Friday, July 26, 2013

Solidarity Demonstration to be held for Niyamgiri Struggle in Delhi on 31st July

The prospects for Vedanta’s Niyamgiri mine are looking even more remote as the results of the Palli Sabhas being held on the command of the Supreme Court’s April judgement on the mine, flood in. Five gram sabhas have been held so far in the villages of Serkapadhi, Kesarpadhi, Tadijhola, Kunakadu and Palberi. In all the five villages, villagers have expressed a thundering NO to the proposed mining activity by Vedanta. In one gram sabha after another, the people have unanimously passed resolutions asserting their rights to the whole Niyamgiri range as their sacred mountain. They have made it clear, that they lay claim to the whole mountain range.

In the first gram sabha in Serkapadhi village on 18h July, 2014, Sarat Chandra Mishra the district judge of Rayagada -- in violation of his role as an independent observer in the Supreme Court verdict -- kept directing the people on what they could and could not do. He threatened to call off the meeting when the people pressed Judge Mishra to reject the joint verification report conducted by local revenue and forest officials. This report, the villagers accused which tries to limit the territory of worship and habitat of the Dongria tribe to specific demarcated areas, and that they were duped into signing it. In fact, Judge Mishra's true colours, and his clear partiality was revealed completely when he raised his voice at a tribal who demanded to see a photocopy of the resolution they were being asked to sign saying: “You are acting too smart despite being illiterate. If you had some education you would have sold the country”. This comment led to a lot of uproar during the gram sabha as well as later on when the news spread. Since then, the two appointed judges have have not embroiled themselves in any more controversy, and maintained a neutral public stance during the proceedings. 

After Serkapadhi, the gram sabha resolutions by the villagers have rejected the 'joint verification report' by the state government. All the gram sabhas have been held with the deployment of heavy police and security forces. In each gram sabha, people from the nearby villages have come in large numbers to stand in solidarity with the village where the gram sabha is being conducted. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Maruti-Suzuki Workers' Struggle for Justice Continues: Nine Comrades Granted Bail by a Lower Court

Press Release issued by Provisional Working Committee, Maruti Suzuki Workers Union on 24th July 2013.

Today, 24th July 2013, the nine comrades in Kaithal District Jail, Haryana were released on bail after months of intense pressure by the movement and other solidarity efforts. Among them are Comrade Ramniwas, member of Provisional Working Committee, Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, Com. Deepak, General Secretary of Hindustan Motors Sangrami Shramik Karmachari Union, Com. Somnath, correspondent of the workers’ newspaper, Shramik Shakti and Suresh Koth, local panchayat leader from Jind, Dr. Ashwini, doctor and local social activist and others. The fake cases on them which range from Section 307 (Attempt to Murder) and the Arms Act (possession of illegal weapons etc) foisted by the police to break the valiant demonstration by over 2000 people in Kaithal on 19th May 2013 will continue. However even in the space of these two months after these targeted political arrests, we have not been cowered down and carried on continuous struggle, and it is due to this that the powers-that-be have been forced to accede to the force of the truth of our struggle.

The next date for hearing after 19th July on the framing of charges for the 147 workers in Gurgaon Jail is on 27th July 2013 as their trail still has not started, and that is also the date when the last of the witnesses for the counter-case on the management will depose before the court.

Our primary demands of release of the 147 fellow workers who have been denied bail for more than one year now and the quashing of false cases against them and on 66 others who have non-bailable arrest warrants against their name, still remains. As Suzuki Motors Chairman, Mr. Osamu Suzuki visits India, we want to reiterate our second demand of reinstatement of all the terminated workers, and that the government stop acting with only in favour of the interests of the company and implement labor laws in the region.

