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Narendra Modi

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 14th, 2013

by newsdigest on April 15, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

US: Anti-Modi Congressional resolution now has 51 co-sponsors (Apr 11, 2014, Hindustan Times)

A controversial Congressional resolution, which among other things asks the American administration to maintain its policy of not issuing visa to BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, now has more than 50 co-sponsors. Rush Holt from New Jersey and Barbara Lee from California are the two lawmakers to have signed onto the resolution (H Res 417), thus taking the number of co-sponsors to 51. The bipartisan resolution was introduced by Congressmen Keith Ellison from the Democratic Party and Joe Pitts from the Republican Party last November.

Since then it has not only become an issue of contention among various Indian American groups, but also several lawmakers have questioned the intention of introducing such a resolution. Several Congressmen have withdrawn too as its co-sponsors, but with Holt and Lee this week being the latest entrants, the total number of sponsor to this controversial resolution yesterday stood at 51 from nearly 30 states, of which 26 are Republican and 25 are from the Democratic Party. The resolution also asks to include religious freedom and human rights as part of the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries. It praises India’s “rich religious diversity and commitment to tolerance and equality,” while raising concerns over the “erosion” of religious freedom.

The resolution, the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) in its summary, recognises the suffering of Indian citizens who have been victims of religious violence, and also highlights the alleged role of Modi in the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat. It declares that the House of Representatives shares the opinion of the Department of State and the US Commission on International Religious Freedom that the Gujarat government has not adequately pursued justice for the victims of religious violence in 2002 and expresses concern regarding reports about the alleged complicity of local officials.

It commends the US government for exercising its authority in 2005 under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to deny a US visa to Narendra Modi on the grounds of religious freedom violations, and encourages it to review the applications of any individuals implicated in such violations under the same standard, the CRS said. The resolution commends the role of India’s National Human Rights Commission and the Indian Supreme Court, which has led to some convictions in Gujarat riot cases and the arrest of high-level leaders in the Gujarati administration.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/1206903.aspx

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Modi’s India TV interview ‘Fixed’? Editorial Director QW Naqvi resigns in protest (Apr 14, 2014, Daily Bhaskar)

Senior journalist and editorial director at India TV, Qamar Waheed Naqvi resigned from his position, in a mark of protest, against the Modi’s interview telecasted a few days back on the channel. Going by the sources, Naqvi sent his resignation in form of email to the management on Sunday night.

Talking to Daily Bhaskar Naqvi said ” I have put in papers, rest will be disclosed later.” He resigned so as to protest against the interview that he termed as ‘fixed.’ Rajat Sharma, editor-in-chief of India TV, conducted the interview in his popular program “AAP Ki Adalat.”

Naqvi was working as a news director in the channel for a long time. Reportedly, Naqvi can’t be accessed on social networking sites as well, meaning thereby, he has deleted his accounts on the same.

http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/NAT-TOP-india-tv-editorial-director-naqvi-resigns-in-mark-of-protest-against-modis-fixed-4580937-NOR.html

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In his nomination, Narendra Modi finally admits Jashodaben is his wife (Apr 10, 2014, IBN)

Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi in an affidavit filed before the Election Commission showed himself as a married man revealing that his wife’s name is Jashodaben. In an affidavit submitted along with his nomination papers filed on Wednesday for Vadodara Lok Sabha seat, Modi for the first time stated that he is married.

So far, Modi used to leave the column of spouse which is to be filled in an affidavit as blank. He had kept the column as blank in 2012 Assembly elections as well. However, for the 2014 Lok Sabha election affidavit, in the column where he has to declare assets in the name of his wife, Modi has written that he has no information on it.

Though he had filed the nomination papers, the Vadodara district election authority put the affidavit on the display board of the Collectorate at midnight. The affidavit has not been uploaded on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat till late in the night. Earlier, the Congress had said that Modi should come clean on his marital status while filing nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections.

The Vadodara Lok Sabha seat which has been chosen by Modi from 26 constituencies of Gujarat is considered to be one of the safest seat. Modi is also contesting election from Varanasi where he is challenging Aam Aadmi Party candidate Arvind Kejriwal and Congress’ local MLA Ajay Rai.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/in-his-nomination-narendra-modi-finally-admits-jashodaben-is-his-wife/463933-3.html

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Gujarat police has no evidence against Maulana Abdul Qavi: Paracha (Apr 10, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Mohammed Abdul Qavi who was arrested on 23rd March from New Delhi airport in a joint operation by Gujarat ATS and Delhi police special cell in a decade old case of conspiracy to assassinate Narendra Modi and other Sangh leaders. He was yesterday produced before POTA court in Ahmedabad after the completion of 14 days of police custody. The special POTA court remanded him to 7 days of judicial custody and ordered Crime Branch Jamalpur to lodge him in Sabarmati prison of Ahmedabad where many high profile accused persons are lodged.

During the court proceedings many Muslim leaders were present along with representing lawyers and family of Maulana Abdul Qavi. Among the lawyers prominent Supreme Court Adv. Mahmood Paracha was also present who was called in to defend Maulana Abdul Qavi by the Jamiat Ulema Maharashtra. Adv. Paracha along with Adv. Pathan argued before the court in defense of Maulana Abdul Qavi and questioned the sudden arrest of Maulana in a decade old case that too in the absence of any valid court warrant. They also questioned the basis of his arrest for the case in which almost everyone who was accused and arrested including cleric Maulana Naseeruddin has already been acquitted by the court.

The special court asked police to show 14 day police diary but they could not show it due to which the special court came down heavily on them and strictly ordered to produce the diary before 9th April morning. After the court proceedings Adv. Paracha told media that he elaborated special court how illegally he was arrested without a warrant and that on the first hearing itself the truth of the case was evident where the police did not even bring the 14 day police diary before court. He informed that his panel shall file bail application of Maulana soon and that he is very much sure to secure bail for him.

Adv. Tahur Pathan told TCN, “There are many faults in the police case and his arresting itself is illegal therefore I have strong belief that he (Maulana) will be released soon on bail”. Maulana Hafiz Nadeem Siddique, President of Jamiat Ulema Maharashtra appealed well-wishers and Jamiat members to supplicate Allah almighty for the early release of Maulana Abdul Qavi. Maulana Hakeemuddin Qazi, Secretary of Jamiat Ulema and Hafiz Khaliq representative of Jamiat Ulema Andhra Pradesh were also present in the special POTA court. They also had a talk with family of Maulana and assured them of full support from the Jamiat.

53 year old Maulana Abdul Qavi is the founder and rector of Madrasa Ashraful Uloom who have a big name in the religious circles of Hyderabad. As a renowned theologian he wrote many books on Islamic fiqh. Apart from Jamait Ulema he is also considered close to many bigwigs of Tabligee Jamat. His arrest by Gujarat ATS has shocked everyone who knew him even distantly because he is a prominent person who keeps attending gatherings throughout the country and was never absconding.

http://twocircles.net/2014apr10/gujarat_police_has_no_produce_any_evidence_against_maulana_abdul_qavi_advparacha.html

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‘Wajid victim of political plot’, dead youth’s father says (Apr 14, 2014, Times of India)

Despite the district administration claiming that the clashes between two communities in Nakanpur in Punahana last Thursday and the death of a 28-year-old Meo-Muslim man a day later are not related, his family members have said that their son was a victim of a political conspiracy to flare up communal tension. “We don’t blame any political party but Wajid was killed in a follow-up act of the clash on the polling day. Why would anyone kill him. He had no personal rivalry with anyone in the village or outside,” said Majid, the victim’s father, a cook at a police station here.

Mewat SP Anil Kumar Dhawan however maintained that both the incidents were not related and Wajid was a victim of some personal rivalry. When asked why few of the accused in both the incidents were same, he said, “It could be a coincidence.” Calling their son’s death an attempt to disturb the religious harmony in the area, nurtured here for generations, Majid said, “My eldest son was killed in cold blood for no fault of his. He was not even present at the polling booth where clashes between the two groups took place.”

Somebody who has been with Haryana police for close to 25 years, Majid always wanted his son to join the police force. “Now I want Wajid’s son to fulfill my wish and ensure justice to the poor,” he said. Survived by his wife and three children, Wajid had his son admitted to a nearby private school days before his death.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/33713828.cms

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Bail plea of Muzaffarnagar riot accused rejected (Apr 12, 2014, Statesman)

A local court here has rejected the bail plea of an accused in a Muzaffaranagar riots case related to the killing of eight persons, including a woman, in Kutba village.

Additional district sessions judge Mr Jitendra Kumar yesterday rejected the bail plea of Kunwar Pal, one of the 50 accused in the Kutba village violence case.

According to the prosecution, eight persons including a woman, were killed and 20 people were injured during riots in Kutba village in the district last year. The police had registered a case against 110 rioters and arrested two persons, added sources.

http://www.thestatesman.net/news/49163-bail-plea-of-muzaffarnagar-riot-accused-rejected.html

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TDP Muslim leaders, cadres quit party over BJP alliance (Apr 9, 2014, Times of India)

Trouble is brewing within the Telugu Desam as many Muslim leaders and workers resigned en masse on Tuesday protesting the party’s rekindled friendship with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Describing the alliance between the parties as “opportunistic”, the leaders, including presidents and workers of minority and Scheduled Caste cells of the party, expressed anger with the TDP leadership. They recalled that in April 2002, soon after the riots in Gujarat, Narendra Modi had come in for sharp criticism from party president N Chandrababu Naidu.

