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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 3rd, 2017

by newsdigest on July 15, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

When mob frenzy becomes irrational, we have to pause and reflect: President Mukherjee on lynchings (Jul 1, 2017, Indian Express)

In the wake of growing number of mob lynching cases in India, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday asked whether the society is vigilant enough to save the basic tenets of the country. “When mob lynching becomes so high and uncontrollable, we have to pause and reflect, are we vigilant enough?,” Mukherjee was quoted as saying by ANI.

Speaking at the release of commemorative publication of National Herald, President Mukherjee said, “I am not talking of vigilantism, I am talking of are we vigilant enough, proactively to save the basic tenets of our country.”…

Recently, the country witnessed widespread protests across various locations under the tagline “Not in My Name” to protest against a streak of mob lynching incidents in the country. The lynching of 15-year-old Junaid Khan in a Mathura-bound train last week was the genesis of the flashpoint.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/are-we-vigilant-enough-to-save-basic-tenets-of-our-country-president-mukherjee-on-mob-lynchings-4730908/

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BJP leader arrested in Muslim trader’s lynching case; prime accused surrenders (Jul 1, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Ramgarh police have arrested a BJP leader, Nityanand Mahto on Saturday in connection with the lynching of a Muslim trader Alimuddin by a mob in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh two days back. The main accused Chottu Rana, who was seen beating Alimuddin with a stick repeatedly in a video, surrendered before the court, Ramgarh superintendent of police, Kaushal Kishore said.

55-year-old Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali was lynched by a frenzied mob of about 100 people for allegedly carrying beef in his car. The incident happened at the Bazartand market of the district on Thursday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he disapproved killing people in the name of protecting cows.…

The police had also detained a member of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) of Ramgarh district for interrogation but released him later due to lack of evidence, police sources said.… Thursday’s lynching was the second attack in June by cow vigilantes in Jharkhand as a 200-strong mob thrashed a 55-year-old Muslim dairy owner and set his house ablaze after a cow carcass was found near his home in Giridih district on Tuesday.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bjp-leader-arrested-in-muslim-trader-s-lynching-case-prime-accused-surrenders/story-wLXhTA3eIlrPUEGjwGdDQM.html

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Protesters across India hit the streets, say outraged over attacks on human life (Jun 29, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Thousands took to the streets of 10-odd cities across the country on Wednesday to protest a string of mob lynchings in recent years, which many say is proof of India’s fraying secular ethos. In several places, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata, protesters gathered under the “Not In My Name” banner to make a strong statement against violence perpetrated by right-wing Hindu groups and cow-protection vigilantes.

The Delhi protest saw people pouring in from neighbouring states, such as Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Though several Aam Aadmi Party leaders – including deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia – were in attendance, they claimed to have come in their personal capacity.

“We are laying our claim as Indian citizens upon this country… we are outraged at the attacks on human life, human dignity… at the systemic violence unleashed on Dalits and minorities,” said filmmaker Saba Dewan, whose post on Facebook a week ago helped coalesce the coordinated demonstrations. “This is not the India we want.”…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/notinmyname-protesters-across-india-hit-the-streets-say-outraged-over-attacks-on-human-life/story-uKhaV6tfdXbBkcvl4uP8JN.html

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Centre’s cattle slaughter restrictions violates fundamental rights, says All India Kisan Sabha (Jun 28, 2017, First Post ()

The Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter violates fundamental rights of states and individuals, including the right to practice religion, a major Left farmers’ body has said.

The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), which is backed by the CPI(M), has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court against the constitutional validity of the notification.

The AIKS has contended that the notification allegedly violates several fundamental rights of individuals and states, including the right to practice religion and free movement of goods. The notification would also hamper the economic interests and livelihood of farmers, dairy farmers, cattle traders and businessmen, the farmers’ body has argued.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/centres-cattle-slaughter-restrictions-violates-fundamental-rights-says-all-india-kisan-sabha-3754625.html

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India inching towards fascism, says Shabnam Hashmi (Jun 28, 2017, The Hindu)

As a mark of protest against rising intolerance against minority communities in India, human rights campaigner and social activist Shabnam Hashmi returned her National Minority Rights Award to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) on Tuesday. Stating that marginalisation of minority communities has become the norm under the present regime, Ms. Hashmi handed over the award, which was conferred to her in 2008, NCM director T.M.Skaria.

In a letter addressed to the Commission members, Ms. Hashmi wrote: “I am returning it [the award] in memory of the innumerable innocent victims lynched by marauding mobs”, adding that the current atmosphere in the country is laden with “fear and terror” and “Islamophobia”.

“For the first time, an entire Cabinet has boycotted the Iftar dinner hosted by the President. This reflects how they have defied the Constitution, in a way, and don’t care about it. These are all signals that India is inching towards fascism,” said Ms. Hashmi. The activist added that it is about time that people raise their voice against the atrocities being committed by the State.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/india-inching-towards-fascism-says-shabnam-hashmi/article19157477.ece

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Cops held for Rs 2 lakh bribe; 1 of them escapes from custody (Jun 28, 2017, Indian Express)

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) said it has arrested two police officials for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2 lakh for not taking action in a case. However, one of them escaped from police custody while undergoing medical examination on Tuesday, the ACB said in a release. The arrested officers were identified as Inspector Subhash Govind Kale (55) and Sub-Inspector Sanjay Sitaram Chavhan (46), attached to Kuhi police station in rural Nagpur.

