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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 21st, 2016

by newsdigest on December 2, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Hindu-Muslim unity in Uttar Pradesh gets note exchange shot (Nov 18, 2016, India.com)

…While people are keeping money in lower denominations safe with them, some came forward to help cash starving citizen, depositing currency notes of Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100. A display of Hindu-Muslim unity was also seen in this cash chaos. Similarly, Avdesh Gupta, a trader from Uttar Pradesh, deposited Rs 1.5 Lakh in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 50, Rs 100 so that other could get lower denomination currency.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, Gram Ravli resident Shakir Ahmad had five notes of Rs 500. Unable to use the currency, Shakir broke the piggy bank of his kids and got Rs 140, which helped the family to survive for two days. When Shakir returned empty hand from the bank without exchanging Rs 500 notes, Munesh Kumar came to his rescue. Munesh gave him Rs 800 in low denominations.…

Similar display of immense humanity in this time of hardship was shown by several others too. According to report of Jagaran, a trader named Rakesh Shahi deposited Rs 10 lakh in Poorvanchal Gramin Bank in low denominations of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100. A retired Army officer Mahesh Prasad Dwivedi also deposited Rs. 1,15,000 in small currency of Rs 100 and Rs 10. A businessman from Barabanki, Ravikant Pandey reached bank with Rs 17, 30,000 and deposited the entire amount in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100. All these people had only thing in their mind; they wanted to help people in this difficult time.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/currencychaos-hindu-muslim-unity-in-uttar-pradesh-gets-note-exchange-shot-1652463/

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BJP Left Red-faced After Rs 92 Lakh Cash Seized From Vehicle Owned By Maharashtra Minister (Nov 18, 2016, India Times)

More than a week after high-value currency notes were demonetised, Rs 91.5 lakh in cash was found in a private vehicle belonging to Solapur-based Lok Mangal group, which is controlled by senior BJP leader and Maharashtra cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh.

Osmanabad collector Prashant Narnaware confirmed that a routine check of vehicles by a flying squad set up for the ensuing municipal council polls netted the amount on Thursday. A Lok Mangal staffer in the car said the cash belonged to the Lok Mangal bank. Deshmukh said it was meant for payment to workers in a sugar factory affiliated to the Lok Mangal group.

The vehicle has been impounded, while the cash has been deposited in the local treasury. In the past, Lok Mangal was under the scanner of Sebi for irregularities in mobilising funds for the group. NCP and Congress were quick to demand immediate dismissal of the controversial minister for black money transactions.…

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/bjp-left-red-faced-after-rs-92-lakh-cash-seized-from-vehicle-owned-by-maharashtra-minister-265700.html

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BJP leaders’ presence at Reddy’s family wedding exposes party’s double standards on black money (Nov 16, 2016, First Post)

…This week, this once-upon-a-time-powerful-politician (Disgraced mining tycoon and former Karnataka Tourism minister in the BJP government, Gali Janardhana Reddy) showed he is still not a political touch-me-not. With senior BJP leaders in attendance, Reddy mocked at those who dared to question his vulgar display of wealth. The high-profile political presence was like giving Reddy an ISO 9001 certification.

While the figure of Rs 500 crore spent on the wedding may be exaggerated, it is quite evident from the kind of over-the-top arrangements made that nothing short of Rs 150 crore would have been spent. The Vijayanagara empire has been recreated because Reddy believes he is King Krishnadevaraya reincarnated. So has been Bellary with its different streets to make the bride feel at home.

Replete with chariots and foreign dancers, helipads, 1,500 hotel rooms, 2,000 cabs and 3,000 bouncers, the big fat wedding that hosted some 50,000 VIP guests, is clearly injurious to the sensibility of India. Especially at a time when much of Bengaluru and India is in queues outside banks and ATMs, struggling to take out Rs 4,500 to make ends meet. And that’s why the political presence reeks of hypocrisy.… It is the same party that lauds its prime minister for his financial surgical strike on black money and in the same breath, embraces a man who allegedly minted black money, making mountains vanish in the process.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/bjp-leaders-presence-at-reddys-family-wedding-expose-partys-double-standards-on-black-money-3108642.html

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British archives document “links” Godse with RSS, is quoted as saying, RSS “welcomed” the assassination (Nov 16, 2016, Counterview)

Fresh evidence is claimed to have surfaced on links between Nathuram Godse, the man responsible for murdering Mahatma Gandhi, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), this time from the from the London archives of India Office Library & Records.

Being interpreted as fresh armour in the hands of those who seek to nail the RSS which claims it had no links with Godse, an “outward telegram” is being quoted to say that “it was sent by the British Foreign Office on February 13, 1948.

The telegram claimed, “It has now been established that Godse, arrested as Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, was a member of the ‘R.S.S.S.’ (sic) and of the Mahasabha”. The telegram also records: “…the initial disturbances were clearly spontaneous acts of indignation, provoked too in some places by R.S.S.S. demonstrations welcoming the assassination…” The British Foreign Office telegram further notes “R.S.S.S. demonstrations welcoming the assassination…”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/11/british-archives-document-links-godse.html

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Victim of 2008 Malegaon blast opposes Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s bail (Nov 16, 2016, India Today)

…Additional Solicitor General, Anil Singh, representing the National Investigating Agency (NIA) told the court that the agency had “no objections” to Sadhvi being granted bail. However the division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi wanted to know if there are any intervention applications filed in the case.

