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Narendra Modi

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 1st, 2016

by newsdigest on February 16, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Information on Modi’s, Anandiben Patel’s educational qualifications not in “public interest”: Gujarat CM office (Feb 1, 2016, Counterview)

The Gujarat government is learnt to have turned down a right to information (RTI) plea seeking proof of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and chief minister Anandiben Patel’s educational qualifications, saying this information cannot be made available because it does not concern “public interest.” The RTI applicant, Yogesh B Dave, had reportedly made the application to the Gujarat chief minister’s office (CMO) seeking the information.

In his reply, the official responsible for replying to RTI affairs in the CMO said, “You’ve asked for the photo copies of educational qualifications of the former chief minister of Gujarat and the current CM. As per the RTI act 2005 8(1), this information is related to personal life of both the post holders.” The reply added, “This information is not related to any public interest. Therefore, this information cannot be provided without the prior permission of both.”

This is not for the first time that an RTI application was made seeking details of the educational qualifications of Modi, who has claimed he has completed his masters’ degree. In September, the Gujarat University rejected an RTI request on Modi’s Masters’ degree in just one line, without citing any reason or quoting any provision of the RTI Act for it. The one-line reply said, “Under RTI Act of 2005, this information can’t be made public.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/01/information-on-modis-anandiben-patels.html

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President’s rule in Arunachal: Murder of democracy, Emergency-like situation, says Oppn (Jan 26, 2016, Indian Express)

Congress, JD-U and AAP today attacked imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh as “murder” of democracy and federalism and accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of “insulting” the highest court of the country that is right now hearing the matter.…

“This is murder of democracy…The matter is sub-judice and government has acted in haste. It is a clear-cut insult to the highest court of the land. Democracy has been murdered,” Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal compared the imposition of President’s rule to an Emergency like condition. “Prez rule in Arunachal Advaniji was right in saying that there are Emergency-like conditions in the country,” he tweeted. Attacking the decision, outgoing Arunachal chief minister Nabam Tuki said they will approach the court as matter is sub-judice.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/presidents-rule-in-arunachal-murder-of-democracy-emergency-like-situation-says-oppn/

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Centre sends back anti-terror bill to Gujarat government (Jan 29, 2016, Hindustan Times)

The Narendra Modi government has sent Gujarat’s controversial anti-terror legislation – the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill – back to the state government after President Pranab Mukherjee kept it pending for nearly four months.

The GCTOC Bill cleared last year was patterned on the anti-terror law Modi first piloted through the assembly in 2003. But the Rashtrapati Bhavan rejected the bill on two occasions, the first in 2004. As CM, Modi often called the then Congress-led central government’s refusal to clear the bill a reflection of its feeble resolve to fight terrorism.

Government sources told HT that the home ministry sent the bill to the President for his assent last year. But the Rashtrapati Bhavan is learnt to have had reservations and decided to hold back its approval, quite the same way as presidents in the past sat on home ministry recommendations to reject mercy pleas. A government official said the Centre saw the writing on the wall, withdrew the bill from the President and sent it to the Gujarat government with some queries.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/centre-sends-back-anti-terror-bill-to-gujarat-government/story-ZqmeLWv35k6X6ZafItDv4M.html

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U.P. police destroyed papers on Hashimpura massacre (Feb 2, 2016, The Hindu)

The Uttar Pradesh police destroyed documents that could have helped to prove the involvement of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel in the Hashimpura massacre of 1987, even while the trial is still pending, it has now emerged.

Last year, a Delhi court acquitted 16 PAC men, who were among the 19 charged with abducting 42 members of the minority community in May 1987 during the riots in Meerut. The victims were picked up from the Hashimpura Mohalla in a truck, and taken to a nearby canal, where they were gunned down, according to the prosecution.

The 29-year-old Hashimpura massacre case collapsed due to “insufficient evidence”. Three of the 19 PAC men died in the course of the trial. A letter written by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Meerut, a copy of which is with The Hindu, shows the documents were “weeded out” on April 1, 2006. In the letter to the Crime Branch of the State Crime Investigation Department (CID), the SSP said it was now impossible to make available documents related to the deployment of the PAC personnel on the day that the massacre was allegedly carried out. The matter was being heard in a Tis Hazari court at time the documents were destroyed.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hashimpura-massacre-up-police-destroyed-papers-on-massacre/article8180328.ece

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“Why doesn’t anybody talk about Sangh leaders’s threats of creating private army of 15,000 Hindus” (Jan 30, 2016, Muslim Mirror)

AIP president independent MLA engineer A Rasheed has asked BJP leadership not to be under the impression that Sangh Parivaar can infiltrate into political scenario of Kashmir by hiring proxies.

While addressing party workers at Town Hall in Shopian today, he said, “There is no justification to the threats made by a senior Sangh Parivaar leader in UP few days back that Hindus of India have already lived under slavery of Muslim rulers for 1000 years and to defeat their designs and to prevent them further we are making a private army of 15000 Hindu militants.

