Popular Posts

Indiae

Indiae: India's search engine

Monday, December 28, 2009

Analysis of Classes in India: A Preliminary Note on the Industrial Bourgeoisie and Middle Class at Sanhati

Analysis of Classes in India: A Preliminary Note on the Industrial Bourgeoisie and Middle Class at Sanhati

Posted by
Venu K.M

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How politicians saved a cop who molested a teen

How politicians saved a cop who molested a teen

Posted by
Venu K.M

Friday, December 18, 2009

Climate Talks on Verge of Collapse in Final Hours | Environment | AlterNet

Climate Talks on Verge of Collapse in Final Hours | Environment | AlterNet

Posted by
Venu K.M

"...Why people didn't respond when hundreds of dalits were arrested and colony ransacked by sivasena and police in Varkala ? .." - grey youth movement | Google Groups

"...Why people didn't respond when hundreds of dalits were arrested and colony ransacked by sivasena and police in Varkala ? .." - grey youth movement | Google Groups

Posted by
Venu K.M

Better To Have No Deal Than One That Spells Catastrophe

Better To Have No Deal Than One That Spells Catastrophe

Posted by
Venu K.M

The Moment Of Truth By Fidel Castro

The Moment Of Truth By Fidel Castro

Posted by
Venu K.M

http://venukm.blogspot.com/2009/12/httpwwwaddthiscombookmarkphpv250.html

http://venukm.blogspot.com/2009/12/httpwwwaddthiscombookmarkphpv250.html

Posted by
Venu K.M

http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250&pub=xa-4af3fa5b2e1a6e61

http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250&pub=xa-4af3fa5b2e1a6e61

Posted by
Venu K.M

It's The Protesters Who Offer The Best Hope For Our Planet

It's The Protesters Who Offer The Best Hope For Our Planet

Posted by
Venu K.M

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"WE CAN GO INTO EXTRA TIME BUT WE CAN"T AFFORD A REPLAY"-World's 56 Newspapers in 45 Countries Publish Common Editorial This Day

Posted by
Venu K.M




“We can go into extra time but we can’t afford a replay”

Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries took the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. But curiously, no papers from the USA and Australia featured this unique voice of humanity


Copenhagen: Seize The Chance

The World Editorial

07 December, 2009
The Hindu

http://www.counterc urrents.org/ ed071209. htm

Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency. Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting, and last year’s inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world’s response has been feeble and half-hearted.

Climate change has been caused over centuries, has consequences that will endure for all time, and our prospects of taming it will be determined in the next 14 days. We call on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen not to hesitate, not to fall into dispute, not to blame each other but to seize opportunity from the greatest modern failure of politics. This should not be a fight between the rich world and the poor world, or between east and west. Climate change affects everyone, and must be solved by everyone. The science is complex but the facts are clear. The world needs to take steps to limit temperature rises to 2C, an aim that will require global emissions to peak and begin falling within the next 5-10 years. A bigger rise of 3-4C — the smallest increase we can prudently expect to follow inaction — would parch continents, turning farmland into desert. Half of all species could become extinct, untold millions of people would be displaced, whole nations drowned by the sea.

Few believe that Copenhagen can any longer produce a fully polished treaty; real progress towards one could only begin with the arrival of President Obama in the White House and the reversal of years of US obstructionism. Even now the world finds itself at the mercy of American domestic politics, for the President cannot fully commit to the action required until the US Congress has done so. But the politicians in Copenhagen can and must agree the essential elements of a fair and effective deal and, crucially, a firm timetable for turning it into a treaty. Next June’s UN climate meeting in Bonn should be their deadline. As one negotiator put it: “We can go into extra time but we can’t afford a replay.”

At the deal’s heart must be a settlement between the rich world and the developing world covering how the burden of fighting climate change will be divided — and how we will share a newly precious resource: the trillion or so tonnes of carbon that we can emit before the mercury rises to dangerous levels. Rich nations like to point to the arithmetic truth that there can be no solution until developing giants such as China take more radical steps than they have so far. But the rich world is responsible for most of the accumulated carbon in the atmosphere — three-quarters of all carbon dioxide emitted since 1850. It must now take a lead, and every developed country must commit to deep cuts which will reduce its emissions within a decade to very substantially less than its 1990 level. Developing countries can point out they did not cause the bulk of the problem, and also that the poorest regions of the world will be hardest hit. But they will increasingly contribute to warming, and must thus pledge meaningful and quantifiable action of their own. Though both fell short of what some had hoped for, the recent commitments to emissions targets by the world’s biggest polluters, the United States and China, were important steps in the right direction.

Social justice demands that the industrialised world digs deep into its pockets and pledges cash to help poorer countries adapt to climate change, and clean technologies to enable them to grow economically without growing their emissions. The architecture of a future treaty must also be pinned down – with rigorous multilateral monitoring, fair rewards for protecting forests, and the credible assessment of “exported emissions” so that the burden can eventually be more equitably shared between those who produce polluting products and those who consume them. And fairness requires that the burden placed on individual developed countries should take into account their ability to bear it; for instance newer EU members, often much poorer than “old Europe,” must not suffer more than their richer partners.

The transformation will be costly, but many times less than the bill for bailing out global finance — and far less costly than the consequences of doing nothing. Many of us, particularly in the developed world, will have to change our lifestyles. The era of flights that cost less than the taxi ride to the airport is drawing to a close. We will have to shop, eat, and travel more intelligently. We will have to pay more for our energy, and use less of it. But the shift to a low-carbon society holds out the prospect of more opportunity than sacrifice. Already some countries have recognised that embracing the transformation can bring growth, jobs, and better quality lives. The flow of capital tells its own story: last year for the first time more was invested in renewable forms of energy than producing electricity from fossil fuels. Kicking our carbon habit within a few short decades will require a feat of engineering and innovation to match anything in our history. But whereas putting a man on the moon or splitting the atom were born of conflict and competition, the coming carbon race must be driven by a collaborative effort to achieve collective salvation.

Overcoming climate change will take a triumph of optimism over pessimism, of vision over shortsightedness, of what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” It is in that spirit that 56 newspapers from around the world have united behind this editorial. If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too. The politicians in Copenhagen have the power to shape history’s judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it. We implore them to make the right choice.



Papers That Carried The Editorial

Asia: 16 papers from 13 countries and regions

Economic Observer, China Chinese

Southern Metropolitan, China Chinese

CommonWealth Magazine, Taiwan English

Joongang Ilbo, South Korea Korean

Tuoitre, Vietnam Vietnamese

Brunei Times, Brunei English

Jakarta Globe, Indonesia English

Cambodia Daily, Cambodia English

The Hindu, India English

The Daily Star, Bangladesh English

The News, Pakistan English

Daily Times, Pakistan English

Gulf News, Dubai English

An Nahar, Lebanon Arabic

Gulf Times, Qatar English

Maariv, Israel Hebrew


Europe – 20 papers from 17 countries

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany German

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland Polish

Der Standard, Austria German

Delo, Slovenia Slovene

Vecer, Slovenia Slovene

Dagbladet Information, Denmark Danish

Politiken, Denmark Danish

Dagbladet, Norway Norwegian

The Guardian, UK English

Le Monde, France French

Libération, France French

La Repubblica, Italy Italian

El Pais, Spain Spanish

De Volkskrant, Netherlands Dutch

Kathimerini, Greece Greek

Publico, Portugal Portuguese

Hurriyet, Turkey Turkish

Novaya Gazeta, Russia Russian

Irish Times, Ireland English

Le Temps, Switzerland French


Africa - 11 papers from eight countries

The Star, Kenya English

Daily Monitor, Uganda English

The New Vision, Uganda English

Zimbabwe Independent, Zimbabwe English

The New Times, Rwanda English

The Citizen, Tanzania English

Al Shorouk, Egypt Arabic

Botswana Guardian, Botswana English

Mail & Guardian, South Africa English

Business Day, South Africa English

Cape Argus, South Africa English


North and Central America - six papers from five countries

Toronto Star, Canada English

Miami Herald, USA English

El Nuevo Herald, USA Spanish

Jamaica Observer, Jamaica English

La Brujula Semanal, Nicaragua Spanish

El Universal, Mexico Spanish


South America – three papers from two countries

Zero Hora, Brazil Portuguese

Diario Catarinense, Brazil Portuguese

Diaro Clarin, Argentina Spanish

Monday, November 30, 2009

Is Kerala Undergoing a Crisis of Modernity?

