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Showing posts from July, 2015

Campaigners step up pressure on raising Narmada dam: Announce padyatra against "development terrorism"

By Our Representative
Stepping up the campaign against the ongoing construction of the Narmada dam height from 121.92 metres to 138.64 metres, which is the full reservoir level (FRL), the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has announced the decision to launch a week-long padyatra from Khalghat on Mumbai-Agra Highway in Madhya Pradesh to Badwani, next to the Madhya Pradesh-Gujarat border.

NDA may amend land acquisition law through ordinances, yet Ministries acquire land using their own laws

Counterview Desk
A Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) study has revealed that the NDA government has not just refused to invoke crucial provisions of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act, 2013 -- social impact assessment (SIA) and people's consent -- for acquiring land ever since it came to power. It has not even invoked some of the "positive" provisions of LARR Act, which remain intact in the ordinances, issued by it to dilute SIA and consent.

A South Gujarat tribal youth uses RTI, ensures his remote village gets good road, power, education, transport

By Pankti Jog*
Bharsingh Vasava, a tribal youth from the backward Narmada district, is proving to be a tough fighter against bureaucratic inertia. And, the tool he has been using is the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, amidst heavy odds. Belonging to South Gujarat's tribal village Samor, 40 km from Dediyapada town of South Gujarat, the place where he lives was devoid of regular transport. Even today it is devoid of mobile or telephone connectivity.

Abolish death sentence! It is a barbaric act and not in sync with civilised society

By Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*
So Yakub Memon was finally hanged to death early this morning (July 30th) in the Nagpur Central Jail! The 54-year old Chartered Accountant was convicted for the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts which took the lives of 267 people and injured many more. The team of lawyers defending him tried every possible option to stay the death penalty but to no avail.
President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Memon’s final plea for clemency despite a petition from several eminent citizens. The petition which was signed by over 300 persons (former Supreme Court judges, academia, human rights activists, film makers, politicians and others from civil society) requested the President to stay Memon’s execution citing procedural lapses and “disturbing aspects of this case which make the award of death sentence of Yakub Memon as grossly unfair, arbitrary and excessive”.
Apart from the fact that Yakub Memon had already served more than the stipulated time for life imprisonment and that there…

India's FDI Confidence ranking drops by 4 points in a year, from 7th to 11th position: Consultants AT Kearney

By Our Representative
Top international consultants AT Kearney have noted that, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India drive, India has dropped from the top 10 positions in foreign direct investment (FDI) confidence index for the first time since 2002. In a just-released report, “Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World”, the consultants’ rankings show that India in 2015 ranks No 11th, down from the seventh position in 2014.

Narmada dam proving to be "watery grave" for oustees of 245 villages as dam height speeds up to reach full reservoir level

By Our Representative
In a crucial hearing to take place on August 1, 2015, the two-judge Social Justice Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Madan Lokur and UU Lalit is likely to decide on a plea by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) seeking a stay on the Gujarat government on raising the Narmada dam height from the present 121.92 metres to the full reservoir level, 138.64 metres. The special bench began the hearing matter in December 2014.

Indian right doesn’t seem interested in advancing vetted scholarship: US-based Hindutva thinktank scholar

By Rajiv Shah
A top US-based Hindutva scholar, representing a prominent pro-Narendra Modi thinktank, has regretted that right-wing historians in India have failed to develop what he calls "alternate history or even a robust theology in academia, either within India or the West." In a well-researched article titled "Saving History from Historians", Murali Balaji says, there is in fact, a "general lack of interest by most Indian academics to pursue a robust Hindu theological scholarly agenda."

Modi's ambitious GIFT project take off slow, complains top US business daily, revealing "undisclosed" details

Counterview Desk
While the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), the ambitious state-driven “smart” city project envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about seven eight ago, has refused a right to information (RTI) applicant, Roshan Shah, any details regarding details of the progress made in the project, an influential international business daily has created flutter by revealing facts on slow progress in the ‘smart’ city project.

Forked Tongue and Flexible Factsheet: Was over 12 year Modi rule in Gujarat a byword for probity in public life?

