Dr. Sandeep Pandey


Unfortunately, this theme gets people’s attention only when some students commit suicide. As public memory is short things relapse to normal soon. The academic atmosphere becomes more competitive and then we have more suicides a few years down the line. The number of student suicides is pretty large but the media notices it when it happens in some elite institutions like the IITs. A recent discussion on this topic is also provoked by a suicide of a Dalit student at IIT Mumbai. But it’ll not help if we do not think about education in its larger sense. Trying to deal with it in a piecemeal or ad-hoc fashion will not solve the problem.

The purpose of education is to instill wisdom and the belief in truth and an objective world, in human beings so that they can learn how to live in a manner such that they can achieve harmony among different levels at which they have to live – the personal, which itself comprises of both body and consciousness, the family, the society, the environment, and any larger reality if it exists. Education should equip them with the knowledge, culture, and truth created and discovered by historical wo(man)kind. It should reveal the class-caste-gender-nation-power character of society.

Needless to say that any human being who has figured out how to live at different levels in harmony will live happily. Anything which disturbs this harmony, for example, disease in the body, estranged relationships, violence in society, or damage to the environment is the failure of human intelligence in solving the problem of bringing various levels in harmony. Then educated humans will strive to bring back harmony among different levels. Many times an individual cannot choose to live in harmony, however (s)he tries or desires. The interests of different individuals may conflict with each other. The alignment of interests is an exception rather than a rule because of hierarchical and hegemonic structures in the world. Therein lies necessary laws out of these accidental meetings of interests and harmony. The purpose of education, research, and inquiry is to discover these laws and truths.  The human beings who are seen doing this are described as wise, whether they have formal education or not it hardly matters. Hence anything which disturbs harmony is not education. From this point of view, quite a few academic programs or how they are imparted will not qualify as education.

Who Will Clean The Deep Root of Indian Education System?

Who Will Clean The Deep Root of Indian Education System?


For example, any training in the use of arms or science in the service of developing dangerous weapons cannot be called education as this training has the potential to create violence. All fundamentalist ideologies which provoke individuals to kill other human beings are not education. All research and development of technologies that enhance carbon emissions are not education. Teaching how to make a profit at the cost of human welfare is not education. Learning how to use carrot-and-stick policies to keep people divided to govern them is not education.

Similarly, competition is something that brings out the worst in human beings and therefore cannot be part of any education. Using cooperation to solve human problems, as we always tend to do in real life, will enhance the harmony among different levels that we mentioned earlier and therefore is necessarily part of education. It is inexplicable how competition has come to be such an integral part of education that today we cannot conceive of education with examinations. The purpose of the examination is the evaluation of learning, which can certainly be done in non-competitive ways. The process of education completes only when the learning has taken place. Until then the responsibility of neither the teacher nor the taught is fulfilled.

We have to work out a system of education so that every child can complete their education without facing the threat of expulsion. After all, we have the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act in place even though India never implemented the Common School System, which has been a tried and tested method around the world of achieving 99-100% literacy rates. No child should be out of school before they reach the Class XII stage. It is quite possible that different children depending on their socio-economic background as well as mental ability may have different paces of learning and therefore may take more or less than twelve years to complete their Class XII education. Now preschool education has also become important.

Education System: Beyond the Board Exams

Education System: Beyond the Board Exams

After school education, every child who wishes to pursue higher education in any field should have the choice to do so. Any competitive entrance examination should not prevent them from obtaining admission to a desired program. Hence, if a young person wishes to learn engineering or medicine, or law, they should get admission to some engineering, medicine, or law institution close to their home. Of course, they should have the choice to learn at a far away or foreign educational institution if they wish to. Now this requires that as many seats in institutions of higher learning should be there as there are aspirants to be accommodated.

Fortunately, the number of institutions offering seats in professional education is roughly equal to the number of aspirants in respective fields. Hence, there is no need to hold any entrance examination for gatekeeping. The issue is the quality of a large majority of these institutions if we exclude the reputed ones like the IITs, AIIMSs, and NLUs. This is not an intractable problem. If all the willing graduates from good quality professional institutions are employed as teachers in the ordinary colleges and universities it will have a twin desirable effect. The unemployment problem will be addressed to some extent and more importantly, the quality of all institutions will go up. Right now, since the emphasis of most private institutions is on making money, they compromise heavily on quality, sometimes not even hiring the required number or adequate quality of faculty members. Second, every student will get to study what they want to and cases of suicide, etc., provoked by intense competition will hopefully subside.

Now comes the question of those students who are not able to cope with the program they have chosen. First, an effort should be made by the teachers to see whether any remedial measures can address the problem. However, if it is clear that the students don’t have an aptitude for the academic program that they have chosen for whatever, they should be guided to move over to a more favorable program for them. Dropping out of higher education should be the last option.

The entire process of education from Kinder Garten to Post Graduate should be free of examinations. Evaluations of different kinds can take place to assess the performance. However, in no case should the result of an evaluation be the failure of a student. There should be no quantitative or relative grading. The outcome of an evaluation can be only two- whether the student has learned or not.  If the student has not learned then it should also be considered the failure of the teachers and the whole society. Either the same teacher or a different teacher should then try to impart learning to the student. The process of learning will be considered complete only when both the teacher and taught are satisfied that a minimum level of learning has taken place. There is no need for any certificates (as there is no question of any mark sheet or grade sheet) at any level of education except when the student has completed the process. Only then the student should obtain a certificate indicating the subjects they have learned or mastered and their levels of achievement.

Do examinations have no role? The role of examinations is only when a limited number of people possessing a definite skill set are to be chosen for a particular task. Except for this, there is no need to conduct examinations that take up huge amounts of resources or energy which should be better invested in the learning process or expanding the scope of education to include more students.

Article By Ekitha Gangavath, Ayush Bajpai, Amit Singh and Sandeep Pandey

Note: Ekitha Gangavath and Ayush Bajpai are students of law at NALSAR, Hyderabad, Amit Singh teaches at IIT Bombay and Sandeep Pandey is General Secretary, Socialist Party (India).

ABVP attacks Tamil students at JNU, defaces Periyar, Marx portraits; Stalin demands action

By Vishwas Bhamburkar and Sandeep Pandey,

The Preamble to the Constitution begins with We, the People. Thus, the idea that the citizens are the sovereigns, should have been the pervasive thought flowing from the Constitution as viewed by all the powers that be.

Is the citizen the Sovereign? If she is not, isnt the whole constitution a farce? And if you believe she is, what are the answers to the following questions?

How many peoples representatives” act on any representation they get from the citizen? Some may send a routine acknowledgment and forget about it. Is any action being taken upon a representation by a citizen?

 How many political parties will act on anything because I, the citizen, want it and it is as per the law?

How many public servants, be they high and mighty bureaucrats or the judges of constitutional courts, will do anything because I, the citizen, the sovereign want it and it is in concordance with the law?

A realistic guess is none. That is where the soul of democracy has been sucked out a long time ago. What is left is drama, theatrics, and posturing, something which gives the appearance of democracy but in reality, is not.

