Tag Archives: Smriti Irani

IIT-Madras, a Modern Day Agraharam ?

The institute’s recent order, now withdrawn, of separate entrance for non-vegetarians is just a part of the overall policing and push for vegetarianism after the Modi government’s ascent.
IIT Madras
Image Courtesy: Catch News

 

Nagesh (name changed), a bright student at the Indian Institute of Technology- Madras, who hails from a very poor economic background, had a shock of his life when he was entering the hostel mess. Someone literally stopped him at the gate and asked him to enter the mess from the other door if he is not a vegetarian.

A notice was duly pasted at the entrance of the mess, informing everyone of this ‘new order’. Even separate basins were demarcated for the students’ cuisine choices. Talking to a reporter with rage in his eyes, Nagesh questioned how the IIT-Madras management could issue such a discriminatory order without even consulting the students.

As of now, the notices have been removed after taking into consideration the uproar this ‘untouchability of a different kind’ caused at the national level. management is now trying to save itself by putting the blame on the caterer. Anybody can guess that a caterer, who is basically a contractor serving food for a fixed period, cannot suddenly disturb the existing arrangements, divide the mess into two separate sections, and have the courage ‘instructing’ his customers to use separate gates.

Commenting on this episode, the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle – a student group within the institute- which brought this issue to national attention, says:

“Caste masquerades as something else in ‘modern’ society. In IIT Madras campus, it manifests itself as separate entrance, utensils, dining area and wash area in the mess for vegetarian and non-vegetarian students…:

( Read the rest of the article here : https://www.newsclick.in/iit-madras-modern-day-agraharam)

Continue reading IIT-Madras, a Modern Day Agraharam ?

A Nation for Men: Kartik Maini

Guest Post by KARTIK MAINI

Members of the All Assam Photojournalist Association wear black sashes around their mouths to protest against the rape of a photo journalist by five men inside an abandoned textile mill in Mumbai, in the northeastern Indian city of Guwahati, Aug. 24, 2013. (Reuters)

Image courtesy VoA

Later this month, we are told, Textile Minister Smriti Irani will be celebrating the festival of Raksha Bandhan with soldiers in India’s highest, perhaps most brutal battleground: Siachen. As the armed forces begin to occupy a central motif in public discourse on patriotism and national honour; and dissent against the BJP gets overwhelmingly portrayed as national betrayal, honouring the supremely courageous men who protect their brothers and sisters on the nation-state’s fault lines is far from problematic. Indeed, in so far as the nation is performed through patriarchal violence, it is.

Employing the signifier of Raksha Bandhan as a promise of the nation’s cherished men to protect their sisters is not nearly as trivial as many consider – it captures the lived experience of nationalism, as also the phallocentric economy invariably implicit in the idea of nation.

Continue reading A Nation for Men: Kartik Maini

Congratulations on the Completion of Two Years of Government: Reaction of JNU student, Bihu Chamadia

Guest Post by BIHU CHAMADIA

Congratulations on the completion of two years of government. But I just want to ask a simple one line question. Completion of two years but at what cost? At the cost of increase in the number of farmer suicides, at the cost of creating war-like situations in educational institutions, at the cost of acting as a catalyst of widening the gap between hindu-muslim, at the cost of increasing imports and decreasing exports. Celebration on such a large scale because of course it is the first ever government in the history of the world to complete 2 years of governance ! With on-going crisis in the country BJP spends 1000 crores on a programme for this celebration. We would have no problem if this money was yours but sadly it’s not its ours. So now to all the tax payers who had problem with JNU raising its voice I ask you have you people become blind and deaf or are suffering from amnesia and forgot how to read and write.

Well, you speak well Mr Modi but the problem is that you only speak. You and your whole cabinet knows that each and every student of these educational institutes can give you people a befitting reply to all your one liners but we choose not to. People laugh at what your ministers says and say what a fool but I have a completely opposite view. You people are not fool you people are smart, very smart indeed.  Your every policy and every one liner can have a nice reply. Continue reading Congratulations on the Completion of Two Years of Government: Reaction of JNU student, Bihu Chamadia

JNU High Level Committee Delivers a Low Blow – Students Unjustly Rusticated, Fined, Declared ‘Out of Bounds’

So, the High Level Enquiry Committee at JNU, set up under the watch of Jagadish Kumar, the recently appointed Vice Chancellor, has just delivered a low blow. A summary of its decisions (taken from the Facebook Wall of JNUSU Vice President, Shehla Rashid) meted out as the consequences of the events of February 9 and after is as follows :

Umar Khalid, rusticated for one semester + 20K fine.