Posted by
Venu K.M

http://groups.google.co.in/group/greenyouth/browse_thread/thread/1609ce238a809bb3

Seattle and the global justice struggle | SocialistWorker.org

Seattle and the global justice struggle | SocialistWorker.org

Posted by
Venu K.M

Sunday, November 8, 2009

MAY BE WE ARE BADLY IN NEED OF A RE-BOOTING WITH THE IDEAS OF MODERNITY

Posted by
Venu K.M

MAY BE WE ARE BADLY IN NEED OF A RE-BOOTING WITH THE IDEAS OF MODERNITY

Review of
A FORGOTTEN LIBERATOR:
The life and Struggle of Savitribai Phule
(Editors: Braj Ranjan Mani & Pamela Sardar)
(Pages:100; Price: Rs 200.00)

Published by:
Mountain Peak
Kanu Chamber,
C-2, Sanwal Nagar.
New Delhi-110049
Email:
office@mountainpeak.biz




Perhaps we get hold of the much sought after stuff in this tiny
edition . This is a few remarkable accounts by six authors on the
unique aspects of the lives and thoughts of the Phules , differently
highlighted in each essay . Some of the essays also tell us about a
few women and men without whose active support , the struggles might
not have taken the course as they did. Names of Jyotirao Phule and
Savitri Phule, the great fighters for causes linked to human
dignity and reason, not unheard by people outside Maharashtra
though, we seem to have had very little access to the details of their
personal-political lives. This volume helps in a big way to fulfill
the gap.

Certainly, Savitribai Phule is in focus in all these essays .
Translation of three letters penned by Savitri to Jyotiba in Marati
in 1856, 1868 and 1877 with the caption “Love Letters Unlike Any
Other” and a matching introduction by Sunil Sardar is one of them.
There is a section comprising few photos and illustrations depicting
Savitri Phule’s personal and public life. In another, entitled as
‘Poineering Engaged Writing’, Sunil Sardar and Victor Paul present
the translation of Savitri’s five poems written in Marati. These poems
show the fervor with which early reformers of modern era greeted the
agenda of education , particularly English education which had a
refreshing content entirely different from which constituted the
traditional idea of learning. There is a brief chronology of
Savitribai’s life , bibliography of her writings and a suggested list
of readings appended to the book. A wonderful essay authored by
Muktabai, a eleven year old dalit girl who studied at the Pune
school for girls set up by the Phules, is also part of this volume .
The essay first published in 1855 , is translated from Marati and has
been introduced by Braj Ranjan Mani under a separate caption.

In his detailed introduction to the book, the editor Braj Ranjan Mani
observes: “It is indeed a measure of the ruthlessness of
elite-controlled knowledge- production that a figure as important as
Savitribai Phule fails to find any mention in the history of modern
India. This is not to deny the works by Marati authors….Her life and
struggle, however, deserves to be appreciated by a wider spectrum, and
made known to non-Marati people as well..”
Commenting about the relevance of the Phule struggles, the editor
rightly points out : “..Their distinct brand of socio-cultural
radicalism was based on uniting all the oppressed, whom they would
call stree-shudra-atishudra”.

.
.
Questions initiated by extra ordinary visionaries would look so casual
and even ridiculous as they emerge in the first place. Nevertheless,
it is not until much later on a time scale that we are able to see
more to them; that what had happened was nothing less than history.
We then learn to ask similar questions by ourselves sometimes with
much lesser confidence and more or less in a timid voice .In a course
of time we even forget that these would never have reached our mundane
thoughts had them not been asked earlier with much personal courage
and strength of conviction by the markers of milestones in history.

The unrelenting nature of day to day struggles through which
Savitribai Phule together with her beloved life partner Jyotirao Phule
could almost upset an entire system of institutionalized privileges
and deprivations are amply highlighted in this compilation . The
Brahmanical village hierarchy was disproportionately more powerful and
firmly rooted in its ideology of exclusivity as against the modernist
interventions by Satyasodhak Samaj toward its reform. Through the
kind of educational activism motivated by the great values of
social inclusion and egalitarianism, Phules had to undergo moments of
the toughest challenge in their personal lives. Nevertheless, they
could sustain the extremely precarious dynamic of these struggles.
In these days of ‘post modern’ thinking, we often fail to look back
to the painful historical process through which major chunk of
population of this country comprising sections of Sudhras, Atisudras
and women could successfully voice their demands for inclusion as
dignified human beings.

Pamela Sardar in one of the essays gives a touching account of how
Jyotiba’s cousin , Sagunabai Kshirsagar played the role of great
mentor of the Phule couple.
As Jyotiba’s mother died when he was too young, Sugunabai who was a
child widow played the part of both his mother and mentor. There is a
narration about how Sugunabai intervened positively to change the
entire course of life of Jyotiba. Thanks to the help of her employer
Mr. John (a missionary ), an English Officer and another person called
Gaffar Beg(a Muslim scholar), she succeeded in reversing the
decision of Jyotiba’s father Govindarao to take back Jyotiba to the
family business of selling flowers even before completing his
schooling. Only Sugunabai’s foresight and timely intervention in
getting him readmitted helped. The persuasion by a Brahmin clerk
working in his shop was too strong to ignore for a shudra those
times: “..Your son would be of no use for business, and more
important, our Hindu Dharma does not allow a shudra to get education.
An educated shudra and his whole clan suffer in hell for seven
generations!”

In another essay penned by Gail Omvedt, equally interesting and
touching touching account related to Savitribai’s mission of
educating girls of the lower castes is given. Savitribai suffered not
just constant verbal abuses from the Brahman women in the
neighborhood, but also had to carry two sets of clothing as she went
to teach in the school for girls in Pune (which was founded by the
couple in 1851). Brahmin women regularly threw dung at her and men
occasionally stoned her as she walked up to her school.!

Similarly, Cynthia Stephen writes in her piece: “The young couple
faced severe opposition from almost all sections. Savitribai was
subject to intense harassment everyday as she walked to the school.
Stones, mud and dirt were flung at her as she passed”. Cynthia goes
further to describe how the perseverance of the Phules succeeded in
spite of all these malicious deeds by representatives of the
Brahmanical mainstream. By gaining the goodwill of people from
different walks of life including a distinguished Muslim gentleman,
few scholars, officials and educationists the schools run by Phules
got firmly established in a short period of time. By 1852 November,
the educational department of the government even organized a public
felicitation of the Phule couple.
In the same essay, there is another interesting narration about how
two dalit men hired by the local Brahmans appeared with swords to
assassinate Phule at his home, and how terribly they were impressed
by the great personality. Following a brief course of dialogue with
these misguided people, Phule ultimately had these dalit men joining
the revolutionary plank of social reform..

The bold strides marched by Savithribai and her husband through the
Satyasodhak Samaj, in providing the most needed social space for
widows , children of unwed mothers subjected to ostracizing by the
Hindu culture, remarrying of young Hindu widows sans ceremonial
service of Brahman priests, educating women and the underprivileged
etc, would perhaps be unthinkable even for the present day reformers
in spite of being equipped by the unique constitutional mechanism of
Independent India.

Victor Paul in the essay titled ‘A Relentless Truth seeker’ lashes
out at the Brahmanical nationalists while juxtaposing their typical
attitude with that of the Phule couple’s preceding agenda of social
reforms in the pre independent India:
“(Nationalism in India….)While depicting the British period as a
shameful and forgettable episode in an otherwise glorious historical
and cultural saga of their nation , the nationalists conveniently
overlook the fact that they themselves were the great beneficiaries of
the plunder of the colonial era. Not surprisingly, almost all
nationalist intellectual exercises of the period, appear to be an
attempt to hoodwink the masses by blaming the British for all
uncomfortable and nefarious internal issues..”


Many of the vital aspects of reforms taken up by Jyotiba and
Savitribai remain to be fulfilled these days , despite the heightened
awareness on caste and Hinduism thanks to the teachings of Babasaheb
Ambedkar and by many others later. Unfortunately for many of us, this
state of affairs is much likely to continue as long as the agenda of
social reforms that constantly fails this country is far from being
acknowledged at a wider level. It is precisely at this juncture this
book has to tell us a lot both in first person accounts and otherwise.

It would be worthwhile to quote Gopal Guru :
” ..Dalits are expected to take the initiative in giving moral lead to
doing theory in the country. This orientation would thus remove the
cultural hierarchies that tend to divide social science practice into
theoretical brahmins and empirical shudras. Ultimately social science
in India would fullfill the fondest hopes by expanding the social base
of its conceptual landscape...”(How Egalitarian Are Social Sciences In
India?- EPW Article,2001)


- K.M.Venugopalan

Article by George Monbiot on Denial of Climate Change

Posted by
Venu K.M


Monbiot.com
Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it.
Tell them something new and they will hate you for it.
Death Denial
Posted November 2, 2009

Why the sudden surge in climate change denial? Could it be about something else altogether?

