X ways in which Modi is different from Trump: Rama Srinivasan

Guest post by RAMA SRINIVASAN

Prime Minister Modi is set to meet President Trump on June 26 and we can anticipate an exciting contest between bear hugs and crushing handshakes. We indeed live in interesting times where symbols rather than spoken words determine the fate of nations (Trump is rumoured to have partly pulled out of the Paris Agreement after losing a handshake duel with the new French President). Both Modi and Trump deploy symbols effectively to further a conservative agenda that is in many ways self-serving rather than ideologically dogmatic. I wondered if a list of ways in which they are different despite being strikingly similar in many ways might be an interesting experiment but all my points could be bracketed under one larger word: privilege. Everything that follows in this article are ways in which this privilege operates in the case of Trump and how the lack of the same has shaped much of Modi’s career.

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Elephants in the Room – Who Gets the Autonomy in Autonomous Colleges? : Sanjay Kumar

Guest Post by Sanjay Kumar

In February this year, University of Delhi officials invited chairpersons of the six best known colleges to apply for  autonomy. So far, only the governing body of St Stephen’s College has reacted, authorising its principal to take up the application process. Teachers and staff associations of the university, DUTA (Delhi University Teachers’ Association) and DUCKU (Delhi University Karamchari Union), are against the move. Besides affecting the working conditions of faculty and staff, college autonomy has bearing on the academic content of undergraduate learning. It is surprising that many of the academic red flags are not even noticed in the policy. These obvious blind spots indicate that real motivations are not academic, but lie elsewhere.

The XII plan document of the UGC sets the target to make 10 percent of eligible colleges autonomous by the end of the plan period. It boldly declares, ‘(t)he only safe and better way to improve the quality of undergraduate education is to the link(sic) most of the colleges from the affiliating structure’. The claim is surprising, because world over university education is considered a good undergraduate education. A university with active research, accomplished faculty and diversity of subjects to offer is the best place for a young person to get initiated into the adventure and challenges of higher education. How taking students away from the ambit of a university becomes the way to better education requires a bit of an explanation. Continue reading “Elephants in the Room – Who Gets the Autonomy in Autonomous Colleges? : Sanjay Kumar”

बिहार क्या सिर्फ बिहार में है ?

बिहार फिर से खबर में है. इंटरमीडिएट परीक्षाओं के परिणाम आए हैं.पैंसठ प्रतिशत छात्र फेल हो गए हैं.बिहार में विरोध प्रदर्शन चल रहे हैं.कॉपियों की दुबारा जाँच कराने की माँग की जा रही है. जन संचार माध्यमों के जरिए वैसे छात्रों की व्यथा और क्रोध का पता चल रहा है जिन्होंने आई आई टी जैसी कठिन प्रवेश परीक्षाओं में सफलता प्राप्त की है लेकिन जो बारहवीं की बोर्ड परीक्षा में फेल हो गए हैं.इसे पर्याप्त माना जा रहा है यह कहने के लिए कि परीक्षा परिणामों में घपला ज़रूर है वरना इतने प्रतिभाशाली युवा, जो आई आई टी की परीक्षा की बाधा दौड़ पार कर गए हैं,बोर्ड के इम्तहान में फेल कैसे हो जाएँगे! Continue reading “बिहार क्या सिर्फ बिहार में है ?”

अरुंधति का निर्वासन: वैभव सिंह

Guest post by VAIBHAV SINGH

अरुंधति राय के खिलाफ अपशब्दों की, गाली-गलौच की, आरोपों की हिंसा ने हमें एक बार फिर यह प्रश्न पूछने के लिए विवश कर दिया है – क्या हमने सचमुच अपने देश में सभ्यता व सहिष्णुता के महान मूल्यों की रक्षा करने के दायित्व से छुटकारा पा लिया है? कहीं हम पूरे राष्ट्र को ‘डिसोसिएटिव आइडेंटिटी डिसआर्डर’ (खंडित व्यक्तित्व मनोरोग) का शिकार बनते तो नहीं देख रहे हैं जिसमें किसी व्यक्ति नहीं बल्कि पूरे राष्ट्र के चरित्र में परस्पर विरोधी मूल्य इस प्रकार विषैले कांटों की तरह उग आते हैं कि राष्ट्र का पूरा व्यक्तित्व चरमराने या दिग्भ्रमित होने लगता है! एक सभ्य-लोकतांत्रिक देश के रूप में आत्मछवि और हिंसक बाहरी आचरण में जितना गहरा भेद पैदा हो जाता है, वह राष्ट्र की आत्मा मार देता है। जिसने भी स्वयं में अनूठी लेखिका को जीप के बोनट से बांधने की कल्पना की, उसे संभवतः अंदाजा भी नहीं था कि वह केवल एक वक्तव्य नहीं दे रहा है, बल्कि मनुष्यता के सभी संभव परिकल्पनाओं के विरुद्ध अपराध कर रहा है। ऐसी कल्पना में बीमार विचारशून्यता ही नहीं बल्कि भयानक सड़ांध, विकृति और मनोरोग की झलक मिलती है। परेश रावल के अरुंधति के विरोध में लिखे ट्वीट से उल्लसित सोशल मीडिया के एक समूह ने तो अरुंधति राय की सामूहिक ढंग से हत्या कर उनके शव को पाकिस्तान में दफनाने की वकालत भी कर डाली।

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1984 and Punjab’s Transformation to a Hindutva Laboratory: Gurpreet Singh

Guest post by GURPREET SINGH

It was summer of 1985 when we were visiting New Delhi, the national capital of India to attend a wedding in the family. I had a long hair back then and was aged 15. Both me and my uncle who were wearing turbans like other Sikh men were waiting at a bus stand for the next bus to go to our relatives. As soon as the bus arrived and we were about to climb in after other waiting passengers, the door was slammed on us.  When my uncle protested, the conductor shouted that there is no seat inside. Even as we pointed out at some empty seats, the answer was – “we have told you there is no seat.” Before we could argue the bus sped away.

The incident left me shocked but I wasn’t surprised.  Continue reading “1984 and Punjab’s Transformation to a Hindutva Laboratory: Gurpreet Singh”

Photo Story on Bhim Army Rally in Delhi: Debalin Roy

Guest post by DEBALIN ROY

Debalin Roy takes us to some specific moments in the rally, aside from the bird’s eye view of the massive rally that we have already seen.

Dalits from all over northern India gathered at Jantar Mantar, Delhi on the 21st of May to protest the Saharanpur violence and increasing atrocities on Dalits across the country.

Although there were representatives from various states, especially from Haryana, U.P. and Rajasthan, Bhim Army took the center stage, with their blue flags waving like a giant dark blue field of tall grass, shaking and waving with every chant of Jai Bhim.

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A Day Against Kalluri at IIMC, Delhi: Bastar Solidarity Network Delhi Chapter

Guest Post by Bastar Solidarity Network Delhi Chapter

The democratic forces, organizations and the thinking minds of IIMC took part in a spirited protest today against the invitation extended to notorious ex-IG Kalluri by the IIMC administration to take part in a seminar. To start with, since last two days, there were several attempts on the part of the organizers to confuse/conceal Kalluri’s invitation. Immediately after the declaration of the protest, Kalluri’s name was dropped from the poster. There were also threats of counter-mobilisation by the BJP goons. But undeterred, as we reached the gates of IIMC at 11am, the site echoed with slogans of “Killer Kalluri Go Back”!

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