“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking! We are finding it difficult to locate the capital because of intense pollution! I will have to request each of you to help by looking out of your windows and try to locate any familiar landmarks!”

“Yes, yes! I can see my house from here!” shouted an excitable Mrs Kapoor, as she waved to something she had seen below.

“Mrs Kapoor, what you are pointing to is the Taj Mahal, and though we know every romantic on this flight would love to be enshrined in those beautiful portals, we are looking for more definite landmarks than that… Yes, I see you putting up your hand, passenger in seat 14 A?”

“Captain I can see people buying and selling horses below, I think we must be very close to the capital!”

“Thank you sir, but horse trading isn’t happening only in the capital, it is a continuous activity going on in Karnataka, and is a state hobby in Goa, and has picked up recently in Maharashtra, so sir, you will need a more accurate guide for us to land than that! Ah, madam you in seat 15G, you are very excited?”

“There! There! I can see both of them. It must be the capital, where else would both of them be sitting and strategizing and plotting, all day long. Come pilot, I think you can land your plane safely here!”

“Ma’am please put on your glasses while peering out, what you see are just clouds, and I do see the resemblance between the white beard and the cumulus cloud, though even in my wildest imagination I cannot understand how you thought the next cloud was a bald head!”

“Captain! Captain! There it is!”

“What sir?”

“The capital! Can’t you see cars driving on the wrong side of the road, robberies taking place, and a general law and order problem?”

“You think it’s the capital because the police are on strike?”

“Yes captain, see below, they’re stringing up a man, and look at those fellows running after that young woman?”

“No sir, this is not because the police are on strike, this is a normal scene for the last few years, and could be anywhere in the country immaterial of whether the police are on strike or not!”

“Sir, sir, please go back to the cockpit, there seems to be an emergency!”

“What is the emergency airhostess, we are trying to locate the capital of the country, can there be a bigger emergency than that?”

“Sir, there are Chinese warplanes outside!”

“My dear flight steward, those are not warplanes, those are snooping devices hovering over the capital, trying to intercept and decipher WhatsApp messages of opposition leaders and others. We have certainly reached the capital! This is exactly where we have to land…!” 

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“Youth dies in police custody! Over, 100 killed in police custody in Maharashtra in four years“ Times of India, Oct 30th

“Just give me my son! Place him across my lap. Open your eyes child, did you close them, so you wouldn’t see the next blow and the next? What scars are these against my baby’s skin? What stains of blood?Deep gashes, caused by policeman’s brutal belt?Same skin I nursed and bathed and washed, is now the colour of a bloodied river!”

“You my son, who ran and played, with me keeping a watchful eye, lest you fall and graze a knee or shin or toe, who would come running to me, even if there was a trickle of blood on same skin, and I would wrap you in my arms and run to the doctor, as if some great injury had befallen you, but to me even a graze on your tender body, was grievous wound enough. But this….

“These rivers of blood, inflicted by a government belt? Will that same doctor, who used to laugh as I came running to his clinic holding you in my frenzied arms, now laugh?”

“Doctor, where are you?”

“Can you put that ointment you used to paste on him, more to assuage my feelings, then that of my little boy, who, all he wanted was to go back and play, and get hurt again..”

“Son! Wake up, your friends are calling, they want you to come out and play. They say, they won’t let you fall and get hurt!”

“Who let you fall, and get hurt my son? I know what those eyes behind those closed eyelids are saying, “You told me to go to the law ma when I was in trouble! I went mummy and the law did this to me!”

“I know my son, I know we taught you those men in khaki could be trusted, and I know I betrayed you in letting you go to them! You were no criminal! You were no thief or robber! You went as a citizen of this country, to settle a problem, and they sent you out lifeless, a dead body!”


“Don’t take him from my arms! One last run with him to the doctor, and that ointment will wake him up! Let him be in these old, wrinkled arms, they are the only ones that ever protected him! Why did I let him stray from them? Why did I not pick him up from those khaki butchers and escape from the very men who should have protected him?”

“Oh my son, my son, let’s go home, and I’ll teach you the rules again, “Do not trust men in khaki! They and their masters are criminals of the state!”

“Doctor put that ointment will you, he wants to go out and play..!” 

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Category: Merit-based

Scholarship: UNSW Art and Design International Scholarship 2019

Description: The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia has announced this scholarship with an aim to encourage international practising designers and artists to undertake study at UNSW Art & Design.

Eligibility: International students who have applied for or pursuing a full-time master's (by Coursework) program at UNSW Art & Design can apply for this scholarship.

Prizes & Rewards: The selected scholars will receive AUD 5,000 which will be paid in two instalments.

Last Date to Apply: 31 October 2019

Application: Apply online

Short Source URL: http://www.b4s.in/AC/DIS2

Category: Merit-based

Scholarship: Khorana Program for Scholars 2020

Description: Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India has announced this scholarship program for Indian students pursuing bachelor's or master's degree in Biotechnology and allied areas, and provides the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) and partner universities.

Eligibility: Pre-final year student enrolled in B.Tech., M.Tech., B.Sc, MSc., B.E., M.E., M.S., Integrated B.S-M.S., B.V.Sc., M.V.Sc., B. Pharm., M. Pharm., MBBS., and Masters in Medical Science and Technology (MMST) courses at recognised Indian institutes and have CGPA of 8.0 or higher/ 80% and higher/ Minimum 65% and higher (for MBBS students); can apply for this scholarship.

