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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 17th, 2016

by newsdigest on October 27, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Communal harmony lessons in J’khand textbooks to foster love, combat hatred (Oct 11, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Jharkhand will include lessons on communal harmony highlighting symbiosis between different communities in government school textbooks for classes 3 to 8 from the academic year 2017 in a bid to foster love and brotherhood among children of different societies.

The new lessons which will be part of moral science are expected to bridge communal barriers among children and instill respect in them for their classmates who belong to other communities, officials from the state school education and literacy department said.

“The lessons will help the students know about the strength of communal unity and the drawbacks of disharmony between different communities. They will also teach the children about how different communities in India are inter-dependent on each other and should live peacefully together,” said state school education and literacy secretary Aradhana Patnaik.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/ranchi/communal-harmony-lessons-in-j-khand-textbooks-to-foster-love-combat-hatred/story-gnjOpqvxsHB0oUxSX1vgaN.html

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Modi “advised” ex-DGP to go soft on Sangh Parivar, said 2002 Gujarat violence was “natural, uncontrollable” (Oct 17, 2016, Counterview)

In a glaring instance of how Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, continued justifying the 2002 communal riots more than two months after they began, retired DGP RB Sreekumar has recalled, Modi told him in a one-to-one conversation in that violence by Hindus after the February 27 Godhra train burning was “a natural and uncontrollable reaction and no police could control and contain it.”

On February 27, Sreekumar says, Modi had justified, during a meeting with cop officials, the need for allowing people to vent their anger. Modi, according to Sreekumar, had told them, “In communal riots, police normally takes action against Hindus and Muslims on one-to-one proportion, this will not do now, allow Hindus to give vent to their anger.”

Revealing this in his recent book, “Gujarat behind the Curtain” (Manas Publications), Sreekumar, who served as additional DGP in the Police Bhawan in 2002, says, his meeting with Modi took place on May 7, 2002, and it was about “the communal situation in Ahmedabad city, where stray communal incidents, i.e. stabbing in bylines and lonely areas, were reported.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/10/modi-advised-ex-dgp-to-go-soft-on-sangh.html

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Bahraich: 2 cops suspended, 34 arrested for clashes during Durga Puja (Oct 15, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Two policemen were suspended and 34 people were arrested on Friday in connection with clashes during a Durga idol immersion procession here that led to the death of a 6-year-old girl.

“SHO Devanand and SI Pappu Yadav of Fakharpur police station have been suspended for laxity in connection with clashes between members of two communities during the procession,” SP Saligram Verma said.

“FIR has been lodged against 54 persons, of whom 34 have been arrested. 300 to 400 unnamed people have also been mentioned in the FIR,” the SP said. They have been booked under sections of the IPC related to arson, scuffle, murder and attempt to murder, he added.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bahraich-2-cops-suspended-34-arrested-for-clashes-during-durga-puja/story-3CVJIFPtJ6k8HuM0IUvMZM.html

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Real threats to India are communal and social violence, not Pakistan or China: Former NSA (Oct 13, 2016, First Post)

The real threats to India are “internal” and emanate from communal and social violence, not from outside forces such as Pakistan or China, former national security advisor Shivshankar Menon has said.

Asked if Pakistan or China pose an existential threat to India, Menon said: “No”. “There’s no existential threat to India’s existence today externally, unlike in the 50s or when we were formed. And for many years till late 60s there were actual internal separatist threats, not any more. I think that we have actual dealt with,” Menon said.

His long career in public service spans diplomacy, national security, and India’s relations with its neighbours and major global powers. Menon served as national security advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from January 2010 to May 2014.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/real-threats-to-india-are-communal-and-social-violence-not-pakistan-or-china-former-nsa-3048990.html

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PM Modi’s estranged wife Jashodaben takes centre stage as debate on triple talaq heats up (Oct 17, 2016, Ummid.com)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s marital life and his estranged wife Jashodaben once again took centre stage – this time in Urdu press and social media, as the debate on reform in the Muslim personal law, especially a ban on concurrent talaq and polygamy, heated up citing women’s rights and gender equality.

The first to launch salvo against Prime Minister Modi and his marital life was the firebrand Muslim Personal Law Board General Secretary Mohammad Wali Rahmani. In a no-holds-barred attack on the prime minister on Thursday, Rahmani while addressing a press conference with other Muslim leaders in New Delhi, raked up the issue saying Modi should first keep his own house in order before worrying for Muslim women.

“There are people who are talking of women’s rights. They should first keep their own house in order”, Mohammad Wali Rahmani, former Deputy Speaker Bihar assembly, said. As soon as Rahman’s speech went viral on the internet, a huge number of posts with similar comments started flooding the social networking sites and the Urdu press. One article which singled out is written by Shakeel Rasheed and is published in today’s Mumbai Urdu News.…

http://ummid.com/news/2016/October/16.10.2016/modis-marital-life-jasodha-ben-takes-centre-stage.html

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Kerala: Two RSS workers arrested in connection with CPM activist’s murder (Oct 14, 2016, First Post)

Two RSS workers were on Friday taken into custody in connection with the murder of a CPI-M local committee member in Kannur district on 10 October. Toddy shop worker Mohanan, 40, was hacked to death by a six-member gang. He was the CPI(M)’s Paduvilayi local committee member. Police said the the activist died on the way to the hospital.

The attack took place in the morning when he was inside the shop. Another worker, Ashokan, was also injured, police said. Roopesh (23) and Rahul (22) were picked up from RSS office at Kannur, police said on Friday. Police had registered cases against seven persons in connection with the incident.

Within 48 hours of the murder of the CPI(M) activist Mohanan BJP activist Remith was hacked to death in the home town of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/kerala-two-rss-workers-arrested-in-connection-with-cpm-activists-murder-3050954.html

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Jharkhand man dies in custody after he was arrested for a WhatsApp message on beef (Oct 12, 2016, Scroll.in)

A 22-year-old man from Jharkhand’s Jamtara district died after being held in police custody for sending a WhatsApp message that allegedly had an “objectionable message on beef”, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. Minhaj Ansari’s family has accused the police of torturing him and a sub-inspector has been booked for murder, though the police said Ansari had also been diagnosed with encephalitis.

Police officers said Sub-Inspector Harish Pathak, who was supposed to oversee proceedings at Narayanpura police station, had been negligent in his duties. He has been suspended, the report added.

According to Jamtara Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Kumar Dubey, Ansari was arrested on October 3 after the WhatsApp message started circulating locally. His family was informed two days later that he had been shifted to Dhanbad after sustaining injuries while in custody. The family filed a complaint against Pathak and were involved in an altercation with him, after which he was booked for attempt to murder. The charge was changed to murder after Ansari died on October 7.…

http://scroll.in/latest/818826/jharkhand-man-dies-in-custody-after-he-was-arrested-for-a-whatsapp-message-on-beef-indian-express

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Chaos in JNU Campus After BTech Student Najeeb Ahmed Goes Missing (Oct 18, 2016, Outlook)

Chaos prevailed in JNU campus today with various student groups staging protests over the issue of a student missing from the varsity hostel under mysterious circumstances.

A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before. An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station yesterday after the police received a complaint from the student’s guardians.

Najeeb’s mother and local guardians also joined the protest today alleging that they were not informed by the administration about him going missing.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/newswire/story/chaos-in-jnu-campus-after-btech-student-najeeb-ahmed-goes-missing/958826

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‘It’s clear that it’s a political strike not surgical’: Kamaal R Khan’s review on Indian Army’s surgical strikes (Oct 18, 2016, Financial Express)

Following Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar’s statement linking the surgical strikes with RSS teachings, controversial actor Kamaal R Khan today expressed disbelief on the action taken by the Indian Army. The actor tweeted a video ‘reviewing’ the surgical strikes by the Army on different terror launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan, killing at least 38 terrorists.

“After statement of defence minister, it’s clear that it’s a political strike not surgical,” Kamaal tweeted along with the video review.

Kamaal R Khan, also known as KRK, is often in the news for making controversial comments and movie reviews. In his video, the actor questioned the Indian army’s stand to repeatedly claim the existence of the surgical strikes, even after the neighbouring country denying any such attack.…

http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/its-clear-that-its-a-political-strike-not-surgical-kamaal-r-khans-review-on-indian-armys-surgical-strikes/422574/

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HC turns down PIL seeking SC status for Dalit converts to Islam (Oct 18, 2016, The Hindu)

The Madras High Court Bench here has refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by the secretary of a Muslim jamath seeking a direction to the State Government to declare the caste to which Dalit converts to Islam would belong and issue community certificates to them mentioning the appropriate caste.

The First Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice S. Nagamuthu said it could not entertain the petition since the same issue had been raised before the Supreme Court way back in 2004 and a three judge Bench of the apex court had referred the matter to a larger Bench on January 21, 2011 considering its importance.

“Petitioner seeks to raise the issue of the status of persons who convert to Islam from the Scheduled Caste community and as to whether they are entitled to the benefit of reservation as Scheduled Caste…We see no purpose in entertaining the petition as the very question is under the consideration before the Supreme Court and the law laid down would be applicable to all,” it said.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/hc-turns-down-pil-seeking-sc-status-for-dalit-converts-to-islam/article9231988.ece

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Mother to return slain Dalit soldier’s gallantry awards (Oct 15, 2016, Indian Express)

Jethiben Rathod (65), a Dalit woman from Surendranagar district, who has been sitting on indefinite hunger strike at Satyagraha Chhavni here to protest the killing of her son, who was in the Indian Army, allegedly by upper-caste men, Friday sought the appointment with Gujarat Governor O P Kohli to return four gallantry awards that her son had received from the Army. Her son was allegedly killed by the upper-caste members of her village, Karadi in Sayla taluka, after he rebuked them for gambling and creating nuisance near his house.

Jethiben has been sitting on protest, along with 15 other Dalits, mainly from Saurashtra region, who are allegedly the victims of caste-based atrocities, like rape, abduction, murder and forced migration. The protesters are united by their common demand for “justice”. Jethiben has urged the state government to reopen the case and get it re-investigated by CBI. She has also sought Rs 10 lakh as compensation.

