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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 21st, 2015

by newsdigest on December 26, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Muslim man in Madhya Pradesh left his marriage midway to perform final rituals of a Hindu girl (Dec 19, 2015, India.com)

In an unprecedented incident of communal harmony which took place in Jabalpur, a Muslim man left his marriage (nikaah) midway to cremate a Hindu girl who died near his vicinity in Jabalpur district hospital. The groom who is a renowned activist in the region is known for cremating 3000 dead bodies who were unknown to him and his family.

The video which has gone viral on social media shows that Inayat Khan, a 29-year-old activist attached with Garib Nawaz Trust (Muslim NGO) is sitting at his home with his family members. Inayat’s hand was coloured with mehndi, when he got a call from the Jabalpur district hospital to come down and cremate the girl who was unknown to him.

Soon after which Inayat rushed to the grieving family of deceased and took the body to carry out final rituals with the family members of girl at Ranital cremation ground.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/muslim-man-in-madhya-pradesh-left-his-marriage-midway-to-perform-final-rituals-of-a-hindu-girl-798099/

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Seminar on communal harmony held in the capital (Dec 17, 2015, Business Standard)

Seeking to send out a message of brotherhood and harmony, a seminar was held in the national capital on the eve of the UN Minorities Rights Day.

Speaking on the occasion Delhi Social Welfare MinisterSandeep Kumar said, “religion teaches us brotherhood and we should respect all the religions. India is like a bouquet of flowers and the force driving this country is the same despite it having different names in different religions.”

The minister appreciating the Delhi Minorities Commission for holding the seminar on a relevant contemporary topic (‘inter-faith and communal harmony’) added that the government will try to hold such programmes in all the eleven districts of Delhi from next year.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/seminar-on-communal-harmony-held-in-the-capital-115121700689_1.html

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Army intelligence had filmed razing of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya: Sharad Pawar (Dec 21, 2015, First Post)

As defence minister, then Congress leader Sharad Pawar ordered the army intelligence to videotape the Babri Masjid razing in Ayodhya on 6 December, 1992. Not knowing what would happen that day when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad announced a “kar seva” at the 16th century mosque site, Pawar says he told then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao to take a tough posture.

“But Rao was not in favour of using force,” Pawar says in his just released autobiography “On My Terms” (Speaking Tiger). “He turned down my suggestion that we should post army platoons at the disputed site as a precautionary measure. After my suggestion was rejected, I asked the army’s intelligence wing to video shoot all developments at the disputed site on 6 December.

“The film captured various stages of the demolition job accomplished by ‘kar sevaks’ including how they were egged on by their leaders.” Says Pawar, who is now Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president: “The demolition exposed Narasimha Rao’s weakness as a leader.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/army-intelligence-had-filmed-razing-of-babri-masjid-in-ayodhya-sharad-pawar-2554114.html

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Gujarat government yet to furnish details of beneficiaries affected by 2001 earthquake, 2002 riots (Dec 15, 2015, TwoCircles.net)

The State Government of Gujarat and the Gujarat Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (GMDFC) have not furnished to the Central government details of beneficiaries affected by earthquake during 2001 and riots during 2002.

This was stated in the Lok Sabha by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in a written reply last Wednesday.

He was replying to the questions raised by four MPs who sought information in this regard. He also informed the house that the information has been sought from the Gujarat government and GMDFC and they have been reminded again.

http://twocircles.net/2015dec15/1450192909.html

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High Court allows NHRC to intervene in Hashimpura massacre case (Dec 11, 2015, The Hindu)

The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene in the appeals filed by the victims of the infamous Hashimpura massacre of 1987, in which a trial court had acquitted 16 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel on March 21 this year.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice R.K. Gauba allowed the intervention application of NHRC and posted the case for further hearing on February 17, 2016. In its plea, the NHRC had sought further inquiry into the 28-year-old incident and framing of guidelines for cases of custodial violence.

The court also asked BJP leader Subramanian Swamy about his locus standi in filing an appeal against a fast track court order, which had rejected his plea seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh police to probe into the role of Congress leader P. Chidambaram, who was Union Minister of State for Home at the time of Hashimpura massacre.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/high-court-allows-nhrc-to-intervene-in-hashimpura-massacre-case/article7973030.ece

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Police search for Hindu Yuva Morcha activists following FIR for derogatory posts against Prophet Mohammed (Dec 21, 2015, Twocircles.net)

An FIR has been registered by Mumbai police against members of Hindu Yuva Morcha for spreading hatred message against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Police are looking for the offenders. Muslim leaders were in a meeting of the ‘Peace Committee’ when one of them received a message on WhatsApp, which represented a hatred post against the Prophet made by Deb Prakash Shukla of Raibareli (UP). The post also showed satirical comments below it written by Shivam Mishra, President, Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Yuva Morcha.

Noting the intensity of this hate message, Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi, General Secretary of All India Ulama Council immediately called Deven Bharti, Police Joint Commissioner, and asked him to take prompt action before the message was widely spread and law and order was disturbed. Following this, Bharti ordered for registering of FIR at MRA Marg Police station and the alleged hate post on social site has been blocked. Police is now looking for offenders from Uttar Pradesh.

After filing of FIR, Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi said, “Right-wing organisations are intentionally spreading such messages so as to disturb peace prevailing in the society. We shall fight legally against every such attempt made by them.”

http://twocircles.net/2015dec21/1450683864.html

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VHP men raise ‘Love Jihad’ issue, booked for ransacking police station in Shamli (Dec 21, 2015, Times of India)

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers were booked for ransacking a police station in Shamli. They alleged police inaction in what they have claimed to be a case of ‘love jihad’, after a 40-year-old Muslim man and a 22-year-old Hindu girl went missing.…

“On December 1, a Hindu girl went missing. The family’s tenant Mohammed Asif (40) was missing as well. It was alleged that he had abducted her and taken her with her to an unknown location. After the family came to us, we registered a case and the investigation took its own course. We even arrested his brother Mohammed Arshad (35). We suspect that they are in Delhi. We have even dispatched a Shamli Police team that has gone to Delhi to search for the girl,” said Naresh Yadav, station officer at Kandhla police station.

He added saying, “On Saturday, VHP men held a panchayat at a local temple and then made their way to the police station. The forcefully entered the police station and started ransacking the premises. We asked them to remain calm and tell us their side of the story but they started breaking the tables and chairs inside the police station. We booked them under sections 147 and 148 of the Indian Penal Code.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50271460.cms

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Random arrests of Muslim youths leading to radicalisation: Telangana Police chief (Dec 22, 2015, Indian Express)

Socio-economic exclusion of Muslims and random arrests of youths from the community in the aftermath of a terror attack are leading to radicalisation among the minorities. This was the running theme of a presentation and discussion on radicalisation at the conference of Director Generals of Police (DGPs) in Bhuj, that concluded on Sunday.

While there were 10 presentations on various aspects of internal security at the annual meet organised by the Intelligence Bureau, the one on radicalisation, presented by Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma, was the most critical in the context of threats from the Islamic State.

According to sources, Sharma said there was a sense of alienation among Muslims as “expected social and economic benefits” had not reached them. He highlighted how areas inhabited by minorities were generally bereft of civic amenities and dearth of economic opportunities. All this, he said, made the community vulnerable to radicalisation.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/random-arrests-of-muslim-youths-leading-to-radicalisation-telangana-police-chief-2/

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Police cremate body of Muslim murder victim, kin outraged (Dec 19, 2015, Times of India)

Police at Itimad-ud-Daulah station in Agra found themselves facing the wrath of a family and villagers on Saturday after it was revealed that they had mistakenly cremated a Muslim youth with complete Hindu rituals. To defuse the situation, police lodged a case of murder and promptly arrested three persons, including a woman. The inspector-general of police Agra has ordered an enquiry into the faux pas.…

On Friday, the family of the deceased, who were making the rounds of police stations to get a missing complaint filed for their son, saw a pamphlet pasted on a wall mentioning the unclaimed body. The family reached Itimad-ud-Daulah police station where police showed them the clothes the dead man had been wearing along with other items recovered from the body.

However, the situation got tense for the police when the family told them the dead man was named Mohd Sameer and he was 22 years old. Initially, the kin were allegedly told the man had been buried and they were free to take away his belongings. “When we asked for the location of the grave, they refused. Later a constable told us that Sameer had been cremated,” said Mohd Wasim, brother of the dead youth.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50249297.cms

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Respect rights, sensitivities of minorities: President Mukherjee (Dec 14, 2015, Hindustan Times)

President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called for respecting the rights and sensitivities of minorities, both in letter and spirit, and eliminating forces that divide society.

Delivering the Indira Gandhi Memorial Lecture (2013) on National Integration of the Asiatic Society, he also stressed on the awareness about “limitations and mistakes of the past which gave rise to problems of inequality” in the country.…

“We must learn to respect the rights and sensitivities of minorities, both in letter and spirit. We must cultivate a secular and democratic outlook, and promote a way of life that is inclusive and does not interfere with civic duties and rights as well as responsibilities of individuals,” he said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/respect-rights-sensitivities-of-minorities-president-mukherjee/story-OubpppOhZ0SFrGT6GisO7M.html

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Why did you criminalize possession of beef, HC asks state (Dec 17, 2015, Times of India)

The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the state the reason for introducing a provision in its beef ban law that made possession a criminal offence. “Why did the state now think it fit to bring in section 5D (that criminalizes possession of beef)?” asked a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and S C Gupte.

The court pointed out that the 1976 law banning cow slaughter did not have a similar provision. “Why should this not be treated as disproportionate?” the judges asked the state’s legal team led by advocate-general, S G Aney, and advocate, Hiten Venegavkar.

“What happens if someone brings beef from Goa, where it is lawful? Or if someone throws beef into some innocent person’s house?” the bench asked.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50224632.cms

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Maha govt against issuing ordinance for Muslim quota in education (Dec 17, 2015, Indian Express)

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Wednesday ruled out bringing an ordinance to enable 5 per cent reservation for Muslims in education. “Currently, there is no provision in the existing laws to facilitate such a move,” he said.

