SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 228 April 2021
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

EDITORIAL: INDIA’S FARMERS VS. MODI REGIME: AN ANALYTICAL REVIEW OF THE ISSUES

Vinod Mubayi

As this issue of Insaf Bulletin is being published, millions of India’s farmers will have spent more than four months protesting continuously against the pro-free market and pro-corporate farm laws passed by the Modi government last year. It is widely acknowledged that this has become the largest and longest non-violent protest movement in world history. The sacrifices made by the farmers and their persistence in the face of violence by the police – tear gas, water cannon and lathi charges – is also unprecedented. Upwards of 300 people have died during the protests either from the rigors of the north Indian winter or from other causes but the farmers have remained steadfast and the scale of the protests and their magnitude have only grown over the last couple of months.

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INDIA’S NEWS UPSTARTS CHALLENGED MODI. NEW RULES COULD TAME THEM

Mujib Mashal and Hari Kumar

Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has cultivated and cowed large parts of the country’s normally raucous news media in recent years as part of a broader campaign against dissent.

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FROM LIBERALISM TO SECULARISM, THE BATTLE FOR BENGAL HAS JUST BEGUN

Jawhar Sircar

Voters in Bengal feel quite amused when told that the next assembly elections are all done and dusted. But it is rather distressing to see how personal biases or received wisdom (tonnes of which is freely offloaded in the national capital) masquerading as profound political analysis. Despite what poll surveys tell us, a very tough battle lies ahead, not only for Mamata Banerjee but also for the liberal principles and secular ideologies that the people of the state have prided in.

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DELHI VIOLENCE UNMASKED: HOW RSS, BJP MEMBERS INVOKED HINDU IDENTITY TO MOBILISE HINDUTVA MOBS AT MAUJPUR

Sagar

In a six-month-long investigation, Sagar, a staff writer at The Caravan, scrutinised Facebook live broadcasts by members affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the Delhi violence of February 2020. In this series based on the investigation, The Caravan reports on the Hindutva mobilisation that preceded the violence, its political and communal nature, and the role played by the RSS, BJP and affiliated organisations such as the Bajrang Dal in fomenting hate against those protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019.

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PAKISTAN: MANUFACTURING SOLDIERS

Mahvish Ahmad

In a book that breaks new ground in scholarship on Pakistani militarism, Maria Rashid explores how the Pakistan Army manages emotions like grief, pride and fear among foot soldiers and their families.

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RESISTING A COUP: HOW CIVIL SOCIETY IS RESPONDING IN THE FACE OF ESCALATING VIOLENCE IN MYANMAR

On 1 February, the military seized control of Myanmar after detaining National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected leaders, claiming that recently held elections were neither free nor fair.

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