#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…

Fearless Godavari Parulekar Led the Warli Tribes in the Freedom Movement

Fearless Godavari Parulekar Led the Warli Tribes in the Freedom Movement

  When we hear the phrase “freedom fighter”, we often imagine a male freedom fighter. But nearly half of the freedom fighters involved in the struggle for Independence were women who participated in equal numbers, and strove fearlessly to attain freedom from the British colonisers.  The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has compiled a list…

Apples of Kashmir

Apples of Kashmir

Calm down, Kashmir, sit for a while by the Dal tucked aside like a cold meal by a captive; look at us, we the forbidden fruits, scored with ash, grime and gore, sweet anyways, if not alluring; come, pluck us, sin! The half-burnt chipmunk caking beneath the chinar, we know, is your wrath; the skeleton peering…

Two Poems

Two Poems

A Journey, Backward Writing on the bark of a tree, sometimes, seems to be tricky Than writing a propos to a tree. We stretched one of our legs each And, with other two creased, Tried to form a cave; A cave where light embezzles its siesta After a tedious journey from Love-me to love-me-not. It…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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….

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…

The Issues at Stake in the Triple Talaq Case

The Issues at Stake in the Triple Talaq Case

Can “personal laws” that violate any provision of the Constitution, including the right to equality and non-discrimination based on sex, be declared unconstitutional? Or is there something inherent to them that makes them immune to the discipline of fundamental rights? This is the question that was raised in the challenge to Triple Talaq by the…

Historians’ Appeal to Government

Historians’ Appeal to Government

SAHMAT Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust 30.6.2017 We have received with great dismay  the  recent news report that the Union Cabinet has approved amendment to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 2010 and that  it has been decided to allow centrally funded projects to be set up in the prohibited area of the…

घास : पाश , Ghaas : Pash

घास : पाश , Ghaas : Pash

Published on Jun 26, 2017 Pash or Paash (ਅਵਤਾਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਪਾਸ਼; September 9, 1950 – March 23, 1988) was the pen name of Avtar Singh Sandhu, one of the major poets of the Naxalite movement in the Punjabi literature of the 1970s. He was killed by Khalistani extremists on March 23, 1988. His strongly left-wing…

From Democracy to Lynchocrazy

From Democracy to Lynchocrazy

BJP under Modi government had pushed its core Hindutva agenda to the limits,  veteran LK Advani’s main agenda of Ram Mandir was not enough for NDA II, Cow politics was raised vehemently and cow vigilantes groups were backed by BJP and grew since as early as 2009.   The then Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi not…

Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha

Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha

CAMPAIGN FOR SURVIVAL AND DIGNITY(CSD), ODISHA   State Convener:  Sri Gopinath Majhi Secretariat-E-125,G.G.P.Colony,      Rasulgarh, Bhubaneswar-25 (M) 9937118716,   National Convener:  Pradip Prabhu, 3, Yezdeh Behram, Kati, Malyan, Dahanu Rd. -40160 9437629375, [email protected]                  To,                                                                                                                                                                Date-27th June, 2017        All Respected &  Concerned Person,    …

#NotInMyName #NoMoreLynching

#NotInMyName #NoMoreLynching

    Today, 28 June 2017, our citizens have planned simultaneous protests across the country and in some other parts of the world. Some of the protests are also scheduled for June 29th and July 1st, 2017. The protests are against the countrywide targeted lynchings. Most recently, 16-year-old Junaid was lynched on 23 June 2017…

A Perspective on Scientific Temper in India

A Perspective on Scientific Temper in India

"The role of scientific temper cannot be overemphasized in a country like India, where myriad dogmas and superstitions compete for one’s attention. Scientific temper is an invaluable tool for the common people engaged in sound decision making not only about science but various issues of social importance. Scientific temper remains elusive even today, in spite…

Condemn Lynching of Muslim Youth – Junaid

Condemn Lynching of Muslim Youth – Junaid

  Image Courtesy: Financial Express   New Delhi | 26th June: National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) is shocked and horrified by the gruesome murder of sixteen year old Junaid Khan in running train enroute to Mathura from Delhi on 22nd June. This happened in public view inside a train where ordinary people were travelling…

Where is the Hinduism I Believe In?

Where is the Hinduism I Believe In?

CPI(M) Polit Buro memeber Brinda Karat and AIDWA Delhi state Secretary Asha Sharma consoling Junaid's mother   Watching images of the massacres of Muslims in India, I am left wondering: Are there any decent Hindus left? As the body counts of the Muslim victims of public lynching keep adding up, I am left concluding, perhaps…

UK government’s Public Consultation on Caste

UK government’s Public Consultation on Caste

Background: The UK Government has announced an open public consultation on Caste in Great Britain and Equality Law to ensure there is adequate legal protection against caste-based unlawful discrimination. The Government needs to hear from the residents of Great Britain – of South Asian origins and others – as to how individuals and groups should be protected…

महिलाओं के मुद्दों पर मोदी सरकार नाकाम: जगमती

महिलाओं के मुद्दों पर मोदी सरकार नाकाम: जगमती

मोदी सरकार के 3 साल पूरे होने पर न्यूज़क्लिक ने एडवा की सदस्या जगमती सांगवान से मुलाकात की I जगमती के अनुसार शुरुआत से ही मोदी सरकार महिलाओं के मुद्दों की घोर अपेक्षा करती आई है I यह बात इस तथ्य से साबित होता है कि अपने पहले ही बजट में महिलाओं से जुड़ी स्कीमों…

No Lust Please, We Are Pregnant Indian Women!

No Lust Please, We Are Pregnant Indian Women!

NEW DELHI: AYUSH Ministry’s advice for pregnant women: 1.Detach yourselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatred and lust; 2.Hang good and beautiful pictures on your walls; 3.Do not eat meat, eggs; 4,Have spiritual thoughts; 5. Read life histories of great personalities; This comes in a booklet issued by the Ministry titled Mother and Child Care that was…

Archiving the Complex Genealogies of Caste and Sexuality

Archiving the Complex Genealogies of Caste and Sexuality

This interview emerged as a series of email exchanges between Rohan Arthur and Dr Anjali Arondekar who works on the Gomantak Maratha Samaj archives, following Rohan's tribute essay on Kishori Amonkar titled Kishori Amonkar: Assertion, Erasure, Reclamation. The interview was conducted with inputs from James Michael and Akshay Pathak. Can you describe the historical origins of the Gomantak Maratha Samaj,…

Achhe Din Roundup: The Week that Was

Achhe Din Roundup: The Week that Was

1. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting denied three documentaries permission to be screened at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala. The films are on Rohith Vemula, unrest in Kashmir, and protests in JNU.   2. In Pratapgarh, Rajasthan, activist Zaffar Hussein was beaten to death by civic officials because he objected…

Confessions of a Namasudra Communist

Confessions of a Namasudra Communist

DebayudhChatterjee (Department of English, University of Delhi) This post is an extract from my M.Phil. dissertation, Class vs Caste: Negotiating Marxist Politics in Bangla Dalit Literature, written under the supervision of Dr. Tapan Basu. The dissertation is due to be submitted to the Department of English, University of Delhi, in July 2017. It is based on…

