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Gujarat riots

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 20th, 2017

by newsdigest on December 13, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Rajasthan: Police orders inquiry into ‘love jihad’ pamphlets at Jaipur fair (Nov 20, 2017, Scroll.in)

The Jaipur Police on Sunday ordered an inquiry into pamphlets about “love jihad” being distributed allegedly by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal at an event in the city, PTI reported. The action came soon after media reports said that the Rajasthan government had asked schools to send students and teachers to attend the fair.

Pamphlets at the event accused Muslim film actors of trapping Hindu women by marrying them, and also suggested that “love jihad” could be prevented by checking books and mobile phones of women. They said that “love jihad” takes place at beauty parlours, mobile recharge shops, ladies’ tailors and Muslim hawkers’ outlets.

The pamphlets have now been withdrawn, and the organisers of the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair have distanced themselves from the controversy. “We are here to promote ideas of spirituality,” Rajendra Singh Shekhawat, an official of the foundation that organised the fair, told The Times of India. “We don’t endorse any ideology.”…

https://scroll.in/latest/858529/rajasthan-police-orders-inquiry-into-love-jihad-pamphlets-at-jaipur-fair

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Padmavati row: BJP leader offers Rs 10 cr for Deepika, Bhansali head (Nov 20, 2017, Business Standard)

Haryana’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Media Coordinator Suraj Pal Amu on Sunday passed derogatory remarks against ‘Padmavati’ filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, actress Deepika Padukone and actor Ranveer Singh.

Amu threatened actor Ranveer Singh, who is playing Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji in the movie, for supporting Bhansali. “If you (Ranveer Singh) do not take back your words, we will break your legs [Agar tune apne shabd wapas nahin liye, toh teri taango ko todkar tere haathon mein de dengey),” he said, adding slurs against the actor.

He also praised the Meerut youth for announcing Rs 5 crore bounty for beheading Deepika and Bhansali. “I want to congratulate the Meerut youth for announcing Rs 5 crore bounty for beheading Deepika, and Bhansali. We will reward the ones beheading them, with Rs 10 crore, and also take care of their family’s needs,” he added.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/politics/rs-10-cr-for-deepika-padukone-bhansali-s-head-bjp-leader-on-padmavati-row-117112000217_1.html

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Ram Naam ki loot: Nirmohi Akhara accuses BJP, VHP of swindling Rs 1400 crore (Nov 18, 2017, National Herald)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP)-which spearheaded the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid – have been accused of swindling Rs 1,400 crore which was collected as donations in the name of the Ram temple construction at Ayodhya.

Nirmohi Akhara, which is one of the three claimants to the disputed site in Ayodhya and is the main litigant in the Ayodhya title suits, has alleged that VHP, in association with certain politicians (without naming the BJP), has not only swindled more than Rs 1,400 crore contributed by the devotees but also the bricks which were amassed for the construction of the proposed temple at the disputed site.…

“We’re the sons and servants of Ram Ji. We are fighting to serve Ram Ji and not for the money. Politicians want to occupy (the site) and turn it into a senseless issue,” he said, adding, “They collected the money as donation from the devotees. But they used that money to construct their own buildings and form their government. But they didn’t use that money for construction of the temple.”…

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/ram-naam-ki-loot-nirmohi-akhara-accuses-bjp-vhp-of-swindling-rs-1400-crore

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330 gang rapes during 2002 Gujarat riots; while triple talaq is being discussed, none speaks about them: Top activist (Nov 20, 2017, Counterview)

More than 300 women from different parts of Gujarat assembled in Ahmedabad under the banner of Gujarat Mahila Manch to complain of “abusive, repression, sexual harassment, deprivation and control”, pointing towards how the state government has failed to accord them basic human rights. At the end of the day-long meet, they unanimously resolved not to vote for a government which has deprived them of their basic rights.…

Retired sessions judge Jyotsana Yagnik, who gave brilliant judgements in the Bijal gang rape case and the infamous Naroda Patia case, said, following the Nirbhaya judgment, Rs 1000 crore corpus had been allocated to several states for safety programmes of women, but none of it has been spent.…

“There were 330 gang rapes in 2002 in Gujarat. Triple Talaq is being discussed, none cares about them. Muslim women’s problems are sidelined. The Constitution accords equity, but the minority community women in this state have none.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/11/330-gang-rapes-during-2002-gujarat.html

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Karnataka Assembly passes anti-superstition bill, bans controversial practice of ‘made snana’ (Nov 17, 2017, Scroll.in)

The Karnataka Assembly on Thursday passed what is popularly known as the anti-superstition bill, with a few modifications, The Hindu reported.

The bill bans advertisements about miracle cures for diseases, performing black magic, tantric acts, exorcism rituals and the practice of parading people naked or ostracising them in the name of a ritual, among other practices.

