Karnataka Bill: Attack on Religious Minorities

THE Karnataka anti-conversion bill passed by the legislative assembly is a direct attack on the rights of religious minorities and religious freedom. Such laws have been passed in other BJP-ruled states like Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and earlier in Gujarat.  Though named as `Freedom of Religion Act’, these laws do the opposite of curbing the fundamental right provided in Article 25 of the constitution to “freely profess, practice and propagate religion”. 

Charade in the Name of Democracy

THE “Summit for Democracy” convened by US president, Joe Biden, on December 9-10 was ostensibly meant to strengthen democracy worldwide and to fend off the efforts by “autocrats” to undermine democracy. The focus of the summit, as put out by the US state department, was on three themes: Strengthening democracy and countering authoritarianism, fighting corruption and promoting respect for human rights. 

AFSPA: Scrap this Atrocious Law

THE killing of 14 civilians in Mon, Nagaland by a special force of the Assam Rifles has brought into sharp relief the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), a lawless law that enables the security forces to act with impunity, which has led to atrocity after atrocity on the civilian population in the North-East.  Eight young men, who were coal miners, were travelling in a van when they were ambushed by a special force, who were purportedly targeting armed insurgents.  The killing of six of the miners led to protests by the local people, which resulted i

BJP’s Contempt for Parliament

THE first day of the winter session of parliament revealed a great deal of what the Modi government’s attitude to parliament is – outright contempt for parliament and its democratic functioning.

Contrary to what prime minister Modi had declared, at the outset, that the government is willing to discuss any issue and reply to any question raised by the opposition, the ruling party refused to allow any discussion on the repeal of the three farm laws and attendant issues.

A Victory of Wider Consequences

THE capitulation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in announcing the repeal of the three farm laws, is a historic victory for the united farmers’ struggle led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM).  It is a victory which has far wider consequences than just the nullification of a set of pro-corporate farm measures. 

Quad for West Asia: India in Losing Game

THE part-virtual and part-person meeting of the foreign ministers of four countries – the United States, Israel, India and United Arab Emirates – on October 18 saw the emergence of a new grouping in West Asia.  It is significant that the meeting took place when the Indian foreign minister, S Jaishankar, was visiting Israel to hold talks with the Naftali Bennett government.


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