Condemn the arbitrary arrests of Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, and Mahesh Raut by the Maharashtra Police!

Condemn the arbitrary arrests of Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, and Mahesh Raut by the Maharashtra Police!

  Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is outraged at the arbitrary arrest of its valued member, Professor Shoma Sen along with other leading Dalit and human rights activists, in an alarming crackdown on civil liberties activists throughout the country. Today, on 6th June 2018 at 6 am in the morning, Professor Shoma…

Psychiatrists Unravel the Psychological Toll of Partition

Psychiatrists Unravel the Psychological Toll of Partition

Collated and edited by psychiatrists, the book thus tries to bring together the issues of partitioning and dividing the human experience, and its impact on the cultural life, including medical and psychological health. The contributors include social scientists, literary critics and psychiatrists, who try to engage in this debate at various levels. This diversity of…

A convention in Delhi will mark one year of G N Saibaba’s arrest

A convention in Delhi will mark one year of G N Saibaba’s arrest

Last month, Professor G N Saibaba completed one year in prison since he was convicted for alleged links with Maoists by the sessions court in Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The Committee for the Defense and Release of Dr G N Saibaba is organising a meeting on 22 April from 1 pm at…

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: “I want to revive the connections between Africa and Asia”

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: “I want to revive the connections between Africa and Asia”

This is the first part of a conversation between Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and Sudhanva Deshpande. The writer was in Delhi for the ILF Samanvay Translations Series-2018, organised in collaboration with Seagull Books, at the Indian Habitat Centre. In this conversation with Deshpande, actor and publisher, he talks of the presence of India in his novels;…

Students of the Centre for English Studies, JNU, release a statement in support of their former chairperson, Udaya Kumar

Students of the Centre for English Studies, JNU, release a statement in support of their former chairperson, Udaya Kumar

The Indian Cultural Forum has been closely following the developments at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. We interviewed Dr Saitya Brata Das after he was denied his promotion to Professorship despite the support of the then Chairperson, Professor Udaya Kumar, and his adequate qualifications. Now, we learn that Dr Udaya Kumar, along…

Documenting Hindutva’s Hatred for Our Martyrs: Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev

Documenting Hindutva’s Hatred for Our Martyrs: Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev

Today is the 86th anniversary of the martyrdom of three great revolutionaries of India: Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev. Their crime? Their attempt to overthrow the British rule in India. The colonial rulers, like elsewhere, thought that with their death, their ideas and dreams of a democratic-secular and egalitarian independent India would also die. But…

“भारतीय मीडिया और सिनेमा ‘कास्ट घेटो’ हैं”

“भारतीय मीडिया और सिनेमा ‘कास्ट घेटो’ हैं”

न्यूज़क्लिक और इन्डियन कल्चरल फ़ोरम ने युवा फ़िल्मकार सोमनाथ वाघमारे से भीमा कोरेगाँव पर बनी उनकी फिल्म तथा भारतीय मीडिया जगत के विषय में बात कीI सोमनाथ ने बताया कि भारतीय सिनेमा और मीडिया में तथाकथित उच्च जातियों का वर्चस्व रहा है और अभी भी बरक़रार हैI इसलिए समाज के हाशिये पर खड़े तबकों का इनमें…

Higher Education in India is at Risk

Higher Education in India is at Risk

Education has been an important concern since independence. Several policies and programmes have been introduced, meant to improve the existing scenario of education, by the Government of India. The University Grants Commission was established in 1948-49; the Secondary Education Commission in 1952-53; the Education Commission in 1964-66; and the National Education Commission on Teachers I…

Amidst the Prasar Bharati-Smriti Irani imgroblio, listen to Mahatma Gandhi’s only speech delivered at Broadcasting House in 1947

Amidst the Prasar Bharati-Smriti Irani imgroblio, listen to Mahatma Gandhi’s only speech delivered at Broadcasting House in 1947

Recently, several reports were published highlighting the rift between Prasar Bharati and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, now helmed by Smriti Irani. While the debates surrounding the issue have, largely, focussed on the legality of the move,  it is important to understand the vision with which Prasar Bharati was set up, which was, in fact, to…

What Autonomy Means: When the Sahitya Akademi published a anthology of Pakistani writers

What Autonomy Means: When the Sahitya Akademi published a anthology of Pakistani writers

U R Ananthamurthy was one of the first writes who endorsed the idea of Indian Writers' Forum. Here we publish an excerpt from his autobiography Suragi, translated by S R Ramakrishna. This is from the chapter "At the Sahitya Akademi and National Book Trust". Ananthamurthy was the President of the Sahitya Akademi — the national…

Having run out of items for its anti-India menu, OP India calls the Kerala Literature Festival 2018 anti-Indian

Having run out of items for its anti-India menu, OP India calls the Kerala Literature Festival 2018 anti-Indian

Having run out of items for its anti-India menu, OpIndia.com has called the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF) 2018 anti-Indian. The article, which has been posted by a “mlessp” (we’re still googling to find out what that is) names Arundhati Roy, Ashis Nandy, Prakash Raj, Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghose in interesting ways. Roy is a…

Films Division’s decision to not screen In the Shade of Fallen Chinar at MIFF is censorship; let’s not call it by any other name

Films Division’s decision to not screen In the Shade of Fallen Chinar at MIFF is censorship; let’s not call it by any other name

So here’s the thing: one government body has censored another government body. On January 29, the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) did not screen In the Shade of Fallen Chinar, a 16 minute documentary on students at the University of Kashmir, directed by Shawn Sebastian and Fazil N.C.. The documentary was not screened despite the…

Kumkum Sangari: “Padmavati is a fictional character, but the Hindu Right has fabricated fiction as well.”

Kumkum Sangari: “Padmavati is a  fictional character, but the Hindu Right has fabricated fiction as well.”

This is an excerpt from an inteview with Kumkum Sangari, one of the most important feminist scholars of our time. In conversation with Souradeep Roy, she explains that fictional characters too can be manipulated in a way to serve vested interests of a particular social group. Watch this space to see the entire interview. Also…

The Lynching in West Bengal that didn’t Make too Many Headlines in 2017

The Lynching in West Bengal that didn’t Make too Many Headlines in 2017

Here is a ground report from Durgapur and Islampur. In June 2017, three Muslims were killed by a frenetic Hindu mob near the Chopra police station in Durgapur. They killed three Muslim men from Islampur: Mohammed Nasiruddin, Nasirul Haque and Mohammed Samiruddin. Along with Harsh Mander, John Dayal, and others from Karwaan-e-Mohabbat, we met Ashin…

The Communist International and its Impact on Asia

The Communist International and its Impact on Asia

This is our ninth story for our #OctoberRevolutionSeries, a series we began in October 2017 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…

Read the full text of the letter submitted by four Supreme Court Judges to the CJI

Read the full text of the letter submitted by four Supreme Court Judges to the CJI

Dear Chief Justice, It is with great anguish and concern that we have thought it proper to address this letter to you so as to highlight certain judicial orders passed by this Court which has adversely affected the overall functioning of the justice delivery system and the independence of the High Courts besides impacting the…

#NotoNetanyahu: We know Netanyahu and Modi love each other, but how much did the RSS love Zionism?

#NotoNetanyahu: We know Netanyahu and Modi love each other, but how much did the RSS love Zionism?

Benjamin Netanyahu is set to visit India next week. India and Israel are closer than ever before. In light of the Donald Trump's announcement that the United States of America (USA) will officially view Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Netanyahu’s visit becomes an even more open endorsement of Israel’s crimes against Palestine. This comes…

How dalits such as Kusuma Dharmanna and Vagiri Amosu rejected the upper-caste nationalist movement

How dalits such as Kusuma Dharmanna and Vagiri Amosu rejected the upper-caste nationalist movement

Dalits started to appear as significant players in the colonial public sphere after 1900, and Kusuma Dharmanna stands out as one of the first to challenge the brand of nationalism advocated by caste Hindus. In rejoinder to a popular Brahman nationalist Garimella Satyanarayana, who preached swarajya (independence) and wrote songs rejecting British rule such as…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Poetry is my refuge”: Perumal Murugan

“Poetry is my refuge”: Perumal Murugan

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

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

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

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

Why Asking Bands to Not Perform in Israel is Not an Attack on Freedom of Speech and Expression

Why Asking Bands to Not Perform in Israel is Not an Attack on Freedom of Speech and Expression

On the 40th International Solidarity Day for the Palestinian People, Souradeep Roy of the Indian Cultural Forum and Apoorva Gautam of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, India (BDS India) explain why asking bands to not perform in Israel is not an attack on freedom of speech and expression. They take Roger Waters example and his performance…

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: What has the October Revolution Done for Women in the West?

