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Sunday Editorial:Is the word ‘development’ meaningful any more?

  By Ratnakar Tripathy Democracy: A Sisyphean struggle? No, is the sad conclusion I have come to with all my limitations – my limited brain capacity, my limited reading and experience, my limited ability to digest data, and of course my limited ability to hallucinate optimism where there isn’t any. But of course, it is not the word to blame but us, this world of ours that reduces and hollows words of their intended meanings, for reasons we need to find out and admit in a hurry. We have had hallowed words like ‘salvation’ and ‘progress’ in the past as life aims for humans. They... 

Sunday Editorial:The puzzle of AAP’s success and the politics of renunciation

  By Ratnakar Tripathy  AAP: future Gandhis? One of the main reasons AAP has caused other political parties and leaders to react with a combination of frantic anger and bewilderment is they simply don’t understand it. On the other hand, there are reasons why even an ordinary political worker from the days of our national movement would have found the AAP far from inscrutable, even if the contemporary terminologies like ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ and several others foxed him momentarily. Being accustomed to the capricious and experimental ways of Mahatma’s political behaviour,... 

Bhagwandas Morwal’s ‘Ret’ [Sand]: reading the novel and its aura!

    by Ratnakar Tripathy Bhagwandas Morwal I really love it when I discover a good writer – a poet, a short story writer or a novelist. Recently, when a friend introduced to me the great Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare, lending me three of his books in Pune at a go, my shame at discovering this author so late in life was easily outweighed by the glow of joy that stayed with me for several days. I found myself looking for excuses to mention or if possible, discuss Kadare at length in the unlikeliest company and circumstances. I also felt a deep gratitude towards my friend that only... 

Sunday Editorial:What kind of cultural policy does Bihar need?

  By Ratnakar Tripathy Culture but how? First of all, I will start with the admission that I am not very comfortable with the very idea of cultural policy. In fact I react with some wariness when I hear the phrase. Culture happens. It is not created through firmans, fiats or even bribes and encouragement. In fact such moves may instead lead to the creation of something toxic called official culture, encouraging all kinds of culture vultures, sucking up to people in authority for grants, positions and awards. I am sure most of you have heard of good people demeaning themselves to receive the... 

Sunday Editorial: Communal riots, the latest form of social engineering used by politicians!

  By Ratnakar Tripathy Hate politics: shortcut to power! Let me start with a cliché that may seem cynical to you – love is a lesser persuader than hate. Even though it is the more enduring sentiment for anyone who cares for anything that is lasting! You may love someone deeply and yet out of laziness, momentary lapse, lack of time or steadfastness end up failing the loved one at a crucial moment. Of course, you will call later and apologize with the realization that your apology falls seriously short. A regret will turn into a guilt which may bore a home deep inside your soul and bother... 

Sunday Editorial:Walking down the road in Patna, an urban nightmare!

By Ratnakar Tripathy Patna: enforced intimacy! Even as I let my fingers hover over the keyboard, I am aware that someone familiar with Patna may ask – why were you walking in Patna in the first place? My answer is as a biped I like to use my feet by way of instinct! Wherever! I don’t always need a leafy pathway or a scenic hill to let my instinct have a go. But I am writing today about a very purposeful walk – recently I decided to walk the congested stretch from Sultanganj bordering on the old city to Gandhi Maidan, an ample space which leaves enough sky above the ground.  This is a distance... 

Sunday Editorial: How about the right to walk: pedestrian rights!

  By Ratnakar Tripathy Oh The pleasure of walking! We humans use the word ‘walking’ as the privilege of the biped. All other beings with four, six or eight limbs, but tails, feelers and trunks not included, do not walk…ahem…we claim they canter, lope, gallop, crawl, trot and many other verbs, amounting to dozens if not hundreds, meant to put them out of the reach of the exclusive walker’s club of two-legged divinities, open to humans only. Privileged us! Or so I thought, till a while ago, looking as I was at roads, lanes and highways from the motorist’s point of view. I... 

Sunday Editorial-What Bihar really needs now: Nitish and Laloo should come together!

  By Ratnakar Tripathy Mutual Bowing: easy for warriors! The proposition is simple – Laloo and Nitish would make an unbeatable combination in Bihar today. Refuting this proposition is just as simple – just use the word impossible, and everyone down to the last illiterate peasant in Bihar knows why! The reason pure and simple is ‘egos’. The egos of two men who have been too close in the past and then too distant to come together. So am I asking conjoined twins, who managed to separate themselves successfully, to come back and attach themselves again? No, not at all. It’s in fact more... 

Sunday Editorial:Gluttony and the good life: the pornography of food!

By Ratnakar Tripathy   All roads lead to the mouth! Yes, I use the word pornography deliberately, since with numerous columns, TV channels, cooking shows and contests, the one single message is – drool and slurrrrp. Real pitilessly grrrreeedy drool that flows down the shirtfront, as shamelessly as you don’t care! The idea is to make you fall for brilliantly photographed images of parathas, kebabs, pasta, quiches and breads. Photos of the bread seem so real you want to run your fingers over the crumbs to feel the wholesome roughness. Pictures of purees make you want to puncture the steam-filled... 

Sunday Editorial:Cruelty and kindness in love and marriage: two tales from Mumbai and Bihar!

  By Ratnakar Tripathy  hanging by a thread: important life decisions! This week two incidents made a great impression on me. That usually means one is unable to stop thinking about them. I know I will not be able to stop thinking about them for some time to come. First, in Mumbai, where a young married woman hanged herself by the ceiling fan in the middle of an online conversation with her estranged husband, whose family was asking for dowry. The camera was on through all this. Yes, he saw her kill herself! Second, near Bhagalpur in Bihar, where a young man and his girlfriend were waylaid... 
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