Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2016

West Bengal Left Front handing over 1,000 acres land in 2006 to Tata Nano "illegal", return it to farmers: SC

By Our Representative
In a crucial judgment, the Supreme Court has quashed the acquisition of 1,000 acres of land in Singur by West Bengal’s Left Front government in 2006 for Tata’s Nano project, saying it was “illegal” and “violation of law”. Civil rights organizations, backed by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, had moved the apex court challenging the acquisition.

Unite against RSS ideology in order to fight atrocities on Dalits, exhorts Ambedkar's grandson at Rajkot rally

By Our Representative
A major Dalit rights national meet on Wednesday at Rajkot, the nerve centre of Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, saw Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar, making a frontal attack on the RSS, pointing out that the “BJP is nothing but its front organization.” He asked all those who stand for Dalit rights to come on one platform, and shedding political differences, fight RSS ideology.

A "secular" arm of state, Tarun Sagar shouldn't have been invited to address in Haryana assembly: AAP leader

By Our Representative
Well-known Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh has taken strong exception to Jain religious guru Tarun Sagar being invited by the “elected Haryana assembly to address legislators in the house”, saying “it should keep itself away from the religion, religious practices and religious gurus.”

Ahmedabad's sanitation workers, on strike, forced to do manual scavenging at 200 spots in city: NGO survey

By Our Representative
Amidst continuing strike by sanitation workers attached with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in favour of regularizing their employment, latest facts reveal there are more than 200 spots where they are "forced" to do the despicable job of manual scavenging in a city which is desperately waiting to acquire the UNESCO Heritage tag.

Gujarat Dalit youths to pledge: Wouldn't ever abandon our mothers like those who send cows to shelter homes

By Our Representative
In a clear message to cow vigilante groups, around 1,000 Dalit youths plan to garland their mothers in Rajkot, Gujarat, declaring that, to them, the women gave birth to them, are their only mothers, and that they would not abandon them like those who consider cow as their mother.

Indiscriminate installation of solar pumps in India would sharply deplete groundwater levels, warns top expert

By Our Representative
One of the topmost Indian experts on water resource management, Prof Tushaar Shah, has warned that the massive unplanned drive, which has begun across the country, to allow installation of highly subsidized solar pumps to suck out scarce groundwater resources for irrigation may cause a major environmental disaster, if not properly handled.

India's exports "expected to fall in 2016", top item petroleum products "suffer" $26 billion decline: CII

By Our Representative
India's top corporate body, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), has said the Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) growth rates in eight of India’s top ten export markets are “expected to fall in 2016”, asking the Government of India for “intensified policy measures for trade facilitation and promotion.”

Nitish Kumar "supports" anti-Narmada dam protesters ahead of crucial Aug 31 NCA meet to decide on dam's gates

By Our Representative
In a surprise move, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has thrown his weight behind the powerful anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), fighting for the rehabilitation of more than 15,000 Narmada dam oustees, which it says have been “left out” from any package to resettle the dam-affected families.

Modi told: You are "not following" Vajpayee, who talked with Kashmiri separatists and won them over

By Our Representative
AS Dulat, former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief under Atal Behari Vajpayee between 2001 and 2004, has advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to begin talking with his predecessor, Dr Manmohan Singh, to understand how Vajapayee successfully “engaged” Kashmiri leaders.

Cost hurdle in Ganga clean up adds to "reduced" natural flow beyond Kanpur due to agricultural pressure: Report

Counterview Desk
A media study team, investigating pollution levels of Ganga three years after the Narendra Modi government came up with its Ganga Action Plan to clean up India's most revered river, has revealed that only 10 per cent of the sewage produced along the mainstream of the river, and collected over its 2,500 km stretch, is treated.

Mandating aadhaar?: Transnational cos like Accenture, Safran, Ernst & Young "infringing" on privacy of citizens

By Our Representative
An upcoming civil rights group has taken strong objection to the Government of India seeking to "coerce" the country's residents into accepting 12 digit biometric UID/aadhaar mumber as a fait accompli at a time when a petition of right to privacy under aadhaar is under consideration of the Supreme Court.

