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Life/Philosophy

James Shaw Jr., who stopped the Waffle House shooter, becomes emotional as he holds his 4-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, at a vigil for the shooting victims.

Another Hero Comes Forward!

I am accustomed to having certain friends and family members willing to lay their lives on the line to protect others if need be. They and I have thought long and hard about it. We got firm as a result. Indeed, some of the people who I know have done just that — laid their lives on the line —[Read More…]

MLK And Addressing Spiritual Death On Campus

MLK And Addressing Spiritual Death On Campus

“Not only are ‘leaders’ here not putting money into social uplift in lieu of diverting funds for death abroad, they are — quite by design — undermining safety nets for the express purpose of making the vast majority of concerned citizens incapable of fighting for their enlightened self-interest effectively, being physically too weak. Add moral decline to that, and their[Read More…]

People’s Leader Sardar Gouthu Latchanna

People’s Leader Sardar Gouthu Latchanna

Introduced Jyotirao Phule to Andhra Pradesh (United) Freedom fighter Leader for Kisans Leader for weaker sections Leader for backward castes Dr. Gouthu Latchanna was born in Baruva village of the Sompeta mandal, Srikakulam district in the state of Andhra Pradesh on 16 August 1909. He was the eighth child of Chittaiah, a toddy tapper and Rajamma. He married Yashodha Devi,[Read More…]

From New York Institute of Technology to the Stockton Institute of Technology

From New York Institute of Technology to the Stockton Institute of Technology

  “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal I want to volunteer to serve the community in Stockton, California, recruiting educated volunteers to address literacy challenges in the classroom, screening documentaries designed to help youngsters to learn about history from various perspectives, helping youngsters who’ve chosen academic tracks to[Read More…]

We’ve Got The Power!

We’ve Got The Power!

When I read Mirza Yawar Baig’s “Silence Is Culpable” at CC, it could have put me into a seething fury if I didn’t control my anger and use it to good purpose (such as trying to foster peace in my own community). It is because I agree wholeheartedly with the stance, as well as find the conditions that are described[Read More…]

People waiting to get registered at Motihari District Government Hospital in East Champaran, Bihar. With so few doctors employed to work in the public sector of healthcare in India, this scene is typical.

India’s Public Health Crisis

  Indian economy has made rapid strides in recent year but its abysmal health system remains an Achilles heel has impeded millions of people from sharing the gains of India’s new prosperity   India has a laggardly record in its healthcare coverage. In per capita terms, adjusted for purchasing power, the public expenditure on health is $43 a year, compared to[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 1.  Part 2

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 1.  Part 2

Chapter 1.  Part 2 The psychopathology of capitalism is, as I have proposed above, rooted in the delusion that there exists anabstract, exclusionary “one” or “I”.   This delusion negates the existence of an “inclusionary One” or a larger temporal/spatial natural and social whole of which the “individual” is but a particular moment and manifestation.  That is to say, it is[Read More…]

Silence Is Culpable

Silence Is Culpable

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.  ~ George Orwell India has changed. I hate to say it, but that is the truth. It is no longer the nation I grew up in. The question is, ‘Do we want to continue to remain silent and allow this[Read More…]

India’s Schools Are Letting Down Their Students

India’s Schools Are Letting Down Their Students

  The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves –Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan India’s education sector has expanded rapidly in the last decade but the quality of learning remains pathetic on account of unimaginative and misguided policies. The Modi government’s budget  this year was a mixed basket for the education sector, which is bogged with several serious issues aside[Read More…]

Economics and politics in early-Soviet Russia and Lenin on his birthday – April 22

Economics and politics in early-Soviet Russia and Lenin on his birthday – April 22

[Part I] Lenin yet, about 150 years since his birth, creates controversy. Funny figures make funnier statements while a group of scholars, white, pink and “red” in color, continue condemning the Bolshevik leader – a bold show of class conflict in the areas of ideology and politics. This reality makes it an imperative to reiterate Lenin’s analysis and class position[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism: Chapter 1 – part 1

The Psychopathology of Capitalism: Chapter 1 – part 1

The psychopathology of capitalism arises from the delusionthat there exists an exclusionary “one” rather than an inclusionary One.  This delusion is both a product of the historical development of capitalism and, as contemporary physics shows us, the natural result of the internal relationship between the structure of reality and ourselves as observers of that reality.  Yet, even though it is[Read More…]

Dolls And Other Toys Shape Societies

Dolls And Other Toys Shape Societies

One of the oldest intact dolls in existence other than predated wooden ones is from around the 1500’s and belonged to a little European princess. It is in a case, probably an airless vacuum case, in a museum in Monaco. One can look at the the doll and imagine the long-dead child and other children who played with it several[Read More…]

 Let’s Call Them Our Spiritually Spot On Souls

 Let’s Call Them Our Spiritually Spot On Souls

“Combating… criminal threats are priorities for all Americans — Republicans and Democrats.” — Governor Jerry Brown of California, as he sent national guardsmen to the Mexican border… trying to give the impression that he was only expecting them to engage with the drug cartels… not long after he weakened the new “sanctuary laws” with legislative Democrats. Concerned citizens can’t simply[Read More…]

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Wrap

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Wrap

“That film is a piece of fiction. And through the struggle for independence Gandhi’s greatest antagonist was Dr. Ambedkar. He doesn’t even make an appearance in the film. He doesn’t even show up there.” — Arundhati Roy telling Jeremy Scahill about Richard Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’ film, wherein much crucial truth is intentionally omitted Ideologues of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are open admirers of Hitler and Mussolini, and[Read More…]

To Keep Us from Documenting Ourselves to Death

To Keep Us from Documenting Ourselves to Death

“It’s one thing for folks to applaud ‘A Raisin in the Sun’, Richard, and quite another for them to force legislators to deal with the housing horrors of Harlem and Chicago.” — James Baldwin to the author in the early sixties. I just applied to be the Outreach Director for Brave New Films, a highly experienced cinematic group devoted to[Read More…]

 The American Bu$ine$$man’s Ten Steps to Product Development

 The American Bu$ine$$man’s Ten Steps to Product Development

  There are sixteen teens studying History, Journalism and Creative Writing at Flannery O’Connor Academy at present, and the other day we were all engaged in addressing serious issues related to product development. We conducted an experiment which I’d like to make you privy to, hoping you’ll put up with the humor used in this light presentation of a very[Read More…]

 Continuing John Judge’s Legacy

 Continuing John Judge’s Legacy

Four years ago today, on April 15, 2014, John Judge died ~ or (as he would say) embarked on a new adventure. I miss him… I have become resigned to his absence, but I still crave his wise perspective. Each time I am reminded of the ever-increasing chaos in our country and around the world, I think of what John[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Reflections on the logic of the permanent war economy

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Reflections on the logic of the permanent war economy

Monogamy and growing old produce the same results.  Sleeping with the same person over and over again takes the razor sharp blade of passion and dulls it flat.  So too, living in the world, truly living in it and not just in one small cell of it, reduces the sharp peaks of our emotions, rounds them out into dull stones[Read More…]

Make This Day A Day Of Reckoning

Make This Day A Day Of Reckoning

  “I always thought school was a form of torture.” — Valleria Ruselli “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” — Audre Lorde “Parents need to encourage their children to provide their teachers with tools which will enable them to instruct them along entirely new lines.” — Rachel Olivia O’Connor of the Oxman Collective (which sponsors Flannery O’Connor Academy) Stealth torture is the kind of torture[Read More…]

 Zusammenarbeit

 Zusammenarbeit

“Two weeks after Kristallnacht, Gary Cooper made a publicity trip to Berlin promoting Paramount’s The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, one of Hitler’s favorite movies. No major newspaper in the U.S. covered that. In 1938, MGM helped finance the production of German armaments, and the head of MGM Germany divorced his Jewish wife at the Nazi’s behest. She ended up[Read More…]

Goodbye Bhai : The Struggle Will Continue

Goodbye Bhai : The Struggle Will Continue

  His full name was Bhalchandra Bhai Vaidya but people used to call him Bhai Vaidya. I always addressed him as ‘Bhai’. In our village, it was an accepted norm to call a father ‘Bhai’ and a majority of people followed this practice. I came in personal contact with Bhalchandra Bhai Vaidya after my father passed away, therefore I never[Read More…]

Charvaka – Jamming Against Brahminism  Since Eons Before The Brahmins Happened

Charvaka – Jamming Against Brahminism  Since Eons Before The Brahmins Happened

The Ancience The Charvaka wisdom is all about materialism. It is so much into materialism that it believed only in the four elements. For them, the quint essence, that is the sky, is the absence of the other four elements. For them, the material world, with its fire, earth, water and air, go through processes & systems to make things[Read More…]

Space Alien Reveals Trump Romp!

Space Alien Reveals Trump Romp!

  I know it sounds incredible, but this is how it happened…. I was flipping channels on my Fake News cable box, hunting/searching for a morsel of something tasty, digestible and real, when suddenly there was a strange buzzing in my ears, I felt a bit dizzy, I lay down on my sofa, and I heard a high-pitched, electronic-like voice—some[Read More…]

Photo by Lupuca

 “Emergency” Must Be Used, Embraced

“Why don’t all schoolchildren know what TCE is?” — Richard Martin Oxman “Not many people want to continue to aid and abet crimes against humanity and war crimes behind big lies launched against weaker nations with fabulous resources to loot.” — John McMurty The Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada who I’m quoting above has written an article recently which puts the lie[Read More…]

Rajni Tilak – A Champion Of Dalit Rights

Rajni Tilak – A Champion Of Dalit Rights

” ….it is true that the women of every community are equally suppressed by patriarchy. Patriarchy dominates caste and class everywhere. It is also true, to a great extent, Dalit women are more affected by patriarchy …..” ( Need to redefine Dalit movement : Rajni Tilak, interview with Neel Kranti Media,published 17 January 2013, https:// roundtableindia.co.in). At a time when[Read More…]

Satya Ranjan Maitra: A Life With Revolutionary Proletarian Practice

Satya Ranjan Maitra: A Life With Revolutionary Proletarian Practice

  Satya Ranjan Maitra epitomized love for and allegiance to people, serving people, and revolutionary proletarian practice in Bangladesh. Satya Maitra breathed to his last on April 8, 2018. He was 96. Of this near-century, colonial and neo-colonial political sytems sent him to prisons at different times, which in total was more than two decades. Satya Maitra was suffering from[Read More…]

Ameliorating Cruelty

Ameliorating Cruelty

  “People speak a lot today about the banality of evil, but not all evil is banal. Some of it is carefully structured and well-thought-out. That’s where the real danger lies.” – Alan Dean Foster Massachusetts has very tough animal cruelty laws. If people are caught abusing and/or neglecting animals, they can face jail time and stiff monetary fines in[Read More…]

How Masochistic

How Masochistic

“When Occupy was chanting ‘99%’ they weren’t accounting for how many folks were drugged coast to coast…on what. What the cost of that was.” — Rachel Oxman There’s a gladiatorial competition as spectacle motif found in a number of popular dystopian narratives, ranging from The Hunger Games to Battle Royale and The Maze Runner to Rollerball. And Stephen King’s writing[Read More…]