According to the release, a hotelier had been locked in a land dispute with his brother and the latter recently filed a complaint against the former in Kuhi police station. The complaint related to alleged land encroachment by the hotelier. When the complaint came before Kale and Chavhan, they approached the hotelier and sought a Rs 4.5 lakh bribe for not proceeding against him in the case filed by his brother, the anti-corruption agency said.

The hotelier agreed to pay the bribe and at the same time filed a complaint with the ACB (Nagpur) against the two police officials. Based on the complaint, a trap was laid yesterday and the two police officials were caught accepting the first instalment of Rs 2 lakh from the hotelier, the ACB said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/cops-held-for-rs-2-lakh-bribe-1-of-them-escapes-from-custody-4726446/

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Uttar Pradesh authorities foil protest plan of Dalit group from Gujarat (Jul 3, 2017, Indian Express)

A group of Dalits from Gujarat, upset over an incident in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh some time back, tried to lodge their protest in a unique way but failed to do so. Over 40 Dalits wanted to visit Lucknow to present a 125-kg soap to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath because the Kushinagar district administration had purportedly distributed soaps and shampoo in a Dalit locality ahead of the chief minister’s visit to the area in May.

The activists of Dr Ambedkar Vichar Samiti and Nav Srijan Samiti from Ahmedabad were taken into custody at Jhansi on Sunday night and sent back home, officials said.

They were stopped from proceeding towards the state capital in apprehension of a breach of peace at the railway station at Jhansi and were sent back to Ahmedabad by Sabarmati Express this morning, said City Magistrate C P Misra.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/yogi-adityanath-chief-minister-uttar-pradesh-authorities-foil-protest-plan-of-dalit-group-from-gujarat-4733881/

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Indian women wear cow masks to ask: are sacred cattle safer than us? (Jul 4, 2017, The Guardian)

Indian women are posing in cow masks as part of a provocative photographic series that asks: is it safer to be a sacred animal in India than a woman?

The gang-rape and murder of a Delhi student in 2012 sparked a national conversation about violence against women but, more than four years later, police statistics show reported rapes and molestations have not significantly fallen in the capital. At least six rapes and 12 molestations were reported daily in 2016.

The conviction rate for sexual offences has declined, from about 50% in the year of the infamous Delhi attack, to less than one-third last year.…

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/04/women-india-cow-masks-sexual-violence-sacred-cattle

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Textbook sparks row over mosque depicted as noise pollutant (Jul 2, 2017, Indian Express)

An image in a class VI textbook taught in ICSE schools showing a “mosque” as a source of noise pollution has sparked outrage on social media, prompting an apology from the publisher and the promise that the picture would be removed in subsequent editions.

The science textbook, published by Selina Publishers, has a chapter on the causes of noise pollution. The picture, shared widely on social media, shows a train, car, plane and a mosque, all with symbols depicting loud sound, next to a man grimacing and shutting his ears.

Netizens have now launched an online petition demanding the book be withdrawn.… Excerpts from a class XII Physical Education textbook taught in some CBSE schools had kicked up a furore for defining a figure measurement of 36-24-36 as the “best body shape for females”. A class IV environmental science textbook that suggested killing a kitten as part of an experiment went viral on social media, forcing the publisher to withdraw it from the market earlier this year.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/textbook-sparks-row-over-mosque-depicted-as-noise-pollutant-4731666/

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Traders complain about GSTN registration hassles (Jun 29, 2017, Hindustan Times)

…Under GST, commercial tax payers are required to shift their sales and service tax registrations to GST Network (GSTN), a web-based system for payment, information and documentation.

Jharkhand commercial tax department officials said out of 90,000 registered traders, 66,000 have migrated to GST so far. But hundreds of those who tried to migrate to GSTN, when registration was reopened on June 25, faced a host of issues.

“The server is not accepting earlier emails and passwords,” said Ranji Garodia, general secretary of federation of Jharkhand chamber of commerce and industries (FJCCI).…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/traders-complain-about-gstn-registration-hassles/story-rbRfRv4wUISkRp5CwqYxpI.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Romeos to rakshaks: How violence became normal – By Butalia (Jul 2, 2017, Times of India)

…This kind of casual dismissal of targeted brutality over the past three years flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s claim to have finally taken a stand against such crimes. Now what neither the Prime Minister nor Mehrishi will acknowledge is that hatred in human beings needs only a small trigger to turn violent – and the most effective violence is often self-righteous. So all the provocateur needs to do is provide a platform – it could be the train in 2002 or the cow in 2014. Once set in motion the instigator can easily disown his role in the affair.

