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Saturday, November 5, 2011

CLRI 2/6 November 2011

Editor's Line

An Ideology is a Cage
An ideology is a cage. When you believe in an ideology you tend to implement it. You create a cagewall around; soon you are caged in. Being caged in an ideology sometimes leads to alienating you from other ideologies and even ending up with developing a feeling of hatred towards other ideologies and beliefs and assertiveness of your ideology.

As strongly you believe in an ideology so strongly you are assertive and hate other ideologies. Communists, racists, fascists, religious fundamentalists, and Naxalites are good examples of strong believers in their ideologies whatsoever. They are caged in an ideology; they are assertive and have strong hatred towards other ideologies and beliefs. This makes them to impose their ideologies on others; they tend to impose a pan-extremist theory in the world.

When Karl Marx discussing about religion remarked, “religion is the opium of the masses”1 he meant man should want to be free from this opium. But by not believing in any religious ideology he too, though unknowingly, started to believe in agnosticism or atheism. His belief in not believing in religion was very strong, so strong that his ideology stands not short of any belief. In him this ideology was so strong that had Marx believe that man can achieve happiness only when he does not believe in a religion. “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.” 2 Marx strongly asserted “I hate all gods” in his doctoral dissertation. Marx was caged in his ideology, he created a strong cagewall around him and so he was assertive and hated religions.

Subsequently when the communist government came to power in 1917 in the Soviet Union (the Bolshevik party under Vladimir Lenin), they used force to impose their ideology on one and all. Though they proclaimed to overthrow the age-old bourgeois rule and bring the rule of the proletariat, they started to impose their ideology on all the citizens. To make the people submit to their ideology, the communist government adopted even sternest actions killing millions of the people. According to Leonard Schapiro the Bolshevik "refusal to come to terms with the [Revolutionary] socialists, and the dispersal of the Constituent assembly, led to the logical result that revolutionary terror would now be directed, not only against traditional enemies, such as the bourgeoisie or right-wing opponents, but against anyone, be he socialist, worker, or peasant, who opposed Bolshevik rule"3.

Similarly fundamentalists of any religion are caged in because they have strong belief in their religion and want to impose it on others—both on their fellow believers and those who are outside their belief. This shows that they are too assertive and have strong hatred towards others. There are laws in many countries which are binding both on believers and non-believers alike. For example females—both Muslims and non-Muslims—are ordered to cover their faces when they come out in public in many Islamic countries whereas in France all females have to have no scarf on their faces.

Secondly, any religious terrorism is the example of assertiveness of the ideology the fundamentalists are caged in. Religious fundamentalism has given rise to terrorism. Most of the religious fundamentalists believe that by terrorizing people and the world they can make them accept their policies and implement them in order to buy peace with them. This way they can gradually encroach upon the government policies and one day they will govern. Likewise fascists are too assertive of their ideology and have strong hatred. Adolf Hitler for example had a strong Anti-Semitic feeling which resulted into killing of millions of the Jews.

Naxalism in India, yet another example, is the outcome of assertive action of those who believe in radical communism in the strongest form. Naxalists want to overthrow an elected government by force and redistribute lands to the poor and landless. They believe that the people belonging to upper classes and the rich have the bigger share of the haves in their favours. But they talk with the gun. Can a development be ever brought by using force and terrorizing the people? This appears to be a lame allegation as the Naxals do not participate in democratic elections; nay they prevent others to participate in elections. By participating in elections the Naxals could have placed their voice on the table but they do not do this. Because the real aim is not bringing a reform rather impose their communism in its totality.

In all these cases strong belief in an ideology resulted into extremism and hatred towards other ideologies and other believers resulting into killing of millions of people.

References:
  1. Marx, K. Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Collected Works, v. 3. New York. 1976.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Leonard Bertram Schapiro. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Eyre & Spottiswoode, p. 183. 1970. See also: Lenin and the First Communist Revolutions, V (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Lenin)

Nudity and Vulgarity are Two Different Things
—Dress, Chastity, Shame, Virginity

Nudity and vulgarity are two different things. We are born nude but not vulgar. Nudity is a natural condition while vulgarity is a learned behaviour. Nudity is not bad though vulgarity may be considered so. We’re nude under our garments but we are not vulgar under any garb, unless chosen.

Nudity is a prevailing fact. There are cultures which prefer little clothes, or some even wear too little clothes. Tribal people wear either little clothes or are nude. So nudity cannot be a reason of shamefulness.

Vulgarity is not a natural condition. One is vulgar in the manners one presents. Featuring young girl models in seductive postures in the men’s fashion and modeling magazines is vulgarity—in 2010 FHM brought out a 10-year girl in a seductive pose. Producing padded bras for the girls as young as five years old, and bikinis and thongs for girls under ten is yet another example of vulgarity, courtesy Abercrombie & Fitch. This promotes sexualisation by creating a feeling that the young girls are female and they would develop breasts in the place where they put on bras. This erases innocence from the mind of young female children. This is vulgarity.

Vulgarity is a provocative action or posture while nudity is simplicity. Many sadhus and saints do not wear clothes; their aim is to discard worldly riches. They are simple and not vulgar. On contrary, posing a seductive posture is possible even in long clothes—many girls wear scarf on their faces to look attractive and glamorous. When adorning a see-thorough dress would not necessarily be tagged vulgar but waving one’s body in obscene even in full clothes may be vulgar. However there is a thin line between nudity and vulgarity. A slight change in one may tend to advance into another.

Pushcart Award 2011 Nominees Announcement
Contemporary Literary Review: India is an ever growing journal. CLRI has increased its inclusion to ten pieces from seven per month to accommodate a large number of submissions from the writers from around the world. This is an effort to meet our goal to publish and promote as many writers as possible. However we apologise if any writer's submission does not get space in CLRI.

Now CLRI is going to work on nominating its writers to Pushcart Award by the end of November 2011. (However CLRI will nominate its writers only if suitable candidates are found.)

CLRI Reviews October 2011 Released
Contemporary Literary Review: India introduces its newsletter CLRI Reviews to the readers and writers. CLRI Reviews will feature reviews on books, journals, magazines, and products. CLRI Reviews will also include a book release list. Please send us your book release, so we can include it in the next CLRI Review issue.

Poetic Snippet
God created the apple
Steve Jobs invented Apple
The one who's once tempted to eat the apple
Is tempted to own Apple.

Khurshid Alam,
Editor, CLRI, November 2011.

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