Digital India: ‘Stronger than death-dealing war-ships…’

Digital India’s Narendra Modis will talk to every illiterate farmer more than his actual, flesh-and-blood neighbors. When that happens, the idea that India’s racial and linguistic diversity should be taken into account in India’s political system will be all but dead. If the different parts of India cannot communicate with the Centre at break-neck speed, the case for more regional autonomy becomes all the more clear as time rolls on. But with the kind of communication links Digital India is expected to bring in, the case is weakened. Or so the Centre thinks.

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Yoga Day: a Comeback of the Divine Right of Kings

This government, like most monarchies in history, wants to get into people’s minds together with a dose of divinity. Once the common man falls for the scheme, he attaches divinity to the government itself. His mind cannot disentangle the two easily, even though the government is no more than India’s biggest corporation. Reason thus blinded, the poor fellow finds it nearly impossible to question those actions of the government which have a greater bearing on his own life. And that’s the whole idea.

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What Richard Feynman Can Teach You About Political Science

Richard Feynman was perhaps the greatest science teacher ever. Just yesterday, I read a lecture of his titled What is Science and it did two things to me. One, it made me realize my responsibility as a father in inculcating the scientific spirit in my children. Two, it made me realize that everything he says about science is applicable to the social sciences, including political science. Since I have an interest in political science nowadays, let me use Feynman’s lecture to illustrate the importance of scientific spirit for political change.

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7 Reasons Why I Killed My Facebook and Twitter Accounts

I’d been having a love-hate relationship with social media from day one. On the night of June 8th, 2015, I decided I’ve had enough and deactivated my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I didn’t have the courage to tell everyone before doing it. Had I done that, there’d be so many requests to reconsider that I would’ve yielded. It’s happened a couple of times before. So, thanks a lot for encouraging me all these days on Facebook on Twitter. Those of you who did are the good reasons to be on Facebook and Twitter. But I need to move on. Let me explain why.

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Why Does Sharada Want Her 8-Year Old Son to Read and Write Kannada?

Sharada’s family lives in one of these independent republics which has seceded from India. But it’s completely land-locked by it. Like many of her friends, she feels she doesn’t have the choice of returning to India. Her son’s school, NAFL, is perhaps one of the best English medium schools in Bengaluru. That means Sharada has signed up for ten-foot compounds, closed doors, and a standing instruction to stand outside the compound while the instruction happens inside. Good English-medium schools make a virtue of these vices, and you’re easily sold since you have the picture of your office cubicle in mind. You leave your child to the self-appointed experts and go do what you think your job is.

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Only Rapes, Murders, and Legislators Watching Porn?

Multilingual, multicultural nations have one big problem to solve in the media-driven world. It’s this. Minority languages and the stories of people who speak them are almost completely suppressed on ‘national media’. Anyone browsing through Indian ‘national’ newspapers, tv channels, radio stations, etc., finds hardly any news about a State like Karnataka that its people would like to call news. If you go by these media houses, you’d tend to think that the only things that happen in States like Karnataka are rapes, murders and legislators watching porn in the assembly.

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Free E-Book: Swami Vivekananda’s Ideas on Hindu Reform

svivekebook

‘Our vigor, our strength, nay, our national life is in our religion… for good or evil.’ At a time when everybody who was anybody in India had a theory on the reasons for British colonialism and how to get out of it, Swami Vivekananda was absolutely sure that religion was the key. To ‘the Indian mind there is nothing higher than religious ideals’. Whether you like this fact or not, ‘You are bound by it, and if you give it up, you are smashed to pieces.’ Religion was not only the highest ideal but also the ultimate unifying force in India—he was speaking at a time when the country could certainly use some—before which ‘race difficulties, linguistic difficulties, social difficulties, national difficulties, all melt away.’

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