Sunday, 12 November 2017

DEMONETIZATION- A PROXY WAR ON BLACK MONEY

A year ago, on 8th November 2016, Narendra Modi led BJP government took a decision to demonetize the currency of 500 & 1000 notes. The aim remains to thrash & curb the circulation of black money which persists in domestic market. It is also said that demonetization will act against terrorism by preventing the circulation of fake currency note printed “across the border”? This argument hinges crucially on the assumption that the technology employed in printing the new tender will prevent any possibility of faking it. The Demonetization of 86 percent of the currency of the country, a virtually unprecedented measure anywhere in the world, has brought immense hardship to the working people of the country, and has damaged their living standards permanently. Many however believed that it was a step being taken for the greater social good, for achieving certain important social goals.
A REALITY CHECK:- RBI report of this year said- “As of end- March 2016, Gross Non Performing Assests (GNPAs) of all Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) are at Rs. 5, 60, 822 crore, 7.71% of their gross advances of Rs. 72,73,927 crore. In addition, the reconstructed failure standard advances are at Rs. 2,94,729 crore, 4.05% of the gross advances.
This means that more than Eight & half lakh crore rupees (Rs. 8,55,551 crore) of the loans given by our banks have not been returned by the borrowers.
At a public event on 1 July 2016, the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma is reported to have said, “There is a belief that a significant part of NPAs could be amounts fraudently obtained as advances from the banking system. There is also a belief that a large part of these amounts may have been transferred abroad & may never get recovered”. (Business Standard, 02 July)
Top ten corporate houses owe staggering amount of Rs. 7 lakh crores to Public Sector Banks (PSBs)
and Financial institutions. As per the RBI, the ratio of NPAs of banks is 19.3% as of March 2016, up from 0.7% in March 2015. Detail in below picture. 
A legitimate question comes in- If someone bypasses the loan return procedure of PSBs, is that act not part of stacking black money & corruption? Yes it is. When it implies on common man, the same must be for ultra-rich of this country.
INDIRECT CAUTION   NOTE TO FEW-
According to Indian statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, this figure came out.
April 2016 article of Times of India gives hint of moving high value currency to safe assets like land, gold, etc.
Three daily newspapers made this claim of currency ban months before.
“Akila”, Gujarati Daily Newspaper claimed ban 6 months before.
“Dainik Jagran”, a hindi Daily claimed ban on 12 days before.
The English Daily “Business Line” claimed 18 days before. This proves that ultra-rich popation of politicians, media house owners, rich corporates, big businessmen, real estate giants already knew about this step of demonetization.
Modi Govement keeps mum on steps which would surely hurt BIG PLAYERS of BLACK MONEY. They are as follows-
  1. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), is being carried forward by present NDA DTAA- A treaty which protects individuals & companies from paying the same tax in both the countries. India carries this treaty with Mauritius. This allows companies to allow companies to pay their taxes only in the Country of Origin and not in the Country of Operations. This allows round tripping of investments in to the country. Indian investors can easily set up a shell company and then route the same black money back into India disguised as FDI, the advantage being the tax avoidance. DTAA is essentially for residents of Mauritius. However foreign capital has not been shy of making use of this route by setting up shell companies in Mauritius and then routing their investments to India. This is termed treaty-shopping third countries. Recent example of unethical practice of treaty shopping and thereby avoiding taxation in India.
  2. Mauritius Route: A major conduit for tax evasion and money laundering is through the Mauritius route. India’s Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Mauritius allows companies with an office address in that island country to escape paying capital gains tax in India. The fact that this treaty is being thoroughly misused can be seen from the fact that out of the $132 billion (Rs. 5.9 lakh crore) of total FDI inflows into India between April 2000 and April 2011, $55 billion (Rs.2.4 lakh crore) or 41.5% came from Mauritius alone. During this period the FDI inflows from Singapore was $13 billion, $9.5 billion from the US and $6.6 billion from the UK. Why is it that a small island country like Mauritius accounts for over 8 times the amount of FDI inflows into India from the US, the largest economy of the world? This happens because MNCs and FIIs across the world set up offices in the Mauritius to invest into India and enjoys profits without having to pay taxes. Modi Government is in no mood to act on this source of “BLACK MONEY”. Government created the route for illegal money from here to go & come back in form of participatory notes as there is no record of who is buying the participatory notes & from where the note is coming.
  3. 2. To strictly monitor & scrutinize “Participatory Notes” used in an unscrupulous manner.
    3. To maintain a strict & stringent tax administering system, cutting down tax exemptions which have been siphoned to certain big corporate houses which is no less than accumulation of primitive capital gains, black money. As per Former RBI Chief, MrRaghuram Rajan-“ effort should be more on tracking data & better tax administration to get at where money is not being declared.”
  4. 4. To compel big corporate giants to repay the loan which they have borrowed.
Black money is not there as a bundle of cash. It is in form of Participatory notes, Gold, antique piece, real estate land, etc. Cash only constitutes 6% of the black money, government sidelined this reality.
DEMONETIZATION, A FIASCO- HOW?
 Banks have received Rs15.28 trillion ($239 billion), or 99% of the currency invalidated, according to RBIs. This data proves that demonetization was a total failure. http://www.livemint.com/Politics/eApQkuRxQHM95h2KM7732O/PM-Narendra-Modis-cash-ban-a-total-failure-as-99-of-bann.html
Mass Unemployment– About 1.5 million jobs were lost during January-April 2017. The currency ban badly affected the working class. https://www.cmie.com/kommon/bin/sr.php?kall=warticle&dt=2017-07-11%2011:07:31&msec=463
No Harm to Naxal Violence– Naxal violence continued unabated after demonetization. Claims of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, that Demonetization had broken the backbone of terrorists and naxals is an OPEN LIE.
Source: SATP data, Data till April 23rd from SATP site, 25 Sukma fatalities added manually
Source: SATP data, Data till April 23rd from SATP site, 25 Sukma fatalities added manually.
If eliminating black money was the intention, demonetization should have been the last step, not the first. The government should have taken more targeted measures on off-shore accounts, non-performing assets and benami transactions before it decided to steam-roll this ill-thought out measure on the whole population. This step crippled livelihood of 93% nation’s informal workforce. As an Indian,  consider 8th November as a “Black Day”.

