IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 26th, 2016
In this issue of IAMC News Roundup
- Demonetisation: “What India has done is commit a massive theft of people’s property – a shocking move for a democratically elected government”, says Steve Forbes
- MP: Ailing old man forced by bank to be personally present for money deposit dies
- PM Modi accused of bribery again as 10 Delhi Metro stations go cashless with Paytm from January 1
- New Delhi: Court acquits two men of charges of waging war against country
- India’s Answer to Custodial Killings: Cash and Not Justice
- RSS members assault Hindu, Muslim students for singing Christmas Carols
- BJP MP calls Muslims terrorists; Congress demands legal action
- Activists who visited Maoist-hit Chhattisgarh arrested under security act
- ‘Uniform Civil Code, a ploy to impair religious harmony’
- Upper caste men brutally crush dalit woman to death in Haryana
Opinions & Editorials
- Modi’s note ban: How BJP is struggling to defend its reckless boss – By Bharat Bhushan
- Anxieties Of A Scattered-Industry – By Lola Nayar
- Modi Government Is Using FCRA As a Weapon Against Dissenters – Indira Jaising with Vrinda Gopinath
- Discourse On National Anthem: From Heart Warming To Chest Thumping Nationalism – By T Navin
- Taimur: What’s in a name? – By Nilofar Suhrawardy
- Ten years after Sachar Report – By Zeeshan Shaikh
A mosque under adverse occupation for the last 72 years was returned to Muslims and regular prayers re-started there on 14 December. This mosque is Masjid Umar on Sarai Road Chowk of Phagwara town. It was reclaimed due to the efforts of Maulana Owaisur Rahman Ludhianwi, imam of Jama Masjid Phagwara which itself was reclaimed in 1950 due to the efforts of the well-known freedom fighter Maulana Khalilur Rahman Ludhianwi.
The first prayer in Masjid Umar was led by Maulana Muhammad Usman Rahmani Ludhianwi, a leader of Majlis Ahrar-e Islam Hind and deputy Shahi Imam of Punjab. Speaking after the first prayer, Maulana Owaisur Rahman thanked Hindu and Sikh brethren for their support to his efforts. Sweets were distributed during this ceremony.
Maulana Muhammad Usman Ludhianwi recalled that when the Phagwara Jama Masjid was regained in 1950, only three persons were present when the first prayer was conducted, viz., Maulana Khalilur Rahman himself and his brothers Mufti Saedur Rahman Ludhianwi and Mufti Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi. But today there are so many Muslims in the area. He said four months ago a communal riot had erupted outside the Jama Masjid of Phagwara but today’s event proves that Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims of Punjab love each other and will not allow communal elements to succeed.
Demonetisation: “What India has done is commit a massive theft of people’s property – a shocking move for a democratically elected government”, says Steve Forbes (Dec 26, 2016, Financial Express)
In a sharp attack on Indian government’s demonetisation move, Steve Forbes, the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine has gone all out and said, what they have done to the money is ‘sickening and immoral. In an article written by Forbes in the magazine, he wrote about the government’s decision and called it a ‘massive theft of people’s property’.
Forbes called the Indian bureaucracy to be ‘notorious’ for corruption, red tape and lethargy. In the article, Forbes has given an overview on how the demonetisation move was carried out by the Indian government; about the cash crunch, ATM queues, and the increase in governmental control over lives.
Forbes even went on to compare the decision with former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s infamous sterilisation program in the 1970’s, calling it Nazi-like eugenics. Forbes wrote: “Not since India’s short-lived forced-sterilization program in the 1970s – this bout of Nazi-like eugenics was instituted to deal with the country’s “overpopulation” – has the government engaged in something so immoral.” Forbes has criticised most of the narratives which the government has been using to support the demonetisation move.…
- Forbes magazine slams Modi’s demonetisation, calls it immoral, theft of people’s property (Dec 23, 2016, India Today)
- Demonetisation: Was RBI given enough time to discuss note ban, Manmohan Singh asks House panel (Dec 23, 2016, Indian Express)
- Modi wants to destroy farmers: Ajit Singh (Dec 23, 2016, The Hindu)
- Mamata Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi dare PM Modi to resign for ‘failure of note ban’ (Dec 27, 2016, Times of India)
MP: Ailing old man forced by bank to be personally present for money deposit dies (Dec 27, 2016, News Bits)
An 86-year-old ailing man, whose personal presence or written permission was insisted upon by State Bank of India (SBI) officials in Mandsaur of MP, died on Sunday without being able to deposit Rs 40,000 in old currency notes.
