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Showing posts from July, 2022

International petition to support the march for an untouchability-free India

International petition , floated by Raju Rajagopal to support the "March for an Untouchability-free India": *** A 10 ft brass coin made from used brass utensils. On one side of the coin is the image of Dr. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian constitution. Below him is etched the question, “Will the 1947 dream of an untouchability-free India be a reality in 2047?” The other side of the coin depicts Buddha. What is the purpose of this 2000 kg coin? Please Read on... As India approaches the 75th anniversary of its independence, we will soon hear a lot about the nation’s numerous accomplishments in the fields of education, health, science and technology, women’s empowerment, national defense, and so forth. Yet, Dr. Ambedkar’s dream of an untouchability-free India remains a dream. Despite numerous laws designed to end untouchability and caste violence, not a day passes when we do not hear of atrocities against Dalits, especially women, because of who they are. Martin Macwan, Co-

A Dalit female activist in a male dominated field with close to no support system

By Aashika Premkumar, Arunika A, Saranya Sarkar, Vaibhavi, Vikas*  We interviewed human rights activist Manjula Pradeep to understand intersection of gender and caste-based discrimination. Hailing from an orthodox Dalit family, Majula went on to become the Executive Director of Navsarjan Trust, a Dalit rights organization and has worked on multiple cases, especially those found at the intersection of caste and gender based discrimination and violence. One of the key reasons for her to enter this field were her personal experiences of being discriminated on the basis of her caste and being sexually abused at a young age. She chose to oppose her family by opting for the field of social work, something she believed would help her make a difference. She was well aware of the fact that the ground realities were often much severe and became interested in working closely with affected families and women. Navsarjan Trust Manjula joined Navsarjan at the age of 22, post graduation. As a part of

Zaheer Abbas’ great batting artistry, which fell victim to Pakistan's cricket politics

By Harsh Thakor*  The legendary Zaheer Abbas has turned 75. Zaheer Abbas’s strokes were like a manifestation of aestheticism of cricket’s golden age.. His timing and artistry was simply god gifted. manipulating a cricket ball through the gaps with the wizardry of a magician. In my view for sheer style and elegance no batsman ever surpassed Zaheer Abbas.,who held a bat like a wand. No batsman as gloriously drove a cricket ball on other side of extra cover. It is hard to find an adjective to do full justice to the sheer poetry in Zaheer's batting whose strokes resembled the touches of a painters brush. His mere deft touches would send the best of balls scuttling to the boundary. Even when desecrating a bowling attack to pieces his strokes never lost the elements of composure or technique, like a boxer, poet and surgeon rolled into one. Technically he was master, with shades of unorthodoxy because of his great inventive capability. Few batsman were better positioned when driving as

Bulldozing lives of the marginalized: Are Ahmedabad schemes meant to help powerful?

By Amanisha Das, Anshit Singh, Ishit Gaba, Vaibhav Agarwal*  Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, one of most reputed and well-known Institute has been created and nurtured like a management school not a business school. Apart from changing the dynamics of business in the country, the institute has also engaged with priority sectors such as education, health, energy, and public administration. One such niche course is Transformational Social movements which largely focus on the society and its interactions with other entities including corporations and the state. The course introduces and sensitizes students on the role of social movements with an effort to understand the factors that introduce and sustain them. Through this course, we came across an ongoing housing struggle by the residents of Alif Row House, Al Uphasha Park, Alia Row House, Nehrunagar, Ahmedabad. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation came down heavily on the residents of the Alif Row House. They were accused of un

Gujarat hooch tragedy exposes failure of police and government to nab liquor sellers

A brief report on the recent hooch tragedy in Gujarat prepared by the fact finding team of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (C), Ahmedabad: *** A three member team of SUCI (C) visited the hooch tragedy affected villages of Dhandhuka and Barwala talukas on 27th July, 2022. The three members were Dr. Kanubhai Khadadiya, Jayesh Patel and Sachin Shah. The first shocking thing revealed to them was that not only Akru, Nabhoi, Chowkdi, Rojid, Chandarwa, Uchhadi, Mosadi and Aniyari, whose name surfaced in the news were affected but more than 20 other villages including Ranpari, Vaiya, Karada, Tagdi, Devagna, whose name has not surfaced are also badly affected by the tragedy. The liquor is sold in the surrounding 50 villages from the liquor shop situated between Chowkdi and Nabhoi of Barwala taluka. It clearly exposes the failure of Police and the government to nab the liquor seller. In spite of repeated representations by the Sarpanch of Rojid, no steps were taken. Presently many

Electricity Bill ensures undue profits to private sector, weakens government sector

By Bharat Dogra  There are increasing demands from many sides that the amendment of Electricity Act 2003 which the union government has been trying to push ahead for some time should not be passed in a hurry. It has been discussed that the government is likely to introduce the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament. A reference point given for this is that when the Electricity Bill 2001 was ready, this was sent to the Standing Committee on Power Affairs of Parliament and there was extensive discussion with all stakeholders for nearly two years before the bill was passed in the form of Electricity Act 2003 (which is now sought to be amended). As the amendments sought to be introduced now are very controversial ones, demand for similar extensive discussions with all stakeholders is being increasingly voiced. As electricity is in the concurrent list there is need for better consultation with state governments instead of centralizing too much authority.

