What happened to Allama Iqbal

What happened to Allama Iqbal

The renowned Urdu poet Iqbal ( known as Allama Iqbal ) was secular and a nationalist in his youth. In 1904 he wrote his famous song ‘Saare jahaan se achcha Hindustan hamaara‘.

Farmers Protest

Long live the Punjabi farmers: Justice Katju

By Justice Markandey Katju ”Let the sleeping giant sleep, for when he awakes, the world will tremble“. The above statement, attributed to Napoleon, was regarding China, but the same can be said regarding India today. With its huge population of 135 crores, and its large pool of technical talent and immense natural resources, India was till now, like Kumbharna, a sleeping giant, an underdeveloped country, which was often kicked around by powerful nations. But the ongoing farmers agitation, which has overcome the main hurdle to our progress, our division and disunity on the basis of caste and religion, which was shamelessly exploited by our crafty politicians to polarise our society and spread caste and communal hatred for vote banks, has been shattered. The farmers have united us, keeping our selfish politicians at a distance. The main credit for this historical achievement goes to our brave Punjabi farmers, who by their indomitable spirit, undaunted by all obstacles, undeterred by all trickery, unflinching in their determination, and steadfast in their resolve, have shown the way to farmers in Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradedh, south Indian states and elsewhere in India, and also to the industrial workers, patriotic intellectuals, and others. I was earlier despondent about whether the sleeping giant will ever awake from its deep slumber and shake the world, whether we will ever get over our disunity, because of which all progress was lying stalled. But now my spirit has revived, and I am now confident that in 10-15 years India will be radically transformed into a mighty, highly industrialised, and prosperous country, which is its rightful place in the comity of nations. We have still a long, arduous, march ahead of us, but the correct beginning has been made The credit for all this must go to the great Punjabi farmers. Long live the Punjabi farmers!

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju

Long live the Indian farmers

By Justice Markandey Katju I must confess I had earlier little faith in Indian farmers. I doubted they had the creativity, initiative, gumption and drive needed in great historical movements.. I thought farmers were dumb, inane, and purely passive, creatures who could be toyed around with and manipulated by crafty politicians using them as caste and communal vote banks. But Indian farmers have proved me wrong. By their recent acts, they have shown, like their Chinese counterparts ( who were the main engine in the Chinese Revolution which triumphed in 1949 ) that they are not the imbeciles or pushovers which some people thought, but are a force of history. By rising above caste and religion they have proved they are not pawns or puppets in the hands of our ‘netas’, but are showing the way forward to the whole nation. The present farmers’ agitation has kept our politicians away from the centre stage, and the farmers have refused to accept food, or even water, from the government, which shows the high level of their integrity. The biggest hurdle to our progress was our disunity. We were divided on the basis of caste and religion, and this fact was exploited by our politicians to polarise us and spread hatred among us. The agitations in India so far were mainly religion-based e.g. the Ram Mandir agitation, or caste-based, like the jat, Gujar or Dalit agitations. But the present farmers’ agitation has smashed these feudal barriers. By doing so, our farmers have cleared the main barrier to our way forward, and towards marching to our national goal of creating in India a just social and political order, and making India a modern, highly industrialised, prosperous country in which all our people enjoy a high standard of living and decent lives. Long live the Indian farmers!

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju

Historical significance of the Indian farmers agitation in the opinion of Justice Katju

