Articles by: Bharat Dogra

To be strong and effective, peace movement must be a continuing process among people

To be strong and effective, peace movement must be a continuing process among people

All those who are committed to peace are once again passing through a sad phase of introspection regarding why they cannot be effective enough to check what is very clearly a very alarming phase of further drift towards militarization, that too at a time when the world can least afford it due to very serious worries relating to pandemic and[Read More…]

by 15/05/2022 0 comments World
Photo Credit -India Water Portal

For Scheme Meant for the Poorest, Only 19% of allocated funds were actually used

While the dalit community has been always known for higher levels of poverty as well as social discrimination, even within the dalits there is a sub-section known for even worse levels of poverty as well as social discrimination. This is the section which was traditionally involved in manual scavenging. The shocking injustice they have suffered from over the years has[Read More…]

by 14/05/2022 0 comments India
Birds— Humanity is Rapidly Losing Its Most Endearing Friends

Birds— Humanity is Rapidly Losing Its Most Endearing Friends

Birds are the most endearing friends of humanity, so why is it that we are hearing less often the Good Morning call of sparrows and why is it is increasingly more difficult to see the enchanting spectacle of a dancing peacock? A recent study stated that over the last 5 decades the number of birds declined by about 3 billion,[Read More…]

Food Security Concerns in Jharkhand

Food Security Concerns in Jharkhand

People’s Campaigns Raise Serious Objections to Rice Fortification Scheme, with Special Concerns Regarding Tribal Communities  At a time when the plans of the Government of India to hurriedly spread rice fortification have already become highly controversial with several serious objections being raised by several experts, leading food rights campaigns have prepared a detailed report in the specific context of Jharkhand[Read More…]

by 12/05/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Food Processing Goes Big Or Bust

Food Processing Goes Big Or Bust

Will recent changes sound the death knell of good old atta chakki, oil press and small rice mill? In a recent widely publicized scheme the new AAP government in Punjab has announced that instead of supplying wheat in public distribution, the government will supply atta or wheat flour right at the footstep of consumers. While this is generally seen as[Read More…]

by 12/05/2022 Comments are Disabled India
25 Issues of Increasing and Serious Concern in India

25 Issues of Increasing and Serious Concern in India

There is increasing worry that in some areas of critical importance the situation in India has been deteriorating steadily during the last 8 years or so. As India is home to about 18 per cent of people in the world, this is clearly a matter of urgent concern. Hence a review of these disturbing trends is urgently needed with a[Read More…]

by 11/05/2022 1 comment India
Donkeys Need More Care and Compassion

Donkeys Need More Care and Compassion

They are often victims of neglect and even cruelty, while the wild ass is badly endangered People who are sincere and hard-working, simple and quiet should be highly valued for these virtues, yet their simplicity and sincerity are often misused by others. This can also be said about donkeys, who have much the same virtues and have suffered much the[Read More…]

by 07/05/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Sufi Amba Prasad: The One-Handed Freedom Fighter Who Fought on Two Fronts— in India and Iran

Sufi Amba Prasad: The One-Handed Freedom Fighter Who Fought on Two Fronts— in India and Iran

Freedom fighters often face immense difficulties, all the more so if they are challenging the biggest imperial power in the world. This is precisely what Sufi Amba Prasad (1858-1917) did ever since his young days. In fact he took up this challenge not in one but in two countries—India and Iran—and finally died fighting for this cause in Shiraj ([Read More…]

by 07/05/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
How People Can Change the World—JEPESD Path of Social Movements

How People Can Change the World—JEPESD Path of Social Movements

Many thoughtful people of world are now concerned deeply about aggravation of several serious problems led by life-threatening environmental problems and accumulation of weapons of mass destruction. At the same time they realize that the earlier problems of inequalities and injustice are also worsening in many contexts. As life-nurturing conditions of our planet are also threatened there is greater urgency[Read More…]

by 04/05/2022 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Workers Made Homeless on May Day by Large Scale Slum Demolitions in Chandigarh

Workers Made Homeless on May Day by Large Scale Slum Demolitions in Chandigarh

dem On May 1, in the presence of heavy police force, demolition squads of Chandigarh swooped on huts and houses of colony number 4, Industrial Area Phase 1. The homes and hearths of nearly 5000 people, all of them from the poorest sections of one of the most affluent cities of India, were destroyed within a few hours. Many of[Read More…]

by 04/05/2022 Comments are Disabled India
10 day Ordeal of Jignesh Mewani Exposes Wider  Trend to Crush Democratic Dissent

10 day Ordeal of Jignesh Mewani Exposes Wider  Trend to Crush Democratic Dissent

All those committed to protecting democracy, and more specifically to stopping the  recent trend of highly undemocratic assaults on political opponents, will feel greatly relieved by the happy ending of the 10 day ordeal of Jignesh Mewani on April 29 by the acceptance of his bail by the Barpeta district and sessions court. As a bonus gain for the democracy[Read More…]

by 01/05/2022 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
May Day— Need for wider unity of workers

May Day— Need for wider unity of workers

Workers in India Feel Increasing Need for Unity in the Middle of Increasing Unemployment, Inflation and Privatization This year May Day is being observed at a time of increasing need for wider unity by workers in the wake of adverse government policies leading to increasing burden of unemployment and inflation at the same time. Policies relating to demonetization, poorly conceived[Read More…]

by 01/05/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Why Banks Write Off Billions of the Rich but Threaten Farmers with Arrest for Small Defaults

Why Banks Write Off Billions of the Rich but Threaten Farmers with Arrest for Small Defaults

The High Court of Gujarat  recently rebuked the State Bank of India for not issuing a no dues certificate to a farmer due to the pending dues of just, believe it or not, 37 paise ( not Rs.) in his accounts! This should be read along with the statistics that the same bank wrote off loans amounting to Rs. 34,402 [Read More…]

by 30/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Fire in a landfill in Delhi

Fire in a landfill in Delhi

While Safety is First Priority, Serious Problems of the Poor Living Nearby Should Also be Reduced A big fire at the Bhalsawa landfill near  Delhi has led to the emergence of a highly hazardous situation in Delhi. Official sources have attributed this to the release of mehane gas, a GHG many times more more potent than carbon dioxide in terms[Read More…]

by 29/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Labourers work on a dried lake to try and revive it under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) at Ibrahimpatnam, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, June 17, 2009. The government has started a pilot project to quantify climate benefits from the NREGA, the anti-poverty scheme that could become one of the country's main weapons to fight criticism it is not doing enough to tackle global warming. The flagship anti-poverty plan, started three years ago, provides 100 days of employment every year to tens of millions of rural poor, a move that partly helped the Congress party-led coalition return to power in a general election. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder (INDIA ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)

Long Delays in NREGA Wage Payments in Himachal

Recent reports indicate increasing problems in the implementation of MG-NREGA in Himachal Pradesh, the most disturbing aspect being the long delays in the payments of workers. A front page, top news report in a leading newspaper of this region Amar Ujala stated on April 28, “ in most gram panchayats of Himachal Pradesh daily wage payments of thousands of workers [Read More…]

by 29/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Remembering Sagarmal Gopa—Freedom Fighter, Author, Human Rights Activist

Remembering Sagarmal Gopa—Freedom Fighter, Author, Human Rights Activist

A freedom fighter who was killed at the age of 45 in prison in the most cruel way, Sagarmal Gopa was one of those who dared to challenge the might of the cruel royal kingdoms which often operated in even more arbitrary ways than the main colonial government and provided hardly any avenues for dissent. Gopa stood up against such[Read More…]

by 28/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Serious Threat to Secularism and Democracy in India

Serious Threat to Secularism and Democracy in India

A Timely Warning by Over 100 Very Senior Ex-Bureaucrats On 26 April over 100 former senior civil servants of India belonging to the Constitutional Conduct Group sent a letter to the Prime Minister drawing attention to the shocking increase in communal violence and government response to this. What is stated in this letter is so important that this should be[Read More…]

by 28/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Drought and Forest Fires in Himachal Pradesh

Drought and Forest Fires in Himachal Pradesh

Reports of water shortages and forest fires have been appearing all through the month of April in Himachal Pradesh. It is ironical that the tourist rush to popular hill-stations like Shimla, Manali and Kasauli increased heavily during this month, even though increasing sufferings of local villagers were reported. According to rainfall data, the rainfall from March 1 to April 23[Read More…]

by 27/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Open Space Workers Face Increasing Heat as Temperatures Rise

Open Space Workers Face Increasing Heat as Temperatures Rise

An important aspect of climate change that clearly affects many Asian and African countries more is that a very large part of their working population toils in open spaces. In a country like India where over two-thirds of the population is rural and a significant section of urban workers, like construction workers, also do much of their work in the[Read More…]

by 26/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Lapse of 37% of Development Funds in Haryana Points to Huge Administrative Failure

Lapse of 37% of Development Funds in Haryana Points to Huge Administrative Failure

In difficult times of resource crunch if some important development needs remain  unmet then this can be understood, but what about a situation when funds have been sanctioned and allocated but despite clear and crying need for utilization of these funds, these remain unspent and ultimately lapse. It is this big failure that is becoming a big debating point in[Read More…]

by 25/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
30th National Panchayati Raj Day

30th National Panchayati Raj Day

Rural Decentralization is Crucial for Strengthening Grassroots Democracy and People-Centered Development. A Reminder to Resist Over-centralizing and Corporatization Trends Today the 30th National Panchayati Raj is being observed in India. On this day we remember the passing of the 73th constitutional amendment for panchayati raj and rural decentralization in 1992. Although panchayati raj existed earlier also but the system of[Read More…]

by 24/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Important lessons South Asia must learn from  recent crisis situations

Important lessons South Asia must learn from  recent crisis situations

When things deteriorate very rapidly in any country , there is a tendency—and  a temptation– to discuss the situation more in terms of the lead personalities, particularly if these happen to be as colorful as Imran Khan. Yet there is a clear need to go beyond mere personalities and look at some of those problems which appear to be more[Read More…]

by 23/04/2022 Comments are Disabled South Asia
Attack on Youngest Woman Pradhan of Himachal Pradesh Should be a Wake-Up Call

Attack on Youngest Woman Pradhan of Himachal Pradesh Should be a Wake-Up Call

Women Panchayat Leaders Fighting Powerful Interests Should Get Protection           It is shocking to know from recent media reports that 21 year old  Neha Verma, the youngest woman Pradhan (or elected head-person of officially constituted village council) was attacked in her village (Tambar in Palampur region). She is reported to have received serious injuries on her neck. She was attacked[Read More…]

by 22/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Earth Day re-emphasizes the urgent need for resolving the survival crisis before it is too late

Earth Day re-emphasizes the urgent need for resolving the survival crisis before it is too late

This year the Earth Day is being observed at a time when the dangers to our once beautiful and bountiful planet appear to be at their most extreme. This is not just because of the more worrying projections of climate change by leading scientists, or because of similar projections of a worsening situation with respect to other serious environmental problems.[Read More…]

by 22/04/2022 1 comment World
CUET Adds Further to the Tyranny of Imposing Over-Centralized, Exam-Centered ‘Education’

CUET Adds Further to the Tyranny of Imposing Over-Centralized, Exam-Centered ‘Education’

One of the most important requirements of our troubled world is a meaningful system of education which is able to create joyful, interesting conditions of learning linked to strong ethical values of justice, equality, honesty, truth, compassion, non-violence, care of all living beings, protection of environment and courage. A key question that any student should be exploring is—how can I[Read More…]

by 21/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Apple Orchards Should Avoid Hurried Displacement of Traditional Varieties

Apple Orchards Should Avoid Hurried Displacement of Traditional Varieties

Apple orchards have become a leading livelihood source in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in Himachal Pradesh. However orchard owners have been troubled from time to time by several problems including competition from indiscriminate imports and reducing margins. In such a situation sometimes they are tempted to go in for technologies which offer a quick way to increasing yields[Read More…]

by 21/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
There can be no bigger harm to national welfare than disturbing inter-faith harmony

There can be no bigger harm to national welfare than disturbing inter-faith harmony

At a time when inter-faith harmony is being disturbed at several places in the country, it is important to recall a very important lesson of our freedom movement—all the great leaders who got the maximum support and affection of people were those who stood firmly for inter-faith harmony. People generally identified two important streams of the freedom movement—the mainstream Congress[Read More…]

by 19/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Communal Harmony
Ukrainian tanks move down a street in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

11 Crucial Facts About the Ukraine War

The Ukraine War is one of the most significant and sad events of our times. In the middle of several conflicting claims and counter claims, 11 facts regarding this war stand out as the most crucial With thousands dead and over four million displaced within a few weeks, this war has very high humanitarian costs. With each passing day the[Read More…]

by 18/04/2022 1 comment World
 Prospects of World Peace Damaged by Eastward Expansion of NATO

 Prospects of World Peace Damaged by Eastward Expansion of NATO

Western Diplomats and Experts Have Been Warning About US and NATO policies Escalating Ukraine Crisis  Much before the Ukraine war this year, several internationally renowned foreign policy experts, including retired senior officials and other persons close to the establishment in the USA and its western allies, have been warning that a policy of excessive hostility towards Russia, persistent interference in[Read More…]

by 17/04/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Environmental issues in Jammu and Kashmir need much more attention

Environmental issues in Jammu and Kashmir need much more attention

In areas that experience more political tensions including those relating to conflicts, environmental problems tend to be sidelined and neglected. This can lead to less remedial actions than in other comparable areas, while problems continue to increase. This can be seen in Jammu and Kashmir. While environmental problems have been widely discussed  in the context of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh,[Read More…]

by 15/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Release All Political Prisoners

Release All Political Prisoners

A Great Way of Celebrating 75th Anniversary of Independence is to Release All Political Prisoners. Campaign Should Start Now to be Effective by August 1 In the course of India’s long and very courageous freedom movement, India became from time to time the country with perhaps the largest number of political prisoners in the world. These included many highly distinguished[Read More…]

by 14/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Thousands of Threatened Trees Near the Origin of Ganga River Must Be Saved

Thousands of Threatened Trees Near the Origin of Ganga River Must Be Saved

Protecting the Ganga river is a cause dear to the heart of all Indians.  Nowhere is the need for protection greater than near the origin of the Ganga river or Gangotri, in Uttarakhand Himalaya. So it is shocking to know that thousands of trees face the threat of being axed here in the near future. A strong national campaign is[Read More…]

by 13/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Climate Inequality– Poorer People Exposed Much More in Overheated Cities

Climate Inequality– Poorer People Exposed Much More in Overheated Cities

As the world heats up with climate change, urban areas with their dense habitations, traffic congestions, higher pollution levels and excessive cement and concrete invariably heat up more than rural areas. What is less realized is that within a single city certain areas can heat up much more than others, and the difference can be as high as 10 degrees[Read More…]

by 12/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Rice Fortification May Prove to be Very Harmful for Our Food System

Rice Fortification May Prove to be Very Harmful for Our Food System

The government has recently announced a very fast schedule of spreading rice fortification in India. According to this schedule the supply of fortified rice to ICDS, mid-day meals, other nutrition and welfare schemes as well as to the vast public distribution system is to be completed by the year 2024. The capacity of the government to achieve this is much[Read More…]

by 11/04/2022 2 comments India
Ukraine–First Priority Should be to End War and All Round Suffering of People

Ukraine–First Priority Should be to End War and All Round Suffering of People

As each day of war increases sufferings of people of Ukraine and creates new possibilities of escalation of wider conflict, the first priority, the overwhelming priority should be to end the war as early as possible and secure immediate peace. However several forces and leaders which are in the forefront of the debate on this highly regrettable invasion do not[Read More…]

by 09/04/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Special Status of US Dollar Should Not be Used to Harm People of Other Countries

Special Status of US Dollar Should Not be Used to Harm People of Other Countries

            In certain historical circumstances the US dollar received the status of world reserve currency at the end of the Second World War. It is a very privileged and special position. It gives very sweeping control and benefits relating to international finance, payments, banking and trade. However with power comes responsibility and the USA certainly has a special responsibility to[Read More…]

by 09/04/2022 2 comments World
A solution for climate change which does not even mention the ff words!

A solution for climate change which does not even mention the ff words!

Is it possible to suggest a solution for climate change which does not mention the words fossil fuels even once? Before you dismiss this suggestion, kindly spare just two minutes for the very short viewpoint below. Very briefly, I recommend six changes to be taken up in the next decade as a top priority. Firstly, we have to take a[Read More…]

by 08/04/2022 1 comment Counter Solutions
3 million plus trees axed in India in a year for ‘development’ 

3 million plus trees axed in India in a year for ‘development’ 

Over 3 million trees are cut in a year to pave the way for public infrastructure projects, according to official estimates. While replying to a question in Parliament  in March the Environment Minster responded that nearly 31 lakh ( 3.1 million) trees were cut down for construction and development of public infrastructure projects across India in year 2020-21. He added[Read More…]

by 07/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
What is behind the rapid increase in depression and self-harm among children and young adults?

What is behind the rapid increase in depression and self-harm among children and young adults?

A rapid increase in mental health problems has been reported by several studies among children and adolescents (roughly the age-group 7-17) in several rich countries, particularly during the last decade or so. Such a trend is visible even in studies that end in early or mid-2019, or before this, and hence entirely exclude any COVID impacts. At the same time,[Read More…]

by 07/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Great Love Songs Created Space in Popular Culture to Challenge Forces of Social Conservatism

Great Love Songs Created Space in Popular Culture to Challenge Forces of Social Conservatism

by Bharat Dogra and Madhu Dogra 21 Most Memorable Songs of Immortal Love in Hindi Cinema Love and romance being the eternal theme of Hindi films, it is not surprising that we have so many great love songs here, but by songs of immortal love we refer specifically to those songs which speak of love as a very deep lifelong[Read More…]

by 06/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Par-Tapi-Narmada River Link Project Should be Fully Withdrawn

Par-Tapi-Narmada River Link Project Should be Fully Withdrawn

There has been a great surge of united actions by tribal communities against the Par-Tapi-Narmada River Link Project following which the central government and the Gujarat state government have suspended the project for the time-being. Apart from protests by tribal communities, the fact that the Congress party has extended its support to the opposition of this river-link project and that[Read More…]

by 06/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
A Very Important Book on Ensuring Fair Elections in India

A Very Important Book on Ensuring Fair Elections in India

In recent years, and particularly after the 2019 General Elections, there have been growing concerns regarding the fairness of the election process in India. These have ranged from highly technical issues concerning the EVMs to the systemic corruption and lack of transparency in election bonds, the amassing of huge funds by the ruling party and its misuse. A new book[Read More…]

by 05/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Book Review
April 4–Remembering Martin Luther King on his Death Anniversary

April 4–Remembering Martin Luther King on his Death Anniversary

A historic speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered even 55 years later as one of the most courageous speeches ever made. This speech stated those truths which no other leading political leader or even leading activist was willing to state in such a clear and sharp way.  The reference here is of course to the speech delivered[Read More…]

by 04/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An Alternative Path for India

An Alternative Path for India

 A Program Based on Justice, Equality, Peace, Harmony and Environment Protection Introduction    In the middle of unprecedented world problems and many-sided internal distress, India must find a firm path based on equality, justice, meeting basic needs of all, strengthening creative livelihoods, social harmony and peace. As its present path is far from being such a path, there should be very[Read More…]

by 03/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Escalating Student Debts in Richest Countries Re-Emphasize Need for Socialist Approach to Education

Escalating Student Debts in Richest Countries Re-Emphasize Need for Socialist Approach to Education

Young People Should Not Be Starting Life Saddled With Big Debts Young people should be able to start life on a note of freedom and liberty. They should be entirely free to act according to the voice from their heart regarding what is the most promising and satisfying work for them. They should be able to choose work where they[Read More…]

by 01/04/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Despite Growing Evidence of Serious Risks of GM Crops, Now Attempts Are On to Find Backdoor Entry in India

Despite Growing Evidence of Serious Risks of GM Crops, Now Attempts Are On to Find Backdoor Entry in India

      At the time of a huge corporate assault to get clearance for Bt brinjal GM ( Genetically Modified) crop, farmers and civil society had joined hands together to resist this and the Environment Minister of the then UPA government  Jairam Ramesh had bravely resisted all pressures while announcing  a moratorium on this GM food crop, a decision which won[Read More…]

by 31/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
India–Massive strike of 200 million workers draws attention to increasing problems and apprehensions of workers

India–Massive strike of 200 million workers draws attention to increasing problems and apprehensions of workers

The call for a 2 day national level strike by workers given by 10 central trade unions and other supporting organizations in India drew a strong response by  over 200 million ( 20 crore) workers on March 28 and 29, according to organizers. These workers included those from ports and mines, railways and transport, banking and insurance, refineries and telecom,[Read More…]

by 30/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Manezh, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

If USA’s Russia policy is based on peace, this will be good for both countries and simply great for world  

At a time when the Russian invasion of Ukraine has faced a lot of well-justified criticism, a different yet related question also needs to be raised. Would Ukraine have become such a serious crisis point if the USA had sincerely adopted a policy of peace towards Russia during the last 35 years or so? Revisit Russia of three decades back.[Read More…]

by 28/03/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Remembering Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi

Remembering Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi

On March 25 is observed the death anniversary of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, a  great editor, a highly dedicated freedom fighter and a lifelong crusader for justice and freedom who sacrificed his life at a  young age of 41 in 1931 while trying to stop communal violence and rescue trapped people. His death in Kanpur, the central place of his work[Read More…]

by 25/03/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Bhagat Singh Was Deeply Influenced by Greatness of Family Members as well as Their Distress Caused by Colonial Rule

Bhagat Singh Was Deeply Influenced by Greatness of Family Members as well as Their Distress Caused by Colonial Rule

by Bharat Dogra, Jagmohan Singh and Madhu Dogra             It is often said that those who excel brilliantly at a very young age or else make big sacrifices at such an age are inspired by close family members or relatives. This can be very clearly seen in the inspirational impact of several members of the extended family or joint family[Read More…]

by 23/03/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
My 50 Years as an Independent Writer

