Skip to main content

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara
By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".
The book says, "Central to (Hindutva) perception is the belief that Muslim rulers indiscriminately demolished Hindu temples and broke Hindu idols. They relentlessly propagate the canard that 60,000 Hindu temples were demolished during Muslim rule, though there is hardly any credible evidence for the destruction of more than 80 of them."
Presenting what he calls "a limited survey of the desecration, destruction and appropriation of Buddhist stupas, monasteries and other structures by Brahminical forces", Jha says, "Evidence for such destruction dates as far back as the end of the reign of Ashoka, who is credited with making Buddhism a world religion."
He adds, "A tradition recorded in a twelfth-century Kashmiri text, the Rajatarangini of Kalhana, mentions one of Ashoka’s sons, Jalauka. Unlike his father, he was a Shaivite, and destroyed Buddhist monasteries. If this is given credence, the attacks on Shramanic religions seem to have begun either in the lifetime of Ashoka or soon after his death."
According to Jha, "Other early evidence of the persecution of Shramanas comes from the post-Mauryan period, recorded in the Divyavadana, a Buddhist Sanskrit, which describes the Brahmin ruler Pushyamitra Shunga as a great persecutor of Buddhists. He is said to have marched out with a large army, destroying stupas, burning monasteries and killing monks as far as Sakala, now known as Sialkot, where he announced a prize of one hundred dinars for every head of a Shramana."
Bringing up "evidence" from famous grammarian Patanjali, Jha says, he "famously stated in his Mahabhashya that Brahmins and Shramanas are eternal enemies, like the snake and the mongoose. All this taken together means that the stage was set for a Brahminical onslaught on Buddhism during the post-Mauryan period, especially under Pushyamitra Shunga, who may have destroyed the Ashokan Pillared Hall and the Kukutarama monastery at Pataliputra—modern-day Patna."
Jha further says, "The possibility of a Shunga assault on Buddhist monuments is supported by the layers of debris and the evidence of desertion found at many centres of Buddhism, notably in Madhya Pradesh. For example, Sanchi, which was an important Buddhist site since the time of Ashoka, has yielded evidence of the vandalisation of several edifices during the Shunga period. Similar evidence comes from nearby places such as Satdhara, in Katni district, and Deurkothar, in Rewa district."
"The destruction and appropriation of Buddhist sites continued in Madhya Pradesh even after Shunga rule ended", says Jha. "At Ahmedpur, for instance, a Brahminical temple seems to have been constructed on a stupa base in the fifth century, and icons have been found at several sites around Vidisha, which were transformed into Shaivite or Jain places of worship around the eighth century."
Then, "more than 250 kilometres north-east of Vidisha, a Buddhist establishment existed at Khajuraho before it emerged as a major temple town from the tenth century onwards, under the Chandellas. Here, the Ghantai temple appears to have been built on the remains of a Buddhist monument in the ninth or tenth century by the Jains, who also may have had a strong presence in the region."
Providing evidence from Mathura, which was a flourishing town in western Uttar Pradesh during the Kushana period, Jha says, "Some present-day Brahminical temples, such as those of Bhuteshwar and Gokarneshwar, were Buddhist sites in the ancient period. Here, the Katra Mound, a Buddhist centre during Kushana times, became a Hindu religious site in the early medieval period."
Further, at Kaushambi, near Allahabad, "the destruction and burning of the great Ghositaram monastery has been attributed to the Shungas -- more specifically to Pushyamitra", says Jha, adding, "Sarnath, near Varanasi, where the Buddha delivered his first sermon, became the target of Brahminical assault. This was followed by the construction of Brahminical buildings, such as Court 36 and Structure 136, probably in the Gupta period, by reusing Mauryan materials."
Quoting Chinese pilgrim Fa-hsien, who visited India in the early fifth century, during the Gupta period, Jha says, at Sravasti, where the Buddha spent much of his life, "Brahmins seem to have appropriated a Kushana Buddhist site, where a temple with Ramayana panels was constructed during the Gupta period."
Jha notes, "In fact, the general scenario of Buddhist establishments in what is today Uttar Pradesh was so bad that in Sultanpur district alone no less than 49 Buddhist sites seem to have been destroyed by fire when, as described in a paper by the archaeologist Alois Anton Führer, 'Brahminism won its final victories over Buddhism'.”
In the post-Gupta centuries, says Jha, Chinese Buddhist pilgrim and traveller Hsüan Tsang, who visited India between the years 631 and 645, during the reign of Harshavardhana, "states that the sixth-century Huna ruler Mihirakula, a devotee of Shiva, destroyed 1,600 Buddhist stupas and monasteries and killed thousands of Buddhist monks and laity. He further tells us that 1,000 sangharamas in Gandhara were 'deserted'/and in 'ruins,' and describes 1,400 sangharamas in Uddiyana as 'generally waste and desolate'.”
Then, says Jha, "Hsüan Tsang tells us that the king Shashanka of Gauda cut down the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya in Bihar -- the place of the Buddha’s enlightenment -- and removed a statue of the Buddha from a local temple, ordering that it be replaced by an image of Maheshvara... Bodh Gaya came under Buddhist control again during the period of the Pala rulers, who were Buddhists, and the place has, in fact, remained a site of religious contestation throughout Indian history."
Referring to the internationally reputed Buddhist university at Nalanda, especially the its vast monastic complex where Hsüan Tsang spent more than five years, Jha says, it's library was set on fire by "Hindu fanatics", insisting, "The popular view, however, wrongly attributes this conflagration to the Mamluk commander Bakhtiyar Khilji, who never went there, but, in fact, sacked the nearby Odantapuri Mahavihara at modern-day Bihar Sharif."
Suspecting that even the Jagannath temple at Puri, one of the most prominent Brahminical pilgrimage centres in eastern India, built in the twelfth century during the reign of the Eastern Ganga ruler Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva, "is said to have been constructed on a Buddhist site" something which "may be contested", Jha says, "There is hardly any doubt that the temples of Purneshvara, Kedareshvara, Kanteshvara, Someshvara and Angeshvara, all in Puri district, were either built on Buddhist viharas, or made of material derived from them."

