Essay

Shuddhshar always strives to find new ways to satiate the intellectual appetite of its readers. Towards that end, we have added an Essay section—the latest addition to Shuddhashar’s repository of intellectual tools. We aim to build a constellation of columnists from diverse backgrounds who would, from their unique perspectives, produce commentaries on contemporary sociopolitical issues and events that demand rigorous scrutiny, constructive criticism, and sober reflections. We also encourage our readers, especially those who live under the yoke of a repressive state apparatus, to use this platform to speak truth to power by penning columns and engaging in lively discussions in the comments section.

Global Democratic Backsliding and the Rise of Authoritarianism

“American people are going to emerge from this moment stronger, more determined, and better equipped to unite the world in fighting to defend democracy.” The newly elected US President Joe Biden’s speech delivered at the U.S. Department of State Headquarters on the fourth of February, 2021, may have sounded too optimistic in a world where …

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Multicultural Norway — a pragmatist approach

Is Norway a multicultural society? The editor of Shuddhashar posed the question and asked me to reflect upon it. My simple answer is ‘that depends on the definition’.  Individual rights still are top of the league, and that’s the way it ought to be. According to associate professor Kjetil Fosshagen, multiculturalism is both a descriptive …

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White America’s Fight Against Critical Race Theory

There is a certain narrative about racism that White America has long believed in. It would like us to believe it too. According to that narrative, racism is something done by individuals — hateful, evil individuals. Acts of racism are tragic but rare. Slavery and segregation are things of the past, and through peaceful protests …

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Euphemisms, deception, and East Asian Security

In general, to be a master politician is to be a master of the euphemism, of roundabout speech, of deception and spin.  Speech is designed to conceal thought, at least according to Talleyrand’s dictum, and the successful politician’s intentions are generally hidden behind veils of wordy explanations, jargon, and truths told with bad intent.  Hence, …

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The Indigenous Children Buried in Canada’s Schools

50-year-old Sue Caribou contracts pneumonia once a year, every single year. The illness, she says, emerged as a result of the physical abuse she had faced at a Canadian residential school: “I was thrown into a cold shower every night, sometimes after being raped.” Caribou continued being sexually assaulted and tortured routinely until 1979 when …

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The world’s best country – but still not Paradise

Norway basically always comes out top three in different UN surveys when it comes to equality, development and living conditions. Does that mean we are dealing with a country without social, political, and economic discrimination? And is what we measure relevant enough? The UN Human Development Report, published by the United Nation’s Environmental Program (UNEP), …

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Genocide – The Ultimate “Whataboutism”

Observing the use of “whataboutism” has become of a speciality of mine, given it is so common in diplomacy and in general argument on university campuses.  Whataboutism refers to the practice of responding to an accusation by making a counter-accusation.  It amounts to charging someone with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their allegation or …

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Farce Amid Bloodshed — Myanmar and the International Response

Throughout February and March of 2021, a running battle was being fought on the streets of Yangon between Myanmar’s new military government and its opponents. The coup of February 1 was proving to be a less than peaceful power transition, and hundreds were killed in clashes in which police or the army used live ammunition. …

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Editorial opinion | The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: High time for a sea change

The latest conflict between Israel and Palestine is a stark reminder that peace remains very much elusive in the region, and so does the two-state solution. The recent escalation in violence took place against the backdrop of forced evictions of Palestinian families from the occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli raids in Al-Aqsa Mosque compounds. The …

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