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Koray Cem

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One Region in India Is Holding Out Strong Against the Right-Wing Forces Led by Modi
WORLD
One Region in India Is Holding Out Strong Against the Right-Wing Forces Led by Modi
Kerala is the lone holdout in a country governed by the right.
By Vijay Prashad


The Left Democratic Front (LDF), the governing coalition in the Indian State of Kerala, will complete its first year on May 25. It came to power last year with a large majority, winning 91 seats in the 140 seat assembly of this Indian state, which is home to 34 million people (a million or so less than the total population of Canada).

Politics of anger rages across the rest of India, stoked from the very top by India’s governing party, the BJP, and its network of fascistic organizations. Politics seems more focused on cow protection rather than on the fact that half of India’s 1.3 billion people live in acute poverty. It seems far easier to stoke the fires of narrow nationalism than to tackle the pressing problems of hunger and hopelessness. "Security," as in other parts of the world, has come to mean an emboldened military and police rather than the security to live life at its fullest.

The State Against the World

Kerala, against the tide of the present, remains an exception. Powerful currents of social reform and a strong communist movement helped create the basis for the social developments over the past 60 years. In 1957, Kerala was the second state in the non-communist world—after the Republic of San Marino—to elect a communist government. Led by EMS Namboodiripad, one of the intellectual architects of contemporary Indian communism, the Communist Party of India pushed hard for administrative reforms as well as for an improvement of the well-being of ordinary people. The government was illegally overthrown in 1959. But that did not stop the left. It returned to power in 1965, 1967, 1980, 1987, 1996, 2006 and then 2016. It should be noted that since 1982, the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front (led by the Congress) have alternated victories. It is as if the population of Kerala seeks to balance its governance between the two major fronts of the left and the right.

The deep roots of the left in the state have of course tilted the political culture toward the left. Even when the Congress comes to power, it is unable to shift the general dynamic of left governance rightwards. For this reason, there has been a general unanimity of reform in the state that has produced some startling social indicators. Kerala has India’s highest literacy rate (93.9%), its highest life expectancy rate (77 years), its highest sex ration (1,084 women per 1,000 men) and therefore its best Human Development Index score (0.712 in 2015).

Although the Congress-led front is not able to completely undermine the policies of the left it certainly tries to weaken the various schemes set up by the left governments. Whenever the left returns to power one of its first tasks is to revive the social welfare and social security schemes in their entirety.

In 2010, for example, the left government put in place a policy to provide migrant workers with legal rights, educational benefits and medical care. When the right came to power, it undermined many of these rights. The return of the left has meant not only a revival of these rights, but an extension of them. Close to 7 percent of Kerala’s population has migrated into the state from other parts of India (this happens as Kerala sends over two million workers, about 10 percent of its population to the Gulf). The government has provided health insurance for these workers as well as enhanced their educational benefits (including language study). This is an unusual policy, as most countries in the world have taken an anti-immigrant position. Kerala’s view is that its society would be weakened if it does not socially integrate its population of migrants.

Part of the agenda of creating an inclusive society must go through the schools. As faith in private education increases around the world, the left government in Kerala has decided to strengthen its public education system. Private education is certainly able to provide better opportunities for students, but only for the very few students who can afford the small classes with the best amenities. To shift the burden of education from public institutions to private institutions hurts the democratic commitment of the modern state for universal education. A lack of a market for private schools has led to the closure of many of them. The left government has put more resources into public schools and has decided to takeover private schools that have gone out of business. The government is taking education out of the market.

Without dignity, there is no education. If caste atrocities as well as disability and gender discrimination continue, then young people are simply not able to learn. The LDF has taken measures to ensure that discrimination is not only seen as intolerable but that policies be enacted to positively impact vulnerable populations. Every school in every district in Kerala will now have an "autism park" to ensure that every student is given the opportunity to learn. Dispensers for sanitary pads and tampons have to be in every girls’ bathroom in state schools. There is plan to ensure the creation of socio-cultural clubs in schools so that previously marginal students can be confident with their own cultures and backgrounds. Finally, there is a plan to build swimming pools at schools to give students of all social classes the opportunity for sport alongside education. Since education is hurt by a lack of electricity in the homes, Kerala’s left has pledged to declare the state fully electrified by May 29. Over this year, 150,000 homes have been connected to the power grid. No child should sit in the dark, unable to read.

Funds for the Future

Kerala’s Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Isaac, one of the architects of Kerala’s people’s planning initiative of the 1990s, plans to set up two missions to enhance the state’s health and education sectorsm Aardhram and Comprehensive Educational Rejuvenation Program. The plan is to ensure that 1,000 government schools will be at international educational standards.

Where will the money come from for all of this? The government is going to raise taxes and various fees on the rich and on commercial activity. In our times, the rich have been on a General Strike Against Taxation. They have simply refused to pay fair rates into the social fund. The government in Kerala will confront this General Strike with its own power base. It will also enhance commercial activity that lies in the public or state sector. Thirteen key public sector enterprises, which had been eviscerated by the Congress-led government, are now making profits once more. Increased wages for workers in various branches of the economy has also enhanced economic activity in the state, leading to the creation of a robust environment for broad-based economic growth, and therefore, for contributions to the exchequer.

There remain a great many problems in Kerala. This is not paradise. There is no "Kerala Model." To make a place into such a model creates a false expectation that it will always be on the right track and beyond criticism. This is not the case. Share of the state’s revenue fell from 2006 to 2016, which is why there is commitment to making the public or state sector profitable. Commercial tax revenue, the heart of the treasury’s resources, has been dropping over the past few years. This has not stopped the government from thinking big: forming a new Kerala Cooperative Bank and creating a massive fund to redo the state’s infrastructure. No sense in thinking small. Big problems require a bold imagination.


But also gestures that point to large commitments. In the Kochi train system, the left government will break a barrier. It will hire transgender ticket collectors and female ticket collectors and train drivers. This is part of the left government’s policy to end all discrimination against the transgender community. These are not small gestures for the transgender community, which has made social gains in India but not fast enough. These policies have been driven by the Kudumbashree Mission, set up by the Kerala government in 1998. The local organization of Neighborhood Groups (NHGs) by women across the state was intended as the basic structure for poverty eradication. These women, in their localities, lead the way for development. They have now put on the agenda immediate social inclusion of women and the transgender community. But their work is not done. They still have to ensure that every child across the state eats at least one meal a day and that everyone is housed. The Kudumbashree Mission, and others like it, are the backbone of the left government.

In the midst of the global age of anger, a small pocket in Kerala experiments with a future that is grounded in peace, justice and well-being. Far better than resentment, bigotry and inequality.

Vijay Prashad is professor of international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of 18 books, including Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press, 2012), The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013) and The Death of a Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution (University of California Press, 2016). His columns appear at AlterNet every Wednesday.


http://www.alternet.org/w...forces-led-modi
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Koray Cem (@koraycem)
*** - 23 sa
CEVİZKABUĞU (@karacurin)
Bu ne be üstat grekçesi yokmu bunun ben ecnebi-ce bilmediğimden okuyamadım göstermeli beğeni yapayım bari.:) - 23 sa

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mediha

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Koray Cem

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Unseen Sylvia Plath poems deciphered in carbon paper
Unseen Sylvia Plath poems deciphered in carbon paper

Duplicating sheet in old notebook examined by academics yields two unknown works, To a Refractory Santa Claus and Megrims


A carbon paper hidden in the back of an old notebook owned by Sylvia Plath has revealed two previously unknown poems by The Bell Jar author. The paper, which was discovered by scholars working on a new book, has lain undiscovered for 50 years and offers a tantalising glimpse of how the poet worked with her then husband, fellow poet Ted Hughes.

The academics, Gail Crowther and Peter K Steinberg, have also found a clutch of poems abandoned by Hughes that reveal the depth of his turmoil over his wife’s death. The poems had been written for his final collection, Birthday Letters, in which he broke his silence about his tumultuous relationship with Plath, which ended after she discovered he was having an affair.

Written at the start of Plath and Hughes’s relationship in autumn 1956, the two unseen poems were deciphered from a carbon paper on which Plath had also typed up a table of contents for Hughes’s groundbreaking collection The Hawk in the Rain, two of her own poems – The Shrike and Natural History – as well as a fifth possible poem by Plath.

As well as unpublished work by Plath, Crowther and Steinberg discovered previously unseen photos of Plath in the archive at the Lilly Library at Indiana University.

All of their discoveries are revealed in These Ghostly Archives, published this week in the UK. Both authors are Plath scholars; Steinberg has worked closely with the poet’s estate on various books and collections, and Crowther is the author of two other books about Plath, who killed herself in 1963.

