POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 13, 2012 AT 23:46 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 13, 2012 23:46 IST

The cartoon that apparently led to the arrest of a Jadavpur University professor (52) along with his 72-year old neighbour, on charges under IT Rules of "intent to insult the modesty of a woman through words and gesture, defamation and dissemination through computer of information that they knew was false but was meant to “cause annoyance, inconvenience, criminal intimidation”"

The photo below depicts a scene from the film, Sonar Kella:

For those not conversant with Bengali or have not seen the Satayajit Ray classic Sonar Kella:

Mamata: dekhte pachho mukul, sonar kella? [Can you see Mukul, the Golden Fortress -- this is actually a dialogue from Sonar Kella a film by Satyajit Ray, which also has a young protagonist called Mukul]

Mukul: otaa dushtu lok! [Here the Mukul is Mukul Roy, the railway minister appointed in place of Dinesh Trivedi, who was forced to resign after presenting the railway budget: That is a bad man!]

Mamata: Dushtu lok? Vanish! [Bad man? Vanish!]

Reacting to this outrageous development, on Times Now, Professor Ashis Nandy said, inter alia:

"I would advise Ms Banerjee to seek the help of psychiatrists in Calcutta. I would diagnose her as suffering from incipient paranoia. She sees enemies and controversies against her everywhere...She is taking upon herself the responsibility of interpreting the constitution of India when there are far better people than her to do so... All sorts of people manage to come into power these days, from nuts to psychopaths to paranoids... and I am afraid West Bengal has been saddled with a chief minister who seems to be suffering from paranoia...Mamata Banerjee should be advised to dismiss all the editors of all the newspapers and become the editor herself. She should even draw the cartoons herself. Then she would not have any reason to grumble.... We are stuck with a nut."

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 13, 2012 AT 23:46 IST, Edited At: Apr 13, 2012 23:46 IST
POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Feb 29, 2012 AT 23:40 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 29, 2012 23:40 IST

Of the many TV shows, documentaries and discussions, the Last Word with Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN stood out, which discussed: Whether Narendra Modi still faces serious questions about his alleged role Is he the best administrator in the country? Or can both coincide?


Karan Thapar: Does the good administration image wash away his role in 2002 or does it simply reveal that here we have a schizophrenic or Janus-like personality? 

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POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Feb 29, 2012 AT 23:40 IST, Edited At: Feb 29, 2012 23:40 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Dec 27, 2011 AT 07:48 IST ,  Edited At: Dec 27, 2011 07:48 IST

Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express:

Ashis Nandy once made the powerful point that communalism was not about the “facts of religion”. It was about its self-conscious use as a political tool, often by people who did not believe in it. Casteism, is also not about the fact of caste. It is about the use of caste to make three claims. First, that people have compulsory identities which they cannot transcend, ever. Institutions should act as if no one can be more or less than their caste. Second, the point of social policy is not to empower individuals to escape the deprivations of caste, but to trap them in it. Third, that the only possible test of the legitimacy of institutions is if they mirror social reality, not if they transform it into something better. All of the Congress’s actions, from its support of the methodologically dubious caste census to its policies on reservation, suggest that it has become casteist in this sense.

It has also become communal in the sense that Hamid Dalwai so presciently diagnosed decades ago. It perpetuates the idea of minority as a political category, so that it can keep them in its place and use them. And, in the context of the Lokpal bill, it has cynically used them again. The Congress has ruled India for more than 50 years. But if India is more unjust along caste lines, minorities are more marginalised, surely the Congress is to blame. What is it about its paradigm of politics that it can effectively help neither Muslims nor Dalits? The caste parties may have narrow agendas; sections of the BJP may be pathologically incapable of thinking beyond identity. But what is the Congress’s excuse?

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Dec 27, 2011 AT 07:48 IST, Edited At: Dec 27, 2011 07:48 IST
POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Aug 29, 2009 AT 01:58 IST ,  Edited At: Aug 29, 2009 03:09 IST

Ashis Nandy in the Times of India:

Jinnah demanded a looser, federal polity built around powerful provinces as a way out of partitioning the country. The Indian National Congress first accepted the idea and then ditched it. Paradoxically, the power that Jinnah demanded for the provinces was in many ways less than the power the chief ministers of some Indian states have exercised in recent years.

This background explains why, 60 years after the event, partition and the roles in it of individual leaders haunt our political culture. We are still debating in our hearts our birth trauma. We cannot accept that our midwives, too, were children of their times and spoke from within the colonial world in which they lived. We use them as archetypes to battle our fears, anxieties and self-doubts. We are what we are, we suspect, because of their choices, not ours. 

Read the full piece where he says he  looks "at the future with apprehension and fear that we may have already lost a part of our selfhood" at the Times of India

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POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Aug 29, 2009 AT 01:58 IST, Edited At: Aug 29, 2009 03:09 IST
POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON May 26, 2009 AT 02:33 IST ,  Edited At: May 26, 2009 02:35 IST

Ashis Nandy in Tehelka:

Diverse configurations in diverse places determined the fate of different candidates and parties. Different regions had different logic even within a given state. Still, underlying the diversity there were some common themes.

...First, I think people were looking for ways to lower the temperature of politics...

...The second underlying theme is that people were searching for a sort of minimum decency. Negative campaigns, excessively personal attacks, hostile slogans — all of this seemed to upset the voter... 

(I asked a waiter at the India International Centre in Delhi what he felt about the election results. “It’s been very good,” he said. Was he a Congress supporter, I asked him. “It’s not that, sahib,” he replied. “That Sardarji is a good man. He is educated, he is not a thief, and he is a newcomer to politics. Still, they got after him, calling him weak and scared. Who can enjoy watching that? I am just happy that this election result has shown there is a god watching above.” I quote the waiter verbatim because I think the idea of “a god above” might have been a consideration with many other people as well.)

...THE THIRD and interlinked theme this election was the voter’s desire to bring down the arrogant.

Read the full article at Tehelka: The Hour Of The Untamed Cosmopolitan

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FILED IN:  Elections|Ashis Nandy
POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON May 26, 2009 AT 02:33 IST, Edited At: May 26, 2009 02:35 IST
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