Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Labour Movement and Neo-liberal Economic Order: From Dalli Rajahara to Maruti Suzuki


On the Twentieth Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Shankar Guha Niyogi and in solidarity with Workers’ Struggle at Maruti Suzuki New Socialist Initiative invites you to a discussion on:

"Labour Movement and Neo-Liberal Economic Order: Dalli Rajahara to Maruti Suzuki"

Speakers:
Shiv Kumar (Gen. Secretary, Maruti Suzuki Employees Union)
Rakhi Seghal  (New Trade Union Initiative)
Smita Gupta (Senior Fellow, Institute for Human Development)

Activity Center (Above SPIC MACAY Canteen),
Arts Faculty, DU; 2 pm, 28th September, 2011

Breivik’s model nation and migrants in South Korea


Bonojit Hussain

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, in his manifesto, hailed Hindutva forces in India as an important ally in his envisaged fight against what he calls the “cultural Marxist/social humanist” world order. But he seems to be far more impressed by the conservative cultural milieu of South Korea as far as migrants are concerned; so much so that his manifesto is not only replete with praises for South Korean society and State but also his stated goal for Europe is to achieve a “mono-cultural” ethos, modeled on South Korea. Breivik believes that South Korea being a “scientifically advanced, economically progressive” society “out rightly rejects multiculturalism and Marxist cultural principles”.
Breivik’s manifesto might appear to be full of rambling political rants; but it seems he is not radically off the mark in understanding Korea’s hatred for migrants. So much so that right wing groups in Korea must have smiled and said in Unison “At last! Somebody recognizes our real value”.
However, owing to Korea’s own demographic compulsion, it might not remain Breivik’s model 10 years down the line.
Korea, a nation very strongly informed by a unique nationalism, Minjok, derives its origin from one bloodline. Historically contented and proud with mythical notions of homogeneity, Korea today has to deal with over a million migrants which make up 2 % of the total population. Now migrants are becoming a conspicuous presence in the country. This has largely happened in the last decade or so, despite Government exercising an absolute control over immigration policies. In less than a decade the number of migrants has more than doubled – from 550,000 in 2003 to 1.2 million in 2010. And each year the number of migrants is expected to increase approximately by 15 to 20%.
With very rapid industrialization from 1960 to 1980’s and subsequent transition from military dictatorship to a democratic polity in late 1980’s, domestic wage levels in Korea have risen manifold, rendering a demographic transition and restructuring of the workforce in domestic labor market, leading to a severe labor shortage in the lower rung of manufacturing and service sectors. Today about half a million of these migrants are workers from South and Southeast Asia; largely engaged in what is popularly known as 3D (Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous) work in small factories.

हमको अण्णा मांगता !


-सुभाष गाताडे

कभी कभी वास्तविक जिन्दगी/रियल लाईफ रील लाईफ अर्थात फिल्मी जिन्दगी का अनुकरण करती दिखती है। पिछले दिनों वही नज़ारा हम सबके सामने नमूदार रहा है। ऐसे दृश्य बॉलीवुड की फिल्मों का ही हिस्सा हुआ करते थे जब कोई नामालूम सा नायक अचानक ऐसा कोई कदम उठाता कि लाखों लोग सड़कों पर उतर आते और शैतान/जनता के दुश्मन का खातमा हो जाता है।

अभी उस मुहिम पर पटाक्षेप हो चुका दिखता है, मगर विगत कुछ दिनों से (बकौल 24 Í7 मीडिया) ‘अण्णा की अगस्त क्रान्ति’से या ‘आजादी की दूसरी लड़ाई’ से हम रूबरू रहे हैं जिसमें 74 साल का एक रिटायर्ड फौजी - जिसका नाम चन्द माह पहले तक सूबा महाराष्ट्र तक सीमित था - तमाम लोगों का आयकन/नायक बन कर उभरा है। राजनीति से दूर रहनेवाली युवा पीढ़ी से लेकर गृहिणियों , किशोरों, बुजुर्गों तक, समाज के विभिन्न तबकों को उसकी मराठी मिश्रित हिन्दी में व्यक्तविचारों में उम्मीद की नयी किरण नज़र आ रही है। देश के विभिन्न शहरों, नगरों, कस्बों में उसके समर्थन में जुलूस निकले हैं। और अगर स्वतंत्र स्त्रोतों से आने वाली ख़बरों पर यकीन करें तो यही सुनाई दे रहा है कि हुकूमत की बागडोर सम्भालने वाले लोग इस अलग ढंग की ‘सुनामी’ से निपटने के लिए नये नये फार्मूलों पर सोचते रहे हैं। ताज़ा ख़बर यह भी है कि संसद की बैठक में लोकपाल बिल के विभिन्न मसविदों को लेकर चर्चा शुरू करने का आश्वासन दिया गया है।

अगर हम फिलवक्त इस ‘उभार’ से जुड़े कई विवादास्पद/कम चर्चित पहलुओं पर गौर न करें तबभी यह माननाही पड़ेगा कि भ्रष्टाचार के मसले पर ली गयी इस पहल ने तमाम लोगों को अपनी ओर आकर्षित किया है। भले ही जनलोकपाल के प्रावधानों से लोग परिचित न हों, मगर उन्हें लगता है कि इस नये नुस्खे से उन्हें उन तमाम दिक्कतों, परेशानियों से निज़ात मिलेगी, जिसका सामना उन्हें आए दिन सरकारी दफ्तरों में करना पड़ता है।

इतना ही नहीं भाजपा संसदीय दल की बैठक में भी कुछ वरिष्ठ सांसदों ने पार्टी के इस मसले पर रूख को ढुलमूल करार दिया है और नेतृत्व को यह कह कर कटघरे में खड़ा करने की कोशिश की कि वह जनता के अन्दर उफनते गुस्से को भांप नहीं सकी। मगर समाजी-सियासी बढ़ते पारे में सबसे अधिक दिग्भ्रम की स्थिति में सामाजिक आन्दोलनों के लोग या वाम के धड़े दिखे हैं, जिनके सामने यह यक्षप्रश्न बना रहा है कि किया क्या जाए ? आधिकारिक तौर पर वामपंथी पार्टियों ने ‘जन लोकपाल बिल’ के बारे में कोई पोजिशन नहीं ली है, मगर स्थानीय स्तर पर हम पा रहे हैं कि उनके संगठनों के कार्यकर्ता इस ‘ऐतिहासिक क्षण’ में जनता के साथ खड़े रहे दिखना चाहते रहे हैं। शायद इस कनफयूजन की स्थिति का ही नतीजा था कि जनान्दोलनों के राष्ट्रीय समन्वय के अन्दर भी लम्बे समय तक उहापोह की स्थिति बनी रही। औपचारिक तौर पर अण्णा हजारे की मुहिम को समर्थन देने के बावजूद मेधा पाटेकर जैसे उसके अग्रणी नेता पहले उससे दूर रहे, और आज भी कई लोग अन्दर ही अन्दर दूरी बनाये हुए हैं।

दिग्भ्रम की स्थिति का आलम यह है कि मैं खुद यह पा रहा हूं कि विगत लगभग दो दशक से तमाम ऐसे साथी, दोस्त जो साम्प्रदायिकता, मजदूरों के जनवादी अधिकार, जातीय उत्पीड़न, अमेरिकी दादागिरी या ऐसे ही तमाम जनपक्षीय मसलों पर हमेशा साथ खड़े रहते आए हैं, वह स्पष्टतः अलग खेमे में बंटे हुए हैं। प्रस्तुत आलेख एक कोशिश है इस मसले पर मित्रों द्वारा या आन्दोलन से जुड़े विचारकों द्वारा या स्वतंत्रा विश्लेषकों द्वारा जो कुछ लिखा गया है/ लिखा जा रहा है, उसकी चुनिन्दा बातों को आप के साथ सांझा करना, और यह उम्मीद करना कि विभ्रम की यह स्थिति जल्द ही दूर होगी। 

