Connect with us

Features

Jaishankar means Victory of Lord Shiva!

Published

on

Part II

By Austin Fernando

(Former High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India)

The title of this article may baffle the readers. I chose it knowing well that the critics of India desirous of seeing Minister Jaishankar lose would be offended.

Dr. Jaishankar, the Indian Minister of External Affairs visited Sri Lanka from 4 to 7 January on the invitation of Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena hoping for nothing but victory.

The media eagerly awaited press statements. The outcomes of all high-level discussions are not included in the media statements, but observers read between the lines. This article is based on the statements covering three specific areas—devolution, development, and defense/security.

Both ministerial statements were abstract devoid of specifics, save a few on COVID-19. However, the Indian interests are craftily incorporated into ‘partnerships’, ‘infrastructure’, ‘energy’, ‘connectivity,’ ‘Lines of Credit’ ‘fisheries’, etc. Later, the media expressed Indian concerns about specific projects.

Minister Gunawardena spoke of economics, finance, trade, commerce, defense, security, fisheries, religion, and the pandemic. His was a generalized version of what had happened. Since we were not privy to what happened, there could be gaps in this article as well, written three weeks after.

 

Power-sharing and relationships

Minister Jaishankar in his statement mentioned, among other things:

“It is in Sri Lanka’s own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace, and dignity within a united Sri Lanka are fulfilled. That applies equally to the commitments made by the Sri Lankan Government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The progress and prosperity of Sri Lanka will surely be advanced as a consequence.”

Here, Minister Jaishankar played proxy to the Tamil people, and displayed his concern about Sri Lanka’s “own interest.” Sri Lanka’s own interest” is multi-faceted, e. g., domestic, bilateral, multi-lateral, security, economic, diplomatic, etc. These could turn positive as well as negative. While there was much positive Indian support for Sri Lanka in the past, in 2012 India took a negative decision at the UNHRC. There is no guarantee of similar repetition. Going by the latest UNHRC report, Sri Lanka had better exercise caution.

In an article titled, ‘Crisscrossing 13A Abolition’ (The Island 13/11/2019), I wrote:

“PM Narendra Modi during President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s State Visit, like other interlocutors, said: “I am confident that the Government of Sri Lanka will carry forward the process of reconciliation, to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace, and respect.”

Dr. Jaishankar repeats what PM Modi has said, the only difference being he uses ‘dignity’ instead of ‘respect’. This message has been repeated by other Indians leaders as well. This message could have been conveyed by amiable High Commissioner (HC) Gopal Baglay. India may have considered it was too serious that it had to be delivered by Dr. Jaishankar himself.

In the aforesaid article, I highlighted the instances where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Minister GL Pieris, former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from our end, and PMs Narendra Modi, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Minister SM Krishna from the Indian end had expressed interest and commitments as regards the implementation of the 13th Amendment. These were recalled by Minister Jaishankar as “commitments made by Sri Lanka”.

Knowing the parliamentary strength of the Sri Lankan government, and the somewhat weakened position of the Tamil Naitional Alliance (TNA) in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, where devolution was demanded vociferously, one may guess that Minister Jaishankar’s top priority would have shifted from 13A. He may have thought Tamil politics was becoming too nationalistic like Sinhala politics as evident from the election of representatives of the fringe political parties in the North. Having previously dealt with parliamentarians like CV Wigneswaran and Gajan Ponnambalam, I know they will be more vociferous than TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, whom I have associated with for decades. Probably, due to the apparent weakening of TNA, Dr. Jaishankar may have volunteered to fill the vacuum.

Anyhow, the Tamil groups have united for a common cause, as seen from the 15-1-2021 communication addressed to Member Missions of the UNHRC. This kind of cooperation may be extended to their campaign for enhanced devolution, too, but Minister Douglas Devananda or Parliamentarian Angajan Ramanathan, despite being in the government, will think twice before backing the anti-13A+ camp.

