Month: August 2005

Ignorance 007 — Part III (Lessons from Hiroshima)

I was afraid of the hypodermic bullet effects of the Time magazine’s story on Hiroshima. In an earlier post I was apprehensive that people may not have reasons not to believe the myth that bombings on “Japan led to end of war”, since the magazine had orchestrated the story so well (with a Japanese victim-model actually heralding the bomb on the cover and “eyewitnesses” inside thanking the bombs)! For me, the reading was a macabre humor. So I was wondering how would readers react. Just hope against hope. M-pyre had a brave story. Apart from them, I did not discover much on the blogosphere either on the issue. Finally, the Aug 22nd issue of Time has published the readers’ views. And my worst fears have come true. Unlike other issues where readers are at least partially divided on a cover story perspective, this time, not a single letter writer feels disgusted! And everyone (all 8 of the published letters talk about Hiroshima and all of them are happy that the bombing was done) has congratulated …

Welfare economy and Growth rates

While introducing a historic bill that will guarantee 100 days of employment each year to every rural household in India, where more than 70% live in villages, Sonia Gandhi has given the most laudable quote of the year: “I believe an economy which is growing at 7% per year, can and should find the resources for such a crucial intervention.” The ambitious National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill was clearly one of the reasons why the Left parties were claimed to be active in India’s central politics of the day. Sonia and the Left have been lending each other support, but what will be interesting to watch out now is the stake of Manmohan Singh. Is he really in favor of a bill that the critics predict will draw on India’s potential as a world economic player? India, since the 1950’s has been largely a self-proclaimed welfare state, rationalizing items of mass consumption to cater to the poor. In the process of course, it had been left behind by the capitalist competitors, until the present PM …

Tales of the leaders and issues they lead us to notice

Maureen Dowd comments on the father-son saga. Not that the monarchy works any differently. But what is unforeseen are the kind of media coverage and the generated public attachment. Mugs, t-shirts, books, dvds, calendar, greeting cards, cartoons, slogans, billboards, and op-ed columns. Bush family is the singularly most desisted in the history. Despite the junior’s thumping victory for the second term. Who enjoys the mud the most? Ones who love getting dirty. And apparently the political system’s internal contradictions of having an elected president who is so much abhorred publicly (for no direct fault of his, he is being blamed for Iraq war to the unemployment problems at domestic scene) is being mistaken for a victory of the system! No wonder, the Prez is happy as ever (as the story goes, as jubilant as his Dad). After all, the system that masquerades as democracy and in actual, functions as a governing body of the rich is winning the applauds of the day. Two events come to mind immediately: media covers on Natalee Holloway and lack …

Wealth Gap and Internet Sites

So, Internet is the cause behind the widening wealth gap? The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) says it is. In a study published by BBC, it is concerned about websites providing househunters with data on neighborhood income levels and ethnicity. Similar process has already surfaced in the US, the report says, where segregation is more and social cohesion is less. In effect, the Britain, known for class divisions, has accused US (which refuses to believe there is any) of class divisions. And the pundits opine that Internet may be the reason behind the widening wealth gap in both societies. They may not be out of their wits entirely. Yes, Internet sites offer specialized searches for neighborhoods, categorize them into economic interests and helps people choose communities. But this theory has two dangerous deductions: one, that people are solely affected by external sources of information (that is, conversely speaking, they do not use their own conscientious judgment), and secondly that, human beings always prefer to live with their likes (in terms of class, gender, ethnicity, nationality) and …

Recalling this Independence Day

I celebrated the independence day fine. Well that’s the India’s freedom from the British Raj, I am referring to. August 15th midnight hours were the times of the “trysts with destiny” as Nehru proclaimed. And I am just going to reflect on the layers of destinies in store now. Switched on the television set to find if there was any anti-colonial flavor, any celebration of a multi-cultural society willing to adopt welfare socialist economy or a people nostalgic of huge dreams, broader visions. Of course it was a disaster. Instead all I could notice was the running advertorials on grand marshals of Indian freedom: Anil Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Babita Kapoor etc are the chief guests to celebrate India’s day of freedom in New York about to be organized on August 20 instead (why? Ask Karisma what courtroom drama she is into these days, that’s why). Its better to be off to office, I thought. Took the entire office folks to the Tiffin, an Indian restaurant. Thought there would be fanfare inside the restaurant. …