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Religion: Good Cop; Bad Cop


As we have moved towards a new decade, it is high time to introspect the spiritual thread binding the people with other worldly power. Is it just an overused concept for fear or is it any good?


credits: TheFix

What is a religion? The true definition of religion differs from people to people and therefore to define religion within a few words would be really difficult. However, Oxford Dictionary defines religion as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. There are 19 religions as per the data estimated in 2019 by Adherents.com with Christianity still being the most dominant religion in the world, followed by Islam at the second pedestal and Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist at the third pedestal.

There are estimated 1.2 billion people who come into the category of Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist and make up about 13.91% of the total world population. The idea of not being a practicing believer and to downright deny any existence of a superpower controlling the world is getting more and more popular as the world moves more and more into the advanced age. Atheistic values within people are on a constant rise, especially in the Generation Z as they get more and more into the science behind the existence of humanity as opposed to Generation X and Generation Y who rather took to Holy Books and believed whatever was written within it about the existence of humanity and the world.

Estonia has the world’s high population of agnostics and atheists, about 77%, and Estonia ranks first in a lot more things like unrestricted access to online services, availability of government/administrative services, family life, tech-savvy environment, etcetera. Estonia ranks 1st out of 68 countries when it comes to the best and worst countries to live a connected life, according to Digital Life Abroad Report. The country with the most atheists/agnostics living in is also the country which is most technologically advanced and also the country with the best family life.

The point of this article is to shed light on the necessity of religion in a person’s life, especially in a child’s life. Parental religiosity can be a mixed blessing that produces significant gains in social psychological development while potentially undermining academic performance. Religion, upon children, is associated as an obligation rather than love and personal dedication. A child is forced to go and derive meaning from a religious service even though the child itself is too young to even see a meaning in these services.

Unitarian Universalism is a faith with no conversion rituals and no exclusions by society if a member converts to a different faith. Religious education is not centered on scripture but discussion of ethics and community. Such a faith should be a model to every other religion to look up to. If parents want to raise children who meaningfully practice their religion, the children must accept the faith themselves. Faith and blind fellowship are not the same thing. Forcing a religion on a child not only makes the child hateful towards the parents but also towards the faith that is being forced upon. Nothing in history has ever worked through the means of force without having severe circumstances. A shift from saying, “You believe in this” towards “We believe in this; what do you believe in?” is a must requirement for every parent of this new generation.

The irony behind removing free will from a child after it is born is astonishing. To say they have free will but live in fear of their religion, their God, their holy book, their faith, their beliefs is hypocritical. Indoctrination into religion is done on the basis that a child doesn’t have the mental capacity to choose for themselves and so the choice must be made by the parents and that IF the child could choose, they would choose God is also downright bullshit. Such an indoctrination should be considered abuse and should be considered against the basic Human Rights.


“Religion” is a double-edged sword. Since times immemorial, it has been used to make way for peace, as it has been used to reason immoral conducts. With ‘Atheism’ on rise, the word religion is being scrutinized and its relevance is being questioned. However, there are some aspects that one never really noticed, but sans religion, the absence of these things will have a significant impact.

Firstly, religiosity has been associated positively with behaviors that help or benefit others, such as volunteering or donating financially. Most religions stress the importance for concern for others and in a way, preach pro-social behavior. This can be countered by the fact that charitable and social nature can be practiced by non-religious people as well. However, there is no obligation in this case, it is completely out of their own will. Thus, when charity becomes an obligation, it affects those in need and instills a sense of morality in the person’s attitude, which is etched there for life, especially children.

All children develop a sense of wonder and curiosity while growing up which leads them to derive meanings from the world around them, including the natural environment. As these innate sensibilities develop, religion often comes in and influences the social and cultural practices of them. The mosque, church, temple or any other religious place often provides children the first point of contact with the community beyond their immediate touch and introduces them to wider social institutions. Here, they learn not only about the religion they are introduced to, but also the moral responsibilities, social behavior, and also their own value as a human being.

The reason why many parents believe that raising kids with some measure of religion is the best way to teach them how to behave ethically is because religion provides an incentive for them to treat each other well, and act morally – lest being punished by a superior power. However, there is a limitation to the thought that religion is the sole reason for moral growth in a person. These things come from their own, religion only gives it the necessary nudge required to frame the impressionable minds of children.

Nevertheless, religion can have a profound influence on the lifestyle of a person. Lower rates of depression; better sleep quality; greater rate of life satisfaction; lesser use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are just some of the well documented benefits associated with personal religiousness. Children who are raised with religious or spiritual beliefs tend to have a better mental health into adulthood, said a new study from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public health found. Religion has given many absolutes which can be arguably good or bad, but it has also given a sense of connection. It cannot be denied that religion has a long history of endorsing cooperation among each other, it has significantly contributed to family relationships, and has also helped young adults/adolescents to successfully navigate life challenges and also bring about many positive health effects and well-being outcomes.

Lastly, it cannot be denied that, for long, religion has provided the framework for cultural experimentation, which has led to so many milestones that humankind has achieved. It has kept alive the global mosaic culture. Religion is the ground level boot camp, which instills virtues and morals that are only and only beneficial for one’s personality. However, with maturity comes manipulation according to one’s own whims and fancies and thereby we have the meaning of the word religion in today’s context.

Nuzhat Khan** & Yusuf Aziz*
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Wall of Inequality


We live in times where: GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is measured in tons, Citizen Rights in Volts, Nationalism in Decibels, Poverty in Heights and length of Wall.

As the US President visited India on 24th of February, the Indian government had spent more than hundred crore rupees for his welcome and on the other side Trump imposed the $260 million-dollar penalty on India and also excluded India form the developing category list. This move not only resulted in a loss of to $260 million in GDP benefits, but also about how many lakhs jobs could be lost in specific industries when the economy is facing unemployment and stagflation. It is also suggested that no big trade deal negotiations took place during his visit.

The land of Mahatma Gandhi i.e. Gujarat where the president arrived on 24th February on a two-day trip and covered Ahmedabad, New Delhi and Agra as well. Indian government called this trip as “Namaste Trump”.

Image credits: Deccanherald

For both leaders, Trump and Modi, it was a welcome distraction. Mr. Trump was eager to change the subject after his impeachment trial, and Mr. Modi loved a reprieve from growing protest scenarios over a new anti-secular, discriminatory and anti-Muslim Citizenship Law.

Ahmedabad visit

Donald Trump inaugurated world’s largest cricket stadium, Motera Stadium, situated in Ahmedabad. The Indian government had set a budget of over one hundred crore rupees for a three-hour visit. A wall was constructed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in a bid to mask a slum area situated between the stadium and the airport. These areas had seen a little to no development in the past years.

Instead of providing basic facilities like food, clothes, education, water and proper drainage system to the slum population; around 45 families got the eviction notices by the government.

In 2014, President of China Xi Jinping visited New Delhi and the same steps were taken by the Indian government to hide the Indian poverty with the help of green shaded net.

During Delhi assembly election 2020, Modi government promised to provide 20 lakhs homes with the slogan “Jahan Jhuggi Wahi Makaan” but now the same government builds a literal wall between rich and poor people of the country.

Image credits: cartoonistsatish.com

Is the construction of the walls justified?

Two third or approximately 68.8 percent of the Indian population lives in poverty. According to 2011 census Gujarat poverty rate is 16.63 per 1 million people but the government is busy in building walls which costs over hundreds crore rupees.

Currently, more than 6 crore slum areas are present in India and the people of those areas do not have basic facilities like water, proper drainage system, health and education.

Image credits: India Today

Walls should be built for the homeless not to hide the homeless.

Is there any violation of rights of the people residing in those slums?

A welfare state is a concept where the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principle of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal necessities for a good life. It is the duty of the government to provide basic needs like education, housing, healthcare, pension and unemployment insurance to its citizens.

Agra visit

After the inauguration of the stadium Trump arrived in Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department had released 500 cusecs of water into the Yamuna river in Agra in order to mask its foul smell and stagnant water. In 2017, Agra witnessed very scattered rainfall which almost resulted in a situation of drought. In 2019 about 42% of India’s land area had faced drought in different states of the country but at that time government had not taken any strong step for the drought affected areas.

I think Trump should live in India for a month. If for three hours visit the government can implement so many developmental activities, then what will happen if Trump will stay in India for a month.

Md. Altmash
B.A. LLB, Jamia Millia Islamia

Gargi Sexual Harassment Incident – A Report


On 6th February, Gargi college of Delhi University celebrated the last day of their annual fest ‘Reverie 2020’ which witnessed enthusiastic attendance by students of Gargi, different colleges of Delhi University and outsiders provided the carried the necessary entry passes. Despite being an event full of several amusing activities, food stalls, fun rides and musical performances, towards the end of the day, the fest’s glory  took a downfall and became a traumatic memory for many as the fest was hijacked by hordes of unidentified men.The crowd started to build by 4 pm. By 6.30 pm, the main gate was opened and all the men standing among the gathered crowd outside made their way into the venue unchecked. Several middle-aged men also climbed the walls of the college to gain entry.

Students observed men smoking weed inside the campus, molesting and groping college girls, passing lewd comments and masturbating at them. By the end of the day, the number of men exceeded the number of women present by a large margin and the place became so overcrowded, it became difficult for the students to breathe and several reported having panic attacks. When the students complained to the admin about these incidents, the principal told them to not attend the fest if they felt so unsafe.

