- Baudrillard, Hyperreality and Contemporary Sports By Richard Giulianotti
In the postmodern era of media simulated hyperreality, as Jean Baudrillard would argue, it is no longer possible to distinguish the real from the media constructed spectacle. Are we really seeing football and cricket? Or are we watching television-mediated/technologically induced signs and symbols like glossy ads and soap operas? The author—a distinguished sociologist of sport—invokes Baudrillard, and throws light on the changing sport culture. This piece is an excerpt from one of his papers.
- Banaras Hindu University: The Passionate Patriarch
Blatant sexism can be seen in our institutions for higher learning even today as we witness discriminatory rules for girls living in hostels on campuses like BHU. With the onset of popular protest against such derogatory practices against women the time has come for us to restructure our educational priorities and make learning institutions egalitarian spaces.
- Our Uniqueness is Our Choice
EDITORIAL OCTOBER 2017
- Man Slips into Drain as People Record Video
A man in Hyderabad was recently washed away into a drain as bystanders recorded his struggle on their mobile cameras. Incidents of such nature remind us of the growing human insensitivity and the coldness in human interaction. Amidst these conditions does hope lie anywhere?
- Verdict Awaited in Sabarimala Case: Will Women Gain Access to the Temple?
Women are equal citizens with the same fundamental rights like their male counterparts. However, in Sabarimala temple women between the age group of 10-50 years are not allowed their right to worship freely based on archaic customary practices. Can the Constitutional Bench contest this practice and return to women their right to equality?
- Bihar question paper controversy: People of Kashmir are called Indians
Name the inhabitants of countries like Nepal, India, England and Kashmir- a question like this has appeared in a State conducted examination in Bihar. Is it just a printing error or an error in our national consciousness?
- Supreme Court Verdict Declares Sex with Minor Wife Illegal
Child marriage is a social evil that despite legal steps continues to haunt Indian society. The landmark judgment of the Supreme Court that designates sexual intercourse below the age of eighteen years as rape may be a fruitful turning point towards the eradication of the social evil. But will legislation alone be able to transform our collective outlooks?
- Che: The Face on my T-shirt
Ernesto Che Guevara was an Argentinian revolutionary and theorist who was also a key founder of the Cuban revolution in 1959 to overthrow American capitalistic forces. He is a widely acclaimed and cherished public icon even after 50 years since he died. Paradoxically the market led capitalistic forces that he dedicated his life fighting against has today become his biggest beneficiary by selling popular merchandise and apparels in his name. With a lack of sustained engagement with his life and philosophy and the market becoming the overpowering dictator, can the legacy of Che really be rescued?
- Jantar Mantar to Ramlila Maidan: Pushing Dissent to the Periphery
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has put a ban on protests at Jantar Mantar which has witnessed some of the most important public movements in recent times and made the Ramlila Maidan the new site for protest demonstrations. The ban by the NGT is symbolic of the growing culture of shrinking spaces for democratic dissent. What symbolic value does the ban have for ordinary citizens?
- Entrapped in the Debris of Time: How Bleak are our Futures?
The Supreme Court has banned firecrackers in Delhi-NCR preceding the upcoming festival of Diwali while 16 more children have died in Gorakhpur; while these events may at first appear distinct and unrelated we must understand that they are both sides of the same coin. We must acknowledge that they point to an institutional void and subsequently to a future that is bleak and unpromising for the nation as a collective. How far can half-hearted mechanisms really work?
- My Caste, My Identity: Am I Doomed Forever?
In this remarkably honest and transparent article Professor Avijit Pathak has reflected on his own journey towards a casteless identity.
- Deconstructing ‘Moral’ Education and its Relevance for Our Times
Moral education is a much contested terrain; nevertheless it is a theme that has captured the attention of educationists from the beginning of time. In the contemporary situation it becomes crucial for us to redefine its meaning, and innovate it to suit the challenges of the present times. The article that follows shows us the path by throwing light on this interesting and compelling theme.
- Nurturing the use of Senses at the School Level
Growing urbanization and fascination with gadgets has often ended up robbing children of the time and space to discover and relate to the natural world around them, this not only deprives them of the sheer happiness of unwinding in natural abundance but also weakens their artistic/emotive faculties. The article that follows shares some creative insights as to how pedagogues can bring young learners closer to nature through simple yet meaningful activities.
