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Hindutva Terror

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 25th, 2017

by newsdigest on December 28, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

2G case: Narendra Modi may have just lost his most-used political weapon (Dec 21, 2017, Economic Times)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have just lost his most-used political weapon – his anti-corruption crusade. A court in New Delhi acquitted a former telecommunications minister in India’s biggest graft case, in which federal investigators alleged had cost the government as much as Rs 309.84 billion ($4.8 billion). All others involved in sale of airwave licenses in 2008 were also acquitted.

With eight states going to polls in the coming year, the verdict is seen a blow to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which has won a series of elections since 2014 capitalizing on corruption charges against the previous Congress-led government.

It may prompt Modi to hunt for fresh issues going into the provincial votes before seeking re-election in 2019. His boldest moves – an unprecedented cash ban and a nationwide sales tax (GST) – were also aimed at rooting out corruption but caused disruptions to the economy.…

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/62193094.cms

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Opposition Unites Against Yogi Adityanath Government’s ‘Draconian’ UPCOCA (Dec 21, 2017, News18.com)

The opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have decided to stand united against the UP Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA) tabled by the Yogi Adityanath-led government during ongoing winter session of the Assembly.

They have termed UPCOCA as a tool to suppress the voice of opposition and against the interest of the common man. Former chief minister and national president of the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, said that UPCOCA is a tool to threaten the voices against the government.

He said, “BJP used to say that encounters of the criminals will improve the law and order situation in the state but nothing has changed. Nothing will change until the government gives charge to able officers. UPCOCA will be used to suppress the voice of the opposition and to threaten them.”…

http://www.news18.com/news/politics/opposition-unites-against-yogi-adityanath-governments-draconian-upcoca-1609999.html

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Ashrams run by Virender Dev Dikshit raided in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh; 47 women, six girls rescued (Dec 23, 2017, New Indian Express)

Three centres run by a “spiritual leader” were raided by the police in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh today and 47 women and six minor girls were rescued. A Delhi Police team went to an ashram founded by Virender Dev Dixit at Dwarka in the national capital and rescued five minor girls, who were allegedly kept confined there, officials said.

Uttar Pradesh Police also raided two centres run by Dixit at Siktarbad and Kampil respectively and rescued 47 women and a girl. Facing a stiff opposition from the inmates, the police had to enter the centres from the terraces of the adjoining buildings.…

On Thursday, raids were conducted at the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya at Rohini in the national capital, where women and girls were allegedly kept confined like “animals in a cage”. The matter had come to light after a PIL was filed by an NGO, Foundation for Social Empowerment, in the Delhi High Court.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/dec/23/ashrams-run-by-virender-dev-dikshit-raided-in-delhi-uttar-pradesh-47-women-six-girls-rescued-1735300.html

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4 Ram Rahim followers held for torching rail coaches (Dec 20, 2017, Times of India)

Four followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh have been arrested for indulging in arson after he was convicted of rape in August, police said on Wednesday.

They set fire to two empty coaches at Anand Vihar station yard to avenge the sect chief’s conviction for the rape of two female disciples, an officer said.

Based on a tip-off, Vijay Malik, Bir Singh, Kanhaiya Lal and Harjeet Singh were arrested late on Tuesday from their residences in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar and Laxmi Nagar. “During interrogation, the accused admitted to being followers of the Dera and confessed that they had set the two coaches ablaze on August 25,” the officer said.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/62178722.cms

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Over 100 pro-Hindu activists booked in Ghaziabad for rioting over ‘love jihad’ (Dec 23, 2017, The News Minute)

Over 100 workers of the BJP and other Hindu outfits, including a dozen-odd leaders, were booked in Ghaziabad on the charge of clashing with police and rioting over the marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man, police said on Saturday.

The case was lodged at midnight Friday by Kavi Nagar police through Sub Inspector Dinesh Sharma under Sections 147, 148, 336, 341, 427, 353 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.

The accused had allegedly clashed with police earlier in the day in Ghaziabad over the marriage they dubbed as a case of “love jihad” and also staged a sit-in outside the house of the woman’s parents and disrupted traffic.…

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/over-100-pro-hindu-activists-booked-ghaziabad-rioting-over-love-jihad-73634

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‘We Are Afraid of Christmas’: Tensions Dampen Holiday in India (Dec 24, 2017, New York Times)

…In India, a country that is about 80 percent Hindu, Christmas is becoming big business.… But as far-right Hindu groups have gained traction, India has changed. Christmas has now found itself caught in the cross hairs.

The authorities recently detained 32 carolers and the priests who went to help them. The wife of a prominent politician was excoriated online for endorsing a Christmas charity event, and earlier this month, a far-right Hindu group sent letters to schools warning them that celebrating Christmas would be done “at their own risk.” The group threatened unspecified consequences. “We are afraid of Christmas this year,” A. C. Michael, the national coordinator of the United Christian Forum, an Indian advocacy group, said in a statement.

Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, some officials in his government pushed a short-lived campaign to change the official recognition of Christmas to “Good Governance Day.” It is all part of a broader ideological battle that has produced countless acts of violence and harassment across India based on religious identity.…

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/24/world/asia/india-christmas.html

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Criminalisation of Triple Talaq Makes Muslim Women More Vulnerable: Women’s Groups (Dec 20, 2017, India.com)

As the government plans to introduce a legislation which criminalises instant triple talaq, various women’s group opposed the move. The Cabinet on December 15 cleared the ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’. The draft law makes the practice of instant triple talaq “illegal and void” and provides for a jail term for the husband. The women’s group said the criminalisation of instant triple talaq will affect the very women whom it proposes to protect.

The Bebak Collective, an outfit which supported Shayara Bano’s petition against instant triple talaq, said that it is opposed to making violation of the civil contract of marriage a criminal act, reports Indian Express.

According to a statement released by the organization, the legislation will make women more vulnerable as she won’t have financial security and the right to stay at her matrimonial home if her husband is sent to jail. The statement has been endorsed by more than a dozen women’s rights outfits, including academics and activists such as Nivedita Menon, Ayesha Kidwai, and Teesta Setalvad.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/criminalisation-of-instant-triple-talaq-makes-muslim-women-more-vulnerable-womens-groups-to-modi-government-2775273/

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Yogi Adityanath government stops salaries of 298 madrasa staff over lack of documents (Dec 22, 2017, New Indian Express)

The Uttar Pradesh government has stopped the salaries of 298 staff and teachers at 43 madrasas in the state that have not submitted the required details, an official said on Friday.

Minority Welfare and Muslim Waqf Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary told the legislative council that of the total 560 madrasas in the state, 43 failed to submit details.

Salaries of all staff members and teachers at other madrasas was being given as per rules, the Cabinet Minister added. In all, there are 8,764 teachers and staff members at these madrasas. The Minister said a notice has been sent to the management of these madrasas again to set things in order, specially about the land they exist on.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/dec/22/yogi-adityanath-government-stops-salaries-of-298-madrasa-staff-over-lack-of-documents-1734472.html

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“Smuggle, Slaughter Cows, You’ll Be Killed,” Warns Rajasthan BJP Lawmaker (Dec 25, 2017, NDTV)

A lawmaker of Rajasthan’s ruling BJP, speaking on a mob beating of an alleged cow smuggler on Saturday, has declared: “If you smuggle cows, you will be killed”. Gyan Dev Ahuja, known for controversial statements, insisted that the man was never beaten up, that the truck fell on him.

A man called Zakir Khan was arrested for cattle smuggling after he was pulled out of his truck and beaten by villagers on Saturday. The police had tried to stop his truck, in which there were eight cows, but Zakir allegedly drove through the barricades. The police also claim those in the truck fired at them. Villagers stopped the truck and attacked Zakir Khan. Three others with him ran away.

Reacting to the incident, Gyan Dev Ahuja said: “Mera toh seedha seedha kehna hai ki gautaskari aur gaukashi karoge to yu hi maroge (If you smuggle and slaughter cows, then you will be killed). The cow is our mother.”…

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/smuggle-slaughter-cows-youll-be-killed-warns-rajasthan-bjp-lawmakergyan-dev-ahuja-1791811

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Karnataka BJP MP booked on charges of promoting communal enmity (Dec 23, 2017, Indian Express)

In the aftermath of communal disturbances in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district, police in Honnavar town of the region have filed a case against BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje on charges of promoting communal enmity and for causing public mischief through her comments on Twitter.

The police have filed a case under sections 153, 153A and section 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code in connection with a tweet she put out on December 14, saying “Jihadis tried to repe and murder a girl studying in 9th std near honnavar. Why is the govt silent about this incident? Arrest those who molested and injured this girl. Where are you CM @siddaramaiah?” (sic).

The BJP MP’s tweet came amid tension in Honnavar town on December 14 following reports that a young Hindu schoolgirl had suffered a cut on her hand after being attacked by unidentified persons. The police investigation in the case, however, revealed that the girl had inflicted the wound by herself to avoid harassment by some family members who had learnt of her friendship with a youth.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/karnataka-bjp-mp-shobha-karandlaje-booked-on-charges-of-promoting-communal-enmity/

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Opinions and Editorials

What good is armed forces protecting India at the border when Hindutva terror is tearing us from within? – By Sanjiv Krishan Sood (Dec 21, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…I am sticking my neck out despite knowing that I may be subjected to intense trolling by the “thekedars of Hindutva” (Hindutva’s custodians) to say that events of the last few years indicate that we are slowly but steadily slipping into an era of terrorism of a different kind, which I suspect has the tacit support of powers that be.

