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Articles by: Subhash Gatade

Sacred Cows, Disposable Humans

Sacred Cows, Disposable Humans

“It is a curious people. With them, all life seems to be sacred except human life.” – Mark Twain on Indians A single quote sometimes remains the sole memory of a leader. Giriraj Kishor, VHP leader, can be considered a classic example to demonstrate this who had rather (in)famously said “Cow is considered more sacred than human beings in Puranas[Read More…]

Ideas as Crime in a Majoritarian Democracy

Ideas as Crime in a Majoritarian Democracy

To such a degree has Religion fuelled conflict, complicated politics, retarded social development and impaired human relations across the world, that one is often tempted to propose that Religion is innately an enemy of Humanity, if not indeed of itself a crime against Humanity … it is time that the world adopted a position that refuses to countenance Religion as[Read More…]

Who Killed Haren Pandya?

Who Killed Haren Pandya?

In Act 3, scene 4, Macbeth causes chaos at a celebratory banquet at his castle when he suddenly starts to behave very oddly. Everything starts quite normally. The guests are greeted and they all sit down ready for the meal. One man is absent: Macbeth’s old friend, Banquo. The reason why he is absent is very simple – Macbeth has[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Time to Dump Blasphemy Laws

Time to Dump Blasphemy Laws

Mera azm itna bulund hae, Parae sholon se dar nahin. Mujhe dar hae tu atish e gul se hae, Ye kahin chaman ko jala na dein (my confidence in self is strong, I’m unafraid of foreign flames I’m scared those sparks may ignite, that in the blossom’s bosom lay ) — Shakeel Badayuni’s couplet which was very dear to Salman Taseer who was assassinated by[Read More…]

Love Patriarchy, Hail Hindu Rashtra !

Love Patriarchy, Hail Hindu Rashtra !

From Hindu Code Bill to Sabarimala via Roop Kanwar ’s Sati — keeping women subjugated under the cloak of tradition It was mid-eighties when a eighteen year old Roop Kanwar’s burning on the pyre of her husband – under controversial circumstances – had made national headlines. There was national outrage over the incident because more than 150 years after the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Bharatiya Janata Party or Bharatiya Jumla Party !

Bharatiya Janata Party or Bharatiya Jumla Party !

Review of ‘Truth in Fetters : Broken Promises and Shattered Unity’ “Change is in the air”! A retired academic who had his last assignment as Vice Chancellor of a leading university said to me the other day, while we were discussing the contemporary political scenario. Frankly admitting that he had supported Modi’s candidature then and had even discreetly campaigned for[Read More…]

Death of the University, Indian Style!

Death of the University, Indian Style!

Are public colleges/universities being  left to die at the cost of private universities in the US? A cursory glance at the case study of Yale University, which also includes other Ivy League universities – namely, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Brown etc. – done by a young scholar serves as an eye-opener Describing how Yale ‘..[s]its on a mountain of money, and yet receives[Read More…]

“Selfless Patriot” : Whether the Real Shyama Prasad Mukherjee would ever Stand Up ?

“Selfless Patriot” : Whether the Real Shyama Prasad Mukherjee would ever Stand Up ?

 “It has been said with good reason that the Jana Sangh resulted from a combination of a partyless leader, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, and a leaderless party, the RSS”. (The Jana Sangh: A Biography of an Indian Political Party, by Craig Baxter p. 54) 1. In Search of the “Selfless Patriot” Untimely deaths of political leaders – whose career is just[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Communal Harmony
The Monks Who Spew Hate

The Monks Who Spew Hate

Why Jailing of Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Did Not Become A News In This Part of Asia “Ordered disorder, planned caprice, And dehumanised humanity…” – Brecht (The Exception and the Rule) (Quoted in http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/04/29/the-mad-men-of-dambulla/) “I have done my duty towards the country,” Gnanasara told reporters as he boarded the bus taking him to prison. “Why should I regret?” (https://in.reuters.com/article/sri-lanka-monk-sentence/sri-lanka-jails-extremist-buddhist-monk-for-six-months-over-threats-to-woman-idINKBN1JA1BW) I Rarely[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled South Asia
The Man Who Once Sold Tea Later ‘Sold’ Dreams

The Man Who Once Sold Tea Later ‘Sold’ Dreams

This is not the story of a man who once sold tea and later ‘sold’ dreams to a people and managed to reach top echleons of power in the biggest democracy in the world. This is not the story of this man and his rise from the margins of a organisation which is called the biggest cultural organisation in the[Read More…]

Saints in Schools?