The Battle Children Face

The Battle Children Face

Dr Ved Kumari is the Dean of Faculty of Law, Delhi. She was also the Chairperson the Delhi Judicial Academy from 2009-2011. A former Fulbright and Commonwealth Fellow, Dr Ved is a leading authority on juvenile justice in India. Her extensive writing helped bring to public focus, the fallacies in the juvenile justice system and…

A Wedding Far Removed From Hypocrisy

A Wedding Far Removed From Hypocrisy

Brahmanical weddings are replete with rituals that smack of hypocrisy and inequality, and are designed to show the bride’s side as inferior. On the other hand, Buddhist and Arjak weddings are based on equality. There is no place for hypocrisy or pomp in them. Anoop Patel was witness to this stark contrast.   Recently, I…

The Museum God

The Museum God

  Gods wait inside a museum In California; Shiva entranced in a dance, Is unseen by The Buddha – he meditates Undistracted, Trees that help him breathe Are saints too, They gift away their wisdom Like trees do – In silence, rustling the sound Of endurance. Do gods secured in museums Remember us? Or they…

Will Untouchability Make A Return?

Will Untouchability Make A Return?

  The practice of "Untouchability" was outlawed in India with the adoption of the Indian Constitution. But this practice is still prevalent and manifests itself in varied forms. Despite education, people still seem to be influenced by notions of purity and pollution. Recently, government officials in Uttar Pradesh handed out soap and shampoo to dalits before the Chief…

How Textbooks Teach Prejudice

How Textbooks Teach Prejudice

What we learn and teach about history and how the process of this learning has been crafted or developed, shapes our understanding of the events of the past. This understanding of the past influences our ability to grapple with the present and therefore also the future. Such knowledge, if both rich and varied, can also…

आदिवासी महिला कवि होने का मतलब, जसिन्ता केरकेट्टा की जुबानी

आदिवासी महिला कवि होने का मतलब, जसिन्ता केरकेट्टा की जुबानी

  जसिन्ता केरकेट्टा ने गाँधी पीस फाउंडेशन में दिए अपने वक्तव्य मैं झारखंड के उरांव आदिवासी समूदाय से आती हूं और हिंदी में कविताएं लिखती हूं। मैं हिंदी में कविताएं लिखती हूं इसलिए आदिवासी साहित्य की परिभाषा गढ़ने वाले लोगों के अनुसार मेरी कविताओं का टोन आदिवासी न होकर सवर्ण है। दलित समूदाय के बीच…

Millions of Missing Girls – Doctors Must Stop Pre-Natel Sex Determination

Millions of Missing Girls – Doctors Must Stop Pre-Natel Sex Determination

AIDWA Press Release Delhi, 5 June 2017 Six leading scholars and activists came together to address the media against the Indian Medical Association (IMA)’s advocacy to weaken the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act in the context of Delhi Chalo organised tomorrow. These experts include: Dr Neelam Singh, leading Gynecologist, Lucknow and Vatsalya, Ms….

Mohandas Nemishrey Discusses Dalit Participation in Sahitya Akademi

Mohandas Nemishrey Discusses Dalit Participation in Sahitya Akademi

Eminent Dalit writer Mohandas Nemishrey highlights the biases and prejudices prevalent against the marginalised communities in state funded intitutions such as the Sahitya Akademi. He discusses his experiences as a writer, and the continued discrimination against writers on the basis of their caste which limits their participation on such platforms, and generally excludes their works from what the state sponsors…

“Joining Hands Will Join Our Hearts” Says Irom Sharmila as African And North East Students Unite Against Racism

“Joining Hands Will Join Our Hearts” Says Irom Sharmila as African And North East Students Unite Against Racism

Students from Africa and the North East joined hands to protest against the growing intolerance in India, reflected in increasing racial discrimination and physical attacks on both. Both communities spoke of a similar pattern of discrimination ranging from catcalls and abuse on the streets, to discrimination in renting accommodation, to increasing physical attacks at a…

‘मैं सब समझते हुए भी लोगों को नहीं समझा पाती’

‘मैं सब समझते हुए भी लोगों को नहीं समझा पाती’

Mirai Chatterjee, Rolee Srinath, Saba Sharma, Radhika, Shaminaj Khan A series of interviews, begun on International Working Women's Day, with women teachers, journalists, musicians, students, lawyers, startup employees – all young, established, or retired professionals in their fields – discussing gendered aspects of their work and working life. Stay tuned for more!   'Three hares looking at the moon', ca….

Six Poems by Arjun Rajendran

Six Poems by Arjun Rajendran

Prodigy You can’t watch me though, I told her, then emerged from the room after five minutes looking triumphant, pocketing her money immediately. She didn’t care she lost the bet. She was proud her son was a prodigy, and never figured it out herself. That all I did was peel and re-arrange stickers on the…

[Book Extract] A Girl Swallowed by a Tree: Lotha Naga Tales Retold

[Book Extract] A Girl Swallowed by a Tree: Lotha Naga Tales Retold

Nzanmongi Jasmine Patton is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Gargi College, Delhi University. She has translated and compiled the first anthology of Lotha-Naga folktales entitled A Girl Swallowed by a Tree: Lotha Naga Tales Retold. Describing the book as a “personal imperative”, Nzanmongi believes that producing more literature from North East India…

Spreading the Word

Spreading the Word

    message me if more are killed or blasted by a mine or attacked by a cowherd I'm 24/ 7 on the mobile or some App simply message me I’ll review all recent deaths and order an inquisition as to: were they due to cow slaughter or a terrorist attack or farmers' suicides or…

‘What did you pack him for his lunch?’

‘What did you pack him for his lunch?’

  A series of interviews, begun on International Working Women's Day, with women teachers, journalists, musicians, students, lawyers, startup employees – all young, established, or retired professionals in their fields – discussing gendered aspects of their work and working life. We hope you like these heartfelt discussions. Stay tuned for more!   Extract from Black Panther and Little Fish / shoilikanungo.com   Shoili…

First Lotha Naga Folktales published in English

First Lotha Naga Folktales published in English

  The first anthology of Lotha Naga folktales in English, entitled A Girl Swallowed by a Tree: Lotha Naga Tales Retold was released on 29 April, 2017 at the Indian International Centre, New Delhi. This collection is translated and compiled by Nzanmongi Jasmine Patton, an Assistant Professor at the Department of English at Gargi College…

Kashmir Dialogue Drama!

Kashmir Dialogue Drama!

