Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2014

Flip side of Gujarat's cultural capital: Ousted slumdwellers "pushed" to spot where there's no power, water, food

By Our Representative
Following one of the biggest demolition drives in Gujarat's cultural capital, Vadodara (click HERE to read), some of the displaced slumdwellers of Kalyannagar were moved to a rehabilitation colony in Maneja, about 10 kilometres away, in the outskirts of the city. Ashok Gupta, a concerned Vadodara citizen, was in Maneja on November 28, nearly a week after the demolition drive, and this is what he wrote in a Facebook post: "Displaced from Kalyannagar to Maneja, where they are without electricity, water, food... Their only fault is that they are poor and there is no media, no leader to support them. Citizens of Vadodara give them food, medicines, came to teach their kids. They live in subhuman conditions with uncertain future."

Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra oustees protest Narmada dam at Indore, prepare to leave for Delhi

By Our Representative
Representatives of the Sardar Sarovar dam affected from three states – Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra – thronged the streets of Indore in Madhya Pradesh as part of their six-days yatra to “challenge” the “unlawful” decision of the BJP-led government in Delhi to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam by 17 meters. Saying that the Government of India decision “would lead to a watery grave of 45,000 families”, the anti-dam organisation Narmada Bachao Andolan's (NBA's) statement said, adding, “The oustees questioned the false claims of rehabilitation.”

"Take away" gram sabhas' rights in diverting forest land for irrigation, gas pipeline, transmission line projects

By Our Representative
Over and above seeking to solicit "utmost complete faith" in the corporate sector in providing environmental clearance, the Report of the High Level Committee on Forest and Environment Related Laws, formed by the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), has asked the Government of India to scale down the role of the gram sabhas in diverting forest land. Released last week, the report, whose copy is with Counterview, says that the “provisions of forest rights Act (FRA), which make it mandatory to seek the approval of gram sabha, should be amended.”

Government of India ready to "reconsider" inter-linking of rivers project if it is environmentally harmful

By Our Representative
Is the Government of India reconsidering its plans for interlinking of rivers? A top non-profit organization – quoting Union minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation Uma Bharti – has said that this may well happen, in case the senior minister sticks to what she said on the last day of the India Rivers Week 2014, November 27. “Government will not proceed with interlinking of rivers if environmental consequences are adverse”, Bharti was quoted as saying. “if we want to save our rivers, the first step is to ensure that no untreated effluent or sewage is mixed with treated water and finds its way into our rivers.”

Indian economic 'slowdown': Big bang reforms fail to take off, Modi magic protagonists should 'rethink' now

By Our Representative
With the Indian economy officially slowing down to 5.3 percent (though experts calculated it earlier at 5.1 percent) during July-September 2014, from 5.7 per cent in the previous quarter, and credit growth hitting a 13-month low in September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise to oversee a revival when he swept to power in May is beginning to be questioned. One of the most influential American dailies, "The Wall Street Journal" has said, with India’s economic growth decelerating, doubts have surfaced "about how quickly the country’s new government can deliver on pledges to end a nearly three-year slump and transform the world’s second-most-populous nation into a manufacturing powerhouse."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott "follows" Modi: Accused of buying up Facebook likes in India

By Our Representative
Australian prime minster Tony Abbott is under attack for “following” Prime Minister Narendra Modi – and for strange reasons. He has been accused of springing a surprise by “buying Facebook likes in India”, like Modi has been doing. SmartCompany, which calls itself a “completely free news, information and resource site for Australia's entrepreneurs”, with contributors including Australia's top entrepreneurs, experts and advisers, has reported that a surge in "likes"on Abbott's Facebook page driven by new fans living in India has “prompted social media users to question his newfound popularity.”

Environmental clearance?: Rely on corporate houses' "utmost good faith", Government of India told

By Our Representative
In an important move, the high-powered committee, headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian, appointed by the Government of India in order to “review” current environmental laws, has sought to recommend that only those protected areas and forests which have more than 70 per cent canopy would not be disturbed for setting up a project. Taking strong exception to this, environmental activists in a note under circulation says, this is “a problem”, as it means the committee has “excluded wildlife corridors, non-forest habitat types of conservation significance, wetlands, coastal areas and buffer zones.”