Jethiben’s son, Dinesh, was in the Indian Army and in March 2010 he had come home on leave. According to Jethiben, some upper-caste men (Kathi Darbars) were gambling near their house and Dinesh had rebuked them not to do so. Keeping this in mind, she added, these men shot dead Dinesh in broad daylight the next day.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/dalit-soldier-gujarat-mother-return-slain-gallantry-awards-3083322/

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Opinions and Editorials

Saffron light – Editorial (Oct 13, 2016, The Telegraph)

The term, “anti-national”, has become an ever-expanding hold-all. All that the government and its promoters, stretching from Nagpur to other parts of India, do not like or approve of is branded as anti-national.

It is an ineradicable stigma and the saffron parivar’s worst form of abuse. Any criticism of the government, its motives, policies and actions, is open to this branding. It is an instrument for isolating individuals and groups and then to direct official wrath or non-official violence against them. Nothing whets the Indian appetite for vengeance more than patriotism.…

The government of Narendra Modi, even though it professes commitment to the process of liberalization, has significantly enhanced the purview of the State. It has done so directly and implicitly. By remaining silent on various forms of vigilantism – from what people should eat or sell to attacks on minorities and Dalits – Mr Modi has given his tacit consent to various forms of Hindu fundamentalism. He and his supporters have brought into play a most insidious kind of majoritarianism that is slowly strangling dissent. India has entered, without fanfare, an era of undeclared emergency.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1161013/jsp/opinion/story_113071.jsp

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Politics of the Guarded Agenda of National Education Policy 2015-16 – By Vikas Gupta (Oct 15, 2016, EPW)

…The consultative framework of the new NEP appears to be imbedded within the ideas of “minimalist expansionalism” and “tapered inclusionalism.” Therefore, the present paper is an attempt to restore the lens or the doctrine of equality as a parameter for the finalisation of the new NEP.…

Since the agenda of the new NEP champions the politics of cultural uniformity, it is also adversarial to all forms of diversity. It revives the model of “integrationalism” with the added flavour of religious “majoritarianism” of the 1950s and 1960s, and the cultural revivalism of the 19th century. It only uses the technological facade to create the illusion of its democratic nature and proclaims to have entered in “grass-roots” consultations within a stiff structure and predetermined and constrained agenda so that it can continue to serve the interests of the dominant classes.…

These detachments of the policy framework from the voices and the plight of stakeholders call for a serious examination of the nature of governance itself. While the above-sketched foundational weakness, at best, the drive of making the state “an invisible hand,” as the father of mercantilism, Adam Smith, conceived in 1776 (1976: 709- 10) might be continued within the current framework of “minimalist expansionalism” and globalisation, the hope for a substantive transformation of the sphere of education is completely belied at the outset.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/42/special-articles/politics-guarded-agenda-national-education-policy-2015-16.html

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The UP Election and Riot Politics – By Athar Husain (Oct 15, 2016, Sabrang India)

The Justice Vishnu Sahai Commission report on the September 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots was tabled on the floor of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) State Assembly early this year. The Akhilesh Yadav-led government knew that in the forthcoming elections they would have to answer lot of difficult questions pertaining to the law order situation during his tenure especially with regard to the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and then, the lynching to death of Mohammad Akhlaque at Dadri (2015).

Both these bouts of violence have had far reaching political impact for the Samajwadi Party’s (SP’s) political fortunes specially when it’s key opponent, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has an eye on the Samajwadi Party’s core vote base, that is Muslims; this collective vote base which at one time, almost blindly supported Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP has felt the deep and lasting scars of betrayal, since 2013.…

The Justice Sahai report on the Muzaffarnagar violence (2013) when made public had conclusions that were shocking: it completely absolved the state government and worse: the inquiry report said nothing about the key players who engineered the rioting and violence against the Muslim minority. The commission only held two police officers accountable for what the former judge found, predictably, an ‘intelligence failure’.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/election-and-riot-politics

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Triple Talaq phobia; what about prostitutes, victims of alcohol and female infanticide – By Dr. Javed Jamil (Jul 10, 2016, Muslim Mirror)

…The BJP Government came to the power with a clear Corporate-Communal agenda, and the last two and a half years have provided more than ample evidence that it has been aggressively pursuing both without any dilution of sincerity or effort. Hardly any day passes without a communal issue having hit the media.

But when the corporate agenda faces a threat from a religious or communal agenda, it is the corporate agenda which ultimately prevails. Otherwise, what will explain the fact that a Government in control of a party which boasts of Hindu Dharma as its driving force has never felt concerned about the hugely adverse effects of alcohol and ever rising nakedness and prostitution in the country? All these affect women more than anyone else.

