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Great News!

The Reservations case is being transferred to a Constitutional Bench that would begin hearings on the 7th of August. Apparently 15 questions of law would be decided by the Court.

However, on the 31st of this month the Supreme Court would hear the parties on the application of the Impugned Act from this Academic year.

ps: My previous posts on reservations may seen here.

I was talking to Rachita and Aanchal tonight at the lane (They happen to be very good friends of mine). Its just that somewhere down the line the discussion got down to humanitarian issues and my notion got affirmed.

“We live in this space surrounded by walls on all sides that in our petty existence we forget to come to terms with reality. We forget that there are 300000 people die in darfur, violations take place everyday in Kashmir and that government policy seems to be a scam.”

Pretty true then that someone in the Times of India wrote the other day (22nd July) that ‘NALSAR Ideals fall to Mammon’. The institution talks of itself producing socially active lawyers when all we do is laze around within these four walls. There are times when we need to come to terms with reality. The glitzies of the corporate world then seem to attract us more  while we forget to do our bit to save this world that for now seems to be running haywire.
I recommend my readers to read this letter by Dr. Elfarra. It made me understand that human relationships are totally linked to injustice in life. How politics can become an integral part of one’s survival.

My mother is in her last moments and I cannot cross the borders

My mother is in the hospital at the moment. She is severely ill. She was admitted to hospital 3 days ago. I cannot reach her.

I finished my 45 day speaking tour in the USA. All across the USA and in every lecture I told the audience about our suffering, living in this big prison called Gaza. I told them about the borders closure and about the patients who passed away while waiting to cross the borders.

The borders have been closed for more than 5 weeks, 28 patients died while waiting to cross the Rafah crossing, the only crossing between Gaza and Egypt. All other exits are completely sealed by the Israeli army. The border was opened 70 times in one year.

Now it is my personal story, like the daily stories of 1.4 million people in GAZA under siege and occupation, poverty, lack of resources, killing, shooting, violence etc….

I cannot cross the borders, I cannot cross the Rafah crossing. I badly need to be next to my mother. I badly need to be there with her to help her, to do whatever I can for her. To say good bye mum.

I was always there for my patients and many people, to help and try to alleviate their suffering. In her last hours I cannot be there, my hands are tied. I am helpless, I can do nothing, I just have to wait and wait and wait. My throat is dry, my eyes are full of tears.

This is unjust, inhuman. It is the occupation. How can it come to be just and fair, when it is mainly based on injustice, aggression and cruelty?

Can somebody help me to go home? I badly need to be at home next to my mother in her last moments.

Good bye mum, I hope you rest in peace, a peace we do not enjoy in Gaza.

with love and solidarity

Mona ElFarra

Sunday 15 July 2007

There is this very interesting article by Amit Sengupta in the May-June 2007 issue of Combat law. In this article titled, “The Will to Hope”, Mr. Sengupta explores the diffusion of the Left in India and the rise of a new power in the form of Hindu fundamentalism. He argues that the BJP and the RSS would come down heavily and learn from their past mistakes. What would then ensue is something similar to what is happening presently in the BJP ruled states, blatant HR violations, communal clashes and prejudices in the name of religion.

“Instead, like primordial creatures of sacred cults who can undergo multiple metamorphosis, the octopus-like parivar, with its many fronts and institutions (unlike the official or radical Left), blooms and flourishes under State patronage. That is why, the Gujarat hate lab is a 100 percent success story; and Gujarat’s prototypes and microcosms are actively spreading, like slow epidemics, in all BJP-ruled or BJP-coalition states: Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, even Karnataka where they tried to communalise a site of shared, secular synthesis: Babubudangiri.”

After Nandigram and incidents in Kerala, indeed the left has had to go through rough stages. They seem to be losing their identity in the States they rule. To quote Amit, “West Bengal’s openly joining the race as to who owns more malls and multiplexes, big industries and factories”. However, in as much as this article is written to show that the left influence is fading, the central theme in the article shifts to a vehement attack on Modi and the BJP ruled states. Amit seems to be talking more about justice to the victims of Gujarat than about Karat and his influence on the left.

True however is the premise that despite a Left backed government in our country, Leftist ideals dont seem to be followed. We looked towards the left when it came to Petrol prices and nothing happened. Nandigram is a black stain on the left that time and again talks about atrocities in Gujarat.

“Meanwhile, the 10 percent growth remains an elusive category for the 93 percent of our unorganised workforce in the informal sector, in urban and rural areas, mostly the poorest. They are compulsively isolated outside the paradigm of social safety, social security, health, education, food, drinking water, or shelter, as constitutional rights, with not even 100 days of employment in a year, despite the fudged up National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the scrapped National Advisory Council. So what does the neo-liberal State want them to do: line up outside the SEZs and commit mass suicides?”

The above and a reference to farmer suicides seem to divert from the main issue of the article. In the end, Amit states that the UPA- Left must wake up to tackle these issues. True that they must wake up. But the reason should not be that otherwise the BJP would come to power and the consequences would be bad. In not allowing the ‘devil to rise’, we are asking the squirrel to gear up.
In a one liner to this article, Mr Sengupta looks at a lot of issues to adjust to the Central idea. However, the premises he uses to justify them are baseless.

I was reading India Uncut and Point Blank when I came across this extremely hilarious cartoon on the President.

Shekhar Gupta says,

 But when was the last time you were presented with a complete unknown as your next president? Kalam, Zail Singh, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, V.V. Giri, Sanjeeva Reddy were all people you had seen long enough in public life, so you were unlikely to discover any surprises about them. This is where the Congress went wrong with Pratibha Patil. The Congress’s guilt is not so much about who they chose for the job as it is about how it trivialised that job, to begin with.

.. Taken from Point Blank…. No originality involved.

In a continuation to my previous post, I was browsing through India Uncut when I came upon this referral to The Washington Post. The article was titled “Hillary Clinton’s tentative dip into Neckline Territory”. The post couldn’t get any more hilarious. One of the paras says,

With Clinton, there was the sense that you were catching a surreptitious glimpse at something private. You were intruding — being a voyeur. Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman is asking to be objectified, but it does suggest a certain confidence and physical ease. It means that a woman is content being perceived as a sexual person in addition to being seen as someone who is intelligent, authoritative, witty and whatever else might define her personality. It also means that she feels that all those other characteristics are so apparent and undeniable, that they will not be overshadowed.

And then it goes on as to what it takes for a woman to show her cleavage. Well Pratibha Patil would make quite a contrast to this. I got a comment saying that APJ set high standards which would be difficult to compete with. Well, beat this!
Imagine that in 2008 both of them are woman Presidents and meet each other. One in a sari and the other a Donna Karan gown!!

PS: this post has nothing to do with HR or anything that this blog is meant for. Just felt like putting it up.