Gujarat slum policy in action: 2,000 Muslim, Dalit slum houses razed ahead of crucial High Court hearing

By Our Representative
In one of the most aggressive demotion drives undertaken in the recent past in the name of riverfront development, more than 2,000 houses of slum-dwellers, who were living in Kalyan Nagar area of Vadodara for nearly four decades, have been razed to the ground. According to local people, whose houses were demolished, they were not served individual notices ahead of the demolition. A senior activist from Ahmedabad, who had gone to Vadodara for spot inspection, told Counterview that the only “notice” that was served to them was through a newspaper several weeks ago. Ironically, Vadodara is known as the cultural capital of Gujarat.

Gujarat's lag in higher education is intact, suggest data in new report sponsored by Centre, top industry body

By Rajiv Shah
A fresh report on the status of higher education in India has suggested that, despite a sharp increase in the number of universities and colleges in the recent past, the Gujarat government continues to perform poorly as compared to many other states in ensuring quality education to college-going children. Titled “Annual Status of Higher Education of States and Union Territories in India, 2014”, and sponsored jointly by the Union ministry of human resources and the top industry body, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the report finds that Gujarat government’s per capita spending on higher education (Rs 2,958) is less than nine major Indian states out of 20.

Citing CAG, budget analyst says, Gujarat govt figures on dropout, enrollment in primary schools are "false"

By Our Representative
Contradicting Gujarat government claims – as reflected in a Government of India book, “Elementary Education in India”, of June 2014 – that dropout rate of lower primary schools went down from 2.99 per cent in 2010-11 to 0.74 per cent in 2012-13, latest report of India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) suggests that the dropout rate was, actually, 19.48 per cent in 2013. CAG confines itself to analysing enrollment in government schools over the years, even as surveying as many as 300 schools to identify infrastructure reasons behind poor enrollment.

CRY survey: Implementation of right to education in Gujarat is "still elusive", reality is "grimmer"

By Our Representative
A just-finalized survey sponsored by high-profile NGO Child Rights and You (CRY), in alliance with Buniyadi Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (BAAG), carried out in 243 schools of 17 districts, has found that assertions made by the state government about cent per cent success in implementing right to education (RTE) are false. CRY has said in a report based on the survey, “An analysis reveals that implementation of RTE in Gujarat is still elusive, and in many parameters government’s claim of 100 per cent achievement is debatable… Findings are indicative that reality may be grimmer.”

BJP, Congress politicians got together to deprive farmers of land in Gujarat for constructing Junagadh bypass

By Our Representative
Four years after farmers’ prolonged protests broke out against efforts to divert 177 hectares (ha) of land for the construction of 20-km six-lane national highway as bypass to Junagadh city of Saurashtra in Gujarat, a fact-finding team of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) has alleged political conspiracy being hatched while going ahead with efforts to take away parts of farmers’ fertile agricultural for the project. Talking with newspersons, PUCL general secretary Gautam Thakar said, “We found that these politicians, mainly from the BJP, and supported by the UPA government in Delhi, did not want their land to be acquired for the previously planned bypass, which was to be just seven-km long.”

Australian daily reminds authorities how Modi, a hardliner, became an international pariah after Gujarat riots

By Our Representative
In a surprise move, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi left Australia, November 18, the country’s oldest and well-reputed daily, “The Sydney Morning Herald”, decided to analyse what it has called “the dark shadows behind the power of Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping”. In a commentary citing protests which rocked Australian streets in the wake of their visit for G-20 summit, Matt Wade and John Garnaut write in the daily, “The adulation afforded to Modi in Australia reflects a stunning turnaround”, adding, “In 2002, when Mr Modi was chief minister of India's Gujarat state, deadly riots cast a dark shadow over his reputation.”

Yale University scholars 'warn' Congress: There has been 0.8% rise in BJP vote share following every riot

By Our Representative
In what may prove to a stern warning to those in the Congress party who have come to believe following the recent debacle in the Lok Sabha polls that stressing too much fighting against communal violence may erode their majority Hindu voter base, a recent Yale University research of Indian electoral data, titled “Do parties matter for ethnic violence? Evidence from India”, has reached the drastic conclusion that rise in religious violence in India is a sure sign of the country’s shift away from democracy. Authored by Gareth Nellis, Michael Weaver and Steven Rosenzweig, the scholars base their analysis of assembly election outcomes spread over several decades in 16 major Indian states.

