Raiot Posts

January 21, 2017 /

I did not go to Wagah to get high on nationalism which was evident the day I reached the check point. And I do not need to paint the national flag on my face or chant vande mataram only because I am at Wagah. In these times of ultra nationalism and faulty patriotism, Wagah and such model should not become the reason which forces me to declare my loyalty to the country. Not now not ever.

Read the PostAt the Wagah Border

January 19, 2017 /

Paradoxically, all traditions are invented (and re-invented) at some point of time. If the Wancho script beats the odds and survives, it will become a tradition in twenty years. No other script seems to have managed the feat in this century. Well, not quite: Klingon, the fictional language of the Klingon people in the Star Trek movies of the 1970s and 80s was invented with a vocabulary and a grammar to give realism to the dialogue. Fans have extended it become a spoken language, complete with songs, poetry, and a script, even a language institute.

Read the PostWancho, Klingon and other tales of language & script

January 16, 2017 /

The story of Nangeli is a disputed one. Academic historians have yet to find sufficient external evidence of the events the story describes. For me, the veracity of the facts is less important than the singular fact that the story exists, and continues to be told. It narrates the protest, anguish and anger of those who are excluded from the reach of our collective conscience because they have no text, and therefore no ‘history’. This comics story first appeared in Art Review Asia and is dedicated to Rohith Vemula (1989-2016), who, like Nangeli, chose death over a life of indignity.

Read the PostThe Story of Nangeli

January 16, 2017 /

The government’s intention of amending the Citizenship Act via the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been met with anger, anxiety, and unrest across Assam. Faced with a strident opposition to the proposed amendments from across Assam in the last few weeks, the BJP—with the support of a number of Bengali organisations as well—has reoriented its strategy by calling on the Bengali-speaking community to identify themselves as Assamese-speakers. Key leaders such as Himanta Biswa Sarma have advocated the assimilation of the Bengali-speakers of Barak into Assamese linguistic and cultural identity. Others have suggested that they “become Assamese” while maintaining their linguistic identity, and yet others have called on them to return Assamese as their mother-tongue in the Census.

Read the PostCitizens of a Hindu Rashtra: Stirring the Ethnic Cauldron in Assam

January 15, 2017 /

Rice! A mountain of cooked rice lay piled up on the cement floor. And standing by the door was Dhiren Roy, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment. Hot, steaming rice. As he inhaled the aroma, a strange transformation came over him. He began weeping convulsively. “Oh dear ones, look down from heaven, see how much rice I’m master of now! You died for want of a handful of rice, but see me now! I’m the king of rice today!”

Read the PostThe King of Rice

January 13, 2017 /

Arun Shourie has been the modern India’s most poisonous, formidable and effective troll for many decades, when trolling was not easy. When he was at the height of his power and influence, there was no ‘online’ and/or social media or cyber crowd. Arun Shourie fell by the sword he lived by.

Read the PostWhen an old Troll tries to troll the new Trolls

January 11, 2017 /

Zygmunt Bauman was emeritus professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds and had developed key concepts for the understanding of fundamental issues of today’s world, such as liquid modernity, time, space and disorder, individualism versus community, globalization and consumer’s culture, love and identity

Read the PostRethinking Democracy, Rethinking State

January 9, 2017 /

The rhetoric of the “War on black money and corruption” apart, demonetisation has succeeded in making the Aadhar card mandatory in violation of the orders of the Supreme Court. Additionally, a few implications of this move on democracy and civil and political liberties.

Read the PostDemonetisation to Unfreedom

January 8, 2017 /

The Bravery were never a very big band. The reason I heard of them was mainly because they were supposed to have been the chief rivals of The Killers. Those were the years when every band in the world had to have the word “the” somewhere in their name. One day we shall have to explain that phenomenon to our kids.

Read the PostRAIOT JUKEBOX – The Bravery

January 8, 2017 /

Getting ready to shave, like the opening
Of Ulysses. I, too, am not wearing
Anything. You grab a handful of my
Buttocks, bite my neck: “Shaving without me
Again?”—“We’ve got plans… to the monastery.”

Read the PostDarjeeling

January 8, 2017 /

A Church that concerns itself with the poor must raise the question of why they are poor in the first place. The comfortable and the cosseted insist that this question not be asked. Or, failing that, insist that it be dismissed as ludicrous. From their increasingly hyperventilating resistance comes a surprising reminder of the revolutionary power of the gospel.

Read the PostWHO IS AFRAID OF A CHURCH FOR THE POOR?

January 4, 2017 /

Authorities tasked with the safeguard and pursuit of students’ welfare and interest devote themselves to undermine and harm the very wards of the university. Repeat sexual offenders are appointed as professors and allowed to roam freely despite the mountain of evidence proving their guilt.

Read the PostHow North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) condones Sexual Harassment

January 3, 2017 /

Armoured with a notebook, a lousy phone camera and a few overnight clothes, I nervously left Shillong alone and drove down to Topatoli in the Nagaon District of Assam, in order to re-enter Meghalaya from Raid Nongkhap,which spreads from Ri Bhoi District into Assam. I left with a thirst for narratives, of people, of nature, of existence in this space whose identity as a periphery was intensified and galvanized in the 1970s, post the formation of the Meghalaya statehood. This was when the river Umsiang was identified as a natural boundary between Assam and Meghalaya and when cultures in the region were starting to fracture, at least on paper.

Read the PostOn the borders of identities

January 3, 2017 /

John Peter Berger (5 November 1926 – 2 January 2017) was an English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is one of the most popular introduction to radical/leftists analysis of art.

Read the Post[WATCH] WAYS of SEEING – in memory of John Berger

January 2, 2017 /

Jawaharlal Nehru University’s so-called freedom square is always packed with people every time a protest is called in the avowedly progressive institution –the crush of people at midnight last March spilling onto the roads to hear Kanhaiya Kumar speak is still seared in popular memory. But when I walked in for a series of public talks last Thursday, none of that spontaneous mobilization was visible.

Read the PostFreedom Square is empty

The new legislation has increased the recognized number of disabilities from 7 to 21(including acid attack victims).Furthermore,it penalizes discrimination, focuses on inclusive educational institutions and makes compliance with standards of accessibility as a precondition for permission to build a structure, among other things… While the Bill has been applauded by the community as an acceptance of a progressive understanding of disability, it leaves one with concerns over the provisions related to guardianship.

Read the PostThe Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014: A missed opportunity?

December 31, 2016 /

We deliver to you a short stale recap of 2016 in Meghalaya through the fiery humoured lenses of Shillong FTW, a Facebook page, which has managed to grab people by their pretentious asses through their brilliant memes and turn a mirror to Shillong’s ugly, ever aspiring “buromness”.

Read the PostCuz it’s Shillong liah!

December 31, 2016 /

As we come from the land of the cleanest, highest, lowest, deepest, firstest, buromest, we need to confess to our very own claim to fame – RAIOT is the first online gutterzine of Bishop Cotton Road, Shillong. If the conversations in the Burom class sitting room are anything to go by, this gutter RAIOT view of the world is finally finding its calvinistic place in the far reaches of Meghalaya. So enjoy this curated award-winning best selection of 2016 writings (in North Europe) on Shillong.

Read the PostRAIOT WEBZINE’s utterly useless guide to Shillong & Meghalaya – 2016

December 30, 2016 /

On RAIOT, poetry leads the pack in rejection rate. Our mailbox is full of poetic submissions, reminders about submissions, peeved queries about our silence – poets are a touchy lot. But still we masochistically persist in our obsession with poetry.

Read the Post[Holiday Reading List] POETRY on RAIOT

December 30, 2016 /

Writing is unknown territory for me, but there is a personal reason behind me writing this review. The release of this film forces me to say something which, as a former wrestler for almost ten years, I’ve always pondered on.

Read the PostDANGAL’s tale of unsung struggles

December 29, 2016 /

That day, my love isn’t very far away
When pain will end my life’s journeys
When my inner anguish transcend its limits
My desperate and unsuccessful glances tire
My sighs and tears lose their fire
And my hopeless youthful life be torn away from me

Read the PostLast Letter

December 29, 2016 /

2016 unfortunately felled a lot of greats, so our Music Section became a bit heavy on Music Obits, but we assure you that the odes and laments were all ours (no consultants were used) and when words failed we simply let the music speak for itself.

Read the Post[Holiday Listening] MUSIC on RAIOT

December 27, 2016 /

In 2016 – RAIOT became a Kashmiri word. Maybe it was the accidental cartography of India making Shillong share Instrument of Accession with Srinagar or just accidents of friendships, whatever be the reason – RAIOT had some of the key texts about Kashmiri Azadi uprising of 2016. Just a sample for your holiday reading.

Read the Post[Holiday Reading List] KASHMIR on RAIOT

December 26, 2016 /

The current imbroglio in Manipur reflects the tension between conflicting ideas of various communities settling in Manipur. Some valley based civil societies as well as sections of the hill population have welcomed the government’s decision and reasserted their faith in the idea of Manipur. While sections of Naga civil societies have not minced their words regarding their commitment to the idea of Manipur…

Read the PostTinderbox of Manipur

December 26, 2016 /

The Gospel reveals a paradox. It speaks of the emperor, the governor, the high and mighty of those times, yet God does not make himself present there. He appears not in the splendour of a royal palace, but in the poverty of a stable; not in pomp and show, but in simplicity of life; not in power, but in astonishing smallness. In order to meet him, we need to go where he is. We need to bow down, to humble ourselves, to make ourselves small.

Read the Post“Worldliness has kidnapped Christmas; we need to liberate it!”

December 25, 2016 /

In the face of the rampant commercialism that engulfs us at this time of year, it’s common to hear religious figures telling us that it’s time to revive the “real spirit of Christmas.” If that means reviving the radical egalitarianism of the early Christians, whom Frederick Engels called “a dangerous party of revolt,” then socialists are in favor of it.

Read the PostJesus the revolutionary?

December 24, 2016 /

Hapdeng ka tlang kaba dait thah slam slam,Ka Sngur Batlem bad u Kitbor Bah ki poi ha Sor Shillong, ka Sor kaba thaba, kaba khring bad kaba pah. Ka Sor Shillong wat la ka khring hynrei kam ai jingtngen ne jingshngain, wat la ka thaba hynrei ka i kynsha, wat la ka pah hynrei kam ai jingkyrmen,pynban ka tan bad ka khwan. Ka Sor ka pynlyngngoh bad pynshaiong ia ka Sngur bad u Kitbor. Wow! ka pyrthei aiu kane kaba im tangba kaba ym don mynsiem, ka pyrthei kaba khnoit bein ia ki rangli-ki juki bad kaba bam im im peit peit ia ki mynsiem briew. Napoh ka bos ka Sngur bad u Kitbor ki iohi shi lynter lynti ia ki longkmie kiba kyrshah shilliang, ki rangbah, ki samla bad ki khynnah rit kiba ialum lang ha la ki jaka bapher bapher bad ki bat ha ki kti ia ki jingthoh ha ki kot sada “ Ngi dei ki Nongdie madan bad ngi dawa ia ka hok ban kamai jakpoh”

Read the PostKa Khubor Krismas – Hangno Ngan Kha Ia U Khun?

December 23, 2016 /

The New Testament records the work of a first-century Jewish Messiah and the fate of the millenarian sect he left behind. In my view – notwithstanding some radical comment to the contrary – there is no doubt whatsoever that Jesus Christ existed, that he was a charismatic mass leader, and that The New Testament is an immensely rich source of information about his life, work, and times. It is equally my view – notwithstanding 2,000 years of Christian tradition – that he was not God, never claimed to be God, and could not have made such a blasphemous claim before a contemporary Jewish audience without condemning himself to political oblivion.

Read the PostJesus – a radical guide

December 18, 2016 /

Raioteers, once a week we deserve to unwind after the crappy craziness of Indian politics and the gradual obliteration of our senses and so we thought we would introduce a Raiot Jukebox to nudge out the noise with soothing (and sometimes not so soothing) music. If you have a jukebox to share do send us your playlist.

Read the PostRAIOT JUKEBOX – QUILT