‘Matas’ Of ‘Bharat’ Bleed Monthly, You Can’t Celebrate Them Until You Accept Them

The human race, as we know it, aspires to achieve limitless success, and with pride and respect. Then, suddenly, a question pops in my mind. Is it being done without hurting someone’s dignity? The answer is no. And here’s why.
While reasons are numerous, I feel like we need to raise a basic but necessary concern. Our society has been constantly endorsing gender-based violence, in the form of partial treatment, and discrimination, on a large scale, under the respectable banner of ‘culture’ and ‘tradition’. All my life, growing up in India, I have seen and heard about rigid and brutal stands on menstruation. As a human being and as a biologist it’s shameful to acknowledge such a natural phenomenon being labelled as a taboo, without any scientific backing. It openly excludes women from many aspects of socio-cultural life.
This has its impact on the psychological state of young girls and women. Some of the cultural connotations related to menstruation are avoiding certain food items, sitting in a separate place, not being allowed into the kitchen, prohibiting their entry to any religious place, restriction on domestic duties, among others. In India, according to an article published in the Hindu 23% “girls drop out of school when they reach puberty; this is in part because schools lack gender-segregated toilets. Women frequently miss work because they have no place to change the cloths or napkins they use. In Bangladesh, most employed women miss about six days of work each month, stifling productivity and advancement.” And, half of the girls aged 14 to 17, in Karachi, Pakistan, “knew nothing about menstruation and were scared of their periods, believing they were ill or dying.” In Nepal, because of a particular Hindu tradition, women have to live separately in places like a cow shed, or a hut.
Menstrual blood is a biochemical fluid and not a sinful result of an individual’s deeds, as is believed by many. Science stands by it, meanwhile, there is no logic backing the claims that menstruation can have harmful reactions on women and those around them.
It makes no sense for a society to pose it as a nightmare and make it a legitimate tool for hate and discrimination. Even the ruling political classes’ approach towards this stigma is no good. Recently, the Finance Ministry taxed sanitary napkins 12% under the Goods and Service Tax (GST). Is this an acceptable decision? Ritualistic accessories like pooja items, sindoor (vermilion), and bangles are exempted from tax but a necessity like sanitary pads are chargeable. Waah!  This shows the hollow, ignorant attitude of the Government of India for whom everything is important, except women’s health. In a country where 70% of the female population cannot afford sanitary napkins, the ruling government continues to enrich its anti-women stand. 
The slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ insists that this nation-state is a woman. At one side electorally powerful sycophants recite this everywhere and force others to follow the suit and on the other hand, their they are clueless when it comes to understanding the needs of women and designing their policies around them. So this sloganeering makes little sense to me, as it fails women on all counts—social acceptance, moral upliftment and inclusive social growth. Why should I not question the credibility of the so-called society and government which proudly boasts about ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ (inclusive growth)?

