Netanyahu Battles for Survival in Israel: Will He Have to Cancel His January Visit to India?

Netanyahu Battles for Survival in Israel: Will He Have to Cancel His January Visit to India?

  India is worried. But of course,silently lest a whiff of the serious corruption charges threatening to dislodge Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu find their way into the Indian media and Parliament on the eve of his much touted visit to India. And queer the pitch that the Ministry of External Affairs has been carefully preparing…

“Borders only become borders when cartographies come into existence” – Professor Romila Thapar

“Borders only become borders when cartographies come into existence” – Professor Romila Thapar

It wasn’t a surprise to see history lovers in Calcutta queue up on a Sunday morning to engage in a closed door rendezvous with Professor Romila Thapar. Professor Thapar, after years of inimitable research and fearless writing, needs no introduction. She certainly is a festering (and pestering!) eyesore of the Hindu Right, the fascist dispensation…

The Ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is Both Hate-Ridden and Supremacist

The Ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is Both Hate-Ridden and Supremacist

    At a recent talk show by an international television channel, the former spokesperson of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and present general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Ram Madhav, firmly asserted that the ideology of the RSS was neither supremacist, nor dominant or aggressive. Leave alone fascist.[1]   Quoted on the…

Bengali Film Under Right Wing Attack for Using Names Ram and Sita

Bengali Film Under Right Wing Attack for Using Names Ram and Sita

  Meet filmmaker Ranjan Ghosh who trained at Subhah Ghai’s Whistling Woods and arrived in Kolkata to assist Aparna Sen for her film Iti Mrinalni, stepped into independent direction with his maiden film Hrid Majharey. His second film Rongberonger Korhi (Colour of Money) is now facing the wrath of a Hindu Right Wing organization Hindu Jagran Manch for using the names…

What Irked the Anger of Mammootty Fans Over Parvathy?

What Irked the Anger of Mammootty Fans Over Parvathy?

  For the past week, followers of Malayalam actor Mammootty have been busy pouring lewd and violent comments against the award-winning artist Parvathy TK, who pointed out the misogynistic trends in Malayalam mainstream movies. While talking in open forum at the recently concluded International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), Parvathy expressed her disappointment over derogatory…

Yogi Once Again Uses State’s Might, Orders Withdrawal of Case Against Himself

Yogi Once Again Uses State’s Might, Orders Withdrawal of Case Against Himself

    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered the withdrawal of a case related to defying prohibitory orders against holding a meeting. This order was registered in 1995 against him and 14 others including a Union Minister and saffron party legislator from Sahajanwa in Gorakhpur. The…

“हम एक है तो करोडों है, वरना कु छ भी नहीं…”

“हम एक है तो करोडों है, वरना कु छ भी नहीं…”

Megha Pansare writes about Bhopal Jan Utsav in Sadhana, a Marathi weekly, of which Narendra Dhabolkar was the editor. In this detailed report on the three days long festival of diversity and resistence in Bhopal, Megha Pansare recollects her experience of participating in the festival. Read the original piece in Marathi by Megha Pansare here:   

How Ghalib Was Influenced by the Bhakti Movement

How Ghalib Was Influenced by the Bhakti Movement

On the occasion of Ghalib's 220th birth anniversary, Indian Cultural Forum brings to you an extract from the chapter, "Buddhist Thought and Shunyata", from the book Ghalib: Innovative Meanings and the Ingenious Mind, by Gopi Chand Narang, translated into English by Surinder Deol, and published by Oxford University Press. Sufi saints, bhaktas, and aulias have been using…

2017: A Year of Resistance

2017: A Year of Resistance

2017 was the year of increasingly diverse, yet more united struggles by working people of all sorts in India. In dozens of public sector units—ports, steel plants, coal mines, ordnance factories, banks, insurance companies, etc—workers went on strikes or protested against relentless govt. pressure to privatise national assets by handing them over to private industrialists….

On National and Cultural Independence

On National and Cultural Independence

The following is an excerpt from the chapter 'राष्ट्रवाद व सांस्कृतिक स्वातंत्र्य', by Makarand Sathe, from the book बदलता भारत अणि जनतेचा राष्ट्रवाद, edited by Dr Megha Pansare. The original, in Marathi, will be available soon on ICF. What is culture? Defining culture is almost impossible. Many people say that we can explain it, talk about it,…

Is Education a Commodity Now?

