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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.”

Hindutva "bid" to change Delhi's history: Why forget that that the Capital is a receptacle of many cultures?

By Sadhan Mukherjee*
Delhi is not just a just a city or the capital of India; it is history itself. Who rules Delhi is important, not only in terms of today but for posterity as well. This is so as there is a conscious attempt to eliminate the past and forget its history.
No other existing city anywhere in the world is as old as Delhi. The Pandavas set up their capital here; then called Indraprastha. As the story is narrated in Mahabharata, it dates back to a period of around 3000 BCE. The inner-family war not only ended the Pandava and Kaurava dynasties but also destroyed Indraprastha as well as Hastinapur and the regimes.
A more modern Delhi became a citadel of Hindu kings who established their rule in 50 BCE in North India. Delhi was named after Mauryan king Dhillu. Much of Delhi’s ancient history is shrouded in myths and legends, not supported by any evidence except that Delhi today represents continuity and change. Many dynasties have ruled from here: the Nandas, the Mauryas (who defeated Alexander), and the Guptas whose rule ended in 550 CE.
After these great empires ended, Delhi and its various regions were ruled by smaller kings and warlords. Notable among them were the Tomars, Gujjars, Chauhans etc. The Chauhan king Prithviraj was the last Hindu king who was defeated by Mohammad Ghori in 1192.
Delhi thereafter was ruled by Muslims starting with Mamluks in 1206 and ending with Mogul dynasty in 1857, for nearly seven centuries. In all 32 rulers from 32 Muslim dynasties have ruled Delhi. Then the East India Company took it over from the Moguls following India’s First War of Independence.  A little later the British Empire itself took over the company rule.
Now there is a contrived effort to delete the past, especially the Muslim rule; hence, the bid to rewrite history and rename past symbols, especially roads, so that future generations remain unaware of it. This is the Hindutva bid at forgetting Delhi’s intermediate period of history.
The Muslim rule over Delhi included Afghans, Arabs, Persian, Turks, Central Asian hordes, and several others. Then the British made Delhi the capital of their empire in 1911 and established Christian rule. Some roads named after British rulers have also been renamed.
Why forget that that Delhi is a melange of culture, a receptacle of many cultures? Can one forget Delhi’s kulfi or British ice-cream? Delhi has adopted many things, either by consent or by coercion. It has not been able to retain its pristine culture except its harsh climate.
Today, Delhi is not only a megacity but in reality a region comprising six cities: Old Delhi, New Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida, and Ghaziabad. Delhi is also the embodiment of diversity.
In the process of change, Delhi was captured, destroyed, its citizens killed, women folk raped and taken away. So much so that it is said that following Nadir Shah’s invasion the water of Yamuna River remained red for days together since large quantities of human blood had flown into it.
The occupiers and rulers of different era left their imprint not only on Delhi’s history and architecture but also on its cuisine. With so much of intermixing, Delhi does not really have even any cuisine of its own today.
Delhi cuisine now is truly international. Name food from any part of the world, you have it in Delhi. From Iceland to New Zealand, to various African countries, Middle East, Far East, and of course European including British, Russian, Ukranian, American and Mexican. Besides, food from India’s own varied cuisine from states and union territories are available in this city.
Delhi however has some things to offer in terms of its cuisine, though in modified forms, as it were. These include Delhi’s own Nihari, a sort of beef stew, and Daulat Chat made only in winter through a complicated process of condensing the milk foam.
Then there are Delhi style kebabs, biryani, tandoori, and some modern items as butter chicken, aloo chat, dahi bhalla, kachori, gol gappa, keema samosa, aloo samosa, chole bhature, etc. Delhi’s drinks include lassi and Rooh Afza, and sweets like dodha and jalebi.
Thus Delhi, the cosmopolitan, is truly an international city blending its modernity with antiquity. The attempt to change it to a Hindu city or to vegetarian cuisine only is bound to fail.
---
*Veteran journalist

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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.
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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*
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