The Hindutva ideology, much like other fundamentalist undercurrents would have us deny the humanism of Manto and the syncretic traditions of Husain. It is in this context that the Partition themed fiction provides an effective counter-narrative to all efforts at social engineering. It need hardly be mentioned that the absence of an effective political discourse challenging the RSS-BJP combine, willing to transcend the secular-communal binary, mandates a search for a different language sensitive to past history and cognizant of our own failures.
Ashwin works as an Independent Researcher, having graduated from Azim Premji University, Bangalore.
The rhetoric of the “War on black money and corruption” apart, demonetisation has succeeded in making the Aadhar card mandatory in violation of the orders of the Supreme Court. Additionally, a few implications of this move on democracy and civil and political liberties.
Ashwin looks at the Action Plans prepared by the Narmada Valley Development Authority in the 1990s and analyzes the ambition of a developmental project and the way a planning document looks at Project Affect Persons and at activists involved in the anti-dam struggle.
She personally travels light. The legal papers, annexures and miscellaneous documents fill 4 heavy bags. I struggle to carry them; light weighted as I’m and as I pause for breath she marches on forward, occassionally turning back to ask “Ashwin bhai, jaldi chalo”. I nod my head, too tired to even reply “Haan, didi”; I nod and proceed carrying my laptop bag around and a satchel containing a couple of books, I assumed I would have time to read.
A pro-Hindutva sentiment prevails in the minds of the middle class Hindu citizenry of the country. But for once, they could (and still do) mask their affiliation to this ideology by justifying their vote for ‘development’. The operational logic to this class seems particularly straightforward, “as long as there is ‘development’ as Modi ji has promised (and is visiting foreign countries to that extent), we shouldn’t be troubled by marginal acts of violence or dissent.”