Tuesday, December 28, 2004

सम्भाषणसन्दॆशॆ गणकसंस्कृतम्

संस्कृतभारती "सम्भाषण-सन्दॆशः" इति नामाङ्कितां पत्रिकां चालयति । तस्याः जनवरी-सञ्चिकां ह्यः प्राप्तवान् । सञ्चिकायां हरीश-तन्नॆति कश्चित् गणक-संस्कृतस्योपरि लॆखनमलिखत्। तत्र संस्कृतॆन उट्टङ्कणं कष्टमित्यासीत् । तत्तु सत्यमॆव । परन्तु "बरह", "Itrans" इत्यादयः तन्त्रांशाः सन्ति यॆषु उट्टङ्कण-कार्यं तु तावत् कष्टं नास्ति । मयाप्यधुना "बरह"-साहाय्यॆनैव इदं ब्लाग् लिख्यतॆ । सम्पादकीय-सूचना तु लॆखनॆ आसीत् । परन्तु यॆ जनाः तत् पठन्ति तॆ सर्व ऎव चिन्तयन्ति यत् संस्कृतगणकयोः मिलनं कष्टसाध्यमिति । मम विचारः तु ऎवमस्ति - "कष्टमित्युक्तॆ कष्टम्" इति । microsoft-इत्यादिसंस्थाः एतत्-कार्यं सुलभं कृतवत्यः सन्ति । गृहात् बहिरागत्य पश्यन्तु जनाः । गणकॆ संस्कृतस्य उपयॊगं कर्तुं कष्टं नास्तीति त एव पश्यन्ति ।

गीता-जयन्ती-सन्दर्भॆ श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतां कर्णाटभाष्य-साहाय्यॆन पठितुम् आरब्धवान् । कर्णाटभाष्यं तु आधुनिक-कन्नड-गीताचार्यॆण श्रीगुण्डप्पवर्यॆण कृतमस्ति । ललितया भाषया मनोज्ञशैल्या च गुण्डप्पवर्यः गीतां विवृतवानस्ति । अत्र विशॆषांशः तु - "गीताग्रन्थस्य अधिकं तु लॊकजीवनॆ धर्मविषयॆ च प्रयोजनम् । एतत्प्रयॊजनं प्राप्य जीवनॆ अनुष्ठीय च परवस्तुविषयॆ जिज्ञासा कर्तव्या" इत्यस्ति । अन्येषु भाष्येषु आत्मज्ञानस्यैव औन्नत्यम् । अपि च धर्मविषयस्य गौणत्वम् । परं धर्मविचारं विना आत्मज्ञानपर्वतस्य दर्शनमॆव कष्टतरं भवतीति मम चिन्तनमपि । पूर्णं भाष्यं अधीत्य मित्रैः सह चर्चयित्वा च कन्नडॆ अस्मिन् ब्लागॆ एव मम विचारमण्डनं करिष्यामि ।

मम प्रकृतप्रश्नः तु अर्जुनविषादयोगॆ अस्ति । अर्जुनः वीरः धैर्यशाली चासीदिति सर्वविदितम् । परं तस्य विषादः युद्दभूमावॆव उत्पन्नः । प्रात्यक्षिकतायाः शक्तिरॆषा इति गुण्डप्पवर्यस्य विचारः । चिन्तनॆ कृतॆ एषः समीचीनः इति भासतॆ । अपि च अर्जुनस्य कारुण्यं प्राकृतं अविचारपूरितमासीत् । अस्य विषयद्वयस्यॊपरि मननं कुर्वन्नस्मि । किं च बुद्धिद्वारा तु विषयज्ञानमन्यत् । परं कृतॆ मननॆ यत् ज्ञानम् उदॆति तदॆव उत्कृष्टम् ।

॥ इति शम् ॥

Monday, December 27, 2004

Fishermen rescue tourists in Kanyakumari - NDTV.com - Latest News from India

Fishermen rescue tourists in Kanyakumari - NDTV.com - Latest News from India

Situations like these bring out the best and worst in a lot of people. Look at these brave fishermen! I feel proud to be their compatriot.

