Articles by: Bharat Dogra

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 April 22, 2021 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 April 22, 2021 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 April 21, 2021 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 April 21, 2021 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 April 20, 2021 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 April 20, 2021 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 April 20, 2021 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 April 20, 2021 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 April 19, 2021 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 April 19, 2021 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 April 18, 2021 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 April 18, 2021 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 April 18, 2021 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 April 16, 2021 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 April 16, 2021 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 April 15, 2021 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 April 15, 2021 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 April 14, 2021 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 April 13, 2021 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 April 13, 2021 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 April 12, 2021 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 April 12, 2021 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…]

by April 11, 2021 Environmental Protection
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 April 11, 2021 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 April 10, 2021 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 April 10, 2021 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 April 9, 2021 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 April 9, 2021 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 April 8, 2021 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 April 8, 2021 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 April 8, 2021 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 April 8, 2021 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 April 6, 2021 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 April 6, 2021 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 April 5, 2021 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 April 5, 2021 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 April 4, 2021 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 April 4, 2021 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 April 3, 2021 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 April 2, 2021 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 April 2, 2021 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 April 1, 2021 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 April 1, 2021 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 March 31, 2021 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 March 31, 2021 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 March 30, 2021 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 March 30, 2021 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 March 29, 2021 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 March 29, 2021 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 March 28, 2021 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 March 28, 2021 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 March 27, 2021 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 March 27, 2021 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 March 26, 2021 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 March 26, 2021 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 March 25, 2021 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 March 25, 2021 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 March 24, 2021 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 March 24, 2021 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 March 23, 2021 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 March 23, 2021 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 March 23, 2021 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 March 22, 2021 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 March 21, 2021 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 March 21, 2021 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 March 20, 2021 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 March 20, 2021 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 March 19, 2021 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 March 19, 2021 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 March 19, 2021 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 March 18, 2021 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 March 18, 2021 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 March 17, 2021 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 March 17, 2021 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 March 15, 2021 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 March 15, 2021 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 March 14, 2021 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 March 14, 2021 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 March 13, 2021 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 March 13, 2021 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 March 12, 2021 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 March 12, 2021 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 March 11, 2021 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 March 11, 2021 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 March 10, 2021 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 March 10, 2021 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 March 9, 2021 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 March 9, 2021 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 March 8, 2021 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 March 8, 2021 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 March 6, 2021 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 March 5, 2021 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 March 5, 2021 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 March 5, 2021 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 March 4, 2021 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 March 3, 2021 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 March 2, 2021 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 March 1, 2021 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 February 28, 2021 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 February 27, 2021 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 February 27, 2021 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 February 26, 2021 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 February 26, 2021 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 February 25, 2021 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 February 25, 2021 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 February 24, 2021 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 February 24, 2021 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 February 23, 2021 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 February 23, 2021 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 February 22, 2021 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 February 22, 2021 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 February 22, 2021 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 February 21, 2021 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 February 21, 2021 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 February 20, 2021 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 February 20, 2021 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 February 19, 2021 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 February 19, 2021 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 February 18, 2021 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 February 18, 2021 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 February 17, 2021 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 February 17, 2021 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 February 16, 2021 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 February 16, 2021 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 February 15, 2021 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 February 14, 2021 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 February 13, 2021 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 February 12, 2021 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 February 11, 2021 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 February 10, 2021 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 February 10, 2021 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 February 10, 2021 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 February 10, 2021 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 February 9, 2021 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 February 9, 2021 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 February 8, 2021 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 February 8, 2021 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 February 7, 2021 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 February 7, 2021 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 February 6, 2021 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 February 4, 2021 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 February 3, 2021 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 February 3, 2021 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 February 2, 2021 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 February 2, 2021 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 February 2, 2021 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 February 2, 2021 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 February 1, 2021 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 January 31, 2021 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 January 31, 2021 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 January 31, 2021 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 January 31, 2021 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 January 30, 2021 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 January 30, 2021 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 January 29, 2021 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 January 29, 2021 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 January 28, 2021 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 January 28, 2021 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 January 27, 2021 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 January 27, 2021 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 January 26, 2021 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 January 26, 2021 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 January 25, 2021 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 January 25, 2021 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 January 24, 2021 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 January 24, 2021 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 January 23, 2021 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 January 23, 2021 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 January 22, 2021 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 January 22, 2021 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 January 21, 2021 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 January 21, 2021 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 January 20, 2021 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 January 20, 2021 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 January 19, 2021 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 January 18, 2021 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 January 17, 2021 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 January 17, 2021 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 January 16, 2021 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 January 16, 2021 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 January 15, 2021 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 January 15, 2021 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 January 14, 2021 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 January 14, 2021 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 January 13, 2021 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 January 11, 2021 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 January 10, 2021 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 January 9, 2021 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 January 9, 2021 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 January 8, 2021 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 January 8, 2021 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 January 7, 2021 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 January 7, 2021 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 January 6, 2021 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 January 6, 2021 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 January 6, 2021 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 January 5, 2021 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 January 5, 2021 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 January 5, 2021 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 January 4, 2021 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 January 4, 2021 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 January 3, 2021 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 January 3, 2021 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 January 3, 2021 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 January 2, 2021 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 January 2, 2021 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 January 2, 2021 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 January 2, 2021 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 January 1, 2021 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 January 1, 2021 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 January 1, 2021 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 December 31, 2020 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 December 29, 2020 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 December 29, 2020 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 December 28, 2020 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 December 27, 2020 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 December 25, 2020 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 December 24, 2020 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 December 24, 2020 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 December 24, 2020 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 December 23, 2020 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 December 23, 2020 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 December 22, 2020 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 December 21, 2020 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 December 21, 2020 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 December 20, 2020 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 December 20, 2020 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 December 20, 2020 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 December 19, 2020 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 December 18, 2020 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 December 18, 2020 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 December 17, 2020 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 December 16, 2020 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 December 16, 2020 India
Urgent Need to Extend Free Food Rations for At Least Six Months