My 50 Years as an Independent Writer

I have just completed 50 years as an independent writer. This is no news for a world busy with big things, but democracy needs truly independent, unbiased journalists and in this context my experiences of five decades have some relevance. At the more obvious level, I could contribute about ten thousand articles/reports, and four hundred books and booklets in Hindi[Read More…]

by 22/03/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
These Millions of Threatened Trees Must be Saved in Times of Climate Change

These Millions of Threatened Trees Must be Saved in Times of Climate Change

Each tree is considered to be a conserver of water, so it is extremely strange that a leading project in India widely publicized to reduce water shortages of a drought-prone area is supposed to start with the axing of 2.3 million trees, besides badly disrupting wild life including tigers  in a protected zone and displacing thousands of villagers. The claims[Read More…]

by 19/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
50 year Journey of the Barefoot College Celebrates Hidden Abilities and Great Potential of Ordinary People

50 year Journey of the Barefoot College Celebrates Hidden Abilities and Great Potential of Ordinary People

The Barefoot College, which has emerged as one of the most creative institutions in the  field of rural development, discussed and admired at world level as a symbol of the often hidden but great abilities of ordinary people, particularly  women and weaker sections, is completing 50 years  of its eventful journey this year. Its experiences are important in the context[Read More…]

by 17/03/2022 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Excessive Tree Felling in Ecologically Crucial Himalayan Region Causes Concern

Excessive Tree Felling in Ecologically Crucial Himalayan Region Causes Concern

Recently former legislator of Himachal Pradesh Bambar Thakur has made a strong indictment of indiscriminate and illegal tree felling at various places in Bilaspur District. He has pointed out very specific sites where such felling of trees has taken place. He has also alleged that when local persons have drawn attention to such felling no action has been taken and[Read More…]

by 15/03/2022 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Pong Dam Evictees Have Not Received Justice Even After 50 Years

Pong Dam Evictees Have Not Received Justice Even After 50 Years

It was over 50 years back that over 20,000 families living in villages of Kangra region were asked to leave their beautiful settlements to make way for Pong Dam constructed on Beas river in Himachal Pradesh. The land here was so fertile that it produced bountiful diverse crops without using any chemical fertilizers and pesticides. So people were very, very[Read More…]

by 12/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
A Book on COVID-19 that Gives Voice To the Marginalized

A Book on COVID-19 that Gives Voice To the Marginalized

While the pandemic has brought distress to all sections of people, the poor and vulnerable sections have suffered the most in this phase, not just from the disease directly but including  the impact of policy measures like prolonged lockouts which caused huge unemployment and loss of income. The urgency of discussing this issue particularly from the perspective of weaker sections[Read More…]

by 11/03/2022 Comments are Disabled Book Review
Welfare and Empowerment of Women Suffer Badly Due to Lack of Adequate Budgetary Support

Welfare and Empowerment of Women Suffer Badly Due to Lack of Adequate Budgetary Support

Even some of the most publicized programs fall far short of funds required for proper implementation Recent times have been extremely difficult for weaker sections in India due to not just the pandemic but several highly adverse policy decisions as well. Within weaker sections it is often the women who suffer more and face the most difficulties and distress in[Read More…]

by 08/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
A Strong Case for Resurgence of Non-Alignment Movement

A Strong Case for Resurgence of Non-Alignment Movement

NAM has a new resonance in the fast-changing world In recent times the world situation has changed very swiftly, with the world getting closer and closer to getting divided between two blocks, one led by Russia and China, and the other led by the USA and its NATO allies. Other countries may face various pressures from one or the other[Read More…]

by 07/03/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Reforming Medical Education–Learning from Ukraine Crisis

Reforming Medical Education–Learning from Ukraine Crisis

A lesson from Ukraine crisis- Decentralisation can help greatly to correct the mismatch between need and availability of medical personnel As thousands of medical students from India have recently faced extreme difficulties and risks in Ukraine, a lot of attention has been drawn to the anomaly of a very large number of Indian medical students going to study in difficult[Read More…]

by 06/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Photo Credit/Dainik Tribune newspaper

Thousands of Poorest and Most Vulnerable People Threatened by Demolitions in Ambala and Chandigarh

  In recent times urban poor households have faced great difficulties due to the pandemic as well as loss of livelihoods and income. In such times they need help and certainly nothing should be done which will increase their difficulties. So it is really very disturbing to know that thousands of hut and slum dwellers have been recently threatened by[Read More…]

by 05/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Significant Gains Achieved After Long Struggle by Construction Workers Are Threatened Now

Significant Gains Achieved After Long Struggle by Construction Workers Are Threatened Now

Very significant gains were achieved by construction workers of India in the form of two laws enacted in 1996 for their social security and welfare. Then for over two decades another phase of struggle had to continue for their implementation in the right spirit. By the year 2018 again there were significant successes in the form of decisions of Supreme[Read More…]

by 05/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
USA Must Avoid Misuse of Its ‘Exorbitant Privilege’ of Dollar Domination

USA Must Avoid Misuse of Its ‘Exorbitant Privilege’ of Dollar Domination

                  A very important issue of international relations on which open and free discussion is often avoided relates to the extent to which maintenance of worldwide domination of US dollar is important for the USA and the extent to which it is reflected in US policy. Transparency and unbiased discussion on this issue is clearly very important. The period[Read More…]

by 04/03/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Why Much Hyped Protection of Ganga Has Not Succeeded

Why Much Hyped Protection of Ganga Has Not Succeeded

Protection of the Ganga river is one of those tasks in which the government can achieve great success with the enthusisastic involvement of people. Then why is it that success has so far proved so elusive? The available data for Varanasi, the most prioritized place for Ganga protection, reveals that in terms of the essential parameters which define acceptable water[Read More…]

by 03/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Essential Precepts of Progress Whose Importance Has Increased Further in Recent Times

Essential Precepts of Progress Whose Importance Has Increased Further in Recent Times

All through human history there has been a quest for understanding what really constitutes betterment of human beings, indeed of all inhabitants of our planet. This quest still continues, at higher levels of sophistication, with one major difference. There is now increasing recognition that major environmental problems, accumulation of weapons of mass destruction and some other issues have combined to[Read More…]

by 03/03/2022 1 comment World
While Rightly Criticizing Putin, the West Should Also Look Inwards

While Rightly Criticizing Putin, the West Should Also Look Inwards

Putin is the most criticized person in western countries today. Repeated criticism of the invasion unleashed by him is justified, both because of the enormous distress caused to the people of Ukraine and the very serious threats posed to world peace and stability. Mass protests against Ukraine’s invasion in several western countries are therefore justified. However the interests of world[Read More…]

by 02/03/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Bundelkhand—Farmers Worried by Revival of A Wasteful Project Harmful to Them

Bundelkhand—Farmers Worried by Revival of A Wasteful Project Harmful to Them

            Despite increasing budgets for water conservation and irrigation, real benefits are not reaching the villages of Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh. Wrong priorities, poor planning, alienation from people and corruption have all combined to deny badly needed benefits of widely publicized government schemes to the long-suffering people of Bundelkhand. The recent revival of Kachnauda irrigation scheme in Lalitpur district[Read More…]

by 28/02/2022 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Chandrashekhar Azad and His Comrades Supported Socialist Ideas and Opposed Communalism

Chandrashekhar Azad and His Comrades Supported Socialist Ideas and Opposed Communalism

                       Today ( Feb. 27 ) is 91st death anniversary of Azad While travelling in Uttar Pradesh I have often been struck by the extent to which people still become inspired and excited by the sheer mention of the name of a freedom fighter, legends of whose courage are spread[Read More…]

by 27/02/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
This War Must End As Early As Possible

This War Must End As Early As Possible

The most obvious aspect of the Ukraine war just now is that it should end immediately, or as early as possible. If this lingers on, possibilities of new ways of spreading conflict can emerge. This has to be checked. This war and its violence should not spread. If all sides see reason, clearly it is possible for the conflict to[Read More…]

by 26/02/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Taxing the Billionaires

Taxing the Billionaires

In recent times there have been several well-intentioned studies and reports which strongly advocate raising more resources by imposing much higher taxes on the super-rich and billionaires. An increasing support for this is provided by the sharply escalating inequality of COVID times in which billionaires have increased as never before and have been amassing wealth to an unprecedented extent, at[Read More…]

by 25/02/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Not Just Ukraine, Entire Humanity Will Suffer

Not Just Ukraine, Entire Humanity Will Suffer

All limits of irresponsibiity have been crossed by big powers in the build-up to Russia-Ukraine war and now its actual outbreak. Beyond the immediate issues lurks the much bigger truth that the deeply troubled humanity just cannot afford any war at this critical juncture of its history, when it stands precariously at the onset of a survival crisis caused by[Read More…]

by 24/02/2022 1 comment World
Painful tragedy of six women migrant workers burning to death  in Himachal

Painful tragedy of six women migrant workers burning to death  in Himachal

On the morning of February 22 in a very tragic accident in an illegal firecrackers factory at Baathu (Una district of Himachal Pradesh), six women migrant workers were burnt to death. These included mother and daughter from a single family.  14 other workers, most of them also women migrant workers, were injured. In most cases injuries are serious. In fact[Read More…]

by 24/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Justice Denied Once Again to Persons with Disabilities in Budget Allocations

Justice Denied Once Again to Persons with Disabilities in Budget Allocations

If responsibilities with respect to a most deserving and vulnerable section of our population increase significantly and the government also accepts that responsibilities have increased yet refuses to increase the budget in accordance with increased responsibilities, then surely this is a case of serious injustice. If on top of it even the limited allocations are frequently cut mid-year and so[Read More…]

by 22/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Victims of Floods and Erosion Raise Voice Against Neglect and Injustice

Victims of Floods and Erosion Raise Voice Against Neglect and Injustice

          Recent reports from Bihar have pointed to the building up a movement of flood and erosion affected people of Bihar against denial of promised relief and rehabilitation. In addition longer term issues of the injustice done to people caught between embankments on two sides are also being raised. Although the emphasis of the movement just now is more on[Read More…]

by 17/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Experts Worried Over Drift Towards Privatisation in India’s Dairy Sector

Experts Worried Over Drift Towards Privatisation in India’s Dairy Sector

Several leading experts and veterans of the dairy sector in India have recently stated in a joint statement that they are worried about the recent privatisation trends in the National Dairy Development Board which had been engaged so far in advancing cooperatives based dairy development. In fact this trend extends to some other dairy institutions  also, sending strong signals that[Read More…]

by 16/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Veer Narayan Singh—Freedom Fighter Who Died Fighting for his People– Was Also A Food Rights Activist

Veer Narayan Singh—Freedom Fighter Who Died Fighting for his People– Was Also A Food Rights Activist

Veer Narayan Singh (1795-1857) is remembered today as a great freedom fighter of Chattisgarh and India who sacrificed his life fighting colonial rulers. A huge cricket stadium has been named after him in Chattisgarh, and this provides a convenient identity point with him to the youth. However there is more to his valiant life that we need to know and[Read More…]

by 11/02/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Economic Recovery Should be Led by Greater Equality

Economic Recovery Should be Led by Greater Equality

by Bharat Dogra and Kumar Gautam An issue of increasing worldwide concern is that more people have been pushed into poverty and deprivation in COVID times, negating years of progress and promise. In this context, the need for equality-led economic recovery is being increasingly emphasized and engaging a lot of attention of economists and policy-makers. This need is even more[Read More…]

by 10/02/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Himalayan Apple Growers in India Unite to Protect Domestic Market from Excessive Imports of Apples

Himalayan Apple Growers in India Unite to Protect Domestic Market from Excessive Imports of Apples

Apple orchards have become a very important part of the economy of several parts of the Himalayan region in India. This is particularly true of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, and to a lesser extent Uttarakhand. However in recent times the orchard owners and local apple traders have become increasingly worried about the increasing imports of cheaper apples from Iran. These[Read More…]

by 09/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
How Inequalities Reduced the Ability of Even the Biggest Economy to Meet the Needs of Its People

How Inequalities Reduced the Ability of Even the Biggest Economy to Meet the Needs of Its People

Problems of the bottom half of the population in the USA are much more serious than is commonly realized In the midst of increasing distress of common people, some leading opposition leaders in some important developing countries like India are increasingly drawing attention to accentuating economic inequalities as the most crucial reason for the distress of people. In this context[Read More…]

by 08/02/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Dharna at clock tower Saharanpur during anti liquor movement of Pather in 1993

 Women Led Movements Against Liquor Consumption

  Fast increase in liquor consumption is a matter of increasing concern.The WHO Status Report on Alcohol  points out that while per capita consumption of alcohol at present is highest in developed countries like the USA and European countries, the trend of increasing world consumption is mainly driven by increase in alcohol consumption in China and India and this in[Read More…]

by 07/02/2022 2 comments India
Badshah Khan Played A Crucial Role in Freedom Movement’s Consensus on Inter-Faith Harmony

Badshah Khan Played A Crucial Role in Freedom Movement’s Consensus on Inter-Faith Harmony

A legacy of the freedom movement of India which remains extremely important  not just for India but for all of South Asia relates to the enduring great importance of inter-faith harmony which is extremely important for peace, stability and prosperity of this region. A very important achievement of the freedom movement was that some of the greatest leaders, each of[Read More…]

by 05/02/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
162 Doctors Express Serious Concerns About GM Foods in India

162 Doctors Express Serious Concerns About GM Foods in India

In recent weeks several groups which have been active on food safety issues have expressed  concens about the serious health hazards involved in the increased possibility of introduction of imported or domestic GM foods in India. These concerns have been also related to the process of creating a regulatory framework by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).[Read More…]

by 04/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
A Strong Case for Significant Increase in NREGA Allocations in New Union Budget

A Strong Case for Significant Increase in NREGA Allocations in New Union Budget

At a time of continuing high levels of economic distress and hardship in rural areas, there is a very strong case for a big increase in budgetary allocations for those schemes which can directly help to reduce this distress. In this context two actvist groups known for their careful study and monitoring of rural employment guarantee scheme and which are[Read More…]

by 31/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Resisting Injustice With Non-Violence—Mahatma Gandhi’s Message Remains Very Relevant Today

Resisting Injustice With Non-Violence—Mahatma Gandhi’s Message Remains Very Relevant Today

During 1917-1947 for three decades tens of millions of people in India, including a large number of women, were drawn towards a path of freedom struggle whose most non-negotiable precept was that of non-violence. This remains perhaps the biggest non-violent mobilization of  people against injustice, which also had reasonable continuity over the longest period. This struggle against what was then[Read More…]

by 28/01/2022 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Urgent Need to Raise Budget Allocations for Health Sector

Urgent Need to Raise Budget Allocations for Health Sector

Even in Pandemic Times, Health Allocations Have Been Far Short of Real Needs One of the most glaring flaws of India’s fiscal policy which has  faced severe criticism relates to less than adequate allocation for health sector. Raising combined annual spending by the centre and states on health to at least 2.5% of the GDP has been mentioned often as[Read More…]

by 25/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Identifying Six Most Urgent Priorities of India in Exceptionally Difficult and Uncertain Times

Identifying Six Most Urgent Priorities of India in Exceptionally Difficult and Uncertain Times

Recent times have been exceptionally difficult and full of uncertainties for most people. While there are so many important issues that face India today, this review seeks to focus attention on six exceptionally urgent ones. Firstly, we need to give much more attention to all those people who are living in poverty and denial of basic needs, including those who[Read More…]

by 23/01/2022 1 comment India
One Billion Dollars Per Day—This is what the top 10 billionaires of USA have been adding to their wealth in pandemic times

One Billion Dollars Per Day—This is what the top 10 billionaires of USA have been adding to their wealth in pandemic times

In recent times several justice studies have pointed out how the wealth of top billionaires of world have increased at a very fast pace. But the latest estimate presented on January 19 by the organisation Americans for Tax Fairness has still proved shocking for many people. This estimate tells us that the wealth of top 10 US billionaires has increased[Read More…]

by 22/01/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Dominance by Billionaires Leads India’s Highway to Record Levels of Inequality

Dominance by Billionaires Leads India’s Highway to Record Levels of Inequality

  While a drift towards increasing inequality is by itself very harmful for a country which already has high levels of poverty and deprivation, this situation has been worsened further in some countries by increasing dominance of billionaires and the extremely  extra-ordinary increase of their wealth within a short time, particularly since the advent of the pandemic. At world level,[Read More…]

by 22/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Economics With A Human Face—Young Writer Makes A Mark With His First Book

Economics With A Human Face—Young Writer Makes A Mark With His First Book

This is the first book by Wangba Senjam, a 35 year writer from Manipur, who has written this in exceptionally difficult circumstances. Despite the difficulties he faced, he makes a strong impression with the originality, freshness and deep sincerity of his ideas. His inclination and ability for out-of-box thinking is evident also in the subjects he has selected for his[Read More…]

by 21/01/2022 Comments are Disabled Book Review
Reckless pursuit of linking rivers can result in ecological havoc

Reckless pursuit of linking rivers can result in ecological havoc

            For a long time a gigantic and recklessly ambitious project proposed in India for linking about 37 rivers at 30 or more places had been largely dormant. Things started moving in its favor after the  2014 elections and the installation of the NDA government. Within about two years this project had been pushed ahead quite a bit.Now with the[Read More…]

by 20/01/2022 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
So, was the doubling of farmers’ income just another jumla?

So, was the doubling of farmers’ income just another jumla?

Rhetoric not matched by budget allocations so far The government admitted in July 2019 in a reply in the Rajya Sabha that doubling of farmers’ income was not possible by 2022 at the current rate of growth in the agriculture sector, but added that it was trying to promote the growth of allied sectors to achieve the target. (see PTI[Read More…]

by 18/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Remembering Martin Luther King on MLK day must include a strong commitment to equality, peace and democracy

Remembering Martin Luther King on MLK day must include a strong commitment to equality, peace and democracy

MLK day was observed on January 17 yesterday in the USA and many parts of world. Actually there was some confusion regarding the exact day as last year MLK day was observed on January 18 which is the date today. This confusion can be cleared by remembering that the MLK day is actually observed on the third Monday of January,[Read More…]

by 18/01/2022 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Contributions of Hrishikesh Mukherjee to Indian Cinema Are Very Special

Contributions of Hrishikesh Mukherjee to Indian Cinema Are Very Special

Hrishikesh Mukherjee (1922-2006) is very widely, and fondly, remembered as one of the greatest directors, editors and story-tellers of Hindi cinema who also contributed in a smaller way to cinema of other languages. Leaving his career of teaching Maths to train under an editor of Bangla films predictably called Kenchi Da, he shifted to Hindi to learn from great masters[Read More…]

by 15/01/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Heavy Snowfall in Himachal, Villagers Suffer

Heavy Snowfall in Himachal, Villagers Suffer

The week January 4-January 11 has seen heavy snowfall in many parts of Himachal Pradesh. This led to a heavy rush of tourists from plain areas. Newspapers reported nearly 60,000 arrivals in just Manali and Shimla during the later part of the week. Several hotels which had been reporting low business had to insist on advance bookings and over 90[Read More…]

by 12/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Why it is important today to recall the democratic processes which led to the moratorium on Bt brinjal

Why it is important today to recall the democratic processes which led to the moratorium on Bt brinjal

At a time when there is widespread apprehension regarding high-power efforts to weaken regulations which have by and large sought to keep away GM foods from India, it will be useful to recall the widely appreciated and admired democratic process during the days of the  UPA government which had led to a decision being taken to safeguard the food safety[Read More…]

by 10/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
GM Food With Its Serious Health Hazards Should Never be Approved in India

GM Food With Its Serious Health Hazards Should Never be Approved in India

 Recently the Coalition for GM-Free Agriculture in India has expressed serious concern regarding the new regulations being framed and discussed for regulating GM food as these are leaving wide gaps regarding food safety as well as feed safety. There is concern particularly regarding import of processed GM food. The consultations are being done very hurriedly without giving adequate chance for[Read More…]

by 10/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
When Thousands Are Evicted Each Day in A Land of Fabled Riches

When Thousands Are Evicted Each Day in A Land of Fabled Riches

Recently on December 15 Eli Saslow wrote a very important feature in The Washington Post on the daily routine life of an elderly police constable Lennie who has been charged with the responsibility of evicting those families or persons from their homes who have not been able to pay their rent. Essentially his daily duty during the last two decades[Read More…]

by 02/01/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Accident is Another Tragic Example of Preventable Tragedies Related to Religious Gatherings

Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Accident is Another Tragic Example of Preventable Tragedies Related to Religious Gatherings

In the early hours of January 1, just as the new year dawned, a big tragedy spread a wave of sadness in Jammu where 12 pilgrims died and almost as many were injured in a stampede. It is really sad that such an accident which generally takes place in conditions of overcrowding  has taken place at the time of COVID.[Read More…]

by 02/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Bhiwani Tragedy  Again Highlights Pressing Need for  Reforms in Stone Mining For Protecting Workers and Environment

Bhiwani Tragedy  Again Highlights Pressing Need for  Reforms in Stone Mining For Protecting Workers and Environment

On the morning of January 1, in Dadam area of Bhiwani district, Haryana, a huge portion of a hill being mined for its stone fell down with a very loud blast. Death of 3 workers was reported soon after this. Serious concern has been expresed that a higher number of workers may have been buried under big stones. What could[Read More…]

by 02/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Ten Great Songs of Hope from Hindi Cinema

Ten Great Songs of Hope from Hindi Cinema

by Madhu and Bharat Dogra Songs of hope are always good but these become even better and more relevant in difficult times. This may thus be a good time to remember some of the greatest songs of hope from Hindi cinema. These became hugely popular at the time of their release and are still remembered and hummed by a very[Read More…]

by 01/01/2022 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
In 2022, Looking for Hope in A Troubled World

In 2022, Looking for Hope in A Troubled World

            It will require a strong sense of optimism to look for hope at the begininning of 2022. Nevertheless try we must to seek and summon hope from whichever nook or corner we can find it. Let us start then with three statements which may appear rather obvious but are often missed in real life. Firstly, solutions in case of[Read More…]

by 01/01/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Smokeless Tobacco Fuels Oral Cancer Crisis in South Asia

Smokeless Tobacco Fuels Oral Cancer Crisis in South Asia

Photo Credit—Jan Swasthya Sahyog Recently when top Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan  withdrew from surrogate advertising of smokeless tobacco (SLT), it was welcomed but with a caveat- some other popular film actors still continue to contribute to booming sales of a product that is the number one  cause of a very serious oral cancer crisis in S.Asia. The Cigarettes and Other[Read More…]

by 28/12/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A Cottage Scale Publication Effort For Social Change

A Cottage Scale Publication Effort For Social Change

While the book publishing scene is increasingly dominated by big publishers, an important social role has been always filled by small publishers often functioning at the margins. Despite the modest scale of their work, these have made very important contributions from time to time. When I started working as a freelance journalist about 49 years back, I soon had a[Read More…]

by 27/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Are Mental Health Problems Abnormally High and Increasing in Several Rich Countries

Why Are Mental Health Problems Abnormally High and Increasing in Several Rich Countries

It is a paradox—and a very worrying one too- that in the middle of overall high levels of prosperity  the burden of mental health problems is very high in several rich countries and appears to be increasing in some important contexts. In the USA 1 in 4 adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, according to[Read More…]

by 26/12/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Growing Need for Unity of Social Movements

Growing Need for Unity of Social Movements

            Two important aspects of present-day world are increasingly clear. Firstly, while the need for closer unity of sincere social movements has always been there, but in the middle of increasing and to some extent unprecedented difficulties, the need for such unity has certainly increased further in recent times. Secondly, ironically, while this need for more unity has increased, at[Read More…]

by 26/12/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Bangladesh: Two Million Lives That Could Have Been Saved, but Were Not

Bangladesh: Two Million Lives That Could Have Been Saved, but Were Not

How Nixon and Kissinger failed to respond to urgent need for course-correction from their own senior diplomats This year events relating to the liberation of Bangladesh have been recalled time and again as Bangladesh has completed 50 years as a nation. On March 26 Bangladesh celebrated its 50th freedom day as the first announcement of its freedom was made on[Read More…]

by 16/12/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
World Inequality Report presents a damning indictment of the development path and priorities of India

World Inequality Report presents a damning indictment of the development path and priorities of India

The World Inequality Report (WIR) is widely regarded as a highly credible and comprehensive report on the extent of inequalities in world. The latest WIR for year 2022 has been released very recently and this presents a damning indictment of the very high level of inequalities in India. As presented in WIR, the levels of wealth and income inequalities in[Read More…]

by 09/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Can Green Revolution Belts Return to Ecologically Protective Farming?

