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From dry fruits to bed linen to electronics to gold, there is nothing left that we haven’t tried to bribe people with. Family, friends, extended relatives, in laws, to-be in laws, employees, employers, bosses, clients, prospective clients and the list is never ending. No matter how much we blame the country for creating a corrupt environment, we all participate in adding to the level of corruption, knowingly or unknowingly.
A Diwali gift, is nothing more than a bribe. An exchange of gifts or a barter of materialism is the same thing.
A “gifting culture” was never endorsed by Lord Rama, in Ramayana. Lord Rama, always encouraged the ones who had more, to give to the ones who were needy. Gifting was started by the people, for the people and towards the benefit of people.
A give and take could be of blessings and good wishes. It doesn’t necessarily need to be materialistic.
There are three categories, A and B and C. A is for the elite. It is for the people who can give us the maximum benefit in the business or people who will help us climb some kind of ladder eventually either through their contacts or if they get impressed with “the gift”. An expensive gift in return of some “favours” later when required is what this category is all about.
Category B is for family and friends. This category is basically so as to maintain the social equation which has been formed over the years. God forbid, if a family member or a friend is missed out, that is a clear indication that there are some unresolved issues and things are tensed. So, one cannot miss out anyone when it comes to giving away gifts for Diwali.
Category C is the “sympathy lot”. Servants, maids, drivers, and other “C” grade employees come in this sympathy category. Unfortunately, the people whom we should be giving maximum to are the last in our priority list.
In the midst of the purity attached to the festival, and the divinity attached to element of togetherness, Diwali brings with itself , we have added an unnecessary parasite called ” the gifting culture”, which has not only resulted in adding to the already existing corrupted culture in India, but has also destroyed the purity of this divine festival with its commercial objectives of fulfilling ones own wants and wishes.
Lets say “No” to gifting this year and make sure that we don’t use Diwali as a medium to secure our targets rather we try to help the poor and needy who are deprived of the basic necessities, which we are capable of providing them.
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