Gujarat's slips in rural infant mortality rate, unlikely to achieve millennium development goal by 2015

By Rajiv Shah
Fresh data of the Sample Registration System (SRS), which works under the Census of India, have suggested that Gujarat’s rural areas have failed to improve, and in fact gone down by one point, in its ranking, in the fight against high infant mortality rate (IMR) vis-a-vis other states in the last one decade. According to the latest SRS Bulletin, which was prepared in September 2014 and is based on the data collected in 2013, Gujarat ranked No 12th in a group of 20 major states in rural IMR. What is particularly shocking is that, at 43 IMR per 1000, such so-called backward states like Bihar (42 per 1000) and Jharkhand (38 per 1000) do better than Gujarat.

Gujarat budget mismatch: While tax revenues suggest rise, spending on people's welfare decelerates

By Our Representative
Facts made available from Gujarat’s finance department show deceleration in spending during the first six months of the current financial year, between April and September 2014. A financial statement, accessed by Counterview, suggests that, while there had been acceleration in revenue collection, this has failed to improve the ability to spend on different projects floated by the Gujarat government for people’s “welfare”. Characterized as “unaudited” accounts, the figures show that, though the tax revenue of the Gujarat government rose from 45.7 per cent of the budget estimates during April-September 2013 to 47 per cent in April-September 2014, this did not impact the ability to raise spending.

Godse is national hero who must be taught in schools: USA's NRI-sponsored Global Hindu Foundation

By Our Representative
Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, is a “national hero” who “fought for independence from the British”, but his reputation was “tarnished” by previous governments. He should “figure prominently” among the list of national heroes to be taught in all government schools. So urges a letter, dated November 15, 2014, addressed to Union human resources development minister Smruti Irani. Posted on savetemples.org, website of the “Mission to Save Hinduism and Hindu Temples”, it has been described as a ‘project of Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) USA’. The mission, interestingly, operates out of the ‘Save Temple Office’ opened in Hyderabad city in June 2012.

'Unsustainable' development: Gujarat's Flamingo City is grievously threatened, says UK conservation affiliate

Counterview Desk
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), an affiliate of the UK-based BirdLife International – a global conservation organization – has identified the Flamingo City in Kutch district of Gujarat as one of the ten important bird areas (IBAs) in India, which are in danger because of “unsustainable developmental policies” and “rising insensitivity towards nature.” Topping the list of ten, the BNHS believes that the situation is particularly precarious for the Flamingo City, because it is “a potential Ramsar site.”

Rajasthan activist brutally attacked in Neem Ka Thana for opposing continued stone mining despite ban

By Our Representative
A fresh incident of attack on those campaigning against stone quarries in Rajasthan has come to light. The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said, on November 14, Shankarlal Mina, one of the most active workers in the struggle against stone quarry mafias, and is from village Toda, Neem Ka Thana tehsil, Rajasthan, was “brutally attacked in village market in broad day light”. It added, the attack, in which Mina’s hand and leg were fractured, was by "stone quarry mafia and goondas allegedly owing allegiance to former MLA Ramesh Khandelwal, who lost appeal at the National Green Tribunal (NGT)." NGT, Bhopal bench, in September put a stay on all mining activities and illegal stone crushing in Neema Ka Thana and Sikar district.

Now criminal case in Australia against Modi for Gujarat "genocide", coinciding with visit for G-20 summit

By Our Representative
The American Justice Center (AJC), the New York-based organization which moved an American court against Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his visit to the US for his “complicity” in Gujarat communal riots, has now "announced" that it has filed of a “criminal complaint” in Australia against visiting Modi for his role in “aiding, abetting and inciting” organized attacks against the minorities of Gujarat before and during the “horrific genocide” of 2002. “The lawsuit is being brought under the aegis of AJC, by Asif Vahora, a survivor of the 2002 massacres, in which over 2,000 people were killed and over 150,000 displaced”, a AJC statement said.