Advocate Naima Sheikh from advocate Wahab Khan’s office told the court that 2008 Malegaon blast victim Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal, who was injured in the blast, wanted to file an intervention. Bilal had filed an intervention application in sessions court as well where Sadhvi’s bail application was rejected.

Court decided to hold the hearing for the case on November 29 when all parties would have filed their say. Sadhvi has been languishing in an Ayurveda hospital in Bhopal in judicial custody where she was shifted from Byculla jail for treatment. However her family has alleged that her health has only deteriorated in confinement.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/2008-malegaon-blast-sadhvi-pragya-singh-thakur-bombay-high-court/1/812381.html

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Gujarat HC judge recuses himself from Naroda Patiya riot case (Nov 18, 2016, New Indian Express)

A Gujarat High Court judge today recused himself from hearing of appeals related to the Naroda Patiya riot case of 2002, becoming the third judge to do so. Justice Akil Kureshi today said, “Not before me” when the appeals came up for hearing before a division bench comprising him.`

Twenty-nine convicts including former Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani and former VHP leader Babu Bajrangi have challenged the special trial court’s ruling before the high court. Last year, division bench of justices M R Shah and K S Jhaveri had recused itself from hearing the appeals.

Riot survivors and the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team which probed the case too have filed appeals seeking enhanced punishment. As many as 97 people, mostly of minority community, were killed by a mob at Naroda Patiya here during the 2002 post- Godhra riots. The trial court in August 2012 convicted 31 people and awarded life term to 30 of them including Kodnani. It awarded ‘imprisonment till death’ to Bajrangi. Kodnani, who was a state minister for women and child development for some period when Narendra Modi was chief minister of Gujarat, was released on bail by the high court in July 2014 on medical grounds.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2016/nov/18/gujarat-hc-judge-recuses-himself-from-naroda-patiya-riot-case-1540143.html

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JNU proctorial inquiry finds ABVP member guilty of assaulting Najeeb Ahmed (Nov 20, 2016, Indian Express)

A proctorial inquiry by JNU has found ABVP member Vikrant Kumar guilty of assaulting Najeeb Ahmed during a brawl following which the latter went missing over a month ago. Najeeb (27), a student of School of Biotechnology and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP, including Vikrant, the night before.

JNU had ordered a proctorial inquiry into the incident. “In the proctorial inquiry, Vikrant Kumar has been found to be involved in hitting Najeeb Ahmed and using derogatory language with provocative behaviour on October 14. This is an act of indiscipline and misconduct,” an official order read.

Vikrant has been asked to explain why disciplinary action should not be initiated against him.… JNU students and teachers have been agitating against the university administration and Delhi Police for their failure to locate the missing student.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jnu-proctorial-inquiry-finds-abvp-member-guilty-of-assaulting-najeeb-ahmed-4385515/

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Will give suitable reply to BJP in upcoming polls: Muslim body (Nov 15, 2016, Indian Express)

Muslims of the country will not tolerate an “interference” with their personal law and give a “suitable” reply to the BJP in the coming Assembly elections on the ‘triple talaq’ issue, the leaders of All India Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islam (AITUI) said on Tuesday.

“The (Narendra) Modi government is trying to push the country towards the RSS agenda. Sunni Muslims oppose the Law Commission’s move to seek public opinion on abolishing triple talaq,” said president of AITUI Mufti Ashfaq Hussain Qadri, adding that the minority community will give a “suitable” reply to the saffron party in the upcoming Assembly polls in a few states.

The body of Sunni Muslim scholars will take out a ‘Parliament March’ from Jantar Mantar on November 18 to express its opposition to the Centre and Uniform Civil Code (UCC), he told a press conference.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/will-give-suitable-reply-to-bjp-in-upcoming-polls-muslim-body-4377021/

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‘Fight communal forces with the help of Constitution’ (Nov 18, 2016, The Hindu)

Former Director General of Police, Gujarat, R.B. Sreekumar, on Wednesday urged the Muslims in the country to fight communal forces with the help of the Constitution and the rule of law.

Speaking at a programme organised by ‘Madha Saarbatror Mamandram’ here, he said already many Hindus had become communalised and were rallying behind Hindutva forces.

An officer, who witnessed the 2002 riots in Gujarat, he said that if the country must progress Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s teachings must be taken more seriously and they must be included in the school curriculum.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/fight-communal-forces-with-the-help-of-constitution/article9360047.ece

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Activists lash out at Sangh Parivar, Sanatan Sanstha (Nov 18, 2016, Times of India)

Setting the tone for the three-day national conference of the Dakshinayan Abhiyan that got underway at Margao on Friday, literary scholar and cultural activist Ganesh Devy urged all progressive minds to come together and join “the struggle for the freedom of creative expression that is rooted in tolerance and diversity.”

Speaking at a public meeting at Lohia maidan here, Devy hoped that Goa’s immense cultural diversity and its multilingual nature would help realise the objectives of the Abhiyan. Many of the speakers, who addressed the meeting, lashed out at the Sanatan Sanstha and Sangh Parivar for their attempts at disrupting communal harmony in the state in the name of Hindutva.

Hameed Dabholkar, son of slain anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, said that killings of Dabholkar, besides two other rationalists, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi, could have been avoided if the investigating agencies were able to arrest the masterminds of the Margao bomb blast in 2009. While local social activist Prashant Naik demanded that Sanatan Sanstha be banned, Uttam Parwar from Gujarat said the “the country’s biggest threat came from the Sangh Parivar.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55503881.cms

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Muslim forums protest against ban on IRF (Nov 18, 2016, The Hindu)

Several Muslim organisations in the State have protested against the decision of the Union government to ban under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for five years the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) run by Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

Calling it as a fascist move, a meeting of the Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen (KNM) Markazudawa chaired by its president C.P. Ummer Sullami and participated by senior leaders including Hussain Madavoor said that this revealed the real intention of the BJP-led government against the Muslim community in the country. The silence of the Left parties, the Congress and other secular parties on the issue raised serious concerns, it said.

The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has said that the action was “undemocratic and discriminatory.” At the same time, several individuals and organisations had been publicly indulging in provocative speeches aimed at fomenting communal trouble, its Kerala Amir M.I. Abdul Aziz, said.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/muslim-forums-protest-against-ban-on-irf/article9359645.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

Did Modi receive over Rs 55 crore from the Sahara Group as the chief minister of Gujarat? – By Paranjoy Guha Thakurta & Advait Rao Palepu (Nov 19, 2016, EPW)

At 8 pm on 8 November 2016, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to a live broadcast on Doordarshan to make the historic announcement that the government was demonetising notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, emphasising his commitment to ridding India of the “evils of corruption” and black money, at least five central agencies or commissions in New Delhi were sitting on a tranche of documents that allegedly indicated that Modi had accepted bribes in excess of Rs 55 crore, or eight million dollars.

It is unclear from the documents, whether there were 13 separate transactions that involved Modi and came to a total of Rs 55.2 crore or nine transactions totalling Rs 40.1 crore. In the documents, there appears to be a repetition of four specific transactions, which took place between 30 October 2013 and 29 November 2013 and have been accounted for under two separate headings.

The documents, which have been doing the rounds in New Delhi for the last few months, suggest that Modi – along with a number of important politicians – was paid large amounts of cash by individuals associated with Subrata Roy, the founder-chairman of the Sahara India Group, during his tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat. These documents also suggest that the recipients of such favours included, among others: Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh; Raman Singh, the chief minister of Chhattisgarh; Shaina NC, the treasurer for the Bharatiya Janata party in Maharashtra and; Sheila Dikshit, the former chief minister of Delhi.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/47/web-exclusives/did-modi-receive-rs-55-crore-sahara-group-gujarat-cm.html

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Modi has brought havoc to India – Editorial (Nov 17, 2016, The Guardian)

…At a stroke Mr Modi rendered 86% of currency worthless outside a bank branch. Old notes would have to be exchanged for limited supplies of new currency. It was justified as a move designed to fight corruption and target people who have been dodging taxes by holding stockpiles of cash, known in India as “black money”.

Many initially saw the withdrawal of banknotes as a price worth paying to eliminate graft. The short-term impact of “demonetisation” has been dramatic: the $2 trillion Indian economy will shrink. The rich will not suffer, as corruptly acquired fortunes have almost all been converted to shares, gold and real estate. But the poor, who make up the bulk of the nation’s 1.3 billion people, will lose out. They don’t generally have bank accounts and are often paid in cash. For them, getting to a bank and queueing for hours will cost money and time they don’t have.

In less than a week the policy has reportedly claimed more than a dozen lives. The government says that it will take weeks to sort out the problems.…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/17/the-guardian-view-on-indias-demonetisation-modi-has-brought-havoc-to-india

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The Indian Prime Minister’s life is in danger and nobody cares! – By Arif Hussain (Nov 19, 2016, TwoCircles.net)

On Sunday the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra D. Modi said powerful moneyed people wouldn’t leave him alive. And nobody batted an eyelid. What does it say about Mr. Modi’s persona and his public posturing and level of political discourse in India?

During his address on November 13, 2016 during the foundation stone laying ceremony of Mopa Green Field International Airport & Electronic City at Tuam in Goa, the Indian prime minister Mr. N. D. Modi said “I am looting away their stash of 70 years, they wouldn’t leave me alive, will destroy me….” …

Imagine Angela Merkel or François Hollande coming on live Television and disclose that there are forces in Germany and France, respectively, that are out to kill her/him. What would be the response of German and French security forces?… Now compare this to the response to Mr. Modi’s remarks in Goa. Even after Mr. Modi has directly acknowledged a threat to his life not a single red alert has been sounded. Neither the agencies tasked with his protection have come out with an update, nor Mr. Modi has deigned to issue a clarifying statement.…

http://twocircles.net/2016nov19/1479531928.html

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Sangh, Simon and the Question of Rationality – By Shrikant Wad (Nov 17, 2016, Mainstream)

