All posts by Nivedita Menon

If Hindutva is dismantled, whom will it harm?

An upcoming conference in the USA, “Dismantling Global Hindutva”, organized by Indians in the USA, most of whom are legally “Hindus”, and supported by over 40 US universities, has provoked the ire of the Hindu Rashtravaadis there as well as in India. Conflating Hindutva with Hinduism is the first step. Based on this, the Hindu American Foundation claims this conference is “Hindu phobic”, that it will put the well-being of Hindu students and faculty at risk, and that “they may feel targeted or threatened, or face hostility or harassment” as a result of “the kinds of generalisations, misunderstandings, and ‘otherising’” the event will perpetuate.

Ho hum. Just another day in Hindu Rashtra-that-is-India then, for most of us “Hindus” who oppose the politics of Hindutva that promotes misunderstandings and otherises us, all the way to mob and media violence, lynchings and jail. It is from Hindutva that “Hindus” are most at risk in India today, not from any non-Hindu “Other”.

(Why these repeated quotation marks around “Hindu”? We will come to that).

An article in Firstpost uses words like “genocidal” and “xenophobic” to describe what this conference is going to be. The conference brochure shows “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) figures being uprooted, roots and all, with the claw end of a hammer”, and this is “genocidal” according to the author. Showing the German Nazi Party being uprooted would amount to genocide too, in this understanding, perhaps? Since Hindutvavaadis are actively seeking co-victimhood with victims of anti-Semitism, as another article explicitly states, they might want to reconsider this second conflation, of the neo-fascist RSS with “Hindu”. This second article says the conference will “dehumanize Hindus everywhere” and asks indignantly if a conference titled “Dismantling Global Jewry” would be acceptable. Continue reading If Hindutva is dismantled, whom will it harm?

Hindutva is not Hinduism: Hindus for Human Rights

An upcoming conference in the USA titled Dismantling Hindutva is being attacked by the Hindu right-wing both in the US and India as “anti Hindu” and “racist”.  See for example, this link and this and this.

This post is a letter sent to American Universities supporting the conference by US-based HINDUS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.

To: All universities and departments co-sponsoring the academic conference on Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) on September 10-12, 2021 

Re: We are Hindus who support academic freedom and the “Dismantling Global Hindutva” conference on September 10-12, 2021

We are writing to you on behalf of Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), a two-year old advocacy organization that provides a platform for progressive Hindus to speak out in support of democratic freedoms and pluralism.

HfHR advocates for civil and human rights in South Asia and North America, rooted in the values of our faith: shanti (peace), nyaya (justice) and satya (truth). We provide a Hindu voice of resistance to all forms of bigotry and oppression based on one’s faith, color, caste, gender, or sexual orientation.

We also staunchly oppose the misappropriation of our Hindu faith by the ideology of Hindutva (also frequently referred to as Hindu supremacy, Hindu nationalism, etc.), whose foundational principle is to redefine over 200 million Muslim and Christian citizens of India as the ‘other,’ who do not legitimately belong and must therefore either accept second class citizenship or be displaced from their homeland. Continue reading Hindutva is not Hinduism: Hindus for Human Rights

Planted evidence and the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad 16 – Citizens’ statement demands immediate release

We, the undersigned, condemn the continued incarceration of the academics, cultural activists, human rights activists, lawyers, poets and trade unionists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case and unitedly demand their immediate release. After three years of media trial, harassment, raids and arrests of 16 persons, one of the arrested, Father Stan Swamy died on July 5th following wanton medical neglect in custody amounting to institutional murder.

Those who remain in custody include professors Anand Teltumbde, Hany Babu and Shoma Sen, cultural activists Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaichor and Sagar Gorkhe, writer and anti-caste activist Sudhir Dhawale, anti-displacement activist Mahesh Raut, lawyers Arun Ferreira, Surendra Gadling and Sudha Bharadwaj, human rights activists Gautam Navlakha, Rona Wilson and Vernon Gonsalves and poet Varavara Rao. Now, with the revelations in the Pegasus Project, it is clear that 8 of the 16 were under surveillance for several years before their arrest. Moreover, the Arsenal Consulting reports show how evidence was planted in the devices of at least two of the arrested. The revelations have unambiguously exposed the extent of illegal military-grade surveillance on the arrested, their families, colleagues and friends. Besides violating their privacy, the extraordinary measures taken to silence voices of dissent in the name of national security stands exposed.

Continue reading Planted evidence and the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad 16 – Citizens’ statement demands immediate release

Support Afghan women’s demand for a just peace guaranteeing the rights of all people

JOIN THE 1200 human rights and women’s rights defenders and civil society activists who have signed this petition.

Text of petition below. Link to sign the petition.

Women of Afghanistan demand a just peace that guarantees the rights of all people.

We, the true friends of Afghanistan and signatories of this open letter, declare our support for Afghan women’s demands expressed below, and join them to call on the United Nations, the government of Afghanistan and national and international actors to fulfill their obligations and undertake responsible measures that would lead to a just peace that protects the interests and rights of all the people of the country.

The women of Afghanistan have suffered through ruinous wars for more than 40 years. Their lives have been impacted by a war in which they have played no role, and which has resulted in in the loss of their human dignity, as well as their innocent sisters and mothers, spouses, children and young people, during a cycle of endless violence, sexual apartheid, kidnapping, rape, slavery, absolute poverty and injustice. Their houses have been destroyed, their children have become orphans and several generations of our people have been displaced in their own land, as well as in the regional states and the world-over.

Continue reading Support Afghan women’s demand for a just peace guaranteeing the rights of all people

Knoxpet to Murphy Town – and back: Janaki Nair

Guest Post by JANAKI NAIR

Images by CLARE ARNI

Inside the home of Arun, standing in front of the mural he created (August 2021)

Twenty one years ago, the photographer Clare Arni and I meandered through Murphy Town, shooting images for my exhibition and book on Bangalore. I had eyes only for the physical-material fabric of the place. A working class neighbourhood, designed in the 1920s by an inspired municipal engineer, Murphy, who wanted to build urban forms that would elevate the then leather workers – Tamil speaking Chuckliars producing saddles and boots for the army – to a higher and more respectable place than they had been assigned  in the cruelly divided, hierarchical world of caste.  I had read about the plans for transforming the area called Knoxpet in the archives, and wanted to see for myself how this unique experiment in social engineering had turned out in what came to called Murphy Town.

It was a near idyllic place, dotted with squares rimmed by low, tiled houses, shaded by at least two, sometimes more, capacious raintrees. Lines of washing sometimes crossed the squares, and there were goats and chickens minding their business, but it was a sight for sore eyes, a quiet leafy neighbourhood that workers – and shoemakers at that — could only dream about. We were content to feast our eyes on those visuals. I don’t think I fully realized the social importance of that little miracle that had been wrought in brick and tiles. The exhibition, Beladide Noda, Bengaluru Nagara! was held in three locations in Bangalore in 2000, and the book came out in 2005. They both featured the famous squares of Murphy Town. Continue reading Knoxpet to Murphy Town – and back: Janaki Nair

The Trafficking Bill 2021 – Assault on Labour and Industry Rights: Rakesh Shukla and Aarthi Pai

Guest post by RAKESH SHUKLA AND AARTHI PAI

The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care, and Rehabilitation) Bill 2021 scheduled to be tabled in the current session of Parliament has grave implications for workers and marginalised populations. Trafficking is a criminal offense and indisputably requires strict measures to combat unscrupulous persons who exploit the vulnerability of workers. Instead, the current draft ends up criminalising  vulnerable individuals in the absence of comprehensive policies, programmes and measures that address the factors that make persons vulnerable to trafficking. The aspiration to move and access better living conditions, poverty, lack of equal opportunity and skewed development policies force persons to move in an unsafe manner and accept work in a criminalised environment for instance in sex work, undocumented workers abroad or for organ trade. Continue reading The Trafficking Bill 2021 – Assault on Labour and Industry Rights: Rakesh Shukla and Aarthi Pai

SABARMATI ASHRAM IN DANGER – A SECOND ASSASSINATION? STATEMENT BY CONCERNED CITIZENS

This statement was issued by concerned citizens

Prevent Government takeover of Gandhian Institutions:

The Ashram
Gandhi’s Ashram at Ahmedabad, known as Sabarmati Ashram, is an unusual monument of international importance. It was Gandhi’s home from 1917 to 1930. He led the famous Dandi March from the Ashram and pledged not to return to the Ashram until independence was attained.

After the Salt March, Gandhiji disbanded the Ashram as a part of the freedom struggle in 1933. After Independence Gandhi’s associates and followers formed Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust to protect the buildings and archival possessions of the Ashram for posterity. There were five more trusts under the Ashram. They conduct their activities independently. Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust looks after the buildings including Hriday Kunj—the residence of Gandhi and Kasturba. Continue reading SABARMATI ASHRAM IN DANGER – A SECOND ASSASSINATION? STATEMENT BY CONCERNED CITIZENS

WE REJECT THE GOVERNMENT’S DECLARATION OF ‘MUSLIM WOMEN’S RIGHTS DAY’

There has been a nationwide outpouring of condemnation, following the announcement by Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of Minority Affairs, declaring Aug 1 as ‘Muslim Women’s Rights Day’ to mark the anniversary of the Triple Talaq law.

Over 650 citizens – Muslim and non-Muslim women, men and trans persons, women rights activists, human rights activists, academics, students and hundreds of citizens across from across India have issued a strong statement today,

The statement condemns and rejects this cynical optics of using Muslim women’s rights, in the face of an unprecedented onslaught against the rights of the Muslims in recent years under the present government. It voices strong opposition to declaring 1 August as Muslim Women’s Rights Day, calling it the celebration of a law that is fundamentally anti-minority, anti-women, anti-constitutional, and seeks only to disparage the Muslim community.

 The text of the full statement and signatories is given below.

 Citizens’ Statement: August 1, 2021

 Mr. MUKHTAR ABBAS NAQVI – WE REJECT THE GOVERNMENT’S CYNICAL OPTICS

WE REJECT ‘YOUR’ MUSLIM WOMEN’S RIGHTS DAY

 And we say, respectfully, “How dare you!”

Continue reading WE REJECT THE GOVERNMENT’S DECLARATION OF ‘MUSLIM WOMEN’S RIGHTS DAY’

Field report from protest against granite mining at Bodikonda: Chandra Sekhar

Guest post by Chandra Sekhar

All images courtesy the author

Background

Bodikonda is a monolithic stone hill in Lakshminarayanapuram village in Parvathipuram mandal in Vizianagaram district. This has been in the news on and off over the last two years or so, because local people have been protesting the lease given to private companies for mining colour granite, without their being consulted nor any sort of public hearing.

Three leases for quarrying coloured granite were granted and executed in favour of MSSS Srinivas for an extent of nine hectares, M Madhupriya for an extent of six hectares and Kishore Granites Pvt. Ltd. for another nine hectares ( total of 24.29 hectares) for a period of 20 years. This comprises almost 50% of the area of the total hill. These companies applied for a lease in 2010 to the Assistant Director of Mines and Geology, Vizianagaram, and new licences were given in December 2019.

Procedural Discrepancies Continue reading Field report from protest against granite mining at Bodikonda: Chandra Sekhar

AMENDMENT TO CENTRAL CIVIL SERVICES PENSION RULES CURTAILS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OF RETIRED OFFICIALS: Constitutional Conduct Group

Open letter to Prime Minister by Constitutional Conduct Group

Dear Prime Minister,

We are former officers of the All India and Central Services who have worked with the Central and State Governments in the course of our careers. We have no political affiliation but have come together as the Constitutional Conduct Group because we believe in impartiality and neutrality and in safeguarding the values of the Indian Constitution.

We were surprised, and deeply disturbed, by the recent amendment to the Central Pension Rules notified by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on 31 May 2021. By this amendment, retired government servants who have worked in any intelligence or security related organisation included in the Second Schedule of the Right to Information Act 2005 have to take the clearance of the head of the organisation if they wish to make any publication after retirement, if such publication relates to and includes:

(i) domain of the organisation, including any reference or information about any personnel and his designation, and expertise or knowledge gained by virtue of working in that organisation; Continue reading AMENDMENT TO CENTRAL CIVIL SERVICES PENSION RULES CURTAILS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OF RETIRED OFFICIALS: Constitutional Conduct Group

Functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions in Bihar – Devolution or Delegation? Mayank Labh

