Saturday, April 10, 2010


It was a hot Friday.The mercury had clocked well above 35 degrees.The place was a burning oven .The ceremony was of a high placed importance.The man comes on to the dais to address the convocation,he cannot take the heat,he protests , makes his point and pulls out the robe and then proceeds.The audience is dumbstruck.Some applaud,some does not move a muscle,some are confused and do not know what to do.

This was the instance which took place recently,the much talked about "Barbaric Robe" controversy.Jairam Ramesh, one of the few intelligent people in the cabinet, drew the attention of the entire nation by his tiny act. He made the people to scratch their heads and ponder over the whole issue and say, "Hey,This guy has a point!!!!".

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh take off his convocation gown while addressing at the 7th convocation ceremony of Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) in Bhopal on Friday.

Well,the man definitely has a point. Is it not funny when we dress ourselves like the "Popes and Vicars" while receiving the honorary degree from the university? Do we even know the root cause behind following such an alien ritual? Where is the connection between the degree which I have earned and the attire in which I am receiving my degree?Things would have been different had I completed my degree from a fashion institute,which however is not the case. The only reason we know is that"my father had followed it,so will I,and so will my children". I have been quite a silent admirer of this man for a while now,not because of his works though,but because of his outspoken and a non sycophantic attittude. Though he sparks a controversy, he makes sense.

He might have been receiving mixed responses from various sections of the society. Some applaud and some have breathed fire. I am surprised to see some opposition over the issue who have no religious link to the matter(shashi tharoor had taken a dig over this act). However, this issue has not been blown up into a full scale issue, because this guy is supposed to be from a development oriented party. Had this issue been taken up by a member of sangh family, it would have been dubbed as a communalistic viewpoint. It would have been dubbed as anti developmental viewpoint,had this issue been taken by a commie, and it would have been dubbed as a "plot to send India 25 years back", had this issue been taken up by the YADAVS of UP and Bihar.

Let me not get more political. Coming back to the issue, the ritual of wearing a robe began in the west during medieval period, when the educational institutions were run by the churches. The ritual was taken forward elsewhere and also in India during the European rule. The buck ends just there!!!!!!!!!. Times have changed, scenarios have changed, but our thinking still has stuck onto the rottening past. Ramesh is absolutely right in saying that we are shamelessly following the symbol of slavery.

For that matter, there are still n number of things which we are following with no questions asked. The whole police system in India is still intact, the way it was designed by the Europeans. The whole police system was designed with a mere purpose of 'tax collection'.We did not what to do with them after the Britishers left.Hence we never made any effort in redesigning it to match our ease.The funny ritual of wearing the black gown by the lawyers, the system of addressing the judge as 'your honour' or 'my lord'.I still do not understand the need for wearing that gown.Will the justice not be met in the country if we do not wear those gowns? Coming to the Indian railways,it is said that it is almost impossible to track the blueprint of the entire Indian railway system which was designed by the Britishers. Yet, we just make changes to the existing line, but not make any effort as to redesign it for any ease. There are numerous organisations who protest for numerous funny things, but I have surprisingly seen almost none who have taken this matter seriously.

For that matter, the whole usage of the word 'INDIA' , is very depressing. We have been using this name with 'heels over heads', from time immemorial, the name which was never ours, the name which was gifted to us by uncle Columbus, thanks to his confusion(he had mistaken our land as West Indies,hence the name conferred to us). Any efforts taken over this matter would be dubbed as anti developmental, anti minority and whatever bullshit. I know there are no connections to the issue and the allegations made, but that is how things are handled .

With this regard, we have to appreciate the Americans a lot, who have taken so much efforts to come out of the shadow of English culture almost entirely. Their redesign of the complete orthodox English language is just a simple example. Nowhere in their entire system will you see even the traces of them being under English rule, at any point of time in the history. Be it there political system, their military system, educational system, any system for that matter, gives of a feeling that it is America, which is free from the shadow of slavery.

We copy the Americans in so many different ways, considering it to be cool to copy them. But why do we not take these aspects from them and learn a new way of looking at things. Its truly disappointing the way we have forgotten our identities, our purposes in life. Will we ever wake up to reality and see things in a different way? or continue the 'blind following' throughout the generations to come, is a thing for the time to see.