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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fashionable use of terms without understanding meaning...

With every person with time to waste and a smart phone becoming a political opinion giver, it is important for certain words and their meanings to be understood before they are used. 

Terrorist a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

Fundamentalist a person who believes in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture in a religion. "religious fundamentalists"

Bigot a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

Activist a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.

Environmentalist An environmentalist is a supporter of the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"

Maoist a follower of the communist doctrines of Mao Zedong*. 

Communist a person who supports or believes in the principles of communism which are common ownership of production, money and absence of social class. A communist need not be a Maoist.

Leftist a person with left-wing political views. Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. A leftist need not be a communist. 

Liberal Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equality.

Right wing - Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition

These terms are not to be confused with each other. Sometimes some of these terms are used to mean the other by people who don't use their google search (all the above definitions are pulled out of Google by the way). These terms are not same, they don't mean the same, they cannot be the same. 

Additionally in the Indian context, there are a few other terms that are thrown about - 

Naxalite a member of an armed revolutionary group advocating Maoist communism. 

Hindutva person - someone who supports an ideology seeking to establish the hegemony of Hindus and the Hindu way of life. 

I will additionally define, "Moron" - all those who use these terms above  without having understood the differences in their meaning. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

losing a talented young story teller... Ankit Chadha

Rama Subramanian is at Xavier University, Bhubaneswar.
an amazing story telling session on Gandhi by Ankit Chadha and Vedanth Bharadwaj at XUB. i have heard the Bapu Katha before but something about the quality of music, the choice of lyrics, the pause and silence, story telling style...perhaps one of the most moving story telling that I have seen in recent times.
...this was Jan 30th. it remains the most moving story telling of Bapu, I have heard and I have heard Narain bhai Desaiji live as well. there was this moment during the session when the security personnel of the Governor of Odisha turned up with their security devices and dogs. he was supposed to come up for the next session and the security personnel were there to do a 'check-up', but Ankit and Vedanth were just then getting into the most important part of the story telling, it was about the last day of Gandhiji..."let the Governor come, this is prarthana, let him sit and participate in it, we cannot stop now", said Ankit and he had the entire set of students and all the speakers who were there backing him up. Vijay Mahajan, Shiv Vishwanath...every one of them stood up in solidarity. The story telling continued even as the anxious security personnel and the increasingly agitated organizers tried in vain to negotiate, Ankit and Vedanth ignored them and continued the prarthana..."Gandhi cannot have such a treatment in this country, it is his story", quipped someone...the VC had to come into the picture, request everyone as the Governor was already on the way and the security personnel had to do their, as the angry duo stepped out of the auditorium, so did everyone of us who were scheduled to speak in the conference, and so did most of the students. such was the power of the story telling that almost every one of those present was apologizing to each other, students walked up and apologized to the speakers...the governor's programme was like a long the end of which the entire gathering re-convened as Ankit finished the prarthana along with Vedanth.

the VC personally apologized to each and everyone present. It was a moment where an educational institution caught in its own systemic necessities had to compromise a moment of intense experience and learning and everyone had a bad feeling about it..but, it was also a moment of victory for the story of Bapu and the story teller par excellence who created the magic that would stay with everyone for long...i have been listening to his voice several time since morning, from my memory and from online and reading up...probably the 1 person who made the biggest impact on me during the first encounter this year and have been looking forward so much to be working with him. now he is gone. Sara Wolcott sent a small piece of music in mourning today, have listened to it a few times, but, the heaviness doesn't go. world cannot lose such people so young. Gandhi and this country deserve better than lose this man this way...

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