Showing posts from April, 2015

NTUI statement on May Day 2015

NTUI statement on May day 2015 Build a United Struggle for Safe and Secure Jobs and Freedom If ever we thought that things couldn’t get worse for the working class, we were wrong! The last twelve months have seen an unparalleled attack on working people. The BJP, which came to government a year ago, has intensified its attack on all sections of the working class. The BJP has recognised that its principle failure during its last term in office (1998-2004) was that while it had moved policy in the direction of the free market it did not create the institutional framework for it. The journey from ‘India Shining’ to ‘Make in India’ is to translate the ideology of the free market into not just policy but also legislation. Hence, the BJP government has now set about to put in place, not just a stronger legislative framework for the right to property, but also to secure the right to profit and the right of companies to enjoy the same rights as if they are citizens.  Hindutva fo

Usha Ramanathan on how the Modi Government is shamelessly flouting three Supreme Court Orders on Aadhaar

By law, you should not be denied any government service in India if you don’t have an Aadhar card number. So why do various government programs continue to ignore three Supreme Court orders and insist on the dreaded number, and how are they getting away with it? In the last year-and-a-half, the Supreme Court has said at least three times that having an Aadhaar number is not to be made mandatory. Yet, governments and institutions have persisted with their demand for people’s Aadhaar numbers as a condition for getting entitlements and services. Has the latest Supreme Court  order  on March 16 – reiterating Aadhaar cannot be mandatory – solved the problem? Here’s the deal with what’s going on. What is Aadhaar? Aadhaar is the brand name for the number being produced under the Unique Identification (UID) project. The  Unique Identification Authority of India  (UIDAI) was set up in 2009 by an executive notification to generate and assign unique identification numbers to residents.

NICHOLAS EPLEY - The psychology of hate: How we deny human beings their humanity

NB:  This is a powerful account of how humans can destroy their own natural emotions, throw aside empathy and make themselves sociopaths. An essay on the roots of hatred and the nihilist disregard for human life that is so common in our contemporary world -  DS Empathy : the power of mentally identifying oneself with, and so fully understanding another person.  Sociopath :  a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. Profile of the Sociopath "The essence of dehumanization is, therefore, failing to recognize the fully human mind of another person. Those who fight against dehumanization typically deal with extreme cases that can make it seem like a relatively rare phenomenon. It is not..." One of the most amazing court cases you probably have never heard of had come down to this. Standing Bear, the reluctant chief of the Ponca tribe, rose on May 2, 1879, to ad

Tahir Mahmood - For all the Shah Banos

Na stree swatantramarhati, said Manu, the law giver: the woman does not deserve independence. And it is alleged that the fatal point in Islam is the degradation of woman [as British orientalist Edward Lane once said].” This is how Y.V. Chandrachud, a former Supreme Court chief justice speaking for a constitution bench, began his Shah Bano judgment. Decided on April 23, 1985, the case has kept its proponents and opponents engaged for three decades while the apex court has reiterated its stand in several  rulings, the latest being Shamima Farooqui, decided on April 6. To tackle the problem of destitution of deserted wives, the old CrPC of 1898 had empowered magistrates to enforce payment of maintenance by their husbands. With the fast-growing numbers of divorcees since the enactment of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the new CrPC, 1973, extended the same relief to them. This development raised the question whether the provision would apply to Muslims, who had religious rules on divor

Sumana Ramanan - Film-maker releases a dozen clips of controversial Modi speeches made just after Gujarat riots (2014)

On Sunday Rakesh Sharma, director of Final Solution, the acclaimed documentary on the Gujarat riots of 2002, released a dozen clips online that were not part of the original two-and-a-half-hour version of the film. The film severely indicts Narendra Modi, the state's chief minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate.   Many of these short films contain speeches that Modi delivered after the carnage, including during his Gaurav Yatra and campaigning for the state election several months after the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom. Many of these speeches are no longer available online, Sharma said. Sharma will also release six more clips this week and six the next week, containing more speeches as well as portions of his new film on Gujarat in the decade after the carnage. The short films are all less than 15 minutes long. Click  here , to watch them. In this interview, he tells why he put the clips up, discusses his new film and talks about Gujarat u

Girl, 14, Dies After Being Thrown Off Bus for Resisting Molesters in Punjab

The bus  is reportedly operated by an influential political family MOGA, PUNJAB:  A 14-year-old girl died and her mother is in hospital with severe injuries after they were thrown off a moving bus in Punjab on Wednesday for resisting molestation attempts by a group of men. The teenager, her mother and younger brother boarded the private bus from their village in Moga district, to visit a gurdwara last evening. There were only a handful of passengers at the time. "They kept abusing us. No one helped. They first pushed my daughter off the bus, then me," the girl's mother, who was unconscious for hours at a district hospital, said on Thursday. The harassment allegedly began the moment the family got on the bus. "The conductor refused to give my daughter a ticket," said the woman, 38. Around 10 km into the journey, a passenger allegedly started misbehaving with the girl. When the woman tried to save her daughter, she was attacked too. The bus conductor, inste