How Can We Do Away With Menstrual Taboos?

It is a conquerable task. The first and foremost thing we can do is raise awareness among adolescent girls on subjects of menstrual health and hygiene. As this Akvopedia article titled Menstrual Hygiene Toolkit states, “Young girls often grow up with limited knowledge of menstruation because their mothers and other women shy away from discussing the issues with them. Adult women may themselves not be aware of the biological facts or hygienic practices, so instead, they pass on cultural taboos and restrictions to be observed. Men typically know even less, but it is important for them to understand menstruation so they can support their wives, daughters, mothers, students, employees, and peers”. There is also a need to spread awareness among the school teachers regarding menstruation.

Awareness, Education, Empowerment

To overcome this moral crisis we need to follow this chronology.  Social education on menstruation coupled with awareness programmes can definitely empower women. An educational institution can make a difference in perceptions, across gender. A special interactive session on menstruation between students and medical experts can help change the mindset of people.  In this aspect, Kerala’s Left Front government made great progress by installing Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine in every school. It is a revolutionary step which openly accepts a biological process with a broad mind and vision and stands by the dignity of girls.  It deserves emphasis and replication by all elected governments.
It is high time we grew unconditional empathy and compassion for women and began understanding their plight. It is necessary for the growth of any society. Which is why I would like to end with an optimistic quote by Dr B.R. Ambedkar which says, “I measure the progress of the society by the degree of progress which women have achieved.”https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/06/menstruation-a-biological-right-and-not-a-tool-of-hate/

Monday, 18 September 2017

E.V.Ramasamy Periyar on Bhagat Singh

On 138th birth anniversary of E.V. Ramasamy Periyar, I recall his views on Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

Bhagat Singh became a national hero immediately after the Assembly Bomb Explosion on April 9, 1929. Till then he was known as a thinking young nationalist among the Naujawan Bharat Sabha activists in areas around Punjab. He had also grown into a popular ideologue in the underground circle of revolutionaries of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). However, it was this daring act on April 9 which catapulted him to national fame. As planned in advance, the court hearings during the trial were used as a platform to address the fellow Indians and sensitise them about HSRA’s ideology and programme. His writings from the prison were surreptitiously sent out and published by the nationalist press. The martyrdom of Bhagat Singh on March 23, 1931 led to a widespread condemnation of the act and also support for the politics he espoused in his short life.

One of the most articulate and strong reaction was seen in far away Tamil Weekly called Kudi Arasu, where Periyar E.V. Ramasami wrote an editorial on March 29, 1931. Besides being critical of Gandhi and the Congress for failing to save him, Periyar saw in young Bhagat Singh an ally who stood for rationalism and spoke against caste oppression. He began by writing “there is no one who has not condoled the death of Mr. Bhagat Singh by hanging. There is none who has not condemned the government for hanging him.” The above lines reflect the widespread acceptance of Bhagat Singh as a national hero, much beyond the limits of Punjab, and more significantly, within this short political life. There is no reason to believe that his persona was created by scholars through their exploration and interpretation of historical records.

