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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 7th, 2015

by newsdigest on December 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Unique display of communal harmony: Muslim group Jamaat e Islami Hind cleans Hindu temple after Chennai floods (Dec 8, 2015, India.com)

However torrential rains and floods created massive havoc in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu but the unity and brotherhood showed by people of the state set an excellent example of communal harmony for the entire nation. A Muslim organisation set an example of togetherness by cleaning the mosques as well as temples in the affected areas.

According to a report of The Hindu, around 50 members of Jammat E Islami Hind, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), quietly launched a cleaning drive in the flood-hit areas and cleaned the garbage from mosques and temples. The group cleaned two temples, in Kotturpuram and Saidapet in last two days.

“We find Hindus are unable to worship at temples in some areas because they have been severely affected owing to floods. So, we cleaned the mosques and temples and the streets badly damaged in the two areas. In the coming week, we will do similar work in other areas of the city,” Peer Mohammed, postgraduate in engineering and a student wing secretary (social service) of Jammat E Islami Hind, toldThe Hindu. “Throughout the process, people there helped us and were very happy that the cleaning was done,” he added.…

http://www.india.com/news/chennai/unique-display-of-communal-harmony-muslim-group-jamaat-e-islami-hind-cleans-hindu-temple-after-chennai-floods-767287/

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Naroda Patiya massacre case convict’s wife accuses husband of rape, files for divorce (Dec 7, 2015, India Today)

Wife of Suresh Langadi Dedawala alias Richard, who was sentenced to 31-year imprisonment in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, has filed for divorce accusing her husband of marital rape.

In her complaint, Dedawala’s wife has pleaded the court to arrange security for her claiming that she was being threatened by her husband, in-laws and 16-year-old son. Dedawala’s wife, who is a Muslim, has also accused him of sodomy when he released on parole six months ago.

The woman’s complaint states that she was subjected to marital rape and unnatural sex by Dedawala. She further alleged that she was thrashed by her in-laws when she tried to approach the police to lodge a complaint against her husband whom she has been married for over 20 years now.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/naroda-patia-massacre-case-convicts-wife-accuses-husband-of-rape-files-for-divorce/1/540127.html

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Arrest Babri Mosque demolition accused and expedite trial: All India Muslim Personal Law Board to UP, Central govt (Dec 6, 2015, Times of India)

In a memorandum addressed to chief minister and prime minister submitted through the Lucknow district administration on Saturday, the 23rd anniversary of Babri Mosque demolition in Ayodhya, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) demanded that in order to uphold the rule of law and justice in the country, the accused in the case should be arrested and trial pending for over two decades should be expedited.

The mosque in Ayodhya, Faizabad, UP, was demolished on December 6, 1992, by a frenzy mob assembled for Kar Seva on the call given by Vishwa Hindu Parishad, RSS and its affiliated organisations, BJP and Shiv Sena.

In the eight point memorandum submitted to Lucknow district magistrate by a delegation of the AIMPLB led by Maulana Khaleed Rashid Firangi Mahali and Maulana Atiq Ahmad Vastavi, the AIMPLB said that demolition of mosque was an unconstitutional act perpetrated by anti-social and communal elements. However, 23 years after the incident, the accused in the case have not been arrested and are moving around freely and fearlessly.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50067509.cms

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Dadri lynching: Akhlaq’s injured son names six more in statement, says mob comprised neighbours (Dec 8, 2015, Indian Express)

The mob that lynched Mohammad Akhlaq, on suspicion that the 50-year-old’s family consumed and stored beef, included his neighbours, his 22-year-old son told police.

Mohammad Danish, who had suffered severe injuries in the attack on the night of September 28 at Bisara village in Dadri area of Gautam Budh Nagar, recorded his statement before the police Saturday, his lawyer Yusuf Zaidi told The Indian Express.

A key eyewitness in the case, Danish has named around six more persons apart from the ones named by his family.… However, Danish’s elder brother Mohammad Sartaj, a corporal with Indian Air Force, was more forthcoming with the names. “Danish has said that Sanjay Rana’s eldest son Vishal was first one to enter the room who instigated the mob to attack all of us. Majority of the people were from our neighbourhood and there was one Dr Arun, too, among them,” Sartaj told The Indian Express Monday.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/dadri-lynching-akhlaqs-injured-son-names-six-more-in-statement-says-mob-comprised-neighbours/

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RSS and affiliate organisations trying to kill Indian glory: Teesta Setalvad (Dec 8, 2015, Twocircles.net)

Our country is now being controlled by fascist forces and each citizen should challenge them, Teesta Setalvad, renowned social activist said in a seminar ‘How to face the challenges of communal politics today’ held on Sunday evening at Iran Society Hall in Kolkata.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity and Urdu Fortnightly Magazine Istaqlal, Setalvad said the secular people in country should unite to fight against communalism. She also said that RSS, backed by the BJP, was the biggest threat to the country. As an example, she pointed out how a BJP MLA could gladly announce in Hyderabad that if anyone organised beef festival, an event like Dadri would follow without any action against him. Similarly, the Governor of Tripura, while holding an important constitutional post, was also behaving like a ‘Pracharak’ of the RSS with his controversial remarks.

Teesta also said the RSS and its affiliated organisations were trying to kill the Indian glory. This explains why in the past, they had killed in Father of The Nation Mahatma Gandhi, and now Govinda Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi.…

http://twocircles.net/2015dec08/1449561904.html

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Two lakh gather in Rampur to protest Mahasabha man’s anti-Islam remarks (Dec 7, 2015, Times of India)

A massive procession of about two lakh Muslims, both Shias and Sunnis, hit the streets of Rampur on Monday as they were joined by thousands of clerics to protest remarks against Islam by Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari last week.

Protests against Tiwari, who has now been disowned by the Hindu Mahasabha, have been raging in many parts of UP. Shops, schools and business establishments remained closed on Monday in Rampur as madrassas students and their teachers joined the agitation in large numbers. Many youth carrying flags and placards were seen on the streets, marching until evening though the protest had begun in the morning.

Earlier, district Imam Maulana Syed Khushnood Mian and district president of the Jamiat-Ulema-Hind, Maulana Javed Qasmi, had called for a protest at the Jama Masjid, Rampur Fort, Old Thesil, Chakhu Bazar, Shadab Market and Abbas Market.… Muslim-dominated west UP cities like Deoband, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Meerut, Amroha, Sambhal and Shamli have witnessed tension through most of last week over the remarks.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50081980.cms

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Beef ban law is discriminatory, violates fundamental rights: Lawyers tell HC (Dec 5, 2015, Times of India)

The Bombay high court on Saturday commenced hearings of the petitions challenging Maharashta’s beef ban law. The arguments against the law made before a division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S C Gupte ranged from it violating the fundamental right to choice of food to cattle being responsible for greenhouse emissions and the plight of farmers. The provisions that related to search and seizure on mere suspicion also came in for criticism from petitions that challenged the legal validity of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act.

Under the new law, the sale of bulls, bullocks for slaughter has been made a crime, punishable with a jail term of up to five years and a fine of Rs 10,000. The possession of meat of a cow, bull or bullock is also an offence which can be punished with one-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000.

The main focus of the attack was section 5D of the law which criminalises the possession of beef and has the effect of banning the consumption of beef even if it is imported from other states or countries. Senior advocate Aspi Chinoy said that the provision seemed to be an independent law, which had no nexus with the main law that was purportedly framed to prevent the slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks in Maharashtra. “The law to protect bulls and bullocks transgresses into the area of rights when it crosses the line and intrudes into a person’s right to choice of food,” said advocate Chinoy and added that the state had been unable to show any public interest involved in restricting people’s food habits.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50058703.cms

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Osmania ‘beef festival’ row: Police raid hostels, detain 30 students, BJP MLA Raja Singh (Dec 10, 2015, Indian Express)

At least 100 students from unions attached to Students Federation of India cooked and consumed beef in their rooms in ‘C’ Hostel, Triveni Hostel and Ambedkar Hostel of Osmania University Thursday, even as hundreds of policemen in riot gear surrounded the campus and prevented anyone from outside from participating in the ‘beef festival’.

The police later raided the hostels and detained 30 students for display and consumption of beef in public. BJP MLA T Raja Singh, who had threatened to cleanse the university by organising a ‘gau puja’, was also taken into preventive custody, Deputy Commissioner A Ravinder said. The situation in and around the university remained tense throughout the day.

University authorities and the police had earlier asked the students to not “vitiate the academic atmosphere” on campus by conducting the beef festival in the open, resulting in the students cooking in the hostels instead.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/beef-festival-row-bjp-mla-arrested-8- organisers-detained/

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All India Muslim Personal Law Board to hold ‘save the religion’ rally (Dec 8, 2015, Times of India)

While debate continues on whether the threat to a particular religion is real or perceived, All India Muslim Personal Law Board has decided to hold a rally at Amroha in UP on December 10. The rally is planned around the theme of ‘Save the religion and Constitution’.

