Friday, December 10, 2010

A History of Student Protests

- Gary Younge

On February 1, 1960 Franklin McCain and three teenage friends from the historically black North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College, went to the whites-only counter at Woolworths in Greensboro and took a seat.

They were not part of an organisation and had never been politically active before. “I don't think the [established civil rights groups] really understood what the driving force was for this movement,” McCain says. “We had four kids here trying to address an unequal system. Just four kids who were somewhat introspective.” The night before they had stayed up until the small hours goading each other into action. They didn't warn anyone because they thought adults would try to talk them out of it. Their attempts, the next day, to get a few people to join them failed. “We just thought it was useless waiting for them to catch up. We didn't have the time to convince people ... People needed to believe in it enough to die, they had to walk on the picket lines until their shoes wore out. We wanted to go beyond what our parents had done. And we had nothing to lose.”

McCain describes the feeling of sitting at the counter — confronting the oppression of ages as a cop brandished a stick he could not bring himself to use — as one of zen-like serenity. “I had the most tremendous feeling of elation and celebration. I felt that in this life nothing else mattered. Nothing else has even come close. Not the birth of my first son nor my marriage. I had no tensions and no concerns. If there is a heaven, I got there for a few minutes.” And so, from a moment of tranquillity began a turbulent decade of student-led activism, both locally and globally, that produced some of the transformative movements of the last century. The 1960s did not invent student radicalism. But it did witness a spike in a centuries-long tradition that has ebbed and flowed from 19th century Russia to Soweto and is surging once again across Europe.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Radia Tapes - Media in Neo-liberal India: Just up for Sale, or Made to Order

In the Light of the Radia Tape Leaks

New Socialist Initiative invites you to a Discussion on

Media in Neo-liberal India: Just up for Sale, or Made to Order


Hartosh Singh Bal
Political Editor, Open Magazine

Prashant Bhushan
Eminent Lawyer and Legal Activist

Monobina Gupta
Freelance Journalist

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

Time & Date: 1.30 pm onwards, 8th December

Abstract: A side show in the mammoth 2-G spectrum scam has become the most revealing of all skeletons. Despite conspiratorial silence by mainstream media houses initially, Radia Tapes have generated a long overdue debate about the state of journalism in the country. The buck has stopped, busting puffed up moral postures, and free nuggets of wisdom have turned out be greased in corporate fat. The debate has also gone beyond individual misdeeds and lack of professional ethics to the cozy relationship between sections of the media and private corporations. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Murder of Citizenry

On the Occasion of 10th Year of Irom Sharmila's Hunger Strike 

New Socialist Initiative - Delhi University
Invites You to a Discussion 

Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Murder of Citizenry

Malem Ningthouja
(Campaign for Peace and Democracy in Manipur)

Gowhar Fazili
(Phd Scholar, Dept. of Sociology, DU)

24th Nov, 2 pm, Activity Center Arts Faculty, Delhi University 

Friday, November 19, 2010

First Issue of "Critique - the Monthly" published by NSI-Delhi University Chapter

New Socialist Initiative (NSI)-Delhi University Chapter has published the first issue of "Critique-The Monthly", a magazine which deals with  higher education, universities, left politics, histories of student movements from India and beyond. (the picture below says August 2010, but its actually October 2010 in the final print).

If you are in Delhi, you can get your copies at: U-Special, Arts Faculty, Delhi University; Jawahar Book Depot, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); Fidel Castro Cafe, Jamia Millia University. Or you can just email at for copies.

If you want to read it on your desktop/laptop ... just click on the image or the url below and download an electronic version. Please don't forget to leave your responses after reading.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Celebrating Revolutions; Celebrating Revolutionaries!

Memories and realities often have their separate ways. There are times when it appears as if revolutions and revolutionaries are fading away from the popular memory. That is never the case with reality. It can never forget that it has been shaped and reshaped in fundamental ways by revolutions and revolutionaries; that they have become an integral part of its existence and its flow in time. When this flow hits difficult passages, there is groundswell once again for fundamental changes, for radical transformations. History once again summons the memories of revolutions and revolutionaries. Dreams of a new world arise afresh to reshape reality.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Love, Sex aur Shaadi...

