Noble animals

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Source : Google photo of noble animals

Synopsis : Humans have mistreated animals since a very long time and sadly it continues even today so they kill the beautiful animals in many parts of the world for their teeth, fur or skin. Torture of captive animals also continues but it has to stop now. As people become more aware of the right of animals to exist ,this practice may one day come to an end.

There was a wild life photographer in Africa who was looking through the long lens of his camera and kept a lazy eye on some hippos playing in the water while taking a few photos of them cavorting. All of a sudden a huge crocodile leapt out of water and grabbed a fawn that was drinking timidly because she was obviously nervous.

Source : U tube video of hippo saving the fawn

When one of the hippos saw it, she charged the crocodile and literally grabbed the fawn out of the mouth of the croc so the croc left out of fear. Hippos are feared by most carnivorous animals because of their size and fierce nature that can cut in half a crocodile in a swift motion. You will see baby hippos stepping on the tails of large crocodiles playfully but they simply slide away so as not to risk the wrath of the mama hippo watching nearby.

Source : U tube video of animals saving other animals

The huge hippo carried the fawn in her huge mouth and gently dropped it on the higher ground where the fawn recovered in a while and rejoined her mother. The scene was captured on film by the quick minded photographer and was published in the wild life magazines but this sort of thing happens all the time in the wilderness showing that animals have compassion for the young and weak animals of other species.

Source : U tube video of hippos saving a wildebeest in Africa

A lioness cuddles a fawn and licks her face and tries to feed her scraps of meat not knowing that the fawn does not eat meat. Her maternal instinct protects the fawn. A dog feeds several tiger cubs although she knows that they are not her puppies but feeds them anyway. There are numerous example of animals feeding and taking care of animals of different species that prove that they are noble and have compassion for others.

I call them noble because animals do not have vengeance like us humans and do not bear grudge. An elephant who was abused by her captor for over fifty years keeping her in chains was released through the intervention of the animal rights group in India but she only shed tears of joy and relief. She knew her tormentor but did not seek vengeance showing her gentle nature of forgiveness and nobility. ( Read my blog called Cruelty to animals here )

Similarly the black bears in India who are abused in captivity by the nomads kiss the people who rescue them out of gratitude but never do they attack their captors while we burn with rage if someone abuses us like that and seek retribution when we regain our freedom. Dolphins come to the rescue of a drowning dog and carry it on their back to the shore and there are stories of a bird carrying an injured squirrel on its back and flies it to safety. The story of Tarzan raised by the wild animals in the forest is not a myth. There are many stories of babies being raised by the monkeys in Uganda or a baby that was raised by a wolf in India. He walked on his four limbs and howled like a wolf when he was captured. He ate only raw meat.

There is a story told by a diver who was taking photos of fish and corals when he saw a tiger seal with a penguin in his mouth so he took some photos but was scared because the tiger seal known for its aggressive nature kept coming at him. Then the strangest thing happened. The seal dropped the penguin near him as a gift and waited for quite some time to see if he will accept it. Such wonderful and compassionate gesture from wild animals towards humans is not unheard of that goes to show their noble nature.

Large carnivorous animals like lions, bears or tigers often show love and great compassion for human babies and show their protective maternal instinct. Wolves protecting an injured man or a small baby by keeping them warm with their bodies is not unheard of either.

Source : Google photo of Chimpanzee feeding the tiger cub

One thing that amazes me most is the fact that the wild animals are often seen protecting other animals of different species and even feeding them. Wild monkeys eating fruits high up in trees in the forest drop the fruits for the deers and  antelopes feeding below and will raise the alarm when a jaguar or cheetah approaches giving the deers ample time to escape.

Source : U tube video of gorilla saving a human kid

There is another story where a small boy fell into the moat in a zoo in the USA and was injured and unconscious. A huge gorilla that lived in the enclosure came to the rescue of the boy and cuddled him while protecting him from other curious gorillas that came to investigate. Eventually the boy was given over to the zoo keepers so there are numerous examples of how wild animals show their compassionate nature.

Source : Google photo of Jatayu who tried to save Sita ( Ramayana)

There is the story of a vulture that tried to attack Ravan who had kidnapped Sita but Ravan killed the vulture called Jatayu (story from Ramayana) so now there is a huge statue honoring the vulture in Kerala, India who tried to protect Sita and gave his life for it.

In another story a vulture spread its wings to shade the new born baby in the forest who was abandoned by her prostitute mother so the baby was named Shakuntala meaning one who was saved by the vulture.

The only animal that I can think of that is incapable of any such feelings is snake that can never be trusted. It is known that a so called pet boa will someday kill its owner and swallow him whole without the slightest hesitation or a black mamba that will strike you with the intention of killing you. Snakes are not in the business of caring for others but they do provide an essential service to mankind. They keep the rodent population in the fields under control and provide venom in snake farms for medicinal purposes so they have their usefulness. I should add here that most snakes would rather run away than to attack someone.

But I call untrustworthy people who are deceitful and cunning are like some snakes who will always let you down and try to harm you anyway they can although most snakes are harmless.

Wild animals who were saved and raised in shelters when young and later released into the forest have been known to show immense gratitude. They do not easily forget their benefactors and will recognize them years later. The movie Born free was made of a lioness who was raised by a couple and later released but she always came to visit them because she never forgot them and showed her love and gratitude this way.

We often show cruelty to our fellow humans. We try to harm them, deceive them, lie to them, mistreat them in numerous ways and even show neglect to our own relatives. Women normally do not care to raise other people’s children or even their step children but animals do. In India women do not like to adopt children even if they do not have their own but in other countries people adopt children to raise them as their own so it depends on their values that vary from country to country a great deal.

This is not the case in the animal kingdom. Have you ever seen an ostrich that digs a large hole in the sand where she puts her eggs and soon other ostriches fill the hole with their eggs as well but the mother ostrich does not mind at all and sits on all the eggs to incubate them.