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian, 2nd November 2009

There is no point in denying it: we’re losing. Climate change denial is spreading like a contagious disease. It exists in a sphere which cannot be reached by evidence or reasoned argument; any attempt to draw attention to scientific findings is greeted with furious invective. This sphere is expanding with astonishing speed.

A survey last month by the Pew Research Centre suggests that the proportion of Americans who believe there’s solid evidence that the world has been warming over the past few decades has fallen from 71% to 57% in just 18 months(1). Another survey, conducted in January by Rasmussen Reports, suggests that, due to a sharp rise since 2006, US voters who believe that global warming is the result of natural causes (44%) now outnumber those who believe it is caused by human action (41%)(2).

A study by the website Desmogblog shows that the number of internet pages proposing that manmade global warming is a hoax or a lie more than doubled in 2008(3). The Science Museum’s Prove it! exhibition asks online readers to endorse or reject a statement that they’ve seen the evidence and want governments to take action. As of yesterday afternoon, 1006 people had endorsed it and 6110 had rejected it(4). On Amazon.co.uk, books championing climate change denial are currently ranked at 1,2,4,5,7 and 8 in the global warming category(5). Never mind that they’ve been torn to shreds by scientists and reviewers, they are beating the scientific books by miles. What is going on?

It certainly doesn’t reflect the state of the science, which has hardened dramatically over the past two years. If you don’t believe me, open any recent edition of Science or Nature or any peer-reviewed journal specialising in atmospheric or environmental science. Go on, try it. The debate about global warming that’s raging on the internet and in the rightwing press does not reflect any such debate in the scientific journals.

An American scientist I know suggests that these books and websites cater to a new literary market: people with room-temperature IQs. He didn’t say whether he meant Fahrenheit or Centigrade. But this can’t be the whole story. Plenty of intelligent people have also declared themselves sceptics.

One such is the critic Clive James. You could accuse him of purveying trite received wisdom, but not of being dumb. On Radio Four a few days ago he delivered an essay about the importance of scepticism, during which he maintained that “the number of scientists who voice scepticism [about climate change] has lately been increasing.”(6) He presented no evidence to support this statement and, as far as I can tell, none exists. But he used this contention to argue that “either side might well be right, but I think that if you have a division on that scale, you can’t call it a consensus. Nobody can meaningfully say that the science is in.”

Had he bothered to take a look at the quality of the evidence on either side of this media debate, and the nature of the opposing armies - climate scientists on one side, rightwing bloggers on the other - he too might have realised that the science is in. In, at any rate, to the extent that science can ever be, which is to say that the evidence for manmade global warming is as strong as the evidence for Darwinian evolution, or for the link between smoking and lung cancer. I am constantly struck by the way in which people like James, who proclaim themselves sceptics, will believe any old claptrap that suits their views. Their position was perfectly summarised by a supporter of Ian Plimer (author of a marvellous concatenation of gibberish called Heaven and Earth(7)) commenting on a recent article in the Spectator. “Whether Plimer is a charlatan or not, he speaks for many of us”(8). These people aren’t sceptics; they’re suckers.

Such beliefs seem to be strongly influenced by age. The Pew report found that people over 65 are much more likely than the rest of the population to deny that there is solid evidence that the earth is warming, that it’s caused by humans or that it’s a serious problem(9). This chimes with my own experience. Almost all my fiercest arguments over climate change, both in print and in person, have been with people in their 60s or 70s. Why might this be?

There are some obvious answers: they won’t be around to see the results; they were brought up in a period of technological optimism; they feel entitled, having worked all their lives, to fly or cruise to wherever they wish. But there might also be a less intuitive reason, which shines a light into a fascinating corner of human psychology.

In 1973 the cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker proposed that the fear of death drives us to protect ourselves with “vital lies” or “the armour of character”(10). We defend ourselves from the ultimate terror by engaging in immortality projects, which boost our self-esteem and grant us meaning that extends beyond death. Over 300 studies conducted in 15 countries appear to confirm Becker’s thesis(11). When people are confronted with images or words or questions that remind them of death they respond by shoring up their worldview, rejecting people and ideas that threaten it and increasing their striving for self-esteem(12).

One of the most arresting findings is that immortality projects can bring death closer. In seeking to defend the symbolic, heroic self that we create to suppress thoughts of death, we might expose the physical self to greater danger. For example, researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel found that people who reported that driving boosted their self-esteem drove faster and took greater risks after they had been exposed to reminders of death(13).

A recent paper by the biologist Janis L Dickinson, published in the journal Ecology and Society, proposes that constant news and discussion about global warming makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death, and that they might respond to the terrifying prospect of climate breakdown in ways that strengthen their character armour but diminish our chances of survival(14). There is already experimental evidence suggesting that some people respond to reminders of death by increasing consumption(15). Dickinson proposes that growing evidence of climate change might boost this tendency, as well as raising antagonism towards scientists and environmentalists. Our message, after all, presents a lethal threat to the central immortality project of Western society: perpetual economic growth, supported by an ideology of entitlement and exceptionalism.

If Dickinson is correct, is it fanciful to suppose that those who are closer to the end of their lives might react more strongly against reminders of death? I haven’t been able to find any experiments testing this proposition, but it is surely worth investigating. And could it be that the rapid growth of climate change denial over the past two years is actually a response to the hardening of scientific evidence? If so, how the hell do we confront it?

www.monbiot.com

With thanks to George Marshall

References:

1. http://people-press.org/reports/pdf/556.pdf

2. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/44_say_global_warming_due_to_planetary_trends_not_people

3. http://www.desmogblog.com/2008-stats-global-warming-denial-blogosphere

4. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/proveit.aspx

5. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_n_8?rh=n%3A266239%2Cn%3A!1025612%2Cn%3A57%2Cn%3A278080%2Cn%3A922416&bbn=278080&ie=UTF8&qid=1257145116&rnid=278080

6. Clive James, 23rd October 2009. A Point of View. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00n9lm3/A_Point_of_View_23_10_2009/

7. http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/09/14/answers-come-there-none/

8. http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/5332261/an-empty-chair-for-monbiot.thtml

9. http://people-press.org/reports/pdf/556.pdf

10. Ernest Becker, 1973. The Denial of Death, pp47-66. Republished 1997. Free Press Paperbacks, New York.

11. Tom Pyszczynski et al, 2006. On the Unique Psychological Import of the Human Awareness of Mortality: Theme and Variations. Psychological Inquiry, Vol. 17, No. 4, 328–356.

12. Jeff Greenberg et al, 1992. Terror Management and Tolerance: does mortality salience always intensify negative reactions to others who threaten one’s worldview? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 63, No 2 212-220.

13. OT Ben-Ari et al, 1999. The impact of mortality salience on reckless driving: a test of terror management mechanisms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 76, No 1 35-45.

14. Janis L. Dickinson, 2009. The People Paradox: Self-Esteem Striving, Immortality Ideologies, and Human Response to Climate Change. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org:80/vol14/iss1/art34/

15. T. Kasser and K. M. Sheldon, 2000. Of wealth and death: materialism, mortality salience, and consumption behavior. Psychological Science 11:348-351, Cited by Janis L Dickinson, above.

Stay Updated

Get new articles by email:

Categories

* advertising
* Books
* climate change
* corporate power
* culture
* economic justice
* education & childhood
* employment
* environment
* farming
* food
* foreign affairs
* General
* genetic engineering
* globalisation
* health
* health & safety
* hunting & the countryside
* interviews and debates
* landrights & planning
* law & order
* media
* nuclear
* oil
* politics
* privatisation
* protest
* racism
* religion
* science
* supermarkets
* tourism
* transport
* war - afghanistan
* war - general
* war - iraq

Links

* About George Monbiot
* Careers Advice
* Contact
* Discuss these articles
* Talks

* Articles by RSS

Copyright © 2006 Monbiot.com | site by Tom Dyson

Situation In Sri Lanka Absolutely Grim – Arundhati Roy By Nilantha Ilangamuwa

Situation In Sri Lanka Absolutely Grim – Arundhati Roy By Nilantha Ilangamuwa

Posted by
Venu K.M

A Bogus Campaign Against "Love Jihad" Quitely Seeks Minds for Poisoning, but Still Largely Unchallenged

Posted by
Venu K.M

HOW SAD IT IS, IF WE REALLY LOVE TO BELIEVE THAT THESE EDUCATED HINDU
GIRLS ARE HARE WITTED AND LESS BRAINY THAN THEIR PARENTS, POLICE AND
THEIR 'JEHADI' PREDATORS, TO BE CHEATED BY LOVE..!

