Vinod Mubayi and Raza Mir


Gaye dinon ka suraagh lekar kidhar se aayi, kidhar gayi vo

Ajeeb maanoos ajnabi thi, hamen to hairaan kar gayi vo


Carrying intimations of days past, wherefrom did she come, whither did she go?

A stranger who felt like kin, she truly left us astonished.


Nasir Kazmi (with gender adjustment)


The 11th of February 2018 brought us terrible news; Asma Jahangir, the Pakistani crusader for human rights all over the world, was no more. Since then, tributes have poured in from all places, from those who she helped and ironically, even from those who she opposed. Asma Jahangir lived on her own terms, stood up to bullies all over the world and especially in the subcontinent, and it was fitting that her funeral bridged a variety of divides, when Muslims and non-Muslims, men and women, stood in her namaaz-e janaaza in a defiant display of unity and iconoclastic solidarity. We carry a couple of pieces in her memory in this bulletin, and refer our readers to SACW’s excellent webpage where a variety of obituaries and passionate reflections are archived and showcased:



Asma Jahangir humanized all of us, emboldened us to take on individuals and institutions that we might have considered too powerful or too venal to mess with. She did all this while maintaining a sense of individuality and flair that is all too rare. Rest in Peace!


While mourning Asma, and what her loss implies for peace, justice and solidarity on both sides of the India-Pakistan divide, one of the editors of INSAF Bulletin, received the following personal appeal from Tapan Bose, the co-chair of the Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD):


I am writing this to seek your help and help of other colleagues in helping to reactivate Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD).


Pakistan-India relationship has never been so bad as it has become under Modi’s rule. Every day there is firing on the border not only in Kashmir but even along the international border in Punjab. Last year on an average, every day there were two clashes on the border. During the first two months of the year there were nearly 190 instances of heavy firings in Kashmir and Jammu sector. Nearly 40,000 people have been evacuated from the border villages. Both the armies are spewing venom, with Indian army chief threatening to call Pakistan’s nuclear bluff.

There is so much jingoism and venom being spewed, that on one dares to talk of peace and dialogue. The threat of war is very real. In these circumstances, it is absolutely necessary to re-activate PIPFPD. We held a national convention last month in Bhubaneshwar. It was heartwarming to see that nearly 200 old and new members from Maharashtra, Karnataka, UP, Punjab, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi came to attend the convention. We now have a new National Executive committee. 


Syeda Hamid and I are the co-chairpersons, Vijayan M.J is the general Secretary, Bhargavi Dilipkumar is the Executive Secretary, Zafar Bakht is the Treasurer.


We have decided to start our activities by holding a series of peace meetings in different parts of the country. We are also setting up a think tank which will prepare critical analysis and review of the pro-war polices of the Modi government and its negative impact on the lives of ordinary peoples of the country.


As you know, under the present situation, almost no Indian corporate house or even wealthy individuals want to contribute any money to PIPFPD for fear of being labelled as anti-national.


The members are contributing. However, we need more funds to carry out our activities. I am writing to you to help us raise funds from like-minded Indians and Pakistani friends for this cause.


Looking forward to your response


Tapan Bose

Flat No. B-103 Media CGHS, Plot 18/A,

Sector 7, Dwarka

New Delhi 110075


Cell: +91-9818001206


In other news, India unveiled its most neoliberal budget to date, slashing taxes on corporations and seeking to mollify the poor with empty slogans. Despite its invitation to its donor class to restrict accumulation through these open channels, the country suffered a debilitating loss when an industrialist named Nirav Modi decamped with $1.8b (11,700 crore rupees) through a series of fraudulent transactions involving the Punjab National Bank, one of India’s premier public-sector banks. Even as India’s “intelligence” agencies built up a case against him, he was seen hobnobbing with his namesake Prime Minister in Davos, Switzerland a few days before he absconded, apparently to New York! He joins a series of loot-and-escape capitalists who have made India the laughing stock of regulators. No worries, the nation will recoup the money by slashing more social services to the poor!

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