Pandemic plausibilities at landscape level: case of High Asia

An invitation to join a bunch of ecologists who’re working in High Asia led to this perspective piece that traces plausibility of spillovers turning into pandemics in what is considered relatively low-risk (a literal “coldspot”) for zoonotic disease oubreaks due to its relatively sparse populations and large and unihabitable landscapes. However, as we argue rapid land-use change, macroeconomic (even geopolitical!) pressures could create new niches and open up vulnerabilities for spillover events.

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Who killed Father Stan?

Father Stan died on July 5, 2021. He was arrested and charged under a legislation that – to put it mildly – is irreconcilable with several Constitutional protections in India. In addition, the denial of his bail was further a clear violation of the basic principles of freedoms and liberties. And he is not an exception in terms of the inability of the State to deal with dissent in a democratic way, a kind of stifling of space for the varied expressions that society and governance have thrown upon many communities.

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COVID-19 in Karnataka: Strengthening primary health care & action on social determinants of health

On invitation by Societal Action Group of Experts to Combat COVID Calamity in Karnataka (SAGE), I joined few other speakers in this webinar event. In my talk I focused mainly on strengthening primary health care and social determinants of health. Given a wider audience, I anchor my presentation within a wider systemic view of public health and health systems, a perspective often lost in framing most recommendations.

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The hand and the mind

A chemical soup churns an ancient recipe,
a salad of acids nuceic,
a pattern so oft flawed,
a twist & a turn,
livin’ up to the font of a God?

A nurture awaits the soup,
hands not always gentle, words not often soothing,
parsing the salad with a shifting key,
an encryption undefined, unbroken.

A million years of evolution,
moments, minutes and years punctuated by revolution,
ossify thoughts, behaviours and attitudes,
that season the salad, nay even shape its constitution.

What is one life? What of its experience lived?
Where does it come from, this feeling of uniqueness?
This yearning for a kinship amidst a fist of fingers alike?
As if the punch was conceived in the hand…

but willed in a far-away mind?

The original from my notes

At NIF day 2 8 Sept 2018 & finished on Tippu Express 16 Sept 2018; edited

ಸೋಲಿಗ ಸಿರಿ/Soliga Siri

I have been wanting to upload this book written by Somasundaram and Jade Gowda about various aspects of the day-to-day life of the Soliga people (ಜನಜೀವನ), their folk-songs (ಜಾನಪದ), some extracts of their cultural heritage (ಪರಂಪರೆ) and reflections on the theme of world peace based on the Adivasi culture. The first author has literally built (along with Dr. Sudarshan and various other people) the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra in BR Hills, an organisation that has been working with the Soliga people in the district on various issues.

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