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Showing posts from May, 2023

Hate speech: Plea to Meta AGM to oppose Facebook's 'biased operations' in India

By Our Representative  Campaign groups Ekō, India Civil Watch International (ICWI), and Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), referring to Meta’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), to be held on May 31, where vote on Proposal 7’s bears “significance for the Indian audience”, has said that its outcome is particularly important against the backdrop of allegations against Facebook for allowing spread of hate speech.

Naxalbari: Mechanical adherence to Chinese idea of liberated zone failed to make dent

By Harsh Thakor  On May 25 we commemorate the 56th anniversary of the heroic uprising of ‘Naxalbari’. Inspite of neo-fascism brimming at an unprecedented height Naxalbari s not dead and buried. Naxalbari was a rallying point for sowing the seeds of social change and knitting of cultural movements. The Naxalbari struggle sparked movements that remained synonymous with the spur for revolutionary transformation of India society.-which remained unchallenged till today- except for the short lived Sampoorna kranti movement led by JP. Naxalbari influenced ideas or perspective and shaped the actions of the activists and advanced sections of the masses participating in a most diverse sphere of movements over 50 years It lit the spark of movements of Dalit Panthers, Total Revolution, nationality movements and displacement movements. Secondly it permeated the involvement of the revolutionary vanguard forces in social movements. This phenomena was illustrated in the Dalit Panther manifesto, signin

Pandemic treaty to hit democracy, human rights, dissent; Parliament 'evades' debate

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  In the blockbuster Hindi movie, “Sholay” of yesteryears, the dacoit leader Gabbar Singh, while admonishing his three sidekicks who got roundly thrashed by two former prisoners turned Good Samaritans, utters the iconic dialogue, “Yahan se pachas pachas kos door gaon mein ... jab bachcha raat ko rota hai, toh maa kehti hai bete soo ja ... soo ja nahi toh Gabbar Singh aa jayega,” which translates to, “In villages within a radius of hundreds of miles from here, when a child cries at night, mothers coax them to sleep by saying, baby go to sleep otherwise Gabbar Singh will come.”

Arrest of wrestlers: State-initiated misuse of cops' power ‘to maintain law and order’

Statement by the Indian Christian Women's Movement (ICWM): No more silence in the face of government sanctioned police brutality against protesting women wrestlers in the national capital *** The members of the Indian Christian Women’s Movement strongly condemn the undemocratic and oppressive action of the Delhi police as per the dictates of the central government. The attempt to foil the Mahila Maha Panchayat programme in support of the women wrestlers, which was scheduled to be held in front of the new Sansad Bhawan, is brutal and criminal. We condemn: • The state-initiated misuse of the powers of the police ‘to maintain law and order’ in the national capital, in order to silence citizens' voices. • The police violence and arrest of the women wrestlers and activists outside parliament while Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the accused in cases of sexual harassment spanning a decade, was attending the inauguration of the new parliament building presided over by Pr

Investigate violence against women wrestlers: Memorandum to NCW, Police Commissioner

By Our Representative  A delegation of representatives from multiple women's organizations have submitted a memorandum to the Chairperson, National Commission for Women (NCW) and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, demanding investigation into alleged police violence against “peaceful protesters”, several of them top women wrestlers.

Sengol drama 'upper caste' move with eye on 2024 polls. Target: South Indian states

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* The new parliament building opened on February 28. However, it looked as if it is not Parliament but part of Pratinidhisabhas started by erstwhile princely states in India. The BJP for long has been acting as if India is a kingdom and Narendra Modi the new king of India. Even at the coronations of kings, you find a large number of people and dignitaries, but look at the opening ceremony -- we had only one face as if he built everything.

Empathetically look into accusation of sexual harassment against BJP leader

Statement on police brutality and detention of protesting wrestlers in Delhi *** Behind the façade of the inauguration of the new parliament building, we all witnessed the most brutal form of crack-down on the peacefully protesting wrestlers in broad day-light at the heart of the national capital. Behind the curtain of the “dance of democracy” we all saw, the “Champions of India” are being dragged through the tarred road of Delhi and thrown into the police vans. We strongly condemn this act. Since last few months the top-tier wrestlers of India have been staging a sit-in demonstration demanding justice in the case of alleged sexual abuse by the president of Wrestling Federation of India, Mr. Brij Bhushan Singh, also a leader of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. During their planned march to the new parliament building, they were intercepted by Delhi police and manhandled to detention. In the last few years, we have seen these same faces of the wrestlers on the victory ramps singing the na