We observe with alarm, the similarity in the recent statement on 18th July of MSIL Chairman R.C. Bhargava who said “Japanese investors are jittery over the situation of labour unrest in India because of what happened in Manesar”, and the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court’s verdict on 22nd May 2013 dismissing bail pleas of the arrested workers saying that “foreign investors are likely not to invest the money in India out of fear of labour unrest”. We appeal to all to keep vigil so that the government and justice-giving agencies are not influenced by the false propaganda and money-power of this highly exploitative company management.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sacking 'Ad-hoc' Teachers: Destroying Lives and Playing with the Future of Higher Education

- Mukul Mangalik

‘People are people through other people’ (Xhosa proverb).

‘We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery’ (Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator).

Delhi University (DU) colleges are in the grip of frenzy. With the DU administration breaking promises for appointing permanent teachers against existing and newly sanctioned posts since 2009-10, large numbers of ‘ad-hoc’ appointees are being shown the door as new ‘ad-hocs’ are poised to replace them. This has been happening systematically and with determination since 2012, but the scale on which it is being pursued this summer appears to be unprecedented.

This is being done through the unfair practice of holding repeat interviews for the same jobs. Serving ‘ad-hoc’ teachers, it must be emphasized, have been selected at different times through due process for these jobs. This renders the repeat interviews nothing other than forms for the exercise of power over ‘ad-hocs’ and instruments for deepening the presence and footprint of footloose, malleable labour at DU. The large-scale sacking, or threat of removal of teachers currently underway needs to be brought to an immediate halt and dignity and secure employment guaranteed to all colleagues.

‘Ad-hoc’ appointees become teachers in colleges after going through merit-based interviews. They are appointed for durations of up to four months. Within this period--in the event that the vacancy in question may be longer than four months--selection committees are supposed to be constituted, fresh interviews advertised, and appointments made against temporary or permanent posts. University Ordinances are clear on this issue.

If, for whatever reasons, this does not happen, the fairest possible practice has been that the previously appointed ‘ad-hocs’, who are in no way responsible for delays in interviews for longer-term posts, continue until such time, in the near future, that this process is completed.

All of this has been informed by the understanding that ‘ad-hoc’ or ‘adjunct’ conditions, must remain, at most, a transient moment in teachers’ lives, and that too only if absolutely necessary. The regular work of teaching demands regular forms of employment. Anything else would negatively impact teachers’ work apart from constituting unfair labour practice.

There is adequate evidence regarding the long-term mental and physical destruction caused when people are faced with job insecurity and/or under-employment. Yet, all across the colleges of DU, undergraduates are being taught by thousands of teachers struggling to offer the best they can in the face of indignities, terrible economic insecurity, and the increasing threat of stress-related illnesses. 

Poster Design: Harsh Kapoor

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pabnava to Natham: Whatever Happened to the Struggle for Annihilation of Caste!

- Subhash Gatade

..the world owes much to rebels who would dare to argue in the face of the pontiff and insist that he is not infallible. I do not care about the credit which every progressive society must give to its rebels. I shall be satisfied if I make the Hindus realize that they are the sick men of India, and that their sickness is causing danger to the health and happiness of other Indians.

                                                                    - B. R. Ambedkar, Annihilation of Caste

Pabnava : Not Just the Name of a Village

200 Dalit families fled Pabnava village after being attacked by a
dominant caste mob due to an inter caste marriage.
Dalit residents of Pabnava, district Kaithal, Haryana would never be able to forget this year's birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. The intervening nights of April 13 and 14 would forever remain etched on their minds. They still shiver when they remember how a four hundred strong mob of the local landowning community called Ror Marathas, armed with spears, batons and other sharp edged weapons, attacked the basti and ransacked more than 200 houses and left 6 dalits injured. It was supposedly to avenge the 'dishonour' wrought on them by a dalit youth who had dared to marry one of 'their girls'. To quote Raji, one of the victims, '..they came like a tornado'.

One could easily notice simmering tension in the village since a few days, as news had come in that Meena (21) daughter of an influential Ror Maratha from the village called Pirthi Singh had married a dalit boy Suryakant s/o Mahendra Pal and had eloped with him. They had married on 9 th April in the high court of Punjab and Haryna and had sought protection from the administration. As per the instructions of the court they were staying in the district protection home, Kaithal. The news that the couple was staying at Kaithal reached the village on 12 th April. The very next day the Rors held a community Panchayat to deliberate on the matter.

