IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 7th, 2018 - IAMC

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 7th, 2018

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Many injured as armed Hindutva goons enter AMU campus hours after Subramanian Swamy’s tweet ‘Somebody needs to teach AMU a lesson. Who will do it?’ (May 2, 2018, Janta ka Reporter)

Local students said that several members of the Hindutva outfit, founded by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, entered the AMU campus during the visit of former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari.

One student Sharjeel Usmani wrote, “15 Sanghi goons enter AMU campus with pistols and revolvers, accompanied by a policeman in uniform. They attack a student who was passing by. Students’ Union and other students’ leaders come to rescue. 6 goons are caught and are handed over to police. The police has released those 6 goons and is not ready to file an FIR.”

The Hindutva goons entered the campus through the iconic Bab-E-Syed entrance. The student union has issued an ultimatum to local cops to arrest all ‘anti-social elements within 30 minutes’ failing which the students will ‘start filling up the jails.’ The incident comes just days after it was reported that the RSS had written to the Vice Chancellor seeking permission to hold shakhas (its training) on the campus. … The incident came just hours after BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy shared an article titled ‘Somebody needs to teach AMU a lesson. Who will do it?’ on his official Twitter page, which has over 70 lakh followers.



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Two RSS workers arrested for attack on journalists (May 4, 2018, The Hindu)

Police have arrested two Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers on Friday in connection with Thursday’s attack on mediapersons inside Malappuram Press Club.

RSS workers Dileep Kumar and Shibu were picked up from their houses at Vazhakkad near Areekode. They were arrested by a police team led by Circle Inspector A. Premjit after they were identified from the visuals of the attack.

Chandrika daily photographer Fuvad Saneem and reporter Shahabas Vellila were beaten up by a group of Sangh Parivar workers inside Malappuram Press Club on Thursday. Mr. Saneem took the brunt of the attack as the Parivar men cornered him and thrashed him and snatched away his mobile phone. He was admitted to hospital with injuries.…



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Now, Hindu groups in Gurugram raise ‘land jihad’ cry (May 5, 2018, Times of India)

Several Hindu outfits came together in the city after the arrest of six youths last week for disrupting Friday prayers at a Sector 43 ground on April 20.Terming this practice of offering prayers at open spaces ‘land jihad’, Mahavir Bharadwaj, head of Sanyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, said they were not against any religion but against ‘land-grabbing in the name of religious activities’. “We have formed an umbrella organisation to stop the practice of offering prayers in open areas without any permission,” he said.

Bharadwaj alleged Muslims had started constructing a mosque on Huda land around five years ago after offering prayers on the plot for some time. “Former chief minister Bupinder Singh Hooda had also allotted the land for building a mosque against rules. After our protests, the land was restored to Huda,” he claimed. The land in question was originally in possession of the Waqf board but was later acquired by Huda after paying compensation.…

Former Wazirabad headman Sube Singh Bohra, father of BJP councillor Kuldeep Bohra, was among those who were instrumental in forming a united front, Sanyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, which held a protest on April 30 against the police move to arrest the six men.…



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Historians protest Red Fort ‘adoption’ (May 3, 2018, The Tribune)

Historians, conservationists and artists on Wednesday spoke out against the maintenance of the Red Fort being “entrusted” to cement company Dalmia Bharat Group which, they said, had no known credentials in the work of architectural preservation or heritage management.

While the Indian History Congress expressed its concern over the terms of the agreement between the Tourism Ministry and Dalmia Bharat on the 17th century Mughal era monument, built by Shah Jahan and the centrepiece of India’s Independence Day celebrations, a host of activists, academics and others banded under the cultural group SAHMAT to voice their worries.

Historian Irfan Habib added that the new scheme was “flawed”. “First of all, if you had to implement this scheme to adopt heritage monuments, they should have experimented with a lesser known structure and not the iconic Red Fort. That is the basic flaw of the scheme,” Habib said. A statement from SAHMAT, signed by artist Vivan Sundaram, historian Mushirul Hasan and theatre activist MK Raina, among others, brought up the demolition of the Babri Masjid to highlight its concerns and said the agreement must be rescinded.…



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Modi govt changes scheme meant for Muslims to include all minorities (May 4, 2018, National Herald)

…the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the proposal for renaming and restructuring of Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) on Wednesday.…

“Increase in the budget allocation and the number of districts to be covered is music to ears but on ground it is basically not only dilution but the defeat of the basic purpose of this scheme” says Zafar Mehmood, member of the Sachar Committee.

