Call for Papers

Rhetoric in the Digital Town Squares

Special Session for 2025 MLA Convention in New Orleans, Jan. 9-12

This panel discusses rhetorical strategies the new/social media users employ to voice for justice, push propaganda, and create or remix content to amplify visibility in attention economy. Please email ~250-word abstract and a brief bio to

Deadline for submissions: Monday, 25 March 2024

Contact: Sarbagya Kafle, University of Louisiana at Lafayette (

South Asia Meets the USA

This working timeline showcases exchange of ideas, inspriation and solidarity between the South Asia and the United States.

Brown Africa by Aahuti

Brown Africa by Aahuti
(This poem was first published in Nepali as “Gahungoro Africa” in Mulaykan magazine in 2051 B.S. and also includied as the opening section in Aahuti’s 2010 A.D. book Nepalma Varna Vyavastha ra Varga-Sangharsha)

My red blood
Holy human blood
When it trickles becoming blue sweat beads
You collect them forming bunds in your delicate cupped hands
When I try to smell the fragrance of that labor
You humiliate me and keep me away
Dare to meet my gaze, priest
I am an ‘untouchable’ of 20th century!
A brown Africa in this round geography!
I want justice
I want freedom!

Your temple’s sculpture smells of my smithy,
Karahi on your trivet smells of my sweat
Dare to meet my gaze, pious man!
Either dare to smolder my existence and maintain your religion
Or have courage to tear or burn the pages of scriptures that humiliate me
I am a blacksmith who made the god of your temple
A brown Africa in this round geography!

Sniff the clean floor of your settlement
Each piece of your settlement smells of my blood
Dare to meet my gaze, clean man!
Either dare to fill water in my blood veins
Or have courage to clean the garbage of your brain
I am a Chyame who collects garbage of your settlement!
A brown Africa in this round geography!

Tear the entertained glands of your mind
Where is heard the melodic susurration of my music
Dare to meet my gaze, a conscious man!
Either dare to leash me with animals and feed me grass
Or have courage to differentiate yourself from the animals
I am a Gaine, a Badi who bows sarangi and plays madal.
A brown Africa in this round geography!

Feel my life sunken in soil
Where is found a pool of my tears
Dare to meet my gaze a satiated man!
Either dare say that your morsel doesn’t smell of my tear
Or have courage to respect my Dalit life
I am a Musahar ploughman who swims in soil with your oxen!
A brown Africa in this round geography!

From the shoes at your feet to the cap on your head
From distant horizon of your vision to your heart beats
Where am I not? I am everywhere!
How can you make me ‘untouchable,’ ‘touchable’ man?
Either dare to stand at the witness box of the history
Or have courage to change yourself
Dare to meet my gaze, priest!
I am a 20th century ‘untouchable’!
A brown Africa in this round geography!
I want the account of my humiliated history
I want freedom at any costs!

(Translator: Sarbagya Kafle, June 15, 2023, 11.00 pm)

CCCC 2023 Session Review

Review of CCCC 2023 Session: J.7 Online Social Movements

Vidydabhusana's Introduction to Gotama's Nyaya Sutra

In his introduction to The Nyaya Sutras of Gotama (1913), Satisa Chandra Vidyabhusana discusses the etymological meaning of Naya sutra, its authorship, and its strained reception in the vedic tradition of scriptural authority. He finds that Panini, famous Sanskrit grammarian from 350 BC, explained the term “Nyaya” as a derivative of the root “i” meaning “gam” or “to go.” In this sense, Vidyabhusana points, “‘Nyaya’ as signifying logic is etymologically identitcal with ‘nigama’ the conclusion of a syllogism” (I). He finds that Panini, famous Sanskrit grammarian from 350 BC, explained the term “Nyaya” as a derivative of the root “i” meaning “gam” or “to go.” In this sense, Vidyabhusana points, “‘Nyaya’ as signifying logic is etymologically identitcal with ‘nigama’ the conclusion of a syllogism” (i). Bhivusana pointa that, though Naya is the earliest work in Nyaya philosophy, the concept of logic has been referred to Sanskrit tradition by the terms like

  • Hetu-vidya or Hetu-Sastra–the scince of causes
  • Anviksiki–the scicne of inquiry
  • Pramana-Sastra–teh science of corrent knowledge
  • Tatta-Sastra–the science of categories
  • Takra-vidya–the science of reasoning
  • Vadartha–the science of discussion
  • Phakkika-Sastra–the science of sophism (i)

Vidyabhusana writes that the Gautama or Gotama Aksapada or Dirggatapas was credited as the teh founding sage of Nyaya or logic. Aksapada and Dirghatapas refer to Gotama’s “meditative habit and practice of long penance” (ii).

By looking at the numerous mentions of sage Gotama or Gautama in Vedic samhitas to the Upanishads, to Puranast to Epics, and to historical records in Mithila, Vidyabhusana conjectures that Gotama, “the founder of Nyaya Philosophy, lived about the year 550 B.C.” (ix).

Vidhyabhusana also points that when Gotama came up with “a rational system of philosophy called ‘Nyaya’,” initially it had no connection to the “topics of the Vedic Samhitas and Barhmana” (xii). It means Nyaya began as a pure logic devoid of any scriptural beliefs and it was based on what Gotama galled four means of valid knowledge:

  1. perception
  2. inference
  3. comparision
  4. word of which the last signinfied knowledge derived through any reliable assertion (xii)

But Nyaya’s call for rational inquiry received a strong resistance from the community of “orthodox Brahmanas” like Jaimini, Manu, Valimiki, and Vyasa among others.

  • Sage Jaimini who propounded Mimiamsa-Sutra emphasized on the prescriptive rituals and ignored the other parts of Veda.
  • Manu, in Mansmiriti, enjoined that the twiceborn members of the coummiunity be excommunicated if they ignore Veda and Dharma-satras and rely upon Hetu-Shastra or Logic.
  • Valmiki, in his Ramayana, considered Avnisiki or the science of lgoic as perverse frivorlty and diregarded the people who pursue it at the cost of edicts of Dharma-sastra.
  • Vyasa, in Mahabharata’s Santiparva, tells the story of a Brahman who, being additcted to Tarkavidya or logic and detached from faith in Veda, got punished to be reborn as a jackle. Vyasa warned the followers of Vedanta philsophy not to share their doctrines with the followers of Naiyayika or Logic. Vidyabhusana found that Vyasa does not even “review the Nyaya system in the Brahman-sutra seeing that it has not been recoginsed by any worthy sage” (xii).

Suuch stories of pubishment of the puruser of loigc are numerous in scriptures. For instance, in Naisadha-carita, Kali chastizes Gotama the founder of Nyaya “the ‘most bovine’ among the sages” (xii).

Consequently, instead of entirley relying on the rational frame, Nyaya started incoporating the element of trust on the authority of Vdeas (Vidhyabhusana xiv). Later on, it got included in other philosophical systemts like Vaisesika, Yoga, Mimamsa, and Samkhya (xiv). Thus, Nyaya was accepted as a branch of knowledge.

Gotama, Aksapada. The Nyaya Sutras of Gotama. Translated by Satisa Chandra Vidyabhusana, Allahabad: The Panini Panini Ofice, 1913.