Is Education a Commodity Now?

Professor Sanjay Bohidar, of Delhi University, talks to Newsclick about the structural changes witnessed in the education system over the years in India. He discusses, in detail, how education is increasingly becoming more and more privatised and what are its repercussions.   First published by Newsclick

Parivathana Rally of BJP in Karnataka Is to Spread Its Hindutva Ideology

Parivathana Rally of BJP in Karnataka Is to Spread Its Hindutva Ideology

The assembly election in Karnataka is around the corner. Amit Shah, the president of BJP, inaugurated Parivathana (“transformation”) rally, a campaign for the upcoming election in 2018, in Bengaluru on 3 November. Shah, while addressing the gathering, said, “This parivarthana (transformation) rally is not to change the CM [Chief Minister], not to change the government,…

ईसाई और मुसलमानों से क्यों नफरत करते हैं स्वघोषित राष्ट्रवादी?

ईसाई और मुसलमानों से क्यों नफरत करते हैं स्वघोषित राष्ट्रवादी?

जब विजयी शासकों ने अपने जश्न की यशोगाथा लिखी और अपनी सत्ता का इतिहास लिखा, तो अपने शत्रुओं का भयानक चित्रण किया, उन्हें आदमखोर राक्षस, निशाचर, पशुओं के शरीर वाला और न जाने किन-किन विकृत नामों की उपाधियाँ दीं, फिर उन हत्याओं की स्मृतियों में उत्सव मनाये गये। आज अगर हम इन उत्सवों पर टिप्पणियां…

Did you know that Babasaheb Ambedkar burnt the Manusmriti on Christmas, in 1927?

Did you know that Babasaheb Ambedkar burnt the Manusmriti on Christmas, in 1927?

Ninety years ago, on December 25, 1927, huge strides were made in the movement for self-dignity of Dalits. Under the leadership of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, a small town/village, Mahad in Konkan, the coastal region of Maharashtra, made history.   Manusmurti Dahan Din. The day that the text of caste Hindus epitomizing hegemony, indignity and cruelty…

Let Christmas be

Let Christmas be

Image courtesy The Tribune India   Throughout the West, in both the Americas, Europe and Australia and in parts in other countries in Asia and Africa, there is no festival to beat Christmas; the shopping, the sales, the gifts exchanged, the family dinner with the father or grandfather carving the turkey (apologies to vegetarians), Santa…

UN General Assembly Rejects Trump’s Jerusalem Move With Resounding Majority

UN General Assembly Rejects Trump’s Jerusalem Move With Resounding Majority

In a development that signalises the growing isolation of the United States from the Israel-Palestine conflict, an overwhelming majority of United Nations members defied unprecedented threats by the US to declare President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “null and void.” The resolution was passed at a UN General Assembly emergency meeting…

रेणु की परंपरा के साहित्यकार सुरेंद्र स्निग्ध का निधन

रेणु की परंपरा के साहित्यकार सुरेंद्र स्निग्ध का निधन

कवि, उपन्यासकार, संपादक और अध्यापक रहे प्रो. सुरेंद्र स्निग्ध का निधन बीते 18 दिसंबर की रात हो गया। उनके निधन पर बिहार के अनेक साहित्यकारों, बुद्धिजीवियों ने शोक प्रकट किया है। प्रो. स्निग्ध पिछले कुछ दिनों से फेफड़े में गंभीर संक्रमण की वजह से वे जगदीश मेमोरियल अस्पताल में वेंटिलेटर पर थे, जीवन-मृत्यु के बीच संघर्ष…

Read Amal, the Palestinian girl’s letter of solidarity to artists and writers who opposed Trump’s move to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel

Read  Amal, the Palestinian girl’s letter of solidarity to artists and writers who opposed Trump’s move to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel

On 11th December, 2017, one hundred artists wrote a letter rejecting Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which appeared in The Guardian on 12th December, 2017. This move by Trump is a belligerent show of power and it paves way for further colonisation and occupation of Jerusalem by Israel. Jerusalem is not under…

