Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Legacy of Agony

Over the past few days two incidents happened in places distance apart. One, the tragic death of a young woman in far off Ireland and  the other, a timed out death of a volatile virulent man in Mumbai, India. Both the incidents, one a terrible tragedy triggered by religious dogma and the other the due process of a natural law that does not even discriminate tigers!

To tell my personal opinion, the sad story of the young woman in Dublin, Ireland, who was discarded to bleed and die an agonising death after being denied medical intervention to save her life during the miscarriage of her pregnancy and that too in a society and country that is seen as economically advanced and modern is quite distressing. Distressing and macabre because the premises the medical facility based its refusal to terminate the miscarrying pregnancy was on the didactic interpretation of a religious code that says man has no right to take away what God has given-”life”.

The Vatican Council holds the declaration, "Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes”. I went through much of Wikipedia and some sites that have posted Christian doctrines, but could not see any reference to Jesus Christ touching upon the subject of abortion. However, I notice that though the Bible gives direct guidance on many topics, but not on abortion. In fact the Roman laws in force during the time of Jesus did permit abortion and abortion was practiced from the times of early human history.

I do not intend to pour scorn on a moral code of catechism or asperse the faithful practicing catechism. But if laws are made to better life then they must be interpreted in spirit and not in a bigoted and outlandish way as the doctors in Dublin did. That was criminal and wanton negligence which will only defile the faith if faith is used as an apron to hide. The bane of scriptures is that the moral exhortations they give are all entwined in jargon and euphemisms, often liable to be interpreted by mortals whichever way to suit them. More often the self-acclaimed custodians of religions and zealots state their versions of a code to thoroughly ensure that the flock stay pliable and unfortunately gullibility is not in dearth. This  may be graver in the present day Muslim world.

The last knell orchestrated by the bigotry in Dublin was the outrageous statement of the Irish Government that they would provide all means for the widowed young man to rebuild his life. What would they do? Provide him with an Irish bride?

“Good riddance to bad rubbish”, was the general expression when told about the passing away of the self-proclaimed custodian of Hindu bigotry and Marathi manoos, Marthi asmita. A person who idolised Adolf Hitler and when asked by the Time Magazine soon after the Barbari Masjid demolition for his comments, infamously said, “kick em out”( meaning the Muslims of India).A person who seldom traveled outside Maharashtra just twice in the past forty years was certainly living in a well. To him perhaps the world was his carefully manipulated and cultivated frenzied following like the GM crop! He ran the State as if it were his fiefdom, his heirloom.  And the rest of the country and the world hardly existed or even mattered.
He was a man who exhorted Hindus to organise suicide death squads and hit back like the Islamic fanatics. Perhaps as a token of goodwill and willingness to sacrifice, as to ensure that charity and philanthropy starts at home and within the household he should have asked his son and nephew to lead the death squads to begin with. But like all such operators he ensured his safety and his family’s safety by assembling and expending the gullible and frenzied foot soldiers of the Sena.

He said after the demise of his wife, that he ceased to believe in God and even dislikes his favourite one of the pantheon Vinayaka, as even this God did not do enough to save his wife. What can one define this thought process- imbecile, demented, ridiculous?

Professional jealousy and rivalry is understandable. Infamously the professional jealousy of the late thespian M.R.Radha provoked him to shoot the late icon M.G.R. But this Sena supremo’s ire was towards the three Khans in Bollywood. He alleged that the Bollywood was being increasingly controlled by Muslim actors and he unleashed his Sena goons on theaters screening movies of SRK. The harrowing time people from South of India lived through in the Bombay of the late sixties and seventies will also be recollected by the Biharis and Northerners. He was a direct threat to the concept of the Union.

It is does not require maverick capability nor is it an achievement to harness and unleash anarchy and unlawful elements on the society and the commoner. Money and power can see to it. To subjugate and enslave by fear and terror is not supreme achievement and iconic. And this was exactly what the Sena Supremo did. He was no Mandela, no Gandhi, no Martin Luther King and no Mother Teresa who all could sway and enslave people not by terror but something apart and distanced that the late don and his ilk will not have known and will understand.

