Mathematics, Decolonization and Censorship: C. K. Raju

Guest post by C.K.RAJU
Did you find math difficult in school? Does your child? If so, what is the solution: change the teacher or change the child? Blaming the teacher or the child for math difficulties is a common but unsound explanation. Thus, problems with teachers or students should equally affect all subjects, not only math.The right solution is to change math. That seems impossible. People naively believe that math is universal. In fact, the math taught today, from middle school onward, is called formal math; it began only in the 20th c. with David Hilbert and Bertrand Russell. It differs from the normal math which people earlier did for thousands of years, across the world, and still do in kindergarten.

Formal math adds enormously to the difficulty of math but nothing to its practical value. The practical value of math comes from efficient techniques of calculation, used in normal math, not prolix formal proofs. For example, the proof of 1+1=2 took Whitehead and Russell 368 pages of dense symbolism in their Principia. That proof is a liability in a grocer’s shop. In contrast, normal math is easy. One apple and one apple make two apples as most people learn in kindergarten. So should we switch back to normal math at all levels?

Continue reading “Mathematics, Decolonization and Censorship: C. K. Raju”

धर्म का बोझ और बच्चे

आखिर जिन छोटे बच्चों को क़ानून वोट डालने का अधिकार नहीं देता, जीवनसाथी चुनने का अधिकार नहीं देता, उन्हें आध्यात्मिकता के नाम पर इस तरह जान जोखिम में डालने की अनुमति कैसे दी जा सकती है?

Aradhna Varshil

17 साल का वर्षिल शाह – जिसने 12 वीं की परीक्षा में 99.93 परसेन्टाइल हासिल किए, अब इतिहास हो गया है.

दुनिया उसे सुविरा महाराज नाम से जानेगी और वह अपने गुरु कल्याण रत्न विजय की तरह बाल भिक्खु में शुमार किया जाएगा, ऐसे लोग जिन्होंने बचपन में ही जैन धर्म की दीक्षा ली और ताउम्र जैन धर्म के प्रचार में मुब्तिला रहे.

बताया जा रहा है कि इन्कम टैक्स आफिसर पिता जिगरभाई शाह और मां अमीबेन शाह ने अपनी सन्तान को बिल्कुल ‘धार्मिक’ वातावरण में पाला था, उनके घर में टीवी या रेफ्रिजरेटर भी नहीं था और बिजली का इस्तेमाल भी बहुत जरूरी होने पर किया जाता था क्योंकि शाह दंपति का मानना था कि उर्जा निर्माण के दौरान पानी में रहने वाले जीव मर जाते हैं, जो जैन धर्म के अहिंसा के सिद्धांत के खिलाफ पड़ता है.

वर्षिल-जो अभी कानून के हिसाब से वयस्क नहीं हुआ है, जो वोट भी डाल नहीं सकता है, यहां तक कि अख़बारों में प्रकाशित उसकी तस्वीरों में मासूमियत से भरे उसके चेहरे को भी देखा जा सकता है- के इस हालिया फैसले ने बरबस तेरह साल की जैन समुदाय में जन्मी हैदराबाद की आराधना (जो चार माह से व्रत कर रही थी) के बहाने उठी बहस को नए सिरे से जिंदा किया है, जो पिछले साल खड़ी हुई थी.

( Read the full article here : http://thewirehindi.com/11503/monk-jain-bal-diksha-fasting/)

Losing the Soul’s Acid Tongue … Terrorist State, Unbowed Children at Kerala’s Puthvype

[The title is inspired by Balachandran Chullikkad’s searing poetry]

I have recently been asked about why I didn’t write anything about the anniversary of the CPM-led government of Kerala.  Have also been asked why I don’t write about politics in Kerala anymore. The answer to the first is easy and painless: governments are not organic things. You measure your kid’s height and weight and other things and think about how they have grown in their minds and hearts on their birthdays. There is nothing that proves that anniversaries are the best occasions to reflect on how governments have grown and thrived. The answer to the second question is more conflicted and excruciatingly painful: it is because we have no politics in Kerala, but plenty of anti-politics. therefore, what one needs to do is invest in the silent, unglamorous, unpopular,  long-haul intellectual and political labour that may preserve the possibilities of politics in the future, and that may even create internalities capable of courage and responsibility necessary for being political. Continue reading “Losing the Soul’s Acid Tongue … Terrorist State, Unbowed Children at Kerala’s Puthvype”

