Wednesday February 21, 2018

US Counter-cultural Radical of 1960s, Tom Hayden Dies at 76 owing to Heart Problems

Hayden had been suffering from heart problems and fell ill while attending the Democratic National Convention in July

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FILE - political activist Tom Hayden, husband of actress Jane Fonda, speaks to the press in Los Angeles, California, Dec. 6, 1973. Hayden and Fonda made a trip to North Vietnam in protest of the U.S. involvement in the war against Hanoi. VOA
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October 24, 2016: Tom Hayden, the preeminent U.S. countercultural radical of the 1960s, has died at the age of 76.

Hayden was a leader of the student protests against the U.S. war in Vietnam. He was one of the country’s most visible radicals, a founder of the anti-war Students for a Democratic Society and accused, but eventually cleared of charges that he was a ringleader of the violent protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

After the war ended, Hayden turned to traditional American political pursuits, serving 18 years in the California state legislature while sponsoring progressive measures on the environment, civil rights, education and public safety. He lost campaigns to be the California governor, the Los Angeles mayor and for a Los Angeles city council seat.

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Before his death Sunday, Hayden had been suffering from heart problems and fell ill while attending the Democratic National Convention in July.

Hayden’s 1960s were a decade of dissent, marked by the growing protests against the Vietnam war, civil rights sit-ins and marches and the tear-gassing of student protesters on American campuses and in the streets of major cities.

FILE - Tom Hayden talks as Jane Fonda listens at a news conference at the New York offices of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Jan. 2, 1973.
FILE – Tom Hayden talks as Jane Fonda listens at a news conference at the New York offices of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Jan. 2, 1973. VOA news.

Non-conformist

In his memoir “Reunion,” Hayden wrote, “Rarely, if ever, in American history has a generation begun with higher ideals and experienced greater trauma than those who lived fully the short time from 1960 to 1968.”

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It was during that time that Hayden drafted the Port Huron statement that led to the creation of Students for a Democratic Society. It was seen as a Utopian manifesto that extolled “participatory democracy” as an antidote the complacency and conformity of 1950s America.

In the oft-quoted first lines of the statement, Hayden wrote, “We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.”

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Hayden met film star Jane Fonda at a peace rally and married her in 1973, a marriage that ended in divorce in 1990. In 1974, the two made a trip to North Vietnam in protest of the U.S. involvement in the war against Hanoi, to the derision of Americans who supported U.S. troops, and made a documentary film that critics labeled as Communist propaganda.

On one of several trips Hayden made to North Vietnam, he escorted home three U.S. prisoners of war Hanoi agreed to release as a gesture of “solidarity” with the American peace movement. (VOA).

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  • Ruchika Kumari

    may his soul rest in peace

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Neurologists say rising air pollution can cause stroke among adults

The WHO states that 4.3 million people a year in India die from the exposure to household air pollution, which is among the highest in the world.

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Research bodies estimate that the number of fragments of dead cells in the bloodstream increase with higher levels of pollution. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 29, 2017 : As pollution levels deteriorate in the National Capital Region, health experts have warned that continuous exposure to polluted air has the potential to cause a stroke among adults.

Alhough it was earlier believed that pollution only increased the risk of heart problems, it also possesses the capability to damage inner linings of veins and arteries.

“In the current scenario, the situation is getting worse. Many young patients in the 30-40 age group suffer from stroke. We get around 2-3 patients almost every month. The number of young stroke patients has almost doubled as compared to last few years. Studies suggest major risk factors include soaring air pollution,” said Praveen Gupta, Director Neurology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

ALSO READ Supreme Court Bans Pet Coke and Furnace Oil to bring down Air Pollution in NCR

Research bodies estimate that the number of fragments of dead cells in the bloodstream increased with higher levels of pollution. Polluted environment promote stroke incidences more pervasively and at an earlier stage than previously thought.

Nearly 15 million people annually suffer a stroke worldwide, of which around six million die and five million are left with permanent disabilities such as loss of sight and speech, paralysis and confusion.

On the occasion of World Stroke Day, October 29, the experts emphasised that indoor air pollution caused by combustion of solid fuels is equally contributing to the stroke burden in the society.

On an average, the internal air pollution in Indian rural homes exceeds the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms by 20 times.

“Women inhaling the household fumes are at a 40 per cent higher risk of getting a stroke. The reason being the carbon monoxide and particulate matter from burning solid fuels tend to reduce the levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein). This in turn prevents the removal of LDL (low density lipoprotein) from the body leading to hardening of the arteries,” said Jaideep Bansal, head neurologist at Saroj Super Speciality Hospital.

He added that the rise in the levels of LDL, or harmful fat, thereby raises the risk of a clot, blocking blood supply to the brain and causing stroke.

More than 90 per cent of the global stroke burden is linked to modifiable risk factors, of which internal air pollution tops the list. Other preventable factors include hypertension, a diet low in fresh fruits and whole grain, outdoor air pollution, high BMI and smoking.

The WHO states that 4.3 million people a year in India die from the exposure to household air pollution, which is among the highest in the world.

According to surveys, over 30 crore people in India use the traditional stoves or open fires to cook or heat their homes with solid fuels (coal, wood, charcoal, crop waste).

Poor ventilation and such inefficient practices, especially in rural India, mean the smoke and ambient air in households exceeds the acceptable levels of fine particles by at least 100-fold.

According to neurologists, recognisable symptoms, known often as a ‘mini stroke’ will occur prior to getting a stroke attack which is often known as a mini-stroke.

“Though it lasts only for a minute but certainly indicates the onset of a major stroke attack within 48-72 hours. Delay in treatment can lead to loss of 2 million neurons each minute. This happens due to the fact that the blood flow to certain part of the brain is blocked by the clot formed due to inhalation of compound like carbon monoxide and particulate matter,” said Atul Prasad, Director and Senior Neurology Consultant at BLK Super Specialty Hospital. (IANS)