Even though the CRPF and the Delhi Police personnel were deployed in campus, several students allege that they were useless in curbing the mayhem and chaos and neither were the college authorities or union bodies of much assistance.

On Monday, several students came out to protest against the mishappening and demanded the immediate resignation of the Principal as well as the head of the student union. On 10th Feb, an FIR was registered against the intruders accused of harassment by the students of Gargi.

While the protests in the college continued, ten people were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the events of 6th Feb. The Delhi Police has assured the students that many people are being questioned and multiple suspects have been identified from that day. Students of Gargi College have been boycotting classes and are now demanding that the fact finding committee constituted following the incident show its findings.

They also expressed anger against the college’s lax response to the incident and the moral-policing tone that Gargi authorities took after students complained of harassment at the fest. Currently a Saket court granted bail to all the 10 accused of the sexual molestation of students during the cultural festival at Gargi College, on a bail amount of Rs 10,000 each.

Zainab Wahab
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia



Shashi Tharoor and Sadanand Dhume are not bigots and anti-Islam, instead they are sensible liberals who know how to stand in this fight for secularism unlike the woke-Indian-Muslim-liberals who have to resolve to using slogans like ‘La ilaha ilallah’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ to show their ‘support’ for secularism.

credits: TheIndianExpress

All of India came out of its slumber in order to raise their voices against the recently passed bill, now an Act, Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. The protests have been led mainly by Indian Muslims, and they have become the backbone of these protests throughout the country after the dark night of December 15th and the horrific acts of Delhi Police in and around the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia. The whole of country opened their eyes and came out on the streets to protest against this unfair and unjust Act in order to get it withdrawn and/or amended.

After Delhi Police showed its true colors in Jamia on December 15th, the whole of country stood with Jamia and condemned the acts of Delhi Police. AMU and JNU, both followed Jamia with their own protests against Delhi Police and also against the very agenda on the table, i.e., CAA and NRC. But Jamia wasn’t the only one to get the full brunt of the officials of Government. AMU was also stormed by the UP Police and soon the varsity was under heavy attack. Undoubtedly, December 15th was a very dark night for both Jamia and AMU. Soon protests began happening all over the country and even outside India to show support for Jamia and AMU and to condemn the actions of the Government.

The protests against CAA and NRC are still going on throughout the country with Delhi being the one in the center and the heart of these protests. Protest in Shaheen Bagh is led mainly by Muslim women who have come out on the street to fight for their identity as an Indian and are protesting day and night. Alongside, protests outside Jamia are still continuing with full intensity and now even the Jamia Administration stands with them. Many esteemed personalities have also come to Jamia protests in order to show their own support to the cause.

However, there are some issues in these protests against CAA and NRC that will benefit the Bharatiya Janata Party and their agendas. The communal divide that these issues are creating will benefit BJP and RSS who most certainly thrive on communal animosity. As Hayaat Fatemah states in her article on The Indian Express, “… the citizenship of a Muslim is questioned, not [their] religious identity.”  Since CAA questions the citizenship of a Muslim in India and not their religious identity, slogans like “La ilaha ilallah”and “Allahu Akbar”will never and has never helped Muslims in any movement. This protest against CAA and NRC that started from Jamia has become a nationwide movement and should not take the shape of an all-Muslim movement because there are people of other religions protesting with Muslims against this unjust Act.

credits: Hindustan Times

Recently, Shashi Tharoor had visited Jamia to show his support in his stand against CAA and NRC and was met with chants of ‘la ilaha ilallah’which caused him to take to Twitter to express his concern towards this fight against Hindutva extremism. He stated, “Our fight against Hindutva extremism should give no comfort to Islamist extremism either.” But he was met with heavy backlash by “woke” Indian Muslim liberals who were raising nonsensical arguments like, “People in this country say ‘jai bajrang bali’ even before lifting a heavy rock and no one calls it communal. Muslims are pushed to the wall today. Using religious slogans for keeping spirits high is ok when demands are secular. Please spare us this soft bigotry.” What these liberals cannot understand is that this fight against CAA and NRC is only about the citizenship of Muslims in India and not about their religious identity. These slogans, which when translated are: There is no God but Allah, not only incite a communal divide within the protests but also raise concerns of religious extremism entering the protests through a backdoor.

These protests, albeit led by Muslims, constitute and are supported by people of all religion and Muslims should refrain from shouting and chanting slogans like these to not give an edge to BJP and RSS’s agendas. And instead of attacking Tharoor or Sadanand Dhume, Muslim liberals should instead take a lesson and keep the prayers at bay as Papri Banerjee brilliantly writes in her poem The Proper Secular Liberal

“Be mildly Muslim,
Not wildly Muslim.
Bring poetry to us,
Keep prayer at bay.”

Muslims have been known to play the victim game whenever their identity is questioned or whenever they feel attacked for being a Muslim. And the same is happening in these protests around Jamia. They are using Shahada to claim that they help in keeping the spirits high of protesters but what they forget is that these slogans can be alienating towards other protesters who are not Muslim. These Islamic fanatics clearly have no clue that this is a fight for secularism and are pushing their own extremist agendas through these slogans in the protests.

Yusuf Aziz
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Union Budget 2020: A Case of Three Themes


The longest Budget speech of Independent India brought triple themes for the Indian Economy. Although the budget ‘seems’ pleasing for almost every sector, it could not substantiate the monotonous forgoing of the present economic crisis.

The Union Budget 2020 arrived with three themes i.e. Aspirational India, Economic Development, and Caring Society. Aspirational India includes Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development; Wellness, Water and Sanitation; and Education and Skills. Within the bracket of Economic Development comes Industry, Commerce and Investment; Infrastructure; and New Economy. Under Caring Society there are Women & Child, Social Welfare; Culture and Tourism; and Environment and Climate Change.

Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development aims to achieve the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman introduces 16-point action plan in order to achieve this goal. The plan comes with
Implementation of model laws (issued by the Centre) undertaken by the respective States to be encouraged.
Comprehensive measures will be undertaken for 100 water stressed districts.
PM KUSUM expansion will provide 20 lakh farmers for standalone solar pumps and 15 lakh farmers for grid connected pumps.
Balanced use of all kinds of fertilizers.
Public Private Partnership mode adoption in order to set up efficient warehouses through Viability Gap Funding.
Village Storage Scheme to provide good holding capacity.
KISAN RAIL to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables.
KRISHI UDAAN for both international and national routers.
“One product one district” in Horticulture Sector for better marketing and export.
Organic, natural and integrated farming measures.
Integration of e-NWR with e-NAM.
2020-21 target of Rs. 15 lakh crore set for agricultural credit.
Doubling of milk processing capacity by 2025.
Boosting of fisheries with Blue Economy.
Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana to mobilise SHGs for poverty alleviation.
An outlay of Rs. 2.83 lakh crore – Rs. 1.6 lakh crore for agriculture and Rs. 1.23 lakh crore for rural development.
Under Wellness, Water and Sanitation; health sector has been allocated Rs. 69,000 crore inclusive of Rs. 6,400 crore of Prime Minister Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) while Rs. 12,300 crore has been given for Swachh Bharat Mission and Jal Jeevan Mission scheme Rs. 11,500 crore. The third item of Aspirational India, i.e., Education and Skills, has been allocated with the amount of Rs. 99,300 crore for education sector and Rs. 3,000 crore for skill development. The new education policy is yet to be clarified by the government.
The Industry, Commerce and Investment of the theme ‘Economic Development’ has been granted Rs. 27,300 crore for its development and promotion. The second item on the list of second theme is Infrastructure. One major port will be corporatized and will be listed under stock exchange. Allocation of Rs. 1.70 lakh crore has been done for transport infrastructure and Rs. 22,000 crore for power and renewable energy sector. Within the bracket of New Economy (third item), Bharatnet programme has been provided with Rs. 6,000 crore and an outlay of Rs. 8,000 crore over a period of five years for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications.

For Women & Child, Social Welfare; the proposed budget for nutrition-related programmes has been allocated with Rs. 35,600 crore, Rs. 28,600 crore for programmes specific to women, Rs. 85,000 crore for SCs and OBCs, Rs. 53,700 for welfare of STs, and Rs. 9,500 crore for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Under Culture and Tourism, tourism promotion and Ministry of Culture has received Rs. 2,500 crore and Rs. 3,150 crore respectively. Environment and Climate Change, i.e., the last item of the last theme got the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change an allocation of Rs. 4,400 crore.

Apart from these allocations, a few things like certain imported military equipment, some India-made mobile components, Purified Terephthalic Acid, newsprint, sports goods, lightweight coated paper, and finger print reader have become cheaper whereas there is a huge list of items that turned costlier like skimmed milk, soya fibre, raw sugar, animal husbandry based products, imported items (including footwear, toys, mustard oil, ghee/butter/oil/cheese and many more), etc.

