Categories
Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music, February, 2019

Welcome to February, 2019 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

A Google Doodle created by Bangalore-based artist Muhammed Sajid on Madhubala’s 86the birthday tribute

MADHU BALA: The Bewitching Beauty of Bollywood – DP Rangan pays a rich tribute.

6 Iconic fashion statements we owe to Madhubala!’ looks back to some of the fashion trends that she made popular.

We also have post to remember Valentine’s Day – Ten of my favourite romantic serenades. It’s a list of romantic serenades, of people singing in praise of the person they’re in love with (or, as in the case of a couple of fraudulent characters in this list, pretending to be in love with).

For the Love of a Goddess – The article first takes through the narrative journey of a music documentary, Music for Goddess (by Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy), which explores the sacred music, dance and rituals of devidasis and devidasas, women and men dedicated to the goddess Renuka/Yellamma. It then introduces the instrument, the chaundka—also called chaundke, which the followers of the Goddes use mainly in their dancing and singing. The chaundka sounds similar to the damru. Our cinema has used the chaundka in several songs. The article has listed some of these songs.

Suman Kalyanpur – Sweetness Personified – The name conjures memories of lilting sweet songs, solos and duets that have gained immortality and enriched our music heritage. Peeyush Sharma revisits some of her evergreen melodies, enjoyed and cherished by generations of music lovers. Of the two duets she could get to sing with Mohammad Rafi, Din ho ya raat hum rahein tere saath (Miss Bombay, 1957, Hans Raj Behl / Prem Dhawan)  is perhaps more known than Duniya Ye Kehati Hai.. Meri Kismat Mein Likhi Wo Jo Mere Peechhe Baithi Hai

In a tribute to Bharat Vyas in his centenary birth year, last month we had touched  Bharat Vyas – The Prolific Lyricist – I and Bharat Vyas – The Prolific Lyricist – II . In part III of the series, his songs from ‘70s has been covered.

Here’s to the Birth or Death Anniversaries of Three Classic Hindi Film Artists Who Certainly Should Not Have Died In Poverty – The article refers to Cuckoo, Meena Shorey and Rajkumari. [I have searched a song in which each one is associated in a duet with Mohammad Rafi. The songs are at the end of the present article.]

Shailendra Sharma @ Golden Era of Bollywood has posted following memorial tribute posts:

The flashback series has why you should watch Waqt (1965), because it’s a near-perfect summary of the “masala” film before the term was commonly used and why you should watch Mem Didi (1961) for the beautiful chemistry between three elderly character actors.

Waheeda Rehman 2.0 – The Grand Diva Of Hindi Cinema – Staying relevant is one of the most crucial elements of Hindi film industry and Waheeda Rehman is a living legend who has stayed relevant in every era since her debut in 1955 in Telugu and Tamil cinema.

Zameen Kha Gayi Aasman Kaise Kaise – Some Non-picturised Songs Of R D Burman – Part 1 and Part 2 – the songs that either recorded but not filmed at all or filmed, but subsequently removed.

February, 2019 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs takes up Talat Mahmood’s duets with Mubarak Begum and Madhubala Jhaveri, in continuation to  the previous articles . Some of the Talat Mahmood Duets receding from the memory and Talat Mahmood’s Duet Combinations with Rare Co-singers.

And, now the posts on other subjects:

Romancing the Pardesi is a varied collection of beautiful Pardesi songs of separation, longing, betrayal and hope.

What Time It Is? is a theme-based list that has songs mentioning the actual time in the opening line.

With Claps As Percussion – Songs With A Difference, which has several over-riding conditions, one of which it is that it should not be an O P Nayyar composition. Here is one song that comes up as result:

 Nacho Jhoom Jhoom Ke – Sarhad (1960) – Chitalkar – C Ramchandra – Majrooh Sultanpuri

By the Sea Shore remembers the songs from the films of 50s-60s and 70s, picturized on a seashore or a beach.

Reluctant Singer? Take a Boat Ride – Transformation happens to many people when they are on a boat that has left the shores some time ago. The songs listed herein are the ones that were sung by such “What, me sing?” folks when on the land. This is a celebration of people who themselves manage to move a sea vessel from one place to another.

