NEFIS statement on the recent attacks on the northeastern community

October 17, 2014

October 16, 2014 NEFIS strongly condemns the recent attacks on the northeastern community. The attack on T Michael Lamjathang Haokip in Bangalore is not an isolated incident that has taken place. Such racist attacks have been on rise and it shows the continues ignorance shown by the state administration towards the community coming from the north eastern part of the […]

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Stop harassment of social activists

October 15, 2014

12 October 2014 On 1 September 2014, officials of ATS, Pune arrested two social activists viz. Arun Bhelake and Kanchan Nanavare as suspected naxalites in Pune. They were given third degree treatment and made to issue a statement. This statement was used by ATS to implicate other progressive social activists in this alleged arrest case. […]

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Condemn the raid and attack on Forward Press Magazine – Revolutionary Cultural Front

October 13, 2014

Condemn the raid and attack in the office of Forward Press Magazine following the diktats of Brahmanical forces! On 9th October, the special branch of Delhi police brazenly attacked and vandalised the Delhi office of Forward Press magazine, a Hindi-English bilingual monthly of Dalits and Bahujans, and forcibly seized copies of their October special issue […]

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PUCL Condemns Vizag Police for illegally detaining Civil Liberties Activists

October 11, 2014

PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES  270-A, Patpar Ganj, Opposite Anand Lok Apartments, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi 110 091 Phone 2275 0014                    PP FAX 4215 1459 Founder: Jayaprakash Narayan; Founding President: V M Tarkunde President: Prof. Prabhakar Sinha; General Secretary: Dr. V. Suresh E.mail: puclnat@gmail.com; pucl.natgensec@gmail.com 10th October, 2014  PUCL Condemns Vizag Police for illegally detaining Civil Liberties Activists The People’s Union for Civil […]

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IFTU Report on alleged plan of cow slaughter in JJ Colony Bawana

October 11, 2014

IFTU has conducted an inquiry into alleged plan of cow slaughter in JJ Colony Bawana yesterday. A report is attached. Due to public pressure, enough police force was deployed to prevent any unfortunate incident. However, the possibility of continuing attempts to infuse communal tension are still remain.

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Kashmir: Man-made natural disaster?

October 10, 2014

By Gautam Navlakha Even in the midst of a calamity, a war of perceptions is never too far. It is evident in the two narratives  coming out of Kashmir as people grapple with flood and its aftermath. The first one highlights the contribution of the army with editorials, TV reporters and print media eulogizing its […]

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Can Ideas and Ideals by Gagged?

October 6, 2014

By Varalakshmi English translation by Arun Was the 21st meeting of FORUM FOR ALTERNATIVE POLITICS, not held? Of course, the government fenced the area surrounding the SUNDARAYYA HALL, thus preventing hundreds of people from attending the meeting, in addition to cancelling the trains, making house arrests in various districts, and arresting people who had already […]

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Colours of the Cage by Arun Ferreira: Video of Book Launch

October 4, 2014

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Turning the Tide

September 25, 2014

By Saroj Giri On the one side there are university students chanting “hok kolorob (Let there be clamour, movement, change)”. On the other side is a regime of power led by Trinamool Congress (TMC) openly calling for “#hok kelano (Let’s beat them up)”. The latter slogan is unmediated by ideology – unlike say the ‘kelano’ […]

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Intimidation will not stop fight for Palestine, Letter to Ohio State University

September 18, 2014

Sam Agarwal [I wrote this letter to the Athens Post, the newspaper which has been covering the Marzec issue locally. They are refusing to acknowledge it. - Author] To the Editor: I am a graduate of The Ohio State University and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. I am writing in response to a letter to […]

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Israeli Massacres: Then and Now

September 15, 2014

By Sanjeev Mahajan As of 28 Aug, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2104 Palestinians have been killed, of whom 1462 have been identified as civilians, including 495 children. Some 10,000 have been wounded in 50 days of death and destruction that Israel unleashed on the people of Gaza […]

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The Meaning of Gaza

September 15, 2014

By Shiv Sethi What is Gaza? A tiny sliver of land (area 360 square kms) along the eastern Mediterranean sea surrounded by countries hostile to its people? The largest and the oldest refugee camp in the world? The largest open prison, populated by 1.8 million people, in the history of humankind? The last vestige of […]

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Red sandal labour killings in the name of protecting national resources

September 8, 2014

By. M.K.Kumar In Andhra Pradesh the number of woodcutters arrested by the police on charges of cutting red sandal wood trees has gone up. Tons of red sandal logs worth of 100 crores rupees have been seized by the police every month. This has been going on for last two years. All the wood cutters […]

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Implications of Fascism in India

September 8, 2014

By Hiren Gohain [The author responds to an article by Prabhat Patnaik, published recently in the Economic and Political Weekly. - Eds] There’s growing concern at consolidation of centralising and intolerant tendencies all around us, apparently under the guise of legality.There are also outbreaks of chauvinist and communal violence, though within limits so far. It […]

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War and Politics: Reflections on India

September 6, 2014

By Gautam Navlakha Click here for video recordings of a talk delivered by Gautam Navlakha at MIT, Cambridge, MA, on August 3rd, 2014. Gautam Navlakha is a human rights and civil liberties activist and is a secretary of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights; he is also the Editorial Consultant for the Economic and Political […]

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Requiem for an Unfinished Dream

September 3, 2014

By Debarshi Das Corporate media greeted the dismantling of Planning Commission with an expected a round of applause. The Telegraph of 17th August carried a large picture on its front page. It shows the gate of the Jurassic Park aka New Delhi. Pasted on the gate is a notice that two shows, Planning Commission and […]

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People’s King, Shivaji – Talks by Govind Pansare and Ram Puniyani

September 3, 2014

Lokayat, together with several other progressive groups of Pune, including Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), Socialist Party (India) and Shaheen Friends Circle (a forum formed by Haji Nadaf), have formed a Cultural platform, Satyashodhak Sanskrutik Manch. On behalf of Satyashodhak Sanskrutik Manch, as its inaugural program, a Seminar was organized on the topic: Janatecha Raja Shivaji […]

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बाजारवाद और अंधराष्ट्रवाद का नाम क्रिकेट

August 12, 2014

सुनील कुमार

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On the Threshold: Class Struggle in Delhi, दहलीज़ पर: दिल्ली में वर्ग सघंर्श

August 8, 2014

A documentary on class struggle in Delhi including the the Maruti Suzuki struggle. Reproduced from Radical Notes. – Eds

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Red Salute, Nabarun Da!

August 7, 2014

Source: Liberation Newsletter ​Nabarun Bhattacharya is no more. The revolutionary poet, short story writer and novelist, passed away on 31st July evening in a Calcutta Hospital after his prolonged battle with cancer. In the world we live in, his iconic poem, ‘This Valley of Death Is Not My Country’ could be the anguished cry and […]

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Media, Indian State and Anti-Sikh Violence (1980s)

August 6, 2014

Abhay Kumar reviews Jaspal Singh Sidhu and Anil Chamadia, eds., Embedded Journalism: Punjab, Media Studies Group, New Delhi, 2014, pp. 240, Rs. 380 (Paperback). Since Independence the alienation of a large section of Sikhs had been on the rise from the Indian state, which, in their perceptions, was “majoritarian Hindu” in character. One of the […]

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Rajasthan: Critiques of the Labour Law Reforms

August 6, 2014

1. The implications of changes in the labour laws proposed by the state of Rajasthan – Ashok Khandelwal 2. Critique of the Government of Rajasthan’s proposed Amendments of the Factories Act, 1948, Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 and Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 – Prem Krishna Sharma ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The implications of changes in the […]

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Haryana: Land, Caste, and Sexual Violence Against Dalit Girls and Women – A Report by WSS

July 27, 2014

The following is a chapter from the full report by Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS). Click here for the full report [PDF, English] » Haryana: A State in Transition [The] extraordinary – and terrifying – explosion of sexual violence against Dalit girls in contemporary Haryana must be analysed against the backdrop of […]

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From fundamentalism to Fascism and beyond: the trajectory of Hindutva

July 24, 2014

By Siddhartha Mitra [This article, written just before the 2014 Indian general election, explores the rise of Hindutva as a political force - Eds] “Garam Hawa hain Mian, bare garam; Jo Ukhda nahin, sukh jayega”. Scorching winds, sir … the searing heat! Those who are not blown away will dry and wither … – From […]

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Reversing Nepal’s ‘right turn’

July 24, 2014

By Rajeev Ravisankar The ascendancy of right-wing forces in India has garnered a great deal of attention, but a similar political trajectory is evident in other parts of South Asia. In Nepal, the return of two stalwart political parties – Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist [CPN (UML)] – and the decline […]

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Manipur: Remembering 10th year of Indian paramilitary’s sexual assault and murder of Manorama Devi

July 10, 2014

by Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) WSS REMEMBERS THE TENTH YEAR OF MANORAMA’S SEXUAL ASSAULT AND MURDER BY THE INDIAN PARAMILITARY FIGHT AGAINST PATRIARCHAL VIOLENCE DAILY INFLICTED BY STATE, CASTE AND CAPITALISM!! AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!! Ten years ago, in the early hours of 11th July 2004, […]

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Hindu Nationalism in the United States: A Report on Non-Profit Groups

July 3, 2014

by J.M. [Released via sacw.net - 1 July 2014] Executive Summary 1. Over the last three decades, a movement toward Hinduizing India—advancing the status of Hindus toward political and social primacy in India— has continued to gain ground in South Asia and diasporic communities. The Sangh Parivar (the Sangh “family”), the network of groups at […]

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Political prisoners in India: A blot on the conscience of the nation

July 3, 2014

By Partho Sarathi Ray Introduction In 2005 the Supreme Court of India sentenced a man to death, not based on evidence by the admission of the learned justices themselves, but to “satisfy the collective conscience of society”. This man, Mohammad Afzal Guru, accused in the 2001 Parliament attack case of “waging war against the state”, […]

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Political Prisoners and Cultural Resistance in the Jails of West Bengal

July 3, 2014

By Sabyasachi Goswami [This is a translation, by Kuver Sinha, of parts of the original article in Bengali, available here.] During my incarceration in Presidency Jail, we got access to a Hindi magazine called “Bhor”. It is there that we came across a captivating essay by the rights movement leader Seema Azad. One of our […]

