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Showing posts from May, 2023

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Killing of Atiq raises questions regarding lapses in cops' professional competence

By Prof Sudhanshu Tripathi*  What next or who next? The ongoing narrative in popular media over the slain Atiq Ahmed began with CM Yogi’s oft-cited speech in the state assembly that “iss mafia ko mitti mein mila denge.” And consequent encounters of four shooters by the UP police involved in the cold blooded murder of Umesh Pal -- the only witness alive in Raju Pal’s broad daylight murder by Atiq and his henchmen -- in February 2023. Further, few more encounters by the UP police since then have boldly underlined the oft-cited zero-tolerance policy of the Yogi government.

Intensified demand to scrap iron fortified rice distributed in India’s public food schemes

Reporters’ Collective’s 3-part Investigative Exposé highlights with additional evidence the red flags that ASHA and RTFC have raised on large scale ironfortified rice distribution in India’s public food schemes, say civil society platforms *** The Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA ) and the Right to Food Campaign (RTFC ) who have been actively raising concerns on the many red flags related to large scale iron-fortified-rice distribution in India, stand vindicated with additional evidence emerging from Reporters’ Collective’s investigative stories - that too from official confidential and documents - More detailed information has now emerged on state-led cover ups, internal red flags from different government agencies, and corporate profit-government nexus behind the rice fortification program via an exposé by the Reporters Collective in a 3 part series . Government of India, in a unilateral decision on a matter which Constitutionally is vested with state gove

Mrinal Sen ably tapped Bengal’s political psyche, created celluloid images of reality

By Harsh Thakor  On 14th May we commemorated the birth centenary of film maker Mrinal Sen. Mrinal Sen was the last surviving member of the famed trio of Bengali directors, Ray-Sen-Ghatak (Ritwik Ghatak), seen as the founders of India’s ‘New Wave Cinema’. Sen, like Ghatak, may not have achieved the level of fame Ray did, but his work was equally admired the world over. Together they enriched the international reputation for the country which no other filmmakers had been able to.

Why bureaucrats of West Bengal at all hierarchical levels are just puppets

By Harasankar Adhikari  Local self-government decentralises democratic power at the grass roots through the enactment of the Panchayat Raj institution in India. It is the most important and glorious step of Indian democracy. The purpose is undoubtedly unique, and it has immense importance to strengthen people's participation in the government as their own. But multi-party politics shapes it differently for political purposes. It has become a platform for rampant corruption in almost every sphere of governance. It also teaches grass-roots people how to be corrupted and how to deprive innocent people.

21st century's big question: Will world handle unprecedented, human-made survival crisis?

By Bharat Dogra  As the year 2000 dawned, thoughtful people of planet earth were filled with concern that this may prove to be the most challenging, difficult and possibly the most high-risk century their planet has ever seen as enough evidence was available by then that the basic life-nurturing conditions can be disrupted by serious environmental problems (led by climate change) as well as by weapons of mass destruction. There was rising concern that world leadership is not prioritizing this most urgent issue of a survival crisis, and several smaller groups of thoughtful people tried to usher in the right priorities by issuing several appeals which however failed to have the desired impact on world leadership.

Withdrawal of Rs 2000 note: Must India move steadily towards cashless economy?

By NS Venkataraman*  After demonetisation in 2016, cash circulation in India by value came down significantly . However, subsequently , for whatever reasons , the cash circulation was gradually increased by the Government of India by printing more currency notes of various denominations. As a result, present currency circulation in the country by value is as high as Rs. 32 lakh crore.

Why was this BJP leader forced to call off marriage of his daughter with Muslim boy?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A marriage of two individuals belonging to different faiths was ultimately postponed as the 'champions' of the social morality dominated the discourse and threatened the father of the girl who happened to be the chairman of Pauri city municipality. Yashpal Benam, a BJP leader, posted the invitation of his daughter's wedding with a Muslim boy from Uttar Pradesh. Both the boy and the girl became friend during their B Tech course and were in relationship. There were reports that they already got married in the court but we don't know the reality. Perhaps the family of the girl wanted to send a message of 'acceptability' and 'appreciation' of such a marriage by the society.

