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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.”

GST, and not demonetization, to be a topic of discussion on finance at Vibrant Gujarat meet: State officials

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government's high-profile biennial global business summit, to be held from January 10 to January 13, is unlikely to see any focus on the controversial demonetization move of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, despite growing apprehensions that it would sharply slow down India's economy and lead to the flight of capital from the country.
Addressing newspersons on the summit in Ahmedabad, Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh claimed that demonetization would “positively impact” on the summit outcome, as it is being held against the backdrop of the “bold” Modi move, leading to a great leap forward towards opening up floodgates of online transactions.
However, he said, during the panel discussion on finance, which would focus on Government of India's effort to introduce goods and services tax (GST) across the country, and in which Union finance minister Arun Jaitley would participate, “there would be no discussion on demonetization.” He added, “It is a temporary phenomenon. We are aiming at long-term gains.”
Singh informed newspersons that, while 10-odd Nobel laureates will be participating in Vibrant Gujarat meet and participate in a discussion especially meant for them, none of those who have won Nobel prize in economics have been called. “Only those who have won Nobel prize in science and technology have been invited. Eight to ten will participate”, he said.
Apart from finance, an official communique said, the issues to be discussed at the summit would be biotechnology, food processing, textiles, aerospace and security, plastics, engineering, heavy engineering and automation, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and health. Issues related with climate change – including promotion of solar power – does not find mention in the list.
Answering a question whether top India-born Nobel laureate in economics, Prof Amartya Sen, who is known to be sharp critic of demonetization, has been called, Singh answered in the negative, hastening to add, “There is going to be no discussion on issues related with economics at the summit. No economists have been called.”
While Prof Sen has described demonetization as despotic and authoritarian , American economist, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, has characterized it as “highly disruptive”, pointing out, it is not going to change the overall behaviour towards black money in India.
Upbeat about the summit, the top Gujarat officials said, this is going to be a “much bigger event” than the earlier Vibrant Gujarat biennial events, held ever since 2003. To be held in the presence of Modi, PK Taneja, additional chief secretary, industries, said, this time, instead of eight in 2015 as many as 12 countries are going to partner with the Gujarat government at the summit.
These countries are, he said, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. “We do not expect a high-profile political delegation from the US, because January would mark transition in the US government”, Taneja said.
Similarly, Taneja said, there would be seven partner institutions that have decided to support the Vibrant Gujarat summit, as against five in 2015. These are Australia-India Business Council, Indo-Canada Chambers of Commerce, Japan External Trade Organization, UAE-India Business Council, UK-India Business Council, US-India Business Council, and British Council.
Answering a question, Taneja sad, so far 51,738 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) have been signed since 2003 at different Vibrant Gujarat summits. “Of these 34,232 MoUs are either under implementation or have been commissioned”, he said, noting, “Implementing MoUs is a long drawn out process, having various phases, hence all cannot be realized.”

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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.

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.”