Revised Tax Slabs
Image Credits: Hindustan Times

The Income Tax comes with two options provided one with four tax slabs (old) and the other with six tax slabs (new). The gaining point under tax – Rs. 78,000 saved in taxes under the new tax system for individual earning Rs. 15 lakh according to the Finance Minister whereas the losing points – Dividend Distribution Tax scrapped, but dividend gets taxed in your hands (those in 20% tax slab worse off); cess and surcharges stay the same, not providing any additional relief to tax payers; the effective tax rates are now ten due to slabs, surcharges, with the highest rate at 42.74%; and higher tax payers do not benefit, no real boost to money in hand even for those at lower levels.

LIC and IDBI disinvestment will bring transparency, depth to market which is good for stock investors. Although disinvestment will fix the fiscal deficit and deal with the economic crises in short run, surviving solely on it in long run won’t. The rupee must come in through revenue more rather than capital in order to float the sinking ship. As the budget session went on, the corporate sector unexpectedly was not given due attention which resulted to Sensex showing the worst reactions to it heading to a crash. The implementation of the plan is what is being looked upon after the budget presentation.

Featured Image Credits: Deccan Herald

Nabiha Fatima
B.Com, Jamia Millia Islamia

Dr. Zakir Hussain Mausoleum and Museum


Looking at the Mausoleum of Dr. Zakir Hussain in the middle of the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia, I couldn’t help but think about how artificial the concept of time is and how the past and present, at some point of time, become merged into a sort of ubiquitous wetness that is time, where one cannot tell them apart.

Dr. Zakir Hussain Mausoleun and Museum, built by Habib Rahman and completed in 1971, stands as a beacon of rationality and modernism: perched atop a raised mound, it stands for the scientific ideal of a human being, a human being who is not bound by history but is standing outside of it, dictating his life according to his needs. Habib Rahman built three mausoleums in his lifetime: one for Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, which stands next to the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, one for the former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, which is in Raisina, and the mazaar of Dr. Zakir Hussain, in the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia. These men, it can be argued, were the champions of his cause: they represented the conception of man that drove modernist architecture; learned, wise men who were not only aware of the history of this land and their communities, but wanted to move past them and add into this culture of scientific rationality that dominated the early years of Post-Independence India. And it is according to these basic scientific needs that this tomb was built: land, water, light. Its relation to history is only functional: it uses curving walls, inspired by some Tughlaq tombs built almost 700 years before it. The mazaar, with its curved walls with rough-cut marble surfaces, stands right next to the Jamia School campus, the first buildings to be erected here in the early 30s, which are more inspired by the buildings of Jacob Swinton, who believed in building according to how the ancestors of this land built — something that is now called the Indo-Saracenic style. Behind the tomb is the Jamia Central Mosque, which represents some other architectural ideal for a religion, with its white minarets and huge domes.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that the past and present are two indistinguishable entities, existing not in a straight line, but side by side, telling us that we need to question what we perceive about time itself.  Life, as most of us perceive it, is a constant process of unfolding, and there are certain things — in this case, buildings — that challenge this notion that we carry about life. The building will continue to stand there affirming the Heraclitan idea of time as a flowing river, unless we look at it as something that was built in the past and is just a passive reflection of the kind of thought that prevailed then, while we are comfortably grounded in the present, which remains a distinct entity from the past. But the building says something else. It was built according to the fundamental needs of humankind; needs that to some degree give a sense of order to our lives. The needs that Habib Rahman had in mind back are intrinsic to human nature: we have always needed to build according to land, water and light and these needs will remain at the core until our species inhabits this planet. The ideas of building here have been stripped to the bare minimum. Only the necessary is beautiful: the mausoleum and other modernist structures have been stripped of all their ornamentation — which to Ruskin was the principal part of building — and it is in this stripping of a building’s very medium that our brain perceives the beauty of it.  The mausoleum and the museum right next to it are a testimony to the culture of scientific rationality Nehru enthused into this nation, a vision of which Dr. Zakir Hussain was a huge part. He lies buried along with his wife under the fragile dome that is supported by the structure, for this was a fitting tribute to the life he lived.

Someone told me a story about how when Hakim Ajmal Khan was in Germany on his medical mission, he asked Dr. Hussain, if he took him to a barren piece of land in Delhi and tell him this was Jamia would he follow him, to which the answer was a simple yes. It was in 1926 that the latter came to Jamia Millia Islamia, when it was facing closure due to a paucity of funds, and remained its Vice-Chancellor until 1948, and left the University with a singular legacy: one of a relentlessly nationalist institution, dedicated to preserving its culture and educating its people in it, and as a singular voice against communalism, things that he took to personally. And maybe now, more than ever, his vision of what Jamia should be is coming to life. Jamia was instrumental in the efforts of the Indian state to safely rehabilitate refugees during the Partition: minibuses of students would go from the university to the refugee camp in Purana Qila with aid. He believed in Jamia as a carrier for a great spiritual renaissance, one that represented the awakening of India and her people into their own. Jamia was India’s awkward foray into the truth of its own identity, of its own people. In 1948, he was appointed the Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University, after which he went on to become the Governor of Bihar, and later, the third President of India and during his tenure he also acted as the Chancellor of the University. He had once written about how he would dedicate his life to Jamia; it was decided when he died that he would be buried in the University he built with his own hands.

I visited Dr. Zakir Hussain’s mausoleum on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon. It stood there, with the kind of loneliness that a lot of modernist and brutalist buildings exhibit in solitude, with only a few people idling by at the museum nearby. Apart from a murder of crows, nobody really visits it. There is a certain beauty in the solitude of modernist buildings, for they often stand alone, like the ideas they once stood for. Jamia, and maybe even the country, are not what they were anymore. Maybe the temporal context in which the building stands has changed. Our needs are still the same, but we have created an illusion of reality for ourselves, a reality where we are more complex than our own inherent natures. Looking at this building made me look inward, onto my own needs and how there are certain things about our species that transcend all kinds of distinctions of the past and the present.

Srajit M Kumar

Recent Shooting Events in Delhi – A Report


The previous week witnessed three incidents of firing amidst the anti-CAA protests in JMI and Shaheen Bagh. The first incidence took place on January 30, around 2 pm when a miscreant opened fire at people protesting near the JMI University, injuring a varsity student, Shadaab who was consequently rushed to AIIMS.

Image credits: Aljazeera
Shaheen Bagh shooter aressted.

The witnesses claimed that the shooter screamed “ye lo azaadi” before firing and despite the area being surrounded by police, none intervened to disarm the attacker.

Image credits: National Herald
Jamia shooter aims at a protester.

The Delhi Police arrested Gopal and has registered an attempt to murder charge against him.

On February 3, around 4:53 pm, another man fired two shots in the air at Shaheen Bagh near the anti-CAA protest site. While no protester was hurt, the witnesses recounted the attacker shouting “Hindu Rashtra Zindabad” before firing.

The shooter identified himself as Kapil Gujjar and denied being associated with any group. He could be heard saying “jai Sri Ram” and ” hamare desh me Kisi ki nahi chalegi sirf hinduo ki chalegi” as the police proceeded to arrest him. On 2nd Feb, he was sent to police remand for two days by the court.

On February 2, around 11:30 pm, two unidentified men opened fire outside gate no.5 of JMI. No one was injured and as per the witnesses, one of the shooters was wearing a red jacket and was driving a red scooty having vehicle no. 1532 or 1534. Following the incidence, a large crowd gathered at gate no.7 late at night to join the on-going 24/7 protest and later proceeded to Shaheen Bagh.

 The police said that they were verifying the accounts of witnesses. On that basis, an FIR had also been registered and a team would be sent to collect CCTV footage from Gate no. 5 and 7.

Zainab Wahab
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Ghungroos that carry art: Tawaifs of India


In the amnesic archives of history, you would come across the journey of these women who, now branded as mere prostitutes, were once the embodiment of refined culture and artistic talent.

Image credits: The Indian Observer

The scarce delineation of female voices in the pages of history stands as a testimony of the marginalization of their contribution to the common struggles. And, within that paradigm, tawaifs or India’s female entertainers were even more secluded.

Tawaifs, the Awadhi term for highly skilled courtesans, rose to prominence between the 18th and 19th centuries in the royal courts of Awadh, part of present day Uttar Pradesh.
The benefaction of tawaifs to India’s classical art was rescinded out of collective consciousness and their magnanimous stories found little mentions, even in the bottom lines of history after these professional singers and dancers were dubbed as prostitutes by the British, only to defame them.

Today, the word tawaif is more or less considered to be a profanity but it was not always the same, it was once considered to be a term of respect and not disdain. In their glory days, courtesans were known to be the repository of art and culture in India, skilled in both dance and music, they once represented the noon of Indian glamour and artistry. They also carried theatre and Urdu literary tradition, and went on to rule empires, lead armies and even worked as spies. They were rich, powerful and interestingly, ‘independent’ women, considering the socio-political condition of that era. They employed male musicians, music and dance teachers, and even pimps who were employed by them to bring business. They broke several patriarchal boundaries. Men were dependent on them and it was not the other way round.

In erstwhile Lucknow, these “dancing and singing girls” were among the highest tax payers, when even the mention of women in tax records was a surprise enough. Also, they were making the largest individual incomes of any in the city. This does not end here, these women also owned manors, orchards, manufacturing and retail establishments of food and luxury items, which were also confiscated by British officials ‘for their proven involvement in the siege of Lucknow and their participation in the first war of independence against British rule in 1857.’ In several other parts of the country, these women actively rebelled against the British Raj, and even supported the movement financially. As a result, not only their property was confiscated but the most attractive of tawaifs were sent to British garrisons to serve the troops there. Once the tawaifs who were considered to be the epitome of adab and an authority of etiquettes, the tawaifs who ardently contributed to classical music, dance and Urdu literature were now serving as common prostitutes.

