The food you eat isn't 'real' any longer

We are living in tricky times. Older generations, which valued the merits of naturally-produced foods like the small Gauthi Methi or the thin-skinned locally-produced Tamatar consumed on a daily basis once, have now either been elbowed out of an existence that counts towards consumers or simply relegated to a minority whose opinion doesn't matter. 

Food choices, patterns and benefits were brought down generations by families that cherished values and processes innate to the land. But, with the burgeoning of consumers and, concurrently, their market-manufactured desires, the compulsion to copy tastes and ratify non-native foods and choices, is now overwhelming. Also, gluttony is the new normal.

Simply put, one must respect the weather, wares and wishes of a land s/he belongs to. After all, just like native humans, processes too are native to the place of origin. And, the more we disregard local processes, the more we expose ourselves to the backlash of nature. Yet, population growth, synthetic surges of taste and need have triggered food patterns that are foreign yet customised to the taste of the native. Chinese foods, for instance, in urban India, as opposed to the Chinese food in Russia or in Maharashtra's rural districts vary drastically.

Bold, Inspiring And Grabbing Headlines

Limited as we are by man-made language, nomenclature, and terminology besides the means so simplistic and apparent like paper and other media, like say walls, Art, and in particular, Street Art, is an extension of that what can be generated on traditional medium but extends to public spaces.

On the European front, skewedly propagated as a world platform, it was in the French Revolution’s iconoclasm era, when rebels defaced high-end art to protest French society’s toxic hierarchy creating a niche called graffiti that became synonymous with vandalism. It was the waves of political and economic turbulence that triggered the rise of street art around the world: The Berlin Wall's ‘one-sided’ graffiti being projected as a fight of colourful expression on one side versus the stark totalitarianism of bland emptiness on the other being a rather simplistic definition.

Mere Legislation, Awareness Won’t Help Widows’ Cause

There is a general perception when it comes to the plight of widows. Bereft of their husbands, an Indian widow is perceived as losing her ‘unique’ social status too. And, in this regard, there have been innumerable instances in history, mythology, movies and art to underline the pain. And, if that’s not bad enough, there’s Sati, Johar and more by way of social practice that amplify the exacerbated position of the widow – read the Hindu widow - in particular.

In the formulation of a resolution to the issue, the British initiated a legislation under their East India Company rule legalising the remarriage of widows in all jurisdictions of India and passed The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act 1856, also Act XV, 1856 on 16 July 1856. 

Law, Awareness Must Address Inherent Risks of ‘Natural’ Foods

When Western Russia Sarov’s Saint Seraphim, one of the most renowned Russian saints and venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church also generally considered ‘the greatest of the 18th-century startsy’, had said, “Drink water from the spring where horses drink. The horse will never drink bad water. Lay your bed where the cat sleeps. Eat the fruit that has been touched by a worm. Boldly pick the mushroom on which the insects sit. Plant the tree where the mole digs.” 

Back home, when Lord Rama chose to visit Shabari’s hut, now in Shivrinarayan, Chhattisgarh, and consumed her half-eaten berries (bers), despite brother Laxman’s disapproval, even when Ram could have opted for other fresh food, speaks reams of the merits of truly ‘natural’ food otherwise looked down by modern society.

Medical Ethics Is Casualty in COVID Pandemic

The issue with ethics is that it is, by far, perceived as possessing an element of persuasion that is enforced by fear of social disassociation as opposed to law which is, in most quarters, mandated and ascertained by threat of penal action, material loss or professional banishment. 

The role of the medical professional, across continents, has been in sharp focus over the last two years owing to the COVID pandemic. And, actions as necessitated by situations extraordinary and urgent as forced by the pandemic could be mostly generalised as ‘Acts Done In Good Faith’ and, concurrently, implied and protected to some extent by law.

Failing the Spirit Of Law on Affirmative Action

The issue of caste throws open the floodgates of intellectualised criticism across India. Posturing depends, as always, on positions taken by birth, gender, or profession and in the order affected. Liberty is assured to those who reach out for it. Modelled on tenets that work along the lines of first-come-first-served, justice being available to those who make a bid for it, and more, the defences of contributory negligence, limitation lapses and provocations offset claims and nullify pleas. Law is within the reach of the privileged in a democracy, who comprise it too, brought within the reach of the marginalised few by Affirmative Action which, as a rule, fails a few. 

Intention Of No Consequence In Cases of Medical Negligence

In a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of India, issues of medical negligence, mens rea and legal procedures laid down by the Apex Court came into focus, once again. The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna set aside a judgment of the Patna High Court as well as the summoning order issued by the Trial Court and ruled mens rea was not required in Medical Negligence cases.