Comments

Nandini Oza said…
Very useful and important read.
Unknown said…
Useful, but blaming it all on Brahmins is a bit short-sided. Brahmins wouldn't have been able to pull it off without the military support of Kshatriyas and financial support of Vaishyas while even Jains were seemingly all to happy in seeing a rival shramanistic religion fail. And, the final nail on the buddhist coffin WAS contributed to by Turkic and Afghani islamist invaders as well...
Uma said…
Why hide behind anonimity? It is true that Kshatriyas destroyed Buddhist sites but they were directed by the Bhrahmins.
Anonymous said…
Moulded facts indeed.The author needs to do a bit more research than coming to direct conclusion.I could show you in mybhometown Patna that many mosques built after the ghaznavid era in Patna still have the name of buddhist monastery.For example the mosque in patna called Patther ki masjid still bears the name Sangi masjid which is just a misnomer of Sangha.These leftist historians had very shamelessly suppressed these kind of evidences to put forward their agendised historical perspective.
smitesh shah said…
less evidence is given that kings destroyed buddhist sites 1500 temples, false. Even when buddhism was advancing, buddhist followers have tried to destroyed hindu temples in past if we see. Now, lets comes to conclusion, at time of today hindu govt pm modi, no 1 is destroying buddhist culture, so its not needed that all hindu kings in times destroyed buddhist culture, in in times of maurya kings respect buddhism. Buddhism decline due to lack debates with hindu saints in past recoverting buddhist to hindusim. This converted buddhist might also destroyed the temples and made it hindus
Aniket Das said…
Nice article
Saurav Bhagat said…
Smitesh Shah, what logic man. We have secularism today, how can anyone under any PM even dare to destroy any religious structure. Secularism is a modern concept. Medieval and ancient world didn't think that way.
G R Srinivasa said…
India is an ancient country where VEDAS originated ( words from God himself) and Bhagavath githa is 6500 years old. Ancient traditions prevailed. Some rulers who did not believe in Omnipotent God started believing what humans started saying from their experience ( Man created). Many believe in Tharka and Vitharka having no sanctity. One such theory is Shunya philosophy. In India 82 percent are people following VEDIC CULTURE. They are Mature and sensible. MOst of them believe that God exists every where.
Unknown said…
Sowing seeds of discord where none exists.
DN Jha is one of those who defended Babri Masjid.
So should we say -- cat is out of the bag.
Unknown said…
DN Jha'a credentials are questionable.
Anonymous said…
The bogus ideas of him includes Hindus eat beef, his and fellow comrades failed in Ayodhya verdict. People like him are fruit of our academic system which teach us to condemn our own religion and culture. Hindu is a nasty word for these scavengers who under foreign money and influence belittle this great civilization. Badrinath temple was vandalized by Buddhists but Great Shankara resurrected it. Buddha is Lord Vishnu for us. Those who lost mental capacity to understand Vedic life in Kaliyuga were given a way by Buddha who is always addressed as 'Arya' by his deciples. Buddhism was also spreading a cult of vagabonds where young men and women donot work, under guide of bhikshu immoral acts were practicsed. The religion is reduced to soceerism and black magic. So the parent vedic religion guided it. Hindus venerates all gods and goddesses of Budhism, Jainism, all Gurus of Sikhism. This is possible when you are at very high level of maturity
Unknown said…
ashoka himself is a fake character , britishers have rewritten history of india to a extent that facts are far left behind ,radha is a fake character to defame krishna, agnipariksha of mata sita is a fake episode written by britishers to defame rama, and so much so on, if hindus were so intolereant or brhamins were so dangerous how come outsiders ruled india for 1000 years?? and yet could not destroy a hair of hindus?? how even are this people called scholars and how is their knowledge trustable???
Anonymous said…
Brahmins are the cancer of India
.. no wonder they are going extinct now.. they destroyed everything and made people their slaves for 2 millennia... they physically inferior, hence used Kshatriya to do the task for them. Tiny penis, feminine bodied (hairless) creatures called Brahmins are an abomination to human race.
The archaeological claims are all without a shred of evidence. Also.. most Buddhists in India were Kshatriya and Vaishya converts who never gave up their Varna identities. Shudras were never Buddhists or Jains in large numbers. There exists no evidence of a large population of India, particularly non-Dvijas, ever becoming "Buddhist" or "Jain". Also, apart from Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, it were the Greeks and Scythians who had become Buddhists in large numbers within India. Pushyamitra Shunga's persecution of Buddhists was intended against the Greco-Buddhists who were supporting the last Greek Buddhist invader Demetrius (Dhammamitta) who was eventually defeated by Pushyamitra. Also the claim that there were "thousands" of Buddhist stupas and other structures is a Buddhist claim and cannot be verified from neutral or non-Buddhist sources. The Chinese travellers were also all Buddhists and they clearly claim even Deva temples (obviously Hindu ij modern terms) to be Buddhist institutions.

