There are no breaking news at the moment

Life/Philosophy

Tackling the ‘Impossible’: Ending Violence

Tackling the ‘Impossible’: Ending Violence

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

Are we on track to #endmalaria?

Are we on track to #endmalaria?

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

Sameness And Difference

Sameness And Difference

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

Photo by llee_wu

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

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

Mirza Yawar Baig-Influencing without authority

Mirza Yawar Baig-Influencing without authority

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

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Mirza Yawar Baig – Committing matrimony

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

Guyana, cross cultural boot camp

Guyana, cross cultural boot camp

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

The Statesman Within

The Statesman Within

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Pedagogical Considerations On The Relationship Between Teacher and Student

Pedagogical Considerations On The Relationship Between Teacher and Student

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Guyana, my first love

Guyana, my first love

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

The Meaning of a Stone

The Meaning of a Stone

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

Shiv Inder Singh gets Jagjit Singh Anand Award

Shiv Inder Singh gets Jagjit Singh Anand Award

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
And now, it’s Lohia’s turn!

And now, it’s Lohia’s turn!

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

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

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

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

Growing Old

Growing Old

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Feeling blue

India’s Grey Clouds of Depression

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Baba Amte’s Legacy Sparks Grand Daughter’s Fire

Baba Amte’s Legacy Sparks Grand Daughter’s Fire

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Remembering the Bhagat Singh’s revolutionary legacy in the times of cultural intolerance

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

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
It’s Time to bend the curve sharply to #endTB

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

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

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

Darryl D’Monte: A journalist of people and environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
What’s Wrong With Our Education System And How Can We Change It!

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

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

It’s Time To Balance Profits And Social Good

It’s Time To Balance Profits And Social Good

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

The Living and Mission of Jiddu K. Krishnamurti

The Living and Mission of Jiddu K. Krishnamurti

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

War Is The Loss of Humanity

War Is The Loss of Humanity

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Legislating on Transnational Dowry Abuse: A Ray of Hope from Australia

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

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

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

A World (Still) Split Apart

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

The deaths of soldiers and others

The deaths of soldiers and others

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 ‘De-colonizing’ Indian Political Thought: Some Reflections

 ‘De-colonizing’ Indian Political Thought: Some Reflections

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A strange story: Dismissal of Surendra Nath Banerjea from the ICS

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

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

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

Elderly in Muslim Community

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

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Beyond the Falsehood: the existent of Marquis de Sade

Beyond the Falsehood: the existent of Marquis de Sade

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

Aggressively Fight For Peace And Not For War

Aggressively Fight For Peace And Not For War

A human being killing another human being is inhuman. Therefore, a terrorist, or a suicide bomber is inhuman. Suicide bombers lose their humanity to political and religious rhetoric brainwashing – and kill. But, being temporarily inhuman, they have nothing to do with religion or politics. They are robots. And what they do is against religion and politics. The accepted understanding[Read More…]

A Lady Muslim IAS Officer Heal Pulwama Wounds

A Lady Muslim IAS Officer Heal Pulwama Wounds

At a time when venom against Indian Muslims is being splashed all over in the Social Media holding them responsible for the terror attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, 2019, in which 42 CRPF Jawans were martyred in a dastardly terror attack, a Muslim lady IAS officer in Bihar has silenced such ‘Indian vultures’ by adopting[Read More…]

Healing is different from cure, conveys Pirates Of Chemotherapy

Healing is different from cure, conveys Pirates Of Chemotherapy

When we first heard of a dramatic comedy theatre play on breast cancer, it was difficult to comprehend how will the three go together? Comedy, theatre and poignant theme of breast cancer! Glad we went for the preview show of this play because it did justice to comedy, theatre and breast cancer issue in a very compelling way. One of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Of conversing, communicating, calling & messaging: Encountering freaks

Of conversing, communicating, calling & messaging: Encountering freaks

In our lives, we meet varied kinds of people, and in that we sometimes are occasioned to converse or even discuss certain things with them, not knowing they are typical kinds of freaks. If it is a business discussion, where the terms of conversation or communication are often pre-fixed, our conversations are not driven by any particular conditions, so both[Read More…]

John Dewey in the 21st Century: Philosopher and Educational Reformer

John Dewey in the 21st Century: Philosopher and Educational Reformer

“Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself”- John Dewey John Dewey was an American Philosopher and educator, founder of the philosophical movement known as Pragmatism, a pioneer of functional psychology and a leader of the progressive movement in education in United States. Dewey’s authority on education was evident in his theory about social learning; he believed that[Read More…]

A Troubled Millennial Generation – A solution from the Nag Hammadi Monastery in Egypt

A Troubled Millennial Generation – A solution from the Nag Hammadi Monastery in Egypt

A 29 year old American Millennial just challenged the sanity of US President Donald Trump. During an interview with the press by emphasizing the need for a Green New Deal she metaphorically pointed her finger in his face and made it clear that he is destroying life on our planet.   XXX Quote: US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “We must be[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Introduction Like Hobbes and Locke, the central political concernof Jean Jacks Rousseauhas also been a legitimate public authority in agreement with them about its ultimate source – the people. But similarity ends here. For Hobbes and Locke, even theoretically, sovereignty emanates from the people but moves away to an external sovereign body, for Rousseau the sovereignty mot only emanates from[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Person-led to Process-driven, Making the critical transformation

Person-led to Process-driven, Making the critical transformation

When a caterpillar looks in the mirror it does not see a butterfly. Yet hidden in that form is the potential to take the epitome of sluggishness and transform it into the epitome of grace, lightness and flight. The only condition is that the very nature of the thing must change completely. Caterpillars have no choice in the matter. People[Read More…]

And Somewhere There Are Engineers…

And Somewhere There Are Engineers…

A conversation with youngsters – who are by nature bubbling with energy , fired with idealism and suffused with innumerable questions – is a thing which everyone with grey hair looks forward to. For someone like me it is an added gift this morning that after exactly a gap of forty years this writer is with students of engineering helping[Read More…]

 India’s Invisible Water Wizard Conquers The World

 India’s Invisible Water Wizard Conquers The World

India has long undervalued one of its most precious resources—water. Today the country’s chronic mismanagement of water has led to drought in nearly 2,00,000 villages. According to the World Bank data, Indian farmers use almost 70 percent of the total groundwater that is drawn in the country each year. Shockingly, India uses more groundwater annually than China and the United[Read More…]

Success is the biggest danger

Success is the biggest danger

Interestingly, success seems to breed fear of failure. This is a paradox, since success should really build confidence. It does that too, but what seems to happen over the years is that we become progressively more afraid of losing what we have created and our ability to take risks decreases. This to me explains why entrepreneurs who have built large[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Government policies are worsening traffic problems, not solving them

Government policies are worsening traffic problems, not solving them

Mumbai: Mr Nitin Gadkari, union road transport minister, is one of the more efficient ministers. He often comes up with innovative solutions like converting waste water and garbage to profitable use. Unfortunately, there is little innovation in urban transport with which his department is closely concerned. In fact, instead of innovation, regressive , costly solutions are being thrust on civic[Read More…]

Business as usual will fail us on cancer control, SDGs

Business as usual will fail us on cancer control, SDGs

193 governments including those of India, committed to reducing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancers by 25% by 2025 and one-third by 2030 (UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs), but many cancer rates are rising, not declining, especially in several high burden countries. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally (cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the top[Read More…]

Why I am an Indian – 5

Why I am an Indian – 5

In the last article I had come to the crux of what ails Indian socially or sociologically and pointed out that this has an effect on its economics, politics, philosophy, psychology history and everything else for its detriment. I had said that the malaise was called Brahiminism or Brahmanism. I am not the first person to say this and I[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Enduring Quest for Übermensch: From Renaissance Humanism to Silicon Valley’s Posthumanism

The Enduring Quest for Übermensch: From Renaissance Humanism to Silicon Valley’s Posthumanism

 “Science without conscience is nothing but ruin to the soul”- François Rabelais Lately, the world famous business magazine, The Economist, has received quite a bit of international media attention; and understandably so. Indeed, close to the end of each year, going back decades, it publishes an eagerly awaited special edition, which predicts the major political, business and social trends and[Read More…]

Rolland and Tagore

Romain Rolland (29 Jan 1866 – 30 Dec 1944): The Cosmopolitan Spirit

One of the major voices of the spirit of nonviolence is Romain Rolland. He is the symbol of those who would not let war destroy the cultural bridges between peoples, especially during the 1914-1918 World War. Romain Rolland came from a French family with many generations in the legal profession.  However, from his secondary school days on, his interest was[Read More…]

Learning from Gandhi

Learning from Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869: 150 years ago this year. There will be many tributes to Gandhi published in 2019 so I would like to add one of my own. This reflects not just my belief that he gave the world inspiration, ideas and powerful strategies for tackling violence in a wide range of contexts but[Read More…]

The Agony and Pathos of Lenin’s Last Days

The Agony and Pathos of Lenin’s Last Days

Ever the clear-eyed realist, Lenin knew what the Revolution had failed to achieve. And this knowledge tormented him in the last weeks of his life.                                                       Vladimir Lenin in the summer of 1923 There is a photograph of Lenin in a wheelchair, from sometime in the summer of 1923, in which he is flanked on one side by his[Read More…]

Martin Luther King Day and the Unspeakable

Martin Luther King Day and the Unspeakable

As Martin Luther King’s birthday is celebrated with a national holiday, his death day disappears down the memory hole. Across the country – in response to the King Holiday and Service Act passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1994 – people will be encouraged to make the day one of service.Such service does not include King’s commitment[Read More…]

‘Broken extended ‘ families and their significance

‘Broken extended ‘ families and their significance

Though the trend towards ‘ nuclear’ families where the family unit is mainly parents and children is increasing, there are indications of increase in families which are neither nuclear nor joint. These may be called ‘broken extended ‘ families. Modern trends Over half of India’s households have been recorded as nuclear families since 1990s. Joint families make just 16% of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Enlightenment How?

Enlightenment How?

  This democracy  makes possible prosperity  without freedom. — Jürgen Habermas Constantly we are collapsing. Constantly we are fixing. — Vaclav Smil I define modernism as any attempt by modern men and women to become subjects as well as objects of modernization, to get a grip on the modern world and make themselves at home in it. — Marshall Berman[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Martin Heidegger Views on Philosophical Conception of Time and Being

Martin Heidegger Views on Philosophical Conception of Time and Being

The purpose of the series is to provide comprehensive expository and critical surveys of the work of major philosophers. One aim of the series is to dispel the intimidation such readers often feel when faced with the work of a difficult and challenging thinker. Martin Heidegger is now widely recognized alongside Wittgenstein as one of the greatest philosophers of the[Read More…]

The Founder of Islam

The Founder of Islam

In all, Prophet Mohammad married thirteen wives. But he married his first wife Khadija when he was 25 years old and she was 40. All other marriages were contracted after the death of Khadija when Mohammad was 50 years old. Mohammad was 40 years old when he received his first divine revelation and Khadija was the first person to convert[Read More…]

Old Age Homes – A Necessary Evil?

Old Age Homes – A Necessary Evil?

Isolation is proving to be a reality that comes with old age. Ageing being inevitable, everyone goes through these stages, provided death does not come calling in the meantime. Thus, irrespective of our stature, all of us come to a stage where we need others. Currently, around the globe, senior citizens are being deprived of their rights. They face acute[Read More…]

What Are We Working For “At Eternity’s Gate”?

What Are We Working For “At Eternity’s Gate”?

“One also knows from his letters that nothing appeared more sacred to Van Gogh than work.” – John Berger, “Vincent Van Gogh,” Portraits Ever since I was a young boy, I have wondered why people do the kinds of work they do.  I sensed early on that the economic system was a labyrinthine trap devised to imprison people in work[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Surgical Totalitarianism

Surgical Totalitarianism

You don’t have to control everything to be in total control. In the modern world this seeming paradox is a systemic reality. In the past, classic totalitarian governments sought to literally control every aspect of biopower. As it turned out, this was a very inefficient and self-defeating way to maintain and increase scientific knowledge and technology, capital accumulation, and total[Read More…]

Dr. Abdul Ahad, a noble soul!

Dr. Abdul Ahad, a noble soul!

Dr. Sheikh Abdul Ahad, a well-known ENT Specialist who passed away recently was truly a noble soul! Kashmir has produced many renowned doctors who have made a name within Kashmir and abroad. I had the good fortune of knowing a few of these doctors personally. Dr. Sheikh Abdul Ahad an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist was one among these. I[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Karl Marx and Religion: Definition, Sources, Ideology and Criticism

Karl Marx and Religion: Definition, Sources, Ideology and Criticism

The living Karl Marx was a dismal failure. He passed most of his life in poverty, dependent on the charity of the capitalist Friedrich Engels. His writings were never sufficiently in demand to earn a living. He had great difficulty in finishing anything, and the bulk of what he wrote he never saw in print. His revolutionary activities ‘came to[Read More…]

Bearing Witness

Bearing Witness

    I am not good today. Indeed, I am pitiful, but I am bearing witness in the aftermath as I was taught to do as a little girl and onward in time by Quakers like the members of my Quaker family. So bear with me (double meaning). I had a child in my class. I’m usually very good at[Read More…]

No One Is Listening to The Elderly

No One Is Listening to The Elderly

                Various studies have been analysed and reported that elderly are mentally vulnerable.  They are psychologically alone, isolated and neglected. They have to live in a truncated social network of the relationship in their family, neighbourhood or in their community. Poor elderly have to work for their survival till their end of life. ‘Theories of ‘cumulative advantage/disadvantage’ suggest that inequalities[Read More…]

A Synergy for Energy and Communities: A Tribute to TL Sankar (1928-2018)

A Synergy for Energy and Communities: A Tribute to TL Sankar (1928-2018)

Co-Written by Dr Sriram Kannekanti &  B. Leena Rajyalakshmi One of the first generations civil servants of independent India with great contributions on multiple domains as a bureaucrat, intellect, change maker, humanitarian and philanthropist TL Sankar (1928-2018).  A 1957 batch civil servant of Andhra Pradesh batch worked in various positions for 35 years and another 25 years of his post[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Nobel Laureates Nordhaus and Romer, and Karl Marx on Man, Nature and Technology

Nobel Laureates Nordhaus and Romer, and Karl Marx on Man, Nature and Technology

If we compare the economic thought of Romer and Nordhaus, the two men who shared the 2018 Noble Prize for Economics, and that of Karl Marx, in terms of their conceptions of man, nature and technology, we are better able to understand the differences between capitalist and communist economic theory. One of the factors determining the decision to award the[Read More…]

Lessons from the Egypian monuments and the Nile for our rulers

Lessons from the Egypian monuments and the Nile for our rulers

During a recent visit to the ancient Karnak temple complex in Egypt, I overheard a lady saying Mr Trump should be here. She was suggesting that looking at these gigantic monuments, the U.S. president would realise how small he really is and that the ancient ruins should teach him a lesson. It turned out that the lady was a Parsi.[Read More…]

Elderly Abuse in Indian Society

Elderly Abuse in Indian Society

            Ageing scenario in India is under pressure so far as their all-round care is concerned. It may be their finance, healthcare or shelter. The changing family structure and functions do not agree to provide them space in their family which was the once of their own and for which they devoted whole life. At their later age, they are[Read More…]

We are all Brothers and Sisters. It can be different, it must be different   

We are all Brothers and Sisters. It can be different, it must be different   

      Brothers and Sisters, we must free ourselves from the consuming money powers and the immoral habits that these have brought. Capitalism should not divide us any further, so that we remain each other’s enemies. We are all brothers and sisters. It can be different, it must be different. A forgotten Brotherhood      Today, the realization that we[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A WORLD FEDERATION : The World As It Is And The World As It Could Be

A WORLD FEDERATION : The World As It Is And The World As It Could Be

What kind of world do we want for the future? We want a world where war is abolished as an institution, and where the enormous resources now wasted on war are used constructively. We want a world where a stable population of moderate size lives in comfort and security, free from fear of hunger or unemployment. We want a world[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Never a dull moment

Never a dull moment

I was a member of the team that built the Mayura Factory in the Anamallais where I was the Assistant Manager in charge of the building project. So, I was closely associated with the project from the word ‘Go.’ The factory was built on Lower Sheikalmudi Estate and AVG Menon, my first manager was made responsible for the project. He[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Countercurrents And The Ethics of Mahatma Gandhi

