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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 11th, 2016

by newsdigest on July 20, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Thapar slams Hindutva interpretation of nationalism (Jul 10, 2016, Deccan Herald)

That nationalism has been reduced to waving flags, shouting slogans and penalising people for not chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ shows “lack of confidence among those making the demand for slogans”, writes Romila Thapar in her new book.

The book, titled ‘On Nationalism’, which she co-authored with legal expert A. G. Noorani and cultural critic Sadanand Menon, addresses one of the hotly debated topic of our times. The veteran scholar says in her article that nationalism has more to do with understanding one’s society and finding one’s identity as a member of that society.

While expressing displeasure with the way right-wing Hindutva forces have interpreted ‘nationalism’ in the light of recent events in Jawaharlal Nehru University and University of Hyderabad, she says that while someone who deliberately abstains from paying taxes is not declared anti-national, someone who doesn’t chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/557000/thapar-slams-hindutva-interpretation-nationalism.html

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MP towns shut on Eid, Hindu groups blamed for forced bandh (Jul 8, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Several towns in the communally sensitive Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh shut down on Thursday, raising allegations of Hindu right-wing organisations orchestrating the unofficial bandh during Eid celebrations.

Reports said the majority of business establishments in Neemuch, Javad and Manasa in Neemuch district and Mandsaur, Shyamgarh and Sitamau in Mandsaur district remained closed and people had a tough time even buying essential commodities on Thursday.…

Congress leader Umrao Gurjar said that people belonging to RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal were behind this and BJP was pressuring the administration to look the other way. “This is an attempt to create animosity between communities,” he said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mp-towns-shut-on-eid-hindu-groups-blamed-for-forced-bandh/story-e2j56tShHUfszUIlRtlkNJ.html

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State Intelligence Dept. gives clean chit to Naik; no arrest on his return to India (Jul 12, 2016, The Hindu)

The Maharashtra State Intelligence Department (SID) has given a clean chit to controversial preacher Zakir Naik, conceding there is simply no case to be made out against the televangelist for now. Sources in the special team of the SID handling the investigation ordered by the Maharashtra government said Naik will not and cannot be arrested on his return to India.

As part of his preliminary probe, the SID has studied hundreds of YouTube videos and speeches given by the controversial preacher in and out of India. A dossier of evidence has also been received and collected from the other intelligence teams in various states, including Hyderabad, where an ISIS module was reportedly inspired by Naik’s speeches, said a senior official.

“There is no case to be made out against the English-speaking preacher, except maybe the possible charge of hurting religious sentiments, but even that cannot be established from his speeches. We are tracking his movements and only if he speaks out of turn, can we ‘pin’ him down on a charge. For now, we are closely monitoring him,” said a senior police official, who on Monday conveyed the preliminary assessment of the SID findings to the ‘higher-ups’.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/state-intelligence-dept-gives-clean-chit-to-naik-no-arrest-on-his-return-to-india/article8837594.ece

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BJP creating divisions in Kashmir with eye on UP elections: NC (Jul 11, 2016, Indian Express)

Opposition National Conference (NC) on July 11 accused the BJP of “creating division” in the society “with an eye on the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh”.

“BJP has let down the people. Instead of solving their problems, the party is indulging in petty politics of dividing various segments of the society, not only to conceal its own failures, but with an eye on the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh elections,” said NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana.

He cautioned the saffron party against “converting the state into a hate theatre” saying the “misadventure” could have serious political and strategic ramifications.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/bjp-creating-divisions-in-kashmir-with-eye-on-up-elections-nc-2907712/

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Home Ministry declines to reveal details of officer who probed Ishrat files (Jul 10, 2016, Indian Express)

The Home Ministry has declined to share details of file notings related to extension of service granted to senior IAS officer B K Prasad, who went into the missing files related to the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan, saying being an adjunct to proposal of a Cabinet panel it cannot be disclosed.…

As the file notings in this regard are an adjunct to an Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) proposal, the same is exempted under Section 8 (1) (I) of the transparency law, it said in reply to an RTI query filed by PTI.…

Prasad, a 1983 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was due to retire in May end. He was granted extension for a period of two months with effect from June 1, 2016 to July 31, an official order had said without mentioning the reason behind it.… The officer was recently in news for allegedly “tutoring” witnesses in the missing files case, a charge denied by him. The Home Ministry had recently asked an RTI applicant to prove he is Indian before disclosing details on the extension given to Prasad.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/home-ministry-declines-to-reveal-details-of-officer-who-probed-ishrat-files-2904901/

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Akalis burnt Quran in attempt to defame AAP: Kejriwal in Malerkotla (Jul 4, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal said here on Monday that “some forces are working to divide the country on communal lines”. Speaking at an Iftar party hosted by AAP supporters in Punjab’s only Muslim-majority town, Kejriwal also rejected allegations that his party’s MLA Naresh Yadav was involved in the sacrilege of the Quran that had led to violence here on June 24. Instead, he blamed Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which is the BJP’s partner in the central government too, for it.

