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All content tagged: Life/Philosophy

Counter Currents - 2019-09-10 - Original post - cached version

On 2 October 2019, it will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mohandas K. Gandhi in Gujarat, India. I would like to reflect on the visionary leadership that Gandhi offered the world, briefly comparing it with some national leaders of today, and to invite you to emulate Gandhi’s leadership...

Counter Currents - 2019-09-05 - Original post - cached version

“The dead albatross that hangs around our neck is our legacy of arrogance, racism.  And we must struggle to atone, to reconstruct, to create a different historical system.”  So wrote the late sociologist and thinker Immanuel Wallerstein in unequivocal tones of repentance on Europe’s legacy, its...

Counter Currents - 2019-09-04 - Original post - cached version

In an earlier article in Medium, I wrote about a corrosive sports culture that brings out peoples’ baser instincts- from applauding violence to replacing a plural view of humanity with elemental tribalism. In the piece, I also discussed sports-obsession as an example of the abdication of...

Counter Currents - 2019-09-03 - Original post - cached version

There is a fact about Hemingway that few people know, and that is that for most of his life  he was surveilled by the FBI. As people have come to realize, that surveillance, along with other factors such as injuries to his head, years of heavy drinking, and his feeling that he had “lost it” as a...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-31 - Original post - cached version

It was my birthday and I was both sad and glad for myself. I had lived a long life, filled with difficulties of every kind one can imagine. I had spent a good portion of it struggling to survive in the face of poverty and want. I had struggled to raise three children, mostly alone, in the midst...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-28 - Original post - cached version

I am taking a long Sunday walk when I come upon them handing out leaflets in front of Kentucky Fried Chicken, in Perovo, the region of Moscow in which I reside. There are four or five of them altogether: young teenagers or those in their early twenties – handing out leaflets. They try to hand me...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-27 - Original post - cached version

Equality. Freedom. Justice. Secularity. Rights. Federalism. People’s government. That’s the general view of democracy we have in our minds. Democracy promises to incorporate all these values while administrating the institutions of society, economy and polity. To be specific, what democracy is...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-24 - Original post - cached version

I use a simple formula, perhaps too simple, to teach my students the different categories of philosophical thinking. It is difficult to explain without a visual, but I will try. To begin with there are the two polar opposite ways of thinking, the Metaphysical and the Materialist, or, if one...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-24 - Original post - cached version

“I teach because you and all beings want to have happiness and want to avoid suffering. I teach the way things are.”[1]  — Buddha “I can die happily. I have not kept a single teaching hidden in a closed hand. Everything that is useful for you, I have already given. Be your own guiding light.”[2...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-22 - Original post - cached version

I have yet to find the time to sit down and write a thorough response to Dan Corjescu’s last piece “On the Metaphysics of Revolution”, which was, to my mind, a gross misinterpretation of Socrates in particular,  and on the evolution of revolutionary thought in philosophy in general.  However, on...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-21 - Original post - cached version

My candid association with Dr. Biswamoy Pati began somewhere around 2012 when I eventually settled down for social history of health and medicine as my research theme for MPhil/PhD which was met by an equally enthusiastic and generous response by Dr. Pati. Although he had taught us earlier the...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-21 - Original post - cached version

We feel that even if all possible sci entific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all —Ludwig Wittgenstein Tractatus Recently I received an angry note about the persistence of religion in the modern world as proof of the world’s ongoing irrationality in...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-20 - Original post - cached version

Socrates was the first revolutionary. He opened up with a legendary oracular search the inner space from which the individual, as we understand him today, would eventually emerge. His “daemon” was that which spoke the necessary freedom and autonomy to become what we are. His was the first lesson...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-20 - Original post - cached version

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself. ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton Ideal teacher could be somebody who has empathy, understanding, patience and the ability to provide the knowledge of what student seeks in a...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-16 - Original post - cached version

August 12th 2018 marks the first anniversary of the death of Samir Amin, a man who, in my view, was the first, and perhaps the most prolific, global organic intellectual in history. He quite literally traversed the seven continents, meeting with local lefts wherever he could find landfall,...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-16 - Original post - cached version

         It is to be remembered that the late Prof. Mushirul Hasan who was born on 15th August 1949 and passed away -after four years of his serious accident- on 10th December 2018 at Delhi.  At the outset, let me admit that Prof. Hasan had cherished and epitomized the rich heritage of India’s...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-16 - Original post - cached version

