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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.”

Modi govt "inadvertently" announces its "negatives" alongside "positives" over last three years, withdraws them

By Our Representative
Will the Narendra Modi government ever admit that there are some “negatives” in whatever it has done over the last three years? In a surprise move, the Press Bureau of Information (PIB), operating directly under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in a press note first published negatives along with positives, but finding it too embarrassing removed it from the website.
Meanwhile, a site run a well-known software engineer and human rights activist based in Ahmedabad, Pratik Sinha, has dug out that the removed press note is still available in the cache form, which can be accessed HERE.
Even as pointing out that Modi’s three years in power “has been impressive, judging by macroeconomic parameters”, with the BJP seeing “unprecedented ascendancy” by wresting back power in Uttar Pradesh and the North-East”, making him “India’s most popular political leader”, the press note points to “controversies associated with the actions of fringe saffron groups.”
Pointing out that these controversies have “left the BJP vulnerable to criticism”, the press note, which has been issued in the name of the “President’s Secretariat”, says, “The next general election is due in 2019 and, to a large extent, the outcome will depend on Modi’s management of the optics and his government’s ability to generate jobs to meet the growing aspirations of voters.”
The “negatives” of the press note, surprisingly, are many, and are in equal numbers as the positives.
On foreign policy the negatives include “no strategy to pre-empt rebel attacks on security personnel in districts where Maoists are active”, “ties with Pakistan and China” being “icy despite Modi making trips to both countries”, and “relations with Russia—India’s once time-tested friend—in doldrums.”
The withdrawn press note: Screenshot
On environmental front these are “neglect of the forest and wildlife sectors”, with “decisions pending on a national forest policy, definition of forests, inviolate forest areas and a national wildlife action plan”, “the government favouring industries and indiscriminately giving green clearances, ignoring the toll taken on the environment”, and “Ganga clean-up yet to gather momentum”.
On agriculture these are “decline in wholesale prices of vegetables and pulses” denting farm incomes, “a loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh” leading to a moral hazard problem and “delay in repayment of loans in other states”, and “acute drought in southern states led to a spike in farm suicides.”
On finances, these are “demonetisation drive” leading to “short-term cash crunch”, hitting “small and medium enterprises”, “pending cases of retrospective taxation on past transactions still unresolved”, and “inability to bring back black money stashed away abroad by citizens.”
On the political front, the negatives are “rise of vigilante groups called Gau Rakshaks”, “allegations of toppling elected state governments”, and “problems within the NDA partners” in Jammu and Kashmir (People’s Democratic Party, Maharashtra (Shiv Sena) and Andhra Pradesh (Telugu Desam Party).
Other negatives include “drop in digital payment transactions with the easing of a cash crunch that followed the demonetisation of high-value banknotes in November”, “leakage of Aadhaar data”, and “increasing number of railway accidents”.
Interestingly, many twitter users said the “Report Card” is in fact an article from Livemint. However, a keen investigation has found that the PIB had ‘inadvertently’ uploaded the “Mint” article as an official press release by the President’s secretariat, which the “Financial Express” reproduced and removed, but not before several sites – including a Pakistani – made stories out it.
The “Financial Express” removed the press release with the following clarification: “The story on this link was based on a press release uploaded on the Press Information Bureau (PIB) website. PIB informs us that it inadvertently uploaded a story from the Mint newspaper. The content below in this story has therefore been removed.”

Comments

Unknown said…
Must give them marks for such an open analysis, as part of genuine introspection. The negative points raised are echoing the views of the people that we hear all the time. thank you for locating and sharing.

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By Our Representative
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Counterview Desk
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Counterview Desk
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Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
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By Our Representative
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By Tapan Bose*
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Counterview Desk
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