“Akalis have stooped so low… If they had to defame AAP, they could have done it any other way. But what was the need to burn the Quran?” he said at the gathering that saw scores of people and was held even after the police imposed section 144 of the CrPC (criminal procedure code) restricting assembly of more than 10 persons at a place.…

Kerjiwal concluded his speech telling the people to “pray that God save the country from divisive forces that are triggering communal tensions”.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/kejriwal-at-iftar-in-malerkotla-akalis-burnt-quran-trying-to-defame-aap-forces-trying-to-divide-country/story-grHOYKU7ShUVDeZ5zAHIPI.html

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Pansare murder: Bombay HC refuses bail to Gaikwad, says the crime shocked society’s conscience (Jul 12, 2016, Indian Express)

Pointing out that the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare had “shocked the conscience of society”, the Bombay High Court on Monday refused to grant bail to main accused in the case Sameer Gaikwad. “Looking at the enormity of charges, this is not a fit case for granting of bail to the accused,” the court said.

Gaikwad, a member of controversial right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha, was arrested in Sangli on September 16, 2015 by the special investigation team of Maharashtra Police. Appearing for Gaikwad, Sanjeev Punalekar had argued that he should be granted bail as he cannot be kept in “continued pre-trial detention if the trial is not going to be completed in reasonable time”.…

The court also pointed to the evidence which had come to light while Gaikwad’s phone was under surveillance and he had conversed with his colleagues and the woman he loved. Pointing to one conversation with his lover, which the prosecution argued showed extra-judicial confession by him, Gaikwad had said, “Pansare is done, now should I take action against Nikhil Wagle (journalist.)?”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pansare-murder-hc-refuses-bail-to-gaikwad-says-the-crime-shocked-societys-conscience-2907992/

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Indian government is targeting NGOs yet again, claim non-profit workers (Jul 9, 2016, Scroll.in)

Should board members and trustees of non-profit organisations be treated as “public servants” if they are partially funded by the government? If NGOs receive foreign funding, should their office bearers be made to declare their assets to the public?

India’s non-profit sector has been grappling with these questions for more than two weeks, ever since the Union government issued a notification to bring large numbers of NGOs under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013. The notification, issued on June 20, specifies that the Lokpal law will now apply to any registered society, trust or non-profit organisation receiving annual government grants of Rs 1 crore or more, or receiving foreign funds worth Rs 10 lakh or more.…

Excluding private companies from the same rules only compounds the belief that the state is attempting to clamp down on dissenting civil society organisations. “The state is encouraging the high participation by foreign entities in for-profit enterprises, but we see no attempt to institute similar measures with regard to non-profit organisations,” said Mander.

http://scroll.in/article/811436/indian-government-is-targetting-ngos-yet-again-claim-non-profit-workers

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Modi govt buried under carpet massive telecom scam of Rs 45,000 crore: Congress (Jul 7, 2016, Indian Express)

The Congress on Thursday accused the Modi government of burying “under the carpet a massive telecom scam of Rs 45,000 crore.”

At a press conference in the national capital, Congress leader RS Surjewala said the scam aims to help Modi Govt’s industrialists friends.

“Latest is a staggering ‘Telecom Scam’ of approximately Rs.45,000 crore plus that is being buried under the carpet by ‘Modi Sarkar’,” party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala alleged at a joint press conference with party spokespersons Shaktisinh Gohil and R P N Singh.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/modi-govt-buried-massive-telecom-scam-of-rs-45000-crore-under-carpet-congress/

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Four Dalits in Gujarat town beaten up with iron rods, dragged for a km with SUV for “possessing” cow beef (Jul 12, 2016, Counterview)

In a second incident of gruesome atrocity against Dalits in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region in a week’s time, four Dalit youths were beaten up and dragged for almost a kilometre, allegedly because they “possessed” cow beef. The incident took place in Una town of Gir Somnath district.

Belonging to Mota Samadiyara village, the Dalits, reportedly, were called to collect a dead cow. Belonging to a community of leather traders, before they could actually reach the place, where they were called, the youths were cornered by a group at the Una bus stand.

According to local sources, the Dalits were stripped half naked, tied to an SUV by chains, and beat up with iron rods in full public gaze. Though a large crowd had gathered at the place, no one seemed to forward to rescue the Dalits. A video is said to have gone viral on the social media.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/07/four-dalits-in-gujarat-town-beaten-up.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Democracy and Political Hindutva – By MR Narayan Swamy (Jul 10, 2016, Thehansindia.com)

The challenge to Indian democracy has always come from those who hate democracy as an idea, those who preach intolerance towards the country’s religious, philosophical and cultural plurality. But the biggest challenge to Indian democracy now, says noted Malayalam writer K Satchidanandan, comes from political Hindutva.

It is a theme that runs through the book, a collection of essays by scholars, artists, activists, journalists, writers, intellectuals, a former judge and a former diplomat. The idea of the book followed the protests of 2015 when several writers, artists, scholars and scientists returned their awards or quit their posts in government institutions to oppose what they said was rising intolerance in India backed by administrative inaction.

