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

K BalagopalSubscribe to K Balagopal

Ideology and Adjudication: The Supreme Court and OBC Reservations

A sad fact about the Indian judiciary is that where the judges have felt urgent ideological compulsion they have not let mere canons of discipline stop them. Judgments by smaller benches have prised open what even a nine-judge bench has declared to be the law to such an extent that most of the issues are again open for rewriting. The judgment in Ashoka Kumar Thakur vs Union of India is a case in point.

The NHRC on Salwa Judum: A Most Friendly Inquiry

The Supreme Court, which is hearing writ petitions on the Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh asked the National Human Rights Commission to constitute a fact finding committee that would prepare a report on allegations "relating to violation of human rights by the Naxalites and Salwa Judum". The report, prepared by a group set up by the police wing of the NHRC makes no pretence of neutrality or objectivity. It reads like a partisan statement, whose tone and tenor is to protect the Salwa Judum and its image from being tarnished by allegations of crime.

Land Unrest in Andhra Pradesh-III: Illegal Acquisition in Tribal Areas

The story of illegal land acquisition from scheduled areas in Andhra Pradesh inhabited by tribals points to judicial apathy, bureaucrat connivance and governmental inaction. Cases such as the Polavaram project in Khammam district and the bauxite mining projects show that laws and rules are merrily flouted. It is no wonder that protests are on the rise. This is the third and final part in the series.

Land Unrest in andhra Pradesh-II: Impact of Grants to Industries

It is a characteristic of the land grant bonanza that has overtaken the country in the era of double digit growth that nobody is asking why industrial or house-building concerns need all the land they are being granted. The phenomenon is virulent in Andhra Pradesh. The second in a three-part article.

Land Unrest in Andhra Pradesh- I: Ceiling Surpluses and Public Lands

More than 40 lakh acres of public land have been distributed over the decades to the poor in Andhra Pradesh, perhaps the largest in the country. However, a substantial proportion has been alienated to the non-poor. The law makes it incumbent on the government to have these lands returned to the assignees, but this has not happened. It is this issue of assigned land that is driving protests in the state. The first of a three-part series on the land question.

Condemn Arrest of Binayak Sen

We strongly condemn the arrest of Binayak Sen, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Chhattisgarh [PUCL (Chhattisgarh)] and vice-president, PUCL (national) under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 2004 and Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act (CSPSA),...

Maoist Movement in Andhra Pradesh

In a situation marked by severe state repression of the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh, violent retaliation by the Maoists, and the state's brutal counter-attack (led by the greyhounds) to gain the upper hand, the Maoists are finding it difficult to retain the support of the next generation of the most oppressed. State-encouraged gangs, calling themselves tigers and cobras have unleashed private vengeance, which has played a major role in immobilising the substantial over-ground support of the movement. But above all is the tragic loss of the lives of organic leaders from among the most oppressed.

Chhattisgarh: Physiognomy of Violence

A cycle of violence and counter-violence is devastating the lives of adivasis in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, a Maoist "liberated area". There is no official record of the number of persons killed as a result of the brutal violence of the Salwa Judum. While the Maoists had put an end to the severe harassment of the adivasis by forest and police officials, successfully resisted domination and oppression of the adivasis by the patel-patwari, and raised the rate for picking the tendu leaf, there are certain conflicts of interest in the present context of a counter-insurgency that have created a divide within the tribal community, which makes the present atmosphere tense.

Killer Gangs in AP

Letters Killer Gangs in AP O ver the last decade, the people of Andhra Pradesh have been hearing of killer gangs describing themselves by various names, such as ‘Green Tigers’, ‘Tirumala Tigers’, ‘Kranti Sena’, etc. Now we are hearing of ‘Narsa Cobras’ and ‘Kakatiya Cobras’. Threats are publicly...

Justice for Dalits among Dalits

In a recent judgment, which is replete with arguments against reservations as such, the Supreme Court has argued that apportionment of the reservations made to SCs or STs to subgroups within cannot be done by the state legislatures. Indeed, even Parliament does not have the competence to do so since the Constitution has intended that the SCs and STs are an indivisible, homogeneous entity.

Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh: Have We Heard the Last of the Peace Talks?

The government of Andhra Pradesh says it continues to be open to talks with the Naxalites and that it is the latter who have broken off negotiations. What the government does not say is that the Naxalites broke off talks only after it became clear that the government had no intention of stopping the killing of their cadre. To this extent the Naxalites' decision to leave the table cannot be faulted and the principal responsibility for restarting the process would lie with the government. But the revolutionaries have an equal responsibility, namely, to ensure that the unreal tone and the drama of the first round is eschewed and the two sides conduct themselves with the degree of realism one supposes they are capable of.

Andhra radesh: Beyond Media Images

Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, the new chief minister has given the impression of being a man who cares for the classes neglected by Chandrababu Naidu's model of development. Whether that is really so, is extremely doubtful. That those classes have reposed trust in the Congress Party under his leadership is clear: the issues of irrigation and employment appear to have contributed to the defeat of the Telugu Desam Party, augmented by the desire for a separate state in the Telangana region. Having realised his debt to the dissatisfaction, the new chief minister has already promised heavy investment in major irrigation projects and free power to farmers. And as for Telangana, YSR has made no secret of the fact that he has neither any understanding of the cause nor any sympathy for it.

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