Tag Archives: JNU

No to social apartheid! JNU students protest today against CWG ‘view cutters’


AP photo by Manish Swarup
AP photo by Manish Swarup


Latest Indian addition to the English language: View cutter.
The government and civic agencies in association with the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) had identified several sites central to hosting the Games where view cutters were put up to conceal the eyesores as well as for security reasons.
A government official said one of the purposes to put up the view cutters was to screen the beggars who crowd major religious and historical landmarks.
The plan is to relocate the destitute to parks and surround the place with slick banners and paraphernalia sporting Games mascot Shera and other logos, the official said.
Protest March today, 13th of October, 4 p.m. from Ganga Dhabha to the slum dwellings at the Priya crossway. 


Leaflet issued by the joint protest committee, JNU

Friends, CWG 2010 is now almost coming to an end. The whole country has been in a celebratory frenzy for the last two weeks. The government has made the successful completion of these games an issue of “National pride”. They have left no stones unturned to impress the whole world. The same government which claims to have no money when it comes to the issues of drought, health and education has wasted thousands of crores on just the opening ceremony. It is distressing to see that while we are counting medals won by India, we have completely forgotten that there is a vast section of people who instead of benefitting are adversely affected during our blind celebration of this “colonial hangover”.

Continue reading No to social apartheid! JNU students protest today against CWG ‘view cutters’

The Commissar in his Labyrinth

Prakash Karat, Gen Sec, CPI(M), photo courtesy The Hindu
Prakash Karat, Gen Sec, CPI(M), photo courtesy The Hindu

Look carefully at this grey, arrogant and humourless face: The face of the Commissar, who on 22 July went into Lenin-in-October 1917 mode, predicting an uprising in the country if the Indo-US Nuclear Deal was pushed through. However much one might have sympathized with the man and his party on this issue, there was something strange and inexplicable in the game he started playing at that point. At least publicly, that seemed to have been the beginning. For those who have known him and his ways from closer quarters, know him to be an utterly vindictive man with a blood-curdinlingly cold and calculating mind. Ruthless inside the party, he was now playing out this same game outside. His stance on Somnath Chatterjee (and let there be no mistake, it was entirely his), leading to the latter’s expulsion, was just an instance of his style. This time he made a serious error. Continue reading The Commissar in his Labyrinth

Balraj Sahni’s Convocation Address at Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1972

About twenty years ago, the Calcutta Film Journalists’ Association decided to honour the late Bimal Roy, the maker of Do Bigha Zameen and us, his colleagues. It was a simple but tasteful ceremony. Many good speeches were made, but the listeners were waiting anxiously to hear Bimal Roy. We were all sitting on the floor, and I was next to Bimal Da. I could see that as his turn approached he became increasingly nervous and restless. And when his turn came he got up, folded his hands and said, “Whatever I have to my I say it in my films. I have nothing more to say,” and sat down.

There is a lot in what Bimal Da did, and at this moment my greatest temptation is to follow his example. The fact that I am not doing so is due solely to the profound regard I have for the name which this august institution bears; and the regard I have for yet another person, Shri P.C. Joshi, who is associated with your university. I owe to him some of the greatest moments of my life, a debt which I can never repay. That is why when I received an invitation to speak on this occasion, I found it impossible to refuse. If you had invited me to sweep your doorstep I would have felt equally happy and honoured. Perhaps that service would have been more equal to my merit.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not trying to be modest. Whatever I said was from my heart and whatever I shall say further on will also be from my heart, whether you find it agreeable and in accordance with the tradition and spirit of such occasions or otherwise. As you may know, I have been out of touch with the academic world for more than a quarter of a century. I have never addressed a University Convocation before. Continue reading Balraj Sahni’s Convocation Address at Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1972