Lesson from Snowden: Myth of the Free Press

By Saswat Pattanayak   The recent rise in whistleblowers in America maybe new, but the governmental scrutiny and penalization process is hardly so. Apart from the widening scope of social/virtual media’s sphere of influence, there is hardly anything unique about the circumstances unraveled by Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. Political radicalism, underground media activism and alleged unpatriotic nature among conscientious citizens in the United States are what has indeed uniquely created this country. It has always been the case of the powerful ruling class elites duly supported by the judiciary, military and corporate media constantly engaged in wars against progressive…

Platoon of Leeches and the New Royal Parasite

By Saswat Pattanayak   BBC informed us: “Kate in Labour as the World Waits”, CNN’s Victoria Arbiter said Kate Middleton was “brilliant for delivering a boy”, Times of India updated Indian readers about “15 quirky facts” they “didn’t know about the royal baby”, while The Hindu kept up with the times as it ruptured, “It’s a boy! Kate gives birth to royal heir”. Not to mention, the famed liberal newspaper Guardian started worrying over the name with its headline, “Alexandra, Charlotte, George or James – all royal baby name bets are on.” There was perhaps not a single news establishment…

i-Solation

By Saswat Pattanayak The association of loneliness with personal is based on a lingering myth. Far from being an individual symptom, loneliness is an inevitable outcome of an individualistic society. It is a state of being that prevents a person from exercising class prerogative and realizing revolutionary potential. And to that extent, loneliness is in fact a politically disempowered experience. Normalization of loneliness therefore typifies capitalism without reference to its deliberate construction. Instead of recognizing it as a contradiction within the irrational class society, it is glamorized, iconized and in many instances mourned as an aberration, as individual failing. From…

False Accusers

Three of us are posing an eternal threat To ninety seven of you believers Our reasonable questions unsettle your fate While your hands are soiled with bloods.   You seem disturbed by our immorality While your prophets, popes and seers Continue in the name of immortality Rape culture of glorified gory scriptures.   Our short skirts and no bras disturb your tranquility While you gloat over subjugating women in your fiefdoms Our demanding rights for the victims of your atrocity Provoke you to uphold your carefully protected sexist laws.   While you continue to claim the Queer do not exist …

The Market

  By Saswat Pattanayak Real man Farhan Akhtar prevents violence against women on behalf of the Delhi Police, Al Gore makes millions to save the planet from temperature gain, Amnesty International recruits Peter Gabriel to be their conscience, Aishwarya Rai counters Polio and HIV/AIDS, Unicef heralds Aamir Khan as the expert on child rights, and Narendra Modi hires Amitabh Bachchan to spread ‘Khushbu Gujarat Ki’. And we lesser mortals, legends in our own minds, emulate our stars and wait for our moment to go viral on Facebook and Youtube, while these corporations churn out billions in our name via offering…

Our Rape, Their Rape

By Saswat Pattanayak The need is to change the entire language of rape. Not to just call it a rape, but as rape by men. Not simply that a Dalit woman was raped, but a Dalit woman was raped by a Hindu upper-caste man. Not just a woman was gang-raped, but six men raped a woman one by one by one by one by one by one. Not just Violence Against Women (VAW), but Violence Against Women By Men (VAWBM). Not just laws around gender discrimination or sexism, but specifically around men discriminating against women or laws to hold male…

Radical Roots of Gangnam Style: Psy, Kim Jong-Un and Challenges for the Fascist Standards of Sexy

By Saswat Pattanayak Psy has surpassed every artist in history by attaining one billion views, but that alone is not instructive. The measure of greatness in Park Jae-sang remains in his consciousness-raising about capitalistic contradictions and imperialistic warmongering in undiluted terms. In a Eurocentric world dominated by the disturbingly unifying English language, where American narratives grip past and the present times, it is easy to wonder why a Korean wields such an influence. The answer is as easy: why not. After all, Korea is like no other. It indeed is the center of the universe – the site for contestation…

Rape Culture and Capitalism: What is living and what is dead

By Saswat Pattanayak I understand many of us, Indians, are ashamed these days. And it is true that protests and placards do not educate the rapists. And that the students came out on the streets only because it is New Delhi. But we should not miss an important aspect of it all – most protesters clearly defying governmental bans are demonstrating an important tactic in the struggle for women’s rights anywhere in the world. This is a strategy that should not be discouraged, rather used everywhere – be it in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Orissa or Manipur. Or for that matter, in…

Rape Culture, Capitalism and India

By Saswat Pattanayak Looks like, rape still continues to shock virtuous people in India. Or was it just this latest one? The one that took place in Delhi? Was it because the “izzat” of India’s capital city has now become the new concern? The honorable India has to be reclaimed in all “her” full glory where the goddesses are worshipped and women assaulted? Or is it that the unprecedented outrage in Indian society today owes to the fact that this rape was of the “more brutal” variety? Since most of us don’t do that kind of “iron rod” rapes. We…

On Einstein’s Acceptance of Communist Russia and Rejection of Zionist Israel

by Saswat Pattanayak With the “God Letter” recently auctioned for over $3 million, the world has started taking a renewed interest in Albert Einstein’s core philosophies. In the most conservative estimate, he has been described as the father of modern physics; and by most liberal counts, the most intelligent human being in history. But despite tremendous biographical sketches, Einstein has remained largely unknown as an activist, or terribly misunderstood as a statesman. Many dimensions of his life have been deliberately suppressed, some grossly exaggerated, and quite a few entirely concocted with blatant lies. This is quite natural considering the ruling…