Category Archives: Right watch

Winning Delhi Elections – AAP, Gandhi and the Ideology Wars

 

What has Gandhi got to do with the recently concluded elections in Delhi? On the face of it nothing. But at another level, the election process, its campaign and its results – all invite us to revisit Gandhi’s stupendous moral-political project of cementing the Hindu-Muslim division with his own blood and his heroic failure. He could not prevent the Partition and ultimately fell to the bullets of a fanatic Hindu nationalist of the kind who are in power today.

I remember Gandhi today because gung-ho secularists (the political community that I inhabit, if very uncomfortably) are once again at their favourite occupation of daring Arvind Kejriwal and AAP to ‘prove’ their ‘anti-communal stance’ and all that it can mean today – as though they alone have the talisman to fight communalism. I am reminded of Gandhi because his was by far the most audacious  attempt to fight the communal menace but he too had no readymade answers to it.

Secular warrriors have been basically daring Kejriwal and AAP to do and say things that he had been avoiding doing or saying all these days. Just two instances – of the quotes below from two dear friends – should suffice to indicate what I mean.  The first is from Apoorvanand, writing in the Business Standard,

‘Voters in Delhi were confident that the AAP victory in the assembly elections wouldn’t so much as serve as an irritant to the BJP, let alone rock its boat, as the saffron outfit was firmly and safely ensconced in power. An efficient delivery boy is all the electorate wanted. In the Delhi voters mindset, an ideology-agnostic party that does not impede the BJP’s nationalist drive is tolerable.’

Continue reading Winning Delhi Elections – AAP, Gandhi and the Ideology Wars

Why Pakistan’s Islamists Don’t Want India’s CAA Repealed

Of all reasons to oppose CAA, NPR and NRC, most worrying is the Islamists across the borders feeling enthused.

Anti CAA Protest in India

Seattle City Council, one of the most powerful city councils in the United States, recently made history. It became the world’s first elected body to pass a resolution asking the Indian government to repeal the CAA, stop the National Register of Citizens and uphold the Indian Constitution. It also sought ratification of United Nations treaties on refugees. The said resolution is being seen to be “leading the moral consensus in the global outcry against the CAA”.

Seattle is definitely not an exception.

Many concerned voices have spoken against the highly controversial discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, which excludes Muslims [and Jews] and enforces a selective citizenship criteria based on faith. This new law effectively reduces the status of millions of Muslims in India to illegal migrants. A similar resolution was tabled by members of the European Union Parliament last month. It stands postponed right now, but that will be a short reprieve, for the members have resolved to take it up again shortly.

For the first time in independent India’s history the Indian diaspora—which is normally projected as pro-Prime Minister Narendra Modi and which does participate in rallies in his support—has been protesting against the bill along with Indian students studying in the West. These protests have been going on for close to two months in different cities and towns in different cities in the West.

Couple this development with the resistance within the country spreading to new areas and broadening to include more sections of society, as people gradually wake up to the CAA’s grim portents. Definitely, there is growing discomfort against the Modi-Shah regime. Perhaps it is a sign of desperation that in order to legitimise this law the government has been peddling half-truths even in Parliament. Prime Minister Modi quoted selectively from the Nehru-Liaquat pact to buttress his case. He used the same Nehru-Bordoloi letter to defend the CAA, which his party had earlier used to slam the Congress. Gopinath Bordoloi was the first Chief Minister of Assam after Independence.

( Read the full text here : https://www.newsclick.in/why-pakistans-islamists-dont-want-indias-caa-repealed)

Delhi Elections and the Difficult Terrain of Antifascist Struggle

 

Three incidents of firing in four days – two in Jamia Millia Islamia and one in Shaheen Bagh – quickly followed open calls to violence (‘goli maro saalon ko‘) by Union minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and the demonization of Shaheen Bagh protesters by BJP MP Pravesh Verma (‘the protesters will enter your homes and rape and kill your daughters’ if Modi and Shah aren’t there). In the case of the Shaheen Bagh shooter, Kapil Gujjar, the Delhi Police (which has till date not managed to find out the JNU attacker Komal Sharma’s affiliation) was quick to link him to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) – an allegation expressly denied by his father. All these episodes, so obviously set up, basically aimed at provoking the protesters into committing some violence that the lapdog television channels would then play up, in their usual hysterical style (some of them may even have appeared on air in police uniform!), to vitiate the atmosphere.

