SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 147 July 2014
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

SLUMBERING INDIA – A FERTILE GROUND FOR THE RISE OF HINDUTVA FASCISM

Editors

 

BJP and Modi have been at the helm of political power in India with an absolute majority in Parliament for over a month now.  While Modi and his media-savvy cohorts talked incessantly of development and a new India in the run-up to the election, all indications are that it is the old India of RSS with its communal polarization and anti-Muslim rhetoric that is thriving. Read more…

BUILDING EFFECTIVE RESISTANCE TO MODITVA: BACK TO THE PEOPLE!

Praful Bidwai

 

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi chooses his team of senior advisers and top bureaucrats who will faithfully further his agenda, some well-meaning commentators are urging him to follow proper appointment procedures, adopt the dharma of inclusion, “reach out” to the 69 percent of the electorate who didn’t vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party, and in particular assure Muslims that he means well and that they should feel secure under him despite the 2002 Gujarat pogrom. Read more…

CAN THE LEFT RECOVER FROM ITS ELECTION DEBACLE?

Praful Bidwai

 

Almost as incredible as the Left parties’ electoral rout, which halved  their Lok Sabha seats to their lowest-ever total (12, even counting two Left-backed independents), is their failure to come to terms with its magnitude, quality and causes. Read more…

INDIA’S NEWEST MEDIA BARON EMBRACES CENSORSHIP

Pankaj Mishra

 

Bold initiatives characterize India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, who famously lives in a 27-story building in Mumbai, a city where most people languish in slums. Last month, his company, Reliance Industries Ltd., sought to prevent circulation of a new book which claims that Reliance successfully pressured the previous Indian government to double the price of natural gas. Amazon received a cease and desist notice, as did even an individual who had merely forwarded an e-mail invitation to the book’s launch. And Thursday, Ambani moved to buy a whole swath of the Indian media: Bloomberg News reports that Reliance, which has already invested $11 billion in a high-speed cellular network, will now spend $678 million for majority stakes in two major media companies, Network18 Media & Investments Ltd. and TV18 Broadcast Ltd. Read more…

NEHRU’S LEGACY IN THE PRESENT JUNCTURE: ASSESSING ECONOMIC SUCCESSES AND FAILURES

Arun Kumar

 

Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, passed away fifty years back in 1964. It is time that an objective assessment is made of his contributions to the nation at that critical juncture of its existence. The newly independent nation was grossly underdeveloped due to the colonial rule. Colonization led to India falling considerably behind the advanced nations in every sense due to drain of wealth and lack of investment in the economy. Read more…

UPHOLD SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT!

CONDEMN `FOREIGN FUNDED’ DESTRUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT PROMOTED BY IB!

 

We, the following organizations and individuals are deeply shocked at the dubious methods used by the Intelligence Bureau of the Home Ministry of India, to discredit many important social activists in this country who have committed their lives in social action for years.  For a long time,  these activists have consistently questioned the destructive path of development India is following and have demanded a model of sustainable and equitable development which does not harm the environment, local communities, culture and the future generations. Read more…

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR: NAWAZ SHARIF’S VISIT TO INDIA

Ram Puniyani

 

India Pakistan relations have always been mired with in various controversies, which have been preventing the friendly relations with our neighbor, who in ‘popular perception’ is seen as an enemy. It is due to this that while all the members of SAARC countries have been invited, the one to draw maximum popular attention has been the coming of Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan. In a deft move India’s the then Prime Minister designate sent an invite to all the heads of SAARC countries for his swearing in ceremony, (16 May 2014)which was held with great pomp and show. Read more…

ACHCHHE DIN! (Good times)

Ram Puniyani

 

This month saw the major transition in the central Government. For the first time in Independent India, the Government of BJP, which is the progeny of RSS, got a simple majority in the Lok Sabha. Modi sarkar, while overtly played the development rhetoric, also subtly kept polarizing the electorate along religious and caste lines. With this Government coming to power, the Hindutva elements have become more aggressive, and many other are gripped by a sort of fear. Read more…

MURDER OF TECHIE IN PUNE: HATE CRIMES AND COMMUNAL POLARIZATION

Ram Puniyani

 

The Modi Sarkar has been installed in power from last three weeks or so (May 16, 2014). While there is lots of hope from this government by sections of society, there are other types of fears which have started getting actualized and the consequences of that are being felt with great amount of horror. Read more…

PROTEST IN MUMBAI AGAINST KILLING OF MUSLIM YOUTH IN PUNE

A REPORT (June 6, 2014)

 

A protest was organized by DYFI-SFI-AIDWA (Democratic Youth Federation of India-Students’ Federation of India- All India Democratic Women’s Association), AISF (All India Secular Forum), Communalism Combat, Minorities Federation, Jan Sanskriti Manch and NAPM (National Alliance for People’s Movement) at Azad Maidan on June 5, 2014 against the gruesome killing of the innocent, visibly Muslim 28 year old IT professional, Shaikh Mohsin Sadiq, by a group of people allegedly belonging to the radical Hindu outfit called Hindu Rashtra Sena. Read more…

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BHAGANA SURVIVORS – DELHI AND HISAR

It was a day when the 16th LOKSABHA  started it’s session with a condolence meeting to adjourn the house in the memory of  one of it’s members and  minister.