Opposition leaders in the state, except Bharatiya Janata Party MLA CT Ravi and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Revanna, welcomed the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017. They advised the government to concentrate on making lower-caste communities more aware about superstitions.…

https://scroll.in/latest/858209/karnataka-assembly-passes-anti-superstition-bill-bans-controversial-practice-of-made-snana

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Constitutional values under seige from fascist forces: Mahadevappa (Nov 20, 2017, Times of India)

The core values enshrined in the Indian Constitution are facing a threat from fascists and fundamentalists, said district in-charge minister HC Mahadevappa on Sunday. Exhorting universities to safeguard the Constitution and strengthen democracy, Mahadevappa said that saffronisation and communalisation of universities, schools and colleges was a dangerous trend.

The minister, who unveiled the nine-and-a-half feet tall statue of the Constituion’s architect BR Ambedkar at the Manasaganotri campus of the University of Mysore(UoM) on Sunday, said, “An attempt was made to dilute the Constitution when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. Youngsters need to protect the Constitution and save Indian democracy.”

Pointing to the ban on cow slaughter, he said, “It infringes on one’s culinary habits. Cow slaughter industry employs many people. Citizens have the right to choose what they want to eat.” Mahadevappa added that the values of the ancient Indian text Manusmriti, which Ambedkar had denounced, were resurfacing in the country.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61716716.cms

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Riyas Moulavi case; RSS workers booked for murder charges (Nov 16, 2017, Evartha.in)

Into the murder case of Riyas Moulavi hailing from Old Choori of Kasaragod district, three accused who are RSS workers, have been booked for murder charges by the court. The court’s new move comes just before the hearing of the case.

The accused in the case are S Ajesh (20) aka Appu, Nidhin (19) and Akhilesh (25) aka Akhil, natives of Kelugude. District sessions judge Manohar Kini read out the charges against the three to which they denied the crime. The case has been postponed to 16 December for further proceedings.

Riyas Moulavi (34) was found hacked at a room near the Muhayuddin Juma Masjid in Choori by his colleague on 20 March 2017. He was declared brought dead at the general hospital.…

http://www.evartha.in/english/2017/11/16/riyas-moulavi-case-rss-workers-booked-for-murder-charges.html

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Gujarat elections: Fear-the-Muslim video chills in poll heat (Nov 18, 2017, Indian Express)

In poll-bound Gujarat, where the ruling BJP and main opponent Congress are increasingly turning to social media to belittle each other in the countdown to the assembly polls next month, a new video clip has surfaced, one that shows a young girl walking fearfully down a road while what sounds like an azaan (the Muslim call to prayer) plays in the background.

Nobody is owning up the video clip which has been doing the rounds. A human rights lawyer, Govind Parmar of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), has written to Election Commission and Gujarat Police to stop circulation of the video clip, saying it can be used to polarise votes in the state and stoke hatred against Muslims.

The 1.15-minute video clip in Gujarati starts with a line that reads: ‘Gujarat ma sanjhe 7 pachhi avu thai shake chhe’ (This can happen in Gujarat after 7 in the evening).…

http://indianexpress.com/elections/gujarat-assembly-elections-2017/another-video-with-communal-overtones-surfaces-in-poll-bound-gujarat-lawyer-goes-to-ec-police-4942020/

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A temple for Mahatma Gandhi’s killer: Hindu Mahasabha lays foundation stone in Gwalior (Nov 16, 2017, Times Now)

Undeterred by the Gwalior district administration’s refusal to allow construction of a temple glorifying Mahatma Gandhi’s murderer Nathuram Godse, the Hindu Mahasabha laid the foundation stone for the mandir.

India Today reports that the foundation stone was laid in Hindu Mahasabha’s Daulatganj office area. Floral tributes were paid to a statue which had already been installed in the office.

Godse was convicted in the murder of the Father of the Nation and was hanged till death on November 15, 1949 – his supporters celebrated the death anniversary as ‘sacrifice day’.…

http://www.timesnownews.com/mirrornow/news/in-focus/a-temple-for-mahatma-gandhi-s-killer-hindu-mahasabha-lays-foundation-stone-in-gwalior/56308

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UP ministers watching, BJP leader warns Muslims: vote for us or else face ‘difficulties’ (Nov 17, 2017, Indian Express)

Campaigning for his wife who is contesting the civic polls in Barabanki district, a local BJP leader, Ranjeet Kumar Srivastava, warned Muslims to vote for her or face “difficulties” (kasht). Two ministers in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet, Dara Singh Chauhan and Ramapati Shastri, were present on stage when Srivastava made the remarks at a public meeting in Nawabganj area on November 13.

A video of his speech is doing the rounds of social media. “Samajwadi ki sarkar nahi hai. Yahan par tum jaa kar ke DM, SP se apna kaam nahi kara sakte ho. Yahan par tumhara koi neta tumhari koi madad nahi kar sakta hai. Sadak, khadanja, naali nagar palika ka kaam hai. Doosri bhi kuch museebatein tumhare upar aa sakti hain. Aaj tumhara koi pairokar BJP ke andar nahi hai. Agar hamare sabhasadon ko tumne bagair bhedbhao ke chunav nahin jitaya… Agar Ranjeet Sahab ki patni ko tumne vote de kar ke chunav nahi jitaya… To yeh doori jo tum banane ja rahe ho, ab agar yeh doori banegi to tumko Samajwadi Party bachane nahi aayegi. BJP ka shashankaal hai. Jo kasht tumko nahi jhelne pade the, woh kasht tumko uthane pad sakte hain,” said Srivastava.

