Friday, December 27, 2019

Here's to Year 2020 - "The decade of Acomplishment"


I've been thinking lately - this decade I graduated from both high school and college, got married. This decade has brought a lot of change, and I'm excited for what's to come next.

I want to make the 2020s a "Decade of Fulfillment". Too many people, myself included, have just held on to jobs or ways of living that we didn't necessarily enjoy or love, simply because we have HAD to. I want to see more people go to work because they WANT to. Because what they are doing is making an impact on not only themselves - but also the people around them. I'm excited about my new career move, as a Team Manager at Amazon.

If you already love what you do and have that burning desire to continue to do what you do, then I'm happy for you and proud of you. You knew what you wanted, sought it out, and have built yourself up in that role. This is for the people that want or need to make the changes necessary to love their lives. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in. 
As Gandhi once said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world."
Happy (almost) 2020s!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Indian Citizenship Act, Evolution. Propaganda And NRIC.


The 2003 Amendment to the Citizenship Act enacted under the Jameen Samthal Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime for the first time defines an “illegal migrant” as a “foreigner who has entered into India without a valid passport or other travel documents”. Given the history of a massive influx of refugees from East Bengal during and after Partition and during the Bangladesh liberation war, such a defective definition of “illegal migrant” amounts to a cruel criminalisation of millions of post-Partition refugees.

Over 5.21 million persons had registered themselves in Indian check posts as “refugees” by 1970 (Union Rehabilitation Ministry data quoted in The Agony of West Bengal: A Study in Union State Relations).

Another 9.89 million had crossed over in 1971, according to figures provided by the Indian government to the United Nations (The State of the World’s Refugees 2000: Fifty Years of Humanitarian Action, 2000).

While most of the 1971 refugees returned to Bangladesh after the end of the hostilities, a few thousands did not. In West Bengal, where a bulk of these post-Partition refugees sought shelter, they have not only been absorbed into the socio-economic mainstream, but have gone on to make stellar contributions to nation-building.

A sizeable proportion of the post-Partition refugees include Dalits from the Namasudra and Rajbanshi communities, among others. A large majority of the Bengali refugees are Hindus, the post-Partition refugees also include a section of Bengali Muslims, given the specific nature of the 1971 conflict in Bangladesh, which was fought over language and not religion.

Since none of these refugees had entered India with valid passports or travel documents, they have become “illegal migrants” in the eyes of the law, after the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003. Moreover, the 2003 amendment has made it impossible for children born in refugee families to become Indian citizens by birth, if either of their parents is deemed to be an “illegal migrant”.

It was the 2003 amendment to the Citizenship Act which also introduced compulsory registration of “every citizen of India”, maintenance of a “National Register of Indian Citizens” (NRIC) and issue of “National Identity Cards” by adding Section 14A to the original Citizenship Act 1955.

The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 framed under this law provides for a multi-step process, whereby a National Population Register will first be created by enlisting all usual residents of India and then “Doubtful Citizens” identified through a bureaucratic process. Thus, the NRIC (or nationwide NRC) is to be created by eliminating “Doubtful Citizens” from the NPR.

While the NPR exercise was notified and carried out in 2010-11 under the United Progressive Alliance government, the subsequent processes of determination and elimination of “Doubtful Citizens” was, understandably, not undertaken and therefore the NRIC not created. Neither the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003 nor the Citizenship Rules, 2003 provide any transparent and rational basis of determining “Doubtful Citizens”. Given such anomalies and the defective definition of “illegal migrants” in the law, which does not demarcate refugees from infiltrators, any attempt to create a NRIC through this arbitrary bureaucratic process will inevitably lead to chaos and the eventual exclusion of millions from Indian citizenship, rendering them stateless.

The Modi government is now hell bent on conducting this exercise across the country. It is noteworthy that unlike in Assam where a cut-off date of March 24, 1971 was decided on the basis of the Assam Accord, no such cut-off date exists for the nationwide NRIC.

However, the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019 itself fails the constitutionality test, since it discriminates on the basis of religion — making Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi migrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship, but not Muslims. This militates against Articles 14 and 25 of the Indian Constitution.

Moreover, as the Intelligence Bureau and the Union Home Ministry officials have made it clear through their depositions before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016, such a legislation will benefit only 31,313 migrants who have already been issued long-term visas by the Indian government on the grounds of religious persecution in the specified neighbouring countries (Report of the Joint Committee on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, p.39).

Thus, the claim that the Hindus among the NRC-excluded in Assam would get citizenship through the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is patently false. The millions of post-Partition refugees, mostly Bengali Hindus from Bangladesh, who carry no documentary evidence of religious persecution in East Bengal, cannot get Indian citizenship through this channel. Further, the Gorkhas, Biharis and Scheduled Tribes among the NRC-excluded cannot, and possibly will not, claim that they have migrated from Bangladesh, Afghanistan or Pakistan. The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is, not only a non-solution but also a harmful gimmick which will damage the secular (read equality – social and religious) principle enshrined in the Constitution, as we all can see.

Prasenjit Bose, “Restoring a secular notion of citizenship.” Dec 06/2019

Prof. Anupama Roy in 2003 wrote “The provision for overseas citizenship along with other changes in citizenship rules introduced by the Indian government reveals a trend that reinforces cultural identity and principle of descent and blood ties as constitutive of Indian citizenship. While the provision for overseas Indian citizenship may offer an "opening up" of Indian citizenship through the introduction of extra-territoriality, it occludes (block) a simultaneous "closing of ranks", with acquisition of citizenship through birth or by registration and naturalisation becoming more stringent.” wrt CAA 2003. “EPW: Overseas Indian Citizen: A New 'Setubandhan'?”

"Who is a citizen of India?" It was the Constitution (1950) that first drew the lines between citizens and non-citizens.

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first. The question – “Can people who migrated from India to Pakistan during partition obtain Indian Citizenship, does the “ORIGINAL” Indian constitution opens a door?” The simple answer is Yes, if we made a law.

“As far as migration from Pakistan into India was concerned, the Constitution (Article 7) established that a person having gone to Pakistan after March 1, 1947, shall not be "deemed to be citizen of India unless after having migrated to Pakistan the person returned to India on a permit for resettlement.. While there is no reference to Article 7, Supreme Court judgments in the early 1960s, decided that a person who migrated to Pakistan after March 1, 1947 and acquired Pakistani nationality, could not claim the citizenship of India. Thus Indian citizenship as manifest in the Constitution at its commencement thus, emphasises ethnic ties, yet it is also associational in nature, disregarding territorially bound determination of citizenship.”

Now, Subsequent amendments in the Citizenship Act in 1986 sought to deal with migration from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and some African countries; amendments in 1992 show a strengthening of strands that emphasise descent or being born of Indian parents.