On the very first shooting, one such channel did indeed keep doing precisely that till long after the identity of the shooter (in the clip above) had been clearly established. The clips were circulating almost instantaneously and you can hear the gunman shouting Delhi Police zindabad, and there was little chance of mistaking him for an anti-CAA protester. The channel knew exactly what it was doing and at whose behest but kept on at it till 9 o’clock at night.

Continue reading Delhi Elections and the Difficult Terrain of Antifascist Struggle

Gandhi and the Hindutva Right

From Nehru to Patel and Ambedkar, the saffron party has appropriated freedom-fighters or tarnished legacies. Gandhi, however, poses a different problem.

Why BJP’s Subjugation of Gandhi

Death ends all enmity’ (Marnanti Vairani) goes a maxim in Hinduism.

The story also goes that when Ravana was on death bed, Ram had even asked Laxman to go to him and learn something which no other person except a great scholar like him could teach him, declaring that though he has been forced to punish him for his terrible crime, ‘you are no more my enemy’.

It is a different matter that Hindutva supremacists — who are keen ‘to transform Hinduism from a variety of religious practices into a consolidated ethnic identity’ — are believers in the exact opposite.

For them, once the enemy is dead, the enmity flares up without any limits. They have no qualms that their adversary is no more to defend himself/ herself.

It has been more than five and half years that they are in power at the Centre and we have been witness to complete vilification, demonisation and obfuscation of many of their adversaries, all great leaders of the anti-colonial struggle. Of course, few were found to be ‘lucky’ enough that were promptly co-opted/appropriated by them, of course, in a sanitised form.

( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/BJP-Subjugation-Gandhi-Legacy-Roadblock-Shaheen-Bagh

संशोधित नागरिकता-कानून, जनसँख्या-रजिस्टर एवं नागरिकता-रजिस्टर – एक तथ्यात्मक ब्यौरा : सप्तरंग व नागरिक एकता एवं सद्भाव समिति

[संशोधित नागरिकता-कानून, जनसँख्या-रजिस्टर  (एन पी आर ) एवं नागरिकता-रजिस्टर (एन आर सी ) पर  निन्मलिखित परचा रोहतक ज़िले के दो संगठनों  – सप्तरंग  व नागरिक एकता व  सद्भाव समिति ने शाया किया है. जनहित में इस सामग्री का किसी भी रूप में प्रयोग किया जा सकता है। ये सारी जानकारी सार्वजनिक तौर पर उपलब्ध सरकारी या भरोसेमंद प्रकाशनों से ली गई है न कि अपुष्ट स्रोतों से। ]

भाग 1            

आसाम समझौता, नागरिकता-कानून में संशोधन एवं आसाम का नागरिकता-रजिस्टर

  1. नागरिकता कानून में संशोधन एवं नागरिकता रजिस्टर का विरोध एक कारण से नहीं हो रहा। यह दो कारणों से हो रहा है – उत्तर-पूर्व में अलग  कारण से और शेष देश में अलग कारणों से । दोनों तरह की आलोचनाओं का समाधान ज़रूरी है।
  2. उत्तर-पूर्व के राज्यों में इस का विरोध इसलिए हो रहा है कि इस के चलते अवैध रूप से देश में 2014 तक दाखिल हुए लोगों को भी नागरिकता मिल जायेगी जब कि 1985 में भारत सरकार के साथ हुए आसाम समझौते के तहत केवल 1965 तक आसाम में आए हुए अवैध प्रवासियों को ही नागरिकता मिलनी थी। (मोदी सरकार द्वारा पिछले कार्यकाल में प्रस्तावित नागरिकता संशोधन कानून का उत्तर-पूर्व राज्यों में भयंकर विरोध हुआ था। इस सशक्त विरोध के चलते मोदी सरकार ने 2019 में पारित कानून के दायरे से उत्तर-पूर्व के कुछ इलाकों को बाहर रखा है पर इस से भी उत्तर-पूर्व के स्थानीय संगठन/लोग संतुष्ट नहीं हैं। वे इसे वायदा-खिलाफ़ी के रूप में देखते हैं।)
  3. आसाम (और तब के आसाम में लगभग पूरा उत्तर-पूर्व भारत आ जाता था) में अवैध प्रवासियों की समस्या बहुत पुरानी है। इस के नियंत्रण के लिए पहला कानून 1950 में ही बन गया था। इस का कारण यह है कि भारत-बंगलादेश सीमा हरियाणा-पंजाब सीमा जैसी ही है। कहीं-कहीं तो आगे का दरवाज़ा भारत में तो पिछला बंगलादेश में खुलता है। भारत के नक़्शे के अन्दर कुछ इलाके बंगलादेश के थे तो बंगलादेश के नक़्शे के अन्दर स्थित कुछ ज़मीन भारत की थी। (इन इलाकों का हाल में ही निपटारा हुआ है।) बोली, भाषा, पहनावा एक जैसा होने के चलते कलकत्ता में पहले-दिन-पहला-फ़िल्म शो देखने के लिए बंगलादेश से आना मुश्किल नहीं था। ऐसे अजीबो-गरीब तरीके से हुआ था देश का बंटवारा।