Baboons, lemurs and many such animals raise their off springs collectively while the males and others go to gather food for them. A baby elephant is cared for by the entire herd that always protects it and comes to rescue if the baby needs help.  

So we have a great deal to learn from the animals like their compassion for other species, their maternal instinct to feed them and raise them and protect them from harm. Animals are known to be full of emotions that they show. We can all learn from them what it means to be loyal, to be dependable and to be trustworthy. The dogs are the best example so they are called man’s best friend but many animals show such remarkable loyalty.

Sadly we mistreat the animals, kill them just for fun like the game shooters who kill the mother elephant while the baby nudges his mother and crying for milk.  I have seen a huge tiger skin displayed in someone’s house that their relatives had killed somewhere that had most likely resulted in the death of the cubs as well but no one cared. The animal poaching still goes on in many countries decimating the wildlife.

There was mass slaughter of bisons in America in the past when a train load of shooters stopped the train and shot hundreds of bison for fun and left them rotting. The Native Americans only killed bisons for their meat and skin but never more than what they needed so they could not understand the mass slaughter of these animals only for fun by some white hunters. Where is the fun in killing a defenseless animal?

The British people shot hundreds of tigers in India just so that they could brag and brought down the tiger population drastically but no one cared. For them it was a great hunting trophy to have because back in England there are no such gorgeous animals to be shot. Even today they go out on fox hunt with hundreds of hunting dogs in England where it is a sport for the rich people.

We have always mistreated animals that have never meant us any harm and sadly we continue to do so in many parts of the world. I remember the angry lions in cages in El Obeid in Sudan that some kids poked with sticks through the bars for fun while their parents just looked on.

It is high time to become aware of the fact that the animals too have a right to live in the wilderness freely. They do not ask for anything from us and want us to leave them alone. They add to the biodiversity and some animals like bats are extremely useful in spreading seeds of fruits they eat to repopulate the forest trees this way. They also consume tons of harmful insects that harm crops so helping the agriculture.

It is time to acknowledge that all animals have a place in the nature .They are not only beautiful to look at but they enrich our planet in numerous ways. Sad will be our planet if we exterminate all the wild life because of our greed for their skins and teeth as trophies.

Most of all we must stop torturing them in captivity like what the Chinese do to milk the wild bears there for their bile or kill beautiful animals for their fur so that some stupid women can wear their fur coats to brag about it. There are alternatives to bear bile but the cruel practice continues in China.

Some countries like Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa are turning their poachers into safari guides so that they can quit poaching and get a gainful employment. It protects the animals and provides an alternative to poachers who out of poverty take up poaching. If India had adopted such an approach to save the Ganga river dolphins long ago, the dolphins would still be alive. They have started to do it now to save the remaining few dolphins in Benares.

We can educate our children about the beauty of all animals and teach them how to protect them, how to treat them humanely and how to raise awareness about them starting in the kindergarten schools. Such children who learn to love animals and birds will perhaps someday teach their children of the next generation how to love animals and protect them so that they will not learn to be cruel to them.

They should be taught that all animals are noble and precious.

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

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Don’t be a scrooge

Source : Google photo

Synopsis : People say the Christmas season is for caring and sharing but people who care and share do not wait for any season nor should you. Some are outright scrooges who show no empathy for anyone but you ought not to be like them if you have any humanity left in you.

It is the Christmas season so many if not all people decorate their houses and even the garden and trees with Christmas lights that blink and put up a great show in myriads of colors. Inside their home, they put up Christmas trees that they decorate with colorful lights and shiny things because they believe that such decorations bring joy and remind them of the season in a graphic way. They pile up Christmas presents at the base of the tree that they open at a certain time.

But these are the same people who do not like carolers at their gate so chase them away or shut their door to their face so today I thought that I should write about what the spirit of Christmas is. Is it just in the expensive decorations and the tree or is it in your heart that you open up to the poor people who come to your door and sing carols to cheer you up?

There was a tragic case of a very rich man who spent lavishly to decorate his huge house every season but one night the cheap Chinese lights got over heated and burst into flame that soon engulfed his house while his daughter was in her room in the second floor totally unaware of what was happening. When she realized that she was trapped and could not escape the fire that soon reached the second floor, she frantically called for help using her cell phone but it was too late. She was burned to death alive.

Such rich people live in walled communities with security guards at the gate where no outsider is admitted easily because these rich people do not have the real Christmas spirit but want to show off that they can afford to spend great sums of money this way.

I see this sort of people who live here in the community where I live. They pretend to be Christians but are some of the meanest people you can find anywhere but they ask us why we do not put up Christmas lights in our house. Our answer to them is that the spirit of Christmas lies not in lights and decorations but in our heart because my wife never turns away anyone who comes to our gate Christmas or not because she is an angel who has a pure heart full of empathy for the less fortunate.

From what I have observed in many countries where Christmas is celebrated is that not many people follow the teachings of Jesus who said that we should always help those in need not only during this season but always. The outward show of wealth and opulence while ignoring the plight of the poor is sadly seen in people who show no empathy for the fellow beings. Once I was told by someone in India that what the use of wealth is if you do not show it ! I was very much shocked by this comment but kept silent because I could not change the heart of such people no matter how hard I tried. They lacked empathy.

Once an American woman was involved in a road accident when we were in Haiti who was brought to the local hospital. We had met her only once before but late at night a small girl came to our house with a note scribbled on a dirty piece of paper that said that the woman needed our help. We rushed to the hospital to find her in dirty condition so we brought her and her companion home and tried to make them as comfortable as we could. My wife washed their clothes and fed them chicken broth spoon by spoon. The next day we took them to the clinic run by the missionaries to get them x rayed and checked by doctors. I also called their employer to come to our place to pick them up and give them all the medical help they needed.

