IAMC Weekly News Roundup - October 26th, 2015 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 26th, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Narendra Modi UK visit: Cameron urged to raise human rights with Indian PM (Oct 22, 2015, Rt.com)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Alex Salmond have signed a parliamentary motion calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to raise human rights concerns with Indian PM Narendra Modi when he visits the UK in November. The Early Day Motion (EDM) urges the government to investigate reports of human rights atrocities in Kashmir and the ongoing detention of multiple political prisoners, several of whom are on hunger strike.

Sponsors of the motion include Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and the SNP’s Paul Monaghan. The majority of supporters are from the Labour Party, with the exception of four Labour MPs who announced they would donate their pay rise to help fund a welcome reception for the Indian PM.

Monaghan told the International Business Times UK he sponsored the EDM because he wants India’s leaders to review their human rights record.…



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Muslim family in UP alleges boy taken from school to attend RSS camp (Oct 25, 2015, Indian Express)

A controversy has erupted after the father of a Muslim boy claimed his son was picked up from school and taken to a RSS camp held in local BJP MP Jagdambika Pal’s school at Siddharth Nagar district between October 10 and 17.

Mahboob Ahmed, in his complaint to the district magistrate – lodged on Tuesday – and the State Minority Commission (SMC), alleged his son Gulzar Ahmed (15) was taken to the event on the pretext that it was an educational camp, and was taught “anti-Muslim ethics” there. Gulzar is a Class VIII student at a local government junior high school in Uska Bazar town of Siddharth Nagar.

Ahmed said he has decided to withdraw Gulzar and his two other children from the school. In his complaint to the SMC, Mahboob claimed the local RSS unit took Gulzar to a recent training camp under the fake name Vijay Kumar. He claimed his son had to attend sessions where “anti-Islamic poems and literature” were read out.…



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Muzaffarnagar riots case: Bailable warrant against Union minister, BJP leaders (Oct 25, 2015, The Hindu)

A local court in Muzaffarnagar has issued bailable warrant against several accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riot cases, including Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan, BJP MP Bhartendu Singh, party MLA Suresh Rana and VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar court Sitaram asked all the accused in the case to appear in the court on November 2. “The case required appearance of the accused for its timely disposal. Their non-appearance is resulting in extreme delays,” the prosecution lawyer said.

The accused were charged under section 188 (violating prohibitory orders), section 354 (assault or criminal force to deter public servants from discharging his duty) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code.…



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BJP, Sri Rama Sene activists held for communal clashes in Karnataka (Oct 24, 2015, India Today)

The Karnataka police arrested more than 30 activists of the BJP and the Sri Rama Sene in Londa in Karnataka.

According to police, communal clashes flared up on Thursday night after community leaders made an inflammatory speech at a public event. Miscreants pelted stones and set vehicles on fire. The police restored order by deploying additional platoons at the venue.

BJP leader Baburao Desai and Sri Rama Sene leader Pandit Ogale are among those arrested by the police.



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4 Shiv Sainiks held for disrupting Pakistani play in Gurgaon (Oct 25, 2015, The Hindu)

Four Shiv Sena activists were on Sunday arrested for disrupting a drama staged by some Pakistani actors in Gurgaon. Acting on a complaint by Municipal Corporation PRO Satbir Rohilla, Gurgaon police registered an FIR against the four persons, police spokesperson said.

All the four accused persons, identified as Ajay, Gautam, Sumit and Jitu, have been arrested by the police, the spokesperson said.

Around 5-6 young men claiming to be Shiv Sainiks on Saturday climbed atop the stage at an open air theatre in Gurgaon, where a group of seven Pakistani actors were staging a play Banjh.…



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India beef lynching premeditated, says inquiry (Oct 22, 2015, BBC)

A commission of inquiry in India has concluded that the lynching of a man over rumours he kept and consumed beef was premeditated and not spontaneous. A panel from the National Commission for Minorities visited the village of Bisada, near Delhi, where Mohammad Akhlaq, a Muslim, was beaten to death. It said a Hindu temple had been used to plan the attack.

Government ministers from the Hindu nationalist BJP have said the incident was a spontaneous expression of anger. In recent weeks three Muslim men have been killed by Hindus accusing them of eating or smuggling beef.

Mr Akhlaq’s killing sparked furious debate about religious tolerance, with some criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not condemning the attack sooner.…



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Writers march in protest ahead of Sahitya Akademi meeting (Oct 23, 2015, Times of India)

Writers who have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards marched in protest in Delhi today, ahead of the cultural body’s emergency meeting, also scheduled for today, to discuss the resignation of authors from the Akademi.

