Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Parasitism  as per Wikipedia ,the online encyclopedia, is a relationship between two organisms where one benefits at the cost of another.The organism which lives at the cost of the other organism is the parasite.The organism on which  the parasite thrives is the host.So the parasite is a guest  in one sense though a permanent one ! Examples of such parasites are plants like mistletoe,cuscuta, & in the animal world, the parasites are tapeworms,leeches,etc.Viruses & bacteria are parasites as they invade the hosts & thrive there in the host body.Some orchids are parasites, which just goes to show, that appearances are indeed deceptive !

No record about human parasites are listed.This is far from the truth.The word Parasite was first used in English 1539 .It is derived from parasite which is Medieval French .This is turn has come from Latin parasitus : latinisation of the Greek parasitos which means one who eats at the a table of another.Parasitism was coined in English in 1611 from the Greek words para & sitismos which means fattening , feeding.

In a sense, almost all humans can be classified as parasites - when adult children live in the homes of their parents & adults get dole from parents ,siblings ,etal as they remain unemployed to laze around. In one  sense, they are adelpho  parasites as  such parasites  resemble hosts so much so, that both may belong to the same family ! So its all, in the family !

The wife is a parasite on the husband as she expects him to be the provider,the protector, etc. The husband is the parasite  on the wife, as she cooks,cares, brings up children etc. These roles of husband & wife have undergone many changes in this age & still the mutuality of existence, which is the basic premise of parasitism continues.

People are kleptoparasites as in such cases,food gathered by one is appropriated by others.Some appropriate food,still others shelter,many others jobs & so on & so forth.So hard work by host  yields fruit to the parasite.In office,research,project,done by one is misappropriated by another leading to promotion of the parasite ! That is why parasitism is coveted by many !

Humans are social parasites as well. People  take undue advantage of the various interactions in society   to suck life out of their near & dear ones.Brood parasitism as seen in case of the cuckoo bird is  observed in the human race as well.Cuckoo bird  gives birth to young ones & instead of building nests & taking care,the cuckoo leaves its young ones in nests of others like the crow.In such cases,the crows are the baby sitters for the young ones of the cuckoo.Grandparents,neighbours ,relatives ,friends,are baby sitting for kids of their offsprings ,siblings,etal !

.Even our netas are parasites living off the country as they hardly do anything worthwhile for the nation.The members of our legislatures are  in fact, parasitoids as in this case,  the development of the  larva of the parasitoids  leads to the death of the host.Witness, where our nation is headed, all  thanks to the generation next of our netas. Our leaders  are predators, as they are killing the prey that is, our nation, slowly & surely. This predatory characteristic is  typical of parasitoids.

Parasitism leads to diseases like malaria, bacterial & viral infections,etc.It gets endemic & spreads widely & rapidly.Animal & plant hosts have developed mechanisms to repel & prevent parasites . Humans are yet in the dark, about the dangers of parasitism which has become  deeply ingrained.Or maybe, human hosts are addicted to their parasites & that's why they are unable to shake them off. Parasitism may sometimes lead to some benefits for the host.Grandparents enjoy company whilst taking  care of the grandchildren .Still benefits are few & far between.

Perhaps ,crusaders like Anna Hazare ,Arvind Kejriwal ,Kiran Bedi are telling us that we must rid our Bharat of parasites.The individual hosts must take cue from this & develop mechanisms to prevent if not repel parasitism.After all, prevention is better than cure !

Plagarism is mono parasitism as it is copying from one source while research is multiplagarism that is copy pasting from multiple sources !This leads us to the fact that,the parasitism of plagarism & poly ( multi )  plagarism is thriving  in this internet age, all thanks to copy & paste !

Last but not the least ,for this blog post ,the host is  Wikipedia ( Parasitism ) & the parasite is yours truly !


medha said...

Labour of love in relationships especially close ones viz parental, spouse , children is the labour of love so it is offensive to put it down as parasitism. Each role is important in its own way, no one role is better than the other.Akin to the green grass on the meadow, it brings cheer if not anything else to the viewers. So each one has its own utility...if called parasite then of course the whole survival game in the universe is a food chain isnt it....one is a food of another !

vasu said...

This is your viewpoint.Many times,I have felt that I am a parasite on my husband,on my brother,my parents etal I am sure ,all feel this way sometime or the other.

Men who do not work & booze away the money earned by parents,wife,offspring , etc There are many such types of parasites -not to forget our politicians who are worse than all.

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