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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.”

India's upper caste animosity towards Dalits and tribals extends to religious minorities: US report raises alarm

By Our Representative
A new report by an Indian-American coalition based in Washington, Alliance for Justice & Accountability, has raised the alarm that that over the last three years of the BJP rule in India, “the ‘upper’ castes’ animosity towards the Dalits and Adivasis” has sharply “extended to Muslims and Christians, who are today India’s second and third largest religious minorities respectively”.
“Endorsed” by the Indian American Muslim Council, the Dalit American Coalition Organization of Minorities from India, TwoCircles, and South Asian Solidarity Initiative, the report, titled “Minority Rights Violations in India”, believes an important reason for this is, “millions of Dalits and other lower castes have chosen to convert in a bid to escape their exploited fate under Hinduism.”
A compilation of “attacks” on minority communities, Dalits and adivasis, as also on dissent, in India over the last three years, the report, believes, India’s caste-based discriminatory system is “akin to apartheid”, with its “concomitant evils like untouchability and religious bigotry” threatening to “exacerbate India’s rapidly widening caste and class divide”, creating “an environment of increasing intolerance towards religious, caste, and gender minorities.”
According to the report, “Millions of Dalit or ‘lower’ castes and Adivasis have suffered centuries of systemic repression, exclusion and stigma at the hands of ‘upper’ castes. The same forces are spearheading India's seemingly relentless drift away from secularism and religious pluralism, especially over the course of the last three years.”
Calling BJP’s victory in May 2014 coming to power of forces which have “openly espoused Hindutva, an ultranationalist ideology marked by extreme animus towards Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities”, the report notes, “While votaries of Hindutva are actually a minority among Hindus, the BJP rode to power on promises of inclusive development.”
“The result”, according to the report, is “brazen” violations of “human rights and religious freedom of minorities” covering “a broad spectrum, from illegal detention, torture and fake encounter killings of detainees to open assault against individuals, their sources of livelihood and in many cases their places of worship.”
“Hundreds of Muslims have been arrested on trumped up charges of terrorism, and have spent several years in prison before being finally acquitted”, the report complains, giving the example of how this is being done through “laws curbing religious conversion, the ban on sale and possession of beef in many states and the curbs placed on NGOs.”
“In all cases, the state has become an enabler of repression, often going to great lengths to defend and normalize the abuse”, it says, adding, “While multiple international bodies have called out the RSS and its affiliates for their violence and extremism, Hindutva's stranglehold on Indian polity continues to tighten.”
Pointing out that “the culture of impunity that has taken hold in India bodes ill for the rule of law, and for India's continued ascendancy on the world stage”, the report insists, “The international community has an obligation to take cognizance of human rights violations in India and to influence the Indian government to take necessary steps to safeguard the rights of Dalits, Adivasis and religious minorities.”

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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.”