SEVERAL dalit and other mass organisations angrily protested the Andhra Pradesh High Court judgement exonerating all 21 accused in the massacre of dalits in Chundur village of Guntur district in 1991. Holding a dharna in front of the Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad on April 23, they slammed the judgement as anti-dalit. John Wesley, secretary of Struggle Committee against Caste Discrimination, KVPS, said that it appeared that the courts are following Manu smriti rather than IPC while deciding such cases.
THE false encounter between Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee has attracted the media attention in West Bengal. Modi in his public meeting in Srirampur sharply criticised TMC supremo inviting sharper reactions from the TMC. On the face of it, this exchange was bitter; in its essence it was politically complimentary to each other. While Modi tried to channelise strong anti- TMC current in the state away from the Left parties by strong rhetoric, Mamata Banerjee found a suitable target to deflect the attention from the exposure of scams in her regime.
PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin, despite the loud threats of sanctions and other punitive actions by the West, went along with the wishes of the people of the Crimean peninsula and duly signed a treaty incorporating the region into the Russian Federation on March 21. The overwhelming vote by the Crimeans in favour of rejoining Russia in the March 16 referendum had left President Putin with no other choice. In his speech to the Russia parliament, President Putin pointed out that Crimea’s referendum was in line with the UN Charter which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination.
THE state of Gujarat was formed in the 1960s by carving out 17 Gujarati speaking districts that were part of the erstwhile Bombay state. Gujarat played an important role in the economic history of India. It is one of the major industrial hubs of India. During the British Raj, the country’s first ever textile mill was established in Gujarat. Surat has been known for diamond cutting and polishing industry, the best of its kind in the world.
ANOTHER incident of ‘pankti bedha’ came to light recently at Udupi Sri Krishna math (temple). The practice of serving food (prasada) to Brahmins at one place and to all other castes separately is called ‘pankti bedha’. The discriminatory practice of ‘pankti bedha’ is being practiced at Udupi Sri Krishna math inspite of being opposed by progressive sections and organisations.
NETmundial – a global conference on Internet governance – was held last week in Sao Paulo (April 23-24) and ended with a non-binding outcome statement that was weak on surveillance and with some gains for big business. Big business managed to smuggle in some measures to help them on intellectual property and managed to bury net neutrality, considered a major issue for Internet users, into a future action section.
IN his column ‘No Proof Required,’ Surjit Bhalla has been regularly deriding left and secular intellectuals who oppose the fascistic corporate Hindutva ideology represented by Narendra Modi and the BJP. Last week he once again defended the indefensible by calling upon the critics of Modi to ‘give evidence’ against the Gujarat model (The Indian Express, April 26, 2014). He says that the criticism of Modi is “just name calling” and based on no hard evidence.
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement on April 30, 2014.
THE third phase of polling held in West Bengal on April 30, 2014 was marred by widespread rigging, violence and capture of polling booths. Hundreds of polling booths were affected in the Bolpur, Birbhum, Bardhaman Purba, Bardhaman-Durgapur, Howrah and Uluberia Lok Sabha constituencies. Polling agents of the CPI(M) and the Left Front were driven out in a number of booths and blatant false voting has taken place in the presence of polling personnel.