Can memes revive political satires and cartoons?

Humour is the foundation of a cartoon and it is its limitation. Attempts to rationalise humour in terms of today’s utilitarian social structure probably explain why political cartooning, and the genre of cartooning as a whole is a dying art. In a fast-paced environment such as the internet, memes emerged as a one-dimensional satirical illustration; they don’t engage with the issue and, therefore, their moral message and practical impact are limited. 

Are we Indians racists?

India is endowed with the beauty of diversity in languages, geography, features, habits, cultures, religions, ethnicity and origins. It now seems that the great pot is broken. It’s the time again for rebuilding the social cohesion. We are living through a period of global transition. Technology is connecting us ever more closely, and cross-cultural exchanges are deepening every day — but this does not mean there is more understanding. We must teach our children the history of India, cultures of India, festivals of India and accepting the diversity. Tolerance is our strength and not weakness. Tolerance is not passive.

Significance of Rituals

Ritual formed structure and hierarchy and helped define their place in the world. Ritual gives shape to emotions and helps humans come to terms with the major events of life. As modern religions emerged, ancient rituals were absorbed into new forms. A religious ritual is a standardised, repetitive sequence of activities. It involves the manipulation of religious symbols such as prayers, offerings, and readings of sacred literature.

What’s in a name? | On changing names of cities

Changing a town’s name for a singular – even arbitrary – purpose, even if only temporarily, has a relatively long history. Changing names of cities also leaves with a few questions: What good did these city name changes accomplish? Do residents of these cities feel any prouder of their localities now than before? Have the changes resulted in better investment opportunities, infrastructure or living standards?

The Times They Are A-Changin

Instead of going around exchanging festive hugs, jadoo ki jhuppi, we shifted to mobile phones and now to social media and greetings is just a click. Life today is turning into a constant inorganic celebration. No wonder the festivals are losing its sheen, as we remembered it. Today a child can’t differentiate between a Diwali, Christmas or New Year and might enjoy a Halloween more.

Why do we make bad decisions?

Like everyone else, we’re subject to cognitive bias, a limitation in our thinking brought about by errors of memory, miscalculation or social attribution. Not all biases are negative, however. The placebo effect, for example, is important in the search for new medicines. This cognitive bias can be so powerful that by simply telling a patient a new drug will make them better, they begin to believe it.