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Life/Philosophy

There’s Class Warfare and The Rich are Winning

There’s Class Warfare and The Rich are Winning

Co-Written by Thomas Klikauer and Norman Simms Even since investment billionaire Warren Buffet told us, There’s class warfare, all right…but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning, we have known three things: firstly, there is a class system under capitalism; secondly, there is also class war between the two classes – the working class and[Read More…]

Tribal Intolerance

Tribal Intolerance

Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and many other religions groups could be considered tribes; a social division within a society consisting of groupings of individuals having commonality, in this case, their religious views. These tribes share very similar high moral values; love of family, looking out for the poor and downtrodden and obedience of their religion’s dictates. Yet there seems to[Read More…]

Life under Shelter-in-Place

Life under Shelter-in-Place

Last night, the above picture image with a hopeful message, I sent to my older brother, on his birthday. Of course, there was also a personal message where I wished him well. I got his reply this morning where he said, “Thank you! Stay safe and stay calm. This is a challenging time for all. Best, Sjbhai” Time in the[Read More…]

Leadership in Corona Times

Leadership in Corona Times

The word “Leadership” has been diluted to the point of being water-logged; so I hesitated to write this article lest anyone compare what is needed now to the scenarios that usually impel the term to be used. Business-speak is the culprit here, the cause of the dilution. We use the term to describe any decision-making that leads to profit or[Read More…]

Not our crowning glory

Not our crowning glory

Is it funny that every time Man thinks that he has it all figured out, Nature (or fate if you like to call it) just jolts him back to reality? Like Will E Coyote and his spanking new latest invention from ACME Corporation, it just falls flat and blows right on his face again and again, and Roadrunner always goes[Read More…]

Jatin and Me

Jatin and Me

One of the most stupid platitudes, an old adage, that I have ever heard is “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” With a sarcastic tone of voice in my head, I think, “Yeah, right.” My friend Jatin lost both of his children through separate ways. The saying is certainly not applicable to him and what about me? Well, I[Read More…]

Why You Need to Pay for Digital Content NOW!

Why You Need to Pay for Digital Content NOW!

Why do we Balk at Paying for Digital Content? Some years ago, I wrote a piece called Paying for nothing is Paying for Something in Countercurrents.org. The premise of the article was simple: The aversion for paying for digital content is short-sighted and ultimately very damaging to the overall quality of content produced, to journalism (especially investigative journalism), and to[Read More…]

Civilized, Barbarians, Savages

Civilized, Barbarians, Savages

23 Mar 2020 – A civilization or culture is defined as a set of customs, traditions, ethics, values, language, music, dance, gastronomy, clothing, religion, and social and political organization of a people, ethnic group, tribe, or nation. British scholars of the 19th century classified the peoples and races as Civilized, Barbarians and Savages, based on their respective “evolutions.” Such classification[Read More…]

Disease Distancing, Not “Social Distancing” | Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd

Disease Distancing, Not “Social Distancing” | Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd

Ever since the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced national lock down on March 24, 2020 to fight Covid–19 and declared that “Social Distancing” is the only solution to save India from the Corona Pandemic, all Chief Ministers are also using the same coinage in  India. We must use ‘Disease Distancing’ not Social Distancing because India is a country of social[Read More…]

Rehabilitation Center Life: The Good And The Bad

Rehabilitation Center Life: The Good And The Bad

My favorite parts of being in a a rehabilitation place were fivefold: First, I loved helping hurt others. What a blast it was after learning to walk again at the facility. One of my acts included helping a man, Robert, whose short term memory was deficient. So I wrote instructions and phone numbers for him to find his car, his[Read More…]

How To Save The Nation Sitting At Home | Kancha Ilaiah Shepehrd

How To Save The Nation Sitting At Home | Kancha Ilaiah Shepehrd

We are all house arrested now because of Coronavirus for our own safety. We do not know how to live like this. In India and in many countries during lock down period people do not know how to spend time at home and use it for personal and community benefit. The famous American astronaut Scott Kelly who spent one year[Read More…]

Am I not good enough?

Am I not good enough?

Being a 90s kid was way different than being a kid of today; I mean when I see my 4-year old niece, I feel like how the definition of fun and games have evolved and changed over the years for kids – we used to be the ones playing in the mud, climbing trees, fighting for our turns on the[Read More…]

Hope in Troubling Times

Hope in Troubling Times

My college is closed, classes are off and examinations have been deferred. We need to go in only if and when there is a need. It is not a holiday as I keep telling all my students, it is a shutdown, done for the sake of social distancing and isolation.  It is difficult convincing all about the seriousness of it[Read More…]

Mystic Mash …..looks like dog food, tastes like heaven!

Mystic Mash …..looks like dog food, tastes like heaven!

It’s a fair question: could a culinary offering be seen as “mystic”? I did consider the question utilizing all dimensions then active in my mind when naming the within recipe “Mystic Mash”. So here’s why, as an adjective “mystic” connotes “feeling”, something inherently born in consciousness. As a sceptic person, I am loathe to accept “food” is devoid of consciousness.[Read More…]

Historic Paris Commune Day Greetings To The Working Class

Historic Paris Commune Day Greetings To The Working Class

Today, March 18, is a red letter day for the working class and all true friends of the workers in the country and throughout the world. For, on this day, one hundred forty-seven years ago, in the municipality of Paris, in France, the Parisian workers garnered a historic greatest achievement. Their proletarian revolution triumphed and established the first working class[Read More…]

Nāad: A Call in Waiting

Nāad: A Call in Waiting

A stranger in a strange land, Bushra Punjabi reflects on the condition of being away from home and at home within the confines of memory. In such a mode, she reflects on what it means to be Kashmiri in an uncertain present, between an imposing past and an impending future. In this quagmire of time, the writer and sociology researcher[Read More…]

Remembering Ghulam-ud-Din Khan

Remembering Ghulam-ud-Din Khan

Some people meet their maker after receiving a worldly commendation for every good they do. However, some meet their end without coming into public notice although they also contribute to society considerably. Truth be told, popularity is meaningless to great men. From a spiritual point of view, neither popularity elevates anyone’s status nor does concealment diminish it. But when a[Read More…]

Mir Syed Ali Hamadani (R.A.) and advent of Islam in Kashmir

Mir Syed Ali Hamadani (R.A.) and advent of Islam in Kashmir

Religions are part of human lives with people having affiliations to different and particular religions. They are an integral part of human lives and preach the same message of peace and brotherhood. Islam is also one of the monotheistic and major religion in the world having an enormous following of 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is[Read More…]

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Care For Your Kidney

Care For Your Kidney

The human body is a compound, well-developed machine consisting of many parts, each for a specific vital function. Among these parts, the Kidney constitutes a ‘life-sustaining organ’. Kidneys, two in number are bean-shaped organs located against back muscles in the upper abdominal area. Kidneys have an important role in our physiology. In addition to cleaning blood, kidneys maintain salt and[Read More…]

Revisiting Past And Intentions Ahead

Revisiting Past And Intentions Ahead

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts..!!! Today I’m writing about my struggle and challenges which I have faced in my life. This scholar turned executive[Read More…]

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My good town

My good town

I live in a stable neighborhood. It has single family homes, one multiple family home and two homes for two families as far as I know. Many of the homes date to the 1800’s. One neighbor loaned his second family space to a financially poor mother and her child who had fled an abusive man in anther town, the child’s[Read More…]

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The Walking Machine

The Walking Machine

Last time when I was travelling for a seminar, I was surprised at the kind of crowd in Bangalore airport. It was usual for people to stand waiting in at least 5 queues before you reach your seat. At the security, as usual I also had to place my hand bag, mobile phone, laptop and other things. These days they[Read More…]

Remembering Clara Zetkin on March 8

Remembering Clara Zetkin on March 8

Clara Zetkin, one of the daughters of the working classes, is as bright as ever in the annals of working people’s struggles for rights – rights to life and dignity. Clara, an epitome of proletarian struggle, steadfastness and courage, always stood for the proletarian people, and never confused the women question with a bourgeois worldview. Clara (July 5, 1857-June 20,[Read More…]

Writings in the Northwest Wind: The Poems of Zhou En Lai

Writings in the Northwest Wind: The Poems of Zhou En Lai

Zhou En Lai was a man like any other; with hopes and dreams; failures and successes. In his heart beat the throb of humanity for a better world; under strain it tilted to temptation; in death-bed it mourned mistakes and milestones alike. On this, 122nd anniversary of his birth; it might behoove us to look into a little known side[Read More…]

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The Importance of Critical Thinking

The Importance of Critical Thinking

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. The saying resembles a logical syllogism in structure, but it isn’t. Taking it apart in thirds, it’s doesn’t follow that “you can fool all the people some of the time” because it’s[Read More…]

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Katie Hill’s tell-all book: “She Will Rise”

Katie Hill’s tell-all book: “She Will Rise”

Katie Hill, then a Democratic Party candidate from California’s 25th Congressional district, in 2018. Former congresswoman,Katie Hill, a Democrat from California may have been down but not gone. In the eyes of the world, her political career had ended as a first-time junior congresswoman in the fall of 2019, just after ten months of taking oath of office. A promising[Read More…]

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Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services is a human rights imperative

Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services is a human rights imperative

The Asia Pacific region is home to more than half of the global population and many low-income countries. While the region is witnessing rapid economic growth, gender inequalities persist and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services are far from being available to all. In the lead up to this year’s International Women’s Day and the forthcoming 10th Asia Pacific Conference[Read More…]

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Profile of a predator

Profile of a predator

I have tried to provide a warning to others about their staying away from psychopaths. Of course, it is impossible in some circumstances, such as my sister and my knowing four of them while growing up. (Imagine a brother trying to have sex with you since you were thirteen years old. Imagine him continuing this behavior when you are old,)[Read More…]

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 The kleptomaniac

 The kleptomaniac

Watch out, I recommend, for narassistic psychopaths in your life. Often they are kleptomaniacs, who do everything to destroy others and gain something for themselves. I should know since my mother’s side of the family has included males with this dreadful affliction since the 1600’s. Indeed, my sister and I, unbeknown to each other, started investigating this disease at the[Read More…]

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“No stepping out” is the life-influencing message of breast cancer survivor

“No stepping out” is the life-influencing message of breast cancer survivor

International Women’s Day special I was born and brought in a happy family in New Delhi. I had a twin sister and a younger brother.  Both my parents were working. I graduated from Hindu College, Delhi University in 1977 and went to Peoples’ Friendship University in Moscow (erstwhile USSR) for an integrated course in Geology. Finally, back home again, I[Read More…]

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Communist Manifesto Remembered-Part 3

Communist Manifesto Remembered-Part 3

Top 10 Goals in the Communist Manifesto, Accomplished in America So says a report, in recent years, By Joe Jarvis (May 05, 2018) in thedailybell.com. Notwithstanding its anti-communist venom, lies and sarcasm, besides its own interpretations, the interesting if not curious report, extracts of which are given below, is worth noting. How profound is the perceived influence of the Manifesto,[Read More…]

Is the economy to blame for woes of some?