Challenges For Resolving Complex Conflicts

Challenges For Resolving Complex Conflicts

While conflict theories and resolution processes advanced dramatically during the second half of the 20th century, particularly thanks to the important work of several key scholars such as Professor Johan Galtung – see ‘Conflict Transformation by Peaceful Means (the Transcend Method)’ – significant gaps remain in the conflict literature on how to deal with particular conflict configurations. Notably, these include[Read More…]

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Photo by hepingting

The Dialectic of Autism

The term dialectic as it is used here is a way of looking at the world that corresponds to the actual structure of the world itself without regard to whether that word is holographic or material.  Put in more philosophical terms, it is an epistemological assumption about the ontological structure of being.  Hegel will write a book about it called[Read More…]

Assam ‘Man’ Follows ‘PadMan’ To Make Low-Cost Sanitary Pads

Assam ‘Man’ Follows ‘PadMan’ To Make Low-Cost Sanitary Pads

The revolutionary movie “PadMan” has already had widespread tremors and it’s impacts can be felt along the length and breadth of the nation.Arunachalam Muruganantham would have never imagined that his invention would transcend geographical boundaries:from Tamil Nadu to Jammu Kashmir and now to Assam.Muruganantham was obsessed with making the perfect sanitary pad for his wife. The obsession led him to[Read More…]

Meaning in Mounier

Meaning in Mounier

“…the self no longer coincides with [a] single dominant voice: That voice… is not complete but limited, merely one voice among many. That we are all made up of many conflicting voices — in effect, others — [and]… free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man.” — Flannery O’Connor “Other persons do not limit[Read More…]

Murugalli Masjid

My Extended Family

The tea plantations of the Sub-continent are a unique environment, be that in South India, Assam or Sri Lanka because they represent a completely artificial man-made community. The areas where tea is grown were, until a hundred years ago, pristine rain forest. Then came the British, having discovered wild tea in Assam as well as with stolen tea seedlings from[Read More…]

In this April 3, 1968, file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his last public appearance at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo: AP/Charles Kelly, File)

‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’: The Final Speech

The following is the transcribed text of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech, delivered on April 3, 1968 at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Tea Factory, Black magic and Demons

Tea Factory, Black magic and Demons

One of the first things that strikes you as you enter any ‘Tea District’ is the tea factory. These in many if not most cases are over a century old, build entirely of wood on a structure of steel girders. The machinery, especially in the Orthodox factories is fit for a museum. For the uninitiated, ‘Orthodox’ refers to the type[Read More…]

Some Of Our Children Who Can’t Appreciate Hitchcock

Some Of Our Children Who Can’t Appreciate Hitchcock

  “Gramsci and Hedges underscore the fact that learning must be directed by a strong moral and ethical framework.” — from Pedological Advice for Perilous Times Adapted from Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel, The Secret Agent, Hitchcock’s Sabotage was released during a time of mounting unease and fear of war on the international scene. A good part of its expressive power[Read More…]

Education : Examination: Evaluation

Education : Examination: Evaluation

“Education is the simply the soul of society as it passes from one generation to another” G. K. Chesterton T. S. Eliot started his ‘ Wasteland ‘ saying ” April is the cruelest month…” ( 1. The burial of the dead). But, for the students from KG to PG, the ‘ cruelest month’ starts in March itself. They have to[Read More…]

Nonviolence or Nonexistence? The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Nonviolence or Nonexistence? The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Fifty years ago, on 4 April 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The night before he died, King gave another of his many evocative speeches; this one at the packed Mason Temple in Memphis. The speech included these words: ‘Men for years now have been talking about war and peace. Now no longer can they just talk[Read More…]

Satyagraha

Satyagraha

Truth-force, what is it?  Truth is the expressed porousness and the vulnerability of soul, in the same way that soul is the humble courage, non-exploitative perception, reverence and gratitude of love, increasing through applied appreciation.  The essence of openness and vulnerability of soul is most beautifully expressed as the passion and pathos of empathetic connectivity and dialogue, and the righteousness[Read More…]

Hitting from Outside the Box with Japan in Mind

Hitting from Outside the Box with Japan in Mind

“My understanding is that the elderly demographic has increased dramatically in Japan, and that many old folks are so desperately lonely because of the radical social changes which have taken place that some have resorted to getting themselves arrested and put in jail in order to have human contact. They’re going to have to really think outside the box in[Read More…]

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My Permanent State of Anomie

My Permanent State of Anomie

I admit that I am largely alienated from my country’s overall, general society. I have been so for a long, long time. Indeed, I have a permanent state of anomie, something akin to this description at Anomie – Wikipedia, which is an excerpt from a longer characterization. Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a “condition in which society provides little moral guidance to[Read More…]

 So That We Can Sleep Through the Night

 So That We Can Sleep Through the Night

“ Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today?” —  Samuel Beckett Some people might think it’s a plus to be able to sleep through anything, to not get woken up by the slightest of noises, or the movement of a partner tugging on[Read More…]

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An Even Greater Watershed in History

An Even Greater Watershed in History

  “What Upton Sinclair accomplished the year that Adolf Hitler became the Fuehrer of Germany should inspire everyone around the world.” — Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel “Twenty-four EPIC candidates, among them a Los Angeles Lawyer named Culbert Olson, took their seats in the state legislature, and, four years later, Olson, the leader of the state’s EPIC caucus, was elected governor.” —[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  An enigmatic sky and the stillness and silence of Moscow

An American Babushka in Moscow:  An enigmatic sky and the stillness and silence of Moscow

Of course, one never knows the degree to which what one sees is distorted by “subjectivness”; the extent to which one projects oneself upon the screen of existence.  But it does seem to me that Moscow, from Tverskaya Boulevard to the streets of KitayGorod, to the familiar paths of Perovo Park,  a great stillness has descended upon the people.  A[Read More…]

 Continuing Down Psycho Paths

 Continuing Down Psycho Paths

 The more ancient the abuse, the more sacred it is.” — Voltaire I’m not a fan of Voltaire’s, but I quote him here to underscore that longstanding practices don’t justify themselves by virtue of their continuing embrace by society. What’s popular in this world is quite often a sign of bad health. That said, I believe there are several paths in[Read More…]

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Questions for Transforming Our World

Questions for Transforming Our World

  You’ll notice that I end each paragraph in this piece with a question or two. It’s the last one, though, that’s crucially important. Will you read it twice for me? I’ve spoken to a number of educators in California about UCLA doing Big Pharma’s bidding in India this week… to no avail. Administrators, professors, teachers of the lower grades et alia. And[Read More…]

Positive attempts to improve communication for the disadvantaged

Positive attempts to improve communication for the disadvantaged

  Speech and hearing impaired have difficulty in communicating to the people. They use hands and other gestures. Their communication through ‘ sign language’ is a common way of expression of ideas. In an effort to remove communication bottlenecks, the country’s first of its kind sign language Dictionary with around 3,000 Hindi and English words has been released all over[Read More…]

 As We Take Out the Garbage Unaided and Tie Our Teens’ Shoes….

 As We Take Out the Garbage Unaided and Tie Our Teens’ Shoes….

  “Parents want their kids’ approval, a reversal of the past ideal of children striving for their parents’ approval, and that has led to consumer craziness with high tech gadgetry purchases, excessive time permitted in isolated narcissism, and many other ills. Parents need to grow up.” — Richard Martin Oxman The farther back you look, the faster kids grew up.[Read More…]

Fixing India’s Broken Education System

Fixing India’s Broken Education System

India’s education sector is one of the largest sunrise sectors in the economic and social development of the country. With more than 1.5 million schools — 1.1 million of them run by the Government — and more than 250 million student enrollments, the country’s K-12 school system is among the largest and most complex in the world. Between 2010-11 and[Read More…]

Rickshaw Puller Sets Up Nine Schools For Village Children

Rickshaw Puller Sets Up Nine Schools For Village Children

‘Age is a question of mind over matter.If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter’.If we have the passion to work for the betterment of the society,it hardly matters.Ahmed Ali,a 82-year-old rickshaw puller from Assam’s Karimganj, is a proud man as he has been the man behind building nine schools for the poor children in his area. Ali had to drop[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Sun, Warmth and American Football in Perovski Park

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Sun, Warmth and American Football in Perovski Park

Three things have occurred simultaneously to bring joy to the hearts of the Babushki of Perovo on this Sunday morning:  the sun is shining brilliantly, the fierce cold of the past months has subsided, and the paths are clean enough to walk.  We emerge from our apartments to walk and sit in the sun in Perovski Park. My bones and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Forty Brazilians and a Petition: Meaning for Activists with Caryl Chessman in Mind

 Forty Brazilians and a Petition: Meaning for Activists with Caryl Chessman in Mind

Echoes of Caryl Chessman have been present at every death penalty and execution in the United States since he was delivered to the gas chamber at San Quentin Prison on May 2, 1960. If his defiant loner’s death was not the very embodiment of arbitrary, cruel, and unusual punishment, then that claim can scarcely be made for any American subsequently[Read More…]

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For Giving Universe

For Giving Universe

“I know that you’re job-hunting at present and/or looking to volunteer with non-profits. If your article gets posted, it’ll stand to undermine your chances of being brought on board in most quarters, Richard. You’re taking a risk in submitting your piece.” — One of the author’s colleagues “Why don’t you found a secular educational institution which focuses on your passion, Richard?[Read More…]

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When I Ate My God

When I Ate My God

Sana was the master idol maker of a large community of Bedouins who inhabited & dotted along the long stretch of oasis in the Arabian Desert. The Bedouins didn’t have cohesiveness, centrality & uniformity in their worshiping practices of any particular God or God’s image.  Strong pre-historic roots of animism running through their entire cultural edifice had made them venerate[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 The Impact of War on Recidivism and Other Undesirable Dynamics

 The Impact of War on Recidivism and Other Undesirable Dynamics

“Recidivism has a lot to do with resignation. Ditto for other ills.” — James Baldwin Why do people go back to prison repeatedly, until they die or are too feeble to commit any more crimes? What the loved ones of the incarcerated tell me — for the most part (having polled hundreds over the years) — is resentment. All “cons” resent the[Read More…]

Ugunsdrošības un civilās aizsardzības koledžas kadetu paraugdemonstrējumi dūmu kamerā.

