Aman ki Asha

I’m perturbed after reading the news about the war-like situation brewing between India-Pak and the cheering of it in some quarters. Wrote this poem:       *अमन की आशा* जंग का ऐलान करके हैं खड़े सीना तान के छप्पन इंच चौड़ा हुआ है  वीरों के रक्तदान से  ऐ वतन के वासियों ना जंग सेContinue reading “Aman ki Asha”

सूखी पाती

कभी सूखी पाती से पूछना उस ऊंची डाली का छोह। बिछड़ कर पीले होने पर वो हरियाली का मोह। तन सूखा है मन सूखा है पर जीवित उसकी आशा है। पड़ी हुई है गुमसुम सी पर याद अभी तक ताज़ा है। © Vidya Venkat (2006)

A critical appraisal of India’s Maoist uprising

[First published in The Hindu dated 11/11/17] Fifty years after India’s first Naxalite uprising, the Maoist movement today has nearly disintegrated, with several movement leaders now dead, arrested or having surrendered. Ajay Gudavarthy’s edited collection of essays raises the vital question at this juncture: Is violence necessary for revolutionary change in a democracy? While notContinue reading “A critical appraisal of India’s Maoist uprising”

Another freedom struggle

[First published in Biblio – A Review of Books dated Jul.-Sep. 2018] It is ordinary people who often make history yet historians typically focus only on the victors and the leaders associated with popular social mobilisations. That is the reason why Magsaysay Award-winning social activist Aruna Roy decided to narrate the story of how ordinaryContinue reading “Another freedom struggle”

Rights to the forest

[First published in The Hindu dated 15/4/17] Rights to the forest have been among the most contested subjects since colonial times. In Democracy in the Woods: Environmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania and Mexico, Prakash Kashwan uses a comparative political analysis approach to show how India, Tanzania and Mexico, with their varied forestland regimes, haveContinue reading “Rights to the forest”