Guest Post by  MAYANK LABH

The upcoming panchayat election in Bihar is a good occasion to examine the broader issues faced by the Panchayati Raj Institution (“PRIs”) in Bihar. According to media reports, the State Election Commission of Bihar has started to prepare for the upcoming panchayat election in Bihar, and the poll process would commence from the end of August.[1] Preceded by a 23-year gap as large-scale violence marred the 1978 panchayat elections, the panchayat elections in Bihar have been held on a mandated five-year interval since 2001. However, apart from conducting the panchayat elections, the National Democratic Alliance (“NDA”) government in Bihar has done little to further participatory democracy as the idea of local self-government remains illusory even after about 1,27,391 representatives get elected after every five years. Continue reading Functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions in Bihar – Devolution or Delegation? Mayank Labh

An open letter demanding action on the online targeting of Muslim women

A statement signed by 900 individuals and groups

We, the undersigned women’s rights groups and concerned individuals are outraged by the reprehensible targeting of Muslim women on GitHub, a free web platform, where Twitter handles, and photographs of Muslim women were uploaded with the explicit aim of directing sexualised hate and harm at these women. More than 80 women were profiled, their images were sought to be “auctioned” by soliciting users to take their pick on the “deal of the day”, on the basis of their identity and for their views. This is a conspiracy to target women by creating a database of those Muslim women journalists, professionals and students who were actively raising a voice on social media against right wing Hindutva majoritarianism. The intention is to silence their political participation.

This attempt to de-humanise and sexualise Muslim women is a systemic act of intimidation and harm. This is not the first time this has happened. Before Eid, similar cyber violence against Muslim women was organized by stealing pictures of Pakistani women from their social media handles.

This is a targeted hate campaign against Muslim women in India and abroad amounts to sexual harassment, criminal intimidation, and cyber stalking. It violates their right to privacy, which is a travelling right, and it is an act of censorship. It puts their life and liberty at risk.

This is a targeted campaign to regulate their political speech and political participation in democracy as full and equal citizens of this country. It is part of the project to push Muslim women out of public spaces, offline and online, by causing them harm and censoring their speech. Having witnessed the leadership and power of Muslim women in the anti-citizenship amendment act (CAA) movement, right wing Hindutva men have used social media as a political tool to deny Muslim women their right to lead our collective fight for secularism, peace and citizenship. Continue reading An open letter demanding action on the online targeting of Muslim women

Salaam Father Stan Swamy! Warrior for the soul of India

Numb and wordless in grief, filled with rage against the murderous regime of the RSS, led by Modi and Shah, we raise our fists in salute to a gentle, inspiring man.

Here is the statement  Stan Swamy made on the eve of his arrest by the NIA, stating that false evidence had been planted on his computer.  That this had indeed been done on a large scale to arrest people in the Bhima Koregaon case was soon established by an independent digital forensics firm based in the USA.

This is a criminal regime and the Prime Minister and the Home Minister should stand trial for war crimes against the people of India.

The fight will continue!

Release all political prisoners!

Sushant Singh Rajput, Hindu Rashtra and Bollywood

A slightly longer version of this post was published under a different title in  Southasia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal (Issue 24/25, 2020)

A young, successful, Hindi film actor died in tragic circumstances.  What followed was a sensational real life movie, scripted in the headquarters of Hindu Rashtra, as part of its larger campaign to control the cultural arena.

Sushant Singh Rajput was found hanging in his bedroom in a Mumbai flat in June 2020, and it was initially declared as suicide by the Mumbai police. Within days however, the hashtag Justice for SSR started trending, and suddenly thousands of devoted and inconsolable fans had sprung up all over social media, all attacking “Bollywood” (the Bombay film industry) for its “nepotism” which had deprived a talented actor of work, driving him to suicide. “Boycott Bollywood” was a key theme in this frenzied outpouring of apparent grief.  From here it escalated to claims that Rajput had been murdered, and that a drug cartel linked to Bollywood stars was involved in the crime. Soon these claims were all that one could see on social media, and on some Hindi, Marathi and English television channels, specially Republic and Times Now, which specialize in sensationalist and blatantly pro-Hindutva political reportage, including fake news (for one instance see Bajpai 2020). Continue reading Sushant Singh Rajput, Hindu Rashtra and Bollywood