 Via Fire and Force: Pushing Envelopes

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — Act I, Scene v, Hamlet I remember very clearly how when Sylvie and I were organizing a major event designed to bring together community members and folks from all over the world in 2004 to address our collective crises at the time, one[Read More…]

Theory Of Security

Theory Of Security

Why do you have a burglar alarm on your car or home? Not because you believe that no burglar in the world can get past it. But because you know that burglars, very sensibly, always look for easy gains. The reality is that if someone really wants to break into Fort Knox, I am sure there are ways to do[Read More…]

Social Perceptions And Language of Dominance

Social Perceptions And Language of Dominance

The deeply hidden social perceptions on ‘other’ based on class, caste, gender, religion, region and race find its expression in the form of opinions expressed in day to day social interactions. One often comes across opinions which reflect these deeply held biases. These deeply held biases are socially transferred on the basis of one’s own social position in terms of[Read More…]

India, History, Modernity, And Marx

India, History, Modernity, And Marx

Marx Bicentennial Lecture by Ravi Sinha at Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, March 16, 2018 etaddhastidarshanaivajatyandhah That is like people blind by birth viewing an elephant. (Shankaracharya’sbhasyaon Chandogya-Upanisad18.1)[1]   It was six blind men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. John[Read More…]

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Festooned With Broad Flat Blades of All Kinds

Festooned With Broad Flat Blades of All Kinds

  “Toddlers drugged with psychiatric medication?” — Martha Rosenberg in a very good article Pfizer, Merck, Celgene, and GlaxoSmithKline are major league drug dealers responsible for lots of citizens descending into homelessness, many vets committing suicide, loads of teens contemplating patricide and/or matricide, more than a few housewives and their spouses resorting to adultery, a significant number of pre-teens having[Read More…]

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What Sources of News Their Loved Ones Listen to Every Day

What Sources of News Their Loved Ones Listen to Every Day

“Right now teachers are– understandably —  fighting for their rights, but not for the lights that need to be turned on for our youth. And journalists cover up what’s most important with their coverage of protest these days. Often unintentionally, simply because they’re on treadmills.” — Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel bouncing off of an article by Ilana Novick I’m going to[Read More…]

Ved Mehta – An Exceptional Writer

Ved Mehta – An Exceptional Writer

‘ I didn’t want to be a blind writer. I wanted to be a writer who is blind’ ‘ Now we are living in an age everything has to be fast. We are living in an odd world where the written word is at a discount. To me, a book is a long journey. I don’t like short cuts. Literature[Read More…]

Alexander Shlyapnikov

Democratic Production and the Workers’ Opposition of Revolutionary Russia (Part 2)

  [This is the second of two parts.  The first section covered the origins of the Workers’ Opposition (WO), interpretations of “workers’ control,” and the 10th Party Congress.] How Do You Strangle an Opposition? After the 10th congress, anti-WO campaigns multiplied.  Party leaders removed former WO organizers from positions and/or transferred them to locations where they would be isolated.  The[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow: It Is All About The Elections Now

An American Babushka in Moscow: It Is All About The Elections Now

It is all about the Russian election now: the world press, the Russian press is filled with articles about the upcoming elections.  Of course, the position of the West, which views Putin as Public Enemy #1, focuses on the fact that except for a brief hiatus when his friend Medvedev served as Prime Minister, Putin has led Russia since 2000. [Read More…]

DNA—Capitalism’s Genetic Scapegoat

DNA—Capitalism’s Genetic Scapegoat

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) web page falsely states that “genetic factors…have a role in causing”… obesity. https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/resources/diseases/obes Obesity which is responsible for the diabetes epidemic kills thousands every year.  Other established medical authorities such as the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic state on their web pages that the causes of obesity include genetics.  The CDC also says[Read More…]

 Or Something Similar

 Or Something Similar

  “His vision, from the constantly passing bars has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else.” — from Rilke’s The Panther I’ve worked, recruited, organized and serviced — in various capacities — in every single Spanish-speaking country in South and Central America, without being anything near fluent in the language. My successful track record in those realms I attribute, in[Read More…]

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Remembering The Red Star,  Health Care In The Former Soviet Union

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Remembering The Red Star,  Health Care In The Former Soviet Union

In his Lectures on the History of Philosophy, in his Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel drove home the point that one thing does not replace another, just like that, plain and simple.  Rather, that which has been is carried forward, moved from one level to another in an ongoing evolutionary process.  So it is with the Soviet Union; it is not[Read More…]

Poor Elderly in Old Age Home

Poor Elderly in Old Age Home

Integrated Programme for Older Persons, a scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India is for improvement of quality of older persons of poor community. It is evident that in India, poor elderly have to live with hunger, ill-health, and negligence. They are mentally ill because of social isolation, disrespect and burden to their family. Younger[Read More…]

Alexandra Kollontai

 Democratic Production and the Workers’ Opposition of Revolutionary Russia (Part 1)

  In a post-capitalist society, who should control production? How should decisions about worklife be made? Who should decide what is produced, where it is produced and how it is exchanged within a country and between countries? For the first time in history, the great Russian Revolution of 1917 had to confront these issues in more than a theoretical way.[Read More…]

Dacha Gardens

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Reflections On The Myth of the Failure of the Soviet Union, and On Happiness, Housing and Stability  

  I read with some interest a piece on CNN today https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/14/europe/russia-us-election-compare-intl/index.html, which compared the “happiness” of people living in Russia and America in regards to factors such as wages, housing, the status of women, etc.  While I would like to address all the factors, I cannot do so without writing a small book.  However, I would like to address[Read More…]

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Propaganda: Vicious Tool To Deceive By Spreading Lies

Propaganda: Vicious Tool To Deceive By Spreading Lies

Pre-view: Propaganda isn’t anything new in the world. It’s a history since pre & post medieval wars when, however, its use was confined to around battlefields only. But with passage of time, & advent & advancement of science & technology, it assumed looming proportions reaching out to larger populations of several countries, at a single time, to garner their support[Read More…]

Understanding And Dealing With Hatred

Understanding And Dealing With Hatred

Co-Written By Mirza Yawar Baig, Steven Earl Salmony and Sally Dugman According to Yawar: Change the Script We have reached a stage in our development (if I dare to call it that) as human beings where our world seems to run on hatred, not love. I think we all know the many reasons for this and how the flames are[Read More…]

“…intentionally, or through utter ignorance”

“…intentionally, or through utter ignorance”

  Let’s play a game. Let’s see if you can guess what two crucial questions are not addressed… or not addressed properly in the report directly below. When Albert Wong returned from an Army deployment in Afghanistan in 2013, he knew it had affected him. He had trouble adjusting to regular life, couldn’t sleep at night and was hyper-vigilant about[Read More…]

Photo by Rotary Club of Nagpur

Childcare — Daycare Centers or Home Care?

When the kids decided to live in different countries from us their parents, one did not factor in not having family around to help when the babies arrived. As the boys grew, I always had my parents support and the aid of help in India, which came in on a daily basis, or lived in with us till the boys[Read More…]

Kevin Love: Making a Hole in Denial

Kevin Love: Making a Hole in Denial

“For behind the sense of insecurity in the face of danger, behind the sense of discouragement and depression, there always lurks the basic fear of death, a fear which undergoes most complex elaborations and manifests itself in many indirect ways….No one is free of the fear ofdeath.” – Gregory Zilboorg, psychanalyst “An anxiety is a lack that causes pain; a[Read More…]

Razia: A Tale With A Difference

Razia: A Tale With A Difference

  (CNS): This is the story of Razia, a girl from village Bahpur in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh. It has all the ingredients of a fairy tale, but with a difference. Razia might not be a run-of the-mill princess depicted in fairy tales, rather she represents a brave and mighty character in her own right. Razia comes from a[Read More…]

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Javed Abidi – A ‘ Messaiah ‘ Of Disabled Persons

Javed Abidi – A ‘ Messaiah ‘ Of Disabled Persons

  Very few persons have relentlessly fought for the rights and welfare of disabled. The services of Javed Abidi regarding providing reservations for disabled in employment and exerting pressure on government to pass laws protecting disabled are milestones in the movement for empowerment of disabled persons. His untimely demise due to chest infection has left many activists and disabled persons[Read More…]

Salvaging The Earth — One Person At A Time

Salvaging The Earth — One Person At A Time

At one point at my parents’ summer resort was a young teenager girl. She was ashamed of herself because she only had one leg. The other had been sheared off around six inches below the hip. So she initially always wore her artificial leg and long pants, even on extremely hot days when everyone else wore shorts. My family and[Read More…]

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The United States of Avoidance

The United States of Avoidance

Dr. Ron Forthofer, who wrote U.S. Mainstream Media: Empire’s Too, has made a huge mistake in his characterization of the mainstream media respecting domestic issues His “mistake” is worth citing mainly because it’s one that U.S. educators all across the country make routinely, compounding ignorance with ignorance.  Review, if you will, how he opened his article: “The U.S. mainstream media[Read More…]

Let The Nation Know This Brave Lady of South: Maniammai Who Shouldered Periyar’s Legacy

Let The Nation Know This Brave Lady of South: Maniammai Who Shouldered Periyar’s Legacy

Manimmai’s original name was Gandhimathi. Born around 1920, she was the daughter of Kanagasabai Mudaliyar, a member of the Justice Party, which was renamed the Dravidar Kazhagam in 1944. At a conference immediately after Periyar’s death in 1973, she described her childhood as a time when she refused to act like the demure girl she was expected to be. “She[Read More…]

 Addressing Adiposity

 Addressing Adiposity

  “You can’t deal with obesity without dealing with poverty and nutrition, and too few educators and parents are getting those connections. It’s not enough to put food on the table and exercise.” — One of the author’s home schooled teens First thing I’d like the reader to do is to calculate her or his BMI, using the National Institute[Read More…]

“Why My  Kings Head Bowed Down”

“Why My  Kings Head Bowed Down”

Psychoanalytic Interpretation- By Anil Gokhale Unusual Postures of King Shivaji First Prize winning TABLEU of Maharashtra displayed during India’s Republic Day Parade 26th January 2018, secured prominence by winning the first prize. However landed into controversy on significant issues of  Arts, Sculpture and Culture. Matter of the highlight was unusual postures of King Shivaji’s horse riding Sculpture or Statue. The[Read More…]

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 10: Chhattisgarh Aspired For Peoples’ Liberation

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 10: Chhattisgarh Aspired For Peoples’ Liberation

“Drinking water for everyone, And water for the land we till, A job for every hand The peasant getting his due for the toils. Hospital in every village, And school for all the children, Land and home for every family, No poor, no place for the exploiters and capitalists. When will we get Chhattisgarh of our dreams? Only when the[Read More…]

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Photo by Gage Skidmore

 The Yoke on Bill Murray

“Excuse me, Mr. Murray?” “Yes?” “I just, I just… I just think you’re the best!” “Well, kid, then you’ve got to get out more.” — an exchange which took place on a Brooklyn sidewalk in 2014 between a young New York City educator and Bill Murray, while both were waiting to see Peter Brook’s The Valley of Astonishment Bill was born[Read More…]

An Angel Leading a Soul into Hell
Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450–1516)

God, Heaven, Hell And Purgatory

Co-Written By Sally Dugman and Steven Earl Salmony Some years ago, my mother and another relative of mine went to a funeral mass near Philadelphia, PA. The two of them were the only white skinned people in the church. Nobody batted an eyelid since everyone who knew the dead person knew that he had a deep and long enduring relationship[Read More…]

Science And Specially Abled Persons

Science And Specially Abled Persons

  National science day (February 28) once again shifts focus on ‘ scientific temper’ as envisaged in constitution. In the present situation, when all sorts of pseudo -scientific postulations, dogmatism and ‘ scientific religiosity ‘ are gaining momentum, this day assumes additional significance. Science and disabled According to indiacelebrating.com, the theme of 2017 was ‘ science and technology for specially[Read More…]

 One Flu Not Over in the NRA Nest Where Public School Shootings Total 17 Thus Far and Home School Shootings Equal Zero

 One Flu Not Over in the NRA Nest Where Public School Shootings Total 17 Thus Far and Home School Shootings Equal Zero

“Academia in the U.S. — in most places — offers kids an invitation to a mental institution where qualified medical professionals are absent and the drugs offered have not been tested.” — Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel, a member of the Oxman Collective “One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.” — Ken Kesey’s inspiration Highly educated people[Read More…]

Mothers Moving Menacingly….