Continue reading संशोधित नागरिकता-कानून, जनसँख्या-रजिस्टर एवं नागरिकता-रजिस्टर – एक तथ्यात्मक ब्यौरा : सप्तरंग व नागरिक एकता एवं सद्भाव समिति

The Constitution as the ‘Social Contract’ of Modern India

 

 

The  Constitution of India should be seen as a work-in-progress – not because it has been amended ever so often by different governments but because it has been taken over by ‘we, the people’, repeatedly, especially since the 1990s. The ‘authorized’ interpreters of the Constitution and Law are no longer its sole interpreters. The continuous battles over its interpretation in the courts of law are only one way in which meaning is contested. But from the dalits reclaiming it as “Babasaheb’s Constitution” to the pathalgadi movement  of the Jharkhand adivasis and finally as the banner of citizenship movement today, its meaning has been contested time and again in the streets and in villages.

It is customary, in most secular-nationalist and left-wing circles, to invoke the “great values of the national movement”, which is seen as synonymous with the “freedom struggle”, which in turn is reduced to the “anticolonial struggle”. On 15 August 1947, India attained Independence from colonial rule and on 26 January 1950, “we, the people of India” gave to ourselves the Constitution of India. The anticolonial struggle came to an end in August 1947 but that did not mean that all the currents that  comprised the larger “freedom struggle” – the jang-e-azadi – got their freedom. We perhaps need to make a distinction today between the “freedom struggle” (that is still ongoing) and the “anticolonial nationalist” movement.

We need to state emphatically that the “freedom struggle” of different social groups is not – and never was – reducible to the “anticolonial struggle”. There were many different strands and currents that  either functioned at a distance from mainstream nationalism , or even worked in opposition to it.

Continue reading The Constitution as the ‘Social Contract’ of Modern India

How Hindutva Terror Outfits Hide in Plain Sight

The arrest of yet another alleged bomb-maker with right-wing links should lead to action at last.

The arrest of yet another alleged bomb

When Crimes shoot up, they become invisible.

When pain becomes unbearable, cries are no longer heard.’

—Bertolt Brecht

Can the provocations of a cabinet minister, who openly raises controversial slogans, be considered a “breach of peace” or are they merely attempts to “gauge people’s mood”, as the minister would have us believe? For more than a month, plenty of controversial slogans have been raised on the streets of India. People are being instigated to “kill the traitors to the country” by members of the ruling dispensation, who are issuing open threats in public as the masses are getting angrier against the CAA, NRC and the NPR.

As expected, till date, either no action has been taken by the law and order machinery or there is only an expectation of perfunctory action. This new normal is symptomatic of the rapid erosion of the rule of law in the country. A new normal wherein the chief minister of a state has no qualms in talking of taking “revenge” against protesters while his state’s police unleash unjustified violence on protesters and bystanders alike. Each of their tactics has, for this reason, received widespread condemnation. Even though the strong-arm tactics of the state are failing to pass the test of logic or reasonableness, there is still no change in the ruling dispensation’s attitude.

( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/Hindutva-Terror-Outfits-Hide-Plain-Sight)