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‘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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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 >>

Limits To Growth And Beyond – Part II

Affluence is a relative term in societal contexts because in each society standards there are rich and poor. But there are few in the world, as many from North as from South, who are rich by any standard. Similarly, despite raised standard of living, there are under-privileged people in both the developed and developing nations, people who lack jobs, health security, education, food and home. And there are a large number of people under famine, malnutrition, water and sanitation stress and vulnerable to diseases and death. When world economy collapses and industrial output plummets down the curve, it is the most vulnerable section of humanity that receives the mortal blow first. But for now, the Limits to Growth are felt by the affluent societies of the developed world more than the developing world.

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Limits To Growth And Beyond – Part 1

In my post ‘ Darker side of growth ’ in European Journalism Centre I asked a question: In a pond if lotuses grow such that every next minute they double and if this minute the pond is half full, how long will it take for the lotuses to fill the pond?

While it sounded like a quiz to some, I intended to impress my readers about the scary aspect of exponential growth in any finite system. Such growth is certainly runaway and anything designed to grow in that manner is easily unsustainable. I cannot take Kenneth Boulding lightly. Meanwhile I found a more impressive audio visual way to carry the message home.

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A Truth Of Folly

Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.

Bhagavad Gita

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When Friedrich Max Muller (1823-1900), a Sanskritist at Oxford was speaking of Indians as “our elder brethren”, much to the displeasure of the colonial and missionary authorities who ruled India, he hardly knew his idea could spark off a meme that would, in a span of 100 years, challenge the Nehruvian ideal of a Secular Democracy for India. Many British administrators despised the dark-skinned natives, while Christian priests were horrified by their “idolatrous errors, senseless mummeries… and bloody barbarous sacrifices”. The popular belief of the West had been that the Colonial West represented a racial supremacy over the Indian people in the east but this belief drew strength from a much recent Christian world view and 200 year history of Industrial revolution.

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In The Name Of Governance

Admittedly, the social, environmental and developmental scenario in South Asian region leaves a lot to expect despite plethora of NGOs, International funding agencies and individual governments slogging hard. What emerges as a basic question from this tug-of-war is: who dictates the demands – the beneficiary or the donor? K.N. Vajpai shares his insight on the question.

Based on my understanding of various social and environmental developmental issues and processes in South Asia, I feel that the governance system in this region, in general, is going through a very critical phase. This has led to disrupted ecosystem and various social developmental issues. Read more >>

DispuTED?

May 23, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Featured , Reviews // 1 Comment

TED is a website owned by the Sapling Foundation, a nonprofit foundation.  It was established by Chris Anderson, who was a magazine publishing entrepreneur at the time TED was born. Running with a subtext ‘an idea worth spreading’ TED hosts talks and presentation of contributors from all walks of life. The talks are mostly brilliant, inspiring and thought provoking to say the least. If you have yet not checked the site here is the link . I have been following TED for couple of years now and watched the TED videos extensively and used a few within the premises of Creative Commons (CC) License. Though a bit elitist and beyond reach of people without enough resources to attend TED Conferences, TED talks are freely downloadable and very educative. Read more >>

Spontaneous Individuality: The way to get good things done

Jan 16, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Featured , Reviews // 1 Comment

Barry Schwartz is a treat to watch and listen. In a recent Ted talk he dissected the official dogma of conformist ‘stick and carrot’ approach to life’s challenges and spoke compellingly in favor of bringing in an element of practical wisdom in dealing with situations. He admits to belong to a strongly dissatisfied group of people which certainly includes his friend, colleague and co-author of the book ‘Practical Wisdom’, Ken Sharpe. The dissatisfaction is about the current state of affairs where we see stupendous failures in banking and investment sectors, education systems and judiciary. Every time there is a collapse we see new set of rules (read sticks) in place, more elaborate and fine tuned and there is an expectation that even though the implementers know naughts about their jobs, the rules can auto-pilot in any given situation. We also see incentives (read carrots) given away for goal achievement which takes away personal commitment and passion from a job and incentives become more important than the service. Barry’s narrative is in context of his country, which is USA, but like any great thought it has an element of truth that is applicable for any country or society for that matter. Below is the video of Barry’s speech, which I strongly recommend for my reader. Read more >>

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All opinions are solely those of the author. Reader's discretion necessary for using any of the contents of this website. (c) Pabitra Mukhopadhyay 2011
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