Let T M Krishna Sing

Let T M Krishna Sing

What kind of country stops a musician from singing? What kind of country keeps its citizens from listening to this musician? India today is such a country — the same India where those who dissent are intimidated; the same India where those who speak up for Indian diversity are silenced; the same India where citizens…

एकनाथ आवाड की आत्मकथा: स्ट्राइक अ ब्लो टू चेंज द वर्ल्ड

एकनाथ आवाड की आत्मकथा: स्ट्राइक अ ब्लो टू चेंज द वर्ल्ड

इंडियन कल्चरल फोरम औरन्यूज़क्लिक  ने जाने माने दलित सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता एकनाथ आवाड की आत्मकथा और दलित समाज के तमाम पहलुओं पर उनके बेटे मिलिंद आवाड से ख़ास मुलाकात कीI  

“The film industry’s attitude gives the notion of a very patriarchal space”: Bina Paul

“The film industry’s attitude gives the notion of a very patriarchal space”: Bina Paul

In February last year, a Malayalam actress was abducted and molested by a group of men while returning from work. Following the police complaint she filed, the police found one of the leading Malayalam actor Dileep’s involvement in the abduction. WCC, a woman’s collective, was formed by a group of women from the Malayalam film…

TM Krishna: “It is ironic that people who have built this large Hindu temple in a Christian country would take such a decision”

TM Krishna: “It is ironic that people who have built this large Hindu temple in a Christian country would take such a decision”

Karnatic musicians TM Krishna, OS Arun and Nithyashree Mahadevan were recently targeted for attack by the Tamil Nadu based group Rashtriya Seva Sangham for singing devotional songs about “gods of other religions”. In response, Krishna resolved to sing one Karnatic composition every month on Jesus or Allah. The attacks on Krishna mounted, and on his recent tour of…

Dissent on Social Media Leads to Unfair Expulsion and Suspension of Student and Faculty of Central University of Kerala

Dissent on Social Media Leads to Unfair Expulsion and Suspension of Student and Faculty of Central University of Kerala

The Central University of Kerala is facing a huge backlash from writers, activists and students across the country. In an attempt to crush the dissenting voices in the campus, the university administration recently took action against both students and faculty who had been critical of their actions. On September 7, the university administration suspended Prasad…

All India Women’s Protest Rally

All India Women’s Protest Rally

Spirits were high, despite the heavy rainfall. Umbrellas or no umbrellas, thousands of women marched towards the Parliament on September 4, chanting slogans and singing songs of resistance. The march was led by the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) and women from 20 different states participated in the march in New Delhi, protesting against the…

Justice DY Chandrachud: “It’s too long a period for the LGBTQ community to suffer the indignities of life”

Justice DY Chandrachud: “It’s too long a period for the LGBTQ community to suffer the indignities of life”

On 6 September, the Supreme Court of India passed a historic judgement by decriminalising homosexuality between consenting adults, Section 377. A four-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, along with Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, pronounced four separate judgments and one unanimous decision. Here is an extract…

Remembering Gauri Lankesh

Remembering Gauri Lankesh

Last year, on September 5, the activist and editor-in-chief of Lankesh Patrike, Gauri Lankesh was murdered at her residence by two people affiliated to Sanatan Sanstha- a Hindu right-wing outfit. Her murder shook the whole nation leading to a huge outcry by the citizens demanding the need to defend ones' freedom of expression.  Through her works, Gauri critiqued the Hindu…

Cartoonist P Mahamud Wins the First PEN-Gauri Lankesh Award for Democratic Idealism

Cartoonist P Mahamud Wins the First PEN-Gauri Lankesh Award for Democratic Idealism

Cartoonist P Mahamud was awarded the first PEN-Gauri Lankesh Award for Democratic Idealism today in Bengaluru on the first anniversary of journalist Gauri Lankesh's assassination. The prize money for the award is one lakh rupees.  The award celebrates what Gauri Lankesh stood for — a life of commitment to equality and justice, fearlessness and above all,…

“We stand in solidarity with all those who speak for our fellow citizens’ rights.”

“We stand in solidarity with all those who speak for our fellow citizens’ rights.”