While the Citizenship Act of 1955 held that every person born in India on or after January 26, 1950, was to be a citizen of India by Birth.

From July 1, 1987, i e, the date of enforcement of the amendment of CAA 1986, every person born in India on or after January 26, 1950 but before or after the commencement of the 1986 Act, would be a citizen of India, if either of whose parents was a citizen in India at the time of his birth.

The 1992 Citizenship Amendment Act in turn made it possible, through an amendment of Section 4 (citizenship by descent) for a person born outside India, whose father was an Indian citizen by descent only. If his birth was registered at an Indian consulate within one year of its occurrence or the commencement of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 1992. Whichever was later.

“This emphasis on ethnic bonds and Indian origin manifested a move from a relatively inclusive approach to citizenship seen at the time of the commencement of the Constitution, towards an overtly ethnic conception of citizenship where descent from parentage of Indian origin became an overriding consideration.” Valerian Rodrigues 2005

The late 1990s saw further entrenchment of a notion of citizenship marked by blood ties and cultural ascriptions. Read in the context of the majoritarian politics of the period, citizenship became more Exclusive, so that while the universe of the Indian citizenship was conceived as all-encompassing - the entire earth construed as a familial community of membership - the Indian citizen was progressively marked as Hindu, upper caste and male. One of the most conspicuous manifestations of this was the debate over Sonia Gandhi's citizenship, whose legal resolution was deemed insufficient as her foreign origins continued to be put forth as proof of her indifferent and inadequate citizenship and also indicative of her unsuitability for holding a political office as the head of government.

The category of the "overseas citizen" of India can perhaps be understood within the framework of this trend that congealed the association between ethnic Indian-ness and Indian citizenship.

Yet, there also seem to be present several competing and almost dissonant strands, in the framing of overseas Indian citizenship. Ironically while a dominant suggestion seems to be that of the recovery of “de-territorialised” (line of fight – separation of culture) citizenship which accompanied the commencement of the Constitution, the proposed de-territorialisation is both ironic and deceptive. While lifting the denial of Indian citizenship which the assumption of citizenship of a foreign country brought in its wake, this continued to be denied to those persons of Indian origin who had made the choice of opting out of Indian citizenship in preference for Pakistani citizenship.

At the same time, it manifested also a trend followed by several international governments especially those which had integrated in some significant way in an '"hierarchical" world economy, and assumed the position of "fast developing economies", to reach out to their Diaspora in various ways, not the least, offering them avenues of investment in their countries of origin.

The report of the high level/ powered committee on the Indian Diaspora, headed by L M Singhvi, set up in August 2000 to suggest a framework facilitating interaction with the Indian Diaspora and their association with India in a mutually beneficial relationship, incorporated all these strands.

Emphasising the de-territorialisation which the Indian Diaspora had come to signify, in an inversion of the logic of imperialism, the committee declared: "the Indian Diaspora spans the globe and stretches across all the continents. It is so widespread that the sun never sets on it" (Singhvi Committee Report 2002, p2)

While emphasising the Diaspora numbers ("estimated to be about 20 million") and their distribution across the globe, the Singhvi report carefully underscored their common identity: "...They live in different countries, speak different languages and are engaged in different pursuits. What gives them their common identity is their Indian origin, their cultural heritage, their deep attachment to India".

It is significant that the Singhvi Committee report keeps projecting overseas citizenship as a "'new setubandhan", or building bridges, and given the contexts of the emotional bonds and cultural back- linkages that the report emphasises, this would connote cementing a natural bond. It emphasises "emotional needs" of the Diaspora, as the primary justification for dual citizenship. Under the head "culture", the report also notes the "deep commitment to their cultural identity (that) has manifested in the component of the Indian Diaspora, the members of the Diaspora identify with Indians, equally the inheritors of the traditions of the continuous civilisation".

Though the Singhvi report pays tribute to the expanse and cultural cohesion of the Diaspora, it perhaps seems ironic that it chooses to limit the universe of overseas Indian citizens to specific countries of North America and the Europe, and Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand), compelling the observation by Fatima Meer, a member of the African National Congress, that the overseas citizenship of India as articulated by the Singhvi Committee was nothing more than "dollar and pound citizenship".

That the monetary considerations were never absent, even though care was taken not to make them appear primary was the fact that among the suggestions put forward by the Singhvi Committee was the setting up special economic zones, exclusively for projects to be undertaken by OCIs, PIOs and NRIs.

The debate on the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2003 under the NDA government saw a reiteration of this emotional link and desire for closer ties. L K Advani, then home affairs minister, justified it not only on the grounds of the warm ties the Diaspora "continue to have with India and Indian culture", but as a measure to bring the "Diaspora closer to themselves and to India".

The speech Of Dr. Manmohan Singh, then leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, likewise alluded to emotional ties while also referring to them as "a great national reservoir", whose "knowledge, wealth, experience and expertise" could "be tapped for the benefit of our country".

The Singhvi Committee recommended that dual citizenship should be permitted within the rubric of the Citizenship Act 1955, suggesting also that sections 9, 10 and 12 of the Citizenship Act 1955 should be suitably amended.

A bill to amend the existing Citizenship Act was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on May 9, 2003 and subsequently referred to the standing committee chaired by Pranab Mukherjee for examination and report.

The standing committee report (December 12, 2003) endorsed the amendment of 1955, to make provisions for the grant of overseas citizenship of India. Significantly it also recommended the introduction of a scheme for compulsory registration of every citizen of India accompanied by the issue of national identity cards.

To achieve these objectives the proposed amendment sought to provide for:

- Making acquisition of Indian citizenship by registration and naturalisation more stringent.

- Preventing “illegal migrants” from becoming eligible for Indian citizenship. ( loved the posters that said nobody is illegal, everybody is human)

- Simplifying the procedure to facilitate the reacquisition of Indian citizenship by persons of full age who are children of Indian citizens and former citizens of independent India.

- Providing for the grant of overseas citizenship of India to persons of Indian origin belonging to specified countries and Indian citizens who choose to acquire the citizenship of any of these countries at a later date.

- Providing for compulsory registration and issue of national identity card to all citizens of India.

- Enhancing the penalty for violation of its provisions as well as rules framed under it.

- Omitting all provisions recognizing or relating to the commonwealth citizenship from the act.

On June 6, 2003, the standing committee issued an advertisement in the press inviting public responses. The representations and memoranda received by it can be divided into those pertaining to overseas Indians, those concerning persons with ambivalent or "illegal" membership within the territory of India and those confined to making citizenship more identifiable and precise in the form of legal documents.

