Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: September 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Doll's House By IBSEN - A play that can save marriages

Marriage Counseling in Literature 

henrik insen,marriage counseling

Torvald and Nora are husband and wife. They have three children. Nora is a housewife and Torvald is making a career in banking. They are apparently a happy couple. They face ups and down slowly and their relationship disintegrates without any obvious major flaw.
We read the play and trace the events that caused a loving, lovely wife to abandon her caring and careerist husband. It may help in saving a marital relationship.

1. Secrecy and Suspense
If either of the spouses is fond of keeping secrets to give a surprise, it definitely is going to hurt sooner or later.
Opening line of the act
Nora: Hide that Christmas tree away, Helen. The children mustn't see it before I've decorated it this evening.
The opening dialogue reveals the character of Nora. The Nora is in the habit of hiding the things. She is prone to keep the things secret. Since it is a trait of her character she is not only hiding the things from children but also from the husband.
Symbolically, she herself is a Christmas tree and she hides her character from her husband, children and friends.
Surprises are good, lest you don't have to pay for it.
It reminds us a story by O. Henry "The gift of the Magi". Magi sells her long lustrous hair to buy a chain of a golden watch for Jim, while Jim sales his watch to buy a set of combs for his beloved Magi. To surprise each other they sold the only two precious things in their house.
Some people are not apt to handle a surprise, suspense or secret. The spouse should avoid to keep anything secret between them. This relationship needs absolute transparency. May be both of them would undergo a turmoil, but it might save their marriage.

2. Avoid to call pet names
Helmer, the husband of Nora arrives home from the office and found his wife busy in opening parcels of the gifts she has bought from shops.
Despite the fact that Helmer does not like the overspending habits of his wife, he calls her by lot of pet names like skylark, squirrel and squander-bird.
A lot of pet names should ring a danger bell in your ears.
Quinine is always sugar- coated.
Excessive polite persons are dangerous.
They are not newlywed couple. Nora is already mother of two children. Any wife should be proud of being called by so many pet names by her husband. A wise wife would be suspicious.
3. Debts may ruin a relationship:
Helmer believes "a home that is founded on debts and borrowings can never be a place of freedom and beauty".
Wrong act for a right cause does not justify the action. Nora borrowed money for the treatment of her husband. Helmer needed a change of weather  to recover from an ailment. Nora borrowed the money from a crook Krogstad by forging documents.
Nora has acted just against the philosophy of her husband. She knew very well how much her husband hated borrowing money.
If we know Nora we cannot overrule the possibility that she herself was interested in a tour to Italy. It was her long awaited cherished dream.
Even if she went with the pious objective to save the life of Helmer, she did the folly of hiding the fact from the husband.
Her husband remained under the impression that she has inherited money from deceased father.
Helmer was a lawyer and a banker. He could have arranged financing. What tempted Nora to manage finances on her own. It is illegal for a wife to borrow money without the knowledge of her husband.
4. One lie leads to another
Nora accepts that she wants money in the gift. She always needs money to pay the installments to Krogstad.
Later, Helmer, while returning home saw Krogstad  depart. He asks Nora if there was any visitor and she declines. Helmer says ""A songbird must have a clean beak to sing with, otherwise she will start twittering out of tune."
Helmer is of the view ''an atmosphere of lies contaminates and poisons every corner of the home. Every breath that the children draw in such a house contains the germ of the evil."
5. Fruitless Efforts
Helmer reminds her how Nora tried to surprise him on Christmas by making flowers which were later ruined by a cat, before she could gift them on Christmas.
Helmer says those were the most boring three weeks of his life when Nora shut her up in a room to prepare surprise gift for him. But Nora did not find it boring, despite the fact all her efforts remained fruitless.
Nora has her obsessions and she is self centered also. She does not care if her husband suffers a boredom so far as she enjoys making flowers. For her, making flowers is more important than providing a company to her husband.
Helmer says "You simply wanted to make us happy , and that's all that matters".
But that's not all that matters, obviously. Fruitless efforts to make marriage work does more harm than good.
6. Female friends of wife
They are a potential threat to marriage. Mrs.Linde, who is a childhood friend of Nora is frequently visiting Nora's home. She becomes jealous of her happy life. She is also an ex lover of Krogstad, and now has a plan to rejuvenate her relationship. Helmer hates Krogstad and has removed him from bank job. Nora, innocently or foolishly shares her secret with her best friend. Later, when Krogstad writes a letter to Helmer, disclosing the secret of Nora, Mrs. Linde stops him from withdrawing the letter, though she knew it would destroy the marriage of her best friend.
Shakespeare says " Frailty, thy name is woman", That frailty might be jealousy also.
When Nora suggests her to take a break, Mrs. Linde retorts "I have no papa to pay for my holidays, Nora". The spite is evident.
7. Money matters
Most of the girls would prefer a rich husband. Ideally, they would circumvent the truth to sound as if of high morale.
Mrs. Linde ditched penniless Krogstad to marry a man who was well off, so that he would take care of her aged mother and two minor brothers.
8. We owe each other
Nora has an argument "he is so proud of being a man-it'd so painful and humiliating for him to know that he owed anything to me. It'd completely wreck our relationship."
Nora does not cut on luxuries of her husband or needs of her children, but cut expenses on her cloth to pay installments. She also earns money by copying.
"It was almost like being a man"- she says.
She is not satisfied with her role of wife and mother. It gives her pleasure to act like man, to earn money. It serves her egocentric need of an identity.
9. Guilt destroys the fun
The whole story is fabricated on the lie told by Nora. Nora is constantly suffering from a guilty conscience.
10. Jealous husbands are not necessarily loving husband.
In Act 2 Nora says to her friend "Torvald is so hopelessly in love with me that he wants to have me all to himself".
A possessive husband is no guarantee of true love.
Nora represents the entire generation of women who are sick of being possessed. The protection or security promised by husband doesn't come cheap. Women feel a loss of identity in their traditional role model. A husband as a companion should help in her search. Only a insecure husband would say what Helmer says "I shall watch over like a hunted dove which I  have snatched unharmed from the claws of falcon."
Helmer had conditioned the mind of Nora by constantly comparing her with bird and squirrel. In his opinion, no woman was more than that.
When he reads the letter of Krogstad his true character is revealed. It is an eye opener for Nora. Helmer loves his own reputation more than he loves Nora. Nora was crestfallen, she imagined that her loving and caring husband would take the blame of forgery to save her.  
When this realisation precipitates, she takes her decision."I must stand on my own feet if I am to find out truth about myself and about life."
Nora walks out from stage and also from the life of Helmer.

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© Vipin Behari Goyal
Advocate, Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, India 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Management Skills in Literature

   Best Lessons to Learn From 'The Old Man and the Sea'

management skill

Summary of the book
The Old Man and the Sea is a long story. The main character, Santiago, is a Spanish fisherman in Cuba. He is so unlucky that he could not find a single fish for 84 days.. His only friend is a young boy, Manolin, who has faith in him despite the disapproval of his family.

One day, after a dream about his youth, Santiago takes his boat out farther than any of the other fisherman. He hooks a marlin, but it takes him two nights and two days to battle the fish to the point of exhaustion. When the fish is finally defeated, Santiago is exhausted and wounded he sails to the shore with  the massive fish carcass
Santiago starts sailing home, but the bleeding fish carcass, which he has roped to the side of the boat, attracts sharks. Santiago battles the sharks unsuccessfully. There are too many of them and they eat the flesh off the fish. When Santiago finally makes it back home with the skeleton, he leaves the skeleton by the boat and carries the mast of the boat back to his home. Once home, he collapses in bed and falls asleep.
Meanwhile, the villagers see the skeleton and are impressed by its length. Manolin, relieved that Santiago is safe again, makes plans with him to go fishing together. Santiago falls back asleep and dreams the same dream that prompted him to go fishing in the first place. 

