We all have problems, sometimes we have solutions, sometimes we need to search for them, and sometimes we have to fight for them.
When we fight for something we need to be sure what we are fighting for. If we fight for the wrong things, our problems might not get solved, but instead they may aggravate.
Sometimes even if there is a problem, we do ignore the root cause either consciously or unconsciously. If it’s a willful ignorance of root cause, it shows corruption, and if the ignorance is unwillingly present then it’s inefficiency, either way, it’s a failure to achieve the objective set out for.
Unconstitutionality, violation of fundamental rights, discrimination are just new terminologies these days. I wouldn’t deny that everyone is fighting for a greater pursuit of prosperity and happiness, or that nobody has malafide intentions, but when they do it to glorify their struggles, the unnecessary glorification actually hampers themselves.
I am going to explain in this hypothesis that why one should be very careful while defining the predicament one is in. How unnecessary words and ideas unnecessarily protract the whole process by further bringing one to detriment. How we should try to simplify our problems before expressing them.
A chaiwala can be asked to leave the footpath and settle somewhere else under normal operation of municipal laws. An average NGO would file a petition directly at the high court which will claim the violation of the golden triangle i.e. Arts. 14, 19 and 21 the Constitution of India i.e. his rights to equality, trade, and life with liberty. And protract the whole process till its hearing at the Supreme Court of India, if it’s in favour the NGO is an hero, if it isn’t, it will cry foul “EQUALITY!! FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS!! UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!”.
Definitely it is not illegal to fight as such, but the case gets unnecessarily slowed down, unwanted media operation, too much costs associated, the judgment gets delayed beyond reasonable expectations and ultimately the sufferer is the chaiwala himself.
Say the actual help could have been helping the chaiwala relocate to a safer place, or negotiate with the municipal authorities. Which could have been faster and much more cost effective.
The point here is irrespective of the solutions available at one point of time, if someone goes for it in a roundabout manner, it hampers his own interests.
If the NGO ignores the easier option, then it has a vested interest to glorify this petition and maybe the interest is in getting famous in its own field. I call such willful extraordinary activism for the sake of glorification, and/or self-importance, titivation, and I have no respect for such people or such groups of people.
When people unwillingly commit to this, they can be called inefficient but not corrupted. They can be brought back quickly into the most reasonable and cost-effective processes of struggle with a proper explanation. I am writing this whole post while considering the people who can not easily perceive the root cause or Actual Problems (AP).
Silver Bullets (SB) are magical remedies which can be perceived with clear and logical thinking.
The question I am going to deal with here is:
How to identify APs and find SBs?
There would be two real life applications in the end.
Actual Problems and Titivation
To identify AP
I agree it may not be easy to find out the SB always, but it’s also not right to not look for them. The easiest ways of spotting the APs are laid down in the form of questions in this part of the article.
What is the smallest indivisible part of the problem?
A problem might have multiple ingredients, it is best to identify the smallest indivisible parts and solve them one by one. This brings certainty into the equation and we have an idea of the trajectory of the solutions.
- Let’s take a basket of apples, with some of them rotting inside. The best way to solve the problem is to throw away only the spoilt apple, or better still if we can take the spoilt apple cut out the spoilt part and throw that away. It’s stupid to throw the whole basket at once even if only one apple out of the lot is good.
- When a person has cancer in one limb, the doctors operate on that part or cut out that part to save the patient. The doctors do not kill the whole person, neither do they cut out the whole limb, instead they would identify the precise part causing trouble and then relieve him of it.
- When you see that the govt. is preventing petrol autos because of health concerns, you should know that however little the health concern is, the govt. is justified in doing that. If it’s a problem with you, you cannot just go out on the street claiming “right to trade”. You have to identify the actual problem, which is the fuel of the auto. You can change the fuel the auto runs on, and voila! everything is back normal.
Are you sure the problem exists?
For solutions to be found, it’s mandatory that the problem exists. Does the problem exist? Ask a few of your friends, take opinions from people. Most of the times due to malafide intentions and misconstruction of facts by people with vested interest, we become agitated, and we want to do something about it. Is the problem apparent or actual?
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” – Buddha
Suddenly there is a media report that an innocent woman was slapped by a police-officer, at Nanachowk, Mumbai. Check out the adjectives, adverbs, nouns. Was she innocent? Was she slapped? Was it a police-officer?
What has the lowest transaction costs?
People may want to help you with your problem, they might want to support you pro bono. But, the actual concern should be transaction costs. If you are getting to organise a march, that’s great, but what are the latent costs of organising such a march? What is the total cost of the logistics of such a march? Is the solution gigantesque in comparison to the problem?
