For the Imprisoned I want to gift all of this to you the silence, the wind the freedom of walking I want to tuck…
Translated from Axomiya by Biswajit K. Bora. (1) What do I do with these corpseshalf buried in front of me on the banks of the…
A Muslim man identified as Lukeman was brutally thrashed with hammer on the suspicion of smuggling cow meat by an angry mob of cow vigilante’s on the eve of the Eid- al- adha on Friday (July 31) in Gurugram. This incident comes as one of a series of attacks that has taken place across the country, targeting Muslim since the current ruling populist regime acquired the power with absolute Majority in 2014. Friction between Hindus and Muslims has been a persistent feature of Indian life. But in the last six years a hundreds of Muslims have been lynched, always with the pretext of defending “Hindu values”, which, in some interpretations, considers cow as sacred has revealed the emerging socio- political complexities and schisms in India.
Faizabad District Judge KM Pandey made the decision to open the gates of the Babri, back in February of 1986, assuring everybody that heavens will not fall if the locks are removed. In his autobiography, he mentions that his decision was validated by a black monkey, who sat holding the flag post on the roof of the court all day long, and despite offerings of groundnuts and fruits from thousands of people of Faizabad and Ayodhya, refused to accept any. The judge spots the black monkey later in the verandah of his bungalow, and salutes him, taking him to be some divine power.
Today the cruel majority vote to enlarge the darkness.
They vote for shadows to take the place of ponds
Whatever they vote for they can bring to pass.
The mountains skip like lambs for the cruel majority.
Hail to the cruel majority!
Hail! hail! to the cruel majority!
Breivik praised “the policy of right-wing Hindu nationalism (or Hindutva) which seeks to make the Indian state into a ‘Hindu nation’” and noted that this agenda is promoted by the RSS and its “political arm,” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “They dominate the streets… and often riot and attack Muslims,” he explained.The RSS does, indeed, dominate the streets.
Why an Iraqi and an American in an Indian play, somebody asked me? Not to difficult to figure out:
I wanted an Indian army officer, Rajiv Kapoor, playing the part of the American, Robert Klarmann; I wanted a Kashmiri, Anwar Mir, playing the part of the Iraqi, Raza Husain. I would play with locale, idiom, make it real for us in this country, tell ourselves that we are no different from Robert and Raza.
Then I thought to myself, would the goons of the hyper-nationalistic ABVP, actually allow this to be staged? No way. I’ve seen how they operate, spitting venom, ready to cripple and kill.
Not important. Let the locale be Indian, let the characters be American and Iraqi. Maybe watching Soldiers’ Silence, audiences will put two and two together and say, hey, this could be happening in Kashmir too.
In what are my twilight years, when I ought to be spending my sanyas listening to MJQ and tending the basil and strawberries on my terrace, I do not know whether to laugh or cry at this vicious right-wing surge – this attempted Hindutva putsch that has targeted Urban Naxalites I know, I respect and I love.
You are told you write depressing poetry
You answered “The trick is to read newspapers incessantly”
You didn’t tell them “The trick is to feel every death in your bone”
The familiar blackout is not because of load shedding, now it is your choice because electricity is prepaid.
In another time I am sure
they’ll treat you with electricity
coursing your skin or maybe they did.
An important historical record of a traumatic period in India’s recent political history, PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE by Anand Patwardhan focuses on the State of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi from June 1975 to March 1977. During the Emergency the media was muzzled, over 100,000 people were arrested without charge and imprisoned without trial. But political prisoners existed before the Emergency, and they continue to exist even after it is over.
This Hindu Fascist emergency will never be officially declared; it need not be. Emergency is the constituent aspect of fascist politics. Indira’s formal emergency was a limited response to an unfolding of a crisis, that actually threatened the survival of the Indian State. Modi’s informal emergency is an unlimited reaction to create a crisis against democratization of Indian society, that threatens the survival of the caste system.