Instead of complaining and playing the fool as a few people did (mentioned in my last blog), these people actually did something about it.

If the Chennai Sabha music season people have not expressed due condolences and donated something substantially to the PM's relief funds or a similar effort, fie upon them! They should have actually expressed their condolences and should not have continued with their celebrations. I hope they do that today at least.

|| sarve janAH sukhino bhavantu ||

Sunday, December 26, 2004

USGS: Warnings could have saved thousands | CNET News.com

USGS: Warnings could have saved thousands | CNET News.com

This is indeed a big tragedy when more than 14 thousand people have perished in this colossal disaster. But there were a couple of bigger tragedies I saw.

One is in this site. Warnings could have saved thousands of people. When in the Bay Area, I used to check the USGS website once a week sometimes. Since I am a regular browser, this could have come to my attention. I (or anybody else) could have called people in TV stations and so on and lots of lives could have been saved.

Even in this age of satellite TV and the Internet, it is amazing to see that warnings cannot be communicated to people. A TV station apparently told people that everything was OK after the mild tremors experienced in Chennai. Why could they simply not go to the USGS web site which, IMO, is simply the best resource for earthquakes and their after effects ? Well, people will know now. But at what cost ?

I was just thinking the day before that with all this uncontrolled and ugly growth everywhere, that it was just a question of when and not if Nature would retaliate. Retaliated She has.

The worse tragedy I saw was in the minds of people. People have lost all their humanity even in the face of such a huge tragedy. The worst of the West has come to us. The New Indian Express carried articles on how the Annual Music Sabhas of Chennai continued their programs with absolutely no qualms even after more than 200 people had died in their own city. "Who cares for poor fishermen?" was one beast's retort. Another insensitive brute said that India could afford to lose people. How would it have been if it were that moron's family or himself that had perished? He would have wept with fear and horror when being swept away by the waves. He should realize that he too will die one day. These retorts are not of a stoic kind - but of the boorish one. This death of humanity in the people of Chennai is a far bigger tragedy than the physical deaths of so many innocent people.

Another ugly aspect of this incident was the Tamil Video Channels trying to increase their TRP points by portraying the survivors and kin of the victims. One guy apparently thrust the microphone into the face of a woman who was weeping at the death of her children. Have some sensitivity, people! Why can't you think of how the poor children would have died? I suppose that this is the state of the Media everywhere in the world. I for one have reduced my time watching TV for the past three-four weeks. It is really a blessing.

It was a better situation in Bangalore as far as humanity went. I was attending a large gathering where a Swamiji presided. He made it a point to tell the audience that such a tragedy had occurred. It managed to take the color off the event - but that was a must, IMO, in the face of such an event. There were donations given by the Swamiji as well as the other people on stage towards the victims of the Tsunami. Everybody I knew was really shaken. Not like people in Chennai who continued to revel in shopping at Spencer's plaza and in music concerts.

|| sarve janAH sukhino bhavantu||

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Memories ?

I was in the US for slightly more than 7 years. After being in Bangalore for the past 3-4 months, I have just realized that I miss the Bay Area.

The thought of the Bay Area naturally came back when I listened to a net broadcast of KQED (www.kqed.org). This was a station my wife and I immensely enjoyed when in the Bay Area. The radio broadcaster was going on about the Thursday weather and how it was going to be a sunny day. I felt a kind of void though I am back amongst my own people.

Humans are weird. While in the US, I was missing Bangalore a lot. On every trip to India, I rued getting back to the US. I decided to move back just for that. Now that I am back, I suddenly am missing the US. I recall the evening walks with my wife, my car (a nice Lexus - which I really miss), a certain set of friends and relatives there. I suppose they miss me less or not at all because I am just one person gone from there with the rest of them left there. I miss my Uncle - who unfortunately passed away just after I left. I miss the wonderful library system there and all the nice movies. Can you believe that I miss calling my parents ? Though we live with my parents and I can still walk with my wife, it was something I was looking forward to every weekend.

