Articles by: Amit Sengupta

Bengal’s patachitra artists paint their way through Covid crisis

Bengal’s patachitra artists paint their way through Covid crisis

We are humans Sons of one mother One could be Hindu One could be Muslim The tribals call their god Gurung and Marung The Christians call him God The Muslims call him Allah The Hindus call him Bhagwan We are humans Sons of one mother Song of the Pata Chitrakars   His name could be Ajay or Azizul. Or, both.[Read More…]

by 27/06/2022 0 comments COVID Response Watch
Covid-hit Adivasis of MP under attack from communal forces

Covid-hit Adivasis of MP under attack from communal forces

In the post-Covid era, even while the deprivations and despair of the pandemic and lockdowns continue, not only Muslims and Christians, Adivasis too are being systematically attacked by the Sangh Parivar front organizations, specifically in the BJP-ruled states. The latest brutal assaults in the rural area of Seoni district  in Madhya Pradesh is a pointer to these litany of atrocities[Read More…]

by 25/05/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Forest rights violations under cover of Covid

Forest rights violations under cover of Covid

>> The young one had gone to the city to earn his livelihood and food for his poor family. The pandemic and lockdown stopped all work and all earnings. Thereby he had no option but to walk for 20 days under the scorching sun with little food and no shelter. After he reached, the villagers, fearing the spread of the[Read More…]

by 12/05/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Umran Malik: Nurture This Raw Talent

Umran Malik: Nurture This Raw Talent

He is not from the troubled, picturesque, paradise Valley. He is from Jammu. And soon, sooner than India or the world can imagine, Umran Malik, 22, the newest fast-bowling sensation, will play for India in the world stage. According to another opening batting legend, who has faced the best of fast bowlers during his hey-days, on fast-tracks, in foreign lands,[Read More…]

by 06/05/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Covid becomes excuse to attempt eviction of Rajaji National Park forest dwellers

Covid becomes excuse to attempt eviction of Rajaji National Park forest dwellers

Close to Saharanpur in Western UP and Haridwar and Dehradun in the hill state of Uttarakhand, sprawls the dense forests of the Rajaji National Park. With elephant corridors stretching across the zigzag of the green density into the Jim Corbett National Park and a precious tiger and wildlife sanctuary near the upper regions of the Kumaon hills, the Rajaji National[Read More…]

by 24/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Demonetisation, GST and Covid doom India’s handloom sector

Demonetisation, GST and Covid doom India’s handloom sector

The centuries old Indian handloom industry, spread across multiple and remote geographical terrains across the country, was in serious crisis for a long time and a combination of demonetization, GST and Covid have dealt it a death blow. The tragic reality of this sector, that employs thousands of rural artisans, runs deep but its wounds have been allowed to willfully[Read More…]

by 16/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Durga sculptors of Kumartali survive the pandemic

Durga sculptors of Kumartali survive the pandemic

Amidst the maze of lanes and by-lanes, it’s an obscure alley in North Calcutta, close to the famous Sobhabazar and Sutanuti, with its incredible, inherited kaleidoscope of architecture with unique aesthetically crafted doors, balconies and windows, across the river Ganga. Ships and boats still float on the river that descends from Gaumukh and Gangotri in the Himalayas all the way[Read More…]

by 06/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
How Covid in India became cover for rampant human rights violations

How Covid in India became cover for rampant human rights violations

Even while a draconian lockdown was underway in late March 2020, and as thousands of migrant workers and their emaciated families escaped the pandemic in a helpless long march on miscellaneous highways, hungry and thirsty and holding tattered sacks as their only belongings, and even as the upper and middle classes in the affluent zones of Noida and Delhi, or,[Read More…]

by 16/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Rural and urban women hit hardest by Covid-induced unemployment

Rural and urban women hit hardest by Covid-induced unemployment

It is well-nigh impossible to obtain accurate information in a country where data is routinely fudged or camouflaged, be it the number of deaths due to the killer virus, or, be it the tragic index of poverty and mass unemployment. However, some figures have been trickling in from various sources, and from this scattered realm of statistics one can figure[Read More…]

by 04/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Indian media and Covid – Part One: Locked up during Lockdown

The Indian media and Covid – Part One: Locked up during Lockdown

Note: In this series of articles senior journalist Amit Sengupta examines the role of the Indian media during the two years of the Covid pandemic. Part One: Locked up during Lockdown Even as the affluent and the middle classes were rejoicing the banging of thalis and utensils on their balconies to beat an incipient virus which had just arrived in[Read More…]

by 23/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Image Credits- Ye_Jinghan, Unsplash

To be in an Indian prison during Covid – Part One

As Covid raged across India over the last two years hundreds of thousands of Indian prisoners suffered the most. Under ‘permanent lockdown’ their voices remained unheard behind the walls of the prison. According to reports, almost 70 per cent prisoners in Indian prisons are undertrials. The overwhelming majority comprise Muslims, minority communities, adivasis and dalits. However, there are few reports[Read More…]

by 29/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Notes from the Covid Lockdown…

Notes from the Covid Lockdown…

Painting of Afghan woman by Sarmistha Sarker On a sunny Covid winter day, even while people waited for the third wave to fasten its grip, the Birla Academy of Art and Culture in Kolkata hosted a brilliant show of paintings, sound, images and light show, photographs and multi-layered aesthetic installations, created during the pandemic and lockdown by a group of[Read More…]

by 13/01/2022 1 comment COVID Response Watch
A humble TB treatment center weathers the Covid storm

