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DeCenter Magazine


Pragati K.B.

The Criminal Tribes Act was repealed in 1952 by independent India, de-notifying these communities from the “born criminals” list. Hence the nomenclature De-Notified Tribes. However, the Habitual Offenders Act, enacted by various States soon after, followed similar registration and surveillance procedures; the difference now being that individuals and not whole communities were targeted by the police. Despite their altered legal status, the stigma stuck on. “If something is lost in a village we are passing through, we are the first to be blamed. Theft of poultry, jewellery, clothes – anything and everything – we are held culprits and imprisoned, beaten up and humiliated,” Maharaja says. “They live in a constant state of fear. Police atrocities and mob lynchings are a common occurrence,” says R. Maheswari, secretary of TENT (The Empowerment Centre of Nomads and Tribes) Society, Madurai, an NGO working for the communities’ rights. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has accorded legal protection to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) from discrimination and violence. No such constitutional and legal safeguard exists for the vulnerable groups of DNTs and NTs, despite various Commissions and Reports advocating for it.


Viewed from the historical “margins,” the center is a fuzzy political conglomerate of class, and caste hierarchy, carceral capitalism, and entrenched heteronormative Brahminical patriarchy. Examined narratively, the center recounts the story of a single subcontinental subjectivity: the savarna, upper-class (most commonly North India), able bodied, heterosexual man. And yet, other ways of knowing and being have persisted in the subcontinent. To dismantle the politics of marginalization, we begin by displacing the center. Practices of decentering require radical intersectionality...Not rejecting existing and historical radical movements entirely, but rather turning towards them one collaborative critical eye and another towards the future, DeCenter aims for radical revisions. This is our sincere homage to the many bodies of literature--feminist, leftist, Ambedkarite, and others--that have shaped us.




Akhu Chingangbam


"Blood Soaked streets –

That's my ground,

That's where I play around

Sound of gunshots –

That's my song,

That's my lulla- lullaby"

Interview by Rupsa Nag

Olwe lead.jpg

Sudharak Olwe


"I, as Sudharak Olwe, as an entity, have no bearing. I cannot go to them as a famous person, feeling all important. I’m a commoner being allowed the privilege of their acquaintance."

Interview by Toonika Guha 

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Grace Banu

"The queer community is as casteist as the society at large. To those who feign caste-blindness within the queer movement, I want to say, recognise the importance of taking everyone along."

Interview by Afrah Asif

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Ather Zia


"The Kashmiri body – a Muslim, and by extension, a traitor – is portrayed as the “other”, as harmful enemies of the nation. The Kashmiri body is doubly killable, because it is not only a Kashmiri body but also a Muslim body."

Interview by Kirti Goyal 

Safety Mask

Healthcare Workers in Solidarity with Farmers


"The farmers’ protest has woven varied kinds of solidarities within itself. Shared struggles, years of organising and alliance-building have led to it."

Report by Sweta Dash



Photo Essays




Apologist (I dream of being 

less meek, of  

being a  

revolutionary, of  starting a

poet’s society)"

"Noor Abdella"


"Maybe the house prefers the letter?

Not having to worry about

another inhabitant 

              Going out on

              a sunny day, and not coming back."


"Witness, Iqbal Bano sings. Her black saree fetches fire and tyranny burns- who knows for

how long. Listen, she holds the promise like marigolds locked in the palms and breaks it

open as quietly as prayers to the river."

Dipanjali Singh

"Tshopt, for silence.

like your Dal is a silent water of witness, 

no ripple or murmur"



Feminism from the Margins


Pratiksha Sarika Bara



"While savarna artists and writers flock to justify this mind-numbing expenditure of public money over a Brahminic festival with their discourse of pseudo-feminist resistance, they unsee the devious violence that is the cornerstone of Durga Puja. When they construct “Durga” out of marginalised women’s struggles, those voices get buried by their appropriation. These artistic representations feed off the fire from the burning muscles of the labourers and subdue the flame to ensure just enough heat to relieve the privileged of their guilt and make them feel self-righteous for appreciating such art."

Rituparna Pal

"The Radical Group was one of the first to break away from the notion of an aesthetic avant-garde to a political avant-garde that negotiated the presence of art rooted in the political.6 Art in India began concerning itself with issues of the community. More importantly, this also marked the point where the Radical Group broke away from figurative, narrative, and revivalist tendencies of the dominant art traditions that existed then."

Shankar Tripathi 



















Cover photograph by Nav Rahi: Effigies at Gadari Gulab Kaur Nagar. Tikri Border, Delhi 2021. 

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