Articles by: Bharat Dogra

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…]

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 0 comments 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 0 comments 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 0 comments 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 0 comments 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 0 comments 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 0 comments 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 0 comments 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 0 comments 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 0 comments 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 stated that the demand for repealing the three contested farm laws should be accepted very soon so that the protesting farmers can return to their villages happily. This note stated that farmers are no[Read More…]

by 09/03/2021 1 comment India
The Horrible Dowry System and Its Wider Manifestation in India

The Horrible Dowry System and Its Wider Manifestation in India

Nearly 60 years have passed since the dowry abolition system legislation was passed in India but we still have the cruel reality of 20 dowry deaths a day in the country ( dowry killings, or women pushed by dowry related cruelty towards suicide). Each one of these deaths is a hugely tragic story, and it is being repeated 7000 times[Read More…]

by 08/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
100th Birth Anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi who Gave  New Meaning and Respect to Hindi Film Song

100th Birth Anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi who Gave New Meaning and Respect to Hindi Film Song

The influence of Hindi film song in the life of people of India, often cutting across barriers of language and region, should never be underestimated. People keep humming Hindi film tunes all the time and remember and observe their moments of joy and sorrow, romance and rejection in terms of soulful tunes and lyrics from films. Many famous composers and[Read More…]

by 08/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Earthworms, Humanity’s Friend

Earthworms, Humanity’s Friend

Why Has Humanity Been Most Cruel Towards These Creatures Who Have Served Most Selflessly? If there was a prize for guessing the name of the life form which has served humanity ( as well the overall life-nurturing conditions of our planet)in the most valuable way with the greatest continuity and most selflessly, then perhaps very few will venture to suggest[Read More…]

by 06/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Government, Farmers’ Movement and the Quest for  Just, Healthy, Sustainable Food and Farming System

Government, Farmers’ Movement and the Quest for  Just, Healthy, Sustainable Food and Farming System

Farming in India has been increasingly discussed at world-level in the context of the on-going farmers’ movement in India. India has a special position as a leading country where nearly two-thirds of the population still lives in rural areas. Therefore whatever policy options it adopts in the context of farming are considered very important at world level. Hence it is[Read More…]

by 05/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Greater Green Revolution

The Greater Green Revolution

            The green revolution has been widely discussed and its different aspects have been highlighted by various observers according to their own understanding of emphasis and priorities. To this writer the essence of the green revolution seems to be in the following tendencies, all the more significant because these seem to be shared by technological changes in other sectors of[Read More…]

by 05/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
 Soil Is Gold

 Soil Is Gold

Gold has long been considered the most important form of wealth. Diamonds are another. When oil became the most widely used source of energy, then people started referring to oil as the black gold. At various times since then, different  important minerals have been highlighted as being very valuable. But the more these minerals are extracted  in any country, the[Read More…]

by 05/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Neglecting Crucial Role of Food Processing Can Prove very Costly

Neglecting Crucial Role of Food Processing Can Prove very Costly

While fierce debates rage on agriculture, the very important role of food processing is often neglected. This neglect can prove very costly, as the people of Mexico discovered much to their cost a few years ago. In the early 1990s a fierce debate raged in Mexico regarding the desirability of joining ( with USA and Canada) the North American Free[Read More…]

by 04/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Trend to Push  Harmful and Disruptive Projects as Eco-Protective Should Be Checked Before It Is Too Late

The Trend to Push  Harmful and Disruptive Projects as Eco-Protective Should Be Checked Before It Is Too Late

The seriousness of climate change and the wider ecological crisis cannot be denied any more and so there is increasing pressure on big business interests and those colluding with them for more restraint. Instead of responding by making efforts for genuine change some of these powerful interests have been trying to push their projects and even policy in a direction[Read More…]

by 03/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Adverse Impact of Increasing Liquor Production and Consumption on Food Security

Adverse Impact of Increasing Liquor Production and Consumption on Food Security

          There have been several reports about the adverse impact of high levels of meat production and consumption on food production. For example it is well recognized that seven kgs. of grain, or more, is used to produce one kg. of beef in intensive systems and at the same massive amounts of water are used, and this has a very[Read More…]

by 02/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
When Our Most Important Identity Gets the Least Importance, This Creates Serious Problems

When Our Most Important Identity Gets the Least Importance, This Creates Serious Problems

     People grow up with several identities. One identity can be that of caste, another one can be that of religion , yet another one can be that of ethnicity. Some people identify themselves with the real or imaginary fame of their family or ancestors, while others tend to identify themselves very strongly with certain spiritual ( real and imaginary[Read More…]

by 01/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Most Important Changes the World Cannot Postpone Any more

Most Important Changes the World Cannot Postpone Any more

      A significant number of people in world are working hard for making  improvements in several aspects of life at several levels. They all help to create a better world. They help to reduce the distress of people and other forms of life, they help to create the conditions for more justice and equality, they protect environment in various ways[Read More…]

by 28/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
World Food System Linked to High Levels of  Hunger , Obesity and  Health Problems

World Food System Linked to High Levels of  Hunger , Obesity and  Health Problems

Serious distortions of  world food system are reflected in rather curious statistics that as many as a billion people suffer from hunger but almost double this number also suffer from obesity. However it should be clarified that obesity is not generally the result of  overeating as much as this is the result of unhealthy foods churned out and promoted on[Read More…]

by 27/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Why Repression of Climate Activists is Bad News for the  Endangered Planet of Earth

Why Repression of Climate Activists is Bad News for the  Endangered Planet of Earth

It is very sad that many reports of repression of climate activists are being received from several parts of world at such an early stage of climate activism. Even a very quick net search would reveal several recent instances from Brazil, Chile, Kenya, India , Russia and other countries. These are reports where climate activism is directly mentioned. But if[Read More…]

by 27/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
An Agenda for Food and Farming Based on Dominance and High Profits for a Few Has Powerful Promoters

An Agenda for Food and Farming Based on Dominance and High Profits for a Few Has Powerful Promoters

In India there has been much discussion in recent times of the dangers of increasing corporatization of farming and food sectors. This is welcome, as there needs to be increasing public awareness of this harmful and high risk trend. In the course of this discussion the name of two billionaires  has been increasingly taken to such an extent that has[Read More…]

by 26/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
With Help and Understanding, Farmers Can Save Themselves and Also Save the World

With Help and Understanding, Farmers Can Save Themselves and Also Save the World

From many parts of world there have been disturbing reports of not only increasing distress of farmers but also small and medium farmers being pushed towards loss of land and livelihood. At the same time that their numbers are increasing, the livelihood problems of rural landless people  are increasing in many contexts, worsening further in Covid times. A huge question[Read More…]

by 26/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Remembering Chandra Shekhar Azad  in the Context of Our Victimized Young Activists Today

Remembering Chandra Shekhar Azad  in the Context of Our Victimized Young Activists Today

Written by  Bharat Dogra and Jagmohan Singh Chandra Shekhar Azad has been one of the most enduring and inspiring symbols of courage and resistance in India. He symbolizes for millions of people in the country indomitable  spirit of great courage in standing up for justice and freedom. As we remember him on his martyrdom day on February 27 we will[Read More…]

by 25/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Why Naxalites Should Also Opt for  Peaceful Path to Create A Better World and Country

Why Naxalites Should Also Opt for  Peaceful Path to Create A Better World and Country

The need for working with wider unity for creating a world based on justice and equality is increasing further in these troubled times. One reason is that the forces of inequality led by the biggest billionaires and multinational companies have become very strong. Secondly, the environmental crisis has taken life-threatening forms and to check this crisis a path of sustainable[Read More…]

by 25/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Emerging Unity of Farmers and Workers A Sign of Hope in India’s Difficult Times

Emerging Unity of Farmers and Workers A Sign of Hope in India’s Difficult Times

Written by Bharat Dogra and Jagmohan Singh It is very good that the farmers’ movement has given a call for observing  February 27 as Day of Unity of Farmers and Workers. On this day the nation is observing Sant Ravidas Jayanti. Along with other saints of the Bhakti and Sufi movements Sant Ravidas  stood for devotion and spirituality which contributes[Read More…]

by 24/02/2021 1 comment India
Annie Besant

Remembering British Citizens Who Helped Indian Struggle Against Colonial Rule

Colonial rule is generally a relentless long story of exploitation and injustice, and this is certain true of the nearly two centuries of British rule in India. Despite this reality, however, it is fascinating to know that there were several British citizens who went out of their way to help the struggles of India against colonial rule. Some of them[Read More…]

by 24/02/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Afghan children play in the bombed out rubble of the Darul Aman Palace in Kabul, amidst a photo exhibition marking four decades of Afghans killed in war and oppression. Photo credit: Maya Evans

