Kafila - 2018-01-06 - Original post - cached version

Guest Post by Umar Khalid I went to Maharashtra as I along with other activists and intellectuals were invited to come there. I along with others was a guest there. And I would remember fondly the love and support that I received in Pune and Mumbai. I would remember the resilience and enthusiasm...

Kafila - 2017-12-22 - Original post - cached version

[A shorter version  of this article was published in The Wire on 18 December. I thank K. Satyanarayana, P. Sanal Mohan and Jangam Chinnaiah for their very helpful comments on it, which have helped me to clarify and elaborate on certain points.] The rise of Jignesh Mevani constitutes a...

Kafila - 2017-12-22 - Original post - cached version

[ This post is based on updates posted by me on my Facebook wall ] A great kerfuffle has ensued ever since the recently elected independent MLA from Vadgam, Gujarat and Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch activist Jignesh Mevani gave an interview in which he had some choice things to say about the...

Kafila - 2017-12-07 - Original post - cached version

Guest Post by ATUL SOOD Development is back in focus after the endless noise about cow protection, nationalism, Hindu-Muslim, janeus, Shiv Bhakti, Gorakhpur governance, casteism, love jihad, enemy nation and the rest. Why this talk about development now? Perhaps the dissent and protests on the...

Kafila - 2017-12-06 - Original post - cached version

Twenty five years ago, on 6 December 1992, the structure of Babri Masjid was brought down by a mob of vandals, presided over by the top leadership of the BJP/RSS/VHP, as the Congress government led by prime minister Narasimha Rao looked on benignly. As did the Supreme Court before which a...

Kafila - 2017-12-06 - Original post - cached version

The gradual erasure of the words ‘Babri Masjid’ from our everyday memory actually began in 1986, when the Hindu community was granted the exclusive right to worship there. This happened without any regard ownership disputes the and illegal conversion of this mosque into a temple in 1949. This...

Kafila - 2017-12-01 - Original post - cached version

Dear Comrade I can hardly describe the joy and relief I felt reading your piece on the Hadiya case in the Hindu yesterday. By now I am nearly deaf from the cacophony of misogyny, islamophobia, and sheer short-sighted rage that CPM supporters on Facebook are unleashing against this young woman....

Kafila - 2017-11-30 - Original post - cached version

When Hadiya Shafin shouted to the crowd that she converted voluntarily, that Shafin was her chosen husband, and that she wished to spend her life with him, some leading rationalist liberal feminists in Kerala sniggered at her: be grateful for the Indian Constitution which allows you to make a...

Kafila - 2017-11-21 - Original post - cached version

The following is a statement by WSS on the lists of sexual harassers being circulated on social media. We reproduce it here as part of the ongoing dialogue on the issue. Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) stands firmly with the survivors who have faced sexual harassment at...

Kafila - 2017-11-21 - Original post - cached version

[This is the text of the open letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala from the celebrated Tamil poet Rajathi Salma, a leading literary and activist voice from South India whose writing has often revealed the pain and poignancy of women’s unfreedoms and the denial of a creative life of choice to...

Kafila - 2017-11-18 - Original post - cached version

‘‘जब पानी में आग लगी थी’’ प्रस्तावना ‘क्या पानी में आग लग सकती है ?’’ किसी भी संतुलित मस्तिष्क व्यक्ति के लिए यह सवाल विचित्र मालूम पड़ सकता है। अलबत्ता सामाजिक-राजनीतिक आंदोलनों पर निगाह रखनेवाला व्यक्ति बता सकता है कि जब लोग सदियों से जकड़ी गुलामी की बेड़ियों को तोड़ कर आगे बढ़ते हैं तो …


Kafila - 2017-11-18 - Original post - cached version

NAMAN AHUJA, art historian, asks an exciting question that reminds us that the interpretation of artefacts, indeed, interpretation as such, is inevitably framed by the context of the viewer, and therefore always open to rethinking. The image below is one that we are all familiar with, the...

Kafila - 2017-11-15 - Original post - cached version

Statement by JNU Teachers’ Association In early November, the JNU administration forwarded to all Centres/Special Centres/Schools, the Government of India proposal to establish twenty “Institutions of Eminence” to achieve world class status, from amongst the existing Government/Private...

Kafila - 2017-11-13 - Original post - cached version

After the atrocious indifference and trivialisation of domestic violence displayed by the sneering alpha-male brigade of the CPM during the discussion of the Hadiya Case, nothing surprises me. However, it appears important to point out how such callousness is indeed becoming normalised here...

Kafila - 2017-11-09 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by LATA MANI Political discourse in the contemporary period is by marked an affective intensity. Regardless of the issue an acute depth of feeling is in evidence. Righteousness, betrayal, entitlement, anguish and aggression suffuse arguments across the political spectrum. What seems...

Kafila - 2017-11-09 - Original post - cached version

We, the undersigned concerned citizens, are greatly disturbed by news reports of the NCW in-charge, Rekha Sharma’s visit to meet Hadiya at the home of her father, Mr. Asokan, where she continues to be incarcerated. These reports raise more fears than they allay. Ms Hadiya has been reported by Ms...