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: What has the October Revolution Done for Women in the West?

This is our sixth 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…

प्रेम और दार्शनिकता का कवि

प्रेम और दार्शनिकता का कवि

हिंदी समाज में ऐसे लोग अब बहुत कम बचे रह गए हैं जो अपने व्यक्तित्व में सांस्कृतिक बहुलता और अपनी भाषा में सचाई, शराफत और नैतिकता की रौशनी लेकर चलते हों. कुंवर नारायण ऐसे ही मनुष्य और लेखक थे. उनके जाने से दुर्लभ गुणों वाले एक व्यक्ति का अवसान हो गया है और हिंदी कविता…

How the Salwa Judum Looted and Killed Villagers in Kondasawali Village in Chattisgarh

How the Salwa Judum Looted and Killed Villagers in Kondasawali Village in Chattisgarh

In a letter dated 16 June 2017, The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) directed the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (Chhattisgarh) to make further inquiries into a complaint it had received regarding the looting and burning of huts and the killing of seven persons of Kondasawali, a village in district Sukma of Chhattisgarh. Sometime during…

Mahapadav: Prominent Intellectuals Support Workers, Demand Action By PM

Mahapadav: Prominent Intellectuals Support Workers, Demand Action By PM

Over 50 well-known intellectuals, writers and artists have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that his government at the Centre intervenes to resolve their basic demands. Among those who endorsed the letter were writers Krishna Sobti, K. Satchidanandan and Githa Hariharan; classical dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai; Bezwada Wilson of the…

In Times of “Bharat Mata”, Revisiting Mother India on the 60th Year of the Film’s Release

In Times of “Bharat Mata”, Revisiting Mother India on the 60th Year of the Film’s Release

Introduction Mother India (1957) completes sixty years this year. Produced and directed by Mehboob, famous for his social agenda films packaged with a lot of chutzpah, grandeur and melodrama, the film was assessed among the ten biggest hits in Indian cinema in the 20th century. Seventeen years into the 21st century and its memories remain…

Understanding the Marxism in Gandhi’s Fight Against Imperialism

Understanding the Marxism in Gandhi’s Fight Against Imperialism

Uday Mehta (UM): I think of you, especially in the essays that constitute this book, as doing a rather particular kind of philosophy. It is a very distinguished tradition of practitioners, including the late Richard Rorty, Bernard Williams, and Alasdair MacIntyre in the Anglo-American tradition; Michel Foucault, in the French tradition; Adorno and Walter Benjamin…

University Grants Commission’s Decision Will Reduce the Number of Reserved Seats for Appointments in Universities

University Grants Commission’s Decision Will Reduce the Number of Reserved Seats for Appointments in Universities

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken a decision that may reduce the number of reserved seats for faculty appointments in universities. The decision, according to a report published in The Indian Express, is waiting for “concurrence” from the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The UGC took the decision after the Allahabad High Court cancelled…

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar: “I don’t like being labelled as an adivasi writer”

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar: “I don’t like being labelled as an adivasi writer”

In this latest interview for our series Writers Talk Politics, Souradeep Roy talks to Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, the writer and doctor, whose work includes a novel, The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey, and a collection of short stories, The Adivasi Will Not Dance. The Jharkhand government banned the latter book, calling it obscene. Shekhar, also…

Independent Publishing in India: Aainanagar

Independent Publishing in India: Aainanagar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

History is an Unending Dialogue between the Past and the Present

History is an Unending Dialogue between the Past and the Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dalit Poet, Upper-caste Critic

Dalit Poet, Upper-caste Critic

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

Independent Publishing in India: Tara Books

Independent Publishing in India: Tara Books

Tara Books is a collective of writers, artists and designers that publishes illustrated books for children and adults. Their visual books span a range of genres: children’s literature, social and art pedagogy, popular culture, photography, and art. Tara Books is “committed to returning the senses back to the physical book in an age busy writing…

“The murder of Gauri Lankesh follows on the heels of the murders of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi…”

“The murder of Gauri Lankesh follows on the heels of the murders of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi…”

Image courtesy Newsclick.in The assassination of Ms. Gauri Lankesh, noted Kannada journalist, writer, activist and champion of secularism and communal harmony, has come as a rude shock. Ms. Gauri Lankesh was killed on the night of 5th September, 2017, right in front of her residence in Bangalore. She was Editor of the popular Kannada weekly, Lankesh…

Statement by the Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (KKSV) on the Murder of Gauri Lankesh

Statement by the Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (KKSV) on the Murder of Gauri Lankesh

Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (KKSV), is shocked and deeply saddened by the cold-blooded murder of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh at her Bangalore residence. Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in her home in northern Bengaluru on the night of 5th September. Unidentified men fired at least five shots at her before escaping by motorbike. Gauri Lankesh was…

They Sang through the Dark Times: Nakul Singh Sawhney’s Latest Documentary Savitri’s Sisters

They Sang through the Dark Times: Nakul Singh Sawhney’s Latest Documentary Savitri’s Sisters

With Savitri’s Sisters, filmmaker Nakul Singh Sawhney takes the camera back to women. His camera follows two women from the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikaar Manch – Laxmiben and Madhuben. He shoots the film during the Azaadi Kooch yatra, a journey that began to mark the one-year anniversary of the Una protests.  In its intent, the film…

Indira Jaising: “It’s tragic that there were no women in the SC Bench that delivered the Triple Talaq Judgement”

Indira Jaising: “It’s tragic that there were no women in the SC Bench that delivered the Triple Talaq Judgement”

Shivangi Misra from the Lawyers Collective in conversation with the former Additional Solicitor General of India Indira Jaising on the Supreme Court judgement that anulled instant triple talaq. In the first part of the interview, they discuss the long tradition of cases that preceded the judgement, and then move on to discuss the judgement in detail.    Also see:…

On Literary Activism

On Literary Activism

In December 2014, Amit Chaudhuri, novelist, essayist, and Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia, decided to add to the activities of UEA in India by starting a series of symposiums and conversations that would inhabit and aim to create a space different from both the "academic conference" and the "literary festival"'….

What’s at Stake in the Triple Talaq Case?

What’s 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…

Remembering Sova Sen, Legendary Actress of Political Theatre in Bengal

Remembering Sova Sen, Legendary Actress of Political Theatre in Bengal

Sova Sen, the legendary actress of Bengali theatre and cinema, passed away five days ago, on 13 August. Sen joined the political theatre of Bengal after she passed out from Bethune College. With these excerpts from Himani Banerji's essay, based on her interviews with Sen, we begin a series of tributes which critically evalute Sen's contribution to the political theatre…

देश के आज के हालत पर एक व्यंग “होली है “

देश के आज के हालत पर एक व्यंग “होली है “

ये रैप सांग पिछले साल रिलीज़ हुआ और सोशल मीडिया पे काफी लोकप्रिय भी हुआ , "मोटरसाइकिल शायरीज़ " नामक बैंड के इस गाने  में उन्होंने देश के सामाजिक और राजनैतिक हालत पर तंज़ कसा  है।

On Dalit Autobiographies

On Dalit Autobiographies

The kind of experiences which are narrated in Dalit autobiographies have had no models before. One of the first points that strikes the readers of Akkarmashi by Sharankumar Limbale is the dehumanising impact of caste oppression in Hindu society. His autobiography documents his struggles against poverty, deprivation, discrimination and caste violence. His family rarely enjoys…

“I resemble everyone/ but myself”: Revisiting A K Ramanujan and the Controversy Over “Three Hundred Ramanayas”

“I resemble everyone/ but myself”: Revisiting A K Ramanujan and the Controversy Over “Three Hundred Ramanayas”

Poet, folklorist, essayist, and translator, A K Ramanujan, died on 13 July, twenty four years ago. A multilingual writer, Ramanujan worked tirelessly in translation after translation to draw our attention to folktales, oral stories, and literatures from classical Tamil, a language that is older than Sanskrit. In 2008, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), took offence…

Independent Publishing in India: Thema

Independent Publishing in India: Thema

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

Macho Nation: A Poem

Macho Nation: A Poem

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

Remembering Hashimpura After Thirty Years

Remembering Hashimpura After Thirty Years

Thirty years after the Hashimpura massacre, we republish this interview with Vibhuti Narain Rai, author of Hashimpura 22 May, by Teesta Setalvad, co-editor of Communalism Combat. India's first ever mass custodial encounter massacre took place  on 22 May 1987, during the Hindu–Muslim riots in Meerut city, state of Uttar Pradesh, India, when 19 personnel of the Provincial Armed…

“Are the murderers of Kalburgi not being nabbed because they’re from the Sanatan Sanstha?”: Keki Daruwalla

“Are the murderers of Kalburgi not being nabbed because they’re from the Sanatan Sanstha?”: Keki Daruwalla

Keki N. Daruwalla, poet, fiction writer, and a former officer with the Indian Police Service, speaks to Souradeep Roy for our latest feature on writing and politics. Having served in the police force for decades, he recalls how he had led encounters, nabbed criminals, but had always ordered his force to show maximum restraint. Now, deaths in encounters are lauded….

Let the Poet Write of a Nation’s Protest 

Let the Poet Write of a Nation’s Protest 

It began when I stood beside fellow poet Srijato Bandyopadhyay, who, emotionally disturbed by Yogi Adityanath and his associates’ communally violent threats, wrote a poem on the subject and posted it on Facebook. In the last line, he wrote "Your trident would be covered by condom". An F.I.R was lodged against him by Arnab Sarkar,…

Theatre Today: Manipur

Theatre Today: Manipur

N. Premchand is a theatre director from Manipur, and a faculty member at Manipur University. We met him at the North East and Northern Writers Meet at the Sahitya Akademi where he presented a paper on the theatre tradition of Manipur. We spoke to Dr. Premchand after the session to discuss the politics of representation…

Women We Admire: Mridula Koshy

Women We Admire: Mridula Koshy

On our latest in the Women We Admire series, we have an interview with Mridula Koshy. She is the author of two novels — Not Only the Things That Have Happened and Bicycle Dreaming, and a collection of short stories — If it is Sweet — which won her the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. In the first part of the interview,…

Remembering Bhagat Singh

Remembering Bhagat Singh

On the day Bhagat Singh became a martyr, we share this interview with Chaman Lal. While many of us do recognise Bhagat Singh as an icon of India’s freedom struggle and national movement, many know little of what he did, and then juxtapose his contributions in the current political scenario. Here, D. Raghunandan of Newsclick speaks to…

Some Fine Photographs by Derek Walcott

Some Fine Photographs by Derek Walcott

Let me take you to the Derek Walcott poem most on my mind these days and then we will continue our conversation: Midsummer, Tobago Broad sun-stoned beaches. White heat. A green river. A bridge, scorched yellow palms from the summer-sleeping house drowsing through August. Days I have held, days I have lost, days that outgrow,…

Poem by Maaz Bin Bilal

Poem by Maaz Bin Bilal

In our own lifetimes? Of another people, in another part of the world, or its many parts? Will they be vaporised, or chemical-fried, once already demonised, hung-up, lynched,  raped, crucified, shot to death, hounded in and out, blockaded, terrified? Will their children die, torn out of wombs, or drowned in the seas, bombed on beaches…

Derek Walcott’s Nobel Prize Lecture

Derek Walcott’s Nobel Prize Lecture

Felicity is a village in Trinidad on the edge of the Caroni plain, the wide central plain that still grows sugar and to which indentured cane cutters were brought after emancipation, so the small population of Felicity is East Indian, and on the afternoon that I visited it with friends from America, all the faces…

Against Caste-Based Oppression in Academic Institutions: A Press Conference

Against Caste-Based Oppression in Academic Institutions: A Press Conference

These are excerpts from the  press conference called on 15th March on the ongoing caste based oppression in educational institutions. Dalit and Adivasi students, both research scholars and academicians, are victimised in institutions. From the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula to the suicide of J. Muthu Krishnan from JNU, discrimination continues unabated. There has to be…

Empire and the Overpass

Empire and the Overpass

The sea has been on the move in Karachi. Over the decades, as the city has burst its seams, it has moved farther and farther away into the distance. If you arrive very early in the morning at the beaches closest to the city and drive out until the road ends, you can sometimes see…

Yatharth

Yatharth

Yatharth is a newspaper brought out by the students of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce independently. The content of this issue was supposed to be published as The Critique, brought out by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce. According to reports, the Principal of the college wanted a report on…

The Struggle for Gender Equality in Nagaland – It’s Complicated

The Struggle for Gender Equality in Nagaland – It’s Complicated

Nagaland witnessed a series of violent incidents over the inclusion of 33% reservation for women in their local body elections. Prabir Purkayastha, chief editor of Newsclick, spoke to writer, lawyer, and activist, Nandita Haksar on this matter. There are mainly two narratives regarding the issue. One claims that patriarchy is trying to reinforce itself in opposing the demand for reservation; the…

What Does it Mean to be Inclusive? 

What Does it Mean to be Inclusive? 

Inclusiveness has taken many forms in India, but now it has become a rallying cry because it is under attack. May I give you my own understanding of how it became an integral part of our modern identity and came to mean ‘We Indians’. Now that we are being told that India means 'We Hindus',…

Learning from John Berger

Learning from John Berger

In the past weeks so many persons around the world are together in remembering John Berger — as though he were a friend, almost as though we are all friends. As though in this mourning there is some elation reminiscent of another time and another life when it was possible to pronounce the word solidarity without…

Hey, She’s Awake

Hey, She’s Awake

Friday night, the naked lady sits in my apartment Thick grasses around her pudendum Dark weeds in her armpits Lizards in her hair I’m hungry, she says Slapping her stomach Caked with what looks like dried blood I can hear the hungry rumble For no reason I think of sinkholes I notice the blood-dripping lions…

Two Poems by Joy Goswami

Two Poems by Joy Goswami

Thousands of corpses, wars Rise towards the past Peaks tipped with frost Behind them the little houses sit Their lights on For the men they have lost * The last fatigue of hunger, salt, the last drop of sleep — War, the last sport Last-blood drips into the sky — gorged on blood The sun…

O Noble Men

O Noble Men

Translated by Kanupriya Dhingra Whether I die or someone else dies, Humanity dies after all Whether there is a war in the East or in the West Peace dies after all   How can it resolve any problem, you say? War is a problem in itself. It yields fire and blood today, Gives hunger and…

সাক্ষাতকার: শমীক বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় ও সৌরদীপ রায়

সাক্ষাতকার: শমীক বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় ও সৌরদীপ রায়

ইন্ডিয়ান ক্যালচারাল ফোরাম এর পক্ষ থেকে বিশিষ্ট প্রাবন্ধিক ও সমালোচক, শমীক বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়ের সাক্ষাতকার নিলেন সৌরদীপ রায় ।  সাক্ষাতকারের প্রথম অংশ দেখুন এখানেঃ সাক্ষাতকারের দ্বিতীয় অংশ দেখুন এখানেঃ

Poem on Demonetisation: What Colour, Money? Ballad of the Commoners

Poem on Demonetisation: What Colour, Money? Ballad of the Commoners

(Of real people, real narratives and real lives. In my neighbourhood and city, Hyderabad.)     Bajji seller Hanumanthu Mestri Yadgiri Bangle seller Mohammad Laeeq Earth-worker, brick layer, matti pani Ramachander Footwear seller Lakshmamma Shaadi-khana labour Najeeb Coolie, cook, etc Jahangir Miscellaneous labour: Suryanarayana, Baburao, Nagaraju…  Srikakulam, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Hyderabad, Kurnul North Andhra, Telangana, Rayalaseema…

We Don’t Need No Surgical Strikes

We Don’t Need No Surgical Strikes

Continuing our Citizens Against War series, we present a ground report from Jantar Mantar, Delhi. On November 9, several organisations called a cultural protest against war-mongering between India and Pakistan. Called “Action Against Warmongering”, the day saw several prominent speakers and cultural groups telling our leaders, “Make art, not war”. Over the last few months, there has been an…

Listen to Our Poets on War!