The memoranda received in the first category ranged from suggestions that endorsed a selective basis of dual citizenship to those that preferred that it should be expanded to include China, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Kenya, Malaysia, Uganda, South Africa, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

The demands which reflected concerns around ambivalent citizens asked for a more flexible regime of naturalisation and registration and shifts in policy to include Bangladeshi and Pakistani minority refugees, displaced persons and migrants who entered India in wake of the 1971 war and Tibetan refugees.

The other demands included consideration of giving every citizen a national identity card and identification of religion on citizenship certificates (report of the standing committee, p6)

The Citizenship Amendment Act 2003 made several amendments to existing sections and inserted sections 7A, 7B, 7C and 7D titled "overseas citizens" that dealt with the definition and registration of overseas citizens, conferred specific rights to them, identified citizen's rights that did not belong to them and the conditions under which their registration could be cancelled.

An amendment to the Citizenship Act 2003, through an ordinance issued in June 2005, allowed the overseas citizenship scheme to cover persons of Indian origin who emigrated after 1950 and were living in any country other than Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The extension of the status to other countries is significant since in 2005 overseas Indians sent remittances to India at an estimated 21.7 billion dollars, more than what China (21.3) and Mexico (18 billion) received. More than half such remittances were by west Asia based Indians, with Kerala being the single largest beneficiary.

The Citizenship Amendment Act 2003 and the Citizenship Amendment Ordinance and Act 2005 provide for a variant of Indian citizenship, which is not quite dual citizenship, since it does not provide the overseas Indian with an Indian passport, but an overseas citizen card.

Conclusions on CAA 2003;

Despite the widening of the scope of overseas citizenship, the principles underlying the scheme, read with the other changes the bill sought to introduce, show that the principle of 'jus sanguinis' or descent and blood ties was more important, and assumed primacy over the principle of 'jus soli’ (the principle that a person's nationality at birth is determined by the place of birth). ie ‘ bhakt ab kis kis ka DNA check karenge ? ‘

While Indian citizenship after the amendments bringing in the category of overseas citizenship may convey that citizenship is not to be confined to or associated with territory and membership within specific state boundaries, implying transnational or de-territorialised citizenship, the fact that it is without any reason tied up with descent emphasising Indian origin, makes its transnationality a huge suspect.

On the other hand, Indian citizenship may be seen as having become more rigid and exclusive, with naturalisation and registration processes becoming more stringent.

The Rigidity is further manifested in the fact that the amended act (CAA 2003 / 2005 Ordinance Act) places demands on children born of Indian parents abroad, who would be automatically citizens of the other country on the principle of 'jus solis' (the principle that a person's nationality at birth is determined by the place of birth), to register as OCIs immediately upon coming of age.

While the issue of choice is made abrupt for those born abroad, there is a degree of flexibility for Indian citizens "compelled" to choose the citizenship of their country of domicile and work, who would not lose their Indian citizenship (OCI status) till the time their registration formalities continue.

Moreover, deliberations in the standing committee affirming India's stand on refugees, displaced people and economic migrants, show a further entrenchment of inflexibility and the expression, "illegal migrant" figures in the Citizenship Act in both "citizenship by registration" and citizenship by "birth" categories. Significantly the insertion of this category has made citizenship by birth exclusive and conditional. Hence there is a time frame – they’ll keep amending the citizenship act every generation and probably subvert the constitution like they did in CAA 2003 Itself and no court caught this executive overreach.

While the un-amended section 3 dealing with "citizenship by birth" provided for Indian citizenship to every person born in India after January 26, 1950, if "either of whose parents are [was] a citizen of India at the time of his birth", section 3 as amended by the 2003 Act provided that citizenship by birth would accrue to persons born in India where "both of his parents are citizens of India; or one of his parents is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of his birth" (section 3C, Citizenship Amendment Act 2003)

The pro-refugee protection approach was observed in the case; National Human Rights Commission vs State Of Arunachal Pradesh & Anr ; 9 January, 1996 – Protection of life and liberty.

"We are a country governed by the Rule of Law. Our Constitution confers certain rights on every human being and certain other rights on citizens. Every person is entitled to equality before the law and equal protection of the laws. So also, no person can be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Thus the State is bound to protect the life and liberty of every human being. Be he a citizen or otherwise."

The “Infiltrators” and “illegal immigrant” narrative of BJP RSS Post 2000

The narrative of the “illegal immigrant,” particularly from Bangladesh, is rooted in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s aspiration for "Akhand Bharat." The word “infiltrator” has also been used repeatedly by the Hindu right to refer to Muslim immigrants, particularly in Assam, these immigrants were treated, not as “aliens” or “illegal immigrants,” but as “infiltrators,” who represent a sinister threat to India. (Poor people in south asia running away from their countries are a threat for the RSS. I Wonder why.)

A substantial body of propaganda texts drafted by the parivar’s ideologues or supporters outside the fold chillingly, solidly, and in great detail outlined the supposed manifold dangers of ‘infiltration’ [Bharatiya Janata Party 1994; Joshi 1994; B Rai 1992, 1993]. The apparition of impoverished, illiterate and bigoted Muslim Bangladeshis migrating en masse as a ‘silent, invisible invasion’ and ‘demographic aggression’ on India began to loom large [Joshi 1994; B Rai 1992, 1993].

The Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983

The Act was enacted amidst allegations that a large number of Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants were being included in the electoral rolls. The Election Commission had asked the state government to identify constituencies with a big rise in the number of voters, but the state did not do much. The electorate in Assam had reportedly grown by 10.2% between 1970 and 1971, 10.42% between 1971 and 1977, and by a further 10.3% during 1978.

The main demand of the Assam movement was detection and expulsion of foreigners in the state. Its focus was on the Bangladeshis though according to some estimates they were only around 40% of the immigrants, the rest being from the Hindi-speaking region or of Nepali origin. It began as a secular movement of all the Assamese, but always ran the risk of turning communal because of the religious slant given to it since most Bangladeshi immigrants were Muslims. The Nellie massacre of more than 300 Bangladeshis in 1983 did give it a communal angle. A VHP leader even said that Bangladeshi infiltration was a Pakistani conspiracy to turn Assam into a Muslim state and that they “are supporting all kinds of terrorist activity” (Staff Reporter, Assam Tribune, December 23, 2001). However, now most of the AASU leaders have appealed to the people not to communalise this issue (The Assam Tribune, July 15, 2005) and even told the BJP recently that they would not tolerate such a communal slant. The act applies only to Assam. The rest of India has the Foreigners’ Act 1946 which puts the onus on the accused to prove his/her Indian nationality.

My personal opinion would be, the Citizenship Act was constitutionally subverted in 2003/05 itself by Atal Bihari Samthal Vajapayee and Babri Advani, and they did all this for the “illegal immigrant” propaganda. No one bothered to control the executive power wrt CAA 2003/2005 Ordinance Act. The 2019 CAA is not just unconstitutional, but also an act of Treason – a bunch of criminals betraying the people of India. Ill not be surprised if the passport office turns into a completely private enterprise serving only the NRIs.