Is the economy to blame for woes of some?

 I know information about several neighbors. Here in a small nutshell are three of them. Neighbor one supports himself by selling and laying down pesticides. It is a subject about which he knows job-wise. He also knows that he is dispensing poisons that contaminate the air, soil and water supply. Indeed when spraying, he wears protective gear that makes him[Read More…]

The God Brings “Godless World” to Its Knees!

The God Brings “Godless World” to Its Knees!

Over seven billion is the current global population. Total death toll by coronavirus is roughly 3,500 over the past 2 months. For the sake of simplicity, I have reduced the world population from 7.7 billion to 7 billion; and doubled the coronavirus fatalities number to 7,000. So if we divide 7000 by 7 billion, we get this: 0.000001%. Even that[Read More…]

Reciprocal Altruism

Reciprocal Altruism

   Treating others with trust and happiness, and hoping for their self-realisation seems to be natural behaviour that follows natural laws. 2500 years ago the Buddha had to leave his sheltered home and venture into the alleyways and bye-ways of Greater Magadha to learn about common sense and natural laws. The habit of treating others with trust and affection is[Read More…]

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How we stay blind to the story of power

How we stay blind to the story of power

If one thing drives me to write, especially these blog posts, it is the urgent need for us to start understanding power. Power is the force that shapes almost everything about our lives and our deaths. There is no more important issue. Understanding power and overcoming it through that understanding is the only path to liberation we can take as[Read More…]

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Democracy: from Athenian Origins to 21st Century America

Democracy: from Athenian Origins to 21st Century America

I will not write much here.  Those who read me often hear enough of my words and have become familiar with my convictions and concerns.  What I am doing instead is putting together a series of quotations from African-American philosopher Cornel West, from his essay Putting on Our Democratic Armor from the book, DEMOCRACY MATTERS (1).  Dr. West committed these[Read More…]

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Big Tech’s Inevitable Reckoning

Big Tech’s Inevitable Reckoning

Though unpopular in many circles, Karl Marx wrote passionately about the inherent contradictions of capitalism. While his arguments were complex, some of the pillars can be simplified to suggest that these contradictions are created by capitalism’s constant need to grow. In different economic circles- much more popular than the Marxist circle — growth is synonymous with what’s good and right.[Read More…]

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Language and democracy

Language and democracy

Languages, connected to economy including market, trade and commodity, are in conflict and in collaboration with contending class forces. Thus, in general, and not taking into consideration stages society passes, languages are [1] inseparable question of democracy, and, in particular cases, of democratic struggle, and [2] a tool for subjection. The two contradictory positions depend on conflicting classes using it[Read More…]

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 file photo, Sacramento County inmates watch television at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, in Elk Grove, Calif.  Counties across California are taking steps to increase jail capacity or found alternatives to incarceration to deal with the increase of offenders who will be their responsibility under a state law that took effect Oct. 1. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

The new informal Jim Crow

Here is Jim Crow when I was a child in Florida. Blacks couldn’t go to white restaurants, motels, gas stations or bathrooms. They had something called The Green Book when traveling in the South of the USA. It showed where they could go. I wish that I were making this information up. Yet I can’t to save my life. It’s[Read More…]

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What Would You Do If?

What Would You Do If?

Fred: OK. So you’re a pacifist. What would you do if someone were, say, attacking your grandmother? Joan: Attacking my poor old grandmother? Fred: Yeah, you’re in a room with your grandmother and there’s a guy about to attack her and you’re standing there. What would you do? Joan: I’d yell, “Three cheers for Grandma!” and leave the room.”  Fred: No,[Read More…]

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Discussion on dealing with adversity

Discussion on dealing with adversity

  I wrote to a friend: I want to tell you about two of my fights that infect my bad dreams. One involves a heritage apple farm in my neighborhood. On the plus side Boyleston botanical hill took slips from the trees to keep the genetics going. On the negative side, the farm owner, after the old guys who’d owned[Read More…]

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Labeling, an awful occurrence

Labeling, an awful occurrence

I was taught in teacher training classes never to label children. It can usually only cause damage. I didn’t need to learn that message. Often it is a form of bullying and abuse that I had already seen as a child. Tina Tonkel a classmate of mine was repeatedly shunned and ridiculed at school by her peers. Indeed she had[Read More…]

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The Bonbibi deity

Nature, Bonbibi, American cetologist in the Sundarbans

To find answers about how to define the idea of nature, French anthropologist Philippe Descola went to the depths of the Amazon to find the Achuars, an indigenous tribe of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian descent. He was interested in finding why they lived remote from others, isolated in their respective groups, under the domination of nature. In the process, he[Read More…]

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Tithing And Religions

Tithing And Religions

I have nothing against any religious views unless they face off against my values. Then watch me fly at the wrong that I see. After all, how could I take away a religious view that someone believes that brings comfort and joy? How wrong would be that? So this Christian lady, who I met in a grocery store, told me[Read More…]

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Humanity Means Being Humane

Humanity Means Being Humane

Humanity means *“the quality of being humane, benevolent”, it also meansbeing kind, compassionate, understanding, sympathetic, empathetic, gentle and generous. But weseem to have forgotten what humanity really means. To us, nowadays, humanity only means that we are human i.e. bipedal primate mammals. Not only that, we ridicule those do have humane character traits and consider them impractical misfits. We think they[Read More…]

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Modern Childhood’s Shortage of Honest Inspiring Adults

Modern Childhood’s Shortage of Honest Inspiring Adults

Most would agree that happy, healthy, bright children are an ideal goal and a wonderful outcome, but kids also need genuinely good and sensible adult examples and inspiration and instruction. Outstanding adult mentors ought to be commonplace, prolific. Such is not the case now in the so-called ‘western world’. Integrity has been marginalized, and a mad matrix based on deception[Read More…]

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Tribalism

Tribalism

Tribalism is rampant on both the micro and macro scale. Whether in contentious actions by individuals or entire nations, it kicks into play as a survival mechanism by biological evolutionary roots. This because through it, people ensure that their own group gets the power, territory and goods. So of course there is going to be racism, casteism, hatred of people[Read More…]

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Celebration of Sant Guru Ravidass Birthday

Celebration of Sant Guru Ravidass Birthday

On 9th Feb, 2020, Dalits across India celebrated Sant Guru Ravidass birthday with pomp and show. I had the opportunity to see a huge gathering of people on the streets of Jalandhar(Punjab). People across all Dalit communities marched together happily. It was good to see a wonderful spectacle on the streets. Shops were set up alongside the main road from[Read More…]

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Unlikely Confluences:  Sarah Bernhardt, Nikola Tesla and Swami Vivekananda

Unlikely Confluences:  Sarah Bernhardt, Nikola Tesla and Swami Vivekananda

            In one of those obscure, seemingly unlikely, yet epoch-making encounters in the grand pageant of human interactions, the paths of three trailblazers of contemporary history- the divinely graceful French actress and singer, Sarah Bernhardt, the Yugoslav inventor-genius par excellence Nikola Tesla, and the Indian cyclonic monk and firebrand Vedantist, Swami Vivekananda, came together in ostensibly mysterious ways towards the[Read More…]

Hovering in Cyberspace

Hovering in Cyberspace

We live in a fabricated reality where the visible world became nearly meaningless once the screen world became people’s “window on the world.”  An electronic nothingness replaced reality as people gleefully embraced digital wraparound apparitions.  These days people still move about in the physical world but live in the electronic one.  The result is mass hallucination. This is the fundamental[Read More…]

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Serving Others And Sometimes Facing Repercussions

Serving Others And Sometimes Facing Repercussions

A friend of mine sent me this entire article. He prefaced it with: Spot on. S…. The appalling vanity of Western feminists who think Margaret Atwood writes about them | The Spectator Imagine a country where women have no jobs, no rights and are valued only for reproductive success. Imagine a country where girls aren’t taught to read in case[Read More…]

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Not in Gandhi’s Name -The Importance of Reading Gandhi as a Philosopher of Dissent

Not in Gandhi’s Name -The Importance of Reading Gandhi as a Philosopher of Dissent

  The irony of the ruling party’s appropriation of Gandhi comes undone time and again by its antithetical practices. What else captures the irony better than the fact that the government which is celebrating Dandi March across its various cultural organs for his 150th birth centenary is also simultaneously, not only disallowing or overlooking democratic protests but unleashing brutal repression[Read More…]

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Humans Love Violence: Gandhi and the World Economic Forum

Humans Love Violence: Gandhi and the World Economic Forum

As we approach the 72nd anniversary of the assassination of Mohandas K. Gandhi on 30 January 1948, it is worth reflecting on one simple fact that he did not realize. His efforts to teach humanity that conflict, including violent conflict, could be resolved without violence were based on one fundamentally flawed assumption: that at least some humans were interested in,[Read More…]

The lure of American green card and elderly parents

The lure of American green card and elderly parents

How much is an American green card and ultimately a naturalized citizenship worth to elderly sub-continental parents? A lot! How many more do you think would be willing to give up their independence and the comfort of their own cocoon to immigrate to America? Many parents would happily give up living their retired lives in the sub-continent in exchange for[Read More…]

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A Karmayogi In Suicide Country

A Karmayogi In Suicide Country

   Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.  – Margaret Mead A highly welcome and discernible sign on the Indian development landscape is that many bright brains from the best of universities are foregoing high salaries to commit themselves to development issues such as[Read More…]

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The “Silence” of Polite Company

The “Silence” of Polite Company

As we usher in 2020, there is only one resolution to avoid- silence. For many, the New Year is a time of reflection, of calm deliberation. That’s all fair enough in placid circumstances. In such times- such that they exist-everyone has a right to stop, to think, to consider, to audit the soul. To indulge. But we must do so[Read More…]

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The Searching Life and Enigmatic Death of Albert Camus

The Searching Life and Enigmatic Death of Albert Camus

“Everyone wants the man who is still searching to have already reached his conclusions.  A thousand voices are already telling him what he has found, and yet he knows he hasn’t found anything. Should he search on and let them talk?  Of course.” – Albert Camus, “The Enigma” in Lyrical and Critical Essays Albert Camus’ search ended sixty years ago[Read More…]

Why the award of the 2019 Physics Nobel hearkens back to Meghnad Saha

Why the award of the 2019 Physics Nobel hearkens back to Meghnad Saha

  The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 was awarded “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos” with one half to James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”, the other half jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.” It recognised[Read More…]

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The existential crisis of teachers in the age of technology!

