Down the memory lane
“Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned, This project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here.”
When students are subjected to bigotry and racism, they move to their own country and pretend to be part of this “Harvard Culture” and exhibit the same culture. The bigotry penetrates deep into their own personality.
Matsuda-Lawrence and other members of the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, Harvard’s oldest existing black organization, came up with the idea last year around spring break. She conducted 40 interviews with black students on campus for an independent study last semester; those interviews are the basis of the play, called I, Too, Am Harvard, which will premiere March 7.
As part of the campaign, Harvard sophomore Carol Powell, a fellow Kuumba member, photographed 63 black students holding boards with micro-aggressions and racist remarks they have heard on campus. Some chose to write messages to their peers.
Speaking about her own portrait from the photo campaign, Matsuda-Lawrence told that while walking through Harvard Yard last Friday night with black friends, they were approached by two white males who appeared to be drunk.
“One of them came right up in my face and yelled, ‘CAN YOU READ?’” she said. “This confrontation is just one of many instances in which black intelligence is questioned on this campus.”
The campaign was created in response to an article written by a white student and printed in the Harvard Crimson in November 2012 called “Affirmative Dissatisfaction,” which started debates on campus about Harvard’s affirmative action policy.
“I felt, and other students felt, that our presence and identity as black students was being de-valued. At the time I was a freshman. We’d just shown up on campus, and we felt like people were saying I wasn’t smart enough to be here,” Matsuda-Lawrence said. “Everybody was talking about it on campus and it created a lot of racial tension.”
“This is our way of speaking back and saying we belong here. We’re claiming this campus as our own.”
In one interview, a student told Matsuda-Lawrence how hurt she was by the article:
“I read the article, and when she was saying, ‘giving black people entrance into schools like Harvard was the same as teaching a blind man to be a pilot’ — I read that, and I just cried. My heart ached, you know, I was so excited to be in this place, and they didn’t want me here.”
“There is a feeling a lot of black students share, which is that even though you got a letter of acceptance, you’re never fully accepted on this campus,” Matsuda-Lawrence said.
She added that throughout her 40 interviews, she hardly ever mentioned the affirmative action article, yet almost every person brought it up. “That’s the effect it had on our campus,” she said.
“The administration was silent on the issue,” Matsuda-Lawrence said. “They did not come to the aid of students of color on campus, and the voices of black students were not heard in the affirmative action debate.”
In another interview, a woman expressed how hard it was for her to feel comfortable in the classroom:
“I’m doing electrical engineering. And electrical engineering is really hard. Like that’s all I can say about it. It’s really hard. But I just don’t want to ask white people for help. Specifically, like if he’s white and male… Because I can’t have him thinking that I’m this dumb black girl — that I don’t deserve to be here.”
“This project has helped us realize that we’re not alone,” Matsuda-Lawrence said.
“We want to build a movement that can be translated into real institutional change so that black students feel that we belong.
Matsuda-Lawrence said the goal of the “I, Too, Am Harvard” campaign is for the Harvard administrators to take note of the movement and address it directly.
A street kid was engrossed in blowing a soap bubble in an empty park. He continued blowing, and the bubble grew bigger. Soon, he was surrounded by a few curious souls who began to cheer him on. The kid became excited, and started blowing harder. The onlookers joined him in his excitement, and the cheering became louder. And suddenly with a soul stirring bang, everyone became silent.
The bubble burst in the kid’s face, and left him stunned.
Unwary of the fact that a simple bubble could hurt him, he was in shock, and started crying. A few people came up to the kid to tell him that he should’ve been careful, as the rest of the crowd dwindled away. Soon, the park became empty again.
How different is our nation’s current state than the events that transpired in this park?
Just like the water and soap that was freely available to the kid, we’ve made sure with a lot of hard work over the years, that the plants of patriarchy are grown in every region and strata of our society and the fruits are readily available for everyone to cherish. A few guys, who take pride in this patriarchy, feel that they are superior to women, believing that all women must confirm to their whims and fancies. And this is when these guys start blowing a bubble. A bubble that finds them whistling at women, passing snide remarks, and leching over them, amongst other acts. Their acts do not go unnoticed, but are often ignored. The onlookers, who look at these guys eyeing a woman, smile and walk by, allowing the bubble to grow bigger.
Encouraged by the lack of rebuke, and blinded by their beliefs, they indulged in an act, the repercussions of which were unknown even to them. They destroyed a life, shattered a girl’s dreams, and though they would disappear into oblivion. The bubble which seemed harmless till now, bursts in their faces when they woke up to find an entire nation directing its anger towards them. They were clueless and shocked by the turn of events. Where were all these people when they were blowing their bubble throughout the city? Where did all the smiling and disinterested faces vanish? What brought about this sudden upsurge of emotions?
