Category: Commentary

May 3, 2016 /

Leicester City began this season as relegation favourites and now they are champions, thanks to Tottenham’s draw at Chelsea last night. This collection of cast-offs and journeymen started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders. It’s the most incredible story in Premier League history and John Williams, a football-mad sociologist at the University of Leicester, has been eagerly following their rise.

May 2, 2016 /

This move, to alienate a group of people who do not conform to the hegemonic template of who is a Sikh, is deeply enmeshed in the project of constructing an ideal, normative Sikh, defined by the dominant groups from within the community, wielding religious and political power, through a certain reading and interpretation of scriptures, and more recently, through religious jurisprudence. Conjunctively, the politics of the production of normative identities through the apparatuses of the state and religion is closely associated with the production of hegemonic masculinity among the Sikhs.

May 1, 2016 /

Though elections are over in Assam but air is still tempered with political tensions. This is probably the most unpredictable electoral fight ever in Assam between newly emerged BJP and the ruling party Congress. In this elections most crucial tug of war between the two major party was over the vote banks of present and ex tea garden workers, who play deciding role in 35 seats. They are included among what are popularly called the Tea tribes, who are estimated to be about 60 lakhs in Assam.

April 29, 2016 /

Having been in the Tourism Sector in North East India since 1997, I feel I do have a little to say regarding the topic and the direction it is going. This piece of writing may offend some, may wake up some, or may even turn some against me; some may even think I write out of jealousy: let it all be – I point out things because they are in the context of the topic. When I write or speak I do not try to say I know best, I believe in debate, strong views and discussion, therefore I often say what I feel, in the belief that it will not only make my own mind think in the broader perspective but also hope that others will think. It is not a put down to others who are doing things differently, it is a question, as I believe others can question me.

April 23, 2016 /

As if Kashmir wasn’t already under siege for the past few days of undeclared curfew, the state police and paramilitary swooped down on our office and prevented mediapersons from entering Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) office at the Bund, Amira Kadal, Srinagar – where the press conference, organized by JKCCS at the behest of the mother of the victim of alleged sexual assault by personnel of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) in Handwara was scheduled to be held. With no declaration of intent, the police barricaded all the ways leading to our office, barred us from venturing out to talk to the media persons gathered outside to cover the press conference

April 22, 2016 /

Saudi Arabia has been unraveling its geopolitical desires across middle-east for quite some time. However, during the past years, courtesy of an oil-revenue boom, Saudis are shifting their interventionist tactics from proxy to direct military intervention. From crushing the legitimate protest in Bahrain to bombing Yemen and hounding Lebanon, fossilized Abdullah and now Salman have left no stone unturned, or bombed, to assert their position as a shot caller in middle-east. They have sent armies across King Fahad causeway to the tiny nation of Bahrain and besieged Yemen to starvation.

April 19, 2016 /

A pro-Hindutva sentiment prevails in the minds of the middle class Hindu citizenry of the country. But for once, they could (and still do) mask their affiliation to this ideology by justifying their vote for ‘development’. The operational logic to this class seems particularly straightforward, “as long as there is ‘development’ as Modi ji has promised (and is visiting foreign countries to that extent), we shouldn’t be troubled by marginal acts of violence or dissent.”

April 17, 2016 /

It is really considerate of you to write a letter to me and many others like me at the time when the valley is going back to a 2010 like situation or should I say like it has always been; on the edge? Your letter is like one of those scoopwhoop listicles that ask give readers reasons for things to do and things not to do.

April 14, 2016 /

Dr. Ambedkar took on and eventually won in two very important debates against two of the greatest economists the world has seen, a feat that cannot be equalled by any economist of India past or present. The more one reads Ambedkar the more one is left amazed at the giant nature of his intellectual prowess. Especially since he was not just an armchair intellectual but a social crusader who fought for justice for the oppressed.

April 13, 2016 /

Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force of the Indian government established in 1835, has set up its first women contingent. The 181-year-old paramilitary force inducted 100 women officers within its fold after they successfully completed a year-long training programme. However, the said development has taken place at a time when there has been little progress in the case of Thangjam Manorama.

April 11, 2016 /

I would contend that it is because of the legitimization of hierarchy by various canonical Islamic texts that the Muslims who arrived in India (Arabs, Afghans, Mongols, Turks, Persians, etc.) were not in the least bit surprised by caste: they were only too familiar with the hierarchies they found here. Rather, it could be argued, that they skilfully adapted to the caste order and even Islamized it.

April 10, 2016 /

An article surfaced that related to the contents of the book “Ki Dienjat ki Longshwa” by Fr. Bacchiarello by Seng Khasi Mawsynram. This looked interesting. The article said that the book should be discontinued from the Meghalaya Board of Secondary Education MBOSE for “allegedly showing in poor light the culture and beliefs of the Khasis”.

April 9, 2016 /

The inclusive democracy of one adult one vote in a poor (wo)man’s democracy is reconciled with economic power of corporations by price rationing out of the poor from any possibility of direct representation. Its result is a homogeneous mass consisting of many political parties with different colours. They are different in their rhetoric when in opposition, but same in action when in power. Choice is closed through the institution of democracy and the ideology of equating higher growth with development.

April 7, 2016 /

On the eve of 2016 Assembly elections, with utmost urgency and anxiety we want to present some issues before you. The Assembly Elections 2016 run the risk of ruining the age-old communal harmony and brotherhood of Assam and divide people along communal lines. BJP’s failure to get a stronghold in Assam, which is home to multiple ethnic groups have instigated its mother organization, RSS, to incite communal conflicts among various groups.

April 6, 2016 /

The refusal of Khilnani to question the very idea of India that somehow makes all 50 lives part of a large nationalist story indicates the limits of the entire endeavour. This is the limit set by a belief in the modern nation state of India. It is a limit because it then shapes the choices of the lives made, as well as the stories that are told about them.

April 5, 2016 /

As the city of Shillong mourns the brutal attack on the teenager girl from 4 -1/2 miles Upper Shillong, East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya, many are outraged and angry and crying for justice. Rape cases in Meghalaya seem to see a slow death as cases linger, with trauma to the victims and their families right from the beginning. It is disturbing that there is selective outrage against crimes on women and children in our state. This incident could very well not have occurred had the outrage being displayed now been there all along for each heinous crime of rape that occurred in the state including those in far flung villages which often go unreported and are silenced due to the influential links of perpetrators. We need to question this erratic display of solidarity.