by Suchitra Vijayan
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Since December 2019 millions of Indians have protested the contentious “Citizenship Amendment Act” (CAA)– rightly called the Nuremberg laws of India.
Since the protest started there as been brutal police actions against those protesting especially students in Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi. An organic people’s protest is now blooming across India.
Along with protests come poetry and art. These protests are being chronicled by a new generation of artists. Joining us today are the USA-based artist Mayukh Goswami and writer and poet Meher Manda who started their “webcomic of dissent” that they call Jamun Ka Ped.
Jamun Ka Ped, written in the 1960s, is a satire on bureaucratic red tape by Krishna Chander told through the story of a well-known poet who gets trapped under a Jamun tree in the lawns of a secretariat building after a thunderstorm.
This is part of The Polis Project’s Dissent in Dangerous Times Series, where we speak to students, activists, artists, citizens and scholars at the forefront of various protest in India.
Meher Manda is a poet, short story writer, culture critic, and educator originally from Mumbai, India, currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her MFA in Fiction from the College of New Rochelle where she was the founding editor-in-chief of The Canopy Review. She is the author of the chapbook ‘Busted Models’, published by No, Dear Magazine in Fall 2019. Her fiction and poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Hobart Pulp, Epiphany Magazine, Los Angeles Review, Glass Poetry, Lumina, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of fellowships from the TATA Trust and DreamYard, and a teaching artist with Community-Word Project and Teachers & Writers Collective. Her critical writing appears in Bustle, Scroll, and Firstpost, among other places, and she curates and co-hosts ‘An Angry Reading Series’ in Harlem, New York. Her writing can also be found on the political web-comic ‘Jamun Ka Ped’. @meherness
Mayukh Goswami is an artist, animator and visual storyteller whose interests lie in the intersection of art, design & engineering. Currently a freelance artist in New York, he is working in the nebulous multi-faceted cloud of art and technology, in an attempt to conceptualize new narrative forms and visual crafts. His focus primarily lies in using these works to explore politics and society. He has worked on advertisements and videos for organizations such as NASA, IBM and Honda. @goswami_mayukh