SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 262 February 2024
Founding Editor: Daya Varma (1929-2015)
Editors: Vinod Mubayi (New York) and Raza Mir (New Jersey).
Editorial Board: Ram Puniyani and Irfan Engineer (Mumbai); Pervez Hoodbhoy (Islamabad); Dolores Chew (Montreal); Vamsi Vakulabharanam (Amherst); Ajay Bhardwaj (Vancouver).
Circulation/website: Feroz Mehdi (On behalf of Alternatives, Montreal).

EDITORIAL: RAM MANDIR: THE UNHOLY UNION OF GOD AND GREED

Vinod Mubayi

Caught up in the incessant drumbeat of publicity created by the godi (lapdog) media that masquerades as Hindu religiosity, the goal of the consecration (pran pratishthan) ceremony on January 22 at the partially-constructed Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was always nakedly political – to manufacture the one Nation, One Leader image with Modi cast as the mythical Ram in preparation for the forthcoming national elections. The fact that this political goal was sought to be concealed under layers of religious myth pointedly illustrates the distance a supposedly secular state has drifted from its constitutional mooring.

Read more…

ANNUAL REPORT OF BANGLAR MANABADHIKAR SURAKSHA MANCHA (MASUM)

Overview

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Indian government continued with state policies that discriminate and stigmatise religious and other minorities resulting in increasing incidents of communal violence in many parts of the country. In Manipur more than hundred were killed in ethnic clashes. The police in many states have failed to properly investigate crimes against minorities on the other hand police and administrative officials responded by summarily punishing victims.

Read more…

MODI GOVERNMENT’S CRACKDOWN ON FCRA CRIPPLES CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS

T.K. Rajalakshmi

As prominent NGOs face suspension and cancellation of foreign funding licences, activists see worrying trend of government silencing critical voices.

Read more…

RECASTING RAM: THE RAM TEMPLE AT AYODHYA IS A VEHICLE TO PROMOTE BRAHMINICAL SUPREMACY

Sagar

On 25 November 2023, Rambhadracharya, the high priest at a temple in the pilgrim town of Chitrakoot, in Madhya Pradesh, told a news channel that the Hindu god Ram had granted him a divine visitation one morning. He had woken up to relieve himself, he said, when Ram appeared before him in the form of a toddler, walked him to the bathroom and then back to his bedroom.

Read more…

THE STRUGGLE FOR PRISON REFORM IN PAKISTAN

Zille Huma, Maira Mumtaz and Johar Imam

Pakistan’s prisons remain terribly overcrowded and under-resourced, and nascent efforts at progressive reform are stymied by ingrained attitudes of discrimination, including against religious and ethnic minorities.

Read more…

A SINGLE HOLD-ALL MEASURE LIKE GDP IS A CAMOUFLAGING DEVICE

Prabhat Patnaik

It serves to hide the structural dichotomy introduced by imperialism — of growing urban-rural divide, gap between upper middle-income and working people, and large sector and MSMEs.

Read more…

ON PUNJAB: AN INTERVIEW WITH TARIQ ALI

Gurshamshir Singh Waraich

Tariq Ali discusses the place of Punjab — its partition, its politicians and activists, and its poetry and languages — in the history of the subcontinent.

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Punjab’s partition, Chandigarh-based journalist Gurshamshir Singh Waraich conducted a video interview with British-Pakistani activist and writer Tariq Ali.

Read more…
Top