Why then is there no support to a blanket ban on alcohol and prostitution? Why has the Government not taken any action to ensure that women including Hindus get their shares in the properties of their parents? Why has the Government not launched an all-out offensive against Female Foeticide? Why is their concern limited to the victims of Triple Talaq alone?…

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/too-much-concern-about-the-victims-of-triple-talaq-none-for-prostitutes-victims-of-alcohol-female-infanticide-and-women-deprived-of-ancestral-property-rights/

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Lack Of Journalistic Ethics, Now Blinded By Nationalism – By Prof Ranjit Goswami (Oct 13, 2016, Countercurrents)

The context of nationalism in India has lately been supercharged- post India’s ‘Surgical Strike inside PoK’ in view of repeated Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks in India – the latest of which, in a significant way, was Uri terror attack. The so-called claims, counterclaims and ‘independent’ global media coverage have made it complex and confusing for the ordinary citizens, considering both the big picture and the specific event.…

The minorities have become an endangered species, in the fear of the populace driven by hysteria togovernment diktats. The quality of journalism itself can be the service journalists pay to the nation, Mother India. Unfortunately, today, those who have an open record of unethical journalism in its various forms, be through media organizations or individuals, tend to cheerlead nationalism by being in a perpetual race to the bottom nationalistic journalism.

And that surely is even more worrisome! A nationalistic media, or an unethical media can be bad in itself; however, when they join hands – citizens to those serving Indian defence forces or guarding our borders/paramilitary forces have more reasons to be worried. It would be wrong to presume, without supporting evidence and trend that recently Indian media, in general, has converted itself from being an unethical to ethical one, under the influence of the new-found nationalism wave!…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/10/13/lack-of-journalistic-ethics-now-blinded-by-nationalism/

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The BJP’s fascination with a Dalit icon – By Omar Rashid (Oct 13, 2016, The Hindu)

The Bharatiya Janata Party has revamped its Uttar Pradesh headquarters into a neat corporate-style office. There’s wi-fi, an all-new digital library with block-wise electoral data of the State, election war rooms, and strategy rooms. However, the most engaging bit is the decoration in the large hall on the ground floor where press conferences and meetings are held.

Glossy frames of prominent BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh stalwarts, along with social icons, adorn its walls. We have Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Kushabhau Thakre, B.R. Ambedkar and Swami Vivekananda. Rani Laxmi Bai and Vijaya Raje Scindia are the women present.

But there’s one frame that would surely tickle the curiosity of any visitor. It’s the portrait of a warrior-king in a combative pose on a horse. One could mistake it for the popular sketch of 16th-century Rajput king Maharana Pratap. But it isn’t him. It is Maharaja Suheldev, a little-known 11th-century Bhar-Pasi king. How did Suheldev find a place among the BJP’s icons? “His image will inspire Dalit party workers who visit the office from various districts,” a BJP spokesperson explained to me.…

http://www.thehindu.com/thread/politics-and-policy/article9193345.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 5th, 2016

by newsdigest on September 18, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Spreading the message of peace and harmony is a national responsibility: Peace conference (Aug 30, 2016, Twocircles.net)

A committee of various religious and social workers organized a grand conference here with an aim to purify the atmosphere of hatred and disgust from the society and to make an environment of love and brotherhood. The conference was organized at Anjuman Islamia Hall on Saturday evening where scholars from different religions and sects expressed their views on how to develop an atmosphere of love and peace in the society.

The conference unanimously agreed that it is every citizen’s national responsibility to clear the misunderstandings that are being spread by some misguided elements of the society with their vested interests.…

Dr. Vinay Kanth, ex-president of PUCL said, “There is a lot of misunderstanding among us. To understand each other, we have to do away with these misunderstandings.” Expressing grave concern over growing intolerance across country, social worker Mahendra Yadav said that people are being used by the political parties. ” We, the law-abiding citizens, must have to get out of our homes to spread the message of peace and harmony”, he said.…

http://twocircles.net/2016aug30/1472533946.html

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This 18-year-old Hindu girl teaching Quran to Muslim kids is a messenger of communal harmony (Sep 6, 2016, Financial Express)

Pooja Kushwaha, an 18-year-old class12th student is a teacher to 35 kids. The interesting fact is that she is a Hindu and the lessons she teaches are from the Muslim’s holy book Quran. Kushwaha hails from western parts of Uttar Pradesh, teaches the children in an open-air classroom inside temple’s premises in Agra, according to a TOI report. With a great accent of Arabic words Kushwaha’s teaching looks every bit what the parents of the children would have wanted. This goes on to show how tolerant that part of India is.

Speaking to TOI Pooja revealed how she got interested in Arabic and the Quran, she said, “Many years ago, there was another woman of mixed faith in our locality. Born to a Muslim father and Hindu mother, Sangeeta Begum used to hold Quran classes for the kids. I got interested in the holy book and started attending her classes. I made steady progress and was ahead of all others in her class soon.” Interestingly, Pooja does it all without any fee.…

70-year-old Haji Jamiluddin Qureshi is a popular figure in the region and heads many forums along with a school. He told TOI, “It’s heartening to know that such rare examples of communal harmony exist in our city. A teacher is a teacher and her religion doesn’t matter as long as she knows the holy scripture well. Moreover, Islam doesn’t object to anybody learning Arabic or reading Quran.”…

http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/this-18-year-old-hindu-girl-teaching-quran-to-muslim-kids-is-a-messenger-of-communal-harmony/368960/

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Eight Muslim youths perform final rites of Hindu neighbour (Sep 7, 2016, Times of India)

Putting humanity over religion, a group of Muslim youths from Mumbra set an example when they carried out the funeral rites of a 65-year-old neighbour, Waman Kadam, who died on Sunday night in his Almas Colony tenement. Kadam was employed as a building watchman.

