Disclaimer: The literal translations provided here are for a basic understanding of the poems, and in no way do justice to the poetic genius of Habib Jalib or to Urdu poetry. The poems are built around similes, metaphors and symbols that are difficult, if not impossible to translate.

A two-month long national campaign against manual scavenging, Maila Mukti Yatra has come to an end on 31 January, 2013. The campaign went around the whole nation, appealing to women and men engaged in manual scavenging to leave the inhuman practice. We, the Forum Against Manual Scavenging (FAMS) , have followed their campaign closely and believe that the persistence of manual scavenging and the State’s attempts to eradicate it must be looked at closely.

A good friend of mine sent me a message out of the blue. He was suggesting that it might be appropriate for Bodhi to republish a classic piece by Antonio Gramsci titled "Newspapers and the Workers". Not quite convinced that was the best use of my time, I played along and looked it up. The first line read "these are the days of the subscription campaigns."

On that 14th of June in 1949, the audience present at the Tchaikovsky Hall had thoroughly enjoyed the concert. The powerful baritone voice of the American singer resonated inside the hall. The predominantly Russian audience, traditionally enamoured with the bass voice found the performance extremely pleasing. However, the concert was fast coming to an end and the audience was getting restless. It was then that the singer spoke from the stage, in near perfect Russian. He spoke about his warm friendship with Soviet Jews like Solomon Mikhoels and Yitzhak Feffer.

"The imperious missionaries of liberalism have no respect for the diversity of India’s belief systems and have taken it upon themselves to reform everything they perceive as outdated and incorrect" says Madhu Purnima Kishwar, noted academic and founder editor of Manushi - a journal about women and society.
This fitting response exposes the flaws in her arguments and reiterates the need for eradicating the prevalent odious rituals of purity, whether in the family or the temple.

Dear Ms. Madhu Purnima Kishwar:

I see they fall somewhere between 16 to 60. They also fall in the lowest of income groups. Some are immigrants. Some are refugees. Political or environmental. Some work. As baggers at supermarket stores. In housekeeping. As daily wagers. As house wives. Uneducated. Semi-educated. And, I volunteer a few hours a week to help them learn English. To read, write, speak. To get by. The literacy program coordinator walks me around.