I wouldn’t have thought retd. Justice Markandey Katju capable of humour even though he has made me chuckle once – remember the comment “99% of Indians are foolish”! – unwittingly, I know. Facts are facts, if they make you laugh, even better.
So, last week, his blog said, “I suggest we make Katrina Kaif the next President of India, but on condition, that she sings ‘ Sheela ki Jawaani’ on her Inaugural ! (sic).”
Ironically, and this I mean it, his blog is named Satyam Bruyat – which in Sanskrit means, truthful words, or that truthful speech. Am I the only one who wonders if Sanskrit has become like the totem for the self-proclaimed intellectuals for saying that “they’ve arrived”? A majority of our state and governmental logos are in Sanskrit. Notice how those who know the ancient, obsolete, and vestigial-as-human-tailbone language don’t miss a single opportunity to show off their ability to parrot sayings in Sanskrit that are at best pithy in another language and at worst, just a repetition! They seem to walk a bit higher than the rest – Oh I know how to say “Dude, I got screwed” in Sanskrit, I must be quite something! You see, if Mr. Katju called his blog Truthful Sayings, yeah no one would read it.
The inflated esteem for Sanskrit as “the mother of all tongues” and such that we Indians have derives from a sad, desolate nostalgia and nothing but. Yes, preserve it if it interests you, love it if you must, but to put it on a higher pedestal without rhyme or reason is exactly why the term “Sanskritisation” was and had to be invented. But, more about Sanskrit in another blog.
And this week, some more respect oozing from Mr. Katju’s pen for The Second Sex.
I understand Mr. Katju’s viewpoint. Yes, sir, you made quite a selling pitch there. But you see, the goods are damaged.
Today, women are opening their eyes to the fact that the “all that love entails” part is as much a facade as it is a promise, and what’s more, it’s hardly a good bargain. After all, we are inching towards an open market economy nowadays, and I’m sure the older generation that you belong to is already alarmed. And which is why, the selling pitch.
Today’s woman knows that marriage means she must be independent (i.e. not just a housewife and pull her financial weight) if she is to get even a modicum of respect in the family. She also must cook and look after domestic work if she has to earn even a modicum of peace in her life. Which is why you’ll see more and more women “making lives of good men” hell by telling them to make themselves count and to lend a helping hand.
Love, and blessings of the in-laws, and “social safety” are not enough.
The “satya” part of your blog should validate itself by making the same pitch to women – in a marriage, both parties are equal (no Indian law says it of course, but while we’re romanticising marriage, why not go the whole hog) – and see if women are willing to take it up.
Finally, Mrs. Katju, I feel sorry.