Friday, January 30, 2009

Self & Society: Ethical Possibility As Lived Practice

First and foremost as an ordinary and reflective person, then and only secondarily as a postcolonial sociologist who teaches foundational theories in Psychology, I am fortunate to have developed for myself, in spaces of academic institutional resistance, the opportunity to conceptually bring the individual "I" and situate that i within the collective "We", an examined union of the natural and the social-cultural.

There is no lived distance between Self & Society. Such a constructed divide lacks temporal possibility because in real time there is no Self without Society. It is Society that makes Self human. Those very few selves who were unfortunate enough to be placed outside of the human social context failed to become human as we know it. Though we are free to mentally manipulate the two, Self and Society, as distinct conceptual categories, in order to further our thought about Self and Society, each necessarily constitutes the other. That symbolic manipulation is a necessary intellectual scientific endeavor in order to contemplate, affirm and establish the interweaving and inseparability of Self & Society, Society & Self.

It has become my life's work and is not dependent on the US academy which pays me meagerly but sufficiently for my own frugality, but continually limits the ethical scope of what I may do. Therefore most of my work must be unpaid and conducted outside of the US academy. Neither the US academy nor its macro-context, the US nation-state, define who I am or who I am becoming.

In my own lived practice, I accept full responsibility for my thoughts and actions. Therefore, I cannot ascribe my thoughts and actions (which I concurrently experience or perform in real time), to others OR to magical forces or fictitious circumstances or fabricated representations outside of myself.

I am responsible for my thoughts and actions, I am fully accountable for my own thoughts and actions.

It is my responsibility to myself, my family, my ancestors, my universal civil society to develop my intrinsic motivation and limit the influence of extrinsic motivation in the ethical pursuit of my own lived possibility.

Others are not responsible or accountable for what I myself think and do. I must accept the responsibility that my thoughts and actions may influence and impact others, sometimes to their detriment, therefore I have an ethical responsibility to anticipate how I may affect these selves, these others who are also equally human and have the same ethical potential as I. This is the goal of the Self in joining with other selves in the pursuit of establishing the Greater Collective Good, an indispensable constituting force of Society.

By the same token I cannot accept responsibility for the thoughts and actions of others, including the thoughts and actions of individuals, financial institutions or governments. These I feel absolutely free to examine, challenge and oppose or support, according to my evolving understanding of my own ethical possibility as a moment-by-moment, daily, seasonal and lifelong lived practice.

It is fortuitous for me to have an opportunity for reflection on Self & Society, on the anniversary of Gandhi's assassination this day in January 1950.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com
Self & Society: Ethical Possibility as Lived Practice
01/30/09 Gandhi was assassinated on Jan 30, 1950
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2010 World Rally for Refugees' Right to Return

2010 World Rally For Refugees' Right to Return
2010 World Rally For Refugees' Right to Return
We urgently need a World Rally for Refugees' Right to Return in 2010.

During the 2010 Year of Return Palestinians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Tamils, Kurds, indigenous Peoples, dislocated Peoples, dispossessed Peoples, de-recognized or unrecognized Peoples,ecological refugees, climate refugees, farmers, refugee growers and displaced gatherers of food, refugee practitioners of traditional forest and bush medicine, refugee craftspeople, ALL will have the unfettered opportunity to return peacefully and without hindrance, they will have the Right to Return.

This has to be a Regugees Without Borders Peoples' Movement.

No government of a sovereign state can hope to succeed, nor does any government or intergovernmental agency have the ethical courage and political will to either order or block the universal human Right to Return. Governments, liberation groups like Hamas, ALL groups that stake a claim for return, member-states of the UN, the agencies and organizations of the UN, need the driving force of borderless civil society to help them focus an entire year on The Right to Return of ALL refugeee Peoples. Only then can the refugee movement succeed. It will not be easy. But such a world movement is fraught with ethical, civilizational possibility.

We, all of us, know of no people who are content to be deprived of the opportunity to live lives in a land of their ancestors' birth. No one is exempt from hope. Is such a year of the RIGHT to RETURN possible?

Can we plan and implement a 2010 World Rally for Refugees' Right to Return? It is an ethical responsibility of borderless civil society everywhere.


