Posts tagged as:

Gujarat riots

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 9th, 2015

by newsdigest on March 10, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Ex-bureaucrat speaks out on Gujarat riots (Mar 8, 2015, Deccan Herald)

The ghost of the 2002 riots continues to raise its ugly head despite the passage of over a decade. The latest is in the form of a book on the experiences of respected Gujarat-cadre retired IAS officer Alexander K Luke. In his 365-page book “Passport to Gujarat: Hazardous Journeys”, released recently, Luke recalls the days after the Gujarat riots in 2002. He appears to put the onus of the administrative collapse during the events more on his colleagues in the bureaucracy and the police than solely on then chief minister and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Luke writes, “No chief minister of a state, no matter how angry, would be happy to see murderous disorder on the streets, particularly when he had just taken over. Many party functionaries descended to the level of those who had set the train on fire.”

He goes on to say that the Gujarat bloodbath of 2002 “could have been blunted if the top authorities in the government had taken matters into their own hands and re-established law and order without listening to those who were emotionally unbalanced at that time”.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/464280/ex-bureaucrat-speaks-gujarat-riots.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Lawyers allege life threat to blast accused Qasmi in jail (Mar 9, 2015, Times of India)

The lawyers of Tariq Qasmi, a prime accused in the 2007 Faizabad and Lucknow court blasts, have alleged that he is facing a life threat. Lodged in Lucknow Jail, Qasmi’s lawyers have accused the jail administration and Uttar Pradesh Police of conspiring his murder. They said the “murder” of another accused, Khalid Mujahid, was also a conspiracy. Mujahid was found dead in the jail in 2013 under suspicious circumstances.

According to lawyer Mohammad Shoaib, when he visited Lucknow Jail last week to meet Qasmi, he was told that the jail administration had lodged Chandan, a dreaded criminal, in Qasmi’s barrack.

“The criminal Chandan repeatedly abuses my client and keeps challenging him to react to his provocative speeches,” said Shoaib. “We have raised the issue before jail authorities but no action has been taken. We have demanded the government sacks the jail superintendent,” he added.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46497338.cms

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Police hand in Dimapur jailbreak suspected (Mar 8, 2015, Twocircles.net)

What can be termed as highly crucial, it is reported that Police may be complicit in the jailbreak, before the unruly mob lynched Syed Sarif Uddin Khan, the rape accused in Dimapur. Quoting high officials of home department, NDTV reported that there is a strong suspicion of ‘complicity of policemen’. The official added, “how could the mob identify Khan out of all the prisoners inside the Jail?”

Further NDTV reported that Nagaland’s Inspector General (Range) Wabang Jamir as saying, “We are in the process of identifying more people and we can expect several more arrests in the coming days. The situation is tense, but under control. Curfew is still on and there is no movement of vehicles or people”. On Sunday the last rites of Syed Sarif Uddin Khan were performed in the presence of hundreds at his hometown Bosla in Karimganj district. “This is a horrific day covered with sorrow for all of us. It was a black day for humanity,” said Mustak, a neigbour, who attended the janaza.

In the morning several thousand people thronged the road leading to his home. Ever since the news of Khan’s killing was out, the entire region was in utter shock. “We have suffered a lot in the hands of Naga miscreants. It has become difficult for us to survive in Dimapur. At this moment the governments of the both states should have to take stern action to ensure safety and security,” said a businessman from Karimganj who is based in Dimapur. He also did not wish to be named in this report fearing he might be attacked.…

http://twocircles.net/2015mar08/1425814197.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Indian State Bans Possession and Sale of Beef (Mar 3, 2015, New York Times)

The state that includes Mumbai, India’s financial capital, this week became the latest state to ban the possession and sale of beef, imposing fines and up to five years in prison for violations. The ban in the populous western state of Maharashtra, which was passed Monday, came as an amendment to a 1972 law prohibiting the slaughter of cows, which has been expanded to ban the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and calves. The slaughter of water buffaloes will still be allowed, subject to permission from the authorities.

The Maharashtra Animal Preservation bill, championed by right-wing Hindu organizations, was first passed in 1995 but languished for two decades under a governing coalition between the Indian National Congressand the Nationalist Congress Party. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party was the clear winner in state elections last October after Narendra Modi, the party’s leader, took office as prime minister in May.

The law, which allows a fine of 10,000 rupees, about $162, took effect Monday night after approval from India’s president, Pranab Mukherjee. Maharashtra’s chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, gave the president credit and expressed his thanks over Twitter.…

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/world/asia/indian-state-passes-ban-on-beef-championed-by-right-wing-hindus.html?_r=0

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

‘Modi Govt. encouraging Hindutva forces, corporates’ (Mar 4, 2015, The Hindu)

The Communist Party of India (CPI) has flayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government at the Centre for encouraging ‘Hindutva forces’ and ‘corporate houses’.

CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy charged the NDA with doling out largesse to the corporate houses in the name of reduction of taxes and other incentives. At the same time, the recent budget introduced in the Lok Sabha was devoid of any measures to alleviate the sufferings of the common man.

The budget had presented a rosy picture for the corporate houses in the name of tax rebates and other incentives while “there is nothing in it for the common man”. Allocations for key sectors including welfare, handlooms and others had been significantly cut down while there was no mention about steps on checking the spiralling rise in the prices of essentials.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/modi-govt-encouraging-hindutva-forces-corporates/article6956913.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Case filed against Bajrang Dal leader for ‘defaming’ minister (Mar 9, 2015, Business Standard)

The Bantwal town police have registered a case against a local Bajrang Dal leader for allegedly defaming Dakshina Kannada district-in-charge Minister Ramanath Rai by posting a photo, in which he is donning a saffron shawl, on a social networking site.

Police said that a case was registered under section 66 (A) of the IPC (spreading offensive comments through internet) against Bhuvit Shetty, Bantwal unit co-convenor of Bajrang Dal based on a complaint from an individual, Prashant Kulal.

The photo posted on Shetty’s facebook wall received derogatory comments, which according to the complainant defamed Rai.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/case-filed-against-bajrang-dal-leader-for-defaming-minister-115030901316_1.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Muslim body objects to making ‘surya namaskar’ mandatory in schools (Mar 9, 2015, India Today)

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has claimed that the BJP-led NDA government in the Centre was preparing to make ‘surya namaskar’ mandatory in the schools which would be unacceptable to the Muslim community.

They will take up this issue in the meeting of the board to be held in Jaipur from March 20 to March 23. The board, which is the highest decision maker panel within the Muslim community, has also decided to discuss the issues related to the demand of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) to ban religious conversion and allow the Hindu organisations to continue with their ‘ghar wapsi’ (home coming) programme.

Zafaryab Jilani, a member of the AIMPLB and additional advocate general of UP, said, “We have no problem if the government introduces Geeta in school curriculum if there are references of Quran too in text books. But we have problem if they want to introduce Surya Namaskar. It may not be acceptable to our religious leaders in particular and the members of the community in general.”

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/surya-namaskar-schools-mandatory-muslim-bodies/1/422798.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

BJP, RSS, VHP flayed for ‘stoking religious hatred’ (Mar 9, 2015, Times of India)

Cavelossim Villagers Forum (CVF) organized a candlelight protest to condemn the comments made by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Mohan Bhagwat against Mother Teresa. While exhorting people to maintain religious harmony, various speakers denounced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for promoting religious hatred.

“BJP has a hidden agenda of eliminating Christianity from Goa,” Fr Eremito Rebello said, while speaking at the end of the protest march.

Rebello, who was born in Cavelossim, went on to explain that religious harmony in Goa, which has existed for ages, was at stake because of the RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) antics.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46496826.cms

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Over 30,000 people in Gujarat committed suicide in 5 years (Mar 9, 2015, Business Standard)

The Gujarat government today stated in the Assembly that as on March 2013, more than 30,000 people committed suicide across the state in five years.

Replying to a question of Congress MLA Tejashree Patel, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, who handles the home department, stated in a written reply that 30,489 people ended their lives between 2008-13, adding that 2,529 people attempted to commit suicide during the same period.

Figures provided by her suggested that 6,181 people ended their lives in 2008-09, 5,779 people killed themselves in 2009-10, 5,787 people took their lives in 2010-11, 6,134 killed themselves in 2011-12 and 6,608 people ended their lives during 2012-13.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/over-30-000-people-in-gujarat-committed-suicide-in-5-years-115030901312_1.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

On rape, ‘outraged’ politicians have been outrageous in past (Mar 6, 2015, Indian Express)

On Wednesday, many MPs were agitated over a documentary which shows one of the convicts in the December 16, 2012 Delhi gangrape making “outrageous” remarks. But this collective outrage does not fit well with the past statements on rape made by many elected representatives.

From Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s “boys make mistakes” quip to JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav’s smiling confession in the Lok Sabha about having stalked girls – political leaders have been guilty of insensitivity that goes beyond mere gaffe.

In April 2014, addressing an election rally in Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav had told a cheering crowd, “You are hanging people for rape… Boys tend to commit mistakes.We will try to change such a law. Those who do it will be punished and the law will also have provisions for punishment of people who file false reports.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/on-rape-outraged-politicians-have-been-outrageous-in-past/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

Mob (in)justice In Dimapur – By Parvin Sultana (Mar 8, 2015, Countercurrents)

Dimapur is regarded as the business capital of Nagaland, a state in the Northeastern region of India. This small town was jolted by a series of horrific incidents that took place on 5th March, 2015. A man accused of raping a college student was murdered by a mob. Videos of the 35 year old Syed Farid Khan being paraded naked and beaten to death became viral. His lifeless blood drenched body was then hanged.