He said nobody spoke even a word about this extreme provocation of RSS in India. Besides, RSS has been demanding introduction of Hindi instead of Persian and Arabic in Madrasas, which unfolds the threat to Muslims in coming days. The recent revelations made by President Pranab Mukherjee over Babri Masjid in his book are ample reason for any secular Hindu or a Muslim to not even think of aligning with BJP, one way or the other.…

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/why-doesnt-anybody-about-threats-of-sangh-leaders-to-create-a-private-army-of-15000-hindus/

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Imphal encounter: Cop’s murder admission; SP denies he ordered it, Centre seeks a report (Jan 28, 2016, Yahoo)

The Centre sought a report from the Manipur government on The Indian Express report Wednesday in which a Manipur Police head constable, under suspension over an alleged fake encounter in Imphal in July 2009, admitted he shot Chungkham Sanjit Meitei, a suspected member of the insurgent group People’s Liberation Army (PLA), who was “not armed” when he was killed.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said: “We have asked for a report from the state government on the matter, and appropriate action will be taken after studying the report.” The CBI declined comment. A spokesperson for the agency said: “CBI has already filed a chargesheet in the case in an Imphal court and the trial is on. The matter is sub-judice.”

Manipur policeman Thounaojam Herojit Singh, a gallantry award recipient, told The Indian Express he shot the “unarmed” 22-year-old on July 23, 2009. “Yes, I shot him. I shot Sanjit Meitei. No, he was not armed. I felt no remorse, no sympathy after I killed Sanjit. I felt nothing. It was an order and I had to simply carry it out,” he said. Herojit Singh alleged he was told by then Additional SP, Imphal West, Dr Akoijam Jhalajit Singh – he is now SP of the same district – to “finish him off”.…

https://in.news.yahoo.com/imphal-encounter-cop-murder-admission-023500607.html

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NDA govt thrusting Hindutva on country, will oppose it: Muslim body (Feb 2, 2016, Hindustan Times)

All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Maulana Sajjad Nomani on Monday accused the BJP-led NDA government of “thrusting” the “Hindutva” on citizens. “Compulsion of doing Yoga and Suryanamskar, making singing of Vande Mataram compulsory etc. are directed towards thrusting Hindu culture on the country,” Nomani told reporters at a press conference in Mumbra.

He said a two-day meet on “Save faith save Constitution” will be held in Mumbra on February 24 and 25 as a part of the AIMPLB’s nationwide mass awareness programme. Nomani also demanded that ‘namaz’ should be taught to students of schools and government employees if the BJP government is bent on making “Hindu practices” like yoga and suryanamaskar compulsory for them.

“Yoga is part of Hindu religion. We are not against doing Yogasanas (postures). But if you make school students and government employees to practice yoga, then teach them ‘namaz’ as well,” he said in response to a query. Nomani alleged that the Centre was doing everything against Constitution.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/nda-govt-thrusting-hindutva-on-country-will-oppose-it-muslim-body/story-BpoDoQuMupVj1Mlud3F9aP.html

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Modi Govt targets Muslim educational institutes in the name of national security (Feb 1, 2016, Twocircles.net)

National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language and National Security in the same sentence may appear awkward to many; but for the Union Home Ministry, NCPUL is the new archery bow to take arrows of the purported ‘war on terror’ for its desired target, the Muslim run educational institutes.

In the month of January, hundreds of NCPUL study centers, mainly madrassas and other Muslim run institutes affiliated to its different diploma programmes, across the country received a rather murky message from Union Home Ministry, disguised as NCPUL notice asking ‘to detect and counter radicalization efforts.’…

Asked if it was proper to drag in madrassas in national Security process, he replied, “We acted on the direction received from the Central Government.” He said that the NCPUL received the circular from the Central Government asking them to implement recommendations of the Task Force on national security one month back. Later an inner departmental circular was issued to all NCPUL departments to implement the same, thus the notice was issued to study centers.…

http://twocircles.net/2015feb01/1422769747.html

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Police brutality: Delhi cops beat up students, including girls, protesting over Rohith Vemula’s death (Feb 1, 2016, First Post)

In a shocking two-day old video released by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which has now gone viral, policemen in Delhi are seen brutally beating up students, who were protesting against the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. The policemen, some of whom were in plain clothes, even assaulted some of the female protesters outside the RSS office in Jhandewalan, according to IBNLive.…

The police brutality reportedly took place after the students protesting near the RSS office began marching towards the RSS office. The police also formed a barricade outside the RSS office and soon unexpectedly began beating up the student protesters there. The protesters have said that they were protesting peacefully and did nothing which justified the lathicharge.…

“Boys were pulled by their hair. Cops in plain clothes refused to show their ID,” CNN-IBN quoted a woman protester as saying. “Few RSS workers also thrashed us along with cops,” she also said. According to NDTV, the police also attacked the media and some of the cameras belonging to mediapersons were also broken.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/police-brutality-in-delhi-cops-beat-up-students-including-girls-protesting-over-rohith-vemulas-death-2606576.html

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60 Dalit students from Bihar threaten suicide (Feb 1, 2016, Times of India)

Sixty Dalit students from Bihar studying at Rajdhani Engineering College (REC), Bhubaneswar, were forced to leave the college and their respective hostels on January 8 after the Bihar government allegedly failed to pay their stipend despite repeated requests by the college administration. These second-year students have threatened to commit suicide if the government failed to come to their rescue.

