IAMC Weekly News Roundup - November 20th, 2017 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 20th, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Rajasthan: Police orders inquiry into ‘love jihad’ pamphlets at Jaipur fair (Nov 20, 2017, Scroll.in)

The Jaipur Police on Sunday ordered an inquiry into pamphlets about “love jihad” being distributed allegedly by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal at an event in the city, PTI reported. The action came soon after media reports said that the Rajasthan government had asked schools to send students and teachers to attend the fair.

Pamphlets at the event accused Muslim film actors of trapping Hindu women by marrying them, and also suggested that “love jihad” could be prevented by checking books and mobile phones of women. They said that “love jihad” takes place at beauty parlours, mobile recharge shops, ladies’ tailors and Muslim hawkers’ outlets.

The pamphlets have now been withdrawn, and the organisers of the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair have distanced themselves from the controversy. “We are here to promote ideas of spirituality,” Rajendra Singh Shekhawat, an official of the foundation that organised the fair, told The Times of India. “We don’t endorse any ideology.”…



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Padmavati row: BJP leader offers Rs 10 cr for Deepika, Bhansali head (Nov 20, 2017, Business Standard)

Haryana’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Media Coordinator Suraj Pal Amu on Sunday passed derogatory remarks against ‘Padmavati’ filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, actress Deepika Padukone and actor Ranveer Singh.

Amu threatened actor Ranveer Singh, who is playing Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji in the movie, for supporting Bhansali. “If you (Ranveer Singh) do not take back your words, we will break your legs [Agar tune apne shabd wapas nahin liye, toh teri taango ko todkar tere haathon mein de dengey),” he said, adding slurs against the actor.

He also praised the Meerut youth for announcing Rs 5 crore bounty for beheading Deepika and Bhansali. “I want to congratulate the Meerut youth for announcing Rs 5 crore bounty for beheading Deepika, and Bhansali. We will reward the ones beheading them, with Rs 10 crore, and also take care of their family’s needs,” he added.



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Ram Naam ki loot: Nirmohi Akhara accuses BJP, VHP of swindling Rs 1400 crore (Nov 18, 2017, National Herald)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP)-which spearheaded the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid – have been accused of swindling Rs 1,400 crore which was collected as donations in the name of the Ram temple construction at Ayodhya.

Nirmohi Akhara, which is one of the three claimants to the disputed site in Ayodhya and is the main litigant in the Ayodhya title suits, has alleged that VHP, in association with certain politicians (without naming the BJP), has not only swindled more than Rs 1,400 crore contributed by the devotees but also the bricks which were amassed for the construction of the proposed temple at the disputed site.…

“We’re the sons and servants of Ram Ji. We are fighting to serve Ram Ji and not for the money. Politicians want to occupy (the site) and turn it into a senseless issue,” he said, adding, “They collected the money as donation from the devotees. But they used that money to construct their own buildings and form their government. But they didn’t use that money for construction of the temple.”…



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330 gang rapes during 2002 Gujarat riots; while triple talaq is being discussed, none speaks about them: Top activist (Nov 20, 2017, Counterview)

More than 300 women from different parts of Gujarat assembled in Ahmedabad under the banner of Gujarat Mahila Manch to complain of “abusive, repression, sexual harassment, deprivation and control”, pointing towards how the state government has failed to accord them basic human rights. At the end of the day-long meet, they unanimously resolved not to vote for a government which has deprived them of their basic rights.…

Retired sessions judge Jyotsana Yagnik, who gave brilliant judgements in the Bijal gang rape case and the infamous Naroda Patia case, said, following the Nirbhaya judgment, Rs 1000 crore corpus had been allocated to several states for safety programmes of women, but none of it has been spent.…

“There were 330 gang rapes in 2002 in Gujarat. Triple Talaq is being discussed, none cares about them. Muslim women’s problems are sidelined. The Constitution accords equity, but the minority community women in this state have none.”…



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Karnataka Assembly passes anti-superstition bill, bans controversial practice of ‘made snana’ (Nov 17, 2017, Scroll.in)

The Karnataka Assembly on Thursday passed what is popularly known as the anti-superstition bill, with a few modifications, The Hindu reported.