A cursory look at the incident would make one feel that it is the justified outrage against the heinous crime of rape. But if one delves deeper one can see some other factors being at play. The accused is a Bengali speaking Muslim from the neighbouring state of Assam. Stories of him being an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh was doing the rounds. Ironically two of his brothers are serving in the Indian Army hence disproving these accusations. His father served in the Indian Air Force and one of his brothers lost life in the Kargil war. But the damage was already done. Despite being aware of the growing tension, administration did not put to rest such suspicions rather expressed their own doubt regarding the person’s nationality. …

In a shameful failure of law and order situation, the security apparatus failed to anticipate such an attack when 10,000 people barged into the high security Dimapur Central Jail.… The failure of the administration has emboldened the perpetrators of such vigilante justice. Leaving the women’s safety issue on the backburner they have turned their ire to people from other states who are there for their livelihood. While the murdered person’s brother accused that his brother was made a scapegoat, the incident needs to be seen closely.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/sultana080315.htm

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Gujarat’s “turnaround man” blames IAS colleagues for failing to act by constitution during 2002 riots – By Rajiv Shah (Mar 4, 2015, Counterview.net)

A Gujarat cadre IAS bureaucrat with impeccable reputation, Alexander K Luke – termed “turnaround man” by captains of industry across India in mid-2000s for pushing top public sector undertaking (PSU) Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC) from the red – has held the state’s “top administrative level” responsible for failing to act impartially during the “2002 Gujarat bloodbath.”

In a just-released book he has authored, Luke has said, had the police and IAS officials “held firm and did what they were required to do by the constitution”, a collapse of the administration “could have been avoided.” Luke headed GSFC from 2003 to 2006. Luke was forced to resign from the IAS two years before he was to retire (2008) after he refused to follow an order to allow concession to a contractor. He recalls in the book how he was humiliated in an official report, and how the then chief minister Narendra Modi accepted his resignation without waiting three-day he had offered him to “rethink.”…

In a first-ever account by an IAS bureaucrat of state officialdom’s behaviour during those tumultuous days, Luke in his autobiographical book, “Passport to Gujarat: Hazardous Journeys”, has recalled how three days after the riots hit Gujarat, February 28, 2002, he approached the then Gujarat chief secretary G Subbarao offering his services for the relief camps which were being set-up for the victims of violence.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2015/03/gujarats-turnaround-man-blames-ias.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

The reinvention of Hindutva – By Arvind Rajagopal (Mar 4, 2015, The Hindu)

…In the Hindu tradition, reality is beyond words and the truth has no essence. There is, in fact, no religious doctrine as such to challenge. Hinduism as conjured for the political process today surpasses dialectical materialism; it is the most expansive ‘philosophical system’ conceivable. In such a context, the category of religion presents an opportunity rather than a problem: to be “Hindu” is an artefact of publicity rather than an expression of ancient mores. It is no surprise that Arun Jaitley has stated that Hindu nationalism is an opportunistic issue for the BJP, a “talking point” rather than a core ideology. …

Political authority is the end towards which this new kind of religious identity is created, applicable across caste groupings that not long ago were excluded, prominently the former Untouchable castes that constitute about a quarter of the population. No previous party has come to power by excluding Muslims so completely. Meanwhile the situation of Muslims has steadily worsened over the last 30 years.

The exclusion of Muslims from political visibility is accompanied by the increasing political visibility of Dalits. The new basis for Hindu unification is the exclusion of Muslims, alongside the formal subsumption of Dalits. The register of exclusion shifts in the process, from untouchability to invisibility. Media expansion enables more coordinated and extensive forms of exclusion than were previously imaginable; political dynamics have both anticipated this development and furthered it. If Hindu populism is to deepen its democratic character, these are issues for it to reckon with.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-reinvention-of-hindutva/article6955945.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

When Corporates Take Control Of Media: Bad News In Good Days – By Anurag Tripathi (Mar 14, 2015, Tehelka)

Pankaj Srivastava could have resisted sending the SMS message that cost his job but for his convictions as a journalist. An Associate Editor with IBN7 for seven years, Srivastava on 21 January sent a message to Sumit Awasthi, deputy managing editor of the channel, reminding him of journalistic ethics. …

Within three hours of sending the message, Srivastava was summoned by the Human Resource department of the channel and was summarily asked to resign. He refused to budge. Srivastava told Tehelka that Awasthi, after reading the message, had asked him to put in his papers and find a new job. “I refused to resign and insisted that I would rather be sacked,” says Srivastava. He says that he had been constantly opposing the alleged bias news coverage of the channel and its policy to black out Kejriwal in its coverage of Delhi elections.…

“When RIL took over last year, a Town Hall meeting presided over by Rohit Bansal, an executive of RIL, and Upadhyay, president of News at Network 18, was orgsanised, where it was made very clear that we shouldn’t air any live speeches of any AAP representative,” says Srivastava. He adds that there were standing instructions to not air any story which would bring bad press to RIL and Narendra Modi.…

