6 December 2005 : Old Lessons, New Challenges
6 December is remembered as a black day in contemporary Indian history. A reminder of that traumatic hour when modern India was held hostage by the savage forces of barbarism, when the 'secular' Indian state revealed the depth of its bankruptcy and impotence to facilitate the frenzied demolition of a medieval mosque by the goon squads of the Sangh brigade. Full text
Bihar Elections and After:
A fter fifteen long years, the Laloo-Rabri raj has finally come to an end in Bihar . The writing on the wall had become clear enough in February itself when the NDA had overtaken the RJD-Congress combine in the race of numbers. But the kind of majority that the NDA eventually won in November 2005 was clearly beyond the expectations of most political observers and even many NDA supporters. Only one of the several opinion and exit polls that went to town with their series of predictions could really come anywhere near the final tally. Full text
Investigation into Police Repression on Dalits in Jehanabad
Following the Jehanabad Jailbreak, the frustrated Administration had heightened its repression, with the excuse of hunting out extremists. We carry excerpts from the report of a CPI(ML) fact finding team which visited the site of one instance of repression.
In yet another indication of the new regime’s future course, the Jehanabad police let loose a reign of terror on the helpless dalit agrarian labourers in Shivnagar of Jehanabad, killing one person, injuring many thousands, molesting women and looting the dlit tola of their meagre possessions.. Full text
Chilraon Massacre in East Champaran
Even as the celebrations of the formation of the Nitish-led NDA Government were not yet over, (or maybe as part of the celebrations?), feudal lords perpetrated a heinous massacre on December 12 in Chilraon village of East Champaran district, killing 5 Muslim peasants.
A CPI(ML) investigation team, comprising of.. Full text
Towards A New Social-Political Churning
Mulayam Singh seems to be heading for a fate similar to his former counterpart in Bihar . The popular opposition to the Mulayam Government is gaining momentum and a shifting of power groups was reflected first in district council elections and then in the two by-elections held recently, one in the eastern and other in the western part of UP, thus indicating a definite trend.Full text
The Lynching of Khushboo:
Challenging the Conservative Culture-Police
Melodramatic, flamboyant and cinematic public events are fairly common in Tamilnadu – but the recent controversy over Khushboo is bizarre even by Tamilnadu’s standards. Some time back, a popular actress of Tamil films, Khushboo, remarked in an interview that in her view, there was nothing wrong with premarital sex, but one should take necessary precautions against AIDS; she added that men ought not to insist on virgin brides. These casual and fairly commonplace remarks were construed as an assault on ‘Tamil Full text
BPOs: Outsourcing Violence?
In October this year, the Call Centre Association of India (CCAI) bitterly opposed the suggestion that call centres should form trade unions – the CCAI stating that the concept of unionism goes against the norms of international business. Its President, Sam Chopra, went on to say that unionism would hamper India ’s image as one of the most favoured IT (Information Technology) and ITES (IT Enabled Services) investment destinations. Full text
Floods, Rains and an Apathetic Administration
Has December come to mean devastation for Tamil Nadu? Last year it was the killer waves of tsunami, this year it is the latest blow of rains and floods that have been lashing the state for more than two months. In both cases, nature’s fury followed by administrative apathy made matters horrifying. Post-tsunami relief operations were delayed, inadequate and messy (not to speak of the rampant corruption); the current calamities have been accompanied by all these and, worse still, by pathetic stampede deaths. Full text