The bane is that bigotry and myopia are growing virulently amongst us sans religion, faith and race. If not, the tragedy in Dublin would be only a nightmare nor would a fanatic in Mumbai been a fact of our times for almost five decades. 


Happy Kitten said...

What happened in Ireland was deplorable but I dont think the Church or the country is going to change it's stance. Even here in Kuwait the law is the same and one can only obey the law. I am sure no Indian government is going to intervene! Guess in Ireland things are different and one can at least try to make changes.

As for the tiger, I fail to understand him and his followers. What ticks them?

rama said...

All these religious scriptures are man made, whether it is Hindu, Muslim or Christian or any other faith. These custodians of religion want to put the fear of God in all human beings, and many of us fall into their trap. All these so called advanced countries are more backward in their thinking than India.
The US is yet to have a woman President.
Well, although, that fellow has gone, he has left many others to wreck havoc on the people of this country. He had to go, but why do some people live so long, without doing anything substantial for their own people or others, is what i can never understand.

jijo moolayil said...

It's an extract from a well known moral theologian of the Catholic Church on the issue of death of Savita:"The ever mounting outrage surrounding the death of the Indian woman Savitha Halappanavar in Ireland raises many troubling questions, one of which has to do with the credibility of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion in desperate situations. At the outset, let us make a distinction between the law of the land and Catholic moral teaching about abortion in situations such as when the life of the mother is threatened due to pregnancy-related complications…. Mixing the law of the land and the teaching of the Church runs the risk of misinterpreting the latter…. (Catholic teaching) following the “Principle of Double Effect,” allow that in the process of saving the life of the mother, the child may die. The principle of double effect permits the loss of the unborn as an indirect result of the direct act of saving the mother’s life… The tragic case at issue betrays the ignorance of the medical staff at the University Hospital Galway about the true Catholic doctrine. Unfortunately, we are faced here with a case of medical negligence rather than a failure of Catholic ethics. But the doctors should have used their responsible professional judgment instead of punctiliously adhering to the letter of the law. A failure of treatment cannot be attributed to the Catholic Church."

KParthasarathi said...

By refusal to terminate the pregnancy and save the mother's life they have violated their religious tenet not to take away God given life by endeavouring to protect an unborn child.Medical ethics should be strictly on medical grounds.
True bigotry and myopia are growing virulently unchecked in most parts of the country.

Renu said...

It was really tragic.the death of a pregnant woman in a country we call developed..very sad.

As for the tiger, not many dared to oppose him when he was alive and now there is no point in doing so.

Insignia said...

The Ireland episode was ridiculous. The so called developed nation still seems to be living in the per-renaissance period. What appalls me are the independent surveys gloating these countries' happiness index, social progress index and such bull crap

Talking about the "leader", a 21 year old girl got arrested for posting a comment on FB. She apparently hurt religious sentiments for posting people like him are born and die everyday. No bandh should be observed for these reasons. Well, no comments, I may be caught as well! Anything can happen

anilkurup said...

@ Happy Kitten,

premising the law in the civil society on a religious code is dangerous as we saw. The unfortunate aspect is that even the learned physicians and surgeons in the Dublin hospital hid behind the law and or the moral code.

What ticks the followers of the Tiger? Well the same fan following that Vellupillai Prabhakaran or Adolf Hitler had.

@ rama,
The difference in the religious scriptures of the West and the East is that the scriptures in the West was allegedly given by the Gods to the chosen man in some remote mountain caves and unseen by others but there is transparency in the codes of the East, they were all man made and no hidden hand existed.

Tributes are flattery meant to deceive.We all know what he was .

