Raiot Posts

September 29, 2016 /

Now that it is very clear to everybody that the most famous and influential Indian campuses such as UoH and JNU have proved that they cannot overcome their local petty ego problems/narrow-mindedness of the organisations, even in the face of Modi and attacks on the very idea of Higher Education, after carrying out heroic struggles and inspiring battles, beyond their means and thus inspiring the whole nation and even the world that all is not lost in India to fascists and their is fighting back and fighting, while thanking the campuses and their organisations and standing in full support of them, we will have to make the difficult but absolutely important choice of not looking towards the campus organisations for the directions or models for how to fight Hindu Nazis in power in india.

Read the PostLooking beyond the petty worlds of Campus Radicalism

September 28, 2016 /

It is a matter of debate whether my lack of belief in the existence of an Omnipresent, Omniscient God is due to my arrogant pride and vanity. It never occurred to me that sometime in the future I would be involved in polemics of this kind.

Read the PostWhy I am an Atheist

September 27, 2016 /

On 6 September 2016, the former CPI(M) General Secretary and politburo member Prakash Karat interrogated the current debate on “Indian fascism”. He analyzed the current Indian political climate since the rise of the BJP. However, the only threat to Indian democracy for Karat is in the form of authoritarianism which, according to him, is only semi-fascist in character at the moment. For Karat, there is no sign of a fully developed fascist rule in India.

Read the PostDid Somebody Say Indian Fascism?

September 22, 2016 /

After the BJP came to power in Assam in May 2016, the state government has unleashed a reign of terror to execute its fascistic agendas. Within 2 months into power, the government opened fire and killed a 25 year old man Mintu Deuri, during a protest organized in Raha against the transfer of the site for a proposed AIIMS in the state on 15th July 2016. Now on 19 September 2016, just 34 days after the Raha incident, the police has again opened fire and killed two people – Anjuma Khatun and Fakhruddin, at a demonstration led by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) at Banderdubi revenue village near the Kaziranga National Park. The protestors were demanding resettlement and adequate compensation against an eviction drive carried out by the mandate of the Gauhati High Court order dated 9 October 2015 which was supposed to happen two days later, i.e. on 21 September 2016 but had been preponed to avoid protests. The villagers, belonging mainly to the Muslim community of erstwhile East Bengal origin, have been residing in the village for more than half a century.

Read the PostPoaching humans in Kaziranga

September 17, 2016 /

popular discourses on the north-east often project the region as a homogenous socio-political entity undermining the internal contestations of the region. Some hold the State as the main reference point of the socio-political churnings that plague the region. However, a look at contemporary history of these states and the unrest therein shows the dynamic nature of the region which abounds with contestations, namely between tribes, tribes and non-tribes, and over religious identities. Along with the more visible ethnic dimension, conflicting interests over resources like land, and political and economic power are also present in these contestations.

Read the PostIn a flux: Diversity and contestations in north-east India

September 17, 2016 /

In a rare and incredible order today, the Delhi High Court has dismissed the copyright infringement case filed by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis (Routledge) against Rameshwari Photocopy Shop in Delhi School of Economics and Delhi University. Justice R.S Endlaw in a 94 pages long judgment interpreted educational exception under section 52(1)(i) of the copyright act in broad enough manner to cover the acts of photocopying.

Read the PostPHOTOCOPY LIBRE or how students stopped greedy Corporate Publishers

September 16, 2016 /

All such self appointed patrons in media portals, film, academia should work on their own brahmanism/white supremacy instead of attempting to liberate us. Liberate your minds of how you see/ think about us first. We know you love the trans person-trapped-in-the-wrong-body narrative. In fact, it is your mind that is trapped, colonised and subjugated in its understanding of us. For gender justice to be actualised in this subcontinent,we all have to transition from brahmanism to an egalitarian view of the world.

