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.


Not that it deterred the right-wing machine, who responded by hinting that an anti-abortion activist would be nominated to the US Supreme Court. The decision to deny aid to any organization that provides reproductive counselling to poor women, the nomination of ultra-racist Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, climate-change denier Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, anti-labor magnate Andrew Puzder as Labor Secretary, Goldman Sachs alumnus and foreclosure vulture Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of State, former head of Exxon-Mobil Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, the litany is simply too tiresome to recount. However, the international nature of the anti-Trump rallies give us some hope, perhaps this is the beginning of a new “globalization-from-below.” We are all women, we are all Muslims, we are all victims of racist police brutality, and we are all going to boil ourselves to death if we do not realize that capitalism and climate change are causally linked.


Meanwhile, in South Asia, India’s strongman Modi continues to weather the storm of demonetization. One can only hope that the UP elections scheduled for February-March 2017 will provide his fascist ambitions an electoral setback. The government of Pakistan continued its assault on institutions of civil society by kidnapping liberal and secular journalists under bogus and illegitimate Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act that was passed in August 2016. One guesses they take inspiration from Modi, whose harassment of activists like Teesta Setalvad continue unabated.


The good news is that activists continue to struggle relentlessly. To that end, it is our pleasure to recommend Teesta Setalvad’s memoir Foot Soldier of the Constitution: A Memoir. It is published by Leftword Books, we excerpt it here, and strongly recommend that all our members make every effort to buy it. The INSAF Bulletin will hopefully continue to remain available in the new year, and we hope we will have victories to report as well, along with stories of struggle!

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