For the 5,000 strong Ror Marathas, with control over most of the landholdings in the area, it was 'unpardonable' that one amongst the 300 Chamar families who mostly depended upon the Rors for their regular livelihood, had dared to marry one of their daughters. And to avenge this insult they had given an ultimatum to the dalits to return the girl within two days or face the consequences. Apart from the Rors and Chamars, the village has 200 Balmiki families, around 200 OBC households and a few Brahmin households.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dekhna Hai Zor Kitna Baajue Katil Mein Hai: Struggle of Maruti Suzuki Workers against Capitalist Dictatorship

Statement issued by New Socialist Initiative, Delhi, in Solidarity with the Struggles of Maruti Workers.

Workers of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) are fighting the most important working class struggle at the moment in India. One hundred forty seven of them have been in prison in for the past one year, without any chargesheet and bail. Their demonstrations have suffered tear gas and lathi charges. Their family members have been threatened and tortured. More than two thousand of them have been unemployed for the last one year. Their demand is very simple: Implement the law of the land. Workers right to form their own union, regularization of contract jobs, and safeguards against arbitrary dismissals, are all on statute books. It is well known that these laws are routinely flouted in the country that calls itself the largest democracy in the world. Yet, the workers of the MSWU are not ready to give up. They are up against the largest car maker in the country, that sold more than ten lakh vehicles and earned more than three thousand crore rupees in profit last year. In complete support to the Maruti Suzuki stands the state government of Haryana; its ministers, bureaucracy and police. Also in support is the corporate media, whose greed for advertisements from one of the largest advertisers in the country is much greater than any commitment to honest reporting. The unholy alliance of capital, politicians, bureaucracy and media is vicious, unscrupulous, dishonest, brutal and arrogant. Workers’ struggle has long ago gone beyond demands for economic gains. At stake for them are their rights as citizens and workers. They are fighting for justice, fair-play, and minimal decency due to every human being.

Maruti Suzuki is a ruthless employer. Seventy five percent of its work force is on contract earning upto Rs 10,000, with no security of employment. It produces one car every 45 seconds, and squeezes maximum from workers, who do not get even breaks for going to toilet. They lose half day's wages for reporting late by five minutes, and even after prior reporting of sick leave they lose up to four days' wages. The struggle of workers of the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki started in June 2011 with a demand for a union of their own. The existing union was based at the other plant at Gurgaon. In workers’ view it did not represent their interests on issues like work speed ups, remuneration, and most significantly contract workers' special concerns. Workers started organising for an independent union very carefully, keeping it a secret from the management, as Maruti Suzuki is known to not tolerate any autonomous initiative by workers. However, company's stooges in the state government's labour office informed it of workers' application for an independent union, and the same day it started harassing workers who had taken the initiative for forming the union. It dismissed eleven workers whose names appeared in the application to labour department. Workers responded by a sit-in protest inside the factory. Company securtiy and police surrounded the factory but refrained from a direct assault to force workers out, as it might have damaged expensive machinery. Cordoned off workers braved it for eighteen days, without electricity, sanitation and little water and food. Other workers' unions in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt struck in solidarity and large public meetings were held outside the factory. Finally, the company agreed to take back dismissed workers. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Coconut Terrorists: Javed-Ishrat Encounter Case

- Mukul Sinha 

Editor's Note: Below are updates on Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case by Mukul Sinha, eminent lawyer and civil rights activist from Gujarat. If you are on facebook you can follow the "Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter Case Evidence Series" here. If you are on Twitter you can follow the latest from him here.  

