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By Kavita Krishnan
Kafila -- First published May 23, 2013, posted at the Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission. The brutal gang rape of a woman in December 2012 triggered a mass movement against violence against women in India. The perpetrators were sentenced on September 13, 2013 -- Sexual violence cannot be attributed simply to some men behaving in "anti-social" or "inhuman" ways: it has everything to do with the way society is structured: i.e., the way in which our society organises production and accordingly structures social relationships. Once we understand this, we can also recognise that society can be structured differently, in ways that do not require – or benefit from – the subordination of women or of any section of society.
Floods in Mozambique have worsened.
By Bobby Peek
July 24, 2013 -- Pambazuka News, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Just across the border in Mozambique there is neo-colonial exploitation underway. It is not Europe or the United States that are dominating, but rather countries that are often looked up to as challengers, such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). This is a dangerous statement to make but let us consider the facts.
South Africa is extracting 415 megawatts of electricity from Mozambique through the Portuguese developed Cahora Bassa Dam, which has altered permanently the flow of the Zambezi River, resulting in severe flooding on a more frequent basis over the last years. In the recent floods earlier this year it is reported that a women gave birth on a rooftop of a clinic, this follows a similar incident in 2000, when Rosita Pedro was born on a tree after severe flooding that year.
South African troops in the Central African Republic.
By Patrick Bond and Khadija Sharife, Durban
March 27, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The reach of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) leaders far into the African continent was palpable this week, not just here in Durban where they are gathering to plan investments and infrastructure, but everywhere up-continent where extraction does extreme damage.
Student demonstration in Mathurai, Tamil Nadu, March 14, 2013.
By Ron Ridenour
March 21, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The United Nation’s Human Rights Council passed a resolution on March 21, 2013, the third in four years, concerning Sri Lanka’s conduct towards Tamils. The vote was 25 for, 13 against with eight abstentions. Those opposed rejected any criticism of Sri Lanka as “foreign meddling”.
South African President Jacob Zuma and friend.
By Patrick Bond
March 20, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- “We reaffirm the character of the ANC as a disciplined force of the left, a multi-class mass movement and an internationalist movement with an anti-imperialist outlook” -- so said Jacob Zuma, orating to his masses at the year’s largest African National Congress celebration, in Durban on January 12, 2013.
South Africa: brics-from-below! Civil society gathering during the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa summit
Whose turn to carve?
March 18, 2013 -- In Durban, South Africa, five heads of state meet on March 26-27, 2013, to assure the rest of Africa that their countries’ corporations are better investors in infrastructure, mining, oil and agriculture than the traditional European and US multinationals. The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) summit will also include 16 heads of state from Africa, including some notorious tyrants. A new $50 billion bank will probably be launched.
By Kavita Krishnan
February 27, 2013 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal via Radical Socialist -- The dominant capitalist media narrative about the February 21-22 all-India strike called by the country's major trade union centres was one of "hooliganism" by workers and inconvenience caused to the "public". As is usual, the main demands of the striking workers found little space in the media’s discussion of the strike.
January 22, 2013 -- Green Left TV -- Indian socialist feminist Kavita Krishnan spoke to Green Left TV's Pip Hinman about the new movement against gender violence in India. Kavita is secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA). Filmed and edited by Pip Hinman and Peter Boyle for Green Left TV.
No to sexual assault! Socialist Alliance statement in solidarity with the international movement against violence against women
Mass protest against violence against women, India Gate, Delhi, December 23, 2012. Photo by Rakesh Kumar Meena.
January 5, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance (Australia) stands in solidarity with the growing movement in India fighting violence against women. Progressive forces in that country have braved police brutality and repression, mobilising massive turnouts at protests against gender violence.
The wave of protests was sparked by the horrific rape on December 15, and the consequent death, of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi.
Indian activists report that a significant new movement against sexual violence has risen up and is putting serious pressure on the government to eliminate the institutionalised gender bias in laws and investigation mechanisms. Young and old people, women and men, who have never before participated in public protests are taking to the streets to demand gender justice.
