Saturday, November 14, 2009

Creativity, Resistance and Language of Poetry, Politics and Culture

Creativity, Resistance and Language of Poetry, Politics and Culture

Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society, A students discussion forum of the college organized a discussion on the book Poetry, Politics and Culture written by Professor Akshaya Kumar, teaching in the Department of English, Panjab University, Chandigarh.
In the seminar presided by college Principal Dr. Madhu Prashar and chaired by Kuldeep Singh of Punjabi Department, Harpreet, Shaminder, students of BSc. III Year and Veerpal, student of B.A. I Year elaborated the work of Prof. Akshay kumar with over 400 students of the campus.
Veerpal said that, the writer has significantly addressed the questions of poetry in a simpler manner. He has tried to focus on the idea that poetry is a forceful method to bring the social change and it has the capacity to influence and make any common subject, individual heroic.
Shaminder said that “the writer has given a comparative study of the three ‘prominent’ language streams – Indian English, Hindi and Punjabi. Among the Indian English poets Nissim Ezekiel, A. K. Ramanujan, Jayanta Mahaptra, Kamla Das, Keki Daruwalla, Arun Kolatkar, the poets of late 1990s – Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Sudeep Sen, Vikram Seth, Meena Alexander, Sujata Bhatt, Imtiaz Dharkar and others. Among the hindi Poets Kabir, Meera , Bhartendu, Maithilisharan Gupt, Dinkar, Muktibodh, Nirala, Mahadevi Verma, Bharati and Dhoomil, contemporary poets such as Alokdhanva, Manglesh Dabral, Leeladhar Jagudi, Rajesh Joshi, Anamika, Katyayni,, Gagan Gill, Ashok Vajpeyi have also been explored in the context of the ever-shifting configuration of India as a nation. Among Punjabi Poets Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar Batalvi and Pash with a number of poets like Lal Singh ‘Dil’, Sant Ram Udasi, Manjit Tiwana, Shashi Samaundra, Sukhminder Amrit and others. The writer has also studied and analyzed the works of Omprakash Valmiki, Namdeo Dhasal, Gurmeet Kallarmajri and many others in the understanding of social problems”.
Harpreet said that, “Professor Akshaya has questioned the nature of poetry. He gave the comparative study of Poetry to understand the diverse issues and concepts towards the social change. The author has explored the issues of feminism, caste, class and gender in the articulations of the spheres of Justice and how poetry has been central to raise the issues and the conflicts which come in the process. The writer has also thoroughly researched the works of poets to understand and reflect on the issues of poetry in Colonial, Post-Colonial phase. Professor Akshaya has questioned the concept of Nationalism and how poets and poetry has been understood under such boundaries. The author seems to have deconstructed the issues of poetry and the poets and issues related to resistance and its different forms with which they are symbolized.
Harpreet added that the writer rightly pointed out that the participation of the poets in political meetings/programmes/rallies suggests that there was never a wedge between the political and the poetical.
Addressing the participants, Dr. Madhu Prashar pointed out that Akshay has tried to portray the image of Meera Bai in more than one narration. He has raised the questions as to how Meera’s Poetry should be understood. She should not only be read as a poet of Bhakti Movement but rather a revolutionary who talks about the women autonomy and freedom. Meera is a woman who raises questions to the existing politics, tradition and culture.
Among others who addressed the participants were Madhu Gautam from Department of Hindi, Rashpinder Singh from Department of Punjabi, Narinder Deora, Namrata Gupta and Shiv Sethi from Department of English, Ambuj Sharma from Department of Philosophy. In the seminar Sakshi, Gurmeet, Harpriya, Harpreet and Rupinder also raised many important questions. Needless to mention Ramandeep Kaur former student of Department of English, Panjab University provided support to update the Blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Meera Nanda's The God Market

Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society: A Students Discussion Forum of the Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur City, Punjab organized a discussion on the recent Book “God Market” written by the renowned scholar Meera Nanda, Visiting Fellow at the Jawaharlal Institute of Advanced Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The session was presided by the Navdeep Kaur student of B.A. final year. Amongst the speakers Bhawana, Pushpinderjeet, Rupinder, Kuldeep Singh, Rashpinder Singh, Ratan Singh, Rajan and Ambuj Sharma of the College shared their insights and views with the students and faculty of the campus.

In the first round of discussion Rupinder and Bhawana appreciated the work of Meera Nanda and said that “God Market is a resourceful book in understanding the journey of spiritualism to capitalism. It focuses on the concept of Globalization and Secularism in India” They further said that “Meera has outlined and stated that politicized religiosity seems to be the order of the day everywhere. Even in India this religiosity is being cultivated by the emerging state-temple-corporate complex that is replacing the more secular public institutions of the Nehruvian era.”

Pushpinderjeet, argued that “people of the country are not at applying their rationality to understand spirituality and religion but they are going by and are encouraging the Godmen who are minting huge money in the name of spirituality.”
She further added that until every individual in the society is not liberated of poverty, there cannot be an Individual Salvation.

The participants further focused on the concept of Enlightenment stated by Kabir of India and Immanuel Kant of Germany that people should come out of the self incurred immaturity and apply critical rationality before believing any thing and understanding the discourse of life.

Around three hundred students of the campus interacted in the discussion and agreed that the larger questions of food, employment and health are more important than any other discourse.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nuclear Energy: Development, National Security and Hegemony

Nuclear Energy: Development, National Security and Hegemony

Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society: A students’ Discussion forum of the Dev Samaj College for Women organized a seminar on the theme “Nuclear Energy: Development, National Security and Hegemony”. In the seminar Sapanpreet, Ramanpreet, Amandeep, Rajkushwant and Kulwider shared their views with over three hundred students of the campus.

