Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2021

Meena: The first Afghan woman martyr who laid down her life for women's rights

Shamsul Islam, formerly with Delhi University, remembers Meena, the first Afghan woman who laid down life for rights of Afghan women: *** The great Afghan woman martyr, Meena (1956-1987), founded the Revolutionary Association Of The Women Of Afghanistan (RAWA) in 1977. She was assassinated by the hired goons of KHAD (Afghanistan branch of KGB) and their fundamentalist accomplices in Quetta, Pakistan, on February 4, 1987. RAWA resolutely fought for the rights of the Afghan women against the Islamists and the Russians occupation (1980-87) of their country offering heroic sacrifices. RAWA kept on the fight for the rights of the Afghan women during the first Taliban rule (1996-2001), the USA led occupation of the country (2001-2021) and continues the resistance during the current 2nd rule of the Taliban. In the following is reproduced a part of Meena’s poem which she wrote few months before her martyrdom. I’ll Never Return I'm the woman who has awoken I've arisen and become a t

A blind spot in our history: To Bhojpuri singer, world should know of indentured labour

Vidya Bhushan Rawat* speak to Raj Mohan, lyricist, singer and musician in Sarnami Bhojpuri: *** Rootlessness is a serious crisis of the current generation as most enjoy the gated life styles surrounded by ‘gazettes and ‘connectivity’ where any guest is unwelcome and you are lost in the virtual world without ever caring or even thinking of your neighbours or near dear ones. The dependency on the virtual world and race for ‘successes and ‘fame’ has made our youths look soulless who do not enjoy being ‘surprised’ and even while travelling to a peaceful region they would still want ‘connectivity’ and link to the virtual world. And these aspiring to live in the virtual world are basically those who enjoy the privileges of their ‘families; and ‘identity’. History is a powerful tool. It may deny you identity and fill you with a deep sense of ‘pride’ in your ancestors. The history of colonial rule in India has been interpreted by ‘experts’ through different perspectives. There are different s

Post-Stalin Netaji advised Soviets, had facial surgery, met Lal Bhadur in Tashkent!

In an curious Facebook post "What happened to Netaji?", former editor of the Times of India, Ahmedabad, Kingshuk Nag, who later took over the Hyderabad edition of TOI as editor, has asserted that not only did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose didn't die in a plane crash, he went to the Soviet Union, where he served as adviser of the Soviet leaders during the post-Stalin phase. One who has authored a Netaji book , he makes another astonishing "revelation": that Netaji, it is believed, had undergone face surgery "to change his appearance", and is "supposed to have met Indian PM Lal Bahadur Shastri when he went to Tashkent in 1966." Was Netaji so meek? One doesn't know... Anyway, read the FB post : *** Today is purportedly the day that Netaji died in an air crash in Taiwan in 1945. An elaborate theory of his death and the fact that his ashes were stored in Renkoji temple was created. By all accounts this is fiction. Netaji disappeared into Soviet

Nagaland: Promises frustrated by Indian govt’s non-implementation of peace accord

August 15, apparently, also happens to be Independence Day of Nagaland. In a message on that day, top NGO International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) global coordinator Beverly L Longid sent out the following message: *** Warmest greetings to all our Naga sisters and brothers. It is an honor to join you today in your celebration of the 75th year of Naga Independence. The first time I heard of Nagalim was 30 years ago when I joined in 1992 the secretariat of my local organization, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. I met some of your leaders like Nengulo Krome of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights. Later, I had the opportunity to meet young leaders like Nengreichon and younger ones like Atina and others. I am happy to see you again and other indigenous activists, although online. Since then, we have maintained communications, but more importantly, we developed and strengthened our solidarity. On behalf of the International Indigenous Pe

Many Bangladeshis facing slow death from silicosis after their return from India

Many Bangladeshis who return from India are suffering from deadly silicosis, the Dhaka-based “Daily Star” newspaper reports. Here is the story by Kongkon Karmaker: *** Many Bangladeshis are facing slow death from silicosis after their return from India following years of work at stone crushing fields in different states of the neighbouring country. Silicosis is a form of lung disease that is usually caused by many years of inhalation of silica dust. Most of these Bangladeshis, especially residents of bordering districts, had long been working illegally at various stone crushing sites in a number of Indian states including Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi. The Bangladeshis entered the neighbouring country in search of jobs and none of them have any valid travel documents. The Daily Star recently interviewed several such returnee workers who are from Biral upazila in Dinajpur and Pirganj upazila in Thakurgaon. All of them said that they used to work at different stone crushing plants in Ind

Sardar Patel's secularism was no different from Nehru's ... in word and in spirit

At time when Jawaharlal Nehru is a favourite whipping boy of the powers-that-be, with efforts being made to highlight alleged differences he had with Sardar Patel, former Gujarat IPS officer Vinod Mall, who retired as a DGP-level officer of the Gujarat Government, and currently is professor at the Ahmedabad University, has shared a Facebook post from the FB page called Nehruvian which suggests there was no difference between the two top freedom fighters. Read on: *** "Do not led away that Hinduism is in danger. Hinduism can never be in danger in India. Have we not produced men of religion in the past who spread religion and culture all over India? What did Shankracharya do? When he died, how young he was! But did he raise the cry that Hinduism was in danger? Religion is a matter between man and his Maker. If you forget your citizenship and talk of religion, it is a cloak. "Therefore, when I hear some people talking about Hinduism in danger, I feel that they are going a wro

Why it is important to remember a Temple, a Gurdwara, and a Masjid on August 5

By Nikhil Mandalaparthy August 5, 2021 is a day to remember three houses of worship, from three different religious traditions, in three different countries. Each of these houses of worship belong to minority communities in their respective countries, and they have each been targeted by those who subscribe to majoritarian political ideologies.

Disruption of webinar on scientific temper: How MP admin supported attack on scholars

LS Herdenia on how   RSS affiliated Vidhyarthi Parishad forced university authorities to remove the names of two eminent scholars from the list of speakers at a webinar on scientific tempter: *** July 30, 2021 will be recorded as a day of shame in the history of Dr. Gaur Central University of Madhya Pradesh. On this day the RSS affiliated Vidhyarthi Parishad directed the University to remove the names of two eminent scholars from the list of speakers who were to participate in a Webinar organised by the University. The ABVP claimed that Dr. Gauhar Raza and Dr. Apoorvanand are "enemies of the nation" and therefore should not be allowed to speak in the Webinar. It may be mentioned here that Raza is a well-known scientist and Dr. Apoorvanand teaches in Delhi University and ranks as a great scholar. Besides both are committed to secular values as enshrined in the Constitution.

Bonded labour a thing of past? Gujarat rural workers are now more aware: Ex-official

  By Rajiv Shah  This is sort of rejoinder to my previous  story . I was a little surprised on receiving a phone call from a former government official, who retired in 2015, Bipin Bhatt, whom I have known as one of the more socially conscious senior babus of Gujarat. A non-IAS bureaucrat, I first interacted him during my Gandhinagar days, when I used to cover Gujarat Sachivalaya for the Times of India. At that time he was Gujarat’s rural labour commissioner, a post which he occupied between 2004 and 2007. Thereafter I have been in touch with him.