India’s Rihanna and Ganesha Syndrome

You can call it the ‘Rihanna and Ganesha Syndrome’ — the inability of some folks to focus upon the truly divine and get easily distracted by imaginary demonesses.

In India this translates into the country’s ruling elite frothing at the mouth about completely trivial issues, while ignoring life and death questions that threaten the very existence of the Indian Republic.

For those who came in a bit late, the R&G syndrome refers to a recent tweet of the singer and fashion icon Rihanna, showing her wearing nothing more than a pendant with the image of…

Indian farmers are inspiring the world

Rihanna, Susan Sarandon, Greta Thunberg, John Cusack — the list of well-known celebrities endorsing the struggle of Indian farmers against the country’s new corporate-authored farm laws is growing by the day. What started out as a domestic fight by thousands of Indian farmers to preserve their livelihood and way of life is rapidly morphing into a global cause.

And the Indian government’s ballistic response to a few foreign tweets -as if the Chinese had made a few more incursions along the country’s borders — shows there is indeed an international dimension to the entire…

Farmers en route to the protest tractor rally on 26 January 2021

It’s Facebook versus India’s Farmers

The tug-of-war between Indian farmers and government over new laws facilitating corporate takeover of the country’s agriculture is getting uglier by the hour and likely to get quite bloody too.

And when the blood does flow, it will not only be the hands of Indian corporates that will be drenched in red but also those of global investors backing them.

The Modi regime is using a few stray incidents of violence during the tractor rally by farmers on 26 January in New Delhi as an excuse for a brutal crackdown against them. …

Vandalizing democracy, the American way

A popular joke among leftists in the eighties was to ask why there had never been a military coup in Washington D.C. The answer: Because it doesn’t have a US embassy.

This was an allusion to the nefarious US role in toppling legitimate governments around the globe, many of them violently.

The storming of the US Capitol Hill on 6 January by a raggedy bunch of crazed Trump supporters[1], has to be seen in this context of the reckless vandalism that US imperialism has wrought upon rest of the world for decades. …

As 2021 arrives I am not planning to wish anyone a ‘Happy New Year’ while everything wrong with the world still remains deeply entrenched. And anyway, nothing really changes with the mere flip of a calendar page.

Instead my wish will be for a ‘Happy New French Revolution’. This time on a planetary scale, against the corporate monarchs, the political aristocracy and a paid, proselytising media wantonly leading the world to ecological, economic and social disaster.

There is no doubt 2020 has been the nastiest year anybody can remember in decades and I know many are eagerly looking forward to…

The ongoing siege of the national capital New Delhi by hundreds of thousands of farmers represents, perhaps, the biggest revolt against ‘Company Raj’ since India’s First War of Independence way back in 1857.

While a century and half ago it was the rapacious British East India Company that was the target of the Indian masses this time their ire today is explicitly directed at the similarly predatory empires of the Ambanis and Adanis.

If the movement is successful it could help unmask the true nature of power wielded by unelected business elites in the country today beyond the colorful façade…

“Today, the villages are dung heaps. Tomorrow they will be like tiny gardens of Eden where dwell highly intelligent folk whom no one can deceive or exploit”.

Mahatma Gandhi, writing in the Harijan in November 1946

Of all the dreams that Mahatma Gandhi projected for India’s future, none was shattered as cruelly as his wish to make it a nation of village republics, where self-sufficient, highly skilled rural folk would live a life of complete dignity. Seven decades after Indian independence, the country’s villages continue to be like dung heaps, topped with toxic waste.

Today, as Indian farmers hit the…

Body, Nation and Resistance in the times of COVID-19

This article is based on the 25th Chandrashekar Memorial Lecture delivered on 20 September 2020. The original lecture was delivered in Hindi and the event was organized by Punashcha, the Indian People’s Theater Association (IPTA) and Koshish.

Friends, comrades gathered here;

I am very honoured to be invited to deliver the Chandrashekhar Memorial Lecture this year but I cannot say I am very happy to be here. And that is because there should not have been any reason at all for someone like Chandu to disappear from our midst, so early…

The Chief Chaddis smirked, stroking his little beard menacingly. This was the moment he and his fellow Chaddis had waited for and chewed so much cud over.

They had finally got their prey — the Black Sheep, now trapped in a corner from where he could not escape. The Black Sheep, popularly known as Beep Beep to his friends, had a long record of bleating his mind about everything around him — from politics to philosophy. He was quite fearless (very unusual for sheep) and didn’t bother to count how many sensitive hooves he stepped on.

Till recently Beep Beep…

Two months after imposition of the most stringent and large-scale lockdown in the world, with the pandemic still undefeated, it is the Indian Republic that is looking more and more like a struggling COVID-19 patient.

It is running low on oxygen in its blood, several organs are already failing, costs of treatment shooting up and the country’s leadership looks utterly confused and in delirium.

For, what the Narendra Modi regime has set in motion, is a deadly ‘cytokine storm’, a phenomenon that turns the body’s immune system against itself. …

Satya Sagar

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