SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 221 September 2020
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

THE WORLD’S “LARGEST DEMOCRACY” MARCHING TO A POLICE STATE

Vinod Mubayi

Evidence keeps mounting daily of India’s descent into a police state where the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution: free speech, freedom to express opinions against the policies of the government, are being honored more in the breach than in the observance. Two examples of this suffice.

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A PASSIONATE TEACHER AND ACTIVIST: ILINA SEN (1951–2020)

Gabriele Dietrich

Ilina Sen, teacher, author and activist has left behind a rich legacy of work and warmth that will continue to inspire women’s and human rights activists and students.

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THE SHADOW OF HAREN PANDYA’S CASE LIES LONG OVER JUSTICE ARUN MISHRA

Prem Shankar Jha

To say that the Supreme Court’s verdict of contempt of court against Prashant Bhushan has shocked civil society in India would be an understatement. There has been an outpouring of dismay and anger in which even attorney general K.K. Venugopal has joined. Most of the protest has focussed on the blow that punishing Bhushan will deal to civil liberties, notably the freedom to express an opinion,  the freedom to differ and the freedom to criticise – without which democracy cannot survive.

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ILINA AS WE KNEW HER: A TRIBUTE FROM WSS

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) deeply mourns the passing away of Ilina Sen on August 9 in Kolkata. Ilina, 69, was a feminist activist, teacher, researcher and writer passionately involved with the women’s movement in India.

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INDIA’S COVID DEATHS COULD BE AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD

(The Wire, August 25, 2020)

Two community physicians with a deep interest in public health, who have earlier published their findings in The Hindu, have said India could be under-reporting its COVID-19 death toll by a factor of 5.29.

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HOW KAMALA HARRIS’S FAMILY IN INDIA HELPED SHAPE HER VALUES

Jeffrey Gettleman and Suhasini Raj

CHENNAI, India — One of Senator Kamala Harris’s brightest childhood memories was walking down the beach hand in hand with her Indian grandfather.

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THE MYTH OF MAINSTREAM

Chhetria Patrakar

Every other day or so, it seems, news from India confirms our worst fears about the state of journalism and free speech in the country.

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CISCO CASE SHOWS INDIANS STILL TAKE CASTE WHERE THEY GO

Subhash Gatade

What happens to caste when Indians migrate to Western countries? Do their feelings of being born superior or inferior, their belief in the purity-pollution ethic, just melt away? The “model minority” has tried to avoid a conversation on this issue but it returns to haunt them time and again. Now the American state of California is at the centre of yet another caste controversy.

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‘LET NOT DESPAIR IMPRISON OUR WORDS’: REMEMBERING ALI SARDAR JAFRI, 20 YEARS ON

Raza Naeem

Har cheez bhula di jaayegi

Yaadon ke haseen butkhane se

Har cheez utha di jaayegi

Phir koi nahin yeh poochhega

Sardar kahan hai mehfil mein

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SATIRE: THERE IS INDEED A JIHADI CONSPIRACY AND THE NATION WANTS TO KNOW WHAT MODI WILL DO ABOUT IT

Harish Khare

It is indeed baffling that so many democratic, liberal, progressive, or just plain decent, voices should be upset over a ‘nationalist’ news channel wanting to air an exposé about an unholy conspiracy to “infiltrate Muslims” into government services.

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