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Showing posts from August, 2023

Science fiction with social twist: Pressing button on Hiroshima day to save human race

By Rathin Das*  There was nothing unusual about Mitun's birthday bash. He turned 15 today, having born in the centenary year of mankind's first use of destructive power of the atom. His father had told him several times that exactly a hundred years before Mitun's birth, human race had tasted the essence of mega deaths by dropping the first atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That was the significance of the year 2045 A D when he was born.

Fostering dialogue amidst decline in public discourse civility, shrinking democratic space

By Sushant Kumar*  The people of India, and indeed much of the world, are living through deeply troubling times, marked by rising inequality, and declining social cohesion. There is a considerable decline in the civility of our public discourse and trust in democratic institutions. All these things, when put together, constitute a grave threat to our collective national vision of realizing our constitutional values, and most of all to the idea of fraternity. As an engaged citizen deeply concerned about declining civility and increasing polarization, I have often pondered what I can do to address this pressing issue. To find an answer to this dilemma, I turned to Dialogues on Democracy & Development (DoD), which has been instrumental in fostering civil discourse and bringing people together for meaningful conversations around democracy in India for the last one year. What can we do about it? - The Ineffectiveness of Social Media Venting: “Ohh, have you seen how India has fared on th

When China remained silent on execution of Salvador Allende, massacre in Sri Lanka

By Harsh Thakor  From August 24th-28th we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 10th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. It was a landmark event in the history of the World Communist movement in shimmering the banner of Marxism-Leninism or Mao Tse Tung Thought. It was ironically the last Congress when China upheld a Socialist path. Since the 1973 party Congress there has been no Congress of any Socialist state. It’s main characteristic was of highlighting the treachery of the path of Lin Biao,who staged a coup d’etat attempt in 1971.

Himalayan disasters: ISRO working on moon; it's time to see what's happening on earth

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  #ISRO is working on moon but it is time to look what is happening on the earth, the only planet so far where we can live and enjoy life so far. Important to protect it even if we find some chances or possibilities of living on other planet nothing will be better than earth. Let us  seriously look at the policies of our governments for the #himalayan regions such as #uttarakhand and #himachalpradesh which are facing the brutal assault due to heavy rains and landslide. This year has proved to be disastrous for both these states as loss of lives, livelihood at unprecedented scale has happened in both Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Ofcourse, Himachal Pradesh has faced the worst but things in Uttarakhand too are extremely worrying and dangerous. 

Will mission moon help India leverage its diplomacy as an influential power-player?

By Sudhanshu Tripathi*  The successful moon landing has made the incredible possible for India. The country has indeed jumped towards a higher orbit of influence and power among global community of sovereign nations. While this rare achievement will in likelihood transform into the country’s increasing cooperation with other space-exploring national agencies in the world, it shall also result into massive economic gains with considerable socio-political prestige of India accompanied by robust boost to the likely prospects of its likely emerging new carved-out of Moon Diplomacy.

Confronting old state, New Peoples Army in Philippines unable to stage strategic offensive

By Harsh Thakor  In recent weeks a series of different actions have been undertaken by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of Philippines to consolidate the People’s War, in Phillipines. They have heroically retaliated the neo-fascist armed offensive terrorising even civilians, creating tremors in the camp of the enemy and boosted people’s striking capacity.

Relations with India: Some quarters wrongly criticizing Bangladesh for being China-tilting

By Prithwi Raj Chaturvedi*  Bangladesh and India have a unique relationship not only due to their geographical proximity but also because of their same socioeconomic background, shared history, and common culture. The Liberation War in 1971 also resulted in the formation of a blood connection between the two countries, a phenomenon that is noteworthy for its rarity. Since then, both countries have maintained a long and productive diplomatic relationship in the areas of politics, culture, trade, and business.