“Leading clerics from across India as well as secularists from other communities are expected to join and express their ire at the radical elements who, they perceive, are bent on changing the character of constitution, through a silent patronage of those who have come to power,” a press statement reads.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Kamal Farooqi, who is also the Convenor of the rally said, “We are expecting a few lakh people from Amroha and neighbourhood to attend. Leading Muslim clerics are uniting to give strength to their voice against a threat that is visible to all. Prominent personalities from various other marginalized communities, who too perceive the ramifications and grave consequences of where the nation is being led by some self-seeking rightist individuals who are even bent on changing the character of the constitution, will address the gathering.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50098066.cms

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Absconding godman held for ‘raping, duping’ Afghan national (Dec 6, 2015, Hindustan Times)

A self-styled godman who allegedly raped and duped an Afghan woman, was arrested on Saturday after he was absconding for the last eight days.

According to the 24-year-old Afghan, the incident took place in southeast Delhi’s Amar Colony area. According to the police, “the woman said she had approached the guru to seek his blessings as she was not doing well in her career. She did so following someone’s advice that her career will flourish due to his blessings.

“She alleged the guru gave her some prasad, laced with sedatives. After consuming it, she fell unconscious. Taking advantage the guru allegedly raped her,” an official added. The police said that the complainant has also accused the guru of threatening to kill her if she approached police. She has also charged the guru of cheating her with Rs 10 lakh, police added.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/absconding-godman-held-for-raping-duping-afghan-national/story-uFpTbFe3XzXdb9v0hXJsVK.html

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Muslims cremate Dalit boycotted by community for not voting on caste lines (Dec 5, 2015, Times of India)

One has to go no further than this incident in Saharanpur to see how polarisation is playing out in villages of Uttar Pradesh. In the just-concluded pradhan elections in Dayalpur village, electorates were clearly divided along religious lines: while Muslims supported Saeed Ahmad, the Dalits showed allegiance to Deepak Kumar.

But Ram Daiya, a 55-year-old Dalit, and his family went against the tide to support Ahmad, triggering off an unfortunate sequence of events that began with their social boycott by the Dalit community. On Thursdaynight, when Ram Daiya died, due to natural causes, no one from his community came forward to attend his last rites. Eventually, it was Muslims who helped the bereaved family with the cremation on Friday.

Ram Daiya’s son Rajinder Kumar told TOI, “The Hindus, particularly Dalits and members of the Saini community, completely boycotted us socially.…” However, on hearing news of Daiya’s death, a large number of Muslims began to gather at his house on Friday morning. They then arranged for wood and other material for his cremation.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50057362.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Why The BJP Will Remain Intolerant Of The Idea Of India – By Gaurav Pandhi (Dec 8, 2015, Huffington Post)

As Robert Louis Stevenson said – “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” We need to understand the seed, the idea that has given birth to the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and why its ascent to power will always take the nation towards intolerance. The seeds of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and its offshoots like the BJP, VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad), Bajrang Dal etc. lie in Manusmriti and in the books written by the RSS Ideologue M.S. Golwalkar, in particular, Bunch of Thoughts and We or Our Nationhood Defined.

The understanding of what is written in these books will help one understand why the BJP, when in power or otherwise, leads to spreading of intolerance in society. The worldview of these organisations is diametrically opposite to the democratic, diverse, plural, liberal, equal and secular Idea of India.…

When the whole purpose of the RSS is to protect and impose the regressive ideas of Manu on India, how can its offshoot, the BJP, be expected to pay obeisance to the Indian Constitution in letter and spirit? They can try their level best to become the torchbearers of the values of the Indian Constitution, which is beyond their DNA and their roots. For the BJP to become the real champion of the Indian Constitution, it will have to annihilate its association with the RSS, but that would mean it would have to annihilate itself.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/gaurav-pandhi/why-the-bjp-will-remain-i_b_8731150.html

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Modi’s Silence: Bad for India, Bad for the Region! – By Sana Ali, Seth Oldmixon (Dec 3, 2015, Foreign Policy)

The recent wave of religious violence in India and the resulting communal tensions present a worrying trend not only for India, but for South Asia more broadly. In recent months, Indian Muslims and low caste Hindus in particular have been the targets of multiple attacks by Hindu extremists for perceived religious transgressions. The Hindu nationalist group Shiv Sena has held protests to shut down book launch events and music concerts, that posed a challenge to their extremist ideology. Far from a fringe element, right-wing Hindu nationalist groups like Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad appear to be gaining traction in mainstream Indian politics.

