Literature and Visual Storytelling Festival with Malo and Barman Fishing Community

 

Manju Rajak


This is a short write-up on a Community-based Art Project, designed by Manju Rajak, a visual artist. 

Participants' names – Deepa Burman, Lalita Burman, Surabhi Burman, Kajal Sarbwani, Dipika Burman, Nirupa Barman, Nandini Burman, Debojit Burman, Ashis Burman, Hishi Burman, Radhika Burman, Nandini Burman, Akadashi Burman, Maya Burman, Gita Burman, Bidya Burman, Binita Burman, Dlimp Burman, Monika Burman, Minakhi Das, Nayan Burman, Rakesh Burman, Bishnu Burman, Anamika Burman, Puja Burman, Santa Burman, Manoj Burman, Manis Burman, Pallab Burman, Debojit Burman, Dipika Burman, Riha Burman, Shivham Burman, Ritik Wala, Kaushik Burman, Dilip Burman, Dharitri Burman, Bhagirath Burman, Prakash Malo Das, Niranjan Burman, Shibong Burman. 

anandnagar1

Ananda Nagar is a small remote village situated on the North Banks of Brahmaputra River in North Guwahati. The inhabitants of this village are the Malo and Burman Community who are traditionally fishermen by occupation. Nearly 300 families reside in this village. This community has migrated from East Bengali speaking regions of larger Kamrupa Bengal expanse and has a very unique social and cultural history and customs. Presently, it is very difficult to acquire any comprehensive form of their own history and heritage since the community has been long detached from their own region-specific, linguistically alike fishing communities and isolated within a completely new region and culture altogether. Earlier, Ananda Nagar was known as Bongal Basti within the surrounding neighborhoods. After repeated appeals from the villagers, the village has been renamed as Ananda Nagar honoring the name of an eminent Assamese personality, Anandaram Barooah.

anandnagar2

This project seeks to record an inclusive set of documents on cultural, intellectual, history, heritage and enigmatic layers of life of the villagers of Ananda Nagar. Most importantly this process and methods of recording will be initiated by the collective efforts of the community themselves. In the modern, neo-liberal economic context their social-cultural schemes too are changing quite rapidly. This project aims to archive the historicity of the moment of contemporary cultural flux. This economically and socially backward community carries the pearl of cultural heritage, which mostly derives from their occupation as fishermen and the community’s intimate relationship with the river.

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Making of the Indian Constitution

 

Dr Jas Simran Singh Kehal

jas kehalIndia observes its Constitution Day this Sunday, 26th of November, as it was on this day in 1949 the constituent assembly adopted the constitution.

The idea of a constituent assembly for India was proposed in 1934 by M N Rao, a communist and an international revolutionary and adopted by Indian National Congress in 1935. In 1940, the British made a proposal termed as August offer which among other offers, recognized Indians' right to frame their own constitution, In return, they expected Indians to co operate them in World War II.

 Citing complexities in India, British wanted to write the constitution of India before they left but Indians resisted up till independence. On 29th August 1947, a committee was appointed to draft the constitution of India. It had nearly 300 representatives, partly elected and partly selected from all sections of society and chaired by Dr B R Ambedkar, the first Law Minister of India, a jurist, an economist and a social reformer. He is also known as father of Indian constitution. Covering 166 days, it took assembly 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to debate and enact the constitution. Constitution of Japan was written by 24 Americans with the help a female interpreter in just 7 days. It took our neighboring country of Pakistan about 25 years to draft and enact their constitution.

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In the Stream of Consciousness with Priyadarshini Ohol: Solo Exhibition in Kolkata

 

Round Table India

You are cordially invited to the first Calcutta gallery solo of Priyadarshini Ohol - a Bombay artist who paints at her studio in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

 DSC5530

The artist at the opening. The painting "El Dorado" (48" x 36" Acrylic on Canvas) appears in the background.

The exhibition is on view from 21-26 November 2017 at the 4th Floor gallery of the Birla Academy of Art and Culture from 3-8pm.

Commenting on her works at the inauguration, Eminent Artist Samir Aich said,

 "The work is good and honest."
"Character of place like Dharamshala reflects in the coolness of the works."
"She has her own unique style."