Urgent Need to Extend Free Food Rations for At Least Six Months

When the government announced special Covid relief and stimulus package, perhaps the most welcomed feature was that of free food grain ( mainly cereals and a little pulse ) for the needy sections of society. Despite several limitations, this fulfilled an important need in a society experiencing widespread hunger in Covid times. When this provision was extended up to November[Read More…]

by December 15, 2020 India
 Women protesting against the Farm Bills (Image for representative purpose)

Immediately Repeal Three Farm Laws, Withdraw Cases, Lift Dharna; Then Have Wide-Ranging Democratic Debate

It is inexplicable why the union government is taking so long to resolve an issue which is  so simple to resolve . Millions and millions of people including farmers put their faith in wisdom of Narendra Modi in the last general elections; he was without doubt the biggest vote catcher for the BJP and the NDA. This faith is now[Read More…]

by December 14, 2020 India
Citizen Groups and Experts Call for Increasing Transparency and Accountability  in  Covid Response

Citizen Groups and Experts Call for Increasing Transparency and Accountability  in  Covid Response

All over the world there is increasing concern over the misuse of special difficult conditions created by Covid-19 pandemic by corrupt and authoritarian elements in various countries and societies. To counter this and to ensure a need and evidence based, honest response,  many citizen groups and independent experts have called for increasing transparency and accountability in various aspects of Covid[Read More…]

by December 13, 2020 World
Suppression, Corruption and Deception—Experts Condemn Response to Covid-19

Suppression, Corruption and Deception—Experts Condemn Response to Covid-19

While questions have been raised regarding the response to Covid19  in many parts of the world, it has still been rare for a medical journal of international repute to take a strong stand on this issue. It is in this context that the publication of a recent editorial in the famous medical journal BMJ has attracted a lot of attention.[Read More…]

by December 12, 2020 World
Mahatma Gandhi Returns to Earth

Mahatma Gandhi Returns to Earth

Introduction–While this story is written more as a fantasy on what happens when Mahatma Gandhi decides to come back to earth, it is at the same time related to serious contemporary problems and issues. Among the many distinguished residents of heaven, Mahatma Gandhi was regarded as among the most peaceful and patient ones. Yet even he had of late shown[Read More…]

by December 11, 2020 Life/Philosophy
International Experts Issue Important Warning on Non-Ionising Radiation

International Experts Issue Important Warning on Non-Ionising Radiation

            In recent years a lot of  attention has been drawn to the high hazards of non-ionising radiation which have unfortunately been ignored for too long. Adding in a very significant way to these warnings last month an organization of prominent international experts  issued an important statement on serious and adverse health impacts of Non-Ionising Radiation (NIR). This statement has[Read More…]

by December 11, 2020 World
Hindi Literature and Journalism Will Always Remember the Rich Contributions of Manglesh Dabral

