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Saturday, December 17, 2011

CPIML Lib Kerala: ML UPDATE 51 / 2011

CPIML Lib Kerala: ML UPDATE 51 / 2011: ML UPDATE 51 / 2011 The AMRI Disaster: The Killer Fumes of Corporate Greed The morning of December 9 came as a huge shock to Kolkata an...

Posted by Venu K.M

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

‘അമൃതയില്‍ നടന്നത് ഞങ്ങളെ കൊല്ലാനുള്ള ശ്രമം’

‘അമൃതയില്‍ നടന്നത് ഞങ്ങളെ കൊല്ലാനുള്ള ശ്രമം’

Posted by Venu K.M

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MNM NEWS സദാചാര പോലീസ് യുവാവിനെ തല്ലിക്കൊന്നു

MNM NEWS സദാചാര പോലീസ് യുവാവിനെ തല്ലിക്കൊന്നു

Posted by Venu K.M
എല്ലാ ജാതി മത വിഭാഗങ്ങളെയും മതേതരരെയും ഏറെക്കുറെ ഒരേ അളവില്‍ ഭരിക്കുന്ന ചില സദാചാര ബോധങ്ങള്‍ മുന്‍ കാലത്തെ വര്‍ണ്ണ നീതിയുടെയും ജാത്യാചാരങ്ങളുടെയും അത്രതന്നെ കര്‍ക്കശതയോടെയാണ് ഇന്ന് പ്രവര്‍ത്തന നിരതമായിരിക്കുന്നത്.
ലിംഗ വിവേചനത്തിന്റെ അടിത്തറയില്‍ ഉണ്ടാക്കിയ ക്ടുംബ സങ്കല്‍പ്പവും മുതലാളിത്ത യുഗത്തില്‍ ഉറപ്പിക്കപ്പെട്ട അതിന്റെ ബൂര്‍ഷ്വാ സദാചാര നിയമങ്ങളും, ഹിന്ദു ഇസ്ലാം ക്രിസ്ത്യന്‍ മത മൌലിക വാദികള്‍ മുതല്‍ മതേതരരും ഇടതു പക്ഷ കംമ്യൂനിസ്ടുകളും വരെ ഇന്ന് കൊണ്ടു നടക്കുമ്പോള്‍, പൌരാവകാശങ്ങളും ഭരണ ഘടനാനുസൃതമായ നീതിയും 'ഖാപ് പഞ്ചായത്തുകളെ' അനുസ്മരിപ്പിക്കുന്ന ആള്‍ക്കൂട്ടങ്ങള്‍ പിച്ചിചീന്തുകയാണ്.

' രാജ്യദ്രോഹത്തോളം എത്തുന്ന ഏറ്റവും വലിയ കുറ്റ കൃത്യം വര്‍ണ്ണ സങ്കരം ആണെന്ന് ഭഗവദ് ഗീത പറഞ്ഞു. ഒരു പക്ഷെ ബുദ്ധ മതം സ്വാധീനിച്ച ചില സ്ഥല കാല ഭൂമികകള്‍ ഒഴിചു നിര്‍ത്തിയാല്‍ പിന്നീട് നിരവധി നൂറ്റാണ്ടുകള്‍ കേരളീയ സാമൂഹ്യ ജീവിതത്തില്‍ ജാതിയും വര്‍ണ്ണവും അലംഘനീയമായ സാമൂഹ്യാചാരമായി. പില്‍ക്കാലങ്ങളില്‍ ഇസ്ലാമിലെയ്ക്കും ക്രിസ്തു മതത്തിലേയ്ക്കും നടന്ന കൂട്ട മത പരിവര്‍ത്തനം പോലും ജാതി ബോധത്തെ ഇല്ലാതാക്കാന്‍ ഉപകരിച്ചില്ല എന്ന്‍ മാത്രമല്ലാ, അതിനെ പുതിയ രൂപ ഭാവങ്ങളില്‍ പുനരവതരിക്കാന്‍ സഹായിക്കുക കൂടി ചെയ്തു. പഴയ ജാതി വര്‍ണ്ണ സങ്കല്പങ്ങള്‍ ഇന്ന് എത്തി നില്‍ക്കുന്നത് സ്ത്രീ പുരുഷ സൌഹൃദങ്ങളെ എല്ലാ വിധത്തിലും ഉപരോധിക്കുന്ന ഒരു പുതിയ തരം സദാചാര വ്യവഹാരത്തില്‍ ആണ്

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stop Treating it As Just a Case for Giving More Teeth to the Police!ജില്ലയിലെ വര്‍ഗീയ അസ്വാസ്ഥ്യങ്ങള്‍

Posted by Venu K.M
ജില്ലയിലെ  വര്‍ഗീയ അസ്വാസ്ഥ്യങ്ങള്‍  രാഷ്ട്രീയ -സാമൂഹ്യ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍  പരിഹാരം കാണേണ്ട  പ്രശ്നം ആണ് ; വെറും ക്രമ സമാധാന പാലനത്തിന്റെ പ്രശ്നമല്ല

ഇന്നത്തെ പ്രമുഖ മലയാള പത്രങ്ങളില്‍ പോലീസ് വൃത്തങ്ങളെ ഉദ്ധരിച്ചു കൊണ്ട് വന്ന ഒരു വാര്‍ത്ത ശ്രദ്ധേയമാണ്:
സാമുദായിക സൌഹാര്‍ദം ഇല്ലാതാക്കും വിധം അക്രമം നടത്തിയതിന്റെ പേരില്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞ 10 വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കുള്ളില്‍ പ്രതി ചേര്‍ക്കപ്പെട്ട 11000 പേര്‍ 253 കേസ്സുകളില്‍ ശിക്ഷിക്കപ്പെടാതെ പോയി എന്ന് ഉത്തര മേഖലാ ഡി ഐ ജി വെളിപ്പെടുത്തിയെന്ന് ! പ്രോസിക്യൂഷന്‍ ഭാഗത്തുണ്ടായ പാളിച്ചകള്‍ അല്ലാ കക്ഷികള്‍ പ്രശ്നങ്ങള്‍ പറഞ്ഞു തീര്‍ത്തതോ സാക്ഷികളെ കൂറ് മാറ്റിയതോ ആണത്രേ 10000 പേര്‍ ("ക്രിമിനലുകള്‍ "?) രക്ഷപ്പെടാന്‍ ഇടയാക്കിയത് .തീരദേശ മേഖലകള്‍ കേന്ദ്രീകരിച്ചു നടക്കുന്ന സംഘര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ നേരിടാന്‍ ൮൦൦ പേര്‍ അടങ്ങുന്ന പ്രത്യേക സേനയെ നിയോഗിക്കും എന്നും ഡി ഐ ജി പ്രഖ്യാപിക്കുന്നു. ഇത്തരം ആക്രമണങ്ങളില്‍ നൂറു മുതല്‍ ആയിരം വരെയുള്ള ജനക്കൂട്ടം ആണ് പങ്കാളികള്‍ ആവുന്നത് ;ഇതും പോലിസ്സിനു തലവേദനയാകുന്നു..പെട്ടെന്നുള്ള സംഘം ചേരലും നിസ്സാര പ്രശ്നങ്ങള്‍ അഭ്യൂഹങ്ങളിലൂടെ പെരുപ്പിച്ചു പ്രശ്നം സങ്കീര്‍ണ്ണം ആക്കുന്നതും ഇവിടെ പതിവാണ്. ആക്രമ സംഭവങ്ങളില്‍ ഉള്‍പ്പെട്ടവര്‍ ശിക്ഷിക്കപ്പെടാതെ പോകുന്നത് അടിക്കടി അക്രമ സംഭവങ്ങളില്‍ ഏര്‍പ്പെടാന്‍ ഇവര്‍ക്ക് പ്രചോദനം ആകുന്നു.
കാഞ്ഞാങ്ങാട്ടെ സംഘര്‍ഷവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ടു ഇതിനകം 136 കേസ് രെജിസ്ടര്‍ ചെയ്തു 65 പേര്‍ അറസ്റ്റില്‍ ആയി.. ..ജില്ലയില്‍
നിലവില്‍ ഉള്ള രണ്ടു പോലീസ് സബ് ഡിവിഷനുകള്‍ വിഭജിച്ചു മൂന്നാമാതോരെണ്ണം കൂടി രൂപീകരിക്കാന്‍ നിര്‍ദേശം സമര്‍പ്പിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്
. പ്രത്യേക സെനയ്ക്കാവശ്യമായ സ്ഥലവും അനുബന്ധ സൌകര്യങ്ങളും ഏര്‍പ്പെടുത്താന്‍ നടപടി സ്വീകരിച്ചതായി ഡി ഐ ജി യോടൊപ്പം ഉണ്ടായിരുന്ന കലക്ടര്‍
പറഞ്ഞു എസ പി , എ എസ പി , സബ് കലക്ടര്‍ എന്നിവരും വാര്‍ത്താ സമ്മേളനത്തില്‍ പങ്കെടുത്തു .
[മുകളില്‍ കൊടുത്ത വാര്‍ത്ത ഞാന്‍ ഉദ്ധരിച്ചത് 'മാധ്യമ സിണ്ടിക്കെട്ടില്‍' ഉള്‍പ്പെട്ട പത്രങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നല്ല ;ദേശാഭിമാനിയില്‍ നിന്നാണ്. പക്ഷെ, ഒരു കാര്യം ഇതില്‍ നിന്ന് വ്യക്തമാകുന്നു. സാമുദായിക വിഭാഗീയത വെറും ക്രമ സമാധാന പ്രശ്നം ആയി ഇരു മുന്നണികളും കാണുന്നു .സാങ്കല്‍പ്പിക 'സംഘര്‍ഷ മേഖലകള്‍' സൃഷ്ട്ടിച്ചു പോലിസ് സാന്നിധ്യം വര്‍ധിപ്പിക്കല്‍ ആണ് വര്‍ഗീയ അസ്വാസ്ഥ്യങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് പരിഹാരം എന്നാണു കേരള ജനതയുടെ നാലില്‍ ഒന്ന് വരുന്ന മുസ്ലിം (ന്യൂന പക്ഷ) സമുദായത്തിന് നിര്‍ണ്ണായക പ്രാതിനിധ്യം ഉള്ള യൂ ഡി എഫ് ഉം മതേതരത്വത്തെ പ്രതിനിധാനം ചെയ്യുന്നു എന്ന് അവകാശപ്പെടുന്ന എല്‍ ഡി എഫ് ഉം ഒരു പോലെ ചിന്തിക്കുന്നത്!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

തിന്മ,അഴിമതി,മോറലിസം, അണ്ണാ ഹസാരെ ..

Posted by Venu K.M
"തിന്മ, അഴിമതി എന്നീ വാക്കുകള്‍ ഉച്ചരിക്കുമ്പോള്‍ രണ്ടു വട്ടം ആലോചിക്കാന്‍ ഹസാരെ തയ്യാറാവുന്നില്ല. ആവര്‍ത്തിച്ചു അവ ഉച്ചരിക്കുമ്പോള്‍ ചിന്തിക്കുന്ന പ്രക്രിയയെ പ്രോത്സാഹിപ്പിക്കുന്നതിനു പകരം തടസ്സപ്പെടുത്തുകയാണ്"
"..അഴിമതിയെ മനസ്സിലാക്കുന്നതിനുള്ള എല്ലാ ശ്രമങ്ങളെയും തടഞ്ഞുകൊണ്ട്‌ അതിനെ മറ്റുള്ളവര്‍ ചെയ്യുന്ന ദുഷ് പ്രവൃത്തിയായി ബാഹ്യവല്‍ക്കരിക്കുന്നു.മറ്റുള്
ളവര്‍ എന്നത് കൊണ്ട് ഉദേശിക്കുന്നത് തന്നോട് യോജിപ്പില്ലാത്തവരോ താന്‍ സംഘടിപ്പിക്കുന്ന റാലികളില്‍ വരാത്തവരോ ആണ്. അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ വായാടിത്തങ്ങള്‍ ജനമനസ്സുകളെ വിഷകലുഷം ആക്കുന്നു. പരസ്പരം വിശ്വാസത്തോടെയും സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളില്‍ വിശ്വാസമര്‍പ്പിച്ച് കൊണ്ടും വിയജിക്കാനും സംവാദങ്ങള്‍ നടത്താനും ഉള്ള നമ്മുടെ സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യത്തെ റദ്ദു ചെയ്യാന്‍ ശ്രമിക്കുന്നു. തന്റെ ദൌത്യം നടപ്പാക്കുമ്പോള്‍ സംഭവിക്കാവുന്ന അനുബന്ധ ആഘാതങ്ങള്‍ (collateral damage ) കണക്കിലെടുക്കാത്ത ഒരു അഹിംസാ തീവ്രവാദിയാണ് അദ്ദേഹം"
പ്രൊഫസര്‍ ജ്യോതിര്‍മ്മയ ശര്‍മ്മ , ഹൈദരാബാദ് യൂണിവേര്സിടി.
Anna is the icon of banal Hindutva എന്ന Mail Today ലേഖനം



