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“Whatever is, is not,” is the maxim of the anarchist, as often as anything comes across him in the shape of a law which he happens not to like. – Richard Bentley, English critic and classical scholar (1662- 1742).
Anarchism is a doctrine urging the abolition of government or governmental restraints as the indispensable condition for full social and political liberty. Anarchist is a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law or custom. Anarchism was a collective movement backed by a strong philosophy. But, now we have individuals acting as anarchists leading to disorder in our lives. This is highlighted in an article titled “A nation of anarchists” by N N Sachitanand in Deccan Herald (22-2=12) – and excerpted here.
One of the hallmarks of India’s urban landscape is the chaos. Some would say it is due to our humongous population, over 1.2 billion strong. India accounts for 17.5 per cent of the world’s population crammed into 2.4 per cent of the world’s land area. Think of the classic experiment with more and more rats being introduced into a cage. Pretty soon, the shortage of turnaround space starts getting to the caged rodents and mayhem follows.
At length corruption like a general flood
(So long by watchful ministers withstood)
Shall deluge all; and avarice, creeping on,
Spread like a low-born mist and blot the sun.
Alexander Pope, English poet (1688-1744).
Corruption takes many forms – one of them being giving and accepting bribes. There can be corruption by proxy or default when a due payment is not enforced and , thus, allowing the beneficiary to enjoy a facility by consciously not enforcing corresponding charge. Theis seems to be happening in Madhy Pradesh with the journalists being bribed by proxy. But first the facts as as reported by Mahim Pratap Singh in the The Hindu under the title “Overstaying Bhopal scribes owe crores in rent”.
Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground encumbers him with help? – Samuel Johnson, English author (1700-1784).
We have patronising people galore who from pulpits and platforms preach the virtues of helping the handicapped – physical, mental and emotional - , now called special people, while act contrary at the point of delivery. Two cases involving air travel by special people recently made media headlines.Writing on one of them, Jo Chopra, Executive Director of the Dehrdun-based Latika Roy Foundation working with the people with sprcial needs, in an article entitled “Making our skies inclusive” in The Hindu (26-2-12) says: The Jeeja Ghosh episode makes the strongest case yet for inclusive education in our schools. Here are some excerpts:
Drying a widow’s tears is one of the most dangerous occupations known to men. – Dorothy Dix.
Event the western world is so unkind and cynical about widows. Then there are divorcees and single women. Their treatment in India’s patriarchal society is even worse.. This is the theme of anarticle by Harsh Mander entitled “Barefoot: Lone warriers”, published in The Hindu (25-2-12) – and excerpted here.
Adolescence is that period when children feel their parents should be told the facts of life. – Anonymous Epigram.
With excess to internet children become adults before their time. Internet also has violent vido games which vitiate the mind and promote adolescent vioence, as noted in an article by Vikram Kapur entitled Consuming Violence and published in The Hindu (19-2-12) – and excerpted here.
It is easy to blame movies or video games when children turn violent. The real causes lie elsewhere.
There are claims that the 15-year-old who knifed his teacher in a private school in Chennai last week was influenced by the ultraviolent Bollywood movie “Agneepath” and its method of securing revenge. Such a claim once again raises the issue of the impact of media violence on children.
Violence remains an immensely popular mode of entertainment with media studies claiming that some form of violence exists in more than 60 per cent of movies and television. Many psychologists nowadays, however, believe the role of movies and television in inciting kids to violence is nowhere near as pervasive as that of violent video games that today’s kids spend increasing amounts of time playing. The reason is that the violence in movies and television is consumed passively; it is merely viewed. In video games, kids actively practice causing violence.
Pity and need
Make all flesh kin. There is no caste in blood.
- Edwin Arnold, English poet (1832-1904).
Unlike in England of Arnold’s time, in India caste is a living reality. The perception about existence of caste is even more. So, are we struck with it? There are those who question that caste needs to be our inescapable destiny. Writing in The Hindu (21-2-12), under the title “India’s destiny not caste in stone”, Andre Betteille, Professor Emaritus of Sociology, Delhi University, argues that ouside politics, there are other areas of life in which caste consciousness has been dying down. Some excerpts.
