Showing posts from 2022

After the Truth Shower

Dear Readers Thank you for reading my blog for the past eleven years. (This is a link to the new one) During this time it has had nearly 1.7 million hits; and I have posted over 9500 posts covering a variety of themes. From July 11 to 19, 2022, my blog was withdrawn by the Blogger administration on account of what its machinery suspected to be 'Impersonation'. It took over a week and the efforts of several well-wishers to get it back online I thank them all for their kindness and goodwill  My blog has always been - and remains - non-commercial. I have used it for academic purposes; and to foster a culture of debate and informed commentary in civil society. Because it contains a large amount of material gathered and collated for over a decade, I cannot afford to lose its contents. I hope it will remain undisturbed now and function as an archive. However, I have decided to use a new blog on WordPress as a platform for my newest comments and posts The new blog is titled After the

Chandan Gowda: India 2047

Politics sits on people’s minds as lightly as a jasmine flower. Things couldn’t be otherwise: trustworthy and sensitive individuals are in charge of the state; they run the government in ways that don’t disturb the lives of the people. Since only the most virtuous are in political life, every political party is filled with good people who have a great love for the country and a deep understanding of its realities. It is therefore tough to tell one party from the other. Indeed, opposition parties exist since the people wish to ensure that the ruling party gets a break after having selflessly attended to the work of government for a full term. And, for its part, a ruling party looks forward to sharing the opportunity to serve the people with another party. Although parties take turns at running the government, they work together at all times. All cards are on the table and the government doesn’t take a step without the legislators from all parties walking along with them. As a happy con

Simon Jenkins: In Taiwan, as in Ukraine, the west is flirting with disaster

NB : The flag of 'freedom and democracy' is wearing a bit thin on Western shoulders. The list of criminal interventions on other countries + nuclear tests in the Pacific + war crimes is very long indeed. Vietnam (1963-75); Iran (1953); Bikini atoll and Marina islands; Chile (1973), Argentina (support of military dictators); wars in Iraq; long standing support for the apartheid regime in South Africa; support for Yahya Khans military genocide in Bangladesh (East Pakistan, 1970-71); the assassination of Mujibur Rehman - these a re just a few of the prominent examples. And their permanent alliance with the brutal Saudi Arabian regime shows that democracy is not exactly on top of their diplomatic agenda. As to the CIA involvement in the global heroin trade , the less said the better. Maybe the freedom to die of heroin addiction is included in the western list of liberties Meanwhile the totalitarian disdain for justice, human rights and truth has been exemplified by the Soviet (and

Military spending fueling environmental destruction in Ukraine

Just one bomb releases a slew of toxic heavy metals into Ukraine’s soil and groundwater. Now multiply this by thousands. In the U.S., proponents supporting military expansion and increasing defense spending have prevailed despite the more pressing need to divert all available resources to fight the impending disaster being faced by humanity: climate change. While ignoring the climate disaster, the U.S. is not only spending to boast its own military powers but also providing Ukraine with weapons and other aid in its ongoing conflict with Russia. With the war in Ukraine raging on, the U.S. Senate voted 86 to 11 in May and gave its approval to President Joe Biden’s massive additional aid package of $40 billion to help Ukraine on top of the nearly $14 billion authorized just two months prior. This total financial aid package for Ukraine of around $54 billion is now almost as large or larger than the entire 2021 defense budgets of several countries: France’s military budget was $56.6 bil

Nandini Sundar speaks about protest, dissent, and the struggle for justice in India (audio-visual)

An “in conversation” event with Nandini Sundar, Professor of sociology at the Delhi School of Economics. Topics covered will include recent protest movements, arrests of academics, journalists and activists, and the future of dissent in India. Introduction: Dr Gerald Roche, Senior Research Fellow, La Trobe Asia Speakers: Professor Nandini Sundar, Sociology, Delhi School of Economics Dr Ian Woolford, Hindi Studies, La Trobe University Protest, Dissent, and the Struggle for Justice in India | La Trobe Asia

Hindi Writers Slam Police Complaint Against Author Geetanjali Shree / For the first time ever, a book written in an Indian language has won the prestigious Booker Prize

NB: The game is quite easy to understand, really. The Sangh Parivar and its allies wish to set themselves up as sole representative of Hindu 'sentiment'; and the sole interpreter of what Hinduism is. They dream of becoming the Head Quarters of Religious Truth for the Indian people. It is a replica of the harassment of Turkish author and Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk by the Erdogan government. And it is similar to the punishment of Boris Pasternak  by the Soviet government for writing Dr Zhivago . This is why they make threats when something outside their ideology (and beyond their comprehension appears); and this is why they use the police and state power to crush the freedom of the mind. This is why they campaigned against A.K. Ramanujan's The Three hundred Ramayanas, and this is why they will not rest until all thought in India has been subjugated by their ideology. They will not succeed. My warmest congratulations to Geetanjali Shree.   DS Several noted Hindi litterateu

