From the category archives:

News Digest

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 25th, 2016

by newsdigest on February 1, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

RSS Goons Attack Rohith Vemula Solidarity Rally In Mumbai (Jan 25, 2016, Countercurrents)

About 500 people who had gathered in Mumbai’s Dharavi to protest against the institutional murder of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula of Hyderabad Central Univeristyi were attacked Sunday evening by RSS goons.

Ajmal Khan who injured his head in the attack posted on his Facebook page: We some 500 protesters gathered in Dharavi to demand justice for Rohith Vemula were beaten up by workers believed to be affiliated to Rashtra Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). The protest march was organised by Nationalist Forum Dharavi, a collective of Vizhithezhu Iyakkam, Jai Bhim Foundation, Andhra Karnataka Dalit Varg Sangh – Dharavi, Republican Panthers along with students from the umbrella forum – “‘Justice for Rohith-Joint Action Committee Mumbai’. They were demanding justice for Rohith Vemula of University of Hyderabad who committed suicide on January 17th due to harassment from the university administration.…

During the protest, casteist remarks were made by the attackers against the participants of the protest raising slogans of “Jai Bhim”. A poster with Dr Ambedkar’s photo was torn and stamped upon by RSS workers. Though several police officers were present on the spot during the attack, they did nothing to stop the goons and instead pushed the protesters away.… To lodge a complaint against the attackers, the protesters had to camp outside the Dharavi police station. The police was negotiating with BJP MLA Tamil Selva from Sion Kolidwada constituency and RSS themselves took out a rally against the protesters in Dharavi with slogans of “Jai Shri Ram”. We said we will not go away from the police station until police register case under atrocities act. After a big protest and demand SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 was filed against the people who attacked us.

http://www.countercurrents.org/cc250116.htm

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Rohith Vemula’s mother: Don’t want your Rs 8 lakh or Rs 8 crore, Tell me why my son died (Jan 24, 2016, Indian Express)

“When a girl named Nirbhaya was brutally raped and killed, did anyone question her caste? Then why is Rohith’s caste under question here?” Radhika Vemula asked this on Saturday amid claims that her son Rohith, whose suicide is being seen as the fallout of caste discrimination, was not a Dalit.

The 49-year-old who is divorced from Rohith’s father and raised him and his two siblings working as a tailor also refused the Rs 8 lakh ex-gratia offered by the University of Hyderabad. “We do not need your money. Not Rs 8 lakh, even if you give Rs 8 crore, we do not need it,” Rohith’s sister Neelima said.

Radhika, accompanied by Neelima and son Raja, was on the campus to meet the seven students on the fourth day of their fast at the university’s protest venue. She told them, “You are all like my sons. If you need anything at all, I will help you. I will be here to support you, help you.”… “My question is why I am being asked all these questions instead of being given the reasons why Rohith was suspended?” Radhika said. “Why is the issue being diverted?”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/dont-want-your-rs-8-lakh-or-rs-8-cr-tell-me-why-my-son-died-rohith-vemulas-mother/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Modi as CM failed to protect Muslims, his Buddha model held in suspicion by Dalits: Shripal Sabnis (Jan 21, 2016, Indian Express)

Shripal Sabnis, president of the 89th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan whose remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi triggered a row before the start of the literary meet, on Wednesday reiterated that Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had failed to protect the lives of Muslims and win their confidence.

Sabnis, who was speaking at the Idea Exchange at The Indian Express on Wednesday, also said Dalits in the country were looking with suspicion at Modi’s “Gandhi-Buddha” model which he is parading worldwide.

“I do not agree with Modi who was the Gujarat chief minister. He had failed to protect the lives of Muslims and win their confidence. There has been no punishment. He has got the clean chit from the apex court, but the blot remains…, he had to face the prosecution,” Sabnis said, when asked to elaborate on his remarks.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/modi-as-cm-failed-to-protect-muslims-his-buddha-model-held-in-suspicion-by-dalits-shripal-sabnis/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Do Hindu Swabhiman ‘terror camps’ have govt approval, asks retired Mumbai ACP (Jan 23, 2016, Ummid.com)

Wondering why no action has been taken against the ‘terrorist training camps’ reportedly run by an NGO Hindu Swabhiman even after vidoes surfaced in the media, Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Shamsher Khan Pathan asked if the camps have government approval.…

“The government should have immediately closed these tratining centres. But, far from taking action, not a single word has been so far uttered by the state or the central government against these terrorist camps”, he said.

Stating that these training camps are dangerous for national security, and peace and harmony, Pathan demanded from the state and the union government to close these training camps and arrest the members of Hindu Swabhiman.…

http://ummid.com/news/2016/January/23.01.2016/former-mumbai-cop-on-hindu-terrorist-training-camp.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

You have a long beard, no passport for you: Cop allegedly tells Najmul Huda (Jan 23, 2016, Times Headline)

A day after sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Najmul Huda in a predawn raid at Permude village in Mangaluru taluk, an eerie silence prevailed in the entire neighbourhood.