The American mission women asked us why we helped the women whom we did not know that shocked us more than anything. They were supposed to practice what their religion teaches them but they showed a complete disregard to a person needing help because they did not know her. They lacked empathy. ( Please read my blog called What is Apathy and Empathy here )

Fortunately not all people behave this way. I have met many kind hearted people in many countries who have helped me when they saw that I needed help. Such people strengthen my faith in the basic goodness of the humanity although there will always be the scrooges with stone heart.

Once I was just walking down the street in the evening in the small town in California where I was a student. I was very surprised when a gentleman came out of his house and invited me to share his Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family. This sort of thing rarely happens in any country but it proved that there are so many good people in this world who are genuinely good people and who practice what their faith teaches them.

Source : Google photo of the little match girl

One story of Hans Christian Andersen has particularly impressed me since I was very young so much so that it is engraved in my memory because he wrote about the lack of empathy in the heart of people in so graphic a manner. He wrote that a very small girl in dirty rags and bare feet took shelter in the nook of a porch of a big house because she had nowhere to go and no one gave her shelter from the freezing cold and snow everywhere. She was shivering because she had no warm clothes to protect her from the bitter cold but she had just a match box with a few sticks in it. So she lit one match stick at a time to feel a little warmth until she ran out of the match sticks. The next morning people passing by saw a little girl frozen solid still holding the match box in her tiny hand.

This world is full of little girls and boys who are crying out for help but the bad people kidnap them to sell them to the brothels or as slaves. There are millions of people who are asking for help because they have no home, no food and no one to take care of them. They are the victims of war, of famine or other natural calamities so they ask for help. There are many NGOs that help them and some great musicians have raised a lot of money to help during the famine in Ethiopia but it is never enough because it does not reach in time all the people who are suffering so it becomes a case of too little too late.

There should be no season for caring and sharing because you do not need an excuse like Christmas to show your care and concern. If you have a big heart and have empathy for the poor and the unfortunate people then you do not wait for any excuse. You just help without asking questions.

This is what I like about the Sikhs. They feed you every day in the Golden Temple in Amritsar but they never ask you what is your religion , caste or creed so thousands of people are fed by them every day because they say that it is their religious duty. Many Hindu temples in India also feed people without questions . They also provide free food and lodgings to anyone  who needs it in holy places like Rishikesh and Haridwar.

It is said that the best help is the anonymous help because once you start feeling good and take credit for something you have done for others, it diminishes the value of the help you have given. The religious books say that we should not let our left hand know what we give with our right hand meaning we should help anonymously without expecting even a thank you. That is the true spirit of Christmas.

So be generous and help those who need it. Don’t be a scrooge.

 

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

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Amazing progress

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Source : Google photo

Synopsis : All countries are making progress in varying degrees to make life better for their citizens but India is in a league of its own when it comes to spectacular advances in technology and infrastructure development .The blog mentions just a few renewable power generation and irrigation projects that has made great impact on the lives of millions of people.

We live in the age of confrontation and continuous threats to our independence posed by people who want to control us and impose on us their ideology, their brand of religion, their culture, their food and their system of the monopolistic exploitation of people to make money.

To achieve this goal, they are prepared to go to war to destroy us and our way of life that is best suited to us. We now see tension between many countries that break out in armed conflicts in the Middle East, North and West of India, in the South China Sea, in the Tigre area of Ethiopia and numerous other parts of the world because people can not resolve their differences amicably.

We see millions of people who become internal refugees in their own countries due to the conflict so they try to leave and seek asylum and protection in other countries that would have them but often they drown in the sea so their dream of a new life never becomes a reality.

Others try to leave due to extreme poverty and jobless situation so they try to reach other countries where they can find employment and means to sustain themselves. Some are forced to flee their country because they are in conflict with the majority of the population due to their hard core religion like in Myanmar so they end up being a burden to the neighboring countries where they fail to assimilate.

In other countries , people are still hell bent on destroying their institutions like the electoral process so that they can keep a dictator in power. So the news channels are full of depressing news everyday because such negative news gets them viewers so rarely they mention when a country makes tremendous progress in agriculture, in their industries and education etc. that dramatically improves the well being of its citizens. News of political assassination, war, refugees, flood and typhoon destruction, famine and global terrorism all are flashed onto our TV screen everyday.

So today I would like to tell you about how India is helping its farmers by bringing irrigation water to their arid land so that they can plant three crops a year and dramatically increase their income by selling their surplus food. You can imagine how millions of farmers who are given this sort of help by the government makes the country not only self sufficient in food but generates huge surplus that it sells abroad to reduce the trade deficit.

I lived in Sudan where the mighty Nile river flows through it and some of its water is channeled to the Gezira plateau to irrigate crops like cotton, sorghum , corn etc. but if you go west of Khartoum, you will soon pass through very arid regions of the country where the farmers only depend on the rain to grow a poor crop now and then. They have been talking of a canal going west to El Obeid to bring the Nile water there for the farmers but it has remained only a dream. There are many reasons. One is the shortage of funds and second is the political will of the government that has other priorities.

If you visit the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri which is some 40 kms from Agra, you will be told that the city built by Emperor Akbar in the 15th century at a great cost was abandoned because their source of water dried up. Akbar could not bring the Yamuna river water to Sikri through a canal although it is hard for me to understand why. The distance was only 40 kms and there was no shortage of hydraulic engineers in those days. He could have given jobs to thousands of people to dig the canal and save his city but he didn’t.

The Romans were master builders and brought water to Rome and other cities from great distance using aqueducts and viaducts that still stand today. You will see the wonderful remains of such structures in Spain and in other parts of their empire and see how well these structures were built using the technology they had in those days.

Then we come to more recent times and see how the Israelis brought a system of drip irrigation to the dry and barren land in their country that turned the land into lush fields of crops, fruit orchards etc. that are so productive. The flooding of fields to irrigate the crops is a wasteful way of using water in many countries but Israel does not have a lot of water so they invented an ingenious system of irrigating their crops using the drip method to give water to plants at the roots after mixing some fertilizer to it. This method cuts down the water evaporation from the surface and the plants suck up every drop of water to grow fast and produce enormous yields.