When Kadam’s two sons, who are from his first wife, and relatives were reluctant to come over at night to help the ailing widow, Vitava, in her hour of need, she requested the youths to help her cremate him. Khalil Pawne, Fahad Dabir, Nawaz Dabir, Rahil Dabir, Shaban Khan, Maqsood Khan, Farooque Khan, Mohammad Kasam Shaikh promptly set out to look for a pundit to conduct the funeral rituals and even got a death certificate from a doctor.

“My husband would never have thought that his last journey would be with so much honour. There were 40-odd Muslim youths in the funeral procession. We have known them since they were knee high; now, they turned out to be sensitive and responsible adults,” said Vitava.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/54038155.cms

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Intervention in Muslim Personal Law not tolerated – Muslim Mahila Research Kender’s affidavit in SC (Sep 5, 2016, Siasat)

Noted Muslim Women’s organization, “Muslim Mahila Research Kendra” filed an affidavit in Supreme Court against any intervention in Muslim Personal Law. It may be mentioned that some Muslim women’s organization had challenged the right of husbands to divorce by pronouncing “Talaq” thrice at one go. SC bench headed by CJI, Justice TS Thakur is hearing this case.

Ms. Tahniyath Athar, President, Muslim Mahila Research Kendra and Dr. Asma Zehra, Director of the organization, in a press statement released yesterday told that in the affidavit filed in SC, it has been stated that SC cannot intervene in Muslim Personal Law under the pretext of protection of women’s right or social reforms. SC also cannot interpret Muslim Personal Law. They also said that SC cannot decide about the authenticity of three divorces pronounced one time. The process of pronouncing divorce is fixed and recognized which cannot be changed by anyone.

In their press statement they mentioned that the issues pertaining to marriage, divorce and maintenance allowance are different in various religions. Any court of law cannot raise any question about the authenticity of the provisions made in any religion.…

http://www.siasat.com/news/intervention-muslim-personal-law-not-tolerated-muslim-mahila-research-kenders-affidavit-sc-1012755/

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CIC notices to PMO, on letters between Vajpayee and Modi after 2002 riots (Sep 5, 2016, Deccan Chronicle)

The CIC has issued notices to Prime Minister’s Office and Gujarat government on the issue of disclosure of the correspondence exchanged between the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the aftermath of the 2002 riots.

Citing an order of the Delhi High Court which had said that views of third party as mandated in Section 11 and 19(4) of the RTI Act must be taken, Chief Information Commissioner Radha Krishna Mathur issued notices to the PMO and Gujarat government (through its Chief Secretary) directing them to present their submissions during the hearing in first week of November.

The case relates to Subhash Agrawal who had sought the disclosure of communication through his RTI application dated December 16, 2013.… The applicant had sought copy of all communications exchanged between the PMO and the Gujarat government between February 27, 2002 and April 30, 2002 on the law-and-order situation in the state.…

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/050916/cic-notices-to-pmo-gujarat-govt-on-letters-between-vajpayee-and-modi.html

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No concrete proof against Zakir Naik, security agencies asked to probe deeper (Sep 1, 2016, Indian Express)

Security agencies will analyse controversial televangelist Zakir Naik’s speeches in a more comprehensive manner and conduct a more exhaustive probe before any decision is taken on whether to gag him and ban his NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), as an unlawful association.

The development comes with the Law Ministry advising the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which has jurisdiction over security agencies, that not enough evidence is on record to proceed against Naik, sources said Wednesday.

Sources also said that a scrutiny by the Home Ministry of IRF’s accounts have not revealed any violations of foreign funding norms so far.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/no-concrete-proof-against-zakir-naik-security-agencies-asked-to-probe-deeper-3006939/

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‘Comprehensive law to curb communal violence needed’ (Sep 5, 2016, The Hindu)

The all-faith Sadbhavana committee formed as part of the Peace and Humanity movement by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has urged the government to control fundamentalist forces to ensure peace in society.

In a memorandum addressed to the President, members of the committee sought a comprehensive law to curb communal violence. They asked for strict enforcement of the laws to curb caste and religion-based violence and attempts to abuse other religious groups. They said that provisions of the Information Technology Act should be used strictly to curb online hate campaigns.

Speedy trial should ensure punishment to those who make provocative speeches. They sought protection to victims of violence and witnesses of riots.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/comprehensive-law-to-curb-communal-violence-needed/article9073978.ece

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Over 400 RSS Members In Goa Threaten To Resign After State Chief Subhash Velingkar’s Sacking (Sep 1, 2016, NDTV)

Subhash Velingkar, who was sacked as the state chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS in Goa, has blamed union ministers Manohar Parrikar and Nitin Gadkari for being behind his removal.

“I was not shocked. I was anticipating it (the action) (Manohar) Parrikar and Nitin Gadkari are powerful at the Centre. They have (been) strongly lobbying there. They must have tried for it. They must have wrongly fed the RSS high command,” Mr Velingkar said.…

Late on Wednesday evening, more than 400 RSS volunteers had announced that they were resigning in protest against the sacking of Mr Velingkar. The volunteers announced their decision after several leaders of the state RSS, which is the BJP’s ideological mentor, met at a school complex near capital Panaji for over six hours to discuss the removal of Mr Velingkar, one of the most influential RSS leaders in Goa.…

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/rss-rebellion-in-goa-over-400-members-resign-after-state-chiefs-sacking-1453017

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Rights body push for probe against custody-death cops (Sep 6, 2016, Times of India)

West Bengal Human Rights Commission has pulled up several mid-level officers of Kolkata Police and asked cops to complete departmental inquiries against them in the next three months after the commission found them to be prima facie involved in the custodial death of a youth at Burtolla last September.

The action comes after the commission took cognizance of a TOI report on October 2, 2015, whe re questions were raised about the manner of death of Bhusan Deshmukh in the police lock-up. In its 16-page directive, the commission also granted that the victim’s parents receive an immediate compensation of Rs 2 lakh.

Those against whom departmental inquiries have been ordered are (former) OC of Burtolla Bhagirath Ghosh, sub-inspectors Pradip Kumar Rakshit and Bikash Biswas and constables Hrikesh Mondal and Partha Sarathi Mondal. The inquiry report has to be submitted within three months.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/54023167.cms

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Case against VHP’s working president Praveen Togadia for hate speech (Aug 31, 2016, New Indian Express)

A Hosdurg court’s proclamation order was served at the office of Vishva Hindu Parishad’s working president Praveen Togadia in Delhi, said a police officer. Togadia is “wanted” in an alleged hate speech case registered in Hosdurg police station in 2011.

The Hosdurg Judicial First Class Magistrate Court issued the proclamation after Hosdurg police expressed their inability to arrest the Hindutva leader despite issuing arrest warrants thrice.

“We went to his Delhi office to serve the proclamation order. But the office staff said they were not aware of the case against him,” said Hosdurg inspector Sunilkumar C K. Togadia was then in Gujarat, said the officer. Now, that the order had been served, he was likely to appear before the court, he said.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Case-against-VHPs-working-president-Praveen-Togadia-for-hate-speech/2016/08/31/article3606151.ece

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Hindu students protest against burqa-wearing Muslims on campus in southern India (Sep 2, 2016, Washington Post)

As the world debates whether the burkini is appropriate beachwear, a new fight is brewing in India over burqa-wearing students on college campuses. This week, some Hindu students began wearing saffron-colored scarves to the classroom in a college in the southern state of Karnataka in protest against the hijab and burqas that Muslim students are allowed to wear on campus.

Saffron, or deep orange, is considered to be an auspicious color in Hinduism and is also the color that members of many Hindu nationalist groups in India use in their flags, bandanas and scarves to assert their religious identity.

It all started last week when a pharmacy college in the southern city of Mangalore banned its first-year female students from wearing the hijab or burqa and the male students from sporting long beards on campus. Almost immediately, the Muslim student group Campus Front of India beganprotesting the ban, saying the Indian constitution allows them the right to practice their religion.…

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/09/02/hindu-students-protest-against-burqa-wearing-muslims-on-campus-in-southern-india/

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Pellets generally used in hunting animals: Gun manufacturer (Sep 7, 2016, Indian Express)

The manufacturer of pellet guns, used against protesters by armed forces in Kashmir, said they are generally used for hunting. The company added no tests have been conducted regarding their effect on the human body.

Defence Ministry’s Pune-based ammunition factory has said the pellet shots are generally used to scare animals away, protection of crops and hunting. “Ammunition Factory Khadki does not conduct any tests vis-a-vis the effect of the Bore ammunition on the human body,” a letter addressed to the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Director General of Police from the Additional General Manager of the ammunition factory read.…

More than 9000 people have been injured during the protests in Kashmir since July 8 and most of them have been hit by pellets. Over 600 people with pellet injuries in eyes have been admitted to the ophthalmology department of Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital in Srinagar. Among the 75 civilians killed during the ongoing protests, many of them died in pellet firing.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pellets-generally-used-in-hunting-animals-gun-manufacturer-kashmir-violence-3018384/

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‘PM Modi did not do enough for Dalits in his home state’ (Aug 29, 2016, Indian Express)

Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti, a Dalit organisation formed after the last month’s Una flogging incident, on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not do enough to address their problems. Modi would visit Gujarat’s Jamnagar district on Tuesday to inaugurate Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojna.

Modi had not done enough to ensure safety and well-being of the Dalits in his home state, the organisation said. Jignesh Mevani of Dalit Samiti on Monday said the PM paid only lip service instead of reining in the cow vigilantes.