Sudha Vasan

We live in confusing times. Take Delhi University, every February for the last few years, large numbers of students get ready with lathis and stones, some get ready with cards, roses and chocolates, and some simply stay at home to avoid all of the above. All this hullabaloo about a day that gets marked as a day of love, a relatively recent import to this university at least. Again, the process repeats itself, for a more 'traditional' celebration of Holi. According to some readings of Indian village society, here's a day that supposedly reverses the hierarchies in society, where peasant men and women can mock the landlord. As far as holi in Delhi is concerned, it is a day women suffer water missiles. No reversal of power here. Most women students of University avoid coming out on Holi. In a country where heterosexual 'love' is carefully packaged and obsessively celebrated in popular films and songs, folklore and mythology, in practice it generates as much anxiety and fear, as any pleasant emotions.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NSI Delhi Statement: Vindicating Faith, Undermining Law

New Socialist Initiative (NSI), Delhi
On The Ayodhya Judgement 


While welcoming the restraint shown by the people from different communities in recent times and their desire to turn a new page of life, New Socialist Initiative (NSI) is of the strong opinion to judge whether this peace has come with honour or being achieved under coercion. NSI, a collective aimed at regeneration of revolutionary socialist politics feels deeply concerned about the recent developments on the legal front around Ayodhya which has the possibility of putting all constitutional provisions centering around secularism, democracy in jeopardy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

अयोध्या मसले पर फ़ैसला: एक इतिहासकार का परिप्रेक्ष्य - - रोमिला थापर

यह फैसला एक राजनीतिक आदेश है और एक निर्णय के रूप में यह दर्शाता है की राज्य यह फैसला वर्षों पहले भी आराम से ले सकता था। यह फ़ैसला अपना ध्यान भूमि के कब्जे और नष्ट की गयी मस्जिद को हटा कर मंदिर के निर्माड पर केन्द्रित करता है. समस्या के समकालीन राजनीति में उलझे होने के साथ, इसमें धार्मिक पहचान के मसले भी शामिल थे पर इसके साथ साथ ऐतिहासिक साक्ष्य के आधार पर होने का दावा भी किया गया है। इस आदेश मै ऐतिहासिक साक्ष्य का आह्वान तो किया गया है लेकिन बाद में फैसले के समय इसे दरकिनार कर दिया गया है. अदालत ने घोषणा की है कि यह एक विशेष स्थान है, जहां एक दिव्य या अर्द्ध दिव्य व्यक्ति पैदा हुआ था और उसके जन्म मनाने के लिए वहां एक नए मंदिर का निर्माण किया जाना है .यह हिंदू आस्था और विश्वास के द्वारा एक अपील के जवाब में है.ऐसे दावे के समर्थन में सबूतों की गैर-मौजूदगी को देखते हुए इस तरह के फैसले की उम्मीद कानून की एक अदालत से नहीं थी. हिंदु गहराई से एक देवता के रूप में राम को पूजते है लेकिन क्या यह एक जन्म स्थान और भूमि पर कब्जे के दावों पर एक कानूनी निर्णय का समर्थन कर सकते है? और क्या एक प्रमुख ऐतिहासिक स्मारक को जानबूझकर बर्बाद करके भूमि प्राप्त करने में यह मदद करेगा?

Common Wealth Games 2010 Opening and Babri Mosque Verdict!!

- Amrapali (Tara) Basumatary

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Hindu right wing political party of India) had asked the Organizing Committee of the Common Wealth Games (CWG) Delhi 2010 to play secular music. While reading the news it felt like a different yet pleasing breakfast in the morning. The Hindu (Newspaper) front page, just two days before the Babri Masjid (Ayodhya) verdict (2010/09/28), flashed the news item “BJP against religious music at CWG”. And the first paragraph of that news item sounded so sane and I thought for a second "wow - thats news!”. It read – "The BJP has suggested that religion and religious practices be left to the “private domain of players” and that it would not be wise to depart from the secular tradition of the Commonwealth Games by using religious music during any function associated with it”. I wondered why it was left to the BJP to sound so radical, what is the ‘liberal Congress Party’ at during this Game of its life and death? Well, it was in reaction to reports about alleged featuring of Azaan (Muslim sounding) - like music in the CWG opening song. It was a deep concern against “religious music and symbols from different faiths [are to be] used during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games”.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

HIJAM IRABOT DAY - How to Carry Forward the Democratic Movement in Manipur?