“The TDP politburo had then passed a resolution which stated that the incident could not be seen as an internal issue of the state as its impact had tarnished India’s secular image. The resolution also held that the party had put the strong condition of secularism before the NDA government which was later violated,” said Shahbaz Ahmed Khan, who resigned from the post of president of TDP’s minority cell. Stating that the TDP had betrayed the trust of Muslims and secular people, he claimed that 17 vice-presidents of various party committees, six official spokespersons, 30 organising secretaries and 32 secretaries had all resigned in protest.

“We will be meeting again tomorrow to decide our next course of action. We have not ruled out joining other political parties or using our cadre to support candidates from other parties,” Khan said. The party’s decision has also put many leaders, including party MLAs from the Old City, on the back foot with many refusing to contest a second time on the TDP ticket. Sources said that while Mohammed Muzaffar Ali Khan, who fought on a TDP ticket in 2009 from Malakpet and lost by a margin of 8.26 per cent to Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) sitting MLA Ahmed Balala, is likely to contest independently.

Charminar candidate Ali Masqati, who is rumoured to be deliberating joining other political parties, has decided against entering the fray. “I will not contest this time. I was in the TDP and I am still with the party,” Masqati said. Meanwhile, unhappy with being denied a ticket, Congress member Feroz Khan, who had contested against MIM Nampally MLA Virasat Rasool Khan on a Praja Rajyam Party ticket before its merger with Congress, has reportedly joined the TDP. An official announcement is expected shortly.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/33471713.cms

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Minority community names missing in electoral list in Kavalbyrasandra (Apr 13, 2014, DNA India)

Despite registering their names for the electoral list well on time, a section of the minority community (Muslims) in Kavalbyrasandra do not have their name in the electoral list. All these came to light when many people from the Muslim community started approaching Aga Foundation, an NGO which has been working in the area for the upliftment of women and children. On a daily basis the NGO has been receiving about 5-6 people coming in with similar complaints everyday.

On Sunday when volunteers of the Foundation went to a single lane in Kavalbyrasandra area (Ward No 32), of the 23 houses they surveyed, 60 names who are in the voting age group were missing. According to the Foundation member there are over 2,000 voting age group people from Muslim community in Kavalbyrasandra. For the past one week, there were almost about six people from Kavalbyrasandra area walking to us everyday saying that their names are not there in the voting list.

Taking their names and contact numbers I went to the area BBMP Office and met the Area Regional Officer (ARO) and told him about the problem. I also asked the religious head of the mosque to announce in the mosque that if their names are not there in the electoral list they should inform the ARO in the BBMP office and get it checked said, Mufeeda Begum, President, Aga Foundation. An enthusiastic 20 year old Masoom, resident of Kavalbyrasandra had applied for the voters ID card a year ago but still she could not get hold of it and her name was also not there in the electoral list. More surprisingly, for the religious head of the mosque in the area, Ikram Ullah Haq, though his name is there in the electoral list but he is still to get his voters ID card.

He has applied about three years ago and he has been running around since then but still he has not got it. Few days ago when he went to the area BBMP office and checked for his name in the electoral list there was a tick mark against his name saying that he has collected his voters ID card but Haq has not received any voters Id card. However his signature wasn’t there. Mufeeda said: “I have spoken to the ARO, BBMP office and he said that today he will check properly for the final list of people. We will see, if nothing is being done then we will need to approach the election commissioner.”

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-minority-community-names-missing-in-electoral-list-in-kavalbyrasandra-1978054

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Cop arrested for raping woman in Ghaziabad (Apr 14, 2014, Times of India)

A 53-year-old sub-inspector of Delhi Police was arrested on Saturday night for raping a woman for over four years on the pretext of implicating her in a wrong case. Based on the woman’s complaint, UP Police arrested Preetam Singh posted at Lajpat Nagar police station in Delhi.

Police said the 45-year-old woman victim alleged in her complaint that in 2008 she was an accused in a case in Sangam Vihar. “The accused cop was the investigating officer and used to threaten her to implicate her if she didn’t have a physical relationship with him. She alleged that Singh raped her for several years,” said a senior police officer.

The accused, who is married, is a resident of Chanderlok. Police said the accused used to take her to a flat in Babudham of Kavinagar area of Ghaziabad and rape her. Police said the victim has been sent for medical examination and her statement recorded. “We have lodged an FIR and further investigation is on,” the official added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/33713806.cms

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Hindu converted to Islam doesn’t lose backward class status: Madras HC (Apr 10, 2014, Times of India)

The Madras high court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to instruct its officials to issue backward class (BC) community certificates to people who embrace Islam, categorically saying that a BC member would get all the benefits meant for BCs even after conversion to Islam. “I have no hesitation to come to the conclusion that a person belonging to Hindu backward class community, on conversion to Islam, would get the benefit of backward class status if the person is covered under List III of the government order no. 85,” said Justice D Hariparanthaman on Wednesday. The list contains seven sects of ‘backward class’ Muslims. They are: Ansar, Dekkani Muslims, Dudekula, Labbais (including Rawthar and Marakayar speaking Tamil or Urdu), Mapilla, Sheik and Syed, the judge pointed out.

In his 88-page order tracing the origin of caste-resistance movements by various communities and the prevalence of two-tumbler system in several parts of the state, Justice Hariparanthaman trashed two government communications sent in February 2010 and August 2012 asking collectors not to issue BC certificates to converted Muslims. Describing it as persecution of Muslim brothers and akin to ‘untouchability’ practised on dalits, the judge said, “Denial of BC community certificate to converted Muslims amounts to deprivation of fundamental rights.”

The judge was passing orders on a petition filed by M U Aariffaa, who was a Nadar (a BC community) before her conversion to Islam in 2006. Though she cleared the TNPSC examination for village administrative officer (VAO) in 2012, she was not selected as she was treated as ‘others’. Later in the same year, she was not appointed station officer in fire service department citing the same reason. On both occasions she moved the high court and obtained an order directing the respective departments to keep one post vacant.

Justice Hariparanthaman said: “Counsel for the TNPSC does not dispute the genuineness of the conversion of Aariffaa to Labbai Muslim. According to her, ‘converted’ Labbai Muslim is not on List III which covered only ‘born Labbai Muslim’. This is, in fact, doing violence to the List. The only thing that has to be seen is whether the candidate has genuinely converted to any one of the sects in List III. If it is so, there ends the matter.” While accepting amicus curiae M Ajmalkhan’s stance that there is no such a thing as ‘converted’ Muslim, Justice Hariparanthaman disagreed with his claim that unlike in the case of Christianity, a convert’s original caste status is erased on embracing Islam.

The judge also flayed the Tamil Nadu Backward Class Commission for its stand that no convert to Islam is entitled to get BC community certificate and that all such existing certificates are bogus. “The view expressed by the commission has no basis and it has to be rejected, as it would result in the denial of community certificates to all converts to Islam,” Justice Hariparanthaman said. Directing the government to appoint Aariffaa to either of the posts she had qualified immediately, the judge said she should be placed at the appropriate place in the seniority list meant for BC Muslims.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/33528384.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

The woman calling for Narendra Modi to take responsibility for mass murder – By Dean Nelson (Apr 13, 2014, The Telegraph)

Minutes before he was hacked to death by a Hindu mob, veteran Muslim politician Ehsan Jafri reached for his phone and dialled one last number. For the dozens of neighbours also cowering in his home, it seemed like their only chance. At the other end of line, Mr Jafri told them, was Narendra Modi, the powerful Hindu politician who is widely expected to become India’s new prime minister next month.

Back in 2002, though, he was the chief minister of Mr Jafri’s home state of Gujarat, and arguably the only man who could save them from the crowds outside. By the time Mr Jafri finished the phone conversation, however, he knew they were doomed. Far from offering help, Mr Modi had taunted him and even expressed surprise that he was still alive, Mr Jafri told those around him in his final moments. “No help will come,” Mr Jafri added.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Jafri’s wife, Zakia, watched in horror from a balcony as rioters marched her husband naked from their home and chopped off his fingers, hands, arms and head. 12 years after the riots which left more than 700 Muslims dead, Mr Modi is cruising to become the leader of the world’s largest democracy, which will declare results from its mammoth nine-phase general election on May 18. Mrs Jafri, however, wants him prosecuted for abetting mass murder, over what was one of India’s worst-ever outbreaks of communal violence.

Now 75 and crippled with diabetes, she seems a feeble opponent to Mr Modi, 63, who is already being courted by other world leaders. He might, however, be unwise to underestimate her. On Friday she won another round in her fight to reopen a judicial inquiry that exonerated him of any responsibility for the riots. Last week, she and her former neighbours held a campaign meeting in the charred ruins of their abandoned homes in the Gulbarg Housing Society in the Gujarati city of Ahmedabad. It was here, on February 28, 2002, that the mob attacked, following rumours that Muslims had been responsible for the deaths of 58 Hindu pilgrims in a train fire at Godra the previous day.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mrs Jafri told how she saw the mob trying to force her husband to sing Hindu prayers. When he resisted “they beat him with swords,” she said. “They chopped his hands and arms bit by bit.” Her claim that Mr Modi should be held to account for the massacres is based on conversations with Indian police officers, who told her they had been ordered to stay at home during the rioting. Admittedly, some fellow Muslims question the point of pursuing the case now. They point out that Mr Modi had only been in his post as minister of Gujarat for a few days when the riots broke out, and had yet to master the levers of government. …

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/10762765/India-election-2014-The-woman-calling-for-Narendra-Modi-to-take-responsibility-for-mass-murder.html

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Regarding fascism – By Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Apr 11, 2014, Indian Express)

The rise of Narendra Modi has brought the “F” word into promiscuous use. The spectre of fascism is said to be haunting India. It is easy to dismiss this concern over fascism as the hyperbole of a crumbling elite that has often used moral outrage as a substitute for addressing genuine political challenges. It might be tempting to engage in an argument over the historical specificity of fascism. Can the the combination of military power, total mobilisation and eliminationism that marked fascism really be reproduced in India?

