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Narendra Modi

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 25th, 2015

by newsdigest on May 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Diamond exporter charged for denying Muslim a job (May 22, 2015, The Hindu)

Amid a public outrage, the Mumbai Police booked leading diamond conglomerate Hare Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. on Thursday for discrimination and denying a young man a job because he was a Muslim. The Maharashtra government has said it will order an investigation.

The action comes a day after The Hindu reported that MBA graduate Zeshan Ali Khan was denied a job by the company because of his religion. “Thanks for your application. We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates,” was the reply he received on Tuesday. After Mr. Khan decided to go public with the company’s response, a public outrage erupted on social media, forcing HKE Pvt. Ltd. to apologise.…

Acting on a complaint by social activist Shezhad Poonawalla, the National Commission for Minorities has also sent a notice to the company and directed an enquiry. Mr. Poonawalla, also a lawyer, said the incident was a “blatant violation of the spirit of the Constitution that mandates equality and absence of religious discrimination through Articles 14 and Article 25.”…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/diamond-exporter-charged-for-denying-muslim-a-job/article7232883.ece

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2002 riots call records: SIT court summons officer Himanshu Shukla to explain misplaced CDs (May 19, 2015, Times of India)

A special SIT court hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case on Tuesday summoned the Investigating Officer in the riots cases, Himanshu Shukla, to explain the case on how the CDs containing call records during the 2002 riots were misplaced.

This happened after the SIT submitted before the court that the original CDs were misplaced and were not destroyed as claimed by the accused persons, who are seeking criminal prosecution of retired IPS Rahul Sharma for allegedly destroying important evidence and investigator IPS P L Mall for not taking any action against Sharma under section 201 of the IPC. Mall’s prosecution is also sought on the ground that he has not taken any action in connection with the false affidavits filed before the Supreme Court by witnesses.…

With regard to the CDs, the court had last month sought explanation from the IO over the remark as “original CDs” while handing over the pieces of evidence to the court nearly six years ago. This was because Sharma himself had admitted during his deposition that the CDs he had provided to the SIT officials were made from the data he had copied from original CDs.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47342249.cms

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Teesta Setalvad: Modi’s Silence on Attacks on Minorities Shows Tacit Consent (May 15, 2015, News Click)

Narendra Modi led NDA government is about to complete its one year in power. This period has seen a rise in communal attacks and hate speech against minorities, posing a threat to secular ethos of the nation. These are not isolated incidents or the pronouncements of a lunatic fringe.

Modi’s ministers and parliamentarians have been spreading venom through such comments. Newsclick discussed these issues with Teesta Setalvad. Teesta explains that how this government is controlled by right wing fundamentalist groups like RSS and Modi’s silence on such incidents should be read as his consent.

On question of saffronisation of education and culture, Teesta explains that culture and education have been important as tools for building fascism and this is what we are seeing today, with active government support. She feels that all the progressive and secular forces should come together to resist the Modi government’s agenda to communalise society.

http://newsclick.in/india/teesta-setalvad-modi%E2%80%99s-silence-attacks-minorities-shows-tacit-consent

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Saffron trade union snubs RSS, to join protest against govt (May 20, 2015, Times of India)

Sangh Parivar-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has turned down RSS’ persuasion and decided to join other trade unions to announce a protest against the Modi government’s economic policies on May 26 when it completes its first year in office.

Sources said BMS conveyed to RSS its decision to join other central trade unions to announce the plan to hold a countrywide strike against Modi government’s “anti-labour” policies, FDI and other related decisions.

BMS chief B N Rai told TOI that the union will not step down from its decision for “joint action with CPM-affiliated CITU, CPI-aligned AITUC and INTUC which is linked to Congress among others.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47350063.cms

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PMO Not Disclosing Foreign Travel Expenses: CIC Panel (May 24, 2015, Outlook)

Noting that voluntary disclosures of information have been “below par”, a CIC-constituted panel has said that details of domestic and foreign visits of Union ministers should be proactively disclosed and kept updated. The committee said this against the backdrop of the PMO not disclosing information about expenses incurred on foreign visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been refusing to disclose information related to expenses incurred on Modi’s foreign visits, citing various excuses such as the records that are sought for being “vague”. The committee of former Chief Information Commissioner A N Tiwari and Information Commissioner M M Ansari, constituted by the CIC gave its report on “Transparency Audit: Towards An Open and Accountable Government”.

The panel referred to the circular issued by the Ministry of Personnel dated September 11, 2012 where it asked all departments to proactively disclose expenses incurred on the foreign and domestic visits of their respective ministers.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/news/article/pmo-not-disclosing-foreign-travel-expenses-cic-panel/898440

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Tirupati Red Sanders killings: Police said gunned down but bodies tell story of skin peeled off, ‘torture’ (May 20, 2015, Indian Express)

Blistered skin peeled off in several places; extensive burn marks; one body bizarrely clad in two trousers, one partially pulled up over the other; bullet marks without evidence of bleeding – and a head smashed in so hard the face can’t be recognised.

Clearly visible in photographs and video clips shot and recorded by The Indian Express six hours after the “encounter” on April 7, these features of the bodies of the 20 alleged red sanders smugglers raise several doubts about the Andhra police claim that all were shot in “self-defence”.

The photographs, too explicit to be published, were shared with police and forensics experts and the consensus was clear: they raise more questions than they answer.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/tirupati-red-sanders-killings-police-said-gunned-down-but-bodies-tell-story-of-skin-peeled-off-torture/

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2 Gujarat cops suspended for dancing with woman, showering notes (May 23, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Two police personnel who were allegedly found dancing with a woman and showering notes while on duty were suspended on Saturday, a senior official said. Vadodara police commissioner E Radhakrishna told PTI that ASI Suresh More and head constable Amirkhan Pathan, attached with Kishanwadi police station, have been suspended.

“Their suspension follows after the report of a probe by Detective Crime Branch which was ordered two days back after the video went viral,” he said. In the over two minutes long video that went viral on May 21, the two policemen were first seen holding the hand of a woman, attired in a black glittery outfit while an old Hindi film song was heard in the background.

One of the cops was seen dancing to the song with the woman while the other was showing currency notes to the woman. Later they both started showering the notes on her.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/2-gujarat-cops-suspended-for-dancing-with-woman-showering-notes/article1-1350494.aspx

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Maharashtra Police notice to mosque asking to refrain from speaking against beef ban in sermons (May 23, 2015, Twocircles.net)

Muslims in the city here are worried due to the issuance of notice to the Masjid-e-Sumayya in B and C colony asking to refrain from allowing sermons and appealing people to participate in any protest rallies against recently enacted beef ban law.

The notice that was issued few days back by Tirangah police station situated near city airport to the secretary of the Mosque has irked the community people who are viewing this as an attempt to polarize the social environment and to curtail fundamental rights of the people by the BJP led state government.…

Leaders and representatives from different political parties including MIM and Congress on Friday met city SP Premjit Singh Dahiya and demanded strict action against PI Subhash Rathod who has issued the said notice.…

http://twocircles.net/2015may23/1432378341.html

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28 years after massacre, FIR missing from court records (May 23, 2015, Times of India)

Twenty-eight years after the Maliana massacre, the trial in the case has hit a dead-end as the FIR has gone missing from the records and the sessions court has refused to continue with the trial, shrouding the victims in a wave of despair.

Seventy-three Muslims were killed in communal riots in Maliana on May 23, 1987, just a day after 43 men from the minority community were allegedly shot dead by PAC personnel in the heart of Meerut, Hashimpura. Shockingly, the latest development in the Maliana case comes just two months after all the accused PAC personnel in the Hashimpura massacre were acquitted by a trial court.…

“The FIR was lodged 28 years ago. We don’t have any record of it today at the police station,” Prashant Kapil, in charge of the Transport Nagar police station where the case was registered, confirmed on Thursday. He said he had been repeatedly approached by Maliana victims for help.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47391604.cms

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12,000 Urdu books thrown into the Ganga over land dispute (May 20, 2015, The Hindu)

An Urdu library at Munger in Bihar was ransacked and thousands of rare books were thrown into the Ganga last week following a dispute between its management and shopkeepers occupying a part of its land.

Two persons related to the shopkeepers, Yugal Kishore Verma and Naval Kishore Verma, have been arrested, while four named in the first information report are at large, the police said.

“More than 12,000 Urdu books, most of them rare, were thrown into the river last Wednesday,” library secretary Mohammad Farooq told presspersons on Tuesday.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/12000-urdu-books-thrown-into-the-ganga-over-land-dispute/article7225131.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

Politics: Where is the governance? – By Sidharth Bhatia (May 23, 2015, The Hindu)

If there is one thing that even the strongest detractors of Narendra Modi acknowledge, it is his mastery over politics. He is a political animal of the old school – he breathes, eats and sleeps politics. He follows it intricately, monitors its nuances and applies it to his decisions. He understands political implications of decisions.

It is this mastery that has helped him not just win elections – for elections are only one part of the political game – but also move to the very top, jettisoning odds that would have overwhelmed anyone else. A stain such as the 2002 riots in a state that he had just taken over would spell the end of a political career and, for some time, it looked like he too would not survive it. But not only has he left it far behind, he has done so without ever giving any detailed explanation, much less apologising for it. People now know him as decisive and action-oriented, not wishy-washy and defensive.

It is thus all the more surprising then that the very same Modi now looks all hemmed in and unable to push his way politically on some of his most marquee legislations. There is a sense that he has not been able to deliver on his promises and the much-vaunted Acche Din are nowhere on the horizon. Moreover, many of his promises remain unkept.…

http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/politics-where-is-the-governance/article7239284.ece

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The Law Of Lopsided Growth – By NK Bhoopesh (May 30, 2015, Tehelka)

Last December, in his address to a group of business leaders Prime MinisterNarendra Modi made a candid declaration of what he believes sets his regime apart from all the previous governments. “Government is generally trapped in an ABCD culture. A means Avoid, B is for Bypass, C for confuse and D for Delay,” he said. “Our effort is to move from this culture to ROAD, where R stands for Responsibility, O for Ownership, A for Accountability and D for Discipline.”

