Remembering March 1971 and all that followed

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Oxfam Calcutta 1971

The month of March is here again and it brings back vivid memories to me which are linked automatically with many others. In March 1971, I was working on an Oxfam-UK supported Gandhian village development project in Bihar, India, where I had been for almost 3 years. Through the BBC and some sketchy Indian newspaper… Read more »

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The world, as it was in 2015

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Displaced residents from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border with Iraq, August 11, 2014. Photo: Reuters

There is always a dash of the emotional, a pinch of the nostalgic, which takes over your sensibilities with the end of a year. And a year is but time that loses itself in space in ways decreed by nature’s laws. As you watch the sun set on a year, in the cold silence of… Read more »

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How catastrophe was manufactured in Syria

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Residents walk past damaged buildings after what activists said were air strikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus February 6, 2015. REUTERS/Amer Almohibany

The year end image etched on my mind is not of the US-Russian chess games in Syria but of how I saw the crisis being manufactured in that blighted land. Let me take advantage of the New Year and revisit stories to give you a perspective. On December 10, 2010, Mohammad Bouazizi set himself on… Read more »

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