Showing posts from February, 2017

Anwesha Madhukalya - Hindus And Muslims Join Forces To Save A Mosque - A lesson in brotherhood from Gujarat

After communal riots broke out in Ahmedabad's Kalupur neighbourhood 30 years ago, the area's Muslim residents began to avoid the prayer hall located in the predominantly Hindu area. When riots broke out again after the demolition of Babri Masjid in December 1992, devotees stopped going to the mosque altogether. According to a report in the  Times Of India , the mosque, which is nearly 100 years old, is located near three temples. After it was abandoned, it fell into disrepair, with weeds and foliage taking over the prayer hall. However, in March 2016,  azaan  was heard from within the mosque for the first time in three decades. The communal riots of 2002, set forth an unlikely but not unprecedented chain of events. Residents near the mosque volunteered and came together to save the mosque. Hindus reached out to the Muslim community and people from both the communities set forth to protect and save the mosque. They cleared the vegetation and contributed resources for

LSR College English faculty backs their student

NB: Congratulations on your brave protest, Gurmehar, we are all with you. My late father too was an Army officer, who taught me to stand up for truth and justice. I am sure the spirit of your dear father is proud of you. Well done . Dilip Rituparna Chatterjee: What The Trolling Of Gurmehar Kaur Says About How Indian Men View Women With Opinion We, the faculty members of the English Department, Lady Shri Ram College unequivocally and strongly support our student Gurmehar Kaur and her right to express her opinion on issues that embroil our university. It is immensely gratifying to us as her teachers that she has responded sensitively, creatively and bravely to events in her immediate context rather than seek the safe refuge of silence. We feel that it is the bounden duty of educational institutions to nurture sensitive, responsive and critical thinking students without the fear of violent retaliation. We are proud that Gurmehar has fulfilled her duty as a young citizen of this co

How Trump Gets Away With Corruption By Jonathan Chait

One of the flaws in the design of the federal government is that, while the founders envisioned competing branches of government, unified party control of government can turn those branches into partners who do not check each other’s abuses. A second flaw is that Congress has a diffuse and often-confusing decision-making process that can make public accountability extremely difficult. Both problems come together in a new story that ought to be huge news but will instead be relegated to legislative arcana. Here is the story. The House of Representatives has refused to investigate either one of the two massive ongoing legal and ethical violations involving the Trump administration: President Trump’s opaque ties (financial and otherwise) to Russia, and his ongoing self-enrichment in office and  violations  of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. If the House won’t investigate, what happens next? Well, the next-best course of action would be some form of public debate on the matt

“Home” Does Not Equal “Citizenship” By Sara Shneiderman

Where is home? For any of us? What does it mean to belong? Since the executive order on immigration was signed, I’ve been haunted by a photograph taken by my great uncle David Seymour “Chim” in a Warsaw orphanage in 1948. In it,  Tereszka , a displaced child, draws a picture of “home.”  Tereszka’s eyes have been with me since I can remember, a reminder of the lucky circumstances of history that enabled my grandparents to build a new home in the US after arriving as Jewish refugees from Poland via France in 1940. Today her eyes bear a new incredulity. Conversations with diverse friends and students since the executive order on immigration was signed have revealed that our collective sense of home is shaken. Our individual reckoning with this unsettling historical moment may differ depending upon our personal constellation of citizenship and residence documentation (or lack thereof), religious affiliation, physical appearance and geo-social location. But Tereszka’s photo should re

State protected hooliganism in Ramjas College

NB: The violent attack upon a completely peaceful seminar at Ramjas College is unprecedented, not for the behaviour of the RSS affiliated student body, which is to be expected, given their long-standing attraction to violence and intimidation. It is unprecedented for the shameless impunity afforded them by the police, who allowed peaceful people to be assaulted with stones, a lady lecturer attacked and held under gherao for nearly 5 hours, with a chair being hurled at her, and numerous students and journalists manhandled, assaulted and abused. The police is duty bound and empowered to take action, including arrest, in the case of cognisable offences such as rioting and causing injury. They could have acted on the spot, instead of which they allowed the criminal activity to go on for hours, treating the miscreants smilingly like mischievous children. I Am A Professor. This Is How I Was Beaten Up At Ramjas A detailed account of the events is being prepared by the teachers, which I

Ulson Gunnar - How a Real War on Terrorism Would Look and Why the US Isn’t Fighting One

February 19, 2017 " Information Clearing House " - Since 2001, when then US President George Bush announced his “War on Terror,” presidents and politicians both in the United States and among America’s allies, have repeated this phrase and have done their utmost to convince the public that indeed, the West was fighting a “War on Terror.” Yet there is something disturbingly ambiguous about what exactly the “War on Terror” consists of, who it’s being waged against and how it could ever possibly be brought to a successful conclusion. It is also often referred to as the “Long War,” and for good reason. America’s ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is the longest armed conflict in US history. Additionally, US troops still find themselves in Iraq, some 14 years after the initial invasion and occupation of the state in 2003. Because of the ambiguous nature of the “War on Terror,” politicians have been given much room to maneuver their rhetoric, explaining why more wars must b

Saeed Kamali Dehghan - Global arms trade reaches highest point since cold war era

The global transfer of major weapons systems rose over the past five years to the highest volume since the end of the cold war as the Middle East nearly doubled its imports, according to an annual report on arms sales. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( SIPRI ) said on Monday that more weapons were delivered between 2012 and 2016 than any other five-year period since 1990. Saudi Arabia,  which leads a military intervention in Yemen  that has cost hundreds of civilian lives, was the world’s second largest importer after India, increasing its intake by 212%, mainly from the US and the UK.  Asia was the main recipient region in the world as India dwarfed regional rivals, China and  Pakistan , by accounting for 13% of the global imports. While India received most of its arms from Russia, the Saudis relied heavily on US arms. US and Russia together supplied more than half of all exports. China, France and Germany were also among the top five exporters.   “With no

Michelle Goldberg - The first month of the Trump presidency has been more cruel and destructive than the majority of Americans feared

Many in Trump’s America are facing material emergencies such as deportation or the loss of health insurance… Trump lies so much it’s as if he’s intentionally mocking the impotence of truth. He shamelessly profits off his office, reveling in our powerlessness to stop him. Right after Donald Trump was elected president, I interviewed Masha Gessen, the Russian dissident writer, for an essay I was thinking of calling “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Fascism.” The idea became obsolete when Gessen published her own superlative piece on the same theme, “ Autocracy: Rules for Survival .” But during the first surreal, harrowing, humiliating month of the Trump presidency, I’ve often thought back to that conversation, and particularly Gessen’s answer to one of my questions: How do you stay sane when a despicable man is in your head all the time? Basically, she told me, you don’t. Gessen’s family immigrated to the United States when she was a teenager, and she later returned to Russi

Yubaraj Ghimire - Nepal: A fragile peace

Every political actor and power centre seems to agree that the country needs to be rescued from the mess it is in. And each one has a cure ready, but for the others. No one seems willing to introspect. Narayankaji Shrestha, vice-chairman of the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre), met several Indian leaders in Delhi - Ram Madhav (BJP) to Sitaram Yechury (CPM) - last week to tell them that “Indian interference in Nepal’s internal politics must stop, and let Nepalis run their own politics”. In a way, he was blaming India for the prolonged transition towards a constitutional republic and most things - from politics to the economy - going wrong in Nepal. But he also subtly warned Indian “friends” that more political mess ups will bring the monarchy back. The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists, a splinter group of the Maoist movement, led by Netra Bikram Chand aka “Biplab” is currently holding its “secret national convention” in far-west Rolpa, which is likely to announce a “parallel” government