13th July: The ACP Shri Parixita Gurjar was called early in the morning on 15th June 2004 and appointed as the investigating officer of the encounter carried out by the police men of the crime branch. It may be mentioned that Parixita Gurjar was also working with the crime branch. She immediately drew up a list of articles which were found in the scene of crime which are as follows: 

One AK 56 rifle, Three magazines, Two 9 mm pistols of Foreign make, 9 mm magazine No. 2, AK-56 cartridges No. 171, Pistol cartridges No. 6, Satellite Mobile, Mobile Phone Nos 2, Cash amounting to Rs 2,06,000, Iraq currency Dinar - 25, Oman currency Bhaisa-300, Explosive powder approximately about 17 kgs, dry coconuts - 30 nos, time piece watches - 3 nos, telephone diary and account diary.

Of these articles, the ones which have the potential of causing serious physical hurt are the AK-56 rifle and its magazines, 9 mm pistols and its ammunition, the explosive powder and the 30 dry coconuts when thrown real hard.

Now lets look at some statements and evidences to find out how many of these really belonged to the deceased who had come allegedly to kill Modi.

Relevant Extract from Police Inspector BA Patel's statement (RC BS1/S/2011/0005-CBI, SCB, Mumbai)

"On 14.06.2004 morning, I had left Arham Farm to meet Shri Singhal for some work. Shri Singhal had asked me to come to him to the SIB office, bungalow no. 31, Shahibaug. We had reached there around 10:00 AM. Shri Rajinder Kumar had met Shri Singhal there in his office and he had handed over a AK 56 rifle, ammunition, magazines, two pistols and its ammunition to Shri Singhal in a bag"

So all the guns and its ammunition were planted by the police and hence could not have belonged to the four 'terrorists' who were killed. Hence we are left with the 17 kg of explosives and 30 dry coconuts. Lets hear what DFS Gandhinagar has to say about the 17 kgs of deadly explosives.

Here's an extract from the FIR (bearing no. DCB PS I CR No. 8 of 2004) filed by the SIT team that was constituted by the High Court of Gujarat.

Para 8.5: "A gunny bag containing 17 kg of yellow powder was seized from the Indica car. It was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by the DFS (Directorate of Forensic Science), Gandhinagar and the Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, Vadodra and it was subsequently opined that the subject chemical mixture is not an explosive mixture"

So as per the opinion of DFS Gandhinagar, the 17 kg deadly explosives was nothing but harmless yellow powder.

Now we are left with just 30 dry coconuts. So the dreaded LET terrorists came armed with 30 dry coconuts to liquidate the Chief Minister of the State. It should be noted that these weapons of mass (modi) destruction were sourced from Javed's father, Mr Gopinath Pillai's backyard, gifted to his grandchildren, i.e. Javed's three children.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bodhgaya Bomb Blasts: Are 'We' Ready to Look Beyond the 'Usual Suspects'

- Subhash Gatade

Encore! Mr. Praveen Swamy has 'discovered' the 'usual suspects' once again.

Narrating '[t]he same old, depressing story of incompetence and apathy' behind the Bodh Gaya bombings  Swamy has shared with the readers how "[I]ndia’s police and intelligence services knew there were plots to attack the temple." and how ".. jihadists quite publicly announced they intended to attack Buddhist targets. ... From January, Government sources have told Firstpost, the Intelligence Bureau had issued several warnings pointing to heightened risks to Buddhist religious targets in India, as a consequence of anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar." 

Of course, after giving enough hints about who the perpetrators could be, he has been careful enough to add - supposedly to maintain objectivity of his profession that: 
"It’s too early to come to conclusions on who the perpetrators might have been—unlike Internet conspiracy theorists, who’ll be blaming everyone from Islamists to the intelligence services themselves in coming hours. Criminal investigators need evidence, not guesses about motives. There are some pieces of evidence already available, though."
Readers of his erstwhile employer namely 'The Hindu' group of publications can vouch that it is not for the first time that he has done it. They have been witness to his similar write ups, providing enough juicy details of the cross-border connections of these terrorists, after every such terror attack. It is a different matter that later it turned out that many of these write ups were pure work of fiction as it was discovered that the actual perpetrators were Hindutva terrorists only. e.g. Any independent reader can see for herself/himself what Praveen Swamy had written about say Mecca Masjid blasts, Ajmer Sharif blasts and Samjhauta Express bomb blasts (all in the Year 2007) and what were the conclusions of the investigators later.

