Lynching: A New Normal in Social Justice?

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Jun 02
No one knows more about lynching than United States. Since the days of Klu Klux Klan lynching was used for targeted killings by white supremacists and as a tool to crush the identity of people of color. It is estimated that more than 4000 people were lynched in United States from 1877 t0 1950. Lynching is not just a murder but spectacle leading to mass euphoria. Tickets were sold in past and families made picnic

Any cure for polarization of social media politics?

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Apr 26
As much as we want to believe that social media is an enabler for democratic political processes and spreading of information, there is increasing evidence that the information overload is just creating more divisions than fostering a healthy debate. You are either on the side of the political views or against the views and are subject to bigotry. In the United States, Trump supporters are labeled as racist, xenophobic, bigoted etc. The latest Post-ABC poll
Say No to Racism

No Moral High Ground for Racism Remonstrance

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Mar 30
                    The beating of young Kenyan woman by a mob and attack on two Nigerian students in a mall near New Delhi ooze of racism that is deeply engraved in Indian psyche. As a brown skin Indian living in America, there is renewed debate about increased racism faced by Indians after recent political changes. Others However, most conversations focus around the fact that ignorance is clubbing

Two hoots to gender equality and freedom of speech

Mar 08
              On the eve of international women’s day, I want to take a pause and reflect on the recent events in India that show that we still have long way to go when it comes to gender equality and freedom of speech. Anti-national branding and vilification of Gurmeher Kaur A lot has been said and published about how Gurmeher Kaur has got rape threats, mocked and vilified on social

Identity Crisis: Being Brown in America

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Feb 27
“Do we belong here? What is my identity?” is the obvious question raised after Kansas shooting. The land of opportunities, the melting pot and country where anyone can make the dreams come true is no longer a safe place. But is this a recent phenomenon?  Can we blame the loss of human life to increasingly isolating rhetoric from the top? I had always maintained that as humans we have always sought refuge in defining our

The Chaotic and Tolerant Java: Dieng Plateau and Bledug Kuwu

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Feb 16
How long can you hold your breath without inhaling the steam and hydrogen sulfide oozing out of the crack in the earth on Dieng Plateau? Apparently not very long and the fall back was a cheap mask bought on the way to Skidang Crater. Not sure how much it helped but the stench of rotten egg was stuck inside the nose for next few days. Dieng Plateau An abode of Gods in literal sense, Dieng

The Chaotic and Tolerant Java: Prambanan and Borobudur

Feb 01
Prambanan The sunlight breaking through the dark clouds illuminating the staircases of dark gray stone carved temples in Candi Prambanan temple complex gave a feeling that the universe was bowing to the Gods. Spellbound and mesmerized, I stood in front of the complex for few minutes to soak in the feeling. A complex of 240 temples built around 9th Century by Sanjaya dynasty kings is still going through restoration work. The main temples belong to

The Chaotic and Tolerant Java – Jakarta

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Jan 18
“You need to do the Pradakshina (Circumambulation in a clockwise direction) around the temple”, our Muslim guide instructed us at the Prambanan Temple in Java and a little smile spread across my face. For a Hindu who grew up following the practice, it was heartening moment indeed. But it was not how I got introduced to the island of Java. My first impression was formed by Jakarta and it wasn’t a good one. Jakarta is
Komodo Island

A scare on Komodo Island

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Jan 04
A joyful ride back in dark under the blanket of starry sky from Komodo Island turned scary when we realized that our small motor boat was having tough time escaping the undercurrents in Indian Ocean. It felt like the two distant islands on our way back to Labuan Bajo hadn’t moved in more than forty five minutes. With the undercurrents causing the boat to swing, no cell phone signal and the gas tank on the

Bali Through The Eyes of Indian American Hindu

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Dec 15
“Cak Cak ……” polyrhythmic chants coming from over fifty performers filled the air. As the Sun embraced the Indian Ocean, the melodramatic backdrop to the cliffs of Java Strait at Uluwatu temple in Bali casted a trance on the audience witnessing the virile and mesmerizing Kecak dance. Like others I was transfixed by story of Ramayana unfolding before my eyes in vibrant costumes and aggressive expressions. As a Hindu, I could definitely relate to the