“Though the scheme is for minorities, the basic purpose of it was upliftment of the Muslim community but with the population criteria being brought down to 25%, it means that more districts could be covered and the money could be spent in those districts where the minority population is a mere 25% and the non-minority population would be 75%,” added Mehmood. His apprehension was that the districts which would have non-Muslim minority population concentration of 20% and five percent of Muslim population would be entitled for this scheme and this would defeat its purpose.…



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No PM stooped as low as Modi: Manmohan Singh (May 7, 2018, The Tribune)

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said that no prime minister in the country has used his office to say things about his opponent that Narendra Modi has been doing day in and day out. “It doesn’t behove a prime minister to stoop so low and it is not good for the country as a whole as well,” Singh said.

Addressing a conference in Bengaluru, he said, “As far as Nirav Modi is concerned, it was obvious that in 2015-16, that something was going around with the affairs of Modi. Yet, the Modi government didn’t do anything. If blame has to be cast, it has to be on the government of mandate.”

“Two major avoidable blunders of the Modi government have been demonetisation and hasty implementation of the GST. Losses the economy suffered due to these blunders have severely hurt our micro small and medium enterprise sector and have resulted in loss of tens of thousands of jobs,” said Manmohan Singh.…



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BJP manifesto high on Hindutva (May 5, 2018, New Indian Express)

In keeping with its high voltage Hindutva agenda, the Bharatiya Janata Party has ensured its plans to appease Hindu community are clear in its manifesto. While largescale welfare programs for all sectors feature in the vision document, released by state president B S Yeddyurappa on Friday, core issues highlighted by BJP leaders during public rallies to fight for Hindutva have found prominence.

The BJP has assured to recommend a ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) and Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD) both Muslim organisations…. Under the farmers’ welfare sector, the BJP has promised to bring back the Prevention of Cow slaughter Bill, 2012 to ban cow slaughter in the state. B S Yeddyurappa’s pet project- Gau Seva Aayog that was disbanded by the Siddaramaiah government will be reestablished according to the manifesto.

With clear intent to appeal to Hindu voters, BJP has promised to only appoint Hindus as members of temple administration boards, has announced subsidies for Char Dham, Sindhu Darshana and Kailash Manasarovar yatras for senior citizens.…



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Data Shows Centre Erred in Citing Region, Seniority to Spike Collegium Choice (May 2, 2018, The Wire)

…On Wednesday, the Supreme Court collegium met to “reconsider the case” of Justice Joseph following the Centre’s rebuff but deferred a decision, adding that it was also considering “the names of judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh high courts for elevation as judges of the Supreme Court, in view of the concept of fair representation.”

However, data accessed by The Wire reveals that law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was grossly unjustified in raising the objections he did in his letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra while returning Justice Joseph’s name since there have been many instances in the past both of states being given a higher representation of judges and of judges of lower or comparable seniority level to Justice Joseph in seniority making it to the apex court.…

The Centre had also conveyed to the CJI that it was okay with the idea of notifying the appointment of lawyer Indu Malhotra as a Supreme Court judge – who finally took oath last week, making her the first woman advocate to directly become an apex court judge. As chief justice of the Uttarakhand high court, Justice K.M. Joseph had struck down the imposition of president’s rule in the state in 2016.…



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‘Kathua’ gets law student a suspension (May 11, 2018, Frontline)

The Government Law College, Coimbatore, suspended a female first-year student, R. Priya, for allegedly raising issues relating to Hindutva and patriarchy while delivering a speech on the Kathua rape case in her classroom on April 13. Priya, who is from Erode, was also barred from entering the college premises until further orders.…

On the morning of April 13, a guest lecturer reportedly asked students in the English language class to speak extempore on any topic of their choice, an exercise that is meant to help them overcome their inhibitions and stage fright. “When no one came forward, I was asked to speak. I chose to speak about the Kathua case. I spoke about the brutality of the crime, and underscored the patriarchal bias ingrained in Hindutva’s societal structure and issues such as objectification of women. I said these factors were responsible for dastardly acts such as the Kathua case,” Priya told Frontline.

The speech lasted only a minute and a half, said Priya, who is a member of the left-leaning Revolutionary Students’ Front. “She spoke with clarity,” said one of her classmates. The college management, however, did not take kindly to it.… The Principal summoned Priya at around 3 p.m. and handed over the suspension order. “I was not given an opportunity to explain my position,” she said.…



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Outrage Over Caste Identities Written On Chests (May 2, 2018, Eurasia Review)

Church officials have joined rights activists and politicians in condemning the government in Madhya Pradesh state for writing caste identities on the bare chests of young people aspiring to become police constables.