Several authors have returned their Akademi awards and many have resigned from positions in the body to protest what they see as rising intolerance in the country under the Narendra Modi government.

Many writers have said that they will decide their course of action on the basis of the Akademi’s resolution over recent incidents like the murder of Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi and the murder of a man in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, because he was suspected of having eaten beef.…



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SC awards life term to two for killing a man over conversion (Oct 20, 2015, Times of India)

The Supreme Court has awarded life imprisonment to two youths for killing a Muslim man after he married two Hindu girls who later converted to Islam.

A bench of justices F M I Kalifulla and U U Lalit convicted the accused after relying on the prosecution’s theory that conversion was behind the killing and the accused had threatened to kill Sultan Meeran, a resident of Coimbatore, after he married a Hindu girl who converted to Islam.

The accused – Kamal and his friend – had warned Sultan that he would be killed if he converted other girls as his act was creating “danger for Hindu religion”. A month after being threatened, Sultan married another Hindu girl and she too adopted Islam. Enraged over the conversion, Kamal and his friend stabbed Sultan to death while he was partying in a club in 2003.…



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Puducherry police constable booked for dowry harassment (Oct 24, 2015, Times of India)

Villianur all-women police have booked a police constable attached to Indian reserve battalion (IRBn) on charges of harassing his wife demanding dowry on Thursday in the Union territory of Puducherry.

Police have launched a hunt for the constable who has been identified as R Raja, 29 from Korkadu, who absconded after learning that a case has been registered against him.

Police registered a case following a direction from the women’s commission. R Jayabharathi, 19 in her complaint said she married the constable in January this year.…



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Two Policemen Booked in Connection With Death of Dalit Boy (Oct 23, 2015, New Indian Express)

Two assistant sub-inspectors were today booked in connection with a Dalit boy’s death allegedly in police custody in Devipura village here even as his family claimed that police had demanded money for his release.

Post-mortem showed the 15-year-old boy, Govind, had died of hanging, a doctor said, a day after the teenager, who was taken to police station after being accused of pigeon theft, was found dead near his house under suspicious circumstances.

ASIs Subash and Anil have been booked under various sections of IPC, Deputy Superintendent of Police Venod Kumar said, with elaborating. The two policemen have been suspended. However, no arrests have been made so far.…



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Opinions and Editorials

The Mask Is Off – Editorial (Oct 24, 2015, EPW)

There never was a mask. The decades-long aim of the Sangh Parivar with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at its centre has been to make India a “Hindu nation.” That aim was only put in the background when the RSS supported Narendra Modi’s bid for prime ministership and provided the foot soldiers for the 2014 parliamentary elections, as the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) successfully sold the electorate the dream of sab ka vikas (development for all). Hindu majoritarianism lost no time thereafter to rear its head and show its full face.

What we are seeing now, from Dadri to Udhampur, from Mumbai to Mangalore, is this majoritarianism let loose and beyond anyone’s control, certainly not 7, Race Course Road. The lynching, fire-bombing, defacing of dissenters, vitriolic campaigns on social media, social bans on Muslims and the taunts to migrate to Pakistan are not the work of “fringe” elements. They are the work of the mainstream of majoritarianism. They were earlier seen as on the fringes because never before did Hindu communal groups wield the power they do now.

These informal groups and mass organisations – some with formal and some with informal links to the RSS-were no less stunned by the scale of the Modi triumph of 2014. They-specifically the RSS-now interpret 2014 as a major change in electoral politics: The Hindu Right can now come to power without any electoral support from the minorities. A Hindu nation then is within reach. The power that comes from such an interpretation when harnessed with silence by the government can wreak havoc on the social fabric, as is now beginning to happen.…



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Riot Rewards: BJP’s Vote Share Increases After Hindu-Muslim Clashes – By Rohit Ticku (Oct 21, 2015, Huffington Post)

…My study is the first empirical research, to the best of my knowledge, to establish a causal link between Hindu Muslim riots and BJP’s electoral results. Results show that BJP’s vote share in state level assembly elections increases between 2.9 to 4.4 percent in response to different riot outcomes.…

I test this theory by analyzing the effect of prior Hindu-Muslim riot events on BJP’s electoral performance in state assembly elections. The study covers 151 districts for a period between 1980 and 2000. Straightforward estimates of riots’ impact on BJP’s vote share could be biased for two reasons. First, there may be some unobserved factors which jointly determine riots and BJP’s vote share. Second, BJP may itself be instigating riots to gain votes, leading to the problem of reverse causality. I use temperature change as an exogenous source of variation in riots to correct for this bias.