Occupy Wall Street: Voices of the People, October 14, 2011



Posted by Venu K.M

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Truth About the Economy



Posted by Venu K.M

Friday, October 14, 2011

SLAVOJ ZIZEK AT OWS PART1



Posted by Venu K.M

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kerala Womens Code Bill 2011 കേരള വിമന്‍സ് കോഡ് ബില്‍ 2011

Posted by Venu K.M


രോ
ദമ്പതിമാര്ക്കും കുട്ടികള് അഞ്ച് വേണം എന്ന് മതാധ്യക്ഷന്മാര് ഉല്ബോധിപ്പിക്കുന്നു എന്ന് സങ്കല്പ്പിക്കുക; സ്വന്തം കുട്ടികളെ പോറ്റി വളര്ത്താന് ഉള്ള ഉത്തരവാദിത്വം മത നേതാക്കള് ഏറ്റെടുക്കും എന്ന് വിചാരിച്ച് നിര്ദ്ദേശം ശിരസാ വഹിക്കുന്ന എത്ര കുടുംബങ്ങള് കേരളത്തില് കാണും?
പൌരന്മാരുടെ reproductive choices ഇല് ആവശ്യത്തിലധികം സ്റ്റേറ്റ് കൈകടത്താന് ശ്രമിക്കുമ്പോള് ഗൌരവമായി കണക്കിലെടുക്കേണ്ട വിഷയം ഇതാണ് ; ഒന്നോ രണ്ടോ കുട്ടികള് എന്ന നയം അനുസരിക്കാത്തവരെ ശിക്ഷാ നടപടികള്ക്ക് വിധേയരാക്കാനുള്ള Kerala Womens Code Draft Bill 2011 നിര്ദ്ദേശങ്ങള് ദുരുദ്ദേശപരം ആണെന്ന സംശയം മാത്രമാണ് അല്ലാത്ത പക്ഷം അത് ജനിപ്പിക്കുന്നത്.
ഒന്നുകൂടി തെളിച്ചു പറയാന് നോക്കട്ടെ ...
.
കേരളത്തില് കുറഞ്ഞത് അര നൂറ്റാണ്ടു മുന്പ് എങ്കിലും ആരംഭിച്ച ജനന നിയന്ത്രണ പരിപാടികള് ബലപ്രയോഗം ഒന്നും ഇല്ലാതെ എല്ലാ സമുദായങ്ങളിലും പെട്ട ജനങ്ങള് സ്വീകരിച്ചില്ലെ? ഇന്ത്യയില് മറ്റു ഏതൊരു സംസ്ഥാനത്തും കണ്ടിട്ടില്ലാത്ത വിധം ജനന നിരക്ക് കേരളത്തില് കുറയാന് അത് കാരണമായി. ഇപ്പോള് സ്ത്രീകളുടെയും ശിശുക്കളുടെയും ക്ഷേമത്തിന് എന്ന അവകാശ വാദത്തോടെ അവതരിപ്പിക്കപ്പെട്ട ശുപാര്ശകള് , കേരളത്തിലെ പൌരന്മാരുടെ reproductive choices ആദ്യമായി സ്റ്റേറ്റ് ബലപ്രയോഗത്തിന്റെ ഒരു പ്രശ്ന മേഖല ആക്കുന്നു, Reproductive choice നെ കേരള ചരിത്രത്തില് ആദ്യമായി criminalize ചെയ്യുന്നു?
Kerala Womens Code Bill 2011
കരട് സമര്പ്പിക്കാന് നിയുക്തമായ പതിനൊന്നംഗ കമ്മിറ്റിയുടെ adviser ആയി നിയമിതനായിരുന്ന ഒരു വ്യക്തി തന്നെ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ വിയോജിപ്പ് രേഖപ്പെടുത്തി!
പിന്നെയുള്ളതു , penal provisions നടപ്പാക്കുന്നതിന് നിയമ സഭയുടെ മുന്കൂട്ടിയുള്ള അനുമതി വേണമെന്ന വ്യവസ്ഥ നല്ലതല്ലേ എന്ന ചോദ്യം..
ഒരു വ്യക്തിക്ക് ഇന്ത്യന് ഭരണ ഘടന ഉറപ്പു നല്കുന്ന മനസ്സാക്ഷി സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യത്തെയും അഭിപ്രായ സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യത്തെയും ആദ്യം criminalize ചെയ്ത ശേഷം, നിയമ സഭയുടെ അംഗീകാരത്തോടെ ശിക്ഷ നടപ്പാക്കണം എന്ന് പറയുന്നത് ഏത് ന്യായത്തിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തിലാണ്?
Kerala Women’s Code Bill 2011 recommended by the Commission on Rights and Welfare of Women and Children headed by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer seems by default, poised to create more problems than it claims to remedy.
It looks to be much in the lines of many an authoritarian legislation quickly put in place without proper consultations even among experts in the respective areas, let alone the populations whose rights are compromised in one stroke of the pen. It probably suits the long term demographic objective of planners in globalized neoliberal regime, but not the interests of .people.
Reproductive choices everywhere, of the poor and marginalized , including the west are being increasingly challenged by one or other form of authoritarian interventions by the ruling oligarchies. If in the US the anti abortionist moralistic views are being imposed on the entire population by a christian right wing, in the third world similar things are being done with matching cynicism about the way people of different religious backgrounds decide on how best they could settle with choices in reproduction.

Sec 5)
"Violation of Family norm to be a legal disqualification-----One year aftr this CODE comes into force, any act or omission, movement, campaign or project which induces or tends to induce the violation of the family norm of two children as prescribed under this chapter, shall be or in any other manner abets the violation, of the provision, under this chapter, shall be regarded as a 'legally disqualified person' for the purpose of this chapter. abetment, in this chapter shall have the same meaning as under section 107 of the Indian Penal Code"

