SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 218 June 2020
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

EDITORIAL: CRIMINALIZING DISSENT, THROWING MIGRANT WORKERS TO THE DOGS AND ABOLISHING DECADES OLD LABOR LAWS: WHERE IS INDIA HEADED?

Vinod Mubayi

At a time when the pandemic infection in India seems to be rising rapidly, the regime’s acts of cruelty, there is simply no other word for them, that consist of acts of both commission and omission, seem bewildering. Are they the expressions of a government that is both uncaring and incompetent, whose minions are content with projecting the image of an omnipotent, omniscient leader, a divine guru beyond human criticism? Or are they instead the actions of a would-be dictatorial government bent on crushing any manifestation of opposition in its march to Hindu Rashtra? Considering both the utterances and silences of the government’s spokespersons on various issues, it appears to be a combination of both, depending on the issue.

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LETTER TO THE ILO ON THE UNILATERAL SUSPENSION OF LABOUR LAWS BY THE GOVERNMENT IN INDIA

25.05.2020

Mr Guy Ryder

Director General, International Labour Organisation

Geneva

Dear Sir,

This joint representation is the follow up with more concrete details on our complaint / representation to you dated 14th May 2020.

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AS THE FIRST YEAR OF MODI 2.0 ENDS, IT’S CLEAR THAT DEMOCRACY HAS BEEN QUARANTINED

Siddharth Varadarajan

To understand what Narendra Modi has done to India in the first year of his second term as prime minister, I want you to consider the contrasting fate of two young people, Amulya Leona and Anurag Thakur.

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ON THE CORONAVIRUS, PAKISTAN’S GOVERNMENT IS MISSING IN ACTION

Neha Maqsood

During a televised broadcast on March 22, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his hesitancy in imposing a nationwide lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, explaining that such a move would have devastating economic consequences for the poor.

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A PANDEMIC OF PERSECUTION IN BANGLADESH

Ali Riaz

Workers from the garment sector block a road as they protest to demand the payment of due wages during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 24, 2020.

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WHY ACTIVISTS WANT PRISONS DECONGESTED

Subhash Gatade

Late in March, Sirous Asgari, a materials science and engineering professor from Iran, who is at present detained by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), had warned about the “inhumane” conditions at the ICE facility that could turn it into a hot spot of Covid-19 fatalities.

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SEWER CLEANERS WANTED IN PAKISTAN: ONLY CHRISTIANS NEED APPLY

Zia ur-Rehman and Maria Abi-Habib

Before Jamshed Eric plunges deep below Karachi’s streets to clean out clogged sewers with his bare hands, he says a little prayer to Jesus to keep him safe.

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HOW MODI FAILED THE PANDEMIC TEST

Hartosh Singh Bal

India has been under a lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus for two months. On March 25, the first day of the lockdown, India had 618 confirmed cases and 13 deaths.

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A HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN INDIA

Mahendra Prasad Singh

(Review of Political Parties, Party Manifestos and Elections in India, 1909–2014 edited by R K Tiwari, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2019; pp xxi + 309, ?1,495).

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CHINA-INDIA BORDER: WHY TENSIONS ARE RISING BETWEEN THE NEIGHBOURS

Anbarasan Ethirajan and Vikas Pandey

The armies of the world’s two most populous nations are locked in a tense face-off high in the Himalayas, which has the potential to escalate as they seek to further their strategic goals.

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THE KALAPANI IMBROGLIO: HAS INDIA PUSHED NEPAL TOO FAR?

Tapan Bose

Popular sentiment against what is viewed as Indian encroachment in Kalapani and Susta has led to recurrent protests in Nepal which have largely been ignored by the Indian media.

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