Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

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 …

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 … 

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 …

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 …


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 …


Last summer I was in Munich and went to see the The Pinakothek der Moderne, the modern art museum. It was here I found a whole room dedicated to Nazi Art. The accompanying write up talked about how the Nazi’s had tried to build their own culture of art at variance with the trends in the world at that time. They banned Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, and encouraged their own set of artists.

It reminded me of how the ISIS destroyed the ancient archaeological sites at Palmyra, Aleppo in Syria. How it destroyed Mosul, Nimrud, Nineveh in Iraq. How the Taliban destroyed the Bahamian Buddhas. How the rebels torched the library at Timbuktu. It reminded me of how the right wing everywhere destroys legacies but does not build new ones. It is the same with Nazi artists, they perished from memory.

Yesterday, on the eve of the Hindi movie Padmaavat release, I made a post on FaceBook. Please see …

Dear friend, excellent writer, sensitive Abhishek Srivastava translated it into Hindi. Please see …

Friends, this Tuesday I was humbled to speak at the annual Prof. R Narendra Prasad memorial lecture at the School of Letters, MG University, Kottayam, Kerala. Thank you Saji Mathew for the invitation. In keeping with Prasad Sir’s lifetime work in theatre and films, I named my talk: Panjab – a tragic hero on the stage of Indian nationalism.

The talk was covered in local newspapers.

Friends, I put up a Facebook post on the right wing move to rename the Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia college in Delhi. A news and views website I refer to often, run by Kanwar Manjit Singh, decided to choose it for the website.

Thank you. Please see here…


Friends, ‘prominent’ I am not but thankful that Nikhil Varma from The Hindu chose to talk to me for this short piece on belonging in Bengaluru.

‘The Bull temple is another location where I love to take people, mostly friends from abroad, and they wonder how the huge bull got into the temple. It is my private practical joke.’

Please read to see me become a little philosophical about active/passive voice and what it means today in the city.

Friends, upon being tired of getting repeat notifications from the mobile service provider, I finally wrote to them seeking the government notification and the court order number which mandates that all customers link their mobile phones with their Aadhar number. My fear is data piracy and misuse. I finally received completely ambiguous information from them amounting to: everyone is doing it, why not you?

To me, this is not how a service provider of 17 years should behave. In any case, after the Supreme Court order on Right to Privacy, all such notifications are due for hearing in November 2017. We shall know only after the court decides.

Placing here a few of the social media messages that went viral and Nandini Krishnan’s coverage of the issue.  Please read the coverage.

The social media message 1.

The social media message 2.

Airtel has, for now, got off my back but I see here the government too has been irresponsible. Why has it not issued interim orders to suspend all these linking activities until the court decides?