OR ,

DOES IT RATHER SUGGEST SOMETHING LIKE AN O-C-D (Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder) ROOTED IN (lack of)LOVE, FAMILY AND SECURITY?

Protectionist attitude toward women in Kerala is now seeing the
limits of absurdity.

What is so much there to probe about love affairs between people of
different faiths?
What is there to probe into cases of conversion from on faith to other
so long as proselytizing is perfectly recognized as constitutional and
legal in secular India?
You convince me by reason (or even by giving me soaps) that Islam or
Christianity is a better faith than Hiduism; I start thinking that
Hinduism is really not good for ME and take a decision to covert as a
Muslim or a Christian.
How can then one assume that all this happen only because of inflow of
mysterious foreign funds plus destabilizing motivations linked with
it?
Why the mysterious inflow of foreign funds, rather,is not checked by
routine regulatory measures than by resorting to ways producing hypes
and instilling fears in the minds of people about forcible conversion?
True that parents of at least two Hindu girls allegedly lured by the
activists of so called 'Love Jihadis' did come up with habeous corpus
writs following the disappearance of these girls from their houses.
It may also be true that the girls ultimately decide to go back to
their parents on the basis of own choice, in a court of law.

But why should this be a reason for widespread fear about girls of
mature age being trapped into 'Love Jihad'? What is the connection
between love, choice of life partner on the one side, and the
interventions by the parents of girls,the police and the court on the
other in making out such inter religion love marriages involving
conversions as a huge security threat for the entire nation?

Would it not have made more sense for the media to take up such
stories beyond the 'user friendly' but boundlessly ridiculous new
coinage in the lexicon of hate politics like "Love Jihad"?
The hate response to the so called Love Jihad by the VHP and the obscurantist Durgavahini is also being enthusiastically propagated by a section of the catholic church, SNDP Gen Secretary and a section of the Malayalam press. Campaigning in favour of imposing more parental controls on educated Hindu girls of mature age, etc are proposed as solutions to the phantom of Love Jihad . Going by reports, moral policing perhaps even uglier than the one resorted by Sri Ram Sene in Karnataka is
to set to take off in Kerala under the patronage of VHP, Christian Churches, SNDP and similar institutions.Fortunately, it seems less probable that women will be attracted to these hate campaigns to the point of erasing whatever little assertions they try to make on citizenships

Please read two more documents here on the topic :-

1. For the past two weeks, the entire JNU community has seen an intense mobilisation against the latest MHRD circular of Sep 12. At a time when students are fighting for their fundamental right to a quality and affordable education, the ABVP has yet again shown its true colours by not just completely ignoring the ongoing student movement, but actively using its energies to build a viciously communal campaign. The ABVP’s highly offensive pamphlet yesterday was typical of its politics and ideology - revealing clearly that the sole agenda of the ABVP on campus and in society is to spread communal hatred and curb the freedom of women in keeping with its fascist norms.
The pamphlet tries to whip up a communal frenzy by revealing “evidence” of a massive well-organised racket - a “Love Jihad” - whose purpose is to brainwash gullible Hindu girls into loving and marrying fundamentalist Muslim men and subsequently becoming “Islamic terrorists” waging war against the Indian state. This entire communal campaign draws its “evidence” from observations of the Kerala High Court in two cases related to “abduction” of Hindu girls. The fantastic revelations of a massive conspiracy to abduct Hindu girls and get them married off to “jihadis” (according to the ABVP, 4000 girls have been entrapped till date) are based on the sole evidence of a single witness - a girl who was forced by the Kerala High Court to leave her husband and stay with her parents. The girl apparently revealed the modus operandi of the Love Jihad after a week’s stay at her parents’ home. We have not forgotten that in innumerable cases of inter caste/inter religious marriages, where the girl has voluntarily married, her parents have falsely accused her of being an “abducted”, “brainwashed” minor, and have pressurized her into denying the relationship. In the Nitish Katara case and Rizwanur Rehman case for instance, the girls (Bharati Yadav and Priyanka Todi) eventually refused to complain against their fathers and brothers, even after overwhelming evidence that cold-blooded murders had been committed. In several cases, girls are even pressurized into accusing the boy of abducting or seducing them under force. In this specific case, the case has not even been heard in the Kerala High Court. There is not a shred of evidence of any “Love Jihad”; it has not been established in a court of law if the girls’ accusations are in fact true or are obtained under coercion from their families. Far from being established, no investigation has even taken place. Yet the court is passing sweeping orders and encouraging communal myths. Such a travesty of justice is a shameful assault on the democratic and secular fabric of the entire state machinery.
In such a situation it is imperative that the Home Ministry take a strong position, and refute the Kerala HC orders and challenge it in the Supreme Court.
The Kerala High Court’s orders in this case are highly irresponsible, to say the very least. Let us not forget that the HC’s orders come close on the heels of another order passed by the Congress-led Maharashtra government that essentially sees any marriage between Hindu women and Muslim men as an offence. The Maharashtra Minister of State for Home has ordered a CID investigation into such marriages on a demand made by two BJP MLAs who smelt a “conspiracy to increase the Muslim population’’ in the growing incidence of such marriages in the state’s rural areas. Such “enquiries” into every Hindu-Muslim marriage – be it by Kerala HC or Maharashtra Home Ministry – will be violative of Constitutional right to privacy and choice in matters of marriage, enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.
Without the backing of even basic evidence, the Kerala High Court is feeding the communal common sense prevalent in society - thus providing the ideal justification for the likes of the Sri Ram Sene and Babu Bajrangi types to pose as ‘nationalists’ fighting ‘jihadis’! Already, Babu Bajrangi and Sadhvi Pragya project the abduction (‘rescue’) of Hindu girls who have married outside community by choice, as a ‘nationalist’ act. Why is it that there is no Court order, no action from the Home Ministry to ban Khaap panchayats and the Sri Ram Sene? How come no enquiry is ordered into every suspicious case of honour killing?
Brahminical patriarchy has for long regarded women of upper castes as ‘gateways’ or points of breach into the caste system – requiring careful surveillance to preserve caste ‘purity’ – and this obsessive concern with policing female sexuality has become a stubborn feature across caste groups. There is widespread consent within civil society to regard choice, particularly when articulated by a woman as disruptive of the whole social order. It is the existence of such consent for obsessive control of women’s sexual choice, such widespread fear of a ‘terrible tear’ inflicted by women’s free choice, that sustains and ‘naturalises’ Bajrangi’s mass abduction spree as a patriotic act. This anxiety unfortunately extends even beyond the Hindu community – all communities share it. For instance, the even some Christian groups in Kerala have unfortunately reacted to the communal bogey of a “Love Jihad” by joining forces with VHP and warning Christian families to police their ‘wards’ more closely.
This agenda of spreading a campaign of a “Love Jihad” is inherently anti-woman and communal. Note that the “enquiries” ordered by the Kerala High Court do not cover cases of Hindu men marrying Muslim girls! The whole agenda is about demonising Muslim men AND about controlling the sexuality of Hindu women. The laughable notion of ‘Love Jihad’ is a deliberate ploy to further the age-old Sangh agenda of attack on women’s freedom of choice in marriage, right to convert, and demonizing of Muslim men as ‘lustful’. The likes of Babu Bajrangi and Pramod Muthalik openly advocate attacks on women who wear jeans, choose their partners, visit pubs and dare to challenge patriarchal strictures. During the previous Vidhan Sabha elections in UP, the BJP had distributed shamefully communal CDs that were carefully engineered to create the bogey of the ever-deceitful, violent, anti-woman Muslim youth whose main agenda is to coerce, deceive and rape gullible Hindu women.
It is high time that we tell the ABVP: we have seen through your ‘jihad’ bogey. “Love Jihad” is merely the new brand name of your old agenda of ban on jeans and Sri-Ram-Sene-type assaults on young women’s lifestyles and freedom to form friendships and love. It is high time women not just in JNU but all over the country tell the ABVP: we will love and marry according to our choice. We defy your diktats – just as we defy the khaap panchayats who tell us we are whores for marrying according to our choices. We will resist any attempt be it by Court or any government to police our freedom, or to bring our loves and marriages, irrespective of community, under any scanner. We demand a law against coercion in marriage, a law that will
 declare it illegal for any group or individual, be they khaap panchayats or Sangh outfits or parents like D P Yadav or Ashok Todi to coerce adults in matters of marriage;
 spells out punishments for diktats and death sentences issued by khaap panchayats, and also for justifications of such ‘executions’;
 that spells out punishments for concerned police and administration authorities who fail to protect couples and take preventive action against those who issue death sentences
 that orders a magisterial enquiry to be ordered in every case of suspected honour killing
 that spells out punishments for parents who falsely accuse women of being ‘minors’
 spell out punishments for those who impose ‘dress codes’ on women or indulge in any kind of threats or violence on women in the name of ‘culture’ or ‘honour’
Forces like the ABVP and the YFE have made it a habit to bring out such communal and casteist pamphlets at regular intervals, particularly when the student community is engaged in a struggle for its basic rights. AISA warns the ABVP and the YFE that such attempts to vitiate the atmosphere of the campus through such obnoxious pamphleteering will be robustly resisted tooth and nail by the democratic sections of the JNU community.



