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…

Bezwada Wilson on Eradicating Manual Scavenging

Bezwada Wilson on Eradicating Manual Scavenging

This is a talk organised at Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD) in collaboration with Indian Writers Forum (IWF) on 'Eradicating Manual Scavenging: Join the Struggle'. Bezwada Wilson talks about the need to eradicate manual scavenging, the reasons given by the government for implementing demonetisation, its impact on the poor of the country and the lack of political will…

They Chose Death over Humiliation

They Chose Death over Humiliation

  Vidhya & Tilak Tewari   A year ago, death knocked on the doors of a university in Hyderabad. Rohith Vemula, a 27 year old student, chose death over a life of humiliation. “My birth is my fatal accident”, he said in a note that exposed an unequal society. His death woke us from our…

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…

“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…

Missing Student

Missing Student

Missing Student A student missing  in the university  doesn't matter; the classes will continue,  and the student  missing  will rue many  a time that  the classes  were not missing, the university  grounded in dust   in New Delhi. There is campus  rumpus, a student is missing,  students protest –  where is he?  And the Vice Chancellor …

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…

“Nobody has a monopoly on God”

“Nobody has a monopoly on God”

Artistes, intellectuals, spiritual practitioners and activists came together at a symposium on Sufism and the Attack on Syncretic Culture, organised by Anhad, to condemn these nefarious attempts to communalize our social fabric, and to share views on this subject, one of vital importance in our troubled times. Here is a short compilation of interviews with 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…

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 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…

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…

Video: Shanti March in Dharwad, August 30

Video: Shanti March in Dharwad, August 30

A rally was organised from the former residence of slain scholar Dr M.M. Kalburgi in Kalyan Nagar, Dharwad, to mark the first anniversary of his assassination. Geeta Dabholkar, Umatayi Pansare and Umadevi Kalburgi were present at the march, organised by the Dr Kalburgi, Pansare, Dabholkar Hatyavirodhi Horat Samiti. Various writers, activists and artists from around…

‘Assassinations will not defeat reason’

‘Assassinations will not defeat reason’

To commemorate the murders of Narendra Dabholkar (on 20 August 2013), Govind Pansare (20 February 2015) and M.M. Kalburgi (30 August 2015), the Maharashtra Andhshraddha Nirmulan Samiti (Maharashtra Committee for the Eradication of Superstition, MANS) and other activists and organisations led a march 'Against Violence, Towards Humanity' from New Delhi to Pune, between July 20…

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…

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…

Things the Left Needs to do Right

Things the Left Needs to do Right

Prabhat Patnaik Communism’s slide worldwide is due to its ambivalence towards globalisation and democracy. The Indian Left has shed that ambivalence, but it has no concrete alternative development strategy.  Exactly a century ago around this time, Vladimir Lenin was in Zurich completing a manuscript that would go on to become perhaps the most consequential book…

Indian Writers’ Forum: “Ensure Kalburgi’s murderers are brought to book…”

Indian Writers’ Forum: “Ensure Kalburgi’s murderers are brought to book…”

Image: Indian Express 7 July 2016 Mr. Siddaramaiah Chief Minister, Karnataka State No. 323, 3rd Floor, Vidhana Soudha Bengaluru 560 233 [email protected] Dear Mr. Siddaramaiah, It is almost a year since scholar, professor and writer M.M. Kalburgi was murdered in August 2015 in Dharwad. On behalf of the Indian community of writers, artists, academics, scientists…

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…

As We Remember Eleanor Zelliot

As We Remember Eleanor Zelliot

Ananya Vajpeyi Eleanor Zelliot, October 7 1926 – June 5 2016 / Carleton.edu   The recent death of American Ambedkar scholar Eleanor Zelliot is another reminder that scholarship about India has been the work of many minds, some Indian, others foreign. The field of Maharashtra Studies alone, for example, is impossible to imagine without the…

Sedition and the Right to Freedom of Expression

Sedition and the Right to Freedom of Expression

Is free speech protected under all circumstances; does an elected government have the right (or indeed duty) to accuse citizens of sedition? In this detailed discussion with Rishab Bailey, legal director of the Society for Knowledge Commons, lawyer and legal researcher Lawrence Liang of the Alternative Law Forum talks about the history of free speech,…

Naming the Muslim

Naming the Muslim

Sayori Ghoshal Johannes Vermeer, ‘A Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window’ / Old Masters Picture Gallery In the context of current debates, verbal and physical abuses and outright mob violence in the country, there is an accompanying change in the discourse and the discursive imagination of the “Muslim” in India. The “Muslim” has…

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…

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…