Category Archives: Capitalism

Why the JNU #FeesMustFall is a Mass Intersectional Movement: Paresh Hate

Guest Post by PARESH HATE

It has been more than a month that students in JNU have been protesting against the new IHA Hostel Manual. The fight had initially begun against the exorbitant fee hikes, introduction of curfew timings and dress codes, lack of reservations and deprivation points in the manual, and the undemocratic manner in which the manual was passed. At this juncture, the movement has become broader, and articulates its resistance to the National Education Policy and its defence of the idea of public university and what it stands for.

While there have been many attempts to characterize the students’ movement as anti-national and free-loading as usual by the right-wing media, it is clear that the political articulation of students has managed to transcend these limited dimensions offered by the discourse set by the public perception. Even the propagandists are this time at a loss as to how to demonise the movement. All they have been able to come up with is that the protests ‘disrupted traffic’ and that the protests are ‘political’. One is unable to understand how the latter is a jibe, when protests are obviously always political in nature, especially this one. The demonization of JNU is not simply about the social sciences, or left-oriented student politics, but also a manufacturing of consent toward the commercialization and a legitimizing of this government’s agenda to destroy public avenues of welfare. However, due to the developments that have taken place in the last few weeks, politics itself of the campus is churning, wherein what is emerging is a cultivated intersectional discourse that has resulted in the breathing of new life into the campus. Continue reading Why the JNU #FeesMustFall is a Mass Intersectional Movement: Paresh Hate

कितनी आज़ाद है ग्रामीण पत्रकारों की कलम? : पी. साइनाथ

Guest Post by P Sainath

(बनारस के पराड़कर स्मृति सभागार में 29 नवंबर, 2019 को “पत्रकारों पर हमले के विरुद्ध समिति” CAAJ द्वारा आयोजित कार्यक्रम में दिया गया व्याख्यान)

मैं पांच भाषाओं में बराबर खराब बोल सकता हूं। यहां मैं मुंबइया हिंदी में बोलूंगा। आप लोगों ने सम्मान दिया, किताब रिलीज करने को बुलाया, यह मेरे लिए सम्मान की बात है क्योंकि ग्रामीण भारत के बारे में बहुत कम छपता है। इस किताब में दस राज्यों से रिपोर्टें हैं। ये वे दस राज्य हैं जहां देश की आधी आबादी, करीब साठ−सत्तर करोड़ लोग रहते हैं। इसलिए ये बहुत अहम है। इसकी अहमियत समझने के लिए आप ये आंकड़े देखिए।

हिंदुस्तान के नेशनल अखबारों में ग्रामीण खबरें कितना छपती हैं, इसके लिए इनके फ्रंट पेज लीजिए। दिल्ली में एक संस्था है सेंटर फॉर मीडिया स्टडीज़। एन. भास्कर राव की। वो तीस साल से रिसर्च कर रहे हैं मीडिया के ऊपर। अभी उनका आपरेशन कमती हो रहा है क्योंकि मीडिया में रिसर्च को लेकर इंटरेस्ट नहीं रह गया है। अब मीडिया वाले मार्केट रिसर्च एजेंसी के पास जाते हैं, इनके पास नहीं जाते। सीएमएस की स्टडी में ग्रामीण खबरों पर एक रिसर्च निकला था। ये नेशनल डेली का पांच साल का डेटा है। नेशनल डेली का मतलब वे अखबार जिनका एक एडिशन दिल्ली से निकलता हो। हो सकता है कि एक ही एडिशन निकलता हो कुल दिल्ली से, लेकिन वो भी नेशनल डेली है। बाकी सब एंटी-नेशनल डेली हैं। तो नेशनल डेली के फ्रंट पेज पर पांच साल का एवरेज ग्रामीण खबर का स्पेस है 0.67 परसेंट। ग्रामीण इलाके में जनसंख्या क्या है? 69 परसेंट, 2011 के सेंसस में। 69 परसेंट आबादी को आप देते हैं 0.67 परसेंट जगह। अगर जनसंख्या के 69 परसेंट को आप 0.67 परसेंट जगह अखबार के फ्रंट पेज पर देते हैं तो बाकी पेज किस पर जाते हैं? फ्रंट पेज का 67 परसेंट नर्इ दिल्ली को जाता है। और यह 0.67 परसेंट भी एग्ज़ैग्जरेशन (अतिरेक) है। ऐसा क्यों दिखा रहा है? क्योंकि पांच साल का यह एवरेज है। इसमें एक साल चुनाव का साल है। अगर चुनाव का साल निकाल दें, तो डेटा 0.20 परसेंट आता है।