And i saved the best for the last.

For B R Ambedkar, human equality is an overriding principle and his writings advance some of the most complex arguments in defence of this principle: The ethical norm of human equality makes place for worth rather than birth; does not assign people to fixed slots in advance; enables struggle against dominance, and advances a level-playing field to all against social prejudices.

It is a question of morals.

Great empires and small minds go ill together. – Edmund Burke.

Monday, December 16, 2019

A Sincere Request


I have seen and been seeing a lot of posts about ’What Can we do?’ and I know you all and your parents are busy, in fact very busy, but I urge you all to join Protests no matter in which city you are, There have been arrests going on wherever there is a protest under the name of ’Preventive Detention’. In, Assam 175 have been arrested and 1500 detained, I know the aim of Assam Protest is different than Protest of Jamia, but our aim is to nullify the whole law itself.

Akhil Gogoi, an RTI activist, has been arrested and booked under UAPA, 2019. Yes, the law that was amended recently. I urge you all to take time and support all those who are out on the streets because everyone out there is fighting not for their existence alone but also for the existence of a just country. The one which all of us want to live in.

Gather some information and join the protests wherever they are happening. If we let them have their way this time, it could any other community next or an area or a state. Do your bit.

As I am writing is AMU being set on fire, while they don’t have the internet to call for help

Sincerely,

A citizen.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Why the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill Is Unconstitutional


Under the Indian constitution, the right to equality mentioned in Article 14 and the right to life and liberty mentioned in Article 21 are available to all persons, regardless of citizenship.

The Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB) has been passed by both houses of parliament, and got the assent of the president.

Since a lot of controversy has been raised over it, it needs a dispassionate analysis.

Assam has had an influx of a large number of Bangladeshi immigrants who came after the Partition of 1947. Some (Hindus, Buddhists, etc.) came due to religious persecution by the Muslim majority. But many poor Muslims also came for a better life.

Such ‘economic refugees’ – those who migrate not due to religious persecution but to seek a better life – are not, strictly speaking, refugees as defined in the UN Refugee Convention, 1951. But the fact is that worldwide, there are a large number of ‘economic refugees’. For example, the US has about 11 million undocumented immigrants from Mexico who migrated to have a better life. Many of them have been living there for decades, and now have little roots in Mexico.

What is to be done to them? President Donald Trump wants them deported to Mexico, but that is easier said than done.

In India under the Assam Accord, only those Bangladeshis who came into Assam before March 1971 would be granted citizenship under the Citizenship Act. But CAB will make people of six religions – Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists and Jains – who came from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh Indian citizens, provided they have lived in India since before 2014.

The CAB omits mention of Muslims, and this is where the controversy lies.

The Bharatiya Janata Party government justifies this discrimination by saying that Muslims did not come into India due to persecution, whereas people of other religions did. But this is only a pretext. The real reason is that the BJP knows that Muslims will vote against them in elections, and so wishes to deny them citizenship (which carries voting rights).

Also, what is overlooked is that many Muslims in Pakistan – Shias, Ahmadiyyas, etc. – are also persecuted there, and may come to India to avoid persecution. While by a constitutional amendment Pakistan has declared Ahmadiyyas to be non-Muslims, the Kerala high Court has declared them Muslims, and Ahmadiyyas regard themselves Muslims. However, they are treated horrifically in Pakistan.

Many Assamese are protesting because they do not want any immigrants in Assam, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, and object to citizenship being given to any immigrant. Others are objecting to the CAB for other reasons. The whole of Assam is in flames, and in many places the army has been called.

The truth is that many Bangladeshi Muslims have been living in Assam for decades, though they may not have come here legally. Many were even born in Assam. They have no roots now in Bangladesh. Where are they to go if deported? Bangladesh has said it will not accept them. This is a humanitarian problem, not just a legal one.

One of us (Justice Katju) remembers once when he was sitting on a Supreme Court bench, a case came regarding illegal squatters in jhuggi jhopdis in Mumbai. The senior judge on the bench shouted that these illegal squatters have no legal right to remain where they were living, and must be thrown out, to which Justice Katju coolly retorted, “But brother, where are they to go? Should they be dumped into the Arabian Sea? It is not just a legal problem, it has also a humanitarian aspect.”

It may be noted that under the Indian constitution while certain rights, like those mentioned in Article 19, are available only to citizens, others like the right to equality mentioned in Article 14 and the right to life and liberty mentioned in Article 21 (which has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean the right to live with dignity) are available to all persons. A non-citizen is certainly a person, and hence is also entitled to those rights.

In National Human Rights Commission vs State of Arunachal Pradesh, 1996, the question was about Chakma refugees, who were undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh. The court observed that the fundamental right to life and liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the constitution is also available to Chakmas, though they were not Indian citizens.

In light of that, the CAB is unconstitutional as it violates both Articles 14 and 21 of the constitution.

Monday, December 9, 2019

How to become a better version of yourself ?


First and foremost, Treat yourself with the same respect that you show to other people. It is important to respect and care for yourself despite all the ups and downs in life. 

Start thinking in long-term (say, five years), medium-term (say, a month to six months) and short-term strategies (say, one day to a week).

You can break the long-term plan down into medium-term plans, and the medium-term plans into short-term plans. What do you need to be doing today to get you to where you want to be next week? Next month? Next year? Once you've got that in mind -- and you get into the habit of taking manageable bites out of your life goals -- it becomes a lot easier to achieve what you want.

The advice I always give relates to writing a novel. A novel is 90,000 words, give or take. If you write 250 words a day, every day, you'll have the first draft of that book you've had rattling around inside your head on paper by the end of 2020. If that seems daunting... well, this post is 230 words long. It took me less than five minutes to type up, and I'm only, what, forty words away from being on target? How many articles do you write in a day? How many Facebook updates? How many tweets?

A little amount of sustained effort is (usually) the best way to get where you want to be.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Mother Theresa wasn't a Saint during her time


This woman had over 500 missions in 100 countries, plus lots of funding. But the people that went to them for help rarely received the medical care or much else they needed, they were unhygienic, lacked beds, lacked medication especially painkillers and little in the way of food. And again, she did not lack fundin for these places.
Here’s a quote from her: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,””
There are accounts of her trying to baptize dying non Christians, against their wishes or without consent, advising her nuns to resort to trickery. She’s the stereotypical white savior, using colonialism to spread Christianity.

She was incredibly anti abortion, contraception and divorce, spreading these ideals in non white, non Christian, and third world countries. I disagree with all of her views on those issues but the last two especially are dangerous and detrimental to women.