Periyar goes further to reiterate the ideals upheld by Bhagat Singh and says that “If Bhagat Singh has come to the firm and sincere conclusion that all his principles were correct, and that the methods he had used were the just ones, then he should have definitely conducted himself only in the way he did.... It is our strong view that only Bhagat Singh’s principle is needed in India.” He was clear that Bhagat Singh’s principle represented socialism and communism and as an evidence to prove his point Periyar used two lines from Bhagat Singh’s letter written to the Governor of Punjab saying: “Till Communist Party comes to power and people live without unequal status, our struggle will continue. It cannot be brought to an end by killing us: it will continue openly as well as secretly.” There were many in India who closely followed Bhagat Singh’s trial and statements in the court and Periyar was surely amongst them. In the famous statement on June 6, 1929, Bhagat Singh said, “The whole edifice of this civilization, if not saved in time, shall crumble. A radical change, therefore, is necessary and it is the duty of those who realise it to reorganise society on the socialistic basis. Unless this thing is done and the exploitation of man by man and of nations by nations is brought to an end, sufferings and carnage with which humanity is threatened today cannot be prevented.” Ramasami Periyar was inspired by similar sentiments and was engaged in the 1930s in organising industrial and agriculture workers to fight against the big capitalists and landlords. This struggle invited the wrath of the colonial government leading to the ban on Communist Party and other like minded organisations.

Periyar, in his editorial, seemed to be aware that Bhagat Singh had no faith in God and in divine dispensation, but was a man of self-confidence. Bhagat Singh wrote on this subject in detail in one of his most profound essays called “Why I am an Atheist.” It was written during his prison years and was surreptitiously brought out and published in a nationalist paper, The People. Here Bhagat Singh zealously condemned blind faith and put up a passionate defence of reason. He was convinced that religion is a tool in the hands of exploiters who keep the masses in constant fear of God for their own interests. The revolutionaries of HSRA realised that all moral ideals and religions were useless for an empty stomach and for him only food was God. Periyar, in his editorial, vindicates these views and writes that “holding such views is not a crime under any law. Even if it is considered to be against any law, no one need to be afraid of it because, we are sure, that following those principles [that Bhagat Singh upheld] will not do any harm or cause any loss to public....We endeavour to put the principle into practice.”

Bhagat Singh was not only against communal and divisive politics, he hated and mocked at the Indian caste system, which makes the people untouchable on the basis of their birth in a particular caste. He reiterated in his writings and statements that all exploitations-economic, social or cultural, had to go if we want to build a strong nation. Echoing these views in his own way, Periyar wrote further in the editorial that “to abolish untouchability we have to abolish the principle of upper and lower castes. In the same manner, to remove poverty we have to do away with the principle of capitalists and wage-earners. So socialism and communism are nothing but getting rid of these concepts and systems. These are the principles Bhagat Singh stood for.” Periyar concluded his piece by saying that “Bhagat Singh had not fallen sick, suffered and died as it normally happens with people. He gave his life for the noble cause of showing to India, nay to the world, the path of real equality and peace. He has reached a great height, a feat never achieved normally by any one else.”

Bhagat Singh’s ideal and supreme sacrifice has the potential to enliven millions of struggling lives. Like Che Guevara, Bhagat Singh will continue to inspire all those who are committed to secular socialist values and reject the caste based hierarchical society.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

DISRESPECTING WOMEN

The patriachial society of which we are prideful is becoming an insane inhuman place for women community. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made a joke of itself by exposing it's unjust character to disrespect dignity of women community.

In textbook of Physical education a section of book openly says the best measurement of a female body is 36-24-36. What does this signify? What message does it give to students? Simple answer is it show the way to play with dignity of women community, openly that too via route of education.
This government at the centre has proved in every sense that they can cross any limit to flaunt image of a particular community. For me personally it is not a mistake but a planned attack on women section in accordance to principle of Manusmriti, the holy Hindu scripture. As a youth I condemn this insensitive, insane decision which is degradation of society via education.

http://homegrown.co.in/article/800907/this-cbse-textbook-claims-that-36-24-36-is-the-perfect-female-body

Monday, 10 April 2017

TO MAKE THE DEAF HEAR

Bhagat Singh & Batukeshwar Dutt threw harmless bombs in Central Assembly Hall on 8th April 1929 against passage of two draconian bill.
Trade Disputes Bill
Public Safety Bill.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

23rd March 2017

Why I Think India Is Letting Down Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev And Rajguru
  
The Martyrdom Of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru

The year 2017 marks the 86th year of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru. They symbolise the best example of sacrifice to free India from the imperial clutches of British rule. We have kept them at a place in our heart, loaded with emotions. However, we have very less exposure to their visionary battle against British rule. These revolutionaries envisioned India’s future as a nation where there would be social, political and economic freedom. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, i.e., leaders of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, represented one of the major currents of the freedom movement. One was led by the Indian National Congress, under the leadership of MK Gandhi. However, people like Bhagat Singh and his comrades, EV Ramasamy Periyar, Subhash Chandra Bose, were part of one current, which undoubtedly stood for an egalitarian character and inclusive fabric of India.