“Instead of staging protests during Modi’s visit, we want to register our protest by asking under what circumstances the so-called gau-rakshaks became so fearless in Gujarat and in the country under his rule. Modi claimed he is angry over the Dalit thrashing incidents. But what’s the use of such statements when the Dalits are still being targeted?” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pm-modi-did-not-do-enough-for-dalits-in-his-home-state-3002798/

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Opinions and Editorials

Is RSS a terrorist organisation? – By Hasan Zia Rizvi (Sep 2, 2016, Milli Gazette)

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was listed as a terrorist organization under threat group section by US-based Terrorism Research Centre and OODALOOP (oodaloop.com), a risk management and consulting company. A lawsuit was filed in US court on 21 January, 2015 to label RSS as a foreign terrorist organization. Former Maharashtra inspector general of police SM Mushrif calls RSS India’s biggest terror outfit.

RSS affiliates, or ‘Sangh Parivar’, has been charge-sheeted in almost 17 terror cases in India. There is a history of communal riots, terrorism and murders related to RSS and its outfits working under different names. But Sangh has a habit of disowning its Hindutva activists and Hindu extremist organizations once they are caught in any crime.

To analyse Sangh terrorism, a first-of-its-kind seminar under the banner of ‘Sangh Terror and Failures of Justice’, was organized by the socio-cultural organization, ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) on 9 August at the Constitution Club here. The panelists were eminent Indian personalities including members of Parliament.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/14740-is-rss-a-terrorist-organisation-india

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Black laws: From MISA, POTA to sedition – By Amulya Ganguli (Sep 5, 2016, Free Press Journal)

The BJP’s current majority in the Lok Sabha has not dissuaded it from using the sedition law at every available opportunity.… It is a safe bet that no government will withdraw any of the laws which ostensibly exist to protect the nation from internal and external threats, but are nearly always misused.…

Why do governments have such preference for a colonial-era law under which Gandhi was booked? The reason is that is a handy tool in their hands for penalising their opponents. However, Section 124A of the IPC is not the only law which governments have used to browbeat and even incarcerate their critics.

The resultant (mis)use of the law on sedition, especially against an internationally-acclaimed organisation like the Amnesty, cannot but show the Modi government in a poor light before the world, reinforcing the perception of its intolerance which was first highlighted when a number of writers, artistes, historians and others returned their awards.

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/black-laws-from-misa-pota-to-sedition-amulya-ganguli/922113

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The Dangerous Precedent Of A Guru Preaching To The House – By Brinda Karat (Aug 31, 2016, )

…A religious leader addressing elected members in an official session within the Vidhan Sabha is unheard of in India’s parliamentary history. When a ministry, or a parliamentary committee, or even the government wishes to give members the opportunity to hear a specialist who is not a member of the House on any particular issue, the custom is to invite MLAs for such a lecture which may be within the premises of parliament or the state assembly, but does not form part of the session itself. There is good reason for this becoming the accepted standard. It prevents the ruling party of any given state from misusing the assembly for matters extraneous to the agenda of the assembly.

The state assembly cannot be and should not be converted into a site for religious pravachans(sermons), however eminent the speaker might be. MLAs or MPs, as the case may be, are not being paid by the public exchequer to listen to pravachans. They can go to temples or tune into TV programmes to satisfy their spiritual desires.

Yet the Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar breached constitutional and parliamentary norms and invited a Jain Muni to address MLAs at an official session of the assembly. The Governor gave his stamp of approval to this breach. He insulted his constitutional position and propriety by sitting below the monk. He should not have attended in the first place. The Haryana government had the support of both opposition parties, the Congress and the INLD, whose respective leaders in the assembly not only sat through the lecture but showered fulsome praise on the Muni.… It is a dangerous and wrong precedent. It sanctions the burial of secular standards in the functioning of assemblies.…

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/the-dangerous-precedent-of-a-guru-preaching-to-the-house-1452612

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The Haryana capers; dress code, cow protection – Editorial (Aug 31, 2016, Free Press Journal)

Leaders of the ruling BJP at the Centre and in the States cannot seem to avoid creating needless controversies. Instead of delivering on the promise of good governance, they foray into peripheral issues such as the dress code for women or ‘gau raksha.’

These only detract from the task in hand. Frankly, anyone with a modicum of education will find the fuss over cow protection a bit over-the-top. Yes, protect the milch cattle by all means but do not tom-tom about beef when you are unable to take care of old and abandoned animals. Encourage modern education, nay, reason and scientific temper.

Let us not worship at the wrong altars. Let modernism walk in through the front door into the mindscape of all Indians regardless of caste, creed, et al.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/the-haryana-capers-dress-code-cow-protection/919735

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RSS Claims About Rapid Growth of the Muslim Population are Simply False – By Salman Anees Soz (Sep 7, 2016, The Wire)

Recently, Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) made controversial remarks in response to questions about population growth of Indian Muslims. He was addressing a gathering of young couples at Agra College. Hindutva groups such as the RSS have long stoked fears of Muslims becoming the largest religious group in India.

