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

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What Will They Do to Kashmir Now?

The several 'formulas' for peace doing the rounds all require only the satisfaction of India and Pakistan and the approval of the US. The Kashmiris themselves have no formula to offer. It may be because of political fatigue, or perhaps there is a deeper reason, for, to Kashmiris self-determination is in terms of the whole of the old state of Jammu and Kashmir. But this old idea of collective self-determination has not been kept alive by the social and political leaderships of the ethnic/linguistic sub-regions. The voice of 'azaadi' inevitably sounds like Kashmiri particularism easily conflated by interested parties with Muslim communalism.

People's War and the Government

Sustained efforts by civil society organisation finally brought the Andhra Pradesh government and the People's War to the negotiating table last year. But suspicions have lingered on both sides with encounter killings continuing and the state government refusing to respond favourably to offers of ceasefire by People�s War. Moreover the process has been stymied by the government's insistence on unilateral surrender by the group prior to the start of any dialogue.

Reflections on 'Gujarat Pradesh' of 'Hindu Rashtra'

The economic relation between the adivasis and the Muslims in rural north Gujarat is of the kind that most radical analysts have deemed to be sufficient to justify a violent class struggle. And that is just how the VHP is likely to project it as in the coming days - an explanation for adivasi participation in the violence that could be quite embarrassing for radical analysts. It is time for radical analysts to give up simplistic assumptions and modes of analysis, not for the sake of the VHP, but for possible progress in human affairs.

The Valley, the Hills and the Summit

Over the past fortnight and more, the purveyors of views, official and unofficial, have been dishing out commentaries that look at the valley and the hills from the unreal vantage point of the 'summit'. Unless we learn to see the summit the way it looks from the valley and the hills, we will never understand all that needs to change before any just and honourable resolution of the dispute is even thinkable.

A Tough Law for Other People's Crime

The state that has enacted a fresh law to control crime syndicates in Andhra Pradesh is not an innocent victim of such syndicates nor a beleaguered administration frustrated by mafia gangs beyond its control. It is itself a major patron and protector of a variety of crime syndicates, notwithstanding the air of injured innocence it puts on when asked to explain its latest legislative adventure.

Law Commission's View of Terrorism

Indians have increasingly put their faith in courts of law and judges as politicians and bureaucrats repeatedly disappointed them. But the Law Commission's recommendations on the proposed anti-terrorism bill give one pause. The commission has brought back some of the more objectionable provisions and added a couple of irrelevancies of its own.

A Tangled Web

The conflict between two dalit communities of Andhra Pradesh - the malas, who have had the lion's share of the scheduled caste quotas of jobs and educational opportunities and the madigas, who have agitated for castewise division of the quotas - could perhaps have been resolved socially. But thanks to the recourse taken to executive fiat and legislation a tangled web, involving not only the two communities and the state government but also the higher judiciary, the central government and the national commission for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, has been woven.

Andhra Pradesh : The Man and the Times

There is a palpable tension in the incongruity between the present Times, as defined by the World Bank and expectations of social and economic democracy buttressed by the possibilities afforded by political democracy in India. The likes of the crafty Chandrababu, of whom there are quite a few in Indian politics and public life, are in search of ways of overcoming the tension to the advantage of their viewpoint. Will they succeed, and if so on what terms; if not, which of the two mutually incongrous terms will prevail are questions for the immediate future.

Of Capital and Other Punishments

In a country like India where extreme social stratification and increasing social turmoil are likely to sharply affect the ideas and opinions of people, including judicial officers, putting in human hands the discretion to take life can be quite dangerous. Conflict and turmoil apart, the very deep stratification of Indian society makes even-handed dispensation of justice a problematic thing in the best of times. We live in times of severe social turmoil and the ascendance of the extremely illiberal politics of the Hindu fanatics. As this mood catches on we are going to find the courts silently handing out more and more harsh punishments, bending backward to look at evidence from the policemen's point of view and sending more and more people to the hangman. It is in this context that the debate on capital punishment must be conducted.

Naxalite Terrorists and Benign Policemen

Naxalite Terrorists and Benign Policemen K Balagopal Naxalite Terrorism: Social and Legal Issues by K Aravinda Rao, East and West Books, Chennai, 1996.

Kashmir Self-determination, Communalism and Democratic Rights

K Balagopal NOW that cynical realism believes it has won some sort of a victory in Kashmir, it is time to talk of some principlesprinciples pertaining not only to the way the rulers of India have been dealing with Kashmir, but also the way progressive and democratic- minded Indians have been responding to Kashmir, and to the problems stemming from the mode of expression of the cause of Kashmiri self-determination. Criticism of the rulers is easy and uncomplicated, at least in principle, if one has no material or ideological interests vested in the matter. The others are less easy, less familiar and less comfortable, but unless we learn to formulate such critiques, the cause of progress and democracy will remain stuck at 1989.

Andhra Elections What Happened and What Did Not Happen

The voting statistics do not show that it was the cheap rice scheme and prohibition that were primarily responsible for the Telugu Desam Party's phenomenal victory. What is striking is not the increase in TDP votes, but the fall in Congress votes by as much an 12 to 14 percentage points.

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