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.”

BJP Dalit electoral erosion following post-Una campaign main reason for Navsarjan FCRA revocation: Macwan

Counterview Desk
A major reason why the Government of India (GoI) decided to revoke Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license to Gujarat’s biggest Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust last week is its active participation for Dalit rights campaigns post-Una flogging incident of July 11, 2016 (click HERE), which had allegedly begun to damage the ruling BJP’s Dalit electoral base.
Pointing out that the GoI began to fear the “organized Dalit vote share of 16.6 per cent would damage it more than the combined opposition”, the NGO’s founder Martin Macwan in a commentary on the controversial FCRA move has said, as a result of Navsarjan Trust’s campaign, the Gujarat government forced to reopen investigation into Thangarh firing case.
The decision to reopen the Saurashtra’s ill-famed case, in which three Dalit youths were killed on September 22-23, 2012, was taken after the state government had already filed a C summary and closed it, Macwan says, adding, the state government “unease on the issue can be understood from their fear of releasing the inquiry report of an IAS officer appointed by themselves.”
The Gujarat government has refused to release IAS officer Sanjay Prasad’s report even after a state information commission (SIC) order dated August 22 to immediately hand over a copy of the inquiry report on the September 22-23, 2012 incident to the NGO. Instead, it has gone to the Gujarat High Court, challenging the SIC order.
One of the towering Dalit rights leaders of India, Macwan, who was awarded Robert F Kennedy award for Human Rights in 2000 five years after Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi received it in 1995, said, Navsarjan was because of FCRA, but was born following the murder of four colleagues in the Central Gujarat village of Golana on January 26, 1986 “to ensure that their blood does not go in vain.”
Insisting that Navsarjan is primarily inspired by the clarion call of Dr BR Ambedkar in the well-known treatise “Annihilation of Caste”, Macwan says, the NGO has been working for Dalit rights for 36 years, from 1990 to 2016, but it found out between August 3, 2016 and December 15, 2016 that its activities “created disharmony between castes” and cancelled FCRA.
“Navsarjan applied for fresh FCRA on February 27, 2016, and the FCRA certificate was granted on August 3, 2016, after over five months”, Macwan said, adding, “The FCRA department took this time to study papers sent by Navsarjan. They had their IB inputs about the activities of the organization before renewing the certificate.”
Yet, on December 15, 2016, Macwan said, he heard the reason cited by the government for revoking its own renewal order – “its undesirable activities aimed to affect prejudicially harmony between religious, racial, social, linguistic and regional groups, castes or communities!”
“I am surprised to know that Gujarat enjoys religious and caste harmony! Can there be harmony between various castes in villages where even after death the burial grounds are segregated for Dalits and Non-Dalits? Is disharmony the product of past 35 years?”, he asks.
Calling Una the biggest example of so-called “caste harmony” in Gujarat, Macwan says, “Navsarjan was the first in India to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Gujarat on existence of manual scavenging practices in 1996”, after which “it became a national issue, compelling every succeeding Prime Minsiter to make a mention of his government’s resolve to end manual scavenging.”
Giving details of the works it has been engaged in – ranging from land rights for Dalits to protecting Patan gangrape victims, providing legal aid to Dalit victims, and training thousands of youths (more than half of them girls) in vocational education – Macwan wonders, why should one fight shy of globalizing human rights “when we advocate globalization of the market and economy?”

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.”