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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

Gujarat has higher-than-average mortality rate of men in 15-69 age group, reveals "Lancet" study

Counterview Desk
A new study, published in well-known international health journal, “Lancet” (December 2015), has found that, in Gujarat, the mortality rate for men in the age-group 15-69 is 8.8 per 1000, which is higher than the national average (8.1), and for women it is 5.2 per 1000, lower than the national average (5.6).
Calculated as age-standardised mortality rate (ASMR), the study, which carries figures of 597 districts of India, finds that, out of 20 major Indian states for which data have been analyzed, as many as 11 Indian states’ male mortality rate in this age group is lower than that of Gujarat. As for females, seven states have lower mortality rate than Gujarat.
Titled “Age-specific and sex-specific adult mortality risk in India in 2014: Analysis of 0·27 million nationally surveyed deaths and demographic estimates from 597 districts”, and carried out a group of 13 scholars led by Prof Usha Ram, the study has also found that there are six “high mortality districts” in Gujarat.
On the other hand, of the 26 Gujarat districts analyzed by the study, there are just three, which fall in the category of low mortality districts. ASMR has been calculated as probability of dying between birth and the age of 100 years.
What is particularly interesting is, some of the more “advanced” districts also figure in the list of high mortality category. The six Gujarat districts where the mortality rate was found to be high, both for men and women are Patan, Mehsana, Surendranagar, Kheda, Narmada and Bharuch.
Pointing towards the reason why it chose the age group 15-69, the study says, “At the rate of deaths in 2014, about 50 per cent of all Indian men and 40 per cent of all Indian women could expect to die by the age of 70 years, compared with 24 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women in high-income countries.”
The study believes, “Vascular disease, tuberculosis, malaria and other infections, and respiratory diseases accounted for about 60 per cent of the absolute gap in adult mortality risk at ages 15–69 years between high-mortality and low-mortality districts.”
In Points out, “In 2014, 428 million men and 408 million women in India were 15–69 years of age, and 3·0 million men and 2·1 million women died. Most deaths happened at an age of 30–69 years, and men aged 15–69 years had about a third greater mortality risk than women in that age group.”
The study further says, “Premature adult mortality is of increasing importance in India and other low-income and middle-income countries. We found strikingly large differences in adult mortality between Indian districts, nearly approaching the survival gap between India as a whole country and high-income countries.”
“The large mortality excesses from not just infections but also selected non-communicable diseases in otherwise similar districts suggests measurable differences in largely unknown causative factors and in some intermediate determinants of disease risk”, the study says.
It adds, “One important, albeit still speculative, hypothesis for these patterns of high adult mortality risks in parts of India could be chronic infection or malnutrition in childhood leading to reduced adult height attainment and high anaemia levels.”
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Click HERE to download death rate data of all Indian districts

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”