Mothers Moving Menacingly….

It doesn’t do much good to point out that mothers are going to keep crying their souls out — losing their lovely children — unless those mothers themselves are willing to die to keep a horror of horrors like the U,.S. Military from twisting the minds of their youngsters… and propagandizing parents to the point of their, then, willingly handing[Read More…]

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Don’t Downplay Elders

Don’t Downplay Elders

            Bard of Avon’s “As you like it ‘begins with intriguing phrase “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely its actors”. These actors, after playing six different acts grow older and finally exit from all stages of life forever. However, the older-stage is one, when their condition becomes miserable. Once an infant and child himself,[Read More…]

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 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 9: Who Led The Movement Astray?

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 9: Who Led The Movement Astray?

One of the most prominent people in the contemporary labour movement of India, Shankar Guha Niyogi, lost his life for the cause three decades ago. From the time he began his work in Chhattisgarh in the nineteen sixties until his martyrdom in 1991, he led innumerable class struggles. He was the prime mover of a new stream in the labour[Read More…]

Nurdle Hurdle

Nurdle Hurdle

  “Walt Disney never did justice to Chicken Little’s hurdles.” — Richard Martin Oxman There’s a NEW obstacle, a fresh difficulty you must face in your race to right the wrongs of society… if you’re a proactive concerned citizen dealing with any one of our many collective crises. And there are far too few activists engaged in meaningfully confronting the multiple challenges which[Read More…]

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Mary Wollstonecraft: A brief biographical note

Mary Wollstonecraft: A brief biographical note

              Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97), rightly credited as the first feminist philosopher, though the term feminism was not available in the discourse of that era, by the Enlightenment-inspired passion for reason,dared to rationally think and publically express her thought, a philosophical taboo for women at the time. By defying and challenging the prevalent social role models and stereotyped notions of[Read More…]

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 The Threads Of Gloom

 The Threads Of Gloom

India has been home to a variety of arts and crafts which have won it a coveted place in the cultural heritage of the world. Handloom is one of the most exquisite textile traditions of India, and weaving was once the largest income generating activity in the country.  The weavers’ craft is threatened with extinction by power looms which offer[Read More…]

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Media On Trial

Media On Trial

  Much is said, and rightly so, about the excesses of the press. Despite press codes and press laws  ,partisan journalism continues to rule with an untrammeled pen.  The press, enjoys the widest freedom.? Here again, the main concern is not to infringe the letter of the law. There is no moral responsibility for deformation or disproportion. What sort of[Read More…]

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Photo by maHidoodi

Sad Sameness Source

  “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s in ability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal “I feel monotony and death to be almost the same.” — Charlotte Bronte Self-discipline and self-mastery can be considered — for all practical purposes — the sole basis of true freedom. True good — compassion and each of its lovely[Read More…]

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The Woman Behind Gandhi – Kasturiba

The Woman Behind Gandhi – Kasturiba

  Life of Gandhi and his contribution to human empowerment has been discussed a lot but the sufferings of his wife – Kasturiba – has not been given the same importance. She bore all the burdeeen of the house as a typical traditional housewife and her contribution towards the family and society should not be under- estimated. On the 74[Read More…]

Understanding The Right Wingers

Understanding The Right Wingers

  ” Except in the desserts, at every place of human habitation, there is the left, the centre and the right. This will continue to be 10,000 years hence” Mao (22-4- 68) Last few years, the right wing atrocities have increased all over the world in general and India in particular. Many people belonging to subaltern communities suffered due to[Read More…]

Urdu, What Did I Do?

Urdu, What Did I Do?

A language, any language, is not simply sounds and script characters which represent thoughts. A language is the soul of the people. It is the vehicle which connects their past to their present, their present to their dreams. It is the means by which one generation leaves its legacy for the next. In my view the single most significant event[Read More…]

Scenario of Poor Elderly in Rural India

Scenario of Poor Elderly in Rural India

According to the World Bank Report(1994), poor elderly population of India usually faces the problems of earning from assets in old age, because of poor credit and insurance markets and also absence of  traditionally  extra familial welfare institutions. Traditionally, their offspring bears the burden of caring for the elderly parents. The family maintains basic safety and security of its members[Read More…]

Photo Credit: Dsource.in

Himroo: A Dying Art

  A dignified aura of its rich past cloaks every corner of Aurangabad, a bustling city in Maharashtra. The crowning minarets that dot the city landscape and the villages around it, dissolve into the mist of history as the lavender of the evening glow envelopes the monuments from which writers extract magical romances for their books. Legends abound of the[Read More…]

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 8: Struggle And Creation

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 8: Struggle And Creation

Before 28th September 1991, very few people outside Chhattisgarh or Madhya Pradesh knew the name of Shankar GuhaNiyogi.  On this day, along with Niyogi’s name, people also learned the phrase, “sangharsh aur nirman”, i.e. “struggle and creation”. What is ‘struggle and creation’? In the context of a fight for rights, struggle is easy to understand – it’s striving. What about[Read More…]

What Can Be Done About Ever Increasing Human Overpopulation?

What Can Be Done About Ever Increasing Human Overpopulation?

Picture two parents (couple A) living in a cave eons ago. They don’t have much of a sexual drive and so they only have two children. One of the two gets eaten by a tiger and the other drowns in a river flood. Couple B has a strong sexual drive. So they wind up having ten children. Two die from[Read More…]

Lessons From Ed Herman’s Lifelong War Against Lies

Lessons From Ed Herman’s Lifelong War Against Lies

  The story goes that Einstein’s theory of relativity began with a simple question: What if a person could sit on a beam of light? A single inquiry led to an entire field of study, and perhaps the world’s most famous scientific breakthrough. The late Ed Herman’s questions were less playful. They were about war and death, lies and power[Read More…]

Listening To The Unheard Voices Of India

Listening To The Unheard Voices Of India

(CNS): It is a common practice to interview celebrities and share their success stories. But the real grass roots heroines and heroes rarely get heard. So, for a change, let us listen to what our 13 year old Raveena has to say on girls’ education. It is high time our policy makers paid heed to the experiential knowledge of people[Read More…]

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 And the Angels Will Sing….

 And the Angels Will Sing….

  “Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels’ hierarchies?” — Rainer Maria Rilke The first time I was in Savannah, Georgia — which was around the time Ruby Bridges was having difficulties in New Orleans — my parents drove along the streets that James Oglethorpe laid out in squares when he founded the colony of Georgia[Read More…]

Black Panther vs. Black Panthers

Black Panther vs. Black Panthers

  “A few of the major textbooks don’t even mention the Black Panthers, while most give the organization only a sentence or two. Even the small number that do devote a few paragraphs to the party, give little context for their actions and distort their ideology. “ — Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian of the Zinn Education Project Black Panther, its[Read More…]

 The Gang and  Homeless College: Miracle in the Works

 The Gang and  Homeless College: Miracle in the Works

Dedicated to my new community… with the intention of providing a model for many communities across the globe. One way I can contribute to reducing gang violence, securing shelter for the homeless and/or helping local citizens to provide better for themselves is to open a Free Gang and Homeless College that would include tutoring and other socially-conscious services gratis. I could secure[Read More…]

Providing Protection

Providing Protection

My daughter is a guidance counselor, a position like being a school psychologist. She, all by herself, handles a school with 350 children in her role. It is a lot of heavy work with such a huge load of children to which to attend. So you streamline and teach classes to groups and only attend to the individuals worst in[Read More…]

Infantilization And Degeneration of the Politics in the Recent Times

Infantilization And Degeneration of the Politics in the Recent Times

  Across the world, many democracies are in crisis and the civilization is crumbling. The crisis erupts because there is an impoverishment of political life where intolerance, greed, ignorance and rageare growing recklessly. The vibrancy of the democracies is diminishing as the public sphere of informed democratic dialogue is shrinking. Blatant lies, infantile emotionalism, absolute disrespect, open display of religious[Read More…]

Human Nature And Human Destiny

Human Nature And Human Destiny

When he was between the ages of 11 and 16, Paul Gauguin attended a Catholic boarding school in France. At the school, the Bishop of Orléalns himself taught the class in liturgy. The bishop had devised a catechism in which three main questions were asked: “Where does humanity come from? Where is it going? How do we proceed?” It is[Read More…]

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Aruna and Bunker Roy.

The Marquee Harbingers Of India’s Development Spring

Historians will tell you that an explosion of creativity occurs the moment the world starts complaining that there is nothing left to invent or that the search for solutions to complex problems has come to an end. This explosion is fate’s way of reminding us that there is always something just over the horizon of knowledge. Social entrepreneurs are now[Read More…]

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 7:  Bhilai Workers Movement

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 7:  Bhilai Workers Movement

Asim Das, Indradeb Choudhury, Kishori Choudhury, Kumar Verma, K. N. Pradip Kutty, Keshav Prasad Gupta, Joga Jadav, Dhirpal Sinha, Puranik Pal, Prem Narayan, Madhukar Choudhury, Manoharan Verma, Ramkripal Misra, Ramajna Chauhan, Lashman Verma, Hiru Ram   “The butchers that murdered you will be judged in the tribunal of today. We will not let the killers be the arbiters of justice[Read More…]

Representation Image/ Photo by Derek Mindler

 How Falling Down Can Lead to Waking Up: Learning from Loss and Pain

  Sonoma County, California: The organic Kokopelli Farm has been my home, as well as my main work, identity, and love, for the last two-dozen years. Then I fell into a badger hole in the ground, covered by grass, on Jan. 15 this year. I crawled painfully uphill back into the house, as if I were a baby. This unwelcome[Read More…]

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More About Dealing With Trauma

More About Dealing With Trauma

Last night, my last dream had me sitting all of a sudden bolt upright in bed. It was of an event that happened recently (this week) in New England, USA concerning a parent murdering his child and committing suicide. Derry, NH, father killed himself and 6-year-old son by carbon monoxide poisoning It is happening all of the time, too, since[Read More…]

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Dostoevsky Does Dissidents: Treason Of The Soul

Dostoevsky Does Dissidents: Treason Of The Soul

“Activists would benefit immeasurably by reading Dostoevsky.”  — Howard Zinn While U.S. citizens — “Americans” — were engaging in the unnecessary bloody Civil War and its horrific aftermath, Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was producing three of his greatest novels and two  of his best novellas more than half a world away. Life didn’t meet Dostoevsky half way, though. During the period[Read More…]

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( SIDS ) Is A Phenomenon That Is Worldwide And Heart-Breaking