(पाठकसमुदाय से इस बात के लिए मुआफी चाहूंगा कि यह आलेख उनके पास तब पहुंच रहा है जब आन्दोलन का यह चरण समेटेजाने के करीब है।)

वैसे कोई सत्तर के दशक का एक उद्धरण देकर यह भी कह सकता है ‘यह जमाना ही ऐसा है कि अगर आप कनफ्यूज्ड नहींहों तो आप सही ढंग से सोच नहीं रहे हों।’( In this age if you are not confused you are not thinking properly).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Angry Young People: Musings on the 1990's Student Movements of Indonesia

[Note: This article was published in CRITIQUE, Vol-1, Issue-3. Critique is a Quarterly brought out by the Delhi University Chapter of New Socialist Initiative (NSI)]

By Ken Ndaru

THE CAMPUS LIFE OF THE 90S

Back in the 90s, a campus life was one of a surefire way to move upward in the social ladder. Especially for those who enjoyed the opportunity to enroll in a state university. We were hard working students, yes; we were dedicated to getting as many A’s and B’s as possible. The competition was fierce. We had no time for life outside the three realms: Books, Love and Campus’ Parties. (The campus parties were mandatory in what we call today ‘network building’.) 

This situation was the direct result of a decree in 1978 by the then Ministry of Education and Culture, Daud Jusuf. The decree called for a “normalization of campus life” (“NKK”) and the formation of “student coordinating bodies” (“BKK”) that would be headed by the Rector’s Third Deputy. Both entailed a blatant stomping on political life within all Indonesian campuses. Anyone caught carrying out political activities in campus would be expelled, with a further risk of getting his/her name into the good book of the feared Command for Security and Order Recovery (KOPKAMTIB, the extra-judicial arm of the Indonesian Army). 

With news of Security Operations everywhere in the country, and the summary killing spree in the capital city that was dubbed “mysterious shooting” by the media—targeting those who the security forces called “outlaws”, the students chose a philosophy of “hearing no evil, seeing no evil and speaking no evil”. We simply ignored the life outside the campuses. 

We had, after all, a bright future. As long as we ploughed our way diligently. And heeding the siren call of the regime. 

Nevertheless, such a life is considered decadent by some. They were only a handful. And they worked in utter secrecy and they were almost invisible. It took them a full year to assess and approach me before asking me to join them. And I joined for the simplest reason that I was bored with the campus life. And I was angry. The discrepancy of what was taught in the classes and the stark reality of life staring us in the face every day when we got back to our lodgings or rented rooms was too great to ignore. Maybe most of the students were born with innate ability to shrug off inconveniences. But for a tiny minority those facts were not just “inconveniences”. They were real. 

And so we were. The angry young people of our generation.

A TIME FOR STUDY

After the NKK/BKK decree, politics died in all Indonesian campuses. Students’ ringleaders were either jailed or expelled. All other activists “went to ground” to avoid persecution. Nobody talked politics in campuses. Even the student organizations formerly associated with politics, and were instrumental in toppling of President Sukarno in 1966, now dissociated themselves from the word “politics”. They had used the term “ormas” (organisasi massa, or mass organization). After the NKK/BKK, they changed the meaning of the term “ormas” into “organisasi kemasyarakatan” or “public organization”. When I enrolled into one such “public organizations”, they even advertise themselves as “preparing students to have more competitive value at their future jobs”. 

And so, the disgruntled students held political discussions in the rented rooms or lodgings. By canvassing, the student activists visited the “prospects” one by one, holding a brief discussion on the current campus affairs, pretending to be interested in the personal affairs of such prospect, inviting the prospects to card games, and eventually asking the prospect to review a very obscure document—with no name printed as the publisher, no date, and very political. That was how the Study Circles were organized in my day as a freshman at the Agricultural Institute of Bogor (IPB). 

Study Circles were the main method of organizing the student movement then. It was not very efficient, only less than ten recruits every year for each such circle. But it was thought to be the safest way of organizing. We wanted politics, but we also wanted to be as far away from the military secret detention centers as possible. And we still wanted that lucrative jobs waiting for us after we graduated. 

This “safety first” mentality proved to be the death knell to the Study Circles. Around the time I joined one, the Study Circles has been entering a prolonged process of stagnation. What we did seemed to bear no impact on anyone. The older members graduated and then the movement lost them as they got their jobs, married and settled down (not necessarily in that order). In short, Study Circles organized just to preserve their existence, nothing more. 

But things were about to change. Soon after I joined a study circle, a whole new series of books were published in Bahasa Indonesia. Most of them were on Latin American experiences on social policies. The “openness policy” promoted by the New Order in the beginning of 1990s in order to open the country to a new influx of foreign investment interests also opened the country to what happened in other countries. The EDSA revolution of 1986 in the Philippines that overthrew Marcos regime, in particular, was of a great interest within the student movement. Many student leaders went to live a short stint in the Philippines. And soon afterwards, new circulars calling for more “direct actions” were distributed among the study circles.

Monday, August 8, 2011

सामान्यता का आतंक


यह एक जीव-वैज्ञानिक तथ्य है कि मनुष्यों के निन्यानवे प्रतिशत से ज्यादा डीएनए एक जैसे होते हैं। लेकिन इसके साथ ही यह भी एक तथ्य है कि सभी मनुष्य एक-दूसरे से बहुत ज्यादा अलग होते हैं। हर किसी में सामान्य मानी जाने वाली चीजों को स्थापित करने के लिए मनुष्यों ने समानता और सार्वभौमिकता के आदर्श को अपनाया है तथा मानकीकरण के नियंत्राण को व्यवहारगत किया है। अमूमन मनुष्यता द्वारा विभेद से निपटने की कोशिशें बहुत ही घातक रही हैं। हममें से पृथक दिखने वाले लोगों को अलग खाने में कैद करने के लिए पदसोपान और बहिष्करण के सि(ांतों का प्रयोग किया जाता रहा है। समाज में कायम पदसोपान और बहिष्करण सिपर्फ लोगों के नजरिए से ही संबंध्ति नहीं हैं, बल्कि ये ऐतिहासिक रूप से स्थापित संरचनाएँ हैं। हमारी शारीरिक ‘क्षमताएँ और अक्षमताएँ’ हमारे लिए और हमारे नजदीक रहने वाले लोगों के लिए सबसे नजदीकी अनुभव हैं। लेकिन, सामाजिक अर्थ में हमारी ‘क्षमताओं या अक्षमताओं’ का आधार हमारी शारीरिक संरचना में निहित नहीं है। चश्मे का आविष्कार होने से पहले निकट दृष्टि-दोष वाले युवक शिकार करने जैसे कामों के लिए पूरी तरह ‘अक्षम’ या ‘अंध्े’ माने जाते थे। लसिक सर्जरी के बाद निकट दृष्टि-दोष वाले लोग लड़ाकू जहाज भी उड़ा सकते हैं। ऑडिटरी हार्डवेयर और साफ्रटवेयर के विकास संकेतों पर भरोसा करें तो आने वाले समय में दृष्टि-बाध्ति सहित हममें से अध्किांश लोग कम्प्युटर से एक ही तरीक से लिखी से गई अध्ययन-सामग्री तक पढ़ पाएँगे। इसलिए, हम सिमोन द बुआर के शब्दों में संशोध्न करते हुए यह कह सकते हैं कि ‘कोई शारीरिक-बाध्ति व्यक्ति के रूप में जन्म नहीं लेता/ती है, बल्कि उसे ऐसा बना दिया जाता है।’ क्रिटीक के इस अंक में दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय जैसे उच्चतर अध्ययन संस्थान में ‘शारीरिक अक्षमता’ के अनुभव पर कई लेख और एक इंटरव्यू शामिल है।