In traffic-ridden Bangalore, coming to work itself is a big pain. Now, is that the biggest reason for my grief ? Thinking further, I conclude that it is definitely a major reason.

But it is plain human nature that is the cause of suffering - this stupid idea of 'greener grass on the other side' and all the other junk that makes our conditions pitiful.

As Sri Krishna declared in the Gita - 'mana eva manuShyANAM kAraNaM bandhamokShayoH' - the mind itself is the cause for human suffering and emancipation.

As I wrote this blog, it has almost been like emptying my mind and I am feeling relaxed now.

Life is life wherever we live. As humans, we need company and as long as we have that, we should be fine.

An amazing rant, isn't it ?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The New Yorker - The Diagnosis by Ian McEwan

The New Yorker

"Like an expensive car, it’s intricate, but mass-produced nevertheless, with more than six billion in circulation."

What is the above sentence talking about ? It's a really nice wisecrack!

A good story. I just got a nice feeling - the one I get from reading an interesting well-written story.

These New Yorker stories are good. Ever since I found them, I've been coming back.

Great stuff.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

ಮೊದಲನೆ - ಎರಡನೆ - ಈ ತಾರತಮ್ಯವೇಕೆ ?

ಮೊನ್ನೆ ಹೀಗೇ ಬ್ರೌಸಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾಗ ಮದುರೆಯ ದೇವಾಲಯವನ್ನು ವಿಶ್ವದ ಏಳು ಅದ್ಭುತಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದಾಗಿ ಪರಿಗಣಿಸುವರೆಂಬಂತೆ ಮತಗಳನ್ನು ಅಪೇಕ್ಷಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಅದನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ಹಲವು ಭಾರತೀಯಮೂಲದವರು ಹಿಗ್ಗಿದ್ದರು. ನನಗೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಅಸಮಾಧಾನವೇ ಆಯಿತು.

ಪ್ರಪಂಚ ಅಗಾಧ ! ಇದರಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಜನಗಳು ಅಸಂಖ್ಯರೆಂದೇ ಹೇಳಬಹುದು. ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಯ ಅದ್ಭುತಗಳೂ ಅಪಾರ. ಅರಿಜೋನದ grand canyon ಇಂದ ಹಿಡಿದು ನಮ್ಮ ಹಿಮಾಲಯಪರ್ವತಗಳ ವರೆವಿಗೂ ಅದ್ಭುತಗಳೇ! ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಮಾನವಕೃತ ಕಟ್ಟಡಗಳೂ ಅದ್ಭುತಗಳೇ ! ಈಜಿಪ್ಟಿನ ಪಿರಮಿಡ್ ಗಳಿಂದ ಹಿಡಿದು ನಮ್ಮ ತಾಜಮಹಲಿನವರೆವಿಗೂ ಅದ್ಭುತಗಳೇ ! ಇಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಅದ್ಭುತಗಳಿರುವಾಗ ಏಳಕ್ಕೆ ಏಕೆ ಸೀಮಿತಗೊಳಿಸಬೇಕು ಎಂಬುದೇ ನನ್ನ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ. ಈ ಎಳರ ಮಹತ್ವವಾದರೂ ಏನು ? ಟಾಪ್ ಟೆನ್ ಅನ್ನುವ ಹಾಗೆ ಹತ್ತೇಕಿಲ್ಲ ? ಅಥವಾ ನೂರೇಕಿಲ್ಲ ?