    The Modi Government wants to “engage with the youth”, the Mufti Government wants to have a “dialogue” with the people from Kashmir. Amidst all this pretence and drama, we see an inhuman video showing Farooq Ahmad Dar, a 24-year-old shawl weaver from Kashmir, strapped to the front of the army vehicle as a…

When Muslims Are Killed For Eating Beef, Let Us Remember What Food Means In Our Culture

When Muslims Are Killed For Eating Beef, Let Us Remember What Food Means In Our Culture

At a time when poeple are killed over their choice of food, the atrocities committed by gau rakshaks can be understood when it is seen from the significance that food has in our shared cultures. Our diverse food habits that encompasses strictly vegetarian recipes to various kinds of meat, comprise 'Indian Cuisine'. So says Sohail Hashmi in this talk. "If a culture…

AIDWA Demands Equal Rights and Violence Free Life for All Women

AIDWA Demands Equal Rights and Violence Free Life for All Women

ALL INDIA DEMOCRATIC WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION                                                                                                             Date : April 23, 2017   It has been widely reported in the press that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath plans to carry out a survey of Muslim women to ascertain their keenness to get rid of triple talaq. Muslim women and Muslim women's groups across the…

[Book Extract] Including the Socially Excluded

[Book Extract] Including the Socially Excluded

Policymakers and academics have viewed poverty—its definition and extent, causes for its persistence and ways to tackle it—as a source of concern for a long time. The subject of social exclusion and initiatives to encourage inclusion have recently emerged as responses to the continuing poverty in India. In Including the Socially Excluded, Rahul Ramagundam explores…

Art as Evidence in Court Rooms

Art as Evidence in Court Rooms

Image Courtesy: KHOJ International Artists' Association Can art be provided as judicial evidence in court trials? The KHOJ international Artists Association and Zuleikha Chaudhari staged a mock trial with artists presenting evidences and lawyers arguing for and against the case of art as judicial evidence. This mock trial was staged at the constitution Club in…

Slaughter House Ban: Gainers and Losers

Slaughter House Ban: Gainers and Losers

The BJP’s massive majority in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections led to the anointment of Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister. And in his very first pronouncement, the ‘Yogi’ ordered the ban of slaughter houses in the state. The argument made by the newly elected government was that these slaughter houses were not following the National…

Take Action: Palestinian Political Prisoners Launch Mass Hunger Strike

Take Action: Palestinian Political Prisoners Launch Mass Hunger Strike

Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers have launched a mass hunger strike starting 17 April 2017. The call for hunger strike came amidst resentment of Israeli’s cruel policies towards political prisoners. An estimated 1500 Palestinian prisoners have announced the beginning of an open hunger strike.  The hunger striking prisoners’ demands include: family…

Census Disproves RSS Theories about Minorities

Census Disproves RSS Theories about Minorities

The communal forces have tapped into biases and misconceptions about conversions and population growth to divide society. This is what Kiren Rijiju, the minister of state for home affairs, appeared to be doing when he tweeted that the Hindu population is decreasing in the country because Hindus don’t proselytize and that the minorities in India…

Theatre Today: Punjabi

Theatre Today: Punjabi

Atamjit Singh is a renowned Punjabi playwright and director. In 2009, he won the Sahitya Akademi award for his play, Tatti Tavi Da Sach. He returned the award in 2015 as a sign of protest against communal hatred and assault on writers and journalists. At the North Eastern and Northern Writers’ Meet, Singh spoke about…

The Nation Hangs its Head at Salik and Pahlu’s Murders – Rihai Manch Lucknow

The Nation Hangs its Head at Salik and Pahlu’s Murders – Rihai Manch Lucknow

सालिक और पहलू की हत्या पर शर्मिंदा है मुल्क – रिहाई मंच मोदी-योगी बताएं देश मनुस्मृति से चलेगा या फिर बाबा साहेब के संविधान से भाजपा शासित राज्यों में हिंदुत्ववादी संगठन चला रहे हैं समानांतर सरकार गौ हत्या के नाम पर देश की संसद को गुमराह कर रही है मोदी सरकार लखनऊ 7 अप्रैल. रिहाई…

Theatre Today: Hindi

Theatre Today: Hindi

Ravindra Tripathi is a renowned film and theatre critic who writes in Hindi. At the recent North East and Northern Writers Meet that was hosted by the Sahitya Akademi on 27 March, 2017, he presented a paper on the state of Hindi theatre in the country today. Later, we sat down with Mr. Tripathi to discuss…

Some Findings on the Political Economy of Land Rights

Some Findings on the Political Economy of Land Rights

Dear all,  We are pleased to present findings from our research project on "The Political Economy of Land Rights and Federalism in the Fifth and Sixth Schedule Areas: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Meghalaya", which is a research collaboration between the Centre for Policy Research Land Rights Initiative ("CPR-LRI") and the Centre on Law and Social Transformation ("LawTransform"), as well as…

The Importance of Metaphor

The Importance of Metaphor

The attack on art, culture and social sciences has not subsided. Similarly discontent among writers and cultural practitioners has not dwindled. Poets Khalid Javed, Mangalesh Dabral and Anamika speak of the significance of poetry at such a time. They say that language and metaphor are great tools for expressing dissent.   Read Keeping Count of Dissenting…

Roundtable with Romila Thapar

Roundtable with Romila Thapar

We spoke to historian Romila Thapar in an attempt to uncover the historical background of dissent and debate in India, and how today, this tradition is aggressively being erased. The space for dialogue and discussion is shrinking in an ideological environment that increasingly shuns the practice of fundamental rationality. Watch it here:

From Samanvay 2016 – Speaking of Women: The Language of Control

From Samanvay 2016 – Speaking of Women: The Language of Control

Writer and publisher Ritu Menon, film critic Shubhra Gupta, independent journalist Neha Dixit, and lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Gower in coversation about gender dynamics in thier respective fields. Watch ILF Samanvay 2015 Creativity and Censorship: The Insider versus the Outsider. Watch ILF Samanvay 2015 Dialoging Lives: Two Dalit Autobiographies. Watch ILF Samanvay 2015…

Law in the Time of BJP

Law in the Time of BJP

    Adityanath government launched ‘anti-Romeo’ squads in Uttar Pradesh. In the name of stopping eve teasing, police started catching couples roaming together. There have been reports of even siblings or married couples being caught and harassed by the police. Moral policing is happening all over the state in the name of ‘anti-Romeo’ squads. The…

Remembering Another Rama on Ram Navami

Remembering Another Rama on Ram Navami

Several groups associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are holding the “largest ever demonstration in Bengal” over a week till April 11th to mark Ram Navami. The rallies will be “fully armed”, said RSS sources to The Hindu on the 5th of April. The news item continues: “In the districts, they will be carrying…

The Kite Flying

The Kite Flying

Kashmir the mountains  stagger under your  breath, heaviness  pounds, and the heart  barren, enemies infiltrate  scattering ashes. The number of deaths  lose count among  schools burnt — what will they learn? Mannequins in  closed rooms discuss  the future, a wild catcall in the dark. Come, be the beautiful valley  you are, interspersed with ravines and mountains scaling almighty …

A Season Named Fall

A Season Named Fall

  Saba Hasan, Untitled, 2014           a season named Fall                                   fall blown umber Summer burnt out fall the sky’s razorblades tin in winter bolt of leaves rot bitter dying sharpen                                         true December steel—   fall entrails of summer’s Beast scattered wound of summer’s Dog                                          …

The Attack on Indian Americans

The Attack on Indian Americans

When Narendra Modi sat in the wilderness of American political opinion, sections of the NRI community came to his defence. Graphic human rights reports on the pogrom in Gujarat had turned the US State Department against Modi. He was denied a visa to enter the United States. It did not help Modi that there was clear…

Unholy War

Unholy War

Men have gone to war since time began, for conquest, for plunder, for glory, for keeping muscles in trim and adrenalin flowing. In the Hindu caste system which divided people and conferred status according to their occupations, the warrior ranked second highest in the hierarchy of caste. War is central to our epics. Go to…

‘Does it help to have a woman editor cut a blatantly sexist film? Not so much.’