Can Green Revolution Belts Return to Ecologically Protective Farming?

From time to time there are disturbing reports of environmental ruin in various green revolution belts of the country. The most prominent such belt is that of Punjab-Haryana-Western UP and Terai belt. Here from time to time we hear of very serious reports of water depletion and pollution, serious harm to soil health, burning of crop residues and other forms[Read More…]

by 08/12/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Supreme Court Judge Gives Voice to Agony of Millions Belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes

Supreme Court Judge Gives Voice to Agony of Millions Belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes

            Supreme Court Judge Justice D.Y.Chandrachud recently gave voice to the suppressed agony of millions of members of denotified tribes when he clearly stated that injustice and discrimination was still being suffered by them over 7 decades after independence. Speaking on the occasion of the 13th B.R.Ambedkar Memorial Lecture on ‘Conceptualizing Marginalisation’ organized by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies[Read More…]

by 07/12/2021 Comments are Disabled Annihilate Caste
Courage, Caution and the Spirit of 1971

Courage, Caution and the Spirit of 1971

Most wars are not justified. However 50 years ago, as India prepared for war during the greater part of 1971, these preparations were well justified, and were in fact necessary to prevent a higher loss of human lives. Pakistan under Yahya Khan had chosen to suppress the democratic aspiarations of the people of its eastern wing in a most cruel[Read More…]

by 05/12/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
Supreme Court’s Suggestion of Community Kitchens to Reduce Hunger Should be Widely Welcomed

Supreme Court’s Suggestion of Community Kitchens to Reduce Hunger Should be Widely Welcomed

The Supreme Court has made a strong recommendation for organizing community kitchens in various parts of country wherever these are needed to prevent hunger. This is the most direct way of reducing hunger which should be widely welcomed. I remember visiting a community kitchen at the peak of the drought some time back in Bundelkhand region. The hunger here was[Read More…]

by 26/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Minimum Support Price Should Not Be Separated From the Imperative of Ecologically Protective Farming

Why Minimum Support Price Should Not Be Separated From the Imperative of Ecologically Protective Farming

After the acceptance of the demand for the repeal of three farm laws, the minimum support price (MSP) issue is now the main remaining issue between the government and the farmers’ movement. Unlike the simpler issue of repealing or not repealing the three controversial laws the MSP issue is a more complex issue which needs to be more carefully integrated[Read More…]

by 25/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Several Serious  Environmental Problems Have to be Resolved Simultaneously For A Safe Future

Several Serious  Environmental Problems Have to be Resolved Simultaneously For A Safe Future

          There is widespread agreement that a number of very serious environmental problems together threaten the future of our planet. These problems inter-act with each other, are related to each other  and at a practical level, we and other species have to bear their combined burden at the same time. Despite this rather obvious reality the response to these problems[Read More…]

by 24/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
A Common Justice-Based Program for Entire World to Check Climate Change

A Common Justice-Based Program for Entire World to Check Climate Change

While the need for checking climate change is being re-emphasized with a great sense of urgency, at the same time the inadequacy of the existing response and efforts to check climate change is also emerging clearly. Hence here we present a very different approach to checking climate change. This approach is based on a common program for the entire world,[Read More…]

by 24/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Three Assassinations Which Refuse to Die–How Authorities Failed to Unravel Tragedies Which Changed Recent US History

Three Assassinations Which Refuse to Die–How Authorities Failed to Unravel Tragedies Which Changed Recent US History

During 1963-68 the USA was shaken by assassinations of its three most promising and popular leaders. The overall impact was in terms of a big loss to forces of peace and civil rights, and a boost to forces of foreign aggression and domestic injustice. The three lives lost were those of President John F. Kennedy followed by the loss 5[Read More…]

by 20/11/2021 2 comments World
Farm Laws Repeal:  A Historic Day For India

Farm Laws Repeal:  A Historic Day For India

On November 19 the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi announced the important decision of repealing three highly controversial farm laws. This decision should be widely welcomed cutting across narrow narrow political divides. The Prime Minister has  been full of praise for his government’s farm policies and in fact even for the farm laws even while agreeing to repeal[Read More…]

by 19/11/2021 1 comment India
Guru Nanak Jayanti  

Guru Nanak Jayanti  

November 19, Friday is Guru Nanak Jayanti. The great saints of Bhakti movement combined in their personality and work very precious aspects of social reform and deep spirituality. Their message of social reform was often  much ahead of their times and the strength of deep spirituality was needed to take this forward. When confronting tyrants and oppressors Guru Nanak and[Read More…]

by 18/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Himachal Workers Demand Delayed NREGA Wages

Himachal Workers Demand Delayed NREGA Wages

Himachal Pradesh has been experiencing several adversities in recent times including erratic weather conditions.  The year 2021 started with a prolonged drought spell and unseasonal, widespread forest fires. After this there have been several spells of very heavy rain concentrated in a short span, sometimes accompanied by hailstorm, which have caused extensive damage to seasonal crops and horticultural produce from[Read More…]

by 17/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Mannu Bhandari Often Surprised Her Readers by Reaching Out for New Heights

Mannu Bhandari Often Surprised Her Readers by Reaching Out for New Heights

Mannu Bhandari, the eminent and popular Hindi writer is no more. She passed away on Monday November 15 at Gurugram, near Delhi, at the age of 90. Apart from her countless readers, she will be missed by many teachers and students, particularly those at Miranda House, Delhi University where she taught Hindi literature for a long time. She won early[Read More…]

by 16/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Workers of India Declare Their Determination to Protect Not Just Their Rights but the Entire Economy as Well

Workers of India Declare Their Determination to Protect Not Just Their Rights but the Entire Economy as Well

If policies of crony capitalism, plunder of people and imperialist exploitation dominate the economic regime of a country, then along with the overall decline of the economy it is inevitable that workers of that country will have to suffer a lot. In such a situation workers and their unions will also have to assert themselves to protect their rights but[Read More…]

by 15/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Five Great Solidarity Songs from Classic Hindi Films We Can Never Forget

Five Great Solidarity Songs from Classic Hindi Films We Can Never Forget

Great solidarity songs never die. There will always be more struggles where these will be hummed and sung to strengthen resolve and unity. This is certainly true of the five great songs from classic Hindi films we discuss here. Decades after these were created, these songs still continue to inspire. Songs of solidarity often tend to be sung together and[Read More…]

by 14/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Three Paradigms of Climate Change Response—Time to Make A Clear Choice

Three Paradigms of Climate Change Response—Time to Make A Clear Choice

The present world is a world based on high levels of glaring inequality, domination, violence and injustice (IDVI), all these four serious problems being related to each other at various levels and responsible for most of the distress. Such a world is now additionally faced by a very serious threat of climate change (and other related environmental problems) which even[Read More…]

by 13/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Photo credit: Rise Up Times

Climate Change Cannot be Resolved Without Strong Commitment Also to  Justice and Peace

              It is becoming increasingly clearer by the day, and confirmed further by COP 26 deliberations, that the climate change crisis cannot be resolved without accompanying strong commitment to peace and justice. At a time when it has become increasingly important to explore all sources of potential reduction of GHG emissions, how can we expect to succeed when possibly[Read More…]

by 11/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Why the Surya Sen Saga of Freedom Movement Remains So Inspiring Even Today

Why the Surya Sen Saga of Freedom Movement Remains So Inspiring Even Today

 When Surya Sen sacrificed his life at the age of only 40 for the freedom of India in 1934, he had already succeeded in inspiring a very large number of youth to devote their life to the freedom movement. Although he had been subjected to extremely painful torture before being hanged on 12 January, he was completely unwavering in his[Read More…]

by 10/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Trying to Solve One Problem by Increasing Another Will Not Protect Environment

Trying to Solve One Problem by Increasing Another Will Not Protect Environment

The increasing emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels should be very widely welcomed, but the entire environmental issue cannot be reduced to just this. It is much wider. However our systems have suffered often from a one-point approach to solving complex problems, or may be they are not yet capable of a holistic approach. In the present[Read More…]

by 09/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Hindi Literature’s Saga of Villagers Who Face Displacement

Hindi Literature’s Saga of Villagers Who Face Displacement

As the development model implemented in India in recent decades has involved the displacement of a large number of people, millions have faced eviction and displacement.  As the suffering people and those who have come close to them know only too well, the overwhelming majority of displaced people have been denied justice and their rehabilitation effort has been extremely unsatisfactory.[Read More…]

by 07/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Book Review
Labourers work on a dried lake to try and revive it under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) at Ibrahimpatnam, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, June 17, 2009. The government has started a pilot project to quantify climate benefits from the NREGA, the anti-poverty scheme that could become one of the country's main weapons to fight criticism it is not doing enough to tackle global warming. The flagship anti-poverty plan, started three years ago, provides 100 days of employment every year to tens of millions of rural poor, a move that partly helped the Congress party-led coalition return to power in a general election. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder (INDIA ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)

Implementation Problems of Rural Employment Law Increase Distress of Rural Poor in India

A law enacted by the previous UPA Government in India to provide rural employment guarantee proved to be a significant help in reducing the aggravated distress of the rural poor in pandemic times last year. However while the pandemic related distress had not yet abated, the union government with undue haste reduced the budget for this important program, leading to[Read More…]

by 06/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A 2 Per cent Tax on Billionaires Can Provide 260 Billion Dollars to Climate Fund

A 2 Per cent Tax on Billionaires Can Provide 260 Billion Dollars to Climate Fund

In 2009 a commitment was made by rich countries to create an annual fund of 100 billion dollars to help the Global South in climate change mitigation and adaptation by 2020.  Leaving aside the loans, the grants provided in the year 2020 under this fund actually amount to just about 16 billion dollars or so. Considering that climate change is[Read More…]

by 05/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Banjara Market Demolition in Gurugram is Cruel Reminder of Continuing Injustice to 10 million Vendors and Hawkers in India

Banjara Market Demolition in Gurugram is Cruel Reminder of Continuing Injustice to 10 million Vendors and Hawkers in India

In the first week of October the Banjara Market of Gurugram, a place of livelihoods as well as housing for a marginalized community, was demolished. In recent years this had become a popular place for purchasing crafts, house décor items and furniture at reasonable rates. More sensitive authorities would have instead taken steps to help these small entrepreneurs and seen[Read More…]

by 02/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
As Climate Change Threats Increase, Solutions Offered by Farmers and Workers Should Get More Attention

As Climate Change Threats Increase, Solutions Offered by Farmers and Workers Should Get More Attention

          There is deepening concern worldwide at the increasing threats from climate change and the ongoing Climate Summit at Glasgow is in the middle of examining these serious issues. Scientists are giving increasing attention to finding smarter ways of climate change mitigation and adaptation. However adequate attention is not yet being given to properly tapping the potential contribution which ordinary[Read More…]

by 01/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Global South Needs Unity to Ensure Justice in Climate Funding 

Global South Needs Unity to Ensure Justice in Climate Funding 

There is increasing need for all the countries of the Global South to respond with growing unity on several important issues of common interest. One of these important issues relates to justice in climate funding. As the Glasgow Climate Summit—the Convention on Climate Change 26th Conference of Parties (COP26)–  starts today ( October 31) an important concern will be to[Read More…]

by 31/10/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
S.N.Subba Rao—the Gandhian Known for Surrender of Dacoits and Inspirational Youth Camps Is No More

S.N.Subba Rao—the Gandhian Known for Surrender of Dacoits and Inspirational Youth Camps Is No More

Eminent Gandhian S.N.Subba Rao is no more. He breathed his last at the age of 92 in Jaipur on October 27. He will be remembered by countless people for spreading the message of justice, peace and non-violence for over seven decades, but above all he will be remembered by those who had the cherished the experience of attending his youth[Read More…]

by 28/10/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Ten Strong Reasons Why Ken-Betwa River Link Project Should Be Withdrawn Immediately

Ten Strong Reasons Why Ken-Betwa River Link Project Should Be Withdrawn Immediately

The Ken-Betwa  River Link Project (KBRLP) is one of the most disputed river projects of India. Involving two states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, this Rs. 35000 crore ( Rs. 3500 billion) project involves the construction of a dam and a 230 km  canal, largely ( but not entirely) in Bundelkhand region of these two states, to take the[Read More…]

by 25/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Green Parties Improve Prospects of Entering Government

Green Parties Improve Prospects of Entering Government

In recent years leaders of Green political parties have served in coalition governments of several countries. They could do this generally because they had done well in elections and so when coalition governments were formed they could enter the government in important positions and could influence government decisions,of course in favor of environment protection but often also in favor of[Read More…]

by 22/10/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Uttarakhand Again Faces Serious Disaster Situation

Uttarakhand Again Faces Serious Disaster Situation

This week many parts of Uttrakhand have again faced disaster like conditions of very heavy and concentrated rain, landslides, heavier then expected water flows and floods. At the time of writing on Wednesday evening ( October 20), 46 deaths have been reported and 11  are reported missing. Rescues by National Disaster Response Team and others resulted in timely rescue of[Read More…]

by 20/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A Time for Giving Special Attention to Safety of Coal Miners

A Time for Giving Special Attention to Safety of Coal Miners

Safety should always get importance in coal mining operations but in addition special conditions have emerged now in which it is even more important to emphasize safety of coal mining and coal miners in India. This is particularly true of the most extensive coal mining belt in the state of Jharkhand and neighboring areas. As is well-known, electricity generation in[Read More…]

by 20/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Special Significance of Protecting Boral River  

Special Significance of Protecting Boral River  

If people in India are told that the Ganga and Jamuna meet in Bangladesh then they will not believe this easily as they know very well that the Ganga and the Yamuna/Jamuna meet at the famous sangam (confluence) near Prayagraj, or near the city of Allahabad, a very famous place of pilgrimage as well as tourist interest.  However the fact[Read More…]

by 19/10/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Rice Biodiversity in India Faces A New and Serious Threat

Rice Biodiversity in India Faces A New and Serious Threat

In recent decades one of the greatest losses that India has suffered has been in the form of loss of the biodiversity of its crops. The 55 years of 1965-2020, the so-called green revolution years, can be described as the years of gratest loss of farm biodiversity in the country as traditional seeds of great diversity and immense value were[Read More…]

by 18/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
60 Years Later, The Farewell  Speech of President Eisenhower  Appears Even More Relevant Now

60 Years Later, The Farewell  Speech of President Eisenhower  Appears Even More Relevant Now

 Dwight D. Eisenhower had the special distinction of being a very highly decorated and senior five-star military general in-charge of some of the most crucial battles of the second world war who went on to become two-term President of the USA in the important post war phase ( 1953 -1961). When his maximum allowed 8 years of two terms were[Read More…]

by 17/10/2021 Comments are Disabled World
World Food Day Should be Time to Protect Health and Livelihoods By Correcting Distorted Policies

World Food Day Should be Time to Protect Health and Livelihoods By Correcting Distorted Policies

World Food Day ( October 16 ) may be just the right time to reconsider several highly controversial decisions taken in recent times which will create several avoidable problems in food and farming sectors. The Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Sh. Piyush  Goyal said whle addressing a press conference in Shimla ( lead news in Amar Ujala dated 26[Read More…]

by 16/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Pink Bollworm Attacks in Punjab Again Raise Questions About Bt Cotton

Pink Bollworm Attacks in Punjab Again Raise Questions About Bt Cotton

           Farmers across a vast cotton growing area of Punjab and some parts of neighboring  Haryana are today extremely bitter about the extensive damage caused by pink bollworm pest, while memories of other serious pest attacks also continue to trouble them. Neel Kamal reported in The Times of India ( Chandigarh edition, 28 September, 2021), “ The pink bollworm attack[Read More…]

by 14/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Fault Lines Which Ruined the War on Terror Are Still Scary

Fault Lines Which Ruined the War on Terror Are Still Scary

As the war on terror stands struck in the ruins of Afghanistan, more attention will be given hopefully to  repairing  the fault lines which caused the debacle. Ominously , however, many factors which led to terrible mistakes in the war on terror continue to retain a scary presence. US authorities must realize that their discourse on this and related issues[Read More…]

by 14/10/2021 Comments are Disabled Imperialism
Policy Response Still Awaited As Himachal Pradesh Records Very Heavy Loss in Floods and Landslides

Policy Response Still Awaited As Himachal Pradesh Records Very Heavy Loss in Floods and Landslides

Himachal Pradesh is a small state with a population of only about seven million people.  Hence it should be particularly worrying that at the end  of the monsoon season this year floods ( particularly flash floods), landslides and heavy rains are officially estimated to have led to a loss of as many as 461 lives, with 13 people missing.  The[Read More…]

by 13/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Now That Two Chief Ministers Have Raised Serious Questions About Role of Dams  in Aggravating Floods, Can We See Some Action?

Now That Two Chief Ministers Have Raised Serious Questions About Role of Dams  in Aggravating Floods, Can We See Some Action?