Listen to Our Poets on War!

Rabindranath Tagore wrote a short story titled "Dhvangsa"  (Destruction), based on the Second World War. The story ends with the narrator reciting a poem on war. Here, eminent translator and theatre and film critic Samik Bandyopadhyay reads the story and the poem. Also read his introduction to the story and a translated excerpt from the poem…

“The Fascists, in Germany too, first came after the universities”

“The Fascists, in Germany too, first came after the universities”

Writer Githa Hariharan spoke to renowned writer, editor, translator and theatre critic Samik Bandyopadhyay on the continued attack on the space for debate, discussion and imagination in Indian universities, and collective resistance to such attacks.   Read the statement by the Indian Cultural Forum editorial collective condeming the incident in Haryana here. Also see here for photographs from…

पर्दे पर उभरता ‘प्रतिरोध का सिनेमा’

पर्दे पर उभरता ‘प्रतिरोध का सिनेमा’

सिनेमा के क्षेत्र में हमेशा से ही एक बड़ा तबका ऐसा रहा है जो हर तरह के दमन के खिलाफ अपनी आवाज़ बुलंद करता है. ‘ प्रतिरोध का सिनेमा’ इसी आवाज़ का एक साकार रूप है. इस आवाज़ को दबाने की कोशिश भी लगातार होती ही रहती है, और इसी दमन के प्रयास का एक…

What is to be done about Indian Universities?: Reflections from Concerned Teachers

What is to be done about Indian Universities?: Reflections from Concerned Teachers

The manner in which the state is intervening in higher education is causing concern and even alarm in the academic community. Both the unlamented UPA —II regime and the current NDA government have been remarkably similar in their authoritarian impatience to introduce wholesale changes without adequate or careful preparation. This position paper is the collective…

We Condemn the Central University of Haryana’s Clampdown on a Play based on Mahasweta Devi’s “Draupadi”

We Condemn the Central University of Haryana’s Clampdown on a Play based on Mahasweta Devi’s “Draupadi”

Mahasweta Devi with C.S. Lakshmi / Indian Express A stage adaptation of Mahasweta Devi's short story "Draupadi" by the Department of English and Foreign languages at the Central University of Haryana (CUH) was performed on September 21, to be met with hooliganism, media trials and, finally, an administrative clampdown. The event was organised in memory…

Standing up for Equal Rights

Standing up for Equal Rights

SAHMAT organised an evening of performances entitled "Article 14: Stand Up for Equal Rights" at the Mavlankar Hall in Delhi on 15th September, 2016. The performers included Ginni Mahi, a 19-year old singer whose Punjabi pop songs on B.R. Ambedkar have recently stirred up the music scene; Sheetal Sathe of the Kabir Kala Manch; Sanjay…

Poem: Time in Kashmir 

Poem: Time in Kashmir 

  "It's late, it's always late, in history it is always night, always the wrong time." — Octavio Paz, "Although it is Night"   What time is it in Kashmir? Time's a curse, time, accursed tongues Split into stones, mothers hurl curses, curses sit Lighter on their tongues than prayers reeling from gunshots When mothers give…

Babasaheb Ambedkar and the Nefarious Agenda of the RSS

Babasaheb Ambedkar and the Nefarious Agenda of the RSS

An interview with civil rights activist and writer Anand Teltumbde, on the appropriation of B.R. Ambedkar by right-wing forces in the country. According to Teltumbde, the RSS believes in maintaining the supremacy of the upper castes, and wants to govern society on the basis of regressive texts such as the Manusmriti, whereas Ambedkar staunchly criticises the same. Teltumbde also discusses…

India Today 2016

India Today 2016

1947 and Today Image courtesy http://aboutfestivalsofindia.com/ and http://www.hindurashtra.org/ respectively. August 4, 2016 Let me tell you why I am not able to celebrate the sixty-ninth anniversary of India’s independence. The India we live in today is, ironically, a rejection of all that India has stood for. To begin with, the ruling party had nothing to…

Saffronising and Corporatising Indian Education: Critique of the National Educational Policy 2016 Draft

Saffronising and Corporatising Indian Education: Critique of the National Educational Policy 2016 Draft

Ajay S Sekher Image courtesy http://govtvia.com/ After almost three decades the Hindu Nationalist Party in power has proposed paradigmatic shifts through an elaborate restructuring of the Indian educational policy frameworks. It is a drastic change from the previous NPE 1986 of Rajiv Gandhi government. The NEP 2016 Draft is released by the MHRD with reference to a background…

Read Widerstand – the Magazine Banned by Pondicherry University

Read Widerstand – the Magazine Banned by Pondicherry University

Souradeep Roy Acche Din for higher educational institutions in India have only increased, and adding to the list of institutions which have already seen wonderful days is Pondicherry University. The university made news three days ago when 4000 copies of the annual magazine Widerstand was confiscated. The administration of the university buckled under the pressure of…

Book Extract: from ‘Bollywood’

Book Extract: from ‘Bollywood’

Bollywood, part of the series, Oxford India Short Introductions, is a comprehensive look by well known film scholar M.K. Raghavendra at the mainstream Hindi film:  its beginnings, its unifying role in the history of the Indian nation, the grammar and aesthetics it subscribes to and their origins in traditional culture, its production and distribution, and…

Lips turn the wheel of time: Three Poems

Lips turn the wheel of time: Three Poems

The Indian Cultural Forum invited poet Chandramohan S for a reading of his poems in our studio:     Killing the  Shambukas   Jim Crow segregated hostel rooms Ceiling fans bear a strange fruit, Blood on  books and blood on papers, Black body swinging in mute silence, Strange fruit hanging from tridents.   Lips turn…

Things the Left Needs to do Right

Things the Left Needs to do Right

Prabhat Patnaik Communism’s slide worldwide is due to its ambivalence towards globalisation and democracy. The Indian Left has shed that ambivalence, but it has no concrete alternative development strategy.  Exactly a century ago around this time, Vladimir Lenin was in Zurich completing a manuscript that would go on to become perhaps the most consequential book…

Poem: The Extremes

Poem: The Extremes

​Susmit Panda​ Igor Mudrov, 'Walking in the Rain' / ego-alterego.com Again and again The thousand lips of the rain​.​ I had not yet learnt the alphabet; The voice against the parapet Was the raindrops'; A's drenched the trees, B's wet the bees; I shuddered under the frightening Ampersands of lightning; Sudden commas of breeze Paused…

Are you O, P, W or D.W.?

Are you O, P, W or D.W.?

Controlling Culture with the New Grading Weapon ICF Team Image via Cartoon Stock We have recently heard from the media of the Culture Ministry’s plan to “grade” artists and writers in the country so it can extend government patronage to those considered worthy of representing India at festivals and other events. … the Culture Ministry…

Freedom of Speech in the University

Freedom of Speech in the University

Partha Chatterjee Image courtesy https://medium.com/@montouche/a-collection-of-thoughts-on-the-perils-of-nationalism-816981f0b75f#.sxagk2mj4 "Even though from childhood I had been taught that the idolatry of the nation is almost better than reverence for God and humanity, I believe I have outgrown the teaching, and it is my conviction that my countrymen will truly gain their India by fighting against that education which teaches…

Poems for Kashmir

Poems for Kashmir

Ankita Anand Bird and fruits, 12th c. / Khanhhoathuynga   1. Cartographers Such a pretty map we have Some want to change that Irritants. But it's ok, it's all under control now We have foiled the attempts at redrawing Some collateral happened. They get really dark lead from somewhere, bonded too 2B or not, who…

Face/Off: The Unmaking of India in Bisada

Face/Off: The Unmaking of India in Bisada

ICF Team Image courtesy http://www.delhidailynews.com/news_image/1444371749dadri-lynching.jpg July 14, 2016: A local court in Surajpur directed the Greater Noida police to register a case of cow slaughter against Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi and his family under the UP Cow Protection Act, 1955. September 2015: A man was lynched by a mob in Bisada village near Dadri, Uttar Pradesh….

