The Banyan Shades

Richa Thakur

What is Critical Theory?

Critical studies is a line of thought in humanities that now has influence in applied social sciences. It has its origin in Marxian line of thought. Critical theory focuses on criticizing social structures and economic structures, which it considers responsible for societal ills. One cue to recognize the influence of critical theory is whenever you hear the word “hegemony, “intersectionality”, “imbalance of power” and ‘privilege”. We are going to decode the origins of Critical Theory. It has its root in Marxist hypothesis that economy and economic relationships influence culture. Thus, Critical theory takes a stance against power structures and aims to dismantle them. It has a long history in western thought originating from Marx’s writings to culminating in deconstruction. It has now found voices in gender studies, labour studies, and other academic disciplines that deal with study of societies and people.

A person looking at a green landscape and meditating

Ikigai: the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. By Hector Carcia and Fancesc Miralles

Perhaps the most famous things that got out of this book is the diagram of Ikigai: which simply states that we find our purpose in middle of four things: What we are good at, what we love, what the world needs, and what we can be paid for. It’s a perfect system of what value we offer to the world and what we get in return, while maximizing the benefits from both ends. We maximize our self-interests and pleasure by doing what we love and what we can be paid for, while the rest of the world gets something that it needs and is of quality (because we are good at doing what we do).

A powerful image of Bharat Mata scanning her territory

The importance of India that is Bharat book series: Part 1

India that is Bharat was a book that was long due. It is a book that translates the conscious and subconscious understandings of any Indian who is in touch with her soil into solid written form. It expresses what has since long been waiting to be expressed by any common Indian. In my opinion, this book is the first of the many milestones that Indic thinkers should achieve in order to balance the epistemological gap between the colonial mindsets and the indigenous voices.