Our Deeply Troubled World Just Cannot Afford Any More Wars

The deepening crisis of world is manifested most seriously crisis in a survival crisis, or in a situation where the basic life-nurturing conditions of our planet are threatened. In this unprecedented situation humanity has to take unprecedented decisions to ensure the safety and security of world, above all of the younger generation, our own children, who are growing up in[Read More…]

by 23/02/2021 1 comment World
How the Modern World Started–On A foundation of Violence and Dominance, but in the Name of Civilization

How the Modern World Started–On A foundation of Violence and Dominance, but in the Name of Civilization

      The beginnings of the modern world are generally traced to the sixteenth century. Most descriptions of the period of human history since then have described this period as a period of the greatest human progress and the special role of the countries which started playing a more leading role in world affairs in the 16th and 17th centuries is[Read More…]

by 23/02/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Remembering Freedom Movement Revolutionaries, Observing Martyrs’ Month

Remembering Freedom Movement Revolutionaries, Observing Martyrs’ Month

Written by Bharat Dogra and Jagmohan Singh Every year India observes 23 March as the martyrdom day of Shahid Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, and on 27 February India observes the martyrdom day of Chandra Shekhar Azad. However we often forget on March 25 to observe   the martyrdom day of Shahid Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi who was like a mentor for[Read More…]

by 22/02/2021 1 comment India
Helpful Role of Community Based Approach in Improving Mental Health  in Remote Rural Areas

Helpful Role of Community Based Approach in Improving Mental Health  in Remote Rural Areas

          In recent times of Covid-19 the importance of giving adequate attention to mental health has been re-emphasized time and again. Here again, however, the new and welcome phase of giving more emphasis to mental health has not yet reached the more remote rural areas. However those with long experience of working on mental health in remote rural areas say[Read More…]

by 22/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Sincere Efforts Can Contribute Much to Making Benefits and Schemes More Accessible for Disability Affected Persons

Sincere Efforts Can Contribute Much to Making Benefits and Schemes More Accessible for Disability Affected Persons

          Many benefits and schemes available for persons with various disabilities cannot reach them, particularly in more remote villages, as much effort is needed for linking persons with disabilities (PwDs) with the various schemes meant for providing relief and benefits to them . Due to past neglect the number of PwDs can be not only surprisingly high in several remote[Read More…]

by 22/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Young Climate Activists Must Be Rewarded and Encouraged, Not Victimized and Imprisoned

Young Climate Activists Must Be Rewarded and Encouraged, Not Victimized and Imprisoned

It is very, very sad that young climate  activists are being victimized at an incipient stage of the movement in India. This is one of the relatively new movements and there are understandably some uncertainties regarding the exact course of action and the stand to be taken on certain issues, but one thing which is absolutely certain is that this[Read More…]

by 21/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Farmers’ Movement Should  Pioneer New Pathways of Mobilizing People for Longer Periods

The Farmers’ Movement Should  Pioneer New Pathways of Mobilizing People for Longer Periods

Although the on-going farmers’ movement has faced much repression and victimization and the participants have endured many hardships – at one stage even essential water and sanitation services were disrupted—it has been exceptionally fortunate in one other respect. This is in terms of obtaining the deep affection , support and emotional connect of a very large number of people. The[Read More…]

by 21/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Concepts of Earth  Without Borders and One World Have A New and Wider Relevance Now

Why Concepts of Earth  Without Borders and One World Have A New and Wider Relevance Now

          The beautiful phrase ‘Earth Without Borders’ has been used in more than one contexts from time to time. This is often used to convey the idea that those who work with a spirit of serving humanity should not be confined merely to serving their own country. This may be particularly true of a profession of doctors which ideally should[Read More…]

by 20/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
 Our Badly Threatened World Needs Out-of-Box Governance Reform

 Our Badly Threatened World Needs Out-of-Box Governance Reform

          It is a basic principle of effective governance that it should be in accordance with ability to achieve the most important aims and tasks. In terms of this very basic definition, the huge, colossal failures of existing governance systems in our deeply troubled world facing unprecedented threats have been exposed in more and more glaring and disturbing ways in[Read More…]

by 20/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
From Rich Diversity to Narrow Genetic Base in Agriculture

From Rich Diversity to Narrow Genetic Base in Agriculture

One of the most creative endeavors of farmers all over the world but even more so in tropical countries has been to protect , promote and nurture a diversity of crop varieties. They continued to do so for thousands of years and for well over a hundred generation. As a result of this , over a period of around five[Read More…]

by 19/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Protection of Traditional Wisdom in Agriculture is Extremely Important

Why Protection of Traditional Wisdom in Agriculture is Extremely Important

It is well recognized that not all traditions are goods. Some widespread aspects of many traditional societies like discrimination and inequality  at various levels ( such as caste, gender and class) need to be rejected completely. However there are several other aspects relating to the wisdom accumulating over centuries regarding farming and allied activities, forestry, water conservation, crafts and related[Read More…]

by 19/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Top Rice Scientist Dr. Richharia Who Sacrificed Much to Protect Interests of Farmers

Top Rice Scientist Dr. Richharia Who Sacrificed Much to Protect Interests of Farmers

           In many big debates on agriculture in India the name of Dr. R.H.Richharia inevitably comes up, even though top establishment persons and powerful interests want to avoid this. One reason why this name of Dr. Richharia comes up time and again is that he was an extremely learned and distinguished  scientist, certainly the top rice scientist from India. Many[Read More…]

by 18/02/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
More Comprehensive Understanding of Dam Safety  Is Needed For Effective Action

More Comprehensive Understanding of Dam Safety  Is Needed For Effective Action

            At a time when the safety of dams and legislation relating to this are being widely discussed in India it is important to assert that dam safety issues should not be confined just to any collapse or failure of structures. While this aspect is no doubt the most important, other significant aspects of big floods being unleashed by sudden[Read More…]

by 18/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
From Saving Forests and Seeds to Communal Harmony and Equality, Kunwar Prasun’s Quest for A Better World Never Stopped

From Saving Forests and Seeds to Communal Harmony and Equality, Kunwar Prasun’s Quest for A Better World Never Stopped

People know him mainly as an activist of the famous Chipko movement, but the reality of the  life of Kunwar Prasun was that his yearnings for creating a better world were constantly taking him from one struggle and constructive engagement to another. A deeply committed Gandhian all his life, Prasun was guided only by his understanding of what is truth[Read More…]

by 17/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Why Resolving the Farming Crisis in India is Both Very Urgent and Very Difficult

Why Resolving the Farming Crisis in India is Both Very Urgent and Very Difficult

In the recent negotiations of the farmers movement with the government  spread over several rounds, the non-acceptance of the farmers’ demand for the repeal of the three controversial farm laws was presented as the most important reason for not reaching an agreement, while the truth is that this should be an easy demand  to accept by any sympathetic government. Acceptance[Read More…]

by 17/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Efforts to Protect  Endangered Rice Varieties  at Field Level, Although Small, Are Very Welcome

Efforts to Protect  Endangered Rice Varieties  at Field Level, Although Small, Are Very Welcome

            According to recent reports the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to initiate efforts to save  endangered indigenous traditional red rice varieties by growing it in government farms and then distributing seeds to farmers. These rice varieties are widely believed to have exceptional nutrition and even medicinal values and with growing realization of this are fetching a high price in[Read More…]

by 16/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Despite  the Spin By Lobbyists , Extremely Tragic Health Impacts of Alcohol Confirmed by Latest Research

Despite  the Spin By Lobbyists , Extremely Tragic Health Impacts of Alcohol Confirmed by Latest Research

