Guest post by SHRINIVAS DHARMA
News of Volkswagen’s systematic cheating in emission tests by making its cars appear far less polluting than they are, has proved to be a bolt from the blue for the Global Automobile industry, financial markets, European politicians and German society at large. VW is more than just another car company. For German society, it is a heritage brand with iconic status. In a reputed poll last month, two-thirds of Germans named Volkswagen as the country’s number one national symbol, putting it before Merkel, the national football team and Goethe. No wonder, this news destroyed 10% of market value of the VW brand in a single trading day.
VW’s so-called “defeat device” a piece of software in the car’s computer is already there on 11 million cars on the road which are emitting up to an extra 1m ton of a toxic gas responsible for killing tens of thousands people in various countries. With this insidious deception, VW has not only let down Germans but the entire Global Society by showing sheer contempt typical of a Big Business towards the continuing environmental degradation. No wonder, the news wiped out billions of dollars off the market value of entire car industry providing credence to the suspicion that emissions test rigging may be more widely practiced art, than what has come to light so far. Read more…
Guest Post by KISHORE
(Image : Courtesy – http://www.huffingtonpost.in)
अख़बारों में आई खबर के अनुसार ग्रेटर नॉएडा में भीड़ ने एक व्यक्ति को इस अफवाह के आधार पर मार दिया कि वह गौमांस के व्यापार में लगा था. यह बताने की जरूरत नहीं कि मरने वाला किस धर्म को मानने वाला था और मारने वाले किस धर्म के अनुयायी थे. अब आ रही खबरों के अनुसार यह अफवाह झूठी थी और जिस पुजारी ने इस अफवाह की शुरूआत करी. उस पुजारी को यह अफवाह उड़ाने के लिए मजबूर किया गया था. कुछ लोग यहाँ तक कह रहें हैं कि यह बर्बर हत्या किसी ग़लतफ़हमी के कारण हुई है, पर मेरे एक मित्र ने बड़ा ही प्रासंगिक प्रश्न उठाया कि हम अगर यह मान भी ले की वह व्यक्ति गौ मांस के व्यापार से जुड़ा हुआ था तो क्या उसकी हत्या को उचित ठहराया जा सकता है.
इस बात में कोई दो राय नहीं कि अगर मेरा धर्म मुझसे अपेक्षा रखता है कि मैं ये खाऊँ और ये ना खाऊँ और मैं उसमे विश्वास रखता हूँ, तो यह मेरा चयन हो सकता है कि मैं कुछ ना खाऊँ. कोई मुझे वह चीज़ खाने के लिए मजबूर नहीं कर सकताण. पर क्या यह जरूरी है कि मेरे खाने या ना खाने के चयन का पालन बाकि लोग भी करें. खाना.पीना, पहनना-ओढना और कुछ अच्छा लगना या न लगना हर किसी का निजी मामला है. क्या समाज यह तय कर सकता है कि मैं क्या खाऊँ और क्या ना खाऊँ ? और एक वर्ग की प्राथमिकताओं के हिसाब से न चलने पर उसको मौत के घाट उतारना किसी न्यायोचित समाज की निशानी है या बर्बर समाज की ? Read more…
Guest post by LUTHER UTHAYAKUMARAN
A lot has happened since the early 1980’s, when I first got to know Anandarajan. Nearly thirty-five years later, it seems a different world. A way of life has died between then and now. It is through these multiple layers of life and memories that I remember that evening. It was nearly dusk when the news spread through Jaffna ‘Principal Anandarajan shot dead” and then the other three words followed in a hushed tone, like a reluctant trailer, ‘….. by the boys’.
