Rain and Revulsion: Prasanta Chakravarty

This is a GUEST POST by Prasanta Chakravarty

“Slime is the agony of water.”

~ Jean Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness


The Birth of Revulsion – Pranabendu Dasgupta

No certainty where each would go —
Suddenly the descent of a cloudburst, rain.
We stood, each where we were,
And stared at one another.
It is not good to be so close
“Revulsion is born” – someone had said

“Revulsion, revulsion, revulsion.”
Then, lighting a cigarette, some man
Muttered abuse at another next to him.
Like an abstract painting, spiralling like a gyre,
In a wee space
We slowly fragmented, dispersed.
Had it not rained, though,
We would have stepped out together.
Perhaps to the cinema, tasting a woman’s
Half-exposed breast with the eye,
Then laughing out loud,
We could head for the maidan!
Someone maybe would sing; someone
Would say, “I am alive”.

But it rained.

(Krittibas, Sharad Sankhya,  1386)

 ঘৃণার জন্ম

প্রনবেন্দু দাশগুপ্ত

কোথায় কে যাবে ঠিক নেই —
হঠাৎ দুদ্দাড় ক ‘রে বৃষ্টি নেমে এলো।
যেখানে ছিলাম, ঠিক সেইখানে থেকে
আমরা পরস্পরের দিকে তাকিয়ে রইলাম।

এত কাছাকাছি থাকা খুব ভালো নয়।
” ঘৃণার জন্ম হয় ” –কে যেন বললো
” ঘৃণা, ঘৃণা, ঘৃণা। ”
তারপর সিগ্রেট ধরিয়ে, আরো একজন
খুব ফিশফিশ ক ‘রে
পাশের লোককে গাল দিলো।
বিমূর্ত ছবির মতো তালগোল পাকিয়ে পাকিয়ে
ছোট্ট জায়গা জূড়ে
আমরা ক্রমশ ভেঙে, ছড়িয়ে পড়লাম।

বৃষ্টি না নামলে কিন্তু
আমরা একসঙ্গে বেরিয়ে পড়তাম।
হয়তো সিনেমা গিয়ে,রমণীর আধ -খোলা স্তন
চোখ দিয়ে চেখে
তারপর, হো হো ক ‘রে হেসে
ময়দানের দিক যাওয়া যেতো !
কেউ হয়তো গান গাইতো ; কেউ হয়তো
বলতো “বেঁচে আছি “।

কিন্তু বৃষ্টি নেমেছিলো।।

(কৃত্তিবাস, শারদ সংখ্যা ১৩৮৬)

Continue reading “Rain and Revulsion: Prasanta Chakravarty”

An Open Letter to the Teachers and Parents of the Students of University College, Thiruvananthapuram

I am writing to express my deep dismay at the recent incidents at the University College, and more importantly, at your near-total inexcusable and cowardly passivity that not only permitted the culture of violence to grow in this institution, but also allowed the situation to be such that the aggrieved young people continue to be ostracized and threatened by fellow-students. It escapes my reason why responsible authorities at University College cannot recognize a few basic facts about higher education in post-independence democratic India : (1) the fact that all students, irrespective of caste, class, gender, and other such considerations, have equal rights of access and equal mobility inside the campus, and of course, an equal right to justice, (2) that violence by any section of students against other students is not permissible and must invite prompt action by authorities, (3) that any section of students subjected to violence have full rights to complain and obtain redressal, (4) that the dignity of women students is protected by law and the institution is bound to take action against erring parties following the process laid down by the law. Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Teachers and Parents of the Students of University College, Thiruvananthapuram”

Feminists Condemn Opposition To Women’s Reservation In Nagaland Municipal Councils

We, the undersigned women’s organisations and concerned individuals take serious note of the fierce opposition to women’s reservation of 33% seats in Nagaland Municipal Councils by male dominated tribal bodies in Nagaland in the name of protecting their tradition and customary practices that bar women from participating in decision-making bodies. We strongly condemn this anti-woman position of Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) that has been formed supposedly to “protect” Naga tribal practices. While NTAC quotes Article 371(A) of the Constitution to assert that they are empowered to make their own laws, they choose to ignore Constitutional principle of equality before law, thus denying the Naga women their electoral rights.

