“We will not put our pens down…”

“We will not put our pens down…”

K P Sasikala, Kerala state president of the Hindu Aikya Vedi has, according to media reports, threatened writers who are opposed to the RSS. “Pray to stay alive,” she has advised secular Indian writers. She has suggested that they conduct a puja to avoid an untimely death like that of Gauri Lankesh. The Vedi is…

“The holes in knowledge are being replaced by attacks”: Githa Hariharan

“The holes in knowledge are being replaced by attacks”: Githa Hariharan

Renowned author, Githa Hariharan speaks at a public meeting held on August 22nd, emphasing on the problem of having holes in knowledge – the more you censor novels, seminars, discussions, movies, music, art, you create holes in knowledge. She discusses on the growing fear of questioning and debating against the authority among the student community. Witnessing the recent…

From India to Palestine

From India to Palestine

    In 1948, Israel was created on Palestinian land. Palestinians lost their homes and villages; huge numbers were expelled; they became refugees elsewhere or in their own land. In 1967, the West Bank and Gaza were also occupied by Israel. For more than five decades now, Palestinians have suffered the violent and unjust realities…

Remembering Another Rama on Ram Navami

Remembering Another Rama on Ram Navami

Several groups associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are holding the “largest ever demonstration in Bengal” over a week till April 11th to mark Ram Navami. The rallies will be “fully armed”, said RSS sources to The Hindu on the 5th of April. The news item continues: “In the districts, they will be carrying…

When Bodies Speak

When Bodies Speak

A woman clothed. Then stripped, so she is just a woman’s body; bare skin on which battles are fought for power in all its guises, from honor to state security. What happens when this woman’s body speaks? What is its language? And can such a language live apart from the vocabulary of politics?  Here stands a…

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…

Excluding the people

Excluding the people

The masks came off soon after condoling writer Mahasweta Devi’s death. Unmasked, the right-wing pseudo-nationalists were on the prowl for their daily target. They found it in a play staged in the University of Haryana; the play was based on Mahasweta’s story, "Draupadi". The ABVP attack was to convince us that a story, a story…

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…

Are you O, P, W or D.W.?

Are you O, P, W or D.W.?

Controlling Culture with the New Grading Weapon ICF Team Image via Cartoon Stock We have recently heard from the media of the Culture Ministry’s plan to “grade” artists and writers in the country so it can extend government patronage to those considered worthy of representing India at festivals and other events. … the Culture Ministry…

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.

Yes, the Adivasi Will Not Dance!

Yes, the Adivasi Will Not Dance!

Statement from the Indian Writers’ Forum Lalgarh / Wikimedia Commons June 19, 2016 The award winning writer, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, has given us insights into the conditions of Adivasi life, both as a medical officer posted at the additional public health centre in Beldanga block of Pakur district in Jharkhand, and as a questioning, truth-telling creative writer….

Reader, Translator, Friend: Remembering Lakshmi Holmström

Reader, Translator, Friend: Remembering Lakshmi Holmström

The acclaimed translator and anthologist Lakshmi Holmström died on May 6, 2016 in Norwich, UK. Shashi Deshpande and Githa Hariharan pay tribute to Holmström’s work and the friendship among them. Image courtesy The Hindu It was late night when the telephone rang. The caller was Lakshmi Holmström, and she immediately said, without any introduction, “I…

Mourid Barghouti in conversation with Githa Hariharan

Mourid Barghouti in conversation with Githa Hariharan

The acclaimed Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti was in Delhi recently for a series of events organised by the publishers Women Unlimited. Writer Githa Hariharan spoke to Mourid Barghouti on how literature, and poetry in particular, challenges authoritarian discourse around the world. Barghouti discusses the fine balance between the writer’s primary identity as an artist, and…