‘Does it help to have a woman editor cut a blatantly sexist film? Not so much.’

Our ongoing series of interviews with a number of women we admire – teachers, journalists, musicians, students, lawyers, startup employees – all young, established, or retired professionals in their fields, discussing gendered aspects of their work and working life.  We hope you like these heartfelt discussions.  Stay tuned for more!             Lara Bhalla Homemaker,…

Nobel Laureate Writes to MS University

Nobel Laureate Writes to MS University

Earlier this year, Maharaja Sayajirao University, (MSU), Baroda in its official diary of the year 2017 credited sages for their contribution to science. They have credited sages for the discovery of rockets and aeroplanes. The June 2017 page says “Maharshi Bhardwaj discovered Rockets and Aeroplanes”. February page has Acharya Khanad credited for developing “Nuclear Technology”. Sushrut…

A Brain for Chetan Bhagat

A Brain for Chetan Bhagat

Soon after the ABVP's recent attack on students and teachers at the Delhi University's Ramjas College, Chetan Bhagat waded thickly into the mix as is his wont. One of our readers, a former member of the ICF collective responds: And here is the most distasteful article, written by someone who never made it to DU,…

Attacks on Writers and Scholars Continue

Attacks on Writers and Scholars Continue

    What does a writer and theatre personality, a professor fighting for justice for a slain RTI activist, a filmmaker questioning Hindu rituals, a young dalit student and writer questioning the system of caste, and an eminent academic of Vachana literature have in common? All of them have faced the wrath of the right-wing…

Why Yogi Adityanath is the “Ideal” CM

Why Yogi Adityanath is the “Ideal” CM

Yogi Adityanath has been announced as the CM of Uttar Pradesh. BJP has chosen its ‘’best’’ to govern the biggest state in India. Yogi Adityanath has several criminal cases against him. Some of the charges include rioting, attempt to murder, carrying deadly weapons, endangering life or personal safety of others, unlawful assembly, trespassing on burial places…

JNU to Researchers – We Don’t Need You

JNU to Researchers – We Don’t Need You

Delhi High Court rejected the petition against UGC guidelines, 2016. This has drastic implications for the students who want to get enrolled in research programs like M.Phil and Ph.D. Now that the guidelines will have to be followed, the seats in various departments and centers will drastically reduce. This leaves future of many students, already…

A Strange Kind of Atavism

A Strange Kind of Atavism

This is the first time in the history of a chequered world, fraught with wars, cold wars and open animosity that a country has debarred people from seven countries to enter their nation, based exclusively on religion. This is rabid racism, and can only open more wounds. While the Mexican expression is' refugees' a term not uncommon in India, the…

‘A woman should never stay behind a man; we must stay ahead of them’

‘A woman should never stay behind a man; we must stay ahead of them’

  Our ongoing series of interviews with a number of women we admire — teachers, journalists, musicians, students, lawyers, startup employees — all young, established, or retired professionals in their fields, discussing gendered aspects of their work and working life.  We hope you like these heartfelt discussions.  Stay tuned for more to come!   From Mohenjo-Daro, first millennium BCE / via…

Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto

Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto

"…The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote.  To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust.  In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living. …My…

University Diary not for Hindutva Propaganda

University Diary not for Hindutva Propaganda

The Hindu right-wing has long been trying to propagate myth as facts about ancient India. Many of these alleged instances of past glory would be funny if it were not for the fact that both science and reason are injured by such propaganda, especially in educational institutions. The right-wing administration of the Maharaja Sayajirao University…

This Old World Is a New World and a Bold World for Me…

This Old World Is a New World and a Bold World for Me…

To commemorate International Working Women's Day, ICF kicks off a month-long series of interviews with a number of women we admire: teachers, journalists, musicians, artists, students, lawyers, startup employees — all young, established, or retired professionals in their fields — discussing gendered aspects of their work and working life.  We hope you like these heartfelt discussions.  Stay tuned for more to…

Women We Admire

Women We Admire

This Women's Day we bring you a collage of video interviews with a number of women activists, academics, intellectuals, writers, musicians, teachers… talking about their work.  This is the first in a month-long series of video and text interviews, so stay tuned!     The above clips draw from essays and interviews published in ICF,…

[Book Extract] Interpreting the World to Change It

[Book Extract] Interpreting the World to Change It

"Prabhat Patnaik, whose life and work this volume celebrates, is exceptional in many ways. While he is widely recognized as a brilliant economist with mastery over contending theoretical traditions in the subject, he made quite clear his predilection for and commitment to applying, developing and extending the Marxist approach. Known primarily as an economist of…

A Fan’s Open Letter to Sehwag

A Fan’s Open Letter to Sehwag

When I think of my growing up years, one memory that flashes in my mind is that of watching you rule the cricket ground. My generation did not get to see Bradman. Neither did we see Sobers or Gavaskar. We missed out on witnessing India become the world champion in ‘83. But we’ve seen Sachin….

How Many Wars

How Many Wars

How many wars were fought  Between India and Pakistan?  Except the red bloody tears Nothing else was floated in the war  Did Nehru taste the death?  Or did his relatives die? How many days did soldiers  Fight in the flagship of Kargil war?  Except the coffin boxes  Nothing else was found in the war The…

“Media Must Report the Truth” — Saeed Naqvi

“Media Must Report the Truth” — Saeed Naqvi

Many media houses reported the recent violence in Ramjas college in a biased manner. While it was clearly the ABVP that was attacking common students, it was claimed that both sides faced casualties. Such reporting was asserted as "objective journalism". It was clearly not truthful journalism. Senior Journalist Saeed Naqvi opines on what is objective…

How Should Rape be Reported?

How Should Rape be Reported?

The 2012 Nirbaya gang-rape case, as it is popularly known as, had led to intense discussions on how sexual assault must not be reported by media. There has been a rise in the coverage of sexual assault cases by the Indian media since 2012 and it has given rise to discussions around violence against women….

Aamhi Saare Pansare

Aamhi Saare Pansare

Comrade Govind Pansare, a rationalist, communist and leader of the masses was shot by members of a right-wing organisation on 16 February 2015. He succumbed to the injuries and died four days later. Newsclick covered a daylong event in Kolhapur on his second death anniversary. Comrade Pansare wrote extensively on a range of subjects, including…

Freedom, Justice & Resistance in Kashmir

Freedom, Justice & Resistance in Kashmir

  In a conversation with the Indian Cultural Forum, Sahba Husain, activist and researcher, and Gautam Navlakha, human rights activist, talk about why Kashmir is seen as integral to the Indian psyche, the role of the state in the militarisation in Kashmir, the language used when talking about resistance in Kashmir, and how impunity for the…

When Bodies Speak

When Bodies Speak

A woman clothed. Then stripped, so she is just a woman’s body; bare skin on which battles are fought for power in all its guises, from honor to state security. What happens when this woman’s body speaks? What is its language? And can such a language live apart from the vocabulary of politics?  Here stands a…

Talk by Martin Macwan from All India Socialist Youth Conference

Talk by Martin Macwan from All India Socialist Youth Conference

All India Socialist Youth Conference | अखिल भारतीय समाजवादी युवा सम्मेलन was organised by Rashtra Seva Dal, Yusuf Meherally Yuva Biradari and Lokayat between 21 and 22 January 2017 in the Rashtra Seva Dal Campus, Pune. It is in continuation with the efforts to build unity of Democratic Socialists across the country as a step…

Will Valentine’s Day Soon Be Wiped from Public Memory?