Left to continue, this trend not only threatens India’s plans for economic growth and global influence, it poses a much more immediate threat to regional peace as it reinforces dangerous Islamist narratives in Pakistan and Bangladesh that posit an inherent conflict between Hindus and Muslims, and sidelines progressive voices in those countries. Left unchecked, this new wave of Hindu nationalism in India could spark a self-reinforcing cycle of instability in the region.…

Modi’s failure to quickly and forcefully condemn Hindu extremism is creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity for the nation’s religious minorities. It is also empowering Islamist extremists by reinforcing their anti-Indian rhetoric, adding to regional instability. As India is poised to have the largest population of Muslims of any country in the world by 2020, religious extremism presents an imminent threat not only to India’s internal stability, but to that of its neighbors. It’s time for Modi to take a bold stand for religious tolerance and communal harmony. By doing so, he can demonstrate the leadership so desperately needed for repudiating divisiveness within his own borders, and working to stabilize the region.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/03/modis-silence-bad-for-india-bad-for-the-region/

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23 years after Babri demolition: What lessons have the Ayodhya conflict taught? – By Neha Singh (Dec 6, 2015, IB Times)

On 6 December 23 years ago, a violent crowd of around 1,50,000 kar sevaks from the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), workers from its political wing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and activists from other Hindutva organisations like the VHP, tore down the 16th-century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The destruction of the masjid resulted in several clashes between Hindu and Muslim communities in several parts of the nation that killed at least 2,000 people.…

The fear of the possibility of an unfortunate incident exists even after 23 years of the tragedy, which is a shame for a nation that claims to be one of the most religiously diverse nations of the world.

The political parties and Hindutva right-wing organisations need to understand that India does not need another movement for the construction of a temple, especially at a time when the “rising intolerance” issue over incidents like lynching of Muslim man by a group of Hindus on the rumours that he ate beef and killing of rationalist writers for criticising the Hindu religion, is a hot subject for debate in the nation.…

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/23-years-after-babri-demolition-what-lessons-have-ayodhya-conflict-taught-658240

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Osmania Beef Festival: Arresting Hindutva Expansion – By Kancha Ilaiah (Dec 7, 2015, Tehelka)

…When the media debates took place though the beef team was represented by SC/ST/OBCs and Minorities, the RSS has put only Lambada boys to represent their pork politics. However, that created a division among the RSS ranks, whether they should go for pork politics or not. After the defeat in Bihar elections, where they tried to bring about beef and non-beef division Laloo Prasad really punctured their agenda by saying that many Hindus eat beef.

They Hindutva forces, including the Prime Minister thought that Yadavs of Bihar would turn against Lalu Prasad for asserting that many Hindus eat beef. But the Yadavs understood the game and remained firm on their position of free food choice. In Osmania beef debate many Yadav youths were in the forefront to oppose vegetarian Hinduism. They publicly declared that “we are Hindus and beeferians”. The Hindutva forces had a life time shock. Then they started arguing that we are not against beef eating but why have a festival?

The OU beeferians argued why the so called organic vegetarian festivals in India? Beef, mutton are better organic food items hence why not this kind of organic beef festivals? Ideologically the Hindutva forces and the traditional vegetarian superiorist ideologues had a defeat. At the time I am writing this the debate is still on. The OU beef debate has also thrown a challenge to soft Hindutva vegetarians, who have been protecting Brahminism in many other ways. OU beef struggle is a cultural revolution underway.

http://www.tehelka.com/2015/12/osmania-beef-festival-arresting-hindutva-expansion/

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Non-Noodle Tangles – By Meetu Jain (Dec 7, 2015, Outlook)

The story began a while back. Soon after Virbhadra Singh took over in December 2012, the Himachal Pradesh government cancelled a lease for Patanjali Food and Herbal Park Pvt Ltd. The 28-acre park, valued at Rs 35 crore, had been leased out for 99 years by the previous government for Re 1 per year. The cancellation was apparently due to the illegality of the deed.

The fallout was even more interesting: Patanjali stopped buying apple juice concentrate from HPMC. Apart from HPMC, only one company— based in Srinagar—sells the fruit juice concentrate in India. “We have checked with the Srinagar company. Baba Ramdev is neither buying the concentrate from them and nor from us. Since it’s not us, we’re wondering from whom the Baba is sourcing apple juice concentrate,” says HPMC vice chairman Prakash Thakur. Meanwhile, Patanjali’s spokespersons deny that the concentrate is being sourced from China, which is what a number of other fruit juice companies are doing.

The Virbhadra Singh government may have targeted the baba, but other Congress governments have preferred to keep him on their side. Actually, for that matter even UPA 2, which allegedly started a witchhunt against Ramdev, saw merit in the baba’s swadeshi push. The food processing ministry, then under Subodh Kant Sahay, gave a grant of Rs 10 crore to companies promoting cold storage and food processing. “Ramdev’s trust was one of the 10 entities selected,” say officials. But they admit the criteria for selection was opaque.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/nonnoodle-tangles/295985

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Confessions Of A Killer Cop – By Kanwar Sandhu (Dec 14, 2015, Outlook)

On November 2, 1992, when gunshots rang out of a fourth floor apartment on Antop Hill in Mumbai, local cops from the nearby police station rushed to surround the apartment building. Sweating profusely, with his nose bleeding and shirt torn, a plainclothes person rushed out with a pistol in hand. Shouting out to the Mumbai cops atop nearby buildings, he said he was a Punjab Police sub-inspector who had killed dreaded militant Rana Partap Singh alias ‘Khadoor Sahib’, a self-styled Lt General of the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF). Within minutes, the then DCP of the Mumbai area, A.A. Khan, was also on the scene.

