The Indian Army, the armed forces, have a rich history and a glorious past, dating back to even more than a century. It had participated in a number of battles around the world and earned honors, both before and after Independence. Within the organization the culture that prevails, offers very less opportunity to raise voice or oppose things. But from outside the picture looks rosy and the culture is ideal. Even a minor improvement will pay rich dividends to the society and the nation. After so many years of independence, we must analyze these problems.
Category: Society & Culture Page 1 of 13
Prolific and diverse, the Indian film industry produces more movies than any other country – about 1500 or more annually, which is more than twice as many as Hollywood does. Popular Hindi cinema has always played a key role in defining and designing people’s minds towards the nation. The Bombay film industry, now called Bollywood, seems to be officially ignited by a passion: nation-building through cinema. Yeah, the josh is high.
So what is actually “nation-building cinema” – a tad different from nationalistic cinema, in which we’ve been drowning in the last few years. Is current nation-building about highlighting government policies and ‘achievements’ like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Sui Dhaga, and Padman—the three films that have clearly been the inspiration for the PM’s initiative? Are we moving towards a “Modi-an” Indian cinema? Will more such films be consciously churned out? Will the government fund or tax-exempt them as it did Toilet and Padman? This turns out to be actually a win-win deal for both a government seeking publicity as well as Bollywood—which is why perhaps the latter is enthused by the prospect of doing Films Division newsreels in feature film form.
Americans owe about $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. That’s about twice the current budget for the Defense Department and around 22 times the budget for the Education Department. The prime question is – why is college so expensive? In 1965, the US government passed the Higher Education Act, which was supposed to encourage the students to go to college. The US Government told the universities that they would personally guarantee student loans. When the colleges heard this, they got assured that they would be paid, no matter the cost, thus they raised their prices. After all, the government isn’t a money-making entity and so they are just managing their finances by playing with the citizens’ money.
In 2020, President Emmanuel Macron’s reaction to the terror attack outside Charlie Hebdo’s old office received sharp criticism from the Islamic world and the American-Anglo media. What his words and the French republic’s reaction did is open up a debate on liberal and radical secularism in western society. Since India’s independence in 1947, we have been grappling with the idea of secularism and its practices. Whether it’s the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, the demand for states based on religious lines such as Kashmir or Khalistan, or the Babri Masjid demolition of 1992 – what we clearly know by now is that the Indian state does not know how to deal with religion and secularism. Let’s delve deeper to understand why.
Liberal secularism is the belief in separating religion from political discourse. It believes that religion is personal and as a cultural aspect, it must be accepted as an individual choice of how one wishes to follow it. In other words, it is democratic and free. In a democracy, it is very important for individuals to retain personal freedom in how they identify themselves and if that identity is based on religion, they should have the freedom to follow it. Radical secularism is the complete opposite – it is undemocratic and believes in removing religion completely from the public sphere. To many, especially in the case of France, radical secularism should not be practiced since it prevents minorities from having their separate identity in a multi-cultural society.
The novel corona virus or Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on this whole world. The contagion has brawny ramifications in every sphere of life from health care to education to the real estate industry. With the contagion spreading, various medical researchers were all set to the task of developing an effective vaccine, in which they were at-last successful although their efficacies are debatable.
Universal vaccination programmes have eliminated innumerable afflictions ranging from small pox to measles to polio. But in a short span of time the world will witness one of the most anticipated and challenging events of the year 2020 – ‘The great COVID-19 vaccination errand’.
Much has been written about the impact of Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown on India’s formal economy. But given that India’s informal economy employs nearly 90 percent of the country’s total employed population, it deserves some focus too. Since an overall evaluation of India’s informal economy would be too big a challenge, this article will only focus on informal workers and how they were impacted by Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown. Before moving on to implications, it is important to highlight the problems an informal sector employee faces even under normal, non-pandemic circumstances. The Informal sector workforce largely consists of economically marginalized sections of the Indian society. Owing to lack of government regulation and documentation, they don’t receive social security services, pension schemes, paid holidays and a whole host of other basic rights that a formal sector employee receives. In addition to all this, their job security practically doesn’t exist. They are employed and serve at the pleasure of the employer who can remove them from their jobs without any notice. In this context, let us study the problems they faced during and in the aftermath of the nationwide lockdown.
“We are people and we are affected by his decisions – we aren’t just K-pop stans, we’re humans before we’re fans, and if we have the platform and the numbers to try to make a change then we’ll do it.” – Anonymous
Magic, be it a stroke of serendipity or even anything associated with the devil or with evil spirits, be it when we were young or even now, as we read this line, at least for once, we all have believed in magic, at least once in our lifetime, be it in different forms, sizes, shapes, living or non-living, abstract or concrete, in cartoons, movies, or even reality, or a thousand of other manifestations.