The barefoot family. Photo by Beena Sarwar

Sri Lankan vignette: Grassroots education thrives amid rural poverty

With free education for all between five to 16 years instituted since 1945, Sri Lanka boasts the highest literacy rate, nearly 99 per cent , in the South Asian region.

What is the purpose of life?

It is the nature of the human brain that when we go deeper into anything then we all discover the truth and beauty in this world, and this process helps us understand the purpose of our existence and life.  

Ravindra Randeniya: Thespian of a bygone era of Sri Lankan cinema

As I heard Ravindra’s colleagues reflect on his life, his work, and his character over time, I couldn’t help reflecting on where Sri Lankan cinema had been and what it could be. In the 1980s and 1990s, and even earlier, Sri Lanka had been a top destination for international productions. Steven Spielberg had come here with Harrison Ford. So had Gregory PeckWilliam HoldenElizabeth Taylor, and Bo Derek.

Remembering a Pakistani peace activist, a staunch proponent of friendship in South Asia

My grandfather’s journey across Wagah is a story I have heard Karamat Sahib narrate many times. As I write, I can hear his raspy voice recount it to me, as he did when I joined him for the immersion of Kuldip Nayar’s ashes.

More on Medley

A deep understanding of the economic behaviours of the poor

"Poor Economics" serves as a call to action for policymakers, development practitioners, and researchers. By demonstrating the power of small, well-designed interventions, Banerjee and Duflo inspire a more humble and patient approach to fighting poverty.

Are solar rooftop installations in India and Pakistan an answer to the climate crisis?

The high cost of living in capitals like Islamabad and Delhi and the rising summer temperatures due to climate change is increasing alternative energy expenditures. “Who said that renewable energy has to be in the form of big power plants like an elephant?” asks India’s ‘Solar Man’ , Prof. Chetan Solanki.

Noam Chomsky: A legend who provides a moral compass to global causes

He was unfailingly generous in lending his name in support of the causes I and others reached out to him for, endorsing resolutions ranging from human rights and democracy to peace between India and Pakistan. In 2018 he joined many public intellectuals in urging Bangladesh to release the photojournalist Shahidul Alam. He was also among the public intellectuals including Amartya Sen who endorsed a letter calling on Pakistan to release the jailed publisher-editor of the Jang Group Shakilur Rahman, in 2020.

Nehru's risky gamble on China that spectacularly backfired

Yet, despite Nehru’s disenchantment with his Afro-Asian partners, there is no denying that China did its best to undermine India’s ascendancy in the developing world and that Indian frustration with its northern neighbour grew all the more resentful because of New Delhi’s role in helping Beijing develop its links with other Afro-Asian nations.  

Indian entrepreneurs make a breakthrough in rocketry: A milestone for private space ventures

The vision of Agnikul is to bring space within everyone’s reach, aiming to enable launches from anywhere, anytime and affordably. 

Preserving the richness of Urdu: A unique quest to keep the language alive and thriving

The Joy of Urdu’s focus on linguistic preservation, cultural enrichment, plus promotion of social justice, and positive change through bilingual presentations and discussions helps ensure that the richness of Urdu remains alive in modern times.

The importance of India's sacred tree groves to climate change

The preservation of sacred trees and tree groves is paramount in the fight against rampant deforestation in India. This is a unique practice that sadly is in decline;  in the interest of cleaner air and healthy communities, it needs to be promoted and preserved, not only amongst the Indian population but worldwide.

Subcontinental kinetics: Vignettes of a South Asian watcher's journalistic chronicle

The new influencing geopolitical factor, Ved observes, is the emergence of China as the regional, even global player, in the “Heart of Asia” in what can become the new avatar of the 19th century “Great Game”. The contexts have changed, but not the strategic interests of the players, old and new.

Tri-Services all-women world sailing expedition from India prepares to make history

This historic expedition, the first of its kind, marks a significant milestone in India’s maritime history.

Why are Indians running away from India?

Quite a few years ago I had given a lecture at my alma mater IIT Kanpur. I asked the students if I had the power to grant them a US green card how many would like to migrate.  In the auditorium of around 200 students most raised their hands. This pursuit of excellence can be helped by the constant exposure of students to lectures by achievers. Students at an impressionable age once inspired can do wonders in later life. 

An agenda for the nation: Streamline business cycle; unleash entrepreneurial enthusiasm

We must also insulate enterprises from pressure and extortion by local power elites, which adversely distorts factory pricing and ultimately adds a burden to the consumer price. This will also enable enterprises to maintain healthy returns within the fixed MRP system, especially for FMCG

Kashmir: A shark-infested 'Heaven on Earth'!

Despite all my patriotic feelings, I do not recommend a visit to Kashmir. It is ill-organized and ill-prepared to receive the rush of tourists. It lacks elementary infrastructure, basic amenities, and essential facilities at present. Worse, the tourists are always at the mercy of the local mafia.

A quest in the evolution and purpose of life

This production of matter, life forms and galaxies will keep on happening till the space is “exhausted”, and then the cycle reverses which will finally lead to time and space coming into equilibrium. This is the eternal Brahmakala cycle where all life is destroyed at its end.

Barefoot in Ridi Vihare: Learnings from a unique a people-to-people experience in the ‘silver caves’ of Sri Lanka

As someone from Karachi, where heritage and culture find little importance and are often forgotten, where the metropolis pushes the seashore backward, the Sri Lankan experience felt surreal. The land of Ridi Vihare held impeccable beauty and gave us much to learn and take back.

A dream that connects millions: South Asia peace activists committed to regional dialogue and harmony

The ‘peacemongers’ vowed to not only continue talking to each other, but to continue talking until they achieve their dream, their Sapan, of a South Asia with soft borders, or at least, ease of visas.