In the first session Sapanpreet and Ramanpreet raised their concern on the Indo-US nuclear deal. They said that, “the nuclear deal would affect the sovereignty of the country regarding its foreign policy and other issues. They stressed that the issues of development should not be centered to the nuclear deal as it would not cater the interests of the common people, as held by the government.” It would not only strengthen America’s supremacy over the weak and developing nations but also weaken India’s self reliant approach towards development.

In the second session, Kulwinder and Amandeep laying emphasis on the issue of nuclear disarmament outwardly criticized the nuclear power nations for making nuclear bombs, a threat to humanity. The participants collectively raised their dissatisfaction, disappointment and protest over the countries, in race to be nuclear power nations along with the ones which possess it. They said that it is the hegemonic character of the nations to rule the other that has resulted in the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “Time has come to shed these dangerous weapons of mass destruction,” Said Rajkushwant. The participants appealed the nuclear power nations to eradicate these bombs forever and follow the path of non-violence and live and let live the humanity.

In the last session Gurmeet, Amarjeet, Harpriya, Sakshi, Pushpinderjeet, Amrit, Kuldeep, Rupinder, Rashpinder Singh, Swinder and Ambuj raised important questions.

Friday, September 11, 2009

‘Reading Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj in the Times of Global Violence and Modernity’

‘Reading Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj in the Times of Global Violence and Modernity’

“Violence and the products of modernity have added to the growth of ‘hegemony’, ‘consumerism’ and ‘hedonistic pleasures of Individuals’. There is a need to revitalize the moral, social and political philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi,” Said, Babbaldeep in the seminar on ‘Reading Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj in the Times of Global Violence and Modernity’ organized by Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical society: A students’ Discussion forum of the Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur
In the first session Babbal and Komal in their presentation shared their views on the concepts of Civilization, Swaraj as stated by Gandhi in the Hind Swaraj. They agreed with Gandhi that true Swaraj does not mean political independence but freedom from the mean and other vicious thoughts that corrupts the mind of individuals.
They further added that Gandhi’s swaraj represents a genuine attempt to regain control of the 'self' - our self-respect, self-responsibility, and capacities for self-realization - from institutions of dehumanization. As Gandhi states, "It is swaraj when we learn to rule ourselves." The real goal of the freedom struggle was not only to secure political azadi (independence) from Britain, but rather to gain true swaraj (liberation and self-rule).
They said that today we are enslaved by the products of modernity. People have sidelined the ethical values and minds have become more money and body comfort centric. Education is also largely affected. The need is to shun the modernity offered by the colonialists and think about the philosophy, Gandhi taught.
In the second session, Focusing on the current Global violence which is apparent in the forms of terrorism, fight for territory, and other forms of exploitations Atinder and Mahi called for the Gandhian view of non-violence and civilization for its rescue. They said that Gandhi is a fine example of the activist who actually followed what he preached. The seminar was followed by the discussion in which Amarjeet, Navdeep, Daljeet, Gurmeet asked relevant questions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

State, Judiciary and Khap Panchayat: a discourse on Caste, Class and Gender

Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society: A Students’ Discussion Forum of Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur, Punjab, organized a National Seminar on “State, Judiciary and Khap Panchayat: A Discourse on Caste, Class and Gender in Haryana”.

In the seminar, chaired by college principal Dr. Madhu Prashar, Daljit Ami, assistant editor of Punjabi Tribune News paper from Chandigarh, Punabi film maker Jitendra Mahaur, Theatre activist, Ranjeet, Activist and Phd. Research Scholar from Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawahar Lal Nehru University from New Delhi, Kuldeep Kaur, actively participated and shared their views with over 300 students and other faculty members of the college on the issue.

Apart from the resourse persons, Seerat, student of III, Isha, Student of II, Sukhdeep, Student of B.A.II, and Sakshi, Student of B.A.I and Babbal, Student of B.A.I also raised their protest against the ongoing activities of the khap panchayat in Haryana.

Daljeet in his presentation raised questions regarding the nature of State and Judiciary in protecting the rights of the citizens. He said that it is state which guarantees the security and basic minimum dignity to its people. He further said that, the current practices which are being adopted by the Khap Panchayats in Haryana is a big threat and violation of the basic human rights of the individuls who try to exercise their right to marry a person of their choice.

He condemned the recent killing of Ved Pal of Jind and demanded stern actions against the guilty. He further commented on the issue of Honour killings in Haryana and said that the young boys and girls falling in love with each other, deciding to get married without the consent of the parents, breaking the caste endogamy and class exogamy, coming out the dilemma of honour of the family but at the same time these young boys and girls are not accepting other progressive ideas rather they follow all regressive traditions.

He said that families and the caste panchayats are not accepting the marriages, which do not follow the norms of traditional society. There cases where everyday family members are chasing runaway couples, youngsters get active to retrieve the girl and to take barbaric action to revive honour of the family. He said that it the need of the hour that an individual should have a dialogue with one self, family and the society where he or she is living in. he said that there is a lack of communication within the families and patriarchy is another reason for such problems. It can be through collective dialogues between groups and individuals that one can do away with the problems of the society. He also raised the need of state to act against such injustices.

In the last session many important questions were asked by Mrs. Madhu Gautam of Hindi Department, Dr. Sushil Gupta of Zoology Department, Dr. Suman Sharma of Sanskrit Department and Dr. Ambuj Sharma of Philosophy Department.