            It is now well that the powerful tobacco lobby spread many falsehoods to undermine the steadily growing scientific evidence regarding the very serious health risks of tobacco. Millions of dollars were spent on this lobbying, with huge benefits doled out to corrupt scientists, decision-makers and media. The lobbyists and their collaborators made huge fortunes while public health suffered a[Read More…]

by 16/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Serious Accidents and Disasters Involving Dam Workers Are A Wake-Up Call for Improving Safety

 Serious Accidents and Disasters Involving Dam Workers Are A Wake-Up Call for Improving Safety

             The prayers of the entire country have been with the brave efforts for rescuing trapped workers in Uttarakhand. This is also the time for realizing the seriousness of the very difficult, hazard-prone and risky conditions in which dam workers toil in India in remote areas, particularly the Himalayan region. Whether it is the Uttarakhand disasters of 2021 or 2013,[Read More…]

by 15/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
For De-Escalation on India-China Border, Government Needs Wider Support of the Opposition

For De-Escalation on India-China Border, Government Needs Wider Support of the Opposition

In difficult times one good news that has emerged recently relates to some progress on de-escalation on India-China borders. As several knowledgeable observers have pointed out, we should not hasten to celebrate peace too soon as there are several uncertainties. Nevertheless any turn for the better in de-escalation is certainly welcome , and both the involved governments, their advisers and[Read More…]

by 14/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Indian Democracy Needs Help and Guidance of Distinguished Lawyers, Jurists and Retired Judges at Five Levels

Indian Democracy Needs Help and Guidance of Distinguished Lawyers, Jurists and Retired Judges at Five Levels

India has a glorious tradition of eminent lawyers and jurists playing a very valuable democratic role. This was particularly strong during the early stage of the Congress-led  freedom movement  when lawyers provided the most important base. Not equally well-known is the important role played by several eminent lawyers in providing legal help to revolutionaries of the freedom movement. This important[Read More…]

by 13/02/2021 1 comment India
Chandra Singh Garhwali—World Peace Movement Will Never Forget the Soldier Who Refused to Fire on Unarmed Protestors

Chandra Singh Garhwali—World Peace Movement Will Never Forget the Soldier Who Refused to Fire on Unarmed Protestors

It was a tense day in Peshawar in 1930.The freedom movement under the guidance of Badshah Khan and the overall national leadership of Mahatma Gandhi was progressing from strength to strength. The Khudai Khidmatgars ( literally those who have committed themselves to serving God through service to humanity ) organized by the Badshah ( literally king, so called as he[Read More…]

by 12/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
At a time of growing farmer discontent, a reduction of agriculture budget is surely hard to justify

At a time of growing farmer discontent, a reduction of agriculture budget is surely hard to justify

Keeping in view the escalating farmer discontent in India in recent times, many people had reason to expect that the union government will respond by significantly raising the budget for agriculture, particularly in the context of  some of its most favored schemes. But when the union budget for 2021-22 was presented recently, they were in for a rude shock as[Read More…]

by 11/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Himalayan Ecology Faces Many-Sided Threats and Stress, Need for Declaring Ecologically Protective Peace Zone

Himalayan Ecology Faces Many-Sided Threats and Stress, Need for Declaring Ecologically Protective Peace Zone

A very important aspect of Himalayan region is that the number of people impacted by what happens to the environment of the Himalayan region is very high. This can be seen very easily in India in the very densely populated Ganga-Yamuna plains, but is true for some other countries as well. Of course the population within the Himalayan region can[Read More…]

by 10/02/2021 1 comment India
System of Safety of Dams Needs Improvement at Several Levels, Including Unbiased Assessment of New Projects

System of Safety of Dams Needs Improvement at Several Levels, Including Unbiased Assessment of New Projects

We are in an important phase of assessing and planning for safety of dams. On the one hand new legislation on this subject is under consideration, on the other hand a serious disaster implicating two or more hydel projects in the Himalayan region has re-emphasized the need for a much stronger system of dam safety that can also take into[Read More…]

by 10/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Peaceful Path Ahead for the Farmers’ Movement—Increasing Internal Strength While Reaching Out Widely

The Peaceful Path Ahead for the Farmers’ Movement—Increasing Internal Strength While Reaching Out Widely

It appears now that an early agreement with the government is not likely and so the farmers’ movement has to prepare for the long haul. The popular farmer leader Rakesh Tikait has said that the sit-in or dharna can continue up to October this year, and he as well as others have said that this will continue till the three[Read More…]

by 10/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
100th anniversary is a time to heal the wounds of Chauri-Chaura

100th anniversary is a time to heal the wounds of Chauri-Chaura

The events at and around Chauri-Chaura, a rural area located in Gorakhpur region of Uttar Pradesh, during the first week of February 1922 constitute an important chapter of the history of the freedom movement of India. These events became the immediate and most frequently mentioned reason for Mahatma Gandhi to stop the non-cooperation movement abruptly and this in turn had[Read More…]

by 10/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Dam Workers Face Serious Hazards, Need Much Better Safety and Social Security

Dam Workers Face Serious Hazards, Need Much Better Safety and Social Security

The tragedy in Uttarakhand has again highlighted the extreme vulnerability of dam workers who toil often in very hazardous conditions in very remote parts of the country, away from public gaze. In particular the hazards faced by workers are very serious at several dam construction locations in the Himalayan region. While better safety conditions for dam workers are needed everywhere,[Read More…]

by 09/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Reasons Why Tehri Dam Needs Very Special Precautions Of Safety

Reasons Why Tehri Dam Needs Very Special Precautions Of Safety

           The Tehri Dam Project (TDP) constructed in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand is one of the most discussed dams of the world in the context of the debates on dam safery. The salient features of this project are :- A 260.5 meters high earth and rockfill dam, across the river Bhagirathi at Tehri just after its confluence with river Bhilangana[Read More…]

by 09/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Question Marks on Himalayan Dams After Another Disaster

Question Marks on Himalayan Dams After Another Disaster

             Following the terrible disaster in Uttarakhand questions are likely to be raised once again regarding the safety and desirability of the many dams and hydel projects in the Himalayan region. What started as a natural disaster got much aggravated due to the various complications created by hydel projects and their tunnels., The workers and employees of these projects appear[Read More…]

by 08/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
 Struggle of Women Farmers to Protect Their Land

 Struggle of Women Farmers to Protect Their Land

From time to time several cases of women farmers being harassed and attempts to grab their land have been increasingly reported from various parts of country. One reason for this is increase in migration from villages and the growing responsibility on women who stay behind to take care of small farms. In the absence of men some land-grabbers feel they[Read More…]

by 08/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Displacement of  rural communities , diversion of fertile land and forests likely to prove very costly

Displacement of  rural communities , diversion of fertile land and forests likely to prove very costly

Several countries including India have embarked on a development strategy which emphasizes very rapid and large-scale extraction of minerals, construction of large dams and super-highways, huge urbanization and industrial projects. This is equated to development and progress by ruling regimes and hence they do not give adequate and proper attention to the huge social and environmental costs of such development[Read More…]

by 07/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Protection of Tribal Land and Forests Rights is Important Not Just for Livelihoods but Also for Invaluable Traditional Wisdom

Protection of Tribal Land and Forests Rights is Important Not Just for Livelihoods but Also for Invaluable Traditional Wisdom

                    Many commentators on land and forest rights, including former senior government officials, have expressed serious concern at the land alienation suffered by tribal farmers and the dilution of their forest rights. While this has led to a serious livelihood crisis among a large number of tribal households, in addition this has led to immense threats to the rich[Read More…]

by 07/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Most Cost-Effective and Pain-Reducing Way of Reducing Cancer-Related Distress is to Focus More on Preventive Aspects

Most Cost-Effective and Pain-Reducing Way of Reducing Cancer-Related Distress is to Focus More on Preventive Aspects

          There is increasing concern that the denial of cancer care and diagnosis to a lot of patients during the recent times of lockdowns and concentrating medical attention on Covis-19 is likely to lead to an increase in cancer related deaths in the near future. To give just one indication of this, a Lancet study has presented estimates of a[Read More…]

by 06/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Why the Nation—and Yes Even the Government—Should Take Pride in the Resilience and Unity of the Farmers’ Movement

Why the Nation—and Yes Even the Government—Should Take Pride in the Resilience and Unity of the Farmers’ Movement

