The Daily Fix

The Weekend Fix: The ‘sophisticated discrimination’ within JNU, plus nine more reads

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

Weekend Reads

  1. Roshan Kishore in Mint looks at the numbers and concludes that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s electoral invincibility is overblown, at least as far as historical trends go.
  2. “Mr. Modi’s rule represents the most devastating, and perhaps final, defeat of India’s noble postcolonial ambition to create a moral world order,” writes Pankaj Mishra in the New York Times. “It turns out that the racist imperialism Du Bois despised can resurrect itself even among its former victims: There can be English rule without the Englishman.”
  3. Ajay Saini in the Hindu tells the story of a convict who escaped a penal settlement in the Andaman Islands and ended up in a battle between the Andamanese and the British that would push a tribe to extinction.
  4. “To infer from this that the prime minister of India was sarcastically trolling its vice-president on this solemn valedictory occasion was unwarranted,” writes Mukul Kesavan in the Telegraph. “No prime minister would do that. It wasn’t vyang that moved Modi, but afsos. The prime minister spoke in sorrow, not in anger.”
  5. Daksh Panwar and Nitin Sharma of the Indian Express visit “small homes and swelling cricket academies” in Punjab where Harmanpreet Kaur’s star turn at the cricket World Cup is inspiring many more young women.
  6. Is our freedom only for a few, only to be expressed in increasingly narrow ways, bounded on all sides by fear, asks Omair Ahmad in Blink.
  7. “America was created by true believers and passionate dreamers, and by hucksters and their suckers, which made America successful – but also by a people uniquely susceptible to fantasy, as epitomized by everything from Salem’s hunting witches to Joseph Smith’s creating Mormonism, from P. T. Barnum to speaking in tongues, from Hollywood to Scientology to conspiracy theories, from Walt Disney to Billy Graham to Ronald Reagan to Oprah Winfrey to Trump,” writes Kurt Andersen in the Atlantic.
  8. Amee Misra in Mint offers a glance at what it is actually like to work with the “steel frame” that is the Indian government.
  9. Sagar in the Caravan tells the story of a Dalit professor who was denied a promotion in Jawaharlal Nehru University, a space where many forms of “sophisticated discrimination” thrive.
  10. “I’m sick of talking about this horrifying reality like we’re litigating the dynamics of a middle school lunchroom,” writes Lauren Duca in Teen Vogue. “The public forum is increasingly being conducted online, and it’s about time we acknowledge that social media is a place where women are systematically silenced.”
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A special shade of blue inspired these musicians to create a musical piece

Thanks to an interesting neurological condition called synesthesia.

On certain forums on the Internet, heated discussions revolve around the colour of number 9 or the sound of strawberry cupcake. And most forum members mount a passionate defence of their points of view on these topics. These posts provide insight into a lesser known, but well-documented, sensory condition called synesthesia - simply described as the cross wiring of the senses.

Synesthetes can ‘see’ music, ‘taste’ paintings, ‘hear’ emotions...and experience other sensory combinations based on their type. If this seems confusing, just pay some attention to our everyday language. It’s riddled with synesthesia-like metaphors - ‘to go green with envy’, ‘to leave a bad taste in one’s mouth’, ‘loud colours’, ‘sweet smells’ and so on.

Synesthesia is a deeply individual experience for those who have it and differs from person to person. About 80 different types of synesthesia have been discovered so far. Some synesthetes even have multiple types, making their inner experience far richer than most can imagine.

Most synesthetes vehemently maintain that they don’t consider their synesthesia to be problem that needs to be fixed. Indeed, synesthesia isn’t classified as a disorder, but only a neurological condition - one that scientists say may even confer cognitive benefits, chief among them being a heightened sense of creativity.

Pop culture has celebrated synesthetic minds for centuries. Synesthetic musicians, writers, artists and even scientists have produced a body of work that still inspires. Indeed, synesthetes often gravitate towards the arts. Eduardo is a Canadian violinist who has synesthesia. He’s, in fact, so obsessed with it that he even went on to do a doctoral thesis on the subject. Eduardo has also authored a children’s book meant to encourage latent creativity, and synesthesia, in children.

Litsa, a British violinist, sees splashes of paint when she hears music. For her, the note G is green; she can’t separate the two. She considers synesthesia to be a fundamental part of her vocation. Samara echoes the sentiment. A talented cellist from London, Samara can’t quite quantify the effect of synesthesia on her music, for she has never known a life without it. Like most synesthetes, the discovery of synesthesia for Samara was really the realisation that other people didn’t experience the world the way she did.

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You can watch Eduardo, Litsa and Samara play the entire Sound of NEXA Blue composition in the video below.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.