SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 208 August 2019
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)


SPECIAL EDITION ON KASHMIR

WILL THE SUPREME COURT ALLOW BJP’S CONSTITUTIONAL COUP D’ETAT IN J&K TO STAND?

Editors

 

The INSAF Bulletin is published typically at the beginning of the month, but given the unrest in Kashmir that has blindsided many of us and represents a huge challenge to Indian democracy as well as prospects for peace in South Asia, we felt it appropriate to bring out a special issue on the topic. The articles in this bulletin pertain exclusively to the Kashmir problem, which was triggered by a unilateral and undemocratic action by the BJP government announced in Parliament by Home Minister Amit Shah on August 5, 2019. These actions included stripping Jammu and Kashmir of statehood, cutting internet communication, mobile and landline telephones across the state, abolishing article 370 that granted protection to Kashmiris, ratcheting up police and paramilitary forces in the region and arresting a wide swath of elected politicians who represented the population. Read more…

CONSTITUTION TORN TO SHREDS AS RSS INDULGES ARTICLE 370 FANTASY IN KASHMIR

Siddharth Varadarajan

 

Not only has Amit Shah stripped Article 370 of its essence, he has abolished the entire state as well, replacing it with two ‘Bantustans’ in which key decisions on issues like law and order and land will be taken from New Delhi. Read more…

AND KASHMIRIS SHALL IMMEDIATELY CEASE TO EXIST

Mohamad Junaid

 

The Indian government’s measures to bring Kashmir under direct rule by New Delhi attempts to erase the Kashmiri political identity and will inflame an already simmering resistance. Read more…

LAWS OF OCCUPATION

Asad Rahim Khan

 

“WHEN I think of India, I think of many things,” Jawaharlal Nehru wrote once. “Of … some mountain valley in Kashmir in the spring, covered with new flowers, and with a brook bubbling and gurgling through it.” In words that take on a new meaning today, Nehru concluded, “We make and preserve the pictures of our choice.” It suited India’s first prime minister, a Kashmiri Pandit, to preserve that picture, even if it meant occupation. Read more…

J&K SPECIAL STATUS: HOW THE MODI GOVERNMENT USED ARTICLE 370 TO KILL ARTICLE 370

Sruthisagar Yamunan

 

Scrapping Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was an election promise of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Article grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, which basically meant laws enacted by Parliament could not be enforced in the state without the approval of its government. Read more…

ARTICLE 370 OF THE CONSTITUTION: A GENESIS

Jai Shankar Agarwala

 

A brief history of why Article 370 of the Constitution was framed in a certain manner and the importance of the text of the Article from the viewpoint of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Read more…

INDIA REVOKES KASHMIR’S SPECIAL STATUS, RAISING FEARS OF UNREST

Jeffrey Gettleman and Sameer Yasir

 

NEW DELHI — The Indian government said on Monday that it was revoking a constitutional provision that had for decades given a unique degree of autonomy to Kashmir, a disputed mountainous region along the India-Pakistan border. Read more…

WHAT IS ARTICLE 370, AND WHY DOES IT MATTER IN KASHMIR?

Vindu Goel

 

Kashmir, a mountainous valley that borders Pakistan and India, has been a center of conflict between the two nuclear-armed countries since the 1947 partition of British India. Read more…

INDIA REVOKES OCCUPIED KASHMIR’S SPECIAL AUTONOMY THROUGH RUSHED PRESIDENTIAL DECREE

(Unsigned report from Dawn)

 

With an indefinite security lockdown in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) and elected representatives under house arrest, India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stripped Kashmiris of the special autonomy they had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order on Monday. Read more…

BJP WANTS TO REVOKE ARTICLE 370, IRONICALLY SARDAR PATEL WAS ITS ARCHITECT

Srinath Raghavan

 

Until late 1947, Patel was open to Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan if Pakistanis would tell Nizam of Hyderabad to join India. Read more…

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE A TERRORIST!

G. Sampath

 

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading about life in prison. I must say it’s time well spent. Advance preparation always helps. Tomorrow I could be carted off to jail. So could you. Read more…

THE ARTICLE 370 AMENDMENTS: KEY LEGAL ISSUES

Gautam Bhatia

 

In this post, I will attempt to break down the constitutional changes to Article 370, and highlight some key legal issues surrounding them. In essence, to understand what has happened today, there are three important documents. Read more…

KASHMIR: MODI’S ‘BANGLADESH MOMENT’?

Satya Sagar

 

If any confirmation was needed Narendra Modi is determined to cast himself as a carbon copy of Indira Gandhi- albeit one with a venomous, communal edge – you need not look further than his latest Kashmir gamble. Read more…

CURRENT PARADIGM SHIFT IN J&K IS IN TUNE WITH THE STEADY CENTRALISATION OF THE STATE SINCE 2014

Christophe Jaffrelot |

 

The two trends — obliteration of cultural differences and state centralisation — that are well illustrated by the way J&K has been dealt with, may impact policies vis-à-vis other states and other domains. For instance, Hindi may be promoted at the expense of linguistic diversity more decisively. Read more…

AUGUST 7: NATIONAL PROTEST DAY AGAINST ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370

Sabrangindia

 

Move an “assault on India’s Constitution, democracy and federalism” Read more…

EDITORIAL: INDIA ON THE EVE OF 73rd YEAR OF INDEPENDENCE

Vinod Mubayi

 

On the eve of its 73rd birthday, India offers glimpses of a society repudiating the promise made at its birth of a secular state with freedom and liberty for all that respected the ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity of the country. While the formal trappings of constitutional democracy exist, majoritarian politics based largely on a nakedly political use of religious identity is hollowing out the core elements of democracy; the pace has accelerated after the April-May 2019 election led to a second term for Modi and the BJP with an enhanced majority in Parliament. Read more…

