Temperatures are rising, and so is Hindutva hate. Rainfall is drying up, and so is employment. The people are losing to the corporates and ruling classes on every front, except one: the farmers’ movement of 2020–21 managed to push them back: the anti-people farm laws passed in September 2020 were repealed in November 2021. The Journey of the Farmers’ Rebellion explores, by the medium of interviews, what caused this historic retreat. And it does so through the standpoint of those who were right in the middle of the struggle and those who stood in unwavering solidarity with it.
The repeal of the three farm laws was achieved by an unprecedented unity of the coalition of 32 farmer unions in the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) along with others. They mobilised lakhs of farmers to surround Delhi and not give in until their demands were met. Interviews with leaders of the most important and radical farmer unions in this book show how this unity was achieved in the face of sustained state repression and distortion of the movement through powerful biased media houses. They also explore the socio-economic conditions that led to this awe-inspiring mobilisation.
Many students on Twitter have been talking about the delayed disbursement of stipends. Over the last 12 months, students have reported that they have not received their scholarship nor the funds for their PI projects.1 We spoke to several research scholars at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) to understand this situation better… In our discussions, we note that the students speak with the best of intentions towards their institute. They do not wish to cause any ill harm to the name of the institute, However, they are shocked to see some of the changes they have witnessed. They spoke out freely because they wanted their institutes to be the best for them, for research and, ultimately, for the country.
If you, who is reading this letter can do anything for me, I have to get seven months of my fellowship, one lakh and seventy five thousand rupees. Please see to it that my family is paid that.
Even as all of us were moved by the sheer force of Vemula’s last words, this banality — where he had to make a request to collect the outstanding scholarship amount that was due to him — best explains why we are losing more and more students from marginalised communities to Indian academia.
This piece is about some events at the Madras School of Social Work (MSSW) in Chennai. In the past, we have covered the unjust dismissal of Prof R G Sudharson from MSSW,1 essentially for speaking up on behalf of social justice. Since then, we have been in contact with some students at the college, who have told us about the horrific mismanagement they are facing.
The students set up an online portal to collect anonymous testimonials from students, regarding the harrassment they faced. These testimonials were posted on the instagram page @mssw600008.
Together, they tell a story of an institute that is deeply sexist and abusive to its students. Some of the facts brought out are as follows. Faculty apparently feel empowered to discriminate against women and make constant comments about their attire and behaviour. They create a toxic and non-supportive environment for their students and often abuse them. Women who live in the hostel have very limited freedoms.
Here are some of the testimonials, from their instagram page:
The last week has seen another addition to the litany of brutal wars ravaging our brothers and sisters on this little planet we call home; Ukraine has joined Syria, Yemen, etc, to the club of countries having to fight off invasions by imperialist superpowers, each one of them invaded for the economic and geopolitical interests of a small ruling class of ultra-rich oligarchs. But one thing that’s different this time, for Indians at least, is the surprising (to many of us) revelation that there are around 20,000 Indians stuck in the country, many attending medical colleges.
We at NotA have been watching, along with all of you, all the videos of young men and women pleading for their lives. They are being bombed1 and personally attacked2 by the Russians, and they are being beaten up and denied entry at the Romanian and Polish borders. There’s also a possibility that some are being used as human shields by Ukrainian forces.3
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