Ch2
Sec7
Sub section b):
"Where a social or religious organisation or political institution engages in active publicity or resorts to any measures calculated to negative or discourage the plan, policy or principle of the population regulation, family planning or birth control outlined in this chapter generally, such entity shall be liable to censure by the Governor except where absence of any motive to discourage or defeat the policy of this chapter is proved."
Again,
Sec 8
sub section f):
"If the commission considers that there is general wilful indifference to the provision of this chapter or frequent violation thereof it may recommend to the state
govt.to make provisions by way of Civil and Criminal liability in the shape of damages upto Rs.10,000/-or penal liability not exceeding three months simple imprisonment or fine rS10,000/-> . Provided that this provision shall be made only after resolution is passed in the Legislative assembly authorizing the imposition of such a penal liability.such a provision shall cease to be in force if a repeal thereof is rquired by a fresh resolution with a 2/3rd majority of the total membership of the house whether present or not."
What do these proposals mean?
Mr N R Madhava Menon quoted in the Hindu says “One year after this Code comes into force, any act or omission, movement, campaign or project which induces or tends to induce the violation of the family norm of two children as prescribed under this Chapter, or in any other manner abets the violation of the provisions, under this Chapter, shall be regarded as a ‘legally disqualified person' for the purpose of this Chapter. Abetment, in this Chapter, shall have the same meaning as under Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code.”
The commission, under Section 10 of its proposed Women's Code Bill, recommended: “Prohibition of inducements for generation of more children than provided in Section 4 of this Chapter — (1) No person or institution shall use religion, region, sect, caste, cult or other ulterior inducements for the bearing of more children than permitted by Section 4; (2) Such child born in contravention of Sub-Section (1) shall, all the same, be entitled to all the rights of the child and shall not be subjected to any penalty, discrimination or disadvantage. Notwithstanding this immunity, the parents may for the purposes of this Chapter be subject to the legal disqualification specified under this Chapter.”


Again, see how the very construction of these provisions look bad, both grammatically and commonsense wise!
In Chapter 1, Sec 5), it runs like this..
"..any act or omission, movement, campaign or project which induces or tends to induce the violation of the family norm of two children .....shall be regarded as a 'legally disqualified person' "
how can you consider an act or commission,movement ,campaign,or project... as a "person"?

Again, Sec 7 Subsection b) reads ....
"..such entity shall be liable to censure by the Governor except where absence of any motive to discourage or defeat the policy of this chapter is proved."
How can you expect one to prove the absence of motive and escape the punishment, when he or she actually wants to challenge the very idea of penalizing communities'/peoples' CHOICE IN REPRODUCTION?
How could he/she say,for example "oh, I had no motive..I was just joking!"
The bill seems not actually concerned nether with parents & women nor with children! At least my focus seems to be in the draconian penal provisions which you take so lightly as just 2/29 of the whole draft.

"Mr N.R. Madhava Menon, Chief Adviser to the V.R. Krishna Iyer-headed Commission on the Rights and Welfare of Women and Children, has opposed the penal provision for violating the two-child norm in the commission's proposed Women's Code Bill....
“Invoking the penal provision is not appropriate,” Mr. Menon, a former member of the Law Commission of India and the founder of the National Law School of Ind...ia University, Bangalore, told The Hindu. “I do not agree with it.”
Mr. Menon, considered one of the top legal educators in India, said he had not seen the final draft of the report of the commission which was presented to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy by Mr. Krishna Iyer late last week. He had not been able to work with the commission over the past two months as he was busy otherwise"[The Hindu reports]
Smells something fishy?.
Why are the planners so uneasy abot peoples' reproductive choices? In spite of all those panic reports about sermons by religious leaders to produce more children, the educated people seem to have their own say.
Why do you want things done in such a coercive manner, on a largely unsuspecting population who have generally accepted
for the past several decades rather than opposing it, a population control policy  based on choice? Can you even imagine this kind of draconian proposal getting any support, say 50 years back, when the rate of population growth was believed even more disturbing compared with the significant reduction Kerala achieved since then?
The proposed Bill says, “One year after this Code comes into force, any act or omission, movement, campaign or project which induces or tends to induce the violation of the family norm of two children as prescribed under this Chapter, or in... any other manner abets the violation of the provisions, under this Chapter, shall be regarded as a ‘legally disqualified person' for the purpose of this Chapter. Abetment, in this Chapter, shall have the same meaning as under Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code.”
The commission, under Section 10 of its proposed Women's Code Bill, recommended: “Prohibition of inducements for generation of more children than provided in Section 4 of this Chapter — (1) No person or institution shall use religion, region, sect, caste, cult or other ulterior inducements for the bearing of more children than permitted by Section 4; (2) Such child born in contravention of Sub-Section (1) shall, all the same, be entitled to all the rights of the child and shall not be subjected to any penalty, discrimination or disadvantage. Notwithstanding this immunity, the parents may for the purposes of this Chapter be subject to the legal disqualification specified under this Chapter.”


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cynthia McKinney, former congresswoman, Green Party leader & peace activist, after her return from Libya on a fact finding mission says Stop It

Posted by Venu K.M
http://www.youtube.com/peoplesvideo#p/a/u/1/vkBnEx40mQQ

Cynthia McKinney, former congresswoman, Green Party leader & peace activist, after her return from Libya on a fact finding mission says :
"I'm making new friends in twenty cities across this country.
.people want the truth..NATO is bombing a town which is very much like Baltimore..it is collective punishment, which is a war crime to the people of Libya as they do against the......... Palestinians.We counted 89 bombs by NATO falling in Tripoli alone, in the second night of the NATO engagement..We know that the government lie about the murders of Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X.. . This attack on Libya is a direct attack on all of us of African origin..Our President is committing war crimes and it makes him a war criminal!.."
Earlier, the US government had been at war with its Black people, and now, it is waging war with every body of US.
Stop the US war in Libya and elsewhere . Stop your wars and war crimes in collusion with NATO!

She says to Obama:
"If You Are a Recipient of Peace Prize, Make Peace in Home..Make Peace Abroad"
http://www.iacenter.org/

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Atomic Cover-Up: The Hidden Story Behind the U.S. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki





...He later summarized his experience with military censors who ordered his story killed, saying, "They won." Our guest is Greg Mitchell, co-author of "Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial," with Robert Jay Lifton. His latest book is "Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki and The Greatest Movie Never Made." [includes rush transcript]....






Atomic Cover-Up: The Hidden Story Behind the U.S. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Posted by Venu K.M

Thursday, August 4, 2011

'corruption and corporate loot'

Posted by Venu K.M
Hundreds of thousands of students and youth from all over the country, arrayed under progressive youth and students organizations and the All India Left Co-ordination (AILC) gather at Jantar Mandar, New Delhi on August 9th ,to form a 100 hour barricade. A country wide campaign by youth  and students under the banner of Students And Youth Against Corruption has been done, fulfilling a mission to address lakhs of Indians in every walk of life.
AILC is a broader platform of left and progressive forces  formed a year ago to  strengthen unity of people in this country in struggles against corporate land grab, state repression, price rise, suppression of democratic freedoms and workers' rights ,mega corruption,and so on. . CPI(ML) Liberation, Lal Nisan (Maharashtra) , CPM Punjab, Left Co-ordination Committee (Idathupaksha Ekopana Samiti ,Kerala) are the constituents of AILC. The AILC  look forward to a wider unity of left and progressive forces premised on democratic struggles and revolutionary resistance.

