Friday, October 01, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
So, at 6 PM, barely 9 hours after reaching home, I took the metro (which is now 5 mins from my house :D) to Chawri Bazar. Reached Jama Masjid, ordered a plate of beef kebabs from the nearest Kababchi (10 bucks a plate). That familiar feeling (albeit of dead cows). Short in time, but a beautiful tryst with the walled city.
10 minutes later: Rajiv Chowk Metro Station. Just a face in the crowd. A soul existing with 13 million others. A speck in these hordes of humanity that is Delhi. That beautiful feeling of belonging, of familiarity. Home is where the heart is.
NALSAR main ho agar hum, Dil rehta hai Dilli main
Samjho waheen humein, Dil hai jahaan hamara...
(My sincere apologies to Allama Iqbal for the perversion of his eternal words)
Thursday, April 08, 2010
In the real world, when the state woke from its stupor and attempted to extend a threadbare conception of rights to the people, the upper castes of Bihar felt their existence as the holders of hegemony threatened. They chose to resort to a measure they were best at: repressive violence. Thus was begotten the Ranvir Sena. The Sena is essentially a militant conglomerate of landlords and political mafiosi, that strives to defy any form of restructuring of inter-caste relations, and attempts to do so through conspicous killing, and insidious politicking. The deputy CM, S.K. Modi, is a member of the Sena, and no less proud of it. So, the timeline looks crudely like this: Oppression, persistent oppression, Some semblance of hope, more oppression. It's a sorry state of affairs, which merits the attention of the state considering the fact that dalit-hunting is the favourite passtime of the Sena.
Yesterday, a Patna Court sentenced 16 members of the Ranvir Sena to death for the brutal massacre of 58 dalits in Laxmipur Bathe village in 1997. The victims were inclusive of women and children, killed for 50 acres of land. 'Justice delayed is justice denied' couldn't have been more accurate, considering that the victims' families, already languishing in penury, have had to take on a political force in order to secure justice. Beyond evoking melancholy sentiments, the purpose of highlighting this incident is to exhibit as to how even with its supposed 'growing' tag, the state of Bihar still survives in the social paradigms of the previous century. Casteism has been the most compelling factor for this, possibly second to government apathy.
The concretisation of casteism as a potent political tool, while not unique to Bihar, is extremely problematic in the social milieu of Bihar. UP has seen the growth of Kanshi Ram and Mayawati into the most potent political voice in UP. Such a shift in bases of power seems very optimistic, if considered in the perspective of Bihar. Caste relations and caste opportunities are too hegemonized by the wielders of power that the idea of dalits finding themselves in an assertive position, while not unprecedented, is rare.
To put it crudely, mighty fucked up situation. Ahshit.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
(This article has been taken from http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/mar/23/life-and-times-of-kanu-sanyal-rebel-with-a-cause.htm)
Kanu Sanyal, one of the founders of the Naxal movement in India, committed suicide at his residence at Seftullajote village in north Bengal on Tuesday.
Rediff.com takes a look at the life and time of the veteran leader, who changed the course of Communist politics in India.
Who was Kanu Sanyal?
Kanu Sanyal was one of the founder members of the Naxal movement. Sanyal, along with fellow Communist revolutionary Charu Majumdar, started the Naxalbari movement in West Bengal [ May 25, 1967. Though the movement was brutally crushed by the police within a few months, Naxalism as an ideology managed to survive and has evolved into the Maoist insurgency, considered to be the biggest threat to internal security in India today.
Sanyal was born in 1932 at Kurseong in Darjeeling. While working as a revenue clerk at the Siliguri court, Sanyal was arrested for waving a black flag at then West Bengal chief minister Bidhan Chandra Roy, to protest the Centre's ban on the Communist Party of India.
He was lodged at the Jalpaiguri jail, where he met then CPI district secretariat member and future comrade-in-arms Charu Majumdar. Influenced heavily by Majumdar's ideology, Sanyal joined the CPI after his release, and later sided with the CPI-M the party split over the Indo-China war.
Sanyal soon became known for his firebrand politics, and in 1967, he famously led the armed peasant's movement in Naxalbari village in north Bengal. The movement marked the beginning of armed Communist struggle against the government, which later spread to other states and assumed virulent proportions in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.
What happened at Naxalbari?
In May 1967, an armed peasant uprising against the oppression of landlords broke out in Naxalbari village in Darjeeling district.
