Aam Aadmi Party: Making the Citizen Politician?

Northeast India: The Internal Other?

Sarah Joseph and Rajgopal Saikumar 24 February 2014 Mitra Phukan, Munish Tamang and Manjeet Baruah 17 February 2014
49 days. The AAP ministry in Delhi lasted less than two months, and curiously, its closure, owing to the resistance to the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill, echoed the wave of commitments at its inception. Today, supporters as well as critics agree on this: AAP has been an unprecedented political exploration. The AAP government deployed unusual methods and strategies for a major party. What are the lessons of the AAP rule in Delhi? Where did AAP pioneer? And where did it fail? What was its political or ideological faux pas? Sarah Joseph returns to the events of the last two months, observes the appropriation of the AAP rhetoric by the two main national parties, and looks forward to the continued efforts of the movement, particularly in the parliament to come. In his response, Rajgopal Saikumar assesses the actual effects of the party, beyond its rhetoric, and returns to Martin Luther King to re-posit political tension as the main gain of the AAP rule.Read button
In just a few weeks, a series of attacks on Indians from the North East in various major metros have reminded all of the ever-present threat of racism. Everyday, North East citizens experience the proof that one can be an outsider in one’s own country. Behind racism resides a complex blend of historical ignorance, economic disparities, cultural diversities but also constitutional shortcomings. This week, to tackle the highly intricate and urgent question of racism, LILA Inter-actions welcomes three different societal voices. Journalist and novelist Mitra Phukan discusses the recent socio-economic developments of the North East and calls for a wide sensitisation through culture. Political activist Munish Tamang returns to Sardar Patel to make sense of the apparently intentional isolation in which the North East is still maintained. Finally, scholar Manjeet Baruah regrets the lack of strong conceptual tools against racism, and presents possible educational responses.Read button

Section 377: Responding

Dhasal: Beyond Words

Anjali Gopalan and Vikramaditya Sahai 10 February 2014 Sharankumar Limbale and Shankar Bagh 3 February 2014
Back in 2009, the Delhi High Court judgement on homosexuality appeared as a promise of better days for alternative identities in India. The Supreme Court reversal of December 2013 proved that no progress is safe from any relapse. The highest judicial authority of India confirmed its decision last week, in spite of an ever-growing outcry. The LGBT-Q community is back to square one: according to Indian law, they are criminals. How can one respond to such a development? Which are the possible directions for the LGBT-Q movements in the country? In this week’s Inter-actions debate, Anjali Gopalan from Naz Foundation assesses today’s position, between growing popular tolerance and decrepit legal frameworks. She calls for a gathering of forces among minorities. In his response, Vikramaditya Sahai transcends the borders of politics: legal recognition should not be the final struggle; queers must remain resisting forces to the normative formats of citizenship.Read button
A few weeks ago, Namdeo Dhasal passed away, leaving behind him a heritage that will never cease to be controversial, always frightening the weak-minded. From the Dalit Panther movement to Communism, and later the Shiv Sena, Dhasal was in a tireless search for larger public support to reach his dreams of equality for society. Following the vision of the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, Dhasal went beyond words and partisan political establishments, to call all the oppressed among us ‘Dalits’. In the fourth Inter-actions debate, Sharankumar Limbale recalls the trajectory of the man who was, for him, a determined and isolated visionary, but also one who profoundly influenced the current generation of Dalit politicians. In his response, Shankar N Bagh points out how Communism, the Shiv Sena and even the AAP, with their present preoccupations, are bound to miss the magnificent dream that Dhasal, after Ambedkar, had set out to fulfill for India.Read button

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the writers are their own. LILA Inter-actions will not be responsible for the views presented.

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