Thursday, August 23, 2007

"God Godmen and Good People: A Journey from Spiritualism to Capitalism"

Philosophical Society of Dev Samaj College for women organized a Students Seminar on the topic “God, Godmen and Good People: A Journey from Spiritualism to Capitalism” in which Gurmeet, Manpreet, Nature, Simarjeet and Gurpreet of class B.A. First year shared their views on the concept of spirituality which is being sold by the so called Godmen or the ‘spiritual Gurus’ with about four hundred students and other participants in the college campus. They highlighted the current picture of the growing Dera culture in India where a large number of people unreasonably following the footprints of these Godmen who in reality are constructing their Capitalist empire taking advantage of the dogmatism and innocence of the illiterate people.

College Principal Dr Madhu Prashar in her key note address cautioned the students against the hidden capitalist interests of the Godmen ‘Spiritual Gurus’who are exploiting the hard earned resources of their followers. She said that these Godmen take large amount of money in cash or kind from their followers in the name of ‘Shradha’ or ‘honour’ which is further utilized by these Godmen for their self interest, in the name of social work. She also raised concern about how young women are sexually exploited by these Godmen, who are forcefully send by their parents to serve such ‘Deras’ ‘Spiritual institutions’. Dr. Prashar said that there are women and men who leave their house hold responsibilities towards their children and join these institutions. How far is it justified is again a matter of enquiry?

Gurmeet, Manpreet and Nature in their presentation outwardly questioned the very concept of faith to an institution. They said that in Spiritual Institutions or religion a person is asked to simply follow the given instructions. He or She is not allowed to reason or question the very notion of an institution or religion. They raised certain questions that how far it is justified to blindly follow any Spiritual Institution or religion?
Do we ever question who are we and what the purpose of our life is? It is reason which can definitely lead us to some answers. We live in a sociopolitical world where there is deep seated inequalities in terms of economy and other social evil of such as caste prejudices and gender inequality. They said that until these inequalities are not questioned and solved, there cannot be any human salvation possible.
Gurpreet and Simarjeet asked the people to adopt the scientific reasoning in following any religion. They said that there are many people in the country who offer milk to certain God forgetting that there are millions of children who need that milk to survive. So ‘Spirituality’ does not lie in offering milk to God but in service of humanity.
The seminar was followed by a discussion in which Avinash, Amarjeet, Navjeet and the Vice President of Philosophical Society Amanpreet did raise certain important questions which were well taken by the speakers. Among others who participated were Mrs. Narinder Deora of Department of English, Mrs. Madhu Gautam of Department of Hindi, Mr. Kuldeep Singh of Department of Punjabi,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Women Sexual Harassment: A Case Study of Plight of Indian Women Deserted by NRI husbands"

Philosophical society, (A Students Discussion Forum) of Dev Samaj College for women, Ferozepur organized a students seminar on the topic "Women Sexual Harassment: A Case Study of Plight of Indian Women Deserted by NRI husbands". Amandeep, Navjeet, Impinder, Manpreet, Kiran and Prabhdeep of the college Presented their views on the sexual Harassment, Domestic violence act and other issues concerning the miserable condition of the women living in India. Amandeep and Navjeet Questioned the patriarchical structure of the indian society which is operating and governing the autonomy of the women. They said that women still in the countryare not allowed to excercise their choice to education and even marriage which is one of the most important right. Parents generally get their daughters married to rich NRI which sometimes result in fraud marriages where the NRI husbands abandon their wives in the very country leaving them in mental torture and depression. Impinder, Manpreet and Prabhdeep cautioned the girls to register protest if they are married against their choices. They welcomed the Domestic Violence Act, which can strenghten the female voice against the dowary torture and other physical and mental violence. the session was also addressed by the college principal Dr Madhu Prashar who supported the view of the students but also cautioned that the Act may also be misused in certain cases. Dr Prashar inspired the students to be pursue their studies seriously and attain higher positions in order to uplift women empowerment. The presentations were followed by a discussion, where students actively engaged with their questions to the speakers as well as to the principal. among others who attended the seminar were Mrs Harmeet Kaur, Mrs Rajinder Kaur, Mrs Iqbal Kaur, Mr C. L. Arora, Ms Saminder and Mr Ambuj sharma.