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The Challenge of Affluence

By Max Jeganathan In one of his lesser known works – ‘How much land does a man need?’ – Leo Tolstoy writes of a Russian peasant farmer named Pahom. Pahom hears of some landowners – the Bashkirs – whom he plans to manipulate into selling him their land. The Bashkirs offer Pahom a deal. When the sun rises, he is invited to begin traversing a perimeter of their land on foot. Whatever land he covers, he may keep for 1,000 roubles.  The only condition is that he must return to his starting point by sunset. If he fails to do […]

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Human Beings Just Like Us

The 12th of January 2012 saw an India deeply shocked and embarrassed by a certain footage released by the British Newspaper The Observer, which showed half-clad Jarawa tribal women and children enticed to dance and sing for tourists in exchange for food and trinkets. Who are the Jarawas we may ask? The Jarawas are the tribal inhabitants of the Andaman Islands situated a few miles from southeast India. With an existing population of about 250-400 individuals, they are the descendants of one of the four ancient Negroid tribes who were stranded on the Andamans because of rising sea water. Apparently, […]

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