When Modi said this, his government was already well on its way to make the “system” more investment friendly. And there is a certain crystal-clear consistency to how it has gone about the task. There was never an iota of doubt over the BJP’s intent to make India an attractive destination for foreign investment and iron out the rough spots for Indian big business as well. A key component of Modi ‘s strategy to fulfil the ruling party’s intent involves changing the overarching legal framework that governs industry, including laws that impinge on the relationship between the management and workers.

Even as the regime tries to move double- quick on its chosen ROAD, there has been no dearth of critics who question the very assumptions behind the NaMo ‘model of development’. Most of them point out that the fundamental flaw of what the financial press calls Modinomics lies in considering Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the sole – or even the primary – indicator of development. The critics also argue that tinkering with the legal framework with the single- minded goal of facilitating investment would do away with the existing, though inadequate, social security measures, which might ramp up the growth figures but it would be growth of a lopsided kind that would deny most of the population the right to a share in the benefits of development.…

http://www.tehelka.com/the-law-of-lopsided-growth/?singlepage=1

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Electoral wins or religious peace? – By Pradeep Chhibber and Harsh Shah (May 19, 2015, The Hindu)

As religion increasingly occupies the space of political discourse in India, there is a growing sense of insecurity among the country’s religious minorities. In the wake of a series of attacks on churches in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated for greater religious tolerance and vowed to punish religious violence. Yet, there are few takers within minority communities that things will change for the better.

Mr. Modi’s statement should not come as a surprise. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rarely speaks out against religious intolerance toward minorities but neither does it publicly defend it. This is very much a political tactic, part of the larger strategy – what we describe as ‘soft Hindutva’ – that was at play in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. At its heart is the idea that the BJP will do just enough to mobilise the majority Hindu vote in its favour without necessarily attacking other communities. It also enables the party to reach across the caste divide.…

Soft Hindutva is deeply damaging for India. Whatever its supporters may say, the strategy marginalises other communities. While most Hindus may believe that the religion is completely tolerant and open-minded, people from minority communities do not see it the same way. They are unable to make the distinction between hard and soft Hindutva. If there is no political party that can articulate minority interests forcefully at the national level, religious minorities will feel even more marginalised.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/electoral-wins-or-religious-peace/article7220396.ece

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Cracks begin to show in Modi government – By Vivek Dehejia (May 10, 2015, Live Mint)

…As the government approaches its first anniversary in office, a number of worrying missteps and miscalculations by finance minister Arun Jaitley, or at any rate officials within his ministry, are conspiring to undercut Modi’s own efforts to jumpstart the Indian growth story.

The spectre of retrospective taxation, and of the minimum alternate tax (MAT), has earned the ire of foreign portfolio investors, who have been making their unhappiness with the tax regime known by heading, en masse, for the exits. While the overall macroeconomic scenario still remains largely sound at the moment and while some of the recent sell-off is no doubt due to global market developments – such as a resurgent oil price and the possibility, however unlikely, of an increase in US interest rates – for which blame obviously cannot be laid on the doorstep of Jaitley or his officials, it would be folly to deny the minatory impact of MAT in particular on foreign investors’ sentiment.…

What’s more, for a government which, until recently, has apparently been immune from the sort of palace intrigue which hobbled the previous Congress-led government, no doubt due to the towering presence of Modi himself at the top, cracks have begun to appear. Thus, a Reuters report of 7 May cited an unnamed “source” within the BJP who asserted that Modi personally backed Rajan in his feud with Jaitley and that this is what led to the latter’s climbdown. Whether credible or not, such reports, amid a slew of hatchet jobs targeting Jaitley very directly, only serve to reinforce the impression of a finance minister who is besieged from within and facing a credibility crisis from without.…

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/5FLBMyYuf2ARhLXfZQcN0M/Cracks-begin-to-show.html

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Land Wars 2.0 – By Nidheesh J Villatt (May 30, 2015, Tehelka)

…the BJP manifesto included several ‘radical’ promises vis-à-vis rural development and agriculture that farmers had been demanding for a long time. It appeared that the right-wing BJP had plagiarised the demands of the Left-leaning farmers’ organisations. For instance, it promised to “increase public investment in agriculture and rural development, take steps to enhance the profitability in agriculture by ensuring a minimum of 50 percent profits over the cost of the production, cheaper agricultural inputs and credit, introduce latest technologies for farming and high-yielding seeds and link MGNREGA to agriculture, implement a farm insurance scheme to take care of crop loss due to unforeseen natural calamities, strengthen and expand rural credit facilities, institute a price stabilisation fund to protect farmers from volatile world market prices” and more.…

With the BJP riding to power on the crest of these promises, which brought the party a windfall of votes across many parts of rural India, it was no surprise that a large number of farmers, especially in the ‘green revolution’ belts of Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, joined the victory celebrations exactly a year ago. Already, many of those who owed allegiance to regional parties had shifted their loyalties to the saffron party. There were reports of farmers hoisting the saffron flag on their rooftops.

