Independent Publishing in India: Aainanagar

Independent Publishing in India: Aainanagar

In the latest on our series on independent publishing in India, we speak to Nandini Dhar, co-founder and co-editor of Aainagar. It calls itself an "online little magazine", and its name has come from a song by Lalon Fakir: আমার বাড়ির কাছে আরশিনগর, তাতে এক পড়শি বসত করে। আমি একদিনও না দেখিলেম তারে  (A neighbour dwells in the…

Are ‘Anti Nationals’ Traitors, Or Are Those Groups who Call Others ‘Anti-Nationals’ Traitors to the Idea of Independent India?

Are ‘Anti Nationals’ Traitors, Or Are Those Groups who Call Others ‘Anti-Nationals’ Traitors to the Idea of Independent India?

Krishan Chander’s Urdu novel, Ghaddaar, meaning ‘traitor’, begins with a delicately woven romance between an unmarried Muslim girl, and her married Hindu lover. But the world outside is being torn asunder and Krishan Chander shows how love, brotherhood and humanity swiftly turn into redundant emotions, as permanent lines are drawn between two nations. 'Traitor' is a word…

From Sexual Violence to Justice: The Perils of Naturalising

From Sexual Violence to Justice: The Perils of Naturalising

                    The reports in the mainstream media of incidents of rape or sexual harassment occurring within spaces of higher education in India have been few and far between as compared to the almost daily reports of incidents of rape and gendered violence occurring across the country. It is universally acknowledged that the actual cases…

Danish Husain: “It is not easy for theatre practitioners or writers to return awards they’ve earned after years of practicing their craft.”

Danish Husain: “It is not easy for theatre practitioners or writers to return awards they’ve earned after years of practicing their craft.”

In the latest interview for our series Theatre and Politics, Danish Husain speaks to Souradeep Roy on returning his Sankeet Natak Akademi award in 2015; the attack on Urdu; and his new work qissebaazi. Watch more from the series Theatre and Politics: “Censorship outside of the Censor Board is the problem in Maharashtra”: Rajeev Naik “It’s…

Watch: Perumal Murugan, T M Krishna, Shital Sathay and Sofia Ashraf Make a Music Video on Right to Privacy

Watch: Perumal Murugan, T M Krishna, Shital Sathay and Sofia Ashraf Make a Music Video on Right to Privacy

Privacy Matters. அகவுரிமை பாட்டு. मेरी निजता मेरा हक is a music video featuring Perumal Murugan, Shital Sathay, Sofia Ashraf & T M Krishna. This music video is inspired by the 24 August 2017 judgement of the Supreme Court of India on the Right to Privacy. The judgement reminds us of the constitutional provisions guaranteeing our right to choose what we wear,…

Narendra Nayak on the Karnataka Anti-Superstition Bill – “Something is better than nothing”

Narendra Nayak on the Karnataka Anti-Superstition Bill – “Something is better than nothing”

In this interview, produced by Newsclick and the Indian Writers' Forum, D. Raghunandan from the Delhi Science Forum talks to Narendra Nayak, President of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA), about the recently implemented Anti-Superstition Bill in Karnataka. Even though it is a diluted version of proposed bill which was initially proposed, Narendra Nayak…

#OurGauri: My Salaam to Gauri…

#OurGauri: My Salaam to Gauri…

  They killed Gauri madame. They ended up killing Gauri madame. They have permanently taken away our Gauri madame from us. No matter how many times I say this to myself, my mind is not ready to believe this truth. We are all on the street. We are doing everything that we can think of….

The Classmate

The Classmate

      “I haven't slept for twenty days. I stay awake through the night…because of the dream. The minute I fall asleep. The dream begins. In it…”He released his hold on my hand and grew serious. Basavegowda was not the type easily given to fear or tears. But he was shaken by what was…

How ‘Efficient Brainy’ Uses Superstition to Rob Money of Unsuspecting Parents

How ‘Efficient Brainy’ Uses Superstition to Rob Money of Unsuspecting Parents

Addressing the media persons during a press meet held at Hotel Woodlands, Mangaluru on Saturday evening at 5pm, Professor Narendra Nayak — President, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, Mangaluru said, “An entity called “Smart Brainy” has been running a racket called as WBDP or whole brain development program in which they are allegedly balancing the…

