Archive for the ‘Punjab’ Category

Friends, my piece on Punjab as a border state in Cafe Dissensus. Thank you Karthik Venkatesh, Cafe team and all contributors.

Based on travels on the Punjab border in the aftermath of the ‘surgical strike’ post the September Uri attack, the piece seeks to depict Punjab’s indigenous nationalism. The nationalism of lives, homes, crops, fields and faith which remains at great variance from the jingoistic version peddled by national media, especially TV, and the Sangh.

Please read …

Friends, this year the annual The Hindu Literature for Life festival invited me to speak on my current non-fiction project on Punjab. The talk was titled Punjab – The Unknown Narrative. Big shout out to Ms Prasanna Ramaswamy who invited me and Prema Revathi who hosted the talk.

Thank you!

Please see … 

13
Mar

The Quint: Why AAP lost Punjab?

   Posted by: aman Tags: , , ,

The Punjab result in the assembly election 2017 was stunning. Congress won 77/117 seats. The huge hope AAP had created was belied.  My quick comments on why AAP lost – beholden to the central power figure.

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Friends, today is a historic day for Punjab. Whoever wins or loses the election, half a century after it was created, the fortress called Punjab is breached.

My piece in The Hindu along with Gurdeep Singh’s excellent picture.

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Friends, here are my views on the Punjab elections as discussed with Vicky Nanjappa Februray 3 morning.

Note: a minor correction: not Haryana but one or two cities or nearby villages.

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Friends, when I came to Punjab to observe the elections I was surprised. Aam Aadmi Party which we all saw bungling over the last year and half seemed to have regained lost ground and is very much in contention.

Here is a story from a few days on the AAP trail.

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India does find it hard to understand Punjab. That is why I like it when journalists travel and come back and seek to understand issues by talking to who they think are experts. At least, there is an attempt. Recently the Hindustan Times team travelled and asked me for my comments on their experiences. Now I am no expert but as a learner I am able to figure out a few things which I suppose can help them.

For example, the word agency. It is used everywhere in Punjab when the matter of politics comes up. Politics comes up everywhere, anyway. ‘The word agencies originates in the 80s and reveals deep-rooted mistrust in shadowy government officials and outsiders. It signifies death, disappearances and unclaimed bodies.’

This was an article on sacrilege that rocked Punjab in October/November 2015.

Please read …

Friends, this time when Lakshmi Karunakaran travelled with me to Punjab she saw things that even I was blinded to because of my gender and caste and class privilege. Things that shame me and keep Punjab violently feudal.

We know Punjab is hurting. We also hope elections will bring a change to Punjab. No, they won’t. Unless, Punjab seriously mends its deepest faultlines: land and caste.

My piece in The Caravan Magazine. Thank you Surabhi Kanga. I strongly believe our education is no use if it does not help us examine and correct ourselves. The Dalits of Punjab too march to emancipate themselves, like Dalits around the nation. The time has come!

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Friends, my interview with Kiran Doshi whose wonderful and insightful historical fiction Jinnah Often Came To Our House is short-listed for The Hindu Prize 2016.

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Friends, on November 26, at 10 AM, I will speak at the Taipei Biennale on the topic: ‘The Writer as a Memory Maker’.

I will talk about the bloody birth of our nation in the wake of the greatest migration in human history which left 1 million dead and 14 million displaced. Yet, how as a nation we seem to be condemned to never learn from history. How our gestures of public history – museums – are shaped. How our discourses are built on excluding narratives of caste, gender, tribals, and minorities. How chasing the dystopia of material development, through corporate capitalism, we are ignoring the core strengths of our diverse nation. What then is our future? All these with special focus on Punjab. I will also discuss the draft novel I wrote in Germany – The Memory Maker – which is currently, justly, gestating.

I will share the video when available. Please read …