Last Days of the Mahatma

Last Days of the Mahatma

    … [I]n 1944, Nathuram Godse was arrested at Panchgani as he was hurrying towards Gandhiji carrying a knife. This statement has been made before the Justice Kapur Commission by the owner of Surati Lodge of Pune, Shri Manishankar Purohit. Shri B.D. Bhilare Guruji, ex-MLA of the Congress from Mahabaleshwar, who was present, has…

Doordarshan Censors a Chief Minister’s Speech, but Airs a Non-Elected RSS Pracharak

Doordarshan Censors a Chief Minister’s Speech, but Airs a Non-Elected RSS Pracharak

After refusing to broadcast Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s speech one and a half months, national broadcaster Doordarshan has come under fire again, for telecasting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s Dussehra speech. DD News, which comes under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, telecast the RSS chief’s speech live from Nagpur on Friday, 29 September. Earlier in August,…

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…

Will Valentine’s Day Soon Be Wiped from Public Memory?

Will Valentine’s Day Soon Be Wiped from Public Memory?

It is not surprising that the right-wing ruling class is usurping Valentine’s Day and stigmatising the celebration of love by Hindu-ising the day. The Directorate of Public Education of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Chhattisgarh government has issued notices to schools, directing that February 14 be marked as “Matru-Pitru Diwas” (Mother-Father Day) to inculcate “bharatiya sanskriti”,…

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…

“BSP is the only alternative at the moment to defeat the forces of Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh”

“BSP is the only alternative at the moment to defeat the forces of Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh”

Bhanwar Meghwanshi is an incisive and forthright contemporary voice of the progressive Dalit movement in Rajasthan.  He has untiringly participated in campaigns and movements across the country, creating awareness on communalism, casteism, gender violence, globalisation, displacement and so on. Born on February 25, 1975 in village Siridiyas in Bhilwara district into a Dalit weaver family,…

“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…

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…

Untold Story of Hindukaran (Proselytisation) of ADIVASI (TRIBAL) in DANG: A Report

Untold Story of Hindukaran (Proselytisation) of ADIVASI (TRIBAL) in DANG: A Report

Citizen’s Inquiry Committee: Digant Oza Harsh Mander Irfan Engineer Lakshmanbhai Rathore Prasad Chacko Ram Puniyani Rohit Prajapati Shabnam Hashmi Suresh Khairnar Uttambhai Parmar Contents Executive Summary Introduction Political Economy of Dangs The Sangh and anti-Christian mobilisation Shabri, the Kumbh and the pseudo-mythology of Dangs Voices from the Dangs: Testimonies The open Sangh-State Nexus Conclusion Annexures…

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…

Celebrating Ravan

Celebrating Ravan

As the rest of the country burns effigies of Ravan, the writer visits a Gond village in Maharashtra where the ten-headed king is worshipped as god.  It stands like the Trojan horse, clamped upon high iron wheels but sans the ominous boding of Greek subterfuge. A group of tribal men and women in colourful attire…

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…

Babasaheb Ambedkar and the Nefarious Agenda of the RSS

Babasaheb Ambedkar and the Nefarious Agenda of the RSS

An interview with civil rights activist and writer Anand Teltumbde, on the appropriation of B.R. Ambedkar by right-wing forces in the country. According to Teltumbde, the RSS believes in maintaining the supremacy of the upper castes, and wants to govern society on the basis of regressive texts such as the Manusmriti, whereas Ambedkar staunchly criticises the same. Teltumbde also discusses…

Operation Shuddhikaran: RSS’ Covert Proselytisation Agenda

Operation Shuddhikaran: RSS’ Covert Proselytisation Agenda

Cobrapost Image courtesy Outlook Magazine Investigative reports published by Cobrapost and Outlook, simultaneously revealed that 31 tribal girls allegedly trafficked from Assam, who had been rescued by police authorities on June 11 2015, have ended up in RSS-run schools in Gujarat and Punjab. This seems like a well-orchestrated conversion agenda targeting children from poor, minority communities….

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…

We Have No Orders to Save You

We Have No Orders to Save You

State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat  © Jogen Chowdhury In February 2002, Gujarat witnessed the worst incident of communal violence in at least a decade, a majority of whose victims were Muslims. While Indian government officials at the time estimated the loss of over 850 people, unofficial estimates pegged the toll at about…

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…

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…

The Use and Abuse of History

The Use and Abuse of History

A number of intellectuals, civil society groups and activists came together at a two-day conclave on the theme “Idea of India: Two years of P.M. Modi, State of the Nation” at New Delhi’s India International Centre on May 23 and 24, 2016.  Here, historian Mridula Mukherjee addresses a panel on “The Use and Abuse of…

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…

JNU and Our democracy

JNU and Our democracy

  Image: Ishan Anand Recent events at the Jawaharlal Nehru University raise many questions pertinent to us as citizens of India. The questions have become imperative because it is apparent that many who govern us have little sensitivity to understanding the fundamental issues crucial to governance. For example, what are the necessary aspects of a…

संघ के मनगढ़ित इतिहास और बढ़ते सांप्रदायिक खतरे पर इतिहासकार इरफ़ान हबीब

संघ के मनगढ़ित इतिहास और बढ़ते सांप्रदायिक खतरे पर इतिहासकार इरफ़ान हबीब

लगातार तर्कशील एवं प्रगतिशील ताकतों पर हो रहे हमलों के विरोध में १ नवम्बर को दिल्ली के मावलंकर सभागार में आयोजित ‘प्रतिरोध’ नामक सभा में इतिहासकार इरफ़ान हबीब ने अपनी बात रखी. हबीब ने इतिहास के साम्प्रदायिकरण में सत्ता की भागीदारी पर चर्चा की. हबीब के शब्दों में, “ जब भी कोई फ़ासिस्ट शक्ति बढती…

The Shivaji Legend

The Shivaji Legend

    This little book has a remarkable history. Titled Shivaji Kon Hota? in the original Marathi, Who was Shivaji? is based on a popular speech delivered by one of Maharashtra’s foremost Communist leaders, the late Govind Pansare, in Kolhapur – an important centre of Maharashtra’s anti-Brahman movement, on 11 May 1987. In his speech,…