But take the core concern beneath the hyperbole seriously. The communal atmosphere in some parts of the country is fragile. Dozens of riots in UP testify to this. As Suhas Palshikar had argued, the BJP has regionally varied strategies. In UP, in particular, it involves fishing in troubled communal waters. Whatever Narendra Modi’s intentions or change of heart might be is besides the point. India still has a communal challenge and ultimately the quality of its democracy will be judged by how it deals with it. You don’t have to subscribe to analytically otiose invocations of fascism to wonder what this election means for India’s prospects as a country where no one is targeted for being who they are. All sides speak about minorities, but few speak to them.

Whatever Amit Shah’s organisational genius might be, his track record should make you nervous about the kind of intimidation he could create. If we end up voting for them, the morning after we will need to think of the kinds of structures that can mitigate the damage they might do. BJP supporters, who might bristle at being called fascist, would do well to act reassuringly on these concerns. The best way to respond to accusations of fascism is not to dismiss them. It is to make them look silly by your own exemplariness.

But those scare-mongering on fascism also need self-reflection. Many of those dropping the “F” word also betray a will to simplification that tells you more about those making the accusations than it does about politics. The Indian Left is incapable of any dialectical thinking; there is not a trace of reflection on the forces that have brought us to this pass. There should be no complacency over the communal question.

But what is it about the structures of our thinking about communalism that 60 years after Independence, we seem to be revisiting the same questions over and over again? Is there some deeper phenomenon that the BJP-Congress system seems two sides of the same coin to so many, even on this issue? The point is not about the political equivalence of two political parties. People will make up their own minds. But is there something about the way we have conceptualised the problem of majority and minority, trapped in compulsory identities, that makes communalism the inevitable result?…

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/regarding-fascism/

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Inexplicable reticence – Editorial (Apr 15, 2014, The Hindu)

As a candidate in the 2002, 2007 and then the 2012 elections for the Gujarat Assembly, Narendra Modi chose not to make his marital status clear in his nomination papers. Now, having set his sights on becoming the next occupant of 7 Race Course Road, the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee has for the first time acknowledged in his election papers the existence of a wife, Jashodaben Modi, who he appears to have distanced himself from almost half a century ago to become an RSS pracharak. Jashodaben, apparently at Mr. Modi’s urging, continued with her education after they parted. She became a village schoolteacher, but the reality of the social milieu she lived in was such that she had to rely on her brothers to give her a home.

By itself, this belated revelation should have been of little consequence, especially as this had already been reported on in the press. In India, unlike in the West, details of a politician’s personal life normally have little impact on the electorate unless they have criminal implications. But what caused consternation in this case was why Mr. Modi should have suppressed for so long the fact that he was married. Further, in a country where women have a robust public presence, keeping his wife hidden away from the public eye, suggested a regressive view on Mr. Modi’s part of a woman’s place in this country.

Indeed, this delayed disclosure of the crucial personal detail dents Mr. Modi’s credibility as a prime ministerial candidate. With the socially conservative RSS driving the BJP’s campaign, there is the apprehension of a resurgence of a patriarchal mindset reflecting restrictive approaches to the issue of further empowerment of women. The Gujarat model that Mr. Modi is assiduously marketing in his bid to become Prime Minister does not inspire much confidence in his ability to promote gender equality. The 2011 census says there are 918 women for every 1,000 men in the State, below the national average of 940, indicating an unacceptable trend of male-preference, lower rates of school enrolment for girls, and higher levels of malnutrition among children than in the rest of India.

The State’s conviction rate for rape and abduction of women is also among the lowest in the country. Mr. Modi’s political opponents have naturally seized upon this disquieting impression of a regressive impulse, seeking to make political capital out of it. The onus is on him, given his prime ministerial aspirations, to be more transparent about what prompted this somewhat misogynist reticence in disclosing his marital status. This will put to rest fears that we are about to enter an era of renewed social conservatism, should Mr. Modi become Prime Minister.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/inexplicable-reticence/article5911903.ece

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The murky past of Narendra Modi’s right-hand man – By Andrew Buncombe (Apr 13, 2014, The Independent)

Last spring, a year ahead of the election now gripping India, Amit Shah was dispatched by Mr Modi to Uttar Pradesh with instructions to build support for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the nation’s largest and politically most-important state. He set about identifying candidates and meeting local leaders in an effort to deliver Mr Modi the “wave” he will need to become India’s next prime minister. But while Mr Shah has cemented support for Mr Modi, he has also run into problems. Over the weekend, one week into the five-week voting process to elect a new government, the Election Commission (EC) banned Mr Shah from addressing public meetings in the state, and ordered that charges be filed against him after he was accused of stoking communal tensions.

In speeches in western Uttar Pradesh, which last year saw deadly clashes between Hindus and Muslims, Mr Shah told a gathering of Hindus they should vote for the BJP as a means of “revenge for the insult” inflicted last year. The EC also banned a senior figure from the local Socialist Party, Azam Khan, for making similar speeches to Muslims. “The commission has been observing with serious concern that Azam Khan and Amit Shah have been making highly inflammatory speeches,” said the EC. “These statements are promoting feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will, and creating disharmony between…religious communities.” It is not the first time Mr Shah, 50, has been under scrutiny. The man said to be a highly skilled political operative, also has a long and controversial history.

In 2010, he was charged with murder and kidnapping over the alleged extrajudicial killing of three people in Gujarat five years earlier and banned from the state while the inquiry went ahead. Out on bail for more than 18 months, he has denied the charges and claimed they were politically motivated. Mr Modi and Mr Shah first met in the 1980s when they were young members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a conservative Hindu nationalist group linked to the BJP. In the early 1990s, Mr Shah, who comes from a wealthy Gujarat family and who has a degree in biochemistry, took charge of the election campaign of a senior party leader, LK Advani.

He secured Mr Advani’s landslide victory and subsequently rose through the ranks. One crucial task he was given was to oversee the party’s representation over constituency realignment. According to Vidyutkumar Anantray Joshi, an academic who has studied the process, the move created more urban constituencies, something that helped the BJP. Mr Shah, who has been elected four times to the Gujarat provincial assembly, became a minister in Mr Modi’s state government in late 2001, shortly before the massacre of hundreds of Muslims by Hindu mobs. Mr Modi has always denied claims that he took insufficient steps to stop the killings. The murder charges against Mr Shah relate to the killing of an alleged gangster, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife and a witness, at a time when the aide was a junior home minister.

At the time of the killings in 2005, it was claimed Mr Sheikh was a jihadi terrorist dispatched by Pakistan’s intelligence service to assassinate Mr Modi and that he had been killed in a shootout with police. But two years later, the state government’s lawyer, KTS Tulsi, stated to India’s Supreme Court that the killings took place while the three were in police custody. Mr Tulsi resigned his position after Mr Modi was perceived to have bragged about the killings during the 2007 state-election campaign. According to the Reuters news agency, the charge sheet filed by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation stated that in his position as home minister Mr Shah headed an extortion racket with Gujarat police officers and Mr Sheikh. They fell out and police snatched Mr Sheikh from a bus with his wife, then staged a gun-battle. Mr Sheikh was killed and his wife’s cremated body was found in the village of one of the policemen. A witness was killed later. …

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-elections-2014-the-murky-past-of-narendra-modis-righthand-man-9257789.html

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The Rich And The Infamous – By Imran Khan (Apr 19, 2014, Tehelka)

Politics and crime go hand in hand. In India, the trend is on the rise: individuals with criminal background continue to enter politics as the assets of serving politicians soar exponentially by the end of their terms. Even after the recent brouhaha over corruption and criminalisation of politics, a recent analysis of backgrounds and financial details of candidates by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), in partnership with the Karnataka Election Watch (KEW), shows as many as 55 candidates contesting in the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies of Karnataka with criminal cases lodged against them. Not surprisingly, the report says, the average asset of contesting MPs grew by 200 percent between 2009-14.

ADR’s analysis establishes that politics is a lucrative business for aspirants. Across the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka, 434 candidates are trying their luck in the General Election. According to the analysis, of the 55 candidates who have criminal records, six are from the Congress, nine from the BJP, eight from former prime minister HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) and 14 are independents. Of the 55 candidates, 35 face serious criminal cases related to attempt to murder and crimes against women. Pramod Muthalik, who recently joined the BJP only to be denied the party membership the next day, and B Sriramulu, former health minister who quit the BJP to form the BSR Congress before returning to the party’s fold, top the list of candidates who have declared cases related to attempt to murder.

