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'My fasting is a means; I have no other'

By Kavita Joshi

Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on a fast for six years demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, is currently in custody at AIIMS, New Delhi. In this interview with a filmmaker, she discusses her motivation

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'Civilising the uncivilised'

By Geetashree

Around 40% of the children evacuated by the Salwa Judum to camps in Chhattisgarh are not in school. Some of them are being “adopted” by ashrams like the Chhattisgarh Jana Kalyan Sangh which aims to “civilise the uncivilised tribal children”. Eleven-year-old Naampodium Lacchu is now called Akash, and is well on the way to losing his tribal identity

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'What wrong have we done?'

By Geetashree

On January 9, 2009, police in Bastar announced a historic victory over the Maoists. They had killed 19 of them in an encounter. Geetashree travelled to four villages of Dantewada district and was told a different story – of 19 tribal men randomly rounded up and shot

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Fire in the forest

By Geetashree

As many as 3,800 civilians in Dantewada and Bijapur districts – tribals and non-tribals – have joined the Salwa Judum as special police officers. Most of them are young men, but there are plenty of children too. This part of our ongoing series from Chhattisgarh describes how ordinary villagers have been drawn into the pitched battle between Salwa Judum and the Maoists

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Inside the camps: "We have been left to die here"

Geetashree journeys through Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh, through deserted villages and into the government camps where the herded tribals are literally starving, with no healthcare, no sanitation and almost no way to earn a livelihood. This is Part 2 of a series on the tribals of Chhattisgarh caught between the Maoists and the Salwa Judum

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Caught between the Maoists and the Salwa Judum

By Geetashree

In forest- and mineral-rich Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, at least 300,000 tribals have been displaced in the face-off between the Maoists and the state-sponsored Salwa Judum. Their villages have been “evacuated” and some 50,000 moved to “safe” government camps. The rest have migrated to neighbouring states. This is the first in a series researched as part of the Infochange Media Fellowships 2008

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Understanding India's pub-going, loose and forward women

The Pink Chaddi and Pub Bharo campaigns that followed the attacks on women in a Mangalore pub should be seen not just in terms of the right of women to access public spaces, but as a negotiation with what it means to be middle class, Indian, women, and consumers in a global modernity, says Padma Govindan

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Interrogating aravani activism in Tamil Nadu

Does the struggle for civil rights and mainstreaming of a community such as the transgender community of Tamil Nadu sound the death knell for the rituals and traditions that hold the community together and give it a sense of coherence and narrative power, asks Padma Govindan

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Waiting in line: Queer women and the case against 377

How will a victory in the reading down of Section 377 affect queer women? And how can the goals of the queer movement be made to reflect the multiplicity of identities and issues experienced by its more marginal members, asks Padma Govindan in this new series on the intersections in gender, sexuality and politics

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Under an equal sky

By Manjira Majumdar

Classical dancer Alokananda Roy’s dance project for prisoners serving life sentences in West Bengal’s correctional institutions helps build self-esteem and gives the prisoners hope and purpose

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Ashvasan: The night is not here yet

By Charumathi Supraja

Musician Lalitha Ubhayaker founded Ashvasan when she was grieving for her mother. Today, through 10-odd recreation centres spread across the city of Bangalore, Ashvasan works at healing “the self-esteem, dignity and sense of purpose” of the elderly

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Playing for peace

A unique initiative for children in countries ravaged by war and communal conflict uses play to bring about an understanding of the differences between people

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Sanganer's no-bars prison gives criminals a new lease of life

In this open prison convicts live with their families, go out to work and pay taxes for water and electricity

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Children burn guns for peace in Manipur

Children burn toy guns in Thoubal district of Manipur in a protest against the violent culture imposed on them by more than 40 years of insurgency and suppression

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SC holds administration accountable for caste atrocities

The most significant part of a recent Supreme Court judgment hearing a case of caste discrimination is that it directs state governments to hold administrative and police officials accountable for caste discrimination of all kinds, and recommends their prosecution

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Supreme Court gives Binayak Sen bail, questions sedition charge

India’s Supreme Court allowed rights activist Dr Binayak Sen bail and made the point that being a sympathiser of a banned organisation does not amount to sedition

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Amnesty calls on Indian govt to repeal draconian Kashmir law

In a new report, the human rights agency slams the Indian government for detaining thousands of people on vague charges under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, and has called for its repeal

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Binayak Sen denied bail in sedition case

It’s a black day for human rights in India say activists, after doctor and human rights activist Binayak Sen, sentenced to life imprisonment for sedition, was denied bail by the Chhattisgarh High Court

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Supreme Court to hear Section 377 appeal on April 19

Various religious and social groups have objected to the landmark Delhi High Court ruling of July 2009 decriminalising homosexuality, and will be heard in appeal

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SC/ST employment low in private industry, says CII

Corporate employment for scheduled castes and tribes is not proportionate with their numbers finds the first ever caste survey done by CII

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