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Haryana : A status report on the situation in Bhagana

July 2, 2014

Sexual Assault on Four Girls in Haryana in the Context of Dalit Rights to Common Land by AFDR, PUDR and WSS A joint team comprising Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR) from Punjab, People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) from Delhi visited Bhagana village of Hisar district […]

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बसपा का शीराजा क्यों बिखरा

June 28, 2014

आनंद तेलतुंबड़े अनुवाद: रेयाज उल हक [Reproduced from Hashiya - Eds] आनंद तेलतुंबड़े ने अपने इस लेख में बसपा की पराजय का आकलन करते हुए एक तरफ मौजूदा व्यवस्था के जनविरोधी चेहरे और दूसरी तरफ उत्पीड़ित जनता के लिए पहचान की राजनीति के खतरों के बारे में बात की है. पिछले आम चुनाव हैरानी से […]

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Political Prisoners languishing in abysmal conditions in West Bengal jails: Plight of Prasun Chatterjee

June 28, 2014

By Amit Bhattacharyya Attempts at curbing the rights of Political Prisoners have started after the coming of the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC-government to power in West Bengal. A few months ago, the WB government introduced a bill in the legislative assembly to curb the rights of political prisoners by making an amendment to Section 24 of […]

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Three Vectors to a Nightmare

June 22, 2014

By Biju Mathew The dust from this election just won’t settle that easily. Fear and jubiliation seem right now to be two sides of the same coin. A 31% victory has polarized the country like never before. Let’s face it. Nobody expected it to be this bad. Not the arsenal of pre-election opinion polls. Not […]

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“Towards Gender Inclusivity: A Study on Contemporary Concerns around Gender” – A conversation

June 6, 2014

by V. Geetha [In May 2013, Alternative Law Forum and LesBit published a report titled "Towards Gender Inclusivity: A Study on Contemporary Concerns around Gender" by Sunil Mohan on trans-queer and feminist politics within a capitalist system. We present V. Geetha's comments to the authors of the report presented (in her absence) at the release […]

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Sanhati statement on the post-election scenario

June 6, 2014

The general elections to the 16th Lok Sabha marks a watershed in post-independence Indian history. For the first time, the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been voted to power with an absolute majority of 282 parliamentary seats. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the alliance of political parties led by the BJP, has […]

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Consolidation of a Movement?

June 5, 2014

By Gautam Navlakha Are there signs of a consolidation by the CPI(Maoist) since the disastrous setback suffered by them in 2009-12? I A police officer told the Asian Age correspondent (22/03/2014) that Salwa Judum camp inmates are returning home, after having established contact with their villages and striking deals for their homecoming. He complained that […]

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The Incredulity Towards Metanarratives and the Logic of Counterinsurgency

June 4, 2014

By Karthick Rm “In a besieged fortress, all dissidence is treason.” -St. Ignatius of Loyola Ever since Lyotard famously described the postmodern condition as “incredulity towards metanarratives”, it has become fashion in the academia to obsess over micronarratives and particularities. The endless discussions over race, gender, sexuality are considered “subversive” while debates on universality, questions […]

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Truth is stranger than fiction: a note on the Akshardham acquittal

June 3, 2014

by R. Ravishankar The Akshardham attack of 2002 has recently been in the news after the Supreme Court acquitted all the main accused persons. As the first case where the accused were convicted under POTA, the acquittal is an apt illustration of all that’s wrong with repressive laws and how they are used to criminalize […]

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How Did the BJP Sweep the Polls in 2014?

June 2, 2014

By Deepankar Basu Spread over a period of more than a month from April 7 to May 12 in 2014, close to 554 million voters in India chose 543 candidates to the 16th Lok Sabha, the lower house of the parliament. The voter turnout of 66.48 percent – 554 million voters from an electorate of […]

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A More Ruthless but Clearer Struggle Ahead

June 1, 2014

By Debarshi Das Abstract: The general elections of 2014 reiterate certain medium run trends. Regional parties have held their ground. The parties implementing deleterious neoliberal policies have been rejected by people to the extent they can do so by votes. That the new government would follow the same policies forecloses political possibilities in the existing […]

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Remembering Suniti Ghosh

May 22, 2014

by Sumanta Banerjee My personal association with Suniti Babu spans a period that covers more than half a century. It goes back to 1958 – when I joined Barasat Government College (a few kilometers away from Kolkata) as a junior lecturer, and found him as a senior colleague. I had heard of him earlier from […]

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CDRO Bulletins, February and March 2014

May 4, 2014

CDRO Bulletin February 2014 CDRO Bulletin March 2014

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The Che Guevaras of Telugu Society

May 4, 2014

By Bernard D’Mello Review of Understanding Maoists: Notes of a Participant Observer From Andhra Pradesh by N Venugopal (Kolkata: Setu Prakashani), 2013, pp 319, Rs 375. I don’t know what struck me while reading the book under review, but I was reminded of what Eduardo Galeano, author of the trilogy Memories of Fire, and of […]

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General Elections 2014 : Rhetoric and Reality

May 4, 2014

by Aloke Bhattacharya At the very onset let us make it clear that this article is not intended to articulate or prescribe whom to vote in the general election 2014 in India. The process is already on and everybody has made up mind whom to vote or no. In fact, there is so much of […]

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Impunity, War and Justice

May 1, 2014

By Gautam Navlakha The confusion between conventional and sub-conventional wars, the fact that wars against people in postcolonial nation-states are not even recognized as wars/armed conflict, the criminalizing and de-legitimisation of opponents that ensues during war etc. all contribute to drawing a veil over ongoing war/s inside India. Indian scholarship has examined ‘militarization’, ‘militarism’, violence […]

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The Economic Crisis: A Marxian Perspective

May 1, 2014

By Ramaa Vasudevan* INTRODUCTION The collapse of Lehmann, more than five years ago, heralded a profound crisis of global capitalism. The unfolding crisis continues to hold the global economy in its sway. The course of capitalist development has been punctuated by such crises – the Long Depression in the 1880s, the Great Depression in the […]

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Is Overpopulation the Planet’s Gravest Crisis?

May 1, 2014

by Manali Chakrabarti [Reproduced with permission from Aspects of India's Economy, March 2014.-Eds] Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future. If we are to halt the destruction of our environment, we must accept limits to that growth. —World Scientists’ Warning […]

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On Upcoming General Elections : Statement by Sanhati Collective

April 3, 2014

Lok Sabha Election 2014 is just around the corner. The UPA government, in the last ten years, has championed the cause of big capital with unbridled enthusiasm. The Manmohan-Chidambaram-Montek-led government has hastily taken forward the process of privatization and subordinating our national economy to global capital euphemistically called “liberalization” and “reform”–which they initiated in the […]

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Indian Democracy in the Mirror of the Bhilai Movement

April 3, 2014

By Lok Sahitya Parishad The following article, reproduced from the Shankar Guha Niyogi – CMM Archive at Sanhati reflects on the state of Indian democracy from the perspective of the Bhilai movement. -Eds Summary: This essay uses real life examples, contemporary in the years 1990-1992, to highlight the inefficacy of law and the Indian constitution […]

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Open Letter on Political Prisoners

April 3, 2014

Open letter to political parties contending in the 16th Lok Sabha Elections on the release of political prisoners and related issues of public concern [The following open letter to political parties contending in the 16th Lok Sabha elections asks them to clarify their stand on the recognition and unconditional release of political prisoners and the […]

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Crisis and Political Attack on the Wage Pressure from Below

April 3, 2014

[The following article is reproduced from the March 2014 issue of Gurgaon Workers News. - Eds] Against the background of persistent inflation the ruling class in India has to actively curb the wage pressure from below. We document short examples of current struggles in the Gurgaon area and have translated one report about a riotous […]

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Ambush amplifies a struggle

March 30, 2014

by Gautam Navlakha Eleven personnel of Central Reserve Police Force, four personnel of District Armed Force and a civilian died when reportedly 100 soldiers of Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army ambushed a combined force of Central Reserve Police Force and District Armed Force on 11th March, 2014 in Jeeram Ghati of Sukma district. The ambush took […]

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Post-ideological Politics and Left Politics

March 1, 2014

By Debarshi Das Left, Right and Rights A stream of liberal thought, popular among NGO’s, argues that political parties in India, including the Left, have not done enough for the poor. Leaders and ideologues have kept on harping abstract principles, without caring for stark manifestations of poverty, such as lack of food, education, health. A […]

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Muzaffarnagar: The continuing violence of a communal-fascist state!

February 23, 2014

By Democratic Students Union [This is a detailed report from a visit whose preliminary report was published here- Eds] Introduction Death of over 30 infants in the extreme cold of Muzaffarnagar ‘relief camps’ and the overall inhuman conditions in which the evicted people are being forced to thrive there, once again has churned debates in […]

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तस्वीर के पर्दे में: मुज़फ्फरनगर राहत शिविरों से लौट कर

February 23, 2014

रियाज़ उल हक़ मलकपुर शिविर, शामली. अपनी बीमार मां और हताश पिता से बीच चार लोगों के परिवार के लिए आटा गूंधते हुए निसा कैमरा देख कर रुकती नहीं. बस मुस्कुरा देती है. पास के खाट पर उसकी मां की सांसें दमे से उखड़ रही हैं और पिता धुआं उगलते चूल्हे में आग जलाने की […]

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A Photo Essay on Muzaffarnagar

February 23, 2014

By Pramod Mandade [Parmod was in Muzaffarnagar between Jan 9 and Jan 18, 2014]

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The evictions at Agarwadi: of unworthy victims and institutional interventions

February 23, 2014

by Mrittika Desai This is about a section of the people who have built this city with their sweat and blood, those who slog to maintain Mumbai, and in return receive  the most severe brutality from the present system. The  report is about of sixty families who were evicted from their home, so that the […]

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Muzaffarnagar Riots: A Collection of Reports and Articles

February 6, 2014

Over the past few months, we have received several fact-finding reports as well as articles about the Muzaffarnagar Riots of 2013. On this page we have collected all these together for easy reference. – Editors Reports 1. तस्वीर के पर्दे में: मुज़फ्फरनगर राहत शिविरों से लौट कर – रियाज़ उल हक़ (Jan 2014) 2. A […]