Hindi Literature and Journalism Will Always Remember the Rich Contributions of Manglesh Dabral

A Poet and Editor Who Was the Voice of the Marginalized Poet and editor Manglesh Dabral passed away at the age of 72 at AIIMS Delhi due to  Covid related complications. In Hindi literature Manglesh Dabral is widely known as a poet of great sensitivity who gave voice to the main marginalized sections of society. He is also known for[Read More…]

by December 11, 2020 Life/Philosophy
Many-Sided Rural Crisis and 12 Groups

Many-Sided Rural Crisis and 12 Groups

An important strength of India is that about two-thirds of its people live in villages. As the world grapples with life-endangering environmental problems, the rural base of a country can be an important source of resilience in protecting life-nurturing conditions and getting close to self-reliance in terms of meeting basic needs. However in the absence of proper priorities and policies, [Read More…]

by December 10, 2020 India
How Growing Corporatization Has Harmed Farmers and Farming

How Growing Corporatization Has Harmed Farmers and Farming

The most prominent feature of world farming in recent decades has been that of growing corporate control, and this has often been at the expense and interests of farmers. It is important to understand the wide-ranging adverse implications of this  corporatization of farming for the sustainability of farming systems, for the welfare of ordinary farmers and for food-security of the[Read More…]

by December 9, 2020 India
Photo by George M. Groutas

To Resolve the Farming Crisis We Need A Different Paradigm

Whenever we hear about serious problems relating to farmers and farming and how to resolve them, we hear this generally in the context of three versions. One version is of existing and upcoming big business interests who want to have an increasing role and ultimately domination in the farming sector. The second version is of the government which while supporting[Read More…]

by December 9, 2020 Environmental Protection
India’s Farm Policy Should Get Rid of its Green Revolution Myths

India’s Farm Policy Should Get Rid of its Green Revolution Myths

            One of the biggest and most persistent myths of the discourse on agriculture relates to the success of the so-called green revolution. Let’s look at the actual experience of the green revolution (G.R.) in India. In agriculture the period after mid-sixties is generally regarded as the ‘green revolution’ phase of Indian agriculture. The most important feature of this technology[Read More…]

by December 8, 2020 India
We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome

This is a six-part novella about the struggles of young people to save their endangered housing complex, symbolic of the much bigger efforts needed to protect the badly endangered life nurturing conditions of our planet. Here fact and fantasy are combined  to create interesting situations which are  symbolic of the  wider critical issues of our times.  1 The Inspector from[Read More…]

by December 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Essential Concerns and Priorities of Social Movements

Essential Concerns and Priorities of Social Movements

There are  many kinds of social movements and it is understandable that social movements are often preoccupied with their immediate demands which are likely to be of a very specific nature. At the same time  there are some very basic concerns and priorities which should be common to more or less all social movements on an enduring basis. No matter[Read More…]

by December 7, 2020 Counter Solutions
Undue Delay by the Union Government in Accepting the Key Demands of Farmers’ Movement is Harmful for Everyone

Undue Delay by the Union Government in Accepting the Key Demands of Farmers’ Movement is Harmful for Everyone

There is growing unease at the inexplicable delay on the part of the union government in accepting the well-justified demands of the farmers’ movement. It is by now widely recognized that the three controversial farm laws are not justified and were somehow pushed through with undue hurry. The government representatives have already accepted the need for several amendments and the[Read More…]

by December 7, 2020 India
11 Significant Reasons Why Government Should Entirely Rule Out  Use of Force in Dealing With Ongoing Farmer Protest

11 Significant Reasons Why Government Should Entirely Rule Out  Use of Force in Dealing With Ongoing Farmer Protest

On December 5 the 5th round of talks of farmers’ representatives  with the government in Delhi  was not successful, but the situation was redeemed somewhat by a statement made by the Union Agriculture Minister at the end of the 5 hour talks. Speaking in a very gentle voice he told media persons that he would like to thank farmer leaders[Read More…]

by December 6, 2020 India
5 Crucial Reasons Why the Farmers’ Movement, Despite its Limitations, Deserves Wide Support

5 Crucial Reasons Why the Farmers’ Movement, Despite its Limitations, Deserves Wide Support

The movement of farmers, with its epicenter on the borders of the capital city but also having manifestations in many parts of the country, has attracted widespread attention. This is clearly a very important movement. It is attracting a large number of farmers and getting strong material and emotional support from several sections of society. However attracting a large number[Read More…]

by December 5, 2020 India
21 Compelling Reasons Why the Modi Government Should Accept the Demand for Repealing the Three Farm Laws

