Friday, February 20, 2009

Oddly Enough?

Did you know a two-year boy in Orissa was recently "married" to a dog to save him from tiger attacks??! He apparently grew a tooth on his upper gum which was considered a bad omen - an invitation to wild animals to attack him - by the tribals in Orissa. The article even described the wedding ceremony and clarified (much to our relief, indeed) that the boy's "marriage" with the "bride", Jyoti was not a bar for him to marry a human being later in his life without a divorce! The writer went on to make it clear to us that India does not recognise marriage between a human and an animal. Now, I would like to know which other country on this planet does! I am unable to determine whether the news report was more bizarre than the incident itself. As if not being appalled at such ridiculous practices wasn't enough, the news report stops at just reporting. The more evolved we claim we are as a people, the more spineless we become.

No responsible authority, governmental or otherwise, has spoken out on this (if not against it). The media too only wants brownie points out of reporting such bizarre instances while they happen. Yes, it is certainly "an accepted practice among tribals" (why else would they do it then?) but does that mean we accept it too? What about the child who is constantly brainwashed to accept customs without question?

This is not the first time we have seen an irresponsible and spineless society in "action". Pramod Muthalik threatened to get couples forcibly married on Valentine's Day for "violating Indian culture". Our elected representatives remained least bothered. As part of a responsible society, we sent him pink panties. (I did too, it was a really exciting thing to do!) But we stopped at that. Do we see something missing here? Do we see the whole thing is a joke for everybody concerned except Muthalik himself? I really don't think it has dissuaded him in any way whatsoever. Now, he is certain Indian youth are misguided and "perverted". We all made him wrong, yes (which the government didn't even bother doing) but we really didn't get results out of it. It is great we made our voice heard but somewhere down the line we really don't care. If situations are more demanding, we (as a people) are OK with staying indoors on Valentine's Day than stand up and speak for ourselves. Ultimately, nobody cares. Nobody feels responsible. It's all OK, it is all "part of life" and it all "passes". Yes, everything "passes", but who are we being when it comes and goes? We are ready to shut up and take any atrocity committed on our spirits, our sense of commitment and on our right to self-expression. We really don't care, do we?

The Reuters lists the dog's wedding with the boy under "oddly enough". Do we really think it is odd enough for us to make a noise about?