Amrut Mahotsav To Showcase India’s Azaadi Over A Year

India’s year-long celebration from 15 August 2021 to commemorate 75 years of Independence with a range of programmes and projects will showcase “development, governance, technology, reform, progress and policy,” over the years. The exercise is being initiated by the Prime Minister’s office and is most likely to be flagged off on August 15, 2021 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Red Fort. To showcase India’s trajectory over the years, all Central ministries and departments have been asked to identify 10 projects that would be implemented and on the anvil are projects ranging from energy-efficient street lighting to Command and Control Centres in all 100 Smart Cities, Garbage-Free 2,022 Cities and the Skilling Programme for migrant workers. The projects lined up by the ministries would be completed by August 2022 and inaugurated by Modi during the celebratory year.

The Bias of Commercial Surrogacy Must Be Smashed

Perception, almost always, has a symbiotic relation with perspective. One shapes the other and only in a manner that one can. A person, whose perception is honed, over time and with experience, is perceived as one possessing an exhaustive perspective on the issue. That the perspective is subjective doesn’t matter in the least to a homogenous audience, with views similarly coloured, which conveniently considers it entirely objective. 

Laws To Claim The Right To Be Forgotten Must Be In Place

That a law is expected to be in sync with the need of the hour is a given. That it must and ultimately as a rule, catch up with the need is an integral part of the very nature of jurisprudence. That it, till then, cannot, is the unavoidable issue in contention. During this period, there’s academic and media reportage of the need, analysis of the offence that needs to be addressed, deliberation over the lacunae in the system and then formulation of legislation to tackle the issue. This period, from the time the need of the hour is identified till the letter of the law formulated, comprises a grey area. In this interlude, the law cannot catch up with the offender simply because the act is not, for practical purposes, yet an offence in the eyes of law.

'Nationalism' for most, for others 'Hate', unifies Indians

Nationalism, as a concept, is subjective in form and substance. Never before in the history of free India has the concept of 'Nationalism' been of more relevance than today when factions are deeply divided both in loyalty and in the interpretation of some basic concepts like Freedom, Liberty and Secularism. The notion of nationalism that has percolated down history has been primarily in British India and deals with a sense of nationalism that had to be won over from the British to further a concept of ‘free’ India. Till India earned her freedom, 'Nationalists' were divided only on their choice of ‘ways’ to achieve freedom. The goal remained one - Freedom from the British Rule yet the paths varied from one of Gandhi's route of non-violence and the other, the way of Netaji – a violent uprising against the British. Yet, although the approaches differed, the goal remained the same. And then, India got her Independence from the British in 1947 and alongside Nationalism, as a concept, went through a transformation of sorts.

Self-Styled Custodian Of Freedom And Liberty Needs To Look Within

French media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) aka Reporters Without Borders recently named India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘predator of press freedom’, in a flagrant display of populism and unabashed disinformation. For one, few countries permit their nationals to bash its polity and stay protected at all times by a Fundamental Law like the one affecting Speech and Expression or the Law on Privacy under the Right to Life, like India.

The Star-Spangled Banner Must Dump Legacy Of Hate

"My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports,"​ said hammer thrower and activist Gwen Berry in retort to the backlash following her turning her back to the American flag as the national anthem was being played at the U.S. Olympic Trials on 29 June 2021. Competitors DeAnna Price, who won first place, and Brooke Andersen, second place winner, put their hands over their hearts and faced the flag. "I'm here to represent those ... who died due to systemic racism. That's the important part. That's why I'm going. That's why I'm here today,"​ she said. It wasn't the first time she was protesting. In 2019, Berry had protested racial injustice on the medal stand during the Pan American Games in Lima by raising her fist at the end of the national anthem. It fetched her a year-long probation that was eventually overturned.

Solutions To Human Rights Violations, Displace Nearly A Fifth Of Venezuelans

Second, only to Syria, in terms of external displacements, Venezuela has been hit hard. Since 2015, of its population of 30 million, almost a fifth - more than 5.6 million - have left the South American country to "escape political, economic and social hardships​." Since oil was discovered in the country in the 1920s, it has taken Venezuela on a ride that offers textbook lessons to resource-rich states. The government has been said to be "highly dependent on income from fossil fuels, power is concentrated in an elite minority and corruption is spread beyond control."

Vatican Protest Of Italy Bill Reeks of Homophobia

In an unusual move to get involved in Italy's legislation, the Vatican has just recently protested to Italy's embassy over the 'Zan Bill'​ , named after Democratic legislator Alessandro Zan, intended to combat homophobia. Criminalising discriminatory conduct on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity "would have the effect of negatively impacting the freedoms assured to the Catholic Church,"​ wrote the Vatican Secretariat of State adding that in doing so it violates the Lateran Pacts that establish Vatican City as a sovereign state and provide religious freedoms in its relationship with Italy.