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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.”

Ahead of Modi's birthday bash, Narmada waters rise to 128.5 metres in valley, enter Rajghat, Nisarpur, other villages

By Our Representative
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes ahead with his unprecedented birthday bash at the Narmada dam on September 17, reports from the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh say the water levels have risen to 128.50 metres, higher than ever before, with waters entering starting to enter Rajghat and Nisarpur villages in Badwani district. Rajghat shot into prominence recently after the state administration tried to "demolish" the Gandhi Samadhi, where the ashes of the Mahatma, Kasturba and Mahadev Desai have been kept.
The anti-dam Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), in an urgent email alert, has said that waters have also entered into several other villages in Dhar district. The communique alleged, the water levels have been “continuously rising after release of large amount of water from unfilled dams just to celebrate the Narmada mahotsav on Modi's birthday.”
Reiterating that a large number of affected families haven’t yet received housing plots and compensation entitled to them, the release said, “Thousands of applications remain unheard before the Grievance Redressal Authority, leaving no options to the families but to protest on streets.”
Seeking popular support to represent before the elected representatives as well as senior government officials, the appeal says, the government must “immediately stop filling the Sardar Sarovar dam till the rehabilitation is complete as per the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) award, state policy and many court judgments.”
Wanting concerned citizens to make urgent calls and send emails to the President of India, the Prime Minister, the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, senior ministers and officials, the communique said, the dam’s reservoir is spread 214 kilometers upstream in the three states, and will affect 192 villages and one town, and this would be adversely affected.
Of these, it said, 150 villages, which are in the plains, and have highest density of population, would be severely affected, it said, estimating, “There are at least 40,000 families residing in the submergence area today.”
Meanwhile, the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Gujarat’s well-known environmental group, which operates from Vadodara, in a separate statement, has taken strong except to Modi’s birthday bash, saying, while about 14,000 Narmada dam oustees have been resettled in Gujarat, “Madhya Pradesh allotted land to hardly 53 families in its own state.”
“As per the NWDT award, Gujarat had to give land to 5,500 families from Madhya Pradesh and 777 families from Maharashtra, while the rest of the oustees chose to resettle in their own state”, the statement, signed, among others, by prominent environmentalist Rohit Prajapati, said, adding, “The Madhya Pradesh government decided to give cash in lieu of land”, leading to “fake registries, scam and derailment of policy depriving thousands of families of their due entitlements in rehabilitation.”
The statement said, protest relay fast of oustees, begun on July 15 last year, continued at Kevadia colony, off Narmada dam, four about a year, demanding “completing rehabilitation”, amidst reports that the oustees who were allocated land 15-20 years have received notices to vacate them for government’s alleged development needs.
“The Prime Minister and his party should realise that their honeymoon is over. Three years of bluff, bluster, empty promises, pompous announcements, jamborees, foreign junkets, photo-shoots with world leaders can neither drown out sane voices nor will questions people ask about concrete performance”, the statement concludes.

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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.”