Say NO to Aadhar – sign the petition

Sign the petition here.

Text of the petition

I’m Saying NO to Aadhaar

We the undersigned wish to place on record our opposition to the Aadhaar scheme which is being aggressively pushed by the government in complete violation of norms, procedures and Supreme Court orders. 

Many of us have resisted enrolment. Many of us are already enrolled. But today, we stand together to say NO To Aadhaar. 

We oppose Aadhaar because it violates our Constitutional rights and freedoms as citizens. 

We oppose Aadhaar because it undermines the foundations of our democracy, disempowering us as citizens while giving government the means to control every aspect of our lives. 

The mess created by Aadhaar is not a matter of poor implementation or “teething troubles” as claimed by the government.  Aadhaar cannot be fixed with some tweaking and tinkering. It is fundamentally flawed and  must be scrapped.      

We say NO to Aadhaar because  Continue reading “Say NO to Aadhar – sign the petition”

Failings Foretold – Reflections on the Unreflective Masculinity in the Time of the List: R Srivatsan

Guest post by  R. SRIVATSAN

It is with a recognition of a failing foretold that I read the different posts, letters and conversations around the list (the unmistakable one today).  That one’s teachers, seniors, peers and respected fellow academics have been named as having sexually harassed women cannot be digested without trouble.  I struggled to comprehend what had happened and went through all the emotions of denial and outrage, followed by shock, acceptance and hopefully a slowly emerging wisdom.

It then came back to memory that I too have sexually harassed women on three occasions.  However, I was in anonymous situations which were not explicitly relationships of power or authority.  And I did withdraw an overture (or a pass, to call it out by its name) when rejected.  Perhaps I have been cautious in not letting my shenanigans come back from the past to bite me.  Or perhaps I cleverly chose occasions and situations that would not be traceable to me.  Also, most importantly, perhaps those women who could have named and shamed me have been kinder and gentler than I deserved.  Finally, if I were a successful teacher today, perhaps my name too would have been on the list.  This response is based on the recognition that I virtually am.

Continue reading “Failings Foretold – Reflections on the Unreflective Masculinity in the Time of the List: R Srivatsan”

Response to ‘From Feminazi to Savarna Rape Apologist in 24 hours’: Sayantan Datta

Guest post by SAYANTAN DATTA

 [Note- The author believes that the structure of language has mirrored the patriarchal structure of the society, and therefore they practices aungendering mechanism persynally by neutralizing gendered roots of some words.]

I write this from my persynal discomfort with Prof.Menon’s recent response – this, although situated in the ‘Name and Shame’ debate, doesn’t derive anything more than grounding from it; this response is based on what Prof. Menon writes in the blog, and my somewhat naïve, but absolutely honest thoughts about it.

Firstly, I would like to myntion my constant and almost stagnant disapproval of how our loci as feminists are suddenly becoming one of legal negotiation – I refuse to engage in such a form of reimagining of feminism that, as she duly points out, has taken decades to strengthen its voice. She, in her response, points at ‘an atmosphere in which Indian courts are increasingly referring to ‘false’ complaints of domestic violence, and ‘misuse’ of rape laws, it is incumbent upon feminists to establish to the extent possible, context and explanation around our claims of sexual harassment’.

Continue reading “Response to ‘From Feminazi to Savarna Rape Apologist in 24 hours’: Sayantan Datta”

To Elphinstone Road

When a system is forced to run at four to six times its capacity for years on end, it doesn’t break – it was always broken. Elphinstone Road is the story of almost all urban infrastructure in our cities. It’s a template. It’s a warning. It’s our history, our everyday, and our future. It’s horrifying. It’s utterly banal.

When only death can make you think of repair, maintenance, upkeep, and expansion, then the everydayness of our infrastructure is a state of violence. When that death will still not make you change the way you manage that infrastructure, that violence is a siege, and we have Stockholm Syndrome. Not resilience, but a hostage situation.

The real challenge to us – all of us, in all our locations – is to realise the deep insufficiency of our anger if it is anger just at death. Anger is needed as much at the way we live, not just the ways in which we shouldn’t die.

Continue reading “To Elphinstone Road”

In Which Swaminathan Iyer McDonaldises the Tribals and Serves Other Junk Food : Shripad Dharmadhikary and Nandini Oza


Reposted from Manthan

What can one expect when one is faced with a blog by “India’s leading economic journalist” which is titled “Most of the ousted tribals are flourishing and loving it”? That there will be a large helping of fries on the side? That it will taste great but is really junk? In all of these expectations, one is not disappointed.

