Doggerel : The Journey To Hell -3

“You need to think of man’s basic needs
You need to think of what it feeds
The start is simple
You are tired, you need sleep
You are hungry, you need to eat
When does need become a want?
When does want become desire?”

“You who wear these clothes that bare
The essence of your soul so cold.
What do you do to buy the brand
That feeds your ego, and fills the snare
Of those that market their little wares.”

“More and more do you desire
Where does it stop?
Or does your heart’s desire
Drive you on and on
For more and more
You cast your vision on and on.”

“From your land, you take the fiery brand
To foreign lands, to burn and kill
And take your fill
Of their riches, of their wenches
To fill their lands with foreign stench”

“Who drives this may I ask?
They say it is me; my devious task
To lead you astray
From your given path
To God, to Heaven with your Holy Bray!”

“But, I did not place you here on earth
I only made an offer at the birth
Of Eden; a simple apple given
Knowledge, it is said, that I gave thee
For this I was flung from the Holy See!
Thy God flung me from the Holy Gate
And gave us the gift of Love, of Hate!”

I Die A Thousand Deaths Each Day!


The new age leaders give speeches on TV, press buttons and send thousands to their death.

Originally posted on shelbycourtland:


When will you stop killing me?
I die a thousand deaths each day.
You kill me over and over again,
and then another me, you slay.

We are all just one big family
but you don’t see me in that way.
You point your weapon at my chest
as though I’m just some hunted prey.

The blood that flows from me,
also pulses through your veins.
And as another me lies dying,
a thousand more of me remains.

So, kill each and every one of me.
And when you’re the last me left to stand,
then the killing will finally end,
when you die by your own hand.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

What difference does it make in the name that we give the latest excuse for war? There will always be a ‘group’ of people that will be perceived as evil incarnate and therefore…

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The Leadership Journey – 21. Leadership. Rape. Education (3)

The sailors have a proverb that everyone in his lifetime must eat a peck of impurity; and it seems more yet clear that every generation of the human race must swallow a certain measure of nonsense”

                                                                                                                                —- Sir Walter Scott. Letters on Demonology & Witchcraft

I will come back to this quote later, with the complete quote. I just finished reading this book, and these are amongst the last lines in the book. They struck home.

The question about rape, is that this peck of impurity seems to carry down the generations, and there is no end in sight.

To come back again to our Prime Minister, he said that we should start by educating our sons and daughters about this, and that the sons should be taught to respect women and girls.

He hit the nail on the head.


Yes, it does start at home. We need to teach our sons how to respect other people, and not to denigrate them and then forcibly stick their penises into the vaginas of women, or into the butts of men. This is imperative.

Yet, it is not enough.

And, I can buttress my argument, on the assumption that the call to arms, as it were, is now.

  •  “Legitimate Rape” Akin, as he is called, is an adult;
  • I recently read an article in The Economist about  how in one area, young girls were systematically abused and raped over a period of about 12 or 13 years. the authorities were aware, it seems, and did nothing about it. The guilty are again – adults
  • During the Nirbhaya case in India, the President’s son spoke of ‘dented and painted women’, and the country went into an uproar. There were, of course, a whole series of such comments but I quote only one. This chap was a minister (who subsequently lost in the elections) and, is an adult!

So here is my point.

If this is the example that we adults leave behind for children, then what lessons do they learn? We can have all the school lessons in the world,  but unless we change as adults, then the lessons fail.

To further illustrate my point, we used to have a subject in school called “Moral Science”. This goes back to the time when dinosaurs were young and romped around the world with gay abandon.

I hated Moral Science, and I was in Grade 5. I still hate that subject, and the reason was that all the lessons were preachy and sanctimonious. We, in India, tend to present scrubbed down sanitised version of our Gods. It is almost as they have been scrubbed with Dettol. Anyway, I was 10 and there was a sentence that said, “Every boy in India must strive to be like Rama, and every girl in India must be like Sita”. I remember reading this, sticking my middle finger up and saying “Eff You” or something like that.

Preachy and with no relationship with life!

As per the way that education has moved since then, we look only at the grades of  kids, but don’t too much, or enough, to inculcate values. Moral Science has its place in education, but not the Dettol-scrubbed version.

Having said that, apart from punishment and making them walk the Walk of Shame, if we want to make a difference, we need to educate the adults. 

The question is, and this is for any supposed educationist out there – how do we do this?

Will our ‘leaders’ stand up and make a difference? Leadership is not just about GDP and sales growth. The task sometimes can be as simple as changing values. Most of the time we mistake ‘the task’ that a leader has to accomplish as sales growth, bombing countries, making money etc etc. Values are spoken about. Lip service is not enough,

The Leadership Journey – 20. Leadership, Education, Rape

This is part two of this trilogy, and this is when my thoughts start to become muddled. So, bear with me as I muddle along now.

In the last post, I spoke about how our Prime Minister mentioned that respect for others starts at home. I will come back to this in the last part of this trilogy.

I also spoke about the absolutely reprehensible comments made by many of our other politicians during the Nirbhaya case.

A few months back, I also asked the question, “what the shit is leadership?” Some of the definitions I had quoted from Wikipedia last time are being reproduced now:

“Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”.[1] For example, some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others,[citation needed] while others define leadership as “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”

Bear in mind that all that these definitions talk about is the achievement of tasks and goals. There is no mention of how a leader can identify core issues and act on them, or that the leader can build authentic value systems.

Many years back, I read about Carl Jung and his theory of collective subconsciousness.  I have completely forgotten the writings, but the term stayed with me. We also know of the power of myth and story telling.


We can now turn the clock back.