Something irked the nation’s nerve somewhere. People were filled with anguish and a strong sense of disapproval. Thousands took to the streets, congregating near the abodes of the ones in whom they entrusted their faith to run this country. City roads became a sea of placards demanding justice and safety. The youth of the nation stood up in solidarity, as the wave of protests soon spread to the entire nation. As unprecedented as these protests were, they shook the executive pillar of democracy. Roads were blocked, train services were stalled, water cannons were brought out, tear gas shells were lodged, covering all possible attempts that could be made to make the task of getting their voice heard, more arduous for the protestors.
Despite all the roadblocks, the spirit of the protestors could not be broken. Ably assisted by the fourth pillar, the visibly disturbed youth of our nation succeeded in getting their voice heard. The elected realized that they could no longer just ignore these voices, and came out for a dialogue, assuring the protestors of a series of steps to be enacted upon to make the city a safer place for women.
The wave of protests and being reprimanded by the law has told these guys that they should not have done what they did. Attempts at ensuring a proper enforcement of the existing laws have also begun, suitably aided by the attempts to bring in stronger laws for ensuring the safety of women. Protestors have showed immense strength and resolve in expressing their dissent, but have slowly dwindled away. The park is once again vacant for another kid to try his hand at blowing a bubble. Will we as parents, teachers, friends, and as an entire nation make sure that the kid does not get the water or the soap for his bubble?
It will not happen overnight, for irrespective of how good an agricultural nation we might be, there are far too many plants of patriarchy blooming throughout the nation to be uprooted in one night. Even if we succeed in this task, can we ensure that such an incident will never happen again? In an ideal world, we would love to have that answered with affirmation, but in reality, maybe not. But what we can and we must do is to weed out the saplings as soon as we see one growing. We can check and report any kid trying to blow his bubble, so he can be reprimanded and made aware of the repercussions before his bubble blows up in our faces. Respecting women and considering them as equals in all respects, needs to be embedded in the minds of every young boy.
The dream that I envision, is for us to not forget what we started with the protests, and ensure that this does not go down as a passing wave, but continues to rise like an uprising, to establish a safe, respectful, and a vigilant nation. The churning of the Indian mindset has begun in a right direction.
*This is something I wrote in Jan’13.
The circular economy aims to eradicate waste—not just from manufacturing processes, as lean management aspires to do, but systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components. Indeed, tight component and product cycles of use and reuse, aided by product design, help define the concept of a circular economy and distinguish it from the linear take–make–dispose economy, which wastes large amounts of embedded materials, energy, and labor.
Using the example of a market for power drills to detail four scenarios in which circular-economy principles are applied:
- In the status-quo scenario, 1,000 power drills are made in China and sold in the European Union.
- In the refurbishment scenario, 800 drills are sold at the original price, and 200 are refurbished and sold at 80 percent of it. As an incentive to return drills for refurbishment, customers that do so receive a 10 percent refund of the original price.
- In the recycling scenario, new and refurbished drills are sold, as above, but other customers return 700 end-of-life drills for recycling that recovers some 80 percent of their materials. Customers that return drills for recycling receive a 5 percent refund on the original price.
- In the additional sales scenario, new and refurbished drills are sold and 700 end-of-life drills are recycled, as above, but we assume that the refurbished drills do not cannibalize sales of the new drills. Instead, refurbished units are sold to a completely new customer segment, thus expanding the market.
In a circular economy, the goal for durable components, such as metals and most plastics, is to reuse or upgrade them for other productive applications through as many cycles as possible. This approach contrasts sharply with the linear mind-set embedded in most of today’s industrial operations. Even their terminology—value chain, supply chain, end user—expresses a linear take–make–dispose view.
Interesting Article, Read it and Make your Own Conclusion
You would have read my previous piece on how RSS has infiltrated key organs of the state. A result of this has been the breeding of an organisation which creates acts attributable to a terrorist group called Indian Mujahideen.
Popularly known as IM, this entity seems, of late, to strike very conveniently when required by the RSS’s election plans.
Consider the recent past.
A bomb goes off at a railway station. Some people, tragically, die.
Coincidentally, this is the day a certain leader with Z+ is holding a rally later in the day in the same city.
Coincidentally, during the said leader’s rally a series of bombs go off on the periphery of the venue. No one is hurt, thankfully. And we are told, after the speech is over and the crowd dispersed, there was a bomb under the leaders dias.
Now let’s examine the series…
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Leaders around the world have resolutely condemned the annexation of Manchester United football club by Liverpool FC despite a hastily held referendum showing 95.5% support among the Man U fans for secession to its more powerful neighbour.