21 Compelling Reasons Why the Modi Government Should Accept the Demand for Repealing the Three Farm Laws

On Saturday December 5 the Government of India is scheduled to hold the 5th round of talks with protesting farmers’ movements. There are at least 21 compelling reasons why the government should accept the main demand of farmers for repealing the three controversial laws. These reasons relate mainly to the fact that acceptance of this key demand will be good[Read More…]

by December 4, 2020 India
Farmers’ Organizations  Can  Strengthen Rural Communities on the Basis of Justice, Environment Protection and Social Reform

Farmers’ Organizations  Can  Strengthen Rural Communities on the Basis of Justice, Environment Protection and Social Reform

Recent events have again demonstrated the strength of farmers’ organizations as a force of resistance, as organizations that have the economic means, social base and moral strength to  offer strong resistance to authoritarian regimes. Hence those interested in bringing more broad-based social change in India should engage with farmers’ organizations on a more regular basis so that justice and equality[Read More…]

by December 4, 2020 India
 A Day in 2071 –  Chapter- 5 :  Dream

 A Day in 2071 –  Chapter- 5 :  Dream

A novelette by Bharat Dogra Introduction–How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope?[Read More…]

by December 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Day in 2071 – Chapter 4: Battle

A Day in 2071 – Chapter 4: Battle

 A novelette by Bharat Dogra Introduction–How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope?[Read More…]

by December 2, 2020 Arts/Literature
What Is the Alternative Farming and Food System That India Needs?

What Is the Alternative Farming and Food System That India Needs?

As the attention of people of India is focused on agriculture in the context of the farmers’ movement, this is a good time to initiate a debate on exactly what sort of alternative system of farming and food the country needs. It is not enough to criticize the existing system, we should be clear about what we actually need. If[Read More…]

by December 2, 2020 Counter Solutions
 A Day in 2071 – Chapter 3- Revolt

 A Day in 2071 – Chapter 3- Revolt

A novelette by Bharat Dogra Introduction–How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope?[Read More…]

by December 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
Yes, The Three Controversial Farm Laws Should be Scrapped, But We Also Need to Look Beyond This

Yes, The Three Controversial Farm Laws Should be Scrapped, But We Also Need to Look Beyond This

An important farmers’ movement has emerged in India around the opposition to the three recent controversial farm legislations which are widely alleged to advance corporate interests at the expense of jeopardizing a fair deal to farmers. This has support of many important farmers’ organizations and in addition sections of other social movements have also extended support to the demand for[Read More…]

by December 1, 2020 India
Number Has Decreased But the Overall Threat From Nuclear Weapons Is Increasing

Number Has Decreased But the Overall Threat From Nuclear Weapons Is Increasing

            While it is true that the total number of nuclear weapons at world level has decreased significantly compared to the days when the number had peaked, nevertheless in several important ways the actual threat from nuclear weapons has increased in recent times and is increasing . It is very important to recognize this and not go by numbers alone.[Read More…]

by November 30, 2020 World
A Day in 2071 – Chapter 2- Conflict

A Day in 2071 – Chapter 2- Conflict

A novelette by Bharat Dogra How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope?[Read More…]

by November 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
Government and the Old Woman in Forest

Government and the Old Woman in Forest

In the not-too-distant past, there was a very senior official .  He was an official of his own kind, very devoted to the welfare of the poorest people. He led a most simple life, so that he could devote himself single-mindedly to the dearest objective of his life which was to work for the welfare of poor and oppressed people,[Read More…]

by November 30, 2020 India
November 30  is Guru Nanak Birthday – Essential  Message of Guru Nanak

November 30  is Guru Nanak Birthday – Essential  Message of Guru Nanak

Our deeply troubled world today badly needs the essential message of peace, simplicity, equality and inter-faith harmony which Guru Nanak, the great spiritual leader and social reformer, spread with so much skill and even greater courage during the greater part of his eventful life. It may be unconventional to speak of human right activism in those times but  giving specific[Read More…]

by November 29, 2020 Uncategorized
 A Day in 2071 – Chapter 1

 A Day in 2071 – Chapter 1

Introduction How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope? This is a day[Read More…]

by November 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
While Confronting New Challenges, Social Movements Must Also  Consolidate Old Commitments and Strengths