The bill bans advertisements about miracle cures for diseases, performing black magic, tantric acts, exorcism rituals and the practice of parading people naked or ostracising them in the name of a ritual, among other practices.

Opposition leaders in the state, except Bharatiya Janata Party MLA CT Ravi and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Revanna, welcomed the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017. They advised the government to concentrate on making lower-caste communities more aware about superstitions.…



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Constitutional values under seige from fascist forces: Mahadevappa (Nov 20, 2017, Times of India)

The core values enshrined in the Indian Constitution are facing a threat from fascists and fundamentalists, said district in-charge minister HC Mahadevappa on Sunday. Exhorting universities to safeguard the Constitution and strengthen democracy, Mahadevappa said that saffronisation and communalisation of universities, schools and colleges was a dangerous trend.

The minister, who unveiled the nine-and-a-half feet tall statue of the Constituion’s architect BR Ambedkar at the Manasaganotri campus of the University of Mysore(UoM) on Sunday, said, “An attempt was made to dilute the Constitution when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. Youngsters need to protect the Constitution and save Indian democracy.”

Pointing to the ban on cow slaughter, he said, “It infringes on one’s culinary habits. Cow slaughter industry employs many people. Citizens have the right to choose what they want to eat.” Mahadevappa added that the values of the ancient Indian text Manusmriti, which Ambedkar had denounced, were resurfacing in the country.…



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Riyas Moulavi case; RSS workers booked for murder charges (Nov 16, 2017, Evartha.in)

Into the murder case of Riyas Moulavi hailing from Old Choori of Kasaragod district, three accused who are RSS workers, have been booked for murder charges by the court. The court’s new move comes just before the hearing of the case.

The accused in the case are S Ajesh (20) aka Appu, Nidhin (19) and Akhilesh (25) aka Akhil, natives of Kelugude. District sessions judge Manohar Kini read out the charges against the three to which they denied the crime. The case has been postponed to 16 December for further proceedings.

Riyas Moulavi (34) was found hacked at a room near the Muhayuddin Juma Masjid in Choori by his colleague on 20 March 2017. He was declared brought dead at the general hospital.…



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Gujarat elections: Fear-the-Muslim video chills in poll heat (Nov 18, 2017, Indian Express)

In poll-bound Gujarat, where the ruling BJP and main opponent Congress are increasingly turning to social media to belittle each other in the countdown to the assembly polls next month, a new video clip has surfaced, one that shows a young girl walking fearfully down a road while what sounds like an azaan (the Muslim call to prayer) plays in the background.

Nobody is owning up the video clip which has been doing the rounds. A human rights lawyer, Govind Parmar of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), has written to Election Commission and Gujarat Police to stop circulation of the video clip, saying it can be used to polarise votes in the state and stoke hatred against Muslims.

The 1.15-minute video clip in Gujarati starts with a line that reads: ‘Gujarat ma sanjhe 7 pachhi avu thai shake chhe’ (This can happen in Gujarat after 7 in the evening).…



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A temple for Mahatma Gandhi’s killer: Hindu Mahasabha lays foundation stone in Gwalior (Nov 16, 2017, Times Now)

Undeterred by the Gwalior district administration’s refusal to allow construction of a temple glorifying Mahatma Gandhi’s murderer Nathuram Godse, the Hindu Mahasabha laid the foundation stone for the mandir.

India Today reports that the foundation stone was laid in Hindu Mahasabha’s Daulatganj office area. Floral tributes were paid to a statue which had already been installed in the office.

Godse was convicted in the murder of the Father of the Nation and was hanged till death on November 15, 1949 – his supporters celebrated the death anniversary as ‘sacrifice day’.…



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UP ministers watching, BJP leader warns Muslims: vote for us or else face ‘difficulties’ (Nov 17, 2017, Indian Express)

Campaigning for his wife who is contesting the civic polls in Barabanki district, a local BJP leader, Ranjeet Kumar Srivastava, warned Muslims to vote for her or face “difficulties” (kasht). Two ministers in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet, Dara Singh Chauhan and Ramapati Shastri, were present on stage when Srivastava made the remarks at a public meeting in Nawabganj area on November 13.