Topping the list is the BS Yeddyurappa of the BJP, who not only toiled and built the party for 40 years but also helped it come to power in 2008, becoming its first chief minister in south India. His term is most remembered for corruption scandals. He had to step down after being indicted in the multi-crore mining scam. According to the affidavits filed with the Election Commission, there are nine cases pending against Yeddyurappa, who is contesting from Shimoga district. Most cases against him are related to land scams that happened during his tenure as chief minister, including denotification of land in favour of his kith and kin. Subsequently, he has been charged for criminal breach of trust by a public servant (IPC Section 406), forgery for purpose of cheating (IPC Section 468) and IPC Section 420 (dishonestly inducing delivery of property). There are also eight charges related to criminal conspiracy (IPC Section 120B), six under IPC Section 471 (using forged documents) and five related to forgery under IPC Section 463. While the charges have been framed in most cases, he is yet to be convicted.

Second on the list is Muthalik, chief of the extreme right-wing outfit Sri Ram Sene. His outfit gained notoriety in 2009 when his activists in Mangalore attacked women in pubs. Muthalik, who is contesting as an independent candidate from Bangalore South against Nandan Nilekani of the Congress and Ananth Kumar of the BJP, has eight pending cases against him. He has been booked under 34 Sections of the IPC. Most cases are related to his political activism that helped him gain notoriety over the years: from causing enmity between different religious groups to moral policing to causing disturbance to communal harmony to criminal intimidation and even attempt to murder. Even though some of the cases go as far back as 2004, he hasn’t been convicted in any of them.

Former BJP minister and mining baron Sriramulu faces eight cases. Most of them are from 2008-13, when he was jailed in the Karnataka iron ore mining scandal. They include cases of rioting armed with a deadly weapon (IPC Section 148), criminal conspiracy (IPC Section 120B), criminal trespass, hurt by dangerous weapons, criminal intimidation and attempt to murder. While the BJP is clearly ahead on the list, the Congress and the JD(S) are not far behind. The tainted Congress candidates include former CM N Dharam Singh and youth leader Rizwan Arshad. Dharam Singh, who was chief minister in 2004, has one case registered against him with charges of forgery, cheating and destruction of evidence. On the other hand, Arshad, who was handpicked by Rahul Gandhi for the Bangalore Central constituency, has two cases registered against him related to criminal intimidation and rioting. …

http://www.tehelka.com/the-rich-and-the-infamous/

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India’s pro-rapist lobby – Editorial (Apr 12, 2014, The Hindu)

“Boys will make mistakes,” Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said of rape, on Thursday. His remarks making light of such a heinous crime illustrate just why the feminist battle in India has barely begun. Mr. Yadav believes new rape laws, introduced after the 2012 rape-and-murder of a Delhi woman, are being misused by women to punish their boyfriends. “When their friendship ends,” Mr. Yadav asserted, “the girl complains she has been raped.” Mr. Yadav’s lieutenant, Abu Asim Azmi, meanwhile invoked shari’a law to call for the death penalty – but, for the victim. “Even the woman is guilty,” he told a Mumbai newspaper. Mr. Azmi believes that if “any woman, whether married or unmarried, goes along with a man, with or without her consent, she should be hanged.”

The sad truth, though, is that these kinds of attitudes aren’t exclusive to the Samajwadi Party. From the Rajasthan legislator who thinks rape happens because schoolgirls wear skirts to the Puducherry Minister who wants them covered up in overcoats; from Shiv Sena leaders who blame migrants to Delhi community leaders who scapegoat Africans; from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat who thinks “western values” provoke rape to the Haryana khap panchayat leader who says it happens because of hormonal excesses he attributed to chowmein – there is no shortage of Indians willing to blame rape on anything and everyone other than the rapist.

Mr. Yadav’s words, we can be reasonably certain, were no mistake. In the midst of a bruising election campaign, he spoke as he did because he knew there is political gain to be had from this stand. The hideous truth is that in India, as in many other countries, there is something that can only be described as a pro-rapist lobby that extends beyond political pulpits into streets and homes. The renewed feminist activism of the last year has left patriarchy scrambling for new bogeys and new ways to protect itself. Ill-informed scaremongering about the “draconian” provisions of the new amendment to sexual assault laws has been a handy tool. For India’s women, rape is part of a continuum of violence that begins in the womb.

Also, contrary to the myth that rural “Bharat” is safer than westernised India, of the 24,923 cases registered in 2012 by police, 3,035 took place in major cities. The data also tell us the typical rapist isn’t a feral juvenile, crazed by raging hormones or bad upbringing. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the perpetrator was known to the victim. Mr. Yadav’s words have rightly caused outrage. They should also lead to some hard introspection into how many of us believe an only slightly more benign version of those very words to be true.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/indias-prorapist-lobby/article5901936.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 7th, 2014

by newsdigest on April 8, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Police discover bomb making factory in Kolhapur, four Hindutva terrorists held (Apr 8, 2014, Coastal Digest)

Kolhapur police in Maharashtra have discovered a bomb making factory in the Lakshmi Hill near the MIDC area of the Kagal town. Kolhapur police also arrested four suspected Hindutva terrorists, who are in their 20s. They have been identified as Ajinkya Manohar Bhopade(22) and Aniket Bhivaji Mali(22) from Chokak village in Hatkananagale, Nilesh Babanrao Patil (20) from Male Mudshingi, in Hatkanangale and Anil Popat Kharase (26) from Kabnur-Ichalkaranji in Hatkanangale. All four were remanded to police custody till April 14 by a Kagal court on Sunday evening.

Refuting any political or extremist hand behind the bombs the four made, Kolhapur district superintendent of police Manojkumar Sharma said that the youths were “trying to make easy money”. The police confiscated four live bombs and equipment worth Rs 25,69,575. The bombs confiscated were ones that could be detonated with a remote control, Sharma said. The police are also investigating whether the bomb-making attempt had any connections with BJP candidate Narendra Modi’s proposed rally in Sangli on April 9. “On primary investigation, nothing suspicious has been found about the youths and their connections. The police got the tip of about the bomb-making some days back. Undercover policemen made an offer of Rs 8 lakh to the bomb-makers, who agreed to sell the bombs,” Sharma said.

A police team led by inspector Chandrakant Shinde of Kagal police station was first tipped off with information on the quartet making bombs and trying to sell them. Local informants told the police that two youths were keen to sell an explosive and that they had already bought material required for making a bomb. “After confirming the tip, we decided to lay a trap for the gang. The bomb makers were called for a meeting on the Kolhapur-Banglore national highway-4, just outside Kagal town. We detained all four involved and confiscated material,” Shinde said.

The confiscated material include gelatin sticks, remotely handled switches, remote control devices, five screw drivers, steel clips, wire-cutters, hacksaws, scissors, hammers, buzzers, door bells, six battery cells, power control equipment, energy circuit wiring, switch cord and paper pieces with diagram notes, among others. The police did not reveal who sourced the gelatin sticks and from where. The bombs were diffused at an open space in Shahunagar area of Kagal tehsil.

“Patil and Kharase have been arrested for supplying material for bomb-making, while Bhopade and Mali have been arrested for making the bombs. Bhopade has a diploma in electronics; Mali works as a wireman. Their idea was to make bombs using their knowhow and parts available at any hardware shop. They actually made sophisticated devices, using the machinery of the electronic locking system of a luxury car for detonation,” Sharma said. “I have personally informed the Intelligence Bureau and Anti-Terrorism Squad about the development, bomb making style and use of gelatin sticks. The police have also arrested those who sold the sticks to these boys. Gelatin sticks are widely used in Kolhapur district for digging wells and in the mining sector. But these cannot be sold loosely,” Sharma said.

http://www.coastaldigest.com/index.php/ls-polls-2014/63526-mumbai-police-discovers-bomb-making-factory-in-kolhapur-four-bomb-makers-held

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HC denies bail to Sadhvi Pragya in Malegaon blast case (Apr 4, 2014, The Hindu)

The Bombay High Court on Friday rejected the bail plea of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, one of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. While passing the order, the division bench of Justice PV Hardas and AS Gadkari said: “We are of the considered opinion that a strong prima facie case exists against the accused on the basis of the material available on record and is sufficient to deny the bail.” Sadhvi Pragya Thakur had appealed in the High Court against an order passed by the MCOCA court in 2012 denying her bail. The bail was sought on several grounds including failing health and the need for medical assistance. The court observed that she was getting medical treatment from government hospitals.

“Taking into consideration, the material available on record, it cannot be said that the appellant is not guilty of the offence for which she is charged. The material clearly indicates that the appellant is a conspirator and had actively helped the co-accused by providing a motorcycle for explosion of a bomb at Malegaon,” Justice P V Hardas said. “We are of the considered opinion that a strong prima facie case against the appellant exists, on the basis of material available on record and the same is sufficient to deny bail to her,” the bench said.

The judges said they did not find the impugned order passed by the Special MCOCA Court judge on September 25, 2012, to suffer from any legal infirmity. Senior Counsel U A Lalit argued that the appellant suffers from serious ailments and produced before the court a medical report dated February 4, 2014, issued by the Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, Bhopal. National Investigating Agency Counsel Rohini Salian submitted that government hospitals were well equipped to provide all sorts of medical help to the appellant and that even at this juncture, the Sadhvi is being provided with the best medical facilities available in government hospitals.

“Therefore we see no reason to accede to the request of the learned senior counsel, that on the ground of ill health or for want of medical treatment, the appellant needs to be released on bail,” the judges said. “In our opinion, the appellant’s role in the crime is of a serious nature and the punishment as contemplated under Section 3(1)(i) of the MCOCA is of death or life imprisonment. Therefore the contention of her counsel that she has already undergone a substantive part of the sentence is not correct”, the bench said.

