UAPA on Thirumurugan Gandhi for expressing solidarity to Palestinian Struggle

UAPA on Thirumurugan Gandhi for expressing solidarity to Palestinian Struggle

Thirumurugan Gandhi, civil rights activist and coordinator of May 17 Movement has been booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) act for expressing his solidarity to the Palestinian struggle in a public meeting, in 2017. Thirumurugan Gandhi is in jail for the past 14 days. He was detained in the Bangalore international airport…

Petition Challenging Amendments to Prevention of Atrocities Act Filed in Supreme Court

Petition Challenging Amendments to Prevention of Atrocities Act Filed in Supreme Court

A petition challenging Parliament’s decision to pass the amendment to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, was filed yesterday by two advocates, Prathvi Raj Chauhan and Priya Sharma. The amendments had come following the controversial Judgement of the Supreme Court on March 20 this year, which restricted the Act's provisions. The Judgement was seen…

Dalit woman stoned to death for not withdrawing sexual harassment complaint

Dalit woman stoned to death for not withdrawing sexual harassment complaint

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto Madhya Pradesh: 38-year-old Anil Mishra dragged a 23-year-old Dalit college student by her hair and smashed her head with a stone because she refused to withdraw a sexual harassment complaint against him.   The incident occurred in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh, around noon when the girl was walking to the Netaji Subhash Chandra…

Kerala Flood Disaster: The Continuing Saga of Coastal States’ Insecurity

Kerala Flood Disaster: The Continuing Saga of Coastal States’ Insecurity

The flood disaster that struck the entire state of Kerala following the unprecedented monsoon has raised many questions of survival-in-crisis transcending the traditional paradigm of security. For many years, the coastal States of India—from Gujarat to West Bengal covering more than 7500 kilometers of coastline—have been facing several threats from the Arabian Sea, Bay of…

National Register of Citizens: A Discussion on its Historical Context and Outcomes

National Register of Citizens: A Discussion on its Historical Context and Outcomes

On 20 August, the India International Centre, in collaboration with Good World Foundation (a Shillong based organisation), organised a panel discussion titled “Insider and Outsider: Issues of Citizenship and Belonging in Northeast India” to discuss the National Register of Citizens of Assam (NRC) at New Delhi. The panelists were Suhas Chakma, Sublimal Bhattacharya, Krishna Sarma,…

Students Marching Towards Home Ministry Against Insufficient Action on Kerala Floods Detained and Beaten Up

Students Marching Towards Home Ministry Against Insufficient Action on Kerala Floods Detained and Beaten Up

Students Marching Towards Home Ministry Against Insufficient Action On Kerala Floods Detained And Beaten Up. The bus full of students trying to reach the Home Ministry was halted, the police compelled the students to get off the bus and even beat up some of the students.  Students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had issued a…

Atal Bihari Vajpayee University Runs Into Tough Times, Discontinues Over 90 Courses From The Current Academic Session

Atal Bihari Vajpayee University Runs Into Tough Times, Discontinues Over 90 Courses From The Current Academic Session

With a view to honour the first Prime Minister from the Bharatiya Janata Party, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Madhya Pradesh government established ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hindi University’ in 2011 and introduced engineering and paramedical courses in Hindi for the first time. However, since then, the university has been running in to rough times. Owing to…

British Used Aurangzeb to Divide and Rule India: US Historian Truschke

British Used Aurangzeb to Divide and Rule India: US Historian Truschke

An American scholar has expressed concern over the present trend in India of deliberate distortions in the writing of history, which she says further the agenda of manufacturing hatred against different sections of peoples. Historian Audrey Truschke, author of the bestselling book Aurangzeb – The Man and the Myth, teaches South Asian history at Rutgers…

Anti Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy

Anti Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy

In Antisocial Media: Anti-Social Media How Facebook Disconnects Us, Siva Vaidhyanathan explains that Facebook may make personal lives pleasurable, but it can also deteriorate democracy around the world. The following is an excerpt from the chapter "The Surveillance Machine". The Surveillance Machine Facebook is the most pervasive surveillance system in the history of the world. More…

Massive Tel Aviv Protest Sees Palestinians and Jews in Solidarity against Nation-State Law

