Guest post by PRASANTA CHAKRAVARTY
[A Report on ‘The Everyday Life of a Discipline’- a colloquium on contemporary English Studies that took place on February 4, 2011, at the Department of English, University of Delhi]
Unlike the social sciences, humanities in India at least, have been less systematic and meticulous about introspection. This is slightly odd owing to the fact that the onslaughts on humanitities, from both outside and from within its own quarters, have been quite relentless and ballistic of late. Besides, it is a good idea to take stock of things from time to time as disciplines morph and change gear. So, when I was asked to be part of a group of practitioners of humanities who were at the forefront of the last bit of stock-taking that took place during the late nineteen-eighties, I was curious to know how they see their own transition at this point of time and also get a sense about their assessment of English studies now, apart from my own contribution to the current debates.
Continue reading A Moment of Revelation: Prasanta Chakravarty
Guest post by ALOK RAI
It was bound to come sooner or later. The wonder – the absolute, outrageous, impudent surprise of it all is that it has come so soon. The Games have barely limped to their pathetic conclusion – and those of us who are waiting for the post-Games reckoning are waiting but impatiently, inadequately consoled by the sound of the sharpening of the knives, the braiding of the hangman’s rope – or, most likely, the Japanese water torture of the promised Shunglu probe. And in the midst of this unfolding fiasco, this still-running disaster, the lovely Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely, Delhi’s Transport Minister, has made the suggestion that the insult of the Games lane, the closing off to the public of a significant part of the road which has been made with public money, be made permanent. This – as we were told in full-page ads paid for by us – was done with threats of a hefty fine or, worse, far worse, being exposed to the courtesies of a Delhi cop. The ineffable experience of crawling along patiently (but proudly, always proudly!) while sundry others flashing CWG insignia whizzed past in the CWG lane – an experience that so many of us chose to miss, could now become a permanent feature of the metro experience. I can’t wait!
Continue reading Lovely’s Lane: Alok Rai
Guest post by ALOK RAI
I had imagined that there would be time after the Games. Kalmadi and his cronies would have to hang, of course, but it could have been done in a measured fashion. Now, it appears that there is no time to lose. The Shameless One has actually said something about bidding for the Olympics! And with the promise of enough money in the trough, we can expect the pigs to grunt their approval too – just like they did the last time. But in the name of all the people who have been uprooted, and had their livelihoods destroyed; the students who have been thrown out of their hostels; the long-suffering citizenry of Delhi that is currently undergoing the final stage of the insult and humiliation that has been heaped on them over the past year in the name of the Games, I say, enough! Hang the bastards, now!
But I should clarify quickly. I am not so naïve as to be outraged by the corruption. It is the stupidity I am particularly offended by. After all, corruption is only one half of the story. And, frankly, the corruption is hardly surprising. Corruption, to my lay understanding, is the whole point of these large “public” enterprises – it enables the crooks-in-power to get their hands on the money that has been gouged from the poor. That is exactly what everyone expects – the poor victims, the crooked beneficiaries. But surely the stupidity is gratuitous?
Continue reading After the Games: Alok Rai