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পশুপক্ষীকে কাল্পনিক চরিত্রের মধ্য দিয়ে উপস্হাপনায় ভারতের জনপ্রিয় গণমাধ্যম

পৃথ্বী সেনগুপ্ত,স্বাধীন গবেষক, পশ্চিমবঙ্গ, ভারত

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 সারাংশ 

পশু-পাখী তথা অন্যান্য জীব-প্রজাতি সম্বন্ধে নানান ধরণের গবেষণা, চর্চা পৃথিবীর নানান দেশে বিস্তৃত সময়কাল ধরেই চলে আসছে। এর সাথে যখন জনপ্রিয় বিনোদন মাধ্যমের প্রসঙ্গ যুক্ত হয়, তখন তা আর পৃথক বস্তু না থেকে সমাজের বিভিন্ন গুরুত্বপূর্ণ কাঠামো এবং তার সাথে যুক্ত আরো নানান উপাদানের সাথে ভীষণ গুরুত্বপূর্ণভাবেই আলোচনার কেন্দ্রবিন্দু হয়ে সম্পৃক্তও হয়ে যায়। তাই সততার সাথে নিরপেক্ষ দৃষ্টিভঙ্গী লেখার ক্ষেত্রে বজায় রাখাটা অত্যন্ত কঠিন কাজ। এক্ষেত্রে-ও পশুপাখী জগতের কাল্পনিক উপস্হাপনায়, মাধ্যম ব্যবস্হা মূলত এই সময়ে কিভাবে কাজ করছে ভারতে তা আলোচনা করতে গিয়ে পশুপাখীর নিজস্ব চারিত্রিক-মানসিক এবং শারীরিক বিষয়গুলি সম্বন্ধে প্রাথমিকভাবেই আলোচনা করা হয়েছে। ভারতের প্রেক্ষিতে জনপ্রিয় বিনোদন মাধ্যমগুলি কাল্পনিক চরিত্রের সাহায্যে পশুপাখীকে কিভাবে তুলে ধরছে নিজ-নিজ কর্ম-বৈশিষ্ট্যের প্রেক্ষিতে, তার ফলে আমাদের বা সার্বিকভাবে সমাজের, এই সময়ের সাধারণ মানুষ, দর্শক বা পাঠক, বিশেষ করে এগুলির টার্গেট-অডিয়েন্স, শৈশব প্রজন্মের মানসিক চিন্তাভাবনায় কি পরিবর্তন হচ্ছে বা তার কী ধরণের সম্ভাবনা রয়েছে, এবং এর ফলে সার্বিকভাবেই পৃথিবীর ক্ষেত্রে জীবকুলের ভবিষ্যৎ কী হতে পারে তার একটা চিত্র-নির্মাণের চেষ্টা করা হয়েছে এই প্রবন্ধে। তাছাড়াও সীমিত পরিসরের বাইরে যা এখানে আলোচনা করা সম্ভব হল না, সেক্ষেত্রে-ও পরবর্তী সময়ে কি-কি গবেষণা করা যেতে পারে সে সম্বন্ধে প্রবন্ধের শেষে উল্লেখ করা হয়েছে। এক্ষেত্রে মানুষ, পশুপাখীর সার্বিক জগতের বিষয়টি দেশ-কালভেদে মোটামুটিভাবে একটি অপরিবর্তনীয় উপাদান বা বলা যায় মাধ্যম ব্যবস্হার মানুষের ক্ষেত্রে প্রভাবের সার্বিক বিষয়টি মোটামুটিভাবে একই বলে ধরা হয়েছে। তবে যেহেতু আমরা ভারতের সামাজিক, অর্থনৈতিক, সাংস্কৃতিক, ধার্মিক প্রভৃতি জিনিসের প্রেক্ষিতে এই সময়ের মাধ্যমের কথা-ই এখানে আলোচনা করছি তাই মানুষের মানসিক চিন্তা-ভাবনার বিষয়টি ভারতের চিত্রকেই প্রতিনিধিত্ব করছে। সীমিত পরিসরে কিছু বাদ থেকে যাওয়ার সম্ভাবনাকে স্বীকার করে নিয়েই তথ্য, সমীক্ষা, মতামত এবং বিশ্লেষণভিত্তিক এই প্রবন্ধ নির্মাণের উদ্দেশ্য একটাই – মূল আলোচনা যাতে গুরুত্ব সহকারে বাস্তব চিত্রকে যেন সর্বোচ্চ পর্যায়ে সু্স্পষ্টভাবেই তুলে ধরতে পারে।

Scarlet Macaws and Their Kin in the Desert Southwest

Tom Leskiw, Independent Researcher and columnist, USA

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Today’s ornithologists and birders take pride in a variety of references—field guides, published scientific papers, unpublished field notes—that accurately delineate the geographic range of a particular species. Especially in the case of non-migratory species, the limits of their range are well understood. However, in some cases, little thought has been accorded to the long history of humans capturing and transporting live birds to breed them for ceremonial purposes more than a thousand miles from their natural range.