What has happened in the context of the farmers’ movement in India in recent days has brought joy and pride to its increasing number of supporters. A movement that can spring back to a position of such great and increasing support and strength within just a few days—less than a week—of terrible victimization tactics surely deserves congratulations and praise for[Read More…]

by 04/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Right to Food Campaign Exposes How Women and Children Have Not Received Much-Needed Justice and Care in Union Budget 2021-22

Right to Food Campaign Exposes How Women and Children Have Not Received Much-Needed Justice and Care in Union Budget 2021-22

While all sections of people suffered in Covid, women and children suffered even more. Several studies including the recently released Oxfam Inequality report have documented that the loss of job is even more in troubled times for women and it is even more difficult for them to get their work back. Women in the unorganized sector who could save their[Read More…]

by 03/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Revolution Is Now Needed More Than Ever Before But  Needs Much Conceptual Clarity

Why Revolution Is Now Needed More Than Ever Before But  Needs Much Conceptual Clarity

Revolution is inherently a very noble concept as it is based on three very important  understandings for promoting improvement of human society. Firstly, there is a recognition that there is something basically wrong with the way human society is organized and functions at present, leading to avoidable large-scale distress and potential of this increasing even more in future. Next ,[Read More…]

by 03/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Greater Green Revolution—Distortions in Rural Development

The Greater Green Revolution—Distortions in Rural Development

            The green revolution has been widely discussed and its different aspects have been highlighted by various observers according to their own understanding of emphasis and priorities. To this writer the essence of the green revolution seems to lie in the following tendencies, all the more significant because these seem to be shared by technological changes in other sectors of[Read More…]

by 02/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
For Mahatma Gandhi Equal Respect for All Religions Was One of the Most Essential and Non-Negotiable Aspects of the India He Wanted to Create

For Mahatma Gandhi Equal Respect for All Religions Was One of the Most Essential and Non-Negotiable Aspects of the India He Wanted to Create

If the rulers of our troubled country today make a sincere search for solutions in the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, instead of merely garlanding his statue or photo, one of the most important lessons that they will learn is that of according truly equal respect to all religions. In fact this is a very basic lesson to which rulers of[Read More…]

by 02/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Communal Harmony
Solidarity is the Biggest Need for Indian Journalists Today

Solidarity is the Biggest Need for Indian Journalists Today

I find it hard to believe so I rub my eyes. So many frontline leaders of my profession ( journalism)  have been implicated  in serious charges and cases. In disbelief I look  at the big names again. They would all be at the top of any guide on distinguished media personalities of India. Is this just a bad dream? Or[Read More…]

by 02/02/2021 1 comment India
Distant Neighbors—The PMO should reach out directly to farmers with a truly open mind

Distant Neighbors—The PMO should reach out directly to farmers with a truly open mind

On January 30 the Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi told floor leaders of various political parties that  the union government’s offer on three farm laws made to protesting farmers still stands and it was only a phone call away for talks. Informing about this meeting the Parliament Affairs Minister Sh.  Prahlad Joshi said, “ The Prime Minister assured that the[Read More…]

by 02/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Opportunities Lost, Expectations Denied–Why the Union Budget is Disappointing

Opportunities Lost, Expectations Denied–Why the Union Budget is Disappointing

The Union Budget this year presented a huge opportunity for the government to break a new ground in terms of  equality based path out of economic crisis. After all it is well known that inequalities have grown greatly during recent times with a further accelerating trend in 2020, in particular there have been huge gains for several billionaires and also[Read More…]

by 01/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Health and Education Sectors Desperately Need High Budget Allocations, But They  Need Something More Too

Health and Education Sectors Desperately Need High Budget Allocations, But They  Need Something More Too

All those concerned are eagerly looking forward to significantly increased allocations for health and education sectors in the new union budget, particularly in the former, as so much loss has been suffered in these two sectors that several years of steady, even if slow, progress has been pushed back. People suffering many serious non-Covid diseases were denied essential medical help[Read More…]

by 31/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why MSP is Not Just A Budget Issue!

Why MSP is Not Just A Budget Issue!

The issue of minimum support price or MSP for various crops grown by farmers has seldom attracted the kind of intense debate as has taken place in recent times, due to the ongoing farmers’ movement. There is wide agreement that government should provide  MSP based purchase for various crops, as this helps to ensure and stabilize a fair price for[Read More…]

by 31/01/2021 1 comment India
Livelihood Crisis Greatly Aggravated in Covid Times

Livelihood Crisis Greatly Aggravated in Covid Times

Written by Bharat Dogra & Kumar Gautam While India had serious unemployment and livelihood protection problems even earlier, the Covid crisis accentuated these problems in unprecedented ways for some weeks, also leaving behind longer-term serious impacts. A report by Oxfam on Covid-time inequalities has highlighted this aspect of the crisis and recommended  shorter as well as longer term measures to[Read More…]

by 31/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Voices Which Help to Understand Critical Phase of the Farmers’ Movement

Voices Which Help to Understand Critical Phase of the Farmers’ Movement

There has been a lot of interest in the farmers’ movement and many people in distant parts of the India, and even outside India, feel a strong emotional connect with the movement. Recently this movement has been passing through a critical phase . It is useful to see what some well-informed persons in important positions have said in this context.[Read More…]

by 31/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Mahatma Gandhi’s Enduring Message of Non-Violence

Mahatma Gandhi’s Enduring Message of Non-Violence

         In a world increasingly troubled by violence and strife Mahatma Gandhi’s message remains highly relevant today, 73  years after the assassination of this man of peace. Gandhi’s work and writings covered a very wide range of activities, but perhaps what present-day  world needs to learn most from Gandhi is his overwhelming emphasis on non-violence to resolve any conflict or[Read More…]

by 30/01/2021 2 comments Life/Philosophy
Contribution of Gandhian Ideas in Responding to the Survival Crisis

Contribution of Gandhian Ideas in Responding to the Survival Crisis

          The concept of survival crisis refers to the emergence of life-threatening conditions on our planet due to factors like accumulation of weapons of mass destruction and a range of very serious environmental problems led by but not confined to climate change. This is the most serious problem on earth today, but the recognition of this by more and more[Read More…]

by 30/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
In A Democracy What Should be the Ideal Response of Government to Peaceful Protest Movements?

In A Democracy What Should be the Ideal Response of Government to Peaceful Protest Movements?

Peaceful protest movements by various sections of people are an essential part of a democracy. A government in a democracy should respond to smaller movements at  an initial stage at a decentralized level so that the issues are tackled at an early stage and there is no need for protests to become too big and overwhelming. Systems should be in[Read More…]

by 29/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Government Attitude Towards  Farmers’ Movement Needs Basic Change

The Government Attitude Towards  Farmers’ Movement Needs Basic Change

There are several indicators of a hardening attitude of the government towards the farmers’ movement. Therefore it needs to be emphasized at this juncture that a policy of repression will be very harmful for the nation and those who are committed to peace, democracy and justice within and outside government should do all they can to prevent this. There is[Read More…]

by 29/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Negotiating Peaceful Farmer Leaders Should Not Be Blamed For Violence

Negotiating Peaceful Farmer Leaders Should Not Be Blamed For Violence

Nearly 40 leaders of unions of farmers have been negotiating with the government regarding important demands of farmers for over 8 weeks. In the course of negotiations the representatives of the government including the Agriculture Minister have expressed their appreciation of the disciplined and peaceful nature of the protest. Others in the national and international media also appreciated this. The [Read More…]

by 28/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Some Significant Aspects of the Forthcoming Union Budget

Some Significant Aspects of the Forthcoming Union Budget

The forthcoming union budget is considered to be of extraordinary importance as it is being presented in the middle of a serious economic crisis. More specifically there are exceptionally high under-achievements regarding GNP and revenue receipts combined with very pressing needs of several sectors at the same time. Whatever the constraints, the budget of health and education sectors has to[Read More…]

by 28/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why There Are So Many Policy Failures Despite the Existence of Democracy and Batteries of Experts

Why There Are So Many Policy Failures Despite the Existence of Democracy and Batteries of Experts

The incidence and frequency of major policy failures has been increasing in some of the major countries of the world , including the USA, UK, Brazil, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan, to mention only some of the more obvious examples. This has brought immense and avoidable distress to hundreds of millions of people, apart from inflicting other longer term[Read More…]

by 27/01/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Limitations of Several Approaches to Environment Protection