Any cursory glance at the media scene in this country can make it clear that Praveen Swami is not an exception.

Praveen Swamy's Evidence that "Indian Mujahideen" is behind the Bodhgaya Bomb Blast

It is important to remember this fact because with the bomb blast at Bodh Gaya, the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment and which is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha - the remaining being Lumbini, Sarnath and Kushinagar - the whole debate around terrorism has entered a much difficult terrain. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

स्वतन्त्रता – या कॉपीराईट

- रिचर्ड स्टालमैन

कॉपीराईट की व्यवस्था प्रिेन्टिंग प्रैस के काल में लिखने व प्रकाशन के व्यवसाय पर औद्योगिक नियमन के रूप में स्थापित की गयी थी। इसका लक्ष्य भिन्न भिन्न स्रोतों से रचनाओं के प्रकाशन को प्रोत्साहन देना था, जिसके लिये प्रकाशकों को लेखकों की नवीन रचनाओं को छापने के लिये उनसे अनुमति की आवश्यकता का सहारा लिया गया। इससे रचनाकारों को प्रकाशकों के माध्यम से स्थायी आय मिली, और लेखन को प्रोत्साहन मिला। आम लोगों को भी इससे लाभ हुआ, जबकि नुक्सान लगभग नहीं के बराबर था। कॉपीराईट ने प्रकाशकों की ही सीमित किया, आम पाठकों को बाधित नहीं। एक बार किताब खरीद लेने के बाद वे किसी भी रूप में इसका इस्तेमाल कर सकते थे, अपने जानकारों से इसे साझा कर सकते थे, पूरानी किताबों की दुकान में इसे बेच सकते थे। इस प्रकार तर्क दिया जा सकता है कि कॉपीराईट से सर्वजन को लाभ हुआ, तथा इस प्रकार पिन्टिंग प्रेस के समय में इसको  वैधता प्राप्त थी। सब कुछ सही था (उस समय में)

अब हमारे पास सूचना के वितरण का नया ढंग है: कम्पयूटर तथा नेटवर्क । इनके ज़रिये किसी भी प्रकार की सूचना, चाहे वह साफ्टवेयर, संगीत, पुस्तक या फिल्म हो, की प्रतिलिपी बनाना व उसमें मनचाहा परिवर्तन करना बेहद आसान हो गया है। ये पाठकों व श्रोताओं को सभी प्रकार के डाटा की असीमित सुलभता प्रदान करते हैं – यानि कि सूचना का यूटोपिया। 

लेकिन एक रोड़ा इन असीम संभावनाओं के रास्ते में था: कॉपीराईट। जिन पाठकों व श्रोताओं ने प्रतिलिपी बनाने की नयी क्षमताओं का उपयोग किया तथा इनको अन्य लोगों से साझा किया, वे तकनीकी रूप में कॉपीराईट का उल्लंघन कर रहे थे। वही कानून जो पहले प्रकाशकों पर लाभकारी औद्योगिक नियमन था, वही अब आम लोगों के हित में रूकावट था। 

ऐसा कानून जो सर्वसाधारण की उपयोगी गतिविधियों को रोकता हो, जनतन्त्र में उसमें देर सवेर ढील दी जाती है। लेकिन यह वहां नहीं होता जहां कारपरेशनों के पास राजनीतिक ताकत होती है। प्रकाशकों की लॉबी लोगों को अपने कम्यूटरों की क्षमताओं का उपयोग करने से रोकने के लिये अडी हूई थी, तथा कॉपीराईट का कानून उसके लिये एक तैयार हथियार था। उनके प्रभाव के अन्तर्गत सरकारों ने कॉपीराईट के नियमों को नयी परिस्थितियों के अनुरूप आसान बनाने की बजाये और अधिक सख्त कर दिया तथा सूचना को साझा करने पर कड़े दन्ड देने लगीं। नागरिकों के खिलाफ प्रकाशकों के हित साधने का नवीनतम फैशन सूचना साझा करने वाले लोगों के इन्टरनेट कनेक्शन काट देना है, जिसे ’तीन आघात’ कहा जाता है। 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Solidarity Program: Justice for Maruti Suzuki Workers

