Abhay Kumar

Abhay Kumar is a writer, journalist and activist. He writes in English, Urdu and Hindi around the broad themes of Indian Muslims, Caste, Social Justice and Human Rights. Over the years, his writing and activism have  powerfully critiqued  majoritarian politics, cultural nationalism, inequality and discrimination. At present, he is based in New Delhi and pursuing PhD (Modern History) at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Family

Kumar was born on December 12, 1982 in Raxaul, East Champaran district, Bihar, India. His mother Champa Devi was a house-wife and father Uma Kant Mishra worked as a private employee. His family members were marginal farmers.

Education

His primary education was done in his village Pipra, Govindganj, East Champaran. He passed Class 10 from Hazarimal High School, Raxaul and Class 12 from R.R. Shah College, Raxaul. He did B.A. (English) from  A.N. College, Patna. As he was interested in journalism from his early days, he got enrolled at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi and held a Post-Graduate Diploma in English Journalism.  At Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, he studied Masters in Political Science. He did another Masters in International Relations at JNU. For M.Phil and PhD, he joined Centre for Historical Studies (CHS), JNU. He wrote his M.Phil dissertation on Perceptions of Muslim Backwardness: Bengal and the North-Western Provinces (1871-1900). He is now completing his PhD on Modern State, Secular Law and Minorities: The Cultural Politics of Muslim Personal Law Board (1973 to 2010).

Writings  

He regularly contributes to newspapers, magazines and web portals. Some of them are Milli Gazette, Forward Press, Countercurrent, Kafila, TwoCircles.Net Seminar Magazine, The Book Review, Inquilab (Urdu), Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (Urdu), India Today etc.

Journalism

He began writing and reporting for Qaumi Tanzeem (Urdu daily) published from Patna. In 2006-2007, he worked as a reporter with Indian Express, New Delhi. He has written several special reports for Milli Gazette.

Political Activism

His political activism began with students’ politics. At Jamia Millia Islamia, he become associated with All India Students’ Association and participated in several political campaigns including one against AFSPA. In JNU, he was part of several campaigns, which were opposed to imposition of majoritarian culture, anti-people policies and administration’s high-handedness. When he contested JNUSU Election in 2012 as an Independent Presidential candidate, he took up many issues that the traditional left organisations were hesitant to take up. One of them was  democratisation of food , which talked of defending people’s right to eat the food of their choice including  beef and pork on the campus.  This invited the wrath of Hindu communal forces as well as the JNU administration. Kumar, along with three others, was served show-cause notice. With the coming of Hindutva government at the centre, the attack on JNU has become an order of the day. Kumar, along with other students’ activists, has been resisting  the right-wing assault on the campus. His politics has always been opposed to majoritarian dominance and the right-wing fundamentalism. He dreams of reconstructing a society free from all kinds of exploitation and discrimination.

Contact

He is based in New Delhi. You can write to him at debatingissues@gmail.com.