It is this intolerance of the “other” that led to three murders that shook the literary fraternity. All three killings were blamed on the Hindu rightwing. The first victim was Narendra Dabholkar, a renowned rationalist who was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle in Pune in August 2013.…

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Sunday-Hans/2016-07-10/Democracy-and-Political-Hindutva-/240989

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Lesson from Perumal Murugan verdict: Modi could learn much from Savarkar on sex in ancient India – By Manoj Mitta (Jul 10, 2016, Scroll.in)

A Hindu tradition called Niyoga allowed a childless woman to procreate through a man other than her husband. The Madras High Court took judicial cognisance of this tradition in its verdict earlier this week, upholding the freedom of expression of writer Perumal Murugan, much to the umbrage of the Hindu groups opposed to a book depicting it.

Unwittingly, however, the verdict also put in perspective Narendra Modi’s tacit denial of this tradition in the context of its best known symbol, Kunti, the mother of the legendary Pandavas in the Mahabharata. Modi famously claimed, at a corporate hospital in Mumbai in October 2014, that Karna, whom Kunti begot before her marriage, was testimony to the advances made by ancient India in genetic science.…

Savarkar and Ambedkar could not have got away with such irreverence to tradition in today’s India, as evident from the harassment suffered by Perumal Murugan at the hands of state and non-state actors. Hence the value of the Madras High Court judgment goes beyond upholding the freedom to deal with taboo subjects. It has served to expose the corrosive link, however unintended, between Modi’s attempt to glorify Niyoga as genetic science and Murugan’s declaration of his demise as a writer three months later.

http://scroll.in/article/811464/lesson-from-perumal-murugan-verdict-modi-could-learn-much-from-savarkar-on-sex-in-ancient-india

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Taint and thwart – By Anupama Katakam (Jul 22, 2016, Frontline)

On June 16, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order cancelling the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, (FCRA) registration of the Sabrang Trust, of which the chief trustees are the activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand. The order means that the Sabrang Trust will not be able to receive foreign funding anymore.…

In April 2014, just before the general election that returned Modi as the Prime Minister, the well-known columnist and Gujarat commentator Aakar Patel warned: “Like all tyrants, Modi has a fundamentally primitive view of criticism. Those who oppose him, write against what he says and does, are enemies and he must fix them before they harm him. They should watch out.”

In the same piece, he commented on Teesta Setalvad: “She is a genuine heroine who is being slowly martyred and tortured by Modi, as a disinterested nation looks elsewhere. This is the sort of third-rate pettiness Modi likes descending to because as a nation we allow him to. This constant mischief from Modi keeps Setalvad away from the work Modi is afraid of.”

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/taint-and-thwart/article8815548.ece

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Malegaon Blast Case: Modi Government Has Much to Explain After Pragya Thakur’s Bail Order – By Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta (Jul 12, 2016, The Wire)

Soon after a special court in Mumbai rejected the bail petition of Pragya Singh Thakur in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case on June 28, the BJP’s spokespersons raised a storm against the order, calling it an example of ‘judicial oligarchy’. Party leaders even went so far as to criticise the court for not taking into account an earlier report by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

In May this year, the NIA had called the original Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) investigation led by the slain officer Hemant Karkare ‘dubious’, rejected all the confessions in the case and dropped all charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the ten accused, including Thakur.…

While reviewing the case, the judge concluded that Thakur’prima facie connection with the motorcycle used in the blast could not be ruled out. He also concluded that the NIA and ATS reports both said that Thakur was present at the controversial meeting in Bhopal, in which the plan to bomb the Muslim-majority locality of Malegaon was allegedly hatched. These two factors became the primary basis for denying bail to Thakur.…

http://thewire.in/50838/pragya-thakur-bail-order/

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Now is not the moment – By K. Kannan (Jul 13, 2016, The Hindu)

…There are several provisions in the Constitution which are transitory, such as the number of years of provision for reservation of seats for representation in the Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies (Article 334), the time frame when Hindi will substitute English as the lingua franca for official purposes (Article 343), and the special status to Jammu and Kashmir (Article 370).…

The Uniform Civil Code, if brought in now, will be perceived as an apology for hegemony of the Hindu laws over the personal laws applicable to Muslims and Christians, and justifiably so. To B.R. Ambedkar at the time of initiating the dialogue and finalising the draft of the Constitution, it was the obvious choice, for he saw no merit in the role of religion in its application to personal laws.

The truth is that personal laws are what we confront in our personal lives from birth to death, viz. laws of marriage, maintenance, adoption, custody, guardianship of children and succession. Religion is the first affinity at birth and it is carried through at one’s will through the laws that we recognise as personal to him/her. If we withdraw the personal laws by force, we trench upon the most intimate emotion of an individual.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/k-kannan-on-uniform-civil-code-now-is-not-the-moment/article8840401.ece

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For Muslims, primarily – By Faizan Mustafa (Jul 13, 2016, Indian Express)

… The AMU is a 96-year old institution, but it was only in 2005 that the university provided for 50 per cent reservation for Muslims of India. Since 1958, when it delivered its verdict in the Kerala Education Bill case, the Supreme Court has consistently held that minority institutions are primarily for minorities and there shall be “only sprinkling of outsiders” in such institutions.

