Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Tragedy of DSU JNU

The Democratic Students Union, an independent student organization based in JNU has been in the news lately. It's member's Umar and Anirban were arrested as part of a consipracy hatched by the BJP, ABVP and RSS to defame the communists of all hues in India.. They are now out on bail.
Umar (left) and Anirban (right).
The real tragedy that has gone unnoticed over the past year is the fact that DSU members chose to delete their blog maintained at in late 2014. The blog which was a rich source of information cannot be accessed now. Over a decade it had amassed a loyal readership of student activists and media professionals. It was started in 2007 and had received more than a million visitors.

I suspect the blog deletion was carried out as result of some internecine conflict they had with the Revolutionary Democratic Front on gender relations and patriarchal oppression. They later on issued a statement which can be read at the link below:

 What could be the other reasons for deleting their blog?

  • Was the blog deleted it because it was under surveillance of the Intelligence Bureau and had transformed into threat to ordinary citizens?
  • Was it hacked ? Members of the ABVP do possess this capability and have demonstrated it by hacking profiles of dissidents on Facebook.
Somebody from the organization should clarify because they owe an answer to their loyal readers !

If they indeed deleted it then all the work they did over a decade online has now been undone with a single click of the button. A great tragedy indeed. If they had retained this platform , it could have served them effectively at the time of the JNU crisis. A copy of the archives of DSU JNU blog is available here.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Saketh Rajan Memorial Website Updated

I have updated the website dedicated to Com Saketh Rajan, to view the new additions scroll down towards the bottom of the website.

If you have any material which you think can be uploaded to the website, do let me know in the comments section below.


Abhay N 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Paradoxes of War - Coursera

An introduction into the historical, psychological, and sociological analysis of organized conflict.

Enroll Today at :

Starts on June 1st , 2014 

About the Course

The Paradox of War teaches us to understand that war is not only a normal part of human existence, but is arguably one of the most important factors in making us who we are. Through this course, I hope that you will come to appreciate that war is both a natural expression of common human emotions and interactions and a constitutive part of how we cohere as groups. 

That is, war is paradoxically an expression of our basest animal nature and the exemplar of our most vaunted and valued civilized virtues. You will learn some basic military history and sociology in this course as a lens for the more important purpose of seeing the broader social themes and issues related to war. 

I want you to both learn about war, but more importantly, use it as way of understanding your everyday social world So, for example, the discussion of war and gender will serve to start you thinking about how expectations of masculinity are created and our discussion of nationalism will make clear how easy “us-them” dichotomies can be established and (ab)used. 

I will suggest some readings for you to complement the class and assign some activities through which you will be able to apply the theoretical insights from the course to your observations of everyday life. 

At the end of the course, you will start to see war everywhere and come to appreciate how much it defines our life.

Course Syllabus

The Warrior's War
  • Is War Natural?
  • Warriors in Battle
  • Why Not Run Away?
  • What Do Soldiers Believe In?
  • Brutality
  • Discipline
From Wars of Armies to Wars of Societies
  • Wars of Armies
  • Progress of Battle 
  • Gunpowder 
  • Industrialization of War
  • Technowar 
War and Society
  • Social Aspects of War
  • States
  • Nationalism
  • Soldiers and Citizens
  • War and Equality
  • Conquest. Genocide, and Armageddon
The Future of War
  • The Rise of the Rest
  • New Challenges
  • Conclusions: Empire and the Western Way of War

Recommended Background

No prior background is required.

Suggested Readings

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Book 1, 2.1, 2.2-6, 2.7-24, 2.34-46, 2.47-54, 2.59-65, 2.71-78, 3.20-24, 3.35-50, 3.52-68, 3.81-84, 4.3-4.41, 4.46-484, 4.90-101, 4.117-11, 5.6-11, 5.14-24, 5.25-26, 5.42-48, 5.76-83, 5.85-116, Books 6 and 7
  • Homer, Iliad, Books 1,3, 7, 9, 24
  • Virgil Aeneid, Books 2, 4
  • Thomas E. Ricks, Making the Corps
  • E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed,  Chaps 1-4, 10-15.
  • John Keegan, The Face of Battle, Chs. 2-4.
  • US Grant, Memoirs , Chs. 21-22, 24-25, 30-31, 33-37, 39, 42-44, 49-51, 55-57, 59, 62, 65, 67-68.
  • Michael Gordin, Red Cloud at Dawn, Chs. 1, 2,6, 7, Epilogue
  • Reviel Netz, Barbed Wire. Part III
  • Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture, Chs. 1, 6, 8, 10, Afterword.
  • Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, “Concernign Violence, Colonial War and Mental disorders, Conclusion.
  • Keith Lowe, Savage Continent, Part I (All), Chs. 8-10, 18-20, 22-24.
  • Ian Buruma, Year Zero

Course Format

This course will consist of lecture videos, activities and various reading assignments.  Students will also be encouraged to participate in the discussion forums.