Who is judging whom?
The Group of Ministers formed last year to deal with sexual harassment of women at their work-places is now headed by Amit Anilchandra Shah, the Home Minister of India. The same man heads the Group of Ministers, also formed last year, to suggest measures to combat lynchings.

On 3 September 2013 it was reported that D G Vanzara, a police person in Gujarat had resigned from the IPS and had called Shah an "evil influence" on Modi. It is well known that Shah was one of the persons accused in the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati "fake encounter" cases. Neither has ever been called a lynching—so it should be clear to all that the eminent Home Minister is a fit person for the job.

Also in 2013, it came to light that someone referred to only as "Saheb" had ordered Shah, then Minister of State for Home in Gujarat, to arrange for state machinery to keep an eye on the movements of a young woman architect and monitor her phone calls; and there is a record of the many phone calls between Shah and G L Singhal of the Gujarat Police. The woman's father later announced that he had requested Chief Minister Modi, "an old family friend", to "protect" his daughter from harm. Since Shah was put in charge of the protection, it is obvious that he can also deal with the harassment of women.

Ordinarily the law and order machinery of a state is neither meant nor used for such duties; but then the times are unusual and so are the men. Shah, Vanzara and Singhal are all free today. So, perhaps, is the judiciary.
Mukul Dube, New Delhi

Article 370
Over 200 writers and cultural activists have expressed solidarity with the Kashmiri people through a statement from the Indian Cultural Forum. They condemn the unconstitutional and undemocratic moves of the Indian government in Jammu and Kashmir. They call for the restoration of Article 370 and the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and the restoration of all basic freedoms with immediate effect. The appeal comes from those working in different parts of India and elsewhere, and working in many languages. Thank you for adding your name to this appeal.
K Satchidanandan, Githa Hariharan
Indian Workers Forum

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Vol. 52, No. 9, Sep 1 - 7, 2019