All India Students Association (AISA) and Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) spearheaded the several months long campaign.  Success of this campaign is vouched not just by the huge interest shown by people all over,but also by the fact that a face book forum "Students-Youth Against Corruption" which has been floated to communicate and build goodwill and support to this movement reached its membership to over 13000 in just a few weeks.

Appeal From Students and Youth Against Corruption 

AN APPEAL: Let the deaf UPA wake up to deafening slogans against 'corruption and corporate loot' on 9th August

Dear Friends,
With about 20 days remaining for 9th August, its time to pull our efforts and energy to a new high. There must have been several occasions when each one of us would have complained about the state our country is in! Each one of us who is a member of this group (by choice or added by a friend) would have at least once expressed our anger on the skyrocketing number of corruption cases getting exposed every other day. In past one year alone we saw thousands of crores of rupees being siphoned off in name of Commonwealth Games in a country where crores go to bed at night with an empty stomach. We saw how the dirty nexus between the corporate houses-mining mafia-politicians operated to loot the country's natural resources and leave the 'aam aadmi' forever destined to remain 'aam'. We witnessed the shocking revelations regarding- Allotment of 2G spectrum, mining loot in Karnataka and Andhra, relaxations after relaxations to Ambanis and Tatas, American and corporate influence in appointment of ministers, even as the masses continued to buckle under the pressure of insane levels of inflation, unemployment and poverty!! But all this while our display of anger and hurt was confined to the comfortable zones of our homes, classrooms or canteens!! We have seen how the present day government has brutally oppressed the dissenting voices in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, North East... (the list is long) and so far most of us have only silently disapproved the same. However, today we have a historic responsibility to stand up and get ourselves heard! The student-youth of this country have a played a historic role in the freedom struggle, in the dark days of emergency and today another undeclared emergency stands before us. All of us who are members of this page despite our varying backgrounds have had the privilege of education, access to technology and also access to different forum of self-expression. We are aware that if the student and youth across the country unite and speak up, the ruling establishment has no choice but to take notice... It is time we leave no choice to the ruling establishment and have them listen to us. 

Friends, we appeal to all of you to join the Student-Youth barricade at Jantar Mantar on 9th August and ensure that this deaf government wakes up on 9th August shaken by the cries of 'Anti corruption and anti-corporate loot' slogans!! Hope to see you all at Jantar Mantar on 9th August.

Inquilab Zindabad!



http://www.scribd.com/doc/61612943/Combat-Corruption-2011-SMALL-File-1

"Why are ..corporations, whose CEOs are among the billionaires of the world, getting subsidies when the Government claims it lacks money to ensure free education, health care and food..? Why are these same.. people enjoying the licence to bleed the country?"
Not just about the mind boggling statistical data, but also of how it is organically linked to global capitalism and how best people could unite in resisting corruption

--

14 Points of Fascism



Posted by Venu K.M

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Saga of Elite Monkeys and Common Monkeys

Posted by Venu K.M

A Saga of Elite Monkeys and Common Monkeys

(Paraphrase of  Himanshu Kumar ‘s  Original Story in Hindi “Bandar Nama”;
I must say that it will  not make a perfect translation; it may not match the rich narrative content of the original, either)
Elite monkeys lived atop a big tree, never coming down. They kept all the fruit for themselves and never allowed the common monkeys living down to visit the high branches weighing down abundant of fruits. The elites though engaged commons for watering the roots below, the latter were kept in perpetual hunger. A few of them were indeed given some fruit and were assured of honourable names like police, forces etc, in lieu of keeping their colleagues from visiting  the top.
Once, an elite monkey named Gandhi came down from the top and suggested that all the common monkeys would non co-operate in watering the tree hereafter, and the elites should be compelled to do the bit of task themselves and also to share the fruit. He suggested that the elite monkeys should consider themselves as trustees of all fruit. The elite monkeys not only didn't care for these words but one of them also killed him. Another elite monkey named Nehru suggested to let some fruit trickle down, if it be uncomfortable to treat all monkeys as equal. Yet, no fruit trickled down. The commons then began to organize and they started working on digging around the roots to uproot the tree. They also started killing the some of the common monkeys in the force that had been employed by the elite monkeys to keep guard. They wanted to grow a new tree on which all the monkeys would be treated equally. But the elite monkeys at the top declared war against the common monkeys, accusing the latter to be naxalite monkeys without love for the tree. In the meanwhile, some monkeys made their ngos and tried to make it known to the elite monkeys that they should share at least few fruits with the commons and that would pacify the agitating common monkeys. Few common monkeys on ground who had been co-opted by the elite monkeys to stand guard and to carry out the trickle package, had already become snobs .The small and big task s delegated to them by the elite monkeys had intoxicated them. They ate even those fruits making part of the package they were supposed to deliver to the hungry commons .Some of the elite monkeys who called themselves 'media', began to spread one sided stories against the whole thing, trying to serve the elite monkeys. Following these developments, utter confusion and chaos prevailed in the whole tree; As things took such a turn, someone from the elite monkeys suggested that corruption is the reason for all these, and said that the fruits should be delivered between the elite monkeys without corruption. For ensuring this, he suggested to put in place a lokpal system. The common monkeys down, started making noises and protests, saying that these talks of anti corruption are just about delivering the goods to the elite monkeys, and that the common monkeys are completely left out. They maintained that the new talks of anti corruption revolution are about a revolution of the elite monkeys!
The elite monkeys on the other hand, can't even imagine how at all such a system of exclusive rights to all fruit to elite monkeys living atop came to exist.
Alas, stories   about trees of other forests in far away lands, started pouring in. They have it that in a big  tree named Egypt and in few other trees  of distant forests , the monkeys living  on  grounds  and  lower branches  are already in near command of their trees!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Politics of hate will never define India: Rakesh Sharma

Politics of hate will never define India: Rakesh Sharma

Posted by Venu K.M


"Till the time there is hate, till the time we tolerate hate-mongers, till
the time we don´t reject politics of intolerance, we cannot possibly dream
of peace. Politics of hate can only breed further hate; only someone
insane would believe that a deepening cycle of hate will lead to peace,
harmony or prosperity and strengthen the foundations of a robust democracy
or a harmonious society. Let us not perpetrate hate. Let us condemn all
the hate-mongers, of any community or creed. Let us demand that all the
guilty in each of the attacks be brought to justice."
Rakesh Sharma,
Documentary Film Maker

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Posted by Venu K.M

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Hindu : News / National : Salwa Judum is illegal, says SC

The Hindu : News / National : Salwa Judum is illegal, says SC


Posted by Venu K.M

"The ruling - issued on Tuesday by Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar on the writ petition filed by social anthropologist Prof. Nandini Sundar and others - strongly indicted the State for violating Constitutional principles in arming youth who had passed only fifth standard and conferring on them the powers of police."

