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,…

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: Studying György Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg and Nikolai Bukharin through Letters, Diaries and Notes

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: Studying György Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg and Nikolai Bukharin through Letters, Diaries and Notes

We continue our #OctoberRevolutionSeries with an interview with Professor Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, who has been reading the autobiographical writings of György Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg and Nikolai Bukharin. Their political writings have already been published, but Datta Gupta has been closely analysing their letters, diaries and notes. In a conversation with Sruti M D, he says that this…

“The idea of popular science is an authoritarian version”: Satyajit Rath

“The idea of popular science is an authoritarian version”: Satyajit Rath

How are science and culture related? Have we abandoned science and scientific temper for an overtly 'elite' politics? Satyajit Rath, in conversation with Githa Hariharan, explains about the significance of reclaiming scientific temper for the general public. Also see the first part of the interview: “Scientific temper is what elite politics denies in our humanness…”  

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…

“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…

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…

#OctoberRevolutionMonth: The Fight for The Party During the Ebb Of the Revolution

#OctoberRevolutionMonth: The Fight for The Party During the Ebb Of the Revolution

  Thus began a new period of remote and protracted emigration. While in distant Russia the proletarian party was persecuted with terror and driven far underground, the tsarist minister Stolypin ruled unchallenged, rearing forests of gallows (‘Stolypin’s neckties’) for the revolutionary workers in the towns, creating kulak households in the villages at the expense of…

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,…

McOnam Sadhya: Tinkering with Tradition

McOnam Sadhya: Tinkering with Tradition

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

“We will not put our pens down…”

“We will not put our pens down…”

K P Sasikala, Kerala state president of the Hindu Aikya Vedi has, according to media reports, threatened writers who are opposed to the RSS. “Pray to stay alive,” she has advised secular Indian writers. She has suggested that they conduct a puja to avoid an untimely death like that of Gauri Lankesh. The Vedi is…

Hamari Gauri Amar Rahe

Hamari Gauri Amar Rahe

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

रक्त

रक्त

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

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:…

The Image and the Individual: Hunger and Pain in the Making of the “Conscientious” Bengali Artist

The Image and the Individual: Hunger and Pain in the Making of the “Conscientious” Bengali Artist

Bergman, in his evocative essay titled “Film making”, gives a cinematic account of his childhood in his grandmother’s apartment in Uppsala, where he would sit under the large dining-room table, “listening” to the sunshine that filtered in through the gigantic windows. On the wall hung a large picture of Venice, and “as the sunlight moved…

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"'….

Mourid Barghouti in conversation with Githa Hariharan

Mourid Barghouti in conversation with Githa Hariharan

The acclaimed Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti was in Delhi recently for a series of events organised by the publishers Women Unlimited. Writer Githa Hariharan spoke to Mourid Barghouti on how literature, and poetry in particular, challenges authoritarian discourse around the world. Barghouti discusses the fine balance between the writer’s primary identity as an artist, and…