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Gujarat model

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 23rd, 2017

by newsdigest on November 28, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Alwar police take away Muslim dairy farmer’s 51 cows (Oct 15, 2017, Hindustan Times)

For the last 10 days, Rajasthan dairy farmer Subba Khan has been running from pillar to post to get back 51 of his cows allegedly “snatched away” from his family and sent to a gaushala (cow shelter) in Alwar district. Police took away the cows, apparently to prevent a “law and order” problem, but the family is blaming it on cow vigilantes.

Khan’s wife Baseri said she had taken the cattle out for grazing on October 3 near their village, Sahubas, when some youngsters from adjoining Kankra village tried to take away the cows. “They said we were cow smugglers. When I tried to intervene, they pushed me. The police were present, but they were mere spectators. Later, with the help of the police, the cows were taken to Shri Krishna Gaushala in Bambora Ghati by the cow vigilantes,” Baseri said on Sunday.

Khan’s family belongs to the Meo community and their village is in Kishangarh Bas, 51 km from Alwar. Around six months ago, dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, who too belonged to the Meo community, was beaten up in Alwar by cow vigilantes over suspicion of smuggling cows. He later died in hospital. “Our family rears cattle. We have been selling cow and goat milk for years. We earn between ₹2,000 and ₹3,000 every day. Now, it has stopped and we are suddenly left with no means to support our lives. My husband is knocking on every door possible, but it seems that nobody is ready to listen to us,” she added.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/jaipur/alwar-police-take-away-muslim-dairy-farmer-s-51-cows/story-S9lFyetM7v1b1yWMKAIrTN.html

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Delhi Police called Maulana Anzar Qasmi an Al-Qaeda operative; Patiala House Court dismisses case even before trial (Oct 17, 2017, Twocircles.net)

Bengaluru-based Islamic preacher, Maulana Anzar Shah Qasmi, arrested in January 2016 over alleged links to Al Qaeda, saw all cases against him discharged by the Patiala House Court in Delhi. Discharged means that the court, based on the evidence presented by the Special Cell of Delhi Police, saw it unfit to even take the case to trial.

Qasmi’s arrests had made national headlines, with a number of mainstream media quoting police sources to point out that he was working with the Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and had helped the terrorist organisation in recruiting members along with helping top leaders of AQIS meet in Bengaluru. His arrests resulted in massive protests across Bengaluru and Karnataka, with representatives from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Tableeghi Jamaat, Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind, Sunni Jamaat, Huda Muslim, Ahle Hadees and Shia Jamaat rejecting the allegations of police regarding the involvement of Qasmi in any terror activity.

MS Khan, the advocate of Qasmi, spoke to TwoCircles.net and said that the fact that the case was discharged showed how fabricated the charges were. “The Police’s case was built on two major points: one, that Qasmi helped a member of AQIS meet another operative in Bangalore. One of these operatives was arrested from Sambhal in December 2015 and is still in jail. The police said they exchanged letters but was unable to produce them. Secondly, the Police said Qasmi had been giving a number of violent sermons that egged people to join the AQIS. Again, they could not produce a single evidence to substantiate his claim,” Khan said. He added that Qasmi would be released at the earliest.…

http://twocircles.net/2017oct17/417705.html

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GST on handmade goods shows India’s history of bias against artisans (Oct 21, 2017, Business Standard)

The Modi government’s radical economic policies of demonetisation and the goods and services tax (GST) have had a profound and debilitating impact on the agrarian fabric of the country. While the note ban has broken the back of the rural economy, the GST has exacerbated the predicament of the rural artisans. Though the implications of GST for traders in the urban economy are being discussed extensively, its impact on the weaker and marginalised sections of the rural economy has been largely ignored. For decades, millions of rural artisans have been making ends meet through their traditional skills with hardly any help from the government. With the imposition of GST, their livelihood and survival has come into question.

In order to highlight the inequity of this measure, the handloom activist and theatre director Prasanna had taken up a hunger strike in Bengaluru on October 14 to demand a comprehensive withdrawal of GST on handmade goods marketed by rural cooperatives. Even as Prasanna broke his fast on the evening of October 19 following an “assurance” from Karnataka chief minister that the state government would support the demand for no GST on handmade products, he made it clear that the campaign was by no means over.

Handmade products are now being taxed for the first time since independence, and the inputs cost more. As a result, handmade goods have become even more expensive and the struggling industries have been severely impacted. Although the government has exempted those manufacturing handmade products with a turnover of less than 2 million from GST, such a taxation system discriminates against rural cooperatives marketing these products and eventually burdens the artisan.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/gst-on-handmade-goods-shows-india-s-history-of-bias-against-artisans-117102100679_1.html

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Rajasthan government’s criminal law bid to bludgeon media, says editors guild (Oct 23, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The editors guild of India has dubbed the Rajasthan Government’s decision to make the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 into an Act as an attempt to “bludgeoning the messenger” and curbing press freedom.…

The ordinance bars courts from taking up private complaints against public servants, such as serving and former judges, lawmakers, ministers and officials, without the government’s sanction. It also bars the media from naming an accused until the government gives its nod for investigation.