The revolver-wielding man was Gurmeet Singh Pinky, who had travelled overnight with a police informer and four others from Khanna in Punjab to hunt for the militant, who carried a reward of Rs 20 lakh on his head. Pinky was already well-known in Punjab as a “hit man” for senior officers. The shootout at Antop Hill went on to find mention in Bollywood movies such as Ab Tak Chhappan. During K.P.S. Gill’s two tenures as DGP (1988-1990 and 1991-1995), the Punjab Police earned the distinction of quelling terrorism in the border state through a network of informers and with strong-arm actions, including encounters.

During his 19-year career in the police, Pinky was at the forefront of some of these actions. He claims to have had a hand in the arrest/killing of a number of top militants, including Sukhdev Singh Babbar, Gurmukh Singh Nagoge and Harkewal Singh Sarabha. Besides, he arrested well-known militant leaders like Jagtar Singh Hawara and Daljit Singh Bittu. He’s lost count of the reward money that he got for his “kills” in uniform. He also got the President’s Police Medal for his efforts.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/confessions-of-a-killer-cop/296046

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 9th, 2015

by newsdigest on November 12, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi suffers embarrassing setback on eve of UK visit (Nov 9, 2015, Independent)

Indian voters decisively rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in a crucial regional election billed as a referendum on his leadership, held amid growing criticism of his government and on the eve of a high-profile visit to the UK. Mr Modi personally addressed more than 30 rallies in the populous and impoverished state of Bihar during the bitterly fought campaign, but his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party was routed by a “Grand Alliance” of opponents, winning just 53 seats out of a possible 243.… The defeat in Bihar was the BJP’s biggest electoral setback since coming to power, after losing in the capital Delhi earlier this year. The election was played out against the backdrop of a fierce debate about rising intolerance in India, a country that prides itself on unifying diverse religious and linguistic groups under a secular democratic umbrella.…

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indias-prime-minister-narendra-modi-suffers-embarrassing-setback-on-eve-of-uk-visit-a6726696.html

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Global media finds BJP’s debacle in Bihar a setback for Modi (Nov 9, 2015, Indian Express)

The rout of the BJP-led alliance in the crucial assembly polls in Bihar is the “most significant domestic setback” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, global media commented today, saying it shows that his vote-winning abilities were on the wane.

BJP’s failure to win the election in Bihar is seen as indication that Modi’s appeal to voters has begun to wane, the Guardian said in its report.…

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also commented that Prime Minister Modi’s ruling BJP suffered a “major jolt in a key regional election in the eastern state of Bihar, in what was perceived as a referendum on his economic programme.” Quoting experts, the report said, the “result of Bihar polls clearly indicate a personal blow to Modi as he was the face of the party in the election campaign and it was a referendum on his developmental agenda.”

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/global-media-finds-bjps-debacle-in-bihar-a-setback-for-modi/

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Former Indian PM expresses concern over rising religious intolerance in India (Nov 9, 2015, Shanghai Daily)

Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday expressed concern over rising religious intolerance in his country after a spate of attacks against Muslims, leftwing activists and minority people.

In a function marking the 125th birth anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Singh said the country is deeply concerned at the “blatant violation” of right to freedom of thought, belief and speech and termed such incidents as an “assault to nation” by extremists.…

Describing the assault on Muslims and leftwing activists by extremists as “an attack on the nationhood,” the former prime minister said everybody “in their right mind” has condemned with the strongest terms such actions.…

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=308316

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Extremism, Intolerance Not an Expression of a Religion Called Islam, Says Ansari (Nov 6, 2015, New Indian Express)

Urging for greater religious tolerance and communal harmony in society, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, who returned from a five-day visit to Indonesia late on Thursday night, said extremism and intolerance in any form does not have or find expression in the spirit of a religion called Islam.…

He stated that communal amity and religious tolerance had constitutional import and were core values enshrined in Indian society, and there was no question of debating on them.…

The vice president said India’s commitment to plurality and religious tolerance is “self-evident”. “It is written down in the text of our Constitution as the Fundamental Rights. No political party says that intolerance is their agenda; everybody’s agenda on tolerance is the same. I am talking about the proclaimed agenda. If there is a shortcoming on this, then that is another matter,” Ansari said.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Extremism-Intolerance-Not-an-Expression-of-a-Religion-Called-Islam-Says-Ansari/2015/11/06/article3116405.ece

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Arundhati Roy returns award in protest against religious intolerance in India (Nov 5, 2015, The Guardian)

Novelist Arundhati Roy has become the latest literary figure to return a top Indian national award in protest against the growing violence and “horrific murders” by rightwing groups in India. Roy and two dozen Bollywood figures have added their voices to those of artists, scientists and historians in expressing alarm at a series of violent incidents and attacks on intellectuals, following the landslide election victory of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) in India last year.