…The live broadcast of the RSS chief’s speech on the government-owned national television soon after the BJP came to power (Hebbar, 2014), the Prime Minister’s attempts to link a mythical text of the Hindu religion to the so-called science and technological development in ancient India (Modi, 2014), the beef row (Bhardwaj, 2015; Nayar, 2015), and the increasing political control over educational institutions (Hasan, 2015) are some of the conspicuous reflections of how firmly the ideas and values of the Sangh are being imposed on the secular and democratic Indian state system.…

The utter disregard for tolerance is, therefore, a key to the political agenda of the RSS. This is where the sustainability of the RSS becomes even more questionable. Tolerance forms an indivisible part of the Hindu philosophy. The RSS cannot claim to be Hinduistic without tolerance. Its attempt to impose the Hindu identity on all the residents of India takes away their religious and cultural diversity. Moreover, a rational Hindu individual realises that there is no greater advantage in propagating Hinduism forcefully, but accommodating other believers or non-believers in the society.

Rational human beings, even while believing in survival of the fittest, do not gain fitness through coercion and conflict, but through peace and harmony. Thus, the polarising politics of the RSS tends to contrast with the rationality of a tolerant Hindu individual and does not hold the promise to sustain over a long time. However, building on conflicts and polarisation, the Sangh neglects the fact that the rational human beings, even while believing in survival of the fittest, do not gain fitness through coercion and conflict, but through peace and harmony.

http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article6821.html

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Govt should stop RSS from furthering its ideological agenda in schools – Editorial (Nov 16, 2016, Hindustan Times)

If the RSS and its affiliates are to be believed, there is nothing in science that was not known to ancient Indians.…Now we could dismiss this as a hankering for a romanticised past, but these are pointers from study material issued by the Vijnana Bharti, the science and technology wing of the RSS, for an examination it is holding in over 2,000 government and private schools across on November 20.…

The RSS and its affiliates have been attempting for ages to put their stamp on school education, not to mention pushing their candidates for the leadership of higher educational institutions. But schools are meant to teach children from a curriculum devised by experts comprising knowledge that will stand them in good stead when it comes to competitive exams or higher studies.

Knowledge of the glories achieved by India in Vedic times may be interesting but it should not be imposed on children in the form of examinations. The ministry is in the process of framing the new education policy. It has rightly asked for inputs from all stakeholders. But these inputs must be vetted by those with domain knowledge and not outfits which are trying to further an ideological agenda. Allowing this examination will open a window for further encroachment into the space of education. The ministry should resist this in the interest promoting scientific and relevant education.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/hrd-ministry-should-stop-the-rss-from-furthering-its-ideological-agenda-in-schools/story-jbnyRnlsJ9c7xfIed4WtRN.html

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Kangaroo Court In MP – By K.T.S. Tulsi (Nov 14, 2016, Outlook)

Fake encounters are cold-blooded, brutal murders by people who are supposed to uphold the law. It’s a criminal philosophy that drives fake encounters and all policemen should know that, Justice Markandey Katju said in the noted Prakash Kadam case, and added that “where a fake encounter was proved against a person in trial, they must be given death sentence, treating it as the rarest of rare cases.”

Despite that dire sword suspended over police, 160 people died in court-authorised police custody between 2011 and 2015. During the same period, another 373 died in unauthorised police custody. For all these deaths, not one policeman has been convicted.

By law, it should not matter whether a victim is an ordinary person, a militant or a terrorist. Nor does it matter if the aggressor is an ordinary person or the State itself. The law is the same for both, and is equally applicable to both. This is the requirement of a democracy–so said the Supreme Court in July 2016, in the case of Extra-judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM) versus Union of India, related to 1,528 cases of fake encounters inv¬olving the army and the police in Manipur.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/kangaroo-court-in-mp/298104

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 14th, 2016

by newsdigest on November 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Digest

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Rs 3 crore deposit ahead of Rs 500 & Rs 1000 note ban puts West Bengal BJP in a spot (Nov 13, 2016, Economic Times)

Deposits of Rs 3 crore made by West Bengal BJP in a nationalised bank here eight days before the Prime Minister’s demonetisation announcement have triggered a controversy. The last transaction, involving Rs 40 lakh, was made minutes before the PM’s speech.…

Sources in the Indian Bank’s Central Avenue branch confirmed that the deposits were made in four tranches. According to a report published in CPM mouthpiece ‘Ganashakti’ on Friday, BJP had, on November 8, deposited Rs 60 lakh and then Rs 40 lakh – all of it in neatly packed 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. While the first deposit was made to a savings account (No. 554510034) named Bharatiya Janata Party, West Bengal, in the afternoon, the second was made around 8pm. However, it is not clear how the bank was open at 8pm.

According to the same report, in a different current account (also maintained by the party’s state unit) Rs 75 lakh was deposited on November 1 and Rs 1.25 crore on November 5. “It’s possible that BJP members were well aware of this ban and that is why they deposited huge amounts in banks across the nation to make their black money white,” CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said.…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55385429.cms

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Day 9: Demonetisation Death Toll Rises To 55 (Nov 18, 2016, Huffington Post)

As people continued to struggle to get cash on the ninth day after demonetisation, the death toll rose to 55. These are confirmed deaths reported in the national and regional media.

