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Showing posts from August, 2023

Science fiction with social twist: Pressing button on Hiroshima day to save human race

By Rathin Das*  There was nothing unusual about Mitun's birthday bash. He turned 15 today, having born in the centenary year of mankind's first use of destructive power of the atom. His father had told him several times that exactly a hundred years before Mitun's birth, human race had tasted the essence of mega deaths by dropping the first atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That was the significance of the year 2045 A D when he was born. As the guests left one by one, he did not care about the mankind’s horrible deeds of a century before his birth. Instead, he concentrated on the packets left on the table by his near and dear ones, and even by those not so dear to him but befriended his father just to get their bills passed on time, if possible even before the contract work has started. All the birthday gifts were of routine nature. The same old ‘click-and-throw’ cameras, the micro recorders, the computronics game books, the lunar gravity suit or the Neptune gravity

Fostering dialogue amidst decline in public discourse civility, shrinking democratic space

By Sushant Kumar*  The people of India, and indeed much of the world, are living through deeply troubling times, marked by rising inequality, and declining social cohesion. There is a considerable decline in the civility of our public discourse and trust in democratic institutions. All these things, when put together, constitute a grave threat to our collective national vision of realizing our constitutional values, and most of all to the idea of fraternity. As an engaged citizen deeply concerned about declining civility and increasing polarization, I have often pondered what I can do to address this pressing issue. To find an answer to this dilemma, I turned to Dialogues on Democracy & Development (DoD), which has been instrumental in fostering civil discourse and bringing people together for meaningful conversations around democracy in India for the last one year. What can we do about it? - The Ineffectiveness of Social Media Venting: “Ohh, have you seen how India has fared on th

Sleeping with the enemy? Ethical behaviour talk amidst physician-pharma interface

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  In recent weeks a flutter was created around a gazette hastily released by the National Medical Commission (NMC) on the Code of Conduct by Registered Medical Practitioners of modern medicine.  Clause 35 of the Gazette notification, dated 02 Aug 2023 and published on 09 Aug 2023, which has been paused due to push back from many quarters, including the Indian Medical Association (IMA), looks at any alliance between registered medical practitioners of modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry with a jaundiced eye.

When China remained silent on execution of Salvador Allende, massacre in Sri Lanka

By Harsh Thakor  From August 24th-28th we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 10th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. It was a landmark event in the history of the World Communist movement in shimmering the banner of Marxism-Leninism or Mao Tse Tung Thought. It was ironically the last Congress when China upheld a Socialist path. Since the 1973 party Congress there has been no Congress of any Socialist state. It’s main characteristic was of highlighting the treachery of the path of Lin Biao,who staged a coup d’etat attempt in 1971. Significant, is that the 10th Congess took place amidst the turbulence created from the plot and death of Lin Biao, which created a deep void and when anti imperialist movements were sweeping the world at an unprecedented scale. Earlier in 1969 it was Lin Biao, who was chosen as Mao’s successor. The Congress report was formulated by Premier Zhou En Lai who analysed the demise caused by Lin Biao or the essence of his anti-proletarian character. He

Corporate-backed police 'repression' in South Odisha: Call to support agitating Adivasis

By Kavita Srivastava, V Suresh*  In the wake of World Indigenous Day on 9th August, when local Adivasi and Dalit communities of the mountainous, bauxite-rich region of South Odisha, particularly, parts of undivided Koraput and Kalahandi districts, were getting ready for the celebration to assert their rights over sacred land and mountains, the Odisha police have unleashed severe repression by resorting to mid-night raids, abductions, illegal detentions, physical assault and incarceration as part of the road clearing operation for companies to loot bauxite reserves. 

Hundreds of women safai karmacharis take part in #StopKillingUs campaign in Delhi

By Bezwada Wilson*  Hundreds of women safai karmacharis gathered at the Jantar Mantar on August 28 in order expose the lies of the government about sewer and septic tank deaths at the Safai Karmachari Andolan’s (SKA's) 475th day of #StopKillingUs campaign.

Himalayan disasters: ISRO working on moon; it's time to see what's happening on earth

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  #ISRO is working on moon but it is time to look what is happening on the earth, the only planet so far where we can live and enjoy life so far. Important to protect it even if we find some chances or possibilities of living on other planet nothing will be better than earth. Let us  seriously look at the policies of our governments for the #himalayan regions such as #uttarakhand and #himachalpradesh which are facing the brutal assault due to heavy rains and landslide. This year has proved to be disastrous for both these states as loss of lives, livelihood at unprecedented scale has happened in both Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Ofcourse, Himachal Pradesh has faced the worst but things in Uttarakhand too are extremely worrying and dangerous.  One must appreciate the Himachal Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh continuously leading from the front., visiting places, meeting people without the VIP fuss which is visible elsewhere. Many of the state governments have s

Abetting bauxite miners? Plain clothed motor bikers 'pick up' protesters with cop help

By Golak Bihari Nath, Deba Ranjan*  We, on behalf of Ganatantrik Adhikar Suraksha Sangathan, Odisha, strongly condemn the ongoing state repression in various proposed mining areas of south Odisha for last three weeks. On August 23, 2023, two office-bearers of the Mali Parvat Suraksha Samiti, Koraput, Abhi Sodi and Das Khara were picked up by plain clothed motor-bikers.

