The End of Imagination, Arundhati Roy
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Arundhati Roy

The End of Imagination

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Shadiya Ahmed
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What is happening right now is actually a systematic effort to create chaos, an attempt to arrive at a situation in which the civil rights enshrined in the constitution can be suspended. The RSS has never accepted the constitution. It has now, finally, maneuvered itself into a position where it has the power to subvert it. It is waiting for an opportunity. We might well be witnessing preparations for a coup—not a military coup, but a coup nevertheless. It could be only a matter of time before India will officially cease to be a secular, democratic republic. We may find ourselves looking back fondly on the era of doctored videos and parody Twitter handles
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Perhaps while we debate the true, deep meanings of freedom, those who have been so shocked by what is happening in the mainland over the last few months will be moved to ask themselves why, when far worse things happen in other places, it leaves them so untroubled. Why is it all right to for us to ask for azadi in our university campuses while the daily lives of ordinary people in Kashmir, Nagaland, and Manipur are overseen by the army and their traffic jams managed by uniformed men waving AK-47s? Why is it easy for most Indians to accept the killing of 112 young people on the streets of Kashmir in the course of a single summer? Why do we care so much about Kanhaiya Kumar and Rohith Vemula, but so little about students like Shaista Hameed and Danish Farooq, who were shot dead in Kashmir the day before the smear campaign against JNU was launched? Azadi is an immense word, and a beautiful one too. We need to wrap our minds around it, not just play with it. This is not to suggest some sort of high-mindedness in which we all fight each other’s battles side by side and feel each other’s pain with equal intensity. Only to say that if we do not acknowledge each other’s yearning for azadi, if we do not acknowledge injustice when it is looking us straight in the eye, we will all go down together in the quicksand of moral turpitude
Shadiya Ahmed
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What if some of us dream of living in a society that people of which are not forced to be part? What if some of us don’t have colonialist, imperialist dreams? What if some of us dream instead of justice? Is it a criminal offense
Shadiya Ahmed
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Trade in your hopes for a decent livelihood and buy into an exciting life of perpetual hysteria. A life in which you are free to hate your neighbor, and if things get really bad, and if you really want to, you can get together with friends and even beat her or him to death.
Shadiya Ahmed
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The aggressive insistence on unquestioning soldier-worship, even by self-professed “liberals,” is a sick, dangerous game that’s been dreamt up by a cynical oligarchy
Shadiya Ahmed
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More than 10,000 butts of cigarettes and 4,000 pieces of beedis are found daily in the JNU campus. Fifty thousand big and small pieces of bones are left by those eating non-vegetarian food. They gorge on meat . . . these anti-nationals. Two thousand wrappers of chips and namkeen are found, as also 3,000 used condoms—the misdeeds they commit with our sisters and daughters there. And 500 used contraceptive injections are also found.” In other words, JNU students were meat-eating, chip-crunching, cigarette-smoking, beer-swilling, sex-obsessed anti-nationals. (Does that sound so terrible?)
Shadiya Ahmed
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in his famous book Gulamgiri (Slavery), published in 1873. In much of his writing and poetry, Phule deconstructs Hindu myths to show how they are really stories grounded in history, and how they glorify the idea of an Aryan conquest of an indigenous, Dravidian culture. Phule writes of how Dravidians were demonized and turned into asuras, while the conquering Aryans were exalted and conferred divinity. In effect, he frames Hinduism as a colonial narrative
Shadiya Ahmed
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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.
Maybe I was wrong, all the while, in understanding [the] world. In understanding love, pain, life, death. . . . My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.5
Shadiya Ahmed
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Who Killed Karkare? by S. M. Mushrif
Shadiya Ahmed
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People who had been shunned and cruelly oppressed were now viewed as a population that could greatly expand the numbers of the Hindu constituency. They had to be courted and brought into the “Hindu fold.” That was the beginning of Hindu evangelism. What we know today as ghar wapsi, or “returning home,” was a ceremony that dominant castes devised to “purify” Untouchables and Adivasis, whom they considered “polluted
Shadiya Ahmed
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The first and foremost thing that must be recognised,” he wrote in Annihilation of Caste in 1936, “is that Hindu society is a myth. The name Hindu is itself a foreign name. It was given by the Mohammedans to the natives [who lived east of the river Indus] for the purpose of distinguishing themselves.”2
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