1. Arshad Amanullah: Journalism in Madrasas and Madrasas in Journalism
Through the content analysis of more than a dozen magazines interspersed with the insights from interviews of around 30 editors and scribes, this paper seeks to explore the fascinating world of the madrasa journals. Apart from their thematic concerns, it brings in issues like geographical reach and the social composition of their consumers. Experiences of the editors and their approach to journalism also constitute a significant part of the paper. Moreover, it helps in developing a proper understanding of the process of bringing out wall magazines in madrasas. It also tries to grasp new trends in the domain of the madrasa journalism.
Arshad Amanullah is an independent filmmaker and researcher. I have an M.A. in Mass communication from, Jamia Millia, New Delhi. I’ve also spent around 10 years in the Salafia madrasa, Varanasi. Islam, Indian Muslims, media and Bollywood are my area of interest. Having published two books and several papers, I’ve directed and scripted a couple of documentaries.
2. Daljeet Ami: Celluloid and Compact Disks in Punjab
Abstract: Two different trends have been noticed in Punjabi film production, i.e. celluloid and Digital. These have success as the common factor otherwise they are quite different not only of production format or length but also of content and treatment. Celluloid is exploring global market with emotional dilemmas (emigration, relations) whereas digital is turning out to be community cinema by focusing on social-economic crises. This study is an attempt to understand the different aspects of these twin trends of success.
After doing my masters in Ancient History from Punjab University I started writing for different newspapers. I write about socio-political issues concerning Punjab, especially rural Punjab. I worked as Auditor in Defense audit for three years and then resigned to be a documentary filmmaker. My dissatifaction with the images of Punjab usually presented as representative of Punjab was the driving force to be a filmmaker. I want to explore the pains and cost of ‘prosperity’, ‘health’, ‘richness’ and ‘advance’ etc. that the Punjabi is undergoing. During this exploration i made a film about agriculture labour in Punjab, “Born In Debt”. I have made six other films on different issues. The study ‘Celluloid and Compact Disks In Punjab: Twin trends of Success’ is a part of attempt to know Punjab in a better way.
3. Maitrey Bajpai: Cawnpore
“Cawnpore” (Kanpur) once hailed by India’s British colonial rulers as “Manchester of the East”, this dilapidated city in which I was born is nothing but shadow of its former industrial glory. Machines that stopped working cobwebbed doors of factories, depressing tales of unemployment and hunger and faces which forgot how to smile long ago. Now they call it an “Industrial Graveyard”. This project will explore the various facets of closure of Textile mills in the city of Kanpur, a city that came into existence during the Colonial period in India and was soon developed as a major Industrial center with Textile mills as its backbone. In the days of socialist planning (before 1991), the mills were kept on costly life support machines by the government. But no money was invested to modernize them. Decrepit and hopelessly uncompetitive, the mills were killed off by the market forces unleashed by 90’s liberalization drive. The affect of closure of the mills is across all layers of society. Closure of textile mills not only left the working class of the city jobless, but also ruled out any possibility of emergence of lower middle class in the city. My family which was involved in the cloth trade since 1907 has also suffered the burnt of the closure, and we are not alone, there are thousands like us.
In a city where machines roared day in and day out, chimneys never went cold, cycles filled the roads like anything, today there is calm. There is something uneasy about this calm. Nobody talks about the mills anymore. On the foot hold of changing times, probably, it’s time to talk about the mills. This research is geared towards a documentry film. I will try to comprehend history of Kanpur city and its mills through the stories that its people have to tell.
4. Samit Basu: The Trousers of Time: Possible Futures of Indian Speculative Fiction in English
This project will map the future of Indian speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy literature) in English. It is surprising, to say the least, that even with our fantastic mythic/literary resources at our disposal a nation as culturally predisposed to the fantastic as we are should have produced a contemporary speculative fiction genre that is marginal at best, at least in literary terms. I will study the possibilities for Indian speculative fiction in the following directions: Recasting Indian myths in the patterns established by revisionist SFF and the New Weird, the possibility, in the age of animation sweatshops and comics outsourcing, of Indian SFF graphic novels, the possibilities 18th and 19th century Indian history and literature present in terms of speculative fiction, the superhero in Indian terms, the opportunities presented by the universes created by Indian writers of speculative fiction in various languages for children, and the inclusion and contribution of the Indian disapora in the creation of an Indo-centric multicultural fantasy genre.