The account of the pain and anguish over censorship of news tells a tale of how a journalist feels choked and stifled when he is given clear instruction to toe the line of owners and eulogise ‘masters’ of the master.…

http://www.tehelka.com/bad-news-in-good-days/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Political beef – Editorial (Mar 6, 2015, Indian Express)

It may be no exaggeration to say that beef has featured more in India’s politics than in its cuisine. The Hindu right has always found meat in the demand to ban beef, discounting the perilous social and economic impact of meddling with food habits and preferences in a multi-religious and multicultural society. The latest to join issue with beef is the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra, which dusted up a bill the state assembly had passed 19 years ago and got President Pranab Mukherjee to sign earlier this week.…

The obsession with beef is a leftover of the communal politics of the last two centuries, when food was a marker of the religious divide and served as a pretext to mobilise communities. Historians have emphatically demolished the cultural-religious argument that beef-eating was alien to Hindus and was the import of Muslim rule.

Moreover, migration and urbanisation have transformed the eating habits of Indians. Mumbai, a melting pot of cultures and communities, best symbolises this transformation. The Fadnavis government, instead of celebrating the diversity in Maharashtra cuisine, has revived a regressive legislation that negates its multi-religious character and distorts its agrarian economy. A direct outcome of the act is that it would now become economically unviable for farmers to rear cows.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/political-beef/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Act of cowardice – By Lyla Bavadam (Mar 20, 2015, Frontline)

Senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader and rationalist Govind Pansare, 82, died in Mumbai on February 20, five days after he was shot at in Kolhapur. He and his wife, Uma, were out on a walk in the morning when they were shot at, near their Kolhapur home. The exact details of the incident are unclear because of a lack of credible witnesses, but some say there were two attackers on a motorcycle who shot at the couple.…

Through his career he had ruffled many feathers and so there is no dearth of suspects for his murder. His most recent and consistent campaigns were battling toll tax on road users in Kolhapur, breaking down myths about Nathuram Godse that were being perpetuated by right-wing forces, and revealing what he believed was the truth about the killing of Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare. All these crusades earned him enemies, and over the years he had received threats in various forms. It is understood that the police are investigating a threatening letter.

In December 2014, Pansare organised a function at a public hall in Kolhapur to discuss the book Who killed Karkare?. Written by the retired police officer S.M. Mushrif, the book speaks of the possibility of Karkare being killed by Indian agencies because he arrested Hindu nationalists in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blasts. There were attempts to stop the event, but Pansare went ahead with it.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/act-of-cowardice/article6951485.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 1st, 2014

by newsdigest on December 2, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

National Communal Harmony week concludes (Nov 26, 2014, The Hindu)

The National Communal Harmony week culminated on Tuesday with children from various schools participating in a daylong cultural event that was lined up with various competitions such as patriotic songs, debate and elocution.

Over 150 children from about 20 schools participated in the programme that was organised at Dr. Deen Shaadi Khana in the Old Town area by the National Foundation of Communal Harmony (NFCH) under the aegis of the Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Finance Corporation. …

On the occasion, Yuva Bharati Force also organised a rally in the Old Town area from the Old Post building. A good number of school children participated in the rally. According to Mohammed Sadiq of Yuva Bharati Force, the rally was organised to create awareness among school children and others on communal harmony and peace.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/national-communal-harmony-week-concludes/article6633578.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

‘Jafri was last seen being dragged by accused’ (Nov 29, 2014, Indian Express)

Recounting the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) lawyer told a specially designated court in Ahmedabad that former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri “was last seen being dragged by some accused out of his house… his body was never recovered…”

The trial began before the fourth judge, on the directions of and following a deadline set by the apex court, on Friday. Nowhere in the 45-odd minutes of narration did the special public prosecutor defending SIT, R C Kodekar, say that Jafri opened fire on the mob, a premise that has been stated by investigators as having provoked the mob to kill Jafri and 68 others that day.…

Kodekar said on February, 28, 2002, the tension escalated in certain localities in the Meghaninagar area. He began by describing “…some shops were torched by an unruly mob, but not here at Gulberg Society. However, tension mounted further and mob of some 20,000 to 22,000 gathered near Gulberg Society.” Kodekar wrapped up the case by saying, “39 persons were burnt alive while 30 persons went missing. Seven years later, they were declared dead. In all, 69 persons were killed in the incident. Jafri was last seen being dragged by some accused, but his body was not found.”

The SIT did not mention the closure report it filed on the preliminary inquiry into the petition by Jafri’s widow, Zakia, who has accused the then chief minister and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 61 others for their failure to contain the riots. The special court may hear next week a plea filed by victims seeking to arraign four retired IPS officers in the case.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/jafri-was-last-seen-being-dragged-by-accused/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Ishrat Case: Vanzara Tells Court He Only Followed Orders (Nov 28, 2014, New Indian Express)

In a fresh attempt to get bail before the CBI judge K R Upadhyaya, Gujarat IPS officer D G Vanzara has taken a stand that he simply followed his superiors’ orders while executing the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter and questioned why the CBI has not made the then police commissioner K R Kaushik and IB officials as accused in the case.