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Pentagon Papers [unedited]



Posted by Venu K.M

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dimitrov Vs Goebbels (Excerpt)

Posted by Venu K.M



Dimitrov: Is it true that the National Socialist Government has granted a pardon to all terrorist acts carried out to further the aims of the National Socialist movement?
Goebbels: The National Socialist Government could not leave in prisons people who, risking their lives and health, had fought against the Communist peril.
President: Did you hear, Dimitrov?
Dimitrov: I did hear very well! So far as I know, Mr. President, four or five political murders are well known in Germany. The Communist leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were murdered...
President: That's enough! (Dimitrov: After that...) The question goes very far. We have to clarify who set the Reichstag on fire. We cannot go back here to the distant past.
Goebbels: It might perhaps be more expedient if we started from Adam and Eve. At the time of these murders the National Socialist movement did not vet exist.

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/dimitrov/works/1933/reich/ch06.htm
--

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

baba ramdev arrested



Posted by Venu K.M

Monday, May 9, 2011

ECHE - imphal talkies and the howlers



Posted by Venu K.M

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The ‘Whore of Babylon’ – Or, Misogyny, Sexism, CPM Style

Posted by Venu K.M


AIPWA
ALL INDIA PROGRESSIVE WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION
Press Statement
Punish CPIM Leader Anil Basu for Sexist Abuse Against Women
New Delhi, April 24, 2011
While campaigning for the ongoing West Bengal Assembly elections at Hooghly district’s Arambagh sub-division, Anil Basu, 7-time CPI(M) MP from Arambagh Constituency in Hooghly district on Friday attacked Mamata Banerjee with crude sexist abuse. In presence of senior party officials and a massive crowd, he compared Mamata Banerjee to the sex workers of Sonagachi. 

Anil Basu’s misogynist abuse personifies the patriarchal humiliation to which a woman in public life is repeatedly subjected. Basu may have won 7 elections but he has shown that he cannot deal with politics as politics when women enter it. When it comes to a woman political opponent, he immediately dumps political arguments, and falls back instead on the easy patriarchal staple - attacking their sexuality and branding them as prostitutes. 

During the Singur agitation, too, Anil Basu had declared that if he had his way he would have taken Mamata by the hair and dumped her at her Kalighat house instead of allowing her to continue her sit-in protest at the gate of the Tata factory. Apparently, this CPIM leader could not contend with an agitation led by a rival woman leader without resorting to the patriarchal imagery of a mythical Dusshasana’s methods.    

The West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has said the language used by Basu is ‘unpardonable’, and he has asked the CPIM to issue Basu a warning. But if such verbal violence intended to humiliate women in public life is indeed unpardonable in the CPIM’s eyes, how can a warning be sufficient? Why has the CPIM and the West Bengal State Government yet to act against Anil Basu?

On previous occasions, too, CPIM leaders have responded with similar patriarchal taunts and abuses. The late Suhas Chakraborty ridiculed the Trinamul leader’s Maa-Mati-Manush slogan saying: “She is an infertile woman; what does she know about Maa?” CPIM’s Central Committee member Benoy Konar asked CPIM’s male cadre to “bare their backsides” to Medha Patkar at Nandigram. On those occasions, when electoral considerations were not immediate, there were no condemnations forthcoming from the CPIM.

The CPI(M) also needs to apologise to the sex workers of Sonagachi, for the humiliation Basu has heaped on them. Pushed by a system that has thrown these poor women into the margins, so that they can be devoured, all they have done is struggle to eke out a living and survived. Why should they be invoked as a symbol of shame? What have they done to be ashamed of? Basu has no business tearing apart the dignity of Sonagachi’s sexworkers; rather he and his party should be answerable as to why women in Sonagachi continue to live such deprived lives after more than three decades of CPIM rule.
Kavita Krishnan,
National Secretary, AIPWA

   
http://kafila.org/2011/04/24/the-whore-of-babylon-or-misogyny-sexism-cpm-style/#comment-16440

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dastangoi: Dastan-e-Sedition Part1.mp4



Posted by Venu K.M

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

P. Sainath on the Jan Lokpal Bill



Posted by Venu K.M

Thursday, April 7, 2011

SANGH PARIVAR AND NEW CONTRADICTIONS Vikhar Ahmed Syeed Interview with French social scientist Christophe Jafferlot (Frontline March 12-25, 2011)

Posted by Venu K.M
"..The 1980s was the time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was called a fascist party by the intelligentsia of the Left. I disagreed with this notion and said that it was not a fascist party. The RSS-BJP had something to do with authoritarianism and social conservatism but it was not fascist for at least two reasons.
One, fascist parties rely on leaders and in the Hindu right wing, the leaders go and the movement remains. Secondly, fascists are interested in the capture of the state. They want to seize power first. The RSS is not state-power-oriented. It wants to transform society at the grass-roots level and then power may come; but it will not march on Delhi the way Mussolini marched on Rome. Since I refused to call them fascists, I was accused of being too soft on Hindu nationalists.
Interestingly, 15 years after publishing my book, the general atmosphere has
changed and now I am told that I am too harsh on the Hindutva forces! It means that the centre of gravity of the political discourse in India has shifted to the Right. It may shift again.... I shall continue to do my work as a social scientist.."

"..Q. What do you attribute this shift in the political discourse to?
Jaffrelot: I see three reasons for this. One, the political forces. On the one hand, the Hindu nationalist propaganda has had, at long last, an indoctrination effect. On the other, other politicians, including some Congressmen and some socialists, have not stood by secularism the way the founding fathers of the Indian Republic would have.
Secondly, it has to do with socio-cultural transformations. As in so many countries, Islam is being looked at as a problem, and a sense of Islamophobia has developed because of Islamism, 9/11 and Pakistan-based jehadist movements. So the things that you can say about Muslims today could not be said earlier.
Thirdly, the impact of economic liberalisation has made inequalities more legitimate, be they community- or class-based. Since the 1990s, values associated with the Right are influencing the discourse of the people's sphere more than ever before..".







