From the category archives:

News Digest

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 7th, 2017

by newsdigest on August 16, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Post Basirhat communal violence: In show of unity, Hindus, Muslims tie rakhis (Aug 8, 2017, Indian Express)

In a show of harmony, members of the Hindu and Muslim communities in Basirhat on Monday tied rakhis on each other, a month after the area was hit by communal violence. Violence had erupted between the two communities in Basirhat and Baduria areas of North-24 Parganas over a controversial Facebook post. In an effort to revive cordial ties, the Bangla Sanskriti Manch and Rights to Life Foundation jointly organised a Raksha Bandhan celebration at Basirhat Town Hall. Residents of Basirhat took part in the event, and lauded the effort to strengthen peace.

“It was totally an apolitical event here in which local people participated. Children danced on stage and tied rakhis on the wrists of people. They sang songs written by Rabindranath Tagore and Nazrul Islam on communal harmony. Later, they took out a rally in Basirhat and tied rakhis on local people,” Mizanur Rahaman, a participant in the event, told The Indian Express.

Another participant, retired banker Nirmal Ghosh, said the show of unity should be replicated in parts of the state which have witnessed communal tension in recent times. “The message was loud and clear. People are united here. Members of both communities delivered speeches on communal harmony and vowed to stand united. We all know the tension was intentionally created by some people. But people here want to rise above that, and want to continue this show of unity against all odds,” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/post-basirhat-communal-violence-in-show-of-unity-hindus-muslims-tie-rakhis-4786859/

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Aadhaar will be required for death certificates from October 1, plan to prevent identity fraud (Aug 4, 2017, Indian Express)

In a bid to prevent identity fraud, the Home Ministry on Friday made quoting one’s Aadhaar number necessary for the registration of death with effect from October 1. The government stated that it would be applicable for the residents of all states except Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Meghalaya, for which a date would be notified separately.

“An Applicant applying for death certificate is required to provide Aadhaar number or Enrolment ID Number (EID) of the deceased and other details as sought in the application for death certificate for the purpose of establishing the identity of the deceased,” the PIB release said.

Those not aware of the Aadhaar number or Enrolment ID Number (EID) of the deceased have to provide a certificate that the deceased person does not possess the number to the best of their knowledge. “Applicant’s Aadhaar number shall also be collected along with the Aadhaar number of the spouse or parents,” the release added.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/govt-makes-aadhaar-mandatory-for-registration-of-death-to-prevent-identity-fraud-4782225/

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Academics Denounce Attacks by RSS and Corporate Media (Aug 7, 2017, New Click)

Prominent academics have come down heavily on the barrage of attacks unleashed by the RSS and the corporate media against the State of Kerala in the recent days.

Renowned historian KN Ganesh said in a Facebook post that the coming months will witness a direct conflict between the RSS on the one hand and Democratic Kerala on the other. The reason for this is not murders or attacks on party offices.

“It was Kerala which strongly resisted the “gau raksha” propaganda of the RSS. Even the BJP leaders had to keep silent about the beef festivals organised across Kerala”, Ganesh said. “Kerala also stood up against the atrocities unleashed against Dalits and minorities by the RSS all across India.”…

http://en.southlive.in/southly/2017/08/06/would-jaitley-find-time-to-visit-victims-of-rss-terror-in-kerala

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Tolerance has to become an essential national virtue: M Hamid Ansari (Aug 6, 2017, Indian Express)

Tolerance has to become an essential national virtue to promote harmony transcending sectional diversities, Vice-President M Hamid Ansari on Sunday said. Tolerance is a pragmatic formula for the functioning of society without conflict between different religions and political ideologies, among others, he said speaking at the 25th annual convocation of the National Law School of India University here.

Yet, he said, tolerance alone is not a strong enough foundation for building an inclusive and pluralistic society and it must be coupled with “understanding and acceptance”. In this regard, he recalled Swami Vivekananda’s words, “We must, not only tolerate other religions, but positively embrace them, as truth is the basis of all religions.”

The Vice-President said the challenge today is to reiterate and rejuvenate secularism’s basic principles, including freedom of religion and tolerance. The challenge also is to emphasise that equality has to be substantive, that freedom of religion be re-infused with its collectivist dimensions, he added.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/tolerance-has-to-become-an-essential-national-virtue-m-hamid-ansari-4785100/

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Lafiqul Islam Ahmed killing: Eminent citizens write letter to Sarbananda Sonowal, urge him to help victim’s kin (Aug 6, 2017, First Post)

A group of prominent Assam citizens have written to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, urging him to help the family of slain minority leader Lafiqul Ahmed.

Signed by 44 members of the Assam’s intelligentsia, the letter praised the show of solidarity in Assam after Ahmed’s murder, and added that the incident brought together people belonging to different communities in the militancy-ravaged state.

Calling Ahmed a “progressive youth leader”, the letter acknowledged the slain leader’s contribution in raising critical issues such as child marriage, polygamy, dowry and domestic violence plaguing the Bengali Muslim community.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/lafiqul-islam-ahmed-killing-eminent-citizens-write-letter-to-sarbananda-sonowal-urge-him-to-help-victims-kin-3899809.html

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

SC dismisses plea for making yoga compulsory in schools (Aug 8, 2017, The Tribune)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking framing of a national yoga policy and making the practice compulsory for students of classes 1-8 across the country.

A bench headed by Justice MB Lokur dismissed the plea and said it is for the government to take a decision on such issue. “We are nobody to say what is to be taught in schools. It is none of our business. How can we direct that,” the bench said.

The apex court said it was not possible for it to grant the relief as sought by petitioners – Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a lawyer and Delhi BJP spokesperson and JC Seth. “What is to be taught in schools is not a fundamental right,” it said.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/sc-dismisses-plea-for-making-yoga-compulsory-in-schools/449022.html

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Smriti Irani pulls up PTI news agency for posting ‘Modi-Nitish’ image, gets photo removed (Aug 8, 2017, First Post)

After recently getting additional charge of one of the more prestigious ministries in the Cabinet, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani is making sure that she continues to take controversial decisions. On Monday, this took the form of pulling up the news agency PTI which provides news stories and photographs on a lot of issues in India.

The important issue which caught the IB minister’s eye was a tweet PTI had put out which showed men in Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar masks celebrating Friendship Day. The link between the image and the story it accompanied was tenuous at best as it was about Nitish Kumar urging the Centre to allocate funds for the lower judiciary in Bihar.

Irani took umbrage to the photograph and shot off a tweet expressing her displeasure and questioning PTI’s “official stand”. PTI quickly reacted and deleted the tweet. They had also released the photograph separately to media outlets but later issued a ‘kill’ alert which is media jargon for withdrawing a picture. They also issued an apology and said that they had withdrawn the picture.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/smriti-irani-pulls-up-pti-news-agency-for-incorrect-portrayal-of-elected-heads-gets-photo-removed-3905531.html

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Minority Commission notice to Delhi top cop (Jul 22, 2017, Millennium Post)

Newly-appointed Delhi Minority Commission Chairman Dr Zaffarul Islam Khan on Friday issued notice to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik over threat calls received by social activist Shabnam Hashmi. Hashmi runs the NGO ‘Pehchaan’, in addition to giving lessons to women school dropouts and teaching them sewing in Jaitpur in south east Delhi. On July 14, a person, who identified himself as a Delhi Police sub-inspector Sandeep Malik, reportedly called one of her students’ husband and asked him to come to Lajpat Nagar police station.

When Hashmi called the person to inquire the reason, he started abusing her and threatened her. The man claimed that a plan to “surround and kill” those who did not have an Aadhaar card or other identity proof had been launched. The conversation was recorded by Hashmi on her mobile phone, which she handed over to the police.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Minority Commission also expressed his anguish over the hate crime taking place in the national Capital in the name of cow vigilantism. He said that any type of hate crime is intolerable in a civilised society. Khan said that the Commission is a “quasi-judicial body”, but it can take notice about mishap occurring to any person from a minority.

http://www.millenniumpost.in/business/minority-commission-notice-to-delhi-top-cop-253795

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Bail to Haryana BJP chief’s son: Questions over police action in stalking case (Aug 7, 2017, Hindustan Times)

After Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president’s son, Vikas Barala, arrested for stalking and drink driving, was released on bail on Saturday, politicians and social media users are accusing Chandigarh Police of buckling under pressure and going soft against the accused.

Vikas, 23, a law student, and his friend Ashish Kumar, 27, were arrested from the Housing Board light point late on Friday night. The woman, a disc jockey, who was driving from Sector 9, Chandigarh, towards Panchkula at 12.35am, alleged that the two men followed her in their Tata Safari Storme. Both were drunk, she alleged, and at one point the SUV blocked her way and the person in the co-driver’s seat started walking towards her vehicle.

As the case was registered for stalking under Section 354-D (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code, which is a bailable offence when a person is booked the first time, the two walked free for the time being. Congress leader and former Union minister Manish Tewari said on Sunday that the police have “completely diluted” the case under pressure.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/did-chandigarh-police-dilute-charges-against-haryana-bjp-chief-s-son/story-8bOzUt3jHmVCsyVC6wKHjL.html

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Rape charge & twin attacks shatter peace of Himachal village Khushnagri (Aug 8, 2017, Indian Express)

Khushnagri, which translates as happy place, is a picturesque village at the foot of the Himalayas in Chamba of Himachal Pradesh. Over the last two weeks, however, the village has been struck by communal tension, following allegations that a 15-year-old Muslim girl was raped by a schoolteacher.