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Our Environment: Perspective of Chattisgarh Mines Shramik Sangh

January 31, 2014

By Shankar Guha Niyogi Editor’s Note: This month we are again reproducing an article from the Shankar Guha Niyogi – CMM Archive at Sanhati. In this publication, published a year after the assassination of Shankar Guha Niyogi on September 28th, 1991 in the CMSS office in Bhilai, the Jan Vikas Andolan calls for a ‘Niyogi […]

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Corruption and the ‘broom’

January 31, 2014

By Alok Bhattacharya The ‘broom’ is out, out in the centre stage. Recent political news in the country is splashed with the phenomenon of corruption and the ‘broom’ that has emerged as the election symbol to shoulder the onus of driving corruption out of the country. In a distant simile, people familiar with the cartoons […]

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Mlechha Sanhaara – India’s Kalki Project, A Film Review

January 31, 2014

By Tathagata Sengupta Director Subrat Kumar Sahu, in the context of his earlier movie DAMaged, had said, “In order to understand how modern tools of development clinically destroy self-reliant communities and yet succeed in influencing the entire nation to celebrate the outcome as ‘progress’, come to Kalahandi, in the state of Orissa in India!”. With […]

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Slums, NGOs and “Development”: An experience of Mansarovar basti (Delhi)

January 21, 2014

By Siddhi [Author's note: The visit was made by a group of people including Chaitanya, Anu, Bharti and myself. The note is written based on our combined experience.] [Cover Photo: Chaitanya Khandelwal] On the morning of 26th of December 2013, when a new chief minister had not yet sworn in for the state, four bulldozers […]

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Bengal awaits an independent mass movement as crimes against women rise

January 16, 2014

By Biswajit Roy A teenaged girl was gang-raped twice by the same persons in between October 25-27. The second time was when she was on her way back from police station after lodging the complaint against the rapists. Threatened by the gang who wanted her to withdraw the complaint, her poor migrant family from Bihar […]

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‘Muzaffarnagar’ an identity of exclusion

January 14, 2014

By S. Mohammed Irshad Amartya Sen once defined the question of identity[1]; he explained that “a sense of belonging to a community is thus seen as a resource -like capital. That understanding is important, but it has to be supplemented by a further recognition that a sense of identity can firmly exclude many people even […]

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Open Letter to Markanday Katju, Chairperson, Press Council of India

January 7, 2014

[Author’s Note: - We encourage the readers of this open letter to endorse it. Anyone who wishes to endorse this open letter can do so by posting their Name and Affiliation/Institute/Profession below in comments section of this site/blog. The Press Council of India is a statutory body established by Press Council Act 1978, “An Act […]

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On Ambedkar’s “Anihilation of Caste”

December 31, 2013

By Mazdoor Patrika [This article from Mazdoor Patrika elaborates on the group's understanding of the caste question in India today.- Ed]

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The Market for Education, Civil Servants, and the Indian State: Brief Remarks

December 31, 2013

By Raju J. Das The educational landscape of the ‘new India’ is a very interesting one. Education is increasingly a commodity. It is a commodity which can be produced for a good deal of profit. The ubiquitous coaching (or tutoring) institutes form an important part of the educational market. Partly because of the collapse of […]

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Pride and Prejudice – Thoughts on L’Affaire Khobragade

December 31, 2013

By Suvarup Saha and Deepankar Basu The arrest on 12 December 2013 of Devyani Khobragade, the Deputy Consul General for Political, Economic and Commercial and Women’s Affairs at the Consulate General of India in New York (United States), on charges of visa fraud and falsifying under oath has dominated Indian media headlines for more than two […]

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Hindutva’s attempt to mobilise adivasis

December 29, 2013

by Analytical Monthly Review Samir Amin in “The Democratic Fraud and the Universalist Alternative” sets out the fundamental process of the “democratic” fraud: [A]ll hitherto existing societies have been based on a dual system of exploitation of labor (in various forms) and of concentration of the state’s powers on behalf of the ruling class. This […]

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Fears and Furies of Sexual Harassment: Time to Go Beyond the Vishaka Guidelines

December 29, 2013

by Maya John The high profile case of sexual harassment reported from the workplace of a reputed media house initially triggered much discussion not only on this grave and rampant problem but particularly so on the issue of its redressal within the workplace. Before this case and the resulting discussions completely fade from public memory […]

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Pehele AAP, pehele AAP, phir Modi

December 10, 2013

by Saroj Giri [Abstract : While AAP might undercut BJP/Modi, they are however part of the same tendency in Indian politics. It is directly linked to the new forms of (neoliberal) capital and the ongoing class struggle.] It is very tough not to be impressed by the victory of AAP in the Delhi elections. Notwithstanding […]

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Chhattisgarh and the National Question

December 3, 2013

By Shankar Guha Niyogi On 28th September, 2013, on the anniversary of the martyrdom day of Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi, Sanhati began the process of hosting a digitized archive of Com. Guha Niyogi’s writings as well as writings of others from Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Chhattisgarh Mines Shramik Sangh (CMSS), the union of workers of the […]

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Stand in solidarity with the workers who are on strike for 41 days at the Daikin plant in Neemrana

December 3, 2013

A report from Workers Solidarity Centre, Gurgaon 846 workers of Daikin plant in Neemrana, Rajasthan are on strike for last 41 days asserting their right to form union and demanding the reinstatement of 125 fellow workers who have been terminated by the management for being part of the process of union formation. Daikin Air-conditioning India […]

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The cycle of struggle 1973 to 1979 in India

December 3, 2013

[The following article is reproduced from Gurgaon Workers News. Ed] The cycle of struggle 1973 to 1979 in India – Relevance for the discussion on the relation between crisis, class struggle, ‘popular movements’ and state form today India, 1974 The crisis blow of the 1973 ‘oil-crisis’ fuelled inflation and pushed up the unemployment rate in […]

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Alco, Balco, Nalco, Malco, jaa! Review of “Out of This Earth”

December 3, 2013

Amit Basole Review of “Out of this Earth: East India Adivasis and the Aluminium Cartel” by Felix Padel and Samarendra Das, Orient Blackswan, 2010, 742 pages. 1. Introduction Among the many haunting images you will come across in Out of this Earth, is a symbol of a successful struggle against bauxite mining in India. Beautiful […]

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Kerala Government’s Salwa Judum Experiment

November 17, 2013

By S. Mohammed Irshad Combating Maoism is still a law and order problem for the state. Government of India has already moved in that direction. Government of Kerala is planning to introduce a similar policy in the state. Kerala government is planning to appoint home guards from tribal community by paying Rs 500 per day […]

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The Politics of Massacres and Resistance

November 16, 2013

By Sushmita [The following article advances an understanding of the social and political basis of dalit massacres in Bihar, by putting atrocities like Laxmanpur Bathe, Bathani Tola and others, in the historical context of caste and class struggles as well as the anti-feudal struggle in Bihar. The role of the State in colluding with feudal […]

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The World Turned Upside Down : a class struggle indicator in Global Competitiveness Report

November 12, 2013

by Analytical Monthly Review (October editorial) When the last of the British army departed on February 28, 1948, they marched to the Gateway of India—not yet obstructed by yellow concrete barricades—and played their regimental march. When the British army surrendered to the allied rebel Continental army and the French army and navy at Yorktown, Virginia […]

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Arab Spring in Egypt: Thirty Months On

November 3, 2013

By Shiv Sethi In Jan-Feb 2011, over a million people converged on Tahrir square in Cairo and public squares across Egypt for 18 days to demand the ouster of Mubarak’s regime. This mass movement was heralded as something new and unique. Some called it the magic of people’s power while others called it direct democracy. […]

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An Energy Regime in Crisis and Urban Unrest – Selections from GWN

November 1, 2013

Gurgaon Workers News [The following two articles on India's energy regime and on urban unrest, are excerpted from the October 2013 issue of Gurgaon Workers News - Ed] Fight the Power: An Energy Regime in Crisis and the Struggle within and against it  Below you can find a short assessment of the various forces crunching […]

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Subaltern Studies and Capital: Naxalite Angle

November 1, 2013

By Hiren Gohain Partha Chatterjee in his characteristic erudite and elegant prose has joined issue with Vivek Chibber (EPW, September 14,2013) on the latter’s criticism of the theoretical positions of three stalwarts of this group of historians and social scientists (the Subaltern Studies school). It is a little disingenuous of Chatterjee to claim that the […]

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The 2014 Elections and the Hindutva Agenda

November 1, 2013

By Analytical Monthly Review The parliamentary elections of 2014 are now casting their shadow ahead. The nationwide elections on a five year schedule have become a festival, with the decorations manufactured by the media monopoly and the parliamentary parties. The prospects are dismal for any sign of intelligent engagement with crucial issues. Instead, we are […]

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Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor : Neoliberal “development” in the Indian heartland

November 1, 2013

By Partho Sarathi Ray The Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (ADKIC) is till date possibly the largest project of the Government of India being proposed for what is being claimed as “industrial development” of the entire northern and eastern part of the country. Being called as the “Eastern Corridor.” The proposal is based on developing a 150-200 […]

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Casting a backward glance after a court order: the UID project

October 5, 2013

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U.P. – Evil Stalks the Land: Fact-finding Report on the Muzaffarnagar Riots from Anhad

October 3, 2013

FACT FINDING REPORT INTO THE RIOTS OF MUZAFFARNAGAR – Anhad Evil Stalks the Land – Anhad report [PDF, English, 1.8 MB] » The present report is the outcome of a visit by a team of 24, intellectuals, social activists, lawyers and media persons. The team visited riot-hit areas of Uttar Pradesh on September 22 – […]

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Infantile ‘Radicalism’, Domestic Labour Debate & Anti-Rape Movement: A Leninist Critique of Marxism-Feminism

October 1, 2013

By Maya John Reacting to a debate on the issue of rape and on the question of strategy required to combat the oppression of women, Bhumika Chauhan, Ankit Sharma and Paresh Chandra released their formulation of what the appropriate working-class intervention should be on the ‘women’s question’. While they have expressed their agreement on some […]

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Book Review of Let’s Call Him Vasu

October 1, 2013

By Sumati Panikkar Let’s Call Him Vasu, written by journalist Shubhranshu Choudhary, is another addition to the increasing list of journalistic writings on the Maoist movement in India. As the war in central India intensifies, the publishing business too has found several ways of cashing in on the marketability of war zones. Let’s Call Him […]

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Anti-Aadhaar litigants and the rhetoric of fear

September 28, 2013

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A Note on Recent Ethnic Violence in Assam

September 24, 2013

by Hiren Gohain In the last few weeks, in fact soon after announcement on forming a separate Telengana state, violence erupted in several regions of Assam with significant tribal populations, almost as if on cue. In the Bodo Territorial Council area, thousands of young tribal youths and girls, decked out in war-paint and Apache hair-cuts, […]

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India: An Urban Battleground

September 7, 2013

By Partho Sarathi Ray [The following is a video of a talk delivered by Partho Sarathi Ray at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, on July, 26, 2013. - Editors]

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Encounters in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra

September 1, 2013

By Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations PRESS RELEASE Issued at the Press Conference at Nagpur on 26 August 2013 Six cases of encounters in Gadchiroli district have been reported in the press this year. A total of 26 persons have lost their lives in these encounters. People from the villages where the encounters took place […]

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Dabholkar has Done a Gandhi

August 23, 2013

By Anand Teltumbde “With their backs to the sunrise they worship the night.” ― Robert G. Ingersoll Maharashtra had one more shame added to a long list of its shames accumulated through history. On 20 August it ultimately killed Dr Narendra Dabholkar, a committed rationalist who had personified the opposition to superstition and humbug that […]

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Analytical Monthly Review Editorial- July/August

August 19, 2013

In the by now tedious cliché, India with a population of 1.22 billion (122 crores) and with an elected parliament, is supposed to be the largest democracy in the world. The relation between democracy and size is problematic. In small communities, voters can be presumed to have some personal knowledge of both candidates and issues […]

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“The system is increasingly fragile” – Conversation with Faridabad Majdoor Samachar

August 9, 2013

Source : GurgaonWorkersNews [In early 2013 some comrades belonging to the anti-capitalist left in Germany visited comrades in India. Their conversation was published in German language (Fleig, Kumar, Weber (Hg.): “Speak Up! Sozialer Aufbruch und Widerstand in Indien”; Assoziation A). Below you can find notes of a conversation with friends of Faridabad Majdoor Samachar - […]

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What Lies Behind the Doubling of Gas Prices?

July 13, 2013

by Rahul Varman [On this topic see the recent article from The Hindu "Why pay a higher price if RIL says cost of gas is $2.74/mbtu?" - Eds] The cabinet decided to double the natural gas prices from $4.2 to $8.4 per million British thermal unit in an unprecedented decision last week; the price increase […]

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CDRO Bulletin June 2013

July 7, 2013

Click here for the CDRO Bulletin pdf file JUNE 2013 CONTENTS # On the Occasion of the International Week of the Disap- peared, Tahira Begum # Unprecedented Detention of CDRO Team by Police, Sanhati # Delhi Metro Workers Gathered at Jantar Mantar, DMKU # Condemn Destructive Project and Forced Eviction, CPDM # Condemning Police Excesses […]

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Poverty, Undernutrition and Food Security in Contemporary India

July 4, 2013

By Deepankar Basu One of the easiest ways to understand the perverse nature of the growth regime underlying “India Shining” is to trace out the divergence between expenditure-based measures of poverty (POV) and the calorie-based measures of the prevalence of undernutrition (POU). To highlight this alarming divergence, Figure 1 and 2 plots measures of POV […]

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Rape: Sri Lanka’s Weapon of Genocide

July 3, 2013

By Dr. N. Malathy and Karthick RM My fellow Tamil women What have you done for peace in the isle? Take off your clothes and open up your vagina For the Sinhala warriors of the land of Buddha – Poem by an Angry Tamil Woman On February 26th 2013, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a […]

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Whistle Blowers and the Public Interest

June 25, 2013

by M. V. Ramana The bulk of development policies, justified in the ‘national interest’, actually diminish poor people’s ability to control and gainfully use natural resources. Every ‘national’ project is presented as beneficial for the masses even though it requires some poor people to surrender their land or their livelihood. While the ‘greater good of […]

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Kabir Kala Manch Defence Committee : a debate

June 20, 2013

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Critiquing Intersectionality, Populism and Gender Disembodied of Class: A Marxist Reassertion

June 10, 2013

[In the wake of the horrific gang rape of a student in a moving bus in Delhi on 16 December, 2012, activists and progressive researchers have attempted to understand various aspects of the phenomenon of rape in India, and to formulate strategies to confront and address it. Kavita Krishnan, a leading activist in the mobilization […]

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A glimpse of the society that ‘rapes’

May 29, 2013

The following article has been reproduced from the latest issue of Gurgaon Workers News. The original article can be found here. – Editors The word ‘rape’ comes from the French verb ‘raper’ which means to steal .While sexual assault is a big act of aggression on the women’s body and mind, this word does not […]

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Footprints (Issue #2) NAPM Newsletter

May 29, 2013

National Alliance of People’s Movements We are publishing the second issue of FOOTPRINTS, an NAPM newsletter providing news related to NAPM and its associate organisations as well as analytical articles, views and interviews. FOOTPRINTS will be issued on the 1st and 16th every month. This fortnight’s issue contains:- 1) The Maharashtra Irrigation Scam 2) Policy […]

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‘Driving Force: Labour Struggles and Violation of Rights in Maruti Suzuki’ A Report from PUDR

May 26, 2013

People’s Union for Democratic Rights View entire report (PDF) What makes the Maruti story extraordinary is certainly not the company and its cars but the extraordinary struggle of its workers that has continued inspite of ruthless repression by the management and the police and failure of the labour department and the judiciary at all levels […]

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Red Ant Dream – A review

May 25, 2013

by Azaan Javaid In the Islamic interpretation of dreams, to dream about insects means a weaker people organizing themselves to win something over. Organization is both loved and loathed by a tyrannical entity. Loved, because enslaved people constitute profit generating labor. Loathed, because if the same organization is mobilized for a cause, which stands at […]

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International Nurses’ Day: Some Pride, More Plights

May 11, 2013

by Maya John Tomorrow (May 12) as International Nurses’ Day is celebrated worldwide, it is important that we introspect on a crucial fact about nursing, which is that it is one of the most devalued socially necessary labour performed by an extremely skilled workforce. While some hospitals, nursing schools, etc. commemorate this important day, for […]

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Where Have All the Seasons Gone? Current Impacts of Climate Change in Gujarat

May 3, 2013

By Delhi Platform, Gujarat Agricultural Labour Union (GALU) and International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) Summary: (Click here to download a PDF of the entire report) Global warming has finally begun to get the attention of the world in the last few years, though a sense of urgency and a commensurate response is still lacking where […]

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Bangladesh, Global Capitalism, and the Garment Industry

May 3, 2013

As the death toll continues to rise in Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster yet, we reproduce a previously published article on the global garment industry taking the examples of Bangladesh and Argentina. Readers should also see this interview of Prof. Anu Muhammad, an eminent Bangladeshi Marxist, on the place of Bangladesh in the global economy, published […]

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“We see no evil, O Mastermoshai”

May 3, 2013

Sabyasachi Goswami, the poet and political activist, was arrested by the Kolkata police special branch on 18th April, 2013, and accused of being the head of the Kolkata city committee of the CPI(Maoist). Sabyasachi, together with his comrade, Zakir Hussein, were beaten up and tortured in police custody before being produced in court on 20th […]

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To the Self-Obsessed Marxists and the Pseudo Ambedkarites

May 2, 2013

by Anand Teltumbde [This article is a part of a debate on the caste issue and Marxism. -Ed] Frankly, I curse myself for having gone to Chandigarh. Not so much because I am embarrassed by the unseemly controversy created by certain pseudo Ambedkarites in Maharashtra, but because I am deeply saddened to see the egotistic […]

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Heightened tensions in Posco Project Area : A fact finding report

May 1, 2013

Fact Finding Report on the Situation in the Wake of Bomb Blast in Jagatsinghpur District, Odisha Executive Summary On the 9th of March 2013, a 12 member team consisting of human rights activists, journalists, academicians, democratic rights and civil liberty activists, conducted a fact finding visit to Patana and Gobindapur villages of Dhinkia Panchayat in […]

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Dams and the Doomed… min(e)d games of the state

April 29, 2013

by Subrat Kumar Sahu ‘We all are living in a gang war… [in which] the state is just another gang!’ – Arundhati Roy In the wee hour 29 April 2013, at least 10 platoons of police cracked down on a gathering of about 2000 people, sitting in peaceful protest, on the bed of Suktel River, […]

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CDRO Bulletins, Feb and March 2013

March 31, 2013

Click here to download a PDF version of the February 2013 bulletin of the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO). This month’s table of contents is below. Click here to download a PDF version of the March 2013 bulletin of the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO). This month’s table of contents is below.

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Budget 2013: All Sound and Fury?

March 31, 2013

By Debarshi Das The disingenuous numbers churned out by the Union Budgets often make observers throw up their hands. The recent editorial of the Economic and Political Weekly is a case in point.In spite of substantial shortfall of tax revenue from the target in the current financial year, the Budget proposes an optimistic 19% growth […]

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Caste and Exploitation in Indian History

March 31, 2013

By Dr. Bharat Patankar Introduction: The Process of Exploitation Exploitation arising from the caste hierarchy is a particular feature of the South Asian subcontinent. There was no such exploitative system in other continents or in countries outside of South Asia. But since caste exploitation has been a reality for 1500-2000 years this shakes the belief […]

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Violence Against Women and the Indian State

March 31, 2013

By Mrinalini Paul In order to exemplify the role of the State this paper attempts to touch upon broadly two concepts that have inherently and somewhat unfortunately attached themselves onto and fuelled the vigour and very nature of the State, that of Justice and Violence. While the former is linked to being handed out by […]

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From the 4th of June 2011 to the 18th of July 2012 and beyond – The practice of Maruti Suzuki Manesar workers

March 31, 2013

The following article was orignally publishes in the Hindi language workers’ newspaper, Faridabad Majdoor Samachar (no.296 – February 2013.) It is being reproduced here from the Gurgaon Workers’ News site. – Editors ‘What to do and what not to do?’ ‘How to do and how not to do?’, these are important questions. All workers are […]

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Report of Enquiry into Industrial Accident at the Holcim – Ambuja Plant, Chhattisgarh

March 31, 2013

Joint Mission to  Enquire into  Industrial Accident at the Holcim – Ambuja Plant.   Baloda Bazar District, Chhattisgarh.  15 – 16 February 2013  Mission Members Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh Ms. Sudha Bharadwaj Mr. Kalyan Patel Mr. Mahesh Kumar Ms. Sahana Manjesh, National Law School, Bangalore (Intern) Chhattisgarh Cement and Khadan Employees Union (INTUC) Mr. Suresh Bagre […]

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Cowboy Capitalism: The Curious Case of Reliance KG Basin Gas Business

February 24, 2013

By Rahul Varman[1] I. Background While everyone recognises the significance of petroleum industry for an economy like India, the real happenings and intricacies of the sector do not often make the news. At best these days one hears a lot about the high and ever increasing prices of the petroleum products. It is only recently […]

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Struggle for Health: Which is the Way Ahead?

February 24, 2013

By Punyabrata Gun [Translated by Debarshi Das] [This is part of a continuing series of articles on the People’s Health Movement by Dr. Punyabrata Gun. Previous articles in this series include Peoples’ Health Movement in India: Looking Back at Dalli Rajahara - Achievements and Problems, The Journey of Shramajibi Swasthya Udyog (Working Class Health Project) […]

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Some Thoughts on Sexual Violence and Rape in India – Taking Forward the Discourse and Struggles

February 24, 2013

By Indira Chakravarthi On the evening of 16th December 2012, in a moving bus in Delhi, a young woman was subjected to brutal violence and rape by a group of men, leading to her death about a fortnight later. The incident led to huge protests in Delhi and to an extent in several other cities […]

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The Hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru

February 24, 2013

The hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru in the Parliament attack case is a significant event in contemporary Indian politics. This is not only because of the numerous holes in the prosecution or the strange conclusion by the highest court of the land that Afzal had to be killed to satisfy the collective conscience of the […]

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Urbanisation and Systemic Disaster

February 24, 2013

The following article on the urbanization process in Gurgaon is reproduced from the February 2013 issue of Gurgaon Workers News. The original article can be found here. Introduction Gurgaon’s population has grown from a few thousand to more than 1.5 million in 30 years. In previous newsletters you can find reports on different proletarian areas […]

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From Nonadanga to Ejipura: The Urban Battleground

February 23, 2013

by Partho Sarathi Ray [The following article by Partho Sarathi Ray connects the dots between the urban eviction and displacement struggles raging across India. Photographs are from the Ejipura neighborhood of Bangalore where houses of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) were demolished on 19th-20th January. The article appears after the photos. - Editors] Post-demolition EWS(21st). […]

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The Ashis Nandy Controversy: Inside the Mind of One ‘Intolerant’ Dalit

February 11, 2013

By Anoop Kumar The article is being reprinted from Round Table India where it was first published. – Editors Vaibhav Diwakar Ghadge, a post-graduate from TISS (Mumbai), got married on 20th January, 2013. Two days later, he left his village Kulakajai in Maharashtra’s Satara district, along with his wife, to visit a nearby temple. On […]

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“Special Issue on Caste and Left Politics in India”: An Introduction

January 30, 2013

By Saroj Giri and Sanhati Editorial Team This month’s issue is dedicated to articles that explore various dimensions and intersections of left politics, the dalit and anti-caste movements in India. The left is often accused of playing down the importance of caste. At the theoretical level this has often been the result of a mechanical […]

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“Elimination of feudalism or capitalism is not possible without annihilation of caste in India”

January 30, 2013

[An interview with Bangalore-based activist and journalist Shivasundar, conducted by Shiv Sethi, on the evolution of caste and class politics in Karnataka - Ed] A demonstration by the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, Shimoga, Karnataka Q. Give us a historic perspective of the rise of left and its interaction with caste-based politics in Karnataka. A. The left […]

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For a rape ‘caste’ (does) matter in India

January 26, 2013

Suraj Yengde “Woman will not mind the age of the person if she wants to have sex with him.” “She only loves ornaments, money and clothes, she is full of sexual desires, betrayer and egoistic.” [2] These are the famous ciphers encoded in the sacred text ‘Manusmriti’ from Hindu alias Brahminical Holy book of governance that […]

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(Trans)gender and caste lived experience – Transphobia as a form of Brahminism: An Interview of Living Smile Vidya

January 26, 2013

Living Smile Vidya Note from the interviewers: This is the transcript of a conversation between dalit transgender feminist writer and theater artist Living Smile Vidya, who lives and works in Chennai, with her transgender brothers Kaveri Karthik and Gee Ameena Suleiman from Bangalore. This conversation took place on a late night after 11 pm in […]

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Dalit Poems of Maharashtra

January 26, 2013

Translated by Swapna Banerjee-Guha Poets Narayan Surve (left) and Baburao Bagul Translator’s Note: Dalit poems have got a special place in the literature of Maharashtra. At the same time, they are different from many other literary works of protest. These poems are not just voices of rebellion against injustice on Dalits, simultaneously they are the […]

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Caste Identity Versus Class Solidarity: Some Speculative Notes

January 26, 2013

P. K. Vijayan Much has been discussed and written about caste politics, and about caste and politics. My purpose here is not to revisit and rehearse these debates, even if I do refer to some of them in passing. Nor the aim of article is to analyze the multiple alliances and conflicts that take shape […]

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Marxism and the Caste Question: An Extended Review of Com. Anuradha Ghandy’s “Caste Question in India”

January 26, 2013

Asit Das The following essay by Asit Das reviews Com. Anuradha Ghandy’s essay “Caste Question in India.” The essay offers extensive quotations from the original text, since several readers may not yet have had a chance to see the original. Com. Ghandy’s essay has been published along with her other writings in a volume titles, […]

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A Caste-Class Analysis from rural Maharashtra – Two Essays

January 26, 2013

The following two pieces, the first by Gail Omvedt, and the second by Anant Phadke, expand on the caste-class analysis developed by the Shramik Mukti Dal, an organization working in rural Maharashtra. – Editors The Shramik Mukti Dal Flag Anti-Caste Movements and the Left – Gail Omvedt Towards Programme for Abolition Of Material Basis Of […]

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CDRO Bulletin, December 2012

January 7, 2013

Click here to download a PDF version of the December 2012 bulletin of the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO). This month’s table of contents is below.

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Delhi Rape Case: Statements, Reflections, Writings

December 31, 2012

Below we have collected various statements and articles that were written in the past two weeks in the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape and the anti-rape protests. These pieces have appeared on Sanhati and other websites. We also include some older articles, such as one by Comrade Anuradha Ghandy, which still remain pertinent to […]

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Loot, Plunder and Deindustrialisation: The saga of Ashok Paper Mill, Darbhanga, Bihar

December 31, 2012

A Fact Finding Report by JANHASTAKHEP: CAMPAIGN AGAINST FASCIST DESIGNS New Delhi November 2012 Ashok Paper Mill, Darbhanga, Bihar Index 1. Introduction 2. Historical Overview 3. The Salient Features of the Revival Scheme 4. The Events leading to the firing 5. The Spot Visit: APM, A Dilapidated Monument 6. The Narratives 6.1 The Workers 6.2 […]

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Is Child Malnutrition Overstated in India? A Reponse to Arvind Panagariya

December 30, 2012

In a recent interview given to TEHELKA about his forthcoming co-authored book (“Tryst with Destiny: Debunking Myths that Undermine Progress and Addressing New Challenges”), Professor Arvind Panagariya argues that child as well as adult malnutrition statistics for India is exaggerated. We argue below that Professor Panagariya is mistaken and that India should indeed be concerned about these figures.

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The Maoist movement: Chakravyuhs of our times

December 30, 2012

By T.V.H. Prathamesh Cinema, as a commodity, requires deployment of a huge number of labourers in form of acting crew, technical crew, spot boys, manual labourers, stunt men, post production crew, extras among others with varying degrees of skill for its creation. As with every other commodity, both the credit of creation and the profits […]

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Adarsh, 2G, and Mumbai

December 30, 2012

This article summarizes two major corruption scandals that have captured media and, of course, government attention over the past three years. These are the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scandal, and the 2G Spectrum scandal.

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Tamil Nadu – A fact-finding report on the attack on Dalits in Dharmapuri

December 6, 2012

On 7 November 2012 as the sun set to retreat from the Naikkankottai sky the world of Dalits symbolizing their toil of years, sacrifice, and aspirations was reduced to rubble and ashes by a marauding mob of the caste Hindus within hours. While caste atrocity was not unknown to Tamil Nadu, the state that has […]

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Food Budget Squeeze, Market Penetration and the Calorie Consumption Puzzle in India

December 1, 2012

By Deepankar Basu and Amit Basole Summary In the past three decades, even as incomes have been rising in rural India, people have been consuming fewer calories. In this article we present results of a recent study showing that this paradox results from people spending more of their scarce incomes on non-food essentials such as […]

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The Famished Architects of Shining India

December 1, 2012

by Tathagatha Sengupta At first sight, the main underlying reasons for the phenomenon of seasonal mass migration from western Orissa to Andhra Pradesh and other southern states could be ascribed to inadequate rainfall leading to agricultural crises. Most of these areas, covered by the so-called KBK (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) districts allow only one crop per year. This […]

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The Hunger Games

December 1, 2012

by Ramaa Vasudevan Abstract Real structural forces, including the global reach of and immense power of agro-industry, are jeopardizing food security. The neoliberal policy agenda to undermine public distribution systems as a means of ensuring food security, while promoting futures markets as the panacea for food price volatility has, however, helped unleash the genie of […]

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Bal Thackeray, or, Why the Communists Did Nothing

November 22, 2012

Right where Bal Thackeray was cremated, at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, another event had taken place in June 1970: “a twenty-five-thousand-strong funeral procession marched to Shivaji Park, the Sena stronghold, shouting anti-Shiv Sena slogans,” reports Gyan Prakash in his Mumbai Fables. The reason: the murder of Krishna Desai by the Sena in June 5, 1970. Bal Thackeray was supposed to be directly involved in it.

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The Invincible Flame of Narayanpatna: An Interview with Dandapani Mohanty

November 18, 2012

Shree Danda Pani Mohanty one of the interlocutors played a crucial role to solve the recent hostage crises arisen from the abduction of two Italians and one MLA from Laxmipur – Mr. Jhina Hikaka. Here is the excerpt from the conversation held on 3rd June’2012 between Shree Mohanty (DPM) and Shree Amitabha Kar (AK).

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The day junior doctors took to the streets in demand for public health

November 18, 2012

In 1979 the students and junior doctors of Calcutta Medical College, under the leadership of students’ union, launched a movement which became famous as “Hospital Movement”. The students and junior doctors of R.G. Kar Hospital also launched a similar movement. The movement of 1979 was a preparation for a bigger movement in the next decade. House-staff Intern Association (HIA) or Junior Doctors Association (JDA) were formed in different medical colleges. These individual HIAs or JDAs came together to form All Bengal Junior Doctors’ Federation (ABJDF).

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Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) Bulletin, November 2012

November 18, 2012

Contents of November 2012 Issue, CDRO Bulletin Click here to read CDRO Bulletin, November 2012 [PDF, English]

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On field trials of GM crops – Open Letter from Indian scientists to the Supreme Court

November 12, 2012

To: Hon’ble Justices Swatanter Kumar & S.J Mukhopadhyay Supreme court of India In the case of Aruna Rodrigues Vs. Union of India (Writ Petition (Civil) No. 260 of 2005) Respected Sirs Sub: Request to accept the interim report submitted by the court-appointed Technical Expert Committee on the matter of field trials of GM crops and […]

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Market Prescriptions for Healthcare services – Evidence versus Ideology

October 28, 2012

The draft chapter of the Planning Commission on HEALTH for the XII Five Year Plan, released in July 2012 had outlined a new strategy for health in the XII Plan, as part of a longer term reform of the system over the next decade (Planning Commission 2012a). The strategy proposed was one of “managed care” and “managed competition”, in which the government would function as the purchaser of health services from organized networks of public and private health providers. Several concerns were raised about the strategies put forth in this Plan to provide universal health coverage.

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Will the Real Mr. Jaithirth Rao, Please Stand Up!

October 28, 2012

In its 8 September 2012 issue the Tehelka Magazine carried an article by a distinguished right-wing economist, Jaithirth Rao. It was titled ‘No Law for Workers’ Rights’ and was part of his special monthly column in the Tehelka. The article was, needless to say, disturbing and warranted a proper reply. As expected, the Tehelka declined to publish a critique of the article. Reproduced below is the critique of Rao’s article on the state of labour laws in India

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Towards a Workers’ Organisation: On the struggle at Maruti Suzuki

October 28, 2012

In this newsletter we want to continue the debate about ‘workers’ organisation’, based on what we see as both pre-condition and process of organisation: workers’ self-inquiry into the production process, how it constitutes the working class and how it can be transformed into the basis of self-organised attack on the existing social relations. We present some general and historical thoughts about the relationship between inquiry and workers’ organisation, but our focus is concrete material on the conditions at Maruti after the waves of struggle in 2011 – and a proposal to engage in a process of workers’ inquiry in Manesar.

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Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) Bulletin, September 2012

October 28, 2012

Contents of September 2012 Issue, CDRO Bulletin Click here to read CDRO Bulletin, September 2012 [PDF, English]

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Bourgeois democracy and its others: a response to Jairus Banaji

October 14, 2012

In 2011, Indian Marxist scholar Jairus Banaji wrote an article called “Fascism, Maoism and the Democratic Left,” in which he tries to show the commonalities amongst these three trends and tries to posit his own alternative. As this article is often circulated, it is worth looking at some of the things Banaji is saying, both for their insights and for their problems.

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Analytical Monthly Review Editorial on Assam Riots and Aftermath

October 14, 2012

The massive exodus of migrant labour/employees and students of the North East from the big cities of central India, especially Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, and Hyderabad, became a national issue for a moment this monsoon. Yet the discussion of this shocking event in even the best of the mainline press was singularly empty and one-dimensional.

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The Maruti Suzuki, Manesar workers’ protest

October 13, 2012

This July again brought to the fore what had been thought to be a closed chapter in Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant in Gurgaon, Haryana. The triumphalism of the Maruti management at having ‘bought’ the leaders and put an end to the labour trouble was undone and labour again asserted itself. Last October the newspapers were rife with rumours of the leaders having been given hefty sums of money and packed off. There was a feeling of dejection and demoralisation and no one seemed to have any answer. Life gave the answer this July when worker power again asserted itself.

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Genocide as Counterinsurgency – Brief Notes on the “Sri Lanka model”

October 10, 2012

by Karthick RM Countering insurgencies is as old as states and empires. As a concept, however, study in Counterinsurgency (COIN) gained momentum in the colonial period so as to deal with frequently occurring rebellions in colonies as well as to counter the “communist menace”. COIN grew as a science with late modernity and the rise […]

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Bhikharipore Singrauli: A Case for Just Development[1]

September 30, 2012

India is a country with the highest amount of people living without electricity, at over four hundred million, however, current “development” strategies make it clear that the aim is not to provide electricity through just forms of development and rehabilitation. As that “development” relies on the disenfranchisement of Others, it exposes a global necrocapitalist system, where global (deregulated) capital regulates the local through the filtration of state oppression in order to commit and jointly collude in human rights abuses, displacement, and land-grabbing.

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Marikana massacre: Structural failure of post-apartheid South Africa?

September 30, 2012

The death of 34 mine workers in police shooting at the Marikana platinum mine, owned by a UK-based company Lonmin, in North-West South Africa, has drawn strong reactions from across the world. In a society as scarred as South Africa by the recent history of race-based exploitation, it is not lost on many that black poorly-paid miners were killed on behalf of the white mine owners based in a country directly responsible for imposing and sustaining the white-supremacist apartheid in South Africa. The only difference between Sharpeville and Soweto massacres, which symbolized black struggle against apartheid, and Marikana is that the massacre was carried out under a black-dominated government in the latter case. Marikana has simultaneously evoked memories of apartheid and a sense of betrayal by the post-apartheid state.

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West Bengal – On the spontaneous strike by workers in factories of Falta SEZ

September 29, 2012

On 12th May, all the workers of the Falta SEZ #1 and #2 went on a spontaneous strike. Why this sudden strike? What made the workers of different factories come together? What were their demands? To search for answers, we spoke with the striking workers of the Falta SEZ.

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Big Bang Reforms: Why Now and for Whom

September 20, 2012

Ever since the early 1990s, the thrust of the “economic reforms” process has been to facilitate a closer integration of the Indian economy with global capitalism and increase the weight of the private corporate sector within the domestic economy. The measures announced on September 14, 2012 continue and deepen this process significantly.

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Public Health, Inequality, and Democratic Rights: 27th Ramanadham Memorial Meeting

September 17, 2012

The 27th Ramanadham Memorial Meeting on “Public Health, Inequality, and Democratic Rights” was organized by the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) on 8th September, 2012. For the past 27 years PUDR has organized an annual meeting in honour of Dr Ramanadham, Vice-President of the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), killed by the police […]

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The Journey of Shramajibi Swasthya Udyog (Working Class Health Project)

September 17, 2012

In 1998 I, Amitabha and Sumit mulled over building an organisation. The organisation got registered as the Shramajibi Swasthya Udyog in December, 1998. I completed the medical course along with internship and housestaff-ship in 1983. In 1985 I spent few months in Bhopal as part of the health movement for the gas-leak victims. From 1986 to 1998 I worked with the Chhattisgarh Shramik Swasthya Andolan and Shahid Hospital. Since 1995 I have been working in the Shramik-Krishak Moitri Swasthya Kendra in Chengail of Howrah district, this was established at the initiative of the Sangrami Shramik Union of Kanoria Jute Mill.

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Frantz Fanon and the Arab Uprisings: An Interview with Nigel Gibson

August 30, 2012

  This interview was conducted by Yasser Munif in Boston in July 2012, and first appeared in Jadaliyya. The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon’s magnum opus, was published in 1961, a few days after his death. The book was not only influential for several generations of grassroots movements and activists in Africa, the United […]

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A review of Ear to the Ground: Selected Writings on Class and Caste by K. Balagopal

August 30, 2012

A review of Ear to the Ground: Selected Writings on Class and Caste by K. Balagopal

By Rahul Menon & T. V. H. Prathamesh

A person travelling through rural coastal Andhra Pradesh in the late 1980s will have come across gigantic buildings in the middle of nowhere that resembled the urban cinema halls of those parts. These were actually godowns that stored agricultural produce grown in these fertile districts. It required the insight of K. Balagopal to point out that this bizarre resemblance was not merely a cultural idiosyncrasy, but told the story of a complex relationship between agrarian capital, caste mobilization and politics.

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Power Shock!

August 16, 2012

By Gnani Sankaran

[This article originally appeared in Gnani Sankaran's website, and has been translated by Reva Yunus and Sridhar S. It is a review of S. Gandhi's book Tamizhagattil Minvettum, Minkattana Uyarvum - Karnamum Theervum, which outlines how increased privatization in post-liberalisation India has led to the ruin of state Electricity Boards. -Ed.]

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A Story of Two Displacements

August 15, 2012

By Siddhartha Mitra

Ori Sisha is a wry man. His long wiry, brown frame, wrinkled at the edges, speaks of many hours sent under the beating sun. His steady gaze, behind his thick glasses, does not belie any emotion. In his seventy odd years, he has seen a lot of the world, and from his outlook it appears he is not convinced that people in the world necessarily mean his well-being.

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All Sorts of Roguery?

August 8, 2012

It’s been two decades and a year since India’s elite embraced neo-liberalism. Money –– the standard of all things, the measure of one’s worth –– now has very many more avenues for profitable deployment than it had in early 1991. Indeed, India’s moneybags now almost have de facto the freedom to accumulate wealth by any and all available means. “Corruption” has hit the roof and “civil society”, with the upper middle class at its wheel, is morally outraged, dead set against the political representatives of the “immoral” state, though not against the most powerful section of capital, the “financial aristocracy”,[1] which effectively calls the shots. Various estimates of the “magnitude of black money generated in the country” and “the unaccounted wealth stashed abroad” in tax havens and offshore financial centres have been doing the rounds. The din and the babble over these matters in Parliament wouldn’t subside, so the government commissioned a White Paper (WP) on Black Money.[2]

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West Bengal – A report on hopelessness and desperation in the Hills and Dooars

August 4, 2012

On the current situation in Darjeeling

(Source : ShramikShakti June 2012)

About an year ago, there was a historic change of regime in West Bengal. Along with this historic change came a promise of solving the problem of the Darjeeling Hills within three months of coming to power. Miraculously, within seventeen days of swearing in, the government, by signing the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) agreement, announced the resolution of a problem of decades. The beaming Chief Minister might not have realized then that reality does not work like magic. And within one year, both the Hills and the Dooars are ablaze again.

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Audio Recording of Symposium on “Working Class Movement in the age of Globalization”, Mumbai

August 3, 2012

On June 17 2012, a symposium was held in Mumbai on the theme “Working Class Movement in the age of Globalization”, and the speakers included N. Vasudevan, National Secretary, NTUI; Milind Ranade, Sarva Shramik Sangh; Abhinav Sinha, Editor, ‘Mazdoor Bigul’; Satyam, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta; Ajay Swamy, Delhi Metro Kamgar Union; Naveen Kumar, Karawal Nagar Mazdoor Union, Delhi. Amit Basole of Sanhati recorded the events.

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Smoke Hangs over Niyamgiri: A Travelogue

August 3, 2012

By Siddhartha Mitra

Part 1: In Lanjigarh, with Giridhari Patra

“Yeh factory chalu hai?” (The factory is operational?) I asked, quite surprised. The sprawling complex of the plant was visible through the car window, as we drove by. Two chimney stacks were spewing smoke against the blue winter sky. The Niyamgiri mountain loomed large in the background.

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Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) Bulletins, July and August 2012

August 3, 2012

Contents of July 2012 Issue, CDRO Bulletin Click here to read CDRO Bulletin, July 2012 [PDF, English] » Contents of August 2012 Issue, CDRO Bulletin Click here to read CDRO Bulletin, August 2012 [PDF, English] »

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A Conversation with Abhinav, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta: Challenges of Organizing Informal Sector Workers and Other Issues

July 20, 2012

A report by Amit Basole

Following is an interview with Abhinav Sinha of the workers’ journal Bigul Mazdoor Dasta published from Delhi. Labor organizers associated with this group have been working with almond workers, metro workers, and other precarious labor in Delhi. They have also been working on building neighborhood based (as opposed to factory or industry based) unions. The following issues are discussed in the interview: the necessity and challenges of organizing informal sector workers and contract workers in the formal sector, the necessity of broadening labor struggles beyond the workplace and beyond economic issues into worker neighborhoods, particularly with reference to the failure of the Left parties and unions to do so creating space for right-wing unions and parties, the role of the Party and the vanguard, dogmatism in Communist Party politics, a discussion on the charge that Indian communists only draw inspiration from non-Indian writers and events, and also fail to offer an adequate understanding of caste in India and an evaluation of the resistance led by the CPI (Maoist) party.

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Twenty Years of ‘New Economic Policies’: Impact on Development

July 1, 2012

By Anirban Kar

This article addresses the highly charged and yet unresolved debate: how the series of drastic policy changes since early nineties, often called the “economic reforms” has affected development in India. Such changes have certainly coincided with substantial GDP growth but evidences on development are, at best, mixed. While the ruling establishment claims substantial achievement in development owing to these policy changesi, critics, particularly those with left leanings, have disagreed.

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The Ghosts of Nellie, Assam: Thirty Years After

July 1, 2012

By Debarshi Das

Nellie has been with us for quite some time. I vaguely remember the black and white photograph of Nellie printed on the front page of the Assam Tribune. The high contrast grainy photograph contained rows of corpses laid out on a winter paddy field. This was February 1983. For more than three years the state had been caught in a vortex of agitations, bandhs, killings and curfews. The central government led by Indira Gandhi had declared assembly elections and parliamentary election to be held simultaneously in February. The Assamese nationalist organisations, AASU (All Assam Students’ Union) and AAGSP (All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad), which were spearheading the Assam Movement [1] (1979-1985) had called for a boycott of the elections. The electoral rolls contained many illegal immigrants they alleged. Already in 1979 Assam had become the first state of independent India to have missed the national parliamentary elections on the same issue. Some political parties, as well as Bodo and Bengali groups, welcomed the 1983 elections. Clashes had started break out well before February. In February 1983 things were on the boil.

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The Booker Prize, Aravind Adiga, and the ‘White Tiger’: Implications for Politics and Culture

June 17, 2012

By Paul Malachi

Revisiting The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, which won the Man-Booker Prize in 2008, the author looks into the background of the prize, the jury, and the winner, and finally embarks upon a critique of the book itself. The book’s views on social suffering, inequality, and most importantly, emancipatory possibilities reflect political attitudes of the post-liberalisation Indian middle classes. – Ed.

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Farmer Suicides in India Part 3: State-Level Distributions

June 17, 2012

By The Sanhati Collective

In two previous articles (Part 1 and Part 2), we have highlighted the phenomenon of farmer suicides in India. Data collected by Sanhati from various issues of Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (available from the website of the National Crime Records Bureau) show that between 1995 and 2010, more than 253,000 farmers have committed suicides across India. We have argued that the unprecedented wave of farmer suicides, which largely continues unabated as we write this note, is the result of acute agrarian distress sweeping across large swathes of rural India. The agrarian distress, in turn, is the result of the adoption of neo-liberal policies.

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Pondicherry – Report on workers’ struggle in Yanam Regency Ceramic factory

June 2, 2012

On 28 January 2012, the leading dailies of the country screamed on its front pages about the incident of the death of the union leader of the Regency Ceramics Factory at Yanam, in Puducherry, following a police lathi charge and about how the enraged workers had reduced the whole factory to ashes and killed the factory manager. Stories of such incidents keep appearing infrequently in the press. They are shown as isolated occurrences by rogue workers who go berserk. But are these to be seen as isolated incidents? Or are they connected by any exterior phenomena that occur around them? Can these incidents occur without any background of history? Is there a pattern to it? Can they be summarized under some general phenomena? These are the questions that arose amongst activists, and it was to seek answers to these questions that a team of trade unionists, scientists and democratic rights activists went to Yanam and met the workers, the authorities and the ordinary people to collect the details. A team was constituted by the Trade Union Solidarity Committee of Mumbai and they visited Yanam twice – from 8 to 10 March and from 9 to 11 April, 2012.

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Census 2011 and Popular Myths

May 31, 2012

By Manali Chakrabarti

The much awaited first reports of the 15th Indian Census have come and already several popular articles are circulating in the media. The most talked about statistics is of course the gross population data which was recorded as a whopping 1,210,193,422, second highest in the world, next only to China. Every sixth person in the world is an Indian and this is taken to be a cause of massive concern from all quarters. Most reports, articles and notes seem to be attempting to mitigate the unmitigatable disaster by citing certain redeeming data like on literacy, which has gone up to 74% with male literacy at 82% and female at 65.5 %, higher life expectancy, stabilizing family sizes, etc. It is even pointed out in hushed whispers that the decadal growth of population, though a fantastic 18.14 crores, the growth rate at 17.64 % is still the lowest since 1947.

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Damning the Dam Protestors – An Investigation into Police Repression in Assam

May 27, 2012

By Priyanka Borpujari. Reprinted with permission from the author’s website.

This collection of three articles is part of an ongoing investigation by freelance journalist Priyanka Borpujari into police repression in Assam. Previous coverage of protests against the Lower Subansiri dam project, towards the beginning of 2012, can be found here, and a political introduction to KMSS can be found here. CSD and PUDR statements in solidarity with dam protesters can be found here and here.

The articles are:

1. Damning the Dam Protesters, May 22 2012. This article outlines the contours of police repression and manufacturing of cases against anti-dam activists in the north bank of upper Assam.

2. Inside Tomorrow’s Mayhem, May 23 2012. This article contains interviews with dam officials and views of the reservoir, construction sites etc.

3. “Administration is Nothing But Common Sense”, May 24 2012. Through interviews of police officials, this article gives a glimpse of the kind of policing that will become common in the future.

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Ports: The New Frontier in the Development War in Odisha

May 22, 2012

By Ranjana and Nigam

This article investigates an important aspect of the ongoing land grab in the mineral rich areas in Orissa: acquisition of land for Ports. Forcible acquisition of coastal land in Chaumukh, Balasore district, and its implication for the local population and their livelihood are discussed in detail. The Orissa government’s new policy to give rapid clearance to such infrastructural development is analysed and critiqued. A list of ports notified by the government of Orissa, along with names of corporations, is given at the end.– Ed.

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Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja – A PUCL Report on the Fire that Destroyed Sumit Chemicals, a Chemical Factory in Kanpur

May 22, 2012

The following article reports on an incident in which a fire completely destroyed a chemical factory in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The investigation reveals a tale of criminal neglect of factory laws, collusion between local officials and industrialists, and incredibly callous attitude towards the factory workers. Two and half months after the accident, the factory management is yet to release the full list of workers inside the factory at the time of the accident. This report forms a part of the flow of reports emanating from the ground (for example from Gurgaon), describing the brutal conditions under which the working class is forced to work by middle capital in India today. – Ed.

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The Nonadanga Movement – An Analysis

May 17, 2012

Published by Parag, on behalf of Krantikari Naujawan Sabha (KNS)

From the filth and dirt of the cities of the present, emerges a shriek of revolt. Liberal society based on inequality squirms, and tries desperately to take contain it and dole out relief. The people asserting their power and dignity of labour persist with the question—who controls access to urban resources and who dictates the quality and organization of daily life? Is it the financiers and developers, or the people?

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Yeh sarkari kitab nahin hai?

May 17, 2012

By Saroj Giri

The left progressive camp in the cartoon controversy are directing all their ire now against Sibal – seeking restoration of the textbook. It is however no ‘speaking truth to power’ happening here. Instead this is only a symptom of their refusal to engage with Dalit forces who have raised serious objections to the cartoon. This smacks of an attempt to deny the reality of caste by turning the issue into a mere question of pedagogy or the issue of creative learning versus rote learning, or even worse, just a question of the ‘ability to laugh at oneself’!