The matter demanding reservation for Muslims in education was raised by Congress-NCP members in both Houses of the state legislature. Leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, senior NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal said the government should seriously consider reservation for Muslims. Since the court had upheld the reservation for Muslims in education, they said, nothing stopped the government from issuing a fresh ordinance.

The Opposition leaders argued that they had given consent for 5 per cent reservation to Muslims in education during their regime. However, after the ordinance lapsed, the BJP-Shiv Sena government did not re-issue the ordinance.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maha-govt-against-issuing-ordinance-for-muslim-quota-in-education/

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Opinions and Editorials

A generation after Babri demolition, India must choose its future – By Harsh Mander (Dec 17, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Razing the Babri mosque was an assault on the secular promise of the Constitution – the pledge that none are children of a lesser god.

A generation has passed since the day a medieval mosque was pulled down by triumphalist crowds in a dusty nondescript town of Uttar Pradesh 23 years ago. This traumatic moment altered the course of India’s contemporary history, marking a belligerent victory of the politics of hatred and division in the ongoing struggle by Hindu nationalists against the secular idea of India.…

The second generation, disillusioned by the cynical decay of those who claimed to carry these ideas in formal politics, joined hands with Hindu nationalists to oppose their authoritarianism and venal corruption. A third generation was swept into a tempestuous political movement of engineered division and social hatred, symbolised by the mass movement to destroy the mosque in Ayodhya. A fourth generation, more than half of all Indians below the age of 25 today, must now choose the India of their future.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/a-generation-after-babri-demolition-india-must-choose-its-future/story-0Z9opjJazHu5WMasAO0cTJ.html

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How Gujarat riots made Vajpayee lose out to RSS – By Kingshuk Nag (Dec 18, 2015, Dailyo.in)

…After the Gujarat riots of 2002, however, Atal seems to have lost out to the RSS. The organisation gained ascendancy with the help of hardliners in the party as also the Sangh Parivar. The first indication of this came on April 4, 2002, when Atal visited Gujarat after the bloody riots in which one thousand people lost their lives.

The riots had followed the burning of the compartment of a train that was bringing back kar sevaks from Ayodhya. The incident had happened on February 27, 2002. At a press conference Atal, with the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi by his side, said that the government’s job was to practise rajadharma and kings and rulers cannot discriminate between people on the basis of birth, caste and religion. Unexpectedly, in what was seen as a snub, Modi said, “Wohi toh nibha rahein hain [That’s what we are doing].” The audience was shocked and Atal kept quiet.

Atal, disquieted with the way the Gujarat riots had been handled, decided to get rid of Modi at the national executive of the party scheduled a week later at Goa. As per the plan, in a face saver for Modi, he would submit his resignation at Goa and would be allowed to quit. On the flight to Goa, tremendous pressure was exerted on Atal by Advani to not accept Modi’s resignation. Somehow word about the proposal for Modi to resign had leaked out. Young and mid-level leaders of the party started raising slogans, “Istifa mat do, istifa mat do [Don’t quit, don’t quit],” the moment Modi stood up to resign. In fact, a resolution was passed that Modi and his government had done their best while facing the challenge during the riots. Thus Atal was stymied.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/atal-bihari-vajpayee-rupa-publications-india-rss-narendra-modi-2002-gujarat-riots-lk-advani/story/1/8009.html

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How Modi Sarkar betrayed Minority Rights on #MinorityDay – By Shehzad Poonawalla (Dec 18, 2015, IBN)

For decades now India had been observing the December 18 as “Minorities Rights Day” every year as part of its commitment to the cause of minorities. It was on this day in 1992 that the United Nations had promulgated the “Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities” proclaiming that “States shall protect the existence of the National or Ethnic, Cultural, Religious and Linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.” For the first time India will see a marked departure from this stated commitment under the majoritarian government of Narendra Modi.

It began with the appointment of Najma Heptullah as Minority Affairs Minister. The Minister upon entering office first claimed that “Muslims were not a minority”!… If indeed Muslims are not minorities why does her Government actually categorise and identify them as one of the six minority groups (Christians, Sikhs, Buddhist, Parsis and Jains being the other groups) represented in the National Commission for Minorities – a statutory body whose chairperson is also a Muslim?…

The undeniable message that is going across is that the Modi government is being shepherded by the RSS in matters of governance. If the Hindutva agenda is allowed to dominate the discourse, there is no doubt in my mind that alienation will continue to increase as more and more minorities feel insecure and discriminated against. With 65% of the minority population below 35years, most of them hungry for jobs and opportunities and decent life, this kind of divisive narrative can prove to be disastrous for us as a nation.…

http://www.ibnlive.com/blogs/politics/shehzad-poonawalla/how-modi-sarkar-betrayed-minority-rights-on-minorityday-11000-1178617.html

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Intolerance Has Gone Up Due To Sectarianism – By Ram Puniyani (Dec 18, 2015, Countercurrents)

Beginning with September 2015 we witnessed a flood of ‘returning’ honors by writers, scientists and artists. There are also various statements from academics, historians, artists and scientists showing their concern about the growing intolerance and erosion of our plural values. … The growing intolerance has taken the lives of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi. There are incidents like where the lynching of one Muslim on the issue of beef eating which has shaken the conscience of the society.…

At the same time the President of India disturbed by the happenings in the society; time and again has been reminding the nation about our core civilizational values of pluralism. The vice President has told that it is the duty of the state to protect the ‘right to life’ of citizens. The international agency Moody Analytics pointed stated that unless Modi reins in his colleagues, India stands to lose her credibility.…

The major factor leading to present atmosphere lies in the qualitative transformation of ‘hate for others’. The stereotyping of minorities has assumed horrendous proportions. Intolerance has been there earlier also, now it is changing qualitatively for the worse. We need to combat the threat of sectarian nationalism looming large on our democratic society, the threat of sectarian propaganda and politics leading to stifling of democratic space. And these are not the ordinary times, the divisive process, intolerance have assumed menacing proportions and cannot be hidden by the illusory growth story!

http://www.countercurrents.org/puniyani181215.htm

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Praveen Swami and the informed art of speculating – By M Reyaz and Amit Kumar (Dec 17, 2015, TwoCircles.net)

National daily The Indian Express was not pretty sure where the alleged Al-Qaeda’s Head of the Indian subcontinent hailed from, but it nevertheless thought of making an informed guess before finally correcting themselves when questioned. And, after arrests had been made elsewhere in the country.

On December 15, the paper’s National Security Expert, and National Editor (Strategic and International Affairs) Praveen Swami decided to tell its readers where the Al-Qaeda’s Indian Chief was from. In a story titled, ‘In Heart of Asia, why hope is fading’, Swami wrote “The camp, Afghan intelligence sources told The Indian Express, housed over 150 fighters from across South Asia, flying the banner of the newly-formed al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, led by Gujarat-origin jihadist Asim Umar.…

Several of Swami reports, particularly his theories published in The Hindu on conspiracy and plots in the Mecca Masjid blasts, Ajmer blasts, Malegaon, etc. fell flat in past, in all of which earlier Muslims youths were falsely accused of terror, but it was later revealed by the security agencies that those were in fact conducted by Hindutva extremist groups.

http://twocircles.net/2015dec17/1450372735.html

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Disenfranchising the Deprived – Editorial (Dec 19, 2015, EPW)

…The Supreme Court’s judgment in Rajbala has been delivered in a constitutional challenge to the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 which had been amended in 2015 to disbar those candidates for panchayat elections who are not literate, or who are in arrears of their dues to electricity boards, or on loans taken from state cooperative banks, or do not have a toilet in their residence, among other disqualifications.…

While ostensibly holding that the right to vote and stand for elections are constitutional rights, the Supreme Court dismissed the challenge to the constitutional validity of the Haryana act. The Court’s “reasoning,” such as it is, utterly fails to see the latent discrimination written into the illiteracy, indebtedness and residential toilet disqualifications for candidates to the panchayat elections. The census data and detailed statistics on the possible impact of the disqualification criteria presented by the petitioners have been brushed aside with broad homilies, vague generalisations and utter callousness.

The Supreme Court has taken no note of the possibility that the Haryana law ends up punishing those who are the victims of state failure to provide education and sanitation in the first place. The Court seems blissfully unaware of the centuries of discrimination that has been inflicted on Dalits when it came to education and sanitation, the effects of which are still being felt by Dalits and other lower castes. Instead of attempting to grapple with or address such ground realities, the Court has preferred to turn a blind eye to this and for all practical purposes, blamed the victims themselves for being illiterate, poor or having no toilet in their homes.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2015/51/editorials/disenfranchising-deprived.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 17th, 2014

by newsdigest on November 18, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

2002 Gujarat riots: Supreme Court for winding up proceedings within three months (Nov 13, 2014, Indian Express)

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked a trial court in Ahmedabad to wind up within three months the proceedings in Gulberg Society massacre case of 2002 Gujarat riots in which former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and 67 others were killed.

Expressing concern over the accused languishing in jail due to delay in trial, a special bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu asked the Special Investigating Team (SIT), which probed the nine riot cases, to expeditiously proceed in the case.

The bench, however, said that judgement should not be pronounced by the trial court without its permission. Former CBI Director R K Raghvan, who is heading the SIT, said that it would be difficult to wind up the proceedings within three months. The bench, thereafter, asked him to proceed expeditiously and allowed him to approach the court in case it is not completed within three months.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat/2002-gujarat-riots-supreme-court-for-winding-up-proceedings-within-three-months/

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BJP-RSS Trying to Force Communal Ideologies on Country: Left (Nov 13, 2014, New Indian Express)

Lashing out at BJP and RSS, 16 Left parties on Thursday adopted a resolution against communalism and accused the Centre of trying to force “Hindutva ideologies” on the entire country. The 16 Left parties including ten constituents of the Left Front in West Bengal led by CPI-M and other Left parties like SUCI(C), CPI(ML-Liberation), CPI(ML-Santosh Rana) and PDS today organised a convention and adopted a resolution against spread of communalism in the country and the state.

