EPW’s trustees are fully aware of the current attack on free speech and institutions, including the media and universities. It is bewildering, therefore, to see these concerns completely missing in their statement.
Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee
Lynching is a modern form of tribalism, where enemies – differentiated by religion, race, caste or ideology – are bracketed for elimination.
In the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho, the distinction between the sacred and the profane is dissolved. Eroticism is not regarded profane but a sacred measure of the divine.
A free press guarantees the critical space where people respond to the government’s declarations and methods, and voice their criticism and dissent. To governmentalise the press through coercion would mean dissolving that space.
The character of a German fascist in Borges’s work shares uncanny similarities with Nathuram Godse – both consider acts of bloodshed more honourable than inconsequential acts of apostolic service.
In attorney general Mukul Rohatgi’s arguments in favour of Aadhaar, the body is reduced to its exchange value.
The perverse obsession among Bengalis for old customs merely confirms the anxiety of their decadence.
What happens to the idea of democracy when a man loses his autonomy, is forced to experience an animal helplessness?
If cow protection entails the joining of forces between the moral and the state police, the law will simply allow lawlessness in its name.
In any man who dies there dies with him, his first snow and kiss and fight, it goes with him…. Not people die but worlds die in them. ~ Yevgeny Yevtushenko, ‘People’ In A Precocious Autobiography, the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who passed away on April 1, recounted […]
Poetry that listens to history can contribute to the recovery of the past, of the many pasts that make up the fragmented memory of this nation.
In tyrannical times, poetry needs to speak less, tell more.
The oblique nature of structural violence leaves invisible marks on a Dalit student’s body and psyche that no autopsy can reveal.
The cowards who fear the power of thinking should not delude themselves into believing the argumentative Indian can be so easily silenced.
Racist movements exploit the tensions between democracy and nationalism and use the crisis to its advantage, as evident in the US and in India.
What the home ministry’s new guidelines on how the disabled must show their respect for the national anthem tell us about the politics of pure nationalism.
“I always was rushing,” Rohith Vemula wrote, “Desperate to start a life.” But the beginning could never take place, it was fatally elusive.
The charkha in Gandhi’s hands stands for a lot more than the act of spinning. Featuring Narendra Modi on the 2017 khadi calendar is a dangerous misappropriation.
In a world where women are simply handed down their limits to be followed in every sphere of life, Dangal kicks at conventions through pure act, through the sheer body of the female.
If nationalism, the way its sternest adherents argue, is a deep and overwhelming sentiment, then why do we need a disciplining machine to enforce that sentiment in us?
What the Rohith Vemula and Najeeb Ahmed cases tell us about how India’s relationship with its ‘others’ – the minorities – is pathologised by the enforcement of exaggerated discourse of difference amidst unrecognisably similar lives and cultural practices.
The world needs a whole generation of young people, who refuse the diktats of family, private property and nation, to create the new road Dylan sings for with hoarse urgency.
A selection of unforgettable verse by 21 poets from around the world.
Gandhi’s famous sojourn in Noakhali was the ultimate test for the idea and practice of non-violence. It failed.
The Hindu-Muslim relationship needs to exhaust its ethical possibilities, not by disregarding or forgetting history but hearing what it constantly fails to tell us about each other.
As long as the Indian nation ignores the injustices it has perpetrated from the very beginnings of its existence, freedom will continue to mean nothing but the celebration of a date.
After Irom Sharmila broke her 16-year hunger strike, she made a striking statement on politics: “People say politics is dirty, but so is society.” The statement is remarkable for two reasons. One, it breaks the shallow middle class binary between politics and society, and challenges the temerity of Hindus who […]
It is easier to be united in outrage against a singular, spectacularly brutal act of violence than against the normalised, everyday violence of the state anywhere in the world.
The Bengali poet Bhaskar Chakraborty is not very well known to readers outside of Calcutta, a city that constantly enters and leaves his poems.
The nation is its own enemy when it thwarts the blossoming of radical diversity – and tragically, this is what the Brexit promises for Britain.
A song of real grief cannot be merely sentimental, but something that even within its private world, sings a context, provides a historical echo, and even gives a political meaning to the situation of life.
It is our lack of knowledge about Shakespeare’s heart that makes him incomparably enigmatic, more so than any other playwright or poet in history.
In Octavio Paz’s book The Monkey Grammarian Hanuman, as Jason Wilson has argued, is seen as “a metaphor of pensée, the total flow of the activity of the unconscious, without control or regulations.”
Watching his latest, illegally made film, Taxi, one feels Jafar Panahi is a man with two brains, one tucked away inside his head and the other hidden inside the memory card of his camera.
A conversation on the ideas of truth and violence between Ambedkar, Fanon and Gandhi.
During the anti-colonial struggle, nationalism made people think about ways to oust (colonial) injustice. Today, nationalism is being asked to play the opposite role: Prevent people from thinking about questions of justice.
The proof of an idea or an institution lies in its imagination. In the face of highly contested charges, Jawaharlal Nehru University kept its imagination alive: It held a series of open-air lectures on nationalism by professors, for students of the university and beyond. In the first among […]
Let Nida Fazli be remembered for the demand he makes, perhaps even more after his death, that this cannot be a nation of tongues severed in the name of religion.
As it considers curative petitions seeking the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the Supreme Court must realise that acts of prejudice which provoke hate crimes and push people towards death need to be redeemed by the law.
What the experiences of Manto and Josh Malihabadi tell us about the dividing line between trust and belonging, intolerance and exile.