Tag Archives: USA

covid-19 mismanagement : Can india ‘do’ a brazil ?

Brazil’s Parliamentary Enquiry is probing the way the Bolsonaro-led government handled the pandemic leading to the deaths of 4,00,000 Brazilians.

Covid mismangement

Jail Bolsonaro, the far right President of Brazil, is a worried man these days. The next round of elections for the post of President is merely a year away and there is a strong possibility that his bete noire Lula – former President of Brazil between 2003 and 2011 – can be in the ring to challenge him. The Supreme Court of Brazil has annulled Lula’s two bribery convictions, and if he plans the 75 year old charismatic Lula can give him a tough challenge.

The worrisome aspect is the unfolding Parliamentary Enquiry, which seeks to focus on the way the Brazil government handled the pandemic, what his critics call ‘disastrous and potentially criminal response to Covid that has killed 4,00,000 Brazilians and the nightmare still continues.

An indication of the fact that this enquiry is not going to be a formality can be gauged from the way one of its key members, Sen Humberto Costa, who was a former health minister, put it; he said, “It is a true health, economic, and political tragedy, and the main responsibility lies with the president,” and he believes there is enough evidence to conclude that Bolsonaro committed “crimes against humanity”. Costa is not alone in his assessment of Bolsonaro, many other analysts have also used similar label for him.

( Read the full text here)

Mainstream Myths Versus Scientific Collaboration

The rediscovery of scientific collaboration across borders is a welcome development.

Fake News on COVID

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

– Marie Curie.

Does the 5G network have any link to the novel corona-virus outbreak?”

Well, any sane person on this part of Earth would readily laugh at this outrageous claim. But this claim has “gone mainstream” leading even to bomb attacks on phone masts. So one has to sit up and analyse.

No doubt, when “psychological states peak and people’s anxiety levels are high,” as one expert puts it, one can easily become prey to such conspiracy theories. And as right-wing or conservative ideas have growing legitimacy in society, things can get even worse. Remember how for a long time Iran’s theocracy was in denial about the Corona-virus threat?

India is no exception to such false claims. All sorts of home remedies are being offered as a definite cure to the disease. We saw Gomutra parties where cow urine was drunk, supposedly as protection from this highly-contagious disease which has taken more than 100,000 lives and infected more than 1.7 million. No doubt it is an arduous task for progressives to counter all the rubbish being peddled around the pandemic and prepare people to take proper care while pressurising the powers-that-be to make public health a priority.

Such struggles can be better fought if individual scientists or groups of scientists join hands to sensitise and educate people.

The recent launch of a pan-institutional CovidGyan website (https://covid-gyan.in/) which is a brainchild of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) is a welcome step in this direction. Other key members of this initiative include Vigyan Prasar, IndiaBioscience, and the Bangalore Life Science Cluster (BLiSC, which comprises InStem and C-CAMP, in addition to NCBS-TIFR).

( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/Mainstream-Myths-Versus-Scientific-Collaboration)

Feed The Poor, Go To Jail

image : Courtesy eideard.com

Whether serving food to the homeless is a crime?

Ask Arnold Arbott, known as Chef Arbott, a 90 year old man from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who along-with two other members of a Church charity faces potential jail term for at least six months for the same ‘offence’. In fact his name finds prominent mention in the police records in the past week for breaking the new city ordinance which has come into effect recently which characterises his act as breach of law, according to reports.

Talking to a newsperson he said:

“These are the poorest of the poor. They have nothing. They don’t have a roof over their head. And who could turn them away?”

Continue reading Feed The Poor, Go To Jail

Israel’s Template for the Globe’s Future:Satya Sagar

 Guest Post by Satya Sagar

For all those who think that Israel is run by the most despicable, racist and repressive regime in the world here is some very bad news indeed.

Not only are the Israeli state and its ruthless methods here to stay they could also be, very frighteningly, a prototype of our collective global future.

 Watching the unbelievable destruction wrought by the Israelis in Gaza a simple question very high on many minds must be “How in hell does this artificially concocted child of European guilt and American ambition get away with all this again and again and again?”’