        Recently the Chief Minister of West Bengal  Mamata Banerjee has written a detailed letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the man-made floods created in her state due to excessive  water discharge from Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) Dams. In particular she has criticized the discharge of about 10 lakh acre-feet of water between September 30 and October 2 2021[Read More…]

by 12/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Let’s Get Rid of Communal Myths Falsely Spread as History

Let’s Get Rid of Communal Myths Falsely Spread as History

             As communal harmony has come under stress in recent years due to propagation of myths about excessive faith based hostility in historical times,   it is important to get rid of these myths so that the foundation of social harmony and inter-faith harmony in our country can be strengthened. The long battle between Rana Pratap and Akbar is well[Read More…]

by 06/10/2021 Comments are Disabled Communal Harmony
Amidst Growing  Repression Against Farmers’ Movement, 15 Reasons Why  Government Should  Avoid Use of Force

Amidst Growing  Repression Against Farmers’ Movement, 15 Reasons Why  Government Should  Avoid Use of Force

There are increasingly worrying signs of the government becoming increasingly becoming more repressive towards farmers. On October 3, just a day after Gandhi Jayanti, four farmers and a journalist were killed at a protest site in  Lakhimpur Khiri district (UP) when a car of a son of a union minister crashed into them. Just a little before this, the BJP[Read More…]

by 05/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Millions of Afghans have been displaced by the war. Photo: MikrofonNews

Humanitarian Crisis Looms Large in Afghanistan and Myanmar

While political changes have been in the forefront of most recent discussion on Afghanistan and Myanmar, a serious humanitarian crisis looms large for several million people. Over 50% of the nearly 88 million people living in these troubled lands are likely to face serious shortages of food, medicine and other essential needs. Invariably minorities identified on religious, ethnic, regional or[Read More…]

by 05/10/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Gandhi’s Legacy Can Still Bring Hope and Healing to A Violent World

Gandhi’s Legacy Can Still Bring Hope and Healing to A Violent World

73 years after his death, Mahatma Gandhi and his messages continue to be remembered in the context of many possible solutions for problems of a deeply troubled world. His birthday October 2 is a time for  events in his memory in many parts of world, a time also for re-emphasizing his key precept of non-violence as a way of life.[Read More…]

by 03/10/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Heed Gandhi’s Voice to Minimize Discontents of Globalization

Heed Gandhi’s Voice to Minimize Discontents of Globalization

Economic ideas of Mahatma Gandhi are most remembered for his emphasis on village self-reliance, a far cry from   globalization. Despite this, as his birth anniversary is observed on October 2, a world troubled by many discontents of globalization may find it useful to consult Gandhian ideas for reducing them and getting some clues to important reforms as well. Mahatma Gandhi[Read More…]

by 01/10/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
75 Years of ‘Neecha Nagar’

75 Years of ‘Neecha Nagar’

A film on struggles of slum-dwellers, won the first top international award for India Much before the advent of the new wave in Indian cinema, during the decade of the 1950s several films of great social commitment which reflected the ideals of the freedom movement. However what is even more remarkable is that even before independence, braving the even higher[Read More…]

by 30/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Doctors Mobilize in COVID Times To Protect Essential Conditions of Proper Care to Patients

Doctors Mobilize in COVID Times To Protect Essential Conditions of Proper Care to Patients

 At world level an increasing number of eminent doctors have  been expressing anguish since the advent of COVID-19 that   that they are under increasing pressure to work only in the narrow confines of what is imposed from above, and when they  they try to act on the basis of the best of their judgment then they face undue opposition and[Read More…]

by 29/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Remembering Two Great Martrys Shahid Bhagat Singh and Shahid Shankar Guha Niyogi   

Remembering Two Great Martrys Shahid Bhagat Singh and Shahid Shankar Guha Niyogi   

September 28 is the 113th birth anniversary of the most loved and remembered freedom fighter of India Shahid Bhagat Singh. It is also the 30th death anniversary of Shahid Shankar Guha Niyogi. Subhash Chandra Bose while broadcasting his message to people of India from his Azad Hind Fauz camps had referred to Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of Nation ([Read More…]

by 28/09/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Why River Pollution and Depletion Remains A Serious Threat In India

Why River Pollution and Depletion Remains A Serious Threat In India

In recent decades India has heard a lot about such appealing, consoling programs like the Ganga Action Plan, the Yamuna Action Plan, the National River Conservation Plan and finally Namami Gange. So it is all the more disturbing to know from recent reports and other indicators that the problem of river pollution remains serious, endangering health of human beings and[Read More…]

by 26/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Kamla Bhasin Combined Great Kindness with Firmness of Resolve

Kamla Bhasin Combined Great Kindness with Firmness of Resolve

Kamla Bhasin passed away in the early hours today ( September 25 2021) at the age of 75. She will be remembered by many people and several organizations in South Asia (and elsewhere)  to whom she reached out at several levels with many-sided contributions. She made valuable and original contributions to feminist thinking and theory, particularly in the context of[Read More…]

by 25/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Sonipat Accident Again Highlights Urgent Need For Improving  Safety of Schools

Sonipat Accident Again Highlights Urgent Need For Improving  Safety of Schools

On September 23 , in Gannaur area of Sonipat district, Haryana, the collpase of a roof led to  25 students of grade 3 getting injured. They were rushed to hospital. In addition three other persons including a teacher were injured too. This tragic incident has once again highlighted the need for significant improvement in safety conditions in school—governmet schools as[Read More…]

by 25/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Gudiya (name changed) at her house, eating plain rice form a plate, sharing it with her sisters- Photo Courtsey - Sachin Kumar Jain

Simple Processing Reforms Can Ensure Healthier Food 

Everyone agrees that we should get adequate adequate vitamins in our food. But supposing someone first removes the vitamins in your natural food and then asks you to pay extra for artificially putting the vitamins back in this  food then what will be your reaction? Surely you will protest against this, and your protest will be all the louder if[Read More…]

by 22/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Changes Needed in Panchayati Raj and Decentralized Administration

Changes Needed in Panchayati Raj and Decentralized Administration

India has established an elaborate three-tier system of decentralisation known as Panchayati Raj. This is in tune with the three tier administrative system of village panchayat, block and district level. However some changes in this system have been overdue.  Before making some important suggestions   this writer will like to clarify that no retrenchment or loss of job ( or even[Read More…]

by 22/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
15 Essential Steps For Proper Nutrition To Reach All

15 Essential Steps For Proper Nutrition To Reach All

India has suffered for a long time from  significant levels of malnutrition and hunger. It is  very important to give high priority to rducing this. Unfortunately, some fiercely propagated solutions such as mandatory fortification of  staple food products and promotion of GM crops  are motivated more by promotion of big business interests than by actual reduction of malnutrition. In fact[Read More…]

by 20/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Proposed Mandatory Fortification of Rice and Edible Oils —A Wasteful and Harmful Proposal Best Avoided

Proposed Mandatory Fortification of Rice and Edible Oils —A Wasteful and Harmful Proposal Best Avoided

  Recently a controversy has erupted around the  ‘planned mandatory fortification of Edible Oil with Vitamin A and Vitamin D and Rice with Vitamin B12, Iron and Folic Acid’, as announced by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Early this year the FSSAI had issued draft regulation for mandatory fortification of edible oils and proposal for mandatory[Read More…]

by 17/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Reason Wounded—Why Peace and Socal  Harmony Activist Harsh Mander and Organizations Associated With Him Are Being Harassed So Badly ?

Reason Wounded—Why Peace and Socal  Harmony Activist Harsh Mander and Organizations Associated With Him Are Being Harassed So Badly ?

OVER 600 ACADEMICS, ADVOCATES, ACTIVISTS, CIVIL SERVANTS, WRITERS, FILM MAKERS, JOURNALISTS, MUSICIANS, ARTISTS and OTHERS. CONDEMN THE RAIDS ON THE OFFICES AND PRIVATE HOME OF ONE OF INDIA’S LEADING HUMAN RIGHTS & PEACE ACTIVISTS, HARSH MANDER Harsh Mander is widely known in India and internationally as a leading peace and social harmony activist of India who was earlier also as[Read More…]

by 17/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Need for Caution and Care in Protecting Edible Oil Interests

Need for Caution and Care in Protecting Edible Oil Interests

In recent years the import bill for edible oils has been increasing in a very big way and some big initiative was expected from the union government to reduce this. The direction of government plans was indicated earlier also but more formally  the new plans  for the edible oil sector were announced on August 18. These indicate that  the government[Read More…]

by 15/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Year After Year, Sages of Matri Sadan Continue Their Struggle and Sacrifice for Protecting the Ganga

Year After Year, Sages of Matri Sadan Continue Their Struggle and Sacrifice for Protecting the Ganga

In recent weeks, the sages of Matri Sadan, an ashram based in Haridwar ( Uttarakhand ) have been very active in their efforts to protect Ganga river. Their preferred method has been again to fast to draw attention to numerous violations of earlier promises to protect the Ganga river. At the time of writing this on September 13, the fast[Read More…]

by 13/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
To Protect Health ‘Right to Sit’ Needed for All Workers Exposed to Prolonged Standing 

To Protect Health ‘Right to Sit’ Needed for All Workers Exposed to Prolonged Standing 

In recent years increasing  medical evidence has poured in regarding the serious adverse health impacts of prolonged standing. These advese impacts have been noticed in many lines of work as a serious occupational risk. Women workers are even more vulnerable than men workers. In this context the  Tamil Nadu Government deserves praise for  recently introducing an amendment in the Works[Read More…]

by 12/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Other 9/11: Salvador Allende and Chile

The Other 9/11: Salvador Allende and Chile

On September 11 the world  rightly pays homage to the nearly 3000 victims of the horrible 9/11 attack in the USA. However on this day we should in addition also remember the perhaps even higher number of victims of the US-assisted  military coup in Chile on September 11 1973 which also resulted in the highly tragic and widely mourned death[Read More…]

by 11/09/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Why the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 Should Be An Overdue Moment of Truth

Why the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 Should Be An Overdue Moment of Truth

As the world appproaches the solemn occasion of the 20th anniversary of the most horrible 9/11 attack, it feels weighed down also with the recent reality of the Taliban , still maintaining its links with Al-Queda, being back in the seat of power in Kabul. Questions relating to the when, where and why of the war against terror going wrong[Read More…]

by 09/09/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Keshav Desiraju Has Left Us When His Contributions  Are Most Needed

Keshav Desiraju Has Left Us When His Contributions  Are Most Needed

Keshav Desiraju, India’s former health secretary who made a lasting contribution to public health in India, breathed his last on September 5. He died from ‘acute coronary syndrome’. He inherited the scholarly legacy of his grandfather, India’s much-admired second President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and contributed at least two very important books which reflected the diversity of his interests. He will be[Read More…]

by 06/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Apple Growers in Himachal Protest Against Denial of Fair Price

Apple Growers in Himachal Protest Against Denial of Fair Price

The last week  in Himachal Pradesh has witnessed a surge of disappointment and discontent among apple growers of Himachal Pradesh as the price received by them has been much below their expectations. Local newspapers have been full of these reports and Amar Ujala, a leading Hindi newspaper, went to the extent of  full page coverage of this issue, apart from[Read More…]

by 03/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Urgent Steps Needed to Improve Worsening Housing  Situation in COVID Times

Urgent Steps Needed to Improve Worsening Housing  Situation in COVID Times

Housing problems both for the weaker sections as well as for the middle class have worsened during COVID times. This can be seen even in some of the developed countries, although the problem is much more serious in poorer countries. Recent reports from the USA suggest that the period of moratrium on evictions ( due to non-payment of rent or[Read More…]

by 31/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Two Decades After  Assassination, the Lion of Panjshir Continues to Inspire Resistance

Two Decades After  Assassination, the Lion of Panjshir Continues to Inspire Resistance

Just two days before the horrible 9/11 attack on the USA, on September 9  2001, another extremely tragic attack took place in  far-away Afghanistan which resulted in the assassination of rebel commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, the fabled Lion of Panjshir. As subsequent events were to prove, this 9/9 attack was related to the bigger 9/11 attack . What is even[Read More…]

by 27/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Policy of Spreading Monocultures Has Been Harmful for Himalayan Ecology

Policy of Spreading Monocultures Has Been Harmful for Himalayan Ecology

While any new large-scale deforestation immediately attracts attention, the more insidious change of species  often escapes attention and concern. However these changes can be very important. In particular if the share of broad-leaf species like the oak reduces significantly, then the soil and water conservation role as well as flood protection role of Himalayan and foothill forests will be lost[Read More…]

by 24/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Barefoot College Lights the Path of Decentralized Solar

Barefoot College Lights the Path of Decentralized Solar

            While the importance of increasing renewable energy particularly solar energy is now widely recognized, there is need also for giving more importance to its decentralized spread. There has been a tendency of placing more dependence on mega projects taken up by big business houses for expanding solar power capacity in several countries including India, but this can have several[Read More…]

by 22/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Why the Latest Rs. 11000 Crore Scheme is Not the Right Answer for  the Edible Oils Crisis

Why the Latest Rs. 11000 Crore Scheme is Not the Right Answer for  the Edible Oils Crisis

The burden of edible oil imports has been increasing and edible oil prices have been rising sharply. Hence it was only to be expected that the government will soon announce some major initiative to resolve this crisis. On August 18 the Union Government announced the National Mission on Edible Oils with a financial outlay of Rs. 110,40 crore ( one[Read More…]

by 21/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Haiti—Serious Humanitarian Crisis Needs Urgent Attention

Haiti—Serious Humanitarian Crisis Needs Urgent Attention

The recent international focus on Afghanistan has led to the unfortunate neglect of a many-sided humanitarian crisis in Haiti which has aggravated around the same time. First, a high-intensity earthquake struck, and this was followed very soon by a tropical storm which brought heavy rains and flooding. This mountainous country is very prone to mudslides and landslides at the time[Read More…]

by 18/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Construction Workers Try to Protect Rights Achieved After A Long Struggle

Construction Workers Try to Protect Rights Achieved After A Long Struggle

In the first week of August construction workers from several parts of the country organized protests in Delhi and submitted memorandum of their demands to the union government, including the Labor Minister and the Prime Minister. Although the number of those joining the protest was kept low keeping in view COVID related precautions regarding travel and gatherings, construction workers from[Read More…]

by 15/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
India Will Progress Best by Remaining True to Ideals of Freedom Movement

India Will Progress Best by Remaining True to Ideals of Freedom Movement

India achieved independence in exceptionally difficult circumstances, but India also inherited a very rich legacy of the freedom movement to guide its path of progress after independence. It was a legacy much more valuable than any great treasure of gold or diamonds. It was a legacy obtained from the great struggles and  sacrifices of several million freedom  fighters who not[Read More…]

by 14/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Remembering Trepan Singh Chauhan on his First Death Anniversary  

Remembering Trepan Singh Chauhan on his First Death Anniversary  

Trepan Singh Chauhan, a great activist-author of Uttarakhand, left us last year (2020) on August 13, leaving behind a rich legacy of activism and writings that will serve as a source of inspiration for a long time. He died when he was only 48, and during his potentially most productive years he suffered from serious health problems and from the[Read More…]

by 13/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Three Great Stories Which Reflect the Perception of Smaller Children

Three Great Stories Which Reflect the Perception of Smaller Children

Most of the great works of literature have been written from the perception of adult characters. It is seldom that a story with a small child as the main character finds a secure place in world literature, and it is even more rare to find the entire story being told from the perception of a small child. This is all[Read More…]

by 11/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Sharp Rise in Edible Oil Price Indicates Wider Failure

Sharp Rise in Edible Oil Price Indicates Wider Failure

The Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry informed the Rajya Sabha in the first week of  August  that the sharpest rise in retail  price of edible oils has been recorded in 2021 on a year-on-year basis since 2016. The price of sunflower oil this year has increased by 41%, folowed by a rise of 37% for soyabean oil, 35% for palmolin[Read More…]

by 10/08/2021 1 comment India
Sports Policy Should Aim to Promote Health, Joy and Team-Spirit

Sports Policy Should Aim to Promote Health, Joy and Team-Spirit

Some of the most hearwarming memories of the recent Olympic Games for India will remain of sportspersons from humble backgrounds overcoming very heavy odds to perform very well at the biggest international sports event. Whether their hard work and perseverence resulted  in medals or not, the great effort they put in won widespread admiration. The most obvious example is that[Read More…]

by 09/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
With the Passing Away of Padma Sachdev, Dogri Literature Has Lost A Motherly Presence

With the Passing Away of Padma Sachdev, Dogri Literature Has Lost A Motherly Presence

Padma Sachdev, a great writer and upholder of human values, breathed her last at Mumbai on August 4 at the age of 81. She leaves behind her husband, Surinder Singh, a great singer of the famous Singh Bandhu duo, and daughter Meeta Sachdev. Several eminent persons including Karan Singh and  Lata Mangeshkar, with whom she shared a very afffectionate and[Read More…]

by 07/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Urgent Need for  Disarmament Efforts As Threat From Nuclear Weapons Is Increasing

Urgent Need for  Disarmament Efforts As Threat From Nuclear Weapons Is Increasing

            On August 6, as  the world  observes Hiroshima Day (the 76th anniversary of the first-ever use of an atomic weapon in Hiroshima) , serious concerns regarding the threats from nuclear weapons are increasing in the middle of new tensions and power rivalries. We should not be misled into a false sense of security that the reduction in the number[Read More…]

by 06/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
How Peace Activists Resolved the Most Serious Dacoit Problem of Chambal

How Peace Activists Resolved the Most Serious Dacoit Problem of Chambal

Chambal Valley is a vast region around Chambal river in Central India, spread over  parts  of three states—Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. This region became notorious during the last century  for its numerous dacoit gangs. Although they carried out robberies and kidnappings, the members of these gangs preferred to be called baghis or rebels, as many of them had[Read More…]

by 05/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A Time to Recall A Great Non-Violent Struggle of Pashtuns Against Injustice and Oppression

A Time to Recall A Great Non-Violent Struggle of Pashtuns Against Injustice and Oppression

            Today the world is talking about the Taliban as an extremely violent group known for very fierce fighting and extreme forms of violence. Many strategists are saying that the Taliban takeover of much of Afghanistan territory is a very serious threat for the spread of very violent forms of ideologies. Cruel revenge against all those who are perceived by[Read More…]

by 04/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Concerns of Fr. Stan Swamy  to Protect Tribal Rights Also Related Much to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption

Concerns of Fr. Stan Swamy  to Protect Tribal Rights Also Related Much to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption

As news spread in India and abroad of the death of Fr. Stan Swamy on July 5 in very tragic circumstances, messages of great sadness and concern poured in from many parts of India and world. In a condolence message European Union’s Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore has called him a defender of indigenous people’s struggles. The Chief[Read More…]

by 02/08/2021 1 comment Climate Change
How to manage urbanization

How to manage urbanization

Urban areas are generally perceived to be expanding at the cost of displacing villagers and destroying villages. Even if their houses can be retained, villagers still lose their farms, farming and related livelihoods, being left only with cash compensation for purchased/ acquired farmland. Even if they are not cheated, as is quite often the case, and manage to get adequate[Read More…]

by 31/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Forest Food — Important Source of Nutrition, Income and Joy for the Poor

Forest Food — Important Source of Nutrition, Income and Joy for the Poor

                                                                             “ They had never in their short lives had nice things to eat . They were young and their palates were untrained,[Read More…]

by 30/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
How Himalayan Highways Are Bringing More Risks Than Benefits to People

How Himalayan Highways Are Bringing More Risks Than Benefits to People

Recently there was a report of a woman in great pain in a remote village of Himachal Pradesh who had to be carried on back for over five miles by family members for treatment as no transport or even road was available in her village. This was by no means a very exceptional case. Such reports in fact appear from[Read More…]

by 29/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Saangla Tragedy A Wake-up Call For Safety of Himalyan Travellers

Saangla Tragedy A Wake-up Call For Safety of Himalyan Travellers

On July 25 afternoon 11 tourists  were crossing the Baaspa river in a rather remote part of Kinnaur region in Himachal Pradesh, on Saangla Chhitkul route, when warning shouts were heard from people from a distance. However the driver of the tempo traveler was busy negotiating the river bridge and did not hear the warning shouts. He wasn’t aware also[Read More…]

by 27/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Landslides Are Becoming More Frequent and Destructive

Why Landslides Are Becoming More Frequent and Destructive

Landslides are becoming increasingly frequent and destructive, and the last week of July 2021  has been particularly worrying in India in this context as within the span of a few days in  Maharashtra, Western Ghats and Himalayan region  landslides claimed  over a 100 human lives. This is part of a rising trend of landslides becoming more destructive in India as[Read More…]

by 26/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Just the Right Time to Bring Overdue Panchayati Raj Reforms

Just the Right Time to Bring Overdue Panchayati Raj Reforms

The widespread violence, threats and malpractices seen this month in the election first for district panchayat Presidents and then for block pramukhs in the panchayati raj ( PR , rural decentralization) elections in Uttar Pradesh should be an eye opener. This is a far cry from the vision of rural decentralization seen first by Mahatma Gandhi and his colleagues in[Read More…]

by 26/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Evolving Debate on COVID-19 Origin and Its Missing Component

The Evolving Debate on COVID-19 Origin and Its Missing Component

On July 22, in the latest twist in the evolving debate on COVID origin, Chinese officials said that they were shocked and offended by a World Health Organization proposal to further investigate whether the COVID 19 pandemic emerged from a lab in Wuhan. Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of the Chinese Health Commission , said at a news conference in[Read More…]

by 25/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
New Studies on High Risks of Wireless Devices and Non-Ionizing Radiation

New Studies on High Risks of Wireless Devices and Non-Ionizing Radiation

            A recent peer reviewed study by the Environmental Working Group (USA) has made an important addition to the growing number of warnings by experts  regarding the high possibility of risks from radiofrequency radiation emitted by wireless devices including cell-phones and tablets. This study,  published in  Environmental Health journal, has made an important plea for revising the highly outdated health[Read More…]

by 24/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Strange Math of Corruption

The Strange Math of Corruption

If Rs. 50 crore  ( 500 million)  is allocated for spending on an irrigation project and Rs. 10 crore is snatched up by corruption at various levels, then what is the amount that remains for actual development work? The most obvious answer would be Rs. 40 crore, but more often than not this is likely to be wrong. The reason[Read More…]

by 22/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why there are increasing reasons now for the USA to end its blockade of Cuba?

Why there are increasing reasons now for the USA to end its blockade of Cuba?

