Dogs, Mosquitoes and Cities

THE activists attending a workshop on urban issues organised in Visakhapatnam, repeatedly stated that dogs and mosquitoes are a major menace in their city. In fact, some of them stated that this menace is THE problem faced by people residing in their respective localities. More or less at a similar time, the Kerala government had approached the Supreme Court stating that the compensation for dog bite victims, decided by the committee appointed by the Court (which in some cases is as high as Rs 20 lakhs) ‘as extremely high’ and needs to be revisited.

Forests, Climate Change and the Peasantry

THE World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Assessment, 2018, has identified climate change as one of the main challenges impacting on the economic well being of the current capitalist economy. In its report, it states about the failure of “governments and businesses to enforce or enact effective measures to mitigate climate change”. The report identifies heightened environmental risks as one of the main factors that will adversely impact the interests of global business.

Bibi Is Not Welcome

ISRAELI prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, or Bibi, as Modi fondly calls him, is scheduled to visit our country from January 14-18, 2018. This visit, coming in the background of deepening Indo-Israel ties, notwithstanding the occasional hiccups like the recent vote on Jerusalem, is intended to further cement the blossoming relationship.Our country never had historic relations with Israel, though both the countries were ‘born’ only a year apart.

On Caste and Identity Politics in Gujarat Elections

THE dust has settled on the Gujarat elections. The BJP has claimed that it has fought twenty two years anti-incumbency and won the elections because of its ‘politics of vikas’ versus the opposition’s ‘casteist politics’. In a post-election interview, the BJP president Amit Shah claimed that his 150+ mission had failed because of the “dirty and low level casteist politics of the Congress and its allies”. In doing so, Shah dismissed all the agitations that Gujarat has been facing for the last few years as “dirty low level politics”.

Struggles of Workers & Farmers Reach New Heights in 2017

AN unprecedented wave of workers’ and farmers’ struggles spread across the whole country through the year that is coming to an end. It challenged the Modi government and its pro-rich, anti-working people, anti-farmer policies, forcing the government to reverse course in some cases. These battles spanned issues related to falling living standards, growing inequality and loot by the ruling classes, as also the communal politics of the Sangh Parivar that is trying to divide people on religious identity lines.

Me Too and We Too

THE National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has come out with its ritual annual report. And the statistics are grim. Like the prices of vegetables, crimes in our country too have a tendency only to rise up, up and above. If only these statistics become weapons, can we see a change.Let’s recount our achievements as detailed by the NCRB. Data shows that cases under Crime against Women have reported an increase of 2.9 per cent in 2016 over 2015. Delhi once again, being the national capital city, does not disappoint. It ranks first in terms of the crime rate against women.

The Destruction of Babri Masjid – the 25th Anniversary

THE town that is called Ayodhya in Valmiki’s Ramayana, as well as today, was known as Awadh in pre-British times. Tulsidas in his Ramcharit Manas called it Awadh-puri. It was a large city, capital of the province that was also called Awadh. It had, therefore, a large Muslim population. So it was that when Babur established the Mughal Empire in India in 1526, and Awadh or Ayodhya fell into his hands, his governor Mir Baqi built a large mosque there, which came to be known as the Babri Masjid.

Let Hadiya Take Charge of Her Life

Her case reveals how deeply the current climate created by sectarian ideologies based on a narrow reading of religious identity has pushed back women’s rights to autonomy as equal citizens. From the government to the courts, to the strengthening of conservative and regressive thinking and practice, it’s all out there in Hadiya’s case.THE Supreme Court did not allow itself to be converted into a khap panchayat, although it came close to it on Tuesday, November 28, as it heard the Hadiya case.

Chauvanistic Nationalism and ‘Gujarati Asmita’ Replace ‘Vikas’ in the BJP Poll Campaign

WHEN the slogan of ‘Vikas’ does not work, resort to the son of the soil argument to enchant people: this is the tenor that Narendra Modi seems to have adopted as he and his cabinet ministers aggressively campaign in Gujarat at the apex of the poll campaign. The BJP is not only invoking Gujarati nationalism, but is also accusing the opposition which is questioning the Gujarat model of development of siding with ‘terrorists’ and ‘casteist’ people.

Cover-up and Coercion in the Name of the “Holy Cow”

IN his much publicised annual Vijay Dashmi address to the RSS cadres, Mohan Bhagwat announced that the “Gau Rakshaks have nothing to worry” and they were only doing their patriotic duty. This announcement became necessary because the observations of the Supreme Court took a stern view of cow vigilantism and the union government was subsequently forced to warn vigilante groups to curb their activities. However, Bhagwat said that “patriotic gau rakshaks” should not worry about government pronouncements.


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