Articles by: Ananda Maitreya

 Locker Room Secrets: Class, Caste and the myth of the ‘lumpen element’ as the sexual predator

 Locker Room Secrets: Class, Caste and the myth of the ‘lumpen element’ as the sexual predator

Growing up in urban India, in an English-medium boys-only school run by Jesuits, I had access to all the English-language novels and comic-books that Indian kids do – Enid Blyton, Archies etc. Immersed in their world of boarding schools, “Riverdale High” etc, the one thing I never really got was the idea of lockers and locker-rooms, which were depicted in[Read More…]

May 11, 2020 Patriarchy
As Delhi burns, its many Neros fiddle and twiddle

As Delhi burns, its many Neros fiddle and twiddle

It is hardly difficult to notice the irony that the two most powerful people in Delhi have presided over, abetted and prolonged some of the worst mass-violence in India – that in Gujarat in 2002. Yet, that was in Gujarat, a slight distance away from the capital, Delhi. It was sort of their fiefdom, their corner of the world, and[Read More…]

February 26, 2020 India
Modi’s veiled attack on dress as identity reveals his stark bigotry

Modi’s veiled attack on dress as identity reveals his stark bigotry

Jo aag laga rahe hain, TV pe unke jo drishya aa rahe hain, yeh aag lagaane vaale kaun hain, woh unke kapdon se hi pata chal jaata hai (From the visuals on TV, those setting the fire can be identified by their clothes) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election rally recently. By alluding to the clothes/dresses of certain protesters,[Read More…]

December 21, 2019 India
Thanks Jamia students for putting your lives on the line, for speaking truth to power – for all of us!

Thanks Jamia students for putting your lives on the line, for speaking truth to power – for all of us!

The end, hopefully, of Jantar-Mantarisation of people’s resistance   It took the lesser-in-the-news, supposedly less-flashy Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) to change the complexion of resistance in the country. While we had earlier seen some protests regarding hike in hostel fees, whose narrative was broadened to “affordable public education,” we did not see much mobilization for various egregious national issues like[Read More…]

December 17, 2019 India
 PushBACk CAB – A Million Person March is the need of the hour for India

 PushBACk CAB – A Million Person March is the need of the hour for India

The show of strength during the 1963 “Million Man March” on Washington DC in the United States has been seen as a landmark in the Civil Rights struggle. Though it had its own problems, especially, and ironically, problems of representations since several voices were shut out, it nevertheless demonstrated a unified show of resistance, conviction and dedication for the cause[Read More…]

December 14, 2019 India
Plurinationalism, Pancasila –  and the pettiness of Hindu Nationalism

Plurinationalism, Pancasila –  and the pettiness of Hindu Nationalism

   The Bolivian president, Evo Morales, seems to be in some sort of a pickle, at the time of writing, in the process of seeking a fourth term of presidency. Earlier, in 2016, he had not exactly endeared himself to the citizens of Bolivia when he decided to run for a fourth term as president, in defiance of existing laws[Read More…]

October 28, 2019 World
Protests, protest everywhere, but not (a major) one in India?

Protests, protest everywhere, but not (a major) one in India?

The world seems roiled by a “million mutinies now,” to use a term used by VS Naipaul to describe a situation in India in the 1980s. Yet, while India still might be witnessing a million small mutinies…there is hardly any countrywide or even more localized mass movement which encompasses, expresses and embraces the protests of all the disadvantaged classes in[Read More…]

October 26, 2019 India
The Land of Buddh, The Land of Yuddh

The Land of Buddh, The Land of Yuddh

  In a remark made by Narendra Modi at the UNGA recently, he observed, not for the first time as a broad theme, that India was a land of peace and not a land of war, with obvious reference to Pakistan’s allegations against India’s actions in Kashmir. He reportedly said: “Hum us desh ke vaasi hain jisne vishwa ko Yuddh[Read More…]

October 16, 2019 India
Is Kashmir today worse off than Gaza?

Is Kashmir today worse off than Gaza?

The parallels between Kashmir and Palestine have been drawn for quite a while now – and there have been instances of solidarity based on similarity of circumstances between Palestinians and Kashmiris. Most recently, several important Palestinian news outlets like the 972 magazine, Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss have denounced the ongoing events in Kashmir which had a special constitutional provision abrogated by the Indian state on Aug 5 followed by a[Read More…]

September 16, 2019 India
The luxury of lazy thinking: Why Barkha Dutt is off the mark on Kashmir reporting

The luxury of lazy thinking: Why Barkha Dutt is off the mark on Kashmir reporting

  In a recent Washington Post article, ​well-known Indian journalist ​Barkha Dutt railed against what she called the “living hell vs. happy place” narrative that seem​s​ to dominate rec​e​nt news reporting on Kashmir. She ​informs the reader ​that she has been ​relaying news from Kashmir for 25 years​,​ so knows a thing or two about issues in Kashmir. Fair enough – we cannot take her Kashmir experience[Read More…]

September 14, 2019 India
Kashmir – and the strange paralysis of the Indian civil society

Kashmir – and the strange paralysis of the Indian civil society

There were no black-bordered newspaper announcements of either the abrogation of the Articles 370 and 35A or the immediate clampdown imposed on Kashmir, effected as they were by devious and totalitarian, unconstitutional means. There was no broadcast-in-the-dark by any TV broadcaster. And, in the days following there was no running count of the days of incarceration for the entire valley,[Read More…]

August 28, 2019 India