Kafila - 2017-11-07 - Original post - cached version

This is a modified version of the article that was published earlier in The Wire (T)he economic dialectic is never active in the pure state; in History, these instances, the superstructures etc – are never seen to step respectfully aside when their work is done or, when the Time comes, as his...

Kafila - 2017-11-04 - Original post - cached version

The Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army has released the following statement against framing of Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ under NSA Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army   #StandWithChandrashekharAzad   PRESS RELEASE 4 November 2017 The Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army (CDBA)...

Kafila - 2017-11-03 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by NANDITA BADAMI In the wake of the extreme disagreements we have witnessed in these past few days, there is perhaps no point (at least, not anymore) in staking a claim about whether or not the list should have been created or circulated to begin with. The list is here, and it will...

Kafila - 2017-10-31 - Original post - cached version

THIS POST IS WRITTEN BY PONNI To all the men, women, and all those of named and unnamed genders in my life, intimate, private and public, who have shown me safety, joy, pleasure, comfort and love and who ask of me, gently, the same. I love you all. I was raped when I was 14, …


Kafila - 2017-10-31 - Original post - cached version

We, as Bebaak Collective (Voices of the Fearless), are writing this statement unequivocally condemning  the comment made by the BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in an event in Mumbai on Friday, 27th October that the party could win in Uttar Pradesh elections because Muslim women believed that it was...

Kafila - 2017-10-30 - Original post - cached version

Sign the petition here. Text of the petition I’m Saying NO to Aadhaar We the undersigned wish to place on record our opposition to the Aadhaar scheme which is being aggressively pushed by the government in complete violation of norms, procedures and Supreme Court orders.  Many of us have...

Kafila - 2017-10-29 - Original post - cached version

This is a GUEST POST by DEBADITYA BHATTACHARYA and  RINA RAMDEV   The past few years have not allowed us the respite to prepare for a fight. We were perpetually donning our war-gear – often forced without necessary ammunition into a battle that raged through parliaments and streets and colleges...

Kafila - 2017-10-29 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by  R. SRIVATSAN It is with a recognition of a failing foretold that I read the different posts, letters and conversations around the list (the unmistakable one today).  That one’s teachers, seniors, peers and respected fellow academics have been named as having sexually harassed...

Kafila - 2017-10-29 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by SAYANTAN DATTA  [Note- The author believes that the structure of language has mirrored the patriarchal structure of the society, and therefore they practices aungendering mechanism persynally by neutralizing gendered roots of some words.] I write this from my persynal discomfort...

Kafila - 2017-10-28 - Original post - cached version

Two explanations before I begin. First – I write this in my personal capacity. In this article I represent none of the other signatories to the statement that appealed for the crowd-sourced list of sexual offenders to be withdrawn, and for complaints to be followed through institutional...

Kafila - 2017-10-24 - Original post - cached version

As feminists, we have been part of a long struggle to make visible sexual harassment at the workplace, and have worked with the movement to put in place systems of transparent and just procedures of accountability. We are dismayed by the initiative on Facebook, in which men are being listed and...

Kafila - 2017-10-20 - Original post - cached version

It was probably late sixties or early seventies – when a gentleman called P N Oak started appearing in Marathi magazines peddling his weird theories about well known monuments in and outside India. An article which made lot of news then was centred around Taj Mahal where it was claimed that it...

Kafila - 2017-10-18 - Original post - cached version

English transcript of  interview published in Malayalam in Mathrubhumi Weekly, October 17 2017. CSV Kochi is a curious choice as a site for an international art event like Biennale, isn’t it? It has played no prominent role insofar as art activity, practice or market is concerned, nor is it a...

Kafila - 2017-10-13 - Original post - cached version

( This article would appear in the coming issue of ‘Think India Quarterly’) (Photo Courtesy : jansatta)    ..Kovind acknowledged that “the key to India’s success is its diversity” and “our diversity is the core that makes us so unique” and ended his speech with a call to build an egalitarian...

Kafila - 2017-10-11 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by Nabanipa Bhattacharjee On 13 September 2017 the Union Home Ministry, following the 2015 order of the Supreme Court, decided to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees. Victims of religious persecution in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, the predominantly Buddhist...

Kafila - 2017-10-11 - Original post - cached version

दीनदयाल उपाध्याय: भाजपा के ‘गांधी’ ( Photo Courtesy : एक पेड़विहीन देश में एक एरंड भी बड़ा पेड़ कहलाता है – एक  संस्कृत सुभाषित का रूपांतरण /In a treeless country even castor counts for a big tree/ /संदर्भ:   राष्ट्रपति कोविन्द ने इस बात को स्वीकारा कि...

Kafila - 2017-10-10 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by GARGI MISHRA AND SHREYA MUNOTH  Do a woman’s attire, appearance, sexual history or prior relationship with a perpetrator of sexual violence constitute a valid defence for a perpetrator of a sexual offence? Does the meaning of consent vary for educated women? The law, as it stands,...

Kafila - 2017-10-09 - Original post - cached version

Last week, Prime Minister Modi gave an hour long speech denouncing ‘pessimists’ who refused to see the bright side of demonetisation and other transformations that his government’s able management had visited upon the economy. We at Kafila, did a quick fact-check offering many reasons for...

Kafila - 2017-10-08 - Original post - cached version

(This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent left cultural activist Sohail Hashmi to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan on the Hadiya case) The Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala Shri Pinarayi Vijayan 7th October, 2017 Dear Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, I write to you because I am unable to...

Kafila - 2017-10-07 - Original post - cached version

by Samarth Bansal and Aman Sethi On October 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered a robust defence of his government’s management of the economy, shortly after the Reserve Bank of India lowered its Gross Value Added (GVA) growth estimates for the current fiscal year from 7.3% to 6.7%. Since...

Kafila - 2017-10-07 - Original post - cached version

(This is the text of the open letter from Prof. Satish Deshpande to the Chief Minister of Kerala on the Hadiya issue. Satish’s work Contemporary India, translated as Samakalika India, has been hugely influential in shaping the progressive understanding of Hindutva nationalism and communal hatred...

Kafila - 2017-10-06 - Original post - cached version

[A version of this letter has also been sent to Com. MC Josephine, Chairperson, Kerala State Women’s Commission] To The Chief Minister Kerala   Dear Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan We write to you as individuals and organizations who are part of the women’s movement to express our outrage and concern...

Kafila - 2017-10-05 - Original post - cached version

[This is the text of the open letter written by eminent economist and leading development activist Prof. Amit Bhaduri, to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan]   Dear Shri. Vijayan This is to express deep concern about the events unfolding in Kerala around the conversion of a twenty-four-year-old woman, self-...

Kafila - 2017-10-05 - Original post - cached version

This is a guest post by RITUPARNA SENGUPTA   Amit V Masurkar’s recently-released film Newton explores facets of Indian democracy at its most vulnerable. For these times of ‘nationalist’ bravado, this is a courageous topic.  The film is so named because it adopts for the most part, the point of...

Kafila - 2017-10-05 - Original post - cached version

[This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent poet and public intellectual K Satchidanandan to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan]   Dear Sir, I am writing this letter to you in total despair and with utmost concern. You must by now have come to know that Hadia, who had converted to Islam  and...

Kafila - 2017-10-04 - Original post - cached version

(This is the text of the open letter from leading women’s studies scholar and renowned feminist intellectual, Prof. Samita Sen, to the Chief Minister of Kerala on the Hadiya case) The Hon’ble Chief Minister Kerala   Dear Sir Please Help Hadiya It is a great disappointment to the wider community...

Kafila - 2017-10-03 - Original post - cached version

 (This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent philosopher Prof. Bilgrami, who was honoured by the Government of Kerala a few years back, to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan, on the Hadiya case) Dear Mr. Vijayan, You may not remember me from a couple of years ago when you and Prof. Pannikar...

Kafila - 2017-10-03 - Original post - cached version

This is the text of the open letter to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan from Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, All-India Progressive Women’s Association] To Shri Pinarayi Vijayan Chief Minister Kerala Respected Comrade, This is in reference to the case of Ms Hadiya, whose marriage by choice to a Muslim man has...

Kafila - 2017-10-03 - Original post - cached version

[This is the text of the open letter to M C Josephine, Chairperson, KSWC, from Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, All-India Progressive Women’s Association] To Ms M. C. Josephine Chairperson Kerala Women’s Commission Dear Ms Josephine, This is with reference to the case of Ms. Hadiya, which has caused...

Kafila - 2017-10-02 - Original post - cached version

On October 3, students, human rights activists, muslim-dalit-adivasi-bahujan organisations from all over India are converging in Thiruvananthapuram to march for the freedom of the twenty-four-year-old Hadiya, who is under virtual house arrest in the home of her father, Mr Asokan after the...

Kafila - 2017-10-02 - Original post - cached version

The following is a statement by feminist organisations . To add your name to the statement, please sign in the comments section. In the wake of the protests following the 2012 Delhi gangrape, India had witnessed a welcome sharpening of understanding around sexual violence and consent. Legal...

Kafila - 2017-09-30 - Original post - cached version

When a system is forced to run at four to six times its capacity for years on end, it doesn’t break – it was always broken. Elphinstone Road is the story of almost all urban infrastructure in our cities. It’s a template. It’s a warning. It’s our history, our everyday, and our future. It’s...

Kafila - 2017-09-27 - Original post - cached version

To The President of India Visitor Banaras Hindu University Sub : On recent agonising developments in Banaras Hindu University Dear Sir We alumni of Banaras Hindu University would like to convey to you our sense of concern about the recent developments at our alma mater namely Banaras Hindu...

Kafila - 2017-09-25 - Original post - cached version

It looks like the CPM’s enmity towards the Muslim organizations is such that they do not mind sacrificing women’s human rights and reinforcing the patriarchal family just to teach them a lesson. So they are happy to stick with the Sanghi understanding of conversion as necessarily forced in some...


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