The peoples representatives, bureaucrats, and public servants of all hues, get their authority from the power to say no. They have the power to disempower the citizen, which is sometimes done politely and at most times in a crude manner. Go to either the High Courts or the Supreme Court and ask for as simple a thing as registration of a First Information Report because the police are not doing their duty, even a Bench led by the Chief Justice may tell you that your petition is not maintainable because there are alternate remedies available. Another way to say no. Never mind the fact that the alternate remedies are dysfunctional too. He will say the Lalita Kumari judgment has been passed but he will not remedy or address the fact that it is not implemented. Look at the effort medal-winning female wrestlers had to put in, even with some media support and public attention, to get their FIR registered.

Read Our Article On the   Constitution of India :

The Constitution of India: A beautiful document, worth living for

The Constitution of India: A beautiful document, worth living for

Even in this case, the Supreme Court will only look at registration of the FIR, but will not address why the police did not lodge it in the first place. Treating the disease takes time and effort and acknowledgment. An acknowledgment that something is wrong. An acknowledgment that what was thought to be a remedy has not worked. More importantly, an acknowledgment that the citizen is the sovereign and if a citizen says something, it must not only be taken at face value but must be acted upon. In today’s times, even treating the symptoms has come to be seen as largess, a magnanimity, a benevolence shown by todays aristocrats who have usurped the rule of the people” unto themselves. And so, we have the Supreme Court very arrogantly patting itself on the back for having ordered the registration of FIR on the female wrestlers’ complaints.

Also, alternate remedies are for the convenience of I, the citizen, the sovereign, and not for public servants to shirk their responsibility by passing the buck.

How many times have you been told not to argue with a bureaucrat because he can spoil your case if you argue? Who gave those public servants that right? They usurped it from me, the citizen, the sovereign because I the citizen, the sovereign chose to be servile to those who are there to serve us.

The above, of course, is based on the assumption that you manage to reach the bureaucrat in the first place. Any bureaucrat of importance would be sitting in the Secretariat. And the struggle of the citizen would begin by gaining entry into the Secretariat to meet the bureaucrat. Often you’ve to get a pass made at the security gate to enter the premises where the bureaucrat’s office is located and a pass can be made only if his/her office instructs the security at the gate. This implies that one should have some prior acquaintance with the bureaucrat one is wanting to meet. So, what will happen to me, the citizen, the sovereign who doesn’t have any ‘connections’?

 Try an experiment, fill up any usual form in a government office in red ink and see the reaction – no rule prohibits citizens from using any ink color, but even the public servant at the lowest rung, sitting at the counter can refuse the form because he thinks this ink color is reserved for his high officials to use, not lowly citizens, who are the sovereigns.

I, the citizen, collectively, We the People, will mollycoddle the government servant and comply with his whims. And should a citizen, who is supposed to be sovereign, dare protest, he can be physically removed from the office as has happened with some information seekers in hearings before Information Commissioners in Lucknow. The Right to Information Act is the first law that allows individual intervention by a citizen, holding executive and people’s representatives accountable, but the bureaucracy has discovered ways to blunt the power of this Act.

In our Democracy, We, the People were envisaged to be supreme. We had peoples representatives to put forth our ideas. The public servants serve us; cater to our every demand so long as it was according to the law. Not once have we seen anyone asking a public servant whether what he is asking is as per the law and if yes, his reason(s) for refusing to do our work. And the peoples representatives, who are supposed to keep a check on the public servants, will usually lie prostrate before them because their pretty perches shouldnt be disturbed.

At the stroke of the midnight hour on 15th August 1947, India had had its tryst with destiny. On 26th November 1949, the Constitution of India came into force. On 17th April 1952, we had the First Lok Sabha constituted. And that completed the grand illusion that power had been transferred to the people at large. As the anecdote goes, once in the Parliament complex, a woman caught hold of Nehrus collar and asked, The country got freedom, what did I get?” Nehru replied with a smile, “ Freedom to grab the PMs  collar.

Today, that freedom is sadly lost too. Try grabbing, not the PM’s collar, but even the collar of any person who is defined as a public servant and sees the results. The peoples representatives, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary have arrogated power to themselves, because I, the citizen, the sovereign gave them the power to get away with it.

 We today are faced with an illusion of democracy and a pretension of power to the people” and a misconception that we have rule by the will of the people”. We delude ourselves that public servants are there to serve us.

Transfer of power has indeed taken place. It has flowed from rule by divine right that kings, emperors, and their henchmen had, to rule by a few — elected representatives and their henchmen, public servants.

Every five years (sometimes even less) we cast our vote and participate in the motion of democracy” that gives us three tiers of peoples representatives. The ones to local bodies — Members to Gram Panchayats, Councillors to Municipalities or Corporators to Municipal Corporations, then the Members to the Legislative Assemblies of the States and the Members of Parliament, specifically, Lok Sabha. And we believe we have got the power to rule. But these elected representatives only frame the laws. The implementation is by the Executive — the bureaucrats, appointed after selection through a process, do not get changed, only transferred or reshuffled. They remain the proverbial leopards who never change their spots. They are assisted by their minions who too, once selected, do not get either reassessed or renewed. The third category of public servants fill the ranks of the judiciary, who, once selected, will continue to rule in the name of serving not just till their superannuation, but maybe for years later too.

 There is no way for the citizen, the sovereign, to ensure these two long-term public servant categories out of the three pillars of democracy, act on her will, and do things that result in her rule by her.

 Further compounding this is that for over 76 years, we have not developed a system where the will of the people reaches anyone at all. There is no way for I, the citizen, the sovereign to put forth what I want, explain how it is as per the law of the land, and get it done. The only way left is to form a group. A group large enough to put pressure or foment trouble will ensure that ones voice will get heard, and what has to be done will get done. A group’s wish, not an individuals.

 We have not created a system to ensure that the incumbents of the other two pillars of democracy are kept in check by the elected representatives to ensure that they function according to the will of the citizens, the sovereigns.

 While the citizen gets a chance every 5 years to change the elected representative, but has no such opportunity to change either a bureaucrat or a judge. This gains more importance because while a citizen has to face the repercussions of violating the law, the country and the people pay for the law being violated by bureaucrats and judges.

Also, there is no system for a citizens will to reach the people’s representative and to ensure that that is considered. Political parties, which could have been a bridge between the citizens and the elected representatives, have till now reduced themselves to being only power brokers or election machines.

It is sad that when asked who the custodian of the Constitution of India is, the answer is the Supreme Court of India and not We, the People. That explains things for what they are.

We today stand at the edge of a precipice. If I, the citizen, the sovereign, do not stand up for what I want, what the Constitution of India guarantees to us, we will just flow. Flow with the gushing reasoning of larger public good, where democracy is flung down the precipice into the dreary desert sands of a mobocracy, only because a mob, meaning a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence” can affect might is right and rights of an individual have no meaning.

