Close on the heels of the planned disruption of a speech by Siddharth Varadrajan, noted journalist and ex-editor of ‘The Hindu’ on the Allahabad University campus by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (http://thewire.in/2016/01/23/editors-guild-condemns-abvp-threats-to-the-wires-founding-editor-20015/) has come the news that Sandeep Pandey, who has been working as a guest faculty in IIT-BHU for the last two and half years was recently threatened allgegedly by members of the same fraternity on the university campus itself.
It may be added here that Sandeep Pandey’s services were abruptly terminated by the university on the charge of being a naxalite and being involved in ‘anti-national’ activities (http://kafila.org/2016/01/11/letter-against-dismissal-of-prof-sandeep-pandey/). Looking at the aggressive manner in which members of the Hindutva fraternity seem to be moving it is quite possible that their threats will not remain merely at the level of words and one definitely perceives a danger to Sandeep’s well being at their hands. Continue reading Sandeep Pandey threatened by RSS persons on IIT-BHU campus
Guest post by PRADIP KUMAR DATTA
Siddharth Varadarajan’s article raises some very important dilemmas before Modi which is really a rehearsal of the development versus welfare debate now bound to be exacerbated with the runaway capitalism that Modi promises to unleash.
But it raises another important question. Can we simply forget the past and get on with the future? Can we join the futurist chorus of Modi and his Thatcherite – Reaganite followers? Can an electoral mandate, even one as powerful as this, remove permanently the memory of 2002?
The immediate analogy comes with the anti Sikh riots followed by the 1984 verdict. 1984 returns every election to haunt the Congress even after they have made a Sikh prime minister for 10 years. Some historical memories are very stubborn and refuse to leave off the haunting of the future. It is not as if there have not been many riots. But only some riots achieve a historically emblematic status that remove them from the realms of simple memory alone. Some events become symbolic rallying points and they invite an excess of documentation, of witness testimonies, of cultural representations, all of which memorialize and fix them in chronology as a rupture in time that can never quite be bridged by the stitchings or blurrings of popular oral memory alone. In such events the archive becomes memory. Continue reading The Modi Mandate – A Belated Response to S Varadarajan: Pradip Datta