एक पत्रकार जो काम करता है, बिना इनसेंटिव के करता है। अपने आदर्शवाद के चलते करता है। आपको ग्रामीण पत्रकारिता से कोर्इ प्रमोशन नहीं मिलने वाला है। कोर्इ रिकग्नीशन नहीं मिलने वाला है। मैंने जब “एवरीवन लव्ज़ अ गुड ड्रॉट” किताब लिखी, तब ज़माना बदल रहा था। तब मुझे थोड़ा रिकग्नीशन मिला। इस किताब का नाम मैंने नहीं दिया। एक छोटे से किसान ने मुझे ये नाम दिया था। वो मेरे साथ गया था पलामू, डालटनगंज। लातेहार में हम पहुंचे एक दिन। मैंने सोचा सर्किल आफिस में जाएंगे। किसान का नाम था रामलखन। वो मेरे साथ गया। सरकारी आफिस में एक आदमी नहीं बैठा था। सर्किल अफसर नहीं, बीडीओ नहीं, कुछ नहीं था। वहां बीडीओ को बीटीडीओ कहते हैं। ब्लॉक द डेलपमेंट अफसर। मैंने पूछा− रामलखन, ये लोग कहां गया यार। उसने बोला, सब तीसरी फसल लेने के लिए गया है। आइ फेल्ट अ लिटिल स्टुपिड… ये तीसरी फसल क्या चीज़ है। मैंने बोला− मैं जानता हूं रबी, खरीफ़। डेढ़ सौ साल पहले एक तीसरी फसल थी जायद। ये तीसरी फसल क्या है मैं नहीं समझ पा रहा। उसने बोला− ये तीसरी फसल है ड्रॉट रिलीफ (सूखा राहत)। उसने कहा− यहां बड़े लोग इस तीसरी फसल को बहुत पसंद करते हैं। ये लोग अकाल को बहुत पसंद करते हैं। इस तरह मेरी किताब का नाम पड़ा।

( Read the full text here : https://www.mediavigil.com/event/how-free-are-rural-journalists-sainath-lecture-in-varanasi/)

 

Solidarity Statement by TISS Alumni with Students of JNU

We the undersigned, are alumni of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

We are appalled at the complete lack of sensitivity shown by the JNU administration and concerned government officials to the issues raised by the students on the recent proposal of irrational 999% hike in their fee structure. We also strongly condemn the inappropriate use of brute force by the police officials towards the peaceful protest of university students when they were demanding a roll back of this policy to keep higher education accessible for all, and to oppose imposing of regressive restrictions on the clothing and movement of students in the university.

Not just insensitive, the state has also used condemnable tactics to deal with the legitimate demands of the protesting students. Instead of using questionable means to stop students from peacefully protesting and approaching the policymakers, the government should have facilitated a dialogue with the students and paid heed to their demands. Continue reading Solidarity Statement by TISS Alumni with Students of JNU

Everyday Tips for Surviving Tyranny: Anonymous

Guest Post by ANONYMOUS

Suspected Banksy mural in London in support of environmentalist protest. 

As authoritarian right-wing populist leaders across the world unleash a reign of tyranny and hate, there is a need to think together about everyday strategies of survival. As an individual, it can get a bit overwhelming. Everything could look pointless. Many friends talk about how they find it impossible to write or work in an atmosphere of hate and violence. However, it is important to remember that what might look invincible today may not last for even half a decade. But while it lasts, how does one live under tyranny and what are the ways of building non-violent resistance? Continue reading Everyday Tips for Surviving Tyranny: Anonymous

Two Reports and Many Strategic Agents: Post-Disaster Thinking in Kerala

Two massive calamities, tremendous losses, continuing signs of serious ecological destruction impending — yet all we Malayalis seem to have produced in response: two reports, and even more frenzied strategic calculation. There is little doubt that the disasters happened in the first place at least partially because of the latter, but there seems to be no rethinking. Instead, we have strategic agents refurbishing their strategies to the new circumstances.

What else explains the Kerala government’s  Rebuilding Kerala Development Programme Report (RKDPR)? It popped up all of a sudden around the end of last year, after the UN-led Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Report (PDNAR), and even members of the Chief Minister’s Advisory Council were caught unawares.  The economist K P Kannan, whose life’s work has been focused on Kerala’s economy, a member of the Council, remarked in a recent interview in the Sastragathy that they did not know of it until the third meeting of the council. None knew who put it together, and there is no mention of this in the report itself. It draws heavily but selectively on the PDNAR, but also perhaps on the projects that were prepared for World Bank funding – and Kannan reaffirms this impression. The draft report was made available online for comments but there is no clear idea about these experts or the public consultations. Continue reading Two Reports and Many Strategic Agents: Post-Disaster Thinking in Kerala

Healing Kerala: Thoughts after the Second Warning

 

Everywhere the talk is still about rebuilding Kerala: I say, we need to talk about healing Kerala. The change in phrasing is not trivial. When we admit that we need to heal, rather than rebuild, we are admitting much that we did not care to own up till now. That is, we would be agreeing that the problem at hand is a human one and not just one that can be resolved through technical intervention; that, as a complex process, it will take its time and quick-fixes will not suffice.  Thankfully, there is a widespread discussion on the recommendations of the Gadgil Committee Report and the Post-disaster needs assessment report of last year; quarrying has been stopped all over the state. Maybe we will heal, indeed. What do we need to do to heal, and not just rebuild? Continue reading Healing Kerala: Thoughts after the Second Warning

After Kavalappara: Is the Future that of Ecological Patriotism?

I guess bad habits in development take a very long time to unlearn. Even in the face of the direst of warnings.

I know that last year, when taken completely by surprise, Kerala rose to the occasion. It appeared that a new civil society had come to being around the flood rescue and relief work, and that promised a new lease of life for our flagging-if-still-working project of people’s planning and political decentralization. It appeared that there was a real chance to stop the bureaucratic-technocratic coterie from shoving this ecologically-fragile area down the path of utterly destructive infrastructure-obsessed growth. It seemed that we could now seriously expose the depredations of the predatory capitalists, especially in the construction sector. Continue reading After Kavalappara: Is the Future that of Ecological Patriotism?