The disgust and burden of guilt since the time a “friend” sent me the video of the brutal killing of a Muslim named Mohammad Afrazul in Rajsamand, Rajasthan in the name of “love jihad” is so intense that I cannot let it torment me any longer. After the heinous act, killer Shambu Lal Regar audaciously proclaimed that “all such persons” will meet the same fate. Through this act of terror, the murderer has brought disgrace to my great religion which advocates Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. He deserves no mercy and the strictest possible punishment should be given to him not only for the wanton murder but also for inciting communal hatred.…

Is this the nation for which our armed forces fight and make sacrifices? Is this the country which our forefathers dreamt of? Is this the India that we wish to hand over to our children? Doesn’t our conscious prick us and make us feel despondent, disgraced and ashamed? If we collectively do not condemn such acts of terror and the authorities take urgent steps to stop them, soon the idea of India will begin to disintegrate.

https://www.dailyo.in/voices/narendra-dabholkar-gauri-lankesh-right-wing-padmavati-hindu-terror-deepika-padukone-hadiya/story/1/21285.html

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No land for Muslims! Family stopped from entering house they bought in Hindu area in UP alleging land jihad – By Gourav Mishra (Dec 21, 2017, IB Times)

While the furore over the alleged ‘love jihad’ continues to rage in India, a similar word – an equally divisive one – has been coined, to differentiate and keep the ‘other’ away from your immediate vicinity – land jihad!

And a group of people, led by BJP’s youth wing leader, stopped a Muslim man and family from entering the property they had purchased in Uttar Pradesh’s Maliwada, alleging ‘land jihad.’ The locals alleged that Muslims will intrude into the Hindu dominated area and make a dominion. Faced by local ire, the hapless family, who had been living in a single-room house for 32 years, has now agreed for a settlement and leave the area, according to reports.

Usman lived in a one-room house in Meerut along with his siblings, parents and uncle. The accommodation was provided to the family by the government school where Usman’s father works. Earlier in December, Usman purchased a two-storey building in Maliwada near the school. It was the ancestral property of Sanjay Rastogi. Things turned upside down when few of the residents from Maliwada, including Rastogi and BJP’s youth wing leaders, protested against Usman owning a property in the locality.&hellip

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/no-land-muslims-family-stopped-entering-house-they-bought-hindu-area-alleging-land-jihad-754118

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‘Abrogation of decency’: The RSS has a message for BJP after its ‘marginal victory’ in Gujarat – By Dhirendra K Jha (Dec 23, 2017, Scroll.in)

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in Gujarat does not appear to have enthused its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. In its congratulatory message to the party, the RSS described the election result as “alpvyap vijay”, or marginal victory, marred by “people’s disapproval”.

Though the BJP secured a comfortable majority with 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, it lost considerable support compared to the previous election in 2012, when it won 115 seats.

“Decency of language and behaviour and ideological firmness are our identity,” read the curt message sent to BJP president Amit Shah through Ram Lal, the party’s general secretary in charge of organisation, the day after the result. “Abrogation of decency is inappropriate and unacceptable, and as such it did not get people’s approval.”…

https://scroll.in/article/862496/abrogation-of-decency-the-rss-has-a-message-for-bjp-after-its-marginal-victory-in-gujarat

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Opposition’s silence on Rajasthan hate murder is a troubling sign for India – By Shoaib Daniyal (Dec 20, 2017, Scroll.in)

Even though it follows a spate of beef-linked hate crimes, the gruesome murder of a Bengali migrant worker named Afrazul in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand town on December 6 is especially chilling. The killer, Shambhulal Regar, seems to have fed off Hindutva campaigns against Muslims, such as the “love jihad” conspiracy theory that Muslim men have joined a campaign to marry Hindu women in order to convert them to Islam. This led Regar to pick on a random Muslim man, hack him with a pickaxe, attempt to decapitate him and then set him on fire. The murder was videotaped and uploaded on the Internet.

That Regar was driven to such extreme brutality is only one part of the tragedy. The other is the reaction to the crime. The killing was hailed by WhatsApp groups that had BJP MP and an MLA as members. Across India, supporters actually donated money to Regar, collecting Rs 3 lakh. Hindutva groups organised rallies at which they justified Afrazul’s murder.