Massive Tel Aviv Protest Sees Palestinians and Jews in Solidarity against Nation-State Law

Passed last month, the law officially declared Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and, among other things, made Hebrew the singular national language. The move was appladued by Israel’s right-wing government, which praised it as finally affirming the “Jewish character” of Israel. Critics, local and international, however, have criticized the law, saying…

Undeniable Human Agency in Climate Change While Disasters Multiply

Undeniable Human Agency in Climate Change While Disasters Multiply

To be rational is to know that weather events cannot be causally related to climate change, although exacerbation is another issue.  Yet when the news is full of record setting fires in California and Greece and Australia, temperature records tumbling, and typhoons and hurricanes relentless in their intensity, one might be forgiven for wondering. Those…

Meet Kruti R: One of the Female Voices of Yakshagana

Meet Kruti R: One of the Female Voices of Yakshagana

Yakshagana is a traditional theatre art form that has been performed in in Karnataka and some parts of the other Southern states. Yakshagana combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques to stage the stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata.  Although there are many female characters represented in the play, Yakshagana traditionally does not have…

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers Protest in J&K, Demand Salaries as per the 7th Pay Commission

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers Protest in J&K, Demand Salaries as per the 7th Pay Commission

However, the teachers, who have served the department for over 16 years are no longer being recognised as state employees due to administrative loopholes. After recruiting the SSA teachers instead of filling up vacancies of master grade employees or head teachers, the government decided to promote the in-service SSA primary school teachers to the upper…

Explosives Recovered From a Hindutva Proponent and a Gau Rakshak

Explosives Recovered From a Hindutva Proponent and a Gau Rakshak

The Hindu extremist organisation Sanatan Sanstha (SS) and its splinter Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) have had a long relationship with weapons and explosives. Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) raided the house of Vaibhav Raut on August 10, 2018, an SS sympathiser and a member of Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti, and recovered at least eight country-made bombs, along with…

Tea Garden Workers Break the Jinx of Identity and Communal Politics

Tea Garden Workers Break the Jinx of Identity and Communal Politics

Against an oppressive state machinery and vile attempts to diffuse the class movement in the North Bengal , tea garden workers took the lead in the state to deliver a blow to the aspirations of the ruling class, as  their 72-hour strike for wages according to the  Minimum Wages Act, reached a pinnacle. Cutting across political affiliations, about…

The 2017 Assam Lynchings

The 2017 Assam Lynchings

In response to hate crimes across India, manifested through the recent lynchings in the name of religion, a group of volunteers led by Harsh Mander travelled across eight states in India to unite against hate crimes. They called it the Karwan e Mohabbat or Caravan of Love. The book Reconciliation Karwan E Mohabbat’s Journey of…

Editors Guild Decries Government’s ‘Orwellian’ Censorship Attempts

Editors Guild Decries Government’s ‘Orwellian’ Censorship Attempts

[1] The Editors Guild of India condemns the manner in which the right to practise free and independent journalism is seen to be undermined by a combination of forces – some media owners’ inability to withstand political covert or overt pressures from the political establishment and frequent instances of blocking or interference in the transmission…

Number of Govt. Jobs Gradually Decreasing, A Trend After NDA Came To Power

Number of Govt. Jobs Gradually Decreasing, A Trend After NDA Came To Power

There are about twenty four lakh government jobs lying vacant with both the central and state governments and Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, asks,“Where are the jobs?” The present regime’s track record with employment specifically in government sector is significant to understand the…

Bangladesh Government Unleashes Violence on Youth Demanding Road Safety

Bangladesh Government Unleashes Violence on Youth Demanding Road Safety

Dhaka, Bangladesh is witnessing massive students’ protests over issues of road safety and the killing of students in road accidents. However, widespread reports especially accessed on social media, reportedly suggest that the Government of Bangladesh with its police and other informal institutions such as its students’ wing has unleashed a bloodied war on its youth…

Assassin’s Creed: Hindutva-supporters’ Network Planned Several More Killings

Assassin’s Creed: Hindutva-supporters’ Network Planned Several More Killings

The investigations into the assassination of rationalist and anti-Hindutva voices— Narendra Dabholkar, Comrade Govind Pansare, M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh— has produced clear evidence in the form of diaries, documents, gun forensics, and statements of participants, that a five state network of like-minded hardcore Hindutva supporters exists and has been actively planning the physical…

Is This Azaadi?

