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Letter to death penalty lovers on Facebook

The death penalty for some of those who raped and killed Jyoti Singh Pandey may bring a sense of satisfaction to some. But let’s not fool ourselves by calling it justice. It’s more like revenge, says Debolina Dutta

Rape Death penalty

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Patriarchal underpinnings of caste violence

By Subhash Gatade

Dalits are not allowed inside temples in 12 districts of Tamil Nadu, and 460 tea shops in Madurai still follow the two-tumbler system for dalits and non-dalits. Why is this state, with its 100-year-old anti-caste movement, a shadow of its former self, asks Subhash Gatade in this comment sparked by the recent death of Ilavarasan

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Triple oppression of dalit women panchayat members

By Subhash Gatade

Affirmative action might get dalit women into panchayats, but caste compounds the gender discrimination they face and stymies real empowerment, says Subhash Gatade 20 years after panchayati raj in India

Women in panchayats

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Impunity under AFSPA

The impunity under AFSPA of law-enforcement personnel guilty of sexual offences against women is most pronounced in the Northeast, writes KS Subramanian

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958

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Schools of discrimination

By Subhash Gatade

The removal of a dalit cook from the anganwadi in Majure village, Karnataka, indicates that top-down measures to address caste discrimination are changing little on the ground

Midday meal scheme

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The ashes of Dharmapuri

The dalits whose homes were attacked by dominant castes in Dharmapuri district on November 7 would do well to invoke the special provisions of the Prevention of Atrocities Act in pursuing justice, as the dalits of Tsundur, Andhra Pradesh, did over a 20-year struggle, writes Subhash Gatade

VIOLENCE AGAINST DALITS

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Crime and punishment

A nation consumed by outrage and a sense of retribution easily confuses punishment and revenge, justice and vendetta, says the PUCL in a statement following the hanging of Ajmal Kasab and asking for a rethink on the death penalty

Ajmal Kasab  death penalty

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Can we afford to be culturally blind?

By Shilpa Kameswaran

India's state and market institutions promote only a passive respect for religious and cultural co-existence. Ethnic sensitisation stops at caste-based affirmative action. What are the perils of the absence of institutional diversity-education in a country as heterogeneous as India?

promoting cultural diversity

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Assam violence: Land, identity and immigration

The conflicts in and around the Northeast have little to do with religion and everything to do with land and identity, writes Walter Fernandes, detailing the history of immigration to the Northeast

Northeas Immigrants

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Dronacharyas all: Caste discrimination in higher education

By Subhash Gatade

A committee has recommended legal action under the SC/ST Atrocities Act against faculty of the Vardhman Medical College for caste-based harassment of 35 students. This is only the latest in a long list of similar cases in India’s institutions of higher education. Subhash Gatade provides the details

Caste discrimination

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The shaky foundations of dalit capitalism

Is economic prosperity the road to dalit emancipation? Or will it just serve to co-opt dalits into the system, asks Subhash Gatade

Milind Kamble, Chairman, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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Jharkhand: The failed promise of an adivasi state

By Richard Toppo

A tribal perspective from Jharkhand describes how the creation of the state, ostensibly for the welfare of tribal populations, has only led to their exploitation and displacement

Displacement of tribals

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Questionable inclusion?

Recent data reveals that around 40% of the positions of ‘sweeper’ in the central government are now filled by non-dalits. Does this suggest a more progressive society, or simply one where the post of government sweeper is acceptable for the security it offers, but the work continues to be done by the socially-excluded, asks Alok Srivastava

Poverty and Social Exclusion in India

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Manufacturing offence: The cartoon controversy

Ambedkar knew that the best way to eliminate caste is education that encourages critical thought. Seen from this perspective, manufacturing offence in order to attack the 2006 NCERT textbooks is undoubtedly a betrayal of his legacy, writes Rohini Hensman

Ambedkar

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Truth and reconciliation in Kashmir

Burhan Majid points out why a truth and reconciliation commission is appropriate for Gujarat 10 years after the Godhra riots but makes absolutely no sense in Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmir conflict

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Persistent exclusion of Muslims in India

India’s Human Development Report 2011 cites only a minuscule improvement in the socio-economic status of Muslims in India compared with other excluded groups. Ayesha Pervez explores the government’s response to this situation and explains why the extreme deprivation and exclusion of Muslims continues despite these measures

Poverty of Muslims

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The language that fosters social change

Caste bias and prejudice runs deep in India. But when court judgments display such conscious or unconscious biases they confer legitimacy on an institution we are trying to uproot, says Rakesh Shukla

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Flaws in the Communal Violence Bill

A law that differentiates between Hindu and Muslim victims and proposes separate courts to try Hindu and Muslim accused only legitimises communal resentment and polarisation, writes Jyoti Punwani in this analysis of the Communal Violence Bill

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In times of war and extremism: State praxis and the Constitution

The Supreme Court judgment condemning Chhattisgarh state’s use of the Salwa Judum to counter the Maoist menace is not infringing on the security responsibilities of the executive or legislature, but safeguarding constitutional values and fundamental rights such as equality and right to life, says Rakesh Shukla

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From Empire to Monsanto: Challenges of seeking the truth

Using the MNC Monsanto as a metaphor for concentration of money power and political influence, Rajni Bakshi asks: How should we tackle the enormous distortions of power that are as much a reality in our times as the British Empire was in Gandhiji’s time? Can we speak truth to power today in the dialogic and persuasive manner that Gandhiji did?

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