I think I would put down the ones I wrote in my diary in the summers. I did not write as much as I would have liked to. Somehow typing has become essential for me to be able to write English. Its still different with Hindi, because typing is still tough there.
June 11, 2004
Finally have been able to finish ‘Mein Kamph’ and now I think I can get into writing a little. Am thinking on finishing the report on Navodaya Work also, now itself.
Books I have read till now include Mein Kamph, A tale of two cities and Scarlett in English and ‘Teen Varsha’ (translation – ‘three years’) in Hindi. Next ones in line are Gora (English translation of Tagore’s Bengali Novel) and Rangbhumi by Premchand. But before starting on these ones, as I said earlier, I would write something. Not much, few blog entries – on the readings and the report on Navodaya, which I mentioned.
Why Economic independence is essential for women
This is how the novel ‘Teen Varsh’ by Bhagwaticharan Varma ends (You might directly skip to the translation, if you are not comfortable with Hindi or Hindi written in Roman script):
“Pratyek Sambandh mein len den ka vyayhar hota hai. Stri purush se uska dhan chahti hai aur purush use dhan deta hai, sukh deta hai, jeevan kee sabhie suvidhayen deta hai. Aur apne dhan ke badle mein purush stri se uski shraddha, uski shakti, uski agyakarita pane kee asha karta hai, lekin Prabha, tum lene ko taiyar ho – dena tum nahin janti. Hamare dhan par aashrit ho kar bhee tum hamaree gulami karne ko taiyar nahin ho, balki ulte samanadhikaron kee duhai dekar aur visheshadhikaron kee aad lekar tum purush ko gulam banana chahti ho….”
Translated (I can not at all claim to be good at translation – even if it sounds rather literal, I hope it conveys the meaning):
“Every relationship involves give and take. Woman wants money from her man, and the man gives her the money, he gives her happiness, he gives her all the comforts of life. And in return man wants her devoted trust, her power, her obedience. But Prabha, you are ready to take – you have not learnt to give. Despite depending on our money, you are not ready to submit to our slavery, on the contrary by referring to equal rights and by taking the shelter of special rights, you want to enslave men…”
Am not going to analyze it in the context of the novel, but only want to point out the essentiality of economic independence, if the equality of genders is to become a reality some day. Because of the kind of society we are today, being able to secure a means of livelihood is not something that can be taken as granted. The arena of the means of livelihood is the battle-field of human kind, where the winners and losers of the society are decided. Even though arguments can come in favour of or against the taken-as-granted situation of domestic work and its inclusion in economically productive work, the situation that remains today is that it is (emphasis) taken as granted (/emphasis), whereas means of livelihood is not. If the gender association with the two kinds of work was not taken as granted too, in addition to the nature of domestic work, situation would have been different. But that too is not the case here. Now, because of difference in the social value of the two kinds of work, to prove the worth in this society, women will have to proceed towards becoming economically independent. Otherwise the expectation of slavery will always be there. Hitler had lots to say about the way, masses “reason out” the things. 🙂
June 12, 2004
There is a lot to be said about ‘Mein Kamph’. Firstly, my belief that Hitler should be saluted as a leader of masses has been strongly reaffirmed after reading this book. My bad luck that the edition I had was a bad one. Can’t say much on the quality of translation but missing or misspelled words from the sentences and missing or misplaced letters in the words sometimes leaves you scratching your head to understand the meaning. Guess its a problem with the particular edition from the particular publisher.
Anyway, back to the contents – seriously if you are thinking of leading masses, you must read this book. Its not possible to find such an explicit and bold acceptance of the power as well as stupidity of masses and how that stupidity can be availed to use that power to achieve your ends, my assumption in mentioning it here being that your end is a good one 🙂 Of course no one stops you from using the same tactics for evil ends.
Several things like problems of democracy, rule of majority, importance of history, characteristics of masses etc. are as relevant today as might have been to Hitler then.
And don’t be surprised if the way he deals with his promises about superiority and inferiority of race leaves you indignant. In fact it makes me wonder after reading the way he describes the stupidities of people of the so-called “most superior race”, if he really believed in this innate superiority of races. Certainly there is no justification anywhere for this pre-destined superiority or inferiority of races. One of my propositions is that knowing the stupidity of the masses, he needed some really provoking issue to rouse the masses. Race was one – or could be made one and he was ruthless enough to use it to the extent he did.
But then if I say he was not that foolish to believe in the innate superiority or inferiority of races, somebody could say that he can’t be smart enough to see how far-reaching and advantageous to him the issue of races could be. Don’t know where the truth lies. Any recommended sources? Adolf Hitler didn’t write a diary, did he? Too bad!