SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 182 June 2017
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)


On behalf of INSAF Bulletin we strongly endorse the struggle of IIT-Madras students to eat the foods of their choice and strongly condemn the physical attack on them by right-wing Hindutva supporters that led to a severe injury to R. Sooraj. We urge IIT management to expel the attackers and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

Vinod Mubayi, Raza Mir – Editors, Insaf Bulletin.

EDITORIAL: VIGILANTES AND THE RULE OF LAW IN SOUTH ASIA

Vinod Mubayi and Raza Mir

 

One of the defining features of authoritarianism, the phase that often precedes Fascism, is the replacement of the rule of the law by the rule of the individual or the dominant group. This feature is often accompanied by the demonization of minority groups, as a means of asserting cultural superiority and deflecting attention from other social problems such as growing inequality and the siphoning of public wealth into private hands. Read more…

KASHMIR: HARD CHOICES ONLY

Pervez Hoodbhoy

 

I RECENTLY received an extraordinary email from a troubled young Kashmiri in Srinagar. Days before the Indian authorities turned off the internet, Saif (not his real name) had watched on YouTube the 45-minute video documentary Crossing the Lines — Kashmir, Pakistan, India that I had helped make in 2004 and mostly agreed with its non-partisan narrative. A nationalist boy turned stone thrower, Saif is outraged by the brutality of Indian occupation. He is fortunate, he says. His 14-year-old second cousin lost his left eye to pellets. Read more…

SANSAD HAILS THE FIGHT-BACK AGAINST OPPRESSION OF DALITS 

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, (SANSAD) hails the formation of the Bhim Army in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, as the instrument of fight-back against persistent caste discrimination and the recent spate of violence against Dalits. Read more…

A NATION OF VIGILANTES – LYNCH MOB REPUBLIC

Mukul Kesavan

 

These three years have seen the State fuse with the street to create a vigilante nation. If India’s first national movement was a mobilization against foreign rulers, the new nationalism, the principal style of which is vigilantism, is directed at the enemy within. Read more…

OVER TO THE VIGILANTE

Christophe Jaffrelot

 

Vigilantes hit the headlines every other day in “new India”. But this phenomenon is not that new and exists elsewhere as well. It gained momentum under previous union governments, especially in BJP-ruled states. As a result, the Bajrang Dal’s cultural policing of a “deviant” artist like M.F. Husain forced him to leave the country. Read more…

INDIA: A BLEAK OUTLOOK – THE ROAD TO MOB RULE IN UTTAR PRADESH

Ramachandra Guha

 

In March 1946, a three-man ‘Cabinet Mission’ arrived from England to seek to transfer power from British to Indian hands. They invited Mahatma Gandhi to come from Sevagram to meet them. Gandhi’s old patron and disciple, G.D. Birla, wanted to host him at his capacious house in the heart of New Delhi. But Gandhi decided to stay in the Bhangi (sweepers’) colony instead. Birla now hastened to install electricity and provide fresh water to the humble home which his Master had chosen to grace. Read more…

‘NAXALBARI’: FIFTY YEARS LATER

Pritam Singh

 

Today, May 25, will commemorate 50 years of the Maoist uprising of Naxalbari in West Bengal. In March, 1967, a decision was taken in Naxalbari to carry out an armed rebellion for the rights of peasants and workers. This isolated revolt led to a movement that has lasted half a century. Read more…

A VIGILANTE MOB, A COLLUSIVE STATE

Khaled Ahmed

 

The Pakhtun culture of Pakistan lives under the concept of “tarboor”, the “cousin from the father’s side” who is supposed to kill you one day. What Pakistan and India are doing to their people, while also getting ready to hurt each other, is the disease Freud called “narcissism of the closely related”. Read more…

SUPREME TEST: AADHAAR-RELATED CASES COULD TELL US WHETHER OUR JURISPRUDENCE IS FIT FOR AN AGE OF TECHNOLOGY

Pratap Bhanu Mehta

 

It will also be a test case for whether the checks and balances of our constitutional scheme stand, or whether they will get blown away at the slightest whiff of executive power. Read more…

ANCHOR JIHAD IS LIKE WWF, BUT THE DAMAGE IS REAL

Aakar Patel

 

Something unusual happened in America this week. More people watched liberal MSNBC and centrist CNN than they did conservative Fox News. This is unusual because the norm is that the conservative media dominates ratings for news, whether radio or TV. Read more…

BANGLADESH ORDERS STATUE OF WOMAN AT SUPREME COURT PUT BACK UP

Julfikar Ali Manik

 

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Two days after the authorities in Bangladesh gave in to pressure from Islamist groups and ordered the removal of a statue from the country’s Supreme Court, they flip-flopped on Sunday, ordering that the statue be put back up, albeit in a less prominent location. Read more…

LOSING THE PLOT: WHAT BHANGOR FARMERS’ STIR SAYS ABOUT MAMATA’S LAND POLICY

Sulagna Sengupta

 

How the times change. The Trinamool Congress took power on the back of its agitation against the previous Left Front regime’s “atrocities” on farmers. Now, Mamata Banerjee’s party is on the receiving end of the farmers’ anger. Read more…

MUSLIM WOMEN IN INDIA CHALLENGE ‘INSTANT DIVORCE’ LAW

Geeta Anand

 

MUMBAI — When Neeha Khan’s husband entered her parents’ house in eastern Mumbai last February, he carried a letter that contained a word, repeated three times, that can instantly change the course of a Muslim woman’s life in India. Read more…

HOW INDIA IS KILLING THE COUNTRY”S LARGEST ECONOMY OF THE POOR

Richard Mahapatra

 

New restriction on cattle slaughter will severely cripple the livestock economy which is bigger than crop economy; poor farmers shifted to livestock in face of uncertain rain and dwindling income. Read more…

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