Officials in the central Indian state, where the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party runs the government, used a marker to write caste identities of candidates seen wearing only underpants during the selection process in Dhar district.

“This is a deliberate attempt to whip up a caste divide among job aspirants even at a time of recruitment in a bid to belittle the individual identity of those hailing from backward categories,” said Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal.… “It is an inhuman act. This is not the way to treat people. It is a third degree of humiliation and we condemn it,” Father Z. Devasagaya Raj, secretary of the Indian Catholic bishops’ Office for Dalits and Indigenous People, told ucanews.com.…



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Opinions and Editorials

Kathua Case: A Communal Crime, Now a Communal Trial? – By Surangya Kaur (Apr 28, 2018, News Click)

Only three weeks ago, the Bar Association of Kathua and the Jammu High Court Bar Association had proudly and loudly protested against filing of a chargesheet by the Crime Branch in the case of the rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in Kathua. Now, the Bar Association is denying it did any such thing when asked by the Supreme Court. Even more shockingly, the Bar Council of India (BCI), which was to investigate the misconduct of the lawyers, is supporting these claims despite all the evidence that exists to the contrary – including videos from media coverage of the protest.…

BJP too is unwilling to admit that its ministers – Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, who had been active participants in HEM’s rallies supporting the rape accused police officers, have caused any hindrance to the investigations. Amit Shah, national president, has come out in support of the two ministers, saying that they have retired on moral grounds.…

This community, like many others in India today, is at fault because of its religious beliefs. But in these attempts to artificially create communal tensions, what will be lost, is justice for an innocent girl, and the trust of a community in a state already fraught with animosity towards India.



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Death as deterrent? – By V. Venkatesan (May 11, 2018, Frontline)

…While amendments such as this may stand legal scrutiny because they safeguard the discretion of the sentencing judge to impose either the death penalty or life sentence on a convicted rapist, their relevance in deterring child rape or ensuring justice to the survivors or the victims is open to question. Surely, lawmakers should move away from rhetoric and playing to the gallery towards substantive remedies in order to address the challenge of the increasing number of child rapes.

Amendments to bring in the death sentence for rapists may help to show that a government is tough on perpetrators of heinous crimes, but appearing to be tough makes no sense in a system which has the potential to enable offenders to evade the rigours of law. Therefore, a relevant exercise would be to consider whether such an amendment actually translates into fewer crimes and a larger number of convictions.

On the contrary, a sentencing judge who uses his discretion to arbitrarily impose death sentences or life sentences without the promise of early release may lead to a loss of confidence in the judicial system, thereby forcing citizens to question the need to comply with laws.…



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Hostile Justice – Editorial (Apr 28, 2018, EPW)

Developments in significant anti-terror cases show an unsettling pattern of subversion of the justice system in India. Swami Aseemanand, Maya Kodnani, and others accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, the Naroda Patiya riots case, and in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati case are all beneficiaries of questionable legal proceedings that changed the course of justice in these cases. These developments point to the Machiavellian agenda of the government to undermine judicial processes.…

Aseemanand, the prime accused, confessed in 2010 in a sworn testimony and later in a long interview to Caravan magazine about the involvement of top leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and various other Hindutva organisations through a countrywide network to organise terror incidents targeting Muslims as part of their political agenda. Finally, in 2011, the case was handed to the NIA and it was hoped that with the strong evidence collected, the agency would be able to ensure convictions. However, in recent times, the NIA has allowed the accused to retract their confessions and let evidence fall by the wayside. In this sense, the verdict of this special NIA court was perhaps expected, but is still shocking.

In another setback to the prosecution, Kodnani, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister in Gujarat, and 17 others were acquitted in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case by the Gujarat High Court giving her the “benefit of doubt.” Kodnani was arrested in 2009 and thereafter sentenced to 28 years in prison for “instigating mobs” that killed 97 Muslims, the site of the largest number of Muslims being killed in a single incident during the Gujarat riots. In 2012, the Special Investigation Team court had named her “the kingpin of riots” in Naroda and found that she was present at the spot instigating the mobs that went about killing and looting Muslims.… This illustrates, yet again, how the present executive has an undue influence on the judiciary and has bent justice to its own criminal ends.…



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Death of a Judge – Editorial (Apr 28, 2018, EPW)

On 19 April, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the case of Justice B H Loya’s death, which occurred on 1 December 2014. It concluded that the sessions court judge’s death was from natural causes. Considering the allegations and doubts raised from many quarters, including media reports about the sudden death, this verdict raises more questions.