Limitations of Several Approaches to Environment Protection

When we see all around that so much  is being said and done in the name of environment protection, it seems very surprising that on the whole environment protection is not really progressing and environmental conditions are in fact deteriorating from the point of view of most indicators. This situation can be better understood if we see clearly the different[Read More…]

by 27/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Kisan Sansad Makes Important Contribution to Better Understanding of Farmers’ Movement

Kisan Sansad Makes Important Contribution to Better Understanding of Farmers’ Movement

At a time when the farmers’ movement is in the middle of a courageous and much needed struggle for preventing the farming and food movement from falling further into the stranglehold of big business interests, it is of great importance that many leading social activists and public-spirited intellectuals got together to organize a kisan sansad ( farmers’ parliament ) with[Read More…]

by 26/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Inequalities of Health Systems Increased Distress in Covid Times

Inequalities of Health Systems Increased Distress in Covid Times

Written by Bharat Dogra& Kumar Gautam India is known to have a highly unequal health system which creates problems even in  normal times. However, in Covid times these problems created by inequalities and unequal access in health systems were greatly accentuated , reinforcing the need to reduce inequalities in health system. A report by Oxfam released very recently on January[Read More…]

by 26/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Oxfam Report Makes Strong Case For Economic Recovery To Be Led By Reduction of Inequalities

Oxfam Report Makes Strong Case For Economic Recovery To Be Led By Reduction of Inequalities

Written by Bharat Dogra and Kumar Gautam An important report prepared by Oxfam titled ‘The Inequality Vitus’ ( as also its India supplement), released on January 25, has made a strong case for the economic recovery path to be led by reduction of inequalities. Similarly it argues that for strengthening the crucial health and education sectors inequalities in these sectors[Read More…]

by 25/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Republic Day May Be Just the Right Time for the Government to Reach Out to Farmers, Minorities and Political Prisoners

Republic Day May Be Just the Right Time for the Government to Reach Out to Farmers, Minorities and Political Prisoners

The Republic Day is the time of the year when feelings of national unity and working together to create a better India are at their highest level among all the citizens of India. This may be just the right time for the Government of India, and more particularly for the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, to reach out to the[Read More…]

by 25/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
While Repeal of Three Controversial Farm Laws is a Must, A Wider Vision is Also Needed Urgently

While Repeal of Three Controversial Farm Laws is a Must, A Wider Vision is Also Needed Urgently

While the union government inexplicably finds it so difficult to agree to the simple, straightforward and well-justified demand of repeal of three controversial farm laws, social movements as well as public spirited intellectuals have been quickly reaching near consensus on supporting this most emphasized demand of the farmers’ movement. One point of consensus is that these three laws will make[Read More…]

by 24/01/2021 1 comment India
The  Sangh Parivar Should Prevail Upon The Government to Change Its Stand on the Three Controversial Farm Laws

The  Sangh Parivar Should Prevail Upon The Government to Change Its Stand on the Three Controversial Farm Laws

Sometimes when a very powerful person in the family has become unreasonably adamant and is not listening to the good advice coming from several sides, then it is the duty of family members  themselves to come forward and convince the powerful member of the family to stop being adamant  and accept the good advice that is coming from many well-intentioned[Read More…]

by 24/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Widespread Opposition of Arrest Warrant Against Eminent Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

Widespread Opposition of Arrest Warrant Against Eminent Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

On January 19, a court in Gujarat issued an arrest warrant against eminent journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta in a defamation suit filed by the Adani Group. Since then several leading media organizations and commentators have voiced strong opposition of this action against a senior journalist with many-sided achievements in print journalism,  TV and documentary films. Thakurta has also been working[Read More…]

by 23/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Common Myths About Human Progress

Common Myths About Human Progress

There are several widely held myths about human progress which have persisted widely for a long time and the wide persistence of these myths has itself become an obstacle in the path of progress. Perhaps the most common myth is of the inevitability of progress over a long period of time. It is taken for granted that if we compare[Read More…]

by 23/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
What is Progress?

What is Progress?

A lot of problems have been caused by the fact that there has not been  enough careful thinking on what constitutes human progress and it has been often just taken for granted that progress has been taking place over long periods of time, interrupted occasionally perhaps by some short-term disruptions. This leads to the curious  anomaly of periods of aggravation[Read More…]

by 22/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Most Obvious and Important Role of Humanity  is Now the Most Neglected and Violated

The Most Obvious and Important Role of Humanity  is Now the Most Neglected and Violated

Ever since the dawn of human life, philosophers as well as common people have often pondered on the meaning and role , the goal and aims of human life. Many ideas have emerged, some interesting and valuable, others clumsy and risky. When humanity is examined not just in isolation but in integration with  nature and  environment, and all the millions[Read More…]

by 22/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Combining Constructive Work With Struggles—An Important Lesson of Freedom Movement

Combining Constructive Work With Struggles—An Important Lesson of Freedom Movement

One of the most inspiring aspects of the freedom movement in India was the combination of struggle and constructive work. While several great freedom fighters contributed to this idea, the most important contribution to this concept was made by Mahatma Gandhi. This has attracted worldwide attention and rightly so. Gandhiji understood very well that the freedom movement involves long-term commitment,[Read More…]

by 21/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Propaganda Against Farmers’ Movement

Propaganda Against Farmers’ Movement

It is a very important part of the quest to create a better and safer world that just as we should know what to adopt, similarly we should know what to avoid. All ideologies based on a mix of inter-faith hostility ( called communalism in India), fundamentalism and sectarianism should be avoided like plague. Whether ideologies based on sectarianism, communalism,[Read More…]

by 21/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Farming: The Real Problem May Often Be Different From Its Outward Manifestation

Farming: The Real Problem May Often Be Different From Its Outward Manifestation

While trying to find sustainable, durable solutions to problems which have been building up over a long time, it is very helpful to keep in mind that the outward manifestation  is not necessarily the real problem or its core. This is very evident in the context of  farming where a number of serious problems have been building up over the[Read More…]

by 20/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A Watershed Moment for Farm Policy—For World and For India

A Watershed Moment for Farm Policy—For World and For India

It is important to realize that the world is in the middle of a watershed moment for farm policy. So is India. Let us first consider the world situation. The most critical issue to consider here now and in coming years relates to climate change and related environmental  problems which constitute a survival crisis for the life-nurturing conditions of our[Read More…]

by 20/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Great Caution is Needed to Prevent Farming Getting Trapped in Unsustainable Systems

Great Caution is Needed to Prevent Farming Getting Trapped in Unsustainable Systems

Governments in many countries grapple with the challenge of retaining the support of farmers who are considered important in electoral politics. At the same time several of these governments work under the impact of powerful business interests. From the narrow point of view of these governments the skill is in somehow managing to keep both business interests and farmers happy.[Read More…]

by 19/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Women Farmer Day at Protest Sites Celebrates Important Role and Deeply Emotional Support of Women

Women Farmer Day at Protest Sites Celebrates Important Role and Deeply Emotional Support of Women

Women Farmer Day is being celebrated at leading protest site Kundli as well as some other protest sites of the courageous farmers’ movement today on January 18. A large number of women arrived from several villages of Haryana and Punjab as well as other places on Sunday. They are taking over many duties today and will be participating even more[Read More…]

by 18/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Albert Einstein Went to Meet Mahatma Gandhi in Heaven?

Why Albert Einstein Went to Meet Mahatma Gandhi in Heaven?

