A Leading Man of the People: Soumitra Chattopadhyay

SOUMITRA Chattopadhyay died at mid-day on Sunday, November 15, 2020, after treatment in a Kolkata hospital for 40 days. He was 85. He would be missed by millions, for he was among the top Bengali leading men of his generation in cinema. But he was much more: an accomplished dramatist, theatre-director and stage-actor, a poet, a reciter, an editor, a painter in his last years, and an exemplary representative of civilized grace. He was also, in the deepest sense, a man of the people.

Safdar Hashmi’s Life and Death

‘SEASONS come and go – as do governments – and currently Delhi is witnessing a particularly cold spell.’ When the noted poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar said this, an ostensible statement about the weather became a poetic barb at the ruling dispensation. He was addressing hundreds of workers and their families on January 1, 2020, at the site of Safdar Hashmi’s killing at Jhandapur in the Sahibabad Industrial Area on the outskirts of Delhi. ‘But one season doesn’t change, for the poor – the season of exploitation and oppression.’

Restore Communications in Jammu and Kashmir

Artists, historians, academics and concerned citizens have issued a statement on September 20 saying that they are greatly disturbed by the shutdown in communication network for well over five weeks  in Jammu and Kashmir which is causing extreme hardship to the people there. Family members outside Jammu and Kashmir are unable to contact their relatives in the state; students cannot receive funds from their families; and acute distress is being faced by patients unable to access medical help.

PUBGwale, Culture and Politics

MOBILE gaming or broadly video gaming has caught India like fire. It has become a common sight to find people fiddling with their mobiles in any public place. Even in interactions within a family or closely-knit friends, ‘phubbing’ (the act of ignoring someone you are with, and giving attention to your mobile phone instead) has become common. The spread of internet availability also is making us give more importance to our mobiles than to other forms of social interactions. One of the major pass-times for the young is to play various games on mobiles.

Centenary Observation of Jallianwala Bagh

WHO killed the unarmed Indians in Jallianwala Bagh? Not General Dyer, he did not fire a single shot, he commanded to fire; the Indian soldiers of the British Indian army killed more than 1,000 people on April 13, 1919 on the Baisakhi day. These were the startling words of Irfan Habib, an eminent historian while speaking on the centenary observation programme on Jallianwala Bagh massacre organised by SAHMAT at Delhi on June 29.

Girish Karnad, the Playwright against the Right

IT is both apt and reductive that two images dominate others as Girish Karnad is remembered on social media: one, with Gauri Lankesh, protesting the killing of Karnad’s fellow Dharwadian Prof M S Kalburgi; the other, wearing the MeTooUrbanNaxal placard, at the memorial to mark the first anniversary of Gauri Lankesh’s own killing. Over the past few years, Karnad was seen as one of the most consistent, fearless and principled defenders of freedom of speech, cultural diversity and democracy.


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