Countercurrents And The Ethics of Mahatma Gandhi

Binu Mathew is the heroic and dedicated editor of the Internet journal “Countercurrents”. He lives in the Kerala Provence of India, which has recently been hit by enormous floods, despite which he continues to publish his vitally important journal every day. An interview with Editor Binu Mathew, in which he describes his early life, his education, and how he became[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Editor's Picks, Life/Philosophy
Three Pillars of Peace and Justice Activism

Three Pillars of Peace and Justice Activism

                        Over many years, I’ve often reflected on the following questions. Why are some University of Maine students in general, Maine Peace Action Committee (MPAC) students in particular, and community members concerned about peace and justice, while others are not? Why do some of these students and community members[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Language opens hearts

Language opens hearts

One of the first things I did when I joined the tea industry was to learn Tamil. I recall Mr. Ahmedullah, the General Manager telling me, ‘You must speak Tamil not only fluently but like a Tamilian, not like a Hyderabadi or an Englishman.’ And that is what I proceeded to do. I engaged the local school teacher in Sheikalmudi,[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Excerpts From A Proposed Earth Constitution

A WORLD FEDERATION – Excerpts From A Proposed Earth Constitution

Here are some excerpts from a proposed Earth Constitution. The full text can be found on the following link: English 1 Preamble • Realizing that Humanity today has come to a turning point in history and that we are on the threshold of an new world order which promises to usher in an era of peace, prosperity, justice and harmony;[Read More…]

It’s Time: Match words with actions to #endTB

It’s Time: Match words with actions to #endTB

Alongside boosting research and development of new tools to prevent, diagnose and treat TB, there is an acute need to optimally deploy and maximally utilize existing tools for preventing, diagnosing and treating TB, says Dr Nguyen Viet Nhung, head of national TB programme in Vietnam and Director of National Lung Hospital, Hanoi. Dr Nhung was conferred upon the ‘Honorary Associate[Read More…]

Democracy And The Corporation: Corporatizing The Globe

Democracy And The Corporation: Corporatizing The Globe

“The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.”      Edward Dowling We’re seeing a sudden surge of dictatorial fascistic leaders around the globe. Here’s something I wrote several years ago, trying to explain what’s happening[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION: New Ideas

A WORLD FEDERATION: New Ideas

Figure 1: L´aszlo´ Szombatfalvy, a highly successful Swedish businessman born in Budapest in 1927. His concern regarding threats to human civilization and the biosphere led him to establish the Global Challenges Foundation and the 2017 New Shape Awards. La´szl´o Szombatfalvy was born in Budapest in 1927. He came to Sweden as a refugee in 1956 because of the dangerous conditions[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 8: Federalism And Global Governance

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 8: Federalism And Global Governance

“To coerce the states is one of the maddest projects that was ever devised… What is the cure for this great evil? Nothing, but to enable the… laws to operate on individuals, in the same manner as those of states do.” Alexander Hamilton, 1787 1 A personal note I have been a World Federalist ever since 1954. Sixty-four years ago,[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 7: Inequality, Oligarchy And Climate Change

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 7: Inequality, Oligarchy And Climate Change

“Every Night & every Morn, Some to Misery are Born. Every Night & every Morn, Some are Born to sweet delight. Some are Born to sweet delight, Some are Born to Endless Night.” William Blake “Whatever happens, we have got The Maxim gun, and they have not.” Hilaire Beloc 1 Intolerable economic inequality The excessive inequality that we can see[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Shaking  one  hand   with  Andre  Vltchek,  and  keeping  the  other  hand  on  my  heart

Shaking  one  hand   with  Andre  Vltchek,  and  keeping  the  other  hand  on  my  heart

  Let  me  begin  by  congratulating  Binu  Mathew  on  his  probing  queries  during  his  interview  with  Andre  Vltchek,  which  brought  out  a  powerfully  honest  narrative  from  this  world-known  public  intellectual,  who  dares  to  describe  himself  as  a  “..Revolutionary  and  Internationalist.’ Since  these  two  issues  –  revolution  and  internationalism  –  had  been  a  part  of  my  life  since  the  1950s,  both [Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 6: The Collective Punishment In The Middle East

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 6: The Collective Punishment In The Middle East

1 Sanctions as collective punishment Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, collective punishment is war crime. Article 33 states that “No protected person may be punished for an offense that he or she did not personally commit.” At present, we treat nations as though they were persons: We punish entire nations by sanctions, even when only the leaders are guilty, even[Read More…]

William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate Passes Away

William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate Passes Away

In the incessant self-praise of the US imperial project, kept safe in a state of permanently enforced amnesia, occasional writings prod and puncture.  Mark Twain expressed an ashamed horror at the treatment of the Philippines; Ulysses Grant, despite being a victorious general of the Union forces in the Civil War and US president, could reflect that his country might, someday,[Read More…]

According to the Ecological Footprint Network, humans currently consume at a rate 1.7 times what Earth’s generative capacity can sustain—and the gap is growing. (Photo by Lee Scott on Unsplash.)

In Defense of the Human Individual

While it is now very late in the life cycle of homo sapiens, with extinction now due to consign us to Earth’s fossil record – see ‘Will humans be extinct by 2026?’ – I would like to make a belated pitch for the importance of the human individual and why nurturing each individual’s uniqueness is so important even if it[Read More…]

Complacency kills: Prevention cannot take a backseat while we scale up treatment coverage to #endAIDS

Complacency kills: Prevention cannot take a backseat while we scale up treatment coverage to #endAIDS

“The global health system is only as strong as its weakest parts” had said UNDP’s Mandeep Dhaliwal in her article around last year’s World AIDS Day. The context has only deepened over the year, not only for ending AIDS but also for health security in general. With Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) on 12th December this year, time is[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 5 – Nuclear Weapons As Collective Punishment

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 5 – Nuclear Weapons As Collective Punishment

“The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our ways of thinking, and thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophes.” “I don’t know what will be used in the next world war, but the 4th will be fought with stones.” Albert Einstein 1 The erosion of ethical principles during World War II When Hitler invaded Poland in September, 1939,[Read More…]

Mushirual Hasan Passes Away

Mushirual Hasan Passes Away

     Mushirual Hasan was born on 15 August 1949 Bilaspur in Uttar Pradesh. He studied at Aligarh Muslims University, and did his M. A. in1969.  Later he went to the Cambridge University for higher education. He was an eminent academic historian of modern India.  He passed away early morning (10 December, 2018) at the age of 70 years. Hasan[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 4– Individual Responsibility: The Nurenberg Principles

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 4– Individual Responsibility: The Nurenberg Principles

1 The training of soldiers Within individual countries, murder is rightly considered to be the worst of crimes. But the institution of war tries to convince us that if a soldier murders someone from another country, whom the politicians have designated as an “enemy”, it is no longer a crime, no longer a violation of the common bonds of humanity.[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 3– Human Rights

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 3– Human Rights

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Governed.” Thomas Jefferson, 1776 1 Adoption[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Photo by maHidoodi

Sometimes A Pair of Pants Can Give You Vertigo

“Between the experience of living a normal life at this moment on the planet and the public narratives being offered to give a sense to that life, the empty space, the gap, is enormous. The desolation lies there, not in the facts.” – John Berger, “A Man with Tousled Hair” in The Shape of a Pocket A few days ago,[Read More…]

Be a Shameless Idealist

Be a Shameless Idealist

As I stand here at the tail end of 2018, just a few days before the new year is due to come in, I ask myself how I would like to be remembered. And the answer, hands down is, as a Shameless Idealist. In your life, if you want to achieve anything worthwhile you must do two things. Firstly, surround[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 2– The United Nations Charter

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 2– The United Nations Charter

1 The San Francisco Conference After the unspeakable horrors of World War II, delegates from 50 Allied nations met in San Francisco California. The purpose of the conference, which took place between 25 April and 26 June, 1945, was to set up an international organization that would be able to abolish the institution of war. However, the Charter which the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
My beautiful death

My beautiful death

When you’re an artist, the work often becomes more important than you. Sadly, that’s always been the case for me. I started sculpting in 1991, working only with natural materials. At first, I sold small sculptures made of eggshells at the One of a Kind Show. Later, I created larger pieces modelled after the human anatomy using bones, coral and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Can Muslim women pray in a mosque?

Can Muslim women pray in a mosque?