Since the major aim of capitalists is to see that maximum production can be extracted from labor, exploitation of workers becomes a key factor. Ordinary workers, thus, face constant harassment, humiliation, misery and burden of work. Disabled, in addition, face alienation and abuse both from the...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-15 - Original post - cached version

This essay is in regard to a crime that too often goes unmentioned when the conversations turn towards political analysis, the contemporary journalistic scene, and broader social critique: the crime of being extremely online. What does it mean to be extremely online? It mostly is as...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-13 - Original post - cached version

Distortion of Com.T Nagi Reddy’s views is not the way to pay real homage to him How fragile is India’s Constitution, and how illusory are its claims of sovereignty, independence, democracy, secularism and socialism has been noticed repeatedly over the last 70 plus years after 1947 August. RTI...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-10 - Original post - cached version

Many years ago, in the 1970’s I remember seeing a Russian tractor. India used to have a bilateral trade agreement with the USSR by which we bought all kinds of goods from Russia and paid for them in Indian Rupees, whereby we were able to conserve our meagre foreign exchange. You can read more...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-09 - Original post - cached version

Quality education is not a mere policy goal. It is a public good and in fact, a strong tool that can empower the marginalised and overpower their marginalisation’s. The supreme court in the case of vahini jain v. state of Karnataka had emphatically declared that the right to a dignified life was...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-09 - Original post - cached version

One afternoon in New York City in the spring of 1964, I marched at the head of a small civil rights demonstration, one of the few white people in the group. I was carrying a watermelon. It was a Dick Gregory joke. To say the least, not everyone liked that joke, but I thought it was hilarious, a...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-07 - Original post - cached version

One may ask why we still think it important to understand the theories and practices of those who came to power in Russia in 1917 and those who have governed for some three quarters of a century with falsehood marking the entire course of the regime’s rise and demise – November 7, 1917 to...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-06 - Original post - cached version

July 28 is the death anniversary of the of veteran communist leader Tarimala Nagi Reddy, known and called by comrades as com. TN. He was a lifelong fighter for the revolutionary program he has committed and dreamed of. In the state of Andhra Pradesh, he attracted hundreds of cadres towards the...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-06 - Original post - cached version

 There are stories that are unrelated to the news, but can explain much better than many combat reports, why people like meare fighting against the Empire and imperialism, with such determination and vehemence. Not all stories are ‘big’ or ‘heroic’; not all include famous people or iconic...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-06 - Original post - cached version

In times when the nation treats the public universities as liabilities, we should be crystal clear in demarcating: what is a university and what it is not? A university is not a factory that processes raw materials and brings out finished products. It cannot be reduced into a laboratory that...

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Counter Currents - 2019-08-05 - Original post - cached version

Judgement by Anonymous Before God’s footstool to confess A poor soul knelt, and bowed his head; “I failed,” he cried. The Master said, “Thou didst thy best—that is success!” It was December 1980. I was sitting on the veranda of my house in Guyana. It was about 9.00 pm, dark, balmy evening in the...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-05 - Original post - cached version

TB is preventable, treatable and curable. Science shows how can we effectively prevent, accurately diagnose, treat with effective regimen, and eventually cure TB. But are not we failing to translate scientific wisdom in public health gains? How can we explain over 10 million new cases of TB and...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-03 - Original post - cached version

With quarter of world’s population infected with latent TB (not active TB disease), and in the light of scientific fact that every new case of active TB disease comes from this pool of population infected with latent TB, the writing on the wall is clear: we cannot put TB prevention on the...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-03 - Original post - cached version

Paresh Chattopadhyay once visited me at my rented residence after we launched our party, the World Socialist Party (India) here in Calcutta (now Kolkata), 1-3 March 1995. He listened to my long speech via audio cassette of Bishnupur public meeting and highly appreciated it. After a detailed...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-02 - Original post - cached version

Their lives can help us today I would like to announce the publication of a book describing the lives of some of the people who have contributed importantly to economic thought. Their lives can help us today, as the world faces a crisis that has both economic dimensions. The book can be freely...

