Have Indian Muslims become the new ‘Make in India’ Punching Bag? Sabiha Farhat

Guest Post by Sabiha Farhat

[ A month ago from yesterday, a teenager called Junaid was lynched and murdered on a train in Haryana. Sabiha Farhat writes in the wake of visiting his house and meeting his family. The news cycles may have moved on to other stories, but we need to keep remembering Junaid, and why he was killed. – Kafila]

Once upon a time there  was a 15 year old boy called Hamid, who went shopping on the day of Eid with his Eidi .  A few days ago there was Junaid who went shopping on the eve of Eid.  Premchand’s Hamid was an orphan and lived with his grandmother in extreme poverty.  Junaid lived surrounded with love of his brothers, a sister, a doting mother, father and friends. Instead of the old, decrepit house of Hamid,  Junaid’s house has two rooms, it is not falling apart but it’s size and unplastered walls, do speak about the economic condition of his family.

As we approached Khandawli, Junaid’s village in Ballabhgarh a fear gripped me.  I did not have the courage to walk upto the house.  Junaid was brutally murdered on 22nd and here I was on 25th.  It was too soon, my mind said.  I should have let Eid pass.  But how could I have prepared Sewai in my house when a mother like myself had lost a young, healthy, happy child to hindutva fanatics?  I am a mother, I was angry and ashamed at home. And here, standing outside Junaid’s door, I was weak and helpless. Useless too.

Continue reading “Have Indian Muslims become the new ‘Make in India’ Punching Bag? Sabiha Farhat”

हरियाणा की औरतें घूंघट को शान नहीं मानती: कशिश बदर

Guest post by KASHISH BADAR

हरियाणा सरकार को घू़ंघट पर कुछ बोलने से पहले इन महिलाओं की बात सुन लेनी चाहिए थी.

जब हरियाणा सरकार ने अपनी मासिक पत्रिका में एक घूँघट काढ़ी हुई औरत को राज्य की आन, बान और पहचान कहा तो मीडिया में इसका काफ़ी विरोध हुआ. फ़ेस्बुक पर लोगों का यह कहना था कि जब साक्षी मालिक, गीता फोगत, संतोष यादव और कल्पना चावला जैसी औरतें हरियाणा का नाम दुनिया भर में रौशन कर रही हैं, तब भी हरियाणा सरकार क्यूँ घूँघट वाली औरतों को ही अपनी शान समझती है. क्या उन औरतों की मेहनत, लगन और सफलता राज्य की शान नहीं है? क्या सिर्फ़ पुरुष खिलाड़ी ही राज्य को गर्व महसूस करवा सकते हैं?

स्वयं हरियाणा की औरतों के इस विषय पर विचार लेने मैं रेवाड़ी ज़िला गयी. वहाँ कुछ औरतों से घूँघट के और उनकी शान के विषय में बात की.

 

ममता यादव, सेंतिस साल की शादी शुदा औरत हैं.

Continue reading “हरियाणा की औरतें घूंघट को शान नहीं मानती: कशिश बदर”

The Death of a Historian – A Tribute to Biswamoy Pati: Saurabh Mishra

Guest post by SAURABH MISHRA

Historian Biswamoy Pati

These days, when lynch mobs, cow-killings, and aggressive patriotism dominate the headlines, what does the passing away of a mere historian mean? Not much, it seems. Yet, for those who knew Dr Biswamoy Pati, or had the good fortune of being taught by him, this has caused nothing short of a major storm in their lives.

I got to know Dr Pati in the summer of 1996, when he was a young and energetic lecturer in Delhi. I waited eagerly for his lectures (as did everyone else), which were really my first introduction into new ways of thinking about the world.

Continue reading “The Death of a Historian – A Tribute to Biswamoy Pati: Saurabh Mishra”

And THIS is how you deal with threats of defamation charges! The strange case(s) of Red FM and EPW

Red FM’s RJ Malishka features in a peppy video that went viral, mocking Mumbai’s Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the dismal lack of civic amenities and the havoc the rains can wreak in the city. In a lively parody of the popular Marathi folk song Sonu Tuza Mazyavar Bharosa Nahi Kay (Sonu, Don’t you Trust me?), she sang cheekily, Sonu, don’t you trust BMC?

Potholes, traffic jams, slow trains, all the woes of the Mumbaikar in the fabled rains of Western India.

But Shiv Sena which runs the BMC was not amused.  Continue reading “And THIS is how you deal with threats of defamation charges! The strange case(s) of Red FM and EPW”

#BreakTheSilence – Chennai against mob lynching: Madhura Balasubramaniam and Padmapriya Govindarajan

Guest Post by Madhura Balasubramaniam and Padmapriya Govindarajan 

On July 1, 2017 a gathering of citizens congregated at the Valluvar Kottam monument in Chennai, India, in solidarity with the spate of demonstrations across the nation condemning the rise in instances of mob lynching and violence that disproportionately targeted Dalit and Muslim citizens for beef consumption. The protests were triggered by the murder of 16 year old Junaid Khan by a train mob. Since July 28, peaceful citizen gatherings have joined a wave that attempts to call out government silence, and thereby perceived tacit complicity, regarding the actions ofGau Rakshaks and other vigilante mobs that engage in lynching with a strongly communal or casteist skew. They have been collectively termed as #NotInMyName protests, alluding to the argument that these murders occurred in the name of the cow and in the name of Hinduism. Continue reading “#BreakTheSilence – Chennai against mob lynching: Madhura Balasubramaniam and Padmapriya Govindarajan”

Bharat Mata and her unruly daughters

Bharat Mata’s daughter? But the Hindutvavadi motherland produces only sons – Hindu, savarna sons – to protect their mother’s ever fragile honour.

Let us begin these reflections with a moment from Nisha Pahuja’s disturbing film the World Before Her, which tracks two young women – Ruhi, a beauty pageant contestant and Prachi, a trainer with the Durga Vahini, women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

While Ruhi and her fellow participants emerge as conventional and pallid, Prachi is fierce and questioning, independent minded. But towards the end of the film, you realize that for both women (and not for Ruhi alone), this period of training was only a small window that gave them a brief glimpse of broader horizons. It was only a brief moment of excitement and hope, and what seemed like freedom, before real life – the real lives of real women – closed in on them.

Throughout the film, Prachi has been telling the film-maker that she will never get married, she will live her life as a Hindutva activist. She emphatically rejects the ordinary life of a wife and mother. But towards the end, her father declares quite explicitly that this is out of the question. She can never be a full time activist. Of course she must get married. She has a womb, do men have wombs? Her responsibility then, is to bring up children. Initially in this sequence, Prachi argues against him vehemently, verges on the insolent, but gradually she falls silent. Her expression, still rebellious, but devastated, resigned, signals to us her recognition that the daughter of the Hindu nation is only in training to be a mother. That is the highest ambition she can have.

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Women’s Cricket – Rules Based Only on Gender Stereotypes Need to Go: Surabhi Shukla

This is a guest post by SURABHI SHUKLA

Playing for the Oxford University Women’s team and the Oxford Cricket Club, I have noticed three different rules for women’s cricket. These may be observed in other countries as well. I argue that these rules are based only on gender stereotypes about women’s inferior sporting abilities and even if were once instituted to encourage them to join the game, have now outlived their utility. 1. The women’s match ball is lighter than the men’s ball (also true at the international level). 2. The women’s match boundary is smaller than the men’s and; 3. One of my coaches here told me that the men’s bat is different from the women’s. This is incorrect, and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) website states that both men and women are entitled to use Type A bats for one-day internationals. However, I include this point in my analysis because regardless of a rule, these kinds of statements from a coach translate into the lived experience of a female cricketer, and act as a rule for them.  Continue reading “Women’s Cricket – Rules Based Only on Gender Stereotypes Need to Go: Surabhi Shukla”