Friday, October 30, 2015

New Issue of Critique Magazine: Challenging Precarity/असुरक्षा के निज़ाम को चुनौती

New Issue of Critique "Challenging Precarity/असुरक्षा के निज़ाम को चुनौती" is out. Critique Magazine, September-December, 2015, Volume: 3 Issue: 3. Pg. 64. Rs. 30 /-. Critique is brought out by Delhi University chapter of New Socialist Initiative. Sharing below the cover of this issue and the content list.


1. Editorial: Challenging Precarity

2. संपादकीय : असुरक्षा के निज़ाम को चुनौती 

3. I am not Meosum (slave); I am Masum, the Worker - Maniruzzaman Masum

4. बेलगाम पूंजी का पहिया - विकास कुमार

5. An Introduction and Invitation to Delhi University Theka Mazdoor Manch - DUTMM

6. Ragpickers of Delhi: Workers of Swachh Bharat - Critique Collective

7. San Quintin and the Anger We Hold - Neo Lopez 

8. Decoding the Labour Law Code in India - Anamitra Roychowdhary

9. मज़दूर कानूनों में सुधार : मर्ज़ बढ़ता ही गया जितनी दवा की - प्रभु महापात्रा [अनुवाद : योगेन्द्र दत्त ]

10. [Photo Essay] Of Hands and Faces - Wazirpur Workers Strike, June 2014 - Ayan Mrinal

11. The Real Estate Greed and Poverty of Imagination in India's Latest State Capital - Critique Collective

12. The Making of a Migrant Workers Movement in Korea - Bonojit Hussain

13. Finance Capital: The New Masters of Today's Social World - Sanjay Kumar

14. Reflections on a Media Internship - Aliza Bakht

15. Cities of Sleep: A Conversation with Shaunak Sen - Malay Firoz

16. हेडगेवार - गोवलकर बनाम अम्बेडकर - सुभाष गताड़े 

17. कला स्वतंत्रता और प्रतिरोध : FTII संघर्ष की ओर - शुभम 

18. 'Bure' Students in the times of 'Achhe Din' - Shardul Bhardwaj and Ketaki Prabhu

19. Silencing the Scholarship: A Tribute to Prof. M.M Kalburgi - M.K Madhavi

20. Basavanna the Bhandari (Treasurer) - Prof. M.M Kalburgi [Translator: Sudheer]

21. हिंदी , हिन्दू , हिंदुस्तान - जावेद अनीस 

22. एक लपकता हुआ शोला, इक चलती हुई तलवार - रूपाली सिन्हा 

23. The Rojava Revolution, Democratic Autonomy, and the (Re)Institution of Fragmented Sovereignty in Kurdistan - Hanifi Baris

24. Does the State have the Right to Kill? - Radhika Chitkara and Megha Bahl

25. The Crisis of Left Solidarity in EU, Austerity and the 'Greece Problem' - Jakob Graf

26. The 'Refugee/Migrant' Crisis in Europe: Time for an "Instability Tax"? - I. Almond

27. On the Farcical Implementation of the CGPA Grading System in Delhi University - Saumyajit Bhattacharya

28. एक गौभक्त से भेंट - हरिशंकर परसाई

Knowledge and Innovation for a Better Society

- Ravi Sinha

An Address to the Students of Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune, India

It should be a matter of no small comfort if, in today’s world and in today’s India, any discussion takes place anywhere about the relationship between knowledge and innovation on the one hand and the prospects for a good society on the other. It is greatly more satisfying and reassuring if this topic interests talented young minds such as present here, who, I hope, also nurse hopes for a better future, not only for themselves but also for the entire society and civilization. Yours is an esteemed institution with such a long history of cultivating and disseminating knowledge about society – about politics, economics and other related disciplines. I am sure this issue has been a core concern right from the inception of this institute, and I doubt if I will be able to bring in anything of added value. But, as I said, this is always a welcome topic for discussion. I am very happy for this opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you.

Today if one mentions these two words – knowledge and innovation – together, it is very likely that the image of a Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates will come to mind, even if such an association is not obvious to everyone. I, for one, often need to tell myself that I should not complain. After all, these gentlemen are symbols of one of the greatest technological revolutions humanity has experienced and we are living through. It has changed the way humanity works, communicates and lives, and it is not over yet. Unrealized potentials far outweigh the realized ones and far greater changes are in the pipeline. Physicists have recently discovered that the Universe now expands at an accelerated rate, but when it comes to accelerated expansion into the unknown, the Universe appears to be no match for technology.

For many the technological explosion is a cause for unadulterated excitement and a source of unbounded hope. For many others it is a cause for grave concern. There are yet others for whom it presents a mixed picture. In times of rapid and radical transformations, it is not unusual for many to have a sense of unease. Humanity has always innovated and created new ways and forms of life, and it has always found it difficult to adjust to its own innovations and creations. But the capacity to adjust improves with time. If the sense of unease or consternation appears widespread despite a greatly improved capacity for adjusting to the new, part of the reason lies in the break-neck speed of the current change.

But it is not solely a matter of adjustment in the relatively superficial sense of adjusting to a changed mode of daily living. One cannot simply hope that, with time, one will be able to adjust and the worries will melt away. One may adjust and yet all the worries may not disappear. If I have to remind myself that I should not complain, it is not because I am slow in befriending the gadgets. Slow I am, despite my training as a physicist. I do not use a smart-phone, have no experience with the apps, and depend on my daughter to book a cab. But that is the least of my worries. People of my vintage have at times a kind of philosophical-attitudinal unease. It is an anxiety about losing the depth dimension of knowledge and culture. As if the vertical axis of the world is being obliterated and all that matters now is merely horizontal. I would not call it easy or superficial. I know that this new world is very complex, very dense and extremely dynamic. It is created by very smart people and requires considerable smartness to cope with it. But the fact remains that writing software for a new app is far more consequential than finding the Higgs boson or measuring the weight of the neutrino. Google labs harbor far more lucrative discoveries than the Large Hadron Collider. Anticipating consumer preferences or figuring out the hydraulics of the financial market is far more rewarding than discovering the deeper laws of Nature or of history.

It is possible that such philosophical-attitudinal anxieties are just that – they are philosophical and attitudinal. They may arise largely from a certain state of mind. And this is not happening for the first time. It is an old debate whether knowledge is valuable in itself or it is valuable only in the measure of what difference can it make to the worldly affairs. Furthermore, it is not the case that discoveries of supposedly fundamental nature have slowed down. This apparently horizontal world hasn’t forgotten about the depth dimension. New and deeper knowledge is being gained in all fields – whether about the workings of Nature, or of society or of the human mind.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

You are wrong Mr Prime Minister – It was not a fight, but plain murder!

- Sanjay Kumar

The house of the lynched in  Bisada, Dadri.
In an election rally in Bihar on 8 October, country’s Prime Minister exhorted his audience with a homily pretty standard in India’s secular discourse. He asked Hindus and Muslims to decide whether they want to fight each other, or fight poverty together. His call against communal strife had come ten days after a Muslim man was lynched by a mob in Bisada, a village near the mofussil town of Dadri, 50 km from the national capital. There was no reference to events in Bisada in Mr Modi’s speech, yet ‘PM has spoken on Dadri lynching’ became the prime news on TV, and headline news in every newspaper the next day. If nations are imagined communities, then the media in the neo-liberal era imagines itself to be the prime mover and shaker of national imagination. And, when the ‘national leadership’ had remained silent on an important national news for more than a week, a subtle disquiet had indeed settled; as if, the story maker was not getting suitable yarn to complete the web and tie open leads. This may explain media’s eagerness to combine Mr Modi’s election rally remarks with Dadri lynching, about which he actually said nothing. Perhaps the media is expecting too much, and has a rather pompous self image. The women of Bisada had assaulted reporters and TV crews on 3 October, accusing them of presenting only one side of the story, bringing a bad name to their village and disrupting normal life. We have a Prime Minister who is pained even when a pup is killed under a motor car. Is not it unjust to expect him to express his anguish publicly every time some one is murdered in this huge country of ours? The PM has declared many times that his one motivation and project is to build a strong and vibrant India. Should not his country men and women be content with the nation’s highest elected official using his exemplary social media skills for projecting a happy and confident mood. Would not shouting from the roof top on issues about which he is genuinely worried tarnish the very image he has been so painstakingly trying to build?

Now, after the media read his election rally remarks as his statement on the Dadri lynching, sections of it have begun criticising him for not saying enough. It would be much fairer to the man to assume that he actually did not say anything about the Dadri incident. But then, are his remarks true about the general state of affairs in the country? Are Hindus and Muslims actually fighting; are at each other’s throat pushing their respective sectarian agendas? Country’s Prime Minister is utterly wrong on this point. Even more worryingly, he has managed to wrap his very dangerous Hindutva agenda under a standard argument of Indian secularism.

