Wednesday, March 19, 2008

None has any right to challenge her personal liberty

Home News India Home Shivani murder: Court convicts RK Sharma, 3 others Naziya Alvi, Hindustan Times New Delhi, March 18, 2008

A city court on Tuesday convicted senior Haryana police officer R.K. Sharma and three others in the 1999 Shivani Bhatnagar murder case. The court ruled Sharma, a suspended inspector general of police, ordered the killing of Shivani when she threatened to expose their intimate relationship after being ignored by him. Shivani, a journalist, was found murdered at her home in Navkunj Apartments, east Delhi, on January 23, 1999. She was 31 years old then...

The judge found the close relationship between Sharma and Shivani to be the main motive behind the murder. He, however, blasted the defence counsel for raising fingers at Shivani’s character.

“None, particularly the accused, has any right to challenge her (Shivani) personal liberty. Perhaps it shows that we have still not come out of the illusion of male hauvinism,”

the judge said in his over 100-page verdict.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Privileging of the emotions over the intellect

Prozac in a culture of consumption from Faith and Theology by Ben Myers
by Kim Fabricius

The use of antidepressants needs to be placed in the larger context of postmodern cultural assumptions about what constitutes the human condition. In a society where health and happiness are now taken to be inalienable rights, many experiences previously taken to be normal and inevitable, if painful, parts of life – for example, stress, shame, guilt, grief, let alone melancholy or angst – have been pathologised and medicalised. Treatment becomes de rigueur, and not just through the prescription of pills but also through referrals to therapy and counselling (with their own hidden premises about what the ancients called the good life).

The irony is that in a culture of consumption that values autonomy and choice above all things, these interventions represent profoundly disempowering developments and collude not only in self-alienation but also in social fragmentation. Moreover the privileging of the emotions over the intellect, the displacement of hard thinking by the simplistic soundbite, and our obsession with speed to the occlusion of patience, all conspire to guarantee that no critique will be taken seriously even if it is heard – particularly if it is spoken by a philosopher, let alone (heaven forbid!) by a theologian.O tempora! O mores! Or, in the vernacular, what goes around comes around.