“From a very young age in fact I used to collect books that were banned”: Salil Tripathi

“From a very young age in fact I used to collect books that were banned”: Salil Tripathi

In an interview with Laetitia Zecchini, writer and journalist Salil Tripathi says that he always… felt passionate about free expression     LZ. You are a writer, an award-winning journalist for different British, American and Indian journals, and an advisor for the Institute for Human Rights and Business in London. You have also been a board…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Marx And Ambedkar: Bridging The Rift

Marx And Ambedkar: Bridging The Rift

History repeats itself twice, not infrequently as tragedy for the masses of the people. All across the word, there is the emergence and  rise to power of neofascism under various garbs and  leaderships–from Hungary’s Viktor Orban to Greece’s Nikos Michaloliakos and  from Frances’ Marie Le Pen to US’s Donald Trump –all bred by capitalist neoliberalism,…

घास : पाश , Ghaas : Pash

घास : पाश , Ghaas : Pash

Published on Jun 26, 2017 Pash or Paash (ਅਵਤਾਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਪਾਸ਼; September 9, 1950 – March 23, 1988) was the pen name of Avtar Singh Sandhu, one of the major poets of the Naxalite movement in the Punjabi literature of the 1970s. He was killed by Khalistani extremists on March 23, 1988. His strongly left-wing…

Archiving the Complex Genealogies of Caste and Sexuality

Archiving the Complex Genealogies of Caste and Sexuality

This interview emerged as a series of email exchanges between Rohan Arthur and Dr Anjali Arondekar who works on the Gomantak Maratha Samaj archives, following Rohan's tribute essay on Kishori Amonkar titled Kishori Amonkar: Assertion, Erasure, Reclamation. The interview was conducted with inputs from James Michael and Akshay Pathak. Can you describe the historical origins of the Gomantak Maratha Samaj,…

How Textbooks Teach Prejudice

How Textbooks Teach Prejudice

What we learn and teach about history and how the process of this learning has been crafted or developed, shapes our understanding of the events of the past. This understanding of the past influences our ability to grapple with the present and therefore also the future. Such knowledge, if both rich and varied, can also…

Some Findings on the Political Economy of Land Rights

Some Findings on the Political Economy of Land Rights

Dear all,  We are pleased to present findings from our research project on "The Political Economy of Land Rights and Federalism in the Fifth and Sixth Schedule Areas: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Meghalaya", which is a research collaboration between the Centre for Policy Research Land Rights Initiative ("CPR-LRI") and the Centre on Law and Social Transformation ("LawTransform"), as well as…

From Samanvay 2016 – Speaking of Women: The Language of Control

From Samanvay 2016 – Speaking of Women: The Language of Control

Writer and publisher Ritu Menon, film critic Shubhra Gupta, independent journalist Neha Dixit, and lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Gower in coversation about gender dynamics in thier respective fields. Watch ILF Samanvay 2015 Creativity and Censorship: The Insider versus the Outsider. Watch ILF Samanvay 2015 Dialoging Lives: Two Dalit Autobiographies. Watch ILF Samanvay 2015…

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…

Talk by Martin Macwan from All India Socialist Youth Conference

Talk by Martin Macwan from All India Socialist Youth Conference

All India Socialist Youth Conference | अखिल भारतीय समाजवादी युवा सम्मेलन was organised by Rashtra Seva Dal, Yusuf Meherally Yuva Biradari and Lokayat between 21 and 22 January 2017 in the Rashtra Seva Dal Campus, Pune. It is in continuation with the efforts to build unity of Democratic Socialists across the country as a step…

“BSP is the only alternative at the moment to defeat the forces of Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh”

“BSP is the only alternative at the moment to defeat the forces of Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh”

Bhanwar Meghwanshi is an incisive and forthright contemporary voice of the progressive Dalit movement in Rajasthan.  He has untiringly participated in campaigns and movements across the country, creating awareness on communalism, casteism, gender violence, globalisation, displacement and so on. Born on February 25, 1975 in village Siridiyas in Bhilwara district into a Dalit weaver family,…