Critical of the ordinance promulgated by the Vasundhara Raje government last month, the editors’ body said though it was ostensibly done to protect the judiciary and the bureaucracy against false FIRs, “in reality it is a pernicious instrument to harass the media, hide wrongful acts by government servants and drastically curb the freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution of India.”…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rajasthan-government-s-criminal-law-bid-to-bludgeon-media-says-editors-guild/story-BqZq8NrA1ZqogMs7jboKFI.html

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Gujarat Patidar leader Narendra Patel says BJP offered Rs 1 crore to switch party (Oct 23, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Patidar leader Narendra Patel’s accusation that the BJP paid him to join the saffron party turned into full-fledged political battle with the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanding a judicial probe.

Congress party spokesperson Manish Tewari demanded registration of a case and the probe to be monitored by a sitting judge of the Gujarat high court. “If this is not checked, the entire sanctity of the election process in Gujarat in times to come will be in question,” he said.

AAP spokesperson Ashutosh Gupta said the episode showed how desperate the BJP was to win in the state and demanded an independent judicial probe to investigate the allegations. Within hours of joining the BJP, Patel carried a wad of Rs 500 currency notes to a press conference and claimed that the ruling BJP offered him Rs 1 crore to join the party.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/gujarat-patidar-leader-narendra-patel-says-bjp-offered-rs-1-crore-to-switch-party/story-L0gbftK8s405ScwtaOZ1RO.html

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Denied food because she did not have Aadhaar-linked ration card, Jharkhand girl dies of starvation (Oct 16, 2017, Scroll.in)

An 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand’s Simdega district has died of starvation last fortnight, months after her family’s ration card was cancelled because it was not linked to their Aadhaar number, say Right to Food Campaign activists. With no school mid-day meals available during her Durga Puja holidays, Santoshi Kumari had gone with barely any food for nearly eight days before she died, they said.

Santoshi Kumari, who came from an impoverished family in Simdega’s Karimati village, died on September 28. With no land, jobs or steady income, the family is eligible for subsidised rations under the National Food Security Act. However, according to local news reports and an independent fact-finding report by members of the non-profit Right to Food Campaign and NREGA Watch, the local ration dealer had refused to give Santoshi’s family their rations for the past six months on the grounds that their ration card had not been linked – or “seeded”, as its known in official language – to their Aadhaar number.

His move followed a Central government order in February making Aadhaar compulsory for accessing subsidised food grain through the Public Distribution System. Even before that, as Scroll.in has extensively reported in its Identity Project series, several ration shops in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and other states have been denying rations to eligible citizens by insisting on biometric authentication linked to Aadhaar instead of accepting people’s ration cards.…

https://scroll.in/article/854225/denied-food-because-she-did-not-have-aadhaar-linked-ration-card-jharkhand-girl-dies-of-starvation

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All inter-religious marriages not love jihad or ghar wapsi, cautions Kerala HC (Oct 20, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The Kerala high court on Thursday held that all inter-religious weddings cannot be viewed as ‘love jihad’ as it upheld a marriage between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man.

A division bench comprising justices V Chitambaresh and Sathish Ninan made the observations in its judgement on a habeas corpus petition filed by the man. A habeas corpus plea is filed to ensure a person under arrest is brought before a court which will determine whether the detention is legal.

“We are appalled to notice the recent trend in this state to sensationalise every case of inter-religious marriage as either ‘love jihad’ or ‘ghar wapsi’ even if there was platonic love between the spouses before,” the court said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/all-inter-religious-marriages-not-love-jihad-or-ghar-wapsi-cautions-kerala-hc/story-XLY4S3OWWQjpRUEfKH2szM.html

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Silly politicians levelling false allegations against our ancestors: Shah Zafar’s descendant (Oct 22, 2017, New Indian Express)

In recent months, the Mughals have frequently been resurrected from their graves by right wing hotheads and denounced as “traitors,” “tyrants” and “bigots.” From Akbar to Bahadur Shah Zafar, their greatness has been questioned, their secularism doubted and their legacy denied.

The latest blow came when BJP legislator from Uttar Pradesh, Sangeet Som, called the Taj Mahal a “blot on Indian culture” and party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao described the Mughal rule as “exploitative, barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance.”

The hateful comments against the monument that has been the pride of India and is regarded as a symbol of love, has left all right-thinking Indians furious. But for one person, these attacks have touched a personal chord.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/oct/22/silly-politicians-levelling-false-allegations-against-our-ancestors-shah-zafars-descendant-1679645.html

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Those who tampered with evidence in Bilkis Bano case shouldn’t be in service: SC (Oct 23, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The Supreme Court on Monday said the policemen and doctors found guilty of tampering with evidence in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang rape should not be in service and gave the Gujarat government four weeks to clarify its stand.

