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Showing posts from April, 2007

Between Mines & Roads

Between Mines & Roads

Apropos cover story & editorial (Down To Earth, April 30, 2007) it is
evident that the mineral production in India valued at more than Rs
84,000 crore does not recognize the cost of environmental damage,
economic marginalisation, massive multiple displacement and social
unrest. Not surprisingly, even the coercive recommendations of Anwarul
Hoda and A K D Jahdav Committee on mining policy do not deal with it.
One gets to know of it and one will know of it each time police firing
and custodial murders of protesters is in news.

In such a monstrous developmental context the narrative, "The pain
suffered by pregnant women on these bumpy roads when they come for
delivery is worse than the pain of delivery…" underlines the
outstanding failure of Hoda & Jahdav Committee to diagnose the
ailments let alone treat it. Not only that anyone who seeks attention
towards human development indicators like health runs the danger of
being branded anti-development and an extre…

Ban Cricket

Cricket is the opium of the masses. I am in agreement with the Point of View of T J S George who says, "The time has come to ban cricket" in the New Indian Express.
George argues that any game that rakes in money in such gargantuan proportions ceases to be a game besides cricket is an unashamedly colonial game. Indigenous to England from the 17th Century, cricket was exported to the colonies as a means to dazzle the natives into admiration and submission. The only colony that refused to take to cricket was America and today it is a superpower. His reason for a banning cricket is not waste of national resources and national energy because there are other activities that waste more national resources and national energy-like Parliament.When Sharad Pawar, the Agriculture Minister who was confronting droughts and mass suicides by farmers became the President of Board of Cricket Club of India (BCCI), there were doubts expressed over the time he might be able to devote to the BCCI.…

Hume's Congress, 1857 & UP Politics

Between 1857 and 2007 countless events have crossed river Yamuna. It is inconvenient to look back from 21st century to fathom the flow of its past. Sumit Pande's piece (http://www.ibnlive.com/blogs/sumitpande/510/38344/the-hume-in-mulayamland.html#) on the association of A O Hume with Etawah is quite useful in subtly suggesting that treating 1857 as the reference point in our political engagements would more valuable than 1947. Surely, as a district collector, Hume must have read the documentations of the 1857 War of Independence and British repression.

The Torture Commission in its first report that was presented to the British House of Commons in 1856, admitted the practice of torture. Lord Dalhousie confirmed to the Court of Directors of the East India Company in September, 1855 that the practice of torture was in use in every British province.

Armed revolts broke out only to be brutally suppressed by the British. Three sons of Bahadur Shah Zafar were publicly executed at "K…

JNU Minimum Wage Struggle

All sane individuals and institutions should support enforcement of the Minimum Wages Act,1948 that gives government the power to fix wages and working conditions.

The Report on the Working of the Minimum Wages Act says, In a labour surplus economy like India wages couldn’t be left to be determined entirely by forces of demand and supply as it would lead to the fixation of wages at a very low level resulting in exploitation of less privileged class.

Keeping this in view, the Government of India enacted the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. The purpose of the Act is to provide that no employer shall pay to workers in certain categories of employments wages at a rate less than the minimum wage prescribed by notification under the Act.

The Act provides for fixation/ periodic revision of minimum wages in employments where the labour is vulnerable to exploitation. Under the Act, the appropriate Government, both Central and State can fix/revise the minimum wages in such scheduled employments falling i…