Are health hazards of those taking mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccines a non-issue?

By Jeswan Kaur*  The narrative surrounding the Wuhan virus infamously called Covid-19 is as mind boggling as the lies and ignorance surrounding it. The result – a just as confused and scared population the world over, unsure of the truths and nature of the virus and safety of the hastily produced vaccines. Making matters worse is the blatant disregard for truth and abject disregard for the safety and well-being of the people. One such horror comes in the form a consultant paediatrician Dr Musa Mohd Nordin who has refuted the fact that the Covid-19 vaccines are experimental in nature. His ”understanding” – technology used in the making of these vaccines is not a new find and has been used in the past. The Sinar in its March 3, 2022 publication quoted Dr Musa as saying: “I think people who are saying the Covid-19 vaccine is experimental only now know about vaccines whereas the mRNA technology has been known since 1990 while ‘inactivated vaccine’ has been known since 1950. “The Covid-19 v

Surveillance of children: 48 govts allowed unsafe online products during Covid

By Geeta Seshu* The overwhelming majority of education technology (EdTech) products endorsed by 49 governments of the world’s most populous countries and analyzed by Human Rights Watch appear to have surveilled or had the capacity to surveil children in ways that risked or infringed on their rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released technical evidence and easy-to-view privacy profiles for 163 EdTech products recommended for children’s learning during the pandemic.  Of the 163 products reviewed, 145 (89 percent) surveilled or had the capacity to surveil children, outside school hours, and deep into their private lives. Many products were found to harvest information about children such as who they are, where they are, what they do in the classroom, who their family and friends are, and what kind of device their families could afford for them to use for online learning. This evidence underpins the May 25, 2022 report, “ How Dare They Peep into My Private Life?’:

Revolutionaries haven't still given up Charu Mazumdar's line: annihilate class enemy

By Harsh Thakor*  On 28th July we commemorate the 50th death anniversary of Charu Mazumdar,who was tortured to death in jail in police custody.. It ranks amongst the worst abuse of human rights of a political prisoner or leader in India or the world. Today history is repeating itself in with Custodial deaths being a routine occurrence in prisons.Charu’s assassination illustrated the neo-fascist nature of the Congress regime in West Bengal. The Civil Rights groups undertook extensive research on the fascist nature of the execution of not only Mazumdar but thousands of cadres of C.P.I. (M.L).In 1997 a judicial inquiry was initiated 25 years after the murder by son Abhijit and other comrades, but the petition was dismissed by the high court and Supreme Court. Charu Mazumdar must be credited for igniting the spark of ‘Naxalbari ‘by giving it a political shape, through, his Eight documents. He planted the seeds of the Indian Communist Movement demarcation from revisionism and Naxalbari Move

After Droupadi Murmu's election, should President still be called Rashtrapati?

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Congratulations to the new President of India , Smt. Droupadi Murmu and best wishes to the outgoing President of India Shri. Ramnath Kovind. As Smt. Draupadi Murmu makes it to the first citizen alias top position of the country, the President of India, the media houses flash the news as the first tribal and second women President is elected. Even the leaders and others also assert this identity of first tribal and second women President on Smt. Murmu. On the one hand it feels like, yes, it is high time that we have someone representing the indigenous community of the country and definitely yes, it is high time that the next 11 Presidents are women to settle the scores of covering half the land, water and sky of the country. On the other hand, one gets to think about the stinkingly deep-rooted caste/class/origin and importantly gender discrimination as well as distortion that are among the gifts (rather diseases) of the patriarchy and elitism in the country

Sub-national comparison of legal barriers to women’s right to choose work in India

By IMPRI Team  Under the series, The State of Gender Equality– #Gender Gaps , Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized #WebPolicyTalk on the topic The State of Discrimination: Sub-National Comparison of Legal Barriers to Women’s Right to Choose Work in India with Bhuvana Anand. Ms Bhuvana Anand is the Co-Founder and Director at Trayas . The session was chaired by Prof Vibhuti Patel, a Visiting Professor at IMPRI & Former Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai . The Discussants of the event were Dr Anisha Sharma, Asst. Professor of Economics, Ashoka University and Dr Yamini Atmavilas, Technical Director (Head, Strategy & Research) at Circle.In and Former India Lead for Gender Equality, India Country Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation . Prof Vibhuti Patel discussed the relevancy and urgency of the discussion of gender issues as most of the discussions only focused on macro realities.