ಈ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ ಹಾಗಿರಲಿ. ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದೂ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠತರ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠತಮವೆಂದೇ ನೋಡುವೆವಲ್ಲಾ.. ಈ ನಡೆವಳಿಕೆ ಏಕೆ ? ಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ - ಸದ್ಯ ಈಗ ಅದನ್ನು ತೆಗೆದು ಹಾಕಿದ್ದಾರೆ - ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ Rank ಕೊಟ್ಟು ದುಶ್ಚಟ ಬೆಳೆಸಿದ್ದರು. ಮೊದಲನೆ rank ಪಡೆದವನು ಉತ್ತಮ. ಅವನಿಗಿಂತ ಕೆಳಗಿನ ಮಟ್ಟದಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡೆನೆಯವನು. ಹೀಗೆಲ್ಲಾ ಸಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಮೊದಲನೆಯವನಿಗೂ ಎರಡನೆಯವನಿಗೂ ಅರ್ಧ ಅಂಕದ ವ್ಯತ್ಯಾಸವಿರಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ಮೊದಲಿಗ ಮೊದಲಿಗನೇ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುವ ಜನ ನಾವು. ಇದರಿಂದ ಎರಡನೆಯವನಾಗಿ ಬಂದ ಮಗುವಿಗೆ ಏನಾಗಬಹುದು ? ಅಥವಾ ಹತ್ತರಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು Rankಅನ್ನೂ ಪಡೆಯದ ಮಗುವಿಗೆ ಏನನ್ನಿಸಬಹುದು ?

ಒಂದೊಂದೂ ವಸ್ತುವೂ ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ. ಅದರ ವೈಶಿಷ್ಟ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಅದೇ ಸಾಟಿ. Grand Canyonಗೆ ಅದರದೇ ಗಾಂಭೀರ್ಯ. ಹಿಮಾಲಯಕ್ಕೆ ಅದರದೇ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯ. ಮದುರೆಯ ದೇವಾಲಯವೂ ಬೃಹತ್ತಾಗಿದೆ ಸುಂದರವಾಗಿದೆ - ಈಜಿಪ್ಟಿನ ಪಿರಮಿಡ್ ಗೆ ಸಹ ಅದರದೇ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವಿದೆ. ಎಲ್ಲ ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ವಸ್ತುಗಳಿರುವಾಗ ಒಂದು ಇದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಉತ್ತಮವೆಂದು ಹೇಗೆ ಹೇಳಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯ. ಹೋದರೆ ಹೋಗಲಿ - ಒಂದೇ ರೀತಿಯದಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ ಮಾಡಬಹುದೋ ಏನೋ ! ಪರೀಕ್ಷಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಹಿನ ಅಂಕ ಪಡೆದವನು ಪರೀಕ್ಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕಡಮೆ ಅಂಕ ಗಳಿಸುವವನಿಗಿಂತ ಮೇಲಿನ ಸ್ಥಾನದಲ್ಲಿರುತ್ತಾನೆ. ಎರಡು ಮೂಸಂಬಿಯನ್ನೋ ಎರಡು ಸೇಬನ್ನೋ ಹೋಲಿಸಬಹುದು - ಒಂದು ಇನ್ನೊಂದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಸಿಹಿಯಾಗಿದೆಯೆಂದು. ಆದರೆ ಸೀಬೆಯನ್ನೂ ಸೇಬನ್ನೂ ಮೂಸಂಬಿಯನ್ನೂ ಒಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಹೋಲಿಸಿ ಇದು ಮೊದಲನೆಯದು, ಇದು ಎರಡನೆಯದು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಲು ಬಹಳ ಕಷ್ಟ. ಹಣ್ಣುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ರೀತಿಯಾದರೆ - ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಯ ಅದ್ಭುತಗಳ ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಹೇಗೆ ತಾರತಮ್ಯ ಮಾಡುವುದು ? ಇದು ಹಾಸ್ಯಾಸ್ಪದವಲ್ಲವೇ ?

