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Prakash Kona is a writer, teacher and researcher who lives in Hyderabad, India. He is currently Professor at the Department of English Literature, The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad.
The Myth of a Cashless Society
I wonder if PM Narendra Modi understands the gravity of the disaster unleashed on the poor masses thanks to the overnight project of demonetization. The ex-PM Manmohan Singh is right in calling it "organized loot" and "legalized plunder" except that the neo-liberal economic reforms which turned loot and plunder into virtues were initiated when Mr. Singh began his term as the Minister of Finance in 1991.
Friday, September 30, 2016(1 comments)
The Writing on the Kashmiri Wall
The writing on the Kashmiri wall is obvious to those who have eyes to see: either we create an inclusive order that is willing to accommodate the aspirations of the common people of Kashmir or we end up buying the loyalty of the elites with the Indian tax-payer's money and becoming brutally repressive with the masses in the way Israel operates while dealing with the Palestinian Territories.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
What I think of Student Nationalists from the National Institute of Technology, Kashmir
Wearing a badge of nationalism has never been a serious indication that someone loves their country. Those who love their country feel with its downtrodden classes and its oppressed women and children. They are not blind with hatred that destroys the soul. They think of innovative ways to make life meaningful for everyone who comes in contact with them especially those who are ostracized or without a home.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
What it means being Indian
Each group of people imagines a characteristic or a set of traits that they feel intrinsically defines who they are. That makes Indianness fundamentally not so different from Pakistanness or Nepalness or Americanness
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Lives Matter: Black or White
When I read about "Black Lives Matter," the question that came to mind was: shouldn't they matter! And it wasn't a rhetorical response. The next question that came to mind was: do other lives, whether white or not-so-white, Jew or Arab, ought to matter as much as black lives! Yes, they do! Black lives do matter. Black lives should matter, but, more importantly, black lives also matter, as do other lives.
ISIS: "Rationalizing" an Invisible Enemy
In politics it is important to see your enemy as a rational person making rational choices and with the full consciousness of someone who knows what he is doing. The ISIS can be extremely rational in the way it operates while at the same time dedicate its rationalism to the most irrational of goals.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
When students turn into trade unionists
Truthfulness and commitment to change are alien words in politics. For an intellectual they are sacred words. While I see Machiavellian behavior defining student politics, I wish that more of them would invest the same energy in thinking clearly and articulate for greater accommodation and inclusion of the weak and vulnerable sections into mainstream society.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Why Art need not be "Subversive" to bring about Social Change
I am responding to the article by the Indian film actor Ms. Nandita Das which makes the statement that, "If art was not subversive, conservatives would not feel threatened." In my view, Shakespeare and Dostoevsky are anything but subversive in the sense in which Nandita Das uses the term "subversive."
Saturday, September 19, 2015(1 comments)
Why the late President APJ Abdul Kalam never made an impression on me
In my view, Abdul Kalam was neither a phenomenal scientist nor an effectual leader. My own feeling is that he may have been indifferent to the economic dimension of social reality like most engineers, doctors and scientists who do not subscribe to the view that conscience is about responding to the plight of the weak and the downtrodden.
Friday, July 17, 2015
The vindictive and unfair sentencing of Oskar Groening
The sentencing of Oskar Groening, the so-called "book-keeper of Auschwitz" to four years in prison is a stupid, cruel and inhuman judgment that will result in increasing the feelings of anti-semitism and xenophobia rather than doing justice to the victims of Nazism.
Thursday, June 25, 2015(17 comments)
Putting the Charleston Church Shooting in Perspective
I personally don't think that these are ideologically motivated murders. On the contrary they are rooted in a social structure that has already categorized certain individuals as outsiders -- and someone as young as Dylann Roof merely needs a cause to enroll as an insider. In that sense Roof's mindset is not fundamentally different from that of the youth who are fighting for the ISIS in the Levant.
Friday, June 5, 2015(4 comments)
Government of India versus the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle
This might be a remarkably brief synopsis of the incident: however, the fact remains that the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC), a student association was derecognized by the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Madras through a mail dated May 22, 2015 for allegedly creating "hatred" of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the "Hindus."
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Reflections on Cuba: from Communism to Consumerism
I began writing this short piece on Cuba in December 2012 after I returned home following a conference at the University of Havana. For some reason I took a long time to develop the argument, but, fundamentally, I remain convinced now, as I was then, that Cuba is the new consumer haven for American goods.
Monday, April 6, 2015
By birth Indian, by culture Hindu, and by faith Christian
The fears of Christian minorities in India are legitimate given the fact that there is a history of attacks on minorities through the use of mobs that would justify the fear. To dismiss those fears as imaginary as is being done by official media is seriously problematic and will not resolve issues at the ground level.