नये सिरे से सोचने को विवश करती किताब : चिंतन के जनसरोकार

नये सिरे से सोचने को विवश करती किताब : चिंतन के जनसरोकार

किसी किताब की यह सफलता होती है कि वह अपने पाठक को इतना उद्वेलित कर दे कि वह अपने परिवेश और जीवन के हर पहलू पर फिर से विचार करने को विवश हो जाय। ऐसे ही लेखों का संकलन है ‘चिंतन के जनसरोकार’। हिन्दी के  महत्वपूर्ण लेखक प्रेमकुमार मणि के प्रमुख लेखों का यह एक संकलन है।…

Weaving Despairs: The Challenges of the Handloom Sector in India

Weaving Despairs: The Challenges of the Handloom Sector in India

The handloom sector, which employs over 6.5 million families, is the second largest cluster of labourers, after the agriculture sector. However, the recent policy-level and economic developments and changes by the government have been inconsiderate towards the weaver's needs and basic requirements for survival. In order to discuss these ongoing crisis of the handloom sector,…

Challenging Communalism, Challenging History – The Work of Romila Thapar

Challenging Communalism, Challenging History – The Work of Romila Thapar

This essay has been extracted from The Historian and her Craft Collected Essays and Lectures of Romila Thapar recently published by the Oxford University Press and republished here with permission. Image courtesy The Indian Express The years after Independence saw a paradigm shift in history writing in India. Inspired by the ideals of nationalism, and the…

India’s Rural Poor May Miss Green Jobs Boom. How To Avoid That

India’s Rural Poor May Miss Green Jobs Boom. How To Avoid That

India’s clean-energy push to triple renewables over the next five years can generate 330,000 jobs, as IndiaSpend reported in August 2017. But can these renewable energy jobs help alleviate poverty in India, especially in its rural pockets? Only if the renewables sector can offer permanent jobs with stability and other benefits to contractual employees expected to form around 80% of…

Ruth Vanita: “The courtesan in popular Hindi cinema has been a marginalised figure in cinema studies.”

Ruth Vanita: “The courtesan in popular Hindi cinema has been a marginalised figure in cinema studies.”

In the latest addition to our series on film and politics, we have Ruth Vanita, Professor at University of Montana. Souradeep Roy of the Indian Cultural Forum speaks to Vanita on her book, Dancing with the Nation, which has just been brought out by Speaking Tiger Books. Has the figure of the courtesan or the tawaif been a…

History of Communal Violence in Karnataka and the Case of Communal Violence in Uttara Kannada in December 2017

History of Communal Violence in Karnataka and the Case of Communal Violence in Uttara Kannada in December 2017

In the backdrop of the mysterious death of Paresh Mesta in Honnavara town of Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district, members of Hindutva outfits have kept the district on a fore of communal violence. Rumours and lies around Mesta’s death that his dead body was found in a brutalised condition which later turned out to be false…

Statement by the Lawyers Collective on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016

Statement by the Lawyers Collective on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment’s decided to re-introduce the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 in it’s original form. 5 December 2017 On 19th November 2017, Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (“MOSJE”) reportedly stated on the subject of The Transgender Persons (Protection of…

Invincibility Busted In Gujarat, Game Wide Open For 2019 in India

Invincibility Busted In Gujarat, Game Wide Open For 2019 in India

Image courtesy countercurrents.org   Gujarat’s much awaited results are out. The fraudsters sitting in the mega “slaughterhouses” have been exposed and myth related to invincibility is broken and perhaps shaken the Hindutva camp from inside. These results will have a huge impact on the psyche of our nation and the fraudsters will start building up…

Tragedy and Eclipse

Tragedy and Eclipse

This essay was first published in The Afternoon Despatch and Courier through the Associated Press Features on 18 December, 1992, nearly twenty five years ago in the aftermath of the planned demolition of Babri Masjid. The Indian Cultural Forum is grateful to the author for sending us the hard copy of the article in print and for…

The New India

The New India

Image courtesy The Indian Express The twenty-fifth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid has reminded us once again that India is a bruised, battered and bleeding democracy. In the past three years, the country’s multi-cultural inheritance has been torn to shreds. Indians have been partitioned into Hindus and Others, and Hinduism has been…

The Indian Cultural Forum welcomes the Jharkhand government’s decision to lift the ban on Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s book

The Indian Cultural Forum welcomes the Jharkhand government’s decision to lift the ban on Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s book

The Indian Cultural Forum welcomes the Jharkhand government’s decision to not ban Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s book of short stories, The Adivasi Will Not Dance. The Telegraph has quoted Sarayu Roy, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, saying that the ban on the book should be lifted soon. "He is a well-known author and a Sahitya Akademi Award…