Vanzara’s counsel V Gajjar argued on Friday that he was not aware about IB’s inputs and he only acted for the operation on the orders of his superior Kaushik, but the CBI, instead of booking the latter too, made him a witness thereby selectively sparing him while booking the subordinate officers.

He also argued that CBI did not make four IB officials linked to the case viz. Rajendra Kumar, Tarun Mittal, M K Sinha and Rajiv Wankhede as accused giving reason that CBI did not receive sanction from the Union Home Ministry – as required under Section 197 of CrPC for prosecution against the IB officers – where as CBI did not opt for any such permission before naming Vanzara or any other senior Gujarat Police officer in the charge sheet.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2014/11/28/Ishrat-Case-Vanzara-Tells-Court-He-Only-Followed-Orders/article2545485.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

‘Madrasas not breeding grounds for terrorism’ (Nov 30, 2014, The Hindu)

Retaliating against the West Bengal government for allegedly branding madrasas as ‘breeding grounds for terrorist activities’ after the accidental blast at Khagragarh in the Bardhaman district, Islamist organisation Jamiat Ulama i Hind leaders demanded at a public meeting here on Saturday that the secular nature of the Indian Constitution must be upheld.

Stating that terrorist activities and madrasas were two different entities, State secretary of the Jamiat Ulama i Hind Siddiqullah Chowdhury said madrasas and terror activities were separate. … “Madrasas are not centres where terrorist activities are taught. We feel insulted comments that blame Islamists for terrorist activities in the State. This is driving a wedge between the Hindus and Muslims,” Mr. Chowdhury said.

“There is no place for terror in Islam. India is our country and we will sacrifice our lives for this nation, like our predecessors have,” said Jamiat i Ulama Hind general secretary Mahmood Madani. “Those who label us as terrorists are spreading terror, not us. There is no place for terror in Islam. At a time when there is terror all around the world, why are Indian Muslims not engaging in it? It is because these madrasas have prevented them from taking the wrong path. There are terrorist forces which are trying to taint us and force us into treading the wrong path,” Mr. Madani said.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/madrasas-not-breeding-grounds-for-terrorism/article6648491.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Hindu Radicals Attack Indian Pentecostal Church, Eight Injured and Pastor Arrested (Nov 24, 2014, Christian Daily)

A group of Hindu radicals have attacked a Pentecostal church in Karnataka, India leaving eight injured, adding to the numerous attacks that have taken place in India this year against Christian communities. The attack took place during a prayer service at the Calvary Apostolic Church where Hindu radicals interrupted the service and attacked worshippers, Asia News reports. Among the eight that were injured, two were reported with broken legs from the incident.

Rev. D’Souza, a pastor in the community, was brought to the local police station for questioning after police investigated the incident. The Global Council of Indian Christians’s (GCIC’s) president, Sajan George, told Asia News that the police “did not stop the aggressors” when they arrived at the scene of the incident.

George condemned the latest attack, saying that “religious fundamentalists are a threat to the rule of law.” “The violations of public law and order by Hindu radicals endanger religious freedom and threaten the lives and property of Christians in Karnataka” George said to Asia News on behalf of the GCIC.…

http://www.christiandaily.com/article/hindu.radicals.attack.indian.pentecostal.church.eight.injured.and.pastor.arrested/49441.htm

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Ramzada vs haramzada: Outrage over Union Minister Sadhvi’s remark (Dec 2, 2014, Indian Express)

Launching the BJP’s campaign in Delhi, Union Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti told voters here on Monday that they must choose between ‘Ramzadon’ (those born of Ram) and ‘haramzadon’ (illegitimately born). Meanwhile, another Union Minister of State, Giriraj Singh, compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Ram.

Addressing a rally in West Delhi’s Shyam Nagar area, Jyoti, the BJP MP from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, said, “Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banegi ya haramzadon ki. Yeh aapka faisla hai (You must decide whether you want a government of those born of Ram or of those born illegitimately).”…

Reacting sharply to Jyoti’s comments, former Delhi Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia said, “The BJP clearly wants to vitiate the atmosphere. Comments like these from senior ministers show that their concept of elections is divisive and based on hooliganism.” Former Congress minister Haroon Yusuf said, “This is what the BJP has been doing in Delhi for the past few months. They have been trying to polarise Delhi on the basis of religion, this is what they did in Trilokpuri and Bawana. This politics of religious polarisation is very dangerous and spreads hatred. But Delhi won’t accept this.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/union-minister-spells-out-choice-in-delhi-ramzada-vs-haramzada/99/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Smriti Irani interfering, assertive, says UGC member M M Ansari (Nov 27, 2014, Indian Express)

University Grants Commission (UGC) member M M Ansari has slammed HRD Minister Smriti Irani for her “excessive interference” in the functioning of the commission and for taking “arbitrary and abrupt” decisions, while depending entirely on a “well-planted bureaucracy” and the RSS for running the ministry.

