Contours of Secularism – Irfan Engineer

Triumphant and victorious in the 16th general elections for the Lok Sabha, the Hindu nationalists are attributing their victory as rejection of secularism by the Indian electorate. Modi in one of his election campaign speeches came up with a new definition of secularism – “India First”. BJP in its election manifesto explains that “India First simply means nurturing and protecting all the elements, which India is … Continue reading Contours of Secularism – Irfan Engineer

All strangely quiet on the secular, liberal front – Suruchi Mazumdar

The launch of Dusshohobash, a tele serial based on stories by Taslima Nasreen, was cancelled by a privately-run Bengali channel, following objections raised by Muslim groups in Kolkata. The series promised to feature tales of women’s struggle for rights and their protests against issues like dowry and rape, condemnation of which is non-controversial in the current socio-political milieu. Muslim groups in Kolkata are in favour … Continue reading All strangely quiet on the secular, liberal front – Suruchi Mazumdar

Muzzling Expression – Garga Chatterjee

The indefinite ‘postponing’ of a TV serial scripted by Taslima Nasreen in Calcutta, and the refusal of the intelligentsia to speak out for her, yet again underlines the culture of intolerance Calcutta, the so-called ‘cultural capital’, has demonstrated the increasing emptiness of the epithet, yet again. Taslima Nasreen, one of the most famous Bengali authors alive, had scripted a TV serial named ‘Doohshahobash’ (Difficult Cohabitations) … Continue reading Muzzling Expression – Garga Chatterjee

‘Religion Is The Biggest Bane For Any Democracy’

AGNIVO NIYOGI Bangladesh’s biggest right-wing party Jamaat-e-Islami has been banned from contesting future polls by the Bangladesh High Court in Dhaka, which cancelled its registration in a landmark ruling on 1 August, leaving the once powerful fundamentalist party with an uncertain future. Author Taslima Nasreen who has been living in exile for over two decades in India tells Agnivo Niyogi that taking a cue from … Continue reading ‘Religion Is The Biggest Bane For Any Democracy’

Religious imperialism at the heart of a plural society – Garga Chatterjee

In the competition to match a city like Riyadh in free-thinking, pluralism and culture, Mumbai raced past Kolkata by threatening MF Husain and disrupting the exhibition of his paintings of goddesses. Kolkata struck back by expelling Taslima Nasreen, giving in to the threats by some angry Muslims. In a classic ‘one-two combo’, Kolkata thereafter successfully kept Salman Rushdie out of its limits. But recently Mumbai … Continue reading Religious imperialism at the heart of a plural society – Garga Chatterjee