Showing posts from July, 2016

Gujarat Dalits put BJP govt on notice, protest march to reach Una on Independence Day

Protesting the flogging of a Dalit family by  gau rakshaks  in Una for skinning a dead cow, thousands of Dalits gathered in Ahmedabad Sunday where community leaders put the  BJP -led government in Gujarat on notice ahead of the 2017 assembly polls. Seeking strong measures to check atrocities against them, leaders asked Dalits to give up disposing dead cattle and stop cleaning sewers to “send a strong message” to the state government. They announced a march from Ahmedabad to Una between August 5 and August 15. They said they plan to gather in Una on August 15 to observe and “feel independence” there. The Dalit Maha Sammelan in the Sabarmati area of Ahmedabad, organised by Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti (UDALS), flagged several pending Dalit issues, including justice in the Thangadh killing of three Dalit youths in 2012.  Valji Rathod, father of one of the three youths killed in Thangadh of Surendranagar district, declared he would sit on a hunger strike in Gandhinagar from M

Devdutt Pattanaik - Feudal trap: Why do Indians fear prostitutes and traders?

Shift the vowels slightly and the Sanskrit word for trader (vaishya) becomes the Sanskrit word for prostitute (veshya). The one sold goods and the other sold pleasure, to the highest bidder. Neither was loyal. Naturally, feudal authorities despised them both, and turned the word bazaru, or commercial, into an insult. In all societies, there are two main sources of wealth: land and the market. Feudalism depends on the land and trade depends on the market. Land-owning communities (kshatriyas) and trading communities (vaishyas) have always competed for control of society. It accounts for the division between Old World Europe and New World America. Typically, feudal societies are hierarchical and value loyalty and patronage. Trading societies are relatively egalitarian, giving greater value to the customer’s wallet than to his status. In India, we have sought to reject Old World Feudalism but we have not yet embraced New World Free Trade. We still value loyalty, over merit. We are

Book review: Free Speech by Timothy Garton Ash – coping with the internet as ‘history’s largest sewer’

Free Speech by Timothy Garton Ash reviewed by  Faramerz Dabhoiwala This is a thought-provoking manifesto for a ‘connected world’, a suggested agreement on how we disagree. But is freedom of expression what Garton Ash says it is? In the 1980s,  Timothy Garton Ash  made his name as a brilliant reporter on central and eastern European politics. He was spied on by the Stasi (who code named him “Romeo”), made friends with dissident writers, politicians and journalists, and experienced first hand what it was like to live in a world of totalitarianism, censorship, secret police and samizdat publishing. The year 1989 changed everything. It brought not only the collapse of the  Berlin Wall , but also the suppression of the pro-democracy movement in China, the fatwa against  Salman Rushdie , and the invention of the world wide web. How has the dawn of this new age affected freedom of expression across the globe? Five years ago, with a team of students at  Oxford University , Garto

Loren Goldner: Fictitious Capital and Contracted Social Reproduction Today; China and Permanent Revolution (2012)

“Capital is the moving contradiction, (in) that it presses to reduce labor time to a minimum, while it posits labor time, on the other side, as the sole measure and source of wealth.”  Marx,  Grundrisse[1] This quote from the  Grundrisse  identifying the fundamental contradiction of the capitalist mode of production, succinctly describes the situation on a world scale today: once again, as in 1914, capital requires, in order to survive as capital, a vast devalorization of all existing values, however great the destruction of human beings and means of production which that entails. This has in fact been the situation since ca. 1970/73. Global capital has put off the day of reckoning, a full- blown deflation, by a vast pyramiding of debt—fictitious capital—and by a series of “countervailing tendencies” which have supported that debt while contracting social reproduction. Prior to looking at the specifics of the four decades since 1970/73, let us first sketch the broad s

James W. Prescott - Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence (1975)

From The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists , November 1975 James W. Prescott, a neuropsychologist, is a health scientist administrator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Humanist Association. This article appeared in part in the April 1975 issue of The Futurist, published by the World Future Society, and is reprinted here with their permission. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Institutes of Health. A neuropsychologist contends that the greatest threat to world peace comes from those nations which have the most depriving environments for their children and which are most repressive of sexual affection and female sexuality...  Violence against sexuality and the use of sexuality for violence, particularly against women, has very deep roots in Biblical tradition... Human violence is

कुमार प्रशांत - तो राष्ट्रीय स्वंयसेवक संघ ने एक बार फिर गांधी से दो-दो हाथ करने का मन बनाया है // Bharat Bhushan: BJP icon SP Mookerjee complicit in raising funds for defending Gandhi's assassins

जेल से छूटने के बाद गोपाल गोडसे ने पूरी न्याय - प्रणाली को करारा चांटा मारा जब उसने अपनी जीवनी में लिखा कि मैंने और नाथूराम ने कभी भी राष्ट्रीय स्वंयसेवक संघ की सदस्यता नहीं छोड़ी लेकिन हमें यह गलतबयानी करनी पड़ी क्योंकि हम पर इस बात का बहुत दवाब था कि हमें राष्ट्रीय स्वंयसेवक संघ और सावरकर को हर हाल में बेदाग रखना है।   नाथूराम और उनके भाई गोपाल गोडसे ने अदालत में एक ही टेक रखी कि उनका राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ के साथ कोई नाता नहीं था। इस असत्य की काट का कोई ऐसा ‘ प्रमाण ’ नहीं मिला अदालत को , जिसके आधार पर वह संगठन को भी अपराधी बताती। इससे यह साबित नहीं होता है कि संगठन अपराध में शामिल नहीं था बल्कि यह साबित होता है कि अदालती सच और सच के बीच गहरी खाई हो सकती है ; और जो अदालत इस खाई को पाट न सके , वह न्याय का अधूरा ही दर्शन कर व करा पाती है। महात्मा गांधी और अदालत ० कुमार प्रशांत महात्मा गांधी और अदालत का रिश्ता बहुत