Thursday, April 30, 2009

Re-arranging my prejudices


This one is inspired from a post made by a young blogger friend .. here goes

At school, my social studies teacher managed to bring in the entire world into the tiny class room, as kids of impressionable ages, we sat and almost watched her words. We loved the Freedom movement of India, felt the surge of national pride each time the freedom struggle was described. We visited the various states of India through her eyes and words, the beautiful seven sisters of the northeast, the majestic mystery of rajesthan, the lions of Gir, the temples of the south and the paradise called kashmir were as visible to us as the state we belonged to. Through her we learnt about the structure of society, of various types of government, we learnt of autocracy, dictatorship, democracy, socialism and capitalism.

That was our age of falling for ideals. Many of my friends, including me fell in love with the idea of socialism - an utopian state, a class less society, one for all and all for one. The vigour and the enthusiasm of our teacher made us believe in this ideal. we opposed capitalism, the industrial revolution was looked at only as a source of torture and endless hours of work for the labour class. We ignored all that was good about machines and factory systems, we ignored the massive inventions and the determined evolution of capitalism. For us it was simply a bane on society. The USSR was the place to be, Karl Marx and Lenin were the heroes. Belonging to Kolkata, this ideology was fully appreciated and promoted by my grandparents and various other elders of the family. I was thrilled to be RED and so were they.

We grew and ideologies changed, we started seeing the world through adult eyes and felt for the first time a contradiction. For the first time... I remember telling myself.. " Socialism looks a hell lot better on paper than in the queues I see waiting for a loaf of bread in the chilling winter nights of Russia." For the first time I looked again at Capitalism.. I sensed a freedom there, the freedom to choose my destiny, the freedom to work hard and reap the benefits. Yes I was in college now, almost ready to start a career, and Capitalism provided opportunities that I had failed to see in school, I had failed to see, the discrepeancy in socialism. Why I asked should I share the benefits of my hard work with a lazy bum, why should he get what I get, when he is not putting in even half my efforts?" And as if in validation to my thoughts Socialism was crumbling all over the Globe. "Yes!" I told myself, "My teacher didn't get it right!! Capitalism it is.."

Some more growing later.. a balanced view evolved. Nothing is probably right or wrong, there are shades that are grey in every sphere. In every structure, in every society, it is the flaws that probably make the structure unique. And so it is with these two economic philosophies . Socialism and Capitalism allure us based on our opportunistic nature or phase in life, similarly a lot of ideals lose their shine as we face the realities in life. Utopia becomes a state of mind and so do a lot of other things. None of us is beyond prejudice, because none of us is God. We deal with things the way it suits us best at a particular point in time. It is all fine to say, "I don't believe in casteism... " until its thrown on your face so close that you have no escape. That's when our reaction will prove the true mettle. I do not know how I will react, but I have no idealistic expectations from myself. But think about it.. prejudice is a two way thing... are not the victims prejudiced too?

13 comments:

Aparna said...

Excellent idea for a blog post. Both socialism and capitalism have their advantages. It was socialism that taught the capitalists the idea of a welfare state.Very well written.

Kishore choudhary said...

चलो किसी से प्रेरित ही सही पर अच्छी पोस्ट इसी बहाने कुछ रंग और उनके असर नापे तोले गए, अपने मेच्योर होने के दिनों की उत्सुकता और प्रक्रिया को याद किया गया. आप अपने कमेन्ट पर इतनी गंभीर क्यों हैं मोची होना या क्षोरकार होना कर्म है जाति नहीं.मेरे शहर में जाने कितनी ही जातियों के लोग हैं जो दर्जी का काम करते हैं जाट, खत्री, ब्राहमण, नाई .... फिर क्या कहा जाये सभी की जाति दर्जी होगी ? सामाजिक व्यवस्था चाहे जितनी अच्छी हो कुछ लोग विरोध जरूर करेंगे यही मानव प्रवृति हैं.

रोने वालों से कहो उनका भी रोना रो लें,
जिनको मजबूरी-ए-हालात ने रोने न दिया !!

sujata said...

thankyou Kishore, but galatfahmiya pehle se hi door ho jaani chahiye..we are too old for pretentions and images..

Swati said...

A lesser amount of socialism should be blended with a max. proportion of capitalism for making a suitable mixture ... towards welfare. Nice post on right date ....

Babli said...