“Never, in all these years of my life had it occurred to me that the courts too care only about the rich. I am now beginning to believe that God too is only a rich man’s God.” - The wife of a terminated Maruti Suzuki worker

Dear Friends and Comrades,

The saga of struggle in the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki that has unfolded over the past two years has both wrenched our hearts as well as filled it with hope. The courage and fortitude with which the workers and their families have carried on the struggle has been remarkable. At the same time, the unflinching posture assumed by the state and our political leaders in open and unqualified favour of the multinational auto manufacturer has once again underlined the skewed power relations in this country that prides itself on its vibrant democracy. The right to association, to a life with dignity and freedom of expression seems clearly dispensable against the weight of corporate interests.

The incident of 18th July that led to the death of a HR Manager snowballed into international news. However, what was not reported was the way the Haryana police literally hunted down workers from their homes and even the streets. After the first few days of frenzied arrests, the police started picking up people to their own admission according to a list supplied by the management. 546 permanent workers were terminated along with 1,800 contract workers. The shop floor was conveniently purged of all those who had been part of the previous process of unionization or had ever dared to question unfair labour practices. The force with which the company, the government and unfortunately also the media has been putting forth the fact of a manager’s death serves to hide numerous other facts. Facts such as the prime witnesses presented by the company naming the accused in alphabetical order; such as the ever vigilant CCTV cameras being inexplicably switched off; such as the absolutely instrumental role played by the one manager who died in the incident in the registration of the Workers Union; and the presence of 100 hired bouncers in the premises. Instead, a sum of Rs 1.43 crore has been paid to the Public Prosecutor who in contravention to his mandate of representing the law of the land has turned a deaf ear to all these and other such inconsistencies in the management’s account. The workers have been demanding an independent enquiry into the incident because of the explicit bias of the Special Investigation Team of the Haryana Police, but to no avail. Evidently, all the arguments and requests being made by the workers have been conveniently set aside by branding their protests as that of “Ultras”, where even asking for one’s basic Constitutional rights appear as stretching the limits of democracy and in that having the verdict as good as passed against them even before the charges have been framed.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Fall of Morsi: An Important Victory of the Egyptian People - Samir Amin

- Samir Amin
Yes, the fall of Morsi and of the rule of the Moslem Brothers is an important victory of the Egyptian people. It was expected by all Egyptians. 25 millions of citizens had signed a petition requiring the departure of Morsi, elected only thanks to a massive fraud; whose legitimacy was not recognized by the Egyptian judiciary body, but who was imposed by the decision of Washington. The body of “international observers of elections” had indeed failed to see the fraud!

The government of the Moslem Brothers was pursuing the same reactionary policy as that of Mubarak, and even in a more destructive way for the majority of popular classes. It made clear that it did not intend to respect the rules of democracy; it mobilized criminal gangs paid to harass the popular movements, continuously waving the flag of a “civil war”. Morsi acted as a brutal dictator, setting in all positions in the State of exclusively devoted Moslem Brothers. The combination of a disastrous economic and social policy and of the disrespect for normal management of the State led to an accelerated decline of earlier illusions of a good part of the society; the Moslem Brotherhood showed their real face. Yet the western powers continued to support the “elected President”, claiming that the regime was progressing toward democracy. Probably just as the Democratic Republic of Qatar is!

What happened on June 30th was expected. Mass demonstrations, larger even than those of January 2011: 16 million people on the streets, as recorded by the Police. Morsi responded by moving again the flag of the “civil war”. But he was unable to mobilise more than a few hundred thousands of paid supporters.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Can The Real Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Ever Stand Up?