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The sharp reaction to Wall Street Journal journalist Sabrina Siddiqui and the online harassment faced by her on asking a question of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent joint press conference with President Joe Biden in Washington D.C. on the discrimination against religious minorities and silencing of critics is just a taste of attack on press freedom in India. Had she been in India she would have lost her job by now and would be looking to start her portal as most senior independent-minded reputed journalists in India are doing now. Hence, it was no surprise when Reporters Without Borders ranked India 161 out of 180 countries on Press Freedom Index earlier this year.

This article will analyze Modi’s address to the Congress, in which democracy has been hailed as the cornerstone of India United States partnership.

Talking about the tradition of debate in house, Modi said, ‘Being a citizen of a vibrant democracy myself, I can admit one thing Mister Speaker – you have a tough job! I can relate to the battles of passion, persuasion, and policy. I can understand the debate of ideas and ideology.’ Compare this to the reality where most bills have been passed in the Indian Parliament in recent years without any debate. The manner in which farmers’ bills were passed made the entire opposition protest overnight on the premises of the Parliament complex. And while the opposition was absent from the house the government took advantage and got the Labour Codes approved doing away with a number of Labour laws. Even the ruling party members of parliament do not get a chance to express their opinion. They are supposed to blindly vote in favor of any resolution moved by the government as a favor to Modi and his Home Minister Amit Shah who have ensured their victory and a seat in Parliament.




When praising American Democracy Modi said, ‘The foundation of America was inspired by the vision of a nation of equal people. Throughout your history, you have embraced people from around the world. And, you have made them equal partners in the American dream. There are millions here, who have roots in India. Some of them sit proudly in this chamber. There is one behind me, who has made history!’ He should have been asked if he considers assimilation a strengthening feature of democracy then why in India Muslims are being hounded and have been reduced to second-grade citizens. The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party does not have a single Muslim Member of Parliament. Does it not consider 14% population of the country, which is indigenous mainly – not immigrants, worth being represented in the nation’s legislature? Kamala Harris is a minority in the U.S., just as Muslims are in India.

Referring to the cherished values of democracy he said, ‘Over two centuries, we have inspired each other through the lives of great Americans and Indians. We pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior. We also remember many others who worked for liberty, equality, and justice.’ It is amazing that Modi can talk about these values with temerity when at least six Muslim students and youth are in jail in Delhi on false charges of having a role in the 2020 riots related to anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests and twelve intellectuals, lawyers, professors, activists, journalists are in jail on false charges related to Bhima Koregaon case of 2018, all of them under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in which it is tough to get bail and the trail has not even begun.

Have a look on:
Gandhian Philosophy: Definition, Role, Limitations, and Relevance

Talking about the diversity of India he said, ‘We have over 2,500 political parties. About 20 different parties govern various states of India. We have 22 official languages and thousands of dialects, yet we speak in one voice. If diversity is a reality of the Indian State, it has existed before and the credit for it goes to the freedom fighters and the makers of our Constitution. Had BJP or its parent organization Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh played any role in laying the foundations of our country or drafting the Constitution we don’t know how much of the diversity would have reflected today. Modi’s favorite international leader was Xi Jinping until Xi ordered Chinese incursions into Indian territory. Modi probably fantasized about one-party rule and an authoritarian ruler in India based on the Chinese design.
Given a chance Modi, Shah, and BJP would not allow opposition parties to be in power anywhere. They are busy carrying out their machinations between the elections so that opposition governments can fall and be replaced by ones where BJP has a key role. Also, who doesn’t know the obsession of RSS with Hindu, Hindi, and Hindustan? Had it not been for the strident opposition from Tamil Nadu, BJP would have gone ahead with imposing Hindi as the national language. This is the vision of the RSS/BJP of the country speaking in one ‘voice.’

He informed that ‘Today, there are more than 850 million smartphones and internet users in the country,’ but forgot to add that India is a country which has enforced the most number of internet shutdowns in the last five years. He said, ‘We protected our people with 2.2 billion doses of made-in-India Covid vaccines, and that too free of cost.’ The reality that the world would remember of India during Covid times is walking millions on roads trying to reach their homes, inadequate beds in hospitals, shortage of Oxygen supply, dead bodies lining up outside crematoriums or floating in river Ganga and PM addressing crowded election rallies in West Bengal while the government was enforcing masks and safe distancing.

Talking of women he said, ‘India’s vision is not just of development which benefits women. It is of women-led development, where women lead the journey of progress. A woman has risen from a humble tribal background, to be our Head of State.’ Modi has the audacity to talk about this so soon after the entire world has witnessed how women wrestlers had to face harassment at the hand of police when fighting against the sexual misconduct of a BJP leader. They were dragged by police as if they were miscreants and cases were filed against them. They still haven’t got justice and the accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is roaming around free. Not long back the country witnessed with the complicity of the Home Ministry the pre-mature release of 11 rapists of Bilkis Bano and murderers of her family members. Who is going to take the claims of Modi seriously who humiliated the President by not inviting her to the inauguration ceremony of the new Parliament building the same day when female wrestlers were being dragged on the streets of Delhi?

On Environment Modi said, ‘A spirit of democracy, inclusion and sustainability defines us. It also shapes our outlook to the world, India grows while being responsible for our planet…..At the Glasgow Summit, I proposed Mission LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment. This is a way to make sustainability a true people’s movement. Not leave it to be the job of governments alone.’ Yet, when distinguished scientist-saint Professor G.D. Agrawal aka Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand fasted for saving Ganga in Haridwar in 2018 and wrote four letters to Modi for intervention, he did not get a response. Only after his death on the 112th day, Modi tweeted a condolence message. In reality, the Modi government has relaxed the environmental norms to make it easier for businesses. It should be a matter of shame that in 2022 India finished last among 180 countries on the Environment Performance Index of the World Economic Forum.

Hence Modi’s speech in U.S. Congress was rhetoric without substance. In fact, it was misleading and illusory.

Co-authored  by Sophia Rahman
Sophia Rahman, originally from Khand ni Sheri, Jamalpur, Ahmedabad, the area where the Vasant-Rajab duo were martyred, is a U.S.-based professional.

Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi is known for his supreme sacrifice at the young age of 41 years in trying to stop communal violence in Kanpur in 1931, two days after his colleague Bhagat Singh was hanged. He was part of the struggle for freedom both as part of the Congress-led movement and with the revolutionary group led by Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad. Through his newspaper Pratap, he raised issues of common people and became part of the struggle of farmers from Rae Bareli and of mill workers in Kanpur. His involvement in a broad range of progressive issues made him a well-known figure at the national level. But the communal forces were also active at the same time and kept provoking people to violence. Sadly, such a talented person as Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi was stabbed to death trying to save the lives of common Muslims and Hindus on the streets of Kanpur. Mahatma Gandhi condoled his death by saying he was proud of him and wished to die for the cause of communal harmony.

Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan were known for their thick friendship through the Indian freedom struggle, vitiated by communal strife. These revolutionaries along with Thakur Roshan Singh and Rajendra Lahiri were convicted in the Kakori train dacoity case and hanged in four different jails of United Provinces in 1927. Their ages were between 26 and 35 years. To embrace death at such a young age for the cause of freedom of the country is remarkable. They had no other dreams. In the present times of consumerist lifestyles, it may be difficult to imagine the depth of commitment of these handfuls of youth and even others who laid down their lives fighting for the cause of freedom. For Bismil and Ashfaqulla, with shared interests in poetry as well, freedom mattered as much as Hindu-Muslim harmony and they have become the shining stars of India’s syncretic culture.

Another duo from Ahmedabad, not so well known at the national level, who displayed similar idealism and laid down their lives on 1 July 1946 were Vasant Rao Hegiste and Rajab Ali Lakhani. During the Rath Yatra, an annual Hindu religious festival, in a communally charged atmosphere Vasant Rao was trying to protect the Muslims from a Hindu mob and Rajab Ali was attempting to save the Hindus from another Muslim mob. However, their community mobs killed both of them. Such was the madness overtaking people at that time.

Given that Gujarat, now a thoroughly communally polarised state, is looked up to by the Hindutva brigade as a model to be exported and replicated elsewhere in the country, it is a welcome surprise that there is a history of Vasant-Rajab having laid down their lives for the cause of upholding communal harmony.

With the rise of communal politics since the emergence of the Bhartiya Janata Party backed by Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh at the national scene, this country has been ripped asunder on religious lines. A deliberate attempt has been made to spread hatred, often based on lies and half-truths, so that apartness has been created in people belonging to different religions who had a tradition of living harmoniously. Different tools have been used like claiming ownership of historic mosques, demolishing churches, mob lynching people suspected of cow slaughter, targeting couples in inter-religious marriages, or sometimes without any reason merely because somebody belongs to a minority religion people are harassed so that the Hindus can be mobilized around an emotional issue. A certain assertiveness is also visible in Hindus when celebrating their festivals and going to temples, which is quite contrary to the tolerant and accommodating Hindu way of life because Hinduism has survived for so long. And all this is being done for no other reason than to polarise the votes so that BJP can capture power and implement the Hindutva agenda. This has resulted in a besieged mindset where people feel insecure and are prone to violence. Beginning with the murders of dissenting intellectuals in broad daylight to mob lynchings, targeted harassment, and encounters with the use of bulldozers this country has been witness to many such acts. Manipur is the latest case in point.

More from Freedom Movement:

Sher Ali Afridi: The Human Tiger of Andamans

            India is reaching a point where people will have to decide now what kind of country they want. Do they want an aggressive Hindu rashtra where the minority is under constant attack because that is the only thing that keeps the majority together? In addition, the majority is always fed hatred against the minority so that they cannot think of other things which impact their quality of life. Or, we want an India which was dreamt of by the likes of Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Lahiri, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, Vasant Rao Hegiste, Rajab Ali Lakhani, Mahatma Gandhi and many others who laid down their lives to realize the values of equality, justice, and communal harmony. Notably, all the abovementioned who may have differed in their ideologies and working methods were in agreement about their vision of India.

            On the anniversary of the martyrdom of Vasant and Rajab let us remind ourselves that there is another Gujarat model which should inspire us for the creation of a country and society which is shaped by the values of all the martyrs of our freedom struggle.

Watch this video:

“शहीद भगत सिंह को असेम्ब्ली बम कांड में नहीं हुई थी फाँसी”- भाग 1 | “गौरव गाथा”



