“Have empathy” says Roger Ebert in the 11th Hour Series

Roger Ebert 1942-2013
Roger Ebert 1942-2013
“In facing your own mortality, what final message would you leave for future generations?” That question is from the 11th Hour series from Colorado Public Television which records living testaments from distinguished individuals delivering their lasting message to the world. Roger Ebert delivered this in 1994. He passed away just a month ago on April 4th, 2013.

We spend a great deal of time in mostly trivial pursuits on the web. But the web has an enormous wealth of content that could be of value to us. However we have to invest time and concentration to take what we are given so freely. This talk by Roger Ebert is worth the time.
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If you want peace, prepare to be ruthlessly just and fair

The 3rd president of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan, must be the original “My Name is Khan.” In 1971 he instructed the Pakistani army to “Kill 3 million of them and the rest will eat out of our hands.” He was talking about his compatriots in the eastern half of Pakistan, present day Bangladesh.

Samuel Huntington in his book The Clash of Civilizations pointed out bluntly that not only are Islam’s borders bloody but that its innards are bloody as well. Pakistan is a fine illustration of that brutal truth. Anyway, in 1971 in accordance with General Yahya Khan’s orders, the Pakistani army proceeded with the job of killing three million and by some estimates, achieved that target. India helped in bringing the killing spree to a close but at an enormous price. The humanitarian costs were staggering. The Indian army suffered thousands of casualties; around 10 million refugees flooded into India (most of whom never returned). I don’t know if anyone can reliably estimate the economic costs. What bothers me is that too many people did not learn an important lesson even after this.
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Open Thread: Say what you will

caution_sharp_edgesI deleted two recently posted comments on this blog. My policy regarding comments is to allow all comments except those that are irrelevant or abusive. I don’t mind someone ranting in the comments but it has to be a relevant rant. If the post is about India and someone decides to rant on about the US, I will not allow it. Keeping on topic is important to me. But what if there’s something on your mind which you need to talk about? Here’s where you can express yourself. Write what you will here. Thanks.

India is a Democracy — but that’s not all that it is

Image borrowed from http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/dls/US-India/I have had the privilege of calling both India and the US home, and have had the opportunity of observing both from near as well as from afar. I am not an impartial observer because I am too emotionally invested in both countries. However precisely because I care for both countries that I bother to observe them so carefully and criticize them so relentlessly. The words of an old song express my feelings well: “I love you too much to ever start liking you // So don’t expect me to be your friend.” I feel pity, sorrow, anger, fear and loathing for what they have done (and are doing) to India.
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