A fight involves two groups of people to fight over something. Hatred, animosity, rumours or ignorance are necessary to build frenzy, but they by themselves do not make up a fight, unless there actually is a clash between two groups of people. Mr Mohammad Aflaq Saifi’s lynching in Bisada village was no fight. The man was simply pulled out of his bedroom and murdered. Actually, events that pass off as communalclashes in India’s national imagining and secular discourse, were hardly so. Nellie (1983), Delhi (1984), Bhagalpur (1989), Babri Mosque demolition and accompanying killings (1992), Mumbai (1992-3), Gujarat (2002), and Muzaffarnagar (2013), were not communal clashes. All these were planned violence with well defined political goals against citizens belonging to beleaguered minorities. Even during 1947, while there was a fight between Congress and Muslim League over the future of undivided India, very few communal killings actually took place during fights between two groups of armed men. Cornered and hapless children, women and men were simply butchered. The so called communal clashes in India should better be identified according to their true character as pogroms. Now, what is the point of all this? Humans also fight over principles, ideals, for someone else’s safety and security, and such fighting often involves virtues like courage, conviction and fortitude. Calling an event a fight, while it actually is not, leaves open the possibility for a killer to parade as a warrior. It covers up the inhuman barbarity of real perpetrators. A day before Mr Modi’s advise to Hindus and Muslims, the President of the Republic had reminded his countrymen and women that tolerance and co-existence are the basic tenets of Indian civilisation. How does one tolerate communal barbarity? How does one co-exist with communal killers? The conventional tropes of Indian secularism are misleading and comforting illusions, which do not allow one to face the real, but difficult questions that arise in the face of an organised and successful communal politics.

Neoliberalism, Hindutva Supremacism and Challenges before Revolutionary Movement

Subhash Gatade
Dear Comrades,
I feel honoured to be here to be part of the sixth conference of Human Rights Forum*. Many thanks are due to the organisers to invite a left activist like me to this deliberations and giving me an opportunity to share my ideas.
For me it was a belated realisation that the conference is taking place around sixth death anniversary of the legendary activist for human rights and for justice late K Balgopal, who played a key role in the formation of the Forum. It does not need underlining that late K Balagopal was a rare combination of a scholar – mathematician by passion and lawyer by commitment – and activist who not only broke new grounds in the discourse around civil liberties and human rights but did not hesitate to raise uncomfortable questions when the time came. One can still imagine the loss you all must have felt when he suddenly left six years ago. As rightly mentioned by the late K G Kannabiran in his obituary then, how he was ‘one in a century rights activist’ who brought on agenda ‘jurisprudence of insurgence’.
Standing here, – amongst an august audience of veterans of human rights movement and scholars, intellectuals, grass root level activists – I can easily look at my own limitations of understanding as well as the limited experience I have of actual struggles on the ground. And that’s why I have no hesitation in admitting at the beginning itself that what I plan to share with you today should be considered scribblings of an activist who is himself trying to comprehend things.
Politics as the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci argued is always underpinned by hybrid philosophies. Perhaps the best example in our recent memory which bears testimony to this seems to be the present dispensation at the centre which on the one hand still sticks to the
– Exclusivist/majoritarian worldview of Hindutva Supremacism and
– is simultaneously busy furthering the neoliberal agenda under the glib talk of development.
It is abundantly clear that it has no qualms in projecting its relationship with a self-proclaimed cultural organisation called RSS – which openly abhors the pluralist tradition of this part of South Asia, which has been an admirer of the policies and persona of Hitler n Mussolini, which had kept itself aloof from the independence struggle, had opposed making of the constitution under the chairmanship of Dr Ambedkar and had instead proposed that Manusmriti be made into independent India’s constitution and is engaged today in a corporate friendly agenda which is characterised by deregulation of economy, liberalisation of trade and industry, privatisation of state owned enterprises marked by massive tax cuts, reduction of social services and other welfare programes, downsizing of government, tax havens, anti-unionisation drive to ‘boost productivity’, removal of controls on global financial and trade flows.
The grand metamorphosis of Mr Narendra Modi, from a ‘polariser’ to a ‘development man’ seems to symbolise this new juncture in Indian politics. He leads a parliament which has the lowest representation of minorities since independence and a ruling party which does not have a single elected member from the biggest minority in the country. We have been witness to a strange paradox that many members of the ruling party have been found to be valorising Nathuram Godse, the first terrorist of independent India and spewing venon against the minorities on the floor of the august house.

