Social Issues

Dalits, Elections… Ambedkar & Bhagat Singh

HOWEVER we may wish, we cannot do away with some formalities, more so if they present with an opportunity to be in news. Formalities like Jaitley and Amarinder Singh greeting each other, Digvijay Singh and Sushma Swaraj exchanging pleasantries or Modi accompanying Advani to file nomination. Similarly, on every April 14, Ambedkar's birth anniversary, leaders cutting across political divisions rush to pay their tributes.

Caste, Patriarchy and the Hindutva Model of Governance

AS the election campaign reaches its crescendo, the strategy of the BJP, led by Narendra Modi, is becoming more and more apparent. It is attempting to create a rainbow alliance of the middle castes and dalits in order to ensure that it reaches the half-way mark and does not need the help of those outside the NDA to make a government at the centre. In order to do this, it is stitching up alliances with prominent OBC and dalit groups.

WFTU Calls for Struggle against Unemployment

THE presidential council of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) has called for a worldwide struggle against unemployment and for the strengthening of solidarity actions in the struggle against capitalist and imperialist exploitation.
The meeting of the council, which is the highest policy making body of the only class oriented international trade union organisation, was held in Rome on February 14 and 15, 2014. The meeting was hosted by the USB of Italy and presided by WFTU president Muhammad, Shaaban Azouz, who is also the president of GFTU, Syria.

Malicious Reporting

IN a letter written to the editor of Malayala Manorama on March 8, 2014, Hannan Mollah, former Lok Sabha member and a member of the CPI(M), took strong exception to a news story published by the said paper regarding the candidature of Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. The text of the letter is reproduced here.
“This is to invite your attention to the report appeared in the Malayala Manorama  daily dated March 6, 2014 regarding the candidature of Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, which I represented for eight terms.

Will Caste Discrimination and Untouchability end by Economic Empowerment alone?

AT the outset, I want to make clear what I mean by economic empowerment. It means provision of land, housing, reservations in employment and political reservations etc. My contention is that without ending the social discrimination and untouchability, we cannot bridge the gap between dalits and non- dalits with any number of programmes for empowerment and providing equal opportunities, because, the pervasive presence of caste prejudice at every level of society, especially in villages, will always undo all the well-meaning initiatives of any institution including that of the government.

AARM National Conference Calls for Intensifying Struggles & Building Unity

AMID slogans, songs and drum beats hailing the success of the second national conference of the Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch (AARM), its newly re-elected chairman Bajuban Riyan called on the 345 delegates representing 14 states to take the inspiring message of the conference –intensify struggle, build unity and strengthen organisation, to every village and block where adivasis reside.

New Disability Rights Bill Demanded

THE abrupt end of the winter session of parliament, two days ahead of the schedule, came as a big disappointment to the millions of disabled persons in the country. For the umpteenth time, the UPA’s government’s promise of tabling the Disability Rights Bill remained unfulfilled. This, despite the fact that the cabinet had cleared it, on December 12, 2013, after an inordinate and inexplicable delay. Opinion was divided over not just the intent and will of the government but also on whether in the given circumstances the bill could be tabled and passed.

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