Siddharth Profile picture
He/him | Politics | Cricket | Cinema
We the people of India........ Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
23 Nov
Islamophobia is the irrational hostility to a religion and not people and hence, accurately named. It is used to refer to the corrupted public consciousness about Islam and this manufactured prejudice has played a huge role in fuelling anti-Muslim bigotry across the world.
There may be hostility towards Hindus, Christians or others in many parts of the world where they are minorities. But that doesn't mean "Hindu-phobia" or "Christian-phobia" exists. That is why the word Islamophobia exists as it's not merely about hostility towards minorities.
Acknowledging that Islamophobia exists is in no way shielding Islam from criticism. In fact, valid criticism against all religions is necessary for our collective progress. It is disingenuous to suggest that those calling out Islamophobia are somehow being apologists of religion.
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
Kerala Police Act Amendment Ordinance 2020 by the @vijayanpinarayi goverment is a draconian, ill-conceived move that gives the state indiscriminate powers to attack people's freedom of expression. Hopefully the SC will strike this down soon enough.
Kerala govt claims that this law is meant to tackle the menace of cybercrimes especially against women. While the problem is very much valid, this is no solution as this section poses grave risk of being misused to curb dissent.

Governments will come and go but laws will remain.
Kerala government should have taken into consideration the concerns raised by the IT & legal experts about how dangerous this new law could be. Hopefully it will be forced to re-think their position as more and more people register their protest against it.
Read 5 tweets
11 Nov
Islamophobia is so normalised in this society that someone like Owaisi is "counter-radicalising" the people, but Mayawati is representing the oppressed people and giving them a voice. So, the former will always be accused of "vote-cutting" but never the latter.
If you take the example of Bihar elections alone, you will find the ridiculousness and duplicity of this argument.

Check out this thread which examines all the 20 seats contested by AIMIM and whether they hurt MGB anywhere.

Spoiler alert: They didn't!
Now, check out this thread which examines 8 seats contested by BSP where MGB candidate lost to NDA by a margin of less than 10k votes.

This is not even an exhaustive list, but I guess you get the drift.
Read 10 tweets
16 Oct
1. Liberals are strongly opposed to conservative values in all cultures across the world. But in a culturally diverse society, there exists an added layer to this opposition which is based on misperceptions about the foreign cultures.
2. Liberals from one culture tend to feel more strongly opposed to the conservative values of other cultures because they don't fully understand the social intricacies of the foreign culture. Thus, a part of their opposition arises out of ignorance and a phobia is generated.
3. A phobia implies an irrational, unreasonable aversion towards a culture in this context. Both anti-semitism and islamophobia are examples of this. Essentially, you don't know about a culture but yet you tend to believe the worst about them based on hearsay.
Read 7 tweets
16 Oct
"Rather than curbing the power of caste, then, economic liberalisation has exacerbated caste differences because it has exacerbated inequality in a society stratified along caste lines."

This is a must-read. amp.scroll.in/article/975766…
"It is certainly the case that in liberal democratic societies, the formal equality of individuals serves as a convenient alibi for obscuring collective histories of advantage and disadvantage."
"We see this playing out in evaluations of merit in which the individual is treated as a person with certain innate capacities rather than as a person who has been afforded structural advantages."
Read 6 tweets
15 Oct
Thappad: 7.5/10
Halal Love Story: 8/10
The Trial of the Chicago 7: 8.5/10
Borat 2: 8/10
Read 7 tweets
15 Oct
While ideas like secularism and pluralism are undoubtedly the goals which we must work towards, we must recognise the fact that these words have never had much to do with the reality of this society. Even the most progressive thinkers in the mainstream often fail to realise this.
Those who've been marginalised by the oppressive power structures in this society will invariably mock the facade of those in the mainstream calling themselves "secular" or "plural". It is crucial to realise that this mockery isn't coming from a place of ideological opposition.
Their mockery is coming from a place of mistrust that got accumulated based on their lived experiences in a society that has turned its back on them for ages. It is an expression of exhaustion from participating in an age-old charade about an imaginary secular society.
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
All the popular arguments against caste-based reservations are founded on myths and have no basis in reality. This is not surprising as the dominant social groups are always threatened by attempts to create a more equal and just society.

A thread with counter-arguments 👇🏽
Argument 1: "Those who are economically better off benefits more than the weak, so caste should be replaced by economic criteria for reservation"

Counter argument –– Part 1: The premise itself is invalid. Reservation in employment has been a significantly pro-poor policy.
a) According to the National Sample Survey data, in 2011–12, about 68% of all permanent SC employees were educated below the secondary and higher secondary levels or were diploma holders, while 32% were educated up to the graduate level or above.
Read 18 tweets
12 Oct
Reacting to RG's tweet about how minorities are being ostracised in India, many have reiterated their belief that him, his mother and his sister are the only people in the INC leadership who won't switch to BJP. Unfortunately, 3 people don't make a party, it's a family.
Such a statement by the INC supporters is not just an endorsement of the Gandhi family, it is also a statement of dissent against their party's pro-Hindutva politics, which they see as antithetical to the family's ideology. This is a welcome development during a fascist rule.
It is good that INC supporters are able to see through the fault-lines of their party and are condemning the likes of Scindia who've left the party and joined the BJP (including Khushbu, the latest one to switch).

Sooner all of them leave, the better for the Congress party.
Read 4 tweets
27 Sep
In solidarity with Bhagyalakshmi, Diya Sana & Sreelakshmi ✊🏽

It takes courage to do what they did and then accept the accountability for it. Here's hoping that this glorious effort will serve as a lesson to every misogynist hiding behind their computers and spewing venom online.
There are many who see nothing wrong in what that vile man did. To hell with them. But a lot of men (and a few women) who otherwise stand against patriarchy have refused to support their act citing few concerns.

Let's address their arguments one by one.
"They shouldn't have taken law into their hands"

Like in the case of #MeToo movement, it is precisely because there is no proper process in place to address the problem that these activists had to take law into their hands. Active resistance arises out of a failed system.
Read 11 tweets
21 Sep
Wow, Succession won Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, Writing, Directing and Jeremy Strong won for Acting. Very well deserved!
While accepting the award for Outstanding Drama Series, the show creator Jesse Armstrong said "un-thank you" to

- the virus
- Donald Trump
- Boris Johnson
- all nationalist & quasi-nationalist govts across the world
- the media moguls who keep them in power

😁
Congrats Jeremy Strong! 👏🏽
Read 4 tweets
21 Sep
Listen to what comrade @VijooKrishnan has to say about Modi government's new Farm Bills which were bulldozed through the Parliament.

In case you don't recall, Vijoo Krishan is the Joint Secretary of @KisanSabha who organised the Kisan Long March in 2018.
m.thewire.in/article/agricu…
"In the wake of the undemocratic manner in which the govt is pushing through the Bills, there is not much to expect from them. If the govt was interested in taking everyone together it could have easily taken the Bills to a parliamentary committee for further examination."
"The PMO, over the last 3 months, has been flooded with emails and letters. They should reveal how many farmers’ organisations protested, when and where and how many sent their memoranda to the prime minister. Haryana had protests in all districts today [Sunday]."
Read 4 tweets
19 Sep
"Delusions, even threatening ones, are often more comforting than reality, particularly when you can switch them off and on at will."

Another insightful piece by @AsimAli6.

telegraphindia.com/amp/opinion/th…
"It appears that people view news as an instrument to vicariously battle imaginary threats that make them feel morally righteous, rather than to comprehend the real threats confronting their lives and livelihoods."
"Moral panic is a sociological category, which denotes a public scare about a supposed threat from deviants or ‘folk devils’, a category of people who, presumably, engage in evil practices and are blamed for menacing a society’s culture, way of life, and central values."
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
While @_YogendraYadav's intent may have been to support Umar Khalid, the piece is riddled with all the usual ingredients of the 'good Muslim vs bad Muslim' fallacy.