Police claim that Tek Chand, a science teacher at the Government Model Senior Secondary School in Khushnagri, has confessed to sexually exploiting the girl for over a year. Chand was arrested on July 27 and is in judicial custody. The girl, who hails from the Muslim-dominated village and used to study at this school, is now in class XI at the Government Senior Secondary School in nearby Tissa.…

The violence in the school was followed by three days of retaliatory violence in Tissa, where a number of shops were vandalised, allegedly selectively. The Congress alleges that the attackers were RSS and VHP men, while the BJP says they were common citizens.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/rape-charge-twin-attacks-shatter-peace-of-himachal-village-khushnagri-4786903/

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

BSP takes out rally condemning atrocities against Dalits, Muslims (Aug 8, 2017, The Hindu)

Condemning the increasing atrocities on Dalits and minorities across the country, the district unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) organised a divisional-level rally from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Chowk to Jagat Circle here on Monday against the inaction of the Union government.

The protesters addressing the rally stated that the Union government has failed to put an end to attacks and atrocities being unleashed across the country against Dalits and Muslims in the name of protecting the cow.

BSP district president Hanumanth Bodankar accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of maintaining silence on the Una incident in Gujarat, where a group of youths belonging to the Dalit community were beaten up by cow vigilantes alleging that they had killed a cow. The Union government had failed to take action against its Ministers for making objectionable statements against Dalits.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bsp-takes-out-rally-condemning-atrocities-on-dalits-muslims/article19447399.ece

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

Partners in deceit – By Jagdeep S. Chhokar (Aug 8, 2017, Indian Express)

The Rajya Sabha election has once again brought to the fore what political unanimity means in India. I first encountered it in early 2001, when the Union of India filed an appeal in the Supreme Court (SC) against a decision of the Delhi High Court requiring candidates contesting elections to disclose pending criminal cases. Political unanimity was on display when several parties intervened in the case in support of the government. But the SC upheld the HC judgment.

Thereafter, 22 political parties joined hands against the SC judgment. The Representation of the People Act (RP Act) was amended unanimously in Parliament to render the SC judgment ineffective. The amendment of the Act was declared “unconstitutional” and “null and void” by the SC and finally, candidates had to submit affidavits disclosing pending criminal cases. This was in 2003.

In 2007, an application under the Right to Information Act was filed to the Income Tax department, requesting copies of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) of political parties. When the request was denied, first appeals under the RTI Act were filed. When these were rejected, a second appeal was filed before the Central Information Commission (CIC). Parties, without exception, argued that their ITRs must not be made public. The CIC, however, decided otherwise.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/partners-in-deceit-bjp-congress-nota-rajya-sabha-election-rti-4786806/

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

Power games – By Venkitesh Ramakrishnan (Aug 18, 2017, Frontline)

Nitish Kumar’s choice of words to describe his return as Chief Minister of Bihar at two different junctures in the past 20 months is a study in contrast. In November 2015, immediately after the Mahagathbandhan… the Chief Minister sought to place the electoral triumph in a larger sociopolitical context with ideological overtones.… Approximately a year and a half later, when Nitish Kumar broke up the Mahagathbandhan and revived his erstwhile alliance with the NDA and once again took oath of office as Chief Minister, political and ideological formulations were conspicuous by their absence.…

Many smaller political groups representing a wide range of ideological shades and opinions and non-political groups have highlighted points for an opposition action plan that seeks to focus on the BJP’s own corruption and its aggressive pursuit of diversification of land use to favour BJP-friendly corporate groups, including the Adanis. However, this too has remained in the conceptual stage for a long time.

The unmistakable message of the Nitish Kumar manoeuvre and its follow-up plans is that the BJP and its top two leaders, Modi and Shah, have already started a no-holds-barred campaign for the 2019 elections. And, as in many instances in the recent past, they have taken by surprise the opposition which is floundering about for a tangible and effective counter-plan.

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/power-games/article9794994.ece

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

The Indian Public: Spellbound by False Promises and Roused by Misdirected Hatred – By Sumanta Banerjee (Aug 5, 2017, EPW)

The electoral victory of the rightwing, Hindu communal-fascist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh (UP), and its nomination of the most violent anti-Muslim rabble-rouser, a Hindu pseudo-sadhu called Adityanath (against whom criminal cases are pending) as the chief minister of UP, will remain etched forever on the pages of modern Indian history, as a register of the aggressive march of Hindu communal fascism, supported by a substantial and vociferous section of the people, and of the shameful subordination to it by the rest.

