Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sujata Gidla's book

Even though I planned to spend much longer reading the book, I finished my first reading of "Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India" by Sujatha Gidla. I found it compelling with several threads running through. Parts reminded me of 'Nirjana Varadhi'. But in such books, we do not see the 'intimate enmity' faced by Dalits. Then there are parts of the family life of author's mother Manjula which are as powerful of parts of 'Asamarthuni Jeevayatra'. Fortunately, it is also a story of struggle and survival of some talented people despite handicaps. There are also the comical and tragic aspects of revolutionary meetings. Escape to foreign ands to escape caste to some extent. Should be translated in to Telugu soon.
The defiance of an 'untouchable' New York subway worker

Chicken's Neck problems

Gurrumul Yunupingu RIP

One more point for Lant Pritchett

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Not only in India

I slept rough – the public’s contempt for homeless people is a disgrace I think that this has increased in India too. Earlier, may be still, some used charge money for sleeping on streets. Reminded of George Price Discovering an equation for altruism cost George Price everything from his family to his life.


Credentialism? I think that I have noticed a tendency among Indian patents, from progressives to hardcore Marxists who believe that Revolution is the only answer to Dalits, for degrees and qualifications for their children, often from reputed American universities. Even housewives without college degrees have remarked 'But that is not in the top ten'. Th
is credentialism creep is also common in the west, but not so much parental pride and pressure. I hope that I am wrong.

My granddaughter Ava, may be what they want is more time with the family

Image may contain: one or more people and food

Monday, July 24, 2017

Another place I visted last November with Tella Aruna and Ramasundari

Tella Aruna is sitting next to me, Ramasundari may not be visible in this upload. Aruna has been in social work for over thirty ears and runs an old people's home and a home for abused women. The picture from one of the places, both in Ongole. I plan to spend three years in Ongole this year starting in Novembrr to study teaching in the schools of the area. C.A. Prasad of Jana Vignana Samiti offered to help and Aruna said that I can stay with her. Ramasundari is transferred to Guntur and offered her house for me to stay though I told her that I am not  Marxist. Ramasundari' Facebook link may contain: 12 people, people smiling, shoes and outdoor

The picture from last November which made me reduce smoking

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, mountain, child, outdoor and nature The picture is from that post of Rahul BanerjeeWhile visiting Motia Bhil Bhanai Ghar school in M.P with Rahul Banerjee. Last night I watched cricket until 2:40 in the morning and went for a half an hour walk this morning to check the difference from yesterday's walk. Not much. Decrease in smoking seems to make a difference.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hair styles of Telugu film heros in the old days

Brother's influence

Hi - I'm reading "Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India" by Sujatha Gidla and wanted to share this quote with you.

"WHEN THE TEACHER ASKED FOR a volunteer to use the English word while in a sentence, Papa raised her hand. The teacher knew she was one of the few students he had who was capable of answering such a hard question. But even so he was surprised by what she said: “The Koreans are harvesting while the Americans are bombing them.”"
That was around 1950 in the village Telaprolu in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh. The girl Papa was the around 14 at that time who was influenced by her brother K.G. Satyamurthy. Carey mentioned below is the younger brother. The family were Dalit Christian.
But "Papa and Carey were especially drawn to the novels of Sarat Chandra, a Bengali author whose works were being translated into Telugu. Sarat’s novels typically featured a heroine who supported her weak husband, cared for her failing in-laws, and set her husband’s wayward younger brother on the right path. These books were modern in their depiction of a strong-willed female character, though she used her strength not to assert herself but rather to endure her unhappy fate. She strained to prop up the very thing that was crushing her, the patriarchal family. Papa and Carey each formed an ideal of life from these novels. Carey longed to deliver a prostitute from her wretchedness by marrying her and making her a respectable woman. Papa dreamed of becoming an exemplary wife, daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law. Above all, she would be honest. She would do nothing that needed to be kept secret from anyone in the world."