In shocking contrast is the lack of response from India’s secular parties. The Afrazul murder occured in the middle of the campaign for the Gujarat Assembly elections. In most circumstances, an incident of this significance would immediately have been picked up by politicians on the campaign trail. But the Congress kept mum. This silence has been extended to Parliament, where the Congress has chosen to concentrate on Narendra Modi’s personal attacks on Manmohan Singh instead of questioning the Rajsamand killing. The political silence isn’t just a national phenomenon. A civil society fact-finding team found that there has been no effort to reassure Muslims in Rajsamand: no meetings, no rallies and no statements. In fact, a small protest rally by the Muslim community is now being blamed by Hindutva groups for sparking tension.…

https://scroll.in/article/862076/the-daily-fix-oppositions-silence-on-rajasthan-hate-murder-is-a-troubling-sign-for-india

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What acquittal of Raja and conviction of Lalu tell us about Narendra Modi – By Ajay Singh (Dec 25, 2017, First Post)

The exoneration of A Raja and the conviction of a metaphorical ‘Raja’ Lalu Prasad Yadav (he used to call himself the ‘Raja of Bihar’), reveal what a complex web governance in India is.

Raja’s exoneration in the 2G scam was quickly followed by Lalu’s conviction in the fodder scam. In both cases, the respective CBI courts delivered verdicts which are being conveniently and liberally interpreted by the accused.

Look at the manner in which Raja, Kanimozhi and their colleagues in the DMK are expressing jubilation over the court’s verdict and describing it as “triumph of the truth”. Quoting the verdict, they call the 2G scam nothing but a figment of the imagination of some conspirators out to destroy the “impeccable” image of the UPA government. And who else could be the chief conspirator but Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself!…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/what-acquittal-of-raja-and-conviction-of-lalu-tell-us-about-narendra-modi-the-man-with-the-so-called-iron-fist-4274349.html

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This Ghaziabad father defied BJP leaders to ensure his daughter’s marriage to a Muslim man – By Shoaib Daniyal (Dec 25, 2017, Scroll.in)

https://scroll.in/article/862675/inter-faith-union-this-ghaziabad-father-defied-hindutva-leaders-to-ensure-his-daughter-s-marriage

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 21st, 2017

by newsdigest on September 10, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

UK Indians March For Communal Harmony (Aug 16, 2017, Countercurrents)

In a massive show of strength hundreds of Indians living in United Kingdom gathered at Tavistock Square to express their disapproval of the politics of hatred and growing incidents of mob lynching against minorities, Dalits and other marginalised sections in India. They expressed their horror how the constitutional values of secularism, pluralism, democracy and dissent are under the assault by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and other Sangh Parivar affiliates.

There were different civil society and human rights organisations who participated in the march. They include South Asian Solidarity, Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations, Caste Watch, Voice of Dalit International, Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance, Dalit Solidarity Network and others.

At the Tavistock square, Ms Amrit Wilson spoke of the growing threat to minorities, Dalits and others in India and why we need to disapprove the culture of mob violence. The marchers then marched silently nearly about two kilometers passing through Central London’s important streets and reached the India House, Indian High Commission. They shouted slogans at the India House against the mob lynching and Narendra Modi’s government’s absolute freedom to these goons in the name of cow protection.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/08/16/uk-indians-march-for-communal-harmony/

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Govt ‘protecting all RSS-connected accused’, says Cong after Purohit’s bail (Aug 21, 2017, Deccan Herald)

The Congress today accused the BJP government of “protecting” all the accused “connected to the RSS” after the Supreme Court granted bail to 2008 Malegaon serial blasts case accused Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit.

The opposition party also raised questions over National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar getting two extensions and hoped that justice would be done in the Malegaon serial blasts case “without fear or favour”.

“Col Purohit gets Bail. It was expected as the present BJP Govt is protecting all the accused connected with RSS in all Bomb Blast cases (sic),” Congress leader Digivijaya Singh wrote on Twitter.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/629172/govt-protecting-all-rss-connected.html

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‘Democracy under threat from pseudo-nationalism, right-wing fanaticism’ (Aug 19, 2017, Business Standard)

Indian democracy is under threat from “pseudo-nationalism” and “right-wing fanaticism masquerading as nationalism”, a column published in Renovacao, a Goa Church periodical, has said.c”Quo Vadis India?” by Father Savio Fernandes in the latest edition of the pastoral bulletin of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, also bemoans efforts to make India a Hindu Rashtra by 2020 and rues the “political rhetoric” which is triggering hate crimes against dalits and members of the minority community.