The USA has  imposed the longest ever embargo on Cuba which has continued for almost six decades with very limited relaxations for short durations . The Cubans ( as well as other critics) refer to this as blockade to  convey its more damaging impacts. For almost the last three decades the United Nations General Assembly has been regularly passing resolutions[Read More…]

by 21/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Tomatoes and Apples–Big Agribusiness Promoted Despite Increasing Reports of Its Adverse Impact

Tomatoes and Apples–Big Agribusiness Promoted Despite Increasing Reports of Its Adverse Impact

As the farmers’ movement has set the alarm bells ringing regarding the need to check growing corporate control of agriculture, farmers and activists are now more conscious regarding drawing attention to adverse impacts of the clearly emerging trend of increasing corporatization of agriculture. Despite this, the trend of government policy appears to be clearly in favor of increasing corporate control.[Read More…]

by 20/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Fruit Orchards Face Increasing Threat From Indiscriminate Introduction of Exotic Species

Fruit Orchards Face Increasing Threat From Indiscriminate Introduction of Exotic Species

In many fruit orchards exotic species are being introduced arbitrarily with a view to improving yields and income. However in the hurry to achieve these objectives it is often forgotten that exotic species can also lead to the introduction of new pests and predators as well as leading to extensive damage to native species. These exotics  can be harmful for[Read More…]

by 19/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Land Reforms Need to be Revived on Urgent Basis

Land Reforms Need to be Revived on Urgent Basis

In recent times the government has been steadily going back on its commitment to land reforms in India. This is true of the union government as well as several state governments. This has been one of the most unfortunate aspects of development policy in India, leading to increase of inequality as well as reduction of possibilities of sustainable, ecologically protective,[Read More…]

by 18/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Green Initiatives of Punjab Are Welcome But Need Precautions to Maximize Benefits

Green Initiatives of Punjab Are Welcome But Need Precautions to Maximize Benefits

Recent new initiatives of the Punjab government to bring real greenery to the state need to be widely welcomed. This state really needs environment protection, particularly as what was falsely called green revolution in farming caused such immense ( and entirely avoidable)ecological ruin. The new measures announced show much promise of increasing the overall green cover, and if adequate precaution[Read More…]

by 17/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Mass death of hundreds of parrots focuses attention on a wider threat to birds and bees

Mass death of hundreds of parrots focuses attention on a wider threat to birds and bees

The National Green Tribunal has very recently given orders to the chief wildlife warden of Punjab and other related authorities to investigate the sudden mass death of about 400 parrots in Faridkot town of Punjab and take appropriate remedial action. However this mass death of parrots is not a one-time event. Bird-lovers and lawyers associated with them in Faridkot have[Read More…]

by 16/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Peace, Ecology and People

Peace, Ecology and People

The existential crisis has emerged at world level as the most crucial issue of our times. As is widely acknowledged now, this consists mainly of two components. Firstly, there are about a dozen serious environmental problems led by, but certainly not confined to, climate change. Secondly, there are the weapons of mass destruction as well as the possibility of space[Read More…]

by 15/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Compelling Need for Comprehensive Inquiry Into U.P. Panchayati  Raj Elections

Compelling Need for Comprehensive Inquiry Into U.P. Panchayati  Raj Elections

While violence, intimidation and other more obvious aspects of irregularities which marred the recently held three-month long Panchayati Raj (PR) elections in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) are now widely known, there is still urgent need for a more formal and detailed inquiry into various worrying aspects of these elections. There are four obvious reasons for this.[Read More…]

by 14/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Rise in Lightning Deaths Points to Need for Better Protection Efforts

Rise in Lightning Deaths Points to Need for Better Protection Efforts

More than 70 people died from lightning strikes on a single day July 12 2021 in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. This is not an isolated case but reflects an overall rising trend in lightning incidents and mortality. On June 7 in West Bengal 27 lightning deaths were reported. Last year (2020) between June 25 and[Read More…]

by 13/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Record Weekend Violence in USA Again Exposes High Risks of Gun Culture

Record Weekend Violence in USA Again Exposes High Risks of Gun Culture

The weekend of 4 July was supposed to be a celebratory time in the USA as celebrations of freedom day were being held all over the country and fireworks celebrations were being organized. But this turned out to be actually a nightmarish time for a very large number of people as random shooting incidents and brawls in many parts of[Read More…]

by 12/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Block Pramukh Elections in Uttar Pradesh Witness Excessive Violence and Intimidation

Block Pramukh Elections in Uttar Pradesh Witness Excessive Violence and Intimidation

The block pramukh  elections in the three-tier panchayati raj (rural decentralization) system of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, took place on July 10 Saturday. The block pramukh is elected at the second tier. Many members are elected at the block level directly by people and these in turn elect the block pramukh. Hence direct voting by people is not involved[Read More…]

by 11/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Pornography: Studies And Activists Warn About Neglected Aspect of Violence Against Women

Pornography: Studies And Activists Warn About Neglected Aspect of Violence Against Women

            “ As a result of our efforts violence against women was decreasing in villages here. But ever since this new menace of ashlilta on phone ( porn available on mobile phone) became easily accessible, problems have been increasing. In fact things have come to such a pass that even some new marriages are breaking down as a result of[Read More…]

by 10/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Why India and Bangladesh Should Never Forget the Supreme Sacrifice of Albert Ekka, PVC

Why India and Bangladesh Should Never Forget the Supreme Sacrifice of Albert Ekka, PVC

Many accounts of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 have concentrated more on the later glorious phase when victory of the Bangladesh liberation fighters and the Indian forces fighting in close cooperation with each other was achieved, or was close to being achieved. This glorious and well-deserved victory should not , however, lead us to neglecting the fact that victory[Read More…]

by 09/07/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Sweeping Victory of District Panchayat  President Elections by the BJP Points to Need for Wider Reforms

Sweeping Victory of District Panchayat  President Elections by the BJP Points to Need for Wider Reforms

The recent panchayati raj ( rural decentralization ) elections held in Uttar Pradesh were regarded as very important at a political level. Many seasoned observers referred to these as a semi-final contest leading up to the final to be held next year in the form of  Assembly Elections in the politically most important state of India. The three-tier panchayati election[Read More…]

by 08/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Fr. Stan Swamy Will Be Remembered Always for His Deep Commitment to Justice and His Courage

Fr. Stan Swamy Will Be Remembered Always for His Deep Commitment to Justice and His Courage

The death of Fr. Stan Swamy in extremely tragic circumstances on July 5 will be mourned by all those who believe in the most basic human values. He will be remembered by countless people for his very strong commitment to justice and for standing up for his beliefs and values with great courage. He will be remembered as a champion[Read More…]

by 06/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Data Sharing and Transparency in Covid Times Will Help Better Decentralized Response

Data Sharing and Transparency in Covid Times Will Help Better Decentralized Response

Policy makers who have the important responsibility of taking  decisions relating to Covid response face many difficulties. On some important issues relating to this pandemic even very senior scientists at world level do not have the same opinion. A lot of their understanding is based on their experience in the richest countries and may not be applicable in conditions of[Read More…]

by 05/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Street Vendors Need Help and Support

Street Vendors Need Help and Support

Recent reports of a training program launched by the Punjab Government for street vendors are welcome. This training increases the capacity of vendors to provide safe food. This training has been linked also to institutions of community health and the experience of initial training programs conducted  have been encouraging. Earlier training programs conducted by the National Association for Street Vendors[Read More…]

by 04/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Let the River Live Again!

Let the River Live Again!

Why the demand for restoring river ecosystems by decommissioning highly disruptive  dams is picking up? The Snake river in the USA has been declared the most endangered river of the country this year by the organization American Rivers. The main  reason is that the various species of the wild salmon fish, the most critical species of the river system, have[Read More…]

by 24/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Mussoorie Bypass Tunnel is Expensive, but Its Ecological Costs Will Be Even Higher

Mussoorie Bypass Tunnel is Expensive, but Its Ecological Costs Will Be Even Higher

Many people cherish memories of visiting Mussoorie ( located near Dehradun, capital of Uttarakhand ), even called the Queen of Hill Stations in India. The famous hill resort houses the L.B.S. IAS Academy where the country’s future top civil servants are trained. The Mussorie hills divide the Ganga and Yamuna river systems which have their origin in Western Himalayan region[Read More…]

by 22/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
In the Passing Away of Ramesh Upadhyaya Hindi Literature Has Lost A Gem

In the Passing Away of Ramesh Upadhyaya Hindi Literature Has Lost A Gem

Veteran Hindi author and editor Ramesh Upadhyaya passed away recently at the age of 79 in Delhi. His contributions to Hindi literature and journalism as well as education spread over more than five decades were invaluable. He received several awards including the prestigious Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Award. His perspective was that of a left-oriented thinker with deep commitments to social[Read More…]

by 20/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
In Pandemic Times No One Should Be Made Homeless

In Pandemic Times No One Should Be Made Homeless

In the middle of a raging pandemic no demolition of houses should take place and no one should be made homeless or evicted from their established place of residence. This simple statement has a universal resonance. Take it to any part of world, to anyone concerned with basic human values, not to mention human rights, and they will endorse this.[Read More…]

by 19/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Recent Increased Mortality Needs Urgent Attention

Recent Increased Mortality Needs Urgent Attention

For evolving the best possible  policy response to an ongoing pandemic it is very important to monitor the available data and take the most rational decisions based on this. In this context the increased overall mortality recorded from March to May in particular is very disturbing and needs urgent attention of the authorities, with a view to understanding this reality, [Read More…]

by 18/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Milk Producers Face Increasing Problems, Need Protection

Milk Producers Face Increasing Problems, Need Protection

Although India enjoys the reputation of being the leading milk producer of world, India’s overwhelming majority of small dairy farmers are facing increasing problems and among them those who are landless face a truly precarious situation. What is more, these problems have increased even more during recent weeks when both the private dairy units and to a lesser extent the[Read More…]

by 17/06/2021 1 comment India
Justice to Sanitation Workers Must Move Beyond Verbal Appreciation

Justice to Sanitation Workers Must Move Beyond Verbal Appreciation

Q-Who are the workers who perform the most essential tasks, also earn the highest appreciation but get the least justice? Ans. -Sanitation workers. Since historical times, sanitation workers have suffered the most injustice in India. Perhaps oppressor sections thought that the most effective, even though highly unjust , means to ensure the ready availability of this essential service at a[Read More…]

by 15/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Domestic Workers Are Not Just Unemployed, They May Even Lose Their Shelter

Domestic Workers Are Not Just Unemployed, They May Even Lose Their Shelter

Domestic workers generally lead a life of low wages and struggle for survival in Indian cities. However what they have faced in recent times is an unprecedented crisis.  Periodic lockdowns have led to widespread loss of work and income. This extends often for a period much beyond the period of lockdown. This has led to increasing hunger and malnutrition. In[Read More…]

by 13/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Housing Right of the Poor Should be Respected As A Very Basic Human Right

Housing Right of the Poor Should be Respected As A Very Basic Human Right

Housing right or the right to shelter is a very basic human right that deserves universal recognition and respect. This needs to be re-emphasized at a time when some decisions in violation of this are being taken and there are a lot of apprehensions regarding whether these may become more frequent. Of course no right can be absolute or arbitrary,[Read More…]

by 12/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
126 Nobel Laureates and Experts Issue Timely Warning on Some Crucial Issues, But  Miss Other Urgent Concerns

126 Nobel Laureates and Experts Issue Timely Warning on Some Crucial Issues, But  Miss Other Urgent Concerns

An extremely important recent statement on critical issues faced by  humankind was recently released in late April  by 126 Nobel Laureates.  This statement was inspired by the discussions at the 2021 Nobel Prize Summit , issued by the Steering Committee and co-signed by Nobel Laureates and experts. This statement is titled Our Planet, Our Future—A Call for Action (OPOF-CA). While this[Read More…]

by 08/06/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Why Do We Find Vittorio De Sica’s Great Films So Relevant Even Today

Why Do We Find Vittorio De Sica’s Great Films So Relevant Even Today

When I saw Umberto D. recently I was so complete engrossed in it that I completely forgot where I was for some time. What is it that makes a senior citizen in India today identify so completely with the elderly character of  a film made in Italy and that too about seven decades back in 1952? I may be at[Read More…]

by 06/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
India’s Rural Decentralization is Often Overwhelmed by Centralizing Tendencies

India’s Rural Decentralization is Often Overwhelmed by Centralizing Tendencies

India is often mentioned as a success-story of rural decentralization which, to some extent , it is. All villages and even hamlets ( wards) have their elected members and headperson in place in panchayats, or elected village councils. Women have representation ranging from 33 per cent to 50 per cent. Weaker sections have reservations to ensure their election in reasonable[Read More…]

by 05/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why PESA, India’s Great Initiative to Empower Tribal Communities, Has Not Succeeded

Why PESA, India’s Great Initiative to Empower Tribal Communities, Has Not Succeeded

In 1996 India took a great step forward in terms of empowering rural tribal communities, a step which moreover was very much in continuity with Gandhian traditions of gram swaraj or village self-rule ( genuine decentralization based on justice and equality) and so India was a particularly good country for introducing such a step. This was in the form of[Read More…]

by 05/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Will Ecosystems Restoration Actually Get A Real and  Much-Needed Boost With the Launch of A Decade Dedicated to This?

Will Ecosystems Restoration Actually Get A Real and  Much-Needed Boost With the Launch of A Decade Dedicated to This?

The special theme of the World Environment Day observed on June 5 relates this year to the restoration  of ecosystems, certainly a subject of very great importance in times of so much ecological ruin. It is even more encouraging, and of more durable value, that  the United Nations has declared 2021-30 to be the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration and[Read More…]

by 05/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Narmada Bachao Aandolan Took Forward A Holistic Vision of Protecting Nature and People

Narmada Bachao Aandolan Took Forward A Holistic Vision of Protecting Nature and People

At a time when there is perhaps more need than ever before in human history for re-establishing and reasserting the protective relationship between nature and people , the Narmada Bachao Aandolan (NBA—Save the Narmada River and Its People Movement) in Central-Western India sought to accomplish this in very meaningful ways with continuity extending over several decades. The peaceful movement  was[Read More…]

by 04/06/2021 1 comment India
Why  Environment Movement Should Have Much Closer Links With  Peace and Justice Movements

Why  Environment Movement Should Have Much Closer Links With  Peace and Justice Movements

There is an increasing realization that the mobilization of people on environmental issues will be increasingly important in the days and years to come. Left to themselves the world leadership will be unable to make some of the most important changes in time. So a considerable strengthening of environmental movement all over the world with a clearer vision and proper[Read More…]

by 04/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Saving Water, Ensuring Its Reach to the Poorest

Saving Water, Ensuring Its Reach to the Poorest

In conditions of high land inequalities, how can benefits of irrigation be taken to weaker sections? Generally the biggest, more powerful and resourceful landowners also try to grab more water. Even if due care is taken to ensure that the smaller farmers are not left out, not much can be done if most of the village households are landless workers.[Read More…]

by 03/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Tragedy of Thousands of Migrant Workers Dying on Railway Tracks

The Tragedy of Thousands of Migrant Workers Dying on Railway Tracks

It has been revealed in recently released statistics that over 8700 persons died on railway tracks during 2020. Officials have also stated that most of them are likely to be migrant workers walking along railway tracks while returning home. This is also confirmed by the fact that most of the passenger trains were  cancelled during this year. Hence normally there[Read More…]

by 03/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Saving Precious Drops of  Water

Saving Precious Drops of  Water

Traditional Wisdom and  Community Involvement Contribute Best to Saving Precious Drops of  Water While the need for rainwater harvesting is now very widely recognized, the results achieved at many places are not very good. Hence there is  much to learn from the experience of those organizations which have achieved high levels of success and repute in such efforts.  Quite often[Read More…]

by 02/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Water Policy Should be Based on Equal Access and Ecology, While Avoiding Disruptive Projects

Water Policy Should be Based on Equal Access and Ecology, While Avoiding Disruptive Projects

The union government has stated that it will be giving very high priority to its schemes to provide tap water to all homes. It has been claimed that this work has been progressing well in the middle of all the recent problems at record levels. In addition the government has stated that this will be supported by increase in adequate[Read More…]

by 02/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Taxi and Auto Operators Face Unemployment and Permanent Loss of Income Assets

Taxi and Auto Operators Face Unemployment and Permanent Loss of Income Assets

Garkhal is a small settlement which is part of a panchayat area yet has strong orientation towards urban life, being located close to the famous tourist resort of Kasauli. Here about 40 persons have been earning their livelihood from travel related activities, including taxis, pick-ups , private buses etc.  There has been very little work in pandemic times for them[Read More…]

by 02/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Urgent Need For Proper Priorities  in Regions of Water-Scarcity

Urgent Need For Proper Priorities  in Regions of Water-Scarcity

             Several regions of acute water-scarcity have emerged in India and during summer these expend to a much wider area. Droughts are also becoming more frequent and this has added to water scarcity, sometimes for very prolonged periods. While the creation of new sanitation facilities in villages is less than what is often claimed, still to the extent that these[Read More…]

by 01/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
To Save Trees, Villages and Tiger Reserve, Consider Small-Scale , Low-Cost Solutions in Bundelkhand

To Save Trees, Villages and Tiger Reserve, Consider Small-Scale , Low-Cost Solutions in Bundelkhand

            The debate has intensified on whether nearly 2 million trees which are threatened by the Ken Betwa Link project in Bundelkhand region can be saved. In order to consider options, let us first remember that the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court of India had presented a strong critique of several aspects of this very expensive project, now[Read More…]

by 31/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Excessive Market Pressure on Fragile Eco-Systems Can Ruin Them

Excessive Market Pressure on Fragile Eco-Systems Can Ruin Them

“ As long as river-sand was being used only for construction needs of village there was no problem at all in this use. Problems arose when  sand started being mined from here to meet the massive needs of big cities.” We were sitting in a group meeting under a tree in Bundelkhand region. The subject was to prepare a memorandum[Read More…]

by 31/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Stone Mining and Crushing Units Need Reforms For Protecting Workers and Environment

Stone Mining and Crushing Units Need Reforms For Protecting Workers and Environment

The most widespread mining in India relates to  mining and quarrying of various kinds of stone aimed at supplying stone to construction sector. Since this is widely scattered in the country and is frequently in the informal sector, complete and reliable records are difficult to obtain but clearly it is very widespread and despite some legal restrictions placed from time[Read More…]

by 30/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
How India Can  Save Two Million Crore Rs. and Four Million Trees in Difficult Times

How India Can  Save Two Million Crore Rs. and Four Million Trees in Difficult Times

It is widely agreed that  any family should face the challenge of difficult times by  first of all curbing all wasteful expenditure. This also applies to nations, or at least all nations who choose to act wisely. India is currently passing through very difficult economic times. Hence, acting wisely, it is important to explore all possibilities of curbing all wasteful[Read More…]

by 30/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Massive Tree-Felling In Water-Scarce Bundelkhand Raises Serious Concerns

Massive Tree-Felling In Water-Scarce Bundelkhand Raises Serious Concerns

Bundelkhand region in Central India is spread over a vast area of 13 districts included in two states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In recent decades this region has increasingly been in news during to serious drought situations and water scarcity. A study some years back by a leading voluntary organization  Vigyan Shiksha Kendra pointed out that it is[Read More…]

by 30/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
The Most Crucial Issues of World Should Get Much More Attention

The Most Crucial Issues of World Should Get Much More Attention

Without any doubt the most significant issue in the world today is that the basic life-nurturing conditions of our once beautiful and bountiful planet are being threatened in extremely serious and unprecedented ways. This threat has at least three aspects. Firstly around a dozen very serious environmental problems, perhaps led by but certainly not confined to climate change , often[Read More…]

by 28/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Kerala Model of Development  Deserves as Much Attention For Its Limitations as For Its Real Achievements

Kerala Model of Development  Deserves as Much Attention For Its Limitations as For Its Real Achievements

The Kerala Model of Development (KMD) is often the object of much admiration in development debates in India , and for good reason. A state which has been in the forefront of literacy and educational achievements, in libraries and promotion of  literature obviously deserves a lot of credit. A state which achieves much lower child and infant mortality rate, based[Read More…]

by 27/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
BKU(Ugrhan) burning Modi effigy at Tikri border

After Six Months of Non-Violent Struggle, Farmers in India Should Move Towards Agro-Ecology and Broader Unity

On May 26 farmers in India observed the completion of six months of their protest dharna (sit-in) at Delhi borders. This was observed as a protest day against the union ( central) government, symbolized by waving of black flags, as the government has all through refused to accept their main demand of taking back three highly controversial farm laws of[Read More…]

by 27/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Cyclone Yaas is Another Reminder of The Urgent Need for Coming Together to Face Difficult Times

Cyclone Yaas is Another Reminder of The Urgent Need for Coming Together to Face Difficult Times

One cyclone coming soon after another and that too in pandemic times need not and should not lead to a sense of helplessness. The country has  the capacity to overcome bigger challenges, and this has been revealed several times in the middle of great difficulties. In a more specific context,  frontline coastal states like Odisha and West Bengal have shown[Read More…]

by 27/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Vimla and Sunderlal Bahuguna—Seven Decades of Together Serving Forests, Rivers and People

Vimla and Sunderlal Bahuguna—Seven Decades of Together Serving Forests, Rivers and People

Sunderlal Bahuguna , the famous environmentalist of India who passed away on May 21 recently at  the age of 94, is being widely remembered for his great contributions to protecting forests and rivers as well  contributions to human welfare at several levels.  However it is well to also remember at this juncture that for close to seven decades Vimla, his[Read More…]

by 26/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Rivers Ravaged by Sand-Mining Mafias

Rivers Ravaged by Sand-Mining Mafias

Disturbing reports have been appearing from several parts of the country of rivers ravaged by sand-mining mafias to the extent that the very survival of some of the smaller rivers serious harmed in this way has been threatened. Much of this mining  is clearly illegal and controlled by powerful local mafias who do not hesitate to confront and even attack[Read More…]

by 26/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Homage to Sunderlal Bahuguna is Welcome, But Will the Government Honor His Vision for  Himalayan Region?

Homage to Sunderlal Bahuguna is Welcome, But Will the Government Honor His Vision for  Himalayan Region?