Anirban, rusticated till 15 July & from 25 July, out of bounds for 5 years.

Another Kashmiri student rusticated for two semesters.

Ashutosh, former JNUSU President, removed from hostel for one year + fine.

Chintu, former JNUSU Gen Sec: 20K fine

Rama, current JNUSU Gen Sec: 20K fine

Anant, former JNUSU Vice-President: 20K fine

Aishwarya, current GSCASH representative: 20K fine.

Gargi, current JNUSU councillor: 20 K fine

Shveta Raj, current SL & CS Convener: 20 K fine

Kanhaiyya, current JNUSU President: 10K fine

Other organisers fined from 10K to 20K

Two ex students declared out of bounds from campus.

This is an administration, which, in obedience to its backers in the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Government of India, that knows only one way of dealing with the students in its charge – and that is a replica of the vindictive path that eventually drove Rohith Vemula to his institutionally mandated death in Hyderabad University.

This is an administration that invited police to intervene in what was essentially a dispute between groups of students, at the instigation of right wing thugs. Continue reading JNU High Level Committee Delivers a Low Blow – Students Unjustly Rusticated, Fined, Declared ‘Out of Bounds’

Statement by Concerned Faculty from The English and Foreign Languages University on the Police Crackdown at HCU

We, the concerned faculty from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, strongly condemn the police brutality at the University of Hyderabad on 22nd March 2016, after the return of Prof. Appa Rao Podile, the Vice-Chancellor accused of abetting the suicide of the Dalit Research Scholar Rohith Vemula. As an academic community, we are extremely disturbed by the excessive interference of the state machinery, administrative conspiracies, the abuse of power and systemic oppression that prevail in many of the universities in India of late. A university should be a just and egalitarian space. But the suicides of Dalit students with the recent case of Rohith Vemula lay bare systemic structures of oppression and institutional legitimization of caste violence existing within Indian universities. Our university spaces need serious re-vamping to ensure equal opportunity, social justice and critical discourses. Continue reading Statement by Concerned Faculty from The English and Foreign Languages University on the Police Crackdown at HCU

जेनयू की सफाई पर स्मृति ईरानी की सफाई: नियति शर्मा

Guest post by NIYATI SHARMA

लोकसभा में स्मृति ईरानी जी की सफाई उर्फ़ भाषण बहुत भावुक, मनोरंजक और प्रभावशाली था। लोग उन्हें ‘आयरन लेडी’ का खिताब दे रहे हैं- यह उनके तर्क के लिए या उनके तेवर के लिए, या फिर उनके यह कहने के लिए की वो अपना सर काट के मायावती जी के चरणों में रख देंगी, पता लगाना थोड़ा मुश्किल है । सोचा था स्मृति जी कुछ सवालों का जवाब देंगी पर असल में मिली एक लम्बी, मेलोड्रामाटिक सफाई जिससे उन्होंने अपनी सरकार की सारी गलतियों पे पर्दा डाल दिया।ऐसी स्तिथि में हम मजबूर हो गए हैं की स्मृति जी से जो सवाल पूछे जाएँ वो तथ्य-सम्बंधित होने के साथ साथ अति भावनात्मक भी हों।