Vasundhara Raje Hits Pause Button on ‘Draconian’ Bill as Face Off With Media Intensifies

Vasundhara Raje Hits Pause Button on ‘Draconian’ Bill as Face Off With Media Intensifies

  All major media organisations–including the Federation of Press Clubs in India have come together against the Criminal Law (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2017 moved by the Rajasthan government that effectively gags in the media while protecting public servants, magistrates, serving and former judges from being investigated for on-duty action. Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje who had decided…

“Should we wear patriotism on our sleeves?”, Justice DY Chandrachud asks in #NationalAnthem Matter

“Should we wear patriotism on our sleeves?”, Justice DY Chandrachud asks in #NationalAnthem Matter

  The case relating to the playing of the National Anthem in cinema halls took an interesting turn today, with the Supreme Court asking the Centre to take a call on the issue. A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud also observed that the matter lies within the Executive domain with Justice Chandrachud making…

The Anthem

The Anthem

  A black man sat in the Tagore theatre balcony and an old man with a flowing white beard sat next to him while the Anthem was being played.the rest stood up. these two remained seated. the black man asked the bearded gentleman, “who da fuck’re you, man?” the saintly man said, ” I’m Tagore..and…

Pinochet’s Failed Attempt to Kill Poetry

Pinochet’s Failed Attempt to Kill Poetry

  Neruda to a military officer searching his house after the Pinochet coup: “There is only one dangerous thing for you in this house — poetry.” Documents released by Chile’s Ministry of the Interior acknowledge, for the first time, that it is “quite possible” that the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda was assassinated. These claims give…

Rescuing the Historical ‘Asura’ from Ahistory

Rescuing the Historical ‘Asura’ from Ahistory

  The educated and intellectual who have acquired the required radicality in opposing the domination and in questioning or challenging the ahistoricality of the classical culture which is executes itself or kept alive in different means and methods (Hindu orthodox customs, traditions, ritual and festivals) have been, from the last decade or so, building counter…

Deepavali Poem for Gauri

Deepavali Poem for Gauri

  Yes, it is that time Lights twinkle and glitter and And the sound of Pataki Going  bang,  boom, crack Fill the air.    But I hear not  Pataki But the sound of a gun… Going  bang, boom, crack  “We heard Pataki sound The neighbours said..” It was not Pataki But  bullets from a gun…

Editors Guild of India Wants Rajasthan Government to Withdraw its Draconian Ordinance that is Harmful to the Freedom of the Press

Editors Guild of India Wants Rajasthan Government to Withdraw its Draconian Ordinance that is Harmful to the Freedom of the Press

  The Editors Guild of India is deeply concerned by the Rajasthan Government’s decision to make the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance 2017 into an Act in the current legislative session. The ordinance promulgated by the State Government last month was ostensibly done to protect the judiciary and the bureaucracy against false FIRs. But in…

JNU Teachers Take on the Vice Chancellor: 4 day Public Hearing on Charges Against Him Begins Tomorrow

JNU Teachers Take on the Vice Chancellor: 4 day Public Hearing on Charges Against Him Begins Tomorrow

  Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) has decided to hold a public inquiry on the charges levelled by it against Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagdesh Kumar who is accused of violating statutory provisions of the University to adopt a direct line of confrontation against the faculty and students. A mass delegation of teachers have submitted…

Permanent Fire Cracker Ban

Permanent Fire Cracker Ban

  The Supreme Court has banned sale of fire crackers in Delhi NCR. The news item then narrates that many will lose jobs as they are employed by the fire cracker industry. 85 % of fire crackers are manufactured at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu. As per the report, more than 3 lakhs employees are employed in making fire crackers…

BJP Demands Cuts in Film Mersal: Is it Putting an End to Criticisms?

BJP Demands Cuts in Film Mersal: Is it Putting an End to Criticisms?