ಹೀಗೆ ದ್ವೈತಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿರುವ ತಾರತಮ್ಯಭಾವ ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಬರುತ್ತದೆ. ಹರಿ ಸರ್ವೋತ್ತಮನಂತೆ. ವಾಯು ಜೀವೋತ್ತಮನಂತೆ. ಬೇರೆಯವರಲ್ಲಿ ಉಚ್ಚನೀಚಭೇದವಿದೆಯಂತೆ. ಭೇದವಿದೆ ಎಂದು ತಿಳಿದರೂ ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು ಅಳೆದು ಸ್ಥಾನಕೊಡಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಅವುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಮಾನವಾಗಿರುವುದು ಏನಾದರೂ ಇರಬೇಕು. ಪ್ರಾಯಶಃ ಉಪನಿಷತ್ತಿನ ಆನಂದದ ತಾರತಮ್ಯವನ್ನು ಮಾಧ್ವರು ಪ್ರಪಂಚಕ್ಕೇ ಎಳೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಆದರೆ ಈ ಭಾವ ನಿತ್ಯಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ತಂದರೆ ಬಹಳ ಕಷ್ಟ. "ನೀಚ"ನೆಂದು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಿದ ಒಬ್ಬನನ್ನು ನೋಡುವ ರೀತಿಯೇ ಬೇರೆ. ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಇವ ನೀಚ ಅವ ಉತ್ತಮನೆಂದು ತೀರ್ಮಾನಿಸುವವರು ಯಾರು ? ಮಾಧ್ವರ ತಾರತಮ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಶ್ರುತಿಯ ಆಧಾರವಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಮನುಷ್ಯರಲ್ಲಿನದಕ್ಕೆ ? ತೀರ್ಮಾನ ಕೇವಲ ಭಗವಂತನಿಂದ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸಾಧ್ಯ. ಬೇರೆಯವರು ಹೇಗೆ ಇನ್ನೊಬರ ಮನಸ್ಸನ್ನು ಹೊಕ್ಕಬಲ್ಲರು ? ಜೊತೆಗೆ 'ಒಳ್ಳೆಯತನ' ದಂಥದ್ದನ್ನು ಅಳೆಯುವುದಾದರೂ ಹೇಗೆ ? ಒಬ್ಬ ನಿಜವಾಗಿಯೂ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯವನಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ ಬೇರೆಯವರೆಲ್ಲರೂ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯವರಾಗಿಯೇ ಕಾಣುವರು ಎಂಬ ಸುಭಾಷಿತವೇ ಇದೆ. ಹೀಗೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯವರು ಕೆಟ್ಟವರು ಎಂಬುದೆಲ್ಲಾ ವ್ಯಕ್ತ್ಯಾಧಾರಿತ.

ಇದರ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಸ್ಥಾನಗಳನ್ನು ಕೊಟ್ಟರೂ ನಿರ್ಜೀವ ವಸ್ತುಗಳಾದ ಕಟ್ಟಡಗಳಿಗೆ ಏನು ತಾನೇ ಆಗುವುದು ? ನಾಯಿ ಬೊಗಳಿದರೆ ದೇವಲೋಕ ಹಾಳೆ ಅನ್ನುವ ಹಾಗೆ ನಾವು ಈ ತಾರಪಮ್ಯದ ಅಬ್ಬರ ಮಾಡಿದರೂ ಅದನ್ನು ಕೇಳಲು ಅದು ಜೀವಂತವಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ ತಾನೆ ? ಏನೋ ಮನುಷ್ಯನ ವಿಚಿತ್ರ ಮನೋರಂಜನೆಗಾಗಿ ಇವೆಲ್ಲ! ನಾನು ಇದು ಕೆಟ್ಟದ್ದು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ನೋಡಿ ಆಶ್ಚರ್ಯ ಪಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ ಆಷ್ಟೆ.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ತೊಂದರೆ ಮತ್ತು ಬೇರೆ ಮಾತುಗಳು

Dharam, Gowda can�t stand each other so the city is no one�s baby - Newindpress.com

ಇದನ್ನು ಓದಿದ ಮೇಲೆ ನನಗೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಾಪಟ್ಟೆ ಕೋಪ ಬಂದಿದೆ. ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಬಹುರಾಷ್ಟ್ಟಿಯ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಹಣವನ್ನು ನಗರದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಕುತಿದ್ದಾಗ ಈ ದರಿದ್ರ ಬುದ್ಧಿಯ ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿಗಳ ಆಟದಲ್ಲಿ ನನ್ನ ಪ್ರಿಯವಾದ ನಗರ ಬಳಲಿದೆ.

