Infocus

  • From the 'Start-up Nation' to 'Vaccination Nation'
    Why Israel's COVID-19 vaccination rollout programme is rated the most successful globally, and what lessons can be drawn from its experience?   Neichü Mayer Kibbutz En Hashofed, Israel Israel began inoculating its citizens against Covid19 within a week of the arrival of the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine from the US on 17 December 2020. Since then, nearly 2 million citizens have received their first dose of the vaccine. Health care providers, frontline wor
  • Last to Have the Jab..!
    Robert Clements Even as international leaders, take the first vaccine jab, to show their countrymen not to be afraid, I wondered why our leaders haven’t bared their political arms as yet. “It is the kindheartedness of our leaders that prevents them from taking the vaccine first,” said a reporter as he sat with me at the press club, “They want to step aside and allow others before they have a go! Their full philosophy is based on ‘after you’ or
  • Run it by the Book..!
    Robert Clements Later this month on Republic Day, we will celebrate the acceptance of the Constitution of India by the people over seventy years ago. It is because of this constitution that no majority can bully a minority, no one religion can be thrust on another, and that citizens have different freedoms! It is a constitution which people fight hard to maintain and fight hard to live by as much as others fight to destroy. It is because of this constitution that we live with fre
  • Can the world tackle the food insecurity crisis in 2021?
    Esther Ngumbi Inter Press Service The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity and disrupted food systems and food supply chains in developed and developing countries alike. In the United States, millions of Americans struggle to put food on the table. Around the world, according to the United Nations over 270 million are hungry, and this is expected to continue to increase.  As a brand new year begins, I can’t help but think what must be done to mitigate the
  • Not Just Muscles..!
    Was just watching a video of an American Republican former Governor of California, speaking out against the outrageous attempt of Trump to sabotage the proceedings at the Capitol, using mobs. The man who spoke out, cutting across party lines, and most probably infuriating his political bosses is Arnold Schwarzenegger! Some men build themselves not just muscles, but courage, that goes beyond politics! As a young man growing up in Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger made up his mind he
  • Balancing the Ordinary..!
    Something I love to nibble on are cashew nuts! My children and my wife know I love the dry fruit and every once in a while, present me a packet of the same, and for me it is like heaven those few days before I finish them all off. I relish each nut as I chew on them, and very often hear my wife looking at the empty packet and exclaiming, “Bob, don’t eat so much you won’t eat your dinner!” But then I know the next packet may take awhile in coming and I can&rsq
  • Missing Someone Sorely..!
    One of the saddest sights I’ve seen is when a loved one is carried out of his or her home, cold and lifeless. Tears flow and sobs rack the air as the body is placed in a coffin or funeral bier and taken to a crematorium or cemetery. Death is inevitable and nobody can escape this route out of life. We grieve for a loved one for days on end and sometimes the ache and sadness never leaves us; it is there forever. I read this beautiful poem the other day and thought it would be a
  • Is High Tech a Danger to Humanity?
    Jan Lundius Inter Press Service Oh, Lord won’t you buy me a  Mercedes Benz. My friends all drive Porsches,  I must make amends. Worked hard all my lifetime,  no help from my friends. So, oh Lord, won’t you buy me  a Mercedes Benz. Janis Joplin, 1970 COVID-19 has made several of us aware of the frailty of our bodies, the certainty of death and how valuable health, companionship and compassion are. Such insights are not uncommon in poor soci
  • Vaccine and Waning..!
    For nearly a year, the only reason many looked in newspapers or at TV screens was for news of the vaccine, and finally when the vaccine is ready to roll out, there is a waning of interest. “What’s the problem?” I asked an old man who had actually rolled up his sleeves many months before and was now rolling them down and had his arms in defensive knots, “Why this reluctance for the vaccine?” “Rumours!” he whispered, beckoning me to a corner o
  • Reach Out And Touch..!