Hijam Irabot Day How do we carry forward the democratic movement in Manipur towards development, peace and unity!
Thursday, 30 September 2010, 1.30 pm to 5 pm
Venue: Room No 22, Arts Faculty, University of Delhi
30 September has been widely recognised and observed as IRABOT DAY in Manipur to commemorate the birthday of comrade Hijam Irabot (30 September 1896- 26 September 1951).

Korean Civil Society Groups Writes Appeal Letter to Meena Gupta Committee on POCSO Project in Orissa

To: The Chairperson Meena Gupta Committee

Greetings and peace from the People of Korea

First, let me say that we appreciate your efforts regarding the Pohang Steel Company (POSCO)’s project launched in Orissa. Our civil society, including NGOs in South Korea, has been paying close attention to this project. We have noticed recently that the Saxena Committee’s report reveals this important fact. The villagers, protected under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest-Dwellers Recognition of Forest Rights Act, 2006 (Forest Rights Act) reside in the areas the POSCO project will occupy. Furthermore, the report discloses the problems caused in the process in which the state government attempted to acquire the land for the POSCO project.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kashmir's Abu Ghariab?

-By Suddhabrata Sengupta

Two days ago, I noticed a video posted by somebody on my facebook page. It was yet another video from Kashmir. It was tagged ‘brothers please watch, sisters please do not watch’. In later incarnations of the video, posted repeatedly on Facebook sites, Youtube channels and on blogs. it was tagged ‘Indian Security Forces Kashmiri Youth to Walk Naked on Road’ or ‘Kashmir – India’s Abu Gharib (sic)’.

Notwithstanding the misspelling of Abu Gharaib in these tags, there was something compellingly accurate in the designation. What I saw, and what i have seen unfold subsequently as a response by the Indian state to the circulation of this video, makes Abu Gharaib look like child’s play. Welcome to the virtual, viral, televisual reality of the nightmare of Kashmir.

For the past several weeks, I have been watching, and forwarding, several videos uploaded on to Youtube and facebook from Kashmir. Every video that I have seen contains evidence of the brutality of the Indian state’s footprint on the Kashmir valley, and of the steadfast yet resilient courage of its people, and of the innovative use they have been making of the internet to bear witness to their oppression.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Call for solidarity with Hunger Strike by University Community against Commonwealth Games

The "University Community for Democracy" is initiating a relay hunger strike from 12th of Aug onwards between 9 a.m and 9 p.m at Arts Faculty, North Campus, Delhi University against:
  • Eviction of students and labouring poor of the city in the name of Commonwealth Games.
  • Violation of legally guaranteed labour standards in the University in particular and in the city in general.
  • Lack of rent control around the university which has resulted in the sky rocketing of rent rates making accommodation for common students unfordable.
  • Arbitrary decision making and shrinking of democratic space.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Maoist Insurgency in India: An Interview with Jairus Banaji

Maoist Insurgency in India: End of the Road for Indian Stalinism
By Spencer A. Leonard and Sumit Singh

Given the considerable international interest in the progress of Naxalism on the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the wake of the 2008 Maoist revolution in Nepal, The Platypus Affiliated Society has published the following interview with Marxist (and) historian Jairus Banaji conducted on June 28, 2010.

Spencer Leonard (SL): The immediate occasion for our interview on the Naxalites or Indian Maoists is Arundhati Roy’s widely read and controversial essay, “Walking With the Comrades,” published in the Indian magazine Outlook. There Roy speaks of “the deadly war unfolding in the jungles of central India between the Naxalite guerillas and the Government of India,” one that she expects “will have serious consequences for us all.” Is Roy’s depiction of the current situation accurate? If so, how have events reached such a critical state? How, more generally, does Roy frame today’s Naxalite struggle and do you agree with this framing? Does the “main contradiction,” as a Maoist might say, consist in the struggle between the Naxalite aborigines on the one side, and, on the other, what Roy refers to as the combination of “Hindu fundamentalism and economic totalitarianism”?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beyond the Obvious: Whose Commons? Whose Wealth? Interrogating and Resisting the Evictions in the name of Commonwealth 2010

In the light of the ongoing problems with and the questions about the 2010 Commonwealth Games, it is impossible to side step the pressing concerns facing all of us in the University and the city. Caught in the debris created by corporate greed and national glory, we are suffocated, paying for something which is to the detriment of huge numbers of people. Mega games all over the world have created sad stories of displacement, evictions, resource diversions which reveal a pattern of reckless disregard which raises important questions about such events. 

