The Long Conversations

The Long Conversations

The world is a hurried place. We walk fast , we text faster, we type at robotic speeds and we are instant beings of slow processing. We try to go faster and faster hardly stopping or taking a pause to appreciate the collateral beauty emanating in a subtle disguise from every event.

We want everything short and concise , packed, organised and neatly classified. We want information ordered and stories told in five words and we call them ‘haiku’ or ’terribly tiny tales and shit’. While doing all this we terribly ignore the depth, the exploratory genius and the pearls that lie beneath layers of useless phrases.

I believe that it is important to go deep and into the details. Engage yourself in deep and thoughtful conversations. Talk till words and topics are exhausted. Brainstorm and fire new neural pathways. Use your grey cells damn it!

So next time when you talk to someone , listen to their story and learn from their experiences. Do not get impatient to know the end or conclusion because you know journey is important and destination is just another end to a new beginning. Think upon that.

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Freedom of Speech and Expression & its Violations on Social Media

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” —- Evelyn Beatrice Hall [A Quotation often cited as the modern principle of freedom of speech]

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The constitution of India has enshrined in itself a few fundamental rights, ‘Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression’ [Article 19(1)(a)] grants the people of India the most basic of all rights. The rights to express one’s beliefs, opinions and convictions without any fear in any form of writing, printing, music, art, painting, film etc. The foundation of a free society rests on an open flow of ideas and thoughts. This freedom to express encompasses a whole spectrum of liberties against suppression and regulation.
Such stated freedom is essential to create an atmosphere of open discussion which leads to an active participation in democracy and peaceful co-existence of diverse communities. This makes it a lot more crucial to preserve this right from violation or misuse. Celebration of free speech requires a policy and behavior of mutual respect than merely tolerating each other’s opinions. Social media is the most widely used platform to exercise this right. From negotiation to allegation, from chat to debate, from live cam to scam it is all happening out there. A status update, a tweet, a like, a comment, reactions, #tags. From celebrity sensationalism to widespread outrages, it is all laid out on the world wide web. This freedom and access brings many dynamic variables in the system, and so these rights are subject to certain restrictions imposed on print and electronic media. However, quite interestingly social media is far out of any regulatory scope of any such restricting laws or provisions. The First Amendment to the Constitution which was a result of journalist Romesh Thapar’s efforts, made on June 18, 1951, states that “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with Foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence” will be paramount and freedom of expression will not be unconditional.

Rajshree Chandra a political science teacher at Janki Devi Memorial College, DU and the author of the book The Cunning of Rights: Law, Life, Biocultures discusses at length various examples of how powerful political figures like Adityanath Yogi (CM-UP) use the constitutional principle of “reasonable restrictions”– embedded in one or more of the IPC provisions of section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), section 124A (sedition), section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and section 505 (statements that clause “public mischief”). Section 292: Makes obscene publications (book, paper, pamphlet, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure or any object) an offence. The penalty is 2 years (first conviction) or 5 years (second conviction), and/or fine. Section 298: Penalises the “utterance of words” that might hurt the religious feelings of any person; the penalty is 1 year and/or fine.

IT Act of 2000 has been the subject of much debate, it’s section 66A criminalizes online communication that is “grossly offensive”, has a “menacing character”, or causes “inconvenience or annoyance”. Section 69A authorizes the government to block websites, through a set procedure, Section 79 deals with the online “intermediaries” – search engines, social media platforms etc. to “take down” illegal speech/content that users might have posted and are hosting. The Apex court in a landmark judgement has scraped Section 66A, upheld Section 69A and it upheld Section 79, limiting its scope by “reading it down.”

Heart of the Article 19 says: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” In a highly digital era and unprecedented speeds of connectivity we can share videos, hashtag celebrities, blogging, microblogging , YouTube channels are flooding the social media. Users generating and consuming content in high quantity must promote the practice of self check and research. Only real awareness of the responsibility that comes with these great rights can prevent their violation and abuse.

Judgments and case studies exhibiting the ‘Status-quo’ of India -on violation of constitutional right on social media sites.
• On March 25, filmmaker Sirish Kunder had a FIR registered against him over his tweets criticising the BJP’s decision to appoint Adityanath as UP chief minister.
• On April 15, the Delhi BJP lodged a complaint with the police against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for dubbing the Election Commission as Dhritrashtra!
• 20 November 2012, Two girls arrested in ‘Bal Thackeray Facebook incident’, Shaheen Dhada posted a comment on Facebook wall on the demise of Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thakeray regarding his death. Her friend ‘liked’ her content. They were arrested under Section 295(a) of IPC and Section 64(a) of IT Act, 2000. Granted bail after fine of Rs.15,000 each and written apologies.

REFERENCES:
http://www.indialawjournal.org/archives/volume3/issue_4/article_by_dheerajendra.html
• “The Cunning of Rights: Law, Life, Biocultures” – Rajshree Chandra
https://www.legistify.com/blogs/view_detail/817-what-is-freedom-of-expression-and-speech-according-to-the-constitution-of-india
https://www.dailyo.in/politics/section-66-a-freedom-of-speech-expression-sections-69a-79-social-media-ceonsorship/story/1/2740.html

Cosmos

We are product of big bang. I mean all matter, including us comes from somewhere. There are secrets buried out there in the past but I am sure about us being celestial objects and stardust and all. I am unique, meteorite rare material that is priceless. I know nothing normal constitutes my being.

What do , the we know, we don’t trust without a proof. We want it all written down and explained to us. What happened to feeling things? Huh, what about the vastness of the sky, what about having no choice and what about those infinite impossible events you can’t just explain the reason behind. Yeah, the so called mysteries. We came from a big explosion or whatever it was, it is obviously big given our minuscule sizes. Instead of cowering from the universe and shying away I suppose the better way out is to embrace it, feel yourself at ease. Start with the very ground you set foot upon, design your room to your interest, then our home. Reach out, transform the society. Change the environment and the world. Feel you are a part of this wonderful creation and your role will be assigned to you soon enough.

This universe needed you for something and that is why you were created. A beautiful gift has been bestowed upon us and as humans I have to sadly admit that we are squandering these gifts away. We need to seek out and connect to our baser instincts be  better human beings. When we die we should take leave from a better society than we came in.

 

Being Different 

We all want to be different, hell who wants to be a copycat. I am gonna be the original dog leading the pack.  Yes, of course I want followers. It’s in our code to be unique, which we are if we look inside ourselves : literally. Why not be your own genuine self than to start copying others to become ‘different?’

  Somewhere in the crowd we too have joined in, copying this and that to remain in the ‘trend’ , forgetting something we told ourselves when we were little. 

  Losing your originality to become wanted and appear eye-catchy decomposes the whole idea of a personality and uniqueness and ends the discussion like a downpour ends a storm. 

  You are a nobody if your universe doesn’t come to lie at your feet working at your command. Be yourself and I guarantee you will be different and unique in a beautiful way you never thought existed. 

  

 

Between Lord and ME

Between Lord and me.

For once I may have been driven away from what I think of the matter of God, but that was centuries ago and the air was just clearing for my race to pitch camp. From what I have seen God has always been an experience for an individual and never a community. The first human to have thought of God always thought in his own genuine manner and so God was more important to a person as an individual and not as a mass.

The race grew, flourished, evolved and began the deterioration of God, while humans grew senseless enough to divide the land and make boundaries between people, they were further retarded to divide Gods. This, to please them so that, when they couldn’t fight their Gods would, and so Gods became enemies. Gods were now limited to little areas and lesser people. Mankind has done terribly to something which it created with so much passion and devotion. Who wouldn’t look at this act and not say that man was selfish before mankind had barely begun on Earth.

Refuting Gods, people fighting in the name of the Lord, confusing God with religion and deepening this poison day by day in the minds of everyone. Rough present situation points its way back to the first days of man, when Green and blue and white were the only three colors visible on Earth from space. Thereafter people went fanatic on religion and red color of blood started marking stark religious boundaries on our beautiful blue-green-white ball of life.

God is a personal phenomenon; it is a process of discovering the outside world through deepening knowledge of the self or the individual. When we begin to know ourselves from inside of us, then comes the realization and understanding of everything outside. But this is all futile too because if you look around no two things are separable completely. There are no clear demarcations of anything whatsoever. The whole system is in a constant state of flux, and for me this flux is God. Yes, indeed the ‘constant change’, thought flow and breathing are just a few representations of the intricate magic spread around us.

Only when we train ourselves to look with one eye, the eye which takes in all views simply and without attachments. And contemporary writers and thinkers understand this concept slightly less than the legendary geniuses. Even then, they put it aptly in a TV series titled Mr. Robot, when the protagonist an extraordinary hacker takes on huge corporations with his hallucinatory visions. When Elliott, the male lead goes for a religious therapy session, he walks out abruptly when the moderator gave her a sermon about Jesus, his reply went thus, “Why should I believe in your imaginary friend, when you don’t believe in mine?”

 

Our Gods are imaginary, what are real is us and the universe. Trust me there are no Gods, no heaven, no hell. It’s just us and this infinite universe. You may choose anyone or anything to call your God. The Vedanta philosophy puts it aptly when they reflect that God is in us or simply we are potential Gods of our own universes.

Love Shine.