The historical significance of the Indian farmers’ agitation  By Justice Markandey Katju Many people have asked me why I was earlier critical of the farmers agitation, but am now supporting it. I confess I was earlier sceptical of this movement and suspected some vested interests to be behind it. But later I realised my error. Now I am convinced this agitation is of earth-shaking historical importance. Its paramount significance is that it has shattered the boundaries of caste and religion, and has started the process of uniting India, something absolutely essential if we are to launch the historical united people’s struggle for transforming India from an underdeveloped to a highly industrialised and prosperous country. Only such a historical transformation can give our people a high standard of living and decent lives,  but for this transformation to take place unity of the people is absolutely vital, and this the farmers’ agitation has depicted. Farmers constitute 60-65% of India’s population of 1.35-1.4 billion people, i.e. about 750 million. This is a huge entity, and if united, constitutes an irresistible and indomitable force, like a typhoon or tidal wave. Most earlier agitations in India were religion-based e.g. the Ram Mandir agitation, or caste-based like the Jat, Gujar, or Dalit agitations. But the farmers’ agitation has risen above caste or religion. Our national aim must be to transform India from an underdeveloped country, in which feudal forces like casteism and communalism are rampant, to a highly developed, highly industrialised country in which our people enjoy a high standard of living and live decent lives. Today India is the most developed of the underdeveloped countries. It has all that is required to become a highly developed country viz. a huge pool of technical talent, thousands of bright engineers, technicians and scientists ( many manning Silicon Valley in America, and as professors in science, engineering and maths departments in U.S. universities ), and with immense natural resources. But to transform India into a highly developed country will require a mighty historical people’s struggle. There are powerful forces opposed to this transformation which seek to divide us…

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju

The historical significance of the farmers’ agitation

By Justice Markandey Katju Today, 8th December is being observed as Bharat Bandh, on the call of the agitating farmers organisations. I submit that the ongoing farmers agitation is not just a fight for the farmers’ interests, it has also historical significance. Our national objective must be to transform India from an underdeveloped country to a modern highly industrialised one, for unless we do that we will remain condemned to massive poverty, record unemployment, appalling child malnourishment, almost total lack of healthcare and good education, etc which afflict perhaps over 75% of our huge population of 1.35 billion people. This historical transformation will not be easy, for there are powerful forces, both internal and external, which will strongly oppose it. It will require a mighty people’s struggle to achieve it, but for that unity among the people is absolutely essential. Till now we have been divided on caste or religious lines, and have often dissipated our energy fighting each other, instead of jointly fighting to create a social and political order in which our people get decent lives. The agitations in India till now were usually either religion based e.g. Ram Mandir agitation, or caste-based, e.g. agitations of jats, gujars, dalits etc. The ongoing farmers agitation, on the other hand, has risen above caste and religion and has united the people, at least temporarily. Hence it is of historical significance. India has all that is required to become a highly industrialised country–a huge pool of technical talent and immense natural resources. In 15-20 years we can easily become like North America, Europe, Japan or China, and provide our people a high standard of living.. But to achieve that historical transformation, unity among our people is an absolutely essential prerequisite, which has unfortunately been missing. Now the farmers agitation has provided this unity. It is not possible to predict the outcome of the farmers agitation, whether their demands will be accepted by the govt or not. But to my mind that is not so important. What is significant is that people have displayed their creativity, and forged unity among themselves. Thus…

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju

Indian farmers are creating history

By Justice Markandey Katju, former judge, Indian Supreme Court By their ongoing agitation, the Indian farmers are not only fighting for their rights, they are also creating history by starting the process of the mighty historical united struggle for the transformation of India from an underdeveloped to a highly industrialised and developed country in which our people will enjoy a high standard of living and decent lives. Let me explain. I have written an article ‘Two opposite forces are at work in India ‘ published in Two forces at work in India: farmers agitation is uniting India while communal and casteist forces are dividing it In this article it is explained that there are two powerful opposing forces presently operating in India–the first seeking to divide and polarise India on religious and caste ( i.e. feudal ) lines, and the second seeking to unite it. Presently the first force is working to polarise India on communal lines, and indeed religious polarisation has increased exponentially in India after 2014, as evident from increased atrocities on minorities, and as indicated by the examples given in my article. On the other hand, the second force is also now emerging, the latest manifestation being the ongoing farmers agitation in India. Most of the earlier agitations in India were religion or caste-based, which really divided India, e.g. the Ram Mandir agitation, the agitations of Jats and Gujjars ( seeking reservations ), Dalits etc. But the present farmers agitation has cut through religious and caste lines, and is thus a powerful uniting force. Today the main problems of India is its massive poverty, sinking economy resulting in record and rising unemployment, appalling level of child malnourishment ( every second child of India is malnourished, according to Global Hunger Index ), almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs, fuel, etc, widespread farmers distress ( which has resulted in over 300,000 farmers suicides ), rampant corruption, atrocities on minorities, etc. The Indian people are now gradually realising that only if they unite, and launch powerful united struggles cutting…

