Month: November 2003

Peoples’ Poet

I call myself a Peoples Poet. Representing the peoples. Our aspirations and despairs. Which are mine, too. Our anguish and anger. Again shared. Our loves and sorrows. It’s all here in my poems. The words are mine. But the feelings are shared. I owe it to all of us and all those who cant understand this language. Because the feelings are shared, anyway. I write because I have to write. I give back what the world has given me. I share with you what I have experienced being myself. Because I am our product. Of our world. Hence the words are mine, but the work is ours. It’s a collective product. Use without searching for copyrights. I am not copyrighted. There is no privacy law. No secret code to the feelings. No passwords to hide. No exclusivity in feelings. We are not sailing in different boats.

Why Paul Robeson matters?

Why Paul Robeson matters? Because he loved humanity. Because he said he loved humanity. Because he made efforts to show that the world can be loved, no matter what color or race, ethnicity or religious orientations. Because he added another component to the discourse of diversity: political conscience. Robeson matters because politics matters. Because political diversity is the mainstay of democracy. “What do you mean by the Communist Party? As far as I know it is a legal party like the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Do you mean a party of people who have sacrificed for my people, and for all Americans and workers, that they can live in dignity? Do you mean that party?”

We are the world

What happens in the least ‘developed’ state of India? Does it hurt to see? Is it time to change the posters on the wall? To remind self of the fact that people actually died of starvation every year I have lived. Even this year in a “democracy” (sorry, welfare economists/Nobel laureates). And is the world very different in Orissa? Or is it just us? Is corruption alien to the American democracy? Or homelessness not the order of the day for 35 million Americans? Maybe we relish political satires at home too much (sorry, documentary directors) to realize that there is a world beyond the pepsi-coke US, as much as there are people beyond the victims of Kerry-Bush dilemma. People like us with commonalities, living in our world. ‘They’ must be ‘us’. Just to remind, here’s to Orissamatters…

University Senate tasks on

I am now a member of the University of Maryland Senate. In the Student Affairs Committee, I am drafting proposal for Online Syllabi. The idea is that faculty members will compulsorily work on this. But knowing them, I have huge doubts! Excerpts from a draft I am working with now: “Every academic course will have an online syllabus” is a directive principle. I propose five broad divisions based on a modular approach with links to other pages on top of the home page (as opposed to linear approach which is posting everything on one page): Goals, Schedules, Assignments, Readings and Notes within them, Goals: Objective, Course Outcomes, Expectations (pre-requisites, readings, class listserv, attendance, behavior, academic honesty), and Grading policy. Schedules: Week-wise, topics, readings, assignment/lab Assignments: Mini exercises (depends on the course), final examinations, any paper presentation suggestions. Readings: Suggested Weekly readings for individual or groups. sources must be mentioned. Notes: Additional readings, links to sources, copies of class slides and other information pertinent to class.”………

Small fish in media

Journalism is a business, where the newsroom comes last (space for the ads have to be allocated first). In the news coverage activities, the people hardly are worthy of the news (unless one of ‘em bites the dog, as the professor will love to cite). No surprises here. Because the business has to run. The investor has to make money. Hence one class of people (stars, politicians, and the experts) creates the news for another class, which has to consume it all. How about tracing the smaller fish outside the net? Here are few of my articles…..