@ Jijo moolayil,

In the official directive of the conference of catholic Bishops 2004 it is stated thus,"It is the teaching of the Catholic Church from the very beginning, founded on her understanding of her Lord’s own witness to the sacredness of human life, that the killing of an unborn child is always intrinsically evil and can never be justified. If those who perform an abortion and those who cooperate willingly in the action are fully aware of the objective evil of what they do, they are guilty of grave sin and thereby separate themselves from God’s grace. This is the constant and received teaching of the Church."
But unfortunately the teachings and directives of Vatican on this issue is never constant and clear , though the double effect or collateral aspect is mentioned. The matter is like slavery which the Church endorsed in ancient times.
Intrusion into private life and personal matters ( such as contraception, copulation, masturbation etc) by religious orders still exist in various faiths.
The subject here in the Dublin case is still unclear. Does the Irish law prohibit abortion per se regardless of the double effect?

@ KParthasarathi,
Yes you are right . I agree in both matters

@ Renu,

Sad just not sadness but incensed how narrow minded people can be.

As for the tiger it was a tribute of sort, my opinion.

@ Insignia,

development indices are not just economical , we now see.

The Bandhs and hartal in Mumbai was nonsense.

Shilpa Garg said...

Death of Savita in Ireland is truly shocking. It's ridiculous that in today's times such old fashioned laws are believed and practiced.
As for the Maharashtra Tiger... read on Facebook, why should he RIP when he never LIP (Lived in Peace)!

BK Chowla, said...

Dublin episode was unfortunate.
I just agree with you on your discretion of BalaSaheb.How do you know of him?How much have you read of his achievements?
You speak of his comments on Hitler and are quiet seeing Hitler policies being implemented...When you write about present Hitler?

BK Chowla, said...

Read Description and not discretion in my earlier comment

anilkurup said...

@ SG,

The Irsih tragedy has a rejoinder in the Hindu news paper today . It is an Englishman who opines that the hasty judgement in India before the enquiry in Ireland is done is ridiculous.
The fb comment has now hurt religious sentiments quixotic!!

@ BK Chowla,
In fact though the tragedy in Ireland is heart rending, we in India must look within and see what is the statistics of the female fatality in India in such cases.

Achievements of Bal Thackrey? will some one enlighten me on that please?

Meera Sundararajan said...

Anil, the Irish tragedy is shocking. Fortunately for us in India such things do not happen despite the other medical disasters. We women in India got the right to abortion thanks to the population control measures of our government ( though I think MTP as a means of birth control is equally dangerous)

About the 2nd death, Anil you should be thankful that you are where you are when you blog like this- you might have heard about what happend to people discussing this on social media. All this is making me very very sad!

NRIGirl said...

The case of the young girl in Ireland is a tragedy indeed!

I believe in individual's choice though I consider myself Pro Life. I can only speak up for it when it comes to me - cannot mandate it either way for anyone else...

Even in my case Papa wanted me off, Amma wanted me on - I was born!

When I got confirmed within the first few months of marriage Israel considered it an "inconvenience" but we went ahead and had our precious Rachel!

No regrets whatsoever! In fact our marriage "survived" the first year because of her!

Papa too apologized to me once...

It is a matter of life and death - however people interpret it - what's our stand for our lives - that's what matters.

anilkurup said...

@ meeraSundarajan,

It is natural that we are shocked by the tragedy in Ireland and the callousness of the medical team. At the same time we also forget the pregancy related deaths of mothers and babies in India that are the direct result of a indifferent health system.

As for Bal Thackrey , if i tweeted , and blogged from Mumbai, the Sena goons would have hounded me out.

@ NRIGirl,

I'm not in favour of MTP with the same temperament of surgical removal of a wart.

I strongly feel that scriptures and dogmas apart this has to be a personal choice and based on prudence.

Happy Kitten said...

Came back after NRI girl's comment.. just wanted to say that even I am pro-life but IMO that this is just my opinion and it should not encroach upon another's desire. Then I am sure most women do not take the decision on MTP frivolously...even those in India who abort female foetus must be doing with a lot of compulsion.

anilkurup said...

@ Happy Kitten,

I agree. Law must be such that MTP is not misused and is not by coercion. To carry with the pregnancy or otherwise must be the mother's choice. It is her body and she must have the right.