A casual look at the emergence of new leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party over the past three decades reveals that violence has been the most effective stepping stone for many of them. There seems to be a pattern here whereby violence against disadvantaged groups, normally minorities, helps bring the individual to the notice of the party. Once the goal is achieved, overt violence is renounced by the individual and we start to see the individual as a ‘normal politician’. The violence doesn’t end, however. It just gets outsourced to those lower in the hierarchy.…

In 2002 this mantle of leadership through violence was taken up by the broad-shouldered Narendra Modi. By then he was a state chief minister and answerable to no one. He didn’t seem to have national ambitions and didn’t really care what the world thought of him as long as his core, aggressively Hindu-centric community didn’t desert him. This changed once large corporate houses decided to back him as a ‘development man’ in 2011-12. Today, Modi is a statesman, above violence, and a man with a vision for the country. His image has a makeover. All violence is normalised. However, those who stood by him this entire period are still around and violence initiated for electoral purposes still pays dividends. This makes Modi a willing prisoner of his past, in which he cannot even bring himself to say that the rapes and killings that took place in Gujarat 2002 were criminal acts and all those involved in such crimes should get the harshest punishment.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/59403268.cms

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Junaid, my son – By Harsh Mander (Jul 1, 2017, Indian Express)

Junaid Khan was my son. I did not know him when he lived. But in his death, in the way he died, I mourn him like a son.… I travelled with a band of my friends to his village, Khandawali, in Faridabad district of Haryana. We felt compelled to say to his bereaved family that we grieved with them after Junaid’s brutal lynching. We knew that these words may mean little to a family that has been so brutally dispossessed, but for whatever they may be worth, we felt that these words still must be spoken.

Just two months earlier, we had made a similar journey to share in the same way in the pain of Pehlu Khan’s family in Nuh. I wondered how many such journeys – of solidarity, of atonement – will we have to make before we resolve to say as a country, no more. Until then, we need at least to say to those devastated by hate violence: We share your anger. We share your sorrow. It does not make your pain less. But know at least that you are not alone.

Junaid’s father, Jalaluddin, less than 50 years old, looked both numb and stunned, as though he still could not comprehend or accept what had happened. He was unused to the large crowds that had gathered outside his small home. In one corner, a plainclothes local police inspector was grilling his sons about the details of the incident, but curiously writing nothing in his notebook.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/junaid-my-son-4729828/

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Towards unfreedom – By Amartya Sen (Jul 4, 2017, Indian Express)

…Does India’s tolerance of heterodoxy still hold? As we look around today’s India, the signs of tolerance seem to have faded fast. The country that welcomed people fleeing persecution abroad, and allowed the immigrating minorities to have their own beliefs and practices (and food habits), now harbours gangs of wild men hunting down beef-eaters, and killing people – very poor people – whose employment in the leather industry arouses the suspicion of faithful believers in the holiness of the cow.

A leading news agency that dares to include news that the ruling government does not like can have its founders raided on extraordinarily flimsy charges (NDTV can tell you about this, if you have not kept up with news about news). Which side you back in a cricket test match could possibly place you in custodial arrest on the unbelievable ground of “sedition” as determined by the local bosses of the ruling party in control of the police force…

In the suppression of India’s tolerant tradition, the ruling party, the BJP, has clearly played a gigantic role. What is astonishing is how much tolerance of intolerance the political climate in India has been made to bear. It is as if stunned people are waiting in a daze for something to happen. Further, many people with evidently liberal instincts have been able to continue supporting the government for one reason or another, such as expected benefits from Narendra Modi’s economic reforms (what The Economist, the global magazine, calls “the illusion of reform”), while the country is made to descend down the ladder of intolerance and unfreedom.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/intolerance-in-india-mob-violence- towards-unfreedom-4733908/

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Cow-related violence: ‘Not In My Name’ protests need to go beyond caste, religion to be effective – By TS Sudhir (Jul 1, 2017, First Post)

Just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked cow vigilantes not to kill people, 1,600 kilometres away, Asgar Ali was lynched in Ramgarh, 60 kilometres from Ranchi in Jharkhand, by a mob of 30 men. His Maruti van, carrying raw meat which was suspected to be beef, was waylaid at a crowded marketplace.

The Telegraph reports that the police had reason to believe they had prior information and that the murder has the hallmarks of premeditation. HMV television channels celebrated Modi’s warning as an indication that the whip had been cracked. They forgot Modi had said the same and in fact, in a more strong language in Delhi and Hyderabad in August 2016, after the flogging of Dalits for skinning dead cattle in Una, Gujarat. Nothing has changed. No state government has prepared a dossier on the cow vigilante groups, hardly any police force cracked the whip which is why in broad daylight, a group could dare to kill Ali and burnt his van.