भारतीय कुश्ती संघ के अध्यक्ष, बृज भूषण शरण सिंह के खिलाफ सात महिला कुश्ती पहलवानों, जिसमें से कई अंतर्राष्ट्रीय पदक विजेता हैं, ने यौन उत्पीड़न का मुकदमा दर्ज कराया है। इनमें से एक नाबालिग है जिसकी वजह से कठोर Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (पॉक्सो अधिनियम) की धारा भी लगी है। किंतु इम पहलवानों के सड़क पर उतर कर भी विरोध पदर्शन करने के बावजूद आरोपी की गिरफ्तारी न होने के कारण नाबालिग पहलवान के पिता ने मुकदमा वापस लेने का निर्णय लिया है। जाहिर है कि उनके ऊपर दबाव बनाया गया है। पहलवानों को जंतर मंतर से 35 दिनों से चल रहे प्रदर्शन के बाद उस दिन जबरन हटा दिया गया जब नए संसद भवन का उद्घाटन हो रहा था। एक तरफ आरोपी उद्घाटन समारोह में शामिल हो रहा था तो दूसरी तरफ पीड़ित पहलवानों के खिलाफ मुकदमा लिखा जा रहा था। पीड़ित को ही आरोपी बना देना यह भारतीय जनता पार्टी सरकारों का पुराना तरीका है जो कई अल्पसंख्यकों, दलितों, छात्रों, किसानों, बुद्धिजीवियों के खिलाफ इस्तेमाल किया जा चुका है। कई बार तो यह ऐसे सामान्य निर्दोष लोगों के खिलाफ इस्तेमाल किया गया है जिनका दोष सिर्फ यह है कि वे राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ की विचारधारा से असहमत हैं या फिर उसके काल्पनिक हिन्दू राष्ट्र के सांचे में कहीं बैठते नहीं।
जब दिल्ली महिला आयोग की अध्यक्षा स्वाति मालीवाल महिला पहवानों से मिलने जंतर मंतर पहुंचीं तो उन्हें वहां से पुलिस की गाड़ी में ऐसे उठा कर डाल दिया गया जैसे कई बार प्रदर्शनकारियों को डाला जाता है। किसी सरकारी व्यक्ति को उसके कर्तव्य का पालन न करने देने का इससे सटीक उदाहरण और क्या हो सकता है, जो कानूनी धारा कर्ह बार पुलिस प्रदर्शनकारियों के खिलाफ लगाती है। 28 मई को महिला पहलवानों को अपमानित करते हुए घसीट कर जिस तरह से उनके प्रदर्शन स्थल को भी समेट दिया गया उसकी भर्त्सना कई अंतर्राष्ट्रीय खेल इकाइयों ने की है। क्या हिन्दुत्ववादी समर्थकों को जो भारत में बढ़ती असहिष्णुता की बात करते ही भारत की विदेशों में बदनामी का आरोप लगाने लगते हैं नहीं दिखाई पड़ रहा कि जिस तरह से सरकार ने महिला पहलवानों के साथ जैसा बर्ताव किया है उससे विदेश में भारत की बदनामी हो रही है?
महिला कुश्ती पहलवानों के संघर्ष में यह सवाल भी उठ रहा है, जो पहले भी उठता रहा है, कि खेल इकाइयों का संचालन राजनेताओं के हाथ में क्यों रहता है? आखिर भारत के क्रिकेट बोर्ड में अमित शाह के बेटे का क्या काम है? खेल प्रबंधन इकाइयों सिर्फ भूतपूर्व खिलाड़ी या फिर पेशेवर लोग ही रहने चाहिए। अच्छा होता कि अन्य खेलों के खिलाड़ी भी इस सवाल पर और महिला कुश्ती खिलाड़ियों के यौन उत्पीड़न के मुद्दे पर खुलकर सामने आते। रोजर बिन्नी को छोड़कर 1983 की विश्व कप विजेता भारतीय क्रिकेट टीम तो खुलकर पहलवानों के समर्थन में आई है लेकिन सचिन तेंदुलकर, जो राज्य सभा सांसद हैं और इस नाते भी खिलाड़ियों की आवाज उठाना उनका फर्ज है, जैसे नामचीन खिलाड़ियों को इस समय बोलने की जरूरत है।
और पढ़ें:
महिला कुश्ती खिलाडियों की हताशा इस हद तक पहुंच गई हैं कि उन्होंने अपने पदक गंगा में बहाने का ऐलान कर दिया है। जब स्वतंत्र बुद्धिजीवियों नरेन्द्र दाभोलकर, गोविंद पंसारे, एम.एम. कलबुर्गी व गौरी लंकेश की दिन दहाड़े हत्या के विरोध में कई अन्य बुद्धिजीवियों ने अपने अपने सरकारी पुरस्कार वापस करने शुरू किए तो हिन्दुत्ववादी समर्थकों ने उन्हें तथाकथित बुद्धिजीवी व देश द्रोही बताया। अब ये हिन्दुत्ववादी समर्थक महिला कुश्ती खिलाड़ियों या उनके समर्थन में आए विश्व कप विजेता क्रिकेट खिलाड़ियों के बारे में क्या कहेंगे?
एक जमाने में भाजपा अपने आप को अलग प्रकार की पार्टी बताती थी। नरेन्द्र मोदी और अमित शाह, पहले अपने आप को विभिन्न न्यायालयों से गुजरात से सम्बंधित आपराधिक मामलों में किसी तरह बचा पाने के बाद, अब पार्टी में शामिल अन्य अपराधियों को संरक्षण दे रहे हैं। भाजपा सरकार में मंत्री रहे एम. जे. अकबर पर जब यौन शोषण करने का आरोप लगा तो उन्होंने तुरंत इस्तीफा दे दिया किन्तु बृज भूषण शरण सिंह को मोदी-शाह बचा रहे हैं क्योंकि बृज भूषण उत्तर प्रदेश में भाजपा के लिए महत्वपूर्ण उस इलाके की राजनीति पर प्रभाव डाल सकते हैं जिसमें अयोध्या शामिल है। ठीक इसी तरह उत्तर प्रदेश के ही मंत्री अजय मिश्र टेनी व उनके पुत्र को राजनीतिक संरक्षण दिया जा रहा है। टेनी के भड़काने पर विरोध प्रदर्शन कर रहे किसानों पर पुत्र आशीष मिश्र ने अपनी गाड़ी चढ़ा कर चार सिक्ख किसानों व एक पत्रकार को कुचल कर मार डाला।
इनकी तुलना दिल्ली में नागरिकता संशोधन अधिनियम का विरोध करने की वजह से जेलों में फर्जी मामलों में बंद  उन मेधावी छात्रों, जिसमें उमर खालिद व शरजील इमाम शामिल हैं, से अथवा भीमा-कोरेगांव मामले में देश के 12 बेहतरीन नागरिकों से, जो गैर कानूनी गतिविधियां उन्मूलन अधिनियम में फर्जी ढंग से फंसाए गए हैं, अथवा राहुल गांधी से करें जिनकी संसद सदस्यता सिर्फ इसलिए ले ली गई क्योंकि उन्होंने मोदी नाम को लेकर एक मजाक किया।
आखिर ये तथाकथित राष्ट्रवादी पार्टी देश के कुछ सबसे बेहतरीन नागरिकों को क्यों अपमानित कर रही है और अपनी पार्टी में शामिल अपराधियों को क्यों बचा रही है? वजह साफ है। भाजपा या राष्ट्रीय स्वयं सेवक संघ सबको सिर्फ दो श्रेणियों में रखती है। आप या तो देशभक्त हो सकते हैं अथवा देशद्रोही। अतीक अहमद या विकास दूबे जैसे अपराधी देशद्रोही अपराधी हैं और उन्हें क्रमशः कैमरे के सामने खुलेआम गोली मारकर अथवा गाड़ी की दुर्घटना कराकर मार दिया जाना जरूरी था, और अजय मिश्र टेनी या बृज भूषण शरण सिंह देशभक्त अपराधी हें जिनको राजनीतिक कारणों से संरक्षण दिया जाना जरूरी है। बेटी बचाओ, बेटी पढ़ाओ या खेलो इण्डिया जैसे नारे तो सिर्फ लोगों को लुभाने के लिए हैं जिन्हें हिन्दू राष्ट्र के हित में तिलांजलि दी जा सकती है। औरतें तो वैसे भी कोई मायने नहीं रखतीं और इसीलिए वे राष्ट्रीय स्वयं सेवक संघ की सदस्य नहीं बन सकतीं। उनके लिए एक अलग संगठन है राष्ट्रीय सेविका संघ जिसमें सेविका के आगे स्वंय नदारद है क्योंकि वे तो सिर्फ पितृसत्तात्मक राष्ट्रवादी हिन्दुत्व की सेवा के लिए समर्पित हैं, जो तेजी से एक अधिनायकवाद की ओर अग्रसर है जिसकी झलक नए संसद के उदघाटन में सेंगोल प्रतीक के रूप में दिखाई पड़ी।
विडीओ देखें:

In the last five years Rs. 10,09,510 crores taken as loans by various companies from banks in India have been declared as Non Performing Assets, a euphemism for writing them off. Out of this State Bank of India alone wrote off Rs. 2,04,486 crores. Only about 13% of the total written-off amount was recovered.

The identity of the defaulting borrowers, most of whom are influential corporates, is not revealed. Compare this to the loans taken by farmers. The names of defaulting farmers are displayed on walls in Tehsil offices to shame them and some unlucky ones also land up in lock-ups there. On the contrary, a few corporate defaulters have fled the country and quite curiously the authorities didn’t seize their passports like they do with some dissenting intellectuals or activists booked under mostly false cases.

Now consider the donations received by political parties in the form of electoral bonds. The identity of the donor need not be revealed even to the election commission or income tax department. Bhartiya Janata Party has received a total of Rs. 4,028 crores since the scheme was introduced in 2018 till the end of the financial year 2020-21, which is 63% of its total income and 92% of its income from unknown sources. Congress Party has received Rs. 731 crores in the form of electoral bonds in the same period, which gives an idea of why it is not so much against this opaque system of donations. So far Rs. 10,791.47 crores worth of electoral bonds has been sold by SBI. Till the end of financial year 202-21, BJP’s share in income from electoral bonds received by all national political parties was 80% and was 65% of the income of all national and regional parties. Quite clearly BJP is the biggest beneficiary of the opaque donations through electoral bonds and it is receiving almost two-thirds of its donations through this means.

