IAMC Weekly News Roundup - March 21st, 2016 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 21st, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

Human chain to create sense of unity among citizens (Mar 20, 2016, Business Standard)

About 350 persons belonging to various organisations led by Jamaat E Islami Hind, a religious organisation, today formed a human chain here to promote communal harmony and instill a sense of unity among citizens.

In line with the motto of ‘Unity in Diversity’ and the theme ‘Nation for All,’ the main focus on the event was to insist on the importance of fulfilling the democratic duty as a citizen of this nation by voting, police said.

The chain was formed from Aatupalam to Kuniyamuthur covering 1.5 Kms, in which many community leaders, socialites, intellectuals, NGOs and students participated.


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Jharkhand: Two cattle traders hanged from tree, gau raksha activist among 5 held (Mar 21, 2016, Indian Express)

A day after two Muslim cattle traders, one a minor, were found hanging from a tree in a Jharkhand village, police arrested five men including one with links to a local gau raksha samiti (an outfit for protection of cows). Police said they were looking for three others, one of whom was involved in a dispute with the elder of the victims.

The bodies of Mohammad Majloom (35) and Inayatullah Khan (12) were found hanging from a tree early Friday morning in Jhabar village under Balumath police station area of Latehar district.

According to police, the arrested men claimed they killed Majloom and Inayatullah after they resisted their attempts to steal cattle being taken to a fair for sale. Police said they were looking at “all possible angles” since one of the arrested men was linked to a gau raksha outfit. The men also told police that the boy was killed because they feared he would identify them.…



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BJP leader offers Rs 1 crore to anyone who brings him ‘traitor’ Owaisi’s tongue (Mar 17, 2016, Catch News)

The furore over AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s refusal to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ at a rally in Udgir tehsil of Latur district in Maharashtra on 13 February, continues unabated. Now BJP leader, Shyam Prakash Dwivedi, has condemned Owaisi’s comment and has reportedly announced a reward of Rs 1 crore to anyone who cuts off Owaisi’s tongue for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Owaisi had said he wouldn’t chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ even if a knife was put to his throat, and that nowhere in the Constitution is it mentioned that one must chant the slogan in question.

Dwivedi has also claimed that Owaisi has no right to reside in the country, and has called him a traitor.



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Reference to circumcision in terror notice sparks ‘profiling’ charge (Mar 22, 2016, The Telegraph)

The Union home ministry has evolved a new way of identifying terrorists: by scanning their private parts. A ministry notice seeking the public’s help in identifying the four militants killed during the Pathankot airbase siege in January mentions they had undergone “circumcision” – a rite Muslim males have to go through (as do male Jews).

“This is unheard of and shocking. It’s religious profiling,” Ved Marwah, a former governor and one-time National Security Guard director-general, told The Telegraph. Several other security veterans and home ministry officials too expressed shock at what they described as an unprecedented move by the government.

The National Investigation Agency, which reports to the home ministry, released photos of the four men this evening seeking help in their identification. Under each photo, the notice mentioned the dead man’s gender and body type, adding: “circumcision present”.…



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15 cops suspended over alleged custodial death in Kanpur Dehat district (Mar 20, 2016, Times of India)

Fifteen policemen including incharge of SWAT team and SHO Baraur have been placed under suspension in connection with the custodial death of a 32-year-old man on Friday in Kanpur Dehat district. SP Kanpur Dehat Pushpanjali Mathur issued the suspension order to all the fifteen cops on Saturday. …

“We have issued the suspension order to SHO Baraur Ved Prakash Pandey and SWAT team incharge Santosh Arya, besides 13 constables of the Baraur police station and SWAT team. We have suspended them for negligence of duty. Case against SHO Baraur and SWAT team incharge besides two constables has also been lodged under relevant sections of IPC. Further investigations would be carried out by a police team of other police circle,” SP said further.

It might be noted that the death of man while in custody allegedly at Baraur Police Station of Kanpur Dehat district on late Friday night had created a law and order problem with a furious mob attacking the station, making the police on duty to flee away for safety.… The mob had then blocked the road and squatted in front of Baraur police station demanding action against the police for allegedly torturing him to death.



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Under VHP pressure, Congress MLA considers removing Muslim DC’s name from invite (Mar 16, 2016, The Hindu)

Under pressure from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad local unit, a Congress MLA from Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district is now considering removing the name of Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim as the host on an invitation card for annual festivities of a temple administered by the State government. The only reason for the demand is that he is Muslim.

The episode began with cadres from the VHP local unit raising objections to the invitation card of the annual car festival of Mahalingeshwara temple, Puttur, from April 10, bearing the name of Mr. Ibrahim as the host.

