Women’s Reservation
The Modi government would like us to believe that it is so committed to the cause of women's reservation that it called a special Parliament session to pass the bill. But the pretension of urgency gets exposed when the implementation of the bill is made contingent on the completion of census and consequent delimitation. What stops us from implementing it immediately?

The Modi government is the only government in the history of India which has failed to conduct the decadal census. In spite of Covid, seriously Covid-affected countries like China, UK and US have conducted census operations while India under Modi has failed. Women's reservation is meant to address and correct the acute underrepresentation of women in the legislative arena. We do not have to wait for another census and delimitation to assess and address the problem.

The bill that deserved the most serious legislative treatment seems to have been drafted in haste and presented in a manner that only trivialises the functioning of parliamentary democracy. The idea of deferred implementation of such an urgent legislation only reminds us of Gandhi's famous remark on the Cripps Mission offer of Dominion Status: 'a post-dated cheque drawn on a falling bank'. A bill that the women's movement has been fighting for decades with sustained support from a broad spectrum of progressive political forces cannot be reduced to yet another electoral gimmick.
Dipankar Bhattacharya,
General Secretary, CPIML Liberation
New Delhi,
19 September, 2023

CJP for Assam
Behind every (human) rights violation is a name, a person, a human being whose life gets violently ruptured when the basic right to live with dignity is snatched away. Denial of citizenship takes peculiar forms in Assam, resulting in harsh, everyday consequences. Whether you are labeled a 'D' Voter (Doubtful Voter) without evidence or served a "Declared Foreigner" notice, your life becomes ensnared in a complex legal system, leading to the denial of fundamental rights such as access to education, banking, and welfare programs. This situation can occur anywhere within any of Assam's 33 districts, affecting individuals regardless of their gender, caste, religion, or ethnicity, be it a woman from the Scheduled Castes, a Muslim, a Bengali Hindu, or a Rajbanshi, or even a man.

In the heart of Assam, CJP's tireless team persists in their mission to assist those in need. Recently, District Voluntary Motivator Habibul Bepari and community volunteer Rahul Roy visited Dhubri district, uncovering the distressing story of Sumoti Das, much like they do every week.

CJP's team Assam kept going strong amidst floods, broken roads, a barrage of 'foreigner' notices to hapless citizens whose citizenship was put to question. Continuing our pursuit for justice and equal rights for all, our relentless team in Assam ensured that each and every 'targeted citizens' who come to us, receive unwavering support, in courts and beyond. From unconditionally supporting previously released inmates of detention camps, 'suspected foreigners' and 'D-voters' to fighting hate, bigotry and injustice within the state, we soldier on through each and every obstacle.

To provide para-legal and legal assistance, ensuring effective representation in courts, including the Foreigners Tribunals, CJP’s Team Assam tirelessly dedicates itself, reaching out to over 75 families each week and securing legal relief for more than 100 individuals annually. This work demands unwavering commitment and is physically demanding. It necessitates a unique blend of sensitivity, determination, bravery, and resilience, all qualities exemplified by our dedicated team. Hailing from various districts in the state, our team is both diverse and energetic, effectively covering at least 24 districts.
Citizens for Justice
and Peace [CJP]

Kidnapping and Arrest
Shri Prafulla Samantara, a prominent environmentalist, writer and socialist thinker of Odisha, was kidnapped from a hotel in Rayagada town on August 29 and then released. Despite all the newspapers and electronic-media clearly indicated that the abductors were the state police themselves, it was neither being investigated by the state government nor it was ascertained that the state government's police department was not really behind the kidnapping.

In the meantime, 23 villagers have been arrested for opposing the bauxite mining operation of Vedanta-Maitri Company at Sijimali in Kashipur Block of Rayagada district. The people, those who have been arrested are mainly Dalits and Adivasis. It has been reported in all the media that on August 29, Shri Prafulla Samantara went to Rayagada Jail, met the arrested villagers of Sijimali in the jail and called for a press conference in this regard. Suddenly he was kidnapped from that place.

Many writers, playwrights, filmmakers, political activists and individuals, like Prafulla Babu, who have been strongly opposing the land grabbing and environmental degradation caused by the corporate houses have also been opposing the state government's disastrous developmental policy. Kidnappings of Shri Prafulla Samantara and the likes are an attack on the dissent. The repressive attitude of the state government has put many writers and social activists under pressure. There is no doubt that the so called developmental policyof the government will destroy people's lives, livelihoods, forests, and environment.

Golak Bihari Nath, President
Deb Ranjan, General Secretary
Ganatantrik Adhikar Surakhya Sangathan, Odisha

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Vol 56, No. 14, Oct 1 - 7, 2023