While Confronting New Challenges, Social Movements Must Also  Consolidate Old Commitments and Strengths

The world has been changing fast, and so must social movements, to keep up with the emerging challenges. The most significant aspect of the fast-changing world is the emergence of very serious threats to the basic life-nurturing conditions of earth, and in keeping with the recognition of this as the most important issue, social movements must prepare in many creative[Read More…]

by November 28, 2020 Counter Solutions
GNP and the Tribal’s Flute

GNP and the Tribal’s Flute

The senior official  rose from his seat to welcome the visiting consultant from New York. This consultant had just submitted a report on stepping up GNP growth. After exchanging a few pleasantries the official came to the point . –We sent the consultancy fee cheque of 30000 dollars promptly. Did you receive this ? –Yes, Yes, no problem about that,[Read More…]

by November 27, 2020 Life/Philosophy
Survival Crisis Has No Technological Fix; Resolving This Needs Changes in the Way People Live and Think

Survival Crisis Has No Technological Fix; Resolving This Needs Changes in the Way People Live and Think

Although there is increasing recognition among many eminent scientists and learned scholars ( and of course many environment and disarmament activists )  that the world is now faced with a very serious human-made survival crisis, which has no comparison in  the  history so far, no credible road-map has  yet emerged to avoid this many-sided, very serious crisis. We have some[Read More…]

by November 26, 2020 Counter Solutions
Social Agro-Ecology Is The Key To Real Progress and Security of Food and Farming Systems

Social Agro-Ecology Is The Key To Real Progress and Security of Food and Farming Systems

Despite some local differences, the  food and farming systems of most countries have suffered from somewhat similar serious problems in recent decades. Firstly, the problems of ordinary farmers have intensified despite government claims of increasing farm support. In many cases this is related to heavy escalation of costs, in turn leading to debts. Many have lost the status of owner[Read More…]

by November 25, 2020 Counter Solutions
Why Are Activists and Scholars Devoted to Inter-Faith Harmony  Being  Accused of the Opposite

Why Are Activists and Scholars Devoted to Inter-Faith Harmony  Being  Accused of the Opposite

Inter-faith harmony is of great importance in all parts of the world, but its importance increases further in a country like India which is home to people of so many religions and sects. Hence those who devote their life to protecting and promoting inter-faith harmony are performing a very important role for unity of our country and the peace and[Read More…]

by November 25, 2020 Communal Harmony
Workers Need Immediate Relief and Wider Role for Trade Unions

Workers Need Immediate Relief and Wider Role for Trade Unions

Workers in India have suffered a lot in recent Covid times, particularly all the workers, migrants or others, who do not have security of employment and a regular salary. Nutrition levels for most of them were inadequate earlier too, but now these have suffered a further steep decline. Access to all other basic needs has also been adversely affected for[Read More…]

by November 25, 2020 India
Photo by George M. Groutas

An Appeal To Farmers’ Movement –Kindly Give A More Central Role to Ecologically Protective Farming

The farmers’ movement in India has a historically very important role in protecting the small ( and medium ) farmer base of agriculture in the country. In recent times the movement has done well to oppose the corporatization trends as these ultimately present a threat to small farmers, as has been evident from the historical experience of many countries. This[Read More…]

by November 24, 2020 Counter Solutions
Fear–A Parable For Our Times

Fear–A Parable For Our Times

Once upon a time there was a village called Jaampur. This  village was dominated by a few powerful persons, the headman and some moneylenders who took away a big part of the produce of the hard work of people. Whether it was farming or forests or quarries , these few big men were dominant everywhere. However more recently people fed[Read More…]

by November 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
Thinking Out of the Box  on Climate Change Needed for Timely Solutions to Emerge

Thinking Out of the Box  on Climate Change Needed for Timely Solutions to Emerge

Climate change provides the  strangest example of a problem which is very widely and increasingly recognized by the best available scientific opinion to be a huge and definite danger to basic life nurturing conditions of our planet, and yet, in the decades after this became convincingly established, the emissions which cause this have been permitted to increase beyond dangerous limits.[Read More…]

by November 22, 2020 Counter Solutions
India’s Economy Needs A Great Green Stimulus