The instructions were issued after Bano’s lawyer told the court that the policemen who botched up the probe were back on duty even as she asked for a higher compensation. The court asked the Gujarat government if a disciplinary inquiry had been initiated against the seven persons – five policemen and two doctors – found guilty of failing to performing their duty and tampering with evidence by the Bombay high court.

The government said the men had served their sentence but the court questioned its move to reinstate the police officers. The court also asked Bano to file a separate plea for higher compensation in a lower court.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bilkis-bano-gangrape-case-cops-and-doctors-guilty-of-evidence-tampering-should-not-be-in-service-says-sc/story-Ku0w53Kbf3L75aeZqx5p0O.html

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Mathura: Tantric sentenced to 22 years in jail for rape, unnatural sex (Oct 19, 2017, DNA India)

A fast-track court here today sent a tantric to jail for 22 years for cheating, raping and having unnatural sex with a 60-year-old woman by promising to ward off effects of evil forces on her family.

The convict has also been fined Rs 22,000, which if not paid would extend his term of imprisonment by 33 months, Additional District Government Counsel Praveen Kumar Singh said. Additional District Judge Vivekanand Saran Tripathi has sentenced tantric Mahesh Chandra to 15 years in jail for rape, six years for unnatural sex and one year for cheating. The sentences would run consecutively, Singh said.

On July 12 last year, the tantric had called the woman to his residence and raped and had unnatural sex with her saying that it was necessary for warding off effects of evil forces on her family, the government counsel said.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-mathuratantric-sentenced-to-22-years-in-jail-for-rape-unnatural-sex-2553856

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Opinions and Editorials

Where Are Moderate Hindus? – By Ashok Swain (Oct 21, 2017, Outlook)

In India, violence by Hindutva groups has become common over the accusations that the Muslim victims killed or smuggled cows or ate beef. Killing a cow in India has become extremely dangerous in the last forty months, while killing a Muslim is not such a big issue if it is in the name of protecting Hindu religion or culture.

Vigilante groups in the name of cow protection and to fight against inter-religious relationships have become hyperactive in small towns and villages across India. A world treasure like Taj Mahal has also become the target of Hindu fanatics for its Islamic roots. Murder of rationalists and critics of Hindutva brigade have almost become a regular feature.

While the focus of the world has been on the violence by Islamic extremist groups, the violence perpetrated by Hindu extremists in India have been generally overlooked as it has not yet posed threats outside the South Asian region. In this context, the question arises: Why don’t more moderate Hindus speak out against Hindu fundamentalists as terrible crimes are committed in the name of their religion?…

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/where-are-moderate-hindus/303264

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Why Isn’t Narendra Modi Talking About the ‘Gujarat Model’ Anymore? – By Swati Chaturvedi (Oct 23, 2017, The Wire)

Narendra Modi, as three-time Gujarat chief minister, won the Bharatiya Janata Party an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha on the basis of his “vikas” (development) track record and the mega publicised “Gujarat model”. Isn’t it perplexing, then, that Modi, who by no means can be described as modest, is not fighting the Gujarat elections on that same record?

The BJP has been in power in Gujarat for an unbroken 22 years and in the Centre for three and a half years. But for some reason, Modi, who now spends five days a week campaigning in Gujarat, is reduced to blaming the Congress party, who he says did not allow development. How exactly a party not in government stopped the Modi development juggernaut is a puzzle.…

The Gujarat election has become a true litmus test for Modi and Amit Shah’s political model. And Modi’s desperation to retain his fiefdom and home state is palpable.… Since the BJP has come to power, Shah has fought every election using Modi’s face. Modi is both the message and the only messenger. Even the Delhi municipal elections were fought on Modi’s name. But inexplicably in Gujarat, Shah has brought in Adityanath, Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani and Shivraj Singh Chauhan as star pracharaks and campaigners. This must be a rare event for Swaraj and Chauhan. But the bigger question is, why are they being pressed into service?…

https://thewire.in/189857/narendra-modi-gujarat-model-elections-bjp/

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Is The BJP’s Post-2014 Electoral Record Overrated? – By Manish Dubey (Oct 24, 2017, The Citizen)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders commonly cite their party’s recent electoral record as proof of popular endorsement of the Modi Sarkar’s performance. ‘If the electorate is as unhappy with the Modi Sarkar as its critics claim, how come it votes the BJP to power in election after election?’ they ask.

However, data from the 16 states where assembly elections have been held since the BJP’s parliamentary election win of May 2014 suggests that the party’s performance, though impressive, is not as overwhelming as it is made out to be. Which, in turn, places a question mark around claims of prime minister Modi and his government’s high approval ratings.…

Contrary to what media coverage and social media noise suggests, there are few incremental electoral gains in evidence post May 2014 for the BJP across 16 polls covering 60% of the country’s political theater. If anything, there have been slippages. Plus, with the BJP having received only one of every four votes cast, won only two out of every five seats it has contested and receiving a comfortable mandate only in select states, it may also be time to reflect on whether the Modi magic dazzles the electorate to the extent it is said to.

http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/2/12070/Is-The-BJPs-Post-2014-Electoral-Record-Overrated

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How does the BJP Control Educational Institutions in India? – By Achin Vanaik (Oct 24, 2017, Sabrang India)

…With regard to educational and cultural institutions of all kinds, the plan is simple: put Sangh loyalists into positions of control and authority in each and every case. If the BJP is in power, appointments favourable for the party are made by the central or state governments. If they are not in power in a state, this cannot be done directly. The BJP, then, uses governmental pressure to ensure this.