The observation was reiterated by a 11 judge bench of the apex court in the T.M.A. Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka case: The court lifted the upper limit of 50 per cent minority reservation, which it had fixed in St. Stephens College v University of Delhi. Since minority institutions can be established by religious as well as linguistic minorities, there is no communal angle to such reservation. Moreover, religion-based reservation is prohibited only in state institutions under Article 15(1) and is permissible under Article 30(1).

Article 30 gives minorities the right to “establish and administer educational institutions of their choice” and the Supreme Court has held in the infamous S. Azeez Basha and the Union of India case that the expression “educational institutions” includes university. This repudiates the argument that minorities cannot establish universities. Similarly “governmental aid”, under Article 30(2), does not change the character of a minority institution. Thus the chorus of criticism against AMU’s 2005 reservation policy is flawed.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/aligarh-muslim-university-amu-muslim-education-reservation-column-2907925/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 4th, 2016

by newsdigest on April 12, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Announcements

Indian Americans condemn Saudi award for Prime Minister Modi

Award defies logic given Mr. Modi’s record before and after taking office as Prime Minister

April 04, 2016

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has condemned the Saudi government’s decision to confer Indian Prime Minister Modi with the nation’s highest civilian award.

“It is expected that the Indian Prime Minister is accorded the respect befitting a head of state. However, conferring of the highest civilian award on Mr. Modi by those who claim to be the custodians of the two Holy Mosques is a slap in the face of survivors of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002. It is also a demonstration of indifference to the increased attacks and threats against the religious minorities and Dalits in India,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of IAMC.

Mr. Modi and the Saudi monarchy have much in common. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Modi presided over one of the worst episodes of sectarian violence in independent India, when over 2,000 people were massacred by mobs instigated by the Hindu-supremacist groups. The horrific killings were accompanied by rape and pillage, resulting in the displacement of over 150,000 Muslims from their homes, many of whom are still struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives. Mr. Modi continues to have a case pending against him in the Gujarat High Court and a tainted Special Investigation Team failed to initiate prosecution of Mr. Modi. The handful of convictions in the cases related to the pogroms in Gujarat have happened as a result of tireless and courageous work by activists and whistleblowers, whom the Modi government has harassed and intimidated.

Since coming to power, the Modi administration has worked steadily to erode religious freedom and India’s long-cherished traditions of tolerance among its diverse populace. Ranging from attacks on churches and mob violence against Muslims and Dalits, to felicitating the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Modi’s administration and its supporters have relentlessly pursued a divisive agenda, that is antithetical to the country’s Constitution and its egalitarian ideals. The demonization of intellectuals, the vigilantism encouraged by the state, and the weakening of institutions are all indications of a besieged Indian democracy.

Saudi forces are conducting indiscriminate airstrikes in Yemen that are widely acknowledged to have caused huge loss of civilian lives, creating an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. Incidentally, the monarchy had conferred the same award given to Mr. Modi, on Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt.

“Coming from the Saudi monarchy, which is known for its repressive domestic policies and human rights violations, the award itself is of dubious value. It diminishes, rather than enhances the office of the Prime Minister of India,” added Mr. Malick.

Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: http://www.iamc.com

CONTACT:
Indian American Muslim Council
Phone/Fax: 1-800-839-7270
Email: info@iamc.com
Facebook: Indian American Muslim Council
Twitter: @IAMCouncil
Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053

REFERENCES:

1.Indian government failed to address attacks on minorities: Human Rights groups
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-27/news/70120366_1_meenakshi-ganguly-human-rights-watch-rights-groups

2. India Gov’t Turning a Blind Eye to Religious Attacks
http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2016/march/india-govt-turning-a-blind-eye-to-religious-attacks

3. India’s Refusal to Admit U.S. Religious Freedom Watchdog Seen As Attempt to Hide ‘Crimes’ Against Religious Minorities
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/indias-refusal-admit-us-religious-freedom-watchdog-seen-attempt-hide

4. Two Muslim Cattle Traders Hanged To Death In Jharkhand By Suspected ‘Cattle-Protection Vigilantes’
http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/two-muslim-cattle-traders-hanged-to-death-in-jharkhand-by-suspected-cattle-protection-vigilantes-252255.html

5. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the “growing attacks” on the minority community, including the latest Latehar killings
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/latehar-killings-ghulam-nabi-azad-letter-pm-modi-jharkand-cattle-traders/

6. The BJP has Unleashed the Bhasmasura of Aggressive Nationalism. Good Luck Controlling It
http://thewire.in/2016/02/25/the-bjp-has-unleashed-the-bhasmasura-of-aggressive-nationalism-good-luck-controlling-it-22643/

7. Modi government’s AYUSH ministry says ‘we don’t recruit Muslims’
info@http://www.milligazette.com/news/13831-we-dont-recruit-indian-muslims-modi-govts-ayush-ministry

8. Rohith Vemula’s death sparks outrage within Indian diaspora
http://twocircles.net/2016jan28/1453995780.html

9. Human Rights Advocates: U.S.-Backed Saudi Offensive in Yemen a “Dark Mark” on Obama’s Presidency
http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/1/human_rights_advocates_us_backed_saudi

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Human Rights Watch asks European Union to tell Modi to “stop harassing” civil society, minorities, Dalits (Mar 30, 2016, Counterview)

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a letter to the European Union (EU), written amidst EU-India summit on March 30, has said that even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks “greater foreign investment in the private sector for initiatives such as Make in India, showcasing Indian democracy and diversity abroad, it uses laws such as the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to restrict foreign funding for civil society groups.”

