Will we ever unravel the greatest conundrum of our times?
In Amitav Ghosh’s new climate fiction, Gun Island, the narrator’s friend Cinta posits that the world today seems to be in the grip of a “demonic possession”. Finding him astonished, she explains, “Just look around you … everybody knows what must be done if the world is to continue to be a liveable place … and yet we are powerless … We go about our daily business … as though we were in the grip of forces that have overwhelmed our will; we see shocking and monstrous things … and we avert our eyes; we surrender ourselves willingly to whatever it is that has us in its power.” Rationalists will recoil at the idea, but, admittedly, the collective impassivity—indeed denial—of humans towards the climate crisis will remain an unsolved mystery of our times.
Another phenomenon that’s impossible to fathom is how large swathes of people, globally, have been convinced to act against their very own interests, voting in fascist, authoritarian regimes, handing over their freedoms and choosing to remain trapped in deprivation and poverty. Goopi and Bagha, characters from Satyajit Ray’s fantasy films, discovered a brainwashing machine that a diabolical king used to silence his people. Will we ever unravel the greatest conundrum of our times?
This month’s cover story is ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ and is a super engaging read. Also, do read the inspirational My Story, ‘Freedom, She Ruled’ and the thrilling story of how a couple were saved by social media. The monsoons have arrived—let’s soak it in, with RD and a cup of tea!
PS: Thank you for all your wonderful feedback on our makeover. We really appreciate them!