Tag Archives: Hamid Ansari

When Charlatans Become Ideologues – The Real ‘Prisoners of the Binary’

Present day Hindus are probably the strongest opponents of Marxism. They are horrified at its doctrine of class-struggle. But they forget that India has been not merely the land of class struggle but she has been the land of class wars. – B. R. Ambedkar, Philosophy of Hinduism.

I often find myself in a bind over whether or not to respond to supposed RSS ideologues, given that they simply trade in lies and hatred with the supreme arrogance of ignorance. One such is the upcoming star on the RSS horizon, a gentleman called Rakesh Sinha, who like the rest of his pack (led by the supreme leader) is currently engaged in a cheap attack on the outgoing Vice-President, Hamid Ansari. His piece in the Indian Express today (linked above) is an  instance of a combination of all these things. So, why should one bother about such a character? Why take him and his discourse seriously? Well, someone had better respond because, because, for one thing they are in power, and are going to teach generations of students that valorous ‘Hindus’ like Maharana Pratap won all the wars, though by some magic, ‘Muslims’ continued to rule for about 8 centuries! For another, there are enough gullible types who really think these people ‘have a point of view’, which should be debated.

As we have repeatedly seen, their ‘having a point of view’ has nothing to do with debate. It is to be enforced by gangs of gorakshaks, anti-romeo squads, hoodlums deciding what will or will not be taught in universities and schools, what will be written, how people should dress and love – and when nothing works, ‘win’ a ‘debate’ like Arun Jaitley claimed they did, by simply arresting the opponents and slapping sedition charges on them. Given this, I do not really address, in person, the ideologue, Rakesh Sinha, who has now made it a fine art to pick up some phrases from the toolkit of what is understood as ‘postmodernism’ by many. Wasn’t it postmodernism, one can  hear them say, that said all viewpoints are equally valid and ‘everything goes’? Wasn’t it postmodernism that challenged the hegemony of Western thought, its logocentrism, its Rationalism (with a capital R) from within that very tradition? Wasn’t it postmodernism again, that by decentering West’s logocentrism, actually gave these RSS-type creatures the gumption to claim that their utterly unsubstantiated viewpoint about the past too was as valid as that of historians who struggled with evidence, painstakingly putting together texts, artefacts and procedures of dating in order to produce a plausible account of the past?

Continue reading When Charlatans Become Ideologues – The Real ‘Prisoners of the Binary’

The Modi regime, its minions in the JNU administration and the brave struggle of whistle blower Prof Rajeev Kumar

The prime minister of India Narendra Modi’s cheap hindutvavaadi jibes in his farewell address to vice president Hamid Ansari were better suited to Republic TV or The Organiser, but under Modi’s regime, parliament is pretty much run like an RSS shakha, and Modi himself seems no different from Arnab Goswami.

Said Modi in parliament to the distinguished out-going vice president:

Aapke karyakaal ka bahut saara hissa West Asia se juda raha hai. Usi dayere mein zindagi ke bahut varsh aapke gaye, usi mahaul mein, usi soch mein, aise logon ke beech mein rahe. Wahan se retire hone ke baad bhi jyadatar kaam wohi raha aapka; Minorities Commission ho yah Aligarh Muslim University ho, zyadatar dayara aapka wohi raha.

Lekin yeh 10 saal puri tarah ek alaga zimma aapka sar mein aaya. Puri tarah ek ek pal samvidhan samvidhan samvidhan ke hi dayere mein chalana. Aur aapne usko bakhubi nibhaane ka bharpur prayaas kiya. Ho sakta hai kuch chatpatahat rahi hogi bhitar aapke andar bhi. Magar aaj ke baad shayad woh sankat bhi nahin rahega. Mukti ka anand bhi rahega aur apni mulbhut jo soch rahi hogi uske anusaar aapko karya karne ka, sochne ka, baat batane ka awsar bhi milega.

Continue reading The Modi regime, its minions in the JNU administration and the brave struggle of whistle blower Prof Rajeev Kumar

‘Son, you outgrew my lap but never my heart’ – Fauzia Ansari in search of her son: Debangana Chatterjee

On August 14, 2013, Shivam Vij wrote in Kafila  about Hamid Ansari, a young Management Studies graduate from Mumbai who crossed the border illegally to Pakistan in November 2012, to meet a young woman, and has been missing since. At the time Shivam wrote the post, there were indications that Hamid had been picked up by Pakistani security agencies.

Beena Sarwar, Pakistani human rights activist, wrote in July this year about the possibility of ‘cautious optimism’, following the directive of Peshawar High Court to Pakistan’s defence and interior ministries to provide full information about the forced disappearance of Hamid Ansari and of 25 others, who are Pakistani nationals. Her account is worth reading in full, outlining as it does, the ways in which cross border solidarities of democratic forces consistently work to soar above and also to undermine the barbed wire fences of nation-states.

DEBANGANA CHATTERJEE, a Delhi-based MA student, met Hamid’s mother a few days ago, and wrote this piece after talking to her, outlining some new developments in the case. We have retained Fauzia Ansari’s voice as far as possible in this narrative.

The story of Hamid Ansari, a 28 year old IT engineer and management studies graduate, started unfolding when I came across his mother, Fauzia Ansari at a conference on ‘Challenges to Indian Democracy’ organized in Delhi by the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace a few days ago, on August 30-31. Fauzia Ansari is a lecturer of Hindi at a college in Mumbai. Like other mothers, Fauzia says she too had vibrant dreams of her son’s bright future. But a nightmare has unfolded instead. Continue reading ‘Son, you outgrew my lap but never my heart’ – Fauzia Ansari in search of her son: Debangana Chatterjee

The Curious Case of Hamid Ansari

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You may think he is a spy or a saboteur. If he is one, would he have spent months trying to reach Kohat from Mumbai and then get caught in just two days?

Sitting in Mumbai, Hamid Ansari fell in love with a Pakistani Pashtun girl over Facebook. He was a 26 year old management teacher, she was a B.Ed. student. After over a year of obsessing about each other over the internet, phone and phone messengers, she called him one day, crying. She had confided in her sister about this online affair, but the sister told the parents, who decided it was time to find her a husband. It was the last phone call. She soon disappeared from Facebook too. Continue reading The Curious Case of Hamid Ansari