The 60 dalit students – 18 from East Champaran and 42 from West Champaran – secured admission in the college in 2014 under the state government’s Dalit Stipend Scheme. They alleged that the Bihar government had last paid the stipend to the college one-and-a-half-year ago.

“We have decided to commit suicide because our future is at stake due to the negligence of SC/ST welfare department of the Bihar government,” said one of the students, adding that the college principal has asked them to return only when all their dues are cleared.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50812194.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Gujarat must give up terror bill – Editorial (Feb 1, 2016, The Hindu)

Gujarat should give up its persistent efforts to get the controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill, 2015, approved by the President. First moved by Narendra Modi in 2003 when he was Chief Minister of the State, the Bill has been facing objections on the ground that it contains some draconian provisions. The Centre refused to clear the Bill three times when the United Progressive Alliance was in power.…

India’s repeated experiments with anti-terrorism laws have been, by and large, unsuccessful. The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985, a law considered as draconian as the Rowlatt Act of the colonial era, and its latter-day version, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2003, had been allowed to lapse after it was found that they were prone to persistent misuse.…

There is really no need for more State-level laws of such a nature. Police investigators need better resources and training to combat organised crime and terror, and not laws that abridge and modify conventional criminal procedure to the detriment of human rights.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/gujarat-must-give-up-terror-bill/article8175731.ece

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How Narendra Modi honed his media “management” skills during his almost 13 years of rule in Gujarat – By RK Misra (Feb 1, 2016, Counterview)

…Narendra Modi’s advent on the scene as Prime Minister has marked a surgical departure in the manner of government news coverage. In the past whenever governments changed at the Centre, including the BJP-led NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, there were at best some recalibrations: If the BJP came to power, veterans of the beat were moved to centre-stage while the specialists covering the outgoing party were shifted to the sidelines.

Modi, however, has ensured a tectonic shift. Now it is not media, which is deciding how the government is to be covered. It is Modi who has laid the ground rules as to how it (media) shall cover the government. The capital’s bloated population of know-alls who possessed the legendary reputation of worming their way into the most stubborn woodworks now find themselves reduced to peripheral players with access to news sources within the government severely restricted. The invisible line carefully etched by Prime Minister Modi is holding firm, keeping the ‘creepy crawlies’ out. Like it or not, that’s how most in the political power structure look at journalists – an avoidable nuisance.

Modi’s concentration of power in his own hands has ensured steamroller domination of governance by the Prime Minister’s Office. This has been further reinforced by the appointment of his old team of tried and tested officers from Gujarat in a variety of key positions in various ministries, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Intelligence, CBI, even SPG .By last count there are around 40 officers – serving or retired – from Gujarat doing duty at the Centre. Modi’s control thus is complete. In fact, immediately after he took over as the Prime Minister, there was a complete ban on mediapersons’ access to the PMO, leading to panic buttons being pressed in newspapers and TV channels.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/02/how-narendra-modi-honed-his-media.html

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The basics for free speech – By Suhrith Parthasarathy (Jan 30, 2016, The Hindu)

Through a most pernicious act of judicial fiat, in a judgment delivered on December 23, 2015, Justice A.B. Chaudhari, sitting on the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, issued notice to the Booker Prize-winning writer Arundhati Roy for committing what he believed constituted a clear case of criminal contempt of court. The decision was rendered on an application for bail by the Delhi University professor, G.N. Saibaba.

Not only did the court reject Dr. Saibaba’s plea, in spite of his substantial disabilities, it also hauled Ms. Roy up for writing in support of the professor, and in criticism of the Indian state, including the country’s judiciary. In initiating contempt proceedings, Justice Chaudhari’s judgment has exemplified the state of the right to free speech in India – a liberty fractured by colonial vestiges such as the law on contempt, which we have embarrassingly embraced as a supposed necessity to uphold the majesty of our courts.

The conventional defences adopted in favour of the judiciary retaining powers to punish acts of contempt invariably point to the Constitution. Article 19(1)(a) no doubt grants to the country’s citizens a right to freedom of speech and expression. But the ensuing clause, Article 19(2), limits this freedom, and accords the state the express authority to make laws that establish reasonable restrictions on speech, on various grounds, including contempt of court.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/arundhati-roy-and-hc-hearing-the-basics-for-free-speech/article8168835.ece

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Mithun Stir-Fry Sizzler – By Tongam Rina (Feb 8, 2016, Outlook)

The events in remote Arunachal Pradesh are threatening to snowball into the year’s first major political confrontation. A conflict built around the classic theme of Centre-state relations, reminiscent of the ’80s-90s, also means an inevitable impact on Parliament when it reconvenes for the budget session in February-end.