These women are said to be the purveyors of varied art forms, they excelled in the performing arts such as Kathak and Hindustani classical music, as well as in literature like ghazal and thumri. They were considered to be the exponent of 64 kinds of art, and many of them were educated, their subjects being prose and poetry. Till the early 20th century, there are accounts of the most elite courtesans being invited to preside over discussions about literature because they were highly educated.

The first women of Hindi cinema were tawaifs. They went on to become successful writers, directors and producers. Jaddanbai, former tawaif and the mother of filmstar Nargis Dutt, was one of the first women to stir up the industry. When India entered the gramophone age, the first person to embrace the technology was Gauhar Jaan, a tawaif. There was a time, when being associated with a tawaif was considered to be a symbol of wealth, class, sophistication and culture. They were not synonymous to the women involved in flesh trade, and were neither pitied.

It is popularly believed that the sons from the noble families were sent to these tawaifs to learn tehzeeb and tameez, and the niceties of society, this also included the ability to differentiate good music and literature, and perhaps even practice it, especially the art of ghazal writing. By the closing of the 18th century, they had become the prime element of polite and refined culture in North India.

Image credits: thebetterindia.com

With the coming of colonialism, the presence of tawaifs started to be appalling as they did not adhere to the notions of Victorian morality and their shallow ideas of virtue. This brought a catastrophic end to this medieval institution of art and culture, and hence died; an era of poise, poetry, music and dance; an era of arbab-e-nishaat.

Nuzhat Khan
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia



We all know that change is constant; we are constantly changing and so are the things around us. As we are reaching towards the end of a decade and beginning of a new one, we just wanted to acknowledge and list down all the changes we have been through in the last ten years. There are a lot of things that have evolved, from the fashion and beauty trends, to our preferences in entertainment, to our lifestyle and even our culture. We’ll go over this in depth one by one, telling you what all new changes we have witnessed in the past decade.

If we are going to talk about any of the things mentioned above, the first thing that we need to talk about is the influence of social media and bloggers in our daily lives. There are so many social media platforms, started from Facebook and Twitter in the beginning of the decade and ending with Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. There are so many bloggers out there who have made it their profession to influence people, in ways we never thought. From the fashion and beauty bloggers, to lifestyle and travel ones, we’ve got all of them. Also, the involvement and interest of the Male gender into fashion and beauty has been tremendously increasing and we now even see some Male fashion bloggers as well, such as Abhinav Mathur, Jatinn Jay, etc.

Well apart from that, beginning from the fashion and beauty trends, we have seen changes all throughout, but the thing which was the highlight in the fashion industry was the transformation of the old-style clothing into a modern one. Bringing the trend of ghararas and shararas back into the society, and transforming them into clothes that can be worn on a daily basis has been an advancement. Also, the approach these days have been comfortable and casual over all. For the beauty thing, we have seen an incorporation of Korean skincare and American makeup into our daily routines. From the usage of sheet masks and serums, to that shiny highlighter, we’ve seen it all in this decade.

Okay so now talking about the lifestyle, which has actually changed a lot, starting from the families: these days people prefer to live in a nuclear family rather than a joint one and also try to have a luxurious lifestyle. People have made up a mindset that having the most expensive phone, laptop, car, etc, is the status symbol for them in a society. And most of this and the expenditure of a family is because of the societal pressures to maintain their status. Mobile phones have become a large part of an individual’s survival these days and has replaced the functions of an alarm clock, calendar, etc.  Travelling has also become a huge trend, some people do it because they love to, but others just give in to the standards of living, and most of these standards are basically set by the influences of social media and bloggers.

The last thing that I want to mention is about our preferences in entertainment, that has been changing recently because of the availability of so much more than what we could just get. People, especially the youth have diverted from the typical Indian TV soaps to a variety of international ones like Elite (Spain), Adını Feriha Koydum (Turkish), Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Humsafar (Pakistan), The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars (US), A Love So Beautiful (Chinese) and so on. We like them because of their unique and crisp storylines which end just in time. In addition to this, we would like to give a special mention to Netflix and Amazon Prime which has replaced the basic television in a household, and gives us large numbers of TV Shows and movies to watch. Also, if we are going to consider changes in the decade, how can we miss the music which started from One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer and is ending with the huge BTS popularity. We have seen K-pop and different regional music trending in the last 2-3 years, and making a name for themselves.

A lot of new trends have swayed away the old ones, but in a world where everything is constantly moving and evolving, there is nothing that stays forever, and we as people adapt to these changes pretty quickly as if we never noticed what around us has changed. So how many of these changes have you given in to?

Shaireen Khan
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Space Combat in the 21st Century


Do you remember the last time, when you gaze into the open sky, it is beautiful. Full of stars, dust and cosmic galaxy. We are in one corner of this vast universe.

When the cold war began, one thing that started with the weapons race was the space race. The humans in a way to outdo each other wanted to dominate the cosmic space. On October 4, 1957, the world watched in awe and fear as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first man-made satellite, this small metal ball, smaller than 2 feet in diameter, launched an 18-year space race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Ironically U.S.S.R was not the first one rather was V2 rocket used by Germany in the last years of World War II in missile assaults on allied towns.

At the end of this entire space race, it was just a huge waste of moment that two main super-powers were attempting to outdo each other by creating symbolic initiatives that were both hazardous and costly, using funds that could have been better invested elsewhere, quite sure, but the greatest advantages of the space program had nothing to do with one nation defeating another in space.

The space, when accessible has opened a whole new domain of the warfare after the Space Race in the Cold War.

The Space Warfighting domain involves fighting that takes place in outer space, that is, outside the atmosphere. It therefore involves ground-to-space warfare, such as attacking satellites from Earth, and space-to-space warfare, such as satellites attacking satellites. In one view, it does not include the use of satellites for espionage, surveillance or military communications, although some writers prefer to include these military resources in the “space” aspect. Only a few occurrences of space warfare have happened in world history, and all of them have been coaching tasks, as compared to action against true opposing powers. In the mid-1980s, the P78-1, a communicating satellite in a 555 km orbit, was effectively shot down by anF-15 pilot. In 2007, China used a rocket scheme to kill one of its outdated satellites, and in 2008, its malfunctioning US-193 satellite likewise was destructed. To date, no human deaths have been recognized as a result of space war or a surface destination has been neutralized from the orbit. International space limits treaties or space disputes are regulated and arms, and particularly nuclear arms are limited to their assembly.

But for how long, we can control ourselves from not using the technologies that we possess?

A Project Excalibur, intended to detonate a nuclear weapon in Space, was developed in the 1970s by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Calibur. Lasers would then concentrate the ensuing x-rays on as many as 50 incoming rockets at a moment to ruin them as they did through space toward the US and its allies. However, the project crashed due to absence of advancement and financing. At present, the main use of lasers is to dazzle spy satellites and prevent them from collecting their data.

It is noted that China and Iran have accomplished so in exchange for US satellites and the West is probable to do so. This is likely to be the first strike in a space war. The satellites could also be the same. Hackers can even now work on inside spacecraft control structures artificially to position smart software routines.

This can be triggered by receiving a certain message or by fulfilling an onboard situation. The European Space Agency aims at protecting its satellites by creating quantum encoding methods for potential tasks. Consider this strategy as the brute force. This can also harm the attacker, so an advanced variant is a spaceship fitted with mechanical weapons, which grab the aim and remove solar panels or tools.

With all the developing technologies, it’s not a hard fact that we might witness a full-scale space war. Joan Johnson-Freese, in his book, Space Warfare in the 21st Century: Arming the Heavens warns us, especially in the context of USA. Americans have spectacularly failed to hamper the spread of space technology and must therefore build a confident approach, primarily with China. It is excluded from civil and scientific mission collaboration, while the majority of other space-faring countries are involved. However, such a convincing strategy prescription is sheltered by a major problem reasoning that looks at spatial stabilization and safety isolated from Earth stabilization and safety. Deterrence is a fancy term, but we need a more decentered approach. Maybe, for now, the best is to protect yourself.

Mantasha Sayed
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Rohith Vemula: The Fatal Accident that took India by the Storm


On the 17th of January 2016, the walls of the confinement of Uma Anna witnessed something that would ring in the miseries of the administration. The body of Rohith Vemula hung from the ceiling fan, lifeless and torpid. This tragedy sparked up a series of protests throughout the country, only to find itself in the pit of an unresolved matter.

Rohith Chakravarti Vemula was a PhD scholar in the University of Hyderabad. Apart from being a student, he was also an avid member of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA). Initially he was a part of the Students Federation of India but gradually he realized that the association was a Hub of of classism and casteism. Being from a socially backward sect, he was often criticized and doubted on his authenticity of admission to the university. Undergoing adversities of caste discrimination in the campus, Rohith Vemula and his friends eventually started raising agitation under the banner of ASA. In the wake of this agitation they were falsely accused for assaulting an ABVP member. On the 5th of August, the University set up a panel to investigate into the matter and on the urge of a BJP MP and the Union Minister, Rohith along with four of his friends were suspended from the University in September. Their suspension did not deter their spirits and they set up tents in the campus itself and began a relay hunger strike.

