‘After the Break’
Union Ministry of Information & Broadcast (I&B) should take a serious notice of many private TV news-channels having commercial breaks even during ‘Man ki Baat’ by Prime Minister, third in series on Sunday the 14th December 2014, which covered wide-spread topics of national life with main concentration on drug-addiction amongst youth.

Firstly private TV news-channels should have a sense of responsibility for at least exempting themselves from earnings made through commercial breaks at least in such important messages from Prime Minister and President of India.

Otherwise also, initial simultaneous telecast of Prime Minister's radio-speech being broadcast from All India Radio must not be allowed in any case for profit-earnings for private TV channels. If private TV channels are so much eager on generating profits for themselves, then they must not have made simultaneous direct telecast of Prime Minister's speech. Instead they could have utilised their time by telecasting some other profit-generating programme.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal,
New Delhi

A Contradiction?
The recent movement of the Jadavpur University students creates an impasse in the academic and administrative levels of the said University. The deadlock of the University arises out of the molestation of a girl in the University campus. Molestation is a warped and deviant sexual act. Now the same students–boys and girls are kissing each other in public to show off their sexual freedom. Is it not self contradictory? Please do not misconstrue this letter writer as a poseur of moral policing.
Debal K Chakravarti,

Narmada March
Representatives of the Sardar Sarovar dam affected from three states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra thronged the streets of Indore city on November 29 as part of their six-day Yatra to challenge the unlawful decision of NDA government to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam by 17 meters that would lead to a watery grave of 45,000 families.

The oustees questioned the false claims of rehabilitation as also the 1000-crore corruption scam which is being investigated by a Judicial commission in Madhya Pradesh. Hilly Adivasis from Maharashtra demanded rehabilitation with land. Oustees from Gujarat also challenged the lack of rehabilitation in the state and false claims of R&R, deprivation of land of hundreds etc. A strong demand was made to recognize the ownership rights of the oustees under the new Land Acquisition Act.

In the past six months thousands of oustees have been carrying out massive protests in Badwani, Dhar, Indore, Bhopal and Delhi demanding the government to recall its illegal decision and review the actual status of rehabilitation of the thousands of adivasis, farmers, fish-workers, potters, labourers as also the actual costs and benefits of the Sardar Sarovar Project. Medha Patkar, walking along with the protestors demanded immediate halt to the construction work at Sardar Sarovar and claimed that the decision is largely motivated by corporate thirst for Narmada waters and command area land, rather than the interests of farmers.

Many senior social activists and progressive social organizations from Indore also participated in the rally. Anil Trivedi, Senior Gandhian and advocate, Chinmay Mishra, Sarvoday Press Service, Ashok Dubey, Roopankan, Ajay Lagoo, Pramod Bagdi, Jayaprakashbhai and others stood in solidarity at the Rega Chouraha, where a homage was paid to Gandhi Pratima and the Prime Minister was reminded of the Gandhian approach to respect the lives and livelihoods of the villages, which is the heart of India.
Jikubhai Tadvi, Devram Kanera, Jashodabai, Radhabai, Mukesh Bhagoria, Pavan Yadav, Vijay Valvi

The Cuban FiVe
At last! The Cuban 5 are free. After 16 years of imprisonment, the United States government has released the final three members of the Cuban 5: Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero.

The imprisonment of the Cuban 5 for the last 16 years has been a grave injustice. Their freedom has been a focal point for struggle by people around the world who demanded their release.

The Cuban 5 came to the United States to expose and prevent terrorism directed against their country from within the territory of the United States.

They were never terrorists; they were always fighting terrorism.

The imprisonment of the Cuban 5 has been one chapter, one battle in a decades-long war directed against the Cuban people and the Cuban Revolution.

The Cuban people have been blockaded, invaded and subjected to all kinds of terrorism, and yet have remained resolute in defending the independence of their country and the social system that puts people before profits.

Congratulations to Cuba, to the Cuban 5 and their families, and to all of those who have rallied in support of their freedom around the world.

The ANSWER Coalition has organized scores of demonstrations, rallies, campus events, mass petitions, letter writing to Congress and other activities as part of the movement to free the Cuban 5.

Movements from the grassroots can make change. In fact, power is in the people if they are organized and mobilized.

It is time to end the war against Cuba. It is time to end the blockade of Cuba and to normalize relations with Cuba.
Brian Becker,
National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition

Vol. 47, No. 26, Jan 4 - 10, 2015