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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.”

NBA to protest Madhya Pradesh "failure" to rehabilitate Narmada dam oustees, cites Gujarat success

By Our Representative
In a major announcement, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), led by top social activist Medha Patkar, has declared its decision to hold a protest fast (chetavni upvas) from April 27 to 29, 2016 at Bhopal against the Madhya Pradesh government's alleged failure to rehabilitate thousands of Narmada dam oustees.
In a statement, the NBA said, “People from the Narmada valley will reach Bhopal on April 27 morning to fight displacement, disaster and inequality that is being bestowed on people in the name of development over the last 30 years.”
Over the last 30 years, the NBA said, while 14,000 Narmada oustees – mostly Dalits and tribals – were rehabilitated in Gujarat and Maharashtra and handed over land, “in Madhya Pradesh only 40-50 rehabilitated people were given land.” It added, “Even today, more than 50,000 displaced families are residing in submergence area.”
Recalling the Jha Commission report, which looked into corruption charges by government officials in handing over cash instead of land for land, the NBA said, “The families haven’t been rehabilitated. They have not yet been granted justice.”
“Yet”, it said, “The Modi government as also governments ofMadhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharastra governments pulled strings to increase the height of the dam by 17 metres, i.e. from 122 t to 139 metres. The construction of the gates is almost complete.”
As part of the protest, the NBA said, “People from various tehsils in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and different parts of the country would stage a dharna at their places in solidarity.”
“The time has come again that together we challenge the preparations made by those in power and involved in corruption to drown thousands of families in years old civilization of the Narmada Valley”, said the NBA.
Regretting that the report of the Justice Jha Commission, which was formed by the order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the year 2008, is ready, yet it is not being allowed to see it despite being a petitioner for itws formation, the NBA said, “The NBA was not allowed to open it in the court, nor was the report given to the MLAs of the region.”
Currently lying with the Madhya Pradesh state assembly, the NBA said, refusal to open the report suggests how the government wants to hide corruption by the Narmada Valley Development Authority.
Meanwhile, it added, “The Supreme Court has sought ‘Action Taken Report’ from the state government regarding the report within six weeks' time.”
“The Jha report has shed light into how many fake registries in rehabilitating the oustees have happened”, the NBA said.
It added, however, the questions that need to be asked are: “How many crores of rupees would have gone waste in that? How many middlemen and corrupt government employees are involved in that? What all scams have taken place in the construction of houses, and rehabilitation sites?”
“It has to be found out which officials are involved in this, apart from finding out about money and land. Those who are guilty needs to be identified and punished accordingly. Even before we went to the High Court, the displaced people were being sent to jail, which was stopped by the High Court”, the NBA said.

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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.”