Showing posts from October, 2014

Is Child Labour Really a Problem?

There was a lot of introspection and self criticism yesterday with the joint awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Kailash Satyarthi. “Child labour is a curse”, “robbing childhood from the children”, “slavery”, “feudal mindset” - these and a thousand other charges have been flying around.  Grim stories of rescue missions were recounted by the dozen, and the State was held culpable for the crime of not taking care of its citizens. However, a large number of these arguments to my understanding are very lopsided, and typically amount to the welfare state paradigm that the economic right finds highly problematic for a host of reasons. Please do not for a minute think that I am promoting child labour as it is understood and depicted often in popular culture as an exploitative system. Often however we tend to drag children belonging to the teenage group into this whole cycle of ‘giving their lives a fair chance’. On the contrary, a careful assessment of what is happening in today’

Musings on Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong and Implications for Greater China

Protests Inspire Creativity, and Ever More So in Hong Kong (courtesy BBC ) The recent upheaval with the Occupy Central movement, becoming more popular internationally by the name Umbrella Movement, has taken nearly everyone by surprise. This has happened because the silent majority decidedto stand up for what it believes in, sacrificing nearly everything that provided semblance to their lives in a mad, chaotic city state like Hong Kong (HK). Life is hard in Hong Kong, so the people standing up for greater democratic rights becomes even more appreciable in my personal opinion. There are a few trends that can be seen on the surface emerging from this movement so far, and a lot of them, far from being very pessimistic (as some Facebook posts being shared by HK-ers) are encouraging. The people of Hong Kong have been exemplary in the discipline and peaceful nature that has been maintained so far during these protests. It is Gandhian in nature, thus making many neutral observers like