The story of the Indian budget: Where the camera failed? Muhammed Shafeeque CM

Despite the controversies of demonetization, the central government has again succeeded in deftly hijacking the minds of Indian citizens through a riveting speech made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The budget seemed to be especially important given third quarter statistics which are filled with drawbacks of the demonetization policy. Thus we had a budget speech completely focused on digitalization of a country where the ‘digital divide’ stubbornly persists. As the budget theme (Transform, Energize, and Clean) attempted to glorify existing conditions, there were unsurprisingly no transformations in the overall economic framework except the expected tax reduction. In the zeal for “energizing”, the budget had clean forgotten the needs of the informal sector including agricultural sector. Even though the government provocatively claimed that it had cleaned up black money, it revealed no data regarding the amount of black money actually mopped up from the market.

Continue reading “The story of the Indian budget: Where the camera failed? Muhammed Shafeeque CM”

ABVP Riots in Delhi University with Police Protection

For the second successive day, goons affiliated to the RSS-BJP backed right wing student mafia gang called ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) pelted stones and violently attacked peaceful assemblies of students and teachers in Delhi University. Journalists who were present were also beaten up. Phones and cameras and filming equipment were destroyed. An attempt was made to strangle a professor with his own scarf. He, and some other students who were injured had to be hospitalized. Luckily, they are shaken, but out of immediate danger. The incidents have been characterized as ‘clashes’ between right wing and left wing student groups by some sections of the media. Nothing can be further from the truth. These were not ‘clashes’. They were straight-forward one sided attacks by a mob intent on violence. A riot is not a clash. Continue reading “ABVP Riots in Delhi University with Police Protection”

Feminists Condemn Opposition To Women’s Reservation In Nagaland Municipal Councils

We, the undersigned women’s organisations and concerned individuals take serious note of the fierce opposition to women’s reservation of 33% seats in Nagaland Municipal Councils by male dominated tribal bodies in Nagaland in the name of protecting their tradition and customary practices that bar women from participating in decision-making bodies. We strongly condemn this anti-woman position of Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) that has been formed supposedly to “protect” Naga tribal practices. While NTAC quotes Article 371(A) of the Constitution to assert that they are empowered to make their own laws, they choose to ignore Constitutional principle of equality before law, thus denying the Naga women their electoral rights.

Time and again women’s movements in India have confronted issues of community identity vs the rights of women. In almost every instance, communities and their leaders have chosen to sacrifice the rights of women to safeguard patriarchal practices in the name of tradition and custom. In the present imbroglio NTAC has used threats and violence to prevent women from filing their nominations, or even to withdraw their papers. Through all this, the State government has remained silent spectator and tried to wash its hands off on the issue of women’s representation in local bodies by cancelling the elections to local bodies under pressure from these tribal bodies by merely citing law and order concerns. In the process, the State has become complicit in protecting patriarchal traditions to the detriment of principles of gender equality. What is not being asserted is that Urban Local Bodies are not traditional Naga institutions recognised by Article 371(A) of the Constitution but rather, Constitutional bodies under Part IX of the Constitution over which the traditional Naga bodies have no mandate. Continue reading “Feminists Condemn Opposition To Women’s Reservation In Nagaland Municipal Councils”

‘नफरत के गुरूजी’

गोलवलकर के महिमामंडन से उठते प्रश्न

pov-bhagwat-in-betul-jail-where-golwalkar-was-imprisoned

संघ के सुप्रीमो जनाब मोहन भागवत की सूबा मध्य प्रदेश की बैतुल की यात्रा पिछले दिनों सूर्खियों में रही, जहां वह हिन्दू सम्मेलन को संबोधित करने पहुंचे थे। सूर्खियों की असली वजह रही बैतुल जेल की उनकी भेंट जहां वह उस बैरक में विशेष तौर पर गए, जहां संघ के सुप्रीमो गोलवलकर कुछ माह तक बन्द रहे।  इस यात्रा की चन्द तस्वीरें भी शाया हुई हैं। इसमें वह दीवार पर टंगी गोलवलकर की तस्वीर का अभिवादन करते दिखे हैं। फोटो यह भी उजागर करता है कि भागवत के अगल बगल जेल के अधिकारी बैठै हैं।

विपक्षी पार्टियों ने – खासकर कांग्रेस ने – इस बात पर भी सवाल उठाया था कि आखिर किस हैसियत से उन्हें जेल के अन्दर जाने दिया गया। उनके मुताबिक यह उस गोलवलकर को महिमामंडित करने का प्रयास  है, जिसे ‘एक प्रतिबंधित संगठन के सदस्य होने के नाते गिरफ्तार किया गया था। यह जेल मैनुअल का उल्लंघन भी है। केवल कैदी के ही परिजन एवं दोस्त ही जेल परिसर में जा सकते हैं और वह भी वहां जाने से पहले जेल प्रबंधन की अनुमति लेने जरूरी है।’

गौरतलब है कि संघ के तत्कालीन सुप्रीमो गोलवलकर की यह पहली तथा अंतिम गिरफतारी आज़ाद हिन्दोस्तां में गांधी हत्या के बाद हुई थी, जब संघ पर पाबन्दी लगायी गयी थी। प्रश्न उठता है कि आखिर गोलवलकर के इस कारावास प्रवास को महिमामंडित करके जनाब भागवत ने क्या संदेश देना चाहा।