A friend sent me a video about an all-women mosque (actually it turned out to be women praying in an all-faith center) in California with the caption, ‘This is Haraam and is a sign of Dajjal.’ I debated with myself whether this was even worth spending time to refute. But I recall the Hadith of Rasoolullahﷺ who emphasized principle of ownership[Read More…]

John Scales Avery Interviews Dr. David Krieger

John Scales Avery Interviews Dr. David Krieger

Dear David, I have long admired your dedicated and heroic life-long work for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. You did me the great honour of making me an Advisor  to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF). You are both the Founder and the President of the  NAPF. Could you tell us a little about your family, and your early[Read More…]

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 1 – The History of International Law

A WORLD FEDERATION – Chapter 1 – The History of International Law

“With law shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.” Njal’s Saga, Iceland, c 1270. 1 What is law? After the invention of agriculture, roughly 10,000 years ago, humans began to live in progressively larger groups, which were sometimes multi-ethnic. In order to make towns, cities and finally nations function without excessive injustice and violence, both ethical[Read More…]

In Kenya during Al-Shabaab standoff

How I Became A Revolutionary And Internationalist:Andre Vltchek

 Binu Mathew, Editor of Countercurrents.org interviews Andre Vltchek BM: You are one of the foremost critics of imperialism. Can you tell us how you came to be who you are? Can you tell us about your formative years? AV: Formative years… There were many of them, and actually, I feel that I am still evolving, until now. People always do,[Read More…]

Photo by maHidoodi

As You Labor so You Become: The Way Work Shapes Us

In Russia no less than in America, in Moscow no less than in New York, people are obsessed with keeping “fit”. When I see people running off to their “fitness clubs” I think of my grandfather and grandmother. My grandfather was a coal miner. He had been a coal miner since he was fourteen years old and his body reflected[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Gandhi Ji's visit to Marwari Library on 27.11.1917 with message

Significance of Gandhi’s visit to Marwari Public Library in November 1917

The Marwari Public Library at Chandni Chowk is like an oasis in the midst of a business hub of Delhi, says its secretary Raj Narayan Saraf, where people come to quench their thirst for knowledge. Seth Kedar Nath Goenka, a Marwari cloth merchant, was inspired by Gandhi to start this library when Gandhi first came to Delhi in April 1915.[Read More…]

Ideas as Crime in a Majoritarian Democracy

Ideas as Crime in a Majoritarian Democracy

To such a degree has Religion fuelled conflict, complicated politics, retarded social development and impaired human relations across the world, that one is often tempted to propose that Religion is innately an enemy of Humanity, if not indeed of itself a crime against Humanity … it is time that the world adopted a position that refuses to countenance Religion as[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Language – reflection of society

Language – reflection of society

One of the best form of effective and precise communication is language. It not only exposes one’ s mood and state of mind but also ability to choose words for expressing the intended meaning. While there are many effective ‘good’ words to indicate happiness and joy, there are few words which hurt certain communities or gender when anger or annoyance[Read More…]

Mutual Decline: The Failings of Student Evaluations

Mutual Decline: The Failings of Student Evaluations

That time of the year.  Student evaluations are being gathered by the data crunchers.  Participation rates are being noted.  Attitudes and responses are mapped.  The vulnerable, insecure instructor, fearing an execution squad via email, looks apprehensively at comments in the attached folder that will, in all likelihood, devastate rather than reward.  “Too much teaching matter”; “Too heavy in content”; “Too[Read More…]

Bearing Witness

Bearing Witness

  I know all about bearing witness. I started doing it when I was five when I tried to help Hiroshima Maidens hosted and put up by my Quaker Meeting when in NY, USA for no charge reconstructive surgery. They stayed with Quaker families who drove them to and from treatments, They also were in a terrible condition, although each[Read More…]

The Creation Code: Towards an Understanding of Dialectic

The Creation Code: Towards an Understanding of Dialectic

There is a code that underlies all creation.  It is not something hidden from us, but rather, like the purloined letter, something we do not notice because it is too obvious. On any brisk fall day, we see but do not see the creation code that openly operates before our eyes, as our minds engage a subliminal process of comparing[Read More…]

An addendum for Professor Bruce Lerro

An addendum for Professor Bruce Lerro

Thanks to Professor Bruce Lerro for his ideas- and questions-filled article, “Facing the music: religion, nationalism and sports have enchanted the working class; socialism hasn’t”, posted in e-journal Countercurrents on November 19, 2018. Professor Bruce Lerro correctly points out propaganda material, media, mode and tact the ruling classes constantly use to confuse the working class for keeping the working class[Read More…]

Manoranjan Byapari – A Rickshawpuller who has the ‘ will to live’

Manoranjan Byapari – A Rickshawpuller who has the ‘ will to live’

  There are many dalit writers who have tried to expose oppression through their literary works. Some of them had to change their names so that their caste could not become an obstacle in their forward journey. One of them is Manoranjan Byapari who changed his surname to conceal his identity as dalit Namashudra. In his autobiography ‘Interrogating My Chandal[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Flaws as strengths

Flaws as strengths

Every person has some flaws. My two major ones, which I remember from when I was a toddler, are that I am sanctimonious and stubborn. … I laugh at myself about both of these tendencies. No wonder that my sister bit me when we were both toddlers for my being this way. Yet it is a double-edged sword. Here, let[Read More…]

Witches' Sabbath

When  Reason  Sleeps  

 ‘El   sueno   de  la  razon  produce   monstruos’   (The  sleep  of   reason  produces  monsters)   –   Francisco  Goya,  the  famous  Spanish   artist,  in  his  note  to   his  etchings  called  `Los  Caprichos’,   made  in  1799. Goya’s  words  –  and  his  paintings  that  he  did  later  (during  1820-23)   depicting  a  dark  vision  of  his  surrounding  reality   –  arouse  ominous  echoes  in  our  society  today. [Read More…]

Holiday Madness

Holiday Madness

  I can promise that I will not trample a man to death in NJ during a Black Friday store event as has happened. I will not cause a miscarriage through ramming up against a woman at another store as has happened. I will not get into a grab and punch festival at yet another store while fighting over some[Read More…]

Marx and Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

Marx and Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

The philosophic science of right has as its object the idea of right, i.e., the conception of right and the realisation of the conception. In order to gain a proper perspective of Hegel’s place in the history of philosophy, it might be useful to focus on one key concept which has evolved significantly in meaning, from the time of Hegel.[Read More…]

John Scales Avery Interviews Binu Mathew

John Scales Avery Interviews Binu Mathew

John Scales Avery: Dear friend and colleague in the peace movement, dear highly respected and admired Editor Binu Mathew, can you  tell us about your childhood and education? What are the influences that led you to become the Editor of Countercurrents.org, one of the world’s most important and influential alternative news websites? Binu: I hail from Kerala state, India, the[Read More…]

Facing The Music: Religion, Nationalism And Sports Have Enchanted The Working Class; Socialism Hasn’t

Facing The Music: Religion, Nationalism And Sports Have Enchanted The Working Class; Socialism Hasn’t

Religion, nationalism and sports as propaganda for the ruling class In the closing section of my course Brainwashing Propaganda and Rhetoric: Dark Psychology in the 20th Century, I ask my students to compare organized religion, nationalism and sports, not only to determine the kind of propaganda they are (black, gray or white), but also the devices and artifacts that are used. This includes[Read More…]

Working class must change the world for all of the humanity

Working class must change the world for all of the humanity

“California is a state of geographical extremes: the deserts, the Sierras, the long ocean coast, and the central valleys. It is a critical agricultural state, and every visitor ought to travel through the San Joaquin, Imperial, or Sacramento Valleys to see the sources of the food we eat. Go during a harvest and watch the brown-skinned men, women, and children[Read More…]

The Farewell Sermon of Prophet Muhammad

The Farewell Sermon of Prophet Muhammad

Birth anniversary tribute-21 November 2018 As you read these lines, 1.6 billion Muslims across the world, from Morocco to Jakarta, will be paying homage to the Prophet Muhammad on his birthday. This day, 1,429 years ago, Prophet Muhammad delivered the historic Last Sermon (khutabat al-wida) on the parched terrain of Mount of Mercy (Jabal ar-Rahmah) in the Uranah valley of[Read More…]

Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds

Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds

I’ve often wondered about the limits of activist’s reach and the lack of coherent, organized progressive social movements in the US. Does it come down to the precarious nature of our jobs, the stress, strain, and exhaustion caused by the realization of being a paycheck away from penury? Or is it all the fault of our monopolistic media, with the[Read More…]

