Circumcision is a Human Rights Violation

Mutiliation

Even in this century many parents believe that getting their child circumcised is not only their religious duty but also a social responsibility. Should this not be the decision of the person who owns the organ? Does performing such a procedure on non-consenting adults (mostly infants) makes this an in-humane act?

What is circumcision?

Circumcision is surgical removal of skin from the very tip of the penis.

Benefits of getting circumcised?

One of the epic benefit that people acclaim about circumcision is that they have a less chance of catching an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). The important thing to remember is that this procedure has questionable safety against protecting an individual from STDs. Also, many people would agree that there are many better things to do in life than being a whore-monger, and having unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Dangers of getting circumcised?

Below are the few complications that may arise:

  1. Bleeding, people suffering from haemophilia may even die.
  2. Infection or improper healing.
  3. Blockage of the urethra, the opening where urine leaves the body.
  4. Removal of too much or too little foreskin.

Religion and circumcision

The reason circumcision is performed is because it symbolises faith in God. Although Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs do not get their children circumcised but they are as religious and God fearing as people practicing other faiths, who get their infants circumcised.

While circumcision is primarily done for religious reasons, but this necessary does not make a person a good human being. If that was the case radical Sunni Islamic believers wouldn’t be killing Shias and waging a global war against all non-believers of Islam, or those who do not agree with their Wahhabi and Salafi ideology.

Message

We live in the 21st century where even an animal has rights and culling an animal on the road is not only considered uncouth but is also a punishable offence. While a blanket ban on circumcision would be unnecessary, but circumcising non-consenting adults and infants is also not civilized. Since we neither live in a theocratic society or in the dark ages, religious rituals should not eclipse the fundamental right to bodily integrity.

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The Rest is Just Sand

Dunes

A philosophy professor stood before his class with a few items on the table in front of him. He picked up a large glass jar and started to fill it with rocks.

The professor then asked his students. “Is the jar full?”

The students nodded their heads and agreed that the jar was full.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again. “Is the jar full?”

The students again nodded their heads and agreed that the jar was full.

The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more. “Is the jar full?”

The students this time responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now” said the professor. “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first” he continued. “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”

Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

Schooled

Cartoon.png

One night four college students, instead of studying for tomorrow’s test, went out and partied – they had a really nice time.
In the morning, they hatched a plan to get out of taking a test. They covered themselves with grease and dirt and went to the dean’s office. Once there, they told the dean that the previous night there was a medical emergency. One of their friend had an accident and hence they had to rush to the hospital. On their way-back they had a flat tire and hence had to push the car back to their place.
The dean listened to their tale patiently, even though he could detect a slight hint of alcohol in their breath. After thinking for a couple of seconds the dean told them that they can take the test three days later. The students thanked the dean and left.
When the test day arrived the four students went to the dean, who put them in separate rooms for the test. They were okay with this since they had prepared well for the test. Then they saw the question paper, it had just 2 questions.
1) Your Name __________ (1 Mark)
2) Which tire burst? __________ (99 Marks)
(a) Front Left
(b) Front Right
(c) Back Left
(d) Back Right

How to set goals

Goal Setting.png

While some tasks are completed within a matter of a few seconds, others take a life time to achieve. But if you want to move through life, you need to set goals – else you will become a driftwood.

  1. Determine your goals: When planning life goals you need to ask yourself a question: where do you want to see yourself after 10 years, or maybe 15? A career life goal might be to become a programmer. A fitness goal might be to become fit.

Examples of specific goals:

  • I want to cut down junk food.
  • I want to learn Spanish.
  • I want to participate in 10K marathon.
  1. Break your goals into smaller constituents: Once you have decided your goals it is time to break it down into smaller goals, this way you will be able to track your progress also. For example, if you want to be fit you need to start eating healthy.
  1. Write short term goals: One you have decided what your main goal is and also divided it into smaller goals, it is time to write it down. This will not only make it harder for you to ignore but make you accountable.
  1. Move towards your larger goals: Use these small goals that you have made for yourself as a stepping stone to achieve your bigger goal.
  1. Adjust goals periodically: There is nothing constant in life, including life itself. Hence one should always be prepared to tweak his/her goals.