(This is not a Samajwadi Party government. You cannot go to the DM, SP to get your work done. None of your leaders can help you. Roads, lanes, drains are the work of the municipal board. You may face some other difficulties as well. Today, you don’t have any advocates inside the BJP. If you do not, without any discrimination, get our corporators elected… If you do not vote for Ranjeet Sahab’s wife and get her elected… then you will distance yourselves and Samajwadi Party won’t come to your rescue. This is the BJP’s reign. You may have to face the difficulties which you did not have to undergo earlier). “Isliye, main Mussalmano se keh raha hun, vote de dena. Bheekh nahi maang raha hun. Agar vote doge, to sukhi rahoge. Agar vote nahin doge, to jo kasht jheloge uska andaza tumko swatah lag jayega,” he said. (Therefore, I am asking Muslims to cast your vote (for us). I am not begging. If you vote (for us), you will be better off. If you don’t vote (for us), the difficulties will become obvious to you.)…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/up-ministers-watching-bjp-leader-warns-muslims-vote-for-us-or-else-face-difficulties-4941218/

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Opinions and Editorials

When Muslims are killed in hate crimes, BJP governments always side with the accused – By Afroz Alam Sahil (Nov 16, 2017, Sabrang India)

A few days ago, during the trial of the persons accused of killing Junaid Khan, Justice YS Rathor of the Faridabad District Court made an extremely astounding observation. In his written order, Justice Rathor observed, “Despite repeated warnings, government additional advocate General Naveen Kaushik was seen helping the lawyer of the accused and telling him the questions which will be asked to the accused.” Following this, Kaushik was removed from his post and Justice Rathor also asked the Haryana government to take action against Kaushik.

Justice Rathor’s observation may have been a revelation for some, but it points to a much bigger issue: time and again, the way the state and central government have acted in cases related to mob lynching of Muslims, it is clear that justice for Muslims in these cases will be tough and probably elusive. This becomes even more visible in cases where the state government is also under the BJP, as is the case in Haryana where Junaid was murdered.

Take the case of Pahlu Khan, where an independent investigation has conclusively proved how the government is hell-bent on providing all possible support to the accused. The police have been in an overdrive mode trying to prove that the men named by Khan in his dying declaration were never present on the site (despite video evidence) while the hospital where Khan was brought says he died of a heart attack. The report also details exactly how the police have time and again, shown a lackadaisical attitude towards the case.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/when-muslims-are-killed-hate-crimes-bjp-governments-always-side-accused

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The Sangh’s New Game Plan for Ayodhya – By Krishna Pratap Singh (Nov 16, 2017, The Wire)

From the time of Adityanath’s first visit to Ayodhya as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the question doing the rounds in the state was why he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are singing such different tunes on the Ram temple controversy. Adityanath’s recent Diwali extravaganza, tom-tommed as a ‘return to treta yuga’, has triggered a fresh round of speculation – unlike in 2014, will the BJP contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a Hindutva agenda, or will it remove Adityanath from his chief ministerial position before that.

This question, which has everything to do with the internal contradictions between the ruling BJP and the RSS, has gained a sharper edge in the light of several factors – the differences ‘within and without’ over the Modi government’s style of functioning and policies; the narrative of ‘vikas going crazy’ in Gujarat; the bubble of the so-called Gujarat model of economy bursting; and Adityanath being asked to campaign in parallel with Modi in poll-bound Gujarat. But as yet this question remains unanswered.

Political observers who have been predicting a huge churn within the BJP, have even started saying that by 2019 Modi will stumble to such an extent that his larger than life aura of ‘heroism’ will be transferred to Adityanath, and Modi himself will suffer the same fate as Lal Krishna Advani. The way these observers see it, the Gujarat election results will unequivocally demonstrate that people can’t be fooled all the time.…

https://thewire.in/197269/sanghs-new-game-plan-ayodhya/

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A distorted view of India – By Tavleen Singh (Nov 19, 2017, Indian Express)

Ever since Hindutva spread like a saffron skein across our ancient land, a new kind of chippy Indian has emerged. The chip on his shoulder is so huge that the smallest criticism of Hinduism, Hindus or Hindustan sends him (and her) into an apoplectic fit, especially on Twitter.

