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In the book “Sanghi Who Never Went To A Shakha”, author Rahul Roushan, who is a former journalist and media entrepreneur, captures winds of change in the socio-political narrative and shifts in political dynamics in contemporary India in the last few decades. Published by Rupa Publications, the news release explains the changing ideological landscape the youth of today were witness to while growing up, through the lens of the author’s personal life.
Analyzing, “Why Hindutva as an ideology is no longer anathema and what brought about this change”, Roushan’s book aims to answer, among others, a key question: “Why did a country that was ruled for decades by people espousing Nehruvian secularism suddenly begin to align with the ‘communal politics’ of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)?”
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The book is the retelling of some historical events and how those events impacted the journey of Roushan and countless people like him. The book looks at factors like education, media, technology, and obviously, electoral politics, which played a key role in this transformation. The book also touches upon some of the personal experiences of the author, both as a media entrepreneur and a journalist.
According to the book’s synopsis, the first time Roushan was called a ‘sanghi’ — literally meaning someone who is a member of the right-wing RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) or its affiliates — he felt deeply offended. From then to now, what makes him write a book and adopt that tag for himself?
“I have adopted the ‘Sanghi’ tag, because I thought it was a waste of time trying to fight such tags or labels thrown at you. Labels are primarily thrown to discomfort and silence you so that you lose your original line of thoughts and arguments. Even though I’m not any member of the RSS, and in fact, I have listed out a few concerns and disagreements I have with the Sangh in the book itself, I feel no moral pressure to keep clarifying that I’m not a Sanghi i.e. I’m no longer offended by that term.”
“I decided to write the book so that it defeats the purpose of such labeling, which is to distract or stop a person from exploring or expressing contrarian points of view. The book is about those points of view and contrarian takes on various issues, mostly contemporary sociopolitical issues, which are supposed to be at odds with the so-called ‘liberal’ narrative,” Roushan told.
He adds: “I thought to pen this book as it is important to capture contemporary developments — especially the rise of Hindutva politics and narrative in the last decade — which has also resulted in the BJP scoring handsome back-to-back Lok Sabha victories of its own. While the same has been done in the shape of various articles, social media posts, op-eds, etc., the bulk of those have been written toeing the same old “liberal” narrative. I wanted to provide a counter perspective and an alternate narrative, and thus the book came about. The book captures this change in sociopolitical narrative and shifts in political dynamics. I happen to be one of those who experienced this change, and I decided to chronicle it. In order to keep it relatable and readable, I’ve fashioned this as the ideological journey of an individual, but it’s essentially a re-telling of contemporary history and the ideological journey of an entire generation.”
Reading at times like an autobiography, and often like a collection of intellectual essays, the book features a whole range of themes — “politics, society, religion, education, media, internet, history, narratives, and many more”, in the author’s words.
“How to weave them all in a single book in a single political dynamics narrative was going to be a challenge, but I think I have been able to do it. I must make it clear that every one of these topics actually deserves independent books on themselves as such, and I don’t offer my book as the final commentary on these subjects. However, a person will be able to gain a decent understanding and insights into the relevant aspects is something I can definitely guarantee!” (IANS/SP)
Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.
Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.
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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.
In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.
The herb has rounded leaves.Pixabay
There are more than 60 varieties of basil, with sweet basil being one of the most widely used. The herb has rounded leaves that are often pointed. It is a bright green plant, although some varieties have hints of purple or red in their leaves, basil makes a colorful and flavorful addition to many different dishes.
It has been observed that many of the cooks use basil to thicken their dessert instead of using any artificial/ unhealthy powder to do so. Sometimes people are not able to differentiate between Chia seeds and basil seeds, to make it clear basil seeds are different in nature they are larger and a bit duller in their color. These herbs are used in various recipes as a cooling component in desserts, drinks, and fruit juices for refreshment, also beating the summer heat.
For better digestion, weight loss, and immune system, I suggest this simple recipe which can be easily made at home:
*Take 2 tsp of Basil seeds (sabja) + Add in 1/2 liter of water +10 mint leaves crushed
*1/2 tsp cinnamon powder + A little bit of sendha salt (pink Himalayan salt)
*Or to make a sweeter version one can add organic honey.
*Mix it well and drink it.
This recipe will help to flush out toxins from our body making it feel light and healthy. (IANS/SP)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)