Dr. Chithra KarunaKaran
City University of New York
Ethical Democracy as Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com
2010 World Rally For Refugees' Right to Return
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Corporate Greed and the Challenge for Ethical Democracy

January 28th, 2009 4:14 am
Maureen I relish your inimitable wordsmithing.

And the anger you express is what many of us probably feel, not righteous Old Testament wrath as you claim at the beginning of your article, but secular, justifiable, socially responsible anger, given the appalling factual evidence of serial corporate greed accompanied by a total lack of remorse for the sufferings of the polity. Psychiatric evaluation, jail time and extended community service seem in order.

US exceptionalist overreach in practically every area of civil society both at home and overseas, at the same time as pulling off an historic election, are object lessons for all of us, about the limits of unregulated democracy, especially for evolving democracies trying to develop responsible corporate institutions in South Asia and other parts of the world. Unfortunately our homegrown elites (the Satyam India case) in the Global South are just as mendacious and rapacious as Madoff, Thain and crew.

For We the People, Democracy's work is never done.

Chithra Karunakaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
http://EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com

— EthicalDemocracy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/opinion/28dowd.html?hp


By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: January 27, 2009

Maureen Dowd

As President Obama spreads his New Testament balm over the capital, I’m longing for a bit of Old Testament wrath.

Couldn’t he throw down his BlackBerry tablet and smash it in anger over the feckless financiers, the gods of gold and their idols — in this case not a gilt calf but an $87,000 area rug, a cache of diamond Tiffany and Cartier watches and a French-made luxury corporate jet?

Now that we’re nationalizing, couldn’t we fire any obtuse bankers and auto executives who cling to perks and bonuses even as the economy is following John Thain down his antique commode?

How could Citigroup be so dumb as to go ahead with plans to get a new $50 million corporate jet, the exclusive Dassault Falcon 7X seating 12, after losing $28.5 billion in the past 15 months and receiving $345 billion in government investments and guarantees?

(Now I get why a $400 payment I recently sent to pay off my Citibank Visa was mistakenly applied to my sister-in-law’s Citibank Mastercard account.)

The “Citiboobs” — as The New York Post, which broke the news, calls them — watched as the car chieftains got in trouble for flying their private jets to Washington to ask for bailouts, and the A.I.G. moguls got dragged before Congress for spending their bailout on California spa treatments. But the boobs still didn’t get the message.

The former masters of the universe don’t seem to fully comprehend that their universe has crumbled and, thanks to them, so has ours. Real people are losing real jobs at Caterpillar, Home Depot and Sprint Nextel; these and other companies announced on Monday that they would cut more than 75,000 jobs in the U.S. and around the world, as consumer confidence and home prices swan-dived.

Prodded by an appalled Senator Carl Levin, Tim Geithner — even as he was being confirmed as Treasury secretary — directed Treasury officials to call the Citiboobs and tell them the new jet would not fly.

“They woke up pretty quickly,” says a Treasury official, adding that they protested for a bit. “Six months ago, they would have kept the plane and flown it to Washington.”

Senator Levin said that the financiers will not be able to change their warped mentality, but will have to be reined in by Geithner’s new leashes. “I have no confidence that they intend or desire to change,” Levin told me. “These bankers got away with murder, and it’s obscene that close to nothing is being asked of financial institutions. I get incensed at the thought that a bank that’s getting billions of dollars in taxpayer money is out there buying fancy new airplanes.”

New York’s attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, always gratifying on the issue of clawing back money from the greedy creeps on Wall Street, on Tuesday subpoenaed Thain, the former Merrill Lynch chief executive, over $4 billion in bonuses he handed out as the failing firm was bought by Bank of America.

In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC, Thain used the specious, contemptible reasoning that other executives use to rationalize why they’re keeping their bonuses as profits are plunging.

“If you don’t pay your best people, you will destroy your franchise” and they’ll go elsewhere, he said.

Hello? They destroyed the franchise. Let’s call their bluff. Let’s see what a great job market it is for the geniuses of capitalism who lost $15 billion in three months and helped usher in socialism.

Bartiromo also asked Thain to explain, when jobs and salaries were being cut at his firm, how he could justify spending $1 million to renovate his office. As The Daily Beast and CNBC reported, big-ticket items included curtains for $28,000, a pair of chairs for $87,000, fabric for a “Roman Shade” for $11,000, Regency chairs for $24,000, six wall sconces for $2,700, a $13,000 chandelier in the private dining room and six dining chairs for $37,000, a “custom coffee table” for $16,000, an antique commode “on legs” for $35,000, and a $1,400 “parchment waste can.”