SANGH PARIVAR AND NEW CONTRADICTIONS

Vikhar Ahmed Syeed  
Interview with French social scientist Christophe Jafferlot (Frontline March 12-25, 2011)

Christophe Jaffrelot, who is a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (Centre for International Studies and Research) in Paris, has had a 25-year-long association with India. He offers courses in the modern history of India and the polity of South Asia at the prestigious Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (also known as Sciences Po). His first book, on the growth of the Hindu nationalist movement, was published in the mid-1990s and is arguably one of the finest scholarly works on the subject. His research interests also include the politicization of the lower castes and the Dalit in India. He is a keen follower of South Asian affairs and has contributed to Indian news magazines on issues relating to contemporary South Asia. He spoke at length to Frontline while he was in Bangalore to deliver a lecture on “Muslims in Indian cities”, the theme of his forthcoming co-edited volume.  Read more…
Q. What got you interested in India? Can you briefly discuss your research interests?
Jaffrelot: The first introduction I got to India was from my philosophy teacher when I was 18. I came to India soon afterwards. I was attracted to the country for affective reasons and also for intellectual reasons – I immediately developed a strong interest in the political anthropology of India. I came back again and my visit coincided with the start of the Ram janmabhoomi movement in the mid-1980s. That was the first topic I dealt with before shifting to caste politics with emphasis on the OBCs [Other Backward Classes]. During this time, I discovered the ways in which the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was making inroads into North India and how it harked back to Ambedkarism. Working on [B.R.] Ambedkar became my third, and very dense, phase. Now my fourth area of interest is what I would call Muslim identity and politics in India.
Q. In your first book – on the growth of the Hindu nationalist movement in India – you have aptly demonstrated how the phenomenal surge in militant Hinduism poses a threat to India's secular character. You also expose the links between the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh's (RSS) ideology and supremacist notions of ethnic nationalism. As a researcher, did you have any prejudices against the exclusivist ideas of the Hindu nationalists? Did they fit in with your idea of India?
Jaffrelot: No, I don't think I had any prejudices. I applied the tools of social sciences to the question of Hindu nationalism, and my book presents the result of my research.
The 1980s was the time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was called a fascist party by the intelligentsia of the Left. I disagreed with this notion and said that it was not a fascist party. The RSS-BJP had something to do with authoritarianism and social conservatism but it was not fascist for at least two reasons.
One, fascist parties rely on leaders and in the Hindu right wing, the leaders go and the movement remains. Secondly, fascists are interested in the capture of the state. They want to seize power first. The RSS is not state-power-oriented. It wants to transform society at the grass-roots level and then power may come; but it will not march on Delhi the way Mussolini marched on Rome. Since I refused to call them fascists, I was accused of being too soft on Hindu nationalists.
Interestingly, 15 years after publishing my book, the general atmosphere has
changed and now I am told that I am too harsh on the Hindutva forces! It means that the centre of gravity of the political discourse in India has shifted to the Right. It may shift again.... I shall continue to do my work as a social scientist.
Q. What do you attribute this shift in the political discourse to?
Jaffrelot: I see three reasons for this. One, the political forces. On the one hand, the Hindu nationalist propaganda has had, at long last, an indoctrination effect. On the other, other politicians, including some Congressmen and some socialists, have not stood by secularism the way the founding fathers of the Indian Republic would have.
Secondly, it has to do with socio-cultural transformations. As in so many countries, Islam is being looked at as a problem, and a sense of Islamophobia has developed because of Islamism, 9/11 and Pakistan-based jehadist movements. So the things that you can say about Muslims today could not be said earlier.
Thirdly, the impact of economic liberalisation has made inequalities more legitimate, be they community- or class-based. Since the 1990s, values associated with the Right are influencing the discourse of the people's sphere more than ever before.
Q. Muslims in India have coexisted with Hindus for centuries. How do you discount that history while concluding that the political discourse has shifted to the Right? I ask this as ‘Islamophobia' is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Jaffrelot: Indian Muslims, in spite of their massive presence, have intermingled for centuries with society at large, and the areas of cultural synthesis have been really huge – not only in terms of artistic achievements, as in the field of music, but in religious and social terms. Muslims worshipped gurus while Hindus went to dargahs. Since most Indian Muslims have converted from Hinduism, they often retained the same caste and the same occupation – which meant that they were part of the same world as their Hindu brethren. The rise of communalism during British Raj changed all that significantly.
Q. Are you saying that the rupture between the two communities began in the early 20th century?
Jaffrelot:  Yes, but you can go back in history even further – to 1857; the post-Mutiny phase was a difficult time for Muslims. With the creation of institutions such as Deoband and Aligarh, something like a Muslim brand of politics started. But the eventual turning point in Hindu-Muslim relations in India was definitely the 1920s, with the rise of the RSS in response to the Khilafat movement, which followed the formation of the Tabligh-e-Jamaat in reaction to the Arya Samaj. Partition was the third milestone, of course. And now, the fourth one may have started with the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the subsequent Islamist attacks by Pakistan-based movements or by the Indian mujahideen reacting to this demolition and the Gujarat pogrom. The future will tell whether these developments will have a similar impact as the 1920s parting of ways.
Incidentally, all these episodes resulted from a dialectic of actions and reactions. These are what I've called processes of stigmatization and emulation of so-called threatening others – it also applies to the mimetic forms of anti-Islamist Hindu nationalist terrorism today.
That is an interesting assessment but it also gels in very easily with the way nationalist history is written in India – that Muslims and Hindus coexisted and then the British came and Partition took place. Surely, modern Indian history is more nuanced.
Fair enough. We do not need to idealize the past. Hindus and Muslims were never living in completely harmonious relationships. They did not even live in the same street in most of the places because of dietary and cultural differences. But in places like Ahmedabad, there was a Hindu pol (housing) next to a Muslim one and some syncretism. This cohabitation is what has become difficult today and that is why you see Muslims being pushed out of the city and going to ghettoes like Juhapura for safety. In the past it was not a complete mix between the two communities, but you must admit that from a kind of mosaic the city has become more communally segregated. Also, Muslims have been marginalized on the public scene – there is not even one Muslim MP [Member of Parliament] in Maharashtra, for instance – as parties do not give them the ticket the way they did earlier because voters are not prepared to vote for them the way they did.
Q. As a close observer of the Hindu nationalist movement, do you think that it has become quiescent since the United Progressive Alliance came to power?
Jaffrelot: It is not quiescent at the local level if you look, for instance, at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's reconversion activities. But at the top level, for the last 10 years or so, the Sangh Parivar has had to deal with new contradictions. Before, it was very easy for them to stick together as a group in opposition. They were ‘clean' and they had an alternative ideology, which was very consistent. After heading the Union government in 1998 and getting power at the State level before and after that, they have had to deal with contradictory trends.
