Microcosm – Communism is love

The world, in general, is divided on many fronts but the one which takes the cake is economics. There is a huge ideological clash between capitalists and communists or socialists and there is a free exchange of arguments, logic, facts, abuses, memes, sarcasm, insults, ego and war. Communists have been guilty of over criticizing every aspect of capitalism and shifting the burden of every problem on capitalism. You can’t really argue against that because we live in a capitalist world and thus every problem somehow finds its roots in someone trying to make money or the class system which exists. On the other hand, capitalists themselves keep preaching that let alone capitalism, even socialism, which is a step towards communism can’t work because of human nature, whereas the wealthy ones try their level best and successfully bring down any socialist movement anywhere in the world. There is a class system based on the ego of IQ points and both sides literally claim that you need a higher IQ to be on either side. I am happy with lesser IQ points than getting into an elitist ego clash of IQ points. I have just seen people asking whether anyone has lived in a communist system or is even such a system possible? I would say we all do.
In this capitalist world, we all live in a communist system at a microscopic level. The answer is love, the answer is family, sharing a common feeling of love and ownership of the all the people in a family. Family members don’t compete against each other, they compete together against other families in this capitalist world. A couple wouldn’t split their bills equally even though they have unequal earnings. That happens when you live with flatmates. A couple’s entire production would be their combined earnings. Also, they won’t keep a track of who is consuming more resources. Yes, there are power relations defined within the family as well. Patriarchy has defined gender roles, but a father as a breadwinner responsible for the entire production would not feel bad that the child or housewife dependent on him is just consuming the resources without assisting the production. A mother would happily sacrifice her needs if the kid needs more. Family members won’t be making rational choices and playing dominant strategies which would ultimately lead to zero production as in a multiplayer communist simulation of completely rational individuals. This is literally, from each according to their ability to each according to their needs! Because the binding love is irrational. And in the field of Behavioral Economics, as Dan Ariely concludes in his book ‘The Upside of Irrationality‘ that money still isn’t the biggest motivation for people to work. It is either a feeling of altruism or a feeling of ownership, a social responsibility. This is because a human being or any other living organism has this embedded irrationality of love in them. It truly is human nature! But this feeling of care never surpassed families or close friends because we were supposed to compete for the limited resources on earth, so we drew our lines of love to whosever was in our immediate surroundings of contact and that line never expanded even with all the technology for communication and connecting the world. Also, because, the technology has never been inclusive for the entire planet but it didn’t happen even for the people on the right side of the digital divide.
Even a lot of startups and organizations are trying to work towards inculcating a familial bond in their teams for the best output. If you have really got to spread communism or socialism or proletariat consciousness, you need to gradually spread a general feeling of ownership towards the human race, towards the world and its resources first. You have got to spread the love. An enforcement with support for the wrong reasons, without any feeling of responsibility, would break down, just spread the love, not cold war!

PS – Obviously, easier said than done, the above said might take generations, maybe even apocalypse!

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On Murthal

The Woman Inc.

by Meha Khanduri

This article nearly never got written because as I start to write on the issue I start seeing red. When India was raptly watching students of a prestigious university go through a long drama of whether slogan shouting students had committed sedition or not…rampaging mobs were burning, looting, and ransacking the cities of Haryana, right next door to the capital Delhi. Nobody was really outraged, no resignations were called for, no charges of sedition were made and after nearly two days of looting and burning worth 34000 crores, the government cordially accepted the demands of the rampaging mobs and the burning and looting came to an end.  An amicable solution all around..except for criminality and couple of thousand crores of national property but …..this is India!

Four days later some ghost stories started floating around. The whispers said that not only Haryana’s cities had been burnt and…

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Letter of solidarity from members of the faculty of IIT Bombay

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

[This statement is issued in our individual capacities, and does not represent the institution’s opinion]

We, the undersigned, members of the faculty at IIT Bombay, are deeply concerned with the recent events that have undermined the autonomy of institutions of higher education in this country. We believe that these institutions are spaces of critical thinking and expression. Matters of contention that might arise in the conduct of intellectual and social engagements need to be addressed democratically and rationally. These methods in turn should be within the purview of institutional procedures that are responsible and accountable.