Coming under the scope of the Sangh, then, are heads and senior personnel of central and state universities and research institutions; bodies empowered to determine the content of textbooks for government schools at central and state levels; cultural academies of various kinds; archival centres; training institutes, from the select and prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), to those institutes producing film and television graduates; censorship boards; and so on.

Besides this, the Sangh has its own network of schools. It is the biggest such private network in the country. They can substantially determine the curriculum and have it approved by its own state governments. In July 2016, the central government announced that it would institute a cultural mapping of artistes of various kinds into three categories – ‘Outstanding’, ‘Promising’ and ‘Waiting’ – for the purposes of sanctioning official funds and trips abroad. This, of course, is a way to introduce its own system of patronage to gain loyal members within the cultural sector.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/how-does-bjp-control-educational-institutions-india

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Why Rajasthan ordinance disallowing questioning of state employees is shameful – By Karan Thapar (Oct 24, 2017, Hindustan Times)

…The Rajasthan ordinance – which the government hopes to convert into an act during the four-day legislature session which has just started – prohibits investigation without prior sanction against “a judge or a magistrate or a public servant” for any “act done by them while acting or purporting to act in discharge of their official duties”. That sanction can take anything up to six months. Secondly, till sanction is granted, the media cannot report accusations against such persons nor can activists take up the matter. If either do so, they could be jailed for two years.

First of all, this Ordinance ensures that judges, magistrates and public servants are treated differently to you and me if they are accused of corruption or any other criminal act. That is a clear violation of Article 14 of the constitution which declares everyone equal in front of the law.… Arguably worse is the treatment of the media. One of the unquestioned jobs of all journalists and whistle-blowers is to expose venality but now the need for proper prior sanction places iron-clad fetters on the fulfilment of this task.…

Frankly, what Ms. Scindia has done is shameful. She’s abridged the fundamental freedoms India boasts off. She’s also damaged her party’s claim to uphold and honour India’s vibrant democracy. And, finally, she’s lowered India’s standing in the free world.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/the-rajasthan-ordinance-disallowing-the-questioning-of-state-employees-is-shameful/story-ZNj8FRmX1fFF1Ak39KOlyO.html

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The Taj defies BJP myths – By S Nihal Singh (Oct 21, 2017, The Tribune)

The Modi government has promoted RSS ideologues to historical and research organisations in furiously rewriting history to obliterate some 800 years of Muslim rule. And some BJP governments in the states have already rewritten textbooks to denigrate, if not eliminate, Muslim rulers and glorify Hindu kings and fighters.

The essence of the problem is simple. In the tales the Sangh Parivar has spun of ancient India’s greatness for their followers – an era in which planes flew and head transplants were common – the 800 years of Muslim rule sticks in the throat. The Parivar does not have the same hostility to British rule. In fact, it played an ambiguous role in the Congress-led Independence movement and one of its former members murdered the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

The Sangh Parivar can rewrite history but it is helpless in the face of the marble memorial of a Mughal king to his wife. Mr Sangeet Som, a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh who has flirted with at least one other party before finding his home, in a public speech decried the monument as a “blot on Indian culture”, alerting at least one Muslim organisation to the danger of the Taj meeting the fate of the Babri Masjid. Imagine the worldwide outcry any harm to the Taj would cause. Yet Mr Som thought he was only amplifying the disdain of the state CM, Yogi Adityanath, who had suggested that the monument was not part of Indian culture.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/the-taj-defies-bjp-myths/484565.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 13th, 2017

by newsdigest on March 24, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Protest held in Ghaziabad against irregularities in electronic voting machines (Mar 14, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A group of protesters on Tuesday, at the district headquarters of Ghaziabad, demanded an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in votes registered through the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the recently concluded assembly elections. The protesters alleged that there were several irregularities in EVMs that led to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gaining the majority of seats in the UP assembly elections.…

“We just read the news and also received messages on social media that EVMs led to the victory of the BJP. Even Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati had raised the issue with the Election Commission,” Pranvir Singh, a protester, said. “We demand that an inquiry be initiated and the formation of the government be put on hold. Also, we want an assurance that only paper ballots will be used in future elections,” Ajay Kumar, another protester from Vijay Nagar, said.