“Competition for political and economic power has encouraged pseudo-nationalism, which uses religion as a tool to gain acceptance,” Fernandes said in the column.… The constitution, the Catholic priest says, is under threat from “right-wing” ideology, which coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ascent to power.… “With the political climate change after the year 2014, the very guiding purpose and principles spelt in the preamble of the Indian constitution – Democratic, Secular, Socialist and Republic – appear to be under the worse threat for the first time after independence.”…

“Christians and Muslims are especially targets of demonisation through false propaganda. Muslims are portrayed as terrorists and loyal to Pakistan while Christians are portrayed as being agents of Portugal and anti-nationals and seeking to convert members of other religious communities through fraud/ inducement,” a statement issued by Fernandes’ Council for Social Justice and Peace had said in July.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/democracy-under-threat-from-pseudo-nationalism-right-wing-fanaticism-117081900364_1.html

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US religious freedom report highlights cow protection violence in India (Aug 15, 2017, Yahoo)

The US State Department has highlighted attacks in India by cow protection groups against people accused of bovine trafficking or having beef in its annual report on religious freedom, while attempting a measure of balance by also including critical mention of practices by minority religions.

The International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 (IRFR) released on Tuesday by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: “There was an increase (during 2016) in violent incidents by cow protection groups against mostly Muslim victims, including killings, mob violence, assaults, and intimidation.”…

“There were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism, and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs and proselytize,” the report said. “The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reported 751 conflicts between religious communities, which resulted in 97 deaths and 2,264 injuries in 2015.”…

https://in.news.yahoo.com/us-religious-freedom-report-highlights-cow-protection-violence-164603073.html

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A Gujarat BJP MLA Wants To Ban Muslims From Buying Houses In Predominantly Hindu Neighbourhoods (Aug 21, 2017, India Times)

Sangita Patil, a BJP MLA in Gujarat, has demanded imposition of ‘Disturbed Areas Act’ in her constituency of Limbayat to prevent Muslims from acquiring residential properties of Hindus.

Patil has sent her written request for the imposition of the Act to the district collector after Hindu residents of Limbayat area of Surat city have made several representations about the issue.

‘The Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and Provision for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in Disturbed Areas Act, 1991’, known as the ‘Disturbed Areas Act’, bans sale of property by a member of one religious community to a member of another community, without the prior approval of the district collector.…

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/a-gujarat-bjp-mla-wants-to-ban-muslims-from-buying-houses-in-predominantly-hindu-neighbourhoods-328272.html

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NIA probe into Kerala ‘love jihad’ is another blow to individual autonomy (Aug 17, 2017, Hindustan Times)

India at 70 is indeed doing well in terms of everything and one takes pride in seeing her coming of age as a major global power. But if the success of a liberal democracy is assessed on the basis of individualism and rights of the individual, then it seems we are going in the opposite direction. Freedom of speech is being curtailed in the name of sedition even in violation of the Supreme Court’s order that mere words do not amount to sedition. Books are banned and films are censored because we do not trust individuals anymore. The right to privacy is being curtailed in the name of the Aadhaar card and now even freedom to marry a person of one’s choice is under threat and may be termed as terrorist activity to be probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Authoritarian governments the world over do not believe in the rights discourse. They always talk in terms of larger ‘public interest’ and their jurisprudence is generally duty-centric. Indira Gandhi thus inserted Article 51A on fundamental duties.

Strangely even the apex court does not attach much significance to individual autonomy – in overruling the progressive Naz Foundation judgment of the Delhi High Court striking down the archaic Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, in not taking up the aadhaar challenge for over two years, in the kinds of questions that came from the nine-judge privacy bench and, now, in ordering an NIA probe into the marriage of a 24-year-old BHMS graduate.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/nia-probe-into-kerala-love-jihad-is-another-blow-to-individual-autonomy/story-fGCLp7YHXNUqrqttz8ukhM.html

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Kerala collector who barred Mohan Bhagwat from hoisting tricolour transferred (Aug 17, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The Palakkad collector, whose orders were defied by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat by hoisting the national flag at an aided school, was transferred, though the chief minister on Thursday maintained it was a routine exercise.

The collector’s orders were apparently based on the guidelines which, among other things, stipulates that only the school principal or elected representatives could hoist the national flag in the school. Bhagwat had, however, gone ahead with hoisting the flag at the government-aided school in Palakkad district on Independence day, triggering a controversy.…

The district collector and education additional director conducted an inquiry into the matter and submitted a report. “As per the report, Vande Mataram was recited during the Independence day function at the Karnagi Amman School, in which Bhagwat participated. The national anthem was sung later when somebody pointed it out,” he said. It was also found in the inquiry that the school principal had also hoisted the national flag after Bhagwat’s function there, he said. The flag was hoisted in two locations at the school premises, Vijayan said adding that it was done violating the government directive.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kerala-collector-who-barred-mohan-bhagwat-from-hoisting-tricolour-transferred/story-ct5187XMPjtZmfRWSuBkjP.html

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Principal heckled for hoisting tricolour with shoes on (Aug 17, 2017, India Today)

The Nizamabad police arrested 16 persons for allegedly obstructing the principal of a government college from hoisting the national flag on the Independence Day on August 15. They demanded that the principal remove his shoes before unfurling the tricolour.…

According to Armoor (Rural) police inspector Narashimha Swamy, the group of men allegedly gheraoed and heckled Mohammed Yaqeenuddin, the principal of the government Junior College in Ailapur village near Nizamabad, for hoisting the national flag with shoes on.…

Reacting to the incident, MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted, “Every BJP chief Minister was wearing shoes, will they protest and assault them only because the principal is a Muslim…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/principal-heckled-for-hoisting-tricolour-with-shoes-on/1/1027955.html

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Gorakhpur tragedy: Allegations against Kafeel Ahmed are false, reveal Hindutva brigade’s bigotry (Aug 16, 2017, First Post)

His name is Kafeel Ahmed Khan. So, how could he have been a hero? The sustained attack on Khan, hailed as a hero by the media for trying to save lives of children at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, once again underlines the bigotry burning the soul of India. It tells us how the battle for imagined grievances, settling communal scores has numbed our senses. We have come to a point where, for some, the sound of applause for an Indian Muslim is so unbearable that it immediately needs to be buried under louder chants of “traitor, thief, and criminal”.

We will look at some of the baseless and fictitious charges hurled at Khan later; dissect them on the basis of evidence on record. But, first, the demands for Khan’s evisceration and public shaming need to be understood for what they are: a diseased section’s refusal – verging on hysteria – to let anything counter the propaganda that India’s religious minorities are incapable of being conscientious citizens of India (or anywhere in the world).…

It is, of course, a classic red-herring, a diversionary tactic. The Gorakhpur tragedy is a blot on India. More than 70 (and counting) infants died within a week because the Uttar Pradesh government and BRD Medical College administration allowed it to turn into a death trap by not paying in time for maintaining the supply of oxygen. In any other country with a conscience, morals and a rule of law, this would have been unequivocally called murder by dereliction of duty.… The reaction of the government has been both appalling and mind-boggling. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known for timely tweets on tragedies even in Europe, has been unusually silent.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/gorakhpur-tragedy-allegations-against-kafeel-ahmed-false-reveals-hindutva-brigades-bigotry-3933405.html

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2,700 booked for Vadodara clash in Gujarat (Aug 12, 2017, Indian Express)

A day after communal clash in the old city area of Vadodara, police on Friday booked 2,700 people for rioting and also planned a public rally in the presence of MoS Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja to instil “a sense of law and order” among the public. Commissioner of Police (CP) Manoj Sashidhar said the rally would be organised on Saturday ahead of the upcoming festivities in the city.

According to police inspector M D Puwar, unidentified person pelted stones from Masum Chember Lane on a Ganesh procession on Mandvi-Panigate road, which triggered the clash. Police said the dispute was over playing loudspeaker in the procession.…

Assistant Commissioner of Police V P Gamit said several vehicles were damaged, including torching of seven two-wheelers. “A shop was also torched. Police had to lob 39 tear gas cells. Nine people, including four policemen, sustained minor injuries,” said Gamit. Puwar said a probe had been initiated. “We are checking CCTV footage of the area. We are also trying to find out how the electricity supply got disconnected,” said Puwar.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/2700-booked-for-vadodara-clash-in-gujarat-4792867/

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SC forces 2 Gujarat cops in Ishrat and Sohrabuddin cases to quit (Aug 18, 2017, Times of India)

In a repeat of the process that displaced Gujarat DGP P P Pandey four months ago, the Supreme Court on Thursday forced police officers N K Amin and Tarun Barot, who like Pandey were accused in fake encounter cases, to resign from post-retirement posts.

Amin was an accused in the Sohrabuddin encounter case. Given a clean chit by the trial court last year after being accused of disposing of the body of Sohrabuddin’s wife, Kausarbi, in 2005, Amin retired as superintendent of police in August 2016 but was re-appointed SP of Mahisagar district by the Gujarat government for a period of one year.

Barot, who was an accused in the Ishrat Jahan encountercase, was re-appointed as deputy SP with Western Railways in Vadodara for a year after his retirement. Both the cases were probed as “fake encounters”. On March 29, the Gujarat HC had dismissed a PIL filed by former IPS offi cer Rahul Sharma, who had challenged the one-year service extension to Amin and Barot -specialists in encounters -after their retirement.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/60111484.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Three years of Modi government goes in vain – By Bharat Jhunjhunwala (Aug 19, 2017, Free Press Journal)

While assuming the command of the country as Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had promised MPs of his party that he will return with his report card in five years, that is, before the 2019 general elections. Now, three years later, he has said from the ramparts of the Red Fort that he will double the incomes of the farmers in the next 5 years, that is, by 2022.