The first such attack on the minister by a serving UGC member comes at a time when she is in the eye of a storm for her ministry’s decision to scrap German as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas. …

The former CIC termed Irani’s decisions as being “very arbitrary” and “abrupt” and claimed she was “too assertive”. Ansari, who has been a UGC member since 2012, also questioned Irani’s capabilities to lead the crucial education sector.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/irani-interfering-assertive-says-ugc-member-ansari/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

AMU Vice Chancellor slams BJP, says can’t celebrate every donor’s birth anniversary (Nov 28, 2014, IBN)

A fresh controversy is brewing in the Aligarh Muslim University where the varsity authorities and Bharatiya Janata Party have got into a war of words over a piece of land. The Vice Chancellor Zameeruddin Shah responding to the controversy said, “I don’t oppose the celebrations and we ourselves had offered to celebrate Raja Mahendra Pratap’s at a pre-decided venue.”

BJP had asked the university to celebrate the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap, a freedom fighter, who according to them had donated land to AMU. A meeting between the AMU V-C and the leaders of BJP and student wing ABVP took place on Thursday in this concern. “There are hundreds of donors, we can’t go on celebrating days of donors,” the V-C said.

The AMU has rejected the claims made by BJP and had approached the Union HRD Ministry to prevent politics from trickling into the matter.…

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/amu-vice-chancellor-slams-bjp-says-cant-celebrate-every-donors-birth-anniversary/515415-3-242.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Why is liberal Hindu majority silent, asks Kuldip Nayar (Dec 1, 2014, India Tomorrow)

While the socio-political situation in the country is fast getting saffronized, but liberal Hindus are silent, lamented veteran journalist and author Kuldip Nayar.

“Today liberal voice of Hindus has gone low. See the newspapers. I do not say they all have become communal, but very few of them are taking on the challenges of communal politics,” said Nayar at the launch of a book on eminent Muslim leader Jawed Habeeb on Friday. Habeeb, founder-member of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, passed away in October 2012.

“I feel that even those who took part in the freedom movement have turned silent or they have got tired. No doubt, Hindus are majority, but this country is ruled by Constitution which gives equal rights to all whether they are Hindu or Muslim,” said eminent columnist Nayar. He was talking about the changed political situation in the country following the May 2014 election.…

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/why-is-liberal-hindu-majority-silent-asks-kuldip-nayar

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Muzaffarnagar riots: Charges framed against 6 accused in murder case (Dec 2, 2014, Indian Express)

Charges have been framed against six accused by the district court in Muzaffarnagar in connection with the killing of a villager during the communal clashes last year.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Jitender Kumar has framed charges under Sections 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon) and 149 and 153a (promoting enmity between different groups and carrying out acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of IPC against the accused, identified as Karan Bhgoda, Bablu, Bittu, Niraj, Ashok and Amit here yesterday.

The court fixed Dec. 18 as the date for the prosecution to present its evidence in the case. According to the prosecution, the victim, identified as one Sagir of Kharad village of the district, was murdered while several houses were burnt by rioters on September 8, 2013.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/uttar-pradesh/muzaffarnagar-riots-charges-framed-against-6-accused-in-murder-case/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Owaisi seeks SC status for all minorities, govt says no (Nov 28, 2014, Times of India)

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) headAsaduddin Owaisi on Thursday dubbed the Presidential order of 1950 limiting Scheduled Caste status to Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists as “communal”, and sought that dalit status be opened to other religious minorities, only to see the government turn down the demand.

Seizing the opportunity offered by an innocuous legislation for inclusion of new communities in Sikkim in the SC list, Owaisi asked how SC status could be limited to three religions. “This is violation of the right to equality… This is discrimination against Muslims and Christians. The Presidential order (defining SCs) is a communal order,” he said.

Demanding SC status for other minorities, Owaisi said the Rangnath Misra Commission had recommended that dalit category should be made religion-neutral. The MIM chief lamented that the Centre had over eight years refused to file an affidavit spelling out its stand on the issue in the Supreme Court which is hearing a related petition. “The government should file a reply in the apex court,” he said.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45302718.cms

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

A Conspiracy to Erase the Gory Memory of the Gujarat Riots – By Archana Prasad (Nov 30, 2014, Peoples Democracy)

The Gujarat government appointed Nanavati Commission has finally submitted its final report on the Godhra incident and the post-Godhra carnage, 2002. Media reports state that the Commission has found no reason to summon the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi in order to probe the responsibility and role of the state government in the riots.

This reported conclusion contradicts the evidence provided to different committees and commissions set up in the last decade to investigate the pre-planned character of the riots. It also explicitly contradicts the significant observations made in the Naroda Patiya case where a then minister of the state government was convicted for her role in the riots.

