NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered his bureaucrats to come in to work to clean up their offices — including toilets — on this week’s national holiday to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.
The move is part of a nationwide cleanliness drive to be launched by Modi on the holiday Thursday, with the premier himself expected to take a broom to the capital’s notoriously dirty streets.
The initiative has sparked grumblings by officials from India’s infamously slow and vast bureaucracy who say the request to work, although theoretically voluntary, cannot be ignored.
Modi has cracked down on officials since storming to power in May elections, demanding they turn up to work at 9 am and paying unannounced visits to government offices.
“We have already been turning up on time and working till late (since Modi took office). Now we have been asked to wield the broom and we might as well do so,” one reluctant official told AFP in New Delhi on Tuesday.
“My children are upset that I will have to go to the office even on a national holiday,” he said, requesting anonymity.
But another official was decidedly upbeat, saying it was an important step in ridding India of its entrenched class system in which only those from low castes cleaned up waste.
“It is an unprecedented sanitation movement,” the officer in the power ministry told AFP.
“Wielding the broom is a powerful symbol. It shows that no work is mean and that each one of us should be responsible for cleaning up our waste.”
Read more » DAWN
By Kelly Gilblom
The first case of deadly Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. has been confirmed in Dallas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today in a statement.
Read more » Bloomberg
An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities
By Paul Verhaeghe, theguardian.com
We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces. But over decades of research and therapeutic practice, I have become convinced that economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities. Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatisation have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative. If you’re reading this sceptically, I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.
There are certain ideal characteristics needed to make a career today. The first is articulateness, the aim being to win over as many people as possible. Contact can be superficial, but since this applies to most human interaction nowadays, this won’t really be noticed.
It’s important to be able to talk up your own capacities as much as you can – you know a lot of people, you’ve got plenty of experience under your belt and you recently completed a major project. Later, people will find out that this was mostly hot air, but the fact that they were initially fooled is down to another personality trait: you can lie convincingly and feel little guilt. That’s why you never take responsibility for your own behaviour.
On top of all this, you are flexible and impulsive, always on the lookout for new stimuli and challenges. In practice, this leads to risky behaviour, but never mind, it won’t be you who has to pick up the pieces. The source of inspiration for this list? The psychopathy checklist by Robert Hare, the best-known specialist on psychopathy today.
Continue reading Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us
SINDH – KARACHI: Pop icon and social activist Madonna took to Instagram on Monday to announce the opening of her ‘dream school’ in Karachi that she pledged to help build last year.
“The Revolution of Love continues in Pakistan! The Dream School is finally finished. 1,200 kids attending. Knowledge is Power! #rayoflight #livingforlove,” read her caption.
Last year, Madonna announced that she is raising money to expand a school in an impoverished area on the outskirts of Karachi, according to a press release on her official website.
The starlet went on stage at a live concert in London and publicised that she is supporting girls’ education in Pakistan through her Ray of Light Foundation, and urged people to support her cause. She was joined on stage by Humaira Bachal, an education activist from Karachi.
Madonna has long spoken about her admiration for Humaira Bachal, a Pakistani woman who has campaigned for better education for young girls.
Speaking at the Chime For Change event in London last year, Madonna said, “Let’s help Humaira build a bigger school in Pakistan! How ‘bout this? You build the first floor, I’ll build the rest of the school. Let’s do this together!”
The Dream Model Street School is located in Mawach Goth, Karachi and was founded by the Dream Foundation Trust (DFT), a Pakistani non-governmental organisation.
Read more » The Express Tribune