Isms.

I hope that you enjoy reading another post of the Friday Loose Bloggers’ Consortium when eleven of us post on the same topic chosen by one of us. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad.

Please do visit Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger to see ten other views on the same topic. Some of these bloggers may be preoccupied with vacations, examinations, family problems and/or romance, so be a little indulgent in case they do not post or post late.

Google informs me that there were 1968 words ending in ism that it found while searching for words ending in isms. For our purpose, I do not intend going through the whole lot but would restrict my post to some isms that had or have major roles to play in my life.

The very first ism that I was exposed to was patriotism. As little children, attending a Montessori School, we were taught to sing our National Anthem and were told all about Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru besides a few other local worthies too. That impression has not left me till date and I still get goose pimples when I hear our National Anthem about which I have posted before here and here. This over a period of time morphed into Nationalism but fortunately perhaps not yet into Jingoism.

The next one was when I was older and in higher classes at Madras, now known as Chennai when the Anti Brahminism and Dravidianism combined with Atheism and Casteism, took hold of the State of Madras, now known as Tamil Nadu. This had major implications for the state and it also spun off into a national phenomenon subsequently.

Then I grew up and started my working life when other less earth shaking but important isms came into my life. Capitalism, Socialism and Communism were regularly bandied about till I hit the Management side of employment when Absenteeism, and Sadism/Masochism took frequent parts in my daily conversation.

Then came the time for Romanticism and Nihilism which somehow seemed to go hand in hand around me. Then came the Bra Burning Feminism of the late sixties which made men look at women in a different way.

From the seventies till the late nineties my life revolved around Middle-classism. Staid, dull and boring as it could be, the redeeming feature being Careerism which balanced the dullness of the middle-class existence.

Then a life changing tryst with Alcoholism came into my life with some serious consequences. It however enabled me to become a resource for others afflicted with the problem and that is one of the satisfying aspects of my current battles with Existentialism.

Simultaneously it was also the time for Absurdism and Elitism which played significant roles in my move into Spiritualism. In the process of growing in the last, I find myself dropping most of the isms that I have collected over the years and that too, I suppose should be called some ism, quite what I do not know. Droppingismsism?

Overriding all the above isms in India, at the macro level, we have a national policy of Secularism. My understanding of this ism is that there should be complete separation of state and religion. In India however what this has come to mean is appeasement of the minorities and vote bank politics. In my own way, I am a practicing secularist but an avowed anti pseudo secularism advocate.

On December 6, 1992 Hindu fanatics demolished an old decrepit mosque in Ayodhya, a town believed to have been the birth place of one of India’s favourite Gods, Ram. Since then India has been in the grip of Communalism. That in turn evolved into Terrorism. We now have cross border Terrorism thrust on us from Pakistan, we have home grown Islamic Terrorism and now the beginnings of a Hindu backlash Terrorism. We have a state machinery to Counter Terrorism which to the best of my knowledge provides security cover only after each act of Terrorism.

That is a list of the various isms that have occupied my life, and the only ism that has so far had no role to play in my life and I hope that it does not ever, is Rheumatism. I am however advised by knowledgeable sources that I suffer from a sister affliction called arthritis of the brain. I hope that does not lead me into some other ism like Totalnutcaseism.

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