Thus the apparent conclusion of the Nanavati Commission appears to be an attempt to succumb to political pressure and contribute to the project of erasure of memory of 2002 Gujarat Carnage. This is a politically important exercise as it establishes the false reputation of Modi as a secular leader who is interested only in development. In this context, keeping the memory of Gujarat and the struggle for justice of its victims alive is itself a politically crucial task.…

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2014/1130_pd/conspiracy-erase-gory-memory-gujarat-riots

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Ink On Your Hands – By Sharat Pradhan, Pavithra S. Rangan (Dec 8, 2014, Outlook)

When Congress nominee Ajay Rai moved an election petition against PM Narendra Modi before the Allahabad High Court in June this year, it was treated as one of the many routine election petitions filed by losing candidates. Modi had won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in an exciting multi-cornered election in May 2014 with a margin of 3,71,784 votes. His closest contender, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, polled 2,09,238 votes but had not only showered allegations of irregularities on ‘Team Modi’ but had also accused the Election Commission of taking sides. Ajay Rai had polled 75,614 votes.

But a seemingly innocuous revelation made by the EC appears to have lent some credibility to Rai and Kejriwal’s concerns now. In ordinary times, the astounding news of 6,40,000 duplicate voters identified in a VVIP constituency, one whose MP is now the prime minister, would have hit headlines and hogged prime-time air space and sparked off much furious debate. (To talk of a precedent, back in 1975, when the election of a sitting prime minister was set aside for corrupt electoral practices, Indira Gandhi declared a state of Emergency.)

However, these are extraordinary times. The news of duplicate voters in such large numbers has elicited little response, leave alone outrage, from the national and electronic media. The news first broke on the Navbharat Times website and was followed by a report in Dainik Jagran. The initial figure of 3,00,000 reported by both has since then increased to 6,47,000 duplicate voters, confirmed district officials.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Ink-On-Your-Hands/292748

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

The Moditva model of inclusiveness – By Amitabha Pande (Nov 26, 2014, The Hindu Businessline)

Those waiting for Narendra Modi to show his true khaki/ saffron colours must be hugely disappointed. Instead of articulating muscular Hindutva, he sounds like a Congressman making noises about ‘inclusive’ vikas, democracy, pluralism, non-violence and Swaccha Bharat. He showers praise on Indian Muslims for their commitment to the idea of India.

The Sangh Parivar icons – Savarkar, Hedgewar and Golwalkar – are replaced by Gandhi, Patel and Nehru. He junks his oldest partner in Project Hindutva, the Shiv Sena and allows Sharad Pawar to cosy up to him! So, what the hell is going on?

It is generally believed that anyone who has ever been through the ideological mills of the Sangh Parivar is committed to the Hindu Rashtra agenda unflinchingly and that once the initial liberal antics are over, the remote control from Nagpur will ensure that the ‘real’ agenda comes back into focus.…

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/the-moditva-model-of-inclusiveness/article6636772.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Saffronising The Green – By Irfan Khan (Nov 30, 2014, Outlook)

It could well be called an “extraneous noise”, using a recently coined phrase, when Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders claim that without the generous donation of land by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) alumnus Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, the university’s existence would have been impossible. For it is well known that AMU was established much before Raja Mahendra Pratap’s birth. The land, given on a lease of Rs 2 per year by Raja Mahendra Pratap, undoubtedly proved to be a big help in the extension and expansion of the varsity. AMU has a long list of donors and illustrious alumni who have generously contributed to the cause of setting up a University at Aligarh. However, it is not possible to commemorate all of their birthdays, as their number figures in thousands.

The latest controversy created by the local BJP unit in the name of Jat leader Raja Mahendra Pratap or Peter Peer Pratap is unfounded and baseless. This time RSS and BJP have not done their home work well. In a hurry to create a controversy at AMU, they have wrongly selected a very secular and left-leaning leader who always advocated the doctrine of communal harmony and peace, something that seems to be diametrically opposite to the world view propounded by the saffron outfits.

AMU has never been a platform for political clashes as we see now. It has always promoted the feeling of universal brotherhood and development of the nation. The root of this well-orchestrated drama lies somewhere else. Such politically immature efforts by communally extremist forces to demolish the secular fabric of this great seat of learning and education would have larger ramifications, and may lead to student unrest.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Saffronising-The-Green/292752

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

RSS’ grand saffron plan for education hits a stumbling block: A reluctant Modi sarkar – By Sandip Roy (Nov 25, 2014, First Post)

The RSS played a big part in being the wind beneath Narendra Modi’s wings in his rise to the top. But once he became PM, pundits wondered whether he would clip the RSS’ wings. Modi is not known to be a man who likes to share power or be dictated to. The popular wisdom was Modi would be fine giving the RSS free rein in areas such as education and culture as long as it kept its nose out of areas like economy and foreign policy and defence.

And that’s exactly what it seems to have done according to an in-depth feature story by Shyamlal Yadav in the Indian Express – Sangham: How the RSS is charting out changes in education. On 30th October delegates from 11 RSS-affiliated outfits spent six hours with Union HRD minister Smriti Irani, her sixth meeting with RSS leaders in six months.

Now she has as Minister of State, former RSS pracharak Ram Shankar Katheria. Watch for more “recommendations” coming out of the RSS-affiliated meet in Ujjain on December 13-14. Education will be a big part of the three-day RSS meeting in Ahmedabad. But if you read between the lines, the story seems to more about sound and fury, signifying as of yet, not so much.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/rss-grand-saffron-plan-for-education-hits-a-stumbling-block-a-reluctant-modi-sarkar-1818977.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Burdwan Blast: That House In Burdwan – By Ajit Sahi (Dec 8, 2014, Outlook)

Dead men tell no tales. But those they leave behind can, and do. In the case of Karim Sheikh, the tale his family has to tell blasts a cannonball through investigators’ claims about the provenance of an explosion in a house in Burdwan town of West Bengal on October 2. Indeed, the family’s claims, made to Outlook in videographed interviews, threaten to upend the narrative—of Bangladesh-based Islamic terrorism waiting to rip apart West Bengal—offered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the centre’s terror investigator. The family’s testimony puts a big question mark over the integrity of the NIA’s probe.

In the NIA’s telling, Karim was one of the five people inside an apartment in Khagragarh, a low-income, largely Muslim locality of Burdwan town, 110 km northwest of Calcutta, when a bomb went off in it shortly before noon on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. When the local police arrived and broke into the room of the explosion, they found a man blown to pieces, a youth critically wounded, and another man badly injured. The youth would die at the hospital within three hours of reaching there. A month and ten days later, the NIA said his name was Karim Sheikh.

On November 12, a Burdwan police officer named Gautam Halder wrote to the government hospital, where the youth’s body had lain at the morgue since the post-mortem on October 3, that the “deceased has been identified as Karim Sk s/o Jamshed” and that the “dead body has been identified by Jamshed Sk” and, therefore, “the dead body of Karim Sk may kindly be handed over to Jamshed….” Later that day, a grief-stricken Jamshed, a roadside vegetable seller in a small town named Kirnahar 60 km north of Burdwan, brought his dead son home and buried him.

But there’s a hitch: Jamshed says he did not identify the body as his son’s. “The body had rotted,” Jamshed told Outlook this week. “Nobody in the village could recognise it.” Incredibly, Jamshed says he told the NIA officials he couldn’t identify the body. So why did he accept it?…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/That-House-In-Burdwan/292735

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 1st, 2014

September 2, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Gujarat model of harmony: Water thicker than blood News Headlines Concerned over delay in Gujarat riots cases: SC ‘Reinstatement of Cops accused of fake encounters is clear indication that administration is helping them’ Caught on camera: BJP MP asks supporters to ‘convert 100 Muslim girls for 1 […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 28th, 2014

July 30, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hadapsar sees Hindu-Muslim unity News Headlines United Nations body recalls Gujarat riots, insists on enacting “dropped” communal violence bill Sena MP ‘force-feeds’ fasting Muslim staffer at Maharashtra Sadan Sangh sets up panel to push ‘saffronisation’ of education Rape the activist: RSS man posts on facebook UP: 3 […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 14th, 2014

July 15, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines UK fights for Britons killed in Gujarat riots Cop accused by CBI of firing at Ishrat is back at work Why give a top post to murder accused: Congress Home Ministry has destroyed over 1.5 lakh files: CPM Babri demolition case: Non-bailable warrants against 2 BJP MPs […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 19th, 2014

May 20, 2014

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

Read the full article →

Mukul Sinha’s demise a loss for justice and accountability say Indian Americans

May 14, 2014

Renowned activist will always be remembered for his tireless struggle to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Gujarat pogroms and fake encounter killings. May 14, 2014 Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed grief and a profound sense of loss over the […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 27th, 2014

January 28, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony National communal harmony award for CSSS News Headlines 2002 Gujarat riots: Zakia Jafri to move HC against clean chit to Modi CBI may soon file charges against IB officers in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case Samjhauta blasts: Aseemanand, three others charged with sedition, murder ATS chief […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 30th, 2013

December 31, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Lower court goes along with dirty SIT’s clean chit to Modi News Headlines Criminal Charges against Modi and 59 others ‘Shaken to the core’ but Modi does not offer apology Gujarat riots: Nanavati Commission gets 21 extension till June 30 to submit report Snoopgate went on even […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 18th, 2013

November 19, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony The unsung heroes of Muzaffarnagar – an untold story News Headlines Gujarat riots return to haunt Modi as US writers brand him ‘the poster child of India’s failure to punish the violent’ US Republicans deny they invited Modi to address party Congressional leaders Snooping charges leveled […]

Read the full article →