Friday, December 28, 2007

Justice for killing

Today I was discussing what type of punishment should be meted out to people who kill other people.

Basically people think of two types of punishments for killers. Either life imprisonment or death.

My view is that if the death is due to an accident or any unavoidable and unfortunate event then the punishment should not amount to death. But people who kill for money, mental imbalance or any other reason purely to satisfy their needs should be given death. No other punishment will do justice to the killed than death to the killer.

Some people are proponents of life imprisonment hoping that the killer gets reformed. Jail will just harden a criminal in most cases. Such beings cannot be called as human. They are worse than animals. People who think that life imprisonment is justice should consider if they would think the same way if it happened to them or someone close to them.

Bottom line: Death to remorseless, cold hearted killers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prayer: A connection to God

I must inform you that I pray very few times and I need to increase my prayer time. Just wanted to post my thoughts on what prayer is about. We take any religion, there is prayer. Whether it is Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc. All religions provide prayer as a means of communicating with God. Prayer is supposed to be the divine link between mortals and God.

But then start some problems. One is that people perceive prayer synonymous with granting of our wishes. So most prayers are made asking for this or for that. Mainly materialistic things. And when not obtained, there is discouragement which shows how hollow our praying was. Even I would shamefully suffer from the same situation. Also once we pray too often, especially prayers provided by so called priests, pundits, maulvis and so on, we forget the real meaning of prayer. Prayer just turns out to be a recitation of some memorized words which don't come from the heart but only from the mouth.

But prayer is much more than that. It is the path to our peace of mind. Prayer has been provided to us to relieve us from the stress that life throws at us. After a stressful day, just closing our eyes and talking to God (which is prayer), just mentioning our troubles to Him seems to bring extreme peace to our minds. That is what prayer is supposed to do.

So the next time you are stressed and go to a temple, mosque or church and by habit just tend to recite your prayers like a parrot, just pause for a minute and talk to God like to a friend. You will feel much, much better.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Contentment - happiness with one's situation in life

I was in the discussion with friends after lunch today and this topics seems to just come and go once too often. So I thought to write about it. The thought about being content with our life.

The first job that I had i.e when I could be considered an SET payed very little money, the work hours were 12 hours compulsory and life was tough. But the work helped me to learn a lot about being an actual programmer. Never in my later jobs have I learned as much and as fast as I had back then. But people who join large organizations with a hefty pay packet do not seem to be content with their job always comparing it with others. Something my mother says is quite true. Only when we grow from the ground level do we realize what we have achieved in life.

This discontentment branches out into all aspects of our life. We crib about our job, about our finances, about our love life. We complain about our looks, about not being smart enough and this and that. We always try to compare ourselves against other people and are never satisfied. Now I don't intend to tell that we should not have ambition. Of course we should always strive to improve ourselves. That is what life is about. But then we should also spend the time to appreciate the things we have in our life and avoid taking them for granted. True happiness can be found not on the outside but inside ourselves and that is when we are content with what we have.

The next time we feel dissatisfied with ourselves let us try and remember the things we have that many people can only dream to have in their lives.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I, me and myself

It's amazing how much we humans tend to thing about ourselves. It's something called ego or our self.

From the moment we wake up, till the time we go to bed, we are constantly thinking about ourselves. Studies suggest we concentrate on ourselves more than 95% the time. And the remaining time we concentrate on things like relationships which indirectly is again concentrating on our own selves.

That is what makes us humans selfish. If we would spend just a few minutes everyday getting interested in other people, we would know how beautiful and interesting the lives of people can be. We would find many interesting things about people. If we would just try to find out what makes a person as he/she is instead of judging a person, it would be much more beneficial for us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Religion = Blind Faith?

I am one of those guys who was very religious at one time but am a moderate now. By religious, I mean accepting whatever is mentioned whether in the holy books or by a religious leader or by any authority on religion. But they realization struck one day that today's religion equals blind faith.

Blindly following what is mentioned in the books by mortal beings like us is an insult to God and his wisdom. God created us with intelligence. He didn't want us to be like animals guided by a stick. He gave us intelligence to think on our own. To use our intelligence and quest for knowledge to find the true meaning of God.

It was extremism in religion that puts me off about it. The world seems to suffer everyday because of religion: either directly or indirectly. It is when people take religion to extreme heights. Consider the terrorists who can kill others and themselves just to justify their religious misinterpretations. Consider the religions in India which cause more trouble with the minority status and stuff which instead of making a person a citizen of the country just ends up alienating people into various communities. Consider the destruction of temples, mosques and the mayhem that follows it whether it is for a good cause like development or a bad one like the Babri masjid demolition. Consider the Ram Sethu stuff which was used as a tool by the politicians.

My view is that a human cannot exist without God's guidance. But being spiritual and understanding one's purpose and meaning in this world is much better than indulging in blind adherence to practices, most of which harm others. God has given us a beautiful mind to understand him. Let's use it to learn how God works his magic through this beautiful world.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Money, money, more money

I was disgusted reading about dowry deaths in the newspaper . Recently there have been several cases of dowry related harassment or death. The disgusting part is that the people who are involved in this act are not rustic but well educated middle class people (one is an employee with Infosys and in the US, another has a family with a Indian navy background).

It shows that even though progress has been achieved on the economic front, our values still reflect a greed for money, power and status. Values are what define a human being. Not money, not looks, nor power, but the core of the human being.

What is most appalling is that many Indian families still find dowry acceptable, whether it is in giving or receiving it. It is difficult to understand how a family can send their daughter into a greedy, money minded family. People who base their lives on greed for money can never be happy, nor can they make others happy. Quite the contrary, money does seem to be the cause of all their problems.

This evil can only be stopped if society changes it's outlook towards dowry. Frankly, much changes should not be expected as the dowry trend is seen as increasing even as education increases. It is the women who should oppose handing their lives over to life-ruining jerks.