The existential crisis of teachers in the age of technology!

            For many of us, a university is (was?) a critical place for the interpretation and making sense of everydayness; a place for envisaging a just society; an important site where ideas and ideologies are debated and developed. Freedom of criticality and liberty of creativity were always remained the core and central to university teaching-learning processes. The ideas on education[Read More…]

The Making of a Teenage Genius

The Making of a Teenage Genius

  Child prodigies have been with us since early times. But over the epochs, many of them have had their genius questioned—mostly as to whether or not a parent or a mentor was behind their amazing skills. It is only when their talents were authentically established that people around them could acknowledge them as teenage wonders. Nagpur’s Shreenabh Agrawal is[Read More…]

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A Liberatory Liberal Arts Education for Those in Prison: A Review of the College Behind Bars Documentary 

A Liberatory Liberal Arts Education for Those in Prison: A Review of the College Behind Bars Documentary 

Co-Written by James Anderson and Katy Anderson A few years ago, one of us rode handcuffed in the back of a cop car from Bond County Jail to Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Ill., which would become a near-living hell of a home for two months (prior to a transfer to Decatur Correctional Center). Before getting to Logan, you have[Read More…]

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A Middle Class Professional Could Joyfully Consume Less, Comfortably Save More, Share Liberally & Be In Activism. A Lived Experience

A Middle Class Professional Could Joyfully Consume Less, Comfortably Save More, Share Liberally & Be In Activism. A Lived Experience

Early this year it was learnt that after 17 years of its existence Countercurrents.org (CC) – which has performed a stellar and useful role – was on the verge of closure. There was said to be a shortfall of Rs. 4 lakhs (USD 6000/- approx.) for its minimal requirement of Rs. 10 lakhs (USD 14,000). And that, too, just for[Read More…]

Confronting Paradigms- Karl Marx And Sigmund Freud

Confronting Paradigms- Karl Marx And Sigmund Freud

HISTORICAL PARADOX Freudo- Marxism, historically has been identified as a tradition dedicated to or rigorously attempting to synthesize the works of Karl Marx and the Psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud.  The first attempts of synthesis were made during 1930 to 1945 in the wake of rise and fall of Nazi flush in History. It was also a process of retreat[Read More…]

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Why Rama is not everybody’s hero

Why Rama is not everybody’s hero

The immediate provocation for this article is Bibek Debroy’s essay “Being Fair to Rama” that appeared in The New Sunday Express Magazine on November 24, 2019. Debroy’s central plea – to be fair to Rama, and to read the Ramayana for what it is – is, ironically, situated amid the mounting of a brazen fascist agenda by the Narendra Modi-Amit[Read More…]

When I Turned 40

When I Turned 40

When I turned 40, my friends threw a party for me. We had great food, drink, and music. Several good friends read messages about me aloud. It was touching. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have such a loving family and such caring friends. I also remember the enormous guilt I felt when I made it to 40.[Read More…]

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Christmas in America

Christmas in America

  Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la Tis the season to be jolly Fa, la la la la, la la la la In a collection of multiple surveys from the past decade, PEW finds that 65 percent of American adults now call themselves Christian. People of Christian faith celebrate the[Read More…]

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A Totalitarian Republic?

A Totalitarian Republic?

Faction: A number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community—James Madison The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the[Read More…]

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1964 was a Good Year

1964 was a Good Year

On the left, Farrukh Mirza and on the right; myself. I have known Farrukh since we were both 5 years old. We went to school together. He is now a Doctor in California. Not bad for 2; 56 year old Asian Uncles from the East. This picture was taken in South London when we met up after many years. Both[Read More…]

Colonialism and Academic Knowledge Production

Colonialism and Academic Knowledge Production

Colonialism and knowledge production: Colonialism is much more than establishing colonies in the non-western world to exploit raw materials for the western metropolitan centres. It is a system of hegemonic power and domination of the colonized by the colonizers, economic, physical as well as psychological. Colonialism is a product of ‘western’ civilization who is obliged for its internal reason to[Read More…]

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Impeachment: What Is At Risk

Impeachment: What Is At Risk

Today, as the public phase of impeachment hearings are underway, I am watching while reading from the Life of Frederick Douglass.  Sadly, I admit to not trusting the American people as much as I might to see clearly, think honestly, and do what is right.  I would welcome being mistaken in my skepticism. However, I am certain not to trust[Read More…]

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Poisoning Your Children

Poisoning Your Children

Do you have the right to screw up your children’s lives by poisoning them against fellow humans, in our case, fellow Americans?  If you are biased towards others, that is entirely up to you, but you have the choice to free yourself and enjoy the rest of your life or carry it to your grave or crematorium. A doctor kid,[Read More…]

Dear Son….

Dear Son….

Dear son, You must be aware of the many happenings in Kerala, including the arrest of young men in recent days. As sleep evaded me and I lie awake at midnight, I felt like sharing some thoughts with you. These are my dreams and hopes for a person like you with intense thoughts and stances in life. I am aware[Read More…]

 Prelude to a Socioeconomic Class Analysis of/in Academia (as a Precursor to Classlessness)

 Prelude to a Socioeconomic Class Analysis of/in Academia (as a Precursor to Classlessness)

Lately, in an Introduction to Cultural Studies class I’m teaching at the University of California, Riverside, in between oral surgery and putting in work for lecture duties at another institution, I’ve been discussing socioeconomic class on – and as satirized as well as normalized by – The Simpsons. For this multi-part lecture focused on the class dynamics of everyone’s favorite[Read More…]

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Understanding Autism through a TV mom’s eyes

Understanding Autism through a TV mom’s eyes

A few nights ago, I watched a poignant and slightly heart wrenching Bengali drama on YouTube that shines a light on disorders like autism. It was the first time that I saw a drama script was written to raise awareness about autism in a developing country like Bangladesh. The 2014 drama showcases what parenting a child with special needs is[Read More…]

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Open Letter to Yale University Authorities – Don’t Steal/Hijack/Subvert the Collective Work of ABVA, New Delhi, India.Scrap Brudner Prize 2019

Open Letter to Yale University Authorities – Don’t Steal/Hijack/Subvert the Collective Work of ABVA, New Delhi, India.Scrap Brudner Prize 2019

It has been brought to our notice that the official website of LGBT Studies, Yale University states that the Brudner prize 2019-20 is being awarded posthumously to Siddhartha Gautam(SG) for his invaluable contribution to the LGBT struggle in India. SG joined AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan (ABVA) briefly for about two years and worked with six other co-authors of Less than[Read More…]

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Attitude

Attitude

“Can we change their attitude?” “No.” “Can they change their own attitude?” “Yes.” “So, what is our goal? To change their attitude, or to convince them that they need to change it themselves?” “That is challenging, difficult, will take sweat and tears……….do I really want to even try it?” “Ah! We are now at the root of the problem and[Read More…]

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Dirty Hands

Dirty Hands

“You should therefore know that there are two ways to fight: one while abiding by the rules, the other by using force. The first approach is unique to Man; the second is that of beasts. But because in many cases the first method will not suffice, one must be prepared to resort to force. This is why a ruler needs[Read More…]

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Ground zero: Frontline champions lead the fight to #endTB as global meet opens in India

Ground zero: Frontline champions lead the fight to #endTB as global meet opens in India

It was indeed a humbling experience for me to interact with a few frontline healthcare workers who are courageously fighting the #endTB battle on the ground in Hyderabad, India (the venue for the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health). My day began with meeting G Swamy Reddy, project officer at Lepra Society in Hyderabad. He has been involved with[Read More…]

Are we forgetting that TB prevention is better than cure?

Are we forgetting that TB prevention is better than cure?

Without infection there is no disease: Nip the TB infection Prevention of new infections of TB bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and their progression to active TB disease is critical to reduce the burden of TB disease and to achieve the goal of ending TB by 2030. Around 587 million (35%) of the total estimated 1.7 billion people infected with latent TB[Read More…]

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Bhagat Singh was for liberation from exploitation

Bhagat Singh was for liberation from exploitation

“Bhagat Singh”, writes Professor Chaman Lal, “was searching for the ultimate ideology of human liberation from all kinds of oppression and exploitation, he had almost become a committed Marxist through his contacts with Kirti group of Ghadrite revolutionaries of Punjab.” Professor Chaman Lal discusses the revolutionary in the “Introduction” of his The Bhagat Singh Reader (HarperCollins Publishers India, Noida, Uttar[Read More…]

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Marx on Religion

Marx on Religion

Many people keep quoting Karl Marx, as “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” But he never used that exact phrase.The exact quotes from the essay on Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, published in 1844 in “Deutsch-FranzösischeJahrbücher”, during his stay in Paris, are: “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against[Read More…]

Academia and the Need for Disorientation

Academia and the Need for Disorientation

Around a month ago, a workshop intended to address the gender gap in the sciences called Pressing for Progress 2019 was held at the University of Hyderabad (UoH). Early this October, Telangana Today reported that the UoH Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile addressed the attendees, sharing with them his thoughts on the conference and its aims. I read this with[Read More…]

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The Soul of Vivekananda: Hinduism, Not Hindutva

The Soul of Vivekananda: Hinduism, Not Hindutva

The idea of picturising Vivekananda just as an old school master of Hindutva is where we commit the mistake. Forever it has been said that Vivekananda established the road to Hindutva just because the right wing brigade uses him to establish a monopoly over Hinduism in the name of Hindutva. The roof of Hinduism has been interpreted in a very[Read More…]

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Speed is not enough, accelerating progress is key to end TB: new WHO report

Speed is not enough, accelerating progress is key to end TB: new WHO report

  Global fight against tuberculosis (TB) is making modest gains, although largely not yet on track to end TB. 2019 Global TB Report of the World Health Organization (WHO) launched on 17 October 2019 gives hope, not despair, because sustained efforts have yielded some significant results. Only European region is on track to meet 2020 targets of 20% reduction in[Read More…]

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In Conversation with Prof Kevin Brown: The Essence of African – American Culture Is Resistance Against Racial Oppression

In Conversation with Prof Kevin Brown: The Essence of African – American Culture Is Resistance Against Racial Oppression

by Vidya Bhushan Rawat & Prof Kevin Brown Prof Kevin Brown is an African American, who teach law at the Indiana University, US and who is inspired by Dr Ambedkar’s struggle for the untouchables and other marginalized sections of society in India. He has been a regular visitor to India bringing the African American, Hispanic, religious minorities in United States[Read More…]

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Another victory for the disabled

Another victory for the disabled

Through persistent struggles, the differently abled have achieved access to crucial jobs in society. The number might be small but they have proved that ‘disability ‘ is not hindrance to performing important productive tasks in society. Significant achievement Pranjal Patil , the young woman who battled great odds to become the country’s first visually challenged woman IAS officer took over[Read More…]

