In the famous conclusion to Being and Nothingness, Sartre announced that he would devote his next philosophical work to moral problems. Although he worked on this project in the late s, Sartre never completed it to his satisfaction, and it remained unpublished until after his death in Presented here for the first time in English, the Notebooks reveal Sartre at his most productive, crafting a masterpiece of philosophical reflection that can easily stand alongside his other great works. Sartre grapples anew here with such central issues as "authenticity" and the relation of alienation and freedom to moral values.
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What makes the police action in his case — and the related arrests of Ishika Singh and Anuj Shukla of a small Noida-based TV channel, National Live — especially sinister is that journalists are being directly victimised for covering and commenting on a story that incurred the wrath of a powerful politician. The facts of the case are straightforward. Last week, a woman professed her love for UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath before a bevy of reporters.
These claims were carried by Nation Live as well as at least two Hindi newspapers. Belatedly, the police then slapped two additional charges: Section 67 of the IT Act, which deals with the electronic transmission of obscene or lascivious material, and Section of the IPC, which criminalises the spreading of rumours calculated to incite violence and disaffection.
Adityanath may genuinely be aggrieved by public discussion about his personal life, especially if the claims made by the woman are false. Some media reports indicate that she may actually be mentally unwell. He chose not to do so. Instead, he misused his position as chief executive by getting the police to arrest Kanojia and the other two on ridiculously trumped up charges. By doing so, the UP police has served notice on all journalists and the lay public alike: if you say or write something about the chief minister that he finds objectionable, be prepared to go to jail.
It is hardly surprising that chief ministers elsewhere — like H. Kumaraswamy of Karnataka — treat free speech with the same sort of contempt.
In West Bengal, the police last month jailed a woman for sharing a meme about chief minister Mamata Banerjee. In Odisha, an analyst spent two weeks in jail for a humorous comment about an ancient monument. If left unchecked, this epidemic will destroy press freedom and free speech in India. Not only must Prashant Kanojia be freed immediately and the false charges against him dropped but the Supreme Court also needs to consider steps that can serve as a deterrent to this abuse of the law.
The Yogi and the Commissar
New York, The Macmillan Company, The Yogi and the Commissar. Without a doubt Koestler belongs among the best reporters of our time. He has shown an extraordinary ability to seize and transmit the general feeling and thinking of a whole country during a critical period civil-war Spain in Dialogue with Death; defeated France in Scum of the Earth. His flair for atmosphere, his sensitivity to fluctuating moods make him the ideal reporter of those events which, though never front-page news, are necessary to the understanding of front-page news. But whatever the intelligentsia, taken as a definite class, may have become, it has not yet sunk to the level of mere reactivity.
The Yogi and the Commissar and Other Essays
A quick glance reveals that though the context has drastically changed since then, the book still has a large number of insights to offer. As someone who has worn his heart on the left for most of his life, this turned out to be doubly rewarding. Koestler believes that human history has produced two kinds of responses to its condition. The Yogi believes that change can be brought about only by changing man from within, the revolutionary or the "Commissar" believes that it can only be brought about from without. He co-relates the perceived change with the new developments in physics that is prescient of New Age writers like Frijtof Capra and who became popular during the s, the decade when the original Commissar State- the Soviet Union fell under its own weight.
The Yogi and the Commissar