Thursday, March 4, 2010


(New Series No. 186, December 2003)

18-22 years age: Has to earn money. Has come to the city just to earn money. Sitting idle, he thinks, who will feed me, take care of my expenses. 1000,1200,1500 rupees per month pay. Each day 12-16 hours duty. Young, he is slightly flashy in appearance, a bit bouncy in his walk.

28-30 years age:
Preoccupied with family expenses. Has to raise kids. Chooses duty over holiday, though it is not what he desires. Will do overtime shifts at single rate. For additional money, he will work 12 to 16 hours shifts or after 8 hours duty finds some other work on the side. The neglect of his body-clothes-relations is increasing.

Above 40: There are no jobs for someone his age. Reluctantly, he is given work- 1,200rupees a month with the condition that he will work 12 hours everyday, 30 days of the month. He is visibly helpless...At every step, people are generating work for money- a shop in the house, shop on a handcart, shop on a cycle, shop on the side of the road...

With this state of things, the one upmanship vis-a-vis neighbors, co-workers, relatives, acquaintances, friends is like the ceaseless and gnawing itching of leprosy.

When will we live? Where is the time to live? And here many of us consider ourselves-humans beings- as the highest creation on earth...
"There is no time to die" people say, but if time is needed to live then conversations about the present social system and creating a new society have to take place.

Probably not for all, but for many living beings, food, water, and shelter, can be considered indispensable necessities. These necessities in themselves give us pleasure and the activities for acquiring them are also pleasurable. But for quite some time amongst human beings, acquiring food, water, and shelter has increasingly become a compulsion, a painful activity. In the present times especially, the majority of people's lives is withering away just in obtaining one's daily bread.

Besides maintaining life and continuing the existence of a species, various kinds of relations amongst a generation and across generations, gives life joy and meaning. Amongst many species, relations are generally harmonious and there is on attachment and affection towards life. But in these 5 to 7 thousand years among humans, there is an increasing tendency to see life as a curse. To escape from the cycle of life is considered emancipation and transcendence! Today, killing time, engaging in time-pass has become extensive.

Among many types of species, one generation exchanges knowledge-skill amongst itself and passes it onto the next generation. Amongst such species, exchanges between children and the aged are generally playful; learning and teaching one another gives both pleasure to both. But with the break-up of community and the advent of hierarchy/rich-poor divisions, relations amongst human beings have begun to be tortuous. To fulfill the needs of the market, an extensive noose and net of schools has emerged to teach and train young ones. This has meant not only the construction of torture houses for children on a wide scale but the increasing break-down of intergenerational relations making the elderly superfluous, transforming the aged into those waiting for death. Old-age homes and 'children are a nuisance' are two sides of the same coin...

Besides human beings, many species accumulate in material form, i.e. add, create, collect. The creation of hives and collection of honey by bees, the stocking of nuts and food by squirrels, the construction of nests by sparrows...Various types of accumulation for making life richer, better, more secure. But since the break-up of community-type societies and the emergence of hierarchic/rich v. poor social systems, accumulation and increasing accumulation is worsening the life of more and more human beings, rendering it more painful and more insecure.
Steps that increase relations with neighbors, co-workers, friends, relatives, acquaintances loosen the noose of work-money. These steps are steps on the path of life, a fruitful life.

Generation after generation, accumulation is intensifying on both macro and micro scales. And both the macro and the micro themselves are intensifying in form. The macro meaning bigger buildings and structures. The micro meaning greater technology, telescopes, minutes research to control populations. The accumulation has become so fearsome and demonic that persons being and not being are rendered almost the same. Increasing loneliness is biting at and absorbing every person. Even the non-living- the air, the water, the earth - has been deformed to such an extent that all living beings, all species are at stake.

The thing is not to blame oneself or this-that-and-the-other. Rather, it is necessary to think and meditate on the bad situation that work-money, work-money has made and is making. It seems necessary to scratch deeply underneath the surface of that which is being eulogized as progress and development by the 'best' among our species - the scholars, researchers, experts, and 'wisemen' and to uncover the vulgarity and absurdity of it's finesse propagation by artist and court jesters. Is there any other alternative to these paths and methods that are being disseminated through our schools, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and films...?

"If there's not enough for me, how can there be spare for you?!" There is an objective basis or criterion to believe that our relations are shrinking in the present system as seen through our time, means, and the energy of our bodies and souls. It is either work-work-work-more-work-more or sit idle, idle, idle...Both are narrow, vicious cycles. Money-money-the obsession-with-money certainly carries inside it many wounds, certainly shows how helpless we feel in the present state. It seems the script of helplessness is written on the wall, but are we really helpless?

See the sparrow... What is life, we must ask? What is a fruitful life?

We human beings have created these conditions. The outcomes of the tussles that have taken place across many generations are in front of us. But the struggles have not stopped. The churning continues. Apart from the old forms, new beginnings, new methods, new paths and efforts to bury the present social system and create a new society are also continuing, are also increasing. It seems necessary to bring in new scales of measurement to recognize and understand the effect or importance of the steps persons are taking both separately and collectively. Then in the place of 'nothing is happening', all that is taking place will become visible to us...
To deepen, increase, widen relations amongst human beings is the path to demolish the existing social system and create a new society on earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment