Demonetization has not Succeeded in any Part of the World

December 19, 2016



Eighteen days after the announcement of the demonetization of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 currency notes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the initial fanatic enthusiasm and tide of nationalism is gradually dying out. The government has been compelled to mobilize the entire party machinery to launch a huge nationwide propaganda campaign including huge advertisement in print and electronic media to justify this step as an attack on the alleged black money. Those who called it a financial and political emergency, are now swearing that the effects of this step has been more pervasive and suffering caused is more massive than the politic suppression of the emergency declared by Ms. Indira Gandhi. This has unsettled the lives of almost every section of the society – rural – urban, male – female, young old, shopkeepers – public servants, labour- contractors, students – teachers, wage earners – professionals. The worst hit are daily wage earners who have lost their employment. The season of marriages caused bitter suffering in families which had to meet the expenses for marriage ceremonies. Nearly seventy five deaths have been recorded in the media caused by this phenomenon.

Many people have the view that the step is right but the implementation is wrong. It is said that government did not do proper home work before taking this step. It is also said that black money will be curtailed through this action. The PM and other ministers have attacked the opponents of the step of demonetization by saying that they are not nationalists and that they too are involved in black money. If a rational study is made about the history of demonetization in the world we will find that this step has never succeeded in any part of the world. Demonetization was done in 1982 in Ghana, in 1984 in Nigeria, 1987 in Myanmar, in 1991 in USSR , in 2010 in North Korea and in India in 1946 and 1978. In all these attempts the desired objective of abolishing black money was not achieved. In India currency notes of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 10000 were demonetized in 1946 and currency notes of Rs. 500, Rs. 1000 and Rs. 10000 were demonetized. Despite these the black money has increased. The editorial of Economic Times of 14th Nov. 2016 states that the black money constitutes 20 % to nearly 60 % of India’s economy. The experts give different data but one thing is certain that it is a sizeable portion of country’s economy. But it is beyond dispute that the step of demonetization will not be able to control more than 2% of this black money.

The argument that demonetization will be able to destroy the fake money in the economy. But the experts say that fake currency in Indian economy is not very widespread. Experts estimate it at about Rs. 400 crores. But demonetizing currency worth Rs. 14 Lakh crores for controlling this much money is not very commendable when the cost of new currency notes is going to be nearly Rs. 12000 crores.   The security features of new currency notes are in no way much different from existing currency, as stated by the RBI officials. The result is that within a fortnight of demonetization fake currency notes have come into circulation. Even terrorists who have been shot have been found possessing new currency notes.  It is shocking that the ruling party speaks of terrorists and Naxalites in the same breath. The fact is that the two cannot be compared.

The passionate appeal of the PM to give him fifty days has proved to be hollow since there is no improvement in the situation in twenty days. More problems will come on 1st December when salary distribution will take place and suddenly demand for new currency will rise. Today, banks are cashless. Many banks have imposed limits on withdrawal from personal saving banks accounts although there is no such announcement from the side of the government. The 86% currency which has been withdrawn cannot be replaced within the declared fifty days. Saumitra Choudhury, former member of the Planning Commission has stated that the capacity of minting institutions is sufficient to replenish the chests in the given time. The currency notes demonetized are 1571 crores of Rs. 500 and 633 crores of Rs. 1000. The capacity of Bhartiya Note Mudran Private Ltd. which prints Rs. 1000 notes is 133 crore pieces per month. In the place of 633 crore Rs. 1000 notes, 318 crore pieces of Rs. 2000 are to be printed. This will require at least two months. Similarly, Security Printing and Minting Corporation India which prints Rs. 500 currency notes has the capacity of printing 100 crore pieces  per month. To replenish 1571 crore arithmetically it will require fifteen months.  In this situation the excessive stress on the use of plastic money and private players like Paytm is easily understood.

However, the doubts about the ruling party’s intentions have already been aired by opposition parties. The purchase of lands by the BJP for its Party offices a few months before the announcement is being seen as fishy. The long term effect of this decision is yet to be seen but in the immediate scene the working class is the most hard hit community.







Remembering a Revolutionary: Fidel Castro

December 19, 2016


Fidel Castro, led Cuba, a small island country with a population of eleven million to revolution through guerilla war, threw over the American supported dictator Fulgencio Batista government and remained the President and Commander – in Chief of Cuba for nearly forty nine years. He survived six hundred and thirty eight attempts on his life by the American secret service CIA and passed away peacefully on 26th Nov. 2016 at the age of ninety. His brother Roul Castro, the present President of Cuba had been given the responsibility in 2008 when Fidel voluntarily withdrew from political life due to health reasons.

A close friend of India Cuba remained a strong support of India on all international forums. Fidel Castro had a very close relation with Pdt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and called Smt. Indira Gandhi his sister. During the civil war in Angola, the Non-aligned Movement had taken a stand to support the freedom movement in Angola. Cuba helped that movement through military intervention by sending its army. This intervention had its impact in Nigeria and South Africa where the freedom movements got a boost because of this. Fidel Castro emerged as a champion of the people’s struggles all over the world. Nelson Mandela himself went to meet him when he got released from the prison after the independence of South Africa.