2."We have witnessed such inhuman acts in the form of propaganda in
Gujarat in the wake of carnage, that Muslim boys are luring Adivasi
girls. There Babu Bajarangi, who was also a major participant in
carnage, formed a goon-gang. This gang attacked couples and forced
them to separate if they belonged to different religions. All this is
presented as defense of religion! We have the case of Rijwan Ur Rehman
where Priyanka Todi, daughter of an affluent and powerful business
magnate also turned around under emotional blackmail from parents and
relatives. Later Rijwan Ur Rehman was forced to commit suicide. In all
such cases the role of police, state machinery, has been totally
against the spirit and provisions of law, the protectors of law acting
to support the things totally against the law."
(article by Ram Puniyani):-
http://communalism.blogspot.com/2009/11/myth-of-love-jihad.html

Noam Chomsky: No Change In US 'Mafia Principle'

Noam Chomsky: No Change In US 'Mafia Principle'

Posted by
Venu K.M

Kerala Christian Group And VHP Join Hands Against Illusory Love Jihad

Kerala Christian Group And VHP Join Hands Against Illusory Love Jihad

Posted by
Venu K.M

Why I Am Not A Zionist By Kevin Coval

Why I Am Not A Zionist By Kevin Coval

Posted by
Venu K.M

The Myth of Love Jihad

The Myth of Love Jihad

Posted by
Venu K.M

kmvenuannur (kmvenuannur) on Twitter

kmvenuannur (kmvenuannur) on Twitter

Posted by
Venu K.M

Friday, October 30, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Who Killed Karkare? book by S.M. Mushrif [Former IG Police, Maharashtra] - humanrights movement | Google Groups

Who Killed Karkare? book by S.M. Mushrif [Former IG Police, Maharashtra] - humanrights movement | Google Groups

Shared via AddThis

YouTube - attrocities against dalits after varkala incident 18 10 09 jeevan tv

YouTube - attrocities against dalits after varkala incident 18 10 09 jeevan tv

Shared via AddThis

YouTube - attrocities against dalits after varkala incident 18 10 09 jeevan tv

YouTube - attrocities against dalits after varkala incident 18 10 09 jeevan tv

Shared via AddThis

YouTube - attrocities against dalits after varkala incident 18 10 09 jeevan tv

YouTube - attrocities against dalits after varkala incident 18 10 09 jeevan tv

Shared via AddThis

9/11 Commission Report Questioned by 100 Professors

9/11 Commission Report Questioned by 100 Professors

Shared via AddThis

Barbara Ehrenreich: The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America | | AlterNet

Barbara Ehrenreich: The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America | | AlterNet

Shared via AddThis

Monday, October 12, 2009

venukm

venukm

Shared via AddThis

Sunday, October 11, 2009

'LOVE JEHAD' AND THE MEDIA HYPE

Posted by
Venu K.M

HOW SAD IT IS, IF WE REALLY LOVE TO BELIEVE THAT THESE EDUCATED HINDU
GIRLS ARE HARE WITTED AND LESS BRAINY THAN THEIR PARENTS, POLICE AND
THEIR 'JEHADI' PREDATORS, TO BE CHEATED BY LOVE..!

OR ,

DOES IT RATHER SUGGEST SOMETHING LIKE AN O-C-D (Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder) ROOTED IN (lack of)LOVE, FAMILY AND SECURITY?

Protectionist attitude toward women in Kerala is now seeing the
limits of absurdity.

The Latest Hate Coinage: Love Jihad- Aren't These Girls Brainy Enough to Make Choices?

Posted by
Venu K.M

What is so much there to probe about love affairs between people of different faiths?
What is there to probe into cases of conversion from on faith to other so long as proselytizing is perfectly recognized as constitutional and legal in secular India?
You convince me by reason (or even by giving me soaps) that Islam or Christianity is a better faith than Hinduism; I start thinking that Hinduism is really not good for ME and take a decision to covert as a Muslim or a Christian.
How can then one assume that all this happen only because of inflow of mysterious foreign funds plus destabilizing motivations linked with it?
Why the mysterious inflow of foreign funds, rather,is not checked by routine regulatory measures than by resorting to ways producing hypes and instilling fears in the minds of people about forcible conversion?
True that parents of at least two Hindu girls allegedly lured by the activists of so called 'Love Jihadis' did come up with Habius Corpus writs following the disappearance of these girls from their houses.
It may also be true that the girls ultimately decide to go back to their parents on the basis of own choice, in a court of law.

But why should this be a reason for widespread fear about girls of mature age being trapped into 'Love Jihad'? What is the connection between love, choice of life partner on the one side, and the interventions by the parents of girls,the police and the court on the other in making out such inter religion love marriages involving conversions as a huge security threat for the entire nation?

Would it not have made more sense for the media to take up such stories beyond the 'user friendly' but boundlessly ridiculous new coinage in the lexicon of hate politics like "Love Jihad"?
The latest response to the so called Love Jihad by the VHP and the obscure Durgavahini is also being enthusiastically propagated by a section of the Malayalam press; the eveninger Flash News(of M/s Kerala Kaumudi)on 10th October carried a two page featured item about how Durgavahini, the womens wing of the VHP is planning to appear in a big way by campaigning in favour of imposing more parental controls on educated Hindu girls. Going by such reports, moral policing perhaps even more ugly than the one resorted by Sri Ram Sene in Karnataka is to set to take off in Kerala under the direct patronage of VHP employing its women cadres.(Fortunately, not many of them are here around for the time being, though the Flash News & Co apparently want to get them more popularity and legitimacy.)
- Show quoted text -


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:
Date: Sun, Oct 11, 2009 at 10:19 AM
Subject: [indiathinkersnet] Love Jihad ?
To: indiathinkersnet@yahoogroups.com




Kerala HC wants probe into 'love jihad'

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kerala-hc-wants-probe-into-love-jihad/523630/

Kerala has a new concern: "love jihad". The state High Court on Wednesday directed the Kerala Police and Union Home Ministry to probe the alleged movement, under which young Muslim boys reportedly target college girls for conversion by feigning love.

The court also asked the state and Centre to look into the sources that "fund" the love jihad, the number of girls who have got "trapped in the racket" in the past three years and its extremist links, if any.

Justice K T Sankaran was hearing anticipatory bail applications of two Muslim youths, accused of "luring" two MBA students into marriage for reportedly the purpose of religious conversion. The court rejected their bail pleas.

The two youths were allegedly associated with Campus Front, a student outfit of the right-wing Muslim organisation Popular Front of India (PFI).

Earlier this month, the parents of the two girls had filed a habeus corpus in the high court after their daughters were found missing. On being produced in court, the girls deposed that they were "trapped" by the youths and forced to convet to Islam. Allowing them to go with their parents, the court had asked the police to probe the charges of forced conversion after trapping girls in love affairs. The students, originally residents of Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, had been studying in a college in Pathanamthitta. According to them, one of them fell in love with a senior and eloped to marry him. This senior allegedly "handed over" the other girl to his friend. The girls told the court that they were taken to a centre in Malappuram where they were given literature and shown visuals promoting religious extremism.

Police officials admit that there are cases of girls having been converted forcibly or "trapped" into adopting Islam. "The groups focused on girls from well-settled families, a majority of them Hindus," sources said.

Senior PFI leader Naseerudheen Elamaram refuting charges against his organisation said, "Religious conversion is not a crime; conversion takes place to Hinduism and Christianity also... One cannot paint all love affairs as cases of forced conversions meant for extremist activity."

--------------------------------------

Conversion: court seeks details

DGP told to file a statement


Two persons file petitions for anticipatory bail

High Court also seeks statement from Centre


http://www.hindu.com/2009/10/01/stories/2009100154570500.htm

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the Director General of Police to furnish the court details regarding the number of cases in which women of other religion were forcibly converted to Islam.

