The Psychology of Advertising: Analysing the Tata Tea Ad on Corruption

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

We gather information through our senses. We get knowledge of our external world with the order of Sensation- attention- perception.  Since our information processing is limited, our attention is selective, divisible and shiftable.

The main purpose of an advertiser is to catch the attention of the targeted audience in a most effective way and in a very short span of time. Therefore, in order to get the message across, he has to play on the psychology of the specified audience. He does this by effective visuals, a powerful punchline, social relevance, etc. In fact, physical properties such as headlines, slogan, size, etc. play a central role in attracting the consumer’s attraction.

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Review: ‘My Name is Mary Sutter’ by Robin Oliveira

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata

This riveting saga takes place in New York, during the American Civil War in 1861. Enter Mary Sutter, much respected, remarkable and adept midwife who’s sole intent is to become a surgeon and to prove equal to any man. But sadly, medical schools refuse to teach women and repeatedly turn her down. Mary suffering from a broken heart, heads off to Washington DC where Dorothea Dix having persuaded Abraham Lincoln, recruits a band of nurses to tend the Civil war wounded and, serve the army doctors. Further, she is assisted and encouraged by two surgeons who both, infatuated, fall for her and help her in every possible way in the hope that one day, she will establish her medical career. The book chronicles not only the story of miss Sutter but of each and every soldier involved in the war suffering at the hands of corrupt politicians, incompetent generals and surgeons who are forced to amputate several limbs in filthy and noxious camp sites.

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Review: “The Story of India” by Michael Wood

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

It is only seldom when one gets to see a documentary series which is visually so extravagant, narrated with such depth and one that almost covers the entire historical saga of a country that has withstood the ravages of time. Michael Wood’s ‘The Story of India’ is a BBC TV documentary series that covers the 10,000 year history of the Indian Subcontinent in six episodes. Wood traverses the length and breadth of India, meets the local people, archaeologists, historians and gathers immense information and showcases them with his own knowledge, adding flavor to the episodes.

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A Commentary on the Biography ‘Cornelia Sorabjee: India’s Pioneer Woman Lawyer’

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

On reading the biography ‘Cornelia Sorabjee: India’s Pioneer Woman Lawyer‘, one is bound to fall in love with Suparna Gooptu’s take on the legal luminary Cornelia Sorabji who was the first woman to study law in Oxford and, India’s second woman advocate.

Cornelia, though being a pioneer in multiple ways at a time when the colonial professional world was marked by a strong racial and gender bias, failed to occupy the centre stage in colonial India, either as a professional, or in politics, or even in social reform. The book analyzes the political, social and cultural milieu in which she spent her childhood and youth, charts out the implications of her birth in an Indian Christian family, examines the circumstances that made her the first Indian woman to study law, documents her experience in the legal profession and colonial bureaucracy, and understands why and with what consequences she remained a firm loyalist of the British Empire and a critic of mainstream Indian nationalist politics. The author succeeds in doing so (more…)

From Sacrament to Contract – The Changing Nature of Hindu Marriages in India

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

Marriage has been, since the ancient times, one of the most important social institutions. It implies the union of man and woman in body and soul. Sociologists have offered various definitions of marriage, among them being Malinowski’s i.e ‘a contract for the production and maintenance of children’ whereas according to Robert H Lowie, marriage is ‘a relatively permanent bond between permissible mates.’

The Hindus attach religious sentiments to marriage. To them, marriage is a sacrament which must be performed in order to attain salvation. Being catalyzed by the explosive economic, social and cultural changes that have molded the needs of people in Indian society, the aims, functions and motives of Hindu marriages have kept on evolving with the demand of its constituent members. Arranged marriages are shattering, divorce rates soaring and new paradigms of sex and relationships are being explored. New norms are being formed and we live in a constant molten state of confusion. The concept of Hindu marriage has undergone a drastic change – the entire focus has now shifted from marriage being a holy sacrament to a formal contract.

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Dharma and Gandhian Philosophy of Satyagraha

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

Bhishma, in the Mahabharata, states that Dharma changes according to the needs of time and hence develops with society. However, it has certain permanent moral values like truth, compassion, self control and forgiveness which continue to exist. It is in this context that Dharma and its three branches hold relevance in the making of modern nationalist politics. Various eminent political figures have imbibed and showcased the essence of Dharma and its rules, in their political ideologies – Gandhi’s philosophy of Satyagraha being the paramount.

Gandhian thought takes its source from the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita. Gandhi was a firm believer in traditional Indian values and an avowed experimenter of those values. From a deep and devout study of Hinduism, he held high the concepts of Truth, Non Violence, Karma and Dharma. Among these, the concept of truth is primary. Truth is what exists; it is reality; it is God– It is Dharma itself. This heavily influenced him in his method of resolving conflict, the method he termed as Satyagraha.

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Judicial Review over Presidential Pardon: Analysing the case of Epuru Sudhakar v. State of Andhra Pradesh

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” – Abraham Lincoln

Since time immemorial, the principles of Justice and Mercy have seemed incompatible. After all, the notion of justice involves dispensing of deserved punishment befitting the crime whereas Mercy is all about pardon and compassion for the offender.[1] The significance and need for clemency is paramount today, as it bestows an equal opportunity for all to correct their deviant behaviour.

This principle of absolution has been codified under Article 72 of the Indian Constitution and vests with the President to grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of sentences of persons convicted of any offence extending to all cases where the sentence is by a Court Martial and one of death, in addition to the commutation of sentence. Inclusion of Executive Clemency in the Constitution is seen as both a safety valve due to its ability to secure public welfare when the legal system fails to deliver a morally acceptable verdict and, a unilateral and virtually impregnable power due to questions of the extent of granting presidential pardon, to whom should it be granted or what is the procedure for granting, etc being left unanswered.

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