JNUTA Statement on JNU VC’s ‘Tank’ Talk

Following the bizarre idea, earlier mooted by retired army officials, now taken up by the Vice Chancellor of JNU, to install a tank on university campus, ostensibly to instill nationalism in the university community, the JNUTA has issued the following statement:

The JNUTA is amused by the JNU VC’s earnest desire that a tank be rolled onto JNU campus. It is surprising that Prof. Jagadesh Kumar can only be inspired to patriotism upon beholding instruments of war. This seems to be only a personal affliction, since the rest of the JNU community does not need these visual aids to feel love and concern for this land, its environment and all its peoples, whether in the armed services or elsewhere.

The JNUTA also hopes that the JNU VC will understand that developing what he believes is the correct affective attachment towards the Indian Army is not part of his job description. JNU cannot be made into a theatre of war. His statutory role is one of “maintaining and promoting the efficiency and good order of the University” and of upholding the JNU Act and Statutes. The full statement can be read here.

Open Letter to the Board Members of the Sameeksha Trust

 

Following is the text of the open letter by members of the EPW Community addressed to Sameeksha Trust

As long-standing well-wishers and members of the intellectual community served by the EPW, we are appalled and dismayed by the recent events leading to the abrupt resignation of the Editor, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta.

We are distressed that the Board of the Sameeksha Trust has insisted that the Editor retract an article published in the journal, and is preparing to introduce new norms for the Board-Editor relationship and appoint a co-editor.  It is obvious that, taken together, these actions (mentioned by the Editor in interviews to the press and not denied in the statement issued by the Trust) would force any self-respecting editor to resign.  By failing to distinguish between internal issues of procedural propriety in Board-Editor relationship from the much larger question of the EPW’s public reputation for integrity, the Board of the Sameeksha Trust has dealt a strong blow to the journal’s credibility. Continue reading “Open Letter to the Board Members of the Sameeksha Trust”

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”