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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.”

Mission untouchability: Gujarat CM "allows" Dalits silent rally to Gandhinagar to hand over largest-ever National Flag

By Our Representative
In an unusual move, seeking to give the impression that there is no reason to believe the democratic space in India is shrinking, as being argued by activists, the Gujarat government has given permission to state Dalits to take out a silent rally from Nani Devti village in Sanand taluka to Gandhinagar, the state Capital, on Friday. The rally, to be led by top Dalit rights activist Martin Macwan, will be taken out in order to hand over India’s “largest-ever” National Flag to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani.
Addressing media at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), the Dalit empowerment centre he founded 18 years ago near the upcoming industrial hub, Sanand, in Ahmedabad district, Macwan said, “We had demanded appointment to meet the chief minister about a week ago."
However, as the chief minister would be "unable to receive the National Flag, it has been agreed that it would be handed over to the district collector, Gandhinagar", a top government source said.
Macwan said, “We had given in writing to the Director-General of Police, the chief minister’s office, as also the Ahmedabad district collectorate and the district police chief that we would like to meet the chief minister in person."
Till Thursday afternoon, as no permission was received, making Macwan and his colleagues apprehensive. "Does the chief minister not want to show respect to the National Flag, which the Dalits have designed?”, Macwan wondered.
The 125 feet long, 83.3 feet high National Flag, made of khadi clothe, has been designed and coloured by 100 DSK students and teachers, who worked on it for the last 25 days. Macwan had planned to take the flag in a rally to Gandhinagar on August 11.
The silent rally to Gandhinagar would pass through the Gandhi Ashram on August 11 with the participation of hundreds of Dalits from across Gujarat, before reaching Gandhinagar.  Martin had warned, if no permission was given, the silent march was in any case be taken out.
The rally is proposed to be taken out under the banner of Abhadched Mukt (or Untouchability Free) Bharat: Mission 2047. As many as 1,500 women and men, a Dalit communique said, would gather at the Dalit Shakti Kendra, Nani Devti village, on August 11 for the silent march. They belong to 125 talukas of 26 Gujarat districts.
The choice of the National Flag, which is 10,500 sq feet wide and has a 25 ft x 25 ft Ashok Chakra, was made, said Macwan, because, apart from other things, it symbolizes the constitutional obligation of removing untouchability and equality before law.
“It was decided that the flag would be made of khadi clothe, because khadi is known to be woven by Dalits”, he said, adding, “The 24 spokes of Ashok Chakra in the middle symbolizes one of the principles Gautam Buddha, of social equality.”
Along with the National Flag, the activists wanted to hand over to the chief minister a memorandum, placed in a big sized supda (winnowing basket), which is usually made by the Dalits’ Valmiki community to earn a livelihood in villages. The memorandum has a one-liner demand: Enter the name of one village which you have declared untouchability free on the occasion of the Independence Day.
Significantly, on Wednesday, senior farmers’ activist, Sagar Rabari of Khedut Samaj Gujarat, decided to take his supporters to a Maharashtra farmers’ and tribals’ rally across the border of South Gujarat, because, he told Counterview, he has been failing to get any permission for protest rallies in Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar. 
Earlier, pro-quota leader Hardik Patel, too, has not been permission for protest. “This has become a norm in Gujarat”, Rabari said.

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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.