A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court will decide on the role of the governor and who should be in power, but with the President already giving his assent to governor’s rule, the crisis brought into national focus an ugly power struggle—a rebellion within the Congress, fuelled by an enthusiastic BJP—in a state that normally does not hit the headlines.

While many in Arunachal will welcome some sort of an end to the political uncertainty, the touch of burlesque that accompanied it could not mask deeper, institutional questions. The events of the past few months have left people wondering at the role of the judiciary, the Union government and the central leaderships of both the BJP and the Congress.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/mithun-stirfry-sizzler/296541

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“Yes I shot him dead. I shot Sanjit Meitei. He was not armed” – By Peters Chongom (Jan 30, 2016, The Sangai Express)

The fake encounter issue in Manipur is again in the news. This time, it is no more confined in the local news but published/telecast on the National media. A few days back, the leading news channel CNN-IBN aired the galling revelation of one head constable of Manipur police who revealed to the media that he was in fact the man who shot Sanjit Meitei, a suspected member of an insurgent group, dead.

What is more disturbing in his allegation is that he was instructed by the then Additional SP, Imphal West, Dr. Akoijam Jhalajit Singh to ‘finish off’ Sanjit. He further stated that even the CM and the then DGP of that time is also in the know of the incident.

He in fact clearly stated that the killing was directed by these individuals, who are in the higher-rung of the Government. The head constable also said that Jhalajit gave the assurance that he would be protected and would not come under the radar of suspicion and inspection regarding this killing.…

http://www.thesangaiexpress.com/64166-2/

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Could the Dalit students’ agitation be Modi’s Mandal moment? – By Chaitanya Mallapur (Jan 28, 2016, Scroll.in)

The suicide of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit research scholar of University of Hyderabad, has attracted national outrage and international attention. All across India, on campuses and elsewhere, Dalit students are spontaneously agitating to demand justice for Vemula, although the heart of the struggle remains a corner of the University of Hyderabad campus.

I was there at that epicentre recently, and what struck me were the similarities between what is unfolding today and the student agitation against VP Singh government’s decision to implement Mandal Commission’s recommendations in 1990.…

The Dalit students’ agitation, like the Mandal protests of 1990, threatens to divide the country’s academic campuses again on caste lines and that can seriously limit Modi’s support among the aspiring youths and students. As VP Singh was reduced to the “messiah of Mandal politics”, Modi faces the same danger of being bracketed and losing his appeal among students and youths. Modi took five days just to speak up on the issue. The time to act on it is running out fast.

http://scroll.in/article/802419/could-the-dalit-students-agitation-be-modis-mandal-moment

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Book Review

India’s 2014 Elections: A Modi-led BJP Sweep

Author: Ed. Paul Wallace
Reviewed by: Abdul Gaffar
Available at: SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, B 1/I-1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110 044, India, 2015; pp xx+ 427, Rs 1,250.. http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Modi Wave and Congress Debacle (Jan 30, 2016, EPW)

The book, India’s 2014 Elections: A Modi-led BJP Sweep, edited by Paul Wallace furnishes a holistic overview of the 16th Lok Sabha elections and looks into the varied factors that catapulted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into power, while also attempting to examine the reasons behind the decline of the grand old Congress Party. It emphasises the end of coalition politics, with a single party coming into power with a clear majority.…

The BJP’s landslide election victory in 2014 is a great example of how to prepare and successfully execute a marketing and branding campaign. Modi’s image and in-your-face messaging overshadowed all other rivals, even within his own party. However, the volume is hesitant to discuss Modi’s authoritarian and communal campaign. One key BJP leader, Giriraj Singh, said that the critics of Modi had a “place in Pakistan and not in India.” Another religious zealot, Pravin Togadia, who is currently the president of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, said that Muslim households should be “evicted” from Hindu areas. The “communal peace” that has supposedly prevailed in Gujarat since the 2002 pogrom has been at a tremendous cost to the minorities. The volume does not focus on the radicalisation and polarisation of society, a weapon that has been used by the BJP to win these elections.

The comprehensive volume does not dissect Modi’s vision of economic development and his promotion of crony capitalism. Many states in India have a better growth rate than Gujarat, and as economists have pointed out the state’s human development indicators are weak. Moreover, Gujarat was declared the most polluted state in 2010. The book does not discuss the amount of money that was spent on Narendra Modi’s campaign, estimated to be more than Rs 5,000 crore. Finally, it does not speak against the rising tide of intolerance whipped up by Modi’s allies – the Hindu extremist groups who have forced books to be banned, intimidated journalists and threatened people for criticising their leaders. Despite these shortcomings, the book is a good read with lots of empirical and quantitative data for scholars and policymakers.

