The Supreme Court judgment on women’s entry into Sabarimala has got Hindutva women in Kerala into a hand-wringing, hair-tearing frenzy, and that is to put it lightly. I say ‘Hindutva women’ deliberately, to refer to a sub-set of Hindu women, who (1) believe, like the RSS chief, that the Hindu(tva) lion is under threat from dogs (guess who the dogs are in this case) (2) identify craven submission to Hindutva commonsense about gender as ‘Indian tradition’ (3) are willing to sacrifice all public decency for the sake of upholding that common sense. Continue reading Do Not Ride the Tiger of Hindtuva: Sabarimala Entry and Hindutva Women
After the floods comes the pestilence. Even as the rest of us are focusing all our energies on making sure that epidemics and sheer psychological trauma aren’t going to bring our people devastated by floods to the brink of their endurance, here is a bizarre person, a certain P C George, MLA from Poonjar, Kerala, indulging in the worst kinds of patriarchal excess. At this time one would expect our elected representatives to be aiding and comforting people in their respective constituencies. Instead, we have this man spew unspeakable, stupid trash on the public. I do not want to reproduce it here; you can read for yourself. I’d rather try to think of how we may deal collectively with those of his ilk. Continue reading How to Deal with Male Chauvinist Piorge: Ten Tips
We, a group of alumni of IIT Kanpur and others as students, researchers, faculty, staff and other community members affiliated with the same institute strongly condemn the arrest of IIT Kanpur alumna Sudha Bharadwaj (Integrated MSc., Mathematics, 1979-1984) and other activists namely, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha and Varavara Rao, and the raiding of houses of Anand Teltumbde, K. Satyanarayana and Stan Swamy among many others. These arrests seem to be a mere sequel in an ongoing attempt to intimidate and arrest activists, eminent writers, professors, journalists, and human rights defenders around the country.
Sudha Bhardwaj has a public record of dedicating herself to the most marginalized through her work spanning more than thirty years. She finished her integrated bachelors and masters program of Dept of Mathematics, IIT Kanpur, in 1984. Already socially conscious as a student, by 1986 she had moved to Chhattisgarh working with a workers’ organization and trade union in the mining-industrial belt of central Chhattisgarh. It is here she found her calling as a trade unionist, and later, as a lawyer. We have compiled a short biography of her long journey at https://goo.gl/J6F9kK – it is clear that she dedicated herself entirely to the most vulnerable and powerless, working through the rights and frameworks guaranteed in the Indian constitution. Continue reading Statement Demanding Immediate Release of Writers, Activists and Human Rights Defenders: IIT Kanpur Alumni and Others
Following is the final statement with the signatures as they were when it was closed for purposes of releasing to the media and sent to us by the initiators of the campaign.
We, the undersigned, are shocked by the serial raids across the country on the homes of activists and public intellectuals who are critical of the government and the ruling party at the Centre. The arrests of prominent activists and intellectuals Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira and others, are nothing but an attempt by the government to strike terror among those who are fighting for justice for the marginalised. This is also an attempt by the BJP to invent a false enemy and engage in scaremongering in order to polarise the 2019 elections in its favour. Already, the government and the media houses close to the BJP have been trying to spin a false narrative of a Maoist conspiracy since June, 2018. Terms like “urban naxals” are invented in order to stifle any criticism of the government. We have learnt that the Delhi Police, after having arrested Sudha Bharadwaj, waited for Republic TV to arrive before taking her to the court. This simply shows that the arrests are incomplete without the accompanying sensationalist media propaganda to demonise activists, human rights defenders and intellectuals.
The following is a statement by WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION (WSS) against the raids on and arrests of activists and intellectuals in different cities.
WSS strongly condemns the arrests of its member Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, and activists Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, and the raids at the homes of Father Stan Swamy, Dr. Anand Teltumbde, Prof. K. Satyanarayana, Pavana, Anala, Kurmanath, Kranti Tekula and others conducted by the Maharashtra police along with the state police of Telangana, Jharkhand, Goa and Delhi. These searches and arrests are a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the spine chilling revelations about Hindu Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti in connection to the assassinations and bomb terror which they have been masterminding.
Guest post by VAIBHAV SINGH
रामचरित मानस में सुन्दर कांड में एक पंक्ति आती है, जो कही तो विभीषण के मुंह से गई है लेकिन वह आज के लोकतंत्र पर भी लागू होती है। चौपाई में विभीषण कहते हैं- ‘सुनहु पवनसुत रहनि हमारी। जिमि दसनन्हि महुं जीभ बिचारी।’ यानी विभीषण कहते हैं कि मैं ऐसे ही रहता हूं जैसे दांतों के बीच जीभ। प्रसंगांतर करके देखें तो भारतीय लोकतंत्र की हालत भी अब फासीवाद, सांप्रदायिकता व पूंजीवादी लोभ-लालच के जहरीले विषदंतों से घिरी जीभ जैसी नहीं हो गई है जिसे कोई भी काट लेना या आहत कर देना चाहता है? गिरफ्तारियां, सर्चवारंट, नजरबंदी और मीडिया प्रोपगंडा हमारे देश की सर्वप्रमुख सचाई बन चुकी है और अब इस लोकतंत्र के भीतर सशक्त हो चुके अधिनायकवाद के लिए अब यही चीजें उसके शासन की वैधता का प्रमुख आधार बन गई हैं। जिस देश में हर वक्त मुठभेड़, गिरफ्तारी या देशद्रोहियों की खोज का सत्ता-प्रायोजित अभियान चल रहा हो, वहां लोकतंत्र के बारे में सोते-जागते चिंता न होना स्वाभाविक तौर पर संवेदनहीनता या फिर कमअक्ली का लक्षण माना जा सकता है। जैसे साइनबोर्ड पर किसी ने लिख कर टांग दिया है कि लोकतंत्र की अमुख तारीख को हत्या कर दी जाएगी, वह तारीख नजदीक आती जा रही है। ठीक रघुवीर सहाय की ‘रामदास’ कविता में रामदास की हत्या की तरह सभी को जैसे पता चल चुका है कि लोकतंत्र की हत्या हो जाएगी पर सब अपने-अपने काम में मसरूफ़ हैं। रघुवीर सहाय के शब्दों में-
निकल गली से तब हत्यारा/आया उसने नाम पुकारा/
हाथ तौलकर चाकू मारा/ छूटा लहू का फव्वारा/
कहा नहीं था उसने आखिर उसकी हत्या होगी।
The recent murder of an SFI activist, Abhimanyu, at the Maharajah’s College, Ernakulam, allegedly by activists of another student organization, the Campus Front, has once again triggered a series of intense campaigns against the Popular Front of India (PFI), which is accused of having terror links, even with the ISIS. This last claim has become commonsense almost impossible to contest.