IAMC Weekly News Digest, 2nd April 2021
Despite government efforts to address abuses, a lack of accountability for official misconduct persisted at all levels, contributing to widespread impunity, said a US State Department country report on human rights practices in India. Investigations and prosecutions of individual cases took place, but lax enforcement, a shortage of trained police officers, and an overburdened and under-resourced court system contributed to a low number of convictions, it said. The report identified the significant human rights issues as unlawful and arbitrary killings; torture, arbitrary arrest and detention; restrictions on freedom of expression and the press, site blocking, excessive curbs on NGOs and widespread corruption….
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on March 31 simultaneously raided the houses of at least 25 prominent human rights, Dalit, women and Adivasi activists in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, alleging that they had connections with Maoists. According to the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), the raids began in the afternoon and continued till the early hours of Thursday, April 1. Personnel seized phones, computers, laptops, books and papers from the activists…. The PUCL described the raids as a “witch hunt” against activists, and said they have a sinister design to “get activists to stop all work”….
Sanskrit histories of the Mughal era and Hindutva trolls – Audrey Truschke with Rohan Venkataramakrishnan
Audrey Truschke’s first book, Culture of Encounters, looked at the interactions between Sanskrit and Persian intellectual worlds at the Mughal court, challenging modern ideas of India’s past. Her third and latest, The Language of History, continues in a similar vein, focusing this time on histories of Muslims rulers written by Sanskrit intellectuals primarily in the medieval era…. Between the two books came Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India’s Most Controversial King, the book that brought Truschke attention – and also hate. Over the last month, the historian who teaches at Rutgers University has been on the receiving end of a hate campaign from Hindu nationalist organisations, starting with a petition to the university calling her Hinduphobic and extending to vile messages and even death threats…. Scroll.in spoke to Truschke about the most recent controversy….