This is the third in a series of heaven-based stories, written as fantasy but very relevant to our times. The first story titled Mahatma Gandhi Returns to Earth was published in Countercurrents.org on December 11 2020 while the second story titled Mahatma Gandhi Meets Shahid Bhagat Singh was published in Countercurrents.org on January 16 2021. It was a nice relaxed[Read More…]

by 17/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Linguistic Deception Used Against People and Environment

Linguistic Deception Used Against People and Environment

Linguistic deception has been increasingly used against the interests of common people and environment protection, and to advance the interests of big business, on a vast scale although in subtle and veiled ways. The most common example of this is the way in which the word ‘reform’ has been used, particular in economic discourse. The general meaning of ‘reform’ is[Read More…]

by 17/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
For Farmers’ Movement, This Time is Ripe for Consolidation, Not Confrontation

For Farmers’ Movement, This Time is Ripe for Consolidation, Not Confrontation

The ninth round of talks between the farmers’ movement and government representatives on January 15 again did not yield any breakthrough, but kept some hopes alive by scheduling a next round of discussions—the tenth one—for January 19. In the meanwhile the farmers’ unions and organizations will be deliberating on the course of actions during the next few days. As they[Read More…]

by 16/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Mahatma Gandhi Meets Shahid Bhagat Singh in Heaven 

Mahatma Gandhi Meets Shahid Bhagat Singh in Heaven 

This is one of a series of heaven-based stories, written as  fantasy yet very relevant to our times. The first part of the series appeared in  Countercurrents.org dated December 11, 2020 under the title ‘ Mahatma Gandhi Returns to Earth’. Gandhi had managed to get the clearance from heaven authorities for his one-day visit to Earth ,but after returning from[Read More…]

by 16/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Photo by George M. Groutas

Yearnings for Alternative Food and Farming Systems

           “Men who can graft the  trees and make the seed fertile and big can find no way to let the hungry people eat their produce . Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby their fruits may be eaten. And the failure hangs over the State like a great sorrow.” – John Steinbeck[Read More…]

by 15/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
We Need Multi-Disciplinary Approach For Better Understanding of Crucial Issues

We Need Multi-Disciplinary Approach For Better Understanding of Crucial Issues

The importance of a multi-disciplinary approach for understanding crucial issues is well-established both at academic and policy levels. Nevertheless we need to ask, despite the need for this being well-established, whether this is being neglected frequently in public discourse, and perhaps to a lesser extent, even at policy and academic levels? One reason for this unintentional neglect is that public[Read More…]

by 15/01/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Today India Needs Both Gandhi and Bhagat Singh, and the Unity of Their Followers More Than Ever Before

Today India Needs Both Gandhi and Bhagat Singh, and the Unity of Their Followers More Than Ever Before

In recent times India has been passing through the most difficult period of its post-independence history. The most sacred constitutional precept of social  (including inter-faith) equality and harmony is badly threatened, while economic inequality and the grip of a few top billionaires on economy have been increasing like never before. Destruction of environment and bio-diversity are rampant, and the safeguards[Read More…]

by 14/01/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Two Streams of Freedom Movement Often Supported and Complemented Each Other

Two Streams of Freedom Movement Often Supported and Complemented Each Other

An aspect of freedom movement of India which deserves to be better known in India, particularly among youth, is that various streams of freedom movement in  India often supported and complemented each other. This is particularly true of the two most important streams, one identified mainly with Mahatma Gandhi and the other predominantly with  Shahid Bhagat Singh. In a very[Read More…]

by 14/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Book Review
Reason Wounded—Government and Judiciary Miss the Essence of Farmer Protests

Reason Wounded—Government and Judiciary Miss the Essence of Farmer Protests

The stalemate in resolving key issues relating to farmers’ movement continues, even though millions and millions of people in the country want the prolonged stalemate to end on a note of satisfaction for farmers. Although attempts are being made repeatedly to depict the farmers as being unreasonable and obstinate, in fact they have displayed remarkable maturity as well as foresight[Read More…]

by 13/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A Non-Partisan View of Farmers’ Movement

A Non-Partisan View of Farmers’ Movement

The ongoing farmers’ movement in India has evoked strong feelings on both sides. This has been praised to an awesome extent; on the other hand very unfair criticism has been inflicted  on it repeatedly. It will be useful at this stage to attempt an unbiased appraisal of this movement. Strengths of Movement The most persistent demand of this movement for[Read More…]

by 11/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Now is the Time to Press for Long-Needed Rural Changes Based on Justice and Protection of Environment

Now is the Time to Press for Long-Needed Rural Changes Based on Justice and Protection of Environment

The ongoing farmers’ movement has led to the coming together of many farmers’ organizations and this unity has been sustained despite several efforts to divide them. As many farmer representatives have stated repeatedly, the mobilization of farmers on Delhi borders would have seen even greater participation from various parts of the country but for the fact that travel conditions in[Read More…]

by 10/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Debate Between Violence and Non-Violence in Social Movements

The Debate Between Violence and Non-Violence in Social Movements

In history there has been a long debate between violence and non-violence in the context of social movements. Some very great persons who brought very beneficial and durable change chose the path of non-violence and peace. Some very courageous and capable leaders and their followers, on the other hand, had no hesitation in using violent methods and they too achieved[Read More…]

by 09/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
How Social Movements Can Make Durable, Wider and Definite Contribution to Creating a Better World

How Social Movements Can Make Durable, Wider and Definite Contribution to Creating a Better World

Social movements have a very important role in society, a role that has to assume  even more significance if our deeply troubled world has to find a way out of the survival crisis in which it is entangled very badly at the moment. Of course we are  here talking of only sincere movements, and not of those movements which are[Read More…]

by 09/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Women protesting against the Farm Bills (Image for representative purpose)

Refusal of the Government to Repeal Farm Laws is Proving Very Costly

Disappointing the very large number of people who had high hopes that the stand-off with farmers’ organizations will be resolved soon, the government has not accepted this main demand after even 44 days of peaceful and disciplined protests by farmers at five places on Delhi border. The talks today on January 8 were particularly dismal as the farmer representatives, judging[Read More…]

by 08/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Immediate Demands of Farmers’ Movement are Important, but so is a Longer-Term Agenda

Immediate Demands of Farmers’ Movement are Important, but so is a Longer-Term Agenda

Almost all social movements set a lot of emphasis on their immediate demands. These are obviously very important and often the success or otherwise of a movement is almost entirely judged in terms of the realization of these demands. Such a view, although very common, is not entirely correct. The achievements of social movements can also be very important, sometimes[Read More…]

by 08/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Growing Distance and Conflict Between Real Needs and Actual Policy in Food and Farming Systems

Growing Distance and Conflict Between Real Needs and Actual Policy in Food and Farming Systems

It is easy to have  very wide agreement on the obvious fact that food and farming sector is one of the most important sectors, perhaps the most important  sector, of human efforts and needs. But while the realization of this importance should lead to very caring and careful attitudes, the realization of the importance is actually being interpreted by very[Read More…]

by 07/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Increasing Need for Unity of Social Movements

Increasing Need for Unity of Social Movements

While the need for unity of various social movements has always existed, in more recent times this has become much more compelling. This increasing need has coincided with and is related to the accentuation of some very serious problems to the extent that these have now taken the form of a survival crisis, the very serious endangering of basic life-nurturing[Read More…]

by 07/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Towards Greener and Cleaner Cities, With Special Care For The Poor

Towards Greener and Cleaner Cities, With Special Care For The Poor

Sanitation has been perhaps the weakest link in the urban development effort of India. The path towards better cities involves above all a big breakthrough in decentralized sanitation solutions and linking these with increasing greenery. First and perhaps foremost, there should be waste segregation at source level, whether home or workplace, so that we have at least four categories –[Read More…]

by 06/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
How and Why Farmers Lose Their Land

How and Why Farmers Lose Their Land

In many countries with varying levels of development, a large number of farmers have been losing their land , sometimes to the extent of even losing their status as independent landowning farmers. Various economic, technological, social, political, legal and other factors are involved, and one is hesitant to generalize or oversimplify a complex situation. Nevertheless this much can be stated[Read More…]

by 06/01/2021 1 comment India
Take Ecologically Protective Methods to Farmers in Ways Which Benefit Them

Take Ecologically Protective Methods to Farmers in Ways Which Benefit Them

Recently Sant Seechewal, saint and award winning eco-activist of Punjab, visited protesting farmers at Delhi border with the  precious gift of a truckload of healthy food. However the message he brought him was even more precious—he called upon them to shift to natural farming and mutually  cooperative farming in order to find more reliable and sustainable solutions to their problems.[Read More…]

by 06/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Bursting the Myth That Farmer Numbers Must Inevitably Decline in Course of Progress

Bursting the Myth That Farmer Numbers Must Inevitably Decline in Course of Progress

One of the most widely prevalent beliefs of development discourse is that the number and share of farmers and farmer households in total population must inevitably decline in the course of progress. This is based on historical experience as also the fact that technological change and rising productivity make it possible to produce necessary food and raw materials by a[Read More…]

by 05/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Government Should Appreciate the Rationality of the Stand Taken by Farmers on Three Farm Laws

