IAMC Weekly News Roundup - December 21st, 2015 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 21st, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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Opinions and Editorials

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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