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…