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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.”

Rally for Valley begins along Narmada to protest "failure" to develop rehab sites, will visit MP, Maharashtra, Gujarat

By Rahul Yadav*
"We are not on any government's mercy and those in power must understand this. We are cultivating our fields and living in the villages on the banks of Maa Narmada for centuries. She gave us life, and we preserved and nurtured her”, thundered Shyama Bai of Pichodi village during the public meeting at Khalghat, Madhya Pradesh, from where the Rally for the Valley began on the World Environment Day.
Insisting that “nobody can separate us by force or any threat”, Shyama Bai declared, “Doobenge par hatenge nahin (We will choose to drown but not leave Narmada valley), we have said this for three decades, and will continue on our stand".
She was one of the thousands of people who gathered at the rally, whose call was given by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA). Also participated by about 200 supporters from 15 states as a response to complete failure of the Madhya Pradesh government in completing any resettlement sites, the rally saw participants point towards the officialdom threatening people over the past one month with forced eviction.
The villagers were determined: They would not leave their villages till their demands were met. If they had held on to their ground for three decades then they were ready to hold on and fight for their rights for the next three decades.
NBA leader Medha Patkar said, the government has failed to build 88 resettlement sites in three decades, wondering, whether the government had a magic wand that it would provide all the basic amenities and completely developed settlement sites before July 31, the deadline set by the Supreme Court to resettle the oustees.
Dr Sunilam, a senior activist, said the situation today was similar to war and one couldn’t be silent witness to the “mass murder” planned by the government. “We are talking of two lakh people, which is not a small number”, he said, adding, “It’s a battle for everyone and not for only those affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam.”
Dr Sunilam asked chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan to personally visit the 88 resettlement sites to see for himself whether the sites were ready.
Environmentalists Dr Soumya Dutta and Chinmay Mishra said, disaster were awaiting to happen in the Valley as it is only people but lakhs of trees and pristine forests which would drown. “The scourge of sand mining and series of dams have already killed the river Narmada”, they underlined.
Others who spoke included Krishna Prasad of the All India Kisaan Sabha, former MP Raju Kheri and MLA Surendra Singh Baghel (Kukshi). Senior activists present on the occasion were Nita Mahadev, Ashok Shrimali, Hansmukhbhai, Jiku Bhai, all from Gujarat; advocate Shiva Kumar from Chennai; Sainaba Teacher from Kerala; Rajendra Ravi, Bhupender Singh Rawat, Nanhu Gupta and Madhuresh Kumar from National Alliance of Movements, Delhi; Sanjeev Kumar and Aashima from Delhi Solidarity, among others.
Participants also included students from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Film and Television Institute of India, Hyderabad Central University, Jamia Milia Islamia, and Indian Institute of Technology.
The yatra will travel through different villages of Dhar, Kukshi, Badwani, Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, Nandurbar district of Maharashtra and Narmada district of Gujarat.
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*With Narmada Bachao Andolan

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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.”