Raiot Posts

July 1, 2016 /

In the second part of the ongoing series of interviews with Varavara Rao, founder member of Virasam, by playwright Ramu Ramanathan, the Maoist ideologue and Telegu poet narrates his revolutionary journey, about people’s movements in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, about writing and publishing revolutionary literature and how the movement has produced some great writers

Read the PostThe poet as the revolutionary – Talking with Varavara Rao

June 30, 2016 /

The lathi charge against the Kiang Nangbah College came right after the Terra Madre festival where crores of rupees have been invested. Here again we see the misplaced priorities of the Congress led government at the state. It is against these issues that students groups, civil society and organisation have become critical. The issues affecting the students are not only national but local.

Read the Post#OccupyUGC, Kiang Nangbah College, NEHU & Student Politics in Meghalaya

June 30, 2016 /

In the first of the two part interview with Varavara Rao, founder member of Virasam (Revolutionary Writers’ Association), by playwright Ramu Ramanathan, the Maoist ideologue and Telegu poet reaffirms the role of an intellectual and reflects on the history of repression of the Indian states, and on the issues surrounding the statehood of Telangana

Read the PostA poet against the state : Talking with Varavara Rao

June 29, 2016 /

“I remember Bah Kelly Lyngdoh playing the song ‘Ramona’ in the dead of the night in the streets of Jaiaw and one would see the lights coming on through the windows just so people can listen to the melody coming out of his Viola while Bah Syndor blew the clarinet”

Read the PostPrologue to ‘Ka Marynthing Rupa’ by Webster Davis Jyrwa

June 28, 2016 /

I am in Calcutta. At least I think this is Calcutta. I was told that I would be journeying into the heartland of the bhodrolok and the East Bengalis of Shillong coloured my expectations and bias. Upon arrival though I feel as though somethings have been missed. Like the city, the information hardly seems fresh. It is not current.

Read the PostA Khasi listens in on Calcutta

June 27, 2016 /

” Isn’t it the bitterest irony of all that a town that likes to call itself ‘Rock Capital’ has largely forgotten or remains ignorant about a period of their history that might actually measure up to some claim of exceptionalism?”

Read the PostFOXTROT TANGO KHASI

June 27, 2016 /

For a significant period of my youth, I used to live in the United States of America. While I was there, I, a Bengali from West Bengal, was exposed for the first time to real people from East Bengal, as opposed to their caricature that I was exposed to when I was growing up. The eastern part of Bengal, whose political form is the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is where a greater proportion of my people live. A significant minority lives in West Bengal. While I interacted with “them”, I became close very fast, for, to be accepted and welcomed, I did not have to participate in Diwali (quite an alien thing to Bengalis in West Bengal), Holi (another such alien thing), Hindi antaksharis or be conversant with the latest Bollywood films in a distant language, their heroes-heroines or contort myself in other ways into something I was not. I felt strangely liberated.

Read the PostLiberation from Hindi, Hindu, Hindusthan

June 25, 2016 /

I was a reclusive geek back in college. Every day during the off period of two hours, I would tread peacefully from Shillong College to the State Central Library to sit there and read. There was a classmate of mine who would accompany me there.

Read the PostState Central Library Companion

June 24, 2016 /

The streaming begins and what you witness through Ranjan Palit’s lens is never a linear story. In Camera – Diaries of a Documentary Cameraman places before a viewer, collages—haunting landscapes and lives—from the fault-lines of Indian democracy.

Read the PostWays of Confronting

June 23, 2016 /

Vivekananda’s views on caste are instructive in that they sum up the views of today’s defenders of the caste system. Even among people who don’t defend the caste system, you will find rich echoes of thoughts that Vivekananda puts forth.

Read the PostVivekananda’s Defense Of Caste

June 22, 2016 /

In the latest survey conducted by India Human Development Surveys (IHDS) II in 2011 to 2012 which is a continuation of their last survey IHDS I held in 2004 to 2005 tells a staggering claim on inter-caste marriages. The survey is a collaboration between National Council of Applied Economic Research and University of Maryland funded by the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the Ford Foundation, and it is headed by sociologists and economist[i]. The analysis of the survey as reported by IndiaSpend[ii] presents data on inter-caste marriages in India. The findings tell that 95 per cent of marriages took place among same caste, and the remaining 5 per cent practiced inter-caste marriages. Break-up of this data places Mizoram as the state with highest incidence of inter-caste marriages at 55 per cent of its population, and Madhya Pradesh at the opposite end with same caste marriages at 99 per cent of its population. The data portrays the whole population of India under Hindu society by overlooking various communities who fall outside ‘caste system’ especially tribal communities.

Read the PostStatistically Smuggling Caste into North Eastern Tribes

June 21, 2016 /

It was that day I realized that unknowingly I was subscribing and preaching the very form of yoga I find so repelling; and that is yoga which is rigid and fixed. Comfortable in my usual routine, I had forgotten that one of the most essential trait to be a yoga teacher, is the ability to mould the ancient practice in a form that will benefit all, be free of judgment, religion and politics.

Read the PostNon-partisan Yoga

June 20, 2016 /

It has been seven years since the brutal gang rape and murder of Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan, aged 17 years and 22 years respectively during the year of the incident, in Shopian District of Kashmir. Seven years of enquiries, legal processes, statements by Justices, police officers and bureaucrats which have led to nothing.

Read the PostTales from Shopian – Kashmir

June 19, 2016 /

Kashmir’s blank political canvas seems to be generating more intrigue than the impending suspense created by the Game of Thrones’ Season Six poster. While the winter is yet to come to Westeros; Kashmir is already in the throes of it. Mufti Mohammad Saeed’s death has frozen the political landscape of Kashmir, and his political heir, Mehbooba Mufti, is in no hurry to thaw it back to life.