Could there be a relation between keeping the identity of companies whose loans are written off concealed and not disclosing the names of companies making donations through electoral bonds? In reply to a Right to Information query by (retd.) Commodore Lokesh Batra it is revealed that 93.67% of electoral bonds sold were of denomination Rs. 1 crore, the biggest available. Hence most probably it is the big corporates, quite a few of them could be multinational ones, who are buying these and it points to a deep corporate-political party nexus which is bad for policy making in the interest of the common people of this country, specifically, and for the democracy, in general.

The suspicion arises as unlike before when companies could only give up to 7.5% of their average profit over the last three years as political donations, since 2018 when the electoral bond system was introduced this restriction has been removed. This implies that even loss-making companies can now make political donations. A company whose loans are being written off is most likely a loss-making company, a possible reason why it cannot repay the amount borrowed. Is it possible that some of the loans taken from banks are being routed to political parties as donations and then these loans are being written off in a quid pro quo arrangement? We will never know this because of the opaque nature of the functioning of the system which has got itself immunity from the RTI regime as well. The electoral bond system, as well as the declaration of the NPAs system, stand in stark contrast to the spirit of transparency being sought to be brought into the governance system of this country since 2005 as part of the RTI Act. Without the help of RTI corporate-political party nexus can never be exposed. This explains another anomaly introduced in the system – the RTI Act has been made toothless by an amendment in 2019. Otherwise, during the United Progressive Alliance government, Central Information Commission had even passed an order for the political parties to reveal details about their donations under the Act.

It is an open secret, in spite of the opaque system, that Gautam Adani has been the biggest beneficiary of the National Democratic Alliance government.

Even Narendra Modi doesn’t make an attempt to hide this. As Chief Minister of Gujarat when he flew to New Delhi to take oath as Prime Minister of the country he chose to use Adani’s aircraft. Adani, who was not much known outside Gujarat before Modi’s ascension to power at the center is now the second richest man in the world. For the first time, a PM’s photo has appeared in advertisements of private companies like Reliance Jio and Paytm. Narendra Modi also inaugurated the private hospital of Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai in 2014. The Union government approved grants of Rs. 3000 crores and Rs. 1500 crores to Adar Poonawalla’s company and Bharat Biotech, the two chosen ones, for Covid-19 vaccine production. Hence it is only a matter of conjecture who the biggest electoral bond donors to BJP would be.

On the other hand, even though he would like to project himself as a mendicant, Narendra Modi’s opulence is visible. People don’t miss the number of times he changes his dress during the course of a day. Each of them is designed to give a fashion statement. The costly coat that wore in 2015 with his name inscribed all over fetched Rs. 1.21 crores in the auction. He may declare himself to be an honest man like Dr. Manmohan Singh, with no personal wealth in his name, but unlike the former PM, how do we know that the assets being created by his good friend Adani are not ‘Benami?’

Nathu Ram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. There are some people subscribing to the Hindutva ideology who idolize Godse. Various leaders and activists associated with the Hindutva ideology from time to time have portrayed Godse as a patriot. The question is Gandhi was the tallest leader of India’s freedom movement and even before India achieved independence Godse was making an attempt to kill Gandhi, so, how could Godse be a patriot? But by describing Godse as a patriot Mahatma Gandhi’s sacrifice is belittled.  A school in Gujarat in 2019 asked its class 9 students a question paper as to how Mahatma Gandhi committed suicide? If Hindutva ideology had its way, it may even convince people of the country one day that Gandhi committed suicide and was not murdered just as students in present-day China do not learn anything about the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre. Also, the Sangh Parivar would like to wash this taint as Mahatma Gandhi is globally the most respected Indian. This is the reason Narendra Modi chose him as an icon for the Swachcha Bharat Mission and at least pays him token respect abroad whenever it suits him.

When Babri Masjid was going to be demolished on 6 December 1992, both Prime Minister P.V. Narsimha Rao and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh swore allegiance to the Constitution and vowed to protect the mosque. However, after the mosque was demolished Kalyan Singh claimed that he was a member of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh first and a Chief Minister later. A number of leading politicians of the Bhartiya Janata Party including Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, etc., were made accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case. In 2019, the Supreme Court of India admitted that the demolition of Babri Masjid was a criminal act and awarded the land on which the mosque stood for the construction of a Ram temple there. As expected, the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition were also let off by a court in UP. Hence a criminal act was justified and now it is made to appear as if there is a consensus in the country on building a Ram temple in Ayodhya where the mosque stood once with even politicians of opposition parties like Congress contributing towards the construction of the temple.

More recently, Teesta Setalvad, R.B. Sreekumar, and Sanjiv Bhatt, who were trying to get justice for the victims of 2002 communal violence in Gujarat and bring to book the culprits are being made to appear as conspirers. Narendra Modi, the then CM, has been given a so-called ‘clean chit’ by the SC about whom Sanjiv Bhatt, in an affidavit submitted to the court, has said that in a meeting on the evening of the Godhra train burning incident, Narendra Modi had told senior police officers to let the Hindus vent their anger for some time. Even if this meeting did not take place senior IAS officer Harsh Mander and IPS officer Vibhuti Narain Rai has claimed that any riot cannot go on beyond a few hours without the complicity of the government. The same SC which has pronounced judgment in 2019 in the Bilkis Bano case asking the Gujarat government to pay Rs. 50 lakhs and providing a government job to the gang rape victim of 2002 violence has now come down so heavily on activists and former police officers who were helping the courts earlier so as to suggest that action should be taken against them. The question is, is Zakia Jafri wrong in seeking justice for the murder of her husband and former Congress Member of Parliament Ehsan Jafri, and is Teesta Setalvad wrong in helping Zakia Jafri? Are we to forget that communal violence took place in Gujarat in 2002, are we to forget that Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi were convicted for having participated in the Naroda Patiya massacre during the 2002 communal violence, even though the former was acquitted later and the latter given a bail, are we to forget that Narendra Modi was denied visa by the United States and some European countries for 9 years for his complicity in the 2002 violence?

Are we to forget that several police officers and Amit Shah were arrested in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi, and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case and the case had to be transferred from Gujarat to Bombay High Court, even though all accused were acquitted when BJP came to power at the center, are we to forget the Justice B.H. Loya who wanted Amit Shah to appear in court died under mysterious circumstances?

A case has now also been registered against Medha Patkar for financial embezzlement in a trust Narmada Nav Nirman Abhiyan by a Hindutva office bearer.  One V.K. Saxena, about whose background very little is known, published an advertisement against Medha Patkar and Narmada Bachao Andolan and since then has been embroiled in legal cases. V.K. Saxena’s affiliations became clear when he was elevated first as Chairperson of Khadi Village and Industries Commission and then as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi by the BJP government and Medha Patkar, who has committed her life to the struggle of marginalized sections of society facing any injustice, is facing a First Information Report and legal cases.

The latest is SC has asked activist Himanshu Kumar to pay a fine of Rs. 5 lakh for filing a petition seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the alleged killing of 16 tribals by police and security forces in 2009 at Gompad in Chhattisgarh. Himanshu Kumar has stated that seeking justice is not a crime and therefore he will not pay the fine.

