Racist movements exploit the tensions between democracy and nationalism and use the crisis to its advantage, as evident in the US and in India.
Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee
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.
People have the freedom to follow any panth or dharm. But a secular state forbids political claims in their name.
If those cave paintings where human beings drew representations of life marked the beginning of human culture, this mob and police intimidation of art is surely the death of it.
Elections cannot be won either by any corporate or jingoistic fraudulence. The writing on the wall shall now have the last laugh.
Those who speak of ‘common humanity’ need to tell us what lies outside this common and name what is inhuman, what cannot be permitted to go on in the name of any commonness.
If Left and Nehruvian ideas have no relevance, as is being said, then why are writers accused of left-liberal ideas being attacked so viciously?
The meaning of politics for Gandhi is the battleground itself, while truth is the reason we battle without arms, for truth is the possibility of an end to enmity.
Subasri Krishnan’s new film about the massacre of 2000 Muslims at Nellie, Assam in 1983 is a haunting tale that poses difficult questions about the denial of justice and meaningful citizenship in India.
To speak against the Hindu religion is now an affront to the larger nationalist cause. Even if the ‘bad’ Hindu’s criticism has ethical intentions – such as the fight against superstition – he is an unwanted threat to the cause of religious nationalism.
Students at FTII fear the culture of questioning will be replaced by the culture of eulogies.
In the nationalist movement, Gandhi alone posed the idea of justice on the Hindu-Muslim question, outside the language of law.
Even one such film a year is enough to keep alive our interest in the new, exciting movement and moment in Indian cinema.