10 Things You Must Know About Viruses and COVID19

10 things I have learnt about viruses from my interactions with doctors and from the world's leading universities over many years.
1. The mortality rate from viruses reduce with time.
In case of CoVID19 though it's too early to say, yet there is already good news coming in. A research that came out yesterday believes that the real mortality rate from this virus might just be 0.66% instead of the 2.6% feared previously.
Good news because looking at the high rates of death in Italy, Spain etc many people have been really frightened and thinking maybe the death rates are 10% plus... Some friends are telling me it's 50% given the number of discharged and closed cases in Italy and no deaths are almost equal.
But serious researchers aren't  getting carried away b…

Karl Marx @ 200

This month, we had the 200th birth anniversary of the world’s greatest thinker and philosopher ever,Karl Marx, whose five greatest followers – Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, and the most iconic of them all, Che Guevara – changed the world forever. They might all be controversial, but the fact is that, thanks to them, more than two-thirds of the world was being ruled based on ideas of one man – Karl Marx. They have often had faulty implementation – dictatorship (something that Marx never ordered) being the worst fault of all.
But today, if one were to pause and assess– as the leading economists and thinkers even from the current generation are unanimously agreeing – each and every prediction of his about capitalism has come true. As Marx had said in his theory of historical materialism, societies pass through six stages – primitive communism, slave society, feudalism, capitalism, socialism and finally, global, stateless communism. One look at the best societies…

Our celebrities have low intelligence for understanding religion and God; and messages like ‘RIP’ and ‘May God bless his soul’ are an insult to Stephen Hawking and his works – just like they are

Stephen Hawking fabulously said: “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the Universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation.” Though he metaphorically referred to God in his book A Brief History of Time, he clarified multiple times later that he was an atheist and that he didn’t believe in the existence of God or afterlife. He believed the human brain to be like a computer and said that just like a broken down computer doesn’t go to Heaven, similarly, a brain that stopped working has no afterlife.
Thus, as I saw thousands of RIP messages on my Facebook page and hundreds of them from celebrities and film stars that the masses look up to and idolize, I couldn’t help but feel sad for Stephen Hawking, the greatest physicist that our generation witnessed. The man who thought up ‘We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star’ has left behind billions of mourners, who don’t seem to even be in the category o…

Filthy Abuses: A Key Pillar of Democracy!

Yes, you read it right! This is an article in praise of unparliamentary language. In simple words, in praise of filthy abuses. They normally begin with an ‘F’ in English and ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘M’ in Hindi. And yes, they are playing a crucial role in the revival of the Congress party’s fortunes.
In 2014, BJP swept to power, and I – as the head of a media house and in individual capacity – believed in Modi’s development promises and backed them wholeheartedly. Of course, instead of development, a wave of nationalism and religious fanaticism took over. So much so that today, there are ministers with the audacity of stating that we must drop the word ‘secular’ from our Constitution and that BJP would change the Constitution of India – while in the name of development, we got some slogans around Swachh Bharat (mind you, no real cleanliness). This poisonous wave of nationalism and religious polarisation was orchestrated mainly through the social media through a two-pronged strategy. On one hand, …

How long do we stay silent as a nation on the farmers' suicides and the grave agrarian crisis? Is it finally time for India's biggest farmers' revolution?

We, at The Sunday Indian, were perhaps the first to do a serious cover story warning the BJP government of the looming agrarian crisis. And we believe it's necessary to repeat the same given the seriousness of the issue and that despite only 15 percent of GDP coming from agriculture, the fact is that India still resides in villages and agriculture remains the livelihood of about 50 percent of the population. Forgetting about those marginalized masses could be equivalent to inviting catastrophe – not just humanitarian, but also political. Two weeks back, the Kisan Panchayat was held in Delhi and it is more than clear that the farmers' movement is gaining serious momentum across the country. As many as 187 regional kisan forums gathered on Parliament Street under the umbrella of the Kisan Panchyat. The forum, headed by Raju Shetty MP, VM Singh, Hannan Maulah former MP, CPI General Secretary Atul Kumar Anjan and Yogendra Yadav, yet again reminded the government that farmers acros…

The jokes are now taking a U-turn!

Ever since Indira Gandhi’s death, one has clearly seen that the Gandhi family has been dragged into politics by the party despite the family members being extremely reluctant. It’s no secret that Sanjay Gandhi was the man interested in politics while Rajiv clearly wanted to be far away from it. Unfortunately, the one who was to be in politics went to fly and met his end. And the one who was to be flying, went into politics and met his end. An ironic but perfect mismanagement of resources that, since then, has become a hallmark of the Congress party!
Again, after Rajiv, Sonia was completely disinterested in politics and left the party to P. V. Narasimha Rao. But unfortunately, after the initial stability, the party became shaky; and in the absence of any leader, went back with a begging bowl to the family for support. Reluctantly, Sonia took charge and Manmohan Singh had a double run at the office. But with massive corruption charges flying all around, an anti-corruption movement star…

Secularism vs Sickularism! And the winner is...

As our PM Modi calls for strict action and immediate FIRs against Gau Raksha vigilantes, we need to think far beyond. Such acts won't vanish till we allow secularism to be mocked and in fact become fashionable through the use of words like "sickulars" to describe secular people. Our PM now needs to clearly and loudly state that not only would killing of human beings in the name of cow protection be treated with an iron hand but even any statement against our constitutional pledge to be a secular state won't be tolerated. Secularism should be the only religion of this nation till people become atheists – that is, till they give up their immature and illogical religions based on the false concept of existence of different varieties of man-made Gods.  In fact, leave alone religion and god, to me personally, it's a shame that in 2017, we still have a word called atheists. I mean, do we have a word for those who believe that the Earth is round? Do we have a word for …