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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.”

Information on Modi's, Anandiben Patel's educational qualifications not in "public interest": Gujarat CM office

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government is learnt to have turned down a right to information (RTI) plea seeking proof of Prime Minister Narendra Mod’s and chief minister Anandiben Patel’s educational qualifications, saying this information cannot be made available because it does not concern “public interest.”
The RTI applicant, Yogesh B Dave, had reportedly made the application to the Gujarat chief minister’s office (CMO) seeking the information. 
In his reply, the official responsible for replying to RTI affairs in the CMO said, “You’ve asked for the photo copies of educational qualifications of the former chief minister of Gujarat and the current CM. As per the RTI act 2005 8(1), this information is related to personal life of both the post holders.”
The reply added, “This information is not related to any public interest. Therefore, this information cannot be provided without the prior permission of both.”
This is not for the first time that an RTI application was made seeking details of the educational qualifications of Modi, who has claimed he has completed his masters’ degree.
In September, the Gujarat University rejected an RTI request on Modi’s Masters’ degree in just one line, without siting any reason or quoting any provision of the RTI Act for it. The one-line reply said, “Under RTI Act of 2005, this information can’t be made public.”
An Ahmedabad based RTI activist had filed a request before the university asking them to furnish the details on the students, who enrolled there for masters’ degree course between 1981 and 1984.
The RTI activist had said that his request was “for all those students, who attended classes in Master of Arts either via correspondence or regular courses both in English and Gujarati languages.”
The RTI applicant had filed the application without naming Modi, though it is well known that this is the period when Modi claims to have completed his masters’ degree.
Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and its appellate authority rejected separate RTI requests seeking to confirm Modi”s educational qualification.
In the reply, the appellate authority SE Rizvi, said, “A public authority is obliged to provide information, which is held in its records and, in the matter in hand where the requisite information does not form part of office records, the contention that the PMO should provide the same is not correct.”
In his request, the RTI activist had sought details of Modi’s “class 10th and 12th and MA (political science).”
An impression is gaining ground that the authorities in Gujarat as well Government of India have been “deliberately” avoiding to reveal details of Modi in any form. 
In June last year, Paragkumar Ashokkumar Patel, a Gujarat citizen, had sought the dates of top Indian tycoon Gautam Adani's visits to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence by making an RTI plea (click HERE to read).
The appeal insists, citing section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act is particularly erroneous, because it "clearly states that if any information is of the nature that is to be disclosed in Parliament, it has to be disclosed to general public."
Claiming that Adani has debt of over Rs 72,000 crore, which is "public money in Indian banks", Patel said, "It is clear that my RTI request is of larger general public interest", yet it has been rejected "citing 8(1) while denying the information."

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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.

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.

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…

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.”