Is This Azaadi?

  …the underclass in Muktidih is hopelessly on the margins of survival because of its limited access to the necessities of life, including food, clothing and shelter. One of my informants, …, insightfully stated that even insects were more capable of coping with their needs than were members of his class. This is a corollary of…

Women Respond to Madras HC Judgement: Father’s Name not Required in Birth Certificates

Women Respond to Madras HC Judgement: Father’s Name not Required in Birth Certificates

  In a landmark judgment, the Madras High Court ruled that writing the father’s name is not mandatory in birth certificates. The judgement came after Ms Madhumita Ramesh filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court against the Tiruchi Municipal Corporation (TMC). The petitioner had undergone intrauterine insemination after her divorce and gave birth…

13 years of the Palestinian BDS Movement

13 years of the Palestinian BDS Movement

  July 9th 2018 marks the thirteenth year of the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, given by Palestinian civil society. The call, which has now taken the shape of a global movement, demands that these measures be implemented till Israel recognizes and starts respecting Palestinian human rights and agrees to comply with…

“Bhima Koregaon is a story of dalit-bahujan assertion”: Somnath Waghmare

“Bhima Koregaon is a story of dalit-bahujan assertion”: Somnath Waghmare

Anand Mangnale speaks to the film maker Somnath Waghmare about the little attention that the History of Bhima Korengon has recieved by the Indian Media, and the lack of representation in Indian cinema.          Read More:  Overlooked Voices: Somnath Waghmare about his documentary on Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar Somnath Waghmare on Bhima Koregaon and…

Alireza Beiranvand: From a ‘beggar’ in Tehran to Stopping Cristiano Ronaldo at FIFA World Cup

Alireza Beiranvand: From a ‘beggar’ in Tehran to Stopping Cristiano Ronaldo at FIFA World Cup

  Alireza Beiranvand’s goalkeeping skills are well known. He kept a clean sheet right through Iran’s qualifying campaign for the FIFA World Cup. But the unassuming 25-year-old overnight became a household name across the world after stopping a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty during his team’s final Group B game at Mordovia Arena on June 25. Ronaldo, a contender for the…

मोदी काल: पत्रकारिता के लिए बर्बादी के साल

मोदी काल: पत्रकारिता के लिए बर्बादी के साल

  लोकतंत्र के चौथे खम्भे यानी मीडिया की आवाज़ को दबाने की कोशिश समय-समय पर सत्ता द्वारा की जाती रही है। चाहे 1975 में इमरजेंसी के दौरान पत्रकारों की अभिव्यक्ति छीनना हो या मौजूदा समय में एक अप्रत्यक्ष इमरजेंसी का दौर पैदा करना हो। पेरिस स्थित एनजीओ “रिपोर्टर्स विदाउट बॉर्डर ” के 2018 के अध्ययन अनुसार…

We are withdrawing our panel on ‘Feminist Reframings of India’s Northeast’ from AAS-in-Asia

We are withdrawing our panel on ‘Feminist Reframings of India’s Northeast’ from AAS-in-Asia

  The convenor and the presenters of the panel ‘Feminist Reframings of India’s Northeast: Gendered Geographies and Genealogies’ have decided to withdraw our panel from the AAS-in-Asia, 2018 Conference. The panel has made this decision in the light of how the denial of visas to scholars from Pakistan was handled by AAS and Ashoka University. The Association…

She Was No Longer Believable

She Was No Longer Believable

This year, on the 43rd anniversary of the Emergency declared by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, we bring you an extract from The Hoodlum Years, a book containing a selection of essays that Ashok Mitra wrote at the time for Economic and Political Weekly.     Electra becomes a mourning. Ingenuity, beyond a point, ceases to…

Sack Him: Journalists Flay BJP MLA for Incitement to Violence

Sack Him: Journalists Flay BJP MLA for Incitement to Violence

On June 22 while addressing a gathering of journalists from Jammu, Lal Singh, the former Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology for Jammu and Kashmir in the PDP-BJP coalition government, stated, that the journalists of Kashmir, had created a wrong “mahaul,” environment. He further added, “I would, now, like to ask journalists from Kashmir, to…