The engineering student’s helpless parents and three young sisters, who have already rubbished the allegations made against him by media, have no clue of the terrible rumours being spread on WhatsApp and other social media, as all of their mobile phones have been confiscated by the NIA.

Najmul Huda’s parents hail from Uttar Pradesh and they had settled in Mangaluru over 25 years ago. The family has no enemies in the locality and those who knew Najmul Huda closely including the neighbours openly praise his kindness and humbleness.…

http://www.timesheadline.com/india/you-have-a-long-beard-no-passport-for-you-cop-allegedly-tells-najmul-huda-1101.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

AMU issue being raked up for ‘gains’ in UP poll: Muslim bodies (Jan 22, 2016, Economic Times)

A group of Muslim organisations today accused the NDA government of raking up the issue of status of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia for “gains” in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and sought immediate reversal of the Centre’s stand that they are not minority institutions.

Speaking during a briefing organised by Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) here, the outfits asked why political parties, otherwise vocal on issues of minorities, are silent at a time when the tag of the two prestigious institutions is “being played with”.

“This looks like an attempt to polarise votes ahead of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. This move is aimed at creating division.…

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-22/news/69989323_1_aligarh-muslim-university-amu-minority-status

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Ex-CJI Ahmadi Asks Muslims Not to Vote Under RSS’ Intimidation (Jan 25, 2016, New Indian Express)

In a veiled attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), former Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi today asked Muslims to not vote under “intimidation” of those who wear half-pants and carry lathis”, the conventional dress code of the organisation.

“Do not get frightened from those who come out on roads wearing half-pants and carrying lathis in their hands. They come out during elections only to inject fear among people. It is part of the election process,” Ahmadi said without taking name of RSS while addressing a function organised by state Congress here in the Muslim-dominated Sarkhej on the outskirts of the city.

Ahmadi requested Muslims not to vote out of fear. “After elections get over, they disappear. But, in between that election process do not get intimidated by them. It will be a problem if you give your vote out of fear,” said Ahmadi who had served as CJI from October 1994 till March 1997.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Ex-CJI-Ahmadi-Asks-Muslims-Not-to-Vote-Under-RSS-Intimidation/2016/01/25/article3243123.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Editors Guild Condemns ABVP Threats to The Wire’s Founding Editor (Jan 23, 2016, The Wire)

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Editors Guild of India strongly condemned “the blatant acts of intimidation and threats to Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor of The Wire, by student members of the ABVP in Allahabad University that forced the police to intervene to escort him to safety.”

Varadarajan had been invited to deliver a public lecture on ‘Loktantra, media aur abhivyakti ki svatantrata’ (Democracy, the Media and Freedom of Expression)” by the president of the Allahabad University Students’ Union and the event was scheduled to be held at the university’s Senate Hall on January 20, 2016.

The Editors Guild statement notes that after students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party – threatened violence, the university’s vice-chancellor withdrew permission for the programme and got the district administration to prohibit it from being held anywhere else on campus. As a result, “Varadarajan was forced to deliver the lecture at a hall near the campus.”…

http://thewire.in/2016/01/23/editors-guild-condemns-abvp-threats-to-the-wires-founding-editor-20015/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Have no fear, we are there, SC tells Arundhati (Jan 23, 2016, The Hindu)

The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Bombay High Court and the Maharashtra government after Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy argued that criminal contempt proceedings initiated against her for publishing an article on the jailed Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba amounted to choking dissent and produced an “intense chilling effect” on the fundamental right of free expression.

A Bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and C. Nagappan asked the writer to have no fear and appear before the High Court on January 25 in response to the notice by a single judge. “Now we are there,” Justice Khehar observed.

The Bench admitted her plea along with the bail petition of Professor Saibaba, a paraplegic lodged in the infamous ‘Anda’ cell of the Nagpur prison on the allegation that he had Maoist links. It directed the Maharashtra government and the HC to respond in two weeks.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-relief-from-court-appearence-for-arundhati-roy/article8139542.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Pandit couple returns to Muslim neighbourhood in Kashmir (Jan 20, 2016, The Hindu)

A Kashmiri Pandit couple is back in the Kashmir Valley. What makes the return of Omkar Razdan (70) and Vijay Bazaz Razdan (65) unique is they refused to take the Prime Minister’s package. Instead, they preferred to move to a Muslim neighbourhood.

Omkar Razdan and Vijay Bazaz Razdan, son-in-law and daughter of the widely-read Kashmiri Pandit, Prem Nath Bazaz, have constructed a three-storey house in the Muslim-majority Humhama colony of Srinagar to dispel the myth that the two communities cannot live together.

“It was a conscious decision not to live in a separate settlement or colony, as it goes against the idea of Kashmiriyat. Kashmir was an abode of communal harmony when the minorities were attacked in 1947 in other parts of India. Not a single Pandit was killed or displaced then,” said Mr. Razdan. Mr. Razdan said he grew up listening to folklores on Hindu-Muslim harmony.… “We travel by public transport in Srinagar. We get a warm feeling. I leave my keys with my Muslim electrician when I travel to New Delhi,” said Mr. Razadan, who has authored the book, Trauma of Kashmir and Untold Realities.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/pandit-couple-returns-to-muslim-neighbourhood-in-kashmir/article8126678.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

Rohith Vemula and the holy cow – By Suryakant Waghmore (Jan 27, 2016, Indian Express)

As the nation celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, Rohith Vemula’s suicide is a reminder of the void between Ambedkarite aspirations and Indian modernity – more precisely, Hindu modernity. Rohith was an Ambedkarite. To add to his woes, he gained admission under the “general” category.

