“Artists need to think strategically”

“Artists need to think strategically”

Theatre person and film actor Sanjna Kapoor, who founded the Junoon theatre company in 2012 after a long stint at Bombay's Prithvi Theatre, visited the ICF studio for a conversation with writer Githa Hariharan.  In the clip below, Kapoor discusses her own experience and others' producing and acting in plays in the face of censorship,…

The Meaning of Being Prof. Kalburgi

The Meaning of Being Prof. Kalburgi

Chaman Lal Image courtesy Chaman Lal, via The Tribune A year ago on August 30, Prof. M. M. Kalburgi, nearing 77 years of age, was having breakfast at his house in Dharwad, Karnataka, where he had settled after a long and purposeful academic life. A renowned scholar and author/editor of over 100 books, he was…

On the Silent March in Dharwad

On the Silent March in Dharwad

Ganesh Devy   via Businesszoom.in   The brutal murder of the Kannada scholar Dr. M. M. Kalburgi in August last year had resulted in a sharp reaction from Indian intellectuals, literary scholars and artists. Earlier rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar was killed in Pune and Comrade Govind Pansare in Kolhapur in Maharashtra.  Reacting to these attacks…

Understanding Untouchability: A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions in 1589 Villages

Understanding Untouchability:  A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions in 1589 Villages

The Navsarjan Trust and the RFK Center spent four years compiling quantitative, comprehensive and reliable data exposing the current state of untouchability (caste-based discrimination) against Dalits (“untouchables”) in Gujarat, India. This 2010 report presents data on untouchability practices in 1,589 villages from 5,462 respondents in Gujarat on the issue of untouchability. Download the report here….

Poems: Salil Chaturvedi

Poems: Salil Chaturvedi

Paul Cézanne, 'Bibemus Quarry' / Ibiblio here    I     am longitude 70o 30' east latitude 28o 2' north (roughly) in the month of October          having gone around the sun forty seven times but always, always, through new territories in space.          having been fascinated, neutral, then disgusted by tele-vision     and many other visions. having…

‘Assassinations will not defeat reason’

‘Assassinations will not defeat reason’

To commemorate the murders of Narendra Dabholkar (on 20 August 2013), Govind Pansare (20 February 2015) and M.M. Kalburgi (30 August 2015), the Maharashtra Andhshraddha Nirmulan Samiti (Maharashtra Committee for the Eradication of Superstition, MANS) and other activists and organisations led a march 'Against Violence, Towards Humanity' from New Delhi to Pune, between July 20…

India Today 2016

India Today 2016

1947 and Today Image courtesy http://aboutfestivalsofindia.com/ and http://www.hindurashtra.org/ respectively. August 4, 2016 Let me tell you why I am not able to celebrate the sixty-ninth anniversary of India’s independence. The India we live in today is, ironically, a rejection of all that India has stood for. To begin with, the ruling party had nothing to…

Operation Shuddhikaran: RSS’ Covert Proselytisation Agenda

Operation Shuddhikaran: RSS’ Covert Proselytisation Agenda

Cobrapost Image courtesy Outlook Magazine Investigative reports published by Cobrapost and Outlook, simultaneously revealed that 31 tribal girls allegedly trafficked from Assam, who had been rescued by police authorities on June 11 2015, have ended up in RSS-run schools in Gujarat and Punjab. This seems like a well-orchestrated conversion agenda targeting children from poor, minority communities….

Assaults on Reason and Institutions

Assaults on Reason and Institutions

Idea of India Conclave During the two years of the Narendra Modi government, there has been an all-round attack on various established institutions in the country, whether educational or cultural. There have been attempts to interfere with curricula, the way these institutions are run, as well as their mandate and autonomy. The Idea of India…

Dalit Asmita Yatra | A Photo Essay

Dalit Asmita Yatra | A Photo Essay

Dalit Camera On Day 7, Gadhada to Dhasa to Damnagar to SavarKundla. You might not have joined the ‪#‎DalitAsmitaYatra‬ yet but this photo essay on the Yatra's progress will take you through the massiveness of this movement led by the Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti. #ChaloUna! Jai Bhim! Meeting at Dhasa, Shankarpura "Modi, when you…