पिछले दो दशकों में ‘अक्षमता’ के विमर्श में कुछ स्वागत योग्य बदलाव हुए हैं। जैसा कि निखिल जैन और संजय जैन के लेखों से यह स्पष्ट है कि पहले ‘अक्षम’ लोगों के कल्याण की बात की जाती थी लेकिन अब उनके अध्किारों की बात होने लगी है। अर्थात् पहले राज्य की नीतियों और सार्वजनिक विमर्श में शारीरिक रूप से बाध्ति लोगों की जरूरतों के बारे में यह माना जाता था कि समाज के शारीरिक रूप से ‘सक्षम’ व्यक्तियों को बदकिस्मत ‘अक्षम’ लोगों के कल्याण के लिए काम करना चाहिए। लेकिन वर्तमान कार्यक्रमों का कम-से-कम घोषित उद्देश्य यह है कि ‘अक्षम’ लोगों के अध्किारों को सुनिश्चित किया जाना चाहिए ताकि वे समुदाय के सार्वजनिक जीवन में पूरी तरह से सहभागिता कर पाएँ। दरअसल, ‘अक्षमता’ के विमर्श में यह बदलाव आदर्श मानवीय समाज के बारे में उदारवादी समझदारी में हुए व्यापक बदलाव को दिखाता है। जॉन रॉल्स और अमर्त्य सेन जैसे अध्किांश हालिया उदारवादी चिंतकों के अनुसार, सामाजिक नीतियों और संस्थाओं का लक्ष्य सिपर्फ व्यक्तिगत स्वतंत्राताओं की सुरक्षा करने तक ही सीमित नहीं होना चाहिए, बल्कि इन्हें यह भी सुनिश्चित करना चाहिए कि हर कोई एक समावेशी समाज में भागीदारी करने और उसमें योगदान करने में समर्थ हो। अमर्त्य सेन का समर्थता ;कैपेबिलिटीद्ध का सि(ांत उदारवादी पैराडाइम के भीतर इस तरह के तर्क को उसके तार्किक परिणति तक ले जाता है। सामाजिक वस्तुओं में समान हक का कानूनी अध्किार यह सुनिश्चित करने के लिए अमूमन नाकापफी होता है कि वास्तव में इन अध्किारों का उपयोग किया जाएगा। शिक्षा, स्वास्थ्य, आर्थिक सुरक्षा आदि में एक बुनियादी स्तर की कैपेबिलिटी या समर्थता न होने की स्थिति में हममें से किसी भी व्यक्ति के लिए सामाजिक जीवन में सहभागिता करना नामुमकिन होगा। इसलिए यह समाज की जिम्मेदारी है कि वह हममें से वंचित लोगों को सकारात्मक कार्रवाई के विविध् रूपों के तहत विशेष संसाध्न उपलब्ध् कराए। शोषित लोगों के आंदोलनों के कारण ही उदारवादी राज्य की नीतियों में बदलाव आया है। महिला आंदोलन, जातियों की गोलबंदी, नस्ल-विरोध्ी संघर्ष और मूल निवासियों के अध्किारों के आंदोलनों ने उदारवादी राज्य को इस दिशा में आगे बढ़ाया है। इस बात में किसी शक की गुंजाइश नहीं है इस बदलाव ने लोकतंत्रा की हमारे समझदारी को ज्यादा गहरा बनाया है। इसने हमारे सामने लोकतंत्रा की बुनियादी और सार्वभौमिक बातों को ज्यादा स्पष्ट किया है। इस संदर्भ में एक रोचक बात यह है कि नेपाल में हाल की घटनाओं में इन बातों को बहुत ज्यादा तरजीह दी गई है। हम सब यह जानते हैं कि नेपाल एक ऐसा देश है जो सिपर्फ चार साल पहले ही सामंतवादी राजतंत्रा के साये से बाहर निकला है। यहाँ सशस्त्रा माओवादियों ने अपने हिंसक संघर्ष के द्वारा एक समावेशी संविधन बनाने का रास्ता सापफ किया। वे ऐसा समावेशी संविधन बनाने पर जोर दे रहे है जो महिलाओं, शोषित जातियों और हाशिए पर पड़े जनजातीय समूहों के विशेष अध्किारों को सुनिश्चित करे।

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Talk by Akhil Gogoi: Land, Dams, Rights and Popular Resistance


New Socialist Initiative (NSI) and Ramjas History Society

invite all to a Discussion with 

Akhil Gogoi
General Secretary, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Assam

on

LAND, DAMS, RIGHTS AND POPULAR RESISTANCE

4th August 2011, 11.30 am. Seminar Room, Ramjas College, DU

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, in many ways, is an anomaly in Assam. This is a land which finds national attention only in times of blasts, floods, massacres. KMSS breaks the media orientalism and manages to make news. KMSS launches agitations on patently non-exotic issues such as Eviction of Urban poor, Public Distribution System thefts, construction of big dams in fragile seismic territories, non-implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Rights to Information Act etc. Aside from these issues, the other feature which sets KMSS apart in the political landscape of the state is its non-alignment. And more importantly it does not swear by any tribal, linguistic, religious group. This is something of a miracle in a region almost balkanised by identity politics.


Monday, August 1, 2011

दिल्ली में पानी के निजीकरण का विरोध करो !

दिल्ली में पानी के निजीकरण का विरोध करो !
हरेक निवासी के लिए पानी का समान बंटवारा सुनिश्चित करो !

क्या आप जानते हैं ?

- दिल्ली जल बोर्ड में पिछले दिनों 200 करोड़ रूपए का घोटाला पकड़ा गया। पूर्वी दिल्ली भागीरथी वॉटर ट्रीटमेण्ट प्लान्ट के निर्माण में कम्पनियों को ठेका देने को लेकर हुए इस घोटाले की जांच के लिए कमेटी भी बिठायी गयी है।

- दिल्ली शहर में ही पानी का खुल्लमखुल्ला असमान बंटवारा चलता है। कुछ इलाकों के रईसों को रोजाना 450 लीटर पानी मिलता है जबकि इस शहर के 50 लाख लोगों को प्रतिदिन चालीस लीटर से कम पानी में गुजारा करना पड़ता है।

- दिल्ली सरकार खुद कहती है कि जलबोर्ड केवल 50 फीसदी पानी का ही राजस्व/रेवेन्यू वसूल पाता है। 

- दिल्ली ष्शहर की अच्छी खासी आबादी को पानी के लिए निजी टेकरों पर ही निर्भर रहना पड़ता है।

दोस्तों,

प्रकृति की देन पानी के व्यापार की योजना बनी है। दिल्ली सरकार अब पानी के क्षेत्रा को निजी कम्पनियों के हाथों सुपूर्द करने जा रही है। हर निवासी को पानी देने में हुई अपनी नाकामी पर परदा डाले रखने के लिए यही आसान तरीका उसने ढंूढ निकाला है।

मालूम हो कि पानी पर सभी लोगों का अधिकार सबसे अहम है। और सभी लोगों को उनकी बुनियादी जरूरतों के लिए पानी की न्यूनतम मात्रा मिलनी चाहिए, जो स्वच्छ हो और सुरक्षित हो, गरीब लोगों के बस में हो और उनके घरों तक आसानी से पहुंच सकता हो। दिल्ली में पानी के निजीकरण का जो सिलसिला चल पड़ा है, उसके तहत पानी के इसी अधिकार को कमजोर किया जा रहा है।

वैसे वर्ष 2005 में ही पानी के निजीकरण की योजना सरकार ने हाथ में ली थी। पानी को शुद्ध करने के काम को, पानी के बंटवारे के काम को बड़ी बड़ी कम्पनियों को सौंपने का खाका बना था। और इन कम्पनियों के लिए करोड़ो करोड़ रूपए मुनाफे के रास्ते खोल दिए जा रहे थे। मगर उस वक्त लोगों के विरोध ने सरकार को मजबूर किया कि वह अपनी योजना को टाल दे। अब चुपचाप इस योजना पर अमल शुरू हुआ है। 