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( SIDS ) Is A Phenomenon That Is Worldwide And Heart-Breaking

“ We do not put new-born babies to sleep on their tummies,” said the lady in the day care centre we had visited in the US. “We rule out the possibility of obstruction of the upper airways and suffocation due to a roll up of the sheet in the crib. Plus today it’s a mandatory rule enforced by the government.”[Read More…]

Transhumanism, A Final Corporate Takeover of Humanity

Transhumanism, A Final Corporate Takeover of Humanity

Transhumanism is knocking at the door. Dubbed as Humanity+ or H+, the idea to radically revolutionize humanity has emerged in the last decades as a global intellectual movement. With a slogan of melding humans with the machine, it aims to radically alter human nature by means of technological advancement. Proponents of transhumanism envision a human that goes beyond its current[Read More…]

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Handling Trauma

Handling Trauma

  The older that you become — the more trauma that you will have experienced in life. It’s a given fact of life. Trauma can start very young. It did for the thousands of orphans, little children whose parents and other relatives were killed in wars. The loved ones died without being combatants, but were collateral damage as civilians. It[Read More…]

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How Herman Can Help With Horizons

How Herman Can Help With Horizons

“Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches I’ll recruit my army from the orphanages” — from Bob Dylan’s Thunder on the Mountain “All trustworthy souls are orphans.” — Herman Melville “The whole purpose of life is to learn, teach and love,” Douglas Schifter wrote in his final Facebook post. In addition to driving for four decades, he[Read More…]

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Nothing’s Changed For Me

Nothing’s Changed For Me

Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose.  Any minute now I’m expecting all hell to break loose. Troy was in trouble in 2011. Innocent, but on Death Row… so we circulated a petition. Lots of heartbeats spent, but it was worth all the time and energy and money that went into gathering those signatures. For we got[Read More…]

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 Without Shakespeare In The Social Sphere….

 Without Shakespeare In The Social Sphere….

“We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.” — Oliver Sacks According to Talk Talk Mobile (London), the percentage of Britons aged 18 to 25 who find it easier to express themselves in emoji than in words is 72. Let’s say that they’re off by[Read More…]

If Teachers Taught The Truth….

If Teachers Taught The Truth….

The haunting works made by the painter Ahmed Alsoudani are born out of extreme states of violence. The artist grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, during the Iran-Iraq War and the First Gulf War, but he was forced to leave the country as a teenager after vandalizing a mural depicting Saddam Hussein. His paintings, drawings and prints are laden with elements[Read More…]

Getting Above Racial And Religious Profiling

Getting Above Racial And Religious Profiling

  I have a friend in India. His father never made much money, although he was an MD, who worked around ten hours a day for five or six days a week in his profession. Now, why is that? Why paltry wages? Often the people, who came to him, were financially poor. They could not pay for his medical services,[Read More…]

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“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 6: Worker-Artist Faguram Yadav

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 6: Worker-Artist Faguram Yadav

On May 6th, 2015 Faguram Yadav, my one time fellow-warrior, breathed his last. The history of the labour movement in modern India cannot be told without the story of Chhattisgarh Mines ShramikSangh, its main organizer Shankar GuhaNiyogi, and the tales of struggle, sacrifice and victory of the brave iron mine workers of Dalli-Rajhara. An account of the movement for the[Read More…]

Other Animals And Humans Aren’t So Different!

Other Animals And Humans Aren’t So Different!

My cat likes to watch some YouTube videos. So we spend around a half hour a day watching them together. Here are two of her favorites. (They are somewhat boring to me.) CAT GAMES – SUPER STRING THING (FOR CATS ONLY) – YouTube ▶ 3:41 Jun 10, 2017 – Uploaded by Gaming Palooza Empire Gaming Palooza Empire. … Thanks for supporting[Read More…]

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The Second Watershed Dishonorably Denied

The Second Watershed Dishonorably Denied

People are crazy and times are strange I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range I used to care, but things have changed  — from Bob Dylan’s Things Have Changed The year 1966 brought an unwelcome hiatus from Bob Dylan’s ceaseless productivity; he was in a terrible motorcycle accident, and took some time off to recover. To fill the void, Columbia Records[Read More…]

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Activist Being Through A Glass Darkly

Activist Being Through A Glass Darkly

“Dawkins… seems to suffer from a ‘god in the sky’ childhood Bible indoctrination. “ — excerpt from a colleague referring to Richard Dawkins “From the oscillating universe beating like a gigantic heart to the puzzling existence of antimatter, order — in a human sense — is at least partially an illusion. Ours — in reality — is the order of a time, and[Read More…]

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Pain, Love And Hope

Pain, Love And Hope

  I was sad to read that Binu, editor at Countercurrents, has been recently suffering. I, actually, have genuinely loved Binu and his family for more than ten years while following their personal and professional affairs. So I was sad to read his words: “I was walking through a desolation row for the last few days. I felt burnt out,[Read More…]

Vastu, Ecology, Stories & Folk-Expressions – A Story of the Great Loot

Vastu, Ecology, Stories & Folk-Expressions – A Story of the Great Loot

This is a real story. An ancient continuum – like a play that’s been unfolding itself since times beyond recorded or remembered history. Before getting familiar with the main characters of this play, let us know of the great teller – the folk. Roughly sixty thousand years ago[i], the folk, who are the people of the world, moved out of[Read More…]

Try Learning Not to Ride a Bicycle So We Can Save the World

Try Learning Not to Ride a Bicycle So We Can Save the World

  “Who would study and describe the living, starts /By driving the spirits out of the parts: /In the palm of his hand he holds all the sections, /Lacks nothing, except the spirit’s connections.” Mephistopheles warning to the student in Goethe’s Faust   “And how far would you like to go in?” he asked and the three kings all looked[Read More…]

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“A Critical Insider In Expat Journalism: VM Sathish Remembered”  

“A Critical Insider In Expat Journalism: VM Sathish Remembered”  

The unexpected demise of V.M. Sathish—a veteran Expat-journalist who spent a quarter century of reporting in the GCC countries—has left a deep vacuum in the domain of ‘human interest’ writings in the world of media. Sathish has a reputed track-record in Expat-journalism.  Beginning with the Indian Express  Group of newspapers in Mumbai, he held many positions over the next  two[Read More…]

Hit And Run

Hit And Run

“…truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long….” — Act II, Scene ii, The Merchant of Venice Police chases are a top cause of auto accidents, but at least law enforcement officials don’t leave the scene of horror on the road. That’s not to excuse cops for what I personally consider — most of the time — totally[Read More…]

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“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 5: The Sharab Bandi Movement

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 5: The Sharab Bandi Movement

The large majority of the contract workers of Dalli-Rajhara were adivasi or tribal people. For adivasis, consuming alcohol is part of their cultural tradition. They collect mahua flowers from the forest and brew their own liquor at home. Alcohol is an inseparable part of any family event or social celebration. Men and women, young and old, drink together at festivals[Read More…]

Of Mice and Men By John Steinbeck

Of Rats & Men

John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men midway through the 1930s, the most creative decade of his career. During that time he was becoming increasingly concerned, it seems, about social and economic problems in California, what Upton Sinclair was focusing on in his End Poverty in California movement. In fact, he published three successive novels about farm workers during that[Read More…]

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The Four Most Important Things To Avoid In Activism

The Four Most Important Things To Avoid In Activism

  Recently, an article of mine was posted which received a record number of responses (for my pieces). I’m using that work as a point of departure here for providing another submission which I hope will generate as much interaction, feedback. If you glance at the short previous work first (link above), the ten points below might resonate better than[Read More…]

 Learning Limits

 Learning Limits

One of my friends sent me this email. Let’s call him P.: Probably most of you have seen seemingly outlandish allegations about powerful Washington figures involved in pedophilia. They seem so outrageous that there is a tendency to reject them out of hand. However, there are a couple of corroborating facts. First there is Epstein’s island in the Caribbean and[Read More…]

 Commonsense College

 Commonsense College

“Who trusted God was love indeed And love Creation’s final law Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw With ravine, shriek’d against his creed”  — Tennyson Most college professors of literature — most readers of Flaubert across the board — will tell you that the characters in Madame Bovary are bourgeois. But one thing that should be called attention to[Read More…]

 The Four Most Important Activist Qualities

 The Four Most Important Activist Qualities

  A week after the U.S. 9/11 I was in France conducting an art workshop for painters from various parts of the globe, and I was thinking about the Chilean 9/11. I suggested a little quiz — ten definitions of an activist, and from those ten those engaged in plein aire painting had to choose four definitions that would combine[Read More…]

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Lovely Leitmotif For Collective Optimism

Lovely Leitmotif For Collective Optimism

  “Against Nature’s silence I use action In the vast indifference I invent a meaning I don’t watch unmoved I intervene and say that this and this are wrong and I work to alter them and improve them The important thing is to pull yourself up by your own hair to turn yourself inside out and see the whole world[Read More…]

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Dreams, Stories And Facts

Dreams, Stories And Facts

  Last night I dreamt of an organic farm collective related to cows . On the collective’s milk containers were the words: “By rule and law, this milk is not to be used to kill, trap or poach.” In response, I thought in the dream that it was admirable, but foolish to make such a claim or legal demand. For[Read More…]

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 4: The Women’s Movement Of Chhattisgarh

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 4: The Women’s Movement Of Chhattisgarh

Of the eleven martyrs of the agitation on June 2-3, 1977, one was a woman – Anasuya Bai. The Chhattisgarh Mines ShramikSangh (CMSS), the first union under the red-green banner, set up seventeen departments in order to bring the entirety of a mine worker’s life under its umbrella. One of these was the women’s department that later took the form[Read More…]

 The Importance of the Uncertainty Principle

 The Importance of the Uncertainty Principle

Special note: The author is not addressing Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle here. “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination – What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth….” — John Keats Activists — in part, because their prose has become mostly soooooo boring and repetitive and ineffectual — need to[Read More…]

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What Rhymes With “Educate! Organize! Activate!”?

What Rhymes With “Educate! Organize! Activate!”?

  “Howard Zinn once wrote a book titled, You Can’t Stay Neutral on a Moving Train, and that’s especially true when you’re headed for a precipice. Right now, activists need to be bonded with the owner of the train or be the engineer.” — Richard Martin Oxman The answer to the title of this article shouldn’t be attempted with a[Read More…]

Photo by flickrPrince

Life Lessons From Tea

I started working in India in the Anamallai Hills, part of the Western Ghats as they tapered down all the way into the tip of the subcontinent. Before that I had worked for five years in bauxite mining in Guyana, South America and lived on the bank of Rio Berbice, in the middle of the Amazonian rain forest. But that[Read More…]

5 Ways Capitalist Logic Has Sabotaged The Scientific Community

5 Ways Capitalist Logic Has Sabotaged The Scientific Community

Academics should be collaborating, not competing for pseudoscientific rankings. At a time when federal employees are prohibited from uttering the phrase “climate change,” the right routinely attempts to undermine universities’ legitimacy, and tuitions have skyrocketed alongside student debt, it seems perverse that academics would further endanger their mission to educate and enlighten. Yet by embracing a malignant form of pseudoscience,[Read More…]

 To Stop Wasting Heartbeats

 To Stop Wasting Heartbeats

“At present, virtually all schools are preparing students for a future which will be unrecognizable, not acknowledging the social or environmental ‘deadlines’ that will dominate their lives.” — One of the author’s home schooled teens Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds, about 3000 children every day. Over one million people die from malaria each year, mostly children under five years of[Read More…]

Too Much Food, Too Many People On A Finite Planet

Too Much Food, Too Many People On A Finite Planet

  Perhaps Pogo is correct after all: We have found the enemy and we are it. Pogo understands what is real. In taking account of what is real, human, environmental and planetary health could be increasingly at risk because humankind denies scientific knowledge regarding the root cause of human population growth. Earth is finite; its ecology is frangible. Natural resources[Read More…]

Can We Give The World And Future Generations A Break?

