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By: SALIL GEWALI
How does one describe the tantrums that have often been thrown by W. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee? Much has been heard of her insincere rhetoric. But they are just accepted as politically correct. She has larger section of elite fraternities who have fallen for her, and her “likes” and “dislikes”. Therefore, no outcry of protest even when Rohingyas were welcomed by Didi. Instead, many hearts melted and sympathies were expressed. ‘They are tortured and deported from Myanmar, so India should be kind to provide them the shelter on humanitarian ground’ – this narrative of humanity was tactfully put forth while other activists kept mum. Here in India people are smart and know well how to juggle with“silence and noise”.
A few days back Didi has begun a sit-down drama with the gaze towards the Center. WB CM in her flip-flop has now willfully stepped on the toes of the very constitution of the country. She had also unchained the police forces and set them on CBI! What does one call if the sit-in strike is by CM and the Police officers together against the Central Government? This strange dharna has been dubbed by Mamata’s allies as a Dharma. Never was the chit-fund less fun for the CM and her followers though it brought countless poor people to grief. Lakhs of families have had fallen into ruin. SIT is just an eyewash.
If one sincerely analyzes the postures and gestures of Ms. Mamata in her tenure of the past 15-year, one just becomes deeply apprehensive. Her intense love for the votes has long soiled her sacred Sari. And her love for the currency “notes” has apparently driven away the saintly soul which she often claims to carry. Of course, she shrewdly capitalized on her sainthood from the very beginning, but mostly for the wrong ends.
Without a sense of guilt, she had sent the brute force to the Hills in 104 days of bandh that left 13 Gorkha citizens dead. Many of those killed were also the “siblings” of the soldiers that are now protecting the nation from the enemy, standing day in day out along the rugged and icy Indo-Pak boarders. Bengal CM could not yet identify who really “protects” the country and who really endangers the country. Under the instruction of DIDI the Bengal police forces in Siliguri had blocked even the essential food items to Darjeeling. All leaders have turned their back on the aggrieved Gorkha people who have been crying for the identity and land for over a century. Nor any efforts are made by the media to assess the real plight of the aggrieved Hills’ people. However, Didi’s heart always goes out to the guests from across the broader whom she has brought in millions and awarded them the first-class citizenship. Here the big irony is that Didi’s “unconstitutional misdeeds”; her outright cruelty towards some and her preferential treatment towards others hardly hit the headlines and nor is she ever brought into question.
Well, Didi has taken many such steps that have already started to “pose” potential threats to the original Bengali. It is quite clear now that she has “sown” the seeds that are going to be grown into the jungle of nettles. They will surely and hurtfully sting not only the body but the heart and soul of the citizens of West Bengal and other states. What with her TMC Cadre? They are legitimatized goons, the most beloved in the state. Hardly any FIRs are accepted against TMC’s misconducts and brutalities.
Also Read: Students From Abroad Must Come to India For Higher Studies, Says PM Narendra Modi
Now coming back to the present case. Today Didi looks intensely fearless, she has been very emboldened. She even openly challenges the enforcement machinery from the Center. Making gross misinterpretations of the constitution is what she is exceptionally good at. Many federal guidelines and regulations are just non-existent for the present West Bengal. No wonder, Didi has a brigand of other colleagues who carry the same ideas, same agendas, and the same mission. This only makes her more invincible and more ferocious. True, soon after the unprecedented standoff between Police and CBI, Didi has received bountiful best wishes from Rahul, Sitaram Yechury, Chandrababu Naidu Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Lalu Pd Yadav, Kejriwal, et al.
Please kindly note, her well-wishers also include those forces who want to see India being broken to pieces. Here one wonders when people could tell apart Didi’s Sanyasini outfit and her true character. Let’s be smart before it is too late, else the country is never going to be in safe hands.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.
Great historic events that have shaped the world and changed the outlines of countries are often not recorded in memory, or so we think. Wars made sure to destroy evidence and heritage, and the ones who survived told the tale of what really happened. Folklore, albeit through oral tradition kept alive many such stories, hidden in verse, limericks, and rhymes.
Ringa-ringa-roses, a common playtime rhyme among children across the world, is an example of folklore that has survived for many centuries. It tells the story of the The Great Plague of London which ravaged the city between 1665-1666.
The Plague broke out from improper disposal of garbage and poor sewage conditions. Fleas from the rats that lived in the sewers spread the disease that killed more than half of London's population. Many people fled from their homes as there was no medicine available for those who were infected.
Beak-shaped masks worn during the Great Plague of London Image source: wikimedia commons
It was around this time that masks began to be invented. The first masks were shaped like beaks, and were worn not to protect the wearer from the disease, but to the prevent them from being able to smell the decay and death around them, which they called 'miasma'. The beaks were filled with floral herbs that allowed doctors and nurses to tend to the sick without being reviled from the smell.
Children are often seen forming circles by holding hands and reciting loudly,
Pockets full of posies
We all fall down"
An illustration of the Great Plague of London, 1665 Image source: wikimedia commons
When the last line is sung, they break the circle and fall down. The roses and posies are believed to be the preferred fragrances inside the masks, and a single sneeze (a-tishoo) was enough to infect the one who was exposed to the disease. Consequently, they fell down, ill, and later died.
An alternative version of this rhyme is sung about the fall of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the aftermath of World War II. The roses and posies are interchanged with geranium and uranium, to symbolise what was used in the atomic bomb. But this version is not as famous the original.
Keywords: Rhymes, Ringa-ringa-roses, Great Plague of London, WWII, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Folklore
In modern times, many social movements aim to bring reform to the society we live in, on the basis of certain existing patterns. Patriarchy is something that many aim to cleanse our cultures of, to usher in the era of social and gender equality. Despite all these so-called movements, in southern India, certain societies that patronise matriarchy have existed since before India's independence. The Nairs and Ezhavas of Kerala, and Bunts and Billavas of Karnataka are matrilineal societies that continue to thrive in a patriarchal country.
Kerala remains separate from the rest of India in many ways. Be it literacy policy, form of government, or cultural practices, this state does not always conform to the ideal that India is known for. Even so with their social structure. Certain tribes have remained matrilineal, where the decision-making power rests with the eldest female of the family.
The Nairs and Ezhavas of Kerala, and Bunts and Billavas of Karnataka are matrilineal societies that continue to thrive in a patriarchal country. Image source: wikimedia commons
A male member, who is the close confidante of the matriarch is chosen. He plays a crucial role in representing the male members of his family, and his opinion is highly valued. He is called karavanan. The men reside in separate rooms or in separate houses, and do not interfere in the upbringing of children. Property is also passed down along the lineage of the eldest female. Among the Nairs, matriarchy is more prominently adhered to than the Ezhavas, who have some patrilocal connections.
In Karnataka, the Bunts and Billavas belong to the Tuluva ethnic group. They are also a predominantly matriarchal society, founded on the belief in a legend. Their matrilineal descent is known as Aliyasantana.
The story is told of a demon who threatened to destroy a kingdom if the king did not sacrifice his sons, but the king's sister comes forward to offer her children in sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom. The demon is touched and does not destroy the city. Since then, the kingdom, or the property is inherited through female lineage.
In Karnataka, the Bunts and Billavas belong to the Tuluva ethnic group. They are also a predominantly matriarchal society, founded on the belief in a legend. Image source: wikimedia commons
In the recent past, many of these matriarchal societies have been reduced to matrilineal societies by certain governmental laws. They fall under the patriarchal scheme of the rest of the state but have reserved the right to pass on property and heritage through the female line. In the North east of India, matriarchal dominance is far more resilient than the south.
Keywords: Bunts, Billava, Nair, Ezhava, Aliyasantana, Matrilineal, South India, Karnataka, Kerala
Apple inc. Is an American multinational tech firm specialized in consumer electronics, computer programs, and internet services founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976 to manufacture Wozniak's Apple iComputer. It is the world's top tech company in turnover (totaling $274.5 billion in 2020) and its most valuable corporation. Apple is the fourth-largest PC seller by unit sales and the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
Apple has revealed a slew of new products at a special launch event that has been long-awaited. On the day of the live event, Apple announced the iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 13, as well as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Apple has revealed a slew of new products at a special launch event that has been long-awaited. | Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash
In the first major product announcement during the event, Apple introduced the newest edition of the iPad and a 5G-capable iPad Mini.
iPad: The 10.2-inch iPad is equipped with a solid A13 processor that delivers 20 percent quicker performance than the preceding version. According to Apple, it is now three times faster than a Chromebook. A new 12MP ultra-wide camera with Center Stage, which utilizes machine learning to optimize the front-facing camera during FaceTime video chats, as well as more incredible accessory support, including compatibility with the first-generation Apple Pencil, are among the new features. For 64GB of storage, the iPad costs $329.
iPad Mini: In addition to reduced borders and more rounded edges, the 8.3-inch iPad mini also has improved front and back cameras. A liquid retina display, USB-C compatibility, magnetic support for the Apple Pencil, an enhanced speaker system, and new hues such as pink and purple are all features of the new Apple iPad Mini. The starting price is $499.
In the first major product announcement during the event, Apple introduced the newest edition of the iPad and a 5G-capable iPad Mini. | Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash
The other major unveiled products include:
iPhone 13 and other variants: The iPhone 13 range is almost identical to the iPhone 12 lineup, with a 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. It was also revealed that the Watch Series 7 has a smaller "S7" processor, which may allow for a bigger battery or other components to be housed in a smaller footprint. The gadgets have a revolutionary design that includes a dual-camera system, placed diagonally. Apple's iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini have longer-lasting batteries than the previous generation of devices. In addition, Apple claims that the iPhone 13 will have a battery life that is 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12, and the iPhone 13 mini will have a battery life that is 1.5 hours longer. A more energy-efficient display, an upgraded 5G chip, and functionality called "Cinematic Mode," similar to the famous Portrait mode function but is only available for movies, are among the other enhancements. The A15 Bionic chip present in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini is also used in the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max, also 6.1-inch devices. However, it also has a five-core CPU, which promises graphics that are 50% quicker than previous models. Other notable features of the Pro devices include a brilliant Super Retna XDR display with a higher refresh rate and long-lasting battery life. Now, for the price, it will start at $699 for the iPhone 13 mini with 128 GB of storage, $799 for the iPhone 13 with 128 GB of storage, and the Pro and Pro Max have starting prices of $999 $1,099, respectively.
Apple Watch Series 7: The new Apple Watch Series 7, which is smaller and has a larger screen than its previous model, was introduced by Apple on Wednesday. There is a 20% increase in screen size over Series 6 on the new watch. A complete keyboard that you can touch or slide to write out text messages can show 50% more text. It starts at $399.
Keywords: Apple, iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone Mini, Apple event 2021