When bilateral negotiations got tough, the government may have moved faster to address Indian demands as regards 13A, Eastern Container Terminal (ECT), the Trincomalee Oil Tanks, or the Palk Bay fishing. The Presidential Media Unit (13-1-2021) gave the impression that bargaining on ECT had been tougher than what was claimed in ministerial statements. The speed at which the President’s Office proceeded to negotiate with the warring trade unions implied that its primary concern was the ECT. The 13A was secondary and the Presidential Secretariat has made no mention of it to date. Some ruling party backers are criticizing the ETC deal while attempts are being made in government quarters to defend the decision to involve Indian investment in the ECT. State Minister Nalaka Godahewa and Secretary Bandu Priyath have spoken in favour of it; State Minister Nivard Cabraal has put forth more logical arguments. But their positions are not acceptable to the trade unions.

Minister Gunawardena has not mentioned the 13A or devolution as if he had not heard Dr. Jaishankar properly! However, I believe that Dr. Jaishankar would not have incorporated the matter into his statement without a discussion with his Sri Lankan counterpart thereon. Alternatively, there could have been an understanding that each party would ‘mind its priorities,’ and this may explain non-congruence. But will India remain silent on 13A?

If Dr. Jaishankar’s visit had been aimed at discussing the 13A, one of the reasons for it may have been calling for the abolition of the Provincial Council system. If the composition of the Romesh de Silva Committee, some of whose members are openly critical of 13A, is anything to go by, then its proposals may not be in favour of retaining the 13A. However, the question is whether this legislation, introduced 38 years ago, should be allowed to go unrevised, given the socio-political changes the country has undergone.

The TNA has handed over its proposals to this Committee. It is pushing for 13A Plus, to all intents and purposes, historically referring to promises and standpoints as regards power-sharing, even referring to the pre-Independence era. If such powers are devolved to the PCs, there could be extensive support even from the Southerners as these propositions vastly expand the existing devolution package. Nevertheless, India may have sought to address any attitude of negativism toward the TNA demands.

At a recent virtual meeting between PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and PM Modi, the latter insisted: “Sri Lanka must implement its 13th constitutional amendment to achieve peace and reconciliation” and requested our Government to work towards realizing the expectations of Tamils for equality, justice, peace, and dignity.” Dr. Jaishankar has reiterated the keywords in PM Modi’s statement.

Minister Jaishankar’s insistence that the 13A is a prerequisite for ethnic reconciliation may be consequent on demands made by some Sinhala politicians, and Buddhist clergy for its abolition, irrespective of their possible effects on the JRJ-Rajiv Accord and the Indo-Lanka agreement on Kachchativu.

Secondly, even the postponement of the PC elections due to Covid-19 may be viewed as a prelude to the abolition of the 13-A, signifying a dignified scrapping. Dr. Jaishankar must have wondered why the PC polls had been postponed after the successful conclusion of a general election. Therefore, he may have tested the government’s intentions regardless of the legal obstacles to the conduct of the PC polls now.

The postponement of the PC polls could also be due to other factors such as the government’s poor performance in controlling the pandemic, the frustration of the repatriated workers, economic woes of the workforce caused by lockdowns, etc., protests by the Buddhist monks who supported the SLPP at previous elections and the grievances of the farming community such as shortage of fertilizer and failed pest control. But India must have thought of making its stance on the 13A known to Sri Lanka as speculation is rife that the PC system is to be scrapped.

Thirdly, Dr. Jaishankar is under Indian domestic pressures too, especially from Tamil Nadu, which considers the 13A and the JRJ-Rajiv Accord as the constitutional basis and the central means to addressing the Tamil aspirations. The State level pressures were heightened recently with a statement by DMK’s T R Balu, just before Tamil Nadu election season, requesting PM Modi “to ensure that the PC system remains intact.”

Tamil Nadu’s political influence on India could be gauged from the Sri Lankan government’s volte-face on the Jaffna University memorial issue. The rebuilding of the demolished monument commenced after Dr. Jaishankar had left. Simply speaking, PM Modi wants to accommodate the South Indian Tamil sentiments as part of the BJP electoral strategy.