Outrageous that the protesting wrestlers have been brutally manhandled

Statement issued by Amarjeet Kaur General Secretary, AITUC, and Mariam Dhawale, General Secretary, AIDWA *** AITUC condemns the oppression let loose on the women wrestlers and all those who were at Jantar Mantar at the protest site or were proceeding towards the site to join in the women panchayat which had been called today to press for their demand for justice, arrest of Mr Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh alleged for sexual harrassment in the FIRs against him including under POCSO Act. The RSS- BJP government led by Mr Narendra Modi is further exposed of its facade of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padao' slogan as well as its naked expression of intolerant towards any criticism, opposition or even raising voice for seeking justice under the rule of law and constitutional rights. We demand of immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, release of all those arrested, justice to women wrestlers who through their voice have raised the voice of women who face harrassments at different levels

Hyderabad roads dangerously turning into source of misery for majority of city dwellers

By Sudhansu R Das  Good roads are the way to prosperity. Similarly, bad roads can significantly reduce people’s income. It will increase the commuting time, reduce productivity hours, increase the health expenses and the repair cost of vehicles. Roads in Hyderabad continue to be the source of misery for the majority of people. Giant potholes, cracks, broken edges, improper speed breakers and protruding manholes make roads dangerous to travel. 

Central government acts against complaining wrestlers instead of Brij Bhushan

Statement by the Joint Platform of Trade Unions: *** Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions directs all their affiliates to actively condemn the Central Government’s Blatant Partiality, on 1st June, 2023. The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions unequivocally condemns the brutal repression by Delhi Police of the Female Wrestlers demanding justice for the past more than a month. The police action on 28th May, 2023, was shocking in the extreme, patently undemocratic, high handed, and obviously on the orders of the Central Government. It is shocking that Brij Bhushan Sharan, the Chairman of the Wrestling Federation of India, who has been accused of sexual harassment by the Female Wrestlers, one of whom is a minor, is not being touched, in spite of FIRs lodged against him on Supreme Court orders, while those who have complained against him, braving the social stigma it carries in our patriarchal society, are rounded up. This also exposes the hoax played out in the name of the "new

Why ‘community dogs’ have inalienable right to be fed in both private and public areas

By Gajanan Khergamker*  According to Cambridge Dictionary, a Stray when used as a noun means ‘A pet that no longer has a home or cannot find its home.’ According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, a Stray means ‘A domestic animal that is wandering at large or is lost.’ Collins Dictionary describes a Stray as a noun and provides a usage ‘The dog was a stray which had been adopted.’ Britannica Dictionary defines a Stray as ‘An animal (such as a cat or dog) that is lost or has no home.’

Attack on protesting wrestlers: Whither PM's beti bachao slogan?, ask 1500 plus citizens

Counterview Desk  More than 1150+ people including activists, lawyers, academics, former civil servants, artists and concerned citizens, condemning what they call “brutal police action” against the protesting wrestlers and those who had come out in support of their call from all over Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for a Mahila Samman Mahapanchayat, have regretted, "On the day the Prime Minister inaugurated the new Parliament house, democratic space was being crushed outside."

US war on world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer might benefit Japan

By Vijay Prashad  On May 15, 2023, Berkshire Hathaway reported in a Form 13F filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had completed the sale of its $4 billion stake in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC). This sale completed a process that began in February 2023, when Berkshire Hathaway announced that it sold 86 percent of its holdings in TSMC. In April, Berkshire Hathaway’s leader Warren Buffett told Nikkei that the geopolitical tension between the United States and China was “certainly a consideration” in his decision to divest from TSMC. TSMC told Nikkei, is a “well-managed company” but that Berkshire Hathaway would find other places for its capital. At his May 6 morning meeting, Buffett said that TSMC “is one of the best-managed companies and important companies in the world, and you’ll be able to say the same thing five, ten or twenty years from now. I don’t like its location and reevaluated that.” By “location,” Buffett meant Taiwan, in the cont

Bangladesh's sanitation challenges as it sets 'positive example' for India on open defecation

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Globally, 2 billion people (26% of the population) do not have safe drinking water and 3.6 billion (46%) lack access to safely managed sanitation ( UNESCO report on behalf of UN-Water at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York ). Basic sanitation, proper hygiene, and access to safe water are key to maintain good health and to promote social and economic growth in a society ( Mara, 2010 ).