Tribute

Tribute

A red stream of words cascaded along the screen announcing your untimely grim departure Your lifeless body splayed across the steps haunting every pair of eyes. I cannot help but wonder, Did you smell death lurking in the darkness of your porch Or did it spring upon you like the weather of Bangalore unpredictable and…

Letter to a Filmmaker

Letter to a Filmmaker

This is an epistolary response to the 2016 documentary, Ima Sabitri, by filmmaker Bobo Khuraijam. The film follows Ima Sabitri, a popular Manipuri stage actress, over the course of several months, and is a documentation of her life and her art. It was the opening film in the Indian Panorama section at the International Film Festival of…

Bird of Dusk : Insight Into the Spirit of Rituparno Ghosh

Bird of Dusk : Insight Into the Spirit of Rituparno Ghosh

  Rituparno Ghosh remains one of the most outstanding filmmakers Indian cinema has produced in recent times. Sangeeta Datta’s documentary on this director Bird of Dusk (Sandhyar Pakhi) takes us into a flashback into this unique journey of this brilliant filmmaker. This film is currently doing the rounds of film festivals with a wonderful opening Who is…

Database of Cow-Related Hate Crime Since 2010: 86% Of Those Killed are Muslim

Database of Cow-Related Hate Crime Since 2010: 86% Of Those Killed are Muslim

After the recent murder of a dairy trader by cow vigilantes on the Rajasthan-Haryana border, 11 deaths have been reported in 2017, the highest toll from cow-related hate crimes since 2010, from when IndiaSpend’s database records hate crimes. The database is being launched in a new, interactive format today.   Image courtesy Sabrang India[/caption]  …

#Notinmyname: Protest Against the Rising Tide of Hatred Against Muslims in India and Especially Rajasthan. 

#Notinmyname: Protest Against the Rising Tide of Hatred Against Muslims in India and Especially Rajasthan. 

  ​#Notinmyname   India is bleeding. The time to remain silent is over. The brutal murder in Rajsamand, Rajasthan of Afrazul Islam a migrant worker from West Bengal has brought home searingly the vulnerability of minorities, especially Muslims to hate crimes being committed against them in the India of today. The murderer, Shambhu Lal Regar…

Death of CBI Judge B H Loya: Statement by Concerned Citizens Demanding a Time-bound Public Enquiry Commission

Death of CBI Judge B H Loya: Statement by Concerned Citizens Demanding a Time-bound Public Enquiry Commission

We, the citizens of India, have been perturbed by the reports surrounding the death of CBI Judge B.H. Loya who was presiding over the trial of Sohrabuddin murder case. It is disturbing for us to note that other than multiple conflicting versions of the circumstances of Judge Loya’s death, there have been allegations of undue…

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: How Lenin Schooled His Dilly-Dallying Comrades

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: How Lenin Schooled His Dilly-Dallying Comrades

This is our eighth story for our #OctoberRevolutionSeries, a series we began in October to remember the centenary of the Russia Revolution. The first is an excerpt from Cecilia Bobrovskaya's memoirs; the second is from an essay by Prabir Purkayastha; the third is our inaugral bookend by Githa Hariharan on Sevtlana Alexievich's novel Second Hand Time; and the fourth is a conversation with Professor Sobhanlal…

What Our Self-Declared Nationalists (Read the Hindu Right) Owe to British Historians for their Claims on Babri Masjid or Ram Temple

What Our Self-Declared Nationalists (Read the Hindu Right) Owe to British Historians for their Claims on Babri Masjid or Ram Temple

Like Padmavati, there is no historical evidence to suggest that there was Ram Temple at the site where Babri Masjid once stood. Today, on the 25th anniversary of the planned demolition of Babri Masjid, if we see the way the Padmavati controversy has raged over the last month, we will realise how little we have…

Bhopal Jan Utsav: A Festival of Hope and Solidarity Celebrating Reason and Diversity

Bhopal Jan Utsav: A Festival of Hope and Solidarity Celebrating Reason and Diversity

  The city of Bhopal witnessed a unique Festival — a festival of diversity, reason and resistance—between 26th and 28th of November. Named as Bhopal Utsav, it was organised by various progressive organisations, collectives and movements between. The festival brought together activists from diverse movements, cultural activists, science activists and thousands of people from all…

Twitter Stands By Trump’s Anti-Muslim Tweets

Twitter Stands By Trump’s Anti-Muslim Tweets

  Taking US President Donald Trump's side once again, Twitter has refused to remove Trump's tweets that included graphic anti-Muslim videos. In a blow to Twitter’s credibility, the company retracted its previous explanation for why it did not remove tweets. Trump had retweeted videos by far-right British politician Jayda Fraser that purported to show Muslims…

Is Srikrishna Privileging Privacy Over Free Speech?