स्मृति जी के अभिनय के सारे सालों का अनुभव उनके भाषण में साफ़ दिखाए दिया। लोकसभा में स्मृति जी के हाव भाव से आक्रोश टपक रहा था पर क्या उन्हें इतना क्रोधित होने का हक़ है? स्मृति जी का यह मानना है की उनके ऊपर काफी बेबुनियादी आरोप लगे हैं, पर यह मामला स्मृति ईरानी जी के बारे में नहीं है, यह मामला उन मासूम छात्रों के बारे में है जिनकी ज़िन्दगी को उन्होंने दांव पर लगा दिया है। आखिर उन ‘बच्चों’ का क्या जिनके ऊपर उन्होंने और उनकी सरकार ने पिछले कुछ दिनों में अनगिनत आरोप लगाये हैं? स्मृति ईरानी जी तो मंत्री हैं, अगर आरोप लगे भी, तो उनकी ज़िन्दगी बर्बाद नहीं होगी, पर जिस क्रूरता से सरकार और मीडिया ने छात्रों का चरित्र-हनन किया, वह कभी भी इससे उभर नहीं पाएंगे। कन्हैया, उमर और अनिर्बान न ही मंत्री हैं जिनके पास कोई राजनैतिक सहारा है और न ही उनके परिवार इतने धनी हैं की वह अपना जीवन, अपनी इज़्ज़त पुननिर्मित कर पाएं। स्मृति जी, आप तो सिर्फ अपने बारे में सोच रही थीं की आप पर और आपकी परफॉरमेंस पर क्या क्या सवाल उठाये गए, क्या आपने एक बार भी सोचा की इन छात्रों के पास आगे ज़िन्दगी में सफाई देने का कोई मौका नहीं होगा? क्या आपने, माँ होने के नाते, यह सोचा की यह छात्र अब कभी भी साधारण जीवन नहीं जी पाएंगे?

Continue reading जेनयू की सफाई पर स्मृति ईरानी की सफाई: नियति शर्मा

स्मृति ईरानी को एक जे-एन-यू के छात्र की चिट्ठि: अनन्त प्रकाश नारायण

Guest Post by Anant Prakash Narayan

सेवा में,

श्रीमती स्मृति ईरानी जी

“राष्ट्रभक्त” मानव संसाधन विकास मंत्री,

भारत सरकार

संसद में दिए गए आपके भाषण को सुना. इससे पहले की मै अपनी बात रखूँ , यह स्पष्ट कर दूं की यह पत्र किसी “बच्चे” का किसी “ममतामयी” मंत्री के नाम नहीं है बल्कि यह पत्र एक खास विचारधारा की राजनीति करने वाले व्यक्ति का पत्र दूसरे राजनैतिक व्यक्ति को है. सबसे पहले मै यह स्पष्ट कर दूं कि मै किसी भी व्यक्ति की योग्यता का आकलन उसकी शैक्षणिक योग्यता के आधार पर नहीं करता हूँ बल्कि साफ़ साफ़ कहूं तो मै “योग्यता”(मेरिट) के पूरे कांसेप्ट को खारिज करता हूँ.

मानव संसाधन मंत्रालय का पद भार लेने के साथ ही यह अपेक्षा की जाती है कि आप इस देश के केंद्रीय विश्वविद्यालयों में उनकी ऑटोनोमी का सम्मान करते हुए उसके लिए उत्तरदायी होंगी. रोहित वेमुला के मामले में आपने क्या किया यह सबके सामने है कि किस तरह से वहाँ के प्रशासन पर आपने दबाव डाला जिसका नतीजा रोहित के institutional मर्डर के रूप में हमारे सामने आया. लेकिन मै इन सारी चीजो पर अभी बात नही करना चाहता. आप बार बार अपनी औरत होने की पहचान (आइडेंटिटी) को assert करतीं हैं और इसको करना भी चाहिए क्यूंकि नारी जाति उन ढेर सारे हाशिये पर किए गए लोगों में एक है जिनको सदियों से शोषित किया गया है. मै आपसे यह पूछना चाहता हूँ कि एक दलित स्त्री जो कि हर तकलीफ उठाते हुए अकेले अपने दम पर जब अपने बेटे बेटियों को इस समाज में एक सम्मानपूर्ण जगह देने के लिए संघर्ष कर रही थी तब एक नारी होने के कारण आप की क्या जिम्मेदारी बनती थी ? क्या आपको उस महिला के जज्बे को सलाम करते हुए उसकी बहादुरी के आगे सर झुकाते हुए उसके साथ नहीं खड़ा होना चाहिए था? हाँ, मै रोहित की माँ के बारे में बात कर रहा हूँ. जो महिला इस ब्रहामणवादी व पितृसत्तात्मक समाज से लड़ी जा रही थी, अपने बच्चों को अपने पहचान से जोड़ रही थी, उस महिला को आप व आपकी सरकार उसके पति की पहचान से क्यूँ जोड़ रहे थे? आपको भी अच्छा लगता होगा की आपकी अपनी एक स्वतंत्र पहचान है. लेकिन यह अधिकार आप उस महिला से क्यूँ छीन  रहीं थीं? क्या आप भी पितृसत्तात्मक व ब्रहामणवादी समाज के पक्ष में खड़ी होती हैं? अपना पूरा नाम बताते हुए अपनी जाति के बारे में आपने सवाल पूछा और आपका भाषण खत्म होने के पहले ही लोगों ने आपकी जाति निकाल दी. मै आपकी जाति के बारे में कोई दिलचस्पी नहीं रखता हूँ और मै यह बिलकुल नहीं मानता हूँ की अगर आप उच्च जाति के होते हैं तो आप जातिवादी ही होंगे लेकिन आपके विभाग/मंत्रालय के तरफ से जो चिट्ठियाँ लिखी गई उसमे रोहित और उसके साथियों को जातिवादी /caste-ist बताया. मैडम क्या आप caste-ism और  caste assertion का अन्तर समझती हैं? मै समझता हूँ की आप ये अन्तर भली – भाँति समझती हैं क्यूंकि आर एस एस जो आपकी सरकार और मंत्रालय को चलाता है, वह वर्ण व्यवस्था के नाम पर जाति व्यस्वस्था को भारतीय समाज की आत्मा समझता है और आर-एस-एस के एजेंडे को लागू करवाने की राजनैतिक दृढ़ता हमने समय समय पर आप में देखी हैं.