Saints in Schools?

“..I am afraid I have no faith in astrology and certainly I should not like to fix up national programmes in accordance with the dictates of astrologers…” Jawaharlal Nehru (In a letter to Rajendra Prasad, who had objected to January 26, 1950 as the date for inaugurating the republic on astrological grounds. Page 77, Volume 2, Jawaharlal Nehru, A Biography, OUP,[Read More…]

Burn Wood! Reduce Pollution!!

Burn Wood! Reduce Pollution!!

Does burning wood helps reduce pollution? Well, a school goer who has to read environmental studies these days would yell a resounding ‘no’. If one wants to go deeper, one can come across guidelines issued by the central pollution control board itself to avoid wood burning. Just a while back, when there was a dip in the air quality of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Image Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

The Art of Coercion !

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is in the news again. (Of course, once again for entirely wrong reasons) A few days back while talking to a news channel he had shared the dark prophecy that India could become Syria if the mandir issue was not resolved soon. “If the court rules against a temple, there will be bloodshed. Do you think the Hindu majority will[Read More…]

Time to ‘Militarise Hindus, Hinduise Nation’

Time to ‘Militarise Hindus, Hinduise Nation’

Would it be possible to imagine that leader of any organisation openly declaring that her/his people/activists have the ability to prepare an “army” in three days , can be deployed on the front within three days, questions the ability of the security forces for quick operations, and does not face any legal hassles ? A lesser mortal would have been[Read More…]

 In Conversation With Hasan Abdullah,The Author of The Evolution of Ghalib

 In Conversation With Hasan Abdullah,The Author of The Evolution of Ghalib

Ghalib has fascinated generations of people and they have tried to understand/interpret his poetry in their own way. For any such individual it is really difficult to recollect when and how Ghalib entered her/his life and ensconced himself comfortably in one’s heart. This wanderer still faintly remembers how many of Ghalib’sshers were part of common parlance even in an area[Read More…]

Nehru, Ambedkar And Challenge  Of Majoritarianism

Nehru, Ambedkar And Challenge  Of Majoritarianism

  The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Communal Harmony
How Not to Hollow Out the Constitution Bit by Bit

How Not to Hollow Out the Constitution Bit by Bit

It is not just BJP minister Anantkumar Hegde. Here is a look at some past attempts of the RSS-BJP to tinker with the Constitution. “Line wahan se shuru hoti hai jahan ham khade rehte hain” (The queue starts from the point where we stand). Remember that 70s Bollywood film where teh then bad boy of Hindi cinema (Shatrughan Sinha) barges into[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
In Search Of An Icon

In Search Of An Icon

  “… A Hero of Our Time, gentlemen, is in fact a portrait, but not of an individual; it is the aggregate of the vices of our whole generation in their fullest expression.” ‘(From Foreword to Á Hero of Our Time, Lermontov’ quoted in Albert Camus novel ‘The Fall’) Shambhu Lal Raigar is a new hero of our times. It[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Communal Harmony
Taj Mahal As Tej Mahal Once Again “There Is A Bee In The Bonnett”

Taj Mahal As Tej Mahal Once Again “There Is A Bee In The Bonnett”

It was probably late sixties or early seventies – when a gentleman called P N Oak started appearing in Marathi magazines peddling his weird theories about well known monuments in and outside India. An article which made lot of news then was centred around Taj Mahal where it was claimed that it was ‘Tejo Maha Aalay’ or hindu god Shiva’s[Read More…]

Deendayal Upadhyaya : ‘BJP’s Gandhi’ !

Deendayal Upadhyaya : ‘BJP’s Gandhi’ !

  (Note : This article would appear in the coming issue of ‘Think India Quarterly’) ..Kovind acknowledged that “the key to India’s success is its diversity” and “our diversity is the core that makes us so unique” and ended his speech with a call to build an egalitarian society as “envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deendayal Upadhyayaji”… The Congress took[Read More…]

A Law Against Superstition ?

A Law Against Superstition ?