Born on August 13, 1926 in a family of Spanish migrants in Biran, Eastern Cuba, Fidel studied in several schools before he joined the University in Havana and got a doctorate in Law. Even during his university days he had started taking part in political activities and had participated in an attack in the leadership of Juan Rodrigdge on Dominican Republic to overthrow the American supported government. The attack was not successful. He later joined the Party of the Cuban People. He was planning to enter national politics but the dictator Fulgencio Batista cancelled elections. Fidel attacked Moncada Military station with just 150 people  in an attempt to overthrow the Batista regime. But he could not succeed and was arrested. In jail he meditated ways to remove the dictatorial regime and form a people’s government in Cuba.

In 1955 after his release from prison he with his brother Roul, went to Mexico where they met  Argentinian doctor and revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. Che was a Marxist revolutionary and after observing massive poverty in South America during his motorcycle tour and also after observing the Left government in Guatemala, he had decided to bring about a revolution in the world overthrowing the American Imperialism. Fidel also wanted the puppet of America Batista regime in Cuba. They became friends and Che Guevara taught the techniques of guerrilla warfare to Fidel. With just eighty one comrades on a boat Granma they set off for Cuba and with the support of the masses overturned the regime in Cuba. The dictator Fulgencio Batista Fled the country and Fidel Castro took the command. In 1961 American forces with some of the dissident Cubans attacked in Bay of Pigs. In this battle Fidel himself led the Cuban forces riding a tank and giving command.

The battle was won by Cuba. Fidel Castro adhered to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and led a communist government right in front of USA for nearly half a century. He faced severe embargo by the American governments. Eleven American Presidents right from Eisenhover to George Bush tried to remove him through all means including attempts to murder him, but failed. The last President Barak Obama was slightly positive who tried to normalize the relations between the two countries and also visited Cuba recently.

In his leadership Cuba developed its agriculture so much so that the country came to be known as the “Sugar Bowl” of the world. Several new discoveries in health and genetics were made in Cuba. Ernesto Che Guevara was the Minister of Agriculture before he went away to Bolivia for carrying forward the work of socialist revolution. Fidel Castro was a hero of the people and remained so till his last breath. After his demise the whole world paid rich tributes to him. He remains a source of inspiration to the people’s struggles all over the world. Red Salute to this great revolutionary.







Are the Vice Chancellors Political Stooges?

May 18, 2016

The decision of the governor of Rajasthan about the process of selection of Vice Chancellors in state universities is laudable. In his notification he has devised a process which apparently sounds impartial. An all India advertisement, applications, scrutiny and then final appointment is definitely an improvement over the process adopted now. If this were in force many of the present Vice Chancellors would not be even fit to apply for the post of Vice Chancellor. The UGC in its notification published in the Gazette of India has laid down the eligibility conditions of a Vice Chancellor. It reads as:

” Persons of highest level of competence, integrity, morals and institutional commitment are to be appointed as Vice Chancellors. The ice Chancellor to be appointed should be a distinguished academician with a minimum of ten years of experience as Professor in a University system, or ten years of experience in an equivalent position in a reputed research and/or academic , administrative organization.” ( The Gazette of India , 18 Sep. 2010.)

This condition is observed more in violation across the country. In Deemed to be University institutions the UGC Regulations 2009 and 2010 exist suggesting the publishing of an advertisement at national level and then selection by the Chancellor through a selection cum search committee. But practically this is not being observed and people who are politically connected and are close to the management get appointed as Vice Chancellor.

There are instances of the appointment of Vice Chancellors in violation of these rules in state universities also. Mr. J.P. Singhal, Vice Chancellor of Rajasthan University is not even a Ph.D., He was never a professor. The honourable High Court of Rajasthan has recently issued notices to the state government ,UGC and the members of the search committee asking them to explain why an ineligible person was appointed as Vice Chancellor. In another interesting case the then Chancellor of Janardan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth has written to MHRD that the Vice Chancellor Dr.S.S.Sarangdevot did not have the eligibility when he had appointed him the Vice Chancellor. A case against Dr. Sarangdevot’s appointment is also being tried in the honourable High Court of Rajasthan.The case of Private Universities is equally worse. Dr. B.P. Sharma, VC of Pacific University was never a Professor. Every one knows that the posts of Vice Chancellors and Chairman of Boards, Sahitya Academy and UITs hae become political positions distributed to party loyalists.The recent controversy about the distortion of text books is essentially a political move dictated by the party in power.

What are the intentions of Rajbhavan? Is this notification a political gimmick only? Or is he serious about depoliticizing higher education? The names published in media about the prospective Vice Chancellor of M.L. Sukhadia University indicate that political considerations have played a role and likely to play a larger role in forthcoming days.

I would suggest that all Private Universities and Deemed Universities should be brought in the ambit of this regulation. The members of search committee should be appointed by UGC or some other independent body, they should be interviewed and the profile should be available for public scrutiny and the ten years experience as a Professor for eligibility of candidature needs to be ascertained. I would go a step further that all private and deemed universities must be governed by Rajasthan Non Government Educational Institutions Act 1989 Rules 1993 and the teachers working in these institutions must be paid UGC pay scales. The Vice Chancellors should be made personally accountable if the wages are not paid as per UGC Rules.