Prizes & Rewards: The selected scholars will receive a stipend, airfare and health insurance

Last Date to Apply: 31 October 2019

Application: Apply online

Short Source URL: http://www.b4s.in/AC/KPF7


Category: Merit-based

Scholarship: MHRD PhD Fellowships for ASEAN Students 2019

Description: Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India is providing this opportunity to research candidates from the ASEAN countries. This programme aims to enable scholars from ASEAN countries, to pursue a PhD from any IIT of their choice and also provide financial awards to the scholars.

Eligibility: Postgraduates from any of the ASEAN countries can apply for this fellowship.

Prizes & Rewards: Selected scholars will get a monthly stipend of INR 31,000 for the first 2 years and INR 35,000 for the next three years, research expenses up to INR 1,70,000 and accommodation allowance (up to 24% of stipend).

Last Date to Apply: 31 October 2019

Application: Apply online

Short URL: http://www.b4s.in/AC/MAG1


Courtesy: www.buddy4study.com

On the borders of an imaginary village, a man with white beard and white hair stood flexing his muscles and expanding his fifty-six inch chest, while shouting and making violent signs at the next village. He heard hurried footsteps behind him, but did not bother to turn around, as he continued his aggressive posturing at the edge of his village,gesturing fiercely at the one across.

“Sir, sir, it is time you came back sir!”

“I cannot, I have many actions up my sleeve which the people of our village enjoy, see!”

The man expanded his chest even more, curled his fingers into a fist and started boxing an imaginary opponent in the next village, again he did not turn as he asked, “Are my people watching?”

“No sir!”

“What? Can’t they see me waving my fists and pawing the air, at the village next door?”

“They have stopped looking sir!”

“Can’t they hear me shouting, ‘terrorist, terrorist’ at the headman of the village next door?”

“They have stopped listening sir!”

“But they made me a headman because of my jumping and kicking and shouting slogans at the village next door?”

“Yes, they did sir!”

“They elected me their chief impressed by this chest of mine!”

“They did sir!”

“So why aren’t they watching me anymore?”

“They watch their shrinking stomachs! They watch their jobs disappearing sir and cash vanishing! They sit at home with no jobs. Their families starve with no food!”

“But that is why I stand here at the border and create these border shows, so they will stop looking at their shrinking stomachs and their empty wallets. Till now they loved my chowkidar antics and clapped and cheered for me!”

“You entertained them well sir!”

The man with white beard and white hair stood flexing his muscles and continued expanding his fifty-six inch chest, while making violent gestures at the next village, “Tell them to look at my aggressive actions again!” he said. “Tell the people I will stand here and protect them from….”

“From what sir?”

“From the terror that comes from the next village! Once they look up and see me yelling and screaming and jumping around, they will clap and cheer and forget their tummies and hunger!”

“Sir the people have spoken!”

“They clap for me?”

“No sir, they want you back to deal with hunger and jobs!”

The white bearded man stopped his shadow boxing and shouting, turned roundand whispered, “But I don’t know how to do that!”

“Yes sir!” whispered the man who had come from the poll booths with the latest results, “The people are realizing that! Yes sir!” he said, looking at the poll results, “they seem to have stopped looking sir..!” 

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“He is fearless in expressing his opinions..”

Nirmala Banerjee, Abhijeet’s mother.

Did you know Tihar jail was where Nobel Prize winner Abhijeet Banerjee spent ten days of his life?

Till now, you must have been under the impression only politicians made a success of their careers after a stint in jail! Though, I doubt the ten days Banerjee spent in India’s most dreaded jail, had anything to do with his rise in the field of economics, I am sure it was that same questioning, analyzing mind, fearless in expressing an opinion, as his mother says, that got him and a number of other students jailed while studying at the JNU in the nineties!

And that is the dangerous attitude we have to intellectuals who question.

We tell them to shut up or else, and the ‘or else’ is not a threat, as we look back in history, and see people like Giordana Bruno, burned to death for saying the earth was round, Copernicus and Galileo also threatened for saying likewise. Hundreds of others who questioned ‘civil rights’, ‘women empowerment’, ‘slavery’, and hundreds and thousands who questioned authority put to death or harassed till they shut up.

Just imagine if Abhijeet had decided to ‘shut up’!

“Hey Abhijeet, the poor are crying out for help!”

“I don’t want to go to jail again! No! No!”

His work, his research, which has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty would have gone. Kaput. The poor, world over would never have benefited from the thoughts and brilliance of this man.

Now can you imagine the amount of brilliant thought stifled by authoritarian and oppressive bodies over time? Thoughts that if blossomed, could have revolutionized the world.

Which is why a Democracy gives freedom to thinkers. Unfortunately, those in authority, whether priests, politicians or even principals of schools and colleges, fear thinkers. In their minds, thinkers are troublemakers. No! Thinkers question an existing system, and offer suggestions for a better one like Banerjee has done.

Today, thinkers are muzzled and muffled, by cowardly methods: Filing false cases, using archaic and ancient laws like ‘sedition’ and finally even using the mob! When we use force on thinkers, we use ‘muscle’ against the ‘mind’. ‘Brawn’ against ‘brain’!

Brawn may win initially, but loses finally with no brain around!

Without brain, brawn with only their chest thumping, ridiculing tweets or building walls, starts losing. Aren’t we seeing it happen in the economic slide-downs all over?

All intellectuals may not get a Nobel prize to show how wrong the ‘brawns’ were, so let’s help, by voting the brawns out, if they don’t understand the language the Abhijeets of this world speak in..! 

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