- Subhash Gatade
Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
It has been more than two years that A G Noorani's important book 'Article 370 : A Constitutional History of J and K' (OUP, 2011, Pages 480) has hit the stands and has been able to clear many a confusions about the tumultuous era in post independence times pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir. 

Basing himself on authentic documents, letters, memorandums, white papers, proclamations and amendments the author, a constitutional expert himself, has not only provided new insights about the period but has also tried to bring forth an important summary of the developments then and the role played by different stakeholders. While we have been witness to a process of erosion of the article 370 today, the book underscores the politics behind its erosion, which was negotiated between Prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah and had a stamp of approval from Sardar Patel and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which daily invokes name of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of Bharatiya Jan Sangh - percursor to its present incarnation namely BJP - to oppose Article 370 which guarantees special status to Jammu and Kashmir - this exposure that the said Article had full approval from Mukherjee as well as then Home Minister Sardar Patel is nothing but blasphemous. Despite its important bearing on its overall posturing, one is yet to come across any strong rebuttal from the saffron quarters to this claim barring its usual rhetoric which says that it is an "[a]ttempt to distort history at the behest of separatist friendly pseudo-secularists and pseudo-intellectuals." Interestingly while lashing out at the contents of the book, Mr Jitendra Singh, the then spokesperson of BJP for J & K and its National Executive member had rather indirectly acknowledged what the author wanted to convey by stating that "[T]he late leader had suggested to first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to put a time-bound rider on 'Article 370' and specify for how long it was being envisaged,". 

It is worth emphasising that this is not for the first time that Dr Mukherjee's consent to full autonomy to Kashmir has come up. In his write-up in 'The Greater Kashmir' Mr Balraj Puri, the veteran journalist from the state had provided further details about the same:

एकान्तिक मीनार में बन्दः जेस्टोर अकादमिक अनुसन्धान को क्यों कैद करता है

- लॉरा मैककेना

आज सुबह मैंने आनलाईन डाटाबेस जेस्टोर में ऑटिज़म पर अनुसन्धान लेखों को पढ़ने की कोशिश की। मेरा एक बच्चा है जिसके ऑटिज़म के शिकार होने की आशंका है तथा मैं इस विषय पर नवीनतम अनुसन्धान से अवगत होने की कोशिश में रहती हूं।ऑटिज़म शब्द वाले पहले दो सौ लेखों में से मैं एक भी लेख नहीं पढ़ पायी, क्योंकि युनिवर्सिटियों के पहचान पत्र वालों को ही अकादमिक पत्रिकाओं के लेखों के पढ़ने की सुविधा है। उनके अलावा हर एक को, चाहे वे पत्रकार हों, स्वतन्त्र विद्वान हों या उत्सुक व्यक्ति, पढ़ने के लिये मोटा शुल्क देना पड़ता है।

मुझे बाद में एक लेख मिला जो 38 डॉलर में उपलब्द्ध था। मुझे यह नहीं पता कि 12 पेज के एक लेख का दाम 38 डॉलर क्यों है। मुझको लेख पर सरसरी नजर डालने में 8 मिनट लगते हैं। अनुसन्धानकर्ता को कोई रॉयल्टी नहीं मिलती है। तब एक लेख पढ़ने की इतनी कीमत क्यों? उत्तर अकादमिक प्रकाशन की पुरानी चली आ रही रीत में है। 

एकान्तिक मीनार से किवाड़ोंबद्ध डाटाबेसों तक

एक अकादमिक अनुसन्धानकर्ता को किसी विषय पर अनुसन्धान करने में वषों का समय लगता है। यह अनुसन्धान सरकारी अनुदानों तथा विश्वविद्यालयों द्वारा दी गयी रियायतों पर संभव होता है। प्रोफेसर को अनुसन्धान के लिये समय, स्थान व कार्यालय की सहुलियत दी जाती है। तब वह अनुसन्धान पर लेख अकादमिक जर्नल को भेजता या भेजती है।