Always remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Meaningless Goals

running-dog

A farmer had a dog that used to sit by the roadside waiting for vehicles to come around. As soon as one came he would run down the road, barking and trying to overtake it.

One day a neighbor asked the farmer “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch a vehicle?”

The farmer replied “That is not what bothers me. What bothers me is what he would do if he were to ever catch one?”

Many people in life behave like that dog, pursuing meaningless goals.

Reasons why you should travel

travelling

Many people think that we need to wait for our later years of life to explore the world, and that the only places worth visiting are those that have a religious or historical significance. Well, everyone has the right to decide what’s right for them. But there is much more to traveling than just visiting places of religious and historic significance. Here’s my list of 5 reasons why you should travel:

  1. Disconnecting with your regular life: You get the opportunity to forget your problems for at-least a week or so. Sometimes this distancing away from the problem helps you understand it in a different perspective, thus helping you to solve it.
  2. The art of being patient: Traveling involves a lot of waiting, like waiting for your flight, waiting for your meal to be served at the restaurant, waiting to see God (or just the idol). All this teaches you the art of waiting, making you less twitchy and more relaxed.
  3. Making friends isn’t that difficult: Once we reach a certain age we find it difficult to make friends, why? The reason is that we are too busy meeting deadlines. But when traveling, we aren’t chasing any deadlines, and hence we are relaxed. This makes it the perfect opportunity to make friends.
  4. Flexibility: Probably not in the physical sense, unless you are visiting a yoga retreat. While most of the traveling schedule is planned, either by you or your travel agent, but there is always a surprise or two waiting for you. Like the unplanned rains, which makes you wait at a restaurant and sample Parsi cuisine.
  5. Improves social skills: Making small talk with your fellow passengers or having a lively discussion at the local bar, traveling will surely improve you social skills.

Life is a wonderful gift, and there is nothing more wonderful than traveling the world we live, understanding different cultures and most importantly creating beautiful memories that we can share and cherish.

The Winter of 1984: Lest we forget

IndiraGandhi-SareeAtTimeOfDeath.JPG

The human history is marred with recurrent cases of violence, deceits and cover-ups. But still there are some dates, and especially some events, which are impossible to forget. As some of the most inhumane acts were committed, in broad daylight, on these dates while the civil society silently and helpless watched all this from a distance.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.- John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton

Like any other year, 1984 probably started on a happy note. We Indians were thrilled on the 2nd of April when Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was launched into space, aboard the Soyuz T-11.

The terrorism in the North-Western Indian state of Punjab and the demand for Khalistan prompted the then Indian government to launch Operation Blue Star on the 1st of June. On the 4th of June Indian troops stormed the Golden Temple at Amritsar to capture and kill the terrorists hiding inside it.

The aftermath of Operation Blue Star

On 31st of October the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh security guards. Her son Rajiv Gandhi succeeded her as the Prime Minister of India.

“When a big tree falls, earth shakes.” – Rajiv Gandhi

Between 31st October and 3rd November an estimated 2,700 to 10,000 Sikhs were killed during the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and other areas. The mobs looted and damaged several Sikh homes, businesses and Gurdwaras in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

An Industrial disaster, of epic proportions

On 3rd December one of the worst industrial disasters took place in Bhopal. A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, killed more than 2,000 people outright and injures anywhere from 15,000 to 22,000 others (some 6,000 of whom later die from their injuries).

The winter of 1984 was a period of mass genocide and massive government cover-ups. These were some of the darkest months in the history of Independent India. Probably the only expectation that the Indian people had from 1985 was a hope, that their country still remains democratic and that their fundamental rights aren’t violated once again.

It has been decades, yet the victims of the anti-Sikh riots and Bhopal gas tragedy still haven’t received any justice – but they still haven’t lost hope.