By RK Misra*
In fishing -- as in politics -- nothing is more ungainly than a fisherman pulled into the water by his own catch. Hurling muck from the safety of the shore and making it stick may have brought Narendra Modi to the helm of India in 2014 but the Teflon-coated frying pan is itself on fire today.
His government faces the filth of the Lalit Modi revelations, the bloodied Vyapam scam, and now the Madhya Pradesh Dental and Medical Admission Test taint. Oscillating between maladministrative misdemeanour and crass corruption charges are veteran minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhararaje Scindia, MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, and Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde. After ’pehle’ AAP law minister Jitender Singh Tomar landed in the ‘cooler’ over his qualifications,union HRD minister Smriti Irani is next in line for a judicial scrutiny of her venerable CV.
Meanwhile, Modi’s anti-corruption plank is in tatters and the school boyish line, one for joy is fast…

Forcible of displacement of tribals in Madhya Pradesh from tiger reserve: Activists protest move

By Ashok Shrimali
The Panna National Park, one of the top tiger reserves in India, is the eye of storm among tribal rights activists of Madhya Pradesh. Situated just 25 kilometres from the world famous Khajuraho temples, tribals living in the national park and the tiger reserve have been accused of “wrongfully made to give consent to accept monetary compensation and hand over their lands” in the conservation of the forest area.

Vandana Shiva accuses MNC Monsanto of "genocide" of Indian farmers, says Bt cotton led to death of 3 lakh farmers

By Our Representative
Close on the heels of a top Netherlands report giving a clean chit to the controversial American multinational corporation (MNC) Monsanto, saying the Bt cotton farms using its genetically modified (GM) seeds have negligible child labour compared to those using seeds from Indian companies, one of India's topmost environmentalists Vandana Shiva has sung a totally different tone.

Bihar poll exigency?: Modi government to introduce "tougher" anti-atrocities bill in monsoon session of Parliament

By Our Representative
The Narendra Modi government -- which allowed a more stringent Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Ordinance, promulgated by the previoius UPA government in March 2014, to lapse after it came to power -- wants to "secure" Dalit votes for the forthcoming Bihar assembly polls. According to sources, it has "decided" to introduce the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill this monsoon session of Parliament.

Child labour on controvertial MNC Monsanto Bt cotton farms just 0.18% of workforce, but 28% on other farms: Dutch report

By Our Representative
A well-researched Dutch report, which has sharply criticized Gujarat and Rajasthan governments for failing to take any steps against child labour in Bt cotton farms, has surprisingly praised multinational corporations (MNCs), including the controversial Monsanto, for taking “exemplary” initiatives in fighting the evil. It has said, efforts by “Bayer, Monsanto, Du Pont and few local companies have had some positive impact in reducing the number of working children.”

Abrogate "widely misused" armed forces special powers Act: New York Times editorial to Narendra Modi

By Our Representative
In a scathing critique of India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which came in for sharp criticism recently from Amnesty International in its detailed report on how it is being widely misused in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), the New York Times (NYT) has editorially asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to abrogate it immediately.

Open official bullying of courageous human rights defenders Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand

Romila Thapar, Admiral Ramdas, Naseeruddin Shah, Mahesh Bhatt, Nandita Das, Githa Hariharan, Aruna Roy, Jayati Ghosh, Rajmohan Gandhi, Tushar Gandhi, Vivan Sundaram, Nilima and GM Shaikh, Henri Tiphange , Sanjiv Bhatt and hundreds of other prominent artists, intellectuals and activists on recent "investigations" into misappropriation by Gujarat government and Government of India authorities Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand:
We express our profound dismay and disquiet at the continued official harassment by the central government of leading human rights defenders Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand. Since the installation of the BJP led government in Delhi in May 2014, the country has witnessed open strenuous official efforts to foist a large variety of charges of financial irregularity on them, to harass them, to tarnish their reputations, and to secure their arrests.
Fortunately the interventions of the higher judiciary have protected them so far. However the latest raids by the…

Relief, rehabilitation not main activities of trusts Teesta Setalvad heads: Statement contests Gujarat police affidavit

By Our Representative
Even as top human rights activist Teesta Setalvad got much-needed relief from the Bombay High Court, which stayed her arrest till August 10, a statement by the two trusts she heads have said that only in certain “emergency situations” they engaged in “relief and rehabilitation” activities. But that never was, or claimed by us to be, their “main purpose.”