Democracy isn't just a concept but a living, breathing dialogue that shapes our society

By Niharika Negi*  "Democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people" – a phrase that once held little meaning for me, until I embarked on a transformative five-day workshop at the School of Politics. This immersive experience, hosted by Dialogues on Democracy and Development in collaboration with Azim Premji University and the Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC) in Bangalore, redefined my perspectives on democracy, development, the role of the state, and my responsibility as a citizen.

Akhaura-Agartala railway: A milestone of India-Bangladesh railway connectivity

By Samara Ashrat*  The Akhaura-Agartala rail line will be going to be inaugurated soon. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate this rail line along with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September. This project is creating considerable excitement among the people of both of the countries. This connectivity initiative is expected to be a game changer for both India and Bangladesh.

Radcliffes never die... they will come back again and again, till this world exists

By Atanu Roy*  Something has happened to me for the last couple of months. I stopped dreaming at night. Freud has a detailed treatment of dreams [dreams are the disguised fulfilments of repressed infantile wishes], but he has never taken up the phenomenon of any person not dreaming at all. Maybe my subconscious mind is not in place, It has stopped working, and hence no dreams get triggered at night, it flashes at day only.

Outrageous: Muslim boy being beaten up, slapped, humiliated in front of entire class

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*   The video of a Muslim boy being beaten   up, slapped and humiliated in front of the entire class in a school in Uttar Pradesh, has only shown how much the hate propaganda against the Muslims in India has reached inside our hearts and minds. That a teacher in the primary school is sadistically enjoying when the poor boy is being humiliated in front of the entire class reflects the power of the poison that has been injected in our mind for years and has become the hallmark of the Noida channels. Remember, the teacher is not beating the boy herself but ordering each student of the class to beat him up. She encouraged and said that all Muslim children should be dealt with like this.

Educate Girls’ Team Balika plants 6000 saplings: Ek Pedh Balika Shiksha initiative

By Kush Sharma*  Educate Girls, a non-profit organisation committed to working for girls' education in rural India, organised a Plantation Drive as part of its initiative 'Ek Pedh Balika Shiksha ke Liye' to mark International Youth Day on August 12. The event witnessed over 4,700 volunteers, from Team Balik come together to plant 6,000 tree saplings across 3 states.

US, Canada, Australia, Europe should realise: Migrant bomb is now there to stay

By NS Venkataraman*  It is reported that United Kingdom had high level of knife related crimes with 50,489 knife related incidents reported in the year ending March,2022. In United Kingdom, there was 7% increase in the number of knife related threats to kill over the year 2021. These days, the shootings in malls, schools and other busy places in USA are reported frequently , injuring and killing innocent people. There was huge violence in France a few weeks back, when an African had to be shot down by the police due to violation of traffic rule. In Canada too, shootings in public places are often reported. Conditions in Australia seem to be no better.

Chandrayaan-3 success and need to shed irrational thoughts, religious prejudices

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Congratulations #ISRO for successful landing of #Chandrayaan3 on #moon. For thousands of years, #Moon has been the Mama for all of us. We worshipped moon. After two-three months, we will have a celebration of #Karwachowth where a number of those clapping for todays mission, would be 'praying' the 'moon' for the long lives of their respective husbands and the same TV channel who are celebrating today, will celebrate #Karwachowth festival more than what they are doing it today.

Emulating Che Guevara, Argentine photo-journalist Molares perishes in police attack

By Harsh Thakor  Facundo Molares Schoenfeld, a former member of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), succumbed after suffering cardiac arrest following a protest at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Molares, who was a photojournalist, was protesting in a demonstration of Argentinean left-wing militants against the primary elections to be held this Sunday. After being detained by the Buenos Aires Police and after more than half an hour of  "resuscitation manoeuvres," the mayor's office of the Argentinian capital confirmed his death.

