Raiot Posts

February 19, 2016 /

I am an ex-student of JNU. I am a single woman living alone in a Room-on-the-Roof in Munirka DDA. I am one of those ex-DSU members whose comrades are being telecasted with photographs since yesterday in ZeeNews as the most wanted criminals in primetime.

February 19, 2016 /

Perhaps this article is ill-timed. Perhaps in the current scenario with various Far Right groups actively seeking a Hindutva agenda it is not the best time to be writing things which they could use for their own benefit. This is particularly true after the recent maiden procession carried out by the RSS in Shillong which has evoked so much reaction.

February 11, 2016 /

“It takes a loud bang to make the deaf hear”, Bhagat Singh had famously said. After using violence, Bhagat Singh did not evade the site, rather handed himself to the British authorities and then would use courts to propagate his ideas. Maqbool Bhatt held a similar view. After he was imprisoned in Pakistan in the famous Ganga hijacking case, he wrote letters to his acquaintances and family wherein he professed that the act was aimed at falsifying claims of occupiers and superimposing truth upon them.

February 6, 2016 /

NO I DON’T WANT TO BE ANOTHER MARTYR.
I DON’T WANT TO BE NINDU LANGTHASA.
NO I DON’T WANT TO BE AN ACTIVIST.
I DON’T WANT TO BE ROHITH VEMULA.
I WANT TO LOOK AT THE SKY AND STARS,
I AM JUST A LOVER AND A SINGER SONGWRITER.

GOODBYE!

February 5, 2016 /

Among all categories of workers in the globalised world economy, migrants have negligible or most limited capacity to exercise power to prevent or resist the multiplicity of oppression and exploitation. The underlying assumption is that owing to their vulnerability, social oppression and powerlessness, they cannot self-organize and hence, there is a need for trade unions of the host countries to organize them.

February 4, 2016 /

Before HIV funding oiled and co-opted “queer”, before it re-created and held in place caste hierarchies – Indian collective queer spaces were found in hamams, and bastis, and parks. It was found in villages where the only visible queer was the local (Dalitbahujan) transfemme community. She was the one that poor, Dalitbahujan queer femmes and trans men sought out and befriended and asked for help. Before the globalized repeal IPC-377 campaign cemented the meaning of what queer caste neutrality looks like – it was queer Dalitbahujans who were being beaten, tortured, raped and killed by the police, by the public and the state. While the sexuality rights consultancies and speaking engagements went to Savarna queers, it was Dalitbahujans who arrived in masses and protested police stations and courtrooms, and were lathi-charged, beaten and arrested.

February 2, 2016 /

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis argues that the nation-state is dead and democracy in the EU has been replaced by a toxic algorithmic depoliticisation that, if it is not confronted, will lead to depression, disintegration and possibly war. He calls for a launch of a pan-European movement to democratise Europe, to save it before it is too late.

January 31, 2016 /

I remember hearing you speak after your release from prison after more than nine years. Keeping aside the mental and physical torture, those years gifted you solitude, within the cocoons of which you could read and write quite a lot, you had said. Yes, solitude is indeed the most cherished thing for a reader.

January 29, 2016 /

With change, a culture evolves. The question to be asked is: Should this evolution be guided by a few dominant minds? or should it be let to go how it is supposed to go, naturally, with a promise of a gradual acceptance by all?

January 29, 2016 /

The missionaries gave us the written word though it could have easily been Bengali rather than Roman. It is in this process that a complex history of battling calligraphies contrived to sort out an oral tradition that they considered to be uncivilized.

January 28, 2016 /

Generations of Kashmiris have already answered the rhetorical question, “Hum kya chahte?” (What do we want?) with “Azadi”—freedom from India. If there is to be any possibility of reconciliation, it cannot be answered with another question: “What about Kashmiri Pandits?” This latter question can be—should be—part of the answer to another question, “Azadi ka matlab kya?” (What does azadi entail?) But for that to happen, the first question must be heard, and answered.

January 26, 2016 /

On India’s Republic Day, just 5 days away from the Gawkadal massacre, we shall hear Jumlas from Narendra Modi. We shall hear his rhetorical and controvertible claims on how India is rapidly evolving as a major superpower in the world and a worthy contender for a permanent place in the Security Council. Nobody expects him to speak against his party ideologues who lynched Mohammad Akhlaq or abetted the suicide of Dalit student Rohit Vemula.

January 23, 2016 /

Who is a dalit?

Members of scheduled castes and tribes, Neo-Buddhists, the working people, the landless and poor peasants, women and all those who are being exploited politically, economically and in the name of religion.

January 22, 2016 /

We have been looking at anger as an antithesis to peace for far too long. Non-violence has been understood as the most acceptable means to peace and peace has been in turn construed as absence of conflict.

January 20, 2016 /

Rohith Vemula’s ‘suicide’ is not the desperate reaction of a despairing victim to casteist atrocities. For the same reason, and contrary to what many might imagine, Vemula’s ‘suicide’ has nothing to do with anomie-bred existential nihilism. Rather, it is an act of revolutionary affirmation

January 20, 2016 /

A whole population that challenges the Indian rule is identified as an enemy that can be dealt with only through exceeding violence. On the ground, a cobweb of military installations and camps acts as an instrument for the military to identify, persecute, and maintain a hold on the local population. In Kashmiri rural areas, one finds an army camp after every three kilometers and in some places, the pervasion is even deeper.

January 18, 2016 /

For those who are using Rohith’s letter to simplistically assert that he died due to “personal problems,” sit up and open your eyes, ears, and mind to what is being said and what is not being said in this letter. Read between the lines, in the loops of his “y”s and “g”s and in the indented spaces separating his neat paragraphs.

January 18, 2016 /

The vibrance of the streets of Shillong can be overwhelming, especially on a crowded public holiday, or even just rush hour on weekdays when the colleges are at their peaks of attendance levels. A few steps away from the bustling centers however, and you are transported to a different world, where houses snuggle together in the dying sun and lanes disappear and reappear on the curves of hills.

January 17, 2016 /

The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In very field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.

January 17, 2016 /

It is a well known fact that people have been threatened of being kicked out of the balang if they were to take part in festivals of other groups. The word ‘blei thaw’ is quite familiar to us with the degrading connotation it carries. So we already have people in our state who have developed their own version of the ideology of ‘incompatibility of differences’; given the right motivation they could very soon take the next step, i.e., violence (not in thought but in actual deed)

January 15, 2016 /

I grew up in Shillong in the 1970s.
My sister went to Loreto, me to Pine Mount, and in that insular world of ours all that mattered was the grades we got in school and the prizes I won for the (mostly Bengali) songs I sang at Ananda Sammelan.
Then we left.
Then we chose to leave.
Then we had to leave.

January 14, 2016 /

It is now only a matter of months until the Rio Olympics, an event inevitably wrapped up in the glamour of that most festive of world cities. The reality, however, is rather less glossy. Indeed, behind the fanfare, some of the city’s poorest people, many living in Rio’s notorious favelas, are being uprooted to make way for the games.