January 18th, 2012


"Conservation" and the human cost...

As a "conservationist", I am constantly worried about human encroachment, and when I visited Pulicat Lake, near Chennai, I was happy that the backwaters had been preserved as a bird sanctuary.

But just now, a post on a mailing list I belong to, made me think. Here's what cheeni had to say:




Pulicat Lake, India, a glorious mammoth brackish water bio-preserve is
a deliberate economic dead zone thanks to the high profile rocket
center at Sriharikota only ~15 kilometers away. It's cheaper to keep
away prying eyes through poverty; an economic firebreak that claims a
few villages for the greater good of the nation.

India for all its democratic noises is a fascist colonial power when
it uses the institutions of state power to expand its aura at the high
table while consigning the lives of the 3 villages in the lake shore
to stunted growth. I'd like environmentalists and scientists alike to
consider that sometimes their pet causes can come at a great cost. If
this place were not an economic dead zone this man and the people of
the neighboring villages would have a way of reclaiming their lives.


Yes, I do wonder now, what is the human cost of conservation....

The gender-unspecific pronoun

Dr. Beheruz Sethna

who has acheived so many things that I cannot begin to talk about him (it will take several posts...so just see the Wiki entry by clicking on his name!)

wrote this insightful piece about

the sexist pronoun

I too often use "hem" and "hir", but I wonder...why don't we adopt "their" as also meaning the singular, depending on the context, and use that? Already, we say, "Someone has to send their stuff" and so on...so it is already in fairly common usage.


shortindiangirl sent me this:

Rail surfers (those who travel on top) have been threatened with paint, dogs and religion. Now Indonesia has strung concrete balls above the trains to bonk the overhead riders. Will that stop them ? No!! say the riders. They’ve resisted arrests successfully, as well as the other measures. They like the wind, rush and views up there, plus the free ride is nice!

Here in St. Louis, we would bonk people on the head with concrete balls to MAKE them ride the train!

click here to read about the Indonesian train problem

n the 1970's in Calcutta (Kolkata), there used to be the "Sardarji" buses (private buses run by this community) as well as the Government buses. The Government buses lost money, and the private buses did well. Travelling outside the bus (in some cases, the passenger would be attached to another passenger and never touch the bus at all) was so common that the private buses had one conductor for inside, and another for outside, the buses! Maybe that's the solution that Indonesia needs...!

Here's a pic of the "Sardarji" buses, little tin boxes, that I got off the net: