The possible path to peace and justice in Palestine
Monarchy, dictatorship, authoritarianism, and despotism, even of the benevolent kind and as a result of democratic elections, are an affront to people’s struggles over the millennia for sovereignty and freedom. However, I must confess to having mixed feelings at the Coronation of King Charles III.
The longing for home is known to every person who is fond of Hindi film songs. Ask them the song’s name, and they will speak of Manna Dey’s voice, Prem Dhawan’s lyrics, and Balraj Sahni acting as Abdul Rehman Khan in the film based on Rabindranath Tagore’s short story – Kabuliwala or the person from Kabul.
While we are all proud of India's democracy, few of us actually bother to fund any political party. We are content to let parties fund themselves by mobilizing funds as they traditionally have from the time of the freedom struggle, when industrialists like G D Birla used to fund the Congress. But most such funding was informal, with no structured, transparent disclosure of who funded which party to what extent. Citizenship has evolved from the city-states of ancient Greece and perhaps from the republics or ganas of ancient India to finally emerge as the cornerstone of representative democracy in the twentieth century. Today the idea of citizenship is undergoing several transformations. Mindful of its long history, we need to ensure that our re-imaginations help us escape the past and embrace new futures.
The residents of Joshimath in Uttarakhand are coming out in protest. Land subsidence in the region has put their lives, houses, and town at risk and impacted the surrounding land. As part of the relief efforts, at-risk families are being shifted to temporary relief centres, and work is underway on building transition centres, where they can stay till a long-term solution can be worked out.
India’s proposal at the G20 presidency to phase out all fossil fuels, including gas and oil, sustainably and equitably construes the much-needed step away from planet-scale extinction of habitats and destruction of livelihoods.