The Sadhvi is accused of hatching the conspiracy with others, which led to the September 29, 2008, blast at Malegaon in Nashik district in which six people died, after which she was arrested on October 23, 2008. The 38-year-old Sadhvi has been charged with various provisions under the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the MCOCA. At present, she is lodged in a Bhopal jail. The prosecution has alleged that she is one of the principal conspirators who had taken an active part in the bomb blast by providing her motorcycle to the other accused, to plant explosives. …

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hc-denies-bail-to-sadhvi-pragya-in-malegaon-blast-case/article5871947.ece

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Babri demolition planned; Advani, P V Narasimha Rao knew of plot: Cobrapost sting (Apr 4, 2014, Times of India)

An elaborate sting operation, conducted on 23 key people of the Ram Janambhoomi movement, claims that the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, was elaborately planned by the various wings of the Sangh parivar and executed with precision by trained volunteers. It wasn’t, as it is claimed, a case of mob frenzy going out of control, leading to the fall of the disputed 16th century structure.

The investigation, carried out by Cobrapost, claims that by piecing together the versions given by the top Ram Janambhhomi players, among them Sakshi Maharaj, Acharya Dharmendra, Uma Bharti, Mahant Vedanti and Vinay Katiyar, it is apparent that top BJP leaders like L K Advani and the then UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, as well the former Congress PM, P V Narasimha Rao, were aware of the planned demolition of Babri Masjid. TOI has no independent confirmation of these claims, or whether the purported confessions are accurate or not.

Posing as a would-be-author researching his book on the Ayodhya movement, Cobrapost associate editor K Ashish travelled to Ayodhya, Faizabad, Tanda, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Mathura, Moradabad in UP, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai and Gwalior interviewing 23 of those who participated in the operation. He clandestinely recorded conversations with them. If what they claim is true, the Ram Janambhoomi leaders and activists toiled secretly for months on a plan codenamed ‘Operation Janmabhoomi’ and executed it with military precision. Volunteers were trained, logistics painstakingly put in place and the assault on the disputed shrine launched using large surging crowds with volunteers skilled in demolishing structures embedded in it.

Not only do those interviewed spell out details of the planning, they also allegedly reveal how enthusiastic young participants were deliberately used as cannon fodder by provoking a police firing on kar sevaks in 1990 because of the belief of some leaders that the movement would not gather steam unless ‘some Hindus die’. Many of those interviewed by the make-believe author are accused in CBI cases pertaining to the demolition. Yet, they seemed to have no qualms in “confessing” (or boasting) about their role in the episode that left a deep communal schism in India.

Some of those interviewed were, B L Sharma Prem, Dharmendra Singh Gurjar, Jai Bhagwan Goel, Pawan Pandey, Santosh Dubey, Ramji Gupta, Ramesh Pratap Singh, Sadhavi Ritambhara, Kalyan Singh, Prakash Sharma, Champat Rai Bansal, Satish Pradhan, Mahant Avaidyanath, Moreshwar Save, Lallu Singh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Swami Nritya Gopal Das. Their versions make it appear that the plot to demolish the mosque was hatched amid utmost secrecy. Those recruited for training weren’t told their mission till a month ahead of Babri’s fall. At Sarkhej, Gujarat, Bajrang Dal conducted a month-long training in June 1992 for 38 of its cadre from different regions. The trainers were retired high-ranking military officers, while Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Acharya Dharmendra, Praveen Togadia, Jaibhan Paweya and Ashok Singhal held indoctrination sessions.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/33202922.cms

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An EVM that ‘votes’ only for BJP stuns poll staff in Assam (Apr 3, 2014, Times of India)

An electronic voting machine raised many eyebrows across the state during a mandatory mock poll in Jorhat on Tuesday. Every time a button was pressed, the vote went in favour of BJP. The Jorhat parliamentary constituency returning officer and deputy commissioner Vishal Vasant Solanki told TOI that all EVMs in his custody are being put through a second level of test by engineers of the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), one of the two companies from Hyderabad, which manufactures EVMs.

This Jorhat Lok Sabha seat has Congress stalwart and former Union minister Bijoy Krishna Handique locking horns with BJP youth and tea tribal leader Kamakhya Tasa. This will be Handique’s record seventh successive attempt for the Lok Sabha election. Jorhat goes to the polls on April 7. State chief electoral officer Vijyandra on Wednesday said, “An EVM in Jorhat was found malfunctioning yesterday. It is a defective machine and it was noticed when EVMs were readied in front of representatives of all political parties. We will not send the faulty unit to any polling station.”

An EVM consists of two units, a control unit and a balloting unit. Both unites are connected with cable. The balloting unit is a small box-like device, on top of which each candidate and his or her election symbol appears. The voter selects his candidate by pressing the blue button. The returning officer said, “These EVMs were here for long. Usually, EVMs are kept in the custody of the deputy commissioner and during elections they are taken to strong rooms.”

Congress lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India on Wednesday and demanded thorough inspection of all EVMs in just not Jorhat, but the entire state. Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Ranjan Bora, who lodged the complaint with EC, said, “The mock poll was done at random and the EVM for Teok assembly constituency took everyone by surprise. When the hand symbol button was pressed for Congress, the vote was found to be recorded in favour of BJP.”

He said the incident has fuelled suspicion in their minds that EVMs may have been tampered with to favour a particular political party. Interestingly, after Congress got an overwhelming mandate in the 2011 assembly polls, Asom Gana Parishad had lodged a complaint against Congress accusing it of tinkering with EVMs. The Congress leadership had rejected this charge and pointed out that EVM results could not be manipulated. “EVM tampering could be possible in the Jorhat case,” a senior Congress leader said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/33153152.cms

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2 FIRs against Shah for ‘revenge’ speech, Modi close aide booked in Bijnore, Muzaffarnagar districts (Apr 6, 2014, The Tribune)

Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah is in trouble for his “revenge” speech with two FIRs being lodged against him today and the outburst coming under the scrutiny of the Election Commission. The BJP has condemned the filing of FIRs in Bijnore and Muzaffarnagar districts, saying these were “not bonafide” and that it was a “calculated design” to communalise and polarise the election scenario in Uttar Pradesh. “A case has been lodged under various sections of the IPC and the RPA by the District Magistrate regarding some objectionable part in Shah’s speech,” said Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha in Lucknow.

Shah was booked under Section 153 of the IPC (inciting people) and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act (promoting enmity between different classes), he said. The second FIR was lodged against Shah at Shamli in Muzaffarnagar district for the same offence. He had been booked under Section 125 of the RPA, District Magistrate NP Singh said.

The case was registered at the Adarsh Mandi police station after officials went through the video of his speech made at Shamli. After the examination of the video, Shah’s statement was found to be objectionable and in violation of the model code of conduct, Singh said. The FIRs followed a complaint by the Congress yesterday accusing the BJP’s UP in charge of “creating animosity between communities”.

The poll authorities in UP sent the CD of the remarks made by Shah in Muzaffarnagar, which witnessed communal violence last year, along with the report of District Election Officer to the Election Commission in Lucknow. Sources said the Chief Electoral Officer of UP took cognisance of the Shah’s statement yesterday and sought the CD along with a detailed report from the district authorities.

Shah is not a candidate for the Lok Sabha elections. They said the statement had been sent to the Election Commission in Delhi. The EC was likely to take a call at its meeting tomorrow.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140407/main1.htm

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Delhi University official tarred over Modi remark (Apr 8, 2014, Times of India)

A group of students led by DUSU’s joint secretary, Raju Rawat, smeared black shoe polish and also allegedly attacked the South Campus director, Umesh Rai, on North Campus on Monday afternoon. While DU administration said the attack was planned, the Delhi University Students’ Union executive said the incident took place after Rai “insulted” BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.

According to Rawat, students went to meet Rai to discuss some issues but he refused to see them. “We went to meet the director at the department of zoology on Monday. When we asked him about rolling back the four-year undergraduate programme, he refused and said it was impossible as the programme is already underway,” Rawat said.

When Rawat told Rai that the Modi government would come to power in a few months and definitely take a stand on FYUP, Rawat allegedly retorted, ” abb kya ek chai bechne wala DU ka syllabus banayega” (will a tea seller now prepare DU’s syllabus?). Rawat said students became agitated after hearing this remark and smeared shoe police on Rai’s face. The incident comes just four days after BJP said it would scrap FYUP if it comes to power.

After repeated attempts to contact Rai, his phone was answered by Delhi University registrar Alka Sharma. When asked about the incident, Sharma said, “Seven or eight people entered the premises with a a common intention. This is not the first time he (Rai) has been attacked. The incident has been repeated as police failed to invoke the right law”. On being asked whether Rai made the remark against the Gujarat chief minister, she added, “What role does Modi have to play in the incident? Why is Raju Rawat absconding? Let him surrender”.

Rawat has denied assaulting the South Campus director and said he only smeared shoe polish on him. There was increased police presence in the area following the incident and Delhi Police officials said an FIR has been registered against Raju Rawat under sections of obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties. “We have registered an FIR and are probing the incident,” said Sindhu Pillai, DCP (north).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/33418648.cms

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The Economist criticises Modi, says he’s a man who thrives on division (Apr 4, 2014, IBN)

There is strong criticism coming in for Bharatiya Janata Party Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. English weekly The Economist has refused to back Modi for the PM’s post and called him a man associated with ‘sectarian hatred’.The weekly has accused Modi of giving anti-Muslim speeches early in his career and called him a man who has thrived on division. The paper also hit out at Modi for not apologising for the 2002 riots.