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A One-day Trip to Jangal Mahal

April 26, 2012

By Debasree De

This is a personal account of a field survey conducted in West Midnapore. Being a representative of a University-educated urban middle class society I went to Jangal Mahal to know the actual truth. When I came back I found that my unquestioning allegiance to the social theories broke down and finally I surrendered to empiricism. This is the most agonising phase of a field survey, when I found that social reality is completely different from the social theories.

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Women’s Status, Movements in India – An Overview

April 26, 2012

By Sakuntala Narasimhan

This year marks a landmark in terms of legal progress for Indian women — the Dowry Prohibition Act completes 50 years, the Indecent Representation of Women (prohibition) Act of 1986 completes 25 years, the amendment to the PNDT (Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Regulation) Act was 10 years ago, and the Marriage Laws Amendment Act was also, likewise, put in place a decade ago, in 2001. Each of these important laws has pushed female entitlements a little further towards equity – the demand for dowry had become a practice based on the assumption that a woman is a burden and therefore the husband needs to be compensated for looking after her for her lifetime, while the practice of female feticide after determining the sex of the unborn child using ultrasound techniques, is another manifestation of the “uselessness” of daughters , and the perception that they are “burdens” (because they are ‘given away in marriage and become thereafter, paraayadhan or the ‘property of their marital families’, so the natal family gains nothing in return for nurturing and bringing up daughters, unlike sons who are expected to look after the parents in their old age). Son preference is a characteristic of Indian society (and China) and it was largely due to activism by women’s groups that the Dowry and PNDT Acts got passed.

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Some Reflections on Sexual Violence and the Struggles Against It

April 26, 2012

By Kavita Krishnan

Following a series of instances of rape in West Bengal, the Chief Minister first denied the rapes, cast aspersions on the morals and veracity of the complainants, and then announced restrictions on timings of bars, nightclubs etc.

In Gurgaon, following the gang rape of a woman employee of a nightclub, the Haryana Government first announced a ban on women’s employment in late-night jobs. When this diktat was faced with outrage, the Government clarified that it was not seeking to ban women working late, but it would monitor women’s employment in such jobs to ensure their safety.

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Women, control of forest through community forest rights and building institutions in context of Forest Rights Act

April 26, 2012

By Roma, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers

Today the natural resources land, forest and water are under major attack from neo-liberal policies where the crisis is about a few usurping the rights and access of the vast majority of the disempowered over the commons – air, water, land, minerals and forests. Unsustainable economic development and inequitable growth based on an economy dependent on the use of fossil-fuels and extractive industries — which intensified in the last 60 years — have led to the sharp rise in carbon emissions, way beyond what the Earth can absorb. Climate change has become a serious threat to the poor. In India, widespread and significant impacts of climate change have been noticed in many regions. These impacts adversely affect the urban working poor, the lives and livelihoods of the Himalayan and other hill people, fishing communities and other coastal and island communities, small and marginal farmers and agricultural workers, dalits, women, adivasis, forest dwellers, and other disadvantaged and marginalized communities in different regions. Large scale displacement is taking place in these regions but no livelihood opportunities are given to people instead. On the other hand people are been thrown out of agriculture and large scale migration is taking place from agriculture. State believes that if people remain dependent on agriculture than the economic development will be halted they need to be shifted to other jobs. At the same time the policies of the environment is also being made by the elites and people who have symbiotic relationship with this environment are being alienated from their resource base. The struggle is not only against poverty but it is also against dignity, identity and culture. It is where the women struggle is envisaged, which is the struggle for their survival based on livelihood rights.

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Vedanta and Corporate Social Responsibility

April 1, 2012

By Shiv Sethi

Recently, the mining giant Vedanta launched a TV advertisement to showcase their ongoing role in social programs that reach and help uplift some of the poorest in India. The main protagonist of the commercial is a girl child named Binno with an infectious smile and dreams in her eyes: to be educated, to be fed adequately at school through mid-day meals schemes, to receive health care, and to become a ‘responsible’ (presumably corporate-world-doting) Indian. The advertisement enthusiastically informs us how Vedanta, in collaboration with the government and NGOs, is helping lift such children from a life of perennial poverty and deprivation. Similar commercials highlighting the role of corporations in funding social causes have also been sponsored by other companies. Is this the new face of corporate social responsibility we are expected to appreciate?

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Death, Insurgency and Impunity: A report on Extra-Judicial Executions in Tinsukia, Assam (2011-2012)

April 1, 2012

Click here to read Tinsukia Report [PDF, English, 5 MB] »

This fact-finding report, written by Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS), Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Asom Sachetan Mohila Mancha (ASMM), and Karbi Human Rights Watch (KHRW), details the death of three youth in December 2011. It also includes a brief note on the history of Tinsukia, and has a chapter entitled “Resource Curse and Contemporary Politics in Tinsukia”. Included also as annexures are copies of the relevant FIRs and other documents, as well as a comprehensive selection of articles that appeared in the mainstream press in the wake of the incident.

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Jangal Mahal: Long Term Thoughts

March 20, 2012

By Dipanjan Rai Chaudhuri

The parading of Suchitra, an important activist of the Jangal Mahal, by the Chief Minister of West Bengal before the media, and quasi-confirmation of the unofficial allegation that Koteswara Rao was betrayed by individuals close to him, brings to a conclusion another chapter in the annals of struggle of the people of the Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa border region for self-government. The people of Jangal Mahal had rallied in tens of thousands and their message had started to spread outside the forests to the fertile lands of the nabal. To begin with, the movement was directed against police atrocity, but emergent self-organisation started to lay down roots for a village committee level network of protracted struggle for an alternative power centre.

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Talk on Peoples Movements and Some Notes on the Working Class and the Imperialist Wars

March 16, 2012

This article contains material from Jan Myrdal’s talks in New Delhi in February 2012. The first article is a talk delivered at a public meeting organised by the Forum Against War on People. The second article comprises “Some notes on the working class and the imperialist wars”, delivered in a talk at JNU. At the end, there are several videos of an interview with Myrdal conducted during his visit to the Kolkata Book Fair in January 2012.

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What Should Be the Attitude of the Left Towards the Movements in the Arab World?

March 15, 2012

This is an informal debate between certain members of Sanhati, centered around the following question: “What should be the attitude of the Left towards the movements in the Arab world?”

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Economic Growth in India: A Sectoral Account

March 15, 2012

It is of great interest to activists and policy makers alike to understand the structure and patterns of economic growth in India over the past six decades since the country gained political independence from British colonial rule. Growth of the GDP is the rate at which the total pie (of the value of goods and services) of the country expands. A high growth would mean that through a redistribution of the quickly expanding GDP it is possible to ensure that different groups of people, such as farmers, industrial workers, and the self-employed people, would experience a rise in their living standards.

But this is true for the aggregate growth rate of the economy only on average. An economy is not a homogeneous object. Different sectors of the economy grow at varying rates.

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Facebook Collisions: Notes on the State via the BSF Torture Video Spam and the Freedom of Expression Debate

February 25, 2012

By Shaunak Sen

Spam(s)

Ranciere, a French historian once asked, what if our truest sorrow lay in not being able to enjoy the false ones? What if our real indignation resided in a drive to cling to the possibility of being angry at that which has historically angered or upset us?

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A Peace in Pieces: Context of the Failed “Peace talks” in Jangalmahal

February 25, 2012

By Partho Sarathi Ray

Introduction

The collapse of the so-called “peace talks” process in the Jangalmahal of West Bengal as a result of the brutal killing of Mallojula Koteswara Rao or Kishenji, senior politbureau member of the CPI(Maoist), by security forces in what is evidently a false encounter, is highly instructive, as it deepens our understanding of the nature of such attempts at making “peace”, and also raises disturbing questions about the entire proposition of peacemaking in the context of the peoples’ struggles that have been or are going on in India over the last decade. It is also to be understood that although the murder of Kishenji was the culmination of the process that has been going on for the last eight months since the formation of the Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led government in West Bengal, it is in reality a byproduct of a much more dangerous process that has led to the stamping out of the democratic upsurge that Jangalmahal had witnessed over the last two years. This understanding about the nature of these so called “peace talks” is important for the revolutionary forces and peoples’ movements that are actively struggling against the Indian state and interests that the latter serves, and also for members of the so-called civil society who stand in solidarity with such struggles.

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Conversations on Capital, Unions, and the Maruti-Suzuki Strike

February 14, 2012

This article is excerpted from the February 2012 issue of the Faridabad Majdoor Samachar. Written in a conversational style, it looks back at the role of unions and the changing face of factories in the Faridabad region and elsewhere in the last thirty years, and culminates with a stock-taking of the strike at Maruti-Suzuki, Manesar, in 2011 – Ed.

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Farmer Suicides in India: Part 2

February 14, 2012

Sanhati Collective

This is a follow-up to our article on farmer suicides in India [1]. We thought it would increase the clarity of the argument in the original article if we made some remarks on the following three issues: (1) Farmer suicides in comparison to state population, (2) Stagnation in the growth of yield, and (3) Imports of subsidized cotton and low prices.

At the end of the article, we also include files which contain data on farmer suicides, compiled by us from the NCRB website. This is done for the convenience of other activists, researchers, and journalists, to provide easy access to this data.

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Orissa: Fact-finding Report on Durmisi Village, Kalahandi District

February 14, 2012

Fact Finding Report of CSD (Campaign for Survival and Dignity), Odisha on Village Durmisi, Gopinathpur G.P. Under Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi District. CSD is a national level campaign group which fought for the recognition of forest rights in the country and instrumental in the enactment of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 by the Parliament.

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Gurgaon Workers News – February 2012

February 14, 2012

Gurgaon in the industrial belt of Delhi is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone behind the gateway of development. At a first glance the office towers and shopping malls reflect this chimera and even the facades of the garment factories look like three star hotels. […]

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Farmer Suicides: A First-hand Report from Karnataka

January 16, 2012

By Kaveri Rajaram Indira. This article was first published in Socialism.in

In Tumkur district of Karnataka (close to the state capital – Bangalore), a spate of 10 peasant suicides in the year 2011 has prompted some alarm over an issue affecting millions more peasants who are still alive and struggling. A group of us, that included six people in all, traveled to visit each of these families to understand the root causes of these suicides.

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