ಈ ಜನತಾದಳಕ್ಕೆ ತಕ್ಕ ಶಾಸ್ತಿಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದರ ಮುಖಂಡನಿಗೆ ಮುಖಮುಚ್ಚಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವಂಥ ಅವಮಾನ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದಿದೆ. ಇದನ್ನು ಓದಿ ನನಗೆ ಈ ಕಷ್ಟದಲ್ಲೂ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಸಂತೋಷವಾಗಿದೆ - ಇಂಥ ಅಪ್ರಯೋಜಕರಿಗೆ ತಕ್ಕ ಶಾಸ್ತಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಮಾಡಿದೆ ಎಂದು.

ಒಂದು ವಿಷಯ ತಿಳಿಯುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಹಳೇ ಮೈಸೂರು ಉದ್ಧಾರವಾಗಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಸೊರಗಬೇಕೇ ? ಈ ದರಿದ್ರ communist ಬುದ್ಧಿಯಿಂದ ದೇಶ ಖಂಡಿತ ಉದ್ಧಾರವಾಗೋಲ್ಲ. ಒಬ್ಬ ಎತ್ತರವಿದ್ದು ಒಬ್ಬ ಕುಳ್ಳಗಿದ್ದರೆ - ಇವರಿಬ್ಬರನ್ನೂ ಸಮಾನ ಮಾಡುವುದಕ್ಕೋಸ್ಕರ ಎತ್ತರದವನ ತಲೆ ಕಡಿದುಬಿಡಬಹುದೇ ? ಇದೇ ಬುದ್ಧಿ ತೋರಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಈ ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿಗಳು.

ಈ ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಭಯಂಕರ ಸ್ವಾರ್ಥ. ತಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಗೆ - ತಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಯವರಿಗೆ ಲಾಭವಾದರೆ ಸಾಕು. ದೇಶವಿಡೀ ಹಸಿದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದರೂ ಸಾಕು.

ಈ ಪಾಟಿ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿಗೆ ಬಂದದ್ದು ಒಂದು ರೀತಿ ಕರುನಾಡಿಗೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದಿಲ್ಲದೇ ಹೋದರು ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದೇ ಆಗಿದೆ. ಇದರಿಂದ ಮೊದಲ್ಗೊಂಡು ಕರ್ಣಾಟಕದ ಇತರ ನಗರಗಳಲ್ಲೂ ಮಾಹಿತಿ-ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನ, ಉದ್ಯಮ ಸ್ಥಾಪನೆ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಮೂಲಕವೇ ದಾರಿ. ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಚೆನ್ನಿದ್ದರೆ ಕರ್ಣಾಟಕವು ಉದ್ಧಾರವಾಗಬಹುದು. ಮನೆಯ ಬಾಗಿಲು ಚೆನ್ನಿದ್ದರೆ ಬೇರೆಯವರು ಮನೆಯೊಳಗೆ ಬರಬಹುದು. ಬಾಗಿಲು ಚೆನ್ನಿಲ್ಲದಿದ್ದರೆ ಭಾಗ್ಯ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಗೆ ಬರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಈ ಸತ್ಯವನ್ನು ತಿಳಿದರೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದು.