Can We Give The World And Future Generations A Break?

In the end, we, all of us, have to ask ourselves whether we wish to have more of everything (manufactured goods, vacation homes, holidays in far away locations and so on) in the short term or do we want to stretch out our use of resources to give the Earth a break to heal and to try to help ensure[Read More…]

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Real Resistance Has Consequences

Real Resistance Has Consequences

“The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in.” — Arundhati Roy What Arundhati Roy says about NGOs worldwide applies to community-centered radio stations throughout the U.S. In short, those “alternative” media outlets diffuse dissent, calm citizens into accepting a “fighting the good fight” in a form that’s[Read More…]

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High Bred For Goodness

High Bred For Goodness

I had a dog once, Olivia. She came out of championship ancestors in Brazil. Her ultimate ancestry came out of Newfoundlands and she was gorgeous looking and acting, a lab. Her genetically connected ancestors would swim like hell with all of their muster and all that they could expend out to a cruise, merchant ship, wrecks and drag people out[Read More…]

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 3: The Anti-Mechanisation Campaign In Dalli-Rajhara

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 3: The Anti-Mechanisation Campaign In Dalli-Rajhara

The anti-mechanisation campaign in Dalli-Rajhar The anti-mechanisation movement in the iron mines was one of the distinctive campaigns for which Dalli-Rajhara became known as the nerve centre of the workers’ struggle. I was there during the intense last phase of this movement. At the time these events occurred, Chhattisgarh was a part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It was[Read More…]

Successful Anti-Bullying Measures!

Successful Anti-Bullying Measures!

I felt impelled to write the following essay after reading this evaluation: The ‘ Ogre ‘ Of Violence – Rooted In Childhood  by Sheshu Babu … In the USA, we have guidance counselors in schools to help stop violence. One of my relatives, a guidance counselor, runs groups for bullies and for victims of violence. Other means than group sessions[Read More…]

Development Landscape Needs A Fresh Lens

Development Landscape Needs A Fresh Lens

One of the most dispiriting features of modern development discourse is the strong influence of elitism. One of the pitfalls of elitism is that it places a disproportionate value on the style rather than the content of the approach. There are authors and writers on rural development who arrogate to themselves the right to hand out certificates for best practices.[Read More…]

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Participation Is Good Citizenship: The Pledge – Kicking Off 2018

Participation Is Good Citizenship: The Pledge – Kicking Off 2018

Most of us have been brought up to believe that we’d be damn fools to think any differently from the way everybody else thinks. We are brought up to conform and not call attention to ourselves or our views. Independent thinking is considered neither good for our own welfare, nor for anybody else. We are consciously taught that our course[Read More…]

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Smartphone, Smartness And Stupidity

Smartphone, Smartness And Stupidity

A new research by scientists at the San Diego State University finds, to put it briefly, a correlation between over-use of Smartphone and teens’ increased unhappiness. All major news providers have prominently presented the news of the study. Overall finding of the study annoys all parents, guardians and responsible citizens. It’s not the only study that finds such annoying facts[Read More…]

Immanuel Kunt’s Vision Of Life Beyond Guns And God

Immanuel Kunt’s Vision Of Life Beyond Guns And God

(A tributeto a great idea; ‘The Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases’@ University of Baltimore) Immanuel Kunt…living in Ballarat, a provincial Australian city with a population of 100,000 plus…felt inspired when readingabout the activities of a new organisation of concerned world-wide citizens called The Coalition Against U.S. Military Bases.From the hidden cryptographic depths of his mind, a valued item of[Read More…]

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Watch Your Language, Honor The Heart

Watch Your Language, Honor The Heart

  “Foul, coarse language is a first cousin to apocalyptic talk, and nihilism aligns easily — finds a home  –with writers who have a limited and hard-edged vocabulary. Where is delicacy today?” — one of the author’s home schooled teenage charges I basically like Street’s writing very much, although I’ve always had some reservations about his work and his activism.[Read More…]

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Much Too Far Away From The Spirit Of Saint Therese Of Lisieux

Much Too Far Away From The Spirit Of Saint Therese Of Lisieux

  “She was the greatest healer of modern times.” — The Venerable Pope Pius XII “She was the greatest saint of modern times.” — Pope Saint Pius X “The Little Flower demonstrated the power of love.” — Flannery O’Connor Why can’t U.S. third parties fly? How do they manage to not take off during these times? With more than two million visitors a[Read More…]

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Livin’ The Screen Life: #productsmakemehappy

Livin’ The Screen Life: #productsmakemehappy

  Important official legal disclaimer: This is a short work of fiction. Any resemblances to real people, people you may know, people you think you may know, etc., is entirely deliberate. When I’m at work I’m staring at a screen. When I’m not at work I’m staring at screens. Checking social media. Scrolling through updates. Scrolling through friends. Scrolling through[Read More…]

A Genuine Actor: Francesco Serpico

A Genuine Actor: Francesco Serpico

“There are unconscious actors among them and involuntary actors; the genuine are always rare, especially genuine actors.” – Friedrick Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra “Any artist [person] who goes in for being famous in our society must know that it is not he who will become famous, but someone else under his name, someone who will eventually escape him and perhaps[Read More…]

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Grand Silence About Things That Matter

Grand Silence About Things That Matter

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. I trust that the thrust of this article will resonate with the readers of the Asian-based alternative media outlet which I write exclusively for these days. Building “a strong and robust public school system” along the lines delineated in Satvinderpal Kaur’s recent[Read More…]

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The Exsanguination of Medical Ethics

The Exsanguination of Medical Ethics

For thousands of years physicians took oaths to always act in the patient’s best interest when providing care. At the heart of medical ethics, this moral code was passed down through the centuries and reaffirmed by The World Medical Association (WMA) in 1949 and again in 2006.   Additionally they specified:”A physician shall not allow his/her judgment to be influenced by[Read More…]

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Photo by Kelly Sue

Why Fear And Self-Hatred Destroy Human Sharing And Solidarity

As our world spirals deeper into an abyss from which it is becoming increasingly difficult to extricate ourselves, some very prominent activists have lamented the lack of human solidarity in the face of the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya. See ‘The Rohingya tragedy shows human solidarity is a lie’ and ‘Wrongs of rights activism around Rohingyas’. While I share the[Read More…]

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Humans And Evolution

Humans And Evolution

The Theory of Evolution appears to suggest that, unlike many lower order species, humans are actually less evolved for failing to  carry forward its learning through its genes. May be there is something more to life than what evolutionary biologists and other scientists have been feeding us.  The text book responses are neither appear logical nor consistent with evolution theory.[Read More…]

Constructions of the Shaheed Hospital

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 2: The Story of Shaheed Hospital

Six prosperous doctors of different generations in my family inspired me to be a doctor. After I entered Medical College, the Medical College Democratic Students’ Association taught me to dream anew of being a very different kind of doctor…a doctor like Dr. Norman Bethune, like Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis. But where would I go? There was no anti-Franco resistance in Spain[Read More…]

Mumbai: Ambedkar Students Association members protest outside the Bombay High Court to condemn the murder of Ryan International School student Pradyumna, in Mumbai on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade  (PTI9_13_2017_000142B)

The ‘ Ogre ‘ Of Violence – Rooted In Childhood

  From ancient times, violence in society has been an integral part. There were killings and brutal murders. But, now-a-days, we are witnessing extreme form of ‘sadistic’ and gruesome violence that is chilling and heart- wrenching to say the least. For instance, Haryana singer Mamta Sharma found dead with throat slit ( published 18 -1- 2018 hindustantimes.com). In another incident,[Read More…]

Warning: Hang Out With The Kind People. Avoid the Monsters!

Warning: Hang Out With The Kind People. Avoid the Monsters!

I heard a very touching account yesterday. It involved a house for which a whole home burned practically to the ground in a town near mine. So a local Go-Fund site was set up to help the family living there. Then $60,000 USD was raised for the family to restart their lives. Anyone who thinks that this money for a[Read More…]

MLK’s Political Evolution Through The 1960s

MLK’s Political Evolution Through The 1960s

Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we just have to give up and let violence take its course.  The nation won’t listen to our voice – maybe it’ll heed the voice of violence. – Martin Luther King, Jr. (1) In “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Cold War”, Thomas Noer describes[Read More…]

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Proud And Dismayed

Proud And Dismayed

I used to be proud of my town. It spend close to $280,000 in legal fees (derived largely from my and others’ tax fees) to stop a propane facility directly above the aquifer water source that serves my part of town. The lawsuit for this happening went from state level wherein protection of community, our water supply, our neighborhoods, our[Read More…]

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Ten Times a Day or We Don’t Have a Prayer

Ten Times a Day or We Don’t Have a Prayer

  “Our faith in technology consumes resources and begets complacency. “ — from Jennifer L. Lieberman’s “Why Technology Will Not Solve Our Criminal Justice Problems” To lay oneself out in respect or obedience does not require that one believe in a Supreme Being of any particular kind, does not demand that one assert anything except acknowledgement of there being inscrutable[Read More…]

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Deconstructing The “Education – Industry Interface”

Deconstructing The “Education – Industry Interface”

With the instrumental value of education acquiring center-stage in today’s world, it is being increasingly and more and more vociferously argued that forging and fostering strong education-industry linkages is the need of the hour. Two reports that I read in the Indian Express (http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/digitisation-partnership-of-ideas-4951582/) and (http://indianexpress.com/article/business/companies/bharti-airtel-foundation-artificial-intelligence-4952074/), encouraged me to articulate my thoughts on this growing trend, which is generally portrayed[Read More…]

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” : Chapter 1- Niyogi And His Mission

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” : Chapter 1- Niyogi And His Mission

CHAPTER ONE  – NIYOGI AND HIS MISSION[1] I used to say, somewhat in amusement and somewhat grievingly, “I belong to the B-team of Niyogi”. The A-team consisted of Binayak da (Dr Binayak Sen)  and Ashish da (Dr Ashish Kumar Kundu). Saibal da (Dr Saibal Jana), Chanchala di ( Dr Chanchala Samajdar) and I used to manage the affairs of the[Read More…]

Above, two characters of the Earthsea world: Ged and Vetch (Ged is the one with the scars on his face). Behind Ged, the Shadow. A wonderful image by Paul Duffield.

