India

International Conference, Ahmedabad, India, 22 - 25 of January 2010

There is an inescapable link between the globalisation-induced displacement, dis-employment and dispossession that are results of internal wars and ravage local, traditional and indigenous natural-resource based communities everywhere. There is a linkage between these and the monstrous international wars - whether they are fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo or Somalia. The biggest challenge therefore is to build alliances that are local and global at the same time, and those that not only resist injustice but also present alternatives.

Medha Patkar

After many years of campaigning by local activists, the Sterlite copper plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been permanently shut down by local officials, days after 13 people were killed by police gun fire, and over 100 injured during protests that turned violent on 23rd May.

Research released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows that over the last five years, India has become the world's biggest importer of arms, accounting for 12% of all arms imports between 2013 and 2017, and a signifant increase (24%) on the previous five years.

Carol Thompson

The bright smile. Contagious laughter. Her sunshine drew others to her, to debate and argue, to learn and ponder. Energetic resolution, a passion for justice, for constant giving define Kayla Mueller; not her capture by ISIS, her torture and tragic death at age 26.

Ranabir Samaddar

It has been rightly said that the twentieth century will be remembered as a century of partitions. Partitioned borders that is to say borders produced out of partitions of countries (like Korea, erstwhile divided Germany, India) are violent borders. Military presence marks the borderlands. Partition leads to forced migration - refugee flows and flows of other types like immigrants from stranded minority communities in homelands. Partition also makes the question of return crucial. Do partition refugees have right to return? If they have the right to return, then what is the period within which they will enjoy the right of return to the countries they came from? Also, will there be certain conditions, in as much as we know that there may be forced return. This is the prism in which we can learn the histories of violence, bloodshed, and massive displacement in the erstwhile united Ottoman Empire, Germany, Palestine, Korea, Ireland, and India. These are some of the major events to shape the story of forced migration in the last century.

We mourn with sadness the passing of Narayanbhai, former Chair of War Resisters' International, who has passed away last week at the Sampurna Kranti Vidyalaya (Institute for Total Revolution) in Veddchi, Surat. Anand Mazgaonkar, of WRI in India, wrote "Narayan Desai belonged to a small band of workers who had a mind and identity of his own. Few people are as blessed as Narayan Desai was".

War Profiteers' News, No 40

Anand Mazgaonkar

Most current-day economists' guidebooks and blueprints would have us believe that growth trickles down and that is the way to eradicate poverty. Armed with such rationale, various governments fall over each other to attract investment from corporations, regardless of whether they have to re-order policy priorities, change local laws, defray huge public expenditures to provide infrastructure, or hand out massive subsidies to 'foreign investors'. While 'democratic' governments pretend to be accountable to 'people', i.e., common citizens, they unabashedly only serve the interests corporations. The definition of 'extractive industries' would therefore include not just mining corporations but:

Posted on Foil Vedanta

On Monday 29 July the seventh village – Phuldumer – again voted unanimously to reject Vedanta’s mine. This means the majority have now spoken, and Niyamgiri is saved by the people’s vote as sanctioned by the Supreme Court of India! In Odisha activists are already celebrating after months of hard work to ensure this precedent legal process was fair, and not manipulated. This victory also shows the amazing strength of Niyamgiri’s the people. Despite all Vedanta and the Odisha state government’s attempts to subvert the process: by threatening villagers with guns and violence, by selecting just twelve villages, by choosing corrupt judges – Niyamgiri villagers have united, across caste, class and district to defend the mountain that gives them life and livelihood.

Felix Padel

There is a lot of evidence that the arms trade is an epicentre of corruption, and that it fuels conflicts around the globe. Andrew Feinstein’s brilliant new book, The Shadow World (2011, review by Padel 2012) shows this clearly. Less scrutinized are the centrality of the arms industry to the world economy, the industry’s links with mining, and its outstanding greenhouse gas emissions. However much we limit our individual carbon footprints, will this make any difference unless we curtail our wars?

By Rajagopal PV

In India, the most publicized land-movement was the Bhoodhan movement. In the 1950s and 60s, a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinobha Bhave walked across the country asking for land as gift. His strategy was to ask land-owning families to treat him as one of their own and give him one share of the land which can then be redistributed to the landless people. It took 14 years for him to walk across the country and collect a little more than 4 million acres of land. This was a very radical approach based on his philosophy of 'change of heart'.

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