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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.”

Complete Narmada oustees' rehab to "help" Gujarat BJP win 2017 polls: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra told

Nripendra Mishra
By Our Representative
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi's principal secretary Nripendra Mishra is learnt to have told chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra to work overtime to ensure to "complete" the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) process of the Narmada dam oustees at the earliest, so that the Gujarat BJP is able to seek a "much-needed boost in terms of favourable public opinion before the Assembly elections in 2017."
According well-informed sources in Delhi, they were told at a high-level meeting on May 6, in which Gujarat chief secretary GR Aloria was also present, that the Gujarat's BJP rulers are under "severe pressure owing to the negative publicity due to the Patidar agitation in the state."
This would need to happen because, the state’s oft repeated claim that the Narmada dam has "immensely increased" the irrigation potential of the state remains a "palpable lie to this day, a fact vindicated by the still dry regions of Kutch and Saurashtra", it was suggested at the meeting.
The meeting was held amidst the anti-dam Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) alleging that the “irrigation benefit” would never reach the farmers, as waters are being increasingly diverted to industries in Gujarat.
It was suggested at the meeting that, taking advantage of the failure to complete the R&R process would remain a major hurdle for closing the Narmada dam's gates, without which far-off regions of the state would not be able to get enough waters for irrigation.
During the meeting, the Gujarat chief Secretary reportedly claimed that “Maharashtra has only around 300 families to be resettled while MP needs to settle more – around 1200 families”.
However, NBA claims, “The respective state governments have repeatedly and falsely claimed complete rehabilitation of the projected affected persons despite multiple evidences put forward by us, which has often been validated by the ongoing proceedings in front of the grievances redressal authorities GRA or numbers unearthed by Jha Commission.”
“When there are not less than 40,000 families in Madhya Pradesh who are to face the watery grave this monsoon, the chief secretary of Madhya Pradesh is seeking compliance by putting forward a demand of Rs 350 crore for rehabilitation”, the NBA said in a statement.
“In Maharashtra alone, there are about 791 declared families; a figure which was arrived at following jointly prepared report after a thorough check up of all documents in the Collectors office by both, activists from the NBA and government officials over few months in 2015”, the NBA said.
“This figure does not include the 300-400 yet to be declared oustee families, who are currently at the mercy of seeking their declaration by the Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) chaired by a retired High Court judge, in the state”, it insisted.
NBA commented, “The State’s brute force and its unyielding arrogance asserts itself blatantly, particularly so under the current Central government’s disposition. This ego-driven project is nothing but a facade to cover decades of ‘destruction’ in the name of ‘development’ placing a veil over the inhuman treatment meted out to the people affected by this project!”
“Such a falsehood, unprecedented in history, needs to be countered not before the Courts of justice but in people’s court in which about 40,000 families, communities within the submergence area need support of all those who are courageous to challenge the present paradigm of development”, it added.

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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.”