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Trouble in Capitalist Show-case

out, however, that those accused of 'waging war' and 'hijacking' would still face trial before special courts under procedures which shifted the burden of proof and permitted trial in camera. In its October communication to the Chief Minister of Punjab, Amnesty International welcomed the new state government's announcement of 26 September abolishing special courts and requested that the cases of those convicted by them be reviewed, as their procedures fell short of international standards for a fair trial Politically motivated arrests were reported from many other Indian states, including Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Uttar Pradesh. These usually resulted in short-term detentions under the NSA. In Jammu and Kashmir, where some opposition parties advocated a plebiscite to determine the status of the territory, there were reports of hundreds of arrests for alleged anti-national activities. Among those arrested were members of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the People's League, the People's Conference, the Mahaz- e-Azadi and the Jamaat-e-Tulba. In April Amnesty International appealed on behalf of four members of these parties detained without trial under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act. On 21 November the Supreme Court granted compensation to a member of the state Legislative Assembly who had been detained without trial, observing that 'if the personal liberty of a member of the Legislative Assembly is to be played with in this fashion, one can only wonder what may happen to lesser mortals'. Amnesty International received from many different parts of India reports of torture and ill- treatment of criminal suspects in police stations. It also received reports of people arrested in connection with political activities being tortured and ill-treated in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal and in the Union Territory of Delhi.

The Reykjavik Retreat

through a questionnaire which will be mailed to all individual communicators. As may be readily recognised, this is a monumental task and it is essential that maximum number of individual communicators are on our mailing list.

Of Dictators and Renegades

October 4, 1986 announced a loan-fiesta where every urban unemployed person can get an interest-free loan of upto Rs 5,000 for 'self-employment', the bank loan being subsidised by the government.

On Rewriting History

On Rewriting History GPD THERE has been some interesting culture- news from China of late. A little over two years ago there was a huge controversy over the history text-books in Japan. Both the Chinese and the Koreans had come out with strong protests against the rewriting of history in Japan. Nobody likes rewriting of history except his own, it would appear.

How North Was My Valley

for two years without trial of people from the Punjab and Chandigarh. Another amendment covering the whole country makes it possible to issue a new arrest warrant as soon as the old one expires. The result is that people suspected of action 'threatening the security of the state' may be held in indefinite detention without being charged or brought to trial. In June 1984, the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Ordinance was renewed. The Act permits practices which do not satisfy international individual standards which are binding on India, The Special Courts established under the Act have, however, had their authority restricted by the fact that only people taking part in hijacking or 'waging war against India' can be brought before these courts. Another step in the right direction was the lifting of one of the most severe emergency laws, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the Punjab. The members of the security forces enjoyed immunity from criminal proceedings for acts committed under this Act, and this clause opened the way for abuses of power The National Security Act is still in force all over India, Some of the states have strict laws to fight terrorism. These are reportedly also used against ordinary political opposition activity. The Report is not a hostile document. It is critical but also acknowledges the plus points in our society.

Blind to Third World Realities

Blind to Third World Realities GPD 'IN the Pacific resort of Mexico, the peace summit of Greece, Argentina, Tanzania, Sweden, India and of course the host country Mexico concluded its two-day deliberations on August 7. The conclusions it came to were rather predictable. It appealed to the two big powers to heed the calf of peace and accept a moratorium on nuclear weapons Rajiv Gandhi also noted that in respose to the six-nation call the Soviet Union had unilaterally accepted a moratorium on nuclear tests and had twice extended it. "We commend them and deeply appreciate the earnestness they have shown!1 This compliment to the Soviet Union was to be expected when the six-nation summit put the USA and the USSR in the same bracket. Rajiv Gandhi, in fact, pointedly placed the Challenger and Chernobyl accidents together and drew a very uncharacteristic conclusion therefrom. The (21st century) Prime Minister told the world blandly that the two accidents "remind us of the fallibility of technology". Given the current liberal thinking on science and technology, the sentiment expressed by Rajiv Gandhi should find a friendly audience.

Silent Borders Are Not Settled Borders

 wealth gathering in August a more serious exercise. The suffering of the Africans in South africa is too terrible. This traumatised world cannot any more accept circuses that amuse and divert. Or have we willy-nilly been reduced to Pavlovian dogs programmed for colourful spectacles, repetitive cliches and souped-up charismas? Maybe.

China s Student Problem

China's 'Student Problem' GPD STUDENTS are in the news again after a good two decades. What happened to them in the late sixties would hardly need repetition now. They created a storm which was unparalleled in the history not only of China but also of the world, the Paris uprising of students of the same period notwithstanding. The only parallel which does come to one's mind is what the students had done in May of 1919 in China itself. The May Fourth movement began a new chapter in China's history which ended in the revolution in 1949. May 1919 introduced a new word in China's political vocabulary. Beginning with that year everything meaningful and politically or culturally significant came to be described as "new". The revolutionary praxis of the Chinese people made a word like "new" into a potent weapon. To be sure, the students' movement in China has had a history going beyond 1919. Its modern avatara can be safely taken back to the period in the last decades of the nineteenth century when Chinese students started going to Japanese and Western universities. Mao Zedong was once a member of a committee which selected these scholar candidates to go abroad for higher studies. Zhou-En-lai himself went to France, and so on. Yet it remains true to say that May 1919 was the greatest landmark in the history of the students' movements in China.

The New Pax-Americana

The New Pax-Americana GPD THERE was a discussion on the Philippines the other day. One point a number of speakers seemed to share was, we thought, quite interesting. They argued that Cory Aquino was a non-politician and hence had begun with a 'clean slate'. The cliche of how the fact of Aquino having no previous political experience'was both a point of strength and weakness was repeated a number of times. We do not know what weaknesses it can possibly make for when the army is with her. In any event the gracious lady has already demonstrated that she and her advisors and policy-makers know their mind and know it sufficiently clearly.

Bhutto, Benazir and Cricket

Bhutto, Benazir and Cricket GPD CRICKET dominates the mind of South Asia today in a way in which the Ramayana and the Mahabharata did some years ago. The Ramayana would appear to be a potent force in South Asia even today if one went by the reports regarding Ram Janma Bhoomi in Ayodhya and the eighteen burnt-out temples the West Punjab town of Jacobabad. But then, as we all know, religiousity has not and does not provoke the modern South Asian elite's responses to things. When Syed Shahabuddin talks of Shariat he does so for political reasons and not for reasons of faith. Faith and religion are no longer the dominant force in our lives today. Obscurantism and communalism are. That only underlines the fact of the totally faithless world we all iive in.

Go Out into the World and Bomb It

 ceilings. Will it mean a price level of $ 15 a barrel or of $ 20 a barrel is a matter of speculation. But let there be no illusion. Once the oil producers, OPEC and non- OPEC, agree to co-ordinate their production levels, there is no reason why they would not choose to agree on a price which maximises their gains collectively as well as individually. It could as well be that they may decide to work back towards $ 30 a barrel.

The Election That Never Was and After

March 1, 1986 understandings, it is important that they be subjected to the scrutiny of a wider forum that includes the developing countries. The developing countries must not only not allow the discussion of these important issues to become the preserve of a few rich nations but must also prepare to fight forcefully for full participation in-the discussion of world monetary issues,. But in order to ensure that they don't miss out on anything, they must prepare well in advance and in concert with understanding on initial and back-up positions. Single-handed, none of them will be taken seriously.


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