TAMIL NADU: A Literary Voice of the Village Falls Silent

MELANMAI Ponnusamy, a doyen among the progressive writers in Tamil Nadu and a Sahitya Akademi awardee, passed away in Chennai on October 30 after a brief illness. He was the founder of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association (TNPWAA) in the 1970s.Hailing from Melanmarai Nadu of Virudhunagar district, Ponnusamy studied up to Class V and thereafter along with his younger brother Karikalan went to Thanjavur where the duo supplied sweetmeats to shops. After some time, they went back to their native village where they opened a grocery.

Provide Security to Prof Iliah

THE social and political hounding of Kancha Iliah Shepherd with death threats is another dark page in the recent turn of events, where intellectuals in the country have been at the mercy of hoodlums and fanatics of all hue and color, while the state is a mere bystander, said a statement issued by the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), on September 3.

All India Meeting of Street Theatre Activists Held

JANA Natya Manch, Delhi organised an all India meeting of street theatre activists from August 13-15. There were 28 street theatre activists from 12 states who participated in the three-day meeting that was held at Studio Safdar, Shadi Khampur. The agenda of the meeting was to share stories about each other’s work and discuss strategies to counter the rising Hindutva forces through cultural resistance.Each day was divided in three broad sessions.

Otto Rene Castillo: “The Poet is a Moral Conduct”

One daythe apoliticalintellectualsof my countrywill be interrogatedby the simplestof our people. They will be askedwhat they didwhen their nation died outslowly,like a sweet firesmall and alone. SOME of us may be familiar with these verses from a poem titled “Apolitical Intellectuals” by Otto Rene Castillo. Fifty years ago, in March 1967, when he had barely crossed thirty years of age, this Guatemalan poet, a revolutionary and a guerilla fighter, was ambushed and captured along with another member of the guerrilla group, Nora Paiz and 13 local campesinos.

Safdar Hashmi Memorial Observed With Fervour

FOR 28 years now, January 1 has been an important date on the Delhi calendar. What began as a spontaneous coming together of artistes of different hues, vocations and inclinations has become, arguably, the most prominent annual cultural and political event in the city. Routinely, the colorful drapes and banners adorned the otherwise dreary built structures of VP House.  The events organised by Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust began at noon with the play “Desh Badal Raha Hai” by the theater group, Bigul.

“He Never Died”

IT was as if we were watching a recap of the year.The first play to be performed at Dr Ambedkar Park, Jhandapur, Sahibabad – the place where Safdar Hashmi and Ram Bahadur were killed 28 years ago – was on demonetisation. It was done by a group of school girls from NOIDA, and they spoke about a number of issues around the central theme, including unemployment.Following this, young actors from Jan Sanskriti, Delhi, did a hard hitting piece about the cultural appropriation by the Hindutva forces.

Sahmat Condemns Undemocratic Moves In Central University of Haryana

SAFDAR Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) in a statement issued on October 3, has said that the staging of a play written by the renowned writer and activist, Mahasweta Devi, would lead to questions, inquiry and ‘trouble’ for two teachers of the English department of the Central University of Haryana, Snehsata and Manoj Kumar is very hard to digest and must be condemned in the strongest of terms.The University has “apologised” to activists of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) but its activists continue to hound the administration and students/teachers involved with the staging of Dra

SAHMAT Organises Programme on Article 14

THE constitution of India under Article 14 guarantees each and every individual irrespective of any caste, class or gender differentiation the right to equality. Unfortunately, under the aegis of the current ruling dispensation there have been repeated attempts to curtail this fundamental right in case of certain groups including dalits and other marginalised sections of the society. To bring to light the everyday violation of this right as perceived by the dalits an evening of protest songs and music was held on September 15, 2016 at Mavalankar Hall, New Delhi.


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