जाहिर है कि पानी के निजीकरण का सबसे पहला असर कीमतों पर दिख सकता है। महंगाई की मार से पहले से परेशान लोगों पर अब पानी के बढ़े हुए दरों की मार पड़ेगी। दो साल पहले, पुनर्वास कालोनियों में 25 गज प्लाट के लिए पानी की कीमत 52 रूपए पड़ती थी, जिसमें सीवरेज चार्ज भी शामिल रहता था। वह लगभग चार गुना बढ़ गया है और सीवरेज चार्ज भी ज्यादा देना पड़ रहा है। निजीकरण के साथ, अब कीमत को बाजार द्वारा तय किया जाएगा। इसका अर्थ यही होगा कि अगर कीमतें अचानक बढ़ायी जाती हैं, जब किन्हीं कारणों से पानी की सप्लाई प्रभावित हो, तब हमारे पास कोई चारा नहीं बचेगा। 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Samsung Workers in Mexico on Hunger Strike: Call for International Solidarity

Four female workers, unfairly fired and victims of workplace abuse, have caged themselves and sewn their lips shut as they launch a hunger strike and one threatens to burn herself alive in a dramatic protest against the multinational corporation Samsung. Read the original in Spanish here

UNHEARD-OF VIOLATION OF THE LABOUR AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF WORKERS OF THE KOREAN BUSINESS

WE MUST PREVENT THIS RIGHTFUL PROTEST BECOMING A TRAGEDY

Four female workers, unfairly fired and victims of workplace abuse, have caged themselves and sewn their lips shut as they launch a hunger strike and threatens to burn herself alive in a dramatic protest against the multinational corporation Samsung,funded by Korean capital which is currently constructing a plant for the extraction of natural gas in the Mexican port of Manzanillo, in the state of Colima.

Madaí Díaz Rodríguez, Sandra Gómez, Lourdes Zamora y Elvira Orozco worked in the kitchen of the Ingeniería Civil construction company, subcontracted by the multinational and whilst working were victims of constant abuse and mistreatment which escalated to daily verbal and physical violence from their Korean bosses and foremen. To these facts there can also be added multiple instances of arbitrary treatment and labour abuses such as the imposition of 12-hour days, with no pay for the extra hours which were their legal right. This situation is a daily reality for the hundreds of workers who lend their services to the aforementioned company.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Solidarity Letter to Anti-POSCO Movement from a Korean Prison

While Indian State has unleashed State terror again since yesterday on Anti-POSCO protesters, South Korean activist SUNG-HEE CHOI, in prison for opposing a naval base off Jeju Island, sends a powerful letter in solidarity with the people of Orissa opposing the POSCO project.

Dear residents in Jagatsinghpur,

I am a woman and activist living in South Korea, the country of the POSCO you oppose. I am currently being jailed in the Jeju prison, under the charge of ‘interruption of business’, because of my resistance against the enforcement of the naval base construction in the Jeju Island located in the south of South Korea. As of today, July 3, I met 46th day since my arrest and 44th day since my being restrained.

I accidently happened to see two of your struggle photos and a photo in the Korean Times, June 13, 2011 had a caption underneath it:

‘Anti POSCO action in India: A village sprays water to relieve children lying with other villages along the entry point to prevent policemen and officials from entering their area at Jagatsinghpur district, about 140 kilometers(87 miles) east of eastern Bhubareshwary India, Saturday. The villagers have been protesting against turning their farmland into an industrial developed area for a $12 billion steal plant of South Korean conglomerate POSCO (AP-Yonhap).’

The situation of the Gangjeong village, Jeju Island, when I, along with many others, wanted to prevent naval base, is very much like yours. The Gangjeong villages who have fought for four years to save their village are keeping vigil day and night against sudden crackdown by the navy and construction companies (Samsung and Daerim etc.). It is for not being robbed of their lands. If trucks come, they block them with their bodies and if ships come, they resist them by swimming to them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Third Issue of CRITIQUE Published by NSI Delhi University Chapter is Out!


New Socialist Initiative (NSI)-Delhi University Chapter has come out with the Third issue of "Critique", a magazine which deals with higher education, universities, marginality, left politics, histories of student movements from India and beyond.

Scroll down to see the Contents and the cover of the Third Issue (Vol-1, Issue-3, Jan-May).

If you are in Delhi, you can get your copies at: U-Special Bookstore, Arts Faculty, Delhi University; Jawahar Book Depot, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); People's Tree, Connaught Place. Copies are also available on request in Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Guwahati, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Chandigarh and few other cities. Just email at critique.collective@gmail.com for copies.


Monday, April 18, 2011

हम बनाम वे: अकादमिक कारखाने में दुनियाभर के शिक्षकों तुम श्रमिक भी हो, संगठित हो शताब्दी के अंत में शिक्षा जगत के दस किस्से


 माइकल येट्स

पत्रिकाओं, अखबारों और मेरे परिचित ई-मेल विचार-विमर्श गु्रपों से चुनी हुई निम्नलिखित बातों पर गौर करें:

1. टोरन्टों की चाक यूनिवर्सिटी ने कम्पनियों से अनुरोध् है कि दस हजार डालर देकर वे यूनिवर्सिटी में चल रहे किसी भी कोर्सा में अपनी कम्पनी का लोगों लगा लें।

2. न्यूयार्क की सिटी यूनिवर्सिटी ने अपनी वे कक्षाएं समाप्त कर दीं जिनमें विशेष मदद का प्रबंध् था। पिट्सबर्ग विश्वविद्यालय ने कमजोर विद्यार्थियों ;गरीब और अश्वेतद्ध के लिए विशेष कार्यक्रम समाप्त कर दिए।

3. पिट्सबर्ग यूनिवर्सिटी ने, जिसे कम्पनियों और रक्षा विभाग से खूब ध्न मिलता हे, शिक्षकों के शैक्षिक अवकाश के प्रावधन उनसे बिना पूछे खत्म कर दिया है।

4. कई विश्वविद्यालयों ने क्रेडिट कार्ड कम्पनियों से कापफी दान लेकर उन्हें कैम्पस में एकाध्किार दे दिया है। एक जगह तो क्रेडिट कार्ड कम्पनी छात्रों के रेडियो-टी.वी. कार्यक्रमों के लिए ध्न देती है। 

5. पफीनिक्स की तथाकथित यूनिवर्सिटी, प्राइवेट और मुनापफे के लिए चलने वाली संस्था, एकतीस राज्यों में पंचानबे संस्थाएं चलाती है जिसमें पचपन हजार विद्यार्थी हैं। इसने सुविध, उपभोक्ता सेवा, भारती उत्पादन, तथा व्यवसायिक सहभागिता जैसी व्यापारिक रणीनीति को आक्रामक रूप से लागू किया है। उसके ग्राहक कोडक, आईबीएम, जनरल इलेक्ट्रिक जैसी कम्पनियां हैं जो उन लाखों वयस्क विद्यार्थियों के लिए प्रतिस्पर्धरत है जो लगातार नौकरियां बदलने की तैयारी में लगे हुए हैं।

6. कैलीपफार्निया स्टेट यूनिवर्सिटी का तंत्रा अपनी विभिन्न कैम्पसों के बीच के कम्प्यूटर सिस्टम को ‘माइक्रोसाफ्रट’ संचालित एक संगठन को सौपने की तैयारी में है। राज्य शिक्षा व्यवस्था का यह निजीकरण ;जो राजनीतिक विरोध् के चलते पिफलहाल रुक गया हैद्ध उन्हीं शक्तियों द्वारा उत्प्रेरित है जिन्होंने कूड़ा इकट्ठा करने से जेल व्यवस्था, शिक्षण संस्थाओं में कैन्टीन सेवा और कैम्पसों में पुलिस व्यवस्था तक हर क्षेत्रा में निजीकरण को आगे बढ़ाया है।

