Administration & Management

It's Art of Governance & Not Commerce Alone

Tag Archives: need

TRUTH: TOUGH TO SPEAK : MORE THAN ANY THING ELSE

TRUTH: TOUGH TO SPEAK : MORE THAN ANY THING ELSE

Telling truth somehow has been found to be a real taxing job. This has been one of the strategic battle fields, in my efforts to remain human, that I am attempting for last four years. Well ! nearly all who made me learn and also those around me who still preach other to practice truth by quoting “Truth Shall Triumph”, have been found lacking by miles when its’ their turn to practice what they preach. The one of the serious problems that I encountered in my attempts to remain human, got born the day I learned and put in practice this teaching of society. As soon as I saw many human beings started to change sides. Why it is so? is still a mystery.

The finding on the same lines is that, since you were not born with all the elements around you, in the sense that they keep on changing, you should not develop attachment to them. This is point where you will find that speaking truth has now turned some what easy.

This learning occurred to me with the learning that I do not have liabilities but responsibilities. Studies, Books and Exploring the Unexplored in this Universe are at times much better company to have. Some times, despite of this, I fear that God may have destined a long life span for me, reason behind this feeling may be assigned to my style of living the life. I will not say that I live life King Size, but then I can very well say that I live life at both extremes and have always attempted to defy the moderate path.

Normally, people pursuing moderate path with unbudgging focus on material and commercial aspect and in a state, which I say as a stage of life long and unending transition, where they are attempting from Third Stage in Maslow’s  Need of Hierarchy to Fourth Stage of same hierarchy.

Alas ! they are not able to complete this transition even at the moment ending their journey of life, but are happy (as they feel) most often with few tense moments at night, also at the same time time suffering with psuedo – achievement syndrom. They continue to live in ‘Gentle Poverty’ [a term coined by author], trying to prove that they are ethical ones, and simultaneously attempting to hide the fact they are neither humans, nor professionals; precisely ‘they can be termed as Selfish’ Creations. They will remain happy and content for nearly one third of their life span, i.e., commercially productive life span and may succeed in developing a false feeling of being content too; but you know that still  one third of their life, that would be less productive phase remains left.

A great Saint and Poet Tulsidaas [who authored Ram Charit Manas and in same] has said that “SABSE BHALE VEH MOORH NAR JINHE NAA VYAPAHIN JAGAT GATI”, when translated in Victorian language, it means that  the “Individual who are not intelligent enough to learn what is happening around the world and lack vision and are living in manner of ‘FUNGI’ are the happiest of all”.

I am also worried more often than not that why such issue get born in my Grey Cells alone. Are others also thinking in the same manner? If yes then why do not act so? I find no answers as the world turns deaf to my question. Its good too, as it provides me chance to analyze the things further.

Some how I land on the conclusion that as life has its strange ways, the god may be having some agenda with him that he may be planning of getting executed by me and thus has given or say gifted or punished by equipping me with this kind of life style and thinking.

People like me probably are not allowed to expect an easy life for them. As such people are supposed to be busy thinking that when so many are there, why it is they alone forced to embark on such path, and are then lost in search of what they are expected to do or what new surprise may spring out of destiny’s lucky dip basket.

Its’ nothing new and finally all ends well. The only difference that is found with passage of time is  that while others find it easy to leave this planet or to say fully vanish with their identities and names within fifty or sixty years of their leaving their mortal bodies, the another kind finds it difficult task to be performmed even after passage of centuries too.

Probably this much gamble is good enough to give you motivation for completing the Journey of life in bit other manner, trying to follow and accompany truth as nearly, as long as possible.

Remember, its only your deeds that can turn you immortal and also that you have been gifted with only one life time to perform the same. No more, no less. “Complaining of not having inherited the fortunes is not a good thing to do, but on the other side do attempt to complete your journey of life leaving others HAPPY & PLANET A BETTER PLACE FOR THEM TO LIVE.”


Always Yours —-  As Usual —–  Saurabh Singh

 

Advertisements

“thalaikoothal” – What it Means! Perhaps Murdering Your Own who brought You on this Planet

MERCY KILLINGS

 

Maariyamma is likely to be killed by her children because they cannot afford her. They will give her a loving oil bath. Several glasses of coconut water. A mouthful of mud. Perhaps a poison injection. She is just one of many old parents in Tamil Nadu dying in this way. But no one blinks at these ritual murders.