So I will mention a few such projects in India that have been completed and the farmers are getting the benefits for the first time. Such projects are very big in their scale and scope so they cost a lot of money but any country that invests in the infrastructure projects to benefit its farmers grows fast. The government of India has developed numerous ways to help the farmers like building farm to market roads, electricity in every village, farm loan and subsidies, better choice of markets where they can sell their produce, farm insurance policy, better minimum price for the crops, direct sale to buyers to cut out the middle men , better crop varieties and better technologies .

Note : If the video does not load, just use the link to see the videos

1. The massive drip irrigation project : The biggest such project in the world.

https:// youtu.be/eYkUu4O7ZT8

Source : U tube video

It is the world’s biggest drip irrigation project called Ramthal that took many years to complete and brings water to the Bagalcot district in Karnataka state to irrigate 24000 hectares ( one sq. km = 100 ha. ) or over 240 sq kms area that is huge. It is a very sophisticated system based on the Israeli model but on a scale that boggles the mind. The video is with English subtitles so you will understand the technicality of it easily.

2. Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project,the biggest in the world:                     

                   Source : U tube video in English   

This project has been completed in the Telangana state at the cost of USD 13 billion todate. The world’s largest Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) is a multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari River in Kaleshwaram of Telangana. This Kaleshwaram project will provide water for drinking and irrigation purposes to about 45 lakh acres in 20 of the 31 districts in Telangana, and willl provide drinking water to big cities like Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It computes to 18210 sq. km area which is huge. The project is already providing water to many farmers although it is still under construction that will take a few more years.

3. A mega solar park project in Tamilnadu in India

Source : U tube video in English-

This solar power plant in South India state of Tamilnadu has been completed and running. It covers an area of 2500 acres in Madurai generating 640 Mega watts of power in a single location.

4. World’s largest solar park in Karnataka state of India

Source : U tube video in English –

This solar park covers an area of 13000 acres of land and generates 2050 MegaWatts of power that is over 3.5 times the output of the Tamilnadu project. India wants to achieve its goal of over 100000 Mega watts in the next few years to generate over 30 % of its total annual need from solar energy alone.

There are numerous projects under construction to generate power from nuclear, wind , geothermal and hydroelectric plants in the country so gradually India will increase the power production from renewable energy sources and less from coal fired plants in the future.

I hope you will learn a great deal about these mega projects that generate electricity from solar power plants and appreciate India’s great effort and achievements.

 

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

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Sinister primal instinct

Source : Google photo

Synopsis : The incidence of rape and murder of an innocent child, girl or a woman occurs in societies where the men still feel superior to women and disapprove their modern ways but the times are changing .Women are getting education and training that puts them on equal footing with men that many can’t accept so behave aggressively toward them. The blog looks at the tribal reasons behind such behavior.

I get very annoyed when bad people are called animals because animals are noble and have compassion whereas the bad people are nothing like them.

Today I would like to write about a very primal instinct in human beings that brings out the dark side that is usually covered with the cloak of social taboos and norms. Since childhood we are taught by our parents, our teachers and others what are good values and what are not. Most organized religions do the same although what effect it has on the morality of the average person is anyone’s guess.

Since the time unknown, men have been overly harsh on women in most countries and have promulgated laws and rules for them to keep them in their place that is home and hearth. These are called tribal laws that have roots in the belief that women are the weaker sex so they must be protected by men either by keeping them at home or through other means like hijab, burqa or veils of some sort so that they remain invisible to men who have bad intentions. This tradition still prevails in many Moslem countries that prevents the women to show their full potential as human beings although it is slowly changing.

They are discouraged to wear western clothes, form fitting and revealing clothes or clothes that attract undue attention to their bodies. They are discouraged to go to school because people are literally afraid of educated women who may someday challenge the male hegemony over them.

This attitude of male superiority over women is prevalent in uneducated tribal cultures where boys are preferred over girls, where girls must be married off even before they reach puberty to prevent them from illicit sex before marriage, where the hard core Islamists kill girls for going to school and who question their authority, where the boys within the family learn to dominate over their sisters and even mothers.

Women who are thus oppressed are fighting back and steadily gaining their rights through protests and through education because they get their support from their family. Some governments are taking proactive steps to help women get education, jobs and training and are enacting laws in their favor. Indian government recently banned the practice of Triple Talaq and promotes fair compensation and equal treatment of women.

In India the child marriage is banned by law and now the government is considering raising the minimum age for girls to get married from 18 to 20 but secretly and not so secretly some communities still practice child marriage because it is very difficult to change their mind set and the tribal culture.

The British stopped the inhuman practice of burning the widows alive on the funeral pyre of their husbands although some tradition bound Hindus opposed the law on the ground that it was their tradition. The real reason was to acquire properties owned by the dead. Thankfully the law is enacted throughout the country preventing this hateful crime but  other roadblocks to complete female emancipation still remain that are rooted deeply in the patronizing culture in many societies in general in many parts of the world that are being slowly overcome.

But during my grandfather’s time meaning some 90 years ago, it was unheard of sending the girls to school anywhere in India although some girls learned the alphabets and basic math at home simply because women’s education was not their priority.

During the British Raaj, some British women started schools for girls so they set up schools like Annie Besant school, Girl’s high School, St. Mary’s school, Loreto and many others but 90 years ago very few female children attended them and those who did stopped at grade 5th or 6th . They were told by their mothers and elder sisters that the formal education was not necessary for them since they were going to get married soon so they should learn how to cook or mend clothes.

In rural areas where most Indians lived and still do, this attitude is still prevalent although it is slowly changing because the government actively promotes female education both at primary and secondary level and makes it easier for the rural children to go to school.

The western countries only recently( 1918 ) allowed women to vote and to get education and jobs with equal footing with men in many sectors. The female education and their right to vote in England and in the United States was a hard fought battle they won so now you see women there have become professionals and can be found nearly in all jobs that were previously open only to men including in the armed services. The first black president and now the first woman as the vice president in the United States show how far we have come. We see this trend throughout the world although the success rate varies from country to country.

We all have the primal instinct to protect our children from harm. Women breast feed and protect their babies just like the lioness. It is due to this primal instinct. This instinct is natural and benevolent.

But my subject of this blog is the dark primal instinct of some men that comes to the fore even today when women are making tremendous progress in every field and breaking all the old traditions that had tried to put limits on them. This dark side of some men is not a natural phenomenon but a learned experience. The traditionalists irrespective of their religion and location still believe that education for women makes them question their authority that they find very hard to tolerate so they resist the female emancipation with tragic consequences. They disapprove of women who wear tight fitting and skimpy Western clothes, going out with boys late in the evening, smoking, drinking, dancing in a seductive way, living with their boy friends before marriage and promiscuity. They see such women as a threat to their tribal culture.

This disapproval was manifested one night when a teenage girl was gang raped by a group of people in a running bus late at night in Delhi just because she was with her boyfriend so they assumed that she was promiscuous so should be punished this way. Her boyfriend was severely beaten by them and both of them were dumped by the roadside. The girl beaten, raped and severely bleeding from her injuries was found gasping for life when she was brought to a hospital.

The prime minister of India sent her to Singapore in his plane with doctors and nurses to assist her but unfortunately she died before she could be helped. Her boyfriend survived but will bear the scar of the incident the rest of his life.

No day or week goes by without the report of rape of children or gang rape of a teen age girl somewhere in India often resulting in the death of the innocent. The police catches the culprits but no punishment is enough for them because they took the life of an innocent girl.

This sort of crime is reported from every part of the world and begs the question why people behave this way and commit such crimes? This is the dark side of the human nature that manifests itself during the struggle between the tribal culture and the modern age that recognizes the right of women to get education, choose their mate often against the wishes of their family, right to mix with boys at school, right to choose a profession they like, right to pass competitive exams and become officers in the government, right to dress the way they want, right to eat the food of their choice, right to marry only when they feel that they are ready etc.

These rights that women worldwide are demanding and making inroads into terrify the traditionalist because the tribal laws they value comes under threat and their authority gets shaken up that they cannot tolerate. When such tribal laws are passed on to the next generation of boys, they too start to believe in them and start to look down on women who demand their rights mentioned above. That is why I say that the sinister primal instinct is a learned process and not a natural one.

This is especially true if the men remain without education and skills so they express their hate toward a girl who is educated, well dressed according to her taste and goes out with her boyfriend late at night that triggers their dark primal instinct to rape the girl and beat her boyfriend unconscious. A rape is often the expression of disapproval of ways of modern women like in the case of that poor girl in Delhi and this disapproval is linked to their tribal culture that goes easy on boys but is harsh on girls and modernity.

When a girl goes out with a boy anywhere in a traditional society, it is assumed that she is promiscuous so her behavior is socially condemned let alone cases where men and women live together without marriage. These guardians of the tribal society feel that they are responsible for the moral standard they impose on everyone specially women but exempt the men for the so called indiscretions. When a girl is gang raped in a village in India, often the elders in the village council blame the girl saying that she must have seduced the boys to do so and punish the girl. ( Read my blog called Story of Phoolan here that covers this aspect ).

The dark primal instinct that I write about here is a product of the tribal culture that is diminishing in its influence on the society as a whole in cities but is still found to a great extent in the uneducated rural societies where women still face many difficulties they want to overcome.

The tribal culture that favors boys over girls is quite tolerant of boys and says that it is perfectly alright for boys to seek sexual satisfaction wherever they can including the prostitutes so they say that Oh boys will be boys and they may sow wild oats but never the women.

There was a time in Medieval Europe when jealous men forced their women to wear a chastity belt that only the men could open with a key so the poor women suffered. In the harems of kings in India, the guards of the harem were castrated just in case some women got horny and had affairs with them. You could imagine the frustration of young women cooped up inside a guarded harem where no male was allowed except the king so some women did get horny. The Chinese kings put eunuchs to guard their women for the same reason.

The Western culture that promotes equality for women has come a long way from their days of chastity belt and patronizing attitudes because women will not put up with it anymore. Many have become leaders in their country and have encouraged millions of women to come forward and become whatever they wish to become. They have won their rights after a long fight because they too had to contend with the tribal culture of the males at first. They now inspire all the women to claim their rights so now half the world population is becoming more aware of their rights and are taking steps to get on the equal footing with men.( Please read my blog called The other half here )

Depending on the country and the tribal laws prevalent there favoring men over women, they have a long way to go to get to where they want to be. Now some Moslem countries are relaxing their laws so that women can get education, can drive and can choose a profession there but often their own families stand in their way.

Older women find nothing wrong with their tribal culture that kept them illiterate and tied them to home and hearth because they had gotten used to it. They also show strong disapproval of the influence of the Western women on their society and their culture when it comes to skimpy clothes, going out with a male companion without a chaperon etc.

The overt sexuality in some men driven by their testosterone at a certain age makes them aggressive toward women who break taboo so they use it as an excuse to hurt them just like in the case of that Delhi girl. This sort of thing happens in any society, progressive or not so rape occurs in all countries. The extreme violence associated with rape of a woman and the murder later begs the question why it is so and what exactly triggers such hateful action that results in the death of an innocent girl.

I have always maintained that the act of rape is often associated with a male showing dominance over the body of a woman who is helpless so it is not always about the sexual gratification. It is about the power play so a stronger male overcomes the resistance of a woman and rapes her by showing that he disapproves of her. You will see this behavior in soldiers like what happened during the war in Bangladesh.