The Tarun Tejpal Judgement – where do we go from here? Abhinav Sekhri

Guest post by ABHINAV SEKHRI

In a 2013 opinion piece, Professor Pratiksha Baxi wrote about the injustice that victims of sexual assault have historically suffered at the hands of the criminal process in India, reminding us that even those cases which forced our laws to change were stories of sexual assaults never proven before the eyes of law. That opinion piece was written in the wake of allegations in the case registered as State v. Tarun Tejpal, where on 21.05.2021, the Court of the Additional Sessions Judge at Panaji acquitted the accused on all charges, i.e. for alleged commission of offences under 376(2)(f), 376(2)(k), 354, 354A, 354B, 341, and 342 of the Indian Penal Code 1860.

The judgment has been critiqued on the court’s consideration of the victim’s testimony [see, for instance, here, here and here]. It appears that an appeal has been filed by the state challenging the acquittal, where the High Court has initially directed that sections of the judgment ought to be redacted as they reveal the identity of the victim.

This post does not attempt a microscopic review of the merits of the case, not only because an appeal is pending, but also because the judgment does not give a clear conspectus of the entire evidence on record to allow for such an exercise. Instead, while making some broad observations on the judgment (to the extent possible based on the evidence extracted) it brings up three issues that the judgment throws into sharp relief: (i) appreciating evidence, with a focus on witness credibility and the handling of inadmissible evidence at trial; (ii) consideration of digital evidence from victims in sexual assault cases, and; (iii) consequences of “bad” orders on the system itself.

Continue reading The Tarun Tejpal Judgement – where do we go from here? Abhinav Sekhri

Resist the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians: Radical Socialist

For more information on continuing Israeli attacks on Palestine, see Electronic Intifada  and What is happening in Sheikh Jarra.

Issued in 1981

Statement by Radical Socialist

Resist the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians! Oppose Zionism in the Streets! Fight for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

Radical Socialist holds that the very existence of Israel is the existence of a colonial-settler state. The centuries of violence on Jews was carried out, not by Arabs, not by Muslims, but first by the Romans, then by Christian Europeans. Within that, the UN in 1948 had given only a small area. Over the decades, a continuously aggressive Israel has expanded, has occupied territories originally identified for Palestinians. The Naqba has been a never ending process of ethnic cleansing. Protected by US imperialism, in the initial phases by the Soviet bureaucracy, and also by the military power it has built up, Israel has waged a permanent war on the Palestinians.

The current conflict must be viewed from that broader perspective. It is not a conflict between two more or less equal sides. It is not a case where Hamas is to be held as responsible, or even almost as responsible, as Israel. It is Israel that is fully responsible for the renewed bid at ethnic cleansing by pushing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem and elsewhere. With an ultra-right figure like Netanyahu, the failure to form a stable government after the last elections was adequate reason to stoke Zionist sentiments further. Continue reading Resist the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians: Radical Socialist

Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now: CJP’s plea to Maharashtra CM

To sign this petition, please go to this link.

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) is deeply worried about Professor Hany Babu’s health, in wake of news that he is suffering from a serious eye infection that could lead to loss of vision in one eye. According to his family, he has little or no vision in his left eye due to the swelling caused by the infection, which has spread to the cheek, ear and forehead. The family fears the worst if the swelling spreads to his brain. And yet jail authorities have failed to provide him proper medical care.

The 55-year-old professor is an accused in the alleged Elgar Parishad conspiracy behind the Bhima Koregaon violence. He is currently lodged in Taloja Central Prison, Maharashtra and has been complaining of an acute eye infection, pain, and gradual loss of vision since May 3, 2021.

Continue reading Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now: CJP’s plea to Maharashtra CM

That Monday will not come, Judge Sahib: Swarajbir

Posted below is the English translation of a Punjabi poem by SWARAJBIR, Editor of Punjabi Tribune, on the culpability of the state. The poem in the original Punjabi is at the end.

Mahavir Narwal breathed his last yesterday, of Covid. He was an active member of the CPI(M) and the father of Natasha Narwal, activist of Pinjra Tod, a feminist collective, who has been in jail for a year along with Debangana Kalita, another Pinjra Tod activist. Along with many others, Natasha was accused on the basis of no evidence, of having caused the violence in Delhi in January-February  2020, the violence that was in fact carefully planned and orchestrated by the forces that run this regime.

