where trouble was needed

January 18, 2016

FORGET THE FORMALITIES

Filed under: Provocations,We Shall Overcome — Aravinda @ 1:52 pm
Tags: ,

FORGET THE FORMALITIES

On this day of solidarity
Named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Re-ignited by a thousand fires burning
Let us forget the formalities
And rage where rage is due

Overdue

You can go to class but you cannot protest the death penalty.

Rohith Vemula:
You did not forget to write the formalities
But we refuse to accept them.

“Students oppose attack on screening of Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hain”
You can go to class but not screen documentary films.

You were rushing to understand
love, pain, life, death
that take a lifetime to learn

You can go to class but not stand in elections.

There will be time, there will be time.
If only you had time
To turn back and descend the stair
If only the world listened in time.

Dear Vice Chancellor, you wrote:
“Donald Trump will be lilliput in front of you”
How much more we had to hear from you.

“There was no urgency,” you wrote.
Why were you rushing?
To be among the stars
To be one with nature

You can go to class but you will sleep in the open.

Who received these notices?

Who will forgive this world
That fails to make sense?
This humanity that fails

Not the last time.
Jai Bhim.

 


January 1, 2016

500 days of silence … then and now

Filed under: Afterthoughts — Aravinda @ 8:00 pm

For fourteen years I was silent on Mondays.  I had no blog then.  When people would ask me about it, I had to think each time and answer.   If it was Monday my answer might just be a smile or thoughtful look, after which my interlocutor would venture an answer.  After a decade,  I thought of writing something called “500 days of silence.”  (more…)

December 30, 2015

2015 in review

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aravinda @ 9:31 am

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 270 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

June 8, 2015

“Why Using Patriarchal Messaging to Promote Toilets is a Bad Idea” (letter)

Filed under: Letter to Editor — Aravinda @ 2:40 pm
Tags: ,

Dear Editor,

NIKHIL SRIVASTAV AND AASHISH GUPTA’s article, “Why Using Patriarchal Messaging to Promote Toilets is a Bad Idea” raises a number of shocking points about the campaigns that link sanitation to women’s safety rather than to public health for all. While disappointing, the government’s attitude is not exactly surprising. But I would have expected better from Vidya Balan. Why are otherwise smart, socially responsible people going along with the outrageous implications of such a message?
A few years ago the Guardian published an article co-authored by directors of four international organizations (WaterAid, Oxfam International, UN Millennium Campaign and Unicef), containing the following paragraph that has been quoted by everyone from angry young bloggers to the American Bar Association:

A report in the Times of India in February this year quoted the police in another district of Uttar Pradesh as saying that 95% of cases of rape and molestation took place when women and girls had left their homes to “answer a call of nature.”

Your piece however points to data that indicates that “most sexual violence occurs within the home, not outside it.” Rather than attributing violence to location, or trying to enclose women in the name of safety we must open the minds of all to the truth about violence, the facts about health and hygiene, and the right to freedom and dignity for all.

___

See Also: Not Only Toilets

May 10, 2015

Sometimes I remember … (poem)

Filed under: We Shall Overcome — Aravinda @ 12:17 pm
Tags: , ,

Sometimes I remember ….

a poem read aloud by a Korean-American poet on a Friday evening around 5ish

during the week-long anti-globalization actions / teach-ins / marches etc in multiple locations of Washington, DC, c. 2001

The first line is “Sometimes I remember …”

The last line is:  “Sometimes I remember, but never will I forget.”

Does anyone remember the name of the poet?

This poem is calling me across the years.

– Aravinda

March for peace in DC

April 21, 2015

River interlinking … again, now with “special purpose vehicle” for R&R

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aravinda @ 11:47 am

Comment: It is not for lack of a special purpose vehicle that the governments failed to rehabilitate people in past projects. Only a different process in planning the project can bring about a difference in ensuring that all stake holders, including those who invest their land, get a fair deal. The process must allow for free, prior and informed consent of affected people and also take their knowledge and experience into account in order to plan a project that utilize the resources more effectively, locally and democratically.
April 21, 2015 05:45 IST

‘Relief package to get priority in river interlinking’

STAFF REPORTER

Special purpose vehicle will be launched as rehabilitation measures are seldom implemented: expert

March 15, 2015

A life-changing cup – The Hindu

Filed under: Provocations — Aravinda @ 9:37 am
Tags:

A life-changing cup – The Hindu.

December 24, 2014

Merry GoodGovernanceDay

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aravinda @ 10:49 am

Here is my essay.

Instance of Bad Governance

Canceling Christmas

 

#GoodGovernanceDay #EssayCompetition #AccheDin

(Firstpost |  Outlook)

July 8, 2014

Breastmilk bank in Mumbai

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aravinda @ 10:56 am

After 25 Years, Modest Gains at Mumbai Breast Milk Bank

By MALAVIKA VYAWAHARE JUNE 27, 2014 9:23 AM

Comment:

Affordable health care starts with breastfeeding – it makes good sense for the government to support efforts to ensure that babies get breast milk and that mothers get support to overcome difficulties, believe in themselves, and breastfeed their young.

Simply knowing that there are people willing to donate milk for those in need will boost a young mother’s confidence and also help to increase people’s respect and appreciation for the value of mother’s milk. So much of the public and corporate messaging devalues it and makes it seem as if it is not worth the effort to solve problems that may arise.

I hope that greater awareness also comes to hospitals to follow the WHO Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and the International Code and the corresponding Indian laws regarding formula distribution / promotion and also to doctors to follow the World Health Organization Guidelines, recommending six months exclusive breastfeeding and at least two years of complementary breastfeeding. We must also see that the government enforces the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes and the IMS Act, bans the offending advertisements, and punishes corporations that are violating it every day.

Had I known about this milk bank when my daughter was nursing I would have donated milk as well. May the bank serve more mothers and families and may more governments and hospitals follow suit.

June 7, 2014

Not only toilets

Filed under: Comment,Uncategorized — Aravinda @ 4:13 pm
Tags: ,

Dear Editor,

While I agree that "access to sanitation and water are fundamental human rights" the assertion that "a lack of these services is putting hundreds of millions of children, girls and women at risk each and every day" where the risks refer not to health and hygiene risk but personal safety and freedom from violence, takes attention away from basic equality and humanity.

Yes a woman should have a clean place to go and yes for the sake of public health this should not be out in the open, but even if a woman goes to the toilet in the open she should not fear for her safety.

Obviously we don’t expect Bill and Melinda Gates to look into issues of caste, gender and land tenure when they’ve got a huge toilet program going on. Good for them. But let theirs not be the last Word on the matter.

In response to

Two girls died looking for a toilet. This should make us angry, not embarrassed

Attacks on girls and women as they look for somewhere private to defecate are frighteningly common. Improving basic sanitation, as a global goal, would do a lot to make them safer.

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