‘The vote is completely illegal,’ said one United fan who still thinks Wayne Rooney is quite good. ‘But actually if it means we get closer ties with Europe then, on balance, ‘like’, I’m all for it.’
There has been discontent since a new leader was undemocratically appointed at Old Trafford who many now see as incapable of maintaining unity among supporters from the club’s vast geographical base which stretches as far afield as Surrey. ‘I was going to give it all up and emigrate to Wycombe Wanderers,’ said one despairing fan from Guildford, ‘but I can stick with it now. I truly believe being part of Liverpool gives my children the best hope for the future.’
In the late hours of Sunday night, heavy-armed men surrounded strategic sites around Old Trafford, insisting they were only there to protect the well-being of the many who wanted to switch allegiance, and throwing a defensive cordon around the pie van.
‘They don’t have any identification and they’re not wearing team colours, but then they try to sell you kitchen implements you don’t need, crack loads of jokes and, if anything gets heated, repeatedly tell everyone to calm down,’ said Old Trafford groundsman Bert Trout, who had become increasingly concerned about the direction the club was taking. ‘They can deny it all they like but the whips, the furry hats, the false number plates; they’re obviously Scousers. Thank God someone who knows what they’re doing is here to sort this mess out.’
While relieved to be free of the old regime, some of the Manchester fans admitted to unease and apprehension for any trophy success this year. The global tension tangibly lifted when Liverpool insisted that Man Utd would still have a great deal of autonomy and installed Ken Dodd as new interim manager.
Suzie charged 10,000 rupees for a night –
(Anything lesser and she wouldn’t be a ‘call-girl’ but a whore
Anything more and she wouldn’t have customers no more.)
The name wasn’t Suzie before she came to the city,
Read more at http://toastingtoaster.in/2015/01/saraswati-to-suzie/
Stunning view of frozen Lake Michigan and Chicago from the air this Sunday
Once, Sir Mohammad Iqbal cherished to awaken the youth from their slumber as,
God bring you acquainted with
No billow in your sea breaks in
And never from books can you
Which you declaim not comprehend
Now, that call is heard, understood and applied by today’s youth
So we raise the question, who represents the Indian youth?
Boy walking down the brigade road or a young woman draped in a cotton saree teaching the new young generation
Who can forget an angelic soul’s body ridden with bullets struggling hard for life and death in a London hospital at such a tender age? Yes, I am talking about young teen activist Malala Yousuf Zai
Gone are the days when youngsters were the natural obedient descendants of their ancestors. Today’s youth have independent idealistic approach towards life and with their unshaken determination and grit, they want to recognize and be recognized. Now, they have learnt their own principles and experiences.
In the words of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Age considers, youth ventures; Youth seem to be on a crusade against corruption, terrorism, woman molestation and injustice in all walks of life. This evolved mindset is witnessed even in political tempo of our nation. The Indian politics can be thought beyond the eras of ‘bhaiyajis’ with their guns, goons and gypsies.
This energetic stuff has modified modernization towards livelihood. They are really breaking the traditional stereotype of lucrative jobs in high profile offices We have seen emerging entrepreneurs in all areas of work. We have ample number of brave hearts who have broken the shackles and unfurled the trail of excellence.(From flipkart, redbus to Varun Aggarwal of Alma Mater)
Many of them have left indelible mark in their specialized arena.
Apart from their matter of survival, youth is desperate to break the shackles of servility, numbness to injustice and divisiveness. They are the individuals who have self psychotherapy. Every individual wants to live on the words of historian James Truslons Adams, “Life should be better, richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. Everyone has a right to prosper, succeed through hard work, innovation and excellence.”
Many of the grey beards might doubt that these technocrats, IT geeks, virtually impulsive robotics hippies, who are rebellious, open-minded, bindass, are good for nothing or they might find absurdity in our logics. But in my coup-de-grace, I would like to cite the example of Youth Brigade of Ahmedabad who is reviving the lost Gandhian era.
Rather than casting blame on government, bureaucrats and concerned authorities, they themselves are taking initiative with the help of commoners. They are resolved and endured to re-establish the immorality of Indian saga. These vibrant or uprising throng is acting like a fundamental who don’t want to be uprooted from the secured womb of their foster mother and on the contrary they want to be ethnocentric and exponent by shifting from the realm of ordinary into the heights of the extraordinary, and walk among the best whoever lived.
These harbingers in their clarion are singing profound song as
“Youth is like a fire,
It spurts a spark at first,
Growing into a flame,
Then brightening into a pledge”
This is my dream of a quintessential Indian Youth