Category Archives: Bad ideas

हिंदी में अंतर्राष्ट्रीयवाद – साहित्य और शीत युद्ध :प्रोफेसर फ़्रंचेस्का ओर्सीनी

Prof Fransesca Orisini, who has taught Hindi and Indian literature at SOAS, London, will be delivering the Seventh Lecture in the Sandhan Vyakhyanmala Series on Sunday, 18 th September, 6 PM ( IST).

She will be speaking on  हिंदी में अंतर्राष्ट्रीयवाद – साहित्य और शीत युद्ध ( Hindi Internationalism – Literature and Cold War

 Time: Sep 18, 2022 06:00 PM (IST) India

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Organised by :NEW SOCIALIST INITIATIVE ( NSI) Hindi Pradesh 


संधान व्याख्यानमाला : सातवां वक्तव्य 
विषय : हिंदी में अंतर्राष्ट्रीयवाद – साहित्य और शीतयुद्ध  

आज़ादी के बाद के दो दशक पत्रकारिता के लिए स्वर्णिम युग माना जाता है – हिंदी  और दूसरी भाषाओं में । ये वे दशक भी थे जब उपनिवेशवाद को खतम करने वाली हवा ज़ोरों से चलने लगी थी, और साथ साथ शीत युद्ध का प्रभाव भी दुनिया के हर कोने में महसूस होने लगा। तब साहित्य को बड़ी गम्भीरता से लिया जाता था। एक ख़ास क़िस्म के साहित्य के प्रचार, प्रसार और अनुवाद में बड़े पैमाने के प्रोग्राम स्थापित करके बहुत बड़ी रक़म खर्च की गयी  । मोनिका पोपेस्कु की हाल की किताब का शीर्षक लिया जाए तो शीतयुद्ध और उपनिवेशवाद से आज़ादी पाने के संघर्ष कलम की नोक पर (At Penpoint, २०२०) चलाए गए। साहित्य पर शीतयुद्ध के प्रभाव को लेकर ज़्यादातर काम अमेरिका, सोवियत  रूस और साम्यवादी चीन के प्रचार-प्रसार योजनाओं पर हुआ है । मेरा ध्यान हिंदी पत्रकारिता पर रहेगा, और विशेष तौर पर हिंदी की कहानी पत्रकारिता, जिनका पाठक-वर्ग न केवल साहित्यिक बिरादरी थी बल्कि सामान्य पाठक भी उसमें शामिल थे । क्या १९५० और १९६० के दशकों की हिंदी पत्रिकाओं में कोई अंतर्राष्ट्रीय चेतना नज़र आती है? क्या कहानी और सारिका जैसी लोकप्रिय पत्रिकाएँ भी शीतयुद्ध में भाग लेते दिखाई देती हैं ? क्या उनमें शीतयुद्ध और उपनिवेशवाद से मुक्ति पाने के संघर्षों की झलक मिलती है ? कहानी-पत्रिकाएँ पाठकों के मन में दुनिया की कल्पना कैसे गढ़ती हैं ? (एक ऐसी कल्पना, जो राजनीति से जुड़ी हो पर सिर्फ़ राजनीति से नहीं ।) और जो दुनिया पत्रिकाएँ–जो हर हफ़्ते या हर महीने सिलसिलेवार छपती तो हैं मगर जिनको पढ़ने के बाद रद्दी के हवाले किया जाता है—गढ़ती हैं, वह दुनिया पाठकों के मन में कहाँ तक अंकित रहती है? क्या पत्रिकाएँ भी अंतर्राष्ट्रीय सम्बन्धों को बनाने में सक्रिय होती हैं ? इन सवालों का जवाब देने की कोशिश करते हुए यह प्रस्तुति हिंदी के एक कम जाने माने पहलू पर रोशनी डालेगी।  


फ़्रंचेस्का ओर्सीनी SOAS, लंदन विश्वविद्यालय में हिंदी और भारतीय साहित्य की प्रोफ़ेसर रही है। उनकी लिखी हुई और सम्पादित किताबों में हिंदी का लोकवृत्त (The Hindi Public Sphere: Language and literature in the age of nationalism, 1920-1940, 2002), Love in South Asia (2006), Print and Pleasure (2009), Before the Divide (2010), After Timur Left (2014, with Samira Sheikh), Tellings and Texts (2015, with Katherine Schofield), Hinglish Live (2022, with Ravikant) और The Form of Ideology and the Ideology of Form: Cold War, Decolonisation, and Third World Print Cultures, with Neelam Srivastava and Laetitia Zecchini) शामिल हैं। 

Where Are We – 75 Years after Independence : Prof Aditya Mukherjee

 Eminent scholar of Modern Indian History Prof Aditya Mukherjee, ( Retd.) Centre for Historical Studies, JNU who is also editor of the ‘Sage Series in Modern Indian History’ will deliver the next (18 th) Lecture in the Democracy Dialogues series organised by New Socialist Initiative.