Religious ideologies have miserably failed to plant finer human emotions like love

By Sudhansu R Das*  The safety of the nation, life and livelihood of the people is always above any religion. So, the leaders of all religious communities should do everything to remove the seeds of hatred which germinate to ruin the environment for multiple economic activities that give peace and happiness to a family. The religious ideologues should teach their communities everything about spiritual pursuit without any motive. True religious preaching should replace hatred with love and fellow feelings. 

Why should we presume that there is a trade-off between development and environment?

By Chandra Vikash*  On Saturday 20th August 2023, at a Panel Discussion on ‘Does Modi Administration Really Deliver to Protect Environment, Biodiversity and Human Rights?’, I abruptly interrupted Jairam Ramesh, India’s former Minister for Environment & Forests, as he was emphasizing on the need ‘to balance development with environment protection’ in response to my earlier question. I have high regards for the former Hon. Minister and great respect for him as one of the few clean politicians, who has stood up for the truth for the people as Minister for Environment and Forests and subsequently as Minister for Rural Development.

Rights of pastoralists amidst challenges for rearing sheep and generational shifts

Zonal level convention on challenges faced by pastoral communities in Eastern India: A note on the two day meet in Ranchi: *** Two-day zonal convention on “Rights of Pastoral Community” under the theme “Sheepherders as Climate Justice Activists!” concluded at the Press Club in Ranchi. SAMVAD, a grassroots civil society organization and ActionAid Association organized the meeting to highlight the unique challenges pastoral communities face in Eastern India. Esteemed speakers, including members of pastoral communities, government officials and subject experts, convened to discuss and debate the invaluable experiences and multifaceted challenges pastoralists face. These discussions aimed to chart a path towards solutions tailored to the unique needs of these communities.

Women in non-notified bastis vulnerable to household air pollution, can't access LPG

USAID and Asar Social Impact Advisors conducted research “Barriers to Access, Adoption, and Sustained Use of Cleaner Fuels Among Low-Income Households: An Exploratory Study from Delhi and Jharkhand, India,” with focus groups and in-depth interviews in urban communities in Delhi and in several villages in rural Jharkhand with assistance from NGO partners Cornerstone Knowledge Builders in Delhi and HOPE in Jharkhand. A report: ***

Threats from Los Choneros cartel preceded murder of Ecuadorian leader Villavicencio

By Harsh Thakor  On 9th of August, Fernando Villavicencio, presidential candidate of Ecuador, was assassinated in cold blood when departing from a political rally at Anderson College in Quito. Approximately 30 gunshots were fired and around nine people were injured in the attack, including the presidential candidate and two police officers. Last week, Villavicencio condemned threats from the “Los Choneros” cartel, whose dissident group, “Los Lobos” claimed responsibility for the attack against the presidential candidate.

Gramya's tieup with rural communities for tailored solutions to unique needs

Empowering Rural India: A note on Gramya initiating for groundbreaking projects for sustainable development *** Gramya, a leading organization dedicated to rural economic empowerment and sustainable development, is proud to announce the launch of several groundbreaking initiatives aimed at transforming rural communities and fostering inclusive growth. Gramya has been at the forefront of empowering rural communities through demand-driven interventions, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships. With a mission to create a brighter future for rural India, the organization has undertaken various projects to address the pressing challenges faced by rural areas. Key Highlights of Gramya's Initiatives: E Gramya and E Panchayat Portals: In the digital age, Gramya is harnessing technology to create a positive impact on rural communities. The development of the E Gramya and E Panchayat portals facilitates national and international markets' awareness for rural products and provides

Sex workers facing huge challenge in getting identity proof to avail social entitlements

A note on the National Consultation around the historic Supreme Court ruling of 19 May 2022 by All-India Network of Sex Workers *** Over 50 participants including 30 sex workers representing various community-based organizations across 11 states including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh who are associated with the All-India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) gathered at Vishwa Yuvak Kendra here today to discuss around the ‘historic Supreme Court Ruling of 19 May, 2022.’ Speaking about the Supreme Court Ruling, Ms. Putul Singh, President, AINSW, stated that it “affirmed that sex workers should be treated with decency and dignity, and the police should not interfere or take any criminal action when an adult engages in consensual sex work.” Dr Shobini Rajan, Deputy Director General, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) said “We have always put the community at the centre when it comes to makin

