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CPI(ML) journal ML Update argues that the Justice Verma committee report on laws dealing with crimes against women is a vindication of the demands of the ongoing movement against sexual violence. "In many ways, the Justice Verma committee report has given body and substance to what the protesters on the street were saying. The panel has done what the government should, in fact, have done: engaged seriously with activists working in the field as well as survivors of sexual violence and... come up with recommendations that reflect their concerns," the editorial says.
The best instance of the report's recognition of a woman's unqualified autonomy as a person in her own right, it says, is its recommendation that marital rape be included in the purview of the rape law. It also claims there was palpable discomfort in the Central government and in opposition parties like the BJP. "The UPA government, for which the JVC was a mere protest management exercise, is now avoiding the eye of the report... And even the BJP and most other ruling class opposition parties, have maintained silence... This is not surprising: the report hits at the foundations of patriarchy and the parties which are the pillars of that patriarchy are understandably discomfited," it says. It concludes that the UPA must implement the report or quit.
Despite implementation of several programmes formulated after the Justice Sachar panel highlighted the poor socio-economic conditions of the Indian Muslims, the condition of Muslims in India has remained the same", an article in CPM journal People's Democracy claims. "The prime minister's 15-point programme clearly identifies enhancing opportunities for education as one of the main strategies for minority welfare." Noting that the level of improvement in literacy among SC and STs was significantly higher than that among the Muslims, it says the study shows that this pattern only gets more accentuated at the higher levels of education.
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