The Idea of the University

The Idea of the University

    Linked below are the contents of an issue of Café Dissensus on "The Idea of the University".  Guest Editorial: What ‘Use’ is the Liberal Ruse? Debating the ‘Idea’ of the University by Debaditya Bhattacharya Manufacturing Unfreedom: The Commoditization of Education by Prabhat Patnaik Neoliberal Savagery and the Assault on Higher Education as a Democratic Public Sphere by Henry A. Giroux Shadow-Images of…

In Conversation with Bhagwan Das

In Conversation with Bhagwan Das

Mr Bhagwan Das was a reputed scholar on Ambedkarism and the issue of human rights of the Scheduled Castes. Widely traveled, Mr Das addressed throughout his lifetime, various national & international platforms on the conditions of dalits in India and the best ways of their emancipation. In freewheeling conversation with Vidya Bhushan Rawat, he speaks…

Report of the People’s Tribunal on Caste Discrimination and Police Action in University of Hyderabad

Report of the People’s Tribunal on Caste Discrimination and Police Action in University of Hyderabad

The tribunal was organized by the concerned teachers, writers, and lawyers of Hyderabad. It was chaired by Justice  K. Chandru (Retired judge, High Court Madras). Prof Govardhan Wankhede (TISS, Bombay) and Prof Ghanshyam Shah (formerly Prof, JNU) were the members. The brief to the tribunal was to examine the circumstances leading to the suicide of research scholar…

Dying Art Forms, Static Traditions and Religious Mumbo-Jumbo: Puppeteer Anurupa Roy On Our General Ignorance

Dying Art Forms, Static Traditions and Religious Mumbo-Jumbo: Puppeteer Anurupa Roy On Our General Ignorance

“I recently had the misfortune of meeting a film maker who wanted to make a film about the “dying art of puppetry“. She said it is “common knowledge” that these artists “live in villages and are uneducated”. Gunduraju and Rajappa’s faces flashed before my eyes. These artists can recite between 60,00 – 100,000 verses from the epics…

“The State is Lawless”

“The State is Lawless”

Soni Sori, a human rights defender and an adivasi school teacher from Chhattisgarh, was in Mumbai recently to talk at an event organized to commemorate Justice (retd.) Suresh Hosbet's 25 years of contribution to human rights struggles in India post his retirement. This event was organised by Majlis, in collaboration with Human Rights Law Network (HRLN),…

Project Heartland 2: Meet the Men Who Started the Una Movement

Project Heartland 2: Meet the Men Who Started the Una Movement

Project Heartland captures the struggles of people from marginalised communities, mainly Dalits in Gujarat. It shows the courage and determination of Dalit women and men to assert their rights despite all odds. Project Heartland wants these brave people to be known, recognised, and be seen as an inspiration to others. This YouTube mini series brings out different stories from the…

Project Heartland: Meet the Men Who Started the Una Movement

Project Heartland: Meet the Men Who Started the Una Movement

Project Heartland captures the struggles of people from marginalised communities, mainly Dalits in Gujarat. It shows the courage and determination of Dalit women and men to assert their rights despite all odds. Project Heartland wants these brave people to be known, recognised, and be seen as an inspiration to others. This YouTube mini series brings out different stories from the…

In Conversation with Hasina Nat

In Conversation with Hasina Nat

We all know the importance of conversations. If they are freewheeling without any prejudices, these conversations are of a great importance. Our aim here is to bring voices and conversations that are not a part of our “main stream” media. We wish to raise uncomfortable questions in our discussions to benefit the viewers. There will…

The Question of Language in Education

The Question of Language in Education

The Report of the Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy displays neither rigour nor vision. Its introduction of a provision for instruction in the mother tongue up to Class 5 is to be welcomed, but its complete neglect of these languages in higher education will ensure that this cannot be implemented.    …

Report of the Committee to Enquire Into the Allegation of Differential Treatment of SC/ST Students in All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi

Report of the Committee to Enquire Into the Allegation of Differential Treatment of SC/ST Students in All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi

This report contains findings by a three-member committee constituted by the Government, and headed by Professor Sukhadeo Torat in order to probe into the matter of discrimation and differential treatment in the All India Institue of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, one of the top medical colleges in the country. Students in the college belonging to…

Muzaffarnagar: Post Riot Assessment

Muzaffarnagar: Post Riot Assessment

This report assesses the conditions of the survivors of the Muzaffarnagar riots who live in abysmal "relief camps", along with the trauma of the violence they experienced. A team comprising thirteen members from various organnisations in the country, convened by the Centre for Peace Studies, visited the riot affected areas in 2013. This report also provides a comrehensive context…

Untold Story of Hindukaran (Proselytisation) of ADIVASI (TRIBAL) in DANG: A Report

Untold Story of Hindukaran (Proselytisation) of ADIVASI (TRIBAL) in DANG: A Report

Citizen’s Inquiry Committee: Digant Oza Harsh Mander Irfan Engineer Lakshmanbhai Rathore Prasad Chacko Ram Puniyani Rohit Prajapati Shabnam Hashmi Suresh Khairnar Uttambhai Parmar Contents Executive Summary Introduction Political Economy of Dangs The Sangh and anti-Christian mobilisation Shabri, the Kumbh and the pseudo-mythology of Dangs Voices from the Dangs: Testimonies The open Sangh-State Nexus Conclusion Annexures…

“We Have No Orders to Save You”: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat

“We Have No Orders to Save You”: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat

The 2002 riots witnessed largescale violence, brutality and murder of Muslims in Gujarat. This report sheds light on the complicity and participation of the State. Human Rights Watch's findings show that the attacks were not only planned in advance, but also included the active participation of the police, and in close cooperation with the State government (Bharatiya Janta Party, BJP). 

Untouchability and the Untouchables

Untouchability and the Untouchables

Testimony given by Bhagwan Das, Chairman, All India Samata Sainik Dal, and Ambedkar Mission society In the 36th Session of Commission on Human rights Sub-Commission on Prevention Of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, held at Geneva in August 1983 I am grateful to the chairman of the sub-committee for granting me an opportunity to present…

Report on the Struggle and Repression at Honda Motorcycles and Scooters Factory, Tapukara

Report on the Struggle and Repression at Honda Motorcycles and Scooters Factory, Tapukara

Workers Solidarity Center, Gurgaon-Bawal The struggle of 3000 Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) workers of Tapukara plant in Alwar, situated at the Haryana-Rajasthan border, in the face of brutal repression from the management-police-administration side, has emerged as an important and intense workers' struggle. As the workers saw commonality, forged unity across internal segmentation, initiated…

Remembering Ayyankali

Remembering Ayyankali

As India celebrates 70 years of Independence, the greatest battle that eludes the nation is the right to dignity for Dalits. From Una to deciphering the late Rohith Vemula’s caste, the deep undercurrent of not giving dalits their rightful place in the public sphere has left deep scars which we as a responsible nation conveniently…

Understanding Untouchability: A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions in 1589 Villages

Understanding Untouchability:  A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions in 1589 Villages

The Navsarjan Trust and the RFK Center spent four years compiling quantitative, comprehensive and reliable data exposing the current state of untouchability (caste-based discrimination) against Dalits (“untouchables”) in Gujarat, India. This 2010 report presents data on untouchability practices in 1,589 villages from 5,462 respondents in Gujarat on the issue of untouchability. Download the report here….

