Category Archives: Standpoint

Nipah And It’s Imagined Origins

South-Western-Ghats

The forest stood thick for centuries untouched and unobtrusive. The branches of the trees reached for the heavens and it’s roots stretched into the netherworld. It forged a thick outer shell allowing sunlight to barely reach the ground. It was home to multiple species of animals which roamed in it’s shadows – safe and free. It allowed flourishing of Flora whom men had yet to find any name.

When the men first came into the forest, they were reverential. Their Gods existed in these forests, they believed. They were respectful to the majestic greens that composed the environment. They would kneel before the forests. They had needs they would say. They were dutiful as they cut any branches, picked any flowers, hunted any animals for their survival. The forests never did mind.

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Scientific Temper in a nation full of Morlocks

Seventy years since Britishers left us tattered and torn, we have managed to stand up on our own legs. We put a probe in orbit around Mars. But then again, as I found out, there exists an India still under clutches of hoards of superstition and irrational beliefs. Recently as Rahu decided to feast on Moon as a revenge for ratting him out to Lord Vishnu, my mother bombarded me with shitload of data from eminent intellectuals from WhatsApp University on what to do and not to do during these couple of unfortunate hours of Lunar eclipse.

Lunar Eclipse

Demon Rahu feasting on poor Chandra. Credits to Chris Mayer for these barbaric images.

Made me ask myself… have we come a long way, since then?

Men are lynched in public on basis of rumors and worse, the murderers get away, casteism is still prevalent even among the most educated Indians, we have politicians calling for astrology to be recognized as valid science, we have leaders spending crores on their own statues, we have posters of film actors being bathed in milk when their films are released, affluent people in flashy neighborhoods have disgusting pile of waste rise up in their backyard mainly due to their own apathy, we have ‘intellectuals’ engaged in shouting contests over who should eat what which is marketed as news debates, we have a media obsessed over cleavages of actresses.

To talk about our thinkers who are supposed to be the torch bearers in quest for knowledge. The Indian Science Congress held annually is marred by many absurd claims, made in an attempt to exalt our ‘glorious’ past. Of flying jumbo jets and more advanced radar system being known to our forefathers, that organ transplantation a thing Indians invented citing examples of Ganesha. Many such pseudo-scientific theories were seen wanting to be passed as science. Continue reading

SUVs Are Shitty Useless Vehicles And You Are An Ass For Driving One

I have a personal thing against owners of SUVs,yes, and I believe no reasonable society should allow these these Shitty Useless Vehicles plying on their roads and hence should be banned. Well, not only because I am almost, run over by these metallic junks everyday. Nor because I am object of these people’s contempt as they sit in their high and mighty position on their bungalow-on-wheels as I try to sneak through some gaps (since gaps are the only thing available on roads), looking down on me as if I have trespassed into their private property. But because, these diesel guzzling huge shoeboxes-on-wheels are converting the roads into a) a death traps for cyclist, motorists and normal people, b) a clogged drainpipe by consuming every available space and are also c) polluting the city like no other private vehicle.

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This link will help you share my dread

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A Complete Switchover To Electric Vehicles May Not Be Such A Wise Decision

Early last year, I read an ambitious project proposed by the government that aimed at revolutionizing how Indians drove around town. The report suggested that India is planning to go full electric starting with restructuring conventional Public Transport System to an EV based one running on swappable batteries. Though, idea of swappable batteries was soon scrapped, government’s stance on Electric Vehicles appears to be stronger than ever.

E2O

Mahindra E2O appears to be the only EV on Indian Roads, presently.

Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that by 2030, entire fleet of passenger vehicles will be replaced by electric one. Conform or be bulldozed out he threatens.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, sure. And in a gradually dying earth, such measures are significant. But the question is, in a market like that of India, aggressively pushing for such a scheme, a wise decision?

I believe, the government apart from making an unrealistic market forecast, also are in complete disregard for the environmental effects of operating these vehicles. Now, let me make this clear that I am in no way arguing against EVs. They are great alternatives to what we have currently today. I am arguing against going fully electric. Continue reading

Dawn 2022

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Scan your eyes to start the vehicle. The message was displayed on the front panel of my two-wheeler; I leaned forward and let the machine scan my retina. It has been only a year since AADIA (AADhar aided Intelligent Assistant) has been made mandatory on every vehicle but it feels like an eternity. I don’t even remember how it was like before.

With all phones and social media accounts already been linked with our Unique ID, Government had developed AADIA as a way to ease our everyday interactions. AADIA was the norm by 2020. Today, everything happens via AADIA, everything is known to AADIA, everything is updated via AADIA. We had smartphones enabled via AADIA, tracking everything we do by the end of the decade. Now, we have AADIA enabled smartbands, worn around the wrist, as watches were worn only half a decade back, attached to your body, doing everything that and much more like keeping your health in check etc.

Hi Kumar, You have logged into vehicle linked to your UID, Where do you want to go, a) Workplace or b) Someplace Else? A) Workplace, I commanded into my band.

Calculating shortest route to your destination… Continue reading

Isn’t it time we controlled our ‘natural urge’ to procreate?

In his brilliant book ‘The Sapiens’, Yuval Noah Harari explains how Money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised. He says, people who do not believe in same God  or obey the same King are willing to use same money. Hence, giving rise to a new kind of religion… The capitalism.

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And in turn, this Capitalistic creed have given birth to new kind of money called ‘credit’. As he puts it Credit enables us to build the present at the expense of the future. It’s founded on the assumption that our future resources are sure to be far more abundant than our present resources. Imagine the endless opportunities that’s presented if we can build things in the present using future income. Now, its imperative for a society which bases itself on future income, to continuously expand in order to service a surging ocean of debt. It depends on the ever burgeoning exploitation of natural resources. Because we live on a planet of finite resources, and the two ends no longer meet.

However, I’m not writing about capitalism and over exploitation of resources. My topic is a bit more personal. Do we need to procreate anymore? Continue reading

Superwicked Problem of Pollution in Delhi

Poll

The Indian capital ranked as world’s fifth megacity got a blow (Not just any blow, a low blow) to its development agenda when it was ranked the world’s most polluted city in 2015. Already notorious for being one of the most unsafe cities in past few years, Delhi’s problems only escalated with the government being notified by scientists world over that the city will soon be like an inside of a tandoor oven in if they continued with Business as Usual. The inhabitants of this city will be grilled like they grill chicken tikka in bylanes of Khan Market. Sandra Bullock’s tribulations in the movie ‘Gravity’ seems like a cakewalk compared to Delhi’s problems.

Air Pollution index in Delhi has been steadily on rise since past decade or so, but no one really paid any attention to it, be it central or state governments or the average citizen. Now, this was bound to happen alright. Major reason of pollution however can be attributed to the uncontrolled growth of the city devoid of any sustainable policies. But then, almost everything that makes Delhi, a capital city is working against it. The city has all the key factors for converting itself into a smoky Tandoor. Continue reading