A very unique and interesting presentation. In one word I can say fantabulous.Your each and every post is absolutely great and I appreciate about the new ideas and thoughts you gather.In this topic you have mentioned about the capitalism and socialism which I feel have lots of benefits as well as advantages.Keep on writing.
Thanks for your lovely shayari.

sawan said...

tht was some kind of post i was looking forward to read! interestingly expressed! i luvd the way you described the impact of two words and the ideaologies had in your life during different phases. i know it makes no sense, but i wud still go for a socialistic structure of governance with a hint of capitalism. maybe the RED as you say, have blinded me. but some how i see a decline in human values in all the capitalist countries on a longer run. the industries have evolved, the exchange rates are high, the living conditions are better, but at the cost of our life? forgiv me if the example is too irrelevant. we hav an infy office at hyd. they have a beautiful campus with swimming pool , pool tables and a shpping centre. but the employees hardly find time to enjoy these luxuries. they wud be working for extra hours to meet their expectations and by the time they finish their work, they wud be too tored to think of anything else. similarly, a capitalised hyped governance cud definitely gift luxuries, but do you think it wud be worth our life or do you think the life style gifted would make us better human beings? m sure a social way alone wud be highly impractical given the competition and insecurity we find today. thts why i support a socialistic governance with a hint of capitalism. call it a merge of culture :)

Indrani said...

So true, how our ideologies keep changing with age and stages of life. And most often I am confused. You have presented your thoughts well and I can relate at some places. :)

Onkar said...

Well-written piece. We are constantly evolving. It takes time and experience to realize that nothing is perfect.

sujata said...

Thanks @Anil, @Indrani and @Onkar for going through the post and sharing your views. definitely ideologies change with times and with age.. a lot of things are accepted as part of life and a lot of stuff are ignored due to apathy. What I have realised is that a blend of any sort is better as anything staunch fails the test of time. @Anil Practising Socialism is not in the human nature, atleast not the way in which it was originally defined..It is against the Darwinian theory of evolution.. and the kind of socialism that is being practised is sheer hogwash..I find capitalism atleast honest in that respect...now that I am capable of working maybe this is the ideology..hahhaha a few years later when working would become a problem maybe again the ideology would switch back to socialism..confusion is also human

Ajit Ray said...

Something more to my liking..

अनिल कान्त : said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
अनिल कान्त : said...

बात अगर हम सामजिक व्यवस्था की करें तो ठीक वैसे ही है जैसे क़र्ज़ में डूबे हुए किसान के लिए सामजिक और आर्थिक व्यवस्था सही नहीं है ...और वह अंततः आत्म हत्या कर बैठता है ....दूजी और वह उद्योगपति जो ऐशो आराम की जिंदगी जी रहे हैं ...तो उनके लिए सामजिक और आर्थिक व्यवस्था ज्यादा मायने नहीं रखती ...क्यों कि ना ही तो उन्हें बैंक से क़र्ज़ लेकर पढाई करनी है और ना ही समाज की गालियाँ सुनने हैं ...ना ही चिलचिलाती धूप में चलना है ...न ही बिजली की कमी का उसे एहसास होता है ....तो ये निर्भर करता है ...ठीक वैसे ही जो कि अगर कोई गरीब मदद्ल लेकर और आरक्षण के माध्यम से किसी बड़े संसथान में प्रवेश ले लेता है और वहीँ दूजी और एक रईश बाप का बेटा किसी कोचिंग से मेहनत कर ...बचपन से अंग्रेजी स्कूल में पढ़ ...कोई परीक्षा पास कर लेता है ....तो उसे लगता है कि मैंने इतनी मेहनत की और ये कम मेहनत पर आ गया .....तो बस ये एक नज़र नज़र का फेर है ....चूँकि उस गरीब की तो बचपन से तमाम मजबूरिया रही , धक्के खाकर आया ...ना ही ठीक से अंग्रेजी पड़ी ...तो हो सकता है कि वो किसी कि आँखों में खटके .....

तो मेरा कहने का मतलब बस यही है कि सब नज़र नज़र का खेल है ...सोच का खेल है ...किसी के लिए कुछ मायने रखता है तो किसी के लिए कुछ ...

आपने बहुत अच्छा लिखा है ...एक अच्छी पोस्ट है

Suraj said...

Last time i thought of my caste was while filling an application form for a examination, i guess the system reminds us more about caste....A unpretentious article !!