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Revisiting Sir Syed In The Contemporary World

Revisiting Sir Syed In The Contemporary World

 “It is the first and foremost duty of all the well wishers of the country to strive for the welfare of all people irrespective of their caste or religion. For, just as human life and its health is not possible without the soundness all the organ of the body, the prosperity of a nation also is not possible without all[Read More…]

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Celebrate Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar as hero of India’s greatest nonviolent revolution after Buddha

Celebrate Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar as hero of India’s greatest nonviolent revolution after Buddha

It was a massive gathering that had jolted many hearts but brought a new hope in the lives of millions who thronged the venue which today is called as ‘Deekshabhumi’, in Nagpur. The impact is so much that no other political or spiritual leader in the history of post-independence India has that much of following as of Dr Baba Saheb[Read More…]

Vidya Bhushan Rawat in Conversationwith Dr. R M Pal

Vidya Bhushan Rawat in Conversationwith Dr. R M Pal

Dr. RM Pal (July 17, 1927 – October 13, 2015) Dr. RM Pal was the principal of the Rajdhani College in Delhi who actively worked with the human rights organization People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), gave lectures on secularism and issue of Dalits and minorities at various government institutions including police academy and other such places. He was an[Read More…]

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Human Violence: Pervasive, Multi-dimensional and Extinction-threatening

Human Violence: Pervasive, Multi-dimensional and Extinction-threatening

  Violence is pervasive throughout human society and it has a vast range of manifestations. Moreover, some of these manifestations – particularly the threat of nuclear war (which might start regionally), the climate catastrophe and the ongoing ecological devastation, as well as geoengineering and the deployment of 5G – threaten imminent human extinction if not contained. Separately from these extinction-threatening[Read More…]

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 Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Forgotten Gandhian

 Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Forgotten Gandhian

Every year, India celebrates 2nd October in shape of the birth anniversary of the two great personalities – Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri – who have an irrefutable contribution to the independence of our country from colonial power. We often less remind the birth anniversary of Shri Lal Bahadur as this date is profoundly chosen to remind our beloved[Read More…]

NOW-WAR and the SAKE of LIFE

NOW-WAR and the SAKE of LIFE

“the wound of possibility” Soren Kierkegaard Earth is our home; Earth is our origin.  There is not now any more than there has ever been a single, sane human being who can or could have claimed otherwise. Over billions of years, Earth has been in the process of evolving into a robust, living planet—a life place, abundant with intricate interweavers[Read More…]

A Brief History of Politeness

A Brief History of Politeness

From political speech to social media tirades, for half a decade or more now, the use of rude language, gestures and threats has become ubiquitous around the globe. The complete absence of politeness – along with (or because of) growing economic woes, political turmoil and ecological destruction –  seems to be the chief characteristic of our times. Politeness emerged in[Read More…]

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An Envoy of Hope

An Envoy of Hope

The little boy smiled charmingly through the evening just before the surgery.His young parents were dumb with fear about the impending operation the next day when his tiny pelvic girdle would be realigned to enable his almost atrophied limbs to move. With bright lovely eyes that focussed on your face and an ever willing capacity to smile and respond, he[Read More…]

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On Democracy: 10 Unpalatable Reminders

On Democracy: 10 Unpalatable Reminders

1) Democracies often behave like little children: reluctant to take their medicine—unless irrationally coerced. 2) A democracy’s great weakness is its vanity. The people’s vanity. A mortally dangerous tendency that is constantly in need of assurances that it is the world that is at fault rather than it. 3) In a democracy, it is often the most unpopular president or[Read More…]

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The Rise of the Right: Interview With John Bellamy Foster

The Rise of the Right: Interview With John Bellamy Foster

by John Bellamy Foster and Farooque Chowdhury [The following interview of Monthly Review editor John Bellamy Foster, completed on August 5, 2019, was conducted by Farooque Chowdhury for Kolkata’s famous socialist weekly Frontier and has appeared this month in their special Autumn issue. It was thus originally intended for a non-U.S. audience. Monthly Review is publishing it as well because[Read More…]

Bapu Kuti: A Candle To The Gandhian Flame

Bapu Kuti: A Candle To The Gandhian Flame

“My aim is not to be consistent with my previous statements on a given question, but to be consistent with truth as it may present itself to me at a given moment. The result has been that I have grown from truth to truth ….” — The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 90 Eighty kilometres to the east of Nagpur[Read More…]

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21st Century Belongs To People Of Vision

21st Century Belongs To People Of Vision

 ‘No matter what views one may hold, the 21st century shall belong only to a people of ‘vision’ and those who care for future,’ wrote Satish Chandra Seth, (1932-2009) the futurist and former civil servant. A science education administrator, Satish is internationally known for inventing a method of assessing the futurist thinking, called Satish-Harva method of scenario building. He was[Read More…]

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Bhagat Singh, the revolutionary with the goal Socialism

Bhagat Singh, the revolutionary with the goal Socialism

[On Bhagat Singh’s 112th birth anniversary, this article, 1st part of a series, introduces Bhagat Singh Reader by Professor Chaman Lal] The Tribune’s lead informs execution of Bhagat Singh, and Rajguru and Sukhdev, his comrades. Bhagat Singh. The revolutionary. The visionary. The ideological warrior. The organizer. The voice of the exploited. The perspective was this sub-continent, brutalized, tormented, muzzled, appropriated[Read More…]

Photo by MarioGuti / iStock.

Tale of the Perfect World

The article below is a reflection on the perfect world, on perfection and ways we perceive perfection. It also directs on how one should move towards the perfect world one desires. Today, I remembered that negative strokes create more impact than positive strokes. This thought itself made me to dwell in fathomless inquiries. People forget what good you do as[Read More…]

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Gandhian way of changing corporate politics

Gandhian way of changing corporate politics

1.             With the announcement of results of Lok Sabha elections of 2019, deep concerns were voiced by numerous comrades expressing anguish as to what would Narendra Modi’s victory portend for the Constitution and the democracy. During the last five years we have often heard from secular and progressive friends that we are wading through dark and bad times. The[Read More…]

Khalsa Aid India: A Journey of Serving the Mankind

Khalsa Aid India: A Journey of Serving the Mankind

Co-Written by Varinder Singh & Ishfaq Majid Khalsa Aid International which is popularly known for its humanitarian relief charity and human saving efforts, is serving the common masses from 1999. Khalsa aid is a non-profit UK based organization that provides relief to the people who are facing any kind of distress. Not only this, Khalsa aid is also popularly known[Read More…]

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Today’s Imperative: Gandhian Values

Today’s Imperative: Gandhian Values

Third Shambhu Dutta Memorial Lecture, Organized by Transparency International India at IIC, September 9, 2019. Preface to the Lecture I am grateful to Transparency International India for asking me to deliver the Third Shambhu Dutta Memorial Lecture. It is held in the memory of Shri Shambhu Dutta (1918-2016), the founding father of Transparency International India. He was a well-known Gandhian[Read More…]

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Comparative Political Leadership: Gandhi vs. Contemporary Leaders

Comparative Political Leadership: Gandhi vs. Contemporary Leaders

On 2 October 2019, it will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mohandas K. Gandhi in Gujarat, India. I would like to reflect on the visionary leadership that Gandhi offered the world, briefly comparing it with some national leaders of today, and to invite you to emulate Gandhi’s leadership. While Gandhi is best remembered for being the mastermind[Read More…]

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World Systems and Capitalism: Immanuel Wallerstein’s Legacy

World Systems and Capitalism: Immanuel Wallerstein’s Legacy

“The dead albatross that hangs around our neck is our legacy of arrogance, racism.  And we must struggle to atone, to reconstruct, to create a different historical system.”  So wrote the late sociologist and thinker Immanuel Wallerstein in unequivocal tones of repentance on Europe’s legacy, its “oldest disgrace.” Wallerstein was one of those refreshing types in an increasingly restrictive academy,[Read More…]

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Out of Luck: The Corrosive Culture of Sports

Out of Luck: The Corrosive Culture of Sports

In an earlier article in Medium, I wrote about a corrosive sports culture that brings out peoples’ baser instincts- from applauding violence to replacing a plural view of humanity with elemental tribalism. In the piece, I also discussed sports-obsession as an example of the abdication of affirmative citizenship, given the time, money, and mental energy people spend on sports versus civic[Read More…]

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Parallel Lives: Jose Antonio Roman, Jr., Ernest Hemingway and the FBI

Parallel Lives: Jose Antonio Roman, Jr., Ernest Hemingway and the FBI

There is a fact about Hemingway that few people know, and that is that for most of his life  he was surveilled by the FBI. As people have come to realize, that surveillance, along with other factors such as injuries to his head, years of heavy drinking, and his feeling that he had “lost it” as a writer,contributed to the[Read More…]

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On the Day of my Birth: Witnessing Desperation, Celebrating Triumph

On the Day of my Birth: Witnessing Desperation, Celebrating Triumph

It was my birthday and I was both sad and glad for myself. I had lived a long life, filled with difficulties of every kind one can imagine. I had spent a good portion of it struggling to survive in the face of poverty and want. I had struggled to raise three children, mostly alone, in the midst of that[Read More…]

The Faces of Communism in Russia Today

The Faces of Communism in Russia Today

I am taking a long Sunday walk when I come upon them handing out leaflets in front of Kentucky Fried Chicken, in Perovo, the region of Moscow in which I reside. There are four or five of them altogether: young teenagers or those in their early twenties – handing out leaflets. They try to hand me one, and I, assuming[Read More…]

Questioning Democracy

Questioning Democracy

Equality. Freedom. Justice. Secularity. Rights. Federalism. People’s government. That’s the general view of democracy we have in our minds. Democracy promises to incorporate all these values while administrating the institutions of society, economy and polity. To be specific, what democracy is to people is what a sickle is to a farmer- a tool to bring good days. But, despite all[Read More…]

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A Dialectical Materialist Response to “The Metaphysics of Revolution”

A Dialectical Materialist Response to “The Metaphysics of Revolution”

I use a simple formula, perhaps too simple, to teach my students the different categories of philosophical thinking. It is difficult to explain without a visual, but I will try. To begin with there are the two polar opposite ways of thinking, the Metaphysical and the Materialist, or, if one prefers, the Religious and the Scientific. The Metaphysical seeks explanations[Read More…]

Holier Than Thou:  A Response to Dan Corjescu’s “On the Persistence of Religion”

Holier Than Thou:  A Response to Dan Corjescu’s “On the Persistence of Religion”

I have yet to find the time to sit down and write a thorough response to Dan Corjescu’s last piece “On the Metaphysics of Revolution”, which was, to my mind, a gross misinterpretation of Socrates in particular,  and on the evolution of revolutionary thought in philosophy in general.  However, on the appearance of this, his second piece, I promised myself[Read More…]

The ‘Ayurvedic’ Supervisor: Remembering Biswamoy Pati

The ‘Ayurvedic’ Supervisor: Remembering Biswamoy Pati

My candid association with Dr. Biswamoy Pati began somewhere around 2012 when I eventually settled down for social history of health and medicine as my research theme for MPhil/PhD which was met by an equally enthusiastic and generous response by Dr. Pati. Although he had taught us earlier the paper on Social History of Modern India during post-graduation, the deplorable[Read More…]

On the Persistence of Religion

On the Persistence of Religion

We feel that even if all possible sci entific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all —Ludwig Wittgenstein Tractatus Recently I received an angry note about the persistence of religion in the modern world as proof of the world’s ongoing irrationality in response to some of my comments in my lately published article[Read More…]

The Metaphysics of Revolution

The Metaphysics of Revolution

Socrates was the first revolutionary. He opened up with a legendary oracular search the inner space from which the individual, as we understand him today, would eventually emerge. His “daemon” was that which spoke the necessary freedom and autonomy to become what we are. His was the first lesson. His student, Plato, brought on the second movement. He postulated the[Read More…]

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The Quest For an Ideal Teacher

The Quest For an Ideal Teacher

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself. ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton Ideal teacher could be somebody who has empathy, understanding, patience and the ability to provide the knowledge of what student seeks in a comprehensive manner by helping him to liberate his mind. Unfortunately not many[Read More…]

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The Life and Legacy of Samir Amin

The Life and Legacy of Samir Amin

August 12th 2018 marks the first anniversary of the death of Samir Amin, a man who, in my view, was the first, and perhaps the most prolific, global organic intellectual in history. He quite literally traversed the seven continents, meeting with local lefts wherever he could find landfall, participating in their discussions, and building from them some of the most[Read More…]

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Remembering the late historian Prof. Mushirul Hasan’s ‘Secular Legacy’ on the special occasion of his 70th birth anniversary

Remembering the late historian Prof. Mushirul Hasan’s ‘Secular Legacy’ on the special occasion of his 70th birth anniversary

         It is to be remembered that the late Prof. Mushirul Hasan who was born on 15th August 1949 and passed away -after four years of his serious accident- on 10th December 2018 at Delhi.  At the outset, let me admit that Prof. Hasan had cherished and epitomized the rich heritage of India’s secular and plural legacy. Prof Hasan’s academic[Read More…]

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Disabled in a capitalist society

Disabled in a capitalist society

Since the major aim of capitalists is to see that maximum production can be extracted from labor, exploitation of workers becomes a key factor. Ordinary workers, thus, face constant harassment, humiliation, misery and burden of work. Disabled, in addition, face alienation and abuse both from the employers as well as society. The Merriam Webster Dictionary offers two definitions of disability.[Read More…]

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Questioning the Extremely Online

Questioning the Extremely Online

This essay is in regard to a crime that too often goes unmentioned when the conversations turn towards political analysis, the contemporary journalistic scene, and broader social critique: the crime of being extremely online. What does it mean to be extremely online? It mostly is as straightforward as it sounds. Generally, activities such as spending too much time on the[Read More…]

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Indian State post-1947 Served Imperialists and Strengthened Landlord Base

Indian State post-1947 Served Imperialists and Strengthened Landlord Base

Distortion of Com.T Nagi Reddy’s views is not the way to pay real homage to him How fragile is India’s Constitution, and how illusory are its claims of sovereignty, independence, democracy, secularism and socialism has been noticed repeatedly over the last 70 plus years after 1947 August. RTI and Article 370 were the most recent shocks to some people who[Read More…]

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What’s your Worth?

What’s your Worth?

Many years ago, in the 1970’s I remember seeing a Russian tractor. India used to have a bilateral trade agreement with the USSR by which we bought all kinds of goods from Russia and paid for them in Indian Rupees, whereby we were able to conserve our meagre foreign exchange. You can read more about that agreement here http://www.commonlii.org/in/other/treaties/INTSer/1953/16.html Russia bought[Read More…]

When Comedian Dick Gregory Tried to Bust the Word 

When Comedian Dick Gregory Tried to Bust the Word 

One afternoon in New York City in the spring of 1964, I marched at the head of a small civil rights demonstration, one of the few white people in the group. I was carrying a watermelon. It was a Dick Gregory joke. To say the least, not everyone liked that joke, but I thought it was hilarious, a jab by[Read More…]

The Russian Revolution in Retrospect

The Russian Revolution in Retrospect

One may ask why we still think it important to understand the theories and practices of those who came to power in Russia in 1917 and those who have governed for some three quarters of a century with falsehood marking the entire course of the regime’s rise and demise – November 7, 1917 to December 26, 1990.  It matters vitally[Read More…]

Remembering the veteran communist leader Tarimala Nagi Reddy on his death anniversary!

Remembering the veteran communist leader Tarimala Nagi Reddy on his death anniversary!

July 28 is the death anniversary of the of veteran communist leader Tarimala Nagi Reddy, known and called by comrades as com. TN. He was a lifelong fighter for the revolutionary program he has committed and dreamed of. In the state of Andhra Pradesh, he attracted hundreds of cadres towards the Communist movement in the process of carrying out his[Read More…]

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Women We Are Fighting For

Women We Are Fighting For

 There are stories that are unrelated to the news, but can explain much better than many combat reports, why people like meare fighting against the Empire and imperialism, with such determination and vehemence. Not all stories are ‘big’ or ‘heroic’; not all include famous people or iconic struggles. Not all take place onbattlefields. But they ‘humanize’ the struggle. Once in[Read More…]

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The Walls that Spoke

The Walls that Spoke

In times when the nation treats the public universities as liabilities, we should be crystal clear in demarcating: what is a university and what it is not? A university is not a factory that processes raw materials and brings out finished products. It cannot be reduced into a laboratory that conducts experiments to come up with the desired result. It[Read More…]

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Try

Try

Judgement by Anonymous Before God’s footstool to confess A poor soul knelt, and bowed his head; “I failed,” he cried. The Master said, “Thou didst thy best—that is success!” It was December 1980. I was sitting on the veranda of my house in Guyana. It was about 9.00 pm, dark, balmy evening in the tropics. As usual on most days in[Read More…]

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TB is preventable & curable: Zero new infection & zero deaths must become a reality

TB is preventable & curable: Zero new infection & zero deaths must become a reality

TB is preventable, treatable and curable. Science shows how can we effectively prevent, accurately diagnose, treat with effective regimen, and eventually cure TB. But are not we failing to translate scientific wisdom in public health gains? How can we explain over 10 million new cases of TB and 1.6 million TB deaths (including 300,000 TB deaths among people living with[Read More…]

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Preventing TB is rooted in medical ethics and human rights

Preventing TB is rooted in medical ethics and human rights

With quarter of world’s population infected with latent TB (not active TB disease), and in the light of scientific fact that every new case of active TB disease comes from this pool of population infected with latent TB, the writing on the wall is clear: we cannot put TB prevention on the blindspot anymore if we are to eliminate TB[Read More…]

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Critique of Paresh Chattopadhyay’s “Twentieth Century Socialism”

Critique of Paresh Chattopadhyay’s “Twentieth Century Socialism”

Paresh Chattopadhyay once visited me at my rented residence after we launched our party, the World Socialist Party (India) here in Calcutta (now Kolkata), 1-3 March 1995. He listened to my long speech via audio cassette of Bishnupur public meeting and highly appreciated it. After a detailed discussion he agreed to send articles in the event we published a journal[Read More…]

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Lives In Economics

Lives In Economics

Their lives can help us today I would like to announce the publication of a book describing the lives of some of the people who have contributed importantly to economic thought. Their lives can help us today, as the world faces a crisis that has both economic dimensions. The book can be freely downloaded from the following link: http://eacpe.org/app/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Lives-in-economics-by-John-Scales-Avery.pdf The[Read More…]

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Remembering Asma Jahangir : A Legacy to Cherish

Remembering Asma Jahangir : A Legacy to Cherish

It is now more than a year since Asma Jahangir left us. As August 14-15 approaches, one cannot but recall her, for she was someone who worked tirelessly for human rights as well as better and smoother, peaceful Indo-Pakistan relations. People like her (characterised as an icon and a crusader) and the work they do retain their relevance for not[Read More…]

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Photo by MarioGuti / iStock.

David Bohm’s “darkness in the human brain.”

It was David Bohm’s thesis that the ignorance of humanity is a matter of closedmindedness. He considered closedmindedness the “darkness in the human brain,” a darkness closing access to the Universal Mind; so defined as a supreme intelligence that communicates through the mode of insight. In this essay we will describe the evolutionary origins of the darkness in the human[Read More…]

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Is the Indian School Education system prepared for the future?

Is the Indian School Education system prepared for the future?

With the increasing pace of technological advances and globalisation rapidly taking over, India is all set to become the next hub for economic growth. Adding to this is a young population with an average age of 29 years, which puts India at an advantage. But is India’s human capital prepared to face the challenge? The role of education is crucial[Read More…]

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Taming the activist within: Role of Indian society, media and education

Taming the activist within: Role of Indian society, media and education

Most of us are not stoics yet. Injustice caused to us evokes strong reactions and whenever we feel empowered enough to effect a change in our circumstances, we do. The critical element here is the personal nature of the impact of such an injustice; and this is the key focus which I address in the situations of social movements. Our[Read More…]

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Is Universal Health Coverage an opportunity to end AIDS and TB?

Is Universal Health Coverage an opportunity to end AIDS and TB?

At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, a special United Nations High Level Meeting (UNHLM) will be held on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). 193 countries have promised to deliver on UHC by 2030 by committing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But will push on UHC alone deliver on the promise of health for all where ‘no one is[Read More…]

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Unwarranted Hysterectomies : A Growing Health Scandal     

Unwarranted Hysterectomies : A Growing Health Scandal     

A study commissioned by the National Health Authority (NHA) of India has recently (Economic Times Report dated July 22, 2019) red-flagged claims made for hysterectomies conducted in private hospitals in at least six states, under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) scheme. It has sought more caution and tighter scrutiny of such claims under the Modi government’s flagship programme[Read More…]

Psychology Behind Protest Responses

Psychology Behind Protest Responses

The Milgram experiment conducted by a Yale University psychologist of the same name, has perhaps gone on to become one of the most famous human behavioural experiments to have ever been conducted. It was conducted during the 1960s, when Nazi war criminals including Adolf Eichmann were being put on trial. The basic question was this: were the criminals really at[Read More…]

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A tale of two positives attracting each other

A tale of two positives attracting each other

I met the two of them at the Clinica Condesa Iztapalapa, in Mexico City, where I had gone to attend the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019). Was it a mere coincidence that they had many things in common – they share the same surname; they speak fluent English; they neither drink nor smoke nor are on drugs;[Read More…]

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The Sacrifice of Ishmael or Issac – A Debate

The Sacrifice of Ishmael or Issac – A Debate

I am a Structural Engineer and I am NOT an Islamic Scholar. But sometimes I do get curious about certain practices among Muslims like Animal Sacrifice and Ritualistic Sacrifice and want to open a debate whether it has sanction of Quran and Allah. In a few days from now millions of Muslims all over the World will be slaughtering animals[Read More…]

When Warriors Become Saints

When Warriors Become Saints

As I sit on the small balcony on the top floor of an old house in the working class neighborhood of Alfama in Lisbon, Portugal, it is early evening, the time for wine and voices wafting on the fragrant breeze through the twisting cobble-stoned streets.  The National Pantheon (Panteao Nacional)stares me in the face.  I stare back, and then look[Read More…]

Parliament house in New Delhi on July 24th 2015. Express photo by Ravi Kanojia.

What Is ‘Good Governance’, And What Is Not

“Good governance is about the processes for making and implementing decisions. It’s not about making ‘correct’ decisions, but about the best possible process for making those decisions.” goodgovernance.org.au Good governance is the art of looking at problems, diagnosing them and finding solutions through collective decision making. It is the process of decision making with the participation and consensus of all members of society.[Read More…]

Writing’s on the wall: No #endAIDS without #endTB

Writing’s on the wall: No #endAIDS without #endTB

TB and HIV both are preventable, but cutting the chain of transmission of HIV and TB is proving to be a daunting task. Treatment exists for both TB and HIV but disease-burden and deaths every year are indeed alarming. With countdown on towards TB and AIDS elimination targets for 2030, the writing on the wall is clear: business as usual[Read More…]

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The Dialectic of Artificial Intelligence

The Dialectic of Artificial Intelligence

Our struggle to survive hasbeen a relentless drive towards self-destruction.  Sigmund Freud identified two basic human impulses:  Eros, the drive to  survive and reproduce, and Thanatos, the drive towards death and destruction.  However, dialectically speaking, these are not two separate and opposing forces, but a unity of polar opposites which grow out of the same expenditure of energies, exist in[Read More…]

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The Difference Between Being a Liberal and Being a Progressive

The Difference Between Being a Liberal and Being a Progressive

The difference between liberalism and progressivism is ideological. Historically, liberalism started with John Locke, whose philosophy was superbly summarized, explained, and referenced to its sources, here; but the following will instead quote directly from those sources: Locke (as the commentator said) “praises money as probably no one prior and after him,” because Locke’s 1689 Second Treatise on Government, Sections 49[Read More…]

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When Donating Blood Broke The Barrier

When Donating Blood Broke The Barrier

You all know my butler Bastian who I have written about earlier. Bastian like most of his tribe spoke ‘Butler English’ and was very snobbish. My wife used to speak to him in the same way to make it easier for both to understand what was going on. So sometimes I would come in to hear, ‘Bastian, tomatoes got, not[Read More…]

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Santosh Rana: A Rebel with a Cause

Santosh Rana: A Rebel with a Cause

Death has finally overtaken Santosh Rana, the prominent activist-cum-intellectual and one of the foremost leaders of the historic Debra- Gopiballabhpur peasant struggles that attracted attention throughout West Bengal in 1969-70. He died on 29th of June after a prolonged fight with throat cancer at a private hospital of South Kolkata. Hailing from a poor peasant family of West Medinipur, he[Read More…]

Achieving 100:100:100 + zero HIV transmission is must to #endAIDS

Achieving 100:100:100 + zero HIV transmission is must to #endAIDS

It has been 38 years and 1 month since the first case of HIV infection was detected in 1981, reminded Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (#IAS2019) taking place in Mexico City. Dr Fauci is a recipient of Robert Koch Award and US Presidential[Read More…]

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Comrade A. K. Roy – A Memoir

Comrade A. K. Roy – A Memoir

Comrade A. K. Roy, the legendary trade union leader of coal miners in Dhanbad region died on July 21, 2019. With him an era of trade union movement has come to a close. He and later Comrade Shankar Guha Niyogi of Chhatisgarh were pioneers of a new trade movement that came into being in the early 70s and became vigorous[Read More…]

Preventing TB is a critical cog in the wheel to #endTB and #endAIDS

Preventing TB is a critical cog in the wheel to #endTB and #endAIDS

Every case of active tuberculosis (TB) disease comes from an individual with latent TB infection. And every new case of latent TB infection is a sign of failing infection control, as someone with active TB disease transmitted the bacteria to an uninfected person. Quarter of world’s population has latent TB. TB continues to be the most common opportunistic infection among[Read More…]

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The Claimants of Sheila Dikshit’s Delhi!

The Claimants of Sheila Dikshit’s Delhi!

Delhi is the ancient city of India. The city’s history bears testimony to settlements and also to ruins. This order of settling and deserting of the city has been going on since the Mahabharata period. In the medieval period, this city enjoyed eminence as a centre of power and this eminence endured for a long time. It is hardly surprising[Read More…]

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Marx’s alternative  

Marx’s alternative  

                                                       “It is true that Marx did not believe in drawing up recipes for the cookshops of the future, but he did describe the basis of the society he thought was going to replace[Read More…]

Planet of the Surreal – Turning 75 in the Age of Trump

Planet of the Surreal – Turning 75 in the Age of Trump

As I turn 75, there’s no simpler way to put it than this: I’m an old man on a new planet — and, in case it isn’t instantly obvious, that’s not good news on either score. I still have a memory of being a camp counselor in upstate New York more than half a century ago. I was perhaps 20[Read More…]

Chharas of Gujarat : ‘Stealing’ the show

Chharas of Gujarat : ‘Stealing’ the show

  As we get closer to India’s 73rd Independence Day on 15th August this year, I realized that we have not yet achieved ‘Sampoorna Swaraj’ or complete and absolute independence. Independence for each and every citizen of the country is still a novel concept for many. Freedom to – live, laugh, speak, work and entertain is not yet a gift[Read More…]

DV Rao on The Question of Nationalities -Part-2

DV Rao on The Question of Nationalities -Part-2

(DV Rao’s Death (July 12, 1984)  Anniversary is observed in July every year. His views  on the Problem of Nationalities in India are relevant and useful for students of politics , more so of democrats and revolutionaries. Hence this write-up. Part-1 was published on July 11, 2019. This is Part-2  of the two-part article.) ‘Indian nation’ and nationalism have been[Read More…]

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Problem of Nationalities in India: DV Rao’s views

Problem of Nationalities in India: DV Rao’s views

(DV Rao’s Death (July 12, 1984)  Anniversary is observed in July every year. His views  on the Problem of Nationalities in India are relevant and useful for students of politics , more so of democrats and revolutionaries. Hence this write-up.) ‘Indian nation’ and nationalism have been under intense discusssion in recent past, including in the latest elections. Those who are[Read More…]

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Lives In The Peace Movement

Lives In The Peace Movement

I would like to announce the publication of a book describing the lives of some of the people who have contributed importantly to the peace movement. The book can be freely downloaded from the following link: http://eacpe.org/app/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Lives-in-the-peace-movement-by-John-Scales-Avery.pdf I hope that the lives of these women and men can inspire us as we work together to abolish the institution of war. [Read More…]

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Communism, Socialism: Any Difference?

Communism, Socialism: Any Difference?

In this book, we, like Marx and Engels, have used the names “communism” and “socialism” to mean the same relation of production. Marx and Engels had used the two names alternately to signify the post-revolutionary democratic world system of “cooperative”, “communal”, or universal ownership. Why they preferred communist identity at the beginning of their studies and organization whilst socialist at[Read More…]

The Limited Mind: Why Fear is Driving Humanity to Extinction

The Limited Mind: Why Fear is Driving Humanity to Extinction

I have previously written many articles describing one or more aspects of the dysfunctional nature of the typical human mind, together with an explanation of how this came about and what we can do about it. See, for example, many of the articles republished in ‘Key Articles’and the source documents ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and[Read More…]

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Remembering Baba Hardi Reshi

Remembering Baba Hardi Reshi

One of the most popular Sufi orders in Kashmir is the Rishi Order. It is the indigenous Sufi order that has originated in Kashmir itself. Many saints belong to this order and all of them are held in high esteem by the people. One among them is Baba Hardi Reshi (R.a) who is adoringly known as ‘Resh Moul’, which means[Read More…]

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Road-Map To Socialism -Democracy is the road to socialism

Road-Map To Socialism -Democracy is the road to socialism

Win the battle of democracy Do away with private property Abolish the wages system altogether End employment to end unemployment Achieve abundance for all and inscribe on the banners: From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs! An association, in which the free development of each is the condition of free development of all   “Communism[Read More…]

Doddi Komarayya : A visualized drawing  (no photo is available)

Telangana  and Martyrdom of Doddi Komarayya

July 4 is the day martyrs of  armed struggle  of Telangana are remembered. That was the day, in 1946,  of martyrdom of Doddi Komarayya, a young man from a poor peasant and shepherd family of Kadivendi village of the then Nalgonda district. (Now it is in Warangal district of Telangana state, TS.)  He was  the first  among  4000 communist and[Read More…]

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Why I did not renew my driving license?

Why I did not renew my driving license?

Because I realized (better late than never) that it is government’s responsibility to provide safe, convenient, affordable, accessible and humane ways of commuting for all its citizens. When governments fail on its duty then it hides behind the market forces, and co-opts itself in corporate agenda, enticing citizens to own, borrow, rent and use private vehicles to commute. Forcing people[Read More…]

The Impossiblist’s Way

The Impossiblist’s Way

“There are but three ways for people to escape their wretched lot. The first is via the liquor-store, the second is the path of the temple; but the third is by way of the social revolution.” – Bakunin In a land of 1.3 billion, an organisation of a dozen or so members  which has never contested an election, based in[Read More…]

Falling Into Good Hands

Falling Into Good Hands

                                                      I can never forget or fully recollect that morning when I was taken in a trolley to the Surgical Out patient section of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College famed for its exemplary service since[Read More…]

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Vanishing Voices

Vanishing Voices

The cultural damage of homogenising language I am, among other things, a literary translator. When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I translate from Spanish to English. From one language to another. Which is, already, only a half-truth. What I mean – what I don’t say – is that I translate from many Spanishes: from Peninsular[Read More…]

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Truth Takes Time: Robert Caro’s “Working”

Truth Takes Time: Robert Caro’s “Working”

There is one way- and one way only- to read Robert Caro’s books. Of this, I am certain. For best results, gather provisions, find a nice room, lock yourself in, and turn off your cell phone. You must take all of these steps, not just a few. The reasons are: You must honor Caro’s dedication to political biography and investigative[Read More…]

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Capitalism vs. The World

Capitalism vs. The World

The love of money is a sin…the root of all evil. Judeo-Christian biblical tradition – O believers Do not devour one another’s wealth by evil means except through trading by mutual consent. Islamic tradition – Sharing wealth is a divine duty, but wealth gained and spent for one’s behalf is evil. Hindu tradition – Is our toleration of the dominating[Read More…]

Last Men or New Men? Nietzsche in the Global Age

Last Men or New Men? Nietzsche in the Global Age

Does Nietzsche have anything important to say to us, we the current inhabitants of a global age? Nietzsche speaks of spiritual health as a result of the superabundance of the life force, of a Dionysian affirmation of ones existence of ones process of becoming what one is. The courage of laughter is called for. A profound laughter that is in[Read More…]

Marta Harnecker, presente!