Following wide protests, Bill proposing sweeping surveillance powers to state, cops in Maharashtra withdrawn

By Our Representative
Following wide protests and public pressure, including by two civil rights organizations, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and Police Reforms Watch (PRW),  a new internal security law in Maharashtra – Protection of Internal Security Bill 2016, seeking to give sweeping powers to executive and police over private spaces - has been withdrawn.

Monsanto "withdraws" new GM cotton seed in protest, as Govt of India asks MNC to share technology with local cos

By Our Representative
Top US multinational corporation (MNC) Monsanto has withdrawn a new GM cotton seed it was planning to introduce in India. Pointing out that the MNC was doing it in protest, Mayank Bhardwaj of Reuters news agency says, the MNC has “withdrawn” its application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India.

World Bank report: India "improves" in providing services to world market, but "fails" to integrate South Asia

By Our Representative
A new World Bank report, which rates the logistics performance of 160 countries for on the basis availability of infrastructure to international traders, has found that India considerably improved its performance from the 54th position to 35th between 2014 and 2016.

Dangerous portends for India: Kashmir "slipping" out, intelligence network is "cracking", normalcy is "deceptive"

By Our Representative
If true, these are dangerous portends for the protagonists of integrity of India. Powerful individuals visiting Kashmir have, for the first time, begun saying that the valley is "slipping" out of India's hands. Other reports quote army officials as saying that its intelligence network is starting to crack up across the state.

Iconic Irom Sharmila, Manipur human rights activist, backs anti-Narmada dam stir, wants Modi to rehab oustees

By Our Representative
Some of India's top personalities, including iconic Manipur social activist Irom Sharmila, well-known right to information (RTI) activist Aruna Roy and filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to allow the Narmada dam's gates to be closed till completion of the rehabilitation of thousands of oustees.

India, Pakistan "think alike" on foreign NGOs like Amnesty, which focus on human rights issues of Balochistan

By Our Representative
A former high-profile Government of India official is all set to create a flutter by pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have taken up the cause of Balochistan, yet the “credit for spreading universal publicity on human rights abuses in Balochistan goes to the London-based Amnesty International”, under attack in India.

Socially-committed Gujarat doctor's abduction: Medical community, NGOs suspect vested interests played a role

By Sridhar Srikantiah
In what is being interpreted as the clear indication of deteriorating law and order situation in Gujuarat, an outstanding doctor, teacher and deeply-committed social worker, Prof (Dr) Rajesh Mehta was abducted in broad daylight from his car between Patan and Deesa in North Gujarat on Friday, August 19, 2016.

Gujarat Dalit uprising "turns" 2002 communal riots face in Ahmedabad into a symbol of Dalit-Muslim unity

By Our Representative
Considered a “face” of the Gujarat riots and a “brand ambassador” of Hindu Rashtra, the recent Dalit uprising in Gujarat has made Ashok Mochi aka Parmar a symbol of Dalit-Muslim unity. Highlighting this, a top news site points to how he seen participating in Gujarat riots in 2002.

150 Gujarat tribal oustees arrested, as thousands block road leading to Narmada dam to demand resettlement

By Our Representative
In a development with far-reaching implications, thousands of Gujarat-based Narmada dam oustees on Sunday took out a rally, blocking the road leading to the spot where the dam is located in the Kevadiya colony. Most of them tribals, 150 were arrested even as they were protesting against the alleged refusal of the state government to "rehabilitate" them.

Thangarh police firing: Gujarat Dalit families want govt to file FIR against cops responsible for death of 3 youths

By Our Representative
In first of a series of shows of strength following the success of the August 15 Una rally, called to protest against flogging of four Dalit youths on July 11, the Gujarat Scheduled Caste Anti-Atrocities Struggle Committee on Sunday held a well-attended rally in Gadhinagar in order to highlight the plight of the three Dalit families who had lost their sons in police firing in Thangarh four years ago.