In the animal world, you will never see a dominant male overpowering a female so copulates only when the female is ready. The females show their willingness to copulate when they come of estrus and start spreading their urine that contains the scent of female hormone estrogen. The male animals pick up the scent and find their mate and in the process fight with other males to secure their right to breed but they rarely fight with the female because they don’t have to.

In humans we find that the way we are brought up has a lot to do with the way we behave toward the females. In educated families, the parents are a lot more tolerant and wish or encourage their daughters to get their full potential through education and meaningful jobs. There an educated woman may work even after her marriage to pursue a career of her own.

For the first time women are being trained as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force and many are fighting in the front alongside their male soldiers. The Peshmerga girls in Kurdistan fight just as hard as men. This is a drastic change from the days of our grandfather so I see that the tribal culture can change with time and the spread of education for all.

In countries where boys and girls mix easily with each other since childhood form a greater understanding of each other so aggressive sexual behavior is restrained. It does not mean that there are no rape cases there but violent incidences like what happened in Delhi or elsewhere in India is not common although serial killers killing off prostitutes or women suspected to be promiscuous is not unheard of. The education in women weakens the influence of tribal culture that lingers in societies where men still play the dominant role.

So please do not label bad people as animals. Animals are noble in their behavior so we should learn a lot from them.       

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The plight of Gypsies

Source : Google photo of Roma (Gypsies) people in Europe

Synopsis : Not many people know much about the Roma people of Europe or in other countries but show racial discrimination toward them. The blog looks at their history and the continuing injustice they suffer in many countries where they live.

When you are in Rome and just come out of Termini, you will be assailed by women with naked breasts and carrying an urchin in their arms who will follow you around until you part with some money for them. They are followed by other kids in dirty clothes and with dirty face who will try to distract you with something while one of them tries to put his hand in your pocket. They are very quick in picking your pocket.

The women and the kids work as a team. While the women with naked breasts spill something on you and then try to clean it up by saying permesso permesso, the kids go to work. One Englishman was tickled by a bunch of kids to his surprise and was very dismayed when one kid ran away with his briefcase. Many people visiting Rome for the first time are thus victimized by these people who are called gypsies. It seems that they are everywhere near the bus and train stations like Termini. To them it is a derogatory word so they prefer the nomenclature of Romani or Roma.

They wear long colorful skirts and short blouse, some beads or costume jewelries and live in gypsy camps in the outskirts of towns or villages but they move their camps of tents when the pickings get slimmer. Often they find work in fields picking the harvest in fruit orchards or other such jobs to make a meagre living but they also earn some money by selling trinkets, homemade beads or embroidered clothes and quilts. The older men and women often set up a tent where they read palms or crystal balls for a fee. What they find in anyone’s palm or in a crystal ball is anyone’s guess so my guess is that many are charlatans but I do not blame them for making a living because they need to survive.

My initial encounter with them in Termini left me with a negative impression but I soon found out that I was wrong and they were indeed wonderful people who were trying to survive in a hostile world the best way they can. One should not judge all the Romas just because of a few who hang around Termini or bus stations. So I started to think of them and about them more profoundly and came to know that these people who are wrongly called gypsies because some people centuries ago thought that they came from Egypt are actually nomads who came to Europe hundreds of years ago from India. They multiplied and spread all over Europe freely so you will find them in many countries.

They speak many languages depending on where they are found but they have managed to keep their native tongue their ancestors spoke in India or something similar to it. They still count in Hindi but how much Hindi they have retained is hard to guess. My guess is not much although these women were fluent in Italian and also fluent in the language of the country where they are found.

They never get assimilated into the culture of the country or try to where they are found so they live separately in camps that they set up as temporary shelters. They do not send their children to Italian schools so it is hard to tell how much education they get at home if any thus depriving them of the chances of getting good jobs and a more settled lifestyle.

The governments of Europe consider them as a separate group of people who want to remain separate from the population to preserve whatever identity they have and their gypsy culture so they are deprived of what other citizens enjoy namely an education, job or vocational training, housing, healthcare, old age pension and care, owning properties and living a settled life.

Adolf Hitler considered them subhuman and sent them to the gas chambers en masse so thousands of them perished along with Jews and other unwanted people of Europe. Those who survived have spread to safer corners but they still suffer from the stigma of being gypsies.

Among the groups the Nazi regime and its Axis partners singled out for persecution on so-called racial grounds were the Roma (Gypsies).Drawing support from many non-Nazi Germans who harbored social prejudice towards Roma, the Nazis judged Roma to be “racially inferior.”

The fate of Roma in some ways paralleled that of the Jews. Under the Nazi regime, German authorities subjected Roma to arbitrary internment, forced labor, and mass murder. German authorities murdered tens of thousands of Roma in the German-occupied territories of the Soviet Union and Serbia and thousands more in the killing centers at Auschwitz-BirkenauChelmnoBelzecSobibor, and Treblinka. The SS and police incarcerated Roma in the Bergen- BelsenSachsenhausenBuchenwaldDachauMauthausen, and Ravensbrück concentration camps. Both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in the so-called Generalgouvernement, German civilian authorities managed several forced-labor camps in which they incarcerated Roma.

It is not known precisely how many Roma were killed in the Holocaust. While exact figures or percentages cannot be ascertained, historians estimate that the Germans and their allies killed around 25 percent of all European Roma. Of slightly less than one million Roma believed to have been living in Europe before the war, scholars believe that the Germans and their Axis partners killed up to 250,000. ( wikipedia )

The degree of persecution these poor people suffer even today varies from country to country and the government’s attitude towards them so the question arises why these people are persecuted and for what reasons?

To find an answer, one has to look at the history of race relations in Europe going back to pre-Nazi era when the white Europeans started to discriminate against them because of their darker skin color and different ways of living. Some gypsies are not dark at all because there has been some mixing of colors due to some indiscretions somewhere in the past like the mulattos but the gypsies have evolved somewhat and do not resemble their ancestors from India any more.