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

Ilina Acharya Rabin Mondal, Untitled / via The Hindu Theodor Adorno’s statement that poetry is “barbaric” and impossible to write after Auschwitz, expresses a devastating sentiment. It signifies an end to the world as we know it. He seems to be asking, how can life move on, and how can one view the world the same way…

Tribal Voices: The Bhasha Research and Publication Centre

Tribal Voices: The Bhasha Research and Publication Centre

The Bhasha Research and Publication Centre was founded in 1996 to study, document and conserve India's non-scheduled languages. ‘Bhasha’ stands for the ‘voice’ of the tribals, and has over the years emerged as an institution with the active involvement of tribal society, making possible meaningful and sustainable interventions. The major activities of Bhasha include the…

Saffronising and Corporatising Indian Education: Critique of the National Educational Policy 2016 Draft

Saffronising and Corporatising Indian Education: Critique of the National Educational Policy 2016 Draft

Ajay S Sekher Image courtesy http://govtvia.com/ After almost three decades the Hindu Nationalist Party in power has proposed paradigmatic shifts through an elaborate restructuring of the Indian educational policy frameworks. It is a drastic change from the previous NPE 1986 of Rajiv Gandhi government. The NEP 2016 Draft is released by the MHRD with reference to a background…

Read Widerstand – the Magazine Banned by Pondicherry University

Read Widerstand – the Magazine Banned by Pondicherry University

Souradeep Roy Acche Din for higher educational institutions in India have only increased, and adding to the list of institutions which have already seen wonderful days is Pondicherry University. The university made news three days ago when 4000 copies of the annual magazine Widerstand was confiscated. The administration of the university buckled under the pressure of…

In Defence of the Writer

In Defence of the Writer

Pushkar Raj Image Courtesy Indian Express The recent Chennai High Court judgment concerning the writer Perumal Murugan is a requisite addition to the Indian jurisprudence as it underlines the relationship between the writer and society, which has lately suffered from grave confusion. Permual Murugan was hauled up in the court of law for describing a…

Book Extract: from ‘Bollywood’

Book Extract: from ‘Bollywood’

Bollywood, part of the series, Oxford India Short Introductions, is a comprehensive look by well known film scholar M.K. Raghavendra at the mainstream Hindi film:  its beginnings, its unifying role in the history of the Indian nation, the grammar and aesthetics it subscribes to and their origins in traditional culture, its production and distribution, and…

A Holy Grail Called Sanjeevani

A Holy Grail Called Sanjeevani

Mrinal Pandey Image Via Historical Rama Announcements about locating a life-enhancing medicinal herb will kindle extraordinary emotions and hopes among people. So, the news that the present Uttarakhand government has announced a budget of INR 25 crore to locate the mythical Sanjivani Booti in Uttarakhand, went viral. This plant is referred to in the Valmiki…

Clean India, Unclean Indians Beyond the Bhim Yatra

Clean India, Unclean Indians Beyond the Bhim Yatra

Paul D'Souza via Wikipedia The Safai Karamchari Andolan traversed 500 districts of the country with the message "stop killing us". The participants, manual scavengers who clean dry latrines, sewers, and septic tanks, are forced to carry on this dehumanising work despite laws against it. Will the Swachh Bharat campaign succeed in addressing the issues connected…

Poems by Sanjeev Sethi

Poems by Sanjeev Sethi

© Syed Haider Raza / via pinterest.com​ Helter-Skelter (1) Hyphens of hate criss-cross with apostrophes of  animosity to create a pastiche of uncertainities  and sureties: the gone had rib cages like you and me. They lacked our luck — or ill luck. When scops are sidelined and couturiers grace  the glossies, when tonsure artists are billed …

Lips turn the wheel of time: Three Poems

Lips turn the wheel of time: Three Poems

The Indian Cultural Forum invited poet Chandramohan S for a reading of his poems in our studio:     Killing the  Shambukas   Jim Crow segregated hostel rooms Ceiling fans bear a strange fruit, Blood on  books and blood on papers, Black body swinging in mute silence, Strange fruit hanging from tridents.   Lips turn…