The following is the statement issued by SAHMAT on June 9, 2016.
RAM Bahadur Rai, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s thinker who described BR Ambedkar’s role in framing the constitution “a myth” also has another achievement to his credit. Just two months after being appointed chairman of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, he has turned the government-funded culture institution into a centre for RSS activities in Delhi.
IN a statement issued on May 24 by the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), the signatories to which were eminent academicians, writers and artists, it has strongly condemned the Chhattisgarh government and its police force for using intimidation and threats of a criminal case against academics and political activists investigating human rights abuses in the southern parts of the state, especially Bastar and Dantewada. A fact finding team consisting of Prof. Archana Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Prof.
THE recent announcement by the Narendra Modi government that Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi established by an act of parliament, cannot be recognised as special “minority institutions’ because the secular constitution of India does not permit the government to establish and provide funds to institutions of higher learning, specifically for the promotion of education and culture of religious minority communities.
BRUSHING aside repeated threats from the Right-wing Hindutva forces, the people of Kerala wholeheartedly welcomed Gazal maestro Ghulam Ali to the state. The Pakistani singer held a concert in the state capital on January 15 and in Calicut on January 15.
WHAT do you do on an evening of dissent? You dance, you draw, you perform and yes, you sing. For as the vibrant banners, strung at the annual SAHMAT cultural event, reminded us of Bertolt Brecht’s iconic words, “Yes, there will be singing about the dark times.” But you also speak.
JANUARY 1, 2016 marked the 27th year of commemorating Safdar Hashmi’s life and works at the site of his attack, and subsequent death from injuries sustained, in Jhandapur by the CITU and the Jana Natya Manch (Janam). The interrupted Halla Bol show finished on January 4 that year, is marked with a new production by Janam each year, along with a roster of revolutionary songs and speeches. This year too the programme, with Badal Saroj as the chief guest, was a careful selection of acts in solidarity with the workers’ movement, with one major exception.
ON November 27, a unique meet was held in Dharwad, the place where Prof Kalburgi was recently murdered. Writers who had returned their awards to Sahitya Akademi and various other academics and government servants from four states came together to tell the people why they had returned their awards. The occasion was the birthday of Prof Kalburgi. A group of writers from Gujarat under the leadership of Dr Ganesh Devy who had returned his Sahitya Akademi and Padma Sri awards, started a yatra from their state which they called Dakshinayan.
THE death centenary of great poet Gurajada Appa Rao was observed across Andhra Pradesh. Various programmes were organised by AIDWA and Prajanatya Mandali, with the help of the CPI(M) units, in different parts of the state. Various cultural organisations also participated in these events. The commemoration started on Gurjada’s birth anniversary on September 21 and continued till the death centenary on November 30.
GHULAM Ali, ghazal legend from Pakistan, whose concerts in Maharashtra and Delhi were cancelled recently, will perform in Kerala twice in January. The 75-year-old singer is scheduled to perform in the state capital on January 15 and in Kozhikode on January 17 at the invitation of social organisation 'Swaralaya'.
IN the first ever India-Palestine theatre collaboration, The Freedom Theatre (TFT) from Jenin is collaborating with Jana Natya Manch (Janam) this winter. This is a cultural exchange between India and Palestine. Many progressive and secular individuals and organisations are associating with the event.