The state cannot dictate on the many meanings of what it is to be ‘Indian’ or mandate the meaning of ‘nationalism’. Rather, the state should be the one that makes sure that multiple ways of imagining one’s relationship with the nation are allowed to flourish especially when it might contradict dominant ways of thinking. In…

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Condemning Caste Discrimination in Higher Education Centres that led to Rohith’s Untimely Death – Students of Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

Guest Post by Students of Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University

dschool

( A protest meeting on Rohith Vemula was organised in Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University on 28 th January. Find pasted below a brief report of the meeting followed by the statement which was read and passed in the meeting.)

We, the students of Delhi School of Economics organised a protest meeting in solidarity with the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, University of Hyderabad. It was joined in by students from other departments of the university as well.

The discussion revolved around the presence of caste based discrimination within university campuses and the deadly silence on the matter. It was recognised that Rohith’s investment in progressive politics was crucial in him and others in Ambedkar Students Association being victimised. And the present gathering affirmed its investment in that politics and striving for the kind of change Rohith also aspired…

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Because Indians love to overreact! New victim – Coldplay

It’s not racist when you show a brown person as a brown person, it’s racist, when the brown person wants to be portrayed as a white person.

 

Let me explain how fake patriots and how big hypocrites people are in this country. They hate everything which they think doesn’t paint the typical Western image of the country, but unfortunately for them, it’s not west and it’s not exotic. Why would a foreign band or a movie director come to India and show Starbucks if that’s what they have in abundance on their streets? If their everyday life is a luxury in India then wouldn’t showing that be more insulting?
I mean, do the people who are reacting turn a blind eye to every beggar they see on street just because it paints a poor image? Isn’t that the reality? Most of the people who are reacting haven’t moved an inch to make this place any better. Most of us contribute towards the hazardous pollution we face and if someone foreign to us talks about it, we cry foul. If a documentary has been made on a heinous rape which resulted in an uprising movement and by some western media and people appreciate the movement as inspiring you cry foul because the rapist’s sexist mentality is revealed even though a lot of people in the country share the same sexist ideology. Isn’t it true? How does proving someone else a hypocrite cover your flaws? And how does BBC, a media house, define the whole Western Europe and US making a collective effort in conspiring against India’s growth out of insecurity?
On the other hand, we make movies where every foreigner is shown as a fool and those scenes are accompanied with whistles and celebrated heavily in forms of jokes and Whatsapp forwards. Similarly, when in the movie 2012, they say that an Indian scientist built it or in Rang De Basanti a British movie director takes inspiration from some Delhi guys we celebrate it with pride. There’s so much wrong with our nationalism. You would take pride in fictional characters, in NRIs of Indian-origins who had nothing to do with India based on achievements but discard every negativity following the suit of individualism and “please don’t stereotype!”
Basically you want your country to be portrayed as UK even though it is way behind and nowhere near in terms of quality of life and you still expect a British band to feel exotic? How is that warranted?
Coming to the important part, Coldplay showed positive feeling, they showed colors and joy in suburbs of Bombay, read it as most of the Bombay. They showed the much celebrated (sarcasm) Indian culture (which is only used to prohibit every fundamental right from being practised). They showed content and satiation and the song had a similar feel. It was a feeling of independence, of joy, of celebration, of colors, of festivity and yet you somehow dragged negativity out of it. India, whose 75% population is rural wants to be portrayed watching movies in multiplexes with popcorns. Let me tell you this, your demand is exotic for most of the Indian population, not the Western Europeans or Americans.

On a lighter note, people are asking why that Sadhu Baba stereotyping footage was used and why Sonam Kapoor’s footage was cut short? Well, in this country, people can’t say a word against Sadhu Babas without landing into trouble and mock Sonam Kapoor everyday. So, stop being a hypocrite. This article puts a lot into perspective – http://www.hindustantimes.com/music/stop-getting-offended-about-everything-coldplay-s-video-is-amazing/story-wzNGzv8MsOqibAj8EbCekM.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fbpost&utm_campaign=music

Will you take my kid to school?