Government Should Appreciate the Rationality of the Stand Taken by Farmers on Three Farm Laws

High hopes reposed in the talks between the representatives of farmers’  organizations and the government on January 4 were not fulfilled and the entire issue got postponed to the next round of talks scheduled for January 8. This is very disappointing. Why is the stalemate persisting? The statements made by both sides after this round may help us to understand[Read More…]

by 05/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Myth That Progress Necessarily Involves Shift of People From Village To City Should Be Challenged

Myth That Progress Necessarily Involves Shift of People From Village To City Should Be Challenged

One of the most persistent beliefs in development discourse has been that progress inevitably involves shift from rural to urban areas. This is largely rooted in the historical industrial path of progress. But there are a number of important reasons led by environmental ones why the past models of development which have brought us to the brink of a survival[Read More…]

by 05/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Farmers of Intensive Green Revolution Areas Should Also Look Beyond the Current Paradigm of Development

Farmers of Intensive Green Revolution Areas Should Also Look Beyond the Current Paradigm of Development

There are several areas of India which follow intensive green revolution path of farming , based generally  on very heavy use of agro-chemicals, high levels of mechanization and overexploitation of water. Among these areas perhaps the belt of a major part of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh is perhaps the best known. This belt accounts for a very significant[Read More…]

by 04/01/2021 1 comment India
In Democracy Respect For Government Increases If Unpopular Laws Are Taken Back

In Democracy Respect For Government Increases If Unpopular Laws Are Taken Back

As India debates the repeal of three controversial farm laws and critical negotiations for this are scheduled to take place today on January 4, it  needs to be asserted that in democracy when a government take a decision to repeal unpopular laws, its true respect and honor  among people are likely to increase, not decrease. However this is true only[Read More…]

by 04/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
High Hopes From New Year Farmer Talks  Should Be Fulfilled With A 7-Point Agreement

High Hopes From New Year Farmer Talks  Should Be Fulfilled With A 7-Point Agreement

The last round of talks between farmer and government representatives had ended on a note of partial optimism, with some negotiators from farmers side saying that they expected a  clincher agreement in the next round of talks in the new year on January 4 Monday. Even ministers on the government side voiced expressed high hopes of final agreement, one Minister[Read More…]

by 03/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Sincere Spirituality For A Better World

Sincere Spirituality For A Better World

Spirituality has always been a very important part of human progress, but these days when we talk about spirituality we feel the need to prefix ‘sincere’, an indicator of how much hypocrisy has been practiced in the name of spirituality in recent times. Hence it is better to state  at the outset that here  we are discussing sincere spirituality only.[Read More…]

by 03/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Eight Essentials of Human Progress, Always Crucial But Often Neglected

Eight Essentials of Human Progress, Always Crucial But Often Neglected

While there are so many factors which are important for true progress of humanity, some of these can be identified as the most crucial and essential. Firstly, there should be a widespread sincere belief in and commitment to equality and justice. There should be absolutely no room for  any discrimination, any deprivation or any denial based  on race, religion, color,[Read More…]

by 03/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Increasing Importance and Relevance of the Left in India

Increasing Importance and Relevance of the Left in India

India is passing through very difficult times in terms of economic and livelihood crisis, threats to plurality and ‘unity in diversity’, as well as erosion of democratic rights and norms. Tens of millions of working class people are deeply worried about threats to their livelihood and loss of income. Even millions in the more secure middle class are worried about[Read More…]

by 02/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Contribution of Farming to Checking Climate Change Can be Immense, and Traditional Wisdom Can Contribute Much

Contribution of Farming to Checking Climate Change Can be Immense, and Traditional Wisdom Can Contribute Much

Keeping in view the importance of checking climate change , all sectors must contribute to he reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In this context the extremely important contribution which the food and agriculture  sector can make was underestimated initially but more and more research is now indicating that the contribution of this sector can extremely important. In fact if all[Read More…]

by 02/01/2021 1 comment Counter Solutions
How to Face Climate Change Challenge While Enhancing Welfare of Farmers At The Same Time

How to Face Climate Change Challenge While Enhancing Welfare of Farmers At The Same Time

Climate change has emerged as one of the most critical problems of our times. Its disrupting impacts on farming and related activities is already being felt by farmers, pastorals and others in the form of highly erratic weather, extremes of weather and rise in the intensity and frequency of various disasters. Hence two big questions arise—How can farmers make an[Read More…]

by 02/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Wider Social Benefits Apart, Ecologically Protective Farming Can Also Be Economically Attractive

Wider Social Benefits Apart, Ecologically Protective Farming Can Also Be Economically Attractive

While the social benefits of ecologically protective, organic and/or natural farming are so obvious, it is sometimes said that in economic terms this may not be so beneficial for farmers and this thinking becomes a big hurdle in the spread of ecologically protective farming. However the advocates of ecologically protective farming and low external input farming give several important reasons[Read More…]

by 02/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Education for a Better World Needs New Thinking, Not a Polishing of Old Systems

Education for a Better World Needs New Thinking, Not a Polishing of Old Systems

The disruption of education in Covid times has caused serious concern, and there are well-justified calls for  urgent corrective action. Along with this, however, there is compelling reason to give much more thought to where exactly business-as-usual education systems are taking us and to what extent, if at all, these are capable of contributing to the creation of a better, [Read More…]

by 01/01/2021 1 comment Life/Philosophy
The Promise and the Limitations of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration

The Promise and the Limitations of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration

It is certainly good news that the United Nations has declared 2021-30 to be the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration. At the outset as a justification for this it can be stated without risk of contradiction that the need for ecosystem restoration was never greater than in present times. There has been so much devastation, and taken together this has[Read More…]

by 01/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Can 2021  Bring Hope With An Increasing Role of Social Movements in India

Can 2021  Bring Hope With An Increasing Role of Social Movements in India

The last five weeks of 2020 were dominated by a re-assertion of social movements in India. Can the country build further on this strength in the new year 2021? To answer this question we must look first at the overall situation in the country. The foremost concerns of people appear to be economic ones. A very large number of people[Read More…]

by 01/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Settlement on Farm Issues Should Have A Clause Each on Ecologically Protective Agriculture and Landless Farm Workers

Settlement on Farm Issues Should Have A Clause Each on Ecologically Protective Agriculture and Landless Farm Workers

The farmer-government talks on December 30 indicated that some progress on a negotiated settlement is being made. This is good for farming and good for democracy. However even at this advanced stage of negotiations there is no clear reference to two very crucial issues. It will be very useful if at least a reference regarding their importance and a commitment[Read More…]

by 31/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Emerging Unity of Farmers and Workers Will Strengthen Our Democracy

Emerging Unity of Farmers and Workers Will Strengthen Our Democracy

After many distressing developments in the country some good news had to simply emerge during 2020 to end the year on a note of hope and it has finally emerged in the form of a growing unity of farmers and workers. This will strengthen our democracy and increase the ability of people to defend themselves and crucial national  interests from[Read More…]

by 29/12/2020 2 comments India
Diversion of Food Crops to Industrial Use Can be Very Harmful

Diversion of Food Crops to Industrial Use Can be Very Harmful

There has been an increasing tendency worldwide to divert a lot of high-nutrition food crops to industrial uses. In addition many other food crops are not being used as staple foods but instead are being processed in many complicated ways to serve as raw materials for food industry in very different forms. What impact will this have on food security [Read More…]

by 29/12/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Budget Analysis is Important, But We Must Also Realize Its Limitations

Budget Analysis is Important, But We Must Also Realize Its Limitations

Budget analysis is an important and increasingly frequent part of economic analysis. In the days preceding and following the presentation of the union budget in particular the discourse on economic issues is often dominated by the tax announcements, allocations for various sectors or schemes, the deficit , subsidies and related fiscal matters. All this is useful and fine. However problems[Read More…]

by 28/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Why Immediate Resolving of  Farmer Issues is A  Must—New Talks Bring Hope