Epistemology of Earthsea: Is The Universe A Machine?

I propose here a modified version of a post that I published last year on “Chimeras“.  I argue here that all our troubles are epistemological in nature: we don’t know how to find the truth. In the Earthsea series, Ursula Le Guin gave us some hints – although no solution – about this dilemma.  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable[Read More…]

The Departure Of Anand Prakash, An Extra-Ordinary Crusader Who Stood Up For Justice

The Departure Of Anand Prakash, An Extra-Ordinary Crusader Who Stood Up For Justice

The news of the demise of the unassuming, down-to-earth Anand Prakash, who led the struggle for justice for Ruchika Girhotra tirelessly for 26 long years once again brought to my mind the words of a young woman relating the story of her fight for justice to me – “Power and pelf hold sway and ordinary folk like me stand no[Read More…]

 Being Too Principled….

 Being Too Principled….

  “You can indulge your righteous rage, but the things it comes out of are pretty cheap. The trick is to make yourself an instrument of your own policy. Whether you like it or not, that’s the highest effectiveness man has achieved.” — Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead Principles invite us to do something about the morass of[Read More…]

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 Considering Absolute Numbers

 Considering Absolute Numbers

  On October 12, 1961 Eugene Jacques Bullard, the first African-American fighter pilot died. I went to his funeral in the French War Veterans section of the Flushing Cemetery in Queens, New York because I had only been a few feet away from him In Peekskill, New York in 1949 (as a six-year-old) when a racist, “patriotic” crowd almost beat[Read More…]

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It’s What They Do

It’s What They Do

  The percentage of moisturizers sold in the United States as “fragrance free” that contain a fragrance is 45. Of moisturizers sold as “hypoallergenic” that contain a common allergen it’s 83. But the misrepresentation of a lotion or cream used to prevent dryness in the skin, though wrong and deserving of consequences, is nothing when it comes to disingenuous organic[Read More…]

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 Smashing The Box To Bits Nonviolently

 Smashing The Box To Bits Nonviolently

An act of creation is only half the story: the other half is the community into which that creation lands. The realm of blending is all-important. Novelty is insufficient — what’s also required is resonance with one’s society. That should be obvious, but it’s not. For instance, the “creativity” involved in the Occupy hey day in New York sparked a[Read More…]

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Does It Come Down To People Vs the Natural World?

Does It Come Down To People Vs the Natural World?

Letter to a friend: My region of the USA is starting to collapse in some places due to too many people using up too many resources. Eventually the overall economy will collapse since we will run out of fossil fuels and certain other critical resources. … My local water is garbage (fecal material, other potentially poisonous materials, and road chemicals[Read More…]

Aaron Swartz: A Man Who “Rocked The Boat”

Aaron Swartz: A Man Who “Rocked The Boat”

 I knew Aaron Swartz. Aaron was an internet leader and free-speech advocate who helped organize the worldwide movement to keep the internet free from censorship and corporate control. Now more than ever, we should listen to his story and what he fought for. Aaron committed suicide at the young age of 26 after downloading JSTOR articles without JSTOR’s permission. He[Read More…]

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Stephen Hawking – Struggle Against Disability And Superstition

Stephen Hawking – Struggle Against Disability And Superstition

  ‘I have noticed that even people who claim that everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, lok before they cross the road ‘ From Black Holes and Baby Universes and other Essays ‘If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault , but it is no good to blame the world or expecting[Read More…]

 If Anything….

 If Anything….

  “Why do men then now not reck his rod?” — a line from God’s Grandeur “Progressives, generally, are not at home with controversial religious issues, in part because they cannot deal with phenomena which they’ve only encountered in the telegraphic sound bites offered by political debate. It is characteristic of the narrow logic of left-of-center citizens that when they[Read More…]

How The First Lady Of Islam Set An Example For The Generations To Come

How The First Lady Of Islam Set An Example For The Generations To Come

The public perception of Muslim women is one of stubborn stereotypes: supposedly powerless and oppressed, behind walls and veils, demure, voiceless and silent figures, discriminated and bereft of even basic rights. Contrary to this general belief, Muslim women have held the flag of enlightenment throughout history. The early Muslim community recognised and honoured a wide spectrum of female roles and[Read More…]

Here’s Hoping You Do The Same On Some Level In Your Community

Here’s Hoping You Do The Same On Some Level In Your Community

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” — Jorge Luis Borges “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx “So many books, so little time.” — Frank Zappa Lest you think — looking at the quotes above —[Read More…]

Photo Credit: http://deathcafe.com

What Happens At A Death Café?

  Sonoma County, Northern California: Putting the words “death” and “café” together may seem unusual. In the United States, many of us ignore our own pending, inevitable mortality. Many Americans do not accept that they will surely die, much less talk openly about it with others, especially strangers. On the other hand going to one’s favorite café is something that[Read More…]

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Photo by ahisgett

 Expose Our Guernicas

“I know I am going to have terrible problems with this painting, but I am determined to do it….” Picasso to Dora Maar in anticipation of creating his now world famous mural-sized oil painting, one of the most moving anti-war artworks in history… not well-received initially, and not appreciated in many quarters for a very long time. In 1962 John[Read More…]

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The Condition

The Condition

Love, let us never forget that there are people in this troubled world, men especially, who are very different from you and I—who think abstractly and pride themselves on the suppression of emotion and the will with which they hold clearly, if ever so grimly, to their goals—men of unwavering principle, if not obsessive and infernal ideologies. Strong men, men[Read More…]

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 It Involves More

 It Involves More

  “…creation can only be understood as a gift….” — Pope Francis underscoring that faith tells us that the earth is not a possession to be used and destroyed… very much in the spirit of indigenous beliefs Pope Francis sees the cause of the collective crises in what he calls a “technocratic” mentality, one that considers “the rise of a[Read More…]

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How Does One Process That?

How Does One Process That?

  The decision to try the leading Nazis at Nuremberg meant developing a system of due process, providing them with defense attorneys and, it has often been forgotten, with access to spiritual counsel. To Heinrich “Henry” Gerecke, an American Lutheran from the Midwest, fell the strange and theologically complex duty of providing succor to men marked, if any ever have[Read More…]

I Don’t Recall Witnessing Such A Blending

I Don’t Recall Witnessing Such A Blending

  In No Country for Old Men, Sheriff Bell recounts his conversation with a woman who complains about “right-wing” politics: “She kept on, kept on. Finally told me, said: I dont like the way this country is headed. I want my granddaughter to be able to have an abortion. And I said well mam I dont think you got any[Read More…]

To Honor Albert Camus On The Day He Died: January 4, 1960

To Honor Albert Camus On The Day He Died: January 4, 1960

  Because he was not a partisan in the Cold War between the U.S./NATO and the U.S.S.R, Albert Camus was an odd ball.  As a result, he was criticized by the right, left, and center.  His allegiance was to truth, not ideologies.  He opposed state murder, terrorism, and warfare from all quarters.  An artistic anarchist with a passionate spiritual hunger,[Read More…]

The Slug Factor

The Slug Factor

  “You don’t want to be a spiritual slug.” — Howard Zinn, speaking at the University of California-Santa Cruz, 2004 “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — from Shakespeare’s Hamlet Right after my partner and I put on a free three-day cultural/social/political event in Santa Cruz, California in 2004, which[Read More…]

Ambrose Pinto: A God’s Man Who Walked The Talk

Ambrose Pinto: A God’s Man Who Walked The Talk

  Ambrose pinto’s death after struggling with treacherous cancer for about Six months on 3 January of 2018 made me feel that this year would be bad for Dalits. His smiling face, hopeful of change, keeps flashing through my mind. I last met him when I gave a special lecture at Indian Social Institute Benuluru on January 20, 2017, in[Read More…]

Humanitarianism: The Greatest Art

Humanitarianism: The Greatest Art

Henry Thoreau, the 19th century American poet, naturalist and philosopher once remarked: “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look to affect the quality of the[Read More…]

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Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

  A saying from the Bible’s story of Cain and Abel. After Cain had murdered his brother Abel, God asked him where his brother was. Cain answered, “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” Note : Cain’s words have come to symbolize people’s unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of their fellows — their “brothers” in the extended[Read More…]

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The Importance Of ‘ Braille’ In The Lives Of Visually Impaired

The Importance Of ‘ Braille’ In The Lives Of Visually Impaired

  ‘Braille is knowledge , and knowledge is power’ – Louis Braille For many years, visually disabled and blind had to depend on Braille script as the main form of communication. Even now, when modern tools like cassette recordings, voice synthesizers, computer compatible speech softwares are available, braille continues to be a major form of reading and writing source for[Read More…]

Photo by John Vetterli

Kicking Off 2018 With A Pledge

Dear Countercurrents family (present and future)— 2017 was a tough year all around. Hot and cold wars continue, the environment further degrades and Trumpism/Putinism/Modiism reigns. One can get depressed- forlorn even- by the array of monsters to fight. Humanity in many ways appears to be stepping backwards, embracing narrow and racist nationalism, further eroding the rights of women, reveling in[Read More…]

Photo courtesy of PIX11 News

The Healing Touch Of Love

  Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another. -Thomas Merton, Love and Living Henry Thoreau, the 19th century writer, naturalist and philosopher once remarked: “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few[Read More…]

No Selfies This New Year

No Selfies This New Year

  It has been a deeply ingrained habit to wish everyone ‘Happy New Year’ and I confess to enthusiastic participation in this annual ritual for a long time. Increasingly though, I am beginning to suspect I really don’t understand the phrase or the words it is made up of at all. I get the point that,this greeting,is basically a nice[Read More…]

The Poor Can Teach Us

The Poor Can Teach Us

  “He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put[Read More…]

Systemic Maladies Demand Systemic Remedies: In The Context Of Indian University Education System

Systemic Maladies Demand Systemic Remedies: In The Context Of Indian University Education System

  ( Following is the Text of  Presidential Address Delivered By Dr.K.S. Sharma, President, Indian Academy of Social Sciences, ISSA, Allahabad, at the 41st  Indian Social Science Congress, held in Salem, Tamilnadu. The Annual event , held for five days from December 18 to 22, 2017, was attended by a few hundred academicians, educationists, and research scholars.   Sharma  is  Joint  Director,[Read More…]

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The Pacifist Cat

The Pacifist Cat

I know. I sound anthropomorphic. I am assigning human traits to a cat. However, how would you pose it? Last night, I heard a racket outside of my closed bedroom door. It woke me up from a deep sleep. So I went outside to look and couldn’t believe my eyes. Here she was, my female Siamese in a sitting position[Read More…]

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A Different Screaming Must Come Across the Sky Now

A Different Screaming Must Come Across the Sky Now

  “A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.” — the first line of Thomas Pynchon’s incomparable Gravity’s Rainbow (describing a rocket portending apocalypse during the Second World War) I was reading Harold G. Vatter’s The US Economy in World War II  while riding through San Joaquin County, California yesterday, and I[Read More…]

