ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Bela BhatiaSubscribe to Bela Bhatia

Terror in Latehar

In the past few years, villages of Manika Block in Latehar District have been terrorised by Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP), a police-sponsored outfit allegedly aimed at countering Maoist influence.

Justice Not Vengeance

Recent judgments of the Bihar High Court have acquitted the perpetrators of organised massacres of dalits and other oppressed groups. What is public knowledge could not be proved in the court of law. It is now over a year since the high court judgment in the Bathani Tola case of 1996 was challenged in the Supreme Court. The hearings are yet to begin. A closer look at this massacre, and the everyday criminal activities that preceded it, shows how absence of timely intervention enhances predisposition to crime and paves the way to repeated massacres. As this case illustrates, the tardy and often biased functioning of the Indian judicial system undermines its basic purpose. Where justice fails, vengeance prevails.

Of Human Bondage in Baran, Rajasthan

In the shadow of India’s growing economy, labour bondage continues for many Sahariya labourers in Baran district, Rajasthan. Some of them, however, have rebelled against their masters and attempted to break their shackles. This article presents the findings of a recent investigation of their living conditions as well as of their struggle for freedom.

Judging the Judgment

The Supreme Court is to be commended for its order banning the Salwa Judum. But the Salwa Judum was already a thing of the past; its worst phase was in 2005-06. The violence now in the amoral war in Chhattisgarh is being conducted as part of Operation Greenhunt. When will that be banned?

Justice for Niyamat Ansari-I

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent murder of NREGA activist Niyamat Ansari in Kope Gram Panchayat (Latehar district, Jharkhand), as well as a similar attempt – the same day – on the life of his associate Bhukhan Singh.

From the Perspective of 'Victims of History'

This is with reference to the letter by Hiren Gohain (EPW, 21 August) in response to my article (“Justice Denied to Tribals in the Hill Districts of Manipur”, 31 July).

Justice Denied to Tribals in the Hill Districts of Manipur

How should the district council elections that were held in Manipur in April 2010 be understood? What was the need to rush through the elections on an issue which had waited nearly 40 years for a fair resolution? By denying the legitimate demand of tribals for the Sixth Schedule and ignoring their sustained democratic struggle, the Manipur government has weakened its case for "territorial integrity". Tribals fear that in the name of "development" the state government wants to gain control over their lands. Peaceful coexistence is possible only if rights are fulfi lled and historical injustices corrected.

An Uncompromising Fight for Human Rights and Values

an uncompromising Fight for Human rights and Values Bela Bhatia to explain everything to his comrades in Telugu. And the extent to which he was loved and respected by his comrades made itself felt to an outsider, more so after his death, when thousands thronged to catch a last sight of him and could do little to control their grief and loss. Balagopal was less KBalagopal

On Armed Resistance

The Naxalite rebellion has been a significant political movement of our times. However, the growing displacement of open mass activity by militaristic action in recent years has been a loss for the movement. This article draws attention to some troubling aspects of revolutionary violence ? practical organisational problems, serious ethical issues, a tendency to accord precedence to the interests of the party over those of the people, and the inherent failure of putting the movement?s social vision into practice in the immediate.

Employment Guarantee in Jharkhand: Ground Realities

A recent survey in two districts of Jharkhand found many serious flaws in the implementation of the new National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Some of them could be explained as teething problems. As the experience of Rajasthan shows, there is scope for better implementation. All said and done, NREGA has created a sense of hope amongst the rural poor. This sense of hope can be further strengthened if people understand that the act gives them employment as a matter of right, and that claiming this right is within the realm of possibility.

Jehanabad - I: Jailbreak and the Maoist Movement

The Maoist attack on Jehanabad jail was a spectacular action, but what does it say about Naxalite politics in Bihar? The recent emphasis of the Maoist movement has been on targeting the police and other state institutions, while remaining more or less silent on crucial issues such as hunger, starvaton and corruption that are of concern to the people. The counterpart of rising militaristic activity is that open and democratic movements by the revolutionary groups, which were very strong in the 1980s, have taken a back seat in the state.


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