If anyone is a holy cow in India today, it is the gau rakshak. The law indeed bans cow slaughter in most states in India but the militant version of the cattle class has taken it upon itself to dispense instant justice in its kangaroo courts. With branches of support available in good measure online, Indians have begun to wear their ‘Hinduism’ on their sleeve resorting to “whataboutery” to defend the bloody acts. It is as if India at 70 has opted to run with the cows and hunt with the gau rakshaks.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/narendra-modi-warns-gau-rakshaks-protests-can-be- effective-only-when-not-confined-to-caste-religion-3762521.html

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Decoding new India – Narendra Modi is giving shape to M.S. Golwalkar’s dream – By Manini Chatterjee (Jul 3, 2017, The Telegraph)

…The speech at Sabarmati on June 29 was not the first time that Modi spoke out against the lynch mobs. He had expressed similar sentiments after the lynching of Dalits in Una last year. That had had little effect on the ground.…

The “enough is enough” sentiment that animated the protests may have touched Narendra Modi too and impelled him to speak, some believe. …This hope, sadly, is likely to be belied because it rests on a fundamental misunderstanding. Narendra Modi may be a consummate politician with an enviable ability to mould his words and persona to suit the audience and the occasion. But he is also a deeply committed ideologue, more ideologically oriented than any Indian prime minister barring, possibly, Jawaharlal Nehru.…

Modi may have focused on ” vikas” and “parivartan” all through his election campaign but after assuming power he has given glimpses of his deep adherence to RSS ideology. And though he has seldom mentioned M.S. Golwalkar by name, it is Golwalkar’s thoughts and writings that seem to have most influenced him. Since Golwalkar took over the reins of the RSS in 1940 and remained at the helm till 1973, he exercised an enormous influence over generations of young men who joined the RSS in the post-Independence era, the most dedicated of whom became pracharaks (full timers) – Modi a star among them.…

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170703/jsp/opinion/story_159775.jsp

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On GST; Concerns Over India’s Federal Structure – By Yadul Krishna (Jul 1, 2017, Countercurrents)

India is all set to sail in its new taxation policy set out after three months of the new financial year. The move is definitely going to make a niche of its own down in history. But having said that, there are umpteen number of issues connected with its implementation in such a country as diverse as India. Still several questions remain unanswered as of yet about the consequences to be followed after its implementation. The confusions of the taxpayers on issues such as tax burden on essential goods, double taxation (cascading effect), bearing of the tax burden, etc. goes on and on. Moreover, are the implementation effects of the GST, in general, clarified enough? Won’t it lead to double taxation? Will it affect our federal system? Questions remains interminable!

The prime political confusion, as far as the left is concerned, is on the question of how our federal system is going to get affected. The main subject of disputation is over the States’ right to collect tax revenues from firms that have a turnover of up to 1.5 crores or less. The Centre urges to take over this also. GST, thus, will be a move to take away the rights of States to decide taxes according to their socio-economic situations. Whatever little vestigial powers are left for the State governments to acquire funds, as a result, all will be lost. In situations when national disasters occur or to fund welfare schemes to improve people’s livelihood, State governments will now have to remain at the foot of the Central government to avail funds.

In effect of the new reform, the States will have no rights or powers in deciding their tax structure on what rates to impose on what all commodities including on luxury goods and necessity goods. The GST, thus, will lead the State governments no way out in forming any other backup ways to collect funds to make up with accordingly to their deficits and overdrafts, something that the States have been till now relying upon hugely to cope up in accordance to their fiscal policies. With such stupendous amount of power given to the Centre to collect funds, the State governments, which is ruled by different political ideologies across, will now have to be deliberately liable to obey the interests of the Centre, which basically will be the biggest wound that could ever happen to our democratic and federal set-up.…

https://www.countercurrents.org/2017/07/01/on-gst-concerns-over-indias-federal-structure/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 5th, 2017

by newsdigest on June 18, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Uttar Pradesh: 270 people booked for violence in Muzaffarnagar (Jun 4, 2017, Hindustan Times)

As many as 270 people have been booked here in connection with the violence at Sherpur village on Friday in which eight people, including five policemen, were injured, police said on Sunday.

The violent episode unfolded after a group of people resorted to stone-pelting when a police team raided some houses in Sherpur on information of “cow slaughter”.…

When the police did not find any suspicious item during the search, they started searching nearby houses which angered the people, who opposed the police action and started pelting them with stones.… Meanwhile, the sub-inspector of the police outpost concerned has been transfered while other personnel have also been moved out, the SP said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/uttar-pradesh-270-people-booked-for-violence-in-muzaffarnagar/story-lRx6Plm6g3mClta0j4gV7N.html

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Journalists Detained in Rajasthan While Reporting on Bajrang Dal’s Weapons Training Camps (Jun 7, 2017, The Wire)

Asad Ashraf, a Delhi-based reporter at The Statesman, and two other journalists, Anupam Pandey and Vijay Pandey, were detained in Rajasthan on Saturday where they had gone to report on arms training camps that were being conducted by the Bajrang Dal in Hanumangarh. The youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been conducting camps in many parts of the country in which young children are trained to use arms and ammunition.… Ashraf said that the camps in Hanumangarh, like most others, did not see the police intervening.…

These training camps are usually conducted in RSS-affiliated schools. A public appeal is made and sent to these schools, after which they start recruiting.… Ashraf could sense something was wrong. He tried to leave and went to sit in his car, but the party members made the other two journalists stay back and demanded to see their IDs. Within minutes, the police arrived and took the journalists to the police station. The police told Ashraf that one of the party members had made a complaint against him. They made sure that the three journalists sat in different cars on the way to the station. Ashraf immediately revealed his identity to the police.