Modi a mediocre leader, efficient in riots, economic adviser Subramanian had told US: BJP hardliner Swamy

By Our Representative
Close on the heels of the appointment of Urjit Patel, formerly with International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Reliance Industries Ltd, as the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, hardline BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy has stepped up his attack on Arvind Subramanian, chief economic adviser (CEA) of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

No difference between BJP, Congress, Trinamool or AIADMK in imposing "anti-democratic" sedition law: PUCL

By Our Representative
People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India's premier human rights organization, has said that there is little difference between political party in power in Indian states seeking to impose “coercive, anti-democratic, sedition provision of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to silence dissent and crush criticism.”

A day ahead of Dalit rally, Gujarat govt forced to reopen case of death of three Dalit youths in Thangarh police firing

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has finally bowed under pressure. Four years after three Dalit youths died in police firing in the industrial town of Thangarh in Surendranagar district, the state government has announced to reopen the case by setting up special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case, which the Gujarat crime branch recently closed by filing what is called “c-summary” report.

Scary Mumbai?: Cow vigilantes get suspicious over leather bag, ask auto traveler if a cow was slaughtered

By Our Representative
In a scary incident which has sent a shock wave in Mumbai, a middle-class writer and director associated working in a communications firm was harassed by what he terms as “self-proclaimed cow protectors” just because he happened to carry a leather bag. 

Expectations run high from new Gujarat Dalit leader: Mevani accused of "failing" to stand by atrocity victims

By Our Representative
Following successful completion of the Independence Day Dalit protest rally in Una, sharp questions are beginning to the raised about whether the Dalit rebellion, which began in protest against the despicable act of flogging four Dalit youths in the town on July 11, would at all sustain.

Based mostly on pre-Modi data, top report finds India "jumping" 15 points in Global Innovation Index 2016

By Rajiv Shah
While top aides of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have declared, on the basis of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016, that India showing an improvement of 15 points in a year suggests the Modi government’s strategy to encourage innovation, significantly, most of the GII score is based on data collected in 2014 or earlier.

Coca Cola's second biggest India plant "shuts" production after it was found to be flouting environmental norms

By Our Representative
The world’s leading environmental affairs site, www.theecologist.org, previously journal “The Ecologist”, has reported that Coca-Cola's second largest bottling plant in India has shut production due to “pollution violations”. It says, top NGO India Resource Centre has “confirmed” this after a visit to the plant.

More Gujarat Dalit protests planned in next fortnight, starting Aug 21 rally in Gandhinagar on Thangarh police firing

By Our Representative
Following the successful completion of the Dalit mega rally on August 15, held to protest against the July 11 flogging of four youths belonging to the Rohit (chamar) sub-caste in Una for skinning dead cattle, Gujarat Dalits have planned at least half-a-dozen major protests across the state over the next one fortnight, starting with August 21 in the state capital, Gandhinagar.

Sedition law being "misused" to fight dissent in India: Activists close ranks, file petition in Supreme Court

By Our Representative
Following sedition charge slapped on Amnesty India for organizing a debate on human rights violations in Kashmir in Karnataka, India's top activists have begun to close ranks to strongly oppose the sedition law, which they believe involves the misuse of section 124A of the Indian penal Code (IPC) against any form of dissent.

Modi suffers embarrassment over I-Day claim on village electrification, as PIB under him issues "denial"

By Our Representative
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suffered a major embarrassment when the Government of India's Press Information Bureau (PIB) was forced to issue a statement which virtually amounted to denying Modi's claim in his Independence Day speech that a village near Delhi, Nagla Fatela, received electricity under him 70 years after Independence.

Attack on Gujarat Dalits resumes after Una rally, called to "oppose" cow vigilantes who flogged four youths

By Our Representative
An atmosphere of unprecedented tension and fear prevails among the local Dalits, who participated in a major protest rally organized by the Ahmedabad-based Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti under the leadership of Jignesh Mevani. Those who had come to participate in the rally were violently attacked about 12 kilometres from Una, where the rally took place on August 15.