IN TAMIL, it is known as thalaikoothal. A leisurely oil bath. An exercise in love and health when given to newborn children, a ceremonial beginning to festivals, and the universal answer to pitiless summers. In Tamil Nadu’s small industry hub of Virudhunagar, however, it is the beginning of slow murder. The marker of the devastating poverty that makes a son kill his own aging mother.

DEATH DO US APART AFTER HER FRIEND’S SON TURNED MERCY KILLER, MAARIYAMMA LEFT HER VILLAGE

DEATH DO US APART AFTER HER FRIEND’S SON TURNED MERCY KILLER, MAARIYAMMA LEFT HER VILLAGE

Young family members of this district in southern Tamil Nadu have been pushing their infirm, elderly dependents to death because they cannot afford to take care of them. When 65-year-old Maariyamma suspected this might happen to her too, she moved out of her son’s house two years ago. “I’m not well enough to live on my own, but it is better than being killed by them,” she says. Amazingly, there is no bitterness in her voice. Or anger. “They’re struggling hard to take care of their own children,” says Maariyamma, of her sons. She places no blame. Her two sons and two daughters are farm labourers who travel to different villages every sowing and harvesting season. Seeing her children at pains to run their house, and feed and educate her grandchildren, Maariyamma knew she was a burden. She knew how it would end if she didn’t leave.

 

Maariyamma had seen it happen to other men and women of her age. Her neighbour, Parvathy, had been paralysed at the age of 76. “She had only one son,” says Maariyamma. “And he was working in Chennai, surviving on some menial job there. How could he afford to look after his bedridden mother?” One day, Maariyamma says, Parvathy’s son came, “did it” and went back to Chennai. “What else could he do?” she asks. Again, in place of anger or fear, there is helpless resignation. And a strange empathy for the person who might elaborately plan her murder.

 

Thalaikoothal works thus: an extensive oil bath is given to an elderly person before the crack of dawn. The rest of the day, he or she is given several glasses of cold tender coconut water. Ironically, this is everything a mother would’ve told her child not do while taking an oil bath. “Tender coconut water taken in excess causes renal failure,” says Dr Ashok Kumar, a practicing physician in Madurai. By evening, the body temperature falls sharply. In a day or two, the old man or woman dies of high fever. This method is fail-proof “because the elderly often do not have the immunity to survive the sudden fever, says Dr Kumar.

Solitary existence When he suspected his sons saw him as a burden, Kasi moved out

Solitary existence When he suspected his sons saw him as a burden, Kasi moved out

Over THE years, other methods have evolved too. The most painful one is when mud dissolved in water is forced down; it causes indigestion and an undignified death. Velayudham of Help age India says the families often take the mud from their own land, if they have any. “It is believed that this makes their souls happy,” he says.

 

Dorairaj, a farmer in Satur, confesses that Muniammal, a distant relative, had been killed four months earlier. She was 78, and too weak to fend for herself. She was given an oil bath, but somehow survived. After a few days, she was given the ‘milk treatment’. “When the milk is being poured, the nose is held tight,” says Dorairaj. This ‘milk treatment’ is often preceded by starvation. The household stops serving the parent solid food. “When milk is poured uninterruptedly into the mouth, it goes into the respiratory track. A starving person cannot withstand even a moment’s suffocation,” says 60-year-old Paul Raj, coordinator of a district elders’ welfare association.

 

For those who choose poisoning as their modus operandi, Ganeshan is the man to call. This middle-aged man lives in Paramakkudy village, and introduces himself as a ‘medical practitioner’. In reality, he is Doctor Death. Ganeshan sources and administers lethal injections on demand. According to him, it is simply a service. “I am not killing anybody who may have a longer life. It is done only in the last and final stage of one’s life. Why should they suffer in poverty?” he justifies. Ganeshan defends his ‘profession’ but says he’d rather have some other means of livelihood. Azhagappan, a small shop owner, revealed that Ganeshan is not even a trained nurse. “He had worked in a hospital as the lowest grade attendant for a few months. That’s where he learned to give injections.” Azhagappan estimates that Ganeshan charges Rs. 300 to Rs. 3,000. Ganeshan refuses to disclose the chemical combination of his poison.

