Guest Post by Pallavi Paul.
[ This is a response by Pallavi Paul to a post by Ashley Tellis titled ‘Indians are racist, but Africans are not nice either’ that was published recently on the Daily O]
Let me, at the outset state that I feel almost bad taking on such a soft target . I say soft because there is nothing redeemable about Ashley Tellis’ hatred towards ‘dangerous’, ‘morally corrupt’, ‘threatening’ and most importantly ‘unfriendly’ Africans. However, because we are dealing with someone who stakes claim in political-critical thought (or so I am told), this is important to do.
While Tellis cursorily signposts the odd murder and some statements made by a few ministers, he dedicates the rest of the article to creating a portrait of these “Africans” (an all subsuming term that can accommodate an entire continent). By having been a resident of Kishangarh, a colony in Delhi where some ‘Africans’ also happen to live, he takes on the role of the expert in ‘African’ behavior. He produces eye witness accounts of the depravity of these people.
Continue reading Ashley Tellis ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai? What makes Ashley Tellis so Angry: Pallavi Paul
Guest post by DARAB FAROOQUI
जी हाँ मैं भैंस हूँ और करीब 5000 साल से लगातार पानी में जा रही हूँ. जब भी किसी का कुछ भी बुरा हो रहा होता है तो हमेशा मुझे ही पानी में जाना पड़ता है. ना उस वक़्त मेरे नहाने की इच्छा होती और ना तैरने का मन. पर मुझे ना चाहते हुवे भी पानी में जाना पड़ता है.
तुम लोग कभी उस सफ़ेदमूही गाय को पानी में क्यों नहीं भेजते हो. और वैसे भी हम अल्पसंख्य हैं, हमसे कहीं ज्यादा गायें हैं भारत में. और शायद तुम्हे याद न हो, हमारे संविधान में सब बराबर हैं. पर इतना सब कुछ करने के बाद भी तुम लोगों ने हमें कभी अपना नहीं समझा. हमने क्या नहीं किया तुम्हारे लिये, तुम्हे अपने बच्चों का दूध दिया, तुम्हारे खेत जोते, तुम्हारे चूल्हे जलाये. कितने बलिदान दिए हमने पर तुम्हारे तो कान पर भैंस तक नहीं रेंगी.
सबसे पहला बटर पनीर किसके दूध का बना था? हमारे दूध का, पंजाब में हम ही हैं. और वो जो तुम हमेशा पंजाबी ढाबे पे खाने की रट लगाये रहते हो वहां जाके पूछना, उस खाने का स्वाद कहाँ से आता है? हमारे दूध के असली घी से. चले हैं बड़े गाय की पैरवी करने. कभी अच्छे वक़्त पर हमें याद मत करना. पर जब भी किसी का कुछ बुरा हो, चाहे हम सोती हों या जगती, चाहे हम खाती हों या पीती, हमें ही पानी में भेज देना. तुम्हारे बाप का राज है ना, सरकार तुम्हारी, तुम माई बाप हो, हम तो जानवर हैं. किसी ने सही कहा है जिसकी लाठी उसी की भैंस. Continue reading गयी भैंस पानी में…. : दाराब फ़ारूक़ी
Guest Post by Arjun Rajkhowa
I read with interest Lawrence Liang and Golan Nauluk’s piece in The Hindu (4 February 2014, ‘Cultural ignorance and prejudice’). They rightly point out the various gaps and fissures in our understanding of racism and its impact on those whose identities are often placed outside the “rubric of Indian nationhood”. They also suggest, insightfully, that the “complicated history of the northeast with its various self-determination movements and armed struggles requires a slightly different imagination of multicultural citizenship”.
Using this as a point of departure, I’d like to discuss another dimension of the “cultural difference” they foreground in their piece – the manner in which Indian nationhood is constructed in the northeast. Manifold exclusionary tendencies manifest themselves in northeastern politics and, for someone who is from the region, it is impossible to disentangle these from current discussions on racism. While it is important to interrogate the existence of prejudicial attitudes towards northeasterners in a city like Delhi, such questioning cannot be extricated from the larger context of the conceptualization of nationhood and identity within the northeast, for the two are closely imbricated issues.
Continue reading Racism and the NE – Exclusion and prejudice: Arjun Rajkhowa
On the morning of 17 January, the very day after Somnath Bharti carried out his vigilante act – and I maintain, despite Arvind Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav, that it was a vigilante act – I wrote a post relating to the dangers of xenophobia, racism and vigilantism that this act portended. I felt called upon to write that post because one of the valuable political lessons I have learnt over the years is that there can be no unconditional support for any political formation. Every support must be is contextual and conjunctural, never for all eternity. My criticism was therefore of someone who is invested in the process that AAP and Kejriwal have unleashed and I want it to succeed. In invoking xenophobia and racism, my point, however, was that the leadership of the party has a role to play in relation to political education and cannot simply flow with the local sentiment.
I have always maintained, right from the days of the anti-corruption movement led by the IAC, that the movement and its later avatar, the AAP, had opened out a space of new possibilities. The mass support that the movement and now AAP is drawing is primarily, in my view, a function of the fact that it can mean many things to many people. ‘Clarity’ on every issue concerning the world is not its agenda. This is why some of us have been arguing that the movement/ party is still taking shape. It does not yet have a ready-made, given ideological form. This is why it can be shaped. Its future is radically open. I see no reason to change that position yet. Yes, it is in the design of things that there are Kumar Vishwases and Somnath Bhartis in that formation, and it disturbs our sensibilities no end. But that is precisely the challenge – if we cannot deal with them, we cannot deal with ordinary folk either. Moreover, everybody can change and it is simply arrogant upper class presumptuousness to mock at the ‘uncouthness’ of someone or hold their past against them (in the case of Vishwas). In any case, for anyone seriously interested in changing the existing state of affairs, it should be quite clear that the entire business is about changing ‘common sense’, to put it in Gramscian language. We don’t live in an already transformed universe. Continue reading In Defense of the ‘Post-Ideological’ Aam Aadmi – Yet Again!
Guest post by Bonojit Hussain
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, in his manifesto, hailed Hindutva forces in India as an important ally in his envisaged fight against what he calls the “cultural Marxist/social humanist” world order. But he seems to be far more impressed by the conservative cultural milieu of South Korea as far as migrants are concerned; so much so that his manifesto is not only replete with praises for South Korean society and State but also his stated goal for Europe is to achieve a “mono-cultural” ethos, modeled on South Korea. Breivik believes that South Korea being a “scientifically advanced, economically progressive” society “out rightly rejects multiculturalism and Marxist cultural principles”.
Breivik’s manifesto might appear to be full of rambling political rants; but it seems he is not radically off the mark in understanding Korea’s hatred for migrants. So much so that right wing groups in Korea must have smiled and said in Unison “At last! Somebody recognizes our real value”.
Continue reading Breivik’s model nation and migrants in South Korea: Bonojit Hussain
guest post by S. ANAND
We Back on the Ground (WeBOG) would like to congratulate the Indian state for sending up a rocket towards the moon. Continue reading Whitey On The Moon