Minister Jaishankar would have been cautious in demanding the enhancement of the powers of the PCs following the Article 370 (of the Indian Constitution) episode in August 2019 where the Indian rulers withdrew shared power from Kashmir. When queried, India bluntly declared that it was an ‘internal affair of India’. The possibility of receiving a similar response from Colombo may have been on Minister Jaishankar’s mind, but such hesitancy was not reflected in his statement. Perhaps, he would have been briefed by the TNA on representations to the Romesh de Silva Committee and the Missions of UNHRC member states and acting confidently.

Two crucial issues as regards power-sharing are police and land powers. The government is highly likely to circumnavigate them when the new Constitution is written. The Indians are aware of this. In Kashmir, land powers have been taken over by the center now. India may have thought Sri Lanka would follow suit. However, Dr. Jaishankar would have known that the TNA would ask for more.

India’s concerns are growing against the background of China’s Ladakh interventions in its northern boundary and the emerging maritime issues in the Indian Ocean Region. Therefore, maybe New Delhi does not want trouble in South India and across the Palk Strait. This issue has been heightened with China investing in the Colombo Port City and already having substantial control over the Hambantota Port. India cannot allow Sri Lanka to further slip into China’s sphere of influence. This would have invariably a burning issue troubling Dr. Jaishankar; this is discussed in Part II of this article.

The political changes in the US should also be taken into consideration. The Joe Biden administration in the US seems to be pro-India as could be seen from statements the new President has made and the inclusion of a considerable number of people of Indian origin in his administration. Further, Samantha Power entering a high position in his administration may revert certain aspects of administrative issues, and the Indian support might become necessary for Sri Lanka especially considering the US India Strategic Partnership in action. Hence what President Gotabaya Rajapaksa mentioned about geopolitics is true.

These will influence decision-making on the 13A or business deals.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Features

Science vs religion-I

Published

on

Like oil and water, science and religion are immiscible and belong to mutually exclusive domains without any interface. Whenever they have been attempted to be brought together, the result invariably has been confusion, conflict, and bloodshed, of which there are too many gory examples in history. Allow religion to explain the origin of the Universe, according to its own ideas, and you end up with corpses of men and women burnt at stakes.

By GOVIND BHATTACHARJEE

In Tao of Physics, Fritzof Capra wrote that science does not need religion and religion does not need science, while a man needs both. I am not so sure. Again, in The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagan wrote, “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.

“When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.” If spirituality implies appreciating our own insignificance in the Universe and the resulting feeling of humbleness, then this has nothing to do with religion.

But, leaving aside spirituality, religion and science have never been compatible. While science teaches us a systematic, rational way of exploring this universe to understand the laws of nature that guide life and non-life, religion has brought untold misery and suffering upon humanity. throughout the course of history. by claiming certainty in “information” and “facts” amenable neither to reason nor to observation.

Like oil and water, science and religion are immiscible and belong to mutually exclusive domains without any interface. Whenever they have been attempted to be brought together, the result invariably has been confusion, conflict, and bloodshed, of which there are too many gory examples in history.

Allow religion to explain the origin of the Universe, according to its own ideas, and you end up with corpses of men and women burnt at stakes. Same with politics. Allow religion to rule a nation, according to its own theories, and you end up with Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iran where the laws of Sharia are more important than human life or human happiness.

Given the chance, religion would turn this world into a demon-haunted place in no time – in fact it has attained a remarkable degree of success in doing so. But, what exactly is science, and what is religion? According to The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, “One way to distinguish between science and religion is the claim that science concerns the natural world, whereas religion concerns the supernatural world and its relationship to the natural. Scientific explanations do not appeal to supernatural entities such as gods or angels (fallen or not), or to non-natural forces (such as miracles, karma, or qi).

“For example, neuroscientists typically explain our thoughts in terms of brain states, not by reference to an immaterial soul or spirit, and legal scholars do not invoke karmic load when discussing why people commit crimes.” Science concerns itself with what is or can be observed and seeks an immediate answer. Religion claims the answer is either unknowable or explained only with the help of faith, that is acceptance of something whose existence is indeterminate.