“Due to communal polarisation throughout the country, a threat is looming large over secularism and democracy. BJP, after achieving majority, has sped up this communal polarisation,” the adopted resolution stated. …

“Bengal, which has been known as a stronghold of secularism, is too under threat of majority and minority polarisation and communalism. The misrule of Trinamool Congress due to its narrow-minded politics has provided space for communal polarisation in the state,” it stated.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/BJP-RSS-Trying-to-Force-Communal-Ideologies-on-Country-Left/2014/11/13/article2521639.ece

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‘BJP using Hindutva to divide people, push reforms’ (Nov 16, 2014, The Hindu)

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury on Saturday alleged that the BJP government was dividing the working class using Hindutva so that it could push its ‘reforms’, which would help corporate entities and foreign investors.

Inaugurating the 4th conference of the Bank Employees’ Federation of India – Karnataka here, Mr. Yechury said bankers should see through the “cocktail of economic reforms and Hindutva” and stay united.

His party would raise the issue in Parliament, while workers should create awareness about it as reforms and Hindutva was “the weapon that India has created under (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi”.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/bjp-using-hindutva-to-divide-people-push-reforms/article6603376.ece

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Akshardham attack: Supreme Court junks Gujarat review plea (Nov 16, 2014, Indian Express)

Months after six persons were acquitted of all charges in the 2002 Akshardham Temple attack case, the Supreme Court has now dismissed the review petition filed by the Gujarat government against the acquittal.

In an order issued on November 5, the Bench of Justices Anil R Dave and V Gopala Gowda said the court was “convinced that the order, of which review has been sought, does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration”. …

The court had also said, “Instead of booking the real culprits responsible for taking so many precious lives, the police caught innocent people and got imposed the grievous charges against them.”

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/akshardham-attack-supreme-court-junks-gujarat-review-plea/

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Fact finding reports blame ‘communal forces’ for Trilokpuri riots; police for one-sided action (Nov 12, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Two weeks after the riots during Diwali days in East Delhi’s Trilokpuri, two separate Fact Finding teams on Tuesday came out with scathing findings: one has blamed the “communal outfits” for instigating the riots while the other has blamed Delhi police for “one sided action” against Muslims.

“Communal outfits were involved in engineering riots at Trilokpuri and these communal organizations attacked with a preconceived conspiracy against minorities,” the Fact Finding report by NCHRO claimed.

The second report, by a joint team of APCR, PUCL and JIH, said: “Initially, police was very casual which lead the violence to go on and later, when the police did become active, it took one sided action against the Muslim community.”…

http://twocircles.net/2014nov12/1415774967.html

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No record, no compensation: Remembering the 1980 riot (Nov 17, 2014, Times of India)

Justice MP Saxena Commission report on the Moradabad riots of August 13, 1980 has not been tabled in the Uttar Pradesh assembly 34 years after the incident. Victims of the violence, which occurred on the eve of Eid that year, at the Eidgah, left 284 people dead. The violence occurred as Muslims in the area clashed with personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary. Not a single prosecution has occurred so far.

ADM City DP Singh was killed in the violence, while superintendent of police Vijay Nath Singh was injured. Relatives of the dead – whether securitymen or Muslims – have demanded compensation for their loss from the government, to no avail. Many victims blame the Congress government in the state at the time, which had VP Singh at the helm, as chief minister.

The carnage occurred two days before the celebration of Independence Day in 1980. A large crowd had gathered at Eidgah in the morning of August 13. During the prayers, some minority community leaders say, pigs were led into the Eidgah by some miscreants. Many Muslims in the area with a memory of that violence still hold that the presence of pigs set off the spiral of violence. …

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45180709.cms

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2010 Machil fake encounter case: Army convicts 7 personnel, including commanding officer (Nov 13, 2014, Times of India)

Army has handed life sentence to seven of its personnel, including two officers, in connection with the Machil fake encounter killing of three youths in Jammu & Kashmir in 2010, chief minister Omar Abdullah has said.

“The Army has handed out life sentences to seven inc(luding) the Commanding officer in the Machil fake encounter case of 2010. This is indeed a very welcome step,” Omar said in a tweet on Thursday.

Hailing the verdict of the general court martial, Omar tweeted, “This is a watershed moment. No one in Kashmir ever believed that justice would be done in such cases. Faith in institutions disappeared.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45131618.cms

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200 hurt as hell breaks loose; ‘godman’ Rampal supporters attack cops (Nov 18, 2014, Hindustan Times)

After days of tense standoff, bloody clashes involving gunfire erupted between self-styled godman Rampal’s supporters and the police when they tried to arrest him in Haryana on Tuesday, leaving over 200 people including security and media personnel injured. Rampal’s supporters reportedly opened fire on police personnel who arrived to arrest him from his ashram at Barwala in Hisar, about 164 km northwest of New Delhi. Shots were heard near Rampal’s Satlok Ashram.