He will be speaking on ‘Where Are We : 75 Years After Independence.’ on Sunday, 28 th August 2022 at 6 PM (IST).

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Meeting ID: 816 0628 0893
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The programme will also be live streamed at facebook.com/newsocialistinitiative.nsi . 

Theme :

Where Are We : 75 Years after Independence

“As we celebrate 75 Years of India’s independence, it is time to reflect on the extent to which the Indian nation-state has lived up to the vision of the Indian national movement and the spirit of the new Constitution. The core ideas behind this vision envisaged that Independent India would be sovereign, democratic, secular republic that will have a pro-poor orientation and would be based on reason rather than blind faith and obscurantism.

With the recent changes in the governmental power at the Centre and in many states where forces following precepts of the Right – forces which had remained outside the spectrum of the national movement – have become dominant resulting in a grave threat to the core components of the Idea of India. There is a reason why the world is no longer accepting India as a full democracy and is, instead, being variously describing it as a “partially free democracy”, a “flawed democracy” and even as an “electoral autocracy”.

In this lecture we will trace the course of developments that has led India to this predicament and will outline future prospects for overcoming the challenges.”

About the Speaker :

Prof Aditya Mukherjee has been associated with Centre for Historical Studies, JNU for the last more than four decades.
He has been Editor of the Series, ‘Sage Series in Modern Indian  History’ published by SAGE publications, and a member of Scientific Committee, International Review of Sociology, Rome, since 2011 and Regional Editor, International Journal of AsianStudies, Tokyo (Cambridge University Press)
He has been Visiting Professor at  Duke University, USA ; was a Visiting Fellow at Institute of Advanced Study, Lancaster University, UK ; Fellow at Institute of Advanced Study, Nantes, France ; Visiting Fellow , Institute of Advanced Study, Sao Paulo, Brazil ; Visiting Professor, La Sapienza, University of Rome at various periods during his long career.
He is author / co-author of many books : India’s Struggle for Independence, which has gone into 80 reprints ; India After Independence, 1947 – 2000 ; Imperialism, Nationalism and the Making of the Indian Capitalist Class 1927-1947 ; India Since Independence, Penguin, More than 35 reprints till 2016.7 ; RSS, School Texts and The Murder of Mahatma Gandhi: The Hindu Communal  Project , (co-author),

When ‘With the Survivor ‘ Rings Hollow: Observations on the Rage over the Civic Chandran Case

The internet frenzy over the Civic Chandran case has reached a new zenith over the two highly problematic — deeply elitist, sexist, logically and empirically flawed — anticipatory bail orders issued to the accused by the Sessions Court. There was a strange silence about the first one which was stuffed with elitist statements, and an even stranger pause over the blatantly sexist and conservative order before the active condemnation of the latter began to be voiced over the internet. Even stranger, because there is far more tolerance of elitism among the internet woke-folk than of conservative sexist understandings of the appropriate clothing for women’s bodies in Kerala. The three-day break from expressions of outrage did not, and still does not make sense.

Continue reading When ‘With the Survivor ‘ Rings Hollow: Observations on the Rage over the Civic Chandran Case

Carceral Feminism and the Punitive State: Why I am Not With the Mob — 2

II

In the 1980s, when the first feminist articulations began to be heard in Kerala, left-leaning feminists often sought to maintain a critical distance from the state, emphasizing its inherently patriarchal nature. This was not surprising as feminists of that generation had radical-Marxist roots or strong connections with it. Radical Marxism in that generation was clearly suspicious of the state – quite unlike the mainstream left.

Continue reading Carceral Feminism and the Punitive State: Why I am Not With the Mob — 2

Carceral Feminism and the Punitive State: Why I am not with the Mob — 1

I have never been a carceral feminist anytime in my life. Right now, there is a massive tide of abuse and misrepresentation of non-carceral feminism in Kerala, so much so that any suggestion of solutions to the problem of sexual harassment outside the framework of the state is immediately dubbed anti-woman and anti-feminist. Carceral feminists are so warped, they seem to be totally unseeing of the fact that the debate has always been about the significance of the state and its instruments in the generally agreed-upon goal of gender justice, and not really about who is the true, or truer feminist. Indeed, this is strongly reminiscent of the mass attack on the sex worker activist Nalini Jameela years back and the anti-carceral feminists who were prepared to hear her out and stand with her. I remain a non-carceral feminist, rejecting the binary between carceral and anti-carceral feminism. I refuse the insistence that proportional punishment is irrelevant in dealing with sexual misconduct. I refuse to see ‘Men’ — I will not buy the idea that all male bodies share the same privilege and power and hence must be dealt with in the same way. I write the following in this spirit. If I am banished from the feminist mainstream for this, so be it.

