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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.”

Do cricketer Sehwag, actor Hooda believe all Muslims are Pakistanis?, wonders Gujarat human rights activist

Clips from Gurmehar Kaur's video
By Our Representative
In an unusual investigation, Gujarat human rights activist Pratik Sinha has revealed that top cricketer Virendra Sehwag and actor Randeep Hooda have been unusually critical of Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur for a video she posted on social media, where she explains how she came off the impression as a six-year-old child that all Muslims are Pakistanis.
Belonging to Jalandhar, Kaur is daughter of Captain Mandeep Singh, martyred in the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan. In the video, the young student, who was two when he died, recalls how, when she was six, she hated Pakistan Muslims because she thought all Muslims were Pakistanis, one reason why at that small age, she “tried to stab a lady in a burkha” because she thought she was “responsible” for her father’s death.
“My mother held me back and made me understand that Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him”, she recalls, adding, “It took me a while to know, but today I do.”
“I have learnt to let go of my hate”, she points out, adding, “Today, I am a soldier too, just like my dad. I fight for peace between India and Pakistan, because if there was no war between us, my father would still be here…Majority of regular Indians and Pakistanis want peace, not war.”
Made on April 28, 2016 and published a few days later, Kaur’s four-and-a-half minute video, which went viral, has been watched by over 1.5 million people on the Facebook page it was initially posted on, apart from tens of thousands of times on other platforms such as Youtube, Sinha reveals.
“In this video, she held 36 posters, one after another, with handwritten messages on them wherein she narrated her story of how she lost her father, how she used to hate Pakistan, Pakistanis and Muslims, and how she overcame her hate”, says Sinha.
“The 13th poster out of the 36 posters read “Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him”, states Sinha, adding, it is this one “became a bone of contention” following the recent Akhil Bharariya Vidyarthi Parishad “attack” on a Ramjas College seminar last week and she spoke out against the attack.
Sehwag, who has been a staunch Modi supporter, made fun of the student, came up with a poster on his hand, which reads, “I didn't score two triple centuries, my bat did.” Hooda, another Modi lover, joined in the action, applauded Sehwag, and in a series of tweets, said, Gurmehar was a ‘poor girl’ being used as a front for a political message: “What's sad is that the poor girl is being used as political pawn and it seems you are a party to it...”
BJP MP Pratap Simha virtually broke all boundaries, making fun of Gurmehar, comparing her with gangster Dawood Ibrahim, who posed as saying, “I didn’t kill people in 1993, bombs killed them”, adding, “At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his father’s name to justify his anti-national stand.”
Sinha, who is also a social media buff, comments, “These tweets kicked off a new round of vicious trolling and abuse, with many Modi supporters whom the Prime Minister himself follows on Twitter, getting into the act. Unfortunately, Sehwag, Hooda and the trolls completely overlooked the context in which she held up that 13th poster.”
Meanwhile, top scribes have taken strong exception, especially to Sehwag and Hooda – Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt. In a series of tweets, Gupta said, “Sad, from you, big-hearted stars. Nobody's patriotism needs certificates, and hers has stamp of her father's supreme sacrifice”.
Critical of Hooda, Gupta rubbished Hooda’s claim that Kaur was a “poor girl”, defending her in the following words: “She's no poor girl or "pawn. She's a strong, thinking adult who speaks her mind.” He advises Hooda to “handle” his “patriarchy”.
Dutt tweeted, “So when a girl speaks she is being ‘used’? How patronising (and sexist) to assume” that Kaur “doesn't have a mind of her own, but that you do”.

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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.”