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about the biography of Center for the Study of Social Systems, JNU…

By Dev N Pathak JNU: a classroom! The irony of our times is not that we do not know; it is that we refuse to reckon with all we know! Following the norm of institutional narcissism, for which the sociologists of education have critiqued elite schools aplenty, the Center for the Study of Social Systems (CSSS) celebrated fortieth year of its existence. And it was done through a three day long conference titled ‘Sociology Matters (predicate is not important). A conference, though, with only panel discussions and symposia! Yes, some sprinkling of art and culture here and there which either seemed... 

Ghoora [घूरा] – Gossiping caste equations in rural Bihar

Ratnakar Tripathy By Ratnakar Tripathy I am not a well-travelled man. Certainly not, compared to some globe-trotting friends and relatives who post impossible landscapes and objects on their facebook, kind of GPS footprints, as they gallop around the globe. But I have learnt one simple lesson during my travels – if you want to communicate with people, just treat their hearths as the ultimate centre of the earth. It helps you escape your own mental and material confines but more important, turns you into a joiner rather than a whishing meteorite from outer space. That’s why when I make the half-yearly... 

Art of Politics and Politics of Art in Sri Lanka: reasons to rediscover South Asia

  By Dev N Pathak   Anura, ‘Invasion’ (Photo by Dev Pathak) ‘The State had us believe that it was celestial violence, it was divine providence; and we feel sick that we believed in state-sponsored ideas; now we are patients with disease’, says Jagath Weerasinghe, the eminent artist and archeologist from Sri Lanka, while he takes the viewers on a tour of his work at Espace Gallery, in New Delhi on 10 December 2012.The exhibition of the contemporary visual art from Sri Lanka titled ‘Narratives of Resistance’ is literal as well as metaphorical. Jagath’s work titled ‘Soldier’... 

Ghoora [घूरा] – Gangnam in Ghagha Ghat, Patna: Holy Psy!

  Ratnakar-Tripathy By Ratnakar Tripathy Ghagha Ghat is no boondocks! It is just 200 meters away from Gandhi Ghat, the most glamorized ghat of Patna, meant to be a showpiece for the new shining Bihar.  It is also where I live. I believe I am well-placed in life, musically, if not otherwise. Everyday as I sit down to work and at times when in deep slumber, I get reminded of human mortality. For Ghagha is just a 2-minute walk from Gulabi Ghat, the cremation hub for my part of the city. As the funeral processions move hurriedly along the lane, they chant ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai [Ram’s name is... 

Batras [बतरस] – after Ma Durga, its now Mahishasur’s turn to take the mike!

  The great Strife: choreographed! By Ratnakar Tripathy Recently a friend of mine sent me a mail which was all attachments – not a word in the mail but altogether 11 attachments in a multi-storeyed arrangement. These were news reports, pictures, photographs of posters hung in the Jawaharlal Nehru University by students who decided to organize a Mahishasur martyrdom Day on 29th October. Yes, Mahishasur, the famed character slain by the goddess Durga all over the pooja pandals in North and often South India being the man-buffalo in focus! Then there was a photo of the posters destroyed by... 

Batras [बतरस]-Is Nitish communicating with the Bihari voter any more: after 7 talkative years!

Batras  [बतरस] Ratnakar Tripathy By Ratnakar Tripathy Gaya: even as Nitish, the CM of Bihar is trying to mobilize the masses to assert Bihar’s right [adhikar] to special status, the Bihari populace or at least a large number of them seem more interested in their rights [adhikar] vis a vis the state government led by Nitish. This irony is becoming clearer by the day as after many years, politics in Bihar is stirring up and new and old voices are finding ready platform and eager audience. This even includes the stale jokes of a Laloo Yadav who is suddenly able to muster large crowds wherever... 

Dear home: Letters from an NRB – Connecting South Asia via Sri Lanka

Dev N Pathak By Dev Nath Pathak  Artists, Art Historians, Archeologists and such creatures with self-centered behavior are rarely inclined to talk to sociologists and anthropologists. Certainly not if the latter ask unsettling questions and raise doubts over the fixed categories! For, nobody except the social scientists seem to wish to leave their comfort zone. Even the majority of social scientists would only choose to be rocked in a comfortable armchair rather than a dialogue with other disciplines. But then, Sri Lanka is a tropical land with immense fertility even if the low population presence... 

Occidentally yours- Giving new voice to Shakespeare’s silenced stalwarts

By Somnath Batabyal Somnath Batabyal My friend could not believe her ears. “Shakespeare? Cutting-edge? You must be joking. You need to get out more, see some new theatre and de-colonise your mind.” I was returning, elated, from a performance of Toni Morrison’s incredible musical sequel to Othello when I dropped the clanger on the phone to my friend. I’d used the words ‘cutting-edge’ in the same sentence as that old tool of colonial oppression, William Shakespeare, and I wasn’t going to live it down without some careful argumentation. My feelings for Shakespeare... 

Eco-Scope Bihar – Waste Water Treatment

Prof Ashok Kumar Ghosh by Prof. Ashok Kumar Ghosh Waste water is a significant pollution source that has serious adverse impact both on the environment and local residents. In urban area of Bihar raw waste water is disposed in small nallas or left to infiltrate through cesspits into the underlying vulnerable ground water aquifers. These aquifers are the only water sources and suffer from over exploitation and contamination. The problem is further complicated by the poor economical conditions that prevent the construction of infrastructure and burden the locals with the costly expenses of waste... 

Eco-Scope Bihar – Role of Informal Sector in Solid Waste Management

Prof. Ashok Kumar Ghosh by Prof. Ashok Kumar Ghosh A significant factor in the waste management practices of low income countries like India is the presence of extensive informal sector activities, either in the form of recycling enterprise of itinerant waste buyers and dealers, or through self employed and municipal sweepers collecting solid waste against an agreed payment from household. The “informal sector in solid waste management” refers to individuals, families, and private sector (micro-) enterprises working in waste management services and valorisation, whose activities are neither... 
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