Karnataka Garment and Textile Industry Managements Pressurise the Government to Curb increase in Wages

Karnataka Garment and Textile Industry Managements Pressurise the Government to Curb increase in Wages

  The representatives of the Garment and Textile Workers’ Union (GATWU-Karnataka) met the representatives of the management in the sector on June 18, 2018, in a meeting coordinated by the Chief Minister of Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy.  The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state had issued a draft notification on February 22, 2018, and it promised…

Naach Artist Ram Chandra Manjhi wins the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2017

Naach Artist Ram Chandra Manjhi wins the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2017

  Ram Chandra Manjhi, a stellar Naach artist who also worked with Bikhari Thakur (1887 – 1971), the renowned Naach artist remembered as a social reformer, has been honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2017 in the folk theatre category.  The move has been welcomed by many artists, academicians, and social and political activists; felicitations…

Memories and re-imaginings of 1947

Memories and re-imaginings of 1947

Vishwajyoti Ghosh’s graphic anthology This Side,That Side: Restorying Partition1 exemplifies a new take on the event and its aftermath, encompassing second and third generation memories and re-imaginings of 1947, from vantage points across the subcontinent. Indeed, the collaborative dimension that came to the fore with writers and artists from three countries (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) participating…

“We owe each other justice.”

“We owe each other justice.”

  We, the citizens of India, note with increasing distress and despair the escalating tide of violence in Jammu and Kashmir over the last two years. The intensification of violence has led to serious injuries, harm, and grave losses of life of Indian citizens who live in the region, as well as those of the…

Touchstone of Aesthetics

Touchstone of Aesthetics

  Recently, I came across a rather strange proposition. A Dalit author argued that Savitribai Phule could not be the symbol of Dalit literature but that instead Achootanand Harihar’s wife deserved the honour. Contrast this laughable contention with Babasaheb Ambedkar describing Buddha, Kabir and Jotiba Phule as his ideals – none of whom were Dalits….

Gauri Lankesh Murder: Hindu Janajagruti Samiti Linked With Killers Was Patronized By Modi As CM Of Gujarat

Gauri Lankesh Murder: Hindu Janajagruti Samiti Linked With Killers Was Patronized By Modi As CM Of Gujarat

  The Karnataka police has found clear linkages between the killers of Gauri Lankesh and two Hindutva organizations, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and its sister concern, Sanatan Sanstha. These are two Maharashtra/Goa based Hindutva organizations which adore MS Golwalkar. The hand of the same organizations was suspected in the murders of Narender Dabholkar, Govind…

“We underestimate the power of caste and majoritarian dominance”: Kalpana Kannabiran

“We underestimate the power of caste and majoritarian dominance”: Kalpana Kannabiran

Kalpana Kannabiran is a sociologist, author and lawyer. She has taught at the National Academy for Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), and currently serves as Director of the Council for Social Development Hyderabad. In this interview with Bar & Bench, she speaks fearlessly on issues ranging from the death of Judge Loya, to the Supreme…

More Confusion in Assam After NRC Clarifies Order on Families of Declared Foreigners

More Confusion in Assam After NRC Clarifies Order on Families of Declared Foreigners

  Following the outrage post the controversial May 2 order of the NRC1​ (Read exclusive Blog here), that directed relatives of those designated as Declared Foreigners (DF) to be kept ‘pending’ and not included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), even if they satisfy requirements, the state coordinator of the NRC was compelled to issue…

A Person Like You

A Person Like You

Prologue: A Person Like You How do you react when something like a police encounter happens in your locality, and a few doors down, two men are killed – two of your neighbours, who have been labelled terrorists. Imagine, for a moment, that this happened not in Imphal or Srinagar, where such occurrences are not…

Activists Call for Probe into ‘Illegal Detention’ Related to Bullet Train Project

Activists Call for Probe into ‘Illegal Detention’ Related to Bullet Train Project

Activists opposing the bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad criticised the "illegal detention" of farmers and activists right before a consultation for the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited was held in Surat on Monday, May 14. The Bhumi Adhikar Andolan and the Shoshit Jan Andolan, based in Maharashtra and Gujarat, have written to the…