As the area turned into a battlefield, the police halted the operation in the evening, but said they were determined to arrest the self-styled godman and there was “time limit for the operation”. The police have so far failed to produce the controversial godman in court in connection with a contempt of court case. Rampal is on bail in another case in connection with the killing of a man in firing from his ashram in Rohtak in 2006.

“Rampal supporters attacked us with lathis, acid pouches and petrol bombs,” Haryana director general of police (DGP) SN Vashisht said. “We initially practiced restraint as we didn’t want innocent people to get injured.” Tension mounted earlier in the day as supporters of Rampal refused to heed to repeated announcements by the police over loud speakers to allow them to enter the premises in order to arrest him. … “Some people from inside the ashram said that they were being forced to stay inside,” Vashisht said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/1287358.aspx

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Sexual assault: Kambaleshwar Math chief remanded (Nov 18, 2014, The Hindu)

Someshekar Shivacharya Swami, who is alleged to have sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at his Kambaleshwar Math in Chitapur town in Kalaburagi district, was arrested on Monday by the police on the outskirts of Jewargi town from a car in which he was proceeding towards Vijayapura.

A special police team, which arrested the swami, brought him to Kalaburagi and subjected him to medical test before producing in a special court dealing with crime against women and children. The swami was remanded in judicial custody till November 29.

The police have filed cases under different sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Meanwhile, the girl, who was in the government general hospital here for medical check-up, was brought to the special court where a magistrate recorded her statement in camera . The girl, who was working as a help in the Kambaleshwar Math, was sexually assaulted allegedly by the swami on October 30.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/sexual-assault-kambaleshwar-math-chief-remanded/article6610135.ece

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Caste prejudice in Gujarat? Report finds over 30 per cent of state’s prisoners are Dalits (Nov 14, 2014, Daily Mail)

Around 32.9 per cent of all convicts and 23.4 per cent of under-trials in Gujarat’s prisons are Dalits, a community that forms just about 6.7 per cent of the state’s overall population.

The statistics are part of a recently released National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report titled ‘Prison Statistics India 2013’, which relates to different aspects of prisons and prison inmates in Indian jails.

The data suggests that the proportion of Dalits among Gujarat’s convicts is nearly 4.9 times higher than their share in the state’s population, with its under-trial numbers up to 3.5 times higher. …

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2833761/Caste-prejudice-Gujarat-Report-finds-30-cent-state-s-prisoners-Dalits.html

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Opinions and Editorials

How the Sangh Parivar systematically attacks the very idea of India – By Anand Patwardhan (Nov 13, 2014, Scroll.in)

Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He was also in the Hindu Mahasabha like his mentor VD Savarkar. Nathuram’s brother, Gopal Godse, was a co-conspirator in the case. After serving his prison term, Gopal conceded in interviews that neither he nor Nathuram had ever left the RSS but told lies in court to protect the RSS as well as Savarkar. …

The population of Muslims has marginally increased since Independence to the present 13.4 % but the cause is not conversion or “love jihad” or because Muslim men are allowed four wives, as Hindutva forces would like us to believe. The fact is that the Muslim by every conceivable yardstick is impoverished. The Sachar Committee report makes it clear that Muslims in India are less educated, poorer and fewer of them can be found in the national and state legislatures and in the bureaucracy, leave alone in the military and paramilitary. With the BJP occupying the centre and many states, Muslims in government have become even more scarce.

The routine demonisation of the Muslim remains the very raison d’etre of Hindutva. Historic myths of their cruelty, of temple destruction and rape are part of a steady diet fed since childhood. The Muslim’s allegiance to a foreign god and foreign holy shrine and the barbaric practice of eating beef is a source of unmitigated rage in the hearts of those indoctrinated by Hindutva. Onto this tinderbox, if you throw a match by starting a rumour that a Muslim male has abducted or raped a Hindu female, no one will wait to ascertain if the rumour is true. Deadly pogroms are that easy to ignite.…

http://scroll.in/article/689584/how-the-sangh-parivar-systematically-attacks-the-very-idea-of-india

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In The Darkness, Speak Up For Light – By Kiran Nagarkar (Nov 24, 2014, Outlook)

It’s unsettling, if not astounding, the speed with which new scientific discoveries, or rather ancient scientific discoveries, are coming to light. Some months ago, thanks to one Dina Nath Batra, we learnt that Rama was the first to fly in an aeroplane. And our BC (as in Before Christ) ancestors were familiar with stem cell research. But that was nothing compared to what our august prime minister revealed while inaugurating perhaps the subcontinent’s most advanced medical facility in Mumbai. Imagine, all these years, along with billions of people, I too believed that the first and last virgin birth was the monopoly of the Catholic faith.