For instance, the Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha), is one of only two parrot species whose natural range once included the United States. The earliest mention of the Thick-billed Parrot is an account written by a member of the 1582-83 Espejo expedition to northern Arizona.[1] There are two noteworthy aspects to this sighting. First, it remains the northernmost sighting of Thick-billed Parrots in the United States. Second, the sighting occurred only 45 air miles southwest from Wupatki Pueblo, where the remains of four Thick-billed Parrots were excavated by archeologists along with 53 Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao), a resident of southeastern Mexico.

The Animal That Therefore Derrida Is: Status of Animal in Derridean Posthumanism

Krishanu Maiti, Panskura Banamali College, West Bengal, India

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Abstract
This paper aims to discuss the deconstructionist Jacques Derrida’s contribution to the contemporary critical animal studies. Derrida is concerned with a critical thinking that starts with a dismantling of straightforward distinction between the human and the animal and he questions the hierarchical position of nature that bedevils the human-animal relationship. By concentrating on his own theory of animal-subjectivity and animal-gaze Derrida puts the homogenizing concept of animal (popular throughout the philosophical history of animal) into a big question. And by referring to the politics of speciesism he points to the big issue of contemporary problem of marginalization that covers all other fields of critical theory. My intention is to deal with all these issues by emphasizing on Derrida’s animal based theoretical essays specially The Animal That Therefore I Am.

Human Greatness or Animal Rights? The Case of Fra Anselm Turmeda’s Disputa de l’Ase

Santanu Ganguly, Netaji Nagar Day College, Kolkata, India

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The animal world (which includes animals, birds, fishes, reptiles and insects), has always been very closely connected with human civilization, providing food, products, a potent work-force and entertainment in a variety of ways. It is only in recent times that mechanization, vegetarianism and an increased awareness of animals’ rights have reduced the dependence on animals to a large extent; otherwise, from the beginning of civilization almost, animals have been an inseparable and invariable part of human life, be it during peace or war; on the field or in the house; on mountains or in the plains; with the rich and with the poor. For his part, man too has responded to animals in a variety of ways, though not all responses have been encouraging. While on the one hand humans have over-utilized animals without any regard to their welfare and have caused their deaths simply for pleasure, on the other they have venerated them in literature or apotheosized them in literature and culture. Time has provided a really solid foundation for an anthropological, cultural and economic bonding between humans and animals.

Bishnoism: An Eco Dharma of the People Who Are Ready to Sacrifice their Lives to Save Trees and Wild Animals

Alexis Reichert,  University of Ottawa, Canada

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Introduction

The concept of sacrifice, in all its different expressions and interpretations is central to Indian traditions. Many scholars of religion believe that theories of sacrifice are at the heart of theories of religion itself, as it demonstrates human efforts to connect with, or construct some kind of sacred reality.[i] This paper therefore takes as its premise that a particular group’s notion and practice of sacrifice can tell us a great deal about their worldview generally, and their conceptualization of human/ nonhuman relationships more specifically. The broad concept of sacrifice is a fruitful area in which to examine both the physical and conceptual relationships between humans and nonhumans, particularly in India where sacrificial language dominates the religious scene. The particular focus of this paper will be on the Bishnoi, a small Hindu community most densely located in Western Rajasthan. I will explore what the Bishnoi concept of sacrifice can tell us about human/ nonhuman relationships in their community, and how this relates to broader Indian notions of sacrifice and the nonhuman.

Upon researching the Bishnoi I have come to learn that sacrifice is central to their worldview and religious self conception. Not ritual sacrifice in the traditional sense of the term, rather, they focus on their commitment to self-sacrifice in the service of protecting other species. The heading of a Bishnoi website reads “Bishnoism: An Eco Dharma of the people who are ready to sacrifice their lives to save trees and wild animals.”[ii] This theme is emphasised throughout Bishnoi literature and mythology. The story of the Khejadali Massace in which 363 Bishnoi gave their lives protecting trees is the most popular tale among the Bishnoi; but there are countless other stories of Bishnoi sacrificing their lives for trees and animals, as this community continues to engage in often risky environmental and animal activism. This willingness to die for trees and nonhuman animals has become a hallmark of their tradition, used by insiders and outsiders alike to define this distinctive group. In the following pages I will briefly outline the history and central tenets of Bishnoi dharma, and situate the Bishnoi understanding of sacrifice within the broader Indian context by exploring it in relation to Hindu sacrifice, and the practice of sallekhana in Jainism. I will focus on human/ nonhuman relationships among the Bishnoi, using the concept of sacrifice as a lens. Central to this analysis is the understanding that sacrifice is a performance of one’s worldview, which informs, and is informed by one’s understanding of the relationships between humans and nonhumans.