If political interference and aggressive Hindutva intrusion on campus had not led to Rohith’s suicide, maybe Ambedkar did. The practice of Ambedkarism calls for a sincere challenging of caste, patriarchy and religious bigotry – some of these remain the essence of being a modern Hindu in present times. What is ironic is that elements of Hindu practices that are regressive continue to be celebrated and these get worse when hindutva ideologues link such practices to the ideals of nationalism and nationalist sentiments.

If one digs beyond the farcical surface of Ambedkarite rhetoric in the BJP/ RSS circles, both Ambedkar and the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) at the Hyderabad Central University seem to be anti-national to Hindutva groups. Bandaru Dattatreya’s letters to the HRD ministry show us how Hindutva naturally portrays Ambedkarism as anti-national. Arun Shourie was rather aggressive about calling Ambedkar a stooge of the British – someone who was also anti-Hindu and never participated in the so-called independence struggle.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/rohith-vemula-dalit-suicide/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Modi Regime Forces President Mukherjee To Take Note Of Intolerance, Violence – By Samar (Jan 26, 2016, Countercurrents)

Mature republics must take note of problems plaguing them. Alas, they do not always do so. It is heartening to see, therefore, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, taking note of some of the biggest problems plaguing India at the moment – problems that can unravel despite gains the country has made in 69 years of its existence. He observed, profoundly, that the forces of violence, intolerance and unreason do not harm individuals, they rather hit the very core of nationhood.

To quote him: “Our finest inheritance, the institutions of democracy, ensure to all citizens (sic.) justice, equality, gender and economic equity. When grim instances of violence hit at these established values, it is time to take note. We must guard ourselves against the forces of violence, intolerance and unreason.”

Things reaching this point so that the President has to take note of them on the joyous day, the eve of Republic Day, must worry every citizen of India. They must think what has brought a country that should have been worried about continuing hunger, the biggest humiliation as the President had noted in his acceptance speech, that forces millions of their compatriots to go to sleep on an empty stomach every night. They must have been thinking about ways to tackle malnutrition that leads to the stunting and wasting of a huge section of its children and has been referred to repeatedly, as a National Shame.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/samar260116.htm

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Collaborator Savarkar versus Freedom Fighter Bose – By Shamsul Islam (Jan 26, 2016, Sabrang India)

Three favourite icons sought to be appropriated by proponents of the Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation, the Hindutvawaadis) are Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. Shamsul Islam’s research reveals however that this appropriation is problematic. Bose, attempted to organise a military campaign to force the British out of India. This cause was betrayed by the Hindu Mahasabha under the leadership of Savarkar who also happened to be a mentor of the RSS.

There is a mine of contemporary documents available to show that while the Netaji during World War II was trying to secure foreign support for liberation of the country and trying to organise a military attack on the northeast of the country with the help of ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ (Indian National Army), it was Savarkar who offered full military co-operation to the British masters.

Coming close on the heels of prime minister, Narendra Modi’s move to de-classify 100 files related to Netaji Bose’s life and struggle, these revelations could pose a severe embarrassment to the government. The history of the Hindutvawaadi rightwing is replete with documents establishing its collaborations with British rule. A close reading of the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS publications and documents of that period exposes this shocking duplicity.…

https://www.sabrangindia.in/indepth/collaborator-savarkar-versus-freedom-fighter-bose

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Reverse Swing: My ‘anti-national’ brother – By Tunku Varadarajan (Jan 24, 2016, Indian Express)

…In India, the mob has a veto on speech; and an example of this veto occurred on January 20 at Allahabad University, when bully-boys from the ABVP – the Baby-BJP on campus – forced the cancellation of a speech by my brother, Siddharth Varadarajan, on ‘Democracy, Media and Freedom of Expression’. (Siddharth, editor of The Hindu before being ousted in a squalid internal putsch, is now founding editor of The Wire.)

It’s hard not to chuckle over the irony of a lecture on free speech being silenced by unruly dissenters. One chuckles, also, over the ABVP leaders’ descriptions of leftist Siddharth as ‘anti-national’ and ‘communal’ – the latter because of its incongruity, given the saffron source of the utterance; and the former because of the bizarre phenomenon of hyper-nationalist student protests. Whatever happened to the days when idealistic kids protested against nationalism, not at its behest?