Statement on Kashmir from Academics, Writers, Artists and Filmmakers

Statement on Kashmir from Academics, Writers, Artists and Filmmakers

Image courtesy Vishwajyoti Ghosh & Niha Masih We the undersigned, express our grave concern regarding the current state of affairs in Kashmir. The disproportionate use of state violence on unarmed protesters in Kashmir reflects severe human rights violations. Setting aside the paramount concerns in terms of continuous interventions in the normal lives of the people,…

Video: Burhan Wani’s Funeral in Tral

Video: Burhan Wani’s Funeral in Tral

The powerful spontaneous response from Kashmiris, especially the youth, to the killing of Burhan Wani raises several urgent questions. These need to be addressed by the Indian state, the army and security apparatus, and a variety of leaders and parties. Most of all, these questions and their context need to be understood, and the ways…

Imprisoning Minds

Imprisoning Minds

Amol Palekar translated by Paritosh Joshi Image courtesy Amol Palekar August 29, 1970: The Maharashtra Theatrical Performances Examination Board (MTPEB) banned Vijay Tendulkar’s play Gidhade (The Vultures), contending that its realistic portrayal of perverted socio-familial complications was unsuitable for a public performance. An extended battle led by the producer, Satyadev Dubey, and the director, Shriram…

Book Extract: from The Partition of Bengal: Fragile Borders and New Identities

Book Extract: from The Partition of Bengal: Fragile Borders and New Identities

Debjani Sengupta At a time of increasing communal polarisation, we present an excerpt from Debjani Sengupta's The Partition of Bengal: Fragile Borders and New Identities (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which looks at the Noakhali riots and Mahatma Gandhi's efforts to placate communal tension. The Noakhali Riots and the Mahatma The Place Noakhali (1,658 sq. miles)…

The Art of Living with a River

The Art of Living with a River

Salil Chaturvedi Image via India Water Portal Eight I was, when I met her first, And she? I imagined an eight thousand years! A summer dawn and my very first river Calm and deep—an eternal giver Around a fort and by a hill Flowed she, gently, almost still. The adults haggle and strike a price…

Lecture by Aijaz Ahmad: The Languages of a Union

Lecture by Aijaz Ahmad: The Languages of a Union

Aijaz Ahmad, noted academic and cultural critic, delivered the inaugural lecture for the Indian languages festival of the India Habitat Centre — ILF Samanvay 2015. Using the phrase “transnational matrix of the country”, he says that the Indian nation-state is conceived as a union of several autonomous linguistic nationalities. Hence the name we have given…

Delhi Stands with Rohith Vemula

Delhi Stands with Rohith Vemula

Souradeep Roy On 23rd February, over 10,000 people marched in support of Rohith Vemula. Called “Chalo Dilli”, the march was organised by the Joint Action Committee for the Justice of Rohith Vemula, Hyderabad Central University (HCU). The organisers explained that the Committee consists of all student organisations except for the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)….

Three Poems by Chandramohan S

Three Poems by Chandramohan S

Killing  the Shambukas (Inspired by a famous poem on black lynching) Jim Crow segregated hostel rooms. Ceiling fans bear a strange fruit, Blood on books and blood on papers, A black body swinging in mute silence, Strange fruit hanging from tridents. Beef My harvest of poems will be winnowed. If done dexterously, the lighter shallow…

Romila Thapar: “The battle now is between religious nationalism and secular nationalism . . .”

Romila Thapar: “The battle now is between religious nationalism and secular nationalism . . .”

Romila Thapar, who has been associated with Jawaharlal Nehru University for many years, speaks to writer Githa Hariharan on the idea of a university like JNU. The idea was to explore Indian society through inter-disciplinary studies and discussion. At the Centre for Historical Studies with which she was associated, the past was not another country;…

Shital Sathe of the Kabir Kala Manch in conversation with Sudhanva Deshpande

Shital Sathe of the Kabir Kala Manch in conversation with Sudhanva Deshpande

Singing songs of ordinary people, especially Dalits, Shital Sathe has been singing of the marginalised, dalits and others all over Maharashtra. She is one of the vibrant singer-poets of the Kabir Kala Manch. Attacked for her trenchant critique of the caste order, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – currently behind the attacks of students…

Vaikom Mohammed Basheer

Vaikom Mohammed Basheer

K Satchidanandan Photo courtesy http://onlinestore.dcbooks.com/author/vaikom-muhammad-basheer Vaikom Mohammed Basheer (1908-1994) belongs to the democratic tradition in Indian literature, a living tradition that can be traced back to the Indian tribal lore including the Vedas and the folktales and fables collected in Somdeva’s Panchatantra and  Kathasaritsagara, Gunadhya’s Brihatkatha, Kshemendra’s Brihatkathamanjari, the Vasudeva Hindi and the Jatakas. This…

Because Huchangi Prasad is a Dangerous Young Man

Because Huchangi Prasad is a Dangerous Young Man

Huchangi Prasad is a twenty-three-year-old journalism student in Davenegere, Central Karnataka. Last year, he published  a collection of poems called Odala Kicchu (The Fire Within) — which describes dalit lives, and issues a challenge to the continuing violence, as well as day-to-day discrimination against dalits. After his book was published last year, Prasad was attacked…

“Negative language in dalit writing persists because of the negative lives we’re forced to lead”

“Negative language in dalit writing persists because of the negative lives we’re forced to lead”

Urmila Pawar, author of the autobiography The Weave of my Life, and Jerry Pinto, the translator of the first dalit autobiography, Baluta by Daya Pawar, discuss the two books with Professor Gopal Guru at the recent Samanvay Festival in Delhi. Pinto speaks about the word Baluta preserving the history of bonded labour in caste discrimination….

Make harassment and discrimination crimes under the law: Prakash Ambedkar

Make harassment and discrimination crimes under the law: Prakash Ambedkar

Courtesy Sabrang Amendments in the Central University law as well as all the statutue(s) under which Central Universities have been established, to ensure that discrimination and harassment are defined crimes punishable under the Indian Penal Code are urgently required, says Prakash Amdedkar, in an interview to Teesta Setalvad. Prakash Yashwant Ambedkar, grandson of Dr Babasaheb…

“Cut through the system instead of cutting ourselves…”

“Cut through the system instead of cutting ourselves…”

​Githa Hariharan ​spoke to ​Tamil writer ​Bama on her ​groundbreaking ​work​ as a dalit feminist, and the difficulties she faced after the publication of her ​autobiography Karukku ​in 1992. ​Bama spoke of the lot of dalit women​, ​vulnerable on the ​three levels of caste​, gender ​and class​. They must build, she said, on the collective…

Book Extract: from Looking Away: Inequality, Prejudice and Indifference in New India

Book Extract: from Looking Away: Inequality, Prejudice and Indifference in New India

Harsh Mander’s latest book laments the erosion in the imperative for sympathy at both  state and individual levels. It is this erosion that is principally at the base of the vast inequities which afflict India. In this extract, Mander compares the traditions of pluralism and acceptance in India with those of Scandinavian nations – traditions…

Poem by Ananya Guha

Poem by Ananya Guha

does it matter what the caste is does a junkie need it you or me, up goes the ladder down goes the spine, body and all. someone commits suicide and you say it’s a somersault, he’s playing little games you say. so if there was a mass suicide (no not just farmers, boys and girls…

Indefinite Hunger Strike: Press Release by Joint Action Committee for Social Justice dated 21st Jan, 2016

Indefinite Hunger Strike: Press Release by Joint Action Committee for Social Justice dated 21st Jan, 2016

Courtesy Round Table India Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UOH) 1. At a time when the legitimacy of Prof. Appa Rao to continue as Vice-Chancellor is in question, without attending to the protesting students who are on INDEFINITE HUNGER STRIKE, the absconding Vice-Chancellor and the Executive Committee met today (outside the campus) and issued…

“The Challenge is in the Individual becoming the Collective…”

“The Challenge is in the Individual becoming the Collective…”

ICF interviewed cultural commentator Sadanand Menon in the wake of attacks on writers, artists, scholars and citizens. Menon rued the lack of an active leftist resistance to rightwing forces sabotaging creativity and free speech in the country in recent years. He suggested that to combat Hindutva forces collectively, we need to address the fact that…

Resolution passed at the Panel Discussion on “Caste, Religion and Lived Culture” at Ambedkar University, January 20, 2016

Resolution passed at the Panel Discussion on “Caste, Religion and Lived Culture” at Ambedkar University, January 20, 2016

We — writers, scholars, students and teachers, assembled at the Ambedkar University, Delhi, on this day, January 20 2016, for the panel discussion on “Caste, Religion and Lived Culture”, during the release of the second issue of Guftugu,  organised by the Ambedkar University, and Indian Writers’ Forum — wish to record our anguish, shock  and…

If Not Now, Then When? If Not Us, Then Who?