The answer is that instead of being a strange historical aberration Israel may well be a model state that global elites want to establish to control the world in the days to come. Continue reading Israel’s Template for the Globe’s Future:Satya Sagar

भाषा का फासीवाद

भाषा का कार्य न तो प्रगतिशील होता है और न प्रतिक्रियावादी, वह  फासिस्ट है: क्योंकि फासिज़्म अभिव्यक्ति पर पाबंदी नहीं लगाता, दरअसल वह बोलने को बाध्य करता है. रोलां बार्थ का यह वक्तव्य पहली नज़र में ऊटपटांग और हमारे अनुभवों के ठीक उलट जान पड़ता है. हम हमेशा से ही फासिज़्म को अभिव्यक्ति का शत्रु मानते आए हैं. लेकिन बार्थ के इस वक्तव्य पर गौर करने से, और हमारे आज के सन्दर्भ में खासकर, इसका अर्थ खुलने लगता है. इसके पहले कि हम आगे बात करें, यह भी समझ लेना ज़रूरी है कि बार्थ की खोज कुछ और थी. वे अर्थापन की नई विधि या पद्धति की तलाश में थे. अंततः उनकी खोज अर्थ से मुक्ति की थी, एक असंभव संधान लेकिन दिलचस्प: स्पष्टतः वह एक ऐसी दुनिया का स्वप्न देखता है जिसे अर्थ से मुक्ति हासिल होगी( जैसे किसी को अनिवार्य सैन्यसेवा से छूट मिली होती है). हम हिन्दुस्तानियों के लिए इसका पूरा अभिप्राय समझना कठिन  है लेकिन एक अमेरीकी या रूसी या इस्राइली के लिए नहीं. उन्हें पता है कि वयस्क होते ही राज्य उनको  सेना में भर्ती होने के लिए बाध्य कर सकता है. प्रसंगवश अनेक न्यूनताओं के बावजूद भारतीय लोकतंत्र के पक्ष में  यह बात भी है कि उसने अपने नागरिक को सैन्य पदावली में परिभाषित नहीं किया. भारतीय होने की शर्त या उसकी कीमत अपना सैन्यीकरण नहीं है. Continue reading भाषा का फासीवाद

A Guantanamo of the Intellect


Close on the heels of the axing by Calicut Uniersity of a poem from an English textbook, for the alleged ‘terrorist links’ of the poet, comes the news of cancellation of a scheduled lecture of Dr. Amina Wadud , a US based Islamic scholar by the authorities of the Madras University.

Calicut University succumbed  to the demand of the ‘Shiksha Bachao Andolan’ , one of the many outfits of the RSS pariva,r that the poem ‘ Ode to the Sea’ be removed from the textbook ‘ Literature and Contemporary Issues’ as its author Ibrahim al- Rubaish was a ‘terrorist’. It was also demanded that the persons responsible for the selection of the poem be identified to ‘uncover’ the network of the ‘sympathizers’ of terrorists in the board of studies and academic council of the university. Continue reading A Guantanamo of the Intellect

Guantanamo and Illegal U.S. Detentions: Time for Real Change

[On the seventh anniversary of Guantanamo Bay, 11 January]

The United States detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – seven years old on 11 January 2009 – have become emblematic of the gross human rights abuses perpetrated by the US Government in the name of fighting terrorism. Though the U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to close down the Guantanamo Bay, there are undoubtedly substantial challenges to closing. Every day that Guantánamo is kept open is another day in which hundreds of detainees and their families are kept in the legal shadows. Distressing to the individuals concerned and destructive of the rule of law, the example it sets – of a powerful country undermining fundamental human rights principles – is dangerous to us all. It would be no less dangerous, and no less unlawful, if the USA were simply to transfer the problem it has created at Guantánamo to another locations.

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay
Detainees at Guantanamo Bay

The detention facility at Guantánamo Bay isn’t the only prison where the United States is holding detainees from the ‘war on terror.’ At Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, Camp Bucca and Camp Cropper in Iraq, and many more – some known and others secret – are used to detain those captured by the U.S. military. Camp Bucca alone has at times held 20,000 prisoners, most of whom live in groups of tents surrounded by wire. Most detainees are held unlawfully, without warrant or charge, and without recourse to challenge their detention. Even when Guantánamo is closed, the need to push for detainee human rights will continue.

Continue reading Guantanamo and Illegal U.S. Detentions: Time for Real Change