  The row erupted over newly released Tamil film, Mersal, for its politically loaded dialogues on Goods and Services Tax, Gorakhpur incidents and Centre government’s push towards digital economy indicate ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) intolerance towards creative criticism. Tamil superstar Vijay's Diwali release Mersal provoked BJP persons across the country over its critical stands…

Need for Sudhaar Not Aadhaar

Need for Sudhaar Not Aadhaar

  For quite some time activists have been increasingly worried about the growing linkage of the Aadhaar card with several other documents from bank cheques, ration cards, MGNREGA cards, bank accounts, generally the most important document for documentation, and so on. It has become the Indian document par excellence for identification. Activists including Jean Dreze,…

Terror in the Time of the Yogi-Modi Regime

Terror in the Time of the Yogi-Modi Regime

On 10 October, 2017, the editorial collective of the Indian Writers' Forum and NewsClick participated in a meeting organised by the Bhim Army Defence Committee to protest the atrocities committed against minorities, dalits and women in the state of Uttar Pradesh under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Hear the testimonies of all the speakers who have…

#OurGauri: Why Did They Kill Gauri?

#OurGauri: Why Did They Kill Gauri?

  P. Lankesh introduced me to Kannada literature. I can never forget him or his family. The article titled “Nanna e jana ondagabeku” (My people should be united), written by Lankesh in the 1980s, helped me take my first step in literature. “Weren’t we always united?”; “Who were responsible for breaking this unity?” was my…

Fireworks and Firearms: The Festival of Lights in the Mughal Court

Fireworks and Firearms: The Festival of Lights in the Mughal Court

The Mughal court became a site of cultural production in the early modern world. It was a curious confluence of "Islamicate" and "Indic" cultures. Like any other dynasty with the desire to rule, the Mughals, contrary to the present state-sponsored communal (mis)understanding, did not rupture the existing socio-cultural fabric of the land. Besides introducing Timurid and Mongoloid traditions,…

11 year old Dies of Starvation in Jharkhand

11 year old Dies of Starvation in Jharkhand

  11 year old Santoshi Kumari in Jharkhand’s Simdega district died of starvation after her family’s ration card was allegedly cancelled for not being linked to their Aadhaar number. Before her death, she kept asking for rice (bhaat) from her mother. Knock, Knock “Who‘s there?” “Hunger” “Hunger who?” “Santoshi hai?” “You alone?” “Na, na, Aadhar…

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: Studying György Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg and Nikolai Bukharin through Letters, Diaries and Notes

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: Studying György Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg and Nikolai Bukharin through Letters, Diaries and Notes

We continue our #OctoberRevolutionSeries with an interview with Professor Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, who has been reading the autobiographical writings of György Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg and Nikolai Bukharin. Their political writings have already been published, but Datta Gupta has been closely analysing their letters, diaries and notes. In a conversation with Sruti M D, he says that this…

“The idea of popular science is an authoritarian version”: Satyajit Rath

“The idea of popular science is an authoritarian version”: Satyajit Rath

How are science and culture related? Have we abandoned science and scientific temper for an overtly 'elite' politics? Satyajit Rath, in conversation with Githa Hariharan, explains about the significance of reclaiming scientific temper for the general public. Also see the first part of the interview: “Scientific temper is what elite politics denies in our humanness…”  

Art as a Political Act: Retelling Mahabharata Through its Peripheral Figures

Art as a Political Act: Retelling Mahabharata Through its Peripheral Figures

  Karthika Naïr was born in India, lives in Paris, and works as a dance producer and curator. She is the author of Bearings, a poetry collection; DESH: Memories, inherited, borrowed, invented, a dance diary; and The Honey Hunter/ Le Tigre de Miel, a children’s book illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet. Nair was the principal story writer and scriptwriter of…

#StopAdani : Protests in Australia Against Adani’s Venture of Carmichael Coal mine

#StopAdani : Protests in Australia Against Adani’s Venture of Carmichael Coal mine

    A venture of the Adani group in Australia has stirred up a controversy. The Adani group, founded and chaired by an Indian billionaire businessman, Gautam Adani has sought a loan of 900 Million dollars from Australia. Adani is accused of illegal dealings, bribery, environmental and social devastation; corruption, fraud and money laundering in…

The Killing of History

The Killing of History

 I have long been a fan of John Pilger’s work – it is well-researched, honest and powerful without being sensational. There is a dignity to his prose that I very much admire. In a lecture he gave at Columbia University, Pilger spoke of ‘censorship by omission’. In that lecture, Pilger pointed to the terrible omissions of Western…

Verses Of Resistance: How Certain Folk Literary Cultures Of Medieval Bengal Had Risen Against Brahminism

