IN Pakistan, apprehensions are rife about Narendra Modi?s flamboyant success. But fervent Modi supporters in the Indian middle classes prefer to place him in the economic governance arena. Dawn recently talked to renowned Indian writer, Arundhati Roy, in Delhi to explore what Modi?s rise means for India.
?The massive, steeply climbing GDP of India dropped rather suddenly and millions of middle-class people sitting in the aircraft, waiting for it to take off, suddenly found it freezing in mid-air,? says Ms Roy. ?Their exhilaration turned to panic and then into anger. Modi and his party have mopped up this anger.? Continue reading “Where will India's poor go?”
In the 40-odd years that America and the Soviet Union faced off in the cold war, the people who presumed to run the world started with the knowledge that it was too dangerous, and possibly even suicidal, to attack one another. But the struggle was fierce, and what that meant in practice was that the competition played out in impoverished places like Cuba and Angola, where the great statesmen vied, eyed and subverted one another, and sometimes loosed their local proxies, all in the name of maintaining the slippery but all-important concept known as the balance of power.
The peace held, of course ? that is, the larger peace. The United States and the Soviet Union never came to blows, and the nuclear-tipped missiles never left their silos. For the third world, where the competition unfolded, it was another matter entirely. The wreckage spread far and wide, in toppled governments, loathsome dictators, squalid little wars and, here and there, massacres so immense that entire populations were nearly destroyed. Continue reading “Collateral Damage”
UNTIL 1971 Pakistan was made up of two parts: west and east. Both Muslim-dominated territories were born out of India?s bloody partition 24 years earlier, though they existed awkwardly 1,600km apart, divided by hostile Indian territory. Relations between the two halves were always poor. The west dominated: it had the capital, Islamabad, and greater political, economic and military clout. Its more warlike Pashtuns and prosperous Punjabis, among others, looked down on Bengali easterners as passive and backward. Continue reading “The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide.”
If you find a?vassal?country takes a path that you dislike,
It’s your duty to divert it, with a bold preemptive strike.
But when bleeding troops and money, you had better think of ways,
By which to wield your influence.? A little thinking pays.
You can call for free elections and for freedom of the press.
If you don’t like who’s elected, push for freedom to repress. Continue reading “Egypt: Advice to Vassals”
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-104-2013
11 August 2013
BANGLADESH: Human rights defender, Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan arbitrarily detained
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; ill-treatment; fabricated charges; freedom of expression and opinion; human rights defender; corruption; impunity
Dear friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police has arrested Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, one of most respected human rights defenders in Bangladesh and the Secretary of Odhikar. A group of plain clothed men picked up Mr. Adilur from his residence at?10:20 p.m., on 10 August 2013. Neither Adilur, nor the family was informed why they were taking Adilur into custody and where they were taking him. Later, media in Bangladesh have published reports, quoting police officers Adilur was arrested in relation to a case registered at Gulshan Police Station, for offenses punishable under the Information and Communications Technology Act, 2006. However, the Gulshan police has informed Odhikar that they had no case registered against Adilur at the station, and that the officers there learned about Adilur’s arrest through the media. There is serious concern about Adilur’s safety in custody. Please intervene immediately in this case, so that Adilur remains safe in custody and released without delay. Continue reading “Stifling the whistleblower”
It is time to protest the ruling Awami League?s self-publicity through billboards at a staggering cost of more than Tk.3 crore (one senior minister would possibly say taxpayers? Tk.3 crore is ?rubbish? as he ?rubbished? the 4,000 crore stolen by Hall-Mark). I am really shocked and saddened by the government?s overwhelming ?billboard campaign? ? whose impact will be grossly under-whelming though ? and the deafening silence of our civil society, intellectuals, politicians and youths over this scandalous act of the ruling party. The removal of commercial billboards to the detriment of commercial firms by the government is also shockingly unwarranted.
COME AND JOIN 29TH MARCH PROTEST RALLY! RAISE YOUR VOICES, ITS NOW OR NEVER!!
Shongkhubdho Nagorik Shomaj: Protest Rally Against Taqi Murder on Wednesday March 29 at 4pm at Raju Bhashkorjo, Dhaka University.
Seventeen year-old Tanwir Muhammad Taqi, a meritorious A-level student, was found dead on March 8, 2013, two days after he had gone missing, on the banks of the Sitalakhya river in Narayanganj. He had been brutally murdered.
I have seen photos of his dead body, they bear the marks of gruesome torture. Other activist friends Taslima Akhter (photographer, garment labour activist), Shahidul Alam (photographer) and Saydia Gulrukh (anthropologist) who have, like me, seen the photographs, have spent sleepless nights.
Taqi (name spelt variously in the press) was admired and loved and not known to have enemies.
But his father, Rafiur Rabbi did, and does. A public figure widely respected for his honesty, fearlessness and uncompromising stance, Rabbi has led innumerable social and people power movements; cumulatively, they challenge the tight grip of Shameem Osman and his family, who are Narayanganj’s “godfathers”, who have ruled the port city for 3 generations through payoffs, kickbacks, violence and terror.
Narayanganj city’s popular mayor Dr Selina Hayat Ivy and Rabbi (convenor, Narayanaganj Ganajagoron Mancha; vice president Narayanganj Nagorik Committee; convenor, district level National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports?) ? have publicly held Shameem Osman and his family responsible for the killing, the most recent of nearly fifty over the last one and a half years.
The reign of terror must STOP! Play your part. Come and join the rally.
Rahnuma Ahmed, writer, columnist
Professor Naseem Akhter Hussain, Jahangirnagar University
Professor Anu Muhammad, Jahangirnagar University
Masud Imran, teacher, Jahangirnagar University
Mahmudul Sumon, teacher, Jahangirnagar University
Nasrin Khandoker, teacher, Jahangirnagar University
Arup Rahee, singer, poet
Shipra Bose, development activist
Taslima Akhter, photographer
Udisa Islam, journalist
Many Americans are rightly disgusted by the non-choice they are offered in the presidential race every four years. This year is no different despite the serious problems that the United States faces at home and abroad. Mitt Romney has no actual plan to fix the economy, and the record of President Barack Obama over the past four years speaks for itself. Romney is a big-government Republican, while Obama is an even-bigger-government Democrat. Either will increase the deficit to the bankruptcy point; Romney through more spending on arms, soldiers, and wars, Obama with a sorely needed health-care program that will break the bank because it was created in collusion with the health-care and insurance industries and makes no effort to limit costs.Continue reading “The Ugly Truth”