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How do we remember Gujarat 2002?

Oishik Sircar analyses the sophisticated spectacle of economic development that has insidiously annihilated memories of the Gujarat riots

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Why the to-do over this particular rape?

What makes rape an exceptional form of violence against women which has the potential to elicit such outrage that other kinds of violence, sexual or otherwise, don’t, asks Oishik Sircar

The Times of India joins the media spectacle that’s surrounding the Delhi rape case

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Homonationalism: Queer tales of queer prides

There is a transition in the way nation-states are portraying queer people: from figures of death from AIDS to posterboys for the freedom and modernity of the ‘progressive’ West. But is such pinkwashing co-opting queers into the politics of racism, asks Oishik Sircar as queer communities gear up for the Pride Marches  

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A short story about the Indian Constitution

On the centenary of his birth, Oishik Sircar recalls Saadat Hasan Manto's famous story about Ustad Mangu's faith in a new constitution. Does it offer us today a reality check on the gap between our Constitution's promise of emancipation and the reality of violence that it performs?

Saadat Hasan Manto

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Dirt and the Delhi Jal Board

By Agrima Bhasin

Delhi’s dalit sewerage workers labour in the city’s sewers without bodysuits, oxygen cylinders and other protective gear

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A bill rooted in apology is the way forward

By Agrima Bhasin

The 2012 draft bill broadens the definition of ‘manual scavenging’ and prohibits the employment of persons for hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks. But it stops short of the apology that dalit rights groups demand

safai karamcharis manual scavengers

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A death foretold

The tale of the progressive undermining of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis is a tale of intentional decay, writes Agrima Bhasin

Caste discrimination

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The Railways in denial

By Agrima Bhasin

Ten years after a PIL was filed against the Indian Railways as the biggest violator of the Manual Scavengers Prohibition Act with 172,000 open discharge toilets, the ministry continues to deny the practice of manual scavenging. This article traces the journey of the petition

Manual scavenging

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Burning the basket of indignity

By Agrima Bhasin

A yatra by 500 dalit and Haila Muslim safai karmacharis to motivate other women to give up the practice of manual scavenging and burn their brooms and baskets, will culminate in Delhi on January 31. The other leg of this journey requires a society that perpetuates this practice to shake off its caste bias

Manual scavengers

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The subversive power of culture

By Aritra Bhattacharya

A chronicle of the Republican Panther, a cultural organisation committed to anti-caste struggle in Maharashtra, dogged by a state that brands dissenting dalits Maoists and dissenting Muslims terrorists

Dalit Panther

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Breadth of a balladeer

By Aritra Bhattacharya

The war against inequity and injustice is a protracted war, says dalit cultural activist Sambhaji Bhagat who, with Gadar and the Jana Natya Manch, created a new form of guerrilla theatre

Sambhaji Bhagat

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Jung ki pukar: Avahan’s cultural revolution

By Aritra Bhattacharya

How a middle class theatre group got a raw edge and energy when it incorporated folk forms and the voices of the toiling masses

Jai Bheem Comrade

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Decline and fall

By Aritra Bhattacharya

Is the lull in cultural activism in Maharashtra due to the rise of the right-wing and the ideological bankruptcy of the leftist and Ambedkarite political parties which backed cultural resistance post-Emergency?

Vilas Ghogre

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Shades of repression

By Aritra Bhattacharya

Shantanu Kamble was charged with sedition and waging war against the state. Evidence? He wrote and sang like Gadar. The continuing arrests of cultural activists in Maharashtra outline the state’s response to anyone speaking out against systemic atrocities

cultural activism

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The project of cultural resistance

By Aritra Bhattacharya

The Kabir Kala Manch and Deshbhakti Yuva Manch trace their ideological lineage to the radical left and radical Ambedkarite movements in Maharashtra. What are the issues these cultural activists engage with, and why do they make the state so uncomfortable?

Kabir Kala Manch, Maoist ideology

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