The article has even questioned the clean chit given to Modi by the Supreme Court saying that the reason as to why the inquiries were inconclusive was because a lot of the evidence was lost or willfully destroyed. The article did praise Modi’s economic track record in Gujarat and made a favourable comparison when it comes to corruption in the Congress coalition.

The article has been equally scathing about Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said that while it does not find the prospect of a government led by Congress under Rahul an inspiring one, it still recommends it as the less disturbing option.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/the-economist-criticises-modi-says-hes-a-man-who-thrives-on-division/462423-37-64.html

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Cong moves EC accusing Modi of provoking communal sentiments (Apr 4, 2014, Hindustan Times)

Accusing Narendra Modi of provoking communal sentiments by referring to Lord Krishna and cows during a rally in Bihar, Congress on Friday complained to the Election Commission, saying he had violated the Model Code of Conduct and an FIR be registered against him.

“The cow is sacred and pious animal and has a special place in Hindu mythology. The statement made by Modi referring to cow, Lord Krishna, the grant of subsidy and slaughter houses and the tone and tenor of his public address is clearly with a purpose to arouse communal feeling for seeking votes.

“The objective is to provoke religious sentiment of the people for election purposes, during operation of the model code, which is also likely to aggravate the existing differences between two communities,” Congress legal department secretary KC Mittal said in his complaint to the Commission. He said Modi had made these remarks in an election rally on April 2 in Nawada in Bihar.

In the complaint, the Congress leader said the statement made during operation of the model code is “not only, objectionable and deplorable but also prohibited by the Model Code of Conduct. A bare perusal of the video will speak volumes for itself.

“It is, therefore, requested that immediate action may be taken against Modi, chief minister, Gujarat and BJP for violating Model Code of Conduct,” the complaint said, adding registration of an FIR and derecognition of BJP be ordered.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/1204348.aspx

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US Congressional hearing highlights plight of minorities in India (Apr 7, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), a broad alliance dedicated to justice and accountability for the Gujarat pogroms of 2002, today welcomed the congressional hearing on the subject of minorities and religious freedom in India. The hearing was organized by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on April 4, 2014. The congressional panel was presided by Rep. Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania, an ardent champion of human rights and religious freedom. Rep. Keith Ellison – co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Rep. Trent Franks – co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Congressional Caucus, were also part of the panel for the hearing. The commission sought to examine the implications of the politicization of religious identities and increase in violence against religious minorities in India in the context of US-India relationship.

Several witnesses were invited to appear and present their observations and information on the subject matter. Among those that testified include Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett – Vice Chair of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Dr. John Dayal – Secretary General of the All-India Christian Council and a prominent member of India’s National Integration Council, Robin Phillips – Executive Director with The Advocates for Human Rights and John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch. Alex Koshy, a spokesperson for the coalition, welcomed the hearing and its potential for positive impact in the lives of religious minorities in India. “In light of H. Res. 417, the request to incorporate human rights into the strategic dialogue framework provides a way to address the increasing difficulties bilaterally,” he said. “Often, issues of religious freedom are given a short shrift in the bilateral talks or eliminated altogether. Including it will allow for healthy dialogue instead of criticisms on the issue.”, he added.

In a written deposition, Dr. Dayal highlighted the plight of religious minorities, especially Christians and Muslims, due to the growing intolerance and polarization, repeated instances of mass violence and impunity for the perpetrators, a sluggish and compromised judiciary, and enactment of draconian laws whose implementation is repressive towards religious minorities. In his oral testimony, Dr. Dayal observed that multiple states have enacted laws that curtail religious freedom, while the votaries of the supremacist Hindutva ideology have openly called for the enactment of a national law with similar scope. He urged the United States and the international community to play a role in safeguarding India’s pluralism, and called on the US government to incorporate human rights and religious freedom in the US-India Strategic Dialogue framework.

Robin Phillips’s written submission brought out the entire gamut of issues faced by religious minorities, including the impunity and even support enjoyed by those accused of fomenting violence and enmity. She cited the analysis of Pew Research Center in which India was among the worst performers in terms of government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion. Her testimony also underscored the apathy, indifference and lack of will of the local governments and judiciary in providing timely relief and remedy to the victims. John Sifton cited instances underscoring the ineffective remedial conditions for victims of communal riots and targeted attacks.

Dr. Shaik Ubaid, one of the co-founders of the coalition remarked, “Despite being a functioning democracy since its independence more than 60 years ago, Indian law enforcement and judiciary are lacking in both the will and capacity to tackle the menace of human rights violations by Hindutva organizations. We thank Congressmen Pitts, Ellison, Wolf, Franks and McGovern for spearheading this hearing and highlighting the increasing number of problems faced by religious minorities in India in their free exercise of constitutional rights.” He also criticised Hindu American Foundation (HAF) saying, “They pretend to be an interfaith and human rights organization but came out opposing the hearing on religious freedom and justifying anti-conversion laws. Such duplicity is the hallmark of the Hindutva ideology.” …

http://twocircles.net/2014apr07/us_congressional_hearing_highlights_plight_minorities_india.html

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Mangalore: Congress woman councillor alleges molestation by Hindutva group (Apr 3, 2014, IBN)

A Congress councillor in Mangalore has alleged that she was molested by a group of men from the right-wing group Hindu Jagarana Vedike while she was campaigning for her party on Sunday. The councillor claims that the incident happened while she was holding a door-to-door campaign in Kodigere area.

According to her, she was stopped by a group of men in a car who abused her verbally. The councillor alleged that the men part of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike, warned her to stop campaigning. She also alleged that she was later surrounded by the men and a 17-year-old boy assaulted her in full public view.

The leaders of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike have, however, denied the charges calling the allegations baseless. They said members of their organisation were not involved in the incident but it was the local residents who questioned the councillor. The right- wing group has called it an election propoganda. Mangalore police said a case has been registered in this matter. …

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/mangalore-congress-woman-councillor-alleges-molestation-by-hindutva-group/462251-62-129.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Operation Janmabhoomi: An Investigation into the Conspiracy behind the Demolition of the Babri Masjid – Cobrapost Expose (Apr 4, 2014, Cobrapost)

In a long undercover investigation, Cobrapost has unearthed the conspiracy behind the fall of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, exposing the actors who pulled the strings from behind the scene, weaving about a complex cobweb of intrigue and deceit that even the CBI could not unravel after years of investigation. Working at different levels, these actors kept the whole plan a highly guarded secret with its details never coming out. The plan was given a codename, ‘Operation Janmabhoomi’, which Cobrapost found apt to use for its undercover operation, as well, and was executed with precision of a military operation, from conducting training to putting all logistics in place and finally launching the assault, using multitudes of crowds as cover.

Posing as an author-to-be researching for his book on the Ayodhya movement, Cobrapost Associate Editor K. Ashish interviewed 23 of these actors, namely, B.L. Sharma Prem, Dharmendra Singh Gurjar, Jai Bhagwan Goyal, Pawan Pandey, Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, Santosh Dubey, Swami Sachidanand Sakshi Maharaj, Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, Ramji Gupta, Ramesh Pratap Singh, Sadhavi Ritambhara, Sadhavi Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Kalyan Singh, Prakash Sharma, Champat Rai Bansal, Satish Pradhan, Mahant Avaidyanath, Acharya Dharmendra, Moreshwar Save, Lallu Singh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Swami Nritya Gopal Das. Of these, while the Liberhan Commission has indicted 15, the CBI has named 19 accused in its chargesheet, strangely enough leaving out B. L. Sharma, Mahant Avaidyanath, Nritya Gopal Das and Ram Vilas Vedanti. In all, 40 are facing trial in a CBI court, of which 32 have been made accused in FIR No. 92/197 as executors, while the remaining eight have been made accused in FIR No. 92/198 as conspirators.

The investigation took Associate Editor Ashish to Ayodhya, Faizabad, Tanda, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Mathura and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh; Jaipur in Rajasthan, Aurangabad and Mumbai in Maharashtra and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. Role of the Bajrang Dal: As the Cobrapost investigation reveals, the conspiracy to demolish the Babri Masjid was hatched at the top level and those who were recruited for training did not know it till the countdown for mosque’s fall began a month before in November. In June 1992, Bajrang Dal, for instance, conducted a month-long military style training for 38 of its cadre chosen from various regions in Sarkhej, Gujarat. The training was given by retired high-ranking military officers. Ideological teachings were imparted to the cadres by the likes of Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Acharya Dharmendra, Dr. Praveen Togadia, Jaibhan Pawaiya and Ashok Singhal.

The drills conducted at the Neela Teela in Ayodhya by Bajrang Dal cadres took the training they had received in Gujarat a step further. But how and when such skills – like climbing taller structures with the help of grappling hooks and ropes – would be put to use was not revealed till the day when the top VHP office bearers asked them to form Laxman Sena with the specific purpose of dismantling the disputed structure in a top secret meeting that was held in the basement of Ram Katha Manch. According to Ramesh Pratap Singh: “Uss baithak mein hum paanch jo humari prashikshit logon mein se paanch the paanch ke baad chatha Ramji Gupta aur Durg Singh Chauhan. Humare adhikari ne humse milne ke baad unka samark wahi unka adesh tha baithak lenge Durg Singh Chauhan aur karravai jo bhi aapko karna ho aap kya karoge rachna kya karoge theek hai wo parde se huth gaye (There were five persons from among those who had received training in this meeting. The sixth person was Ramji Gupta and then there was Durg Singh Chauhan. After meeting with us this office bearer told us Durg Singh Chauhan would be our contact point and he would coordinate all the meetings. Decide whatever you want, how you will form it. After that this office bearer disappeared from the scene).” This VHP office bearer was none other than Champat Rai Bansal.