The writer, famous for her Booker prize-winning novel, The God of Small Things, said she was returning her 1989 National Award for Best Screenplay in protest against the growing culture of fear and censorship fostered by the government, who encouraged the “lynching, shooting, burning and mass murder of fellow human beings”.…

Many of those protesting have also criticised the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the BJP for not speaking out against religious attacks, saying their silence has encouraged Hindu hardliners to justify the attacks and assert Hindu superiority.…

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/nov/05/arundhati-roy-returns-award-protest-religious-intolerance-india-bollywood-modi-government-violence

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ABVP activists threaten to kill filmmaker in Jamshedpur for making documentary based on communal riot (Nov 9, 2015, One India)

A budding filmmaker in Rajasthan’s Jamshedpur district was threatened to be killed by activists of right-wing student body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The independent cinematographer who received the intimidation was identified as Kumar Gaurav. The 18-year-old director has miffed a number of fringe outfits active in the region through his documentary Curfew which highlights atrocities committed against minorities during a deadly communal clash in Jamshedpur in July this year.

In the documentary, Gaurav uses the raw footage he captured during the communal riot which shows members of radical groups, armed with sword went on a rampage targeting the members of Muslim community. The shops which were owned by Hindus were sparred, however, if the rioters identified the ones owned by Muslims, it would be either be burned off or ransacked.

Here is the threat which Gaurav received by a member of ABVP on Facebook. The saffron goon allegedly threatened to kill him for trying to show Hindutva workers in negative light.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/abvp-activists-threaten-to-kill-filmmaker-in-jamshedpur-for-making-documentary-based-on-communal-riot-695580/

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Dadri incident monstrous, BJP ‘anti-Muslim culturally’: UK-based academic (Nov 6, 2015, One India)

Leading UK-based academic Lord Bhiku Parekh has described as “monstrous” the recent lynching of a man in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh on suspicions of eating meat. Describing BJP as “anti-Muslim culturally” Professor Parekh said the party is trying to turn “Muslims as culturally Hindus”.

Participating in a discussion on the ‘State of Indo- British Ties’ at the Royal Overseas League here last night, he said “Indian politics has been sadly marred by identity politics and caste-based politics”. [Dadri lynching wrong, perpetrators should be punished: Amit Shah] “Dadri incident is monstrous – for lynching a person for eating beef,” he said.

Participating in the discussion ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit next week, former Foreign Secretary Krishnan Srinivasan described the incident as “minuscule”. He said the bane of Indian parties is that they are always fighting elections and during the elections, BJP turns itself to its core group – RSS. Describing the trouble creators as “lunatic fringe”, he hoped Modi will check these elements and come down heavily on them.…

http://www.oneindia.com/india/dadri-incident-monstrous-lord-bhiku-parekh-1920689.html

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Police dept worst violator of human rights, says SHRC member (Nov 8, 2015, Deccan Herald)

Law and order issues are too vast, but the performance and attitude of the Police department in managing them is unsatisfactory. The Police department is the worst violator of human rights in the State, said Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC)?member C?G?Hungund, here on Saturday.

He was addressing the gathering during the inaugural function of a training programme on human rights, organised by JSS?Law College. He said that a majority of the complaints filed with the commission were against police personnel, government organisations and officials.…

Hunagund accused the government of not appointing chairperson for the State Human Rights Commission. The commission is functioning without a head. After S?R?Nayak’s retirement, three years ago, the government has not appointed a head. Meera Saxena, a retired IAS?officer, is acting as chairperson of the KSHRC.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/510744/police-dept-worst-violator-human.html

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Facilities in two minority areas below par: Panel (Nov 9, 2015, Times of India)

Health and education facilities in two minority dominated pockets of the city are below par, states the latest report compiled by Delhi Minorities Commission.

In its annual report 2014-15, the commission has highlighted the health and education status of south Delhi’s Okhla and Mustafabad in east Delhi.The report was recently submitted to Delhi government for consideration, said commission secretary K K Jindal.