The governor needs to be congratulated for bringing this debate in public domain and all efforts should be made to ensure that Vice Chancellors do not become political stooges. All thr Private Universities should have RAS and RAcS officers as Registrar and Comptroller respectively. The Government must pay the salaries of the teachers in all types of Universities and perform regulatory function. The government should see the academic frauds these Private Universities have become and ask for the examination of the fee and assets of the Universities. There should be a fee deciding tribunal for Private Universities also.

Comrade Banshi Lal Singhvi: A voice of the voiceless

January 11, 2016


Veteran communist leader, former member of the state committee of Communist Party of India (Marxist) and district secretary of the party for nearly forty five years, comrade Banshi Lal Singhvi passed away on 3rd January, 2016 at about 8.30 am in the party office which had been his ‘home’ for decades. Like every day he got up early, took his bath, perused the newspapers, cleaned his house and the drains of the street in Machla Magra Kachchi Basti and walked to the party office. He cleaned the office and was sitting in his chair when he felt uneasy and in just a few moments passed away.Till his last moment, like a true revolutionary he was engaged in the task of transforming the lives of the people who were marginalized and were too weak to voice their problems. Comrade Singhvi not only became the voice of the voiceless but empowered them and taught them to struggle and express their opinion forcefully. His body was kept in the party office and from the office itself his funeral march was taken to the Ashok Nagar crematorium amidst the slogans ” Long live Comrade Singhvi”, “Comrade Singhvi ko Lal Salaam”, ” Inqilab Zindabad” and “Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega, Comrade Singhvi ka Naam Rahega”.Hundreds of party workers, sympathizers and Kachchi Busti dwellers marched with the procession and leaders of all political parties , activists, journalists and intellectuals paid tribute to him in the condolence meeting held the next day.
Born in the family of trading Jain community in village Pakhand, tehsil Nathdwara in erstwhile Udaipur district on August 7, 1944, Comrade Singhvi did not follow his family tradition. He was a revolutionary even in his student days.He led an agitation to get a government college established in Nathdwara and demonstrated against the then chief minister of Rajasthan Mohan Lal Sukhadia who had to announce the college and soon the college came into existence. Banshi Lal Singhvi graduated from this college. Later , when a minor girl was being forcefully given “Diksha” to become a Jain Sadhvi , he opposed it. He was exterminated from the community. Later he joined the Harijans and participated in the movement of their emancipation. He came in contact with veteran freedom fighter and socialist leader Narendrapal Singh Choudhary. He learnt typing and started a typing institute at Nathdwara. During these days he came in contact with the works of Karl Marx, V.I.Lenin, Rahul Sankrityayan 1969 he joined Communist Party of India and started his political work at Nathdwara.
In 1970 he came to Udaipur with his family.He started his work among the students and youth. He read the special issue of the magazine “Swadhinta” published in the centenary year of Lenin. This gave him clarity about the communist movement.In 1970 itself he joined LLB course and formed All India Students Federation units in Udaipur.At that time the communist government in Kerala led by comrade Achyutanand was felled by Communist Party of India. This made him disillusioned with CPI and he along with comrade Narayan Lal Manat joined Students Federation of India and later the same year he joined CPIM.He was instrumental in removing rivalry between Jat student leader Bhagirath Chaudhary and Rajput student leader Abhay Singh Pehalwan.
During the regime of Chief Minister Barkattullah Khan, he participated in the strike of the state government employees and was arrested for thwarting the imposition of section 144IPC.He worked to strengthen the trade union CITU along with the leaders comrade Ayal Das, comrade Bhanwar Lal Bapna and comrade Mahesh Sharma. He successfully formed trade unions in more than sixty industries in the region.He led the railway employees strike in 1974 in Udaipur. On the May day there was a huge demonstration. The police arrested him with comrade Ayaldas and comrade Mahesh Sharma under MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) and they were kept in custody till 31st May. When internal emergency was declared on June 26, 1975, Comrade Banshi Lal Singhvi and Comrade Ayal Das were arrested on June 27. They remained in Jail for complete nineteen months.
After release from the jail, comrade Singhvi was given the responsibility to organize the tribal people. He spent long durations in the remote villages of Kotda, Jhadol, Kherwara and Gogunda traveling often on bicycle, on foot and later on his scooter. He traveled in hilly areas amidst great difficulty and organized the party. He led several movements to secure the rights of the tribal people on the forest land and forest produce. Because of his contribution the CPIM contested from Jhadol legislative constituency thrice securing big number of votes. In 1978 CITU Union was formed in J.K. Tyres , Kankroli after a long struggle.
But the biggest contribution of comrade B.L.Singhvi is in the setting up of urban shelter for labourers and working class people in the form of Kachchi Busties in different parts of the region including Udaipur and Chittorgarh. He succeeded in setting up busties of more than seventy to eighty thousand people in the town. He was so popular among the people of the Busties that CPIM won Municipal elections for almost twenty years. For three terms Rajesh Singhvi, his able son who is carrying his legacy in the party was elected as the councilor in Municipal Council , Udaipur and presently also CPIM has the seat.
Comrade B.L. Singhvi was a great scholar himself. He read extensively and always motivated his fellow party men to read more and more. He wrote analytically on national and international issues and expressed his ideas logically. As a speaker , he was very impressive and even in public speeches conveyed deep political and theoretical issues very effectively.
He was a mass leader who led a very honest and dedicated life . Today when he is no more, his life and thoughts will motivate and inspire all those who believe in the politics of social transformation for creating an egalitarian society.