Addressed to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, HRW has said, “Civil society groups face increased harassment and government critics face intimidation and lawsuits. Free speech has come under threat as the authorities target those critical of the government, including students and academics.” Modi reached Brussels for the summit on March 30 for talks.

The letter said, “Activists that question government infrastructure and development projects or seek justice for victims of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat have come under particular pressure”, adding, giving the example of how in January 2015 the government barred Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace India activist, from boarding a flight to London where she was to speak to members of the British Parliament, alleging that her testimony would have portrayed the government in a negative light.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/03/human-rights-watch-asks-european-union.html

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Pathankot attack ‘stage-managed’ by India, claim Pak media reports; Opposition slams Modi (Apr 5, 2016, Indian Express)

Opposition parties on Tuesday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Pakistan media reports that Pathankot attack was “stage-managed” by India and that its JIT was not provided with evidence of involvement of Pak-based terrorists, drawing a sharp response from the BJP.

Attacking the prime minister, the Congress tweeted, “Did Modiji invite the Pakistani JIT so that they could insult the memory of our brave martyrs?” while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the “invitation” amounted to giving a “clean chit” to ISI for the terror attack in January.

Kejriwal also demanded that Modi tender an “apology” for the “monumental” foreign policy failure. An ISI official was part of the five-member JIT that was in India last week.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pm-narendra-modi-must-apologize-over-pathankot-probe-says-delhi-cm-arvind-kejriwal/

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SIO: Cops tried to slap false charges (Mar 30, 2016, Times of India)

The Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) has alleged that the police tried to implicate the activists of the organisation who took part in a protest held in the city on Saturday under false charges.

In a press conference here on Tuesday, SIO state president Nahas Mala said that the FIR submitted by the police against activists who took out a protest march to the head post office demanding the resignation of Hyderabad Central University vice-chancellor Appa Rao had the false charge that they chanted the slogan ‘Down Down Hindustan’. He said it was later corrected as ‘Down Down Hindutva’.

“It was an attempt to falsely implicate students under the charge of raising anti-national slogans, similiar to attempts made in JNU,” he added. Nahas said that the organisation has provided the printed copy of all the slogans which were raised at the meeting to the police which clearly mentioned the slogan as ‘Down Down Hindutva’.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51609756.cms

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Murder case: 5 RSS workers get life imprisonment (Mar 31, 2016, The Hindu)

Five workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were sentenced to life imprisonment by an additional district court here on Wednesday for hacking to death two CPI(M) workers over political differences in 2007.

Pronouncing the verdict in a packed court hall, Judge Suresh Kumar Paul imposed a fine of Rs.2 lakh on each of the convicts. The court acquitted two RSS activists giving them the benefit of doubt. The prosecution said it would go on appeal against the decision to acquit the fourth and sixth accused.

Delivering the judgment in the politically sensitive case, the judge expressed the hope that the verdict would help end the growing trend of political murders in the State. He also hoped that political parties would settle their differences through democratic negotiations.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/murder-case-5-rss-workers-get-life-imprisonment/article8416021.ece

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47 Indian policemen get life sentences for 1991 Sikh killings (Apr 4, 2016, Deutsche Welle)

A court in northern India has sentenced 47 policemen to life in prison over the massacre of Sikh pilgrims 25 years ago. The killings were committed during an insurgency by Sikh militants in the region.

The court in Uttar Pradesh state announced Monday it had found the policemen guilty of murder, abduction and criminal conspiracy for their role in the killings on July 12, 1991. Prosecutor Satish Jaiswal told reporters that 57 police officers had originally been charged in the case, but 10 of them had died during the trial.

According to court documents, the policemen stopped a bus of Sikh pilgrims in the Pilibhit region and ordered 10 male passengers to get off. The men were then divided into groups and taken into the jungle where they were shot and killed “in cold blood,” the charge sheet said. Police later claimed the men were armed and dangerous Sikh militants.…

http://www.dw.com/en/47-indian-policemen-get-life-sentences-for-1991-sikh-killings/a-19163431

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Set up people’s tribunal for terror cases of Muslim youths: Prashant Bhushan (Apr 4, 2016, Muslim Mirror)

Supreme Court senior lawyer and Convener of Swaraj Abhiyan Prashant Bhushan suggested that a people’s tribunal or commission of eminent retired judges should be constituted for reviewing the cases of Muslim youth who have been languishing in jails under terror charges.