Congress, Left, NGOs again return to one platform to "fight" land acquisition bill, hold public hearing in Delhi

By Our Representative
A people's hearing, organized by the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), the apex body of tens of rights based organizations of India, and several NGOs, has "unanimously" rejected the Land Acquisition Bill 2015, and favoured the Joint Forum formed to campaign against it to "intensify" struggle against it. The hearing saw NGOs, Congress and Left return on one platform to fight against the Bill.

Alleging rampant child labour in Gujarat, Rajasthan cotton fields, Dutch report praises "initiatives" by MNC Monsanto

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, ‘Cotton’s Forgotten Children’, released in The Hague, has expressed serious concern over the fact that the number of child workers, who haven't reached adolescence and working in cotton farms, has gone up by a whopping 30,000 since 2010 in Gujarat and Rajasthan. As for adolescent children, the report says, the numbers have gone up by another 70,000.

Smart Cities?: No proposal with Govt of India; Dholera would be just SIR, Gift City "back office of Mumbai"

B y Our Representative
The Government of India has said that it has received “no recommendations” for smart cities from any part of the country. In reply to a right to information (RTI) query, the Ministry of Urban Development’s Smart City division has said, on June 25, 2015, guidelines were released for the selection process of smart cities, and “based on the idea of competitive and cooperative federalism” there would be “a challenge process to select cities”.

RTI acivist's murder: Gujarat Information Commission asks cops to furnish info on bootlegger to deceased's brother

By Pankti Jog*
Acting against police "indifference" towards bootleggers in Surendranagar, a district town situated about 130 kilometres west of Ahmedabad, the Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) has passed an order for furnishing information regarding number of cases registered and action taken by the cops against a bootlegger, who allegedly murdered a right to information (RTI) activist on June 15.

Stop harassing human rights defender Teesta Setalvad: Prominent Gujarat citizens to Govt of India, CBI

By Our Representative
Even as the news came in from Delhi that the Gujarat police has “opposed” anticipatory bail application in Supreme Court by top  activists Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, about two dozen prominent citizens of Gujarat have expressed their “profound dismay and disquiet” at the “continued official harassment” of human rights defender.

Dalit-upper caste brawl in Gujarat town off Ahmedabad: Police refuse protection to victims, says letter to CM

By Our Representative
In a gruesome incident in a town situated situated just about 60 kilometres from  one of India's topmost business hubs, Ahmedabad, Dalits were badly beaten up, with authorities remaining "indifferent". In a letter to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, one of the members of the family which claimed to have become "victim" of the brawl caused by objections to occupying a public space for private function has complained that, despite strong plea, the Dalits were "refused" police protection.

Modi government "turns" pro-activist, seeks data on attacks on whisleblowers, social workers, mediapersons

By Our Representative
In a surprise move, the Government of India has initiated the exercise of collecting data on attacks on whistleblowers, mediapersons, social workers and right to information (RTI) activists from across the country. This, it is learnt, is in response Parliamentarians’ frequent plea for the number of attacks on RTI activists.

Planning 25,000-strong rally in Delhi on July 27, leaders step up pressure on Modi govt to "recognize" Rajasthani

By Our Representative
In a sharp effort to step pressure on the Narendra Modi government, protagonists of those seeking to insert Rajasthani language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution have decided to hold a 25,000-strong rally on July 27 in Delhi in favour of their 12-year-old demand. To gather support from the Rajasthani community all over India for the proposed rally, the organizers of the rally began a yatra in Mumbai, reaching Ahmedabad on July 20.

Govt of India's smart cities project "ignores" poor slum-dwelling children: PwC, Save the Children report

By Our Representative
Top international consultants, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and multinational NGO Save the Children have said that Government of India's (GoI's) ambitious smart city project has ignored "child-friendly” and “inclusive” approach. Their just-released new report, “Forgotten voices: The world of urban children in India”, says that while “defining” the smart cities scheme, the GoI failed to go “beyond accommodating the aspirations of the new middle class comprising of professionals and investors”.

