Leaving you with some sound bytes at the end of what is going to be a bi-annual event, the One State Solution Week, September 2007 has urged you think about:
Democracy: Government of the people, by and for the people. Wherein an individual attains his full capability and is nurtured, physically, economically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.
A democracy entails substantive freedoms, such as choice, rights to livelihood and well-being for all it’s citizens.Critics of the democratic system say that often, a democracy implies the rule of the majority, and since this is often the case, the system needs to be nudged in the direction of non-centralised local, participatory and communitarian frameworks.
Communalism: Politics that seeks to unite on the basis of shared values , such as faith. The word communalism has its roots in the ‘commune’ or the ‘commune of communes’, or the ideal community. It implies a municipal system for ruling or governing.
In South Asia, especially India, the meanings and ramifications of communalism have been distorted partly because of it’s implications within a democracy. Communalism has been implemented on the lines of religion and has been divisive and propagandistic, because of the history of religion in the subcontinent.
See the Wikipedia entry here.
Nuclear Energy and Weapons: The world’s energy requirements can be met by two ways: the hard energy path and the soft energy path.
The hard energy path uses potentially non-renewable resources and is irreversibly destructive of the environment*.It requires a very technologically adept work force and high capital investment. Hard Energy Paths include fossil fuels, coal and oil, nuclear power plants and hydro-electric power plants.
The soft energy path uses renewable and environment friendly, locally viable means to make electricity.Soft energy paths include solar,wind, bio-mass alcohol, bio-gas and many more lesser known technologies.
These definitions were built by Amory Lovins who is the Founder of the Rocky Mountain Research Institute for energy resources in America , and a passionate advocate for sustainable energy around the world.Here is an interview of him at the California based Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility website.
Alice Miceli is an artist trying to capture images of radiation in the Exclusion Zone at Belarus, where the Chernobyl Reactor was. An exclusion Zone is a cordoned site with contamination of grave levels. The Chernobyl Exculsion Zone is between Belarus and Ukraine in Europe. She documents her project at this blog.
The Chernobyl Disaster occurred when a plant in the Chernobyl Reactor exploded, and needs to be examined from the view-point of the viability of nuclear energy.
The Indian Nuclear programme has been seriously under-debated considering the enormous ramifications of the implications of both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.
The nuclear arms race in South Asia is largely a consequence of post-Partition animosities, and the tussle with India’s neighbour, China. India’s foray into nuclear technology was early, with the Indian Atomic Energy Commission being established just a year after Indian Independance.Pakistan set-up its Atomic Energy Comission in 1956, after its devastating defeat in the Bangladesh War.
From Dr Raja Ramanna’s, former weapons scientist,
“There was never a discussion among us over whether we shouldn’t make the bomb. How to do it was more important. For us it was a matter of prestige that would justify our ancient past. The question of deterrence came much later. Also, as Indian scientists we were keen to show our Western counterparts, who thought little of us those days, that we too could do it.”
[Chengappa 2000; pg. 82]
So that’s it from us (me and SS).But there is more to come.
Thanks also to all the minds that gathered at the Sarai reader-list!
Since this a bi-annual event, interested people are invited to be a part of its conceptualization, planning and execution. In the green-room is a web-site, and hopefully some cultural mish-mash, real time!
A big Thank You, Salaam, Khushamdeed, Dhanyavaad… to everyone who wrote, blogged, thought, dissented or watched from the sidelines.Please keep the faith!
E-mail your responses and suggestions to email@example.com.
And keep thinking! BIG!
*George Lakoff and Mark Johnson,’ Metaphors We Live By’, 1980
Visual from the Street Sign Generator at the Generator Blog.