Led actively by Sanyal and Majumdar, the movement was envisaged as an 'agrarian revolution to eliminate the feudal order'. Both Sanyal and Majumdar defended the use of arms and violence to fight back against the landlords. However, the state police, led by then chief minister Siddharth Shankar Roy, brutally suppressed the movement within a few months.
But the discontent and anger of the marginalised and the underprivileged sections of society continued to simmer in Bengal, which witnessed an intense surge in Naxal violence in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
What was Sanyal's next step towards a Communist revolution?
Sanyal and Majumdar founded the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist in 1969. The duo aimed for an 'Indian revolution' via a sustained arms struggle, to establish 'liberated zones' across the country that would eventually be merged into a single vast unit completely under Naxal control.
Sanyal publicly sought help from China to further the arms struggle, and reportedly even visited Beijing, via Kathmandu, Nepal, in September 1967. However, it is not clear whether China offered any moral, financial or logistical support to the Naxal movement raging in Bengal.
What were the activities of the CPI-ML?
The CPI-ML believed in capturing power by violent means and carried out political assassinations by targeting the 'enemies of the proletariat'. They also conducted raids on banks and armouries to build up their resources.
Was Sanyal arrested for the group's activities?
Sanyal, who had gone underground, was arrested in August 1970. He was convicted in the Parvatipuram case (an organised uprising against landlords in Andhra Prdesh and Orissa), often dubbed as the biggest conspiracy case in history, and imprisoned for seven years at a jail in Visakhapatnam.
In July 1972, Majumdar was arrested from his hide-out, and he died in police custody at a Kolkata jail a fortnight later.
By 1977, West Bengal had heralded in a Communist government and then chief minister Jyoti Basu intervened to ensure Sanyal's release.
Was Sanyal involved in politics even after his release?
Though Sanyal had renounced armed struggle, he formed the Organising Committee of Communist Revolutionaries after his release. He later merged the OCCR with the Communist Organisation of India-Marxist-Leninist.
Sanyal later became the general secretary of the revamped CPI-ML, which was formed when several like-minded groups coalesced to form a Left-wing organisation.
On January 18, 2006, Sanyal was arrested with fellow agitators for disrupting a Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express train at the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in Siliguri, while protesting against closures of tea gardens in the region.
Sanyal was a vocal critic of the land acquisition methods adopted by the state government in Singur and Nandigram. He slammed the CPI-M-led government, calling it capitalist, and hailed the popular uprisings in the two regions. Sanyal believed that led by selfless and strong leadership, the protests in Nandigram had the potential to surpass even the Naxalbari movement.
What were Sanyal's views about the Maoist insurgency?
Ironically, Sanyal often spoke out against the Maoist movement, even though he is considered to be one of its founding fathers. He was disillusioned by the relentless violence perpetrated by the Maoists, and the indiscriminate victimisation of poor farmers and tribals.
Readily admitting the mistakes made by his CPI-ML in its hey days, Sanyal often declared that acts of terror could not bring change; they only hurt popular movements and alienated the masses.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Recently, I read Brave New World once again. Beyond its Dystopian overtones and its idea of hope and its subsequent extinguishment, what I find really appealing in the book is the manner in which society is shaped. An extremely communal form of life, with privacy a shred of the embarassing past, the notion of family long forgotten, the notions of commitment and monogamy buried. The idea of humanity reverting to its most primitive form of existence, albeit with modern technology ensuring it, and its manifestation in the manner described, is rather disconcerting to anyone who espouses morality of a strict kind.
The idea of morality, in the sense of the permissible and the impermissible, is a very impragmatic idea. Human nature is of greed and indulgence and any fetters on it will only result in an organized facaded chaos, as is happening today. To quote Khuda Kay Liye, 'log haraam kaam ke baad halal ghosht ki dukaan dhoondte phirenge'. Every religion dictates that one should follow a certain path, and that the path is one that shall lead you to eternal salvation. If you divert, eternal damnation. The inherent paradox of the Abrahamanic religions is evident, in terms of having a vengeful yet merciful God. Religion, or any other form of collective morality, fails to take into account an individual's degree of resistance, or an individual's propensity to indulge. This ignorance, as many beef-eating Hindus and wine-gushing Muslims would propose, will lead to the subversion of religion, and its ultimate disappearance from civil society.
Break done. Shall continue. As stated 1.5 years back, this blog stands resurrected.