John Gray: the nationalist philosopher stoking ‘culture wars’ fires. By Jon Bloomfield

There’s a battle under way at the heart of British politics and reactionaries are in the ascendancy. With the Brexit wind in their sails, when an issue of history or culture comes into prominence, they set the terms of the debate. Whether it is the singing of Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia on the closing night of the Proms; history teaching in schools; statues in public spaces: the Right has a consistent story to tell and they find plenty of places to say it. Whether it is tub-thumpers like Richard Littlejohn, Rod Liddle and Toby Young; opportunist academics like Matthew Goodwin and Eric Kaufman; or Etonian intellectuals like Douglas Murray and David Goodhart, they tell a common story about Britain’s proud past that is now being trashed by ‘metropolitan liberal elitists’ and the ‘woke’ mob who are threatening our ancient liberties. In response, progressives are allowing themselves to be distracted and pigeon-holed, ignoring the economic and social content of many women’s, ra

Akhtar Balouch: Why did Qurratulain Hyder leave Pakistan for India?

NB: Today we learn the sad news of Janab Akhtar Balouch's passing . I have not been able to find an obituary and am posting some of his writings as a tribute. This is the first article of his that I posted:  Daya Ram Gidumal of Sindh .  Here are some more , including a fascinating account of Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan's assassination  in October 1951. The piece below is of especial interest, given that we are now witness to literary censorship that India has never seen before. Rest in Peace Akhtar sb. You loved humanity irrespective of religion and nationality; yours was a heart of gold. DS Why did Qurratulain Hyder leave Pakistan for India? She departed this world in August 2007, but continues to live on in her fluid writings since then. After Partition, Qurratulain had migrated to Pakistan and lived here for a few years before deciding to return to India; eventually, she took up Indian citizenship. It was during her stay in Pakistan that she penned her masterpiece novel

Mark Zuckerberg is having a ‘Pearl Harbour’ moment. By John Naughton

The great thing about history is that it often repeats itself – though not necessarily as Marx envisaged it. Here’s a story about the tech industry that illustrates the point. Act one begins in the spring of 1993, when Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina released the first graphical browser for the emerging world wide web. They called it Mosaic and it was a runaway success because it was the thing that enabled ordinary people to understand what this internet thingy was for. In 1994,  Andreessen and Jim Clark set up a company that eventually became Netscape and in October that year released a new, improved browser called Netscape Navigator, which in three months had 75% of the nascent browser market. In August 1995, Netscape went public in a frenzied IPO that triggered the first internet boom. As their company thrived, Andreessen and co started to muse about an even brighter prospect. If web browsers really were the future, they reasoned, and since the operating system (OS) of a PC was effe

Gautam Bhatia - The Executive(’s) Court: Notes on the Legacy of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar

NB: To this excellent commentary on justice I will add a few lines from J.P. Stern's book, Hitler: The Fuhrer and the People (1992). They are taken from pages 113-114; a chapter called The Spirit of National Socialist Law: "National Socialist law is not, as in Dickens, 'an ass': that is, extravagant, purblind, and pompously remote from the true interests of the litigants and the community at large. It is the exercise of objective-seeming power in support of purely arbitrary and subjective decisions, its true character on no way hidden but emphasized by the mock-formality of its wordings. It is the law as it informs Franz Kafka's unfinished novel, The Trial (1914-15). 'Someone must have falsely denounced Josef K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning', runs its famous first sentence; and from this opening to Josef K.'s execution at the end, neither he nor anyone else in the novel ever asks the obvious question as to what

Chris Hedges: The Dawn of the Apocalypse

The past week has seen record-breaking heat waves across Europe. Wildfires have ripped through Spain, Portugal and France. London’s fire brigade experienced its busiest day since World War II. The U.K. saw its hottest day on record of 104.54 Fahrenheit. In China, more than a dozen cities issued the “highest possible heat warning” this weekend with over 900 million people in China enduring a scorching heat wave along with severe flooding and landslides across large swathes of southern China. Dozens of people have died. Millions of Chinese have been displaced. Economic losses run into the billions of yuan. Droughts, which have destroyed crops, killed livestock and forced many to flee their homes, are creating a potential famine in the Horn of Africa. More than 100 million people in the United States are under heat alerts in more than two dozen states from temperatures in the mid-to-upper 90s and low 100s. Wildfires have destroyed thousands of acres in California . More than 73 p