Kafila - 2018-02-21 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by AYESHA KIDWAI Happy International Mother Language Day. This day, declared by UNESCO, is straight up South Asia’s alley as it celebrates linguistic diversity and multilingualism. In other words, it celebrates each Indian. Here’s what you can do from now on to celebrate it: 1. Resist...

Kafila - 2018-02-18 - Original post - cached version

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST, ADDED ON FEBRUARY 20, 2018 Student poster displaying a clear understanding of Foucault and surveillance. Compulsory attendance is really not needed at JNU! Let us begin with a basic fact. The diktat on compulsory attendance in JNU is only a symptom of the larger,...

Kafila - 2018-02-17 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by ARUNDHATI GHOSH I have been working for the past 16 years with a small organisation called India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) that attempts to support arts and culture projects across the country. In these years I have been fortunate enough to travel across the country to big...

Kafila - 2018-02-17 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by BAIDIK BHATTACHARYA We live in strange times. A judge in the country’s Supreme Court believes anyone challenging the government’s decision to impose Aadhar-based surveillance regime is following an “NGO line.” Another judge wonders in the court whether “one nation one identity” is...

Kafila - 2018-02-06 - Original post - cached version

T T Sreekumar, an important commentator on contemporary politics in Kerala — a public intellectual who now qualifies to be an irritant in the eyes of the Kerala police, now that he has openly declared his allegiance to the dalit people fighting injustice and Vadayambady and inaugurated a protest...

Kafila - 2018-02-05 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by PRASANTA CHAKRAVARTY Stephen Greenblatt has struck upon a sheer and stupendous idea: to retell the tale of the first couple of the Christian world, Adam and Eve. The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve is a sweeping work with a remarkably ranging scholarship, galloping through centuries...

Kafila - 2018-02-04 - Original post - cached version

The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, not our own powerlessness, stupefy us. Adorno. As frightening spectres of untouchability and unseeability hover around the festering sore of the ‘caste-wall’ at Vadayambady in Kerala, as the so-called mainstream left-led government...

Kafila - 2018-02-03 - Original post - cached version

On 30 January 2018, retired civil servants and veterans of the armed forces jointly organised a conclave on ‘Hinduism and Hindutva’ at the Indian Social Institute, New Delhi. The conclave attended by over hundred participants, emphasized the need to rescue both Hinduism and the Indian...

Kafila - 2018-02-02 - Original post - cached version

Guest post by VAIBHAV SINGH पूरे हिंदी क्षेत्र में और विशेषकर उत्तरप्रदेश में ऐसे बडे, छोटे और मंझोले किस्म के नेताओं की बड़ी फौज पैदा हो गई है जिसकी नेतागिरी केवल सांप्रदायिक नारे लगाने और समाज में सांप्रदायिकता फैलाने पर टिकी है। सार्वजनिक जीवन पर इन संकीर्ण सोच वाले हिंदुत्व नेताओं की निरंतर...

Kafila - 2018-02-01 - Original post - cached version

Guest Post by VIKAS BAJPAI Ram Teke Bhoi, rickshaw puller from Puri, Odisha My search for Mr Bhoi, whose sketch I present above, had started on the 1st of January 2017. It culminated sometime around the middle of May 2017 in Puri while on my sojourn to the state of Odisha for conduct of...

Kafila - 2018-01-29 - Original post - cached version

Ghalib has fascinated generations of people and they have tried to understand/ interpret his poetry in their own way. For any such individual it is really difficult to recollect when and how Ghalib entered her/ his life and ensconced himself comfortably in one’s heart. This wanderer still...

Kafila - 2018-01-26 - Original post - cached version

देख ज़िन्दां के परे, रंग-ए-चमन, जोश-ए-बहार रक्स करना है तो पॉंव की ज़ंजीर न देख – मजरूह सुल्तानपुरी Look –  beyond the the prison walls, the brilliance of flowers, the vitality of spring If you must dance, ignore the chains that bind your feet – Majrooh Sultanpuri Today, the scared Republic that...

Kafila - 2018-01-21 - Original post - cached version

ജൈവ വൈവിധ്യ സംരക്ഷണത്തിന്റെയും വനസംരക്ഷണത്തിന്റെയും ഭാഗമായി വനം വകുപ്പ് ട്രക്കിംഗുകളും പരിസ്ഥിതി ക്യാമ്പുകളും ലോകത്താകമാനം സംഘടിപ്പിക്കാറുണ്ട്. എന്നാൽ അവിടെയൊന്നുമില്ലാത്ത വിലക്കാണ് കേരള സർക്കാരും വനം വകുപ്പും അഗസ്ത്യാർ കൂടം ട്രക്കിംഗിൽ സ്‌ത്രീകൾക്ക് ഏർപ്പെടുത്തിയിരിക്കുന്നത്. ഭരണഘടന ഉറപ്പു നൽ...

Kafila - 2018-01-19 - Original post - cached version

I The recent reference to how the distribution of food in Malayali homes is often skewed against women by the actor Rima Kallingal in a recent talk has sparked off yet another round of attacks against feminists in Kerala. It is interesting to see how this seems to have brought together men of...

Kafila - 2018-01-19 - Original post - cached version

( Photo courtesy : The hoot) (To be published in the special issue of ‘Janata’)   The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost...

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...


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