We should always look for solutions which are cheapest, cheapest in the pure economic sense. To decide what is cheapest we should consider all latent costs, all patent costs.
Should we organise a march across the city for the cause or should we go and file a suit on behalf of the woman at the magistrate’s court?
What is the quickest possible process?
There are varieties of solutions of the same problem, and by definition variety means different parameters. Some of the solutions will have varying requirements of time. Obviously we should work for the fastest possible solutions.
Should we go to the magistrate’s court or should we go and ask the policeman for a public apology?
What is the most unbiased solution?
There will be biases for people from different societies or for different stratas of the same society. It’s best if we stick to the objective and let go of our personal biases.
What if the person being slapped was a young man? Would we have taken any action? Are we taking an action just because it was a woman?
Without any personal goals
Do we have something to win or prove other than the objective of the problem? If yes, this struggle is not for us, struggles should be on a need basis.
Are we trying to show feminism exists while trying to help the woman get justice? (We better write an hypothesis on feminism.)
Is it lawful?
Law plays an important part in our society, it makes people worry free about their immediate security, it helps people specialise in their own pursuits. It keeps the social balance. Only when people do not have to fight for survival they will fight for prosperity. It is ALWAYS wrong to break the law, unknowingly you may create a disbalance or a bad precedent.
Are we going to slap the policeman back? Are we going to harm his family or property?
Is the solution very close to ideals?
Problems occur in practical life, there are little or no problems in our ideal worlds. And when problems are practical, solutions need to be practical as well.
Are you going to do a hunger strike in front of his house until he makes a public apology?
The three pillars of Silver bullets
Economics say we spend as much resources as needed, not more than that. If we know the problem, and we do not still want to find out the indivisible part, we will incur more costs than necessary while trying to solve the problem.
It also gets protracted far more than required. And as the basket of apple argument goes, you lose too many good things at once along with the whole problem.
We recognise the problem, disintegrate it to parts and solve such parts one at a time, this way there is certainty, affordability and minimal disturbance to the settled situation.
Too much differentiation due to specific interests can cause just the opposite of what we want. All of us as human species have their own interests; the undeniable truism of economics is that if you try to make too much profit, there will be others who would also try the same.
This conflicting interest would lead to a set off and thereby a balance – equilibrium. Output is highest when the equilibrium point is at the highest possible point of the graph, to keep the equilibrium point there, we need to cooperate and be unbiased as much as possible, and we need to apply something called game theory.
Game theory says “If We Were All Better People The World Would Be A Better Place”. The Prisoner’s dilemma explains why cooperation is required by profiteering units as an important component of their external transactions.
When there are oranges and apples in the same basket, some people would like only the apples due to their specific interests, and try to cure only the apples, they won’t give a damn about oranges, maybe because oranges can take care of themselves, maybe oranges are cheaper, maybe the oranges also want the apples to prosper, or maybe the people of the country do not like oranges and the politicians prefer apples to get maximum vote.
But the whole point here is if there are no fundamental differences between apples and oranges then they’re being unreasonably differentiated.
This unreasonable differentiation will lead to the oranges decaying in lack of care, and thus oranges would cause decomposition of all the fruits along with it; thereby causing more spoilage than foreseen.
There are causes and effects everywhere. Somehow if the causes are unsustainable, effects would balance them. Effects are the ones which are unpredictable and sometimes very harsh. When we want the effects to be reasonable we need the causes to be reasonable as well.
We identify the AP; the AP here is not ‘spoiling of apples’ but ‘spoilage’ as a whole. Game theory needs to balance specific interests and for those who do not want to do game theory calculus they can simply follow the mandates of justice and equality.
As human beings we have found out human sciences, the ideas of economics and justice. A person, who is only economical in his ways and never does justice, is called a shrewd capitalist. And someone who does only equality and no economics, is utopian and cannot survive the practical world.
By default human beings are either of the two, we experience life, we study, so that we can moderate these feelings. We have to maintain economics and equality in balance, unless we are fine being any of the above.
The AP of homosexuality are mainly: anal and oral sex, same-sex marriage and adoption rights.
The titivation: discrimination, old law, western ideals, history, regressive society, freedom, rights, dignity, etc. what not? Everyone has their own take on it.
But should we not limit our scope to the AP? Should we not take one AP at a time and solve it?
Is there a real necessity to expound and exaggerate and take the defense of titivation?
People go all gaga about: freedom, constitutionality and so many other things. Isn’t it simpler to keep just the AP and leave the titivation?
It’s a genuine question many subscribe to, not sarcastic nor conniving and very dispassionate.
