COVID-19 infects neoliberalism: Is the state making a comeback? – Part I

Once the climate crisis precipitated a raging atmosphere of adversity towards neoliberalism, it’s the novel coronavirus that is now transmuting neoliberalism’s left-wing critique into a pandemic like itself. To provide some context, if the reigning order of the world system could be defined in two words, the politically popular and pontifical phrase, economic liberalism, otherwise called liberal capitalism, would be it. It’s philosophe-architect, the neoclassical Chicago School of Economics, perhaps did not know in the 1930s that it was designing an ideological leviathan that no one would be able to beat by the turn of the century – largely because the ...

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America is fighting the COVID-19 battle without a general

Donald Trump is a windbag, size XXL, whose air has started to leak now. If you haven’t experienced the self-congratulatory gusts that power his Orwellian disinformation machine generating untruths, false hopes and unprecedented blame-shifting, then how about this epitomic Trump response to a reporter asking how hospitals could prepare for COVID-19 patients: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.” The comment aptly ...

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Remembering Martin Luther King on his death anniversary

Dr Martin Luther King Jr remains frozen in time for anyone who has followed the Civil Right Movement. In all likelihood, people remember him as the man who challenged Southern segregation. Even if, by any chance, if people do not remember that, they definitively remember him standing before hundreds of thousands of followers in Washington DC in 1963, proclaiming his dream for racial harmony, “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory ...

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Kashmir is not equipped to deal with COVID-19

Despite the alarming spread of COVID-19 across the globe for months, several nations with high population densities, like India, failed to enact timely preventive measures. On March 24th, Narendra Modi ordered 1.3 billion Indians to self-isolate and announced a nationwide lockdown. This followed his earlier plea for Indian citizens to clap for healthcare workers in the country, saying it would serve as a, “symbol of our effort, of our self-restraint and our resolve to fulfill our duty in service of the nation.”  This resulted in a cacophonous din of clapping from balconies across the country, something which has widely been criticised ...

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Does coronavirus have a parasitic relationship with democratic systems?

“If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country, and how do you then enforce a quarantine? … One option is the use of a military that’s able to plan and move.” The above-mentioned quote, although relevant and relatable in its content, is, in fact, a dated address, given by President George Bush 15 years ago. Since the Avian Flu of the 2000s, thematic concerns within the politics of outbreaks have not evolved a lot. Thus, equating a national health emergency to a state of war is not a semantic ...

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A tale from across the border: How India is dealing with COVID-19

India has suddenly fallen silent. Some of the prominent cities where life never stops have come to a standstill. The chants of endless community prayers have ceased. An eerie silence pervades the country ever since the nationwide lockdown was declared on March 24th. However, beyond the surface of this deepening quiet is a disquiet and the sense of unease over the success of this unprecedented lockdown. Never before in the annals of human history have 1.3 billion people been confined to their homes like Indians are today in an attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID 19). Today the ...

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The past, present and future of European Muslims – Part II

This article is the second in a two part series which explores the history, current status and future of Muslims in Europe. Read Part I here. ~ Beginnings of a European Islam It will be safe to assume that a European form of Islam is emerging now, and has its roots in European history. The idea is to develop new interpretations of Islamic theology which will be in line with the European intellectual tradition and culture. According to some European Muslim scholars this branch of Islam will be a new religio-cultural off shoot, and will help to thwart extremist ideologies from the Middle East. ...

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The past, present and future of European Muslims – Part I

This article is the first in a two part series which explores the history, current status and future of Muslims in Europe. Read Part II here. ~ Is Muslim integration in secular European societies possible? This question is of importance as Islam is growing and thriving in European cities and towns, mainly through migration but also through higher birth rates among European Muslims. However, Islamist terror attacks in recent years have increased concerns about Islam and the future of European Muslims among the European populace. Growing frictions between the already present European Muslim minority and the host community is evident from the rise ...

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The problem with Iran’s statement on Delhi’s anti-Muslim violence

At the expense of sounding morbid, one can say India’s state-abetted anti-Muslim pogrom in New Delhi earlier this month presented an opportunity for Iran. In the context of downward trends in Indo-Iran ties in recent times, the potential for Iran to establish its credentials as a Muslim power in South and West Asia through a strong stance on India’s brazen anti-Muslim policies has risen considerably. However, Ayatollah Khamenei’s recent statement on the Delhi pogroms failed to build upon strong rhetoric from Iranian state clerics last August when India annexed occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It, in fact, has harmed Iran’s thus-far ...

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US, China and the peculiar race for the coronavirus vaccine

Usually competition among businesses benefits the consumers, but there are some that actually harm them. For example, there existed a severe competition and rivalry among the various American intelligence agencies before 9/11. The chief rivals were the CIA and the FBI. Both jealously guarded their secret intelligence that they refused to share with the other. Two of the 9/11 terrorists had arrived in Los Angeles in January 2000. The CIA knew of their presence in the country and also knew of their plans to do something nefarious. But it did not share those details with the FBI. We saw ...

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