Hasmukh P. Modi and his wife came with their young daughter to Shillong in 1979. A Gujarati family from Rajkot, they had settled in Africa, but were forced to leave during the civil war in Ethiopia. Their quest for a suitable school for their daughter, a place where they could strike roots and establish means of livelihood ended during a holiday in Shillong. In Ethiopia, Hasmukhbhai had worked in the marketing department of French and British firms selling everything from pins to jet planes. In Shillong he decided to take up the business of his grandfather— grocery—and deal in spices imported from Kerala—cardamom, cinnamon, cloves—and from Gujarat—coriander, cumin, fenugreek and fennel seeds (jeera, methi, sauf ).
This is an election where BJP was made to fight. This is not just about using political firepower but unlike other elections, channels like Times Now, Republic TV and ZEE had to become an extension of BJP without not even a shred of neutrality in their coverage. Local Gujarati media also became increasingly partisan as elections progressed. The Parliament session was delayed, all the resources were diverted towards Gujarat. EC even delayed Gujarat elections and their excuse for the delay was very flimsy. The delay helped BJP to partly tide over the GST anger by reducing tax slabs for certain items.
My experience in going on Arnab Goswami’s show on Times Now is indicative of the very poor situation in the media, especially the electronic media.
Roads in Gujarat lead to future nowadays…
Dalits are doing what Ambedkar named as a “blow on the Hindu social order”. It is a veritable revolution that strikes at the origins of caste system and untouchability.”
Having accustomed to lecturing the Dalit movements of all stripes to focus on ‘real’ issues like economic resources, the Hindu Left will now have to decide what to do with a mass mobilisation that demands land as much as dignified employment, two revolutionary demands, in the same breath.
Relatively well-off sections among the urban educated Dalits, who are used to the easy method of invoking the pain of others (manual scavenging and other degrading forms of obligatory work, caste atrocities, especially in the enclaves where being a Dalit is as much an advantage as a drawback, with their greedy and narrow dream of keeping away the other victims of Hindutva such as Muslims and Christians, and other opponents of Hindutva such as Leftists and Tribals, will now have to decide for themselves if they are ready to throw in their lot with fighting Gujarati Dalits and their leftist and Muslim supporters.
Translation of a poem by Manglesh Dabral, one of the most important contemporary poets writing in Hindi. Manglesh recently returned his Sahitya Akademi award in protest at the silence of the Akademi at murders of writers and state’s complicity in rising intolerance in India.