  These are really ‘bure din‘ for the spiritual gurus of India. While the likes of Ram Rahim, AsaramBapus and Rampal are cooling their heels behind bars for their not so spiritual acts, Sant Swami BhimanandJiMaharajChitrakoot Wale who is also known as “Ichadaari Baba” among his followers has also joined them for running a high profile sex racket. It was[Read More…]

Two Minute Silence For Bhiku Daji Bhilare

Two Minute Silence For Bhiku Daji Bhilare

  Death of a freedom fighter normally evokes mixed emotions. For a section of people – whose number is diminishing fast – it is a moment of nostalgia when idealism was in air and sacrificing oneself for the cause of emancipation of humanity was looked at with respect, whereas for a larger section which is being intoxicated with glories of[Read More…]

Promoting Superstition: Everything Official About It !

Promoting Superstition: Everything Official About It !

  Bhupendra Singh Chudasama, Education minister of Gujarat and his colleague AtmaramParamar, who handles the Social Justice Ministry, were in the news sometime back- albeit for wrong reasons. A video went viral which showed them participating in a felicitation ceremony of exorcists in Botad. They were also seen watching how a  couple of the exorcists were beating themselves with metal[Read More…]

Who ‘Loves’ Mob Violence ? Unfolding Hindu Rashtra In Slow Motion

Who ‘Loves’ Mob Violence ? Unfolding Hindu Rashtra In Slow Motion

  Jaipur — Rajasthan State Commission for Minorities has sought a factual report on a video that went viral on Thursday showing four Sikh men purportedly beaten up by local residents of Chainpura in Ajmer district.The 51-second video shows four members of Sikh community being abused and thrashed by a mob as people witnessing the incident filmed the entire episode…..three[Read More…]

Photo Courtesy : https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org

How Cow Vigilantes Are Being Projected As ‘Modern Day Freedom Fighters.’

Cow vigilantes attacked six people, including a 9-year-old girl in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday and fled away with their flock. The vigilantes beat up the nomad community blue and black and the minor girl has suffered multiple fractures when the community was en route to Talwara area… (http://www.timesnow.tv/india/video/cow-vigilantes-attack-6-including-9-year-old-in-jammu/59745) In yet another chilling instance of self-styled[Read More…]

Talk Bhima or Bhim, Walk Manu

Talk Bhima or Bhim, Walk Manu

  ..nothing to eat nothing to wear boundless is the anguish who indeed can bear to see such misery among the world’s creatures let my soul be condemned to hell but let the Universe be redeemed. – Bhima Bhoi,   [Source: BiswamoyPati in Religion and social ‘subversion’, Re-examining colonial Orissa (EPW, July/2010).,BidyutMohanty in Orissa famine of 1866 Demographic and economic[Read More…]

POSCO Withdraws: The Victory No One is Celebrating

POSCO Withdraws: The Victory No One is Celebrating

  Big news – at times – go completely unnoticed. (Thanks to the mediatised times we are passing through) And thus it did not appear surprising that the decision by Posco, the South Korean steelmaker, the fourth biggest in the world, to exit the proposed 12 million-tonnes a year steel plant in Odisha did not cause much flutter. Yes, newspapers[Read More…]

Deendayal in Government Schools: Neglecting Education, Indoctrinating Exclusion

Deendayal in Government Schools: Neglecting Education, Indoctrinating Exclusion

  “DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA is to the BJP [BharatiyaJanata Party] what Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was to Congress” opined R. Balashankar, former editor of the RashtriyaSwayamsewakSangh’s (RSS) organ Organiser and now a member of the BJP’s central committee, on Prasikhshan Maha Abhiyan (The Indian Express,; September 24, 2016). Cows inhale, exhale oxygen, says Rajasthan education minister VasudevDevnani (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/cows-inhale-exhale-oxygen-says-rajasthan-education-minister-vasudev-devnani/articleshow/56612529.cms)   Rajaram (name changed)[Read More…]

Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto

Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto

..The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote.  To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust.  In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living. ..My birth is my fatal accident.[Read More…]

Dalit Uprising And After: Why Hindutva Would Not Be The Same Again

Dalit Uprising And After: Why Hindutva Would Not Be The Same Again

  When I was born I was not a child I was a dream, a dream of revolt that my mother, oppressed for thousands of years , dreamt. Still it is untouched in my eyes Covered with wrinkles of thousand years, her face her eyes, two lakes overflowing with tears have watered my body….. – SahilParmar* Well known Gujarati poet[Read More…]