Stories by amitabh pal

By Amitabh Pal on May 05, 2015

The shooting at the cartoon exhibition in Texas is a new lowpoint in the U.S. culture war over Islam.

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By Amitabh Pal on April 30, 2015
Nepali schoolgirls hold vigil after earthquake

The country’s government has been astonishingly callous in the aftermath of the calamity.

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By Amitabh Pal on April 22, 2015
Activist with "Muslims for Peace" shirt

When the word “Muslim” is in the news lately, it’s often connected with the word “terrorist.” A group of experts gathered recently at the University of Wisconsin to grapple with this problem and to promote a more nuanced view.

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By Amitabh Pal on March 17, 2015
Author Mohsin Hamid

Writer Mohsin Hamid’s life has straddled three continents. His new collection of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations: Dispatches From Lahore, New York, and London, taps his uniquely internationalist perspective. Image credit: Ed Kashi

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By Amitabh Pal on March 11, 2015
Muslim Feminists Chant at Rally

It’s safe to say that the first two things Americans think of when they think of Muslims are violent terrorist attacks and the oppression of women. Image credit: RAWA

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By Amitabh Pal on February 23, 2015
http://like.fi/kirjailijat/boris-kagarlitsky/

Russian dissident intellectual Boris Kagarlitsky says that the American understanding of Russia is simplistic and deeply flawed. Image credit: Like.Fi

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By Amitabh Pal on February 13, 2015
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

European officials are finally acknowledging that democracy matters. Image credit: Getty

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By Amitabh Pal on February 06, 2015
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is trying hard to ingratiate himself with his base—too hard. Image credit: Kyle Plotkin/Twitter

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By Amitabh Pal on January 26, 2015

President Obama’s visit to India was an exercise in cynicism.

To serve U.S. corporate and strategic interests, he ignored the problematic record of his host, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The roots of Modi and his party, the BJP, lie in an organization called the RSS.

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By Amitabh Pal on January 14, 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolas-auvray/16046472879/

The Charlie Hebdo killings have further contributed to a sense that Islam is an intrinsically violent religion––but such a notion is enormously reductive, to say the least. Image credits: Firas; Photographie de rue & de voyage

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Protestor makes hands in a heart shape with police in riot gear in background

Tension is not unusual in this city.

The shooting at the cartoon exhibition in Texas is a new lowpoint in the U.S. culture war over Islam.

Protestor sign reads, "Is this a school or a corporation"?

The problem for charter advocacy is that the evidence is overwhelmingly counter to nearly every claim in favor of...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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