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Austerity, Conformity and Compliance (standard:non fiction, 645 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: May 13 2012Views/Reads: 1649/897Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Observing austerity, conformity and compliance may be good to reinforce self control but does it make a good person?

Austerity, Conformity and Compliance 

Subba Rao 

Juggernaut's cousin Lakshmi was always fasting; she fasts on 

most Hindu auspicious days and every Saturday; she drinks water and 

buttermilk whenever she feels hungry during the fast.  She was only 16 

years old when she started fasting, not for health reasons but to prove 

control or compliance, again and again. Everybody in the family 

particularly the older folks admired her conformity and austerity. As 

she grew, she extended her austerity by stop eating certain vegetable 

on a particular day; say on Fridays she won't eat onions, on Thursdays 

she won't eat garlic and she stopped eating her most favorite 

vegetable ‘Eggplant ‘ on Mondays. 

“How you can fast whole day,” Juggernaut expressed his surprise. 

“Well, It is mostly mind control, I manage my hunger to prove I 

am in control of myself,” Lakshmi looked serious. 

“Control of what? 

“My inner strength.” 

“I am sure I am in control of my inner strength, but I don't 

have to prove by fasting or sacrifice by not eating my favorite dish,” 

said Juggernaut 

“But then how you prove or show to yourself that you are in 


“Is this austerity and conformity has anything to do with 

religion and God?” 

“I am hoping that God would recognize my compliance and make 

future events favorable to me,” “have you attempted fasting?” 

“Not voluntarily only when I was sick and could not eat on 

hospital bed.”  “I am not sure whether fasting or sacrificing a 

favorite dish could have made any difference in my life.” 

“Conformity and austerity were opposite to indulgence; 

implementing whatever austerity measure gives self assurance and 

reinforces self confidence.” 

“May be you are right but does all those measures made you a 

better person?” 

“What you mean?” 

“Are you more kind, charitable, compassionate, forgiving and 

less judgmental?” 

“I am who I am; I am not sure whether the austerity and 

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