Avijit Roy a young Bangladeshi intellectual and writer had been receiving death threats from religious fanatics for years now. But these failed to stop him from expressing his explosive views on religion through his blog and books. His conviction in his ideas was clear and unshakable. He knew how important his writings were for the future of his country which was steadily becoming radicalized. He was ready to pay the ultimate prize with his life, to save from the religious takeover of his country and protect its secular ethos. Undeterred by the threats and having full cognizance of the demands, he declared that- “If we have to give blood, we have to give blood” for the movement.
Maldives looks wise is a true approximation of paradise on earth. Situated in the middle of Indian ocean, it’s closest neighbors are India and Sri Lanka, both over 600 kilometers away.
Finally I got to see Shankar’s ‘I’, one week after it was released. The film was released in only one theater in my town and as it was Sankranti, people were literally fighting over each other at 6 am in the morning to get its tickets. They seem to be more enthusiastic about the film than me and so I convinced myself that they deserve to watch it before me(I was too lazy to get up that early)! At last I got an entry in the afternoon on a Wednesday. As I was watching the movie several thoughts occurred to me. One of it was about ‘China and films’.
Shout out to all Non-resident Indians(NRI) and Persons of Indian origin(PIO) living abroad!
Do you know that your mother country celebrates your achievements and your contribution to development of India each year for three whole days. They have named it as the PBD-Pravasi Bharatiya Divas(Non-resident Indian Day) and it has grown to be kind of a big deal. I assume its importance will grow in years to come as you guys are becoming a more and more important factor in India’s rise economically, politically and diplomatically.
From the ashes of the Peshawar attack, there seems to have arisen a new solidarity among Pakistan citizens. The country had in a common voice condemned this dastardly attack on innocent children. All over the country, unprecedented protests against the Mullahs was seen and condemnation of extremist elements of the society was observed. For the first time, protesters surrounded the infamous Red mosque and held a candle light vigil in front of it. The Red Mosque in Islamabad(capital of Pakistan) openly sympathizes with the Taliban. They justify the gruesome violence of terrorists invoking religion and calls those killed by their own military as martyrs. The Red Mosque teaches its followers the same ideology as that held by the Taliban making it a breeding recruitment center for terror groups. In fact the only difference between the Red mosque Mullahs and the terrorists is an open armed conflict with the state.
Image of India
India has a mixed legacy when it comes to soft power, it went through periods of heights, plateaus and lows. Through out history, there was not a single country which had greater soft power than ancient India. Great empires outside the subcontinent held it with awe and admiration. India had international trade links right from Indus valley civilization. India was self sufficient and it always had a favorable balance of payments. It’s spiritual philosophies, advances in mathematics, astronomy, surgery, herbal medicine had vastly influenced other civilizations.
Continue reading India and Soft Power-2