Friday, May 25, 2007

where is the broader analysis?

watched two reports on television ...
1. SS Ravishankar of Art of Living is in Iraq to spread the message of peace and non-violence and overlook relief efforts.
2. A UNICEF official reports that due to the violence in Iraq the huminatarian situation is worsening.

In both cases had the same thought---"Why such a narrow outlook on the topic?". There was absolutely no analysis on the source of the violence and the unrest (not that I have this thought or heard about this for the first time). It is as if the discussion on why the violence started, on what basis Iraq was invaded, how the resources are being looted is of no importance---more ironically since all the reasons for the invasion have been debunked. If anywhere, both SSRS and UNICEF should at the doors of White House, the perpetrators of this so-called war. Unless, the source of the conflict is addressed, no preaching, breathing exercises or huminatarian efforts will solve anything.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

history? what history?

Read this article regarding the release of the movie "Amu", which according to writer-director Shonali Bose is the 'suppressed history of genocide' after the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Indian Censor Board which gave it a 'A' rating had to say this when asked for a reason,
Why should young people know a history that is better buried and forgotten?

Other than the aspect of moral-policing, the statement gives an indication of the role and importance of history in society. In this case, why shouldn't people get to know about the incident? Surely, the sikh roits are painful and bring back sad memories, but the story is important to be told to expose the role played by everyone involved---the state, the goons of the Congress party, the lack of convictions, the extent of illogical hatred. Cannot history teach us how excessive powers with the State can result in such unaccountable tragedies? cannot it teach us what the results of such pogroms can be? and cannot it show how short-sighted humans are, blaming an entire sect for the act of a few? Is history viewed in this context and more generally as learning tool for the present and future from past experiences? or is it just an event and a date, with a narrow view of what the events means and implies.

* * *

As school kids, history was always taught as a subject to learn dates and related events. The bigger context of the events, the reasons behinds these actions, parallels between events of yesterday and today, ideologies of people rather than people taught as idols is hardly taught. History textbooks do not have letters, essays, articles written during the times being studied. Wonder why? and wonder how it would have been studying history in that manner.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Chomsky interview

In an interview, Chomsky speaks about the fascist trend of the US Congress, the narrow debate regarding the Iraq invasion and the World Bank and IMF policies.