Bajrang Dal’s War Cry ‘Jai Sheshavatar’: Apart from Ramesh Pratap Singh, this secret meeting was attended by Dharmendra Singh Gurjar from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, Hariya Lal Parikh from Rajasthan, Arun Khanna from Punjab, K. Nagarajan from Tamil Nadu and Arun Kumar Tiger from Jharkhand. Ramji Gupta was put in charge of this band of 1,200 RSS workers secreted from various regions. Gupta supplied them with all the logistics such as chisels, heavy-duty hammers, pickaxes, spades, grappling hooks and sturdy ropes in good numbers. The army was divided into smaller groups of 10 each with a leader and each group had its job cut out. All these groups had the instructions to merge with the crowds when they would surge toward the Babri Masjid for karseva and finish the tasks assigned to them. They would not listen to any leader, however senior and respected he might be, till the task was accomplished. ‘Jai Sheshavatar’ was the signal for the groups to begin work on their brief, which according to Ramji Gupta, had to be raised thrice. …

http://www.cobrapost.com/index.php/news-detail?nid=5785&cid=70

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A silent coup against Indian constitution – By By Vidya Bhushan Rawat (Apr 7, 2014, Countercurrents)

India is passing through one of the most crucial phases of its political life. As the exercise of the ‘democracy’ begins the future of the country would also be locked and will be opened on May 16th only. It is important to understand the dangers of what has happened so far. The results will be out in a month but it is for the first time in our history that ‘someone’ has already ‘declared’ himself as the prime minister of the country. Things are not simple. Today, the ‘man’ is already declared as the ‘most powerful’ person of the country and every other questioning him has been made as person against ‘development’ and pseudo secular.

It is not easy for a person who is main accused for instigating violence against Muslims in Gujarat and kept conspicuously silent when people were crying for help such as fellow politician Ehsaan Jafari who was burnt to death by the barbaric anarchists mob which was allowed to do things at their whims by the state administration and who was admonished by his own prime minister, to be ‘anointed’ as a ‘national icon’. Witness the systematic campaign, rumors, fudging of data and then controlling the entire communication through a fictitious army of ‘devotees’ on social media and enforce ‘curfew’ in the news rooms which is worse than what Doordarshan and Aakashwani did in 1975. Today the role being played by embedded media is perhaps much disturbing and scornful to opponents and dissenting view point. If one has to see the replica of dirty tricks that Sanjay Gandhi played during emergency, these elections and the campaign management by the likes of Amit Shah are the best example.

We know media is Modified and at the moment not ready to listen to anything which can suggest that India had lot of achievements during the past 60 years. It seems that India got freedom by the freedom fighters owning their allegiance to Hindutva and after that everything that the Gandhi family did was simply to destroy India. In critiquing Sonia, Rahul and Indira, they have also made mockery of Nehru without any respect to either history or his contribution which political opponents are supposed to do even if they disagree. That started last year on October 31st in Ahemdabad when chief minister of state make political speech to denigrate the first prime minister of India just to score a political point about Sardar Patel. …

When India was moving ahead and polity was becoming more decentralized, the threat has emerged in the form of a ‘cult’ revolving around a person. The important part of parliamentary system is that it provides opportunity to all and that is why people like Mayawati, Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Phoolan Devi and many others could make it to Parliament and became leaders of their state. If we are unable to preserve our democratic system, these thugs will only force us leaders from the above to lead the nation. It is that danger lurking over our head which we have to demolish in these elections. It is time we ask for a change in our political system and make it more proportionate to provide opportunity and space to all the marginalized sections of society. Our political system also needs changes and that too effectively such as Germany did in the aftermath of Hitler who also came through ‘popular mandate’. When the system convert to proportionate arrangements there is little chance of a fascist takeover of the state.

We hope that the people of India will not allow the constitution to be defeated in these elections. Hope they will not allow those who do not even repent for the scores of deaths because of their farcical movements for a temple and yet want to build a Ram Temple with ‘unanimity’ and constitutional mean. Time has come to call a rebuff to such forces who wish to legitimize the demolition of Babari Mosque? Strange but true that such forces are still operating and dreaming to be our leader is shocking beyond word. They will continue to use those symbolism that hurt and humiliate Muslims like calling for unanimity in building up a Ram Temple, Uniform Civil Code, abrogation of article 370, ‘cow protection’ and many such things. Let us hope people will realize how important these elections are to save our democracy and its secular socialist constitution.

http://www.countercurrents.org/rawat70414.htm

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I can’t suppress a shiver at the thought of Narendra Modi taking office – By Peter Popham (Apr 4, 2014, The Independent)

The world’s biggest democratic exercise gets under way on Monday. If the pundits are right, Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will win the Indian general election by a country mile. For the outside world, including both the European Union and the US, Modi is the man who has turbocharged the economy of Gujarat, the state he has ruled for 12 years, and who promises to do the same for the flagging Indian economy as a whole. He has also said he will act against corruption.

But nobody who, like me, was in Modi’s state 12 years ago and witnessed the carnage that took the lives of hundreds of Muslims in bloody, brutal and tightly organised pogroms can suppress a shiver of horror at the thought that this man may now be about to join the world’s top table. Those scenes were reminiscent of the tit-for-tat massacres of Hindus and Muslims during Partition, and the mass killings of Sikhs in Delhi following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. That this should happen in 2002 in a relatively prosperous and educated part of the country was profoundly shocking. No one ever succeeded in proving that Modi had ordered or encouraged the massacres. But many reporters noted the failure of police to protect Muslim communities against the mobs (pictured above).

These killings were as disturbing as Germany’s Kristallnacht, and for the same reason. Hostility to Muslims is in the bloodstream of the Sangh Parivar, the family of Hindu nationalist organisations to which Modi and the BJP belong. Inspired by European fascism and Nazism, the movement’s founding ideologist, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, prescribed radically different treatment for Hindus – children of the subcontinent’s aboriginal religion, according to the theory – and those who subscribed to other religions.…

But on the most toxic question for a Hindu nationalist, the treatment of minorities under BJP rule, Modi has kept silent. He has never issued an apology for the massacre that took place in Gujarat on his watch, nor risen to journalists’ demands to go into detail about what happened. Instead he sticks to those grievances guaranteed to excite Indians of all ethnicities and religions and social classes: the faltering the economy, corruption the need to act tough with China and Pakistan. His calling card is his reputation for firm economic management in Gujarat – despite the persistence there of a large underclass. Whatever happened in the shadows he leaves well alone.

Modi’s success in escaping from his past reminds me of the similar achievement of Italy’s former deputy prime minister, Gianfranco Fini. The leader of the Movimento Sociale Italiano, the direct heir of Mussolini’s fascists, and in his youth quite as committed a political extremist as Modi, he spent his first decade as a sort of parliamentary leper: no mainstream politicians would have anything to do with him. But then he gave his party a neutral new name, the National Alliance, condemned anti-Semitism, visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall, and in 1994 entered Silvio Berlusconi’s first coalition government. A few years later his stock had improved so dramatically that this ‘post-fascist’ was regarded as a pillar of respectability compared with his boss. …

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/hindu-nationalism-set-to-take-over-theworlds-biggest-democracy-9238724.html

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Face of the Danger – Editorial (Apr 5, 2014, Mainstream)

More than a month ago it was written in these columns in the March 1, 2014 issue of this journal on the occasion of the twelfth anniversary of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom. For all secular democrats… the main objective of the coming elections should be to resist Modi from leading the BJP to victory at the hustings because that would herald the end of the idea of India—a pluralist, multi-religious, multi-ethnic country that can never become a Hindu-Pakistan. But the major pillars of secularism among the present-day public figures are least interested in forging a common front to block NaMo’s advance. The situation in that respect has definitely worsened as we approach April 7, the date on which the poll process for constituting the 16th Lok Sabha is to be officially set in motion.

The poll scene presents a fierce struggle on the part of the Narendra Modi-led BJP, plush with corporate money power and fully backed by the corporate-driven media, to wrest powr from the Congress-led UPA. There is no gainsaying that in large parts of metropolitan India, and north of the Vindhyas in particular, the middle classes have been swayed by Modi’s mesmerising rhetoric though analysts have almost uniformly admitted that the rhetoric was seldom matched by substance. There is also no gainsaying that a massive anti-incumbency wave is sweeping the country and Modi is trying to capitalise on it to the best of his ability. Needless to underline, the anti-incumbency wave has been generated by the grave economic crisis that has hit the average Indian family with considerable force and the series of mega-scale scams which have tarnished the ruling UPA’s image beyond repair.

Yet for all his exhortations, jibes at opponents, protestations and promises to the electorate, Modi and his colleagues do not possess any magic wand to either overcome the economic crisis or gift the nation a corruption-free polity. And they will follow the same neo-liberal path of development which has brought the UPA Government to such a pass; the six years of NDA rule (1998-2004) bear testimony to this fact. What, then, is Modi harping on in his election campaign as he criss-crosses the country in a bid to secure the popular mandate to rule for the next five years? Using bluff and bluster he carefully conceals the Sangh Parivar’s divisiveHindutva agenda (witnessed both in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition at Ayodhya and the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat) to project the much-advertised Gujarat model of development.

