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Growing concern about increasing erosion of essential precepts of freedom movement

By Bharat Dogra  The Independence Day is always a proud day for all citizens of India. This year it is all the more so as this is the 75th Independence Day. However at the same time there is growing concern about the increasing erosion of some essential precepts of the freedom movement during the last eight years or so of the NDA/BJP regime. The freedom movement was all about ensuring liberty, equality, justice, dignity and social harmony for all, but in recent years these precepts have been increasingly violated in several important contexts. Hardly any effective action is taken against those who appear to be a threat to the safety and dignity of minorities particularly the Muslim community.  Our freedom movement involving many struggles and sacrifices is one of the proudest chapters of world history. In the course of these various struggles the common people—farmers and workers, adivasis and dalits, students and teachers, women and men, youth and elders—made big contributions, while
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British left us 75 years ago. However, it was not a triumph of people’s liberation-I

By Harsh Thakor  The British left us 75 years ago, with India now self-governed and politically independent. However it was not a triumph of people’s liberation, with transfer of power not accomplished as a result of an anti-feudal and anti-imperialist revolution. The Congress then made all the oppressed classes subservient to their dictates proscribing “Non-Violence.’ Even after independence there was inadequate space to democratically organise and imperialist capital continued to penetrate India. We can rekindle memories before 1947 of peasants creating a sea of turbulent strikes all over the nation challenging landlordism, Industrial workers threatening the social base of capitalism in many an industrial area and revolts in the ranks of the army. In the garb of non-violence the Congress literally shut the lid on such resistance capitalising at many junctures. No doubt we must give Gandhi credit for reaching out to the most backward Indian masses to integrate them within the fold

Tracing community level injustices to relentless pursuit of high GDP growth rate

By Shankar Sharma*  This has reference to the email by Sri Nagraj Adve, providing us the extract of an interview with Ms Sudha Bharadwaj. Whereas there have been many articles/ opinion pieces published during the last many years over the issues of how our natural resources are being over exploited/ abused for the commercial benefits of a tiny but powerful segment of our society, while pushing the vulnerable sections to destitution, this particular interview provides a grim scenario of relevance to any part/ community of the country, for the simple reason that such injustices to the vulnerable sections of our country are being reported regularly from all parts of the country. At the societal level, it may not be an act of over simplification to trace all such community level injustices to the relentless pursuit of high GDP growth rate economic paradigm by the successive governments since the past many decades; may be particularly so since the 1990s. Many, of those who are similarly co

Why are just 0.001 percent of world’s people endangering safety of entire planet?

By Bharat Dogra  One of the most perplexing questions of human life on earth relates to why weapons capable of destroying all life on earth have been developed, accumulated and persisted with, particularly since year 1914 onwards. Nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons exist in the world today and the actual use of less than 0.5% of these can destroy human beings and most life forms on earth, not only directly by fire, heat and explosion but also by setting in a nuclear winter that will deny sunlight, food and other essentials of life. With the escalation of tensions and enmity among the various nuclear powers, with the reduction of response time, with the increased possibility of misreading of situations and accidents, with the development of ‘tactical’ and smaller nukes, with the increasing possibilities of terrorists acquiring and even using these, with the increased risk of proliferation and with stalemate or regression in disarmament talks and agreements, the possibilities of intended or

With Droupudi Murmu as President, would India facilitate equity and justice?

By Harasankar Adhikari  India is a welfare and democratic nation. But people have no equality and justice, even after 75 years of independence. They have only one equal right – the right to vote. It is very much a constitutional matter. In practice, all have no free right to vote because of several political parties’ influences and so-called scientific rigging. In spite of this, all have an equal share in the democratic government. At the same time, people have to struggle for equity and justice. But the government works for the rich to make them richer and the majority of its population is deprived of their democratic demand for survival at their own feet. The government of India is celebrating the "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsab". Are the people of India really "Azad"? The governments (central and states) have formed so-called several organisations, i.e., National and States Human Rights Commission, Women’s Right Commission, Organisations for SC

Role of indigenous women in preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge

A report on a webinar on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on “Tribal Development: Policies and Challenges” organised by In-Minds Society and Anthro International: *** International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was observed in Srinagar on August 9. The theme for this year’s World Tribal Day was “The Role of Indigenous Women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge”. On the occasion, In-Minds Society and Anthro International organised a webinar entitled “Tribal Development: Policies and Challenges” in which Research Scholars, Professors, subject experts, students, civil society and indigenous people from different parts of the country participated. Speakers in the panel included Irfan Ali Banka, Dr. Abdul Khabir, Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat, Dr. Javaid Rahi and CEO Anthro International. The role of indigenous women in preserving tribal culture, developing and promoting uses of natural products, integration of traditional knowledge and pra

Wickremesinghe should know: Sri Lanka has nothing to gain by declaring support to China

By NS Venkataraman*  There appears to be a unanimous view in Sri Lanka and other countries that appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as President of Sri Lanka is the best decision that has happened in the present turbulent time in Sri Lanka. Ranil Wickremesinghe has served as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka six times and he has not completed full term even once and is not generally recognised as an exceptional administrator. However, he has been recognised as a reliable and decent and least controversial person by popular view and that is perhaps why governance of Sri Lanka has been handed over to him. Except a few professional demonstrators in Sri Lanka, the country is, by and large, willing to support him if he would take appropriate policy decisions and implement them in a pragmatic way. This is a good situation as far as it goes. Obviously, the priority for Ranil Wickremesinghe is to retrieve Sri Lankan economy from the present mess, which implies that he should ensure tha

Steve Otto strived to unite different trends of Communist camp, confronted dogmatism

By Harsh Thakor  One of my closest comrades Steve Otto, expired last week while sitting on the porch of his house. Some months ago, he lost his wife Cammy. He ran blogs ‘Ottos War Room’ and ‘Idiot Factor.’ I may not have personally met him but I don't have words to express my sense of loss at his demise and my gratitude for his support to my work. A writer who dipped his pen for service of the oppressed peoples. Few have ever been so supportive to me, giving such a platform to project my view. Such figures create avenues for young writers to blossom in the revolutionary movement. In hardest times, he helped me stand afloat. I deeply admire how he supported my writings on struggles in Punjab, Naxalbari, Maoism and progressive cultural activists, Hindi film actresses and actors, philosophers and swimming. Overall he was manifestation of the Marxist revolutionary as a spiritual being, revealing a subtle human touch. Steve portrayed why a Marxist or Maoist was creative. I recommend eve

Human rights violations against indigenous peoples higher than other communities

By Bharat Dogra  During the last 550 years or so some of the worst injustices ever seen in human history have been inflicted on indigenous people. Some were so destructive that perhaps no compensatory action can come even close to making up for what happened. Despite this, urgent efforts must nevertheless be made to achieve what can still be done in the interests of justice. After Columbus opened up the new American world to Europeans in 1492, waves of settlers and traders started coming here with modern arms to plunder or drive away the native people. Columbus forced the Taino ‘Indians’ in Hispaniaola to bring him an ounce of gold every three months. Those who did not, had their hands chopped off while escapees were hunted down with dogs. A priest Bartoleme de Las Casas was very distressed by what he saw of the interactions of the newcomer ‘civilizers’ with indigenous people. He wrote, “For 40 years, they have done nothing but torture, murder, harass, afflict, torment and destroy them

Scheduled tribes in India have a thousand miles to go to understand their rights

By Stalyn Ingti*  The 28th International Day of the World's Indigenous People is going to be observed around the world on the 9th of August, 2022. On this occasion, the Adivasi Samanvay Manch, Bharat (ASMB) wishes a meaningful celebration of the day. May the celebration successfully spread the UN's message on the protection and promotion of the rights of the indigenous people! As we all know, the International Day of the World Indigenous People, besides commemorating the first meeting of UN Working Group on Indigenous Population, is observed on the 9th of August every year to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous people. It also recognizes "the achievement and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection". This year, though the celebration focuses on the "The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge", every member of the indigeno