Counter Currents - 2019-08-01 - Original post - cached version

It is now more than a year since Asma Jahangir left us. As August 14-15 approaches, one cannot but recall her, for she was someone who worked tirelessly for human rights as well as better and smoother, peaceful Indo-Pakistan relations. People like her (characterised as an icon and a crusader)...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-31 - Original post - cached version

It was David Bohm’s thesis that the ignorance of humanity is a matter of closedmindedness. He considered closedmindedness the “darkness in the human brain,” a darkness closing access to the Universal Mind; so defined as a supreme intelligence that communicates through the mode of insight. In...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-31 - Original post - cached version

With the increasing pace of technological advances and globalisation rapidly taking over, India is all set to become the next hub for economic growth. Adding to this is a young population with an average age of 29 years, which puts India at an advantage. But is India’s human capital prepared to...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-31 - Original post - cached version

Most of us are not stoics yet. Injustice caused to us evokes strong reactions and whenever we feel empowered enough to effect a change in our circumstances, we do. The critical element here is the personal nature of the impact of such an injustice; and this is the key focus which I address in...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-31 - Original post - cached version

At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, a special United Nations High Level Meeting (UNHLM) will be held on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). 193 countries have promised to deliver on UHC by 2030 by committing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But will push on UHC alone...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-30 - Original post - cached version

A study commissioned by the National Health Authority (NHA) of India has recently (Economic Times Report dated July 22, 2019) red-flagged claims made for hysterectomies conducted in private hospitals in at least six states, under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) scheme. It has sought...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-30 - Original post - cached version

The Milgram experiment conducted by a Yale University psychologist of the same name, has perhaps gone on to become one of the most famous human behavioural experiments to have ever been conducted. It was conducted during the 1960s, when Nazi war criminals including Adolf Eichmann were being put...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-29 - Original post - cached version

I met the two of them at the Clinica Condesa Iztapalapa, in Mexico City, where I had gone to attend the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019). Was it a mere coincidence that they had many things in common – they share the same surname; they speak fluent English; they neither drink nor...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-29 - Original post - cached version

I am a Structural Engineer and I am NOT an Islamic Scholar. But sometimes I do get curious about certain practices among Muslims like Animal Sacrifice and Ritualistic Sacrifice and want to open a debate whether it has sanction of Quran and Allah. In a few days from now millions of Muslims all...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-27 - Original post - cached version

As I sit on the small balcony on the top floor of an old house in the working class neighborhood of Alfama in Lisbon, Portugal, it is early evening, the time for wine and voices wafting on the fragrant breeze through the twisting cobble-stoned streets.  The National Pantheon (Panteao Nacional)...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-27 - Original post - cached version

“Good governance is about the processes for making and implementing decisions. It’s not about making ‘correct’ decisions, but about the best possible process for making those decisions.” goodgovernance.org.au Good governance is the art of looking at problems, diagnosing them and finding...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-27 - Original post - cached version

TB and HIV both are preventable, but cutting the chain of transmission of HIV and TB is proving to be a daunting task. Treatment exists for both TB and HIV but disease-burden and deaths every year are indeed alarming. With countdown on towards TB and AIDS elimination targets for 2030, the...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-26 - Original post - cached version

Our struggle to survive hasbeen a relentless drive towards self-destruction.  Sigmund Freud identified two basic human impulses:  Eros, the drive to  survive and reproduce, and Thanatos, the drive towards death and destruction.  However, dialectically speaking, these are not two separate and...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-26 - Original post - cached version

The difference between liberalism and progressivism is ideological. Historically, liberalism started with John Locke, whose philosophy was superbly summarized, explained, and referenced to its sources, here; but the following will instead quote directly from those sources: Locke (as the...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-26 - Original post - cached version

You all know my butler Bastian who I have written about earlier. Bastian like most of his tribe spoke ‘Butler English’ and was very snobbish. My wife used to speak to him in the same way to make it easier for both to understand what was going on. So sometimes I would come in to hear, ‘Bastian,...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-24 - Original post - cached version

Death has finally overtaken Santosh Rana, the prominent activist-cum-intellectual and one of the foremost leaders of the historic Debra- Gopiballabhpur peasant struggles that attracted attention throughout West Bengal in 1969-70. He died on 29th of June after a prolonged fight with throat cancer...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-24 - Original post - cached version

It has been 38 years and 1 month since the first case of HIV infection was detected in 1981, reminded Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (#IAS2019) taking place in Mexico City. Dr Fauci is a...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-23 - Original post - cached version

Comrade A. K. Roy, the legendary trade union leader of coal miners in Dhanbad region died on July 21, 2019. With him an era of trade union movement has come to a close. He and later Comrade Shankar Guha Niyogi of Chhatisgarh were pioneers of a new trade movement that came into being in the early...

Counter Currents - 2019-07-22 - Original post - cached version

Every case of active tuberculosis (TB) disease comes from an individual with latent TB infection. And every new case of latent TB infection is a sign of failing infection control, as someone with active TB disease transmitted the bacteria to an uninfected person. Quarter of world’s population...

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