Continue reading स्मृति ईरानी को एक जे-एन-यू के छात्र की चिट्ठि: अनन्त प्रकाश नारायण

Confront the Rupa Subramanyas Within : A Note to a Nair-born Friend

Dear Kaviraj,

Just saw your post condemning The Telegraph’s representation of Smriti Irani as ‘Aunty’. I understand your indignation, though I am curious to know why few people like us stand up and protest when the people who supporte her, the sanghis, throw vile abuse at dissenters and feminists, label them prostitutes, and threaten them regularly with rape and disfigurement. My daughter was recently threatened in Delhi and warned not to behave like a ‘JNU randi’; senior women teachers from JNU were showered with similar abuse, shoved, groped, and hit at the Patiala House, and many of them have received direct and indirect threats. JNU women have been portrayed in the most despicable terms recently, before which Telegraphs’s characterisation of Irani as ‘Aunty’ is tame indeed even if unacceptable.

Continue reading Confront the Rupa Subramanyas Within : A Note to a Nair-born Friend

Statement of Solidarity with the JNU Community, from the Students and Faculty at Princeton University

 

We, the undersigned, condemn the undemocratic and unconstitutional actions of the BJP-ABVP-Delhi Police on the JNU campus. Continue reading Statement of Solidarity with the JNU Community, from the Students and Faculty at Princeton University

Statement on Behalf of Facultyand Students of O.P Jindal Global University in Solidarity With JNU

 

We, the undersigned Faculty and Students from the O.P Jindal Global University (JGU) in our individual capacity, condemn the police crackdown in Jawaharlal Nehru University- Delhi(JNU) and the apathy towards JNU demonstrated by State actors through their coercive actions. Continue reading Statement on Behalf of Facultyand Students of O.P Jindal Global University in Solidarity With JNU

Statement of Solidarity FromFaculty and Graduate Students at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa Against Police Ation on JNU Campus

 

To: Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar

Vice Chancellor

Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi-110 067, India

Continue reading Statement of Solidarity FromFaculty and Graduate Students at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa Against Police Ation on JNU Campus

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

An Appeal to the Academic Community of Delhi for February 23 Rohith Vemula March, “Chalo Dilli” by University of Hyderabad Alumni

Dear friends,
We, the alumni of the University of Hyderabad, are writing to the fellow teachers, researchers and students of Delhi to request all to participate in the Chalo Dilli March, “Delhi for Rohith Vemula”, organised for the ideals of social justice and constitutional rights on 23 February 2016 from Ambedkar Bhawan to Jantar Mantar.