The History Society of Ramjas College and New Socialist Initiative had organized a discussion on "Beyond the Obvious: Interrogating the Commonwealth Games 2010" on 30th July, 2010, 10:30 am, at the Seminar Room, Ramjas College, with Shalini Mishra (HLRN) and Shabnam (Hazards Center). The discussion was followed by a Protest Meeting to resist evictions in the name of Commonwealth Games organized by University Community for Democracy (of which NSI is a part) held at Arts Faculty, University of Delhi.

Below are the press statements of both the events as well as few images:

On the 30th of July 2010 New Socialist Initiative in collaboration with Ramas College History Society organized a discussion with Shalini Mishra from the Housing Land Rights Network (HLRN) , Shabnam from Hazards Centre and Iderjit from PUDR. It was titled, “ Beyond the obvious: Interrogating the Commonwealth Games 2010. Shalini Mishra talked about a report published by Housing Land Rights Network titled, “ The 2010 Commonwealth Games: Whose Wealth? Whose Commons?” . Shalini’s presentation demonstrated how the grave problems with CWG begins right from the bidding stage in 2003. The decision itself was shrouded in secrecy and many of the official documents continue to me marked as confidential, placing them outside the purview of public scrutiny. The promises made by India in order to win the bid included a 7.5 million USD package to train the athlete of participant countries – which is unprecedented in the history of the CWG. Following this, the speakers discussed a series of lofty promises made by the government which to date remain unfulfilled . For example the promise of infrastructure, The promise of 2.5 million new jobs ( an RTI reveals that merely 1800 temporary jobs have been created) and the promise of better sporting culture ( stadiums in the university have been barred from student usage for three years). Indrajit from PUDR also talked of the huge human cost of the Games. The fact that many workers have lost their lives at construction sites is damaging enough. Most workers remain unregistered, work overtime and are unpaid for it, and in general paid less than minimal wage. Shabnam discussed the whole process of eviction which dispossesses citizens. She also said that when an official from the Social Welfare department was questioned about the forced removal of beggars he responded by saying, “ We are used to beggars but foreigners are not.”

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reflection:Cowboy VC Goes Berserk on Delhi University Campus-Teachers Trying To Rein Him In

  1. Delhi University Teachers Refuse To Become Cogs In A Machine
  2. Mid-Stream Political Blues: What Is To Be Done?
  3. The Blinds Have Been Drawn: Courting Help and Posting A Threat
Delhi University Teachers Refuse To Become Cogs In A Machine

On January 23, 1968, students were distributing pamphlets with a revised version of the Lord’s Prayer in a church in Hamburg. ‘Our Capital’, it began, ‘which art in the West, amortized be Thy investments, Thy profits come, Thy interest rates increase…Give us this day, our daily turnover’, and then the clincher, ‘Lead us not into bankruptcy, but deliver us from trade unions’.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Solidarity Picketing in front of POSCO Headquarter and Joint Press Statement by Comrades in Korea

After last months crackdown on Anti-POSCO demonstrators in Orissa, some Comrades in South Korea took the initiative of organizing a picketing demonstration infront of POSCO Headquarter in Seoul, South Korea.

Later in the day a Joint Press Statement was also released and circulated. The press statement was prepared under the aegis of Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS), Gong-Gam (Public Interest Lawyers' Group), Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). The statement was also endorsed by All Together (Students' Organization), Citizens' Forum for Corporate Social Responsibility, Centre for Corporate Social Responsibilty, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy along with individual activists.

New Socialist Initiative is in solidarity with this action by comrades in Korea.

Below is an English translation of the original Press Statement in Korean along with few images of the picketing:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Images from "No More Bhopals: An Evening of Protest, Songs, Poetry" in Delhi

This evening a demonstration was held in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest against the recent shameful Court Verdict on the Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984. 

More than 150,000 people left severely disabled – of whom 22,000 have since died of their injuries – in a disaster now widely acknowledged as the world’s worst-ever industrial disaster.Now after 26 years of untold sufferings and historic fight for justice for the Bhopal tragedy the Court Verdict is : to two years imprisonment and a fine of Rs. one lakh each under section 304(a), ..... and Union Carbide to pay a paltry Rs. 500,000.

