Monday, October 31, 2016

A Secular Case for Common Civil Code

Abdul Rahman

The news regarding Muslim Personal Law Board and other Muslim organisations’ adamant stand on the issue of tripal talaq and BJP led union government’s attempt to push for Universal Civil Code (hereafter UCC)[1] has energised the debate on reforms in Muslim Personal laws verses UCC. A section of Muslim women along with Bhartiye Muslim Mahila Andolan (a secular organisation established by Muslim women in 2007) have decided to take the issue to the Supreme Court in the form of PIL. The government is in favour of abolishing the practice of tripal talaq too. However, RSS-BJP sees this opportunity to polarize the Hindus raising the issue of UCC. Secular left-liberal sections are divided on the issue as always. Present article tries to introduce secularist debates on the need and nature of UCC. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Whether it be Olympics or Anti-Corruption Marches, Race is a central question in Brazil!!!

Nitheesh Narayanan

Rafaela Silva won a gold medal in Judo for Brazil in the recently concluded Rio Olympics. It is through this Afro-Brazilian athlete that the hosts received their first gold medal in the 2016 Olympics. The success of Silva in Judo has been read as a befitting reply to what she had to face after being disqualified in the 2012 London Olympics following an illegal leg grab. She said, recollecting that event, ‘I was very sad because I lost the fight. So I walked to my room, I found all those insults in social media, they were criticizing me, calling me monkey, I got really, really upset, I thought about leaving Judo’. For many, especially those who are not from Latin American countries, who have heard of Silva’s experiences, wondered if racism actually existed in Brazil. There is this conception that the Latin American countries are free from racism. In almost all studies and briefings on racism, Latin America does not appear .But this is an erroneous understanding. Brazil, the most populous country in the region also has the largest number of African descendants of all Latin American states. In fact, Brazil has the largest African population in any country outside Africa. An analysis of the problem of racism in Brazil will shed a reality check on the prevalence of racism in Latin America.

Friday, October 7, 2016

On the Ongoing Maratha Agitations in Maharashtra

Suresh Sawant and Rahul Vaidya

The shocking Kopardi rape and murder case happened on July 13th in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Spontaneous protests over this brutal gangrape and murder however soon took a casteist turn. The word spread that victim belonged to Maratha community, Maharashtra's biggest and politically dominant community; and what is worse; the perpetrators belonged to the Dalit community. The dual narrative of honor of women as well as the caste fuelled the protests which have been spreading like a wildfire across Maharashtra. Already, there have been massive agitations at Ahmednagar, Osmanabad, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Beed. Similar rallies have been planned in Latur, Parbhani, Solapur, Amravati and many other districts. The final rally will be held in Mumbai. These agitations have witnessed crowds over a lac at every location- with significant number of women participating.