The ABVP’s actions are part of an unlovely trend in which anyone who’s not inclined to paint the rosiest picture of India is deemed unpatriotic. Witness the ideological lynching of Aamir Khan recently, when the actor had the temerity to suggest that all isn’t perfect in this Motherland of ours.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/reverse-swing-my-anti-national-brother/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Framed as a terrorist: Mohammad Aamir Khan’s 14 years behind the bars – By Harsh Mander (Jan 26, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Imagine being wrongfully charged and jailed after 14 years of torture, never knowing if you will ever walk free. This is Mohammad Aamir Khan’s harrowing story, of unspeakable injustice which stole from him the best years of his youth. But his story is also one of endurance, love and hope. In two years that I have known him, I found him a gentle person, free of bitterness and anger, and convinced about justice, democracy and secular values.

In a deeply affecting book he has written with Nandita Haksar, Framed as a Terrorist: My 14-year Struggle to Prove My Innocence, he describes how when he was 20, one late-winter evening in February 1998, in a by-lane of Old Delhi, close to his home, he was picked up by plainclothes policemen, and driven to a torture chamber. He recounts his days and nights of torture: Stripped naked, his legs stretched to extremes, boxed, kicked, subject to electric shocks, anti-Muslim abuse and threats to frame his parents. He finally succumbs, and agrees to sign numerous blank sheets and diaries. As a result, he is charged in 19 cases of terror crimes.

From here begins a nightmare that lasted nearly 14 years. Housed often in solitary confinement in Tihar and Ghaziabad jails, his only encounters with the world outside are his innumerable court hearings. No judge asks him about the torture, nor do doctors record his torture wounds. He is acquitted in one terror case, only for another to begin.… But I wonder if anything, anything can indeed compensate Aamir for all that he has lost.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/framed-as-a-terrorist-mohammad-aamir-khan-s-14-years-behind-the-bars/story-TJnysSHMj0yCj8yXf15lrN.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Minority status? – By Aftab Alam (Jan 27, 2016, Indian Express)

Notwithstanding Justice A.P. Sen’s pertinent observation in Lilly Kurian versus Sr Lewina and others (1978), “the protection of the minorities is an article of faith in the Constitution of India”, this principle has been under continuous attack. Earlier this month, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before the Supreme Court that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was never intended by Parliament to be a Muslim university.

This rekindles a sensitive and old controversy about the minority character of this historic university. Setting aside the political fury generated by this controversy, it is time to pause and ponder over this issue dispassionately, as it not only involves many legal questions of great significance but is also intrinsically linked to the sentiments of India’s largest minority.…

Tara Chand, an eminent historian of modern India, once succinctly remarked, “it will be a falsification of the history of India if it is asserted from any quarter that the AMU was not established by the Muslims and primarily for the educational advancement of the Muslims of India”. It is the duty of the government to ensure that the rights guaranteed to minorities are not turned into a “teasing illusion and promise of unreality”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/jamia-amu-minority-status/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 18th, 2016

by newsdigest on January 25, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Announcements

Dalit scholar’s suicide in Hyderabad an indictment of BJP’s Hindutva agenda say Indian Americans

Charges against Union Minister and Vice-Chancellor indicative of administration’s anti-Dalit and anti-minority focus rooted in Hindutva

January 19, 2016

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed shock and outrage over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University. Mr. Vemula and four other members of Ambedkar Students Association were victimized and subjected to relentless harassment by the University officials. Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the Vice-Chancellor of the University Appa Rao Podile along with a BJP legislator and two student leaders face charges of abetting Rohith’s suicide, under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Rohith Vemula and his associates were clearly targeted for raising issues that were inconvenient not only for upper caste outfits and University officials, but also for the blatantly anti-Dalit and sectarian BJP administration at the Centre. Their harassment by the University on flimsy grounds included discontinuation of the monthly stipend since July and suspension from the University since September last year.

This incident also exposes the role of Smriti Irani’s Human Resource and Development (HRD) Ministry. This is the second instance where Smriti Irani’s Ministry is found exerting overbearing political pressure and interference in University affairs. The IIT Madras decision to ban the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) followed the receipt of a letter from Smriti Irani’s HRD Ministry. In this case, Smriti Irani’s HRD Ministry sent five letters to the Hyderabad university for action on Labour Minister Bandaru Dattareya’s complaint regarding “anti national activities” on the campus and the alleged “violent attack” on an ABVP leader. The involvement of a Union Minister in ensuring University officials remained hostile to Rohith and his fellow ASA members, and the Vice-Chancellor’s role in the tragedy has been called out in the charges brought against the minister and the Vice-Chancellor by the police.

In an earlier letter to the Vice-Chancellor, Rohith had written, “Please give us poison at the time of admission itself instead of humiliating us like this.” Rohith’s suicide note also points to the psychological trauma he was going through on account of the continued harassment and intimidation.

“Rohith Vemula’s suicide is a chilling example of the deeply entrenched caste-based oppression in India,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of Indian American Muslim Council. “His death is not only an occasion for profound sorrow but also a call to action for all who care about human rights and religious freedom. Continuing caste-based oppression in modern India and anti-minority repression are the bitter fruits of Hindutva,” added Mr. Malick.

While the charges against Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the Vice-Chancellor of the University are a step in the right direction, justice could be elusive unless there is mass outrage over Rohith’s suicide, as well as sustained action by civil society institutions. IAMC has urged all people of conscience, in India and across the world, to recognize caste-based oppression as a form of racism.

Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our website at: http://www.iamc.com

CONTACT:
Indian American Muslim Council
Phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
Email:info@iamc.com
Facebook: Indian American Muslim Council
Twitter: @IAMCouncil
Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

REFERENCES:

1. Rohith Vemula: The student who died for Dalit rights
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35349790

2. Rohith Vemula suicide: Why did HRD ministry write 4 letters on the ‘matter’ to Hyderabad Central University?
http://www.firstpost.com/politics/rohith-vemula-suicide-why-did-hrd-ministry-write-4-letters-on-the-matter-to-hyderabad-central-university-2590846.html

3. IIT Madras and Modi Government Play Big Brother, Ban Student Group
http://thewire.in/2015/05/29/iit-madras-and-modi-government-play-big-brother-ban-student-group-2688/

4. Trail Of Letters That Prove The Direct Involvement Of MHRD Under Smriti Irani In The Suicide Of Rohith Vemula
http://www.countercurrents.org/rti190116.htm
Forward email

[Back to Top]

Dalit scholar’s suicide an indictment of BJP’s Hindutva agenda, say Indian Americans (Jan 20, 2016, Twocircles.net)

The Indian American Muslim Council, an advocacy group aimed at safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, expressed shock and outrage over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad University. Vemula and four other members of Ambedkar Students Association were victimised and subjected to relentless harassment by the University officials, said the Council.

“Rohith Vemula and his associates were clearly targeted for raising issues that were inconvenient not only for upper-caste outfits and University officials, but also for the blatantly anti-Dalit and sectarian BJP administration at the Centre. Their harassment by the University on flimsy grounds included discontinuation of the monthly stipend since July and suspension from the University since September last year,” the council said in a press release.

This council also said that the incident exposes the role of Smriti Irani’s Human Resource and Development (HRD) Ministry. This is the second instance where Smriti Irani’s Ministry has been found exerting overbearing political pressure and interference in University affairs. The IIT Madras decision to ban the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) followed the receipt of a letter from Smriti Irani’s HRD Ministry. In this case, Smriti Irani’s HRD Ministry sent five letters to the Hyderabad University for action on Labour Minister Bandaru Dattareya’s complaint regarding “anti-national activities” on the campus and the alleged “violent attack” on an ABVP leader.…

http://twocircles.net/2016jan20/1453304289.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Remove prosecutor under cloud in Best Bakery trial: SC (Jan 16, 2016, Indian Express)

Underlining the strictures it made 11 years ago over his conduct in the 2002 Best Bakery case, the Supreme Court Friday ordered the removal of a district government pleader appointed by the Gujarat government.

A bench of Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice Uday U Lalit upheld the Gujarat High Court order and observed, “We cannot disregard the observations made by this court…a public prosecutor is not only a lawyer for the government but has a far more important role in the dispensation of justice.”

As a public prosecutor, R N Pandya had conducted the Best Bakery trial in the 2002 Gujarat riots in which 14 people were burnt alive in the aftermath of the Godhra riots. The trial court had acquitted all 21 accused with the Gujarat High Court upholding the order. However, the Supreme Court ordered a re-trial in 2004 after noting that there was “ample evidence on record, glaringly demonstrating subversion of justice” due to “dishonest and faulty investigation”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/remove-prosecutor-under-cloud-in-best-bakery-trial-sc/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

UP: 5 alleged HuJI men acquitted for want of evidence (Jan 15, 2016, Hindustan Times)

A special court on Thursday acquitted five alleged members of the banned terror outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) for want of sufficient evidence to prove the sedition charge against them.

Those acquitted include Sheikh Mukhtar Hussain, Naushad alias Hafiz, Noor Islam alias Mama, Mohammad Ali Akbar Hussain, Aziz-ur- Rehman alias Sardar. They had allegedly shouted anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans in the court on August 12, 2008 during the hearing of a terror case against them. …

On April 29, 2009 the state government granted permission to the police to prosecute them. Special judge SAH Rizvi, in his order, observed that the prosecution could not produce evidence against the accused.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/lucknow/up-5-alleged-huji-men-acquitted-for-want-of-evidence/story-HMP8h2AznM4SMcQxrKkQGM.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

‘Ill-advised’ NDA Govt. trying to snatch minority rights: Kamal Farooqui (Jan 16, 2016, Business Standard)

Former Samajwadi Party leader Kamal Farooqui on Saturday slammed the NDA Government for trying to take away the rights of minority Muslim community, adding that the Centre was trying to disturb the peace of the nation.

“They (government) have started talking about the Jamia Milia which was established by the Muslims and are now trying to take away that right also. They have not been in a position to take the country forward for development. The security of this country is at stake and they are disturbing the peace in the name of beef or minority educational institutions. This will not do and this will have the ramifications. I think, the present government is ill-advised and it will create lot of law and order unrest and crisis of faith in the government,” Farooqui told ANI.

