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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    June 13, 2003

    Society & Religion

    One of the main reasons I'm agnostic is directly related to one of my pet peeves. Why do all religions (well at least the ones I'm familiar with or encounter in the neighbourhood) religiously (sorry for the pun) conduct their mass gatherings/call to prayer etc. in the wee hours of the morning so frequently? Whether it is the Maariyamma songs (filmi and non-filmi) blaring out of the speakers or the muezzin's call or the sermonizing from the nearby church, why does all of that almost always happen at 5 am, especially when I've only managed to sleep at midnight? Why can't people pray in silence? Why does it always have to be publicized? Little wonder we have riots at the drop of a hat. The best way to antagonize communities is to take a religious procession along a route where their deity allegedly resides, and no, not a silent procession. One of the full throated variety, almost sounding like they're at a cricket match.

    In the last month we've read a couple of cases of young women casting aside years of social subjugation and reporting their to-be in-laws and husband to the cops for demanding too much dowry. I do agree it is has the potential to be a turning point in the way society treats marriages. However the bit to wonder is this: Both Nisha (Delhi) and Vidya (Madras) took the step to go to the police only when they felt that the dowry demands were going beyond the agreed quantity. So inherently, they are not opposed to their parents giving dowry per se, but they're against it when it exceeds a certain agreed value. I suppose before women's organizations go to town by portraying these two as what all young women of the country should aspire to be, they must think about it. The concept of dowry is so deeply rooted that even young women and men who seek to rebel against society by opposing dowry cannot do it wholeheartedly because there are issues of family honour (maanam, izzat, maan etc.) at stake. So they compromise by opposing only when the demands reach a critical point. Surely this is just a half hearted movement then.

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