Continue reading Carceral Feminism and the Punitive State: Why I am not with the Mob — 1

No End to ‘Tamas’ ( Darkness) Around ?

One can imagine that if the plan to provoke riots before Eid in Ayodhya would have been successful, how it could have easily spilled over to the other parts of the country.

Image for representational purpose. Credit: Hindustan Times

It was the early 1970s when Bhisham Sahni, the legendary Hindi writer had penned the novel Tamas. It looks at the Hindu-Muslim riots in India in the backdrop of the Partition. Its central character is Nathu, who is Dalit and does the work of removing hides from dead animals. A local politician persuades Nathu to kill a pig; the act is later used to foment a riot in the city.

It has been more than 40 years since the novel was written, but it still resonates with today’s India as it throws light on the ‘fault lines’ of Indian society and shows the ease with which they can be weaponised.

A fortnight back, a similar attempt to provoke a riot was made in Ayodhya using a similar technique; however, prompt action by the district police averted a riot there.

( Read the full article here)

Leftists who side with Russia are just not real leftists: Shilyn Shekhar

Guest Post by Shilyn Shekhar

The opinion that is shared here will certainly get hate from people who side with the rational side of politics but it must be addressed.

There are many mixed opinions about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict with people having many different opinions, it is this war that reveals to us the true reality of some who claim to be leftists.

The term for them is ‘Tankies’. This word originates from the 2nd half of the 20th century when the Soviet Union would crack down any uprisings in their eastern block. There was a large divide in the left at the time when the Soviet Union rolled tanks into Hungary and Czechoslovakia because they tried to break away from the oppressive Soviet Sphere of influence. Most leftists opposed this but there was still a group that was in favor of it, these are the original tankies.

The Soviet Union wasn’t socialist or communist at the time, it was an authoritarian fascist regime whether people agree or not and the ones that supported them were not real leftists because the ideology is based on rational thinking.

The modern day tankies are a very major reason leftism is seen as evil and irrational in the west because they give a wrong image to the people which makes them see leftism as authoritarianism.

The modern day tankie ideology can be summed up as this: “It’s because of America/CIA”. They see the west as monsters whose only intention is to cause suffering and hurt “their ideology”.

I will not try to defend the US because it remains a fact that they’ve done terrible things in the middle east, africa, latin america and many more examples. But blaming them for everything isn’t right and does not solve any problems.

To them, the US is such an exaggerated evil that even the most terrible actions by their opposition is justified.

If China bans forming independent workers’ unions then a tankie would say that they have to, those unions are surely controlled by the CIA.

Cuba throws political dissidents in jail? They’d reply that Cuba has to do it because those people are puppets of the US.

Continue reading Leftists who side with Russia are just not real leftists: Shilyn Shekhar

Part 2: A Ukrainian political scientist explains the War, Ukrainian nationhood, Maidan, NATO and neo-Nazis

Guest Post By Tushar Dhara

Tushar Dhara: Is it fair to say that Ukraine’s economic performance, especially GDP per capita, is less today than it was in 1991? I also noticed that some of the country’s macro-economic indicators like public and foreign debt, forex reserves and cost of borrowing were not very good in 2020, a period when lockdowns and the pandemic created global economic disruption. Could this have made the country more vulnerable?
Denys Pilash: It’s true that Ukraine’s economy was doing badly, and it was contending with Moldova for being the poorest country in Europe, in terms of income and GDP per capita. It was a continuation of a malign economic policy, the frame work of which was neo-liberalism, more privatization and marketization. Russia and Belarus were ever more neo-liberal than Ukraine in the case of labour legislation. Still, the intention of the Ukrainian ruling class was pretty clear. This led to a bad economic situation and meant that their logic led to a vicious circle of foreign loans and IMF loans, and the rollover of foreign debt. It was done by all Ukrainian governments, whether pro-Russia or pro-West. It was leading to a debt trap. It was one of the pretexts to the second Maidan protest. When Yanukovich was thinking about whether to borrow more from the West or from Russia – signing an agreement with the EU then backtracked and went back to Russia – it was all about finding the funds to fill the hole in the budget. They had no strategic vision about long term economic growth.

Continue reading Part 2: A Ukrainian political scientist explains the War, Ukrainian nationhood, Maidan, NATO and neo-Nazis

“Call It Invasion, an expression of Russian Imperialism.” Tushar Dhara in Conversation with Denys Pilash.

Guest Post by Tushar Dhara

Part 1: “The Russian invasion is a unilateral decision of the leadership which reflects the internal dynamics of Russian imperialism”: A Ukrainian political scientist explains the War, Ukrainian nationhood, Maidan, NATO and neo-Nazis.

In February Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in a televised address that Ukraine is an illegitimate country that exists on a land that’s “historically” and “rightfully” Russian. Putin further claimed that a “genocide” was being perpetrated on “millions” of Russian supporters in the Donbas by Ukrainian far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis. Putin used this as an excuse to launch what he called “special military operations” in Ukraine, thus triggering the war.