Steinberg, who discovered the carbon paper while searching the archive, said he felt “a jolt” when he realised what he had discovered amid “a convoluted strangle of typewritten words”. “I thought, ‘I might be the first person in 40 years to work with this document’,” he added.

Using Photoshop, he deciphered the typing on the paper, which is watermarked with an image that might have appeared in a Plath poem – a woman gazing at her own reflection in a pool of water.


First revealed was To a Refractory Santa Claus, a poem about Spain and fairer weather – a subject that Plath returned to later in Fiesta Melons and Alicante Lullaby. Written after Plath and Hughes’s honeymoon in Benidorm, it consists of two 11-line verses and pleads for escape from the cruelties of an English winter to the fresh fruit and sunshine of warmer climes.

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Although they said the poem was inferior to Plath’s later work, the academics described the imagery in the poem as “spectacular”, citing in particular a description of the fog of breath as a “white disguise”, likening it to vapour escaping an open-freezer door. English winters were a recurrent theme for Plath, who struggled with the wet and dark climate after moving from the US.

The second poem proved harder to decipher. Titled Megrims, it is a monologue addressed to a doctor by a paranoid speaker about a series of “irregular incidents” that range from the discovery of a spider in a coffee cup to an owl about to strike. The existence of a third unpublished poem is also likely, said Steinberg, who added that he hoped technology would reveal its secrets in the future.

“I think the poems definitely can be classed as early,” he said. “[Because] no other copy appears to exist it might be surmised that they aren’t very good. But in fact, the imagery in To a Refractory Santa Claus is beautiful. And there is a kind of loose, almost slangy-casual language in Megrims that took years for Plath to finesse in her Ariel voice in, for example, her poem The Applicant.”

Crowther added that the poems provide a unique insight into the early development of the writer who would go on to write the novel The Bell Jar and the posthumously published collection, Ariel. “They show her grappling with personal issues and attempting to turn them into poetic pieces, but at that stage she had not quite found her Ariel voice,” she said. “They also reveal that, even at the start of her relationship with Hughes, there was a shared focus on poetry.”

Crowther’s further discovery of an abandoned poem by Hughes in the British Library added poignancy to the previously undiscovered works by his first wife. Described by Crowther as “vividly resurrecting” Plath, the untitled poem deals with her final hours on 10 February 1963, and begins: “I know you walked in the snow alone.” Over the following two stanzas, the poem reveals Hughes tormenting himself about her isolation and inability to contact him on her final night. As such, the poem can be seen as a companion piece to Hughes’s Last Letter, a poem about the death of Plath that was published after his death.

Details in Hughes’s abandoned, untitled poem offer the possibility that Plath may have left the poet a final letter detailing her final hours. In it, he describes his wife walking repeatedly to a nearby phone box to call him, dressed in a long, black coat, her hair coiled at the back of her neck.

Interest in Plath and Hughes remains strong. Earlier this year, it emerged that a trove of previously unknown letters written by Plath to her former psychiatrist Dr Ruth Barnhouse contained allegations that Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child. Carol Hughes, the poet’s widow, called the claims “as absurd as they are shocking to anyone who knew Ted well.”

The first volumes of Plath’s collected letters are also due to be published later in 2017 by Faber. A film adaptation of The Bell Jar, Plath’s only novel, starring Dakota Fanning and directed by actor Kirsten Dunst, is set for release in 2018.

Commenting on these latest finds, Steinberg said his gut feeling was that there was much more material yet to be found about the two poets – including Plath’s final journals, which were supposedly destroyed by Hughes when she died. However, Steinberg admitted: “This requires hope and faith, possibly delusion. But I do feel there are caches of papers still to find the light of day.”


https://www.theguardian.c...in-carbon-paper
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Koray Cem (@koraycem)
*** - 26.05.17

Ece Egilmez

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Last week, I went to McDonalds to eat some snacks. While I was eating my hamburger, I saw this sign. Even, not just this one. I saw more than one. And it made me feel really good. After eating, I felt great, courageous. And I thought that I can achieve whatever I want. Thanks McDonalds!
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Yazıdan hiçbirşey anlamadm - 26.05.17
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And

And
We couldn't wait to grow up...
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Seyr-i Sükut

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Believe yourself !
... there will be you proving them wrong!
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özlem g.

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I AM FREE!!☁☁
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