Following this, Puttur MLA Shakuntala Shetty, who was earlier with the BJP, on Tuesday declared that she was considering bringing out a new invitation card that just indicates the designation – the Deputy Commissioner – to skirt any controversy.…



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RSS is behind Sufi Conference: Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan (Mar 19, 2016, Siasat)

RSS is instrumental behind this Sufi Conference and dividing Muslims on sectarian line is the main agenda of this conference, said Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan while talking to MuslimMirror.com.

It should be remembered that the agenda to divide Muslims on sectarian line had been uttered by Subramanian Swamy and this Sufi Conference is the part of same agenda, said Maulana Tauqeer Raza.

Expressing his deep anger over the ongoing Sufi Conference, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan said that ‘hate politics and creating division among Muslims is the main motive of this conference organizers of the conference have mortgaged their conscience to RSS office and the Muslims of entire country will never tolerate it’.…



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1,475 arrests in Muzaffarnagar riots cases, only 37 in jail (Mar 16, 2016, Indian Express)

Of the 1,475 accused arrested in cases of murder, rape, arson and dacoity in connection with the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, only 37 are behind bars. Thirty-nine of the accused have been acquitted and the others are out on bail.

The Special Investigation Cell (SIC), which investigated the riot cases, failed to present a strong case against the bail applications of about 1,400 accused, who walked out of jail. Additional Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarnagar, Vinod Kumar Pandey, who is supervising the SIC investigations, said they were moving court for cancellation of bail of the accused.

The police had arrested 424 persons in murder cases. They include six persons accused in the murders of Jat youths Sachin and Gaurav in Kawal village on August 27, 2013. According to police records, applications to cancel the bail of 153 murder accused have already been filed in the Allahabad High Court, while applications for cancellation of bail of 83 others, facing other charges, have also been moved in the court. For 20 other murder accused, the SIC is waiting for the state government’s permission to move for bail cancellation.…



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Academics with JNU pedigree find their speeches cancelled (Mar 20, 2016, The Hindu)

Not just students but also professors who have taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are discovering a worrying trend, especially in Central universities: they are being prevented from speaking at seminars and public gatherings.

M.N. Panini, who has taught at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems in the School of Social Sciences, JNU, was on his way to deliver an address on the “Challenges of nation-building in a global age” at the Central University of Jharkhand in the context of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The university had made arrangements for Professor Panini to fly from Mysore to Ranchi, via Delhi, for the lecture on Saturday. On Friday evening , however, the Vice-Chancellor of the Jharkhand university, Nand Kumar Yadav, called him to say that the trip was cancelled. According to sources, the lecture was cancelled under pressure exerted on the university administration by a clutch of students. The campus does not have a union.…



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Gujarat HC notice to govt, AMC on PIL alleging discrimination against Muslim localities (Mar 17, 2016, Indian Express)

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the state government on a PIL alleging discrimination against the Muslim-dominated localities of Sarkhej ward. The plea alleged that the Muslim localities were not provided basic civic facilities such as drinking water, drainage, street lights and disposal of garbage.

The High Court ordered the AMC and the state government to file their replies in four months. The petitioners – activist-cum-lawyer Amrish Patel and Musebhai Khatumbara – moved the court, saying that the local authorities through notifications in 2006 extended the limits of Ahmedabad city in which several municipalities namely Bodakdev, Makarba, Nava Odhav, Nikol, Vastrapur, Nava Naroda, Thaltej and village panchayats Sarkhej, Vejalpur, Jodhpur, Memnagar, Ghatlodia, Chadlodia, Ranip, Kali, Vastral, Ramol were merged and brought under the AMC.

According to the petitioners, after the merger, the AMC started collecting municipal taxes from the residents, but those living in Muslim-dominated localities were not provided basic civic facilities. Sarkhej and Makarba are the two areas where a large number of Muslims have settled since 2002.…



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Asaram Bapu rape case: Victim’s father receives death threat (Mar 20, 2016, Scroll.in)

The father of the survivor in the Asaram Bapu rape case has reportedlyreceived a death threat, days after a man was arrested for killing three witnesses. PTI reported that an unidentified person called the victim’s father and told him that he will be killed if he did not withdraw the case.

Shahjahanpur Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said that the victim’s family was provided with security after receiving the threat, and that the matter was being investigated.

