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Reverse Swing: The Revolt of the Statue
The realm of public statues is fickle and treacherous. Which is why one feels for Home Minister Amit Shah and the helpless situation he found himself in the other day.
Reverse Swing: The Irresistible Love of Hate
The current tirade of hatred is unabashed. There is nothing covert about it. It goes about its business openly taunting and maligning.
Reverse Swing: Imagining a Democracy of Designated Dissent
Dissent, obviously, is not a Meccano set that can be assembled according to guidelines and instruction manuals. There is a theatricality to dissent which inevitably overpowers its logistics and generates an abundant spill-over. Bereft of this, the idea of dissent translates as tame disagreement.
Reverse Swing: The Holy Land and its Much Maligned Mahant
As it is, UP is a law unto itself. You can band together and raze down a 500-year-old masjid, you can orchestrate communal polarisation in Muzaffarnagar, you can humiliate, intimidate and eliminate Dalits with impunity, you can turn rape into a cottage industry – but in UP, it is those who perpetrate the crimes who get rewarded. And those who protest this injustice will be asked to pay fines to the state for damaging public property or wasting the government’s time.
KAPILA VATSYAYAN – 1928-2020: The Mordant Muse of Sarkari Culture
While posthumously acknowledging the range of her catholic learning, scholarly contributions and passion for research, a certain intellectual rigour needs to be applied to ask some basic questions like, ‘what went wrong under her watch’? What was the inner flaw, the inner contradiction, the lethal bug that chewed up the innards of the Indian cultural project and rendered it infructuous?
Reverse Swing: Agnivesh (1939-2020) - he who was clad in robes of fire
Agnivesh epitomized the best practices of amplifying the public sphere through his personal courage and commitment. His is an irreplaceable loss.
Reverse Swing: The perils of demonizing darkness
‘They are fools’, said French philosopher Voltaire, ‘who light a candle to see the sun’. What does one say about those who light a candle to scare away the coronavirus?
Reverse Swing: The new global untouchability virus
It is impossible to be selfish or crudely nationalist in this situation. It has to lead to the rapid realization that we all breathe the same oxygen and come in contact with the same viruses on this globe. Attempts to think in terms of just ‘my country’ or ‘my state’ or ‘my district’ can turn out to be monstrous blunders.
Reverse Swing: Artistic production in the era of institutional cop-outs
The sudden love of the Centre for museums and galleries, in the absence of any attempt at evolving a well-thought-out ‘policy’ on the matter of cultural institutions, reeks of cunning instrumentalism seeking to transform these museums into agencies of chest-thumping propaganda.