A video of his speech is doing the rounds of social media. “Samajwadi ki sarkar nahi hai. Yahan par tum jaa kar ke DM, SP se apna kaam nahi kara sakte ho. Yahan par tumhara koi neta tumhari koi madad nahi kar sakta hai. Sadak, khadanja, naali nagar palika ka kaam hai. Doosri bhi kuch museebatein tumhare upar aa sakti hain. Aaj tumhara koi pairokar BJP ke andar nahi hai. Agar hamare sabhasadon ko tumne bagair bhedbhao ke chunav nahin jitaya… Agar Ranjeet Sahab ki patni ko tumne vote de kar ke chunav nahi jitaya… To yeh doori jo tum banane ja rahe ho, ab agar yeh doori banegi to tumko Samajwadi Party bachane nahi aayegi. BJP ka shashankaal hai. Jo kasht tumko nahi jhelne pade the, woh kasht tumko uthane pad sakte hain,” said Srivastava.

(This is not a Samajwadi Party government. You cannot go to the DM, SP to get your work done. None of your leaders can help you. Roads, lanes, drains are the work of the municipal board. You may face some other difficulties as well. Today, you don’t have any advocates inside the BJP. If you do not, without any discrimination, get our corporators elected… If you do not vote for Ranjeet Sahab’s wife and get her elected… then you will distance yourselves and Samajwadi Party won’t come to your rescue. This is the BJP’s reign. You may have to face the difficulties which you did not have to undergo earlier). “Isliye, main Mussalmano se keh raha hun, vote de dena. Bheekh nahi maang raha hun. Agar vote doge, to sukhi rahoge. Agar vote nahin doge, to jo kasht jheloge uska andaza tumko swatah lag jayega,” he said. (Therefore, I am asking Muslims to cast your vote (for us). I am not begging. If you vote (for us), you will be better off. If you don’t vote (for us), the difficulties will become obvious to you.)…



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Opinions and Editorials

When Muslims are killed in hate crimes, BJP governments always side with the accused – By Afroz Alam Sahil (Nov 16, 2017, Sabrang India)

A few days ago, during the trial of the persons accused of killing Junaid Khan, Justice YS Rathor of the Faridabad District Court made an extremely astounding observation. In his written order, Justice Rathor observed, “Despite repeated warnings, government additional advocate General Naveen Kaushik was seen helping the lawyer of the accused and telling him the questions which will be asked to the accused.” Following this, Kaushik was removed from his post and Justice Rathor also asked the Haryana government to take action against Kaushik.

Justice Rathor’s observation may have been a revelation for some, but it points to a much bigger issue: time and again, the way the state and central government have acted in cases related to mob lynching of Muslims, it is clear that justice for Muslims in these cases will be tough and probably elusive. This becomes even more visible in cases where the state government is also under the BJP, as is the case in Haryana where Junaid was murdered.

Take the case of Pahlu Khan, where an independent investigation has conclusively proved how the government is hell-bent on providing all possible support to the accused. The police have been in an overdrive mode trying to prove that the men named by Khan in his dying declaration were never present on the site (despite video evidence) while the hospital where Khan was brought says he died of a heart attack. The report also details exactly how the police have time and again, shown a lackadaisical attitude towards the case.…



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The Sangh’s New Game Plan for Ayodhya – By Krishna Pratap Singh (Nov 16, 2017, The Wire)

From the time of Adityanath’s first visit to Ayodhya as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the question doing the rounds in the state was why he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are singing such different tunes on the Ram temple controversy. Adityanath’s recent Diwali extravaganza, tom-tommed as a ‘return to treta yuga’, has triggered a fresh round of speculation – unlike in 2014, will the BJP contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a Hindutva agenda, or will it remove Adityanath from his chief ministerial position before that.

This question, which has everything to do with the internal contradictions between the ruling BJP and the RSS, has gained a sharper edge in the light of several factors – the differences ‘within and without’ over the Modi government’s style of functioning and policies; the narrative of ‘vikas going crazy’ in Gujarat; the bubble of the so-called Gujarat model of economy bursting; and Adityanath being asked to campaign in parallel with Modi in poll-bound Gujarat. But as yet this question remains unanswered.