Against genuine pace, spin Rohan Kanhai was best player, on par with Viv Richards

By Harsh Thakor  Rohan Kanhai took creative genius in batting or aesthecism to regions unexplored. He virtually gave the art of batting a new dimension, being the equivalent of a Beethoven or Rembrandt to batting. He in full flow was manifestation of a divine energy. He could literally invent strokes of his own. He could eviserate any bowling attack, in any conditions.

Govt of India disingenuously arguing Delhi varsity’s GM mustard not herbicide tolerant

We challenge Govt of India to explain how it will prevent farmers from using herbicides on a HT GM mustard crop, says Coalition for a GM-Free India in a note *** The Coalition for a GM-Free India threw a challenge at the Government of India to show how it will prevent farmers from using herbicides on HT mustard crop that received approval in October 2022. In a letter sent to the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Coalition pointed out that the GoI has no statutory powers to regulate farmers in their use of herbicides either under Insecticides Act or Environment Protection Act. Government of India has disingenuously been arguing that Delhi University’s GM mustard which has used the bar-barnase-barstar technology in the name of pollination control, is not herbicide tolerant. It has also said, including in Supreme Court affidavits and the regulators’ approval letter to the crop developer that farmers will be penalised under the Insecticides Act 1968 and EPA 198

Expectation from Modi on rooting out corruption has not been met adequately

By NS Venkataraman*  Whatever the sworn critics of Mr. Narendra Modi , India’s Prime Minister, may say about his administration, the ground reality is that the cross section of Indians living across the country and observers abroad are of the view that India has changed for better in multiple directions during the last nine years after Mr. Modi has taken over as Prime Minister. Many international expert groups as well as UNO have now applauded India for it’s strong economic growth trajectory, even as several countries in the world are facing recessionary trends.

Mental health crisis of ageing in India: feeling neglected, loss of importance in family

By Harasankar Adhikari   The crisis of mental health as a result of ageing is the prime burden of successful ageing today. In order to discuss this ageing issue, we have to understand the phases of human life. There are two phases in a human life – (i) the forenoon phase and (ii) the afternoon phase. The forenoon phase is the initial phase of life for preparing oneself (i.e., education, occupation, marriage, rearing of family, social citizenship responsibility, and so forth). On the other hand, afternoon phase (i.e., middle age to end of life ) directs to follow the principle of detachment (i.e., limitation of activities outside for earning and spiritual development, etc.). It guides us to adopt an inner culture of life beyond the routine work of money-making, social existence, family, and other duties. There are many types of institutions at this stage. But in the afternoon stage, there are limited institutions (only religious institutions) to deal with this phase. Therefore, th

Kaypakkaya gave Marxism new shape in Turkey, delivered mortal blow to revisionism

By Harsh Thakor  On 18th May, we commemorated the 50th martyrdom anniversary of Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, who sowed the seeds for the flame to ignite f the Turkish armed revolutionary struggle or revolutionary communism in Turkey. Even non Maoists or non Marxists, who comprise the revolutionary anti-imperialist camp, place him in great esteem.

Ukraine: To what extent can western countries get into direct confrontation with Russia?

By Bharat Dogra  Among all the countries and regions of the world, the west is supposed to have the best capacity for conducting research, carrying out investigations and gathering intelligence. This is due to the existence of very well-funded intelligence agencies, academic and research organizations, universities and think –tanks as well as very well-resourced and networked media organizations. In addition there is supposed to be the constitutionally guaranteed freedom for a diversity of opinion to exist and spread, providing checks and balances and enabling corrections at an early stage. Opposition parties are supposed to have wide space, more than in most other countries, to provide alternative and opposing views and having these debated, leading to correctives when needed. All this together can provide a very strong base for evidence-based policy- making.

Ghastly Israeli move to transfer Palestinian Communist leader to solitary confinement

By Harsh Thakor  The Israeli Prison Services (IPS) has sensationally transferred political prisoner Ahmad Sa’adat, Secretary-General of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), in clutches of solitary confinement. According to Walla news website, the IPS failed to even reveal the reasons behind this ghastly move.