Samit Basu studied Economics in Calcutta and Broadcast Journalism in London before moving to Delhi, where he now lives and works. He is the author of two fantasy novels, The Simoqin Prophecies and The Manticore’s Secret, both published by Penguin India. He’s currently working on the concluding volume of his fantasy trilogy and on the initial volume of a graphic novel series. He also writes an edit page column for the Hindustan Times, and works as a freelance journalist and scriptwriter.
5. Rudradeep Bhattacharjee: Freedom in Cyberspace in the Context of India: Video documentary
How do we preserve the Net’s core values and open architecture without encouraging anarchy yet at the same time not allow cyberspace to be smothered by superfluous and numbing regulations? The proposed documentary, the first attempt of its kind to understand the issues related to freedom in cyberspace in the context of a developing country like India, asks this critical question and tries to seek answers to it. The documentary will also be a reminder that while we debate these issues, we cannot lose sight of the fact that a huge digital divide exists in our country and all notions of technological freedom and individual empowerment are superfluous while it does.
Rudradeep Bhattacharjee is an aspiring film-maker living in Mumbai. He has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Film and Television Production from Xavier Institute of Communicatons, Mumbai. He describes himself as a generalist. He does not have any hobbies.
6. Tushar Bhor: Water Lenses: Prelude for New Imagination for Urban Water in Mumbai
The paper investigates the modes of negotiation related to water resources in the city Mumbai and attempts to formulate a new imagination for popular discourse on the water resource acquisition, allocation and consumptions, which also represents a case for most of the third world cities.In course of developing critical arguments on the perception of water which is normally observed in realm of ‘Sustainability’ or ‘Environment’, there are numerous negotiations needed at different levels to achieve or practice the same. To quote an example of informal water distribution in the city of Mumbai, which operates in an illegal manner but on other hand the daily needs and related enterprise of certain community is highly depended on the same informal supply.Further, with the stated assumption that in a particular system the access to water is made available through number of negotiations at different levels, it becomes imperative to identify the various hybrid systems and see the players that operate on these territories. The territories as mentioned will not be restricted to physical demarcation, but will be interpreted through specific investigation in area like historical importance or practices of communities, the enterprise and related livelihood, formation of co-operative groups etc.
Various players will be investigated ranging from political and bureaucratic players, big and small water related enterprises, plumbers, informal water vendors, etc. and stories will be written about the players and the related water systems in the context of Mumbai.
Tushar Bhor has completed his formal education in Architecture (2003) from Mumbai and then persuade his fellowship (2004) from the same college i.e. KRVIA, Mumbai on the Water Management. He presently works in a NGO - Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, India and holds a position of Program Officer. He is also part of Mumbai Fort Forum (MFF) a group of young professionals, struggling with government agencies with an aspiration to do some work in conservation of built environment. His current interest lies in understanding water systems in realm of different negotiation that they undergo. The related works include a visual spot message on water conservation, an ongoing research project with SARAI, Delhi and also intends to produce a documentary film on the informal water vendors of Mumbai City.
7. Averee Chaurey: The Song of the Baul
My project entails an attempt to understand the performance tradition of the Bauls, the singing minstrels of Bengal .Throughout history , Bauls have remained an enigma .As a performer myself,it has been a lifelong dream to know more about them . This project also tries to look into their deep rooted tradition and how they have transformed in this age of globalisation . Though their origins can be traced to Silaidaho , now in Bangladesh ,the Baul tradition has thrived throughout Bengal since the 19th century .During the early decades of the twentieth century, especially since the 1920 s , Bengal ’s leading intellectuals like Tagore and Kshitimohan Senshastri took up the Bauls’ cause to explore their culture and spiritual thought. Their songs are indicative of different concerns ,from patriotism to social problems and romantic love .It is the philosophy of the Bauls which has drawn me to start this project.
