Showing posts from February, 2016

My Problem With India's Social Sciences - History

Kandhariya Mahadev Temple at Khajuraho - Little Known Wonder Within India (Rohit Pathania (c)) I am writing this post because I found people I respect immensely being offended by s video that I had shared wherein Jawaharlal Nehru University and its social sciences department, among others, was being joked about. If anyone was offended by the video, I apologize; the intentions were not to hurt anyone. It was shared in good humour. However, that has made me wonder why I have problems with India's social sciences and the way it is studied and taught in India. It has nothing to do with teachers that I necessarily encountered; rather, my problems are related to what I never got to encounter, know and interact with. Let me quote some examples on the same from the history lessons that I can recall immediately to assert my case. It is not an exhaustive list but only a small sample, and I encourage readers to go further on their own. The subject of history has grave necessity for any

Mother, Where's My Country - A Much Needed Intervention

The tyranny of distance is an easy excuse that editors based out of metropolitan cities cite when asked why they neglect the North Eastern states. Fact of the matter is that they are not willing to learn and understand a region that has a rich history, a rich cultural heritage and a complex socio-political structure. With its rich human resource base, the North East contributes to a significant chunk of the service sector work force in the rest of mainland India; however, within the North-East, they fail to secure economic opportunities unless it is a government job for which they bribe through their noses or join an insurgent group that is an extortion gang in reality. This is a layer of a complex problem with many more layers in a state that is recognized either by its atheletes like M C Mary Kom, The Devendro brother-sister duo, or only by that state at the corner with an exotic dance and a terrible insurgency form. When one picks up the book "Mother, Where's My Countr

The Last Kashmiri Pandit

It was dark, and it was getting colder with each passing moment. Must light the kangri now, thought Tejmohan, as he struggled to find it under the clouded skies, which indicated that it might just snow tonight. The matchsticks! he recalled, as he pulled them out of his pocket, and struck one which briefly revealed the secrecy of the kangri ’s location. Tejmohan quickly scrambled towards it, and in a few moments, managed to light the remaining coal in it, while felt secure - cold, but secure under the part of the roof that was still intact. The snow had begun to fall, and he winds picked up speed. The chill was getting into his bones; the pheran proved no good tonight. His blankets were kept in the prayer room, which was at the other end of the house. But it would prove to be dangerous, as parts of the house were already broken, and he might fall through. What then? Who would help him in the entire village of ghosts and lost souls? The winds were howling and screaming loudly; sometime

Garbage Wars in Delhi - Time to Reimagine Urban Governance in India

Rivers of Garbage Swamping Every Corner of Delhi (Courtesy: Dailymail UK) In the midst of the usual political mud-slinging that India's jestful democracy entails, we have seen a major problem burst out on the national capital's Swaraj scene. No, it is not Mr Arvind Kejriwal launching another odd-even scheme; rather is the alacrity with which a court battle is being fought in Delhi to determine just who is responsible for the garbage wars round III in Delhi (it happened twice last year for those who remain blissfully unaware). A distraught Delhi watches on, stunned into silence by a horde of sanitation workers who are hell-bent into pushing Delhi administration and Municipal Corporations towards a permanent resolution of their problems through their trashy behavior (refer the garbage toss into Delhi's Tourism Minister's house and outside the Deputy Chief Minister's residence). Even Central Government Ministers have not been spared. Meanwhile, all poltiical