Does that mean you can only throw used parchment in it or is it made of parchment? It’s psychopathic to spend a million redoing your office when the folks outside it are losing jobs, homes, pensions and savings.

Thain should never rise above the level of stocking the money in A.T.M.’s again. Just think: This guy could well have been Treasury secretary if John McCain had won.

Bartiromo pressed: What was wrong with the office of his predecessor, Stanley O’Neal?

“Well — his office was very different — than — the — the general d├ęcor of — Merrill’s offices,” Thain replied. “It really would have been — very difficult — for — me to use it in the form that it was in.”

Did it have a desk and a phone?

How are these ruthless, careless ghouls who murdered the economy still walking around (not to mention that sociopathic sadist Bernie Madoff?) — and not as perps?

Bring on the shackles. Let the show trials begin.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bring History Home, Teach Public Higher Ed 101

Comment
Bring History Home Teach Public Higher Ed 101

This article about the importance of teaching history at community colleges offers me the opportunity to reiterate the importance of teaching the History of Public Higher Ed at these and the senior colleges.

I teach at a community college in the CUNY City University of New York system and I have long argued without any success that every entering freshman, during what CUNY calls the FYI Freshman Year Initiative, be offered the opportunity (not mandated) to take Public Higher Ed 101.

My students know nothing of the entrenched two-tier system of educational inequality, one private and elite, the other public and inadequately financed, that thrives in the US. Yet, our students are victims of this structural inequity. Our faculties, especially tenured faculty who are mainly compliant, neoliberal and non-progressive, and our post-plantation admins. accept and even promote this inequity.

Q. How better to garner and generate support for Public Higher Ed than to teach and encourage critical thinking so that beneficiaries of public higher ed can engage in strategic action on issues confronting Public Higher Ed?

Public Higher Education institutions and critical, evidentiary knowledge of their history and contemporary political location, are essential for fostering civil society and ethical democracy in the U.S.

Dr. Chithra KarunaKaran
City University of New York
Ethical Democracy as Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com
===========================================================================

I was asked for a clarification of what I meant by Public Higher Ed 101, so I provided it in this comment that I posted at the same URL link noted (below):

Hi DFS,
Scott Jaschnik's article details *methods* for the teaching of history at cc's.

I am raising the core curriculum question of CONTENT. Why not teach the trajectory and political location of Public Higher Ed insititions? I know that at my uni. the historic development of CUNY would be an absorbing topic of study for cc and senior college students because it is tied up with civil rights activism and legislation, women's studies, Black Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, Asian American Studies, etc. Our students are attending these institutions, yet they know very little about the history and socio-political location of instit. that they benefit from and most important, have the oppty to improve upon. Why does the US have a 2-tier education system in the first place? Perhaps the premise of educational inequality has its roots in the assignment of unequal humanness, most fully elaborated in the system of slavery and racism, not to mention genocide of indigenous peoples,all part of US history.

That type of critical engagement in history would be authentic preparation for lifelong citizenship in a democracy, for community college students. In fact our students are ready to study critical history, but the faculty are not quite as ready to engage in teaching it.
I am asserting that the inclusive public progressive system of higher ed is the cornerstone of a civilisational ethical democracy. The US needs practice in this area.
History does not exist in a geopolitical vacuum and does not consist merely of an assortment of teaching tools.

Note:I am not saying that ANYONE engaged in this discussion or mentioned in the article is implying that!

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com
======================================================================================

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/01/27/history

A Vision for History at Community Colleges

By Scott Jaschik

SEATTLE — History as a discipline is most popular as an undergraduate field of study at liberal arts colleges or research universities — institutions that attract well-prepared students. Professors at community colleges in the Seattle area are trying to find ways to attract more students, in part by accepting that many of those they want to educate view the field as boring, thinking of it as “just memorizing names and dates.”
To reach the students, these professors are working on a two-pronged strategy. First, they are preparing exercises that link students’ lives to the study of history. Second, they are focusing on basic information literacy and research skills, which their students tend to lack. The combination appears to be working, even as these professors teach not to the idealized seminar room of the stereotypical history scholar, but in classes of 35 students or more — many of whom have full-time jobs.

