THE JOURNEY OF SURVIVORS

70,000-year history of Indian sub-continent

REDISCOVERING INDIA

Unraveling the mystery of our roots to understand the present and predict the future.

WOMEN, SEX AND PREJUDICE

Do we have it in us to give the fairer sex the place they deserve?.

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Change of world order. Religious Terrorism. Where are we heading?.

INCREDIBLE INDIA

Wanderlust Hodophiles.

Welcome to KHOJ: The search to know our roots and understand the meaning of our existence.

Prejudice is the biggest problem in the society. It can be it in terms of religion, cast, sex, skin-colour, status etc. Prejudice can also be in form of the feeling that human beings are the greatest creation, or even patriotism about artificially created borders. The motto of KHOJ is to gain knowledge and break that prejudice. But there is a word of caution for the readers. To break the prejudice KHOJ might throw upon you the concepts it believes in. If the reader believes on KHOJ’s perception without question, then KHOJ itself might incept a prejudice in the readers mind thus failing in it own motto. KHOJ is trying to break its own world of prejudice, but at times that prejudice might get reflected in its writing. Please do challenge them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How Westernization has Corrupted our Culture!

Many Indians think that the one thing that's missing in most of us is the pride for our past. Centuries of slavery have made us forget our traditions. The cultures imported to India by our once western ‘masters’ have corrupted our own. We have been brainwashed to think that westernization is same as modernizatin.

If you agree, you are probably right in some ways. Our faith, our dresses, our customs, our morals and our lifestyles have definitely been influenced by the west. Some of us do take pride in thinking that western culture is the only right culture. Unless we get over our colonial hangover and start respecting our past we can never achieve our true potential. So, below are the four western (by which in mean influences from west of Indus) influences that we need to throw away right now.

1.     Gay


The biggest victim of westernization has been the transgender and the transsexual community. Indian mythology is full of transsexual and transgender people. Hijras, or the third gender, have been integral part of our culture. Our ancestors have easily accepted gender diversity. Infact, erotic sculptures in temples openly depict homosexual relationships. 

Such open culture was a shock for the Britishers who banned homosexual relations in 1861 under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Hizras were labeled as a ‘criminal tribe’ in 1871 and stigmatized. Slowly the orthodox British culture became part of our own as we forgot the traditions of our once liberal past. While Section 377 was struck down in 2009 by Delhi High Court, it was re-criminalized by Supreme Court in December 2013. 

The sad irony is that Britishers have moved on and made gay sex legal, we however hold on to their legacy. Equality of status and opportunity is a fundamental right mentioned in our constitution and there will be no development without it.

2.     Sex


Ancient Indians were amongst the few people in the world who realized that sex was an important part of life. As per our ancient texts there are four goals of life: Kama (Sex), Artha (Wealth), Dharma (Duty/Faith as opposed to religion) and Moksha (Emancipation/Liberation). Not surprisingly, Kamasutra (400BC-200AD), the oldest treatise on sex, was written in India.  

Temples like Khajuraho have sculptures showing all four goals of life, Kama being an important part of it. Sex was not separated from sacred temples because sex itself was sacred. Why else should we worship Shiva-linga? Seeing any form of pleasure as sin is a very western concept, a form of Victorian conservatism implanted on Indian minds. It is time we get rid of it.

3.     Women


While most of India, barring North East, was a patriarchal society, women were not kept hidden within the four walls of the house. Going by the dresses women wore, as depicted in the ancient paintings, one can only wonder how covering a women from head to toe became synonymous to Indian tradition.  

Purdah was introduced to India only after the invasion of Afghans.  The dress preferred by the rulers became the dress of choice. The Indian mindset born out of invasions, insecurity and illiteracy needs to change. We need to stop judging women by the dress they wear. Being liberal is being India.

4.     Hindu



What is the difference between Indian and Hindu? While the former is Greek the latter is Persian, both used to denote the same thing. Since ancient times our country was defined by oceans in the south, mountains in the North and the mighty Sindhu River in the West. To enter India it is this river that one had to cross first, and thus Sindhu River became our identity. Since the Persians pronounced ‘s’ as ‘h’ ‘Sindhu’ became ‘Hindu’, and Greeks pronounces ‘s’ as ‘i’ we became Indians. 

Taking literally, calling every Indian a Hindu is not a far stretch as we never had a religion, but a way of life. In-fact, Sanskrit had no word for religion. The closest word is ‘dharma’, which actually means duty or nature. Hinduism was made into a religion by Britishers who coined the term in the beginning of 19th century.   

India was a land of different faiths- from atheists, to spiritualists, to idol worshipers. There were debates amongst the different philosophies, but the existence of none was threatened. India was and is the land of seculars. The day we lose our secularism will be the day we lose our identity. 



Let’s hold on to our identity. Being true Indian is a difficult choice. And it is not about blaming Westerners. Our mistakes were our choice. Let's rectify the mistakes. It is all about having an open mind.... It is not about complaining but evolving.....Are we ready for it?




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ban on Eating or Selling Samosa

All food items mentioned in the post are real and resemblance to any food eaten or left is purely intentional.

In today’s breaking news Department of Food Misadministration of Maharashtra (DFMM) has banned samosa. When asked by our reporter DFMM head gave the following justification.

“Jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, tab tak rahega Bihar mein Laloo” [Till there will be potato inside samosa, there will be Laloo in Bihar]. Laloo is long gone, but the samosa survives. It exposes the fake power of samosa, a food promoted bluntly by the pseudo-secular chefs of India. Petpujaram Swami once said 'Defalsification of Indian cuisine history is the first step for our gastronomic renaissance.' It is time to revise our textbooks that glorifies western foods.  In this falsified history, it is made out that samosas have originated in India. If one reads our ancient holy cookbooks, one realizes that the word samosa has never been mentioned even a single time. However the first recorded history of this weird food is found in 10th century text from Middle-East. It was a food that was brought to India by Muslim invaders. The foreign food has been imposed and forcefully pushed down the throat of poor Indians until they began to think that it is their own. Promoting samosa is like promoting the invaders; it is like reminding us of our days of slavery.

The head then went on to add:
Aloo inside samosa was a modification that happened in India. But one must not forget that aloo is a product that has been brought to India by the imperialistic Europeans. Aloo was a Latin American vegetable that was introduced in India by the Portuguese, and samosa as we know it, is a result of that. Samosa is a bad western influence that spoils our tradition.

Petpujaram Swami hailed the move by the DFMM as a brave one. According to him:
Generations of Indians have been brainwashed by the pseudo-secular chiefs making the once foreign food the most popular food in India. This preferential treatment given to a foreign food would mean that in the future generation it will replace all other indigenous foods and a day will come when Indian food like dal-chawal will become a minority. I have come to know from reliable sources that foreign restaurant are funding Bollywood movies to make dirty item songs to purposefully spoil our culture. “Jab tak rahega samoshe mein aalu…Chipki rahegi tujhse ye shalu”. Is this the kind of songs we want our kids to listen? Is this the kind of food we want our future generations to eat?

Jitender, a dal-chawal seller from Haryana believes that Haryana too should ban samosa. According to Jitender, "To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to rape. Samosa leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts". His helper promptly added "You also know the impact of samosa, which is a spicy food, on our body. Hence, our elders also advised to consume light and nutritious food".

Maharashtra ‘High Cuisines’ has however questioned the move. HC has asked DFMM “While Aloo is used in so many cuisines, why only ban samosa?” DFMM has strongly replied that “Samosa ban in just the beginning and soon other recipes like Vada Pav and aloo-dum will also be banned."


 For the time being eating or selling samosa is a non-bailable offence that can attract jail-term of upto 10 years, depending the size of the samosa. 


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This is a work of fiction resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.