Science claims to explain phenomena or mysteries only through the tested method of empirical inquiry which is a series of steps involving observation-hypothesis-experiment-inference-theory-prediction-testing. This process is indispensable, even where it may not succeed in explaining all observed phenomena, whereas religion takes recourse to God and finds it absurd that by studying STEM subjects (Science-Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) alone, the concept of God can be reduced to irrelevance. Given the chance, it will subsume science, too.

In fact, a great deal of effort has already been invested towards this end, to start a dialogue between science and religion that is actually an exercise in futility.In 1998, the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson in his book, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, argued that knowledge is a unified system that embraces science, morality, and ethics as well. The aim was perhaps not to make science spiritual but to make religion scientific.

In the 1990s, with its multi-million-dollar grants, the John Templeton Foundation launched a magazine called Science & Spirit, “to explain what science cannot, and asking science to validate religious teachings”. The magazine died a natural death in 2009.The Foundation also financed several documentaries like “Faith and Reason”, “Cybergrace: The Search for God in the Digital World” or “God & the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony Between Science & Spirituality”.

Scores of bestselling books, written by eminent scientists, followed, like Belief in God in an Age of Science (1998) by John Polkinghorne, a Cambridge physicist turned Anglican priest, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (2006) by Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project, or Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe (2021) by Stephen Meyer, Director of the Center for Science and Culture of the Discovery Institute which is the main organization behind the so-called Intelligent Design Movement, according to which the universe was created by an intelligent designer, the God almighty.

But physics explains the origin of the universe convincingly from quantum electrodynamics as arising from a vacuum fluctuation and biology explains the evolution of all life, starting with a chance molecule that learned to replicate itself. But both intelligent design and evolution cannot be true at the same time, hence the attempt to find a middle path – an absurd one at that – that God created the universe and left it to the laws of nature, also designed by him, to run it, without any further interference in its future course.

As the New York Times science journalist George Johnson wrote, thus “God becomes a metaphor for the laws that science tries to uncover.” On the question of faith, there are deep divisions among the scientists themselves. While Einstein’s God was one “who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of all that exists”, and not one “who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind”, many scientists hold radically different views. Some, like the cosmologist Allan Sandage, wonder: “‘How is it that inanimate matter can organize itself to contemplate itself? That’s outside of any science I know”, while others, like the Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins, believe that pursuing God is a “waste” of time that never has “added anything to the storehouse of human wisdom”.

Believers in God hold that a grand unified theory to explain the universe in terms of a single theory that is the holy grain of science would be incomplete without the integration of faith and ancient wisdom in it, while others, like Christians, were outraged when the radiocarbon dating of the shroud of Turin suggested it as a medieval forgery and not the burial cloth of Jesus, feel that as science develops more sophisticated techniques, their religious beliefs will be vindicated.

Fortunately, the endeavour of all these new-age scientists to blur and finally erase the boundary between science and pseudoscience has not yet succeeded. Similar efforts are on even in our own country. Religion is essentially about worship, and worship means surrender.

Faith is necessarily blind and has to disregard evidence in order to reinforce and validate its belief system. Human life is full of misery and suffering ~ indeed it is a “flash of occasional enjoyments lighting up a mass of pain and misery” from which faith alone can provide a temporary deliverance. “Happiness is but only an occasional episode in the general drama of pain” that surrounds us, as Thomas Hardy said, and if surrender could mitigate even a little of that pain, it should be welcome.

Surrender can also be made more convincing when imbued with love and fear that a God is capable of inspiring in human minds. Finally, if the surrender can hold out the promise of something eternal, like an eternal deliverance from pain or from the endless cycles of birth and death, such an eternal vision becomes too tantalising to resist by most.

All that remains is to remind and reinforce these ideas continually through repetitive rituals, meaningless though they are, and the whole package becomes so overwhelming that few could emerge out of its enchanting aura to be able to see the world and reality with objectivity.

