Culture & Life

How to address the entrenched inequalities and injustices in India as an ordinary citizen

I wrote the following as an answer to the question ‘What are the common forms of inequality prevailing in India‘ on the platform Quora: We have, in every city and town, and every village, a large section of people – of human beings, of folks like us – who do not possess even the basic… Continue reading How to address the entrenched inequalities and injustices in India as an ordinary citizen

Culture & Life · History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Public health

The “oppressive” history of family planning and population control in India

I wrote this for Swaddle on July 8 2018. Here is the original article. I based it primarily on the book ‘Reproductive Restraints: Birth Control in India, 1877-1947’ by historian Sanjam Ahluwalia of Northern Arizona University Below are some excerpts: Birth control began in India not as a free choice by individuals to manage their fertility, but as… Continue reading The “oppressive” history of family planning and population control in India

Culture & Life · History India South Asia

A guide to finding historical images about India through free online resources

During my research into the history of India and the history of medicine in India, I have often come across very useful resources for images and photographs from the past. Many of these are free and do not require any payment or subscriptions. Below is a list of those, and I will continue to add… Continue reading A guide to finding historical images about India through free online resources

Culture & Life · Public health

Navigating gender equality and public health when it comes to smoking

I am reproducing here an answer I wrote on Quora to the question “What’s your message to girls who equate smoking and drinking with women empowerment?” The original answer can be found here. [I don’t have any ‘message’ to anyone. I am writing here mainly to relay some of my thoughts on these issues and… Continue reading Navigating gender equality and public health when it comes to smoking

Culture & Life · History India South Asia · Recommended movies, books etc. · Religion

Butalia’s ‘The Other Side of Silence’ – Human stories from the Partition of British India

Over the next few weeks I will be reproducing some important passages from Urvashi Butalia’s landmark 1998 book about the human side (as against the political/social side) of the partition of British India in 1946-47: The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India. (Please read here the introduction to this book.) Today we… Continue reading Butalia’s ‘The Other Side of Silence’ – Human stories from the Partition of British India

Culture & Life · Public health

The ‘missing women’ of India

Amartya Sen introduced the term ‘missing women’, in the early 1990s, as a highly effective way of talking about the impact of gender discrimination in societies. This work is perhaps the finest example of Sen’s unique style of blending hard economics with ethics, social sensibilities, and humanitarianism, as well as advocating for social equality and… Continue reading The ‘missing women’ of India

Culture & Life

New Year’s resolutions for ‘frustrated’ Indians

India currently is in a weird situation with citizens going after citizens to ostensibly protect politicians and the nation. Hardly have we seen such a state of affairs before, where concerned and worried Indians are labeled anti-national and every blunder of the government is vehemently defended by a section of educated citizens. Through this post… Continue reading New Year’s resolutions for ‘frustrated’ Indians

Culture & Life

The ‘Nirman’ Initiative: The Happy Pursuit of Meaningfulness

This was published in The Wire on Sept 2, 2017. Here is the link, and below is an extract. “Our conventional education system… is mainly geared towards filling job vacancies, not sociopolitical vacuums. It is this serious deficiency that doctors and public health scientists Rani Bang and Abhay Bang decided to address about a decade… Continue reading The ‘Nirman’ Initiative: The Happy Pursuit of Meaningfulness