7. इतिहासकार डेविड नोबुल के अनुसार ‘एडूकाम’ अर्थात शिक्षा और व्यवसाय जगत के कन्सर्टियम ने ‘ल²नग इन्Úास्ट्रकचर एनिशिएटिव ‘स्थापित किया है जिसके कामों में शामिल है इसका विस्तृत अध्ययन कि प्रोपफेसर लोग करते क्या हैं। इसके लिए वह टेलर प्रणाली से शिक्षण को खंडित कर देखते हैं कि कौन से काम स्वचालित प(ति से हो सकते हैं और जिन्हें दूसरे भी कर सकते हैं। एडूकाम के अनुसार ‘कोर्स डिजाइन’ लेक्चर और मूल्यांकन का मानिकीकरण, यंत्राीकरण करके बाहरी एजेंसियों को सौंपा जा सकता है। एडूकाम के अध्यक्ष रॉबर्ट हेटेरिच का मानना है कि ‘आज का पर्यावरण व्यक्तिगत मानवी मध्यस्थता संचालित है।’ इसकी जगह स्वचालित कम्प्यूटरी नेटवर्क व्यवस्था की भारी गुंजाइश है। ऐसा होना ही है ;देखिए डिजिटल डिप्लोमा मिल्स मंथली रिव्यू पफरवी 1998द्ध

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

विश्वविद्यालय में रिक्शेः इक्कीसवीं सदी के भारत के नये प्रतीक

संजय कुमार

दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय की सड़कों पर यह दृश्य बहुत आम है। इतना आम कि इसके बारे में कोई विशेष बात करना अजीब माना जा सकता है। दो मिली मीटर मोटी 64 तीलियों के तीन चक्कों के रिक्शा वाहन पर पर 18 से 22 वर्ष का का युवक या युवती सवार हैं।  सम्पन्न परिवार के युवक युवती आमतौर पर स्वस्थ होते हैं, वैसे ही यह सवारी भी है। स्वस्थ शरीर के साथ यौवन सुलभ सौन्दर्य व आकर्षण भी है, लिबास व सर के बालों पर लगे जैल  से लेकर पांवों के जूतों तक के चुनाव पर की गयी चेष्टायें इन दोनों को और बढ़ाती हैं। युवक/युवती का सारा ध्यान कान पर लगे सैल फोन पर चल रहे वार्तालाप पर है। उस वार्तालाप के साथ ही उसके चेहरे पर मुस्कान, हंसी या उत्तेजना आती है। उसके बिना चेहरा शून्य हो जाता है। यह स्वस्थ, सुन्दर, व सज्जित शरीर दिसम्बर की खिली  धुप में छात्रा मार्ग की की ढलान पर पन्द्रह किलोमीटर की रफ्रतार से गतिमान हैं, गालों की थपथपाती व बालों में घुसती ठन्डी हवा से चेहरा और चमक उठा है। युवक युवती से महज दो फुट दूर एक अन्य शरीर है, पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश या बिहार से आये किसी देहाती का। इस शरीर की तनी मांसपेशियां युवक/युवती के गतिमान होने का कारण है। कद काठ व भार में यह शरीर युवक युवती से छोटा है, लेकिन आयु में औसतन उससे बड़ा। रिक्शा चालक के कपड़ों में कोई तरतीब ढूंढ पाना असंभव है। प्लास्टिक के काले जूतों के साथ लाल जुराबें, काली पतलून के साथ भूरा स्वेटर, जो कुछ जैसा जहाँ मिला पहन लिया। युवक/युवती का शरीर जितना विशेष प्रतीत होता है, रिक्शाचालक का उतना साधरण। सड़क की धुल मिट्टी का हिस्सा। रिक्शा पर स्थित दो मनुष्यों में एकमात्र संवाद भाड़े को लेकर होता हे, वर्ना वे दोनों अपनी अलग अलग दुनियाओं में गुम हैं।

Sunday, April 10, 2011

एक दमनकारी कानून के खिलाफ उठी ‘लौह महिला’ : मणिपुर की महान कवयित्रि इरोम शर्मिला और उनका संघर्ष

- सुभाष गाताडे 

अपनी एक कविता के अन्त में ‘सब अन्धेरा है, अन्धेरा है’ कह कर अपने मन के द्वंद्व को लोगों तक पहुंचाने वाली रचनाकार की संकल्पशक्ति के बारे में दावे के साथ क्या कुछ कहा जा सकता है ? अलबत्ता इन पंक्तियों को पढ़ कर किसी को शायद ही यह लगे कि इन पंक्तियों के रचनाकार ने अपने एक अनोखे संघर्ष के बदौलत चारों तरफ उम्मीद का उजास फैलाया होगा !

यह अकारण नहीं कि एक निम्नमध्यमवर्गीय परिवार में आठ भाई बहनो के बाद जनमी इरोम नन्दा और इरोम सखी की यह सबसे छोटी कन्या इरोम शर्मिला थानु, जो बारहवीं कक्षा के बाद अपनी पढ़ाई भी पूरी न कर सकी थी, आज समूचे मणिपुर की ‘लौह महिला’ के नाम से जानी जाती है। सोचने का मुद्दा यह बनता है कि उपरोक्त पंक्तियों की रचयिता मणिपुर की महान कवयित्रि, स्तम्भकार और सामाजिक कार्यकर्ती इरोम शर्मिला थानु ( उम्र 34 साल) ने ऐसा क्या किया है कि वह जीते जी मिथक में तब्दील हो चुकी हैं।

वजह बिल्कुल साफ है।

इरोम शर्मिला थानु पिछले लगभग दस साल से भूख हड़ताल पर है। राज्य सरकार की बेरूखी और काले कानूनों के सहारे टिकी हुकूमत के खिलाफ अपनी आवाज़ बुलन्द करने के लिए इरोम शर्मिला ने यह कदम उठाया है। बीते 2 नवम्बर को उनकी इस हड़ताल को दस साल पूरे हुए।

At the Risk of Heresy: Why I am not Celebrating with Anna Hazare

Shuddhabrata Sengupta

At the risk of heresy, let me express my profound unease at the crescendo of euphoria surrounding the ‘Anna Hazare + Jan Lokpal Bill’ phenomenon as it has unfolded on Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and across several hysterical TV stations over the last few days. 

This time around, I have to say that the print media has acted (upto now) with a degree of restraint that I think is commendable. Partly, this has to do with the different natures of the two media. If you have to write even five hundred words about the Jan Lokpal bill, you run out of platitudes against corruption in the first sentence (and who can speak ‘for’ corruption anyway?) and after that you have to begin thinking about what the bill actually says, and the moment you do that, you cannot but help consider the actual provisions and their implications. On television on the other hand, you never have to speak for more than a sound-byte, (and the anchor can just keep repeating himself or herself, because that is the anchor’s job) and the accumulation of pious vox-pop sound bytes ‘against corruption’ leads to a tsunami of ‘sentiment’ that brooks no dissent. 

Between the last NDA government and the current UPA government, we have probably experienced a continuity of the most intense degree of corruption that this country has ever witnessed. The outcome of the ‘Anna Hazare’ phenomenon allows the ruling Congress to appear gracious (by bending to Anna Hazar’s will) and the BJP to appear pious (by cozying up to the Anna Hazare initiative) and a full spectrum of NGO and ‘civil society’ worthies to appear, as always, even holier than they already are.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Coalition of Crooks: Why the West was so restive to Attack Libya!

[Statement issued by New Socialist Initiative - Delhi University Chapter]

A pack of scoundrels, brandishing latest weapons have attacked Libya. Ever since the popular uprising against Gaddafi took a turn towards civil war, and Gadaffi’s army gained the upper hand, the gang of Presidents and Prime Ministers of Western countries was getting its arsenal ready against the North African country. Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council provided the fig leaf they were waiting for, and now, like a pack of hungry wolves on scent of an easy prey they have gone berserk. They care little about pusillanimous complaints of an Arab League, the organization of Arab dictators which gifted them the fig leaf, or African Unity. 

