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Educationists and women’s rights activists oppose closure of Mahila Samakhya

November 21, 2015


Women’s rights activists, researchers, academics and scholars have written to the Minister of HRD against the government’s reported move to close the Mahila Samakhya programme. The letter, written in the backdrop of the announcement that the programme would not be funded after 31 March 2016 and a reported move to merge it with the National Rural Livelihoods Mission,  urges the government to retain the autonomy and unique character of this globally lauded programme.

The signatories to the letter include several individuals who have contributed significantly in building an inclusive policy framework and enabling public environment for gender equality in education, who have spoken eloquently of how they have been enriched through their association with  Mahila Samakhya.

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ചീത്തകളെ തള്ളിക്കള: നഹാസ് മാളയ്ക്ക് തുറന്ന കത്ത്

November 21, 2015

പ്രിയ നഹാസ് മാള

‘ഓൺലൈൻ പെൺവാണിഭം:  വിശദമായ അന്വേഷണം വേണം – എസ് ഐ ഒ’ എന്ന തലക്കെട്ടോടു കൂടി താങ്കളുടെ സംഘടന പുറത്തിറക്കിയ പ്രസ്താവന ഇന്നത്തെ മാദ്ധ്യമം പത്രത്തിൽ കണ്ടു.  അതിൽ പറയുന്നു:

“കേരളത്തിലെ ചുംബനസമരം അടക്കമുള്ള സമരങ്ങളിൽ മുഖ്യപങ്ക് വഹിച്ചിരുന്ന രാഹുൽ പശുപാലനും രശ്മി നായരുമാണ് റാക്കറ്റിൻെറ പിന്നിലെന്ന പോലീസ് ആരോപണം ഗൌരവമുള്ളതാണ്. കേരളത്തിലെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ മാധ്യമമേഖലയിലെ പ്രമുഖരുമായുള്ള ബന്ധങ്ങൾ ഇത്തരം റാക്കറ്റുകൾ മറയായി ഉപയോഗപ്പെടുത്തുന്നുണ്ട് … വിദ്യാർത്ഥികളെ അടക്കം സ്നേഹം നടിച്ചും പ്രലോഭിപ്പിച്ചും തങ്ങളുടെ വലയിൽ കുരുക്കി ഉഭയസമ്മതപ്രകാരമെന്ന് പറഞ്ഞ് ചൂഷണം ചെയ്യുന്ന ഇത്തരം റാക്കറ്റുകൾക്കെതിരെ സമൂഹം ജാഗ്രത പുലർത്തണം.”

കഴിഞ്ഞ ദിവസം മനോരമ ചാനലിൽ യുവ മോർച്ചാ നേതാവ് രാജേഷ് ചുംബനസമരത്തിനെതിരെ തൊടുത്തുവിട്ട പൊട്ടശ്ശരങ്ങളോട് നിങ്ങളുടെ പ്രസ്താവന അടുത്തസാമ്യം പുലർത്തുന്നു എന്നു കണ്ടതുകൊണ്ടാണ് നിങ്ങൾക്ക് കത്തെഴുതാൻ തീരുമാനിച്ചത്.

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Jain Tandoori – When the State Chickens Out: Gita Jayaraj

November 21, 2015

Guest post by GITA JAYARAJ

New shocks seem to await non-vegetarians almost daily, now. At a popular supermarket chain in Besant Nagar, one of the go-to places in namma Chennai, there seems nothing unusual on the evening of November 11. The floor is littered with stuff as the young shop assistants squat in the narrow aisles trying to stack the packets on the shelves; or laze in small clusters discussing workplace politics, oblivious of the customers milling around.

Seems like a normal evening. Heading towards the billing counter, I decide at the last minute to pick up some chicken. The young girl at the fresh-ground coffee counter, next to the fresh chicken refrigerator, giggles nervously as I open it. “Sale of chicken not permitted today madam”, she tells me hesitantly in Tamil. I am puzzled, has the beef ban in some states been extended to cover chicken as well in all states? Read more…

Com Kislay and Shubham Arrested by Goa Police – Glory to the Struggle of FTII students

November 21, 2015


(Photo : Courtesy –

Ultimately the roaring voice of the FTII students reached the IFFI (International Film Festival of India) inaugural held at Panaji, Goa.

Just when the inaugural had formally ended, chief guest had spoken and the administration was on the cusp of heaving a sigh of relief for a ‘trouble free beginning’ and was contemplating to ‘pat its own back’ for managing to save its ‘image’ the precints of the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium reverberated with slogans in favour of the historic FTII struggle.