ಅಂದ ಹಾಗೆ - ನಾನು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕವೆಂದೇಕೆ ಬರೆಯುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ? ಕರ್ಣಾಟಕವೆಂದೇ ಏಕೆ ಬರೆಯುತ್ತೇನೆ ಎಂದು ಕೇಳಿದರೆ - ನನ್ನ ಉತ್ತರ - ಕರ್ಣಾಟಕ ಸರಿ, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ - ಬಹಳ ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಿದರೂ ಸಹ - ತಪ್ಪು ಎಂದು. ಇದೇಕೆ ಎಂದು ಕೇಳಿದರೆ - ಪಾಣಿನಿಯ ಅಷ್ಟಾಧ್ಯಾಯಿಯ ಸೂತ್ರ - "ರಷಾಭ್ಯಾಂ ನೋಣಃ ಸಮಾನಪದೇ" - ಇದನ್ನು ನೋಡಬಹುದಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಸೂತ್ರದ ಅರ್ಥ - "ಒಂದು ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ಪದದಲ್ಲಿ ರ, ಅಥವಾ ಷ ಬಂದರೆ - ನಂತರ ಬಂದ 'ನ' ಅಕ್ಷರವು 'ಣ' ಅಕ್ಷರವಾಗಿ ಪರಿವರ್ತನೆ ಹೊಂದುತ್ತದೆ ಎಂದು. ಉದಾ : ಉಷ್ಣ - ಈಗ ಉಷ್ನ (ಇಲ್ಲಿ 'ನ'ಕಾರದ ಒತ್ತು ಗಮನಿಸಿ) ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುವುದು ಅಷ್ಟು ಸ್ವಾಭಾವಿಕವಾಗದು. ಉಷ್ಣ (ಣ ಕಾರವೇ ಸಾಧು). ಇದರ ಅರ್ಥವೇನೆಂದರೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ದೊಡ್ಡ ತಪ್ಪುಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿದಿನವೂ ತಪ್ಪು ಮುದ್ರಣ ಮಾಡಿಸುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿದೆ ಎಂದು.

ಇದರ ಜೊತೆಗೆ - ಕಳೆದ ವಾರ ನಾನು 'ಆಪ್ತಮಿತ್ರ' ಸಿನಿಮಾ ನೋಡಿದೆ. ನೂರು ದಿನಗಳು ಓಡಿದ ನಂತರ ನೋಡಿದ ಈ ಚಿತ್ರವನ್ನು ಒಂದು ಬಾರಿ ನೋಡಬಹುದು. ಒಂದೆರಡು ಅನಾವಶ್ಯಕ ಹೊಡೆದಾಟ - ಹಾಡು ಇರದೇ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದರೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿರುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಜೊತೆಗೆ ತೆಲುಗಿನ ಹಾಡನ್ನು ಕನ್ನಡದ ಹಾಡನ್ನಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಬಹುದಿತ್ತು. ಗಂಗಾ ತೆಲುಗನ್ನು ಹೇಗೆ ಮಾತಾಡಲು ಶಕ್ತಳಾಗುತ್ತಾಳೆ ಎಂದು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳಿಯೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಳ ಅಪೂರ್ವಾಭಿನಯಕ್ಕೋಸ್ಕರವಾಗಿಯಾದರೂ ಈ ಚಿತ್ರವನ್ನು ನೋಡಲೇ ಬೇಕು. ಅನ್ಯಾಯವಾಗಿ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಕಲಾವಿದೆಯನ್ನು ನಾವು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೇವೆ.

ಈಗ ನಾನು ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷಿನ 'The Story of Philosophy' ಎಂಬ ಪುಸ್ತಕವನ್ನು ಓದುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಬಹಳ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಪುಸ್ತಕವಾದರೂ ಈ ಫಿಲಾಸಫಿ ಓದುವುದು ಕಷ್ಟವೇ! ಎರಡು ವಾರ - ಪ್ರತಿದಿನ ಒಂದು ಘಂಟೆಯ ಹಾಗೆ ಓದಿದರೂ ೨೮೦ ಪುಟಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾತ್ರ ಓದಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗಿದೆ. ಅದೂ ಕಥೆಪುಸ್ತಕವಲ್ಲವಲ್ಲ! ನಿಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಓದಿ ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವಂಥ ಪುಸ್ತಕ. ಓದುತ್ತಾ ಕನ್ನಡ ಮರೆವ ಹಾಗೆ ಕಂಡಿತು. ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಬ್ಲಾಗಿಸಿಯಾದರೂ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರಯಬಹುದು ಎಂದು ಬರೆದಿದ್ದೇನೆ.
|| ಶುಭಂ ಭೂಯಾತ್ ||

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Capital Punishment : For or Against ?

