CPIML candidate Comrade Birendra Gupta won the Sikta seat in West Champaran. It was the only seat the MGB won in West Champaran. The candidate who polled a close second was Dilip Verma, an ‘independent’. Varma actually belongs to the feudal Shikarpur Estate which illegally holds hundreds of acres of land and oppresses the poor, and has in the past been a BJP MLA. The JDU candidate Khurshid Ahmad who was also the sitting MLA polled third. There was also an MIM candidate Rizwan Riyazi who polled some 8000 votes.
In the wake of the Delhi bus gangrape in 2012-13, hundreds of young Indians joined the anti-rape movement. Through their rage and exhaustion ran a bright thread of hope: a promise of social awakening and institutional change. For the first time ever, society was tuning into the women’s movement’s concerns about rape culture, victim blaming, and attacks on women’s autonomy in the name of safety.
THE Covid-19 pandemic laid bare the inequities and injustices of the capitalist system worldwide. And while the pandemic continues to rage, a worldwide protest has risen up against another systemic feature of capitalism – racism and brutal, biased, militarised policing. Liberation looks at the “Black Lives Matter” uprising against racism in the USA that has spread across the world, and what lessons it holds for India.
ORAL observations by a Supreme Court bench that reservations for oppressed and backward classes are not a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, have once again strengthened apprehensions of concerted moves to weaken social justice provisions. The SC bench made the observations while refusing to entertain a petition filed by all political parties from Tamil Nadu seeking 50% OBC reservation in the all-India NEET seats surrendered by states.
The Social Pattern of Covid-19 Deaths
IN the US, 13% of the population makes up 32% of the deaths from COVID-19. According to a Washington Post analysis, counties that are majority black have almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority. In Wisconsin, black people are just 6% of the population and nearly 40% of COVID-19 fatalities. In Michigan, black people represent 14% of the state's population but 40% of its deaths.
CHINA placed the industrial province of Wuhan under lockdown and contained the spread of the Covid-19 virus. An insightful article in Chuang (a blog devoted to “analyzing the ongoing development of capitalism in China, its historical roots, and the revolts of those crushed beneath it”) noted the difference between the racist tendency to blame China and people of Chinese origin for the pandemic, and between a critical analysis of the Chinese State’s handling of the crisis and what it tells us about capitalism today.
A Constitution Amendment Bill introducing coercive population control measures was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on 7 February 2020. This is a Constitution Amendment Bill restricting constitutionally guaranteed rights to citizens with more than two children. It is a draconian population control move.
THE Delhi Government move to offer free bus and metro transport to women is a welcome one for more than one reason.
ISHRAT Jehan can be declared guilty of terrorism after she is killed - without her guilt or her killers' innocence ever having to be established in a court of law.
Pragya Thakur is declared innocent of terror and made a candidate for a Parliament seat and a mascot for the ruling party even while she is on trial for terrorism - without any acquittal by a court of law.
Angana P Chatterji, Thomas Blom Hansen and Christophe Jaffrelot (eds) : Harper Collins 2019
THIS book of essays traces the ways in which the Modi regime from 2014-2019 has attempted to shape the Indian state and Indian society in a Hindu majoritarian direction.