India "blocking" international Dalit body's UN consultative status, says UN official, backed by US, Norway

By Our Representative
In an unusual development, a senior UN official has taken strong exception to India “arbitrarily blocking” high-profile NGO operating from Copenhagen, International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), from obtaining UN consultative status. Calling Indian move “clearly unacceptable, wrong and unfair”, UN Special Rapporteur on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Maina Kiai has said, reprisals were an area of the gravest concern and some states were repeatedly targeting organizations, “thus obstructing legitimate civil society participation.”

Swachh Gujarat? Manual scavenging continues admist CAG indictment, loud govt claims to the contrary

By Our Representative
These photographs were taken by the Ahmedabad-based Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust's senior activist, Natubhai Parmar, on November 13, two days after India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report slammed the Gujarat government for the failure of its “Swachh Gujarat” (Clean Gujarat) campaign and existence of “several cases” of manual scavenging, banned in the country. The snaps were taken in three towns, Surendranagar, Wadhwan and Sayala of Gujarat, and a grim reminder that there is no impact of the Swachh Bharat campaign in Gujarat and manual scavenging continues unabated, despite official denials. CAG had also regretted that though the Gujarat government was asked to take "appropriate and swift action" to verify "each and every case" of manual scavenging, CAG did not provide a satisfactory answer to Government of India.

Sardar Sarovar dam, industrial effluents in South Gujarat "adversely affecting" fish catch in Narmada estuary

By Our Representative
Is the anti-dam sentiment downstream area of the Narmada river finally beginning to raise its head in Gujarat? This is the impression gained by senior activists of Delhi-based NGO, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), and Ahmedabad-based NGO Paryavaran Mitra, who visited areas next to the Narmada estuary. An interview-based analysis by Amruta Pradhan of SANDRP, based on the visit, suggests that fisherfolk particularly are clearly feeling the pinch of the obstructions in the Narmada river, especially by the dam, which is situated about 126 km on the upstream.

Gujarat govt blames self for poor GSDP growth, says data wing didn't capture Rs 19,792 crore industrial growth

By Rajiv Shah
Rattled by a relatively poor Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth rate in recent years, two senior Gujarat government officials, ably assisted by an Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) expert, ironically, have put – to quote them --“big question marks on the credibility of the state income estimation and hence on the Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES) in the state”. They say this in their recent paper, “Measurement Issues in State Income from Registered Manufacturing Sector – Case of Gujarat”, published by IIM-A.

IIM-A's Ahmedabad slum study tells US policy makes: Slum networking failed, no need to offer support

Counterview Desk
A top Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) study by three experts -- Sharon Barnhardt, Erica Field and Rohini Pande with the IIM-A, Duke University, and Harvard University, respectively – has said that a slum networking project to relocate slum dwellers, begun in 1987 and implemented six years later in Ahmedabad, was a total flop. The study, based on spot surveys, particularly notices “lack of socioeconomic improvement among” among those who agreed to be relocated. Even after the relocation, it adds, the relocated persons experienced a “high exit rate”. It concludes, “The long-run economic value of this fairly expensive public programme was close to zero.”

Former Supreme Court judge expresses concern over efforts to convert India into a theocratic state

By Our Representative
Justice PB Sawant, former Supreme Court judge, under whom an apex court bench upheld secularism as one of the pillars of the Indian Constitution, has expressed apprehensions over “attempts at the conversion of India into a theocratic state where Hindus enjoy superior rights." Pointing out the move would be “resisted and challenged”, talking to prominent human rights activist Teesta Setalvad for “Communalism Combat” and Hille Le tv, Sawant, who was also chairperson the Press Council of India, added, “Religious texts of every faith display guidelines to ethical behaviour that can inspire societies and lawmakers.” To watch the interview click HERE

Compulsory voting law in Gujarat: Modi "abstained" from House when law was introduced in Dec 2009

By Our Representative
Gujarat governor OP Kohli’s recent decision to legitimise the controversial law, passed in the state assembly twice in the past, to make voting to local governing bodies compulsory, has come following five-year-long apprehensions in Gujarat that those who do cast their vote without “valid” reasons would face punitive, perhaps criminal, action. Called Gujarat Local Authorities Law (Amendment) Act, the law was first passed in the Gujarat state assembly on December 19, 2009. Interestingly, when the law was voted in the assembly, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was not present in the House. He, instead, opted to "watch" the proceedings sitting in the chief minister’s chamber of the state assembly.