Some of the protesters claimed that a majority of BSP votes in some polling booths went to BJP, while others claimed that votes in Muslim settlements had also gone to BJP.… Immediately after the results on Saturday, BSP chief Mayawati had alleged that the EVMs were “faulty” and that the EVMs did not register the votes cast for parties other than the BJP. Some of the leaders of political parties, who had lost, also supported her claims. A letter was also sent to the chief Election Commissioner.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/noida/protest-held-in-ghaziabad-against-irregularities-in-electronic-voting-machines/story-jqk2dwUunDFDgGeCKnSe6K.html

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Manohar Parrikar is #NotMyCM: Goans protest as BJP ministers take oath (Mar 14, 2017, Scroll.in)

The police tried their best to keep them out of sight, but the 100 or so protesters held their ground. As Manohar Parrikar of the Bharatiya Janata Party made his way to Goa’s Raj Bhavan to be sworn in as the state’s new chief minister on Tuesday evening, they waved placards saying “I want my vote back” and “No horse-trading” and broke into jeers. “Shame,” they yelled. “Chor, chor” (thief, thief). The small demonstration had been put together on social media by people using the hashtag #NotMyCM.

“I am a first-time voter,” said a young woman named Rhea Sequeira who was at the protest. “Whom I voted for is immaterial, but I feel like my vote has been usurped. This is unacceptable and I wanted to show my anger.”

The protest was the culmination of a wave of anger that had begun to build up in several pockets of the coastal state since Saturday, as the results of elections to its 40-member assembly became clear.… No party won a majority, but the Congress emerged as the single largest entity, with 17 seats. The other seats went to regional parties and independents. Many expected the Congress to form the government with the support of the Goa Forward Party, which had three seats, and some of the three independent candidates. But on Sunday, the BJP pulled off a surprise when it announced that Parrikar would return to the state to become chief…

https://scroll.in/article/831804/manohar-parrikar-is-notmycm-goa-protests-as-bjp-ministers-take-oath

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Muslim leader Aamir Madni questions Lucknow encounter (Mar 10, 2017, Times of India)

Rashtriya Ulama Council (RUC) president Aamir Rashadi Madni on Friday, while lashing out at the the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), the Government and media, alleged that the terror stand-off was fake and was performed to trigger communal polarisation amid UP polls, ANI reported.

“The way police has killed the suspect was wrong, this encounter was same as the Batla House fake encounter,” Madni said.…

He, after a brief interaction with Saifullah’s father Sartaj Mohammed, also questioned Uttar Pradesh’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary’s silence on the matter.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57579864.cms

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‘Had enough proof against Aseemanand’ (Mar 9, 2017, The Hindu)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was undecided on appealing against a trial court order, which acquitted self-proclaimed monk and former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist Swami Aseemanand and six others in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case on Wednesday. Three others were held guilty by the court.

Public Prosecutor Ashwini Kumar Sharma told The Hindu that there was enough evidence against Aseemanand, including his confessional statement to a Delhi court.…

In his confessional statement recorded before a magistrate in a Delhi court, Aseemanand had said that he and other activists were involved in bombings at various places of worship across the country, such as Ajmer Sharif and Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, and Samjhauta Express for taking revenge against the “terror acts of Muslims”.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/had-enough-proof-against-aseemanand/article17436792.ece

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‘Cops need only a Muslim name to fabricate a case’ (Mar 12, 2017, Time of India)

It is easy for the police to fabricate a terror case in the country than to foist a case against a thief because all they need, to make a person terrorist, is just a Muslim name, said Irshad Ahmed Malik, who was acquitted by the special court in Delhi in December, 2016. Malik, who was an informer for the Intelligence Bureau (IB), was arrested and imprisoned after he disregarded certain directives from IB.

Addressing the People’s Tribunal on Saturday – organized by the Innocence India Network – he said the special cell of the Delhi police was on his tail after the arrest of his brother in 1991. “Later, I was in IB’s custody and officers wanted me to work for the agency,” he said, adding that IB offered him Rs 7,000/month as salary.

“They convinced me that I was working for the country. Later, they wanted me to go to Pakistan on a secret mission. They also asked me to work in Muslim-dominated areas and instigate youths to participate in jihad,” Irshad said. When he refused to follow orders, Irshad was arrested. He fought a legal battle for 11 years to prove his innocence.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57601528.cms

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The BJP Has Been Posting Bail For Hindus Arrested For Rioting In Bengal (Mar 14, 2017, Huffington Post)

In the past six months, the BJP in West Bengal has arranged for the bail of approximately 150 Hindus who were arrested in clashes with Muslims in various parts of the state, much to the frustration and astonishment of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Bengal has witnessed several clashes between Hindus and Muslims over the past few months, but almost every such clash has been hushed up by the state and/or under-reported by the media, for fear of leading to further flare-ups. But the atmosphere is still tense in several areas, where the police is on tenterhooks and fears clashes.

While every such minor clash is hushed up by the state, those involved in the incidents are arrested by the police. And the state BJP unit has used the opportunity to cobble Hindu support. Admitting that BJP had indeed arranged for bail for about 150 Hindus in the past six months, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh told HuffPost India, “There is no one to back the Hindus in this state. Muslims get a lot of support and sympathy from several quarters.” It was not difficult to understand what he was hinting at.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/03/14/bjp-bails-out-those-arrested-for-rioting-in-bengal-as-long-as-t/

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Gujarat: Victims of rape, activists gagged at PM Modi’s women’s day event in Gandhinagar (Mar 8, 2017, Indian Express)

A young woman from Uttar Pradesh was gagged and whisked away by police when she raised slogans near the podium where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing a gathering of women panchayat members on International Women’s Day in Gandhinagar on Wednesday. Hours earlier, two gangrape victims and an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) activist were taken into preventive custody by the Gujarat Police before they could make a representation before the Prime Minister.

