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Statement on Peshawar Massacre: People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism, Delhi

December 19, 2014

People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism, Delhi, condemns the ghastly attack on school children in Peshawar (Pakistan) by Tehreek-e-Taliban in which over 140  innocent lives were lost. It is a plain case of murders by the people spewing venom in the name of religion and ideology with no regard for human life. PADS demands that such fundamentalist violence be dealt with firmly by the authorities in Pakistan and expresses its solidarity with the parents of the children whose lives were snatched away by the murderous gang which, only to hoodwink the people, claims to be fighting imperialism. By their act they have shown how dangerous they are for the common citizens of Pakistan.

It is also important to note that people in general in Pakistan have to stand up against all kinds of violence. There is no acceptable violence and unacceptable violence. Violence, under the illegitimate legal cover of Blasphemy Laws is being perpetrated, and celebrated in the name of religion in the country. Condoning any kind of violence against the innocent people in the name of religion, provides raison d’etre to the forces like TTP. The ghastly murders in Peshawar is a signal for the Pakistani society  to look inward and work in unison to keep religion away from State to avail the benefits of the democratic rule.

The Indian school children and Parliament have shown solidarity with people of Pakistan by keeping a two minutes silence, on the suggestion of Prime Minister Modi. Such solidarity, however, should be expressed not only at the moment of grave tragedies, but should become a normal state of affairs between the two countries. The political and military leadership of the two countries should avoid aggressive rhetoric and militarisation and peacefully settle all outstanding issues.

PADS notes with the sense of urgency that the Taliban-like Hindutva forces have grown in size, influence, and impact in India orchestrating killings and triggering mass displacement of the people. PADS would like to forewarn the people of India that communalists of any religion have the same traits and ultimately, it is the members of the same community, whose interests such groups claim to espouse, become their targets. This is the time for the peoples of India and Pakistan to unite against the use of religion for committing murders of the innocent.


Remembering 1992: School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS Mumbai

December 19, 2014


Hardening Divides

Remembering 1992 is a site that seeks to revisit and remember the violence that the city of Bombay/Mumbai experienced in December 1992 and January 1993. This site includes 6 films, video interviews and transcripts, news clippings, reports and other resources. The project started with the films that were made by students (Class of 2013) and faculty and used as a part of the campaign Bombay ki Kahani Mumbai ki Zubaani, held between December 2012 and January 2013.

In a political and social context where the memory of this violence has been rewritten and all but erased, it is crucial to remember, to explore the contours of normalised prejudice and to understand how the survivors have struggled with the denial of justice. It is also necessary to think about how and why the memory of such a watershed event gets erased and who benefits from this erasure.

The website explores different kinds of memory, organised around themes and uses a timeline and map to list the events of the 1992-93 riots,based on the Justice Srikrishna report.

Taliban Attack – the Limits of Savagery: Akhlaq Ahan

December 18, 2014

Guest post by AKHLAQ AHAN

Every sane person is aghast to see what has happened in Peshawar, where Taliban’s attack on a school has crossed all limits of savagery and senselessness. They killed over 140 innocents mostly children, after taking them hostage, burned a teacher with gasoline and made the students watch the ghastly act.

Historically the area is part of the region known as ‘Khorasan e Buzurg’ or the greater Khorasan spanning over the so called North West Frontier, Afghanistan, North East Iran and erstwhile Emirate of Bukhara. The area, for thousands of years, has been the heart and mind of Asia; as this was the region where Gathas of Avesta and Vedas were compiled, Buddhist teachings flourished and survived, Persian traditions were revived, the seekers of truth flocked around Sufi masters to be enlightened. This is the land that produced personalities like Zarathustra, Panini, Alberuni, Khwaja Ansari, Data Ganj Bakhsh, Khwaja Gharib Nawaz, Rumi, Jami, Rahman Baba and hundreds of others. Scores travelled to the region to seek knowledge and training like Faxian, Xuanzang, Yijing, Shams Taprez (Tabrez), Amir Khusraw, Guru Nanak, Jamali and countless others. Though the region has seen occasional strife in the past too but the traditions of inclusion had continued to prevail till about a couple of centuries ago, when these values began to face systematic attacks. A few like Bacha Khan, in his autobiography, gauged the extent of the spread of these exclusionist ideas and warned against them. Read more…

Why Should Adivasis Bear the Burden of ‘National Development’? Deba Ranjan

December 17, 2014

Guest post by DEBA RANJAN

On 25th August 2014 large number of armed police including CRPF with magisterial power reached at the top of the Baphlihill, where Utkal Alumina of Aditya Birla – Hindalco is continuously transporting bauxite through trucks to its Doraguda Alumina Plant. They started beating the villagers of Paikakupakhal. “They were in 25 four wheelers and one bus” Padman Nayak of the same village said. Many got the injured and three dalit villagers namely Mangaldan Nayak (30 years), Kalendra Nayak (30) and Ms Kiyabati Nayak got seriously injured. Kalendra got treatment outside but again was lifted from the Medical by the police so that he may not speak about such action of police to the outside world. Both print media and TV channels (except one newspaper) did not cover the incident. The local journalist of that newspaper later on was harassed by the goons not to write more on it.