Saturday, March 7, 2015(13 comments)
Lynching the "Rapist": a horror greater than the Rape
I couldn't believe how happy the mob of mostly young men in Dimapur, Nagaland looked in their euphoria celebrating the lynching of an alleged rapist who also happens to be migrant labor from another state of India.
Monday, January 12, 2015(15 comments)
Pourquoi Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo
The Charlie Hebdo tragedy is a thinly disguised parody of what used to be the "white man's burden" in the heydays of colonialism. It is therefore racist too by extension, a racism hiding behind discourses such as free speech within the "comfort zone" of western democracy.
Sunday, December 7, 2014(2 comments)
A View From India: Ferguson and Aftermath: A Bit too Black or White
The way the discourse has been shaped right from the very beginning was on preconceived terms. It began with a minority black "law-breaker" and an armed white law-enforcer backed by a powerful racist state and continues in the same vein. That's what I find problematic.
Thursday, July 17, 2014(1 comments)
"Eyeless" in Gaza
I wrote this article, with a change in few words, some years ago when Israel had done something similar to what it is doing today to Gaza. Strangely I realized that nothing fundamentally changed. This is only to emphasize the pathetic condition of the Palestinians under colonial occupation. "The Palestinians must defy the Israelis and live their freedom not as a possibility but as a reality."
Saturday, May 31, 2014(18 comments)
What has meritocracy to do with merit?
Meritocracy is another way of globalizing caste system by creating a system of social stratification separating the inferior from the superior. It is a way of making sure that the downtrodden, apart from the token few, never aspire to what by virtue of the system will go to those who inherit both wealth and power.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014(5 comments)
Annihilation of Casteist Mindset
This is not a book review as such but a reflection on few aspects of the speech "Annihilation of Caste" by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar written to be presented in 1936 at the invitation of an anti-caste association in Lahore. There is nothing like caste as an unchanging category. Slavery was once upon a time a reality. What made it real was that there was something called the slave mentality and likewise a master mentality.
Sunday, May 18, 2014(1 comments)
What the Narendra Modi-led BJP regime means to the future of India
As the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi will write the obituary to the Nehruvian vision of a mixed economy that combined public enterprise with private initiative. In fact what this electoral victory might signify is the corporatization of the state where merit and conformism to the political order become the primary criteria for the ideal citizen.
Arvind Kejriwal and his loony bin politics
The Aam Aadmi Party and its leader Kejriwal are anything but a serious reflection of the aspirations of the downtrodden masses. The recent mistreatment of black African women in Delhi by the law minister of the party actually establishes the racist and casteist nature of AAP politics.
An American System, "Alien" to the Indian Mindset
This article is a reflection on the politics surrounding the arrest and body search of Ms. Devyani Khobragade an Indian consular officer in the US leading to a diplomatic row between India and the US -- at least from the Indian point of view.
Patriarchy, the Social Order and the Delhi Gangrape Victim
The twenty-three year old victim of brutal gang-rape on a New Delhi bus finally succumbed in a Singapore hospital following a period of physical and mental devastation -- a devastation that needs a different kind of imagination for it to be properly understood. The legitimization of violence in a country like India is an altogether different thing.
Friday, September 21, 2012(1 comments)
Why Muslims need to embrace a Politics of Moderation
It is as imperative for Muslims to embrace the politics of moderation as it is for the western governments and media to open space to the voices of moderate Muslims and give them an opportunity to be leaders in their communities.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Book Review: Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy
Chris Hayes dismantles the myths of meritocracy: The book "Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy" is written with a certain passion as if in response to the need of a time -- " the increasing inequality, compartmentalization, and stratification of America in the post-meritocratic age" (212).
Sunday, August 19, 2012(2 comments)
Ecuador and Julian Assange's Asylum
A nation honors itself through acts such as this one that Ecuador did in granting asylum to Julian Assange. The importance of Ecuador standing up to the UK government's intimidatory stance can hardly be ignored. It is not the same thing when a powerful nation dictates terms to those it views as inferiors and when the "inferiors" turn back to answer their so-called bosses.
Why we need a Patriotic and not a Nationalist Media
I'm exploring the Orwellian distinction between nationalism and patriotism and why I think more and more global media espouses nationalism which is vicious by nature rather than patriotism which is closer to what common people really are and wish to be.
UK Riots 2011 -- A "Social Revolution" Yet to Take Place
Both the Norway attacks and UK disturbances are expressions of individual and collective bitterness and hatred towards a non-responsive and indifferent government that does not hesitate in using violence against them to keep a semblance of order.