്രസിഡന്റ് എന്നും അടയാളപ്പെടുത്തി. ഇതിനിടയിൽ കേരള മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിയെ ആർക്കും വേണ്ടാത്ത മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി എന്നും അടയാളപ്പെടുത്തി. 

ചോദ്യം ഒന്ന്: തിരഞ്ഞെടുക്കപ്പെട്ട അധിക്കാരസ്ഥാനങ്ങളിൽ ഇരിക്കുന്ന ആളുകൾ അവരുടെ പാർട്ടിയെ മാത്രം ആണോ പ്രതിനിധീകരിക്കുന്നത്? ഭരണഘടനാ പദവികൾക്ക് രാഷ്ട്രീയം ഉണ്ടോ? സത്യത്തിൽ ആ യാത്രയിൽ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നത് ഇന്ത്യൻ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിയും, കേരള ഗവർണറും കേരള മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിയും അല്ലെ? കൂടെ ആർക്കും വേണ്ടാത്ത കുമ്മനവും…

ഉളുപ്പില്ലാതെ വലിഞ്ഞു കയറിയതല്ലേ എന്ന ചോദ്യത്തിന് അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ ഉത്തരം ഒരു മറുചോദ്യം ആയിരുന്നു. സി പി എം പോലീസ് എവിടെയായിരുന്നു എന്ന്.

ഇവിടെ ആണ് അടുത്ത ചോദ്യം: ബ്യുറോക്രസിക്ക് രാഷ്ട്രീയം ഉണ്ടോ? പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി പങ്കെടുക്കുന്ന പരിപാടിയുടെ സുരക്ഷാചുമതല എസ് പി ജിക്ക് ആണ് എന്ന് ഒരു വക്കീലിന് അറിയാതെ വരുമോ?

സത്യത്തിൽ ഈ വ്യക്തി ഒരു ഉദാഹരണം ആണ്. തീവ്രവാദത്തിലേക്ക് ആകൃഷ്ടരാവുന്ന യുവാക്കൾ അഭ്യസ്ത വിദ്യരാണല്ലോ എന്ന ചോദ്യത്തിന് ഉത്തരവും ആണ്. ഇസ്‌ലാമിക് സ്റ്റേറ്റ് ആകർഷിക്കുന്ന ആളുകളും, ആർ എസ് എസ് പോലെയുള്ള തീവ്രസ്വഭാവമുള്ള വലതുപക്ഷ സംഘടനകൾ ആകർഷിക്കുന്ന ആളുകളും ബുദ്ധിമാന്മാർ തന്നെയാണ്. എന്നാൽ മസ്തിഷ്കപ്രഷാളനത്തിന്റെ ഏതോ ഘട്ടത്തിൽ അവർ ഉദാത്തം എന്നു വിശ്വസിക്കുന്ന ഒന്നിന് വേണ്ടി തലച്ചോർ പണയം വെക്കുന്നു. പിന്നെ അവരുടെ വിദ്യാഭ്യാസവും ചിന്താശേഷിയും നിയന്ത്രിക്കുന്നത് അവരുടെ പ്രത്യയശാസ്ത്രം മാത്രമാണ്.

ഇത് ഒറ്റപ്പെട്ട ഒരു ഉദാഹരണം അല്ല. നാളെ ഞാനോ, നിങ്ങളോ ഈ അവസ്ഥയിൽ എത്താം. അതു കൊണ്ടു ആര് എന്തു  പുതിയ കാര്യം പറഞ്ഞാലും, രണ്ടു പ്രാവശ്യം ആലോചിച്ചതിനു ശേഷം മാത്രം അത് സ്വീകരിക്കുക. വീണ്ടും വീണ്ടും അതിന്റെ സാധ്യതകൾ ആരായുക. നൂറു ശതമാനം ഉറപ്പുള്ള കാര്യങ്ങൾ മാത്രം മറ്റൊരാളോടൊ, പൊതു സമൂഹത്തിലോ പറയുക.

Patriotism of Army

Let me begin with a question. Why would someone join the armed forces of his country?

The ultra-nationalists want to make you believe that people join the army because of pure patriotism. Those who want to live and die for the country join the army out of love for the nation. Is it true?

I cannot say it is wrong for all the people who are serving in the army. There are many people who join the forces out of nationalistic sentiments. Such incidents are more during the war time or during any types of aggressions when the existence of the nation is threatened. During peacetime, such applicants are comparatively less.

Most important reason people majority of people join the army is because they cannot find a better job. Many of the people who join the army are from rural background. They find this as an easy career choice where they can get a decent salary and perks of a government job with least education and competition. The lowest rank of sepoy gets a salary of around 25000 (Pay scale ₹5200-20200) including all allowances. Free liquor and duty-free purchases are added perks.

There are people who join army due to familial traditions. They take pride in the family tradition of being an officer in uniform. The admiration for superiors also may be a factor in play and everyone wants their son to be in a higher rank than themselves.  Son of a soldier wants his son to be a lieutenant, lieutenant wants his son to be a captain and so on.

There are some others who like adventures. Life in the army is adventurous and this thrill attracts some of the people. Some people want to enjoy killings also, just like some among us enjoy first person shooting games in computers.

