Guest post. SHAKEELA interviewed by DALIT CAMERA
[With English translation of transcript also by Dalit Camera]
DC: In the early 2000’s, your movies were very popular while those of mainstream heroes were flops. At that time, the government places several restrictions on your movies. What is your response to that?
Shakeela: Even I have watched the movies of these big stars. They have the just as much “glamour” scenes. However, they have termed only my movies as soft porn, A-film, Shakeela movies, bit movies, etc. That is because Kerala, in particular, is a male dominated society. Therefore, their domination is very evident. Men are given preference. Even if girls study well, they are never encouraged. In such a place, can they accept a woman from another state achieving such high status? Yes, it true. There were several problems.
Continue reading Male Dominance, Exploitation and Hypocrisy in Malayalam Film Industry: Interview with Shakeela by Dalit Camera
On this Republic Day, while armoured tanks muscle across Rajpath in New Delhi, little ossified museums of culture called tableaux charm the assembled pass-holding citizenry and the Prime Minister sits like a barely-sentient caricature of himself behind a bullet-proof screen, it may do well to think about the other republic that remains hidden within the bosom of Superpower India – the republic of unfree labour.
This is a world where the laws of the upside world are inverted – where the more you work, the less you are paid, the more your company profits, the poorer you end up and if you find yourself the victim of an injustice and god forbid complain about it, the police put your family in jail. It’s a great irony of our times that we believe the choice before us is between loving the Nation and loving the Corporation, not realising that most of the time its the same person wearing two grotesque masks. All those who believe that the world begins with their newspapers and television sets and ends at their white picket fences (and all those who don’t), please take a minute to go through the excellent documentation of the war that is raging for workers in this country, put together by the Gurgaon Workers’ Solidarity Group, the Faridabad Mazdoor Sangathan and several other exemplary organisations.
GurgaonWorkersNews – Newsletter 35 (February 2011)
Continue reading The Republic of Exploitation
Link to full fact-finding report by RAJ SAHAI.
Link and background note below sent to us by AMIT SINGH.
[This follows the report by Rashmi Singh on the condition of contract workers in JNU – another institution of higher learning.]
The practice of employing contract workers by IIT Kanpur started increasing at the expense of direct regular employees during the past two decades and presently the figure of the contingent workforce is estimated to be around 2,500. For its normal functioning, the Institute relies upon these contract workers not only for temporary construction works but also for perennial
works such as messing (food preparation, serving and cleaning of kitchen and dishes), civil maintenance, electrical maintenance, horticulture, sanitation and sewer cleaning. The Ministry of Labor and Employment, Government of India, views that inferior labor status, casual nature of employment, lack of job security and poor economic conditions are the major characteristics of contract labor. These most vulnerable workers have been provided unequivocal legal protection by different laws, mainly,
Contract Labor (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 [CL(R & A) Act, 1970], Minimum Wages Act, 1948 [MW Act, 1948], The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 [PW Act, 1936], Workmen Compensation Act & Apprentices Act 1961, and Inter-state Migrant Workmen Act, 1979 [ISMW Act, 1979].
Continue reading Contract Workers in IIT Kanpur: Raj Sahai
“In a world that is really upside down, the true is a moment of the false,” wrote Guy Debord in “The Society of the Spectacle”, his ground-breaking situationist text on mass-media and reality. Forty years after the text was published, on 15 August 2006, Manoj Mishra, a transport contractor in Gaya, Bihar, died in an attempt to generate the ultimate visual image of protest against the non-payment of his dues. Goaded on by a battery of television news cameras, Mishra doused himself with diesel and set himself on fire as the cameras recorded his death. Reports in national newspapers suggest that camera-persons went to the extent of handing him a diesel-soaked rag, and assuring him of rescue once their footage was complete. In the event, private security guards came to his rescue and rushed him to the Patna Medical College Hospital, but by then it was too late. He succumbed to his burns en-route. Continue reading Manoj Mishra gets his TV spot.