Time and again women’s movements in India have confronted issues of community identity vs the rights of women. In almost every instance, communities and their leaders have chosen to sacrifice the rights of women to safeguard patriarchal practices in the name of tradition and custom. In the present imbroglio NTAC has used threats and violence to prevent women from filing their nominations, or even to withdraw their papers. Through all this, the State government has remained silent spectator and tried to wash its hands off on the issue of women’s representation in local bodies by cancelling the elections to local bodies under pressure from these tribal bodies by merely citing law and order concerns. In the process, the State has become complicit in protecting patriarchal traditions to the detriment of principles of gender equality. What is not being asserted is that Urban Local Bodies are not traditional Naga institutions recognised by Article 371(A) of the Constitution but rather, Constitutional bodies under Part IX of the Constitution over which the traditional Naga bodies have no mandate. Continue reading “Feminists Condemn Opposition To Women’s Reservation In Nagaland Municipal Councils”

‘नफरत के गुरूजी’

गोलवलकर के महिमामंडन से उठते प्रश्न

pov-bhagwat-in-betul-jail-where-golwalkar-was-imprisoned

संघ के सुप्रीमो जनाब मोहन भागवत की सूबा मध्य प्रदेश की बैतुल की यात्रा पिछले दिनों सूर्खियों में रही, जहां वह हिन्दू सम्मेलन को संबोधित करने पहुंचे थे। सूर्खियों की असली वजह रही बैतुल जेल की उनकी भेंट जहां वह उस बैरक में विशेष तौर पर गए, जहां संघ के सुप्रीमो गोलवलकर कुछ माह तक बन्द रहे।  इस यात्रा की चन्द तस्वीरें भी शाया हुई हैं। इसमें वह दीवार पर टंगी गोलवलकर की तस्वीर का अभिवादन करते दिखे हैं। फोटो यह भी उजागर करता है कि भागवत के अगल बगल जेल के अधिकारी बैठै हैं।

विपक्षी पार्टियों ने – खासकर कांग्रेस ने – इस बात पर भी सवाल उठाया था कि आखिर किस हैसियत से उन्हें जेल के अन्दर जाने दिया गया। उनके मुताबिक यह उस गोलवलकर को महिमामंडित करने का प्रयास  है, जिसे ‘एक प्रतिबंधित संगठन के सदस्य होने के नाते गिरफ्तार किया गया था। यह जेल मैनुअल का उल्लंघन भी है। केवल कैदी के ही परिजन एवं दोस्त ही जेल परिसर में जा सकते हैं और वह भी वहां जाने से पहले जेल प्रबंधन की अनुमति लेने जरूरी है।’

गौरतलब है कि संघ के तत्कालीन सुप्रीमो गोलवलकर की यह पहली तथा अंतिम गिरफतारी आज़ाद हिन्दोस्तां में गांधी हत्या के बाद हुई थी, जब संघ पर पाबन्दी लगायी गयी थी। प्रश्न उठता है कि आखिर गोलवलकर के इस कारावास प्रवास को महिमामंडित करके जनाब भागवत ने क्या संदेश देना चाहा।

( For full text of the article click here :https://hindi.sabrangindia.in/article/nafrat-ke-guruji-subhash-gathade

After a Nuit Debout (night standing up), We Wake Up with a Political Strike: Charles Reeve

Guest post by CHARLES REEVE

[Note from Livia Bocadacce: During 2016, social movements in France and in India have been huge and tough. In both countries, youth, workers, students, oppressed people fought against governments who disregarded their desires of freedom and decent life, and have faced violent repression. But in France, we don’t hear about Indian struggles such as Una Dalits’ movement or Hyderabad and JNU students’ protests. In India, the very strong French movement of last spring, called “Nuits Debout”, has aroused very poor coverage. Because we believe we have to learn from the crossed experiences of fighting, because we refuse a globalization only based on trade and forced migrations, because we hope a globalization that could encourage the circulation of critical thinking and collectiveaction repertoire, we proposed this article on the Nuits debout to Kafila. Hoping it will generate debates and further interests. ]