Gujarat Dalit rally in Una warns state govt: Give us five acres land or face rail roko movement in month's time

By Our Representative
In a strong message to the powers that be, thousands of Dalits gathered for a rally, held in Una town of Saurashtra region, pledged to begin a rail roko (stop the train) movement in case the Gujarat government fails to begin allocating, within a month, five acres of land to each rural Dalit family seeking rehabilitation from the despicable caste practice of manual scavenging and disposing of cattle carcasses.

Gujarat Dalit flogging victim receives death threat, as protesters reach Una town for rally amidst stone pelting

By Our Representative
Amidst news coming in that the Dalit Asmita Yatra has reached Una on August 14 evening through “an alternative route” because people from some of the nearby villages pelted stones on those reaching the town for an Independence Day rally, the family of Balubhai Sarvaiya has received a fresh threat that he would not be spared for “killing” a cow.

Gujarat Dalit rally to reach Una amidst wide support to stop scavenging dead cows, retaliation from upper castes

By Our Representative
The Dalit Asmita Yatra, flagged off in Ahmedabad on August 5 by a Valmiki girl, will be completing its 350-long journey in Una on India’s Independence Day, August 15, where a Valmiki girl is scheduled unfurl the national flag. During the 10-day yatra, 100-odd campaigners, mostly from Ahmedabad, would reach outskirts of towns and villages, and begin 20-25 km long foot march to hold rallies with community people.

Naxal-infected Bastar region being turned into laboratory of Hindu nation, as RSS seeks to "purify" it: Report

By Our Representative
An eight-person fact-finding team under the auspices of the All-India People’s Forum (AIPF) has found an unprecedented atmosphere of mutual suspicion and insecurity among the villagers of the Naxal-infected regions of Chhattisgarh it visited – Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur districts -- with the region fast turning into a Hindutva laboratory.

BJP leaders remain low key in support to Modi "attack" on cow vigilantes: Party insiders can't explain why

By Our Representative
More than three weeks after the Una incident in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have expressed his “displeasure” over the way cow vigilantes attacked four Dalit youths were attacked for skinning a cow. However, even six days after his first statement, he appears to have found extremely low key support from his party or ministerial colleagues.

Economic compulsion forces Gujarat Dalits to begin picking up, dispose of dead cattle in Surendranagar district

By Our Representative
The effort to take a pledge from the Dalits never to scavenge dead cattle – the main contention of the 350-km-long padyatra in protest against the cow vigilantes’ July 11 violent attack on four Dalit youths in Una town of Saurashtra region in Gujarat – is beginning to face a major roadblock.

Gujarat minor mineral rules "ignore" farmers' and tribals' rights: People's groups represent to government

By Our Representative
The new draft Gujarat Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 2016, seeks to give unfettered powers to “reserve any area not already held under any mineral concession for undertaking mining operations”, allowing these to to be taken by a government company or corporation owned or controlled by it” for mining.

Intelligence officials seek details of Dalit padyatra, as organizers object to being termed "red revolutionaries"

By Our Representative
Intelligence officials, attached with the Gujarat government's home department as also the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, have begun a frantic attempt to find out the “antecedents” of those leading the Ahmedabad-Una padyatra (foot march), seeking oath from Dalit community leaders to take a pledge not to ever lift dead cattle, a caste-based occupation.

Act against cow vigilantes and we will start lifting dead cattle: Dalit community leaders tell new Gujarat CM

By Our Representative
Is the attempt to take pledge from rural Dalits belonging to the Rohit (chamar) community to give up the caste-based occupation of "scavenging" cattle carcasses during the 350-kilometre-long protest padyatra or foot march from Ahmedabad to Una, which began on August 5, facing a major hurdle in the form of economic compulsion?

Hyderabad Dalit scholars call Modi outrage against cow vigilantes dishonest, ask: Why no action against ministers?