In school we are taught a sanitised version of history. The tales of the conquering hero are sometimes told, and his qualities of bravery are extolled. However, leaders (and, most leaders in the past were military leaders) in the past allowed their warriors to pillage, burn, kill and rape.

Rape, you can say, was sanctioned by leaders. I can wager a bet that this has been a behaviour pattern that has no religious, national or colour boundaries. The question is – has this behaviour become institutionalised?

We are reminded of the term, the expression/ the phrase , “to the victor belong the spoils”. There is a sense of power, a celebration, a ruthless celebration of power and victory here. The spoils go beyond the normal acquisition of territory and money. Women, children were part of the spoils.

Has this behaviour become part of our psyche?

In today’s world kids are subject to greater danger, with the increasing prevalence of date rape. I often tell my daughter to be watchful of her behaviour. I tell my son to always respect others.

Think about this:

  • If a woman has several lovers, she is named a slut. If she wears skimpy clothes, she is named a tease.
  • If a man has several lovers, he is feted by his fellow men. He is regarded as some sort of a hero.

We need a new code. We need to be able to resist social pressures and to be able to say ‘no’ to cheap and abusive behaviour

Once again, I will not go into the psychology of the rapist. That is complex.

Also, when I talk of rape, I include men and women who are raped. Rape is rape, irrespective of the gender of the victim.

So now, what does this have to do with leadership?

When we talk about such issues we normally point to politicians, industry captains and other such people who are termed leaders, but who are too busy chasing their own fame. We can, however, choose our leaders when we can.

When the Nirbhaya case exploded in India, there were mass protests in India. Groups of people gathered at India Gate, there were candle light vigils, many of us carried the Black Dot Of Shame as our logos for a while.

Somehow, somewhere, all of us were jolted out of our complacency and went and joined a cause. We jolted the politicians, and collectively we displayed a new form of leadership.

(As an aside, the rapists in that case were beaten up by the other prison inmates who were completely disgusted by what the rapists had done).

Leadership starts with us, in the values we believe in and communicate to the people around us. Leadership does not start out there.

I think that we can start a new mythology. We may, or may not, see any substantive changes in our lifetimes, but that does not mean we can’t start now.


The Leadership Journey -19. Leadership, Education & Rape (1)

The next three posts are difficult ones, and I cannot claim to be fully aware of how to pull all the strings together. I do not claim to have answers, so do pitch in.

  • A few months back, I re-blogged a post showing two girls from the lower castes hanging from a tree after being raped. The father of the Chief Minister of the State remarked, ‘boys will be boys’. Incidentally, when I re-blogged that post, a young lady of Indian origin (now possibly a Singaporean citizen) accused me of trying to attract attention.
  • Last year, during the infamous Nirbhaya case in India (one of the most brutal recorded in India) many politicians went on to pass some rather cheap comments, like – ‘women should not wear sexy clothes’, or ‘women should not cross the line’.
  • On the 15th August this year, our Prime Minister said that families and parents should teach their children to respect girls and women.

A lot of contrast.

I shall go into some sad statistics, and I will quote Indian statistics because I am Indian. However, this does apply to everyone and all nations.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau, 93 women are raped in India everyday. The number of rapes doubled, in India, from 585 in 2012 to 1,441 in 2013. The city that follows, is Bombay.

94% of the victims were familiar with the rapists – neighbours and other known persons making up the bulk of perpetrators.

Most of the victims were between 14 & 30 years old.

An article in “Time” Magazine states that rape in India seems worse than it is because more rapes are being reported to the police. The media in India talks more about rape than the media in other countries so, it seems worse here. However, most Indian men and women also hate the reputation that rape has given India. After the Nirbhaya case, I invited some of my Chinese friends to visit India. They refused, because they felt that Indians were like animals. I can tell you that this did not sound nice.

Having said that, the conviction rate in India, at 24.2% is not bad. The UK has a 7% conviction rate, Sweden a 10% conviction rate, and France has 25%

We are also in august company. The top ten countries for incidence of rape, as per a statistic I read are ( in descending order ) – USA, India, the UK, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Russian Federation, Belgium & Thailand.

Of course, we need to bear in mind that:

  • these are reported cases. We have no idea of how many women across the world are raped and don’t report it because of fear or shame
  • these are cases of women being raped. I did know a chap in my engineering college who was called “Fairy”. I was 17, and when I discovered why he was called “Fairy”, I was more than surprised. We spoke and he told me that he had been raped in his first year. He had been raped continuously and, the chap who used to make the most fun of him was the chap who had raped him the most often.

I don’t intend to get into the psychology of rape. I did read an article about this once. I have also read the works of the Marquis de Sade. If you take away the very gory descriptions of rape, sadism, murder and arguments for atheism – the books talk about the extreme abuse of power.

So, what does rape have to do with leadership and power? Maybe, I shall start to explore my own thoughts in parts two and three of this little trilogy.


Killing Wolves


This is sad…

Originally posted on Howling For Justice:

Earth Island Journal Stands Up For Wolves

Earth Island Journal Stands Up For Wolves

Summer is almost over and instead of wolves being allowed to raise their young pups in peace they’re being subjected to pain, suffering and death because wolf hunting season is upon them once more.  This will be the fourth wolf hunt in Montana and Idaho, there would have been five but Judge Molloy relisted wolves in the Northern Rockies in 2010 stopping the fall hunt. It was short-lived victory because Senate Democrats passed a wolf delisting rider (with no judicial review) in the Spring of 2011. The rider was sneakily tacked onto a budget bill and all Democrat Senators save three voted for it. Obama signed it into law, effectively ending the ability of advocates to fight the delisting in the courts.

Here are the links to  fish and game agencies who promote and profit off the killing of wolves for sport.  The…

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