The rage vented is so petty, putrid and pathetic that I believe that instead of being the proud patriots these chippy Indians profess to be, they are secretly ashamed of being Indian.…

At the risk of sounding a little like a chippy, Hindutva type, I have to point out that there has been much more ignorance and prejudice about India evident in The New York Times since Narendra Modi became prime minister. The best example of this prejudice is that he is often made to sound as if he were the only chief minister who presided over communal riots in which the victims were mostly Muslim.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/fifth-column-a-distorted-view-of-india-4943915/

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Muslim Panic Over House Markings in Ahmedabad is Painful Legacy of 2002 Violence – By Damayantee Dhar (Nov 16, 2017, The Wire)

An apparent municipal plan to implement a GPS-driven garbage collection system created panic among the Muslim residents of the Paldi area when they found mysterious red crosses on the outer wall of their housing societies earlier this week.

Though 15 years have passed since the 2002 targeted attacks on Muslim neighbourhoods and dwellings in the city, the big red ‘X’ marks led many to imagine the worst. Several residents filed a written complaint to the Election Commission and the police commissioner. It was only then that the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) said that the cross marks were meant to be garbage pickup points and had been painted by its staff.…

The red cross marks appeared on about 10 Muslim housing societies in the area, spreading panic. Later, it was found that at least two Hindu societies also had similar markings. The residents of Delight, one of the Muslim societies, wrote a letter to the Election Commission and police commissioner on November 13 urging them to take “immediate action against marking and highlighting of Muslim community building premises in Paldi area”.…

https://thewire.in/197394/muslim-panic-house-markings-ahmedabad-painful-legacy-2002-violence/

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Gujarat Behind the Mirage: The Myth of Good Governance – By Gautam Thaker (Nov 14, 2017, Sabrang India)

Good governance of any state can be gauged on the basis of the reports of non-partisan institutions. Certain rules and regulations have been included within the constitutional scheme to determine whether the expenditure incurred by the state and also whether the implementation of planning of the state has been done in a legally proper and accountable manner.

There is nothing orderly and accountable within Gujarat, not only in the economic and political field but neither in the social or cultural field. Individual human rights and freedoms are seriously endangered, the dignity and rights of women, Dalits and minorities under assault from an entrenched system of majoritarian patronage; citizens from these sections do not receive fair and measured treatment. So it also is with atrocities on the working class and the denial of the rights of Adivasis. The Gujarat model which is being presented before the nation is false and misleading – deceptive.

Lakhs of deprived people, Dalits, Adivasis, cowherds of Saurashtra, freely wandering races (tribes), fishermen, salt-workers and unorganised labourers are today, not safe in Gujarat. Pasture lands are being given away to big industry – industrialists are making the life of all classes of citizens, with the exception of the rich, full of hardship. The condition of women workers, labourers, poor workers and farm workers is pitiable. Truly speaking, the poor in Gujarat have no equal opportunities to earn their livelihood with self respect or to improve their life conditions.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/gujarat-behind-mirage-myth-good-governance

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End threats and blackmail against Padmavati – Editorial (Nov 17, 2017, Free Press Journal)

It is extraordinary that even before anyone knows what it depicts, Bollywood film Padmavati has become a hot topic of discussion. And for all the wrong reasons. If anyone ought to debate its contents minutely before passing it for commercial release, it is the Central Board of Film Certification. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a top-notch director, cannot be unaware of the sensitivities and sensibilities of the protesters making noises against his film.

A lot of money is riding on Padmavati and its makers can be trusted not to risk it by knowingly offending any section of the people. The fact that the film has been dogged by controversy from the day it went on the sets, Bhansali might have seen it as a double-edged weapon, for if the protests added to costs and time-overruns, these also lent the film a huge cache, arousing wide public interest.

Given the latest protests, it seems, Bhansali was wrong in not having stilled the controversy right in the beginning. Creative freedom must not be circumscribed by the fear of self-styled defenders of historical figures.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/end-threats-and-blackmail-against-padmavati/1171815

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 28th, 2017

by newsdigest on September 21, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

“Safe Zones”, Hindu-Muslim Harmony and Life as a Kashmiri Pandit (Aug 22, 2017, The Quint)

Daanish Bin Nabi, a Srinagar-based journalist, explores the ground realities of being a Kashmiri Pandit in Kashmir. He interviews Kashmiri Pandits to reveal their refusal to accept “safe zones” for the community, which they believe will not only lead to further ghettoisation, but also encourage communal activities.

Further interaction reveals an enduring friendship between a Kashmiri Pandit and a Muslim. Nabi’s piece therefore further emphasises the harmony Hindu and Muslim communities enjoy in Kashmir. Here’s a breakdown of the article, published in three parts.

