Like the unseasonal and tenebrous rain clouds that are hovering over Thiruvananthapuram in what should be a sunny, light-mist-adorned January, a pall of gloom, of impending danger, hangs around my everyday life in Kerala. This is not a general feeling. It is however shared by many of us who write and speak critically about the powers that be. The space to speak and write thus has been shrinking for a while now, but now there is a sense of dangerously teetering on the edge: the Indian state seems to be upon us, and with a vengeance. Continue reading Un-Indianizing Kerala: How to defend K K Shahina
This is a guest post by MAHTAB ALAM
In Hazaribagh, one of the oldest cities of the newly formed state of Jharkhand, one is more likely to come across the word Kashmir than the name of the city itself these days. Kashmir, a place that most of the residents of Hazaribagh would have only heard of. At almost every nook and corner, teashop, wall of the city one would find an invitation to the ‘raashtriya ekta yatra’ from Kolkata to Kashmir to hoist the revered Indian flag at Lal Chowk. And this public invitation comes from none other than the youth wing of BJP, namely the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha. Continue reading ‘Kashmir ho ya Guwahati, Apna desh, apni maati’: Mahtab Alam
Veteran journalist Coomi Kapoor wrote this small snippet in the Indian Express yesterday. Hope it is only the beginning of more information on what this country’s intelligence agencies have been up to in the name of its citizens.
Guest post by JYOTI RAHMAN
Bangladesh will mark its 40th year of independence in 2011. The celebrations have already begun, and will continue until next December. The TV channels are already playing patriotic tunes. One such tune is Shona shona shona. The song says the land, mati, of Bangladesh is better than gold, and under this land sleeps many heroes: Rafiq, Shafiq, Barkat, Titu Mir and Isa Khan.
Who are these heroes? Rafiq, Shafiq and Barkat were killed by the Pakistani authorities during the language uprising of 1952 — a milestone moment in Bangladesh’s nationalism. Titu Mir defied the East India Company and organised a peasant revolt in the 19th century. Isa Khan was a Bengali chieftain who resisted the Mughals in the 16th century.
Notice how all of these heroes are Bengali Muslim men?
Statement from the NEW SOCIALIST INITIATIVE, Delhi
History is said to be made when humanity has tried to break asunder forces of unreason, irrationality, bigotry, intolerance and reaction which keep reappearing in newer forms in its onward journey. But what can one say when it tries to do the exact opposite, or prefer to go back on the path undertaken.
Pakistan, a country of 170 millions, stands at a similar juncture today. Continue reading Justice for Aasia Bibi; Speedy Trial of Salman Taseer’s Killers: New Socialist Initiative, Delhi
Great job, Balaji Narasimhan and Jyoti Punwani.