Tag Archives: Rijul Kochhar

The Hidden Injuries of Race: A Response to Lawrence Liang: Rijul Kochhar

Guest post by RIJUL KOCHHAR

Turn on the television any given day now, and you will be greeted by the news-media in unison informing you about the psychosis of fear—“north east fear/scare” is a useful shorthand—that seems to have gripped some of our fellow citizens. The numerous characterizations, all of which are variations on a theme, are not only ill-informed, they are also wholly inadequate and directionless. What does it mean to say that north-easterners are in the grip of fear, running away herd-like to their corners of the home-world? The bovine image, though useful in the sense of visualizing the sheer numbers involved, doesn’t allow us to think beyond.

This piece is an attempt in that direction. The fear is real, it is palpable on the railway platforms and at airports of major cities, and it surely has had the potency to disrupt a large number of people in the steps and motions of their daily lives. Others, including on Kafila, have written about the contentious issue of borders and migrants, of numbers and mutable identities; The Hindu has featured a series of interesting articles under the Sunday Story section, delineating the central role of information-technology and communication—technology whose role itself has radically transmuted amidst the last few months of the troubles, where we have seen the emergence of the cellphone screen as the new, unchartered frontier of radical, affective simulacra. Fingers have been raised, especially by our ever-articulate military-intelligence-scholarly community, against the customary foreign hand, and many of their accusations, might, in the days ahead, speak their own truth.

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Creating Happiness – Rijul Kochhar

Guest post by RIJUL KOCHHAR

 

It is a minute and a half long, and from the moment you see it, you will know that there is something sinister about it—a scenario of forced forgetfulness. It is displacement incarnate, and what is it doing, this aesthetic of obscenity? Is this retribution or charity, or retribution through charity, the developmental discourse of murderous sustainability through erasure? You will be puzzled and worried, harried and then it will make you sleep again in pious numbness, for isn’t the world—its deep blue sky and crystal fluid and cleansing sunlight, and bright flowery faces, its innocent time—just so beautiful! You will find that you cannot respond to it, physically, humanly, for it is not receptive to the organic. It cannot be mediated. It is a ghoul, perched to haunt and hypnotize us out of the memory of its past terrors. You remember, lenore, and wasn’t it to be nevermore? It is an electrical transmission and nothing more, or is it? It is a triumph of pre-postmodern, oily chic, so cloaked in ancient blood, that the blood has caked and turned black and fallen off, revealing the identical colour of the master’s heart, now you see it, now you don’t. The laceration has been hidden by the three-day apoptosis—the extra-cellular matrix, the forgetful memory’s collagen. But you will need to dig outward and inward from here, and very deep. It is there on my screen, this light of blood-lust, “Vedanta: Creating Happiness”, and every time a new or repeated tale from half way across the world is beamed, news every quarter of an hour, this monstrosity accompanies those facts like some leech feeding on reality. You remember Sontag, and isn’t she who had her way with those words: “Now there is a master scenario available to everyone. The color is black, the material is leather, the seduction is beauty, the justification is honesty, the aim is ecstasy, the fantasy is death.”

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Disability Law Violations in Delhi University admissions – notes from the margins: Rijul Kochhar

Guest post by RIJUL KOCHHAR

Contrary to what they may tell you, they don’t really give a damn about the disabled in this country. Systemically flouted laws, polite terms substituted for impolite realities, and stony silences meted to those who seek to question—these comprise the working of the disability model in this nation, a model that only goes so far as the abundance of obligation and ‘feel-good’ eye-wash will take it. The juggling of words—‘disabled’ for handicapped, then annihilation of ‘crippled’, and finally that awful phrase regnant in contemporary fashionable use, ‘differently/specially-abled’—constitutes our single biggest achievement as far as dealing with the disabled as rights-bearing persons is concerned. Continue reading Disability Law Violations in Delhi University admissions – notes from the margins: Rijul Kochhar