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Society and Culture
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Pokemon Go is a window to how augmented reality will blend into the real time world and nudge our movements. How did a game become a cultural phenomenon? Does this success ride on 21st-century civilisation’s over dependence on technology or does it have to do with the gamers and innovators milking childhood nostalgia and fantastical aspiration of every human being? Perhaps, it offers a social experience.

 
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Of the many injustices that have scarred India, the most unconscionable are those of unequal childhoods. The law in the country has permitted children to be confined to work instead of being in schools and at carefree play. India’s child labour law, until the recent amendments passed by Parliament, barred child work until 14 years only in officially designated hazardous employment. There was no bar on the employment of children between 14 and 18 years.

 

Mahasweta Devi, the 90-year-old eminent writer-activist who passed away yesterday symbolised writing for life's sake. As she herself said, "It is my conviction that a storywriter should be motivated by a sense of history that would help her readers to understand their own times. I have never had the capacity nor the urge to create art for art's sake. Since I haven't ever learnt to do anything more useful, I have gone on writing. I have found authentic documentation to be the best medium for protest against injustice and exploitation." 

 

It can only be a happy coincidence that T M Krishna, Carnatic  musician, and Bezwada Wilson, campaigner against manual scavenging, have been selected for this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award, from India.  Both are, in their own ways, challenging the caste hierarchy. Krishna is changing the political context of culture in consonance with the changing times; by questioning the exclusiveness of the classical art form he practises-Carnatic music. 

 
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In developing countries like Pakistan, philanthropic services have really helped the poor in accessing services that the government could not provide. How the two names, Abdul Sattar Edhi, and Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan, have resonated when talked about philanthropy and humanitarian services in Pakistan, but their contributions need to be discussed more, writes Naseem Yousaf for South Asia Monitor.

 
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Instead, these shows from across the border expose the hollowness of Indian soap operas by being a class apart. The nation might want to know how they have managed to do it and might actually switch over to Pakistani soaps.

 
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The outrage OVER former BJP leader Dayashankar Singh’s sexist slur against Mayawati is significant because it brought together three powerful women leaders, who otherwise plough a lonely furrow as potential rivals.   
 
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The unending sequence of probes being demanded matches the widening cycle of violence. It is almost as if it takes only one sacred cow to kill another —in this case, democracy. In all this, middle class India watches silently as it is overcome by “atrocity fatigue” and wants to get back to “aspiration and desire mode”.

The unending sequence of probes being demanded matches the widening cycle of violence. It is almost as if it takes only one sacred cow to kill another —in this case, democracy. In all this, middle class India watches silently as it is overcome by “atrocity fatigue” and wants to get back to “aspiration and desire mode”.
 
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India’s growing band of cow-protection vigilantes and their political bosses may have learnt a lesson in the past few days: Bullying can boomerang. Politics over the cow, deemed holy by many Hindus, has roiled India for years. In recent times, it has turned nasty, with Indians lynching or humiliating fellow Indians on mere suspicion of having killed cows or eaten beef.
 
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Understanding inequality and welfare; and the factors at play

 


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Addressing entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, and academics December 7 at the Carnegie India Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru, India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar underscored the need to harness the power of technological change for faster economic development.
 
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The strangest of the several barbs hurled hurdled at Pakistan during and after the recently concluded Heart of Asia conference at Amritsar, India,  was that Pakistan is trying to change perception about the Taliban writes Monish Gulati  
 
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Actually, Modi is on to a long-term experiment in India. He and the government aim to re-engineer human souls and minds as much as socio-economic realities. writes Sudip Bhattacharyya for South Asia Monitor.
 
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This has been a mind-boggling year for Europe. First Britain’s shock European Union referendum result and the ensuing backlash against immigrants seemed to signal the rise of the right in Europe. The certainty that the right was on a steady march to power seemed confirmed by the U.S. election result and was seized upon by right-w
 
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US President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia, such as it was, is an endangered species in the Trump era. Looking back, was it in essence more rhetoric than a policy to be implemented? Leaders of South-east Asia, East Asia and further afield are asking themselves this question.a
 
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The Heart Of Asia conference in Amritsar called for immediate elimination of terrorism to help the war-ravaged country in its political and economic transition. Access the full text here...
 
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The traditional ties between India and the United Arab Emirates have,  over the decades grown, riding on the strength of trade and investments. The Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the chief guest for the 2017 Republic Day
 
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It is accepted conventional wisdom the world over, ever since well-known military theorist, Carl Von Clausewitz, first articulated the aphorism in the late 18th century that “war is a continuation of politics by other means”.  
 
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An aching sense of love, loss and yearning permeate this work of fiction which, however, reads like a personal narrative set in an intensely disruptive period of Indian history, and adds to the genre of partition literature, writes Ni...

 
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This is a path-breaking work on India's foreign policy since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in May 2014 and surprised everyone by taking virtual charge of the external affairs portfolio. A man who had been denied visa by some count...

 
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The pattern of Chinese actions on the global stage demonstrates that it lives by the credo of might is right, a potent tool in its armoury for the pursuit of aggressive designs, writes Sudip Talukdar for South Asia Monitor....

 
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The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others of their ilk not only destabilise Pakistan and make it one of the world's most dangerous places but also threaten neighbouring Afghanistan and India -- and even far...

 
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