I had been to Siju Mali few days before and went to the top of the Hill. It falls in Kashipur area of Odisha just behind the Niyamgiri hill. For last few months this Siju Mali and its adjacent Kutru Mali, two bauxite hill ranges, have been in news because the Vedanta International Limited (VIL) has kept its eyes on it.

After the Lok Sabha election, between April and November 2014, Anil Agrawal, director of VIL has met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thrice and every time he comes out with fully glowing remarks that the latter assured him of transferring the bauxite hills to the Company. It is quite possible too. Election experts have highlighted corporate funding behind Biju Janata Dal’s election campaign and the State Election Commission is unmoved on such complaints. Read more…

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Condemns Killing of Children in Taliban Attack

December 17, 2014

The HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN has issued the following statement on the Taliban attack on school children in Peshawar

December 16, 2014

Lahore, December 16: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called the killing of more than 120 children in a Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar a national tragedy which it said must open the eyes of anyone still harbouring any doubts that Taliban and Pakistan could coexist.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Commission said: “HRCP is deeply saddened by the large number of children killed in the Taliban attack on ArmyPublic School in Peshawar. This is a national tragedy of immense proportions, and an extremely sad day for Pakistan. Our heart goes out to the families of the children whose lives have been cut short by this abhorrent act of terrorism.

“The target was an army-run school, but it was a school nonetheless. It is not children who fight against the Taliban. And yet the choice of the target and the heavy casualties among the children leave no doubt that the massacre was aimed at killing as many children as possible.

“Nothing, including religion, norms of armed conflict or even common decency, justifies such brutal targeting of children. But it is no secret that the killers and those who dispatched them to attack the school have respect neither for religious commandments nor notions of civilised or decent behaviour. The targeting of children made sense to them because they stand for blood-letting and not much else.

“HRCP reiterates its firm belief that Taliban and Pakistan cannot coexist and anyone still harbouring any notions to the contrary is naive beyond belief.

“It had already been established, much before Tuesday’s massacre of children in Peshawar, where the Taliban stood in terms of education or value of children’s lives. Their actions today have shown once again that Pakistan will not know peace until this madness is taken on in all its manifestations and defeated. Read more…

Statement on David Bergman Case in Bangladesh: Concerned South Asian Journalists and Others

December 15, 2014

Guest Post. Statement by Concerned South Asian Journalists, Writers, Historians and Activists

We, the undersigned journalists, writers, historians and activists from South Asia,  are deeply concerned about the use of ‘contempt of court’ law to curb freedom of expression. The conviction and sentencing on December 2, 2014, of Dhaka-based journalist David Bergman by the International Crimes Tribunal 2 on charges of “contempt of court” for citing published research on killings during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, is a serious set-back to Bangladesh’s commitment to free speech and independent scholarship.

At the outset, we reiterate our belief that those responsible for genocide and international crimes during the Liberation War must be prosecuted and punished through an open and transparent process.

Read more…

നിലനില്പിനു വേണ്ടിത്തന്നെയുള്ള സമരം : ഫാസിസ്റ്റ് വിരുദ്ധ ചുംബനസമരം തിരുവനന്തപുരത്ത്

December 13, 2014

നിങ്ങൾക്ക് സദാചാരപ്പോലീസിനെതിരെയുള്ള സമരം ഓപ്ഷണൽ ആയിരിക്കും. ഞങ്ങൾക്ക് അത് ജീവൻമരണപോരാട്ടമാണ്.


അടക്കാൻ ഞങ്ങൾ ശവങ്ങളല്ല.

ഒതുക്കാൻ ഞങ്ങൾ വീട്ടുസാമാനങ്ങളല്ല.

ഫോട്ടോ എടുത്തുകളിക്കാൻ ഞങ്ങൾ

കടമുന്നിൽ തുണി ഉടുത്തും ഉടുക്കാതെയും

ചിരിച്ചു കൈകൂപ്പുന്ന പാവകളല്ല. Read more…


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