Tag Archives: youth

There’s a G on my Neck (again): Simran Kaur

Guest post by SIMRAN KAUR

Shekhar Gupta is at it again: lacing an insidious agenda with just enough actual facts that even the targets of his vitriol become eager to swallow. Aspiring Indian Journos, this is how a good Sardar Joke—and while you are at it, jibe at the poor, the rural, the unemployed, the mourning—is done, while earning your paycheck yet again as an esteemed Editor-in-Chief, at best with head-in-clouds, at worst, a stake-in-oppression.

Shekhar G’s latest thesis: The rest of the country has moved on but Punjab has become a prisoner of its boisterous old stereotype. It has forgotten its entrepreneurial energy, its competitive spirit and slipped into a complacent, decadent trance of perpetual balle-balle.

His first argument for the thesis of Punjab’s decline: “the Punjabification”…of Punjab. He bemoans that signs and posts are in Punjabi, in Punjab.

The 50s and 60s saw Punjabi Hindus becoming the unique community to denounce their own mother-tongue. Upping the ante, G. ridicules Punjabis who use Gurmukhi, the script developed in the time of the Sikh Gurus. He finds tell-tale signs over Punjab (he notes his fieldwork of actually travelling on the Grand Trunk Road and flying over Punjab by helicopter recently) of the people being un-couth:  signage on Punjabi establishments, in poor English.

You will take a minute figuring out what the “burgars” and “nudles” painted on so many fast-food shops mean, or why Lily is always spelt “Lilly”, whether it be the name of a restaurant in Phagwara or a beauty parlour in Bathinda…If you haven’t figured out already that this, indeed, is Singh’s English.

Brilliant two-birds strike, Shekhar G. Continue reading There’s a G on my Neck (again): Simran Kaur

To the Young Women and Men of Delhi: Thinking about Rape from India Gate

Dear young women and men of Delhi,

Thank you for the courage and the honour you have brought to Rajpath, the most dishonorable street in our city. You changed Delhi yesterday, and you are changing it today. Your presence, of all twelve thousand of you, yesterday, on Rajpath, that street that climbs down from the presidential palace on Raisina Hill to India Gate, getting soiled by the excreta of the tanks and missiles on Republic Day each year, was for me a kind of purificatory ritual. It made a claim to the central vista of ‘Lutyen’s Delhi’ as a space for democratic assertion in contravention of the completely draconian, elitist and undemocratic prohibitory orders that make the heart of this republic, a zone of the death, not the life and sustenance, of democracy.

From now onwards, consider the heart of Delhi to be a space that belongs, first of all, to its citizens. Yesterday, when thousands of you gathered peacefully, intending to march up Raisina Hill to the president’s palace, you were charged with batons, tear gas and subjected to jets from water cannons. The violence began, not when protestors threw stones, but when the police started attacking people. Stones were thrown in retaliation. The television cameras that recorded what happened show us the exact chronology. The police were clearly under orders not to let people up Raisina Hill. Why? What is so sacred about Raisina Hill? Why can a group of unarmed, peaceful young people not walk to the gates of the president’s palace? So, lets be clear. Violence began when the state acted. Of course, the protest got hijacked by hooligans. But of course it had to be. When hooligans in uniform are let loose on an unarmed crowed, there can be no possibility of averting the possibility that hooligans out of uniform will respond in kind. Continue reading To the Young Women and Men of Delhi: Thinking about Rape from India Gate

The ‘Obama Moment’: Sangay Mishra and Jinee Lokaneeta

The ‘Obama Moment’ and Conversations on Race
Guest post by SANGAY MISHRA and JINEE LOKANEETA

[The ‘Obama moment’ is much more than the man. Elementary, one would have thought. But maybe not. For, it has been intriguing to watch and listen to people – radical and nonradical liberal alike – mock this moment in a cynical, ‘we-know-it-all’ and ‘what-do-you-expect?’ mode. Intriguing, because, somewhere the insinuation is that those who celebrate are just being carried away by an ephemeral event. Maybe. It seems however, and the authors argue below, that this persona we now know as ‘Obama’ was not there even a year or two ago; he emerged in this present form, through a series of ‘encounters’ – with race, with his own history and with ‘blackness’. In his present form, Obama is produced by a certain African American investment in the earlier Obama (of, say, the pre-campaign Obama). – AN]

Much as the Obama victory on the 4th of November was expected and already predicted by a number of polls, the reaction to his victory both inside and outside the United States was breathtaking.

Continue reading The ‘Obama Moment’: Sangay Mishra and Jinee Lokaneeta