I first met Anandarajan when I was fourteen years old, a few weeks before I was to join St John’s. Anandarajan was introduced to me at a family function, as my would-be principal. The first thing I noticed about him was the total lack of aloofness. His response was ‘I say, I was a classmate of your mother at St John’s, and she was the only girl in the class whom I was scared of’ (which my mother vehemently denied!). In the years that followed I came to know Anandarajan more closely, first as a teacher, and then as a close family friend. In those days at St John’s the first year Advanced Level classes occupied the open sheds opposite the Vice-Principal’s house, and everyday from my classroom I would see Anandarajan walk purposefully across the school grounds from his residence to the principal’s office. If it was a Monday, I would see him again a few minutes later, wearing a black academic-gown walking up the stage of Peto Hall to chair the assembly. I used to enjoy those Monday morning assemblies, as they provided a welcome reprieve from the stress of cramming for exams. Anandarajan would invite interesting speakers to address us, from Hindu mystics to those who spoke on more earthy topics such as pollution and war in the Middle East. Ironically for many of us in those days, war was something that happened only in distant places. If there were no outside speakers Anandarajan would address the assembly himself. It was on one such occasions that I learnt a value that I have cherished ever since then. It is in Anandarajan’s own words: “Always defend yourself. Never let anyone accuse you falsely – not anyone – not even me. If you let that happen, part of the blame is yours”. Read more…
दिल्ली के करीब दादरी के बिसराड़ा गाँव की अस्करी गमी में है। अपने पचास साल के बेटे मोहम्मद इख़लाक़ की मौत का गम वह मना रही है। और साथ में उसका परिवार। बाईस साल का उसका पोता दानिश हस्पताल में मौत से जूझ रहा है।यह शोक मामूली नहीं है और न यह मौत साधारण है। यह आपको तब मालूम होता है जब आप देखते हैं कि गम की इस घड़ी में अस्करी के कंधे पर रखने वाला कोई पड़ोसी हाथ नहीं है।
अस्करी पूछती है, जहां कोई हमारा पुरसाहाल न हो, उसे हम अपना देस कैसे कहें! हमारे यहाँ गाँव को देस कहने का रिवाज है। अस्करी का सवाल वाजिब है: जहां गम बँटाने पड़ोसी न आएं, वह अपना देस कैसे हुआ!
The thing about violence is that it is very hard and very easy to talk about. Describing it is simple, empirical, instinctive. There are facts, logistical details to hide behind. Motives to be ascribed, an “incident” to be explained. Mohammad Akhlaq. Dadri. A mob. A(nother) Muslim (dalit/trans/worker/woman’s) body. Meat that is not beef. A murder. A lynching.
Facts are useful. But they also hide things from us. They make violence about its incidence. It’s not. The act is banal. Ordinary. Expected.
Mohammad began to die a long time ago. When violence against particular bodies becomes legitimate, becomes a series of “misunderstandings,” it is not violence at all. It is the order of things. It is not prejudice but probability. Beef, property, a panchayat election, love jihad, a job, an argument, a WhatsApp message – these are not causes, they are just modes. The last circuits in a motherboard whose pattern is set in place.
Mohammad began to die at least as early in 1992. When we speak of his death in September 2015, it is already too late. The violence is not his death. The violence is that his body lost its right to be murdered because it has slowly been stripped of its life, bit by bit, for years.
We are publishing below the text of a statement issued by the NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN in New Delhi today following a significant Supreme Court order on the rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar oustees
In a significant Order, the Social Justice Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Jst. Madan Lokur and Jst. Uday Umesh Lalit today dismissed an Application filed by the Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP) / Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) seeking a ‘modification / clarification’ of the Apex Court’s previous judgements of 2000 and 2005, thereby denying right to land of a few thousand adult sons of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) affected farmers.
The Hon’ble Court held among other things that the Application by State of MP suffers from gross delay / laches having being filed many years after the judgements were issued (upholding the right to land of the SSP adult sons) and the rights / entitlements already accrued to the oustees in principle cannot be taken away. The Bench also had to take note of the fact that while the entitlement of most of the adult sons have already been recognized many many years ago, one set of oustees have been offered land / Special Rehabilitation Package (5.5. lakhs for 5 acres) since the judgement of 15/3/2005 of the Apex Court and another set of oustees are being denied the same; this would result in a clear violation of Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees a fundamental right to equality. Terming this “not to be good governance”, the Court summarily dismissed the Application. Read more…
Continued attempts of Hindutva forces to foment communal tension in North-West Delhi: Investigation Report
This is a guest post by NAUJAWAN BHARAT SABHA on the communal mobilisation in working class colonies in North West Delhi.
In recent months Hindutva fundamentalist forces have been involved in fomenting communal tensions and paving the way for riots in the workers’ colonies of North-West Delhi in a very systematic manner. There has been a surge in the number of RSS shakhas in the parks and on the vacant land of DDA in this area. At the same time the activities of Bajrang Dal are also on the rise in this area. Most of the workers’ residences in the areas of Holambi Kalan, Holambi Khurd, Bhawana, Narela, Bhalaswa Dairy etc. are part of resettlement colonies where the working population which was uprooted from different parts of Delhi have been resettled.
Several illegal activities such as gambling and sale of illegal liquor, smack and other intoxicants are carried out on large scale in these colonies as a matter of routine. Apart from the ordinary working population there also exist lumpen elements in substantial numbers. In the shakhas of RSS mainly shopkeepers, contractors, house owners, property dealers and the middle class youth are seen while the lumpen elements play an important role in hooliganism during communal tensionS. It is in the mobilization of such lumpen elements that the Bajrang Dal comes into picture. These days widespread public contact campaign is being organized even in the middle class colonies of the entire area on the pretext of running a signature campaign under the banner of “Go Raksha Maha Abhiyan”.