Book recommendation from Omar Ali

On hummingbird's frenzy

Professionalism in radical political change

I am not entirely convinced. Perhaps one solution is organizing shoud be like second profession. When Organizers Are Professionals from Jacobin.
Rahul Banerjee on his experiences.In a post on the same in Facebook, he comments:
"Thx to all for the appreciation but personally i feel sad that circumstances have moved me away from mass political action. However much good constructive work we do, without a drastic change in government policies to make them more sustainable and equitable, there is unlikely to be large impact. And without mass political mobilisation for a more just and sustainable development paradigm this will not be possible. But it is extremely difficult to do that these days."

Women networks, a story from France

A Study of the Champagne Industry Shows That Women Have Stronger Networks, and Profit from Them "Combined with past studies, our research has implications for female leaders and minorities in other industries. When an organization contains just a few “token” minorities, those individuals will tend to compete with one other to distinguish themselves. But when a minority group is somewhat larger, people in that group will be more likely to identify with one another and develop supportive relationships. And, as the female grape growers in Champagne have shown, a network of such relationships can result in tangible benefits, including not just social support but also the sharing of valuable business information  such as the prices being charged in a market."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

About US jobs

Intelligence and patience are crucial

Where Do Pro-Social Institutions Come From? by pseudoearasmus. The Original post from two years ago has a number of comments.
 In the comments Peter T( Peter Turchin?) remarks "You reject CE, but “intelligence” and “patience” are learned characteristics, not innate ones (the capacity for them is innate but, given human genetic similarity but large group differences in these measures, the expression is clearly social). So they are themselves cultural."
Pseudoerasmus responds "But I rejected a very specific element of cultural evolution as the driver of institutional differences between populations — social norms — which were defined fairly precisely in the text above. And I did not say anything about the origins of the between-population differences in patience or intelligence."

Friday, July 21, 2017

Snake dance by P.Bhanumati
The dance does not seem too bad though "And speaking of her dance lessons, Bhanumati was characteristically ruthless in self-assessment – she remarked that it must have been a black day for the revered Guru [Vempati Pedda Satyam]when he accepted her as his disciple, fior her dance movements could easily be mistaken for a patient suffering from a particularly virulent fit of epilepsy!" from

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Violence against Dalits continues

More than 25 Dalit activists have been murdered in Tamil Nadu over the past year, says Madurai NGOThis kind of news does not seem to get much traction in the social media which is probably dominated by the more privileged. Going by the number of visits in this blog, I find posts about Dalits, manual scavenging etc get the least number of visits where as anything about Indian music, good things about Indian heritage get lord of visits. May be we develop immunity for things we cannot change rapidly.

Time seems to go after as one grows older

Times seems to go faster with age or so it seemed to me. Last week has been a bit slower, may be due to efforts to cut down smoking. It seemed ages but is only about six days that I am down to six cigarettes a day. Today, we went to watch Leila and Ava aged 11,9 on their Athletics Day at school. It was about 12C, drizzling and sometimes pouring, and windy. We went around the ground twice meeting the kids twice, watced one of them run, spoke to them and offered gloves and caps which were refused. After what seemed like a long time, we were resigned to kids getting sick by the end of the day and Lalita already planning to ask Gavin to stay home the next day. Then we checked our watches and found that we spent exactly 18 minutes at the ground. I googled and the first item I find is this Why does time fly as we get older?

Sanjay Subrahmanyam on decentralised violence

Lynch mobs seem to know nothing will happen to them, they’re implicitly meeting approval from higher-ups: UCLA scholar "Sadly, good parts of the international situation are also similar, so we should not think we are so unique. Turkey is witnessing the strengthening of Muslim fundamentalism and authoritarian government. In Russia, you have the Orthodox Church’s alliance with an authoritarian state. This is the new normal of neo-democratic states, which, when it suits them, say they are democratic, and at the same time, slowly shift the ground in society. If this is on the cards, politics has to come in, to pull society back from the brink. This cannot be just about civil society formations fighting a rear-guard action and taking on a political system. This is the time for the political system to show its resilience, or else we will face the consequences of one-party rule over years and years."