Friends, Indira Basu from The Quint got in touch yesterday over the Swami Agnivesh post. I told her about the temporary Facebook ban on perhaps my post being reported as ‘hate speech’. Imagine – this as hate speech!

They carried a more context driven story last evening. The story calls out the right-wing’s lack of sense of ancestry and roots. They do not know where they originate from and seem to me like a serpent devouring its own tail.

Please read here …

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Friends, I feel we don’t need to sensationalise drugs. Neither do we need quick fixes. Thanks to Indira Basu and others here I am looking at the protest, recent events and the sub-text of the war on drugs:

The political discourse in Panjab now eerily sounds ‘like the drug-addled talk of an addict: when sober, every abuser talks about quitting drugs, seeking help, not wanting access to drugs – and soon after, they fail.’

Please read …

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Friends, Kanwar Manjit Singh pushed me yesterday to expand my Facebook post. Here is the article I wrote.

‘While in the nation the Emergency lasted less than two years, in Panjab formal Emergency lasted a total of nine years including the national Emergency period. Informal Emergency – unaccountability of the government – lasts until date.’

Tip: This is a grim piece but in it is tucked a joke. Let me see who finds it.

Please read here …

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11
Jun

Sunday Herald: Stand up & be Counted

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Friends, in this essay writer Shefali Tripathi Mehta holds forth on the idea of resistance and how it is becoming more and more important to stand up and be counted in these adverse times.

She quotes me too:

I ask Amandeep Sandhu, writer and novelist, who engages with and is followed by many on Facebook, how he decides which cause is just; which he must support. He tells me that while working on his current book on Punjab, he travelled, saw and experienced the real issues facing the farmers. While it devastated him, it also gave him a grounding in not just the farmer issues, but through this experience to chaff through the real and fake with regard to other social, religious and political issues. It reconfirmed his belief that there is power hegemony and that most often than not, the poor and the marginalised are on the side of truth. On when he stood at his street corner holding a poster in support of a young rape and murder victim, I asked if it matters who or how many are in it with him. Or why some are complacent and silent. His answer was an emphatic no, he does not look for support. Interestingly, he says he does not do anything expecting action or change, “Nothing changes – but resistance is important. Speaking up is a primary right.” He believes that there can never be “true” reporting but, “Democracy is eternal vigilance. Even if it is flawed. And so, we shouldn’t stop trying.”

Please read …

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Friends, over the last few days a photograph of a Sikh police man from Uttrakhand saving a man from a lynch mob has gone viral. I wrote about it on Facebook. The post was shared many times and picked by media. Putting up links below.

DailyO picked up the post, please find here …

The Quint picked up the post, please find here …

Punjab Today picked up the post, please find here … 

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Friends, except for Facebook and intense talks with journalists, I did not report or speak on the Karnataka elections. Being born Sikh, it was hard for me. Until Jairaj Singh pushed me to stick out my neck.

So, here it is because I love Bengaluru and Karnataka.

Please read here …

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12
May

Deccan Chronicle: Say no to the intolerant Indian

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Friends, as the Karnataka elections neared a viral video by a group called Young Indian started doing the rounds. It called out against the ban of freedoms to eat, dress, and so on. Catheline Chen from the Deccan Chronicle got in touch to register my views.

Please read more here …

 

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6
May

Indian Express: Views on movie Nanak Shah Fakir

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Friends, rarely one finds that a student of history going through material which remains problematic with the community yet is the best illustration of a case. Journalist Adrija Roychowdhry explored the reasons behind the Sikh stance against the movie Nanak Shah Fakir. She also quoted me.

Please read …

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Friends, on Sunday namma Bengaluru demonstrated our joint voice from our own locations. The scale of the number of sites, people participation, our own agency was an example in itself for urban landscapes.

Arundhati Ghosh and I try to articulate our combined protest and experiment for which each of us was an organizer, mobilizer and participant. Thank you The News Minute for carrying the piece.

Please read here …

#MyStreetMyProtest

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Friends, this is deeply personal and as public as I can get. I attempt to articulate the caverns in my mind and in my land by trying to tell Panjab’s story through the prism of rituals and mental illness.

On social media I asked the question: Can I build a book on this premise? The response was an overwhelming yes. I feel finally I am getting a grip on Panjab. Thank you Aditi Sengupta. I loved being pushed to articulate the demons that haunt me.

Please read here…

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