Browsing articles tagged with " Culture "

‘The authorities in New York are discovering what Egypt also learned — that it’s not as easy to regulate or arrest journalists when everyone is a journalist. But while that may make our lives a little more complicated, it is fundamentally a good thing for society,’ writes Mathew Ingram in his post ‘ What happens when journalism is everywhere.

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Kallenbach Letters – What if Gandhi was Gay?

MY DEAR FRIEND,

I feel like crying out to you ‘Do come  and  help  me!’  Mrs. Gandhi is again down with her swellings. She has lost all power of resistance. She weeps like a child, is ever angry with me as if I was the party responsible for her swellings. I am over head and ears in work. This  institution  costs  me  much  trouble.  I  wish  I  had  the  time  to describe to you the troubles I am passing through. I am not dejected but I feel lonely. You know what I mean. Heaven knows what will happen. There are so many sick people on the Farm. I want hours of solitude and have not a minute of it. Do ‘buck up’ and prepare for the struggle of the spirit when you are able to come here.

I know nothing about some honour  that has been  conferred upon me. I have just received a letter of congratulations. More in my next.

With love,

OLD FRIEND

From the original: Gandhi-Kallenbach Correspondence. Courtesy: National Archives of India

India Government has bought the whole collection of mementos, documents and letters between Hermann Kallenbach and M.K.Gandhi from Sotheby’s in a private deal at $ 1.28 Million fueling  speculation of an attempt to keep the private relationship of nation’s father-head secret, which some say, was homosexual or homoerotic.

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Eradicate Excess Wealth alongside Poverty

The world leaders will discuss sustainable development, the bedrock of 1992 Rio vision this June in Rio+20. A greater political convergence is urged by the UN for the matter because the ‘needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ has not gained much traction since the 1992 conference – largely because countries continued to equate development with economic growth, and sustainable development languished as a fringe environmental concern. Twenty years after Rio 1992, “sustainable development remains a generally agreed concept, rather than a day-to-day, on-the-ground, practical reality,” says a report by the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability.

May be Millennium Development Goals were set up prematurely, too? Read more >>

Why a Doughnut Now?

Kate Raworth Photo : IISD http://www.iisd.ca/

Kate Raworth is a Senior Researcher of Oxfam Great Britain. In a recent discussion paper she has proposed a metaphorical doughnut as a safe and just space for humanity to thrive (Full discussion paper can be downloaded here ). ‘Can we live within the doughnut?’ Kate asks, presenting a visual framework – shaped like a doughnut – which brings the concept of planetary boundaries together with the complementary concept of social boundaries, creating a safe and just space between the two, in which humanity can thrive.

​Kate argues primarily from the perspective of social equity and the foreword of her discussion paper says, ‘ Humanity’s challenge in the 21st century is to eradicate poverty and achieve a prosperity for all within the means of the planet’s limited natural resources. In the run-up to Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, this Discussion Paper is an exploration of what such a model of prosperity might look like.’ It also says, ‘ Moving into this safe and just space demands far greater equity – within and between countries – in the use of natural resources, and far greater efficiency in transforming those resources to meet human needs.’ Read more >>

Love the Country, Can’t Stand the Scene

I don’t really know why I am writing this.

I drove roughly two hours today seeking a tea stall where I can have a cup of sweet and hot tea, deshi style, to enjoy the drizzle and the much waited rains after a week of stifling heat of Kolkata April.

My city mates might be frowning by now. Driving two hours looking for a tea stall? Well, in Kolkata every block has two of them. Read more >>

Wayside Story

The News

Men have always been the ones who are supposedly genetically and psychologically geared for a no-strings-attached sex life. And there’s a reason why ‘getting lucky’ is usually something a guy boasts about in the locker room. But things are changing and today’s Indian woman is slowly moving away from the ‘touch me not’ syndrome, where even if she did indulge in a physical relationship, she had to assuage the ‘guilt’ by assuring herself that the man in her life was there for keeps. “Now, sex is not taboo anymore. Everyone’s indulging in it. In this scenario, young girls, too, are talking about sex and initiating casual encounters quite unabashedly,” notes Mumbai social psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. Read more >>

Womb For Hire

Approximate Surrogacy Cycle Cost at a reputed hospital in India is about US $ 22 to 35k. Add IVF/ICSI cost of about US $ 2 to 3k, you can have a child through a surrogate in under US $ 40k. That’s an attractive package because the same cost in US is 50 to 100k. Commercial Surrogacy is not illegal in India. That and a reasonably efficient medical technology (at least for those who can afford it) at a globally competitive price makes India a popular destination for fertility tourism . For example check Med Tourism Co, LLC, an international medical travel facilitation company registered in the State of Texas from their website here . Read more >>

Consumption Ethics – A Utopia?

As questions are coming up increasingly regarding the constraints of Growth in a world of finite resources, there should now be some ethical limits of personal consumption. The consumer economy feeds on popular demand, sometimes the demand seems to be ‘manufactured’ (bottled water industry) and incredible choice of consumption that encourages one to consume without almost no sense of reasonability. In the past, I had a brief stint with TED Conversations and I pitched this idea to see what reaction it could possibly bring. There were not many reactions, everyone who chose not to challenge the idea preferred to circumvent the crux of the issue – a voluntary resignation from the consumer race. Perhaps the most honest sounding comment came from Simona Stoicesescu (yes I am not misspelling the last name) where she asked: ‘Why cannot everybody be wealthy? It is not limited stock. We are creating value. Wealth can be used to create jobs for people, meaning, chances for discoveries, solutions for bigger problems, wealth is good.’ While I disagreed with Simona, I would complement her with honest engagement with the question, though the connotations of wealth she was using was very different from what I was putting on debate. Another TEDster, Anshul Pandey discarded my idea (of a consumption ethic) as ‘Utopian’. Read more >>

Calcutta Cacophony

A couple of years ago, my mother, then aged 74, was recuperating from an attack of hyper-tension, which was diagnosed as having some neurotic condition. She was frail, with an ischemic heart and even a loud sound would set her heart pounding. One morning, at about 9.30, a loud and screeching sound started to tear apart the relative tranquil of our neighborhood. The sound was painful to normal ears and for my mother it was harmful to say the least. As I went out to check the source, it revealed that some telephone company was digging a trench for a cable on the sidewalk close to my residence. Up close, the noise was tremendous and I saw the technicians using ear mufflers for protection. When I asked them what they thought the local residents would to get relief from such atrocity, typical indifferent replies followed. Typical because Kolkata is an indifferent city where creating noise is the order of the day. Read more >>

Don’t Flush It in Leh

Do you guys remember the school in Leh where Fungchook Wangdoo went back to – in the popular movie ’3 Idiots’ by Amir Khan? I am talking about the Druk Padma Karpo School where the movie was partly shot and the school that was devastated in the 2010 cloud burst. I guess you remember, but in case you don’t here is a . Read more >>

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