After all, we still do not know how the objective reality conveyed to our brain through the senses acquires a subjective meaning in our mind, how the scent of a rose gets transformed into the memory of our first love, or a fading photograph brings back long-forgotten emotions.

Subjectivity rules the roost, everything else, even hard evidence, becomes mere speculation. Blind faith has no rival, and when blind faith masquerades as science, the conquest of the mind by religion becomes total, and all logic has been clinically erased. The evolution of life and that too on a tiny planet called earth that has just about the right conditions with the right values of fundamental constants among billions of such planets is an awesome mystery that the believers cite to establish intelligent design as the only explanation.

They ignore the fact that there are planets with all possibilities and ours happen to be the one with only just one of these permutations that made life – and God – possible. Logic and faith, like science and religion – are incompatible; if bring them together, there will be combustion and conflict.

But bring complexity to replace conflict, and the science-religion debate immediately acquires a political dimension ~ struggle between secular liberalism and traditional conservatism, authority versus individual liberty, herd mentality versus reason, and state versus individual. In each one of these struggles, rationality is the obvious victim that is left bleeding to die.

(The Statesman/ANN)

Continue Reading

Features

Vijayabahu, Gajabahu, and meanings of names

Published

on

By Uditha Devapriya

The Sri Lanka Navy recently commissioned Vijayabahu, a former US Coastguard Cutter. The ship joins two other US origin vessels in the Navy. For some reason, the name seems to have caused consternation among certain circles. Alan Keenan of the International Crisis Group, for instance, has noted on Twitter that it is “loaded with social and political meaning” and that “it’s hardly an advertisement for the multi-ethnic, multicultural #SriLanka western govts say they want to promote.” He cites two other names, Gajabahu and Samudura.

The Pali and Sinhalese Chronicles depict both Gajabahu and Vijayabahu as national heroes: Gajabahu (113-136 AD) for having led a campaign to rescue 12,000 Sinhala captives in the Chola (or Soli) kingdom, and Vijayabahu (1055-1110 AD) for having driven Chola invaders from Polonnaruwa and laid the foundation for the unification of the polity by one of his successors, Parakramabahu (1123–1186 AD). Alan Keenan’s reference to the “social” and “political” meanings of these names is doubtless based on how Sinhalese Buddhists imagine these kings today, and how military regiments have appropriated them.

There is no denying that nationalist historiography has reduced these personages into mythical heroes today. It’s not just the military. Even popular writers prefer to see history through a particular prism. Their interpretation of the past places these kings as saviours of the race (jatiya) and unifiers of the polity (rata). This presents an interesting problem. In praising these monarchs for having brought the country together, nationalist writers tend to impute contemporary terms, like sovereignty, on what was essentially a non-unitary State. This is historical anachronism at its best (or worst?), and it is from there that these writers extract the contemporary meanings of these kings and their names.

I have implied in many of my essays that by viewing history through these prisms, Sinhala nationalists have done a disservice to their own history. In other words, they have not been fair to their past. We must be careful not to commit the same mistake when criticising these writers. While pointing out the errors of their methodology, it would be prudent not to use the same categories and binaries they deploy. To that end, it would be more constructive, instead of pointing out the “contemporary” meanings of Sinhala kings and their names, to highlight their historical and non-mythical meanings. Once we do that, we will be able to reconstruct a past more in keeping with the multi-ethnic, multi-caste character of Sri Lankan history, particularly in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods.

Vijayabahu, for instance, was the product of a period that saw deep and close interaction between Sri Lankan (Sinhala) monarchs and their South Indian contemporaries. In his book Rewriting Buddhism: Pali Literature and Monastic Reform in Sri Lanka, 1157-1270, Alastair Gornall notes three “interrelated” changes in the 10th and 11th centuries that profoundly shaped Sri Lankan history: the invasions of two Cola kings (Raja Raja and Rajendra I), the “fragmentation” of the ruling family, and “changing attitudes” to Sanskrit literature, which influenced Sinhala and Pali literary works. The early Chola invasions laid the foundation for Kalinga Magha’s conquests in the 13th century AD and the later shift from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa. In other words, there were linkages between an ostensibly “Sinhala Buddhist” polity and a “Hindu” South Indian dynasty that makes the use of binaries like Sinhala/Tamil, Buddhist/Hindu, and Sri Lanka/Soli redundant, if not anachronistic.

