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Showing posts from January, 2021

Why should rich country like Canada collect vaccines much beyond its requirement?

In conversation with human rights defender Vidya Bhushan Rawat , former United Nations diplomat Bruce H Moore, who has served as boards of several NGOs and institutes, including Transparency International Canada, Institute for Global Food Security at the McGill University, Canadians for Tax Fairness, Forum for Democratic Global Governance and the Huairou Commission (an international alliance of grassroots women’s organizations), speaks about growing inequality and food crisis in the post-Covid world.

Imports from China rise from 14.6% to 18.3% in a year: Failure to retaliate the aggressor?

Amidst Government of India seeking to retaliate Chinese aggression of Ladakh by banning mobile apps in order to create an anti-China sentiment among people, an official Chinese site has claimed that not only India’s “radical” scholars are misleading India on its northern neighbour, "Chinese products took 18.3 percent of India's total imports from April to September 2020, up from 14.6 percent in the same period in 2019..."

Influenced by his Jewish background, Marx called religion man’s self-consciousness

Was Marx influenced by his Jewish background? It would seem so, if one believes Shlomo Avineri’s book Karl Marx: Philosophy and Revolution . Praised for his “sympathetic and thoughtful interpretation of Karl Marx's view of religion”, Avineri says in his book, "Merely criticizing religion, without trying to identify the concrete social conditions that give rise to it, is to Marx shadow boxing, and unlike many other radicals, he finds it a waste of time.”

Veteran Bihar land rights activist on how land reforms became defunct in state

Human rights defender Vidya Bhushan Rawat talks to Pankaj Singh, a veteran land rights activist based in Champaran, Bihar. One who was arrested for raising the issues of the backward Mushahar community's land rights, he remained in jail for several months till the Patna High Court granted him bail. 

Did Nidhi Razdan find out if post-graduate diploma can be Harvard associate professor?

By Rajiv Shah The Nidhi Razdan episode, which I learned from the blog she wrote on the NDTV site, has created a flutter among journalists, whether in New Delhi or in Ahmedabad. I talked with half-a-dozen senior journalists, three of whom said they knew her personally and were "surprised" how and why she was a victim of what she claimed to be a phishing attack, which led her to believe that she had been enrolled in as associate professor to reach journalism at the Harvard Extension School in US.

Have India's rulers favoured Gujarat by supplying only 'safer' Covishield to state?

By Rajiv Shah The controversy surrounding the two vaccines appears to be taking a scary turn. It so happened that I was talking to a senior healthcare expert of Gujarat on January 17. A very kind soul, this expert, whom I have known since 1990s, took the vaccine and posted the exercise on the Facebook so that others should know it's "safe". I contacted him on Facebook messenger, congratulated his gesture, and asked him which one was it. He said, "Covishield. This is the only one in Gujarat."

Slavery existed in Kerala in early 19th century, Christian missionaries helped abolish it

By Bhaskar Sur* Slavery was a social evil which prevailed all over the world including what is now the state of Kerala in India. According to the 1836 census there were 164,864 slaves in Travancore vis-à-vis a total civilian population of 12,80,668. Slaves were treated like animals and the cost of one slave was that of an ox, cost of an ox was 5 (big para) measures of Paddy or Rs. 10/- only. Slaves were chained and sold like animals in markets. Kottayam, Changanasserry, Thirunakkara, Alleppey, Kayamkulam, Kollam, Attingal, Chirayinkizh, Kaniyapuram, Pettah and Kovalam were the notorious slave trade markets of the time. Churches in Cochin were used as godowns for the slaves except for Sundays. Slaves were exported out of the kingdom. There was no one to speak on behalf of these unfortunate people. With the arrival and the teachings of the CMS (Church Missionary Society) missionaries, people became aware of this social evil. In 1819, Munro Island was given to the missionaries, by the the

A 2004 study first said how 2002 Gujarat riots spread communalism to rural areas

By Rajiv Shah Recently, I did a story on a Gujarat NGO report by Buniyad, which said it had noticed a new trend: Especially since 2014, communal violence, it insisted, spread to new rural areas. While I did cover Gujarat riots of 2002, I must admit, as I was based in Gandhinagar, and my main job was to cover the state government, I did fewer spot stories compared many of my journalist colleagues of the “Times of India” and “Indian Express” based in Ahmedabad, who did surely an excellent job.

Folk singer Mukund Nayak on Adivasi identity, jal-jungle-zameen, untouchability issues

Mukund Nayak has been a prominent cultural voice in Jharkhand, who has staged live performances worldwide as well as in India. He was awarded with Padmashree by the Government of India several years ago. Sharing his video conversation which took place about three years ago, Vidya Bhushan Rawat , a human rights defender says, the prominent folk singer, songwriter and dancer talks about Jharkhand's Adivasi identity, issues of jal-jungle-zameen (water-forests-land), impact of the outsiders’ onslaught on Jharkhand, caste and untouchability issues.