Welcome to the new India where the accused will be made to appear as innocent and the system will try to protect them and the innocent will be portrayed in a bad light. Activism, fighting for human rights, and speaking the truth have become liabilities.

The judgement of Supreme Court releasing A.G. Perarivalan, convicted in the case of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, has been widely hailed as upholding the human rights of prisoners. Yet, Yasin Malik, Kashmiri separatist leader, has been given two life terms and there is hardly any debate on him. At the same time Government of India is engaged in a dialogue with leaders of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) trying to find a political solution to Naga problem. Nagaland had attracted Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act much before it was used in Jammu and Kashmir, both on account of being disturbed areas.

Yasin Malik, the leader of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, was a militant till 1994, after which he decided to give up violence and espoused Gandhian philosophy. Along with Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, Shabir Shah, Yasin Malik comprised the most credible Kashmiri separatist leadership, who certainly had more following than the mainstream Kashmiri political leadership. Among the separatist leaders he was the most probable to have come around to work with the Government of India to find a political solution to the Kashmir problem. That is likely the reason why various Indian Prime Ministers engaged with him, just like they engaged with the NSCN (IM) leadership. How many Kashmiri separatist leaders do we know who publicly turned Gandhian after pursuing a path of militancy? It was Government of India’s failure that they could not keep Yasin Malik engaged like they have done with NSCN (IM) leadership and allowed him to drift out of its orbit.

The NSCN (IM) entered into a cease fire agreement with Government of India in 1997. Nagaland has witnessed the longest running insurgency movement in south and southeast Asia. All allegations that have been made against Yasin Malik – seeking foreign funding for fomenting trouble in India, striking at the heart of the idea of India , intending to forcefully secede from Union of India – can be leveled against Naga leadership too if the Government of India chooses to do so. But the Government treats Naga leadership with respect. In 2015 it entered into a Framework Agreement in the presence of Narendra Modi ‘…respecting people’s wishes for sharing the sovereign power…’ hoping for ‘…an enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities.’

Why are the people’s wishes in Kashmir being trampled upon by the Government of India? It doesn’t even seem to recognize that there is any entity other than itself that it should talk to in order to resolve the problem of Kashmir just like it seems to be doing in Nagaland.

By abrogating Article 370 and 35A the government of India took away the separate flag and Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. But it is currently negotiating with NSCN (IM) on the demand of a separate flag and Constitution, Yehzabo, without which the Naga leadership says there can be no political solution. The common Naga sentiment supports this idea. The Government of India has come around to accepting the Naga flag as a cultural flag. But the Nagas insist that it is their political flag.

Why is the government of India treating Kashmir as a shut case and at the same time being flexible and exploring possibilities with Naga leadership?

While it is appreciable that it is willing to hear people’s voice in Nagaland, it is regrettable that it is not even willing to recognize the mainstream political leadership in J&K. It is not clear how it hopes to achieve anything by ignoring Abdullahs and Mehbooba Mufti on one hand and trying to make a terrorist out of a separatist leader like Yasin Malik. How can any political solution be arrived at without engaging the political leadership, mainstream or otherwise, in J&K?

Yasin Malik too has human rights like A.G. Perarivalan and deserves to be treated with the same respect as Thuingaleng Muivah, incidentally the Ato Kilonser or Prime Minister of the parallel government run by NSCN (IM) in Nagaland called the Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim. Just as the Government of India sees hope in resolving Naga political issue by engaging in dialogue with NSCN (IM) leadership it should rethink its strategy in J&K and engage the leadership there to resolve the political problem of J&K.

Yasin Malik, an avowed Gandhian, is a hope for people of J&K as well as India. When Nelson Mandela was sent to jail in South Africa he was considered a militant. He was the founder of militant wing of African National Congress, uMkhonto we Sizwe, but later became a pacifist. He formed Truth and Reconciliation Commission to grant amnesties to people who committed crimes during the apartheid rule. It was because of him that a peaceful transition of power could take place from the apartheid era to the first representative government of South Africa.

Yasin Malik’s case should be treated sympathetically as he has pleaded guilty, which is very unusual. This shows that his commitment to Gandhian values is intact. Yasin Malik was not a separatist to begin with. It was his bitter experience in the 1987 rigged elections when he was polling agent for who later became Syed Salahuddin, that Yasin Malik turned a separatist. In 2007 he took out a padyatra ‘Safar-e-Azadi’ to mobilize a signature campaign on the demand of involving people of J&K in the dialogue process to resolve the Kashmir issue. The Government of India needs to be creative and explore the possibility of Yasin Malik playing a larger role in resolving the Kashmir issue rather than treating him like any other terrorist.

Uttar Pradesh’s Director General of Police Mukul Goel has been removed from his post for disregarding government work and not taking interest in departmental duties. Quite obviously not everything has been alright with the UP Police department.

On 1 May police raided the house of Kanhaiya Yadav in Manrajpur village of Chandauli district and when they left the house a 22 years old girl Nisha was found hanging from a ceiling fan. The younger sister Gunja described how brutally both girls were beaten by the police even though she kept pleading that she had an examination coming up. Kanhaiya Yadav has accused the police of demanding a bribe for a legitimate mining lease which he had refused to pay. When a 13 years old Dalit girl went to Pali police station of Lalitpur district to lodge a complaint against her gang rape by four men she was allegedly raped on 27 April by the Station House Officer inside his residence on the police station campus. SHO has been arrested by Prayagraj and the entire staff of 29 police personnel at the police station has been removed. In Lalitpur again at Mahrauni police station on 2 May, a domestic help was tortured after being stripped by two police personnel including a male on charges of theft. Three police personnel including SHO have been suspended. On 7 May in Imliya village of Firozabad district when police arrived at the house of  Fauran Singh Jatav with an upper-caste man Kailashchandra Upadhyay in the matter of a dispute between two families, the atrocity committed by aggressors caused the death of the wife of the Dalit man, Sharda Devi. A woman and her minor daughter were called at Nawabganj police station in Kanpur on 8 May at 4 pm for questioning. The daughter was accused of theft by a family with whom she stayed as domestic help. It was late night by the time interrogation ended. The mother-daughter duo were sent to stay at Asha Jyoti Kendra, a government-run centre for women facing violence. The mother was found hanging in the bathroom at this centre the next morning.

The police have gained notoriety during the Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath’s government which ironically runs a high profile publicity campaign for good law and order in UP. During the last term of Yogi’s rule Vivek Tiwari, an Apple executive was shot dead in the posh Gomti Nagar locality by police for allegedly refusing to stop his vehicle in 2018. In 2021 Faisal Hussin, an 18 years old vegetable vendor died after being beaten by police at Bangermau police station in Unnao district for allegedly violating lockdown rules. In 2021 again, a Kanpur businessman Manoj Gupta was killed in a hotel in Gorakhpur after a police raid there. Also in 2021 a young man Altaf was found hanging from a pipe two feet above the floor in a bathroom inside Sadar Kotwali police station in Kasganj after interrogation in a matter of eloping with a girl.