Counterview Desk
Three Dalit research students of the University of Hyderabad (UoH), all of them colleagues of Rohith Vemula, forced to commit suicide allegedly because of saffron pressure early this year, have called Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest “outrage” against cow vigilantes as “dishonest”.

CAMPA: Government of India’s pro-corporate step at the cost of the common people, especially tribals

By Sadhan Mukherjee*
With the passing of the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority) bill in the Rajya Sabha on July 28, the BJP government seems to have done away with the basic rights of the tribal people to forest produce who live near and in the forests.
This is one more pro-corporate step of the government at the cost of common people, especially many tribal groups who are socially and economically deprived.
A last minute bid by tribal groups who sent a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to stop the passing of the bill has failed. It spelt out: “We the Scheduled Tribes/Indigenous Peoples /Adibasis of India feel, it is anti-Adibasi and anti-Constitutional and we oppose the Parliamentarians move in diluting the rights of Gram Sabha in FRA 2006 in a very cunning manner,” the petition said.
It further added that such proposals are violating not just the domestic laws but also India’s international commitments.
There are several issues. Where w…

Carcass removal by Dalits in Gujarat sanctioned by law: Top activist tells PM it is "a caste-based forced labour"

By Our Representative
In a major revelation, Navsarjan Trust executive director Manjula Pradeep has said that responsibility for removal of animal carcasses, including those of cows, has for long been the responsibility of the social justice committees in Gujarat's villages, which are headed by a Dalit or a tribal, suggesting the caste-based occupation is sanctioned by the state.

Dropped, Gujarat govt's most industry-friendly face refuses to tweet congrats after new CM Rupani takes over

By Rajiv Shah
In a surprise move, Saurabh Patel, long considered the most industry-friendly face, has failed to find place in the new Cabinet. There is no official explanation why Saurabh, who was in charge of three most important portfolios in the Cabinet minister, finance, industry and energy and petrochemicals in the Cabinet, was humbled.

Gujarat Central University "deprives" SC, ST, OBC students fair admission, prefers interviews for Phil-PhD intake

By Kalyani Pradhan
Serious issues of unequal opportunities and deprivation done to students from disadvantaged sections from scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward classes (OBC) and rural India in the admission process of the Central University of Gujarat (CUG), Gandhinagar, have come to light.

NHRC chairman Dattu's intervention sought to end "violent repression" of NGO monitoring extra-judicial killings

By Our Representative
An appeal, floated for signature by Henri Tiphagne of Human Rights Defenders’ Alert (HRDA), India, has sought to ask Justice (retired) HL Dattu, chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), strongly opposed the West Bengal government's “violent repression” of Banglar Manabadhikar Surakksha Mancha (MASUM), a well-known, non-foreign funded human rights organisation.

Anti-Narmada dam oustees continue protest as MP govt issues alert on threat of flooding of Rajghat, Badwani

By Our Representative
Amidst Narmada waters rising in “feet and meters”, to quote anti-Narmada dam activists protesting against the alleged refusal to rehabilitate an estimated 15,500 project-affected families, the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government has issued an alert about possible flooding of low lying areas of Badwani and the nearby regions in upstream of the dam.

RSS man who said Una Dalit thrashing was a "law and order problem" is the new Gujarat chief minister

By Rajiv Shah
Setting aside wild speculations running for the last two days that Nitin Patel, known for his rough-and-tough ways, would become chief minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen his well-known protege, Vijay Rupani, to succeed Anandiben Patel, who resigned on a Facebook post early this week.

20,000 signatures, video force Gujarat official to "investigate" manual scavenging in Surendranagar district

By Sangeeta Rane*
Amidst current imbroglio around the Una incident in which four Dalits were thrashed for skinning a dead cow, the Surendranagar district collector, seeking to address Dalits' issues, has decided to take steps to “investigate” the practice of employing manual scavengers, considered the lowest category in Dalit hierarchy.