He added that both the Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Milia Islamia University were established by the minorities and so they have all the rights in the Constitution to administer the institutions they have already established.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/ill-advised-nda-govt-trying-to-snatch-minority-rights-kamal-farooqui-116011600126_1.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Malda violence: BJP-RSS trying to polarise voters, says Derek O’Brien (Jan 17, 2016, Indian Express)

Trinamool Congress on Sunday accused the BJP and RSS of carrying out a campaign to spread canards and “polarise” the voters in West Bengal ahead of the assembly elections there. “A few days ago there were posters saying – Mamata ‘Nero’, ‘Bengal Burning’ – put up in some parts of central Delhi. There were similar campaigns on the social media too.

“There are about a 100 days to go for the Bengal elections. The BJP and RSS are trying to spread canards to divert the attention from good governance done in five years,” TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien said here. He told PTI on phone that such a campaign was “being manufactured and carried out by BJP and RSS to polarise the voters.”

The campaign was being carried out especially after the Malda incident, O’Brien alleged.… The TMC has, however, accused the BJP of spreading communal venom ahead of the state assembly polls this year.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/malda-violence-bjp-rss-trying-to-polarise-voters-says-derek-obrien/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

BJP MLA “leads” attack on RTI rally in Rajasthan, injuring activists, vandalizing vehicles, snatching cameras (Jan 17, 2016, Counterview)

In an incident which has created a flutter among Right to Information (RTI) activists across India, goonda elements, said to be close to a BJP legislator in Rajasthan have brutally attacked the 100-day Accountability or Jawabdehi Yatra, begun by Magsaysay Award winner and pioneer of the RTI Act Aruna Roy. The incident took place in Aklera area of Zalawad district, which falls into Manoharthana constituency.

According to eye-witnesses, MLA Kanwar Lala Meena led the mob, which brutally attacked activists with lathis, vandalizing vehicles and destroying cameras. The attack took place in the evening at around 5 pm on on January 16, when the RTI campaigners were singing songs. The assailants started snatching the activists’ cameras, and when this met with resistance, they started beating up all those who formed part of the campaign.

Shankar Singh, Anuraag, Kamal Tank and many other campaigners, who were participating in the rally, were injured. Despite the attack, so far the police has not taken any action against the culprits. The attackers attacked the activists with lathis, causing internal injury to several of the activists. Also led by senior RTI activist Nikhil Dey and Shankar Singh, the Accountability Yatra began on December 1, 2015 from Jaipur, and will cover all 33 districts of the state, spending three days in each.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/01/bjp-mla-leads-attack-on-rti-rally-in.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

RSS plan to form a Christian wing in Kerala fails to take off (Jan 16, 2016, Hindustan Times)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) plan to reach out to Christians by setting up an organisation on the lines of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch didn’t find favour with Catholics who form about 70% of the community.

The RSS was planning to float a Rashtriya Isai Manch modeled on its Muslim wing that was formed in 2002 at the initiative of then chief KS Sudarshan. He made a call to Indianise all churches then but it failed to make much impact.

The Sangh, the BJP’s ideological mentor, has been sending feelers to the church for more than a year but to no avail. “It seems the church is wary of our overtures. Our move is not political but only want to create goodwill with the community and dispel some mutual apprehensions,” a senior RSS leader from central Kerala said. RSS leader Indresh Kumar even met two archbishops and many diocese heads in December in New Delhi to discuss the plan. Later, it sent some functionaries to Kerala which has the highest concentration of Christian in the country.…Cardinal Baselois Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, has made it clear that he was yet to be convinced about the need for such an organisation.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/rss-plan-to-form-a-christian-wing-in-kerala-fails-to-take-off/story-JRPJEyWPJLT3sMV3VC91NO.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Hindu Sena chief arrested for attack on Pakistan airlines office (Jan 16, 2016, Indian Express)

A day after Hindu Sena members vandalised the office of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the Delhi Police arrested the outfit’s chief Vishnu Gupta for allegedly planning the attack.…

On Thursday, five members of the Hindu Sena had ransacked the PIA office in Barakhamba Road at 3.15 pm. They had damaged computers and furniture.

A case under sections 120B (being party to a criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting), 149 (being the member of unlawful assembly, guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 427 (mischief causing damage to property) and 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) of the IPC has been registered. Gupta had been arrested last October as well, after his complaint about beef being served at the Kerala House canteen was found to be false.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/hindu-sena-chief-arrested-for-attack-on-pakistan-airlines-office/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Madhya Pradesh: Top cop gets threats from ‘rioter’ over arrests (Jan 17, 2016, Hindustan Times)

A right-wing hardliner once accused of engineering a communal flare-up in Madhya Pradesh’s Harda has allegedly threatened similar violence if police did not stop “harassing Hindus” over the assault on a Muslim couple allegedly by members of a cow protection group.

