Tag Archives: Rajnath Singh

Why exoneration of Sadhvi Pragya should worry everyone who stands for justice

Why exoneration of Sadhvi Pragya should worry everyone who stands for justice

There are a few photographs which the bigwigs of the Hindutva Brigade/Sangh Parivar would like to be erased from public memory. One such photograph shows Sadhvi Pragya, an ex-member of the ABVP, sitting with Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Rajnath Singh and few others. As it was later revealed they had gathered to console the widow of a BJP leader from MP, who had just died.

Public memory is very short but one can stretch it a bit to recollect the tremendous consternation in BJP/RSS circles when Sadhvi Pragya was arrested by the Anti Terrorist Squad led by the legendary police office Hemant Karkare on 23 October, 2008 for her alleged role in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast. This photograph had suddenly gone viral when there were denials by many leaders of the saffron brigade that they had never met her.

Now that the NIA, the federal agency established by the government to combat terror in India, has given a ‘clean chit’ to Sadhvi Pragya and few of her accomplices, should one expect that all those photographs showing her proximity to various leaders of the saffron establishment would be prominently exhibited? It must be remembered that leaders of BJP have even claimed that it was an act of “treason” to arrest her.

(Read the remaining article here : http://www.catchnews.com/politics-news/why-exoneration-of-sadhvi-pragya-should-worry-everyone-who-stands-for-justice-1463399413.html)

Hate as Harmony – Law and Order under Saffrons



Muslims were equated to “demons” and “descendants of Ravana”, and warned of a “final battle”, as the Sangh Parivar held a condolence meeting here for VHP worker Arun Mahaur, who was killed last week allegedly by some Muslim youths. Among those present on the dais were Union Minister of State, HRD, and BJP Agra MP Ram Shankar Katheria as well as the BJP’s Fatehpur Sikri MP Babu Lal, apart from other party local leaders, who joined in the threats to Muslims. Speaker after speaker urged Hindus to “corner Muslims and destroy the demons (rakshas)”, while declaring that “all preparations” had been made to effect “badla (revenge)” before the 13th-day death rituals for Mahaur.



What does someone do in the winter of one’s own life when you discover that the values you cherished, the principles for which you fought for have suddenly lost their meaning and the world  before you is turning upside down ?

Perhaps you express your anguish to your near and dear ones or write a letter about the deteriorating situation around you in your favourite newspaper or as a last resort appeal to the custodians of the constitution that how you are ‘forced to hang your head in shame’.

Admiral Ramdas, who has served Indian Military for more than four decades and has remained socially active since then, followed his voice of conscience. Continue reading Hate as Harmony – Law and Order under Saffrons

The New School in Solidarity with JNU


We, the undersigned, students, faculty, alumni, and staff at the New School University, New York, stand in solidarity with the students, staff, and faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, in their protests against the militarization of the campus and suppression of dissent by anti-democratic and divisive Hindu nationalist groups allied with the Modi government. Continue reading The New School in Solidarity with JNU

Delhi Stands With JNU Students and Against the Evil Modi Regime

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are...”-

Bertholt Brecht

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This afternoon saw an amazing, uplifting show of peaceful, joyful strength by students, young people, teachers, friends in Delhi, in support of JNU, in memory of Rohith Vemula, in solidarity with Kanhaiya, Umar and all the students in JNU who are being so stellar in their principled opposition to this evil, venal Modi regime. Reports of massive protests are coming in from Kolkata, Russia to and elsewhere. Something is changing in the air.
It was a perfect spring afternoon, overcast like our times, but breezy like our morale. There must have been at least 15,000 people on the march today. We met old and long lost friends and made new ones.

The gathering was totally peaceful. Young  women and men, student profits from JNU in the eighties, grey haired, felt young again as their student held aloft flowers, flags, signs and homemade banners. Everyone looked their best, as if they had come to a massive street party.

It was so infectious, the mood this afternoon, such a contrast to the vile bad temper of the men who attacked Kanhaiya and his supporters two days in a row at the Patiala House Courts two days in a row that the difference between two entirely different visions of politics was palpable on your skin. The contrast sent a clear message to all our senses.

