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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.”

To "celebrate" Indo-Pak Independence together on Aug 14-15, Peace Now Campaign set to begin on July 1

Modi-Musharraf meet, Nov 2014: Wither dialogue?
By Our Representative
Organizers of the Peace Now Campaign, to be launched on July 1 to “counter” water hysteria in India and Pakistan, have asked its participants from both the countries to “come together to celebrate independence” of the both the countries – on August 14 (Pakistan) and August 15 (India), and “not on just one day i.e. 14th or 15th.”
Mazhar Husain of Hyderabad’s Confederation of Voluntary Organizations (COVA), the organizers of the event which will continue for one-and-a-half months, in an email alert to Counterview, says, the joint celebrations, says Husain, would be accompanied by all-faith prayers at different religious spots across India, Pakistan and other countries.
Among the religious places already shortlisted include a Parsee Temple in Hyderabad, a Hindu Mutt in Ayodhya, the Ajmer Darga, the Bahai’s Lotus Temple in Delhi, Cathedral in Chennai, and Golden Temple in Amritsar.
He adds, “Leaders of different faiths will come together to read from their scriptures and pray for peace collectively. Friends in Pakistan, Canada, America and other countries are also planning in different religious places.”
To begin on July 1 at 3 pm (India Time) and and 2.30 pm (Pakistan Time), with partners in other countries coinciding it with choosing a convenient time on the same date, Nobel laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai have agreed to be star attractions of the event.
Networks and organizations in 22 of the 29 Indian states and four provinces of Pakistan have “come forward to partner with the Peace Now Campaign”, says Husain, adding, “We expect the campaign to be undertaken in around 250 cities, towns and villages in Pakistan, India and other countries.”
The campaign is expected to begin with a signature campaign and press meet on July 1, 2017, in Hyderabad, says Husain, the event would be launched in YMCA to be led by Admiral Ramdas, former Chief of Indian Navy along with some other Magsasay, Padma and other Award Winners from different fields and prominent citizens.
Among other major events, says Husain, would be an outreach programme, in which elected representatives would be approached from July 20 to 23 in both the countries. It coincides with the monsoon session of Parliament, scheduled from July 18.
In this outreach programme, says Husain, representatives from local bodies to members of Parliament/Senate would be approached and their signatures sought for endorsement on the demands in the signature campaign form.
Two cultural events have also been planned – a film and documentary festival on July 15-16 with the help of film clubs, followed by a discussion; and a cultural camp on July 29-30, in which artists and performers from different fields like painting, cartooning, musicians, singers etc. will come together to assert for peace.
Then, on August 8-9, the Peace Now Campaign would commemorate Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Under this event, to be called Young Art for Future of Humanity, under-18s from colleges, schools and out of schools would recite original poetry and writings, and express themselves through different art forms their concerns about conflicts plaguing the world.
Throughout the campaign period, says Husain, there would be “lectures on peace, including the need for cordial Indo-Pak relations in schools and colleges”. In Pakistan, for instance, 5 to 50 schools in different cities and towns have been shortlisted, where a play “Jung Chaheye Ya Aman” would be enacted or screened online.

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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.
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…

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*
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.