Ten months later, when Tehelka visited farmers in Bulandshahr district of western UP, the mood has seen a ‘radical’ shift. “We voted for ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ because the party of the Nehru- Gandhis had neglected rural India,” said a farmer. “But the Modi regime has gone a step further. They are now keen to loot and kill us. That is why we want a ‘Modi Mukt Bharat’ now.”…

http://www.tehelka.com/land-wars-2-0/?singlepage=1

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Aruna Shanbaug’s Death An Indictment Of Justice, Not An Argument For Euthanasia – By Samar (May 22, 2015, Countercurrents)

Aruna Shanbaug’s death does not either present a case for legalizing euthanasia or offer a case against it. Her death has nothing to do with that discourse, legitimate as it may be. Aruna Shanbaug’s case is about the rule of law in India. Her death, following 42 years of life in a vegetative state, confined to a hospital bed, is about the rot that the Republic carries in the form of its criminal justice system.

Aruna did not end up in her vegetative state because of her being afflicted by some illness. She was not an unfortunate victim of an accident. She had gone comatose because a criminal had raped and battered her so brutally that oxygen supply to her brain got cut off and damaged it forever.

The rapist, Sohanlal Bhartha Valmiki, a ward boy at the King Edward Memorial Hospital where Aruna worked as a nurse, did not get punished for his crime; he did not even get charged with rape. One reason for this was because the police did not bother to investigate the crime scene independent of the hospital’s version and find out if there was something more to the crime than robbery and assault.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/samar220515.htm

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 16th, 2015

by newsdigest on February 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

US media sees Modi ‘brought down to earth’ (Feb 11, 2015, Times of India)

While US officials refrained from comment on Aam Aadmi Party’s massive victory in Delhi elections, the New York Times saw “a defeat for Prime Minister Modi” in the results.

“Fresh from the diplomatic high of a successful summit meeting with President Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been brought down to earth by domestic politics,” the influential US daily said in an editorial. “Ordinarily, elections in New Delhi would not draw international attention,” the Times said.

But since sweeping to power last year with the biggest national election victory in three decades, Modi and his BJP have generated “an aura of invincibility” winning a succession of other state elections, it said. “The election won’t affect Modi’s hold on the prime minister’s office and the federal government,” the Times said. “But it will increase the enormous pressure to deliver on his economic and governance promises even while making that harder.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46197406.cms

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An open letter to Ms Kiran Bedi from Shabnam Hashmi (Feb 8, 2015, Indiaresists.com)

…I saw a photograph where you are half bent and looking at Modi asking him something. The expression on your face is of helplessness and wanting approval from him. It extremely pained me. I might have differences with you but as an activist and as a human being I would never want you or for that matter any other professional woman in this situation.

Ms Bedi you might not know but I recorded testimonies of gang rape survivors in 2002 when Gujarat was still burning. I travelled to over 50 villages across ten districts. Met doctors in small village dispensaries who had done postmortem, saw photographs of charred bodies of many women with slit open stomachs and dead fetuses sticking to their bodies. There were many kausar banos not only one in Naroda Patiya Whose case every one knows. Ms Bedi I met women who couldn’t get up for months because they were gang raped by 15-20 men and their vaginas were torn apart.

Ms Bedi Modi took out a Gaurav Yatra after 2002 carnage, he called the relief camps – where people who had lost everything were given shelter – child producing factories. Now last two years youtube has been sanitised of Modis footage spewing venom and talking filth. Sakshi Maharaj and Sadhvi Prachi are no Match in front of Modi. What he spoke was much more venomous.

Ms Bedi when bilkis was being gang raped they smashed her little daughters head against a stone and she died on the spot . Medina was forced to see her own daughter and niece being gang raped. Ms Bedi it pained me to see you bend before this man.You can tell me about the clean chit. I know a little too much to appreciate the clean chit stories.…

http://www.indiaresists.com/an-open-letter-to-ms-kiran-bedi-from-shabnam-hashmi/

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Justice denied, she recalls: they cut off my hands (Feb 17, 2015, Indian Express)

…Havribibi was among the 34 injured in the violence in Sesan Nava village in Deodar taluka of Banaskantha district in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning two days earlier. Fourteen Muslims were killed in the riots, and two Hindus died in firing by the police. On February 13, a local court acquitted all 70 accused in the Sesan Nava attack after witnesses turned hostile, and the police failed to produce material evidence against the rioters.

“There must have been around 4,000 or 5,000 of them, I couldn’t count the numbers. They came with swords and rifles and pistols, and started to set homes on fire. The women were screaming, and the men were running to find a place to hide the children,” Havribibi said.

She lost her hands, Havribibi said, before she could run away. She remembers the hacking blows, the blood, and the sight of them falling to the ground. “Hau, hau (Yes, yes), I remember everything. I saw my hands fall to the ground, and the gushing stream of blood. I collapsed, thrashing about in pain. There was blood everywhere, only blood and fire. They started torching houses, and in no time, 14 of our people were dead,” she said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/justice-denied-she-recalls-they-cut-off-my-hands/

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Withdraw ‘concocted’ case against Teesta Setalvad: CPM to Gujarat govt (Feb 12, 2015, Economic Times)

Condemning Gujarat police for seeking to arrest social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, CPI(M) today demanded that the state government withdraw its “concocted” case against her. “CPI(M) demands that the Gujarat government withdraw the concocted case against Setalvad and stop harassing her,” the party said in a statement.