Elephants in the Room – Who Gets the Autonomy in Autonomous Colleges? : Sanjay Kumar

Guest Post by Sanjay Kumar

In February this year, University of Delhi officials invited chairpersons of the six best known colleges to apply for  autonomy. So far, only the governing body of St Stephen’s College has reacted, authorising its principal to take up the application process. Teachers and staff associations of the university, DUTA (Delhi University Teachers’ Association) and DUCKU (Delhi University Karamchari Union), are against the move. Besides affecting the working conditions of faculty and staff, college autonomy has bearing on the academic content of undergraduate learning. It is surprising that many of the academic red flags are not even noticed in the policy. These obvious blind spots indicate that real motivations are not academic, but lie elsewhere.

The XII plan document of the UGC sets the target to make 10 percent of eligible colleges autonomous by the end of the plan period. It boldly declares, ‘(t)he only safe and better way to improve the quality of undergraduate education is to the link(sic) most of the colleges from the affiliating structure’. The claim is surprising, because world over university education is considered a good undergraduate education. A university with active research, accomplished faculty and diversity of subjects to offer is the best place for a young person to get initiated into the adventure and challenges of higher education. How taking students away from the ambit of a university becomes the way to better education requires a bit of an explanation. Continue reading “Elephants in the Room – Who Gets the Autonomy in Autonomous Colleges? : Sanjay Kumar”

1984 and Punjab’s Transformation to a Hindutva Laboratory: Gurpreet Singh

Guest post by GURPREET SINGH

It was summer of 1985 when we were visiting New Delhi, the national capital of India to attend a wedding in the family. I had a long hair back then and was aged 15. Both me and my uncle who were wearing turbans like other Sikh men were waiting at a bus stand for the next bus to go to our relatives. As soon as the bus arrived and we were about to climb in after other waiting passengers, the door was slammed on us.  When my uncle protested, the conductor shouted that there is no seat inside. Even as we pointed out at some empty seats, the answer was – “we have told you there is no seat.” Before we could argue the bus sped away.

The incident left me shocked but I wasn’t surprised.  Continue reading “1984 and Punjab’s Transformation to a Hindutva Laboratory: Gurpreet Singh”

A Day Against Kalluri at IIMC, Delhi: Bastar Solidarity Network Delhi Chapter

Guest Post by Bastar Solidarity Network Delhi Chapter

The democratic forces, organizations and the thinking minds of IIMC took part in a spirited protest today against the invitation extended to notorious ex-IG Kalluri by the IIMC administration to take part in a seminar. To start with, since last two days, there were several attempts on the part of the organizers to confuse/conceal Kalluri’s invitation. Immediately after the declaration of the protest, Kalluri’s name was dropped from the poster. There were also threats of counter-mobilisation by the BJP goons. But undeterred, as we reached the gates of IIMC at 11am, the site echoed with slogans of “Killer Kalluri Go Back”!

Continue reading “A Day Against Kalluri at IIMC, Delhi: Bastar Solidarity Network Delhi Chapter”

Violence against Dalits in Saharanpur, UP : A Report by CPI-ML (Liberation) & AISA Team that Visited Saharanpur

Guest Post by Sucheta De

CPI-ML- AISA Team’s Visit to Saharanpur – A Report

“Sarkar Hamari Hai, Police-Prashashan Bhi Hamara Hai”- Yogi Government Boosts Up Morale of Casteist Feudal Goons Who Burnt Dalit Village in Shabbirpur!

Casteist Goons from Dominant Rajput Community Enjoy Complete Impunity while Bhim Army Activists Continue to Face Witch-Hunt!

CPI-ML-AISA Appeal Everyone to Join Hands with the Dalits of Saharanpur in their Struggle for Justice!

Saharanpur Carnage: Teaching a Lesson to Politically Assertive, Self-Reliant Dalits Who Refuse to be Foot Soldiers of Hindutva’s Hate Politics

When BJP gains electoral majority, Saharanpur happens.

For last several years the belt of western Uttar Pradesh has been made the laboratory of the RSS-BJP’s sinister design of communal polarization and violence against Muslims. The 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots was a planned design by the RSS-BJP to polarize the belt on communal lines and reap electoral benefits. And now, after that design had delivered ‘electoral success’ for the RSS and BJP, upper caste feudal forces have started celebration of their ‘victory’ by unleashing attack on Dalits.

Continue reading “Violence against Dalits in Saharanpur, UP : A Report by CPI-ML (Liberation) & AISA Team that Visited Saharanpur”