Capitalism Pushes Us From Suksham (Fine) To Sathool (Gross) And Turns Us From Heroes To Villains

Capitalism starts the process of turning human beings in to consumers. This process can also be called dehumanization. One of the ways it achieves its objective is by changing our existence from suksham (fine and delicate) to sathool (gross and crude). The essence of human existence is not sathool but is suksham which includes our values, sensitivities and feelings whereas sathool is primarily concerned with our physical existence and basic drives which are there to preserve our physical existence.                                                                                                                                       Our values, sensitivities and feelings give us the real human identity. If we desensitize people and deprive them of the finer and delicate aspects of life and limit them to physical existence only then we have basically dehumanized people and reduced their existence to mere consumers. We can also say that the suksham aspect of our existence is our spiritual and the sathool aspect is our material existence. Capitalism, for all practical purposes, has limited our existence to the material aspect only and has deprived us of our spiritual aspect.                                                                                                                           Capitalism, by making people insecure, does not let a person to concentrate on his or her finer, delicate and higher aspects. Many people are constantly preoccupied to preserve their physical existence. It is the biggest tragedy of our time that in spite of scientific and technological advancement and resulting super abundance of material goods man has reverted back to the level of primitive man who was primarily concerned for his basic survival. Capitalism has reversed the human progress made in the last thousands of years and pushed man from higher centers to lower centers associated with our basic instincts. Capitalism has freed us from our higher self, which tried to tell us that there is a higher purpose of our lives than just keeping us physically alive.                                                                                                                                                                       No where this phenomenon is as clear as is in the case of the Indian movie industry which is generally known as “Bollywood”. We can clearly see how Bolywood denigrated the image of the Indian woman. Just compare heroines of fifty years ago to the present heroines and my point will become clear. Let us compare the heroines like Madubala, Meena Kumari and Nutan to the present heroines like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone and we can see the dramatic change in our value system.                                                                                                                                                           Our concepts of beauty have also changed in a big way.                                                                                                      Madhubala was probably the most beautiful heroine on the Indian screen. She was called “Venus of the East”. However, unlike the present heroines, she was never preoccupied with being hot or sexy. Her beauty was subtle rather than gross. She and the other heroines of that time projected the highest and the finer values of the Indian womanhood. The hot, the sexy and the seductive roles were reserved for another category of actresses generally known as the Vamps. Helen, Madhumati, Bindu and Padma Khanna were generally given such roles. These women were not considered heroines and generally projected the roles of the villains.

It is a big tragedy that today’s heroines resemble more with the villains rather than the heroines of yesterday.                                                                                                                                                                                        This is even a bigger tragedy that the role reversal is not limited to the screen only. Even in real life capitalism has transformed men and women of today into villains. They have become extremely self- centered, selfish, greedy, extravagant, vengeful and arrogant. Many people do not realize that capitalism has pushed them to the lower levels of existence from the higher levels, from fine to gross by making us insecure. The only way out of this vicious cycle is Self Realization. Let us try to find our true selves and the purpose of our existence rather than be only concerned with preserving our physical existence.

Life has to offer much more than constantly be concerned for keeping us alive. Sri Guru Granth Sahib preaches us that we are entitled to Vismad which is a state of wondrous joy, ecstasy and supreme bliss. However, this is only possible if we embark on an inward journey to find and relate to our true self. Let us come out of the illusion (created by capitalism) and face the reality. The process starts with finding our own reality.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.




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