She was also very chummy with a few despots and dictators. And again had tons of funding, and her handling of it was suspicious to say the least.

Her charities did not serve many people and were mainly about, you guessed it, spreading Christianity and her beliefs. Again, despite the ridiculous funds she had that could’ve been used to actual help people.

Her “miracles” are sketchy, to say the very least.
TLDR: Mother Theresa was not a saint in life and was not a very good person.

Here's another interesting read...

-> Mother Teresa’s Sainthood is a Fraud, Just Like She Was.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Prices high, govt to buy 11,000 tons of onion from Turkey


Last month, the Union cabinet approved importing 120,000 tonnes of onions to improve the domestic supply and control prices that have skyrocketed to Rs 75-120 per kg across major cities.

Amid skyrocketing prices of onions, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution asked state-run MMTC to place an order for the import of 11,000 metric tons (MT) of onions from Turkey.

According to sources, the Department of Consumer Affairs has given direction to MMTC in this regard, and the imported onions will begin arriving from late December or early January.

Sources further said that the fresh direction for import of 11,000 MT of onions was in addition to the 6,090 MT of onions which will start arriving from Egypt mid-December.

Earlier too the government, on November 9, directed MMTC to import up to 1 lakh MT of onions from surplus countries. In fact, department roped in Indian embassies in major onion-exporting countries – Iran, Afghanistan and Egypt – to facilitate the imports of onion.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Why the Billionaires won't Save Us - Patriot Act


In this weekly show, the former Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj brings his unique comedic voice and storytelling skill to explore the larger grim trends shaping our fragmented world.



Disclaimer: The following is only an embed from videonode.net website is not hosted or owned by me. I shall not be responsible for any copyright claims or any other legal matters. If you feel this is a copyright of your work or part of your work, please email me here so that I can remove it from my blog.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Priyanka Reddy Murder Case - Police Couldn't have Saved Her


The brutal incident in Hyderabad left me devastated.

There’s a lot of misinformation being spread and a blame game between police and victim going on right now.

Firstly, the incident happened on the Outer Ring Road that surrounds Hyderabad. It’s 40 kms away from the city. It’s basically like a highway and it’s very hard to patrol every inch. Crimes can easily go unnoticed.

Secondly, blaming the victim for not calling police is absolutely ridiculous. You never know how terrorised she was at that time and you can never expect victims to calmly call for help in the last minute. The fact that she called her family tells you how women don’t trust or have faith in emergency services in India. The home minister of Telangana insensitively told that she should’ve called police instead of her sister. What difference would that have made? That was a highway and there’s no one around to help.

There were also reports that police initially weren’t helpful when the family approached to lodge a complaint. This is unfortunate and most of the police in India aren’t trained in gender sensitisation. Women are afraid and hesitant to approach police and report sexual crimes.

Predators are everywhere in this country and it’s impossible and impractical to stop crimes.

The only thing government can do is it fast track the justice process and consistently punish the rapists with capital punishment. This will make a big difference and will make these predators think twice before committing a crime.

We also need a reliable emergency response service that works like swiggy and help reaches you in minutes. This can only be achieved if govt privatises this and invests more money.

Source - Telangana: Cops said she has eloped, murdered doctor's family alleges police apathy

Friday, November 29, 2019

Google and Facebook are very dangerous to human rights


International Amnesty has expressed concern over the watchdog activity of tech companies like Google and Facebook. The platform was claimed to be a major human rights abuser.

International Amnesty has urged governments of different countries to take different steps, from enacting laws to protecting user data, and not just examining surveillance-based business models and reforming them. Amnesty's 58-page report states that more than 90% of the world's people use Google search engine, while one-third of the world's people use Facebook on a daily basis.

Amnesty clearly believed that Google and Facebook's business model was a worldwide spy on billions of people. Facebook and Google may not charge for their services, but users will have to pay for it in the form of personal data. Citing the example of the Cambridge Analytica chapter for this, it was stated that this was proof that users' personal data could be used against them.

However, Facebook has rejected this report by International Amnesty. Facebook believes it is empowering human rights activists. While Google said that we value people's trust and know that we have a responsibility to protect users' data. The report also publishes the views of Steve Centerfield, Facebook's director of privacy and public policy. In a total of 10 issues, Centerfield explained that we respect and disagree with you.

Please share this articles with your friends and family on social media also post your valuable comments on this post we will immediately publish your comments on this article - Source

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Japanese Hotel Room Costs $1 a Night -- If You'll Livestream Yourself


"Guests coming to Asahi Ryokan have the option to pay just ¥100 (about $1) per night to stay the night -- if they agree to have their entire stay livestreamed," reports CNN:
[T]here are restrictions around how the live streaming works. [27-year-old manager] Tetsuya Inoue explains to CNN Travel that the feed is video-only, so guests will have privacy in their conversations or phone calls... Guests are permitted to turn the lights off, and the bathroom area is out of camera range. 
"This is a very old ryokan [traditional Japanese hotel] and I was looking into a new business model," says Inoue, who started running the hotel last year. "Our hotel is on the cheaper side, so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about." So far, four guests have taken him up on the offer since Inoue began offering the deal last month. "Young people nowadays don't care much about the privacy," Inoue adds. "Some of them say it's OK to be [watched] for just one day."
Inoue ultimately hopes to monetize the YouTube channel, according to CNN . (Though it currently appears to be down.)

But Inoue told CNN that when the hotel room is vacant, he plans to just livestream himself, working in his office.

Source: CNN

‘One Child Nation’ (2019) Exposes the Tragic Consequences of Chinese Population Control


The horrors of the utilitarian principle is that, unspeakable evil can be done against a populous when the government deems a drastic measure necessary for the greater good of the populous.

A utilitarian system does not care about the well being of its people, when it is focusing on the issues of the populous as a whole.

There are a lot of policies that are made to "solve problems" that really don't address root causes of the problem, such as Tory Party policies designed to kill poor people as a mechanism for lowering poverty, because that doesn't end poverty that just makes poverty deadlier so poor people effectively just die from it keeps the numbers of poor folks low and gives the illusion of wealth. Some might argue it creates a naturally selected environment for wealthier folks as poor people end up starving to death.

In the instance of China's one child policy, they looked at the root cause of a problem and came up with an effective solution to overpopulation, the video started with the fact that there will be fewer people when the ageing population dies away. It has effectively cut the number of people in the country by a significant margin, and the fact that women were treated as worthless has only made women worth more by a large margin, the aim of reducing the birthrate effectively committed human rights atrocities and hand waved those atrocities away by using the phrase. "For the greater good".

In order to sustain a populous, one needs to have 2 children.