IMG 20171115 084310 1 small

Reminisce about Halcyon Times, 36"x48", Acrylic on Canvas.

Details

In the Stream of Consciousness with Priyadarshini Ohol

Solo Exhibition

Eminent Artist Mr. Samir Aich opened the exhibition on 21 Nov 2017 at 6pm.

On View
21 Nov to 26 Nov 2017, 3-8pm
Birla Academy of Art & Culture, 4th Floor, 108, Southern Avenue, Kolkata 700029

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Willuwandi Band-A Musical Revolt From Kerala Against Brahminism

 

Aslah Vadakara and Shaharbanu CP

Before saying anything about the "Willuwandi", the musical band, we need to talk about a great event in Dalit history in Kerala, which could better explain the name of this music band-Willuwandi.

willuwandi band

The Public Works Department in Kerala was started in the 1860s in Travancore.The foreign engineer proposed to  Srimoolam Tirunal, the king of Travancore, a plan to construct a road in the North of South Travancore. The king's reply was, "As Murajapa Mahotsava is getting near, it is not possible to give manly or monetary support." Because the rulers were not in need of roads. The pavement through which the litter carriers took them was not their concern.

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Becoming Minority- An Unsettling Inquiry into a ‘Settled’ Concept

 

Bhakti Deodhar

Bhakti Deodhar(Book review of Becoming minority: How Discourses and Policies Produce minorities in Europe and India, edited by Jyotirmay Tripathi and Sudarshan Padmanabhan, New Delhi, Sage Publications 2014.)

At a time when its attitude towards internal and external religious minorities poses an intractable predicament for the Indian government in the gaze of the international community, and an influx of refugees cracks open the fault lines in the European Union, Becoming minority, published in 2014, seems more relevant than ever. A minority is not a natural category. Rather, it is the product of a discourse. With this central argument, the book sets out to convince us of the dynamic character of this seemingly standardised notion through a wide range of empirical case studies.

 Edited by Prof. Jyotirmay Tripathi and Sudarshan Padmanabhan, the volume is the quick successor of another book edited by them – The Democratic Predicament: Cultural Diversity in Europe and India (published earlier that year). Both books, and Becoming minority in particular foreground the question of religious, cultural, ethnic and linguistic minorities, and how they defy conventional wisdom, consequently bringing in fresh perspectives to the discussion.

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Celebrating 7th November as Students' Day

 

Rahul Pagare

rahul pagareThe government of Maharashtra declared 7th of November to be celebrated as Students' Day on the occasion of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's first day of school entry, back in 1900 AD. Today 117 years have been completed after this historic step. His school's name was Chhatrapati Pratap Singh High School, which is located in Satara.

It is indeed a good step taken by the government of Maharashtra to celebrate the legacy of this visionary nation builder who laid the foundation for our country and protected us with the walls of equality, liberty, fraternity, secularism, and justice as enshrined in the constitution of India.

To celebrate this day and to make it special for the students, we, the volunteers of Rashtranirmate Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Vichar Mahotsav Samiti decided to give a special gift to the students of our society.

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Chamcha Leadership or Conscious Leadership?

 

Rajanikanta Gochhayat

rajanikanta gochhayatRepresentation simply means acting and representing opinion/interest on behalf of the people. In the Indian context, Representation is divided into two categories: one, leadership from a reserved constituency and two, leadership from an unreserved constituency. Here, we would like to discuss the leadership emerging from the reserved constituencies by applying two models of Representation: trustee model and delegate model.

Dalit leaders seem to be a failure from the perspective of both these models. A trustee is a person who acts on behalf of others, using his/her superior knowledge, better education or greater experience, but Dalit leaders hardly use their own experience or learning. If we look at the Dalit leadership in terms of delegate model, Dalit leaders seldom represent the voice of their constituents in the decision-making process. Leaders as delegates, since they belong to reserved constituencies, are bound to have a frequent exchange of voice with their constituents and articulate their demands to be manifest in the policy. We are also ready to recognize the conscience of our leaders who should rationally use it in discussion and debate in the legislature.

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