two statements read together indicate that Mr. Modi expected to give results in 5 years in 2014; he continues to expect to give results after the same 5 years in 2017. The time frame has shifted forward by three years in three years; or that nothing substantial has happened in the last 3 years. One reason is that the economic policies implemented by Mr. Modi are pushing Indian economy into a long-term stagnation.…

The fact that the growth rate is declining under the stewardship of Mr. Modi means that the national income is being used more for consumption and less for investment. This decline is wholly due to increased consumption by the Government because there is a shift in income from the people to the Government. The investment by private businesses is declining due to higher tax collection; and the Government is consuming more. Thus there is stagnation in growth rates.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/bharat-jhunjhunwala-three-years-of-modi-government-goes-in-vain/1123994

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India at 70: bigotry rules – By N. Jayaram (Aug 16, 2017, Sabrang India)

As India marks 70 years of independence today (August 15), two events of the past week illustrate the predicament a country that often preens itself as the world’s largest democracy finds itself in. One was a vitriolic and graceless speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a farewell ceremony for Mohammad Hamid Ansari, who was stepping down after two terms as Vice-President.

The other a prominent television anchor declaring that a panellist’s mention of the deaths of dozens of children in a hospital in Uttar Pradesh state was an attempt to divert attention from the real issue, which in her opinion was the rectitude of the state government’s order to Muslim schools to celebrate Independence Day with the recitation of a nationalist song entitled Vande Mataram (salute the motherland).…

It encapsulated in a few moments, along with Modi’s venom-filled speech, all that has gone wrong with India over the past 70 years. Instead of emerging as a vibrant, modern democracy, it is being led down an antediluvian path towards medieval bigotry.

https://sabrangindia.in/article/india-70-bigotry-rules

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Patriotism does not need ‘song’ test – By SS Dhawan (Aug 18, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Patriotism is too sublime and spontaneous an emotion to inhabit the narrow confines of a song; or to be tethered to catchwords; to be held captive by a political discourse that is tribal and toxic; and to be anchored to an idiom of hate. Provoking a community – which took a conscious decision not to migrate to Pakistan at the time of partition – and subjecting it to a patriotic ‘song test’ is absurd; you are almost questioning the implicit relationship of trust that citizens have with their country.

A citizen’s patriotism is a ‘given’ in this template for which he does not have to furnish a certificate; and we are all bound not by religion or any other identity but by our allegiance to the Constitution. Muslims like to wear religion up their sleeve but that is not a good enough reason to question their patriotism. Because such chest thumping demands by jingoists – that, for instance, pit the ‘national song’ against the national anthem by suggesting that one is more patriotic than the other – is a manifestation of their own scorn for the Constitution.

So, it will be equally ludicrous of me to beseech, in a ‘patriotic moment,’ any organisation and ask it to replace their morning prayer with ‘Ae mere watan ke logon’ – my daily morning chant. Because I cannot question their lyrical idiosyncrasies, just as they cannot question mine! Nor can I make the outlandish demand: why don’t they sing the national anthem or the ‘national song’ rather than recite a prayer in an archaic language that I cannot understand?…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/ss-dhawan-patriotism-does-not-need-song-test/1123350

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Reclaiming the Freedom Fighters’ Past Won’t Take the BJP Very Far – By Manjari Katju (Aug 11, 2017, The Wire)

BJP’s 70 Saal Azadi, Yaad Karo Kurbani campaign on the 75th year of the Quit India Movement is ironic and interesting for two reasons, if not more: the historic events of the freedom struggle invoked by the BJP and the spirit of sacrifice of freedom fighters recalled by it. It is well known that the BJP does not have freedom fighters in its pantheon.

Also, the relationship of its founder president with the freedom struggle as also of some of the leaders it revers was fraught with problems, to say the least. While the BJP now is calling upon Indians to remember the freedom struggle, a look at the history of this struggle reveals that the BJP’s ideological roots were never in this soil of struggle and sacrifice.

To begin with, the leadership of the freedom struggle strove for a secular nation at independence rather than the establishment of some Hindu Raj. Even Gandhi’s spiritualised quest for Ramrajya did not signify a move towards theocracy. In fact, as the struggle for freedom intensified, the goal of secular nationalism, based on the unity of all communities, became increasingly etched on the banner of the national movement.…

https://www.thequint.com/opinion/2016/08/14/reclaiming-the-freedom-fighters-past-wont-take-bjp-a-long-way-70-saal-azadi-zara-yaad-karo-kurbani-bhagat-singh

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There Should Be No Place in India for Modi’s Uncivil Words Against Hamid Ansari – By Jawhar Sircar (Aug 17, 2017, The Wire)

…Mohammed Hamid Ansari is a seasoned diplomat, he also knows the value of each word. So when he decided to state in his last interview as vice president that there is a sense of insecurity among India’s Muslims with “the breakdown of the ability of the authorities” to enforce the law, he was very serious. He bemoaned the fact that traditional Indian values of tolerance are not visible today, when mobs are lynching Muslims on the beef ban issue.