Marta Harnecker, presente!

The international left has lost one of its most lucid intellectual, pedagogical educators and determined activists with the passing of Marta Harnecker on June 14, aged 82. Marta will forever be remembered as one of the most influential and prolific writers on the Latin American left, having written almost 90 books covering a wide array of topics and debates on[Read More…]

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Innovative MACH gives hope for multi-disciplinary global health response

Innovative MACH gives hope for multi-disciplinary global health response

Although 193 governments adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which warrant an integrated and multisectoral response to deliver on those promises, the progress has been lackadaisical in the past four years. A recent UN report has set an alarm on uneven progress on some SDGs and slipping on a few of the Global Goals in Asia Pacific region. Coordinated multisectoral[Read More…]

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America’s Medical Apartheid

America’s Medical Apartheid

By Richard Gale and Gary Null About a decade ago, my late colleague Dr. Martin Feldman and I were invited to be keynote speakers at a conference on anti-aging and alternative medicine in Chicago. The hall was packed with several thousand clinicians, physicians, medical professors, scientific researchers and doctors of non-conventional medical disciplines who were interested in the latest anti-aging[Read More…]

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Ch. Kondeswara Rao Passes Away

Ch. Kondeswara Rao Passes Away

Ch. Kondeswara Rao  was an active leader of Andhra Pradesh Teachers’ Federation (APTF), one of the oldest and leading organizations of teachers, with a progressive outlook,  and  worked in it in several capacities  for decades. For several years, he was the AP State President, before bifurcation of the State. And he was, for several years, the Editor of Upadhyaaya Pragati[Read More…]

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New milestone for improved treatment for children with TB

New milestone for improved treatment for children with TB

(CNS): More and more children around the world are now benefitting from fixed dose combination (FDC) of child-friendly medicines to treat drug-sensitive TB, thanks to the untiring efforts of TB Alliance (Global Alliance for TB Drug Development) and its partners including World Health Organization (WHO), for making these drugs go from development to delivery stage. TB Alliance proudly announced at[Read More…]

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Marta Harnecker, The Fighter

Marta Harnecker, The Fighter

Comrade Marta Harnecker has passed away. Comrade Marta died on June 15, 2019, of cancer in Canada. A relentless fighter, comrade Marta Harnecker (1937 – 2019) made valuable contributions in the areas of theory related to revolution for socialism in the broader Latin American perspective. Her struggle was for a humane world. Marta Hernecker’s was not an adventurist-head and not[Read More…]

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Girish Karnad: When a Star Left the Earth to Become a Star in the Sky

Girish Karnad: When a Star Left the Earth to Become a Star in the Sky

Girish Karnad did not die. Standing as a tall pipal tree kissing the sky, he was an inspiration for many. He lost his breath now. The bodily departure has taken place. But a tradition that he got involved with in Karnataka is still alive even with his absence. And playwrights of the future in Karnataka cannot avoid the smell of[Read More…]

The Great Slide

The Great Slide

“So, how did things get so bad?” I am sure you must have heard, asked or thought about this yourself. So have I. Many times, over the years whenever I saw a badly-behaved child being fed with the help of an iPad, a spaced-out teenager who seems lost in his electronic world where Facebook friends are more real to her[Read More…]

 Message from ET: Leave Me Alone!!

 Message from ET: Leave Me Alone!!

Here’s a thought: What if alien civilizations want to be left completely alone? Listed below are some of the unspoken presumptions underlying our nascent interstellar expansionism: We know what “universal intelligence” means. (Our most celebrated scientists usually equate this with “technical control over nature”— all “aliens” wash their hands before dinner and watch sitcoms) Closely tied to assumption number one[Read More…]

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Bringing Up Morally Sound Children

Bringing Up Morally Sound Children

From time immemorial, Kashmir has been enjoying recognition all across the world as ‘Resh Waer’ – Abode of Sages because the sages, savants, and saints from different parts of the world have visited this place. Some of them stayed permanently here and some had a transient stay. Also, there is a significant number of native godly and spiritual personages who[Read More…]

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The Timeless Wisdom of the Pagan Understanding of Nature  

The Timeless Wisdom of the Pagan Understanding of Nature  

(A response to Dr. Lubna Sarwath’s “Abhorrence for Wastefulness and Exhortation for Moderation inThe Qur’an”) As any thoughtful person understands, and as every Pagan knows, the destruction of our world is our destruction and our self-destruction, which is not just sad or wrong, but is a Mortal Sin, A Sin of the First Order committed Against the Gods who are[Read More…]

Shahir Amar Shaikh and his Contributions to Working Class Culture and literature

Shahir Amar Shaikh and his Contributions to Working Class Culture and literature

WHY AMAR SHAIKH? In today’s hubbub, the collective voice of descent of working masses appears to have melted away and ‘organizational strength’ of toiling and working masses is in retreat. Under such a chaotic situation, we are inevitably reminded of an eloquent popular voice, a poet and troubadour of the working class in India! — the Historic, mountainous and unique[Read More…]

Accumulation of Slaves

Accumulation of Slaves

Co- written by Meer Abass and Aarif Peer Modern education is about producing workers to perpetuate the secularized, capitalist system; it is not about producing thinkers. Thinkers change systems and shift paradigms, and so modern education is as careful as it can be to avoid producing too many people who are capable of sustained critical thinking. How a particular stuff[Read More…]

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Interview with Sanjukta Basu, feminist writer and polymath

Interview with Sanjukta Basu, feminist writer and polymath

Ms. Sanjukta Basu is a writer, photographer, analyst, blogger, fervent microblogger, freelance journalist, commentator, academic, an avid traveller, a social crusader, and a feminist scholar. She’s a TED Fellow and Founder of Samyukta Media, a pioneering social media dissemination, and outreach organisation. She’s one of the first women in India to extensively write on politics, and avant-garde issues, both in[Read More…]

Remembering Socrates: His Days and Times

Remembering Socrates: His Days and Times

  Introduction Of all the famed names of ancient Greece, that of Socrates is surely the most extensively known. His reputation does not derive from his writings, for he left none. Most of our understanding of him comes from dialogues written by Plato, who was deeply influenced by him and developed his own ideas in such a way that it[Read More…]

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Needs finally explained

Needs finally explained

We need food, clothing, and shelter to secure our existence. It gives us the basic pleasure of living. People are also social beings. Joined in society, they improve their lives significantly and get more pleasure. The most substantial progress comes from the cooperation between free people which may bring the greatest power to satisfy their needs. It may also bring[Read More…]

Robert Owen, Worker Cooperatives, and Democratic Socialism

Robert Owen, Worker Cooperatives, and Democratic Socialism

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) – and its two predecessor organizations, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) and the New American Movement (NAM) – had their origins in the early 1970s, at the beginning of a long-term rightward shift of United States and global politics. This shift to the right – from the 1980s of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher[Read More…]

Between Yes and No, Heaven and Earth with Albert Camus on a Spring Morning

Between Yes and No, Heaven and Earth with Albert Camus on a Spring Morning

“To give up beauty and the sensual happiness that comes with it and devote one’s self exclusively to unhappiness requires a nobility I lack.  However, after all, nothing is true that compels us to make it exclusive.  Isolated beauty ends in grimaces, solitary justice in oppression.  Anyone who seeks to serve the one to the exclusion of the other serves[Read More…]

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Nations and Forest Fires

Nations and Forest Fires

It was 1984. The second and last formal employment of my career was in the tea plantations in the Anamallai Hills in Coimbatore District of Tamilnadu. I worked there for seven years, one of the most enjoyable and instructive periods of my life. Fires and estates are companions. Not surprising given the combination of people who smoke and don’t always[Read More…]

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Tackling the ‘Impossible’: Ending Violence

Tackling the ‘Impossible’: Ending Violence

Whenever, in ordinary circumstances, the subject of violence comes up, most people throw up their hands in horror and comment along the lines that it is ‘in our genes’, ‘nothing can be done about it’ or other words that reflect the powerlessness that most people feel around violence. It is true that violence is virtually ubiquitous, has a near-infinite variety[Read More…]

Are we on track to #endmalaria?

Are we on track to #endmalaria?

This year’s World Malaria Day theme, “Zero Malaria Starts With Me” re-energizes the fight to eliminate malaria which, despite being preventable and treatable, still kills over half a million people every year. While incredible progress has been made in the past 15 years (with over 7 million malaria deaths averted and about 40% reduction in malaria globally), the fight against[Read More…]

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Sameness And Difference

Sameness And Difference

The famous physicist David Bohm wrote, “To be confused about what is different and what is not is to be confused about everything.” (Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980) There is confusion in the Public Mind, in which it is generally trying to make different what is not different and make what is not identical the same. The 1% who[Read More…]

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Photo by llee_wu

Mary Metzger – An American Babushka in Moscow: On Arriving at One’s Otherness.

