Showing posts from June, 2021

Anil Nauriya: July 1, 2021 is the Centenary of the Dharwar Firing

Today, 1 July,  is the centenary of the police firing in Dharwar during the movement for Non-violent Non-co-operation with the Colonial Government in India 100 years ago.  The firing started around 8.20 at night when non-co-operators were picketing market toddy and liquor shops. At least 42 bullets were fired, killing 3 and injuring around 39 persons. The All India Congress Committee appointed an Inquiry Committee to inquire into the incident and fix responsibility for the casualties, including deaths and injuries.  The Inquiry Committee was chaired by Abbas Tyabji, retired Chief Justice, Baroda, and included SS Setlur, former Judge of the Mysore High Court and M. Bhawani Shankar Niyogi, Advocate, Nagpur as members. Shri N.H. Dambal, Secretary Karnataka Provincial Congress Committee,   acted as the Secretary to the Committee.  The Inquiry Committee  treated the Inquiry as "a judicial contest between the Public of Dharwar and the Police of Dharwar."  The Governor of Bombay was

Kabir’s search for solitude resembles our search for privacy in totalitarian times

An excerpt from Kabir, Kabir: The Life and Work of the Early Modern Poet-Philosopher - by Purushottam Agrawal.    Why were Kabir’s detractors “forced” to escalate matters up to the sultan? Mostly because they were smarting from having failed so miserably to check his influence themselves. Kabir’s fame was sky- rocketing, despite his obvious lack of interest in self-publicity. He still got a lot of “good press” as news spread of his willingness to confront the most powerful community leaders, his ability to resist temptation and his refusal to back down in the face of threats to his life. He had an aura, and his opponents’ obvious frustrations only added to its glow. Anantdas tells us that, “Kabir tried to keep away from his fame, like a demure, young woman hides her baby bump.” But people thronged around him day in and day out. He was left with hardly any moments to himself, hardly any of the privacy and solitude he craved to be able to reflect and to be in “dialogue with his Ram”….

Alexander Stern: What the Frankfurt School has to stay about bureaucratic progressivism

What the Frankfurt School has to stay about bureaucratic progressivism      “Cultural Marxism” is often invoked by some on the right to explain the rise of “woke” politics in universities, newsrooms, and corporations. According to this well-rehearsed line of criticism, the fixation on race and gender, the erosion of free speech, and the high-pitched frenzy of political correctness and cancellation, are nothing less than a communist plot. But while the heavy-handed conflation of progressivism with Marxism should be recognizable to anyone familiar with the history of red baiting, this account mangles an intellectual legacy that actually has the resources to resist the distorted form of progressivism currently gaining influence. One prominent version of the right-wing critique goes something like this. The thinkers of the Frankfurt School, a group of Marxian philosophers, sociologists, and critics prominent in Germany and the United States at mid-century, despaired of the failure of prole


'When it becomes ‘political’, justice breeds hatred and despair among those it singles out for attack. Those whom it favours, on the other hand, develop a profound contempt for the very value of justice, they know that it can be purchased by the powerful. As a device for strengthening one political group at the expense of others, for eliminating enemies and assisting political allies, law then threatens the fundamental convictions upon which the tradition of our civilization rests… ( Franz Neumann,  Behemoth, p 27) Avay Shukla: IT'S TIME TO BE OUTRAGED , MY LORDS The Supreme Court has disappointed again. While not interfering with the bail granted to the three student activists - Natasha, Kalita and Asif - in the Delhi riots and "conspiracy" case, it has, vide its order of 18th June 2021, effectively stayed the Delhi High Court order on UAPA. To my mind, the court had no option but to confirm the bail for to do otherwise would have been to legitimise the lawlessness o

Alexey Shuntov - Strike, exile, arrest: what happened to Belarusian workers?