Lets Make It A Happy Children’s Day For All

Lets Make It A Happy Children’s Day For All

I woke up today morning, plans swirling in the mind. What should I plan for the kids, how can I make their day special? I packed their favorite snack in their tiffins, dressed one as Spidey and the other as a Pirate…. off they ran to school.  Later, maybe a nice evening spent at a soft play area, some balloons followed[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Noam Chomsky: the greatest living challenger of unjust power and delusions

Noam Chomsky: the greatest living challenger of unjust power and delusions

 On his 90th birthday, a tribute to the man whose life more than anyone else’s tells us what it takes to be human Six weeks after 9/11, Noam Chomsky was on a brief lecture-tour in India when one of his engagements took him to the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai. There, in the Q&A after his talk, a budding[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Why revile ‘them’, after ‘their’ death? Because their sins & crimes are grossest in history

Why revile ‘them’, after ‘their’ death? Because their sins & crimes are grossest in history

Hostilities cease on death. That is why the cops doff their caps after a notorious criminal (Even) is found lying dead who deservingly, then, is allowed to be given a proper burial.  BUT, why the ‘traitors’ & ‘betrayers’ of a cause or community or trust or country or nation are generally denied this respect even after their death. Why people[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Socialism: What it is and how to fight for it

Socialism: What it is and how to fight for it

A student and youth group fighting for genuine socialism at MIT Students and young people are entering into political life amidst an unprecedented political crisis within the state apparatus, a growing danger of world war, escalating attacks on the working class and immigrants, and a political radicalization of workers and youth. Many young people are looking for a way to[Read More…]

On the True Nature of Revolutionary Theory: A Response to Dr. Pravat Ranjan Sethi

On the True Nature of Revolutionary Theory: A Response to Dr. Pravat Ranjan Sethi

  Dear Comrade Dr. Pravat Ranjan Sethi, Thank you for your most knowledgeable reflections on revolutionary theory and practice.  I enjoyed them and benefited from them, as I am sure many others did as well.  I would like to respond by putting a slightly different perspective on the subject. First, revolutionary thought is always “dialectical” because the dialectic is inherently[Read More…]

We want the ring…

We want the ring…

That seemed to be the resonating refrain of women at the HIV Research for Prevention Conference (HIVR4P2018) held recently in Madrid, Spain. And no, they were not talking about the engagement ring. Their focus of interest was the intra-vaginal dapivirine vaginal ring – a long acting female-initiated, self-administered product that has been found to be highly effective in reducing the[Read More…]

Pain Vs Policy

Pain Vs Policy

When Indian Bollywood star Irfan Khan took to twitter to declare that he is diagnosed with a rare disease called neuro endocrine cancer. This news sent a shockwave across India. But he recently penned a heartfelt letter about his battle against cancer, in which he wrote, “Fear and panic should not overrule me and make me miserable.That was my intention.[Read More…]

Capitalism Is Killing Patients And Their Physicians

Capitalism Is Killing Patients And Their Physicians

Physician burnout, depression, and suicide increasingly invade discussions within the medical field. Depression and suicide are more common among male and female physicians, with suicide rates 1.41 and 2.27 times greater than that of the general male and female populations, respectively. Though, the insults to the mental health of physicians begins much earlier in their career. While the numbers may vary from[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Obsidian King-When Moscow Went to the Dogs

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Obsidian King-When Moscow Went to the Dogs

I skim like a gull across the dark sea of sleep.  I cannot settle.  When I finally do, I dream that my teacher has come to visit me.  I sit across the table from him, put my hand over his, look intently in his eyes, and tell him that I have written an equation.  I watch to see his response. [Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Karl Marx on 200th Anniversary: Marxism after Marx

Karl Marx on 200th Anniversary: Marxism after Marx

Karl Marx was possessed of demonic genius that was to transform the modern world.  —Saul K. Padover (1978) For all the horrors committed in Marx’s name, the German philosopher has for more than a century struck an inspirational chord among workers and intellectuals disenfranchised by global capitalism. The development of Marx’s doctrine after his death first followed the course of a[Read More…]

Womb crusaders : Dr. Vinjamuri and his wife, Dr S.V. Kameswari

Womb crusaders : Dr. Vinjamuri and his wife, Dr S.V. Kameswari

A Report by Umesh Anand and Lakshman Anand Over the years, a few  million women in Andhra Pradesh, now split into Telangana, have perhaps been operated on wrongly. Similar is the case elsewhere, Karnataka for example. The doctor-couple initially found it difficult to believe, but as they probed further they discovered to their dismay that a large number of rural[Read More…]

HIV prevention: Bridging the gap between research and impact

HIV prevention: Bridging the gap between research and impact

   We are at an incredible moment in the history of the HIV/AIDS response, which reflected in the vibrancy of the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2018) – the only global scientific conference focused on the fast-growing field of biomedical HIV prevention research. Today, the latest research in different areas of biomedical HIV prevention, including vaccines, rings, microbicides and other[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Importance of Alternative Media

The Importance of Alternative Media

The superficiality of today’s television Social critic Neil Postman contrasted the futures predicted in Nineteen Eighty Four andBrave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book “Amusing Ourselves to Death”. He wrote: “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted[Read More…]

The Apocalypse Not Now

The Apocalypse Not Now

It was balmy and breezy by the bench where I sat outside a public library east of Atlanta, Georgia, brooding about the state of the world.  It seemed like the end times, and I had just attended a fire and brimstone sermon, not perused the mainstream and alternative press. I had just spent a few hours on the internet, notingso[Read More…]

Going for a routine check-up when healthy?

Going for a routine check-up when healthy?

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.”Hippocrates I saw a good friend of mine who values his life so much that he thinks he needs to go for all blood tests every six months. He was there yesterday and was all anxious with a thick file of 14 bond paper sheets with all[Read More…]

The Psychology of Fascism

The Psychology of Fascism

  The continuing rise of fascism around the world is drawing increasing attention particularly as it takes firmer grip within national societies long seen to have rejected it. Some recent studies have reminded us of the characteristics of fascist movements and individuals, particularly as they manifest among politically active fascists. For example, in his recent bookHow Fascism Works: The Politics[Read More…]

Devi and Asura: Musings on the Inter-sectional versus the Binaries 

Devi and Asura: Musings on the Inter-sectional versus the Binaries 

The season has just passed by. Autumn has arrived. Long back, the months from autumn to spring would see many carnivals. Since then, the Brahmins have been earning a lot throughout these months. Even today, miles away from the cities and deep inside the woody heart of the Lokayat that informs this subcontinent, in places where people don’t need Brahmins[Read More…]

Through the haze, a better democracy

Through the haze, a better democracy

Although you wouldn’t know it from the rhetoric and actions of the Trump Administration, the U.S. is part of the global society. And while most of the U.S. was focused on a Supreme Court nomination that shook our democratic institutions, a watershed moment for democracy quietly took place half a world away. For those in the U.S. seeking evidence that[Read More…]

Re-Reading Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Contemporary Milieu

Re-Reading Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Contemporary Milieu

  As we celebrated the 201th birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan on 17 October 2018—the founder of Aligarh Muslim University, when the whole debate around the nationalism and hyper-nationalism is round the corner. In fact we are living in strange times where false narratives are constructed by none other than ruling establishment to push their political project. There[Read More…]

Gandhi: The Great Dissenter

Gandhi: The Great Dissenter

India is losing the great tradition of ‘spirit of inquiry and dissent’ which we cherished in the past as the progressive history of cultural tolerance and harmony. In today’s India, the political parties in power and opposition are eyeing human individuals as potential voters and trying to woo them by spreading untruths and rumors. Indian society by and large needs[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Badi Ammi:  Educationist Mrs.Fatima Anees 

Badi Ammi:  Educationist Mrs.Fatima Anees 

It seemed Badi Ammi was going to live forever. We were so used to her. The shore that tells you to traipse along braving the storms,  helps you comprehend your mess, allows you to walk over it, the rock you know is there to push you to learn to lean on your own shoulders and not anyone else’s, the proverbial[Read More…]

Lament Lenin: The rant

Lament Lenin: The rant

Lamenting Lenin is a regular ritual of a section of scholars donning, on occasions, a red apron. These scholars, a few of them pose as an ardent disciple of Marx, accuse Lenin of practicing autocracy as they point to measures the Soviet Power had to take during its early days. The rant The condemnation-business is transcontinental, beginning from Russia to[Read More…]