Many are now coming to believe that, despite the undeniable demographic, technological and economic changes taking place in the country, the division into castes and communities remains the ineluctable and ineradicable feature of Indian society. They also believe that to ignore those divisions or to draw attention to other divisions such as those of income, education and occupation is to turn our backs on the ground reality.
Does nothing change in India? A great many things have in fact changed in the last 60 years both in our political perceptions and in the social reality. The leaders of the nationalist movement who successfully fought for India’s freedom from colonial rule believed that India may have been a society of castes and communities in the past but would become a nation of citizens with the adoption of a new republican constitution. They were too optimistic. The Constitution did create rights for the citizen, but it did not eradicate caste from the hearts and minds of the citizens it created. society.
There is nothing wrong in going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex. They should draw the line at goats. – Elto John
The gay community is really gay after the Delhi High Court decriminalised sex beteen two consenting adults of the same sex. For one thing, the judgment is under appeal in the Supreme court. Secondly the societal approva of gay community goes beyond law, as reflected in the conclusions of a study reported on by Divya Triveddi in The Hindu (172-12) and excerpted below.
Even as the Supreme Court has begun hearings on the legality of the decriminalisation of consensual gay sex, a report by the Centre for Health, Law, Ethics and Technology (CHLET) at the Jindal Global Law School has found that the 2009 Delhi High Court judgment has significantly enhanced the social acceptance and self-esteem of Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Queers (LGBTQ).
The High Court’s landmark decision of revoking the archaic Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code has led to a gradual but steady acceptance of sexual minorities by society, concludes the study. This shows that attitudes can be moulded and mindsets transformed by even subtle but progressive changes in the law. Ensuring greater self-confidence for the community, it has already brought them one step closer to living with dignity, states the report.
Speaker speaks the least.- Anon.
The Speaker in legilatures is not so much a speech-maker on his own account but e regulator or moderator of other speakers. He has also got disciplinary functions, including handing down punishment. Many Speakers are under the impression that in their latter function, their authority if final.Against this background, a recent judgment of the Supreme Court, reported by J. Venkatesan in The Hindu (26-1-12) is excerpted here
By joining a coalition government and becoming Ministers, Independents will not lose their separate identity, and later by expressing lack of faith in the Chief Minister, they will not attract disqualification, the Supreme Court ruled on January 25,2012. A Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph gave this ruling while setting aside the Karnataka Assembly Speaker’s order disqualifying five Independents for expressing lack of faith in the government, led by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. In May 2011, the Bench quashed the order and said it would give detailed reasons later.
Writing the judgment, Mr. Justice Kabir interpreted the provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution relating to defections and held that the fact that the Independents had joined the BJP government would not mean that they had sacrificed their identities.
Written laws are like spiders’ webs, and like them will only antangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them. – Anacharsis, Scythian philosopher (Circa 600 BC).
What Anacharsis said 2600 years ago still holds good with further refineement. Now the rich and powerfu are further devided into government-rich and non-government-rich in the way laws are applied to these two classes. This is highlighted in an opinion column, By Word, by M J Akbar, India Today Editorial Director, in the issue of the magazine dated February 13, 2012 – and excerpted here.
Your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
William Shakespeare, English dramatic poet (1566-1616) in Richard II.
Sugar and spive, all things nice is a popular saying. Sugar is no longer nice while spice has not yot lost its flavour. In the context of increasing incidence of diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, sugar is viewed with suspicion and now reseach has confirmed the need of controlling sugar intake.
Sugar should be regulated in the same way as alcohol and tobacco because its increasing use in processed foods poses a significant danger to public health, according to a group of scientists. They advocate controlling sales to children under 17 and taxing sugary foods. Sugar, they argue, is as toxic to the liver as alcohol and overconsumption is at the root of growing public health problems including obesity and certain types of liver disease.
Who wishes to give himself an abundance of business let him equip these two things, a ship and a woman. For no two things involve more business, if you have begun to fit them out. Nor are these two things ever sufficiently adorned, nor is any access of adornment enough for them. – Plautus, ancient Latin dramatist.
When there is a mad rush for business management degrees and post-graduate specialisation, Simon Dolan, a successful businessman and author of “How to make a million without a degree” decries the craze for university degrees and calls them errelevant to business success – writing in The Telegraph (London; 17-2-12).