Why Immediate Resolving of  Farmer Issues is A  Must—New Talks Bring Hope

New hopes of resolving the important issues raised by the farmers emerged on December 26, with both sides agreeing to restart of talks, after stalemate- like conditions had emerged following the breakdown of the earlier round of negotiations. Now this new opportunity of resolving the stand-off should be clinched, with the new year beginning on an optimistic note for the[Read More…]

by 27/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Where is Justice?—Most Farmers and Informal Workers Have No Pension After Toiling All Their Life

Where is Justice?—Most Farmers and Informal Workers Have No Pension After Toiling All Their Life

Girdhari worked as a farmer for over four decades, toiling in scorching summers and shivering winters. At the age of 62 he could no longer work and was confined more or less to his home. Savitri, who had contributed no less in the farm apart from shouldering heavy household responsibilities,  had even more health problems. They now often longed for[Read More…]

by 25/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Compelling Need to Widen the Paradigm of Nutrition Debate

Compelling Need to Widen the Paradigm of Nutrition Debate

Latest data on the highly worrying nutrition situation in India is shocking and following the availability of this data the debate on nutrition has intensified again. There has been an increasing unfortunate tendency in recent times for some powerful commercial interests to push their narrow selfish interests  in the name of improving the nutrition situation. Sometimes these interests try to[Read More…]

by 24/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Growing Problems of Farmers of Punjab Should be Understood and Solved Carefully

Growing Problems of Farmers of Punjab Should be Understood and Solved Carefully

            As Punjab was selected for early introduction of green revolution and the accompanying investments and subsidies, and the state also receives more remittances from family members who work abroad or have settled there, there has been an exaggerated perception of farm-related prosperity in Punjab, while the reality for many of the small and marginal farmers has been that of[Read More…]

by 24/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Silent Sufferings of Children Increased Greatly This Year

Silent Sufferings of Children Increased Greatly This Year

While the sufferings of several sections of population increased this year in India, perhaps it is the silent sufferings of children and students which increased the most. Whether it is nutrition or health or education or exposure to special risk situations and violence, from all points of view there appears to have been all-round deterioration in the condition of children.[Read More…]

by 24/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Covid Relief: Need for Big Increase To Prevent Hunger and Distress

Covid Relief: Need for Big Increase To Prevent Hunger and Distress

As  Covid and lockdowns increased distress and deprivation in many countries, governments in most countries including India responded with relief packages aimed at directly helping the poor and vulnerable sections as well as reviving the  economy. However there are several indicators that the actual relief which reached needy people in India was much less than what was suggested by official[Read More…]

by 23/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
 Women protesting against the Farm Bills (Image for representative purpose)

A Comprehensive Analysis of Three Controversial Farm Laws

Introduction It is rare for any legislation to become the rallying point of such large-scale and prolonged opposition as the three farm laws enacted together this year in India have become. The biggest  farmers’ movement of recent times in India has emerged to protest against this ‘kala kanoon’ or black laws as these three laws have been repeatedly labeled by[Read More…]

by 23/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Need to Check Wasteful Food Processing and Promote Rural Livelihoods With Small and Cottage Industries

Need to Check Wasteful Food Processing and Promote Rural Livelihoods With Small and Cottage Industries

         While agriculture has been much in discussion, the related work of food-processing has hardly received any attention, even though there is a huge scope for providing millions of rural jobs while at the same time also improving the nutrition situation very significantly by moving from present-day large scale big-business controlled food processing to food crop and other crop processing[Read More…]

by 22/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Better Understanding Needed of Close Link Between Soil Health and Nutrition

Better Understanding Needed of Close Link Between Soil Health and Nutrition

           While the critical importance of soil health for good farming is well-established and  widely recognized, one aspect which has not received adequate attention is the link of soil health to nutrition of crops. This aspect needs to be explored further and the already available evidence should also be better appreciated and collected. In a note of the Food and[Read More…]

by 21/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Beyond Economic Issues, There is Need to Also Look Carefully at Social Distress and Disruption in Villages

Beyond Economic Issues, There is Need to Also Look Carefully at Social Distress and Disruption in Villages

Debates on rural distress generally take place only or mainly in the context of economic issues. Certainly economic issues, and related issues like those of technological change, are very important for understanding rural distress but at the same time it will not be proper to try to have an understanding based only on economic issues while ignoring important aspects of[Read More…]

by 21/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Let  Millions of Kitchen-Gardens Bloom

Let  Millions of Kitchen-Gardens Bloom

While issues relating to farmers are being discussed widely these days, we need to also discuss issues concerning landless farmer households. The fact that the landless also need to be provided at least small plots of cultivation land had a lot of acceptance till the not-too-distant past. Around this acceptance policies were framed, legislations were enacted and special drives for[Read More…]

by 20/12/2020 1 comment Counter Solutions
Reforms Which Can Help to Improve Crop Procurement Significantly

Reforms Which Can Help to Improve Crop Procurement Significantly

Procurement of various crops from farmers at a fair price by the government is an integral part of the farm and food system of India. This can be reformed in various ways—reducing costs while improving income of farmers and overall food security. When various crops are being harvested in a village, the government should procure a part of the staple[Read More…]

by 20/12/2020 1 comment India
Encourage and Increase Procurement of Millets, Pulses and Oilseeds at Fair Price

Encourage and Increase Procurement of Millets, Pulses and Oilseeds at Fair Price

One of the several important aspects of debate on farm and food sector is that there should be more encouragement to increasing production of pulses, oilseeds and millets. This will be very good for nutrition and health of people, good for farm ecology and good for the self-reliance ( atma-nirbharta)  of the country as well as its rural communities. One[Read More…]

by 20/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Covid Response Marred Badly  by Corruption in Health Systems

Covid Response Marred Badly  by Corruption in Health Systems

There are increasing apprehensions worldwide that the ability to minimize pandemic related distress and damage is being compromised seriously by widespread corrupt practices at various levels. Several warnings have being voiced already that this is leading to very heavy costs and even loss of precious human lives. In order to appreciate how heavy  such costs can be, some key information[Read More…]

by 19/12/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Kakori Martyrs Are Symbols of Courage, Unity and Harmony

Kakori Martyrs Are Symbols of Courage, Unity and Harmony

In the year 1927 a glorious chapter of the freedom movement came to an abrupt end as four young men were hanged to death for their courageous contribution to the independence of their country from colonial rule. Three of them attained martyrdom on December 20 and one on December 17, all in jails of the then United Provinces ( present[Read More…]

by 18/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
We Need Wider Opposition Unity, Denigrating  Gandhi-Nehru Family and  Congress Will Not Help

We Need Wider Opposition Unity, Denigrating  Gandhi-Nehru Family and  Congress Will Not Help

India and Indian democracy have been passing through difficult times. A many –sided effort is needed to check the decline and take effective steps to protect democracy, plurality, harmony, equality, justice, environment and livelihoods. Public spirited intellectuals, like various other sections of society, can contribute much to this effort, if they are suitably  humble and polite, do not try to[Read More…]

by 18/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Wider Implications of Controversial Farm Laws Also Need Attention

Wider Implications of Controversial Farm Laws Also Need Attention

There have been widespread and prolonged protests by farmers against three controversial farm laws enacted this year in a great hurry in India , the primary reason being that these are widely perceived by protesting farmers to be against their interests. This has been widely discussed, but it is necessary to look also at some of the wider implications of[Read More…]

by 17/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Most Important Aspects of Nutrition Are Also the Most Neglected

Most Important Aspects of Nutrition Are Also the Most Neglected

In India we have the biggest programs on nutrition and we have also have some of the highest rates of malnutrition. Despite the expanding nutrition programs (checked for the time being by Covid related factors ), malnutrition levels remain high, as revealed also in the latest surveys. This curious and sad phenomenon has been examined by several learned experts, but[Read More…]

by 16/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A Kind Heart is Needed to Resolve Issues of Farmers, Workers and Troubled Fellow-Citizens, Not A 56 Inch Chest

A Kind Heart is Needed to Resolve Issues of Farmers, Workers and Troubled Fellow-Citizens, Not A 56 Inch Chest

In democracies leaders are called upon time and again to resolve protests of people. In fact this is a primary responsibility of democratically elected leaders and the sense of responsibility should be all the greater for leaders who have received  enormous respect and trust of people, like a leader like Shri Narendra Modi of India. Time and again people of[Read More…]

by 16/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India