Roundtable with Romila Thapar

Roundtable with Romila Thapar

We spoke to historian Romila Thapar in an attempt to uncover the historical background of dissent and debate in India, and how today, this tradition is aggressively being erased. The space for dialogue and discussion is shrinking in an ideological environment that increasingly shuns the practice of fundamental rationality. Watch it here:

Attacks on Writers and Scholars Continue

Attacks on Writers and Scholars Continue

    What does a writer and theatre personality, a professor fighting for justice for a slain RTI activist, a filmmaker questioning Hindu rituals, a young dalit student and writer questioning the system of caste, and an eminent academic of Vachana literature have in common? All of them have faced the wrath of the right-wing…

Hastakshep: Jantantrik Aur Sanskritik Bahulata Ke Paksh Mein

Hastakshep: Jantantrik Aur Sanskritik Bahulata Ke Paksh Mein

Indian Writers' Forum along with several organisations (Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, Pragitisheel Lekhak Sangh, IPTA, Jan Sanskritik Manch, Kalam Sanskritik Manch, Saajhi Duniya, Amit UP, Rajya Karamchari Mahasangh, Alag Duniya, U.P. Bank Employees Union, AITUC, PUCL, Mahila Federation, Neepa Rang Mandali, AIDWA) participated in 'Hastakshep: Jantantrik Aur Sanskritik Bahulata Ke Paksh Mein' on Wednesday December 28 at…

The Lord Comes to My House

The Lord Comes to My House

The Lord comes to my house. Delivers the message from the bank, “My account is short of minimum balance.” Late in the afternoon, I get a call from the Seven Angels: I have sinned for not submitting my income tax on time. Ashamed of peer pressure, I drink, dance, and sing Merry Christmas from my rooftop….

“No Hindu Rashtra”: Nayantara Sahgal

“No Hindu Rashtra”: Nayantara Sahgal

The following statement from Nayantara Sahgal was read out at the programme "Hastakshep: Jantantrik Aur Sanskritik Bahulata Ke Paksh Mein" in Gandhi Bhavan, Lucknow, December 28, 2016: The dangers we face today come from the fact that this Government is destroying the meaning of India, and step by step, stealthily and openly, is converting our secular…

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…

Increased Attacks on Media in Modified India

Increased Attacks on Media in Modified India

Although the constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression, legal protections are not always sufficiently upheld by the courts or respected by government officials. A number of laws that remain on books can be used to restrict media freedom. The sedition law, formally Section 124A of the 1860 penal code, outlaws expression that can cause…

The Shadow Warriors

The Shadow Warriors

  On television studios they scream and shout. The crisscrossing visage grows long and short defacing the ugly patterns beneath a 1959 TIME cover that hangs on my 2016 minimalist wall A young Dalai Lama looks on in wonder, is he thinking of the mule he rode to India? The men, yes it's always the…

A Nation Filled with Anti-Nationals!

A Nation Filled with Anti-Nationals!

I thought the Muslims were the only anti-nationals in this country. But I was mistaken. Earlier, thousands of people including even women and children who were questioning the Koodankulam nuclear plant were declared as anti-nationals. They are not the only ones outside the community of Muslims, though. Over 11,000 NGOs in India are restricted from the…

Lokayat: Fighting Fascism

Lokayat: Fighting Fascism

Lokayat is an activist group and forum based in Pune that is part of the larger anti-globalisation movement and upholds the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India. This forum looks at the impact of the liberalisation of the Indian economy after 1991 and the consequences of running an economy on the bases of profit…

Ayodhya or Saket: The Politics of Ram Temple

Ayodhya or Saket: The Politics of Ram Temple

This documentary by Vidya Bhushan Rawat, on the Ayodhya issue and how it affected the communal harmony of India, is pertinent in the context of the resurgent Hindutva programme in India which catapulted Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister in 2014. It is being republished, since the subject Rawat tackles is all the more significant…

The BJP’s Fascination with a Dalit Icon

The BJP’s Fascination with a Dalit Icon

The Bharatiya Janata Party has revamped its Uttar Pradesh headquarters into a neat corporate-style office. There is Wi-Fi, an all-new digital library with block-wise electoral data of the State, election war rooms, and strategy rooms. However, the most engaging bit is the decoration in the large hall on the ground floor where press conferences and…

सांस्कृतिक अवमूल्यन की राजनीतिक साज़िश

सांस्कृतिक अवमूल्यन की राजनीतिक साज़िश

बोलने की आज़ादी पर बढ़ते हमलों के इस दौर में जो सबसे बड़े प्रश्न हमारे सामने खड़े हैं वह यह है की इन हमलों के सांस्कृतिक प्रभाव क्या होंगे और कितने घातक होंगे? सांस्कृतिक क्षेत्र अनिवार्य रूप से सामाजिक-राजनीतिक क्षेत्र से जुड़ा हुआ है, तथा इन हलकों में चल रहीं हलचलों की तरंगें सांस्कृतिक क्षेत्र…

“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). 

We Condemn the Attacks on IPTA in Indore

We Condemn the Attacks on IPTA in Indore

The media has reported that the right-wing Bharat Swabhiman Manch (BSM) attacked members of the Indian People Theatre Association (IPTA) at Anand Mathur Sabhagrah, Indore. Over 700 members of the IPTA were attending the convention on theatre and society. On Tuesday, acclaimed filmmaker M. S. Sathyu criticised the attack on Pakistani artists when he spoke…

We Condemn the Central University of Haryana’s Clampdown on a Play based on Mahasweta Devi’s “Draupadi”

We Condemn the Central University of Haryana’s Clampdown on a Play based on Mahasweta Devi’s “Draupadi”

Mahasweta Devi with C.S. Lakshmi / Indian Express A stage adaptation of Mahasweta Devi's short story "Draupadi" by the Department of English and Foreign languages at the Central University of Haryana (CUH) was performed on September 21, to be met with hooliganism, media trials and, finally, an administrative clampdown. The event was organised in memory…

Dalits and the Holy Cow

Dalits and the Holy Cow

Ahmedabad, July 27 / NDTV An atrocity took place on 11 July 2016. In Una Block of Gir Somnath district, dominant caste youth attacked four dalits. The incident took place between the villages of Mota Samadhiyala and Bediya. The four dalits – Vasharambhai Balubhai Sarvaiya and his brother Rameshbhai Bhalubhai Sarvaiya as well as their…

India: Liberal Democracy and the Extreme Right

India: Liberal Democracy and the Extreme Right

Indian liberalism makes a formidable claim: that the Republic is grounded in such a structurally elaborate and ideologically hegemonic liberal-democratic institutional framework that political forces of all hues are forced to consent to this framework, stake their claims and test out their fortunes within it, go in and out of the corridors of power through…

Two Images by Sumit Mahar

Two Images by Sumit Mahar

The Self-Styled   Secular   Sumit Mahar documents environmental issues and is associated with Himdhara Collective in Himachal Pradesh. Please send your responses, in any form, to [email protected]

Kashmir: Cry, my Beloved Country

Kashmir: Cry, my Beloved Country

Gautam Navlakha Max Ernst, ‘Flowers of Seashells’ / WikiArt Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his comrades were born and died in the phase of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir that symbolises a watershed in politics in the state, before and after 1989-1990. Unlike in the past, indigenous militants now neither travel to Pakistan for guns or…

स्वच्छ भारत अभियान एक परदा है : बेजवाड़ा विल्सन

स्वच्छ भारत अभियान एक परदा है : बेजवाड़ा विल्सन

 Courtesy: Youth ki Awaaz हाल ही में सफाई कर्मचारी आंदोलन की ओर से आयोजित ‘भीम यात्रा’ डिब्रूगढ़ से शुरू होकर तीस राज्यों और पांच सौ जिलों से होते हुए दिल्ली में पहुंची। सबरंग इंडिया शुरू से ही इस यात्रा के साथ रही। यह देशव्यापी जागरूकता अभियान का समापन एक बड़ी रैली के रूप में हुआ…

انسانیٓت کا کس نے قتل کر ڈالا ہے؟

انسانیٓت کا کس نے قتل کر ڈالا ہے؟

Photo courtesy the author, Heidelberg, Germany, 2015 یہ کتنا عجیب ہے یوں کہنا کہ ہم طرقّی یافتہ وقت سے تعلق رکہتے ہیں. لیکن اگر غور کریں تو حیرت ہوتی ہے. ایسا گمان ہوتا ہے کہ ہم نےٓ دور میں صرف سانس تو لے رہے ہیں پر ہماری سوچ اور غوروفکر کرنے کی صلاحِیَت قدیم سے…

कैराना का खुला भाजपाई फर्जीवाड़ा अब सामने है

कैराना का खुला भाजपाई फर्जीवाड़ा अब सामने है

चार्वाक Courtesy: Indian Express साक्षी महाराज या साध्वी प्राची जैसे नफरत की आग उगलने वाले लोगों की बेलगाम बातों को अब तक भाजपा उनकी व्यक्तिगत राय बता कर दिखने के लिए खुद को दूर करती रही है। हालांकि अब सब जानते हैं कि ये बेलगाम हिंसक बयान किस राजनीति का हिस्सा हैं, लेकिन अब वह…

Anand Teltumbde on Current Student Struggles

Anand Teltumbde on Current Student Struggles

The Malayalam weekly Madhyamam asked Anand Teltumbde, a writer, scholar of peoples’ movements, civil rights activist with CPDR Mumbai, inter alia, two questions relating to student movements. Here are his answers: Your article in the Economic & Political Weekly in October 2015 has succinctly captured the perils of raising memorials of Dr B.R. Ambedkar while…

The Sanatan Dharma Recipe for Historical Writing and Research

The Sanatan Dharma Recipe for Historical Writing and Research

ICF speaks to Gopinath Ravindran The Indian Cultural Forum interviewed historian Gopinath Ravindran about the current establishment’s agenda for Indian historical research. Ravindran, who teaches at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, was Member Secretary of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) till he resigned halfway through his term in 2015. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons…

Hindutva versus Hinduism

Hindutva versus Hinduism

Nayantara Sahgal © Francesco Longenecker / Allison Galgiani The Kohinoor was not gifted to Queen Victoria. It was taken at gunpoint from a young ruler who had no option but to surrender it. This was part of the routine colonial plunder of India. Whether we should have it back is another matter. The Natural History…

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…

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…

‘Hyderabad: Students and Faculty Arrested for Protests Must Be Released’

‘Hyderabad: Students and Faculty Arrested for Protests Must Be Released’

Amnesty International Image via JAC-UoH Press release, March 25, 2016. Amnesty International India condemns the police crackdown on peacefully protesting University of Hyderabad (UoH) students and faculty and demands their immediate release. There should be an independent investigation into allegations of excessive use of force by the police. On 22 March, the Telangana police assaulted…