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About traditions, standards and things like that…

This story is from Mahabharata. Pitamaha Bhishma was very angry with Arjuna because he eloped Subhadra. This was against the tradition because Subhadra’s brother Balrama had already promised for Subhadra’s marriage to Duryodhana. 

Krishna tried to convince Bhishma about how Arjuna was right but Bhishma was adamant. The conversation that then happened between Krishna and Bhishma is what I want to talk about today.    I will let you read their conversation first. 

Bhishma: I am not happy with this marriage because this is against the tradition. A person can trust on   another person only when traditions are followed and respected. Without following traditions, a trust cannot be established. 

Krishna:  (Giggles) Traditions…! Traditions are like mango fruit. In the beginning it tastes bitter. Some days later it becomes sour. People, who like sour taste, eat that fruit with great pleasure. After some days, mango becomes sweet and thus becomes everybody’s favorite. 

But, after some more days, it gets rotten. It starts smelling bad. People fall ill who still eat that rotten mango. And as time passes on, that fruit remains of no use. Not even its pit. 

I don’t have any problem with traditions as such, but when same traditions become reason for one’s exploitation, cause more harm than good and become hurdle in the change for the better, then such rotten traditions should be destroyed and new traditions should take birth. 

Now you must be wondering, why am I talking about this? I read and re-read this conversation and felt that what Krishna is talking about traditions, is very similar to what standards and best practices are doing to our profession today. 

Followed by excellent presentation by James Christie at CAST, some of our colleagues in community have come up with petitions to stop ISO 29119 testing standard. I feel that they are right in what they are fighting for. I would urge you to read this, this, this, this or this post if this whole controversy makes you curious about it.

People who are against this opposition may question, “Who decides if standards are good or bad for our profession? You guys?” 

Coincidently, Bhishma had asked the same question to Krishna. I will let you read their remaining conversation.

Bhishma: Who decides which traditions are rotten? You, Lord Krishna???

Krishna:  No! Time will decide it! And no one can disobey time’s order.

This is the period of solstice for entire Aryavarta.  The way Sun changes its path in solstice; whole Aryavarta too is going to change its path. Old traditions will break, old dynasties will get destroyed. New dharma will be established and new era will begin.

And a time will come when you will have to decide on which side you want to be. Because, everyone will be caught in this trap of time. People who promote lies will become cause of this transformation and people who walk on path of truth will establish the new era. 

And this is decided!

Krishna’s answer sums it all. I have signed the petition and I’m done with my part. It’s your turn to decide on which side you want to be.

                                                                                       Note: This blog is formed after my editorial for July/August 2014 issue of Tea-time with Testers.

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