All India Radio is Not for All

All India Radio is Not for All

    All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) refused to air the pre-recorded, Independence day speech of Manik Sarkar, the democratically elected Chief Minister of the state of Tripura. Prasara Bharati, an autonomous body that runs both AIR and DD informed the same to the Chief Minister's office. In the email written to the Chief…

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…

“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…

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…

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…

“Artists need to think strategically”

“Artists need to think strategically”

Theatre person and film actor Sanjna Kapoor, who founded the Junoon theatre company in 2012 after a long stint at Bombay's Prithvi Theatre, visited the ICF studio for a conversation with writer Githa Hariharan.  In the clip below, Kapoor discusses her own experience and others' producing and acting in plays in the face of censorship,…

In Defence of the Writer

In Defence of the Writer

Pushkar Raj Image Courtesy Indian Express The recent Chennai High Court judgment concerning the writer Perumal Murugan is a requisite addition to the Indian jurisprudence as it underlines the relationship between the writer and society, which has lately suffered from grave confusion. Permual Murugan was hauled up in the court of law for describing a…

Imprisoning Minds

Imprisoning Minds

Amol Palekar translated by Paritosh Joshi Image courtesy Amol Palekar August 29, 1970: The Maharashtra Theatrical Performances Examination Board (MTPEB) banned Vijay Tendulkar’s play Gidhade (The Vultures), contending that its realistic portrayal of perverted socio-familial complications was unsuitable for a public performance. An extended battle led by the producer, Satyadev Dubey, and the director, Shriram…

How Do We Help the Arts Flourish?

How Do We Help the Arts Flourish?

ICF Team Maqbool Fida Husain, ‘The Birth of Buddha’ / mfhussain.com In a country as diverse as India, the arts – part of our living, breathing culture – must flourish too, like multiple streams that occasionally flow into the same vast ocean. The creative practice of the arts, whether it is “high culture” or “popular…

Book Extract: from Sentiment, Politics, Censorship: The State of Hurt

Book Extract: from Sentiment, Politics, Censorship: The State of Hurt

In times when censorship is justified on grounds of hurting “Indian traditions” and “Indian culture”, the Indian Writers’ Forum is proud to present an excerpt from a book that critically engages with this state of hurt. It is a book that attempts to continue the debate on censorship, "but with a purpose to nuance it…

Reject Hindutva, Embrace Insaniyat

Reject Hindutva, Embrace Insaniyat

Image courtesy http://hydlitfest.org/speaker/nayantara-sahgal-2/ As Guest of Honour at the recent Hyderabad Literary Festival, Nayantara Sahgal made a strong case for continuing resistance to the Hindutvadi goal of a Hindu rashtra. Despite writers, scholars, artists film makers and scientists raising their voices over the last few months, Sahgal said, “The danger is by no means over……

Creativity and Censorship: The Insider versus the Outsider

Creativity and Censorship: The Insider versus the Outsider

ICF covered a special session on creativity and censorship held in the recently concluded ILF Samanvay in Delhi. A R Venkatachalapathy hosted speakers T M Krishna, carnatic vocalist, Kannan Sundaram of Kalachuvadu Publications and Sharmila Seyyid, Sri Lankan author, in a session on how censorship of the state and non-state forces has jeopardised creativity and…