Covid's  Origin
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a nightmare for all. But as vaccines
are deployed across the world, many hope people will soon be able to return to their normal lives.

But before everybody rushes to resume 'business as usual', one should pause to consider where COVID came from.

In a new video, journalist and environmentalist George Monbiot explores how COVID-19 has its origins in the encroachment of human activity into the natural world.

As countries have sought to grow their economies, massive habitat destruction has brought people into ever closer contact with wild animal species—many of which carry dangerous pathogens and diseases. As Monbiot explains:

"COVID-19 is not a random event. It is a symptom of a global economic system that is destroying the living planet and killing off our magnificent wildlife.

"So before we spend billions of dollars reinstating the status quo, perhaps it's time for a rethink. In 2008, we bailed out the banks. In 2021, we need to bail out the planet."
open Democracy, London

A Strange Statement
The truth is coming out from inside. Anil Ambani's son knows how his father borrowed huge amount from the International Finance Capital including Bank of China and got insolvent, now unable to repay. The truth that this global village at present is ruled by the highest form of world capitalism that is 'international finance capital' is not known to many intellectuals and even economists. He refers to this 'new world order' that established its hegemony in India also in 1991 and since then all key posts handling Indian economy have been held by economists of the World Bank and IMF (Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Raghuram Rajan, Urjit Patel, Arvind Pangadia, Arvind Subramanian et al). Some times a section of the capitalist class and some individuals tell the truth from inside. F Engels himself was an industrialist, but became the most intelligent Marxist and Jamshedji Tata's sister's son, Shapurji Saklatvala(1874-1932) who was sent to England for managing Tata's Manchester office became the member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and was elected as an MP to the British Parliament (1924-1929).

Anil Ambani's son may not be a communist tomorrow, but today he sees with his own eyes the glaring truth of Indian ruling classes that under the hegemony of the International Finance Capital, are turning fascists shamelessly without caring for any dissent, any agitation or any good suggestion for the well-being of Indian people. This is happening in some other countries too. Anil Ambani's son perhaps looks at this scenario and comments on the basis of these empirical facts.
Chanchal Chauhan

Continuing Attack on Rights Activists
In an unprecedented manner, on 31st March & 1st April, 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided the homes of at least 33 human rights and civil liberties activists, members of women's groups, Dalit organisations, labour unions and social and cultural movements in 31 locations spread across 8 districts of AP and 4 districts of Telangana. As had happened in the Bhima Koregaon case (which witnessed the witch hunt, hounding and arrest of 16 of the country's most prominent lawyers and human rights defenders), in the NIA raids of 2021 too, the cover was the allegation that the activists were all supporters and "front organisations" of Maoists.

The People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) condemns these raids and unambiguously stands in solidarity with the activists who are being criminalised for their human rights work that aims to restore the dignity of the downtrodden. It is also our belief that however hard the State tries, they cannot silence the voices of these activists or instil fear in order to deter others from doing similar work.

'Persecution by prosecution': The NIA's tool kit. The FIR triggering the raid, had all the tell-tale marks of what has now become part of the NIA's "tool-kit" to prosecute rights defenders across the country: a fabricated and rigged complaint based on an alleged confession given to a police officer, alleging conspiracy to further Maoist (terror) activities, spreading Maoist ideology amongst youth, unemployed and young women, planning police attacks and questioning the Government for its policies.

Yet another noticeable part of the NIA's "tool-kit" which exposes the political nature of the FIR is in the fact that no actual "terror or terrorist" incident had taken place. People were implicated essentially for "conspiring" to support and help the activities of Maoist organisations. Armed with such a complaint, the NIA, with the assistance of the state police, launched a massive raid on rights defenders, with all the optics accompanying such high profile events: blockading the streets where the residences were located thereby ensuring that crowds of people gathered and tipping the media in advance so that there was wide spread visual media coverage. Part of the strategy was also to generate fear and sense of intimidation amongst citizens.

The PUCL feels it is important to trace out, the modus operandi used by the state agencies—both state police and the centrally controlled NIA—so that citizens can understand the sinister plan hatched by police agencies to `persecute by prosecution'. Part of the aim is also to drive fear and terror in the minds of constitutionally minded citizens and the media in such a way that the sheer fear of being implicated in the dreaded UAPA law would deter any or all of them from even remotely questioning the brazen violation of law by the police agencies.

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Vol. 53, No. 44, May 2 - 8, 2021