Okhla, which consists of a dozen minority-dominated colonies including Zakir Nagar, Batla House, Noor Nagar, Gaffar Manzil, Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal Enclave has just two government dispensaries to take care of its 6-7 lakh residents. The report states that while the area has no allopathic health centre being run by South Corporation, there are ayurvedic and Unani dispensaries at Sari Julena and Taimur Nagar.Okhla also does not have any maternity home or facility for women and child care, it said.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/49718496.cms

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NHRC notice to Gujarat government over separate Anganwadi for Dalits (Nov 9, 2015, IBN)

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Gujarat government over the issue of a separate Anganwadi for the Dalit children in Hajipur village of Patan district. The Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that there are two separate Anganwadis, one for the children of Dalits and the other for the children of other castes, in Gujarat’s Hajipur village.

The report stated that a three-year-old Dalit girl, who was lost in conversation with her four-year-old neighbour friend, walked towards Anganwadi no. 160 but was stopped at the gate and asked to go to Anganwadi no. 159 that was meant for Dalits. Anganwadi no. 160 is meant for the children of Patidars and Brahmins.

“The contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of Dalits,” the Commission observed as it issued a notice to the Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Gujarat calling for a report within two weeks. According to the NHRC statement quoting the report published on November 5, in the village of about 2,000 people, Patels and Patidars constitute nearly 70 per cent of population. The 40 Dalit houses are spread over two mohallas of the village.…

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/nhrc-notice-to-gujarat-government-over-separate-anganwadi-for-dalits-1162688.html

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Opinions and Editorials

A Rebuke to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi – Editorial (Nov 9, 2015, New York Times)

During a national election in India last year, Narendra Modi promised “development for all.” As prime minister, he has yet to deliver big economic improvements, but in the meantime, members of his government and political party have shredded his promise of inclusion by inflaming sectarian tensions. Now, voters in the country’s third most populous state have sent Mr. Modi a message: Put an end to the hatemongering.

Poisoning politics with religious hatred is bound to squander the country’s economic potential at a time when India should be playing a bigger and more constructive role in South Asia and the world. India’s history is filled with examples of religious and caste-based violence that set the country back. Those conflicts subsided during India’s rapid economic growth, but many Indians now fear a resurgence.…

Voters in Bihar saw through the B.J.P.’s attempts to divide them. They, like most Indians, are looking for leaders who will improve their standard of living. Bihar is one of the poorest states in India but has grown fast in the last 10 years under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is credited for cracking down on crime, building roads and increasing the enrollment of girls in schools.…

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/10/opinion/a-rebuke-to-indias-prime-minister-narendra-modi.html

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Narendra Modi: the divisive manipulator who charmed the world – By Pankaj Mishra (Nov 9, 2015, The Guardian)

In 2005, when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the wealthy Indian state of Gujarat, local police murdered a criminal called Sheikh Sohrabuddin in cold blood. At an election rally in 2007 for the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP, Modi assured his citizens that Sohrabuddin “got what he deserved”. What should be done, he asked, to a man found possessing illegal arms? The pumped-up crowd shouted back: “Mari nakho-mari nakho!” (Kill him, kill him!)

The lynch mob’s cry was repeated in a village near Delhi last month as zealotsbeat to death a Muslim farmer they suspected – wrongly – of keeping beef in his house. While Modi makes a triumphant visit to the UK after more than a year as India’s prime minister, the Hindu supremacists are, as the novelist Mukul Kesavan wrote last month, in “full hunting mode, head up and howling”. In recent weeks, activists and scholars have been shot dead amid a nationwide campaign against “Hindu-baiters” that targets secular intellectuals and “westernised” women as well as public figures with Muslim and Christian names, and western NGOs such as Greenpeace.

The assassinations follow months of violence and intimidating rhetoric by Hindu supremacists. A range of public figures, from Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood’s biggest star, to India’s respected central banker, Raghuram Rajan, have spoken out against the rising tide of sectarian hatred. More than 40 of India’s most distinguished writers havereturned their awards to the Sahitya Academy, the national literature academy. Many others, including artists, scholars, filmmakers and scientists, have since joined the protests, which reached boiling point after Hindu fanatics lynched at least four people in connection with beef-eating.…

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/09/narendra-modi-the-divisive-manipulator-who-charmed-the-world

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The Mirror States – By Pranay Sharma (Nov 16, 2015, Outlook)

Two questions are being asked by those who worry about the state of the nation: One, is the idea of a liberal, secular, forw¬ard-looking India where all feel safe and free under increasing threat from loonies? And two, is India in grave danger of becoming a ‘Hindu’ Pakistan if the madness goes unquestioned and unchecked by those who have been given the mandate to do so?

At first sight, that comparison might seem entirely misplaced and out of proportion. To some, it might even appear needlessly provocative, even anti-nat¬ional. After all, India is a giant, throbbing democracy with its pillars, despite having taken occasional hits, being very much intact. Elections take place freely and fairly. The judiciary fearlessly tells the executive where to get off. The military has no role in civilian life. The media is free. The voter is wise. Et cetera.

