ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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BJP and Muslim Factor

Bangaru Laxman's overture towards the Muslims and minorities does not mean that the BJP has turned away from its ideological moorings. Rather, it is in keeping with the party's consistent shift of political stance to reach out to a wider vote base, appease its coalition partners, and remain securely in power.

Kashmir: Can Autonomy Be a Solution?

Given that plebiscite is not a practical possibility, autonomy is the best option both for the Kashmiris and for the central government. Alongside this the Indian state must respect the human rights of the Kashmiris, and work for economic development of the state.

Communalism and Communal Violence 1999

While 1999 did not see major communal disturbances, there is a growing tension among Christian and Muslim communities and the majority community.

Media and Minorities

Leave aside blatantly communal periodicals, even well-meaning scholars and intellectuals of liberal-secular hue have contributed to the construction of the minority communities, especially the Muslims and the Christians, as homogeneous, orthodox-sectarian, anti-national and rabid evangelical, notwithstanding ample evidence to the contrary.

Muslim Women and Maintenance

A recent judgment of the Bombay High Court on the resource entitlements of a divorced Muslim woman vis-a-vis her former husband has revived the controversy which the Shah Bano case of 1986 generated and which led to the enactment of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act. Though path-breaking, it seems to run counter to the purpose of that enactment.

BJP Government and Minorities

One year of the BJP-led government in office saw increased communalisation with Christians becoming the new targets of the Sangh parivar outfits. On the other hand, the one year also witnessed the prime minister's bus ride to Pakistan, a heartening attempt to repair Indo-Pak relations.

Resolving Hindu-Muslim Problem

There is a tendency to oversimplify history and project current notions of conflict among Hindus and Muslim backwards into the past. There is a need to examine historical events in their richness, depth, complexity and ambiguity in order to understand the nature of the current tensions.

Communal Violence, 1998-Shifting Patterns

the peasants of Bagur-Naville area.
However, Pranthia Sanghas or the Kisan Sabhas are not a big force in Karnataka; number of agitations that the AIKS has undertaken over the years are far and few. During 1970s the AIKS had the opportunity of becoming a big force by focusing on tenancy rent and price issues. It did conduct some major agitations during this decade such as anti-land grab movement, anti- price rise movement, agitations demanding higher prices for agricultural commodities, etc. Its demand included such issues as land to the tiller, effective famine policy, distribution of waste or surplus lands to the landless, implementation and amendment to land reforms act, moratorium on agricultural debts, reduction in water rates, and also implementing "living wages' to agricultural workers. However, these activities received a severe jolt because of the effective implementation of land reforms in certain pockets of Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada) where it had a strong base. The changing focus of party politics at the national level also had its effect on the agitational politics of the AIKS. The second opportunity came during 1980s when AIKS/Pranthia Raitha Sangha engineered the famous Navalgund- Nargund peasant struggle, which became the forerunner for new farmers' movement in Karnataka, Here too the AIKS or the Prantha Sangha failed to enlarge its bases because of a large number of factors such as the ambiguity in defining the contradictions, incapacity to provide a clear- cut direction to the struggle when it was badly in need of it, etc. Although in recent years the prantha sanghas/kisan sabhas have taken up the issues of farmers who committed suicide, it has not been able to create or provide larger spaces for the AIKS to become a big force. Even the Bagur-Naville struggle too could not create permanent bases.

Azad Paragon of Syncretism

Islamic Seal on India's Independence by Syeda Saiyidain Hameed; Oxford University Press, Karachi, 1998; pp 303, price not stated.
MAULANA AZAD is a seminal contribution to Indian freedom struggle as well as to evolving composite nationalism in India. He was a towering figure among nationalist leaders in general and among Indian Muslims in particular. His intellectual contribution is so rich (hat more one writes about it, less it is. During his birth centenary a few years ago many books were published on him. The unpublished 30 pages of his political autobiography India Wins Freedom were also published in late 1980s and aroused much debate.

Srikrishna Commission Report-Painstaking Documentation

Maharashtra though went on delaying the publication of the Srikrishna Commission report on post-Babri demolition Mumbai riots of December 1992 January 1993, it had to table it on August 6 under public pressure and also because of a public interest petition in the Mumbai High Court filed by several organisations. Left to itself, the SS-BJP government would never have tabled it. It declared its intention to table it several times and every time it lost nerve and did not table it. The report is a highly explosive document as far as the Shiv Sena is concerned. The legislative assembly of Maharashtra was in turmoil after the report was tabled. More about it later First we would like to throw some light on the contents of the report.

Election Manifestos and Minorities-Promises Galore

would still remain unless zero tax treatment is extended to all electronic commerce. No doubt exemption from customs, sales tax, VAT and income tax will give a tremendous boost to electronic commerce. But it would definitely be against the canons of equity. Music sold on a physical media like CD will bear a tax burden whereas music downloaded through internet on the customer's computer will not bear any tax. Similarly, services rendered through the internet wilt escape service tax which another consumer similarly placed has to bear.

Democracy and Politics of Identity

Asghar Ali Engineer Democracy provides space in which sections of society mobilise various identities to demand share in power, and thus question the status quo.


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