Impact of increase in Narmada dam height: 6,000 families await watery grave in valley, alleges Medha Parkar

By Our Representative
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar has alleged that more than 6,000 families are awaiting “watery grave”, as their houses, livestock and fertile agricultural land “will face submergence because of the Government of India going ahead with raising the Narmada dam from the present 121.92 metres to 138.64 metres.” The height of the dam is being raised even though “the Supreme Court is still to give its verdict on legality of the ongoing construction on the dam”, she has added.

Chinese competition: Gujarat's Alang, touted as Asia's biggest shipbreaking yard, witnesses 50% fall in business in a year

By Our Representative
According to reports from Gujarat's Alang, touted by the state officialdom as Asia's biggest shipbreaking yard, the number of active plots which take up ship recycling in order to extract steel and other economically useful material has fallen by 50 per cent over the last one year. Worse, the number of vessels which beached at Alang for ship recycling dropped to the six-year old of 275, with just about 54 ships reaching the yard over the last three months.

Career of children more important than their happiness in life for India's middle class parents: HSBC survey

Counterview Desk
A global survey by top international bankers, HSBC, has suggested that most Indian parents professional success more important than a happy life for their children. Titled The Value of Education: Learning for Life, the study, which is based on a survey of 5,500 parents across 16 countries in the world, says that 49 per cent of them said a happy life for their children was important, worst in the world.

2.26 lakh Gujarat minority students fail to get premartic scholarship: Paucity of funds?

By Our Representative
Mystery surrounds a whopping 2.26 lakh pre-matric applications for minority scholarship for the year 2014-15, “missing” from the list of about 5.87 lakh pleas made for those studying in classes 1 to 10. In a right to information (RTI) reply, the Gujarat government has “revealed” that of the 5,66,823 applications it forwarded to the Government of India, 3,35,561 applications were “accepted”, and another 5,176 applications were “rejected”.

Another wait for alternetive housing for Mumbai slumdwellers, as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna "replaces" UPA scheme

By Our Representative
Around 55 per cent of the population of Mumbai -- India's financial and business capital -- which lives in slums has been asked to make another  wait: Living in  slums, they will have to wait for a Government of India decision seeking a new "policy change" on how to rehabilitate them for alternative housing. This was revealed at a meeting well-known social activist Medha Patkar and her colleagues Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan with Maharashtra chief secretary Swadheen S Kshatriya.

Demonstrators protest CBI raid against Teesta, others, say it suggests "frustration" over the fight for 2002 riot victims

By Our Representative
Demonstrations were held in different cities in solidarity with Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand and their colleagues, with intellectuals, academicians, students, artists, activists, teachers and ordinary people coming out against the “blatant misuse” of state machinery to hound and persecute a group of courageous human rights defenders.

Blow Hot Blow Cold: How Modi promoted tourism to Gir's Asiatic lions in a recklessly peacemeal manner

By RK Misra*
This June, the heat in Gujarat was such, that sweat soaked clothes faster than you could take them off. And when there was nothing left to shed, you still wanted to take off the flesh to sit in bare bones. A respite seemed in order. And I took off like a hare being chased by a dozen hounds.
So, from smouldering Gujarat to the cooler climes of Himalaya ringed Uttarakhand was a journey from the frying pan into an ice-pit. It was nature’s air conditioner, complete with climate control at work and the aroma and atmospherics of the mountains thrown in for good measure.
The world of news is an eternal, dizzying merry-go-round, more addictive than marijuana and as dangerously exciting as riding a tiger. Frying news and baking analyses gives the kicks but you can end up as supper yourself trying to get off, as so many of my ilk will testify. Forty plus years in the news pit, sick of political muckraking and suffering from acute print paranoia, one was game, nevertheless.
With Sabya…

Good news for Gujarat NGOs: Government issues GR waiving 2% administrative charge on foreign contributions

By Pankti Jog*
At a time when the Government of India is showing signs of uneasiness to foreign contributions (FCs) to non-government organizations (NGOs), in an interesting development, the Gujarat government has moved in just the opposite direction.