The RSS-ABVP-BJP brand of politics is diseased. It’s on its last legs and that is why it is so desperate. It cannot perform, it has no ideas, it is morally and culturally bankrupt.

Universities are in crisis and all that the bad TV actress who makes a joke of her ministry (HRS) every day can think of today while thousands March against her and her boss is about sticking giant flagpoles into the ground and stitching gigantic silk shrouds for her  government and her party.

Modi, Rajnath and Manusmriti Irani should quake in fear. Their time is up.

Very proud of JNU students and the people of Delhi today.

#StandwithJNU #StandwithKanhaiya




Spring Comes to JNU : Love, Laughter and Rage

A Small Fragment of the Human Chain in JNU, 14th February, 2016
A Small Fragment of the Human Chain in JNU, 14th February, 2016

February is a beautiful time of the year in Delhi. It inaugurates Basant, spring, the season for love. And it is made more beautiful by an incandescent, insurgent spirit, that spreads in the air like a loving contagion, especially around what the Hindu Right rehearses for months on end to spoil – the new found festival of Valentine’s Day.

Traditionally (or at least since as long ago as the late twentieth century CE), on Valentine’s Day, the loony Hindu right goes looking for lovers in the parks of Delhi and tries to ply its own line in the extortion trade. This time, they have been joined by some big guns. The Delhi police descended on some young people belonging to a theatre group who had stepped out to have tea during a poetry reading at the IGNCA on the grounds that they ‘looked like they were JNU students’. Meanwhile, their boss, the Honorable Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (who deserves a Bharat Ratna all by himself for skills as a performance artist) regaled a press conference with a poker faced comic act –  his revelation of the Lashkar e Taiba’s links to the JNU protests on the basis of the discovery of a fake twitter handle. The fact that Rajnath Singh still has his job is because his boss Narendra Modi, our ‘dear leader’, is the chief architect of  the ‘Fake in India’ campaign.

Holy Cow
Holy Cow (courtesy, ‘Guess Who’)

One needs love, and laughter, plenty of laughter, to survive these times, and the antics of these men. Over the last two days, it is love, laughter, sorrow and rage, in equal proportion that have been most evident in the JNU campus in Delhi. Their signs were evident again, appropriately,  yesterday, on Valentine’s Day. A student population of thousands has been able to transform its rage at the capitulation of the recently appointed vice-chancellor and his cronies to the diktats of an incompetent home minister and his minions in the Delhi Police apparatus into a deep and abiding sense of good humoured solidarity. This is demonstrated by the support that they have readily offered Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of their students union, who is currently detained, facing ridiculous charges of sedition, and several other students, including some JNUSU office bearers, who the police are still reportedly hunting for. The hashtag #StandwithJNU has gone viral, spreading, connecting, bringing people together like the sudden awakening of spring after a cruel winter. What better way can there be of celebrating Valentine’s Day than to declare, en masse, a love for liberty, and for learning?

Continue reading Spring Comes to JNU : Love, Laughter and Rage

Statement by Educators, Intellectuals, Artists and Writers on Police Action in JNU

We, the undersigned, (educators, professors, intellectuals, writers and artists), are shocked by the appalling conduct of Delhi Police at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi yesterday. We also condemn the irresponsible sloganeering by some people at the fringes of a gathering on the JNU campus to mark the third anniversary of the execution of Afzal Guru. We believe that such calls to ‘war, until the destruction of India’ erode the gravity of any serious discussion on any political question, be it capital punishment, human rights or even the question of self-determination. Such conduct is shameful, regardless of who does it, and deserving of the sharpest criticism.

That said, the only way to counter such incidents, when they occur, is through a deepening of dialogue, not through police action. The police has no business to enter places of learning and harass students (including students who were clearly trying to defuse the situation and to take a stand against the irresponsible elements who gave the objectionable slogans) when there had been no breach of peace.

We condemn the arrest of Kanhaiyya Kumar, president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union on trumped up charges of sedition and demand that he be released immediately. Kanhaiyya’s public statements, which are widely available, clearly show that sedition is the last thing that you can charge him with. The University Authorities must take steps to ensure that the witch hunt that is ensuing against other students must also cease immediately. We demand that there be no more arrests of students. We are saddened by the new JNU Vice Chancellor’s readiness to submit to the diktats of the police, and we condemn the totally outrageous statements by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and the Minister for Human Resources Development Smriti Irani which virtually declare war on universities as spaces for dissent and debate.