Letter from Former Civil Servants to Chief Secretary, Haryana on Intimidation of Muslims Offering Namaz

Letter from Former Civil Servants to Chief Secretary, Haryana on Intimidation of Muslims Offering Namaz

Former civil servants have written open letters since 2017 (here and here), expressing their anguish at the unchecked attempts to spread hatred and discord among communities. Eleven of these civil servants have now written (on May 7, 2018) to the Chief Secretary of Haryana on the issue of harassment and intimidation of Muslims offering namaz…

#MayDay: The Gendered Proletariat

#MayDay: The Gendered Proletariat

Prostitution and the Feminist Debate A sex worker, as we know her today, is defined by work. She is socially useful reproductive labour: a gendered proletariat. The prostitute is neither a factory labourer nor a female wage worker to be termed as a proletariat; nor is she a domestic maid working at home. She is…

Memories of Amma

Memories of Amma

  This is an excerpt from an essay that Kalpana Karunakaran wrote on her mother, Mythily Sivaraman. The essay was written for a book of recollections by several people who knew Mythily.  Growing up as Mythily's daughter meant discovering, early on, that my mother was different from anyone else I knew; it meant being part of a…

Politics, Culture, and the Political Economy of Everyday Communalism in Eastern Uttar Pradesh

Politics, Culture, and the Political Economy of Everyday Communalism in Eastern Uttar Pradesh

Despite the strong presence after independence of the left and socialist forces in this region, including Mau and Gorakhpur, the eastern districts have experienced the rise of right-wing Hindu forces beginning from the colonial period. This is evident from the role played by the Gita Press Gorakhpur, which was originally established to publish low-cost editions…

Syndicated Hinduism

Syndicated Hinduism

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.   The first step towards the crystallisation of what we today call Hinduism was born in the consciousness of being the amorphous, subordinate, other. In a sense…

गौरी

गौरी

(गौरी लंकेश यांच्या प्रथम स्मृती दिनानिमित्त) तू, तुझ्या प्रचंड दिव्यांचा झोत टाकत राहिलीस शांतपणे… शांतीसाठी, तुझ्या माझ्या नि इतरांच्या. मी माझी मूठ आवळतो तुझ्या दिव्यापाठीमागे. माहीत आहे… हिंसेचा पूर व्यवस्थित निर्माण केला जातोय. तुझी आर्तता, मृदुता, सहनशिलता, संयम होता भविष्यात येणाऱ्या अंधूक शक्यतांसाठी ; प्रकाशात परावर्तीत होण्याच्या झोक्यांचा तुला अदमास होता. तू, त्या स्वप्नांसाठी झटत…

Watch: “Draupadi” and “My First Love”

Watch: “Draupadi” and “My First Love”

Melizarani T. Selva is a spoken word poet, storyteller, and journalist from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. Watch T Selva perform her poem "Draupadi," a poem about the trials of being a woman, succinctly summed up in the line "A woman is not a woman until something happens to her." Continue watching to see her perform her poem "My First Love."  …

Meena Menon: “Our perceptions about Pakistan are coloured according to stereotypes”

Meena Menon: “Our perceptions about Pakistan are coloured according to stereotypes”

In this part of our interview with Meena Menon, author of Reporting Pakistan, we discuss reporting Pakistan in the Indian Media. She says, "Our perceptions about Pakistan are coloured according to stereotypes" Listen to the whole conversation here:  Part III       Also watch:  Meena Menon: “Is saying yes to the ruling government nationalism?” (Part I) Meena Menon: “Put…

The Historian and the Epic

The Historian and the Epic

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 Governance Now The historian’s interest in epic literature arises from the argument that epic literature generally documents a period which is prior to that of…

Modi-Bibi in Sabarmati: What the Media Won’t Tell You about Gandhi’s Views on Palestine and Israel

Modi-Bibi in Sabarmati: What the Media Won’t Tell You about Gandhi’s Views on Palestine and Israel

The mainstream media scrambled to outdo each other in its coverage of the 8km “roadshow” that culminated with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visiting, along with his wife Sara and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat. For the handful of those who missed out on classroom history lessons, Sabarmati Ashram…

