Yes, that is the most important aspect in the war humanity is waging against HIV/AIDS.

It happens with time that the scientific developments bring changes that make once chronic health problems easily manageable and it will happen with HIV-AIDS as well.

But the biggest problem associated with HIV-AIDS is the social stigma that the victims face – leading to their expulsion from society – their social boycott – their ‘criminal’ humiliation (and intimidation).

And it is not country/society specific and can be felt in many societies that are seen ‘free, democratic and advanced’.

The crisis can be managed well if scientific prowess goes together with increasing social mainstreaming and acceptance of millions living with the dreaded virus – the single biggest health crisis the world has faced in the recent history – ever since it was identified in 1984.

Red Ribbon, the symbol that was created in 1991, to express solidarity with the victims, the HIV-AIDS affected people, and to spread awareness about the dreaded virus, has become the face of this movement – the movement that is yet to see significant gains in ‘social terms’ in many societies. We can easily gauge it from the fact that people related data on HIV-AIDS are still strictly confidential.

And Red Ribbon or any campaign to spread solidarity and awareness about the people affected with HIV-AIDs has to be ‘this feeling’ at its core – that it has to remove the feeling from their minds that they are ‘victims’.

But, as we all know, it is easier said than done.

In fact we consistently feel how difficult it is – to make people living with HIV-AIDS very much parts of our lives, our families, our societies – something that they are rightly entitled to – but something that gives us all a feeling of being similar to an ‘unachievable task’.


A sketch by my sister Ragini on this World AIDS Day 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Yesterday, while inaugurating the India Pavilion at COP21, Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, said – ‘India is not responsible for climate change and the crisis due to it the world is facing’ – and he said it quite right.

The only thing is – saying so would not serve any purpose – because whatever be the reasons, whosoever be the culprits – the crisis cannot be restricted within borders – and is affecting the whole planet – and can cause irreparable damage to human habitations across the globe (including India) if something is not done seriously and urgently.

It is like the basic concept of building democratic nations and running civilized societies – build tomorrow based on what is there today and not on ‘what, why and how’ of past.

It is like the raging ‘tolerance Vs intolerance’ debate in India – a misplaced issue in an India that is poised to become a country of global stature with an elite presence in geopolitics and world affairs.

Who exploited whom, who grew at the cost of whom, who got this and who didn’t get that – a nation cannot grow if it keeps going back to such baggage from its past. India’s reality and India’s strength lie in India’s pluralistic society and diversified culture and if the country has to grow to become a true world power, it needs to keep that in mind.

The same concept applies to the issue of climate crisis the world is facing.

It doesn’t matter if most of it is due to the United States of America.

It doesn’t make any difference that the developed world and China have brought the whole planet on the verge of desperate ‘do or die’ measures to arrest global warming and climate change.

Because, if the low lying coastal areas and cities have to submerge (rising sea levels with increasing temperature due to global warming), it will be across the world and not just in America, Europe, China or other industrialized nations.

Because, if the world is increasingly facing erratic weather behaviour and freakish weather patterns and problems thereof, it is not just in India, but it is across the world – in Gulf countries, in America, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa and elsewhere.

Irrespective of the answerability of the so-called culprits of climate deterioration or irrespective of the debates around terms like ‘climate injustice’, the whole humanity faces imminent danger of changing weather patterns.

Irrespective of which countries brought the planet to this juncture of global warming, glaciers melting, rising sea levels, irregular rainfall patterns and floods, recurring drought spells and other unpredictable weather parameters, every country of the day is going to face nature’s wrath or is facing nature’s fury.

And we are running short of time to address the problem.

Let’s see if anything tangible comes out of COP21.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –