“It is as though a human mind was extinguished for performing its noblest function”. A sobering collation of thoughts, feelings and wishes in the wake of a chilling and brutal murder of a philosopher, advocate, blogger, free-thinker and US national – Dr. Avijit Roy. Alochonaa.com condemns such attacks and advocates free speech, tolerance and inclusion in all its forms.
Standing admist a volatile and gloomy global scenario, when humanity is being slaughtered mercilessly every moment, a famous line by Ayn Rand from her famous novel ‘The Fountainhead’ came to the mind of Nilantika Banarjee – “Inspite of whatever their future – at the wake of life men seek a noble vision of man’s nature and life’s potential”. The main philosophy endorsed in the novel is that everything we have, everything we are, comes from a single attribute – the function of our reasoning mind – this made me think whether we ask the war-mongers to give peace a chance or should we ask them to give a chance to themselves!
Soibal Dasgupta, in response to Alochonaa’s earlier publication ‘What is truth?’, reflects upon his observations of what constitutes the ‘truth’. The author observes that the truth serves multiple practical functions for people across the globe; this ‘truth’ acquired through his traveling experiences. Dasgupta concludes that truth and lies are two faces of the same coin – “either exist both or none”.
Regular contributor Sam Hennessy shares with Alochonaa his biggest personal demon – the drink. Sam recounts a simple stroll to his local coffee shop and the confronting fair-trade poster which hit home hard. This demon was not his own – it was his whole nation’s.
We often wonder what life would be like if certain situations had of played out differently. Mark Katz reflects back on the summer of 1977, when he and 3 other interns joined the US State Department Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs. One of those fellow interns was Condoleezza Rice – the 66th US Secretary of State. Mark recounts his experience of working along side Condoleezza, her determination to rise to the top and the encounter with the Deputy Secretary of State which changed the future of her career for life.
Nishadee Liyanage reflects on her identity disconnect of growing up in Australia and being raised to be Sinhalese Sri Lankan. As the daughter of Sinhalese Sri Lankan immigrants to Australia, Nisha critically evaluates the current Australian asylum seeker policies.
Drawing from his own experiences in Timor Leste, Simon Katterl critically evaluates the structural flaws of the volunteer aid and tourism trend, known as ‘voluntourism’. The author argues there is a lack of accountability available to the recipients of aid – if the aid organisation fails, there is no recourse for aid recipients. While aid organisations must self-impose such regulations, it is currently unclear what ethos prevail in ‘voluntourism’.