Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Transgenders Persons (Protection of Rights) bill 2016

Twinkle Siwach
"The demand of the civic society and the concerned groups is to accept the recommendations of the Standing Committee. The citizenship rights along with Universal Human Rights stands violated if the Transgenders Persons bill as proposed now gets passed in the parliament. It will reflect the collective failure of us as a society, along with the regressive step in the history of the nation".

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Political Nationalism is in Real Danger in India

S. V. Narayanan

The recent two events, the Madras High Court giving orders for singing Vande Mataram and Uttar Pradesh government under Yogi Adithyanath giving guidelines to Madrassas on how to celebrate Independence day and submit video evidence for the same has once again opened up the politics of nationalism and patriotism in our multi-national Indian state. Even though nationalism and patriotism are used interchangeably, there exists a perceptible difference between the two. Lord Acton in his seminal essay on nationality (1862), explained that nationalism is more of a emotional identification and connection with our race, which is natural or physical, whereas patriotism relates to our consciousness and alertness of our moral duties towards our political community. Here, the political community is clearly understood as the community within the territorial limits of political state, which could be of different nationalities. Thus defining patriotism in a multi-national state like India has to be inclusive creating a secular consciousness in the fulfilment of our moral duty.  In a complex and multi-cultural society like India, the national identity cannot be found in the past and has to be constructed in future through our secular endeavours. But, the exclusive nationalist propaganda, with majoritarian national symbols and cultural values can never invoke the patriotic feeling  among the minorities.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Padmavati: Myth, Hindutva, and Modern India

Dr. Nilanjana Paul

The release of the movie Padmavati, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, is the center of current debate between the Mumbai film fraternity and Karni Sena of Rajasthan. Lokendra Singh Kalvi, founder of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena called for Bharat Bandh (All India Shutdown) if the movie is released on December 1. In the wake of the threats, the release of the film has been postponed indefinitely by the producers. Karni Sena,is a caste based Hindu organization, that claims to defend the rights of Rajputs (patrilineal clans associated with warriorhood). Karni Sena has a long history of opposing movies such as the Jodha Akbar and destroying the sets of Padmavati. They claimed that the intimate scene between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji went against the values and sentiments of the Rajput community. Since then a lot has been written on Padmavati and how it should be open to historical interpretation.This article aims to problematize how both the movie and the opposition faced by it are part of the larger Hindutva project to divide the country based on religion in an already polarized situation.