On March 13, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested Karthik Haldar, who had killed three of 11 witnesses in the case. Three other witnesses in the case were also killed earlier. The survivor said she was raped in August 2013 when she was 16.…



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Opinions and Editorials

Does India Need A Militant Hindutva? – By Shubhda Chaudhary (Mar 20, 2016, Countercurrents)

…The growing militant Hindutva phenomenon emerging in India is obnoxious and in the league of following the Zionist project in Israel, where hundreds of innocents are man-slaughtered in the name of religion. The proponents of this ideology, RSS, the ‘para-military Hindu Organization’ stringently believes that Islam is a fascist and supremacist religion which should be dealt with through abominable and obnoxious ways, so that justice for the so-called ‘greater good’ can be served.

Members of RSS believe that ‘There were “church attacks”, which turned out to be entirely bogus. There was the apparently horrible rape of nuns in Kolkata, which turned out to be fake too. Perhaps, they have forgotten that when these nuns were being raped, people were shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Shameful indeed, not because the reality is not considered by them, but because the reality is being annihilated by them!…

The same RSS gets shady when it comes to getting public about its alliance with Nathuram Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, because this sensitive issue could malign their image, created after years of hard-work.… It’s RSS which is a supremacist, fascist ideology! It brings back the war pogroms of Germany’s Hilter and Italty’s Mussolini. It’s RSS that needs to be destroyed for the ‘Idea of India’ to survive. So, does India need a militant Hindutva? No, it does not. The unity, vibrancy and culture of India will fight, be it through student movements of intellectual underpinnings to corrode this emergence away. We shall fight, we shall win!



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Nationalism is the bedrock upon which all fascist movements have built themselves – By Jairus Banaji (Mar 20, 2016, Sabrang India)

…What the talk at JNU did was to look at fascism through these complementary perspectives and suggest that they need to be seen as different moments of the same general development. Subservience to authority turns out to be a central theme in the conditions that allow for fascist emergence. It was the factor that Reich himself stressed most of all, linking it with the nature of the family and describing the family itself as “the most important instrument of the state’s power”.

The RSS understood this from its inception. Marzia Casolari has shown the reasoning that lay behind the emergence of the shakha. BS Moonje, friend and mentor of Hedgewar, RSS founder, described his 1931 meeting with Mussolini in his diary. Moonje, Casolari points out, “played a crucial role in moulding the RSS along Italian (fascist) lines”.

Here is what he wrote in his diary: “The idea of fascism vividly brings out the conception of unity amongst people… India and particularly Hindu India need some such institution [as the Fascist youth organizations] for the military regeneration of the Hindus… Our institution of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of Nagpur under Dr Hedgewar is of this kind…”. The RSS would be publicly embarrassed to have these connections widely publicised since they show that its own model of moulding the minds of Indian youth stems directly from the experience of Italy and Mussolini’s recommendations. …



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Chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ Doesn’t Prove Your Patriotism – By Amulya Ganguli (Mar 19, 2016, The Quint)

…It is now obvious that the catchphrase has become the latest test after the focus on beef by the BJP and the Sangh Parivar to judge a person’s patriotism. If ostensibly “secular” parties like the Congress and the NCP joined the saffron brotherhood in Maharashtra to ascertain a person’s loyalty, the reason is a pusillanimous disinclination to be branded as unpatriotic by the gung-ho saffron brigade. …

For the saffron camp, a major purpose behind the coinage of the slogan is to needle the Muslims, who are unwilling to bow their heads to any entity other than Allah.… Ever since the BJP secured a majority in the Lok Sabha, it has been trying relentlessly to push its Hindutva agenda. At first, the hardliners organised the ‘ghar wapsi’ and love jihad campaigns. Then they turned to assaulting and even killing suspected beef-eaters. The ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ gambit is their latest ploy, which includes a threat by a BJP member to cut off MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi’s tongue for refusing to chant the slogan.…

But since the sedition law has been deemed “defective” by the Law Commission, the saffron brigade apparently wants to fall back on the Mother India tag to brand what it once called non-nationalists as being.…



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The Lynch Mob Of Latehar – By Deepika Tandon and Moushumi Basu (Mar 21, 2016, Countercurrents)

In the early hours of 18th March 2016, Mohammad Majloom Ansari (35) and Inayahtullah Khan (12) were found hanging from a tree in the Balumath forest area in Latehar, Jharkhand. Residents of Balugoan and Nawada villages, Ansari and young Khan were on their way to the weekly cattle fair with their eight buffaloes when they were stopped, thrashed, strangled and hanged by a lynch mob. So far the police has arrested 5 men and is on the lookout for three others. It has also clamped S.144 IPC in Balumath in a bid to quell communal tensions. Surprisingly, till now, the police has been reluctant to question the Latehar Gau Raksha Samiti even though one of the accused, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, is a known member of the organization.…

Why is the police soft-pedalling the issue of the involvement of the Gau Raksha Samitis in the barbaric killings? Protesting villagers, mostly cattle traders, who blocked the Latehar-Chatra highway and also pelted the police, are not new to such acts of lynching. On 8th September 2015, a cattle trader of nearby Gomia village, narrowly escaped being killed after he was thrashed by right wing goons, the Latehar MLA, Prakash Ram told PUDR. Mr Ram also said that the police refused to lodge a complaint and, instead, detained the victim.