However, the present status of our nation is no different in certain aspects from colonial India. It continues to remain alien to the ‘idea’ of India, which was envisioned and worked upon by revolutionaries. How can this be justified?

Sedition Law, A Tool Against Citizens

Continuation of colonial laws in independent India is the very first point of shame for the world’s largest democracy. The law of sedition is the one which has been in the limelight for a few years, as it is being vehemently used by the government in power against artists, NGOs, university students, who stood up for expressing their opinion on sociopolitical issues and against the government’s policies. Recalling the words of MK Gandhi, IPC 124-A “is designed to suppress the liberty of citizens.”

Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were one of the worst victims of this colonial law and were denied even a fair trial by the imperial power for waging a ‘war‘ against HM King George. Their efforts to defeat the colonial power by unmasking their brutality were crushed by the sedition law. Post independence, our nation saw a vigorous misuse of this law against social and political opponents. According to a landmark judgment in the Kedarnath Singh vs State of Bihar in 1962, it was clearly stated that seditious speech and expression may be punished only if the speech is an incitement to violence or public disorder. Criminalising dissent in a democracy, that too, by using the sedition law and tagging people as ‘anti-national’ is an attempt to make a fool of the common man. The burden of this derogatory and misused law framed by the imperial power is being abandoned in nations like United Kingdom, South Korea, Indonesia, etc. However, it continues to exist in India

Rise In Atrocities On Dalits

The atrocities on Dalits continues to rise in India today. Many in the country today reject the idea of inclusiveness, humanity and equality, for which the revolutionaries had sacrificed their life unconditionally. This includes the beating of Dalit youths in Una, Gujarat or the incident which happened with Dalits in Sonepat, Haryana. The state of Gujarat has witnessed a skyrocketing rise in cases of Dalit atrocities, rapes and murder.

The death of students like Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University (HCU) or a recent incident in JNU, in which a Dalit scholar J. Muthukrishnan ended his life with words ‘When equality is denied, everything is denied’, clearly shows our failure to eliminate caste-based discrimination. It symbolises hate, deep rooted in our culture altogether, which denies the basic rights to people from the Dalit community, shattering ambitions of attaining humanity. Bhagat Singh wrote an article for the newspaper Kirti under the pen name Vidhrohi in June 1928 named ‘Acchoot Ka Sawaal,’ in which he clearly said, “we are animatedly engaged in a debate whether or not the untouchables are entitled for a sacred thread? Are they allowed to read the Vedas? We whine that some foreign countries do not respect us and the British do not give us equal status. Do we have a right to bemoan all this?” This concern of Bhagat Singh on untouchability hangs our head in shame.

Poison Of Communalism Hampering Our Unity

Communalism is a reality which we cannot deny. Especially, when a government works hard to transform a secular, sovereign, socialist, democratic, republic nation into a Hindu Rashtra. Communal riots continue to be used as a tool to disturb the harmony. Any government, irrespective of the party, has utterly failed to get rid of this issue.

Bhagat Singh, in his article, wrote, “class consciousness is required to ensure that people do not fight among themselves. It has to be made very clear to the poor, working class and peasants that their real enemy is capitalism. That is why they have to safeguard themselves from its stranglehold. The rights of all the poor – be they of any caste, colour, religion or region – are the same. Your wellbeing is in overcoming all these differences and remaining united, and strive to take the reigns of power into your hands. With these efforts, you will lose nothing; with these efforts, one day your chains will get cut and you will have economic independence.” Exactly the opposite atmosphere is being created by the political ruling class today. Is it not taking our country back to the colonial era in where the British raj succeeded in playing the card of ‘Divide and Rule’? Today’s rulers are not foreigners but Indians.