In a dangerous move for Indian democracy, several human rights activists have been taken into police custody. Who are some of these alleged “conspirators” who have either been taken into custody or had their homes searched? Sudha Bhardwaj is an advocate and the national secretary for People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). Father Stan Swamy…

Audrey Truschke’s Talk Cancelled Following Threats

Audrey Truschke’s Talk Cancelled Following Threats

Well known South Asian history scholar Audrey Truschke has cancelled her talk in Hyderabad following threats from Right-wing extremists. Her talk titled “Unpopular Stories: Narrating the Indo-Islamic Past and Navigating Present-day Prejudices” was scheduled for the 11 August. The talk was organised by Krishnakriti Foundation. The venue of the talk had already been shifted twice…

Police Interrogates Filmmaker Divya Bharathi Again Over Her Second Documentary

Police Interrogates Filmmaker Divya Bharathi Again Over Her Second Documentary

  Filmmaker Divya Bharathi’s second documentary Oratharum Varela (Nobody Came) landed in trouble soon after she released the trailer on YouTube on June 28 this year. The film is dedicated “to the hundreds of fish workers drowned at deep sea due to the government’s wilful neglect in Ockhi cyclone”. Earlier in July, the director’s house was searched…

Remembering Hiroshima

Remembering Hiroshima

  Today, 6th of August 2018, marks 73 years since the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. After the unsuccessful “Fat Man” and “Thin Man” bombs, Little Boy was developed at the Manhattan Project with Robert Oppenheimer at its helm. Little Boy, as we now know, wasn’t very little after all. It left 1,35,000 bodies…

An Educational Institute Yet to be Established Becomes an Institute of Eminence under Modi’s India

An Educational Institute Yet to be Established Becomes an Institute of Eminence under Modi’s India

On Monday, Prakash Javadekar, the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, announced the names of six institutions of higher education, three from public and three from the private sector, that have been granted the status of “Institution of Eminence”. The list of universities included Jio University — an educational venture undertaken by Reliance, about which…

Act! Write to the MHRD on the new education policy and read the response by teachers in Indian universities here

Act! Write to the MHRD on the new education policy and read the response by teachers in Indian universities here

On 27 June, the Human Resources Development Ministry of the Government of India announced that it would repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act and introduce a new regulatory body for higher education called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). The draft Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) 2018 can be read here. Prakash Javadekar, the…

In Mangalore, Protests Seeking Justice for Kathua and Unnao Rape Victims are Also a Fight for the Survivor Murdered in Dharmasthala

In Mangalore, Protests Seeking Justice for Kathua and Unnao Rape Victims are Also a Fight for the Survivor Murdered in Dharmasthala

On 16 April, 2018, Mangalore saw protesters gather in front of the District Commissioner’s office seeking justice for the Kathua and Unnao rapes. It began with the Dharmasthala survivor's mother lighting the first candle to lead the march. The protest was one among several others that broke out in multiple cities across India after news…

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…

K P Ramanunni explains why he donated his Sahitya Akademi prize money to Junaid’s family

K P Ramanunni explains why he donated his Sahitya Akademi prize money to Junaid’s family

Sahitya Akademi Award winner K P Ramanunni donated a part of his prize money to Junaid's family. The Malayalam novelist won the award for his book Daivathinte Pusthakam. Speaking to the Indian Cultural Forum, the writer explains why he chose to donate his prize money to the family of the16-year old teenager who was lynched by Hindu fanatics last year….

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…

Githa Hariharan’s Response to Aniruddhan Vasudevan Declining the Sahitya Akademi Prize for Translation

Githa Hariharan’s Response to Aniruddhan Vasudevan Declining the Sahitya Akademi Prize for Translation

  Aniruddhan Vasudevan, who was a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Prize for Translation 2016, for his translation of Perumal Murugan’s novel, Madhorubhagan, has now written to the Akademi declining the award. Kongu Kalvi Valarchi Arakattalai, the same group that hounded author Perumal Murugan, also filed a petition in the Madras High Court against his…

Is Today’s India a Threat to Gandhi and Ambedkar’s Idea of a Secular Nation?

Is Today’s India a Threat to Gandhi and Ambedkar’s Idea of a Secular Nation?

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's death, his grandson Rajmohan Gandhi, historian and biographer, delivered a speech at Sevagram, Wardha highlighting the crisis that faces secularism in India today. In his speech he spoke of the many ways in which Gandhi and Ambedkar's ideas of India intersected and the urgent need…

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…

अरुणा रॉय : कहानियों, नाटकों और गानों के ज़रिये करें जनवादी राजनीति का प्रचार

अरुणा रॉय : कहानियों, नाटकों और गानों के ज़रिये करें जनवादी राजनीति का प्रचार

जयपुर में आयोजित जन साहित्य पर्व में बात करते हुए सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता अरुणा रॉय ने इस सरकार द्वारा तर्कसंगत सोच पर हो रहे हमलों और उनके खतरों के बारे में बात की I उन्होंने बताया कि किस तरह संघ और उससे जुड़े लोग आम लोगों तक गलत धारणायें पहुँचा रहे हैं और उन्हें कला के…

Besieging the Siege: Report from the Protest Against Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to India

Besieging the Siege: Report from the Protest Against Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to India

Yesterday noon, the usual perturbing quietness of central Delhi was broken by activists gathered together to protest the diplomatic visit of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, to India. Netanyahu’s visit is being portrayed, all across the mainstream media, as an “accomplishment” of the Modi regime. Netanyahu’s personal camaraderie with Modi, the elusive “agreements”…

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…

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…

#FreedomToDraw: Cartoons of Nehru and Indira Gandhi by E P Unny, R K Laxman and K Shankar Pillai

#FreedomToDraw: Cartoons of Nehru and Indira Gandhi by E P Unny, R K Laxman and K Shankar Pillai

Cartoonist Bala was arrested from his residence in Chennai last Sunday, 5 November, 2017, for his cartoon that criticised the Tirunelveli Police Commissioner, the District Collector, and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, over the Tirunelveli immolation tragedy. In protest against this curbing of freedom of speech and expression, the Indian Cultural Forum has decided to come out…

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…

#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…

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….

On the Attack on Minorities, Shabnam Hashmi says “Nothing surprises me. It is only the beginning.”

On the Attack on Minorities, Shabnam Hashmi says “Nothing surprises me. It is only the beginning.”

Well-known human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi recently returned the National Minority Rights Award in protest against mob lynching. Her protest comes in the wake of 16-year-old Junaid's murder in broad daylight. Hashmi has said that the National Commission for Minorities, which conferred the award on her in 2008, has lost all its credibility. ICF interviewed…

Achhe Din Roundup: The Week that Was

Achhe Din Roundup: The Week that Was

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

Mohandas Nemishrey Discusses Dalit Participation in Sahitya Akademi

Mohandas Nemishrey Discusses Dalit Participation in Sahitya Akademi

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

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…

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…

​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…

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…

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…

Malayalam Author, Feminist, and Activist Sarah Joseph Returns Her Akademi Award to Protest Communal Incidents

Malayalam Author, Feminist, and Activist Sarah Joseph Returns Her Akademi Award to Protest Communal Incidents

Citing the growing spate of communal incidents across India, Sarah Joseph announced that she will return the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award that she won for her novel Aalahayude Penmakkal (Daughters of God the Father). Photo courtesy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Joseph_(author) Sarah Joseph, a leading feminist from Kerala, wrote poetry before she turned to fiction. Her highly acclaimed work includes the…

Eminent Malayalam poet and critic K. Satchidanandan resigns from Sahitya Akademi Executive Board and General Council

Eminent Malayalam poet and critic K. Satchidanandan resigns from Sahitya Akademi Executive Board and General Council

In a letter to the Sahitya Akademi saying, “The Akademi has to stand with writers and uphold the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution of India…”, and, “To writers like me, this is an issue of our basic freedom to live, think and write”, K. Satchidanandan has resigned from the Akademi’s General Council, Executive Board, and…

Award-Winning Author Shashi Deshpande Resigns from Sahitya Akademi General Council

Award-Winning Author Shashi Deshpande Resigns from Sahitya Akademi General Council

In a letter to the Sahitya Akademi, Shashi Deshpande has offered her resignation out of “a sense of strong disappointment” with the Akademi’s failure to protest the murder of one of its own community of writers, M.M. Kalburgi. Eminent writer Shashi Deshpande, a member of the Indian Writers’ Forum, has written several novels, short story…

Nayantara Sahgal Returns Her Sahitya Akademi Award

Nayantara Sahgal Returns Her Sahitya Akademi Award

Eminent writer and member of the Indian Writers' Forum Nayantara Sahgal returns Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against the government’s failure to safeguard cultural diversity. Nayantara Sahgal, renowned writer and niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, is known for her upright and outspoken political views. She took a firm stand against Indira Gandhi’s Emergency and, ​in more…

Keeping Count

Keeping Count

On August 15, 2015, India celebrated its independence for the 63rd time. As always, independence may not mean much to those on the peripheries of a republic of inequality. But economic inequality and age-old caste and tribe inequalities have a sharper edge in our country today. Since the BJP government has taken over, divisions of…