Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Statement: Shame on Maharashtra Govt for giving State Funeral to a Fascist Demagogue

- Statement Issued by New Socialist Initiative (NSI)

On November 18, 2012, Mr Bal Keshav Thackeray, the founder and leader of Shiv Sena was cremated with full state honours in Mumbai. State Honour in death is meant to pay homage to someone whose work in life contributed to the values espoused by the state. Why did a liberal democratic state proclaiming Gandhi to be ‘Father of the Nation’ give such an honour to a self declared admirer of Adolf Hitler and Nathu Ram Godse? The Constitution of India guarantees freedom and liberty to every citizen, irrespective of religion, caste, gender, place of birth or language. Against this, for nearly 46 years the politics of Mr Thackeray and Shiv Sena were based on selectively targeting communities, openly spreading hatred and perpetrating violence against them. What Shiv Sena calls Thokshahi, its method of doing politics, is brutal use of group muscle power, justified in the name of majority, against vulnerable minorities. Shiv Sena started its political journey with attacking Tamil speaking inhabitants of Bombay in the late sixties. It burnt down their restaurants, because, it argued Tamils were taking jobs away from Marathis. In early seventies it brutally attacked Dalit Panthers, the group of radical anti-castiest dalits who had risen against opportunism of mainstream dalit parties. It was also accused of the murder of Dalit Panther leader Bhagwat Jadhav. With the support of big business and police it attacked left trade unions of Mumbai, and to spread its terror killed the popular trade unionist and sitting CPI MLA Krishna Desai. Mr Thackeray was one of the few Hindutva leader who publicly gloated over the destruction of Babri Mosque in 1992. The pogrom of Muslims in Mumbai during the 1992-93 riots was planned and executed by Shiv Sena. Lately, it and its progeny, the MNS, have started attacking Hindi speaking migrants in Mumbai. It has burnt their taxis and shops. Along with the use of group violence, Mr Thackeray perfected the art of protection money racket, a rank criminality that partially explains the phenomenal growth in the personal wealth of top Shiv Sena leadership.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Demonstration Held Against Increasing Spate of Sexual Violence in Haryana

On Tuesday 16 October New Socialist Initiative (NSI) demonstrated at Haryana Bhawan at Copernicus Marg, New Delhi to condemn the Haryana government’s indifference to the rising cases of rape and other sexual violences against women As a mark of protest a memorandum addressed to the Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda was also submitted.

Apart from New Socialist Initiative (NSI), the memorandum was endorsed by Stree Mukti Sangthan, New Trade Union Initiative, National Alliance for People's Movement, Program for Social Action, People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and Nirantar amongst others.

A delegation consisting of Anjali Sinha from Stree Mukti Sanghatan, Praveen Kumar from New Socialist Initiative (NSI, Kusum from Jagori and Vikas from PUDR went to hand over the memorandum.

Who is afraid of Copyright Infringement?

On 10th of October a Public Meeting was organised by Campaign to Save D School Photocopy Shop, was held at Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. This event was a part of the long drawn campaign on the issue of ‘copyright infringement’ provoked by the clamping down on photocopying by the Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis Group. The public meeting saw the attendance of several authors and people associated with the field of writing and publishing and discussed a range of issues and matters related to authorship, workings of the publishing industry, the Delhi University system of promotion and its nexus with publication houses. The meeting began with an introduction of the campaign and the law suit taken up by the three publishers against Rameshwori Photo Copy Shop on the “course pack”. In spite of the spontaneous nature of the campaign the need to caution against taking this as a stray incident was emphasised by Mr. Usman, a representative of the campaign. 

Touching upon the workings of the publishing industry Mr. Sudhanva Deshpande, Managing Editor, LeftWord Publishing expressed that he also works with the publishing house and emphasised that many from the publishing world are also with the campaign of the students and that the three publishers Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis group are not representative of them. Appreciating the organising of the public meeting on the issue of ‘copyright infringement’ Mr. Deshpande further stated on the ecosystem that needs to be in place for publishing of books to happen, knowledge is required to be shared and spread widely as possible and it makes sense to have a system where books are read and discussed.