Archive for the ‘Other’ Category


Time: on the Tensions in Sikh Activism

   Posted by: aman

Dear Friends,

Deepa Bharath from Associated Press contacted me from the United States to enquire into the background and current status of Sikh activism. She spoke to a number of activists and media professionals.

Please see here …

here is the same story published on Seattle Times.

Dear friends,

you would have noticed, when we keep allowing a person to be unruly at home, they turn out unruly even in public. This is what happened yesterday. TRT World contacted me to join a panel discussion on the No Confidence Motion. I consented but asked them who were the other panelists. They sent me names.

Here is the recording. Notice how because of one person’s uncouth blabbering, the host could call me in only at minute 15.25 out of the total 26 minutes.

Then we have our own dear Bangalore Electricity Supply Company. Yesterday, they cut electricity at 10 am promising to restore it at 5 pm. The talk was scheduled for 6.15 pm, actually started at 6.30 pm. There was no electricity. I had to do the call with a candle and a LED ring light I could connect to the computer. I look like I am not in the Silicon City of the East but sitting in some dark cave in the mountains.

This talk was an opportunity to present an uncensored view on what is going on in the country. But it became a great example for international audience to see all that is wrong with our democracy. Do bear with it if you have patience. English. Click here …


Library Research Resources

   Posted by: aman

Dear Friends,

a few days back, on Facebook, I asked why was it that independent writers did not have access to resources – books, journals, articles and so on – to which academics and institutional members access? Often through inter-library networks?

That is a deeper question but many friends suggested free resources, some extended help to find these materials for me. Thank you! I have collated the free resources in this list. Perhaps independent researchers would find this list helpful. You can download it and keep adding to it.

List: Research Resources – Web 1


Interview in MyndStories

   Posted by: aman

Dear friends,

a few weeks back Nikhita Warriar from MyndStories interviewed me on Sepia Leaves and life in general. The interview is now published.

Please see …


PEN America – India @75

   Posted by: aman

Recently on India’s 75th Independence Day, PEN America invited some writers from India and the Indian Diaspora to send in short reflections on what independence means to us today. They recently published the pieces. I found each of us, though we wrote independently, together echoed the same sentiment – a sense of dread. This is a sort of lament but surely not all of us can be wrong.

My piece is here. Placing inline below.

Births are bloody. At the dawn of India and Pakistan’s birth as nations in 1947, the Urdu-language poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz said: “ye daag daag ujala, ye sab-gazida seher, wo intezaar tha jiska, ye wo seher to nahin”—”This stained tainted light, this night bitten dawn, that we were waiting for, this is not that dawn.” While the Indian mainland celebrated the nation’s birth, the poet looked at the birth pangs, the bleeding, the result of extreme identity politics, the laceration of Panjab and Bengal due to Partition. About 1 million people died, and 15 million were displaced in the largest, inadequately documented, migration in the history of the world. At birth India was a poor, populous nation. Over the decades, India progressed on various development indices but its mass was so large, its complexity so dense, that it also bumbled along the way. Discontent grew in society. In the last decade, the wounds of identity politics festered when India’s majority mostly abnegated their secular ethos in favor of a right-wing dispensation that has used every sectarian trope, even institutions of state, to attack the minorities and erode democracy. Those who support the powers in this new India now seemingly find direction, but it is a downward spiral on all indices and its economy. Faiz’s dawn has turned to noon, and I tremble, stating: now another darkness beckons.

This is the beginning. You may need to scroll to read other entries. Thanks.


PANJAB on Amazon

   Posted by: aman

I am making this page to keep a log of PANJAB Journeys Through Fault Lines on the Amazon(.)in site where it was hosted upon publication from Westland. The need is because Westland has shut down and the book is available for sale right now. When the book appears in a new avtar, it will have a new page.

Below are screenshots of book and reviews. Click image to view.



SKM Sample Press Note

   Posted by: aman Tags: , ,

Dear Friends,

A few days back I was writing an essay on media in Farmers Protest and was looking for links to showcase the Samyukth Kisan Morcha Press Notes which had served as an important tool to disseminate information. I could only find Facebook link which can be compromised by platform removing content, content owner changing persmissions. Hence here is a well formatted Press Note, mostly for reference.

Introduction: As discussed briefly yesterday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha comprehensively rejects the Central Government Committee on Agriculture and refuses to send their members to the Committee. Here is their Press Note from yesterday.

Suggestion: Please read, if for nothing else, how to put together a solid response and call out the hoax.