Taliban and Islamic State Declare Jihad on Each Other // Suicide Bomber Killed En Route By Car Bomb

According to reports from Afghanistan's Khaama Press and Pakistan's Mashaal Radio, the Taliban and Islamic State (ISIS) have declared jihad on each other, furthering an already acrimonious relationship between the two groups. Nabi Jan Mullahkhil, police chief of Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, an opium-producing region along the Pakistan border, revealed in an interview that he received documents showing that both groups made the declaration. This news comes after a brutal terrorist attack on Saturday in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, which killed at least 35 people and wounded over 100 others. The Taliban castigated the incident, with the group's spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stating, "It was an evil act. We strongly condemn it." While Afghani President Ashraf Ghani blamed ISIS for the attack and a spokesman pledging allegiance to ISIS claimed responsibility, Maulvi Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, self-declared leader of ISIS in Afghanistan, said his group was n

GEORGE MONBIOT - Coalfields And Legalised Theft

Wrapped up in this story is everything that’s wrong with the way our economy works. Corporations ream the land with giant holes, extract a stack of money, then clear out, leaving other people with the costs. There’s a briefer description: legalised theft. This is an account, scarcely mentioned in the national media, of the massive unfunded liabilities emerging from coalfields throughout Britain, that opencast mining companies have been allowed to walk away from. It’s comparable in terms of irresponsibility to the failure by the nuclear industry to fund its decommissioning costs. And it offers a solid argument, even to those who continue to reject climate science, for keeping fossil fuels in the ground. As I write, Neath-Port Talbot Council in South Wales is considering  a new application for an opencast coal mine . The mine is unpopular, but its proponents argue that it’s necessary. Why? Because only by digging a new pit, they say, can the money be made to fill in an old one. How c

Farmers who commit suicide are ‘cowards’, ‘criminals': Haryana agriculture minister Dhankar

NB - Anyone whose pain and suffering results in bad press coverage for this ruthless 'parivar' is insulted and ridiculed. Perhaps soon they will start calling them 'anti-national', and 'traitors' too-  DS As the debate on farmer suicide gathers momentum, a minister in Haryana has made shocking remarks that could put the Narendra Modi-led ruling dispensation in a dilemma. Agriculture Minister OP Dhankar told reporters on Wednesday that the farmers who commit suicide are ‘cowards’ and ‘criminals’. Since ‘suicide is a crime as per Indian laws’, he said the state government could not support those who were committing suicide as they were criminals under the rule of law. Dhankar added that ‘coward’ farmers, who were committing suicide, were running away from their responsibilities and leaving their families with liabilities. Dhankar, who previously headed the BJP’s Kisan cell, often used to condemn the earlier UPA administration for not doing enough for far

Macrina Cooper-White - Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryos For First Time. Are We Facing A New Era Of Eugenics?

Are scientists playing with fire? That's suddenly a big question for bioethicists, now that researchers in China have confirmed that they genetically modified human embryos for the first time ever.  Rumors about the research first circulated in March, inciting a debate over its implications. Some argue that such "genome editing" holds the promise to eradicate hereditary diseases. But others fear that changing the human germ line (the genes in sperm cells and eggs) could give rise to a new era of eugenics and even pose dangerous risks to the health of future generations. “No researcher has the moral warrant to flout the globally widespread policy agreement against altering the human germ line,” Dr. Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Berkeley, Calif.-based Center for Genetics and Society, said in a written statement. "Creating genetically modified human beings could easily lead to new forms of inequality, discrimination and societal conflict.” A paper descr

Kevin Powell - Why Baltimore Is Burning - Will there ever be an end to racism in the US of A? Who will police the police?

Freddie Gray, aged 25, was a Black man whose spine was severed 80 percent at his neck while in the custody of Baltimore police. RIP, brother "The community is told to be nonviolent and peaceful, but no one ever tells the police they should also be nonviolent and peaceful... "Any people with nothing to lose will destroy anything in their way. Like anything. Any people who feel as if their lives are not valued, like they are second-class citizens at best, will not be stopped until they've made their point. They, we, do not care if our communities have not rebounded from the last major American rebellions of the 1960s. We care that we have to live in squalor and misery and can be shot at any given moment by each other, or by the police, and no one seems to care. A rebellion, a riot, are pleas for help, for a plan, for a vision, for solutions, for action steps, for justice, for God, someone, anyone, to see our humanity, to do something... "Yes, I love people,