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

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Exploring the Formation of Jat Masculinity in Contemporary Punjabi Music

This article draws from present-day Punjabi music to understand the overarching and recurring theme of Jat masculinity. The article begins with the non-film Punjabi music industry and the reasons for its meteoric rise in recent years. The glorification of misogyny, caste-based violence, use of arms and ammunition, which are a mainstay in popular Punjabi music today, is framed as a manifestation of a caste-based identity. The article charts the emergence of Chamar pop and the role of caste in Punjab, especially cultural assertion and its roots in the state’s Dalit politics, particularly the Ad-dharmi movement. The Dalit resistance art and music movement which began years ago, and the sudden rise of Dalit singers like Ginni Mahi and Roop Lal Dhir have taken the modern Ambedkarite assertion of equal rights one step forward is considered the beginning of the reconfiguration of Punjab's sociopolitical milieu. While the Jat singers and their music get hailed, the Dalit singers are physically attacked, hounded, and threatened to speak out against caste oppression, suggesting that caste realities in Punjab are reflected in artistic expressions.

Bulldozing the Idea of Democracy

The state apparatus’ inaction in dealing with communal violence will have dire consequences.

Tech-mediated Misogyny and Communal Vitriol

Online hate speech targeting Muslim women in India further uncovers the right wing–Big Tech nexus.

Sex Work, Sex Trafficking, and Myopia of the State

Why does the state fail to notice that a girl/woman entering prostitution, either through coercion or choice, is the same one who got married early, never went to school, or struggled in informal labour markets from an early age? From being consistently invisible in the pre-sex work phase of her life, what makes a sex worker so visible in the eyes of the state? What does this reveal of the state rather than the sex worker? The answers to these questions could help us think of sex workers’ lives beyond the narrow debates of trafficking versus sex work, making them part of more mainstream development concerns.

Through the Naga Insurgency

In the Shadows of Naga Insurgency: Tribes, State, and Violence in Northeast India by Jelle J P Wouters, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp xxiv + 331, ₹ 995.

Night of the Murdered Poets

Microaggression and Poetry in a Local Train In these poems set in and about trains, the Indian Railways shows potential as a site of modernity, but instead becomes the site of microaggression and violence.

Queer Perspectives and COVID-19: Linking Queer Pasts to Queer Futures

While COVID-19 brings new challenges to the table, queer communities in India have a range of issues that remain unaddressed regardless of circumstance. This article is an attempt to articulate these conditions and provide context for how these change within the lockdown.

Dalit Women, Vulnerabilities, and Feminist Consciousness

Dalit women in India have faced and are facing violence in myriad forms; they are victims of inhuman treatment, brutal violence and humiliation. Despite this, they have not been mute victims resigned to their plight; they have relentlessly struggled against caste-based social oppression and exploitative material relations, against atrocities and complex and contextual forms of hierarchies. The framework of vulnerability provides a useful lens to understand this violence and powerlessness. It is also important to address the lacuna in conventional feminist movements which do not account for caste-based gender violence, as also to assert Dalit women’s quest for and claim to universal transformative emancipatory practices.

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