Recent analyses of real voter data as well the Lokniti-CSDS-ABP Mood of the Nation survey have shown that the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are losing popularity at an alarming pace (for them). This means that we are entering dangerous times. There will be ruthless and continuous attempts to divert attention from the reasons for this loss of popularity, and to fracture the growing solidarity of the opposition. It will be a continuous circus from now to the elections—arrests, assassinations, lynchings, bomb attacks, false flag attacks, riots, pogroms. We have learned to connect the season of elections with the onset of all kinds of violence. Divide and Rule, yes. But add to that—Divert and Rule. From now until the elections, we will not know from when, and where and how the fireball will fall on us, and what the nature of that fireball will be.
If they believe that with attacks like this they are going to scare us into silence, then they are gravely mistaken. The ideas of Gauri Lankesh, the ideas Rohith have outlived them. They cannot browbeat us into silence, neither with their jails, nor with their bullets. We proved it yesterday itself.
How BJP & Sangh Parivar is attempting to transform North East into a Hindu Fascist fiefdom
Are we teetering on the edge of no return as a people in India? Has our nationalism caught root rot even before any of its promised fruits could ripen? Can the next election be declared redundant because Sangh cadres are no longer the only repository of hate politics
But of course it cannot be said that the fascists of any single nationality have a monopoly over the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of libraries. In 1943 the Nazis had ‘soaked each room of the Royal Society Library in Naples with gasoline and ignited them by throwing in hand grenades’, destroying about 200,000 books and manuscripts, ostensibly in retaliation for the shooting of a German soldier (Knuth, Libricide, p.53). More recently, in 2013, Islamist insurgents retreating from Timbuktu in Mali ‘set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless historic manuscripts’, according to the mayor of the town. The vast majority of those were in Arabic, others in Songhai, Tamashek and Bambara, showing just how much the self-styled protagonists of Islam (in this case, AQIM, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) care for the heritage of Islam itself.
That everything in Ayodhya
Which was demolished
Asad Zaidi on the dark prophetic voice of Muktibodh, one of the key modern poets of India
Some deaths are like rituals
No one even remembers the dates.
Some deaths are remembered forever
To haunt you and even in your sleep.
Don’t celebrate these photos but hang your head in shame.
The Hindus on the Asoti railway platform managed to collectively not see a 15 year old Muslim boy being stabbed to death. Then they collectively, but without prior agreement, continued to not see what they had seen after the event. This is the uniquely terrifying aspect of this incident on which this report reflects: the totalising force of an unspoken, but collectively binding, agreement between Hindus to not see the dead body of a Muslim child.
The women thronged to look, but never a one
Showed sorrow in her eyes of steely blue;
And little lads, lynchers that were to be,
Danced round the dreadful thing in fiendish glee.
Nothing has changed.
It’s just that there are more people,
and beside the old offences new ones have sprung –
real, make-believe, short-lived, and non-existent.
But the howl with which the body answers to them,
was, is and ever will be a cry of innocence
according to the age-old scale and pitch.
I sometimes fear that
people think that fascism arrives in fancy dress
worn by grotesques and monsters
as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis.
I am a Hindu and in these murderous Hindu times
I think they won’t kill me
But what would I do if spared
I am afraid for my life:
My vessel of existence,
Is a vessel of my negation?
Moms may or may not believe that the salt does anything amazing but she’s got to make a decision based on something for a product that is effectively a commodity. Some moms may be moved by the ‘Desh ka namakh’ tagline of Tata salt, some may be moved by the ‘natural’ tagline of the ITC salt, some may be moved by the ‘make your child smarter’.
And so let’s market to their emotional needs rather than the functional needs.
I’m beginning to think it’s the same for political parties.
There must be a broad coalition now, silently building up. And years of work lie ahead. A painstaking job. The Right is in ascendancy today because they have done and are doing this painstaking job of hate-mongering effectively, at the grassroots level, for decades. We have to take on that kind of a might.
There has been a horror at how fast the ‘centre’ i.e. institutional framework of liberal democracy is crumbling in the face of the rising tide of authoritarian conservatism- and there have been constant comparisons with 1930s. The spectre of fascism, of forces of reaction seems to haunt the globe.
Tonight, 13th of December 2016, would be the 73nd night that Akhil Gogoi, the maverick 40 years old leader of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) would spend in prison. For the uninitiated – KMMS has been the largest social movement in Assam after the turn of the century – that too a left-leaning social movement. This is not the first time that Gogoi has been in prison since KMSS was launched in 2005, but what sets apart the last 72 nights compared to previous incarcerations is the blatant misuse of the criminal justice system and police by the BJP Government in Assam.
we will be in the Muslim registry
our faces will be pixelized
each finger, and
the opposable thumb
that all homo-sapiens
possibly evolved together,
will be memorized
Yesterday was the birth anniversary and the beginning of the centenary year of Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh (1917-1964), beloved Hindi poet, fiction writer and critic, who should count among the greatest of thinkers and culture personalities of modern India. His impact on Hindi literature was as transformational as that of Ghalib in Urdu or Pushkin in Russian literature. One can only remember him with great sadness and wonder what he would have thought of the situation we are in today.
There are several objections to the use of the term “Fascism” to describe the contemporary Indian sociopolitical condition. A mere mention of the word seems to open a Pandora’s box.
As you will no doubt note, the recipes for beef have been ‘curated’ around the noble and upright theme of rejecting Hindutva as an intrinsically Indian way of looking at the world.
The lathi charge against the Kiang Nangbah College came right after the Terra Madre festival where crores of rupees have been invested. Here again we see the misplaced priorities of the Congress led government at the state. It is against these issues that students groups, civil society and organisation have become critical. The issues affecting the students are not only national but local.
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.
There are many mistakes all around, as we are increasingly infected by a whataboutery discourse that involves very lazy uses of the term fascism
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
Raiot will keep updating these reports from Hyderabad Central University where an unprecedented attack by the State on students and staff continues
Taken from Chittibabu Padavala’s Facebook post The regime not long ago couldn’t take the fierce and sustained student resistance of UoH, the enormous energies required…
THE usually unflappable Javed Akhtar was in an angry froth last week. He shouted ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ not once but three times in a row.
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.
Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani—he-who-must-not-be named, is present with us through a spectre of vital absence. All we know is that he has been taken into judicial custody on charges of sedition, criminal conspiracy and unlawful assembly in connection with an event held at the Press Club of India on February 9, 2016. No information or update about the extension of his remand, his bail options, his financial travails, the treatment meted out or questions asked of him in custody, the position or anxieties of his family and so on, have been forthcoming.
Modi and his party and supporters have thrashed every logical and sensible critical narrative with illogical, foolish and non-democratic counter narratives.
‘In Defence of our Present – On giving up the National Awards’ is a booklet released by Solidarity with FTII, a group of filmmakers who came together to protest against the blatant disregard by this government for plurality, tolerance and secularism in the country as well as their attempts to destroy the excellence of institutions like Film and Television Institute of India. The booklet brings together statements by filmmakers on returning their National Awards as well as essays on the struggle of FTII students. You can download the booklet
We need a hundred Lalus. Without the willingness of leaders to change the structure of society, forcibly if necessary, there can be no development. Without Laloo, there would be no Nitish either.
National Film Award, Best Screenplay / In which Annie Gives it Those Ones, 1988 Although I do not believe that awards are a measure of…
The BJP’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014 has ushered in an unprecedented attack on India’s democracy and injected new elements of intolerance and authoritarianism in the lives of people living in the country.
Late Prof. G. G. Swell, MP from Shillong, speaking in the Indian Parliament on Beef eating North East and BJP’s divisive cow politics
I am tired of governments.
Of this one. This one. This one. This one. This one. And this one.
And the one before.
And the one after.