PETS AND US

Our unconditional support systems.

There’s something about those animals that makes us not resist the urge to stop and play with them a little. Maybe it’s those eyes, dreamy eyes, ‘they say the eyes don’t lie.’ The innocence. Serene smiles. The enthusiasm. Unparalleled.

We get drawn to them like moth to fire. Lures us in and makes us pour our hearts out for them. Makes us slip into a beautiful vibe, pushing all worries and troubles aside. Reminding us there are no things in this world that can elude us, of our cheerfulness, but us.

It’s hard not to budge and ogle at a stranger’s pet. As cliche it may have been portrayed in motion pictures, it’s true.

To vibe with your own tribe. To strike up a conversation with somebody who you wouldn’t have, if not for his little friend.

Coming across a person who’s not a pet person seems paradoxical. With the reason of such a peeve mostly from a traumatic experience in the past. Something that can be worked on effectively to eradicate.

They say Exposure is key, perennial for growth. To elevate the character of a person. Unknowingly or knowingly paving the way to learn a thing or two. Be it whatever the species, a bird, fish or Man’s best friend our beloved little hairy friends.

From dealing with responsibilities like catering to their needs- from feeding them to taking care of them. To learning a thing or two about giving and taking respect, on how to respect the boundaries of other beings. What little time spend with them is never wasted.

For we can learn or a thing or two from them. About compassion and the love for the family. After all home is where the heart is right? Life lessons at our disposal.

To live our lives carefree and free from the shackles of worries and self doubt. To live and let live. Being unconditional to the love you give out to the ones around us. To be full of life and a little mischievous, because you only live once.

Pets are synonymous for unconditional love. Even if you’re having the baddest of days, spending a little time with them elevates the mood to a higher level. It’s funny how they can totally read the situation and act aptly, when most of our two legged buddies fail to do so.

No matter whatever you have or who you are, their love for us never flutters.

A loyal comrade. What more do you need when you can live with your best friend?

People complain how deceitful and tragic the world is. I believe in doing and not complaining. “Being the change you want to see in the world,” the best way to live.

By adopting a pet, I believe it can have umpteen effect on making the people more compassionate and generous, like they say, little acts of kindness makes the world a place.

Adopting a pet could just be a part of one’s life, but for the pet it’ll be his whole world.

The Enlightenment Age

The Age of Enlightenment, also called the Age of Reason was an intellectual revolution which dominated Europe during the 17th and 18th century. Enlightenment was the emergence and creation of ideas which challenged the existing notions of the world. It questioned the existing set of ideas and conceptions about religion, society and politics. Before this period, Europe was essentially a land dominated by religion. This intellectual movement was carried out by the Enlightenment philosophers like Baron de Montesquieu, Voltaire, David Hume and Adam Ferguson.

According to some, the beginning of the Enlightenment was after the publication of René Descartes‘ philosophy of ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (“I think, therefore I Am”) in 1637, while others belief the publication of Isaac Newton‘s ‘Principia Mathematica’ (1687) began the Scientific Revolution and the beginning of the Enlightenment.

The philosophers and intellectuals challenged the clergy men who supported the traditional view of society. These new ideas influenced cultural practices like writing, painting, printing, music, sculpture and architecture. There was also significant progress in technology and medical science.

The key ideas of the Enlightenment were Reason, Empiricism, Science, Universalism, Individualism, Secularism, Freedom and similar others. The thinkers stressed on the primacy of reason to establish rationalist ideas based on fact. The key to expanding human knowledge was shifted upon empirical facts and scientific experiments. This concept of scientific reason was considered universal and could be applied to all situations. Philosophers opposed all traditional religious authority and stressed on the importance of knowledge free from all religious biases. They pointed out the creation of a form of knowledge which was not influenced by any religious ideas or superstitions. A secular idea was born and this spread quickly throughout Europe. This led to the belief that all individuals are same and equal despite their religious and philosophical views.

It was the idea of Individualism which was the starting point of all scientific knowledge. Science was the supreme form of knowledge as scientific facts were based on observation and experiments. This led to an increase in objective ideas and decrease in belief of superstitions. The philosophers wrote in a very direct way and took clear positions. They wrote about important changes and transitions going on in the society. A traditional social order was replaced by a modern State. The formation of a political State took place and the powers shifted from the hands of the Church to the State. Society was no longer dependent on the traditional religious institutions. It was believed that the application of reason and scientific knowledge could remove the cruelty and injustice from social institutions. The works of Voltaire instilled a desire for new ideas and belief in progress among the Europeans.

Thinkers like Saint Simon greatly influenced the societal processes. According to him modern society was threatened by anarchy and disorder. To bring back social order a Science of Society would be necessary. He constructed a ‘Social Physiology’ to bring order and stability in the society. He believed that modern society would flourish if science and industry were used for the service of humans. A major social re-organisation would be necessary to bring about order and proceed towards a successful social change which would bring about societal progress. Although his ideas were neglected at first, as Europe became engulfed with disorder and war, these ideas started influencing people. Eventually Saint Simon became a key figure in the liberal political movements of Europe.

Militarization

Militarization is at its heart a problem-solving ideology, using violence to solve problems in front of you, using military-type weapons, and using the threat of that violence. Over the last decade, the number of CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces) has almost doubled despite the major ministries, and departments of the central government have witnessed a decline in their personnel.The foremost function of a state is to ensure the safety of its citizens. And it is discharged through two principal instruments- The Army, to protect from external aggression and police, to ensure the safety of citizens’ properties. In federal systems, the former is controlled by the center while, latter by the states. While this has been the case with India that the army performing its tasks substantially better than the police. India is rare in having a third paramilitary instrument controlled at the federal level, not by the armed forces but rather by the Ministry of Home Affairs. While the CAPFs perform a range of functions, from riot control to VIP duties, overseas deployments, and disaster relief, they have two principal functions: guarding the country’s borders, and internal security. The largest CAPF, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), has been deployed principally in the two most vexing internal security challenges facing India — the strife in Jammu and Kashmir, and Left-wing extremism in central and eastern India. About 118 battalions of the CAPFs have been deployed to combat the Maoists using the Indian state’s “elephant” approach on dealing with insurgencies – throw tens of thousands of men (and now women as well) at the problem, and the sheer weight gradually crushes the opponent. More worryingly, this expansion has proceeded much more rapidly than that of the other security-providing instruments of the state, the army, and the police. In 1998, CAPFs were less than 58 percent of the size of the army and by 2015, this had increased to 82 percent and the number is climbing. The size of CAPFs relative to the civil police has increased by nearly 15 percent over the last two decades, which means that basic law and order which is the first line of defense and is already under severe stress is being neglected at the cost of a more militarized approach to policing. Organisationally, there are hard questions regarding the overall effectiveness of these forces, stemming from weaknesses in training, poor equipment, and ineffective leadership. Rapid expansion has meant that recent inductees have not gone through as much rigorous training as needed. But perhaps the biggest lacuna is leadership. The political leadership incessantly misuses them in activities like “VIP duty”. Also the officer: soldier casualty is too low as compared to the army.The results have been all too painful in the severity of casualties of the rank-and-file of the CAPFs. Suicide rates in the CRPF are at least as high as among Indian farmers, but there is little anguish in the media about that. Data indicates that far more perish from malaria and stress-related heart attacks than combat. Feeble leadership also underlies a weak esprit de corps in the units, with bodies not always recovered after ambushes, and weapons of dead soldiers looted by the Maoists, which would not happen to army units.There are fiscal implications, not just of relative priorities of public spending, but even for the CAPFs themselves, as pension and healthcare bills will sharply rise in due course and cut into much-needed spending on better equipment and facilities. This is happening to the army, where one can see the crowding-out effects of rising pensions bills on military modernization. But there might be an even more disturbing implication. The use of lethal force by organs of the state against its citizens requires utmost vigilance. The state needs to be extremely careful that the rapid growth of the CAPFs does not end up creating more problems than what it is trying to solve through this expansion.

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