Recently, on fieldwork in a peri-urban panchayat in Kerala devastated by illegal large-scale granite quarrying, a local resident pointed us to what looked like a hillock. It was covered with vegetation — and flowers of a pleasant lilac — which made a very pretty sight — and to the naked eye, looked as solid as any other hillock in the peripheries of the Western Ghats. “This hillock,” he clarified, “is actually just a heap. It is the earth loosened by quarrying, heaped up here over a long time. Because it is overgrown by weeds, we think it is a verdant hill.” Far from being the latter, he said, it poses a serious danger to the neighborhood. “A spell of really heavy rain can bring it down and just imagine what will happen to the houses below?”Continue reading Molehills from mountains and other stories from kerala
I can hardly describe the joy and relief I felt reading your piece on the Hadiya case in the Hindu yesterday. By now I am nearly deaf from the cacophony of misogyny, islamophobia, and sheer short-sighted rage that CPM supporters on Facebook are unleashing against this young woman.
Your voice of sanity, Comrade, is therefore a great restorative. If not for your writing, one could have well thought that the CPM was nothing more than a bunch of short sighted, power hungry, strategisers, whose total lack of ethics and values is covered up by a vapid, outdated rationalism and an equally problematic liberalism. You refuse to condemn Hadiya for choosing Islam. You acknowledge that she is brave. You unequivocally reject the father and other minions of patriarchy. You rightly criticise state patriarchy evident in the Supreme Court. Unlike many CPM supporters here, you have no illusions about the times we live in; you are clearly aware that the NIA is not something which will spare us if we stay good. Importantly, you put paid to the idea that the High Court judgement that sanctioned her illegal custody was justified — an idea assiduously nurtured by certain public figures allied with the CPM against religious Muslims. Comrade, thank you again for being so forthright and in the face of snarling islamophobes in your own ranks actually gunning for the voice you raised against her illegal custody long back.
[This is the text of the open letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala from the celebrated Tamil poet Rajathi Salma, a leading literary and activist voice from South India whose writing has often revealed the pain and poignancy of women’s unfreedoms and the denial of a creative life of choice to them. This is about the never-ending agony that the confinement of a young woman, Hadiya, by her father, has become. Hadiya is to be heard by the Supreme Court of India on 27 November 2017, but the Kerala government refuses to take responsibility for her safe travel to Delhi, after many many pleas from civil society] Continue reading Hadiya’s Safety is the Kerala Government’s Responsibility: Rajathi Salma writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala
[A version of this letter has also been sent to Com. MC Josephine, Chairperson, Kerala State Women’s Commission] Continue reading End the isolation and imprisonment of Hadiya: Feminists write to the Chief Minister of Kerala
[This is the text of the open letter written by eminent economist and leading development activist Prof. Amit Bhaduri, to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan] Continue reading Let us rise to the defense of the Indian Constitution: Letter to the Kerala Chief Minister from Prof. Amit Bhaduri
[This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent poet and public intellectual K Satchidanandan to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan] Continue reading Help us resist the Hindutva thought-machine: K Satchidanandan writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala
(This is the text of the open letter from leading women’s studies scholar and renowned feminist intellectual, Prof. Samita Sen, to the Chief Minister of Kerala on the Hadiya case) Continue reading Restore Hadiya’s Dignity as an Adult: Prof. Samita Sen to the Chief Minister of Kerala
This is the text of the open letter to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan from Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, All-India Progressive Women’s Association]
[This is the text of the open letter to M C Josephine, Chairperson, KSWC, from Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, All-India Progressive Women’s Association]