At the women sarpanches convention at Mahatma Gandhi Mandir in Gandhinagar, Shalini Singh, an elected sarpanch from Uttar Pradesh’s Thora village of Gautam Buddha Nagar district was dragged out of the auditorium by security personnel who covered her mouth to prevent her from talking.

She later told reporters that she was seeking the Prime Minister’s intervention about development in her village which was being ignored. “I just wanted to personally put forth demands before the PM as neither the state government nor the central government has been heeding to our request for the last two years,” said Shalini Singh, who has an MA and B Ed degrees.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat-victims-of-rape-activists-gagged-at-pm-modis-womens-day-event-in-gandhinagar-4560805/

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ABVP leader Sunny Dedha booked for assaulting NSUI member at DU (Mar 10, 2017, DNA India)

ABVP leader and ex-DU Students’ Union (DUSU) vice president Sunny Dedha has been booked for assaulting an NSUI member and his friend at the Law faculty of the university.

Pradeep Vijayaran, a third-year law student, who contested 2015 DUSU polls as a candidate of NSUI, Congress’s students’ wing, said the incident happened on Thursday evening when he and his friend Vineet were studying at Law Centre-I of Campus of Law College of the varsity. He alleged that Dedha, along with his 7-8 friends, hit him and Vineet.…

Pradeep has said in his complaint that it all started after he objected to a youth urinating in the union room. He said that the youth he did not stop but “7-8 men later thrashed me”. He also alleged that one of the alleged attackers was Sunny Dedha. Further, he alleged that he was hit on the head with a steel chair causing injury. His friend Vineet who tried to intervene was also beaten up by the group, he said.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-abvp-leader-booked-for-assaulting-nsui-member-at-du-2349134

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Another Rohith Vemula at JNU: Student commits suicide alleging discrimination (Mar 13, 2017, New Indian Express)

Just days after writing a post on inequality, 27-year-old Dalit MPhil student at JNU Muthu Krishnan was found having allegedly committed suicide in south Delhi’s Munirka area Monday evening.

Muthu, who was known to friends on Facebook as Krish Rajini, was from Salem, Tamil Nadu. He was a student at the University of Hyderabad when fellow Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula committed suicide in January 2016 and had blogged about meeting Rohith and his mother, Radhika.

Police said no suicide note had been found and that it hadn’t been found that the alleged suicide was owing to any issues at the university. He is said to have been depressed for some time over some personal issues, police said.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/mar/13/another-rohith-vemula-at-jnu-student–commits-suicide-alleging-discrimination-1580984.html

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Gujarat model? Allocation for Dalits 2.67% in 2017-18 budget against 7% population, lurking gap of Rs 7,001 crore (Mar 14, 2017, Counterview)

A budget analysis by the Gujarat-based Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan has alleged that the Gujarat government has made the lowest percentage of allocation for the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) in the state budget for 2017-18, presented in the state assembly last month, ever since 2010-11.

Carried out by Dalit scholar Vasudev Charupa, the analysis says, “Against the need-based requirement, and keeping in view of the resources in sight, the size of Annual Budget 2017-18 has been fixed at Rs 1,72,179.24 Crore. But of concern is the missing focus for the scheduled castes’ socio-economic development.”

Thus, he says, as against the Dalit population of 7%, the state government has allocated just about 2.67% for SCSP – or Rs 4,603.69 crore. The proportional allocation, he adds, should have been due Rs 11,604.88 crore. This means that a massive Rs 7,001.19 less amount was allocated for Gujarat Dalits’ development.…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/03/gujarat-model-allocation-for-dalits-267.html

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Opinions and Editorials

The Consecration of a Hindu Vote Bank – By Harish Khare (Mar 13, 2017, The Wire)

Here’s a simple question: why did the Modi magic work in Uttar Pradesh so gloriously but fail so conspicuously to cast its charm in Punjab, Goa and Manipur? If the Bharatiya Janata Party is the new pan-India party and if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only pan-Indian leader, as was loudly claimed after the civic polls in Maharashtra, then why have the party and the leader failed to click beyond good old UP? The answer is simple: a Hindu vote bank has been cobbled together and sustained there because UP has a sizeable Muslim population, against whom ancient prejudices and new resentments could be stimulated. This is the bottom line of an otherwise complicated electoral contest.…

It has been suggested that the UP verdict is a vote on demonetisation, as well as an endorsement of the ‘surgical strikes’. The suggestion is that voters were happy to put up with all the notebandi-centric dislocations and disruptions because it had put the terrorists out of business and that Pakistan’s dirty designs had come to naught. But then why should this nationalistic messaging be confined to UP? No one can argue that voters in Punjab, Goa and Manipur lack in patriotism; Punjab being a border state has every reason to be receptive to any anti-Pakistan sales-pitch. Yet, the BJP lost even the Pathankot, Dinanagar and Gurdaspur assembly seats, where terror-attacks took place under Modi’s watch. In fact, the BJP contested 23 seats in Punjab and managed to win only three.