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju

Two forces at work in India: farmers agitation is uniting India while communal and casteist forces are dividing it

By Justice Markandey Katju, former judge, Supreme Court of India Two opposite forces are presently at work in India, one dividing or polarising the people on religious ( or caste ) lines, and the other uniting the people. A concrete example of the first can be seen from the recent election results of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Out of the 150 seats there, in 2016 the election results were: Telangana Rashtra Samithi ( TRS ) 99, AiMIM 44, BJP 4, and Congress 2. In 2020 the results are : TRS 55, BJP 48, AIMIM 44, and Congress 2. Since the seats of AIMIM, which represents most Muslims, has remained the same, and the seats won by the BJP have increased 12 times, this result indicates a huge swing of the Hindu voters away from the TRS and towards the pro Hindu BJP. Another example can be seen in West Bengal. In the 2016 state assembly elections, out of the 294 seats, Mamata Banerji’s Trinamool Congress ( TMC ) won 211, while the BJP got only 3. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha ( parliamentary ) elections, out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal TMC got 22 while the BJP got 18. This indicates a paradigm shift of a large section of the Hindu voters in the state from the professedly secular TMC to the pro-Hindu BJP. A similar swing towards the BJP was witnessed in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in which BJP won 282 of the 543 seats, followed by the 2019 elections, in which the BJP seats increased to 303. This is a remarkable upsurge, considering the fact that in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections the BJP won only 2 seats. In several states too, like UP, MP, Bihar, Haryana etc the BJP came to power. How does one explain this? To understand, one must first realise that India is still an underdeveloped country in which feudal forces like casteism and communalism are powerful. Secularism is a feature of industrial society, but India is still semi-feudal. Though the Indian Constitution proclaims India to be…

Bihar assembly election review and news

Bihar’s results reflect that secular parties failed to play ‘inclusive’ politics as identity remain the most important factor

The Bihar results are out and have proved that those who tried to influence the polls before or after through their ‘exit’ strategies had egg on their face. I have not really believed reading all these during this period but I have found two things watching and observing various ‘experts’. As the ‘patrakars’ who claim ‘grounded’ in reality are concerned, they are divided into pro and anti-factions of Narendra Modi. So, if over 80% of the experts were giving NDA a chance rest 20% were actually certain that Mahagathbandhan will take over. None was given a chance to Owaisi and his AIMIM. Most of them felt that Chirag Paswan won’t be able to do anything but he ‘succeeded’ indenting Nitish Kumar who is playing his last innings. Tejaswi Yadav also needs to be a bit careful. There are few things that these results have shown and this is a trend that every election is different in India and local issues will dominate. BJP’s Ram Mandir and Kashmir will not work everywhere but at the same point of time, Tejaswi Yadav also needs to be a bit careful. His image was being ‘constructed’ by the Savarna ‘coterie’ that ‘social justice’ has ceased to be an issue and now only ‘economic justice’ needs to be done. I want to suggest that Social Justice will remain the most important issue in India as long as the feudal structure does not change. If Bihar’s election has any takeaway, it is that India will have to be governed through ‘inclusive’ ideology and castes which remain unrepresented are seeking their participation in the power structure.  It is therefore essential for political parties which claim to represent a ‘national’ or regional concern to understand their ‘limitations’. Most of them have been unable to reach beyond their ‘constituencies’ while BJP has moved fast on many fronts in this regard. After Ram Vilas Paswan’s demise, I wrote that secular parties lost it because they never gave him respect. Both Nitish and Lalu Yadav had their problems with Ram Vilas Paswan and that was probably because of his caste location…

