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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.”

BJP making nationalism into "cuss word", just as Cong reduced secularism to sickularism: Top Modi supporter

By Our Representative
Has a section of India’s right wing begun losing confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the events that followed the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ union president Kanhiya Kumar on February 12? It would seem so, if one believes in what the top boss of a well-known right-wing e-magazine has to say.
R Jagannathan, editorial director of “Swarjya”, one of the country’s most well-known openly right-wing e-journals, and a top ideologue known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has said how excessive dose of nationalism is already harming him and the BJP.
Following the ideals of C Rajagoplachari (Rajaji), India’s last Governor-General, freedom fighter and statesman, “Swarajya” claims to champion “individual liberty, private enterprise, the minimal state and cultural rootedness.”
Jagannathan tweeted, “The BJP should avoid making nationalism a cuss word the way Congress reduced secularism to sickularism”, adding, however, this is what is happening right now following the events that have followed the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader.
"In a Hindu-majority country, the BJP is seen as a nationalist party by default. It should not blow it by thumping its chest too often and reducing nationalism to the proverbial stick to beat opponents with", Jagannathan warned in an article in his e-magazine.
He conceded, evidence has surfaced suggesting the video showing Kumar raising anti-national slogans, for which he was arrested, may be “doctored”, advising BJP to make a “quick retreat from its hyper-national positioning on this issue.”
Asking the Modi government to immediately “drop the sedition case against the jailed President of the JNU Students Union”, the top commentator noted, the BJP rulers have “already made him (Kumar) a hero, and there is no need for courting further ignominy in the matter.”
“The audio of that event was spliced into another video showing Kumar raising slogans against Brahminism, casteism, feudalism, capitalism and the RSS. This is the usual political nonsense peddled by JNU’s students and hardly seditious. You can find any number of Sanghis talking equal nonsense on the other side”, the right-wing ideologue said.
Jagannathan noted, “The BJP should know that nationalism is not a card to be played every other day. It needs to understand that wrapping itself in the flag is no different from Muslims rallying to every cry of Islam in danger. Crying wolf repeatedly means that when nationalism actually comes under attack, the people will not respond.” 
Especially criticizing Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani asking Central universities to hoist a national flag at heights of 207 feet, Jagannathan said, “The attempt to call too many people as anti-national is counter-productive.
The BJP should learn a lesson from the Congress, the Left and the regional parties, which have completely debased the idea of secularism.”
“In the Indian context, the word is used as a cover for ratcheting up minority communalism, even while lumping only Sangh activities in the communal category”, Jagannathan said.
He added, “If today secularism is the first resort of the political scoundrel keen on consolidating the minority vote bank by repeated scare-mongering, the BJP should be equally careful not to let nationalism sink in the same swamp of murky politics.”

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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.”