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‘The East is rising again’: Peter Frankopan

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Jaipur: The West is giving up its predominant role in global politics and economics to the East Asiaspreading from the Middle to the Far East in this century and the significance of the ancient “Silk Roads”, which were once the hub of commerce, culture and knowledge, is slowly getting restored, says historian Peter Frankopan.

The Silk Roads area will shape the next century as it plays a significant role in the hydrocarbon economy, and in one sense, the terrorist outrages taking place in the European capitals and elsewhere arise from the Middle East, which is its significant part, said Oxford academician Peter Frankopan at a session titled “The Silk Roads” at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Sunday.

“Control over networks was the story of the 19th century, the 20th century and will be the story of the 21 century but now Eastern nations like India and China will be resuming eminence,” he contended.

Frankopan, who in his new book “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” seeks to reassess the role of the east where civilization itself began and the world’s great religions were born and flourished but was eclipsed by the advent of colonialism from the western hemisphere from around the 15th century, says the East’s role in shaping the world has not been sufficiently known.

Confessing himself influenced by Luke Skywalker, Alexander the Great and Indiana Jones, he said that he is in his book had sought to address the deficiency of the role of East.

Legendary travel writer Colin Thubron, who has travelled most of the Silk Roads region and described his adventures in a series of inimitable travelogues, noted Frankopan’s book takes history back from the West and was an awesome feat of scholarship and the range of sources that had been consulted would need one knowing 15 to 16 languages.

Frankopan also sought to clarify that there was no such thing as a single Silk Road but rather a series of Silk Roads or networks that linked continents and oceans together, and “along which flowed ideas, goods, disease and death and empires were won and lost”.

And in the contemporary world, the patterns of exchange are mirroring those that were seen in the Silk Roads, as his book says.

On the significance of the area, he said it represented three things were the best of the human species – the willingness and ability to communicate, the ability to cooperate and curiosity.

“This is what brings me and you all to the Jaipur Literature Festival,” he noted, adding it was along the Silk Roads that the goods and ideas that have shaped and influenced the world flowed till nearly half a millennia ago, when the focus shifted to the western hemisphere and colonialism which was based on unequal relationships and duplicity.

He noted that in the era that the Silk Roads set the pattern for the world and Europe didn’t figure into it, since it never had any resources that could be traded, while there were more Christians in Asia then that had been in Europe till at least the 13th century

On the role of India vis-a-vis China in the new order he sketches, Frankopan quipped he was a “historian, not a prophet”, but noted from what he understood India and China had been in competition for several centuries now for the leadership of neighbouring areas.

Stressing that regional cooperation was important, he said he got the impression that India was disengaging itself from the region.(IANS)(Image-wordpress)

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Death Knell For The Rape Culture

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day

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Death knell for the rape culture
Death knell for the rape culture. Pixabay

By Salil Gewali

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day. Hearty thanks to the countless candle marchers. The credit also goes to those conscious media and columnists who all fueled the agitation and energized the activists. Here PM Modi’s dynamism can’t be overlooked either, because this ordinance, which was long overdue, has happened now.

Let’s all pray that the ‘fear of death’ will be an effective deterrent.  Hope, this will “frighten away” the real vices. In the meanwhile, it would also be very wise on the part of the government to look for other preventive measures since we have lot many “vices” in lot many avatars and assortments which only encourage the sex related crimes. There are also very dangerous “vices” which, when start to infect one’s thought-process, might give birth to the countless Trojan horses, Malwares, even virulent I-love-You. The virus infecting tragedy usually strikes ones very fast who are with weak inborn “antivirus”. This, in fact, turns “sane men into perverts” if one objectively analyses. But what is too bizarre is that some of such virus generating vices are let to flourish under the cover of silence while some are made to believe through media as “virtues” and while others as “talent” — with a whole lot of modish adornment and poetic adulation. Do you want to acknowledge that ones who cried hard against the despicable rape culture are the premier dealers of these vices? Some are producers too. I cut short here.  Because these days I fear the “thunder of hypocrisy” then the roars of the tiger in a jungle!

Candle March for death penalty of rapists.
Candle March. Pixabay

Yes, remaining complacent by mere hanging the perverts will be thus a downright immaturity. The identifying the causes of those vices that are hurting the society at large are equally important.  Of course, many try to overlook those vices as if they never make a bad impact upon the mindset an individual. Here I’ve an argument — has the heat of the hearth stopped boiling the water or burn your pack of currency notes to ash? As mentioned above, we can draw a perfect “analogy” between the virus infecting a computer leading to its inevitable “malfunction” with the people’s behavioral degeneration and wrong indulgences due to the continuous exposure and acceptance of vices.

Also Read: Rape Survivors in India Still Face Humiliation with Two-Finger tests and Barriers to Justice says Human Rights Watch

However, it would surely be good if the Government and awakened women organizations boldly pinpoint those forces as well which are culpable for presenting women as no less than commodities, and the dealers of the vices. In this, one is skeptical whether we can turn to the media with hope, or with doubt! Because, very absurdly, the definition of “good life” and its values have now been willfully distorted and redefined to suit the situation, plans and programs such that they would help further the agendas of that forces which rule the roost.

Stop the Terror of Rape.
Stop the Terror of Rape.

Anyway, whether one agrees or disagree, disinfecting/detoxing the “mindset” of the society is the only pathway to the sane society which we are now crying for. The healthy thought, healthy attitude, healthy acts can only toll the death knell for any kind of rapes or any kind of depravity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali