Demonetisation, GST & Bank Recapitalisation

Pauperising the masses and pampering the big corporates – this in a nutshell is the unfolding economic agenda of the Modi regime. We have witnessed this in the recent policy level assaults on Indian economy and democracy – through the triple trauma of demonetization, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and bank recapitalization to cover up bad loans. Continue reading

MHRD-UGC’s New Assaults Ahead

 

June-July 2017 NET Skipped! NET to be Conducted Only Once a Year!

Biannual NET-JRF Exam Scuttled in a Clandestine Manner!

Cap for NET Qualification Reduced from 15% to 6%!

Possible Scuttling of Reservation!  Number of Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs) to Drastically Reduce!

 

In a clandestine manner the scope of NET and JRF qualification is being drastically reduced by the UGC and MHRD. Each year lakhs of students, from all over, work hard to prepare and sit for the NET as it is a decisive threshold in determining the eligibility for teaching position of Assistant Professor in Indian universities and colleges and also for obtaining JRF for pursuing higher research. But now, there seems to be a break in the practice of conducting NET twice in a year. CBSE had earlier expressed its unwillingness to conduct the NET exam twice a year as has been so far. After a protest from the student community, the UGC released a press statement saying that the CBSE has been asked to conduct NET exam in July 2017. But to our utter shock, the notification published by CBSE dated 6th June declares that NET exam will be held on 19th November 2017. That means the NET exam scheduled for July2017 is being effectively skipped. It is extremely unfortunate that the UGC after releasing press statements of conducting July NET has now withdrawn from accountability. The entire student community and lakhs of future aspirants have been betrayed.

In this context, we have also been informed of the alarming move by the UGC towards reducing the number of students qualifying in a Net exam. It has been reported in news papers that the UGC has decided to reduce the cap of students qualifying for NET to 6%. Till the NET exam conducted in January, 2017, 15% of the eligible students were issued NET qualification.

Qualifying NET exam merely confers eligibility to apply for the post for Assistant Professor. And those who qualify the JRF as well become eligible for Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs) only if they manage to get admitted to any UGC recognized research program in universities/institutions. In other words, NET and the JRF do not automatically guarantee either appointment in teaching posts or receiving fellowship. NET-JRF is merely a qualifying examination and the candidates have to go through further examination/interviews at respective institutions/universities to get appointment as faculty or admitted as research students. Why then the UGC is trying to reduce the number of NET qualifying students? Indeed, UGC has no explanation or accountability of this arbitrary trimming down. On the contrary, the move will gravely scuttle the opportunities of the students trying for teaching profession or aspiring to pursue higher research.

  • Firstly, this restrictive 6% cap will deny thousands of students the opportunity of even applying for the posts of Assistant Professors.
  • Secondly, it appears that the dual move of scuttling biannual exam and the 6% cap are being implemented to cut-down the number of Junior Research Fellowships in a clandestine manner. As the JRF forms only a fraction of the number of NET qualification, with much less number of students qualifying for NET every year, the number of Junior Research Fellowship will also decrease. It is becoming clear that UGC’s latest moves are nothing but yet another attempt to impose FELLOWSHIP-CUT in higher education in a surreptitious manner.

We have seen how the UGC have earlier tried to cut down Non-NET fellowships in 2015 and then imposed the restrictive cap of student-supervisor ratio through the 5 May 2016 UGC notification to restrict admission to post graduate research.

  • Thirdly, with the 2nd June 2017 UGC notification that proposes to make NET qualification a mandatory criterion for enrollment in PhD in category-3 universities (a major chunk of the colleges/ universities in our country come under this category), this 6% cap and scuttling of biannual exam are bound to further shrink the scope of research for hundreds of students.
  • Fourthly, it is not even clear to the student community as to how the reservation policy and the provision for relaxation in eligibility for SC/ST, OBC and PH/VH students would be applicable with this restriction of 6%.

We demand

  1. Immediate restoration of the Biannual Cycle of UGC NET exam – it must be ensured that the NET exam is held twice a year as per the existing norm. Since the current notification for the next NET exam has been declared for November 17th, the schedule for the July exam must be declared without any further ambiguous declarations and statements.
  2. The UGC must come out with a clear official notification published in its website and in mass media confirming the biannual NET as enough tricks have been played to shirk responsibility of conducting the exam as per norms.
  3. The UGC must also guarantee that the number of Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs) is not reduced. A clearly stated notification issued by the UGC must come in this regard as well.
  4. Revoke the restrictive 6% cap for qualifying the UGC NET. Expand rather than reduce the scope and opportunity of the number of students trying for teaching profession or aspiring to pursue higher research.                         

 

See Also : JNUSU statement on the events of 143rd Academic council meeting and notice raj of the administration

Identifying the Foundations of Women ’s Oppression

8 March 2017- International Women’s Day

Identifying the Foundations of Women’s Oppression, Charting the Course of Struggles for Liberation

8 March – International Women’s Day – was born in the struggles that women factory workers in their thousands waged against bondage a century ago

Women workers in garment and other factories in the USA in 1909 first observed ‘Women’s Day’ with huge demonstrations to demand labour laws (including the 8-hour working day) and the right to vote for women. In 1910, the Second International Conference of Working Women at Copenhagen accepted German socialist leader Clara Zetkin’s proposal that International Women’s Day be celebrated every year demanding rights for working women, including labour laws for women, the right to vote, and peace. In keeping with that decision, communists organised International Women’s Day the next year in many countries, and in Germany, 30000 women workers participated in processions, defying police repression. Since 1913, International Women’s Day has been celebrated every year on 8 March as a day of women’s assertion of their commitment to liberation and to the struggle for a world free of every kind of oppression.

Ironically, the powers-that-be and the advertisements all across try to hide the real legacy of Women’s Day and seek to establish a different narrative. They try to tell us that International Women’s Day (IWD) is an occasion when husbands are supposed to buy women washing machines and kitchen gadgets, when boyfriends are supposed to buy them flowers, and governments are supposed to make promises for ‘women empowerment’. So, as we approach the IWD 2017,  it is important for us to collectively reassert the fighting legacy of the international women’s day and draw lessons for the tasks and challenges at hand.

 

The Present Context:

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017 let us reiterate some key concerns of the women’s movement in India. Women’s oppression is not ‘natural’ – it came into being in the course of human history. Marxism helps us to identify the material circumstances in which such oppression was born and in which it is sustained. In the most early human societies, women were not oppressed, and there was no rigid ‘gender division of labour.’ That is, women could hunt and gather food just as men did. Women were revered for their ability to give birth, and pregnant women or nursing mothers might stay away from hunts. But as such, there was no concept of gender inequality.

Engels, in his book “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State”, shows us that institutions like ‘family’ and monogamous marriage are historic institutions – i.e. they came into being at a certain juncture in history, coinciding with the rise of private property and class conflict.

Engels looks are historic evidence of how early human societies – and surviving indigenous (adivasi) societies – do not have systematic gender or class inequality and oppression. The knowledge of who is the father of a child is not considered important. Families trace their lineage from mother to daughter.   

With the domestication of animals and with agriculture, humans were able to create and preserve a surplus – over and above the bare minimum needed to survive. Class-divisions emerged in society as a section of humans began to control the surplus and treat it as ‘private property’ or private wealth. Coinciding with the emergence of class society, we find the rise of inequality between men and women.    

The family and monogamous marriage are institutions that help to ensure that property can be inherited from father to son – and to ensure a legitimate son, women’s sexuality must be controlled and monogamy ensured. Engels shows how throughout the history of monogamy, monogamy has been enforced only on women while men have been free to have sexual relations outside of marriage. We can add here that the ideological privileging of heterosexual monogamy was also accompanied in some societies by the criminalisation of homosexuality and other sexual orientations and identities. Just as there is nothing ‘natural’ about women’s oppression, there is nothing ‘unnatural’ about homosexuality. 

With the rise of private property, production moved outside the household and was controlled by men – while tasks of ‘reproduction’ – not only bearing children but the work of ‘reproducing’ society and the next generation, i.e. cooking, cleaning, caring for children, the elderly etc. were were relegated to the ‘private’ sphere (the family) and allotted to women. The gender division of labour was born. Engels observed that 

“With the patriarchal family, and still more with the single monogamous family, a change came. Household management lost its public character. It no longer concerned society. It became a private service; the wife became the head servant, excluded from all participation in social production.”

What happens to the family institution under capitalism? Capitalism requires women and even children to be drawn into the workforce as paid labour. But it also requires women to continue to bear the burden of unpaid care work inside the household. Let us understand this problem a little better.

Capitalism Needs Domestic Labour  

Marx identified labour power as the source of surplus value. What is surplus value? It is value produced by the worker in excess of the minimum value required to sustain and regenerate the worker and replenish his or her labour power. The capitalist seeks to push down this minimum value as low as possible, so as to increase the surplus value. That is, it seeks to pay the worker as little as possible.

To understand this better, let’s look at a poster.

IWD1

 

The poster shows workers entering a factory gate in the morning and coming out in the evening. What happens between that entry and exit? How do the workers who exit the workplace exhausted each evening – their labour power depleted – make it to work again the next morning with their labour power replenished? The answer is: the workers’ labour power is replenished by those who cook meals for them, provide various kinds of comfort and care inside the home. And the bulk of such work is done by women.

The capitalist knows that workers need meals, a roof over the head, a bed, sleep – so as to be available for work the next day. Plus, the capitalist also needs the workforce of the future to be reproduced – i.e. children to be born. And it needs future workers (children of workers) to be cared for. It also needs the unemployed – members of the reserve army of labour – to be cared for. Moreover there is the problem of past workers – retired workers, aged and elderly people etc. But the capitalist does not wish to have to bear the burden of this cooking and care, because if either the individual capitalist or the State pays for this burden, it decreases the surplus value produced by the worker. Much of this (unpaid) labour of cooking, cleaning, caring for children and the elderly, providing loving human communication and care is done by people within households, families and communities – and the bulk of this labour is done by women.

Let us look at another poster from the workers’ struggle for the 8-hour day. The poster declares that the 24-hour day must be divided into three parts: 8 hours each for work, rest, and ‘what we will’ (whatever we like or enjoy). Of course, the capitalist wants to increase the ‘work’ part of the day as much as possible, and shrink the ‘rest’ and ‘leisure’ part of the day as much as possible. But think about this 24-hour day from the point of view of a woman. 

IWD2

 

If a woman is not a paid worker, she is actually working 24 hours a day – because domestic labour has no fixed working hours: if a baby cries in the night or wets itself, it must be attended to immediately. If she is a paid worker, she is doing a double shift, because after a hard day at work, she still has to come home and cook and care for others. She does not have 8 hours for rest and 8 hours for ‘what you will’ (which can include leisure, enjoyment as well as something like attending meetings of unions and women’s organisations.) She has a much harder struggle than men to make time for these activities.  

Think about it – this domestic labour is endless. It involves collecting fuel and water as well as the actual process of cooking. It involves playing with children, wiping the tears of a crying child, waking up in the middle of the night to care for a sick child or adult.       

Now some will say – how great women are, they do this wonderful work uncomplainingly, because that is the nature of women. Women’s Day is an occasion to salute such women, give them our respect. But we say that such ‘praise’ is an ideological ploy – a way of justifying and glorifying oppression. The women’s movement as well as revolutionary Marxists all over the world have challenged the ideology that claims that such unpaid, unrecognised labour of social reproduction is ‘natural’ to women and is ‘women’s work.’ They have said that a) men must share this domestic labour and b) the employer and the State must be made to bear greater burdens of social reproduction, by providing welfare measures, water, fuel, food, messes or canteens providing cooked food, pensions for the elderly, healthcare, maternity benefits, education and child care etc.  

Social Reproduction      

Women, as we have already noted, bear the bulk of the burden of domestic labour, which is part of the labour of ‘social reproduction.’ Capitalism needs labour power to be reproduced – and women bear the burden of this reproduction. The tasks of social reproduction do not only comprise unpaid work done inside the home: they also comprise paid domestic work, sanitation work, cooking mid-day meals in schools, teaching, healthcare work and so on. In India such work is often contractualised and extremely underpaid. It is no coincidence that much of this underpaid work of social reproduction is also done by women. And also, Dalits and Dalit women do a disproportionate share of the forms of social reproductive labour that are considered ‘dirty.’      

Social reproduction also involves the reproduction of the entire structure of oppressive social relationships of class, caste, gender, race – day after day, generation after generation. In India, controlling women’s reproduction and sexuality is required not only to maintain the patriarchal transfer of private property but also to ensure the reproduction of the caste system. It is in large measure through the institutions of family/household that control of women’s reproduction and sexuality is achieved and women’s unpaid domestic labour is made possible. 

Challenging the Patriarchal Commonsense of ‘Private/Public’, ‘Home/World’ Binary

A Marxist approach to the women’s movement helps us to look at the entire structure of society – and the role of women’s inequality and oppression – whole rather than through the binaries of ‘ghare’ and ‘baire’, ‘family’ and ‘workplace,’ ‘private’ and ‘public.’  

In the dominant discourse, we find that on the one hand it is argued that women are ‘safe’ within families and face ‘danger’ when ‘forced’ to go ‘outside’ (to work, to defecate, to study etc). On the other hand, gender and caste discrimination, oppression and violence is defined as a problem of ‘culture’ – basically a problem of the sphere of the ‘family’ or ‘community,’ and so the ‘private’ problem of individuals and families or the ‘cultural’ problem of communities rather than the problem and responsibility of the State and public institutions. How do we challenge this dominant discourse?      

We can see very clearly how the family/household institution disciplines and schools women in unpaid care work duties; teaches men entitlement over women’s labour, sexuality and reproduction; defines domestic violence as the “chastisement” of women for failure to do her “duties”; and helps to reproduce the ideologies and hierarchies of caste and gender, generation after generation.

In India, National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2005-06 data, as well as data gathered by the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS) 2012 establish how denial of autonomy is itself a form of violence and discrimination faced by Indian women. It is important to emphasise this point, because State policies as well as patriarchal common sense often prescribe and impose restrictions on women’s autonomy and mobility in the name of keeping them ‘safe’ from violence.

  • Only 5% of women in India have sole control over choosing their husbands – IHDS 2012
  • 79.88% of women need permission to visit a health centre – IHDS 2012

NFHS 2005-06 data shows that the patriarchal sense of entitlement to women’s domestic services, helps legitimise domestic violence. Between 34-62 percent of men and women – ranging from educated to illiterate – believe that domestic violence is justified for one reason or another. Both category of respondents, men and women, tended to justify wife beating on the following ‘grounds’ – if wives argue with the husband, fail to show proper respect to in-laws, neglect the house or children, or go out without telling the husband. Women are tied by very widespread domestic violence to the social reproductive domestic roles ‘fixed’ for them – but patriarchal hegemony ensures that a large percentage of women accept such violence as the norm.

 

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Even rape statistics in India reveal a high level of disguised violence against women’s autonomy. In her article ‘Rape, Rhetoric and Reality’, (The Hindu, December 19, 2014), Rukmini S points out that no less than 40% of “what is classified as rape (in Delhi police files) is actually parental criminalisation of consensual sexual relationships, often when it comes to inter-caste and inter-religious couples.”  Each of the women in these ‘rape’ cases, then, are victims not of rape, but of coercion and violence by their own parents, families, and communities in their own homes. But this violence remains an open secret, in which even the police is complicit, and such violence now enjoys political sanction and encouragement from political forces patronised by ruling parties.  

Domestic violence as well as restrictions on women’s mobility then, are inflicted on women by the families and communities they are born in, in order to prevent them from posing a threat to the caste order. And once married, women are subjected to domestic violence to discipline them into performing social reproductive labour. In India marriage involves moving into the marital home, which is often far away from the woman’s natal home. One of the most common forms of domestic violence is to prevent the newly-wed woman from contacting her parents and friends. The bride is subjected to various forms of humiliation and shaming – a sort of ‘ragging’ that is supposed to break her into her new role. As a result, the newly-wed bride’s situation becomes comparable in vulnerability to that of migrant labour. This isolation and vulnerability of the new bride, a migrant in ‘her own home,’ mostly disguised and romanticised ideologically, becomes starkly visible in instances for example in Haryana where, thanks to the low sex ratio, brides are ‘imported’ and purchased from other states.      

Disciplinary Methods Drawn From Caste and Household Systems

Not only households, even the State feel entitled to demand social reproductive labour from women: both unpaid labour inside the home as well as severely underpaid ‘voluntary’ labour from incentive- or honorarium-based workers. The State, then, has no interest in challenging the systematic denial of women’s autonomy or the ‘normalcy’ of domestic violence. This leads to a peculiar situation where state-led campaigns exhort society to allow girls to be born – so that they can grow up to fulfil social reproductive duties later! Beti Bachao campaign slogans such as Beti nahin bachaoge to bahu kahan se laoge – If you don’t save a daughter today how will you get a bride tomorrow – reflect the fact that such campaigns originated in Haryana with the ‘Unmarried Men’s Union’ (Avivahit Purush Sangathan) who declared that the low sex ratio was preventing them from getting the brides from the prescribed caste and community – brides they felt entitled to having. The Swacch Bharat campaign widely uses slogans and advertisements suggesting that toilets should be built so that daughters and daughter-in-law, who should be veiled and whose place is in the home, should never have to go outside the house. 

Widespread restrictions on women’s mobility in India are one of the factors responsible for the low workforce participation rate of women. The state and capitalist forces want more women to be drawn into the labour force – but at the same time they want to prevent and curb the likely consequences of women joining the workforce: greater autonomy and mobility and control over their own lives.

In both production and social reproduction work, women workers are disciplined using tools and methods drawn from the social reproductive spheres of the household and the education system, as well as from the caste system. By doing so the Indian State and Indian Governments seek to offer a docile, disciplined and unlikely-to-revolt (or so they hope) female workforce as an incentive to global capital to ‘Make in India.’ So, young women garment workers (mostly Dalit) in Tamil Nadu factories producing for global brands, keep women under strict surveillance in hostels, prevent any social outing or mobility outside the hostel or factory premises; punish socialisation between female and male workers; ban mobile phones for women workers and mete out humiliating casteist punishments to them for violating these rules. The factory managements justify these restrictions (similar to restrictions in women’s hostels in education institutions) by claiming that the workers’ families demand them.

The social relationships of caste and gender together are also other means of disciplining workers. For instance, in rural Bihar or Andhra Pradesh, the upper caste landlord will assert a feudal sense of entitlement over not only the labour but the sexual being of Dalit women labourers. What happens when the women workers migrate to the city? One woman sanitation worker in Bangalore, a Dalit migrant woman from Andhra Pradesh, referring to the fact that the contractors contractors are also from Andhra Pradesh and inevitably from the dominant Reddy (Kapu) caste, put it this way, “We escaped our villages in Chittur, Nellore, Ananthpuram and other districts of Andhra and ran to Bangalore to escape the caste oppression at the hands of the Kapus and they have now followed us to the cities and force us to shed our sweat and blood for them to prosper!”

Communal Fascism and the Metaphor of ‘Family’ 

Communal fascists also exploit the widespread anxieties over women’s sexual autonomy as a threat to the caste system. They use the slogan of love jihad to foment communal hatred and violence directed at real and imagined inter-faith love.

It is significant that one of the central metaphors of the Sangh’s ‘social harmony’ rhetoric is that of the ‘home’ – ‘Ghar,’ and its sister-term ‘family’ – ‘parivar.’ This metaphor is evoked to valorize the patriarchal family and subjugation of women – even to the extent of justifying wife-beating as necessary chastisement of erring wives. (‘Holier Than Cow: Wisdom on women from a Rashtra Sevika Sangh camp,’ Neha Dixit, Outlook, 28 January 2013) The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat describes the RSS as ‘familyist not feminist;’ feminist assertions of women’s autonomy are painted as Western-inspired disruptions of the harmonious Indian family. Oppressive social practices and restrictions on women’s mobility are all rationalized as having evolved to ‘protect’ women from ‘rapacious Muslims’. 

Hindu religion is described, moreover, as the ‘home’ for Dalits and Muslims, and to prescribe and order ‘ghar wapsi’ – ‘return home’ for these sections. The RSS and BJP recast relations between workers and bosses as harmonious relations within the ‘industry family,’ whereby justifying erosion and dilution of labour laws. To justify child labour and dilute the child labour abolition laws, in the name of allowing ‘family-based’ occupations to employ children.   

The analogy of ‘family’ and ‘home’ are invoked not only to glamourise gender hierarchy but class and caste hierarchies. And communal violence in the name of curbing ‘love jehad’ are as hostile to women’s autonomy and equality as to the claims of Muslim and Dalit men to equality and dignity.  

Some Conclusions

What are some of the conclusions that revolutionary Marxists and all those who want to fight patriarchy and structures of oppression can draw?

We cannot say that we must fight ‘cultural’ arena first, change mindsets, and that the task of challenging structures of production can come ‘later.’

Neither can we say that we must fight ‘economic’ oppression first and that the questions of violence and discrimination and attacks on women’s autonomy inside households can come ‘later.’    

We can’t say we will fight communal fascism first, women’s rights and equality can come ‘later.’

We can’t say we will fight to annihilate caste first, and questions of gender and women’s freedom can come ‘later.’

We have to fight on all these fronts together – seeing how essential each such fight is to other fights.                  

It means the asserting the right to autonomy in households and family – women’s azaadi inside homes from their own parents, brothers, husbands, control over her own life, decisions, sexuality and reproduction – as central to struggles to annihilate caste, resist communalism, organise working class struggles. It means working class struggles can’t be organised only on factory floors or workplaces – but everywhere, including in the communities where workers live. In those areas, it will mean demanding state support for social reproductive tasks (homes, running water, fuel, public toilets, food rations, children’s education, health, maternity entitlements, pensions for all etc). It will mean asserting women’s right to toilet breaks, food, workplace safety, healthcare etc – as well as equal wages and committees against sexual harassment at the workplace. It will mean asserting that Dalit men and women will no longer do the work of cleaning human or animal excreta or animal carcasses. It will mean challenging the feudal-style caste hierarchies between maalik (boss) and mazdoor (worker) that are found in rural India but often reproduced in cities. It means fighting for women’s fullest freedom in those communities and in the process confronting caste and communal divisions directly and breaking down these divisions. It will mean asserting the right of all women to leisure and pleasure, liberty and equality.   

 

An AISA – AIPWA Publication.

The Other Verdict of 16 May 2014: SC Acquits All the Accused of 2002 Akshardham Terror Strike, Slams Gujarat Police Probe

shahwan

Son, wife of Adam Ajmeri, who is among six Akshardham accused acquitted.

After 11 Years of False Framing, Stigma and Injustice, the Supreme Court Nails Another Case of Witch-Hunt by the Gujarat Govt!

In an IRONIC COINCIDENCE on 16 May 2014, alongside the electoral verdict, the Supreme Court too delivered its verdict on Akshardham Temple Terror Attack case (of Gujarat, Sep 2002), acquitting all the six accused including three who were sentenced to death by a lower court and slamming the Gujarat Police for the incompetence with which it investigated. On the day when the “Modi wave” was “sweeping the nation” and Modi’s media cheer-brigade ensured that ‘nation did not want to hear anything else,’ another skeleton tumbled out of Modi’s cupboard!

Acquitting all the six convicts, the judgment said: “We intend to express our anguish about the incompetence with which the investigating agencies conducted the investigation of the case of such a grievous nature, involving the integrity and security of the nation.”

“Instead of booking the real culprits responsible for taking so many precious lives, police caught innocent people and got imposed the grievous charges against them which resulted in their conviction and subsequent sentencing,”

The Supreme Court in its judgement categorically slammed the then Gujarat home minister of “non-application of mind”. Modi had held the portfolio in November 2003 when sanction to prosecute the six under POTA was granted.

Though Acquitted, Will Modi Compensate for the Lost Years, Ruined Lives?

Let us not forget, post-Godhra and post-Gujarat pogrom of 2002, a grand narrative unfolded in Gujarat and went on unabated till 2006: there was Akshardham temple terror attack (24 September 2002, 25 dead, 77 injured) and a series of “encounters” of the alleged “Islamist terrorists” out to kill Modi and his men.  Many of these encounters which received considerable media attention are Samir Khan Pathan( 2002), Sadiq Jamal (2003), Ishrat Jahan case (2004) Sohrabuddin Sheikh case (2005), Tulsiram Prajapati case(2006). All the incidents had more than one similarity: All had a common narrative of purpose. All happened under same set of officers and cops. All needed the shooting down of the “conspirators”. who allegedly belonged to terrorist outfits like LeT or Jaish. And all remained shrouded in a cloud of doubts.

Politically, each episode went to build up Modi’s image as a ‘Hindu nationalist’ hero being targeted by so-called ‘Muslim terrorists’. Each episode was employed to reinforce the idea of Muslims as the supreme threat to the social/national order, who were ritually vanquished by Modi’s police force, over and over again.

Many of the top cops involved in these acts are behind bars today. One common actor among them, DIG D. G. Vanzara, languishing in Sabarmati Central jail since 2007, in an explosive letter in September 2013, explicitly charged: Gujarat CID/Union CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases, holding us responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters. If that is true, then the CBI investigation officers of all the four encounter cases of Sohrabuddin (Sheikh), Tulasiram (Prajapati), Sadiq Jamal and Ishrat Jahan have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government, which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from very close quarters… I’m of the firm opinion that the place of this government, instead of being in Gandhinangar, should either be at Taloja Central Prison in Navi Mumbai or at Sabarmati Central Prison in Ahmedabad.”

In January 2012, a Supreme Court Bench, acting on the two petitions filed by B.G. Varghese, Javed Aktar and others, pending since 2007, appointed a Monitoring Authority to probe 22 cases of fake encounter deaths in Gujarat from 2003 to 2006!

 

A Different Kind Of A Victory — In Gujarat

Indian Express 18 May 2014

Shahwan remembers the day nearly 11 years ago that the Gujarat Police came to arrest his father Adam Sulaiman Mansuri alias Adam Ajmeri. He especially remembers how his mother pleaded with them, telling them her husband was an innocent mechanic and not a terrorist involved in the attack on the Akshardham temple of a year ago. Shahwan remembers the visits to jail on Eid, and that every time, his father broke down, saying he had nothing to give him for the festival.

On a day that little else registered in the Narendra Modi wave sweeping the country, came the news that the Ajmeris had been waiting for. Pulling up the Gujarat Police for framing “innocent” people in the Akshardham case, the Supreme Court ordered that all the six convicted by the lower court, including Adam, be freed. It also accused the then Gujarat home minister of “non-application of mind”. Modi had held the portfolio in November 2003 when sanction to prosecute the six under POTA was granted. Two of the accused have already finished their terms.

In September 2002, two armed attackers had entered the Akshardham temple complex in Gandhinagar, and killed 30 people and injured more than 80. Both the attackers had been killed. Adam and four others were arrested from Shahpur and Dariapur areas of Ahmedabad in August 2003, and the sixth accused from Uttar Pradesh days later.

Sentenced to death, Adam is currently lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail.

News of Adam’s acquittal sent a cheer through his Shahpur mohalla. His emotional wife Naseem Bano, 40, said she had struggled to raise Shahwan and elder brother Almas (20) on the money she made from embroidery work and stitching of burqas.

“My own family, brothers cut all ties saying my husband was a terrorist. Those in the neighbourhood supported us as they knew the real Adam — a poor mechanic who worked with his father to make ends meet.” Adam’s family kept Naseem out even when his mother died six months ago.

Recently the brothers opened a small handkerchief shop at home. Shahwan, who is waiting for his Class X board results, hopes to study further. “My father always told my elder brother to take care of Ammi. My brother dropped out to work but it is my father’s wish that I study,” he says.

Dressed in a new pair of jeans and shirt bought for a family wedding, the 16-year-old adds, “Now that Abba is coming back, family members will realise that he was framed.”

Just 4 km away, in Kankodi ni Pol in Dariapur, is the house of another Akshardham convict, Mohammad Salim Hanif Sheikh. It is currently rented out.

Despite the charges against the Riyadh-based Sheikh, this pol surrounded by Hindu pols in Kalupur never lost its respect for him. Salim and brother Irfan were known as Seth na Dikra in their mohalla. Their father Hanif Sheikh used to run a small jewellery store with Irfan and wife Mumtaz.

Salim’s cousin and neighbour Kausar Sheikh says, “Salimbhai was the one man in Kalupur loved and respected by all. He was absolutely chivalrous, respectful and a person of morals. This charge ruined his family.”

Salim, who was alleged to have links with key conspirator Abu Hamza and given life term, used to work in Riyadh and came home once in two-three months. He was arrested just two days before he was to return to Riyadh.

The family spent its entire savings fighting the case and now Irfan drives an autorickshaw for a living. Salim’s wife Parveen lives at her mother’s house in Juhapura with their two children.

Neighbours remember Hanif running from home to home to seek support for his son, to try and convince the police that Salim was innocent.

Says Salim’s aunt Shehnaz, “His mother Mumtaz pleaded with police officers. They told her ‘Your son is a terrorist who killed innocent pilgrims. There is no mercy for him’. He was treated very badly.”

Dabgarwad, which lies a short distance away, is known as ‘Abdul Latif’s area’. It was from here that another Akshardham accused serving death sentence, Abdul Qayyum Mansuri alias Mufti Baba, was picked up.

While some believe he had mafia and terror links, including with Dawood Ibrahim aide Abdul Latif, others talk of his knowledge of the Quran.

Mansuri had been teaching at the Haji Sakhi Masjid of Dariapur when he was held. He had also set up a hospital, Lokhandwala General Hospital.

Says Mansuri’s brother Salim Sheikh, “He is a learned man and was a social worker. The case was built by D G Vanzara and Mufti was made a target because they wanted someone who was strong, well-known and had contacts.”

Salim is a member of the Jamiat-Ulema-E-Hind that had been fighting for Mansuri’s release. On Saturday, his wife and two teenage children were busy trying to collect a copy of the Supreme Court judgment. At home, Mansuri’s ailing mother waited alone to finally see her son.

Shahwan says he will ensure he doesn’t meet his father’s fate. “My brother and I will make money in such a way that no police can ever frame us just because we are poor and weak.”

Electoral Victory is NOT a Substitute for Justice and Accountability!

The Truth Must Prevail!

 

Photo Courtesy : Indian Express

भारत 2014: भ्रष्ट- साम्प्रदायिक- कॉर्पोरेट-फासीवादी षड्यंत्रों को ध्वस्त करो !

भारत 2014:

भ्रष्ट- साम्प्रदायिक- कॉर्पोरेट-फासीवादी षड्यंत्रों को ध्वस्त करो !

दस्तक दे रहे 2014 के लोक सभा चुनाव में देश की जनता ने लूट, दमन और भ्रष्टाचार का पर्याय कांग्रेस-संप्रग को सज़ा देने और बदलाव के लिए वोट करने का निश्चय किया है। इस जायज गुस्से का पफायदा उठाते हुए नरेन्द्र मोदी को आगामी प्रधनमंत्री के रूप में प्रस्तुत करने के लिए एक सुव्यवस्थित अभियान चलाया जा रहा है और नरेन्द्र मोदी को इन सारी समस्याओं का हल बताया जा रहा है।

क्या मोदी सच में इस संकट का समाधन है? या फिर मोदी के लिए हर एक वोट इस भ्रष्टाचार, कॉर्पोरेट लूट और दमन के संकट को और गहरा देगा?

2004 में NDA के हार के दो बड़े कारण थे-पहला, 2002 में गुजरात नरसंहार में मोदी सरकार की भूमिका और दूसरा राजग सरकार का फर्जी ‘इंडिया शाइनिंग’ प्रचार, जो कि नवउदारवादी नीतियों से उपजी बेरोज़गारी, किसानो की आत्महत्या एवं महंगाई की मार सहती जनता पर एक क्रूर मजाक था. देश ने 2004 में इसे ‘फेकू’ कहकर नकार दिया।

poverty lineलेकिन आज एक दशक बाद उसी मोदी को जो 2004 की हार के लिये जिम्मेद्दार था, एक विकल्प के रूप में क्यों प्रस्तुत किया जा रहा है?

‘नमो’ प्रचार अभियान के तहत 2002 के विभत्स नरसंहार के आरोपी मुख्यमंत्री का ‘इमेज मेक-ओवर’ कर ‘सुशासन’ और ‘आर्थिक विकास’ के मसीहा के रूप में दिखाया जा रहा है। इस ‘इमेज मेकओवर’ में ।च्ब्व् जैसी दुनिया की कुख्यात च्त् एजेंसियां तथा तमाम कॉरपोरेट मीडिया जुटी हुई है। इस ब्रांड मैनेजमेंट के दो नारे हैं- 2002 को और उस दौरान हुए बलात्कार, हत्या तथा फर्जी मुठभेड़ों को भूल जाओ और मोदी के ‘वृद्धि, ‘विकास’ तथा ‘सुशासन’ मॉडल के साथ ‘परेड’ करो। यानि कि यदि हम ‘सुशासन’ चाहते है तो हम ये मान लें कि सांप्रदायिक दंगे, फर्जी मुठभेड़ या कॉरपोरेट द्वारा भूमि अधिग्रहण आदि बेमतलब के सवाल हैं।

 

 

मोदी ने अपनी छवि चमकाने का ठेका किसको दिया?

19 नवंबर, 2007 के टाइम्स ऑफ इंडिया की खबर

तानाशाह भी शामिल हैं मोदी की छवि चमकाने वाली कंपनी के ग्राहकों में ; (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/specials/Modis-image-builders-have-dictators-on-client-list/articleshow/2600140.cms)

modi apcoहिटलर एकधूर्त प्रोपोगैंडिस्ट था। मोदी भी छवि की ताकत में विश्वास करते हैं। शायद इसीलिए मोदी ने अपनी छवि गढ़ने के लिए एक ऐसी अमरीकी कंपनी चुनी है जिसके ग्राहकों में नाइजीरिया के पूर्व तानाशाह सानी अबाचा और कज़ाकस्तान के आजीवन राष्ट्रपति नूरसुल्तान अबिसुली नजरबाए जैसे लोग शामिल हैं।

वाशिंगटन से काम-धम करने वाली ।च्ब्व् वल्र्डवाइड को अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर अपनी छवि सुधरने के लिए इस साल (2007 में) अगस्त में विधनसभा चुनाव के ठीक पहले मोदी ने ठेका दिया। इस कंपनी के हालिया ग्राहकों में एक हैं- कभी कम्युनिस्ट युवा नेता रहे रूस के माइकल खोदोरकोव्स्की, जो अब माफिया से साठ-गांठ कर करोड़पति हो गए हैं।

अपने जनाधर से दूर जा गिरे नेताओं की छवि गढ़ने-चमकाने में इस कंपनी को महारत हासिल है। इसी लिहाज से ।च्ब्व् वल्र्डवाइड ने सलाह दी कि अंतर्राष्ट्रीय समुदाय के बीच गुजरात ब्रांड की छवि गढ़ी और बेची जाये। परन्तु सूत्र बताते हैं कि 2002 के जनसंहार की कालिख के नाते अमरीकी वीजा से महरूम मोदी चाहते हैं कि उनकी छवि सुधरी जाये जिससे कि आगे वे अमरीका की यात्रा कर सकें….

गुजरात सरकार इस कंपनी को मोदी के छवि निर्माण के लिए हर महीने 25000डॉलर का भुगतान कर रही है। 

सूत्र बताते हैं कि इस छवि-निर्माण का ख्याल मोदी को इसी साल (2007 में) स्विट्जरलैंड यात्रा के दौरान आया। सो गुजरात सरकार ने बगैर टेंडर निकाले ऐसी सात राष्ट्रीय और अंतर्राष्ट्रीय कंपनियों में से दो को चिन्हित किया जो दूसरों से तीन गुना ज्यादा रकम लेने वाली थीं। ।च्ब्व् को ठेका दिया गया। इस चयन का कारण यह बताया गया कि ।च्ब्व् के पास ज्यादा बढि़या टीम है। ।च्ब्व् के साथ काम करने वालों में रिपब्लिकन और डेमोक्रेट्स-  दोनों धड़ों के पूर्व सीनेटर हैं।

 

 

इस पूरी छवि-चमकाऊ कसरत का असल मकसद क्या है ?

EPW ने 20 अप्रैल, 2013 को अपने संपादकीय में लिखा – ‘‘साफ है कि यह पूरी परियोजना 2014 के चुनाव में कांग्रेस की अगुवाई वाले संप्रग के खि़लाप़फ नरेंद्र मोदी को विपक्ष का निर्विवाद नेता बनाने के लिए थी और इस काम में यह परियोजना सपफल साबित हुई। मौजूदा और संभावित घटक दलों की बाधओं और संघ परिवार की भीतरी गणित को पार करते हुए इस परियोजना ने भारत के राजनीतिक वर्ग के सामने पत्ते खोल दिये- कांग्रेस के खि़लाप़फ खड़ी ताकतों को मोदी के पाले में जाना होगा, अन्यथा 2014 के चुनाव-बाद की लोकसभा में ऐसी ताक़तें राजनैतिक रूप से अप्रासंगिक होने के लिए तैयार रहें…

मोदी के इस छवि-चमकाऊ अभियान का संदेश क्या है ? ध्यान से बुने गए भाषणों और सजाई गई मंचीय झांकियों के पीछे भारत के उद्योगपति, शहरी व्यवसायियों और ग्रामीण अमीर प्रभुवर्ग को मोदी का संदेश है कि पूंजी के बड़े प्रसार और ज्यादा मुनाफे वाली अपेक्षाकृत बेहतर आर्थिक वृद्धि के रास्ते में आने वाली बाधाओं को वे नेस्तनाबूद कर सकते हैं। वे लोकतन्त्र का ऐसा ‘प्रबंधन’ करेंगे जैसा गुजरात में किया-

एक तरफ सांप्रदायिक आतंक फैलाएंगे और दूसरी ओर कुछ कॉर्पोरेट गिरोहों का मुंह आर्थिक तोहफे से भर देंगे। कांग्रेस ने जैसा इस काम को पिछले दशक में अंजाम दिया है, मोदी का वादा है कि वे इस काम को और बेहतर अंजाम देंगे”

 

 

सच्चाई यह है कि गुजरात किसी भी पैमाने पर अन्य दूसरे राज्यों से बेहतर स्थिति में नहीं है। और इससे भी बढ़कर गुजरात का नवउदारवादी विकास के मॉडल का असर आम जनता की जिंदगी और आर्थिकी पर अपेक्षाकृत बुरा पड़ा। आज इस देश की ज़रूरत भ्रष्ट, कॉरपोरेट परस्त न्च्। सरकार के बदले दूसरी भ्रष्ट, काॅरपोरेट परस्त सांप्रदायिक पफासीवाद नहीं है। बल्कि,आवाम के लिए अगर कोई असली बदलाव होगा तो वह चेहरे का नहींऋ सियासत और नीतियों का बदलाव होगा।

आइये मोदी के प्रचार और तथ्यों की हकीकत पर करीबी नज़र डालते हैं कि क्या मोदी सच में न्च्। सरकार की नीतियों का कोई विकल्प है?