In February 2016, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, VHP, had announced in Jamshedpur that it would launch an agitation against the state government for ‘failing to protect’ the interests of the Hindu community and for failing to prevent ‘cow-slaughter’ incidents (www.jharkhandstatenews.com, 14.2.2016). Hence, the roots of the present hanging are not difficult to find. The lynch mob is around and known to the police.…Each of the above suggests that the Hindutva lynch mobs act with the knowledge of the local administration.…



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As Modi Speaks Sufi, His Ministers Are Whirling to a Different Tune – By Siddharth Varadarajan (Mar 20, 2016, The Wire)

If Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s panegyric to Islam and Indian Muslims on March 17 was meant to herald his government’s commitment to “an inclusive and peaceful society”, his own ministers do not appear to have got the memo.…

Addressing a rally in Agra a day after Modi’s speech to the World Sufi Forum, Katheria – who narrowly escaped being indicted for hate speech last month – demanded that charges against local Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders for using inflammatory language against Muslims be dropped. If the state government – which is run by the Samajwadi Party – does not drop the charges in 15 days, he warned, Agra would see “a different kind of Holi”.…

The Sangh parivar leaders charged with inciting hatred against Muslims are Kundanika Sharma of the BJP, Ashok Lavania of the VHP and Shashank Chaudhary of the BJP’s student wing, the ABVP. Though the three are officially “absconding”, the presence of the first two on the stage with Katheria suggests the SP government in Uttar Pradesh is either not serious about pursuing the case or has already given in to Katheria’s thinly veiled threats of a violent Holi.…



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Modernisation of the RSS – By S Nihal Singh (Mar 19, 2016, The Tribune)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s momentous decision to give up the nine-decade-long uniform of baggy khaki shorts for brown trousers represents a sea change in the thinking of the organisation. It is being sold as “changing with the times” or modernising the RSS.…

The RSS is not unique in trying to marry a version of religion to the cause of a militant posture. But it faces unique dilemmas because although it can conjure up such historical figures as Shivaji, the Rani of Jhansi and others, Hinduism does not fit neatly into a philosophy of militancy.…

Prime Minister Modi’s attitude to the manifestations of the ugly face of the Parivar by maintaining silence for the most part or making tangential references to tragedies is totally inadequate in reassuring the country. There does not seem to be full realisation in the establishment that by dividing society it is creating conditions of unrest that would impact economic and social development. Indeed, by narrowing the definition of nationalism and appropriating it for the Sangh Parivar, the Modi dispensation is doing harm to the country.…



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Book Review

Samrat: How the Shiv Sena Changed Mumbai Forever

Author: Sujata Anandan
Reviewed by: Suraj Kumar Thube
Available at: Harper Collins Publishers India Ltd., A-75, Sector 57, Noida, UP, India.http://www.amazon.in/
Hindu Hriday Samrat (Mar 21, 2016, Countercurrents)

…More than stuffing the book with huge but mundane information, it focuses on few events that changed Mumbai forever, applying the method of a horizontal expansion of academic analysis instead of a vertical one. …The writer persists with a few points at length, that of Thackeray being a stooge of the Congress, as a mere pawn to obliterate the Communists and thereby consolidate the votes of the Maratha community, mostly those that had migrated from eastern Maharashtra to Bombay in search of jobs.…

The second point that gets a lion’s share in the book is the four and a half year period that the Shiv Sena was in power, along with the BJP, since 1995. Till this time, Bal Thackeray’s “Maratha agenda” has mellowed down, only to be overtaken by a broader ideology of Hindutva. The author neatly traces this shift to the early 1980’s which continued to be its main ideological stand. His overt support to the Babri Masjid demolition and his complicit role in the Bombay riots (as brought out by the Srikrishna Commission report that is now gathering dust) are testimony to this subtle yet pronounced change.…

To understand someone who used to abhor politics and politicians in his early days to the one who became known by a very peculiar style of politics, Sujata Anandan’s book meticulously provides those rare insights of the life and times of Bal Thackeray.