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By Amin Bagheri
In late December, the World Health Organization reported a pneumonia-like disease in Wuhan, China. A few days after a report was revealed that a new type of Coronavirus was causing the disease. The virus, known as the New Corona, quickly killed humans in the 21th century. While the 21st Century of Science and Technology has reached a miraculous speed, for no one was it possible to imagine a new virus called Corona becoming a threat to human life and causing an international crisis. This mysterious virus raised many questions for human life and raised concerns for the world in the form of numerous questions. Many still haven’t figured out its dimensions and consequences, and even didn’t extend it seriously until a few weeks ago. The rapid spread of the virus has caused a variety of crises, all of which have had different reactions and effects on the economic and social scene and the relationships between countries. The rapid spread of the virus globally, though, is a sign of global interconnectedness and the fading of physical borders between countries. But closing the borders and restricting people’s free movement of government orders and, more importantly, adopting state-specific methods of crisis management will have no effect other than centralizing states as the most important international player. In fact, The status of the World Health Organization has not gone beyond just a facilitator and supervisor, and governments remain largely responsible for this. It should be noted, however, that the emergence of Corona as a global problem has highlighted the need for countries to work together and for the common human interest. Unfortunately, even under such acute conditions, some governments are still pursuing their own interests. But environmental degradation is undoubtedly a global issue that needs to be highlighted in common human interest, and governments are reluctant to relinquish part of their sovereignty to international law and order to effectively deal with environmental problems that threaten the integrity of human society.
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Advertising and political war
These days, instead of global sympathy and solidarity in the fight against the Corona virus, we are witnessing a global superpower propaganda war against each other. In the propaganda and political warfare, the issue has become more sensitive and countries are trying to take advantage of this crisis as an opportunity to use propaganda to direct the public opinion of the world towards their political approaches. The accusations of various countries being deliberately propagated by their political rivals are one of the propaganda-political tactics heard here and there. But to what extent can we make that statement and call a country as a major cause of the spread of the virus? First, China, as the focal point of the deadly virus to get rid of the global accusation, created a scenario that the US CIA created a corona virus, condemning the US move. The rumor quickly spread in some countries that favor anti-American theories.
Is Corona a New Biological War?
Recent advances in life sciences on the one hand and the misuse of the results of scientific research by powerful countries, on the other hand, has led to biological agents becoming deadly weapons that simultaneously threaten both national security and national and public health. In fact, biological weapons are the use of biological agents to terrorize, as well as the human toll that involves terrorist acts for specified purposes. As a matter of fact, It can be said that the use of biological weapons is not being considered a new tool against humanity, but in the past where there was still no technology like today, this tool was also used to point out the use of plague for military conquest, and in today’s world biological agents are often used in terrorist acts, even though many world powers claim human rights and are staunch claimers of human rights, but regard the use of biological agents as their legal right. Therefore, the use of biological weapons has not only stopped, but also advanced with the advancement of modern medical science, so it is imperative for countries to prevent such biological weapons from consulting with their scientists and experts on predicting, controlling, and countering them. Think of it as a solution and have the necessary preparedness and greater cooperation to protect human life in the context of international relations.
The primary purpose of biological wars is to disrupt social, business, economic activities, and to disrupt authority and regulate governments or multinational corporations. The corporate competitive market downturn in favor of buying and selling stocks has been widely cited as an example of the goals of biological weapons users. For example, the proliferation of the fifth generation of internet in the world over the next few years has created an atmosphere of competition between multinational corporations and big powers; Internet that is beyond the current speed of the Internet and will take over most of human life today. Therefore, it is not unexpected that the powers of the world and even the companies assigned to them will resort to such an indirect battlefield in order to eliminate competitors, and this time using the Corona virus. Therefore, the present era, rather than witnessing classical wars and conflicts, seems to have a special place in biological wars for human beings to use this dangerous weapon to pursue their political, economic and commercial goals without any physical conflict, even if it costs millions of lives. Besides, in such a situation, the first power will undoubtedly belong to a country that is superior in terms of technological and economic power. Accordingly, the strategic importance of biological weapons to such actors, both government and non-state, is that their destructive effect on the rival will not soon be eliminated, and will remain for subsequent generations of those who have used them.
A recent case of a Coronavirus reported from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and more recently at the broader medical and health circles, underscores the importance of the biological issue, and the extent of the issue is acute. Also, In the not too distant future, it will be clear what the virus was, but based on the available evidence, it can be stated that biological threats are not confined to the military field and can rapidly endanger the health of citizens of all political, economic and political dimensions. , commercial, and so on.
In conclusion, the outbreak of this deadly disease can also be considered a test of humanity in a world where is ranging from unassuming people to developed, underdeveloped to developed countries and international forums, but Corona will be a disgrace to humanity if it fails. Nevertheless, it is too early to say who will win this universal general test and whether anyone was involved in producing such a deadly virus or was it just a natural process of nature. Because it takes time and in fact, the winner is the one who prevents social, economic and political collapse while preserving population life and reducing mortality and if it is able to liberate humanity from this crisis, and once again remind the dignity of humanity to the world.
"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.