Rules!


I used to be a rebel against any sort of authority a couple of years ago, but I guess I’ve changed since then. I guess it’s just another form of passivity, nothing more.

Or maybe it’s that since I’ve turned eighteen, I’ve become more mature and yada yada yada [mom’d guffaw at that] and understand the reason behind the rules [stop that, ma!], or maybe it’s just that I hate neo-pseudo-rebel movies like Rang De Basanti where people are shown breaking rules for a supposedly worthy cause.

Or I’m peeved with Shobhaa De’s and Antara Dev Sen’s irritating pieces on the Jaimala episode. For the uninitiated, there’s this retired [and here, I mean re-ally-tired] starlet who confessed lately to the Sabarimala Temple authorities that she’s the woman who entered the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple twenty years ago. And she did so because there was some ritual performed in which the God himself listed out the things he was displeased with, one of which was that a woman had entered the shrine [it happens to be off-limits for women] twenty years ago.

There has been an outpouring of support for this woman from women activists who say she did nothing wrong, women need God more than men, to hell with these antiquated rules and such things that they reserve to say when one of those high-profile women seem to be in the line of fire.

I agree there’s heck lot of discrimination against women. And also that there are people who take the ‘women-are-not-pure’ piece of crap thing too far, like a godman who once cursed a little girl who happened to touch his feet. But hell, the temple has some rules. The basis behind which most people are not well-versed with. These protestors are so very ignorant that they oppose something they don’t know much about, without even bothering to understand it.

This incident reminded me of another at the Bangalore Club a few years back. This Club is, I guess, slightly exclusivist or something like that, and has a huge Raj hangover. It has a formals-only dress code, I suppose, for one Bangalore University professor or some intellectual big-shot in Bangalore happened to be denied entry when he tried to attend some event there in a dhoti.

This guy went to the media and made a big hoo-haa out of it. And how! “This attire is fine enough for me to give a lecture at <wow-sounding phoren university name>, but is inappropriate for the Bangalore club!”

That really had people reeling. The media lapped it all up: the topic for People Power segment in the Sunday paper was ‘Do we still need to stick with Raj rules’ [or something to that effect, I don’t recall it too well].

What people forgot is that the rules have been framed with specific objectives [in the case of Bangalore Club, was it ‘Locals keep out’?]in mind. Which most people stay ignorant of. There may be a thousand and one situations where the rule might not be appropriate, but they are insufficient for the million more situations which can get out of hand if not for these rules.

‘Rules are meant to be broken’ sounds great on TV and in the movies and from Roark, but doesn’t hold well for a society that’s striving to achieve high standards of discipline and tolerance. If the rules seem to have gotten obsolete, it’s time to give them a rethink. Arbitrary breaking of rules may be done to cause an effect to sensationalize that the rule might have become obsolete, but isn’t the right way to go at all. There are better ways to go about changing the rules, and there needs to be a good system to do THAT, if there isn’t already.

‘Coz breaking the rules shouldn’t become the rule.

Talking of rules, just another week until I get back to that curfew’d hostel where girls are prohibited from wandering around after 9 PM. No, I wouldn’t dream of breaking that one, it’s for my own protection – At exactly 8:59:59 PM everyday, the campus turns unsafe for girls – So unsafe that the Watch-n-Ward officer, the entire security force of the college, S’kal Police, the Deans, the Professors, Assistant Professors, Lecturers, Wardens and entire student population are powerless enough to be unable to defend us against the Force of Evil that emerges just to harm us four hundred or so girls.  

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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18 Responses to Rules!

  1. theG says:

    that hostel rule is evil i say!! 😛
    i do not agree roark broke the rules, he went against the norms but he was always within his rights. read the book again!

  2. Aravind says:

    The 9 PM deadline’s senseless! Girls have too many such crappy restrictions here… 😦

  3. Aravind says:

    *I’m no feminist!*

  4. CB says:

    ‘But hell, the temple has some rules. The basis behind which most people are not well-versed with’
    Exactly! Why don’t people understand this?!

  5. Malaveeka says:

    I’m sure it’s wrong to break them rules and stuff…

    but some rules are just insane…

    ‘The basis behind which most people are not well-versed with’

    Whaat’s with this rule?

    The basis is umpurity…

    the same impurity that helps in propogation of this race…

    seriously….

  6. mutiny says:

    Nice blog guys. NIT is the new name for REC?

  7. mutiny says:

    Just added you guys to the blogroll of The Great Indian Mutiny (www.mutiny.in)
    drop us an e-mail (jacob23@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining us.

  8. wanderlust says:

    @TheG:
    contextual gaffe, i admit. but you’ve got to admit that blowing up a building isnt exactly within the laws.
    @malaveeka:
    i suppose there _is_ a bigger reason behind it, one which i am too lazy to research. just like women are not allowed into crematoriums and burial grounds ‘coz they are the ones that bring life into this world, and they shouldn’t lose faith in life and living. that’s a good reason. valid enough or not, i dont know.
    anyway, this issue is just blown out of proportion to take attention off the other findings which are that God is displaced with the stench of alcohol around the place, the filth there and the misappropriation of funds.
    @mutiny:
    thanks, and yes, nitk was formerly known as krec.

  9. randomwalker says:

    Rules, when formed in-order to make things easier are fine by everyone. For eg : Keep left while driving on *Non-US-based* roads.

    What pisses people off is – arbit jacks coming up with a set of rules and trying to impose them on everyone claiming them to be *rules of nature*. As if mommy-nature whispered these rules into their ears.

    Question: Are rules subject to change? If yes, ain’t the protest by the womens group just an attempt to seek one such change, i.e. if we set aside the underlying motive of gaining publicity?

  10. wanderlust says:

    if it is an attempt to seek change, why aren’t they consulting or atleast attmepting to consult with the authorities in charge of those rules, or learning something more about those ‘nonsensical’ rules to check if they really do have a basis, or doing something other than just writing crap about it? and no, with such bad writing and bad reasoning, they can’t be gathering support and sympathy.
    why arent people protesting against women not being allowed to enter [some] mosques, in that case?
    what im saying is, don’t BREAK rules, change them.

    ps: rules are rules….. it’s laws that are debatable….. we use the two terms pretty interchangeably.

  11. what im saying is, don’t BREAK rules, change them. … Couldn’t agree more … Good post !

  12. randomwalker says:

    >>what im saying is, don’t BREAK rules, change them.
    Echo.

  13. the Monk says:

    Oh, [i]that[/i] Raj. And me thinking it had something to do with everybody’s favourite dead superstar.

  14. Jayanth says:

    don’t BREAK rules, change them

    How do you know when its time for change? when someone like jaimala breaks them! I mean, today we have women priests, while ten years ago it was unthinkable. It’s only when someone does something against the rules that we can have a healthy debate about it!

  15. wanderlust says:

    @jayanth:
    it makes me cringe that it’s come down to someone saying that. breaking the rules is just a prelude to a state of anarchy. what you say might hold good maybe in the case of the civil disobedience movement or the dandi march, not in jaimala’s case. and that’s coz she never had womens lib in mind when she entered the temple, or that such a rule was unfair. mind you, back then, the rules about the temple werent really strict.
    and there were no strict rules against women priests to be broken!

    what really takes the cake about this whole episode is that people make such a hue and cry about one small shrine in a corner of the country while there are many many temples open to all… like not many people seem to have heard of mel maruvatthur where there is a shrine where women are allowed at any damn time of the year, no holds barred. and how many people know that sabarimala is open to men of all religions?

    rules are meant for people… not the other way ’round. so any damn system without a redressal mechanism doesnt make sense.
    and the redressal mechanism does NOT include a window to break rules.

  16. Dushy says:

    Priya!
    If I have never come across a line in the Vedas which prohibits Women from getting into Temples.Hence Sabarimala is no exception.
    Besides this one should understand that if anything were a written statement it could be pondered over.But if it were a superstition-made-tradition it cannot be.
    “Yasyam yasyam dishi viharathe devi drishtisvadheyam”

  17. Anjaan says:

    ur a funny girl.. lol..
    had me rolling with laughter… hahahahaaha

  18. wanderlust says:

    wow! that certainly is a compliment, coming from you!

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