While Western leaders attacking Libya are claiming it to be for the sake of spreading democracy and human rights in the Arab world, their domestic record speaks volumes about the moral content of their politics. The minnow of the pack, but most jumpy Silvio Berlusconi of Italy is mired in bunga-bunga sex scandal and corruption scams at home. He is desperately trying to relive the infamy of Mussolini’s imperial adventures in Africa. Recent opinion polls in France have pushed Nicolas Sarkozy to the third spot among candidates likely to stand for the post of the President next year. Five years ago he had won elections by successfully poaching on the far right, proto-Fascist constituency of the National Front. He had also successfully played the charade of projecting a happy family life by going on a holiday with his estranged wife just before elections, to woo conservative Catholic voters. Just after elections, he divorced and married a much younger Italian super model. His ministers are mired in corruption scandals. It is only the prestige attached to the President of the Republic that is shielding him. A recent demonstration of over two hundred thousand in London called David Cameroon ‘butcher of Britain’ for dismantling whatever little welfare is left in British capitalism. He became Prime Minister because the alternative in Gordon Brown was too disgusting to British voters. His junior Nick Clegg of the Liberal Party won seats by promising, among other things, not to raise university tuition fees. Few months later he broke that promise by supporting Conservative welfare cuts. Barrack Obama started by giving a sensible speech in Cairo to the Muslims of the world. But his behaviour on Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and now, Libya, is ample proof of the stranglehold of imperial arrogance on the US foreign policy, and of what pliable material he is made of.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

UID: Facility or Calamity?

- Prof. Jean Dreze

Quite likely, someone will be knocking at your door a few weeks from now and asking for your fingerprints. If you agree, your fingerprints will enter a national database, along with personal characteristics (age, sex, occupation, and so on) that have already been collected from you, unless you were missed in the “Census household listing” earlier this year. 

The purpose of this exercise is to build the National Population Register (NPR). In due course, your UID (Unique Identity Number, or “Aadhaar”) will be added to it. This will make it possible to link the NPR with other Aadhaar-enabled databases, from tax returns to bank records and SIM registers. This includes the Home Ministry’s NATGRID, smoothly linking 21 national databases. 

For intelligence agencies, this is a dream. Imagine, everyone’s fingerprints at the click of a mouse, that too with demographic information and all the rest! Should any suspicious person book a flight, or use a cybercafé, or any of the services that will soon require an Aadhaar number, she will be on their radar. If, say, Arundhati Roy makes another trip to Dantewada, she will be picked up on arrival like a ripe plum. Fantastic! 

So, when the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) tells us that the UID data (the “Central Identities Data Repository”) will be safe and confidential, it is a half-truth. The confidentiality of the Repository itself is not a minor issue, considering that UIDAI can authorize “any entity” to maintain it, and that it can be accessed not only by intelligence agencies but also by any Ministry. But more importantly, the UID will help to integrate vast amounts of personal data, available to government agencies with few restrictions.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

[Manipur] Writing on the Walls of People

- Seram Rojesh

Photo: Kangla online
Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 was passed in the Parliament in 1958. AFSPA can be looked at not only as a problem for those people who live under this law, but as an aspect of neocolonialism, militaristic and undemocratic nature of the Indian State. It does not say that it is to counter the “armed rebellion” or that it is an ‘anti-terror law’. The Supreme Court said that it was required for the national interest and it was not due to the armed rebellion. The AFSPA has its roots from British colonial ordinance, called the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance promulgated in 1942 to assist in suppressing the "Quit India Movement". The AFSPA itself began as the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Ordinance, 1958 that came into force in May 1958, and was passed by Parliament in September. It has only six clauses. Clause 1 definesnehe edefined e the armed forces under the law including all the forces under Army, Nevy and Air forces. the name of the act. Clause 2 defines the armed forces are under the law including all the central forces including Army, Navy and Air forces. Clause 3 defines the power to declare disturbed area. The real law is the clause 4, 5 and 6. Clause 4 allows a non commission officer to shoot to dead on the basis of his suspicion, to destroy a property or any place, to arrest a person without arrest warrant. Clause 5 allows an arrested to person to be kept unlimited time and did not define numbers of days and time. Clause 6 says No prosecution suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted, except with the previous sanction of the central Government in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act. In short it is a colonial act.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Organizing Revolutionary Dissent: Glimpses into the Praxis of Korean Students’ Movement under Military Dictatorship

- Bonojit Hussain

I.
1986 Workers/Students Protest Meeting
 Today Professor Kim is a well-respected progressive academic in one of the numerous Universities of Seoul, where I have also spent my last three years – first as a student and then as a Research Program Officer/Faculty. But I never had the opportunity to chat with Professor Kim about politics. He spoke only Korean and Russian; and I spoke only English and ‘unintelligible’ Korean. 

But Professor Kim is well known among students as the ‘nutty professor’ who, as a graduate student, went to Moscow to study in the early 1990s. As the rumour goes, study was just an excuse for him- in reality he wanted to (un)confirm his worst nightmare : whether the Soviet Union has truly collapsed or was yet another western capitalist propaganda. 

To anyone today it would appear that he was ‘crazy’. After all, why do you need to go to Moscow to see for yourself whether the Soviet Union has collapsed or not? The whole world read about it in newspapers and saw images of it on television. I would have also thought that this Prof. Kim guy is crazy if I had not become a student of the contemporary labour and student movements of Korea. 

It was not just “young” Mr. Kim who was shocked at the demise of the Soviet Union; there were thousands and thousands of other Korean student activists who could not believe it, and they felt as if the grounds beneath them had slipped away.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Education is Possible: An Account of the Struggle against Neo-liberal Restructuring at the University of Sussex

- Ryan Powell

The transformation of British Universities from places of learning and enquiry into supermarkets, where knowledge is a commodity; the production of which is driven by the needs of the market, has picked up pace in the past several years. For a long time universities in the UK were entirely state funded and free for all. Since then fees have been introduced in three phases. At the first stage the maximum any university could charge stood at 1000 Pounds. The second phase began in 2006 when the cap on tuition fees was raised by Tony Blair’s government to 3300 Pounds. We are currently entering what may well be the final phase where tuition fees will either go up to something around 7000 pounds or the cap on fees will be abolished completely allowing universities to charge as high a price as they can get away with. This will mean that universities will have to compete with each other for students and research funding. 

Governments across Europe have seized upon the opportunity provided by the financial crisis to slash public spending across the board. With the election of a Conservative/Liberal coalition (both party’s ideologically committed giving capital and the market free reign) in the UK the speed and depth of these cuts will exceed what was anticipated under Labour with higher education being hit particularly hard. Vice chancellors know what is coming; that universities will soon exist in a competitive market and so will have to be made profitable in order to survive. Instead of opposing this however VCs have jumped on the opportunity to make education a business and have begun to undertake the task of restructuring with gusto, cutting everything but their salaries.

Cry, Dear Friend, On the Death of a Noble Profession

[Note: This article was published in December-January 2010-11 issue of CRITIQUE, the magazine of NSI-Delhi University Chapter]

- Dr. Sanjay Kumar

Delhi University Teacher’s Association, one of the strongest union of university teachers in the country suffered a humiliating setback recently. On 15th November, Justice Manmohan of Delhi High Court ordered DUTA to call off its strike against semester system for science courses introduced by the administration this year. Teachers are back in lecture halls, students on benches are getting ready for examinations, administration has its writ running back in the university; all is quiet on the campus front. The new VC would have hardly expected a more docile environment to establish his authority. 

