Supreme Court judge says, for more women to come in judiciary, yardsticks have to change
That Azad was kept in prison for 15 months, despite a court order saying his arrest by ‘politically motivated’, is quite the proof that preventive detentions are unconstitutional laws that equip the executive with judicial powers. Under these preventive laws, the State is the victim, the arbitrator and the judge. And NSA is being used widely, especially in Uttar Pradesh under Yogi government, to target Muslims and Dalits protesting the oppressive Hindutva regime.
The rare sight that Delhi witnessed on September 5, with workers, peasants and the farmers marching decisively demanding a fair share in the growing economy of the country, is a cry for help. They are demanding implementation of MSP in accordance with the Swaminathan Committee report, irrigation facility as well as loan waivers. Workers are demanding better conditions and salaries. But it’s also a war cry. The present ruling government has been sent an ultimatum before the 2019 general elections. Will things change?
The arrests of human rights activists and lawyers on August 28 and earlier on June 6, 2018 are all part of a wider theatre of Hindutva’s state-sponsored repression on those demanding democratic rights and freedoms for the most marginalised of Indian citizens. What began with Bhima-Koregaon had actually begun long back, with the atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis crossing the political threshold, such as those in Una and Saharanpur, as well as the ‘institutional murder’ of Rohith Vemula in January 2016.
In a ‘historic’ encounter, as was reported by the DIG, Anti-Naxal Squad, DM Awasthi, 15 ‘Maoists’ were shot dead in Sukma by the District Regional Guards (DRG) on the early morning of August 6, 2018. However, the villagers from Gompad, Nulkatong, Vellpocha, Kinderpad and Etagata have a completely different story to tell — stories of haunting memories of the past and terror of today. Accompanying a fact-finding team called for by the adivasi activist Soni Sori to look into the incident, The Leaflet’s Kritika Agarwal heard and recorded the unspeakable stories as recounted by the eyewitnesses, as she came face-to-face with the terrifying and recurring truth of unparalleled violence on innocents perpetrated in the name of security.
The advocates for petitioners and interveners seeking decriminalisation of adultery (Section 497 of IPC) said that there is no compelling state interest or a valid rational behind the state to penalise an act of consensual sex between adults; that origin of adultery lies in treating women as property of the man, and that it is in violation of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of Indian Constitution.
Nikita Azad addressed an open letter to Prayar Gopalakrishnan — president of the Travancore Devaswom Board — against his statement of installing scanners to ascertain menstruating women do not enter the temple. Subsequently, she launched a campaign “Happy to Bleed” which questioned menstrual taboos.
As the country makes progress at the cost of pushing the most vulnerable to the margins, the schemes like NFSA, MGNREGA have become the last thread for the survival of the poor. 7 out of the 12 starvation deaths in Jharkhand documented by the Right to Food Campaign were directly related to the problems with Aadhaar linking. Starvation deaths are not an aberration but an extreme manifestation of exclusions built into the system.
The High Court of Kerala by an Interim Order struck down the permission for women to trek to Agastyakoodam peak on a plea filed by Bhagavan Kani and Ors. on the pretext that that even tribal women were not allowed to enter the abode of sage Agasthya who was a celibate.