Nuit Debout, image courtesy gaucherevolutionnaire.fr
Nuit Debout, image courtesy gaucherevolutionnaire.fr

After a Nuit debout (night standing up), we wake up with a political strike (1)

Living in a moment is always pleasanter than writing about it— it’s always risky to draw conclusions about situations still evolving or to speculate about what they will become. Going on for now over three months [when this post was written – AN], Nuit debout is a new kind of spontaneous, social movement along the lines of « Occupy » and Spain’s « M15 » movement. It has taken on an unanticipated size and importance, all the while developing characteristic features of French society. I won’t go back over its development or its collective spirit. The two texts already published in the May and June issues of the Brooklyn Rail, the first by Anouk Colombani and the second by Ferdinand Cazalis et Emilien Bernard (CQFD, n°143, mai 2016) have provided sufficient detail and clarity to let us grasp the essence and dynamism of these mobilizations.

Continue reading “After a Nuit Debout (night standing up), We Wake Up with a Political Strike: Charles Reeve”

Longing for the World: A Memoir of Two Days at the Kochi Biennale

[Disclaimer: I am not an art critic, artist, or travelled in the world of art. This is just a memoir]

(I)

Fort Kochi, 9 Feb. 2017

Though I had already been to the biennale in January and had a roaring time, something kept urging me to go there again. That something, I believe, is my insatiable imagination – which has always had a life of its own as long as I can remember, needs to be fed all the time, and actually drives me crazy. But maybe I should be thankful: if I survive this loveless existence that is my life, it is because my imagination has always spirited me away even from the midst of the worst emotional violence and uproar. Social theorists who use trickster figures or such characters as Daedalus who give power the slip, or manipulate it to their own ends, are probably saying the same thing.

The only ‘Moral Science’ lesson I remember from school was from the fourth standard, about the invisible guardian angel who supposedly protected us from evil. What intrigued me was the suggestion that each of us had a special angel-companion of our own who was ever-present though invisible – quite a lovely idea to a lonely child who found it hard to blend and settle into her playmates’ world. For me that was the unseen power which transformed a boring class into a musical concert by playing music inside my head; wove words and images into tales there; scared me sometimes, but equally let me exorcise the fear; and led me to all sorts of nooks and corners in the house and the yard and showed me all sorts of things, almost a world that I, but no one else, could see.

I pulled myself out of the world of research that employed, that did not satisfy, my imagination, and went again to the biennale. Two golden days! No words exist to reveal how my heart sang at the prospect. And besides, I was going to stay with dear, beloved friends, people who lived steeped in imagination – unlike me, whose current existence involved the use of the imagination (though it can never be mastered fully for sure) in a self-conscious way. My friends who run a little homestay near Fort Kochi reach out to others with extraordinary warmth mainly because, I think, their world is so incredibly diverse – populated by not just all sorts of diverse human beings, (rich, poor, high, low, of different faiths and castes, related by marriage, friendship, acquaintance, country-cousinship, common humanity, vague feelings of familiarity and so on), but also by spirits, saints, gods, all of who are felt and reached. Continue reading “Longing for the World: A Memoir of Two Days at the Kochi Biennale”

JNU VC misleads media on research vacancies: Ayesha Kidwai

Guest post by AYESHA KIDWAI
The JNU VC has fed this information to the Times of India. The title of the table below, published in the Times of India, should be Get the Numbers WRONG, as barring two rows, all the numbers are incorrect. And the interpretation that our VC gives to these numbers is even WRONGER!

First of all, JNU has no exclusively M.Phil. intake at all. Continue reading “JNU VC misleads media on research vacancies: Ayesha Kidwai”