Radical Socialist organisation (India) on anti-rape upsurge: Solidarity with the protesters in Delhi!
By the Radical Socialist organisation
December 26, 2012 -- Radical Socialist -- There have been sustained protests in Delhi against the rape of a young woman of 23 in a bus, and the callous attitude of police, administration and politicians until the protesters forced their hands. This has been taken up across India. Protests have been heard in Kolkata, in Srinagar and in many other places. This issue must be put in its proper perspective in order to understand why there has been such a massive outpouring.
It is not because this is just an incidence of unusual violence that people are angry. And it is not that this is a middle-class issue, and that is why the middle class is angry. The former detaches the particular issue from the general, while the latter is a very one-sided presentation.
In 2010, there were 22,000 recorded cases of rape in India, which means the actual number or rapes was around 130,000 (given the ratio of five unreported rapes to every reported case that is widely admitted, while one study of the Punjab for 1995 suggested it was as high as 68:1). In Delhi, the national capital, there have been more than 560 cases of recorded rapes in 2012 so far. In West Bengal, there are several thousand rape cases that have been recorded by the police yet have not started moving in the courts.
Protesters from the All India Progressive Women's Association in Delhi, December 22-23.
By Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation
December 27, 2012 -- ML Update -- If the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year old paramedical student in a moving Delhi bus on the night of December 16 had shocked the entire country, the unprecedented protests that have erupted since then, most prominently in Delhi itself, have come as a most encouraging sign of a growing democratic awakening and assertion in the country.
The year 2012 could not possibly end on a more rousing note. Never before did Delhi, or for that matter any other Indian metropolis, see a protest of this magnitude and intensity on an issue of gender violence. The protests have been remarkable for the scale and range of popular participation -- mostly spontaneous but also unmistakably aided and encouraged by the spirited participation of organised progressive groups of students, women and workers -- as well as for the bold display of courage and determination in the face of water cannons, tear-gas shells, repeated raining of lathis [police batons] and, above all, the monumental apathy and arrogance of the rulers.
Demonstration in Jammu, December 20, 2012, in protest at the rape and brutalisation of a young woman in the Delhi. Photo: Press TV.
By Kavita Krishnan, Delhi
[This is the cover story of the forthcoming January 2013 issue of Liberation, magazine of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Kavita Krishan's permission. Kavita Krisnan is secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA).]
December 24, 2012 -- In the midst of the unspeakable horror of a rape and attempted murder in Delhi is a spark of hope that we nurture, cradling it with our hands lest it be snuffed out, helping the spark to grow into a steadier flame – and then spread into a forest fire.
President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa pose prior to the BRICS summit in New Delhi on March 29, 2012.
By Patrick Bond, Durban
November 22, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The heads of state of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) network of governments are coming to Durban, South Africa, in four months, meeting on March 26-27 at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Africa’s largest venue. Given their recent performance, it is reasonable to expect another “1%” summit, wreaking socioeconomic and ecological havoc. And that means it is time for the first BRICS countersummit, to critique top-down “sub-imperialist” bloc formation, and to offer bottom-up alternatives.
After all, we have had some bad experiences at the Durban ICC.
India: ‘Nuclear energy is not a national issue – it is a global issue’ -- anti-nuclear movement gains momentum
More than 20,000 villagers protest at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant on September 9, 2012. Photos from Countercurrents. More photos below.
Neeraj Jain interviewed by B. Skanthakumar
October 5, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The anti-nuclear peoples’ movement in India has been gathering momentum in recent years. The courageous struggle of women, men and children of Idinthakarai village in South India, who are resisting the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, and are under siege by state security forces – with more than 56,000 of whom have been falsely charged, including 6000 for the offence of “sedition”, and 53 imprisoned – has highlighted the people’s movement against nuclear energy.
