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

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Democracy and the Fight against Communalism

Democracy and the Fight against Communalism K Balagopal THIS is a belated response to Sumanta Banerjee's ' Sangh Parivar and Democratic Rights' (EPW, August 21, 1993). Belated, hut certainly not loo late, for the issue he has raised is one that we are living with, and will continue to live with for a long time to come. And the attitudes he adopts are part of the legacy of the left that needs to be critically re-thought.

In Defence of India-Supreme Court and Terrorism

The Supreme Court's judgment on TADA in the Kartar Singh vs State of Punjab case has taken the law back to the pre-1978 days, though, to be fair, this is not the only occasion when the Supreme Court has set the calendar back JUSTICE Ratnavel Pandian's judgment (on behalf of the majority) in Kartar Singh vs State of Punjab has set the Constitutional sealon TADA. It is a poorly written judgment, poor in language

Seshan in Kurnool

Seshan in Kurnool K Balagopal Indian electoral democracy has undoubtedly led to a lot of political awakening among the poor and the oppressed, and even a certain amount of empowerment of these classes. But in its principal aspect it has functioned less as a means of ascertaining and enthroning the will of the majority than as a means of sharing out patronage, power and property among the rich and the powerful. From the village sarpanch to the MLA, most of the elected representatives today are leaders of gangs armed to the teeth, and the consequent terror is a decisive factor in deciding elections.

ANDHRA PRADESH-A Year of Drought

ANDHRA PRADESH A Year of Drought? K Balagopal THE south-west monsoon is all set to leave the skies of Andhra Pradesh. Having played truant for the first six weeks and wilful for the next six it is finally ready to clear out. leaving the people estimating

Why Did December 6,1992 Happen

Why Did December 6,1992 Happen? K Balagopal It is rubbish to say that a large number of Hindus have turned to Hindutva because secularism has meant the pampering of minorities. Hindutva is not a response to 'pseudo'secularism. It is a response to genuine secularism, among other democratic values, and it has its origin in a political need to counter aspirations for democracy and equity in the concrete context of the new consensus being fabricated by the ruling classes concerning economic and political matters.

Slaying of a Spirituous Demon

Slaying of a Spirituous Demon K Balagopal Hitherto geographically and politically renjote places have moved to the centre of political discussion in Andhra Pradesh in the last two months. The context is the anti-arrack agitation that is shaking the state, upsetting complacent notions about the political apathy of the suffering masses and the inability of women to take their future into their hands without male leadership.

Economic Liberalism and Decline of Democracy-Case of Andhra Pradesh

Economic Liberalism and Decline of Democracy Case of Andhra Pradesh K Balagopal The recent enthusiasm for private enterprise has been accompanied by a sharp decline in all that we understand by democracy. This is most in evidence in states like Andhra Pradesh which have been witness to militant political struggles of the most oppressed classes of society. The events preceding and succeeding the ban on the People's War group in May this year reflect an order of brutality that beggars description.

Excerpts from the Memoirs of Death

K Balagopal He woke up suddenly, prodded by a policeman's stick. There were five of them now in the cell, all in plainclothes and carrying sten guns... They were evidently drunk, but there was more than intoxication in their looks. There was rage an animal rage.. - Next day the superintendent of police was preparing for a press conference where he would give the full details of the attempted mining of the police, jeep, and the ensuing encounter with the naxalites which lasted two hours and a total of 300 rounds, leaving one unidentified naxalite dead.

Meham in Nandyal

Meham in Nandyal K Balagopal The gangsterism Congress(I) goons led by a galaxy of party leaders exhibited at Kurnool, the district headquarters, during nominations week and P V Narasimha Rao's silent endorsement of the criminality would have destroyed his political reputation had either the political situation been different or the critical instincts of our liberal intelligentsia been truly honest and impartial. But today PV is the consensus man and the Indian ruling classes are desperately hoping that he will cement the yawning fissures within their ranks.

Post-Chundur and Other Chundurs

K Balagopal One only has to contrast Guntur with the Rayalaseema districts to realise that Chundur happened not because the dalits of Guntur are more oppressed than elsewhere, but precisely because they have fought oppression and have put themselves on an unrelenting path of social and economic advancement and political autonomy ONE reason why Chundur caught the whole nation's attention is the magnitude of the massacre. Eight dead bodies were fished out of the irrigation canals and the drains of Chundur and surrounding villages within three days of the gruesome assault of August 6; the whereabouts of another nine men are not known to this day, six weeks after the killing, which means they too were killed and thrown into the canals but did not float up at the places that were searched. This makes a total of 17 dead. The number becomes 18 if one adds Mandru Parishudha Rao who died of shock the day after the carnage after seeing the mutilated dead body of his younger brother, 21 year old Mandru Ramesh. And it becomes 19 if one adds Kommerla Anil Kumar, an articulate young dalit who survived the massacre of August 6 to give a graphic account of the incident but was shot dead by the police on September 10 in the course of an attempt by the latter to remove a hunger strike camp set up by the daiits a Chundur. Such a large casualty figure is such a natural and sufficient reason for the attention Chundur has received that one does not search for other reasons, and therefore one does not see other Chundurs.

Perception and Presentation-A Telugu Film on Naxalites

A Telugu Film on Naxalites K Balagopal The changes that have occurred in the establishment's picture of Naxalism have run a tortuous course. Each time in the recent past when it thought that a proper way of presenting the Naxalites to the people had been devised it discovered that the reality had moved ahead and the framework had to be re-done. An instance of the latest recasting of the framework is the recently made film People's Encounter.

Two Missing Women of Karimnagar

Two 'Missing' Women of Karimnagar K Balagopal Two young activists of a women agricultural labourers' organisation were abducted and killed in the reign of N T Rama Rao who never thought of controlling the police; the enquiry into their 'disappearance' was ordered and brutally frustrated in the reign of Chenna Reddy who made vocal but empty promises of restoration of political control over the police; and it continues now in the reign of Janardhan Reddy who has come to power in perhaps the most unspeakably cynical exhibition of political gangsterism Indian democracy has witnessed.

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