Could we – should we – stop migrants coming to Britain?

ramblinginthecity:

Immigrants take and create jobs. A basic tenet of economics that is ignored far too often!

Originally posted on AC:

37ce4b64-8aac-44ca-9fd7-bfad444f9ea4-460x276Britain is convulsed with anxiety about immigration, with claims of too many EU citizens coming here, the benefits system being abused and wages being forced down. An expert on immigration looks at the evidence.

(By Jonathan Portes/Observer)

1) Didn’t the European Union just start off as a Common Market? When did free movement of workers start?

Long before the UK joined in 1973, the Treaty of Rome (1958) established what was then the European Economic Community, with four basic principles, called the “four freedoms”.

These were: free movement of labour, capital, goods and services. The objective was to establish a liberal market economy, where people could trade with each other across borders; free movement of labour was seen as part of that.

And the expected benefits were very much those that economists in general think you get from removing such barriers, allowing goods, services, capital and people to move freely…

View original 1,225 more words

Property and the political elite

ramblinginthecity:

A lot of this resonates with the connection of Indian politics with land and housing!

Originally posted on Jules Birch:

It’s now received wisdom, and a key part of UKIP’s appeal, that we are ruled by politicians who are out of touch with the concerns of ordinary people. How much of this is down to house prices?

Perceived divisions between politicians and voters are nothing new of course. Nor are accusations of champagne (or Islington/Hampstead) socialism and a huge gap between Labour leaders and their core vote. However, if these are US-style ‘culture wars’ over the politics of identity and national flags, they are being fought in the language of house prices, as shown only too clearly in this week’s Mail on Sunday story about the ‘Thornberry set’ and the North London ‘liberal elite’.

The issue was highlighted by last week’s tweet by Labour MP Emily Thornberry about a flag-festooned house in Rochester & Strood and then brought home by media coverage of its Sun-sponsored owner knocking on the…

View original 1,460 more words

Addicted to writing and missing it!

It’s been over two months since I started working full time. My job is great. Intellectually stimulating and the right mix of freedom and discipline. What I miss most about working full time, though, is my blogging routine.

My blog has, over time, become a really important part of me. As I go about my day, I park certain thoughts as they flow. Invariably, these disparate ‘parked’ musings coalesce around a hook to create a post. Sometimes I don’t really know how it happens. It’s magical and it’s therapeutic.

Now, with work deadlines and a commute of over two hours everyday, I find the thoughts aren’t being parked anymore and writing a post is becoming an effort again. I’ll have to find a way to get the blogging back into my life. And I’m sure I will!

Panaji wakes up

ramblinginthecity:

Panaji, close to my heart. Love this post that describes the city waking up….

Originally posted on sitanaiksblog:

This morning I decided to give the beach a skip and walk along Campal into Panaji. And what a pleasure it was, since the pavements have been done up since my last visit.

IMG_3039.JPG
And this stretch goes past the lovely bungalows of Campal and the sports complex ( which had a fair no of walkers and joggers). Here I saw a board announcing a ‘Senior citizens park’ – so I wandered in that way, past the very pretty Fabindia outlet to a large parking lot of the Sports complex and a small stretch along the riverside with seats – a quiet and pretty spot. Along this stretch is also the local Bal Bhavan, in which I could see a lovely children’s park.

IMG_3045.JPG

IMG_3040.JPG
Panaji is the IFFI venue and the 13th edition is to be inaugurated tomorrow. All preparations are on and further along Campal was the stretch with Kala Academy…

View original 232 more words

Why the world’s largest democracy has the most modern-day slaves

ramblinginthecity:

Makes me sad, but some would say this is the ‘price of development’. I do not buy that logic!

Originally posted on Quartz:

India has the highest number of enslaved people in the world.

More than 14 million out of India’s population of over 1.2 billion people are living in modern slavery, according to the second edition of the Global Slavery Index. Produced by an Australian human rights body, Walk Free Foundation, the survey defines modern slaves as those without individual liberty, by being subjugated to forced labor, trafficking and sexual exploitation.

An estimated 35.8 million people worldwide, or 0.5% of the world’s population, live as modern-day slaves.

In terms of the highest number of slaves as a percentage of a nation’s population, India is ranked fifth, with 1.14% of the country’s population trapped as slaves. The worst affected are people belonging to lower castes or tribes, religious minorities and migrant workers.

Of 167 countries surveyed, the worst 10 countries are home to 71% of the world’s slaves.

Population-enslaved_chartbuilder

Government response

The Global Slavery Index gives…

View original 248 more words

What indeed is humanity? Thoughts on ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy

I read McCarthy’s 2006 book The Road with a feeling of horrified fascination. That is expected from any post apocalyptic story of human survival, in this case a tale of a father and son duo walking towards the coast through a brutally cold and violent America that has been completely burnt down.

trlg

To illustrate a bit, the duo need to protect themselves from highway gangs who steal and kill and even eat other humans. The need to keep moving so no one would find them. A few scenes in the book took me right back to Leon Uris’ books about The Holocaust! Frightened humans who had been stripped of dignity and reduced to chattel. Macho men and women surviving by exploiting and dominating the weak. Another constant activity and challenge was the hunt for food from abandoned homes, shops and orchards. Calories to survive, to keep walking. One particular incidence illustrates the apparent conflicts in these two objectives of safety and nutrition: when the duo luck out and find a fully stocked bunker, only to abandon it a few days later so as to continue moving in order to stay safe!

