Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the biggest liar of us all? Not you nor me but Society. We all lie, and explain away our lies with reasons galore because we have to. But it so seems that society is the fattest liar of us all. Thank Heavens society is not a schoolmarm with a birch rod, ready to wield it on anyone calling it so. Even if it was, we would still tell you how society has fed you lies, and made you believe in those too (with our safety helmets duly on out heads, of course!) Here is a list of top 7 biggest lies society taught you to believe:
7. West is a bad influence:
Society needs to travel the world, and learn something. Actually, our sources tell us it has been travelling the world but still hasn’t learnt anything. What does it do instead? When the ‘moral fabric’ of the nation is in tatters, blame the winds coming from the West. From cell phones to skirts to noodles to rock music to English language to pub culture – just about any home grown evil can be baselessly contained in the lie that western influence is changing our today and ruining our tomorrow. (Different matter altogether that Mrs. Morality felt free enough to wear pants and tank-tops when in the West herself!) Society needs a make-over, and fast. Now, who’s volunteering?
6. Parenting superstitions:
If you are a parent already, you know what I mean. If you are not, this might drive you away from becoming one! Soon as your baby arrives, Society walks in like a doctor and pours into your brain myths and superstitions that are silly to say the least. Pure lies, as it passes on these vagaries as wisdom for your well-being. Do not see the lines on their hands till they are 12 or they will not be successful, do not throw a baby’s leftovers down the drain or he will fall ill, don’t eat greens when breast-feeding or your baby’s skin will turn green and do not share the room with your husband till your child is 10 years old. Ok. We exaggerate the last one a wee bit! But then, what’s a teeny bit of hyperbole on our part when a million such nonsensical lies are doing their rounds as truths to be feared and hence followed?
5. Virginity is Godliness:
We wouldn’t know, do you? If Society had its way, it would want to live and die with the Virginal stamp, so over-rated is the concept of virginity and women. It’s a lie! Virginity is not Godliness and neither can it make you feel like a God. If in doubt, ask the Gods themselves. The idea is just another means of writing character certificates for women, or denying them – ignoring all biological basis for the loss of one. Only cleanliness is next to godliness, or so we think!
4. Degrees are all:
Degrees are important, but they are not all, as Society makes it out to be. What makes or mars a man is not the formal education that he acquired, but also the parenting he received at home, professional experience he gained at work, the kind of friends who kept him company and the pick-up line he used last without any success (OK. Not so much the last bit, I agree!) And then, at the extreme end of the less-educated but super successful spectrum we have Sachin Tendulkar, Bill Gates and thousands of others telling us how paying lakhs for a degree is not essential to become learned but being really learned and skillful can fetch you those lakhs for sure. There’s more to education than meets the Society’s eye, as it lies to make us believe a folder-full of degrees will take us to the beach on the moon!
3. Tall, fair, convent-educated mentality:
You know what we are talking about. So your marriage did not get made in heaven and you need a matrimonial advert. Fine! But pray tell us, dear Society, why such venom you carry against those who are short, wheatish and educated from schools other than convents? Tch tch! This “printed fact” that a tall, fair and convent-educated girl is a better match for your nincompoop son is not just a baseless lie, it is making fairness cream walas go on an over-drive and making convents of all kinds spring up in every lane of every nukkad. And more often than not, your wards are far from deserving of such “idealistic” spouses. But that, Society sees not, and the herd holds its tail and follows!
2. Religion is ‘dharma’:
A fabrication, this idea that religion is one’s ‘dharma’. Religion is not mean ‘dharma’, duty does. Duty towards every other human being, no matter what class, caste or faith. Duty to do good and be good, and not consider your religion above all the others and or before the idea of humanity. We may not have read our sacred texts cover-to-cover, really, but what we do know is that forwarding the idea of religion as the foremost and purest basis of identity is a lie society indulges in, ending up doing more harm than good and creating divisiveness where none need exist.
1. Women better off at home:
This is as sexist as sexist gets. Society is wrong when it gives us examples from times immemorial to establish the lie that women are physically and emotionally suited to take care of the household and the men to work and earn. This age-old lie is so ingrained in the female psyche that it is making some of believe in it as if it were scientific and true. While we will say ‘wake-up!’ to the unassuming subservient women, we will say ‘silence!’ to that part of society which is perpetuating an unequal environment by propagating such self-serving lies.