Caste: In the United States of America
In 1944, as WW11 raged across continents, the school district in Columbus, Ohio, held an essay competition, challenging students to address the question “What to do with Hitler after the War?” A sixteen-year-old African-American girl, thought long and hard about the question. And won the competition with an essay of one sentence: “Put him in a black skin and let him live the rest of his life in America.”
In the winter of 1959, Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife Coretta, visited India. Garlanded upon their arrival and celebrated on the streets…
‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on,’ but what happens when the parasites use people’s dreams against them?
‘ We are such stuff as dreams are made on.’ ( The Tempest. Act 4. Scene 1).
Shakespeare could never have known how this line would transmute into the throbbing heart of political dramas in the 21 stcentury, connecting the people and the parasite; becoming both promise and betrayal. Voters dream of jobs and homes while politicians and their cronies dream of tax havens and luxury mansions.
The nature of events in the world are so extreme and unbalanced, it feels as if we’ve reached a civilisational crisis
‘Kill the Bill,’ shout the protestors in English cities.
‘Death to the farm laws,’ cry Indian farmers, in their protest camps.
‘New Jim Crow laws,’ denounces the President of the US himself, of the new election laws passed by the state of Georgia.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the world is in social and political ferment, and I’ve never had to think so deeply about what I want to write. I scribbled pages and pages with notes…
Voluntary servitude: when ‘the monstrous regiment of (Indian) women (farmers)’ chose to challenge!
In 1577, in France, a text was published covertly, written by Etienne de la Boétie, called The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, asking a question which rings through the centuries to this day. ‘…why is it that a minority of rulers can remain in power over a majority of subjects who pay all the taxes. His answer is that most of the subjects willingly submit to rule by a minority.’
It rings in those countries, which may be democracies, but where a small elite, hand in hand with…
Racketeering, Covid and the Old Boys Network powering Britain’s grisly death toll and calamitous government.
Elections matter. As someone who lives in Britain, this may sound like a heartless statement in the wake of a 100,000 Covid deaths and rising. Should I really be thinking about hustings and votes, as death stalks the land and people’s hearts are breaking? Should I really be focusing on criticising Britain’s First Past The Post electoral system, which has delivered Tory governments, election after election? …
We’re in the hands of politically primitive leaders who should be obsolete in the 21st century.
We’re in the hands of primitive men. Two decades into the 21st century, the UK, the USA, and India, are ruled by men whose grasp of governance is so tribal, so corrupt, and so self-interested as to render them obsolete to the modern order. And yet there they are. The only silver lining, the only beacon of hope being Donald Trump’s failed bid for a second term and imminent (we hope) departure from the White House.
With a pandemic raging across the globe, hundreds…
The Year 2020 just keeps on giving: Covid, Brexit, corruption, and a myriad other shocks to our system. So — let’s turn the dial, change the channel, and talk about the Punjabi farmers and their hazardous, determined odyssey to the capital of India.
I write as the daughter of Punjabi farmers and will focus on them, but I want to emphasise, beyond all doubt, that farmers across India have risen up against the new farm laws, which will change the way farmers sell their produce. A huge percentage of India’s farmers have small-holdings and currently rely on the mandi system…
The Union Learning Fund may not sound exciting or dramatic but it’s in danger and we need to protect it. The highly successful ULF scheme has improved the lives of millions and given weight to the idea of self-determination, life-long learning, and reinforced the link between knowledge and opportunity. You’d be forgiven for thinking a government would want to support such an effective and beneficial scheme.
Not so. Our government, in all it’s hallowed wisdom, recently wrote to the TUC (Trades Union Congress) telling them it was withdrawing the £12million funding for the ULF. The TUC says it was “stunned”…
Virginity Tests, petrol bombs and school kids in the dock: racism in 1970s-80s Britian. Plus a bonus: a short story at the end.
‘…Taj’s case, the Virk Brothers, ‘Southall riots’, virginity tests…’
‘Virginity tests!’ She exclaimed in horror at the other end of the line.
‘Oh yes,’ I asserted, ‘not just in Islamabad, Dhaka, Delhi, but Heathrow too.’
‘That’s outrageous. How come we’ve never heard about them?’
This conversation began when a younger member of the family rang me to ask about racist issues faced by the Asian community over the decades. She’d been asked to write a talk about…
With the highest Covid death toll in Europe, it’s time to hold England’s government to account.
(This article is solely about England. Excluding Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All figures are for 6thAugust 2020)
A government’s first duty is to protect its people.
As fireworks lit up the sky on New Year’s Eve and welcomed in 2020, as gathered crowds across England, cheered and applauded, as people linked arms and sang Auld Lang Syne, one implicit belief, needing neither articulation nor discussion, rested inside each person. …