Kashmir needs a political solution, not military action

by Junaid Rather  “If I die, please ask Mufti Nazir to perform my funeral“, says a 25-year-old man who was hit by a bullet during a protest triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahidin’s young and charismatic commander Burhan Wani in Indian-controlled Kashmir. (Mufti Nazir Ahmad Qasmi is one of the few Islamic scholars who enjoys… Read More

Coolie: A History

by Karen Williams  Coolie connotes somebody who performs thankless, backbreaking physical labour. The word is often explained as being part of the indentured labour system that followed the abolition of slavery in the 1800s, particularly gaining popularity in the mid- to late-1800s. It is often almost exclusively used in relation to Asian labourers, especially Indian… Read More

JLF Brings ‘Exotic India’ To Your Doorstep – Who Pays The Price?

by Kavita Bhanot Over the last few weeks, a growing number of writers and activist groups have been protesting the sponsorship of the upcoming London Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) by the notorious metals and mining company Vedanta. An open letter, calling for boycott of the festival by participating writers, has been signed by over a hundred… Read More

Castelessness: The Pathology of Desi Twitter

by Anonymous Recently, desi (specifically Indian-origin) twitter was abuzz with all-round praise for Shashi Tharoor following his speech at Oxford, upbraiding UK for colonialism, and making a case for reparations to its former colonies. Many famous desis on Twitter like Hari Kondabolu were tweeting quotes from Tharoor’s speech. It went viral. The demand of reparations… Read More

It is India’s fearless women revolutionaries who are being silenced, not the BBC

by Sunny Singh The BBC Documentary film India’s Daughter purports to shed light on India’s rape culture and sets itself up as an ‘event’ that will launch ‘global action’ against sexual violence. How this is to happen, other than through media hype that accompanies celebrity studded spectacles, has not yet been explained by its film-maker,… Read More

How can we combat the ignorance, fear and anxiety about illness, death and dying?

by Vaidehi Mujumdar  My grandmother passed away during my senior year of college, one week before my 23rd birthday. She died in the house in which I had lived for the first three years of my life. I was in New Hampshire, she in a city in Central India. For months my grandmother had insisted to… Read More

Expendable Lives: A snapshot of how men hate women

By Huma Munshi  Women are hated all over the world. Our lives are expendable in the face of family “honour” or a man’s spurned pride. This sounds like hyperbole but given how the news has unfolded of late, it is hard to dispute. In Lahore, Pakistan, Farzana Parveen was waiting outside a courthouse with the… Read More

From Steubenville to Delhi: Destroying Rape Culture Needs a Worldwide Effort

by Huma Munshi Trigger Warning: rape, child rape, domestic violence Last week something quite special happened.  Though only witnessed in real time on twitter, it has since filtered through to the mainstream media. It was an important moment in the fight-back against rape culture led by a survivor who asked women to tweet stories of… Read More

My Body Is Not Your Images

What use is diversity in popular culture when it still conforms to narrow aesthetic norms? Sunny Singh discusses women’s “range of life stories, complete with joys and tragedies,” A renewed concern with the race politics of beauty has been fueling recent lively discussions about colourism, hair and the lack of representation of models of colour… Read More