DUTA struggle was done in by the pincer movement of bureaucracy and judiciary. While the former remained adamant and did not come for any sort of negotiations, the latter determined teacher’s strike to be a blackmail. Indian judiciary in many recent judgements has held protest marches, hartals, strikes, etc. illegal. Its argument is that by disrupting regular social life these amount to taking hostage fundamental rights of citizens. Bureaucracy and judiciary are two important pillars of any liberal governing order. The former in its ideal Weberian type gives rational form to the operation of state power and class rule under liberalism. The main purpose of the latter is provision of argued justifications for the existing status quo, or to bring social reality back within rules if the deviations become too embarassing, as has happened with the 2-G spectrum scam recently. The reality of Indian bureaucracy and judiciary rarely matches with the liberal ideal. Our corrupt bureaucracy lords over citizens, brazenly and violently if they happen to be poor, dalit or adivasi. Our judiciary in many cases relies not on evidence and arguments but on sentiments and hearsay, as it did in the recent Babari Masjid title suit, or on ‘extraneous considerations’, as commented recently by the Supreme Court about the mess in Allahabad HC. The prime responsibility of the judiciary to ensure governance is abundantly manifest in the interim order of the Delhi High Court when it says ‘that in a democratic body polity, governance is the primary factor’, or when it claims that education results in a person becoming ‘disciplined, civilized and a man (sic) of compassion’ (emphasis added).

Turning The Tide? Student Protests in Britain, November 2010

[Note: This article was published in December-January 2010-11 issue of  CRITIQUE, the magazine of NSI-Delhi University Chapter.]

- Dr. Aditya Sarkar

Photo edited by Malay Firoz
In the last decade and a half, the United Kingdom’s higher education system has undergone a rapid transition: from universally free tuition to – as it now appears – universalized student debt. The latest round of reform has sought to increase fees threefold, cutting public funding enormously, and transforming universities into purveyors of ‘services’ to be consumed and paid for by customers, rather than a public good to be received by citizens. Many aspiring university students will never see the inside of a college classroom, and many more will have to precariously balance their education against heavy loans, thereby inevitably selecting courses generating immediate employment prospects and financial stability. Large numbers of ‘non-profitable’ university departments, therefore, are facing the axe, which affects teachers as well as students. In one sense, this continues – and radicalizes – a practice begun in the Thatcher years, as public funding was progressively reduced and supplemented by private investment, and extended in the Blair era, when student fees were introduced for the first time. The present proposals of the Conservative/Liberal-Democrat coalition government are, in one sense, the logical culmination of this tradition, marked, as Stefan Collini has pointed out, by the simultaneous escalation of student intake and the whittling down of funding available, all at a high cost to the quality of the education received.[1]

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Speak Out ! Lest We Tolerate a Gender Biased Campus !

[Statement issued on 24th March]

Photo: Women's Right Organization
It does not matter what time of the day it is, what you are wearing or who you are with, Delhi remains extremely hostile towards women. The streets, parks, buses, and bazaars are overwhelmingly male spaces where women are treated as unwelcomed trespassers to be teased, taunted and touched. Delhi University is very much embedded in this culture of harassment. For women, even a simple walk from hostel to college is a map of obstacles to be dodged and strategised around. Not only are women combating Black tinted cars, swerving motorcycles, groping hands and lewd calls but now also the possibility of being shot dead in broad daylight. It is in the neighbourhood of this respected University that a young female teacher was rounded up and molested by none other than male students of this university under the garb of lumpenism that is “allowed” in the name of holi, just a few days ago. It was in one of these usual days, whether it concerns female teacher or student or any other women, when around 11 pm at Chhatra Marg yet another young female teacher was stopped and molested by two bike-riding louts, while she shouted for help none came forward despite many students loitering around the pavements – it was the ‘mad’ exam month of April which sees some movement of students to and from the libraries in the otherwise desolate night streets of North Campus, Delhi University.

Say No to No Say: Delhi University Students and Teachers Gather to Protest against Semesterization


Photo: New Socialist Initiative, DU
Outside the Delhi University Arts Faculty, teachers and students sported T-shirts saying ‘Say No to No Say’, lighting candles , singing songs of protest.
Photo: New Socialist Initiative, DU
The vigil was organized by Joint Action Body against semesterization to protest against the recent spate of unsavoury and coercive tactics being employed by the University administration in pushing forward the process of semesterization in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Among these, the administration has tried to intimidate individual Heads of Departments with threats of punitive action, if they do not ensure that their respective Committees of Courses do not cooperate in the process of semesterization. It has demanded the names of individual committee members, as well as the nature of their votes, on this matter. These measures are not only excessive, they are well beyond the administrative brief of the University administration. Rather, they constitute a blatant and unprecedented attempt to influence and manipulate the decisions of statutory academic bodies, as well as to suppress any legitimate dissent against the completely irrational policies and procedures being adopted by the University. Further, they are also attempts to illegitimately collate data about teachers that may be misused against them in a court of law. As such, these measures directly impinge on the academic autonomy of individuals, faculties and departments of the University.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Graphic Petition Against Discriminatory Hostel Rules for Women in Delhi University

Note: Hundreds have already signed this petition physically including many leading feminist scholars and activists. If you agree with the petition and want to endorse it, please leave your name and affiliation in the comment section of this post.

Delhi University Post Graduate and Under Graduate Women's Hostels enforce rigid mechanisms which restricts mobility and freedom of the "INMATES". Many of our "FEMINISTS" professors just happen to be on the Managing Committee of these Hostels. We demand that they put their feminism into practice and and in turn force the University authorities to put an end to our imprisonment.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jashn-e-Tahreer : History As It Happens

New Socialist Initiative
Invites you to a discussion on

People’s March for Liberation:
The Upheaval Across Arab World

Speakers
Qamar Agha
(Senior Journalist and Academic)

Bonojit Hussain
(Researcher and Political Activist)

Activity Center (Above SPIC MACAY Canteen),
Arts Faculty, DU; 2 pm, 18th
February, 2011


Background Note: The recent upsurge of people’s movements against decades of dictatorial regimes, especially in Tunisia and Egypt, and its ripple effect, could establish the year 2011 as the turning point in contemporary history, both of the region and the history of the world itself. If today the Egyptian people’s popular uprising is a mirror of the declining power of the US over its most precious Arab ally, then the geopolitical location of this uprising hints at the ‘possible’ demise of US imperialism in general. More specifically because US has high stakes in the Arab World due to its insatiable greed for oil, and Egypt being the key political player in the region.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Egyptian Blogger says "Today - I am the People!" And Delhi University Students say bring "Substantive Popular Sovereignty and Democracy in Egypt"

Last night we blogged about prominent blooger and activist from Egypt - Sandmonkey. He was arrested and then beaten up in prison cell. While he was battered, his car and phone was also destroyed. He has been released and his blog was also restored after international hue and cry and he is back to tweeting.

He tweets tonight from Tahrir square:

# Okay, guys, I am using an old laptop till the paranoid friends who took and hid my laptop upon hearing of my arrest come back with it.

#One group is peaceful and uses technology, the other is violent and uses rocks to smash your head. Which side do u wanna take?

You read his last blog post here. But few nights ago a fellow Sudanese blogger had a telephonic conversation with Sandmonkey. Now NSI-DELHI has put it together in a video format:


video

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Egypt, Right Now! [Words from the Ground Today]

This gripping account of despair and hope was written this morning by Egypt's top blogger and activist Sandmonkey . Now their are unconfirmed reports doing round on Twitters and facebook that the authorities have arrested him this afternoon, if the report is true we can only hope that he is not murdered by the Egyptian state.
......................
I don't know how to start writing this. I have been battling fatigue for not sleeping properly for the past 10 days, moving from one's friend house to another friend's house, almost never spending a night in my home, facing a very well funded and well organized ruthless regime that views me as nothing but an annoying bug that its time to squash will come. The situation here is bleak to say the least. 

