Saturday, February 24, 2018

ఒకేఒక్కసారి ఎగాదిగా చూసి And some other Telugu songs

on self sufficiency and cash economy

Bit by bit, they began to come, to escape problems at home for a while, to make friends or just earn some money. Tabbasum Momin, programme manager, SSP, says women were asked to cultivate everything that could be consumed at home, on just one acre of the family farm. In the remaining land, the men could continue growing cash crops.
Women began to cultivate over 20 types of produce, including vegetables, cereals, pulses and fruits. They did not have to invest in buying seeds, fertilisers or pesticides as they were taught how to make them the traditional way using crops like neem. Says Ms. Momin, “The women began to cultivate more than what they needed for the home. And naturally, they began to sell these.”” From
(  is Madhukar Shukla) It seems some changes are possible when subsistence is involved. It is not clear how such things work for enterprising classes with more resources.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Peter Richerson’s review of ‘The ages of discord’ by Peter Turchin

On blockchain technology

The blockchain paradox: Why distributed ledger technologies may do little to transform the economy ( via Namit Arora) : “Regardless of the model, my point is that blockchain technologies cannot escape the problem of governance.”
Also The great cryptocurrency heist :”Blockchains don’t offer us a trustless system, but rather a reassignment of trust”

Friday, February 16, 2018

Pankaj Mishra reviews a book of Ta-Nehisi Coates

A flavour of the review “The intimate relationship between America’s internal and external wars, established by its original sin, has long been clear. The question was always how long mainstream intellectuals could continue to offer fig-leaf euphemisms for shock-and-awe racism, and suppress an entwined history of white supremacism and militarisation with fables about American exceptionalism, liberalism’s long battle with totalitarianism, and that sort of thing. Hurricane Katrina, coming after the non-discovery of WMDs in Iraq, undermined liberal faith in Bush’s heavily racialised war. American claims to global moral leadership since the 1960s had depended greatly on the apparent breakthrough of the civil rights movement, and the sidelining of the bigots who screamed: ‘segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation for ever’. In New Orleans, black bodies naked before the elements of the world – elements which included trigger-happy Blackwater mercenaries guarding the rich – made it clear that old-style racial separation had been replaced by sharply defined zones of prosperity and destitution: segregation for ever. But the apparent successes of social liberalism, culminating in Obama’s election, managed to obscure the new regimes of racial sequester for a while longer. Since the 1990s, the bonanzas of free trade and financial deregulation had helped breed greater tolerance for racial and sexual variety, primarily among the privileged – the CIA under Obama set up a recruiting office at the Miami Beach Gay Pride parade. Overt racism and homophobia had become taboo, even as imprisonment or premature death removed 1.5 million black men from public life. Diversification and multiculturalism among upwardly mobile, college-educated elites went together with mass incarceration at home and endless military interventions abroad.” from a review of We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates in ( book available hereWhy do white people like what I write?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rahul Banerjee on our trip to Pandutalab(v)

The colony of cooks-5

As mentioned before, I quit the colony around 2007 leaving the Short Stay Home in charge of the people of the colony and a new leadership grew which was not to the best interests of the colony. Some of them tried to sell of the land on which the Short Stay Home was built and when they did not succeed, they tried to built a temple on part of it. Over years, I had to make efforts to get hold of the land and succeeded. Meanwhile, the old home which was sturdy was demolished. It remains to build a good house useful for the public but meanwhile I am busy running Swadhar Greh with nobody willing to take charge of it. Apparently women with family problems who have shown some independence is not a popular theme and we  get very little funding outside the government sources. The funds usually come late and we have to take loans, sometimes at high interest, to run the home. This and the counselling centre take most of my time these days.
Meanwhile, the municipality decided to appeal in the A.P. High Court, the decision of the Zilla Court in our favour ( we have entered the case as a third party and have been funding the proceedings). This meant that a new and somewhat expensive lawyer had to be hired in Hyderabad. Now the new leadership of the colony was not of much help and I was approached to raise funds etc. for the proceedings. The case is still going on. Perhaps it was routine to appeal and we are expected to win after the previous two decisions in our favour and the colony established for more than two decades. But the case goes on, perhaps due to the lack of enough judges in the High Court, and money has to be raised to help with the proceedings.