Assaults on Reason and Institutions

Assaults on Reason and Institutions

Idea of India Conclave During the two years of the Narendra Modi government, there has been an all-round attack on various established institutions in the country, whether educational or cultural. There have been attempts to interfere with curricula, the way these institutions are run, as well as their mandate and autonomy. The Idea of India…

JNU and Its Tradition(s) of Dissent

JNU and Its Tradition(s) of Dissent

Café Dissensus, Issue 24 Photo courtesy Haneefa Muhammed, via Café Dissensus Linked below are the contents of an issue of Café Dissensus from 2016, on the culture of dissent and protest politics in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Guest-Editorial: JNU and Its Traditions of Dissent by Malavika Binny Sedition in a Democracy by Meera Gopakumar Capitalising…

India Exclusion Report 2015

India Exclusion Report 2015

Image via Eoghan Bridge   "This is the second edition of the India Exclusion Report, for the year 2015. As with the first Report in 2013–14, the attempt of this highly collaborative, trans-disciplinary annual enterprise is to bring together experts from many fields—scholars, human rights and development workers, policy makers, and persons from disadvantaged communities—to…

Todo Bandhan

Todo Bandhan

Jagori Collective via Olakh's Grassroots Feminist Political Posters in India A two-part audio tape of feminist songs in Hindi popular with North Indian womens groups in India the 1980's. This collection of songs was produced by the Jagori collective in Delhi.  This tape has been digitised in public interest by sacw.net. Part 1 of the…

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Volume 2

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Volume 2

This volume includes: Part I: Dr Ambedkar in the Bombay Legislature (1927-1939) Part II: Dr Ambedkar with the Simon Commission (Indian Statutory Commission) Part III: Dr Ambedkar at the Round Table Conferences   Released by the Ministry of External Affairs.  Published by the Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. The works of…

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Volume I

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Volume I

This volume includes: Castes in India Annihilation of Caste Maharashtra as a Linguistic Province Need for Checks and Balances Thoughts on Linguistic States Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah Evidence before the Southborough Committee Federation versus Freedom Communal Deadlock and a Way to solve It States and Minorities Small Holdings in India Mr. Russell and the Reconstruction…

We Have No Orders to Save You

We Have No Orders to Save You

State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat  © Jogen Chowdhury In February 2002, Gujarat witnessed the worst incident of communal violence in at least a decade, a majority of whose victims were Muslims. While Indian government officials at the time estimated the loss of over 850 people, unofficial estimates pegged the toll at about…

Understanding Emerging Fascism In India

Understanding Emerging Fascism In India

K.P. Sasi Image courtesy Deviantart In recent times, there have been many discussions against the agenda of the communal fascists owing to recent events like the developments in FTII; twisted nationalism; rise in fabricated cases; human rights violations using draconian laws; developments in Chennai (IIT) against Dalits; the beef debate; moral policing; attacks on human…

The Meaning of Patriotism/Nationalism

The Meaning of Patriotism/Nationalism

Etihas Video Magazine – Issue 4, April 2016 Nationalism and patriotism are popular subjects of discussion in India today as some zealous individuals try to test everyone else for their love for the nation or desh prem. Should a narrow definition or identity of Indian nationalism be imposed on everyone, or should our nationalism be…

Caught in an Irresponsible War

Caught in an Irresponsible War

A Fact-Finding Report from Chhattisgarh Chhattisgarh's local communities continue to be the worst affected by the tussle between Maoist forces and the state machinery attempting to quell it. In this situation a group comprising of Sanjay Parate, Secretary State CPI-M, Vineet Tiwari, Joshi-Adhikari Institute of Social Studies and CPI, New Delhi, Archana Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru University…

Dalit and Adivasi Women Question Oppression

Dalit and Adivasi Women Question Oppression

Sujatha Surepally Impressions from the first National Dalit and Adivasi Women's Congress held on February 15-16, 2013, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Durga Bai / via gondtribalart.com We live in nature! We die in Nature! It's our life, if you occupy our land where should we go and how do we live? Whose…

In the Shadow of Fear: Communal Tension, Military Repression, Sexual Assaults in Bastar

In the Shadow of Fear: Communal Tension, Military Repression, Sexual Assaults in Bastar

All India People’s Forum Fact-Finding Team's Visit to Bastar  Courtesy AIPF Raipur, 12 June 2016: An 8-member fact-finding team of All India People’s Forum visited four districts of Bastar, Chhattisgarh between 8-11 June 2016. The fact-finding team found several incidents of communal violence against Christians as well as fake encounters, rapes, fake cases and arbitrary…

India Upholds Caste System at the U.N.