The Evolution of Greed – From Aristotle to Gordon Gekko

The Evolution of Greed – From Aristotle to Gordon Gekko

The comfort of rich people depends on an abundant supply of poor people. -Voltaire Greed is as old as time. As long as there are people, greed and avarice will continue to exist. In Ancient Greece they had a special word for it: ‘pleonexia’. Pleonexia is a concept that unites greed, covetousness and avarice in a philosophical context. Strictly speaking,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Natwar Thakkar : The pioneer of North – East India

Natwar Thakkar : The pioneer of North – East India

  Many people might not know about the social activist Natwar Thakkar who was popular as Nagaland Gandhi and was awarded Padma Shree. He went to stay in Nagaland in 1955 at the age of 23 and spread the teachings of Gandhi. He set up the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram at a village Chuchuyimlang in Mokokchung district in the year 1955.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Of Cows, Bacteria and ‘Human’ Rights

Of Cows, Bacteria and ‘Human’ Rights

  This article is based on a talk delivered in Hyderabad on 7th October 2018 as part of the 9th memorial meeting of ‘Remembering Balagopal’, an annual event commemorating the late social activist K Balagopal It is a truly a great privilege for me to be here today to speak to all of you at this meeting to remember Prof.[Read More…]

Monkey And Me

Monkey And Me

6.30 am, October 3, 2018, Anekal. I was sitting on a terrace, listening to the birds, occasionally playing my flute, drinking my coffee and watching the forests around as well as the remnants of a lake nearby. It was a beautiful day to begin with. Suddenly, a battalion of monkeys from the nearby trees joined me. Initially, I thought they[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Why Don’t We Talk About Mental Health?

Why Don’t We Talk About Mental Health?

World Mental Health Day-10 October 2018 Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis.  Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb .The National Mental Health Survey of India (2016), the largest exercise to count the numbers of those affected by mental disorders, reported that one of every ten adults experiences a clinically significant[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Old women appear in the 4th standard examination in Kerala Literacy Mission

Literacy is to language what driving is to cars

In my view the single most significant event in human development is the evolution of languages. It was this process that enabled human beings to preserve their thoughts, teach others, learn from history and talk to generations yet unborn. Language is the elixir of eternal life. Or as close to it as we are likely to come. Literacy or to[Read More…]

Saving Gandhi On Gandhi Jayanti

Saving Gandhi On Gandhi Jayanti

Today is Gandhi Jayanti. If he were alive he would have been 149 year. Official celebrations are there. Narendra Modi is on an overdrive to ‘prove’ that he ‘inherit’ the legacy of Gandhi. His ‘swachchbharat’ campaign is nothing but an attempt to deviate from the real issues of the nation. Gandhi has devotees and detractors both. Many people love his[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Great October Revolution: Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People

The Great October Revolution: Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People

Abolish all exploitation, completely eliminate the division of society into classes, mercilessly crush the resistance of the exploiters, establish a socialist organization of society, and achieve the victory of socialism in all countries were declared as the fundamental aim of the newly established Soviet Russia, a Republic of Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. And, the Declaration of Rights[Read More…]

Bapu Kuti: A Reminder of Gandhi’s Forgotten Ideals

Bapu Kuti: A Reminder of Gandhi’s Forgotten Ideals

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 years[Read More…]

Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love

Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love

‘When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.’ M.K. Gandhi As we remember Gandhi Jayanti on 2 October, the Mahatma’s 149th birthday and the[Read More…]

The Youth Today : Caught in a Bind and Yet Daring to Dream – and Act

The Youth Today : Caught in a Bind and Yet Daring to Dream – and Act

It was a performance “to narrate and retell the stories of women of Delhi who have been resilient in the face of adversities….. [and] have changed/ altered some parts of their lives by being their true selves.” A performance that more or less seamlessly “flowed into” what is characterized as “Playback Theatre” in which, after the main performance, someone from[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Hindu Rama and Indian Krishna

Hindu Rama and Indian Krishna

It is a known fact that Ram is politically owned by the Sangh Parivar whereas Krishna is owned by the Yadavs across the country as their divine and political legacy. In North India the Yadavs remained as an opposite political and social block to the Hindutva block. In this context, I want to examine two opposite streams of thought that emerged around Rama and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Priscilla Murolo

‘Working People Will Make a Better World’: An Interview With Labor Historian Priscilla Murolo

Priscilla Murolo is a professor of history at Sarah Lawrence College, where she formerly directed the graduate program in Women’s History. She also teaches in the Union Leadership and Activism Master’s Program at the University of Massachusetts. Beginning in the 1960s, she has been involved in the women’s movement, labor organizing and many community campaigns and organizations. Murolo is the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
“Curse” Marx: A response to Mr. Saral Sarkar

“Curse” Marx: A response to Mr. Saral Sarkar

Mr. Saral Sarkar has done a nice job with his article “From Marxist Socialism to Eco-Socialism — Turning Points of a Personal Journey Through a Theory of Socialism”, (Countercurrents.org on September 16, 2018), in which he has attempted to look back at a lot of issues: his political learning from his student days’, juvenile imagination on socialism, Marx, Lenin, Mao,[Read More…]

(Eknath Awad, 1956-2015)- Photo Courtesy- Dr. Milind Awad

Eknath Awad: A Life Spent in Struggle for Emancipation

His mother’s dream and aspirations and also the inspiration that he derived from the long history of struggle led by Jotiba Phule, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Annabhau Sathe and others remained the beacon lights for him throughout his life. Dalit activist, Eknath Awad, wrote his memoir, “Jag Badal Ghaaluni Ghaav” in Marathi language, which was published by Samkaleen Prakashan, Pune[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Is it the final countdown to #endTB?

Is it the final countdown to #endTB?

  (CNS): The world’s eyes and ears are expectantly focussed on the forthcoming first-ever UN High Level Meeting (UNHLM) to #endTB: “United to End TB: An Urgent Global Response to a Global Epidemic.” The global TB community is hailing this as a landmark opportunity to marshal political will and resources to end TB by 2030. Will this meeting actually turn[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Message of Karbala

Message of Karbala

Islamic year, consisting of twelve months begins with the month of Muharram. Although all these months are significant, holding a special importance but the Quran has declared four months much sacred, which involves Zulqadah, Zulhijjah, and Rajab and the first month – Muharram. Even before the advent of Islam, it was considered as blessed owing to many historical events of[Read More…]

The Myth of an Intolerant Islam

The Myth of an Intolerant Islam

Islam is a massive faith with 1.6 billion followers spread across the Islamic world that stretches over 15,000 kilometers. A considerable section of the community lives as a minority community in many countries, battling issues of stereotyping, discrimination and identity. With the powerful influence of Islamophobic brigades, there has been a massive surge of hatred against Islam and its adherents.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Eradicating Suffering

Eradicating Suffering

  In the last few years I have become aware of the impossibility of removing misery externally to myself. But even very recently when a dire issue presented itself to my senses whether through mind ears etc, like the rape of girls and women housed up a few steps from their NGO newspaperman protector, I was furious and reached into[Read More…]

Plato’s Theory of Education

Plato’s Theory of Education

              Introduction             “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, consequently also controls at the same time the means of mental production, so that the ideas[Read More…]

Dear Comrade:  A respectful response to Saral Sakar

Dear Comrade:  A respectful response to Saral Sakar

 A response to Saral Sakar’s “ From Marxist Socialism to Eco-Socialism — Turning Points of a Personal Journey Through a Theory of Socialism.” Dear Comrade, I want you to know that you are not alone; that anyone who has taken the long walk with and through Marx has at times felt like there was something “missing” some “not quite right”[Read More…]

Rationalism as a Way of Life

Rationalism as a Way of Life

What is’way of life’? Till the emergence of organised religions, it seems there is no point in history where there has been a single ‘way of life’. In actuality, human in his/her struggle to survive, sustain and socialise, develops a way of life which is dominated by the reason, logic and commonsense. Imagined and incomprehensible elements play lesser role just[Read More…]

Jaipal Singh Munda: A constitutional expert from Adivasis

Jaipal Singh Munda: A constitutional expert from Adivasis

  ” I rise to speak on behalf of unknown hordes – yet very important – of unrecognised warriors of freedom, the original people of India who have variously been known as backward tribes, primitive tribes, criminal tribes and everything else, Sir, I am proud to be a ‘Jangli’ that is the name by which we are known in my[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Women driven towards suicide

