SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 186 October 2017
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

EDITORIAL: SOUTH ASIA IN THE SPOTLIGHT (OR CROSSHAIRS)

Vinod Mubayi and Raza Mir

 

The murder of Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru on September 5 by motorcycle riding terrorists brought the emergence of Indian fascism into the spotlight in a most chilling fashion, highlighting the utter vulnerability of all activists who dare to oppose Hindutva. Lankesh was a fearless journalist who wielded her pen to oppose and expose the criminalization of political and cultural life under the current rulers of the country. Read more…

OBSERVE OCTOBER 2 AS A PROTEST DAY: AN APPEAL

Forum against the killing of Gauri Lankesh

 

Dear Concerned and Conscious Citizens,

 

The assassination of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh has evidently rung a strong alarm. Though the chain of resolve to condemn and resist the dastardly act exhibited across the nation is encouraging, much more needs to be done to counter the terror acts and save the precious dissident democratic spaces from the onslaught of fascist forces. Read more…

MESSAGE FROM TEESTA SETALVAD ON HER DETENTION AT VARANASI 

Dear Friends All,

 

This is a detailed communication to formally update you on the unfortunate situation as I arrived in Banaras yesterday. The CISF personnel received me at the airport. (Security provided as per orders of the Hon SC). Read more…

INDIA’S STUDENTS FACE BRUNT OF BJP WRATH AS RESISTANCE GATHERS PACE IN VARSITIES

 

The Citizen Editorial

 

The very first action by the Modi government when it came to power was against students in Jawaharlal Nehru University where the full might of the state was evident in trying to crack the Left bastion, and arrest and jail student leaders. Read more…

I KNOW WHO IS BEHIND MY DEATH: A PAKISTANI JOURNALIST’S REACTON TO GAURI LANKESH’S MURDER

Hamid Mir

 

Gauri Lankesh received three bullets in her body and died. I got seven bullets, but survived. I know I’m really lucky to be alive. Gauri’s terrible death made me search for other similarities — perhaps, I want her friends and family, my readers, anyone, someone, to know that I understand the pain and the grief and the anger, all twisted into one emotion, that follows when Death comes calling. Read more…

PAKISTAN: BACKDOOR ELECTORAL MAINSTREAMING OUTFITS CONNECTED WITH HATE-BASED POLITICS – IS THAT THE FUTURE?

Editorial, Dawn, September 20, 2017

 

In the long term, the by-election result may be remembered most for the candidates who finished third and fourth. Read more…

THE ROHINGYA GENOCIDE AND INADEQUATE RESPONSE FROM BANGLADESH

Taj Hashmi

 

I believe “genocide” is the right word to describe the ongoing mass killing, rape, and expropriation of Rohingyas in Mayanmar. Polish Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) first used the expression in 1943, to denote the mass killings, rapes, torture, extortions, and marginalization of Jews and others in Axis-occupied Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Read more…

HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER AMAL CLOONEY URGES SRI LANKAN AUTHORITIES TO ENSURE SAFETY OF FORMER MALDIVES PRESIDENT NASHEED

Sunday Times, Sri Lanka, 14 September 2017

 

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is urging Sri Lankan authorities to respect the rights and ensure the safety of her client and former President of the Maldives Mohammed Nasheed should  he set foot in the country. Read more…

IT’S LONELY ON THE GROUND: RTI ACT NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED 

Christophe Jaffrelot , Basim U Nissa

 

In April, the government of India proposed amendments to the RTI Act, one of the most empowering pieces of legislation inherited from the UPA era. The most controversial amendment pertained to Rule 12. It would allow the withdrawal of an application in case of the applicant’s death, making the job of those who file RTIs even more risky. Read more…

TRIPLE TALAQ: CRITICAL OF GOVT, MUSLIM LAW BOARD WILL NOT FILE REVIEW

Abantika Ghosh, Milind Ghatwai

 

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) executive committee meeting on Sunday did not discuss filing a review petition against the Supreme Court order holding instant triple talaq illegal. Sources said during informal discussions it was felt that a review plea may throw open more religious practices like polygamy to judicial scrutiny. Read more…

REREADING DAS KAPITAL IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Vamsi Vakulabharanam

 

Marx’s Capital (three volumes) offers a unified framework to make sense of some of the most troubling issues facing humanity today, in particular, rising economic inequality, deepening economic instability, and growing unsustainability of human–nature interactions, signifying a looming planetary crisis. To the extent that the text throws light on capitalism in the abstract that transcends the unique features of the English or European context, it offers us various insights and critiques about how to understand and intervene in societies beyond Europe. Read more…

MARXISM AND NATIONALISM – NATION AND NATIONALISM

Achin Vanaik

 

In the broad social sciences as well as in the discourse on politics, there is no consensus on how we should understand the nation – what its origins are, or on its meaning and value. By contrast there is widespread acceptance that nationalism – whether understood as doctrine, ideology, sentiment, identity or movement – is a modern phenomenon. Read more…

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