September 28, 2012, marked the 105th anniversary of the birth of South Asian revolutionary Bhagat Singh. Revolutionaries across India and Pakistan marked this occasion with meetings and ceremonies. Below, Chaman Lal introduces readers of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to the life and work of Bhagat Singh. This article first appeared in the India-based Economic and Political Weekly to mark Singh's 100th birthday. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Chaman Lal's permission.
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By Chaman Lal
Bhagat Singh’s life (September 28, 1907–March 23, 1931), work and thought were marked by an uncompromising struggle against colonialism and imperialism, together with radical opposition to capitalism, communalism and the caste system. This article is a spirited account of his life, his revolutionary activity, his ideals, his opinions and his legacy.
August 21, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Leader of the Nawa Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) of Sri Lanka, Dr Vickramabahu "Bahu" Karunaratne (picture above), was invited to address the Tamil Eelam Solidarity Organisation (TESO) conference in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, on August 12, 2012. The conference was organised by parties in Tamil Nadu sympathetic to rights of the the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. At first Bahu was denied a visa by the Indian government but after widespread protests he was issued a visa. The NSSP leader's speech is reproduced below.
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I am very thankful to the organisers of the Tamil Eelam Solidarity Organisation (TESO), in particular to Mr. Radhakrishna, for giving this opportunity to participate in this event and to explain the sufferings in my country. They had to under go many difficulties fight hard and over come many obstacles to organise this meeting. I also faced difficulties to come here. Though many Tamil National Alliance MPs were willing to come, they could not cross the barriers.
Wealth and poverty in India. Photo by DaveWilsonPhotography.
By Raju J. Das
April 11, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Bollywood movie The Dirty Picture (apparently) runs on three things: entertainment, entertainment and entertainment. The dirty picture of neoliberalism runs on three things, as well: class, class, and class. Indeed, neoliberalism must be seen as the restoration and reinforcement of class power (Harvey 2005), class power of large owners of business over the working masses.
This article makes a series of observations on the multiple aspects of neoliberalism in India as a class project. What is problematic about the “New Economic Policy” (NEP) is not this or that aspect of it (e.g. the idea that it causes an increase in the number of people below the official poverty line). The whole policy is the problem. So it requires a dialectical totalising critique, one that places its limited benefits in relation to its enormous costs, seen from multiple vantage points.
Salmaan Taseer, assassinated governor of Punjab.
By Beena Sarwar
January 8, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, a longer version of this article will appear at Viewpoint -- Just over a year ago, Salmaan Taseer, governor of Pakistan’s largest province, the Punjab, was assassinated in the most cowardly manner by a government-assigned security guard in federal capital, Islamabad. The killer, a trained commando of the Punjab Elite Force, Mumtaz Qadri, pumped 27 bullets into the Governor’s back as he headed to his car on the afternoon of January 4, 2011.
This sensational murder rocked the nation and reverberated around the world. It was not a spontaneous enraged act but a well-thought out, cold-blooded plan. One man executed this plan – but was he acting alone and was it an act motivated only by "religious fervour" as has been depicted, or is there more to the issue than meets the eye? And even if the action was purely altruistic, should the law of the land not be applied to punish the guilty?
Last month, quietly, unannounced, Arundhati Roy decided to visit the forbidding and forbidden precincts of Central India’s Dandakaranya Forests, home to a melange of tribespeople many of whom have taken up arms to protect their people against state-backed marauders and exploiters. She recorded in considerable detail the first face-to-face journalistic “encounter” with armed guerillas, their families and comrades, for which she combed the forests for weeks at personal risk.
By Danielle Sabai
June 2, 2011 -- Asia Left Observer, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In February 2011, the president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, celebrated the 63rd anniversary of the island’s independence. In his speech, he stressed the necessity of “protecting the reconstructed nation”, as well as protecting “one of the oldest democracies in Asia”, its unity and its unitary character.
This speech came nearly two years after the end of the war on May 19, 2009, between the Sri Lankan state and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The military command of the LTTE was decimated in the last two months of a merciless war that has had led to tens of thousands of deaths since the early 1980s.