Sunday, October 19, 2008

Editorial, DISTRESS SUICIDES, in Vol.4: Part 2, 15 October 2008 issue of LAW ANIMATED WORLD


seem to have spread from the ranks of farmers to those of artisans also in Andhra Pradesh. Eminent social scientists underscore that this phenomenon of large scale farmers suicides is something entirely new and link it to the last decade of globalization and trade liberalizaton under a corporate-driven economy. Some blame the modern ‘neo-coloinalist’ collaboration setup as directly responsible for all this mess. They point out that prior to the British occupation Indian peasant used to earn significantly more than the English farmer, and it is the colonial system of plunder and iniquitous land use that led to the collapse of the flourishing agriculture and handicrafts. After Independence, Indian farmer again rose up and was always able to feed the ever increasing population of the country with his skills and toils but again the LPG processes have reversed the trend. “Agrarian distress and consequent mass suicide since 1997 once again started when India again exposed its agriculture to foreign companies in 1991.” The same is true for the fate of handicrafts... And all this a part of the worldwide globalized ‘free trade’ cannibalism. See this severe indictment: “The transformation of life into commodities kills, but nowhere is this more deadly than in the extreme market conditions of contemporary China. Red capitalists use anything … for runaway overproduction. The Chinese commodities inundating the earth stem from a pitiless market of low-paid laborers, including children and prisoners, who put in long hours... With massive unemployment in rural areas and a huge migration to cities … life for many unfortunate Chinese is a constant struggle of one against all in which stolen children are sold for profit...” And that is exactly what is ailing us too. So in the final analysis it is an acute human rights crisis created by cruel capitalist greed but our human rights commissions and superior courts seem to be ‘blissfully ignorant’ and the State, giving up the welfare state ideal, aids and abets the monstrous capitalization spree. And ‘we the people’ are baffled, unable to fight concertedly to defeat such dehumanizing processes and forces §§§

Editorial: COMBATING TERRORISM, of Law Animated World, Vol. 4: Part 2, 30 September 2008 issue


is not easy, indeed it is one of the most difficult tasks, not only for the different governments at the helm, but also for the progressive people at large. It involves basic questions of theory and practice. And terrorism is not a uniform monolith either; it consists of various varieties in different circumstances. The world today is convulsed by Islamic terrorism but that too has different strands. Even Bin Laden’s tirades against the American tyrants are not just religio-fanatic but curiously advert to several ‘secular’ causes. As one serious researcher puts it: “The vast majority of Bin Laden’s public statements provide secular, not religious, rationales for 9/11. The principal purpose of the attack was to punish the ‘unjust and tyrannical America’. The casus belli he invokes over and over again is injustice not impiety. … Bin Laden almost never justifies terrorism against the West as a means for subordinating Western unbelievers to the true faith. Instead, he almost always justifies terrorism against the West as a form of legitimate self-defence.” And we know terror was and is used in legitimate self-defence or even in counter-offensives against oppressive/imperialist regimes. However, we unequivocally condemn terrorism of the type which indiscriminately kills and maims non-combatant innocents on whatever ‘noble principles’ or ‘high ideals’ advocated in support. The recent bomb blasts by Islamic terrorists in various cities of our country belong to this category. Long back Marx had so analytically stated, “Terror consists mostly of useless cruelties perpetrated by frightened people in order to reassure themselves. … the blame for the Reign of Terror in 1793 lies almost exclusively with the over-nervous bourgeois, demeaning himself as a patriot, the small petty bourgeois beside themselves with fright and the mob of riff-raff who know how to profit from the terror.” Today’s terrorists also belong to similar social groups, though here surcharged with religious frenzy. To combat it needs not just tough police and military measures but also mass awareness and education programs not only to isolate terrorists but also to fight against the glaring injustices in the socio-economic systems which give fillip to such outbursts §§§