India’s Economy Needs A Great Green Stimulus

In the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic the crisis in Indian economy has accentuated and this deepening  crisis has  most adversely affected some of the poorest sections of society. While the need for government policy to deliver an adequate stimulus package for the economy is felt widely, there is wide difference of opinion regarding the precise form this should[Read More…]

by November 21, 2020 Counter Solutions
Changes in Value Systems A Must For Resolving Big Problems

Changes in Value Systems A Must For Resolving Big Problems

Today in our deeply troubled world  several problems have reached a situation where the basic life-nurturing conditions of our planet are threatened. These include serious environmental problems like climate change and the accumulation and the race for weapons of mass destruction. In addition there are the long-persisting problems of injustice, inequality and exploitation which are  perhaps the most common cause[Read More…]

by November 20, 2020 Counter Solutions
Photo by John Vetterli

Never Give Up!—How A Small Glimmer of Hope Can Light Up Human Lives in the Darkest Situations

*Sushanti Marandi was born blind in a remote village of Dumka ( Jharkhand). To make things even more difficult, her father died when she was still a small child. Now her mother had to go on daily wage work to meet subsistence needs and the blind child grew up alone in a small lonesome house in the most difficult situation[Read More…]

by November 17, 2020 Life/Philosophy
Photo by George M. Groutas

Organic Farmers Need  Support and Linkages to a Fair Market

There is worldwide realization that food system has been  becoming less safe and healthy. This is to a large extent because of the use of excessive  chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Some of the inputs used in fact have been found to be so poisonous and harmful that it is a very sad surprise how their use in food and[Read More…]

by November 15, 2020 Counter Solutions
When Role of Vaccines as Public Health Clashes with Their Role As Source of Super Profits

When Role of Vaccines as Public Health Clashes with Their Role As Source of Super Profits

          Vaccines have performed an important role in improving public health and saving human lives. All the scientists, labs, manufacturers and medical personnel who contributed to this deserve our deepest thanks and gratitude. However in recent years a different role of vaccines started emerging– vaccines as a source of huge profits. Things became more worrying when this role of vaccines[Read More…]

by November 9, 2020 India
Linking Justice  to Environment Protection –  Meeting Basic Needs of All While Also Reducing GHG Emissions

Linking Justice  to Environment Protection –  Meeting Basic Needs of All While Also Reducing GHG Emissions

            While the very pressing need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is very widely recognized at the scientific level, this can become an issue of mass mobilization only if this is also linked to justice based issues. When world level planning for reducing GHG emissions is linked to meeting the basic needs of all people, then this will be[Read More…]

by November 5, 2020 Counter Solutions
First and Foremost Responsibility is to Protect Earth for Children

First and Foremost Responsibility is to Protect Earth for Children

    Our children and their children’s grandchildren have the right to hold us to a high standard of accountability when their future—and maybe their survival—is hanging in the balance. They  too deserve something more than a generation of political leaders who look at the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced and then sit on their hands. – Human Development Report[Read More…]

by November 3, 2020 Counter Solutions
Serious Threat to Food and Farming – GM Lobby Plans New Offensive With Gene Edited Crops

Serious Threat to Food and Farming – GM Lobby Plans New Offensive With Gene Edited Crops

            As these are increasing warnings of distinguished scientists against Genetically Modified (GM) crops, the strong GM lobby led by some of the biggest corporate interests (who are bent on dominating world food system using GM technology) is now using several tricks to find a way past these warnings based on growing scientific evidence against GM crops. Dr. Pushpa M.[Read More…]

by November 3, 2020 Environmental Protection
Scrapping of Five-Year Plans Has Proved Very Costly at a Time When More and Better Planning Was Needed

Scrapping of Five-Year Plans Has Proved Very Costly at a Time When More and Better Planning Was Needed

If the path of planned economic development based on five-year plans had not been arbitrarily given up in August 2014 by the newly elected Modi  regime , today India would  be in the middle of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2017-22), the mid-term evaluation report of the 13th Plan would have just arrived and  preparations would be in full swing for[Read More…]

by November 1, 2020 India
Mangal Turbine –Neglected Innovation of Great Potential

Mangal Turbine –Neglected Innovation of Great Potential

Why  An Innovation That Can Reduce Vast Amounts of Farmers’ Costs, Foreign Exchange and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Still Continue to  Suffer From Official Neglect and Apathy After Repeated Official Confirmation of Its Great Value?             If an innovation can save billions of Rs. worth of diesel for farmers while at the same time cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, then[Read More…]

by October 29, 2020 Counter Solutions