After Umbrella Movement of 2014, this year’s anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong mean the death knell for China’s attempt to tame the Special Administrative Region. Once a British colony, Hong Kong is emerging now as a beacon of hope for modern democratic movements.
Hong Kong today enjoys socio-political, economic and legal autonomy in spite of being a Chinese territory. After the transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the concept of “one country, two systems” emerged whi...
“My family never wanted me to get into this field, so I resisted. My resistance furthered my father’s anger. I was beaten up by my father; my hand was also fractured,” says Rajeev Kumar (name changed on request). Rajeev is a member of the newly-formed ‘New Hangama Ritesh Musical Drama Dance Party’, a Launda Naach ensemble in West Champaran, Bihar.
Launda Naach is an archaic agrarian theatre form of Bihar; literally, Launda translates to ‘bachelor’ and Naach means ‘dance’. It has not only invited a general tone of appreciation for its unique impersonation technique, where men emulate
“We used to live in the ITI area of the town, but one day, our home was bulldozed,” says Muskan Kinnar. “Our last hope was lost. We protested against this. District administration then promised that no one would disturb us again and they allowed us to live there. Where were we going to live? Our efforts had already turned to rubble.”
With a semi pucca structure, a fridge worth Rs. 38,000, a fan worth Rs. 1,000 and a second-hand TV set worth Rs. 4,000—bought from years of saving—were destroyed. It took 10 hectic days for these transgender people—who have been enduring all the odds utilising th
Satiya Musmat, a widow, does not know how old she is. She assumes to herself that she is a sexagenarian. Perhaps, she lost a trove of documents in the arduous process to get a few dhurs of land. To add to her woes, she also could not succeed in getting a piece of land in her name. She also lost her husband Shivnath Raut two years ago to a sudden paralysis.
Further, Shivnath’s death indebted his family. “My son gathered loans from various places to perform his last rites. We are religious; we had to do this somehow. He did not leave a treasure for us. What could he do? He was just a ploughma
“Who told you that we are profiteering?” says Md. Aashif, in his early twenties, when asked about the benefit onion retailers are said to be making in the garb of price hikes. “Onions are rotting. We bought 20 sacks– -each weighing 45 kg– of onions yesterday, but we are unable to get rid of even a single sack,” he adds, pointing at wasted onions lying around. “You will get at least 2/3 kilogram of waste in a sack,” he says. This is roughly an error of 4% for Aashif’s stall, jointly managed by three people -- Md. Sahabuddin and Ankur Kumar are other partners in the business.
The ongoing phase-1 of the mega plan to host the global summit in 2022 saw a budget hike of 45.82% while, in toto, the project seems to be lagging.
ZakiaSoman, the founder of Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (an organisation of Muslim women in India), has been the wheel behind the mass movement demanding the law to criminalise the draconian practice of Triple Talaq.Soman, the epitome of pluralistic faith, remained untouched of hatred peddled in the aftermath of 2002 Gujarat violence while her activism brought together thousands of women to stand against religious prejudices, finally resulting into The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on ...
Laddu Kumar was 10 years old when he joined this field of vending, as he had no choice but to earn for himself. Laddu is illiterate and socio-economically backward. His monthly salary, 10 years ago, was a mere Rs 150. “Elder brothers work as salesmen in general stores in main town area. They receive approximately Rs 7,000 a month. But I did not want to do it. I wanted freedom in my profession. There is no one to dictate you here,” says Laddu.
“Of course, there was financial problem at home. I...
Kaleeswaram Raj is a lawyer in the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Kerala. He successfully fought to decriminalise adultery in India and, he appeared in several other important cases before the Supreme Court, including the Kerala liquor policy case, the National Highway liquor ban case, the government advertisements case, the Interstate Motor Vehicle Tax case.
In this exclusive interview, he talks to Ujjawal Krishnam about the issues pertinent to women’s rights in India.
Ammu Joseph is a senior Indian journalist who has dedicated her career to gender issues. She is a founder-member of Network of Women in Media, India or NWMI. Author of six books, Joseph also contributed to frame UNESCO’s gender sensitive indicators for media (2012), world trends in the state of freedom of expression and media development (2013) and global monitoring report on the implementation of the 2005 convention on diversity of cultural expressions. She was awarded with the Donna Allen A...
Ever since a whistleblower revealed what the United States President and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky telephone chatted about on 25 July 2019, Trump has been barrelling towards impeachment proceedings in his country. But in India, Trump’s ideological friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has placed a leak-proof lid on information.
Indians do not even know what the educational qualifications their prime minister has, but that is not all. The thin line between press and party or government and nation is disappearing quickly. Case in point: For the first time last week, public ser
For the traditional potters of Bettiah, it is a seasonal business and a yearlong profession. Gangasagar Pandit (pronounced as ‘padiit’, not Pandit which is a Brahmin name-prefix), in his 50s, has been putting up his stall beside Shiv Mandir Pokhra locality of West Champaran’s district headquarters for the past 20 years. He does not live here; this is just his open-air wo
“Will young people study to get a decent job or get into this,” asks Gangasagar, adding, “Our time was different. We were uneducated and there was no option. With this income, no one can fulfil modern needs. Pric
“There was no consistent source of income,” says Rajdev Paswan, who left his home in district Darbhanga in 1997 in his early teens to search for work in industrial zones. After working in Mumbai, Delhi and elsewhere, in 2016, Paswan landed in Panipat, Haryana’s famous city of weavers. Here he segregates different textile materials at the workshop run by Baldev Katiyal.
Katiyal and Paswan are at the national expo in West Champaran, Bihar, a ten-day fair to foster Indian handlooms and handicraf...
The actual probity on any part cannot be achieved by revisiting historical accounts on pages of history books, what Champaran episode of Indian independence movement teaches us is the need of pragmatic approach and implementation of historical standards on current day sets.
In foothills of Himalayas, on the contours of Nepal and India, Bihar’s largest district in terms of area encompasses the soil where Valmiki once compiled Ramayana and Royal Bengal Tigers have their own regal pace in Valmik...
“It has been weeks since we tasted onion,” says Jatan Thakur, an elderly woodcarver from West Champaran district in north Bihar, who supports his family of four from his traditional craft and small (2.5 katthas) land-holding. “I am not rich, babua (son),” he says. “Vegetables are a luxury today, how can I buy them with my income?”
Sky-high onion prices have kept purchasers such as Prasad away. “People throng the meat shops between Dussehra and Diwali. We can afford chicken once a month. Yesterday a bottle gourd cost me Rs 30,” he says. Rarely does his family meet the nutritional needs