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.