Tag: India

September 26, 2017 /

Recently, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recognised Hate Crimes as a Public Health issue… What we doctors in India, need to learn from them? While a Modi-fied government seems to be pushing India’s public health into private hands thanks to its belief in unleashing India’s economy in the same style as the US does for its medical services, isn’t it surprising that none of us can imagine our premier physicians’ organisation, the Indian Medical Association taking up such a cause even in the next few decades! In fact, if history teaches us lessons, what we learn is that a large chunk of its leadership which is right-wing, may actually aid and abet the hate!

August 17, 2017 /

Not so long ago, Naxal movement and the conceptual renderings or reflections of it used to present an alternative view of politics, from economics and International relations to the culture and campus discussions. Never a dominant view, but this Naxal-inspired argument about everything would temper and have an impact on the liberal, left and even mainstream points of view.

August 17, 2017 /

The Hindutva ideology, much like other fundamentalist undercurrents would have us deny the humanism of Manto and the syncretic traditions of Husain. It is in this context that the Partition themed fiction provides an effective counter-narrative to all efforts at social engineering. It need hardly be mentioned that the absence of an effective political discourse challenging the RSS-BJP combine, willing to transcend the secular-communal binary, mandates a search for a different language sensitive to past history and cognizant of our own failures.

Whether the India- China stand-off escalates or not, Modi has too much to gain from it. Whether India humiliates China or the other way, it would allow them their ongoing project of making India a Hindu Rashtra easier. Even in 1962, during the war, Delhi was able to force the Dravida Movement into submission and the Tamils had to surrender fully. In 2017, with Hindu Rashtra is no longer any distant possibility, an Indo-China war would be the final seal on our coffins of a Secular Democratic Republic.

June 17, 2017 /

A day ahead of the India Pakistan match, when Indian media, publicity hungry cricketers and showbiz stars are all over spitting their Indian nationalist bile, Chalukyan G, a Chennai based graphic designer wrote a fan mail on Facebook to Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi. His fan mail did not just touch upon sporting matters but also laid out in detail the hypocrisy of Indian nationalist rhetoric. To his surprise, Afridi replied and unlike cricketers like Sehawg, he said “Let the best team win,”

May 3, 2017 /

This ‘play’ never had a script, being a work in progress so to speak, where the actors knew the opening line, knew the cue for the last line. Depending on intoxicants consumed the night before, the piece could be anything from 15 to 40 minutes.
It was staged in the late 1980s in New Delhi – by Hartman de Souza, a third-generation Kenyan by birth (but by default, Indian), and Kimamo Kuria, mwananchi from Kenya, final year law student at Delhi University. Both were also founder-members of the Delhi-based Afro-Indian theatre group, Ukombozi, that worked in Delhi – although they were not the first such theatre group to explore the common ground that benefits both sides, African and Indian.

February 6, 2017 /

“Rainbow In A Brown World” is an entertaining, an educative and an animated film that depicts a day-in-the-life of a queer Indian woman as she goes about her daily routine and encounters various people who question her regarding her sexuality. The protagonist ‘Aarti’ is a young, queer woman who finds herself at the receiving end of an absurd, often hilarious albeit well intentioned questions about being LGBT. However, she answers these wittily and is often amused by them.

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.

November 3, 2016 /

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in one of his recent chest-thumping speeches, compared the Indian forces with that of the Israeli ones. Modi’s comparison came within the context of Indian Army claiming to have carried out “surgical strikes” across the LOC and dismantling the launchpads used by the “Pakistani-sponsored militant groups to infiltrate across the De Facto border.” Now, if we bend-over backwards and accept the Indian claim while dismissing the scepticism that various international media agencies like CNN, BBC and Washingtonpost- establishments that usually spare no chance of portraying Pakistan as a virtually rogue state- expressed over these strikes, the question that still begs an answer is that, even from the Indian point of view, did this act induce any substantial change in the vexing political scenario of Kashmir?

October 17, 2016 /

The relationship of the Indian elites to Goa is by no means innocent. For that matter, neither is the relationship of India to Goa. Rather, these relationships are built on the willful ignoring of history, to enable Indians to create Goa and Goans not only as property of the Indian empire but as a pleasure park where they can imagine themselves to be in their own little part of Europe.

September 15, 2016 /

My father passed away almost 20 years ago but I remember him every day. I remember him as a loving and doting father, a jolly, generous, kind, often compulsive person, always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He would buy us gifts – clothes, toys and food whenever he felt like. I would always be so happy and glad just to be in his company. He had many names and identities you might say. He was known by his Muslim name as Abrar Hussain, his nickname was Khuku and Johnky, his Christian name was Peter.

August 26, 2016 /

Kashmir has historically since Nineteen Forty-Seven been a site of territorial claims between the two nations, India and Pakistan; in such contested claims history in itself has become a site marking these contestations. The history of Forty Seven has been written from a certain vantage point constructing a particular kind of history and memory associated with it. The story of Forty-Seven told and retold over the years with tribal invasion being ‘The Event’ has shaped the history with almost a complete erasure of what happened earlier and what followed next. As a student of history I feel a dire need to free Forty Seven from the baggage of the ‘Tribal Invasion’ story which has more of less sabotaged the history of the state, question the politics of silencing the ‘unfamiliar histories and memories’ associated with it.

August 18, 2016 /

Independence Day in India – a day of celebrating our national sovereignty and saluting the anti-colonial freedom struggle. The triumph of Indian independence, however, is inseparable from the trauma of the Partition experience. Hence, in mainstream culture in India, August 15 becomes a day of bashing Jinnah left, right and centre. It makes one suspect that the ideals of populist nationalism and inclusive democracy have been long forgotten under a sea of symbolism, antipathy and myth making– of what a successful nation we could have had, had there not been an evil separatist at work whose legacy sabotages us even today.

August 10, 2016 /

So who’s a chinky anyway? Personally I think Saif Ali Khan is very chinky. Did he get that from his Afghani (fairly chinky people) forefathers or from his Bengali mother? And yes, Bengalis are quite chinky. Especially those from the East, which is why the Bengalis won’t discriminate against you based on your facial features. They will do it because of religion, language, culture but never on what sort of face you have. That’s just crude! What would Bollywood be today without the chinky RD Burman and his even more chinky father, SD Burman? What about the half-Burmese chinky, Helen ‘’Golden Girl’’ Richardson? This is a country of diversity we are told but to watch the nonsense of Bollywood today one would think otherwise.

July 8, 2016 /

The decision of the World Sufi Forum to invite Narendra Modi is going to be a new episode in the political plan of the BJP government. By doing so, the right-wing government continues the otherisation and exclusion of Muslims by supporting one Islam over another Islam – if only one interpretation of Islam (i.e. peace-loving Sufi Islam) is palatable to Modi, then what happens to Muslims who might be critical of the systems of power, oppression and exploitation that Modi’s government perpetuates? Are these “bad” and “political” Muslims no longer able to be peace-loving, Sufi or considered acceptable by the Indian state?

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.

May 10, 2016 /

That’s the moment when I began to wonder, as somebody who easily, effortlessly thought of himself as both Indian and Kashmiri, about what it means to live in a situation where all my democratic beliefs in being Indian were up against what I was seeing, my experience of life, in Kashmir. I was enormously troubled, as you can imagine, by what I saw there, by what I heard and by the fact that every time I expressed my sympathy with what was the visible oppression of people around me, my neighbours would say ‘no, no you mustn’t feel badly. We know what happened with you people.’ But I was always in an anomalous situation. I was notionally a Pandit, one of those families that had left in 1990, but in fact I hadn’t.

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.

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.

December 14, 2015 /

Nepal is a land-locked nation. It is disproportionately dependent and ‘close’ to the Indian Union due to its geographical location and the presence of the Himalayas that, for now, limits smooth connectivity between Nepal and China. Delhi’s influence on Nepal is largely borne out of this unfortunate geography – an influence that sometimes is no different from political blackmail.

October 15, 2015 /

Is Babri and Dadri really an anomaly in the “idea of India”? The Dadri lynching has given the recently dethroned faction of the “idea of India” establishment an opportunity to denounce the “idea of India” faction that is in power now. What is the politics of this 2-way mockfight and what other possibilities of politics does it want to suppress?