He was then threatened, he told The Wire: “Main batata hun tujhe patrakar kya hota hai (I will show you who a journalist is),” the police allegedly said to him. “The police was more aggressive towards us than the Bajrang Dal members,” according to Ashraf, adding that they denied him access to his phone and interrogated him at length. One of the police officers apparently told Ashraf, “Aaj main suspend ho jaoonga, par tujhe joota zarur marunga (Even if I get suspended today, I’ll make sure I beat you up).” “The Bajrang Dal members and the police were clearly very friendly with each other,” Ashraf said.… Even after Ashraf revealed his true identity, the police tried to instigate the Bajrang Dal members to file an FIR against him. “Tum nahin karoge to main karunga (If you don’t do it, I will),” one of the officers allegedly said.…

https://thewire.in/144545/journalists-detained-in-rajasthan-when-doing-a-story-on-bajrang-dal/

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Activists demand law to stop lynching by mobs (Jun 6, 2017, Times of India)

Social activists and student leaders on Monday launched a national campaign against mob lynching, aimed at demanding a stringent law to prevent such incidents. If the government does not enact a law within a month, they said they would start a countrywide mass campaign from July 11which marks the anniversary of the Una Dalit movement.

Student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid, social activist and lawyer Jignesh Mevani and entrepreneur Tehseen Poonawala, besides others, have formed a committee which will work on a draft legislation which they intend to convince the government for introducing in Parliament.

“People are being killed in the name of gau mata. The mob always has a face -we need to identify the face of the mob. The practice of mob lynching is growing and we too will be attacked if we do not take action now. We need to unite the voices rising against mob lynching,” said Kanhaiya.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/59010441.cms

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Kerala BJP Leader Uses Old Pic of Cow Slaughter to Decry Beef Fest (May 31, 2017, The Quint)

Senior BJP leader from Kerala, K Surendran, has come under fire for using a dated photo for a Facebook postslamming the beef festival in the state. The BJP leader posted a photo of slaughtered cows lying on a pavement along with his appeal to the state government to take strict action against the beef festival, organised in protest of the new cattle slaughter rules.

However, the photo in the post is not from the beef fest, but from 2009, Alt News found. The photo is suspected to be from Bangladesh, as the signboards in the background bear Bangla text. Facebook has hidden Surendran’s post, under the “mature content, such as graphic violence” tag.…

Surendran’s post came under fire from a number of parties, including the CPI(M). However, the BJP leader responded with another Facebook tweet, this time aimed at CPI(M) leader Devasom Minister Kadakampally Surendran.…

https://www.thequint.com/india/2017/05/30/kerala-bjp-leader-uses-old-pic-of-cow-slaughter-to-decry-beef-fest

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NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan throws BJP’s Sambit Patra out of show (Jun 2, 2017, Business Standard)

Nidhi Razdan, executive editor, and primary anchor of news channel NDTV on Thursday threw BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra out of her debate show ‘Left Right and Centre’ after Patra made a derogatory statement about her channel. Razdan was hosting a debate on the politics of cattle ban and its consequences that saw a prominent BJP leader in Meghalaya, Bernard Marak, quitting the party in protest.…

Making his point, Patra said that NDTV had some ‘agenda’, perhaps trying to indicate that the channel had some inclination towards Congress. This was something Razdan couldn’t endure. Agitated by the choice of his words, Razdan asked Patra to either apologise or leave the debate. However, Patra refused to do so and the anchor gently asked Patra to quit the show.…

Razdan stated that just because Patra was being questioned he had no right to accuse NDTV of having an agenda. She further told him that he was more than welcome to go to the channels which were ‘glorified versions of Doordarshan’.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/ndtv-s-nidhi-razdan-throws-bjp-sambit-patra-out-of-show-hailed-on-twitter-117060200446_1.html

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Babri case: LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati charged for doing criminal conspiracy (May 31, 2017, Economic Times)

In a blow to senior BJP leaders, special CBI Court in Lucknow today framed criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharati for their alleged role in the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.

The court also framed charges against other accused in the case – Sadhwi Ritambhara, BJP MP Vinay Katiyar and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Vishnu Hari Dalmia. Court said there are enough evidence on record against LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati and others for framing of criminal conspiracy charges.

According to news reports, the accused have been charged under Section 120(B) of IPC, under which if convicted Advani and other may face minimum jail term of two years. In its last-attempt effort, Advani and other leaders had moved discharge application in the court for dropping of criminal conspiracy charges against them. But the court rejected their discharge application.…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58909347.cms

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Five killed in firing during farmers’ protest in MP’s Mandsaur, CM Chouhan blames Congress (Jun 6, 2017, Hindustan Times)

At least five farmers were killed and several injured in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district on Tuesday when police fired on protesters demanding better prices in the drought-ravaged region that recorded a farm suicide every five hours in 2016-17.

Angry farmers ransacked and set ablaze a police outpost after the firing as the administration clamped curfew on Pipalia town, the epicentre of violence, rushed extra forces and withdrew internet services to tamp down on social media rumours fanning violence.

