Sunday, October 31, 2010

Celebrating Revolutions; Celebrating Revolutionaries!

Memories and realities often have their separate ways. There are times when it appears as if revolutions and revolutionaries are fading away from the popular memory. That is never the case with reality. It can never forget that it has been shaped and reshaped in fundamental ways by revolutions and revolutionaries; that they have become an integral part of its existence and its flow in time. When this flow hits difficult passages, there is groundswell once again for fundamental changes, for radical transformations. History once again summons the memories of revolutions and revolutionaries. Dreams of a new world arise afresh to reshape reality.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Love, Sex aur Shaadi...

Sudha Vasan

We live in confusing times. Take Delhi University, every February for the last few years, large numbers of students get ready with lathis and stones, some get ready with cards, roses and chocolates, and some simply stay at home to avoid all of the above. All this hullabaloo about a day that gets marked as a day of love, a relatively recent import to this university at least. Again, the process repeats itself, for a more 'traditional' celebration of Holi. According to some readings of Indian village society, here's a day that supposedly reverses the hierarchies in society, where peasant men and women can mock the landlord. As far as holi in Delhi is concerned, it is a day women suffer water missiles. No reversal of power here. Most women students of University avoid coming out on Holi. In a country where heterosexual 'love' is carefully packaged and obsessively celebrated in popular films and songs, folklore and mythology, in practice it generates as much anxiety and fear, as any pleasant emotions.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NSI Delhi Statement: Vindicating Faith, Undermining Law

New Socialist Initiative (NSI), Delhi
On The Ayodhya Judgement 


While welcoming the restraint shown by the people from different communities in recent times and their desire to turn a new page of life, New Socialist Initiative (NSI) is of the strong opinion to judge whether this peace has come with honour or being achieved under coercion. NSI, a collective aimed at regeneration of revolutionary socialist politics feels deeply concerned about the recent developments on the legal front around Ayodhya which has the possibility of putting all constitutional provisions centering around secularism, democracy in jeopardy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

अयोध्या मसले पर फ़ैसला: एक इतिहासकार का परिप्रेक्ष्य - - रोमिला थापर

यह फैसला एक राजनीतिक आदेश है और एक निर्णय के रूप में यह दर्शाता है की राज्य यह फैसला वर्षों पहले भी आराम से ले सकता था। यह फ़ैसला अपना ध्यान भूमि के कब्जे और नष्ट की गयी मस्जिद को हटा कर मंदिर के निर्माड पर केन्द्रित करता है. समस्या के समकालीन राजनीति में उलझे होने के साथ, इसमें धार्मिक पहचान के मसले भी शामिल थे पर इसके साथ साथ ऐतिहासिक साक्ष्य के आधार पर होने का दावा भी किया गया है। इस आदेश मै ऐतिहासिक साक्ष्य का आह्वान तो किया गया है लेकिन बाद में फैसले के समय इसे दरकिनार कर दिया गया है. अदालत ने घोषणा की है कि यह एक विशेष स्थान है, जहां एक दिव्य या अर्द्ध दिव्य व्यक्ति पैदा हुआ था और उसके जन्म मनाने के लिए वहां एक नए मंदिर का निर्माण किया जाना है .यह हिंदू आस्था और विश्वास के द्वारा एक अपील के जवाब में है.ऐसे दावे के समर्थन में सबूतों की गैर-मौजूदगी को देखते हुए इस तरह के फैसले की उम्मीद कानून की एक अदालत से नहीं थी. हिंदु गहराई से एक देवता के रूप में राम को पूजते है लेकिन क्या यह एक जन्म स्थान और भूमि पर कब्जे के दावों पर एक कानूनी निर्णय का समर्थन कर सकते है? और क्या एक प्रमुख ऐतिहासिक स्मारक को जानबूझकर बर्बाद करके भूमि प्राप्त करने में यह मदद करेगा?

Common Wealth Games 2010 Opening and Babri Mosque Verdict!!

- Amrapali (Tara) Basumatary

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Hindu right wing political party of India) had asked the Organizing Committee of the Common Wealth Games (CWG) Delhi 2010 to play secular music. While reading the news it felt like a different yet pleasing breakfast in the morning. The Hindu (Newspaper) front page, just two days before the Babri Masjid (Ayodhya) verdict (2010/09/28), flashed the news item “BJP against religious music at CWG”. And the first paragraph of that news item sounded so sane and I thought for a second "wow - thats news!”. It read – "The BJP has suggested that religion and religious practices be left to the “private domain of players” and that it would not be wise to depart from the secular tradition of the Commonwealth Games by using religious music during any function associated with it”. I wondered why it was left to the BJP to sound so radical, what is the ‘liberal Congress Party’ at during this Game of its life and death? Well, it was in reaction to reports about alleged featuring of Azaan (Muslim sounding) - like music in the CWG opening song. It was a deep concern against “religious music and symbols from different faiths [are to be] used during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games”.