BUDGET: MORE OF THE DISMAL SAME

Prabhat Patnaik

 

The most obvious exogenous element that could have been introduced to break out of this pro-cyclicality is a wealth tax, at least on the billionaires of the country, whose wealth is estimated at present to be around Rs 560 lakh crore. Read more…

ONE BUFFALO, THAT’S ALL IT TAKES TO MAKE US BUTCHERS OF FELLOW CITIZENS

Dev Raj

 

Police say: In the early hours of Friday, July 19, three men from Paigambarpur village — Naushad Qureshi, 40, Raju Nat, 40, and Videsh Nat, 20 — were lynched in Pithauri Nandlal Tola, 10km away, in Saran district, 95km northwest of Patna. Read more…

A NEW CAST — BY ELEVATING D RAJA TO THE POST OF GENERAL SECRETARY, CPI MAKES HISTORY

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd

 

The elevation of D Raja to General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) is a historic step. Raja is not only a well-known national communist leader but also a Dalit leader who rose to the status of a seasoned communist, theoretician and inspirational figure. Ever since the pro and anti-Mandal movements changed the course of Indian politics, Raja has been the only communist leader from within the left parties to negotiate between Dalit-Bahujans and communists as a authentic voice. Read more…

FROM ACHHUT KANYA IN 1936 TO ARTICLE 15, HOW INDIAN CINEMA HAS DEALT WITH CASTE

Seema Chishti

 

Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit (1939) is a rendition of a poem on racism in a time when lynching of Black men was common in America. More recently, rapper Kanye West used it in his album Yeezus (2013), the haunting lyrics speaking of strung-up bodies of Blacks lynched for acting above or outside their station and breaking the harsh code of the times: Southern trees bear a strange fruit/Blood on the leaves and blood at the root/Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze/Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees. Read more…

MOB LYNCHING AND THE INDIAN STATE

Irfan Engineer

 

Please see video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcr8QTPM9Io&feature=youtu.be

ARUNDHATI ROY ON INDIA’S ELECTIONS: “A MOCKERY OF WHAT DEMOCRACY IS SUPPOSED TO BE”

Interview by Samuel Earle in The New Republic

 

“In India,” Arundhati Roy wrote in 2002, “if you are a butcher or a genocidist who happens to be a politician, you have every reason to be optimistic.” Roy was referring to Narendra Modi, the then-chief minister of Gujarat who had been implicated in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in the state that killed at least 1,000 people. Read more…

ARUN KUMAR ROY: AN INDOMITABLE MARXIST IDEOLOGUE WHO BEACONED THE JHARKHAND MOVEMENT

Saurav Kumar

 

21st July brought a big shocker to the Indian politics at whole and Indian Left in particular in the form of the loss of a veteran communist leader, Arun Kumar Roy alias A.K.Roy and famously known as “Rai Da” among the masses of Jharkhand. His reminiscence in the minds of millions is imbibed firstly as someone who throttled the fight against oppressors who tried capturing rights of the people of Jharkhand. Read more…

LETTER FROM KARACHI: FOR A PLACE IN THE SHADE

Kevin Shi
In Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, the sun is an ever-present force, sometimes making it hard to even be outside. Every summer, the city suffers from heat waves causing dozens if not hundreds of deaths each year. Residents and medical personnel recall shocking scenes during the heat wave of 2015, when temperatures rose beyond 45ºC and over 1300 people died as a result. The city’s biggest morgue had to turn away bodies and cemeteries ran out of space to bury the dead. Read more…

50 PEOPLE DIED CLEANING SEWERS IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2019

The Wire Staff

 

Data collated by the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) reveals that at least 50 persons have died cleaning sewers in the first six months of 2019 alone. Read more…

INDIA: 49 INTELLECTUALS WRITE TO PM MODI, CONDEMNS LYNCHING OF MINORITIES

Telesur

 

“About 90% of those attacks were reported after May 2014 when your government assumed power nationally,” the signatories wrote. Read more…

MIYAH POETRY: HOW DO BESIEGED COMMUNITIES RESPOND?

Ram Puniyani

 

A FIR was registered against 10 Assamese poets (July 10, 2019). These poets mostly Muslims; have been pioneers and are leading lights of what has come to be known as Miyah Poetry. One sample, by the initiator of this trend; Hafiz Ahmed goes like this: Read more…

MAN AND THE MOVEMENT – RAJA DHALE’S WORDS AND WORK STIRRED SLEEPING SOULS, GAVE EXPRESSION TO SIMMERING DALIT ANGER

Suraj Yengde

 

Raja Dhale died on July 16 in Mumbai due to a heart attack, his family reported. He was 78 years old. Read more…

MY FRIEND, FIROZ ASHRAF

Vrijendra

 

In the late evening of June 8, 2019, Firoz Ashraf died in a freak accident outside his home in Jogeshwari when he was crossing the road. It is more than a month since he died, and many memorial meetings have been held to mourn his death, to celebrate his life, to remember him and to try to find out who will and how would fit in the large void he has left behind in so many, especially, young lives of so many Muslim girls for whom he was, to use an old but apt cliché, a saviour! In the last one month, I have also thought about him more than ever. Read more…

BITING MY TONGUE: WHAT HINDI KEEPS HIDDEN

Sagar
I was born into Hindi, and brought up in it. It was the language of my parents and siblings, my cousins and friends, all our neighbours in the Dalit ghetto in the small town in Bihar where I spent my childhood. It is still the only language I use with them. I studied for ten years in a Hindi-medium school that followed the curriculum of the Bihar state board. Read more…

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