धर्म का बोझ और बच्चे

आखिर जिन छोटे बच्चों को क़ानून वोट डालने का अधिकार नहीं देता, जीवनसाथी चुनने का अधिकार नहीं देता, उन्हें आध्यात्मिकता के नाम पर इस तरह जान जोखिम में डालने की अनुमति कैसे दी जा सकती है?

Aradhna Varshil

17 साल का वर्षिल शाह – जिसने 12 वीं की परीक्षा में 99.93 परसेन्टाइल हासिल किए, अब इतिहास हो गया है.

दुनिया उसे सुविरा महाराज नाम से जानेगी और वह अपने गुरु कल्याण रत्न विजय की तरह बाल भिक्खु में शुमार किया जाएगा, ऐसे लोग जिन्होंने बचपन में ही जैन धर्म की दीक्षा ली और ताउम्र जैन धर्म के प्रचार में मुब्तिला रहे.

बताया जा रहा है कि इन्कम टैक्स आफिसर पिता जिगरभाई शाह और मां अमीबेन शाह ने अपनी सन्तान को बिल्कुल ‘धार्मिक’ वातावरण में पाला था, उनके घर में टीवी या रेफ्रिजरेटर भी नहीं था और बिजली का इस्तेमाल भी बहुत जरूरी होने पर किया जाता था क्योंकि शाह दंपति का मानना था कि उर्जा निर्माण के दौरान पानी में रहने वाले जीव मर जाते हैं, जो जैन धर्म के अहिंसा के सिद्धांत के खिलाफ पड़ता है.

वर्षिल-जो अभी कानून के हिसाब से वयस्क नहीं हुआ है, जो वोट भी डाल नहीं सकता है, यहां तक कि अख़बारों में प्रकाशित उसकी तस्वीरों में मासूमियत से भरे उसके चेहरे को भी देखा जा सकता है- के इस हालिया फैसले ने बरबस तेरह साल की जैन समुदाय में जन्मी हैदराबाद की आराधना (जो चार माह से व्रत कर रही थी) के बहाने उठी बहस को नए सिरे से जिंदा किया है, जो पिछले साल खड़ी हुई थी.

( Read the full article here : http://thewirehindi.com/11503/monk-jain-bal-diksha-fasting/)

Elephants in the Room – Who Gets the Autonomy in Autonomous Colleges? : Sanjay Kumar

Guest Post by Sanjay Kumar

In February this year, University of Delhi officials invited chairpersons of the six best known colleges to apply for  autonomy. So far, only the governing body of St Stephen’s College has reacted, authorising its principal to take up the application process. Teachers and staff associations of the university, DUTA (Delhi University Teachers’ Association) and DUCKU (Delhi University Karamchari Union), are against the move. Besides affecting the working conditions of faculty and staff, college autonomy has bearing on the academic content of undergraduate learning. It is surprising that many of the academic red flags are not even noticed in the policy. These obvious blind spots indicate that real motivations are not academic, but lie elsewhere.

The XII plan document of the UGC sets the target to make 10 percent of eligible colleges autonomous by the end of the plan period. It boldly declares, ‘(t)he only safe and better way to improve the quality of undergraduate education is to the link(sic) most of the colleges from the affiliating structure’. The claim is surprising, because world over university education is considered a good undergraduate education. A university with active research, accomplished faculty and diversity of subjects to offer is the best place for a young person to get initiated into the adventure and challenges of higher education. How taking students away from the ambit of a university becomes the way to better education requires a bit of an explanation. Continue reading “Elephants in the Room – Who Gets the Autonomy in Autonomous Colleges? : Sanjay Kumar”

The Elephant in the Room – Silence on Class Issues in Indian Politics : Sanjay Kumar

Guest Post by SANJAY KUMAR

Ramesh has been working as a daily wager in a Government of India office in Delhi for ten years. He is one of the army of peons, office assistants, security guards, gardeners, and cleaning staff which government offices, city municipalities, hospitals, schools and colleges of the metropolis employ regularly. He is a graduate, but gets the wage of an unskilled worker. He is among the fortunate ones who at least get government mandated minimum wage. Most private employers in the city violate the minimum wage act; either they pay less than the mandated amount, or make daily wagers work more than eight hours without any overtime.