So, ultimately what I want to say is that not everyone joins the army because of the high level of patriotism and urge to serve the nation. Different persons have different reasons for joining the army.

So is the character of armed forces personnel also. Our society has all sorts of people, good ones, bad ones, cheats, honest ones, crooked ones, egoistic megalomaniacs, emotional ones, empathetic ones, ambitious ones etc and etc. The army selected from our people reflects our society. It will also have all sorts of people.

What I wish to present here is that army is not an aggregate of all nationalism which is to be found in the country. Army and their sacrifice shouldn’t be an excuse for infringing individual rights by the state. The Army is just another institution of the government and too much emphasis on any institution is not a positive development in a democracy. In a mature democracy, any institution can be criticised and questioned, including the army. That is why some practices in the army and some abuses by the army is being questioned and there is a demand for withdrawal of draconian acts like AFSPA. Such demands should never be treated anti-national but should be considered as truly national as our country can advance only through questioning the existing practices, improvising the procedures and these criticisms are the first steps for a reform.

Ethics of Vegetarianism…

Isn’t it wrong to be a non-vegetarian? Killing animals, causing pain to them, and destroying a life. Isn’t it better to be a vegetarian?

Let us learn some science. Living things are divided into five kingdoms. The first kingdom consists of Bacterias and other similar organisms, the second is for some microscopic and unicellular organisms. The remaining three kingdoms are mushrooms and moulds, plants, and animals.

So killing a plant as well as mushrooms also causes the destruction of a life. Now if we are eating cereals like rice or wheat we are destroying hundreds of life every meal. Each grain of cereal is a seed capable of growing into a whole plant. If you analyse in depth, eating cereals is a much more grave crime as it is destroying a future generation by massive foeticide. The only thing remaining we can eat is fruits of the plants except for seed, if you can ensure that the seed is properly disposed of for germination.

There are more questions to be considered. If killing is a sin, aren’t we killing all the microorganisms while we are breathing in air? Aren’t we killing microbes when we are having fermented foods like curd?

It is filled with lots and lots of bacteria. Each teaspoon of curd you take in contains thousands if not lakhs of bacteria.

Leaving the loss of life, let us come to the sensation of pain. We know that animals have the sensation of pain and while killing them, they suffers. Do plants have a sensation of pain? Do microbes have a sensation of pain? Our knowledge is limited here.

If the pain is defined as a signal of present or impending tissue damage affected by a harmful stimulus, it is experienced by almost all multicellular organisms. Certain plants emit chemicals when their leaves are fed upon by insects that actually attract wasps that feed on those insects, or which signal other trees to boost production of anti-feeding chemicals. But, is it similar to the pain experienced by animals is still a question unanswered by modern science till today.

One reason for this dilemma is the absence of nervous system in plants, which delivers pain sensation in animals. But plants like Mimosa(Touch me not) is capable of transmitting the sensation of touch to entire plant within a few seconds even without a detectable nervous system. There are also some reports that the mimosa plant doesn’t respond to touch if sprayed with some anaesthetics like chloroform. But none of these studies is verified in depth. So the answer is still, we don’t know for sure. That is not only in the case of plants we’re only just beginning to learn exactly what a fetus can feel and when.

Still, there are chances that plants feel some sort of pain and if we don’t want to cause pain to anything, our chances of eating plants are also questionable.

Agriculture itself kill more number of organisms than those which are killed for food. Pesticides pollute the land, water and air, killing microbes, insects and even birds and fishes. Rats, and other rodents and sometimes even larger animals are killed to protect agricultural fields. The collateral damage of agriculture is much more than what you can ever imagine.

The environmental cost of meat production and cereal production are compared by some groups to argue that meat is less sustainable than plants. But, cultivation of rice also involves different agricultural activities which have environmental impacts mainly due to fossil fuels and agrochemical requirements as well as the methane emission associated with the fermentation of organic material in the flooded rice fields.

Recent studies by Trinity College show that rice agriculture becomes less climate-friendly as our atmosphere continues to change. This is important because rice paddies are one of the largest human sources of methane, and rice is the world’s second-most produced staple crop.

According to this study, more CO2 boosted emissions of methane from rice paddies, and second, higher temperatures caused a decline in rice yields. Hence agriculture becomes more and more unsustainable with global climate change while the issues related to animal husbandry is remaining more or less constant.  I am never trying to argue that the plant cultivation is more dangerous than animal farming, but trying to say though animal farming is harming the environment more, the difference is not huge as portrayed by some pro-vegan groups.

The continuous flooding of rice fields without an adequate drying period has negative effects on other chemical and biological processes within the soil which are not yet covered in detail by the studies.

Eating and being eaten relationship between species is a natural cycle which sustains the ecosystem. This cycle is not only essential for sustenance of every species but also essential for maintenance of the ecosystem. A properly maintained food chain is even essential for population maintenance of prey according to carrying capacity of the environment.

Considering all these facts, I cannot find any logical benefits of having more vegetarian diet as opposed to the non-vegetarian diet except maybe some emotional benefits. So I would like to reiterate that the debate should focus more on whether the diet we have is nutritionally balanced and adequate or not.