Category: Commentary

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.

March 31, 2016 /

I think it is important to talk about, given how glibly people say, “let the law take its course,” “if so and so is innocent, then justice will be done,” and such like things. What do we do, if the law taking its (long and winding) course itself acts as punishment, how do we undo that damage, should the final outcome be acquittal?

March 29, 2016 /

Safe, affordable and informed access to gender affirming procedures is a fundamental human reproductive health right. This basic right extends to self-determining which gender transitioning procedures feel safe, feel affirming (and for how long) within a context that is not medically coercive, manipulative and ultimately harmful.

March 26, 2016 /

I reached the protest site after the initial violence had taken place. Large number of students were staging a protest inside the premises of VC’s guesthouse.The students demanded the sacking of VC Appa Rao for his involvement in the institutional murder of Rohit Vemula. Earlier that morning Appa Rao resumed the post after ensuring support from the state and ABVP.The students were provoked by ABVP students who were already stationed in support of the VC because of which violence escalated and chaos prevailed.

March 25, 2016 /

For the past three days the news media has been circulating widely, stories about ‘vandalism’ by students of the University of Hyderabad that led to the police crackdown. Surprisingly little information is actually there on the actual context, timing, duration and nature of the vandalism. It appears that the claim that a group of students indulged in acts of vandalism is enough to justify a full scale war on the entire campus community of over 5000 students. Yet this charge of vandalism is no more than a fig leaf

March 20, 2016 /

Ballad of a Hangman is a poem about a hangman who arrives in a town and executes the citizens one by one. As each citizen is executed, the others are afraid to object out of fear that they will be next. Finally there is nobody remaining in the town except the hangman and the narrator of the poem. The narrator is then executed by the hangman, as by then there is no one left who will defend him.

March 19, 2016 /

The Aadhaar Bill opens the door to mass surveillance. This danger needs to be seen in the light of recent attacks on the right to dissent. No other country, and certainly no democratic country, has ever held its own citizens hostage to such a powerful infrastructure of surveillance.