The colony of cooks-4:1994-2007

By this rime I was a full activist for TDP. I was also taking part in various agitations and movements from earlier times. Earlier from the eighties when I was with the Communist Party, there was a fight to get fishermen the right to sell their produce in the market without interference from a contractor, various women’s movements, and also a movement to get fair prices for milk producers where I was hurt in a lathicharge. Now there were movements like protest against indecency (asleela vyatirekodyamam), Consumer’s movement (viniyogagadarula udyamam), literature type activities, protests against liquor consumption in illegal outlets ( belts shops).
This was towards the end of 1994 after.we won the case in the municipal court. At this juncture, the assembly elections took place. We in the cooks colony campaigned for TDP and one Eedara Haribabu  became the MLA as TDP candidate. Some of the TDP candidates also became members of the Municipal Committee ex officio  and the balance in the committee shifted in the favour of TDP. We were expecting more good things to happen when I got a shock in the form of a call from the Munkcipal Chairman who belonged to the Congress Party. He said though he was from a different party, he did not want to appeal the Municipal Court decision in favour of the poor people but the current MLA Haribabu wanted to appeal in the District (Zilla) Court. I was furious and dashed off on my scooter to confront the MLA. My younger friends Gangadhar and Lakhminarayana tried in vain to prevent me and followed me on their vehicles. By the time I reached the Municipal office, the. lA already left the place. By that time Gangadhar and Lakshminarayana caught up with and physically prevented me from proceeding any further. This was early 1995 and I am still not sure what I would have done if I had caught up with the MLA. In any case, the  MLA helped us later with the sanction of a boring well to the colony.
During this period, I was also caught up with various administrative positions with TDP. I also developed as a speaker, singer, poet. Possibly, NTR bestowing attention on me on three different occasions ( once as a speaker, once as a singer and once as an anti liquor agitator)by garlanding me might have helped in improving my image in the public. And C.B. Naidu too appreciated my work and sanctioned the administrative positions I held. I was a member of the Price Monitoring Committee from 1995-98, Jury Member for Nandi awards from 1996-1998, a director of the Mineral Development corporation from 1998-2000 and Regional Organiser (RO) for Women Welfare and Child Development Department from 2000-2005.
But my commitment to the colony continued, and I actually lived in the colony from 1997-2004 running the Short Stay Home whereas my husband Balakrishna lived with the children in our own house since he felt that both of us living in the colony may seem like we got the place for ourselves. During this period, the Short Stay Home also became a hub of activity for women activists and it was not uncommon to see 10-15 of them there on a given day and discussing various issues. They also helped us with our colony problems. Some of the Dalit women leaders probably cut their teeth during that time. These include Betapudi Rajeswari, ,G.Mary Ratnakumari and others. And some of the women in the colony also developed in to leadership roles.
During this time, we also started a Dpep(?) school for children, these were not regular schools but schools run by volunteers with encouragement from the government. Even children from outside the colony attended our school. The youth in the colony helped with various tasks like digging a big hole for a step well storage tank, making reasonable earthen roads etc. Some of the younger people who helped were Ravi, Shyam,Siva, Venkaiah and even younger people like Jagadish, Suresh, Raja, Kishore, Subbarao and others. We also collected the evidence needed for the court, gathered finances for the case, Karavadi Raghavarao continued to argue ably for us. Dr. A.P. Vithal continued to encourage us and provided financial support. He also treated the children living in unhealthy and conditions of malnutrition. Many other contacts that we made during the political processes possibly helped our profile. Finally, we won the Zilla Court too. This was around 2004-2005. We also got back some of the land we lost with the help of Mantri Sreenivasarao. Some people who gave up hope and left came back. We also facilitated Pushpamba who proved to be an excellent witness on our behalf. For some unknown reason Pushpamba, a graceful old lady committed suicide later, just leaving a note that she was taking her own life.
At this stage, despite my protests, the colony was named as Aruna Colony my many and a board was put up with that name. But trouble was brewing. Some of the people who became leaders during the struggle felt this as a threat to their leadership. They colluded with a lady councillor in the municipality and removed the board. I already moved back to my home, husband and children in 2004. I felt that it was time to move on for good from the colony. Around 2007, I left to the colony the Short Stay Home I built in honour of mother Tella Narayanamma, and made it in to a committee Hall. I thought that it was the end of my Association with the colony of cooks. But it was not be. The rest, next time.

P.S. There was a hiccup in posting from India after the previous post. Many of the next few appeared on Facebook.