Bypassing funds crunch: Top Ahmedabad NGO to go all-India with its new business model for social cause

By Our Representative
In an apparent move to bypass foreign funding dilemma, a top Ahmedabad-based NGO, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), working in the arena of social justice lawyering, has decided to go all-India with its Nyayika experiment, operating as a non-profit company under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. The Act allows setting up private limited companies to “promote” commerce, art, science, charity or any other “useful” activities on a no-profit-no-loss basis. Currently, Nyayika operates from eight centres in Gujarat -- Ahwa, Modasa, Mandvi, Bharuch, Palanpur, Amreli, Vadodara and Ahmedabad – providing affordable legal services to vulnerable sections.

Australian environmental survey claims 69% Indians oppose Adanis' imported coal-fired power project

By Our Representative A survey conducted by AZ Research for Australian environmental group Market Forces a less than a week ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to visit Australia to attend the G-20 summit has claimed that 69 per cent of Indians, and 87 per cent of Gujaratis, oppose imported coal-fired power plant project being imported by Modi’s closest industrial group, Adanis. Sponsored by Australian environmental group Market Forces, the survey has been carried out as part of the environmental campaign in Australia over importing coal from proposed mines in the Aussie province of Queensland’s Galilee Basin, contracted to the Adani Group.

Right to education? Gujarat government "decides" to discontinue tent schools in Little Rann of Kutch

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government is learnt to have decided to wind up 29 schools, operating in tents in the wide expanse of the Little Rann of Kutch, envisaged way back in late 1990s and operating over the last 14 years in order to facilitate children of the saltpan workers to study. Director, primary education, RC Rawal, according to well-informed sources, has told the district primary education officers (DPEOs) of five districts which surround the Rann – Kutch, Rajkot, Surendranagar, Patan and Banaskantha – that in 2014-15 “no funds have been allocated for the tent schools, hence these cannot be supported anymore.”

Indo-Bangla coal-fired power project "threatens" world's largest contiguous mangrove forest, Sundarban

By Our Representative
Protests have broken out in Bangladesh against a joint India-Bangladesh power project at Rampal, situated in the immediate north of the world’s Sundarban mangrove forests, declared world heritage site by UNESCO. The world's largest contiguous mangrove ecosystem stretching over 10,200 sq km across India and Bangladesh, Sundarban’s 4,263 sq km of reserve forest is in India and 5,937 sq km is in Bangladesh. Proposed as 1320 MW coal-fired power station at Rampal of Bagerhat district in Khulna, Bangladesh, the project is a joint partnership between India’s state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation and Bangladesh Power Development Board.

NDA's 100 day "record": 4,600 farmers' suicides, 69,000 attempted suicides, claims NAPM, plans rally

By Our Representative
The National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM), apex body of several people’s bodies across India, has decided to converge in New Delhi on December 2, 2014 to oppose Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s proposed changes in the land acquisition Act, passed last year in Parliament when the UPA-2 government was in power. Calling the decision to change the Act “unacceptable”, the rally will also oppose proposed changes to social, environmental and labour laws. The NAPM believes the rally is particularly important because the BJP’s victory in the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly polls has only boosted the party’s confidence.

NSSO report suggests Gujarat's lag in household power consumption vis-a-vis several other Indian states

By Our Representative
Fresh figures released by India's powerful National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), based on its 68th round of survey, have exposed the loud Gujarat government claims of the highest electricity per capita consumption in Gujarat compared to any other major Indian state. Released recently in “Household Consumption of Various Goods and Services in India, 2011-12”, the survey-based report suggests the electricity consumption in Gujarat’s household is lower than nine states both in urban and rural areas out of 20 major Indian states.

Stone quarries in Rajasthan: Three women and a girl child injured because of illegal blast, banned by NGT

By Our Representative
Three women and a girl child were wounded in during “illegal blast” in the stone quarries in Bharala (Jeer ki chowki), Neem Ka Thana, Rajasthan, said a statement issued by the National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) quoting sources from people's organisations in the state. The incident, it said, happened because of the “violation of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order” not to continue with stone quarrying in the area, even as "exposing" the existing “nexus between mafias, police and politicians.” The incident happened at 3.00 pm in the afternoon “without any warning when the three had gone to the jungle to collect firewood”, the NAPM added.