Plea to Gujarat govt to include Urdu as a subject in Teachers Aptitude Test

Right to Education Forum, Gujarat, represents to the Principal Secretary, Education Department, Gujarat State to include “Urdu” as a subject in the ensuing Teachers Aptitude Test to be conducted and to extend the last date of filing for Online Application for appearing in TAT Examination: *** Bring to your sincere attention regarding Injustice with Urdu students on the above issue that Urdu subject is not included in this TAT exam on 4/6/23 (PRE) and on 18/6/23 (Mains). The aspirants of becoming teacher of “Urdu” in the Government Secondary and/or Private (Grant-in-aid) Secondary Schools which are affiliated with The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Board. As your good selves are aware that for becoming a teacher in such schools it is mandatory to appear and pass the TAT Examination which is conducted by The State Examination Board, Gujarat State. The weightage of TAT Examination is 70% at the time of preparing the list of the eligible candidates for the appointme

Act of charity often encourages dependent mindset, beggar attitude among NGOs

By NS Venkataraman*  Religious scriptures, mythological stories and speeches and writings of scholars advocate that love and compassion for others should be the central focus of the thought process of everyone. It is said that development of such mindset is the sure way of leading life process with peace and tranquility. Obviously, such mindset would result in the regular practice of extending support to the needy persons, animals and creatures in whatever way possible.

Elderly widows in rural India live in isolation, vulnerability, extreme neglect, oppression

By Harasankar Adhikari  Widowhood is a critical social issue, even today in global India. Here, widows are facing a lot of problems and hardships in the family and society because of traditional norms, cultural practises, and beliefs, while women continue to struggle for gender equality and women’s rights issues. The elderly widows are higher than the male elderly. It has been recorded that the widow population in India is more than 33 million in the world. The statistic shows that 88% of widows in India live in households with a low or moderate standard of living. They are living in poverty and oppression.

Known for shaping various social movements, Dr Navsaharan being mercilessly targeted

By Harsh Thakor  Dr. Navsharan, writer, democratic rights activist, a resilient supporter of people's struggles and the daughter of renowned playwright Late Gursharan Singh, is being mercilessly targeted by the Modi government for revealing the truth. It is a manifestation of the trend engulfing nation of attack on intellectuals and democratic rights activists across the country, Dr. Navsharan was interrogated under the PMLA Act and an attempt was made to crush and bully her in the name of an inquiry. Modi Govt driven Enforcement Directorate (ED) has harassed the well known Cultural and Social activist Dr. Navsharan, by grilling more than 8 hours Like the UAPA, PMLA also gives the government unlimited powers to crush the democratic rights of any person.

Alternative Education Path for interesting, creative, participative, non-imposing approach

By Bharat Dogra  An alternative education path (ATP) which is well integrated with the creation of a better and safer world is presented here. One part of ATP can be called Core 1 and the essence of this remains the same from the beginning of school education to post-graduation, although of course the learning is different for various classes and age-groups. This core 1 is concerned with the teaching of certain universal values such as peace, non-violence, justice, protection of all forms of life and environment, attitude of caring and co-operation towards all human beings, non-discrimination, equality, gender equality, social harmony etc. Various aspects of these universal issues are learned in various classes so as to gain a comprehensive view of universal values by class five (approximately the first half of school education). Then this is taken to an advanced level in higher school, and then to college in various interesting and meaningful ways. This is to be considered the most im

Undeniable: Rohingya team visit marks beginning of repatriation from Bangladesh

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  The Rohingya are the most persecuted minority group in the world. Such persecution has forced Rohingyas into Bangladesh for many years, with significant spikes following violent attacks in 1978, 1992, and again in 2016. More than 700,000 Rohingya were forced to flee from Myanmar following a brutal military crackdown in 2017. Currently, Bangladesh has been hosting nearly 1.2 million Rohingya refugees for six years. At this point, there are more Rohingyas in Bangladesh than in Myanmar.

Repatriating Rohingiyas from Bangaldesh: Conducive environment talk politically biased

By Harunur Rasid  Will the Myanmar-Bangladesh pilot return project ensure the Rohingya repatriation? Even though the repatriation of Rohingyas has made no substantial progress in the last five years, a delegation of Rohingya refugees traveled to Myanmar recently to see new facilities erected in preparation for the resurrection of the long-stalled plan. Officials have expressed optimism that repatriations will resume later this month.