Dr. Ram Puniyani

Campaign to Curb Inter-faith marriages: Ruse to Restrict Women’s Freedom

Dr Ram Puniyani writes on the politics of Love Jihad. Know what is Love Jihad, and what is Jihad. Allahabad High Court in its recent judgment opposed the conversion to get married to the person of another faith. The logic is that in the Special Marriages Act, interfaith marriages are totally acceptable. One Muslim woman had converted to Hinduism to get married to a Hindu man. Talking in this aftermath the UP Chief Minister launched a tirade against Muslim men. As per him many Muslim youths hide their religious identity, lure the Hindu girls and then convert them to Islam. They will be dealt with sternly and their own funeral processions (Ram Naam Satya Hai) will be taken out. In a strict warning, he said that such incidents will not be allowed, his Government will come out with a law against it. He also said that posters will be put up of those indulging in such activities. As if on the cue, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, another BJP ruled state came forward with the resolve of his Government to bring a law against such interfaith marriages, Muslim boy-Hindu girls, which are referred to by the derogatory ‘Love Jihad’, which by now has become a sort of provocation for violence., as witnessed in the case of Muzzafarnagar violence of UP in 2013. In contrast to these hyperbole speeches by BJP leaders, the number of cases of interfaith marriages is a handful. There are both types of such marriages. One does recall the marriage of Trinamool Congress MP, Nusrat Jahan to a Hindu and the way she was trolled. Selectively case of Nikita Tomar, who was murdered by a Muslim man, in which case Tausif and Rehan have been arrested and hashtag #KshtriyaLivesMatter is making the rounds is also being projected as attempted love jihad. Officially speaking  G.Kishan Reddy, Junior minister in Home Ministry had stated in Parliament that there is no such category as love jihad. He also pointed this out while replying to a question by a Kerala MP, about love Jihad cases in Kerala. As per him…

Nanaji Deshmukh


Inssan abhee tak zinda hae, zinda hone per sharminda hae! (Human beings are still alive; they are ashamed to be alive!) [Shahid Nadeem’s Urdu couplet on the silence of the civil society against communal violence. He received forty lashes for writing and singing these lines by Zia regime in Pakistan] [In more than last three decades, on every anniversary of the 1984 massacre of Sikhs, this author has been reminding the Nation how Indian State and judiciary did not bother to punish the perpetrators of this horrendous mass killing of the innocents of the second largest religious minority of our country. On every anniversary the author hoped that now justice would be done and he would not have to write the painful story once again as a reminder. It has not happened in last one year also; the saga of the criminal betrayal by the Indian Republic has no end and author like the victims continue to cry before a deaf and dumb Indian State.] TWO KINDS OF JUSTICE Whenever the country witnesses the large-scale violence against the minorities and Dalits, the search for perpetrators continues endlessly and the criminals are never punished. Major incidents of violence against minorities like Nellie massacre (1983), Sikh massacre (1984), Hashimpura custodial massacre of Muslim youth (1987), pre/post-Ayodhya mosque demolition violence against Muslims (1990-92), Gujarat carnage (2002) and Kandhmal cleansing of Christians (2008) are testimony to this reality. But when the victims are Dalits or minorities no such urgency is shown. In such cases Indian State is fond of playing commission-commission. Commissions after commissions would be constituted to see that the heinous crimes disappear from the public memory. The horrendous massacre of Sikhs in different parts of India in 1984 is a living testimony of this criminal attitude of the Indian justice system. The status of anti-Dalit violence is no different. The major incidents of persecution and massacre of Dalits; 1968 Kilvenmani massacre, 1997 Melavalavu massacre, 2013 Marakkanam anti-Dalit violence, 2012 Dharmapuri anti-Dalit violence (all in Tamil Nadu), 1985 Karamchedu massacre, 1991 Tsundur massacre (all in AP), 1996 Bathani Tola Massacre, 1997 Laxmanpur Bathe…

