The editorial in Organiser, ‘In Search of Harmony’, comments on the environmental challenges amid the “looming US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement”. It notes the “27 per cent rise in seawater temperature in the last 30 years”, and “constantly ascending pollution in urban spaces”. It underlines the disagreements between countries over the Paris Pact and emphasises that “despite (many) rounds of negotiations”, “we are not able to substantially manage the ecology”. “The primary reason for this failure,” the editorial argues, “lies in the limited focus of the environmental discourse on science or economics, without considering the philosophical aspects of it”.
It contends that “global capitalism” or the “Marxist alternative, which is another form of imposed globalisation” cannot offer any solution to the present crisis. “Bharat provides an alternative to address issues pertaining to ecology through the integral philosophy of life, which sees human life in harmony with nature,” it says. “The Bharatiya perspective,” it notes, underlines “that human life is not just about material possessions but has strong spiritual bearings that enable us to search divinity in nature”. It quotes British historian Arnold Toynbee saying, “the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way”, and argues, “we as a nation have to lead by example, instead of blindly imitating Western models of growth”.
Not about slaughter
The cover story in Organiser, ‘Beyond Beef’, comments on the ongoing controversy over the proposed ban on the trading of cattle and buffaloes for slaughter. It notes that activists campaigned for banning Jalikattu “on the pretext of cruelty to animals”. But “when the government is trying to streamline the rules concerning cruelty”, it is facing protests in the form of “public slaughtering of cows and beef festivals”. The draft rules were published in the Gazette of India in January, “inviting objections and suggestions from the public”. “Hardly any objections came, so eventually the rules were notified,” it says, contending that, in such a situation “the vehement opposition to the notified rules is surprising”. The objectives of these rules are to “end cruelty (to animals) and ensure basic facilities in markets” and “stop availability of animals for illegal slaughter”.
Smuggling of animals across state borders to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal has been a “source of major concern”. Hence, the rules lay down that “animal markets will not be set up within a distance of 25 kms from the state border on either side and 50 km from the international border”. “It should be clearly understood that these rules do not prohibit slaughter per se,” it says.
The cover story in Panchjanya is on the spreading of Indian languages on the internet. “Major companies are now forced to offer their services and products in Indian languages,” it says. Commenting on changing times, it says that grandfathers are now counting “likes” soon after posting their selfies on Facebook, and grandmothers, “who know only Hindi”, are sending birthday greetings through voice messages on WhatsApp groups.
According to a recent study, the internet had 23.40 crore users of Indian languages and 17.5 crore of English in 2016. By 2021, users of Indian languages would reach 53.60 crore and English language users would be just around 20 crore. In these figures lie the “challenges of future media and business”. “In the next five years, nine of the 10 new
internet users would be from Indian languages,” it says.
Now, one can find Hindi, Kannada, Tamil on cellphones. The country has around 34 crore smartphones at present. In the next five years, 18 crore more smartphones will be added. Similarly, online buyers in Indian languages will register an annual 32 per cent growth. Since buyers need advertisements in the language they make purchases in, English will no longer be the dominant ad language.