Effectively exposing the hollowness of Modi’s claims on this score, leading US philosopher and academic Martha Nussbaum explains in an interview to The Time of India: …Modi’s citing the development success of Gujarat—and I’d question that right away. By human development indicators, Gujarat is not a success. It has growth but it also has tremendous inequality, deficient education and marginalisation of the poor. No doubt the Congress has been taken unawares by the ferocity of Modi’s attack. PM Manmohan Singh’s mouni-baba approach has added to the ruling dispensation’s woes. Rahul Gandhi has lately been engaged in spirited counter-attacks. But perhaps he launched the counter-offensive rather late in the day. …

The benefactors of the UPA among the corporates (who are also beneficiaries from the powers that be) too are working overtime to ensure their own crucial selfish interests at the cost of those of the people at large. But when the country is facing a situation akin to what happened in Germany in the 1930s one does not have the luxury of engaging in arm-chair disco-urse apportioning blame for the present state of affairs. All-in unity to resist the impending majoritarian-cum-authoritarian bid to seize power in India does not brook the sligbtest delay. To remain blind to this reality is to sign the death-warrant of secular democracy, and hence the idea of India, in the days ahead. Are the holier-than-thou secular democrats listening? If not, they should better be prepared for the unity of the graveyard that will inevitably follow such a majoritarian fascist takeover. For at stake are both secularism and democracy.

http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article4850.html

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We need to talk about this Manifesto – By N. Ram (Apr 7, 2014, The Hindu)

No official statement has come from the Bharatiya Janata Party to explain its strange decision to release, in the face of the Election Commission of India’s displeasure, its Manifesto on April 7, 2014 — the first of the nine ‘Poll Days’ constituting the 16th general election. Election manifestoes are no big deal. That’s the message seemingly conveyed by the party that, according to most opinion polls, will form the next coalition government in New Delhi, assuming of course that it can solve its ‘last mile’ problem by finding enough allies to connect to the magic number of 272 Lok Sabha seats.

The big deal is the ‘Vikas Purush’ avatar of a former outlier, Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whose campaign machine has done everything in its power to obfuscate or draw attention away from the past, 2002 and all that. Who needs a Manifesto when there is MODIMANTRA, which actually heads the list of ‘Core Issues’ at the BJP’s official website, www.bjp.org? Who needs a Manifesto when there is the ‘Gujarat Model’ of governance, development, and social engineering that the rest of India needs to aspire to? (This message seems to fly notwithstanding the availability of a growing literature that reveals that when you look at various development and social indicators, Gujarat is no model State.)

What is clear by now is that the message is quite different from the reality: the BJP’s failure to unveil its Manifesto weeks after most other parties, national and regional, have come out with their mostly elaborate exercises is no small deal. So what’s the real reason for this negation of the very idea of an election Manifesto, which is meant to appeal to the heart and mind of voters?

Fortunately, pro-BJP voices in the news media are more forthcoming than the party’s present high command. One of them, R. Jagannathan, editor-in-chief of Network 18 group publications, tackles the question in a provocative opinion piece titled “Modi is the manifesto: Why BJP doesn’t need a hefty document.” At the end of the article, Mr. Jagannathan comes to the real point: “Manifestoes can be constricting”; they can act as “a tripwire for a party that hopes to win and form a government.”

In other words, an election Manifesto, if taken too seriously, can spell trouble for the future, especially when the party seems close enough to taking power. The less it reveals about – the more it camouflages – the ideology and character of the party, its real programme, policy agenda, and intentions, its stand on sensitive and highly divisive issues, the better. In the case of the BJP today, what evidently needs to be underplayed, if not kept out of public view, is the Sangh Parivar’s well-known repertoire of core issues: the concept of Hindutva; the project of building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya (on the grave of the Babri Masjid); the abrogation of Article 370, which confers a special constitutional status on Jammu & Kashmir; coming up with a Uniform Civil Code; banning religious conversions, cow slaughter, and so forth. …

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/we-need-to-talk-about-this-manifesto/article5879871.ece

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Narendra Modi as prime minister would roll back women’s rights in India – By Amrit Wilson (Apr 4, 2014, The Guardian)

India’s general election begins next week, and Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of the rightwing Bharatiya Janata party, is said to have a good chance of winning. If this happens, Modi’s political party and other member organisations of the Sangh Parivar family of Hindu right organisations, will consolidate their powerful grip on India’s institutions. Gender violence and women’s rights continue to be highlighted in India by the massive anti-rape movement which arose in the wake of the horrific gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi in December 2012. How will this movement and its key demand of “freedom without fear” for women be affected if Modi becomes prime minister?

The Sangh Parivar approach to women’s rights and gender violence is clearly illustrated by women’s status in Gujarat, the state where Modi has been chief minister for 13 years and which he projects as a model of development. According to 2011 census figures, Gujarat has 918 women for every 1,000 men, below the national average of 940, hinting at a high level of female infanticide. School enrolment of girls is lower and malnutrition among children higher than nationwide. As for violence against women, the state conviction rate for rape and abduction of women are among the lowest in India.

However, it is the fascistic violence of the Sangh Parivar that, more than anything, indelibly marks women’s lives in Gujarat. During the 2002 pogrom against Muslims, women and children were specifically targeted. Countless women and girls were raped; nearly 2,000 men, women and children were massacred, and 200,000 displaced. The attacks, as the British high commissioner noted in a leaked report, were “planned, possibly months in advance … with the support of the state government … reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister [Modi] remains in power”.

Nishrin Jafri Hussein, whose father, the former MP Ahsan Jafri, was brutally murdered in the violence in 2002, described her visit to the villages around Gujarat’s capital, Ahmedabad, three months after the violence took place. People took her, she said, to the “narrow lanes, small houses, places where the TV and NGOs were not allowed” and she met the survivors, women and young girls. “They had been raped, tortured, their parents killed, their children killed before their eyes. … It was the same lane after lane, house after house.” Nishrin’s mother Zakia Jafri has filed a petition against Modi accusing him of complicity in the attacks. Modi denies his involvement and has been cleared in several legal inquiries.

Since 2002 the Hindu right’s gangs have repeated this brutal violence: first, in the eastern state of Orissa in 2007 against the Christian minority, whose families – like those in Gujarat – are yet to be rehabilitated; and last year in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, against Muslims in the run-up to Modi’s election campaign. In village after village in Muzaffarnagar, women tell of incidents of rape and torture strikingly similar to those in Gujarat in 2002. Whether in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh or elsewhere in India, the violence has not been spontaneous. Sangh Parivar politicians have instigated, organised and justified it, creating tropes of Muslim men as rapists and abductors of Hindu women, and urging Hindu men to regain their masculinity by raping Muslim women. …

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/04/narendra-modi-as-prime-minister-womens-rights-india

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 31st, 2014

April 1, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Modi, Media And Terror Threats Notice to V.K. Malhotra over Batla House remarks Narendra Modi must answer why my brother arrested just before elections: Mufti Abdul Mughni SC holds Akhilesh govt guilty of negligence, orders arrest of all Muzaffarnagar accused Modi’s remark on 2002 Gujarat riots [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 24th, 2014

March 25, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Death threats to Advocate Pracha and intimidation of online media are unacceptable, say Indian Americans News Headlines Rakesh Maria should be arrested for conducting activities which are terror related: Advocate Pracha Two Haryana policemen get life sentence for fake encounter ‘Reject The Closure Report Filed By SIT’ [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 17th, 2013

March 18, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Minority panel removed my riot report against Modi: Ex-Secy Zakia moves Gujarat High Court against clean chit to Modi Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case: Javed Sheikh’s father moves CBI court against Amit Shah, ex-DGP; wants them arraigned Three detained for threatening to blow up Bodh Gaya [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 10th, 2013

March 11, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines I hope for justice: daughter of Ehsan Jafri, 2002 riot victim A Warning For Siddharth Varadarajan Himachal BJP MP booked, caught taking cash on camera NHRC ‘indicts’ home ministry, cops for Delhi encounter NHRC issues notices to MHA, Delhi Police on wrongful confinement of youth in [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 3rd, 2014

March 4, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Gujarat pogrom commemorated by Indian Americans Communal Harmony March for communal harmony youth awareness News Headlines Bring Narendra Modi to justice, urges meeting hosted by UK parliamentarians No change in US stand on the communal violence in Gujarat, Jen Psaki says Gulbarg society riot victims move court, [...]

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Gujarat pogrom commemorated by Indian Americans

February 28, 2014

Justice for Gujarat victims is pivotal in the struggle to save India’s secular tradition Friday, February 28, 2014 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, joined human rights activists, survivors and people of conscience across the world in commemorating the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 24th, 2014

February 25, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Modi failed to announce relief for Gujarat Sikhs: Partap Singh Bajwa Naroda Patiya massacre case: SC dismisses Maya Kodnani’s bail application NHRC seeks report on man’s custodial death in Odisha 26/11 call record issue may suffer under Maria: Martyr’s wife ‘Baig clean chit puts question mark [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 17th, 2014

February 18, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Coalition Against Genocide flays hype over US ambassador Nancy Powell’s meeting with Narendra Modi News Headlines Gujarat probes did fact-fudging, helped shield Narendra Modi, says new book Coalition against Genocide flays hype over US ambassador’s meeting with Modi Ishrat case: Second charge sheet leaves a lot unanswered [...]

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