Will Valentine’s Day Soon Be Wiped from Public Memory?

It is not surprising that the right-wing ruling class is usurping Valentine’s Day and stigmatising the celebration of love by Hindu-ising the day. The Directorate of Public Education of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Chhattisgarh government has issued notices to schools, directing that February 14 be marked as “Matru-Pitru Diwas” (Mother-Father Day) to inculcate “bharatiya sanskriti”,…

F U Kalluri: Going, going… gone?

F U Kalluri: Going, going… gone?

  Exchange of SMSs between Kalluri and advocate Piyoli upon demanding security for Bela Bhatia / DailyO   On 2nd February, IG SRP Kalluri wrote on a Whatsapp group, “Bela Bhatia wins.” He has been asked to go on “long leave” by the Chhattisgarh State government. It appears that the reign of Kalluri may be…

Cultural Resistance through Carnatic Music

Cultural Resistance through Carnatic Music

Performance is clearly a potent medium for spreading and making accessible what otherwise might be problematic and unpopular1. This is exactly what T.M. Krishna attempted to do with his video performance on the issue of the common property (Poramboke land). This song is addressing the common lands being taken over by the state and being…

Bezwada Wilson on Eradicating Manual Scavenging

Bezwada Wilson on Eradicating Manual Scavenging

This is a talk organised at Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD) in collaboration with Indian Writers Forum (IWF) on 'Eradicating Manual Scavenging: Join the Struggle'. Bezwada Wilson talks about the need to eradicate manual scavenging, the reasons given by the government for implementing demonetisation, its impact on the poor of the country and the lack of political will…

A State Without a Constitution

A State Without a Constitution

“We must state that we were aghast at the blindness to constitutional limitations of the State of Chattisgarh, and some of its advocates, in claiming that any one who questions the conditions of inhumanity that are rampant in many parts of that state ought to necessarily be treated as Maoists, or their sympathizers, and yet…

Demonetisation – A Poem

Demonetisation – A Poem

Cycle rickshaw-walas support demonetisation. Their earnings have halved. Some days they don't have any work. They think it will be over, soon. In a month or two, hopefully, they say. They are doing it for the country, right? Maybe they are. Mandi waalas support demonetisation. Their supplies are short. And what they have, is rotting….

What the Nation Really Needs to Know: Extracts from JNU’s Nationalism Lectures

What the Nation Really Needs to Know: Extracts from JNU’s Nationalism Lectures

The massive outbreak of protests in February 2016, in the wake of sedition charges being filed against some students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, took the form not only of sloganeering, human chains and streetplays, but also a lecture series on nationalism, attended by thousands of students, every day for almost a month. To mark the first anniversary of the attack, the…

An Open Letter to the PM of Pakistan

An Open Letter to the PM of Pakistan

20/1/2017 From                                                                                                                                    Rahman Abbas Mumbai   To MR. PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN MIAN NAWAZ SHARIF       SUBJECT: Appeal to ensure safety and release of disappeared poet and bloggers.   Dear Sir,   I’m an Indian Urdu novelist and have frequently spoken against fanatic elements in my own country when they have indulged in…

National Campaign against the delay in Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi murder case

National Campaign against the delay in Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi murder case

  डॉ. नरेंद्र दाभोलकर यांच्या खुनाला 20 जानेवारी रोजी 41 महिने पूर्ण होत आहे. महाराष्ट्र अंधश्रध्दा निर्मूलन समितीच्या वतीने किमान जिल्हा स्तरावर तरी आपापल्या परीने धरणे आंदोलन करून मा. मुख्यमंत्री यांना द्यावयाचे निवेदन संबंधित जिल्हाधिकारी किंवा पोलीस अधीक्षकांना द्यावयाचे आहे. तसेच 20 फेब्रुवारीला कॉम्रेड गोविंद पानसरे ह्यांच्या खूनाला दोन वर्षे पूर्ण होत आहेत. ह्या पार्श्वभूमीवर…

Remembering Om Puri

Remembering Om Puri

Indian Cinema has witnessed a great loss with the death of one of its finest actors. Om Puri was known for his versatility, and the acute dedication with which he invested himself in preparation for every role. His innate talent was demonstrated in his early days, at the National School of Drama (NSD). Veteran actor…

The Lord Comes to My House

The Lord Comes to My House

The Lord comes to my house. Delivers the message from the bank, “My account is short of minimum balance.” Late in the afternoon, I get a call from the Seven Angels: I have sinned for not submitting my income tax on time. Ashamed of peer pressure, I drink, dance, and sing Merry Christmas from my rooftop….

“BSP is the only alternative at the moment to defeat the forces of Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh”

“BSP is the only alternative at the moment to defeat the forces of Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh”

Bhanwar Meghwanshi is an incisive and forthright contemporary voice of the progressive Dalit movement in Rajasthan.  He has untiringly participated in campaigns and movements across the country, creating awareness on communalism, casteism, gender violence, globalisation, displacement and so on. Born on February 25, 1975 in village Siridiyas in Bhilwara district into a Dalit weaver family,…

The Idea of the University

The Idea of the University

    Linked below are the contents of an issue of Café Dissensus on "The Idea of the University".  Guest Editorial: What ‘Use’ is the Liberal Ruse? Debating the ‘Idea’ of the University by Debaditya Bhattacharya Manufacturing Unfreedom: The Commoditization of Education by Prabhat Patnaik Neoliberal Savagery and the Assault on Higher Education as a Democratic Public Sphere by Henry A. Giroux Shadow-Images of…

Manipur Burns, Again

Manipur Burns, Again

    Manipur burns, again. If I take a walk  up the Kangla fort, what will I see? Will I still see women  selling vegetables in softly dressed attire? Will the market still make its humming bird sound? Or will I hear only  of buses burnt, the whiff of curfew, of human bondage? The skies once again…

“No Hindu Rashtra”: Nayantara Sahgal

“No Hindu Rashtra”: Nayantara Sahgal

The following statement from Nayantara Sahgal was read out at the programme "Hastakshep: Jantantrik Aur Sanskritik Bahulata Ke Paksh Mein" in Gandhi Bhavan, Lucknow, December 28, 2016: The dangers we face today come from the fact that this Government is destroying the meaning of India, and step by step, stealthily and openly, is converting our secular…

New MacDonald’s Has A Factory

New MacDonald’s Has A Factory

  New MacDonald’s has a factory Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi-oh And on his farm, he has some beef Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi-oh With no space to move here, and no space to move there Here a cut tail, there a hurt calf Everywhere a blood bath New MacDonald’s has a factory Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi-oh. New MacDonald’s has a factory Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi-oh And in his…