Ernest Hemingway Author of 'The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and The Sea is the best book to learn management skills.

This small story (27000 words) teaches some of the best lessons any book of Literature can teach:
Since all lessons are important, we will not prioritize them, we will learn as we read the story.
1. Facial Expression:
Face is the index of mind, and it definitely is. Whatever goes in mind is reflected on the face. Hiding emotions is not treachery, but a much required skill. You have to suffer your own grief, nobody would share it.
Author describes Santiago
"Everything about him was old, except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated."
If the face is the index of mind, the eyes are an index of the soul. You can only be cheerful if you are undefeated.
2. Stay with Good Luck
All successful people are superstitious. So do not mind being superstitious. Read more here.
The Old man had taught the boy to fish and the boy loved him. He offers to accompany The old man. The old man says
"You're with a lucky boat. Stay with them."
The old man would have loved the company of the boy. He is not selfish. He asked him to stay with lucky boat. When you find luck is in your favour chase it.
3. Treat Young as Equals
There is a gap in the age of the old man and the boy. They are the two persons who have worked together to achieve the same objective. The boy offers the old man beer, the old man says
"Why not"? "Between Fishermen".
This is how you boost the morale of apprentice young man. Treat them equally.
4. Catch them Young
When the apprentice becomes senior they like to share reminiscences of the old days. The boy asked what was his age when he first went for the fishing expedition with him. The old man says
"Five and you nearly were killed when I brought the fish in too green and he nearly tore the boat to pieces."
This develops a bonding. If you are young find your mentor, if old, find your disciple.
5. Humility is best quality
Wisdom comes with old age. The old man shares his wisdom which are the crux of his experiences. He says
"He was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. But he knew he had attained it and he knew it was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride."
Humility is not something you are born with. It is a quality you have to attain. So attain it.
6. Be Hopeful
Hope is not an isolated quality. It is outcome of many qualities that determine your mindset. The old man says
"Tomorrow is going to be a good day with this current".
In his hopefulness is hidden his experience. He understands current. His words are words of an authority.
Use your wisdom for evoking optimism.
7. Take precautions
"No one would steal from the old man but it was better to take the sail and the heavy lines home as the dew was bad for them...".
When you take all due precautions you have a peace of mind. That is more valuable than the labour you put in.
8. Law of attraction
Few lines of conversation between the old man and the boy.
'I may eat the rice cold' -the old man
'May I take the cast net?' -the boy
"There was no cast net and the boy remembered when they had sold it. But they went through this fiction every day. There was no pot of yellow rice and the fish and boy knew this too."
They are working on Law of Attraction to fulfill their wishes.
9. Do not borrow
The old man did not like the idea of borrowing. As an individual one must avoid to borrow the money. Instead, manage within your financial limit. The old man says
"I try not to borrow. First you borrow. Then you beg."
Try not to borrow, but if it is inevitable borrow. Take care that you don't end up begging.
10. Time management
It is one of the basic requirements to manage your affairs.
'Age is my alarm clock,'the old man said. 'Why do old men wake so early? Is it to have one longer day?'
If you wake up early you have earned a long day. You can utilise those extra few hours to accomplish your target to clear pending list.
11. Multi tasking
