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Showing posts from November, 2015

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State and Violence

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A layman’s perspective on the state’s monopoly of violence, its inclination to employ military approach in solving political problems and the consequences with reference to Manipur


You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

How do we get our nationality? In political science, we acquire it through two main ways: jus soli or jus sanguinis. By jus soli, we obtain a nationality through our birth; and by jus sanguinis, we obtain it from our parents belonging to a specific country. There are some other ways as well including naturalisation, marriage to a person of a particular nationality and special categories as in granting citizenship for those persons who are born from an assisted reproductive technology.

We are the subject of a nation; it is like our destiny and generally we become one by default through citizenship. So, an artificial label of nationality ca…

10 Causes of Poverty and Remedies Through Sustainable Development

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FROM THE SERIES ON RADICAL DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION INITIATIVE

Nearly 21,000 people die every day from hunger. The figure is equivalent to one person dying every four seconds; the majority of them are children. That’s the estimate from surveys conducted by the United Nations. The bottom of the pyramid (refer to the Industrial Workers of the World poster), which occupies the lowest and poorest level, is the largest socio-economic group across the world.




Text source of SDGs and 17-goal image icons   United Nations Development Programme
http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/mdgoverview/post-2015-development-agenda.html
‘The 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or Global Goals, replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which in September 2000 rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle the indignity of poverty.’


With Love, To Paris

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‘France’ fries

‘Tragic’ is the least we can say about the violence in France on the last Friday the 13th. Considering the patterns of coordinated attacks, arising from Mumbai 2008 and the Friday’s mayhem, in which extremists are choosing public places for their plans, it is a real cause for concern.

A news report in a day before yesterday’s New York Times screamed: After Paris Attacks, a Darker Mood Toward Islam Emerges in France. A civilisational contest is going on between the adherents of Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ. Even the gods must be fed up of religions. While the Western Christians who draws their ideas from imperial thoughts are active in exploiting the resources, which are found abundantly in the Muslim stronghold areas, the Muslim radicals are proactive in unleashing terror in resistance and the whole vicious cycle of violence continues.

The New York Times report elaborated: ‘Unlike the response in January after attacks at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and e…

Cash of the Jitters

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How do we look at the rich and poor people? Or specifically, why are people worried about a one-off incident in Paris while we have not heard a single voice against the daily killing of hundreds of people, including infants, in and around West Asia? This is not to demean the tragedy in the City of Light but there has been an ugly trend.

Three centuries ago, David Hume wrote that we respect people now and then, not for their personal traits and qualities, but simply for their wealth and power. It stands true today as evident from people using an image overlay of the French flag on their Facebook profile photos. Over our photos, none of us would like to use the transparent flags of Somalia or Syria. (Sidenote: Nearly 500,000 have died in Somalia since 1991, according to Necrometrics. In Syria, the ongoing civil war had claimed almost 191,000 lives between March 2011 and April 2014, according to a UN figure).

The first gut feeling is we have different attitude towards rich and poor peop…

Mum’s Not the Word

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FROM THE SERIES ON RADICAL DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION INITIATIVE 

A thought on the western-centric view of the world and the contemporary narratives of economics and neocolonialism 

History and historical geography as it is taught, written, and thought by Europeans today, lies, as it were, in a tunnel of time. The walls of this tunnel are, figuratively, the spatial boundaries of Greater Europe. History is a matter of looking back or down in this European tunnel of time and trying to decide what happened where, when, and why....Non-Europe (Africa, Asia east of the Bible Lands, Latin America, Oceania) receive significant notice only as the venue of European colonial activities, and most of what was said about this region was essentially the history of empire.
— JM Blaut, The Colonizer's Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History
Postmodernism has brought about a sweeping change in how we understand the world. In the good and the bad olden days what we saw wa…

keep refrigerated and serve chilled

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be as cold as
an unclaimed body in the mortuary
out in the field
like an abandoned beaten-to-death body
and they would say,
keep refrigerated and serve chilled to the guests
and the other
they strike back soon:
la vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid
madness galore;
the reasonable men get ready for the guns
and bombs and foot soldiers and fighter planes and all



The Story of Laughter

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A not-so-funny recollection of laughter and humour


When was the last time you laugh so hard that your gut hurts? That kind of ache is what Bob Marley would say about music—when it hits you, you feel no pain. Above all, who would not want to laugh like that, like an ass once in a while?

One of my friends, her brother told her if they open her head, they will see four asses standing in there; obviously because she is so smart. I got hiccups laughing over it.

If you believe in Darwin, imagine the first animal that had giggled and cackled for the first time: it could have been anyone, a Neanderthal boy who just saw a couple of asses having sex near his cave, making those piercing sexy-assy sounds; or it could have been a Peking girl who found out tickling is literally rib-tickling. It could have been anyone though evolutionary scientists believe Homo ergaster had arrived two million years earlier than Homo neanderthalensis (the Neanderthal boy’s relatives) but you get my point. 

Exper…

‘Nungairol’: the Religion of Happiness

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We’re all golden sunflowers inside.
―ALLEN GINSBERG Sunflower Sutra







What is your idea of happiness? Its notion is as many as the people defining it, but it is not a matter of quantity. Some folks would even say that vegetarianism makes us happier; others say it is free from the mundane activities of our life. In today’s world we are also seeing newer trends like the birth of Gross National Happiness and the conceptualisation of happiness hypothesis. None of these is, however, related to real happiness that is ultimate and has no predecessor or successor. It is neither left nor right, up nor down, east nor west—it exists independent of our existence.


What Makes a Rich Country Rich and a Poor Country Poor?

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BRIEF NOTES FROM FIVE SEMINAL BOOKS ON THE TOPIC
(Arranged according to the years of book publication)

FEATURING

① Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu  & James Robinson  ② Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond ③ IQ and the Wealth of Nations by Richard Lynn & Tatu Vanhanen ④ The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly ⑤ The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor by David Landes




Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty 

DARON ACEMOGLU & JAMES ROBINSON

Economist Daron Acemoglu and political scientist James Robinson bank on ideas from development economics, economic history and institutional to explain the phenomenon of different nations amassing power and prosperity while others falling short, some of them terribly. The authors’ contention is that the contemporary accounts on factors such a…

What Is the Perfect Age to Die?

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A THOUGHT ON LIVING, DYING AND IMMORTALITY

I Wish to Leave the World

I wish to leave the world
By its natural door;
In my tomb of green leaves
They are to carry me to die.
Do not put me in the dark
To die like a traitor;
I am good, and like a good thing
I will die with my face to the sun
— JOSÉ MARTÍ
(Text source: All Poetry, http://allpoetry.com)
Rock ‘n’ roll fans would scream 27 it is, but methinks the number is too less for ordinary mortals like us. Perhaps, Janis Joplin ((1943–1970) wanted to live as long as the French lady, Jeanne Louise Calment (1875–1997), who died at the ripe age of 122 years and 164 days. From archive records on life expectancy, Calment is also ‘the oldest person in history whose age is verified by modern documentation’. She was already 95 when Janis passed away soaring on a cocktail of heroin and alcohol. Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970), who knows, he might have dreamt about teaching tongue-licking-riffing the guitar to his kids after getting married and having a …