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

Articles By 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- 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.

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.