Ramesh was pleasantly surprised this April when he noted a more than 30% increase in his wages. His daily wage that stood at Rs 360/ earlier was now Rs 513/. This was due to a Government of Delhi notification issued on 3rd March, 2017. The news was covered in the inner pages of some newspapers. Most TV news channels ignored it. Hence, it is not surprising that employees like Ramesh who are not associated with any organsiation of workers were not aware of this increase. Continue reading “The Elephant in the Room – Silence on Class Issues in Indian Politics : Sanjay Kumar”

LBJ, Kashmir, and Indian Liberals: Rajive Kumar

Guest Post by RAJIVE KUMAR

Towards the end of his presidency, Lyndon B Johnson, the 36th President of the United States of America, had been reduced to a figure of universal scorn and derision. His escalation of the Vietnam War to a point from which it became impossible to extricate the US ended up  in becoming one of the defining human tragedies of twentieth century. This was war fought on the basis of pretexts that did not actually exist.  The slur “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” which became an anthem of sorts for protestors eventually compelled him to forgo running for a second term in office in 1968.  Those protesting against the war, those who eventually forced Lyndon Johnson to leave the political arena were Americans who were overcome with images of atrocities and the rising count of civilian deaths in a mindless war.

Continue reading “LBJ, Kashmir, and Indian Liberals: Rajive Kumar”

The Draft Labour Code on Social Security-Workers’ Concerns: Ramapriya Gopalakrishnan

Guest Post by RAMAPRIYA GOPALAKRISHNAN

In March this year, the Ministry for Labour and Employment unveiled the third of its series of Labour Codes aimed at simplifying and rationalizing the labour laws. The Draft Labour Code on Social Security has been placed in the public domain and comments and suggestions have been invited in respect of its provisions. The Draft Code is ambitious in scope and amalgamates the provisions of 15 central labour laws relating to social security. Continue reading “The Draft Labour Code on Social Security-Workers’ Concerns: Ramapriya Gopalakrishnan”

We are Baba Saheb’s Followers, We Believe in the Constitution – Vinay Ratan Singh, President of Bhim Army

The vicious and combined attack of the administration and the local media on Bhim Army continues. It is being villainized by them and they are threatened with impending arrests under the National Security Act. The  blatantly partisan attitude of the administration, backing in overt and covert ways, the attempts of the Thakurs and other upper castes, to provoke riots – are laid bare by VINAY RATAN SINGH in the interview below where he speaks to CHALCHITRA ABHIYAAN on what has been going on in Saharanpur and neighbouring areas. We unequivocally support the efforts of the Bhim Army to resist the vicious attacks of the upper castes, who are now emboldened by the presence of their own government in the state.

People’s Movements Demand Revocation of Suspension of Dalit Asst. Jail Superintendent, Varsha Dongre

The  NAPM (National Alliance of People’s Movements) has written the following letter, signed by many movements and orgnizations, to the Governor and the Chief Minister of Chhatisgarh

Date: 11th May, 2017

To,

Shri Balram Das Tandon, The Hon’ble Governor, Raj Bhawan, Raipur, Chhattisgarh,

To,

Shri Raman Singh, The Chief Minister, Civil Lines, Raipur, Chhattisgarh

Sub: Revocation of suspension orders of upright, Dalit woman officer, Ms. Varsha Dongre, Asst. Jail Superintendent, Raipur Central Jail and restoration of peace and good government in the V Schedule adivasis areas of Bastar – Reg.

Respected Balram Das Tandon ji and Shri Raman Singh ji,

We, the undersigned, representing a large number of people’s movements and organizations, across India, as the National Alliance People’s Movements (NAPM), are writing to you with a deep sense of anguish regarding the arbitrary suspension of a young and dynamic dalit woman officer of your state, since she publicly expressed concerns over the serious human rights abuses of young adivasis girls in the jails of Chhattisgarh.

Continue reading “People’s Movements Demand Revocation of Suspension of Dalit Asst. Jail Superintendent, Varsha Dongre”