Mediazona, a media outlet focusing on law and justice, spoke with workers at three different enterprises who took part in last year’s protests to find out how they happened. As part of our coverage of Belarus, openDemocracy has translated and republished this article with permission here.    Alexey Karlyuk, 35, is from the town of Salihorsk, where he has worked as an electrical fitter at the state-owned potash company, Belaruskali, since 2006. On 9 August, he went to vote and at 10pm headed to the mine for the night shift. “When we get off work, we will be living in a different country,” he remembers his colleagues joking. But when Karlyuk’s shift ended at 7am the next morning, he found the news “was not at all rosy”. “It was hard to believe the numbers that were there,” he said. … 'Resign!': Alexander Lukashenko heckled by factory workers in Minsk // 'We will win': vast Belarus r

Aya Al-Ghazzawi: After the nightmare of the Gaza massacre, what comes next?

We were all so excited. Ramadan was coming to an end, and preparations for the Eid al-Fitr holiday were underway. As the eldest daughter in my family, my parents sent me shopping with my sisters for new clothes for Eid, while my father went out to bring ingredients for  sumaqiyya  and  feseekh . Meanwhile, Israel was undergoing its ethnic cleansing campaign aimed at 28 Palestinian families – 500 Palestinians –  in Sheikh Jarrah , Jerusalem, intending to replace them with Israeli settlers. It didn’t stop there. Following protests in Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces  stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque  and brutalised worshippers. Here in Gaza,  resistance forces retaliated . Israel collectively punished the two million Palestinians in Gaza with  heavy bombardments  and indiscriminate airstrikes. Instead of celebrating Eid,  we spent 11 days terrified  by warplanes and drones hovering overhead at low altitudes, devastating Gaza...

Five Questions on the Shameful Proceedings Against Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Asif Iqbal. By Madan B. Lokur, former judge of the Supreme Court

Appalling. That’s the only way to describe the manner in which the proceedings against Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha have been conducted and are being conducted by the police and prosecution till now. In the process, the underbelly of our criminal justice system stands exposed in some respects, and it’s a pretty ugly sight. No comment is being offered about the  recent judgment by the Delhi high court  in their case, but certainly about the process, which has shown scant respect for human rights, rule of law and justice.... Govt wants to cage women who speak against it, say Narwal & Kalita as they and Asif Tanha walk free / Delhi HC criticises 'wanton, frivolous use of UAPA by the State' / P.B. Mehta: Has the blackbox of UAPA finally been opened? Father Stan Swamy: I’d rather suffer, possibly die if things go on as it is Pinjra Tod activist Natash

Jaap Kloosterman: Secret Societies - a history

Attempts to circumscribe our topic are naturally hampered by the fact that secrecy is a many-sided thing. The expression "secret societies" evokes a Wittgensteinian family resemblance of a great variety of organisations with all sorts of similarities, yet not a single feature common to all. As a result, most existing definitions are accompanied by abundant provisos, qualifications, and exceptions. For a historical survey, the easiest way to get a grasp of the subject is first to trace the history of the term. Then we shall look in turn at the two sides of the secret society: Its bringing together of men who are hiding something... Birth of a Concept: Secret Societies During the 18th Century This contribution will approach its elusive subject by first looking at the emergence of the expression "secret societies" in publications of the 18th century. This will then allow us to discuss the different social phenomena the term referred to at the time, in order to move on

Indian Express editorial: Look at her

Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita outside the gates of Tihar Jail, raising slogans and fists, after a year-long incarceration that saw Narwal denied a chance to meet her ailing father before his death. It was a striking image. It is also a picture we have seen before. Young women coming up against the might of the state; their bodies and voices at the centre of crucial political contestations of Indian democracy.  Neither penal action, nor charges under draconian sedition and terror laws, nor prolonged imprisonment, have discouraged them. Think of Amulya Leona, another anti-CAA activist who spent nearly three months in prison after a sedition charge was slapped on her for raising a slogan. Or the thousands of women who stepped out of homes to occupy public spaces across the country in vocal protest against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act. Or Safoora Zargar, another anti-CAA activist who was charged under UAPA, like Narwal and Kalita. Think of Disha Ravi, jailed for editi