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In this rapidly changing and challenging world, we are not interested in manipulative headlines. Instead, we are much more interested in real journalism with depth, insight and indisputable facts, impeccably resourced and people-centred.
The Background aspires to become a voice for the peripheral people. It will articulate the everyday lives of diverse heterogeneous working class, forced migrants, maginalised and indigenous communities. There would be eclectic kinds of news and analysis but we will put emphasis on in-depth, immersive reportage and analysis on issues. Mostly, we want writings pertaining to academic rigour with journalistic flair. We will not only connect the people’s movements across the globe but also give sufficient space to the activists coming from different diverse linguistic, religious and regional backgrounds.
Najib Anwar: Founding Editor. He is a journalist and writer. He began his career as a broadcasting journalist working with All India Radio. He holds a master’s degree in Media Communications from Webster University School of Communication, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He has worked in various fields of Media sector for more than two decades.
Abdul Matin: Editor-at-large. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata and is an advanced PhD candidate at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has been DAAD Fellow at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), University of Göttingen, Germany. He has published many papers in different journals.
Abu Siddik: Literary and Cultural Editor. He has three critical books— Representation of the Marginalized in Indian Writings in English (Falakata College Cell, 2015), Misfit Parents in Faulkner’s Select Texts (Authorspress, 2015), Banglar Musolman (Sopan, 2018). He has two poetry books and a short story collection- Rugged Terrain, Whispering Echoes, A Birdwatcher and Other Stories. He is an Assistant Professor, Plassey College, West Bengal, India.
Diptendu Sarkar: Associate Editor. He specializes in politics, minority, ethnicity, identity, security and terrorism and holds a doctorate degree from Calcutta University. He got the prestigious Charles Wallace Fellowship and also received a Visiting Researcher Scholarship from the Walailak University, Thailand. He is working as a principal at a government high school, Kolkata.
Soumitra Dastidar: Consulting Editor. As a documentary filmmaker, he has done numerous path-breaking documentaries- Nothing Official (2002) on the Gujarat pogrom and a sequel Genocide and After (2003), A Letter to my Daughter (2005) on the state repression in Manipur, Story of a Golden River (2007) on displacement caused by dam in North-East India, India Mortgaged (2009), Musalmaner Kotha (2013) on the plight of Bengali Muslims of West Bengal, Simanto Akhyan (2018) on the partition of Bengal and currently engaged in documenting Maulana Abdul Khan Bhasani (Maulana Bhasani). He also contributes columns in various journals and digital publications.
Sumanta Banerjee is the Chief Advisor of The Background. He is a historian, journalist and cultural theorist. He is a leading public intellectual for many decades and has earlier been a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. His publications include In the Wake of Naxalbari: A History of Naxalite Movement in India, The Parlour and the Streets, Dangerous Outcast, Memoirs of Roads: Calcutta from Colonial Urbanization to Global Modernization.
Rachael M. Rudolph has served as an Editor for digital media outlets over the past ten years and written articles for media outlets in Australia, Canada, China, India, Turkey, Palestine, Singapore, and the United States. She is an Assistant Professor of Social Science for Bryant University-BITZH Programs at the Beijing Institute of Technology, Zhuhai located in the Guangdong Province, China.
Sumeet Mhaskar holds a doctorate in Sociology from St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and M.A and M. Phil degrees in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University and is an Associate Professor at the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, O.P Jindal Global University. He also holds a Junior Research Partner position at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany. He has previously held Post-Doctoral and Visiting Scholar positions in Max Weber Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Kassel University and University of Göttingen, Germany and Centre for South Asia at Stanford University, USA. His research explores the multifaceted vulnerabilities workers’ experience at the lower end of India’s ‘rising economy’. His writings have been published in peer-reviewed journals, edited books, working papers and magazines.