SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 192 April 2018
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

EDITORIAL: SCIENCE AND HINDUTVA

Vinod Mubayi

 

Ever since the BJP won the 2014 elections, its votaries have been obsessed with making claims of the superiority of the ancient Vedic texts in all matters, not only those pertaining to culture and civilization, but extending to science and technology. Read more…

KISAN SABHA LONG MARCH IN MAHARASHTRA ENDS IN A RESOUNDING VICTORY

Ashok Dhawale

 

It was truly an amazing struggle, the like of which has not been seen in Maharashtra in recent times. It caught the imagination of the peasantry and the people, and received their unstinted support, not only in the state but all over the country. It received the backing of parties and organisations all across the political spectrum. Read more…

INTERVIEW: LEFT MUST TEAM WITH CONGRESS (AND OTHERS) TO SAVE DEMOCRACY: HISTORIAN SUMANTA BANERJEE

Ajaz Ashraf

 

The drubbing that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) just received in Tripura deepens the crisis the Indian Left has been facing. Is the Left’s demise in the country inevitable? Will the Tripura Assembly election result dampen the morale of Left-liberals who have been opposing Hindutva for the last four years? Will it aggravate the tension in the CPI(M) over the issue of whether or not to align with the Congress in 2019? Read more…

INDIA’S WAR ON SCIENCE

Shashi Tharoor

 

For India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, religion is not a matter of personal belief, but a key feature of traditional identity politics and crucial to maintaining social order, ensuring discipline and conformity, and preventing radical change. Science and rationality threaten all of the party’s goals. Read more…

[FROM THE ARCHIVES] INDIAN PRIME MINISTER CLAIMS GENETIC SCIENCE EXISTED IN ANCIENT TIMES

Maseeh Rahman

 

Hindu nationalists have long propagated their belief that many discoveries of modern science and technology were known to the people of ancient India. But now for the first time an Indian prime minister has endorsed these claims, maintaining that cosmetic surgery and reproductive genetics were practiced thousands of years ago. Read more…

SRI LANKA: REFRAMING THE RIOTS

Devaka Gunawardena

 

The recent riots targeting Muslims in Kandy have provoked accusations on many sides. While mainstream conversations focus on what the riots entail in terms of immediate political consequences for the current Government and its tepid response, progressives have also had to reckon with the growing presence of anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence as a feature of contemporary Sri Lankan life. Read more…

PAKISTAN: GUNS OR BOOKS?

Zubeida Mustafa

 

The infamous legacy of ‘enforced disappearances’ that the Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet left behind has, unfortunately, been picked up by Pakistan. This phenomenon is today a source of great human agony in the country with thousands believed to have been abducted, many for political reasons. Read more…

A ‘HUMAN RIGHTS GIANT’: ASMA JAHANGIR (1952–2018)

Beena Sarwar

 

Asma Jahangir, a “human rights giant,” lives on as an inspiration and source of strength for millions fighting for rights and justice. This is a portrait of an incredibly courageous woman, lovingly drawn with a collection of memories and anecdotes. Read more…

UNEQUAL MUSIC

T M Krishna

 

In “Crossing the Vindhyas” (EPW, 13 January 2018), Kamala Ganesh has rightly pointed out that we should not be surprised that a caste-based society’s art forms are also caste-based. But does this mean that we should not examine or question the specific manifestation that caste has taken in different social spheres, such as Carnatic music? Read more…

REWRITING OF HISTORY AND SECTARIAN NATIONALISM

Ram Puniyani

 

With the Hindu nationalist BJP in the seat of power an exercise in History writing is being undertaken on lines parallel to what was done in Pakistan. So far we did keep hearing loudly about the communal version of medieval history, where villainous foreigners, the Muslim kings attacked India, spread Islam and destroyed Hindu temples. Read more…

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