Yesterday my father, who is a school teacher, was advising one of his students about a debate competition. The topic for the debate was Capital Punishment and my father advised his student to argue in favor of Capital Punishment. At that time, I expressed my objection to capital punishment being offered by flawed judicial systems that are the norm in human society. Since I had no time to summarize my arguments yesterday I am writing these into my blog for future storage and possible comments from those who might stumble upon my humble blog-dwelling.

I must admit at this time that I was reading Spinoza then and read some of Spinoza's views on ethics and politics. I don't think I am affected by that, but let's try anyway.

First of all, let's analyze the word Punishment in Capital Punishment. What is Punishment ? Why does anybody get punished ? In India, we call a place where we put criminals away a prison. But in the US - it is officially referred to as a correctional facility. That basically conveys my thought on Punishment and why anybody is punished for a crime. The idea is to correct the criminal behavior. In other words, to kill or to correct the criminal tendencies in a person is why a person gets punished.

The first argument against Capital punishment is this - when we punish anybody, it is actually to correct the errant behavior in that person. When we give capital punishment to anybody - we would be killing a person along with the criminal tendencies - whereas the elimination of the latter would have been sufficient. We are essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Of course, there are crimes of passion committed that sound really horrific. For example, we had Dhananjoy Chatterjee who was recently hanged for sexually assaulting and murdering a 14-year old girl. But he was kept in jail for 14 years after this deed and then hanged. A few people tried to get him a presidential pardon - but most of the people bayed for his blood. A man is basically an animal, albeit a refined one. So, in moments of crisis like these, the naked nature of man is left for all to see. It is jungle law that people want in this case. They know that the victim of the crime can't be brought back - but still they have no satisfaction. People aim to get satisfaction at least for a few moments by killing the perpetrator of the horrible crime. I agree, it requires a super-human and a sage to be content with the elimination of the criminal tendency rather than the criminal himself.

I have a thought experiment on this. Suppose we had a criminal-tendency detection meter that would do its job flawlessly. Suppose that we keep a known criminal in prison for some time and positively try to remove his criminal tendency by physical, moral and spiritual methods. Suppose again that, after a while, we measure the criminal tendencies with our magic meter and find that the tendency is much below what is needed to function as a regular member of society. Will we now release this person from prison ? I am inclined to believe that people will not assent to this. What is your thought on such an experiment ?

Enough digressing. Our primal animal instincts will definitely egg us towards killing a person for the crime he has committed. But a human being is more than just an animal and this is the distinction that we have for ourselves. We pride ourselves in our ability to cogitate. We swear by our logic. We should allow the human in us to triumph over the bestial spirit. I am sounding like an ahimsAvAdi pacifist and I wish to state that I am not. But logically what do we get by killing a person ? We can't turn the clock back on the unfortunate events that have transpired at the instance of the criminal!

But how much human behavior is actually logical ? This is the question we need to ponder about.

Let us forget this theoretical standpoint for a while and come back to the mundane.

Now, assume that it is all right for us to kill a person for committing a sufficiently grave crime. Then the onus is on the judicial system and the police system to conclusively prove that a person is a criminal. But the problem is that criminal investigations are not any simpler even with rapid advancements in forensic science. There is always scope for human error.

Consider the fact that there was no DNA fingerprinting used in, say, the last 10 years. But what about the people who were executed before this technology came to be used ? As we speak, we are finding out that several alleged criminals, who were executed, were in fact innocent. We cannot bring back their lives now. Similarly there will be technologies invented in the future which will continue to exonerate several so-called criminals.

All of us feel that it is better to allow ten criminals to go scot-free than kill an innocent. Don't you think that capital punishment is in error ?

Don't get me wrong. I am not like Gandhi who asks for unconditional ahimsa. Killing for self-defence is all right. Killing in wars is also justified, though a war itself has to be avoided if possible. I don't want to elaborate on these right now.

There is another aspect also. If we cannot create a life, how can we aim to destroy one ? And that too, within societal norms ?

I have rambled a bit here. My thoughts were a lot coherent yesterday. I will see if I can edit these later. But I will post this blog for now.