What do Universities stand for : Faith or Fact ?

December 22, 2015

What do Universities stand for – Faith or Fact?
What do the universities stand for? Do they stand for upholding faith in a particular way of life or do they stand for exploration of facts? Do they stand for inquisitiveness or they stand for blindfolded belief in already scripted texts? Are the Vice Chancellors custodians of the spirit of inquiry or are they exponents of ruling political ideologies? Do they foster quest for reason or rebuff such quests? Are the Universities Gyan Mandirs or simply Muths of some faith? Are teachers propagators of rationality or do they preach superstition?
These and many other questions have surfaced today in the academic world as the two years of the present government have resulted in the flouting of all academic norms and traditions which existed in the world of higher education in the state. The scene at the national level is no less grim. The Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ms. Smriti Irani has acted more like a party loyalist than as a custodian of the world of letters in the country. Leave apart her educational qualifications, she has not taken any initiative to look into the issues of education in the country. In last eighteen months she could not find time to meet the delegation of All India Federation of Universities and College Teachers Organizations. The Universities are almost teacherless. More than four thousand posts of teachers in Central Universities are lying vacant. She had to face hot waters when Christmas Day was declared a working day in Central Universities to celebrate the birth day of former Prime Minister and BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The state government followed suit by declaring Eid as a working day in government colleges to observe the birth anniversary of BJP leader Deendayal Upadhyay. Not to mention the transfers and deputations of college teachers on the basis of political inclinations, the government of Rajasthan has put on the website of its department of college education the names of books written by authors showing clear adherence to the political line of BJP.
To top it all is the recent incident of filing FIR against a retired professor of Delhi University Prof. Ashok Vora who delivered a lecture in the department of Philosophy, Mohan Lal Sukhadia University. The FIR has been filed by Devendra Singh Chundawat of the students wing of ruling BJP. Another complain has been filed by the Dean, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities Prof. Farida Shah. This came after the order of Higher Education Minister of the State Kalicharan Sarraf. It is evident from the pace of action that the honourable Minister did not have time to read the text of the speech.
Reports that have appeared in Newspapers say that the speaker Prof. Ashok Vora had allegedly made indecent remarks on some of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Someone in the audience made video and audio clips of the selected parts of the speech and posted on the social media which created a furore. Later it was found that the speaker Prof. Ashok Vora had not only admired Hinduism but also pronounced it as the best religion of the world which was all inclusive that there was no need for conversion in the context of Hinduism. He had simply quoted some parts of the texts of some foreign authors to make his point that those who are exterior to a system of knowledge are unable to understand the culture of that system and hence are subject to misrepresentation. Prof. Vora warned against this type of representation and called for rejection of such texts. In fact he was furthering Edward Said’s notion of the question of representation, much healthily debated in literary circles.
Not following what he intended and said, the propagators of faith painted the whole speech in demoniac colours and created an atmosphere of unwarranted tension, anxiety and fear in the University. The university administration also cowed down to such muscle flinching organizations and not only did nothing to stop the baseless propaganda but acknowledged them by setting up a fact finding team and asking the Dean to register a complaint with the police. Also, the Vice Chancellor accepted the demand of the accusing group to set up a screening committee to examine the scripts of the scholars who would in future come to the University for delivering invited lectures. In almost thirty years of my University career I have not come across any such committee in any University of the country.
The propagators of this hate campaign did not stop here. They went to the extent of accusing the organizer of the lecture Prof. Sudha Choudhary who was trying to instill reason in the debate. She not only provided the whole script to anyone who wanted including the media but also held a press conference to explain the truth. There were demands to take action against her also. Is there anyone who can explain what on earth her fault was? She was trying to explain what the speaker had said in his speech. Should even this right be denied to her? Being the head and professor of the department of philosophy is it not necessary for her to defend the speaker by trying to remove the confusion created by some vested interest groups? However, when the media persons were leaving after the press conference they were all of the opinion that the controversy has been created by the Professors of the university who are contending for the post of Vice Chancellor likely to be vacant next year.
The worst turn in the debate came with the statement of Dr.B.P.Sharma, Vice Chancellor of a Private University. Everyone knows that he taught in a private college whole of his life and earned this position of Vice Chancellor from just a lecturer for reasons better known to him. In his vehemence he not only made baseless charges against the speaker Prof. Ashok Vora and organizer Prof. Sudha Choudhary but went to the extent of calling for a state wide movement if stringent action is not taken against them. What more action is required once an FIR is lodged and a fact finding committee has been formed? Had it not been better for him to see what is happening in his university than to poke his nose in other universities?
It is unfortunate that the universities are being reduced to just profiteering and money- making. Rajasthan has the highest number of private universities which are not being monitored by any agency. They are flouting all norms laid down by UGC in appointments as well as emoluments of teachers and other employees. There seems to be no check on their fee structure. Without qualified teachers to guide the scholars, research degrees in large numbers are being given.
Once again the state of higher education is in question. What is the importance of such institutions if they cannot honour skepticism and provide space for open debate? They lose their meaning the moment the democratic forces are silenced by bullying forces of state power and their allies. The autonomy of Universities is increasingly becoming a myth. In one case it is bound in the shackles of ruling power and in other case profit motive enthralls it.

