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Posts Tagged ‘Capitalism’

The Myth of Chinese Efficiency

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 3, 2012

image: Pedestrians stand before heavy traffic at an intersection in Beijing. The US embassy which has its own pollution measuring system, and which rates anything over 150 as unhealthy, was showing an index of 403, or 'hazardous' on this particular day.

ED JONES / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
Pedestrians stand before heavy traffic at an intersection in Beijing. The US embassy which has its own pollution measuring system, and which rates anything over 150 as unhealthy, was showing an index of 403, or ‘hazardous’ on this particular day.

Many people in the U.S. and Europe believe China is a model of modern transport and political effectiveness. They should try to live here.

On the road to Beijing’s international airport the other day, I noticed dark clouds moving in on the horizon. My stress level immediately spiked. Flight delays have become almost the norm here in Beijing, even on the brightest of days; a little rain would certainly spell trouble. As the drops began to splat on the windshield, I had dispiriting visions of getting stuck in Beijing and missing my connecting flight in Hong Kong — and my next deadline for TIME with it. My fears were confirmed when I arrived at the gate, where the departure time came and went. Though the sun had peeked through the clouds, the damage had already been done. Read the rest of this entry »

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Personality: Arundhati Roy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 8, 2012

Arundhati Roy (born 24 November 1961) is an Indian novelist. She won the Booker Prizein 1997 for her novel, The God of Small Things, and has also written two screenplays and several collections of essays. Her writings on various social, environmental and political issues have been a subject of major controversy in India.

She spent her childhood in Aymanam in Kerala, and went to school at Corpus ChristiKottayam, followed by the Lawrence School, Lovedale, in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. She then studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, where she met her first husband, architect Gerard da Cunha.

Roy met her second husband, filmmaker Pradip Krishen, in 1984, and played a village girl in his award-winning movie Massey Sahib. Until made financially stable by the success of her novel The God of Small Things, she worked various jobs, including running aerobics classes at five-star hotels in New Delhi. Roy is a cousin of prominent media personality Prannoy Roy, the head of the leading Indian TV media group NDTV,. She lives in New Delhi.

Early in her career, Roy worked for television and movies. She wrote the screenplays for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989), a movie based on her experiences as a student of architecture, directed by her current husband, and Electric Moon (1992); she also appeared as a performer in the first. Roy attracted attention in 1994, when she criticised Shekhar Kapur‘s film Bandit Queen, based on the life of Phoolan Devi. In her film review titled, ‘The Great Indian Rape Trick’, she questioned the right to “restage the rape of a living woman without her permission,” and charged Kapur with exploiting Devi and misrepresenting both her life and its meaning.

Roy began writing her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1992, completing it in 1996. The book is semi-autobiographical and a major part captures her childhood experiences in Aymanam.

The publication of The God of Small Things catapulted Roy to instant international fame. It received the 1997 Booker Prize for Fiction and was listed as one of the New York TimesNotable Books of the Year for 1997. It reached fourth position on the New York Times Bestsellers list for Independent Fiction. From the beginning, the book was also a commercial success: Roy received half a million pounds as an advance; It was published in May, and the book had been sold to eighteen countries by the end of June. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Modern capitalism has reached the end of its rope’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011

There is barely a corner of the globe that has not been touched by the current financial meltdown. But a senior sociology scholar at Yale University thinks the crisis is far wider than the economic crash – it is capitalism itself which is collapsing.

Immanuel Wallerstein explained his theory to RT.

“Modern capitalism has reached the end of its rope. It cannot survive as a system,” Wallerstein said. “And what we are seeing is the structural crisis of the system. The structural crisis goes on for a long time. It really started more or less in the 1970s and will go on for another 20, 30, 40 years. It is not a crisis of a year or of a short moment, it is the major structural unfolding of a system.  And we are in transition to another system and, in fact, the real political struggle that is going on in the world that most people refuse to recognize is not about capitalism – should we have or should we not have it – but about what should replace it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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