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/5/book-reviews/modi-wave-and-congress-debacle.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 25th, 2016

by newsdigest on February 1, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

RSS Goons Attack Rohith Vemula Solidarity Rally In Mumbai (Jan 25, 2016, Countercurrents)

About 500 people who had gathered in Mumbai’s Dharavi to protest against the institutional murder of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula of Hyderabad Central Univeristyi were attacked Sunday evening by RSS goons.

Ajmal Khan who injured his head in the attack posted on his Facebook page: We some 500 protesters gathered in Dharavi to demand justice for Rohith Vemula were beaten up by workers believed to be affiliated to Rashtra Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). The protest march was organised by Nationalist Forum Dharavi, a collective of Vizhithezhu Iyakkam, Jai Bhim Foundation, Andhra Karnataka Dalit Varg Sangh – Dharavi, Republican Panthers along with students from the umbrella forum – “‘Justice for Rohith-Joint Action Committee Mumbai’. They were demanding justice for Rohith Vemula of University of Hyderabad who committed suicide on January 17th due to harassment from the university administration.…

During the protest, casteist remarks were made by the attackers against the participants of the protest raising slogans of “Jai Bhim”. A poster with Dr Ambedkar’s photo was torn and stamped upon by RSS workers. Though several police officers were present on the spot during the attack, they did nothing to stop the goons and instead pushed the protesters away.… To lodge a complaint against the attackers, the protesters had to camp outside the Dharavi police station. The police was negotiating with BJP MLA Tamil Selva from Sion Kolidwada constituency and RSS themselves took out a rally against the protesters in Dharavi with slogans of “Jai Shri Ram”. We said we will not go away from the police station until police register case under atrocities act. After a big protest and demand SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 was filed against the people who attacked us.

http://www.countercurrents.org/cc250116.htm

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Rohith Vemula’s mother: Don’t want your Rs 8 lakh or Rs 8 crore, Tell me why my son died (Jan 24, 2016, Indian Express)

“When a girl named Nirbhaya was brutally raped and killed, did anyone question her caste? Then why is Rohith’s caste under question here?” Radhika Vemula asked this on Saturday amid claims that her son Rohith, whose suicide is being seen as the fallout of caste discrimination, was not a Dalit.

The 49-year-old who is divorced from Rohith’s father and raised him and his two siblings working as a tailor also refused the Rs 8 lakh ex-gratia offered by the University of Hyderabad. “We do not need your money. Not Rs 8 lakh, even if you give Rs 8 crore, we do not need it,” Rohith’s sister Neelima said.

Radhika, accompanied by Neelima and son Raja, was on the campus to meet the seven students on the fourth day of their fast at the university’s protest venue. She told them, “You are all like my sons. If you need anything at all, I will help you. I will be here to support you, help you.”… “My question is why I am being asked all these questions instead of being given the reasons why Rohith was suspended?” Radhika said. “Why is the issue being diverted?”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/dont-want-your-rs-8-lakh-or-rs-8-cr-tell-me-why-my-son-died-rohith-vemulas-mother/

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Modi as CM failed to protect Muslims, his Buddha model held in suspicion by Dalits: Shripal Sabnis (Jan 21, 2016, Indian Express)

Shripal Sabnis, president of the 89th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan whose remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi triggered a row before the start of the literary meet, on Wednesday reiterated that Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had failed to protect the lives of Muslims and win their confidence.

Sabnis, who was speaking at the Idea Exchange at The Indian Express on Wednesday, also said Dalits in the country were looking with suspicion at Modi’s “Gandhi-Buddha” model which he is parading worldwide.

“I do not agree with Modi who was the Gujarat chief minister. He had failed to protect the lives of Muslims and win their confidence. There has been no punishment. He has got the clean chit from the apex court, but the blot remains…, he had to face the prosecution,” Sabnis said, when asked to elaborate on his remarks.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/modi-as-cm-failed-to-protect-muslims-his-buddha-model-held-in-suspicion-by-dalits-shripal-sabnis/

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Do Hindu Swabhiman ‘terror camps’ have govt approval, asks retired Mumbai ACP (Jan 23, 2016, Ummid.com)

Wondering why no action has been taken against the ‘terrorist training camps’ reportedly run by an NGO Hindu Swabhiman even after vidoes surfaced in the media, Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Shamsher Khan Pathan asked if the camps have government approval.…

“The government should have immediately closed these tratining centres. But, far from taking action, not a single word has been so far uttered by the state or the central government against these terrorist camps”, he said.

Stating that these training camps are dangerous for national security, and peace and harmony, Pathan demanded from the state and the union government to close these training camps and arrest the members of Hindu Swabhiman.…

http://ummid.com/news/2016/January/23.01.2016/former-mumbai-cop-on-hindu-terrorist-training-camp.html

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You have a long beard, no passport for you: Cop allegedly tells Najmul Huda (Jan 23, 2016, Times Headline)

A day after sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Najmul Huda in a predawn raid at Permude village in Mangaluru taluk, an eerie silence prevailed in the entire neighbourhood.

