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The IDG is one of the oldest and most respected societies of St. Stephen's College, Delhi. It looks to broaden perspectives by discussing a variety of issues with eminent personalities.

Our talks often throw up some very unexpected answers and, even more often, some very unexpected questions.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Astad Deboo - The Visuals of Modern Dance


Born in the early 20th century, modern dance is a dance style that centers on a dancer's own interpretations instead structured steps, as in traditional ballet dancing. During the 1900's, European dancers began rebelling against the rigid rules of classical ballet. Turning against the structured techniques, costumes and shoes of ballet, these dancers favaored a more relaxed, free style of dancing. Modern dance pioneers often danced in bare feet and revealing costumes. In the United States, several dance pioneers paved the way for American modern dance, including the legendary Martha Graham.

Dipankar Gupta - Business Ethics


Business ethics can be both a normative and a descriptive discipline. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. In academia descriptive approaches are also taken. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be at odds with non-economic social values. Historically, interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporate websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values under a variety of headings (e.g. ethics codes, social responsibility charters). In some cases, corporations have redefined their core values in the light of business ethical considerations (e.g. BP's "beyond petroleum" environmental tilt).
(From Wikipedia.)

Romulus Whittaker - The Indian Gharial

The Indian Gharial (which derives its name from ghara, an earthen pot that resembles the bulbous nasal appendage present on mature males) with its characteristic elongate, narrow snout is one of the two surviving members of the living fossil family Gavialidae. The species has a riverine habitat and is better adapted to an aquatic lifestyle in the calmer areas of deep, fast-moving rivers. It does not prefer land since it is poorly equipped for movement outside the water and leaves the water only to bask and to lay eggs. Consequently, it does not go further away and prefers to both bask and nest closer to the river on the sandbanks. Adults are exclusively fish eaters while the juveniles feed on smaller invertebrate and vertebrate prey such as insects and frogs, respectively.
(From merinews.com)

Kanti Bajpai - Why Kashmir Should Not Secede

Secession, it seems, is now in vogue, thanks to Vladimir Putin and Russian tanks, which came steamrolling into Georgia a few weeks ago in defense of South Ossetia. Russia now officially considers this tiny enclave an independent state. Basques in Spain, Baluchis in Pakistan, Turkmen and Tibetans in China and other secessionists all over the world will be watching the reactions of the international community closely. The creation of micro-states such as Ossetia is a worrisome precedent in international politics. If it proves to be contagious, it would generate a legion of geopolitical conundrums. In the case of Kashmir, secession would do nothing to promote peace and stop violence; in fact, it would make things worse.

The most compelling argument for secession is genocide and extermination: if a government is killing its people, the government must be replaced. International law and custom recognizes such claims. New Delhi has used force to quell disturbances and terrorist threats. It has made many cultural faux pas, has been politically insensitive, and has treated some dissidents harshly. Having said that, what is happening in Kashmir today, and what has occurred in the past, is certainly not part of a policy of genocide.
(From Newsweek, Kanti Bajpai.)
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