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Archive of entries posted on July 2011


We strongly welcome the Supreme Court order by Justice Sudershan Reddy and Justice SS Nijjar declaring the use and arming of SPOs as well as state support for Salwa Judum unconstitutional and directing the state to disarm SPOs, stop using them in counterinsurgency operations, as well as file FIRs and prosecute them vigorously, as also the CBI enquiry into the Tadmetla attacks. This landmark order is not a victory for any one side, but a victory for the Constitution itself over those who seek to violate and destroy it.


Now lost in the forest

Incarcerated since May 28, hardware trader-turned-environmental activist Ramesh Agrawal has every reason to feel bitter. Instead, when I met the 52-year-old recently in the prisoner’s ward of the Government Hospital at Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, Agrawal was spirited, joking about the need to lock up people like him.


Salwa Judum and the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s decision in Nandini Sundar and Ors. v. State of Chhattisgarh is no ordinary one and, unsurprisingly, it has invited mixed feelings. The Court declared the State of Chhattisgarh’s appointment and arming of Special Police Officers (SPOs) to be unconstitutional, and many have taken pride in its defence of civil liberties. Simultaneously, though, there is some discomfort over the decision’s grand rhetorical narrative and its seemingly ideological framing. The Court travelled considerable distance to attack the State’s ‘amoral’ economic policies and the “culture of unrestrained selfishness and greed spawned by modern neo-liberal economic ideology.” Animated though these views are, mixed feelings over the decision are largely unwarranted and it is important to explain why.


Binayak Sen: Chhattisgarh Government Should Apologize to the People

Healthcare activist Binayak Sen — who was accused by the Chhattisgarh government of being a Maoist rebel and convicted last year by a trial court in the state for sedition — and his wife, Ilina Sen, told India Real Time they felt vindicated by a Supreme Court order on Tuesday.


Gigantic inequalities in access to healthcare: Amartya Sen

There are gigantic inequalities in access to healthcare, which are also a contributor to poor health, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said here on Saturday.

Professor Sen also referred to the work done by human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen among tribals in India as an indicator of the vast inequalities present.