Tujhe chaand ke ‘bahaane’ dekhun ki ‘chhat’ par aa ja goriye is a rich collection of songs in which an excuse to go to the terrace is linked up.

‘The Guide’ in English: The story of Dev Anand’s abortive attempt to storm Hollywood – Based on RK Narayan’s novel of the same name, the film was directed by Tad Danielewski. But reviewers thought it was ‘clumsy and artless’.

Mose Chhal Kiye Jaaye – Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya – Guide – The Twofold Stunner -The Writer / Director, Vijay Anand, wants his songs to take his story forward. He opts for two different songs…back to back and Burman da composes those two songs. Both songs have the same notes!!!! Whereas Lata Mangeshkar song is an accusation of the feeling of cheating, Mohammad Rafi’s song is a romantic plea for the sake of his love.

Songs of दास्तान- ए – हाल – ए -दिल weave anguish or agitation, and some time happiness, or sheer romance, when a person comes up to tell his / her heart-felt feelings.

We are bit late in documenting ‘Songs in the Snow: Ten of my favourites’. The songs should feature some amount of snow; it need not necessarily be all against a backdrop of snow. And the snow, even if it’s not real should at least not look patently fake.

In our tradition of ending our post with article on Mohammad Rafi or a topical song of his, I have picked up a few songs, each one of which basically has a link with the topics discussed in the present post.

Akhiyan Mail Ke Jara Baat Karo Ji – Pardes (1950) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Ghulam Mohammad – ShakeelBadayuni

Aao Chale Manwa More Door Chale Kahin Re – Amar Prem (1948) – with Rajkumari – Dutt Thakur – Mohan Mishra

Tumhein Chupke Se Dil Mein Liya – Ek Do teen (1953) – with Asha Bhosle – Vinod – Aziz Kashmiri

Chowpati Par Kal Jo Tujhse – Afsana (1951) – with Shmashad Begum – Husnlal Bhagatram – Chander Oberoi

Kehdo Kehdo Jahan Se Kehdo Ishq Par Jor Nahin – April Fool (1964) – with Suman Kalyanpur – Shanker Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri

Auraton Ke Dibbe Mein Mard Aa Gaya – Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh (1962) – With Suman Kalyanpur – Hansraj Behl – Prem Dhawan

Tere Peechhe Phirte Phirte Ho Gaya Pura Sal – Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh (1962) – With Suman Kalyanpur – Hansraj Behl – Prem Dhawan

I earnestly solicit your inputs for further broad-basing our cache for the content for our carnival of blogs on the Golden Era of Hindi film music.

Disclaimer: This monthly series of posts is my best-effort-based compilation of posts on Hindi film songs that I normally visit regularly. As I record my sincere thanks to all the original creators of these posts, any other posts that I have nor covered herein shows my lack of awareness of existence of such posts and is by no means any disrespect to their work. The copyrights to the posts, images and video clips remain the properties of the original creators.

Categories
Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs, February, 2019

Welcome to February, 2019 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We have planned to stage-wise explore the subject of Quality Management – Road Ahead to Digital Transformation during the year 2019, by taking up brief, indicative, discussions on the different related issues every month. Our first step was to visit The Basics of Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation in January, 2019.

Presently, we will lay the foundation of the Digital Quality Management.

A look at the ‘Industrial revolutions and future view’ embedded in the Wikipedia article Industry 4.0 also chalks the path of the development of the quality management in terms of its process of digital transformation.

As may be recalled during 3rd phase of industrialization, the process of automating and digitalizing the quality management started taking roots. The process gained momentum at the level of higher-end, large and complex organizations, and had well permeated to the medium and smaller organizations by the time the winds of 4.0 stage had started blowing.