Police are known to be rough with people and routinely use torture as a technique for the extraction of information or confession of the crime. However, under Yogi’s rule, their conduct gives an impression of lawlessness. A reason for the re-election of the Yogi government in the 2022 Assembly elections is that police feared that Samajwadi Party rule will entail interference of their workers in day to day affairs whereas in BJP rule they have more freedom, which they seem to be abusing at their sweet will.

Yogi Adityanath cannot distinguish between the roles of the legislature, executive and judiciary. He followed ‘thok do’ (kill in cold blood) policy with criminals and enjoyed using bulldozers to demolish properties of mere accused, so much so that bulldozers have become a symbol of his governance style which other BJP governments are also now relishing copying. Earlier his government was trying to extract recovery as part of the U.P. Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Ordinance, 2020 even before the guilt of the accused was proved in a court of law. Supreme Court intervened to stop this but the government has again issued illegal notices for recovery.

In a recent judgement giving bail to Jignesh Mevani, the independent MLA from Gujarat, Assam judge Aparesh Chakraborty has expressed concern at cops turning Assam into a police state. He said, ‘Converting our hard-earned democracy into a police state is simply unthinkable and if the Assam police are thinking about the same, the same is perverse thinking.’ Since Himanta Biswa Sarma became CM in May last year 28 encounter deaths have taken place in Assam. In Yogi Adityanath’s last term of five years over 125 people were killed in encounters. Yogi has already converted UP into a police state and now there is a competition among different BJP governments to outdo each other. For example, two cattle smugglers Akbar and Salman Banjara were arrested in Meerut, handed over to Assam Police and shot dead in an encounter in a Kokrajhar national park where they were taken for investigation.

It is noteworthy that Yogi Adityanath has got criminal cases against himself withdrawn. The UP police didn’t object when bail was granted by High Court to Ashish Mishra, son of the central minister, who mowed down five people in the Lakhimpur Khiri farmers’ protest. It was only after the intervention of the Supreme Court that Ashish Mishra is back in jail.

Hence law and order for the BJP mean treating your own criminals as honourable and targeting your opponents vindictively.  The recent incidents in UP including the arrest of journalists in Ballia in a matter of leak of examination question paper and their solution show that the Yogi government is exposed on three fronts.

Law and order are in shambles. In spite of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ slogan, women are not safe in U.P. and corruption is rampant and blatant. But the public imagination is captured by the Gyanvapi and Mathura issues, so BJP doesn’t need to worry about its governance model going for a toss.

By Sandeep Pandey and Arundhati Dhuru
(Note: Sandeep Pandey is General Secretary, Socialist Party (India) and Arundhati Dhuru is with the National Alliance of People’s Movements)

Dimapur Conclave for ‘Save the Peace,’ organized by Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights on 25-26 March 2022, adopted the following resolution:
  • Indo-Naga political talks must be supported and protected till it achieves the desired goal of honourable and lasting peace for both parties in talks.
  • The Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015, in Delhi is a solemn commitment between the Naga people and the Government of India to bring about a dignified peace in the hitherto strife-torn land. Any attempt to dilute or revise it will undo all achieved during the more than two-and-half decade-old Indo-Naga peace process.
  • It is a matter of grave concern that the peace process since 2019 has degenerated into a stalemate despite the change of interlocutor. This house, therefore urges Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to take direct control of the negotiation. Negotiation at the highest level is the best recourse to safeguard the talks from the vicissitudes of bureaucracy.
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    कांग्रेस छोड़ सकते हैं अहमद पटेल के बेटे फैसल


The Indian government agrees that Nagas have a unique history of having been a collective of village republics not ruled by any outsider. First, the British and later the Indians have conquered it by force. At the time of Indian independence, Mahatma Gandhi had told Nehru that if the Indian government would send the military to Nagaland then he would be the first person to face a bullet. Not satisfied with the full-fledged state status of Nagaland the National Socialist Council of Nagalim launched a struggle for autonomy. At least 3 Indian PMs have met the leadership of NSCN (IM) abroad, according to a condition laid down by NSCN (IM) for talks with the Indian government. In 1997 NSCN (Isak-Muivah) entered into a cease-fire agreement with the government of India. Isak and Muivah arrived in India in 2013. Finally, the Framework Agreement was signed in the presence of Narendra Modi.

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The Framework Agreement says, ‘…the Government of India and the NSCN, respecting people’s wishes for sharing the sovereign power as defined in the competencies, reached an agreement on the 3rd August 2015 as an honourable solution.’ It further says, ‘It is a matter of great satisfaction that dialogue between the Government of India and NSCN has successfully concluded. We are confident, it will provide for an enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities.’ The statement has been signed by Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, the two top leaders of NSCN (IM) and R.N. Ravi as the Representative of the Government of India. Ravi was acting as interlocutor then and later became Nagaland’s Governor.

The Agreement could not fructify as GoI is not prepared to accede to the Naga demand for a separate flag and constitution. Later R.N. Ravi, as Governor tried to put together another group Naga National People’s Group of seven organisations to counterbalance NSCN (IM). NNPG is agreeable to a solution even without a separate flag and constitution. After vehement protests by NSCN (IM), R.N. Ravi was transferred to Tamil Nadu and a new interlocutor has replaced him.

NSCN (IM) says that accepting a solution without a separate flag and constitution would be a disrespect to more than a lakh Nagas killed in the political struggle for autonomy. Naga sentiment is associated with this struggle and NSCN (IM) is believed to be echoing the feelings of Nagas in general.

NSCN (IM) makes it very clear that they are not asking for complete independence from India. They want to live in co-existence with India with their own constitution and flag. They want a traditional system of tribal self-rule but do not mind sending representatives to Rajya Sabha.

Nagas are known to fiercely protect their independence. It is unlikely that they will agree to be just another state of India. They have honoured their commitment to a cease-fire since 1997. If at all, the cease-fire has been violated by Indian security forces, like in the abominable massacre of 13 Nagas in Oting, Mon District on 4 December 2021. Nagas say that they never attack a civilian. Even if an Indian soldier is in civil uniform no harm will be caused to him. They have never taken their struggle beyond their boundaries. This displays the high integrity of Nagas.

It’ll be better if the Government of India honours the self-respecting Naga people who have displayed tremendous resilience and patience for over 70 years and have not compromised a bit. They have a Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim with their own Naga Army headquartered at Camp Hebron, about 40 km. outside Dimapur which conducts itself with dignity.

The choice before the Indian government is very stark. Giving autonomy to Nagas can result in a beautiful self-rule system in Nagaland with a harmonious relationship with India. Not agreeing to their demand will see Nagaland slowly bleeding as we’ve witnessed over more than 70 years with the Indian government not just forced to keep their Army here but also continuing with the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act to some extent. The recent lifting of AFSPA from some parts of Nagaland is a welcome decision but it is inconceivable that the Indian government can carry on with its rule without the help of the Army here or for that matter in most of the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. Self-rule for Nagas will at least free them of the Indian Army presence.

Co-Authored by Pankaj Pushkar (Former MLA, Delhi Assembly)