Buddhism, Jainism and Brahmanism were always a minority in India and confined to the castes that achived elite classes alone. The vast majority followed local folk religious traditions which were more or less the same as the folk religion of Indians today.. and this is what we call as popular Hinduism a.k.a. Agamic/Laukic Hinduism.

Modern day descendants of untouchables and outcastes appropriating "Buddhism" and other Shramanic systems as their own are liars. The Indian equivalents of "we wuz kangz". The Brahmanical Hinduism vs Vedic Hinduism (almost extinct anyway by the time Brahmanism rose) vs vs Buddhism vs Jainism vs Ajivakism was an upper caste vs upper caste issue. Untouchable Pariahs or Chandalas who were always largely folk religionists/Agamic or Laukic Hindus (non-Brahmanical unorganized folk Shaivites, Shaktas etc.) should stop stealing upper caste movements. They should also stop appropriating Kshatriya (Vrishala though) lineages like Moriyas- whose actual descendants exist only among Mori Rajputs, More Marathas and probably Mori Jats.
Unknown said…
It has been a power game all through the history. Whoever, had the power propagated his religion by destroying the vanquished. It is still going on and will continue to be made only for reversal after some time. Hilarious but true...
Anonymous said…
Some gay brahmins here pissed off😂😂😂
Anonymous said…
Look some pissed off people in comments. 😂😂😂😂
being rational said…
buddhism which has its very origin in INDIA itself has how many buddhist temples and pilgrimage sites here and how many of the people here are follwing buddhism?? see China instead, how widely buddhism fluorished there. the Facts written here might not be digested by a few conservatists but remember religion has always been a way to conquer states an d show dominance, mughals did the same thing by destroying hindu temples, and same goes for modi govt, demolishing one masjid to please the majority hindus that too in a democratic country, where in a democracy no state can have any affiliation to any particular state( only theocratic state has such) . Brahmins are pissed off here but its true guys. your forefathers were !@##holes. same goes for muslims. killings, rapes, and create their own hells heavens to justify the wrongs.
We need unbiased narratives. Harping on one theme continuously is also biased. It is also against national interest and the interest of science. D N Jha is a pastmaster in the art of polarization.
mohammedbasha said…
It’s been Misconceptions About Islam and misunderstood by many that Islam was founded by Prophet Muhammed around 1400 years ago in the middle of Arabia and The holy book of Islam was certainly sent by Almighty.
Unknown said…
An excellent article by a distinguished historian. The 'upper' caste thugs, who have a strange notion of themselves as 'tolerant', while practicing the unparalleled social abuse of untouchability, can only quote some sacred book of theirs! Illiterate epsilon-minuses.
Asif said…
The religion of peace named Islam is one among the mightiest religion in this world. And also, the one that is misunderstood a lot for several reasons. Be it a propaganda of political or of economical unfolded at all times. Our mission is to spread Truth about Islam by clearing entire misconceptions and to disseminate virtuous good deeds that the Muslims actually practice. Islam, one among largest religions in the world also the one that is misunderstood all time. There are several sources including political, economic & media, framed Islam as misleading religion. And the Truth about Muslims are always hidden from the light.
Anonymous said…
Can see a few writhing in pain!
Unknown said…
A debate such as this about ancient Indian history will help in promoting tolerance and national cohesion.
I am from Bihar, India and have abiding reverence for Ashoka and Gautama Buddha. Please don't denigrate their contribution to human civilization.
Incidentally, it would greatly clarify thinking if one were to discuss Casteism, Untouchability, and concepts of God, in the socio-political context prevailing in ancient India.
Agreed.. Hindutva is infinitely more dangerous but Marxist historians must adopt to the times, and adopt a balaced approach.. they are a major part of the problem
Muntazir mehdi said…
and Buddhist kills thousands of Muslims in Burma and china several articles are present at The lawyer world
Anonymous said…
Is there any truth that Brahminical Characters or brahmins heading a kingdom? And they destroyed buddist shrines? Brahminism predates the Buddhism and Jainism. Why it cannot be other way? It always a victors take all and responsible for loot, destruction, slavery etc. The untouchables are the condemned people of such act of victors. No exception to the caste of Victor.
Anonymous said…
Brahmin supremacists' ass burned in the comment section
Anonymous said…
Thousands of Brahmins were killed on single days by desert invaders and the "janeu-sacred thread" collected from their dead bodies were collected in mountain like heaps to symbolize this demolition of Hinduism. But inspite of such bloody history and articles like above they survive...
