“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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

“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:   

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,…

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,…

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…

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…

#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…

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…

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…

#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…

#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…

“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…

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…

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…

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…

Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right

Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right

Talking about the recent judgement passed by a Nine judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, which upheld right to privacy as a fundamental right, Usha Ramanathan says, "Elevated privacy to a place where, which I think we woudn't have confidence to ask the courts to elevate it". Watch the entire conversation with Usha…

Marx in Ambedkar’s Thoughts

Marx in Ambedkar’s Thoughts

This is an excerpt from the valedictory address of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar at the study camp of All India Trade Union Workers held from 8-17 September 1943. The title of his speech was “Labour Parliamentary Democracy”. He further said, “But the labouring classes will not give them the attention they deserve. Instead, labour has taken…

Bharat Mata and Her Unruly Daughters

Bharat Mata and Her Unruly Daughters

    Bharat Mata’s daughter? But the Hindutvavaadi motherland produces only sons – Hindu, savarna sons – to protect their mother’s ever fragile honour. Let us begin these reflections with a moment from Nisha Pahuja’s disturbing film the World Before Her, which tracks two young women – Ruhi, a beauty pageant contestant, and Prachi, a trainer…

The Jogappas with T.M. Krishna

The Jogappas with T.M. Krishna

Any art form is not closed, but has spaces for experimentation and TM Krishna calls this experimentation as sharing. Here is one of those sharings between the Carnatic classical music and the music of Jogappas, a transgender community of Karnataka and Maharashtra.  Part One   Part Two   Also read:  T.M. Krishna and the Jogappas: Coming…

Voices from the Tea Plantations

Voices from the Tea Plantations

Guwahati, Aug. 23: The Joint Action Committee of Tea Tribes Adivasi Assam has demanded that the floods in the state be declared a national problem according to a report in The Telegraph.      If this demand is not met by February 2018, the organisation has also threatened to launch an agitation in tea gardens,…

Dalit Theatre and Ambedkar

Dalit Theatre and Ambedkar

Dr Ambedkar’s ideology has manifested itself in many forms. Dalit Theatre is one of them. Like Dalit Literature, Dalit Theatre also originated in the Marathi-speaking area. In other words, Marathi Dalit Theatre was the foundation of the Indian Dalit Theatre.   Today, Dalit Theatre has struck roots not only in Maharashtra but in the entire…

Fragments of Desire in Delhi

Fragments of Desire in Delhi

1. Delhi sets like embers Falling into the cracks Of dismembered flesh Of everyday exhaustion And dying desires 2 Why do you come to me like the Delhi rain Breezy and scattered When I pant for a memory whole Of bruised bodies Coloured and caked Like the softness Of a noisy hometown Scurrying past the…

Love-Letters Like No Other

Love-Letters Like No Other

  On January 3, 1831, 176 years ago Savitribai Phule, arguably India’s first woman teacher and forgotten liberator was born. With the first school for girls from different castes that she set up in Bhidewada, Pune (the seat of Brahmanism) Krantijyoti Savitribai as she is reverentially known, by the Indian Bahujan movement, blazed a revolutionary…

All India Radio is Not for All

All India Radio is Not for All

    All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) refused to air the pre-recorded, Independence day speech of Manik Sarkar, the democratically elected Chief Minister of the state of Tripura. Prasara Bharati, an autonomous body that runs both AIR and DD informed the same to the Chief Minister's office. In the email written to the Chief…

For Eunice and Vijay

For Eunice and Vijay

    I. All this whining after the passing is like cigarette smoke. Coiling up. Eunice would puff away at it, askance; her questions tightly grabbing at shirt corners, a little determined to be sly. The neighbors are frying jalebi to eat with curdled cream. Bloody brown sahibs. Don't you know, we're good at pretense…