How war in Ukraine completely altered Taiwanese government view of private war

By John P. Ruehl  In early May 2023 , a U.S. delegation consisting of 25 defense contractors arrived in Taiwan for a security summit, aimed to increase interoperability between the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries. It marks the latest step toward Taiwan’s years-long efforts to strengthen its defense capabilities and pose credible deterrence to the Chinese military. The military relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. expanded significantly during the Trump administration . Washington approved major arms sales, increased cooperation with the Taiwanese military, and conducted more naval patrols in the Taiwan Strait to emphasize the U.S. position on Taiwan. During the Biden administration, it was revealed that dozens of U.S. military personnel were training Taiwanese forces on the island since at least 2020, numbers which have increased since . And while conscription was previously considered an outdated military policy characteristic of the Cold War , the war in Ukraine has reversed th

Act east policy? Naga businesses 'interested' to deal with Bangladesh counterparts

By Samara Ashrat*  The northeast of India is fast gaining attention for its rich economic resources and strategic location. It is positioned to serve India’s strategic vision encompassed in the Act East Policy. Economically, the region has large deposits of oil, natural gas, coal and limestone, and a sizable proportion of land under cultivation for agro-horticulture products, bamboo and rubber.

How women wrestlers’ movement has become wider symbol for justice, dignity, safety

By Bharat Dogra  Vinesh Phogat is a prominent woman wrestler who has been the proud winner of gold medals for India in Asian and Commonwealth Games. In more recent times, however she has spent most of her time struggling to get justice for seven women wrestlers, including a minor, who have complained of sexual harassment by a very senior official of the Wrestling Federation of India. In a review of her experiences in the course of this struggle, very recently she wrote in The Indian Express (May 24, 2023) that they are not satisfied with the official response to their struggle so far and that their struggle will continue till they get justice. An oversight committee was formed by the Sports Ministry to probe the allegations but, Phogat has written, “we know now that it was an eyewash…There is no justice in sight.” In addition she has stated, “Like many other girls I had to suffer silently all these years because of this man (the main accused in this case) and I had no option.” Regardin

Displaced by Polavaram project, AP tribals 'struggled' to get land without title deeds

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*  The case study Village Kondamodalu, a Scheduled Village in Devipatnam Mandal of the erstwhile East Godavari District, is one of the Polavaram Project affected villages. The village is situated on the bank of the river Godavari. The Government of Andhra Pradesh (AP) is constructing a big dam on the river Godavari for industrial and agricultural purposes. The people living in the predominant tribal village, Kondamodalu, were displaced under the project and rehabilitated in various places within the Scheduled Area of the Devipatnam and other Mandals in 2022.

Adherent of Charu Mazumdar who failed to confront policy of annihilation of class enemy

By Harsh Thakor  Communist Revolutionary leader Chandi Sarkar expired at 76 years old at his home in Krishnanagar of Nadia on, 5th April, at 11 pm. He has carved a permanent niche amongst the great Communist Revolutionary leaders of India. Till his last breath he blazed the spirit of revolution. Few leaders in West Bengal, more ressurected spirit of Naxalbari. Only with characters like Sarkar, can the Indian revolution ever advance. With unflinching resilience he defended Mao Tse Tung Thought and concept of peoples War. Chandi Sarkar was born on 15 August 1947 in a landlord family of Maharajpur village of Chandra Police Station of Nadia district. His father’s name was Ashok Sarkar. He was an accomplished sportsman since childhood, being given a trainee job as a for hockey player. He dipped his first feet in politics with friends of same age in the intense food movement of the 1960’s. Later he joined the CPI (ML) with Naxalbari Farmers Movement, stirring his very soul. He even engaged i

India joining US sponsored trade pillar to hurt Indian farmers, 'promote' GM seeds, food

Counterview Desk  As many as 32 civil society organisations (CSOs), in a letter to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and India joining the trade pillar, have said that its provisions will allow the US to ensure a more favourable regulatory regime “for enhancing its exports of genetically modified (GM) seeds and GM food”, underlining, it will “significantly hurt the livelihoods of Indian farmers.”

Power sector: Widespread decentralised usage of RE sources should play critical role

Shankar Sharma, Power & Climate Policy Analyst, writes to R K Singh, Union Minister for power and NRE, New Delhi *** In continuation of my earlier concerns expressed over the issue that the power/ energy sector in the country has been facing serious & multiple crises since many decades, I would like to draw your kind attention again to multiple options available to our society to satisfactorily address such critical issues. The recent developments, as reported in the newslinks below, should establish the huge relevance of decentralised RE sources, such as rooftop solar power generation and suitably designed energy storage battery systems etc. which will greatly assist in the climate change action plan in our country by minimising the impacts on our natural resources such as forest and freshwater resources, while drastically reducing the GHG emissions of the energy sector as a whole. It should be emphasised here that the tropical forest lands such as the ones we have in India a