 

On the other side , incidents of atrocities on homeless Dalit families from Bhagana and other protesters marked the day with eviction, batons and insulting women at the Parliament street in New Delhi. Read more…

GOING FORWARD FROM THE 2014 GENERAL ELECTIONS

New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)

 

20 June 2014, New Delhi: The general election result of the 16th Lok Sabha has come as a surprise to many of us. This result is an enormous defeat for the centrist, regional and the parliamentary left parties. The result is unexpected because for two [it's actually three] decades no single party has had the capacity to win an absolute majority in the parliament. The overwhelming victory of the BJP by securing 282 out of 543 seats marks a significant and critical shift in our country’s parliamentary politics. Read more…

INDIA IS POOREST IN SOUTH ASIA AFTER AFGHANISTAN

(http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/india-is-poorest-in-south-asia-after-afghanistan-oxford-varsity-study/article6120424.ece?homepage)

 

 

New Delhi, June 16:  India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after strife-torn Afghanistan, says a poverty estimation study by Oxford University. Read more…

TEN OUTRAGEOUS COMMENTS INDIAN OFFICIALS HAVE MADE ABOUT RAPE

India has a horrific rape and violence against women problem, which came to international attention after a medical student was raped, tortured and murdered on a bus in 2012. Just recently two girls were found hanging from a tree after being raped in Uttar Pradesh. And today brings news of police officers themselves being accused of gang raping a woman who came to a police station in Uttar Pradesh to inquire about her husband’s release. Read more…

STOP ATTACKS ON RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN SRI LANKA

(SANSAD News-release June 20, 2014)

 

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) deplores the attack by Buddhist mobs on minority Muslims in the southern Sri Lankan towns of Aluthgama and Beruwela on June 15 that have left 3 dead, 78 seriously injured, dozens of homes and shops burnt down, and several mosques damaged. Read more…

RESPECT THE FAIR TRIAL RIGHTS OF TEESTA, JAVED AND OTHERS SAYS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Amnesty International (June 16, 2014)

 

There is concern among Human Rights Activists about what will happen after the 19th of June, 2014. Padamshri Teesta Setalwad, Javed Anand, Tanvir Jafri, Salimbhai Sandhi and Firoz Gulzar Pathan face allegations including cheating, forgery, and criminal breach of trust in a case filed in January 2014 relating to the raising of funds for a riot memorial museum in Gulberg Society, Ahmedabad. Read more…

REPORT OF SADBHAVANA PADYATRA IN PUNE ON 15TH JUNE, 2014

Irfan Engineer

 

A sadbhavana padyatra or march from Gadital to Gandhi chowk took place in Pune on 15th June to show solidarity with Mohsin Shaikh who was lynched to death by miscreants of Hindu Rashtra Sena earlier this month. The march got a strong response with around 1000 people being present for the march. Read more…

AN ENCHANTING SHAAM-E-GHAZAL WITH DR. RADHIKA CHOPRA

(Zafar Iqbal, President, GOPIO, Washington-Metro DC?)

 

 

Hamri attariya pe aao sanvariya, dekha dekhi balam hoee jaae, Dr. Radhika Chopra started the program by singing the famous Dadra in Bhairvi style paying tribute   to ghazal and thumri queen, Beguma Akhtar on her 100th birth anniversary. Read more…

IT WAS BETTER TO LIVE IN IRAQ UNDER SADDAM

(12 June 2014, the (UK) Independent; Supplied by Professor Sam Noumoff)

 

The country has begun to slip into anarchy, but it wasn’t always like this. It used to be a much happier and safer place to live. Read more…

OBITUARY: GABRIEL KOLKO (1933-2014)

William Yardley (June 11, 2014, The New York Times)

 

“The New Deal illusion survives because it is a very useful to today’s Democratic Party,” Kolko wrote in 2012. “It needs myths, but if one knows the truth about it then we have the basis for understanding the essentially conservative nature of today’s Democratic Party.” (Gabriel Kolko) Read more…

OBITUARY: CIVIL RIGHTS CHAMPION YURI KOCHIYAMA (1921-2014)

David K. Yoo (Asian American Studies Center – UCLA)

 

We received word of the passing of Yuri Kochiyama who touched and inspired the lives of thousands of people through her decades-long activism and incredible dedication to social justice. Read more…

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