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Articles by: Nivedita Dwivedi

36 Years Apart: Two Deaths, One In Matter, The Other In Spirit

36 Years Apart: Two Deaths, One In Matter, The Other In Spirit

6th December 1956: B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of India, leaves this world, albeit, physically. 6th December, 1992: B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of India, leaves this world, this time, in spirit. 36 years separate the two incidents, both of which can be said to be among the landmark moments in the history of India. 6th[Read More…]

Santoshi Kumari’s mother. Credit: Twitter/ANI

The Ghost Colony

“Rukhsaar! Rukhsaar!”…..Rashida was running as fast as her 12 year old legs could carry her. She was out of breath by the time she reached her home. “What happened? Why are you looking so distraught?” Rukhsaar enquired urgently. Not waiting to calm her breath, Rashida blurted out…..They are coming…They are coming…. These words were enough to numb Rashida’s 16 year[Read More…]

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

I recently came across a novel by the name “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, by Milan Kundera. I haven’t as yet read it but its title immediately reminded me of my own ‘unbearable heaviness of being’. The immediate context was an incident I happened to hear from a friend. It might just be a very commonplace incident, would have and[Read More…]

In Quest Of Togetherness: ‘Sangati’

In Quest Of Togetherness: ‘Sangati’

(In context to the changes brought out by the Maharshtra State Board in the History curriculum for Standards VII and IX) Imagine that you are a detective. You will probably relate the nature of your work to solving jigsaw puzzles. As a detective, you will be required to put together the missing pieces and arrive at a plausible explanation of[Read More…]

We Shall Persevere: In Memory of Gauri Lankesh And The Rest

We Shall Persevere: In Memory of Gauri Lankesh And The Rest

But I am someone you just cannot curb
I am a voice that refuses to die
You may bleed my heart but it refuses to cry
I am the eyes that refuse to blink

How Nothing Really Maters

How Nothing Really Maters

After Tuesday’s deluge and many people staying indoors on Wednesday, due to state government advisories advising to do so, most of the people in Mumbai were back to work today. I too had to stay overnight in my office and reached back home on Wednesday morning. After staying at home yesterday, I came back to work today by the local[Read More…]

Panchkula Riot: The Thoughts Of A Wandering Mind

Panchkula Riot: The Thoughts Of A Wandering Mind

I have stopped watching the 24-hour TV news drama channels long back. However, yesterday, I switched on the TV and put on the news channels in the morning itself. I was anxious about the verdict in the Gurmeet Ram Rahim case. This additional interest in the case stemmed from the fact that all the action was centred in and around[Read More…]

Welcome To ‘New India’

Welcome To ‘New India’

Wish you a very happy independence day! On a new journey…towards a ‘New India’, we are being ably led, being guided all the way This ‘New India’ will be something like we have never seen before Or is it that we have been seeing it so often that our eyes have now dulled and turned sour? They say that truth[Read More…]

Murder In The Hospital

Murder In The Hospital

They had neither coveted for the stars nor for the moon, At most, they would have just wished to regain their health soon. So that they could get back to the ‘normal’; be that normal be exciting or mundane, At least it was better than lying sick in a room, experiencing all this pain. They didn’t think what they were[Read More…]

The Story Of Our Tryst With Fasts

The Story Of Our Tryst With Fasts

  As Medha Patkar and other Narmada Bachao Andolan activists continue their peaceful and non-violent protest by going on an indefinite fast, for just rehabilitation (as mandated by the Supreme Court of India), to be provided to the 40,000 families affected by the closing of sluice gates of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) dam, the state administration has replied by[Read More…]

Heroes and Sheroes of Plural India – Akshay Brahmachari

Heroes and Sheroes of Plural India – Akshay Brahmachari

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 Akshay Brahmachari who worked for communal harmony in Ayodhya.  All are welcome to contribute an hour of your day, in celebrating these Heroes and[Read More…]

Girija Devi looks after the tomb on Bhagalpur-Kahalgaon road. (Source photo by Prashant Ravi)

Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India:Suresh Bhagat and Girija Devi, Muhammad Zahir And Others

I am dedicating this piece to all the common people who, in their small but significant ways have stood up for peace and communal harmony that unequivocally underlines the cultural heritage of this nation. I would first like to share a news report that I came across while reading a newspaper back in 2014. The link to the news report,[Read More…]

Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India: Irom Sharmila Chanu

Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India: Irom Sharmila Chanu

Irom Sharmila Chanu is not someone who is yet a part of only history books. She is very much a contemporary personality, living and breathing right now, as I am dedicating this piece to her. However, she is very much a super-shero of plural India. Her life story is also not hidden from anyone, so there is nothing new that[Read More…]

Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India: Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain

Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India: Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain

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 Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain a pioneering woman literary person who also pioneered girls education . All are welcome to contribute an hour of your day, in[Read More…]

Hailing The Vision of Rabindranath Tagore: Human Over Mechanical

Hailing The Vision of Rabindranath Tagore: Human Over Mechanical

I was recently reading Rabindranath Tagore’s essay on Nationalism and that was when the enormity, farsightedness and the sheer genius of his thoughts stuck me….and stuck me hard. While we are busy today, coming to terms with a whole new dimension that is being provided to the term ‘nationalism’, while we are busy defining and redefining the ways in which[Read More…]

India- That What We Make It

India- That What We Make It

Zafar Hussein The Madhya Pradesh police has very magnanimously withdrawn the sedition charges against 15 men for allegedly celebrating the victory of the Pakistan cricket team over Team India in the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy. The men have now instead been booked under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, for disturbing communal harmony. As profoundly unbelievable as[Read More…]

The Oversimplification Of The Kashmir Conundrum

The Oversimplification Of The Kashmir Conundrum

In a recent article in The Wire, Partha Chaterjee had referred to the use of human shield in Kashmir, and its justification by the military and political establishment as Kashmir’s General Dyer moment. Vivek Katju has launched a spirited counter-attack to this claim of Partha Chaterjee. Katju states that, “It is one matter for an army to handle the breakdown[Read More…]

Bahubali And The Propagation Of Gender Stereotypes

Bahubali And The Propagation Of Gender Stereotypes

With the path-breaking commercial success of the Bahubali series, it has become imperative to highlight certain other noteworthy achievements of the movie. While focusing on grossing billions and establishing landmarks in the world of commercial cinema, the makers of the movie did-not even attempt to window-dress the glaring prejudices and biases that the movie series conveys. The most blatantly and[Read More…]

The Power of Grey – Towards A Harmonious And Peaceful World Order

The Power of Grey – Towards A Harmonious And Peaceful World Order

The society and humankind has been painstakingly trained, through centuries, to be fascinated by black and white. This is irrespective of the fact that if human soul was to be assigned a color, it most definitely would have to be grey, neither black nor white. So deeply have we been prejudiced that black is associated with darkness, negativity and all[Read More…]

Mourning The Death Of ‘The City Of Ideas’

Mourning The Death Of ‘The City Of Ideas’

There was once a city called ‘The City of Ideas’. It was known far and wide for its culture of questioning, debating, discussing, disagreeing, arguing and naturally, generating more and more ideas in the process. It was a city filled with numerous schools, colleges, Universities and Institutions of learning. People from all over the world vied to earn themselves the[Read More…]

Photo by MarioGuti / iStock.