Friday, November 22, 2019

Watch The Inventor: "Out for Blood" in Silicon Valley


This is the story of Theranos, a multi-billion dollar tech company, its founder Elizabeth Holmes, the youngest self-made female billionaire, and the massive fraud that collapsed the company.

This here is a clear indication of "Scientific illiteracy".

But hey this could have worked, prolly in a next decade or so.. who knows ?! She ticked all the right boxes at the right time.

Super Woman, millennial CEO, grandiose plans and ideas, ruffled the feathers of all those kooky old male boomer CEOs.It's almost as if it marketed itself to a sympathetic media that practically fell over itself to carry the banner for this company, and helped sell it to an increasingly misinformed and mislead public...

While it is fascinating story, the whole fiasco was just a classic swindle; in that it works best on people who are greedy. Everyone closed their eyes, and the deceptions were so idiotic that these people seemed to want to be deceived.

"How did she manage to fool silicon valley?" implies there's any reason at all that Silicon Valley isn't just as short-sighted, gullible and selfish as everyone else in the world.

Disclaimer: The following is only an embed from videonode.net website is not hosted or owned by me. I shall not be responsible for any copyright claims or any other legal matters. If you feel this is a copyright of your work or part of your work, please email me here so that I can remove it from my blog. 

Watch The HBO Documentary below:- 


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Jimmy Wales goes with .social for new social network


We’ve seen previously that both Wikipedia co-founders Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales despise how popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have turned into platforms for spreading fake news.

While Larry Sanger launched a social media strike in protest against the malpractices adopted by social media networks, Jimmy Wales launched WikiTribune, an online publication to post and share news articles.

WT:Social is similar to Facebook and Twitter but does not rely on advertisements as its revenue. “The business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic,” says Wales. His rival social media network will work on the donations by generous individual donors.

Another reason why Wales thinks that adopting the advertising model is bad is the fact that it leads to low-quality content. While Facebook and Twitter use algorithms to display posts with most engagements on the top in users’ feed, WT:Social will display the latest articles. There is no ‘like’ button or something similar on the platform at the moment but an “upvote” button might be added later in the future.

WT:Social already has 50,000 users but Wales says that he wants to attract masses to his Facebook and Twitter alternative.
WT:Social’s website mentions “We will foster an environment where bad actors are removed because it is right, not because it suddenly affects our bottom-line.”
Currently, there is a waitlist to join the network. Meanwhile, you can sign up on the website for free, donate and invite friends.

Link to Website: https://wt.social/

Monday, November 18, 2019

Youtube updated TOS can potentially ban people with adblock


YouTube has recently changed its terms of service. The key section that has got people up in arms is as follows:
YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.
This is especially concerning to a lot of people because, due to the fuzzy wording, there remains the possibility that Google can restrict access to any part of the service -- YouTube, Google, Gmail, whatever -- if it seems you 'no longer commercially viable' (which is itself a pretty vague phrase).

Realistically, though, there's a difference between can and will. In theory, YouTube -- and pretty much any service -- can stop you using it for just about any reason whatsoever. Whether they would is a different matter. There have been other organisations that have leaned heavily into restricting users who aren't cost-effective, mostly newspapers such as the Washington Post and New York Times, who will lock articles behind a paywall until you buy a subscription (usually allowing you to view a couple per month). Spotify, for example, has specific wording in its ToS that bans adblockers.

However, this is probably a lot less to do people using ad blockers and more to do with people doing things that bring YouTube into (what they consider to be) disrepute. The concern here is likely to be -- and granted, this is speculative, but it's a reasonable reading -- is that this is to highlight people who YouTube feels are likely to scare off advertisers. Rather than saying that x is banned, and y is banned, and z is banned, but a, b and c are OK as long as you don't cross lines e, f and g, YouTube are now saying that if, by their sole discretion, if they feel as though your presence on the site is likely to be 'no longer commercially viable' -- if they don't feel it's in the best interest of either the site as a whole or their bottom line, depending on how generous a reading you feel like giving it -- then they can decide to remove your account.

In practice, they could always do this. In fact, this was upheld recently in the response to two lawsuits filed against YouTube. One, from PragerU (a right-leaning organisation), complained that YouTube restricting their videos on topics such as why climate change was a big ol' hoax (no, really) among others amounted to anti-conservative censorship. The other, from a group of LGBTQ+ activists, claimed that YouTube was unfairly marking out LGBTQ+ content while letting homophobia run rampant. In both cases, the complaint was that YouTube marking videos as 'restricted' was unfair treatment. However, whether that's true or not, it's not really relevant to the issue at hand: it's been held time and time again that YouTube isn't forced to allow anyone a platform. (It's been brought to my attention that PragerU is currently in the middle of another lawsuit in California on the same issue; the judgement hasn't come in on that one yet -- as far as I can see -- but it's not looking great for them either.)

Whether you believe that's fair ('As a private company, they shouldn't be forced to provide a service to extremists') or whether you think it's troubling for free speech reasons ('YouTube can now remove anyone who promotes an agenda they don't agree with, whether that's far-right or anti-China, for example') -- and there are arguments for both, don't get me wrong -- this specific wording change is probably not going to have much practical impact on the day-to-day use of the site by the vast majority of people.

Debian 10.2 released


The Debian project is pleased to announce the second update of its stable distribution Debian 10 (codename buster). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 10 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old buster media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror.

Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages, and most such updates are included in the point release.

New installation images will be available soon at the regular locations.

Upgrading an existing installation to this revision can be achieved by pointing the package management system at one of Debian's many HTTP mirrors. A comprehensive list of mirrors is available at: https://www.debian.org/mirror/list

The complete lists of packages that have changed with this revision:
http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/buster/ChangeLog

The current stable distribution:
http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stable/

Proposed updates to the stable distribution:
http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/proposed-updates

stable distribution information (release notes, errata etc.):
https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/

Security announcements and information:
https://www.debian.org/security/

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Capitalist Marketing Scam - Consumer Products at Risk


I think the only thing I'm nostalgic for in regards to the 2000's is that the gadgets and tech that came out in that decade actually had real utility. These tech companies these days want me to buy a $400 mirror because it tells me the weather. I already have a pocket computer that tells me the weather, a home AI that tells me the weather, and a watch that tells me the weather. I've input my grocery list into so many devices that I don't need the list because putting it on all these smart devices inadvertently made me memorize it. The $30 christmas RC car that gets destroyed by the elements in a week is now an $800 drone for no reason. Every new website/app venture is just a cynical data collecting scheme.

In the 2000s, the gadgets were actually USEFUL. This pocket computer gets you on the internet without having to carry a textbook-sized laptop! This blu-ray holds 20x more data so you can have several movies on it instead of just one! This phone lets you record video! This website can stream videos instead of you having to download them! They fulfilled actual needs.

