Portrait

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Factory Hand

A factory hand. Gurgaon, Haryana. The finger-print reader drew blank. Then the officer had him rub at the violet stamp pad and press his thumb in the thumb impression area in the document. It was a blot of ink with no texture.

“You have no fingerprint.” The officer said. “We can’t go on.”

The man had lost his aadhaar card and he was required to give his thumb impression to get his card reissued.

A factory hand. Hard work had rubbed fingerprints off this man’s fingers. Metal and acid.

“Can you see to figure out what can be done about it? Maybe through social media.” S. Kocha, the kind proprietor of the factory asked tamo Thingbaijam Singh. “He needs his card.”

Students’ Protest

Part of the ongoing students’ protests against the JNU administration’s controversial 75% compulsory attendance regulation put into force by a circular dated 22 December 2017. Almost all students find the regulation debilitating to them–students don’t play absentees for pleasure but most absent students are absent for good reasons that have to do conducting their lives and that cannot be summaries in a few words. And there does not seem to be cases of total absentism–students keep in touch with teachers or their classmates to keep on track and abreast of the goings-on in the courses.

The incumbent VC, Jagadesh Kumar, has been consistently controversial (many are of the opinion that he is insistent on being so) since his “installation” at the heart of the university’s administration in 2016. The VC’s decisions and administrative hands seem to be controlled remotely be some obvious political forces he is affiliated to.

The main protest activities happen at the yard in front of the main administrative building, which was named Freedom Square during the nation-shaking students’ protests following the February 2016 events in the university campus. The small protest group in this photograph was one of the several protest gatherings on 15 February at several parts of the campus around the administrative building and the school areas, and these groups were not self-conscious–students came and joined the protest, chanted slogans and left while new students joined in, and the protests kept going.