Around 300 activist turned up at the demonstration and recited poems, sang song of freedom and justice and shouted slogans.

Few activists also put together an impromptu skit depicting the deplorable nexus between TNCs, Indian big capitalists and the Indian State. Later, a die-in action was also performed in memory of those who died and salute to those who continue to struggle and suffer.

Among others New Socialist Initiative, National Alliance for People's movement, Delhi Solidarity Group were the organization which took part in the demonstration. Prominent civil society activists including Achin Vaniak, Surrendra Mohan, Vrinda Grover, Himanshu Kumar, Swami agnivesh addressed the gathering.

Below are few images from the demonstration:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Woman Paraded Naked by CPM led Kangaroo Court for 'Alleged' Sexual Misconduct in Tripura

Yet another woman was paraded naked in India, this time around in the Northeastern State of Tripura on the 5th of this month. What came as a shock in this particular case was also the fact that this heinous crime against humanity was perpetrated by cadres and elected panchayat  leaders of Communist Party of India (Marxist).

The so-called "free and fair" media of "Great Indian Democracy" utterly failed to find space even for a snippet/soundbite in their newspapers, broadsheets and 24x7 New channels. Even more shocking is that until now not even a single progressive political organization has come out with a statement.

However, the horrible incident was given some minimal coverage in Guwahati and Kolkata Editions of  The Telegraph and some local vernaculars. Below is a reproduction of the incident:

A Tripuri woman was beaten up and paraded naked through her village by panchayat members in Dhalai after a kangaroo court accused her of sexual misconduct last Saturday.

The 30-year-old wife of a farmer, villagers said, “were spoiling young boys with sexual bait” in Jayanti Bazar village.

Last Saturday, when the mother of two was feeding her children around 12pm, panchayat member Bangalaxmi Debbarma came to her house and asked her to appear in the house of panchayat chief Bidyamohan Debbarma.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Protest Against "Witch Hunting" of Activists in Gujarat in the Pretext of Tackling Maoism

Today there was a demonstration in front of Gujarat Bhawan in New Delhi to protest against ongoing "witch hunting" of activist by the State in the pretext of tackling Maoism. The protesters also submitted a Memorandum to the Resident Commissioner of Gujarat Government in Delhi, though not without some minor scuffle with Delhi and Gujarat Police as the Bhawan is located in Prime minister's high security zone.The demonstration saw participation by activists mostly from New socialist Initiative, Stree Adhikar Sangathan , National Alliance of People's Movement, People's Union for Democratic Rights.
Below is the background to the protest and also some images:

Protest Against the Terrorism of Israeli State for the "Viva Flotilla Palestine" Massacre

There were two protests in New Delhi against the "Viva Fotilla" massacre on 2nd June (Wednesday). The 1st protest march started from India Gate C Hexagon (Shahjahan Road end) towards the Israeli Embassy called by many left organization including New Socialist Initiative and Progressive students Union (JNU unit) among others.... 12 noon.

The second protest happened in Jantar Mantar at the Parliament Street by Palestinian Refugees and Palestinian students ... 11 am onwards [Please mind that they are not allowed anywhere near the Israeli embassy .... they might be deported from India] 

Revolutionary Salute
New Socialist Initiative (NSI)

Below are few images from the protest:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Panel Discussion "Atrocities on Dalits: Law, customs and Silence of Civil Society"

Panel Discussion: Atrocities on Dalits: Law, Customs and Silence of Civil Society

Speakers: Anand Teltumbde (Mumbai based Dalit Intellectual), Jagmati Sangwan (Haryana State President AIDWA)

Date & Venue: 27th May, 2010, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Deen Dayal Upadhaya Road, Delhi

Background Note: Question of atrocities on dalits - who constitute around a sixth of the nation's population - and the consequent denial of justice in majority of the cases is a fact which is rarely contested. Reports after reports by the National level commissions or Conferences held under the aegis of the government or review of judgements passed by different courts in the country keep underlining the pathetic situation of dalit human rights and the hiatus which exists between constitutional pronouncements to 'abolish untouchability in all its forms' and the actual practice on the ground. 

Signatories to the Petition "Against Atrocities on Dalits in Haryana"

Dear Comrades,
We submitted the petition "Against Atrocities on Dalits in Haryana" to the chief Minister of Haryana via the Resident Commissioner of Haryana (P.K Mahapatra) in the National Capital. The same was also submitted to the Chairperson SC/ST Commission.

