Richard Lewontin, Dialectical Biologist & Activist Dies at 92

LAST week, Richard Lewontin, a dialectical biologist, Marxist and activist died at the age of 92, just three days after Mary Jane, his wife of more than 70 years had passed away. He was one of the founders of modern biology that brought together three different disciplines -- statistics, molecular biology and evolutionary biology -- together what today marks the discipline. In doing so, he also battled not only crude racism masquerading as science, but also what science really is.

Public Meeting against Central Vista Re-development Project

“INDIA needs hospitals and not the central vista, more houses for the poor and not a mansion for the PM,” these were the strong pronouncements that reverberated in a public meeting held on July 10, 2021, in Maharashtra Sadan at Delhi.

The meeting was called by a group called ‘Central Vista Virodhi Bharat’ originating from Mumbai, Maharashtra. This group comprises different secular political parties, civil society groups, and such others championing the cause of people’s issues in varied ways.

UP Population Control Bill: A Draconian Proposal

ON July 11, World Population Day, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath, released the UP Population Policy 2021-2022. This policy approach which has been further reflected in the draft legislation on population control stresses on coercive measures. In addition, the policy approach mentions the need to bring “balance between communities”. Although  this issue of “balance” is not mentioned in the proposed bill, it betrays the communal approach of the government. 

Why a Union Cooperative Ministry?

THE creation of a separate ministry for cooperation at the centre with Amit Shah as the first cooperation minister of India raises a number of uneasy questions with respect to country’s federal structure and development of cooperatives. Cooperatives is a state subject as per Schedule 7 of the constitution. So far cooperatives have been under the regulatory control of registrar of cooperatives of different states. There are a few hundred multi state cooperatives (MSCs) in existence.

Emergency Detenus Speak Out Against Today’s Undeclared Emergency

ON the twin occasion of 46th anniversary of the imposition of emergency and completion of seven months of the farmers’ movement at Delhi’s borders, Save Democracy Forum organised a virtual public meeting on June 26. The meeting was attended by leaders of the working-class, peasants’ and agricultural workers’ movement who were arrested during the emergency under the draconian Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA). The leaders shared their experiences during the emergency and compared it with the policies of today’s BJP led government calling it an undeclared emergency.

Issues of Gender Equality in the Kerala Streepaksham Campaign

THE CPI(M) Kerala state committee has launched a campaign called “Streepaksham Keralam.” The campaign has been launched in the wake of several deaths of young women victims of domestic violence and dowry demands leading to a foregrounding of issues connected with women’s social status and gender inequality. Pinarayi Vijayan may be the only chief minister in the last ten years to flag the issue and to assure his and his government’s support to women in distress.

Institutional Murder Most Foul: Unite to Fight

A TRAGEDY struck triggering a wave of shock and outrage across the country. Around 2.30 pm on July 5,  when before the Bombay High Court bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar took up the bail application of the octogenarian Stan Swamy, senior advocate Mihir Desai, his counsel announced that Dr Dsouza of Holy Family Hospital Mumbai who was treating the jailed Jesuit priest wanted to make a statement. He informed the bench, “It is with a very heavy heart I have to inform you that father Stan Swamy has passed away”.

People-Centric Reforms: Not Profit Centric

We are perpetually asked: Are you pro-reform, or, anti-reform?  No reform is in the abstract.  Every reform has content; a purpose.  These determine whether the Left supports any particular reform or opposes it.  The Central issue here is whether the reforms are in the interests of our people, their livelihoods and strengthening the country’s economic sovereignty.  This has been our approach all through these decades of economic reform in India.  This continues to be our approach.

Constitution and Right to Protest

THE Delhi High Court while granting bail in the UAPA case connected to the north-east Delhi violence, for three detenues, has stated, “it seems, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent, in the mind of the State, the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity seems to be getting somewhat blurred. If this mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy.” This applies to numerous cases in which any form of dissent is termed anti-national.

Coercive Centralisation, NOT “Cooperative Federalism”!

THE Economic Times of June 23, 2021 has reported that, in a blog posting “Reforms by conviction and incentives” on a social media site, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has claimed that “an innovative approach to policy making tempered by centre-state partnership during the Covid pandemic helped the states raise an extra Rs 1.06 lakh crore in 2020-21”. He has also claimed that this is an example of reforms by conviction and incentives, with the states agreeing to carry out four reforms being pushed by the union government.


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