Why not relieve the huge burden of so much titivation, and just ask the court to legalise the AP (anal and oral sex)?
Voila! Even heteros en masse will support this cause, many can relate to this, and a favourable judgement will have many beneficiaries.
Why create a huge mess out of controversial words like freedom, dignity, rights etc.?
We have enough of freedom, dignity and rights to practice anything which appeals to human beings. Maybe it’s time we can legalise anal and oral sex, and forget whatever bodily injury they may cause.
I don’t know what vindication Indians still have against the British common law, or what vindication Indians generally have to reason. Many of my friends seem to be swayed by just the fact that the IPC is old and was drafted by a British.
This is not how reason works, reason wants you to prove the IPC is bad beyond reasonable doubt. Once you do it, you can be a hero, but till then try that and do not make lame accusations against the law.
Fallacies involved here:
Correlation and causation:
Almost everyone of us do this fundamental fallacy everyday. If a gay person gets imprisoned for unnatural sex, he is done so because being gay has a correlation with unnatural sex and thereby to imprisonment, not that being gay is the causation of imprisonment.
People miss out on the link of correlation in between. We should understand that being gay has a correlation to imprisonment, not causation.
Another role of this fallacy is found when punishment is correlated to discrimination. Because someone is gay, he had anal sex and he was punished, as some punishment requires discrimination, he also went through discrimination. Punishment has only correlation with discrimination, discrimination has a much wider meaning, discrimination is not the causation of all punishments.
Straw man:This is a clever defense mechanism, sometimes we do it unconsciously, but it is a fallacy, and doesn’t appeal to logic.
This occurs very often in politics, people attack a less defensible position than the one actually being put forth, to derive maximum approval for himself/herself or for a cause.
Eg: “Opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement amounts to nothing but opposition to free trade.” (Someone can believe in free and open trade and yet still oppose NAFTA.)
“Opposition to anal sex is opposition to equality.” (Someone can believe in equality and other rights, and still oppose anal sex.)
A fallacy of the form “All A are B. All C are B. Therefore, all A are C.” Consider: All elms are trees. All oaks are trees. Therefore, all elms are oaks.
“All gays are anal, all anal is punished, discrimination leads to punishment, all gays are discriminated.”
Consider: All women are girls, all girls are good, masculinity is good, all women are masculine.
Dispassionate analysis of Section 377 (IPC)
As far as I read Section 377 it does not prevent:
- gays to exist
- gays to love each other
- gays from kissing
- any kind of dressing or public appearance
- transgendered person from existing or having sex
Only having unnatural intercourse, which is applicable on heteros as well,
Opinion on 377 (unnatural sex)
No legal authority can discriminate against you in your spheres of life on the basis of this section, life is obviously not only about orgasms. None can prevent you from loving someone, you were born free, and you are still free, no matter if it’s your choice or not, the law can’t prevent you from loving or living with someone of your own sex. If you’re in love, you can freely be in love.
I concede to the fact that being gay is probably not a choice, people might have been born with this orientation. But when we talk about anal sex, it’s an act which not only gays do, but straights also do. Anal sex is always a choice, you do it, or you don’t do it.
It’s also unscientific to say that gays cannot have natural intercourse leading to procreation.
Maybe gays necessarily have to commit to anal or oral sex, and then again not all of them have to do so. Lesbians can do without anal sex. And sometimes sex is not the only thing which can bind two persons.
If the court interprets unnatural sex as anal and oral sex, it can be made legal far more easily, by getting a doctor’s certificate. A doctor who has the necessary qualifications and can volunteer as an amicus curiae and give a statement that “Anal and oral sex is as good as peno-vaginal sex, no injuries, no harm.” And if no doctor is ready to accept that because of obvious injuries and dangers to public health, then I think it’s in our interest to prevent sex as such.
Maybe same-sex marriage can harm the society but I think it can do more good than anything bad, in fact there are studies in the US which show that percent of successful marriages and marriages as a whole is more among same-sex couples. Some economists also point out that they should try to protect same-sex marriage, as otherwise the opposite-sex marriages are dwindling and it may lead to crash of the market which is heavily dependent on marriages and couples.
Adoption and parental rights
This can prove to be the most difficult AP, it’s definitely one among the most indivisible parts of the bigger problem of homosexuality, but still it will take some time and lots of effort to solve it.
Some psychologists enlighten the fact, that the mother and father is irreplaceable, each of the parents have evolutionary, scientific and societal importance.
I don’t think it’s an important part of homosexuality, without adoption rights people should not feel “discriminated”.
The job is much more simpler without the AS, if you can just prove anal and oral sex is fine, no difference however intelligible can be made.