There is first a contradiction between the RSS' long-term agenda and the BJP's short-term compulsions of politics. We saw how deep the tension was when L.K. Advani was eased out and Nitin Gadkari was appointed BJP president by the RSS against the advice of many BJP leaders. It shows the constant will of the RSS to remain the master of the party to implement an ideologically grounded agenda. On the other hand, the BJP has to be more pragmatic and this finds expression in coalitions. Now, when you are associated with Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United), you cannot retain the RSS discourse in its pure form. That is a big, almost existential contradiction. The BJP cannot sever its links with the RSS, and it cannot come to power on its own. As a result, the BJP cannot be a party on its own except in the opposition, and some of its leaders may prefer to remain in the opposition for the time being.
The second contradiction is that there are different factions now within the BJP. That was not there in the Jan Sangh of Deen Dayal Upadhyay of the 1960s. It has become normal in the BJP, like in other parties – including the Congress – that personality-based factionalism develops between power-hungry leaders. As a result, the BJP depends even more upon the unifying factor – that is, the RSS (like the Congress depends upon the Nehru-Gandhi family), which reinforced the first contradiction.
Q. If you factor in the role of some members of the RSS in some bomb blasts across the country, where would you see the RSS-BJP go from here?
Jaffrelot: It seems that people associated with the Sangh Parivar have developed some interest in terrorist techniques. Traditionally, this nebulae hardly resorted to violence, except during Partition, communal riots and, of course, the Gujarat pogrom. Even then, those who killed were generally not members of the RSS; they were outsiders or were identified as Bajrang Dalis – rightly or wrongly.
Today, it seems that some RSS cadre have joined hands with fringe groups like Abhinav Bharat. Former, or even current, pracharaks like Sunil Joshi might have thought that ‘we can also teach a lesson to the Muslims by organising bomb blasts'. If a member of the RSS executive body like Indresh Kumar has been supportive of Sunil Joshi in some of these bomb blasts, as Swami Aseemanand has recently confessed, it may reflect a paradigmatic shift in the RSS.
Q. Narendra Modi has come back to power twice since the 2002 riots, which followed the events at Godhra. What does this mean for the idea of India, especially for the people of Gujarat?
Jaffrelot: Well, it probably means that strategies of polarizing communities along religious lines do work in Gujarat's electoral politics. In the case of Modi, what is also ‘interesting' is that he was cornered by the Supreme Court, the intelligentsia and the media in such a way that he had to overemphasize development as a plank to compensate for this bad name he had acquired. Doing that made him one of the favourite Chief Ministers of the middle class and the corporate sector. As a result, his leadership may become a kind of model, and politics, therefore, may become much more business-oriented and authoritarian elsewhere too.
The middle class generally disapproves of the way democracy is evolving in India – it is not very happy with the rise of the lower castes, the development of reservation, populism (which is indeed rampant) and corruption which, incidentally, has worsened after the liberal turn the middle class longed for. This group wants leaders who deliver and to add to it, this one, Modi, is cleaner than the others and if this has to do with less democracy, so be it. In Gujarat, Indians are not particularly argumentative – some do not want to be, some cannot be any more.
Q. Do you think the idea of India as a secular republic is changing or losing its priority, or was it never a priority within the general urban middle class of India?
Jaffrelot:  There are two questions in that and it is good to look at them in a chronological order. First, we may wonder whether secularism has ever been a priority. When we look at the Chief Ministers who were at the helm of the States of the Hindi belt in the 1950s and 1960s, you do not find people who truly believed in secularism. They precipitated the decline of Urdu in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. So we should not idealise the secularism or the multiculturalism (that would be a more appropriate word) of India in its initial phase. Nehru was certainly promoting multiculturalism, but things were different at the State level. And now we may wonder whether this is a priority even at the national level. It is not so much a question of leaders as it is a question of institutions like the judiciary and the police.
I think what we have seen over the last 10-15 years is an increasingly anti-minority bias among key institutions like the judiciary and the police. You can see that in the recent Ayodhya and Dara Singh verdicts. But you may go further: the courts – which were so progressive in the 1990s, at least at the apex level – have become more conservative at large, calling to mind the regulations of some democratic but security states like the United States under George W. Bush. The Binayak Sen verdict is a case in point.
So far as the police are concerned, competition between agencies has to be factored in, but I'm struck by the pace of investigations of bombings in Malegaon, the Ajmer shrine, the Samjhauta Express train and the Mecca Masjid. It is difficult to understand how it took three years to realize that the explosives used in several of these places were the same. Yet, you still have one Hemant Karkare, and policemen who have the courage to oppose Modi in Gujarat – at their own cost so far.
Q. In your book on caste, you argue that Mahatma Gandhi endorsed a certain form of caste structure. Since he is the ‘Father of the Nation', this idea would conflict with his image and also trouble a lot of Indians. What do you have to say about this?
Jaffrelot: First we have to recognize that for Gandhi the nation was not built on individuals, as in the case of Nehru. The building blocks of the nation, for Gandhi, had to be groups and communities and among the groups and communities, varnas have appeared to him, at some point of time, as not that irrelevant because, according to him, they gave the nation some cohesion and some solidarity while protecting society from individualism and class conflicts. So it is an organic definition of the nation, not an individualistic one. We also have to admit that on behalf of this vision he was not prepared to let Dalits emancipate themselves the way Ambedkar wanted to emancipate them because he equated that emancipation strategy with separatism.
For the Ambedkarites, this is probably a cause of resentment that remains the strongest. They do not believe in Harijanism, which they find patronizing. The Gandhian dimension of the Congress attitude vis-a-vis Dalits is one of the reasons why they left this party in large numbers and got attracted by the BSP in Uttar Pradesh.
Q. Why have Dalit and lower-caste parties done extremely well in northern India unlike in other parts of the country?
Jaffrelot:  First of all, there is a demographic dimension that you cannot avoid. Lower-caste people, and Dalits especially, are very numerous in the Hindi-belt States. When you have a caste group like the Chamars in U.P. representing more than one-tenth of society, you have a base on which you can build something strong. It also works with caste groups such as the Yadavs in U.P. and Bihar.
Second, these parts of India have not experienced any significant social reform over the past centuries. In Kerala, you had the Ezhava movement while in Mysore, Kolhapur and the Madras Presidency, there had been some positive discrimination in favour of the lower castes. In the north, at least in U.P., when you look at the social composition of the elite groups you don't find any inroads made by the lower castes, until the 1980s. The ‘delayed' reaction of the plebeians, therefore, was bound to be more radical, all the more so because caste hierarchies were reinforced by the zamindari system prevailing in northern India. In the south, the ryotwari system did not result in the kind of systematic domination by upper-caste people as you find with the Rajputs, for instance.
All these factors partly explain the crystallization of an anti-caste-oriented socialist discourse (spearheaded by the socialist Ram Manohar Lohia) and its appropriation by the plebeians the moment reservation endowed them with a small middle class.

From INSAF Bulletin, April 2011



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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  

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