See what The old man did when he sailed in the sea for fishing.
"Before it was really light, he had his baits out and was drifting with the current. One bait was down forty fathoms. The second was at seventy-five, and the the third and fourth were down in the blue water at one hundred and one hundred and twenty five fathoms."
The old man has thrown baits at different depths. He wants to explore the sea fully. He is reducing the risk of failure.
Don't depend on one client or one project or one company. Go for diversification.
12. Be precise
Precision improves your confidence. The old man says
"But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready."
Mere precision may not be guarantee of your success. But when time is favourable it would help.
13.Keep Yourself Fit
Your ambitions, hard work and all efforts will go waste if you are not fit to enjoy the fruits of your success. Or, if you collapse when success was imminent.
See, what the old man did to keep himself fit.
"He ate white egg to give himself strength."
"He also drank a cup of Shark liver oil each day."
14. Avoid babbling
The old man has a conviction
"It was considered a virtue not to talk unnecessarily at sea and the old man had always considered it so and respected it."
In a meeting you are at sea. Avoid talking unnecessarily.
15. Distraction is bad
 The old man thinks
"Now is no time to think of baseball. Now is the time to think of only one thing."
Stay focused. The mind has a tendency to distract. With strong will power and auto suggestion it can be trained to focus.
16. Understand Conditioned Mind
Your colleague and clients have a conditioned mind, even if you are open mind. Your client had a bitter experience with another agency so he is very cautious, let him take his time, do not push.
"May be he has been hooked before and he remembers something of it."
Give this chance to everybody.
17. Keep Plan B ready
When a big fish was hooked the old man was full of anxiety.
"What I will do if he decides to go down I will do something . There are plenty of things I can do".
There is always a chance of unexpected failure. So be prepared with your action plan.
18. Know the strength of your enemies
The old man thinks
"I wish I could see him only once to know what I have against me".
Never underestimate your enemies. Mobilize your resources and collect all possible information about your enemies.
19. Don't do anything stupid
Temptations are human weakness. Never, never fall for them. You can ruin your entire career and may be life just by falling for a temptation.
"Then he thought, think of it always. Think of what you are doing. You must do nothing stupid."
20. Take your Chances
No risk, no gain. Take your chances. Leap in the blind. Be courageous.
"Take a good rest, small bird,he said.' Then go in and take your chance like any man or bird or fish."
21. Be Practical
Sermons do not help when it comes to brass tacks. The old man says
"There is no sense in being anything but practical though".
22. Do not admit suffering
Kings, Leaders, Mangers and Saints never admit their suffering. Neither did the old man.
"He was comfortable but suffering, although he did not admit the suffering at all."
23. Each time is New time
"Each time was a new time and he never thought about the past when he was doing it."
That's our old man. Despite the old age he has a sharp clarity of thought.
24 Heal your damages
"There is much slave work to be done now that the fight is over."
Once you have accomplished your mission, evaluate your damages and repair them.
25. Fooled by randomness
Never think that you won because you were more intelligent than your enemies.
"But I was more intelligent than he was. Perhaps not, he thought. Perhaps I was only better armed."
26. Keep your Conscience alive
"Perhaps it was a sin to kill the fish. I suppose it was even though I did it to keep me alive and feed many people. But then everything is a sin."
Someone has to die when the lion feeds. So do not worry about sins committed for broader welfare of the humanity.
27. Do not frequent Danger Zone