I don't think if I was born later I would have fallen in love with technology like I did growing up in the 90s and 00s. The stuff coming out today is total junk. Another subscription streaming service when I already have two. A smart X that doesn't actually improve the day-to-day lived experience. It's like they've run out of ideas but capitalism demands endless growth so they're just pumping out bullshit. 

Silicon Valley is the new Hollywood.

Fitbit is a medical device for certain people with certain conditions that need to constantly know their heartbeat. The idea that it's a consumer product for everyone is a capitalist marketing scam. 

It's like digital chapstick.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Apple Glass, Your Future, Our Vision

‘Apple Glass, view the world your way’
Apple glass filters the world around you, eliminating distractions and focusing your word. Homeless people and the poor are pixelated, android users flagged with warnings, you can share your personal views with other Apple Glass users with a wink and a nod.

If you see a real life object you desire, your pupil dilation will mark it as a preference for your world filter. Other Apple Glass users will see a visually optimal version of yourself, tailored to please the viewer. As the battery runs low, Apple Glass will warn you by slowly turning your view to black, and highlighting the route to your local Apple Store where you can recharge the Apple Glass power unit at a convenient ‘apple life station’.

For premium users, Apple earbuds will pair with the Apple Glass to sooth the voices that reach your ears with comforting phrases about how good you look and how powerful a person you are.

Worried about theft of your Apple Glass world filters? Don’t be, a small thermite charge is embedded in a bespoke cage located at the base of each ear, three failed authentication attempts in a row and the thermite ignites burning a hole through the spinal column of the unauthorised user.

Apple Glass comes with an optional sleeping cage, allowing users to rest with the non removable Apple Glass frame suspended safely away from your pillow. Apple will dovetail your drift into sleep and your wake up with tailored messages designed to help you live your best life with Apple.

Animal Abuse - left to bleed & die at German Laboratory

Monkeys are strapped into metal harnesses, while cats and dogs are left bleeding and dying in footage which animal rights activists claim was filmed at a German toxicology laboratory.The German animal activist organisation Soko Tierschutz together with Cruelty Free International say the alleged abuse took place at LPT Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Mienenbuttel, on the outskirts of Hamburg. - Source
We breed, raise, and kill hundreds of billions of animals every single year, with the majority of them kept in awful conditions; especially in heavily industrialised countries that have trended towards the more efficient factory farming model.

Animal abuse tends to be thought of as an individual thing - some dickhead kicking a puppy for shits and giggles, for example - but such examples are dwarfed by this kind of systematic issue.

It remains legal, since the laws which dictate normal animal cruelty make exceptions for farm animals and any other industry big and profitable enough. These thinking, feeling, suffering animals are reduced to nothing but objects and commodities - food or entertainment or test subjects - bred to make a profit for the company that owns them. And sometimes the most profitable way of doing things isn't what's best for their welfare. If there's a country whose animal cruelty laws do hold industries up to the same standard as regular citizens, I don't know of it.

Animal cruelty is widespread, and inevitable, under such a system. We just don't legally recognise it as such, and because it happens behind closed doors, almost everyone ignores it, and even financially supports it by choosing to buy the resulting products even when they don't have to.

For more info, I suggest watching the following documentary which covers these sorts of systematic animal welfare issues.


Abhijit Banerjee among three to receive Economics Nobel


The 2019 Nobel Prize for economics goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Monday.

Fun Fact: He and his second wife ( Esther Duflo ) got the prize together (along with Michael Kremer ). Also fun fact: Esther is a PhD student of Abhijeet. That being said Esther's paper  is a nice read.

More fun facts: Esther Duflo (2019) doctoral student of > Abhijit Banerjee (2019) doctoral student of > Eric Maskin (2007) who is a doctoral student of > Kenneth Arrow (1972).

Moral of the story: If you want a Nobel, work under a Nobel.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Dolittle - Official Trailer



Summary:

"After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures. The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice (Dunkirk’s Harry Collett) and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla (Oscar® winner Rami Malek), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck (Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer), a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich (The Big Sick*’s Kumail Nanjiani) and an upbeat polar bear (John Cena, *Bumblebee) and a headstrong parrot (Oscar® winner Emma Thompson), who serves as Dolittle’s most trusted advisor and confidante. The film also stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen (The Queen) and Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and features additional voice performances from Oscar winner *Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, and Craig Robinson."
FROM THE PRODUCERS OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Ah, shit...

AND MALEFICENT

They really don't want me to see this movie do they?

All jokes aside it looks generic as f**k. Like Pirates of The Caribbean meets The Jungle Book.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rant #2 - Stop being an Asshole


I thought I was doing the right thing trying to be the bigger person and do whatever it took to make our relationship work, apologizing time and time again no matter who was in the wrong. But it takes two to make a relationship. One person should not be expected to change their entire way of life and sacrifice everything for a person who sees nothing wrong with their own actions and points out flaws to make a point. 

One person should not be giving 110% and the other is giving much less. Love takes time and work and if you can't see the problems within your own self, you have no right pointing fingers and trying to force someone else to change.

Were there things I had to work on? Yes. And I tried. Did she do the same? Fuck, NO ! And that's where I fucked up letting her off easy because it became a regular thing and I gave her the power and control over me.

Don't be a hypocrite and tell someone "I will be a humanoid" or "I have no free will" when you can't have an actual conversation being direct. Don't be an asshole who expects so much of others but nothing of themself. And you do NOT get to blame your past or your anger issues for your present actions and attitude. The world doesn't owe you shit like you think it does.

Thank you for listening to my Ted Talk

RANT - fuck life"

What is the point in existing? No one really knows the answer to that question, not truly. 

Are we here to procreate? If so, then why are we self aware? What purpose can there be in a life where the end result is always the same... Death. 

Everything and everyone dies. What is death? That point in time where we stop living. What's living? When we were conceived when did we start living? When the sperm and egg fused? We we developed a brain? When we started to look human? So we were created, birthed by our mothers. 

We did not ask to exist, to be self aware, to long for meaning in a universe that is indifferent to our existence. If there is no meaning in life then what's the point? Nothing matters, it never has. We're all going to die, every tree, bacterium, virus, everything. One day the sun will stop fusing hydrogen and collapse under its own mass. The earth will freeze. Eventually the entire universe will become stable or reverse back to the time before the big bang. How an I supposed to find meaning in a life that is inherently pointless? 

Some people turn to god, but how am I supposed to do that without proof? Faith? Ha! I guess for me there are two options, try and find happiness or jump off a cliff. The search for happiness is a distraction from the realisation of pointlessness. I just hope I can stay distracted long enough to live out a natural life.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

SyeRaa Narsimha Reddy - Historical Treat of Epic Proportions

Image Credits: The Hindu
The film is based on the real life story of a freedom fighter from Rayalaseema in India, who fought against the British imperialism in 1846. It shows the heroic way in which Narasimha Reddy rises to take the Britishers head-on and inflict heavy losses on them, rattling even their bosses in London!