India Upholds Caste System at the U.N.

Amar Khade, Round Table India El Greco, 'Laocoön' / Wikipedia A compilation of news and commentary.  The United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák, recently published a report on minority issues. The report was presented and discussed at the UNHRC on 15th March 2016. The mandate of the Special…

State of Siege: Report on Encounters and Cases of Sexual Violence in Bijapur and Sukma districts, Chhattisgarh

State of Siege: Report on Encounters and Cases of Sexual Violence in Bijapur and Sukma districts, Chhattisgarh

On 14 January 2016, a combined team from Coordination of Democratic Rights Organizations (CDRO) and Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) conducted a fresh fact-finding investigation in the Sukma and Bijapur districts of Chhattisgarh.  Initially the objectives of the fact-finding mission were to investigate cases of encounter killings, supposed “surrenders” by Maoists and…

Anhad Women Convention, October 2015

Anhad Women Convention, October 2015

Act Now For Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) organised a Women Convention on October 2-3, 2015, in New Delhi. A report on the convention prepared by Shyamolima Ghosh Choudhury, titled 'Challenges Before Women in Contemporary India', can be accessed here (pdf). We have compiled a playlist of videos of those who addressed the convention, uploaded by…

Statement from Concerned Faculty at the English and Foreign Languages University on the Police Crackdown at HCU

Statement from Concerned Faculty at the English and Foreign Languages University on the Police Crackdown at HCU

Rembrandt van Rijn / Art Details We, concerned faculty from the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, strongly condemn the police brutality at the University of Hyderabad on 22nd March 2016, after the return of Prof. Appa Rao Podile, the Vice-Chancellor accused of abetting the suicide of the Dalit Research Scholar Rohith Vemula. As an…

Caste systems violate human rights and dignity of millions worldwide: U.N. report

Caste systems violate human rights and dignity of millions worldwide: U.N. report

Syed Haider Raza / ArtKonsult Click here for a pdf of the full report. At least 250 million people worldwide still face appalling and dehumanising discrimination based on caste and similar systems of inherited status warned the United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, during the presentation of the first comprehensive UN report…

International Statement of Solidarity with the University of Hyderabad by academics, activists, artists and writers

International Statement of Solidarity with the University of Hyderabad by academics, activists, artists and writers

Ram Kumar / ArtKonsult We, academicians, activists,  artists and writers, condemn the ongoing brutal attacks on and unlawful detention of peacefully protesting faculty and students at the University of Hyderabad by the University administration and the police. We also condemn the restriction of access to basic necessities such as water and food on campus. The…

A Fig Leaf Called ‘Vandalism’

A Fig Leaf Called ‘Vandalism’

Statement by the SC and ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers of the University of Hyderabad Egon Schiele, 'Bare Tree Behind a Fence' / WikiArt For the past three days the news media has been widely circulating stories about ‘vandalism’ by students of the University of Hyderabad that led to the police crackdown. Surprisingly little…

Interim Report of the Independent National Fact-Finding Team into the Violence on March 22 at Hyderabad Central University

Interim Report of the Independent National Fact-Finding Team into the Violence on March 22 at Hyderabad Central University

Members of the Fact-Finding (FF) Team: Henri Tiphagne, Human Rights Defenders Alert–India Tara Rao, Amnesty International Burnard Fatima, International Movement against all forms of Discrimination and Racism Kuffir Nalgundwar, Round Table India Kiruba Munusamy, Supreme Court Lawyer Beena Pallical, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights Ramesh Nathan, National Dalit Movement for Justice Asha Kowtal, All…

Letter to Young Political Workers

Letter to Young Political Workers

Jackson Pollock, Mural / University of Iowa Museum of Art   February 2, 1931 To The Young Political Workers. Dear Comrades: Our movement is passing through a very important phase at present. After a year's fierce struggle some definite proposals regarding the constitutional reforms have been formulated by the Round Table Conference and the Congress…

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…