Days are like clouds

December 22, 2015
  • Days are like clouds!


    Days are like birds

    They said.

    I looked at the sky

    And waited, hoping

    My dear beloved days

    Will return to me,

    As do birds,

    To their nests in the evening.

    Days came Often, but were not the same

    I hugged them

    Like my dear ones

    But they responded not

    With the same warmth.

    I waited For warmer days.

    But soon the days grew hot

    Scorching questions

    From every directions were shot

    My emotions shriveled

    In the heat of indifference.

    I craved for the clouds,

    A little shade of understanding

    A drifting wave of sympathy

    A little drizzle of love!

    The clouds did come

    And touched my heart

    Dark silhouettes of My darling days!

    But how could I hold them?

    They were so soft

    So lovely, so sweet, but so aloft!

    They went past me

    Like flitting dreams

    With open eyes

    I saw them fly,

    My days, my clouds – my clouds, my days.

    • Dr.Hemendra Chandalia

November 27, 2015


Inaugural Function of XII Annual conference of Rajasthan Association for Studies in English. Release of Dr. G. K. Sukhwal’s book ” Pedagogical Issues in Language Teaching”.

Writers Vs. Righters: Threats of a Totalitarian State

October 24, 2015

Writers Vs. Righters : Threats of a Totalitarian State
Dr.H.S. Chandalia
Writers have expressed their serious concern over the growing intolerance in the society and the governments’ indifference towards the incidents of brutal violence and shameless arrogance shown by some organizations which are allies of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party. The brutal murders of Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and M.M. Kalburgi have not been taken seriously by the Union government and the state has failed to give a message that the voice of reason will prevail and those who promote superstition, fundamentalism, communal hatred and religious fanaticism will not be spared. To make the matters worse the Union minister for culture Mahesh Sharma made a statement that if the writers don’t find the atmosphere congenial to writing they should stop writing. This is adding insult to injury. The spate of returning the Sahitya Academy Awards still continues and writers from Rajasthan including poet Nand Bhardwaj and Ambikadutt have also returned the awards. Among those who have returned the awards include noted authors like UdaiPrakash, Ashok Vajpayee, Kashi Nath Singh, Surjeet Patar, Prof. Ganesh Devi, Munavvar Rana, Krishna Sobti, Nayan Tara Sehgal, Shashi Deshpande and several other well known writers who have given their life for the cause of literature and are acclaimed not just in the country but also across national boundaries.
There is a group of writers like Narendra Kohli, Gyan Chaturvedi and some other non-descript names who find it a part of political propaganda. They also demonstrated against the writers who had returned their awards. In the demonstration they were bearing a saffron banner. This is evidence enough who is playing politics. They clearly project their right wing affiliation.The ruling NDA has tried to shy away from the real issues raised by those writers who have returned their awards. In order to deflect the debate they have tried to shoot personal questions on the loyalty of the writers. All the fifty odd writers cannot be dubbed as leftist writers. A writer is a writer who has his own vision of the world. He may be inclined towards a political ideology but he does not write with partisan interests. The real issues are violence on the basis of communal and caste hatred. The real issue is the atmosphere of fear and distrust being propagated by the state as well as non-state power centers. This has been underlined by the statements of the President of India also.
A common argument stated by those who have opposed the writers returning the awards is that Sahitya Academy is an autonomous institution and the return of awards is misdirected. It may be true in theory but the reality is not that simple. Governments have a say in the functioning of autonomous institutions. The worst example is the Universities which are said to be autonomous but it is an open secret that the Vice Chancellors are appointed on the basis of their political affiliations. The appointment of the Vice Chancellor of University of Rajasthan is a case in example in which case the VC does not fulfill the UGC norms and still has been appointed only because of his affiliation with the ruling party in the state. UGC had to make specific mention about it to the state government of Rajasthan. So is the case with Rajasthan Sahitya Academy. The former Chairperson of Rajasthan Sahitya Academy Ved Vyas was removed whenever Bhartiya Janta Party came to power in Rajasthan before the completion of his term.
Throwing of ink on Surendra Kulkarni in Mumbai and on J&K MLA Rashid in Delhi are but two examples of violent and shameless protests. Killing of Akhlak in Dadri was preceded by attacks on churches and hanging of chickens in front of Jain temples in Mumbai. There are more subtle ways of harassing people in BJP ruled states. Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani had announced 25 December as working day though it was Christmas Day. Central Universities were asked to observe as the birthday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Similarly in Rajasthan the holiday on the occasion of Eidul Ajaha was cancelled and schools and colleges were ordered to hold blood donation camps to observe the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay. This is an example of the attitude of apathy towards minorities by the state.
The writers are able to foresee the emergence of a totalitarian state in the name of majority rule. The fear is floating in the air and those who want to speak are frightened. The most non-violent protest in the form of returning awards has been seen by the ruling alliance and their field organizations as anti- government and the organizations as RSS are demanding investigation against these writers. This is the real threat to the right to speech. Already the labour rights are in jeopardy and the trade Unions are facing a tough time. Mainstream media is governed by capitalist interest and market has emerged as the most powerful dictator which can make even the Union government helpless as has happened in the case of prices of pulses. Hooligans like Sakshi Maharaj , Yogi Adityanath and Sadhvi Prachi make hysterical speeches and consume a lot of air time of the TV channels. These are the real issues which go unaddressed even as the ‘righters’ spread a hate campaign against the writers.