Violence in any part of a conflict zone ultimately affects the common people. When armed conflict began in late 80s and early 90s in Kashmir against the Indian state, the Kashmiri Pandits were the first to bear the brunt.

https://www.thequint.com/india/2017/08/22/kashmiri-pandits-safe-zones-hindu-muslim-harmony

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Ram Rahim Singh enjoyed BJP’s patronage (Aug 25, 2017, The Hindu)

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, whose supporters went on the rampage in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan to protest the court verdict convicting him of rape, had enjoyed the patronage and support of the BJP government in Haryana as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On October 29, 2014, Mr. Modi lauded the Dera chief for the Swachh Bharat (clean India) mission. “Appreciable effort by Baba Ram Rahim ji & his team. Will motivate people across India to join Swachch Bharat Mission,” he had tweeted.…

The Dera chief supported the BJP in the 2014 Assembly elections and Haryana Chief Minister M.L. Khattar’s association with the self-appointed cult leader is an open secret. On May 6, Mr. Khattar launched a special cleanliness drive with the Dera chief at his constituency in Karnal.…

Haryana’s Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said last week that the Dera followers were peace-loving people. A few months ago he handed a cheque for ₹51 lakh to the Dera chief as a mark of support. A year ago, Health and Sports Minister Anil Vij drew flak from the Congress for donating ₹50 lakh to the Dera chief.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/godman-enjoyed-bjp-patronage/article19562703.ece

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‘He Is PM Of India, Not BJP,’ Says Furious High Court After Haryana Riots (Aug 26, 2017, NDTV)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not spared as a furious court on Saturday reprimanded Haryana and the central governments over the deadly rioting by self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers after his conviction for rape. “He is the Prime Minister of not the BJP but of India,” said the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The court was responding to Additional Solicitor General Satya Pal Jain, who is representing the centre, saying that Friday’s violence was a matter of the state. “Is Haryana not a part of India? Why are Punjab and Haryana treated like step children?” the court questioned.… “You let the situation escalate. You surrendered to the situation,” said court, admonishing the state government over a Panchkula police officer being sacked this morning. “You are trying to crucify a small DCP of Panchkula what about those political masters who have been giving wrong directions?” the judges said to the Haryana government.…

Chief Minister ML Khattar… appeared to shield Ram Rahim’s followers as he said criminals had infiltrated the crowd of Dera Sacha Sauda devotees. The comments were not missed by the court, which said: “Your Chief Minister said miscreants got mixed up with Dera people, giving the impression that they didn’t do anything, you’re still supporting them, you are the ones who made this happen.”

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/you-let-panchkula-burn-for-political-motives-court-rips-into-haryana-1742285

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Only ‘RSS hatao’ will help dist. see development: CM’s media adviser (Aug 28, 2017, The Hindu)

Rather than “Mangaluru Chalo” there should be “RSS hatao” programme. Only if Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh moves out from Dakshina Kannada, one can see development here, said Dinesh Amin Mattu, media adviser to Chief Minister, here on Sunday.

Speaking at the 11th Mangaluru city conference of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, Mr. Mattu said that the RSS was actively involved in the politics of Bharatiya Janata Party. “What we are seeing is the rule of those who are not elected by people. What is the stature of B.L. Santosh (RSS activist and BJP National Joint Organising Secretary), Mohan Bhagwat and Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, who have an active role in the BJP,” he said.

Mr. Mattu accused the RSS of holding campaigns to polarise voters on caste and religious lines that will help the BJP. Citing reports of Mr. Santosh leading the proposed “Mangaluru Chalo”, from September 5 to Spetmber 7, by the BJP Yuva Morcha, Mr. Mattu said that the people of the region should demand RSS hatao.…

ttp://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/only-rss-hatao-will-help-dist-see-development-cms-media-adviser/article19574418.ece

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Life has become ‘difficult’ for minorities under Modi govt: Azam (Aug 26, 2017, Indian Express)

Muslims are being “harassed” and it has become “difficult” for minorities to lead a normal life since the Narendra Modi dispensation assumed office, senior Samajwadi Party leader and Rampur MLA Azam Khan has alleged.

Talking to reporters here last evening, the former Uttar Pradesh minister said, “Muslims are being harassed – sometimes in the name of cow (slaughter) and sometimes in the name of religion.” “Life has become difficult for minorities since the Narendra Modi-led BJP came to power,” he added.

He also alleged that the BJP government was trying to “redefine” Shariat laws, in the wake of a Supreme Court verdict invalidating the Muslim practice of instant divorce -‘talaq-e-biddat’. On the Supreme Court’s judgement holding privacy a fundamental right under the Constitution, he said, “It will foil the BJP’s nefarious designs to generate a vicious atmosphere of hatred in the country.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/life-has-become-difficult-for-minorities-under-modi-govt-azam-khan-4814755/

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Cows dying of starvation in BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh shows how flawed gau raksha governance is (Aug 19, 2017, Dailyo.in)

The great cow governance conundrum has finally begun to manifest itself. And the moral of the story is that cow-driven state agenda ends up harming the very animals it’s trying to protect. At least 200 cows have died – allegedly of starvation, lack of medicine and general neglect – in a cow shelter in BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, in Rajpur village of the state’s Durg district. A BJP leader, who owns the shelterhouse, Harish Verma, has been arrested in this regard.

According to a Hindustan Times report, “The officials have, so far, confirmed 30 starvation-related deaths. Villagers, however, alleged that the number of deaths would be 200 and most of them have been buried near the shelter. Several carcasses, other than those buried, were found in the vicinity, they alleged.”