The engineering student’s helpless parents and three young sisters, who have already rubbished the allegations made against him by media, have no clue of the terrible rumours being spread on WhatsApp and other social media, as all of their mobile phones have been confiscated by the NIA.

Najmul Huda’s parents hail from Uttar Pradesh and they had settled in Mangaluru over 25 years ago. The family has no enemies in the locality and those who knew Najmul Huda closely including the neighbours openly praise his kindness and humbleness.…

http://www.timesheadline.com/india/you-have-a-long-beard-no-passport-for-you-cop-allegedly-tells-najmul-huda-1101.html

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AMU issue being raked up for ‘gains’ in UP poll: Muslim bodies (Jan 22, 2016, Economic Times)

A group of Muslim organisations today accused the NDA government of raking up the issue of status of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia for “gains” in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and sought immediate reversal of the Centre’s stand that they are not minority institutions.

Speaking during a briefing organised by Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) here, the outfits asked why political parties, otherwise vocal on issues of minorities, are silent at a time when the tag of the two prestigious institutions is “being played with”.

“This looks like an attempt to polarise votes ahead of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. This move is aimed at creating division.…

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-22/news/69989323_1_aligarh-muslim-university-amu-minority-status

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Ex-CJI Ahmadi Asks Muslims Not to Vote Under RSS’ Intimidation (Jan 25, 2016, New Indian Express)

In a veiled attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), former Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi today asked Muslims to not vote under “intimidation” of those who wear half-pants and carry lathis”, the conventional dress code of the organisation.

“Do not get frightened from those who come out on roads wearing half-pants and carrying lathis in their hands. They come out during elections only to inject fear among people. It is part of the election process,” Ahmadi said without taking name of RSS while addressing a function organised by state Congress here in the Muslim-dominated Sarkhej on the outskirts of the city.

Ahmadi requested Muslims not to vote out of fear. “After elections get over, they disappear. But, in between that election process do not get intimidated by them. It will be a problem if you give your vote out of fear,” said Ahmadi who had served as CJI from October 1994 till March 1997.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Ex-CJI-Ahmadi-Asks-Muslims-Not-to-Vote-Under-RSS-Intimidation/2016/01/25/article3243123.ece

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Editors Guild Condemns ABVP Threats to The Wire’s Founding Editor (Jan 23, 2016, The Wire)

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Editors Guild of India strongly condemned “the blatant acts of intimidation and threats to Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor of The Wire, by student members of the ABVP in Allahabad University that forced the police to intervene to escort him to safety.”

Varadarajan had been invited to deliver a public lecture on ‘Loktantra, media aur abhivyakti ki svatantrata’ (Democracy, the Media and Freedom of Expression)” by the president of the Allahabad University Students’ Union and the event was scheduled to be held at the university’s Senate Hall on January 20, 2016.

The Editors Guild statement notes that after students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party – threatened violence, the university’s vice-chancellor withdrew permission for the programme and got the district administration to prohibit it from being held anywhere else on campus. As a result, “Varadarajan was forced to deliver the lecture at a hall near the campus.”…

http://thewire.in/2016/01/23/editors-guild-condemns-abvp-threats-to-the-wires-founding-editor-20015/

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Have no fear, we are there, SC tells Arundhati (Jan 23, 2016, The Hindu)

The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Bombay High Court and the Maharashtra government after Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy argued that criminal contempt proceedings initiated against her for publishing an article on the jailed Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba amounted to choking dissent and produced an “intense chilling effect” on the fundamental right of free expression.

A Bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and C. Nagappan asked the writer to have no fear and appear before the High Court on January 25 in response to the notice by a single judge. “Now we are there,” Justice Khehar observed.

The Bench admitted her plea along with the bail petition of Professor Saibaba, a paraplegic lodged in the infamous ‘Anda’ cell of the Nagpur prison on the allegation that he had Maoist links. It directed the Maharashtra government and the HC to respond in two weeks.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-relief-from-court-appearence-for-arundhati-roy/article8139542.ece

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Pandit couple returns to Muslim neighbourhood in Kashmir (Jan 20, 2016, The Hindu)

A Kashmiri Pandit couple is back in the Kashmir Valley. What makes the return of Omkar Razdan (70) and Vijay Bazaz Razdan (65) unique is they refused to take the Prime Minister’s package. Instead, they preferred to move to a Muslim neighbourhood.

Omkar Razdan and Vijay Bazaz Razdan, son-in-law and daughter of the widely-read Kashmiri Pandit, Prem Nath Bazaz, have constructed a three-storey house in the Muslim-majority Humhama colony of Srinagar to dispel the myth that the two communities cannot live together.