It said that Gujarat Police have targeted Setalvad because of her relentless championing of the rights of the victims of the Gujarat riots of 2002. “While the Gujarat government is pursuing the harassment of Setalvad, it has been reinstating police officials who are facing serious criminal charges,” the party charged.

Supreme Court today stayed till tomorrow the arrest of Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand, soon after Gujarat High Court rejected their anticipatory bail plea in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at the Gulbarg society, site of an attack during the 2002 riots.…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46216400.cms

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Convent school vandalised in Delhi, sixth such attack in 4 months (Feb 13, 2015, India Today)

A convent school was vandalised on Thursday night in South Delhi’s Vasant Vihar area, forcing Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani to make a quick visit. It was the sixth attack on a Christian institution in the national capital in less than four months.

Staff members of the Holy Child Auxilium School told police that a few CCTV cameras installed in the school premises were damaged and the office of the principal was ransacked. “Some CCTV cameras were damaged and the office of the school’s principal was ransacked by some unidentified people early Friday,” spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese Father Savarimuthu Sankar said. He said the school children have been sent back to their homes after the incident came to light.

Senior police officials rushed to the spot and are collecting the evidence from the school. “We are investigating the case and also scanning the footage of CCTVs installed in the school premises,” said a senior official. The Delhi Police, however, has denied that it was a hate attack. “This is not a matter of desecration. It is a case of theft,” Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/vasant-vihar-christian-schhol-vandalised-south-delhi-church-smriti-irani/1/418645.html

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Voter lists in hand, Hindu Mahasabha looks for Christians, Muslims on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14, 2015, Indian Express)

Right-wing outfit Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha has claimed that it has scanned Delhi’s electoral rolls to “identify Muslim and Christian men” who they suspect could sway Hindu girls. With Valentine’s Day approaching, it said it has been keeping an eye on them for the past one week.

Om Ji, the convener of the outfit who contested against Arvind Kejriwal, said his party has “thoroughly examined” Delhi’s electoral rolls. “We have our own ways. We examined the electoral list to mobilise the Hindu vote during elections. This is a common thing,” he said. “However, in the process, we systematically examined the number of Muslim and Christian men. We will use it on those who we suspect could sway our Hindu girls. This data is as accurate as even the census data. It is more accurate than even the data with the intelligence units.”

The outfit, which has threatened to forcefully get couples married on Valentine’s Day if they are caught together, claimed that the process of identification was done “well in advance” and that a constant “vigil” is being kept. On plans for Valentine’s Day, a member said, “Based on our data, we know the places with higher density of non-Hindu men. In these areas, our men will be deployed at public places like malls, multiplexes and restaurants.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/voter-lists-in-hand-hindu-mahasabha-looks-for-christians-muslims-on-valentines-day/

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Hindu temple dedicated to Narendra Modi is a “threat to secular India” (Feb 12, 2015, Asia News)

“This is a deplorable initiative for a secular country like India,” said Fr Cedric Prakash, SJ, director of the Prashant Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace in Ahmedabad, as he spoke to AsiaNews about a Hindu temple dedicated to Prime Minister Indian Narendra Modi.

The temple dedicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi is located in Rajkot, a village in the state of Gujarat, and was to be officially inaugurated by Minister of State for Agriculture, Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya on 15 February. However, on histweeter account, Modi reacted saying, “I was appalled.

Although this forced organisers to cancel the inauguration, the temple is expected to remain in place. It took around two years to build it and nearly four years to get Modi’s bust done, at a cost of ” Rs. 1.65 lakh (US$ 2,650),” said Ramesh Undhad, who donated funds for the project.…

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Hindu-temple-dedicated-to-Narendra-Modi-is-a-threat-to-secular-India-33444.html

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Muzaffarnagar riots: Riot victim’s kin move court against SIT closure report (Feb 9, 2015, DNA India)

The father of Shahnawaz, killed during the riots here in August 2013, has moved court challenging the closure report of thespecial investigation team (SIT) giving clean chit to the six accused in the case. The victim’s father, Mohammad Saleem, on Monday filed a petition in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Narender Kumar and sought cancellation of the closure report.