Actual Press Note begins …

Samyukta Kisan Morcha Press Release

19 July 2022

  • Samyukta Kisan Morcha rejects the committee formed by the Government on MSP and other issues; Morcha will appoint no representatives in the Committee.
  • There is no scope to discuss the MSP law in the agenda of this committee full of government representatives and its loyalists.
  • All the apprehensions of SKM about this committee turned out to be true; Morcha cannot have any association with such anti-farmer committee.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha has rejected the committee formed by the Government of India on MSP and other issues, and has decided not to nominate its representative in the committee. Morcha had made public its doubts about any such committee ever since it was announced by Prime Minister along with the repeal of the three black laws on 19 November. In the month of March, when the government had asked the Morcha for names for this committee, the Morcha had sought clarification from the government about the committee, to which it never got a reply. On July 3, the national meeting of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha unanimously decided that “unless the government clarifies the jurisdiction and terms of reference of this committee, there is no point to nominate a representative of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha to this committee”. All the doubts of Samyukta Kisan Morcha about this committee have come true with the notification issued by the Government. Obviously, there is no rationale for sending representatives of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha to such an anti-farmer and meaningless committee.

When the government had asked the Morcha for the names for this committee, in response to it, in an email sent to the Agriculture Secretary on 24 March 2022, the Morcha asked the government:

i) What will be the TOR (Terms of Reference) of this committee?

ii) Apart from Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which other organizations, individuals and office bearers will be included in this committee?

iii) Who will be the chairman of the committee and what will be its functioning?

iv) How much time will the committee get to submit its report?

v) Will the recommendation of the committee be binding on the government?

The Government did not respond to these questions. Yet the Agriculture Minister kept making statements that the formation of the committee was stalled due to non-receipt of the names of the representatives from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

By announcing this committee before the Parliament session, the government has tried to complete the paperwork. But the notification makes clear the ill-intentions of the government behind this committee and the irrelevance of the committee:

1. The chairman of the committee is former Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal, who drafted all three anti-farmer laws. He is accompanied by Ramesh Chand, a member of NITI Aayog, who was the main advocate of these three laws. As experts, it is the economists who have been against giving legal status to MSP.

2. Space has been left for 3 representatives of Samyukta Kisan Morcha in the committee. But in other places, in the name of farmer leaders, the government has placed its 5 loyalists who openly advocated all three anti-farmer laws. All these people are either directly associated with BJP-RSS or support their policy. Krishna Veer Choudhary is associated with the Indian Farmers’ Society and is a leader of the BJP. Syed Pasha Patel is a former BJP MLC from Maharashtra. Pramod Kumar Choudhary is a member of the National Executive of the RSS affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh. Gunwant Patil, associated with the Shetkari organization, is a WTO advocate and General Secretary of the Swatantra Bharat Paksh Party. Guni Prakash has been a pioneer in opposing the farmers’ movement. These five people spoke openly in favor of all three anti-farmer laws and most of them have been spewing venom against the farmers’ movement.

3. There is no mention of making a law on MSP in the agenda of the committee. That is, this question will not be placed before the committee. Some items have been put in the agenda on which the government committee is already established. In the name of reforms in agricultural marketing, an item has been inserted through which the government can try to bring back three black laws.
In the light of these facts, there is no rationale for Samyukta Kisan Morcha to send its representatives to this committee. The struggle for the legal guarantee of MSP to ensure fair price for the crop to the farmers will continue.

Issued by-

Dr. Darshan Pal, Hannan Mollah, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Yudhveer Singh, Yogendra Yadav

Samyukta Kisan Morcha


Dear Friends,

I am not sure if it is the frequency and intensity of assault on civil society or same old apathy, I am a bit surprised how quickly we have forgotten the Farmers Protest. In those days, more than a year, we had all become bigger than ourselves. Now we are shrunk again. I wonder, if we do not mind?

It is always a pleasure to speak to someone who who takes deep interest in India. Professor Kenneth Bo Nielsen is from Norway and I have always learnt from how he looks at India.

A few weeks ago, at almost six months since the Farmers Protest were suspended, we spoke at the Nordic Asia podcast on the legacy of the protest. Thank you Kenneth for taking the voice to Europe.

Please listen. Link to podcast in the page. 30 minutes, English.


GroundXero: on Middle Class

   Posted by: aman

Dear Friends,

yesterday I made a Facebook post and Pramod Gupta from GroundXero was kind to ask me if they can publish it.

Please read …

Dear Friends,

I was intrigued when Sumana Roy and Kunal Ray started their oneating website. In the past Sumana and I have cooked some projects together but they never materialised. In October, when Sumana asked me for an article on the Langar at the Farm Protest, I was happy it would be featured on oneating. Sukhjit Singh contributed massively to the article. Thank you!

The Farmers Protests were suspended in December ’21, but I am glad oneating has still featured this article, not only in English but translated into Panjabi by Jashan Preet Kaur and Hindi by Vandana Rag. Thank you so much. Through the protests I saw how Jaskaran Singh Rana’s photographs brought the events home and thanks to Gurdeep Dhaliwal, I am so glad JK Photography has contributed to the essay. Kunal has cared immensely for the essays. Thank you!

I think such documentation would be important when future activists and scholars try to map and learn from the largest protests in the history of the world.

Please click on these links to read: