SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 204 April 2019
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

EDITORIAL: MAJORITARIANISM – MALADY OF OUR TIME

Vinod Mubayi

 

The recent release of all the accused Hindutva terrorists by Indian courts in the Samjhauta Express bombing case that killed 68 persons including 44 Pakistani citizens, following the fizzling out of similar prosecutions in the bombings of Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid or Malegaon’s Idgah shows quite convincingly that  under its present political dispensation, India is unable (or unwilling) to procure justice for the victims of violent acts when these are committed by actors owing allegiance to Hindutva ideals. Read more…

ATTACK ON PROFESSOR RAM PUNIYANI

Editors’ Note: The noted secular humanist Dr Ram Puniyani, who is also a contributing editor of Insaf Bulletin, was harassed at his residence in Mumbai on March 9 by three men claiming to be from the CID. The statement below protesting this treatment and the suspicious circumstances in which it occurred while asking the Mumbai police to investigate it, was signed by many eminent Indians. Insaf Bulletin adds its voice to theirs. Read more…

APPEAL TO NON-BJP OPPOSITION PARTIES REGARDING 2019 ELECTIONS

The coming 2019 may prove to be a watershed in India’s political history, as were the 1977 elections forty-two years ago. In 1977, elections were held after a declared Emergency, during which the Constitution was suspended, political activity disallowed and opposition leaders and activists imprisoned. The success of non-Congress parties in those elections strengthened the electoral system in Indian democracy. Since then all ruling parties losing elections have demitted office gracefully, rather than attempting to subvert the popular mandate. Read more…

IN UTTAR PRADESH, LAW IS MISUSED TO TARGET MINORITIES

Christophe Jaffrelot, Syed H A Rizvi

 

Patterns of communal violence are changing in Uttar Pradesh. As Sudha Pai and Sajjan Kumar had shown in Everyday Communalism: Riots in Contemporary Uttar Pradesh (OUP, 2018) after the 2004 BJP defeat, which former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, partly attributed to the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Hindutva forces have opted for a new modus operandi. Read more…

WHO ARE THE FREE RIDERS OF INDIAN DEMOCRACY?

EPW Editorial

 

The NDA’s refusal to engage in argumentative politics results in the violation of democratic norms. Read more…

BANGLADESH: INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND PROTESTING

Sushmita S Preetha

 

In December 2018 and January 2019, workers from Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) industry went on spontaneous mass protests and strikes around major industrial belts in Dhaka. They were agitating against what they deemed insufficient wage increases, announced by a government-appointed wage board in September 2018, that would go into effect three months later. Garment-factory owners and the Bangladesh government responded with a tried and tested strategy: repression and attack. Read more…

LEFT-LIBERALS DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND RIGHT-WING POPULISM – AND HAVE NO EFFECTIVE WAY TO COUNTER IT

Ajaz Ashraf

 

Populism succeeds because of a nation’s social psychology, which the left-liberal rarely takes into account. Read more…

INDIA, PAKISTAN BEGIN TALKS ON KARTARPUR CORRIDOR AMID CHILL OVER PULWAMA ATTACK

PTI

 

Attari (Amritsar): A meeting between officials of India and Pakistan to finalise the modalities for setting up of a corridor linking the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in the Pakistani town of Kartarpur with Gurdaspur district in Punjab commenced here on Thursday, officials said. Read more…

PAKISTAN: AURAT MARCH AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Neelum Hussain

 

Mainstream Pakistan is shocked by the slogans of Aurat March. A nation that is characterised by its free use of sexual abuse that not only targets women with explicit reference to their sexual body parts, but does so with impunity, is shocked by women’s demand for bodily integrity and safety. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM, AND THE TRANSITION FROM ONE TO THE OTHER

Rohini Hensman

 

Socialism and Commodity Production: Essay in Marx Revival by Paresh Chattopadhyay, Leiden, and Boston: Brill, 2018. Read more…

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