Verses Of Resistance: How Certain Folk Literary Cultures Of Medieval Bengal Had Risen Against Brahminism

  This was in the 13th century. 5 centuries had passed since the marauding Vedantic forces led by Adi Shankaracharya had torn into the sanghas, monasteries and stupas of the Buddhist. Meanwhile, General Vijay Sen had risen in coup from the barracks of the last Pala kings of Bengal to deal the final staggering blow to the last Buddhist dynasty of the subcontinent. The Brahmins had…

Last Days of the Mahatma

Last Days of the Mahatma

    … [I]n 1944, Nathuram Godse was arrested at Panchgani as he was hurrying towards Gandhiji carrying a knife. This statement has been made before the Justice Kapur Commission by the owner of Surati Lodge of Pune, Shri Manishankar Purohit. Shri B.D. Bhilare Guruji, ex-MLA of the Congress from Mahabaleshwar, who was present, has…

Chomsky Clarifies Position on the Cultural Boycott of Israel

Chomsky Clarifies Position on the Cultural Boycott of Israel

  In recent years, people promoting the mantras of ‘constructive engagement’ and ‘bridge-building’ with Israel have cited Professor Noam Chomsky in their defence. He is alleged to oppose the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS ) launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005. Artists for Palestine UK contacted Professor Chomsky to ask him to clarify…

With Dwijen Bandyopadhyay’s Passing, the Cultural Left in Bengal Loses One of its Most Treasured Thespians

With Dwijen Bandyopadhyay’s Passing, the Cultural Left in Bengal Loses One of its Most Treasured Thespians

While several obituaries have flown in after Tom Alter died on 29 September, 2017, the death of another veteran actor and director, whose work, too, has primarily been in theatre, received little attention. Dwijen Bandyopadhyay, director of the theatre group Samstab, passed away amidst Pujo festivities on 27 September 2017. He was 68. A known…

Jamia Students: If Fighting for Campus Democracy is Politics, Then We’re Politicians

Jamia Students: If Fighting for Campus Democracy is Politics, Then We’re Politicians

For attaining political maturity, students require training on campus too. By debating and agitating on issues, students create an intellectual space that helps them develop skills to influence, mobilise and lead people. But Jamia Millia Islamia, a central university in the heart of the capital, has sadly remained indifferent to this. The students’ union elections…

#WhereisNAJEEB: एक अपील

#WhereisNAJEEB: एक अपील

                    पिछले साल 14 अक्टूबर को जेएनयू के माही- मांडवी हॉस्टल में ABVP के लोगों ने M.Sc. बायोटेक के स्टूडेंट नजीब की बुरी तरह पिटाई की और  मारने की धमकियाँ दीं. 15 अक्टूबर से नजीब माही- मांडवी हॉस्टल से गायब है. नजीब की माँ जब पुलिस…

Dating Bakhshali Manuscripts: Answering Important Questions in History of Mathematics

Dating Bakhshali Manuscripts: Answering Important Questions in History of Mathematics

  The Bakhshali Manuscripts, a collection of 70 odd leaves of birch bark, containing a wealth of mathematical methods, have finally been dated. The oldest of the three samples tested was written as early as the 3rd-4th century , placing it almost five centuries earlier than where most scholars had placed the manuscripts . This makes the Bakhshali Manuscripts…

“A Unique Sattriya Workshop at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi”

“A Unique Sattriya Workshop at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi”

In all likelihood, the year was 1948. A noontide natter was warming up in the front yard of some nondescript hamlet hut in Majuli, one of world’s biggest river islands. Niru, dainty and probably nineteen, is discussing with her circle of intimates how Jyoti Prasad (Agarwala) and Bishnu Rabha have already introduced women in Assamese…

Appointments of Chairperson & Members to NHRC Should be About Integrity, Independence & Commitment to Human Rights Protection

Appointments of Chairperson & Members to NHRC Should be About Integrity, Independence & Commitment to Human Rights Protection

  Since its formation following a statute in 1993, in response to international commitments, the NHRC has functioned as an institution falling short of the immense expectations from a population getting more and more aware of their rights and violations by state and non-state actors. From being called a toothless tiger to one that requires a…