Writers’ Returning Awards is a Warning Bell for Democracy

October 13, 2015

Writers’ Returning Awards is a Warning Bell for Democracy
More than a dozen writers of the prominence of Nayantara Sehgal, Ashok Vajpayee and Uday Prakash have returned their awards in the last one month. Recently another Indian English novelist Shashi Deshpande resigned her position of member of the Governing Council of Sahitya Academy. All these writers have spent their life time in the pursuit of literature. They have been people of undoubted integrity and have earned repute by dint of their significant contribution to world of letters. An award is a sign of recognition for an artist and the decision to return an award would mean a serious thoughtful action which is compelled by a deep sense of social responsibility. They must have been disturbed by the things happening in the country and must have felt that the state has failed to ensure freedom of speech and expression. If the intelligentsia of a country feels like this it is a warning bell for democracy.
Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore had returned his Knighthood after the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre.Novelist and columnist Khushwant Singh had returned his Padma Award after the Operation Blue Star. The cold blooded murder of three rationalist writers and thinkers namely M.M. Kalburgi, a distinguished Kannada writer and Sahitya Akademi Award winner and two rationalists , Narendra Dhabolkar and Govind Pansare, both anti-superstition activists, have been killed by assailants. Veeranna Madiwalar, T Satish Javare Gowda, Sangamesh Menasinakai, Hanumanth Haligeri, Shridevi V Aloor and Chidanand Sali were conferred the awards on November 22, 2011, at a function where Kalburgi was honoured with the prestigious NrupatungaPrashasti.

The absolute victory of right wing Bhartiya Janta Party has let lose the fundamentalist Hindutva forces all over the country. These organizations have been there all these years as well but did not have the courage to play so openly. Now that they have a favourable government and a Swayamsevak in the Prime Minister’s chair, they are scot free. The Gujarat massacre has been wiped from public memory by the sheer propaganda of the the ruling BJP at the level of the state and the Centre. Amit Shah , one of the prime accused , has been made the president of the ruling party while local political leaders including Maya Kodnani have been released on bail. The accused of the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin have not only been released on bail but restored in the police force as if they have been acquitted by the court.
Most recently, a village blacksmith, Mohammed Akhlaq, was dragged out of his home in Bisara village outside Delhi, and brutally killed on the suspicion beef was cooked in his home. His son was also brutally attacked and is struggling for life. His other son is a soldier in Indian Air Force. The false self proclaimed nationalists and custodians of Hindutva did not respect the family of a soldier of Indian armed force. Last year several young men and women were harassed and attacked in Bangalore by the moral policing gangs of the Hindu outfits.
Famous artist Maqbool Fida Hussain’s exhibitions were attacked and he was so much harassed that he had to take asylum in other countries. Gazal Singer Gulam Ali’s scheduled programmes in Mumbai and Pune have been cancelled by the pressure created by Shiv Sena. Earlier Salman Rushdie was denied entry to the Jaipur Literature Festival, some two years ago.Mr. J.P. Singhal who is not even a Ph.D. and has not been a University Professor even for a day has been appointed the Vice Chancellor of Rajasthan University, Jaipur simply because he was an office bearer of a teachers’ organization affiliated with BJP.
All these are examples of political and cultural intolerance. They are signs of aggression and suppression of all voices of protest. In a recent lecture, India’s Vice-President, Dr. Hamid Ansari, stated that India’s Constitution promises all Indians “liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.”The right to dissent is an integral part of this Constitutional guarantee. He found it necessary to do so because India’s culture of diversity and debate is now under vicious assault.
Rationalists who question superstition, anyone who questions any aspect of the ugly and dangerous distortion of Hinduism known as Hindutva – whether in the intellectual or artistic sphere, or whether in terms of food habits and lifestyle – are being marginalised, persecuted, or murdered. In all these cases, justice drags its feet. Nayantara Sahgal, in a statement issued on October 6, 2015 said, “In memory of the Indians who have been murdered, in support of all Indians who uphold the right to dissent, and of all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty, I am returning my Sahitya Akademi Award.”
Shashi Deshpande, author of several novels, short stories and essay collections and books for children, won the Sahitya Akademi award for her novel That Long Silence in 1990. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009. While resigning her membership of the Governing Council of the Sahitya Academy, she expressed her disgust over the continued failure of the Sahitya Academy to denounce or criticize the impious killing of writers and citizens.