Violence against women
What is the AP behind ‘violence against women’?
What are the specific ingredients of the problem?
As far as I concede, violence against women, is not only “against women” but “violence” as a whole. We can delete the last two words and keep it simpler.
Violence is always illegal, people fail to report due to other conditions. We had partly solved the problems of violence long back by making the Indian Penal code. Now we need to solve the other part – enforcement problems.
Do we enforce the law by making new (women specific) laws? Or do we enforce the old law, and let it be just and fair.
Definitely we being incompetent when it comes to enforcement, can soothe the populace by making new laws. But, without enforcement a good law is as good as no law (sic).
The new (women specific) drafts are coming up with enforcement provisions, and these drafts are really powerful. But wait, did I not say about equality?
When there are A and B inside a room, it is equally probable that A or B is violent. When we do not know any data about the actual incident in a typical Indian household, we can’t definitely say who is more violent.
Given the data that one among A and B is female and the other is male (Damn!) we can solve it in seconds! Even a second standard child can say that the male must have been violent.
This assumption comes to us based on our experiences, cultural defaults and statistical studies. But it can never be a conclusion that the male is always violent, and the female is never. This assumption will always remain one.
The problem here is how does reason approve of assumptions?
Yes, it does so by applying reason of economics, but it is not justice, justice is always maintaining equality, not a little less, not a little more, just the amount necessary to be just.
The new drafts as far as I read, were drafted maintaining that, enforcement costs are high, women working populace is low, so make enforcement laws favouring only women.
That will surely be cost effective, but not just at all.
Unjust laws are bad
But unjust laws are bad, and all bad laws do backfire, when you are trying to increase equality by promoting inequality you have to be super cautious. You can’t afford to mindlessly discriminate to decrease inequality. There should be an an objectivity and sustainability test.
Differential treatment is not a magic potion that you can consume it as much as you want, magic potions do not exist, anti-toxins do. It’s nothing less than a toxin which is used as an anti-toxin.
The offices which have to mandatorily spend more because of gender-specific laws will tend to ignore employment of that gender as a whole. Meaning thereby, with all these women specific laws coming into effect, the only thing logical for an economic employer would be not to hire women at all. Women would lose out on job prospects; men would have a better advantage at work.
Too much marriage laws (gender specific), would keep the other gender from marrying.
Too much harassment laws (gender specific), would keep the other gender from proposing.
Too much of anything (gender specific), would keep the other gender from doing anything.
Our AP was violence as a whole, not at all the titivation (feminism, discrimination, backward country, gender-specific, equality, discrimination, patriarchal society, etc.). When we went gender specific (to be cost-effective), economics backfired.
But with these biased laws there will be women who would abuse them, men would get wary, men who find marriage and divorce laws to be too risky, will not prefer to marry; men wouldn’t want to go in any legal relation with women. But nature won’t stop its process, there would be relations always just that they would tend to be unregistered and later illegal.
While men are getting alienated from women, I see crimes rising faster than they were.
The SB was not making laws which favour only the women, it was preventing any violence at workplace or even at home. There could have been laws which benefit both the genders. Imagine the owner of a business conceding to extra anti-violence enforcement costs because he has no way out, if he doesn’t do that he can’t run his business. He cannot treat his employees differently, both the genders are responsible for increase in this cost.
The whole point here is that we failed to or chose not to recognise the AP, but due to the titivation such as feminism, discrimination, backward country, gender-specific, equality, discrimination, patriarchal society, etc. we got swayed and created a differently harmful society.
More the titivation we use more noble and glorified the fight becomes, but at a cost of a huge burden of proof, and other latent and patent costs. When you mention the word discrimination in your petition you have to prove it; indignity, prove it; violation of rights, prove it, and so on… Why take all the trouble?
One by one all APs can be solved, and the titivation can be left where it was taken from.
People get swayed over by big political words like freedom, equality and rights, and that is a fundamental fallacy of human beings. We tend to exaggerate and glorify our needs to such an extent that we lose connection of our roots.
People might feel uncomfortable or insecure coming out in the open asking for petty or for selfish needs, that is when they possibly take the garb of freedom, equality, rights, etc.
I might be wrong, but I don’t see anything different between a homosexual and heterosexual other than the simple necessity of anal sex among them.
My point in this whole article is, let’s identify the actual problems, and we can stop glorifying our needs. We can fight and help each other only when the real problem is identified.
 Gay Fathers, Bruce Voeller and James Walters, The Family Coordinator , Vol. 27, No. 2 (Apr., 1978) , pp. 149-157
- Homosexuality; Law; Reasons
- What to do when you don’t know what to do?