I have been associated with theatre since my college days. As I entered Jadavpur University at Kolkata for my graduation, I joined one of the foremost groups of Kolkata, Bohurupee. Known for stalwarts like Shombhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra,Bohurupee was at the frontline of Bengali theatre. It was during the same time that I began my career as an announcer ,newscaster and an actress in TV serials and feature films.I completed my Masters in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University in 1982 .
I left Kolkata to come toDelhi after marriage but continued to follow my passion,theatre.I have worked in many plays in English ,Hindi and Bengali with Habib Tanvir , Amal Allana,Rajendranath ,Feisal Alkazi and Tripurari Sharma.Along with theatre, I was also active in newsreading assignments for Doordarshan and TVI . I was responsible for founding the Bengali theatre group ,Bikalpa .I worked a full time job with the Public Relations of Kribhco for 20 years but have now taken early retirement to follow my creative instincts.
8. Ayesha Sen Choudhury: Locating Sexuality Through the Eyes of Afghan and Burmese Refugee Women in Delhi
Premised on the rationale that men and women while sharing similar circumstances of persecution may have differing perceptions of displacement, this is a depiction of feminine spaces through the eyes of Burmese refugee women in Delhi. Refugee situations may present new challenges for a woman to negotiate with while probably fulfilling various roles of a mother, a daughter and a wife to name some. It is an attempt to identify understandings of violence, pain, pleasure, humiliation, and empowerment through daily existence in conditions of displacement, migration and hostile environments.
A lawyer with aspirations of engaging in discourses relating to gender and displacement. I’m a graduate from ILS Law College, University of Pune, and currently working with Women’s Rights Initiative at the Lawyers Collective.
9. Dilip D'Souza: Village in the city: Bombay in microcosm
The great majority of India’s Jews have emigrated to Israel (done “aliyah”). Of course, nobody forced them. They went of their own volition. Therefore there is nothing intrinsically sad about this. Yet when you visit synagogues in Bombay, they have a definite and indefinable sad air about them, a memory of a culture and a time now almost vanished. The Magen Hassidim Synagogue in Agripada in Bombay is one such. My short piece, written around a visit to Magen Hassidim, is reflection on things lost, and the reminders of them.
DD has a BE in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS Pilaniand a MS in Computer Science from Brown University. Only, he doesn’t use either of those degrees now, professionally, except peripherally.He writes for his supper, mostly about political and social concerns, though also occasional travel writing. DD has won several awards for his writing, including the StatesmanRural Reporting Award, the Times of India/Red Cross prize, the Outlook/Picador nonfiction prize (for which he was also, earlier,runner up), the Sanctuary Magazine prize and more. He has written two books, “Branded by Law” and “The Narmada Dammed” (both Penguin).
He is married to Vibha Kamat, and they have two children, Sahir (6) and Surabhi (2). They live in Bombay.
10. Udippana Goswami: City as Setting: Reflections of the Changing faces of Guwahati in Assamese Literature
Abstract: The study proposes to be a personal/personalised look at Guwahati which has evolved in the last few years from a sedate, laid-back city to a fast-paced, upmarket metro. The pace at and the time span in which this has happened seem to have put everybody, especially its inhabitants off gear. Through the analysis of a few literary representations of Guwahati, I intend to look at sociological changes both in the city and in the city as a setting and to relate them with contemporaneous realities. Beginning with questioning my own imagination of my home, the study will also qualify the imagination of the city by the authors under consideration. The paucity of literature setting Guwahati in the centre stage will also be an ancillary matter of enquiry.
Uddipana Goswami is a PhD fellow at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSCAL). Her focus area is indigenous-settler conflicts in Northeast India. She has done a study for the Centre for Northeast india, South and Southeast Asia Studies (CENISEAS), Guwahati, on the politics of assimilation with relation to the immigrant Muslims of East Bengali origin in Assam. Uddipana has also done a case study for the University of Zurich on settler-indigenous conflicts in Western Assam. She has a Masters in English from Delhi University and has worked with a number of major media houses, like India Today and National Geographic Channel (India), before turning to research. She contributes occasional articles to Assamese dailies on nationalism, assimilation and ethnicity. She is also a translator and creative writer.
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