The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Posts from the ‘Village’ category

The Less Fortunate

By Haris Ahmed
The man was shivering; a young lad shoved him down on his knees. Another man loaded his rifle. Before the crowd could react, the man lay lifeless in a pool of blood. The crowd began cheering and roaring in frenzy.

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Would My Mother be Lynched for Eating Beef?

By Mosarrap H. Khan
While the beef was eaten with relish, the bones posed a problem. We had to get rid of them before our Hindu neighbors could find out we were actually ‘goru kheko muchuman’ (beef-eating Muslims), a derogatory term used to address Muslims in Bengal.

Ending the Practice of ‘Witch-Hunting’ in Assam: An Interview with Archana Bhattacharjee about Birubala Rabha’s Work

By Joyce Yarrow
‘Witch-hunting’ in Assam involves branding a woman as a witch or daini, mostly based on the declaration of an Ojha or Bez (quack doctor).This usually happens when villagers approach the village Ojha about someone who has a chronic ailment and the Ojah identifies a woman as the source of the sickness and she is branded as a daini or witch.

Mehru’s Dream

By Mosarrap H. Khan
A strong gust of wind almost threw her off. She felt the first few drops of cold rain on her skin. It excited her and made her want more. Mehru stood in the middle of the courtyard with her face lifted to the sky in anticipation. The large drops of rain lashed against her face, making her feel a stinging pain.

Jana-Sanskriti: Theatre of the Oppressed

By Amartya Banerjee
Jana-Sanskriti, has been working in these areas since the mid-1980s and through its untiring efforts, it has been able to instill a sense of belonging, a sense of responsibility amongst the people. This responsibility refers to the belief that things and situations will not change if one gives up hope. It will change only when they themselves unite in their efforts and harness the collective energy for constructive work.

Book Review: Akhil Gupta’s ‘Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India’

By EPM Swalih
Akhil Gupta’s study is different from other postcolonial scholars working within a western theoretical framework. He shows a unique way to engage with Euro-American theories. And that is why I began to love his work. His interrogation of the theories of governmentality, biopolitics, and sovereign ban results from his grounding in Mandi district of Western Uttar Pradesh, India. He compels us to think with the Euro-American theories only if we are able to critically approach them. I find his attempts in provincializing Europe[1] as one of the most rewarding tasks ever undertaken by the postcolonial scholars.

Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy: Celebrating Life Through the Vision of Death

By Lopa Banerjee
Exuding a raw energy and supreme power of art, the entire Apu trilogy, on the surface level, traces the epic journey of the protagonist, Apu, from his impoverished rural boyhood to his years in Baranas and Calcutta and, finally, to his marriage and fatherhood. On a more metaphysical plane, the three films depict the unique life of the protagonist in various stages, repeatedly facing deep spiritual questions centered round the vision of death.

A “teacher, but not trained”: David Horsburgh and the Neel Bagh Experiment

By Sachin Tiwari
A unique feature at the school was the question hour, where students would gather and raise questions that came to their mind. These sessions were not structured with a purpose to “teach” the children but were designed to work with observations made by the children themselves. Thus curiosity served as a point of entry and inquiry into a larger area of concern for everyone.

Letters from a Foreign Shore

By Rabindranath Tagore
This morning, the sun is beaming from time to time, a wind is blowing swiftly, tamarisk and lychee trees are sashaying and rustling in a sway, a variety of birds are calling out in as many different ways to enliven the forest’s morning assembly. Sitting in this large, companion-less bright and open second-floor room, I am delighted to see a row of boats on the canal and, across it, a village flanked by trees on both sides.

Digantar: A Glimpse at an Alternative Approach to Education

By Riti Das Dhankar
Every step that leads towards an unconventional path is met with impediments and speculations. It is easy to gain support for an established idea but not for an alternative one. A school that debunks the idea of classrooms and has groups where every child is at a different level is not something that would go down well with parents, whose idea of a school is one where the teacher writes on the blackboard and every child in the classroom is at the same level.

Adharshila Shikshan Kendra: Reconstituting Possibilities for Adivasi Children

By Karishma Desai
Adharshila has thoughtfully embedded local Adivasi political ecological knowledge in curricula and overall school practices. For example, in one curricular inquiry project, students collect folk tales from their own villages and analyze relations between self, community, nature, and world. In another unit, students collect oral histories from village elders to understand why the arid mountain behind their school community was called Reech (bear), considering it did not represent an environment that bears would live in.

Rural India: Tales of children of the desert…

By Akshatha Shetty & Piyush Goswami
While some of the children travel with the villagers all round the year hopping from one fair to another, the others live in the neighboring slum areas. These kids cannot afford to go to school but they are quite happy doing what they do. When they are not hassling tourists, the kids are often seen collecting camel or cow dung, which is dried and later sold to herders and villagers as fuel.