SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 157 May 2015
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

LAND BILL’S PROSPECTIVE BURIAL: GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD RUBBISH

Editors

 

At the time of going to press, it seems likely that the infamous Land Acquisition Bill proposed in the Indian parliament, which had emerged as a major ideological test for the Narendra Modi government, is hurtling toward a swift demise. A coalition of political parties, motivated by a groundswell of farmer protests, have declared their opposition to it, underscoring its pro-rich character, and as a naked example of the intensification of the processes of “accumulation by dispossession” in the country. Read more…

GAJENDRA SINGH’S DEATH SPARKS TRAGIC MEMORIES OF MANDAL SELF-IMMOLATIONS OF 1990

Ajaz Ashraf

 

Then, like now, the government attempted to attribute the suicides to personal difficulties. To buy those stories would be to ignore the deep structural problems that have caused acute rural distress.

 

The apparent suicide of Gajendra Singh Kalyanvat at the Aam Aadmi Party rally in Delhi on Wednesday (April 22 – eds.) is reminiscent of the self-immolations committed in protest against the implementation of reservations for OBCs in 1990. Then as now, a self-inflicted death has become the feeble scream of the helpless, amplified through extensive media coverage. Read more…

CLAIMING AMBEDKAR, TRASHING THE CONSTITUTION: PARIVAR’S CRASS HYPOCRISY

Praful Bidwai

 

When it comes to sheer hypocrisy and double standards, it’s hard to beat the Sangh Parivar. It strenuously claimed the legacy of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a principal author of India’s Constitution, and a Dalit, on his 124th birth anniversary. This was motivated by nothing nobler than the coming election in Bihar, where a Dalit (former stopgap Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manzhi) has emerged as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s potential ally against Messrs Nitish Kumar and Laloo Prasad. Read more…

SUPPRESSION OF POETS IN MAHARASHTRA

Released by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association

 

On April 10, 2015 Bombay High court refused bail to Sachin Mali, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), who have remained in jail for two years without a trial. They are not charged with committing violence, or possessing weapons or contraband; it was their singing and their songs that were found unlawful. Read more…

COW SLAUGHTER BAN FOR SCIENTIFIC ANIMAL HUSBANDRY OR FOR CULTURAL NATIONALIST STATE?

Irfan Engineer

 

In the previous articles we saw that the campaign by the Hindu nationalist organizations for cow protection is merely instrumental to achieve their political objective, establish cultural hegemony of the upper caste and declare the hierarchical and feudal culture privileging the upper caste as the national culture. The amendments passed by the Maharashtra Assembly in 1995 to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, and which received Presidential assent in 2015 (hereafter referred to as “the 2015 Act”), too are not to protect the cow and its progeny despite the stated objectives couched language of scientific organization of agriculture and animal husbandry. The political objective of the 2015 Act is instrumental – to impose the hegemony of upper caste culture and empower extremist, anarchic and fringe Hindu nationalist groups to intimidate the marginalized sections, in particular, the Muslims on one hand, and to construct a hegemonic and authoritarian culture monitoring state. Read more…

INDIA’S POVERTY IS SOCIAL VIOLENCE

Harsh Mander

 

There are many exiles faced by India’s poor. They are exiled from the consciences of the people of privilege and wealth. They are exiled from our cinema, television and newspapers. They are exiled from the priorities of public expenditure and governments. They are exiled from debates in Parliament and offices. They are exiled from institutions that could offer them some basic security through education, healthcare and social security. And they are exiled from the hope that their children or their grandchildren will one day escape a life of backbreaking toil and social humiliation. Read more…

COLOR CODING OF COMMUNAL POLITICS

Ram Puniyani

 

As per the reports from Ahmadabad (12th April 2015) the uniform at Shahpur School; where most of the students are Hindus; is saffron and the color of uniform in Dani Limda school where almost all the students are Muslims; the color is green. This is absolutely shocking! One knew that the ghettoization of Muslims in Ahmadabad is probably the worst in the country but whether the things will go this far was unbelievable. The process of communalization which worsened after the 2002 Gujarat carnage is seeing a new low with incidents like this one. Read more…

THE JANATA PARIVAR INITIATIVE

Pritam Singh

 

The proposal for a third alternative, opposed both to the Congress and the BJP, continues to retain significance in the political landscape of India. The recent coming together of some regional parties that have roots in India’s socialist political tradition has again given boost to the prospects of a third alternative in Indian politics. The continuing turmoil in AAP, which could have been imagined as a possible third alternative, further adds significance to the Janata Parivar initiative. It cannot be ruled out that in future AAP, united or divided, the BSP and the Left parties can also be a part of a powerful third alternative. Read more…

SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM VICTORY’S JAWS? AAP’S DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT

Praful Bidwai

 

Less than two months after it scored a spectacular victory in the Delhi elections to stop the Narendra Modi juggernaut, the Aam Aadmi Party got drawn into an ugly, bruising internal conflict which led to the expulsion of two of its best-known leaders from the national executive. Read more…

THE SIN AND THE ERROR

Ravi Sinha

 

“…it takes an error to father a sin.”

- J. Robert Oppenheimer

 

Future historians of India may well describe the past year as a year of political sin. This was the year in which the man who had earlier presided over the Gujarat Carnage was awarded the ultimate prize. The year saw an election that touched a new low marked by shallowness, vulgarities and lies – in no small measure by the labors of the man himself. Equally appalling have been the exertions of a large class of literati and glitterati to portray philistinism and inanities spouted by the most powerful mouth as wisdom of a visionary leader. Read more…

DAYA RAM VARMA: AN UNFORGETTABLE FRIEND

Iqbal Niazi – New Delhi

 

 

My association with Daya Ram began nearly 65 years ago in 1949-50 when I first came to know him while he was a studying at King George’s Medical College in Lucknow for the MBBS and MD degrees. My sister, Habib Bano, was also a student at the same Medical College during the same years. Between 1949-53, I completed my M.Sc. in Zoology and had become a demonstrator-cum-research student at AMU, Aligarh. During those years I had to come to Lucknow from Aligarh frequently in connection with the activities of the CPI and the U.P. Students Federation of which I was then the President.  It is during these visits that I first came to know Daya Ram then as one of a group of active workers, members and sympathizers of the Lucknow Branch of All India Students Federation and the then undivided Communist Party of India. The group consisted of a number of university students to name some:  Ravi, Robin Mitra, Anirudh Gupta, Yudhishtra, Krishnanand Bhatnagar (Anand also known as Kailash), P.C.  Joshi, Ruby, Khadija, Atiya, and medical students including my sister Habib Bano and Sharda Paul, and also some teachers of the medical college including Dr. N.P.Gupta (Pathology), Dr. P.C. Chaudhury (Physiology) and others. Many of the comrades of those days are no more. Read more…

MODI’S DEAFENING SILENCE ON ACTIVIST ASSASSINATIONS

Prachi Patankar

 

If left unchallenged, a hateful far-right ideology will shatter the dream of a pluralistic and democratic India. Read more…

POEM: I GIVE YOU THE BULLET TRAIN

BADRI RAINA

 

Are you hungry, are you in pain?

Come, I’ll feed you the bullet train. Read more…

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