Speaking at a conference on “Indian Muslims in Democratic India” here on Sunday, the noted lawyer and activist Bhushan said innocent Muslims were put behind bars on trumped-up terror charges by the police and their trials would stretch at least 20 years. In such a situation, he said, there is need of constituting a people’s tribunal, headed by retired judges having impeccable secular and judicial credentials, for expeditious disposal of all terror cases.

Making scathing attack on Sangh Parivar, Bhushan said since the advent of present government, the Constitution and minorities are under constant attack. During his speech, he made a host of suggestions for combating the fascist assault on the Constitution and minority communities. He also asked Muslims to shun ‘orthodoxy’ and to make demand for ‘Uniform Civil Code’ as he felt that demand from the community’s may blunt the edge of Sangh Parivar.…

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/set-up-peoples-tribunal-for-terror-cases-of-muslim-youths-prashant-bhushan/

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Targeted because of attire: Muslim youth who refused to say Jai Mata Ki (Mar 31, 2016, Hindustan Times)

“They clearly targeted us because of our attire,” said Mohammad Dilkash, one of the three Muslim youths allegedly beaten up by a group of men for refusing to say “Jai Mata Ki”.

Dilkash, Mohammad Ajmal and Mohammad Naeem – students from a Madrasa (Muslim religious seminary) in Outer Delhi’s Begumpur – were allegedly beaten by five youths. The attack on Saturday left Dilkash with a broken arm.…

He said they were thrashed mercilessly. They managed to run out of the park and call their teacher Mohammad Azhar. “We called up our head who then the police. Police came after sometime and took us to Sanjay Gandhi hospital,” he said. Azhar and others from the mosque alleged the police registered an FIR three days later, claiming to be “busy”. “Even now they are trying to downplay the incident by not mentioning in the FIR the part about skull caps of students trampled,” he said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/targeted-because-of-attire-muslim-youth-who-refused-to-chant-jai-mata-ki/story-LCXh8O9JFP2GRaxGQG2KgP.html

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Hindutva Groups Fail to Push Caste Oppression Out of California Textbooks (Apr 3, 2016, Sabrang India)

Hindutva groups fail to omit caste oppression – California Education Commission denies anti-Dalit revisions in favor of academic-backed positions on history of caste-based violence

“It is important to recognize the elements of creeping Hindu fundamentalist revisionism,” said Bhajan Singh, Director of the Stockton-based Sikh Information Centre. “We’ve experienced how these beliefs inspire people to view others as untouchable, deviant, and deserving of whatever suffering assigned to their birth caste, including death.”

California Education Commission denies anti-Dalit revisions in favor of academic-backed positions on history of caste-based violence.…

https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/hindutva-groups-fail-push-caste-oppression-out-california-textbooks

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V-P Hamid Ansari calls on SC to help clarify and strengthen secularism, composite culture (Apr 3, 2016, Indian Express)

Quoting from a report calling upon the Supreme Court to reflect how to protect minorities from majoritarianism, Vice-President Hamid Ansari Saturday urged the court to clarify contours within which secularism and composite culture should operate so as to remove ambiguities.

Addressing the 16th convocation of Jammu University here, Ansari also wondered whether a more complete separation of religion and politics might not better serve Indian democracy.

He said that a few years ago, in a volume published on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Supreme Court, lawyers Rajeev Dhavan & Fali S Nariman had observed that “as we transit into the next millennium, the Supreme Court has a lot to reflect upon, and not least on how to protect the minorities and their ilk from the onslaught of majoritarianism”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/vice-president-hamid-ansari-calls-for-more-complete-separation-of-religion-and-politics/

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After forced to migrate following rape, threat to life, 23 Gujarat Dalits seek internal displacement status (Apr 5, 2016, Counterview)

Twenty three Dalits, belonging to the Rohit community, are sitting in front of the Amreli district collector’s office since early January 2016, seeking a new status for themselves: They want to be declared as forced migrants, as they faced internal displacement following the rape of an 18-year-old Dalit girl and threat from dominant castes to take back the case. The incident took place in Vadali village, situated in Rajula taluka of Amreli district of Gujarat’s Saurashtra region.

In a letter sent to the Amreli district collector, senior Gujarat Dalit rights activist Kantilal Parmar of Navsarjan Trust has complained that the approach of the government authorities, including the police, regarding the forced migration suffered by Dalits has been highly indifferent, suggesting none of those who are in power seem to appreciate the threats these Dalits face at their original place of living, in Vadali following the rape incident.

Pointing out that things have been tense for the 100-odd Dalit families living in the higher caste Darbar Rajput-dominated village ever since the murder of a Dalit youth on January 14, 2011, Parmar said, the situation turned particularly pathetic for Laljibhai Bhimabhai Babariya’s family after his daughter was kidnapped late at night on December 25, 2015 and raped.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/04/after-forced-to-migrate-following-rape.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Gujarat Riots: Closing the door on 2002 – By Aditi Raja (Apr 3, 2016, Indian Express)

…Additional Sessions Judge N T Solanki acquitted the 107 surviving accused (11 died during the course of the trial) due to “lack of evidence” as none of them or even the 35 police witnesses testified against anyone.

