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The Van Rawats of Pithoragarh: Victims of lopsided development

By R Uma Maheshwari

The nomadic, hunter-gatherer Van Rawats are being pushed out of their traditional forest lands in the name of `development'. But no one seems to be fighting for their rights, despite the fact that they are among the poorest, most vulnerable tribes in the country

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Saying no to globalisation at the Asian Social Forum?

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

Dalits, adivasis, displaced people, the disabled, the landless, the evicted, were present as the Asian Social Forum opened in Hyderabad on January 3.

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Genocide garba: Beyond Gujarat

By Dilip Chitre

Gujarat, Godhra, genocide, garba and Gandhiji: these alliterative words pop up in the poet's mind in the two months since communal violence in Gujarat began. In this article Dilip Chitre reflects on the sub-texts and painful dissonances these words evoke

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Cry, the beloved country: Reflections on the Gujarat massacre

By Harsh Mander

In a candid first-person account of Gujarat after the recent communal riots, Harsh Mander talks of his horror at the brutality that took place in the state, and the shame he experiences at the abdication of duty of his peers in the civil and police administration

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Kerala's tribals fight for their lands

By Mukundan C Menon

In the last 100 years, over one million acres of land are believed to have been grabbed from Kerala's tribal population. Their long agitation to regain the forests and lands where their ancestors have lived for generations was intensified after the starvation deaths of 32 tribals last year. And the struggle is just about beginning to pay off

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Good governance + mass mobilisation = Social inclusion

Why is the health, education and nutritional status of SCs, STs and minorities in Tamil Nadu and Kerala so much better than their counterparts in states like UP and Bihar? The India Human Development Report 2011 suggests that this is the result of good governance and massive mobilisation of the lower castes in the southern states, writes Subhash Gatade

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Dalits: Such a long journey

By Kalyani Chaudhuri

Two books -- one offering a historical perspective, the other bearing the immediacy and thrust of the present -- focus on the prejudices and oppression faced by dalits in India, and on ‘battles’ fought, won and lost in their ongoing struggle

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Ideas of justice

Lawrence Liang is disappointed with Amartya Sen’s ‘The Idea of Justice’, which seems to offer us a competing political theory, but not necessarily a competing political vision

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Indian police: A law unto themselves

The new Human Rights Watch report is a damning indictment of dysfunction, abuse and impunity in the Indian police system, says IPS veteran K S Subramanian

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Saffron politics and dalit mobilisation

By Subhash Gatade

Badri Narayan’s book Fascinating Hindutva: Saffron Politics and Dalit Mobilisation attempts to deconstruct the tactics used by the Hindutva forces to politically mobilise dalits to its side. It explains how community myths have been appropriated and twisted to oppose the composite heritage of the people

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Savitribai Phule: Forgotten liberator

By Melanie P Kumar

Savitribai Phule's name is not in the history books alongside the Rani of Jhansi and others. But it deserves to be. She, along with her husband Jotiba Phule, was a pioneer in the struggle against oppression of women, dalits, adivasis and religious minorities. A new book sketches her life and work

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Fugitive histories as fiction

By Noor Zaheer

Githa Hariharan's 'Fugitive Histories' provides a long list of reports, interviews, witness accounts and the writer's own impressions of Ahmedabad and its environs after the Gujarat riots of 2002

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Orissa needs long-term strategy to promote peace and secularism

A fact-finding team that visited the camps and villages of Kandhamal district in Orissa, where the latest bout of violence against Christians has rendered thousands homeless and killed more than 25 people, finds the attacks by Hindu fundamentalists pre-planned and the government's response inadequate

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India practises 'hidden apartheid' against dalits: report

A new report by the Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice and Human Rights Watch documents India's systematic failure to respect, protect and ensure the fundamental rights of its dalit population

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The violent fingerprint of war

By Huned Contractor

If we can look conflict straight in the face, through the eyes of the young diarists who are included in Stolen Voices, we might be in a better position to deal with it, feels Zlata Filipovic, whose teenaged chronicle of a war-torn Sarajevo became a bestseller recently

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Untouchability: Tackling the invisible

By Ashok Gopal

A survey in 565 villages across 11 states reveals that in 73% of villages, dalits cannot enter non-dalit homes, and in 33% of villages non-dalit health workers will not visit dalit homes. Clearly, independent India's efforts to eradicate untouchability have not substantially shaken core beliefs

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Beyond the caricature

By Gautam Bhan

Gayatri Reddy's With Respect to Sex speaks of hijras not just as people who sit at one end of the gender and sexuality spectrum, but as Hyderabadis, as sex workers as well as ascetics, as sole breadwinners for their families, and simply, as people

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The new peaceniks

By Manjri Sewak

The Human Security Report 2005 suggests that there is a gradual shift away from violence in human relationships and towards dialogue and reconciliation. This shift is reflected in the number of individuals - professionals, musicians, businesspersons - working to build peace and justice

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Amartya Sen: A man for many seasons

By Darryl D'Monte

Is multiculturalism different from pluralism? Can an individual have several different identities at the same time, none of them conflicting? These questions are at the core of Amartya Sen's new book, Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny

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Courage and censorship: Journalists and press freedom in South Asia

South Asia has the dubious reputation of being one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work in, says the Third Annual International Federation of Journalists Press Freedom Report released on World Press Freedom Day, May 3

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