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Articles by: Cynthia Stephen

A Poem For Today’s India

A Poem For Today’s India

Namo…nnamaha! Vande Mataram!
Mothers and sisters, our salutations to you!
Only make sure your limbs are fully swathed
Smothered with textile, yard upon yard of silk or polyester
Head covered, face veiled with ghungat or scarf.

Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India: Savitribai Phule

Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India: Savitribai Phule

  This article is part of a series called “Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India” under #AnHourForCommunalHramony campaign to celebrate the Heroes and Sheroes who struggled to shape modern India in all its plurality.  Today we celebrate Savitribai Phule “The First Lady of Indian Women’s Education”. All are welcome to contribute an hour of your day, in celebrating these Heroes and Sheroes[Read More…]

Patients Before Profit: Public vs Private , The Debate In Karnataka

Patients Before Profit: Public vs Private , The Debate In Karnataka

Affordable health care is now becoming increasingly inaccessible to the poor and lower middle classes in India, given the drive to privatization in all parts of the social sector.  Sally Ogun, a patient’s rights activist from America says, “The provision of health care … is part of a social contract, one that assures citizens access to the tools they need[Read More…]

Dusty Memoir: “Eat Dust: Mining And Greed In Goa”

Dusty Memoir: “Eat Dust: Mining And Greed In Goa”

“Eat Dust! Eat Dust!”, chanted the villagers who had gathered in the Public Hearing by the Environment ministry on the environmental impact of a mining lease which was due to be extended. As they chanted, they tossed fistfuls of the crushed red earth in the air. They were enraged by the attitude of the governmental officials who were there to[Read More…]

“Who Killed Swamy Laxmananda?” 

“Who Killed Swamy Laxmananda?” 

The events in Kandhamal in 2008 shook the entire country.  The large number of tribal and Dalit Christians in this remote district of the then Orissa (now Odisha) state were subjected to months, even years of displacement, dispossession , death for a few and ‘forced conversion’ for those who remained, by the saffron forces which termed it ‘ghar wapsi’ or[Read More…]

In Chennai, TPDK Hails A Victory Of Good Over Brahmanism

In Chennai, TPDK Hails A Victory Of Good Over Brahmanism

The festive season in India begins with Nag Panchami. Ganesh Chaturthi follows. A few weeks later come the ten-day festivities of Dussehra, culminating in Ram Leela where effigies of Ravana are burnt in public functions in towns and cities across north India. Finally, there is Diwali, the festival of lights. Almost all Indian festivals – from the ever popular Diwali[Read More…]

Mahishasur In The North, Ravan Leela In The South

Mahishasur In The North, Ravan Leela In The South

The ongoing Mahishasur movement in North India has stirred up the Dravidian subconscious in south India. This year, on the day of Dussehra, effigies of Ram, Sita and Lakshman were burnt in Chennai. Eleven Periyar supporters who dodged a large police presence to burn the effigies were arrested. These Periyarites have been demanding a ban on the practice of burning[Read More…]

Book On Kandhamal ‘A Wake-Up Call For The Nation’

Book On Kandhamal ‘A Wake-Up Call For The Nation’

 Investigative book ‘Who killed Swami Laxmanananda?’ authored by senior  journalist Anto Akkara, came in for wide acclaim at its release in Bangalore on July 23 with eminent jurist and former Advocate-General of Karnataka Ravivarma Kumar describing it as a ‘wake up call for the nation’. “The content of the book has grave implications for Indian democracy,’ remarked Kumar while releasing[Read More…]

BP Mahesh Guru’s Arrest Widely Condemned

BP Mahesh Guru’s Arrest Widely Condemned

  A journalism professor accused of making insulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union minister Smriti Irani has been jailed for insulting Lord Rama. Professor BP Mahesh Guru, who teaches at the Mysore University, was arrested on June 17 when he appeared before a Mysore court in connection with a case registered against him for allegedly insulting the Hindu god[Read More…]