( For full text of the article click here :https://hindi.sabrangindia.in/article/nafrat-ke-guruji-subhash-gathade

After a Nuit Debout (night standing up), We Wake Up with a Political Strike: Charles Reeve

Guest post by CHARLES REEVE

[Note from Livia Bocadacce: During 2016, social movements in France and in India have been huge and tough. In both countries, youth, workers, students, oppressed people fought against governments who disregarded their desires of freedom and decent life, and have faced violent repression. But in France, we don’t hear about Indian struggles such as Una Dalits’ movement or Hyderabad and JNU students’ protests. In India, the very strong French movement of last spring, called “Nuits Debout”, has aroused very poor coverage. Because we believe we have to learn from the crossed experiences of fighting, because we refuse a globalization only based on trade and forced migrations, because we hope a globalization that could encourage the circulation of critical thinking and collectiveaction repertoire, we proposed this article on the Nuits debout to Kafila. Hoping it will generate debates and further interests. ]

Nuit Debout, image courtesy gaucherevolutionnaire.fr
Nuit Debout, image courtesy gaucherevolutionnaire.fr

After a Nuit debout (night standing up), we wake up with a political strike (1)

Living in a moment is always pleasanter than writing about it— it’s always risky to draw conclusions about situations still evolving or to speculate about what they will become. Going on for now over three months [when this post was written – AN], Nuit debout is a new kind of spontaneous, social movement along the lines of « Occupy » and Spain’s « M15 » movement. It has taken on an unanticipated size and importance, all the while developing characteristic features of French society. I won’t go back over its development or its collective spirit. The two texts already published in the May and June issues of the Brooklyn Rail, the first by Anouk Colombani and the second by Ferdinand Cazalis et Emilien Bernard (CQFD, n°143, mai 2016) have provided sufficient detail and clarity to let us grasp the essence and dynamism of these mobilizations.

Continue reading “After a Nuit Debout (night standing up), We Wake Up with a Political Strike: Charles Reeve”

Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal

Guest Post by JATIN GORAYA and PRADEEP NARWAL

ABVP ARE THE FOOT-SOLDIERS OF THIS FASCIST GOVERNMENT WHO ORCHESTRATED THE ATTACK ON JNU POST 9TH FEB LAST YEAR!

APPEAL TO EVERYONE TO REJECT AND ISOLATE THE KILLERS OF ROHITH AND THOSE WHO ORCHESTRATED THE #SHUTDOWNJNU CAMPAIGN!

As JNU is still recovering from the aftershocks of last year sangh parivar’s attack on our university post 9th of February we are again facing an unprecedented attack on our university – its democratic space, progressive admission policy, its inclusive character. The latter has been the heart and soul of JNU which the student movement has built over the last four decades. Last year’s attack was an attack on our right to dissent, to curb our democratic spaces and to implement the fascist Hindutva agenda on our universities. This year, in the name of “academic quality” and “excellence”, by reducing the seat intake & closing admission they want to ensure that none is able to access higher education in JNU.

We were members of ABVP previous to the events of Feb 9 last year, and we subsequently resigned because of our differences with this fascist, casteist, Brahmanical and patriarchal organisation. These differences, as we have earlier said, had been long standing ones. But after the orchestrated attack on JNU, we felt a limit had been crossed and we could no longer associate with ABVP. Continue reading “Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal”

Students In Solidarity With Professor Nivedita Menon and Rajshree Ranawat – A Statement – UPDATED SIGNATORIES.

We, the undersigned, condemn the repeated attacks on Professor Nivedita Menon, the most recent of which being the police complaint lodged against her on the 3rd of February, 2017 (as also against Professor Rajshree Ranawat) for allegedly making ‘anti-national’ remarks during a seminar organised by the Department of English, Jai Narain Vyas University. This incident, we believe, is continuous with the spate of attacks that Professor Menon has had to face for taking an astute stand against the RashtriyaSwayamsevakSangh (RSS), its student-wing the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and the nefarious politics of Hindutva in general. We refuse the rationale of dissent against Hindutva as dissent against the nation, because our idea of the nation is not of the Hindu Rashtra but of secularism, democracy, and social justice. Both as a voice of dissent and a formidable scholar of politics, Professor Nivedita Menon is an inspirational figure. She is a consistent articulation of conscience and an abiding commitment to the ideals that our freedom fighters envisioned for our nation. It is our conviction that patriotism is not only love for the abstract entity of the nation but also for its people, regardless of class, caste, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or any other marker that is used to advantage or disadvantage groups. The ‘patriotism’ that the RSS and its henchmen claim to champion is hateful, divisive, and truly anti-national.

It is our concern as students, therefore, that the ABVP claims to speak for the student community. This petition is a rejection of that assertion, and a statement in solidarity with Professor Nivedita Menon. We hope for and demand the cessation of attacks on Professor Nivedita Menon and the protection of her inalienable freedom and right to oppose the politics of division and communalism. Continue reading “Students In Solidarity With Professor Nivedita Menon and Rajshree Ranawat – A Statement – UPDATED SIGNATORIES.”