Restore Communications in Jammu and Kashmir

Artists, historians, academics and concerned citizens have issued a statement on September 20 saying that they are greatly disturbed by the shutdown in communication network for well over five weeks  in Jammu and Kashmir which is causing extreme hardship to the people there. Family members outside Jammu and Kashmir are unable to contact their relatives in the state; students cannot receive funds from their families; and acute distress is being faced by patients unable to access medical help.

PUBGwale, Culture and Politics

MOBILE gaming or broadly video gaming has caught India like fire. It has become a common sight to find people fiddling with their mobiles in any public place. Even in interactions within a family or closely-knit friends, ‘phubbing’ (the act of ignoring someone you are with, and giving attention to your mobile phone instead) has become common. The spread of internet availability also is making us give more importance to our mobiles than to other forms of social interactions. One of the major pass-times for the young is to play various games on mobiles.

Centenary Observation of Jallianwala Bagh

WHO killed the unarmed Indians in Jallianwala Bagh? Not General Dyer, he did not fire a single shot, he commanded to fire; the Indian soldiers of the British Indian army killed more than 1,000 people on April 13, 1919 on the Baisakhi day. These were the startling words of Irfan Habib, an eminent historian while speaking on the centenary observation programme on Jallianwala Bagh massacre organised by SAHMAT at Delhi on June 29.

Girish Karnad, the Playwright against the Right

IT is both apt and reductive that two images dominate others as Girish Karnad is remembered on social media: one, with Gauri Lankesh, protesting the killing of Karnad’s fellow Dharwadian Prof M S Kalburgi; the other, wearing the MeTooUrbanNaxal placard, at the memorial to mark the first anniversary of Gauri Lankesh’s own killing. Over the past few years, Karnad was seen as one of the most consistent, fearless and principled defenders of freedom of speech, cultural diversity and democracy.

Sahmat celebrates three Decades of its Foundation

THIRTY years ago the well-known political activist and a stalwart of street theatre Safdar Hashmi was brutally attacked while he and his colleagues belonging to the street theatre group Jan Natya Manch, were performing a play in a worker's colony near Sahibabad. Hashmi was not able to survive the brutal assault and he succumbed to his injuries twenty-four hours later on  January 2, 1989.

Safdar’s Legacy is Struggle

IT was on January 1, 1989, that the Delhi-based theatre group Jana Natya Manch (Janam) was performing its play HallaBol just outside Delhi, in Jhandapur, Site IV Industrial Area, Ghaziabad. The play was attacked by local goons with the patronage of the Congress party. In this brutal attack, in broad daylight, Safdar Hashmi, the convernor of Janam, and Ram Bahadur, a young migrant worker from Nepal, were killed. While Ram Bahadur died on the spot; Safdar Hashmi died in hospital the following day, January 2.

Artists Condemn Stifling the Voices of Dissent

IN a statement issued on December 23, prominent artists of Bengal film industry, noted that the way in which the organisers of the Ajmer Literature Festival in Rajasthan, buckling under the pressure of some militant ‘Hindutva’ groups, called off an event set to be addressed by veteran thespian Naseeruddin Shah, is a matter of great concern for all those who want to see our country strong and united rather than fragmented. The 68-year old actor was due to deliver the keynote address at the beginning of the festival on December 21.

Kaala Times and Politics

IT is unusual for this paper to discuss a movie. But Kaala is an unusual movie. Of course all movies end with the hero defeating the villain or the ‘victory of the good over evil’. In that sense, Kaala is also a usual movie. It is the timing, the issues that are discussed and the political symbolism that layer the movie, which makes it unusual. Discussing the technical details, the treatment of the plot or the performances of the actors, is not the intent here. The intent is to dwell on the politics of the issues and the symbolism employed in the movie.


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