Similarly, Goa has the honour of being the home state of our hon’ble defence minister – who single-handedly instigated the government’s muscular anti-Pakistani narrative. Modi campaigned in all the other three states, though not in every galli as he did in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Yet the electorate remained immune to the Modi charm, as also to the presumed curative power of his leadership. The Modi magic worked in Uttar Pradesh because of a very sizeable Muslim presence. That made it easy to effortlessly inject zero-sum sentimentality into the election-time discourse. This is not the first time a Hindu consolidation has been attempted. It has been working rather well in Gujarat since 2002.…

https://thewire.in/116195/consecration-of-a-hindu-vote-bank-uttar-pradesh-election-2017/

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With two RSS members convicted for bombing Ajmer shrine, should the organisation be banned again? – By Shoaib Daniyal (Mar 10, 2017, Scroll.in)

On October 11, 2007, an explosion ripped through the 800-year-old shrine of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chisti in the Rajasthani town of Ajmer. The attack was timed well: it was the month of Ramzan, and a crowd had gathered outside the dargah to break their fast.… It took a court verdict on Wednesday to rekindle some interest in the case. Three people were convicted for the terror bombing. Two of them – Devendra Gupta and Sunil Joshi – have been identified in court records as “RSS pracharaks”. At a time when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh controls the levers of power in the Union government itself, what does it mean for India that members of this hardline Hindutva organisation conducted a terror strike on a Sufi shrine?…

This, of course, is not the first time an RSS member has been convicted for murder. Gopal Godse, the brother of Mohandas Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, confirmed that the latter was an RSS worker. This led to the organisation being banned by the then Union Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel. Eight months after the assassination, Patel wrote to the RSS head, MS Golwalkar, blaming the organisation’s communalism for leading to Gandhi’s murder. Patel even claimed that RSS men had distributed sweets to celebrate the killing. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was also banned during the Emergency in 1975 and after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

In most circumstances, the Ajmer terror attack would have given rise to a conversation about the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its ideology and whether it deserves to be banned like it was after Gandhi’s assassination. If, in 1948, Patel could discuss the “communal poison” that led to Gandhi’s assassination, India in 2017 should also seriously consider what elements of the RSS’ ideology led two of its pracharaks to bomb an 800-year-old Muslim shrine.

https://scroll.in/article/831454/ajmer-blast-with-two-members-convicted-for-bombing-chisti-shrine-should-the-rss-be-banned-again

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Babri Masjid demolition is an indictment of Indian polity; criminal conspiracy charge serves no purpose – By Ajay Singh (Mar 7, 2017, First Post)

In criminal jurisprudence mens rea connotes an intention of crime which is no less culpable than the crime itself. When LK Advani, as BJP president, took out the Rath Yatra in 1990, his explicit intention was to build the Ram Temple at the site of Ayodhya where Babri Masjid stood. The obvious implication was that the mosque had to be replaced with a temple befitting the status of Lord Ram’s birth place. The unambiguous message then was that the mosque would not remain at its original place.…

When the Supreme Court pointed out that the criminal conspiracy charge against LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi should not have been dropped, it seemed to have ignored the colossal failure of Indian polity to respond to a situation which snowballed into a criminal crisis.…

In the past 25 years of investigation, neither the CBI nor the Liberhans Commission could collect credible evidence to arraign the RSS-BJP-VHP leaders and prove the charges of criminal conspiracy.… As of now, instead of reviving a conspiracy case, the Supreme Court should use it as a framework to set up guidelines on how the powers-that-be could respond to such a situation in the future.

http://www.firstpost.com/world/babri-masjid-demolition-is-an-indictment-of-indian-polity-criminal-conspiracy-charge-serves-no-purpose-3320028.html

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Who’s behind the Kerala killings? – By C. Gouridasan Nair (Mar 10, 2017, The Hindu)

Right from the Ranchi riots in August 1967, the Babri demolition in 1992, the Gujarat riots in 2002, to the recent Muzaffarnagar riots, the Sangh Parivar has always used nefarious designs to foment, organise and spread communal riots for rich electoral dividends. The Sangh Parivar is engaged in an attempt to make inroads into Kerala with the intention of altering society forever by giving it a communal colour. It is desperate because it finds that this is not an easy task given the strong presence of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the State, which will stall all attempts at communal polarisation.

This desperation is at the root of the murderous politics being practised by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sanghin Kerala. From 1971, when Thalassery in Kannur district witnessed rampant RSS-instigated violence against Muslims, the CPI(M) has taken the path of resistance.