लेखकीय प्रतिरोध की सीमायें और सम्भावनायें

स्वदेश कुमार सिन्हा

यदि कोई व्यक्ति सत्य का सामना करने से डरता है तो वह एक घटिया विचारक है, लेकिन इससे घटिया वह है जो सत्य को सामने देखते हुए दुनिया  को बताते हुए डरता है। कि उसने क्या देखा ? सबसे घटिया वह है जो किन्ही ब्यवहारिक फायदो के लिए अपनी दार्शनिक धारणाओ को छिपाता है।
                                      - प्लेखानोव (रूसी माक्र्सवादी विचारक)

सितम्बर 2015 को दिल्ली में करीब 25 से 30 जनपक्षधर संगठनो तथा पत्रिकाओ की ओर से कन्नड़ के विद्धान एम0एस0 कुलबुर्गी की हत्या के विरोध में जन्तर मन्तर पर एक सभा का आयोजन हुआ जिसमें कलाकार , लेखक ,बुद्धिजीवी ,सांस्कृतिक कार्मी सभी शामिल थे। मै उन दिनो मै दिल्ली में था तथा अस्वस्थ्य था। एक्टिवस्ट लेखक और विचारक तथा अपने मित्र ’सुभाष गाताडे’ के निमंत्रण पर मै भी उस सभा में भाग लेने पहुंचा । उसी दिन अपनी एक शिष्या से बलात्कार के आरोप में लम्बे समय से जेल में बन्द ’आसाराम बापू’ के समर्थको ने उन्हे छोड़ने की मांग को लेकर जन्तर मन्तर पर एक विशाल प्रदर्शन किया था। उसमें देश भर से करीब 15 से 20 हजार लोग जुटे थे। शाम को 4 बजे जब यह प्रदर्शन समाप्त हो गया तथी हम लोगो की सभा हो सकी। इस सभा में करीब दो सौ से ढाई सौ लोग उपस्थित थे। ज्यादातर छात्र नौजवान तथा सांस्कृतिक कर्मी थे। फादर जान दयाल , सम्पादक और लेखक आनन्द स्वरूप वर्मा, संस्कृतिकर्मी शमशुल इस्लाम और नीलिमा के अलावा युवा कवि ओर लेखक अशोक कुमार पाण्डेय तथा सुभाष गताड़े से ही मेरी मुलाकात हुयी।

आज के दौर में यह आशा करना ब्यर्थ है कि संघ परिवार के फांसीवाद के खिलाफ देश भर से लेखक ,सांस्कृतिक कर्मी तथ सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता दिल्ली में किसी प्रदर्शन में एकत्र होगे। परन्तु दिल्ली में ही कम से कम दो हजार से तीन हजार लोग प्रगतिशील जीवन दृष्टि वाले हैं ही जो चाहे माक्र्सवादी हो अथवा नही परन्तु वे भाजपा संघ परिवार की उन नीतियों के घोर विरोधी हैं , जो वह इतिहास ,साहित्य,कला,सांस्कृति में कर रही है तथा उसके समर्थक खुलेआम विरोधी विचारो के लोगो की हत्याये कर रहे हैं । प्रो0 एम0एस0 कुलबुर्गी की हत्या से पहले 2013 में हिन्दू कट्टरपंथियों ने ’’अन्धश्रद्धा निर्मलम समिति’’ के तर्कशील लेखक नरेन्द्र दोभोलकर को जान से मारने की धमकी दी थी। फिर पुणे में उनकी हत्या भी कर दी गयी। इसी वर्ष महाराष्ट्र में जानेमाने जूझारू वामपंथी कार्यकर्ता गोविन्द पानसारे की हत्या भी इसी सिलसिले की कड़ी है। यह तीनो प्रगतिशील जन पक्षधर और अन्धविश्वास के प्रखर विरोधी थे। तीनो के हत्यारे आज तक पुलिस की पकड़ से दूर हैं । अभी कुछ दिन पूर्व उत्तर प्रदेश के दादरी में एक मुसलमान वृद्ध बढ़ई की इस अफवाह के बाद पीट-पीट कर हत्या कर दी गई कि गोमांस खा रहा था। बकायदा इसकी घोषणा एक मंदिर से लाउडस्पीकर से की गई।

The Indian Unconscious

- Ravi Sinha

There is yet another head on the political platter of the world’s largest democracy. This head is not metaphorical. It does not signify a disgraced leader or a government that has fallen. It is a literal head dripping with literal blood – battered with bricks that supported a leg-less bed. The bed belonged to one Muhammad Akhlaq who lived in a village called Basehara in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, not too far from the national capital of India. The head too belonged to him.