Justice K. T. Sankaran, while considering anticipatory bail petitions, directed the DGP to file a statement within three weeks on the following aspects as well: is there a movement called `Romeo Jihad' or `Love Jihad' working in the State; if so, what are their plans and projects; which organisations are involved in such activities; where does the money come for all these activities; how many school and college students and youngsters were thus converted into Islam in the last three years; does the alleged project have an all-India basis and magnitude; has it got financial support from abroad; is there any connection between the `Love Jihad' movement and counterfeiting, smuggling, drug trafficking and terrorist activities?

The anticipatory bail petition was filed by Shahan Sha and Sirajudeen who have been charged with abduction and forcibly converting two MBA students to Islam. According to the police, the petitioners feigning love had abducted the girls and put pressure on them to convert to Islam. They were taken to a person who was stated to be an organiser of the women's wing of the Popular Front of India. The girls were later produced before the High Court after their parents filed a habeas corpus petition. The court allowed them to go with their parents as per their request.

The court, which went through the case diary, said there were indications that several similar instances took place in the State.

It was stated that there was a movement called Romeo Jihad or Love Jihad, conceived by a section of the Muslims, by which Muslim boys were directed to pretend love to girls of other religion and get them converted to Islam.

The court pointed out that every citizen was entitled to "freedom of conscience and the right to freely to profess, practice and propagate religion as enshrined in Article 25 of the Constitution. This right did not extend to the right to compel a person professing a religion to convert to another religion."

__._,_.___
Messages in this topic (1) Reply (via web post) | Start a new topic
Messages
Yahoo! Groups
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch format to Traditional
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe
Recent Activity

Visit Your Group
Give Back

Yahoo! for Good

Get inspired

by a good cause.
Y! Toolbar

Get it Free!

easy 1-click access

to your groups.
Yahoo! Groups

Start a group

in 3 easy steps.

Connect with others.
.

__,_._,___



--

Thursday, August 13, 2009

പന്നിപ്പനി.. പനിപ്പേടി..

പന്നിപ്പനി...പന്നിപ്പനി.. പനിപ്പേടി..


അടുത്തദിവസങ്ങളില്‍ ഇതുമാത്രമേ ചാനലുകളിലും
വര്‍ത്തമാനപത്രങ്ങളിലും ഉള്ളു.
പനിവരുന്നതിന്റെ കണക്ക്, പനികൊണ്ട്‌ മരണപ്പെട്ടവരുടെ കണക്ക് ഇവയെല്ലാം
നിരത്തുംപോഴും അതൊക്കെ ഇത്ര ബഹളം വെക്കാന്മാത്രം അസ്വാഭാവികവും വലുതും
ആണോ എന്ന് നമ്മള്‍ ചോദിക്കുന്നില്ല. ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ മൊത്തം എഴ്ഹുനുറു പേര്ക്ക് പനിവന്നു എന്നോ
പത്താളുകള്‍ മരിച്ചുവെന്നോ പറയുമ്പോള്‍ അതിനാണോ ഇത്രയും ഒച്ചവെക്കുന്നത്‌ എന്ന് തിരിച്ചു
ചോദിക്കാന്‍ തോന്നുന്നതിനുപകരം നമ്മള്‍ പേടിച്ചുവിര്രക്കുകയാണ്.
ഫ്ലുവിനെയല്ല നമ്മള്‍ പേടിക്കുന്നത്. പുതിയ പേരിലുള്ള ഭീകരനെയാണ്. സ്കൂളുകള്‍ അടച്ചുപുട്ടാനും
ആശുപത്രികള്‍ ജാഗ്രത പാലിക്കാനും സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ നിര്‍ദേശം നല്‍കണമെങ്കില്‍ അവന്‍ പുലി തന്നെ!
ബഹുരാഷ്ട്രമരുന്നു കുത്തകകള്‍ വല്ലതും ഒപ്പിച്ചിരിക്കുകയാണോ എന്ന് സംശയിക്കുന്നത്
ഇപ്പോള്‍ പണ്ടെത്തെപ്പോലെ സ്വാഭാവികമല്ല; മാത്രമല്ല, അത് ഇടതുസര്‍ക്കാരിനും ഭരകക്ഷികള്‍ക്കുമെതിരെയുള്ള തീവ്രവാദികളുടെ യോ ദെശദ്രൊഹിസമ്ഘന്ഗലുദെയൊ ഗൂടാലോചാനയായി കരുതപ്പെടാനും എളുപ്പം; സര്‍വോപരി, അങ്ങനെയൊക്കെ പറയുന്നതും
ചോദ്യങ്ങള്‍ ചോദിക്കുന്നതും ഇപ്പോള്‍ ഫാഷന്‍ അല്ല!



Venugopalan K M
View profile
More options Aug 13, 2:36 pm
From: Venugopalan K M
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 15:06:41 +0530
Local: Thurs, Aug 13 2009 2:36 pm
Subject: Media and the Brokers of Public Health Collude in Swine Hype?
Reply | Reply to author | Forward | Print | Individual message | Show original | Remove | Report this message | Find messages by this author
Please Watch series of videos in youtube about how Americans were
duped by same people, in the name same Swine Flu years ago and how
the vaccine/drug business flourished using media hypes. It tells also
about several hundreds of compensation cases filed in America
following deaths resulting from a vaccines administered supposedely
to prevent swine flu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s_AOoY6BOA&feature=fvw

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Eric Toussaint and Damien Millet write About International Capitalism

Posted by
Venu K.M

After the European Parliament elections let us act to
eradicate capitalism and all forms of oppression
After the European Parliament elections
let us act to eradicate capitalism
and all forms of oppression

Eric Toussaint -Damien Millet
8 June
2009
The partisans of capitalism, and among them,
prominently, the EU leaders, have lost all credibility. For years now they have
trampled on the rights of peoples while not wavering when it came to
making decisions
directly opposed to their advertised principles in order to bail out major
banks. European government parties could have acted differently and nationalised
the banks, thus retrieving the cost of the bailout on the patrimony of major
shareholders and CEOs. The public credit instrument that would have resulted
could finance socially useful and environment-friendly projects while
guaranteeing
individual savings. The crisis has brought back onto the agenda proposals that
had been swept aside during the long neoliberal night such as a radical
reduction of working time (with creation of jobs and no loss of pay) or
indexation of wages and social benefits on the cost of living. Europe
needs new financial discipline: company ledgers
have to be opened to external and internal auditing (through the trade unions
among others), all financial products must be regulated, and it must be
forbidden for companies to have assets in any tax haven. Major means of
production, trade, finance, communication and other services must be
transferred to the public sphere and taken away from capitalists’
control. Access to public goods must be systematically promoted.

In a political perspective, European citizens
must retrieve the political power that has been taken away from them. The
populations who were able to have their say on the Constitutional Treaty turned
it down, but leaders ignored their votes without a second thought.
Meanwhile Venezuela, Ecuador
and Bolivia
show us the way. There, citizens elected a Constituant Assembly in order to draw
up a new draft Constitution, which is to be discussed with social movements and
sanctioned by referenda. In these three countries voters can now revoke any
elected representative mid-mandate, whereas no European Constitution mentions
any such highly democratic mechanism.

The
countries of Europe
must stop plundering the natural resources and know-how of the South.
They
must increase official development aid, which ought to be called
‘contribution
to reparations’ by way of repairing the historical, social and
environmental damage they brought about. Europe
must cancel Third World Debt and implement the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights
in all its dimensions, including article 13, the right to freedom of
movement
and residence. Europe must turn away from
nuclear power and dismantle all nuclear weapons currently on its
territory. Europe must leave NATO and withdraw its troops from all
territories
under military occupation. Europe must close down all US military bases
on its territory.
All EU member countries must grant complete independence to populations
they
still wield colonial power over (the ‘French’ and
‘Dutch’ Antilles, British overseas territories, New Caledonia, Reunion
Island…). Europe must
rescind all partnership agreements with Israel and see to it that the
rights of the Palestinian people be at long last respected.
Capitalism has drawn humankind down into a
deep multidimensional crisis: it affects the financial sector, the economy, the
climate, food and energy supplies, not to mention wars and the arms race. The
patriarchal system perpetuates the oppression of women in all areas of life. As
asserted at the Women’s Assembly at the World Social Forum in Belem on
1 February 2009 : We are not interested in palliative answers
based on market logic in response to these crises ; this can only lead to
perpetuation of the same system. We need to move forward in building
alternatives if we are to oppose the capitalist and patriarchal system that
oppresses and exploits us. |1|

