When the world is not able to travel, distances of the heart grow faster than bodily distances. And we understand less and less about places not visited. Terrible atrocities can then flourish so easily behind closed borders. Worst of all, as our worldview shrinks, we stop caring and growing ourselves. The sooner the world re-opens, the better for both our sanity and our common humanity.
Is genocide unfolding in Tigray? Against the Rohingya? Against Uyghurs? Does using the G word still have the moral authority to summon help? Have genocides ever been prevented? Before invoking ‘genocide’, what exactly is it? Is the Genocide Convention still stuck in the 1940s, while dictators and despots find ever more clever ways to get around the definition? Reflections here from my own personal journeys through genocide – some even as they were underway.
11 May 2021 – Mukesh Kapila Growing up in the famine-affected Indian state of Bihar in the 1960s, I recall my mother’s eulogy of gratitude to America for sending us food aid. But my childish mind translated the accompanying sense of national humiliation into a dislike of the foreign donor who I knew only from schoolContinue reading “Will Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce be good for philanthropy?”
When confronted by egregious human rights abuses, or war crimes and crimes against humanity including genocide, does speaking up make any difference? Especially if words are not followed by action? There are at least four reasons why it is still crucial to speak out, and how doing so can be effective. Also what matters is the pedestal of the speaker. The higher that is, the greater their responsibility to speak out. Of course,the rhetoric-reality gap is often vast and it is easy to get cynical. But silence or ambivalence kill and destroy much more. So, speak up clearly and loudly to wake up even the dead.
With a multitude of Observance Days, Weeks, and Months, the calendar is cluttered with commemoration events. Why do we do that? Is that too much? Or are they useful micro reminders in our age of diminished attention spans on how we can do good – a day at a time?
Humanitarian business is booming worldwide as disasters, conflicts, and crises reach record levels. So, the appointment of the world’s chief humanitarian officer by the United Nations Secretary-General is of crucial interest to all who care about humanity. What type of person should fill this mandate?
Universal coverage with COVID-19 vaccination is essential to control the pandemic and sustain recovery. What current issues will determine our success? Will the post COVID-19 world be a better one?
Internet shutdowns and censorship diminish scope for meaningful conversations. A world muted in this way is a dangerous one
The old Silk Roads went everywhere but today’s version – the Belt and Road – leads only to Beijing Those seeking quick no-questions-asked prosperity by rushing along it should open their eyes wider, the closer they get to the destination. They should also expect the ride to get more bumpy.
Are you an optimist or pessimist? Who copes better during these troubled times and contributes more usefully to humanity?