The professors described their approaches here at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Brian Casserly of North Seattle Community College uses assignments in a U.S. survey history course to teach the basics of conducting research and writing a research paper — something most students don’t know how to do.

“We have this image of students as being savvy about finding information,” he said. “But I find a very shallow understanding of how to evaluate information,” with students aware of little except Google and Wikipedia. To get beyond that, he uses as a central assignment a paper in which students must link an important event in American history to the life of one of their family members.

An example he offers in the assignment shows how a student’s grandparent might link to topics appropriate for a history paper in several ways. This grandparent might have attended college on the GI Bill (which could then be the key event) or settled in the suburbs (suggesting a report on the rise of Levittowns).

As they are working on the larger paper, students receive lessons and homework designed to teach research skills. For example, to wean them off Google as a sole research source, they have a library tour and orientation, and then the assignment of finding an article on civil rights in a scholarly journal in the library and producing short pieces of writing that demonstrate the ability to appropriately paraphrase an argument and cite sources. Similarly, students are given a topic on which they must prepare an annotated bibliography.

Because many students will interview a parent or grandparent for the larger assignment, they have class sessions on how to do an oral history interview, including the process of obtaining permission from the subject.

The various small assignments are all designed to teach skills that are foreign to the students and that would normally discourage them from studying history or viewing it as anything by memorizing, Casserly said. But his experience is that, if guided, the students do in fact learn these skills. “It’s about using a systematic process,” he said. When the students turn in the final papers, “the research skills have improved dramatically” and they are actually finding the process interesting, he said. (This session stood out among others at the AAC&U meeting in that the professors brought students along, and they vouched for the techniques being talked about, indicating that they never previously found history relevant, but how these assignments helped them understood how the Vietnam War might have affected their parents, or exactly what President Obama’s election was so historically significant and meaningful to African Americans who were alive in the civil rights era.)

The fact that some new community college students don’t have a sense of the Vietnam War or the civil rights movement reflects a reality — poor knowledge of history — that the professor here said must be addressed head-on, in part with diagnostic tests. While new community college students are routinely given placement tests in mathematics and writing, these professors argued for their use in history, to help identify early on what students know and where their gaps are.

There are many gaps, but Maureen Nutting, a professor of history at North Seattle, said that professors can adjust if they know what they need to cover. For a course on American history, for example, she asks students at the beginning of the course to define and provide context for terms such as “Reconstruction” and “Jacksonian democracy.” One of her colleagues, Scott Rausch, asks students in a world history course similar questions and produced this analysis of correct and incorrect answers, along with the teaching implications. He knows going in that he’ll have a majority of students who know what a caste system is, but that the odds aren’t in favor of any student understanding polis or Pax Romana.

“Our courses aren’t easy,” said Nutting, but they start without being over student’s heads.

Amy Kinsel, professor of history at Shoreline Community College, said she has had success teaching immigration history. About a quarter of students are immigrants, and many others have close family members who immigrated to the United States. Students are wondering, “Where do I fit in?” and immigration history — which she teaches from colonial times to the present — provides answers. The major research paper for the course is on the immigrant group of the student’s choice and Kinsel noted that students do not necessarily pick their own.

The paper must cover issues of race, ethnicity, class, religion, and national identity — as well as assimilation, acculturation, group identity, political power or lack thereof, work or economic roles, gender roles, educational experiences, and interactions with other groups.

Tim McMannon, professor of history at Highline Community College, said that he tries to combine critical thinking and research skills with “an emphasis on the content” in his courses.

One of the assignments he typically gives is a book review, in which students must critique a monograph about history. “So many of my students don’t read books,” he said. As a result, he said that students start of complaining about the assignment, especially when he rejects books that aren’t real monographs. But he shares examples of book reviews, and that helps the students gain confidence.

At the same time, he said it was important not to only assign books. He typically assigns students to review a museum exhibit. “For many of them, they are unexposed, or they were in third grade when they last went and didn’t learn anything.” The review must include both description and judgments on such matters as the scholarly value of the presentation. (To frame the assignment, he usually specifies that it be an exhibit that pertains in some way to the history of the Pacific Northwest.)

Students need “literacy with material culture,” he said.