Moreover, 100 more cows have been reported to have died in Bemetera district of Chhattisgarh, and the villagers have blamed negligence from authorities and lack of food and maintenance at the cow shelter for the deaths. The arrested BJP leader, however, “blamed” the BJP government of chief minister Raman Singh for the deaths. Verma, who has been running the shelter for the past seven years, says that over-capacity by over 300 per cent has resulted in lack of food, medicine, care for sick and hungry cows, resulting ultimately in their painfully prolonged deaths.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/gau-rakshak-cow-vigilantism-cow-politics-bjp-chhattisgarh/story/1/19063.html

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Maharashtra Board’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ For History: No Mughals, Shivaji ‘Ideal Ruler’ (Aug 8, 2017, Huffington Post)

Months after the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education decided to teach students of class X that Maharana Pratap defeated Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th-century Battle of Haldighati, the Maharashtra Board education department has said that there’s no need for students to learn about Mughal history at all.

Sadanand More, chairman of the History subject committee of the Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research, told Mumbai Mirror that the revisions were made to orient the curriculum with a Maharashtra-centric view of history.

Now, students of class VII and IX will be taught history that revolves around the Maratha empire and warrior king Shivaji, besides Indian politics post 1960, reports Indian Express. The three line mention of the Mughal emperors will have a new description too. Akbar, earlier known as a “liberal and tolerant administrator,” will now be the ruler who “tried to bring India under a central authority” but faced opposition from Maharana Pratap and others.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/08/08/maharashtra-boards-swachh-bharat-abhiyan-for-history-no-mugh_a_23069644/

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Lt Col Purohit walks out of jail: Here’s a status check of 7 Hindutva terror cases (Aug 23, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The National Investigation Agency investigated seven terror cases in which Hindu right-wing groups are suspects. These cases – involving attacks where Muslims were targeted – were handed to the federal agency by the previous UPA government. This is also when the NIA made most of the arrests, including that of Swami Aseemanand and Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit.

After remaining in jail for nine years, Purohit – one of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast – walked out of the Taloja prison on Wednesday.

There have been allegations that over the past three years, the pace of investigations in these cases has slackened and witnesses have turned hostile where the accused belonged to organisations close to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/lt-col-purohit-walks-out-of-jail-here-s-a-status-check-of-7-hindutva-terror-cases/story-jHvmVOS3yLYtFP8R89iRYL.html

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Gujarat Riots: Supreme Court Asks Trial Court To Decide Case In 4 Months (Aug 25, 2017, NDTV)

The Supreme Court has asked the lower court in Gujarat to decide within four months the trial in a 2002 Gujarat riots case related to the Naroda Gam incident in which 11 persons were killed.

A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar was informed that the trial was in progress in the matter and defence evidence was being recorded by a special court in the state.

The top court asked the lower court to complete recording of evidence of the remaining defence witnesses in two months.…

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/gujarat-riots-supreme-court-asks-trial-court-to-decide-case-in-4-months-1742119

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Explain delay in Asaram Bapu trial, SC tells Gujarat govt (Aug 29, 2017, Asian Age)

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Gujarat government to explain the inordinate delay in the trial of self-styled “godman” Asaram Bapu in a rape case for which he was arrested in 2013.

A bench comprising justices N.V. Ramana and Amitava Roy asked additional solicitor general (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat, to explain why the victim has not been examined so far. The ASG pleaded that some more time may be required for examination of the victim and other witnesses. The bench asked the ASG to file an affidavit in this regard and posted the matter for further hearing after Diwali.

The court had in April directed the trial court in Gujarat to expedite the examination of prosecution witnesses while rejecting the Asaram’s bail plea. The godman was asked to seek bail after the conclusion of the examination of key witnesses as well as the trial in Rajasthan, which is being held on a day-to-day basis.…

http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/290817/explain-delay-in-asaram-bapu-trial-sc-tells-gujarat-government.html

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Man gets 5-year jail for dowry harassment (Aug 23, 2017, Times of India)

A city court on Tuesday convicted a person for dowry harassment and sentenced him to five years of imprisonment.

The deceased, Sharvani, a daily wage labourer, married Ramani Praveen Kumar (29), a construction labourer and resident of Borabanda in 2011.

After one year of marriage, she was harassed by her husband for more dowry. She committed suicide by setting herself on fire in 2014, following which the family filed a case against Praveen. She was admitted at Osmania General Hospital with 84% burn injuries and succumbed to burns in two days.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/60185825.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Why should BJP fall head over heels for rape convict Ram Rahim? – By SS Dhawan (Aug 28, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…Sure, the party had benefited from a last-minute surge in 2014 when Dera Sacha Sauda – with its offering of Dalit voters – had jumped onto the BJP bandwagon. But how many rapes will it take the BJP to overcome its deep sense of gratitude and indebtedness to someone who is not even fit to be a comic underling of Johnny Lever? And, mind you, this is the same party that has, over the years, put us to sleep with its mindless drone about minority appeasement; that was crying itself hoarse, until the other day, about Muslim women’s empowerment, virtually taking credit for a court decision liberating them from the obnoxious triple talaq practice!

But, curiously, it has no lurid tales to tell about the two sadhvis who were raped by their repository of trust, whom they reverentially addressed as “pita ji!” The BJP spokespersons are not part of any such brouhaha in the TV studios; rather they scampered for cover when provoked by an anchorperson into calling Ram Rahim a rapist!…

Voters, Mr Prime Minister, care more about actual societal progress than the fortunes of a particular political party. Ironically, the state of Haryana is under ML Khattar’s thumb rule and the BJP has a non-Jat social coalition well entrenched until the next election. Where then was the need to fall heads over heels for a rape accused?…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/bjp-ram-rahim-rape-conviction-sirsa-modi-khattar/story/1/19211.html

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From Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to Asaram Bapu, India’s Obsession with Rape Accused Babas – By Bhavdeep Kang (Aug 26, 2017, News18.com)

Murder, rape, castration, abduction – a rap sheet as long as his arm and yet Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan’s followers are ‘ready to die’ for him. Many of those who sought to intimidate the state government and judiciary by converging in large numbers on Haryana’s Panchkula town in support of the ‘Love Charger’ guru, are well-educated, wealthy and socially prominent; certainly not wild-eyed fanatics.

The question of why mentally sound individuals are willing to sacrifice their health, wealth, family and friends at the behest of a godman continues to puzzle social psychologists. It is not that such people are chronically depressed or don’t value their lives; it is just that they value their guru more. In contrast with political or social activists, they are unconcerned with the social outcomes (constructive or destructive) of their actions. The guru is an end in himself.…

Some analysts see the growing clout of spiritual entrepreneurs as a consequence of the increasing religiosity in Indian society. Meera Nanda, in The God Market, observes that “India is not free of the forces of politicised religiosity which expresses itself in a growing sense of Hindu majoritarianism”. Globalisation, she contends, has sharpened religious identities, fuelled by a state-temple-corporate nexus.…

http://www.news18.com/news/india/opinion-dera-sacha-sauda-chief-gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-asaram-bapu-rape-accused-babas-1500875.html

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Haryana violence is Modi’s fault for hand-picking RSS stooge Khattar as chief minister – By SS Dhawan (Aug 26, 2017, Dailyo.in)

This, Mr Prime Minister, is the folly of picking handpicked attendants of the RSS and parachuting them into the party; and then allowing them to masquerade as chief ministers. How the dream of fraternity with a spurious god man can turn into a nightmare of servility is a lesson one needs to learn from the Haryana government which had earlier fanned the Jat agitation in a similar fashion.

That the simmering fires could reach the national capital region did not even strike the perceptive prime minister for whom the violence must have been like a familiar echo from a distant past when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.…

Kalyan Singh may have got away with it but Khattar will find the Punjab and Haryana High Court a hard nut to crack. The court responded with scathing strictures on Saturday blaming the political establishment for acts of commission and omission that “allowed the city of Panchkula to burn for political gains”.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/gurmeet-ram-rahim-rape-verdict-haryana-rss-ml-khattar/story/1/19187.html

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Hindutva Rule & Anarchy are Two Sides of the Same Coin – By Shamsul Islam (Aug 26, 2017, Sabrang India)

In December 1992 despite restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court and the ‘undertakings’ given by the BJP-ruled government to the court and the government of India, that peace would be maintained in Ayodhya during the ‘kar seva’, thousands were allowed to gather at Ayodhya, India still witnessed mob rule and the demolition of a 400 year-old mosque. This criminal act, even as 3,000 paramilitary forces looked mutely on, deeply fractured Indian society, causing a schism even the worst enemies of India could not accomplish.

In 2002, in Gujarat a similar, sinister pattern was repeated. Mobs led by Hindutva criminal organizations were allowed free reign. The result? A genocidal carnageof Muslims. What happened in Gujarat in 2002 was editorially commented by leading English daily, Hindustan Times (March 21, 2002) in the following words: “Daughters were gang raped in front of their fathers and then their heads bashed in. their fathers were doused with petrol and set on fire. Their property was looted. Their businesses were destroyed. And the police stood by and did nothing.”

In February 2016, the violence allowed to spill over in Haryana was another example of this trait of BJP governance. Haryana turned into a war zone as caste wars were allowed free reign. The mobs were allowed to burn public property and Haryana simmered –held to ransom by the rule of the mob- for 11-12 days. The Army had to be called which fired on its own people, 30 people were killed in the violence.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/hindutva-rule-anarchy-are-two-sides-same-coin

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BJP’s Hypocrisy Over Its Passion For Hinduism Exposed – By Gurpreet Singh (Aug 27, 2017, Countercurrents)

Shortly after the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders of his ruling Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) extended greetings to the nation on Ganesh Chaturthi, violence started by the followers of a controversial god man convicted for rape left more than 30 people dead.