Women driven towards suicide

While many reports indicate women face immense hardships in their lives, there is one more report indicating their distress. Almost four in ten women who commit suicide are from India: 71.2% of women who commit suicide were under the group 15- 39 age group between 1990- 2016, according to the findings published in a paper titled ‘ Gender Differentials and[Read More…]

Teachers – modern trends

Teachers – modern trends

 ” The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves ‘ S. Radhakrishnan While ‘teachers day ‘ is being celebrated with statements about their role in society and contribution to ‘ education ‘ of students, little light is being shed on their plight as well as some dangerous tendencies. Vacancies According to data compiled by The Times of[Read More…]

The challenges of evaluating popular leaders objectively, especially posthumously

The challenges of evaluating popular leaders objectively, especially posthumously

Almost all leaders especially popular do good things to gain the status of a popular leader. But they also make mistakes. However, people often seem to get fiercely divided in portraying leaders in a balanced manner, especially posthumously. McCain, an immediate example of contradictions Senator John McCain for example, who died of brain cancer on August 28, 2018 is a[Read More…]

Esoteric demystification of Love, Concupiscence and Celestial Orgasm

Esoteric demystification of Love, Concupiscence and Celestial Orgasm

“Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes. Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers’ tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, a choking gall and a preserving sweet.” ~ William Shakespeare The Philosophy of Love is considered as the field of social philosophy, which is specifically focused[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Plato’s Theory of Justice

Plato’s Theory of Justice

Plato’stheory of justice quite different from and contrary to the justice as we understand it in constitutional-legal terms, can be precisely summed in following two quotes from the Republic: “Justice is having and doing what is one’s own”and “A just man is a man just in the right place doing his best and giving full equivalent of what he receives”.[Read More…]

Love at First Sight—Old Man Adopts Dog

Love at First Sight—Old Man Adopts Dog

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” French Nobel Prize winner Anatole France Sebastopol, California: Searching for a dog, I recently visited three animal shelters. At the final one, I saw a dog that I instantly connected to. I consulted with my friend Debbie Melmon and decided to adopt her—one of the best decisions[Read More…]

The Cell Phone and the Virgin (2018): A Montreal Odyssey

The Cell Phone and the Virgin (2018): A Montreal Odyssey

“And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever While Suzanne holds her mirror” – Leonard Cohen, “Suzanne”[Read More…]

A Tribute to Samir Amin

A Tribute to Samir Amin

200 years after Marx’s birth, 101 years after the October revolution, and 50 years after thetumult of 1968, Samir Amin is dead. To the torrent of tributes that is surely pouring in at this time, I would like to add my own reflections on my engagement with Amin’s life and work.Due to the timing with which I came into contact[Read More…]

Samir Amin: Intellectual-appropriate to the Global South

Samir Amin: Intellectual-appropriate to the Global South

With the demise of Samir Amin—an indispensable component of the new genre of the Radical Political Economy School of Marxism—the  Global South has lost an important intellectual prime mover of its history. A critique of the capitalist world-system/imperialism, the ultra-right regimes and reactionary forces across the world, Amin had talked and written about strategies of transforming the world through political[Read More…]

Samir Amin stood For People

Samir Amin stood For People

Samir Amin lives as long as peoples’ revolutionary journey moves forward. And, peoples’ revolutionary march is unending as revolutionary advancement opens path for further revolutionary advancement. Samir Amin walks along peoples struggling against exploitation, against imperialism in countries. Samir Amin transcends all borders capital creates to divide peoples struggling against exploiters, against all divisive politics, against all sectarian ideologies, which[Read More…]

Plato’s Theory of Idea or the Form

Plato’s Theory of Idea or the Form

  Plato’s theory of Idea or the Form constitutes the philosophical foundation of Plato’s political theory. The problems variety and the change have been common questions for ancient Greeks, who were trying to discover the uniting element in the variety, i.e. the one in many; and the permanence in the ever changing world. Pre-Socratic Greek philosophy generally addressed to the observation of life and motion[Read More…]

Plato’s Theory of Soul

Plato’s Theory of Soul

The intellectual world is teleological. That is to say nothing is written without purpose and each intellectual responds to; reflects upon; provides intellectual explanation and justification or critique and alternative to the issues and circumstances prevailing in his contemporary time-space. Plato’s Republic is not an utopia addressed to no-one but a passionate appeal to fellow Athenians to overthrow the existing democratic governance[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  False News About Russia: A Longstanding Tradition

An American Babushka in Moscow:  False News About Russia: A Longstanding Tradition

When I first came to Russia, the key political event of the moment was the “war” over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two independent provinces in Georgia.  The response of the American media to the situation was, quite unsurprisingly, to accuse Russia of instigating the “war” by invading Georgia.  The people of Russia were furious over what was a blatant lie,[Read More…]

A young revolutionary -Khudiram Bose

A young revolutionary -Khudiram Bose

Once again, the preparations for celebrating independence have begun and many martyrs are being remembered. Among those who have laid down their lives for freedom, many have been forgotten or not remembered very frequently. One such young person who fought the tyranny of colonialism was from Bengal – Khudiram Bose . According to historians, as many as 200 or more[Read More…]

Answering “What Should I Do?” Is Easier When You Know The Roles Of Social Movements

Answering “What Should I Do?” Is Easier When You Know The Roles Of Social Movements

Co-Written by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers The United States is going in the wrong direction on a wide range of social, economic and foreign policy issues and people are justifiably upset and angry. One question we are regularly asked is: “What should I do?” In our last two newsletters, we examined the stages of successful social movements to show how movements can[Read More…]

Our Cranial Problem

Our Cranial Problem

Could it be that there are inherent evolutionary cranial/neurological deficiencies in our DNA makeup; so deeply embedded that we as a species now in this industrial age are unable to comprehend ourselves as a threat to our own future existence? Could it be that this is the reason our response to our desecration of the planet and its biosphere is[Read More…]

Poor Indians turning guinea pigs for greedy pharmaceutical firms

Poor Indians turning guinea pigs for greedy pharmaceutical firms

“ A Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) used dignified language to explain the criminality of an American company and support to it by corrupt Indian officials. “They are murders. But we call ‘deaths’ before enquiry and ‘killings’ in conclusion.  Most surprising is we do not even give exact number of children killed, we simply say some deaths. This is trivialisation of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Modi pushes for Bullet Train while Infrastructure rots in Mumbai

Modi pushes for Bullet Train while Infrastructure rots in Mumbai

The famed Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz once wrote about the plight of ordinary people who must walk, eyes lowered, the body crouched in fear due to the onslaught of dictatorship(.nisaar mai.n terii galiyo.n ke ae watan is the opening line of the original poem). Faiz wrote in a different context but people in Mumbai now walk with more dread[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Front Page of the Star Ledger

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Front Page of the Star Ledger

Although I usually spend at least an hour every day reading the news, it has been years since I have held a newspaper in my hands.  But my son-in-law Emile, and his father, my friend Henry LaFargue, like to sit and “read the newspapers.”   They are stacked up on the kitchen table:  The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Where are the nurses in the HIV response?

Where are the nurses in the HIV response?

(CNS): Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, nurses have been at the forefront of the response to this once fatal infection. The nurse is involved at every stage of the trajectory of a person living with HIV—from usually being the first to counsel the newly diagnosed person, to one of the last to be with him/her at the point[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An American Babushka in Moscow: Babette as Sisyphus

An American Babushka in Moscow: Babette as Sisyphus

I come awake to the rattle snake sound of the cicadas, nuanced, orchestrated, ebbing and flowing on the air; the buzz of lawnmowers, the swish of tires puckering up from the tarmac.The dog barking in the yard completes the suburban symphony that plays daily in the well to do communities of Northern New Jersey. I have been here two weeks,[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: Home Sweet Soviet Home

An American Babushka in Moscow: Home Sweet Soviet Home

It is not the case that we can live long in places without them becoming part of us and we becoming part of them. I am not here talking about countries or cities, but the quarters in which we live and to which we return daily to satisfy our most basic needs. Our spaces shape our thoughts and feelings, and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
When Karl Marx Fails: Discourse on Class and Caste Politics in India

When Karl Marx Fails: Discourse on Class and Caste Politics in India

There is a long standing debate as to whether Marxism played any role in the Dalit’s struggle for social emancipation and justice. The debate is characterized by two currents of thoughts one favours, advocates and project the communist system as an ideal landscape for the social emancipation and freedom of Dalits and another takes a view of communism as an[Read More…]

The Philosophical Discourse on ‘Death’

The Philosophical Discourse on ‘Death’