The number of unreported deaths may be higher. While most deaths are of the elderly waiting in long bank queues, there are quite a few suicides, especially of housewives.…

In Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, 70-year-old Ratna Pillai died waiting in a bank queue. Distressed over the long queue, he approached the bank manager, and collapsed. (The Hindu)…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/11/17/day-9-demonetisation-death-toll-rises-to-55/

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‘Staged encounter’ probe panel chief has RSS links (Nov 9, 2016, Free Press Journal)

AS the MP government institute a judicial inquiry into the issue under justice SK Pande, the opposition has raised doubts if it would prove to be a mere hogwash and whether it would meet the fate of other such judicial probes that have been pending for over last 10 years. The opposition says the state government has “failed” to table reports of as many as nine judicial commissions in the state assembly, which is mandatory.…

[senior advocate Anand Mohan] Mathur also wrote a letter to the chief minister and demanded justice SK Pande, a retired judge of Madhya Pradesh high court, be dropped as the head of the judicial commission announced to conduct inquiry into the Bhopal jailbreak and alleged encounter.

“I have known justice Pande since the time he was a civil judge at Jabalpur. He is known to be a sympathiser of RSS and will not be the right person to probe the encounter. A senior judge from the Supreme Court should be appointed for the same, as only then can an impartial report will be expected,” said 90 year-old Mathur.

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/staged-encounter-probe-panel-chief-has-rss-links-l-s-herdenia/968749

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AiNNI writes to President against BJP man getting into NHRC (Nov 10, 2016, Deccan Chronicle)

All India Network of NGOs and Individuals working with National and State Human Rights Institutions (AiNNI) has expressed “serious concerns” over the appointment of Avinash Rai Khanna, vice-president of BJP, as a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

In a representation sent to the President of India Pranab Mukherjee, AiNNI said that while the post is sought to be filled by a person with no political affiliations, the appointment of Khanna would send a wrong message to the people of India and challenge the independence of NHRC which the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GA-NHRIs) through its Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) highlighted in 2011.

“This appointment is contrary to the universally accepted human rights standards evolved under the aegis of the United Nations. It will erode the public faith in the institution, which has been declining steadily over the past ten years,” the AiNNI told the President in its letter signed by nine senior AiNNI advisors, including Henri Tiphagne, national working secretary of the AiNNI.…

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/131116/ainni-writes-to-prez-against-bjp-man-getting-into-nhrc.html

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“Indian nationalism under attack” (Nov 15, 2016, The Hindu)

The idea of Indian nationalism was under intense attack from the construct of Hindu nationalism propagated by RSS, BJP and other Hindutva forces, alleged Ram Puniyani, Chairman of All India Secular Forum, while speaking at a seminar on ‘Communal politics and minorities’ organized by Diocesan Legal Cell of Archdiocese of Madurai in association with Society for Community Organization Trust here on Monday.…

He said that those propagating Hindutva were relying on polarising the people along religious lines. “A study by the Yale University shows that whenever there is religious violence in a place, it leads to polarisation and the political party which played a key role in the polarization becomes stronger there,” he said. “We know about Gujarat riots in 2002 and religious violences in other places in the country and we can clearly see which party has gained,” he added.

Pointing out that these forces relied on spreading misconceptions, which lead to hatred and in turn to violence and polarisation, he said the progressive forces should confront the communal forces on all these fronts.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/indian-nationalism-under-attack/article9347167.ece

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Delhi Univ professor charged with murder in Chhattisgarh as she exposed atrocities in Bastar: Civil rights bodies (Nov 10, 2016, Counterview)

The Chhattisgarh police’s controversial move to file FIR charging Nandini Sundar, Professor of Sociology, Delhi University and Prof Archana Prasad of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, of murder of a tribal in Bastar is all set to become a major human rights concern across India.

Two top organizations, Campaign for Peace and Justice in Chhattisgarh (CPJC) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), have taken the lead in alleging that the FIR has been filed in order to take revenge against Sundar and others after the recent CBI revelation that there is no truth in the cops’ story that Naxalites had burnt three villages in 2011, though this atrocity was found to be the handiwork of security forces and their supporters.

Alongside Sundar and Prasad, the FIR has also been filed gainst Vineet Tiwari of the Joshi Adhikar Institute of the CPI, Sanjay Parate of the CPI (M), apart from villagers and CPI activists Mangla of Nama and Manju Kawasi, sarpanch of Gadiras, and the sections quoted are 302, 147,148, 149, 450,120B of IPC, 25 and 27 of Arms Act.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/11/delhi-univ-professor-charged-with.html

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Citizenship Act: BJP’s religion-based amendment threatens the secular fabric of India (Nov 8, 2016, First Post)

The Union government has proposed certain changes to India’s citizenship laws, in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The present legal framework has no provision for religion-based citizenship and the proposed amendment plans to change that.

At present, an illegal migrant entering the territory of the Indian Union is prohibited from becoming a citizen. The amendment proposes that illegal migrants belonging to six specific religious minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan will not be prohibited from attaining citizenship, even if they migrated to the territory illegally.

