Thursday, December 26, 2019

CAA-NRC: Hindutva’s sinister plot


Ashmita Sharma and Saqib Khan
The Parliamentary debate on the passing of the recent Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) showed that the current BJP government does not have enough statistics on immigrants from neighbouring countries or the number of persecuted people seeking citizenship in India. There was no perceptible movement on the demand of granting citizenship to such people either. Then what possibly explains the urgency behind this Act? This article argues that first, it was the result of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, and second, it is the long term agenda of Hindu Rashtra by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)/Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It has its linkages with European fascism and Zionist movement of Israel. While NRC updation has its roots in the Assam Movement and subsequent Assam Accord, its experience in the state has given us a glimpse as to what would entail in the wake of pan-India NRC. The CAA completely ignores the concerns of the northeast states and does little to address the complex issues of migration and citizenship. With the CAA-NRC combine, a deeper problem of citizenship would follow wherein not only Muslims but also large sections of the country’s population would face the burden of proving their citizenship and risk disruption in their lives and statelessness.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

On ‘Strategic Sale’ of the PSUs


Surajit Das
The honourable finance minister has reportedly said that the Air-India, Bharat Petroleum, North-Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Limited (THDCIL) etc. will be sold within March 2020. In fact, the governments take pride now-a-days in disinvestment of the public sector units (PSUs) rather than feeling proud in increasing the public investment particularly in infrastructure and in other strategic sectors. These are being called ‘strategic sales’ in order to generate larger non-debt capital receipts (NDCRs). What is the ‘strategy’? The ‘strategy’ is nothing but to keep the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio within bounds in a situation of lower tax-revenue.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Babri Masjid exists


Malini Bhattacharya
The Nirmohi Akhara of Ayodhya was one of the plaintiffs in the court cases related to Babri Masjid. The Ram Chabutra (platform) erected in the yard of the Mosque was under their control from 1856-57. This was propagated by them as the site of Ram’s physical origin. As worshippers they claimed the chabutra had been Ram’s birthplace since eternity and no Mosque ever existed there; the Muslims simply took control of the land and changed the original structure. A few days ago, the Supreme Court has pronounced its judgment. Even after this, some people are joyously claiming it is now possible to build a Ram Temple there because the Mosque no longer exists. In this context, we must clearly state that Babri Masjid was in existence, exists in the land of our thoughts and will exist there forever. This is not the opinion of a particular religious community. After this judgment, those of us who are atheists are also being forced to say this. We can never consign it to oblivion.