Still, when the President of the republic and the Vice-President have to remind citizens of what we cannot afford to lose six times in two months; when everybody from actor Shahrukh Khan to banker Raghuram Rajan and entrepreneur N.R. Narayana Murthy to investment firms joins scientists, historians and academics in a growing clamour to a return to the country’s fundamentals, when TV debates ‘tolerance’ every night, it shows that something is probably going woefully wrong.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/the-mirror-states/295801

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I am returning my award because I’m ashamed of what’s happening in India – By Arundhati Roy (Nov 6, 2015, The Guardian)

Although I do not believe that awards are a measure of the work we do, I would like to add the National award for Best Screenplay that I won in 1989 to the growing pile of returned awards. Also, I want to make it clear that I am not returning this award because I am “shocked” by what is being called the “growing intolerance” being fostered by the present government. First of all, “intolerance” is the wrong word to use for the lynching, shooting, burning and mass murder of fellow human beings.

Second, we had plenty of advance notice of what lay in store for us – so I cannot claim to be shocked by what has happened after this government was enthusiastically voted into office with an overwhelming majority.

Third, these horrific murders are only a symptom of a deeper malaise. Life is hell for the living too. Whole populations – millions of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians – are being forced to live in terror, unsure of when and from where the assault will come.…

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/06/returning-award-ashamed-india-arundhati-roy

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Hindutva’s stick – By A.G. Noorani (Nov 27, 2015, Frontline)

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray deserves kudos for exposing the hypocrisy of the Sangh Parivar, of which his own party is a member, albeit a small and noisy one. On October 22, he said at the Sena’s annual Dussehra rally in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park: “They should first announce that this country is a Hindu rashtra and impose the uniform civil code”…

The advocacy of a uniform civil code is an integral part of this ethos. It is not motivated by a desire for reform but by a lust for uniformity in the Hindutva mould. Men who have no sympathy for Muslim women whose husbands, brothers and sons were killed by the goons of the Hindutva brigade, without so much as a rebuke by the Parivar chief, are not inspired by lofty considerations. Their target is Muslim Personal Law, and they want to erase it from the statute book because it signifies Muslim identity.…

In 1979, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) opposed the establishment of the Minorities Commission and insisted that a Human Rights Commission would suffice. This is because, fundamentally, it rejects the very concept of minorities. The demand for imposition of a uniform civil code has figured in every election manifesto of the BJP, and earlier in the manifestos of the Jana Sangh. The approach is totally at variance with the one adopted by genuine reformers of high credentials as secularists. The universally respected Romila Thapar leads this school. In her recent lecture in Mumbai she advocated a persuasive approach.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/hindutvas-stick/article7866171.ece

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Of Generals, Dogs And Politics – By Oliver D’Souza (Nov 10, 2015, Countercurrents)

There is no doubt that General V K Singh’s use of the word ‘dogs’ in connection with the death of two Dalit children in Haryana is reprehensible, even a crime under the SC/ST Atrocities Act. Being a Union Minister and a former Army Chief, a lot of sensibilities and civilities are expected of him.

What is even more shocking is how a person whose credentials include being a former Army Chief could be so wanton, reckless and uncircumspect in using such language. Surely, this is not something he has done during his tenure in the army and risen to head it. If he had, he would have been court-martialled. Moreover, if that was the kind of essential genus he was made of, even without such open indsicretion, he would not have made the grade to become a General.

So what went wrong with the General and how did he metamorphose from an officer and a gentleman to someone who referred to Dalits as dogs and ended up having a FIR registered against himself?…

http://www.countercurrents.org/dsouza101115.htm

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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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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 9th, 2015

March 10, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Ex-bureaucrat speaks out on Gujarat riots Lawyers allege life threat to blast accused Qasmi in jail Police hand in Dimapur jailbreak suspected Indian State Bans Possession and Sale of Beef ‘Modi Govt. encouraging Hindutva forces, corporates’ Case filed against Bajrang Dal leader for ‘defaming’ minister Muslim body […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 17th, 2014

November 18, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines 2002 Gujarat riots: Supreme Court for winding up proceedings within three months BJP-RSS Trying to Force Communal Ideologies on Country: Left ‘BJP using Hindutva to divide people, push reforms’ Akshardham attack: Supreme Court junks Gujarat review plea Fact finding reports blame ‘communal forces’ for Trilokpuri riots; […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 27th, 2014

October 28, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslim man arranges cremation of Hindu ‘sister’ Sangam Vihar residents prevent clash, show communal harmony Patna stampede: Muslim woman saves Hindu child News Headlines US court lets US group challenge Modi immunity VHP hand seen in post-Modi Gujarat’s communal incidents AAP, Congress, accuse ‘Hindutva elements’ of stoking […]

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