The cold climate of Europe has something to do with it that helps remove the melanin from their skin but they still retain a shadow of their physical attributes they got from their ancestors. Some are quite pretty and look unlike the nomads of India but the Gypsies no matter how they look, remain a distinct race of their own.

They should not to be confused with Romanians, an unrelated ethnic group and nation, nor with modern or ancient Romans, also unrelated.

The Romani (/ˈroʊməni//ˈrɒ-/), also known as Roma, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, traditionally nomadic itinerants living mostly in Europe, and diaspora populations in the Americas. The Romani as a people originate from the northern Indian subcontinent,[61][62][63] from the RajasthanHaryana, and Punjab regions of India.[62][63]

Source : Google photo of beautiful Roma girls in Europe

Genetic findings appear to confirm that the Romani “came from a single group that left northwestern India” in about 512 CE.[64] Genetic research published in the European Journal of Human Genetics “revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma”.[65] They are dispersed, but their most concentrated populations are located in Europe, especially CentralEastern and Southern Europe (including TurkeySpain and Southern France).

The Romani arrived in Mid-West Asia and Europe around 1007.[66] They have been associated with another Indo-Aryan group, the Dom people: the two groups have been said to have separated from each other or, at least, to share a similar history.[67] Specifically, the ancestors of both the Romani and the Dom left North India sometime between the 6th and 11th century.[66]

The Romani are widely known in English by the exonym Gypsies (or Gipsies), which is considered by some Roma people to be pejorative due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity.[68] Beginning in 1888, the Gypsy Lore Society[69] started to publish a journal that was meant to dispel rumors about their lifestyle.[70]

Since the 19th century, some Romani have also migrated to the Americas. There are an estimated one million Roma in the United States;[6] and 800,000 in Brazil, most of whose ancestors emigrated in the 19th century from Eastern Europe. Brazil also includes a notable Romani community descended from people deported by the Portuguese Empire during the Portuguese Inquisition.[71] In migrations since the late 19th century, Romani have also moved to other countries in South America and to Canada.[72]

In February 2016, during the International Roma Conference, the Indian Minister of External Affairs stated that the people of the Roma community were children of India.[73] The conference ended with a recommendation to the government of India to recognize the Roma community spread across 30 countries as a part of the Indian diaspora.[74]

The Romani language is divided into several dialects which together have an estimated number of speakers of more than two million.[75] The total number of Romani people is at least twice as high (several times as high according to high estimates). Many Romani are native speakers of the dominant language in their country of residence or of mixed languages combining the dominant language with a dialect of Romani; those varieties are sometimes called Para-Romani.[76] ( Wikipedia )

Source : Google photo of Roma people on the move

If the Roma people arrived in Europe some 15 centuries ago and still retain their native language, customs and traditions they brought from India, it goes to show their resilience under the pressure from their host countrymen to assimilate as second class citizens. Some have changed their religion but still retain their Roma culture. Nearly a million of them immigrated to the United States where they prosper and are free to practice their culture, traditions and language while retaining their Hindu religion while some have become Christians or Moslems.

They have moved to Brazil in large numbers of over 800000 mostly from Eastern Europe but also from Portugal where they were discriminated against. So there is a very large diaspora of Roma people spread in many parts of the world although they have not returned to India. Now that may start to change as the Indian government considers them as of Indian origin so may grant them citizenship if they wish to return.

In Italy I tried to approach them to find out more about them but they did not want to be approached so walked away fast showing mistrust. Given their persecution and neglect in Europe, they are probably justified in their mistrust of other people. I was told that they gather their various clans once a year somewhere to celebrate their culture and traditions but also to find suitable mates for each other so it is like a love festival with lots of songs, dances and judicious amounts of homemade libations.

Source : Google photo of Gypsy love festival in Prague

How long they will be able to maintain their separate identity as Roma people is anyone’s guess but just remember that they came to Europe some 1500 years ago and still remember what they learned from each previous generation. That is truly remarkable.

I see a great deal of similarity between the Romas and the Jews because both have tried hard to retain their language, culture and religion and suffered tremendous persecution because they are perceived as different from others. But there is one notable difference.

The Roma people no matter where they live now do not seek a separate homeland for them but only seek recognition of their rights as human beings and their natural right to live freely anywhere where they can retain their culture, language, their belief system and their separate identity. They do not seek assimilation because they are proud of being who they are so this persecution has to stop.

They are a group of people who bring diversity to any country where the pressure to homogenize is strong so they should be welcome. Their resilience alone is commendable. The world should appreciate them and welcome them just like the United States and Brazil did. The idea of colonialism and exclusivity is as obsolete today as it was then.

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

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What is conscience?

Source : Google photo

Synopsis : Conscience is a very precious thing to have that is priceless yet we see people without conscience almost everyday who have sold their soul in exchange for the temporary riches the devil offers. Those who resist such temptations are called steadfast whom people respect.

We come across this word now and then but most people do not dwell on it for long in their busy life to deal with all the challenges they face everyday. But the word and its import probably stays at the back of our mind even if we do not think about it consciously because most people develop a conscience which is a learned process.

A child is not born with a conscience but he may develop it as he grows up depending on his circumstances and where he grows up. So conscience represents the ability to know what is right and wrong and know the difference. This ability to know what is right and what is wrong and doing always what is right is called conscience . It is like a built in compass in your brain that always points you in the right direction in life but it is what you learn from your elders, from your teachers, your neighbors who are good people and perhaps from some religious books. It is like the small voice inside you that tells you that what you are about to do is wrong or right.

When we lived in a village in Mali, the villagers built a house for us made of clay , laterite and with golden straw roof that was truly a beautiful house with 5 rooms, toilet and bathroom with an inner courtyard. They could have built us a shoddy house but they didn’t. It was like the work of art because they built it with a good conscience and because they wanted to build something everyone was proud of. People from distant villages came to see our house that was very unique in design but built by the villagers using only traditional materials.