Continue reading An Appeal to the Academic Community of Delhi for February 23 Rohith Vemula March, “Chalo Dilli” by University of Hyderabad Alumni

Sambit Patra Flying the Tricolour on Times Now, in JNU and on Iwo Jima – History Re-Imagined (Once Again) by the BJP

A recent ‘Newshour’ non-debate on Times Now on whether or not an order emanating from the Ministry of Human Resources Development to erect 207 feet high steel flagpoles and giant tricolour flags in Central Universities across India featured a wonderful intervention by Sambit Patra, BJP spokesman and digital magician extraordinaire.

Continue reading Sambit Patra Flying the Tricolour on Times Now, in JNU and on Iwo Jima – History Re-Imagined (Once Again) by the BJP

A message of Solidarity and a Statutory Warning: Pankaj Mishra

Guest Post by author Pankaj Mishra
One can only welcome the broad coalition that has sprung up against the assault on JNU and in defense of the right–eternally vouchsafed to students–to intellectual freedom. But the imperative of solidarity should not make us forget that this multi-pronged violence—ordered by the government, and assisted by police officers, university officials, lawyers and sections of the media—has been in the making for a while—at least a decade and a half.
The empowerment of a technocratic elite that presumes to know exactly what the ‘New India’ ought to do in order to be wealthy and powerful made much intellectual and artistic endeavour, not to mention political struggle, seem unnecessary. Its cherished epithet ‘jholawallah,’ aimed to scornfully delegitimate a whole spectrum of demands for justice and equality as well as a culture of reflection and debate. Wealth-creators and their lackeys in politics, business and the media have long been united in their contempt for intellectual dissent—roughly interpreted as anything that seems to impede or slow down their own progress towards more wealth and power.

Continue reading A message of Solidarity and a Statutory Warning: Pankaj Mishra

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

#StandwithUmar

#Standwithallstudents

#NowitchHuntofStudents

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

 

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Operation Ekalavya : Jhandewala, New Delhi, Rohith Vemula’s Birthday, 30th January 2016

Dear young friends who went to Jhandewala on Rohith Vemula’s birthday,

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And all those who were there in spirit, in Delhi, Hyderabad and elsewhere. I am writing to you because I think you might have all taken things much further than anyone can quite imagine or understand at present.

I am writing to you, for today and for tomorrow, so that every time in the future that young people gather to celebrate their friend Rohith’s birthday, we might all begin to have a different kind of conversation. So that the boundaries between mourning and celebration, between anger and joy may always remain blurred enough for us to know what to do next, each time.

Since you had a close encounter with the police and their colleagues in the RSS on Rohith’s birthday, I want to spend a little time thinking about them with you. Bear with me. I sincerely hope we will not have to bear with them for much longer.

Continue reading Operation Ekalavya : Jhandewala, New Delhi, Rohith Vemula’s Birthday, 30th January 2016

Condemning Caste Discrimination in Higher Education Centres that led to Rohith’s Untimely Death – Students of Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University

Guest Post by Students of Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University

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( A protest meeting on Rohith Vemula was organised in Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University on 28 th January. Find pasted below a brief report of the meeting followed by the statement which was read and passed in the meeting.)

We, the students of Delhi School of Economics organised a protest meeting in solidarity with the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, University of Hyderabad. It was joined in by students from other departments of the university as well.

The discussion revolved around the presence of caste based discrimination within university campuses and the deadly silence on the matter. It was recognised that Rohith’s investment in progressive politics was crucial in him and others in Ambedkar Students Association being victimised. And the present gathering affirmed its investment in that politics and striving for the kind of change Rohith also aspired for. Continue reading Condemning Caste Discrimination in Higher Education Centres that led to Rohith’s Untimely Death – Students of Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University

“Nobody killed Rohith Vemula”: Kishalaya Mukhopadhyay

This is a guest post by KISHALAYA MUKHOPADHYAY

“Nobody killed Rohith Vemula”. Perhaps someday there will be a film like this. Perhaps someday people will start talking about the exploitation of dalits, the need for annihilation of caste, the systematic discrimination in all spheres of society including the government, corporate, bureaucratic and educational sectors. Perhaps caste as an analytical category will become as politically charged as gender has become post-Nirbhaya. Today there is a discourse around marital rape, victim blaming, domestic violence and other aspects of patriarchy that has transcended even if slightly only the small coterie of feminist scholars within whom this discourse used to be limited to. Continue reading “Nobody killed Rohith Vemula”: Kishalaya Mukhopadhyay