Interdependence of Animal and Men in 14th Century Vijayanagara Empire as represented through Sculptural Reliefs

Dr. Priya Thakur,  Tumkur University, Tumkur, Karnataka

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 Abstract

Animals represent the most primitive and longest imagery of contact and coexistence with man in art. Most of the present day domesticated animals share a common thread of evolutionary pattern with man in similar surroundings and have evolved in parallel with that of mankind. Since the beginning of the human civilization, animals have played a major role in the socio-economic productivity of the human society as seen  through the transition of the hunter – pastoral – agricultural and urban mode of human livelihood.  The animals also became a part of human rituals and imagination as evident from earliest rock art sites such as that of Bhimabetka (Raisen District, Madhya Pradesh), where animals are seen as one of the preferred subject matter. The present paper is a study of the reflection of the changes influencing the 14th century Vijayanagara Society in terms of man-animal inter-relation as well as interdependence, through the sculptural art in the form of high reliefs on the monuments at the site.

Sri Aurobindo’s Aswapati: Negotiating the Vedic ‘Horse’ as a Symbol

Rudrashis Datta, Raiganj B. Ed. College, Uttar Dinajpur, West Bengal.

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Abstract

The horse has occupied a pride of place among the animals in most civilizations since ancient times, more so in the Vedic age where it was not only used as a military asset but also as a powerful symbol that concerned the kings and the subjects alike. However, it is in its symbolic context that the horse or aswa in Sanskrit has generated multiple interpretations. This study focuses on some of the symbolic aspects of the horse as evident in early Vedic Sanskrit texts and highlights the interpretation of Sri Aurobindo which served in significantly bringing down semantic differences in the context of the horse symbol. Aswapati, an important character in Sri Aurobindo’s epic Savitri is an elaborate illustration of Sri Aurobindo’s reading of the aswa as representative of ‘prana’ or life energy. This study illustrates that Sri Aurobindo’s approach essentially harmonized the varied and often conflicting nuances which were generated as different systems of interpretations approached the symbol in accordance with their limited range of belief systems.

Editorial, Volume II, 2012

We are very happy to publish the Volume II of Bhatter College Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies both on the web and in print. It is indeed a very amazing feeling that we are carrying forward a legacy of human culture that had originated out of the need for communication in the unknown prehistoric times. The history of civilization—to a great extent—can be called a history of the evolution of technology. Marks and signs are everywhere—from the caves paintings, rock inscriptions, papyrus manuscripts, palm leaves, animal skin, printed paper, telegraph, radio, cinema to the digital media, and all these point to the evolving and creative nature of élan vital, which tries to assert itself in complex and varied forms. In the previous century we witnessed the culmination of such spirit on two media—paper, a product of Industrial Revolution of Europe, and cinema/television which led ultimately to an explosion of knowledge. But in this second decade of the 21st century we can sense that we have entered into post-Gutenberg digital era and got past the print culture. While in the previous century we witnessed explosion of knowledge, in the new century with the physical barriers of time and place greatly minimised, we are experiencing a revolution of communication and access and an explosion of information. With the new technology, teaching-learning systems all over the globe are going through challenging times; for, it also demands that the infrastructure exist in functional form and trained teachers incorporate the techniques as naturally as they do the blackboard.

ICT in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges

Ajit Mondal, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal

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Dr. Jayanta Mete, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal


Abstract

Since time immemorial, education has been an important instrument for social and economic transformation. Presently higher education in India is experiencing a major transformation in terms of access, equity and quality. This transition is highly influenced by the swift developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) all over the world. The introduction of ICTs in the higher education has profound implications for the whole education process especially in dealing with key issues of access, equity, management, efficiency, pedagogy and quality. At the same time the optimal utilization of opportunities arising due to diffusion of ICTs in higher education system presents a profound challenge for higher educational institutions. In this backdrop, the paper addresses the opportunities and challenges posed by integration of ICTs in various aspects of higher education in the present scenario.

Virtual Effects with Virtuous Personality: A Sufi Approach to the Ethical Aspects of ICT in Education

Mohammad Shaheer Siddiqui,Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India

 

Abstract

Three discoveries of man gave revolutionary dimension to human race viz. fire, wheel and language but fourth one has changed the global face i.e. ICT. No doubt ICT played much important part in almost all the arenas for national development but its role in education should not be confined to the use of CAI or other technology to make learning mechanical process. Student is not just a ‘brain’ of flash and blood; he has a heart, a soul and waves of dynamic ever fresh emotions unlike the rigid computer software. Education of heart and soul is much required today. Take an extract from the paper on ‘Education for Peace’ by NCERT (2006). A teacher had a dream in which she saw one of her students fifty years ahead. The student was angry and asked a number of questions complaining of the irresponsible teaching and unripe education. What pinches more is the following extract. “With ever greater anger, the student shouted, ‘You helped me extend my hands with incredible machines, my eyes with telescope and microscopes, my ears with telephones, radios and sonar, my brain with computers, but you did not help me extend my heart, love and concern for the human family. Teacher you gave me half a loaf.” The role of new technology becomes more responsible and serious because it works sometimes as dummy teachers. There requires a collaboration of ICT and value based education, collaboration of technology and tradition and collaboration of virtual effects and virtuous personality. Increasing scenario of ‘educated and technological crime’ is the outcome of such disintegrated education system. This paper is a little effort to identify the need of ethical aspects of ICT in Education.