He alleged that the SIT, probing the Muzaffarnagar riots cases, carried out partial investigation into the case and ignored recording statements of eyewitnesses under CrPC Section 164 despite the victim family’s requests. …

According to the FIR lodged with police by the deceased’s father, Shahnawaz was stabbed to death allegedly by eight people at Kawal village under Jansath police station in the district on August 27, 2013. SIT Inspector Sampurnanad Tiwari had last month filed the closure report in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Narender Kumar after giving clean chit to the six accused – Prahlad, Vishan, Devender, Jitendra, Yogender and Ravinder – saying that they were not found involved in the murder of Shahnawaz in Kawal in August 2013.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-muzaffarnagar-riots-riot-victim-s-kin-move-court-against-sit-closure-report-2059650

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In West Bengal’s Birbhum, Muslims being compelled to self-immolate (Feb 14, 2015, Milli Gazette)

Birbhum district of West Bengal is located at about 200 kms from Kolkata. The population of Muslims here is about 20 percent. A few months ago mutual fights started within Trinamool Congress (Trinamool) cadres in Makhra village under Paroi thana which. It started growing in intensity and gradually the party got divided into two factions. With the coming in of BJP government at the Centre, BJP allied itself with one faction. Both factions consisted of Muslims but they grew so blood thirsty against each other that in the fights that ensued, 13 Muslims were killed.

The name of one Trinamool MLA, Munirul Islam, began to appear in the headlines. Their violent activities became more and more intense and their violence and brutalities became common talk in the whole of West Bengal. Excesses and cruelties of the Trinamool MP of the area also increased. Munirul Islam started working under the patronage of this MP who in turn started doing his best, under the patronage of the chief minister, to keep Birbhum under the control of Trinamool. Boys who were already violent and tasked to make bombs began to oppose Trinamool.

BJP adopted violence in all possible ways. Slowly, villages after villages came under the control of violent elements. As Trinamool leaders began to suppress criminals and violent elements with the help of police, ground started slipping form under their feet so much so that Trinamool leaders found it difficult to live in their own villages and began to fear entering their own villages. Some days ago Mithun of Satora village, whose real name is Masoom, threw a bomb at the police and went underground. He is still untraced. It is said that his family had been indulging in violence and goondaism for generations. Earlier this family was in the Congress but later jointed CPIM. When Trinamool came to power it latched on to Trinamool and now this boy has started working for BJP.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/11787-in-west-bengal-s-birbhum-indian-muslims-being-compelled-to-self-immolate

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West Bengal: 4-yr-old girl sexually assaulted inside BJP office (Feb 14, 2015, Indian Express)

A 17-year-old youth was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl inside a BJP party office in Behala area of the city today, a police official said.

The incident happened between 3 PM and 4 PM in a small room of the party office, a senior police official of South West division of the Kolkata Police under which Behala falls.

The youth was arrested on the basis of a police complaint made by the parents of the girl. Both the accused and the victim used to stay in the upper floor of the building that houses the party office, the official said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/west-bengal-4-yr-old-girl-sexually-assaulted-inside-bjp-office/

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Opinions and Editorials

A Defeat for Prime Minister Modi – Editorial (Feb 10, 2015, New York Times)

Fresh from the diplomatic high of a successful summit meeting with President Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been brought down to earth by domestic politics. He and his Bharatiya Janata Party, or B.J.P., were crushed in the election Tuesday for New Delhi’s 70-member state assembly, winning three seats while the upstart Aam Aadmi Party, or A.A.P., captured the rest. …

The B.J.P. controls the lower house of Parliament but not the upper house. Without it, Mr. Modi has been unable to gain passage of tax restructuring and other reform bills that are central to his vision. He has taken some actions through executive orders, like allowing greater foreign investment in the insurance sector, but they will expire without legislative approval.

Winning in India’s states is critical to gaining the upper house, whose members are elected by the assemblies. The B.J.P. defeat in New Delhi slows Mr. Modi’s momentum, will embolden opposition parties and could make it tougher for his party to win the election in Bihar, India’s second-most-populous state, later this year. He faces another important test this month when he presents and tries to gain approval of his first real budget.…

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/opinion/a-defeat-for-prime-minister-modi.html

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General Amit Shah’s Black Tuesday – By Kumar Ketkar (Feb 16, 2015, NDTV)

…Over 100 MPs, nearly 2000 so-called foot-soldiers of the RSS, and all the shakhas outfits were mobilized. All the seven BJP MPs and all BJP corporators were summoned to join the “Hate Jihad” like the army issues orders to ex-Army men at the time of war. The “embedded” media men and women understood the “hukum” from the chieftain Amit Shah and began to circulate stories that there would be a last-minute swing, and there would be a surge in voting after 3 pm and all those votes would go the BJP because of the fantastic but invisible networking by the Sangh Parivar cadres.

Each member of the Modi Brigade, some of them even flown in from US, was given booth-wise responsibilities. Social media, which was the main vehicle of the Sangh Parivar in the Lok Sabha election, was re-orchestrated by the Sangh Aparatchiks, as they had realized that it was dominated by AAP volunteers. U.S.-trained management experts who had choreographed the Tea Party campaign and Romney propaganda machine in America in 2012 were positioned to coordinate the Delhi cyberspace.

The print media was flooded with full page color advertisements. Almost every hundred yards, there was a huge hoarding with the image of the messiah Modi. A quick visual estimate of the cost of campaign suggests no corners were cut. All the moralists who had written columns after columns about paid news and had rushed to the Election Commission earlier were quiet over this obscene expenditure which included buying a substantial section of the media.