The designs of the RSS did not work in 1971 because of the stand the CPI(M) took. Since then, the RSS has been targeting our cadre and supporters, declaring us as their sworn enemies. They have not succeeded in their grand design of communal polarisation, but they have certainly succeeded in turning Kerala into a simmering pot of political violence.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/whos-behind-the-kerala-killings/article17436566.ece

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The march of fascism from Gujarat 2002 to Ramjas College 2017 – By Humra Quraishi (Mar 7, 2017, Milli Gazette Online)

What is happening on the Delhi University campus is a pointer that fascist forces have intruded into campuses, making life hell for any of those sane voices. This is the very basic crux of what took place last week in the very interiors of Delhi University’s Ramjas College. It’s all out in the open, battle between the sane and the fascists.

It’s about time we sit and read any of the available volumes on how fascists intrude and take on and then destroy. The reality of the day is that we have got to take on these destructive forces.

Today, this government is following an agenda – the RSS agenda! Using all possible ploys trying to crush all those who are against communal politics. All those who are against the fascist forces.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15438-the-march-of-fascism-from-gujarat-2002-to-ramjas-college-2017

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Indocrination as Education: One more govt directive towards saffronisation of Rajasthan schools – By Subhash Gatade (Mar 13, 2017, Sabrang India)

Rajaram (name changed) principal of a school near Jaipur, Rajasthan is a worried man. An honest teacher all his life, is not able to comprehend the rationale behind the recent order by the state education ministry asking every secondary and senior secondary school to purchase collected works of Deendayal Upadhyay.

Not only that he has never heard this name before but does not know how funds can be managed for the same. The school does not have a proper library till date. The budgetary situation of the school is such that despite repeated demands by the girl students the sole toilet in the school still remains unrepaired.

The circular sent by the state government on February 27 has asked all secondary and senior secondary schools to buy the compendium of essays and speeches titled ‘Deendayal Upadhyay Sampoorna Vangmay’ – which has been published by a Delhi publisher in 15 volumes at a concessional rate of Rs 4,000. Schools are asked to draw from the school development fund – meant to be utilised for local needs – to make the purchase.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/indocrination-education-one-more-govt-directive-towards-saffronisation-rajasthan-schools

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Book Review

Foot Solider of the Constitution – A Memoir

Author: Teesta Setalvad
Reviewed by: Anupama Katakam
Available at: Publisher: LeftWord Books, 2254/2A, Shadi Khampur, New Ranjit Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110008, Pages: 211, Price: Rs.295. www.amazon.in/
Review:
Never say die (Mar 17, 2017, Frontline)

An aggressive vilification campaign by the right wing has landed Teesta Setalvad in a situation where she is forced to divert her energy to protecting herself. The crusader who has relentlessly fought for justice for the marginalised and for minorities has been in recent times the target of attacks on her reputation and, in a few instances, on her life. She is one of the country’s most inexhaustible human rights activists and has tried hard to speak above the jingoistic nationalist din that appears to have taken over democratic India.

Her attempts at justifying her work, mainly that of fighting the injustices that have rendered thousands violated, homeless and helpless, have often been dismissed or ignored by the mainstream media. Consequently, the debate has sadly gone silent—definitely a blow to the movement against communalism.

But Teesta Setalvad is not one to be put down. She makes herself heard in her book Foot Solder of the Constitution: A Memoir. The book is a testimony to the many controversies she combats and reflects her indomitable spirit in the face of the many curveballs thrown her way. The book makes it clear that Teesta Setalvad’s fight is not just about Gujarat. It is a battle for justice and for upholding the principles of the Constitution.…

http://www.frontline.in/books/never-say-die/article9563407.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 3rd, 2016

October 13, 2016

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 1st, 2016

August 9, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Operation #BetiUthao Shiv Sena leader is main conspirator in Gujarat Dalit flogging case: CID ‘Gau Rakshaks’ strike again? Fresh video from Rajasthan surfaces Mob beats Muslim women in MP over beef rumour, Oppn corners govt in House No water supply and electricity for Muslim families in Vadodara […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 28th, 2015

January 2, 2016

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 15th, 2014

September 16, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony J&K floods: Hyderpora mosque a symbol of communal harmony News Headlines RSS bomb explodes prematurely, suspected Hindutva terrorist injured Election Commission orders hate speech FIR against Yogi Adityanath BJP leaders rake up ‘love jihad’ in U.P. poll campaign Hindu nationalist group seeks to ‘cleanse’ Christian population in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 21st, 2013

October 22, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Narendra Modi and Muslims: can they come together? UP Police to Narendra Modi: Murders were double in UP during BJP’s regime CBI chargesheet to name 4 IB officials Another BJP MLA held for his role in Muzaffarnagar riots Over 2,000 VHP, BJP leaders, workers arrested in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 12th, 2013

August 13, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony When Muslims escorted a Hindu baraat News Headlines Lokayukta on Modi govt: Can’t work with ‘my way or highway’ mindset Human Rights activist Shabnam Hashmi slams Narendra Modi’s ‘Gujarat model’ as myth Discrimination in Narendra Modi’s Ahmedabad CBI seeks MHA nod to arrest ex-IB boss AAP […]

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