It didn't start out that way. On Tuesday Jan 25 it all started peacefully, and against all odds, we succeeded to gather hundreds of thousands and get them into Tahrir Square, despite being attacked by Anti-Riot Police who are using sticks, tear gas and rubber bullets against us. We managed to break all of their barricades and situated ourselves in Tahrir. The government responded by shutting down all cell communication in Tahrir square, a move which purpose was understood later when after midnight they went in with all of their might and attacked the protesters and evacuated the Square. The next day we were back at it again, and the day after. Then came Friday and we braved their communication blackout, their thugs, their tear gas and their bullets and we retook the square. We have been fighting to keep it ever since. 
video

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On such a day

[ Ronid Chingangbam of 'Burning Voices/Imphal Talkies' pens a provocative piece of poetry on the 61st Republic Day of India]


By- Ronid (Akhu) Chingangbam

On such a day like 26th January
she carries the country in her basket
wrapped adoringly with the tricolor cloth
and walks in the deserted street

On such a holiday some organizations call bandh
this time it was 15 outfits
the vegetables lay silent
the trees are bored to death
the rickshaws are recharging in winter sun

She stops in the middle of the road
and whisper "i am letting you free"
she sobs and says "i have nothing to feed you anymore
you were left at my courtyard when the India Armies
came to pick up my husband
as armies have a habit of leaving their foot marks
in the soil they have walked
and taking lives that belong to the soil.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On the Eve of the 60th Republic Day: The State of the Republic?

On the Eve of 60th Republic Day

New Socialist Initiative invites you to a Discussion on

State of the Republic?

Speakers

Prof. Achin Vanaik
Dept. of Political Science, Delhi University

Prof. Ujjwal Singh
Dept. of Political Science, Delhi University

Subhash Gatade
Columnist and Activist

Venue: Activity Center, Above Spic Macay Canteen, Arts Fac., DU

Time and date: 2 pm Onwards, 25th January, 2011

Abstract: An MLA rapes a minor dalit girl in Banda. When she goes to file a case with the police they arrest her on false charges of theft. CBI asks for arrest warrants against six judges who are absconding after stealing money from the provident fund of class IV employees. Our Prime Minister expresses helplessness in providing statutory minimum wages to rural workers under MNERGA, while changes in income tax rates have gifted lakhs of crores to the super rich. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Marxism and Theoretical Overkill

Courtesy: Weekly Workers, Communist Party of Great  Britain

Mike Macnair reviews Jairus Banaji's 'History as theory: essays on modes of production and exploitation' Historical Materialism books series, Vol 25, Leiden, 2010, pp406.

Part I
In March 2010 the Indian novelist, Arundhati Roy, published in the journal Outlook India a substantial and sympathetic report of the activities of the Naxalite (Indian Maoist) guerrillas in Chattisgarh state in eastern India.Roy’s report has been very widely circulated on the web. It has also been the subject of furious attacks from Indian establishment politicians and the threat of prosecution under ‘anti-terrorism’ laws (though more serious threats to prosecute Roy, this time for sedition under the Indian penal code, have been made in relation to another article which supported the secession of Kashmir).

Shortly after Roy’s article was published, leftist and academic Jairus Banaji posted a short sharp critique of it on the Indian political blog Kafila. If Roy’s original article was savaged by the Indian political establishment, comrade Banaji’s critique has given rise to almost equally sharp polemics on the Indian left.Banaji has elaborated his critique in a substantial article, ‘The ironies of Indian Maoism’ in the autumn 2010 issue of the Socialist Workers Party’s theoretical journal, International Socialism.

Why is this current political debate relevant to History as theory, Banaji’s collection of essays written between 1976 and 2009, mainly on the problems of Marxist interpretation of ancient and medieval history? The answer is that Banaji’s theoretical arguments are in the last analysis targeted on those used by Indian ‘official communists’ and Maoists in support of their respective political lines.

Monday, January 10, 2011

NSI - Delhi Statement: Justice for Aasia Bibi; Speedy Trial of Salman Taseer's Killers

STATEMENT FROM NEW SOCIALIST INITIATIVE (NSI), DELHI
Justice for Aasia Bibi; Speedy Trial of Salman Taseer's Killers

History is said to be made when humanity has tried to break asunder forces of unreason, irrationality, bigotry, intolerance and reaction which keep reappearing in newer forms in its onward journey. But what can one say when it tries to do the exact opposite, or prefer to go back on the path undertaken. 

Pakistan, a country of 170 millions, stands at a similar juncture today. 

A woman has been sentenced to death, for the first time in Pakistan’s sixty year old history, for an alleged act of blasphemy against Islam, an act which itself abhors modern sensibilities. All attempts by justice loving persons in Pakistan to stop the impending execution of this agricultural labourer, Aasia Bibi, who is a mother of five children and belongs to Christian minority community, seems to have reached a dead end. Whether she would ever be able to get glimpses of the outside world, free from the shackles which bind her today, remains uncertain. The story of her conviction under the infamous blasphemy law has been told umpteen times. We know how her troubles started when she had a fight with her fellow workers on some petty issue which culminated in their charging her under this law. She has been languishing in jail for around one and a half year now. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Second Issue of CRITIQUE Published by NSI Delhi University Chapter is Out!

New Socialist Initiative (NSI)-Delhi University Chapter has come out with the Second issue of "Critique-The Monthly", a magazine which deals with  higher education, universities, left politics, histories of student movements from India and beyond.

Scroll down to see the Contents  and the cover of the Second Issue (Vol-1, Issue-2).

If you are in Delhi, you can get your copies at: U-Special Bookstore, Arts Faculty, Delhi University; Jawahar Book Depot, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); People's Tree, Connaught Place. Copies are also available on request in Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Guwahati, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Chandigarh and few other cities. Just email at critique.collective@gmail.com for copies.


University Life in the new Millennium and challenges before CRITIQUE

(Note: This article was published as the Editorial in the November issue of CRITIQUE - the monthly of NSI Delhi University Chapter)

Higher education in India is undergoing fundamental changes. Ever since its beginnings under colonialism, modern higher education has always had a social purpose. If the British saw universities established by them as part of a public sphere under colonial modernity, then to the post-independence Nehruvian elite institutions of higher learning were integral to their project of shaping India into a modern nation-state. Universities of British India aimed to produce civil subjects of a colonial empire, post independence Universities defined their objective as enlightened and modern citizenry. Rarely did reality match proclaimed aims. The civil liberalism of colonial universities could not cover the underlying racial ideology of superior ‘Whites’ and dark natives who were to be civilised, and they produced not only loyal subjects of the Empire, but also nationalists and revolutionaries. Nehruvian universities were one more instance of how in the name of nation building the post independence rulers of the country established, what Amartaya Sen calls, a socialism for the rich. Universities were state subsidised gate keepers to the privileges of bureaucracy, technocracy and cultural elites, while the overwhelming majority of Indians were left out to languish in poverty and illiteracy. Nevertheless, proclaimed aims had a determining influence on formal structures and internal functioning. For instance, the self image of being modern public institutions meant that universities had open committees as final deliberative and executive bodies; from thesis committees supervising individual students to Senate or Executive/Academic councils overseeing university policies and bureaucracy.

America No Good, Russia Good!

Bonojit Hussain

(This short article was published in the November issue of CRITIQUE - the monthly of NSI, Delhi University Chapter, and in the December issue of ALIRAN  Monthly, Malaysia)

On the morning of 8th September as we approached Bagh-e-Bala in Central Kabul, the air was reverberating with angry cry of Nara-e-Takbir – Allah-O-Akbar. There were around a thousand people outside a mosque. As we sluggishly passed the crowd, our driver suddenly yelled, “America No Good, Pakistan No Good. Russia Good, Hindustan Good”. It was only then I learnt from my young Afghani Interpreter that people had gathered outside the mosque to protest against the plans of burning the Koran on 9/11 in the United States of America.

Pastor Terry John of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida had announced that his church will hold an “International Burn a Koran Day” on September 11th. Had it not been for the global outrage against his plans of burning the Koran, this obscure pastor from a church with 30 odd followers would have gone ahead with his “International Burn a Koran Day” which would have had detrimental effects across the ‘Muslim’ world.