“It was a conscious decision not to live in a separate settlement or colony, as it goes against the idea of Kashmiriyat. Kashmir was an abode of communal harmony when the minorities were attacked in 1947 in other parts of India. Not a single Pandit was killed or displaced then,” said Mr. Razdan. Mr. Razdan said he grew up listening to folklores on Hindu-Muslim harmony.… “We travel by public transport in Srinagar. We get a warm feeling. I leave my keys with my Muslim electrician when I travel to New Delhi,” said Mr. Razadan, who has authored the book, Trauma of Kashmir and Untold Realities.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/pandit-couple-returns-to-muslim-neighbourhood-in-kashmir/article8126678.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

Rohith Vemula and the holy cow – By Suryakant Waghmore (Jan 27, 2016, Indian Express)

As the nation celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, Rohith Vemula’s suicide is a reminder of the void between Ambedkarite aspirations and Indian modernity – more precisely, Hindu modernity. Rohith was an Ambedkarite. To add to his woes, he gained admission under the “general” category.

If political interference and aggressive Hindutva intrusion on campus had not led to Rohith’s suicide, maybe Ambedkar did. The practice of Ambedkarism calls for a sincere challenging of caste, patriarchy and religious bigotry – some of these remain the essence of being a modern Hindu in present times. What is ironic is that elements of Hindu practices that are regressive continue to be celebrated and these get worse when hindutva ideologues link such practices to the ideals of nationalism and nationalist sentiments.

If one digs beyond the farcical surface of Ambedkarite rhetoric in the BJP/ RSS circles, both Ambedkar and the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) at the Hyderabad Central University seem to be anti-national to Hindutva groups. Bandaru Dattatreya’s letters to the HRD ministry show us how Hindutva naturally portrays Ambedkarism as anti-national. Arun Shourie was rather aggressive about calling Ambedkar a stooge of the British – someone who was also anti-Hindu and never participated in the so-called independence struggle.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/rohith-vemula-dalit-suicide/

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Modi Regime Forces President Mukherjee To Take Note Of Intolerance, Violence – By Samar (Jan 26, 2016, Countercurrents)

Mature republics must take note of problems plaguing them. Alas, they do not always do so. It is heartening to see, therefore, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, taking note of some of the biggest problems plaguing India at the moment – problems that can unravel despite gains the country has made in 69 years of its existence. He observed, profoundly, that the forces of violence, intolerance and unreason do not harm individuals, they rather hit the very core of nationhood.

To quote him: “Our finest inheritance, the institutions of democracy, ensure to all citizens (sic.) justice, equality, gender and economic equity. When grim instances of violence hit at these established values, it is time to take note. We must guard ourselves against the forces of violence, intolerance and unreason.”

Things reaching this point so that the President has to take note of them on the joyous day, the eve of Republic Day, must worry every citizen of India. They must think what has brought a country that should have been worried about continuing hunger, the biggest humiliation as the President had noted in his acceptance speech, that forces millions of their compatriots to go to sleep on an empty stomach every night. They must have been thinking about ways to tackle malnutrition that leads to the stunting and wasting of a huge section of its children and has been referred to repeatedly, as a National Shame.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/samar260116.htm

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Collaborator Savarkar versus Freedom Fighter Bose – By Shamsul Islam (Jan 26, 2016, Sabrang India)

Three favourite icons sought to be appropriated by proponents of the Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation, the Hindutvawaadis) are Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. Shamsul Islam’s research reveals however that this appropriation is problematic. Bose, attempted to organise a military campaign to force the British out of India. This cause was betrayed by the Hindu Mahasabha under the leadership of Savarkar who also happened to be a mentor of the RSS.

There is a mine of contemporary documents available to show that while the Netaji during World War II was trying to secure foreign support for liberation of the country and trying to organise a military attack on the northeast of the country with the help of ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ (Indian National Army), it was Savarkar who offered full military co-operation to the British masters.

Coming close on the heels of prime minister, Narendra Modi’s move to de-classify 100 files related to Netaji Bose’s life and struggle, these revelations could pose a severe embarrassment to the government. The history of the Hindutvawaadi rightwing is replete with documents establishing its collaborations with British rule. A close reading of the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS publications and documents of that period exposes this shocking duplicity.…

https://www.sabrangindia.in/indepth/collaborator-savarkar-versus-freedom-fighter-bose

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Reverse Swing: My ‘anti-national’ brother – By Tunku Varadarajan (Jan 24, 2016, Indian Express)

…In India, the mob has a veto on speech; and an example of this veto occurred on January 20 at Allahabad University, when bully-boys from the ABVP – the Baby-BJP on campus – forced the cancellation of a speech by my brother, Siddharth Varadarajan, on ‘Democracy, Media and Freedom of Expression’. (Siddharth, editor of The Hindu before being ousted in a squalid internal putsch, is now founding editor of The Wire.)

It’s hard not to chuckle over the irony of a lecture on free speech being silenced by unruly dissenters. One chuckles, also, over the ABVP leaders’ descriptions of leftist Siddharth as ‘anti-national’ and ‘communal’ – the latter because of its incongruity, given the saffron source of the utterance; and the former because of the bizarre phenomenon of hyper-nationalist student protests. Whatever happened to the days when idealistic kids protested against nationalism, not at its behest?

