SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 149 September 2014
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

WHAT WE NEED IS A COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (UNITED)

Editors

 

The triumph of the BJP in May 2014 elections and the absolute majority it has secured in the Lok Sabha, perhaps to be replicated soon in the Rajya Sabha, ensures its rule over India for the next five years.  The Congress has been reduced to a mere rump while most of the regional parties, barring Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK and West Bengal’s TMC, have been practically wiped out. The parliamentary Left, mainly CPM and CPI, have not fared any better. Read more…

MODI IS MARCHING: MOVE TOWARDS FASCISM?

Santosh Rana

 

When the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls was on, many political observers noted that the Indian big business houses had united in an unprecedented manner in order to enthrone Narenrda Modi as the Prime Minister. This class allegedly provided billions of rupees to Modi’s election fund, and the newspapers and other news media went on clamouring for Modi’s premiership in the most overt, if not obnoxious fashion. Read more…

CHANGING CONTOURS OF INDIA: ISSUES, CHALLENGES AND WAY FORWARD

Hozefa Ujjaini

 

On 13th August 2014, a meeting was organized by All India Secular Forum in association with Janvikas, Insaaf, Parwaaj and National Peace Group at Maratha Hall, Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Fifty-five  youths, social activists, Grass root worker and community people participated in the meeting. Read more…

DOES LOVE KNOW RELIGIOUS BOUNDARIES?

Ram Puniyani

 

Communal politics, communal violence all over used women’s bodies as the site of contestation and community honor. This is the worst expression of patriarchal values inherent in the communal politics. Read more…

NEW LEFT PLATFORM [Ganamancha] FORMED IN WEST BENGAL

“Working People’s Movement for Democracy & Secularism”

DECLARATION (issued at Press Conference on 2/7/2014)

We the undersigned political parties and organisations have decided to come together to form a struggle platform: “Working People’s Movement for Democracy and Secularism”. Read more…

ARE WOMEN REALLY WORKING LESS IN INDIA?

CP Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

 

Work, work, work It is not acknowledged simply because it is not paid for (Ritu Raj Konwar) Read more…

A BRIEF REPORT OF MINORITY WOMEN’S WORKSHOP IN AHMEDABAD

A minority women’s workshop was organized by CSSS, Mumbai in collaboration with Safar, Ahmedabad to train women activists working on the issues relating to Muslim women in Gujarat. The workshop was conducted on 13th and 14th August, 2014 and around 50 participants participated from different parts of the state. Read more…

COMMUNAL’ RAPES IN UP: POLICE RECORDS PUNCTURE BJP PROPAGANDA

IndiaTomorrow.net

 

New Delhi, 27 August 2014: For last two weeks, the ruling Hindu right Bharatiya Janata Party had been endangering the already volatile atmosphere of communal harmony in Uttar Pradesh – specifically the western part of India’s most populated state – by alleging and reiterating it at every platform that Muslims in the region are raping Hindu women with a sinister design. A painstaking investigation of NDTV news channel on Tuesday found BJP’s claim was a sheer false propaganda. Read more…

THE RAJASTHAN AMENDMENTS TO LABOR LAW WILL CREATE MANY MORE BHOPALS

National Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) statement, New Delhi,  July 31, 2014

 

The Rajasthan government’s decision to  amend the Factories Act has turned the clock back two centuries for what are acceptable conditions of work in a factory. Read more…

INDIAN MUSLIMS CONDEMN THE BRUTAL ATROCITIES BY ISIS AGAINST MINORITIES

 

 

Indian Muslims are shocked and pained by the brutality and atrocities being perpetrated by the ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) against Christians, Shias, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the regions now under their control. We strongly condemn such barbarism which is against the teachings of Islam. We express our heart-felt sympathies and solidarity with the survivors of those whose near and dear ones have been mercilessly butchered, and the tens of thousands of Iraq’s minorities who have been dispossessed, forced to flee their homes and are now living in extremely difficult circumstances. Read more…

CANCELLATION OF INDIA-PAKISTAN SECRETARY LEVEL TALKS

Call for Early Resumption and Increased Bilateral Initiatives for Peace

 

We the citizens of India and Pakistan are concerned and dismayed by the decision of the Government of India to call off the Foreign Secretary Level talks between India and Pakistan that were scheduled on 25th August 2014 at Islamabad in the background of Pakistan High Commissioner Mr. Abdul Basit’s meeting with ?a ?leader of Huriyat Conference. Read more…

PAKISTAN: STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF DEMOCRACY BY CIVIL SOCIETY

Civil Society vows to defend people’s right to a legitimately elected government

 

‘Nobody has the right to undermine the current system of democracy through political confrontation and violence’ Read more…

MY PLEA TO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL: LIBERATE YOURSELVES BY LIBERATING PALESTINE

Desmond Tutu

 

(Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.)

 

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine. Read more…

INTERVIEW: TARIQ ALI ON GAZA, BDS, ISIS AND IRAQ

On August 11, 2014, the British left organisation Counterfire sponsored a public forum on Palestine featuring Tariq Ali.

 

In this interview, Tariq Ali discusses the recent Israel-Palestine conflict, the BDS movment, the rise of ISIS, and Obama’s commitment to long-term US involvement in Iraq. Read more…

WARS AND IMPERIALISM

Editors

 

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of World War (WW) I, we are producing below an article by Mahmood Awan.