Riot variables have a positive and statistically significant effect on BJP’s vote share. For example, a one percent increase in the number of riots in a district improves BJP’s vote share by 4.4 percent. Similarly, a percent increase in the number of people killed in riots within a district increase BJP’s vote share by 2.9 percent.…



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Is India becoming intolerant under PM Modi? – By Murali Krishnan (Oct 13, 2015, Deutsche Welle)

…The authors’ protest comes at a time when members of the Hindu nationalist party, Shiv Sena, doused a political activist in black ink in Mumbai to register their anger against the launch of a book by former Pakistani foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, on Monday, October 12.…

“The country is going through very difficult times. I feel it is worse than the black days of the emergency rule in the 1970s,” said author Sara Joseph. Nayantara Sahgal, a renowned author and niece of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was the first to return her Sahitya Akademi award. She said she was concerned about “India’s culture of diversity,” which she believed was under threat.

But neutral observers are of the view that the cycle of hate-mongering by Hindu groups has now been occurring regularly and with premeditated motives.



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Communalising beef: The Hindutva camp’s flawed argument – By Shamsul Islam (Oct 21, 2015, Indian Express)

The worst part about any debate on political/social/religious issues in India is that you introduce a Muslim dimension to it and the whole discourse will turn into an emotive issue. This situation has greatly aggravated with ‘swayamsevaks’ ruling a democratic-secular India. Currently it is happening on the issue of beef. The Hindutva camp is using it to demonize India Muslims by arguing that consumption of beef started with the arrival of Islam/Muslims in India. This thesis was laid out by MS Golwalkar…

It’s shocking that a person holding a constitutional office in a secular-democratic country is touting extra-constitutional conditions borrowed from RSS shakhas for Muslims’ stay in the country. This gentleman, who is fond of flaunting his RSS background, should explain why only Muslims. Even Christians, Hindus and Dalits consume beef legally in seven states of the North-east, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka & West Bengal. Will they also be de-nationalized?…

So far Muslims and Christians were kept out of Indian nation for belonging to foreign religions, not being Aryans, not knowing Sanskrit and not having Hindu blood in their veins. They were described as Malechas. These conditions were imposed by VD Savarkar and Golwalkar. Now beef is another condition. The only problem is that with this new add-on many more Indians, Dalits and those Hindus who eat beef are going to be de-franchised.



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SC Exposes ‘Tyranny Of The Elected’ – By Uttam Sengupta (Oct 21, 2015, Outlook)

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave had argued passionately in favour of the Judicial Appointments Commission before the Supreme Court, notes Justice J.S. Kehar in his ruling. The judge, however, went on to record that when the counsel was asked whether the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association ( which Dave is at present) or the chairman of the Bar Council of India would merit a place in the Commission as ’eminent people’, Mr Dave’s instant reaction was that it would be ‘disastrous’.

While ruling against the NJAC as bad in law and unconstitutional, Justice Kehar dwells at length on the composition of the NJAC which, as per the Bill passed by Parliament, was to comprise the Chief Justice of India, two senior most judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Law Minister and two ’eminent people’ chosen by the PM, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha etc.

The court felt that since the Act also provided that two of these six members of the NJAC could veto any appointment, it was possible for the two ’eminent people’ or one of them in collusion with the minister to stall an appointment favoured by the CJI and the two other judges. This was not only bad law but also undermined the Independence of the Judiciary. Indeed it would also be possible for the two ’eminent people’ to go against the view of the four other members of the Commission.…



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Dalits as easy targets – Editorial (Oct 23, 2015, The Hindu)

The murder of two children of a Dalit family in Faridabad is part of a disturbing pattern of violence against the Scheduled Castes in Haryana. National Crime Records Bureau data put the number of incidents of crimes against Dalits in Haryana in 2014 at 830. The corresponding figure for 2013 was 493; for 2012 it was 252. Haryana has often been in the news for all the wrong reasons so far as the question of caste-related incidents are concerned.

It has witnessed many major atrocities on Dalits before – including the Jhajjar killing of five Dalits in 2002, the burning of Dalit houses in Gohana in 2005, and the killing of two Dalits at Mirchpur in 2010. These atrocities apart, the State has been notorious for its Khap (clan) panchayats that have hit out against marriages outside a given caste or within a clan. Successive State governments including the present one led by the Bharatiya Janata Party have been unable to show the resolve to confront such tendencies up front. Political leaders have generally shied away from questioning the regressive aspects of tradition in the State.

However, Haryana isn’t the lone culprit where violence against Dalits is concerned. NCRB data show high incidence of such atrocities in States such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, among others.…



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