Nationalism, Kingdoms and Kings
Looking at Shivaji and Rana Pratap
By Ram Puniyani *
The legend of some of the kings continues in different forms and is used by different political formations. These political formations draw their identity from the past and project it on the present. These sectarian streams have been using the names of different kings and glorifying them in various ways. There is a hidden message of a politics behind such efforts, as they eulogize the pre-colonial period for their political agenda. While the incidents and events are the same, the way they are looked at by different streams and different schools of historiography are very diverse.
Need to Improve Human Development Index
By A Correspondence
The contest between India’s GDP and the Human Development Index (HDI) as the most appropriate measure of the performance of a country has been longstanding. While GDP is a measure of income, HDI is one that indicates the wellbeing of citizens. The HDI is a composite statistic used to rank countries by degree of ‘human development,’ which is considered synonymous with ‘standard of living’ and/or ‘quality of life.’
Solar Energy Could be The Silver Bullet for Power Mess
By Shuba V Raghavan *
Over the past several months, the power situation in the country has reached dire straits. Media reports that blackouts lasting 10 hours a day are forcing small-scale industries to either shut down or operate partially; textile mills in Tamil Nadu and the manufacturing sector in Andhra Pradesh are examples. Operating heavy machineries for long hours on diesel is prohibitively expensive apart from being highly polluting. Alongside are reports that at least six natural gas-based power plants are idling in Andhra Pradesh due to shortage of gas. Elsewhere in the country, the hours of operation of several coal-based power plants have fallen drastically due to short supply of fuel.
Root Causes of Violence Against Women Not Tackled by Law
By A Correspondent
New laws against rape passed in India in the wake of the fatal gang rape of a female student in Delhi last December “do not go far enough,” a United Nations expert on violence against women has said.
Lahore’s Culture Getting Extinct in India
By Ishtiaq Ahmed *
Every language or civilisation in this world has a nucleus or a central point. I consider Punjabi civilisation amongst the greatest civilisations of the world. Teheran in Iran has been the cultural centre of Persian civilisation for centuries. Lucknow is considered the premier centre of Urdu culture. Now Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, due to mass migration of Urdu speaking people from India has come to be regarded as an emerging cultural centre of Urdu. Calcutta, now Kolkata, is the natural centre of all Bengali culture, Indian and Bangladeshi. By the same token Bangalore is the centre of Kannada culture.
Education: Measures Aim to Sanitize Human Rights and Values
By Shalini Sharma *
Even as the debate on Delhi University's plans for a complete overhaul in the name of “modernization” is ongoing, another alarming situation is emerging in the name of “radicalization” albeit with little attention paid from media or civil society. The main educational body of India, University Grants Commission (UGC), is currently considering measures to stop radicalization of youth. Intended measures aim to sanitize human rights education and values among students and make this education mandatory for all in the name of national integration.
Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Pran: The Lahore-Bombay Film Link
By Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed *
Pran explained his reluctance to visit Lahore as an emotional matter: he found it difficult to return to a place from where he was once forced to leave because of his religion
On April 12, 2013, veteran actor Pran was awarded (though hugely belatedly) the most coveted Indian cinema prize: the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. For us Lahorites this is an occasion for special joy and pride because more than 70 years ago it was in our city that he cut his teeth as an actor. This is, therefore, a special tribute to that great artiste.
Should Asthma Control Us or We Control Asthma?
By Bobby Ramakant *
Managing asthma and controlling it well is the only way to live normally. Despite knowing this evidence-based fact and also recognizing estimates of alarming asthma rates in children and adults, most governments have neglected asthma control and not done enough. Professor (Dr) Rajendra Prasad, Director, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute in Delhi, said to Citizen News Service (CNS) that asthma is a chronic and lifelong disease. It is important whom we consult and also to be regular with medicines as well as to be regular in consultations with the treating doctor.
The Unsung Heroines of the Slums
By Shobha Shukla *
Pratima refused to finalize the marriage of her son till her husband agreed to construct a toilet in their house located in a Kanpur slum. She did not want her daughter-in-law to suffer the same fate of open defecation as she did. Sushma raised the banner of women’s education, persuading her illiterate slum neighbours to send their daughters to college. Against all odds, Urmila and her team mates prevailed upon their local corporator to build tiled roads in their waterlogged slum. Ashiya worked hard to get more toilets constructed and the sewer lines laid in her slum.
Obituary: Asghar Ali Engineer - A Role Model
By Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed *
Engineer’s Sahib’s departure marks the closure of a role model combining erudition with street activism and a will not to surrender to the forces of reaction and brute power
The death of veteran scholar, indefatigable champion of reform, secularism and communal harmony, Dr Asghar Ali Engineer ((born March 10, 1939 - died May 14, 2013) in Mumbai would be mourned by his admirers and friends in the subcontinent and all over the world. Engineer’s Sahib’s departure marks the closure of a role model combining erudition with street activism and a will not to surrender to the forces of reaction and brute power. He believed that Hindus and Muslims could live together as brothers and sisters; all that was needed was for them to listen to their consciences.
Assam: Tinsukia Troubled Again
By Giriraj Bhattacharjee
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
On April 19, 2013, an Inspector of a commando unit of the Assam Police, identified as Lohit Sonowal, two militants of the ‘Independent’ faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I), and one civilian, were killed in an encounter at Kordoiguri village in Tinsukia District. The militants killed in the encounter were identified as Raktajeet Hazarika and Ananta Moran. An official disclosed that residents of the village where the incident occurred identified the civilian as Pona Moran, who reportedly died in the crossfire. This is the first major incident (involving three or more killing) in the State in the current year.