But thanks to our new intrepid Hindutva archaeologists, we now learn that Karna was the result of artificial insemination, and thus a case of a virgin birth long before the Angel whispered the Annunciation in Mary’s ear. I need hardly add that the prime minister’s teacher in this matter seems to be Batra, whose works have been made standard supplementary reading in all schools in Gujarat. It is a wonderful irony that Batra’s organisation is called Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti. Indeed, if this is what we mean by saving learning and education, then the country, and especially the younger generation, is in dire trouble.&hellip

There’s something intriguing, if not bizarre, happening in our country. What terrible malaise has put our intelligentsia into a comatose state? Has the impact of the coming of Modiji and his song of development made even the most sensible people insensible to the damage being done to the fabric of our education system? Aren’t their horizons too shrinking with the mythification of science? Aren’t their children going to suffer enormously because their parents refused to stand up for their rights and for the truth?…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/In-The-Darkness-Speak-Up-For-Light/292578

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Abandoning the idea of India – By R. Sudarshan (Nov 12, 2014, The Hindu)

On May 28, 1964, I was a 10-year-old carried across by waves of mourners in Delhi, from the ramparts of Red Fort towards the Yamuna, to see flames rising from the funeral pyre of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Twenty years later, I was again a part of several processions for peace near my home in Jangpura Extension, this time fearfully watching flames leap out of shops and homes belonging to Sikhs, which had been singled out and become the target of arson in the aftermath of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In those 20 years, the idea of India, embodying diversity and democracy, tolerance and self-confidence, had given way to a closing of the Indian mind and an upsurge of xenophobia. The “foreign hand” phobia was particularly strong during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s many years in office, especially during the internal state of Emergency.

In June this year, an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report accused some “foreign-funded” non-governmental organisations, including Greenpeace, of “serving as tools for foreign policy interests of western governments,” by sponsoring agitations against nuclear and coal-fired power plants across the country. Their actions, according to the IB, had a negative impact on India’s GDP growth!

The death of Nehru signalled an end to an era of open-mindedness. The Planning Commission’s collaborative project with the MIT Center for International Studies ended in 1964. Sukhamoy Chakravarty, Kirit Parikh, Henri Lefebvre, Richard Eckhaus, Alan Mann, all scholars of impeachable integrity, came under the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) cloud. This was the moment when the Planning Commission became fearful of foreigners. It remains to be seen if India will ever recover a Nehruvian self-confidence and recreate an institution which in its heyday brimmed with brilliant ideas. …

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/opinion-on-nehruvian-ideas-and-idea-of-india/article6587610.ece

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Flames of hatred – By Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta (Nov 28, 2014, Frontline)

In the aftermath of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, the liberal intelligentsia of the city had made fairly successful attempts to prevent communal tensions. Over the past two years, however, Delhi, like other parts of north India, witnessed small incidents of communal tension. These went largely unreported, and the tension petered out after the initial provocations because of interventions by secular-minded individuals from all communities.

When Trilokpuri erupted on Deepavali, many were not surprised. Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pitched Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate two years ago, there has been a regular stream of reports of the Sangh Parivar inciting religious sentiments among Hindus and directing these against Muslims. However, that such frequent incidents of communal violence would occur in Delhi immediately after the BJP captured power came as a surprise for many who had thought of Modi as a non-dogmatic Hindutva leader.…

The tried and tested formula of polarising votes in the name of religion or caste overcomes organisational and leadership failures. Polarisation of the Valmikis in favour of the BJP could yield good results for the party not just in Trilokpuri but in all of Delhi. However, the divisions such electoral tactics create will mark a permanent dent in India’s multicultural social fabric.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/flames-of-hatred/article6586175.ece

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Minorities at the Crossroads: Comments on Judicial Pronouncements – By F S Nariman (Nov 15, 2014, EPW)

The elections in April-May 2014 have put a strong majoritarian government in power at the centre. While I welcome a single-party majority government, I also fear it. I fear it because of past experience with majoritarian governments in the 1960s and 1970s. The Congress government unjustifiably imposed an internal Emergency in June 1975 and rode roughshod over the liberties of citizens.

Traditionally, Hinduism has been the most tolerant of all Indian faiths. But recurrent instances of religious tension fanned by fanaticism and hate speech have shown that the Hindu tradition of tolerance is showing signs of strain. Frankly – my apprehension is that Hinduism is somehow changing its benign face because it is believed and proudly proclaimed by a few (and not contradicted by those at the top) that it is their faith and belief that has put “Hindus” in the driving seat of governance.…

And after the BJP included its resolve to amend Article 30 in its election manifesto for the general elections of May-June 1991, “minority rights” have been less protected by courts (including the Supreme Court) than they were before. A large number of judges of the Supreme Court today no longer pay much attention to what Chief Justice Das said at the end of his judgment in the Kerala Education Bill case.…

http://www.epw.in/perspectives/minorities-crossroads.html

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Is India’s sterilisation programme barbaric and anti-women? – By Deborah Doane (Nov 12, 2014, The Guardian)

The terrible tragedy of the deaths of women undergoing sterilisation in India’s Chhattisgarh state should inspire anger about the much larger issue of the anti-women and barbaric nature of controlling population in the country.