Rohith Vemula was from a family which earned barely enough to make their ends meet. The stipend which he received from the University was the sole source of income for his family, which was curbed a long time back in 2015. Being vocal and opined about the prevailing discriminations and having a dream of living in an atmosphere of equality lead to his expulsion from the University. One event leading to another became a source of pessimism for him. He gradually lost hope from the administration and his life. This led him to take his life on the 17th of January 2016. Rohith was often described by his friends as a person with a vision and a leader with integrity and positivity. He was always the one who never had futile discussions with people. He always talked about ways of protests and amendments that could take them closer in their venture. He was an admirer of science and nature and a fanatic of stars. He was an avaricious reader and a cynosure of knowledge.

His demise took the country by storm and was a surge of disappointment for his family and friends. It led to a series of countrywide protests and student agitation. Sadly, the matter that was investigated after his death was not the accountability of the administration but the caste to which Rohith Vemula actually belonged. Indeed, a very diminutive issue to debate upon, but an important matter for the politicians.

His letter which he had written before he committed suicide left an impression that is difficult to heal from. An excerpt from his letter that could devour anyone’s soul. “I always wanted to be a writer. A writer of science, like Carl Sagan. I loved Science, Stars, Nature, but then I loved people without knowing that people have long since divorced from nature. Our feelings are second handed. Our love is constructed. Our beliefs colored. Our originality valid through artificial art. It has become truly difficult to love without getting hurt.The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living. I am writing this kind of letter for the first time. My first time of a final letter. Forgive me if I fail to make sense. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past”

Hadiqua Jabeen
B.A. (Hons), Jamia Millia Islamia

An Authoritarian’s Old Tricks of Trade


The makers of our constitution knew that in spite of the democratic structure democratic republics descend into oligarchy as demagogues install themselves as tyrants. They contemplated the history of other democracies and their own past and established a system of checks and balances. We may be tempted to think that the checks and balances provided in our Constitution would protect us from such threats. However, as history has shown rulers circumvent the law for their own benefit, or usurp power to establish tyranny. History does not just tell; it also instructs. Now may be a good time to learn from other people’s mistakes.


George Orwell in his essay Politics and the English language says, “The half−conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes…if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should and do know better.” From Hitler to Britishers in India, language has been used as a tool to reject legitimate opposition. Today, in India, anyone who dares to say a word against the Modi government is immediately labelled an ‘anti-national’, while the word ‘liberal’ is used as a cuss word. The people who make treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary to taint a dissident forget that the state and nation are two different entities.


Image credits: rediff.com
“Aadhaar is a national security threat.”

Authoritarianism is not simply an all-power state. Authoritarians blur the lines between public and private space. Back in 2017, a nine-bench judge of the Supreme Court in a historic judgement ruled privacy a fundamental right following a decision over the contentious Aadhaar Card scheme. In 2019, again we debate the Personal Data Protection Bill and the draft Intermediary (amendment) Rules 2018, which give arbitrary power to the government over our data that is prone to misuse. Again, the attempt to pierce the privacy of individuals is not something new and as we lose our privacy, we become devoid of control over not just what we read but also how we act.


The institutions-court, a law, the constitution, newspaper are there to protect us. The assumption that these institutions will protect themselves in the face of threats is misguided. These institutions enable rulers to come to power but the same rulers can destroy or alter the very same institutions. The ongoing youth-led, cross- section protests against the triumvirate CAA-NRC-NPR subvert the present government’s idea of a homogenous society or a ‘Hindu Rashtra’.


Victor Klemperer observed that truth dies in four modes. First is the presentation of lies as if they were facts. The Prime Minister consistently resorts to lies and distorts history in his speeches, conveniently faltering dates, and sequences of events. The second mode is shamanistic incantation.  The Modi-Shah duo have systematically used nicknames such as ‘Tukde-Tukde Gang’ and even ‘Chowkidaar’ to transform individuals into stereotypes. The third mode is use of

contradiction. The recent biggest contradiction has been Modi and Shah’s statements on CAA-NRC. The final mode is people-worship or misplaced faith. This misplaced faith is on display when Venkaiah Naidu before taking the post of Vice-President said, “Modi is God’s gift to India”. Or when a reporter asks, “The GDP is falling. Do you still support BJP?” and the Pavlovian response, stemming from a morass of indifference is, “Modi humare bhagwaan hai” (Modi is our God), no space is left for truth.


Image credits: Haaretz
Boycott of Jewish business in Nazi Germany.

In 1993, when the Nazi Party came to power the Nazis organised a boycott of Jewish shops by marking one as ‘Jewish’ the other as ‘Aryan’. The present government since it came to power sought out rewriting history by renaming streets, cities and other places. The Ministry of External Affairs, printed new passports with the lotus symbol on the pretext of enhanced security feature to identify fake passports. While, it is true that lotus is a national symbol, it cannot be forgotten that it is also the election symbol of Bhartiya Janata Party.

Authoritarians’ rejected reason in the face of myth, made self-deifying claims, propagated symbols of hate, attacked institutions, exploited free speech and the privacy of individuals to establish themselves as tyrants. The antidote was and is to establish a private life, believe in truth, remove the symbols of hate, protect the institutions that protect us, pay attention to the use of certain words and phrases.

Maryam Ahmed
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

How politics assaults our psyche: In the light of the tussle between United States of America and Iran


Anything can be politically manipulated if it is significant enough to be manipulated and this manipulation plays a major role in framing our day to day understanding of history, law, justice, power, mercy and humanity.

For those who believe that they are acting and making decisions out of their free will, their instincts are unaffected and they are at liberty to revamp it whenever they want to, the time has come to differentiate the world you’re living in and the world you will never know, the time has come to awaken the dissenter in you who is audacious enough to assert that everything is manipulated, the opinions you have, the things you say, the rights you exercise, the society in which you live in and even the air you breathe. Since the time immemorial, you’re being governed by the amateurs who neither have the right nor the virtue to govern you. Ironically, they are not the megalomaniac dictators but the democratically elected demagogues. Your democracies catalysed false consciousness which propitiously stimulated populism over rationalism and replaced reason with emotions and cheers, here you’re living in technicolour post truth world!

To substantiate this, let’s name the one who must be named over and over again, the Machiavelli of Indian politics ‘Chanakya’. As per his most celebrated work ‘Arthashastra’, a ruler need not to bring his promises to fruition and when subjects begin questioning things, a ruler is recommended to respond by attacking a neighbouring country and in the twinkling of an eye, everything will fall into line as it is an undeniable fact that petrifying one’s own citizenry by synthetically created fear of foreign enemy is a tired old horse which the politicians have ridden to power for centuries.

Politicians of the largest democracies or may I say, kakistocracies have used this subterfuge time and again to deceive their own people and we being babe in the woods invariably welcome this manoeuvre with open arms which many a time, resulted in mass devastation of various countries, scores were killed, thousands were displaced and ultimately thrown a unipolar world at us with one dominant state asking other countries for veneration, not spiritual but material and I don’t think that this state is need to be named. It’s history of waging and sponsoring endless wars, vanishing civilizations, disfiguring thriving states and much loved wholesale murdering from Latin American countries to West Asian countries is internationally very well renowned.

Image Credits: The Hindu
General Soleimani

The most recent of all is the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, second most powerful leader of Iran after religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Uncle Sam tried to legitimize this act of terror by fabricating various allegations against Soleimani, one of them being his involvement in various terrorist activities from London to New Delhi which is nothing more than an outright lie instead he was the major actor in terminating the Islamic State of Syria and Levant (ISIL). Most of us simply believe that Trump did so just to get away with Impeachment hearings just like all the other previous US presidents did for the fantasy lust for power. Not advocating for Iran but I would love to mention some facts here which can prove most of us right: United States first meddled in Iran’s internal affairs when Iranian government nationalized it’s oil as it was too much to bear for USA’s economic interests in the region that it launched a coup d’etat against democratically elected Mossadeq’s socialist government in 1953 and replace it with the USA’s loyalist Pahlavi dynasty. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s rule in Iran was quite similar to that of Kemal Ataturk’s in turkey. Although he was the stooge of USA, I admire him eminently for his persistent attempts to make Iran a modern secular state with ‘White Revolution’ consisting various political, economic and social reforms. These reforms eventually redistributed land to some 2.5 million families, established literacy and health corps to benefit Iran’s rural areas, furthered enfranchisement of women and ended the rule of Shariah. In subsequent decades, per capita income of Iranians skyrocketed and oil revenue fuelled an enormous increase in state funding for industrial development projects. Not rhapsodizing but being a law student, I cannot flunk the principle of ‘audi alteram partem’ and demonize the Shah just because he was conditionally westernized and not a parochial neo traditionalist like the majority of Iran.