The old man realizes that he crossed his limits of learning zone and entered into a danger zone. He had a hallucination of his comfort zone when he was exhausted. He also remembered his learning zone, but he regrets having entered the danger zone.
"I shouldn't have gone out so far, fish. He said' neither for you nor for me. I am sorry, fish."
28. Next Expedition
Be prepared for next expedition as soon as first is over. The book begins and ends with the dreaming old man. He dreams about lions.
"The old man was dreaming about lions". is the last line of the story that suggest the old man is ready for next expedition.

© Vipin Behari Goyal
Advocate, Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, India 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Judicial Activism Precedes Military Activism: Travesty of Justice

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied, Active Judiciary v/s Judicial Activism

Indian Judicial System

When the judiciary acts like a legislature than it is called “Judicial Activism". It has opened the gate for Public Interest Litigation. PIL was meant to provide redress to downtrodden and marginalised people.

However, its scope kept on increasing and recently PILs were filed seeking ban on films (Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Mohalla Assi) or to search missing persons like Rahul Gandhi which had no relevance to the life of a common man. On the other hand, some important PIL like caste survey before deciding reservation quota were found unworthy.

 Black’s Law Dictionary defines judicial activism as a "philosophy of judicial decision-making whereby judges allow their personal views about public policy, among  other factors, to guide their decisions."

The Judicial activism is usually appreciated by the media and intellectual elite for dynamism and creativity. The Judiciary has earned applaud for rebuking and compelling top brass executives to perform their duties. The Bureaucracy has a tarnished image. It has become callous and redundant. The entire system gives an impression of Mafioso working on the direction of some invisible Don, who are political head or their close relatives. Some scholars like Prof. Upendra Baxi think that it may lead to terrorism, extremism and discontentment in other organs of democratic setup.

In the words of Justice J.S Verma under whom I had an opportunity to work, Judicial Activism must necessarily mean “ the active process of implementation of the rule of law, essential for the preservation of a functional democracy”. The Judiciary comes out from traditional image and acts as trustee of social justice. However the transgression is seen as tyranny by the few. Soli J Sorabji said Judicial Activism has contributed to the protection of fundamental human rights.

Social Scientist wonder that what would be the limit of Judicial Activism. After administration and the legislature who could be their next target? Is there any organ of the constitution, which has potential to come out of shell of traditional role model and be more dynamic.

T. N. Sheshan was first Chief Election Commissioner to become popular by exercising his powers to curb corruption in the election process. He did not cross the boundaries of his function, he simply established them by operating the established system.

T. N. Chaturvedi who remained Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in his report exposed the corrupt practices in Bofor’s Deal. After that C & AG has exposed 2G, 3G and Coal Gate scandals. Everything has been done within the framework of prescribed duties. Once I met Mr. T. N. Chaturvedi in circuit house, Jodhpur he talked about ‘integrity’. It was a wonderful experience to hear the views of an eminent scholar. He had mustered  activism in Audit as Sheshan did in Election process.

Bollywood movie “Holiday- A Soldier is Never Off Duty” is remake of Tamil Movie Thuppakki. Akshay Kumar a military officer  who is on holiday witnesses a bomb explosion and killing of innocent people. He decides to forgo his holiday and on his own eliminates criminals in an action packed drama. The Movie raises a question. Is it justified for military official to combat internal enemies of society. After all, they too are custodians of sovereignty of the country. Activism in forces could be dangerous for any democratic country.

Chief Justice R. M. Lodha, Supreme Court of India has expressed concern over piling of cases in courts across the country. As on today more than 63000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court. In High Court and Subordinate courts the number is alarming. He suggested that vacations system must be scrapped and courts should remain open all year.

Justice V. Ramaswami who is the first judge against whom impeachment proceedings were initiated talks about accountability in Judicial System when he came to visit JNV University, Jodhpur.

Lord Widgery, Lord Chief Justice of England since 1971 to 1980, said that “the best judge is the man who should not court publicity and should work in such a way that they don’t catch the eyes of the newsmen”. Lord Hailsham said that the “best judges are those who do not find their names in the The Daily Mail and still, who abhor it”

Guman Mal Lodha

Justice Guman Mal Lodha in his book Judiciary: Law, Morality Politics says that judges should have a poetic sensibility and artistic creativity. They are the combination of the Historian, Philosopher and a Prophet.

Supreme Court opened at midnight for the first time to reject last minute plea filed by Yakub Menon.

The court held that it would be “travesty of justice” to stay the death warrant.

Latest:10 September 2015

Army attacks on Police Station in Indore, many cops were seriously injured. 

© Vipin Behari Goyal
Advocate, Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, India 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mortal Sins By Immortal Men

Why Bapu Asaram is Still Behind Bars?