Here is a spoiler:

To all those who thought love is all the good-good emotions and cuddling with your partner in bed, I have bad news and this is incredibly real. Love will heal you in unconventional ways, because like everybody lives their life differently, people love differently too. Sometimes due to some misunderstanding and glitches of human emotions,things spin out of control. In this chaos, when you have enough time to reflect upon the situation, your minds reveals to you infinite possibilities.

Trust me, if your lover doesn’t hurt you and does not tell you at least once that you are the worst person, you have not even begun. The consequences are much larger if you carry on loving that same person, because then you have chosen the lesser traveled road. That road where you haven’t been until now, the road it is time to discover and that road will take you places you didn’t know existed and will make you the person that you did not know lived in you.

My experience gave me a simple lesson, I should live by my words, before I put pen to paper, I should be truthful to myself and must have lived what I write and if I have not lived it, I should at least follow them in real life. In one line, I should be a poet in my personality and not just in my words.

Some people do teach you the meaning and value of their name, the person I am referring to taught me the meaning of her name and to feel it perhaps would be to feel my own goodness. So I have begin the journey and search to be soulful again, if there is goodness in me, it will come out when I summon it and if not my worst will be best in someone’s eyes.

But when the storm has subsided, one truth will remain and that is love will break you and then you make yourself worthy of love and worthy of your lover.
You leave your old ways and become something new, something better. If you have realized this you are already on the path again, let time do the rest. Emotions and feelings are your internal world but your behavior determines your personality and no one has the time to look in your heart and see your goodness.

For people like me who overthink, it is stimulus and a medicine and time to heal and let the poison escape from my soul. It is a good time to ponder, think and act on the plan. Time to wake up the dead poets, dust the old books and disturb the old corners of the cupboard and make the soul shine again.

Laments of Two Writers. 

​“I suppose that is what we lack- the motivation to write”. And that struck the chords on our ratiocination. We lacked motivation. There was exiguousness of something that pushes us forward- to take the next step, to write the next line. We were bereft of that push- that proclamation of our conscience that tells us why we need to do something, why we need to write. ‘Cause that is what motivation is- a push; subdued or mordant, that push is what keeps us going.
 “Motivation to write- to write what’s right..” “..and make it right to write it”. Wow..!! We are lost as writers. After having jotted down hundreds of poems, songs and ballads of broken hearts, now as the beats get fainter, our words are lost in our thoughts. We are as lost as ‘Alice’, in the ‘Wonderland’ of inked and digitalized expressive utterances. 
To understand why we need motivation or even that slight push to our vehemence, it is important for us to sustain and acknowledge it. We have endured and reconciled ourselves to euphoric moments of acclimation, but have found ourselves ‘sans- motivation’ everytime we have needed it in profusion. Every time we have tried to cajole ourselves into reorientation, we have sunken deeper into the twilight of our minds, for betraying our own resolutions. 
Undergoing those moments of self-betrayal is what we need to apprehend the role of the word ‘motivation’ in our lives. We then discern that we cannot count upon ourselves to psych us up. That is when we seek extraneous resources. We count upon sources like friends family, books, internet and what not. Sometimes they work, sometimes nothing at all helps. Then we again wander back to our own profundity, feeling indefensible. That is when we truly comprehend the phrase, ‘God helps those who help themselves’. We are hardly motivated by an external reinforcement ’cause we are unable to grasp the complete sense of it; mostly. Unless we ourselves want to do something, nothing can basically make us budge.
Yes, it is our firm believe that only we can pull ourselves out of the black-hole. It’s our own voices that are capable of escorting us to the effulgence, illuminated by our own hands. Having read all those ‘motivational books’ and ‘self-helf literature’, now we know that it’s all momentary; nothing lasts. All we are looking for is an uninterrupted flow of ‘motivational sap’; but to no avail. Motivation can only be intermittently recharged by these borrowed sources, it is us who needs to keep the flame ablaze. 
But yet again, we fail to persuade ourselves. We fail to synchronize our brains with our hearts. Yes, it’s always a squabble between our hearts and our brains. When it’s our passion to do something, it comes straight from our hearts. Our hearts know why we need to write- how we have always wanted to do it, how we cannot imagine ourselves doing anything else or how it’s the only outlet to our emotions. But nothing seems to help- reason?Our brains always overpower. Yes, brain is a logical organ, it knows how to sort it’s priorities- but according to the immediate need of the hour. So the urgency, of our ‘knows-no-logic’ hearts, is mostly shut off. That is how we procrastinate. Logic always finds a way over passion. Had we been bounded to it, had it been something we had to do for a cause, our brains would have freed our hearts to empower. Only if we could find a way to tame both our hearts and brains..!!

   – Sana & Sahar