We also support the declaration of
indigenous peoples adopted at Belem: The capitalist development model, a model
that is Eurocentric, sexist and racist, is in absolute crisis, and is leading
us to the greatest social and environmental crisis in the history of humankind.
Structural unemployment is aggravated by the financial, economic, energy and
production crisis, along with social exclusion, sexist and racist violence and
religious fanaticism. That there should be so many simultaneous crises, and so
deep, forebodes an authentic crisis of civilization, a crisis of
“capitalist and modern development” that endangers all forms of
life. But there are those who continue to dream of improving this
model and refuse
to acknowledge that what is in crisis is capitalism, Euro-centrism, with its
model of a State destined for one culturally homogeneous nationality, western
positive rights, developmentalism and the commodification of life. |2|

Capitalism, patriarchy, and all forms of oppression
will not disappear of their own accord: only the conscious and deliberate
actions of men and women can yield another system whose goals would be
to guarantee
indivisible human rights and to protect the environment. We must free our minds
of the tragic Stalinist caricature of communism, do away with capitalism, and
invent an ecologically viable, socialist and feminist project rooted in the
realities of the 21st century.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Grim Picture Of Obama's Middle East By Noam Chomsky

The Grim Picture Of Obama's Middle East

By Noam Chomsky

05 June, 2009
CommonDreams.org

A CNN headline, reporting Obama's plans for his June 4 Cairo address, reads 'Obama looks to reach the soul of the Muslim world.' Perhaps that captures his intent, but more significant is the content hidden in the rhetorical stance, or more accurately, omitted.

Keeping just to Israel-Palestine -- there was nothing substantive about anything else -- Obama called on Arabs and Israelis not to 'point fingers' at each other or to 'see this conflict only from one side or the other.' There is, however, a third side, that of the United States, which has played a decisive role in sustaining the current conflict. Obama gave no indication that its role should change or even be considered.

Those familiar with the history will rationally conclude, then, that Obama will continue in the path of unilateral U.S. rejectionism.

Obama once again praised the Arab Peace Initiative, saying only that Arabs should see it as 'an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities.' How should the Obama administration see it? Obama and his advisers are surely aware that the Initiative reiterates the long-standing international consensus calling for a two-state settlement on the international (pre-June '67) border, perhaps with 'minor and mutual modifications,' to borrow U.S. government usage before it departed sharply from world opinion in the 1970s, vetoing a Security Council resolution backed by the Arab 'confrontation states' (Egypt, Iran, Syria), and tacitly by the PLO, with the same essential content as the Arab Peace Initiative except that the latter goes beyond by calling on Arab states to normalize relations with Israel in the context of this political settlement. Obama has called on the Arab states to proceed with normalization, studiously ignoring, however, the crucial political settlement that is its precondition. The Initiative cannot be a 'beginning' if the U.S. continues to refuse to accept its core principles, even to acknowledge them.

In the background is the Obama administration's goal, enunciated most clearly by Senator John Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to forge an alliance of Israel and the 'moderate' Arab states against Iran. The term 'moderate' has nothing to do with the character of the state, but rather signals its willingness to conform to U.S. demands.

What is Israel to do in return for Arab steps to normalize relations? The strongest position so far enunciated by the Obama administration is that Israel should conform to Phase I of the 2003 Road Map, which states: 'Israel freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).' All sides claim to accept the Road Map, overlooking the fact that Israel instantly added 14 reservations that render it inoperable.

Overlooked in the debate over settlements is that even if Israel were to accept Phase I of the Road Map, that would leave in place the entire settlement project that has already been developed, with decisive U.S. support, to ensure that Israel will take over the valuable land within the illegal 'separation wall' (including the primary water supplies of the region) as well as the Jordan Valley, thus imprisoning what is left, which is being broken up into cantons by settlement/infrastructure salients extending far to the East. Unmentioned as well is that Israel is taking over Greater Jerusalem, the site of its major current development programs, displacing many Arabs, so that what remains to Palestinians will be separated from the center of their cultural, economic, and sociopolitical life. Also unmentioned is that all of this is in violation of international law, as conceded by the government of Israel after the 1967 conquest, and reaffirmed by Security Council resolutions and the International Court of Justice. Also unmentioned are Israel's successful operations since 1991 to separate the West Bank from Gaza, since turned into a prison where survival is barely possible, further undermining the hopes for a viable Palestinian state.

It is worth remembering that there has been one break in U.S.-Israeli rejectionism. President Clinton recognized that the terms he had offered at the failed 2000 Camp David meetings were not acceptable to any Palestinians, and in December, proposed his 'parameters,' vague but more forthcoming. He then announced that both sides had accepted the parameters, though both had reservations. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Taba, Egypt to iron out the differences, and made considerable progress. A full resolution could have been reached in a few more days, they announced in their final joint press conference. But Israel called off the negotiations prematurely, and they have not been formally resumed. The single exception indicates that if an American president is willing to tolerate a meaningful diplomatic settlement, it can very likely be reached.

It is also worth remembering that the Bush I administration went a bit beyond words in objecting to illegal Israeli settlement projects, namely, by withholding U.S. economic support for them. In contrast, Obama administration officials stated that such measures are 'not under discussion' and that any pressures on Israel to conform to the Road Map will be 'largely symbolic,' so the New York Times reported (Helene Cooper, June 1).

There is more to say, but it does not relieve the grim picture that Obama has been painting, with a few extra touches in his widely-heralded address to the Muslim World in Cairo on June 4.

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor (retired) at MIT. He is the author of many books and articles on international affairs and social-political issues, and a long-time participant in activist movements. His most recent books include: Failed States, What We Say Goes(with David Barsamian), Hegemony or Survival, and the Essential Chomsky.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Verdict 2009: Lessons for the Left [CPI (ML) Liberation- Document]

Posted by
Venu K.M

''...The epicentre of the anti-CPI(M) political earthquake lies
squarely in the Singur-Nandigram seismic zone where the CPI(M) has
been punished for its arrogant and coercive attitude to the peasantry
and the intelligentsia, for its ruthless attempt to implement the same
economic policies that it claims to have been opposing all along.."

Verdict 2009: Lessons for the Left

The results of 2009 elections can be described as a string of
surprises not only for many well-entrenched parties and seasoned
politicians but also for a host of commonsensical notions about
contemporary Indian political reality. Of late, it became rather
customary to look at elections in India through the prism of coalition
politics, caste equations and regional diversities. Verdict 2009 has
given a serious jolt to this facile view and reasserted the underlying
structural dynamics of Indian politics. Conventional wisdom would not
have given the Congress anything more than 150 seats, but the fact
that the Congress managed to notch up as many as 206 seats from across
the country clearly reveal a national verdict which cannot be reduced
to a mere sum total of the poll outcomes in different states and
regions.

The NDA had long been expecting the 2009 elections to go its way and
LK Advani had been duly designated its Prime Ministerial candidate.
‘Iron Man’ Advani saw Manmohan Singh as the weakest link of the
Congress chain and hoped the chain would snap if only he could make it
a direct clash between the UPA’s ‘weakest’ and the NDA’s ‘strongest’!
He tried to fight and win the elections in true US Presidential style,
but even before his campaign could take off he found himself
overshadowed by two more self-appointed PMs-in-waiting, the
redoubtable Narendra ‘Nano’ Modi and one Varun ‘venom’ Gandhi!

The results only reveal how miserably the NDA lost the plot in its own
strongholds. Of all the NDA-ruled states, only Chhattisgarh, Karnataka
and Bihar went the NDA way while in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, the
Congress staked almost equal claims defying its obvious organisational
weaknesses. In Bihar, Nitish Kumar’s spectacular showing cannot really
be treated as a typical NDA victory – it had more to do with the
disintegration of the UPA and the continuing public anger in Bihar
against the RJD-LJP brand of politics. Quite understandably, the NDA
emerged as the overwhelming beneficiary of this public anger against
the RJD’s legacy of chaos and misrule.

While the NDA remained confined to its own pockets, the ‘Third Front’
was humbled in its own strongholds. In West Bengal, the CPI(M) got its
worst drubbing in three decades with its own tally getting reduced to
only 9. The overall Left Front tally came down from the high point of
60-plus in the 14th Lok Sabha to mere 24. The grand alliances forged
in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh failed to click, and ‘Mission
Mayawati’ failed to fire the imagination of the BSP’s own base in
Uttar Pradesh. Forged in a hurry, the Third Front had neither cohesion
nor credibility; it thrived primarily on the exuberance of electoral
expectation regarding the fortunes of regional alliances.

