OccupyUGC & WTO-GATS // To Study or to Not be Able to Study

On 9th December, 2015 the OccupyUGC protestors were lathi charged and water cannoned on their march to the Parliament. The students have been protesting in front of the UGC office in Delhi since 21st October, 2015 against the move to end the Non-NET fellowships for research students. The World Trade Organisation's Nairobi Conference concluded on 18th December, 2015. Opening the Higher Education sector to international private players was part of trade negotiations between India and 161 other member nations. While Higher Education was offered as part of the negotiations in 2005, the results of the latest Nairobi round are not clear. - which means that the policy regarding education has not come into place as yet. This video looks at what connects these events as a stock taking exercise of the future of India's Higher Education.


DEFIANT SOUNDSCAPES 

Defiant Soundscapes is an initiative to document music from the cultural resistance traditions of India. The first in the series is of Dynamic Action - a cultural collective based in central Kerala who have worked tirelessly since the early 70s to research, document and archive over 500 folk and people's songs.


NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN 30 YEARS 

The Narmada Bachao Andolan, a people's movement that rose in 1985 against the Sardar Sarovar Project marks its 30th year of existence and struggle in 2015. As one of the most iconic struggles in post-independence India, the NBA has played a crucial role in questioning an unsustainable and impossible vision of the future that is advanced at the expense of communities and the environment. 

After the General Elections of 2014, one of the first decisions made by the NDA Government was to increase the height of the SSP by 17 mts to its final height of 138.68 metres. This is set to unleash displacement on an estimated 2.5 lakh families in 245 villages in the 3 states. This at a time when resettlement of most displaced families still remains incomplete. The 30 years of struggle brings with it both a sobering note and a call for celebration of the peoples’ will to resist and overcome.


Birsa Shahadat Diwas

published June 2015

Birsa Shahadat Diwas, is celebrated all over Jharkhand in remembrance of Adivasi leader Birsa Munda who led a revolt against the British Government and the money lenders because of their land grab and taxation policies. This revolt led to the passing of the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act (1908) by the British which restricted the sale and transfer of adivasi land to non—adivasis. 

This celebration was filmed last year, in Devalgada village, Chatra district of Jharkhand. A few kilometers from the site of celebration, the Magadh -Amrapali projects are awaiting to start function. Thousands of villagers from Chatra will face certain displacement once these projects commence. The video is an exploration of the essentially unchanging nature of oppression against the Adivasi communities in India.  


ELECTIONS 2015: REFLECTIONS FROM THE CITY

Published March 2015

This video was recorded over 5 nights leading up to the intensely contested Delhi elections 2015 and the morning following the election results (28th Jan to 11th Feb 2015).

First in a series of video experiments on Delhi, this is an attempt to bring to fore the astute, conflicted and entirely candid reactions of its residents, especially of those from the working class, to the waves and furies of their times.


BHOPAL 30 YEARS

Published November 2014

This video was recorded in November 2014 as five women survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal start their fast at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi in an attempt to make the government pay head to their 30 year long struggle. One thousand survivors of the disaster, mostly women, continued their dharna for the third day without a word from officials of the government.

The five women survivors, Premlata, Vishnu Bai, KasturiBai, Shehazadi Bee and Kamla Bai said that their decision to go on water-less fast had been conveyed to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers on September 12, 2014.

Their demands are additional compensation to all survivors of the disaster and revision of figures of disaster related death and injury in the Curative petition filed by the central government in the Supreme Court. Amidst the simultaneous hustle and quiet of India Gate's gardens, these women share stories on their lives and struggles. 

 

Banner photo credit @Soumik Mukherjee