It has been only a few days but this latest episode in the long-running Indian serial is already well-known to the world. On a late September night it was announced over the loudspeakers of the village temple that there was going to be beef on Akhlaq’s dinner plate. A mob hundreds-strong – some say thousands – gathered within no time. It attacked the family killing Akhlaq on the spot and badly injuring his son, Danish.

In the meantime, meat-loafs confiscated from the family fridge have been sent for forensic examination. The system of justice must check whether it actually was beef, although, as one commentator points out, “…mere possession of beef isn’t illegal in Uttar Pradesh.”[1] Shedding helpful light on feebly lit corners of the Hindu moral universe, a prominent Hindutva ideologue wrote in a national daily, “Lynching a person merely on suspicion is absolutely wrong, the antithesis of all that India stands for and all that Hinduism preaches.”[2] The lynch-mob should have waited till the forensic reports came.

A few suspects have been apprehended for the murder. This has made the village livid with anger. There are protestations that those arrested are innocent. Journalists have been attacked for making such a big thing out of a small matter and bringing a bad name to the village. Cameras have been broken and OB vans damaged. There is a pertinacious wall of angry women guarding the village against any further intrusion by outsiders who can neither understand the village mind nor the Indian culture.

It is not easy to understand the collective mind of an Indian village. Even learned anthropologists are of little help. Their ethnographic techniques of studying a form of life from its internal standpoint are particularly susceptible to the rationalizations of a complex cultural species. If anyone has a chance, it would, perhaps, be a villager who has stepped out – an Archimedean Point created out of the same cultural universe. Ravish Kumar, by now a near iconic journalist and anchor of a prominent Hindi news channel, stood out for this very reason.[3] His eyes could see the natural rhythm and the instinctual response of an Indian village in the immediate aftermath of a collective crime. Nearly everyone had disappeared from the village. Whoever could be found claimed that he was miles away at the time of the incident. The lynch-mob had materialized instantaneously out of thin air. It had as quickly melted away after the job was done. Everyone has now returned to defend the honor of the village and strategize about how to deal with the unwarranted intrusions of modernity including that of the law.

Predictably, the lynching has been linked to politics, and rightly so. I would not have described the platter as political if Akhlaq’s head on it was not an offering to a new goddess called Indian democracy. Contemporary India, much like its new Prime Minister, is always high on elections. At any given time there is an election around the corner – elections to one state assembly or another, or else, local elections to the village Panchayats and urban local bodies. There is nothing local, however, about these local elections. All these battles feed into the perpetual war for Delhi. And, in an increasingly vigorous democracy in a society such as India’s, nothing is more efficacious in winning elections than inciting a lynch mob or fomenting a riot. Commentators have seen links between Dadri lynching and Bihar elections, and it may not be far-fetched. As everyone knows, it is not just Bihar that is at stake in the Bihar elections. At such times the nation may keenly watch what is on Akhlaq’s dinner plate.

I will not dwell further on the details of Dadri lynching. My concern, primarily, is with what lies underneath. I intend to deal with a phenomenon that, borrowing from the term Depth Psychology, I callDepth Politics. It arises when a modern political and economic system arrives in a land and a civilization that has existed for centuries and millennia without much help from or engagement with modernity. Invariably it is a tumultuous affair and requires wide-ranging adjustments on both sides of the modern-ancient divide. By the time things begin to settle down, neither the actually existing modernity nor the still living antiquity are recognizable to an eye accustomed to their canonical forms.

All this occasions a great deal of controversy. There are worries about modernity not taking roots in the society in question, or getting mutated into something spurious or disagreeable. There are complaints from the other side about a pristine culture being disfigured and an indigenous form of life being colonized. I will not join the controversy here, although I will not make any special effort to conceal my dispositions. My objective is to make some sense of the phenomenon itself, and my premise is that existing explanations are not satisfactory. In particular, my concern is with that set which attempts to understand the intricacies and the vicissitudes of Indian politics through concepts such as false consciousness, ideology, hegemony or superstructure-lagging-the-base. I do not entirely reject any of these explanations, but, in my reckoning, they do not seem to suffice.

