SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 178 February 2017
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

EDITORIAL: GETTING READY FOR A YEAR OF STRUGGLE

Vinod Mubayi and Raza Mir

 

On January 21, 2017, a day after Donald Trump ascended to the Presidency of the USA, women and men all over the world marched in a display of defiance that provided a spark of optimism in a year that had begun with a relentless barrage of bad news and apprehension for the vulnerable and their champions all over the world. The crowd in Washington DC, estimated at 1 million, easily dwarfed Trump’s stage-managed inaugural parade, and it was estimated that the participants at marches across the world numbered over 5 million. Read more…

2016: A YEAR OF OUTRAGEOUS LIES: FROM ECONOMIC GROWTH TO JOB CREATION TO DEMONETISATION

Mohan Guruswamy

 

On Thursday, I heard the spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party, Sambit Patra, blithely claim that when the National Democratic Alliance government of Atal Behari Vajpayee demitted office in 2004, gross domestic product was growing at 8.4%, and when the United Progressive Alliance regime under Manmohan Singh lost the elections in 2014, this growth was down to 4.8%. He made an attempt to wring some humour out of the reversal of growth figures, which would have been quite neat but for the fact that it is an outright lie. Read more…

ONE PERCENT OF INDIANS OWN 58% OF COUNTRY’S WEALTH: OXFAM INEQUALITY REPORT

Mridula Chari

 

Fifty-seven billionaires in India possess as much wealth as the poorest 70% of the country, according to a report on global inequality released on Monday by Oxfam, an international confederation of 18 non-governmental organisations. Read more…

PAKISTAN: ABDUCTING SOCIAL ACTIVISTS

Pervez Hoodbhoy

 

Had last week’s kidnappings of bloggers and social media activists happened in Balochistan, it would have been a non-event. But all five abductions happened in Punjab — and now the authorities are feeling some heat. Read more…

BANGLADESH: CONTROVERSIAL DRAFT LAW ALLOWING CHILD MARRIAGE IN “SPECIAL CASES” IS THE ROAD TO REGRESSION

Elita Karim

 

Very recently, a law drafted by the Ministry for Women and Children’s Affairs stated that if a 16-year-old female gets married with the consent of her parents or the court for justified reasons or under special circumstances, she would not be considered underage or a minor. However, the authorities do not define what they mean by special circumstances. Read more…

INSIDE THE LIFE OF PAKISTAN’S FIRST FEMALE STRING THEORIST

Mahrukh Sarwar

 

Tasneem Zehra Husain, Pakistan’s first female string theorist at the mere age of 26, recently published her new book Only the Longest Threads, which fictionalises major breakthroughs in physics through the minds of the people who lived in those periods of discovery, reports the MIT Technology Review Pakistan. Read more…

WHY BOTH MODI AND TRUMP ARE TEXTBOOK POPULISTS

Amit Varma

 

As Donald Trump raised his tiny paw and took the presidential oath this Friday, I had just finished reading an outstanding book that, I thought, explained Trump as well as many other leaders on the world stage today. In ‘What is Populism?’ Jan-Werner Muller, a Princeton professor, lays out all the ingredients from which you can cook up a populist movement. I was struck by how closely our own prime minister, Narendra Modi, matched Muller’s definition. Consider the following characteristics that characterise populists, as defined by Muller. Read more…

INDIA: LAWLESS ON THE SHORE

Nirupama Subramanian

 

Protests are continuing in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu for a “permanent solution” to the demand that Jallikattu be allowed even after the quick, synchronised surrender of the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government through the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Ordinance followed by a bill. The permanent solution that the protestors want is the removal of the bull from the list of animals restricted from performing and exhibition in Section 22 of the Act through a constitutional amendment. Read more…

DEMONETIZATION: A FRAUD ON THE PEOPLE

Lokayat

 

[This is a comprehensive, well-formatted report by Lokayat that provides a clear understanding of demonetization and its attendant injustices. The URL for the full report is below, we include the introduction here] Read more…

TEESTA SETALVAD HAS WRITTEN HER MEMOIR, AND IT’S EVERY BIT AS CHILLING AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE

Teesta Setalvad

 

I was born in a family of Gujaratis, of Gujarati lawyers to be precise. Gujarat was always a part of me, though we were proud migrants to Bombay. My great grandfather left his government job in Ahmedabad within four days of taking his post to study law in Bombay. My mother, who was related to my father prior to their marriage, had a paternal uncle in Ahmedabad, who was the Advocate General of Gujarat for twenty-six years. Once or twice a year, we would visit Ma’s mama and mami. Read more…

INTIMIDATION DIRECTED AT BELA BHATIA

Please endorse the statement.

 

We strongly condemn the brazen act of intimidation directed at Bela Bhatia at her house in Parpa village, Jagdalpur. Clearly, this middle of the night attack is aimed at making Bela abandon her human rights work in the area and quit Parpa. Read more…

Top