This is the blog of Sukumar and friends.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


"When your head is chopped off, you don't say that your health is perturbed." - Prof. P. Raghunathan, quoted in Prajna, 1979. Yet the Government of India euphamistically refers to the Narmada oustees as “Project Affected People”.
Somnath Mukherji writes in The Statesman:
Affected? People whose home, hearth environ, history and religion are submerged are not “affected”; they are ravaged. People who have never had a share of the State’s benefits and stand to gain nothing from the dam, to say the least, are the ones paying the price... The government needed to be reminded by the Supreme Court that clean water is a basic need for human existence. So beholden is the State to the corporation that it bestows upon it total impunity in mere anticipation of the economic benefits to flow... de-linking development from grassroots aspirations will only delegitimise the State and its agencies in the eyes of the very people who justify its existence.

So complete is this delegitimization in the post-Katrina US, that the only way the administration feels they can keep a rein on us any more is by constant monitoring of the entire population (a la "1984") with the entusiastic support of your phone company and ISP. Brave new data mining worlds!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Found some more old photographs

From the dinner at the Red Rose, August 1977

Monday, May 01, 2006

High gas prices... is America hurting?

Grist writes: "Rising oil prices send lawmakers into frenzy of empty gestures. The American public will take lots of things lying down -- inaction on climate change, ill-conceived wars, erosion of civil liberties -- but expensive gas? Hell no!"
But are Americans really hurting? Well, this past weekend the kid next door in my very middle-class suburban community spent the entire weekend tearing around the neighborhood in an ATV, belching blue smoke, presumably preparatory to tearing up the forests with it. A guy across the street left his car engine and car air conditioner running for over half an hour while his car was parked in front of the house with his dog in the car (Outside air temperatures were 65F). If this is how much we're hurting, we need to hurt some more!
Nations across the world have had higher petrol prices for decades. Sure, most of those high prices go towards taxes and some advocate similar taxes here to curb demand. But if my neighborhood is any indication, I don't see this happening anytime soon and given how the govt.spends my tax dollars, do I care if Lee Raymond (outgoing Exxon CEO) gets a heart attack guzzling my money or Haliburton?