The electoral verdict in UP is an echo of what happened in the 2014 parliamentary elections, when the chief proponent of violent Hindu communalism became the Prime Minister. Although we may say that only 30% to 40% of the electorate voted for Narendra Modi and Adityanath, let us face the facts. Quite a large number of Indians are increasingly gravitating to the politics of a concoction of Hindutva, militarist nationalism, and dreams of individual prosperity – a populist potpourri that has been successfully cooked up by Prime Minister Modi, and is being sold through both his Sangh Parivar’s organisational network and the channels of a salivating mass media.

We thus find the urban and rural youth seduced by dreams of upward mobility promised by Modi; the middle classes attracted by the Modi-manufactured concept of national pride that revives their faith in a nationalism that conflates with their traditional beliefs in Hindu rituals; and sections of Dalit and tribal youth in interior villages, educated respectively in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-run Saraswati Vidya Mandirs and Vanvasi Ashrams which have indoctrinated them into aggressive Hindu nationalism (for example, the Dang tribals were deployed by the Sangh Parivar to kill Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/31/commentary/indian-public.html

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

It’s time to enact an anti-lynching law – By G. Sampath (Aug 4, 2017, The Hindu)

In a civilised society, even one lynching is too many. But India has seen a spate of them of late. The data website IndiaSpend has compiled instances of cow-linked violence from 2010 to 2017. It found that during this period, 28 people were killed in 63 such incidents.

An overwhelming 97% of these attacks took place after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power in May 2014. About 86% of those killed were Muslims. In 21% of the cases, the police filed cases against the victims/survivors. Cow-related lynchings rose sharply in 2017, with 20 attacks in the first six months. This marks a 75% increase over 2016, which had been the worst year for mob lynchings since 2010.

The groundswell of public disgust at the lynchings crystallised under the banner of the National Campaign Against Mob Lynching (NCAML), which has initiated a campaign for a law against mob lynching. Also known as ‘Masuka’, short for Manav Suraksha Kanoon (law to protect humans), a draft of the proposed legislation is currently up on the Internet, awaiting suggestions from the public.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/its-time-to-enact-an-anti-lynching-law/article19421424.ece

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

What Aadhaar? – By Shubhangi Singh (Aug 4, 2017, Tehelka)

No Indian needs an introduction to the 12-digit number that is now as vital to our lawful existence as the air we breathe. The Unique Identification Number (UID) or Aadhaar, as we know it, has quietly sneaked in upon us, taken centre stage and anchored our very existence to itself, all without us quite realizing it.

As Mukul Rohtagi, Attorney General of India has very well elucidated, “Even if you want to be forgotten, the state is not willing to forget you.” From children availing their midday meals to students taking entrance tests, from patients taking TB treatment to erstwhile employees getting pensions, from the poor availing LPG subsidy to the commoner filing taxes, everybody has been neatly netted in the ubiquitous Aadhaar fold.…

The central government is slowly but surely incorporating the Aadhaar as an undisputed footprint of our official identity by making it mandatory for vital public transactions. Though it can check misuse of public amenities and illegal transactions, is it worth the omnipresent government shadow on personal identities? It would be difficult to answer in the affirmative before India has appropriate privacy laws in place.

http://www.tehelka.com/2017/08/what-aadhaar/

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

How They Make The Ledger Lie – By Ushinor Majumdar (Aug 14, 2017, Outlook)

The financially illiterate middle class may encounter chartered accountants around the dreaded season of tax returns – as the self-pitying definition goes, they are people we pay to tell us if we are broke and by how much. Auditors are higher up the angels’ hierarchy, known only to businesses.…

The higher realm of big auditing firms seemingly moves to a more refined, institutional rhythm – till things crack and the light comes in. As former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah recently pointed out, auditors (and often the same firms as consultants) certify documents that help bag contracts which use up subsidies, export incentives, grants, a share of government revenue and taxes and of profits in PPP projects.

The Satyam case is where the auditors, famously, made a mess (and some of the individuals paid the price too). But we saw a wilful repeat of the same series of missteps by the same auditor (and, later, another multinational auditing firm) in the Vijay Mallya/United Spirits Ltd (USL) cases. This organisation – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – also works as consultants on several projects where public money and projects are involved. Its audit firms are collectively called PW India and the consultancy arm PwC.

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/how-they-make-the-ledger-lie/299170

SEE ALSO: 

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 31st, 2017

by newsdigest on August 10, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Stories on Amit Shah’s Assets, Smriti Irani’s ‘Degree’ Vanish From TOI, DNA (Jul 30, 2017, The Wire)

A story carried by the Times of India’s Ahmedabad edition about an apparent increase of “300%” in BJP president Amit Shah’s assets over the past five years was removed from the the paper’s website within hours of being published on Saturday. No explanation has been given and no editor is willing to take responsibility for having pulled the plug on the news item.