Throughout the day, the BJP government denied any police firing and confirmed the five deaths only in the evening.… The discontent in the foodbowl states of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring Maharashtra, where too farmers have launched an agitation over similar demands, has come as a fresh challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/1-dead-2-injured-as-farmers-agitations-turns-violent-in-mp-s-mandsaur/story-SfoJMNG4R1o25O0ftd1qMI.html

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Convert’s marriage: Minority outfits protest Kerala HC verdict (May 30, 2017, Indian Express)

Hundreds of Muslim people, under the banner of a coordination committee of various community organisations, on Monday marched to the high court protesting against its verdict that nullified the marriage of a Muslim woman convert.

As police lathicharged to disperse the crowd, a few protesters were injured. Subsequently, few Muslim groups called for a hartal in Ernakulam on Tuesday.

At the crux of the protest is last week’s HC order that nullified the marriage of the convert, Akhila alias Hadiya, and Shefin Jahan on the reason that the marriage would not stand legal scrutiny as it was held when a habeas corpus petition filed by the woman’s father was pending in the court. It had observed the marriage could have been considered only with parents’ involvement.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/converts-marriage-minority-outfits-protest-kerala-hc-verdict-4680223/

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Zanzarka rally: Gujarat BJP MP “admits” he is under tremendous pressure not to speak out against atrocities on Dalits (Jun 3, 2017, Counterview)

A Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament (MP) from Rajya Sabha is learnt to have admitted that he has been under “tremendous pressure” from his political bosses in Delhi not to speak out the way he did against the gruesome Una incident, in which four Dalit youths were tied with a chain attached to an SUV, and thrashed by cow vigilantes in a procession in the town.

Shambhunath Tundiya, a Dalit MP, considered dharmaguru in the community, had told a local TV channel that the BJP had failed to act against atrocities against Dalits in Gujarat, and the Una incident was the “last straw.” In a video which went viral, he said, Dalits would not tolerate “oppression any more”, and that the authorities should realize, the Dalits have been “forced to eat dead cow’s beef for centuries because they were forced by circumstances…”

“I was made to retract. You don’t know the type of problems I faced in the party after I made that statement. I will not speak out any more”, Tundiya is learnt to have told a Dalit delegation which went to meet him to persuade him to speak out against “attacks” on Dalits across India in the recent past, especially in Saharanpur, where 56 Dalit houses were blazed by an upper caste crowd.…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/06/zanzarka-rally-gujarat-bjp-mp-admits-he.html

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Jewar robbery, ‘rape’: Family members hold protest, demand arrest of accused (May 29, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The family members and relatives of the four women, who were allegedly robbed and gang-raped off Yamuna Expressway while on their way to Bulandshahr last Thursday, protested against the delay in arresting the accused men.

A group of around 100 people took out a silent march through the internal roads of Jewar town on Monday and staged a protest at the office of the subdivisional magistrate. Protesters said four days have passed since the incident and the police are yet to make headway in the case and nab the culprits.

“A bread earner of a family was shot dead, the women were raped and men were robbed of money. This was a brutal incident and the police have not taken it seriously. We have been given assurances, but nothing has happened,” a relative said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/noida/jewar-robbery-rape-family-members-hold-protest-demand-arrest-of-accused/story-LkHZjUVokFEwPvlkbf059N.html

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Opinions and Editorials

The Modi govt’s new cattle trade ban may not pass legal test – By Faizan Mustafa (May 31, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The recent ban on the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter through animal markets has strangely been notified by the Union ministry of environment and forests though the subject of animal husbandry is under the ministry of agriculture. It is also wrong to say that these rules were framed on the directions of the Supreme Court (SC). In 2014, the SC had only directed that a panel be set up to frame rules to stop smuggling of cattle on the Indo-Nepal border. It is not surprising then that the Madras High Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the new rules on the ground that “several communities such as Sikhs, Muslims, backward classes and Dalits, who as a matter of worship and offering, sacrifice animals, which are covered within the expansive definition of cattle under the rules”.

India has included prohibition of cow slaughter in the directive principles of the Constitution because one community treats it sacred. But is cow reverence an ‘essential practice’ of Hinduism? If cow reverence is not an essential Hindu practice — i.e. it was not there in original Hinduism or one can be a Hindu even without revering the cow — then constitutional protection for the animal and the ban that more than 22 states have imposed on cow slaughter will not be justified. Even the Supreme Court’s 2006 upholding of total ban on slaughter of cow or cow progeny will become questionable. In fact, there is evidence that beef eating was common in the Vedic and subsequent times even among Brahmins.…

The new rules are a blot to the promise of cooperative federalism. Moreover the rules will have an effect on the freedom of trade and occupation as restrictions imposed by them will fail the test of ‘reasonableness.’ The new rules also attempt to rewrite the ownership law as it prohibits a buyer from selling the animal for slaughter within six months of its purchase. Ownership is a bundle of rights, which includes the right to alienation and even right to destruction. These arbitrary rules, which are not based on any intelligible differentia and have no rational objective to achieve, are likely to be struck down as unconstitutional.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/the-modi-govt-s-new-cattle-trade-ban-may-not-pass-legal-test/story-W2TWCVUuFCGFihHZDhcb8L.html

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Where humans are butchered and cows worshipped – By Yashica Jalhotra (Jun 2, 2017, Tehelka)

…While there is an official list of animals that cannot be bought or sold for slaughter through cattle markets, do we also need to have an official order that guarantees human beings won’t be beaten to death?