We demand an unconditional withdrawal of police personnel from campuses, and reiterate our support and solidarity with the students, faculty and staff of JNU, and with students everywhere in India who are pursuing a courageous resistance against the ongoing assault on higher education unleashed by the BJP government.

Aditya Nigam, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

Ashis Nandy, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

Bharti Kher, Artist, Delhi

Debjani Sengupta, Associate Professor, Department of English, Indraprastha College, Delhi University

Gauri Gill, Artist, Delhi

Gayatri Sinha, Curator, Delhi

Geeta Kapur, Curator, Delhi

Iram Ghufran, Filmmaker, Delhi

Jeet Thayil, Poet, Delhi

K. Satchidanandan, Poet, Delhi

Karen Gabriel, Department of English, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University

Lawrence Liang, Alternative Law Forum, Bangaluru

Moinak Biswas, Professor, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Nancy Adajania, Curator, Mumbai

Nandini Datta, Associate Professor, Miranda House, Delhi University

Neha Choksi, Artist, Mumbai

Nivedita Menon, Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Theory, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

P.K.Vijayan, Department of English, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University

Pallavi Paul, Artist/Filmmaker, Delhi

Parnal Chirmuley, Associate Professor, Centre of German Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Pratiksha Baxi, Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Rajarshi Dasgupta, Assistant Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Rajeev Bhargava, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

Ravi Sundaram, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

Ravi Vasudevan, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

Romila Thapar, Historian, Emeritus Professor, Jawharalal Nehru University

S. Kalidas, Critic, Delhi / Goa

Sahej Rehal, Artist, Mumbai

Sabina Kidwai, Associate Professor, AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi

Sabeena Gadihoke, Associate Professor, AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi

Sanjay Kak, Filmmaker, Delhi

Sarnath Banerjee, Artist, Delhi / Berlin

Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi

Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, Fellow, Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences, Kolkata

Shohini Ghosh, Professor, AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi

Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Artist, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi

Subodh Gupta, Artist, Delhi

Sumit Sarkar, Historian, Formerly Professor, Department of History, Delhi University

Tanika Sarkar, Historian, Formerly Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Vivan Sundaram, Artist, Delhi



What’s wrong with these headlines? (Answer – It’s Election time, Stupid)

Another disputed mosque sparks Ballabgarh riots” (The Hindu)

Ballabhgarh Communal tension: At heart of dispute lie a temple and half-built mosque” (The Indian Express)


Muslim families at Ballabhgarh city police station on Wednesday night after fleeing riots in their village.(Express Photo by: Gajendra Yadav)

This one image should be issued as a ceremonial postage stamp to commemorate one year of Modi’s rule. We have said it many times already, but here it is, once more, with feeling – this is a bloody, violent Hindutvavaadi regime, with a cool headed, coldly vicious master-mind at its head – he of the Swarovski eye glasses, the 10 Lakh Rupee Suit, the diamond Movado watch – he of the infinite silences on All That Matters.

Continue reading What’s wrong with these headlines? (Answer – It’s Election time, Stupid)

Character builders of the nation

‘Na Taala Toota na tijori, Phirbhi BJP Mukhyalaya se dhai karod chori.’
(Neither the lock was broken nor the safe, yet 2.5 crore Rs were stolen from the Party headquarters.)
– An SMS which was circulated widely in the journalist community.

What is the weight of Rs. 2.5 crore if one decides to have the whole amount packed in the denomination of Rs.1,000 notes ?

It is exactly 31 kilograms.

Please do not get surprised over my correct reply. I just wanted to share few details of the ‘theft’ at the headoffice of the main opposition party namely BJP which has appeared in different newspapers.

According to the treasurer of the party there is no cause of worry and once the ‘ankeshan” (auditing) is over then only something definite can be said about it. The latest news is that amount supposedly missing from the coffers has been reduced without any further explanation. Continue reading Character builders of the nation