RTC Strike
Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee expresses its grave concern over the ongoing indefinite strike of RTC employees and the callous stubborn attitude of Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrashekhar Rao. CLMC believes that RTC employees are undertaking a strike because of the long pending demands for many years that is why the strike is justified and the reason of CLMC for extending its support to the strike of RTC employees. Government of Telangana should deal with the strike on humanitarian basis, but instead Chief Minister dismissed the 48000 odd employees which is riot juts cruel but also unconstitutional and illegal. Chief Minister of Telangana completely failed to deal with the employees who are on strike and he is using the unlawful tactics such as mass dismissals and arrests, which is totally undemocratic and which reflects the autocratic nature of Chief Minister of Telangana, though he has been once the Labour Minister at the Central Government, but it is most unfortunate that he is not able to understand his own state's employees problems, grievances and just rights.

The Constitution of India has given the right to express opinion and right to protest, hut the government doesn't want anyone to raise voice against them and to demand their rights and justice. It is the duty of the government to address the issues of the employees and solve their problems by initialing a dialogue process and to make sure that common people should not suffer, but unfortunately the government failed to do so. The Chief Minister of Telangana is not at all concerned about his employees and is trying to escape from his responsibilities just by extending holidays for schools and colleges and threatening the other government employees to not to support the RTC striking employees, thinking it would be a permanent solution of this problem which is not appropriate. CLMC strongly condemns the attitude of the Telangana government.

It should be noted that RTC employees were in the forefront of Telangana Separate Statehood Movements but today in their realised dream of separate State of Telangana they are struggling for their just, democratic and legitimate rights.
Lateef Mohammed Khan,
General Secretary,
Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee

No Post-Mortem Report
With due respect, being the Secretary of MASUM and the complainant of the above stated case I beg to state that Ms Serina Khatun Bibi, wife of Late Aktarul Sardar and daughter of Anich Mondal of village Daharkanda under Swarupnagar Police Station is presently a helpless lady as her husband Aktarul Sardar was died after gun shot by the Border Security Force personnel on 20.10.2015 at Baguihati Swasti Nursing Home and for that police station of Baguihati had started an UD case vide number 144/15 dated 20.10.2015. Post Mortem examination was also held at R G Kar Medical College & Hospital and the report of the said examination had also collected by the police authority of Swarupnagar police station in connection with Swarapnagar police station case number 988/2015 through the police of Baguihati police station.

Several times Ms Serina Khatun Bibi had gone to the Baguihati police station to collect the said Post mortem examination report of her deceased husband but the police personnel of Baguihati police station had informed that the police of Swarupnagar police station had taken the said examination report from them in relation with Swarupnagar Police Station case number 988/2015. After that she had gone to the Swarupnagar police station to obtain the said Post mortem examination report of her deceased husband but the police personnel had informed her that without the order of Sub Divisional Officer, Basirhat, North 24 Pargana, they cannot deliver her the said Post mortem examination report.

Several times Mrs Serina Khatun Bibi made application to the Sub Divisional Officer, Basirhat, North 24 Pargana and praying for his order to obtain copy of Post mortem report of her deceased husband Aktarul Sardar, but there is complete inaction on the part of the Sub Divisional Officer, Basirhat, North 24 Pargana.

It is to be mentioned that the undersigned complainant lodged a complaint before National Human Rights Commission on 13 May,2016 on the matter of gunshot death of Aktarul Sardar by involved BSF personnel.
Kiriti Roy, Secretary, MASUM

A Gramscian Reading of Power
The Italian Marxist thinker, Antonio Gramsci, who was imprisoned by the Fascist regime in Italy, has sharpened our understanding of power being exercised in modern times. In explaining Gramsci's concept of hegemony, James Lull noted (Media, Communication and Culture: A Global Approach, Columbia University Press, 1995): "Hegemony implies a willing agreement by people to be governed by principles, rules, and laws they believe operate in their best interests, even though in actual practice they may not. Social consent can be a more effective means of control than coercion or force". He discussed the role of mass media in manufacturing consent, from a Gramscian perspective. Lull also pointed out limits of hegemony of the ruling class/power. To put it in his own words: "Two of our leading critical theorists, Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall, remind us that hegemony in any political context is indeed fragile. It requires renewal and modification through the assertion and reassertion of power…Hegemony fails when dominant ideology is weaker than social resistance".

Gramsci defined hegemony as a combination of coercion and consent exercised by the State and the "Civil Society".

The mainstream media and the government communication network in contemporary India are playing a big role in legitimising BJP rule and politics of Hindutva in the public mind. This does not mean that all categories of people in our country have given their voluntary consent to the rule of the BJP. A number of coercive measures, including acts of violence, are being undertaken by the party in power and "Foot Soldiers of Hindutva" to silence dissenting voices and the minority communities.
Arup Sen

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Vol. 52, No. 21, Nov 24 - 30, 2019