The story, which reported how Shah’s assets had grown by 300% between 2012 – when he last filed a declaration as part of his nomination papers for the Gujarat assembly election – and 2017, also noted that textiles and information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani has clarified in her affidavit that she has not yet completed her Bachelor of Commerce course.…

This isn’t the first instance of the Times Group deleting stories without informing its readers of the reasons. Ironically, a report on India’s low ranking on the World Press Freedom index was pulled down from the TOI and ET websites in May. When News Laundry contacted the then TOI.in editor, Prasad Sanyal, to know why they decided to pull down the article, they were informed that it was the media house’s ‘editorial prerogative’.…

https://thewire.in/162841/amit-shah-assets-smriti-irani-degrees-toi-et-outlook/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Madras HC order on compulsory singing of Vande Mataram sparks row (Jul 28, 2017, Indian Express)

The Madras High Court ruling on singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ has triggered a political slugfest in Maharashtra with a BJP MLA demanding its implementation in schools and colleges of the state, while legislators of some other parties have opposed any such move. Waris Pathan, the MLA of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) from Mumbai, yesterday said he would not sing the national song “even if anyone puts revolver to his head”.

The Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra unit president and MLA, Abu Asim Azmi, also said he would not sing it even if he was “thrown out of the country”. The reaction comes in the wake of a demand raised by senior BJP MLA Raj Purohit, who, citing the Madras High Court order, said that singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ should be made mandatory in all schools and colleges across Maharashtra.

The Madras High Court had on Tuesday made singing of the national song mandatory in schools across Tamil Nadu, at least twice a week. Speaking to reporters outside the Vidhan Bhavan here, Purohit, the BJP chief whip in the Assembly, yesterday said he would meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today and seek the latter’s intervention to make it compulsory for everybody to sing the national song at any event.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/madras-hc-order-on-compulsory-singing-of-vande-mataram-sparks-row-4770907/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

PM Modi’s Silence On Cow Politics Is A Well-Planned Hindutva Strategy (Jul 28, 2017, Youth ki Awaaz)

We now live in a nation where the word ‘cow’ cannot be uttered in films. The Central Board of Film Certification recently censored the word in a documentary on the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. Elsewhere, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma compared Narendra Modi to Gandhi: “Today among us, we are fortunate to have another Gandhiji in the form of our prime minister who is like an inspiration.”

These two seemingly unrelated, and farcical acts are in fact interlinked and serious and have very dangerous implications for the nation. When the nation has been convulsed by lynchings of people (overwhelmingly Muslims) in the name of cow (97 % of cow-related attacks in the last eight years have happened since the Modi government took over), the word cow has acquired a different connotation. What the Censor Board’s act shows is that the violence committed in the name of cow is not just a physical act undertaken by ‘uneducated’, lumpen Hindutva elements, but is also a mental and aesthetic exercise, and enjoying the sanction of the state.

Simultaneously, there is a parallel process going on, which seeks to build a halo around Narendra Modi. That is why the comparison of Mr. Modi with Gandhi, who was acclaimed as the Mahatma. The signs of this were already seen last year when Mr. Modi appeared on a government calendar sitting at a charkha. What this symbolic conflation does is to ignore the role Mr. Modi has played in bringing cow-protection in an aggressive manner to the forefront of the Hindutva agenda.…

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/07/modis-silence-on-cow-politics/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

When the BJP national leadership claims probity, its Kerala leaders are accused of collecting crores as bribes (Jul 20, 2017, South Live)

In a big jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party which is trying hard to make inroads into Kerala, an internal investigation conducted by a panel found that its leaders had received crores of rupees from private Medical college managements by assuring them that they will arrange approval for the college from Medical Council of India.

This is not the first time the Kerala BJP leaders are accused of indulging in corruption. During Vajpayee regime, many leaders have allegedly collected crores of rupees in lieu for obtaining petrol pumps.

Medical college scam echoed in Parliament when CPI(M) member M B Ragesh raised the issue as an adjournment motion. Rajesh alleged that BJP leaders collecting money from management and arranging them license for their college do not confine just to Kerala. The speaker denied permission to the motion and opposition members protested in the well of Assembly.…

http://en.southlive.in/southly/2017/07/20/internal-probe-names-bjp-state-leaders-in-multi-crore-medical-college-scam-took-bribe-promising-medical-council-tag

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Lalu hits back, terms Nitish ‘political turncoat’ (Aug 1, 2017, The Tribune)

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Tuesday launched a verbal attack on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar terming him ‘palturam of politics’ (a political turncoat) as he kept on changing his team over zero tolerance. Claiming himself senior to the Bihar CM, Lalu said Nitish was nowhere on the scene when he became general secretary of steering committee and Shivanand Rosario was its member.…

Lalu said he did not believe in Nitish, but it was Mulayam Singh Yadav who had asked him to consider Nitish as leader of grand alliance. “How would you go to public,” Lalu asked the Bihar CM.

Recalling old days, Lalu said Jay Prakash Nayayan had given him ticket to contest Lok Sabha poll from Chhapra in 1977 and he won, while Nitish Kumar got defeated twice in assembly elections in 1977 and 1980 from Harnaut constituency.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/lalu-hits-back-terms-nitish-political-turncoat/445443.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

HC allows plea to challenge UP govt’s refusal to sanction Yogi Adityanath’s prosecution (Jul 31, 2017, Indian Express)

The Allahabad High Court today allowed an application seeking permission to challenge the Uttar Pradesh government’s refusal to grant sanction to prosecute Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a decade-old communal riots case.

A division bench comprising justices Krishna Murari and Akhilesh Chandra Sharma allowed the amendment application of Parvez Parwaz and Asad Hayat, who had moved the court seeking a CBI inquiry into the Gorakhpur communal riots of 2007. The court fixed August 9 as the next date of hearing, while directing the state government to file its counter-affidavit on the plea.…

Parwaz is also the complainant in the FIR lodged in connection with the Gorakhpur riots, while Hayat is one of the witnesses in the case. Besides Yogi, the then Gorakhpur Mayor Anju Chaudhary and local MLA Radha Mohan Das Agrawal have also been named as accused in the case.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/hc-allows-plea-to-challenge-up-govts-refusal-to-sanction-yogi-adityanath-prosecution-4776269/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Citizen complaints spur review of deadline to link Aadhaar, PAN (Jul 28, 2017, Times of India)

The government is looking at the possibility of providing some relief to taxpayers who have been put in a difficult spot due to the mandatory linking of one’s Aadhaar and Permanent Account Number (PAN).

Sources in the government told TOI that the tax department had received several complaints and letters from taxpayers who have expressed their inability to link the two identification numbers, with many representations coming from senior citizens.

There have been several complaints over the fact names in the two registries do not match. For instance, there are several instances of individuals using their initials while getting PAN, while the Aadhaar database carries their full name.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/59799648.cms

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Indian Law Enforcement Ineffective in curbing terror funding: US State Dept Report (Jul 25, 2017, Sabrang India)

A recently released US State Department report has suggested that despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to de-monetize Rs 500 and 1,000 notes in November last year, the Indian authorities have failed to achieve one of its state objectives, to curb suspicious sources of funding terrorist activities.

In fact, the report, titled “Country Reports on Terrorism 2016”, complains, of late, US investigators have had “limited success in coordinating the seizure of illicit proceeds with Indian counterparts”, which was not the case in the past.

It emphasises ,”While, in the past, intelligence and investigative information supplied by US law enforcement authorities led to numerous seizures of terrorism-related funds, a lack of follow-through on investigative leads has prevented a more comprehensive approach.”…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/indian-law-enforcement-ineffective-curbing-terror-funding-us-state-dept-report

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Partner in crime: Akali Dal leader molest Dalit women, BJP MLA defends the accused (Jul 28, 2017, Southlive.in)

Seven persons, including a Shiromani Akali Dal leader, have been booked for allegedly beating up and molesting five Dalit women in Abohar in Punjab. A pregnant Dalit woman from Thakur Abadi area, Kajal, alleged that when she and three other Dalit women were picking rags from a street earlier this week, the Akali leader’s brother Vijay Ahuja accused them of committing theft in his house and started attacking.

But when they refuted the allegation, his accomplices dragged the women inside a house where they were allegedly thrashed and molested by miscreants who claimed they had instructions and support of SAD leader Ashok, the FIR says.

Abohar circle SAD president Ashok Ahuja, his brother Vijay Ahuja, Janak Raj Ahuja, Rajiv Bhatia, Sunny Bhatia and Ved Parkash are among those booked. Ashok had taken over as SAD “halqa incharge” following the arrest of liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda in the Bhim Tank murder case in January 2016. He also served as senior Vice-President in the Municipal Council.…

http://en.southlive.in/india/2017/07/28/akali-dal-leader-others-beat-up-molest-dalit-women-bjp-mla-defends-the-accused

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

NHRC asks Odisha to compensate SC/ST students for unhygienic meals (Jul 30, 2017, Times of India)

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the state government to compensate 176 scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) students of Gatangi Sevashram school in Kandhamal district for its lapses in ensuring hygienic environment for these students to have mid-day meals.

The rights body passed the order after hearing a petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy. It issued a showcase notice to the state chief secretary on Sunday asking him as to why the commission should not recommend compensation of Rs 1,000 each to be paid to all the students of the school.

The commission further directed the state government to raise the height of boundary wall of the school within three months to check entry of pigs and dogs and submit the report within eight weeks.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/59836425.cms

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

In Indian politics, candidates who stoke communal hatred thrive – By Harry Stevens (Jul 27, 2017, Hindustan Times)

More than fifty politicians who hold elected office in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies face charges in criminal cases related to inciting religious violence or stoking communal hatred, according to HT’s analysis of more than 50,000 candidates who contested elections in the past five years.

Though they comprise only a tiny fraction of all political nominees, candidates who have been accused or convicted of communal crimes win the elections they compete in far more often than those who have not been charged with any crimes, the analysis found, suggesting that voters see communalism as a reason to vote for a candidate rather than a political liability.

“Appealing to social divisions is a hallmark of so-called criminal candidacy in India,” said Milan Vaishnav, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace and author of a recent book on criminality in Indian politics. Criminal candidates “typically use their criminality as a way to signal their credibility to protect their own community.”…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/let-s-talk-about-hate-does-stoking-communal-hatred-guarantee-electoral-victory-for-politicians-yes-says-data/story-VVmK9r6hG2xeoWQxlySUbP.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Nitish Kumar’s betrayal another step in the disenfranchisement of Muslims – By Aditya Menon (Jul 27, 2017, Catch News)

In 2015, Bihar’s Muslims voted overwhelmingly in favour of Nitish Kumar for the principled stand he had taken against Narendra Modi. Less than two years later, Kumar has joined hands with the BJP, dumping not just his alliance partners, but an important aspect of the mandate he had been given.

Kumar’s “betrayal” is symptomatic of a broader, more disturbing trend – the steady disenfranchisement of Indian Muslims. This isn’t a legal disenfranchisement, as Shiv Sena ideologue Sanjay Raut had demanded in 2015. It is a political disenfranchisement – that the government doesn’t reflect the will of the community in the least.

After all, democracy isn’t just about having the right to vote, it is also about the government representing the will of the people. The 2014 Lok Sabha election and several state elections that took place since then, led to the formation of governments that did not represent the Muslim community’s will at all. In fact, in many of these states, the BJP’s victory emboldened forces that are actively targeting the community. The short, cruel message in the BJP’s success is: Muslim votes don’t matter.… The gap between Indian democracy and Muslim citizens has never been this wide.

http://www.catchnews.com/politics-news/nitish-kumar-s-betrayal-another-step-in-the-disenfranchisement-of-muslims-74406.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Undoing The Soul Of Democratic Secular India: The RSS Pracharak Batra Way – By Shamsul Islam (Jul 31, 2017, Countercurrents)

The RSS brigade is fond of surgical strikes. Though there rages a dispute whether surgical strikes against Pakistan secured any favourable results but so far as its surgical strikes against minorities, specially Muslims and Christians and Dalits are concerned, are paying rich dividends to it. The lynching, maiming and robbing in the name of ‘ghar wapsi’ (forcible conversion to Hinduism), ‘Holy Cow’ and ‘Vande Matram’ as part of this strategy aimed at attacking the human wealth of India. But it is also working overtime to destroy the soul of democratic-secular India by attacking all that has been positive in the Indian education.

It is true that apparently it is busy in waging war against universities like Hyderabad Central University, JNU and Jadavpur University as these Universities heroically resisted the Hindutva take-over by the ABVP and pracharak vice-chancellors.… Apart from physical attacks and threats of elimination to these centres of learning, a more insidious game-plan of RSS is unfolding through RSS pracharak, Dina Nath Batra. He, as a father-figure of the RSS demolition squad against the largely liberal-democratic-secular system of school education which aimed at producing inquisitive young scholars who would question the status quo. Batra has come out with a new HIT LIST to be cleansed from educational content.…

It is to be noted that before targetting NCERT text books via Batra, RSS/BJP governments in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and MP have removed/curtailed references even to Gandhi and Nehru and added glorification of personalities like Savarkar. Emboldened by such successes school text books at the national level are the target now.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/07/31/undoing-the-soul-of-democratic-secular-india-the-rss-pracharak-batra-way/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

War of words – By Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay (Aug 4, 2017, Frontline)

Making public a telephone call to her by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, a visibly angry West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told a press conference on July 4: “Today the Governor said a lot of things to me and I have been highly insulted. The office of Governor is a constitutional post and he has to work as per the Constitution. I have not come to power thanks to the Governor. I have been elected by the people; the Governor has been nominated by the Centre. The language he used while speaking to me on behalf of the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] was humiliating. I have never been so insulted in my life.”

Relations between the Trinamool Congress government and the Centre hit an all-time low with a bitter public spat between the Chief Minister and the Governor over a communal flare-up in Baduria town in the Basirhat subdivision of North 24 Paraganas district. Such a direct and strident confrontation between the nominated head of the State and the elected head of the government is unprecedented in West Bengal.