One thing all the professors stressed was the importance of using every possible tool to teach. McMannon said that on the multiple choice tests he gives, he doesn’t want students to end the process after receiving their grades. So he offers “second choice points” for students who can identify the page in the various books where they should have learned the answer to whatever question they missed.
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2010 World Rally For Refugees' Right to Return

2010 World Rally For Refugees' Right to Return
We urgently need a World Rally for Refugees' Right to Return in 2010.

During the 2010 Year of Return Palestinians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Kurds, indigenous Peoples, dislocated Peoples, dispossessed Peoples, de-recognized or unrecognized Peoples,ecological refugees, climate refugees, farmers, refugee growers and displaced gatherers of food, refugee practitioners of traditional medicine, refugee craftspeople, ALL will have the unfettered opportunity to return peacefully and without hindrance, they will have the Right to Return.

This has to be a Peoples' Movement.

No government can hope to succeed, nor does any government have the ethical courage and political will to either order or block the universal human Right to Return. Governments, liberation groups like Hamas, ALL groups that stake a claim for return, member-states of the UN, the agencies and organizations of the UN, need the driving force of civil society to help them focus an entire year on The Right to return of ALL refugeee Peoples. Only then can the refugee movement succeed. It will not be easy. But such a world movement is fraught with ethical, civilisational possibility.

We, all of us, know of no people who are content to be deprived of the opportunity to live lives in a land of their ancestors' birth. No one is exempt from hope. Is such a year of the RIGHT to RETURN possible?

Can we plan and implement a 2010 World Rally for Refugees' Right to Return? It is an ethical responsibility of borderless civil society everywhere.


Dr. Chithra KarunaKaran
City University of New York
Ethical Democracy as Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com
2010 World Rally For Refugees' Right to Return

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bringing the Election Commission into disrepute

In the aftermath of the Thirumangalam election which the DMK won, shame on Karunanidhi for casting aspersions on the efforts of Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta to deliver electoral justice to the voters of Thirumangalam. If every branck of the Tamil Nadu Government worked to the high standards of the EC, K would have nothing to complain about.

Dynastic Politics & the Challenge to Ethical Democracy

In Tamil Nadu Nadu and at the Center dynastic politics is especially tenacious, with Karunanidhi asserting family ties over state governance (sons Azhagiri, Stalin) as well as at the national level(daughter Kanimozhi as member of parliament). At the centre, the Congress is attempting to bring Rahul Gandhi into line as the next prime miniserial candidate.

Dynastic politics poses an ethical problem for the optimal development of democracy. More on this later...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Continuing Expansion of the US Role in South Asia

The 11/26 Mumbai attack has been seized upon by the Us to advance its tactical strategic position vis a vis India and Pakistan

focus of this entry is on the statements by Mulford... more

Hunger, Shelter, Healthcare & Ethical Democracy

The focus on the roiled financial markets and the necessary focus on terror have made us take our eyes off the ball. What about basic needs? What about socio-economic justice? What about hunger, shelter, disease prevention and the obligation of the sovereign nation-state to provide these for its citizens?

more on this later..

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fearless Journalism & Progress Towards Ethical Democracy

Lasantha Wicramatunga is dead. The chief editor of The Sunday Leader of Sri Lanka was shot executioner style by hooded gunmen in broad daylight on his way to work.

His death is a grevious loss to Sri Lankan democracy as tries to find through flawed practice, an ethical path to intractable problems of separatism and terrorism.

Wickramatunga's voice would have been invaluable today and every day because of its ethical fire. Now it has been brutally silenced. The greatest losers are ALL the people of Sri Lanka, whether Buddhist, Tamil, Christian, Muslim, tribal, whoever and whatever.
It is also South Asia's loss as we struggle to build democracies that are ethically defensible.

South Asia's democracies have to learn slowly and painfully to go the extra mile to allow and encourage the unfettered flow of information, opinion and expression in our civil societies. Let us who make up the civil societies of these fragile democracies, reflect sombrely on the loss of Lasantha Wicramatunga. And the valuable practical lessons we can learn and implement as members of civil society from his life and his needless mindless sacrifice.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Can Israel Exist?

