Social Issues

Social Issues
Social Issues
Social Issues
Social Issues

Healing the Scars of Child Abuse

By Somali K Chakrabarti What does a child do when those who are meant to protect her turn into the perpetrators of crime against her? Abuse in the formative years might be the worst kind of agony that a person could be subjected to. When perpetrated by family members it carries with it the burden of guilt and shame, which affects not only the childhood but spills over the entire lifespan of the person. Every time I read about child abuse, it disgusts me to think about the people who indulge in the heinous crime. More disturbing is the thought of children who are made to go through it.   Image credit The Only Way Out Is Through ‘The Only Way Out Is Through,’ written by Shirley J Davis, is a first-hand narrative of the trauma faced by the author who was subjected to abuse in her childhood. While she avoids mention of the explicit details, Shirley mostly uses the form of free flowing poetry to convey the deep scars that were inflicted on her as a child, and the psychological setback she suffered due to the inhuman ordeal.

Social Issues

The Great Indian Litterbug

 By Somali K Chakrabarti Litterbug is the name; to litter is his game. He is one you will adore, for his qualities galore. This is the story of the 7 year old little Litterbug Cute little Litterbug is just back from school. Hungry as hell, he throws around his bag and yells for food. His doting mother hands over an apple and some bananas to him. The little Litterbug eats the half apple and throws the other half right out of the window. ‘My son will grow up to be a great cricketer one day. See how he strives to perfect his aim!’ Mother Litterbug utters aloud drooling over the antics of her lil one. The banana peel follows the half eaten apple out of the window as she lovingly looks on. He tears open a packet of chips, takes out his notebook, and starts scribbling vigorously to finish his homework before he goes out to play.  

Social Issues

Celebrate diversity and break cultural stereotypes

 By Somali K Chakrabarti  “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combination of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.” ― Sun Tzu India being a large country, the culture and tradition of a part at one end of the country are distinctly different from another part at the other end. The vast multitude of art, music, dance, food and traditions add to the cultural diversity and enliven the country with shades and hues of different colors, but not without presenting their own set of challenges. We are, often, so oriented to our customs and traditions that most of us tend to judge others solely by the values and standards of our own culture. We don’t desist from complaining about how foreigners perceive us, but then we Indians have our own yardsticks for judging people from other states. Deeply ingrained in our psyche are the cultural prejudices that we have grown up with.

Social Issues

Busting the myth of Manliness in Indian society

By Somali K Chakrabarti   Mard ko dard nahin hota. Amitabh Bachchan had declared in his characteristic style in ‘Mard’, one of the memorable Bollywood blockbusters from the 1980s. Translated in English it means ‘A real man does not feel pain’. This stereotypical projection of men in India, has time and again been exemplified by the society, perpetrated through the movies, and reinforced by many parents while raising their children. In a thought provoking show ‘When Masculinity Harms Men’ in Satyamev Jayate’, Aamir Khan took a step towards busting the myth of manliness that exists in the Indian society. Here is what Mr Bachchan said on the show. . To forcefully instill values in the male child to constantly act like a man or to behave violently is wrong.  ~Amitabh Bachchan A far cry from his iconic dialogue! Power, aggression, control are classified as ‘masculine’ traits, while caring, sharing, expressing emotions or crying are the typically seen as ‘feminine’ traits. These notions are instilled in the mind of male children right from their childhood. Any small boy, who cries, is consoled saying he shouldn’t cry like a girl, since he is physically stronger. Mothers urge their sons to beat up other children rather than get bullied…

Social Issues

Why society should accept Alternative Sexuality

By Somali K Chakrabarti   Alan Turing, whose pioneering work laid the mathematical foundations of computer, was convicted for homosexuality and subjected to chemical castration that drove him to suicide. His suicide prompted the British government to amend laws concerning homosexuality. ~ Aamir Khan on ‘Accepting Alternative Sexuality’ episode of his show Stayamev Jayate that touched upon the sensitive issue of the rights of LGBT community to live freely and openly. Alan Turing was the British mathematical genius, logician and cryptanalyst who had invented the Turing machine, which laid the foundation for creation of modern computers. By cracking the German military’s secret code, Turing had helped the British Navy defeat Hitler’s U-boats and win the Battle of the Atlantic, in the World War II. He was a marathon runner too, with world class time, and was named as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, by TIME magazine in 1999.  

Social Issues

Mumbai – A Green City Turning Grey

By Somali K Chakrabarti Standing by the open window railing on my room, as I sip my morning tea looking at the coconuts swinging from the tree at a stone’s throw, I struggle each day to reconcile with how the view has changed over the last two years. The open space on both sides, where there used to be a nursery and a school playground is now covered up with high-rise flats that are in the last stage of construction. In place of the variety of plants and flowers in the nursery, stands a burly concrete mixer humming throughout the day. Scaffoldings along the walls of buildings and reinforcement rods jutting out of the columns from the roof of an under-construction parking lot make an unseemly sight. I feel let down and so do the other residents of the building. But do we complain? Not much! Financial wisdom tells us that with the land prices having appreciated more than 5 times, we should not be complaining. Likewise, constructing high rise buildings on a prime property makes more commercial sense for builder; so what if the land was initially earmarked for a school playground and a park. Besides enjoying the facility of…

Social Issues

‘The Flaws In Our Laws’ By Dr Bibek Debroy | Absurdities Of Indian Laws – Part II

By Somali K Chakrabarti Continuing from my last post ‘The Flaws In Our Laws’ By Bibek Debroy | My Scribbling Of The Session – Part I, here I proceed to  jot down the next two anecdotes that were also the most interesting anecdotes of the session. . Identifying Surplus Government Posts   Anecdote 3 was about identifying redundant government posts to recommend their abolishment. The story, as narrated to Dr Debroy by a retired senior civil officer goes as follows… In 1973, an Administrative Reforms Commission was set up in Tamil Nadu to find posts in the system that appeared to be redundant. Two such posts identified were that of LBK, LBA. Nobody seemed to have a clue about what these abbreviations stood for, nor about the duties assigned to these posts. Some facts unfurled when people who had retired from these positions and were drawing pensions were called upon to enquire about the posts. In 1926, a Royal Commission on Agricultural Reform was set to improve the quality of agriculture in India . The Commission was set up under the Chairmanship of Lord Linlithgow, who later became the Viceroy of India and served from 1936 – 1943. It was decided…

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