Local and international media reported it as a result of poor hygiene and the use of out of date medicines. Few referred to the fact that sterilisation is the blunt instrument used on women, either by coercion or by alleged choice (encouraged through ‘incentives’ – in this case, a meagre 1,400 rupees – about £14) or that it has been used as a form of bio-political control for many years in India. Indira Gandhi’s government famously imposed sterilisation on about 10 million people in the 70s – mainly men – for which there was eventually severe backlash. After that, the focus switched to sterilising women.

Now, sterilisation of women and even full hysterectomies are the birth control tactic most practiced in India. I visited a rural clinic recently and asked about birth control offerings and the doctors proudly stated that many women come there for sterilisation.…

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/nov/12/indias-sterilisation-drive-is-barbaric-and-disproportionately-targeted-at-women

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Book Review

2014: The Election that Changed India

Author: Rajdeep Sardesai
Reviewed by: Pradyot Lal
Available at: Penguin Books India, 7th Floor, Infinity Tower – C, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon 122002, Haryana, India, 356 pp; Rs 599. http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Modi Above All Else (Nov 22, 2014, Tehelka)

From paternalistic governance to an undisguised personality cult, Indian politics has had a huge paradigm shift. The anointment of the ‘Supreme Leader’ has been swift and dramatic, and not everybody has been comfortable with the sheer ease with which the transition has taken place. This has to be internalised in depth rather than accepted uncritically, and to Rajdeep Sardesai’s credit, he has tried to do so in 2014: The Election That Changed India. What follows is a racy narrative that goes beyond recording immediate political history to also reflect on what ails India’s woefully shallow electronic and print media. The story traces the rise of Narendra Modi and the decline of the Congress in graphic terms. …

“Like a true Gujarati, he calculates the cost and benefit of each move,” writes Sardesai, who paints an unflattering portrait of Modi’s governance during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The author believes that the Gujarat government under Modi was “utterly incompetent because it was aware that the Godhra violence could set off a cycle of vengeance and yet did not do enough to stop it”. Modi is shown as having been governed by the communal-fascist street logic of the Praveen Togadias, whom he could not rein in.

Sardesai mentions a chilling incident soon after the riots when things appeared to be back to normal. One night, he was returning after recording an interview with Modi, when, not far from the CM’s house, his car was stopped by a mob that wanted all occupants to drop their trousers to check if there were Muslims among them. Sardesai’s parents had got him circumcised in childhood for hygiene’s sake and the driver, too, was Muslim. This was trouble. When entreaties didn’t work, Sardesai flashed his press card and showed the mob the interview he had just recorded. Only then did they let them pass. …

http://www.tehelka.com/book-review-2014-the-election-that-changed-india-rajdeep-sardesai-narendra-modi-bjp-politics-media/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 22nd, 2012

October 23, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hindu-Muslim leaders resolve to bury differences News Headlines No change in our stand on Modi’s Gujarat, says Germany Nanavati dodging documents, alleges Sanjiv Bhatt Sohrabuddin case: Guj HC sends case documents to Bombay HC After 7 months in Tihar, Kazmi gets relief from SC JM Road […]

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India’s response to its Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations disappoints human rights groups – India refuses to agree to adequate steps to protect members of minority religions

October 1, 2012

Sunday September 30, 2012 The Advocates for Human Rights, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of internationally-recognized human rights, and Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, have jointly expressed their concern over India’s failure to accept key recommendations that guarantee Human Rights […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 26th, 2011

December 27, 2011

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Modi is ‘dramatis personae’ of Gujarat ‘carnage’ 2002: Sanjiv Bhatt CBI questions Chudasama, Patel in Prajapati encounter case Father of alleged IM operative sues N Ram, Praveen Swami Sangh Parivar playing pressure tactics to freeze terror cases: PFI Pass anti-communal violence Bill: minorities Slice of OBC […]

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Minorities feel they are being targeted: PM (Sep 10, 2011, Times of India)

September 13, 2011

The minority communities often feel they are being unfairly targeted in the “aftermath of unfortunate incidents”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said, inaugurating the National Integration Council meet, which is to debate the communal violence bill. Singh said while the law should be allowed to take its own course, the investigating agencies should be […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 12th, 2011

September 13, 2011

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements IAMC Condemns Blast Outside Delhi High Court News Headlines SC has not given clean chit to Modi: Cong Will a trial court in Gujarat ever prosecute Modi? Modi faces two contempt petitions for letter to PM Court issues notice to Modi on ‘targeted’ IAS officer’s plea Don’t […]

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UPA Goverment India – Report to the People 2009-2010

May 7, 2010

In May 2010, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governemnt has completed 1 year of its second 5-year term with Dr.Manmohan Singh completing his 6th consecutive year as the Prime Minsiter of India. How has the UPA focused on socio-economic and regional inclusion, the empowerment of women, the minorities and the weaker sections of Indian society? […]

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Sachar Committee Report

November 1, 2006

Prime Minister’s High Level Committee (PMHLC) Report on Indian Muslims. (Also known as “Sachar Committee Report” after its Chairman Justice Rajinder Sachar. ) A Report on Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India Prime Minister’s High Level Committee Cabinet Secretariat Government of India November, 2006 You can view or download a […]

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