But beyond the nitty gritty of surviving the violence and fighting hunger, this story is about the overarching question: What is humanity? What makes a human being human? How does a good human differ from a bad one? And when all else is lost, what does a human need to be able to survive?

Turns out it’s all about love and being needed. It’s all about keeping the “fire within” alive even when you face death. The father, who understands deeply that his love and sense of duty towards his child is the sole reason for his own survival. The child, who the author imbues with an unusual sensitivity and sense of justice. Who will not leave an old man dying on the road and make his father go back and give away some of their precious resources to a stranger. A bit of a ‘child is the father of man’ situation.

In the end (I won’t go into specifics) the enduring values of humanity appear to be bonding, love, nurturing and respect. The rest abnormal and unpleasant. Unsavory.

How do we reconcile that lesson with the brutal realities of the world around us today? For those of us who believe that the goodness in the world truly endures, McCarthy’s book is lyrical and beautiful but also unsurprising and comfort-giving. For the little cynical being inside me, it’s also a little unreal.

Read it if you can face the truth within you.

3 churches and a basilica: Exploring Bandra’s Christian heritage

ramblinginthecity:

With great attention to detail, Sudha brings alive a delightful slice of Bombay!

Originally posted on My Favourite Things:

It’s a little before 7 on a muggy Saturday morning in March earlier this year.

At Bandra’s Basilica of Our Lady of The Mount, otherwise known as Mount Mary, the morning service is in progress. The stalls outside the Basilica are already open for business. At that time of the morning, there are hardly any people out on the roads; an occasional rickshaw, car or jogger pass by stopping for a quick prayer before going on their way.

Mount Mary, Churches of Bandra, Mumbai

A jogger stops to say a quick prayer outside Mount Mary

I had wanted to attend the morning service at Mount Mary, but the bus that got me to Bandra from Navi Mumbai got delayed. Not wanting to enter the church midway through a service, I decide to wait at the Oratory of Our Lady of Fatima, which is across the road from Mount Mary.

With me is a friend and…

View original 2,009 more words

‘Make in India’ – Modi’s War on the Poor

ramblinginthecity:

Sigh! What can I say?

Originally posted on Kafila:

For some months now, I have been thinking of someone whom I saw on television during the parliamentary election campaign. The place was Benaras and Modi’s candidature from the seat had just been declared. The television journalist was interviewing a group of clearly poor people, taking their reactions on this new, though expected development. This person, fairly drunk in his Modi-elixir – and perhaps also a bit literally drunk – swaggered as he answered, affirming his support for Modi: Modi bhi chaiwala hai, hum bhi chaiwala hain (Modi is also a tea-seller and I am also a tea-seller). His words reflected the success of the remarkable gamble – that of projecting the new poster boy of corporate capital as a humble tea-seller. It was clear how so many of the poor had bought into this campaign.

What reminded me of this person initially, was that very soon after the election results were…

View original 3,409 more words

Privileged citizenship!!

ramblinginthecity:

#citizenship in india is no joke!

Originally posted on sitanaiksblog:

Who am I? I thought I knew –  ‘an elderly woman  with short greying hair and wearing spectacles’  who looks back at me in the mirror!. But I am not so sure anymore! I am one of many me-s in my various ‘photo-ID’s – although my driving license (which I have lost) was without a photo, the me in the passport, PAN card, voter card, aadhaar card, bank pass book are all different me-s, depending on when it was made.

When I moved to Lucknow in 1987,  the local branch of SBI within our campus helped me to transfer my account from Mumbai. It was slow and through slow mail, but fairly painless.  I renewed my BRADMA (a system of  embossing letters on plastic, which younger people will not recognize)  made driving license with the local RTO.  The passport, possessed by a privileged few,  always had a photograph and I…

View original 1,014 more words

Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red

ramblinginthecity:

I had the same experience. Its a wonderful tribute!

Originally posted on joy loves travel:

Pictures of the poppies at the Tower of London have been sweeping the internet. Having been to the war graves and World War 1 battlefields in Belgium during the summer and then helping plant memorial snowdrops in Manchester, we couldn’t not see the poppies and this visual commemoration of the World War 1 centenary. A rainy day with howling winds greeted us as we arrived in London, we headed straight to the Tower.

IMG_9190

Everywhere was busy – people had come from all over to see this – it is easy to see why. The red poppies stretch out before you – thousands and thousands of them, never-ending it seems. They bleed from the bastion window – designed to symbolise the infantrymen at the Somme. This is powerful imagery indeed.

IMG_9192

The moat is almost saturated with crimson – by 11 November (Armistice Day) it will be. Volunteers will by then have…

View original 203 more words