Before this, at least seven persons have lost lives in different parts of Madhya Pradesh due to demonetization related issues. In the Mandsaur case, the old man, Shantilal Jain was brought to the SBI branch twice on December 21 and 22, despite his being on oxygen support, as the bank officials insisted that Jain either gave permission for the deposit either orally on in written.
However, Jain was in no condition to speak or write and kept sitting in an autorickshaw in which he was brought to the bank by his son. Despite the personal presence of Jain, the bank officials refused to deposit the money. It was only after intervention of the lead bank and the local people’s representative that it was decided that the old currency would be deposited on Monday. However Jain breathed his last on Sunday, probably unable to cope up with the activities of the preceding days.…
- Fake coin minting racket busted in Delhi, mastermind, son of ex-navy man, arrested (Dec 27, 2016, India Today)
- Cashless transactions a distant dream in Kandhamal (Dec 26, 2016, Janta ka Reporter)
- Demonetisation will end up making UP polls more costly: Survey (Dec 26, 2016, Indian Express)
- Maoists launch pamphlet war against demonetisation, say police (Dec 28, 2016, Hindustan Times)
PM Modi accused of bribery again as 10 Delhi Metro stations go cashless with Paytm from January 1 (Dec 24, 2016, IB Times)
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) once again set its crosshairs on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of asking money from Paytm as news emerged that the app would be part of a process that would take 10 stations of Delhi Metro cashless from January 1, 2017.…
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in particular has so far viewed any and every change brought by the Central government in Delhi as a political move. The party also showed that although it had parted ways with some of its older members, their ideologies still matched.
First, former AAP member and Swaraj Abhiyan founder Prashant Bhushan tweeted: “After 40Cr from Sahara &25Cr from Birla,what did Modi get from Paytm promote It? It has emerged biggest gainer from Noteban. Cashful Modiji! [sic]” And then Kejriwal retweeted it, putting his stamp of approval on the allegation.
- BJP leader “admits”, Modi corruption docs real, were in Finance Ministry’s “secret vaults”, but leaked out (Dec 23, 2016, Counterview)
- Modi has forgotten sanctity of his office: Congress comparison (Dec 23, 2016, Business Standard)
- Delhi: Police constable suspended after being caught on CCTV accepting object from pickpockets at metro station (Dec 28, 2016, IB Times)
- Dhulagarh riot: Pressure mounts on Bengal govt as Governor summons DGP (Dec 22, 2016, DNA India)
A city court has acquitted two persons of charges of waging war against the country in an over ten-year-old case registered by Delhi Police which had claimed that they were members of a banned militant outfit.
Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh absolved Bihar residents, Irshad Ali and Maurif Qamar, who were allegedly picked up by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in 2005.
The case was later transferred to CBI following directions of the Delhi High Court. After probing the matter, CBI had filed a closure report in the case claiming that the two men were informers of the special cell and Intelligence Bureau.…
- ‘CBI said charges false, I thought there would be an outcry, But we won’t get even a sorry’ (Dec 28, 2016, Indian Express)
- NIA failed to establish our IM link: Hyderabad blast convicts (Dec 27, 2016, Deccan Chronicle)
- Dilsukhnagar five appeal verdict (Dec 27, 2016, New Indian Express)
- Muslim Body Asks Centre to Appoint Commission to Re-examine UAPA Cases (Dec 27, 2016, News18.com)
“From his affidavit it appears that he has already made up his mind and has given a clean chit to the police officers,” the Bombay High Court found in October 2009 in response to an affidavit from the assistant commissioner of police of Maharashtra’s Criminal Investigation Department.
Investigating the death of 22-year-old Altaf Shaikh in police custody, the assistant commissioner had absolved his colleagues and asked the court to dismiss the petition filed by Shaikh’s mother seeking further investigations into her son’s death. The court ultimately ruled that state authorities had colluded to find reports “manufactured to help the police officers.”…
As the Supreme Court noted in 2004 in Munshi Singh Gautam v. State of Madhya Pradesh, “Bound as they are by the ties of brotherhood, it is not unknown that police personnel prefer to remain silent and more often than not even pervert the truth to save their colleagues.”
- Gujarat’s incharge DGP Pandey files discharge plea in Ishrat case (Dec 24, 2016, The Tribune)
- Ex-sarpanch killed in custody: Wife (Dec 21, 2016, The Hindu)
- Hundreds of Custodial Deaths in India Suggest Police Torture (Dec 21, 2016, The Quint)
- One year on, fake encounter case awaits judgment (Dec 26, 2016, DNA India)
RSS members assault Hindu, Muslim students for singing Christmas Carols (Dec 26, 2016, Twocircles.net)
The Chadayamangalam police on Sunday filed a case against eleven persons, all of them associated with RSS, for assaulting teenagers for singing Christmas Carol songs in Kollam district.
