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Fasts, Hunger and Hunger Strikes

How the State has responded to the fasts of Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and Medha Patkar and how the media has portrayed them are a study in contrasts and say something about our society.

Imperial Justice and Indian Frenzy

Operation Geronimo evoked the most farcical reactions in India. Besides approvingly endorsing US imperial arrogance, the media also began advocating that India should carry out similar surgical operations to kill the likes of Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed hiding in Pakistan.

Real Issue, Surreal Solution

The mobilisation of nationwide opinion against the "scam a day" kind of corruption is a great feat, but to think of it as a solution, actual or potential, is to trivialise the issue. The rising indignation of people could have rapidly brought radical politics to the fore, but instead the Lokpal will only serve to confuse them into believing that the solution can come from within the existing order.

From the Underbelly of Swarnim Gujarat

It was heartening to witness dalits in Saurashtra, deprived of the use of land that was de jure theirs, marching to take possession of it. One was reminded of an event in Mahad on 20 March 1927 when the delegates to the Bahishkrit Conference had marched under the leadership of their newfound leader B R Ambedkar to the Chavadar Tank to assert their civil rights to use its water.

Yet Another Binayak Sen

With the arrest of Sudhir Dhawale, the well-known dalit social activist and editor of Vidrohi, another Binayak Sen has emerged, charged with sedition and declaring war against the Indian state.

Satyam's Raju and Satyam Babu

Rich and powerful "fraudsters" like Satyam's Ramalinga Raju will get away; the down and out like Satyam Babu, a poor dalit wrongly convicted for a murder he did not commit, will rot in jail. Caste and - its modern correlate - class matter as never before in India today.

Whither the Faith of Indians, Your Lordships?

In the 1880s, in colonial India a Faizabad court disallowed the building of a Ram temple on the Ram chabutara, but now, a high court in independent India, swearing by the lofty ideals of the Constitution, relies on the "faith and belief of the Hindus" to decide a property dispute, thereby retrogressing to pre-modernity.

Forget MDG, Celebrate CWG

With the kind of scandals and mishaps that have brought the Commonwealth Games to the brink of being rendered a flop show, the entire elitist exercise of seeking superpower status has boomeranged, exposing India's hollowness more than even the highlighting of her failure on the Millennium Development Goals front would have done.

Enveloped in the Peace of the Dead

Nothing ever happens in the country to those who have pelf and power even as millions get pushed to the margins. Those like Natha in Peepli Live are enveloped in the peace of the dead!

High Court's Verdict on Khairlanji: Justice Diminished

While commuting the death sentence of the six convicts in the Khairlanji dalit killings case to imprisonment for 25 years, the high court did not think there was a caste angle or that any planning was involved in the crime. Indeed, the Khairlanji murderers had almost managed a cover-up at the local level; the cracks appeared only as a result of public outrage. It is still rumoured locally that the kingpins have gone scot-free. The whole episode reveals, in a microcosm, the character of the state vis-à-vis dalits.

Counting Castes: Advantage the Ruling Class

If castes are counted in the 2011 census, it will be the second biggest blow to the emancipation project of the oppressed, the first being the Mandal reservations.

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