The move, to mark out illegal migrants of specific religious minorities originating from neighbouring sovereign territories for special treatment, started a little while back. In a series of orders between September 2015 and July 2016, the government exempted from deportation the illegal migrants belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian religion. These previous moves laid down the framework for the present proposed amendment.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/citizenship-act-bjps-religion-based-amendment-threatens-the-secular-fabric-of-india-3094490.html

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‘BJP, Sangh Parivar trying to disturb communal harmony’ (Nov 8, 2016, The Hindu)

Samata Sena and other organisations have urged the State government to register cases against those trying to disturb communal harmony by making attempts to prevent Tipu Jayanti.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, office-bearers of various organisations, including Gurunath Ullikashi, Premanath Chikkatumbal, Pitambarappa Bilar, condemned in strong terms those opposing Tipu Jayanti.

Mr. Gurunath Ullikashi alleged that the BJP and members of the Sangh Parivar were trying to project Tipu Sultan, who fought against the British, as anti-Hindu and were trying to disrupt Tipu Jayanti for the sake of gaining political mileage out of it.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/bjp-sangh-parivar-trying-to-disturb-communal-harmony/article9317358.ece

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Kolkata: Clerics launch twin attacks, target BJP and TMC on triple talaq (Nov 9, 2016, Indian Express)

Muslim leaders on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on both the central and state governments over several issues in a public meeting of imams and muezzins at Rani Rashmoni Avenue here. Md Kamruzzaman, general secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation – which organised the event attended by over 40 Muslim organisations – said the present BJP government was intervening with Muslim Personal Law. Three TMC MPs – Sultan Ahmed, Idris Ali and Ahmed Hassan Imran – were also present on stage.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised ‘achhe din’, but does that mean taking away the right to practice the religion of one’s choice or to dictate what one will eat or wear?” Kamruzzaman asked.

Referring to the proposed BJP rally against triple talaq on November 18, when the three-day convention of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) would begin, he said: “The BJP in order to disrupt the function of the AIMPLB has organised a rally on November 18, but we are also ready to counter any attempts by the BJP. I urge all Muslims to maintain peace, but if they intend to create trouble, we are also ready to fight back.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kolkata-clerics-launch-twin-attacks-target-bjp-tmc-on-triple-talaq-4365129/

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How an assault on Banjaras by gau rakshaks sparked an Una-like movement in Rajasthan (Nov 11, 2016, Scroll.in)

…While the violence of the kind faced by Goru and his Banjara companions is not new to the community, this particular attack galvanised a movement against gau rakhaks – not unlike the uprising by Dalits in Gujarat after four youth from the community were flogged by cow-protection vigilantes in Una on July 11. A police case was registered, some of the attackers were arrested and the community came together in protest.

At the forefront of these Banjara agitations were women, over 1,000 of whom took out a protest rally in Rajsamand and, along with other people’s movements and campaigns from Rajasthan, organised a jan sunwai, or public hearing.

Parash Ram, a Banjara activist from Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh district, talks to Scroll.in about the unprecedented response of the community to the Bamkheda assault and how Dalits and Banjaras can come together against gau rakshaks.…

http://scroll.in/article/821047/how-an-assault-on-banjaras-by-gau-rakshaks-sparked-an-una-like-movement-in-rajasthan

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Opinions and Editorials

The right to kill a terrorist – By Faizan Mustafa (Nov 9, 2016, The Tribune)

…There is a qualitative difference between use of force in an operation and use of such deadly force that is akin to using a sledgehammer to kill a fly; one is an act of self-defence while the other is an act of retaliation.” From the video clips which have gone viral, the Bhopal encounter does not look like an act of private defence by the MP police.

Encounters have indeed become a common phenomenon of our criminal justice system. These killings always take place with the prior consent of the highest authority, administrative or ministerial. In the audio records of the Bhopal encounter too we heard someone instructing the killings. What is the modus operandi? The police would take a suspected terrorist into custody without recording his arrest; if the suspected terrorist dies during interrogation where third-degree methods are routinely employed, security forces would deny ever taking the person into custody and instead claim that he was killed during an armed encounter.

The police would place weapons on or near the body to suggest the police acted in self-defence and thus stage-manage the encounter. In other cases the police would secure production warrants under which the police are entitled to remove an inmate from the jail and then this terror suspect would be killed in an encounter outside the jail. A jail-break is the third type.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/the-right-to-kill-a-terrorist/320504.html

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Getting away with murder – By Anupama Katakam (Nov 25, 2016, Frontline)

Between 2002 and 2006, encounter deaths became disturbingly frequent in Gujarat. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recorded 22 extrajudicial killings in this period. Of these, five cases stood out for their blatancy. The encounter deaths of Samir Khan Pathan, Sadiq Jamal, Ishrat Jahan, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati have been widely documented, yet justice has eluded the victims’ families.

Closure in the cases relating to the questionable killings happened only in the one involving police officials and Amit Shah, now Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president. They were convicted, granted bail, acquitted and reinstated, some of them with a promotion. Gujarat stands out for not only the politician-police nexus that exists in the matter of extrajudicial killings but also for the climate of impunity under which encounter killings have thrived, observers point out. Has Gujarat led the way and encouraged other States to believe that a political agenda can be furthered through brazen human rights violation?

