ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Blogs

Ways to Learn and Unlearn

I took a class titled “Heterosexualities: Past, Present and Future” in the last quarter of my undergraduate degree in gender and sexuality studies. In my college, it was rare to be offered a class that made a hegemonic formation—heteronormativity in this case—its centre of analysis. The recurring feelings I had throughout my undergraduate programme were those of discomfort and guilt, particularly owing to how my coursework treated inequalities and injustices of various kinds as distant and atomised “objects” of study.

Kashmir Through the Cinematic lens

Though Kashmir is omnipresent in political discourse, very little is truly known of Kashmiri culture or the effects of territorial conflict on the Kashmiri way of life. A recent example of this is the communication lockdown in the days leading up to, and after, the abrogation of Article 370 by the current government. However, this discursive violence is perpetrated not only through official channels, but also through media, art, and films. 

Gandhi’s Power of Symbolism

Mahatma Gandhi in his communication with the masses made effective use of both symbols and symbolic language. He used symbols in order to mobilise the masses against both colonial and local configurations of power. In the colonial configuration, he used symbols such as salt, charkha, and khadi in order to mobilise the masses against the British imperialists. He picked up a fistful of salt only to drive home the point that the British were working against the interests of the people of India.

Out of Print and On the Line

Working with print publication in a digital era often makes one feel like an anachronism. In the race to compete with online-only publications that have mushroomed in the last decade, online-first has become the publication model to which many print publications have transitioned. The advent of digital publishing has also brought in a great amount of flexibility, especially for news, media, and opinion publishing in terms of both format and time. 

Dharmanand Kosambi: Socialist Shraman and Shramanic Socialist

In this proposed series of blogs I seek to discuss some relatively unknown/overlooked works by Marathi thinkers/activists/scholars engaging with the ideas of socialism. This is not meant to be treated as exhaustive, but should be seen as an annotated translation with questions for further inquiry.

A Call to Slow Down

We, who have grown up on the fable of the hare and the tortoise, with the moral that slow and steady wins the race, have, over time, stopped believing in this story. So much so that it sounds silly even if one wishes to believe in it. Knowingly or unknowingly, we have imbibed the logic of capitalism that equates speed with efficiency—“the faster, the better”. Being “successful” and winning the race was also the mantra in the hare-tortoise story.

Decoding “Reform, Perform, and Transform”

What has fascinated me the most in the 2019 Union Budget is the evocative, if not innovative, use of jingles. Be it “Har Ghar Jal” for universal access to (drinking) water or the use of “Team India with Jan Bhagidari” for minimum government and maximum governance, or “Green Mother Earth and Blue Skies” for the vision of a pollution-free India, who has ever witnessed, let alone conceptualised, such sublime mellifluousness in a mundane accounting statement like the budget document!

The Game is Afoot

In 2017, when Cressida Dick became the first woman commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service in its 187-year old history, it was only to be expected that there would be comments about the appointment being on the basis of “political correctness” rather than her competence.

The Future of Critique

Effective critique has to be understood in terms of its hermeneutic capacity in order to intensify its impact in shaping the political orientation and social imagination of the people. Critique has both restorative and creative functions in so far as it does not dispel the object of critique in terms of its semantic expression and its truth claim. Critique that does not see its motivating role in taking a large number of people along with its truth claim loses its hermeneutic power.

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