While the riots happened in four Nadiad areas, two predominantly Hindu and two Muslim, on February 28, 2002, a single FIR was filed with all the accused (84 Hindus, 34 Muslims), booked on charges of “assisting each other” in abetting the riots. Several shops were burnt in the violence that day while two people were killed. In their testimonies, all the accused and 35 police witnesses said they “didn’t know” the people who indulged in arson that day. The killings are being tried separately, and locals attribute the deaths to police firing.

Majid Pathan, the lawyer for the Muslim accused, says, “It was a strange case as the accused belonging to both communities were clubbed in one FIR and 35 police witnesses belonging to both communities were named as testifying against the accused.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/closing-the-door-on-2002/

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A Hinduism that is the mirror opposite of Hindutva – By Anand Patwardhan (Mar 31, 2016, Scroll.in)

In 1984 after her Sikh bodyguards assassinated Indira Gandhi, a revenge pogrom took the lives of over 3,000 Sikhs on the streets of Delhi. Many killer mobs were led by Congress Party members, but some were led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party as well. This is a fact forgotten by history but recorded in newspaper headlines of the day. It was this massacre that set me on to the road to fight communalism with my camera. For the next decade I recorded different examples of the rise of the religious right, as seen in diverse movements from the Khalistani upsurge in Punjab to the glorification of Sati in Rajasthan and the movement to replace the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya with a temple to Lord Ram.

The material I filmed was very complex and if I had tried to encompass it all into a single film, it would have been too long and confusing. Eventually three distinct films emerged from the footage shot between 1984 and 1994, all broadly describing the rise of religious fundamentalism and the resistance offered by secular forces in the country.…

Back in 1991 our première had been held in Lucknow, capital of UP. Pujari Laldas came for the screening and asked for several cassettes of the film. When I asked about his own safety, he laughed and said he was happy that now his views would circulate more widely. As he put it, if he had been afraid, he would not have spoken out in the first place. A year later, a tiny item on the inside pages of The Times of India noted, “Controversial priest found murdered.” Pujari Laldas had been killed with a country-made revolver. The newspaper article never told us that the real “controversy” was the fact that this brave priest believed in a Hinduism that is the mirror opposite of Hindutva.

http://scroll.in/article/802453/a-hinduism-that-is-the-mirror-opposite-of-hindutva-anand-patwardhan-on-the-making-of-ram-ke-naam

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Not chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is not disrespecting India – By Karan Thapar (Apr 3, 2016, Hindustan Times)

…The BJP’s National Executive has passed a resolution stating: “Our Constitution describes India as Bharat also; refusal to chant victory to Bharat tantamounts to disrespect to our Constitution itself.” I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true.

First, the Constitution speaks of Bharat and not Bharat mata. Second, it does not require Indian citizens to chant any slogan including BMKJ. Third and most importantly, the Supreme Court ruled in the 1986 Jehovah’s Witnesses case that refusal to sing the national anthem – provided you stand in respect – is not disrespect to the Constitution or the anthem. And Jana Gana Mana is more sacrosanct than BMKJ.

What the BJP has forgotten is that India’s Constitution not only grants each citizen freedom of speech but also the freedom to be silent. So whilst I may be happy to chant BMKJ if some Muslims don’t wish to they have the right to refuse. Pratap Bhanu Mehta says it would be “objectionable” to coerce them. More importantly, that would be disrespect to our Constitution.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/not-chanting-bharat-mata-ki-jai-is-not-disrespecting-india/story-7WC9K4jLJ0bCYfR9196WxM.html

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You are anti-national, should be killed: Cop to Hyd varsity student – By Sreerag Poickadath (Apr 5, 2016, Hindustan Times)

As a son of a retired police officer, I remember the day of our arrest and police brutality as a serious human rights violation. I was one among the 25 arrested and jailed students. On that day, police were dragging and beating peacefully protesting students without any provocation. They threatened girl students with rape. I was taken to the police van when I questioned why they were dragging our professor Dr KY Ratnam.

I was made to sit in the first row of the seat and one policeman came to me slapped on my face saying “Oh , are you a Muslim?”, by seeing my beard without a moustache. I was shocked for a moment because it all happened in a minute. I did not respond to his question; he started hitting my neck and back with fists and elbow.

They started the van after 5 minutes and I was shifted to the second row of two seats. When the van reached Gobs (a shopping complex inside University of Hyderabad) the van suddenly stopped. One policeman standing near the door caught a student taking a video of the police van; he was also dragged and pushed into the police van, his phone was snatched and he was slapped mercilessly.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/cops-threatened-to-rape-questioned-religion-hyd-varsity-student/story-S7XvRDER1J7IarpmK1SwoK.html

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Assam a Muslim populous state with under-representation of Muslims – By Wahidul Islam (Mar 30, 2016, TwoCircles.net)

Amidst the paranoia and degrading level of politics, Muslims have always been most vulnerable and politically exploited section of the society. Assam is no difference from other parts of India which has largest proportion of Muslim population after Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadeep. However, most of the Muslims are economically and educationally lagging behind the majority with under-representation in public and private sector. Political representation of Muslims is also very negligible.