The Reign Of ‘Humanity’

I am told it was the best moment of their lives When my parents saw my pretty little face, they say they forgot all strife They loved me, adored me I felt I was the most blessed child They made me feel special, beautiful, strong, dignified, let me have fun, allowed me to get wild In the world I grew[Read More…]

Hindutva And The Idea of ‘Humanity’

Hindutva And The Idea of ‘Humanity’

“Hindutva rashtra ki sanchetna hai. Is par prahaar mahapralay ko aamantran hai”. This is a statement that figures on the front page of the official website of the new Chief Minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath. I will attempt to unravel and decipher this statement in order to understand its meaning and import better. The first thing that is clear from[Read More…]

Yogi Adityanath: The ‘Hidden’ Is Revealed

Yogi Adityanath: The ‘Hidden’ Is Revealed

Yogi Adityanath is the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. As unbelievable as this might sound, this is a fact that cannot be wished away. Yogi Adityanath has been quite in the news owing to the multitude of statements he has made time and again, clearly announcing his religious preferences and his attitude towards other religious communities and the people[Read More…]

Women – To Be Celebrated On A Day?

Women – To Be Celebrated On A Day?

I don’t want you to celebrate my existence on a particular day I want you to understand that before being a woman I am a human, just as you I don’t want you to offer me to stand ahead of you in a queue I want you to let me stand on my own, just as you I don’t want[Read More…]

 The Blind Race Towards Self-Destruction

 The Blind Race Towards Self-Destruction

Much has been commented on the Gurmehar Kaur issue. The young girl has been trolled and abused by many. Others have stood by her and appreciated her courage. The issue has occupied center stage in media (print and visual), on facebook, whatsapp groups, among politicians, celebrities and the entire nation. The crux of the views expressed by Gurmehar was that[Read More…]

Education: Towards Utilitarianism, Away From Egalitarianism

Education: Towards Utilitarianism, Away From Egalitarianism

This year’s budget has once again been lackluster in terms of allocations made to the Education sector. The Kothari Commission recommendation of an allocation of 6% of GDP has remained far from realization, with the allocation hovering in the range of 3-4% every year. Within the education sector also, elementary education is the most fund-deprived and neglected sector. The priorities[Read More…]

IGP Kalluri Asked To Proceed On Leave: A Necessity, Not A Virtue

IGP Kalluri Asked To Proceed On Leave: A Necessity, Not A Virtue

IGP Kalluri, the man alleged to have committed untold atrocities on clueless tribal people in Bastar, and the scores of human rights activists who have tried to intervene time and again in order to demand at least a semblance of justice for these innocent people, (who have been mercilessly mass-murdered, raped, beaten ruthlessly, maimed etc.) has been very graciously asked[Read More…]

The Culture Of Impunity

The Culture Of Impunity

It is unnerving to even think about the culture of impunity that is taking deep roots all around us. It has not happened overnight but has slowly strengthened itself, step by step, one incident after the next, and has gained enough in size to threaten the very essence of a nation priding itself on its distinct cultural identity. What are[Read More…]

The Fascination With Ram Rajya

The Fascination With Ram Rajya

In his recent speech in a rally at Faizabad, PM Modi stated, “…When people asked Mahatma Gandhi how good governance should be, he would reply in one word, a welfare state should be like Ram Rajya…”. This fascination with equating ‘good governance’ with ‘Ram Rajya’ is not new, so much so that the two are almost used interchangeably. It would[Read More…]

Caste Question In India: As I understand It

Caste Question In India: As I understand It

What follows is not meant to be an academic analysis of caste and its operation in India. Such an analysis has been done time again by experts who have studied the operation of caste in India in great depth and are thus qualified to engage in a worthwhile discussion in the matter. What follows is, thus, my personal understanding of[Read More…]

Respecting The National Anthem

Respecting The National Anthem

With the meaning of the word “respect” having been defined for us by the Honorable Supreme Court of India, it is pertinent to also look at the ‘’lawfulness’’ of the said judgment. The only reason I feel this is pertinent is because we are talking about a “Court of Law” here. In commonsensical understanding, a Court of Law would be[Read More…]

Demonetisation And Gandhi

Demonetisation And Gandhi

The entire demonetisation story has been parsed, discussed, analyzed and commented upon in detail, by its supporters and non-supporters alike. There is not pretty much left that can be contributed to the debate, however, I wish to attempt a Gandhian analysis of the move in the following paragraphs. Why did I feel the need to take up such an analysis?[Read More…]