On Genuflection And Self-respect
FALLING at the feet of parents, teachers and elders, also called ‘charan sparsh’ is an age-old Hindu tradition widely followed in India. The blessings of the seniors, or older persons are believed to hold immense value to those who bow down at them. The act of touching the feet of old people will vanish ego, inculcate humility, infuse strength and knowledge in the blessing seeker – so goes the ancient and modern teaching as well. One thing the bygone era preaches on the benefits of touching feet is that the act would also induce “fame” into the toucher’s persona. But the word ‘fame’ is often misunderstood by many of our politicians and political workers for whom sycophancy is the highway to being famous. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has asked its cadres to abstain from touching the feet of its new leader M K Stalin to give up “servitude of touching feet to grab attention and cooperate to foster a good culture”. The DMK is a Dravidian party which thinks dignity and discipline is sacrosanct for a political outfit, and touching the feet of a political head in full public glare is tantamount to ignoring one’s self-respect. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was known for its party workers – low and the mighty – diving at J Jayalalithaa’s feet. And, the late Jayalalithaa seemed to approve the gesture, though not in so many words because she never discouraged the party workers from doing so at least in the open. The ‘vanakkam’ in Tamil, which is an act of recognising and respecting another person is what DMK wants its cadres to follow while greeting Stalin. The DMK’s missive looks perfect because nothing can be more regal than saying vanakkam (namaste) with folded hands or otherwise. The word signifies “greeting the God who is within your soul; I pray the almighty within you”.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
Goa’s Allergy To `10 Coin
THE Rs 10 coin issued by Reserve Bank of India is freely accepted everywhere except here in Goa. People make a big fuss to accept it with some flatly refusing it. It seems someone started a rumour that the government had withdrawn the coin from circulation and it was no more a legal tender which caused the problem. If there was any truth in this rumour, government would have given time to the people to exchange it. Since this is a local problem, it would help if local branch of RBI issues a press note clarifying the position and putting the matter to rest. On our part, it would be sensible and worthwhile if, instead of making a fuss over the acceptance of the Rs 10 coin, we resist and refuse to accept the lozenges and peppermints which the shopkeepers happily give to the people on the pretext of coin shortage, thereby gaining both ways, keeping the change to themselves and dispensing trash to us.
RODNEY DE SOUZA, ASSAGAO