Communal clash in South Gujarat village: Silent on VHP "involement", state PUCL blames cow slaughter

By Our Representative
A statement by the Gujarat branch of India’s premier human rights body, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), has blamed cow slaughter for communal clashes on the Bakr Eid day, October 7, at Dabhel village of Jalalpur taluka of Navsari district in South Gujarat. The PUCL said, “crux of the findings by the inquiry committee after its investigation” under its team found -- “during its visit to the spot of incident, that is Dabhel village, talks by the team members, interaction with the two youths who sustained injuries during the clashes, as also four police personnel” -- that “an incident had taken place of butchering a cow in the village before the clashes began in Dabhel village.”

Order "undermining" gram sabha in diverting forest land would "promote cronyism, corruption": NGO

By Our Representative
Prominent people’s organizations have begun to object to the latest Government of India move to undermine the right of the tribal gram sabhas (or general body meetings of villagers) to be consulted before kickstarting any non-forest activity in the forest areas. In a strongly worded letter to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, the Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha, said the move funs against the spirit of the “historic” Forest Rights Act, 2006 passed by under the previous UPA government.

Bitter on RSS' Love Jihad campaign, top director Mahesh Bhatt regrets lack of secular ethos in Bollywood

By Our Representative
Top Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt has said that the bandwidth of Indian tradition has been open and wide enough to have a Buddha 2500 years back, questioning the very basis of the Hindu system, which is based on caste system. “The RSS is seeking to narrow this tradition to a bitter and narrow perspective of faith, denying India its diversity and pluralism, which has been its uniqueness and strength”, he has pointed out in an interview with Teesta Setalvad for Communalism Combat and Hillele TV.

A new Left movement in the offing? NAPM wants "united action" of secular, socialist, progressive forces

By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), India’s apex body of tens of mass organizations, ended its 10th Biennial National Convention in Pune with a promise to usher in a new Left-wing movement in India by calling for “united action” of “secular, socialist and progressive” forces to “combat the rising fundamentalist and fascist forces in the country.” The NAPM, in a statement did not, however, suggest which “progressive forces” it wanted to unite with, but said the new rule by “a fundamentalist-religious-corporate cabal” was seeking to against destroy India’s social fabric.

Central Gujarat Dalits targeted for demanding water; houses vandalised, pregnant women not spared

By Our Representative
In a gruesome incident, a mob consisting of dominant caste persons of a Central Gujarat village, Malavada, attacked the Dalit locality over the demand for supply to water, beating up several individuals, not sparing pregnant women, old persons and children, and vandalizing all the 60 households by forcibly entering in each of them. According to social activists visiting the village, the mob, led by the sarpanch (village head) and her family, belonging to the OBC Thakore community, attacked the Dalit locality which was protesting against “refused” to provide regular water supply to the locality.

A clear case of discrimination? One third of Gujarat's convicts are Dalits, which is highest in India

By Rajiv Shah
In a shocking revelation, just-released Government of India statistics suggest that 32.9 per cent of all convicts and 23.4 per cent of all undertrials in Gujarat’s prisons are Dalits. What makes the situation particularly precarious for the state, being projected as “model” for the whole country to follow, is that Dalits in Gujarat form just about 6.7 per cent (2011 Census) of the total population of the state – lower than any other major state of the country.

Why is Modi silent on a new investigation of 1984 anti-Sikh genocide, asks US foreign affairs professional

By Our Representative
A prominent Indian American foreign policy expert, who has been professional staff member for South Asian Policy, US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has wondered why is Prime Minister Narendra Modi “holding back accountability” for the anti-Sikh genocide of 1984. One who personally suffered during the holocaust as a small child, Jasmeet K Ahuja suggests Modi’s “silence” is already being interpreted as his "strategic necessity": “After all, his demanding a new investigation of 1984 would only embolden Congress Party officials to do the same for the 2002 pogroms in Gujarat. It would be the pot calling the kettle black”, she underlines.