No Recognition But Disrespect

After 69 years of Independence, any elected government, either in the state or the centre, did not bother to pay due respect to the contributions of revolutionaries. The notebook which Bhagat Singh kept in jail, the documents of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, HSRA, handwritten pamphlets and articles on social issues must be included in mainstream academia, curriculum, so that it grooms existing and upcoming generations of our society. The Government of Haryana crossed the line of decency when it tried to name the Chandigarh airport after senior RSS leader Mangal Sen, instead of Bhagat Singh. Is this acceptable?

It did not stop here. The ABVP, student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh disrupted a lecture session on Bhagat Singh on the day he was martyred, which was to be given by Prof. Chaman Lal,  a renowned researcher on the life of Bhagat Singh.

Such repeated insults are undertaken only by the rightist force, which fears the thought process of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. They don’t want our countrymen to know the ideas for which the young freedom fighters sacrificed their lives.

We did achieve the status of a free nation as per law, but not in terms of establishing equality, where no caste, religion can divide us.We still don’t have answers on how to solve malnutrition, the colossal gap between the rich and poor, farmer’s distress. Why? The insane obsession with a neo-liberal understanding of growth has led us to this shameful situation, which in no manner matches the expectations of our martyrs. Caste prejudices, suppression of the Dalit community, religious fundamentalism, etc. are taking centre stage in politics. This was mercilessly opposed by the martyrs. In the Assembly bomb case judgment of 1929, it was said, “that Bhagat Singh is a sincere revolutionary I have no doubt, that it is to say, he is sincere in the illusion that the world can be improved by destroying the social structure as it now stands and substituting for the rule of law the unrestrained will of the individual.”

It is high time for us to realise the concern of these sincere students of history and re-start our fight against untouchability, communalism, things which are working under the mask of democracy. This will be our real tribute to foot soldiers of the nation’s freedom struggle.

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/03/martyrdom-of-bhagat-singh-sukhdev-rajguru/

Friday, 7 April 2017

23rd March 2017

Why I Think India Is Letting Down Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev And Rajguru
  
The Martyrdom Of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru

The year 2017 marks the 86th year of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru. They symbolise the best example of sacrifice to free India from the imperial clutches of British rule. We have kept them at a place in our heart, loaded with emotions. However, we have very less exposure to their visionary battle against British rule. These revolutionaries envisioned India’s future as a nation where there would be social, political and economic freedom. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, i.e., leaders of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, represented one of the major currents of the freedom movement. One was led by the Indian National Congress, under the leadership of MK Gandhi. However, people like Bhagat Singh and his comrades, EV Ramasamy Periyar, Subhash Chandra Bose, were part of one current, which undoubtedly stood for an egalitarian character and inclusive fabric of India.

However, the present status of our nation is no different in certain aspects from colonial India. It continues to remain alien to the ‘idea’ of India, which was envisioned and worked upon by revolutionaries. How can this be justified?

Sedition Law, A Tool Against Citizens

Continuation of colonial laws in independent India is the very first point of shame for the world’s largest democracy. The law of sedition is the one which has been in the limelight for a few years, as it is being vehemently used by the government in power against artists, NGOs, university students, who stood up for expressing their opinion on sociopolitical issues and against the government’s policies. Recalling the words of MK Gandhi, IPC 124-A “is designed to suppress the liberty of citizens.”

Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were one of the worst victims of this colonial law and were denied even a fair trial by the imperial power for waging a ‘war‘ against HM King George. Their efforts to defeat the colonial power by unmasking their brutality were crushed by the sedition law. Post independence, our nation saw a vigorous misuse of this law against social and political opponents. According to a landmark judgment in the Kedarnath Singh vs State of Bihar in 1962, it was clearly stated that seditious speech and expression may be punished only if the speech is an incitement to violence or public disorder. Criminalising dissent in a democracy, that too, by using the sedition law and tagging people as ‘anti-national’ is an attempt to make a fool of the common man. The burden of this derogatory and misused law framed by the imperial power is being abandoned in nations like United Kingdom, South Korea, Indonesia, etc. However, it continues to exist in India

Rise In Atrocities On Dalits

The atrocities on Dalits continues to rise in India today. Many in the country today reject the idea of inclusiveness, humanity and equality, for which the revolutionaries had sacrificed their life unconditionally. This includes the beating of Dalit youths in Una, Gujarat or the incident which happened with Dalits in Sonepat, Haryana. The state of Gujarat has witnessed a skyrocketing rise in cases of Dalit atrocities, rapes and murder.