First, a little background. The leading economic journalist is Swaminathan Iyer, who along with a colleague carried out a survey of some tribals ousted by the Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam, comparing their situation with those left behind in the hilly areas near the river, and others in the hilly areas but near a mining project. On 10th Sept 2017, Iyer wrote a blog titled “Why many tribals don’t mind being ousted” based on his study. In a matter of just two days, Iyer has come out with a second blog based on the same study on the same topic. One wonders why. But then, again, one may not wonder, for the Sardar Sarovar has become an important topic with the Prime Minister scheduled to dedicate to the nation the dam on 17th Sept 2017.

The first blog was a classic case of misinterpretation of data, hiding the more important issues, and conclusions not supported by research findings, as we showed in our response. We showed that the tribals do mind being ousted. Now Iyer has written another blog on the matter, which skirts the issues we had raised in our response and omits some crucial survey findings given in the earlier blog, but still tries to show the Sardar Sarovar rehabilitation program as being successful.

Continue reading “In Which Swaminathan Iyer McDonaldises the Tribals and Serves Other Junk Food : Shripad Dharmadhikary and Nandini Oza”

हिंदुत्व और निजता का अधिकार : वैभव सिंह

Guest post by VAIBHAV SINGH

सुप्रीम कोर्ट के द्वारा निजता के अधिकार संबंधी फैसले ने निजी बनाम सार्वजनिक, व्यक्ति बनाम समाज, सरकार बनाम नागरिक के द्वैत को फिर बहस के केंद्र में ला दिया है।ऐसा समाज जहां गली-मोहल्लों व गांव-देहातों में निजी जानकारी छिपाने की कोई धारणा न तो रही है, न उसका सम्मान रहा है, उसी समाज में बड़े कारपोरेशन, सरकारी तंत्र व राज्य ने जब निजी जानकारियों का दुरुपयोग करना आरंभ किया तो गहरी प्रतिक्रिया हुई। इसका मनोवैज्ञानिक कारण यह है कि राज्य व बड़े कारपोरेशन्स समाज के लिए ‘बाहरी शक्ति’ के रूप में रहे हैं। वे पराए, अजनबी और अनजान तत्व हैं जो मनुष्य की निजी सूचना जुटा रहे हैं। उनके बाहरी शक्ति और विशाल संरचना होने के बोध ने निजी जानकारी के मुद्दें पर लोगों को उद्वेलित कर दिया। आधार कार्ड, सोशल साइट्स, सरकारी स्कीम आदि कई चीजें ऐसी रही हैं, जिनका सहारा लेकर नागरिकों की निजी जानकारियों मे बड़े पैमाने पर सेंध लगाई जा रही है और उन जानकारियों को निहित स्वार्थ वाले बेचेहरा व अज्ञात समूहों में शेयर किया जा रहा है। ऐसे माहौल में सुप्रीम कोर्ट का ‘राइट टु प्राइवेसी’ को स्वीकृति देते हुए यह कहना काफी मायने रखता है कि अनुच्छेद 21 के तहत जीने के अधिकार की सार्थकता तभी है जब व्यक्ति की गरिमा और निजता की भी रक्षा की जाए। व्यक्ति को यह पता हो कि उसकी निजी जानकारियां किसे, कब और क्यों दी जा रही हैं। कानून या राज्य के पास निजता को समाप्त करने के मकसद से देश का विकास, प्रशासनिक मजबूरी या डेटा-कलेक्शन की जरूरत का तर्क देने का विकल्प नहीं है।कोर्ट ने अपने फैसले में ‘सेक्सुअल ओरियंटेशन’ के बारे में टिप्पणी करते हुए इसे भी निजता के दायरे में रखा है। Continue reading “हिंदुत्व और निजता का अधिकार : वैभव सिंह”

The True Bargain : How Dr. Ram Rahim Singh Insaan Defined His Time

[ Random notes made in the wake of the conviction of Dr. Baba Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insaan of Dera Saccha Sauda for the offense of rape in Panchkula, Haryana, with some attention paid to the testimonials of his close friends. ] Continue reading “The True Bargain : How Dr. Ram Rahim Singh Insaan Defined His Time”