This struggle, which had continued for around five months since 12 th June , a struggle against political appointments at one of the most prestigious institutions of India which was also a wake up call at the systematic attempts underway since the ascendance of the Modi regime at centre to undermine the academic autonomy of universities and educational institutions, as everybody knows has received tremendous national-international support.

Slogans were loud enough that all the celebrities and dignitaries who had gathered there heard them.

‘It was heard by Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley, his state minister Rajyawardhan Rathore, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and all the I&B ministry officials.

The two students found an empty block on top, where they were seated silently till the whole inaugural ceremony ended.’


Security people who were present there in large numbers pounced on the two of them – Com Kislay, a young film director, an alumni of FTII, who has received critical acclaim for his very first film and Shubham, another alumni of FTII – and according to a facebook post (

both of them have been badly beaten by the Goan police for showing the placards and shouting slogans… They are still under the police custody and being interrogated.

As of now they have been detained in Agassaim Police Station  and would be presented before the magistrate. It is also learnt that they are being ‘charged with serious offences’

It is important to note that the authorities at various levels went out of way just to ensure that the voice of FTII students does not reach the IFFI. It ‘ensured’ that this year the festival would not screen a single film by students of the prestigious FTII whereas in recent years, at least five FTII entries could make it to the screening of this annual fest.

As opposed to its regular practice of paying for the conveyanc and accomodation of its students who had enrolled for the same, the FTII administration took an adhoc decision and told the students to bear their own expenses.

But despite all their attempts to intimidate the students into silence the voice did reach IFFI. It is definitely a victory of sorts – albeit of a symbolic kind.

There is no doubt that this struggle of the FTII students would continue to receive the support which it has received from artists, intellectuals, film personalities and all those people who believe are opposed to the dumbing down of society under all pretexts.

If possible contact the Goa police – especially its higher officials – and ensure that the two are not further harmed and released immediately without any charges.

Glory to the struggle of FTII students.

Two Trees Don’t Make a Forest: Leave KOL Alone

November 19, 2015

The latest assault on the Kiss Of Love movement, the last in the long list of assaults against its activists over the past one year in Kerala, involves the arrest of two former KOL activists, Rahul Pasupalan and Resmi Nair, over sex trafficking charges. While the media has been mixing up this case with that of a pedophilia FB page in a rather unwarranted way , the media has been screaming about the pair’s connection with KOL and some reports almost imply that their actions were because of their associations with KOL. Others, including the arch-conservative newspapers, have asked whether the KOL was a cover for sex work markets! Read more…

New Epidemics in Kerala – Ephebiphobia and Losing-Control Anxiety

November 18, 2015

“Torture isn’t  new to us, ” quipped my seventeen-year-old daughter. We were discussing the future of Indian democracy.She had just quit regular school and got herself enrolled in the Kerala State Open School.

I turned to look at her, surprised. She held me in her gaze, questioning that surprise. “In school, we were watched constantly through CCTV cameras … We were summoned to the Principal’s room whenever they thought they saw or heard something wrong. My friend was questioned by nine people, teachers and non-teaching staff. They sat in a circle with her standing in the middle. The more she denied their accusations, the more they pressed charges, threatening and insulting her… So why should we feel illegal interrogation to be abnormal? It is utterly normal to us!”  I could only stare blankly. “And the punishments … do you know how humiliating they are? They even maintain ‘reports’ – gossip by teachers – which they pass on to the next school you’d join.” Read more…

Autumn’s Anger: Sonia Anwar

November 18, 2015

This is a guest post by SONIA ANWAR

As everybody knows by now, not everybody was cheering when the Indian PM recently visited the U.K. Some photos and a short write-up sent by a protestor and eyewitness…

Modi bloody finger cartoon

Source: The Independent, U.K.

The pictures didn’t come out very good as I was trying to absorb everything that was happening around me yesterday in front of No: 10 Downing street and later in the Parliament Square and also shout against Modi as loud as I could at the same time. The air was filled with angry slogans coming from different groups. The centre point was behind the barricades right across the gates to No: 10. There were people of all genders, faiths and nationalities. We shouted out as loud as we could; they had to bring in Modi on foot to No: 10 through the Foreign Office building to avoid us and our angry shouts that he is a murderer and has blood on his hands. Later we marched down towards the Parliament square.

Read more…


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