Harsh Mander, an activist who filed a petition challenging the discharge of Amit Shah in the 2005 Sohrabuddin encounter case, said: “Once again we are seeing a revival and the same pattern of what was happening during 2004, 2005 and 2006. It’s the same ham-handed, clumsy method used by the authorities.”…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/getting-away-with-murder/article9319159.ece

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Why the corrupt rich will welcome Modi’s ‘surgical strike on corruption’ – By Jayati Ghosh (Nov 15, 2016, The Guardian)

Narendra Modi came to power in India on a promise to end corruption. Halfway into his tenure, little seems to have happened to achieve this goal. The most obvious steps – such as taking a strong line on the known illegal accounts held in Swiss banks and tax havens, or ending the ability to hold shares without revealing your identity, or making funding of political parties transparent – have simply not been taken. People were beginning to murmur that the government had not lived up to its grandiose promises.

So last week Modi did some more of the smoke and mirrors stuff that he is so good at: a shock announcement in a blaze of publicity designed to show that he is serious about ending corruption, even though the actual impact is quite different. At 8pm on Tuesday evening he announced that from midnight all 500-rupee (£6) and 1,000-rupee notes would cease to be legal tender. He said this would flush out all the black money and get rid of the counterfeit notes that were being used by terrorists in their nefarious activities.

Demonetisation of bank notes is a common practice, but it is usually done gradually, allowing time for people to replace the old notes with new ones to prevent too much disruption of economic activity. By contrast this overnight shock is hugely destabilising. The suddenness is supposed to prevent hoarders of cash being able to use it to buy other assets – but that is a poor argument, since the government could have simply announced a time-bound demonetisation and then tracked large transactions.…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/15/corrupt-rich-india-modi-500-1000-rupee-note

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The Chief of Counterfeit Grief – By Apoorvanand (Nov 2, 2016, The Wire)

…So, let us rewind the tape and listen to the man so beholden to the constitutional rights of Muslim women. It was 2002. The blood on the streets was still not dry. But he was then on a yatra to assert the glory of Gujarat. Following in the foot steps of his then mentor, he rides a ‘Gaurav- Rath’ and moves from village to village. The yatra draws thousands of Hindus at all its stops.

He addresses them: “60 innocent Ram bhakts were burnt alive in Godhra.” After a pause he asks, ” Are you aware of the news?…” He asks again, “After that, did you burn shops in the village?” There is a faint ‘No’ in response. He asks again, “Did you burn houses?” He exhorts them to respond loudly and they oblige by saying ‘No’. He persists with his questioning, “Did you stab or behead anyone?” He continues, “Did you rape anyone?” The crowd now knows that it is in safe company of a friend. Each question is greeted with a more enthusiastic and aggressive ‘No!’. “The enemies of Gujarat go around saying that each village was in flames. In each village, people were being killed. Their heads smashed! They defamed Gujarat so much that I had to embark on this Gaurav Yatra.”

Were not people killed in the violence of 2002 after the burning of coach 6 of the Sabarmati Express? Were not houses burnt? Were not women raped? Were not people displaced from their habitats? And were they not Muslims? What did the report of the National Human Rights Commission say? And what did the chief minister, who was the chief minister of all Gujaratis, which included Muslims, do to ensure justice to them?…

http://thewire.in/77325/chief-counterfeit-grief/

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Systemic bias – By Divya Trivedi (Nov 25, 2016, Frontline)

The police and investigation agencies may deny bias in justice delivery, but prisons tell another story. Statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2015 show that Muslims constituted a greater share in the prison population than any other segment of people. While their share in India’s population as per Census 2011 was 14.2 per cent, their proportion in the undertrial prison population stood at 20.9 per cent.

The percentage of convicted Muslims was 15.8 per cent. The percentage of Muslims among detainees was also high at 23.8 per cent. In fact, they fared as badly as Dalits and the tribal people. Together, these three communities constituted 39 per cent of the population but accounted for more than 55 per cent of all undertrials and 50.4 per cent of all convicts.

The Scheduled Castes (S.Cs) accounted for 16.6 per cent of the population but made up 21.6 per cent of all undertrials and 20.9 per cent of all convicts, whereas the Scheduled Tribes (S.Ts) accounted for 8.6 per cent of the population but made up 12.4 per cent of all undertrials and 13.7 per cent of all convicts.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/systemic-bias/article9319130.ece

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Bastar crackdowns warn India what an Emergency could look like in the 21st century – By Rohan Venkataramakrishnan (Nov 15, 2016, Sabrang India)

While Delhi occasionally has to grapple with the real excesses of state power, such as when the government orders a news channel to go blank, the police state is alive and thriving in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar. The district, which became infamous two decades ago for the significant presence of Maoists, has also become a symbol of Indian state abuse and has been the site of some of the most brazen attempts by the authorities to hound out all dissent.

On Monday, the Hindustan Times reported that one of its journalists was threatened by SRP Kalluri, Chhattisgarh’s inspector-general of police, a man who has made clear his willingness to act against anyone questioning his department’s actions. Kalluri told the HT journalist, “If you all do like this, we will not let you visit… you went with my reference to Bastar.”