According to local media reports, one of the suspects, Jayakumar, questioned a group of teenagers what religion they belonged to while they arrived in his house as part of a Carol group. When they said they they belonged to Hindu and Muslim families, Jayakumar demanded to know why a non-Christian group was out singing Christmas carols.
“Jayakumar shouted at us while he came to know there were no Christians in the group. He said that Christmas should be celebrated only by Christians and not people from other religions,” said 16 year old Abdullah. The group, however, left the house. But Jayakumar and a few of his relatives barged into the compound while they entered to next house and started beating the group.…
- Pastor, 3 Women Among Christmas Carollers Viciously Beaten By Hindu Radicals in India (Dec 21, 2016, Christian Today)
- Muslim journalist threatened for writing against ‘Hindu organisations’; caller says “apologise, or you will be killed” (Dec 27, 2016, Twocircles.net)
- Chargesheet filed against Sanatan unit over drugs (Dec 27, 2016, Asian Age)
- Land belonging to religious body can be acquired for ‘public purpose’: HC (Dec 24, 2016, New Indian Express)
Demanding legal action against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Parvesh Verma for his “disgusting” remarks against Muslims, the Congress on Monday attempted to corner the ruling dispensation while asserting that this episode should be considered a part of the saffron party’s agenda as it believes in inciting communal violence.
Congress leader Sandeep Dixit condemned Verma’s assertion that all terrorists are Muslims. “Verma’s statement is highly condemnable and I would say a legal action should be taken in this regard,” he said.
Dixit said Verma’s statement is dangerous and disgusting. “The BJP is known for inciting communal violence and this episode should also be considered as part of it,” he added. The Congress leader further said every community is at liberty to choose its leader, adding it was extremely disgusting on the BJP’s part to give it a communal colour.…
- Manoj Tiwari to ask West Delhi MP to explain Muslim remark (Dec 21, 2016, Times of India)
- BJP MP Questions Muslim Commitment to India, Development (Dec 20, 2016, The Wire)
- RSS minority wing tries to tone down BJP MPs remark alluding Muslims won’t vote for ‘patriotic BJP’ (Dec 20, 2016, First Post)
- VHP, Bajrang Dal activists vandalise Bengal vehicles (Dec 21, 2016, Times of India)
Activists who visited Maoist-hit Chhattisgarh arrested under security act (Dec 26, 2016, Hindustan Times)
The Bastar police on Monday arrested seven people from Andhra Pradesh inside the Chhattisgarh border in Sukma district and claimed that they belonged to intellectual wings of Maoists outfits.…
those arrested included social activist Durga Prasad (36) of Hydrabad, R. Laxmaiyya (45), secretary of Adiwasi Tudem Dubba, Khammam, journalists B. Prabhakar Rao (52) and Rajendra Prasad (28) from Hyderabad, high court advocates Ch Prabhakar Rao (48) and B. Ravindra Nath (42) Hyderabad and Mohammad Nazim (27), research scholar Osmania University. One of the arrested people – Ch. Prabhakar said the police action was unwarranted because they were only civilians.…
The accused claimed they were rights activists on a fact-finding mission related to encounters and atrocities in Maoist-affected areas of Telangana and Chhattisgarh. Civil rights activists have slammed the police for the arrest.…
- Seven members of fact-finding commission on way to Chattisgarh arrested in Telangana, handed over to Chattisgarh Police (Dec 26, 2016, Twocircles.net)
- Salman’s acquittal, cow deaths and saffronisation of education kept Rajasthan in the news in 2016 (Dec 21, 2016, Business Standard)
- ‘My son was interrogated, thrashed and tortured before being killed’ (Dec 26, 2016, The Hindu)
- Historian MGS Narayanan on National anthem row: India not a nation, but federation of nationalities (Dec 27, 2016, Indian Express)
The push by the Union government to implement Uniform Civil Code was nothing but a ploy to gain political mileage by damaging religious harmony, alleged Rajya Sabha MP and DMK women’s wing secretary M.K. Kanimozhi here on Monday.
Speaking at a conference organised by the women’s wing of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) to oppose the UCC, Ms. Kanimozhi said that BJP’s claims of defending rights of women belonging to minority religions were unbelievable since the party had not shown similar interest in other women-related issues.
“The 33 per cent women’s reservation Bill is already passed by the Rajya Sabha and awaiting its day in the Lok Sabha. Since the BJP has majority, it can easily pass the legislation. However, it is not willing to table the Bill when several other legislations are being passed without discussion,” she said.…
- Parties join chorus against uniform code (Dec 27, 2016, New Indian Express)
- Plea to drop New Education Policy (Dec 21, 2016, The Hindu)
- Can’t a Muslim become Chief of the Armed forces in India? (Dec 25, 2016, Siasat)
- New civil rights group formed in Gujarat to raise minorities’ “long-pending” issues, seeks minority govt depart (Dec 19, 2016, Counterview)
A group of youths from upper caste mowed down a 55-year-old dalit woman when she tried to broker peace between two groups to avert clash in a Kakroli Sardara village of Badra sub-division of Bhiwani on Tuesday night.
With crushed head and upper stomach, Dano Devi died on the spot. Amid heavy deployment of reserves to avert any caste clashes in the village, police have started the investigations after registering the case of murder and atrocities on SC/ST Act at Badra police station.
A case has been registered on the complaint of Mahesh Kumar, nephew of Dano Devi. Those booked in the case include Tejbir Singh, Ravinder Singh alias Ravi, Ashwani Kumar, Bablu and Salim. All the five come from Jat community, including Mohammadan Jat.…
- Gujarat’s oldest Dalit rights group loses foreign funds licence, reviving charges of victimisation (Dec 18, 2016, Scroll.in)
- BJP Dalit electoral erosion following post-Una campaign main reason for Navsarjan FCRA revocation: Macwan (Dec 19, 2016, Counterview)
- First time, Church says: Dalit Christians face untouchability (Dec 15, 2016, Indian Express)
- Dalits to unite against discrimination on caste basis (Dec 14, 2016, The Hindu)
Opinions and Editorials
Modi’s note ban: How BJP is struggling to defend its reckless boss – By Bharat Bhushan (Dec 21, 2016, Catch News)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is suddenly wary of its electoral prospects in Uttar Pradesh. Before demonetisation, it was supremely confident of victory and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies drew enthusiastic crowds.
But Modi’s dramatic decision has put the brakes on his seemingly unstoppable evolution into an irresistible, larger than life figure. Suddenly, no one is clapping or chanting “Modi, Modi” as they used to. The damage to the lives of ordinary folk because of demonetisation, or “notebandi” as it is popularly called, has been enormous.
The international media is unanimous that the Indian government has botched up big time. The social media that had been crucial in fabricating Modi’s image is now chipping away at it with viral videos, memes and messages mocking his decision. There are few from within the party who want to tell the leadership that its image is in tatters.…
- Neither Modi nor his government likes journalists to ask questions – By Mausami Singh (Dec 28, 2016, Dailyo.in)
- Demonetisation: People’s tolerance emboldens Modi regime – By Nantoo Banerjee (Dec 21, 2016, Free Press Journal)
- Narendra Modi’s digital push: Why there isn’t an easy cure for India’s penchant for cash – By Dinesh Unnikrishnan (Dec 22, 2016, First Post)
- Demonetisation: A Silent but Monster Killer – Modi Must Own Up Killing Over A Hundred in Bank Queues – By K. Narayana (Dec 26, 2016, Mainstream)
Demonetisation may have put a question mark on the government plans for roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 1 next year, but it has whetted the desire of hundreds of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), particularly manufacturing units in the informal sector, to move to the formal sector with its rules and regulations, specifically labour and tax payout.
A direct collateral of demonetisation and the low cash supply scenario, has been thousands of workers in the informal sector being let off as hundreds of units in the sector have downed the shutters, albeit temporarily. Anil Bhardwaj of the Federation of Indian Micro & Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) clarifies, “There have been no layoffs but as many of the units dealing only in cash transactions have temporarily shut down operations, the workers have been sent away. Majority of the workers, almost 70-80 per cent, in these units are daily wagers.”
India has a massive informal sector, which accounts for over 85 per cent of the total workforce. While majority of the informal workforce is engaged in the agr¬iculture sector, around 37 per cent is in the manufacturing and services sectors. Lack of enforcement of labour laws or gaps in reforms have led to a significant number of labour working in micro and small units without basic minimum wages, let alone facilities such as paid leave, medical care or other social securities.…
- The mother of all disruptions – By Jean Drèze (Dec 27, 2016, The Hindu)
- Adivasis Dying of Starvation While Callous Govt Pushes the Cashless Mantra – By Stan Swamy (Dec 27, 2016, Sabrang India)
- Demonetisation: Assault on the People – By Ram Puniyani (Dec 26, 2016, Mainstream)
- Weapon Of Mass Digitisation: Notebandi, A Superseded RBI & Elites Misreading Society – By Aseem Shrivastava (Dec 22, 2016, Countercurrents)
Modi Government Is Using FCRA As a Weapon Against Dissenters – Indira Jaising with Vrinda Gopinath (Dec 26, 2016, The Wire)
It’s barely a fortnight that the doughty civil rights lawyer Indira Jaising received news that the Narendra Modi government had cancelled the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA) license to her organisation Lawyers Collective (LC). But this has not stopped her from writing articles that Modi’s current pet project, demonetisation, is illegal and not backed by law.
Jaising believes it is no coincidence the LC, like other organisations that work for 2002 Gujarat riot victims, Dalits and other minorities are being targeted and victimised, since this gets in the way of the top BJP leadership and their policy of exclusive development.
The LC, like the rest of civil society organisations targeted, will continue their work, she says, irrespective of foreign funding or not, for their endeavor to deepen democracy, guard civil liberties and the right to dissent carries on uninterrupted. In a freewheeling interview, Jaising talks to The Wire about the cases she took up, from the civil suit against Modi, to the murder charges against BJP party president Amit Shah, and governance today.…
- To Resist And Live, But Not To Disappear – By Shini J K (Dec 26, 2016, Countercurrents)
Discourse On National Anthem: From Heart Warming To Chest Thumping Nationalism – By T Navin (Dec 21, 2016, Countercurrents)
A fanatic slogan by Hindu fundamentalist group reads “garv se kaho hum hindu hai” (say with proudness that I am a Hindu). Such a sloganeering transforms a religious identity from a set of emotion based on ‘bhakti’ towards ‘supreme’ to that of an inflated ego of ‘religious supremacy’ based on a proud religious identity with ‘hatred’ for others. Displaying ‘chest thumping’ to express an identity changes the very nature of it.
With symbols of Hindu fundamentalism in reign, the discourse on nationalism has undergone a perversion in India. A similar process of displaying pervert nationalism based on crude chest thumping is at display. Symbols of Nationalism are being sought to be used to display patriotism in a particular way.
These included attempts at forcing people in saying ‘Vandemataram’, ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ to display the same. The latest to join the list is the National Anthem ‘Jana, Gana, Mana’. Under the current regime, the national anthem has been transformed from that of ‘heart warming to chest thumping nationalism’. Unfortunately this gets legitimised by Supreme Court directive to stand during National Anthem.…
- The Supreme Court’s Tryst With Patriotism Lacks Legislative Backing – By Rahul Unnikrishnan (Dec 20, 2016, The Wire)
What’s really in a name, whatever be it, as long as it is not mispronounced and is not misused? But the noise made over Kareena and Saif’s decision to name their first-born “Taimur” really raises numerous questions.
Why are so many people so concerned about the little one’s name? How would they feel if the rest of the world raised objections to their own names, that of their children and their relatives? Whatever be the historical reasons being cited for such objections to the name, practically speaking they make no sense. The impression has been created as if history has known only one Taimur.
And he is being presented as a rather unpopular figure by those objecting to the name. Well, it is difficult to regard all these persons as great historians who have an excellent academic background. What is pathetic is their assumption that the Bollywood couple named their son after Taimur the king? Even if they did, so what? They are entitled to name him, as they desire.…
- Tagore, Taimur And Twitter: Another Attempt At Hindu-Muslim Polarization – By Sandip Roy (Dec 21, 2016, Huffington Post)
- Tipu – fact & fiction – By Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed (Jan 6, 2016, Frotline)
- When Muslim Rulers Helped and Protected Hindu Temples – By Bharat Dogra (Nov 28, 2016, Mainstream)
On November 30, 2006, the 403-page report of the Sachar Committee, on the social, economic and educational condition of Muslims in India, was tabled in Parliament. The Committee, headed by former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar, was set up soon after the UPA 1 government took over, and it submitted its findings in less than 2 years.
The Report highlighted a range of disabilities faced by the community, and made a slew of recommendations to address the situation. It placed Indian Muslims below Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in backwardness. Among the many issues it highlighted were the huge mismatch between the percentage of Muslims in the population and in decisionmaking positions such as the IAS and IPS, and the general poor representation of the community in the police.…
An analysis of government data show that most indicators have not seen significant improvement in the years since the Report was submitted. In some cases things seem to have, in fact, deteriorated – in 2005, for example, the share of Muslims among India’s police forces was 7.63%; in 2013, it fell to 6.27%. The government subsequently stopped releasing data on police personnel broken down by religion.…
- Sachar Report gathers dust, Abolishing Personal Laws cant change dark realities – By Humra Quraishi (Dec 23, 2016, Milli Gazette Online)