One State Solution.

Exploring themes: Loss November 21, 2008

Filed under: communalism,community,personal::political — Big Momma @ 10:02 am


There needs to be process from dealing with loss to understanding to recovery to constructive action.But, always, we start with taking stock.

This thematic tries to work with material and emotional loss that communal violences have left us with, without getting into the cycle of blame.


Exploring themes: Syncreticism and theology

Filed under: community,religion,theology — Big Momma @ 9:59 am


This theme looks at composite cultures and their sustenance.

In the case of Islam, mainstream theological doctrines have often failed at encompassing the bounteous wealth of syncretic practices in the Indian subcontinent.Sufi doctrines are either misunderstood or clouded in ritualistic and regressive practice, thus depriving us of their liberating, phenomenological and philosophical lineages.

This theme tries to invent new syncreticisms while keeping the old.


Exploring themes: Belonging

Filed under: community,democracy,nation,nationhood — Big Momma @ 9:58 am


The modern condition entails freedom of occupation but this freedom often brings with the likelihood of alienation, and the possibility of discrimination.This theme delineates around  nostalgia, threat and bonding, all aspects of the creation of community.


Gujarat ke rakshakon, December 13, 2007

Chunaav ke dauraan yaad rakhne layak kuch cheezein.


[Brought to you by the White Ribbon Abhiyaan.Message also circulated at Blogbharti.]



ballot box

[ click on the ballot box]

This is a message in public interest circulated by the White Ribbon Campaign for Peace(India).You can also view it here and on Blogbharti.

Please copy and distribute extensively.


Kya aap White ribbon mein shraddha aur imaan rakhte hain? November 15, 2007


Do you have faith in the White ribbon?

White Ribbon


Feminist, blogger and activist Anasuya Sengupta, in an essay called ‘Fundamentalisms of the Progressive wrote,

‘One of our campaigns was to wear a white ribbon for peace (the White Ribbon Campaign for Peace, India) – we used it both as a symbol and as a talking point, to begin conversations about violence of all kinds, including what we call ‘communalism’ in India (the rousing of hatred against particular communities). Initially, some of our friends scoffed at us, and wondered what an insignificant white ribbon could do, to change attitudes and animosities.

But the interesting thing was that there were so many people – both young and not so young – who were unable to be political in the same way as they saw ‘activists’; they felt this meant standing at street corners with banners, or going on rallies, or shouting slogans against the government. They found this too ‘political’ (in their understanding of the term), and yet they were deeply disturbed at the kinds of violence being perpetrated in the name of religion.

So for these people, wearing a ribbon was the beginning of a series of conversations they had with others, which began other processes of change, at least in terms of breaking the silence around violence.

And because it was something everyone could do – and have conversations at whatever level of politics and ideology each was comfortable with – it wasn’t intimidating in any way, and yet gave a sense of belonging to a community against violence, and speaking up for peace.’



Do you believe in pluralism and justice?

Are you Secular, liberal, free thinking?

Do you believe that all religion has in its essence ways of leading a soulful, integrated and fulfilled life?

Do you believe that religious extremism has done us no good?

Say No to religious bigotry.

White Ribbon

Wear a White Ribbon today.



from the past. October 22, 2007


Rethinking previous work is necessary.This is one of the photos that spawned off the Shivajinagar Signs project that Namita Malhotra and I did.

And a similar Sarai project on Street-Signs in the city of Pune called Vaartaphalaks spawned off this train of enquiry.

We addressed questions of divisive material, but these issues come back again and again.
Living in Gujarat and then coming back to where you grew up, a largely undivided atmosphere, (although changing).

Saint God, Communalism, Divisiveness.

None of these terms have stand alone meanings.

What about terms like fundamentalism?


Shivajinagar Signs is now a flickr pool for everyone interested in contributing to it and adding to our archive.Bismillah 🙂

Both these projects were facilitated by Sarai Independant Fellowship Grants.