                                                                                     Bapu by Newswala

The bureaucracy, the legislature and Judiciary of any country when determines to harass any citizen of that country, they always succeed by making a mountain of a molehill. The story of religious head Bapuji is almost similar. It was pre decided to harass him and then a case was fabricated. Bapu like an innocent child walked into a trap. Wilbur Smith in his adventure stories of South Africa has described a similar trap used by Zulu tribes.

Enough has been written about the case. The details of the incident, efforts made by the police to prove the charges and appearance of national level advocate to defend Bapu, many petitions by a defense lawyer, violent demonstration of followers and disciples have remained the headlines of the newspapers for long. But nothing seems to be working. Every time Bapu was brought to court, huge mass gathered around Jail and Court, and Newspapers flashed pictures of Bapu, sometime gloomy and pleading mercy, sometime jovial and fully confident that nothing bad could happen to him.

Bapu is accused of sexually molesting a minor girl. That girl was a student of one of the many charity institutions run by Bapu and his follower. The girl was brought to the private chamber of Bapu for cure by tantric rituals. Her parents who were staunch follower of Bapu were sitting outside. They had given implied consent for treatment. Read more about such tantric rituals in Maya.

All religious institutions all over the world are accused of corruption from time to time. Often we hear the same thing about churches. The priest and clergy are accused of the same crimes as levied against various Gurus and Mahant (Head of a sect). If the Government or King runs a campaign to clear the corruption of all religious institutions by enacting laws and constituting commissions for all religious bodies, it could be appreciated by the common man. But when some isolated people are targeted  and made to suffer, the society does not approve of it. The ruling party or Kings have always supported a particular religion or sect to gain political strength. Politics is like a prostitute, it has no character. The political ideology becomes secondary when the leader of ruling party wants to weaken the radical forces within his own party. The cost is the life of a scapegoat and that scapegoat is Bapuji.

Andrew Greeley was an American Roman Catholic priest. He wrote many novels exposing the corruption in churches. He said his books are ”less erotic than the Song of Songs in the scriptures."[He insisted that from what they heard in confession from women, priests probably knew more about marriage than most married men; and he drew on this knowledge to write a marital advice book he called Sexual Intimacy (1988). The Priestly Sins (2004), a novel about a young priest who is exiled to an insane asylum and then to an academic life because he reports abuse that he has witnessed. Bollywood movie SINS was inspired by a true incident. The Catholic Priest of a small village in Kerala exploits a young student of Nursing College to quench his lust. The movie was banned to appease the Christian community and due to explicit scenes.

Louise Kretzschmar  in her paper presented in Church Ethics Commission has raised the issue that “Do religious leaders teach the people in power- be it political, business or religious, to resist the temptation  of greed, corruption and selfish behavior.

All religious heads are human being though they are expected to behave as superhuman. There is nothing wrong with it. How a religious head would be different from a common man, if he too falls to temptation.

The protection of children from sexual offenses (POCSO) Act 2012 is elaborate act and covers all aspects. The said Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and defines different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography, and deems a sexual assault to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances, such as when the abused child is mentally ill or when the abuse is committed by a person in a position of trust or authority vi's-à-is the child, like a family member, police officer, teacher, or doctor. Read about legitimate violation of the act in "The Old Man".  

The birth certificate is issued by local bodies like Municipal Corporation in urban areas and Gram Panchayat in rural areas. Since two out of five births takes place at home the medical certificate is not mandatory to obtain a birth certificate. Some modern scientific techniques must be adopted to ascertain the age of victim. The birth certificate is not authentic proof of age in this country.

According to a report Devdasi System is still prevalent in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana provinces of India. It may be prevalent in other state also. It is socially accepted exploitation system of minor girls by priests in the name of religion. Are we able to stop that? Does the law of the land applies on them? Or they have some different set of rules.

The Bapu did not rape the girl. Medical Examination has proved that. If properly argued the bail is imminent in this case.

© Vipin Behari Goyal
Advocate, Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, India