As I say, ‘not only the religion but also the culture is opiate of masses’. Imposition of western values led to the countrywide resentment as people saw Shah as a threat to their culture which in turn resulted in the Iranian revolution of 1979 where a Shia leader, Ruhollah Khomenei successfully mobilized people on religious lines and usurped the throne. This act of Khomenei can be considered as a classic example political manipulation of religion.
The key intent behind putting the example of US and Iran here is not only to explain the political manipulation by reshaping the hearts, minds, hopes and dreams of the citizenry but also to put that all of us are same be it Americans, Iranians or Indians etc irrespective of the sanctity of our borders. We all are designed to serve, inundated with the constant barrage of propaganda, our minds are moulded, our tastes are influenced, our words are exploited and our actions are coerced to accept the plattered lies, to be satisfied with the shows of flags and bucket full of nukes, to believe that war is peace, red is blue and girls are boys and slavery is freedom.

By reversing the case here, it can be avowed that the assassination of Soleimani worked in Iran’s favour. Coincidentally, at the time of Soleimani’s assassination, people in Iran were protesting against the corrupt government, unemployment, human rights abuses, hike in fuel prices and demanding the overthrow of the religious leader, Khamenei but in the fraction of second, everything has changed. Now, people are not protesting against Khamenei but rallying to show their love for Soleimani, right hand of Khamenei which ultimately suppressed the popular dissent against the government. Now, you all are free to use your minds cum catacombs and relate this post truth idea with all the communal riots happened in India just before the elections.

Image Credits: Time
Soleimani’s funeral.

Anyway, this uncontrollable phenomenon of psychological manipulation for political gains is inevitable and will stop only by overcoming the shortage of outlaws in your society, by outgrowing the knee-jerk reflection of what people wants you to think and most importantly, by decontrolling your own selves.

Sadaf Parvez Rajput
B.A. LLB, Jamia Millia Islamia

From One to World; Novel Coronavirus – A Report


Generation by generation new diseases emerge as an alarm for challenge to the human race. Repetition of history is being seen in China of one such outbreak.

Tracing back in time, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was first infected in the Guangdong province of Southern China in 2002. It affected 26 countries and gave rise to 8000 cases in 2003. It killed nearly 650 people in Hong Kong/China in 2002-2003. The transmission was thought to be from bats, spread to civet cats to humans. Human-to-human transmission was also observed in other countries i.e. Toronto in Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Chinese Taipei Singapore and Hanoi in Vietnam as per World Health Organization.
On 8th December 2019, a patient reported pneumonia like symptoms in a local hospital in Wuhan, China. From there onwards, similar cases have been reported. On 31st December 2019, World Health Organization’s country office was informed of these cases. Later, on 7th January 2020, Chinese authorities identified the disease is caused by a new type of coronavirus with a centre of outbreak being seafood/animal market in Wuhan. This new virus is known as Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
As per WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Novel Coronavirus is a new type that has been identified in humans recently. Basic hand and respiratory hygiene and safe food practices can act as preventive measures. When possible, avoid close contact with person showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
According to 21st January 2020 report of WHO, in total 282 cases (272 from China, 2 from Thailand, 1 from Japan, and 1 from Republic of Korea) have been reported across the globe of the new virus. 51 are seriously ill and 12 are in critical condition out of the 278 confirmed cases. As on 22nd January 2020, 448 cases have been recorded in China and 7 abroad. The death toll has reached 17 so far, all in Hubei province in China. This year’s Lunar New Year migration has fears mounted as it will spread the virus further.

Nabiha Fatima
B.Com, Jamia Millia Islamia

A Distant Echo in a Juggernaut: Lost Voices of Tripura in CAA


While Assam and Delhi became epicenters of CAA resistance, the resolute voices of Tripuri people got trampled on in the cacophony of mixed stands of protests. What went wrong? The ignorance of national media, dried hopes of the indigenous tribes or sick politics at play-it’s more than a matter of existence for indigenous Tripuris!

The whole of Northeast India burned in peril in turn of the events that shaped the momentum of CAA. Many might snicker at the thought, but the truth speaks for itself-the Northeast has always been sidelined in the Indian state. And now out of nowhere the so called ‘torch bearers’ -the igniters of our economy want to dump a whole set of outsiders population in the already populated 7 sisters! The people of Northeast have always struggled with their existence with such a diverse ethnic population of 10-20 indigenous communities residing in each of the states. We have always a remained a harmonious region but silence does not mean we will take the toll of immigrants barging in our homes and snatching our lands, our rights, our jobs.

Assam and Tripura which borders Bangladesh on two sides went into a state of frenzy over this sudden bomb. While violent turns of protests and agitations took momentum in Assam, Tripura failed to garner the limelight. The Act sparked both outrage and celebration in the tiny frontier state of Tripura. While firecrackers went off in the Bengali dominated Agartala, the capital city, the tribal dominated hill districts erupted in protests and mayhem. Tripura, which came to be known as a Bengali dominated state, has 19 ethnic communities- the Reangs, Brus, Kokis etc. The atrocious Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) reignited old hostilities and animosity between Bengalis and Tripuri tribal communities, releasing another fresh surge of violence in the state- an internal battle resurfacing again.

On one hand, Tripuris were resolutely protesting in the streets against CAA in the face of an incumbent BJP government, on the other hand their numbers were dwindling by the stroke of midnight as indigenous Tripuris were being picked up from homes, assaulted on the streets, slaughtered and slandered in broad daylight- a part of the package that national media fails to cover. Tripura has been infiltrated by Bangladeshis since partition in 1947 and 1971. The local population of the combined 19 communities has come down to 39% while that of Bengalis shot up to 62% in the last decade and most of the locals are settled in the hills, unable to use their own resources. Their lands have been scorched upon, most of the government jobs are in the hands of refugees or Bengalis, they have to walk miles to access whatever form of education they can get, their markets vandalized either by Bangladeshi refugees or state dominating Bengalis- in short Tripuris cant have a peaceful breath in their own motherland- there’s a constant fear surging inside.

Homeless in Homeland. Home is where we love-home that out feet may leave but not our hearts and one day I will bring back the light in my homeland, my home.”
A displaced Tripuri

Image credits: cloudfront.net
Brus being displaced from their homes.

A Reang student of Jadavpur University recalls his nightmare when he witnessed his uncle slaughtered in the middle of the street and nearby houses torched.

The dust have barely settled in Kanchapur subdivision after two weeks when violent clashes broke between Brus and Hindu Bengalis. “We don’t despise the Bengalis, we are against the influx of Bangladeshi Bengalis. Sometimes I feel like a stranger in my own town-there’s no Reang, Kuki, Oraon, Uchai or any similar face in the streets”, an accused said. Tripuris have faced years of indignation, discrimination in their own homeland and like many other issues of Incredible India, it has gone unrecognized by benches of cabinets now and before and the Indian media seems to be tantalizing in its own world of power demographics. Some of the communities are on the brink of extinction, many are leaving their homes and meagre lands for safer routes, they are downgraded to the level of mendicants in the land they were born and raised! They couldn’t tell Indian Bengalis from the Bangladeshi Bengalis-they spoke the same tongue after all. They have no means to retaliate; only passing the days to get out of this rat hole or living this ghastly nightmare every day to the very end with no hopes of a reconciliation. They somewhat resemble the Kashmiri Pandits, only their stories never seem to see the light and maybe would go unsung, untold even years from now.

Image Credits: Hindustan Times
Growing voices of dissent.

Voices of dissent did grow in Tripura against CAA, no one would stay silent if your identity is at stake ,but they died down as fast as a bolt of lightning; how could anyone see their family getting killed in front of them and have no one to go to but that’s how their lives are-after all they have gone unknown for decades now. They know their truth, the Northeast know their truth, but will the rest of the world ever get to know it or will they just end up as an extinct population enriching our folklores- the question looms bigger than ever!

Syeda Peenaz Seerat
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Rebellion through Art


India is seeing an innovative revival amid the anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests. This time, Art has taken the forefront in this nationwide agitation against the act, and is certainly going to leave an honorable legacy for its posterity.

Art against oppression – who would have imagined that India of 2020 will wake up to its zenith of dissent through legions of creative renditions, reawakening the spirit of European Renaissance in the colors of Tiranga. The controversial act passed by the Modi-Shah government, became the impetus for this historical movement and has mobilized the people to bring the ideals of the Constitution, in play, and oh-so-artistically.

The Poetic Rebellion:

“Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.”

In the light of the above quote by Alice Walker, budding writers in today’s revolutionary India have redefined ‘dissent’ , by letting their words take the lead.

Amir Aziz’s, ‘Mai Inkaar karta hun’ and ‘Jamia Ki ladkiya’; Sumit Sapra’s poem, ‘Kya sirf Kagzaat puchoge’, and Iqra Khilji’s, ‘Dharti to ye gulzar hai, pairon tale angaar hai’ to name a few, have put forth a striking and poetic show of resistance. The chorus of Varun Grover’s poem, ‘Hum kagaz naii dikhaengey’, became, through and through, the anthem of the protests.

While poetry continued to resound through protests, some of the musicians like, Rahul Negi a.k.a Madara who came up with ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’, Naqaab47 and shoals with,  ‘Andolan’ , Gaurav Kadu’s, ‘Bakre ki Amma’, which is a comic stand on the recent political unrest, and so many others, also contributed significantly to the nationwide resistance.

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From the echoing of age old slogan, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ to Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s revolutionary poems, ‘Hum Dekhengey’, and ‘Bol ki lab aazad hain tere’, taking the lead, by breaking the shallow boundaries of divisive politics, we witnessed the resurfacing of literature, which became relevant for contemporary India.