One month into the Russian invasion, what is the situation in Ukraine? How does one understand the historicity of Ukraine’s nationhood, including its culture, language, status within the Soviet Union and its evolution since independence in 1991. How does one situate events like the maidan protests that rocked Ukrainian society, the role of far right formations like Azov and the aspirations of Ukrainians?

To understand these issues I spoke to Denys Pilash, a political scientist teaching at Kyiv National University. Pilash is on the editorial board of Commons magazine, a left of centre intellectual magazine. Pilash is currently in Transcarpathia in Western Ukraine, where he is helping deliver humanitarian aid. The interview is in two parts.      

Continue reading “Call It Invasion, an expression of Russian Imperialism.” Tushar Dhara in Conversation with Denys Pilash.

 मुसलमानों की उम्मीदों का मलबा:सालिक अहमद, अनुवाद: शुभेंद्र 

Guest Post by Salik Ahmad.

Originally published by The India Forum as The Shattering of The Muslim Hope in India(https://rb.gy/jfnxtz)

कुछ रोज पहले, एक शाम अपने दोस्त के साथ दिल्ली की भागदौड़ भरी जिंदगी से वक्त निकालकर, काई से काली पड़ चुकी अपनी छत पर बैठा, पीले आसमान के नीचे खड़े ठूँठे  रूख को देख रहा था। मेरा दोस्त, जो एक बड़ी मल्टीनेशनल कंपनी में काम करता है, अपने अनुभवों के बारे में बताते हुए कह रहा था कि कैसे उसका ऑफिस उसके लिए एक अजनबी जगह है।

 मेरे दोस्त कहता है, “वहाँ हर कोई मुसलमानों पर हो रहे अत्याचारों से कितना बेखबर है। मैं रोज लिंचिंग का नया वीडियो, नफरत उगलनेवाला भाषण, जनसंहार (Genocide)को उकसाने वाला कार्टून देखता हूँ लेकिन जब मैं ऑफिस जाता हूं तो वहां लोगों में चर्चा होती है, सबसे अच्छी सुशीज (Sushis) कहां मिलती है, और केक सबसे बेहतर कौन बनाता है। गुप्ता सांता का खेल चलता है और लोग अपनी तरक्की की योजनाएँ बनाने में मशगूल हैं। मैं ऑफिस को अचंभे के साथ देखता हूं और सोचता हूँ कि यह कैसी जगह है, या फिर मैं किसी दूसरे जमाने में आ गया हूँ।” 

Continue reading  मुसलमानों की उम्मीदों का मलबा:सालिक अहमद, अनुवाद: शुभेंद्र 

होली और जय श्रीराम:योगेश प्रताप शेखर

Guest Post by Yogesh Pratap Shekhar

फरवरी के महीने से विश्वविद्यालय परिसर में विद्यार्थियों का आना-जाना शुरू हो गया है । परिसर गुलज़ार रहता है । कक्षा के बाहर छोटे-छोटे समूहों में उन की आवाजाही और उन के बीच किसी भी विषय की चर्चा मन को एक सुकून देती है । कहीं-कहीं दोस्ती और आकार लेता प्रेम भी महसूस होता है । यह भी अत्यंत सहज एवं स्वाभाविक लगता है । विश्वविद्यालय केवल कक्षा मात्र के लिए नहीं होते न ! वहाँ एक नई दुनिया होती है । नए संबंध भी बनते हैं । पिछले एक माह से परिसर में लौटी रौनक़ मन में उत्साह जगाती है । फिर आया मार्च का महीना । होली के त्योहार का महीना !  रंग और गुलाल का उत्साह ! चार दिन की छुट्टी से पहले परिसर में ‘होली-मिलन समारोह’ आयोजित हुआ ।

उत्साह से भरी होली की गतिविधियों के दौरान अचानक ही ‘भगवा झंडा’ परिसर में लहराया जाने लगा । ‘जय श्रीराम’ के नारे भी सुनाई दिए । होली में ‘जय श्रीराम’ के नारे ! सोचने मात्र से ही मन सिहर उठता है । होली और छठ ऐसे त्योहार हैं जिनमें न तो पुरोहित की ज़रूरत होती है और न ही किसी प्रकार के कर्मकांड की । ‘होलिका-दहन’ की परंपरा भी इस पर्व में ब्राह्मण-पौराणिक वर्चस्व की स्थिति को प्रदर्शित करती लगती है । ऐसा इसलिए कि होली की पूरी संकल्पना और इस पर्व के मिज़ाज को देखकर ‘होलिका-दहन’ का इस से  ठीक-ठीक जुड़ाव महसूस नहीं होता ।

भगवा झंडा:जय श्रीराम

Continue reading होली और जय श्रीराम:योगेश प्रताप शेखर

Hate Grips The Nation: A book to mark 20 Years Of the Gujarat pogrom

ANHAD released a book on 28 February in an online event to mark 20 years of the Gujarat pogrom. As a reminder that it was a long campaign and organization of hate against Muslims in the state which made this pogrom possible. That hate has now gripped the entire country. We need to stop it before it is too late.