In Conversation with Bhagwan Das

In Conversation with Bhagwan Das

Mr Bhagwan Das was a reputed scholar on Ambedkarism and the issue of human rights of the Scheduled Castes. Widely traveled, Mr Das addressed throughout his lifetime, various national & international platforms on the conditions of dalits in India and the best ways of their emancipation. In freewheeling conversation with Vidya Bhushan Rawat, he speaks…

An Insistent Music

An Insistent Music

The music was always in our ears goose-stepping softly to a distant military tune but the madman who perches by the signal he could never hear it then another beat rose to reverberate in our guts drums and synthesizers in riotous processions from dusk to dawn, emptying the streets into the sea. the air thick…

Two Poems

Two Poems

                Stories We'll Tell our Grandchildren   We know now for certain that the world is coming to an end and that we are the bricks falling apart. Eighty years on when we sit with our grandchildren under a smoke-stung sky for a heavy medicated drink to keep…

फिदेल कास्त्रो : एक क्रांतिकारी जीवन का उत्सव

फिदेल कास्त्रो : एक क्रांतिकारी जीवन का उत्सव

  फिदेल कास्त्रो 90 वर्ष की उम्र में एक दीर्घ सक्रिय जीवन जीने के बाद २५ नवम्बर २०१६ को इस दुनिया से रुखसत ज़रूर हुए लेकिन वे करोड़ों – अरबों दिलों में हमेशा के लिए बसे रहेंगे। वे बेशक दुनिया के दूसरे सिरे पर मौजूद एक छोटे से देश के शासक थे लेकिन उन्होंने अनेक…

In the Name of Others

In the Name of Others

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee    In the Name of Others For Jo Cox, Orlando's queers, others I'm looking for you On this desert Island I wasn't wrong you are my people my neighbours – Tadeusz Różewicz, Conversation with a Prince, 1998 Each passing day, the clock turns its back on us. Time hangs on a murderer’s…

Report of the People’s Tribunal on Caste Discrimination and Police Action in University of Hyderabad

Report of the People’s Tribunal on Caste Discrimination and Police Action in University of Hyderabad

The tribunal was organized by the concerned teachers, writers, and lawyers of Hyderabad. It was chaired by Justice  K. Chandru (Retired judge, High Court Madras). Prof Govardhan Wankhede (TISS, Bombay) and Prof Ghanshyam Shah (formerly Prof, JNU) were the members. The brief to the tribunal was to examine the circumstances leading to the suicide of research scholar…

Winter Light

Winter Light

        It's afternoon, dark already at the cross roads, A sudden storm of bikers, men in leather, motors snarling, Flags spurt skywards I freeze in place at the metal barricade, the seam of sense unpicked, Brown body splayed. In the aftermath of light, what proof is there of love— Buoyancy of the…

Two Poems by Priya Sarukkai Chabria

Two Poems by Priya Sarukkai Chabria

  Undetected Bookworm Where are your valiant warriors and your priests, Where are your hunting parties and your feasts?                                                 – Abolqasem Ferdowsi Shahrukh, grandson of Tamburlaine who rode in triumph through Persepolis,  commissioned a Shahnama,  a Book of Kings. ‘Inscribe in letters of gold the glories of my ancestors. Thus let my story too…

Dying Art Forms, Static Traditions and Religious Mumbo-Jumbo: Puppeteer Anurupa Roy On Our General Ignorance

Dying Art Forms, Static Traditions and Religious Mumbo-Jumbo: Puppeteer Anurupa Roy On Our General Ignorance

“I recently had the misfortune of meeting a film maker who wanted to make a film about the “dying art of puppetry“. She said it is “common knowledge” that these artists “live in villages and are uneducated”. Gunduraju and Rajappa’s faces flashed before my eyes. These artists can recite between 60,00 – 100,000 verses from the epics…

Increased Attacks on Media in Modified India

Increased Attacks on Media in Modified India

Although the constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression, legal protections are not always sufficiently upheld by the courts or respected by government officials. A number of laws that remain on books can be used to restrict media freedom. The sedition law, formally Section 124A of the 1860 penal code, outlaws expression that can cause…

Flawless

Flawless

Ankita Anand       द्रोण-दृष्टिकोण दोष  एकलव्य ने चरणों में रखा अंगूठा काट, तब पर भी नहीं हुई क्षुधा समाप्त। सदियों तक निरंतर होते रहे आघात, कभी अंगूठा रहित, कभी बनाया अंगूठा छाप।  द्रोण, यूँ कब तक माँग-माँग कर छोटे होते रहोगे, अबकी एकलव्य ने अंगूठा दिखा दिया, तो कहाँ मुँह छिपाते फिरोगे?                    …

Dakshinayan: The Long Path Towards Reason

Dakshinayan: The Long Path Towards Reason

A constant drumbeat broke through the murmuring of hundreds of voices, old and young, men and women. Margao, the cultural capital of Goa, had spent the last few weeks preparing to host hundreds of visitors from all over the country. For three days in November, the Dakshinayan Rashtriya Parishad was to organise the biggest demonstration…

A Ghazal for Gaza

A Ghazal for Gaza

  In response to a video of the celebratory chants in Hebrew by some Israelis following the bombings in Gaza, which translate as: “No children are left there, Olé, Olé”.   Four young footballers were playing on the beach, When men went coursing, preying on the beach. They built castles high up into the skies,…

Challenges of Running Community Radio

Challenges of Running Community Radio

Gurgaon ki Awaaz is one of the radio stations arbitrarily issued a notice for carrying ‘objectionable and denigrating’ content on its radio station. The station director has issued this statement accepting the challenges of running a community radio station in a society where misogynistic language, even abuse, often creeps into discourse; this is worth a…

The Shadow Warriors

The Shadow Warriors

  On television studios they scream and shout. The crisscrossing visage grows long and short defacing the ugly patterns beneath a 1959 TIME cover that hangs on my 2016 minimalist wall A young Dalai Lama looks on in wonder, is he thinking of the mule he rode to India? The men, yes it's always the…

Our Dead Uncle

Our Dead Uncle

  On this Diwali my Didi sat to write a letter to our uncle who got killed in the  second war between  India and Pakistan. I was looking at Didi. And as I was looking at her the white cat,  the one which came to our home  only yesterday, now  all his body in fierce black,  came…

“The State is Lawless”

“The State is Lawless”

Soni Sori, a human rights defender and an adivasi school teacher from Chhattisgarh, was in Mumbai recently to talk at an event organized to commemorate Justice (retd.) Suresh Hosbet's 25 years of contribution to human rights struggles in India post his retirement. This event was organised by Majlis, in collaboration with Human Rights Law Network (HRLN),…

They Saw No Longer the Battlefield

They Saw No Longer the Battlefield

  (After Valmiki's Ramayana: Yuddhakanda, sarga 55)   And then like the blindness of fury in WAR a solid rising column of iron-coloured dirt & skin & blood & hair & pollen & chondrite buffeted in the ten directions the combatants of both (monkeysrakshsasasboth) sides, all beings wrapped and tossed in it– and they saw…

Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity

  Obasa min Dahlin’ used his head to stop a bullet. The people in the press room used their eyes. If they blinked with their eyes closed they sometimes saw a deeper red. Their wideangled phones caught everything – they were so powerful. They were so powerful they could tune rumour into fact. [One of…

Easy ; Sugar

Easy ; Sugar

  Easy Death is easy to pronounce. He deserved to die. They ought to be shot. Hanging’s too good for him. The words fall glib. Throw-away lines sentencing them to death. Distant observer, you speak without guilt, or fear of misplaced allegiances. You just need something to say, that’s all. The right sentiment, rightly declared…

Missing Student

Missing Student

Missing Student A student missing  in the university  doesn't matter; the classes will continue,  and the student  missing  will rue many  a time that  the classes  were not missing, the university  grounded in dust   in New Delhi. There is campus  rumpus, a student is missing,  students protest –  where is he?  And the Vice Chancellor …

“Be As Irreverent As You Like”

“Be As Irreverent As You Like”

List three words that you love to taste. Currently, it would be emollient, amaretto, agape. List three words that make you flinch with their violence. Slaughter, eviscerate, bludgeon. A fourth: asphyxiate. Describe a recurring daydream. When I was in school, I had a recurrent daydream about slipping out through the side-gate of the playground during…

A Nation Filled with Anti-Nationals!

A Nation Filled with Anti-Nationals!

I thought the Muslims were the only anti-nationals in this country. But I was mistaken. Earlier, thousands of people including even women and children who were questioning the Koodankulam nuclear plant were declared as anti-nationals. They are not the only ones outside the community of Muslims, though. Over 11,000 NGOs in India are restricted from the…

Illusions

Illusions

    Illusion I Virgin paper—a soldier Writes a glorious poem in blood-ink. Later crumpled Tear-blotted, Torn and scattered (Like his own body), After Victory is declared.       Illusion II   (inspired by Siegfried Sassoon’s “Survivors”) Men who went out to battle, grim and glad; Children, with eyes that hate you, broken and…

A Secular Case for a Common Civil Code

A Secular Case for a Common Civil Code

The news regarding Muslim Personal Law Board and other Muslim organisations’ adamant stand on the issue of triple talaq and the BJP-led union government’s attempt to push for a Universal Civil Code (hereafter UCC)1 has energised the debate on reforms in Muslim personal laws verses a UCC. A section of Muslim women along with the Bhartiya…

Three Poems

Three Poems

AFTER THE WAR At the end of the war When the counting of dead bodies began, the Pandavas and the Kauravas beat their brows together in horror. ‘Why did we fight at all?’ asked the Pandavas.  ‘How did they die?’ asked the Kauravas. ‘Whose cruel deed was this?’ enquired the Pandavas. ‘Who was behind it?’…

Ghalib’s Ghost

Ghalib’s Ghost

Meena Alexander   Kabir Sings in a City of Burning Towers What a shame they scared you so you plucked your sari off, crushed it into a ball then spread it on the toilet floor. Sparks from the towers fled through  the weave of silk. With your black hair and sun dark skin you’re just…

Reflections of a Cartographer

Reflections of a Cartographer

Through the thick magnifying glass— Veins in my honed eye Streams of red—the contour Lines are taut webs, gradients Coalesce from blue to green, To the burnt sienna of dry blood, To spurs concaved and drowned, To bludgeoned, pocked scarps, To another fresh mound On the ground and a single flower. Each year the lens…

Another Way

Another Way

To swing yourself from moment to moment, to weave a clause that leaves room for reminiscence and surprise, that breathes, welcomes commas, dips and soars through air-pockets of vowel, lingers over the granularity of consonant, never racing to the full-stop, content sometimes with the question mark, even if it’s the oldest one in the book….

Of Peace and War

Of Peace and War

  We know very well that there is no heaven and no hell we accept them notionally, just as the sky is notional, and the Divine. War is an exile from heaven, real state of exile from a notional one. Night exiting from day and day from night are real, the clock tells us so…

“Nobody has a monopoly on God”

“Nobody has a monopoly on God”

Artistes, intellectuals, spiritual practitioners and activists came together at a symposium on Sufism and the Attack on Syncretic Culture, organised by Anhad, to condemn these nefarious attempts to communalize our social fabric, and to share views on this subject, one of vital importance in our troubled times. Here is a short compilation of interviews with the…

Project Heartland 2: Meet the Men Who Started the Una Movement

Project Heartland 2: Meet the Men Who Started the Una Movement

Project Heartland captures the struggles of people from marginalised communities, mainly Dalits in Gujarat. It shows the courage and determination of Dalit women and men to assert their rights despite all odds. Project Heartland wants these brave people to be known, recognised, and be seen as an inspiration to others. This YouTube mini series brings out different stories from the…

Project Heartland: Meet the Men Who Started the Una Movement

Project Heartland: Meet the Men Who Started the Una Movement

Project Heartland captures the struggles of people from marginalised communities, mainly Dalits in Gujarat. It shows the courage and determination of Dalit women and men to assert their rights despite all odds. Project Heartland wants these brave people to be known, recognised, and be seen as an inspiration to others. This YouTube mini series brings out different stories from the…

Lokayat: Fighting Fascism

Lokayat: Fighting Fascism

Lokayat is an activist group and forum based in Pune that is part of the larger anti-globalisation movement and upholds the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India. This forum looks at the impact of the liberalisation of the Indian economy after 1991 and the consequences of running an economy on the bases of profit…

Ayodhya or Saket: The Politics of Ram Temple

Ayodhya or Saket: The Politics of Ram Temple

This documentary by Vidya Bhushan Rawat, on the Ayodhya issue and how it affected the communal harmony of India, is pertinent in the context of the resurgent Hindutva programme in India which catapulted Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister in 2014. It is being republished, since the subject Rawat tackles is all the more significant…

In Conversation with Hasina Nat

In Conversation with Hasina Nat

We all know the importance of conversations. If they are freewheeling without any prejudices, these conversations are of a great importance. Our aim here is to bring voices and conversations that are not a part of our “main stream” media. We wish to raise uncomfortable questions in our discussions to benefit the viewers. There will…

My Protest

My Protest

© Sohan Qadri, Untitled / Tao Art   जब बाण लागियो तबै रोस जागियो – गुरु गोबिन्द सिंह Some time ago, I returned my Padma Shri award in protest against the rising religious intolerance in our country prompted by certain sections of the ruling political class and civil society. I was not alone in registering such…

The Question of Language in Education

The Question of Language in Education

The Report of the Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy displays neither rigour nor vision. Its introduction of a provision for instruction in the mother tongue up to Class 5 is to be welcomed, but its complete neglect of these languages in higher education will ensure that this cannot be implemented.    …

The BJP’s Fascination with a Dalit Icon

The BJP’s Fascination with a Dalit Icon

The Bharatiya Janata Party has revamped its Uttar Pradesh headquarters into a neat corporate-style office. There is Wi-Fi, an all-new digital library with block-wise electoral data of the State, election war rooms, and strategy rooms. However, the most engaging bit is the decoration in the large hall on the ground floor where press conferences and…

