Arundhati Roy on Indian-Pakistani war clouds and the ‘secret’ hanging of Afzal Guru

Does Your Bomb-Proof Basement Have An Attached Toilet?

Afzal Guru

Afzal Guru

An execution carried out to thundering war clouds

What are the political consequences of the secret and sudden hanging of Mohammed Afzal Guru, prime accused in the 2001 Parliament attack, going to be? Does anybody know? The memo, in callous bureaucratese, with every name insultingly misspelt, sent by the Superintendent of Central Jail No. 3, Tihar, New Delhi, to “Mrs Tabassum w/o Sh Afjal Guru” reads:

“The mercy petition of Sh Mohd Afjal Guru s/o Habibillah has been rejected by Hon’ble President of India. Hence the execution of Mohd Afjal Guru s/o Habibillah has been fixed for 09/02/2013 at 8 am in Central Jail No-3.

This is for your information and for further necessary action.”

The mailing of the memo was deliberately timed to get to Tabassum only after the execution, denying her one last legal chanc­e—the right to challenge the rejection of the mercy petition. Both Afzal and his family, separately, had that right. Both were thwarted. Even though it is mandat­ory in law, the memo to Tabassum ascribed no reason for the president’s rejection of the mercy petition. If no reason is given, on what basis do you appeal? All the other prisoners on death row in India have been given that last chance.

Since Tabassum was not allowed to meet her husband before he was hanged, since her son was not allowed to get a few last words of advice from his father, since she was not given his body to bury, and since there can be no funeral, what “further necessary action” does the jail manual prescribe? Anger? Wild, irreparable grief? Unquestioning acc­eptance? Complete integration?

After the hanging, there have been unseemly celebrations. The bereaved wives of the people who were killed in the attack on Parliament were displayed on TV, with M.S. Bitta, chairman of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, and his ferocious moustaches playing the CEO of their sad little company. Will anybody tell them that the men who shot their husbands were killed at the same time, in the same place? And that those who planned the attack will never be brought to justice because we still don’t know who they are. Continue reading

Military ties between India and Israel expand over past decades

[This article detailing Israel and India’s extensive military ties has an important omission. In its descriptions of the launch of a spy satellite by India with Israeli assistance and India’s purchase of drone aircraft from Israel, the article does not mention the fact that these pilotless drones and the satellite are not just spying on Pakistani forces; they are being used to gather intelligence on the people’s uprising in Kashmir and the Maoist-led resistance of the adivasi people in eastern and central India to a massive assault of 200,000 troops called Operation Green Hunt.–ed]

by Isabelle Saint-Mézard,  Le Monde Diplomatique

From antipathy to military cooperation–India and Israel: an unlikely alliance

India has the world’s third largest Muslim population, and political and economic ties with Arab nations. It is also buying weapons and military expertise from its new friend Israel.

India and Israel were born (in 1947 and 1948) through long and violent partition processes, from the ruins of the British empire. Both were caught up in inextricable armed conflicts. Yet this did not make for any particular affinity between the countries: rather the reverse.

From the 1920s onwards, the leaders of India’s nationalist movement sided with the Palestinian Arabs against British imperialism, opposing the Zionist aim of establishing a Jewish state. India voted against the partition of Palestine at the UN General Assembly of 1947, and only recognised Israel in 1950. Until the 1980s it formed a bloc with the Arab countries at the UN and within the Non-aligned Movement, in defence of the Palestinian people’s right to a sovereign state.

India had its reasons: it was worried that the Muslim world would side with Pakistan over its claim to Kashmir; it was concerned about energy security (India depends largely on the Middle East for its oil); and in the late 1980s and 1990s, when it had a serious payments imbalance, it relied on money sent back home by the many expatriates working in the Gulf states . Continue reading

Babri Masjid verdict a victory for right-wing Hindus

Fundamentalist Hindus demolish Babri Masjid mosque in 1992

Democratic Sudents Union, Jawaharlal Nehru University

October 16,  2010

Notwithstanding the party in power, the colour of Indian state is saffron: The Babri Masjid verdict once again proves that!

The Babri Masjid Verdict most certainly stands as yet another brazen vindication of the communal, fascist, and Hindu majoritarian nature of the Indian state. What is more dangerous however is the way every ruling class party in this country is justifying and trying to ‘normalize’ this rabidly communal verdict and in effect its pre-history. Duly assisted by the corporate media, these parliamentary parties are trying to hide the fascist ramifications of this judgment.

The judgment not only blatantly denied justice to the Muslims by vesting 2/3 land of the Babri Masjid to the Hindus but also dangerously upheld faith of the dominant upper caste HRam templeindu community. The verdict after all reasserts the fact that Muslims are second class citizens in this country, who should remain contented with the “generosity” shown by the judiciary in vesting just one-third of the land, which wholly belongs to them otherwise. Continue reading

CPI(Maoist): Awaiting court decision concerning the demolition of the Babri Masjid

Right wing Hindus at Babri Masjid in 1992

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) CENTRAL COMMITTEE

September 21, 2010

Stay alert to the heinous attempts of the ruling classes to divide us in the name of religion and stop killing each other in their interests !

Court judgment on the demolition of Babri Masjid is awaited on September 24, 2010. Even before the judgment is delivered the air is reeking with apprehension and trepidation. The uneasy memories of that fateful day (December 6, 1992) are giving fear to all democratic sections in the country and needless to say, especially to the Muslims all over the sub-continent. Any sane person who wants to learn history in order not to repeat it is waking up with a start from the nightmare of our history of communal flare ups.

The unprecedented deployment of police and paramilitary forces in all the states and Union Territories on the eve of the judgment is creating doubts as to what is to be awaited from the court which is but an organ of the Hindu religion and upper caste-biased state that is the Indian government. The callous, cold-hearted, pro-imperialist, anti-Indian people, traitorous judgment in the Bhopal gas leak case is sending alarm chills down the spines of concerned citizens and is issuing warning calls. There is not much in our whole history of court judgments which could reassure the people.

We, the CPI (Maoist) appeal to all the people of India to stay alert to the possibilities of a flare up of communal tensions with the instigation of the ruling classes, especially by the saffron fascist brigades in the wake of this judgment. Whatever may be the judgment, what they would like to do is to divert the people from their problems, struggles and political and economic crises. Continue reading