IAMC Weekly News Roundup - May 22nd, 2017 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 22nd, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

This Powerful Film Shows How 2002 Gujarat Riots Helped BJP Win The Elections (May 15, 2017, Youth ki Awaaz)

…Rakesh Sharma’s 2003 documentary “Final Solution” makes you experience this calamity through the eyes and voice of the people who suffered during the riots that happened in Gujarat in 2002. The film is also an observation on the beginning of the rise of Narendra Damodardas Modi, the most powerful man in this country today.

The movie opens with scenes of victory as BJP cadres and supporters celebrate their win in the Gujarat state assembly elections, in December 2002. The atmosphere is jubilant and toxic. Young boys who look under 18, shout out the choicest abuses in front of the camera for Muslims, with smiles on their faces. For the next two hours or so, the viewer, unless he carries a baggage of prejudice which can’t be reversed, will be moved to tears by the grim reality of one of the most tragic incidents in independent India.…

The film is a study of a secular polity desperately trying to clasp to the very idea of a tolerant India. However, at least in Gujarat in 2002, it fell flat on its face. For the lumpen elements in society, unable, and perhaps unwilling to shed prejudices and past grievances, have the last laugh. BJP won in 2002, but Gujarat and India lost.



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Jharkhand lynching: Two officers, 30 policemen watched the four murders (May 23, 2017, Indian Express)

It was not just a mob that witnessed the lynching of four men in a village near Jamshedpur for nearly five hours early on May 18, following rumours of child-lifters being present in the area. Present at the spot were also a Deputy Superintendent of Police, a Circle Inspector, two Assistant Sub-Inspectors and at least 30 policemen, including those from the local station in Rajnagar.

The Indian Express tracked down two of the policemen who are seen speaking to the mob in videos of the incident and spoke to several eyewitnesses to piece together the sequence of events that ended with the deaths in Shobhapur of Naim (35), Sheikh Sajju (25), Sheikh Siraj (26) and Sheikh Halim (28). It’s not a story of policemen looking the other way. Here, they were watching the lynching unfold in front of their eyes. On the night of May 17, Naim, Sajju, Siraj and Halim, all residents of Haldipokhar, reached Shobhapur, 15 km away, to visit Halim’s brother-in-law Sheikh Murtaza.…

According to eyewitnesses and family members of the victims, Sajju, Siraj and Halim managed to flee the spot and take refuge in Padnamsai village nearby. But in Shobhapur, the policemen looked on as the mob beat Naim with rods and lathis. For over three hours, Naim, who was soaked in blood, begged for mercy until he collapsed.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/jharkhand-lynching-2-officers-30-policemen- watched-the-4-murders-4669030/


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BJP leader among nine arrested for running online sex racket in Bhopal (May 19, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A BJP leader was among nine people arrested by the cyber cell of Madhya Pradesh police Thursday night for allegedly running an online sex racket from an upscale neighbourhood in the city.

Neeraj Shakya, BJP SC/ST Cell’s media in-charge for the state was arrested along with eight others from an apartment in Arera Colony from where a gang allegedly ran a website called Bhopalcallgirl.in.

On Friday, the BJP’s state unit president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan sacked Shakya from the party as it tried to control the fallout of the scandal. The BJP leader also runs a business as sand supplier.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/bjp-leader-among-nine-arrested-for-running- online-sex-racket-in-bhopal/story-r4Z4aE1F0rgHGayOgeGPbM.html


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Idea of fair, tall, customized baby “rooted” in Nazi Germany, RSS’ Golwalkar wanted crossbreeding with Brahmins (May 20, 2017, Counterview)

Facts have come to light suggesting that the RSS’ experiment to have “fair”, “tall” and “customized” baby has an interesting Gujarat connection: It was first reportedly floated by its topmost ideologue Guru Golwalkar way back in 1960 while giving a lecture in Gujarat University.

A top expert has quoted Golwalkar as saying at a gathering of faculty and students of the School of Social Sciences of Gujarat University on December 17, 1960 that Namboodiri Brahmins from North India were sent to Kerala to “improve breed of Hindus there.”…

The expert claims, “The present project of RSS aimed at producing ‘fair’ and ‘tall’ ‘customised’ babies is direct borrowing from the Nazis’ ‘Lebensborn’ (Spring of Life) programme to create an Aryan master race.”…



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Kerala BJP chief booked for posting fake video on social media (May 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

BJP state chief Kummanam Rajasekharan has been booked for allegedly posting fake video on his Twitter handle against CPIM. The Kannur policeonWednesday registered a case against him on various charges of promoting enmity between groups under IPC Section 153 (a). A petition was filed against Rajasekharan by SFI Kannur district president Muhammad Siraj.

Kummanam, through a video, had claimed that CPM activists were celebrating over the killing of an RSS activist Biju in Payyannur. He also claimed that CPM workers celebrated Biju’s death in at least 14 places in Kerala.

