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Friday, July 07, 2006

Desicritics Editors' Picks - June 19- July 03

Another fine week, another fine set of articles. A few selections - name your own, and if you're in the list, please pick one yourself to be featured in the next Editors' Picks:

Small Arms Sales: A Reasoned Response June 21, 2006 - Richard Marcus writes:

You can't hold the industry responsible for how their products are put to use; that would be like holding car manufacturers responsible for traffic fatalities. How is a company supposed to know when they are given a contract to supply ten thousand semi-automatic rifles what the purchaser is going to use them for? Of course they have a general idea, they are weapons after all, but they are not in a position of being able to say are you going to use these to form a child army, burn women and children, and chew veins in your teeth.

Guru Arjan Dev Controversy and the Manipulated Indian History! June 24, 2006 - Desh

In my personal view, it is very saddening that the ruling party comes out with such nonsensical take on History when a Sikh himself is the Prime Minister of the Country with a Congress Government. I am not sure what his views are. However, given his record, he would not have a very different take on this. I remember when he lost the only elections he ever fought from West Delhi. He remarked that the 1984 riots were the handiwork of the Rashtriya SwayamSevak Sangh.(RSS) - which was a utter falsehood! When I had raised this point in my alumni forum, his daughter (a senior of mine) has sent back an email that she was helping him out in that campaign and although she was not with him on that day, but Dr. Singh had said to her that he was quoted out of context. And she said as honest as her father is she took his word. I will too. But he doesnt seem to have conducted himself with ways above board on such issues when Congress was the perpetrator!

Global Warming: The US, India and Gandhi June 23, 2006 - Vikas Chowdhry writes:

Scientists have been trying to re-enforce that the time period we now have to act is not centuries but decades or even years. Many amongst us might end up seeing the face of the earth as we know it change during our lifetimes, or we might be lucky enough to see some truly great leaders stride on the world stage to guide humanity through this unprecedented crisis.

An Unsuitable Boy: Shashi Tharoor, India and the UN Secretary-Generalship June 27, 2006 - gautampatel writes:
Barkha Dutt of NDTV is, arguably, the best TV journalist in the country today — tough, polished, very au courant, incisive and unafraid to call a spade a spade, not easy to overawe. But even she seemed to be overwhelmed by Shashi Tharoor. The only thing I've seen that comes close is when BBC's Tim Sebastian interviewed the redoubtable Nina Simone. It's the first time I'd seen the man — who can be thoroughly obnoxious — completely non-plussed. While Tharoor is no Simone (thank God, but that's not for want of his trying), nor Dutt Sebastian (double thanks for that), she certainly seemed to be under his spell.

Two Paths to God June 28, 2006 - Hiba Tanvir writes:

When it was his turn to share his learning, the man said "I never got a chance to learn, or wonder about God. Everything was simply taught to me by people who seemed to have learnt all that there was to know about God. God to me seemed like some distant force that had to be constantly pleased by my good deeds. I never got to meet people from different places or people with different understandings of God. People who were homogenous in every possible aspect surrounded me. Nothing and no one ever challenged me to think, or question my self. Life was rather robotic, rituals filled each day. And God's love that you keep talking about, I never felt it. In such a rigid approach to God, there was no space for God's love, kindness, or justice. There was only talk about His Power, His Rage, His Punishment. I wasted my whole life believing I had understood God, and I had not even felt a glimpse of Him."

Dastangoi - The Lost Art of Story Telling June 29, 2006 - Kim writes:

Dastangoi is very difficult to describe. It needs to be experienced. But let me try to give you an idea of what to expect. It's a cross between a theatre performance and poetry reading. The words are wonderfully descriptive and conjure visions in your head. The perfomers are seated but use expressions, gestures, tone of voice and a myriad other techniques to transport you into a realm of fantasy consisting partly of "tilisms" (alternate worlds), aiyyaars, sorcerers and magicians.

Website Review: Spiffy Drawings with Gliffy June 29, 2006 - Mathangi writes:

You can create graphic representations for abstract concepts such as "data flow" or "network security". The best part however comes only after all these. The "Share" option enables you to publish your diagram to your blog or web site. You can download the images in different sizes and send them across to people you may want to show them to.

Gliffy interface is extremely user-friendly and fast considering it is still in its beta. We can look forward to more features and functionalities in the successive versions.

Second Hand Love July 01, 2006 - ShoeFiend writes:
Sometimes I buy books for silly reasons. The 'To mummy...' at the beginning of this piece was in a book called Slow Boats to China by Gavin Young. When I saw the spine of the book today, I realised it was the name of a blog I read. Intrigued to see what had inspired the name, I picked up the book and saw the inscription inside. It somehow made me want to read the book.

I like the idea that a book I'm holding has been read, loved or hated by someone before me. I like to think that fingers over the grainy pages and tucked old bills or pressed flowers as bookmarks. I like to think that someone else was amazed by the writer's lyrical prose, incensed by a character's actions or horrified at the sudden turn of events on page 234.

The Vidarbha Farmers' Crisis - Made in India July 03, 2006 - K writes:
Now, this is just the mad-cap suggestion of a 27-year old journalist, one who has seen the utter devastation of the area. One who has seen how suicides of the primary earner can crush a family. Not much, just a few thousand bucks (ten thousand in some cases - sums that were petty cash for Rahul Mahajan), less than most of our monthly salaries, but enough for people to kill themselves.


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