The alleged threat by Surendra Singh Rajpurohit alias ‘Tiger’ was made to Harda superintendent of police (SP) Prem Babu Sharma on his mobile phone, the officer said on Saturday. Rajpurohit, however, denied the charge though an audio clip containing the purported threat has gone viral in the state.…

Talking to HT on phone, Prem Shankar Sharma confirmed receiving a call from Rajpurohit. Rajpurohit wielded such clout in the district that he wore uniform similar to military fatigues and forced people to prostate in front of him and also stomped on them. He openly carried arms.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/madhya-pradesh-top-cop-gets-threats-from-rioter-over-arrests/story-n0NZbKEPPs3SisKcshhtQN.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Azam Khan on Fatehpur: Intolerance of people caused communal violence (Jan 15, 2016, ABP Live)

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Friday expressed his regrets over communal violence in Fatehpur’s Jahanabad district. While promising punitive action against those who engage in violence, he said it was the result of intolerance in people.

“It was the result of people’s intolerance that people have to come out to display their religion in order to show their strength. They must think that religion must not be displayed on roads,” he said.

He further said no religion permits setting someone and something on fire. 6 shops and 3 vehicles were set afire in UP’s Fatehpur district after two communities clash during Makar Sankranti procession.…

http://www.abplive.in/india-news/azam-khan-on-fatehpur-intolerance-of-people-caused-communal-violence-275306

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

RSS, freedom movement and the tricolour – By Sankara Narayanan (Jan 13, 2016, Meri News)

The Muslim Rashtriya Manch is a wing of the RSS. The Manch is holding talks with madrasas nationwide to hoist the Tricolour and sing the national anthem on Republic Day. It wants the Muslim seminaries to make their students remember the martyrs of the Freedom Struggle from 1857 to 1947.

A day after an RSS body asked all madrasas in the country to hoist the national flag on Republic Day, Darul Uloom Deoband asked the RSS if it “believed” in the Constitution of India and in the national flag. A spokesperson of the seminary told that even though the decision to hoist national flag is individual choice of madrasas, almost all of them not only hoist national flag but also celebrate Independence and Republic days. He also bluntly asked the RSS what its contribution in the freedom struggle was.

RSS has zero contribution in the struggle for the independence. Rather they opposed the freedom movement and ridiculed many a martyrs like Bhagat Singh. It is an indisputable fact that the ideological forefathers of the group, which is now asking Muslims for the nationalist credentials, were on the sides of British. Their ideological associate killed Mahatma Gandhi after all. M.S. Golwalkar (Guruji), second chief of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the organization till date told, “Hindus, don’t waste your energy fighting the British. Save your energy to fight our internal enemies that are Muslims, Christians and Communists.”…

http://www.merinews.com/article/rss-freedom-movement-and-the-tricolour/15912741.shtml

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

India gives saffron agenda the boot – By Amulya Ganguli (Jan 13, 2016, Free Press Journal)

The virtually unknown “historian”, Y Sudarshan Rao, who cannot claim to have made any significant contribution to the subject, has left the post of the chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) unsung and unlamented. The inadequacies of the B grade filmmaker, Pahlaj Nihalani, have been exposed by the government’s decision to set up a committee under the well-known director, Shyam Benegal, to look into the functioning of the Central Board of Film Certification of which Nihalani is still the formal head.

The “C” grade actor, Gajendra Chauhan’s first day in office at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), six months after he was appointed its chairman, was marked by a police baton charge on the protesting students who do not think that he has the right credentials for the job.

Evidently, the government’s attempt to control the cultural agenda hasn’t been a notable success. When the government chose the saffron apparatchiki for the prestigious posts in the ICHR and elsewhere in the months immediately after the BJP’s general election victory, it presumably thought that the task of cleansing these organisations of their supposed Leftist taint would be easy.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/amulya-ganguli-india-gives-saffron-agenda-the-boot/756143

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Why are India’s Dalit students taking their lives? – By Soutik Biswas (Jan 20, 2016, BBC)

“My birth is my fatal accident… I always was rushing. Desperate to start a life… I am not sad. I am just empty. Unconcerned about myself. That’s pathetic. And that’s why I am doing this.”

These are excerpts from the last letter – “this kind of letter for the first time” – that Rohith Vemula, a PhD student at Hyderabad Central University wrote before he killed himself on Sunday.

It is, at once, an eloquent and chilling suicide note: a young man who loved “science, stars, nature and people”, and aspired to become a science writer like Carl Sagan, ended up defeated and crushed by discrimination and apathy.…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35349979

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Government’s View on Minority Character of Aligarh Muslim University is Unconstitutional – By Faizan Mustafa (Jan 17, 2016, The Wire)

… the recent decision of the Government of India opposing the minority character of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia University has shaken the confidence of the Muslim minority.

The assertion by the attorney general that the executive of a secular country cannot set up minority institutions and that the Government of India is in agreement with the 1967 five judge bench decision of the Supreme Court and two 2005 judgments of the Allahabad High Court in respect of Aligarh Muslim University, has initiated an avoidable political debate in the country. If the government wants to oppose the minority character of AMU, it should do it before a seven judge bench.

