Monday, August 14, 2017

A Toxic Punch of Market and the 'Political'

Satyaki Roy


We are in the midst of a change. India has adopted GST in whatsoever diluted version it may be, it is considered to be the biggest tax reform in post-Independent India.  At midnight the Prime Minister of India invokes a different tryst with destiny this time: it is not the old India awaking to life and freedom as the world sleeps but a new one which awakes to the cause of unbridled uniform market, the nation subsumes freedom and life to the destiny of free market. Milton Friedman the 1976 Nobel prize winner in his 'Free to Choose' describes  how market coordinates society without any central authority and argues that market outcomes are independent of gender, class, race and religion of the transacting parties: 'When you buy your pencil or daily bread you don't know whether the pencil was made or the wheat was grown by a white man or a black man by a Chinese or an Indian. As a result the price mechanism enables people to cooperate peacefully in one phase of their life while each one goes about his own business in respect of everything else'. Friedman's market however didn't remain untouched from the 'business in respect of everything else'. We have market but also there is a process of defining the 'political'.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Malicious Campaign by RSS against Kerala Fails! United Resistance by Malayalees!

Balu S.

Over the past one week, a malicious campaign has been unleashed by the RSS with the help of servile media houses like 'Republic TV' and 'Times Now' to portray Kerala as a killing field for RSS activists. The catalyst for this was the murder of an RSS activist in Trivandrum. Fingers were pointed at the CPM considering the history of violence in the state. Adding fodder to this attack by the RSS, the Congress even claimed that the main accused in the murder was a booth agent of the CPM in the last assembly elections. This allegation was later thoroughly refuted by the CPM. Until now, the police have not been able to establish clear links with the accused and the CPM.  The chief accused himself was charged earlier with attempting violence against several CPM leaders and cadres. Basically, there is no clarity and it is possible that the CPM has absolutely nothing to do with this murder. Despite this, the incident was immediately painted as a political murder because of the existing political conflicts in Trivandrum. There were numerous incidents of violence in which both CPM and BJP workers were attacked. This climate of violence also has a pretext. Immediately before the eruption of violence, BJP in Kerala was at the receiving end of a strong political attack due to very serious charges of corruption raised against them. It was alleged that the BJP leaders received bribes for facilitating recognition for Medical colleges by Medical Council of India. Therefore, the political violence which erupted in Trivandrum can also be seen as an attempt by the BJP to divert attention from these charges of corruption which had put them in a back foot.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Book Review- 'Intimacy Undone- Marriage, Divorce and Family Law in India'

Mohit Gupta

(Author: Malavika Rajkotia, Publisher: Speaking Tiger Publications)

The book 'Intimacy Undone – Marriage, Divorce And Family Law In India', by Malavika Rajkotia began as a response in the form of a letter to the Chief Justice of the Delhi high court who had accused divorce lawyers of prolonging divorce proceedings unnecessarily. The author’s response was aimed at exposing the lack of understanding of the dynamics of matrimonial conflict, which she believes are much deeper and broader than what is superficially visible. Eventually the letter turned into a book in which she has painted a wide canvas covering issues of family law going beyond usual ways of studying marriage and divorce and incorporating rape, patriarchy, property, maintenance, alimony, privacy and custody of children. All of these are based on the understanding that family law is not as simple as it is often postulated to be. It deconstructs the myth that family law is a soft law governed mostly by common sense as against other branches of law which are perceived to be hard law. This is done by elucidating in the book the tension that exists between men and women, society and law, conservatives and liberals, change and resistance and so on. The book also throws light on the wide margins of personal discretions, and the resulting jurisprudence which is sometimes confused and conflicting, and ends up setting unstable precedents; all of which has deep implications on those who fight legal battles within the ambit of family law. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mob Violence: Will we see an end to it?

Parvin Sultana
"How do we understand the rising vigilantism? Why do a large number of people spontaneously agree to undertake such a violent act? Do they believe their act is justified and hence they are immune to legal action?

Vigilantism in fact is a reflection of the displacement of culpability by the state. While state blames people for taking violence in their own hands, the people justify their action by pitting it against state inaction.

Vigilantism is anything but recent. However it is the rising frequency which is alarming. What is also alarming is that the rise of such vigilantism is seen across the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan and Bangladesh as well is reeling under the threat of self appointed legal guardians which continuously undermines the state authority and institutions."

Monday, July 10, 2017

Recipe for engineering a communal division: the case of Basirhat

Arkady Gaider


Arkady Gaider offers a detailed ground-level perspective on the genesis of the ongoing communal riot in Basirhat Subdivision, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. He elaborates upon how the TMC allowed the riot situation to develop with the help of Hindu and Muslim communal groups despite mass resistance on the ground. Translated from Bangla by Suchetana Chattopadhyay.