आर्थिक विकास दर के आंकड़ों के अनुसार पांच सालों (2006-11) के दौरान गुजरात को महाराष्ट्र, हरियाणा, छत्तीसगढ़, बिहार, और उडि़सा ने कापफी पीछे छोड़ दिया है (इकोनोमिक टाइम्स, 26 दिसम्बर 2012)। प्रति व्यक्ति आय के लिहाज़ से 2011 में हरियाणा (92,327 रु), महाराष्ट्र (83,471 रु), पंजाब (67,473 रु), तमिलनाडु (72,993 रु) और उत्तरांचल (68,292 रु) के बाद गुजरात (63,996 रु) 6वें स्थान पर है। जबकि प्रति व्यक्ति कर्ज के मामले में गुजरात आज यूपी और बिहार से भी आगे है।

निवेश सूचकांक: ‘वाइब्रेंट गुजरात’ के चकाचौंध के विपरीत असलियत में  ‘प्रत्यक्ष विदेशी निवेश’ में गुजरात 5वें स्थान पर है। महाराष्ट्र इसमें प्रथम है। गुजरात सरकार के अपने ‘सोशियो-इकॉनोमिक रिव्यू, 2011-12’ के अनुसार 2011 में 20 लाख करोड़ से अधिक निवेश के लक्ष्य के बरक्स यह महज़ 29,813 करोड़ का ही हुआ। उसी साल, 8,300 से अधिक समझौते (डव्न् पर हस्ताक्षर) हुए लेकिन सिर्फ 250 ही हक़ीकत में हो पाए (प्रफंटलाइन, 8 मार्च, 2013)।

औद्योगीकरण की स्थितिः गुजरात में विकसित हुए अधिकांश उद्योग ख़तरनाक ज़हरीले रसायन उत्पन्न करने वाले हैं। गुजरात में देश के सबसे अधिक प्रदूषण के केन्द्र वाली जगहें हैं और साथ ही 184 में से 74 तहसीलों का ज़मीन के नीचे का पानी दूषित हो गया है। गुजरात में 2012-13 के दौरान 60,000 से अध्कि छोटे-बड़े उद्योग बंद हो गये। गुजरात में प्रति व्यक्ति आय वहां के शहरी आय की तुलना में आधी है जो वहां के शहर और गांव के बीच की भारी असमानता को दर्शाती है। अतः यह स्पष्ट है कि गुजरात ने मोदी के राज में कोई ‘विशेष’ आर्थिक वृद्धि नहीं की। शहरीकृत गुजरात हमेशा से बड़े उद्योगों और व्यावसायिक समुदायों का घर रहा है मोदी के मुख्यमंत्री बनने से पहले से ही।

सामाजिक विकास के पैमाने पर गुजरातः

modi pulicityसामाजिक क्षेत्रा (Social Sector) में खर्च के हिसाब से 21 बड़े राज्यों में गुजरात 19वें स्थान पर है। 2011 में मानव विकास सूचकांक में गुजरात का 11वां स्थान था। शिक्षा और स्वास्थ्य के मामलों में गुजरात गिरकर 19 बड़े राज्यों में व्रफमशः 9वें और 10वें स्थान पर आ गया।स्वास्थ्य, शिक्षा और पोषण के मानकों में कापफी अधिक गिरावट है खासकर स्त्रियों और बच्चों के मामलों में। बच्चों का स्कूलों से पढ़ाई छोड़ कर निकल जाने का दर यहां 58% है जबकि राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर यह सिपर्फ 49% है। गुजरात में दलितों और आदिवासियों में यह दर बढ़कर क्रमशः 65% और 78% हो गया। उच्च शिक्षा में दाखि़ला लेने वालों का औसत यहां 17.6 है जबकि राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर यह औसत 20.4 है। तमिलनाडु और महाराष्ट्र में यह क्रमशः 38.2 और 27.4 है। शिशु मृत्यु दर में कमी के लिहाज से गुजरात 10वें स्थान पर है। उसमें भी अद्भुत तरीके से लड़कियों में यह अधिक है। जीवन के औसत आयु में यह 8वें (62.15 वर्ष) स्थान पर है जो कि बिहार (62.85 वर्ष) से भी कम है। 45% शहरी बच्चे और 60% ग्रामीण बच्चे प्रतिरोधक टीकों से वंचित हैं। ग्रामीण इलाकों में 60% प्रसव बिना किसी संस्थानिक व्यवस्था के होती है। प्राथमिक स्वास्थ्य केंद्र में 34% डॉक्टर का अभाव है, जबकि सामुदायिक स्वास्थ्य केंद्रों में बाल पोषण और स्त्री रोगों के विशेषज्ञों की 94% की कमी है। बुनियादी ढांचे का भी निर्माण नहीं हुआ है- 21% उपकेन्द्र, 19% प्राथमिक स्वास्थ्य केंद्र और 11% सामुदायिक स्वास्थ्य केंद्र का अस्तित्व तक नहीं है। आदिवासी इलाकों में 70% एक्स-रे टेक्निशियन और 63% पफार्मासिस्ट की नियुक्ति तक नहीं हुई है जबकि विशेषज्ञ डाक्टरों का अभाव 100% है। वैश्विक भूख सूचकांक में गुजरात भारत के 28 राज्यों में से अंतिम पांच राज्यों में है। वैश्विक स्तर पर इसका प्रदर्शन हैती (भ्ंपजप) जैसे देशों से भी बुरा है। गुजरात में 4 साल की उम्र से कम के 80 प्रतिशत बच्चों और 60 प्रतिशत गर्भवती महिलाओं में खून की कमी (एनीमिया) है। याद कीजिये मोदी ने इसी को यह कह कर उपहास उड़ाया था कि महिलाएं आजकल सुंदर दिखने के लिए भूखी रहती हैं!

रोज़गारविहीन वृद्धि गुजरात के लिए नियति बना दी गई है। छैैव् के आंकड़े दिखाते हैं कि 1993-94 से 2004-05 तक वहां रोज़गार में वृद्धि 2.69ः प्रति वर्ष थी, जबकि 2004-05 से 2009-10 में यह गिरकर शून्य (0%) हो गई। हाल ही में प्रसिद्ध अर्थशास्त्री अतुल सूद ने अपनी किताब Poverty Amidst Prosperity: Essays on the Trajectory of Development in Gujarat, में दिखाया है कि गुजरात में ‘‘सिर्फ बेरोज़गारी में वृद्धि ही नहीं, मज़दूरी से हुए आय का हिस्सा कुल आय में सबसे कम है। संगठित उत्पादन कार्य में सबसे अध्कि ठेका मज़दूर यही लगे हैं, अस्थायी मज़दूरों की प्रवृत्ति वहां तेजी से बढ़ी है। इसके अलावा 50 लाख जि़दगियां विकास परियोजना के चलते अस्त-व्यस्त हो गई, जो कि पूरी आबादी का 10 वां हिस्सा है। गुजरात में श्रम कानूनों का कोई अस्तित्व भी नहीं है।’’

बहुचर्चित सरदार सरोवर परियोजना की हक़ीकतः इस परियोजना के तहत नहर निर्माण के कार्य का अध्किांश अब तक लंबित है, जिससे कच्छ और सौराष्ट्र की सूखी ज़मीन को पानी नसीब नहीं हुआ। इसके विपरीत 3.7 बिलियन घन मीटर पानी उद्योगों और गिने-चुने शहरी इलाकों में मोड़ दिया गया ;ीजजचरूध्ध्दबंण्हवअण्पदध्दमूेऋपदकमगण्ीजउद्ध। ज़रूरत मंद किसानों और गांवों के नाम पर जबरन लाए गए इस परियोजना को बड़े पैमाने पर उद्योगपतियों, शहरों व नगरनिगमों को इस्तेमाल के लिए दिया जाना कितना उचित है?सिपर्फ यही नहीं, मोदी सरकार ने सरदार सरोवर परियोजना के लिए सुरक्षित सिंचाई की ज़मीन से 4 लाख हेक्टेयर निकालकर बड़े काॅरपोरेट्स, सेज ;ैमर््द्ध और ैप्त्  को सौंप दिया गया।

पर्यावरण की अपूरणीय क्षति की क़ीमत पर काॅरपोरेट लूटेरों को खुली छूटः गुजरात में, चंद काॅर्पोरेट्स के लिए पर्यावरण नियंत्राण के सारे मापदंडों का लगातार उल्लंघन कर पर्यावरण और पानी जैसे अनिवार्य साध्नों पर भयानक प्रभाव डाला जा रहा है। पिछले 10 सालों में नर्मदा के नहरों के कारण जो बड़ी संख्या में औद्योगिक हब तैयार हुए हैं उनसे निकले रासायनिक पदार्थ को माही नदी में गिराया जा रहा है। इन नए औद्योगिक संयंत्रों में से कोई भी, किसी भी प्रकार से ‘गुजरात प्रदूषण नियंत्राण बोर्ड’ के मानदंडों को पूरा नहीं करते हैं। नतीजे में, राज्य में अध्किांश नदियां बुरी तरह प्रदूषित हो रहे हैं। गुजरात के तीन शहर- वापी, अंकलेश्वर, और वातवा ‘केंद्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्राण बोर्ड’ की सूची में भारत में शीर्ष 10 सबसे प्रदूषित शहरों में आते हैं। इनमें वापी पहले स्थान पर है। तटीय क्षेत्रों में बनाये जा रहे निजी बंदरगाहों और ैमर्् ;सेजद्ध, ‘तटीय नियमन क्षेत्रा’ के नियमों के खुलेआम उल्लंघन के उदाहरण हैं। गैर सरकारी आंकड़ों के अनुसार, 600 गांवों को अगले पांच वर्षों में कृषि कार्य से हाथ धेना पड़ेगा। स्थानीय व्यवसाय और पारिस्थितिक स्थिरता की कीमत पर काॅर्पोरेट को बढ़ावा देने का अंध जुनून, मुश्किल से जिस ‘विकास माॅडल’ को दर्शाता है वह महज़ मोदी सरकार और काॅर्पोरेट दिग्गजों व भूमापिफयाओं के बीच गठजोड़ को दर्शाता है।

कृषि की स्थिति पर अगर हम नज़र डालें तो गुजरात में भूमि सुधर के तमाम सि(ांतों को सर के बल खड़ा कर दिया गया है। मोदी की अर्थनीति के समर्थक गुजरात की कृषि को तेज गति से काॅर्पोरेट के सामने दंडवत किए जाने पर गर्व करते है।कृषि के इस माॅडल का प्रत्यक्ष परिणाम कृषक समुदायों के गरीब तबके का और भी हाशिये पर ध्केलना है। बाहरी भूमापिफयाओं को ग्रामीण भूमिबाजार में प्रवेश करने की कानूनी अनुमति देकर दरअसल बड़े व्यापारिक घरानों को सीमांत किसानों के अध्किारों व उनकी ज़मीन लूटने केलिए मैदान तैयार किया गया हैं। इसका सीध परिणाम हुआ कि गुजरात में सीमांत जोत का औसत आकार राष्ट्रीय औसत की तुलना में दिन-प्रतिदिन कमतर होता जा रहा है। वही दूसरी ओर सबसे बड़े आकार वाली ज़मीनों ;20 हेक्टेयर से ऊपरद्ध के मामले में यह राष्ट्रीय औसत से बढ़ता दिखाई दे रहा है। समय के साथ लगातार दलितों और आदिवासियों का भूमि पर मालिकाना अध्किार की स्थिति और भी बदतर होती जा रही है।

आक्रामक काॅर्पोरेट के पक्ष में बनाई गई नीतियोंके चलते सीमांत किसानों का अपनी आजीविका के स्रोत को बचा और पाना खेती का काम जारी रख पाना असंभव होता जा रहा है। इसके चलते वे अपनी ज़मीन को पट्टे पर देने या बेच देने को विवश हैं।

सार्वजनिक ढांचों में निजीकरण को प्रोत्साहनः विकास का गुजरात माॅडल की प्रमुख विशेषता बंदरगाह, रेल, सड़क और बिजली में निजी निवेश को प्रोत्साहित करना है। जहां एक तरपफ इसने निजी घरानों को उनके मुनाप़फे के लिए सभी क्षेत्रों में खुली छूट दे रखी है वही दूसरी ओर ढांचागत सुविधओं को मानव बस्तियों तक ले जाने को नकार दिया गया है। आज भी गुजरात की 3380 बस्तियां सड़क के साथ जुड़ी हुई नहीं हैं।

भ्रष्टाचार और काॅर्पोरेट द्वारा भूमि हड़प का हिसाब कौन देगा?

सीएजी आॅडिट ने इस बात का खुलासा किया है कि मनमोहन सिंह ने केंद्र में जो किया मोदी ने उसी को गुजरात में अंजाम दिया:- जनता के खजाने से उसकी आजीविका की क़ीमत पर उद्योगपतियों को भारी पैमाने पर मुनापफा पहुंचाना। 30 मार्च 2012 को गुजरात विधनसभा में पेश की गई 2010-11 की सीएजी की रिपोर्ट में वर्ष 2010-11 में 16,000 करोड़ रुपये से अध्कि की धंध्ली को दिखाया गया। इसमें मोदी सरकार द्वारा पिछले नौ सालों में की गई 26,672 करोड़ रुपये की अनियमितताओं की ओर भी इशारा किया गया ;क्छ। 31 मार्च 2012द्ध। उदाहरण के लिए सीएजी ने यह दिखाया कि मोदी के ‘शान’‘गुजरात स्टेट पेट्रोलियम काॅर्पोरेशन’ को भारी वित्तीय नुकसान उठाना पड़ा क्योंकि केजी ;कृष्णा गोदावरीद्ध बेसिन ब्लाॅक में आवश्यकता से अध्कि खर्च ;7,000 करोड़ रुपये से अध्किद्ध करने के बावजूद भी उत्पादन शुरू नहीं हुआ।

अनियमितताओं और केजी बेसिन परियोजना पर अत्यध्कि खर्च के अलावा सीएजी ने यह भी पाया कि मोदी का चहेता औद्योगिक घराना, ‘अदानी ग्रुप’ को अनुचित आर्थिक तोहपफे के कारण भी गुजरात स्टेट पेट्रोलियम काॅर्पोरेशन को वित्तीय घाटे का सामना करना पड़ा। सीएजी की रिपोर्ट कहती है कि ‘‘2006-09 के दौरान, जीएसपीसी ;गुजरात स्टेट पेट्रोलियम काॅर्पोरेशनद्धने अपनी खरीद मूल्य की तुलना में कापफी कम दाम पर अदानी समूह को गैस बेच दिया जिससे उसे 70.5 करोड़ रुपए ;705 मिलीयनद्ध का नुकसान हुआ।

भूमि आवंटन के मामले में भी सीएजी ने मोदी सरकार के कार्यकाल में राज्य खजाने से 580 करोड़ रुपए का नुकसान दिखाया जो रिलायंस इंडस्ट्रीज लिमिटेड, एस्सार स्टील, अदानी पावर लिमिटेड, एवं पफोर्ड जैसी काॅर्पोरेट घरानों का पक्ष लेने की वजह से हुआ।;द हिन्दू , 4 अप्रैल 2013द्ध

रतन टाटा ने क्यों कहा कि ‘अगर आप गुजरात में नहीं हैं तो मूर्ख हैं’ ? गुजरात सरकार द्वारा टाटा मोटर्स लिमिटेड को साणंद के पास नैनो प्लांट के लिए 1100 एकड़ जमीन 900 रुपये प्रति वर्ग मीटर की दर से दी गई जबकि इसका बाजार भाव 10,000 रुपये प्रति वर्ग मीटर के आसपास था। इसके अलावा, नैनो परियोजना को गुजरात में लाने के लिए 0.1 पफीसदी की नगण्य ब्याज पर रतन टाटा को 9570 करोड़ रुपये तोहपफानुमा कर्ज दिया गया. इस ‘कर्ज’ की अदायगी को 20 साल के लिए स्थगित कर दी गई। कुल मिलाकर, मोदी सरकार ने 2,000 करोड़ रुपये के नैनों प्रोजेक्ट के लिए टाटा मोटर्स को  30,000 करोड़ रुपए की छूट की पेशकश की। तब रतन टाटा क्यों न बोले…

modi_adani_plane_20140310अदानी समूह को मुंद्रा पोर्ट एवं मुंद्रा विशेष आर्थिक क्षेत्रा ;सेजद्ध के लिए 1 रुपये प्रति वर्ग मीटर की दर से भूमि आवंटित की गई। 1 मार्च, 2012 को गुजरात के राजस्व मंत्राी ने विधनसभा में स्वीकार किया कि ‘अदानी समूह की अलग अलग कंपनियों के लिए कच्छ में 14,305.49 एकड़ ज़मीन ;5.78 करोड़ वर्ग मीटर के बराबरद्ध आवंटित किया गया। इस ज़मीन को 1 रुपये से 32 रुपये प्रति वर्ग मीटर की दर से दिया गया;क्छ। 1 मार्च 2012द्ध। इसी प्रकार रहेजा जैसे रियल एस्टेट मापिफयाओं को औने पौने दाम पर ज़मीनें दी गई जबकि सार्वजनिक क्षेत्रा के भारतीय वायुसेना को ज़मीन के लिए बहुत अध्कि कीमत का भुगतान करने के लिए कहा गया।

गुजरात विशेष निवेश क्षेत्रा ;ैप्त्द्ध, 2009 अध्निियम से लैस मोदी सरकार ने खेती, चारागाह, वन की भूमि को हथियाने के लिए गुजरात के हर हिस्से पर हमला शुरू कर दिया है। जामनगर के आसपास के ग्रामीणों ने 610 एकड़ जमीन रिलायंस समूह को दिए जाने के खि़लाप़फ विरोध् शुरू कर दिया है। मोदी के आक्रामक जमीन हड़प नीति के खि़लाप़फ इसी तरह के विरोध् प्रदर्शन मध्य व दक्षिणी गुजरात के अनेक हिस्सों जैसे ढोलेरा, वागरा, कर्जन, नवसारी आदि में मजबूती के साथ सामने आ रहे हैं।

यही वजह  है कि मोदी ने बहुत लंबे समय तक गुजरात में लोकायुक्त की नियुक्ति को रोकने की पूरी ताकत लगायी। ख़ासकर तब जबकि वह कम से कम 17 बड़े भ्रष्टाचार और अनियमितताओं के मामलों में आरोपों का सामना कर रहा है।

modi ambi 2गुजरात के प्रावृफतिक संसाध्नों पर किस तरह के लागों का नियंत्राण है- यह बात छिपी नहीं है! सौरभ पटेल जिसने अमेरिका से एमबीए किया आज गुजरात मंत्रिमंडल का सबसे अमीर आदमी और सबसे महत्वपूर्ण व्यक्ति है । लेकिन असली बात तो ये है कि सौरभ पटेल, मुकेश अंबानी के चचेरे भाई विमल अंबानी के सगे बहनोई हैं। अब अनुमान लगाइये कि कौन-कौन से मंत्रालय उसकी मुट्ठी में हो सकते हैं:

ऊर्जा और पेट्रोकेमिकल्स, उत्खनन एवं खनिज, कुटीर उद्योग, नमक उद्योग, मुद्रण, स्टेशनरी, योजना, पर्यटन, नागरिक उड्डयन और श्रम एवं रोजगार!! … अब तक तो सिर्पफ गुजरात ही रिलायंस की मुट्ठी में है। मोदी प्रधनमंत्राी बनेगा तो अनुमान लगाइए कि भारत किसकी मुट्ठी में होगा।

गुजरात के बाहर भाजपा के भ्रष्टाचार और जनगद्दारी का इतिहासः

sushma reddyकर्नाटक में भी सरकार चलाने का भाजपा के ट्रैक रिकाॅर्ड लौह अयस्क जैसे प्राकृतिक संसाधनों की लूट से जुड़ा हुआ है। बेल्लारी ब्रदर्स ;जी. करुणाकर रेड्डी, जी. जनार्दन रेड्डी और जी. सोमाशेखर रेड्डीद्ध की कहानी सब अच्छी तरह जानते हैं। कर्नाटक लोकायुक्त के एक रिपोर्ट में यह कहा गया है कि उस उत्खनन का कुल लागत जहां महज़ 427 रुपये प्रति टन आया वहींअयस्क का बिक्री मूल्य 7000 से 5000रुपये प्रति टन था। रेड्डी बंध्ुओं को इसमें 80%-90% का चैंका देने वाला मुनाप़फा हुआ था। राज्य सरकार को प्रति टन मात्रा 27 रुपये की राॅयल्टी मिली। रेड्डी बंध्ुओं में से दो कर्नाटक के भाजपा सरकार के कैबिनेट में रह चुके हैं जबकि तीसरा ज्ञंतदंजंां डपसा थ्मकमतंजपवद के दबंग चेयरपर्सन थे। यह सब कुछ कर्नाटक में मुख्यमंत्राी येदुयुरप्पा के कार्यकाल में हुआ। जब लोकायुक्त ने इस बात का खुलासा किया कि येदुयुरप्पा के दोनों पुत्रों ने उत्खनन कंपनियों से घूस लेकर उनका पक्ष लिया तो सशक्त जनविरोध् के चलते येदुयुरप्पा को मुख्यमंत्राी की कुर्सी और पार्टी छोड़नी पड़ी। लेकिन मजाक देखिये कि लोकसभा चुनाव आते-आते ‘भ्रष्टाचार के खिलापफ मुखर’ भाजपा ने येदुयुरप्पा समेत इस पूरे गिरोह को न सिपर्फ पार्टी में वापस लिया बल्कि चुनाव में टिकट भी दी।

 

यह स्पष्ट है कि मोदी माॅडल किसी भी प्रकार से मनमोहन माॅडल से अलग नहीं है, चाहे वह आर्थिक नीतियां हों या पिफर भ्रष्टाचार का मामला। तो पिफर इस दौर में मोदी ही काॅरपोरेट के चहेता क्यों बना हुआ है? देश के संसाधनों और खजानों की लूट ने राजनीति और काॅरपोरेट के गठजोड़ को बेऩकाब किया और इसके खि़लाप़फ जबर्दस्त जन असंतोष जगह जगह पूफट पड़ रहा है। ऐसे में मनमोहन का थका-हारा और बदनाम चेहरा जनता में तेजी से बढ़ते आव्रफोश को रोक नहीं सकता। इसलिए काॅर्पोरेट्स को एक नया चेहरा चाहिए जो, अमीरपरस्त नीतियों modified histऔर उनसे उपजे जनाव्रफोश से लोगों का ध्यान भटका सके। ठीक इसी बिन्दु पर नरेन्द्र मोदी काॅरर्पोरेट घरानों का सबसे लाडला हो जाता है,क्योंकि उनवेफ पास जनाव्रफोश को भटकाने वेफ लिए बढि़या हथवंफडा है: साम्प्रदायिक विचारधरा, त्ैै का सागंठनिक जाल तथा 2002 वेफ जनसंहार वेफ सि( रिकाॅर्डसे लैस मोदी अल्पसंख्यकों के खि़लाप़फ घृणा और हिंसा के काॅकटेल की गारंटी करता है जो लूट और दमन के शासन वेफ माॅडल को जारी रखने का आजमाया हुआ तरीका है। 2002 के बाद अमेरिका द्वारा प्रायोजित ‘इस्लामोपफोबिया’ से पफायदा उठाते हुए तथाकथित ‘आतंकवाद के खि़लाप़फ जंग’ के नाम पर पफर्जी मुठभेड़ों की एक पूरी श्रृंखला चलाकर मोदी ने एक ऐसे ‘हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी’ नायक की छवि बनाई जो ‘मुस्लिम आतंकवादियों’ के निशाने पर है। ऐसी हर पफर्जी मुठभेड़ वेफ जरिये मोदी एक समुदाय वेफ लोगों को समाज और राष्ट्र के लिए एक ख़तरे के रूप में पेश करता है जिसे बार-बार अपने पुलिस बल की ताक़त से ख़तम करवेफ अपने आपको संकट मोचक नायक वेफ रूप में प्रोजेक्ट करता है।

आसान शब्दों में अगर कहा जाए तो नरेन्द्र मोदी का पूरा अभियान अल्पसंख्यक समुदायों को दुश्मन के रूप में प्रचारित करता है ताकि जनता के आव्रफोश को काॅर्पोरेट लूट और अमीरपरस्त नीतियों से भटकाकर अल्पसंख्यकों के खि़लाप़फ खड़ा किया जा सके। यह भी एक कारण है कि मोदी की सबसे करीबी मित्राता महाराष्ट्र के शिवसेना और मनसे जैसी ताक़तों के साथ है जो ग़रीब और दूसरे राज्यों से आए मज़दूरों और छात्रों के खि़लाप़फ हिंसा भड़काती है लेकिन उसी राज्य में हो रही काॅर्पोरेट लूट पाट और किसानों की आत्महत्याओं पर चूँ तक नहीं करती। इसीलिए सांप्रदायिक उन्माद पर खड़ी राजनीति, काॅर्पोरेट के लिए सबसे अध्कि पफायदेमंद साबित होती है। सांप्रदायिक हिंसा और घृणा पफैलाने वाले बयान या भाषण कोई गुजरे ज़माने की शर्मनाक चीज़ नहीं है, दरअसल यह शासन के ‘मोदी माॅडल’ की आंतरिक विशेषता है।

यह सच है कि हम नहीं चाहते कि ध्र्मनिरपेक्षता को लेकर वाजिब और ज़रूरी चिंताओं का दुरुपयोग कांग्रेस अपने कुकर्मों को छिपाने के लिए करे। लेकिन ठीक उसी समय, हमें भाजपा और उसके सहयोगी दलों की साजिश को भी ध्वस्त करना होगा ताकि वह भ्रष्टाचार और काॅर्पोरेट लूट को लेकर उठ रहे जनाव्रफोश का पफायदा उठाकर भ्रष्ट और अमीरपरस्त नीतियों को ढंकने के लिए घृणा और दमन वेफ शासन को बढ़ावा न दे पाए।

आइये मोदी के सांप्रदायिक-काॅर्पोरेट पफासीवादी चेहरे को बेनकाब करें और करारी शिकस्त दें !

काॅरपोरेटपरस्ती और दमन के पर्याय कांग्रेस-संप्रग शासन को खारिज करें !

आइये वैकल्पिक नीतियों के लिए वोट करें महज़ चेहरे के बदलाव और मुखौटे को नकारें!!

Comrade TP Chandrashekharan: Embodiment of the Undying Spirit of the Communist Movement

tpc port

“… The fate of Chandrasekharan illustrates the plight of political leaders who do not want to be part of the LDF or the UDF. As someone from Kannur told me, ‘The CPI-M people would tell us that if you oppose us, we will thrash you (thachum) and the Congress people tell us that if you oppose us, we’ll get you thrashed by the police….’ (Gilbert Sebastian, The martyrdom of Com. T P Chandrasekharan and the future of transformative politics in Keralam, Sanhati, 7 July, 2012)

“…I see Communism in India today as being threatened in two ways: either being hegemonised by bourgeois liberalism, or as falling prey to a feudal-Stalinism. What is common to both these trends is an implicit lack of conviction about socialism, an implicit subscription to the neo-liberal “development” agenda, and an implicit denial of scope for people’s empowerment. Succumbing to either or both these threats would be disastrous and totally against the interests of the people…” – Prabhat Patnaik (in his  clarificatory public e-mail,  to noted social scientist KT Rammohan who  questioned Patnaik’s participation in ‘the Chintha Ravi Memorial Seminar’ in Kozhikode in 2012,immediately after Com. TPC’s assassination. since Patnaik continued to belong to the “killer-party”.

Com.TP Chandrasekharan was a leader of CPI(M) for a long time and based his activism around Vadakara, in the district of Kozhikode, Kerala. He hailed from the Martyr’s Village of Onchiyam, where ten comrades sacrificed their life fighting the feudal landlords and mighty state machinery on 30 April 1948. He started his political career as an SFI activist and then he continued with DYFI and CPI(M). He was very much disturbed by the steady right-wing, pro-corporate trend in the Party. His differences with the right-wing degeneration of CPI(M), like many others in different parts of the state, took a decisive shape following the Party State Conference held at Kottayam in 2008. This led to the creation of independent left alternatives (parties) in various parts of Kerala by erstwhile CPI(M) cadres such as Thalikulam Communist Party (TCP) of Thalikulam, Thrissur; Janakeeya Vikasana Samithi (JVS) of Shornur, Palakkad; Adhinivesha Prathirodha Samiti and Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) of Onchiyam. Later TPC took the historical task of co-ordinate these various left breakaway groups/parties along with independent activists in to the single platform called ‘Kerala Left Co-ordination Committee’. Then he went further by linking this to the similar movements going on in the rest of the country by making KLCC as a part of All India Left Co-ordination (AILC). TPC was aware that left politics requires as well as ensures an active and vibrant public space for detailed and in-depth debates and dialogues of all issues of struggle for the common masses. But the arrogance and violence unleashed by the official ‘left’ itself will eliminate these public spaces. CPI(M), however, maintained that TPC had displayed “a naked desire for position, parliamentary greed and absence of communist values”.

One of the crucial issues which he took up after he left the CPI-M was the issue of land acquisition for road development during the period of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government at the Onchiyam area in Kozhikode district where he lived. He was known to be a sincere leader and had garnered considerable popular support in the area. On 4 May 2012, he was brutally hacked to death. The brutality of this murder with 51 slashes by swords, mostly on the head, was striking. All the available evidence pointed fingers at the CPI-M for this murder although the United Democratic Front (UDF) government led by the Congress party also cannot be absolved of its responsibility of not heeding his request to provide him security after previous attempts on his life.

In the wake of massive popular outrage against Com. TPC’s assassination, the divide within the faction-ridden Kerala CPI(M), ‘ became clear: while, the CPI(M) State Secretary of CPI(M) Pinarayi Vijayan called TPC a ‘kulamkuthi’ (‘traitor’) just after a couple of days of the murder, Com V S Achuthanandan called TPC a “martyr!” Comrade TPC’s murder has exposed the CPI(M)’s intolerance, arrogance, and degeneration dramatically.

Indeed, TPC’s assassination was one more evidence of CPI(M)’s grisly politics of eliminating dissent by eliminating the dissenter. It was also a message for all those who questioned the mighty power of CPI(M). Let us remember that TPC left a party which enjoys great power, money, and scope for parliamentary positions. Unlike many others in Kerala, he did not leave the CPI(M) to join the UDF and seek power there. Instead, he took the hard, arduous road of building a revolutionary party from scratch, without any backing of the moneyed or powerful. Was this a sign of ‘naked desire for position’ and ‘parliamentary greed’? Or was it, in fact, the sign of true communist spirit and dedication? 

Another related question is: “Why is it that the CPI-M does not feel the need to eliminate those who leave its fold and join the Congress or the broader political formation, the UDF? In fact, the CPI-M is quite at ease in competing with the Congress-led UDF with its right-wing credentials. They feel quite superior and self-righteous in doing this. The UDF does not threaten the system of which CPI-M is a co-beneficiary.(– Gilbert Sebastian, The martyrdom of Com. T P Chandrasekharan and the future of transformative politics in Keralam, Sanhati, 7 July, 2012)

Most common people in Kerala have no hesitation in believing the CPI(M) to be behind the gruesome murder. Not just because a series of CPI(M) local leaders have been arrested for their links with the hired killers. But because they know that the CPI(M) had, for the past four years, a history of attacks and threats against RMP comrades. What makes their belief even stronger is CPI(M)’s behaviour towards those who are speaking in support of Comrade TPC.  When a leading Malayalam writer, C.V. Balakrishnan, spoke at a cultural gathering at Payyanur against the murder, a poster appeared on the walls of his home, warning that he should “not forget” that he was “leading a peaceful life in the red village due to the courtesy of the Marxists.” All Kerala heard CPI(M)’s Idukki Secretary MM Mani boasting of how his party “hacked, stabbed, and shot dead’ political rivals in the past,” and warning that the party would continue to thus eliminate those who ‘rebel’ against the party.

On 28th January 2014, the Special Additional Sessions Judge in Kozhikode delivered the verdict in the case which held CPI(M) members and leaders K.C. Ramachandran, Manoj and Kunhanandan guilty of the murder which exposed the involvement of CPI(M) leadership in the murder of TPC. The party in all these times maintained that it was not involved in the murder of TPC. Now, a CBI enquiry has been ordered into the political conspiracy behind Com.TPC’s murder after the hunger strike by the wife of slain communist K.K. Rama.

It is clear that the communist movement in Kerala is at a crossroads. Leftists are experiencing deep anguish over Comrade TPC’s murder. In Kerala, it is apparent that for most genuine Left sympathisers, there is no doubt that Chandrashekharan was a true comrade. And they are unconvinced by CPI(M)’s denials, and outraged by the abuse heaped on TPC by the CPI(M) and the CPI(M) leaders’ violent language. At many places, CPI(M) activists and members joined RMP following this gruesome assassination. In an editorial, the English daily, The Hindu, had commented that “Political murders are non-events in Kerala, and, in any case, the course of the CPI (M) will not turn on whether Chandrasekharan is seen as a traitor or martyr.” Well, the CPI(M) had once believed that its fate would not rest on whether the peasants of Singur and Nandigram were seen as ‘martyrs’ or ‘traitors.’‘Kulamkuthi-Onchiyam Rakthasakshi’ (which can be translated as ‘Traitor-Onchiyam Martyr’) is a book edited by Geetha, a renowned writer associated with the literature of resistance and liberation of the oppressed. The book is nothing new in the sense that it is the detailed collection of various pieces of writings in various newspapers and magazines regarding TPC. In the first section of the book some of the very important speeches delivered by TPC as the RMP leader is given. The book also contains various pieces of writings regarding the relevance of alternative left politics. The articles of Prabath Patnaik, Appukuttan Vallikkunnu etc are included. Interviews with K.K. Rama and the veteran CPIM leader V.S.Achuthanandhan are also included. Various poems, cartoons, paintings, news paper cuttings are also given. The book, in general, presents a detailed account of the political struggles led by TPC when he was alive as well as a martyr.

AISA activists visited TPC’s home and met the family members of him immediately after his murder. AIPWA leader Kavita Krishnan, AISA leaders and then JNUSU President Sucheta De and SSS Councillor Shivani Nag and AISA-JNU activists Sarath and Lal Vijayan were very much part of the political movements which followed the TPC murder in Kerala. AISA also a co-organiser  of the memorial meeting at Kerala House, New Delhi, which was participated among others by Sumit Chakravarty, Mangath Ram Pasla and Kumaran Kutty.

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AIPWA leader Kavita Krishnan, AISA leaders Sucheta and Shivani with Comrade TPC’s Family Members

AISA-RYA Initiatives against Racist Murder of Nido Tania in Delhi

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JNUSU President Comrade Akbar Addressing Protest Meeting at Lajpatnagar

 

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Protest March at Delhi University North Campus

The tragic death of Nido, a young 18-year old student from Arunachal Pradesh, after being brutally beaten up by shopkeepers, has seen massive protests across Delhi – at Lajpat Nagar where the public lynching took place, at Jantar Mantar, in the Jawaharlal Nehru University organised by the AISA-led JNUSU and in the Delhi University. In the aftermath of this latest incident of racist violence, democratic voices are pointing out that the racism is not just deeply embedded in our society, but it requires a principled and effective response from the powers-that-be.

This tragic death might once more exposed the terrible consequences of racism, but the fact remains that racism is often only recognised when such incidents take place. It is often not sufficiently recognised, and not highlighted, when derogatory comments are made on physical features, dress, culture and cuisine; when breathtaking generalisations questioning life style and ‘morality’ pass off as ‘aam’ common sense. It is not recognised when people from the north east and other marginalised ‘others’ find it specially difficult to rent rooms, to file complaints, to travel in public transport. It is this brand of seemingly innocuous ‘everyday’ othering, profiling and racism that ultimately leads to the tragic mob lynching of a young boy doing something as normal as walking and shopping in a South Delhi market. Nido Tania was subject to racist taunts on his looks and the colour of the hair. He was beaten up by a mob, not just once, but twice. Even after his death, it took sustained protests to get an FIR filed by the Delhi Police.

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Common Citizens participate in huge number in the protest in Lajpat Nagar

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Comrade Sunny Addressing the Protest Meeting at DU North Campus

At the AISA protest in DU, another student Brian, from Dayal Singh College said, “The students from north east regions are considered to be people from outside India. The derogatory and enraging taunt ‘chinki’ reminds us all the time that our own neighbours, landlords, people in the government and most of all our police, think that we are from China. We are the ones paying the price of claiming that we are Indians and deserve rights of Indian citizens.” nido anmol

AISA has been actively involved in the recent movement on the streets of Delhi against racism, participating in the protests at Jantar Mantar and Lajpat Nagar, organising protest marches in JNU and Delhi University, and resolving to address racism in every form – not just horrific racist violence, but also the everyday alienation and discrimination that routinely takes place. As Rahul, an AISA activist at the DU protest pointed out: “The fact remains that racism is not an issue of individuals and circumstances but is structural and is institutionalized into the very fabric of our society.”

Kunan Poshpora, Kashmir, 23 Feb 1991 : The Horrific Episode of Mass Gangrape by Army and Shameful Cover-up by the State!

Do Not Forget! Do Not Forgive!

22 years ago, on 23 February 1991, a battalion of the 4th Rajputana Rifles of the Indian Army entered the village of Kunan Poshpora in Kupwara district of Kashmir late at night for a ‘search’ and ‘interrogation’ operation. The men of the village were rounded up and kept in custody just outside the villages. At least 53 women – aged 13 to 80 years – were gang raped by the army for several hours together. According to the villagers the number is much higher. What is equally horrific about the Kunan Poshpora incident is the response of the ruling establishment, the media and successive governments. Kunan Poshpora will go down in history not just as an instance of brutal state repression and sexual assault, it will also be known as an ignominious cover up  of state repression by the Indian government.

After this horrific incident, the Indian government, and later the Press Council of India claimed that the whole incident was a “well-concocted bundle of fabricated lies” and “a massive hoax orchestrated by militant groups and their sympathizers and mentors in Kashmir and abroad…for reinscribing Kashmir on the international agenda as a human rights issue”. They claimed that the allegations were “grossly exaggerated or invented”. This amazing ‘conclusion’ was reached after highly questionable ‘investigations’:  Mufti Baha-ud-Din Farooqi, Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, who led a fact-finding mission to Kunan Poshpora, has stated that in his 43 years on the bench “he had never seen a case in which normal investigative procedures were ignored as they were in this one”!  Several independent investigations and reputed international human rights organisations have publicly stated that the Indian government launched a “campaign to acquit the army of charges of human rights violations and discredit those who brought the charges”.

Today, more than two decades after the horrific Kunan Poshpora incident, the issue of AFSPA, state repression and impunity to rapists in power are once more being discussed. At a time when justice is denied in such a case in the name of ‘protecting the morale’ of the army – what is the Indian State then saying about the morale of Kashmiri women? Aren’t these rapes then committed to break the morale of the Kashmiri people?

In a signed response to an RTI application (Home/RTI/15/2012/1213) filed by Khurram Parvez, co-ordinator of J&K Coalition of Civil Society and a well known human rights activist in Kashmir, on the number of prosecutions sanctioned under AFSPA, the J&K Home Department simply stated that “no sanction for prosecution has been intimated by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defense to the State Government from 1990-2011 under the J&K Armed Forces Special Powers Act.” No prosecution in 21 years. None. Not one.

Today, on the anniversary of the Kunan Poshpora gang rape, it is urgent for all democratic voices to once again demand justice for the survivors of this chilling incident and scrapping of the protective shield of AFSPA providing immunity to the army and security forces for such horrific crimes!

Do Not Forget! Do Not Forgive!