The book has essays by Father Cedric Prakash, Harsh mander, Syeda Hameed , Shabnam Hashmi and Apoorvanand and a list of hate speeches and hate crimes. The compilation of hate speeches and hate crimes against the religious minorities has been done by Leena Dabiru and Tarun Sagar .

The book can be accessed here:

https://rb.gy/p5f9q8

Help Us Fight ‘Progressive ‘ Cyberlynching: An Appeal from Kerala

The infamous infant-snatching case in Kerala has opened up too many harsh truths about this society. It is not easy to express the pain in acknowledging it. After all, for many of us who have stuck back here with the intention of participating in what was once a fairly vibrant political life, this monstrosity that looms over all aspects of life, private and public (as so terrifyingly evident in the experience of Anupama Chandran) is a daunting sight. Not that there weren’t glimmers of it earlier, but the full menace has become visible only now.

Continue reading Help Us Fight ‘Progressive ‘ Cyberlynching: An Appeal from Kerala

How Could You Allow This to Happen? Urvashi Butalia Writes to the Kerala Chief Minister

Dear Chief Minister


Throughout the terrible times we have seen these last two years, it is the news from Kerala that has helped so many of us to keep faith in governance – that a state can be honest, open, participatory, concerned for its people, focused on health, and not play politics, all of these have been remarkable and many of us, Keralites and non-Keralites alike, have drawn valuable lessons from the Kerala experience.

Continue reading How Could You Allow This to Happen? Urvashi Butalia Writes to the Kerala Chief Minister

Let Good Sense Prevail — An Open Letter to the Kerala Chief Minister: Padmini Swaminathan

That the entire state machinery, ostensibly at the behest of parents who are important functionaries in the ruling party, has been deployed to not only keep the baby, mother and father apart but hem them in such a way that redressal will require untangling of very many complex issues that have deliberately been tied together, reveals the deep and destructive patriarchal underpinnings of the party and family.

Continue reading Let Good Sense Prevail — An Open Letter to the Kerala Chief Minister: Padmini Swaminathan

The Anti Muslim Violence of Tripura: What the Government and Media did not want us to hear

Guest Post by Samriddhi Sakunia

“I am 44 years old and to date, I haven’t seen this level of violence in my life. There is nobody who is ready to take responsibility for whatever is happening here”, said Abdul Mannan, a businessman in Kailashahar, Tripura.

For 9 days anti-Muslim violence-ravaged Tripura, the Northeastern state of India. But neither the government nor the ‘mainstream’ media wanted to treat it with the seriousness it demanded. Muslims in different parts of Tripura have been facing communal violence by mobs led by the affiliates of the ruling party. The violence was and is being sought to be naturalized by calling it a response to the violence against Hindus in Bangladesh.

It all started on 21st October when a video surfaced over the internet where a mob in the militant Hindutva outfit, the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad), with swords, stones, and sticks in their hands took out a rally against the killings of Hindus in Bangladesh. After that rally, Tripura saw massive violence against the Muslims in the State. Neither did such rallies nor did the violence against Muslims stop after 21st October. After the video went viral all over social media, reports started pouring about several mosques getting vandalized and a sense of fear gripped the Muslims in Tripura.

If you scan the pages of the mainstream newspapers or the TV coverage of that period it would appear that there was nothing wrong with Tripura. It shows however what is wrong with us, our media and the government.

Continue reading The Anti Muslim Violence of Tripura: What the Government and Media did not want us to hear

Is Kanhaiya the moral spine Congress needs?

( First published in the Times of India website as https://rb.gy/uei9cb)

The news of Kanhaiya Kumar joining the Congress has surprised and shocked many of his admirers. Moving from a Communist party to a bourgeois party is seen as regression. Some view it as his attempt to ‘mainstream’ himself. The truth is that both are political parties which believe in parliamentary democracy.

Continue reading Is Kanhaiya the moral spine Congress needs?

CATHOLIC WOMEN URGE BISHOPS TO FOSTER PEACE, NOT STRIFE

Guest Post By Jose Kavi, Matters India

New Delhi: A group of Catholic women says they are deeply concerned over a bishop’s controversial statement that now threatens communal harmony in India.

In a statement endorsed by 89 Catholic women from across India urges the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and its Kerala unit to take special steps to foster peace and avoid strife.

The September 16 statement bemoans that a Kerala bishop used unfortunately “Narcotic Jihad,” a term coined without foreseeing its dreadful consequences for various communities in the country.

The text:

A Statement by Concerned Catholic Women of India

We are living in trying times in India when divisive communal forces have become a serious threat to the secular and pluralistic social fabric of our great nation. The insecurities and vulnerabilities resulting from the deepening majority-minority divide between religious communities are increasingly unveiled and this leads to a growing fear of the ‘other’, whichever community the other may belong to.

It is against this highly volatile backdrop that we want to locate the current polemics triggered by the ‘Narcotic Jihad’ controversy in Kerala, which has fueled hate and mistrust between two religious communities that have a track record of peaceful coexistence in the state through the ages.

It is very unfortunate that the term “Narcotic Jihad” was coined and used by someone holding a responsible position in the Catholic Church leadership in Kerala without foreseeing the dreadful consequences of using such an expression.

While it is argued that Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, the prelate of the diocese of Palai has used this expression as a precautionary measure to safeguard catholic youth from getting trapped by terrorist forces, the terminology deployed is extremely dangerous as it cuts deep into the core religious sensibilities of a community. The use of narcotics is a very serious crime in any part of the world and it is possible that there could be deeper links between the narcotic business and terrorism. If at all this is true, it is up to the government machinery to address it, not the bishops. To brand one particular community with the narcotic label and that too without substantiating evidence is an equally serious offence as it destroys the health and wellbeing of a society. Besides polarizing religious communities that have been coexisting thus far without major conflicts in this state, allegations of this nature have led to divisions even within the Christian community and its families.

Amidst this chaos, it is sad to see the Church becoming a puppet in the political games that are being played by those who want to draw mileage out of this tumultuous situation. As Pope Francis rightly states in Fratelli Tutti, “today, in many countries, hyperbole, extremism and polarization have become political tools.”(No.15).

We strongly object also to the term “Love Jihad” referring to the inter-religious marriages of Catholic women with Muslim partners. This term undermines a woman’s autonomy to choose her partner in life, as well as the freedom of the woman to change her faith if she so wishes. These freedoms are guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as by the Constitution of India. We demand that women be respected and treated as adults who can freely exercise their rights. Negating their freedom to choose their life partner or their faith violates their human dignity and deprives them of their personal agency. Using expressions like “Love Jihad” only serve to sow seeds of hate and divisiveness between communities and in the bargain and poison young minds.

These developments run counter to the CBCI Guidelines for Inter-religious Dialogue framed in 1977 and updated in 1989, which states: “We are committed to build up one nation out of many traditions.” In the ‘Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together’ jointly signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-AzharAhmad Al-Tayyeb at Abu Dhabi in 2019, it is clearly stated that “Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His [sic] wisdom, through which He [sic]created human beings.”

In spite of this call for unity and tolerance, we have failed to counteract the forces of communalism within the Church. Only dialogue with others can build a culture of LOVE, which is the only commandment that Christ has given us. It becomes imperative then that we as Church sow not the seeds of discord but of unity and peace in our country today.

We, the undersigned Catholic women, are deeply concerned about the Church becoming a counter-witness and so, we urge the ecclesiastical leadership in Kerala and at the national level to take immediate steps that will heal the wounds caused by this controversy. We hope that this crisis becomes for the Church a moment of grace to commit itself once again with renewed passion to the mission of the ‘Kin-dom of God’ founded on justice, truth and inclusive love as shown by Jesus Christ.

1. Ms Virginia Saldanha, Mumbai
2. Dr. Kochurani Abraham, Kerala
3. Dr. Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Mumbai
4. Adv. Flavia Agnes Mumbai
5. Adv. Philo Thomas, Pune
6. Adv. Sr. Julie George SSpS, Mumbai
7. Dr. Annie Kunnath, Delhi
8. Dr. Maria GorettiGonsalves, Pune
9. Dr.Brinelle D’souza, Mumbai
10. Dr.Lidwin Dias, Mumbai
11. Dr. Maureen Lobo, Navi Mumbai
12. Dr. Sr. AnithaChettiar DHM, New Delhi
13. Dr. Sr. Hazel D’Lima DHM, Mumbai
14. Dr. Sr. Jacinta D’Souza DHM Mangalore
15. Ms Aloma Lobo Bangalore
16. Ms Anita Cheria, Bangalore
17. Ms Anita Manuel, Pune
18. Ms Anita Rodricks, Belgavi, Karnataka
19. Ms Annette D’Almeida CAP, Pune
20. Ms Annie Rose Trichy, Tamilnadu
21. Ms Assisa, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
22. Ms Assumpta Selvaraj, Karaikudi, Tamilnadu
23. Ms Beschi Trichy, Tamilnadu
24. Ms Buddy Ubale, Mumbai
25. Ms Cecilia Soares, Mumbai
26. Ms Christina Samy, Karur, Tamilnadu
27. Ms Coral D’Sylva, Mumbai
28. Ms Evelyn Williams, Pune
29. Ms Glory, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
30. Ms Jacintha W Rosario, Pune
31. Ms Jennifer Rebello, Pune
32. Ms Josephine Sagayam, Bangalore
33. Ms Judy Siqueira, Pune
34. Ms Lee Lobo, Bangalore
35. Ms LeelaD’Sa, Mumbai
36. Ms Lilly Thomas Palocaren, Thrissur, Kerala
37. Ms Manohari Doss , Madurai, Tamilnadu
38. Ms Marcia DCunha, Mumbai
39. Ms Maria Fernandes, Cuddalore, Tamilnadu
40. Ms Marina Colasco, Pune
41. Ms Marina D’Souza GSPG, Mumbai
42. Ms Olga Netto, Goa
43. Ms Philomena Machado DHM, New Delhi
44. Ms Rachael Alphonso, Mumbai
45. Ms Rajakumari Michael, Bangalore
46. Ms Raynah Braganza Passanha, Pune
47. Ms Reena Biju, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
48. Ms Rita Joseph, New Delhi
49. Ms Ritamma David, Madurai, Tamilnadu
50. Ms Sheela.P.L. Thrissur, Kerala
51. Ms Urusula Nathan Trichy, Tamil Nadu
52. Ms Yoesphin,Trichy,Tamilnadu
53. Prof. Dayana, Madurai, Tamilnadu
54. Sr. Alice SJC, Naragund, Karnataka
55. Sr. Anbarasi PBVM Chennai, Tamilnadu
56. Sr. Arpan Carvalho BS, Faridabad, Haryana
57. Sr. BasantiLakra SCN, Mokama, Bihar
58. Sr. Clare ICM, Chennai
59. Sr. Elsa PBVM, Chennai
60. Sr. Florine ICM, Patna, Bihar
61. Sr. Francoise Bosteels SDS, Bangalore
62. Sr. Jessin SJC, Naragund, Karnataka
63. Sr. Joel SCN, Chatra, Jharkhand
64. Sr. Jyoti SMMI, Chappra, Bihar
65. Sr. JyotishaKannamkal SND, Patna, Bihar
66. Sr. Leena SCN, Ranchi, Jharkhand
67. Sr. Lisa Pires PBVM, Goa
68. Sr. Lissy Joseph SCCG, Hyderabad
69. Sr. Lucy Kurien SCC, Maher, Pune
70. Sr. Maggie Allesu DHM, Mumbai
71. Sr. Malini Manjoly, Mokama, Bihar
72. Sr. Manju Kulapuram SCSC, Patna, Bihar
73. Sr. Mary James MCJ, Ahmadabad, Gujarat
74. Sr. Meena Dominic DHM, New Delhi
75. Sr. Meera RGS, Kerala
76. Sr. Mina Lalitha Barwa HM, Odisha
77. Sr. Mudita Sodder, RSCJ, Mumbai
78. Sr. Nancy Vaz, FDCC, Mumbai
79. Sr. Noella de Souza MCJ, Mumbai
80. Sr. Patricia D’Souza, RSCJ, Mumbai
81. Sr. Philomena D’Souza FMA, Bombay
82. Sr. Premila Dias FMM, Putney, London
83. Sr. Rita SCN, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
84. Sr. Rosaria RJM, Gujarat
85. Sr. Sabina RGS, Chennai
86. Sr. Shanti Fernades RSCJ, Pune
87. Sr. Shanti Picardo FC, Siliguri, W. Bengal
88. Sr. Suganthi, Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu
89. Sr. Vimala Verghese RSCJ, Rishikesh

Continue reading CATHOLIC WOMEN URGE BISHOPS TO FOSTER PEACE, NOT STRIFE

Time to dump ’empowerment’? Feminism, women and the state in kerala today

This reflection has been long coming: the whole idea of women’s empowerment has been steadily deteriorating in Kerala since some years now. Actually, even from the side of the government, there is much less talk about it, even though it flowed into Kerala in the 1990s through the government, somewhat neoliberalized already, after the Beijing Conference. The national environment has of course been especially hostile with Hindu majoritarian conservatives in power whose ideas about ‘Indian culture’ do not offer any prospect of expanding the resonances and meanings of women’s empowerment — the opposite being more likely. But in Kerala too, interest in it has decidedly shrunk. Among its former constituents, especially the women’s self-help groups, it means little other than income-generation and entry into local politics.

Continue reading Time to dump ’empowerment’? Feminism, women and the state in kerala today

खूब काट-छाँट और गहरी छील-छाल रंदों और बसूलों से मेरी देखभाल

मुक्तिबोध शृंखला की 40वीं और अंतिम कड़ी

तकरीबन 20 वर्ष पहले पढ़ी फ्रांसिस व्हीन लिखित कार्ल मार्क्स की जीवनी का अंतिम अंश या उस अंश में चित्रित मार्क्स को भूलना मुश्किल है। यह एक पत्रकार की वृद्ध मार्क्स से मुलाक़ात का वर्णन है। समंदर की लहरें पछाड़ खा रही थीं। पत्रकार ने मार्क्स से पूछना शुरू किया, “क्या है…?” उसकी बात लहरों के शोर में डूब गयी। उसने सवाल दुहराया, “क्या है…?” और मार्क्स ने उत्तर दिया, “संघर्ष!”

संघर्ष, केवल संघर्ष: जीवन का अर्थ यही है। लेकिन यहाँ ग़लतफ़हमी की गुंजाइश है। संघर्ष क्या सिर्फ संघर्ष के लिए? क्या जीवन मात्र संघर्षों का एक सिलसिला है,और कुछ नहीं? इसके खतरनाक निष्कर्ष निकाले जा सकते हैं। अगर यह बाहरी संघर्ष है तो क्या हमेशा प्रतिपक्ष या विपक्ष का चुनाव करते रहना है? संघर्ष को उसी तरह पूजनीय नहीं बनाया जा सकता जैसे पूँजीवाद में पूँजी या पैसे को और फिर उसके उत्तर में क्रांति को पूजनीय बना दिया जाता है. सतत क्रांति का नारा सतत शत्रु संधान में बदल जा सकता है।  

व्यक्ति का और समाज का मूल्य इसी कारण इससे तय होता है कि वह संघर्ष किसलिए किया जा रहा है। उस संघर्ष का मूल्य उसके उद्देश्य से निर्धारित होगा, उसकी ‘सफलता’ से नहीं। संघर्ष मात्र एक शब्द नहीं, प्रत्यय है। उसके साथ जिस दूसरे शब्द या विचार की तरफ मुक्तिबोध ध्यान दिलाते हैं, वह है प्रयत्न।  मुक्तिबोध के बारे में यह कहा जा सकता है कि वे जितने परिणति के नहीं,उतने प्रयत्न के रचनाकार हैं। प्रयत्न जिसका कोई अंतिम बिंदु नहीं है। कहीं विश्राम नहीं है। हर मंजिल जैसे आगे के लिए एक इशारा ही है।

Continue reading खूब काट-छाँट और गहरी छील-छाल रंदों और बसूलों से मेरी देखभाल

सिर्फ इंसान होने की हैसियत का गुरूर जैसे आसमान, पेड़, या मैदान की शान और शख्सियत

मुक्तिबोध शृंखला:39

“एक निर्मल निश्चल आत्मीयता मुक्तिबोध के स्वभाव की लुभावनी खूबी थी. एक साथ ही एक बेचैनी—अपने आपको जानने की, अपने आसपास की दुनिया और उसके लोगों को, उनके और अपने, उनके और दूसरों के संबंधों को समझने की …सच्चाई को, ज़िंदगी के अर्थ को किसी तरह हासिल कर लेने की तड़प.”

अपने मित्र मुक्तिबोध की, ‘ज़िंदगी और साहित्य’ के संस्कार में जो उनसे कतई भिन्न थे, रचनाओं को उनकी मृत्यु के कोई डेढ़ दशक बाद संपादित करते हुए नेमिचंद्र जैन ने यह लिखा. उनके कोई एक दशक बाद नंदकिशोर नवल ने ‘मुक्तिबोध:ज्ञान और संवेदना’ में लिखा,

“मुक्तिबोध की कविताएँ पढ़ते समय जो चीज़ हमारा ध्यान सर्वप्रथम आकर्षित करती है, वह है…ओजस्विता और उदात्तता.”

नेमिजी ने उनमें जिस तड़प और बेचैनी को महसूस किया वही इस उदात्तता का कारण है. मुक्तिबोध का शायद ही कोई पाठक उनकी रचनाओं के आवेश से अछूता रह पाया हो. प्रायः आवेश, ओजस्विता को बौद्धिकता और विवेक के लिए बाधक माना जाता है. शायद इसीलिए अशोक वाजपेयी ने अज्ञेय में विवेक देखा मुक्तिबोध में नहीं. लेकिन भावनाओं में एक सूक्ष्म दृष्टि होती है और उसकी व्यापकता भावनाओं की व्यापकता से तय होती है. मुक्तिबोध ने विवेक और भावना के बीच की कल्पित खाई को ज्ञानात्मक संवेदना और संवेदनात्मक ज्ञान की अपनी अवधारणाओं से पाट दिया था. एक के बिना दूसरे का महत्त्व यदि शून्य नहीं तो अल्प है. इसीलिए मुक्तिबोध की कविताओं की तीव्र और गहन ऐंद्रिकता से अप्रभावित रहना कठिन है, वहीं उनको पढ़ते वक्त ही मार्क्स की यह बात समझ में आती है कि इंद्रियाँ ही सिद्धांतकार होती हैं.  

Continue reading सिर्फ इंसान होने की हैसियत का गुरूर जैसे आसमान, पेड़, या मैदान की शान और शख्सियत