- Gandhi and his associates
Today is the birth anniversay of M.K. Gandhi but for many of us this day means nothing more than another holiday. This age seems to have nothing much to do with Gandhi other than just possibly seeing him as a state appropriated symbol. Perhaps this is an accurate time for all of us to ask ourselves what really is the relevance of Gandhi for us.
On this beautiful occassion we are invoking those who really understand the spirit of Gandhi beyond appropriation or utility.
- Gandhi in his Lighter Moments
Gandhi is the iconic symbol of peace, on-violence and communal brotherhood. On his birth anniversary we pay tribute to the man whose humility and simplicity have continued to inspire many genrations.
- A Fresh Approach to Teaching the English Language Innovatively
Language is the essence of civilization and no human society can function without the passing on of language from one generation to the next. In the article that follows the author tries to suggest ways in which teaching the English language can be an innovative, engaging and fulfilling exercise.
- The rise of selfie fatalities
A man in Rourkela was trampled to death by an elephant with which he was trying to click a selfie. This is one among the many selfie-deaths that take place every day around the world. The question we want to ask is whether this can be understood in isolation or is this only the manifestation of a dormant social disease?
- A Pedagogic Engagement with Great Characters: Overcoming Stereotypes
History is about human narratives—and at tines narratives of people with extraordinary courage and fearlessness. However, because of political stereotypes, we often do injustice to these characters. Is it possible to engage with these narratives differently? An educator speaks of this possibility by invoking Bhagat Singh and Swami Vivekananda.
- Why I am an Atheist – Bhagat Singh 1930
On the occassion of the 111th birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh. We are publishing an excerpt from his most celebrated writing ” Why I am an atheist?”
- A Future that is better than the Present: Reminiscences of Childhood in the age of consumerism
We live in times characterised by hyper-consumerism and the dominance of the market ideology amidst these circumstances how can we cultivate a consciousness among young learners that transcends the ethos of consumption? Let us explore the theme in what follows below.
- The art of Louise Bourgeois
Recently the art of Louise Bourgeois was exhibited at the museum of modern art in New York. Here, her work on the issue of patriarchy, sexuality and womanhood was in focus.
- A Plea Against the Ruthlessness of Developement
Humanity and nature must work in coordination to make sustainable living a possibility. With our tendency of excessive exploitation of nature and a desire for reckless growth we are bound to cause immense destruction to nature and subsequently to our own civilization. An alternative discourse is that of ecofeminism: a voice against the hegemony of aggressive developemntalism and a plea for sustainable futures.
Here is an engaging excerpt from the book ‘Soil Not Oil’ by Vandana Shiva.
- The Politics of Sardar Sarovar Dam and the Negligence of Humanitarian Concerns
The Sardar Sarovar Dam was recently inaugurated by the Prime Minister despite the history of prolonged people’s movement against its construction. What does an event of this kind symbolise for the future of the country and the fate of its ordinary citizens?
- A School where the Learner is Valued
A.S. Neil was a Scottish writer and educationist who created the Sumerhill School in England in 1921 and it continues to be a model for progressive and democratic schooling even now. The school was based on the idea that learning communities must be inclusive spaces where children do not fear adults, do not do things compulsively or feel regimented by routine. The Sumerhill is a space where free spirited education is practiced and the child is at the heart of his own educational process. Here is an engaging excerpt from A.S. Neil’s book ‘Sumerhill’ that explains his philosophy behind this iconic school.
- Just 1 Paisa loan Waiver: a Draconian Joke?
The farmer is the backbone of a nation like India which is not only an agrarian society but also one which has a tremendously large population to feed and sustain. Given these conditions it is impossible for India to actually neglect and take for granted its farmer community but today what we witness around us is the stark opposite of this as farmers in various states of the country such as Uttar Pradesh have been promised loan waivers to give them relief from massive agricultural losses but the meagre amounts that they finally did manage to receive after much waiting are only an insignificant portion of what was promised on paper. Are we not cracking a very poor joke at the Indian farmer?
- Telangana Village has Toilets for Every Household but no Water Supply
Open defecation is discouraged and toilets are built without water supply- what is the ordinary citizen expected to do? The story of Tenda village in Telangana reveals the paradox of the popular cleanliness campaign and shows us how we continue to have misplaced priorities even seventy years after independence.