What about Humboldt?
From 3rd to 5th of January 2020 alumni of the Humboldt Foundation, so called fellows, and young budding scientists convened in Raichak on Ganges for a 'Kolleg' (conference), presenting original research and debiting issues critical for a humankind faced with environmental, social and climatic constraints and challenges.

Under the motto 'Food, Livelihood, Opportunity and Wood (FLOW)" altogether 160 renowned academics, scholars and researchers discussed contributions science can make to overcome those challenges, underlining the relevance of science to society and the need for mutual engagement.

The German Humboldt Foundation, founded in 1953, is one of the biggest grants foundation worldwide, promoting academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany. Research fellowships and research awards allow scholars to come to Germany to work on a research project they have chosen by themselves together with their host and collaborative partner. German scientists or scholars in turn can carry out a research project abroad as a guest of one of more than—29,000 Humboldt Foundation alumni—worldwide—the Humboldtians.

Between 1953 and 2018,— 1988—Indian scientists from different academic backgrounds have received a Humboldt scholarship, and India has one of the largest Humboldt alumni networks worldwide. Humboldt alumni dubs are active in many cities, Kolkata being but one example. The current Kolleg, which is funded by the foundation, is one aspect of their continuing engagement.

To learn more about the foundation and its philosophy, about funding opportunities for ambitious scientist and scholars, and about polymath Alexander von Humboldt himself, who celebrated his 250th birthday this year, a press meeting was organised with distinguished Humboldt fellows and German Consul General, Dr Michael Feiner, on Monday, 30th of December at 16:00 at the German consulate.
Consulate General of the
Federal Republic of Germany

The Dhala-Sadia Massacre
And now come the Dhala-Sadia massacre, the 5 killed being all Bengali Dalit Namashudras. They were Shyamal Biswas, Ananta Biswas, Abinash Biswas, Subal Das and Dhanai Namashudra. Reportedly each of them were Bengali-speaking Dalis-Namashudras!

Not that the killers, wherever they might be, killed them because they were Dalit Namashudras. They were killed because they were Bengalis. But is it a more co-incidence that most of those who have fallen prey are poor and Dalit-Namashudras? it is not a co-incidence but it is an aggregation of the complex socio-economic-ethnic-demographics of Assam that while the urban Bengali population comprise of upper and middle castes, the rural, even remote, interior, reverine Bengali population is mostly poor-dalit. As such .deprived of any state security unlike their urban counterpart, being most vulnerable, they fall easy prey to massacres or selective killings. Not that it is true of Bengali nationality only. Like the Bengalis ,the Assamese is also not a monolithic entity. We have shown elsewhere how those who died in Assam for India's freedom were overwhelmingly SC-ST-OBC-minorities ,but those who reaped the harvest of freedom were /are overwhelmingly Assamese caste Hindus .While researching about the anti-foreigner Assam Movement of 1979-83,we have found that while those killed were mostly Miya Muslims, Bengali Hindus (mostly Dalit-Namashudras as is shown already), STs (mostly Bodo/Mech kacharis killed in Gohpur. Fulung sapori), left activists belonging to CPM,CPI(ML),CPI and RCPl. On the opposite side there were 855 agitations in the martyrs list of AASU. We have analysed that list too to discover that biggest number of those 'martyrs' were Rajbanshi and Nath OBCs, followed by, inter alia, many STs, SCs other OBCs and also Muslims. It shows that on both sides mostly the subalterns were victims.

Dhala-Sadia incident is not an aberration but a continuation of this process. Dalit-Namashudras there became soft targets of a trigger-happy killers. Whether it was done by ULFA (though the organisation has disclaimed it), or state forces (as they alleged to have done during the infamous secret-killings), or hired RSS assasins (as alleged by the anonymous statement going viral in social media), one thing is clear: this time the divisive forces are unable to mobilise Silapather-like, or even Goreswar like mobs. In fact it goes to the credit of Assamese people that inspite of the most inflammatory provocations from Siladityas on Bengali side and SULFA Jiten Dutta and Mrinal Hazarikas on the Assamese side, there has been no remarkable violent incidents. This doesn't necessarily mean that the Assamese masses are now purged of chauvinism. They are not. Neither can it be claimed that Bengali chauvinism has evaporate into thin air.

Two more things about Assamese chauvinism. The bitter and bloody battle that CPI(ML), PCC and CPM fought against chauvinism, scores of lives laid down by the comrades of these two organisations as well as those of CPI and RCPI, reinforced by a battery of Assamese left-democratic intellectuals 'went a long way in democratising the Assamese psyche to a considerable extent. Rest is attributable to a natural process of maturing of the people in more than five decades of anti-minority blood-spilling. However this does not necessarily mean that chaunivism is buried forver. It is far from being over.

Several of the left parties are dwindiling forces. One major left party seems to be divided along Bengali and Assamese lines. It reminds one of the 1960 Assam, State Language Movement when the Assam CPI was divided along Assamses-Bengali lines, the Brahmaputra valley CPI speaking up for Assamese as state language, while the Barak Valley CPI up held the demand of is true that Hemango Biswas and Bhupen Hazarika had sung the famous Haradhan-Rangmanar Katha from under the aegis of lPTA,to send home the message of peace and tranquillty.But what was lacking on the part of the undivided CPI was a principled and uncompromising and ruthless opposition to chauvinism.
A Reader, Assam

My name is Kashmir
My name is Kashmir
My name is not India
My name is not Pakistan too
My name is Kashmir
and my name is Maqbool Butt
My name is Afzal Guru
My name is Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani
My name is Burhan Muzaffar Wani
My name is Parveena Ahangar
and many mothers like her
I have many other names whose names
I don't know; they are known as the disappeared
My name is Kashmir
My name is the names of women
Who were raped at Kunan Poshpora
and my name is the name of unknown graves.
My name is the name of thousands of youth who were killed
and no one knows where their dead bodies are
My name is Kashmir
My name is not India
My name is not Pakistan too.
Ajmal Khan AT, Kashmir

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Vol. 52, No. 32, Feb 9 - 15, 2020