Assumption: A Non-Veg Verse

Assumption: A Non-Veg Verse

Image Credit: Shoili Kanungo   Punch – I I am the Promethean rebel-lion! Truly, my stomach pains and derails When I eat vegetables Even for a little green-week. My hunger is more red and blue. More holiness craving passion. More core to me than your imposing Dark-kindness and darker-laws. Oh, Cow-vigilantes, You are a communal-volcano…

Warning: Dangerous Poet!

Warning: Dangerous Poet!

  Lucas Samaras, "Photo-Transformation", 1973/ Image Courtesy: metmuseum.org   In 2006, the Hindi translation of Paash’s famous poem "Sabh Ton Khatarnak" (The Most Dangerous) was included in the Class XI Hindi textbook. Now, in one of its periodic blows to education and culture, the RSS affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas has recommended that the NCERT (National…

Uncertainty in the Gunj

Uncertainty in the Gunj

    In July, the rain gods of Kolkata ease up. Their office hours display significant remarkable flexibility. The mortal, however, holds on dearly to Rousseau’s chains. Here certainty comes at a premium. For much like the future, in the subcontinent even history is uncertain. With this double whammy, the IT soldiers of Gen Y…

Independent Publishing in India: Thema

Independent Publishing in India: Thema

WIth this conversation, we begin a series of interviews on independent publishing in India. Set up in the late 1980s, Thema is an independent publishing house based in Calcutta. Here, Samik Bandyopadhyay and Sudeshna Banerjee of Thema, talk to Souradeep Roy. Since their motto is "publishing for change", they discuss ways in which books can bring about change….

Azaadi Kooch : A Photo Essay

Azaadi Kooch : A Photo Essay

A year has passed since the incident where four dalit youths were flogged by cow vigilantes in Una followed by the historic Dalit Asmita Yatra, a ten day march from Ahmedabad to Una organised to protest against the incident. The Una incident not only demonstrated the deplorable reality of caste-based violence, but it also highlighted…

Teachers Unite to Fight Against Privatisation of Education

Teachers Unite to Fight Against Privatisation of Education

Thousands of college and university teachers from across country protested at Jantar Mantar against the government’s apathy towards the teaching community on July 24.  They accused the government of ignoring the teaching community while giving revised pay scales and allowances.“The government is apparently not interested in paying heed to our demands. All central government employees,…

Israel’s Extremism Stoking Jerusalem Violence

Israel’s Extremism Stoking Jerusalem Violence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is refusing to remove metal detectors at the gates of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, despite advice from the Israeli army and Shin Bet secret police that he should do so. Ali Abunimah told Al Jazeera English on Saturday evening that Netanyahu’s rejection of this advice is a further indication that…

Macho Nation: A Poem

Macho Nation: A Poem

Jose Clemente Orozco, "On the Road (or 'Rear Guard'): women carrying children and guns", 1929/ Image Courtesy: metmuseum.org   We are a nation of men   Ass warming the seats who need their women to fetch them a glass of water, to cook them what they wish to eat, wash their underwear, and all that it…

Is our President Ramnath Kovind a Dalit?

Is our President Ramnath Kovind a Dalit?

The presidential election in the country became a Dalit vs Dalit contest after the Congress-backed Opposition pitted former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar against the BJP-led NDA's presidential candidate Ramnath Kovind. In an interview with NewsClick, Professor Gopal Guru, a political scientist, explains what does the word Dalit means. He says this category (Dalit) is…

India’s Fascist Democracy

India’s Fascist Democracy

Jackson Pollock, Untitled, ca. 1943/ metmuseum.org On May 2, 2017, the present ruling dispensation eventually confirmed the suspicions of sceptics about India being a democracy. The Attorney General, Mukul Rohatgi, told a Supreme Court bench of Justices, A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, that citizens could not claim “absolute” right over their bodies. He waxed…

Free Speech Under Siege

Free Speech Under Siege

Githa Hariharan, one of the founder trustees of Indian Writers' Forum, talks about the complexities of free speech in times of hatemongering and violence in contemporary India.                                                          …

All India Marches for Reservation for Women

All India Marches for Reservation for Women

  The Communist Party of India (Marxist) intensified its demand for the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill—pending for 21 years now—by staging a protest in Delhi as well as other parts of the country on Saturday. Addressing the protesters at Jantar Mantar, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury asked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)government…

On the Attack on Minorities, Shabnam Hashmi says “Nothing surprises me. It is only the beginning.”

On the Attack on Minorities, Shabnam Hashmi says “Nothing surprises me. It is only the beginning.”

Well-known human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi recently returned the National Minority Rights Award in protest against mob lynching. Her protest comes in the wake of 16-year-old Junaid's murder in broad daylight. Hashmi has said that the National Commission for Minorities, which conferred the award on her in 2008, has lost all its credibility. ICF interviewed…

Marx And Ambedkar: Bridging The Rift

Marx And Ambedkar: Bridging The Rift

History repeats itself twice, not infrequently as tragedy for the masses of the people. All across the word, there is the emergence and  rise to power of neofascism under various garbs and  leaderships–from Hungary’s Viktor Orban to Greece’s Nikos Michaloliakos and  from Frances’ Marie Le Pen to US’s Donald Trump –all bred by capitalist neoliberalism,…

Red Sun in a Blue Sky

Red Sun in a Blue Sky

25 years of neo-liberalism have seen the greatest concentrations of wealth and exponentially growing disparity.  They have also seen not only growing unemployment but lowering of standards of living of the middle class and working class people.  This is the natural result of the wage cuts and loss of jobs with guaranteed benefits. It has often…

Desecrations in Goa

Desecrations in Goa

Image courtesy: Facebook page, oHeraldoGoa.   Since early July, Goans have woken to the shock of daily headlines reporting desecrations, mainly of Catholic religious sites, apart from two idols inside a Krishna temple including that of a nandi. Many wayside crosses in villages have been knocked down. The latest was a vicious attack on the…

The Precarious Democracy

The Precarious Democracy

  Joan Miro, "Untitled", 1938 / metmuseum.org   That "one of the biggest democracies of the world", as we fondly say, is so utterly precarious and fragile is now visible more than ever before. Behind the endless advertisements on which the regime spends so much tax payers’ money, behind the spectacles that the regime is…

Not in Those Names!