Read the PostBetween victimising and patronising

September 16, 2016 /

“Khurram Parvez, in the front-row of human rights defenders in Jammu and Kashmir, has been arrested late last night from his home just down-street from Gupkar, the street the cream of collaborators, including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, live and breath in. Khurram had just returned home after immigration authorities had stopped him from travelling to Geneva to attend the United Nations Human Rights session.
At Srinagar, Khurram works with the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). The group is criticised by large sections of Kashmiri society for inserting themselves at a very mild point in the political discourse in Kashmir. People are frustrated that JKCCS’s focus on mere human rights abuse (which people believe, rather mistakenly, rarely includes the right to self-determination) distracts from the main issue of azadi from Indian occupation. “

Read the PostOn the arrest of Khurram Parvez – leading Kashmiri Human Rights defender

September 16, 2016 /

Through Ianche, a Garo poet, the film tries to understand what it feels to be a poet without a written language. Once this saddening truth is felt and understood in its entirety can you write again? The Garos have their own language but no script to write and hence they have been using the English alphabet for centuries now. Ianche, an accomplished poet finds himself tormented and unable and unwilling to write anymore. He can see his people completely abandoning their rich culture and he believes that the only way to save himself and them is to author a script.

Read the PostRong’kuchak (Echoes)

September 15, 2016 /

My father passed away almost 20 years ago but I remember him every day. I remember him as a loving and doting father, a jolly, generous, kind, often compulsive person, always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He would buy us gifts – clothes, toys and food whenever he felt like. I would always be so happy and glad just to be in his company. He had many names and identities you might say. He was known by his Muslim name as Abrar Hussain, his nickname was Khuku and Johnky, his Christian name was Peter.

Read the PostShillong’s Ghosts of 47

September 14, 2016 /

We are a group of research Scholars, students, NGO founders and members, and concerned citizens who are appalled by the way the way the government is handling the Kashmir issue.
We would like to sent out a solidarity message to the people of Kashmir

Read the PostAn appeal for peace in Kashmir Valley from Nagas

September 14, 2016 /

Here, is the dilemma, how can one go for solidarity; with the less oppressed or the more oppressed? The solidarities have to be formed on some principles; these principles will be the basis for greater purpose of the solidarity of struggles. For example, the question of intersectionality; of class, women and gender is a very important question in any struggle. How can a struggle take all those questions together without losing the basis of its foundations or compromising with its principles?

Read the PostDalit-Muslim solidarity?

September 13, 2016 /

On the train coming back to Guwahati I realised that the only certain fact was that 15 dead bodies, including that of the gunman, had been found in the marketplace that day. And yet, my writer’s mind couldn’t stop coming up with further scenarios. Had Islary still been undecided about carrying out an attack when he got down in the market? What if the AK he was carrying under his raincoat had been meant for protection only? Had he counted on the absence of a police outpost at Balajan Tiniali to keep him safe? Was he there to maybe collect money from someone? Or might he have wanted to give himself up? Had he been surprised by the security forces, or had there already been someone at the market waiting for him? One of the things I had kept hearing was the presence of two or three men dressed in black. Might have there been a crossfire? Or was there just a single gunman involved, as claimed by the police, looking to lessen the pressure on his group by a terror strike? And could that claim have then influenced the testimony of the eyewitnesses I had met?

Read the PostDeath in the Marketplace

September 12, 2016 /

The old cliché is “God is dead … And we have killed him”. When this statement was first uttered by Nietzsche’s Madman more than a century ago, I do not think that it was entirely depressing (even though the philosopher himself might have thought otherwise); perhaps because deep down people must have felt it was time to let the idea (of God) go. The zeitgeist had definitely changed direction.

Read the PostGod, Wonder, Science

September 10, 2016 /

Drawing its name from the nearby police station, Police Bazaar was born in 1864, and is old as the ‘hill-station’ itself. It grew slowly with the arrival of Bengali and Marwari traders whose ‘general stores’ were initially patronized by British soldiers and officers. In 1874, Shillong became the capital of the new province of Assam. As the town grew into an important centre of colonial administration, the marketplace started to expand. Starting from the first decades of the 20th century, a string of different communities – Sindhis, Punjabis, Pathans, Chinese, and later, Tibetans – all arrived to start businesses in the area.

Read the PostEarly Bengali Influences in the Commercial Heart of Shillong

September 9, 2016 /

India’s Kashmir experts have, like in the past, tried to attribute the “anger on the streets” to various reasons and they believe and want every Indian to believe that only these reasons make a Kashmiri angry. We need not go back into the history to know how Indian public opinion has been shaped by these Kashmir experts as their association or one may say obsession with Kashmir is so deep that they produce enough evidence for us to analyse that. Here we will talk only about the work these Kashmir experts produced this year.

Read the PostStories India’s Kashmir Experts Don’t Tell

September 8, 2016 /

The presidential candidate for BAPSA – Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association – Rahul Sonpimple in the presidential debate on September 7. Without mincing words, Sonpimple exposed the so-called Left unity being bandied about in the shape of the AISA and SFI alliance.

Read the PostHow Rahul Sonpimple is whupping Hindutva Right & Marxist Left

September 7, 2016 /

Come Wednesday night, Jawaharlal Nehru University in the country’s capital will witness another session of the much awaited presidential debates. If the analyses and estimations from last year’s elections – which said that Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech swept all the floating votes toward his favour – are anything to go by, the night of the debate indeed is not a mere spectacle of wit, oratory and rhetoric, but also serious electioneering. But, this year’s elections look riveting and engrossing for another reason—the clear emergence of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) as a force that has been systematically sussing out and exposing the casteism practiced by the Indian Left, particularly the parliamentary Left parties. With its call for the unity of the bahujan on a platform of ‘shared reality of different oppressions’, BAPSA is hoping to scrape together all such votes that have not been represented and respected by the erstwhile Unions.

Read the Post“You must listen to the underprivileged speak in their own tongue and style”

September 6, 2016 /

In the week spanning from 29 August to 5 September, a total of eighty public meetings/rallies were held across all districts of Kashmir among which government forcibly disrupted 36 rallies, using extensive of force against the assembled people; shelling with bullets, tear gas shells and pellets. The government forces, in many instances, vandalized the venue of these pro-freedom rallies, set ablaze the tents and threw away the food items which were cooked by local organizers for the participants of the rallies. The rest of the rallies went on peacefully. This clearly shows that the 44 protest programs/rallies which were organized in the last week remained completely peaceful and no stone pelting was witnessed in these rallies, while as the 36 rallies where Indian forces used violence to vandalize the already set up venues and desist the participants from attending the programs, has resulted in clashes in which around 1215+ people have been injured.

Read the PostSo you want to have Unarmed/peaceful protest in Kashmir?

September 6, 2016 /

“Though the University is claimed as a “modern” institution which professes all such values that can be the markers of “modernity”, namely; liberty, equality, fraternity and rationality etc., this claim can only be made on the perils of overlooking a large set of questions that emanate from the kind of social reality we live in…
Rohith Vemula wanted to express the lived reality of being a student in the school of Life Sciences and the discrimination he faced in the laboratory, through an academic paper. He had sent an Abstract to the annual sociology conference to be held in the university. The Abstract was titled “Discovering Caste Prejudices in Science Laboratories: Unheard Narratives”

Read the Post‘Dalit Lives’ in the University

September 5, 2016 /

Any day is a good day to remember your teachers and especially the better ones, but on this day, September 5th, one should particularly give their thoughts to the bad ones. Of course one would say that why give them your time to which I agree, partially, but would also bring to their notice that the occasion demands it. Who said it will not be a distasteful experience, with all the years of bitterness inside you coming out suddenly on an equally bad Monday morning?

Read the PostRemembering Bad Teachers like Dronacharya & Radhakrishnan

September 4, 2016 /

This essay by Abhimanyu Roy is part of the ‘Studying Internet in India’ series. The author explores how the curious interplays between the arranged marriage market in India the rise of matrimonial sites such as Jeevansathi.com and Shaadi.com. The gravity of the impact that such web-based services have on the lives of users is substantially greater than most other everyday web-enabled transactions, such as an Uber ride or a Foodpanda order. From outright fraud to online harassment, newspaper back pages are filled with nightmare stories that begin on a matrimonial website. So much so that the Indian government has set up a panel to regulate matrimonial sites. The essay analyses the role of matrimonial websites in modern day India, and the challenges this awkward amalgamation of the internet and love gives rise to.

Read the PostThe Curious Incidents on Matrimonial Websites in India

September 3, 2016 /

Uneasiness and fear percolate from every pore of the visuals crafted by cinematographer Satya Rai Nagpaul and stay for uncomfortably long spans, making one feel as if the plot progression is happening in real time. There are other times when the camera wakes up as if from a manic dream and switches to fast pans. A good volume of the narrative is unfolded in what is not seen on screen. Violence and the bloodied armed strife is always a pervasive presence in its visible absence. Designed with minimalistic background music, Chauthi Koot carries forward these stylistic elements from Gurvinder Singh’s previous film Anhe Ghode Da Daan(Alms For A Blind Horse) that projected an unnervingly drab Punjab of the Dalits of Punjab’s Malwa who, till this day, work as seeri or bonded agricultural labourers on the fields of land- owning Jatt sikhs. In both films, the filmmaker is able to carve out a Punjab that is an antithesis of the vibrant and ever celebratory image of Punjab that one is used to witness in popular culture and Bollywood cinema.

Read the PostShrieking Silences

September 3, 2016 /

Although I had seen both Chocolate and Goal, I never particularly cared to find out who had directed them. They were average films, displaying no trace of an auteur behind them, although they were enjoyable the way many Bollywood films are, but also, at the same time, completely and eminently forgettable. Both the films were set abroad, and had a mild nationalistic strain running through them which was also not very remarkable in that sense – Bollywood films shot abroad can rarely resist the temptation of a little flirtation with nationalism.
Buddha in a Traffic Jam, when seen in that context, is indeed a remarkable film as it purports to be a film of ideas, very glossily packaged – to be expected as Agnihotri cut his teeth in advertising.

Read the PostA Filmy Road Rage

September 2, 2016 /

We are writing to you to express our concern about the situation in Indian-controlled Kashmir where the already subjected population is currently living in a state of siege due to the massive violence unleashed by the Indian forces. We appreciate your decision to create a fact-finding mission and deplore the refusal of the Indian government to allow access to UN human rights monitors. In the absence of such a mission, we feel it incumbent upon civil society groups to provide regular updates on the situation.

Read the Post“The Kashmir conflict is not an “internal matter” for India to resolve on its own terms”

September 2, 2016 /

September 2, 2016 will see one of the largest coordinated labour strikes ever in India, possibly in the world. Trade unions cutting across political affiliations will shut down key sectors of the Indian economy against the pro-corporate anti labour Modi Government
Newsclick spoke with trade union leaders on the reasons for the strike and their plans beyond Sep 2.

Read the PostWhy 150 million Indian workers are on Strike?

September 2, 2016 /

We believe that ignoring ads stops them working, oblivious of the fact that emotive content requires no attention at all in order to be effectively processed. We also think that if we can’t recall an advert’s message, we cannot have been influenced by it. However the truth is that emotional influence lodges deep in our subconscious and is almost impossible to recall.

Read the PostHow advertisers seduce our subconscious

September 1, 2016 /

Popular mass movement is “mindless terrorism” and Kashmiris are a flock of “instigated” sheep in “bucolic valley”, devoid of all agency. Keywords like Insaniyat (Humanity), Jamhooriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat etc. are thrown carefully at the supposed ‘inhumanity’ and ‘autarchy’ of the self-determination struggle of Kashmiris.

Read the PostKashmir : Keywords of Deception

September 1, 2016 /

“I will protest in summer in Kashmir” has become a cliche. This summer too has Azaadi written all over it. Everything seems to utter Azaadi. Every sound rhymes with Azaadi. Maa ki mamtaa. Behno ki ismat. Water flowing steadily in a nearby river. Tyres of vehicles hitting the newly macadamised road hard. Ticking of the clock at night. Chirping of birds every morning. Fan rotating at full speed as if spinning the yarn of freedom. Small children playing games of Azaadi, aping adults and inculcating resistance.

Read the PostAzaadi is the Sound of July in Kashmir

August 31, 2016 /

Let’s face it – in an age of rapid automation, full employment on a global scale is a pipe dream anyhow. It’s time we think of ways to facilitate reliable livelihoods in the absence of formal employment. Not only will this assist us toward necessary de-growth, it will also allow people to escape exploitative labour arrangements and incentivise employers to improve working conditions

Read the PostTime for degrowth

August 31, 2016 /

The poor in this country are caught in a deadly pincers of malnutrition on the one hand which reduces the power of their immune system and makes them vulnerable to disease, an almost non-existent public health sytem, a rapacious private health system practicing irrational medicine and a lack of knowledge of basic medicine.

Read the PostSo what about Health?

August 30, 2016 /

If the distinction of being ‘Cleanest Village in Europe’ (also heartchecked by Our Supreme Leader) was not enough, Mawlynnong can now claim to be the host of the first proof of ant-gravity according to the scientists at Discover India facebook page.

Read the PostMawlynnong declared Photoshop Capital of Asia

August 30, 2016 /

Last decade, from 2000-2010, was that of political ignorance. Except India Shining, Shahrukh Khan winning more Filmfare awards, a pogrom, Orkut being taken over by Facebook and landline phones being replaced by mobile phones, not much happened in the country. Bollywood, western food joints and discounted foreign clothing brands, easy access to job market and the dot com world kept the youth busy. Politics did not interest them.

Read the PostWhy is the future of right wing bright?

August 29, 2016 /

The last few weeks have seen a spate of reports on the illegal trade of charcoal in West Khasi Hills. After a local daily broke the news, the administration undertook surprise inspection which led to the seizure of huge quantity of charcoal. This drive against charcoal trade has been labeled as “clean up mission” with the administration vowing that they will continue their vigil until the illegal trade is completely stopped. As part of the mission people will be also imparted awareness regarding the damage to environment that charcoal making brings.

Read the PostCharcoal Wars in Meghalaya

August 28, 2016 /

I told you that there was something wrong with the way the beat of the drums sounded, something wrong with the way the trumpet was blown, something seems not right with the way people were shouting, I could feel that in the air, I could feel that on the ground, that it was not the vibration of triumph, neither of celebration.

Read the PostThe Drum Beat

August 27, 2016 /

Last month, the judges of the Calcutta High Court in Kolkata rejected the Union cabinet decision to the change the name of the first high court in South Asia to Kolkata High Court. The Union cabinet had decided to change the names of Bombay and Madras High Court too, to Mumbai and Chennai High Courts. The Union cabinet decision was made on 5th July. Thereafter, on 11th July, judges of the “Calcutta” High Court unanimously opposed the name change idea. Nevertheless, the Union government went ahead and moved the bill in the Lok Sabha – the the High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill. For Kolkata, it proposed that the ‘High Court of Judicature at Calcutta’ is renamed to ‘High Court of Judicature at Kolkata’. Symbolism aside, names have meanings. So do name changes and the names to which they are changed.

Read the PostBetween Calcutta & Kolkata

August 26, 2016 /

Kashmir has historically since Nineteen Forty-Seven been a site of territorial claims between the two nations, India and Pakistan; in such contested claims history in itself has become a site marking these contestations. The history of Forty Seven has been written from a certain vantage point constructing a particular kind of history and memory associated with it. The story of Forty-Seven told and retold over the years with tribal invasion being ‘The Event’ has shaped the history with almost a complete erasure of what happened earlier and what followed next. As a student of history I feel a dire need to free Forty Seven from the baggage of the ‘Tribal Invasion’ story which has more of less sabotaged the history of the state, question the politics of silencing the ‘unfamiliar histories and memories’ associated with it.

Read the PostNineteen Forty Seven Amnesia & Kashmir