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…

Harassment of Writer Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar Must Cease

Harassment of Writer Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar  Must Cease

  Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar must be free to practice his craft of writing without fear of intimidation and harassment, PEN International said today. Shekhar’s critically acclaimed literary and journalistic writing focuses on the Santhal community, which lives primarily in eastern India and parts of Bangladesh. His books include The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey (Aleph 2014) and The…

Theatre Today: Punjabi

Theatre Today: Punjabi

Atamjit Singh is a renowned Punjabi playwright and director. In 2009, he won the Sahitya Akademi award for his play, Tatti Tavi Da Sach. He returned the award in 2015 as a sign of protest against communal hatred and assault on writers and journalists. At the North Eastern and Northern Writers’ Meet, Singh spoke about…

Unholy War

Unholy War

Men have gone to war since time began, for conquest, for plunder, for glory, for keeping muscles in trim and adrenalin flowing. In the Hindu caste system which divided people and conferred status according to their occupations, the warrior ranked second highest in the hierarchy of caste. War is central to our epics. Go to…

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…

An Open Letter to the PM of Pakistan

An Open Letter to the PM of Pakistan

20/1/2017 From                                                                                                                                    Rahman Abbas Mumbai   To MR. PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN MIAN NAWAZ SHARIF       SUBJECT: Appeal to ensure safety and release of disappeared poet and bloggers.   Dear Sir,   I’m an Indian Urdu novelist and have frequently spoken against fanatic elements in my own country when they have indulged in…

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…

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…

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…

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…

“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…

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…

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…

Perumal Murugan: A Parable of our Times

Perumal Murugan: A Parable of our Times

Writer Githa Hariharan talks to ICF and Newsclick about the Madras High Court’s judgment in the Perumal Murugan case. While the judgment is to be celebrated, literary merit cannot be decided by either mobs or courts; readers and citizens must be the arbiters of free speech.  See the full text of the judgment here.

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…

Negotiating an Undeclared Emergency

Negotiating an Undeclared Emergency

Pushkar Raj Jonathan Schellhardt, ‘Inhuman Malice’/armandohere.wordpress.com Last month, Hyderabad police registered a case against Prof. Kancha Ilaiah for writing an article in a Telugu daily titled ‘Is God not a democrat?’. The article questioned inequality in society and discussed the concept of god. For doing so the professor was reproached for insulting the sentiments of…

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,…

Writing the Age

Writing the Age

Nayantara Sahgal © Anselm Kiefer, ‘Morgenthau Plan’ / Royal Academy of Arts The title for my talk — “Writing the Age” — was suggested to me and I thought it was appropriate because my writing seems to have been about the making of modern India. This was not a decision I made. As you know,…

Poem by Ananya Guha

Poem by Ananya Guha

History Four-walled history is a narrow path to names, action, fortunes. When ill treated, they take to rebellion turn the fates of others. When we twist and turn broken paths people rise in arms to besmirch hidden artefacts of truth and views that are not spoken. Write on the sands of time and history will…

Two Poems

Two Poems

Abhishek Jha Between Walls Women lost in veils Artists undone in ink And wells respond to armies of peace. Hoarding This was biting scarred. That is sneezing gooed. He was water cannon. She is globe hiccup. Fever was cold wet. Mercury is hairy steely. Eyes are on days. Farts are at night. Old cash is…