The organic digitization and the digitalization of the quality management, in effect, resembles the hierarchical model of Automation Pyramid, which  vertically cuts the systems of manufacturing operations into different levels that can be connected to certain types of information, systems, and time frames, which have been defined in a standard model by International Society of Automation (ISA) (ANSI/ISA, 2005) [1]

The automation pyramid according to the ISA 95 model. The five levels, 0-5, are defined in the middle. At each level, the typical system(s) used are showed to the right. Different levels are concerned with different time-frames which are visualized to the left.[2]
resently, smaller organizations have reached the stage of maintaining most the critical data in the digital formats, medium organizations have reached a fair level of using various types of software applications and larger organizations have attained high capability to leverage software and tools that revolutionize the way companies operate; these solutions include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Business Process Management (BPM), and Quality Management System (QMS).[3]

The industry, thus, has reached the stage whereat the data collection is on digitized paper-based forms or is directly onto digitalized formats; data processing is through simple to sophisticated spreadsheet applications and the resultant information is accessed / transferred through the home-grown database systems.

Rapidly changing technologies primarily drive the Digital Transformation, but its adoption is dependent on a carefully planned out strategy. Real benefits of digital transformation do not lie in optimizing individual technologies used rather than the overall integration and dependencies of the whole system.[4]

It would not be out-of-place to assume that, by now, most of the quality professionals have a fair degree of exposure to the different types and styles of digital quality management practices. So, in our next episode we will take a closer look at Quality 4.0, and then would take up different components that presently reside within Quality 4.0.

We will now turn to our regular sections:

For the present episode we have picked up article, Jumping To Conclusions About Statistical Data & Events @ Innovation & Entrepreneurship topic of Management Matters Network, by MMN editorial staff, Ed’s Ink , ….Dr. Hamburg’s point: Even when statistical data are above reproach, much leeway still exists for individuals to interpret them in a manner that best supports their mindset and/or prejudices…”Just as the human ear,” Peter F. Drucker wrote, “does not hear sounds above a certain pitch, so does human perception all together not perceive what is beyond its range of perception.” …In his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Drucker reminds us, “When a change in perception takes place, the facts do not change. Their meaning does.”.

We now watch two videos of the ASQ TV, which are relevant to the topic of our discussions during the yea :

  • Shared Meanings from Top to Bottom – Charlie Barton, President, Barton Consulting LLC, discusses the importance of shared meanings of words for organizations, and the negative business implications that could occur without that common knowledge.

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems posting for January, 2019 is:

  • Plan and Execute – Goals give us a sense of accomplishment and reason to celebrate, because we know when we have arrived at our destination. It is important to know where we want to go in our life. If that’s not clear, it will be worthwhile to spend some time to find out.
  • Positive Reinforcement – No matter what you are trying or wanting to do, if you rehearse the future over and over in your mind and see yourself performing perfectly, you will be dramatically increasing your chances of bringing that future into reality.
  • Be Your Best – Focus on those aspects of yourself that you would like to see more of, but do it in a systematic way, and do it over and over, every day. Soon, being yourself will adjust automatically, to becoming your “best” self.

I look forward to receive your inputs / suggestions that can further enrich our discussions on the subject of Digitalization in the Quality Management

Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.

[1]  Implementing Shop Floor IT for Industry 4.0Magnus Åkerman

[2]  The-automation-pyramid-according-to-the-ISA-95-model

[3]  How Digital Transformation And Quality management Play Important Roles In Optimizing Your Business

[4] Digital Transformation Strategy for Next Generation eQMS

Categories
Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs

Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: February, 2019

Talat Mahmood Duets with Mubarak Begum and Madhubala Jhaveri

In memory of Talat Mahmood’s birth anniversary (24 February, 1924), we have commenced a series of annual articles on Talat Mahmood’s Rare Duets. We commenced with an omnibus overview – Some of the Talat Mahmood Duets receding from the memory – in February, 2017. We had covered one duet per pairing partner and the music director in that article. Then, in February, 2018, we narrowed down to Talat Mahmood’s Duet Combinations with Rare Co-singers. In that article we had covered on Talat Mahmood’s duets with co-singers who can be considered as ‘rare’ combinations.

Now onward, we will further narrow down our focus to Talat Mahmood’s duets with individual co-singers. In the process, we would maintain that either the Talat Mahmood[1] – Co-singer combination is rare enough or the duet song is relatively less heard one. For the present we will take up Talat Mahood’s duets with Mubarak Begum and those with Madhubala jhaveri.