Although Muslims of Assam have thousand years of history dating back to 13th century when local tribes chieftain Ali Mes converted to Islam at the invitation of Mohammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1205. Subsequently, Mughal invasion and later British rule had brought many Muslims to Assam as labourers and traders. During the British rule, Muslims from the then East Bengal were brought to work in Assam’s tea gardens and farmland. With time most of these migrated populations assimilated with the local Assamese population and adopted indigenous cultures.

However, post independence era with large influx of Hindu minorities from then East Pakistan in 70s had resulted into Assam agitation against immigration which later turned into mostly Muslim bashing by collectively singling out the community as illegal Bangladeshis. Under the leadership of All Assam Students Union (AASU) leaders like Samujjal Bhattacharya and Sarbananda Sonowal, students’ wing then started to put all its efforts to brand every Muslim as foreigners.…

http://twocircles.net/2016mar30/1459361428.html

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Is Chhattisgarh A ‘Police State’ Of Democratic India? – By Pushkar Raj ( ()

A ‘police state’ is said to be one where citizens experience living, freedom of movement and expression of opinion subject to police monitoring and control. The mineral rich state of Chhattisgarh in India aptly qualifies for this notorious title as the events of the recent past demonstrate.

After its creation in 2000, Chhattisgarh enacted its own police Act in 2007 on the direction of the Supreme Court of India. The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an organization advocating for police reform in the country, considered the new law worse than the previously prevailing 1861 police Act that it replaced due to the poor supervision and accountability provisions under the new law.

Justifying its character, while the police arrested 60,279 persons in 2007 (before the new police Act came into operation), it initiated police action against 7, 39,435 people in 2014 – a twelve times jump. Out of these 1, 44,017 people were served with the bail-able warrant and 81,329 were sent to jail under non-bail able warrant. 4, 88,366 people were made to come to the police station for questioning (National Crime Research Bureau Report, 2008, 2014).…

http://www.countercurrents.org/raj290316.htm

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 21st, 2016

March 25, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Human chain to create sense of unity among citizens News Headlines Jharkhand: Two cattle traders hanged from tree, gau raksha activist among 5 held BJP leader offers Rs 1 crore to anyone who brings him ‘traitor’ Owaisi’s tongue Reference to circumcision in terror notice sparks ‘profiling’ charge […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 7th, 2015

December 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Unique display of communal harmony: Muslim group Jamaat e Islami Hind cleans Hindu temple after Chennai floods News Headlines Naroda Patiya massacre case convict’s wife accuses husband of rape, files for divorce Arrest Babri Mosque demolition accused and expedite trial: All India Muslim Personal Law Board to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 9th, 2015

November 12, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines India’s prime minister Narendra Modi suffers embarrassing setback on eve of UK visit Global media finds BJP’s debacle in Bihar a setback for Modi Former Indian PM expresses concern over rising religious intolerance in India Extremism, Intolerance Not an Expression of a Religion Called Islam, Says Ansari […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 12th, 2015

October 14, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Indian community protests against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK Indian activist Sudheendra Kulkarni hit by Shiv Sena ink attack Dadri lynching pre-medidated by Hindutva forces: DU, JNU fact-finding committee Police see right-wing plot behind Mainpuri violence RSS sympathiser loses column for saying ‘RSS leaders […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 14th, 2015

September 16, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat riots case: Sanjiv Bhatt moves SC, seeks to make Amit Shah a party to his petition Justice Continues to Elude Victims of Kandhamal Violence SC issues notice to centre for allegedly asking Salian to go soft against accused Bail pleas of Purohit, Dwivedi opposed Petlawad explosives […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 27th, 2015

July 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Irony of ironies: Judge afraid for her life after convicting Modi’s minister in Gujarat riots! Teesta Setalvad accuses Modi govt of ‘vendetta’ to silence her 1500 ‘encounter’ deaths under glare Will perpetrators of Babri masjid demolition be hanged too, asks Owaisi India Sees a Sharp Rise in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 15th, 2015

June 16, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines International Yoga Day: It’s RSS, Centre’s way to propel Hindutva agenda Tripura suspends three cops for custody death UP journalist killing: Five policemen suspended Advocate Pracha threatened by Rajasthan ATS officer for defending terror accused RSS Activists Attack Christian Religious Gatherings In Kerala CCTV footage shows Ramdev’s […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 6th, 2015

April 7, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Bihar CM Nitish Kumar demands BJP’s explanation for 2002 Gujarat riots 1992 Jalandhar fake encounters: 8 ex-cops get life sentence Main accused in Patna blast case arrested Babri Masjid demolition case: Courts are ‘the only way ahead when accused are in govt’, says Haji Mehboob Muslims have […]

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