On Caste and Identity Politics in Gujarat Elections

THE dust has settled on the Gujarat elections. The BJP has claimed that it has fought twenty two years anti-incumbency and won the elections because of its ‘politics of vikas’ versus the opposition’s ‘casteist politics’. In a post-election interview, the BJP president Amit Shah claimed that his 150+ mission had failed because of the “dirty and low level casteist politics of the Congress and its allies”.

Struggles of Workers & Farmers Reach New Heights in 2017

AN unprecedented wave of workers’ and farmers’ struggles spread across the whole country through the year that is coming to an end. It challenged the Modi government and its pro-rich, anti-working people, anti-farmer policies, forcing the government to reverse course in some cases. These battles spanned issues related to falling living standards, growing inequality and loot by the ruling classes, as also the communal politics of the Sangh Parivar that is trying to divide people on religious identity lines.

Me Too and We Too

THE National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has come out with its ritual annual report. And the statistics are grim. Like the prices of vegetables, crimes in our country too have a tendency only to rise up, up and above. If only these statistics become weapons, can we see a change.

The Destruction of Babri Masjid – the 25th Anniversary

THE town that is called Ayodhya in Valmiki’s Ramayana, as well as today, was known as Awadh in pre-British times. Tulsidas in his Ramcharit Manas called it Awadh-puri. It was a large city, capital of the province that was also called Awadh. It had, therefore, a large Muslim population. So it was that when Babur established the Mughal Empire in India in 1526, and Awadh or Ayodhya fell into his hands, his governor Mir Baqi built a large mosque there, which came to be known as the Babri Masjid.

Let Hadiya Take Charge of Her Life

Her case reveals how deeply the current climate created by sectarian ideologies based on a narrow reading of religious identity has pushed back women’s rights to autonomy as equal citizens. From the government to the courts, to the strengthening of conservative and regressive thinking and practice, it’s all out there in Hadiya’s case.

Chauvanistic Nationalism and ‘Gujarati Asmita’ Replace ‘Vikas’ in the BJP Poll Campaign

WHEN the slogan of ‘Vikas’ does not work, resort to the son of the soil argument to enchant people: this is the tenor that Narendra Modi seems to have adopted as he and his cabinet ministers aggressively campaign in Gujarat at the apex of the poll campaign. The BJP is not only invoking Gujarati nationalism, but is also accusing the opposition which is questioning the Gujarat model of development of siding with ‘terrorists’ and ‘casteist’ people.

Cover-up and Coercion in the Name of the “Holy Cow”

IN his much publicised annual Vijay Dashmi address to the RSS cadres, Mohan Bhagwat announced that the “Gau Rakshaks have nothing to worry” and they were only doing their patriotic duty. This announcement became necessary because the observations of the Supreme Court took a stern view of cow vigilantism and the union government was subsequently forced to warn vigilante groups to curb their activities. However, Bhagwat said that “patriotic gau rakshaks” should not worry about government pronouncements.

Nature’s Latest Grand Spectacle Reaffirms its Dialectical & Materialist Character

THE world’s scientific community, especially astronomers and cosmologists, is abuzz about the signals from a mega event that rang, quite literally, not only around the globe but also beyond it. This was the “sighting” of a collision between two neutron stars 130 million light years away! What was so significant about it that it took the scientific community by storm and led to unprecedented messaging and tweeting all across the globe?

Employment Suffers in Digital India

SPEAKING at the Digital Haryana Summit in September 2017, the minster for electronics and information technology, Ravi Shankar Pratap Singh said that “the country’s digital economy is growing fast and by 2020 it is expected to provide job opportunities to about 50 to 70 lakh youth”. This pipe dream let lose by the minister may make one think that the automation and digitalisation process may create new opportunities to tap the so-called ‘demographic dividend’ of the country.

Jotting of My Life

Day – Minus six months: My mother was taken to a hospital. A test was done. They found out I was inside her womb. My father and his parents forced her to a surgery. I was killed, before I could see you.

Day – My birth: I had just come out of my mother’s womb. I was crying. They saw me. Instead of milk, the put some seeds in my mouth. My birthday was my death day.

November 22, 2015: I was three months old. My uncle who is 50 years old took me away from my house where I was sleeping. He raped and killed me.


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