The ABVP’s actions are part of an unlovely trend in which anyone who’s not inclined to paint the rosiest picture of India is deemed unpatriotic. Witness the ideological lynching of Aamir Khan recently, when the actor had the temerity to suggest that all isn’t perfect in this Motherland of ours.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/reverse-swing-my-anti-national-brother/

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Framed as a terrorist: Mohammad Aamir Khan’s 14 years behind the bars – By Harsh Mander (Jan 26, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Imagine being wrongfully charged and jailed after 14 years of torture, never knowing if you will ever walk free. This is Mohammad Aamir Khan’s harrowing story, of unspeakable injustice which stole from him the best years of his youth. But his story is also one of endurance, love and hope. In two years that I have known him, I found him a gentle person, free of bitterness and anger, and convinced about justice, democracy and secular values.

In a deeply affecting book he has written with Nandita Haksar, Framed as a Terrorist: My 14-year Struggle to Prove My Innocence, he describes how when he was 20, one late-winter evening in February 1998, in a by-lane of Old Delhi, close to his home, he was picked up by plainclothes policemen, and driven to a torture chamber. He recounts his days and nights of torture: Stripped naked, his legs stretched to extremes, boxed, kicked, subject to electric shocks, anti-Muslim abuse and threats to frame his parents. He finally succumbs, and agrees to sign numerous blank sheets and diaries. As a result, he is charged in 19 cases of terror crimes.

From here begins a nightmare that lasted nearly 14 years. Housed often in solitary confinement in Tihar and Ghaziabad jails, his only encounters with the world outside are his innumerable court hearings. No judge asks him about the torture, nor do doctors record his torture wounds. He is acquitted in one terror case, only for another to begin.… But I wonder if anything, anything can indeed compensate Aamir for all that he has lost.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/framed-as-a-terrorist-mohammad-aamir-khan-s-14-years-behind-the-bars/story-TJnysSHMj0yCj8yXf15lrN.html

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Minority status? – By Aftab Alam (Jan 27, 2016, Indian Express)

Notwithstanding Justice A.P. Sen’s pertinent observation in Lilly Kurian versus Sr Lewina and others (1978), “the protection of the minorities is an article of faith in the Constitution of India”, this principle has been under continuous attack. Earlier this month, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before the Supreme Court that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was never intended by Parliament to be a Muslim university.

This rekindles a sensitive and old controversy about the minority character of this historic university. Setting aside the political fury generated by this controversy, it is time to pause and ponder over this issue dispassionately, as it not only involves many legal questions of great significance but is also intrinsically linked to the sentiments of India’s largest minority.…

Tara Chand, an eminent historian of modern India, once succinctly remarked, “it will be a falsification of the history of India if it is asserted from any quarter that the AMU was not established by the Muslims and primarily for the educational advancement of the Muslims of India”. It is the duty of the government to ensure that the rights guaranteed to minorities are not turned into a “teasing illusion and promise of unreality”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/jamia-amu-minority-status/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 14th, 2015

December 21, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Tarigami Addresses Rally in Vijayawada On Protection of Communal Harmony News Headlines Had Islam been a religion of terrorism, Hindus would not have been existed in India today, says Shankaracharya Protests by Muslim groups continue in U.P. Paragraphs “planted” in NIA report to prove Ishrat Jahaan was […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 9th, 2015

November 12, 2015

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 26th, 2015

October 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Narendra Modi UK visit: Cameron urged to raise human rights with Indian PM Muslim family in UP alleges boy taken from school to attend RSS camp Muzaffarnagar riots case: Bailable warrant against Union minister, BJP leaders BJP, Sri Rama Sene activists held for communal clashes in Karnataka […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 24th, 2015

August 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal harmony pledge administered News Headlines 2002 Godhra riots: IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who took on Gujarat govt is sacked Act as human bombs, Sena tells Hindus Mosque in Faizabad torched, SP MLA blames ‘youths with saffron headgear’ Rattling the cage Five ABVP activists booked for assaulting […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 27th, 2015

July 28, 2015

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 8th, 2015

June 9, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Naroda Gam post-Godhra riots case: Court seeks SIT officer’s reply on missing CD Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter: Centre Denies Permission To Prosecute IB Officials Muslim leaders oppose Yoga, say Suryanamaskar against the basic teaching of Islam Aam Aadmi Party report blames ML Khattar’s rally for Ballabhgarh riot […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 25th, 2015

May 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Diamond exporter charged for denying Muslim a job 2002 riots call records: SIT court summons officer Himanshu Shukla to explain misplaced CDs Teesta Setalvad: Modi’s Silence on Attacks on Minorities Shows Tacit Consent Saffron trade union snubs RSS, to join protest against govt PMO Not Disclosing Foreign […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 16th, 2015

February 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines US media sees Modi ‘brought down to earth’ An open letter to Ms Kiran Bedi from Shabnam Hashmi Justice denied, she recalls: they cut off my hands Withdraw ‘concocted’ case against Teesta Setalvad: CPM to Gujarat govt Convent school vandalised in Delhi, sixth such attack in 4 […]

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