 

WW 1 highlighted inter-imperialist contradiction and conflict. In the early decades of the 20th century, Britain and France controlled most of the colonies in the world and their rich resources. Read more…

WORLD WAR I ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS PROBLEMATIC

Mahmood Awan

 

World War One (WWI) began on July 28, 1914. Now that a hundred years have passed, it is time to introspect both Punjab’s role to ‘save the civilization’ and the socio-political impact of the war recruitment on Punjabis. Read more…

MY ABORTED ASSAM TRIP

Vipin Tripathi

 

Friends,

 

I left Anand Vihar (Delhi) on August 14 at 6:50 AM by North east express to go to Kokrajhar. The train went alright up to Mughal Sarai. 1 hr. from there we reached Dildar Nagar, 2 hr. behind schedule. It was 9 PM. The train stayed there up to 3 AM. The station master told us, “There is heavy rain and flood in Patna, hence all the stations from there to Patna (120 km) are crowded with trains. It may take several hours after the passage in Patna is cleared.” I got apprehensive about rain in Korajhar and Baxa also. Hence at 4 AM I took Brahmaputra Mail back to Delhi and reached Delhi at 8:30 PM. I felt deeply sad to abandon the trip. Read more…

POLLS AND POLARISATION

Badri Narayan

 

Summary

 

Why the communal incidents in western UP may, in fact, be engineered.

 

Generally speaking, communal riots don’t just occur. They are engineered. Those engineering them are usually guided by political mobilisational and electoral interests. A study of the history of the forms of communal riots in post-Independence India seems to reveal that if the riots that erupted during Partition are ignored, communal riots are a phenomenon that occurs primarily in urban spaces. However, since the early 1990s, communal riots have started spreading to villages. And, while earlier there used to be large-scale communal riots after long intervals, a new strategy to reap electoral fruit appears to be developing where different religious groups are being mobilised by creating communal tension through small conflicts. This means communal consciousness is not momentary but always present, which seems to be more politically profitable. Read more…

NARENDRA MODI’S QUIET BEGINNING DIMS INDIA’S HOPES FOR SWIFT CHANGE

Ellen Barry

 

New Delhi — During the months leading up to the spring parliamentary elections, Indians looked at Narendra Modi and saw what they wanted to see.

 

Right-wing Hindus saw a cultural warrior. Working-class voters saw an incorruptible outsider who would impose discipline, from the “Delhi durbar,” the elite cliques dating to the Mughal courts, down to police constables. Industrialists counted on having an advocate at the top. And public intellectuals in New Delhi, among them centrists who had abandoned the Indian National Congress party, saw an economic reformer who would use his enormous mandate to introduce bold, potentially unpopular policies that would reawaken growth. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW

Kashmir: The Agony Of Conflict

Review By Bilal Shaheen (Liberation News Service, August 7, 2014)

26 July, 2014

Countercurrents.org

Book: The Half Mother

Author: Shahnaz Bashir

Publisher: Hachette India Read more…

JOINT DECLARATION BY INTERNATIONAL LAW EXPERTS ON ISRAEL’S GAZA OFFENSIVE

 

 

As international and criminal law scholars, human rights defenders, legal experts and individuals who firmly believe in the rule of law and in the necessity for its respect in times of peace and more so in times of war, we feel the intellectual and moral duty to denounce the grave violations, mystification and disrespect of the most basic principles of the laws of armed conflict and of the fundamental human rights of the entire Palestinian population committed during the ongoing Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. We also condemn the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip, as every indiscriminate attack against civilians, regardless of the identity of the perpetrators, is not only illegal under international law but also morally intolerable. However, as also implicitly noted by the UN Human Rights Council in its Resolution of the 23th July 2014, the two parties to the conflict cannot be considered equal, and their actions – once again – appear to be of incomparable magnitude. Read more…

GREAT DAY FOR GAZA WHEN 150,000 MARCHED IN LONDON

We said it would be the biggest ever UK demonstration for Gaza. And it was. Read more…

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Three Announcements Read more…

OBITUARY: UR ANANTHAMURTHY (1934-2014)

Ananthamurthy, rated as one of the best writers in the country who won acclaims from critics and fans alike, breathed his last this evening, 10 days after he was hospitalised with fever and infection, the doctor attending on him said.

 

Ananthamurthy is survived by his wife Esther, a son and a daughter. Read more…

OBITUARY: VIDYA MUNSHI 1919-2014

Rajashri Dasgupta

 

Vidya Munsi was at the forefront of activism for over 65 years, joining the Indian communists in UK when the communist party was still illegal in India, becoming West Bengal’s first working woman journalist, and advocating throughout the cause of women. Read more…

OBITUARY: SUKUMARI BHATTACHARJI (1922-2014)

Kolkata: Indologist and Sanskrit scholar Sukumari Bhattacharji died on Saturday. She was 92. She had pledged her body to the cause of medical research. Read more…

OBITUARY: SHUBHRADEEP CHAKRAVARTY (1972-2014)

TwoCircles.net Staff reporter

 

New Delhi: Noted documentary film maker and freelance journalist Shubhradeep Chakravorty passed away on Monday [26th August] morning in the national capital. He breathed his last at the All India Instituted of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where he [had been for the past week] …after suffering from brain hemorrhage. He is understood to [have been suffering from]  depression for the [banning of his latest documentary on Muzaffarnagar riots] and  intimidation he was facing [in this regard.] Read more…

OBITUARY: NABARUN DA! (1948-2014)

(ML Update, August 11, 2014)

 

Nabarun Bhattacharya is no more. The revolutionary poet, short story writer and novelist, passed away on 31st July evening in a Calcutta Hospital after his prolonged battle with cancer. Read more…

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