WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE BOMB-MAKING FACTORIES IN WEST BENGAL?
Image Courtesy: PTI
Are the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and its in-charge, Home Minister Amit Shah, at variance with each other? This question has acquired a new meaning as, within a year, there have been at least two occasions when the MHA has not supported Shah’s public claims on matters with a direct bearing on the internal security of the country.
Take the interview of Shah done by a news channel last October. He claimed in it that the law and order situation had “gone for a toss” in West Bengal. The state, he went to the extent of claiming, had “bomb-making factories” in “every district”. This explosive claim of the number two in the Union Cabinet was lapped by mainstream media and soon there were calls to impose President’s Rule in the state.
The idea of education being imparted without any compulsion to declare one’s religion is definitely a welcome thing
Principal’s office of Bethune College, Kolkata, which included Humanity as an option under the religion category. Image Courtesy: college dunia
A college admission form introducing new options under ‘religion’? Talking about humanity, secular, non-religious, atheism!
Well, in an ambience loaded with religiosity and its increasing conflation with the State, it is rather difficult to believe that some colleges may take such a creative step to convey how they see what is happening around them? No doubt this is a small step but, as noted by analysts, this is an attempt to break/challenge the ‘construction of identity, thought and social and political space, indirectly conveying the vision of a secular and diverse India.’
The significance of this little step can be better understood if one looks into the fact that the elections held to the 17th Lok Sabha — which has returned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power — have demonstrated that BJP is ‘the most preferred party of young India’. It drew support cutting across caste as well as class lines. This is the same BJP which, along with its ‘Parivar’ siblings, has consciously tried to conflate religion with exercise of power and has been successful in collapsing the majority faith into rabid nationalism that targets differences and dissent and other specific groups, as the ‘other’ according to its worldview.
सी पी एम या भारतीय कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी (मार्क्सवादी) पिछले दिनों अपनी एक सदस्य की वजह से खबर में रही. अनुशासनहीनता के कारण जगमती सांगवान को पार्टी से निकालने का निर्णय किया गया,ऐसी सूचना उसके वक्तव्य में दी गई है. जगमती पार्टी की केन्द्रीय समिति की सदस्य थीं.
जगमती सांगवान को पार्टी से निकाला बाद में गया, केन्द्रीय समिति की बैठक के दौरान ही पहले वे बाहर निकल आई थीं और प्रेसवालों के सामने पार्टी छोड़ने का ऐलान कर दिया था.लेकिन कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी में ही नहीं,किसी भी पार्टी में शायद ही किसी सदस्य को खुद पार्टी से अलग होने का गौरव लेने दिया जाता रहा हो! यह फैसला पार्टी ही कर सकती है कि सदस्य का रिश्ता पार्टी से कैसा और कितना लंबा होगा.इसलिए कम से कम इस आधार पर सी पी एम की आलोचना करने के पहले पार्टियों के तंत्र की आलोचना करने की आवश्यकता होगी. Continue reading सी पी एम के भीतर जनतांत्रिक विरोध के अधिकार का प्रश्न – जगमती सांगवान के बहाने→
This is the text of the Ambedkar Memorial lecture delivered byASHIS NANDYat the India International Centre on 14 April 2012, under the auspices of Ambedkar University, Delhi.
It was published in Economic and Political Weekly, July 28, 2010
Every generation likes to believe that it is living in momentous times, witnessing the death of one world and the birth of another, negotiating what pre-war Bengali writers used to grandly call yugasandhikshana, the moment when two epochs meet. This generation of Indians too believes that it is seeing such changes and even participating in them. Perhaps they are. However, I shall argue here that, along with transitions in society and politics to which they like to stand witness, there are transitions in cultures of knowledge and states of awareness of which they may be gloriously innocent. And they perhaps try to protect that innocence. The categories we deploy to construe our world images are parts of our innermost self and to disown them is to disown parts of ourselves and jeopardise our self-esteem. Even when we struggle to shed these categories, they survive like phantom limbs do in some amputees. Or perhaps they survive the way one of Freud’s three universal fantasies, the one about immortality, does. When you imagine yourself dead, you are still there, fully alive, looking at yourself as dead. Continue reading Theories of Oppression and another Dialogue of Cultures: Ashis Nandy→
That is a clip from The Postmaster (the first story in Teen Kanya, directed by Satyajit Ray).
Trisha Gupta on Tagore’s characters, seen better in films than in English translation:
In film after film, we see events through the eyes of the educated Bengali man trying to deal with a world that has either changed too much—or too little. The protagonist is often a young man from the city who arrives at a small provincial outpost, armed with a modern Western education and little else, his head full of glimpses of another world that seem only to succeed in cutting him off from everything around him. Continue reading Tagore in film→
The remarkable Singur Land Development and Rehabilitation Bill, passed in the West Bengal Assembly on June 14 became an Act on June 20. The Act scrapped the previous Left Front government’s deal with Tata Motors and has provisions to return land to unwilling farmers. Consequently, Singur land was taken over by the State government prompting Tata Motors to legally challenge the whole Act and a judicial battle has ensued between them and the newly elected State government. The State government may continue to return land in right earnest since there is no legal bar to that as of now. One would think that by many standards, this is a landmark bill that challenges and confronts policy consensus in issues of land transfer, models of enclosing and a concomitant notion of development that marks our nation at this point of time.