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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.”

Patna civil society meet seeks anti-BJP joint action with political parties to fight against "undeclared" emergency

Jignesh Mevani at NAPM meet
By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), India's premier apex body of several mass organizations, has called for an urgent coordination between India's different people's movements and political parties in order to fight against what it called “increasing attacks on freedom of expression” by the Narendra Modi government.
The three-day NAPM annual meet at Patna's Anjuman Islamia Hall, which began on December 2 with its main leader Medha Patkar saying that political parties were becoming increasingly “opportunistic, exclusive and anti-poor”, ended on December 4 seeking political support in the presence of several non-BJP leaders.
Among politicians who shared the NAPM meet included Jharkhand's ex-BJP chief minister Babulal Marandi; Janata Dal (United) spokesperson KC Tyagi, known to be close to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar; representatives of Left parties of different shades, including the CPI, CPI-M, CPI-ML; and from representatives from different mass organizations.
No Congress leader was present at the meet. It is not known if any of them were called. More than 1,000 representatives from 200 organizations from across 20 states participated in the meet, whose main theme was Save Natural Resources, Constitutional values, and Principles of Equality and Justice.
Patkar asked the gathering to gear up not just to “fight the battles” for lands, forests, and rivers, but also be prepared for “larger ongoing struggles the world over”, citing how unity of different forces has helped score some successes in land rights in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh.
She stressed, there was a greater need to coordinate for the struggle for “self-determination in Kashmir, the fight for transparency and accountability, and Dalit students movements across campuses”, adding, “The younger generation is rising and speaking up. We old ones should learn to sit back and gave them space, they are not a force that can or should be stopped.”
Teesta Setalvad
Once part of the Sangh Parivar, Marandi, who left BJP in 2006 to form Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, said he came from the “same political school as that of Modi” and knew it did not have “anyone who could understand people's problems” related with the “loot of natural mineral resources in Jharkhand.”
Tyagi stressed on the need to “open a dialogue between democratic political parties and people's movements”, even as pointing towards how efforts were being made to “create an atmosphere of discord by spreading communal hatred”.
CPI-ML general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said, efforts were being made to bring an end to “all types of freedom”, seeking “a common programme on which political parties and people's movements”. CPI's Shameem Faizi and CPI-M's Avdhesh Kumar said there was a need to save the Constitution, which is under stress.
Eminent human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, who is the target of attack of the Gujarat government following her major successes in legal battles in several 2002 communal riots cases, said there is an “undeclared emergency” in India against the “marginalised groups, such as women, Muslims, Dalits and adivasis with weapons like gauraksha, love jihad, and ghar wapsi.”
Gujarat's top Dalit rights activist Jignesh Mevani said there was a “parallel between Mohammad Ayub’s murder by cow vigilantes in Ahmedabad recently that of Akhlakh’s lynching in Dadri, the public shaming and beatings of Dalit youth in Una and extra judicial killings in Bhopal, the unresolved disappearance of Najeeb”, adding, all this reminded one that of “the unholy trinity of BJP, RSS, ABVP are the biggest internal security threat in the country today.”
The NAPM ended with the formation of a new coordination committee, with Patkar as the veteran adviser.
Those in the team included Bihar's Ashish Rajan, Dorothy Fernandes, and Mahendra Yadav; Kerala's SV Venugupal and Vijay Raghav; Delhi's Nanu Prasad and Faisal Khan; Jharkhand's Jamyanti Barla; Odisha's Lingraj Azad; Bengal's Amitabh Mitra; Gujarat's Krishna Kant; Maharashtra's Suhas Kohelkar; Rajasthan's Kailash Meena; and UP's Richa Singh, Vimal Bhai, Dr Sunilam, Madhuresh and Meera.
Special invitees included Kavita Shrivastav, Arudhati Dharu, and Kala Das.

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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.

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Counterview Desk
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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

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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.”