Mamata Banerjee said the Governor had “threatened” her. “I told the Governor that you cannot talk to me like this. The Governor was speaking like a block president of the BJP. Why should this happen? We are not servants. After today’s insult, I even thought of quitting…. The Governor cannot threaten me,” she said.…

http://www.frontline.in/politics/war-of-words/article9774557.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

BJP Corruption Scandals in Kerala – Editorial (Jul 30, 2017, Peoples Democracy)

Under Narendra Modi’s regime, the BJP has been boasting about the clean record of the government and the ruling party. It has projected a “swach” image in contrast to the corruption-ridden record of the UPA government.

These claims have been made despite the gigantic Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh under BJP rule. This widespread corruption network must rank as one of the biggest scandals ever in a state. Similarly, there have been many corruption cases occurring in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh under BJP rule.

Now the lid has been blown open regarding the widespread and systematic corruption indulged in by some BJP leaders in Kerala. Unlike the other BJP-ruled states, the party is in the opposition and a small force in the state. But it’s leaders have, however, utilised the opportunities presented by the BJP being the ruling party at the centre, to collect bribes to get work done which is under the purview of central institutions.…

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2017/0730_pd/bjp-corruption-scandals-kerala

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Violent turn – By Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay (Aug 4, 2017, Frontline)

The situation in the strife-torn Darjeeling hills further deteriorated when four more protesters were killed, taking the death toll to seven in the past one month. Since June 8, the region has been on the boil, with the renewal of the violent agitation for a separate State of Gorkhaland.

On the night of July 7, three weeks after the declaration of an indefinite shutdown in the hills, Tashi Bhutia, a resident of Sonada and a member of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), was shot dead, allegedly by security forces, when he ventured out to buy medicines for his brother. The incident triggered a violent reaction, further intensifying the protest movement.

On July 8, angry mobs went on the rampage, torching public property, including the toy train station at Sonada and a local police station, and attacking the offices of the ruling Trinamool Congress, the office of the superintendent of police, and the building that housed the Department of Food and Civil Supplies. This was one of the most violent outbursts since a total bandh was declared in the Darjeeling hills on June 15 by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the single most powerful political force in the hills.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/violent-turn/article9774539.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 24th, 2017

August 4, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Soul of India resides in pluralism, need to eschew violence: President Chhattisgarh minister’s wife buys state forest land to build a resort, his dept says we can do nothing ‘Modi’s election, like Trump’s, has unleashed violence against minorities’ Lynch mobs seem to know nothing will happen to […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 17th, 2017

July 28, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans express outrage over mob lynchings in India through protests across US News Headlines ‘Kill Them. They Are Muslims’: Family of 10 Beaten With Iron Rods Inside Train This BJP MLA is threatening to stop Haj pilgrims from UP if Ayodhya temple isn’t built 14 years in […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 10th, 2017

July 25, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslim doctor, Hindu compounder spread message of peace in violence-hit Basirhat News Headlines ‘Hindu’ LeT militant arrested from UP planned attacks on army, Kashmir police West Bengal communal clashes: BJP MLA Raja Singh asks Hindus to respond like they did in Gujarat Communal tension grips Uttarakhand town […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 3rd, 2017

July 15, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines When mob frenzy becomes irrational, we have to pause and reflect: President Mukherjee on lynchings BJP leader arrested in Muslim trader’s lynching case; prime accused surrenders Protesters across India hit the streets, say outraged over attacks on human life Centre’s cattle slaughter restrictions violates fundamental rights, says […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 26th, 2017

July 5, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines ‘How could they hate us so much’: Family in shock after 16-year-old Muslim boy stabbed to death on train Man lynched in Rajasthan: Eyewitnesses say govt officials yelled ‘kill him’ Talk to Modi on Human Rights Violations: Dutch Parliamentarians, India Committee of the Netherlands ‘They want to […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 19th, 2017

June 30, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines At The ‘Hindu Rashtra’ Conclave In Goa, An Open Call For Violence Against Beef Eaters And ‘Seculars’ Rajasthan activist Zafar Khan objects to photography of women defecating in open, gets beaten to death SC issues notice to Centre on order banning cattle trade for slaughter Darjeeling unrest: […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 12th, 2017

June 28, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Holy month of Ramzan makes the Hindu-Muslim bond stronger in Old Delhi News Headlines Jharkhand: Muslim man attacked by irate mob for taking ‘beef’ to Iftar party Meghalaya Assembly demands withdrawal of cattle slaughter rules Two ‘Sangh Supporters’ Held for Disrupting Sitaram Yechury’s Press Conference Amit Shah […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 5th, 2017

June 18, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Uttar Pradesh: 270 people booked for violence in Muzaffarnagar Journalists Detained in Rajasthan While Reporting on Bajrang Dal’s Weapons Training Camps Activists demand law to stop lynching by mobs Kerala BJP Leader Uses Old Pic of Cow Slaughter to Decry Beef Fest NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan throws […]

Read the full article →