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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.”

"Sexual harassment" in Gujarat institute: IRMA director asked to proceed on 100 day leave after faculty pressure

By Nachiketa Desai*
The board of governors of Gujarat’s prestigious Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), has sent its director RC Natarajan on a forced leave following a complaint of sexual harassment filed against him by one of its senior staff members.
The staff member had filed a police case against Natarajan for “constantly harassing her sexually.” The board simultaneously decided to extend the contract of the complainant, which was to expire April 30, 2017, till receipt of the report by the local complaint committee or till 100 days, “whichever is earlier.”
The decision to send Natarajan on leave was taken at a special meeting of the IRMA board of governors on Tuesday a day after the faculty members of the top institute declared that they would raise the allegation of sexual harassment before the board, which is chaired by an IAS official, who happens to be from the Bihar cadre.
In a letter, a group of faculty members had urged the IRMA board to give them proper hearing, alleging that the director and some anonymous callers had been “intimidating the witnesses of the sexual harassment case ever since the victim filed a police case.”
"We have received explicit as well as veiled threats even from anonymous callers," the faculty members complained in their letter, adding, "Over the past few weeks the incumbent director has in many ways tried to coerce and intimidate individual faculty and witnesses putting them under tremendous stress and pressure," the letter said.
"Under these conditions the faculty group strongly feels that they cannot function in a normal manner as long as the current director is allowed to have access to IRMA's resources during pendency of the case", the faculty members said.
The board, which met on Tuesday to discuss issues relating to the incident of sexual harassment filed against the director, appointed Dr Rakesh Saxena as director in-charge in place of Natarajan, who has been sent on leave for 100 days, or till the receipt of the inquiry report of the district’s local complaint committee before which the complainant has filed a criminal case.
“The board unequivocally reiterated its commitment to upholding ethical values of IRMA and its tradition of excellence. The board emphasized the need to adhere to gender equality and sensitivity, ethical behavior in and off campus, pursuit of academic excellence and commitment to rural poor,” said a statement issued after the board meeting.
“IRMA is one institution which had a lady director for five years. The Board is clearly of the view that there is no space for any inappropriate behavior on the part of any officer, staff, faculty and students. The Board is committed to keep IRMA as a safe place to work, learn and innovate,” the statement said.
Expressing concern at the turn of events, the board said, it has decided to take “effective steps” to prevent any case of sexual harassment in future. It also declared it would put in place “additional institutional provisions and structures” to effectively deal with future complaints.
In a press release, the board said, it “unequivocally" reiterates IRMA’s "commitment to upholding its ethical values of IRMA and its tradition of excellence”, adding, “The board emphasized the need to adhere to gender equality and sensitivity, ethical behavior in and off campus, pursuit of academic excellence and commitment to rural poor.”
It asserted, “IRMA is one institution which had a lady Director for 5 years. The Board is clearly of the view that there is no space for any inappropriate behavior on the part of any officer, staff, Faculty and students. The board is committed to keep IRMA as a safe place to work, learn and innovate.”
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*Consulting Editor (Political), United News of India

Comments

Anonymous said…
Contract employees have this bad habit of making false allegations when their term is due for renewal. A fair and objective enquiry should be held.
Anonymous said…
Kudos to the complainant who has stood up and come out against such vicious creatures in our society... If found guilty, harshest punishment needs to be handed over...

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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".

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.”

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.