The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Illustration by Suhail Naqshbandi/ KI

An Interview with Yashwant Sinha on Kashmir

By Adil Bhat
I do not agree that religious radicalism in the Valley is an outcome of occupation. In fact, it is not an occupation. If it was an occupation, then why would we see the military organizing large number of welfare projects like the Sadbhavna Operation under which a number of Army Goodwill Schools were opened mostly in inaccessible remote areas of the Valley?

Members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) or Red Shirt put makeup on their faces at Lumpini park in Bangkok, Thailand, July 2010. About 200 UDD members took part in the gathering to show their unity and to defy the country's security act. Photo by Apichart Weerawong/Associated Press.

Defying authoritarianism with humor

By Janjira Sombatpoonsiri
The experiences of Serbia and Thailand show how humor can be deployed differently, and towards different ends. In Serbia, Otpor had used humorous protest actions in a systematic way, with a well-crafted strategy of nonviolent defiance and nationwide franchises attracting broad-based support. As a result, the number of actions quantified, and effects of humor maximized. In contrast, Thailand’s Red Sunday was an ad hoc group working on a smaller scale.

Photo: Indian Defence Research Wing

China and India: The New Great Game Redefined

By Mir Sajad
Only time can tell whether India and China can live up to the high expectations among many that they will be rising for decades to come. If both giants were to become the leading actors in the “New Asian Drama” and help transform the region from the “poverty of nations” to the “wealth of nations”, then their rise will not only benefit themselves but also possibly spearhead a new Asian Renaissance.


Book Review: Lopamudra Banerjee’s ‘Thwarted Escape’

By Bhaswati Ghosh
Thwarted Escape is a woman’s journey – not only through the alleys of memory – but also in the physical realm, from the East to the West. The narrative oscillates between the author’s life in Kolkata, India and cities in the US, where she moved post-marriage. Some of the book’s most tender parts are where the author is seen synthesizing her experiences of her home country with those of her adopted one. In doing so she realizes that despite her impulse to fly abroad, the escape from her old universe never actually happened on the emotional plane.

Photo: Business Insider

10 Theses For The Fight Against Right-Wing Populism

By Marc Saxer
It has been the neoliberal policies of enriching the elite, eroding the middle classes and excluding the “redundant” that have provided the fertile ground for right-wing populism. A truly transformative agenda, on the other hand, has the potential to rob right-wing populists of their greatest asset: to be the only alternative to the neoliberal mainstream.


Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the latest chapter in the rise of Hindu radicalization

By Murtaza Ali Khan
Everybody keeps talking about the extreme side of Islam and its endless dangers but tend to overlook the maleficent ways of Hindu fundamentalism. What has happened to Bhansali is a classic example of the rise of Hindu extremism in the country, post-2014 general elections. With the NDA government not too keen on tightening its grip on them, these Hindu extremist groups feel that they can take the law in hands and still go scot-free.


Culture Wars: Jallikattu as Separatism

By Ananya S Guha
We have an edifice, diverse yet rounded. We must neither bring nasty politics into it, nor religiosity, nor cultural chauvinism, nor racial jingoism. Let culture not trump the economic well-being of communities. The diversity of the country mustn’t be turned into war cries of separatism, especially on social media, which tend to fuel such tendencies.


Poem: Homeland Memories

By Tikuli
years ago I bid adieu to my homeland
the colours of autumn that stained my heart
have long faded and the rivers that ran
deep in the lines of my hands have dried


Book Review: Annie Zaidi’s ‘Unbound – 2000 Years of Indian Women’s Writing’

By Nivedita N
Unbound: 2000 Years of Indian Women’s Writing showcases what women’s writing means: it is honest, gripping, laced with passion and at times, wry humour. This mammoth collection has eleven categories and includes writing by men and women. The range of the writing involves plays, short stories, and excerpts of novels, nonfiction books, poetry, and essays.


Sankarda: Where Time Stands Still

By Nishi Pulugurtha
As the sun sets, we head back to the resort. Walking back, we are taken in by the colours of the setting sun that lend the place a beautiful aura. Our holiday was coming to an end. As we spend the last morning, we decide to just soak in the quietness, the calm, and the serenity of the place.


Misogyny, patriarchy, gender stereotypes, and heteronormative discourses in “The Kapil Sharma Show”

By Nasima Islam
While watching the show one day, I was compelled to think what is it that compels a huge mass of Indian audience go “lol” or “rofl” watching the women folk getting abused and made a butt of nonsensical jokes by a male onscreen. How does this not offend, rather entertain, us? Is it that prehistoric patriarchal, misogynist, stronghold on our psyche, which we are yet to do away with, that laughs unconsciously?