Talat Mahmood and Mubarak Begum

Mubarak Begum[2] may not be treated as much ‘front-ranking’ playback singer as Talat Mahmood was, but she has quite a few very well-known solos to her credit. She has some of the very well-known duets to her credit, too. A couple of Talat Mahmood – Mubarak Begum share the top billing of ‘best duets ever’ category. These ‘well-known’ duets can be treated to the rule that the combination of Talat Mahmood – Mubarak Begum remains a ‘rare’ combination.

We have (just) 6 duets and 1 triad from Hindi Film and one NFS   At a very first glance, it can be observed that these songs are spread over later part of Talat Mahmood’s mid-career to his end-of-the career years. Whether the Talat-Mubarak duets became hit or remained obscure, the common thread that runs through these songs is that even as none of the films had succeeded on the box office, these songs are the cherished gems for the most of Talat Mahmood or Mubarak Begum fans.

Ghir Ghir Aaye Badarwa Kare… Rang Bhare Ras Bhare Pyare – Dak Babu (1954) – Dhaniram – Prem Dhawan

Here we have a duet, in praise of the gathering clouds of monsoon, set to a semi-classical tune. No wonder that the song is so melodious.

Tera Bachpan Ek Kahani..Bhool Na Jana Balapana Ki Kahaani – Sangam (1954) – Ram Ganguly – S H Bihari

This is a beautifully crafted duet. Talat starts mukhada in a solo, continues with stanza in a solo, while reminiscing those lovely childhood moments, when Mubarak Begum joins him to carry forward those moments to the youth. For that portion of Mubarak Begum solo, the song runs on an altered rhythm, when Talat joins into a complete the stanza in duet. The style repeats in the next two stanza as well.

Aside Trivia:

This ‘Sangam’ is in the middle of the other two ‘Sanagam’s on each side – first one in 1941 and the later one in 1964.

Meri Bhi Dastaan Bhi Kya Dastaan Hai – Taatar Ka Chor (1955) – a triad with Asha Bhosle – Khayyam – Prem Dhawan

From the title, film appears to be based on some folklore of Tatarstan, a small kingdom on the banks of River Volga. The songs begins with recital of ‘shaers’ by Talat Mahmood and Asha Bhosle. Mubarak Begum, then, seamlessly picks up the mukda.

I listened to this song for the first time.

Asides Trivia:

This is the 3rd film after Khayyam adopted this pseudonym, first two being Footpath (1953) and Dhobi Doctor (1954).

Raat Kitni Hasen, Zindagi Maherbaan, Baat Kuchcha Nahin, Ban Gayee Dataan – Badal Aur Bijli (1956) – Bipin Babul – Anjum Jaipuri

Here is song that is so much poetic, so melodious, so soothing, set to a pleasing mid-eastern tune… and yet placed in an obscure “B’ grade movie, is destined to be consigned as a ‘forgotten gem’.

Chanda Ke Rang Liye, Taaro Ka Sang Liye…Sapno Ki DUniya Mein Aaj Aa – Harihar Bhakti (1556)  – K Datta – S P Kalla

The film is a typical mythology drama, however the song is a sheer beauty of romance. Interstingly, Mubarak Begum is so melodious that many listeners mistake her voice as that of Lata Mangeshkar.

Itne Qareeb Aake Bhii Kyaa Jaane Kis Liye Kuchh Ajnabii Se Aap Hain Kuchh Ajnabii Se Hum – Shagoon (1964) – Khayyam – Sahir Ludhyanvi

Theoretically, the song can be said to be belonging to the end of Talat Mahmood’s career, but Talat’s voice has not lost any of his vintage charm. Mubarak Begum also retains her melodious charm in the company of Talat Mahmood.

This is not only one of the most known of Talat-Mubark duets, it is undoubtedly regarded as one of the finest ever duets of Hindi Films.

Zara Keh Do Fizaaon Se Hamein Itna Satae Na.. Tumhi Keh Do Hawaon Se, Tumhaari Yaad Dilaye Na – Gogola (1966) – Roy Frank – Balkavi Bairagi

We again have a B grade movie, a not-much-known music director pair that has one of the most-remembered romantic duet

We will wrap-up Talat Mamood – Mubarak Begum duets with a NFS, which in fact is a Naat, a form folk-style Muslim prayer.