To the credit of the Government of India and the State Government of Uttarakhand, they have been prompt and generous in their homage to the great environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna who passed away recently.  However, will they also honor his vision for the Himalayan region for which he devoted his life? His vision  was based on his interactions with thousands of[Read More…]

by 25/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Coronavirus structure. Credit: https://www.scientificanimations.com / CC BY-SA

Why Improvement of Bio Safety Should Not Be Delayed Any Longer

While the ongoing pandemic has brought so much distress there is just  one positive possibility also that this may lead to long-delayed bio-safety reform as the neglected but extremely significant issue of bio-lab safety has started receiving  more attention now, both at the level of experts as well as common, safety conscious citizens. We should clinch this opportunity to introduce[Read More…]

by 25/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Cyclone Threat Is Increasing, and We Must Be Better Prepared

Cyclone Threat Is Increasing, and We Must Be Better Prepared

We are still in the middle of recovering from Cyclone Tauktae on the western side of our long coast, even the rescue effort is still continuing at the time of writing, and now we have to also prepare for meeting the challenge of Cyclone Yaas on the eastern side. This is just one reflection, a dramatic one, of the wider[Read More…]

by 24/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Cooperative Federalism—Rhetoric and Reality

Cooperative Federalism—Rhetoric and Reality

The importance of cooperative federalism has  been widely recognized in India in the interests of justice, democracy and national integration. Unfortunately, however, in recent times not all has been well in the context of the principles and the spirit of cooperative federalism being followed at the level of the union government, and it is certainly very much in the larger[Read More…]

by 24/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Pathways for Reducing Road Accidents

Pathways for Reducing Road Accidents

UN Road Safety Week Ends On Sunday May 23             The Road Safety Week ( May 17-23 ) ends  on Sunday and this is a good time to reflect on the enormous prospects that exist for reducing road-accident related distress worldwide. Nearly 1.35 million people ( 13.5 lakh) die in a typical year worldwide in road traffic accidents while around[Read More…]

by 23/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Overemphasis on High Speed May Be More of A Bane Than A Blessing

Overemphasis on High Speed May Be More of A Bane Than A Blessing

India is the middle of implementing its Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train Project which is the first bullet train project for India. It has been delayed due to land-acquisition problems and may miss the projected deadline for completion in 2023. Many farmers and others are not keen to part  with their land for a project which does not appear to be in[Read More…]

by 23/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Reduction of Accidents Can Contribute Hugely to Reducing Human Distress

Reduction of Accidents Can Contribute Hugely to Reducing Human Distress

            One of the greatest, and relatively easier, potential of reducing human distress which has not been tapped properly adequately relates to the potential of reducing human distress related to all accidents. Of course here our reference is not just to road accidents ( or all transport related accidents) but also to all other workplace ( occupational and domestic accidents[Read More…]

by 22/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Dinesh Mohan, Keswani and Bahuguna Were United in Their Quests for Preventing and Reducing Accident-Related Distress

Dinesh Mohan, Keswani and Bahuguna Were United in Their Quests for Preventing and Reducing Accident-Related Distress

On May 21 India , and humanity, lost three distinguished persons who had made great contributions in their own chosen fields. Dinesh Mohan contributed greatly to biomedical engineering and transport planning.Rajkumar Keswani was a famous journalist. And we hardly need to introduce Bahuguna as one of the most distinguished environmentalists of our times. Very different areas of work, you may[Read More…]

by 22/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Robot Weapons Moving From Horror Movies to Real Battles

Robot Weapons Moving From Horror Movies to Real Battles

       There has increasing concern in recent times of robot weapons becoming more of a real-life threat, and a very serious one at that. So it was only a matter of time before we would hear of a horrible robot weapon being used in real battlefield. This appears to have happened last year in Libya with the appearance of what[Read More…]

by 22/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
The Best Homage to Sunderlal Bahuguna is to Strengthen People-Centered Protection of Environment and Forests

The Best Homage to Sunderlal Bahuguna is to Strengthen People-Centered Protection of Environment and Forests

Sunderlal Bahuguna is no more. The veteran environmentalist and chipko movement leader passed away today ( May 21) around noon at a hospital in Rishikesh, where he had been admitted about 2 weeks ago following Covid-type symptoms. Born in a village along the bank of the Ganges river in Tehri Garhwal ( presently a district of Uttarakhand) , as a[Read More…]

by 21/05/2021 1 comment Uncategorized
Himachal High Court Shows the Way Forward for Protecting Trees

Himachal High Court Shows the Way Forward for Protecting Trees

The strong action by the Himachal Pradesh High Court, particularly the Chief Justice L. Narayana Swamy and Justice Anoop Chitkara has raised expectations that at long last there will be better care of life-giving trees and the decisions taken by these judges will become a trend-setter for further judicial as well as government actions for giving much more attention to[Read More…]

by 21/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Better Planning for Roads Will Help Himalayan People and Environment

Better Planning for Roads Will Help Himalayan People and Environment

Roads have a very important role in Himalayan region and , adding together the state and union budgets, the budgetary allocations are also significant. However there are  costly distortions in planning for roads. On the one hand we see an escalating craze for over-constructed highways and on the other hand we have  a glaring shortage of essential roads in some[Read More…]

by 21/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Deprivation Levels May Be Getting Extremely Serious in India

Why Deprivation Levels May Be Getting Extremely Serious in India

Eminent economist Jean Dreze recently stated in an  interview to  PTI that India might be heading towards a serious livelihood crisis as the situation seems to be worse this time for the working class amid the COVID crisis and local restrictions by states already add up to something close to a nationwide lockdown. A related aspect is that in terms[Read More…]

by 20/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Remote Himalayan Villages Need More Care

Remote Himalayan Villages Need More Care

Several reports have been appearing from time to time which indicate increasing distress and problems in  many remote Himalayan villages. To some extent this is a reflection of increasing problems related to climate change and ecological ruin in the greater part of the Himalayan-Hindukush region, but in addition there are the added problems of living in more remote areas and[Read More…]

by 20/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Notwithstanding The Ban On Biological Weapons, Research and Experiments Continue

Notwithstanding The Ban On Biological Weapons, Research and Experiments Continue

                  In the strategic planning for various forms of weapons and warfare an important place may be assigned to those weapons or agents  and forms of  warfare which can inflict very heavy damage on the perceived enemy  in such a way that the identity of the attacker  may be completely hidden or else at least is not revealed clearly.[Read More…]

by 18/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
How Serious Risks From Genetically Engineered Viruses Are Increasing?

How Serious Risks From Genetically Engineered Viruses Are Increasing?

In recent decades the serious risks of genetically engineered crops, foods, animals and mosquitoes have been widely discussed and thanks to the rich contribution by several senior scientists and groups of scientists also to this debate these  hazards are now recognized quite widely. It is time now to give equal attention to the very high risks of genetically engineered viruses[Read More…]

by 18/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Two Crucial Reasons Why Fr. Stan Swamy Should Be Released at the Earliest

Two Crucial Reasons Why Fr. Stan Swamy Should Be Released at the Earliest

It is the duty of all patriotic citizens to protect the international reputation of their country. For the greater part of its post-independence period India has experienced a reasonably good reputation in terms of democracy and human rights. There were always some problems, things were never perfect, there were ups and downs, but on the whole there was a reasonably[Read More…]

by 17/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Debjeet Sarangi Contributed Greatly to Justice, Environment Protection and A New Development Paradigm

Debjeet Sarangi Contributed Greatly to Justice, Environment Protection and A New Development Paradigm

Debjeet Sarangi, a leading development and environment activist based in Odisha, breathed his last on May 15 at a Bhubaneswar hospital. He was only 53 at the time of his untimely death. In a relatively short time, Debjeet had made very important contributions relating to justice, environment protection and evolving a new development paradigm. His contribution to looking at tribal[Read More…]

by 17/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Endless, Unfulfilled Yearnings For Peace in Afghanistan

Endless, Unfulfilled Yearnings For Peace in Afghanistan

One of the  world’s most inspiring movements for peace involved the Pashtun community. It was led by Badshah Khan, and earned the highest praise from Mahatma Gandhi who visited the villages and towns of the movement almost as a pilgrimage site. From 1933 to 1973, when Zahir Shah was the king for 40 long years, Afghanistan had a long period[Read More…]

by 17/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Increasing Need for Worldwide Peace Movement With Continuity

Increasing Need for Worldwide Peace Movement With Continuity

The increasing conflict in many parts of the world and the near ruin of several once prosperous and well-resourced countries in recent times due to war, invasion and civil strife has re-emphasized the need for a strong and effective world peace which is unbiased and independent and can work with continuity. This should be created from bottom to top and[Read More…]

by 17/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Increasing Worldwide Demand for Release of Political Prisoners in Covid  Times

Increasing Worldwide Demand for Release of Political Prisoners in Covid  Times

On May 13 Thailand released data of record increase in Covid cases, but perhaps even more worrying was the fact that over half of the new cases were reported  from two prisons located in Bangkok which also house quite a few political prisoners who had been arrested mainly for their protests against the government and the monarchy. This is just[Read More…]

by 16/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
A  Daughter Struggles For the Release of Her Distinguished Imprisoned Mother Who Had Earlier Protected Poorest People From Injustice 

A  Daughter Struggles For the Release of Her Distinguished Imprisoned Mother Who Had Earlier Protected Poorest People From Injustice 

Till some time back Sudha Bharadwaj was known to many friends and admirers as a public interest lawyer who had  protected many vulnerable and poor persons, particularly workers from injustice. She also taught law at prestigious institutions and was a source of inspiration for many of her students. How have conditions changed? Now her only daughter Maaysha has been moving[Read More…]

by 16/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Aggressive Policies Of Netanyahu Have Proved to be Very Costly and Destructive

Aggressive Policies Of Netanyahu Have Proved to be Very Costly and Destructive

Leaders in whose hands great trust is placed by their people must have an equally great sense of responsibility of not misusing this trust and of using their position and accompanying power very carefully. Israel is obviously a very important country which has elected Benjamin Netanyahu five times to the post of its Prime Minister. Well, he wasn’t always elected[Read More…]

by 15/05/2021 1 comment Palestine
Kabul School Bombing A Dreadful Reminder of Dangers Ahead

Kabul School Bombing A Dreadful Reminder of Dangers Ahead

When children leave school for the day they are in a joyous mood. They are happy to be going home, and yet they have so much to tell their friends before they go. So friends cling to each other to say all their  precious important things before they separate for the day. Free of the discipline of the classroom and[Read More…]

by 15/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
A Strong Case For Withdrawing All Cases Against Natasha Narwal

A Strong Case For Withdrawing All Cases Against Natasha Narwal

Last week the academic community in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and other states was greatly distress by the news of the death of Dr. Mahavir Narwal. Many of his former students, particularly those in Hissar ,  were reduced to tears. He was remembered by teachers as well as students not only for his learning and teaching but also for the important[Read More…]

by 14/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Seven Decades On, Where is Justice for Palestinian People?

Seven Decades On, Where is Justice for Palestinian People?

Where is Peace, and Where Are the Forces of Justice and Peace? While the overwhelming concern just now should of course be for steps which can check violence immediately, troubling questions remain as to what exactly have the efforts of over seven decades  achieved for bringing justice  to the people of Palestine and peace to the wider troubled region. While[Read More…]

by 14/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Palestine
Netanyahu Must Realize the Disastrous Implications of  Civil War Type Conditions in Pandemic Times

Netanyahu Must Realize the Disastrous Implications of  Civil War Type Conditions in Pandemic Times

The rapid escalation of violence, including Israeli air attack, resulting in civil war type conditions in parts of Israel and Palestine territories is deeply distressing and coming as it does in pandemic times threatens to move  towards  serious humanitarian crisis. The crisis can also widen, leading to violence and tensions in other parts of the volatile  region. The rapid escalation[Read More…]

by 13/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Limitations and Distortions of Profit-Based Health Systems

Limitations and Distortions of Profit-Based Health Systems

            In the course of facing the ongoing challenge of the pandemic, a sad reality that has  manifested itself time and again is that profit-driven health systems are unable to respond effectively to such crisis situations. There are several disturbing anecdotes  of how the profit driven systems and the individuals running them behaved in a selfish and callous way towards[Read More…]

by 12/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Book Review
Mexico’s Difficulties in Protecting Safety of Its Food System Should Be An Eye-Opener For Other Countries

Mexico’s Difficulties in Protecting Safety of Its Food System Should Be An Eye-Opener For Other Countries

The difficulties that Mexico has faced in recent times for protecting its food safety should be an eye-opener for all other developing countries including India. These difficulties are particularly acute in the case of corn crop which is the staple food-crop of the people of Mexico. After Mexico agreed to sign the infamous NAFTA trade agreement   it was almost inevitable[Read More…]

by 11/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Globalisation
Five Great Film Songs That Challenge Communal Forces

Five Great Film Songs That Challenge Communal Forces

Written by Bharat Dogra and Madhu Dogra Hindi film songs have often played an important role in articulating important social messages and taking them to a very large number of people. This may be a particularly opportune  time for recalling those songs which have challenged communal forces in bold and effective ways. In this context perhaps the most popular song[Read More…]

by 11/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Communal Harmony, Arts/Literature
Monster Mosquito–Why the Technology of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes is Dangerous and Should Be Stopped Worldwide

Monster Mosquito–Why the Technology of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes is Dangerous and Should Be Stopped Worldwide

After sparking controversy in other countries including India, the technology of genetically engineered mosquitoes is now leading to widespread protests in Florida USA. Here the  biotechnology giant company Oxitec in collaboration with local officialdom is moving ahead with a pilot project to release millions of genetically engineered mosquitoes in Monroe County over a period of two years or so. The[Read More…]

For Greater and Lasting Impact, the Farmers’ Movement Really Needs Some Higher Goals

For Greater and Lasting Impact, the Farmers’ Movement Really Needs Some Higher Goals

Counting from the day the dharna of farmers  started at Delhi borders, soon the movement will be completing six months or half a year. These are difficult days. Much of the work has to be done in exceptionally difficult conditions of the pandemic. There are several restrictions on mobilizations imposed by the authorities in pandemic times, and many normally sympathetic[Read More…]

by 10/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Imperialism May Be In Its Most Dangerous Phase Now; Resistance Needs Peaceful Path of High Creativity

Why Imperialism May Be In Its Most Dangerous Phase Now; Resistance Needs Peaceful Path of High Creativity

Silently and stealthily,  unannounced and unheralded, imperialism may have already entered its most dangerous phase. Ironically this dangerous phase may not necessarily be linked to any definite evidence of increasing strength of imperialism. In fact the forces of imperialism have become so dangerous precisely because these are increasingly weaker and vulnerable in some respects, yet with more power of destruction.[Read More…]

by 09/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Imperialism
What Many Developing Countries Can Learn and Should Learn From Cuba

What Many Developing Countries Can Learn and Should Learn From Cuba

There are some aspects of the experiences of Cuba in recent times from which many developing countries in particular can learn valuable lessons without necessarily accepting some other aspects. The persistence of imperialism , its injustices and even cruelties has been very much a reality of the world which emerged following the end of more formal and obvious forms of[Read More…]

by 09/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Why Non-Alignment Movement Needs to be Strengthened, Keeping in View Also New Important Realities

Why Non-Alignment Movement Needs to be Strengthened, Keeping in View Also New Important Realities

 In certain circumstances of the world the non-aligned movement was born in 1961 ( although the Bandung conference  heralded the effort as early as 1955) and quickly gathered strength, before moving into a state of relative stagnation. Now in different circumstances and for somewhat different reasons the movement is becoming even more relevant and there is increasing need for strengthening[Read More…]

by 09/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Potential of Cooperative Movement Not Adequately Realized Yet

Potential of Cooperative Movement Not Adequately Realized Yet

             Aggressive forms of capitalism are not only snatching jobs ruthlessly but in addition are also  increasing  job related discontent, frustration and alienation. At the  same time there is growing yearning for forms of economic organizations which can provide  more satisfactory, stable, sustainable and creative livelihoods. In this context cooperatives should be getting increasing attention. However organization of cooperatives cannot[Read More…]

by 08/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Decades After A War is Over, Its Destruction Still Continues

Decades After A War is Over, Its Destruction Still Continues

Several decades have passed since the Vietnam war ended, but its destruction has still continued. Sometimes a bomb buried in the ground suddenly explodes, and people still die from their impact. These bombs, after all, were designed not so much to destroy buildings but to kill people. These are not very isolated or rare incidents. Thousands of people are reported[Read More…]

by 08/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Integrated View of All Dam and Hydro Projects in Himalayan Region is Needed

Integrated View of All Dam and Hydro Projects in Himalayan Region is Needed

There is generally a very strong tendency in terms of the appraisal of various projects including dam projects on a one-by-one basis. Hardly any effort is made to take an integrated view of the impacts of various projects in a region together, to look at their cumulative impact and inter-actions. This may prove to be a costly mistake particularly in[Read More…]

by 07/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Union home minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah during a road show for party candidates in Islampur, April 13, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@AmitShah/PTI

Electoral Reverses Should Convince  Union Government For Being More Responsive to Real Needs and Feelings of People

The BJP has recently suffered serious reverses in state assembly elections in W.Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and what may even more worrying for its leadership, even in critical segments of the rural decentralization or panchayati elections in its strongholds of Uttar Pradesh. This is further confirmation, if such confirmation was needed, that several recent decisions of the government have[Read More…]

by 07/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Comprehensive Health Reform Program Will Benefit All Developing Countries

Comprehensive Health Reform Program Will Benefit All Developing Countries

            While so many differences have emerged in the context of the recent response to COVID-19 in various countries, one point on which it should be possible to establish wider agreement is that this response would have been much better if a robust, strong, well-rooted, trustworthy and trust-creating, community-based , well-resourced health system was in place in all rural as[Read More…]

by 06/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
BJP Suffers Defeat in Strongholds Varanasi, Ayodhya and Mathura in Panchayat Elections

BJP Suffers Defeat in Strongholds Varanasi, Ayodhya and Mathura in Panchayat Elections

Soon after the reverses the BJP suffered in State Assembly elections in W.Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it has suffered humiliation in some of its strongest households in Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura in a phase of the rural decentralization( panchayati) elections in the electoral heartland of Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya has been the biggest centre of narrow religion-centered political mobilization of[Read More…]

by 05/05/2021 1 comment India
Despite Giving Good Results, Cess-Based Welfare of Workers Faces Uncertain Future

Despite Giving Good Results, Cess-Based Welfare of Workers Faces Uncertain Future

The overwhelming majority of workers in India are employed in the  informal sector where legal provisions for social security and welfare of workers have been weak and governments have also been unwilling or unable to commit the resources that are necessary for this. In such a situation specific cesses which have been levied on activities relating to a particular activity[Read More…]

by 05/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Humanity Must Choose Between Two Very Different Approaches to Checking Climate Change

Humanity Must Choose Between Two Very Different Approaches to Checking Climate Change

It is becoming increasingly clear that the most powerful and influential forces in the world are increasingly building a consensus around an approach to checking climate change which is centered on basically retaining the existing economic systems with all their distortions and inequalities. In particular excessive consumerism( based of course on excessive energy generation) of a significant section of the[Read More…]

by 05/05/2021 1 comment Climate Change
Release Akhil Gogoi Immediately

Release Akhil Gogoi Immediately

One of the lesser known aspects of recent Assembly elections which deserves to be known more widely is that the well-known social activist Akhil Gogoi has won the election from Sivasagar constituency from Assam even though he fought the election from behind the bars as he had been arrested following his opposition to Citizens’ Amendment Act ( CAA). Despite being[Read More…]

by 04/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Understanding the Wider Health Crisis is Important for Adequate Response

Understanding the Wider Health Crisis is Important for Adequate Response

>>  “Any epidemic anywhere must now be seen as a threat to virtually all countries especially those that serve as major hubs of international travel.” >> “Doctors worldwide are losing some of the most useful and affordable antibiotics.” >>    “At least 333 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases, other than HIV infection, occurred in one year.”          These[Read More…]

by 04/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Burning on Both Ends–Relations of Dominance Cause Distress on Both Sides

Burning on Both Ends–Relations of Dominance Cause Distress on Both Sides

           One of the most persistent causes of human distress in world has been that too many human relationships are built around the tendencies of dominance and exploitation. This is true not just of the apparently more hostile  relationships but even of some apparently friendly relationships where the urge for  dominance often remains  at least on one side and contributes[Read More…]

by 04/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Construction Workers Denied Justice in Difficult Times

Construction Workers Denied Justice in Difficult Times

Construction work is perhaps the second most important source of livelihood in the country after farming related work. Construction workers have faced extremely difficult times for more than a year as livelihood opportunities have decreased steeply. Those who are migrants have faced even greater difficulties but even those who are relatively better settled in cities have faced big problems not[Read More…]

by 03/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Concern for Safety of Teachers Increases Following Large-Scale Deaths in Uttar Pradesh

Concern for Safety of Teachers Increases Following Large-Scale Deaths in Uttar Pradesh

In the middle of the serious conditions created by increasing Covid mortality, concerns over safety of teachers have increased following the allegations of deaths of  nearly 700 teachers made by an association of primary teachers in the state in the context of the teachers who were assigned  panchayat election duties. Government sources have denied that the election duty was  related[Read More…]

by 03/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Message From West Bengal—Yes We Can

Message From West Bengal—Yes We Can

Despite various efforts to weaken democracy , the voters of W. Bengal have sent a very confidant and reassuring message that it is still possible in India for people to assert their power and defeat very powerful forces which not only have enormous, almost unlimited  money power but are also willing and able to violate election norms and rules. The[Read More…]

by 02/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Uncategorized
Central and State Governments Must Compensate Some Loss To The Tourism Sector

Central and State Governments Must Compensate Some Loss To The Tourism Sector

In Uttarakhand several small establishments, eating houses, stay-homes, small hotels and shopkeepers selling various knick-knacks were waiting for the famous char dham season to begin in May. Many people had come from distant villages to set up shop or take jobs in establishments nearer to the pilgrimage paths. According to recent news reports, nearly 7 lakh hotel bookings had already[Read More…]

by 02/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The  Time Has Clearly Come to Reconsider the Irrational Curbs Placed on the Voluntary Sector

The  Time Has Clearly Come to Reconsider the Irrational Curbs Placed on the Voluntary Sector

The country is passing through extremely difficult times. As in the past, several NGOs and voluntary organizations  have come forward to provide important services. However there is a widespread feeling that voluntary organizations have themselves been so weakened in recent times that they are unable to give their best. This has happened largely because many curbs were placed on the[Read More…]

by 02/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Adequate Package of Relief Needed to Meet Food and  Basic Needs of Migrant Workers and Other Vulnerable Groups

Adequate Package of Relief Needed to Meet Food and  Basic Needs of Migrant Workers and Other Vulnerable Groups

Once again migrant workers are getting caught in very difficult situations. Before they could recover from the earlier disruption of their livelihood, many poor and vulnerable groups are experiencing other livelihood and income disruptions over which they do not have any control. In these conditions there is a compelling need for government to announce adequate measures for providing immediate relief[Read More…]

by 01/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Let May Day Herald Growing  Unity of Workers and Farmers

Let May Day Herald Growing  Unity of Workers and Farmers

In the course of the farmers’ movement the need for improving unity with workers has been emphasized several times. This was taken forward on April 29 in a  joint online meeting of Central Trade Unions and Sectoral Federations and Associatons with the front of farmers’ organizations coordinating their ongoing   movement called  Samyukta Kisan Morcha ( SKM). It was resolved here[Read More…]

by 01/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Great Success of Zindagi Gulzar Hai is  Rooted in the Quest of People to Reconcile Tradition and Modernity

The Great Success of Zindagi Gulzar Hai is  Rooted in the Quest of People to Reconcile Tradition and Modernity

Zindagi Gulzar Hai ( Life Blossoms Like A Garden ) , the 26-part TV serial from Pakistan just keeps going from success to success. After breaking popularity records when first shown on Hum TV in 2012-13,  the serial had to be repeated. It went on to become hugely popular  in India and Bangladesh. This was followed by repeated shows in[Read More…]

by 01/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Half of Sexual Crimes Related to Alcohol Consumption By Perpetrator  

Half of Sexual Crimes Related to Alcohol Consumption By Perpetrator  

            Nearly four years have passed, but Himachal Pradesh has still not recovered  from the shock and agony felt at the time of a most terrible rape and murder of a 16 year girl, called Gudiya by the media, while she was returning from a school and had to also pass a small stretch of forest on her way to[Read More…]

by 30/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Sexed Semen—Why the Technology of Producing Only Female Calves Should be Opposed Firmly

Sexed Semen—Why the Technology of Producing Only Female Calves Should be Opposed Firmly

There is a fast increasing trend in cattle breeding towards sex semen technology which will result in birth of only female calves. 90 per cent success in ensuring success (in terms of having only female calves) is claimed by promoters of this technology.  Although the drift towards this shockingly reductionist technology was initially restricted in India to some extent by[Read More…]

by 29/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Hill States Discover the Peril of Depending Too Heavily on Tourism

Hill States Discover the Peril of Depending Too Heavily on Tourism

Normally this is the time of the year when markets and roads of Kasauli , an attractive hill station in the lower Himalayan region in Himachal Pradesh, are busy with receiving the first rush of tourists and preparing to receive the even bigger tourism flow in the coming weeks. It is not only the regular employees of hotels in the[Read More…]

by 29/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Erratic Rainfall and Weather Increase Distress in Himalayan Region

Erratic Rainfall and Weather Increase Distress in Himalayan Region

Till mid-April an extended spell of dry weather was causing deep concern in Himachal Pradesh. The state government was making preparations to meet drought-like conditions in a big part of the state. At several places an unprecedented number of forest fires had been reported even before the onset of summer. Several villages and even urban settlements had already started suffering[Read More…]

by 28/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Just the Right Time to Stop Controversial Expensive Projects

Just the Right Time to Stop Controversial Expensive Projects

As the nation struggles hard to meet very difficult health situation as well as the accompanying, continuing disruption in economy and livelihoods, this may be just the right time to stop some of the most controversial and expensive projects which have been very widely opposed for a long time regarding their highly questionable benefits as well as many harmful impacts[Read More…]

by 28/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Did the New Wave Cinema Realize Its Full Potential?

