Researcher, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi
I, Angshuman Choudhury, am a New Delhi-based conflict researcher, photographer, filmmaker, and visual journalist. I am currently a researcher at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) – an independent policy think-tank in New Delhi – and am conducting my research under the South East Asian Research Programme. My area of focus revolves around localised insurgencies, processes of radicalisation, and transnational terrorism. I have completed my M.Sc. in ‘Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding’ from Durham University (UK) and my bachelors in History from Ramjas College (Delhi University).
I have held a longstanding interest in both domestic and international politics, especially on issues of public morality and political attitudes. I also foster a deep interest in exploring state-society relations, vis-a-vis popular movements. During the end of last year, I independently published a long-form photoessay on the ‘Occupy UGC’ movement led by university students from JNU, DU, Jamia Milia, and some others. Currently, I am also working on a documentary on the recent sedition row in JNU as a part of a larger film series on ‘state repression and urban student movements’.
The link to my Occupy UGC photoessay is as follows: https://inmacromode.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/the-grant-strategy-occupyugc/
We must be careful of how we set the discourse on the Orlando massacre. Very evidently, Omar Mateen wasn't the simple Kalashnikov-toting, vest-wearing Muslim terrorist that most of us are familiar with. While the dominant narrative serves to highlight the proliferating global appeal of the Islamic State's virulent ideology, it not only subdues a vital discussion on Mateen's chequered personal history but also conveniently diverts the popular narrative from the stark reality of the severe discrimination and bigotry that the queer community confronts on an everyday basis.
Indians are watching in great confusion and mild disbelief as two political dramas unfold. A core issue -- that of 'accountability' -- is being deliberately and methodically slow-cooked into tender pieces of public morality for the media and citizenry to relish. First, the Chief Minister of Delhi's insistence on a full public disclosure of the Prime Minister's academic qualifications. Second, the ruling party is perseveringly filibustering Parliament sessions to yell over a major corruption scandal by the Congress. Are these issues <em>really</em> 'political' in nature?