Read the PostJust a Kashmiri Winter

June 19, 2016 /

This is something I wished I never had to write about. But somehow I am compelled after reading the editorial in The Shillong Times regarding the nuisance created by street-hawkers in Shillong. My mother used to be one of them. That was many years ago, while I was in high school. And it made me wonder if my mother was a nuisance to the beautiful and sanitized Shillong, people love to portray. How does Shillong look like from below, from the margins, from the fringes of society? Marginal on the basis of community, class and even neighbourhood.

Read the PostMemoirs of a Hawker’s son

June 15, 2016 /

His work is a demonstration of how to rescue inauthentic from the jaws of reality. How to make spontaneous look orchestrated and vice versa – an art where so many rights are turned into one big wrong. He has mastered the skill to turn all conversation into a monologue, and then ignore one’s own voice, remove irresolution, and erase all personal music in the service of his war-like ‘humanism’

Read the PostSteve’s Oriental Curry

June 14, 2016 /

Andrew Lyndem, 25, is nocturnal and starts his day at 3 pm ending it at the witching hour. Ratul Hajong, 24, is awake before him but in circulation around the same time. Together, they are Cryptographik Street Poets (CSP) a rap act in Shillong, Meghalaya. Touched by the civil rights/black power movements in intangible ways, their sigil is the raised fist of solidarity and revolution, the Black Panther Party logo. Although they live in separate homes with their parents, they are in constant society with each other.

Read the PostMove on Up

The North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers’ Movement (NERDWM) initially known as Domestic Workers’ Association was initiated in June 1, 2003 by the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), Shillong Province in Meghalaya in response to scores of violence and injustice perpetuated on domestic workers.

Read the PostOverview of the North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers’ Movement (NERDWM)

June 13, 2016 /

However, one very interesting aspect of the entire debate which has gone completely unnoticed is the caste profile of those marching militantly with the ‘Flag of Tolerance’! Almost everyone bearing the flag of tolerance, both political and not so political belong to the upper caste Manuvadi Brahmanical order who are themselves beneficiaries of centuries of “tolerance” by Hindustanis

Read the PostIntolerable Tolerance

June 10, 2016 /

Let us be clear. Much as many of us might enjoy or not like listening to Kanhaiya speak, this is not just about Kanhaiya. Defending his right to speak at DUTA’s ‘khaali thali’ dharna is about upholding the true meaning of teaching and universities, the value of free expression and solidarity, and above all, of democracy, liberty and the Indian Constitution. A respect for these values, for universal inalienable rights, can indeed become the basis for a durable unity among people who otherwise hold widely divergent political views and understandings. This is the need of the hour for popular movements, including the teachers’ movement, in the country. It is a crying need for the teachers’ movement at DU today.

Read the PostThis is not just about Kanhaiya Kumar & Delhi University teachers

June 8, 2016 /

The pictures speak of the brutality of the Delhi Police and Manipur Police. The scenes I saw at the hospitals were heart-rending. About 60 people are detained at Chanakyapuri Police Station. I was not allowed to meet the officials or arrested people, many of whom are injured.

Read the PostCondemn the Barbaric Attack on Tribal People of Manipur in New Delhi

June 7, 2016 /

Indeed, many in Kashmir are bitter, even though they give their unconditional solidarity to those hounded by the Indian state. They feel the protests so far have not understood the truth of the event: that its truth is not in lectures about “true” or “real” nationalism but in an embrace of sedition.

Read the PostHow not to #StandWithJNU

June 7, 2016 /

Leaders like Meghalaya CM Sangma believe that those who question his kind of thinking are “creating hopelessness and insecurity,” in common people’s minds and this view continues to gain currency promoted as it is by the mainstream media. The reality is that it is leaders like him who are reminiscent of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, leading the innocent over the cliff to their doom while the ruling class lives on their common properties.

Read the PostSale! Sale! Sale! North East India for Sale!

June 6, 2016 /

Today the fertile valley of Manipur, home to the Meiteis, has been under a tremendous demographic changes wherein Meiteis face the ‘existential’ crisis. A fear-psychosis has been shared among the populace that Meiteis will become a minority in their own land as there is no regulatory mechanism to regulate the unabated migration from other parts of India. Thus to defend the population, there have been popular movements to monitor and regulate demographic changes and land tenure. The recent move to introduce Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) initiated in the valley spearheaded by Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) is one such assertion urging to protect the ‘indigenous’ people of Manipur, which ended up facing an unprecedented opposition from the highlanders. It was perceived as another move by the majority Meiteis to ‘encroach’ upon territory of the highlands which the Meiteis does not traditionally own, and are owned in a different manner by the highlanders, and delegitimising the citizenship of the highlanders. Till today nine dead bodies remain unburied in Churachandpur signifying the opposition and resistance.

Read the PostWhy Meiteis Should Not Be Scheduled as Tribe

June 4, 2016 /

Muhammad Ali was also a symbol of black protest, a cipher for the anti-Vietnam movement, a martyr (or traitor, depending on one’s perspective), a self-regarding braggart, and many more things beside. While there have been several sports icons, none have approached Ali in terms of complexity, endowment and sheer potency.

Read the PostRemembering The Greatest

June 4, 2016 /

An audit report by Comptroller and Auditor General of India that got tabled in Meghalaya assembly on 23rd March 2016 reveals sorry state of affairs on water supply schemes. It brings under scanner the corrupt practices of Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED)

Read the PostWater Woes in Meghalaya : Anatomy of a PHE Scam