A Bombing in Ankara, Turkey

ON October 10, two large bombs exploded at a peaceful political rally in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. The rally had been called by two of the most prominent trade unions in the country – KESK and DISK – under the banner, “Labour, Peace and Democracy.” KESK is a large union of public sector workers and DISK is propelled to the Left by the presence of activists who went into its ranks when the Left parties faced repression from the State in 1971 and 1980.

Hindutva Brigade’s Undeclared War on the Idea of India

THE idea of India as a secular democratic and culturally diverse nation was a result of the broad consensus between the representatives of all major classes in the Constituent Assembly. The Constitution, which was a result of this broad process of negotiation, guaranteed certain fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression and religion as well as equal opportunity for historically exploited social groups. The attack on this idea has been growing.

Rankings on Ease of Doing Business: Uneasy Times for Working Class

THERE has been a flurry of political commentaries over the recent report of the World Bank on ‘Ease of Doing Business’, which ranked Andhra Pradesh second among Indian states, after Gujarat. In the World Bank report, released on September 14, 2015, AP with a score of 70.12 percentage points has been ranked below Gujarat which stands at the top with 71.14 points.

Minorities & Structural Inequality In Neo-liberal India

THE data on the population of religious communities released by the Census of India has fuelled a vicious campaign by right wing intellectuals and the Sangh Parivar. Saffron demographers are quick to use the flawed newspaper analysis of Census 2011 in order to argue that if this trend continues then Muslims will not only catch-up with the Hindus in terms of their population growth rate, but in half a century the Hindus are likely to become a minority in their own country.

Misuse of Census Data on Religion for Narrow Political Gains

THE belated release of census data on religion has been followed by predictable reactions from sections with a motivated interest in promoting sectarian divisions on religious lines. Judicious interpretation of census data can be a powerful tool for planning as demographic trends are good indicators of underlying socio-cultural and economic factors that determine changes in the trajectory of populations. India is perhaps the most culturally diverse country in the world and disaggregated census data provides information about social, cultural and economic trends in different communities.

Stand Up, Start the Change

COME the Independence Day, comes the discussion on patriotism. Some wear it on their sleeve. Literally. The one who is speeding in his car, with the national flag, thinks he is extremely patriotic. The one who salutes the flag, thinks he is the (lot of emphasis) patriot. Not to forget the ones who post their 'selfies', all the while saluting (don't ask how they mix a salute with a selfie, it's all a heady patriotic cocktail).

SECC Excludes More Than It Includes Amidst High Rural Distress

COMMISSIONED by the UPA government in 2011, the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) was to collect data on caste, urban and rural socio-economic status. The preceding BPL census was undertaken in 2002, which collected information on 13 indicators for every rural household. Households were selected on the basis of their total marks, the cut-off being the total marks at which the number of BPL households in a state equalled its poverty estimate as determined by the Planning Commission. This process was problematic, procedurally and conceptually.

‘Virtually All of Death Row Convicts Are Poor’

LADY Justice is depicted as blindfolded, but is she blind and without any bias? Not always. A recent empirical study of convicts on death row confirms the fact that the capital punishment in India is reserved for the poor and the marginalised. While the poor get gallows, the rich mostly escape. According to a study, three-fourths of those given death penalty in the past one-and-a-half decades belonged to the backward classes and religious minorities.


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