Report of the Committee to Enquire Into the Allegation of Differential Treatment of SC/ST Students in All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi

Report of the Committee to Enquire Into the Allegation of Differential Treatment of SC/ST Students in All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi

This report contains findings by a three-member committee constituted by the Government, and headed by Professor Sukhadeo Torat in order to probe into the matter of discrimation and differential treatment in the All India Institue of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, one of the top medical colleges in the country. Students in the college belonging to…

“छोटे मुँह बड़ी बात”

“छोटे मुँह बड़ी बात”

कविता का एक सिरा समाज से जुड़ा होता है तो उसके दुसरे सिरे को व्यक्ति थामे रहता है। इसलिए अगर कविता को हम व्यष्टि और समष्टि के बीच एक रचनात्मक पुल कहें तो गलत न होगा। कविता एक मन (कवि के मन) से बहती हुई दूसरे मन (सहृदय के मन) तक जाती है। लेकिन इस…

Muzaffarnagar: Post Riot Assessment

Muzaffarnagar: Post Riot Assessment

This report assesses the conditions of the survivors of the Muzaffarnagar riots who live in abysmal "relief camps", along with the trauma of the violence they experienced. A team comprising thirteen members from various organnisations in the country, convened by the Centre for Peace Studies, visited the riot affected areas in 2013. This report also provides a comrehensive context…

Untold Story of Hindukaran (Proselytisation) of ADIVASI (TRIBAL) in DANG: A Report

Untold Story of Hindukaran (Proselytisation) of ADIVASI (TRIBAL) in DANG: A Report

Citizen’s Inquiry Committee: Digant Oza Harsh Mander Irfan Engineer Lakshmanbhai Rathore Prasad Chacko Ram Puniyani Rohit Prajapati Shabnam Hashmi Suresh Khairnar Uttambhai Parmar Contents Executive Summary Introduction Political Economy of Dangs The Sangh and anti-Christian mobilisation Shabri, the Kumbh and the pseudo-mythology of Dangs Voices from the Dangs: Testimonies The open Sangh-State Nexus Conclusion Annexures…

Excluding the people

Excluding the people

The masks came off soon after condoling writer Mahasweta Devi’s death. Unmasked, the right-wing pseudo-nationalists were on the prowl for their daily target. They found it in a play staged in the University of Haryana; the play was based on Mahasweta’s story, "Draupadi". The ABVP attack was to convince us that a story, a story…

Celebrating Ravan

Celebrating Ravan

As the rest of the country burns effigies of Ravan, the writer visits a Gond village in Maharashtra where the ten-headed king is worshipped as god.  It stands like the Trojan horse, clamped upon high iron wheels but sans the ominous boding of Greek subterfuge. A group of tribal men and women in colourful attire…

सांस्कृतिक अवमूल्यन की राजनीतिक साज़िश

सांस्कृतिक अवमूल्यन की राजनीतिक साज़िश

बोलने की आज़ादी पर बढ़ते हमलों के इस दौर में जो सबसे बड़े प्रश्न हमारे सामने खड़े हैं वह यह है की इन हमलों के सांस्कृतिक प्रभाव क्या होंगे और कितने घातक होंगे? सांस्कृतिक क्षेत्र अनिवार्य रूप से सामाजिक-राजनीतिक क्षेत्र से जुड़ा हुआ है, तथा इन हलकों में चल रहीं हलचलों की तरंगें सांस्कृतिक क्षेत्र…

“We Have No Orders to Save You”: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat

“We Have No Orders to Save You”: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat

The 2002 riots witnessed largescale violence, brutality and murder of Muslims in Gujarat. This report sheds light on the complicity and participation of the State. Human Rights Watch's findings show that the attacks were not only planned in advance, but also included the active participation of the police, and in close cooperation with the State government (Bharatiya Janta Party, BJP). 

Couplets by Basoo

Couplets by Basoo

  ಗಾಯಗೊಳ್ಳದೆ ಇರುವ ಜಾಗ ಇನ್ನೂ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಉಳಿದಿತ್ತು  ಇರಿದು ಹೋದವರ  ಜಾಗವನ್ನೇ ಹೊಸ ಚೂರಿ ಬಯಸಿತು  दिल में बची थी जगह थोड़ी और नए ज़ख्मो के लिए  फिर भी हर एक खंजर पुराने ज़ख्मो पे उतरता रहा ॥   ನನ್ನ ಬದುಕಿಸುವುದು ರೊಟ್ಟಿಯೇ ಎನಿಸಿತ್ತು  ನಿನ್ನ ಸಂಧಿಸುವ ತನಕ  दो वक़्त कि रोटी मिल जाए तो ज़िंदा रह सकूंगा  अपनी मुलाक़ात से पहले…

Untouchability and the Untouchables

Untouchability and the Untouchables

Testimony given by Bhagwan Das, Chairman, All India Samata Sainik Dal, and Ambedkar Mission society In the 36th Session of Commission on Human rights Sub-Commission on Prevention Of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, held at Geneva in August 1983 I am grateful to the chairman of the sub-committee for granting me an opportunity to present…

In Solidarity With Irom Sharmila

In Solidarity With Irom Sharmila

Irom Sharmila recently spoke at her first public event outside Manipur since the end of her remarkable sixteen-year long fast. The North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) organised a seminar on “AFSPA and the People’s Movement” at the Delhi School of Social Work on 30th September. The event took place to commemorate the iconic social…

“There are some who shoot the messenger; there are some who sue. The casualty in both cases is democracy.”

“There are some who shoot the messenger; there are some who sue. The casualty in both cases is democracy.”

At a time when corporatisation of the media in the country is virtually complete and organisations and individuals are being increasingly hounded for their perceived political and social dissent, there are still journalists and percipient writers who work overtime to bring riveting and incisive stories to readers that delve far deeper than mundane and insipid…

Report on the Struggle and Repression at Honda Motorcycles and Scooters Factory, Tapukara

Report on the Struggle and Repression at Honda Motorcycles and Scooters Factory, Tapukara

Workers Solidarity Center, Gurgaon-Bawal The struggle of 3000 Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) workers of Tapukara plant in Alwar, situated at the Haryana-Rajasthan border, in the face of brutal repression from the management-police-administration side, has emerged as an important and intense workers' struggle. As the workers saw commonality, forged unity across internal segmentation, initiated…

Ghazal: A Shriek About Kashmir

Ghazal: A Shriek About Kashmir

To Abir Bazaz, Javaid Iqbal Bhat, Hamzah, and all my Kashmiri brothers How do I see, think, dream, or speak about Kashmir? One more ghazal shall I tweak about Kashmir? Another bloody summer looms over the Dal, Wani’s died and been deified this week, about Kashmir. Vani is also "voice" in Hindi and Sanskrit, There’s…

Book Extract: Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora?

Book Extract: Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora?

We present here an extract from Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora?, a collection of perspectives on the horrific night of February 23, 1991, when members of the 4 Rajputana Rifles regiment of the Indian Army gangraped women from the villages of Kunan and Poshpora in Indian Kashmir. The book includes survivor testimonies, medical records, accounts…