Category Archive: Culture

The forgotten stanzas of Jana, Gana, Mana

India’s national anthem is only one of the five stanzas, composed and penned by Rabindranath Tagore. The remaining four stanzas can be heard here. This video is from a Bangla film Rajkahini (Srijit… Continue reading

Nationalism fever strikes India

Concerned citizens, activists, civil libertarians, constitutional experts, and protesting university students see an unfolding tragedy in the violence perpetrated by the “patriotic” mobs. The mobs undermine the democratic order. They flaunt their commitment to the ruling party’s ideology and bank on police inaction.

When JNUSU forced Indira Gandhi to resign

After 10-15 minutes of strong slogan shouting against the “Criminals of the Emergency”, Indira Gandhi, accompanied by her notorious Emergency-time Home Minister Om Mehta and two more walked up to the gate briskly. I must say I was impressed by her imposing but pleasant looking personality. She was smiling and listened to the slogans for a while. Then, Sitaram Yechury started reading the JNUSU’s demands.

Students as Enemy?

The fight to save JNU is a fight to save the values enshrined in the constitution of India. If we fail today in our duty, history will remember us as “anti-nationalist”.

If anti-national means this, God save our country

What I mean to say is that we don’t need the certificate of patriotism from the RSS. We don’t need a nationalist certificate from the RSS. We belong to this country. We love this country. We fight for the 80 per cent of the poor population of this country. For us, this is nation worship.

I AM A TAX-PAYER, TOO

And finally, Mr. Pai is the Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services Pvt Ltd, a private provider of higher education services in India as well as abroad. His problem with JNU is understandable. I am a son of a coolie, who lost his father at the age of 15. Sans institutions such as MGU (Kerala) and JNU, I wouldn’t even have an MA, let alone a PhD. My anger over these ridiculous attack on the country’s premier educational institution is also understandable, isn’t it? ‪#‎IAmATaxPayerToo‬

Anti-nationalism defined

To me, what is remarkable about JNU is not that it is the best university in India, but that it remains so even after drawing most of its students from the historically backward sections and regions of the country. The JNUSU President who was arrested for sedition comes from a very poor background, which alone speaks for the equality of opportunity that JNU practices. JNU is so repulsive to the Brahminical middle classes precisely because it is dangerous to their logic of merit. JNU is a practical example that socially inclusive policies produce a society that is not only far more progressive but also far superior when it comes to chasing numbers.

हम लड़ेंगे साथी… उदास मौसम के ख़िलाफ़…

We shall fight, comrade, for the unhappy times
We shall fight, comrade, for the bottled-up desires
We shall gather up, comrade, the fragments of our lives

The murder of my friend Giulio Regeni: An attack on academic freedom

Giulio Regeni’s murder is a direct challenge to the academic freedom that is a pillar of our higher education system. He is only one of many scholars to find themselves in grave danger. While it’s still not clear what happened to him, we know that others have been arbitrarily detained and abused in Egypt. As a scholarly community and as a society, we have a duty to strike to protect them and their colleagues who study in dangerous places the world over.

P Sainath on Rohith Vemula’s suicide

They say Rohith’s suicide is a depression suicide, it has nothing to do with discrimination and all the things you are talking about. One question is, why are some classes and castes in society more depressed than everyone else? But, there is a more cruel and venomous insinuation in this: This is not emotional depression, they are treating it as a mental health issue… this is inborn.

‘Where is the next John Lennon? Probably packing boxes in a supermarket somewhere.’

There is no more reason to believe that capitalism will be around forever. For centuries, the Roman Empire was able to absorb barbarian tribes, to draw them into the Roman system, to give their chiefs titles and offices… And one day, they forgot to give Alaric a promotion, which got him pretty upset. We all know what happened then. It’s permanent until it’s not, every contradiction is absorbed until it isn’t.