Siraj, in his complaint, alleged that the video was fake and Kummanam was trying to defame CPM, instigate RSS workers and create tension between the activists of both the parties.…



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After a string of murders in UP, Adityanath’s claim on tackling crime questioned (May 23, 2017, Hindustan Times)

On day UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath travelled to Bareilly and Moradabad and said crime was on its last legs, a Samajwadi Party leader was shot dead in Ballia and a jeweller was killed in Aligarh. The murders were among a string of killings, mostly by hit gangs on motorcycles who target their victims in drive-by shootings, that has put the state administration under pressure.

Opposition parties – the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party – raised the issue of law and order in the legislative council, saying that criminals appeared to be carrying out loot, murder and dacoity at will.

It was on Sunday when the SP leader was shot dead by two assailants on a motorcycle in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia. Police said Sumer Singh, 48, and his friend Manoj Mishra were going to Gopalpur when they were attacked. Three days earlier, two leaders each of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party and the SP were killed in separate incidents.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/after-a-string-of-murders-in-up-adityanath-s- claim-on-tackling-crime-questioned/story-9SPdRQOuog4dvt2zgPReNP.html


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Court directs UP govt to compensate PhD scholar acquitted in Sabarmati Express blast case (May 23, 2017, Indian Express)

The Uttar Pradesh government has been directed by a Barabanki court to compensate former AMU scholar Gulzar Ahmed Wani, who was acquitted of terror charges after 16 years of incarceration in the 2000 Sabarmati Express blast case.

The court directed the Yogi Adityanath-led government to pay compensation to Wani in terms of the average income in accordance with his educational qualification for the time he spent in jail, saying he was a victim of “negligence” of officials in probing the case. Wani was pursuing PhD in Arabic from Aligarh Muslim University when he was arrested from Delhi on July 30, 2001.

The court held the UP government responsible for the damage caused by its officials to the state exchequer for their negligence in probing the case leading to financial loss. It said the officials had not obtained sanction to prosecute the accused and a charge sheet was filed in dereliction of their duty, violating Wani’s physical independence and also harming him physically and mentally.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/court-directs-uttar-pradesh-government-to- compensate-phd-scholar-acquitted-in-sabarmati-express-blast-case-4670060/


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Police Enters Muslim Households, Misbehaves and Insults Womenfolk in Balrampur (May 19, 2017, Caravan Daily)

Police entered the houses of Muslims, dragged women folk out of their houses, ransacked their properties and took them to police station in Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly selling “bade ka gosht” (buffalo meat), according to Urdu Daily Rashtriya Sahara.

It is said that the police was tipped of an Scorpio van carrying bade ka gosht for sale in the city. They prepared a plan to raid the van for which they waited near Swanun Nala. When they spotted the van coming and tried to stop it, the driver of the van sped away and later abandoned it near Mohalla Yateem Khana near Balrampur nursing Home.

The police smashed the windows of the van and seized three sacks full of meat. They carried the meat to some unknown place and later towed the van by a crane to the police station. Later a big police team first went to Mohalla Yateem Khana and raided the house of late Mubeen Shah. They could not find any illegal item in the house yet they forcefully took away Mubeen’s two sons and his daughter-in-law Sona without any female police officer in the whole team.…

http://caravandaily.com/portal/police-enters-muslim-households-misbehaves-and-insults- womenfolk-in-balrampur/


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Kashmir situation critical, award to Major Gogoi can escalate tension: Sharad Yadav (May 23, 2017, Indian Express)

JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav on Tuesday said the decision to award Army officer Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, who tied a Kashmiri man to the bonnet of his jeep and took him around to deter stone pelting at his troops and election staff, will lead to escalation of tension in the Valley, news agency ANI reported. Major Gogoi was awarded a commendation certificate by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat “for sustained efforts on counter-insurgency”.

“Even before the probe in the case is complete, such an act by the government will further aggravate Kashmir situation,” Yadav said. He also said the situation in Kashmir is critical and such steps could have been taken after the probe was complete.

The Chief of Army’s Staff Commendation Card was awarded to Major Gogoi after a court of inquiry hearing his case pronounced him not guilty, sources said. The court reportedly said that his action was justified seeing the circumstances and the findings will be made public in days. However, the documents and testimony used were unlikely to be released.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/kashmir-situation-critical-major-gogoi-could- have-been-awarded-after-probe-ended-jd-u-leader-sharad-yadav-4669541/


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Triple talaq exception rather than rule: Survey (May 17, 2017, Indian Express)

A day before the Supreme Court began hearing the legal challenge to triple talaq, a Delhi-based institute reported the results of its survey, showing the incidence of this form of divorce among Muslims was less than even 1 in 100.

The Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy (CRDDP) surveyed 20,671 individuals – 16,860 men and 3,811 women – across India between March and May this year. The respondents in the online survey were picked from a larger data base of about 1,00,000 verified respondents that CRDDP already had.

The survey was led by Dr Abu Saleh Shariff, former Chief Economist of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), and best known as Member Secretary of the Sachar Committee, which in 2006 submitted a report on the social, educational and economic backwardness and deprivation status of Muslims.… Most strikingly, however, the survey found that the incidence of the so-called “oral triple talaq” (where ‘talaq’ is uttered thrice at one go, without any witnesses or record) among the 331 cases was just 1 – or a mere 0.3%.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/triple-talaq-exception-rather-than-rule-survey- muslim-divorce-4659358/


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Opinions and Editorials

Jharkhand lynching: When a WhatsApp message turned tribals into killer mobs – By B Vijay Murty (May 22, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The trigger for a string of lynchings in Jharkhand was a message circulated through mobile application WhatsApp that spooked villagers, mostly unsuspecting tribals, into believing that their children may be targeted by abduction gangs.

“…Suspected child lifters are carrying sedatives, injections, spray, cotton and small towels. They speak Hindi, Bangla and Malyali. If you happen to see any stranger near your house immediately inform local police as he could be a member of the child lifting gang,” the message in Hindi said.

Villagers along the borders of Seraikela-Kharsawan, East Singhbhum and West Singhbhum districts picked up weapons and were attacking strangers since the rumour started spreading. On Thursday, seven people were beaten to death in two incidents.… Four of them men killed on Thursday were Muslims, leading many in the minority community to believe that the attack was communally motivated. Many Muslim-dominated areas in Jamshedpur were shut down and the police used lathis to disperse violent protesters.



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Three years of Modi government has gifted India public lynching – By Ashok Swain (May 22, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…India might be passing through a turbulent period in the context of social relations, but the state has enough means at its disposal to maintain law and order when and where it wishes to. However, in the last three years of the Narendra Modi regime, India has witnessed a number of horrific lynching incidents and they are becoming more and more regular.

The recent one has at least nine men being mercilessly beaten to death by rampaging mobs in Jharkhand in the last week, even in the presence of police forces. Among the victims, there was a group of Muslim cattle-traders.

Modi came to power in May 2014 and since then the Sangh Parivar has been enjoying state protection and patronage to pursue its ultra-nationalist Hindutva agenda, clearly mocking at India’s secular Constitution. Mobs are being regularly mobilised to wage attack on places of worship of minorities, to protesting outside liberal academic campuses demanding closure, and even to harm Opposition leaders and activists by branding them as anti-Hindu and/or anti-national.…



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‘Jungle Raj’? UP’s Bijnor sees Muslim exodus, police torture cited as reason – By Aas Mohammad & Siddhant Mohan (May 20, 2017, TwoCircles.net)

“We were sipping our tea. Suddenly we heard gunshots and the next moment, three people were lying in front of us. Dead. We did not even throw a single stone at them. How could they come and kill us like that?” says Zareena of Paida village of Bijnor in Western UP. Zareena’s father, brother and brother-in-law, all were killed by Jat community last year.

The village is seeing an exodus of Muslim families, and at least on first impressions, the blame does not lie on right-wing parties. This step taken by the families is more due to the continuous police torture, especially the way they handled a small violent incident last year. When one enters the village, it can be seen clearly that several homes belonging to the Muslim community are marked as – “This house is for sale. We are leaving the house because Police tortures us”.

In September last year, Bijnor faced violence over a eve-teasing case in the aftermath of which goons from Jat community killed three Muslim men from the Paida village. Those who got killed belonged to the family of girl who was allegedly harassed. Mausam Chadhary, a BJP worker and husband of current Bijnor MLA Suchi Chaudhari, were put behind the bars in this case with several others.… The exodus of Muslims in Bijnor and the attack on Dalits across UP have shown that the present UP government has a sinister plan to target minorities, and they are in for a long and hard summer.



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Remember Hashimpura Now, When Majoritarianism is Eroding Democracy – By Basant Rath (May 22, 2017, The Wire)

…Let’s remember the date. On the horrifying night of May 22, in the humid summer of 1987, the worst-ever instance of custodial killings in free India took place in Hashimpura. Let’s remember the details. A group of Uttar Pradesh’s armed reserve police force, the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), selected 42 Muslim young men, in full public view, from among a crowd of more than 500 people, loaded them onto a PAC-owned, yellow-coloured police truck (registration number URU 1493), and drove them not to the nearest police station but to a spot near the Upper Ganga canal in Murad Nagar (Ghaziabad district).