Conspired, intentional move of Bengal police to manhandle, arrest tea plantation leader

Statement issued by CK Unnikrishnan, President, All India Plantation Workers Federation (AIPWF) to unconditionally release AIPWF General Secretary: *** The All India Plantation Workers Federation (AIPWF) condemns the conspired and intentional move of the Bengal Police Administration which brutally manhandled and arrested Comrade Ziaul Alam, the General Secretary of AIPWF on 16th August 2023 night, at Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Most unfortunately, Comrade Ziaul Alam and other 4 arrested comrades were produced in Court on 17th August 2023 and found to be maliciously framed with non-bailable charges and were not granted Bail, which is nothing but an atrocious onslaught on entire working class movement an specifically the tea workers of our country.

Coup against French imperialism, which takes advantage of plunder of Nigerian resources

By Harsh Thakor  The sporadic coup in Nigeria has shaken the earth, sending shivers down the spine of imperialist countries, particularly France. It has shaped further polarisation of inter-imperialist contradictions, with intervention of Wagner group of Russia. A fitting result to the tyranny imposed by imperialism and outcome of preceding events in history.

Concerns over violence against religious minorities at Parliament of World's Religions

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) statement: Panel at Parliament of World's Religions highlights concerns over Hindu nationalism and violence against religious minorities *** The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) brought together civil society leaders, activists, and a journalist to discuss the escalating rise of right-wing Hindu extremism and the surge in violence against religious minorities, including Muslims, as well as other religious minorities in India, at a panel hosted during the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago.

A Communist who played as vanguard for a correct line on Khalistani terrorism

By Harsh Thakor  The Communist revolutionary contingent dips its red flag in memory of Thana Singh who had recently departed from the ranks of communist revolutionary movement after a brief but fatal bout of illness. Without doubt he has carved a permanent niche amongst the great communist revolutionary leaders of India. Till the very last, he manifested the spit of liberating humanity. A model for any member of the Indian Communist revolutionary camp.

Eradicating manual scavenging requires multi-pronged strategy, a nationwide campaign

Kaushal Khatri*  Manual scavenging, the practice of manually cleaning and removing human excreta from dry latrines and sewers, has been an unfortunate reality in India for centuries. This dehumanizing practice persists despite being outlawed in 1993 under the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act.

In contrast to others, this Greek Communist leader would openly express himself

By Harsh Thakor  On August 1, 2023, the International Communist Movement commemorated the 50th anniversary of the death of Nikos Zachariadis. General Secretary of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) from 1931 to 1956.He ranked amongst the most impactful and illustrious characters in shaping the European and international communist movement in the 20th century. Few leaders ever more fiercely and boldly confronted revisionism, creating shivers down its spine and sending tremors to its camp. His biography entailed the most fascinating experiences.

I-Day in US: Indian Muslim diaspora march in tribute to legacy of freedom fighters

IAMC joins Indian Independence Day parade in New Jersey; celebrates alongside fellow Indian Americans: An Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) note:  *** Members of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) participated in an annual Indian Independence Day parade in Edison, New Jersey alongside fellow Indian Americans of diverse backgrounds. Dressed in traditional clothing and waving several Indian flags, members from IAMC’s New Jersey chapter - including children and families - joined the NJ diaspora community in celebration of India’s 76th year of independence. IAMC members also marched in tribute to the rich legacy of India's 200 million Muslims, who played a pivotal role in India’s freedom struggle and continue to contribute to Indian culture, entertainment, society and defense of democracy. IAMC was introduced by the parade’s MCs as an advocacy group “guided by a passionate commitment to justice, civil rights, and harmony,” and members were invited onto the stage for a photo