Another disclaimer may be in order. I will proceed with my argument in a largely hand-waving manner, making use of analogies, metaphors and conceptual borrowings, and often relying on that ever popular criterion of plausibility. A rigorous mode of presenting the case may require a different kind of writing which will be attempted elsewhere.

Walzer’s Paradox

Two prominent philosopher-theorists have, very recently, written two little books that are remarkable for their depth and sweep. India figures in both of them, although their concerns are not confined to it. One is a book called The Indian Ideology by Perry Anderson which is basically a collection of three articles on India published in the London Review of Books.[4] I will come to it a little later. The other is a book by Michael Walzer, The Paradox of Liberation – Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions, which contains the text of his Henry L. Stimson Lectures at Yale.[5] I start with Walzer because he poses the problem through an insightful observation and in a manner that is particularly helpful to the purpose behind my own argument.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dadri Beef Rumour Lynching: Observations after a visit to Bisara village on 3rd October, 2015

New Delhi, 05/10/2015

Team members: Bonojit Hussain (New Socialist Initiative), Deepti Sharma (Saheli), Kiran Shaheen (writer and activist), Naveen Chander (New Socialist Initiative), Sanjay Kumar (People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism and New Socialist Initiative) and Sanjeev Kumar (Delhi Solidarity Group)

On the night of 28 September, in a heinous instance of hate crime Mohammad Akhlaq a resident of Bisara village of Dadri in western Uttar Pradesh was lynched to death and his son Danish brutally assaulted by a mob of villager over a rumour that Mr. Akhlaq and his family had slaughtered a calf and consumed its meat. Just before the lynching, an announcement was made from the local temple to spread the rumour, within moments a mob constituted itself and attacked Mr. Akhlaq resulting in his lynching. Mr. Akhlaq’s son Danish has been in hospital since that night and despite undergoing two brain surgeries his condition is still said to be critical. 

We, a six member team of activists, went to Bisara village in Dadri on 03 October 2015, the day when there were news reports that a thousand women have been mobilized to prevent the media from entering the village. The women pelted stones at media personnel and OB vans because of the alleged 'disrepute’ they were bringing to the village and for disrupting ‘normal’ life.

We arrived in the afternoon and encountered some media OB vans on the road leading up to the village. As we proceeded towards the village, the visibility of police presence kept increasing. At one point we stopped to talk to the police about the situation in the village and we were told very clearly that the villagers were very angry about outsiders coming in and they can’t really tell us what kind of reactions we might face from the villagers. The police strongly advised us to not go in to the village and also told us that if something were to happen then it would not be their responsibility.

We managed to proceed to the village after speaking on the phone to the village Pradhan, Sanjeev Rana, who sent someone to ‘safely’ escort us to his house, where we met him and some other men from the village. After that, we visited Mohammad Akhlaq’s house and met his family. We also briefly attended a meeting of village elders called by the District Magistrate who upon figuring out that we are not from the village requested us to leave saying they are trying to resolve issues internally. In addition, there was some interaction with men who were around.

1. Some Facts about Bisara Village

Bisara is a large village in Western UP. It has an inter-college, a market and the presence of many industrial plants in the surrounding areas. A canal runs close to the village. The village appeared to have a thriving agricultural economy. However, we were told that a substantial number of men also work outside the village. The area has recently been re-categorized from rural to an urban zone. It now comes under Greater Noida urban administrative zone, due to which it is not going to have village panchayat elections again.

The numbers for the total population we got varied from 15000 to 18000 people. 300 were reported to be Muslim. Rajputs (who mainly use the Rana surname) are the dominant caste, owning most of the land. We were told that there are also over 100 Jatav families, and approximately similar numbers of Valmiki families. Muslims appear to belargely landless artisans. 

Mohammad Akhlaq owned a shop in front of the village inter-college where he repaired iron implements. Three Muslim households live in the main part of the village, in a narrow lane behind village pradhan's house. Akhlaq's house is one of these. All other Muslim families live in another part of the village. The village apparently has an old mosque (approximately 70-80 years old) and an Idgah. It is possible that before 1947 it was home to a substantial number of Muslim Rajputs, who migrated out to Pakistan. We were told that the Muslims now living there are Saifis (a caste of Muslim ironsmiths or Lohars).