Will mission moon help India leverage its diplomacy as an influential power-player?

By Sudhanshu Tripathi*  The successful moon landing has made the incredible possible for India. The country has indeed jumped towards a higher orbit of influence and power among global community of sovereign nations. While this rare achievement will in likelihood transform into the country’s increasing cooperation with other space-exploring national agencies in the world, it shall also result into massive economic gains with considerable socio-political prestige of India accompanied by robust boost to the likely prospects of its likely emerging new carved-out of Moon Diplomacy. Despite being a scientific and technological success in the field of space exploration, the totality of results to calculate in terms of addition to national power for the country is perhaps beyond one’s general perception. Notwithstanding the positive fruitful gains, the accomplishment may possibly witness few adverse consequences due to long-recurring hostile attitudes maintained by China and Pakistan against

Adivasi protest follows Madhya Pradesh tribal rights leader's arrest in a 'false' case

By Antaram Awase, et al*  In the continuing assault on the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), on August 28, Nitin, an activist of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, was arrested after being implicated in a false case. This is the latest in a series of attacks by Madhya Pradesh government against JADS over the past few months when in addition to campaigning for forest rights and they started protesting against state connivance in massive deforestation in Burhanpur district .

How NGO's 'sustained work' has brought hope to weaker section villagers of Bundelkhand

By Bharat Dogra*   In times of climate change and adverse weather conditions, rural livelihoods come under increasing strain and there is increasing need   for efforts which can protect sustainable livelihoods, particularly in the context of small and marginal famers and other weaker sections. In Bundelkhand region of Central India the work of Arunodaya Sansthaan (AS), a voluntary organization, has consistently lived up to this role. 

Confronting old state, New Peoples Army in Philippines unable to stage strategic offensive

By Harsh Thakor  In recent weeks a series of different actions have been undertaken by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of Philippines to consolidate the People’s War, in Phillipines. They have heroically retaliated the neo-fascist armed offensive terrorising even civilians, creating tremors in the camp of the enemy and boosted people’s striking capacity. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) congratulated the units of the New People’s Army (NPA) which staged tactical offensives on the islands of Negros and Masbate over the past few days retaliating the mortal attacks on the peasant masses perpetrated by the military and police forces of the Marcos fascist regime. In the most of escalated attacks and abuses carried out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) against the broad masses, especially in the countryside, it is imperative for the NPA to undertake armed struggle to defend the rights of the peo

Global NGO begins training counsellors of trauma-ridden Rohingiyas in Bangladesh

By Abigail Van Neely*  A Rohingya woman tells a forum of peer counselors the story of her divorce. A survivor of domestic abuse, she has started a new life alone with her daughter. She has weathered a storm of neighbors telling her she was the problem. Now, she provides the support she didn’t have to other women like her.

Relations with India: Some quarters wrongly criticizing Bangladesh for being China-tilting

By Prithwi Raj Chaturvedi*  Bangladesh and India have a unique relationship not only due to their geographical proximity but also because of their same socioeconomic background, shared history, and common culture. The Liberation War in 1971 also resulted in the formation of a blood connection between the two countries, a phenomenon that is noteworthy for its rarity. Since then, both countries have maintained a long and productive diplomatic relationship in the areas of politics, culture, trade, and business. Bangladesh plays a significant role in India's Neighborhood First policy. Delhi under Narendra Modi has always supported its dependable friend, Bangladesh, whether it was prioritizing COVID vaccination delivery or arranging an evacuation of Bangladeshis trapped in the Russia-Ukraine war. Similar to this, Bangladesh, under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, has won Indian hearts by addressing all of their concerns, from connectivity to security. Indian nationals have expressed con

Why eyebrows were raised on Modi meeting Xi during Johannesburg BRICS summit

By NS Venkataraman*  With the United Nations Organisation steadily losing it’s relevance and no more enjoying the confidence of the world community that it can ensure world peace and international cooperation there is widespread view that UNO General Assembly is now only a discussion forum. 

Small Dalit farmers 'get into' highly diverse, mixed, creative farming in Buldelkhand

Pajan Lal with his wife Bhuniya By Bharat Dogra*    If you meet Komal Prasad Aharwar in passing in his village ( Teraih, in Talbehat block of Lalitpur district, Uttar Pradesh), you may well ignore him as any other ordinary villager, but once you speak to him at length about his livelihood, you are likely to be highly impressed by the recent initiatives of this Dalit farmer.

Democracy isn't just a concept but a living, breathing dialogue that shapes our society

By Niharika Negi*  "Democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people" – a phrase that once held little meaning for me, until I embarked on a transformative five-day workshop at the School of Politics. This immersive experience, hosted by Dialogues on Democracy and Development in collaboration with Azim Premji University and the Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC) in Bangalore, redefined my perspectives on democracy, development, the role of the state, and my responsibility as a citizen. At the heart of this enlightening workshop was Dialogues on Democracy and Development, a visionary group founded by Anjor Bhaskar and Sushant Kumar. Their mission is to foster discussions around the foundational values of democracy, recognizing that diverse interpretations and applications of these values often lead to conflicts and polarization. With a focus on principles like Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Democracy, Environment, and Sustainability, the group aims to