 

Though everyone seems to be in the know, thalaikoothal officially remained unexposed until the death of 60-year-old Selvaraj, of Ramasamipuram village in Virudhunagar on 18 June this year. Selvaraj, who was bed-ridden due to an accident, died suddenly. Asokan, Selvaraj’s nephew in Virudhunagar, raised the alarm on his uncle’s death. He registered an FIR, and subsequently a woman named Zeenath was arrested for administering a poisonous injection. Prabhakar, the Virudhunagar Commissioner of Police, admits that it is hard to find any evidence. “The body was cremated and there is no scope for a re-examination of the corpse,” he says.

 

Zeenath has been released on bail and refused to talk to TEHELKA when we met her in her village, Ramasamipuram. Some villagers claimed that Zeenath was a ‘professional mercy killer.

 

A few days after Selvaraj’s death came to light, a newspaper published a report exposing more mysterious deaths in the district. When the district administration of Virudhunagar learnt how widespread the mercy killing was, it ordered an investigation. “It was shocking for all of us,” says V K Shanmugham, district collector in Virudhunagar. He soon realised that conventional state responses like arrests, warnings and interrogations would not even scratch the surface.

 

Thalaikoothal lay in the indefinable space between crime and desperate acts of poverty. It was social custom, a collective family decision, a ritual goodbye to a loved one who had lived a full life. Sometimes, it was the victim’s own idea. Shanmugham found that many called it a path to “eternal peace”, an escape from the violence of poverty. “It is difficult to view this simply in a legal or criminal framework,” he adds.

Community Pardon in Many Villages, Thalaikoothal is Not a Crime, But a Social Custom for Them – Yes it’s in India

Community Pardon in Many Villages, Thalaikoothal is Not a Crime, But a Social Custom for Them – Yes it’s in India

If thalaikoothal is seen as a crime, an entire village is accomplice. Community members and relatives not only support the practice, several even arrive a day before the auspicious oil bath to meet the aged parent one last time. Everybody knows the man or woman is going to die.

 

Killing is indeed a brutal solution to financial burdens, but community members claim there is no alternative. “It does not mean that they do not love their parents,” says Chellathorai, the president of Paneerpetty village Panchayat.

 

Paul Raj, of the district elders welfare association, recently requested the district collector for government protection for the elderly. “The aged in these villages are highly vulnerable. We demand government’s immediate action.” Raj, however, realises that while police forces can protect an aged woman from her children, what they really need is protection from penury. “If the seniors had some income, they would not be considered so burdensome,” says Raj. “For example, if they got more pension, or at least got it regularly, it might give some respite.”

Kasi, a daily wager, moved out of his son’s house after his wife died. He’s not sure if he’s 65 or 70, but his shock of white hair, equally white handlebar moustache, and soil-black wrinkled skin are testament to his long and arduous life. Kasi had decided to leave when he watched his children grow tired of tending to their father’s every need. “I’m very fond of them, and can’t imagine they will try to kill me,” he says. “But anyway, I didn’t want to push them to any extreme step.” Whether he too would have been invited for that chilling oil bath some years down, Kasi doesn’t know. And he didn’t stick around to find out.

Thalaikoothal is Not a Crime, But a Social Custom

Thalaikoothal is Not a Crime, But a Social Custom

ACROSS VIRUDHUNAGAR, even as elderly men and women leave their homes, they make excuses for their children. “My son was struggling with his own life,” says Kasi. They put up a brave front. “I’m surviving fine with the ration rice at 2 per kilo,” says a reed-thin Maariyamma. They starve, and sigh, but do not complain. Thalaikoothal is to them not cowardly murder, but a brave farewell. Kasi and Maariyamma do not see how extreme it is, how dramatic. For them, it is a sort of practical love that is simply about survival.

Always Yours —————– As Usual——————-Saurabh Singh

Source: Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 46, Dated November 20, 2010


%d bloggers like this: