Restore Our Vision of the Future: A Letter to the Kerala Chief Minister

Dear Comrade

I write to you as a citizen, so unlike the many eulogies and appeals you have received recently, this will not be sugar-coated. You have received much praise, which is indeed well-deserved. But most of us have done, and are still doing, our duty well, but there is no need to indulge in any more self-praise.

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This bundle of sticks tied to an axe-ist RSS-BJP regime!

Stylized image of fasces

There is a rumour circulating which is best dispelled as soon as  possible in the interests of factual knowledge (which is rather shy and rarely seen these days. Sometimes you see its shadow slip past, from the corner of your eye). So, no, absolutely not, the word fascism does not come from faeces.

It might as well have, but no. Really it doesn’t. The Vedic goddess vac (she who personifies speech) is not renowned for a sense of humour.

What the word fascism does come from is the aforementioned “bundle of sticks tied to an axe” or fasces,  that the bodyguard of the Roman magistrate carried in ancient Rome, as a symbol of his authority. Then Mussolini came along and resurrected the thing as a reminder  of ancient pride (although, not much pride for the minion carrying the symbol of another’s authority) and unity (sticks tied together are harder to break than sticks on their own).

Hence fascism. Hence the extreme allergy to being called fascist among Sanghis and the BJP because, really – Italy? Italy as the source of a name for their government? How fair is that, mitron? Continue reading “This bundle of sticks tied to an axe-ist RSS-BJP regime!”

A National Pledge for Kerala after the Great Deluge of 2018

  • Kerala is the land of my birth, and my life is intertwined closely and inseparably with the lives of all fellow-Malayalis. I will respect and remember this truth and will never think of my life as totally unrelated to nature, my neighbours, and the government that we elect to rule us.

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Higher Education Commission of India Act – Send your responses NOW!

The Government of India has set up a draft proposal to repeal the UGC Act, scrapping the UGC as a regulatory body and establishing a new regulatory body called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).

Needless to say, such an act has far-reaching repercussions for higher education in India.

The Union HRD Minister, Sri Prakash Javadekar, has urged all members of the concerned public to respond to the proposed draft of the HECI within the 7th of July, 5 pm.

This is a very short time span, but a response has been prepared by college and university teachers laying out the problems of the draft, strongly opposing the same. We believe that by withdrawing financial powers from the regulator and handing them over to the central government, and by giving the HECI unilateral and absolute powers to authorise, monitor, shut down, and recommend disinvestment from Higher Educational Institutions, the Draft Bill will expose higher education in the country to ideological manipulation, loss of much needed diversity as well as academic standards, fee hikes, and profiteering.

You can read the full draft of this response here.

If you would like to respond to Shri Javadekar along these lines, please click here and follow the simple instructions.

Disinheriting Adivasis – The Gadchiroli Game Plan: Vidhya A

Guest post by VIDHYA A

Image courtesy Subcontinental wind

In a statement issued on April 16th 2018, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) claimed that the ‘National Policy and Action Plan’ to combat Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is ‘a multi-pronged strategy involving security and development related measures’[1]. This new policy, apparently in place since the NDA government came to power at the centre, claims to have ‘zero tolerance towards violence coupled with a big push to developmental activities so that benefits of development reached the poor and vulnerable in the affected areas’[2]. The statement talks of substantial improvement in the LWE scenario by indicating reduced incidents of violence over the last four years. Within a week of this statement to the press, several Maoists are killed in an alleged encounter in Gadchiroli district of Maharastra and, then, in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh[3]. The Maharashtra state police immediately issued press notes and organised a press conference on April 24th declaring the operation an unmitigated success. A week later, Chhattisgarh police did the same. Even as the death count of Maoists kept rising, the police claimed that none of their personnel, primarily the elite C-60 force in Maharashtra and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), were seriously injured let alone killed in action.

Continue reading “Disinheriting Adivasis – The Gadchiroli Game Plan: Vidhya A”