The film has a captivating screenplay interspersed with a lot of action packed sequences which keeps you wanting for more. The swordsmanship, archery, cavalry and other war tactics are brilliantly captured throughout the length of the film. The spectacular cinematography, brilliant VFX and the stimulating sound effects play an indispensable role in the success of this film.

The film also has en emotional feel attached to it, which brings out the surrealism factor into play. The characters build up onto you slowly as the film progresses. You can feel the fear, anger, sadness, joy and trust in each of the film's characters.

There are almost negligible flaws in the screenplay, however during some instances one might feel that there could have been more dialogue usage during the war scenes. The duration of the film also could have been a tad shorter in the second half.

All the actors have given their best. Chiranjeevi shines brightly throughout the film as a warrior with his outstanding performance. Kiccha Sudeepa's acting as a shrewd, but sincere battle companion catches your eye! Tamannaah Bhatia also stands out with her astonishing performance.

All in all, this is a family movie and is an immersive, historical treat of epic proportions that gives you a great bang for the buck!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Movie Review: Ad Astra 2019


Ad Astra takes a visually thrilling journey through the vast reaches of space while charting an ambitious course for the heart of the bond between parent and child.

As human beings we are always looking outwards for inspiration. The film shows the main characters source of inspiration be the search for intelligent alien life. It's mentioned that the the father, Clifford, may have been trying to escape earth and his family by going on his search, and the space agency says that he may be hiding from them. Clifford is on the extreme end of "looking outwards for inspiration."

Then we have Roy. Throughout the movie and through Roy, we learn that constructive inspiration comes from within. Roy starts off feeling empty and longing for something greater. We see how this dismantles his relationship, how it drives him to look out to the stars.

When finding his father, Roy sees himself within Clifford. They have both endured long periods of time alone, with their mind set on their mission and accomplishing it by any means. He tries to bring his dad back, so to avoid murdering him, and when Clifford is reluctant he tells him "we're all we've got." This is where the film turns toward it's message.

Now throughout the film we are shown bits and pieces of humanity - like the space elevator, the rocket ports, the base on the moon with an Applebee's and other earthly commodity shops. It's mentioned that Clifford would have hated to see the moon like that, just a repeat of earth. Someone says something along the lines of, "we're planet destroyers." So, it's clear that Clifford has a general distain for humanity, thinking lowly of them, in fact so lowly that he remorselessly murders his entire crew to avoid going back to earth. Don't forget that this whole time on the moon were told that humans are actively at war, another huge problem we have with each other.

Now, I will argue that the message of the film is that we need to take a step back and realize that WE are the intelligent alien life that Clifford is out there trying to find. I mean obviously, but we take each other for granted. We are so used to our ways that we think there is no hope for us. We need to take that same inspiration we have for intelligent alien life and have it for one another. We need to treat each other like we would treat some alien race, we should be fascinated and driven by ourselves.

This really is all solidified for me when Roy comes crashing back down to Earth. At this point, we've spent so much of the film in space Earth is looking VERY alien as we see Roy's pod come crashing into the atmosphere. He's been alone for so long on his journey back, he's withered, landing in this unfamiliar place. The hatch opens and BOOM THERE'S THE ALIENS only it's US... HUMANS. In that moment you see these happy, helpful, sentient beings greet Roy and help carry him off.

After this emotional journey that Roy goes on, which represents the viewers journey, Roy starts small with his new inspiration and focuses on what's important, mending relationships. He's only working on fixing one little thing, but it is the reason why that counts. It really provides an interesting perspective on our species that I don't think any film before this has.

TLDR: The movie is trying to show us humans that we need to take a step back and realize what we actually are. Aliens living on a strange remote planet in million to one odds. We should find inspiration and appreciation in this and not continue to exist taking it for granted, rooted in our habitual ways.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

iOS 13, watchOS 6 and Apple Arcade Release


Some things to note:
  • iOS 13 and watchOS 6 will start rolling out at 10am PST (1pm EDT)
  • Apple Arcade’s launch time is unknown, but a good guess will be the same time as above.
  • tvOS 13, iPadOS 13 and iOS 13.1 will be released on September 30th
  • macOS Catalina 10.15 will be released in October
  • watchOS 6 will only be released for Series 3, 4 on September 19th. The older models will get the update in the coming weeks
  • The new iPhones launched on September 20th 
  • Apple TV+ launches November 1st
iOS 13:


Notable features:

iOS Stock Apps: Files: Access, manage, and organize files stored on external drives or file servers right from the Files app.

Health: Cycle Tracking Fertile window prediction/notification Period prediction/notification

Home:
  • Secure Video: HomeKit‑enabled cameras can now add support to detect and record specific activity like people, animals, or vehicles. These recordings are stored securely in iCloud. And new privacy settings allow you to control when your cameras stream and record.
  • Homekit Routers: Enabled routers bring an extra layer of security to your smart home. Use the Home app to control which services your HomeKit accessories can communicate with in your network and on the internet
Reminders: The redesigned Reminders app features more powerful and intelligent ways to create, organize, and keep track of your reminders.

Apple Maps:
  • Look Around: Explore cities with an immersive 3D experience that lets you pan around 360 degrees and move seamlessly down streets
  • New map features significantly improved and more realistic details for roads, beaches, parks, buildings, and more
Shortcuts: Automations

iOS Wide Features
  • Dark Mode
  • Sign In With Apple
  • Keyboard Quickpath Type (Swiping)
  • Memoji Stickers integrated in the keyboard
  • New Siri voice
  • Redesigned Carplay
  • New, redesigned and smart Share Sheet
  • Controller support (PS4 Dualshock and Xbox Remote with Bluetooth)
Read all the features that iOS 13 will pack on Apple’s site.

Here is a list of the devices eligible to receive iOS 13.0:

iPhoneiPod Touch
iPhone 11 Pro MaxiPod Touch 7th Gen
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11
iPhone XS Max
iPhone XS
iPhone XR
iPhone X
iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 8
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 7
iPhone 6S Plus
iPhone 6S
iPhone SE


watchOS 6

Release Notes will be updated here once the update drops
Notable features:
Apple Arcade
  • Available on macOS Catalina, iOS/iPad 13, tvOS 13 only
  • $4.99/month, access to all the games in the catalog
  • One subscription for the whole family
  • Not a streaming service, you need download the games to play
  • No ads in game
  • Handoff (pick up in one device, continue in other) experience
  • List of all the games available in Apple Arcade.