Most daring Latin America woman activist known for avenging murder of Che Guevera

By Harsh Thakor  Monika Ertl was one of the most daring women activists of Latin America who was renowned for avenging the murder of Che Guevera. Till the last drop of her blood she embarked on road to emancipate humanity from oppression. Her relentless spirit is the foreground today of revolutionary activists confronting tyranny. Her life and martyrdom was a manifestation of forces of oppression and liberation . 

Provide more weapons to Ukraine: Plea from two of most pampered media figures in West

By James W. Carden  Two of America’s leading neocon apparatchiks, Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg and Atlantic staff writer Anne Applebaum traveled to Ukraine with the widow of the American tech titan Steve Jobs (who now, as it happens, owns The Atlantic) for a round of war tourism and a sit-down with Ukrainian president Zelensky.

Karnataka: Rahul Gandhi energised Congress, #BharatJodoYatra played pivotal role

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat   Karnataka's electoral victory of the Indian National Congress is a big boost for the entire country and a prelude to what is in the store in the next general elections if the opposition leaders focus on governance. Congress party fought like a team, unitedly and aggressively and credit must be given to where and when it is due. Whatever people, experts can say, it is Rahul Gandhi who energised the Congress party and his #BharatJodoYatra played pivotal role in shaping people's opinion. We know it well that the media and experts will come out with 'Mood of the Nation' survey, suggesting how this was a 'state' poll and how Narendra Modi is still far 'superior' and 'popular' than any other leader and this 'Brand Modi' remain 'undented'. 

India may allow Bangladesh to import power from Nepal, Bhutan via its transmission line

By Samara Ashrat*  Cross Border Electricity Trade (CBET) has been taking place between South Asian countries under bilateral Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) /Power Trade Agreement (PTAs) over the last decade. Bangladesh and Nepal are waiting for India’s consent to start power export from Nepal to Bangladesh. India’s consent is necessary in this regard, as transmission line has to be passed through India, which stands between the two countries. Both Nepal and Bangladesh will sit on May 15-16 to advance the power export plan further. The fifth meeting of the joint secretary-level Joint Working Group and the secretary-level Joint Steering Committee meetings will be held then.

Belafonte: No other entertainer immersed so much in the heart of Civil Rights Movement

By Harsh Thakor  The outstanding Jamaica-born artist, Civil Rights activist and internationalist, Harry Belafonte, died from congestive heart failure at age 96, a week ago, on April 25, 2023.A mascot of people’s emancipation from injustice. His life story or events that shaped his life are amongst the most gripping commentaries ever.

Women voters in Indian democracy: Whither strategy to implement Domestic Violence Act?

By Harasankar Adhikari  According to the statistics of the Election Commission of India, the gender gap has been narrowed in terms of voter turnout in India, and women voters play an important role in the parliamentary election. It was almost equal in the 16th Lok Sabha Election ( male voter turnout was 67.09%, while female voter turnout was 65.30%). It was about 44 crore in 2019 (the 17th Lok Sabha Election). Historically, women voters influenced Indian politics.

Realpolitik requires Pakistan must never question Bangladesh's close ties with India

By Mehjabin Bhanu*  President of Pakistan Arif Alvi has congratulated Phresident Md Shabuddin on taking charge as the 22nd President of Bangladesh. In a congratulatory message, Arif Alvi said, 'Congratulations to you for assuming office as the 22nd President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Your election to this responsibility is a reflection of the trust and faith the people of Bangladesh have in you.

No other Black artist in US defended the legacy of Stalin and USSR like Robeson

By Harsh Thakor  April 9, 2023 marked the 125th anniversary of the birth of Paul Robeson, one of the outstanding Revolutionary or Marxist personalities of the 20th century. He was not only an outstanding U.S. scholar, athlete, lawyer, actor and singer but, most importantly, a relentless battler for the rights of all who championed the spirit of liberation, for his own people and for the peoples of the world. Till his last breath championed Marxism-Leninism and Black people’s Liberation. Very few artists transcended barriers of revolutionary courage to confront fascism, as Robeson, whose creative contribution among Black artists, is almost unparalleled. Reminiscent of a virtual soul of the oppressed masses, world over. He was greatly appreciated and admired by the working class and peoples of the U.S. and Canada and of the entire world for his unflinching dedication for just causes, in which he put his own people in first place, and contributed the same to the peoples of the world. It w