How Gujarat babudom dictates terms to village heads to "convert" agricultural land into non-agricultural (NA) use

By Pankti Jog*
The 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution of India may have given powers to the panchayati raj system, but a glaring instance suggests that Gujarat bureaucracy still wants to dictate terms to elected representatives of Gram Sabhas.  The sarpanch of Mota Samdhiyala village off Gir forests in Junagadh district, was shocked when he received a notice demanding a no-objection certificate (NOC) to transform 4,857 sq metres of agricultural land to non-agricultural (NA) without reference number, the district development office’s (DDO's) letterhead, date or even the seal.

CBI raid: Alleging political vendetta, Setalvad asserts Section 4 of FCRA "allows" foreign contribution for NGO advocacy

By Our Representative
Close on heels of the CBI raid on the official premises of Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt Ltd, top human rights defender Teesta Setalvad has declared that the organization she and her husband, Javed Anand head "has broken no law", qualifying the raid "political vendetta". In a statement circulated through South Asia Citizens Web, Setalvad has quoted Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, to prove her point.

Govt must abandon its hostile and vindictive stance towards human rights defenders Teesta Setalvad, others

By Dipak Dholakia*
CBI raids on July 14, 2015 at the premises of social activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand, Gulam Mohammed Peshimam and office of Sabrang Communications and Publishing in Mumbai were undertaken for purely vindictive reasons, given the assurances of complete cooperation and submission of thousands of pages of documents to the CBI.
It is by now an open secret that activists working for justice and truth with regard to the pogrom called Gujarat riots have earned the hatred and animosity of the Modi government; which does not hesitate to employ official state power to indulge in a witch-hunt.
Setalvad and Anand set up Sabrang Communications and began publishing "Communalism Combat" in 1993, and not after 2002. It was this company that published the Justice Srikrishna Commission Report on the Mumbai communal riots of 1992-93 at a time when the state government would not make it available to the public.
The state has not only failed in its constitution…

Gujarat has 2.72% rural graduates, worse than 14 major Indian states: SECC data

By Rajiv Shah
One of the major “policy thrusts” adopted by the Government of India is known to be to follow a still unexplained “Gujarat model of education” for the country as a whole. Not only very little official information is available on what this “model” is and how top policy makers wish to pursue it, latest data of the Socio Economic and Caste Survey (SECC), released by the Centre suggest that Gujarat one of the worst performers at higher levels of learning.

Landgrabbing by private sector: A possible outcome of UN's "finance for development agenda" at Addis Ababa meet

By Our Representative
World’s top civil society organizations (CSOs), in a joint submission to the UN-sponsored International Conference on Financing for Development, taking place at Addis Ababa from July 13 to 16, has taken strong exception to the effort of governments to provide “central role” to private finance in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). They drafted their submission at Addis Ababa on July 11-12.

ADB floats $865,000 Action Plan to improve livelihood, environment for rural areas Mundra, new industrial hub in Gujarat

Counterview Desk
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has come up with a $865,000 dollars "action plan" to improve livelihood and environment in the villages situated along Kutch coast especially in Mundra, which has turned into a major hot spot for industrial development in India. Mundra has one of the biggest private ports of India, owned by Adanis, a special economic zone, also developed by Adanis, and two power plants owned by Tata Group and Adani Group.

In Gujarat capital, when adivasi girls complained of poor hostel facilities, they got abuses, threat, insufficient food

By Nachiketa Desai
A systematic racket of swindling funds by unscrupulous officials has been brought to light by a group of students residing in the state government-run hostel for Adivasi girls in Gujarat capital, Gandhinagar. The modus operandi for siphoning off funds meant for the Adivasi girl students is simple – deny them food and facilities sanctioned in the state budget.

Adverse impact of globalization on Indian software firms: Cloud computing push down deals with MNCs by 17 per cent

Counterview Desk
Impact of globalization is now being felt in a major sector, India's software industry, which is known to depend heavily on clientele from multinational corporations (MNCs). International giants, such as International Business Machines Corp (IBM), Amazon.com and Accenture PLC, are fast giving up their practice of outsourcing servers and accessing software via personal computers.