The arson took place in BJP ruled state of Haryana where a court had convicted the head of a sect Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for rape in 1997. While his devotees began the violence, a number of BJP leaders openly sided with the self styled god man. So much so, one BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj- who is a seer himself stated that a court cannot be above the belief of thousands of devotees.

The BJP which is known for its right wing ideology has a desire to turn India into Hindu theocracy. To harbour an ambition to establish Hindu state is one thing and to be an honest Hindu is something else. If their response to the violence of Singh’s followers is any indication their passion for Hindu religion is full of hypocrisy and contradictions.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/08/27/bjps-hypocrisy-over-its-passion-for-hinduism-exposed/

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Encounters of a Dark & Sinister Kind: Gujarat – By Keki Daruwalla (Aug 24, 2017, Sabrang India)

Encounters are safe bets for those policemen who are averse to risk. Get the right information, know the number and colour of the car or of the bus he or she is travelling in (we are talking terrorists here), drag the fellow (s) out, get the info from him and shoot the blighter. The boss, a DIG no less, will pat your back, the reward will be yours, if not the medal. But in this case the DIG, Mr. Vanzara was himself involved! Who can pat a DIG except the Home Minister. And after a decade old war in the press between nouveau liberals and die hard nationalists, we find the court ‘discharging’ the accused.

Not surprisingly people in Gujarat can’t make out what the hullabaloo is about – this talk of genuine and spurious encounters. As long as you shoot the guy all encounters are genuine, Pal. So you can depend on it that people received with considerable glee the news about the CBI Court ‘discharging’ Mr. Vanzara and another officer of all guilt. Your premier investigating agency, under orders and supervision of the highest court charged the accused.…

Remember Malegaon bomb blast cases and the statement of the fine prosecutor Ms. Rohini Salian that she was pressurised to go slow against the accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Col. Shrikant Purohit, now, ludicrously enough, posing as an ‘army mole’! The bomb was placed on the Sadhvi’s motor cycle, incidentally, killing Muslims.…Lastly what I have mentioned is the tip of the iceberg. Things are worse and need to come out in the open – the court for instance.

https://sabrangindia.in/article/encounters-dark-sinister-kind-gujarat

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 17th, 2017

April 29, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony A worthy example of communal harmony News Headlines Alwar cops ‘botched’ Pehlu lynching probe Bail for All Assailant ‘Gau Rakshaks’ in Ayub Murder Case: Gujarat Tension in Muzaffarpur village after lynching of man for hitting goat Opposition meets President, says ‘environment of fear, insecurity prevailing in the […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 6th, 2017

March 18, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans decry increasing hate crimes in the US; appreciate support from fellow Americans against bias and harassment Communal Harmony Mangalore Defeats RSS Disruption of the Communal Harmony March News Headlines ‘Gujarat riots did not happen all of a sudden’ RSS Leader Boasts of Killing 2000 Muslims in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 8th, 2016

August 19, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines 2002 post-Godhra riots: 11 get life term for killing a man, daughter in Mehsana Sri Rama Sene activists ‘Raid’ at Karnataka school over Urdu, Arabic classes: 13 more arrested No links between Naik, terror outfits, govt tells House Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 20th, 2016

June 28, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Indian court jails 11 for life over Gujarat massacre of Muslims Gulberg verdict: SIT to approach High Court on ‘lenient’ sentencing Ishrat Jahan missing papers: ‘Mere ko ye poochna hai ki aapne ye paper dekha? Aapko kehna hai ki maine ye paper nahi dekha – seedhi si […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 6th, 2016

June 16, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Narendra Modi’s US visa secure despite Gujarat riots guilty verdicts U.S. senators attack India’s human rights record before Modi’s Capitol Hill address Delhi’s Special Cell court discharges ‘Lashkar operative’ accused of facilitating infiltration, says no admissible evidence Inside a far-right Hindu ‘self defence’ training camp Who is […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 30th, 2016

June 11, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Sting claims political pressure in Gujarat riots Modi “decided” to bring dead bodies from Godhra to Ahmedabad, triggering 2002 riots: Gujarat bureaucrat Scribe’s Book ‘Validates Cbi’s Evidence’ In Guj Fake Encounters AAP minister alleges RSS members threatened street artists in Delhi Tripura textbook omits Indian history of […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 9th, 2016

May 27, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines USCIRF till 2013 held ‘considerable cloud on Modi’ of Gujarat riots Mr. Modi, your hands are stained with blood: M A Baby Jawaharlal Nehru Removed From Class VIII Textbook In Rajasthan: Report Gujarat has over a third of India’s Muslim detainees Ishrat Jahan encounter: Gujarat HC wants […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 4th, 2016

April 12, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans condemn Saudi award for Prime Minister Modi News Headlines Human Rights Watch asks European Union to tell Modi to “stop harassing” civil society, minorities, Dalits Pathankot attack ‘stage-managed’ by India, claim Pak media reports; Opposition slams Modi SIO: Cops tried to slap false charges Murder case: […]

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