Skip to main content

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.”

Rs 5.51 lakh crore budgeted for welfare remain unutilized, UPA was responsive to democratic dialogue: NAPM

By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), the apex body of tens of mass organizations across the country, has sharply criticized the NDA for government for failing to follow the tradition of pre-budget consultations organized by the Union Finance Ministry during the UPA government, saying these were “a dialogue in democratic decency."
It said, while the UPA granted "due primacy  the people’s organizations and non-electoral representatives and their views, in the present case, current government is all out for impingement on spaces of civil society and of movements critical of corporate policies”.
In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ahead of the union budget, NAPM, which is led by well-known social activist Medha Patkar, noted there was “obsession with economic growth”, estimating, “Rs 5,51,532 crore worth allocation for the marginalized section remained unutilized” during the last financial year.”
Pointing out that this happened when “hundreds of farmers committed suicide”, it added, “The heavily under-utilized budget components are indeed the ones which could make a difference for resolution of the crises faced by farmers to the displaced persons.”
Providing examples of unutilized funds in certain critical sectors, NAPM said, the Ministry of Textiles failed to incur any expenditure for Procurement of cotton by Cotton Corporation of India under price support, for which Rs 120 crore was allocated. It called this “a grossly criminal act in the context of cotton growing farmers not getting an optimum price, resulting in many suicides.”
The Department of Food and Public Distribution failed to utilize Rs 5,004 crore of food subsidy due to non-adjustment of bills. “How can this be justifiable when the country continues to witness starvation deaths and the 80% of our population is known to be earning less than Rs 20 a day, as per Arjun Sen Gupta’s report which is missing from official websites?”, NAPM asked.
NAPM gave following examples in support of its argument:
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs failed to utilize Rs 214.01 crore for the educational welfare of scheduled tribes out of Rs 589.6 crore allocated for it “due to non-receipt of complete/adequate proposals/ utilization certificates from some state governments”.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment failed to spend Rs 156 crore for pre-matric scholarship for scheduled castes (SCs) as against Rs 171 allocated for it.
  • The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas did not spend Rs 2930 crore allocated for subsidy on domestic LPG and PDS kerosene. “This is not due to voluntary withdrawal from subsidy scheme but to ensure profits to big dealers of oil and gas at the cost of the poor”, NAPM noted.
  • Department of Social Justice and Empowerment failed to spend Rs 439.04 crore allocated for the ‘Self-employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers’. NAPM said, this suggests, “Removal of manual scavenging and towards caste annihilation is obviously no priority.”
  • The Ministry of Minority Affairs did not utilize Rs 327.56 crore “due to cut imposed at revised estimates stage.” NAPM said, “Even after Justice Sachar’s report the policy that mitigate the disparity faced in violation of the constitutional rights is no concern for our planners.”
  • The Department of Financial Services failed to spend Rs 3,476 crore fund of “interest subversion for providing short-term credit to farmers” due to non-settlement of pending claims owing to administrative reasons.
  • The Ministry of Coal failed to spend Rs 176.13 crore towards payment of compensation to land owners of coal bearing areas as against the expenditure of Rs 1048.83 crore incurred for it.

Comments

Trending

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.”