A humble TB treatment center weathers the Covid storm

Almost an hour from the bustling railway station of Madhupur in Jharkhand, beyond the vast green landscape and kuccha and pucca roads, lies the small and beautiful Santhal village of Fatehpur in district Deogarh. As you descend towards the village you are greeted by the strong nocturnal fragrance of ‘Raat ki Raani’ and blooming red ‘Jaba’ flowers, next to a[Read More…]

by 29/12/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Coping with Covid in Jharkhand’s magical Madhupur

Coping with Covid in Jharkhand’s magical Madhupur

In the bustling roadside market around the small, quaint and laid-back railway station of Jharkhand’s Madhupur, where locals, passenger and express trains crisscross the railway tracks towards Asansol and Burdwan to Howrah, or beyond to Patna and Delhi, no one wears masks. It’s a predictable and typical syndrome in small-town India, as if this global pandemic has never existed. With[Read More…]

by 17/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid hits survivors of the Bhopal Gas Disaster hardest

Covid hits survivors of the Bhopal Gas Disaster hardest

It has been 37 years since the deadly killer gas, methyl isocyanate, spread from the Union Carbide factory like a suffocating blanket of death across the old city of Bhopal, killing thousands of people on that night, and, then, slowly, over a long period of time. The disaster shocked the country and the entire world. It was then called the[Read More…]

by 02/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Goa’s villagers return to fishing to survive tourism downturn

Goa’s villagers return to fishing to survive tourism downturn

It is a picture postcard scene of Goa’s big, best-selling beaches like Calangute, Anjuna and Vagator, overflowing, with Indian tourists herding together, eating and drinking, and frolicking in the sea. The flip-side of these colourful visuals is reflected in the state’s small villages and tourist beaches, especially with local and fishing communities struggling to make ends meet since the last[Read More…]

by 26/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Waste workers contributions ignored during Covid crisis

Waste workers contributions ignored during Covid crisis

Waste, sanitation workers and safai karamcharis across the country have been perhaps the worst-hit community among India’s vast unorganized labour force due to the Covid pandemic and repeated lockdown. When the first wave of the pandemic arrived in the summer of 2020, they were left to their cruel fate across the big cities, as thousands of emaciated migrant workers walked[Read More…]

by 05/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid adds to anxieties of former stateless people on Indo-Bangladesh border

Covid adds to anxieties of former stateless people on Indo-Bangladesh border

They are called ‘chitmahals’ or ‘paper palaces’. For decades, the people living in these twilight zones on the border between India and Bangladesh have been searching for citizenship, constitutional rights and a national identity. Over 15,000 people live in these enclaves on the Indian side of the border and in make-shift camps which have come up in recent times near[Read More…]

by 22/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Sonagachi sex workers band together to brave the Covid pandemic

Sonagachi sex workers band together to brave the Covid pandemic

 Even as the fear of the third Covid wave lingers, for the sex workers in Kolkata and other districts of Bengal, life is just about limping back to a fragmented, broken and incomplete sense of ‘normalcy’. This is but a semblance of normalcy, coming as it does after a prolonged period of hardship and difficulty. A ‘sense of normalcy’, which[Read More…]

by 28/09/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
RSS grows in West Bengal, but no match for Didi’s outreach during Covid

RSS grows in West Bengal, but no match for Didi’s outreach during Covid

The recent victory of the BJP in 70 plus seats in the assembly, while emerging as the main opposition, and its stupendous and surprising gain of 19 seats in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019, have been attributed to the effective grassroots mobilization of the RSS in both the electoral and non-electoral arena in the state. It is believed[Read More…]

by 17/09/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Bangla Sanskriti Manch: Spreading solidarity in Covid times

Bangla Sanskriti Manch: Spreading solidarity in Covid times

It’s a beautiful new beginning on the day of Rakhi across some villages and small towns in several districts of Bengal. Resurrecting a tradition started by Rabindranath Tagore, volunteers of the Bangla Sanskriti Manch have organized intimate get-togethers with locals. Everyone is tying rakhi on everyone’s hands, and there is a smile on every face. Here, it is a festival[Read More…]

by 27/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
‘Red Volunteers’ shine amidst Covid crisis in West Bengal

‘Red Volunteers’ shine amidst Covid crisis in West Bengal

The Covid pandemic has ushered in a massive ray of hope on the ground for the Left in West Bengal, thanks to the emergence of the youthful Red Volunteers responding to the emergency and crisis situation in Kolkata and across remote parts of the state. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) may have scored zero in the 2021 assembly and[Read More…]

by 13/08/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
A day in a Kolkata Covid-19 ward

A day in a Kolkata Covid-19 ward

“Dadu, Dadu…Get up Dadu. Eat something. Take your medicines. Drink a glass of water. Wake up Dadu. Oh Dadu…” ‘Dadu’ means grandfather in Bengali. When she utters the word, with deep sweetness and warmth, and when she repeats it again and again, cajoling the patient to wake up, it resurrects a stream of childhood memories and a deep sense of[Read More…]

by 12/07/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
From state to civil society, how Bengal responded to Covid

From state to civil society, how Bengal responded to Covid

During the peak of the second surge of the deadly killer virus in summer this year, parts of urban India were trapped in daily despair —  amidst a non-stop spiral of dying, death and desperation. The mighty Indian State led by a ‘powerful’ Hindutva icon had literally withered away, and the rich and the poor were on their own, left[Read More…]

by 06/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
NRC list: Tension rises in Assam, Army deployed, CM appeals for peace

NRC list: Tension rises in Assam, Army deployed, CM appeals for peace

Such mass-scale profiling has been done officially only in Germany of the Jews by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. Now, 40 lakh people in Assam have found themselves trapped in a twilight zone As many as 40 lakh people have been dropped from the “final” list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. Finally, 2.9 crore people have found[Read More…]

by 31/07/2018 Comments are Disabled India