In the last few weeks, we have seen a lot more hue and cry over cow slaughtering than human lynching. Do we need more protection to animals than humans?…

Do we need an official listing for animals which are not allowed to be slaughtered or do we need a listing of severe punishments for those who take the law into their hands and dare to kill fellow humans?…

http://www.tehelka.com/2017/06/where-humans-are-butchered-and-cows-worshipped/

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Politics and propriety: on Uma Bharti’s continuance as Minister – Editorial (Jun 1, 2017, The Hindu)

With the Supreme Court invoking its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution – to pass decrees and orders to ensure complete justice – in the case relating to the demolition of the Babri Masjid, and reviving the criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar, the CBI Special Court in Lucknow could not but have framed charges against them.… With the Supreme Court ordering this case to be clubbed with the one involving the actual demolition by unnamed kar sevaks, and directing day-to-day trials, there is hope that the years of delay are over.…

Ms. Bharti is, however, a Union Minister, and the Narendra Modi government cannot pretend that the development has no bearing on her continuance in the Council of Ministers. The BJP has tended to underplay the significance of the case on the ground that it is ‘political’ in nature. But this simply does not wash as the revival of criminal conspiracy charges against them was done at the instance of the Supreme Court.… Rather than defend Ms. Uma Bharti, the Modi government would do well to consider the example set by none other than Mr. Advani himself, who resigned as a Member of Parliament in 1996 after he was implicated in the Jain hawala case, in which the court later held that there was no material to frame charges against him.

For a government that makes much of standing for probity in public life, the application of different standards to one of its own is bound to damage its image. Ms. Bharti’s guilt or innocence is for the courts to establish. Political propriety demands that she be shown the door.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/politics-and-propriety-on-uma-bhartis-continuance-as-minister/article18683935.ece

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Three years down the lane, has the Modi Government taken the citizens for a ride? – By Ram Puniyani (Jun 5, 2017, Indian Economist)

On May 26, 2017, the Modi Government completed three years in office. Various programmes such as the Modi fest were organised at various places and there are plans to celebrate them in different cities across the country. The underlying message of these programmes is that Modi government has done remarkable work and the country is moving towards prosperity for all. Modi has been labelled as ‘Garibon ka Masiha’ (Prophet for poor) by his acolytes. Many channels and commentators gave him excellent grade citing various achievements.

As such, what has happened during last three years? Precisely, there has been centralisation of power in the hands of the Prime Minister. It seems the cabinet system has been given a go by. To begin with, one does concede that this regime scores extremely high in image creation. It has been able to sell damaging moves like demonetisation as something good for the country. While a majority of the people are living under the illusion propagated by the government and its promotion by the subservient media, the situation on ground is degrading in the cases of production, prices of daily commodities, number of jobs created and the average standard of living.

The healthcare system has taken a further beating. Farmer suicides have gone up. Protest against anti-farmer policies by peasants from Tamil Nadu has been underplayed like most of the protests in the country. The fate of electoral promises is well reflected in non-fulfillment of the promise of deposition of 15 lakh INR in accounts of all and in absolute failure of job creation. After using Ram Temple issue for polarisation, now the Holy Cow has been brought into the arena of politics. This cow worship has led to the violent lynching of Muslims and Dalits. The cow-protection policies of the government have emboldened vigilantism and killings in the name of ‘gauraksha’. While those guilty of crime are let off, the victims have been penalised on several grounds.…

https://theindianeconomist.com/three-years-down-the-lane-has-the-modi-government-taken-the-citizens-for-a-ride/

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Assam’s two-child policy is BJP targeting Muslims again in the state – By Jagriti Gangopadhyay (May 29, 2017, Dailyo.in)

Assam has drafted a policy according to which individuals with more than two children cannot have a job with the Assam government. State minister of education, health and finance Himanta Biswa Sarma of the BJP-led government specifically mentioned that “when the policy comes into effect, those who are in government jobs and already have two children should not go for a third child. If an employee will have more than two children while on job, that particular employee will lose his or her job”.

Due to the recent rise in Muslim population in nine districts of Assam, the two-child policy will be implemented to prevent people from the community from accessing government jobs. While the Government of India is yet to launch a national policy for population control, some states have implemented restrictive measures to curb population growth.

States such as Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat, and Uttarakhand have introduced a norm which restricts individuals with more than three children from contesting the local elections. Drawing from the examples of the above mentioned states, Sarma further mentioned that in special cases, government employees with more than two children will have to take special permission from the government. Apart from restricting government jobs, the policy will also prevent individuals with more than two children from contesting the Panchayat elections.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/assam-two-child-policy-bjp-polarising-hindus-muslims/story/1/17485.html

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Shame in Saharanpur – By Mukesh Ranjan (Jun 4, 2017, The Tribune))

Rina Bhaskar is a pregnant Dalit woman, sitting outside her torched house in Shabbirpur village of the district. If you have the courage, listen to her. “On May 5 rioters snatched my two-year-old son from my lap and tossed him into the flames of my burning house. Luckily, the small child fell on the safer side. I jumped into the flames, picked him and ran away.”

Rina’s husband, Agni Bhaskar, is in the district hospital with multiple injuries. “I am here with my son, struggling for food. I have no work, and no place to live,” she says. She shows her palm, hands, legs and neck. It appears she not only suffered burns, but also wounds inflicted by a sharp weapon, maybe a sword. Other Dalit households, too, had similar stories: the males are either in hospital or have left the village for fear of being attacked again.…

Many say the fresh violence against Dalits is a tactical move by the ruling BJP ahead of the civic polls due in next couple months. Despite a massive mandate in the assembly polls, the BJP had lost both Saharanpur and Saharanpur Nagar to the SP-Congress alliance.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sunday-special/people/shame-in-saharanpur/417179.html

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Book Review

In Rupture, Loss and Living: Minority Women Speak about Post-Conflict Life

Author: K. Lalitha and Deepa Dhanraj
Reviewed by: Sabah Hamid
Available at: Orient Blackswan Private Limited, 3-6-752 Himayatnagar, Hyderabad, Telangana, India; info@orientblackswan.com . www.amazon.in/
Review:
Women’s Narratives of Communal Conflict (May 31, 2017, The Wire)

On May 4, 2017, the Bilkis Bano gangrape case was in the news again, when the Bombay high court upheld the lower court’s order of life imprisonment for the 11 convicted persons in the gangrape. It also rejected the acquittals of five policemen and two government doctors accused of covering up evidence and testimonies. The order has been hailed as ‘historic’, the first time that state complicity, that of the police and the doctors, has been clearly acknowledged by the judiciary, even if the sentence is a mere three years. And to get this delayed justice, it took 15 years.

Justice continues to be both delayed and denied for scores of other women subjected to communal violence of one kind or another in India. Rupture, Loss and Living: Minority Women Speak about Post-Conflict Life is a collection of narratives about such women. The book is a collection of essays, transcribed from three decades of interviews with women in Mumbai, Hyderabad and various places in the state of Gujarat. In 1992-93 in Mumbai; during 1983, several times over the 1990s and in 2003 in Hyderabad; and in 2002 across Gujarat, Muslims were the target of Hindutva violence in which thousands died; many more were rendered homeless and most, in addition, lost their livelihoods overnight.

Since communalism and sexual violence go together, scores of women became targets of vicious attacks. The number is uncertain because of unreported or unregistered cases, but in Gujarat alone it is estimated that at least 250 women were gangraped during the 2002 violence. In Rupture, Loss and Living the women speak of loss of all kinds. The book is divided into four sections – ‘I Began to See the World for What it is’, ‘Loss and Trauma’, ‘Negotiating Survival and Livelihood’ and ‘Claiming Accountability, Seeking Justice’ – exploring overlapping themes and the complex nature of negotiating both the immediate distress and the long-term damage of violence. The voices featured in the work, across 19 narratives, come from different classes of women and both rural and urban locations.…

https://thewire.in/141691/review-women-communal-conflict/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 1st, 2017

May 12, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony When Muslims helped with the funeral ceremony of a Hindu man News Headlines BJP MP asked Police to ‘Fire on these Pigs’ referrring to Muslims: Samajwadi Party report on Saharanpur violence In Adityanath’s Raj, Police Officers Pay the Price for Enforcing the Law on Hindutva Mobs Kerala […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 24th, 2017

May 4, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Saharanpur violence over Ambedkar rally: 2 FIRs lodged against BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal Kerala: 14 BJP-RSS men booked for attack over cow slaughter Alwar lynching: call for united fight against fascism Bajrang Dal men attack Agra police station to rescue 5, S-I injured Cop In Madhya Pradesh […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 19th, 2016

September 28, 2016

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 29th, 2016

September 8, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Minority outfit’s call for communal harmony Kandhamal Day Observed For Peace, Justice And Communal Harmony News Headlines Hardik accuses Modi of using Patidars for ‘orchestrating’ 2002 riots Amnesty International row: Govt ‘paranoid’ for pressing sedition charge, says Karnataka HC HC directs Maharashta to trace 1996 custodial death […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 18th, 2016

July 27, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Kashmiris rush to help injured Amarnath pilgrims in bus accident News Headlines Cops “tipped” Gujarat’s cow protecting Shiv Sainiks, who tied Una Dalits to SUV, assaulted them with iron rods Family of Slain Man in India May Be Charged With Cow Slaughter Rana Ayub fears for […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 25th, 2016

May 11, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans express shock, disgust over horrific church attack in Chhattisgarh; demand justice for victims News Headlines Hostile witnesses derailing trials in ‘saffron terror’ cases Modi, Shah ordered staged shootout in Ishrat Jahan case: Congress Curfew imposed in Jamod, Maharashtra due to communal tension Armed men attack Chhattisgarh […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 16th, 2015

November 18, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Activists march for communal harmony News Headlines PM Modi should come clean on his record about 2002 riots as Gujarat CM, says Azam Khan Bihar results show majority of Hindus still believe in peace and amity: Dalai Lama Tipu row: VHP protest fails to gather support in […]

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