Indian diplomats from nearly 120 countries were specially invited to Delhi, presuming glorious victory in the election, so they could go back to their missions abroad, impressed and inspired by the miracle called Modi. But like in Stalingrad in 1941-42, every household joined the electoral war to defeat Modi-Shah’s Panzer divisions. …

Then there emerged the theory that Shah, the great strategist, had planned the defeat all along in a systematic manner. Some referred to a news article in the Gulf News in January in which it was stated that the tacticians had worked out a plan to lose election. But it was clear to anyone who followed that thread, that it was actually a planned camouflage for an excuse, in case the election is lost. So if the BJP wins, it would be because of the magnificent war strategy and if it loses, it was part of the game plan! This was a loss, pure and simple. The General and strategy failed. Let it rest at that.

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/general-amit-shahs-black-tuesday-739923

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The Amit Shah Files – By Uttam Sengupta, Prachi Pinglay-Plumber, Anuradha Raman, K.S. Shaini (Feb 16, 2015, Outlook)

The tantalising phrase “somewhat opposed to common sense” is likely to ring in the ears of BJP national president Amit Anilchandra Shah for a long time to come. The five words were uttered on the penultimate day of 2014 by a trial judge in a CBI special court in Mumbai to let Shah, 50, off the hook in the infamous Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

Dasrath Patel and Raman Patel, two builders from Ahmedabad produced as star witnesses against Shah by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), had told investigators that police officers close to Shah extorted money from them and had dispatched Sohrabuddin’s henchmen to issue threats. The officers, notably Abhay Chudasama and D.G. Vanzara – both now on bail, Chudasama reinstated by the Gujarat government – would not only drop Shah’s name but even make extortion targets speak to the all-powerful minister of state (home) on phone. Shah, they claimed, had also directed them to be discreet while giving statements on Sohrabuddin Sheikh to the CBI after the central agency was ordered by the Supreme Court in 2010 to investigate the case.

The builders had video-recorded one of the conversations they had with Shah’s officers. They gave three statements to the CBI, two under Section 161 of the CrPC and the other under Section 164. (Statements under Section 161 are given to the police and are not accepted as evidence; statements under Section 164 are recorded before a judge and are admissible evidence.)…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/The-Amit-Shah-Files/293300

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What, it is to be a Muslim in India today? – By Prof. Dr. Rameeza. A. Rasheed (Feb 14, 2015, TwoCircles.net)

If your exposure to Muslim lives is through popular media then you believe that Muslim’s main profession is smuggling. Every beard and skull cap wearing men, particularly youth is at least remotely connected with a terrorist group. Neighbors don’t move closely, with the Muslim families who follow their dress code. It is propagated constantly that, every Madrasa is a breeding ground of violent actions. It is believed that, they don’t teach Islamic principles and general education but, implant principles of vengeance and Jihad (most misunderstood word).

Every Muslim man wearing skull cap and beard is looked at with suspicion not only in Airports and railway stations but also, in their neighborhood. Exchange of gift and mutual greetings during festivals between Muslim and other families is fast declining. Indian Muslims never imagined that, a day would come in India when they would find it difficult to even buy homes in non-Muslim dominated housing societies, find it extremely difficult to get rental homes, get accused of encouraging “Love Jihad,” witness helplessly as their youth getting wrongly arrested and remain in prison as under trials for many years and then released as not guilty without any compensation, (the latest example is the case related to Liaquat Ali Shah) their small traders face denial of bank loans, their students find it difficult to get admission in good schools and colleges run by majority community and to top it all being accused of multiplying their population with a purpose through having 9-10 children each family.

What a humiliating and false accusation? It is the India today in which Muslims have to live. The Hindutva forces have been existing India for a long time but only now their communal hatred towards minorities is exhibited and articulated boldly. The right minded civil citizens of this great nation knows the reason but, they are mute spectators.…

http://twocircles.net/2015feb14/1423884154.html

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Tripping Up The Titans – By Mihir Srivastava (Feb 23, 2015, Outlook)

One of the first things the AAP government in Delhi is likely to do on taking charge is review the progress of an FIR against Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) it had filed a year ago. At that time, Arun Jaitley, now the Union finance minister, had said he was all for an investigation of the industrial giant. But the Narendra Modi government of which he is part now has since taking charge tried to have the FIR quashed. The Delhi High Court, however, has frustrated those efforts, recently ordering the investigation to continue – and the case is set to become a cause celebre.

In February last year, when Arvind Kejriwal of the AAP stepped down from office on Valentine’s Day after 49 tumultuous days as chief minister, one of his actions in the last few days had been to order an FIR against Mukesh Ambani – RIL owner and the richest Indian – and then petroleum minister M. Veerappa Moili. The allegation was that gas pricing had been rigged, causing profit to RIL and a multi-billion dollar loss to the exchequer.

Kejriwal, who is being sworn in as chief minister again on Valentine’s Day, after a near-wipeout of the BJP and the Congress, has plans to take the FIR ahead. While the FIR has been lodged with the Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch (ACB), considered inactive and toothless, the political push might make a difference, especially when the high court has given the green light.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Tripping-Up-The-Titans/293408

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Dispossession, development and democracy – By Michael Levien (Feb 4, 2015, The Hindu)

Since it was passed by Parliament in September 2013, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (LARR) has been criticised from all sides. Farmers and social movements argued that LARR failed to adequately compensate land losers, contained large loopholes such as exempting irrigation projects, and, most importantly, continued to allow land acquisition for private companies.