Below is the list of signatories. Comradely thanks to everyone for signing the petition.

New Socialist Initiative (NSI-Delhi)

The Undersigned/-

1 Bonojit Hussain, New Socialist Initiative, Delhi
2 Devika Narayan, Delhi University, Delhi

Petition Against Atrocities on Dalits in Haryana

- New Socialist Initiative

The horrific incident which involved torching of houses of the Dalit community, including burning alive of a polio-stricken girl and her father, by a mob of organized Jats in Mirchpur Village in Hisar, Haryana on 21st April, 2010, is a living testimony to the fact that the people of Dalit communities are still being denied the right to exist in an atmosphere free of fear and oppression. The audacity of the members of the Jat community to willingly and openly organize following a collective deliberation in their Khaap Panchayat to attack and injure the Dalit community is a direct threat to the dignity, rights, safety and freedom of people of the latter community. It marks the failure of the law-keepers of the state and the society. That the criminal act was carried out in an organized and pre planned manner by members who are “superior” (Jats) against a vulnerable community in the presence of the law keepers/government officials is a frightening witness to the existing extra-judicial power politics which privilege the higher caste community and provide them with impunity against acts of violence and pre-meditated killings.

This is not the first time that the people from the Dalit community have been subjected to inhuman attroticities. The fact-finding reports by independent groups of the universities and civil society organisations in Delhi have found out that a Khaap Panchayat of the Jat community of Mirchpur conducted a meeting and planned the organized burning of the Dalit houses and destroy property as well as life of the Dalits. In recent times, the role of the Khaaps have come to the fore and proponents of that tradition have even challenged the law laid down by the Constitution of the land and continue propogation of anti-humanitarian methods of retaining caste, gender and social inequalities. 

Brief Summary of the Discussion during May Day Public Meeting 2010

The programme was conducted by Com. Naveen. Speakers were Dr Babu P Ramesh (IGNOU), Com. Ashim Ray (NTUI) and Com. Ravi Sinha (NSI). 

The programme started with singing of the 'International in Hindi', and another revolutionary song by Com. Mahender, Com. Subhash and Com. Naveen. 

In his opening remarks Com. Naveen gave a brief introduction to the New Socialist Initiative. He opened the discussion with questions like: How does capitalism operate today? Where and how does working class live? This becomes significant because there are segments of working class which do not wish to be identified as workers.

First speaker was Dr Ramesh. His talk was focused on condition of workers in new service sector, like information services, organized retail (shopping malls), insurance and banking. He underlined the fact that all these sectors have similar logic of work organization and governing structure. The driving force for this is globalization of capital. A race to cut costs under global production systems was the main effect. Outsourcing and off-shoring have emerged as major tools for organizing production systems, with information technologies allowing such systems to go beyond national boundaries. Core – periphery distinctions mean that most of the workers in the peripheral activities can be dispensed with little cost. There also is built in distancing of the actual employer from workers, behind layers of contractors. Along with these, new human resource management techniques have been developed. For instance, earlier close supervision, threat and scolding were commonly used. After eighties it was realized that for managing workers providing ‘emotional labour’ these are not productive. New styles are ‘caring’. However, the work regimen are tightly controlled. Workers have no control over working conditions. There are no natural movements, workers are trained for every form of behaviour. There is little time for socialization, management decides even how the ‘break time’ is used. Workers work under an atmosphere of structured socialization. Socially active workers are isolated. Such management methods are in a way old, reflecting adaptation of Taylorism to current needs. They are producing new insecurities and challenges for workers. From his research in IT sector he highlighted the fact that workers have a serious identity crisis. They do not consider themselves as workers. They see themselves as individuals. This is supported by better salaries, technologically sophisticated work place, and the fact that most of the employees are young. Workers appear to have integrated the corporate value system. They share a characteristic with workers in the lowest rung of unorganized sector in a scrap market in Delhi, in that they do not appear to have time to think about any other issue. Dr Ramesh ended by noting that Indian economy is growing very fast, but the gap between rich and poor has increased. The logic of exploitation is same as prevalent earlier. 

May Day 2010 Public Meeting: A World to Win!