The level of the political campaigning in Bihar election is also an indicator of the level to which Indian politics has fallen. Use of sixteen helicopters by the ruling party and the abusive tirade over the leaders of opposition even by the Prime Minister suggests that the ruling saffron brigade perhaps doesn’t want to leave any space for the voices of dissent. If this is allowed to happen , the nation would be facing another emergency, this time unannounced but enforced by the self appointed custodians of moral and national values. Now is the need to rise up and unite to fight for the intellectual, artistic and creative freedom. Writers, poets, journalists and teachers have the biggest responsibility of preserving the secular , multicultural and plural fabric of Indian society and also to preserve the real freedom of media which matters. It is sad that the mainstream media has failed to take the cognizance of the writers’ returning their awards and resigning from prestigious positions due to callous indifference of the state and its agencies.

August 20, 2015

XII Annual Conference of Rajasthan Association for Studies in English

International Conference on

Evolving Facets of Translation: Adaptation, Popular Culture and

Comparative Perspectives

(November23- 24, 2015)

Organized by

Departments of English, School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Central University of Rajasthan,  Bandarsindari- Kishangarh,   Ajmer (Raj.) INDIA


Director of the Seminar – Prof Supriya Agarwal

 Convener – Dr Sanjay Arora

 Co-Conveners – Dr Bhumika Sharma,Dr Neha Arora,Mr Devendra Rankawat

 Organising Committee

Prof Sunil Bhargava , General Secretary, RASE, Dr Valiur Rahaman, Mr Vijay Pal

Welcome Committee-  Prof Hemendra Chandalia,     Dr Arpana Jha

In association with

Rajasthan Association for Studies in English (RASE)      


The university is located at Bandarsindari at a distance of approximately 20 Kms from Kishangarh, 46 Kms from Ajmer city, and 76 Kms from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Airways, railways, and roadways to all major cities of India best connect Jaipur and Ajmer.

Bandarsindari is in between Jaipur and Kishangarh. The nearest Railway stations are Kishangarh and Ajmer. The university campus is easily reachable within 5 minutes by the university-arranged cabs from the Highway (Bandarsindari) to the university campus (1.5 Kms from the highway) every 10-15 minutes. Find details @


The venue of the seminar will be SP-1 Building in the main campus of Central University of Rajasthan, Bandarsindari.

Sightseeing Spots

The famous mausoleum of Kwaja Moinuddin Chisti (Garib Nawaz in Ajmer) about 46 Kms from the university, Jagatpita Brahma Temple & Apteshwar temple in Pushkarji (70 Kms from the university) are some of the places worth visiting. 

About the Department

The Department of English was established in 2010 under the School of Humanities and Languages with Post-graduation in English Literature (Six Semesters) and PhD in various Streams like English Language Teaching (ELT), Creative Writing, Contemporary Critical Theory, and Film Aesthetics make the department distinct. The objective of the program is to develop professionalism with humanitarian attitude and intellect in the students equipping them with theories and tools of creativity through teaching and training of English literature, language, and genre studies. Find details @

About the Conference

Of all the recent buzz-words with a trans prefixed to them, the genealogy of translation appears to reach furthest back. Looking as far back as the cultures using cuneiform and hieroglyphs, one is sure to come upon texts (mythological, scriptural, historical, philosophical, astronomical, medical, aesthetic) either translated into or from languages favored in different reigns and regimes along the march of human civilization. If books are a means whereby the dead can speak to the living, books–in-translation are a means whereby the dead can speak to even those who hardly know the language in which the books were originally written. While the Geeta, the Bible, the Qu’ran and other scriptural texts are among the most oft-translated documents, there is no dearth of historical-literary-critical writings rendered from one language to another. If the multi-volume The Sacred Texts of the East translated by Max Muller and his team revealed Indian religious corpus to the Western World, Harry Spens’ translation of Plato’s The Republic, Butcher’s translation of Aristotle’s Poetics made the Greek scholars accessible in English.Epics like Ramayana, Gilgamesh, Odyssey, and fiction like Panchtantra, Aesop’s Fables, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter or Coelho’s The Alchemistare all available today in several languages.

But, like most other human activities, translation too has its positives and negatives. Putatively, a work may gain or lose in the process of being rendered from the ‘source language’ to the ‘target language’. The area appears worthy of scholarly exploration, deliberation and discussion for two basic reasons, i) the traffic of translation has been on now for over millennia, ii) the process of translation involves complex dynamics.

The present-day world order seems especially propitious for translation as cross-cultural rendering of ‘knowledge’ is what seems called for in the global scenario. The role of the translator here is, of course, crucial. And the ever-alive questions of power, politics, discursive dimensions, poetics, aesthetics etc. vis-à-vis translation assume renewed importance. While acknowledging translation as a literary genre, one may ask, what role does a translator play in this regard? How does s/he transport the meaning inherent in one textual composition to the other linguistic configuration? As a mediator where does s/he stand in the negotiating process of translation? To what extent does it savor or devour the aesthetic structure of the original text? Is a translator in position to justify his/her venture in the greatly dubious and precarious territory of translation? In its growth as an independent genre, translation studies are faced with many such questions that have shaped its contours and need to be deliberated upon.