Hum Sunaate Hain Mohammad Mustafa Ki Dastaan

Talat Mahmood – Madhubala Jhaveri

Madhubala Jhaveri (19-1-1935 // 11-9-2013) active singing career in films is just 7 years from 1951 to 1958. She has sang 110 songs – 55 in Hindi, 27 in Marathi and 3 in Gujarati films. Obviously, Madhubal Jhaveri’s vocal skills have been tested in multiple ways in her songs across different languages. For example, here is a Gujarati poem which has been set to a quawalli-style format:

She was also very active on All India Radio as well. However, we do not have access to that wonderful treasure. For such a promising artist, her duets with Talat Mahmood are few in numbers and quite a few of them may be even less-heard-ones. But the paucity of numbers is more than made up by the pleasure of listening to these two unique voices in different moods.

Madhubala Jhaveri’s on-record debut is Rajput, a 1951 film, for which music was composed by Hansrah Behl.

Jao Jao Aa Gaya Bulawa Jang Ka – Rajput (1951) with Manna Dey – Hansraj Behl – Bharat Vyas

Madhubala Jhaveri was just16 when she recorded the songs for Rajput… but she has been able to passion for patriotism with the romantic emotions like a pro.

Tum Kaun Ho Rajkumari, Yeh Chanda Sa Mukhra Idhar To Karo – Rajput (1951) – Hansraj Behl – Bharat Vyas

This seems to be the song for a famous tradition in those days, wherein the bride-to-be would choose her groom in open contest. The song therefore blends a trace of authority that a young daughter of king would manifest during such an occasion.

Pyar Ki Rut Dorangi Saajana Man Mein Holi Ankh Mein Sawan – Apni Izzat (1952) –  Hansraj Behl – Asad Bhopali

The song is created to reflect the pensive mood of the couple deep in the emotions of mutual love. Entire song runs on very soft scale.

Dil Mera Tera Diwana.. Bas Itna Mera Fasana – Apni Izzat (1952) – Hansraj Behl – Pandit Phani

We now have a classic styled duet wherein both the players accept the mutual love.

Jabse Maine Dl Lagaya, Dil Kahin Lagata Nahin – Dost (1954) – Hansraj Behl – Asad Bhopali

The song is set to a Punjabi folk rhythm.

Ae Zamaane Bataa Do Dilo Ki Khata Hamko Barbaad Karke Tujhe Kya Mila – Dost (1954) – Hansraj Behl – Asaad Bhopali

The spectrum of moods of Talat Mahmood- Madhubal Jhaveri is now complete with a pure pathos duet.

Kehne Ko Bahot Kuchh Kehna Thaa Takraayi Nazar Sharma Hi Gaye….Diwali Ki Raat (1956) – Snehal Bhatkar – Madhukar Rajasthani

Madhubal Jhaveri and Talat Mahmood are deep in the playful romantic mood of the song.

Hafiz Khuda Tumhara Hamein Bhool Na Jaana – Naqabposh (1956) – Dhani Ram – Munir Arzoo Kazmi

The song would have been a mid-eastern setting, befitting the subject of the film. Madhubala Jhaveri now does justice to urdu diction.

As is obvious, we do not have any song today in Mohammad Rafi’s voice. So we will slightly deviate from our main theme and pick up a Rafi-Talat duet to end our present episode –

Kavita Naam Hai Gyaan Ka Ise Likhanewale Gyaani – Kavi (1954) – C. Ramchandra – Rajinder Krishna

Though set to a bhajan-style rhythm, the duet underscores a discourse wherein one protagonist claims superiority of legacy of the race to the artistic prowess of poetry, to which the other one systematically rebuts.

We will take up Talat Mahmood’s less –heard duets with some more co-singers next year…..

We will continue remembering Unforgettable Songs that seem to Fading away from our Memories every second Sunday of the month……..

Disclaimer: All images are sourced from net. All copyrights of the respective image remain with the original owner of the image.