Industrialists, developers, and State governments, on the other hand, complained that the bill would delay projects, increase the costs of land acquisition, and impede economic growth. It was no secret that the government shared the latter view, and it was no surprise when it diluted many of LARR’s key provisions through an ordinance issued on December 31.

The ordinance effectively eliminates the main features of LARR that gave rural people some protection from arbitrary dispossession. First, it removes the requirement that the government obtain the consent of 80 per cent of affected people before taking their land for private projects, and 70 per cent of affected people for public-private partnership (PPP) projects. The ordinance thus restores the ability of the government to acquire land for any private purpose it likes, with no need to win the support of the affected. Second, the ordinance eliminates the Social Impact Assessments (SIA) that LARR had mandated as a pre-condition for proceeding with land acquisition.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/lead-article-dispossession-development-and-democracy/article6853389.ece

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Book Review

At Home in India: The Muslim Saga

Author: Salman Khurshid
Reviewed by: Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay
Available at: Hay House Publishers India, Muskaan Complex, Plot No. 3, B-2 Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070, India 390 pages; Rs 699 . http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Being Muslim in India (Feb 11, 2015, Business Standard)

Coming from a leader who shepherded the ministry of minority affairs during the years when several debates cropped up concerning the welfare of Muslims, including the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi dispute, the book under review had the potential of stirring a controversy or two. But it manages to avert that possibility even though it takes a firm stance on several contentious issues.

The book walks a tightrope by essentially reworking an older work. This has resulted in the author’s decision to examine ghosts of the past, leaving the demons of today to, hopefully, be considered in time to come. That is perhaps why the two sections of the book, “Today” and “Yesterday”, are of notably disparate length. “Today” takes up less than a quarter of the book, but “Yesterday” is voluminous. The problem with this approach is that the author unravels events more than a quarter of a century ago, but does not factor in developments on the same issue in the subsequent 25 years.

For instance, the chapter titled “Muslim Leadership in Perspective: Jaded Generals” is stuck in the 1980s’ narrative woven by the likes of Syed Shahabuddin and Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait, on the one hand, and Muslim leaders owing allegiance to the Congress, led by the author’s father Khurshed Alam Khan, among others. The plot of Muslim leadership has thickened in recent years with the emergence of a new class of leaders and a change in the economic structure of Muslim society. …

http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/being-muslim-in-india-115021101568_1.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 3rd, 2014

November 4, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony He repaid debt of 1984 to Muslims News Headlines Godhra riots: Nanavati Commission’s final report likely by November 15 Ex-BJP MLA under scanner for a meeting before violence stepped up ‘India failed to prosecute anti-Sikh riot perpetrators’ Outer Delhi tense as mahapanchayat ‘bans’ Muharram march Communal clash: […]

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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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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 29th, 2014

September 30, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony ‘Walk for harmony and love’ organized in Delhi on International peace day News Headlines Congressmen urge Obama to discuss religious tolerance with Modi Narendra Modi fans beat up TV anchor Rajdeep Sardesai at Madison Square Garden event Jail official asked me to cut beard, terror accused tells […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 15th, 2014

September 16, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony J&K floods: Hyderpora mosque a symbol of communal harmony News Headlines RSS bomb explodes prematurely, suspected Hindutva terrorist injured Election Commission orders hate speech FIR against Yogi Adityanath BJP leaders rake up ‘love jihad’ in U.P. poll campaign Hindu nationalist group seeks to ‘cleanse’ Christian population in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 18th, 2014

August 19, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements India’s 68th Independence Day – A time to renew communal harmony and safeguard secularism Communal Harmony On 68th independence Day IAMC urges to renew communal harmony and safeguard secularism Muzaffarnagar organizes marathon to spread communal harmony News Headlines Petition seeks stay on Modi election from Varanasi ‘Since Narendra […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 11th, 2014

August 12, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Another Euro leader questions Narendra Modi’s record As trial begins, all eyes on defence lawyer with RSS links RSS ideology damaging India’s peace, says Digvijaya Singh AIDWA fact finding team reiterates lose ends in Meerut rape case, says case is being exploited to incite communal violence Were […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 7th, 2014

July 8, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Over 150 Hindu inmates keep Roza with 2,300 Muslims at Tihar News Headlines 12 years on, Gujarat riots probe panel gets 22nd extension Ishrat case: CBI gives more proof to MHA Karnataka Congress Govt drags 23 terror acquits rotting in jail since 14 years to Supreme Court […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 30th, 2014

July 1, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Bhatt accuses Nanavati panel of misleading HC Trend of intolerance towards dissent under Modi: Amnesty calls for decriminalization of free speech Days after he pulled up Amit Shah, CBI judge shifted Gopal Subramanium opts out, attacks Narendra Modi government, cites Amit Shah case Why a former minister […]

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