Dalit Woman Set Ablaze in Karnataka

Dalit Woman Set Ablaze in Karnataka

Shantavva Harijan, a dalit woman from Shingatalooru village in Gadag district, was set ablaze on 14 January 2018. She succumbed to the burns on the same night. This writer spoke to Basvaraj Sulibhavi, a well known Kannada poet, activist, and publisher, about Shantavva’s murder and the protests that followed. Sulibhavi has been actively following the…

Watch: Battle of Bhima Koregaon: An Unending Journey

Watch: Battle of Bhima Koregaon: An Unending Journey

  Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani released in December 2015 to packed theatres. The movie, for the most part, glorified the Peshwa rule and completely left out the deeply discriminatory caste practices of the Peshwas. In response, Somnath Waghmare decided to make a documentary on the historic Bhima Koregaon battle. On 1 January 1818, a…

Possible Communism

Possible Communism

Building Alternatives: The Story of India's Oldest Construction Workers' Union, by T M Thomas Isaac and Michelle Williams, was published by LeftWord Books in 2017 Misery greets the planet. Social inequality has reached unbelievable levels – where five individuals hold as much wealth as the bottom half of society. Climate change – driven by capitalist expansionism…

“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…

“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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

#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…

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…

Attack on Padmavati, Kancha Ilaiah Reminiscent of the Attack on Punjabi Writers

Attack on Padmavati, Kancha Ilaiah Reminiscent of the Attack on Punjabi Writers

While protests related to Padmavati are creating headlines everywhere, very little attention has been paid to what has been happening to Punjabi writers. Two Punjabi writers have been subjected to harassment at the hands of the state and private institutions recently. One of them is Sahitya Akademi award winning senior writer Baldev Singh Sadaknama, a…

International Transgender Day of Remembrance: A Day to Mourn the Victims of, and Protest Transphobia

International Transgender Day of Remembrance: A Day to Mourn the Victims of, and Protest Transphobia

Image courtesy Gaylaxy 20 November is marked as International Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day to remember, mourn, and memorialise the victims of transphobia. The day was founded to commemorate the murder of Rita Hester a transgender woman in the USA. Now Transgender Day of Remembrance is commemorated across the world, reminding us…

Condemnation of IB Ministry’s Decision to Withdraw the Films Approved by the Jury of Goa Film Festival

Condemnation of IB Ministry’s Decision to Withdraw the Films Approved by the Jury of Goa Film Festival

Dakshinayan Abhiyan Goa takes strong exception to the decision taken by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to exclude two films in the Panorama section by overriding the IFFI Jury’s prudent choice.  A gross violation of the right to Freedom of Expression, we consider this act as an attempt to suppress creativity.  As the festival is…

The First Yuva Samvad: A Report

The First Yuva Samvad: A Report

  The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) organised a Yuva Samvad (A dialogue with the youth) from 3 to 6 November 2017. This three-day long congregation hosted youth activists, involved in various movements, from across the country. Youth activists from the Narmada Bachao Andolan, from farmers’ movements, representatives of people’s movements in Assam, trade…

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…

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,…

#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…

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…

#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…

#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…

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…

“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…

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…

Kancha Ilaiah Sheperd’s Car Attacked

Kancha Ilaiah Sheperd’s Car Attacked

  The Hindu reports that intrepid academic Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd's car was attacked with stones and chappals by a group of people belonging to the Vaisya community. Mr.Ilaiah said he was returning to Hyderabad after attending a meeting of the Telangana Mass and Social Organisations Forum (T-MASS). The protesters blocked his car and squatted in…

A Tribute to Gauri Lankesh

A Tribute to Gauri Lankesh

  गौरी लंकेश,गौरी लंकेश गौरी लंकेश, गौरी लंकेश गूँज रही है तेरी शहादत जाग रहा है देश गौरी लंकेश, गौरी लंकेश…    क्या होती है पत्रकारिता दिखा दिया जग को सच की खातिर कुर्बानी का दिया तूने संदेश गौरी लंकेश, गौरी लंकेश…..   कायर थे कातिल तेरे तू जिंदादिली की एक मिसाल गौरी मरा नहीं…

Protest for Rohingyas in Delhi

Protest for Rohingyas in Delhi

A protest meeting was called on 13 September 2017, to protest the Government of India's decision to deport the Rohingya refugees and the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas in Maynmar. The protest meeting was supposed to be held in front of the Maynmar embassy but was changed to Teen Murti in the last minute because the…

Protect the Autonomy of GSCASH in JNU

Protect the Autonomy of GSCASH in JNU

  JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar has recently issued a circular stating that the university’s existing Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) be replaced by an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). The Registrar has also stated that the election to GSCASH be kept on hold until further notice. The letter is attached below:     Modelled…

McOnam Sadhya: Tinkering with Tradition

McOnam Sadhya: Tinkering with Tradition

                                         While the festival of Onam is inseparable from the legend of King Mahabali and Vamana, it is also a festival which marks the summer harvest. Onam is primarily a Hindu festival. Traditionally, the Christian communities of Kerala also celebrate Onam with much fanfare. It is touted as a cultural festival and…

A Commemorative Edition of Gauri Lankesh Patrike

A Commemorative Edition of Gauri Lankesh Patrike

  The Gauri Lankesh Patrike has brought out a special commemorative edition on September 12, 2017 to pay tribute to the committed, independent voice of the Patrike, led by Gauri Lankesh. A large number of journalists, writers, activists and other figures have contributed to this edition. The Indian Cultural Forum will publish English translations of…

Hamari Gauri Amar Rahe

Hamari Gauri Amar Rahe

Dear friends,  All karnataka federation of women against atrocities condemns the murder of our dear friend, journalist, and an activist, Gauri lankesh. The fedaration will be aiming in generating a pressure on the government in the investigation of the case. The investigation should lead to the immediate arrest of the murderers and thus prevent the loss of…

रक्त

रक्त

    रक्त रक्त रक्त! हर वक्त वक्त वक्त!   खेतों में रक्त, सड़कों में रक्त वोटों में रक्त, कोर्टों में रक्त वर्णों का रक्त, वर्गों का रक्त इस देश का आधार है यह रक्त रक्त रक्त!   दुर्गा का रक्त, दरगाह का रक्त काली का रक्त, या अली का रक्त कलबुर्गी का रक्त, पनसारे…

What is Triple Talaq called in your religion?

What is Triple Talaq called in your religion?

Struggles of women for dignity and rightful place in the world pervade all locations and religious communities. Sameena Dalwai, in her auto-ethnographic piece, offers testimony to the ongoing battle for gender justice.   Almost all discussions after the Triple Talaq judgement are missing the point. The issue is not about religion but about patriarchy and…

Adieu Gauri Lankesh

Adieu Gauri Lankesh

Gauri Lankesh, journalist, friend, activist, fiery woman and courage personified was shot dead, in cold blood on September 5 at about 8.10 p.m. as she returned to her home in Bengaluru. There was anger, shock, and mourning. Almost immediately, even as the numbness of the grief continued to engulf her wide circle of friends and…

Triple Talaq

Triple Talaq

The triple talaq judgment of the Supreme Court is a partial victory for Muslim women since it declares instantaneous triple talaq as unlawful, but not unilateral triple talaq. Even in the case of the former it does not declare instantaneous triple talaq as unconstitutional but only unlawful and that is a significant difference. Indian courts,…

Nature-centric Asur traditions and songs

Nature-centric Asur traditions and songs

Asurs are one of the most ancient and smallest tribal communities of Jharkhand. The Chota Nagpur plateau is their home, especially the valleys of Bishunpur and Mahuatand in the Gumla, Lohardaga and Palamu districts of the state. Asurs have traditionally been involved in iron smelting and agriculture. Their festivals are mainly related to agriculture, and hence…

Am I free? A Musician Questions

Am I free? A Musician Questions

  In its fifth year, the Prof. Ram Bapat Memorial Lecture Series saw the iconic and the iconoclastic Carnatic musician, T M Krishna deliver a lecture on the topic, "Am I Free? A Musician Questions". The lecture delivered in July 2017, was chaired by the eminent cultural critic, Sadanand Menon. The Lecture Series inaugurated by Sadanand…

Long Road Ahead!

Long Road Ahead!

Every time Triple Talaq is discussed, talked about or analyzed two questions invariably crop up. One, that data shows there is a higher percentage of divorce happening among Hindus than Muslims and the other being that the demand for doing away with instantaneous triple talaq does not address the short comings of the woman who…