Thrusting Forward With Fencing Foil And Else-Wise

Thrusting Forward With Fencing Foil And Else-Wise

 We all learn to live with our flaws, weaknesses and shortcomings regardless of whatever they are, especially if they seem to not be changeable. These could include blindness, a limb that does not work right, a temperament prone to anger or, in my case, a sanctimonious nature. I think that I was born with it as part of my genetic[Read More…]

Code

Code

To fall in love outward (Robinson Jeffers) is a major accomplishment in the Great Work of planetary renewal. This is especially significant (and challenging) in a commercialized society possessively enforcing estrangement from natural reality. Capitalism works to replace nature with market value. To fall in love outward means to embrace, fully, the implications of a radical awakening, namely that each[Read More…]

Photo courtesy of PIX11 News

The Season Of Giving: A New Year Resolution

    You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you -John Bunyan When I   got my first job   in a small town, I was lucky to get wonderful neighbors.  A lady whom I regularly encountered was Samina, a devout and demure housewife who struggled to feed the family. For several reasons,[Read More…]

Reiterating Mao On December 26, His Birth Anniversary

Reiterating Mao On December 26, His Birth Anniversary

Reiterating Mao’s teachings is one of the essentials in the area of political education as a new generation is joining people’s struggle. The class struggle question is one of the areas to learn from Mao Tse-tung [also spelled Mao Zedong] [b. December 26, 1893] as now-a-days confusion dominates political position of a group of “progressives” and “anti-imperialists” engaged with mongering[Read More…]

Ending Hatred

Ending Hatred

  One of my older friends in India had a now dead father, who was an MD and who worked around twelve hours a day. He saw many patients, but his family never got ahead financially. Why? It was because he often gave his services away for no charge to financially poor people (including lower caste Hindu people) and paid[Read More…]

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Commensalism

Commensalism

  Thomas Paine’s pamphlet of January 10, 1776 was, as everyone knows, an important factor in bringing about the issuance of the Declaration of Independence. Common Sense pointed out that the colonies received no advantage from their connection with the mother country, which was intent on exploiting them; a firm and final and violent break from the mother country was[Read More…]

Freedom Is Still The Name For A Thing Which Is Not Freedom

Freedom Is Still The Name For A Thing Which Is Not Freedom

Co-Written by Rachel Oxman and C.Russell “In July 1952, in a cell block on Ellis Island, C.L.R. James began writing a book about Herman Melville. The Triinidadian journalist, historian and social theorist was awaiting deportation under the McCarran Act. Caught in an administration limbo of the “detainee,” James built his book, Mariners, Renegades, and Castaways on Melville’s abidingly pertinent observation that, in the United States,[Read More…]

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People waiting to get registered at Motihari District Government Hospital in East Champaran, Bihar. With so few doctors employed to work in the public sector of healthcare in India, this scene is typical.

India’s Sick Health Care

  India’s economy is soaring but its healthcare system remains an Achilles’ heel. For millions of people, the high cost of treating illness continues to undermine economic progress. This is largely on account of the abysmal and chaotic healthcare system owing to the declining budgetary healthcare support by the government. India now ranks close to the bottom of the pile[Read More…]

Photo by karen H. nickname.{ pooh}

Peace And justice On Earth And Goodwill To All

Unfortunately, the hope for peace and justice on earth and goodwill to all seems to be receding with each passing year. US politicians, particularly the neo-cons and neo-libs in Washington DC, seem to respond with a bah, humbug to this desire. These neo-folks, like other Americans, are people who have not directly experienced the ravages, destruction and killing of war[Read More…]

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Santa Situation

Santa Situation

Recently I saw a two year old or so in age on Santa’s lap on a Boston television news program. He was deaf-person signing to his parents the word “help.” Toddler signs for ‘help’ while sitting on Santa’s lap | Daily Mail Online www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5168465/Toddler-signs-help-sitting-Santas-lap.html 6 days ago – Mother shares a photo of her adorable toddler signing for ‘help‘ while[Read More…]

An Advent Calendar To Beat The Devil

An Advent Calendar To Beat The Devil

  “The task of setting free one’s gifts was a recognized labor in the ancient world….the spirit that brings us our gifts finds its eventual freedom only through our sacrifice, and those who do not reciprocate the gifts of their genius [daemon, personal spirit that comes to us at birth] will leave it in bondage when they die.” – Lewis[Read More…]

Not Much Of A Choice

Not Much Of A Choice

  “Teaching children to acclimate is necessary to some degree, of course, but that currently comprises well over ninety per cent of educational effort ‘cross the country, ‘cross the board. And very little energy is devoted to how youngsters can alter society radically, which is what will be necessary, of course, if they are to inherit a world worth living[Read More…]

What Was Verifiably Great About America: Fragments Of A Memoir Set To A Musical Soundtrack

What Was Verifiably Great About America: Fragments Of A Memoir Set To A Musical Soundtrack

  Having been born in a coal and steel company town but destiny delivered, as an adult, to reside, during extended intervals, in the East and West Coast cities of Los Angeles and New York City, and, at present, the continent of Europe, I have come to conclude, people born into situations providing economic advantage, both liberals and conservatives alike,[Read More…]

Rebellion in Munich: Sophie Scholl- The Final Days

Rebellion in Munich: Sophie Scholl- The Final Days

My generation has seen that history does repeat itself. We know world wars I and II and we have seen “regime change” in action from country to country, from Libya to Iraq. Those who think that history does not repeat itself might read some of these lines about what once happened and what is happening today. Sophie with soldiers. After[Read More…]

The Coming Crash

The Coming Crash

Binu, editor at Countercurrents.org, wrote: The bitcoin bubble could take the world into another economic crash. Writing in the Financial Times and Washington Post, former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the US economy was on a “sugar high”. He noted that economic growth this year had been driven by a stock market rally that has seen an increase of[Read More…]

Pseudo Science And The Need For Scientific Temper In India

Pseudo Science And The Need For Scientific Temper In India

  Vineeta Bal, a former member of the Prime Minister’s task force for science, narrated a humorous poem by the Marathi poet Sopandev Chaudhari last week to underscore the importance of scientific temper. The poem points out that Newton could think of the law of gravity when he saw the apple fall to the ground while some of us can[Read More…]

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Being True Unto Your Heartfelt Beliefs!

Being True Unto Your Heartfelt Beliefs!

If you are not true to your professed position in life, then you are false to everyone, including yourself. If you take up a religious or ideological position, then there are no half-measures in terms of support for the position presumed to be undertaken. I was raised in a Christian family. While I am no paradigm of virtue, I did[Read More…]

New Horse And Words For An Emergency Room Operation Needed

New Horse And Words For An Emergency Room Operation Needed

  “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.” — from an article centered on a former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya[Read More…]

 Because Well-Meaning Folks Are Not Making The Causal Connections

 Because Well-Meaning Folks Are Not Making The Causal Connections

  “What if violence against women is not a by-product of war, but rather a major cause of it?” — a question posed by Leith Greenslade in a 2014 article Hearing sexual assault victims recount their attacks is heartbreaking. Hearing story after story from U.S. soldiers like Kori Cioca, who was beaten and raped by her Coast Guard supervisor, or[Read More…]

The confirmation comes soon after a report from the U.K. Met Office in June warned that the planet was well on its way toward that grim milestone. (Photo: Kevin Gill/flickr/cc)

 Not Just Railing Against Railey’s: A U.S. School-Based Plan To Rally The World

  “Consumer Reports surveys rank Raley’s among the top U.S. supermarket chains, in particular for customer service, and that fact can be used as a point of departure for changing a great deal about our collective crises.” — one of the author’s home schooled youngsters. We are now heading, eyes narrowed and shut, towards an environmental catastrophe that might end the[Read More…]

The Man Behind India’s Rural Housing Spring

The Man Behind India’s Rural Housing Spring

Historians will say that an explosion of creativity occurs the moment the world starts complaining that there is nothing left to invent, or that the search for solutions to complex problems has come to an end. This explosion is fate’s way of reminding us that there is always something just over the horizon of knowledge. Social entrepreneurs are now using[Read More…]

We are Heading Down a Dangerous Path

We are Heading Down a Dangerous Path

  What Trump stands for is not “America First”, but unbridled capitalism, growing inequality, increasing racism, white supremacy, hatred of women, protectionism and constant provocation. He is purposely creating a crisis, as Trump’s administration thrives by chaos. One man’s loss is, after all, another man’s gain. The Trump Family is characterized by lawlessness, megalomania, and a general sense of superiority[Read More…]

Each Adversity Has A Seed Of Triumph

Each Adversity Has A Seed Of Triumph

These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them. — Rumi, Essential Rumi “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Everyone knows the cliché, of course, and   brave people often rise above adversity to climb great heights. Given that life hands lemons to everyone from time to time, the bravest approach is to turn those “lemons” into   lemonade. I put[Read More…]

Capitalism’s Failure Of The Flesh: The Rise Of The Robots

Capitalism’s Failure Of The Flesh: The Rise Of The Robots

  Humankind, being an inherently tool-making species, has always been in a relationship with technology. Our tools, weapons, machines, and appliances are crucial to forging the cultural criteria of human life. At present, amid the technology created phantomscape of mass media’s lurid — yet somehow sterile — imagery, one can feel as if one’s mind is in danger of being[Read More…]

Is Dissent Necessary?

Is Dissent Necessary?

                                 By Sheikh Attar & Palvi Singh Ghokrokta Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am) said Descartes stating that the very act of doubting one’s existence served as proof of one’s mind,  supporting the assertion of an underlying  thinking entity i.e. one’s self. Perfection per se is a utopian concept. From a person to an ideology to a society[Read More…]

Can We Solve Corruption?

Can We Solve Corruption?

  (International Anti-Corruption Day-9 December, 2017) Corruption is amongst the most debilitating economic illnesses that afflicts large parts of the world. It erodes the quality of life for ordinary citizens, devastates the moral fabric of society, and impedes growth. In the last four decades, despite several government programmes for the welfare of the rural poor, poverty remains endemic. Either the nets were[Read More…]

Bapu Kuti: The Nursery Of Gandhian Revolution

Bapu Kuti: The Nursery Of Gandhian Revolution

  Eighty kilometres to the east of Nagpur in central India lies Bapu Kuti, a historic site in Sewagram, the ‘village of service’, which is nestled in the serene rustic surroundings of the Wardha district. This dwelling was the residential abode of Mahatma Gandhi from 1936 to 1948 and was the epicentre of the Indian freedom movement. During the 12[Read More…]

Social Work : How Much Is Fine And Where To Draw The Line – And What Its Different ‘Avatars’?

Social Work : How Much Is Fine And Where To Draw The Line – And What Its Different ‘Avatars’?

A thoughtful, sensitive and sensible, socially aware youngster raised this question during the course of one of our conversations. It set me thinking, for I had seen all sorts of people involved in social work – those whose families got neglected, others who were able to strike a balance, still others whose relations with friends and family tottered on the[Read More…]

 The End Of American Exceptionalism

 The End Of American Exceptionalism

The battle for the planet has now become a battle between two systems of human thought and governance; one based on the vestiges of Western Neo-Liberalism and the other based on a restating of Marxist Socialism. The implications are profound. One system offers the possibility of the continuation of the human species on this planet, the other negates that possib