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet. Let it not be a death but completeness. Let love melt into memory and pain into songs. Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest. Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night. Stand[Read More…]

The Sexual Passion of Winston Smith

The Sexual Passion of Winston Smith

“Christianity gave Eros poison to drink; he did not die of it, certainly, but degenerated to Vice.”     – Frederick Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil “Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little[Read More…]

Reality Versus Fantasy

Reality Versus Fantasy

I saw this image and started laughing while also feeling somber. I shared the cartoon with a friend of mine and he sees several problems in relation to it. The first is that humans do not like reality. We do not like our mortality (the fact that we will die) and we do not like having no or little control[Read More…]

Higher Education:The New Education Policy and the new challenges

Higher Education:The New Education Policy and the new challenges

The summary   The new educational policy and proposed reforms like CBCS, RUSA, Central Universities’ Act are steps towards conformity of the WTO demands commoditization, liberalization and privatization of education on the so-called developing countries and the least developed countries. It is to be noted that the WTO representing the interests of the imperialist global capital, has included education in GATTS[Read More…]

Lenin and the Myths –a ‘Tajik’ tale

Lenin and the Myths –a ‘Tajik’ tale

Those were the years that followed the Bolshevik Revolution. Tales of Lenin was spreading faster than the Soviet itself was. Historians given to anti-Communist propaganda have since kept on insisting that the USSR was formed by military force – by warfare unleashed by the Red Army. However, tales, anecdotes and narratives that speak to the contrary could not in entirety[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: You Can’t go Home Again

An American Babushka in Moscow: You Can’t go Home Again

It should come as no surprise to me, but it does, that after decades of studying the thinking of the ancient Greeks, I have begun to think like them. In saying this I am not merely speaking of their philosophy but also in reference to their religious beliefs, which, no less than their philosophy, set great insights about Being before[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Indian Education- Suicide--Madura beats

Another Life Ended Raising Questions on ‘What is Education?’

Another suicide at the altar of so-called Education. The news report about a fortnight back shook one to the core – so much so that the tragedy stays in the mind all these days after the happening, knocking at the door of conscious thought every now and then. A young girl seeking admission to the M.Sc. (Chemistry) Course in Maharshi[Read More…]

De-jargoning the development discourse

De-jargoning the development discourse

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. -Lee Iacocca We live in an age where noisy posturing often substitutes reasoned debate and brash opinion trumps hard facts. The thread of logic often disappears in a blizzard of gee-whiz statistics, acronyms and catchphrases that are liberally sprinkled by our contemporary[Read More…]

Sports women with a difference – women’s football

Sports women with a difference – women’s football

With the euphoria of men’s football world cup drawing to a close, there has been little discussion on ‘womens’ football’ . Sports like cricket, football or hockey are primarily dominated by men. The tournaments and world cup matches played by men are sponsored, telecast and viewed regularly while women playing these sports are rarely telecast due to less viewing and[Read More…]

On Being Privileged

On Being Privileged

I had an opportunity a few months ago of being told I was privileged and was a “nasty” person in terms of many of my attitudes. I found that rather shocking for a number of reasons. The first is that since age five, I have worked my heart out — worked like a dervish perfecting dedicated swirls to be faster[Read More…]

Revisiting English literature: A Forgotten Love Affair

Revisiting English literature: A Forgotten Love Affair

Languages bear artillery of influences—they may comfort, stir, and immiserate, build perceptions, fortify beliefs, demolish conventions, entertain and educate. They can provide escape velocity to a whole new space or isolate and even cause the whole world come crashing down to the confines of one’s mental doldrums. Books, for most part are the windows to the arena of languages. They[Read More…]

It’s time for a moral revolution

It’s time for a moral revolution

  What would it take for America to become a moral society? We think it will take a revolution. The day before he was assassinated, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered what is now known as the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address to the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. He said, Let us rise up tonight with a[Read More…]

Starving and Bombed Children of Yemen Seek Entrapment in Flooded Thai Cave

Starving and Bombed Children of Yemen Seek Entrapment in Flooded Thai Cave

While the world watched and waited with bated breath for the outcome of the substantial global effort – involving over 100 cave divers from various countries, 1,000 members of the Thai Army and 10,000 others in various roles – to rescue a team of 12 young football players and their coach, who were trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Labor History Happened Here—And Why It Matters

Labor History Happened Here—And Why It Matters

Bill Hohlfeld, LaborPress’s resident historian and educator, started out as an ironworker. He describes labor history as “literally, our story. It’s the chronicle of our ancestors.” Gotta know your labor history… It tells us who the farm girls were who went to work in the textile mills of New England; or the cigar workers of New York, who read the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Training The Children When They’re Young

Training The Children When They’re Young

 One of my favorite books of all times is one compiled by this person.  And you can buy it, too. For example. I bought it for a friend of mine in India out of Amazon.in. You can get it, too. World Tales : The Extraordinary Coincidence of Stories Told in All Times, in All Places Jun 1, 1991 by Idries[Read More…]

The Good and Bad About Mumbai and Bangalore

The Good and Bad About Mumbai and Bangalore

  After walking on Bangalore’s or Benguluru’s fashionable M.G. road earlier this week I casually hopped into a bus at Anil Kumble circle named after the former Indian cricket captain. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fare was only Rs. 5 for Shivaji Nagar bus station. A distance of a little less than a km. but still the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An American Babushka in Moscow:  Why Are You Here?

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Why Are You Here?

Sooner or later- sooner if they are rude and later if they are polite enough to wait until we have developed a relationship that would allow them to ask a personal question, Russians  will inevitably ask  “Why are you here?”  Some in a tone of suspicion or contempt,  will ask me as if they were throwing down a gauntlet  The[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Marx in Bangladesh

Marx in Bangladesh

Marx was not aloof in the Bangladesh socio-economic-ideological-political reality. Incessant class struggle in the society along with development of ideas cropping up in the soil of class conflict was a home for Marx, the scientist-theoretician of the revolutionary proletariat. The society’s antagonistic classes compelled him to play a role in defining goals of the society, of the exploited in the[Read More…]

An Immigrant’s Tale: The blood of the Tatars

An Immigrant’s Tale: The blood of the Tatars

They are the sources of the paced slivers of sound played across seasons, sounds I awaken to, sounds that inform my days, Their sounds, although varying in tone and intensity, are always paced, steady, sure. This summer morning it is the soft swish of small tree branches, cut and tied to a wooden pole. There has been a storm in[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The crowd in Metro Moscow

An American Babushka in Moscow: An immigrant’s tale

If James Joyce’s The Dubliners are stories about people who cannot escape their unhappiness, and Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools is about those who believe that they will find happiness when they arrive at their destinations, this story is about immigrants to Russia who once believed that when they arrived here they would find love, money or adventure. Instead,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Relationships in the time of Social Media

Relationships in the time of Social Media

Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words. ‒ Rumi Perhaps the truth is this: at the deepest level, human bonding is a conscious, unremitting labour of love, the soliloquy of a disjointed soul seeking its mirror amidst other equally flawed, unquantifiable souls. The firgun of connecting to a kindred soul,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Darker side of private hospitals

Darker side of private hospitals

( “ If a heart patient knows the actual cost of the cardiac stent, he will realise how much the hospital looted him. He should be strong enough to withstand the shock.  We don’t know how many suffered heart attack after knowing this exploitation. One small lawyer has to fight against this injustice. Where are the great doctors? Don’t they[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)

Family Of Man?

I frequently write about global politics following an interest in US foreign policy as it tends to strive towards global hegemony by one means or another. Included in that are commentaries on Canada, my home country, and how we run double standards at home and abroad as willing followers of those same policies. This commentary is a departure from that.[Read More…]

Karl Marx In Bihar At 200

Karl Marx In Bihar At 200

Quotes from Karl Marx’s works reverberated in the unprecedented 5-day long conference organized by the Asian Development and Research Institute (ADRI), participated by the delegates from 18 countries across the 5 oceans, held in Patna, the capital of Bihar that has witnessed many revolutionary and counter revolutionary movements and uprisings. Gist and the central message of the conference in one[Read More…]

Relationships: Strength or Weakness?

Relationships: Strength or Weakness?

I write not with expectations, because expectations are meant to be shattered, just like promises are meant to be broken. Nevertheless, my intention is to stir some thoughts of yours. This might be one of the weird thoughts you would have ever come across, and, I wonder if anybody else had thought or would think this way… Why we are