There, the policemen killed most of their captives one by one, dumping each body in the canal. A bullet also injured one of the PAC constables. While the PAC personnel were firing at the innocent Muslim men in their custody, the headlights of a passing truck carrying milk-containers fell on the killers in uniform and made them panic. They fled the spot with those prisoners who were still alive and took them to the Hindon river canal near Makanpur village in Ghaziabad. There they were all shot at close range, and their bodies thrown into the canal. The policemen then hopped back onto the truck, reached their camp, washed the blood-stained vehicle, plugged the holes in the truck caused during the firing, and went off to sleep.

On that fateful day, Hashimpura was under army control. The then senior superintendent of police, Meerut, G.L. Sharma, has gone on record, saying that he did not know on whose orders the joint operation of searches were conducted, but that he came to know the officers of the local army unit had planned the operation. More than a dozen witnesses deposed before the CID that Major Pathania was ordering people with a loudhailer to come out of their homes. He was also issuing instructions to the PAC and army jawans conducting the searches. The woman unit commander of the Central Reserve Police Force had recorded her statement before the CID that Major Pathania had ordered her to frisk the women.…



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Assam education is in search of a Hindutva narrative – By Uddipan Dutta (May 23, 2017, Indian Express)

…Plagued by long years of political upheaval and sluggish economic development, education has always been an important social indicator to gauge political success in Assam. But the state’s Human Development Report 2014 portrays a dismal picture. While the state of basic infrastructure, like school buildings, electricity, sanitation and drinking water is abysmal, the report calls for immediate attention to teaching standards.

It points out that the recent introduction of Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) has not been successful. All told, parents are increasingly sending their children to private schools, while the exodus to other states and metros like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai grows.…

Madrassa education could have very easily been modernised. But it seems the state has other plans. A few days ago, Sarma tweeted that separate directorate for Madrassa education would be abolished and its functions supervised by the Board of Secondary Education. It is too early to comment on the modalities of this proposed change. However, one needs to be watchful of the manner in which Sarma is surreptitiously pushing a saffron agenda. This certainly doesn’t augur well for Assam which is rightfully proud of its long cherished secular tradition in education.



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Meet ‘Bullet Swamy’, the self-styled godman whose genitals were severed by a woman in Kerala – By TA Ameerudheen (May 22, 2017, Scroll.in)

Sreehari, the 54-year-old self-proclaimed godman, whose genitals were almost severed by a 23-year-old woman whom he had allegedly been sexually exploiting for years, has political ambitions and has flaunted his association with Kerala’s respected Panmana Ashram, as well as the leader of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Both have now disowned him. While the ashram said that it never had anything to do with Sreehari, the BJP leader said that the man had no connection with the party or the National Democratic Alliance.…

A Panmana Ashram official, however, clarified that Sreehari had not been conferred with the title of Theerthapadar. “He has been deceiving the people with the title which he never got,” said AR Gireesh Kumar, president of the ashram.… On Saturday, after his genitals were almost severed, Sreehari tried to evade the law when he told the police that he had done so himself, as penance. However, the woman he has allegedly been exploiting for the past eight years called out his lies.…



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Book Review

Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Power in Action

Author: Dennis Dalton
Reviewed by: Rudolf C Heredia
Available at: New York: Columbia University Press, 2012; pp xxiv + 311, $27.5 (paperback). . www.amazon.in/
Gandhi: Turning the Search Light Inwards (May 20, 2017, EPW)

…India today seems adrift. We need to critique and come to terms with Gandhi’s relevance in responding to our situation of spiralling violence and unsustainable inequalities in the subcontinent. His countrymen publicly honour him as “the father of the nation,” while in practice, they ignore his legacy, damning it with prejudiced criticism, or worse, with hypocritical praise.…

In summing up, Dalton rightly concludes that Gandhi’s truest achievement is not the independence of his country from colonial rule, but how he achieved it, or rather tried to achieve it (p 197). This was not the swaraj Gandhi had struggled for all his life and died for. Yet even in his failure, he was betrayed by his own. When he had to walk alone in his darkest hours, he still cast a long shadow across his country. Ultimately, it was his martyrdom that shocked his people out of their murderous madness for a time. But his orphaned people today seem to have lost the plot he drew up for swaraj, which would be authentic only when it included social and economic reform, the abolition of untouchability and Hindu–Muslim unity (p 60).…

For more than what he did, it is what he stood for that has enduring significance. Judith Brown’s biography, Gandhi: A Prisoner of Hope, concludes with an evaluation of Gandhi “as a man of vision and action, who asked some of the profoundest questions that face humanity as it struggles to live in community” (p 196). The challenge to internalise his legacy and bring it to bear on our individual and collective lives is something we need to continually rediscover and engage with, if ever we are to reach the purna swaraj of “the India of his dreams.”

<ahref=”http: www.epw.in=”” journal=”” 2017=”” 20=”” book-reviews=”” gandhi-turning-search-light-inwards.html”=””>http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/20/book-reviews/gandhi-turning-search-light-inwards.htm