Did the New Wave Cinema Realize Its Full Potential?

It seems so long ago when ( in the 1970s)  the new wave cinema was promising to shake up the film scene leading to wider possibilities of  more durable improvements in the overall quality of cinema. Certainly the high expectations were not confined to just Hindi cinema, although predictably this was talked about more. I remember travelling a long distance[Read More…]

by 27/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
For Real Progress Learning to Avoid is As Important as Learning to Acquire

For Real Progress Learning to Avoid is As Important as Learning to Acquire

Human beings were bequeathed a bountiful and beautiful planet as their home and there is enough for all of us to lead a satisfying life, while also providing enough for other forms of life. But there is overwhelming scientific evidence now that this has been messed up badly, mainly by the more selfish and powerful members of humanity, with the[Read More…]

by 26/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
COVID Vaccine debate intensifies in the USA

COVID Vaccine debate intensifies in the USA

Various Covid vaccines have been developed in unprecedented record time due to the widely voiced urgency . The normal time for development of a vaccine before the advent of Covid was a decade. However in exceptional conditions various Covid vaccines have been made available in about a year’s time. Therefore several experts have been emphasizing the need  for very careful[Read More…]

by 26/04/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Learning From Earlier Sudden  Outbreaks of Diseases May Be Very Useful Today

Learning From Earlier Sudden  Outbreaks of Diseases May Be Very Useful Today

At a time when the entire world is focused on COVID-19, it is important to recall some important lessons which emerged from the response to previous sudden outbreaks  like Ebola infectious disease and other diseases in recent times. Of course no two diseases are the same but lessons can be learnt in terms of  policy responses, the various factors and[Read More…]

by 25/04/2021 Comments are Disabled World
To Avoid Very Serious Threats, Superpower  Rivalry Should Spare the Space

To Avoid Very Serious Threats, Superpower  Rivalry Should Spare the Space

A very serious emerging threat concerns the growing extension of superpower rivalry for dominance to outer space. This may relate to economic, technological and even military aspects. Ultimately this may lead not only to  new kinds of pollution but in addition also to very big disasters. The extent to which private corporations are being given a big role in the[Read More…]

by 25/04/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Sincere Self-Introspection and Reforms Based on This Will Increase the Strength and Resilience of Left Forces

Sincere Self-Introspection and Reforms Based on This Will Increase the Strength and Resilience of Left Forces

Left forces have generally been a source of hope and justice , but at certain junctures of history and in certain places these have also been a source of despair and injustice. Human beings are at a critical stage of their history, and we need cooperation and help of all forces who can contribute to creating a better and safer[Read More…]

by 23/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Educational Curriculum Can Benefit Much From Using Classic Films and New Wave Films

Educational Curriculum Can Benefit Much From Using Classic Films and New Wave Films

The need for introducing more issues of social relevance in school and college education has been often emphasized, as also the need for improving the ethical content of education. At the same time, the need for making education more interesting and participative for students at all levels is increasingly realized. All of these on objectives can be advanced by making[Read More…]

by 23/04/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Opposition Unity and Politics Will be Greatly Helped By A  Common Program

Opposition Unity and Politics Will be Greatly Helped By A  Common Program

Opposition Unity and Politics Will be Greatly Helped By A  Common Program Based on Justice, Equality, Communal Harmony, Democracy and Environment Protection India is passing through very difficult times. Partly this is a reflection of local factors and serious policy mistakes made in recent times, but partly this is  reflection of overall  difficult conditions at world level as well. While [Read More…]

by 22/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Natural Farming Gives More Benefits, But Gets Only Limited Support

Natural Farming Gives More Benefits, But Gets Only Limited Support

According to recent official data of Himachal Pradesh government, its efforts  to spread natural farming practices among farmers have led to 56 per cent reduction of costs of farmers and 27 per cent increase of income among farmers who adopted these practices. This happened under the natural farming prosperous farmers scheme ( prakrit kheti khushhal kisan yojana).  According to leading[Read More…]

by 22/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Save Peri-Urban Areas From Neglect, Create Hubs of Greenery and Water Conservation

Save Peri-Urban Areas From Neglect, Create Hubs of Greenery and Water Conservation

Peri-urban areas have suffered much neglect and harm in recent years, but a change of policy and priorities can still bring to them very creative livelihoods based on  valuable but neglected traditional skills which can be utilized in important endeavors of increasing greenery, water-conservation and agro-ecology. Peri-urban areas are semi-rural, semi-urban areas, or rural areas undergoing urbanization in the hinterland[Read More…]

by 21/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A Nudge Here, An Appeal There–Why Participative  Restrictions May Be Better Than Enforced Lockdowns

A Nudge Here, An Appeal There–Why Participative  Restrictions May Be Better Than Enforced Lockdowns

The appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to observe the Kumbh related rituals in more of a symbolic way to avoid crowding and protect public health in times of an escalating pandemic had the desired impact on at least some groups of holy men and they agreed to leave the site of the great religious celebration at an early date.[Read More…]

by 21/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Lockdown Decisions Must Be Based On Very Careful Appraisal of Reliable Data

Lockdown Decisions Must Be Based On Very Careful Appraisal of Reliable Data

In 2020 the overall experience of extended and stringent lockdowns on the whole was quite negative, although the official view supported by some experts remains that these were necessary and useful in saving several precious human lives. Hence the entire issue of lockdowns is quite a divisive one, in India as well in several other countries. Now that in the[Read More…]

by 20/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Hindi Cinema’s Contribution to Human Rights, Though Rare, is Still Significant

Hindi Cinema’s Contribution to Human Rights, Though Rare, is Still Significant

Hindi cinema is not exactly known for any consistent contribution to human rights. Nevertheless some outstanding films have been made from time to time which have proved to be of enduring value for advancing various aspects of human rights and civil liberties. In V. Shantaram’s Do Ankhen Barah Hath the cause of jail reform is so important for an idealist[Read More…]

by 20/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Clearly, It Is Time Now For the Government to Accept the Key Demand of Farmers

Clearly, It Is Time Now For the Government to Accept the Key Demand of Farmers

Days  have passed into weeks and weeks into months , but the farmers’ dharna (protest sit-in) at important points on Delhi border has continued. Winter gave way to spring and spring has yielded space to summer. The winter (rabi) crop which the farmers planted before coming for the dharna has been already harvested in most villages. On April 24 farmers[Read More…]

by 20/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Hand-Spun, Hand-Woven Cloth Has A Wider Message—The Increasing Relevance of Khadi

Hand-Spun, Hand-Woven Cloth Has A Wider Message—The Increasing Relevance of Khadi

In most parts of world spinning and weaving of cloth has become entirely mechanized. There are a few examples here and there of weaving being done on handlooms ( handloom cloth) for particular types of cloth but spinning and related work like ginning has been almost entirely mechanized. However in India during the freedom movement a special effort was made,[Read More…]

by 20/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Parliament house in New Delhi on July 24th 2015. Express photo by Ravi Kanojia.

Measures Beyond Present Anti-Defection Law Needed to Check Sabotage of Democracy

Urgent measures are needed for ensuring respect to election results and realization of the verdict of people in its true spirit. The anti-defection law was enacted in India was enacted in 1985 and amended in 2003 to check malpractices and corruption arising from elected representatives changing sides ( generally joining the main rival political party) in return for money or[Read More…]

by 19/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Gandhian Concept of Swadeshi Has An Increasing and Wider Relevance Today

Gandhian Concept of Swadeshi Has An Increasing and Wider Relevance Today

The concept of swadeshi played an important role in the freedom movement in India in opposing colonial exploitation, but as was emphasized by Mahatma Gandhi even then, we should also look at this concept in terms of its continuing relevance even after the end of colonial rule. It is good to see that this concept is still mentioned and discussed[Read More…]

by 19/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Increasing Need for Early Availability of More Reliable Mortality Data

Increasing Need for Early Availability of More Reliable Mortality Data

Mortality data is very important for understanding trends relating to health problems and diseases and hence for overall health policy and planning. Unfortunately, however, in many countries there is need for improving reliability of mortality data. In addition there is another serious and wider problem. This relates to delays in availability of mortality data, even more in the context of[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 1 comment World
Contribution of Urban Gardening Can Improve Greatly with A Few Changes

Contribution of Urban Gardening Can Improve Greatly with A Few Changes

One of the first  ways in which a city gets judged is by its greenery. However it is well to remember that aspects of urban greenery at first glance can be quite deceptive. There may be big lawns with very  colorful flowers on various sides. But a question worth asking is the extent to which these have  involved heavy inputs[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Comparing Response to Two Important Diseases—Tuberculosis and COVID-19

Comparing Response to Two Important Diseases—Tuberculosis and COVID-19

Tuberculosis has been one of the most damaging infectious diseases of India for several decades. COVID-19  has been the most  feared disease In India for over a year now. From the beginning of 2020 to March  2021 , a period of about 15 months, about 150 thousand or 1.5 lakh deaths were caused by COVID-19 in India. The normal number[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Hindi Cinema Has Not Properly Tapped the Potential of Social Thrillers

Hindi Cinema Has Not Properly Tapped the Potential of Social Thrillers

The social thriller movie can be a very effective and useful genre of cinema. Social thriller movies are those thriller films which make a more conscious and emphatic effort to raise some important issues of social concern or to convey a strong socially relevant message. These are an important means of taking socially relevant messages to film viewers. Unfortunately this[Read More…]

by 16/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Movements for Improving Internal Strengths, Integrity and Resilience of Rural Communities

Movements for Improving Internal Strengths, Integrity and Resilience of Rural Communities

Social movements in the context of rural areas have generally been discussed at two levels. Both involve a plea for  justice, or a reduction or removal of perceived injustices. Both are highly relevant. Firstly, there are movements  which relate to perceived injustices of an external agency. The external agency may be the government or a private party, or a collusion[Read More…]

by 16/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Decentralisation in Food Security System Can Reduce Hunger and Malnutrition

Decentralisation in Food Security System Can Reduce Hunger and Malnutrition

The procurement of wheat has started in several parts of the country. This should normally be a very happy time for farmers but at the same time there are several reports relating to procurement being held up at some places due to some reason or the other. It may be a hassle over moisture content in one place and it[Read More…]

by 15/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Can Dacoit Films Convey A Message of Non-Violence?

Can Dacoit Films Convey A Message of Non-Violence?

Many dacoit films have been made in Hindi cinema, against the background of Chambal region and also in other contexts. But most of these do not go beyond violence, revenge and romance. In fact some of these with the exaggerated importance these give to seeking revenge as well with long drawn-out violence sequences  can have quite a negative impact on[Read More…]

by 15/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Narrow Response to Crisis Situations Which Ignores Basic Causes Will Not Resolve The Crisis

Narrow Response to Crisis Situations Which Ignores Basic Causes Will Not Resolve The Crisis

At a time when the world is already in the middle of a serious survival crisis, it is a matter of deep concern that most responses to crisis situations are narrow responses which cannot go very far as, while trying to respond to a part of the crisis, they fail to look at the whole and at best  can make[Read More…]

by 14/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
COVID Times Should Not Be Used As A Cover to Push Narrow Interests

COVID Times Should Not Be Used As A Cover to Push Narrow Interests

COVID-19 pandemic as well as the lockdowns which followed in most countries have caused a lot of distress . However the wider bitter reality is that these times were also used to push the narrow interests of very powerful persons and forces. Inequalities have  increased greatly. While tens of millions have suffered great distress and loss of income, the fortunes[Read More…]

by 13/04/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Drinking Water Needs of Wild Life Need  More Care

Drinking Water Needs of Wild Life Need  More Care

As the summer advances, there are increasing reports of acute drinking water shortages from many villages. A recent report from Himachal Pradesh, for example, says that over 400 drinking water schemes of Shimla and over 220 schemes of Mandi have been hit by a spell of dry  weather. This is the situation in early April and the situation is likely[Read More…]

by 13/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Sant Kabir—People’s Poet and Social Reformer Whose Enduring Legacy Still Impacts Millions

Sant Kabir—People’s Poet and Social Reformer Whose Enduring Legacy Still Impacts Millions

Over five centuries after he confronted the most powerful pillars of establishment with truth and courage, Sant Kabir reigns in the hearts of millions as an compromising social reformer and people’s poet with perhaps the widest reach in India. He is still arguably the most commonly quoted poet in the vast Hindi belt, with a following that extends much beyond[Read More…]

by 12/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Apple Orchards Should Stick to Sustainable Paths

Apple Orchards Should Stick to Sustainable Paths

Apple orchards have been highly prioritized in the development path adopted by several Himalayan regions. So it is important to emphasize that the apple orchards t should opt for more sustainable paths, instead of going  in for hurried  ways which may prove to be costly later and cause ecological ruin as well. The creation of apple orchards over large areas[Read More…]

by 12/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Butterflies-Why Our Most Beautiful Friends  Are In Rapid Decline?

Butterflies-Why Our Most Beautiful Friends  Are In Rapid Decline?

Butterflies are recognized the world over as the most beautify  insects. Just watching them  fly  or sitting on a flower is such a  source of joy. Children can spend a long time doing just this, or running after them. Just as I was writing this, I heard a few children call out. They were looking with undiluted joy at a[Read More…]

Land May Be A Deeply Philosophical Issue But Must Face Practical Realities of This World

Land May Be A Deeply Philosophical Issue But Must Face Practical Realities of This World

The more one thinks about it, the stronger appears the case for distribution of land based on equality, justice and actual need. Tolstoy, one of the greatest philosophers but by inheritance also a very big landlord, thought a lot about this issue and the more he thought, the more convinced he became that the most logical, in fact , the[Read More…]

by 11/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
How Rich Countries Are Cheating In Climate Change Negotiations

How Rich Countries Are Cheating In Climate Change Negotiations

This is an important year for climate change negotiations and climate change diplomacy is picking up fast, with an important virtual meeting called by US President of several world leaders scheduled for April 22. What is absolutely clear is that  climate change mitigation and adaptation are among the most important challenges before humanity, and all countries, all people should try[Read More…]

by 10/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Save Pollinators Campaign Needed On Urgent Basis As Bees, Butterflies and Birds Face Increasing Risks

Save Pollinators Campaign Needed On Urgent Basis As Bees, Butterflies and Birds Face Increasing Risks

A silent crisis that has been building up over recent decades may ultimately assume the form of one of the biggest risks to world food and farming system if allowed to proceed unchecked. An increasing number of scientists and conservationists are issuing warnings on the basis of urgency that if  the many-sided risks for bees, butterflies, moths, humming birds, other[Read More…]

by 10/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Himachal Move For Selling Liquor at Petrol Pumps Will Be Dangerous For Safety

Himachal Move For Selling Liquor at Petrol Pumps Will Be Dangerous For Safety

According to a recent report in a  leading Hindi newspaper of Himachal Pradesh Amar Ujala (April 6), the Himachal government is seriously considering a proposal to start selling liquor at petrol pumps and gas stations. The government is reportedly in favor of taking forward the recommendations of a legislative committee to this effect. This has led to increasing concerns about[Read More…]

by 09/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Can Farmland for the Landless Become A Reality On A Large Scale

Can Farmland for the Landless Become A Reality On A Large Scale

More than half of rural households in India are landless, or almost so. This deprives them of the most obvious asset needed for sustainable livelihoods and food security in villages–farmland. After  agriculture the next most important source of rural livelihood in India is dairy farming but here too the household with farmland has free access to crop residues which is[Read More…]

by 09/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Pathways for Progress of Farmers’ Movement

Pathways for Progress of Farmers’ Movement

The important phase of the farmers’ movement in India starting with the dharna (sit-in) at Delhi borders in the last week of November has crossed over 130 days at the time of writing. There is as yet no immediate indication  of a negotiated settlement, or of the movement withdrawing. So this is proving to be quite a prolonged movement which[Read More…]

by 08/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath Remains the Most Memorable Saga of  Displaced Farmers and  Migrating Workers

Why Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath Remains the Most Memorable Saga of  Displaced Farmers and  Migrating Workers

Impacts of unjust systems manifest in many ways, but few are as poignant as independent , proud farmers being displaced from their farmland and forced to migrate to a distant and unknown place to seek work in uncertain conditions. We in India are all too familiar with this on-going , overwhelming reality of our times, our country and this is[Read More…]

by 08/04/2021 1 comment Book Review
Issues of Increasing Concern in School Education

Issues of Increasing Concern in School Education

The last year has been extremely difficult for school education. On the one hand there have been very prolonged school closures due to COVID related factors and on the other hand the new situation has been used to push commercialization trends which already existed but appear to have gained more strength in these exceptional times. There is a feeling of[Read More…]

by 08/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
China’s Policy Towards Liberation of Bangladesh

China’s Policy Towards Liberation of Bangladesh

During about 8 to 9 months of 1971, the Pakistani Army and its local collaborators killed nearly 2.5 million people , raped over 3 lakh women and uprooted nearly 10 million from their  homes in Bangladesh ( then known to the world as East Pakistan) in a genocidal crackdown. This was not hidden from the world at all. There was[Read More…]

by 08/04/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
Hindi War Films Which Also Give A Message of Peace

Hindi War Films Which Also Give A Message of Peace

War films can easily degenerate into war propaganda and narrow nationalism. However there are other war films which vividly bring out the inherent pain and destructiveness of war in sensitive ways and hence, whatever their story content,  also convey a message of peace. It is true that war films made in any  country are often aimed at bringing out mainly[Read More…]

by 06/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Himalayan Villages Face Increasing Drinking Water Problems

Himalayan Villages Face Increasing Drinking Water Problems

Even though so many mighty rivers flow in Himalyan region which take water to such vast plains , it is a fact that many Himalayan villages face increasing and acute water problems. While generally these become more acute in the summer season, this year water shortages started being reported from earlier days in Himachal Pradesh, reflecting a wider trend. A[Read More…]

by 06/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Why Raj Kapoor is Much More  Than Just the Greatest Showman  of Hindi Cinema

Why Raj Kapoor is Much More  Than Just the Greatest Showman  of Hindi Cinema

Raj Kapoor is often called the greatest showman of Hindi cinema. This is of course meant to be a tribute, but this doesn’t quite do complete justice to the many-sided contributions of this great film-maker of exceptional talents. A very interesting aspect and important aspect of Hindi cinema is how within the constraints of commercialism, several film-makers could reach out[Read More…]

by 05/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Increased Risk of Forest Fires in Himalayan Region

Increased Risk of Forest Fires in Himalayan Region

This year much higher incidence of forest fires has been reported from Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Generally the risk becomes high only in the summer season but this year the risk started during winter and has already recorded very high damage at the time of writing on April 4. To get an idea of the extent of damage let us[Read More…]

by 05/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
How To Prevent the Drift Towards Humanitarian Crisis in Myanmar

How To Prevent the Drift Towards Humanitarian Crisis in Myanmar

The deeply worrying crackdown in Myanmar is seen at present more commonly as an attack on basic democratic   processes as the military junta seems intent on denying legitimate governance to those forces which have won very convincing victory in recent elections. However if early resolution of this confrontation does  not emerge, and this appears unlikely in view of both the[Read More…]

by 04/04/2021 Comments are Disabled World
How Crucial USA Interests Were Harmed by the Foreign Policy of Kissinger

