The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, August 20, 2000

Performance and perfection

APROPOS of Sai. R. Vaidyanathanís article "Performing to perfection" (August 6), the Bhagavadgita covers all aspects of human life. Shri Krishna has explained the working of the law of Karma at length in his sermon, which has importance for the common man even today. The message of Bhagavadgita is a practical one and is unparalleled. Karma, or work, brings both material enjoyment and material suffering. By nature, everyone is forced to act. Even to maintain the body, one must work. Therefore, one should work in a way that will not further entangle one in material bondage, but will lead to ultimate liberation. The Bhagavadgita unites knowledge with action, action with love and love with knowledge and elucidates most conclusively the nature of knowledge, action and devotion.


Caught between two worlds

I read with interest "Caught between two worlds" by Raman Mohan (July 30). I do not see why parents are blamed on this account. First of all, they bring up their children and then educate them according to their status and means. When young girls and boys reach marriageable age, they want the freedom to choose their life partners. It is not fair to injure the feelings of the parents, who look forward to finding suitable matches for their children.

Adjustments with parents and in-laws is the only answer to these problems. Right selections and choice in matrimonial affairs are a matter of destiny. Fate plays an important role in either the failure or success of marriages.




The existence of various shades of a conservative attitude among parents does not mean that they cease to be modern. An element of conservation exists even in modern societies.

It is not fair to expect parents to give up their conservative attitude as most people find it difficult to change in the later years of their life. Who is responsible for the modern children who have been caught between two worlds?

Statistics indicate that the chances of marital breakdown increase if the spouses have different social backgrounds. Another factor that attributes to it is the changing economic system and its social and ideological superstructure Consequently, it affects change in traditional norms and values in general, and, in particular, those associated with marriage and divorce.

Therefore, it is not fair to put the whole blame on the conservative parents for making married life of their children difficult. The children, themselves are also responsible to a certain extent. They (children) expect and demand more from marriage than is justified. In reality, high expectations from marriage s may result in increased marital breakdown.

Until and unless this thinking is not changed by our society, the modern generation will be caught between modenity and tradition.


A Ďspiritedí world

"Into the world of spirits" by D.C. Sharma (August 6) was very interesting. Parapsychology is not only experienced by humans but also by animals.

In a well-researched article published in New Scientist W.J. Tarver has written that 10 per cent of dogs in boarding kennels after being settled for a week or two, became wildly excited at almost the exact moment when their owners began the return journey from their holiday.

It was love that made the dogs long for their masters and home. It mattered little how far their masters had gone.

Roshni Johar

An unequal alliance

This refers to the article "An Unequal Alliance" by Nonika Singh (July 16). In India, marriages are basically governed by demands of caste and community. Girls can exercise a limited choice within their own castes. Draupadiís rejection of Karan reflects the age old caste-consciousness of Indian society. I do not agree with the view that in ancient times, nubile girls were free to choose their husbands. Only the daughters of kings and tribal chiefs had the option of choosing husbands through swayamvars. Common people didnít organise such functions. They gave their daughters in marriage to their castemen through a simple ceremony.

Even in the modern times, the girls have little choice at time of marriage. Merely a few people settled in big cities, cut off from their ancestral villages, go in for intercaste marriages. For them, the ability to survive and maintain themselves economically is of paramount importance. The caste factor is secondary. Most Indians maintain close links with their castes and communities. Three main factors: caste, region and culture, play a pivotal role in influencing the parentsí decision about nuptial ties.

Even those who settled long ago in cities find it imperative to revive their old contacts and relationships when they have to marry off their progeny. Regional consciousness and cultural roots supersede other considerations. In matrimonial advertisements, we come across countless examples which amply prove that people are always in search of brides and bridegrooms of the same castes and areas to which they themselves belong.

An Indian loses his sense of identity if he severs his ties with his tribe. Ruthless market forces and rapid urbanisation may have weakened the hold of casteism on common people, but arranged marriages tend to strengthen it.