If there were an adjective that would describe my personality for most of my life it would be “intense”. My old grandmother who raised me dealt with it by letting me explode out the door with the dog and cat in the morning, and then sitting or standing nearby watching me as I ran across the fields and through the[Read More…]

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Mirza Yawar Baig-Influencing without authority

Mirza Yawar Baig-Influencing without authority

One of the areas of my responsibility was the Commissary. This was the company owned department store from where you got your weekly supply of food and practically everything else you needed. It had a small frozen foods section, rough wooden shelves with rice, flour, lentils and other groceries stacked on them, farming tools, alcohol and beverages, tea, sugar, condiments[Read More…]

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Mirza Yawar Baig – Committing matrimony

What are the characteristics of a happy marriage? Truth, Caring, Mutual respect are what I call my three Cardinal Principles of happy marriages. Please notice that I am not using the word ‘love’. Love comes out of these three things. What is called love is usually physical desire. The shape or size of someone’s body is not the inspiration for love; it can[Read More…]

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Guyana, cross cultural boot camp

Guyana, cross cultural boot camp

“So, Comrade Baig, you have been living here for two years. What are your impressions about our country?” The interviewer was from Guyana Chronicle, the main English newspaper. I was being interviewed because I was there. Comrade was a gender-neutral term used to address anyone because Guyana was a socialist (communist) country ruled by an iron-man with an iron fist,[Read More…]

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The Statesman Within

The Statesman Within

My friend asked me a question; Where are the statesmen? Where have they all gone? For the sake of some clarity, I defined statesmen as people who were highly respected for their integrity, were highly ethical and moral and showed long-term vision for their people and countries and spent their lives in helping their people achieve that vision and not[Read More…]

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Pedagogical Considerations On The Relationship Between Teacher and Student

Pedagogical Considerations On The Relationship Between Teacher and Student

My Tai Chi teacher, Katya, and I sometimes speak about teaching. She is a patient person, as we both agree one must be if one is to teach. However, she holds as her pedagogical first principle that student and teacher can never be “friends”. Much as I dislike the idea of not being her friend, I understand her point. There[Read More…]

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Guyana, my first love

Guyana, my first love

Timehri Airport, Georgetown, Guyana, South America; a long way from home in Hyderabad, India. My first independent job, my first foreign country. January, 1979 The plane circled to land at Georgetown, Guyana. It was an old Boeing 707, which had seen a lot of service and belonged to the venerable BWIA (British West Indian Airlines also known as ‘But Will[Read More…]

The Meaning of a Stone

The Meaning of a Stone

Let me first recite a story and we shall take up its relevance in due course. There was an avid photographer in the mountains who came upon a finely decorated idol which was being worshipped by a peasant in his run-down hut. The photographer sought permission to take photos of the sacred stone. Then he found that there was a[Read More…]

Shiv Inder Singh gets Jagjit Singh Anand Award

Shiv Inder Singh gets Jagjit Singh Anand Award

Punjabi journalist Shiv Inder Singh, who was sacked as a field reporter by a Canada-based prominent South Asian radio station for being critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has received the Jagjit Singh Anand Award. Singh used to give daily news updates to a radio station in Surrey. His services were terminated abruptly in 2016 following complaints over his[Read More…]

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And now, it’s Lohia’s turn!

And now, it’s Lohia’s turn!

23rd March is Dr. Rammanohar Lohia’s birthday. But it is said that he did  not want people to celebrate the day because it was on this day that the revolutionaries – Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were executed by the British government. So most of his admirers and Indian socialists celebrate Lohia Jayanti by observing it as the Martyrdom Day.[Read More…]

Hannah Arendt’s Philosophy of Education and Adore of the World

Hannah Arendt’s Philosophy of Education and Adore of the World

Introduction Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was a pupil of Edmund Husserl (1859– 1938), Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), and Karl Jaspers (1883–1969), three significant, prominent, 20th century German philosophers whose work grounded and remained noticeable in Arendt’s philosophy. Arendt’s philosophies also recall the German philosophical systems of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), G. W. F. Hegel (1770–1831), and have the courage to say, Karl Marx[Read More…]

Growing Old

Growing Old

For decades, I am observing my mother growing old. 3 memories, 3 falls stay in my mind. The first fall was on the streets of Kolkata and that made her housebound after she fractured her hip and had to have surgery. Fortunately, it was a big house in Kolkata and there was plenty of space to move around but gone[Read More…]

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Feeling blue

India’s Grey Clouds of Depression

Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who   suffer from   mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned,[Read More…]

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Baba Amte’s Legacy Sparks Grand Daughter’s Fire

Baba Amte’s Legacy Sparks Grand Daughter’s Fire

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt The world is witnessing a spring of a new generation of young game-changing women social entrepreneurs that is gate crashing and boldly scripting inspiring stories even as they are pairing their ingenuity and knowledge with passion for bringing innovative and sustainable solutions to its long[Read More…]

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Remembering the Bhagat Singh’s revolutionary legacy in the times of cultural intolerance

Remembering the Bhagat Singh’s revolutionary legacy in the times of cultural intolerance

Let me remind that we are living in the era of the deep crisis of thought and ‘age of cultural intolerance’ across the world because of the Right-wing conservative forces has captured the power in most of the countries. For instance, the rise of Donald Trump in the USA, Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey and PM Modi in India etc. could[Read More…]

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It’s Time to bend the curve sharply to #endTB

It’s Time to bend the curve sharply to #endTB

Co-Written by Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant Although governments of 193 countries had promised way back in 2015 to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, the global annual rate of TB decline since then has been much less than what is required. The rate of TB decline which is currently hovering around 1.5%, should catapult to over 10% by 2025 globally,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Darryl D’Monte: A journalist of people and environment

Darryl D’Monte: A journalist of people and environment

Very few journalists stood by peoples’rights and dared to expose atrocities committed by corporates and government. One such fine committed journalist was Darryl D’Monte who inspired younger generation. He passed away on March 16 in a Mumbai hospital. Pioneering work A prominent advocate of the advanced locality management (ALM) movement, which involved citizens in care of their neighborhoods, he was[Read More…]

Tracing The Con(Tours) Of The Inverted Narratives That Bedevil ‘The West’

Tracing The Con(Tours) Of The Inverted Narratives That Bedevil ‘The West’

Those who allow seriousness to get in the way of imagination, fail to discover what they need to free themselves from. For many decades I have been aware of knocking on the door of Western Imperialism from the inside in search of a universal perspective. Maybe it started 80 years ago when I first experienced authority (de jour)in the person[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Embarassing state of Kerala’s maternal health care: effect of the Kerala model

The Embarassing state of Kerala’s maternal health care: effect of the Kerala model

Health system in India has seen several incongruities since its independence. Public health expenditure, inspite of repeated promises in election manifestos as well as in policy documents towards raising it to 2.5 to 3 % of GDP, remains around 1 to 2 %. The the existing health care infrastructure is flawed and inadequate; the hospitals are under-staffed, under-financed compelling the[Read More…]

Robert Muller (11 March 1923 -20 Sept. 2010) The U.N. Networker

Robert Muller (11 March 1923 -20 Sept. 2010) The U.N. Networker

  Decide to Network, use every letter you write, every conversation you have, every meeting you attend to express your fundamental beliefs and dreams, affirm to others the vision of the world you want. In a world of big powers, big media and monopolies, networking is a new freedom, the new democracy, a new form of happiness. Robert Muller Robert[Read More…]

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What’s Wrong With Our Education System And How Can We Change It!

What’s Wrong With Our Education System And How Can We Change It!

It’s exam time in India. A time of deep tension for students and parents. All that you’ve learnt in a year will have to reproduced in a two hour written exam and the student will be assessed by what she has written in those two hours. If you fail to answer a few questions you’ll be at a loss and[Read More…]

It’s Time To Balance Profits And Social Good

It’s Time To Balance Profits And Social Good

 In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder, but is in fact the very purpose of its existence. — Jamshedji Tata When we flip back through the business history of the world, we find that all large mercantile communities were great patrons of the art of philanthropy. They regarded it a divine tradition. The world is witnessing[Read More…]

The Living and Mission of Jiddu K. Krishnamurti

The Living and Mission of Jiddu K. Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti is unquestionably one of the greatest and the most influential philosophers of our times. He is extensively regarded as a radical and insightful thinker who lived through the most tumultuous part of the twentieth century that witnessed not only the phenomenal growth of science and technology but also saw the two World Wars, the crumple of traditions and[Read More…]

War Is The Loss of Humanity

War Is The Loss of Humanity

I’m living with war in my heart/ I’m living with war in my heart and my mind/ I’m living with war right now/And when the dawn breaks I see my fellow man/ And on the flat-screen we kill and we’re killed again/ And when the night falls I pray for Peace/ Try to remember Peace/ I join the multitudes/ I[Read More…]

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Legislating on Transnational Dowry Abuse: A Ray of Hope from Australia

Legislating on Transnational Dowry Abuse: A Ray of Hope from Australia

As per the report titled Crimes in India 2016, published by the National Crime Record Bureau of India, death of 7621 women is registered as dowry death under Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code. This implies that more than 21 women die every day because they could not fulfill dowry demands made by their husbands or in-laws. Also, 1,10,378[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A World (Still) Split Apart

A World (Still) Split Apart

  “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything” (Attributed to Gilbert Keith Chesterton) The dramatic turn for the worse in the evolution of humanism and in the dizzying advances in science and technology has triggered heated debate among great thinkers and writers of the[Read More…]

The deaths of soldiers and others

The deaths of soldiers and others

True, the deaths of soldiers have to be lamented. But the Indian authorities’ record is extremely incompetent when it comes to the deaths of innocents in other fields. There is evidence of jingoism when it comes to the deaths of soldiers but on the other hand and utter callousness on the other. Many more people are killed on Indian roads[Read More…]

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 ‘De-colonizing’ Indian Political Thought: Some Reflections

 ‘De-colonizing’ Indian Political Thought: Some Reflections

Last evening on behalf of the Political Science department (25th Feb, 2019), Jamia Millia Islamia, has organized a public lecture on “Political Thought and Historical Difference”, by Prof.  Sudipta Kaviraj, currently Professor of Intellectual history and Indian politics at the Columbia University, USA. The lecture was chaired by well-known political theorist Prof. Rajeev Bhargava, (Centre for study of developing societies,[Read More…]

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A strange story: Dismissal of Surendra Nath Banerjea from the ICS

A strange story: Dismissal of Surendra Nath Banerjea from the ICS

“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” Malcolm X  – By Any Means Necessary Nefarious plot to hoodwink his mother! The second batch of Indians in the ICS comprised only three, all Bengalis—Surendranath Banerjea, Beharilal Gupta and Romeshchandra Dutt—to qualify in 1871. Pioneer among[Read More…]

Elderly Iranian Jews, Daniel Zargari and Neisan Massaband, watch elderly Muslim, Azizzeh Asgarzadeh, from right, draw at the Iranian Jewish convalescent home in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday Sept. 26, 2007. Oct. 1 has been designated the International Day of Older Persons, IDOP, by the United Nations, in recognition of the world's rapidly ageing population. (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)

Elderly in Muslim Community

As Ibn al-‘Arabi observes, “Support for one’s family and relatives fulfills the criteria of charity while upholding family kinship”, Muslim religious culture generates the necessity of moral normativeness for care of the family as far as elderly care. This religious and cultural value system of society has been drawn largely from religious teachings of Islam, and hadith “Whosoever desires to[Read More…]

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Beyond the Falsehood: the existent of Marquis de Sade

Beyond the Falsehood: the existent of Marquis de Sade

“In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice”- Marquis de Sade Donatien- Alphonse-Francois Marquis De Sade was born in 1741 Paris into an old patrician family. He was educated at the Jesuit college of Louis-le-Grand and at military school at Versailles. The end of the Seven Years War in 1763 dashed his hopes of a military[Read More…]