In the long term the ethical question is Can Israel continue to exist in its present form as a Jewish state? Can it exist on occupied land that once belonged to persons who have become displaced for generations? This is an unending ethical dilemma for the Jewish state. Will the ethically indefensible state of Israel have to give way to a United State of Palestine in which Palestinians whose human rights were violated beginning with the creation of the State of Israel, will have the right to return to the places from which they were evicted?
It is difficult to conceive of any other solution that is ethical. More on this...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pakistan 1947 - 2009: From Cut & Paste Nation to Failed State

Both Pakistan and Israel face an ethical dilemma of origin.

Pakistan has had an ethical dilemma from the very beginning of its creation as a Muslim state. So has Israel in its creation as a Jewish state. Both are fragile, if not completely untenable propositions.


Modern sovereign nation-states cannot be securely established and indefinitely maintained on the basis of religion or ethnicity or any ONE factor because the PEOPLES of the world are globally interconnected, multiethnic, multireligious.

Where are the non-muslims and the non jews in these two nation-states? Are they to remain forever faceless and nameless?

More on this with a special focus on the years 1947 (birth of Pakistan) , 1948 (birth of Israel) & 2008 ( 11/26 and 12/28 Israel's attack on Gaza),

Both Pakistan and Israel raise vexing questions for the trajectory of ethical democracy. The end cannot justify the means. Ethical Democracy is not possible in either Pakistan or Israel. They are comparable.

Karnataka Journalist Hounded by Hindu Fundamentalists

B. V. Seetaram
Chitra Publications

arrested and handcuffed in Udipi

I'll be following this story as it unfolds in the courts.

India internal terrorism by the Hindu right is a danger to the fragile development of ethical democracy in India

Delhi Fog Toxic Cocktail Prepared by Capital Bureaucrats

"Thick Fog Hits Delhi" is a misleading newspaper headline in The Hindu January 6. It particular misleads young readers

Why? Because fog in Delhi is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. It is a direct byproduct of unrestricted unregulated air pollution.

Isn't Delhi Pachauri's backyard? What is TERI doing about this costly mess?


I have more thought to develop on this subject at a later time because my blog is now traveling in India.

But it seems to me airlines using Delhi International airport should try to recover losses from fog days. When international passenger and air cargo carriers deliver a blow to the Delhi civil aviation government pocketbook, that maybe (I'm not holding my breath even in the unacceptable Chennai air while writing this entry), when Delhi bureaucrats may shake off their own lethargy (which is not fog -induced), and they may perhaps sit up and take notice.

The failure of Delhi to invest in mass public transit has directly contributed to the air pollution that produces the toxic cocktail called Delhi Fog

An ethical democracy has to protect its vulnerable citizens against toxic pollutants.

Elephants, Tigers & Ethical Democracy

In these Blog pages much of my focus is on India's path to Ethical Democracy. It is both a process and a destination. Given the unequalled and unprecedented example of Maulana Azad and Mohandas Gandhi, India can do no less. India is at a remote distance from both the process and the destination towards ethical democracy but it is reasonable to state that India has started on that path which it began at least 2500 years ago. I say this because Democracy is not a western invention but a universal human impulse towards fairness, which in its ultimate analysis is an evolved behavior that we share with certain mammals especially the great apes.

Recently there were two separate but obviously related news articles in the Indian press, one on protests against the establishment of a Tiger Reserve in Mudumalai and another, on "marauding wild elephants" allegedly 'wreaking havoc" in North Eastern India.

I don't have time (will do so later) to develop the points raised by these two articles, these points being 1)balancing livelihood needs with animal protection and 2) habitat loss

It is clear that a humane and vigorous policy of protecting and increasing wildlife as part of a larger longterm policy of increasing and exploiting biodiversity resources for purposes of furthering health and employment opportunities have to be seen as keystones to ethical democracy. Demonizing wildlife, causing habitat loss and promoting livelihoods that don;t provide returns on investment in employment are faulty cost ineffective pathways to irresponsible governance. None of these quick fix options that are inimical to wildlife conservation will help build ethical democracy in India. Nature and Culture are inextricably interrelated.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sri Lanka Acts Against LTTE Terror

No amount of election frenzy in Tamil Nadu will halt the Sri Lankan antiterrorism against the LTTE.
more on this later as my blog is traveling in South Asia

US out of South Asia

more on this later as my Blog is trabeling in South Asia.