Boycott Republic TV – the hounding of S. P. Udayakumar

Is it not time for this channel that sets new lows with each programme, to be totally boycotted by all right-thinking people?

Don’t watch Republic TV, don’t participate in its programmes.

Dr SP Udayakumar’s complaint to the Press Council of India follows. He is
Coordinator, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) and
Pachai Tamizhagam Katchi (Green Tamil Nadu Party)

June 21, 2017

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad
The Chairman, Press Council of India

Dear Sir:

Greetings! I write to bring your kind attention to the ongoing deceit and harassment of me and my family by Mr. Arnab Ranjan Goswami and a few of his colleagues such as Shweta and Sanjeev from the Republic TV.

On April 8, 2017, one “Shweta Sharma” (I later found out that her real name was Shweta Kothari) came to my home at Nagercoil and introduced herself as a “research scholar” from the Cardiff University in the UK. She asked for my help with her dissertation research. She had been accompanied by her “local friend” Sanjeev. I gave her several books and answered her questions.

On April 9, 2017 she requested me to stop by her hotel room as she had a few more questions. There she told me that “one of her British professors” was very keen on supporting our struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. I told her that we did not accept money from foreigners and our movement had no bank account also. She then asked me if there was any other way of donating money to us. I told her that my personal account was frozen and that even our party account could not receive foreign funds.

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.

Continue reading “X ways in which Modi is different from Trump: Rama Srinivasan”

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।

Continue reading “अरुंधति का निर्वासन: वैभव सिंह”

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”

बहुजन राजनीति की नयी करवट की अलामत है भीम आर्मी : प्रवीण वर्मा

Guest post by PRAVEEN VERMA

यूँ तो अम्बेडकर जयंती हर साल आती हैं और दलित-पिछड़े समुदाय का एक बड़ा तबक़ा इसे बड़ी शिद्दत से मनाता आया है। लेकिन इस बार अम्बेडकर का 126वां जन्मदिन कुछ और ही नज़ारा ले कर आया। यू॰पी॰ का सहारनपुर ज़िला जहाँ अच्छी ख़ासी तादाद में दलित समुदाय के लोग रहते हैं और अन्य जिलों की बनिस्बत ज़्यादा संगठित हैं, वहाँ दो आयोजनों और उसकी अनुमति को लेकर दबंग जाति के लोगों ने जम कर उत्पात मचाया, जिसका दलित समुदाय के द्वारा ना केवल डट कर मुक़ाबला किया गया बल्कि एक वाजिब जवाब भी दिया गया। हालाँकि प्रशासनिक कार्यवाही हमेशा की तरह एकतरफ़ा रही जिसमें 40 दलित युवकों को जेल में ठूँस दिया गया और दबंगो को सस्ते में जाने दिया गया। शब्बीरपुर की ये घटना(एँ) कई दिनों तक चलती रही जिसमें दबंग जाति के लोगों के अहम को चोट तो लगी ही, साथ ही साथ एक और संदेश दे गयी : जिस तरह से दबंग जाति के लोगों ने हिंसा को अपनी बपौती समझ लिया था, अब वैसा नहीं हैं, लगभग देश के कुछ हिस्सों में तो। 

Continue reading “बहुजन राजनीति की नयी करवट की अलामत है भीम आर्मी : प्रवीण वर्मा”

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”!

Continue reading “A Day Against Kalluri at IIMC, Delhi: Bastar Solidarity Network Delhi Chapter”

The Anti-Democratic ‘Republic’: Bobby Kunhu

Guest post by BOBBY KUNHU

English language television news in India nowadays is nothing more than exaggerated visual editorials. They pick two or three stories, sensationalize them, run them in a loop through the day, alongside panel discussions where the editorial ideology of the channel is forced down the throat of the panelists and the viewers. In short there is hardly little journalism left in these channels. Though they do have panel discussions, regional language channels – at least Malayalam and Tamil channels that I watch – have a wider and more diverse reportage than self-proclaimed national television.

It wasn’t always like this. When Prannoy Roy pioneered private television content for Murdoch – regardless of the ideological content – there was reportage. Editorial proselytizing and endless panel discussions were limited most often to when psephologists stepped in.

Continue reading “The Anti-Democratic ‘Republic’: Bobby Kunhu”