The death of students like Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University (HCU) or a recent incident in JNU, in which a Dalit scholar J. Muthukrishnan ended his life with words ‘When equality is denied, everything is denied’, clearly shows our failure to eliminate caste-based discrimination. It symbolises hate, deep rooted in our culture altogether, which denies the basic rights to people from the Dalit community, shattering ambitions of attaining humanity. Bhagat Singh wrote an article for the newspaper Kirti under the pen name Vidhrohi in June 1928 named ‘Acchoot Ka Sawaal,’ in which he clearly said, “we are animatedly engaged in a debate whether or not the untouchables are entitled for a sacred thread? Are they allowed to read the Vedas? We whine that some foreign countries do not respect us and the British do not give us equal status. Do we have a right to bemoan all this?” This concern of Bhagat Singh on untouchability hangs our head in shame.

Poison Of Communalism Hampering Our Unity

Communalism is a reality which we cannot deny. Especially, when a government works hard to transform a secular, sovereign, socialist, democratic, republic nation into a Hindu Rashtra. Communal riots continue to be used as a tool to disturb the harmony. Any government, irrespective of the party, has utterly failed to get rid of this issue.

Bhagat Singh, in his article, wrote, “class consciousness is required to ensure that people do not fight among themselves. It has to be made very clear to the poor, working class and peasants that their real enemy is capitalism. That is why they have to safeguard themselves from its stranglehold. The rights of all the poor – be they of any caste, colour, religion or region – are the same. Your wellbeing is in overcoming all these differences and remaining united, and strive to take the reigns of power into your hands. With these efforts, you will lose nothing; with these efforts, one day your chains will get cut and you will have economic independence.” Exactly the opposite atmosphere is being created by the political ruling class today. Is it not taking our country back to the colonial era in where the British raj succeeded in playing the card of ‘Divide and Rule’? Today’s rulers are not foreigners but Indians.

No Recognition But Disrespect

After 69 years of Independence, any elected government, either in the state or the centre, did not bother to pay due respect to the contributions of revolutionaries. The notebook which Bhagat Singh kept in jail, the documents of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, HSRA, handwritten pamphlets and articles on social issues must be included in mainstream academia, curriculum, so that it grooms existing and upcoming generations of our society. The Government of Haryana crossed the line of decency when it tried to name the Chandigarh airport after senior RSS leader Mangal Sen, instead of Bhagat Singh. Is this acceptable?

It did not stop here. The ABVP, student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh disrupted a lecture session on Bhagat Singh on the day he was martyred, which was to be given by Prof. Chaman Lal,  a renowned researcher on the life of Bhagat Singh.

Such repeated insults are undertaken only by the rightist force, which fears the thought process of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. They don’t want our countrymen to know the ideas for which the young freedom fighters sacrificed their lives.

We did achieve the status of a free nation as per law, but not in terms of establishing equality, where no caste, religion can divide us.We still don’t have answers on how to solve malnutrition, the colossal gap between the rich and poor, farmer’s distress. Why? The insane obsession with a neo-liberal understanding of growth has led us to this shameful situation, which in no manner matches the expectations of our martyrs. Caste prejudices, suppression of the Dalit community, religious fundamentalism, etc. are taking centre stage in politics. This was mercilessly opposed by the martyrs. In the Assembly bomb case judgment of 1929, it was said, “that Bhagat Singh is a sincere revolutionary I have no doubt, that it is to say, he is sincere in the illusion that the world can be improved by destroying the social structure as it now stands and substituting for the rule of law the unrestrained will of the individual.”

It is high time for us to realise the concern of these sincere students of history and re-start our fight against untouchability, communalism, things which are working under the mask of democracy. This will be our real tribute to foot soldiers of the nation’s freedom struggle.

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/03/martyrdom-of-bhagat-singh-sukhdev-rajguru/