It was on 12 January 2018, the day on which the petition concerning Judge Loya’s case was first mentioned before the chief justice, that four senior-most judges took the unprecedented step of holding a press conference raising issue with the functioning of the chief justice and the allotment of cases by him. To a pointed question on whether the trigger was Judge Loya’s case, Justice Gogoi (one of the four) replied in the affirmative.

In such a situation, to maintain transparency and objectivity, it was desirable that the chief justice did not hear this case.… The approach of the Supreme Court was found wanting, that too in a matter concerning the independence of the judiciary, which essentially arose from an investigation it was monitoring, and regarding which four of its judges had expressed concerns.…



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The BJP Wants a Subservient Judiciary – By Barun Das Gupta (May 5, 2018, Mainstream)

The ugly truth, suspected for long, is out in the open now: the BJP wants a subservient judiciary. The litany of objections raised by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to the appointment of Justice K.M. Joseph as a Supreme Court judge is as flimsy and faulty as an objection can be. Justice Joseph, now the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, struck down the Centre’s decision to dismiss the Congress Government of Uttarakhand by imposing President’s Rule.

His name, along with that of a senior advocate of the Supreme Court, Indu Malhotra, was unanimously recommended for appointment as Supreme Court Judges by the Collegium of five senior judges of the Supreme Court. But the BJP Government could not stomach the idea of Justice Joseph being elevated to the Supreme Court because he had incurred the displeasure of the powers that be.…

In India today, the court is the last resort of the citizen to seek redress against the arbitrariness of the Executive and for enforcing the fundamental rights given by the Constitution. Any attempt to subvert the freedom of the judiciary is tantamount to subverting the democratic edifice of our Republic. Such an attempt has to be resolutely fought and defeated.



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The Hindu Right Has More in Common With Jinnah Than AMU Students Do – By Faizan Mustafa (May 4, 2018, The Wire)

…Resistance by students to the removal of his portrait should not be taken as an endorsement of Jinnah’s ideology. It is merely an assertion of the democratic right to take their own decisions. In fact, extremist Hindu groups like Adityanath’s Hindu Yuva Vahini, the RSS, VHP and so on have more in common with Jinnah than nationalist and patriotic Muslims. Hindu leaders like V.D. Savarkar and M.S. Golwalkar, just like Jinnah, believed that Hindus and Muslims are two distinct nations.…

Is it not a fact that the Indian constituent-assembly-cum-first-parliament had paid rich tributes to Jinnah on his death? Even L.K. Advani, as deputy prime minister visited his grave and called him a great secularist. In fact, Jinnah did oppose mixing religion and politics. Thus there is some truth in the protesting students’ slogan: “Jinnah to bahana hai (Jinnah is just an excuse)”.

This is the ‘New India’, which is entirely different from the liberal and progressive India which Gandhi, Nehru and other freedom fighters had imagined. We now want to take the path of those who did not participate in our freedom struggle and do not have faith either in our composite culture or in the fundamental duty enshrined in the constitution – to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.

https://thewire.in/communalism/the-hindu-right-has-more-in-common-with-jinnah-than- amu-students-do


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Book Review

Cellars of the Inferno: Confessions of an RSS Pracharak

Author: Sudheesh Minni
Reviewed by: T Navin
Available at: Chintha Publications, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695001 Pages: 122 Price: INR 150. https://books.google.co.in/
Confessions Of An RSS Pracharak (Apr 30, 2018, Countercurrents)

RSS has been critiqued for long for its divisive and fascist ideology. Its role in spreading hatred, communal violence, killings – arson and loot, blasts has been pointed out by critics. However, the attempt of RSS to project itself as a cultural and nationalist organization working for the welfare of majority community, nation and practicing non-violent methods is still believed by many to be the truth. This is despite all the violence that is being instigated in the recent times.

The book by Sudheesh Minni titled ‘Cellars of the Inferno: Confessions of an RSS Pracharak’ breaks any doubts on RSS. Sudheesh was an RSS pracharak, who was inducted to its divisive ideology at a very early age of 5. He participated at different levels – both as a participant in shakhas as well as organizer of shakhas, both at the state level and the national level. He travelled across the country and spent about 25 years of his life with RSS. The initial conviction with RSS ideology later gave way to repentance for the activities carried. The book is a product of his repentance for his role as an RSS pracharak. The book provides an insider view of RSS, its activities, functioning’s, role in divisive activities.…

The book by Sudheesh Minni is a necessary reading for those who still have an illusion about the RSS and Sangh Parivar. It also provides an anatomy and the way the parivar functions. Most importantly it helps in breaking the myth of RSS being a mere cultural and social organization working for protection of Hindus. It convinces you that more than protecting one, its activities are centered on propagating the idea of eliminating the other.…