Unknown said…
D N Jha has poor knowledge of Sanskrit and a half fed historian without historical common sense . His book myth of Holy cow is the best example of his poor knowledge in sanskrit and Indian culture . His comment on Jagannath Temple shows his poor knowledge on history , What happened to buddhists of Puri ? Buddhist monuments are plentifully available in Orissa . Why all Buddhist images are claimed to be converted as Shiva temple . Even Matchendra nath or Mina nath said to be converted himself from Buddhism to Shaivism . Without knowing anything mr jha is preaching hatred .
Article is full of "it appears" it "seems" this was done, that was done. This communist joker DN Jha does not present any evidence of destruction of buddhist structures. Where is the primary source of your propogandist narrative?
Sam said…
Sorry, but this article is light weight. According to who is PN Jha some great historian? If he is a credible historian then he has to provide credible evidence, not a book of fairy stories written hundreds of years later. Nothing provided here is first hand or second hand evidence. Patanjali's commentary is of philosophical differences. These claims are of awfully poor acedemic standard.
Sachin Kabir said…
The advent of "fake news" and historiography is not new to India. Since the Muslim invasion of India there have been attempts to redeem Islamic barbarism and put the blame on the Savarnas. Yes its is true that there has been much caste oppression however, never was there such directed barbarism towards Buddhists by Sanatani. By skilfully manipulating the debate that Hindus / Sanatanis /Aryans are anyway "invaders" and not original inhabitants of the Indus - Gangetic plains, its easy to ask for a balkanised Indian sub continent, because there are no original inhabitants so the area is up for grabs. Such dangerous historiography already enabled the balkanisation of India to make Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan and now there is full steam ahead to divide the rest of Kashmir and declare the Indian part as an independent nation. We can directly see the connection between those who support the Islamic Kashmiri separatist movement and those who find this kind of write up appealing to their need to demean and destroy anything Sanatani and establish a so called "Secular" but Islamic state of India.
They forget that Buddha is one of the DasAvatar's of Vishnu and it is not the Brahmins and Kshatriyas who have been fond of burning down universities and temples of worship. I am sure the next narrative will be that it is the Savarna castes who destroyed Bamiyan and burnt the universities of Karbala, Taxila and Nalanda. There is a parallel fake narrative being spun and massive attempts to redeem Aurangzeb while discredit Shivaji, further redeem Akbar and discredit Maharana Pratap, there is no end to this "invasion" theory and "Hindus destroyed Buddhist temples" Ajanta, Ellora, Marla, Kanheri - the list is endless of Buddhist sites which were held in reverence and not defiles. There was actually only one religion which hated all other religions with open disregard for other cultures and that has been Islam, what is the confusion. This hatred and disregard for other theism is ongoing, Pakistan and its dwindling minorities is a perfect example, the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus has happened in our living memory.
I have personally seen many carvings of the "Varah Avatar" or the "Boar Avatar" in the Qutub Minor complex, so where did that come from? Muslims carved the wild pig in marble?
The likes of DN Jha, Romilla Thappar and others whose basic work was to discredit anything Sanatani and glorify anything Islamic are the result of state sponsored secular scholarships which were doled out during the so called Congress - Left parliamentary seat adjustment era, where roads were named after bigots such as Aurangzeb without batting an eyelid and much scholarship has been wasted trying to redeem him. We all know he was a bigot, yet this gang loves him and will spend hours arguing the contrary. Waste of good scholarship time, funds and energy all to create fake news.
Anonymous said…
Great article and his books are a must read. Those in the comments asking for "proofs" first read the books and check the sources before writing baseless comments.
Anonymous said…
Digging and collecting hard evidence is hard work. Speculation to confirm one’s political beliefs is easy. That is writing history is all about.
Unknown said…
Buddhism was never religion of people in whole south east Asia,with India , Cambodia Thailand etc(in Thailand and Cambodia it became after 13 th century).
In india people were follower of vedic and ancient Indian sects, Buddhism etc were followed by Only upper classes or kings, as previously they were too are followers of different sects of today's Hinduism. Even you can know it as Buddha's mother name was yashoda (mother of lord krishna in mahabharta). Ashoka started to spread and preach Buddhism in his regin after 200-300 years after death of buddha.

