Showing posts from 2021

With a little help from my friends

Many of my friends must have felt a little irritated when I sent around a series of requests for donations some weeks earlier. It was my effort at crowd funding from my friends for a social project supporting elderly women and adolescent girls in a few ‘slums’ in Kolkata. The fund raising was somewhat successful, and we have been able to raise funds for take-home rations for about 200 older women for a few months. Dear friends, thank you for your contributions, and do bear with me when I come back to you for your support a few months later. In my conversations with friends over the last months, I have come to realise that many of you make contributions to many social causes. As a person working in the non-profit or the voluntary sector for over three decades, this makes me incredibly happy. Financial support from those who can give it, is extremely important for the social sector, now more than ever before. I feel proud that my friends are so generous. I have learnt that while ther

Keep the Baul-Fakir Tradition Alive in West Bengal

The battlelines are drawn and getting deeper every day. The BJP is throwing in some mighty punches while the TMC is preparing for rear-guard action as many of its stalwarts are deserting the mothership. The Congress and the erstwhile Left Front have joined forces after having been bitter enemies during the long years of the Left Front rule in West Bengal. BJP moved early when it launched its Mission Bengal in early November last year. Within a month TMC intensified its outreach through the Duare Sarkar (Government at your doorstep) programme. There is already news of many scuffles. The BJP president’s convoy was attacked last month when he and other leaders were on their way to a meeting near Kolkata. It promises to be a long and bitter struggle till voting takes place in the first half of this year . (Image from TripAdvisor) Hindutva, Voting and Politics of Contestation Voting is a political act, but in India, citizenship is being increasingly conflated with cultural identity. I

A World of Privilege

The storming of the US Capitol has created shock waves around the world. The world was stunned at the way thousands of supporters of incumbent President Donald Trump, egged on by him, marched to the US Capitol, pushed past the guards and vandalised the building including the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. The President-elect John Biden while condemning the event as ‘one of the darkest days of our nation’s history’ said that the police was very lenient , unlike during the Black Lives Matter protest last year. Many reports are noting the muted response of the DC police to the predominantly white mob in this case compared to the earlier Black Lives Matter protests. This differential response of the police is drawing widespread condemnation of silent sympathy from authorities for the rioters this time around. This entire episode is also being considered a display of ‘white privilege’ . There have always been two Americas. The Capitol Hill riot proved it.   (Click for a video)  The