Can we see what it was in these sentiments that could provoke the prime minister to get so personal and dismiss the brilliant career of one of India’s most dignified public figures as “just” a West Asia specialist? As a prime minister who decides to look into each and every senior posting much more than anyone else before him, and thereby delays these orders for months and years, he knows perfectly well that diplomats and civil servants do not decide their own postings.…

The message was an extension of the one the BJP put out before the Uttar Pradesh polls, when it did not put forth even a single Muslim candidate. This message is that ‘Muslims just do not matter and we do not care about them’. We have to see how long this ruthless, immoral electoral calculus will continue to work for them. What such repeated messages will instigate in the less patient section of the 18 crore Muslims of India is yet to be seen. While extremists on both sides may soon be ready for more violence, the great civilisation called India will not be.

https://thewire.in/168765/narendra-modi-hamid-ansari/

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Gorakhpur is What Happens When a Communal Agenda is Passed Off as ‘Good Governance’ – By Swati Chaturvedi (Aug 17, 2017, The Wire)

…Adityanath – a five term MP from Gorakhpur, where he is still the incumbent parliamentarian – has led a shambolic government for the past four months. The still unfolding tragedy at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, where more than 60 children suffering from encephalitis and other ailments died over the past five days, is a pointer to his disastrous governance.

The BJP went to the polls in UP with Modi’s face and did not declare a chief ministerial candidate. Party president Amit Shah also signalled the party’s indifference towards Muslims – who form 19% of the state’s population – by not giving a single ticket to a Muslim candidate. In its election campaign, the BJP blatantly sought to consolidate Hindu votes by using ‘dog whistle’ issues to polarise views against the community.…

Consider Adityanath’s track record and his four months in office, and it’s clear that we need to hold him and the BJP accountable. Dog whistles being passed off as “good governance” are a recipe for tragedy. As Arun Shourie once observed, “Modi thinks by managing headlines he’s managing events. Events have a terrible way of overtaking us”.

https://thewire.in/167971/adityanath-modi-gorakhpur-deaths/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 12th, 2016

December 22, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Maratha Seva Sangh organises communal harmony rally as part of Eid ul Milad celebrations News Headlines Bengal BJP man held with Rs 10 lakh in new notes Bhaiya reference to minister Kiren Rijiju: ‘Bhaiya ka help chahiye toh humko boliye Sir’ UP polls: BJP, RSS want to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 16th, 2016

June 1, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Temple and mosque promote communal harmony in Odisha town News Headlines Extremist Hindu groups’ “role” in terror attacks? Karkare showed me evidence before death: Supercop Ribeiro Two absconders in Malegaon blast mentioned as RSS workers: NIA Lt Col Shrikant Purohit booked for planning 2008 Malegaon blasts in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 25th, 2016

May 11, 2016

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 8th, 2016

February 24, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony J&K: Muslims perform last rites of 84-year-old Kashmiri Pandit in Kulgam News Headlines Gujarat BJP on cheap land to CM’s kin: Price fixed in 2011 after district, state penals, Modi Cabinet “cleared” it 2008 Malegaon blasts: NIA under fire from former prosecutor as it seeks to drop […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 29th, 2015

June 30, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal harmony over iftar at Delhi’s Jama Masjid News Headlines US report: Gujarat govt moved against top activist Teesta Setalvad after she sought to indict Modi in 2002 riots Since this new govt came, I have been told to go soft on accused (Hindu extremists): Special Public […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 10th, 2014

February 11, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines NRG sisters’ film records lingering trauma of 2002 Cops ignored Hindu terror leads, says officer who arrested Aseemanand Shinde hints at conducting probe in Samjhauta Express blast case Ishrat Jahan encounter case: CBI charges former IB special director, 3 serving officers Government forced to defer Communal […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 2nd, 2013

December 3, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Snooping row: Web portal releases pictures of Narendra Modi with ‘Madhuri’ Cobrapost stings Narendra Modi again, alleges Facebook, YouTube, Twitter ‘misuse’ Sardar Patel Hated Hyderabadi Culture: AG Noorani BJP youth wing leader held for murder of ex-RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi Sadiq Jamal encounter: CBI names 4 […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 10th, 2013

June 11, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Facing warrant, CBI inspector deposes in Naroda Gam riots case Modi is BJP’s face now, but can he wash his hands off infamous post-Godhra riots? Rift in BJP wide open, Advani quits all party posts CBI snipes at Narendra Modi in Supreme Court in Ishrat fake […]

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