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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.”

Narmada oustees' Rally for Valley stopped, Gujarat cops detain Medha Patkar, Prafulla Samantara, Nita Mahadev

By Our Representative
Senior leaders of Rally for the Valley, organized by India’s well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) led by top social activist Medha Patkar, were detained at Gujarat border’s Kavta checkpost near Kavta village in Chhotaudaipur district of Gujarat, as they tried to enter the state from Madhya Pradesh, on Wednesday afternoon.
Among those who were detained included top Patkar, Prafulla Samantara, winner of this year's prestigious environmental Nobel, Goldman Award, and top Gujarat Gandhian Nita Mahadev. They were stopped and detained by the police, which has refused to grant to Rally for the Valley a permission to enter Gujarat and take the rally to the state's villages. It rally was scheduled to pass through the Narmada district to reach Maharashtra.
Calling it an attack on the “constitutional rights of citizens of this country”, NBA in a statement said, the Rally for the Valley, which consists of hundreds of activists and Narmada dam oustees, was to pass through Gujarat and reach Jeevanshala, a school run by Narmada Navnirmaan Abhiyan of Chimalkhedi, Maharashtra.
“The police officials failed to produce any written order. Even the vehicles with Gujarat number plate and local buses were stopped from crossing the border”, NBA alleged in a statement, adding, this is nothing but “rampant suppressing people’s voices and their constitutional rights.”
Earlier, the police imposed Section 144 in the area where the NBA rally was to pass from Gujarat, prohibiting more than four persons to gather at one place. Apart from detaining Patkar and other activists, police also detained students, who had come from all over India to participate in the Rally of the Valley
In its last leg, the Rally for the Valley, which began on June 5, World Environment Day, did not face any such problem in Madhya Pradesh. On June 6, thousands of Narmada dam oustees gathered for a public meeting in the submergence zone village of Nisarpur, Madhyya Pradesh as part of the three-day campaign, which was kicked off in Indore.
Addressing the mass meeting, Mahadev, who heads Gujarat Lok Samiti, said, the Modi government has been “pressing for completion for the Narmada dam by closing its gates just to reap political benefit before the Gujarat assembly elections.”
Pointing out that it is impossible to rehabilitate thousands of the oustees before July 31, as desired by the Madhya Pradesh government, Mahadev the government has been seeking to use force to show that all the people had been adequately rehabilitated.
“Water that is currently being diverted from the dam to Gujarat is not reaching farmers but is being sold to corporations and cities”, she alleged, even as Gujarat’s revolutionary songwriter and singer Vinay Mahajan infused sang songs on the need to use non-violent ways in the face of brutal state terror.
Speaking at the public meeting, a class 6 child and a resident of the submergence zone village, Nisarpur, Ankita Soni Pankaj, asked the Prime Minister: “You live in bungalows, wear suits worth lakhs, travel abroad… What do you have for us?”
Those who spoke included Surendra Singh Baghel, MLA, Kukshi, Gajendra Singh, ex-MP, Congress, Patkar, Samantara, Jaswinder Singh Kaur of the All India Kisan Sabha, Dr Sunilam, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti’s Aradhana Bhargav, National Alliance of People’s Movement’s Madhuresh Kumar, and others.

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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.”