Women collected shea butter nut from the forest and made butter out of it that they used to coat the clay walls to give it a weather proof coating. They did not have to work so hard but they did because they had a conscience. They collected wood for the trusses, the golden grass from the distant fields and made mud with their feet to make bricks for the walls. They brought in cow dung to coat all the floors to give it a dust free hard surface but they did not have to. They did it because they had a conscience so they did their best. They did not cut any corners.

I used to give them a ride to the town in case of emergency and often I brought them back to the village when they waited near my office. They never took such help lightly and always left a basket of oranges or a chicken near my door to show their gratitude. These poor people had a conscience. I loved their simplicity and honesty.

Sadly we see a lot of people who are devoid of this quality in them called conscience. Perhaps at some point in their life they may have had it but later they made compromises that dulled the line in their mind that separates good from the evil. Such people become evil and do bad things like taking bribes for doing their job or taking advantage of someone who is innocent and vulnerable. They do not hesitate lying, cheating, thieving, commiting disloyal acts, treachery and many such shameful things. Some go to jail but others carry on as if it is normal to have no conscience.

I know of a medical doctor in India who was a decent sort of fellow at first but his greedy and demanding wife pressured him on to become corrupt . She demanded from him gold jewelries, fine house and fine things that he could not afford on his limited income so he became corrupt to earn more money. I do not exactly know what he did as a corrupt doctor but people started to show contempt for him. He had compromised with his conscience like all those people who do it to get rich.

I know another story where a fellow built a big house at great expense and invited his boss among others on the day of his house blessing. His boss was very impressed but also very intrigued so he returned to his office the next day and ordered an investigation on how a low paying government clerk in his office could accumulate so much wealth to build such a lavish home. The investigation revealed that the fellow could not have earned so much money on his salary alone even if he saved every penny of it so it was declared ill gotten wealth , his service terminated and all his benefits like provident fund, pension etc. were forfeited by the government.

The corrupt people are shameless because they have no conscience that guides them while the honest people with conscience are like open books because they have nothing to hide and are not ashamed of their poverty.

I have found the poor people in India to be the most honest ones. It has happened to me several times when I trusted porters in railway stations with money to get me a ticket and put me on the right train with all my luggage in which they never failed. Once a porter took all of my luggage including my briefcase that had my passport, money etc. and walked so fast that I lost track of him in the crowd. I did not know his name or his badge number so I was in deep trouble not knowing what to do so we stood there near the station thinking of our predicament.

The porter had taken our luggage to a nearby hotel and came back looking for us. He asked sharply why we did not follow him . He was a poor porter but with a conscience. We were so happy that I gave him a big reward that surprised the poor fellow. He was doing his job honestly.

This lack of conscience is most prevalent in corrupt politicians but not limited to them. There are numerous movies made in Hollywood on senators or congressmen involved in criminal activities but these stories often come from the real world. When you see them during their political campaigns shaking hands and kissing babies ,you only see them in fancy clothes and their goons with black sunglasses who constantly speak into their wrists but many are real crooks. They do bad things , tell lies to their constituents and make fake promises for their votes but once elected, the same politicians do whatever they want to abuse the trust people put in them to elect them. Such politicians have no conscience.

An honest person does not guarantee that his children will also be honest and will have the sense to know what is right and wrong. I know many honest parents whose children have gone rogue in their adult life , who have become very corrupt and amassed ill gotten wealth. Unfortunately some of my relatives have brought shame to their parents this way. One even bragged that his son earned money with both hands.

The corrupt parents make it easier for them because they do not have the moral ascendancy over them to teach them right from wrong but it also happens in families where the parents are very honest and religious because they fail to raise their children properly and teach them good values. If their kids start keeping bad company and learn bad things from them, they can only watch helplessly but unable to do anything.

In Nazi Germany, the SS recruited ordinary young people and trained them to be torturers and killers who then committed war crimes without feeling anything for their victims who may have been women, children or old people. This was the power of indoctrination to a belief that they were the superior white race and the rest were not worth their consideration because they were sub humans. The SS training program systematically destroyed whatever conscience they had in order to turn these young men into the killing machines and torturers.

So the conscience is a very precious thing that needs to be protected from the evil that tries to destroy it by promising riches and many rewards if they only give it up. For the corrupt people it is the temptation of money but for others it may be the immense power they gain over other people. This feeling of power they gain and abuse is like an aphrodisiac that turns grown men and women into monsters like Idi Amin , Mobutu or Ceausescu. Adolf Hitler was drunk with power that he abused. Unfortunately we still find many Hitlers who blatantly abuse their power.

The Catholic church supported the blood lust of some so called priests in Spain who ordered the torture and killing of poor ordinary people just because they were helping the sick people with herbs and potions. They were falsely called heretics and burned at stakes by these priests during the Inquisition that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths in the most cruel way possible. They did not follow the dictates of Jesus and yet they claimed that they were Catholics. They had absolutely no conscience and feelings for the human being so they killed them without feeling any guilt for such crimes.

When we visited the Amish country in Pennsylvania last year, we were very impressed by the simplicity and very good values the Amish people practice and teach their children so I wrote a blog called the Admirable Amish that I want you to read in this context. Their faith, family and farm are the three things most important to them . When a deranged man killed some children in a school , he was caught by the police and taken to jail but the elders of the Amish community and the families grieving as they were, forgave the killer and prayed for him in his jail.

So did Pope John Paul II who was attacked by a deranged man. He went to the jail and personally forgave the shooter and prayed with him but John Paul was a saint who had a conscience that urged him to forgive the wrong doer just like the Amish.

But we the ordinary people are not like the Pope or the Amish people who are very religious and practice what their religion teaches them. We at some point become vulnerable due to poverty and the devil’s tempting offer of riches in exchange for our soul.

What are we if we lose our soul in exchange for trinkets and baubles?

 

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

les blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

My blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

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Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русскиu

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