Public Meeting

 A World to Win: Challenges & Prospects before Working Class

Speakers: Ashim Roy (New Trade Union Initiative, NTUI), Prof. Babu P. Ramesh (Labour Economist, IGNOU), Ravi Sinha (New Socialist Initiative)

Time and Venue: 29th april, 2010, Jawaharlal Nehru Youth Center, Deen Dayal Upadhaya Road, ITO, Delhi

May Day Statement: More than one hundred fifty years ago, the Communist Manifesto concluded with these ringing words: ‘The Proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working Men of all countries, Unite!’. The call of the last sentence should be addressed to ‘working People’, rather than just to men, since the overwhelming proportion of workers in fact have always been women. 

Pamphlet: What is Wrong with European Study Center (in Dept of Sociology in Delhi University)?

Issued on 31st January, 2010

Inauguration of the European Study Center of the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi has generated much discussion in the University community. Indeed, implications of this center go much beyond our University as the process of its establishment and its nature are symptomatic of a number of harmful trends ailing Indian higher education.
Academic disciplines thrive on creating new research areas and paradigms, and it goes without saying that comparative and collaborative researches will only enrich a discipline like Indian Sociology.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Highlights of 'Select' Public Activities by NSI (Delhi Chapter) Since 2008

Public Meeting: Violence and Memory in the Andes: The Case of Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Peru

Speaker: Prof. Felix Reategui-Carrillo

Date & Venue: Room No 6, Ramjas College, Delhi University

About the Speaker: Prof. Felix Reategui-Carrillo is a professor of sociology at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. He is also the coordinator of the Research Unit of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights at the same University. He also worked in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru (2001 – 2003)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Draft Manifesto of New Socialist Initiative [Part - I]

History is always full of surprises. Rare, however, are the periods when its long course prepares to take a big turn. Such turns are dreaded by some and awaited by many. Those who dread them would like to imagine history as having arrived at an endless plateau where a big change in its course is no longer possible. There are no other roads to be taken. Those who have waited for the big change, on the other hand, have so passionately desired it and fought so hard to turn every twist into a big turn that, exhausted by the struggles and preoccupied with the strategies of yesterday, they often fail to recognize today’s tasks and tomorrow’s potentials. It is invariably under such conditions that future is freshly envisioned, strategies are redesigned and new forces appear to help history take the next big turn.

Draft Manifesto of New Socialist Initiative [Part - II]

Nature for Profit and Accumulation
Humanity is a part of Nature but it is crucially different from all the other parts. It is the only part that can consciously and deliberately intervene in Nature. Such interventions have been, from times immemorial, the primal basis for emergence and growth of human civilization. Human interventions in Nature are necessarily mediated through the social modes of production and reproduction. In producing the conditions of their life humans also ‘produce’ Nature. A part of the whole assumes agency for reconstituting the whole, at least on the planetary scale.

Draft Manifesto of New Socialist Initiative [Part - III]

Socialism of the 20th Century
Socialism is bound to carry some birthmarks. Its shape and trajectory are necessarily influenced by the conditions in which it is born. Conditions are largely a product of the reining system in the society, but they are also produced by the struggles against that system. How did the revolutionary agency, in past examples of successful revolutions, gauge the conditions in which it had to operate and how did its interventions shape those conditions are matters of great interest for revolutionaries today. The shape of future socialism would depend on the conditions created by contemporary capitalism, but it would also depend on how the revolutionary agency intervenes in those conditions. Such interventions, in turn, would also depend on what lessons revolutionaries have drawn from the experience of the twentieth century socialism. Re-envisioning socialism would, therefore, require a correct approach towards the vision and practice of socialism in the twentieth century.

For those who would like to know a little more about NSI: A brief introduction


The New Socialist Initiative (NSI) is a collective committed to regeneration of revolutionary socialist politics. It is a platform in the making consisting of comrades from different streams of life and left politics. Some of us are engaged in trade unions for unorganized sector workers, some of us are active on women’s issues, with particular emphasis on bringing class in women politics, while many other among us are active in theater and university level discussion cum agitational groups as well as struggles for dalit emancipation and anti-communal struggle. Our members are active, though not always under the name of New Socialist Initiative, in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka. We engage in reading, discussing, understanding and formulating Marxist thought, visualizing socialist possibilities and figuring out new ways of looking at and understanding society. We work with different communities, groups, progressive political organisations, movements and people to pursue our revolutionary goals. Our central concern is with contemporary challenges to the vision and politics of the left, both globally and locally.