Indeed, the kings of these times actively involved themselves in the politics of South India. During the first millennium AD, Gornall writes, conflicts within the State were “contained.” What this means is that they never threatened the social and political patterns of the country. Once we pass this period, though, the Anuradhapura State becomes embroiled in the politics of its neighbouring states. As Professor Raj Somadeva has argued, between the reigns of Sena I (833-853 AD), Dappula IV (924-935 AD), and Mahinda V (982-1029 AD), Sinhala kings sided with one or the other contending dynasties in South India, thus exposing themselves to “the threat of outside invasion.” These interventions eventually lead to the humiliating deposal of Mahinda V, the last ruler of Anuradhapura.

Vijayabahu is celebrated in nationalist reconstructions of history as a just and able ruler who put an end to these humiliations, recaptured the State from the Chola invaders, and fortified the State. However, his hold was considerably tenuous. In seeking to unify the State, he had to account for and accommodate certain realities: he therefore entrusted the tooth relic of the Buddha to Velaikkara mercenaries. Gornall suggests that the Chola invaders harboured very little cultural ambitions in Sri Lanka: it was the South Indian social and mercantile elites who patronised and built Hindu temples in Polonnaruwa. Yet they did exert an influence on the political, social, and literary landscape of the post-Anuradhapura State.

In his book Foreign relations of Sri Lanka, from earliest times to 1965, Vernon Mendis argues that history has not been fair to this ruler: he is castigated for having capitulated to South Indian overlords and mercenaries. Nevertheless, to borrow an oft-quoted phrase, there was little that he could do. Vijayabahu’s response to these geopolitical realities was pragmatic, if not inevitable: in the interests of the State, he put up with a South Indian presence, to the extent that an inscription eulogising him was carved in literary Tamil, and married a Kalinga princess, Tiloka Sundari, to ensure “the longevity of his own lineage.” Not surprisingly, it is in this ruler’s reign that ties with South India become complex.

What nationalist interpretations of Vijayabahu’s achievements and failures thus omit is that the times he lived in were simply too complex to accommodate the binaries that popular writers impute to their reading of history. Long before Vijayabahu, before even the collapse of Anuradhapura, Sinhala kings had begun a tradition of claiming descent from the Kalinga line. This was, at one level, to add respectability to their office. It was also a creative way of accommodating the rise of South Indian power and the decline of Sinhalese power, both of which can be dated between the fourth and 14th centuries AD.

Following these cycles of decline and revival, we come across literary works, predominantly Sinhalese, that legitimise certain colonisation and nationalist myths. While the authors of the early Chronicles, especially the Mahavamsa, sought to validate specific religious sects, the authors of the later Chronicles, especially the Rajavaliya, sought to romanticise if not mythologise these cycles of decline and revival and to valorise the supposedly “enduring” character of Sinhala society. Hence the Rajavaliya eulogises Gajabahu for having rescued 12,000 captives from the clutches of a Chola king, though as Obeyesekere has pointed out there is little historical evidence for this. It also depicts him as settling Tamil communities in and around Kandy, though the rather anachronistic inclusion of Kandy indicates that this episode would have been the basis for a colonisation myth.

The polity and State presented in these stories are, to be sure, Sinhalese and Buddhist, and they admittedly legitimise the hero/villain distinctions that popular writers deploy in their re-imaginings of the past. Yet embedded with these same stories are important clues and signs of a vibrant, diverse, even multi-ethnic society. Gajabahu is presented as a Sinhalese hero, but there are narratives that depict him as the patron of the Pattini cult in Sri Lanka. Obeyesekere questions these myths and posits that they are “worthless.” Yet the inclusion of this king in a major Tamil literary work, the Silppadikaram, and the invocation of him in a ritual associated with the Pattini cult, the gammaduwa, tells us that the society of his time was more multifaceted that what the Chronicles would have us believe.

