Monday, May 18, 2015

Aruna Shanbaug: No more darkness and pain, free at last!

[image credit:]
It was in November 27, 1973  when then 25 years old Aruna Shanbaug was on duty as a junior nurse at the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Parel, Mumbai when she was brutally sodomized by a ward boy that goes by the name of Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki. Aruna was strangled by her assailant using a dog chain cutting off oxygen supply to her brain and leaving her in a vegetative state and cortically blind since then. Her unconscious body was discovered in the hospital basement by a cleaner the next day splattered all over with blood.
Her assailant was charged not of the case of rape or sodomy but of robbery and attempted murder. The facts of the case were concealed by the complainants maybe to avoid social rejection of the young nurse. Walmiki was sentenced to double seven-year term in prison and was suspected to have changed his identity in order to hide from the public eye.
Aruna since then was lying in a hospital bed in vegetative state. And for over 42 years, hospital staff took turn watching over her and keeping her alive. In December, 2010, Aruna's case caught the attention of Pinki Virani, an activist-journalist who sought the medical condition of Aruna from the hospital to plead euthanasia for her case to India’s Supreme Court.  Under the Court’s directive, Aruna’s medical condition was affirmed being that of a permanent vegetative case. But in February of 2014, a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court have observed some wrong interpretation and inconsistencies in the judgement of Aruna’s case based on the constitution leading to the rejection of the euthanasia plea.

In the early days of May this year, Aruna developed pneumonia and was later moved to the intensive care unit of the hospital and put on a ventilator. She died last May 18 freeing her body from the almost perpetual pain and darkness for over 42 years. A moment she probably have wanted despite what her body have endured for so long. Go forth Aruna! There'll be no more pain and darkness for you to wherever you will go through from hereon.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Enclava: A Kingdom Born From a Patch of Terra Nullius

What’s it like to live in a terra nullius patch of land claimed by a group of Poles as a kingdom? The Kingdom of Enclava, a 1,000 square foot patch of no man’s land near the Slovenian town of Metlika and about 30 miles west of Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city. Enclava, a self-declared Balkan country is in the border between Slovenia and Croatia which might unlikely to be given international recognition yet its founders claim sovereign rights since neither Croatia nor Slovenia have no established claims over the said suburban garden-sized like kingdom.

A kingdom with no citizen.
Micro nations are being born everywhere in the world for decades with only ‘virtual citizens’ as inhabitants recruited over the internet.  And in relation to Enclava, its founding claimants said they wanted to have build the kingdom as an ideal community where its people will enjoy tax free living and will have 5 official languages namely:  English, Polish, Croatian, Slovenian and in the very bizarre inclusion of the Mandarin the language spoken by the Far Eastern Chinese.  More than 5,000 people have signed into its honorary membership while the supposed constitution was being drafted. The concept was to build a nation of ideal minded people who will be able to freely express their minds and speak up regardless of race, skin color, religion and nationality, as pointed by Piotr Wawrzynkiewicz, one of its founders. Both the government of Slovenia and Croatia has not commented about the proclamation of the newly emerged self-proclaimed kingdom nation in their border.

An inspiration.
Enclava’s founders must have got its inspiration from Liberland, a similar micro nation declared last month. Liberland is actually a stretch of woodland along the banks of the Danube. Liberland, also a self-declared independent micro nation by its self-appointed ruler, Vit Jedlicka even carries its own flag featuring an eagle and the sun. Their motto goes something  like that of the lyrics from a popular song – “To live and let live.” Like the kingdom of Enclava, Liberland also couldn’t stop 300,000 people from across the globe in applying for citizenship. Mr. Jedlicka claimed that they were part of a great libertarian movement that is now emerging around the world and that, “Governments are becoming increasingly unpopular,” claiming as the reason why they exists.

Plus Size, MomBod, DadBod, Are you a Selfie IN or OUT?

[image credit: francetvinfo]

Men and women shares on various social media network images of their body that many think are not within what others are saying as not within the standard measure of ideal.  To them, it is their own way of self-expression and conquering their doubts and fears about self-esteem and confidence. It is their way of bravely finding out whether their current physical appearance is something accepted within their circle and beyond if it goes viral and hit.
Dare to bare.            
Cellulites, skin flabs, stretch marks, baby bumps, saggy skins, muscles and all. Piercings, tattoos, holes and body markings. Those are what you can notice on many of the images posted in various social media. Are people getting more and more daring just for the sake of finding out what’s beauty and ideal? Or was it just a fad of flaunting one’s confidence and ego in competing with those who most people think are beautiful and ideal?

Ideal is a just a state of the mind.
Are people getting more and more overconfident deterring that being ‘ideal is just a state of mind’? Are people making the social media a mirror to see if they still appeal despite their looks, whatever other people might think or say? Is it really just about conquering one’s fear of being tagged as unlikely or likely despite the odds that people might say? Is the act a way of getting sympathy and justice for what one’s body has become?

The Selfie generation.
Ever since ‘Selfie’ hype was introduced in the social media circulation, more and more people are making it a standard of what was ideal and acceptable.  The hype pushes the different social media network to police and impose standards and censorship on what images are acceptable to be posted without going through the boundaries of pornography, self-expression morals and decency. The various social media networks tried hard by warning and closing out accounts of those supposedly violating the rules. But because of the global and worldwide circulation of their pages and the laws and rules governing each region and nation, it’s like going into the slim and narrow eye of a needle on every standard and rules being observed by every region in the world. As such, restriction on image viewing greatly lies on every region’s internet access and digital refinements.

A personal choice.
Whichever state of reason or advocacy you may have in showing off your body over social media networks it is definitely changing everyone’s perception and outlook of what was the standard of idealism in terms of beauty and likeness.  A way to outsmart one’s imperfections and regain your lost esteem and confidence. Perhaps, something alternative to fight bullies and avoid going into artificial ways of physical changing of going under the knife of physical makeover. A way to stand by your own personal choice and uphold what you believe suits and is best for you.

What about you?
Are you brave enough to show what you’ve got and be awesome?
Are you IN or OUT?

Building Instant Islands, the China Way of Changing Territorial Maps

[image credit:]

All across the world, there is no doubt that the China is  growing as fast as it could be. As their population breaks population charts, so was their rising economy breaking stock exchange tradings. And now there is another venture China is getting into. China is into building instant islands on disputed waters west of the Philippine seas.  Out of nothing, the water territories on the Asian disputed seas suddenly grew islands that in no time became small archipelago-like in the area. China is changing their territorial map by building instant islands on hotly disputed waters. Complete with airstrips and military zones for battle aircraft carriers, the islands are now being inhabited on what China claims as maritime observation facilities. But neighboring countries are getting into the idea that the area could become a military defense zone with all the possible military armaments that could be brought to the site like long range sensors, missile systems and other sophisticated military arsenals. The area seems to be getting more and more a fortress for China's battleground defense in these territorial waters claimed by the neighboring Asian countries other than them..

Death for ousted ex-President Morsi!

[image credit:  hayatalvi from wordpress]

CAIRO, May 16 2015.  The verdict of death was given to Egyptian ousted ex-President Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian court presided by Judge Shaaban el-Shami . The non-binding opinion according to Egypt’s mufti and top Muslim theologians sentenced Morsi along with other 20 people involved in the crime in what was recorded in history as Egypt's 2013 coup de etat

Morsi is Egypt’s first independently elected president but was ousted following a military coup led by Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb and oppositionist Mohamed ElBaradei.  He was convicted last April 21 this year along with former MP Mohamed Beltagy and his other cohorts on the crime and currently serving the 20-year sentence accorded to him.