A number of TV channels debated the issue and did discuss the efforts of playing Muslims against Dalits and OBCs in the context of the all important Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. But most discussions missed out on the fundamental issues which are involved in this historic case of huge constitutional importance: Why have special minority rights been given in the constitution in the first place? Can minorities establish universities? How can the minority character of an institution be determined? Who would determine this status? Can fundamental rights be waived? Can parliament pass a law helping the incorporation of a minority university? If a minority institution accepts governmental supervision in order to ensure efficiency of administration and safeguard itself from maladministration, does it loses the minority tag?…

http://thewire.in/2016/01/17/governments-view-on-minority-character-of-aligarh-muslim-university-is-unconstitutional-19460/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Malda riots reveal old fault lines – By Avishek Rakshit (Jan 16, 2016, Business Standard)

The recent violence in Kaliachak in the Malda district ofWest Bengal has happened at a time when the state is preparing for elections to the legislative assembly. A large crowd of Muslims, protesting the remarks made by jailedHindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari against Prophet Mohammed in November, ransacked the police station and set several vehicles on fire. No life was lost.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is struggling to make inroads in Bengal, accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of going soft on the perpetrators, she said it was a law and order problem and was being given a communal tinge. The Left parties and Congress too have refused to call it a communal flare up.

“The protest was peaceful but anti-social elements mingled with the crowd and attacked a Border Security Force vehicle and the Kaliachak police station. This wasn’t actually a communal riot,” Mausam Noor, Congress MP from Malda (north), says.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/politics/malda-riots-reveal-old-fault-lines-116011600812_1.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

RTI Will Just Remain A Far Cry – By Haider Abbas (Jan 9, 2016, Outlook)

The one-and-a-half-day RTI Convention Trust Through Democracy, in New Delhi, on Oct 16-17, found a surprise in the form of PM Narendra Modi, who addressed the congregation of all the Chief and State Information Commissioners (CIC & SIC) from all across the country. The deliberations found profound pondering so as to make RTI become a potent tool for every citizen, as after all the preamble of RTI Act 2005, makes it amply clear that ‘democracy requires an informed citizenry’.…

As we enter the new decade of RTI Act-2005, surely it is time to do away with the clash of this Act with that of The Official Secret Act 1923 as the form of oath administered to our ministers requiring them to say that they would not divulge any official information, unless required in their discharge of official duty. This oath provided in the statute, is yet another relic of the British legacy which stands in direct contravention of RTI Act-2005.

These two Acts are both antithetical to each other and it is high time when the British hangover is done away with and India paves for the total-transparency-democracy. RTI has still miles to go and we need to see to it that it doesn’t just remain a far cry.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/rti-will-just-remain-a-far-cry/296367

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 11th, 2016

January 18, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines BJP MLA booked for creating ruckus inside thana in Bhind ‘Subramanian Swamy’s Ram temple comment aimed at RS seat’ Gurdaspur SP ‘less than truthful’ during questioning, suspects NIA Sudheeran comes down heavily on Hindutva politics ‘The RSS is conspiring to gain a hold of all academic institutions’: […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 4th, 2016

January 12, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Urdu fest to promote communal harmony News Headlines Marathi author slams Modi over 2002 riots Raid on RSS worker’s shop: Six swords seized in Kannur Kamlesh Tiwari row: Tension in West Bengal’s Malda after mob torches police station Shamli ‘abduction’ case: After woman’s statement, court quashes charges, […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 28th, 2015

January 2, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup  Communal Harmony They pray for peace and communal harmony News Headlines Congress didn’t let Sonia meet Zakia Jafri after riots: 2002 ‘whistleblower’ BJP MLA & MP involved in spreading communal tensions in Shamli; were present on dais when Prophet Muhammad was ridiculed BJP leader’s son Vishal Rana and cousin […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 21st, 2015

December 26, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslim man in Madhya Pradesh left his marriage midway to perform final rituals of a Hindu girl Seminar on communal harmony held in the capital News Headlines Army intelligence had filmed razing of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya: Sharad Pawar Gujarat government yet to furnish details of beneficiaries […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 14th, 2015

December 21, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Tarigami Addresses Rally in Vijayawada On Protection of Communal Harmony News Headlines Had Islam been a religion of terrorism, Hindus would not have been existed in India today, says Shankaracharya Protests by Muslim groups continue in U.P. Paragraphs “planted” in NIA report to prove Ishrat Jahaan was […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 7th, 2015

December 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Unique display of communal harmony: Muslim group Jamaat e Islami Hind cleans Hindu temple after Chennai floods News Headlines Naroda Patiya massacre case convict’s wife accuses husband of rape, files for divorce Arrest Babri Mosque demolition accused and expedite trial: All India Muslim Personal Law Board to […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 30th, 2015

December 10, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans express support for VP Rajeena, victimized for speaking up against child abuse Communal Harmony Muslim men collect Rs 50K to bail out helpless Hindu convicts in Uttar Pradesh Communal harmony: Muslims in Bareilly set up hospital for people of all Religions News Headlines Arundhati Roy Feels […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 23rd, 2015

November 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Ex-DGP wants 2002 Nanavati riot report released Communal Incidents In India Are On The Rise, Shows Home Ministry Data Indian Muslims free to go anywhere, says Assam governor 8 out of ten Indians believe religious freedom is very important Ban Hindutva organisations, government urged 95% of beef […]

Read the full article →