If Not Now, Then When? If Not Us, Then Who?

Rohith Vemula, a bright, intelligent, young scholar from Hyderabad Central University, hung himself in his hostel room on Sunday, 17 January 2016. Hounded and ostracised by university authorities and the rightwing ABVP, after his participation in a protest the previous year, Rohith committed a suicide that seems to be no less than an institutional murder. “Dear Friends…

No More Deaths in Our Universities!

No More Deaths in Our Universities!

Image courtesy https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CY8oPVdUkAA19TD.jpg The death of Rohith Vemula, the dalit research scholar in Hyderabad who has committed suicide, raises many questions about the context in which our students are dying, not learning, in our universities. Three years ago there was a spate of students’ suicides — once again, mostly dalits. At that time the Andhra…

Kar Seva through Universities

Kar Seva through Universities

Courtesy Sabrang Arundhati Vashishtha Anusandhan Peeth (AVAP), founded by late VHP leader Ashok Singhal, recently organized a two day seminar “Shri Ram JanamBhoomi Temple: Emerging Scenario” in the Arts Faculty of the Delhi University starting on January 8, 2016. As the Head of the Peeth, Subramanian Swamy led the seminar. The venue was booked by…

Book Extract: from Sentiment, Politics, Censorship: The State of Hurt

Book Extract: from Sentiment, Politics, Censorship: The State of Hurt

In times when censorship is justified on grounds of hurting “Indian traditions” and “Indian culture”, the Indian Writers’ Forum is proud to present an excerpt from a book that critically engages with this state of hurt. It is a book that attempts to continue the debate on censorship, "but with a purpose to nuance it…

Occupy UGC Protest Against Scrapping of Non Net Fellowship! Fight Against Fund Cuts! Fight Against Privatization Of Higher Education!

Occupy UGC Protest Against Scrapping of Non Net Fellowship! Fight Against Fund Cuts! Fight Against Privatization Of Higher Education!

  13th January, 2:00pm It will be now 85 days since we began our agitation against UGC after it scrapped the Non NET Fellowships for the M.phil/Phd students. Soon the matter was transferred to the MHRD and since then even after several demonstrations at MHRD and our continued occupation at the UGC premises, there has…

Reject Hindutva, Embrace Insaniyat

Reject Hindutva, Embrace Insaniyat

Image courtesy http://hydlitfest.org/speaker/nayantara-sahgal-2/ As Guest of Honour at the recent Hyderabad Literary Festival, Nayantara Sahgal made a strong case for continuing resistance to the Hindutvadi goal of a Hindu rashtra. Despite writers, scholars, artists film makers and scientists raising their voices over the last few months, Sahgal said, “The danger is by no means over……

Creativity and Censorship: The Insider versus the Outsider

Creativity and Censorship: The Insider versus the Outsider

ICF covered a special session on creativity and censorship held in the recently concluded ILF Samanvay in Delhi. A R Venkatachalapathy hosted speakers T M Krishna, carnatic vocalist, Kannan Sundaram of Kalachuvadu Publications and Sharmila Seyyid, Sri Lankan author, in a session on how censorship of the state and non-state forces has jeopardised creativity and…

Indian History Congress: “Don’t break monuments, don’t incite religious sentiments”

Indian History Congress: “Don’t break monuments, don’t incite religious sentiments”

During the 76th session of the Indian History Congress held at the University of Gour Banga in Malda from December 27 to December 29, the Congress passed resolutions on the need to prevent the formulation of uniform syllabi across all universities, protect monuments, and stop the utilisation of monuments destroyed illegally (such as the Babri…

Free Saibaba Campaign

Free Saibaba Campaign

Courtesy Hindu, 3 January 2016 Dr. G.N. Saibaba’s wife Vasantha (third from right) and his mother Suryawathi (second from left) talking to CPI leader D. Raja during a protest against the re-arrest of Dr. Saibaba and contempt of court charge against Arundhati Roy, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

“There will be singing about the dark times…”

“There will be singing about the dark times…”

Faisal Abu Alhayjaa of the Freedom Theatre, Jenin, Palestine, and Sudhanva Deshpande of the Jana Natya Manch, Delhi, talk about a one-of-a-kind Freedom Jatha in India, an eleven-city street theatre tour starting December 18, 2015. Collaborating forces in commemoration of the founders of Janam and The Freedom Theatre, Safdar Hashmi and Juliano Mer Khamis respectively,…

Habib Tanvir, Citizen of the World

Habib Tanvir, Citizen of the World

Sudhanva Deshpande Habib Tanvir as the Rajpurohit in his signature play, Charandas Chor, Modinagar, Rajasthan, October 2002. Photo by Sudhanva Deshpande. Habib Tanvir (1923-2009), India’s pre-eminent theatre personality, is inextricably linked with Naya Theatre, the theatre company he founded in 1959 with his wife Moneeka Misra Tanvir. His career was characterised by astonishing output and creativity; in…

​The ILF Bhasha Samman: A Salute to Perumal Murugan’s Spirit

​The ILF Bhasha Samman: A Salute to Perumal Murugan’s Spirit

Tamil author Perumal Murugan was recently awarded the ILF ‘Samnvay Bhasha Samman’ on 28 November 2015, at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, for his novel, Madhorubhagan. The jury, headed by K.​ Satchidanandan, decided to honour Perumal Murugan’s dauntless writing and his contribution to the literary tradition in Tamil. A​.​R​.​ Venkatachalapathy​ and K. Satchidanandan saluted…

India under Modi is living through a Dark Age: Professor D N Jha

India under Modi is living through a Dark Age: Professor D N Jha

Teesta Setalvad of Communalism Combat interviews Professor DN Jha on dietary traditions in Early India; the calculated misrepresentation of Early Indian and Medieval History by the present government under the direct control of the Sangh Parivar; and the ‘dark age ‘of superstition promoted by the current political dispensation.   Courtesy: Sabrangindia

28 नवंबर, 2015: मोर्चे पर कवि

28 नवंबर, 2015: मोर्चे पर कवि

‘मोर्चे पर कवि’ है पहल कुछ कविताग्रस्त देशवासियों की, और इसका मुख्य लक्ष्य है जनसाधारण तक कुछ जलते मुद्दों को पहुँचाना, साथ ही उन्हें आतंक और सांप्रदायिकता के अत्याचार के विरुद्ध संवेदनशील बनाना I 28 नवंबर को दिल्ली के सेंट्रल पार्क में आयोजित ‘मोर्चे पर कवि’ के दूसरे संस्करण में कही गयी कविताओं का विषय थे फिलिस्तीन,…

Historian Irfan Habib on the rightwing project of mythologising history

Historian Irfan Habib on the rightwing project of mythologising history

Teesta Setalvad, journalist and co-editor of Communalism Combat, spoke to historian Irfan Habib on Sabrang, about the right-wing project of mythologising history. On the one hand, history is distorted to perceive all Muslim rulers as plunderers. On the other hand, the so-called patriotism of right-wing Hindu groups stands exposed by their absence from the Indian freedom struggle.

“Speed up the investigation into the killing of Professor Kalburgi…”

“Speed up the investigation into the killing of Professor Kalburgi…”

9 December 2015 Shri Siddaramaiah Chief Minister of Karnataka Anugruha, Kumarakrup Road Bengalaru Honourable Shri Siddaramaiah, On behalf of the community of writers, artists, thinkers and scientists who feel concerned about attacks on intellectuals and thinkers in recent times, I would like to request you to kindly do everything possible within your authority to expedite…

What is to be done about Indian Universities?

What is to be done about Indian Universities?