Not in Those Names!

  William Baziotes, 'The Flesh Eaters' 1952, Oil and charcoal on canvas / Image Courtesy: The Met Museum. The murder of 16-year-old Junaid was out of sheer spite against a boy whom the criminals realised was not of their religious moorings. Isn’t North India used to Eid celebrations and the muezzin's call at a mosque?…

Can We Arrest the Slide?

Can We Arrest the Slide?

  Not in My Name Protests in Banglore. Image Courtesy: Pavel Chakraborty   Finally, the Prime Minister has spoken against cow vigilantes. All in the name of the Mahatma. Here is a hyper, twitter-friendly mass leader. Who, at the blink of an eye, sends out 140 character messages regarding terrorist attacks that take place across…

Theri: Women on the path to Emanicipation

Theri: Women on the path to Emanicipation

It was with great reluctance that Buddha opened the doors of Sanghas to women. Strict rules were prescribed for them. For example, a nun, irrespective of her age, would have to show respect to the youngest of monks and stand up before him. Despite these strict rules, a large number of women entered the Buddhist Sanghas….

The Last Hurrah of the Prati Sarkar

The Last Hurrah of the Prati Sarkar

One of the most touching, moving moments of our lives – and that of the People’s Archive of Rural India – occurred on Wednesday, June 7.  I am  proud to say it happened on PARI's initiative. Remember that story about Captain Elder Brother and the whirlwind army? Well, this moment, too, involved Captain Elder Brother…

In the Name of Junaid?

In the Name of Junaid?

    “Why are you mourning Junaid’s death?” the boy next door was asking me.  Was he asking for an explanation of my act of mourning or a narration of Junaid’s death? I was perplexed.  Assuming it was the latter I directed his eyes to a headline in the newspaper. “Oh that recent train killing?”…

From India to Palestine

From India to Palestine

    In 1948, Israel was created on Palestinian land. Palestinians lost their homes and villages; huge numbers were expelled; they became refugees elsewhere or in their own land. In 1967, the West Bank and Gaza were also occupied by Israel. For more than five decades now, Palestinians have suffered the violent and unjust realities…

ईद मुबारक कहूँ किसे?

ईद मुबारक कहूँ किसे?

    राजधानी दिल्ली से अब एक लंबे अरसे से   कोई ट्रेन मथुरा नहीं जाती.    मथुरा की कल-कल बहती यमुना ने तो घोर अँधेरे में क्रूर हत्यारे को अँधेरे में रखकर नवजात कन्हैयाको   नदी पार कराई थी.   गोकुल में बाल गोपाल मोर के गीतों का पंख सिर पर बाँधकर गायों के झुंड…

Campaign for Peace between India and Pakistan

Campaign for Peace between India and Pakistan

  Live Painting “Partition” during the launch at Ahmedabad, Gujarat   The Peace Now and Forever Campaign was launched in 30 cities and towns across India and Pakistan on 1 July 2017. The launch saw enthusiastic participation from people from different walks of life, including students, in large numbers. Some of the cities were the…

The Visuality of Lynching

The Visuality of Lynching

    Rarely do we see the optics of the periphery take over the centre or the mainstream. However, in the last two years, this is exactly what has been happening and it is mortifying. I am talking about the cases of lynching that are happening across the country on an everyday basis. What bothers…

From Godhra to Una

From Godhra to Una

  "My birth is my fatal accident."                       — Rohith Vemula Are suffering and oppression mere accidents of birth? If so, resistance must also be an accident of birth. Harsh Mander has titled his recent book Fatal Accidents of Birth: Stories of Suffering, Oppression and Resistance after the powerful phrase from Rohit Vemula's suicide note….

Modi in Israel: #NotinMyName

Modi in Israel: #NotinMyName

When the #NotInMyName hashtag spread across India’s streets and social media, it felt dauntingly familiar to me: The ever growing number of Jews around the world that protest Israeli atrocities and apartheid against the Palestinian people hold up the very same placards. This is not a mere coincidence of slogans but reflects the deep common…

In Dispute

In Dispute

  This is all about a small shrine in a cave on a hill known as Baba Budan Giri, after a Muslim saint belonging to the 17th century. The same shrine is also known as Dattatreya Peetha – literally ‘seat’ – is widely used for holy places and shrines; and as Guru Dattatreya Baba Budan Swamy…

Not On My Train

Not On My Train

  From the digital collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art   Let's go ride a train let's go ride a train today there'll be people we can kill  none on board will have a say let's go ride a train and watch the wheels go round and round those menschen we sent to Auschwitz…

Getting NotInMyName Wrong Is a Mug’s Game

Getting NotInMyName Wrong Is a Mug’s Game

  There’s a sucker born every minute. The Hindutva hordes and their ideological priesthood, which have come pointing out in (indirect) defence of the lynch mobs running riot in the name of cow slaughter, know this only too well. They feed gullible liberals with arguments to discredit and berate people’s protests, such as NotInMyName, against…

ARE YOU HUMAN? 

ARE YOU HUMAN? 

  Image Courtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art   This morning a website asks me, before I can complete signing in:  ARE YOU HUMAN? If I am, I must be able to type accurately the words offered below, which in my case are: PLACE RAINS I am human so without blinking an eye and without…