Famous Urdu poet, Rahat Indori’s, ‘Sabhi ka khoon hai shamil yahan ki mitti mai, kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai’, called to the minds of those who have forgotten about the magnanimous history of India’s freedom struggle. Habib Jalib’s poem, ‘Dastoor’ marked its presence, while, ‘Mere seene maii nahi to tere seene mai sahi; ho kahin bhi aag lekin aag jalni chaiye’, by Dushyant Kumar kept the flame of dissent burning.

The hues that echoed the call:

Credits: Yusuf Aziz

The originating idea behind graffiti was finding platforms for free expression and creative rebellion. Students of Jamia Millia Islamia took forward this culture of ‘mischievous art’ and brought alive their words by flamboyantly painting walls and roads, in and around campus.

A novel way of protesting that has emerged are digital-doodles. Minimalistic sketches with ample dialogues have took over the virtual world and are highly in vogue.

This unrest and commotion of bubbling images, also hold the ability to give an artistic and aesthetic attribute to the resistance.

The ‘Gen Z’ style:

Think about the ‘protest art’ and you are likely to imagine certain clichés from the bygone era. But today, a new medium of protest art is reigning: memes. Since the beginning of the protests, memes became a breeding ground for political identities and messages. They became the reflection of democratic values, just with a humorous approach. Internet is flooded with memes taking a dig at the BJP government and the political duo of Modi-Shah. But, the humor should not be mistaken as ‘senseless jokes’, internet joking is a serious political commentary in today’s time.

Adding to this, certain quirky videos by content creators on the internet, gave a huge momentum to the protests. Instagram stories and Facebook posts proliferated opinions faster than fire. This is the new generation’s way of showing its criticism for the oppressive measures of the current government.

Credits: Imgflip

As creative and intellectual exposure unfurl, the art of protesting has metamorphosed, evolving into a form which is to become the testimony to the genius of dissenter today, the ingenuity in their approaches of resenting in such tumultuous times prove that the protester is an artist.

India is seeing an innovative revival amid the anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests. This time, Art has taken the forefront in this nationwide agitation against the act, and is certainly going to leave an honorable legacy for its posterity.

Nuzhat Khan
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

OTT: The Next Craze, Indian TV’s Downfall


Indian Television Entertainment is at its lowest and Netflix India, Amazon Prime & Indian YouTube Shows are raising in popularity and viewership, day by day. Is it the end of typical Indian television shows or would Ekta Kapoor be giving a hand in degrading Indian Television Entertainment even more?

Gone are the days when we had good shows on our television sets. Shows to which we could give our time and have a fun time watching. Sadly, we all have to come to the realisation that the era of 90s has long been gone and lost into the shelves of the massive bank of Indian Television Entertainment. Gone are the days when a barely famous actor by the name of Shah Rukh Khan acted in a show called Wagle Ki Duniya and portrayed the everyday mishaps of a middle class family. Truly, the days of tickling humour and wit has gone when shows like Hum Paanch, and, Khichdi used to be on our television and would actually make sense in their humour and give us a good laugh whenever we needed.
Nowadays the Indian Television Entertainment, excuse my language, is a massive bank of bullshit. All it has are shows where the new bride is trying to kill their mother-in-law or vice versa. Or shows where a woman turns herself into a serpent or, is shown washing a laptop in order to clean it. This new wave of stupidity in Indian Television Entertainment is brought by one and only Ekta Kapoor. Ekta is hailed as the Queen of Indian Television and has also received several awards for Excellency, Entertainment, and, Most Powerful Business Woman. Her WikiPedia page states that she has received around 25 major awards from 2010 to 2019 and, perhaps, she did deserve some of these rewards but not all of them. The cancer we have in our television shows are nothing but works of Ekta Kapoor. She has singlehandedly made Indian Television look the stupidest around the world and a laughing stock for others. Laughing stock not because of how humorous her shows are, but because they are just that stupid.
Ekta Kapoor started her career by airing her first show Padosan in 1995 and has produced around 130 shows till date with 10 of her shows still airing on the Indian Television. The mindset of her shows had changed from quality over quantity, a long time ago. The woman in her shows do nothing but fight and crib and have hatred for other women or are ragdolls of their husbands or their mothers-in-law. Women in her serials aren’t strong enough to ever become a doctor or a lawyer. They aren’t strong enough to divorce their abusive husbands or raise their child on their own. Her works preached women to screw education and be pretty because ultimately, they’d be whisked away by a Prince to his castle and would live “happily-ever-after.” And, she received the Social Empowerment Award in 2012; talk of anything more ironical than this.

Shahrukh Khan with Aanjjan Srivastava in Waghle Ki Duniya
Image Credits:jaagran.com

How can we bring back shows like Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, 24, Satyamev Jayate, Byomkesh Bakshi, Dekh Bhai Dekh, and the likes of Office Office? What can we do to improve the content of these current shows that air on our “idiot box”? Can the condition of Indian television shows be improved at all or is it too far in the sand to dig it out? Perhaps we can give up on the typical Indian television shows for once and all. The new wave of Indian shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime will be our knight in shining armours. With shows like Breathe, Mirzapur, Laakhon Mein Ek, The Family Man, Four More Shots Please!, Made In Heaven, etc. on Amazon Prime, and shows like, Sacred Games, Selection Day, Little Things, GHOUL, etc. on Netflix the state of Indian Television Entertainment is slowly and gradually changing and improving.

The Viral Fever (TVF) Original Content
Image Credits: TVFPLAY

Lastly, YouTube is also helping improve Indian television shows by allowing content creators to create shows that are worthy of our time and have a sense in their story and plot and are not non-sensical in any sense unlike Sasural Simar Ka where Simar, the lead character, turns into a freaking fly after being cursed! YouTubers like TVF, The Screen Patti, Girliyapa, The Timeliners, etc. are producing shows that are thousand times better than any show Ekta Kapoor has ever produced. These online shows like, TVF’s Kota Factory, TVF Tripling, TVF Pitchers, Yeh Meri Family, Barely Speaking with Arnub, Permanent Roommates, etc. are shows that can grip your attention and provide you with a fulfilling storyline and an ending that will make you crave for more.
In this age where technology is spreading haphazardly, Indian Television Entertainment needs to learn from Netflix, Amazon Prime and these small creators on YouTube before they continue to make more of these non-sensical shows and end up getting boycotted by the whole of Indian population. For now, we shall make the most of what we have and perhaps hope Ekta Kapoor learns something from these shows and uses her brain a little, if she has one, that is.

Yusuf Aziz
Department of English
, Jamia Millia Islamia

Experience normalcy; visit Kashmir


It has been more than five months of lockdown in Kashmir, these days you see the showcasing of less and less protests, stone-pelting, militancy and civil disobedience in media. So, has Kashmir finally achieved a state of normalcy?

What’s normal is for the most part debated all over in regards to the state of Kashmir, what’s normal is what’s usual, expected and ordinary, it also is in part, a sum of history. What’s normal for the Scandinavian Army is different from the normal of US Army. What’s normal for the people of Delhi is different from the people of Kashmir – obvious. Although, one generally perceives the “normal” of all others to be in accordance with one’s own normal state. Thinking of Kashmir as “normal” would require the assessment of history and the contemporary.

Image credits: TRT World

One of the most prevalent fossils of Kashmir, that apparently show what Kashmir was before the abrogation of 370, includes it being bigoted, misogynistic, casteist, homophobic and xenophobic etcetera. A Kashmir that burns schools, attends the funeral of “terrorists”, that ethnically cleansed the Pandits, waves Pakistani flags and the list goes on. All of this is based on the idea that the “special status” (Article 370 & 35a) were the catalysts in the concoction-witch-pot. Media can’t get enough of the “developments” that are going to happen in J&K now and the introduction of IPC and reservations. This idea is dangerous; when people start to think that their idea of the world is the one supreme, is how dictators come into power, how Holocausts and Gulags are inspired. The dictions mentioned do exist in J&K, although it’s just the surface of the ocean. The “terrorists” are seen as martyrs in Kashmir, so in that sense they are nationalists in their own confined way, this is in no way justification of either but the reasoning that is always looked over. For example, if Kashmir is homophobic and isn’t now after the abrogation, then so was rest of India till September 2018 and then magically now isn’t, which we know is absurd. Even if it was about changing law for the favoring of such sects of the society, those laws very well could’ve been incorporated into the constitution of Kashmir, as was done before. Still, laws don’t change minds, they restrict, for good or bad, changing laws is for sure an opening but not the entire road.

The normal of Kashmir was “martyrs”, “oppression”, “human right violations”, “shutdown of internet”, “PSA” and all which still remain, and the expectation of change in correlation of time is a utopian diction, there is change without procedure and the Government has always used terms like “security review”, “appropriate measures” to cover the answers with diversion, and anything, almost anything “they” think is viable can be done under this blanket. Hitler once “assured” the Jews that the Nuremberg Law won’t affect them. How twisted the play of words with legalities can become was made clear by Martin Luther King when he said, “We should never forget that everything Hitler did was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did was ‘illegal’.”

