Daily Archives: July 19, 2014

Kochiite takes a leaf from New York

Facebook page of Humans of Kochi. (Photo: Facebook grab)
Facebook page of Humans of Kochi. (Photo: Facebook grab)


The ‘Humans of New York’, a Facebook page, that has become an internet sensation, was the inspiration for the ‘Humans of Kochi’ page, which is slowly gathering momentum. Following in the footsteps of its New York model, which features portraits of people in and around the city, accompanied by short descriptions and just enough information about those who are willing to face the camera, the Kochi version, created by a Kochiite, Lohit Chandran, a B.Tech graduate, is trying to show a glimpse of the lives and stories of people in the city. The stories are written in both English and Malayalam. Lohit, who launched his page on April 10, now has more than 50 stories and 1500+ likes.

Lohit wanders around the city with a photographer and tries to strike conversations at random with people on the street. One conversation and a few photographs later, an interesting part of their interaction is posted on the Facebook page. He says that the page forges an emotional connect with readers. Facebook fans usually like the post, usually comment on it or share it, posting it on their personal walls. Friends of the person whose story is featured sometimes tag the person to let them know that their story appears on the ‘Humans of Kochi’ page.

Lohit has found it difficult though to keep the page going as most people are not at ease opening up to strangers and decline to the interview. Most women are uncomfortable giving interviews and getting photographed even when the concept of the page is shown to them.

The ‘Humans of New York’ page was started by American photographer Brandon Stanton (which now has 60 lakh followers), and many cities around the world, such as Paris, London, Singapore, Bombay, Bangalore and other cities have their similar pages.

source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Nation> Current Affairs / DC / Rohit Raj / June 23rd, 2014

Study reveals truth behind Malabar Manual

Kozhikode :

Colonial rulers and chroniclers of British rule had all along maintained that blessed with copious rains and unfailing monsoon, Malabar remained impervious to famine.

But a recent, first of its kind study on ‘Famines in British Malabar’ busts the myth which William Logan, the famous historian and administrator, had reiterated in his exhaustive treatise Malabar Manual, that ever since the East India Company (EIC) took over the administration in India and subsequently passed it on to the British Crown, there was no record of famine in the district, and he gave much of the credit to an efficient British government.

But the yet to be released monograph of ‘Famines in British Malabar’ written by food economist, Dr. M Raghavan, Former Director of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, says that Logan’s accounts about having a largely famine- free Malabar during the 18th and 19th centuries are factually icorrect.

“The archival records themselves reveal that Logan himself had received, under his official seal and date, periodic reports from taluk level officials about the ravaging epidemics and famines in the district. Interestingly, all these reports were received in the Collectorate under the official seal”, Raghavan says in the study.

“Fact being that the Malabar Manual was first published just eight years after the 1876-78 famine, the statement that post the 1727 famine there was no record of any famine in Malabar is more of a deliberate attempt on the part of Logan to conceal the truth,” he said.

Raghavan, who has worked for around 35 years in the realm of food security in various roles including as deputy economic advisor at the Planning Commission, said that there has not been any comprehensive study of famines in British Malabar.

“These assertions are clearly preposterous as in the first half of the twentieth century, Malabar alone had undergone at least four grievous famines in 1918, 1924, 1933, and 1943,” he added.

“Though the construction of railways has been generally perceived as the best long term guarantee against famines as it allowed movement of food quickly from surplus to famine-prone deficit areas, in reality the British administration tacitly allowed private traders to carry away whatever food stocks were available, either for exports or for indulging in speculation inviting disastrous famines at progressively shorter intervals,” Raghavan said.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Kozhikode / by K R Rajeev, TNN / July 16th, 2014