This is not anomalous behaviour from the man who helped use the police-initiated citizens body, the Samajik Ekta Manch, to drive out any journalist living in the district who might question the police’s actions – including Scroll.in’s Malini Subramanian who faced threats of violence and brick-throwing. This week, Inspector-General Kalluri has made it clear that even those who live outside Bastar will have to toe his line if they want to enter the district to report.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/bastar-crackdowns-warn-india-what-emergency-could-look-21st-century

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Book Review

Hinduism in India: Modern and Contemporary Movements

Author: Will Sweetman and Aditya Malik
Reviewed by: Biraj Mehta
Available at: Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd., 2016, Pages: 311, Price: Rs. 795/- . http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Hinduism in India: Modern and Contemporary Movements: Review (Nov 6, 2016, Free Press Journal)

The book is a compilation of essays by eminent researchers to the ongoing discussions on nature, history, and practice of Hinduism in India. The book challenges several notions of Hinduism that describe it as a uniform and monolithic tradition. The book serves as an avenue to dialogue with the past and participates in the ongoing debates on issues pertaining to Hinduism, nationalism, and world affairs.

The first essay on “Emergence and Significance of the Term “Hinduism” by Geoffrey Oddie explains how practices and communities get confused with religion. It also challenges several homogenized notions of Hinduism and explains it as a conglomeration of several traditions.… Thus, the book primarily illustrates the extraordinary richness of the cultural and religious diversity of Hinduism. Yet, the most significant contribution of the book is that it explains how any understanding of Hinduism is rooted in conflict.

It resists any attempts of homogenizing and assimilating it into any specific identity or context. Contrary to several books on Hinduism that nostalgically appropriate the past, this book provides an understanding to meaningfully engage with the past in a way that one can negotiate with the present and our aspirations for the future. In modern and contemporary times where the identity of the nation state is imagined from the religion of the majority community, such a discourse on Hinduism is not only relevant but also urgent.

<ahref=”http: www.freepressjournal.in=”” book-reviews=”” hinduism-in-india-modern-and-contemporary-movements-by-will-sweetman-and-aditya-malik=”” 967296=”” “=””>http://www.freepressjournal.in/book-reviews/hinduism-in-india-modern-and-contemporary-movements-by-will-sweetman-and-aditya-malik/967296

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 7th, 2016

November 17, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines ‘Sabko nipta do’: Senior police official heard giving orders to kill 8 SIMI operatives on audio recording Bhopal encounter: Bullets hit SIMI suspects in chest, abdomen, reveals post-mortem report 1,654 shot dead in encounters between 2004-2014 2 RSS Men Arrested For Murder Of Left Worker In Kerala’s […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 31st, 2016

November 11, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Bhopal “encounter” killings; Indian Americans demand Chief Minister’s resignation, judicial probe News Headlines SIMI activists’ jailbreak: Encounter, contradictions, politics and all that happened today SIMI shooting: Here’s India’s track record when it comes to fake encounters Police killed my son in fake encounter, alleges top Maoist RK’s wife […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 24th, 2016

November 3, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hindu-Muslim meet shows humanity is above all Delhi’s own festival that promotes communal harmony News Headlines Godhra riots: Gujarat High Court upholds life term of 17, acquits 14 convicted in Sardarpura case Jharkhand policeman charged for custodial death following youth’s post-mortem report Malegaon blast: High court asks […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 17th, 2016

October 27, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal harmony lessons in J’khand textbooks to foster love, combat hatred News Headlines Modi “advised” ex-DGP to go soft on Sangh Parivar, said 2002 Gujarat violence was “natural, uncontrollable” Bahraich: 2 cops suspended, 34 arrested for clashes during Durga Puja Real threats to India are communal and […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 10th, 2016

October 20, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal Harmony Awakening Camp Watch how Kashmiri youth rescued an army jawan trapped inside a mangled vehicle News Headlines Delhi: Heavy police deployment in Trilokpuri as communal tensions rises after stone pelting Dadri accused’s body draped in tricolour sends out aggressive message to Muslims 2 hurt as […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 3rd, 2016

October 13, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Amid Uncertainty After Uri Attack, A Hindu-Muslim Bond Grows Stronger NGO to hold national conference for spreading communal harmony News Headlines A year after Ikhlaq’s lynching, Bisada sitting on a communal tinderbox I am out of jail, but I feel I am in a bigger jail now: […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 26th, 2016

October 4, 2016

In this issue of IAMC Roundup News Headlines Ex-DGP Sreekumar launches ‘Gujarat Behind The Curtain’ Malegaon 2008 blast prime accused Purohit refused bail Hindutva agenda alleged to be behind Govt of India Bill seeking to provide citizenship to “illegal” migrants Bijnor clash: BJP worker, aides booked for ‘firing, inciting mob’ Bandh called by Hindu Munnani turns […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 19th, 2016

September 28, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat: Man thrashed by suspected cow vigilantes, dies in Ahmedabad Muslim women ganged raped by Hindu gang ‘for eating beef’ RSS coup? Una victims may join Sangh Dalit rally Bijnor violence: ‘Before firing, made 12 calls to cops, MLA but no action taken’ Three killed in communal […]

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