This Year’s Nobel Celebrates Scholarship in Science for Its Own Sake

This Year’s Nobel Celebrates Scholarship in Science for Its Own Sake

  The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute, consisting of 50 professors, awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. This year, the work, done by Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash of Brandeis University and Michael W. Young of the Rockefeller University in the USA “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm" was…

Of Malnourished Buffalos, Caged Birds and the Calligraphy of Concertina Wires: Sophia Naz’s Pointillism

Of Malnourished Buffalos, Caged Birds and the Calligraphy of Concertina Wires: Sophia Naz’s Pointillism

    Sophia Naz is the author of three books, Pointillism, Peripheries and Date Palms. Nocturnes for Laila, a collaborative project, will soon be coming out. Naz is a 2016 Pushcart nominee and has been published in Poetry International, Adirondack Review, and several print anthologies. She is a South Asian-American living in Glen Ellen, USA. Pointillism…

Protesting the Assassination of Gauri Lankesh

Protesting the Assassination of Gauri Lankesh

  The Indian Cultural Forum participated in the protest march organised by the All India Coordinated Mobilisations For Justice For Gauri Lankesh. Four hundred people from different parts of Karnataka participated in this march.  The ICF Team spoke to lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan, and Mr. Vasu, one of the columnists in Gauri Lankesh Patrike. They promise…

#OctoberRevolutionMonth: The Fight for The Party During the Ebb Of the Revolution

#OctoberRevolutionMonth: The Fight for The Party During the Ebb Of the Revolution

  Thus began a new period of remote and protracted emigration. While in distant Russia the proletarian party was persecuted with terror and driven far underground, the tsarist minister Stolypin ruled unchallenged, rearing forests of gallows (‘Stolypin’s neckties’) for the revolutionary workers in the towns, creating kulak households in the villages at the expense of…

‘Two & Half Person’ Government Worsens India’s Economic Slowdown

‘Two & Half Person’ Government Worsens India’s Economic Slowdown

“Critics are spreading despair but the economy is on track,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this in response to the official statistics which suggested an economic slowdown. Prabhat Patnaik talks to Newsclick about the effects of demonetisation and GST on Indian economy. He further discusses the negative employment growth. "The economic bureaucracy is increasingly becoming…

History is an Unending Dialogue between the Past and the Present

History is an Unending Dialogue between the Past and the Present

Ramin Jahanbegloo, in his introduction to this book of conversations, says, "When… we study Professor Thapar's analyses of early India, we do not have a sense of historiography as a positivistic science, but that of history as an unending dialogue between the past and the present. As a result, this continuous process of interaction between…

Appeal to Rise Against the Killing of Gauri Lankesh and to March for Democracy

Appeal to Rise Against the Killing of Gauri Lankesh and to March for Democracy

  WHAT: All India coordinated mobilizations for Justice for Gauri on October 5th.  In Delhi, this mobilization will take the form of a March for Democracy  DATE: October 5th  TIME:  1 pm  PLACE: Mandi House to Jantar Mantar.   Contact: Bittu (8179542651) Poonam (9811136242) We request all people to join this rally in the largest possible numbers. In several parts…

An Update from the Supreme Court Hearings on the Deportation of Rohingyas

An Update from the Supreme Court Hearings on the Deportation of Rohingyas

The Rohingya matter came on board yesterday before the court of CJI Dipak Misra. The bench also comprised of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y.Chandrachud. Court held as follows: The Counsel for the respondent stated that there were 2 preliminary objections to be considered before hearing the matter: Firstly, the question of judicial review ought to be…

Doordarshan Censors a Chief Minister’s Speech, but Airs a Non-Elected RSS Pracharak

Doordarshan Censors a Chief Minister’s Speech, but Airs a Non-Elected RSS Pracharak

After refusing to broadcast Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s speech one and a half months, national broadcaster Doordarshan has come under fire again, for telecasting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s Dussehra speech. DD News, which comes under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, telecast the RSS chief’s speech live from Nagpur on Friday, 29 September. Earlier in August,…

Dalit Poet, Upper-caste Critic

Dalit Poet, Upper-caste Critic

Even as I started reading Chandramohan’s Letters to Namdeo Dhasal, a predicament challenged me: did I have any legitimacy to write about this book? Chandramohan’s poetry is like a gunshot rudely interrupting English poetry in India. It’s a howl, not only of the poet, not only for our contemporary times, but for all times. Chandramohan’s insertion into…