In its vivacious domain today, translation is regarded as a connecting link among cultures, yet simultaneously, it is also often accused of being a ‘slavish activity’ that represses innovation and novelty. From another perspective it is rendered as a comparative act involving transference of meaning from one semiotic system into another and a search for cognate elements across linguistic and other semiotic fields.

While translations among regional and inter-national languages are found worldwide, adaptation of linguistic material to cinematic presentation is, in view of critics like Robert Stam, its new form. Vishal Bhardwaj’s trilogy (Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider) of cinematic rendering of Shakespeare (Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet) is a case in point. Likewise, the Italian novelist Alberto Moravia’s novel II Disprezzo is translated into English with the title A Ghost at Noon and then further translated, of course, cinematically by French-Swiss film director Jean-Luc Godard with the title Contempt/Le Mepris. This popular practice of the adaptation of a literary work to celluloid creates a new mode of trans-cultural, trans-generic shape-shifting.

In contemporary period translation has also become an instrument to propagate popular culture. Working with a wide range of source texts from different popular genres and media, translation offers the opportunity to access its various forms such as crime fiction, fantasy, and comics. In fact, with the spreading cross-cultural media, it is deliberately induced through subtitling, dubbing and voice-over. Different conventions and styles associated with popular culture in its varied forms and genres irresistibly put an impact on translation strategies. In a country like India which has a rich linguistic diversity, translation becomes an exercise in national integration by providing access to literature in one regional language to the speakers of other languages. The strength of Indian Literature is derived from the regional literatures. English translations of regional texts enable us to see the cross currents of Indian Literature and also to understand how the contemporary voices in regional literatures recreate tradition while at times show a departure from tradition. Translation also gives space to the oral literature of the folk and the indigenous. Departments of English in Indian Universities would do well to adopt translation in their academic programmes with this insight.

So, the conference aims to bring together literature enthusiasts, researchers, translators, historians, linguists, psychologists, film script-writers, literary, film and cultural theorists as well as critics at one forum to share their views about the developments taking place in the field of translation. The following, in addition to suggestions embedded in the note above, is an illustrative list of possible areas of interest:

  • Translation as a literary practice
  • Theory and Praxis of Translation
  • Scope and relevance of Translation today
  • Translation as cross-cultural dialogue
  • Forms of translation
  • Human versus Machine Translation
  • Translation versus trans-creation
  • The equation : Author versus Translator
  • Self-translated versus else-translated texts
  • Emergence of Bhasha literature in India
  • Cinema and Translation
  • Translation and Comparatism
  • Folklore, performance and translation

These themes are meant only as starting-points for the interested, and by no means, a delimiting frame of reference. Any scholarly engagement with the field worth exploring at a literary-critical forum is welcome.


The Registration form along with the Demand Draft in favour of Central University of Rajasthan, payable at Kishangarh shouldbe sent in favour of The Registrar, Central University of Rajasthan and sent @ Central University of Rajasthan, NH-8, Bandarsindri, Kishangarh, 305817, Dist – Ajmer (Rajasthan). The registration fee includes boarding, lodging, working lunch, and dinner for 2 days.

Registration fee for the conference:

Types of delegates     Early Bird   Spot Registration

Foreign participants     3000 INR     4000 INR

Academicians                 1500 INR     2000 INR

Students                         1000 INR     1500 INR

The Registration form alongwith DD in favour of Central University of Rajasthan, payable at Kishangarh, should be sent to The Registrar, Central University of Rajasthan, Bandersindri, Kishangarh, Ajmer- 305817 (Rajathan) India


Abstract/Paper Submission dates:

Submission of abstract:           15 October, 2015

Intimation of acceptance:         25 October, 2015

Submission of full paper:        15 November, 2015

Early Bird registration:            18 November, 2015


Submission guidelines:

  1. The first page of the submission will be the Title Page, and should contain the Title, Author’s details (Name, affiliation and contact details)
  2. The second page should contain the Title, followed by the abstract (250-300 words) and keywords
  3. The full paper is expected to be between 2500-3000 words.
  4. All submissions should be in word document, font type- Times New Roman, font size- 12 point (except title of the paper, which should be in 14 point), line spacing 1.5, with 1 inch margin on all sides.
  5. The references should be in latest MLA style sheet.
  6. The research papers should be the original work of the author(s), alongwith an undertaking that it is neither plagiarized nor under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  7. All submissions/ queries can be communicated to: Dr.Sanjay Arora, CUR
  8. Delegates are requested to take the membership of RASE to participate in the conference.

About RASE:

The delegates may obtain the membership of RASE by sending a DD in favour of Rajasthan Association for Studiesin English, payable at Udaipur to Treasurer, Dr. Mukta Sharma, Department of English, MV Shramjivi College, Near Town Hall, Udaipur.The membership fee of RASE is as follows: Annual: 200/- ; Life: Rs 2000/-

The Life Memebers of RASE are not required to pay membership again. They get the journal free.


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