TRENDING

World Bank proved right, Narmada is already a destructive project: Medha Patkar

By Rajiv Shah  Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar has said that the World Bank’s independent review mission, which brought out the Morse Commission report , has been proved right: The Sardar Sarovar dam has not only failed to live up to the loud promises made for irrigating large arid areas of Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat, those who were displaced and resettled in Gujarat are getting increasingly restive as many of them are unable to get the promised water for irrigation and some for drinking water too. While 50,000 families have been resettled in three states and 20,000 have received land rights as land or cash, the authorities have not calculated what should be done with 15,000 families, whose houses are acquired for Sardar Sarovar but following changing backwater levels of the Sardar Sarovar dam, they are denied rehabilitation, Patkar tells Counterview in an interview (part1*): *** Q: What is the latest position in your view as far as the Sardar Sarovar dam is concerned?

Vadodara violence: Fine Arts Faculty alumni raise fingers at Varsity's political appointee

Hasmukh Vaghela with PM Counterview Desk  In a statement, alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts (FoFA), Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, Gujarat, referring to the “violence” by right-wing groups for displaying “objectionable” paintings that “hurt religious sentiments” at the one of India’s top fine arts institute May 5, have taken strong exception to “the assault and rustication” of one of the students, and lack of action taken against those who “violated” the institution and committed the act. Floated as an online petition seeking wider support, the FoFA alumni, in their statement, addressed to the vice chancellor, MSU, said, there should be “thorough” investigation in the whole incident and “immediate action” should be taken against syndicate member Hasmukh Vaghela, MSU, who sparked the assault, and “other co-conspirators” for breaching “university code of conduct and unlawful activities committed in broad daylight”. While the alumni statement doesn't say so, Vaghela

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

UK leader cites Indian farmers' struggle one of top global fights against neoliberal order