Those who say Jana Gana Mana was composed in veneration of King George V are parroting bogus allegations

Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh recently created a huge flutter by demanding that the national anthem's wordings "Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya He" be replaced by "Jana Gana Mana Mangala Jaya He", because Adhinayaka stands for King George V. Well-known commentator Kanchan Gupta traces the origin of Jana Gana Mana to refute the argument*:
What is now the National Anthem of the Republic of India is the first stanza of a five-stanza Brahmo Sangeet or psalm.
It was composed by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore on December 11, 1911, in adulation of Param Brahma -- He who is the True, the Good, the Infinite; the Eternal Lord of the Universe; the Omniscient, the Omnipresent, the Omnipotent; the Formless, Changeless, Selfcontained and Perfect Almighty.
For the Brahmo Samaj, whose members adhere to Adhi Dharma, anchored in the dazzling enlightenment of the Upanishads, Param Brahma is the only Ishwar, the One Supreme Spirit, the Author and Preserver of our existence, the Etern…

Bring NGOs under RTI, insists Reliance thinktank discussion, calls Greenpeace, Ford Foundation "anti-development"

By Our Representative
A Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) thinktank report, based on a discussion organized by it in Chennai, has floated a new idea -- that non-government organizations (NGOs) should be brought under right to information (RTI) Act. The thinktank is known to organize discussions on different policy issues nagging the government, and indirectly presents a particular corporate view of what should be done on the issues before the officialdom.

Higher percentage of Gujarat families live in kuccha houses, Dalits dependence on casual labour more than India average

By Rajiv Shah The latest Socio Economic and Caste Survey (SECC) 2011, released recently by Government of India, has revealed that, despite claims of Gujarat "model" to remove poverty, things are not so rosy as it may seem for the vulnerable sections of rural population. Not only do a much higher proportion of families in Gujarat live in kuccha houses, more Dalit households are dependent on manual casual labour than most of the 21 major states.

Narmada dam affected adivasi commits suicide: Oustees' "depression" at new height over not getting land, rehab package

By Our Representative
In a gruesome incident, Tembhrya Kutarya, an adivasi of Chimalkhedi village, barely 10-odd km from from the prestigious Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river, consumed poison and committed suicide. Situated across the border in Maharashtra, the news from the village, says prominent social activist Medha Patkar, "reveals the actual dire reality underlying the false tall claims of rehabilitation by the Maharashtra government."

Why very few death sentences in states where "draconian" Armed Forces Special Powers Act is in force: Report

Counterview Desk
A just-released report has said that the states which have a long history of conflict between government forces and militant groups have "fewer incidence" of death sentences being awarded. It says, Jammu & Kashmir and Manipur, where the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Acts (AFSPA) is in force, the number of death sentences awarded are "much fewer compared to states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh."

Stop "uninformed visits" by IB cops to NGO offices: Top Indian civil society network to Ministry of Home Affairs

By Our Representative
The Voluntary Action Network of India (VANI), the country’s apex body of 500 NGOs, has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to immediately stop “surprise visits by local intelligence bureau (IB) cops to NGO offices. In a letter to MHA, Harsh Jaitli, CEO,VANI, has said, the view is strong among them that they are “victim of local IB and police who often visit uninformed and most often do not share their purpose and identity proofs.”

Data miracle?: Rural Gujarat "improves" its position in govt's "fresh" survey results

By Our Representative
A new set of data of the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 has contradicted the income data released by it previously. They surprisingly go to suggest that Gujarat’s rural story may not as grim as it seemed. While the earlier data still remain on the SECC site (click HERE), showing that just about 5.19 per cent of households have highest earning members earning more than Rs 10,000, the fresh data revises this percentage to 9.57 per cent (click HERE).

Deportation of human rights activist: Amnesty is "as opaque as Ministry of Home Affairs", charges senior researcher

By Our Representative
A senior activist-researcher Ramesh Gopalakrishnan has questioned premier human rights organisation Amnesty International's silence over the deportation of one of its ex-seniors-most activists Christine Mehta, a US citizen and person of Indian origin, from India in November last year. Mehta was instrumental in authoring the by now well-known Amnesty report "Denied" on human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).