Image credits: Anadolu Agency

“Normalcy” is all what the law is made to mould a condition to, in Kashmir some say was all what is aforementioned and now the normal has changed or will change and for some after five months of shutdown the UT is now normal. People have to live their lives, they obviously can’t shut their shops forever, they can’t not go to schools forever, they can’t not abide by the laws used to control them forever (because then facilities are shutdown) and the Government knows this. So, if normal is what can be changed as one pleases it to be, the question becomes not if everything is under “normalcy” in Kashmir but if there’s anything at all against it.

Raafat Gilani
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia



While the final season (part 2), airing 31st January 2020, of BoJack Horseman looms upon our heads, it is about time we tear apart this beautiful animated series to see just how well it deals with many issues of our daily lives in the most fun and humorous manner – all in all with a gut wrenching honesty. It is time to search for the answer of the most important question, i.e., “Is BoJack Horseman just painfully sad or overwhelmingly honest?

Television has become a simulator through which human beings try to escape their own reality. Television provides human beings with the option to choose to divulge themselves into another reality with characters and story-line(s) and thereby the option to push aside their own life and their own issues. But would you watch a work of art that would very outrightly deal with these issues that you push aside to get some peace of mind? Would you watch something that very much slaps these issues right back into your face in the most genuine way possible? 

BoJack Horseman is an American adult animated comedy-drama Netflix original series created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and it casts stars like Will Arnett (voicing the title character), Amy Sedaris (voicing Princess Carolyn), Alison Brie (voicing Diane Nguyen), Paul F. Tompkins (voicing Mr. Peanutbutter) and Aaron Paul (voicing Todd Chavez). The show tells the story of BoJack Horseman, a horse who is a washed-up Hollywood superstar and now leads a lonely and troubled life after starring in a hit TV show called “Horsin’ Around.” The show’s universe is a complex and tricky one as it has all kinds of animals and fishes with humanlike characteristics and also has humans within the same universe. The title character, as mentioned before, is a horse with humanlike characteristics who can talk and feel things like a normal human being. BoJack’s best friend Todd Chavez is a human being and is also BoJack’s roommate. Whereas, BoJack’s agent, and friend, Princess Carolyn, is a cat. Diane Nguyen is also a human being and is a ghostwriter. Diane’s husband Mr. Peanutbutter is a dog and also a Hollywood superstar like BoJack.

The show starts off as a subpar animated comedy show in the first season and introduces us to the current life of BoJack Horseman after his show has ended and how being a Hollywood superstar affects his daily life. At first the show seems like just an ordinary show that is trying its best at being funny and comical and perhaps a little sarcastic in tone but as soon as you finish with the first season the show brings in a whole new perspective and doesn’t refrain from outrightly stunning you with the way it aims at taboo topics. The show carefully tackles issues like loneliness, failing careers, anxiety, depression, heartbreaks, etc. whilst managing to deliver on-the-nose humor and wit. The first half of the first season was not welcomed with open arms but the latter half of the season blew minds and that is when the show saw a boom in its popularity and got on the success train.

credit: Netflix LLC

Most of the famous episodes of the series are from the last 3 seasons with Time’s Arrow (Season 4, Episode 11) being the most loved episode of the whole series and Free Churro (Season 5, Episode 6) being the second most loved. Time’s Arrow delivers us a look at the story of Beatrice Sugarman (BoJack’s abusive mother) and how her life turned upside down after she met Butterscotch Horseman (BoJack’s father) and had their son BoJack. The episode shows us the life of Beatrice and how all her dreams were crushed and how she had to go through so many traumatic incidents in her childhood and even in her teenager years. Free Churro is an episode which delivers an extraordinary amount of insight into BoJack’s own life and his mother’s all in nothing but a simple and plain monologue delivered by BoJack himself at his mother’s funeral. The monologue goes on for the whole runtime of the episode and shows us the true power this show has and how the writers have beautifully utilized their ability to tackle such sad and stigmatic issues head-on whilst maintaining to sprinkle humor and wit here and there throughout the episode. BoJack talks about freedom, his father, his mother, Hollywood, himself, existence and empathy throughout the episode. One of the most important dialogue from the whole monologue is, “Usually when people ask how I’m doing, the real answer is I’m doing shitty, but I can’t say I’m doing shitty, because I don’t even have a good reason to be doing shitty. So, if I say, “I’m doing shitty,” then they say, “Why? What’s wrong?” And I have to be like, “I don’t know, all of it?” So instead, when people ask me how I’m doing, I usually say, “I am doing so great.“”

In conclusion, BoJack Horseman brings in a new wave of television to television and instead of being categorized as a sad show it pushes itself to be categorized as a show which is open and honest and deals with life in the most genuine form all the while maintaining it’s potential to grow and change.

Yusuf Aziz
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Exodus 1990: An Unsung Story of Kashmiri Pandits


30 years of a dreadful event that still frightens the sufferers and the ensuing tales are substantial to press the redemption of dues. 19th January of 1990 is a horror for thousands of Kashmiri Pandits, who await rightful affirmation.

There has been a long history of atrocities faced by the Kashmiri Hindus even before the day of the exodus. The genocide took place after a Srinagar based newspaper Aftab published a message asking all the Hindus in the valley to leave immediately. Masked goons with armed weapons used to force the locals to reset their time to Pakistan Standard Time. On the night of 18 January, a blackout took place in the Kashmir Valley to instil fear inside Hindus who lived there, asking for their purge.

We all have a different kind of emotional attachment to our homeland, places from where we belong. Something nobody can take away from us, somewhere we are always welcomed. But what do you do when one day, everything is taken away from you? We’re all privileged in one way or another, there are always going to be people who have it worse than you, which is the ultimate argument people bring every time we face hardships, but when it comes to the horrors these righteous people went through, they have the utmost right to call other people privileged and claim that they did have it worst. So many of these people had to leave their women behind. When does it ever happen that you stop feeling safe in your own home? The pain of leaving everything behind is enough, but the pressure and fear of starting over? Enough of overlooking their sufferings. When your fight for a cause is restricted to support one particular community, then your fight is meaningless and futile.

30 years later, some would say that it has been long enough and these people are well settled but that’s just the proportion of them that have made themselves able to share their stories. Many of them didn’t even survive the exodus. And it was never about being settled with your new life, it was and always will be about their inability to go back to their homes, or rather houses that turned into ash.

Protests and movements for Kashmiri Pandits
Image Credits: indiatvnews.com

Many Kashmiri pandits who were born after their families had fled Kashmir, feel a strong affinity for Kashmiri culture. Just like Punjab, Kerala, Rajasthan and many other Indian states, Kashmir also has a separate culture. Kashmiris have their own prominent dishes cooked at different Kashmiri festivals and their very own music. We surely do remember studying about dance, food, language, and clothes of different states but why did our textbooks lack this evidence about Kashmir? Where did the Kashmiri culture go?
Kashmir has its very own language known as Koshur which isn’t spoken a lot, as, over these years the circumstances have snatched Kashmiris of their mother tongue, making them distant from their own culture.

Aayush Raina a Kashmiri Hindu student said “I never got to live in Kashmir. I was born post exodus and my parents never talked about it, at least in front of me. I used to ask them why we don’t live in Kashmir if we’re Kashmiri, they would say that we migrated out of Kashmir and digress from the subject. Little did I know the things they had to face. We’ve lived in exile for 30 years now, refugees in our own country. My people were forced to leave their homes overnight due to the outbreak of militancy in Kashmir. The place they were fleeing for their lives was once their home and the people standing against them were once their own. The people you see on the streets these days opposing a mere shut down of internet, yeah, they weren’t there at that time. Our elders protested as much as they could but they were less in number. Their voices went unheard. For years, life moved on and the pain was suppressed with responsibilities to give their families a better life but the wounds are still open. They seek justice. They seek their homeland. Our genocide is finally getting acknowledged. But there are many who disregard this brutal ethnocide with false narratives. This disheartens me. They ask us to forget it because we’ve lived privileged lives. Well, I can’t! I’m not privileged enough to forget the brutalities my people faced. The men killed, women and children abducted, raped and slaughtered. I’m not privileged enough to forget that while most of us, including my parents, were able to build a life out of the ashes, many weren’t, they’re still living in refugee camps.I’m not privileged enough to forget the pain.”

Our Kashmiri brothers have demanded justice at every step but they were always denied the same. People even failed to acknowledge their history. Indians who flee Pakistan prior the partition were given all kinds of aid from the government, they were provided with land to start a new life when they came prepared with resources, but what did the Government do for Kashmir Pandits when all they could bring with them was themselves alive? Kashmiri Pandits are the most suffered yet neglected group of people. The Government completely ignored their existence and saw them as nothing but vote-banks.

After decades of struggle and striving for recognition, finally when the history of Kashmiri Pandits came to the knowledge of the common man, a lot of people very easily overlooked it that it happened long ago, or see it as an act of publicity or gaining sympathy. A fraction of India still looks at them as the problematic committee. A trailer for a movie called Shikara which is based on the real life events that took place due to the exodus and highlights the story of the 30 years of exile, recently came up on the Internet and within 10 days of its launch, the trailer had 26,000 dislikes, even after 30 years. That speaks volumes.

We as a nation have failed them multiple times. They deserve nothing but our utmost support and respect always. We will never forget the horrors they faced and shall hope one day, they return to their homes that await them.

Avni Dhawan
University of Delhi

The Jamia Review