Reflections from Concerned Teachers The manner in which the state is intervening in higher education is causing concern and even alarm in the academic community. Both the unlamented UPA—II regime and the current NDA government have been remarkably similar in their authoritarian impatience to introduce wholesale changes without adequate or careful preparation. This position paper…

“It’s time to call a stop to this hatred and blood-letting…”

“It’s time to call a stop to this hatred and blood-letting…”

At the Writers' Convention held at Mavlankar Hall on 1st November, Pratirodh, Teesta Setalvad describes the protests throughout the country as a necessity to register public anger and outrage against the government. The protests, she says, are the result of the people’s cumulative anger and their revulsion against increasing incidents of discrimination and violence.

Everything you need to know about the man who turned balls into cats

Everything you need to know about the man who turned balls into cats

  Images courtesy http://www.vikrmn.com/2015/11/sanskarijamesbond-memes-vikrmn-guruwithguitar.html This is a time when all citizens need to be alert and attentive. The government is issuing many guidelines. The police are extremely active. We have fallen far, and there is much work to be done. No government tool is being left unused in order to uplift us. Led by Pahlaj…

यह वक़्त कठिन जरुर है पर स्थाई नहीं, इसका गुज़रना निश्चित है: कुमार प्रशांत

यह वक़्त कठिन जरुर है पर स्थाई नहीं, इसका गुज़रना निश्चित है: कुमार प्रशांत

लगातार तर्कशील एवं प्रगतिशील ताकतों पर हो रहे हमलों के विरोध में १ नवम्बर को दिल्ली के मावलंकर सभागार में आयोजित ‘प्रतिरोध’ नामक सभा में कुमार प्रशांत ने अपनी बात रखी। प्रशांत ने आपातकाल के भारत को याद करते हुए मौजूदा समय में व्याप्त असहिष्णुता को एक ऐसा समय बताया जो कठिन तो है पर…

Occupy UGC: Education is our right and not a privilege

Occupy UGC: Education is our right and not a privilege

Students protesting the scrapping of non-NET fellowships given by the University Grants Commission are calling for a march and mass deposition from the UGC to the Ministry of Human Resources on 18th November, and an all India ‘Dilli chalo’ march on 9th December. Read their statement below: Today, students across the country in every college…

The Paris Attack

The Paris Attack

Newsclick asked Mireille Fanon-Mendès France for her response to the Paris attack, which has left 129 dead and more than 360 seriously wounded. Mireille Fanon-Mendes France is the president of the Frantz Fanon Foundation and the daughter of Frantz Fanon, and active on a variety of issues including the World Social Forum. Image courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_2015_Paris_attacks A Note…

“आज़ादी हमारा पैदाइशी हक़ है”: कृष्णा सोबती

“आज़ादी हमारा पैदाइशी हक़ है”: कृष्णा सोबती

लगातार तर्कशील एवं प्रगतिशील ताकतों पर हो रहे हमलों के विरोध में १ नवम्बर को दिल्ली के मावलंकर सभागार में आयोजित ‘प्रतिरोध’ नामक सभा में लेखक कृष्णा सोबती ने अपनी बात रखी. सोबती ने आज़ादी की लड़ाई के दौरान हुए संघर्षों को याद करते हुए वर्तमान समय में मौजूदा हालात के खिलाफ मुखर प्रतिरोध का…

Poem by Ananya Guha

Poem by Ananya Guha

History Four-walled history is a narrow path to names, action, fortunes. When ill treated, they take to rebellion turn the fates of others. When we twist and turn broken paths people rise in arms to besmirch hidden artefacts of truth and views that are not spoken. Write on the sands of time and history will…

Why can’t an academic deliver a lecture on secularism without police protection? – Romila Thapar

Why can’t an academic deliver a lecture on secularism without police protection?  – Romila Thapar

At Pratirodh, the Writers' Convention organised on 1 November 2015, Romila Thapar began with an anecdotal account of her recent lecture on secularism in Mumbai, a lecture for which she was advised to take police protection. She asks, “After sixty eight years of independence, is it not possible for an academic to give an academic…

संघ के मनगढ़ित इतिहास और बढ़ते सांप्रदायिक खतरे पर इतिहासकार इरफ़ान हबीब

संघ के मनगढ़ित इतिहास और बढ़ते सांप्रदायिक खतरे पर इतिहासकार इरफ़ान हबीब

लगातार तर्कशील एवं प्रगतिशील ताकतों पर हो रहे हमलों के विरोध में १ नवम्बर को दिल्ली के मावलंकर सभागार में आयोजित ‘प्रतिरोध’ नामक सभा में इतिहासकार इरफ़ान हबीब ने अपनी बात रखी. हबीब ने इतिहास के साम्प्रदायिकरण में सत्ता की भागीदारी पर चर्चा की. हबीब के शब्दों में, “ जब भी कोई फ़ासिस्ट शक्ति बढती…

The Shivaji Legend

The Shivaji Legend

    This little book has a remarkable history. Titled Shivaji Kon Hota? in the original Marathi, Who was Shivaji? is based on a popular speech delivered by one of Maharashtra’s foremost Communist leaders, the late Govind Pansare, in Kolhapur – an important centre of Maharashtra’s anti-Brahman movement, on 11 May 1987. In his speech,…

Blank Space

Blank Space

  You might be puzzled by the strange title of this note on curtailments to Constitutional freedom of speech in the judgement on a recent case. I wish to emphasise my disdain at the Supreme Court’s judgement in Devidas Ramachandra Tuljapurkar v. State of Maharashtra & Ors. Criminal Appeal No. 1179 of 2010. It is…

Statements of filmmakers who have returned their National Awards

Statements of filmmakers who have returned their National Awards

25 filmmakers and film professionals, including Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah, Arundhati Roy, Ranjan Palit, Sanjay Kak, Pradeep Kishen returned their National Awards at the Press Club in Mumbai in protest of state sponsored violence and aggressive interference in academic and cultural institutions. Here are their personal statements: Virendra Saini I am returning this award in…

असहमति पर बढती हिंसा अकल्पनीय: उदय प्रकाश

असहमति पर बढती हिंसा अकल्पनीय: उदय प्रकाश

न्यूज़क्लिक ने हिंदी के वरिष्ठ लेखक उदय प्रकाश से अनेक लेखकों द्वारा साहित्य अकादमी पुरस्कार लौटाए जाने पर चर्चा की. इसकी शुरुआत उदय प्रकाश ने एम.एम.कालबुर्गी की हत्या के विरोध में पुरस्कार लौटा कर की थी. उदय प्रकाश  ने बताया कि वर्तमान समय में अभिव्यक्ति की आज़ादी पर जो लगातार हमले किए जा रहे हैं…

“The current political dispensation headed by the Prime Minister is mandating an atmosphere of violence and fear…”

“The current political dispensation headed by the Prime Minister is mandating an atmosphere of violence and fear…”

In light of the recent spate of killings of noted writers and intellectuals M. M. Kalburgi, Govind Pansare, and Narendra Dabholkar, and the Dadri lynching incident followed by forced nation-wide attempts at cultural policing, we feel that the current political dispensation headed by the Prime Minister is mandating an atmosphere of violence and fear. The…

November 1, 2015: Gujarati writers condemn intolerance, call for rational thinking and free speech

November 1, 2015: Gujarati writers condemn intolerance, call for rational thinking and free speech

                    Courtesy Times News Network On the birthday of murdered rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, writers from Gujarat condemned the sedition charge against a folk singer from Tamil Nadu. The writers also condemned and the attack on publishers of rationalists in Bangladesh. The full text of the statements can be read here: We feel shocked to read…

“The rule of law is being replaced with mob violence… The world is watching and history will judge you by your actions today.”

“The rule of law is being replaced with mob violence… The world is watching and history will judge you by your actions today.”

The President of India and the Prime Minister of India We the Citizens of Hyderabad and of India express our deep anguish and outrage against the onslaught on liberal ethos of India through attacks and killing of writers, Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and other members of minority and marginalised communities amidst a growing atmosphere of intolerance…

Two Poems

Two Poems

Abhishek Jha Between Walls Women lost in veils Artists undone in ink And wells respond to armies of peace. Hoarding This was biting scarred. That is sneezing gooed. He was water cannon. She is globe hiccup. Fever was cold wet. Mercury is hairy steely. Eyes are on days. Farts are at night. Old cash is…

“What the regime seems to want is a kind of legislated history…”

“What the regime seems to want is a kind of legislated history…”

Concerned about the highly vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country, characterised by various forms of intolerance, we, as academic historians and as responsible citizens of a democracy that has greatly valued its inherited traditions of tolerance, wish to express our anguish and protest about the prevailing condition. Differences of opinion are being sought to be…

October 27, 2015: “A polarised community is like a nuclear bomb…”

October 27, 2015: “A polarised community is like a nuclear bomb…”

A petition signed by scientists and academicians including Naresh Dadich, former Director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), G. Rajasekaran of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), and others from Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, was sent to the President. In response to recent incidents of intolerance, including the…

In Protest Against the Assault on Academic and Constitutional Freedom

In Protest Against the Assault on Academic and Constitutional Freedom

October 26, 2015 We, as social scientists, scholars, teachers and concerned citizens, feel extremely concerned about the lynching at Dadri, and the murders of scholars and thinkers like MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and others, and wish to register our strong protest. We are not just shocked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s late response,…

“Our voices have to be heard loud and clear… (we) condemn this intolerance…”

“Our voices have to be heard loud and clear… (we) condemn this intolerance…”

           Courtesy http://www.saffronart.com/fixed/ItemDetails.aspx?iid=2834& Anjolie Ela Menon: I have noted with growing alarm the taking over by the government of nine cultural institutions so far, including the replacement of the heads of all these nine institutions such as National Museum, IGNCA, FTII and Nehru Memorial Library. The quiet hijacking of the Lalit Kala Akademi and its…

“Our individual and collective voices are gathering cumulative strength…”

“Our individual and collective voices are gathering cumulative strength…”

                                           Sanu V.R., Courtesy Sahmat, http://www.sahmat.org/Sanu%20V.R.jpg The artist community of India stands in firm solidarity with the actions of our writers who have relinquished awards and positions, and spoken up in protest against the alarming rise of intolerance in the country. We condemn and mourn the murders of M M Kalburgi, Narendra Dhabolkar and Govind…

Launch of the Two Websites of the Indian Writers’ Forum at IIC, Delhi

Launch of the Two Websites of the Indian Writers’ Forum at IIC, Delhi

The sites of the Indian Writers' Forum were launched on October 1, 2015, in a packed room at the India International Centre, Delhi. The panel for the evening included K. Satchidanandan, Romila Thapar and Shyam B. Menon, with Githa Hariharan chairing the session. Hariharan said that the reason why everyone was assembled together was self-evident…

Solidarity

Solidarity

Shrenik Mutha Show me the strength of your love, show me the love of your heart. But also show me the gut of your heart, the colour of your gut. What colour is it? Is it black? Like the black of the blackboard which lets me pour my heart on it? Or is it like…

I want my country back

I want my country back

Here in the overseas Indian diaspora, the anti-Muslim attitude of the Government has also had repercussions. Until recently, a British citizen born of one Indian and one (former) Pakistani citizen was entitled to become an Overseas Citizen of India, and visit India at will. This was a mechanism for keeping families connected and together. However,…

Statement from the Indian Writers’ Forum, October 23, 2015

Statement from the Indian Writers’ Forum, October 23, 2015

The Indian Writers’ Forum strongly condemns the attack on a young Dalit writer, Huchangi Prasad, for his writings against the caste system. Prasad, a 23 year-old journalism student in Davanagere, was attacked by a group of men who consider his writings “anti-Hindu”.  “They surrounded me and started to push me around. They said my writings…

They Feared His Words: A Tribute to M. M. Kalburgi

They Feared His Words: A Tribute to M. M. Kalburgi

K. Satchidanandan Photo courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._M._Kalburgi “You fear words. Men who fear words exult in human blood. You can silence me, but you cannot silence truth. Truth and fire are ever inextinguishable. They will always keep burning somewhere. One spark is enough to create a conflagration.” These words, spoken by an untouchable old man in M….

October 21, 2015: Anita Desai writes the following statement regarding the current crisis affecting the Indian literary world

October 21, 2015: Anita Desai  writes the following statement regarding the current crisis affecting the Indian literary world

Anita Desai, author of over a dozen novels, has asked PEN International to distribute the following statement regarding the current crisis affecting the Indian literary world: ‘I was born in an India that enshrined democracy, pluralism and the freedom of speech in its constitution. I do not recognize the India of the present time where,…

“This will open up a whole area of challenge…”

“This will open up a whole area of challenge…”

Prabir Purkayastha of Newsclick interviewed Teesta Setalvad on the series of awards being returned by various writers as a protest against the killing of rationalists, the Dadri lynching, and other instances of growing intolerance in the country. Setalvad discusses the power of the RSS diktat on the present government, and the agenda of communal polarisation. On…

Press Note from Goa Writers

Press Note from Goa Writers

Photo courtesy Navhind Times, http://www.navhindtimes.in/goa-writers-condemn-sahitya-akademis-silence/ October 15, 2015, Panaji Sahitya Akademi Award winning Authors from Goa who include senior poet Nagesh Karmali, Novelist Damodar Mauzo, Pundalik Naik, N. Shivdas,  Datta Damodar Naik, Ramesh Veluskar, Meena Kakodkar, Hema Naik, Dilip Borkar, Gokuldas Prabhu, Mahabaleshwar Sail, Prakash Padgaonkar, Arun Sakhardande and Tukaram Seth and Padmashri awardee Maria…

Silenced Writer

Silenced Writer

Picture courtesy: http://meenaalexander.com/   In solidarity with  those in India who are resisting  forces that would silence the singer’s note, the poet’s cry, the painter’s arc of colour, the philosopher’s fierce light, I offer these words. I wrote them some time ago but they seem relevant now. Silenced writer. I start with that. Without silence…

Keeping Count of Dissenting Voices

Keeping Count of Dissenting Voices

Writers Speak Up against the Unmaking of India Update October 19, 2015 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ "A distinguished Kannada writer and Sahitya Akademi Award winner, M.M. Kalburgi, and two Maharashtrians, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, both anti-superstition activists, have all been killed by gun-toting motor-cyclists. Other dissenters have been warned they are next in line. Most recently, a…

Oriya Poet Rajendra Kishore Panda Invokes the Constitution of the Sahitya Akademi in his Letter to the Akademi President

Oriya Poet Rajendra Kishore Panda Invokes the Constitution of the Sahitya Akademi in his Letter to the Akademi President

The President / Vice President of Sahitya Akademi Members of Executive Board of Sahitya Akademi Secretary, Sahitya Akademi Sir, 1. Professor Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi, well-known scholar-writer and a recipient of Sahitya Akademi award in 2006, was shot dead in the morning of 30 August 2015 at his residence in Dharwad district of Karnataka. 2. In…

The Prime Minister Speaks!

The Prime Minister Speaks!

Picture Courtesy: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mridula_Garg.jpg The Prime Minister of India has finally broken his silence on the events in Dadri. The question is has his speaking helped improve the prevalent atmosphere of intolerance? Not at all. After all what did he say apart from making the inane statement that Hindus and Muslims should fight poverty and not…

Poet Adil Jussawalla Writes to the Sahitya Akademi President

Poet Adil Jussawalla Writes to the Sahitya Akademi President

Photo Courtesy: http://indianexpress.com/tag/adil-jussawalla/ October 10, 2015 Dear Dr. Viswanath Prasad Tiwari, I write as a person who was honoured to receive the Sahitya Akademi Award for 2014. The murder of writers M.M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare and the unacceptable censoring of many other writers by violently intolerant groups must be condemned. I urge…

An Ugly Irony: The Present Government Felicitates those Who Fought the Emergency

An Ugly Irony: The Present Government Felicitates those Who Fought the Emergency

Prabir Purkayastha of the Delhi Science Forum, who was in jail for a year during the Emergency, responds to an invitation to an event when those who fought the Emergency will be felicitated by Prime Minister Modi. Front page of the Indian Herald on June 26th 1975 Courtesy https://www.mtholyoke.edu/~ghosh20p/page1.html I have received an invitation to…