More to it

Namit (name changed) was ready for discharge after a 3 month stay at our spinal injuries rehabilitation center. But instead of joy, I sensed restlessness on his face. Responding to my best wishes and “you better study well”, he whispered in a worried tone – “Dad is planning to home school me; I’d be allowed to go to school only for exams, can you please talk to them?”  Working a way out for all his problems was my job as his physio, but this one was a little too difficult to handle.

The shy fourteen year old came to our rehab center after a surgery to correct his extensively bent spine, a condition called scoliosis. He had started to develop this condition at ten years of age which had made running impossible and even walking difficult for him. But following the surgery, which corrected the bending, he developed paralysis down his waist and tightness in his legs.

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Internet.org by Facebook: The vision and Net Neutrality Debate

A tech startup in 2004 which came up with the best photo sharing social networking space has now become one of the most relevant tech giants of the world. Starting from Facebook for social networking to third party app development over which gaming startups thrived to actually providing internet to the population on the wrong side of digital divide, they have come a long way.

It’s needless to say that by acquiring Instagram and Whatsapp and with the amount of activity and active users on these two and Facebook itself it has the best analytics information covering most of the internet users arguably in terms of quantity and without doubt in terms of quality. By launching Facebook APIs in 2012 which is the most common login method in US, they are not only generating information about what their users are doing on the internet but also making those users dependent on Facebook. If I use all my favorite applications using Facebook login, I just can’t remove my Facebook account.

So, after covering all these what’s the next step? To get those people who still don’t have internet and there comes Internet.org by Facebook. It provides free ‘limited’ internet services to people who can’t afford internet. It sounds brilliant except for the word ‘limited’ which sparks the net neutrality debate, one of the hottest internet debates in the world right now.

Why Facebook as a community is doing this? Optimists talk about Corporate Social Responsibility whereas the cynical ones mark it as a step towards covering the untouched market and spreading it there in a monopolistic way by providing those limited services which have some sort of association with them. Well, they are both right to a certain extent.

Now, unlike the telecom operators like Airtel coming up with Airtel Zero just for big corporate giants to pay them for internet, Facebook have classified some important sections for the masses like education, skill and jobs, information and news etc covering the most relevant uses of the internet. But then, two other factors need to be considered which challenge the sanctity of the initiative.

Firstly, Internet.org should not be available to everyone, it should only be available to those who can’t afford internet, if that’s the true aim of providing essential information based services to the people on the wrong side of the digital divide. This sounds far-fetched as far as implementation is concerned but there’s a simple way. You can either choose a data plan provided by your network operator or Internet.org, you can’t have both and these should be on a monthly basis so that people just don’t keep switching to free internet as per their will. A lot of people who can afford internet would never go for limited services provided by Internet.org this way. Everyone who has used internet as it exists today wants it to be unhindered.

Secondly, Internet.org hasn’t included any Google services which is in collusion with their corporate interest of keeping Google out of the new market they are trying to cover. It is quiet natural but as far as a consumer is concerned Google and it’s various tools provide unmatched knowledge and information. Replacing Google with Bing can still be justified as a substitute although it truly isn’t but not having Youtube indicates malicious corporate market covering strategy. Youtube has become the most popular learning and skill development tool and needs to be there if internet as a learning tool is being professed.

But, as far as one of the most significant debates considering the net neutrality is concerned, Facebook is putting in a dedicated effort towards it. The argument is that net neutrality is essential for web startups and curbing it will curb all web startups. Facebook is already providing Parse for a quick and a robust back-end development for tech startups to make their products and have come up with FbStart as an entire tool to build, grow, monetize, analyze and expand the web based tech-organizations and it is free. They have access to the user based analytics information which is provided along with development mentorship and finally development for low bandwidth regions andInternet.org! So, it might violate net neutrality in some ways but is not curbing web based tech organizations to enter the space and the new market.

So, we might argue that Facebook is violating net neutrality but certainly not to the diabolical extent as the telecom companies who have run out of ideas. It is probably doing more good than evil. It is trying to hamper competition from another giant Google but is still encouraging startups to be a part of it and go along with it to get into the new market and provide services to the population who are still not on internet because they can’t afford it. Yes, it is attaching itself to all of them in the process but is providing them unprecedented benefits while trying to become the most significant name in the internet domain.