In fact, Prime Minister Modi too had infamously fanned such a narrative when he was Chief Minister in Gujarat. Of course, there is no evidence to support the outlandish claims of Hindutva groups. But, in the immortal words of Mark Twain, “a lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” It is my intention to help truth chase lies down. I am particularly interested in the kinds of lies that are divisive and put ordinary lives in danger.…

Many others have fact-checked RSS talking points on Muslim population growth. Others have pointed out, as I do here, that RSS is spreading falsehoods for political reasons. RSS is so cynical that it continues to push this narrative of the demise of the Hindu majority even as it knows well that nothing close to it is happening. Under such circumstances, we have no choice but to repeatedly call out the lies spread by RSS. But even the RSS must know, truth alone triumphs!

http://thewire.in/64570/rss-claims-rapid-growth-muslim-population-simply-false/

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Dalits are right: Enough is enough – By P Chidambaram (Aug 28, 2016, Indian Express)

On July 11, 2016, a video of cow vigilantes mercilessly beating up seven Dalit men for skinning a dead cow in Una district, Gujarat, came to light. In protest against the incident, many Dalits have refused to handle cow carcasses. The gau rakshaks should be happy, but they are not. Non-Dalits, presumably including gau rakshaks, have retaliated with more violence against Dalits – this time for not picking up cow carcasses – in Samter (August 16), Bhavra (August 20) and Rajkot (August 24), all in Gujarat. Herein lies the Dalit dilemma – he is damned if he does and he is damned if he doesn’t.

The bane of Hindu society is varna, the four-tier arrangement said to be sanctified by the scriptures. The arrangement encompassed the majority and assigned them places, but it also excluded a large number. The excluded were the outcasts or the untouchables. Inequality by birth was the basis of the arrangement. That inequality stayed with you throughout your life. Violence against Dalits is the punishment for disobeying the rules of the arrangement. Rohith Vemula summed it up: “My birth is my fatal accident.”

The Dalits have decided that enough is enough. They have decided to mobilise. The scale of social mobilisation of Dalits in Gujarat and Maharashtra, and to some extent in other parts of the country, has not been seen in recent times. Although much of the media is not covering them, massive rallies and marches are being held. There is palpable anger in the community because of the sense of impunity with which they are being subjected to violence in certain parts of the country. According to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, in 2015, Gujarat reported the highest crime rate against Dalits, followed by Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/una-dalit-protests-gujarat-flogging-cow-protection-gau-rakshaks-2999626/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 27th, 2015

July 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Irony of ironies: Judge afraid for her life after convicting Modi’s minister in Gujarat riots! Teesta Setalvad accuses Modi govt of ‘vendetta’ to silence her 1500 ‘encounter’ deaths under glare Will perpetrators of Babri masjid demolition be hanged too, asks Owaisi India Sees a Sharp Rise in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 16th, 2014

June 17, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony BARTI to take communal harmony lessons to schools, may train teachers News Headlines Rise of communal tensions after BJP Government formed at center Online posts against Narendra Modi spell trouble Gujarat HC directs Nanavati panel to allow Sanjiv Bhatt examine intel reports during 2002 riots IB’s NGO-scare […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 19th, 2014

May 20, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Mukul Sinha’s demise a loss for justice and accountability say Indian Americans News Headlines Supreme Court pulls up Gujarat police, orders release of Akshardham convicts ‘Modi’s remarks fuelled violence in Assam’ Bail plea of three riot accused rejected MBT demands registration of murder cases against police for firing […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 20th, 2014

January 21, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Witch-hunt against Teesta Setalvad an indictment of Gujarat government say Indian Americans News Headlines Gujarat incident cannot be forgotten or pardoned, Nitish Kumar says Burqa-clad women were actually male RSS workers: Congress Third ex-judge refuses to probe snoopgate 3 POTA accused walk free for want of proof […]

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Muzaffarnagar carnage a planned tactic of communal politics

September 16, 2013

Indian Americans condemn purveyors of hate for the massacres and UP government for its criminal inaction. Sunday, September 15th, 2013 Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy organization dedicated to preserving India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has condemned the politics of violence and hate that has taken the lives of over 50 people and […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 19th, 2013

August 20, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines HC confirms conviction of 9 for post-Godhra riots Hindu supremacist Narendra Modi should not be invited to the Commons Narendra Modi’s attack on PM on I-day leaves some BJP leaders squirming CBI finds common link in Haren Pandya murder, Ishrat encounter Karat sees BJP, RSS role […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 15th, 2013

April 16, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Zakia moves court, challenges clean chit to Modi in Gulbarg massacre Narendra Modi failed to tackle Gujarat riots in 2002: JD(U) Fake encounter case: Non-bailable warrants against 19 policemen India policemen suspended for ‘taking bribes’ in Mumbai RSS worker on bike with explosives dies in blast […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 10th, 2012

December 11, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Resolution of Babri Masjid case should be a National Priority Communal Harmony This school is a lesson in harmony Temple gifts house to Muslim woman News Headlines 25 US lawmakers urge Hillary Clinton to continue denying Narendra Modi visa Muslims are the most deprived social group in […]

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