The Congress on the other hand sensed the national mood that looked
for some order and stability in an overwhelming situation of crisis
and uncertainty. In the absence of any reliable cohesive alternative,
large parts of India once again turned to the grand old party now led
by the fourth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Various local
factors only facilitated the crystallisation of this national mood,
and the Congress strategy was perfectly in tune with this developing
sentiment. If the Congress decision to shelve the UPA during the
elections and try the party’s own luck in the two most crucial Hindi
belt states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was a tactical masterstroke,
the suspension of the “Jai Ho” ad campaign and withdrawal of the
candidature of Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar in Delhi reflected a
rare political sensibility.

What lessons do the results hold for the future of the people’s
movement and Left and democratic politics in India?

The Congress establishment would like to portray its revival as a
popular endorsement of its policies built around the pro-corporate
economic agenda and pro-US foreign policy framework. This is far from
the truth. The country is reeling under a massive economic disaster
sponsored by the neo-liberal economic offensive of indiscriminate
liberalisation and globalisation and steady withdrawal of the state
from productive investment and welfare-oriented public expenditure,
and there can be no question of the people endorsing policies that
spelled such disasters. It is also equally clear that the country is
not enamoured of the much-touted strategic spin-offs of a pro-US
foreign policy when the entire neighbourhood is trapped in tremendous
social upheaval and political turbulence and India’s growing
identification with the US only renders it more vulnerable on every
count. Signs of growing US involvement in India’s domestic affairs
have also been quite visible with US officials making it of late a
habit to call on leaders of different parties.
By all accounts, a more confident Congress-led government will now
tend to pursue the pro-corporate pro-imperialist policies with greater
speed and aggression while cleverly deceiving the people with the
rhetoric of secularism, empowerment and ‘inclusive’ growth. Instead of
getting taken in by the deceptive discourse of the emerging ‘new
generation’ Congress, the forces and friends of people’s struggles
must now intensify public debate over the real state of affairs on
different fronts and raise the level of popular mobilisation and
resistance to press for a real change in the policies and priorities
of the government.

Contrary to dominant media explanations, the rout suffered by the
CPI(M) cannot be attributed to its belated oppositional stance
vis-a-vis the UPA’s pro-US policies. The epicentre of the anti-CPI(M)
political earthquake lies squarely in the Singur-Nandigram seismic
zone where the CPI(M) has been punished for its arrogant and coercive
attitude to the peasantry and the intelligentsia, for its ruthless
attempt to implement the same economic policies that it claims to have
been opposing all along. It is ironical that while the architect of
the SEZ policy succeeded in masking its true face behind legislations
like NREGA and forest land rights, the CPI(M) was seen as the brutal
face of corporate land-grab offensive. Even when the CPI(M) quite
correctly questioned and opposed the Indo-US strategic partnership and
nuke deal, the point was allowed to get diluted and lost in the
party’s desperate drive to somehow prop up a Third Front” devoid of
any kind of pro-people, anti-imperialist commitment.

The results have also exposed the limits of the politics of social
engineering and alliance arithmetic. Mayawati’s ‘sarvajanwad’ and Lalu
Prasad’s ‘Mandal magic’ are clearly on the wane. Reports from UP
indicate that while Mayawati failed to sustain her newly discovered
upper caste base, cracks have also started surfacing in her core
support base among dalits. Down south, the TDP-TRS kind of opportunist
bonhomie and the desperate attempt of the PMK-MDMK-AIADMK alliance to
make political capital of the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils have also
been squarely rebuffed by the people. The CPI(M) has only discredited
itself by glorifying and peddling this opportunism in the name of
‘Third Front’ politics.

The Left clearly has a lesson to learn from the Congress. The lesson
is certainly not to seek signs of anti-imperialism or pro-people
concern or commitment in the emerging leadership of the Congress. If
the Congress has retrained its focus on its own revival overcoming the
‘BJP threat’, ‘Mandal magic’ and ‘coalition politics’, the Left must
also rebuild and reposition itself as the core of the people’s
movement for survival, justice and democracy and for the nation’s
quest for a dignified future beyond the strategic umbrella of the US.
A renewal of the communist identity as the most sincere, vibrant and
fighting platform of people’s politics is the need of the hour.

The reverses suffered by the Left in general, and the admittedly poor
showing of the CPI(ML) in Bihar, are bound to generate vibes of
demoralisation and despondency across different sections of the Left.
The noise emanating from dominant quarters of West Bengal CPI(M)
against the ‘dogmatism’ and ‘adventurism’ of the party’s central
leadership seeks to attribute the CPI(M)’s electoral rout to its
belated act of withdrawal of support to the Congress. This is nothing
but an exercise in barking up the wrong tree. If the CPI(M) had not
withdrawn support, the Congress would have anyway subjugated the Left
in national politics, while the TMC would have still monopolised the
public anger in West Bengal. Not ‘dogmatism’ or ‘adventurism’, the
greatest internal enemy of the Left at this juncture is opportunism
and the intoxication of power. Any meaningful introspection must be
aimed at identifying and eradicating the real malady and rejuvenating
the Left movement in closer integration with the people and their real
needs and aspirations.

By rejecting the NDA and rebuffing the cobweb of opportunist alliances
and narrow identity politics, the 2009 verdict has opened up new
possibilities for the entire Left and democratic camp to assert as a
fighting opposition in the national political arena. Revolutionary
communists must take adequate note of the prospects and challenges
unleashed by the verdict and rise wholeheartedly to the occasion.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"A Plea for Leninist Intolerance," by Slavoj Zizek :

"A Plea for Leninist Intolerance," by Slavoj Zizek :

Full: <http://criticalinquiry.uchicago.edu/issues/v28/v28n2.zizek.html>

"Fidelity to the democratic consensus means the acceptance of the
present liberal-parliamentary consensus, which precludes any serious
questioning of how this liberal-democratic order is complicit in the
phenomena it officially condemns and, of course, any serious attempt
to imagine a society whose sociopolitical order would be different.

"In short, it means say and write whatever you want on the condition
that what you do does not effectively question or disturb the
predominant political consensus. So everything is allowed, solicited
even, as a critical topic. [...]

"The problem is that all this occurs against the background of a
fundamental _Denkverbot_, a prohibition against thinking. Today's
liberal-democratic hegemony is sustained by a kind of unwritten
_Denkverbot_ similar to the infamous _Berufsverbot_ in Germany of the
late sixties; the moment one shows a minimal sign of engaging in
political projects that aim to seriously challenge the existing order,
the answer is immediately: "Benevolent as it is, this will necessarily
end in a new Gulag!"

"[...] The moment one seriously questions the existing liberal
consensus, one is accused of abandoning scientific objectivity for the
outdated ideological positions.

"This is the point that one cannot and should not concede: today,
actual freedom of thought must mean *the freedom to question the
predominant liberal-democratic postideological consensus--or it means
nothing*.

Full: <http://criticalinquiry.uchicago.edu/issues/v28/v28n2.zizek.html>

.Posted byVenu K.M

Monday, May 18, 2009

Judith Butler Interviewed

Judith Butler Interviewed
Full: <http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/butler160509.html>

J.B.: Of course, if marriage exists, then homosexual marriage should
also exist; marriage should be extended to all couples irrespective of
their sexual orientation; if sexual orientation is an impediment, then
marriage is discriminatory.

For my part, I don't understand why it should be limited to two
people, this appears arbitrary to me and might potentially be
discriminatory; but I know this point of view is not very popular.
However, there are forms of sexual organisation that do not imply
monogamy, and types of relationship that do not imply marriage or the
desire for legal recognition -- even if they do seek cultural
acceptance. There are also communities made up of lovers, ex-lovers
and friends who look after the children, communities that constitute
complex kinship networks that do not fit the conjugal pattern.

I agree that the right to homosexual marriage runs the risk of
producing a conservative effect, of making marriage an act of
normalisation, and thereby presenting other very important forms of
intimacy and kinship as abnormal or even pathological.

But the question is: politically, what do we do with this?

I would say that every campaign in favour of homosexual
marriage ought also to be in favour of alternative families, the
alternative systems of kinship and personal association.

We need a movement that does not win rights for
some people at the expense of others. And imagining
this movement is not easy.

The demand for recognition by the state should go hand in hand with a
critical questioning: what do we need the state for? Although there
are times that we need it for some kinds of protection (immigration,
property, or children), should we allow it to define our
relationships?

There are forms of relation that we value and that
cannot be recognised by the state, where the recognition of civil
society or the community is enough. We need a movement that remains
critical, that formulates these questions and keeps them open.


Posted by
Venu K.M
There was an error in this gadget

Search This Blog

Labels

  • 08
  • 08
  • 08
There was an error in this gadget

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo

always want to defend peace, justice, peoples' right to love each other and live with dignity,struggles against parochial visions and hatred;instinctively a defender of socialist and democratic values  

There was an error in this gadget
There was an error in this gadget