[1] Talat Mahmood – Documentary

[2]  A Films Division film on Mubarak Begum

Categories
Devdutt Pattanaik - Business Sutra

Business Sutra |9.3| Caste: The Death of Brahmin

Business Sutra |9| Discrimination

We have covered eight episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The subject of Episode 9 is Discrimination. In order to decode this complex problem, Devdutt Pattanaik takes up gender discrimination in the 1st segment and creation of hierarchy in 2nd segment.

Business Sutra |9.3| Caste: The Death of Brahmin

Let us first quickly look at what the current (western) literature has to say on the subject of today’s subject. Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle which often includes an occupation, status in a hierarchy, customary social interaction, and exclusion. It is an extreme evolution of a system of legally-entrenched social classes, also endogamous and hereditary, such as that of feudal Europe. Although caste systems exist in various regions, its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of Indian society into rigid social groups, with roots in India’s ancient history and persisting until today; it is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside India. In biology, the term is applied to role stratification in eusocial animals like ants and termites, though the analogy is imperfect as these also involve extremely stratified reproduction. Racial discrimination refers to discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race. Policies of racial segregation may formalize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalised and also it means facing injustice. The Myth of Race – The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea – Robert Wald Sussman : Biological races do not exist—and never have. This view is shared by all scientists who study variation in human populations. Yet racial prejudice and intolerance based on the myth of race remain deeply ingrained in Western society. In his powerful examination of a persistent, false, and poisonous idea, Robert Sussman explores how race emerged as a social construct from early biblical justifications to the pseudo-scientific studies of today….The Myth of Race traces the origins of modern racist ideology to the Spanish Inquisition, revealing how sixteenth-century theories of racial degeneration became a crucial justification for Western imperialism and slavery. In the nineteenth century, these theories fused with Darwinism to produce the highly influential and pernicious eugenics movement. Believing that traits from cranial shape to raw intelligence were immutable, eugenicists developed hierarchies that classified certain races, especially fair-skinned “Aryans,” as superior to others. These ideologues proposed programs of intelligence testing, selective breeding, and human sterilization—policies that fed straight into Nazi genocide. Sussman examines how opponents of eugenics, guided by the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas’s new, scientifically supported concept of culture, exposed fallacies in racist thinking….Although eugenics is now widely discredited, some groups and individuals today claim a new scientific basis for old racist assumptions. Pondering the continuing influence of racist research and thought, despite all evidence to the contrary, Sussman explains why—when it comes to race—too many people still mistake bigotry for science. We have a few good videos on the subject that has Myth of Race as the key phrase: The Myth of Race and Public Policy – FDU trustee Dr. Franklyn Jenifer discusses race, genetics and public policy at a lecture at the College at Florham. “When you say the word race, you should know what you’re talking about,” says Dr. Franklyn Jenifer. People can “walk across campus or any city and pick out race, no problem,” he says. But he contends there’s a difference between race and genetics. Jenifer discusses both “folk” and “scientific” theories of race. Scientifically, Jenifer says, when looking at genomes no one can tell blacks and whites apart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06MhgoJb-5k The Myth of Race | Sharad Paul | TEDxAuckland – Sharad Paul argues that the modern perception of race is wrong and that science and the story of Vitamin D and Folic acid tell their own story about race and skin colour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v0ykTrTQEc The Myth of Race | Melissa Weise | TEDxHolyokeCC – We talk about race as if we are certain what it is. What if race was simply a myth society creates? This talk addresses the meaning of both myth and race. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew62Xq0GMBI In one of his articles, Beyond Hinduism: Is caste a religious or a regional problem?, written about 5 years after the telecast of our present episode, Devdutt Pattanaik has enlisted the documentary back-ups to establish the strong presence of racism (a.k.a. caste-based discrimination) that is neither solely on account of religion nor on account of cultural DNA of different regions. He concludes that to search for an answer  to this issue in mythology is like looking for the ring lost in this dark corner of the street under that distant lamppost where there is light. So, it is time now to look at what Indian mythology has to on the subject, as interpreted by Devudtt Pattanaik, in Segment 3 – Caste – The Death of Brahmin – of the episode 9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67PJ4s2jadM

If I was to use this as an analogy for India’s caste system and if I was to use the politically incorrect word, the Brahmin, right now. Brahmin means the thinker. Mycology has over thousands of years given the Brrahmin an exalted position in society. While laying down that everybody else is equally important somehow the Brahmin has emerged more important than everybody else. How did this get embedded and ingrained in our thinking, to the extent that it has became a rigid caste system and not a system which believed that each one has its own importance and his own place, that each one is important at a particular point in time?

Let us separate the reality of society from the thoughts that mythology is trying to communicate, what the society is being informed by a set of stories and how much is actually heard. There is clearly a delta between what is being communicated and what is being heard and imbibed.

Let us keep that as a hypothesis. Let us accept that we know that our society has almost dehumanizing practices – denying people water, the touch. There is no way on earth whereby such practices cane be justified.

The word Brahmin means someone who facilitates the discovery of Brahman. This word comes from the Upanishads. It basically means the infinite potential of a human being to outgrow his animal instincts and discover the divinity. This infinite potential all of us possess. Every human being possesses this.

Brahman is the quality.

He who facilitates this journey was called a Brahmin. It is also essential that this is separated from another word Brahma. Brahma is the word for creator. Please remember in India we don’t worship the Creator. What did he create that he is unworthy of worship.

You have told us this in a previous episode – the rat race.

The rat race is a competitive spirit which is suitable for animals fighting over resources but not for human being if they aim to outgrow their animal instinct. This is the model.

Now let’s look at Ramayan and Mahabharat.

In the Ramayan, the villain is Ravan. It is repeatedly stressed that Ravan is a Brahmin, the thinker. We have to be careful here with the use of the word, Brahmin, because in India today it is a political issue. So let us make it clear to our viewers that we’re using Brahman as a substitute for the word thinker. Brahmin is a thinker. He is supposed to come from the family of thinkers. He has got 10 heads, which means that he is capable of thinking much more than most other people. He is supposed to direct people in this direction of outgrowing the animal instinct. But, his behavior is competitive and he celebrates his animal instincts. So, Rama takes up his destruction, which otherwise is considered to be a greater sin. However, that is what the scripture is actually showing-that this is unacceptable behavior. But Ram still celebrates the idea of the thinker. So, after killing Ravan, Ram performs an act of penance, saying that I respect the idea of Brahman, but not the person of Brahmin, definitely not what the person has become.

In Mahabharat, you have a teacher called Drona. He is a Brahmin. He creates students who fight with each other over property. What kind of a thinker is this? What kind of a teacher is this? Drona is attached to his son, Ashwatthama. He is so attached to his son there that he justifies the entire life being devoted to his son, taking care of his son, earn money for his son. He gives tuitions for his son, he builds empire for his son, He sees a family breaking itself apart in fighting a great war. But he still does not feel there’s anything wrong. He is the teacher of the Kauravas and Pandavas and what has he taught them has led to potentially a great massacre. Yet, he is not ashamed of it. He feels almost sounding like a professional, saying I did what I did and they are responsible for it. So, in the battle-field, Krishna says that Drona is so attached to his son, he is so obsessed with the stuff that if we use the son against him and tell him that Ashwathama is dead, Drona will not wait to find out whether that Ashwathama that is dead is his son or an elephant. Drona lays down his weapons and says that I will not fight with my son dead. He just assumes his son is dead Thereupon he is beheaded.

This is a recurring theme in mythology. Brahma’s head is cut off by Shiva in mythology because he creates the competitive world. Ravan is killed by Rama. Drona’s death is sanctioned by Krishna. These thinkers, the Brahmins, have strayed on the wrong path. The thinker is taking the society in the wrong direction, for which he shall not be forgiven. Any leader, any designer or any strategist of an organization is to take human beings to their higher potential, not to the base values.

So, scientifically, neither gender nor the race would justify stratification based on such factors into strong discriminatory grounds. But, the immutable care animal instinct – survival at any cost- of the human nature has hardened it as over the years as the discriminatory practice. So much so, that, now, when efforts are made to undo such discriminations, the remedial measures also are seen to breed the ground for future discrimination. That is THE learning to take home – discrimination is inevitable, we can only try to make its impact as positive as is possible.

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the three segments of 10th Episode, the Finale, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.