The Pattini cult itself shows clear linkages between Sinhalese and Tamil communities that have survived the many fratricidal conflicts we have seen since independence. Gananath Obeyesekere’s advice, in that sense, is probably the most important: when reading these myths, it is essential that we do not literalise them, since a literalist reading can pave the way for conflict and tension. That is why Alan Keenan’s point about the social and political meanings of names is highly relevant. However, it is important to not only highlight those meanings, but also look at possible alternative meanings. This admittedly requires historical and anthropological research of a sort we simply do not have here. It is only through such research and scholarship that we can prevent the country from sliding down into the murky waters of ethno-supremacism. For that, we need to return to our past.

The writer is an international relations analyst, researcher, and columnist who can be reached at udakdev1@gmail.com

Continue Reading

Features

Relationship between sleep and blood glucose levels

Published

on

Therapeutic sleep might furthermore reduce lethal blood sugar levels by facilitating healthy systems. Curtailed sleep is a risk aspect for improved blood sugar levels.

SNS: Sleep and blood glucose levels: Contended Sleep and good health is inseparable with immense health benefits. Sleep deprivation leads to many health complications including blood sugar levels which has a major link with sleep cycle. There are proven facts that decrease in sleep impacts the blood sugar level leading to diabetes which, if stretched longer may result in heart diseases.

However, the connection between sleep and blood sugar is complicated. There is not a reasonable formula that demonstrates a relationship between the amount of sleep and an interconnected increase or decrease in blood sugar.

How does sleep impact Glucose Levels in Blood?

It sounds antithetical that sleep can both raise and lower glucose levels. According to a Rutgers University study report our bodies encounter a cycle of changes every day which is called a “circadian rhythm” which naturally boosts blood sugar levels at night and when an individual sleeps. However these natural blood sugar mounds are not a reason for worry.

Therapeutic sleep might furthermore reduce lethal blood sugar levels by facilitating healthy systems. Curtailed sleep is a risk aspect for improved blood sugar levels. Even discriminatory sleep deprivation over one night improves insulin resistance, which can in turn upswing blood sugar levels. As a result, a lack of sleep has been linked with diabetes, a blood sugar disorder.

Additional analysis is needed to better understand the relationship between sleep and blood sugar.

Factors managing the relationship between sleep and blood sugar levels:

-The abundance of time a person sleeps.

-The phases of sleep a person experiences.

-The time of day a person sleeps.

-A person’s age.

-A person’s eating habits (which coincide with nourishment and sleep).

How does inadequate sleep and Blood Sugar levels?

According to Dr Stuti Sharma, PG Resident MAMC Delhi, inadequacy of sleep and blood sugar levels are connected.  Inadequate  sleeping significantly increases blood sugar levels. Researchers have conveyed the following relationships between sugar and lack of sleep or sleep problems:

Sleep-disordered breathing is related to higher glucose levels

Obstructive sleep apnea is attributed to defective glucose tolerance

More intense sleep breathing issues are linked with higher blood sugar

Obstructive sleep apnea stringency is associated with increased fasting glucose

Poor sleep is associated with a decreased capacity to control glucose levels in diabetic patients

Sleep loss is correlated with risen glucose levels in hospitalized patients with and without diabetes

Relationship between blood sugar levels and heart disease

People with diabetes have a higher chances of developing various health problems including heart disease. High blood sugar levels over time can damage the blood vessels of our heart and other organs leading to different health problems.  It means the longer you have diabetes the greater your risk for heart disease. Because of higher blood glucose level the heart may suffer from stroke and even death. But if blood sugar levels are maintained then there will be less chances of heart diseases. And it can be done by sound sleep as discussed earlier.

Continue Reading

Trending