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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.”

Nehru's Hindi-ization "root cause" of RSS-BJP Hinduization plan in Arunachal Pradesh: Top scribe

By Our Representative
In a controversial exposure, well-known journalist Shekhar Gupta has said that roots of the RSS-BJP's alleged “Hindu-isation gameplan” in Arunachal Pradesh – cited in the wake of the recent imposition of President’s rule in the state – can be found in “Jawaharlal Nehru's Hindi-isation policy” in what was once known as North East Frontier Province (NEFA).
Pointing out that Nehru was "paranoid about the Chinese in NEFA”, wondering what would happen if the “China-backed separatist virus of Nagaland reached NEFA”, Gupta says in a recent article, the first Prime Minister of India was also “deeply upset” by the activities of the Christian missionaries in the North-East.
This led Nehru to decide on keeping Christian evangelists out of what was to be renamed Arunachal Pradesh”, says Gupta, adding, “Its tribes were brought into the national, and nationalist, mainstream through Hindi-medium education” – in sharp contrast to English medium in other parts of North East.
Pointing out that one has only to talk to Union minister from Arunachal Kiren Rijiju in Hindi to see this, Gupta says, the policy of Nehru was further intensified by Indira Gandhi, who told top RSS ideologue Nanaji Deshmukh once “that she didn’t want the church in Arunachal.”
Instead, Indira Gandhi told Deshmukh, she had rather have Hindu missionaries, Ramakrishna Mission and RSS to fill in. This, believes the top scribe, lies behind the 1978 (when Janata ruled Delhi) the Arunachal assembly’s Freedom of Religion Act, “making proselytisation nearly impossible.”
“That law survives because of a larger Congress-RSS agreement”, Gupta insists, adding, “That compact is now breaking with the rise of the BJP. The RSS has an obsession with the region where its key ideologues have devoted lifetimes.”
Gupta underlines, “The Congress, all these decades, worked on a slow Hindi-isation and Indianisation of Arunachal tribes as distinct from Christian Nagas, Mizos, Khasis and Garos.”
Suggesting things have changed with the NDA government in power Delhi, Gupta says, “The RSS is no longer B team of the Congress in Arunachal. Now it wants rapid Hinduisation. This should put the desperate impatience of its hand-picked governor in Itanagar, as also some statements of the governors of Assam and Tripura, in perspective.”
“While some of Arunachali tribes are Buddhist and a handful Vaishnavite, most would have been called animists in the past”, Gupta says, adding, “The biggest tribes, Adis (Gegong Apang), Nyishi (Nabam Tuki) and Apatanis (former CM Tomo Riba) follow Donyi-Polo, or the worship of the sun and the moon.”
In the RSS view, indicates Gupta, this is not “animism” but part of the Hindu tradition, as “Hindus have prayed to planet-gods forever — note how a Shani (Saturn) temple has been in the headlines lately.”
In fact, one of the points of criticism of the RSS-BJP against the toppled Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki has been that, though belonging to Nyishi tribe, he is “rare Arunachali convert to Christianity”, says Gupta.
In fact, says Gupta, Arunachal Pradesh has always been an eye-sore for other North-Eastern states. Pointing towards protests by the Church in the region, he adds, the Nagaland state assembly took the unusual step of adopting a resolution against the anti-conversion law of Arunachal Pradesh.

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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.”