Political observers who have been predicting a huge churn within the BJP, have even started saying that by 2019 Modi will stumble to such an extent that his larger than life aura of ‘heroism’ will be transferred to Adityanath, and Modi himself will suffer the same fate as Lal Krishna Advani. The way these observers see it, the Gujarat election results will unequivocally demonstrate that people can’t be fooled all the time.…



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A distorted view of India – By Tavleen Singh (Nov 19, 2017, Indian Express)

Ever since Hindutva spread like a saffron skein across our ancient land, a new kind of chippy Indian has emerged. The chip on his shoulder is so huge that the smallest criticism of Hinduism, Hindus or Hindustan sends him (and her) into an apoplectic fit, especially on Twitter.

The rage vented is so petty, putrid and pathetic that I believe that instead of being the proud patriots these chippy Indians profess to be, they are secretly ashamed of being Indian.…

At the risk of sounding a little like a chippy, Hindutva type, I have to point out that there has been much more ignorance and prejudice about India evident in The New York Times since Narendra Modi became prime minister. The best example of this prejudice is that he is often made to sound as if he were the only chief minister who presided over communal riots in which the victims were mostly Muslim.…



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Muslim Panic Over House Markings in Ahmedabad is Painful Legacy of 2002 Violence – By Damayantee Dhar (Nov 16, 2017, The Wire)

An apparent municipal plan to implement a GPS-driven garbage collection system created panic among the Muslim residents of the Paldi area when they found mysterious red crosses on the outer wall of their housing societies earlier this week.

Though 15 years have passed since the 2002 targeted attacks on Muslim neighbourhoods and dwellings in the city, the big red ‘X’ marks led many to imagine the worst. Several residents filed a written complaint to the Election Commission and the police commissioner. It was only then that the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) said that the cross marks were meant to be garbage pickup points and had been painted by its staff.…

The red cross marks appeared on about 10 Muslim housing societies in the area, spreading panic. Later, it was found that at least two Hindu societies also had similar markings. The residents of Delight, one of the Muslim societies, wrote a letter to the Election Commission and police commissioner on November 13 urging them to take “immediate action against marking and highlighting of Muslim community building premises in Paldi area”.…



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Gujarat Behind the Mirage: The Myth of Good Governance – By Gautam Thaker (Nov 14, 2017, Sabrang India)

Good governance of any state can be gauged on the basis of the reports of non-partisan institutions. Certain rules and regulations have been included within the constitutional scheme to determine whether the expenditure incurred by the state and also whether the implementation of planning of the state has been done in a legally proper and accountable manner.

There is nothing orderly and accountable within Gujarat, not only in the economic and political field but neither in the social or cultural field. Individual human rights and freedoms are seriously endangered, the dignity and rights of women, Dalits and minorities under assault from an entrenched system of majoritarian patronage; citizens from these sections do not receive fair and measured treatment. So it also is with atrocities on the working class and the denial of the rights of Adivasis. The Gujarat model which is being presented before the nation is false and misleading – deceptive.

Lakhs of deprived people, Dalits, Adivasis, cowherds of Saurashtra, freely wandering races (tribes), fishermen, salt-workers and unorganised labourers are today, not safe in Gujarat. Pasture lands are being given away to big industry – industrialists are making the life of all classes of citizens, with the exception of the rich, full of hardship. The condition of women workers, labourers, poor workers and farm workers is pitiable. Truly speaking, the poor in Gujarat have no equal opportunities to earn their livelihood with self respect or to improve their life conditions.…



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End threats and blackmail against Padmavati – Editorial (Nov 17, 2017, Free Press Journal)

It is extraordinary that even before anyone knows what it depicts, Bollywood film Padmavati has become a hot topic of discussion. And for all the wrong reasons. If anyone ought to debate its contents minutely before passing it for commercial release, it is the Central Board of Film Certification. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a top-notch director, cannot be unaware of the sensitivities and sensibilities of the protesters making noises against his film.

A lot of money is riding on Padmavati and its makers can be trusted not to risk it by knowingly offending any section of the people. The fact that the film has been dogged by controversy from the day it went on the sets, Bhansali might have seen it as a double-edged weapon, for if the protests added to costs and time-overruns, these also lent the film a huge cache, arousing wide public interest.

Given the latest protests, it seems, Bhansali was wrong in not having stilled the controversy right in the beginning. Creative freedom must not be circumscribed by the fear of self-styled defenders of historical figures.…



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