Bajrang Dal flag on Indian Independence Day in US is like waving KKK flag on July 4

Indian Americans condemn display of Bajrang Dal flags at New Jersey Indian Independence Day parade: An Indian American Muslim Council note *** Indian Americans strongly condemned the hateful display of flags associated with the Hindu militant group Bajrang Dal at an August 13 Indian Independence Day parade in Edison, New Jersey. The Bajrang Dal is a violent Hindu supremacist group and the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), whose members in India have a long history of killing Muslims, calling for Muslim genocide, and leading violent processions which devolve into attacks on mosques and Muslim homes. After those waving the flags intimidated Muslim attendees, police asked them to leave the parade. IAMC members notified local authorities of the incident and provided video documentation of the men displaying Bajrang Dal flags. IAMC commends local law enforcement for taking swift action to address the hateful display. “Waving a Bajrang Dal flag at an Indian Independence Day Para

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide: Crisis deeply ingrained in capitalist-imperialist systems

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Once upon a time, the term 'globalisation' dominated public discourse, presenting itself as the sole available alternative and panacea to all the world's predicaments. It was viewed as a policy paradigm promising peace, prosperity, economic growth, and human development. However, in recent times, globalisation seems to have vanished from public discussions, with policymakers acting as if it has never existed in human history. Liberalisation, privatisation, and structural adjustments served as the pillars of globalisation as a project of global capitalism. They temporarily obscured the unbridled violence associated with colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism, instead creating a silent structural violence characterized by marginalisation, poverty, hunger, and homelessness. 

Environmental damage due to improperly treated wastewater flowing into waterbodies

By Proshakha Maitra*, Megha Gupta*, Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava**  According to the United Nations Water and other leading organisations like World Wide Fund for Nature , almost two-thirds of the world’s population could suffer from water shortage by 2025. We know that 97.5% of total world water available is in oceans (saltwater) and only 2.5% of freshwater resources are available throughout the globe. Meaning, the water resources are definite and not expanding unlike the rising water demands. The global situation of the water crisis where water consumption is constantly increasing along with the world population, humanity has reached a critical stage that it has pushed us to look into alternative sources of water recovery. An alternative source of water is addressed by treating wastewater and reusing it. Efficient wastewater treatment methods are becoming crucial to sustainably meet the needs of both the present and the future. Wastewater or sewage is a mix of debris, chemicals, waste m

Maoists' actions or protests haven't been in integration with broad people’s movements

By Harsh Thakor*  Since the beginning of last month there were several reports of guerrilla activities engulfing numerous territories of India, comprising ongoing People’s War lead by the Communist Party of India (Maoist). It claims it has struck the enemy and delivered mortal blows in the very belly of the rulers. A virtual war of attrition and contention is being waged, with possibly both sides exaggerating their claims. The revolutionary media, particularly ’Red Herald’ gave an effect of new script written in the people’s war in India.

Finding equitable access to housing as a shaky global housing market slides

By Jackie Edwards  Property is a key facet of most economies, developed or otherwise, and the fortunes of a national housing market can be a key indicator as to wider GDP growth and economic health. It is with some trepidation, then, that economic analysts are predicting a 6% drop in global housing market value; one Goldman Sachs analysis is estimating a house price index drop will continue to hit countries worldwide, including the most developed countries. 

In real life Greg Chappell did not reveal the same grace or composure as in batting

By Harsh Thakor  On August 7th we celebrated the 75th birthday of Greg Chappell, who was without doubt one of the greatest batsmen or cricketers ever to have ever trod on a cricket pitch. Greg was descendant of the allround sportsman Victor Richardson, who captained Australia in test cricket. He was part of famous trio of brothers with Ian and Trevor, who all played test cricket. Given weekly coaching lessons by Lynn Fuller, the brothers were baptised in intense backyard cricket matches, with no restraint.