Counterview Desk  Jeremy Corbyn, member of the UK Parliament, former leader of the UK Labour Party and founder of the  Peace and Justice Project , in his  inaugural speech to the  Progressive International’s  Summit at the End of the World on May 12, 2022, has said, what is happening across globe suggests that "image of apocalypse -- bombs and raids, oil spills and wildfires, disease and contagion -- is a reality for people across the planet." In an adaptation of his speech, distributed by  Globetrotter , Corbyn, however, said, there are fresh examples action, too -- by Indian farmers forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw three neo-liberal laws;  by workers, communities and activists against the top giant multinational Amazon's "greed and exploitation"; and by Latin American people's struggle to say "no more to the domination by imperialism, the destruction of their communities and the abuse of their environments." Stating that this is n

This Maoist justified US, western Europe's anti-Soviet stance, even Bhindranwale

By Harsh Thakor*  A glaring example of the extent to which those seeking to identify themselves as revolutionaries can go in making odd compromises with those normally considered as “class enemies” in Marxist jargon is late Kondapalli Seetharamiah. Few know that this Maoist organiser two decades ago was so enamoured by the Chinese three worlds theory that he called for a united front with the United States and other western countries against what he considered Soviet social imperialism! This wasn’t the only “compromise” Seetharamiah made during his career as a revolutionary. On Punjab he took a most eclectical stand of supporting Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, thus soft-pedalling the terrorist Khalistani movement. Among his other opportunist alliances, about which few are aware of, include support to the Akalis in Punjab, on one hand, and the NTR Telugu Desam regime in Andhra Pradesh, on the other – all part of his anti-Congress thrust. Also known as KS, this Maoist started his career as

Welfare? Govt of India spends just 19% of manual scavengers' rehabilitation budget

By Bharat Dogra*  While the Dalit community has been always known for higher levels of poverty as well as social discrimination, even within the Dalits there is a sub-section known for even worse levels of poverty as well as social discrimination. This is the section which was traditionally involved in manual scavenging. The shocking injustice they have suffered from over the years has been widely recognized leading to a ban on manual scavenging. At the same time there is urgent need for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging. Hence a self-employment scheme for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging was drawn up. The allocations and the expenditure for this scheme for the last eight years are shown in the Table below: Union Budget for Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of  Manual Scavengers (in Rs crore) By Budget Estimate we mean the original allocation made when the budget is presented. It is clear from this table that the actual expenditure

Why is NIOH-ICMR 'official' making false claims on silicosis?: Health rights NGO

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, Dr Jagdish Parikh, trustee, health rights NGO People’s Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, and Jagdish Patel, director, PTRC, have said that the claim being made for the use of biomarker for detection of silicosis raises concern about scientific tenacity of the diagnosis of the deadly occupational disease. The letter also objects to the reported claim by a top health official that it is possible to detect silicosis at the sub-radiological stage. It asks, “What is this subradiological stage of silicosis? We have not heard any such scientific term being used. Again, the report is using a term which is not found in any scientific literature so far. Is this term acceptable by ICMR? Is ICMR thinking of any explanation?” Text : This is with reference to our letter dated November 28, 2021. In our communication we had raised our concern about the scientific tena

Custodial death of Muslim youth: Govt of India told to ratify UN convention on torture

Counterview Desk  Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), Hooghly, West Bengal, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has drawn to the custodial death of a Muslim youth following his torture in police custody after registering a "false case" based on manufactured records. Seeking "proper investigation" the whole incident, Roy in his plea insists, the incident legitimizes his organisations' long-standing demand "for immediate ratification of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment." Text : Here I want to draw your kind attention to one incident of custodial torture by the Deganga police personnel and the subsequent custodial death of one Muslim man from the Other Backward Class community in Dum Dum Central Correctional Home. The name o

Dalit Hindi professor intimidated, harassed by saffron brigade: 400 activists, academics

Counterview Desk  Over 400 academics and activists have expressed alarm at the Lucknow University ‘protests’ on May 10 against Dr Ravi Kant, associate professor of Hindi and a Dalit, stating it is nothing but “intimidation and abuse” over his remarks on the online channel Satya Hindi, which were taken out of context and made viral on social media. “We are even more concerned that such an incident should occur within the confines a university campus, where free speech and expression without fear must ideally be the norm. Violence and intimidation over differences of opinion should never occur in a university”, the statement regrets, asking the authorities at the university and the Uttar Pradesh government to assure him and his family “protection from further harassment or intimidation.” Text: We are a group of academics and activists deeply concerned by the public heckling and intimidation of Dr. Ravi Kant, Associate Professor of Hindi and well known Dalit scholar, on the premises of t