Father Stan Swamy

Time to set up a Commission to look into cases of Political Trials

It is good to see Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren speaking so powerfully against the arrest of Father Stan Swamy. Many other voices are speaking against his arrest. The 81-year-old Stan has been working in Jharkhand for years and has Centre at Bagaicha has been a place for the Adivasis particularly those who have been the victim of the police violence and whose rights are often violated under one pretext or other. In the last few months, we have witnessed the increasing use of central agencies to fix political opponents and activists. The Sushant Singh Rajput’s case was used to smear not only the government of Maharashtra but also the Film Industry and attempt were made to divide it on communal lines. TV channels were pressed in the service of the government and create an environment as if India did not have any other issue except Sushant Singh Rajput. Channels like Republic TV have become the biggest threat to the Indian republic and its freedom. Under the pretext of freedom of expression, they are throttling the voices of the people and creating an environment of hatred in the country. This is not possible unless somebody thinks he is the “Lord of the ring’. Many of the important cases don’t find their way on the top listing for hearing but those spreading hatred can use the ‘media freedom’ to protect themselves from further questioning. Look at the hearing at the Bombay High court and how Republic TV is defending its ‘freedom’ but one should ask this question to Arnab Goswami and his bhaktas whether they believe that others who do not agree with them too have right to freedom of expression. I have time and again said that it is time for the former judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to speak up. There are one or two but they are ‘usual suspects’ in the eyes of the establishment. Former bureaucrats too are speaking and need to continuously speak. Former police officers, senior editors need to speak. Press Council or Editors Guild could do nothing except speaking on the…

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By Amaresh Misra As suspected, the right-wing has already started raising the bogey of ‘Left-Wing’ rise in Bihar. In a State election rally, JP Nadda, the BJP President, went as far as claiming that, “RJD is just a mask. In reality, CPI-ML (Liberation), will benefit the most. In fact, RJD is is under the influence of Ma-Ley (popular term for CPI-ML (Liberation)”. Nadda is being deliberately hyperbolic. Yet, on the ground, the RJD/CPI-ML (Liberation) grouping is emerging as a major challenge for the BJP-JDU alliance. It has ‘disturbed’ the chemistry and mathematics of social polarization. SOCIAL CHURNING Since the defeat of RJD in 2005 and the rise of Nitish Kumar’s JDU, Bihar equations underwent a change. Lalu Yadav was reduced to the Muslim-Yadav (MY) combination. The non-Yadav OBCs and the Mahadalits went either to Nitish or the CPI-ML (Liberation). Dalits remained with Ram Vilas Paswan, who opposed Lalu. Upper castes went to BJP, which aligned itself to Nitish. Since 2005, the first preference of non-Yadav OBCs and Mahadalits (Musahars and others) has been Nitish. The second preference was CPI-ML (Liberation). Lalu and small caste parties came after that. In 2010, Lalu lost again. Even a section of Muslims switched over to Nitish. 2015 was a different ball game. Lalu and Nitish joined hands. All other equations stood smashed. Surprisingly, fighting alone, CPI-ML (Liberation) secured 3 seats assembly seats. THE CPI-ML FACTOR It was CPI-ML’s 2015 performance that got Lalu thinking; he saw that unless he won over a section of non-Yadav OBCs and Mahadalits over, it would be difficult for him to emerge as a formidable force on his own. Lalu did not trust Nitish. His apprehensions came true when Nitish ditched RJD and formed a Govt with BJP. In 2019 elections, RJD gave the Arrah Parliamentary seat to CPI-ML (Liberation). Despite the pro-BJP wave, ML secured more than 4 lakh votes in Arrah and stood second. Now, in 2020 assembly elections, RJD, recognizing ML’s clout, gave the party a whopping 19 seats. On ML’s insistence, CPI and CPM got 6 and 4 respectively. Seats of Arrah, Rohtas, Buxar and…