How Crucial USA Interests Were Harmed by the Foreign Policy of Kissinger

Whenever it is recognized that foreign policy distortions of one or more superpowers have led to serious human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in developing countries, the focus has been on studying  how the people in developing countries suffered. This is as it should be , as this is clearly the most important issue. However from the point of view[Read More…]

by 04/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Imperialism
A  Program  Based on Justice  That Can Also Help Opposition Unity in India

A  Program  Based on Justice  That Can Also Help Opposition Unity in India

Note—The following document has been prepared in such a way that it can become at least a starting point for  unity of opposition in India based on a program of strengthening justice, equality, environment protection, democracy, peace and inter-faith  harmony. It is hoped that this may be of  some help also in other countries placed in somewhat similar conditions. All[Read More…]

by 03/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Follow-Up Actions Needed to Further Strengthen India-Bangladesh Ties

Follow-Up Actions Needed to Further Strengthen India-Bangladesh Ties

It is good that recently initiatives have been taken by both India and Bangladesh to repair damage and prepare the ground for again strengthening close relationship. The geographical  conditions of the two countries are such that the case for close cooperation and working and planning together is really very obvious and strong. These factors were strengthened by the unique and[Read More…]

by 02/04/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
Protection of Ganga River and Saints of Matra Sadan

Protection of Ganga River and Saints of Matra Sadan

In recent years the Matra Sadan Ashram in Hardwar has emerged as a hub of efforts of saints and activists for protection of Ganga river. So far three saints associated with Matra Sadan have died here fasting for protection of Ganga , while at the time of writing two other saints have been on fast for several weeks. One saint[Read More…]

by 02/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
For Resolving Farming Crisis, Some Small Farmers Show the Way With Big Achievements

For Resolving Farming Crisis, Some Small Farmers Show the Way With Big Achievements

          Just as it is important for a journalist to report about problems, similarly it is important to report about achievements . While writing about agriculture for the greater part I have been reporting about problems because the overall strategy of farm development in India has been so problematic in terms of raising economic and environmental costs. But whenever I[Read More…]

by 01/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Saving Trees in Himalayas and Western Ghats—Chipko and Appiko Movements in India

Saving Trees in Himalayas and Western Ghats—Chipko and Appiko Movements in India

The first stories of Chipko ( hug the trees to save them from  felling) movement came from Chamoli district in Garhwal region where Gaura Devi and other hill women chased away workers who had come to fell trees. However by the late 1970s when as a young reporter I started writing on this movement, consciousness regarding this movement had spread[Read More…]

by 01/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Myanmar’s Continuing Horrible Crackdown Also Reflects The Wider Decline of Democracy

Myanmar’s Continuing Horrible Crackdown Also Reflects The Wider Decline of Democracy

The on-going crackdown in Myanmar is just now the biggest  concern of those devoted to protection of  democratic and human rights. The brutal  crackdown by the junta unwilling to accept the strong electoral  verdict in favor of Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy   has already claimed 500 lives within a short period. As many as nearly[Read More…]

by 31/03/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Recent Charges Against Suu Kyi Are Grim Reminder of Misuse of Anti Corruption Campaigns

Recent Charges Against Suu Kyi Are Grim Reminder of Misuse of Anti Corruption Campaigns

Recently several charges of corruption have been leveled by the repressive junta  against Suu Kyi, the popular leader of Myanmar who recently led her party to a big electoral victory but is being prevented from leading a democratic government by the military. These have been firmly denied by her lawyer. Despite this, we may see more of such charges in[Read More…]

by 31/03/2021 1 comment World
When Glaring Crimes Against Humanity  Go Unpunished, This May Pave the Way For Even Worse To Come

When Glaring Crimes Against Humanity  Go Unpunished, This May Pave the Way For Even Worse To Come

There are supposed to be systems in place, at national and international levels , for exemplary punishment in the case of serious crimes against humanity. Surely if anyone who murders one person is given very strong punishment then those who are responsible for the death of thousands ( in some cases hundreds of thousands or even millions) cannot be allowed[Read More…]

by 30/03/2021 1 comment World
Why the Full Story of Mujibur Rehman’s Killing Cannot be Told Officially

Why the Full Story of Mujibur Rehman’s Killing Cannot be Told Officially

When Banglabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman , the first President of Bangladesh, also called the Father of the Nation and revered by millions as such, was assassinated on August 15, 1975 as a part of the wider efforts to overthrow his popular government, there were some additional aspects of this murder most foul which  shocked the world. All the family members[Read More…]

by 30/03/2021 1 comment South Asia
Essential Message of Mahatma Gandhi Has More Significance in An Increasingly Troubled World

Essential Message of Mahatma Gandhi Has More Significance in An Increasingly Troubled World

Nearly 73 years after he left us, victim of an assassin’s bullets, many people grappling with the  most serious problems and issues in our troubled world are increasingly realizing the great value of several essential messages Mahatma  Gandhi left behind after a very eventful and even more thoughtful life. One of these relates to understanding and appreciating the great importance[Read More…]

by 29/03/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
The Hero With Idealism Is Much Less Visible Now in Hindi Cinema

The Hero With Idealism Is Much Less Visible Now in Hindi Cinema

The post-independence years are regarded by many as the golden age of Hindi cinema. The idealism of  the freedom movement was still alive and this was reflected well in the films of those days. Since many Hindi films tend to be more dominated by heroes or the male lead roles, the idealist film hero  figured significantly in many films and[Read More…]

by 29/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Thoughtless Destruction of Trees For Projects of Dubious Merit Should  Stop

Thoughtless Destruction of Trees For Projects of Dubious Merit Should  Stop

While it has always been important to protect trees, the urgency for this has increased further in recent times of climate change. Trees play  a very important role in soil and water conservation, apart from providing shelter and food to so many birds, animals and insects. Apart from their great environmental role whose value is increasing further, trees play a[Read More…]

by 28/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Resolving Water Sharing Disputes Should Not Lead to Hurried Construction of Dams

Resolving Water Sharing Disputes Should Not Lead to Hurried Construction of Dams

The generally perceived attitude regarding inter-state water disputes in India has been that these should be resolved as soon as possible so that the many-sided potential of various river-valley projects can be realized as early as possible by taking up the construction of dams, canals and hydro power plants. So when the Narmada Tribunal settlement led to resolving water sharing[Read More…]

by 28/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Social Myths, False Values and Commercial Cinema

Social Myths, False Values and Commercial Cinema

In any society myths play an important role. For various reasons a society and its many members have a tendency, a weakness or liking, for certain myths and want to cling on to these myths, in fact may feel a strong need to do so. Although the word myth generally has a negative connotation, to a limited extent  and in[Read More…]

by 27/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Is Hindi Cinema’s Creativity for Promoting Relevant Social Change Drying Up?

Is Hindi Cinema’s Creativity for Promoting Relevant Social Change Drying Up?

While surely the main concerns of the Hindi film industry have always related to entertainment as business, nevertheless there has been generally a significant space also for taking up and promoting issues of high social concern. Such a space may have been more in the early post-independence years and may have decreased with the passage of time, but surely such [Read More…]

by 27/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
50th Independence Day of  Bangladesh is a Time to Remember Contributions of Great Courage

50th Independence Day of  Bangladesh is a Time to Remember Contributions of Great Courage

On its 50th  Independence Day ( March 26)  Bangladesh can take well-deserved pride in the advancement in terms of several important development indicators achieved in the middle of many-sided difficulties. It is in addition also a time to recall many courageous contributions of  recent decades, as courage has been much in need in several troubled phases of this land and[Read More…]

by 26/03/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
Who Was Behind the Killing of Banglabandhu Mujibur Rehman?

Who Was Behind the Killing of Banglabandhu Mujibur Rehman?

Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was not just the first President of  Bangladesh. Called Banglabandhu and Father of the Nation, he had played  a very  courageous role in resisting domination and repression of his people, leading the Awami League to victory in 167 out of 169 seats parliamentary  seats contested n 1970-71, then being imprisoned, and returning to his beloved people only[Read More…]

by 26/03/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
Was the killing of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi pre-planned by colonial rulers?

Was the killing of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi pre-planned by colonial rulers?

Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi (1890—1931) had a unique position in the freedom movement of India. He was also a very great editor whose newspaper Pratap  was a flag-bearer of  freedom fighters as well as worker and peasant struggles. A prominent leader of the Congress Party and its head in United Provinces (roughly the Uttar Pradesh of today) , he also had[Read More…]

by 25/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Sewer Workers Need Safety, Dignity and Justice

Sewer Workers Need Safety, Dignity and Justice

Some of the saddest news  in India which appears with tragic regularity relates to the deaths of sewer workers caused by occupational hazards. The demand for fixing responsibility and taking strong action against those  guilty of negligence has been gaining ground, as also the demand for the prompt compensatory  payment as fixed by the Supreme Court. This is of course[Read More…]

by 25/03/2021 1 comment India
Important Factors Hinder Rehabilitation of Workers Freed From Manual Scavenging

Important Factors Hinder Rehabilitation of Workers Freed From Manual Scavenging

Although securing freedom for workers engaged in manual scavenging  and providing rehabilitation for them is supposed to be an important priority for the government, in reality progress has been very inadequate, slow and sporadic. The reasons for this are several, starting with problems relating to the proper definition and identity of workers engaged in manual scavenging. If to start with[Read More…]

by 24/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Pyaasa Remains the Most Defining Film for Idealists

Why Pyaasa Remains the Most Defining Film for Idealists

Idealist persons are a steadily decreasing component of the human species and in fact are  seen is such small numbers these days that  they can almost be called an endangered component of the human species. Nevertheless, and this  needs to be emphasized, even in their small numbers they retain their very important role in society as they keep reminding of[Read More…]

by 24/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Ken-Betwa Link–There is  no achievement in speeding up a dubious project which will destroy over 2 million trees in drought-prone areas

Ken-Betwa Link–There is  no achievement in speeding up a dubious project which will destroy over 2 million trees in drought-prone areas

On World Water Day March 22 the signing of an agreement between the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for implementing the controversial Ken-Betwa Link project in drought-prone Bundelkhand region of Central India was presented as a matter of celebration, but questions are being raised asking what achievement, even less joy, there is in going ahead with a project[Read More…]

by 23/03/2021 1 comment India
Farmers’ Movement—We Should Avoid Missing the Wood For the Trees

Farmers’ Movement—We Should Avoid Missing the Wood For the Trees

The ongoing farmers’ movement is  one of the most widely discussed social movements of recent times. Despite this there is an uneasy feeling that in the middle of all the reporting, comment and discussion, we may still be missing the wood for the trees or giving less attention to some of the more basic issues. After all, we cannot forget[Read More…]

by 23/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Increasing Concerns Over Dam Construction in Himachal Pradesh

Increasing Concerns Over Dam Construction in Himachal Pradesh

Although dam related issues of Uttarakhand have been receiving more attention at the national level, there are serious dam related concerns in the neighboring state of Himachal Pradesh as well. To give just one example, so many years have passed since the displacement of many villagers from the submergence area of Pong Dam, but their serious problems still continue and[Read More…]

by 23/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Dam Safety and Viability Concerns Should Include New Upcoming and Under Consideration Projects

Dam Safety and Viability Concerns Should Include New Upcoming and Under Consideration Projects

As the number of dams particular ageing dams has increased greatly there is increasing worldwide concern regarding the safety of dams and the serious risks that go with it. However this concern will result in most useful action only if this is extended to include the safety and viability of under construction and under consideration dam projects. After all, if[Read More…]

by 22/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Revolutionary Freedom Fighters and Their Message for Youth

Revolutionary Freedom Fighters and Their Message for Youth

One of the most persistent messages being conveyed to youth is to contribute in meaningful and useful ways to the larger welfare and progress of the nation and society. However in order to be truly effective these messages need to be supported by what has been said by those persons for whom they have very high respect. When we search[Read More…]

by 21/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
World Forestry Day—March 21

World Forestry Day—March 21

Protecting Natural Forests, Regenerating, Mimicking Old Forests to Create New Ones Today March 21 is  UN International Day of Forests , also called World Forestry Day. While protection of natural forests has always been very important, at no other time was this more important than in present time with its unprecedented threat of climate change and survival crisis, many sided[Read More…]

by 21/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
World Sparrow Day—March 20

World Sparrow Day—March 20

We should be much more  cautious about the loss of such sweet friends We are aware of some losses and we take steps to prevent them. But some losses occur over a longer period of time and we realize only too late that we have lost something very precious. Such is the feeling that millions and millions of human being[Read More…]

by 20/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Really, Should the Prime Minister Spend So Much Time on The Elections of a Single State?

Really, Should the Prime Minister Spend So Much Time on The Elections of a Single State?

As the electoral drama in W.Bengal rolls on, a question that vexes many in the country is why the Prime Minister is spending so much in the elections of just one state, and on the ousting of just Chief Minister, who happens to be a lady who is actually quite popular among her people. After all there are so many[Read More…]

by 20/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Remembering Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi on his 90th death anniversary

Remembering Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi on his 90th death anniversary

March 25 is the 90th death anniversary of a great freedom fighter, editor, worker and peasant leader, also deeply committed social reformer who sacrificed his life at the age of 40 while trying to stop communal violence and rescue persons from both communities trapped in it. The reference here is of course to Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, the famous editor of[Read More…]

by 19/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Imperialism is Alive and Kicking, Resistance Needs More Unity

Imperialism is Alive and Kicking, Resistance Needs More Unity

When Bhagat Singh and his colleague gave the slogan of ‘ Death to Imperialism’ , they were of course  more immediately concerned with British rule in India, but in addition,  of course, they were very  aware of the need for wider and even longer duration struggle against imperialism. In fact soon after the rapidly growing freedom struggles of several countries[Read More…]

by 19/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Imperialism
Why We Should Never Forget the Needs and Concerns of Rural Landless Households

Why We Should Never Forget the Needs and Concerns of Rural Landless Households

One message of Mahatma Gandhi which has remained of enduring significance for policy makers as well as for social activists is that whenever faced with doubt and uncertainty, keep in mind the concerns of the poorest and the weakest sections and this will enable you best to resolve the doubt. In fact this is also the point on which the[Read More…]

by 19/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Six Teachers From Freedom Movement

Six Teachers From Freedom Movement

The freedom movement of India is one of the most inspiring phases of history. In this phase a very large number of people of India lived up to the highest  ideals of humanity, willingly and often happily accepting the greatest hardships and making the biggest sacrifices for the sake of justice and freedom, undergoing huge sufferings to provide a better[Read More…]

by 18/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A Time For Commitment to Ideals and Aims of Bhagat Singh and His Comrades

A Time For Commitment to Ideals and Aims of Bhagat Singh and His Comrades

Written by Bharat Dogra and Jagmohan Singh In the days to come we will be remembering the ideals and aims of Bhagat Singh and his close colleagues and fellow-maryrs a lot. Many  people and leaders will be gathering to pay their homage to him and fellow-martyrs Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandra Shekhar Azad , Jatindranath Das, Bhagwati Charan Vohra and others whose[Read More…]

by 18/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Agenda of An Important Year of Climate Change Negotiations Should Include Tackling Difficult Questions

Agenda of An Important Year of Climate Change Negotiations Should Include Tackling Difficult Questions

This year 2021 is widely regarded as an important year for climate change negotiations. The more obvious reason for this is of course that the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) to  the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change could not be held as per schedule last year  due to  Covid related factors and is now scheduled to be convened in[Read More…]

by 17/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
If the World Can Save Its Farmers, Then Farmers Can Save the World

If the World Can Save Its Farmers, Then Farmers Can Save the World

In many countries we see a similar worrying situation that most small and medium farmers are facing increasing problems and stress. For several of them this culminates in losing the land and independent livelihood of the family for this as well as perhaps the next generation as well. So the number of family farms and independent small farmers ( working[Read More…]

by 17/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
 Floods Unleashed by Dams Should Also Be Part of Dam Safety Concerns

 Floods Unleashed by Dams Should Also Be Part of Dam Safety Concerns

          In the context of ongoing debates on dam safety and the pending legislation on this increasingly important subject, a neglected aspect is that when no harm is caused to dam structure but nevertheless large-scale damage is done by very excessive and unexpected discharge of flood water then this too should be considered an aspect of the wider understanding of[Read More…]

by 15/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Farakka Barrage and  Relations With A Friendly Neighbor

Farakka Barrage and  Relations With A Friendly Neighbor

          The Farakka Barrage Project on Ganga river has been often discussed in the context of whether this project has caused any adverse impacts in Bangladesh. Certainly there have been complaints from Bangladesh in this context. So was it a case of India promoting its interests at the cost of Bangladesh? No, there is increasing evidence of this project causing[Read More…]

by 15/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Both Aspects of Relationship Between Dams and Earthquakes Deserve Attention

Both Aspects of Relationship Between Dams and Earthquakes Deserve Attention

                    Given the large and increasing number of dams in the world, and the fact that so many of them are ageing,  the question of dam safety is getting more importance. Whenever dam safety is discussed , invariably a significant part of the discussion takes place in the form of earthquakes. However two aspects of the issue need to[Read More…]

by 14/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Increasing Cooperation  Among Countries is Good, but  Should Avoid High Hazard Projects

Increasing Cooperation  Among Countries is Good, but  Should Avoid High Hazard Projects

In the middle of several increasing problems, a good news that emerged recently is that tensions of India with several neighboring countries is reducing. In fact everything is to be gained by increasing cooperation among all countries of the region. However, while there are so many areas where increasing cooperation will give good results, there is one area which should[Read More…]

by 14/03/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
Himachal Efforts For  Self-Reliance in Seeds to Support Natural Farming Need Support and Wider Reach 

Himachal Efforts For  Self-Reliance in Seeds to Support Natural Farming Need Support and Wider Reach 

Hilly areas with their varying heights and land categories are known for their valuable bio-diversity which should be protected. The vast Himalayan ranges including  hills and valleys, plains and peaks in particular are all the more important in this context. While the tendency to introduce genetic uniformity of monocultures was unfortunate everywhere, it was all the more harmful in the[Read More…]

by 13/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Real Friendship With Neighbors is Not Just At Government Level, Friendship of People  is Even More Important

Real Friendship With Neighbors is Not Just At Government Level, Friendship of People  is Even More Important

Neighbors are very important. They can be very good and valuable friends who can prove to be extremely helpful in difficult times. In many difficult situations a distant friend, despite best intentions, may not be able to help as much as a neighbor friend. This is well to remember in times of climate change when the threat of natural disasters[Read More…]

by 13/03/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
Increasing Need of Community Support for Social  Activists

Increasing Need of Community Support for Social  Activists

Social activism  has grown in India generally in conditions in which institutional support has been taken as the main source of support.  However there are many reasons, including those relating to stability and durability of support, where in addition more options of community support should be considered. This can also lead to conditions in which social activists have less constraints[Read More…]

by 12/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Free Trade Agreements May Further Aggravate Injustice in International Trade

Free Trade Agreements May Further Aggravate Injustice in International Trade

          In recent years a fierce debate has erupted in several countries regarding the impact of various free trade agreements. It is increasingly realized by people that what was publicized in glowing terms to them has turned out to be very harmful for them while some powerful interests may have gained. People are also realizing how big multinational companies often[Read More…]

by 12/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Globalisation
Seed is the Centre of Life and Civilization, But For Selfish Corporations Seed is the Centre of Profit and Domination

Seed is the Centre of Life and Civilization, But For Selfish Corporations Seed is the Centre of Profit and Domination

Seed is the base of all life. Recognizing this obvious fact, farmers for well over a hundred generations and for several thousand years cared for seeds, respected seeds, and helped to promote a great diversity of seeds. Hence they had different seeds for different needs, for different weather conditions, for different kinds of land and soil. Diverse varieties of seeds[Read More…]

by 11/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why The Time Has Come to Revive  A  Highly Promising Plan For Improving Rice Cultivation   Prepared By A Great Scientist

Why The Time Has Come to Revive  A  Highly Promising Plan For Improving Rice Cultivation   Prepared By A Great Scientist

                       In many parts of the world there is a yearning on the part of farmers to break free from the increasingly exploitative grip of big business interests trying to dominate farming and food systems. As a result, despite the very worrying reality of the increasing domination of big business in many countries led by the USA, there is[Read More…]

by 11/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Unfair Trade Increases Problems of Small Farmers and Hunger in Many Countries

Unfair Trade Increases Problems of Small Farmers and Hunger in Many Countries

           In most discussions on food and farming systems in India a concern that comes up time and again is that pressures and particular interpretations of the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) can increase problems of India’s farmers and the public distribution system (PDS) for food. A large number of India’s mostly small farmers face a number of[Read More…]

by 10/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Globalisation
Resisting Various Forms of Increasing Corporate Domination of Farming and Food Systems

Resisting Various Forms of Increasing Corporate Domination of Farming and Food Systems

Keeping in view the increasing concerns worldwide to check increasing corporate control over farming and food systems, there is a need to look more carefully at various forms of this increasing corporatization and consider carefully various ways and means of resisting this. Firstly there is the increasing trend of land grab. This can be more clearly seen in the purchase[Read More…]

by 10/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Globalisation
Serious Questions Being Raised About Extent of Corporate Control All Over World

Serious Questions Being Raised About Extent of Corporate Control All Over World

At a time when increasing questions about corporatization trends are being raised in India, it is useful to know that the extent of corporate control over farming and farmers ( small and medium farmers, family farms) is being increasingly questioned almost all over the world, including the USA. A widely discussed account is that of Bedabrat  Pain , an ex-NASA[Read More…]

by 09/03/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Struggles of Farmers Can Benefit Much By Reaching Out for More Sustainable Solutions

Struggles of Farmers Can Benefit Much By Reaching Out for More Sustainable Solutions

Recently the very tragic suicide of a  farmer from Haryana at the protest site on Delhi border drew  widespread attention. He left behind a note which