Good job, @OmairTAhmad, @AdityaMenon22 and others who've called this out.
theprint.in/opinion/umar-k…
Apart from these fallacious arguments already pointed out, there were some absurd remarks about the Left as well. While Yogendra Yadav has always been anti-Left in his political views, these latest remarks are quite silly for a public intellectual of his stature.
1. "He looks beyond the revolutionary fantasies of a violent overthrow of the Indian State and is willing to engage with the messy ways of democratic politics"

Who in the mainstream Left in India, apart from the Maoists, engages in this "fantasy"? This is an absurd caricaturing.
Read 5 tweets
18 Sep
Looks like the SC is going to vacate the stay on Chavhanke's "UPSC Jihad" show with suggestions to modify the content. 🤦🏽‍♂️
Read 4 tweets
17 Sep
1. Right-wing politics has always tried to defend the status quo and resist progress by distracting people from the real reasons of their suffering and propping up fake enemies. This is the core of arguments like "immigrants are taking our jobs" and "reservation destroys merit".
2. The real reasons behind the employment crisis can be found by analysing the neoliberal economic policies of states. But instead of addressing them, a far-right President like Donald Trump convinced his constituents that it's the Mexicans who are taking away the jobs.
3. The sentiment about "how immigrants are the reason for all problems" are at the core of many crises across the world including the Assam NRC. Instead of demanding more opportunities and public spending from the governments, the people have been made to turn against each other.
Read 6 tweets
17 Sep
1. It was the large scale mobilisation against CAA & NRC that actually challenged the fascists arguably for the first time. This is why we saw them coming down heavily against it by organising a pogrom and then accusing the victims & allies for the violence and locking them up.
2. The Kisan Long March organised by the CPI(M) was a strong attack on the fascist regime that forced the goverment to give in to the demands at least on paper. If all the opposition parties had thrown their weight behind this protest, it may have made a difference.
3. The protests movements across the colleges in the country that happened after the institutional murder of Rohit Vemula was another strong popular uprising but the fascists crushed it by making fake villains out of a few JNU students and branding them the "tukde-tukde gang".
Read 10 tweets
16 Sep
"If you're watching this, it means I've been locked up.."

Listen to @UmarKhalidJNU's message just before his arrest.
Someone please translate this message to English.
Thread on today's press conference by @kavita_krishnan, @pbhushan1 and others where Umar's message was released:
Read 5 tweets
14 Sep
Identity politics and its fault lines: a thread.

1. Representation is paramount in democracy. An ally can never adequately represent the interests of an oppressed minority in a majoritarian society. Hence it's crucial that the oppressed are empowered to voice their own concerns.
2. This is why idpol is important in diverse yet majoritarian societies. Its role becomes even more crucial when the progressive mainstream movements that are supposed to speak for the marginalised fail to accurately analyse the impact of identities in politics.
3. Hence, it is absolutely necessary that there is leadership that represents women, Dalits, Muslims and other marginalised communities. Reservation is one of the redressal mechanisms to tackle the situation where natural justice is denied to these marginalised identity groups.
Read 13 tweets
14 Sep
One of the key accusations regarding the #DelhiViolence is that it was a pogrom conducted with the help of the police force. Whether you believe it or not, how are you okay with the accused investigating a crime and implicating people?
That an agency under the same govt who's being accused of the crime cannot grant justice should be agreeable even if you support the govt and believe that the police had no role in violence.

Unless there's not even an ounce of democratic values left in your politics anymore.
If not an investigation by the Central govt, then who?

This is why we have a Parliament in place. To keep a government in check.

The investigation of #DelhiViolence must be led by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

#JPCForDelhiViolence
Read 4 tweets