    Robert Clements He was an old man, well into his eighties and I had always been particularly fond of him. I entered his room in the hospital and found him bent with his back to me doing something to his leg. I walked up and gently touched him, "Bob," he said, "my leg hurts!" It was an old leg, wrinkled and gnarled. "It'll go away," I said and then watched him as he tried to massage it. I couldn't bear seeing him in pain any longer; I sat down
  • Storming of United States Capitol Hill Reminiscent of the “Banana Republic”
    Thalif Deen Inter Press Service The storming of Capitol Hill in Washington DC by an unruly mob is reminiscent of an insurrection in a “banana republic” –as hilariously portrayed in the 1971 Woody Allen comedy “Bananas” spoofing a revolt in a fictional Latin American country. But judged by the disastrous four-year administration of President Trump such a description is an insult to all banana republics. Trump’s presidency has been characteri
  • Just Joy..!
    Robert Clements A few hundred yards from where I live are buildings meant for the poorer section, put up, to take them out of the slums. One would think, that in their little crowded tenements, tempers would be high, and anger a way of life, but the happiest sounds of fun and laughter come from there. Thomas Aquinas once said, “No one can live without joy.” But many people try. And the reason is often simply because they don’t know how to be happy! They are so i
  • Tears Ltd..!
    “How many times a day should I use these eye drops?” I asked the doctor. “As many times as you need to,” he said, “It’s only tears!” I stared at the bottle. I looked hard at the price. One hundred and fifty rupees for a tiny bottle of tears! “You’ve got that strange expression in your eyes,” said the wife, “Something stirring in your mind?” “We’re going to be rich!” I shouted as I walk
  • Angels and Accidents..!
    The new guardian angel, who had just started guarding people on earth, sighed and all the angels nearby rushed to his side, “What happened?” they asked with heavenly concern. “Well it’s been a tough day!” said the guardian angel, “I really don’t mind that but to get yelled at, is beyond anything I’ve faced!” “Tell us what happened?” said a pretty angel, who was also a guardian angel for a little baby below. &ldq
  • Two Little Masters..!
    Robert Clements Many who walk into my bedroom, look at the empty space carved into my cupboard and look askance at me. “That’s where I had my TV!” I tell them, and seeing puzzled faces, continue, “It was a small 14 inch set!” With mega screens, and giant screens, I know it’s difficult for many to imagine we also had small screen TVs! But it was a small, 14- inch screen that first showed a sixteen year old going onto the field, many decades a
  • During the Pandemic: A Review
    Review by: Elspeth Iralu, University of New Mexico How are children experiencing the pandemic?  How does the pandemic exacerbate the challenges vulnerable children face? What dreams sustain children? During the Pandemic, an online art exhibition by children from violent homes in Nagaland (northeast India) offers a path through which to consider these questions. The exhibit is made up of over 50 original drawings by children, photographs of the process of creating the drawing
  • REFLECTION: An abrupt tango between Nationalism and Christianity
    M Sashi Jamir, PHD Oriental Theological Seminary Nationalism and Christianity are the two pillars that make up the fabric of Naga identity. Nationalism here seemly means the love of ones nation. Contextually, it means the desire to be free from any external force that has subjugated the Nagas. Nagas have been perennially engaged in asserting their freedom since India gained her independence in 1947. However, the metanarrative of Naga nationalism has been affected because of the pro
  • Do You See A Healed Ear?
    Robert Clements It was sad seeing my huge German-Shepherd dog, whimpering in pain. His ear had got infected, so with cotton swab, antiseptic cream and warm water in plastic mug, I slowly and laboriously started cleaning it, holding his head lovingly against me, before putting soothing medication, and adding a few drops of a pain killer! My dog looked up at me, he usually allows me to touch his wounds, and I imagined what he was asking me with those brown pleading eyes, “What a
  • TODAY in HISTORY: January 04
    Reuters 1643: Sir Isaac Newton, scientist, was born. He developed the laws of gravity and planetary relations 1868: The restoration of Imperial rule in Japan is formally proclaimed.  1642: King Charles I attacked the English House of Commons with an armed guard. He was forced to retire, empty-handed. 1757: Robert Francois Damiens made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate King Louis XV of France. 1932: The Indian Congress Party is declared illegal by the British. M
  • Killing Love..!
    Robert Clements Suddenly love has turned to hate in our country, with violent terms like ‘love-jihad’ on everyone’s lips. Men are being put into prisons for falling in love and married couples separated! Horrified, I just saw a video of ruffians beating up a couple who were sitting together in a park! We have groups roaming our country who are against love! Men with eyes popping out with frenzy separate couples wanting to be together, tear endearing love notes t