Is Srikrishna Privileging Privacy Over Free Speech?

  The government’s expert committee on a data protection framework for India, headed by retired Mr. Justice B.N. Srikrishna recently released a 243 pages report soliciting comments on more than 200 questions. While the nation debates on data protection and privacy, the focus has been exclusively on Aadhaar and the internet industry. Little attention has been paid…

We Protest

We Protest

Voices of resentment are on the rise. However, the mainstream media is mostly interested in grabbing eyeballs and increasing the viewership on their channels. Hence they just do the momentary coverage of the protests and that too, for a selective few. But at Newsclick, we thrive on movements, and that is why we do not…

Why I’m Denied My Right of Speech?

Why I’m Denied My Right of Speech?

  In spite of the fact that the Supreme Court of India in its three judge bench judgment on October 12, 2017 said that my book Smajika Smugglerlu-Komatollu cannot be banned, the Arya Vysyas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are trying to attack me wherever I go to speak in meetings and seminars. The latest is…

Meet the Dissenters of Gujarat

Meet the Dissenters of Gujarat

Mainstream media has been trying hard to sell the 'development model' of Gujarat. But here are a few people who have been working to create awareness about the reality of the much-hyped 'development'.  Newsclick spoke to the activists, theatre artists and musicians who still dare to question the state and raise the voice of the…

The Red in the Sea of Black and White

The Red in the Sea of Black and White

  While three judges of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of India, Mr. Dipak Misra, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar sat motionless on 27th November, 2017, a young women dressed in red, with a red Hijab approached them followed by a stern of women police officers in uniform. All heads turned around at…

#Notinmyname: Protesting the Spread of Hatred on 6 December 2017

#Notinmyname: Protesting the Spread of Hatred on 6 December 2017

मज़हब नहीं सिखाता आपस में बैर रखना हिंदी है हम वतन है हिंदोस्तां हमारा   Remembering 6 December 1992 No More Hatred | No More Violence – Not In My Name 6 December 2017 will mark twenty-five years of the demolition of Babri Masjid. On that day we will gather at several locations across the…

“Poetry is my refuge”: Perumal Murugan

“Poetry is my refuge”: Perumal Murugan

In the latest interview in our series #WritersTalkPolitics, Githa Hariharan talks to Perumal Murugan on the influence of folklore on his fiction; the complexities involved in writing about caste relations; and finally, on poetry. Poetry, Murugan says, gives him the refuge he needs whenever he needs to calm down. It is no coincidence that the first book after…

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: How Lenin Asked His Comrades to Take Their Shirts off and Declare Themselves a Communist Party

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: How Lenin Asked His Comrades to Take Their Shirts off and Declare Themselves a Communist Party

This is our seventh story for our #OctoberRevolutionSeries, a series we began in October to remember the centenary of the Russia Revolution. The first is an excerpt from Cecilia Bobrovskaya's memoirs; the second is from an essay by Prabir Purkayastha; the third is our inaugral bookend by Githa Hariharan on Sevtlana Alexievich's novel Second Hand…

After 30 Lynchings, Government to Withdraw the Ban on Sale of Cattle for slaughter

After 30 Lynchings, Government to Withdraw the Ban on Sale of Cattle for slaughter

  India’s farmers, through consistent protest and struggle, have finally got the central government to seriously contemplate the withdrawal of its notification banning the sale of cattle for slaughter. A date has reportedly not been fixed, but government sources informed the media that this notification issued by the Ministry of Environment will now be withdrawn….

A Story of “Gujarat Development Model”

A Story of “Gujarat Development Model”

The ‘Sabarmati Riverfront’ has been for many, one of the crowning jewels of the Gujarat government during the period of Narendra Modi as its Chief Minister. The riverfront, in Ahmedabad, has been used time and again to show the ‘development’ that the state has witnessed under the leadership of the BJP. In truth, however, the…