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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.”

Starvation death due to lack of aadhaar authentication: Why is govt completely apathetic to the entire situation?

By Aparajita Sharma*
Govt’s drive on making Aadhaar compulsory is excluding millions and killing many. Why is the Government silent? The Right to Education (RTE) Forum highly condemns the tragic death of 11 year old girl in Jharkhand. She was denied of her right to food and eventually died of starvation because her family’s ration card was not seeded with Aadhaar number. The process got further delayed because it got caught in a tech glitch over Aadhaar.
Serious questions are being raised on the government’s drive in making Aaadhar compulsory. Why is this unnecessary hurry which is excluding millions of poor and threatening life of many including women and children who are living on the margins? Several activists and researchers working in the field have warned the govt on several occasion and the govt have carelessly paid no heed and on the contrary acted against the Supreme Court guidelines.
In its haste to enroll all citizens - of which children form a large untapped population - under Aadhar, the central government has issued notifications making Aadhar mandatory for most government schemes. This includes pensions, PDS, maternity benefits and more recently the midday meal scheme. This has led to death of many children due to starvation and hunger across the country. India is one of the countries with the “lowest reduction in hunger” in the last nine years.
The girl in this case, Santoshi Kumari, who lived with her parents at Karimati village of Jaldega block here in Simdega, complained of severe stomach ache and cramps and nobody cared to wait and listen to her. She died the very next day. She died of starvation or because of stark denial of her basic right to food and life.
Despite the Supreme Court Guidelines which have made it clear that beneficiaries cannot be denied access to welfare schemes, Jharkhand like many other states continues to impose Aadhaar on citizens even more stringently. There are severe threats of deleting names from the public distribution system (PDS) list if their ration cards are not linked with their Aadhaar number. 
This is a grave concern as the drive making Aaadhaar compulsory is turning out to be extremely inhuman and also indicate serious lack of readiness for the same. Despite reporting of such incidents the government is completely apathetic to the entire situation. 
Several ration shops in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and other states have been denying rations to eligible citizens by insisting on biometric authentication linked to Aadhaar instead of accepting people’s ration cards. Such severe gaps couldn’t be allowed for implementing a scheme. It is a criminal act on part of the Government.
From various surveys carried out, it is abundantly clear that the Aadhaar system, with the technology as it stands now, has failed miserably and has resulted in the poor and marginalized people being deprived of their basic entitlements. There are far more effective means of tackling corruption, such as social audits, regular monitoring, a robust grievance redress mechanism, which the government has failed to implement despite being provided for in the various Acts. There is also growing consensus that using fingerprint data for biometric analysis is unreliable in the case of children. Why is this fact being ignored?
Severe discriminatory and inhuman actions like these go against the ethos of democracy where people’s rights are supreme than the policies and schemes. The larger question is who is being served by these policies. It is certainly not the people.
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*RTE Forum

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
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Counterview Desk
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Counterview Desk
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17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
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Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

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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".

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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".

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History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
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