A Controller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled recently in Jharkhand Assembly says most of Jharkhand jails are housing prisoners beyond their capacity by the end of 2010. Significantly, the most crowded jails are in Garwa, Latehar and Simdega districts where anti-naxalite operations by police and para-military forces are on. The basic question to ask is: are Jharkhandi adivasis & moolvasis increasingly taking to crimes or is the society labeling them criminals.
There are three basis on which young rural adivasi men & women are arrested: Continue reading Free the innocent undertrials and Jharkhand’s jails won’t be overcrowded: Stan Swamy→
Watching Advocate alongside Democracy Dialogues: a Tribute to Balagopal, both by Deepa Dhanraj, made for a powerful experience for its remarkable documentation of human rights movements in Andhra through the lives of these two human rights defenders and the collectives that they were a part of whether it was Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, Human Rights Forum or People’s Union for Civil Liberties. There is of course a sharp sense of loss, since in the last few years we have lost both these incredible people but one was grateful for this effort to record and document their inspirational lives in such a beautiful manner. It also points to a further need for us to understand the connections of human rights groups to law, the relationship of human rights defenders to the courts, and their role in pushing for the realization of some of substantive aspects of the Indian Constitution in the process. Continue reading Understanding Indian human rights movements through the lives of two human rights defenders: Jinee Lokaneeta→
10 December was Human Rights Day, anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Does the idea of human rights with their firm assertions, their belief in the ‘rule of law’ and their globalised vision, remain relevant in the world? The idea that there are absolute standards has come under attack from both the left and the right. The philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre , author of ‘After Virtue’, said, Natural rights and self evident truths proclaimed in the American declaration of independence are tantamount to belief in witches and unicorns. While from the left, in ‘Human Rights and Empire’, Costas Douzinas has called human rights the political philosophy of cosmopolitanism and argued that human rights now codify and ‘constitutionalise ‘ the normative sources of Empire. Continue reading Does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights impose Western values?: Gita Sehgal→
It must have been around nine pm on 11th February last year. The nightfall and Delhi’s infamous wintry chill ensured that I stayed indoors at the mercy of closed walls and work for company. Sure enough, I was seated warmly in my setting of a cyber cafe of Jamia Nagar in Okhla. Okhla, an area I had migrated to as a 14 year boy from my hometown, to pursue my further education, like many other Muslim students from other parts of this country. As Basharat Peer has rightly observed, ‘India’s Muslims don’t move to Delhi; they move to Okhla’. Continue reading Remembering Shahid Azmi, the Shaheed: Mahtab Alam→
Like the unseasonal and tenebrous rain clouds that are hovering over Thiruvananthapuram in what should be a sunny, light-mist-adorned January, a pall of gloom, of impending danger, hangs around my everyday life in Kerala. This is not a general feeling. It is however shared by many of us who write and speak critically about the powers that be. The space to speak and write thus has been shrinking for a while now, but now there is a sense of dangerously teetering on the edge: the Indian state seems to be upon us, and with a vengeance. Continue reading Un-Indianizing Kerala: How to defend K K Shahina→
Guest post by ANIL[freelance journalist and researcher, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalay, Wardha]
इक्कीसवीं सदी का पहला दशक ख़त्म हो गया है. 1991 में उदारवाद के अभियान की बुनावट जिन आकर्षक शब्दजालों से शुरू हुई थी अब उसके परिणाम सतह पर स्पष्ट दिखने लगे हैं. इन दो दशकों में इज़ारेदारी ने सियासत से लोकतंत्र के मूल्यों के पालन की उम्मीद को तो पहले ही दफ़्न कर दिया था लेकिन इस क्रम में जो हालिया प्रगति हुई है वह और ख़तरनाक संकेत दे रही है. Continue reading लोकतंत्र के बुझते चिराग़: अनिल→
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHhas released an 81-page report that documents the situation on the border region, where both Bangladesh and India have deployed border guards to prevent infiltration, trafficking, and smuggling. They found numerous cases of indiscriminate use of force, arbitrary detention, torture, and killings by the security force, without adequate investigation or punishment. The report is based on over 100 interviews with victims, witnesses, human rights defenders, journalists, and Border Security Force and Bangladesh Rifles’ (BDR) members. You can read the report here and download it here (.pdf). Given below are the report summary and recommendations.