What all the activists jailed for the 2020 Delhi violence are guilty of, is the firm commitment to equal rights to citizenship in India, and unrelenting opposition to the regime’s continuing attempt to establish Hindu Rashtra, a project rejected by the vast masses of this country, and which we will resist and defeat through militant non-violent means.

When accounts are drawn up of this criminal regime, we will remember the disrespect to the Constitution repeatedly shown by different arms of the judiciary.  Natasha was refused bail on earlier occasions, and her latest plea for bail to meet her Covid-stricken father one last time, was scheduled to be heard today, Monday the 10th of May, the morning after Mahavir Narwal’s death.

Dear Kind Judge Sahib

Swarajbir

Kind Judge Sahib,
Mahavir Narwal is dead.
Yes Judge Sahib,
Natasha’s father
is no more in this world.

Kind Judge Sahib,
A day ago, this daughter
had come to your Court.
She had not said
“Don’t prosecute me”
She had not said
“Declare me innocent” Continue reading That Monday will not come, Judge Sahib: Swarajbir

Freedom in the university and outside it: Atul Sood

Guest post by ATUL SOOD

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman spoke online at a recent Distinguished Public Lecture at the Ashoka University (March 12, 2021), hosted by Arvind Subramaniam, Director, Ashoka Centre for Economic Policy. He spoke on “Is Labor-Intensive Exporting Still a Feasible Development Strategy?”

Kugman said that in this globalized world, for India to get into the market space vacated by the Chinese manufacturers, particularly for labour-intensive goods, it will have to be ready to do two things: First, make policy choices that are realistic and not ‘precocious’ and second, be ready to accept that rights and freedoms of labour, in particular will be sacrificed.  The wise counsel of Krugman was that India will have to be prepared to negotiate the space between rights/freedoms and share in the world market of course, up to the point where “labour is not getting killed”. Continue reading Freedom in the university and outside it: Atul Sood

An open letter regarding unscientific epidemiological practice and Islamophobia in a textbook of Medical Microbiology

During the period of drafting this open letter, the publishers have withdrawn the book. We however feel that the concerns raised continue to hold good and are putting this open letter out in the larger interest of ethical medical practice.

To

Dr Apurba S Sastry, Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India 

Dr Sandhya Bhat, Professor of Microbiology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Puducherry, India. 

Dear Drs Sastry and Bhat,

Greetings! We are writing this open letter to you with reference to the 3rd edition of the Microbiology textbook “Essentials of Medical Microbiology” which both of you have authored, and about the unscientific and seemingly prejudiced choice of using as an epidemiological example, the Tablighi Jamaat (Society of Preachers) gathering organised in India between March 13-15, 2020 .

We are a group of doctors, researchers, academicians and social activists who would like to express our deep concerns about this example on the grounds of it being unscientific and also running the risk of inculcating discriminatory, in this case, Islamophobic ideation in public health teaching and more importantly in the minds of future generations of health professionals. Below we briefly present cause of these concerns and urge you to immediately withdraw copies of the said textbook from the market along with a statement from you clarifying that the Tablighi Jamaat congregation is not epidemiologically significant for the spread of the COVID-19 virus and therefore the book is being removed from sales and will also not include as an example in subsequent prints. Continue reading An open letter regarding unscientific epidemiological practice and Islamophobia in a textbook of Medical Microbiology

When tractors marched in Washington DC: Nadia Singh

This post is the English translation of an article in Punjabi by NADIA SINGH, published first in Punjabi Tribune.

In a February long ago, in 1978 to be precise, thousands of American farmers  rode into Washington D.C. on their tractors, from all across America. Some travelled  for days together, covering journeys of hundreds of miles. What was the mission behind their long and arduous expedition? They were demanding fair prices and an equitable model of agricultural development.

Image courtesy modernfarmer.com

In the 1970s US had initiated drastic changes in its agrarian policies under the “Get Big or Get Out” paradigm. This policy sought to replace small family run farms and consolidate them into large-scale factory farms. Policy makers in the US believed that industrial farming represented a more efficient and profitable economic model, compared to small and medium farms run independently by farmers. Continue reading When tractors marched in Washington DC: Nadia Singh