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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.”

Minimum Support Price satyagraha to start on Oct 8: NAPM completes Gujarat yatra to "save" constitution

By Our Representative
Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM), which began the nationwide Samvidhan Samman Yatra on Gandhi Jayanti from Dandi, against “increased mob violence, hate crimes, casteist attacks, natural resource loot, and consistent attack on constitutional values”, completed its Gujarat leg on Thursday in Ahmedabad, announcing that it would launch a parallel Minimum Support Price (MSP) Satyagraha from October 8 to 12, 2018.
In a statement, NAPM said, farmers are fighting for fair remunerative prices for their produce as per the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations of keeping MSP through the formula of ‘C2+50%’, which provides for at least a 50% margin over the comprehensive cost of cultivation.
It said, “The Government of India is, however, playing many games on this MSP that farmers are legitimately demanding. After the government in its fourth year in power, that too in an election year, farmers’ hopes were dashed when it announced the Kharif 2018 MSP for various crops.”
It added, “While the prices were indeed a hike compared to the previous years of this government, the MSPs were not providing a 50% margin over comprehensive cost of production (C2) but were only meant to cover a deceitful suppressed cost definition used by the government (A2+FL, which is cost of production calculated at out-of-pocket expenses added to value of family labour, ignoring other legitimate cost components like land rental value).”
“The MSPs are lower to an extent of even Rs. 2000 per quintal in some crops, compared to what the MSP ought to have been, due to this latest cheating by the government”, NAPM said.
  Even as strongly condemning what it called “fresh MSP betrayal”, NAPM’s Samvidhan Samman Yatra – which will end in Delhi on December 10, the international human right day – saw Prafulla Samantara, alternative Green Nobel winner 2017, who led the yatra, said that the country has gone backwards to the British era under the current BJP rule.
Samantara accused the government of being “hell bent to destroy the spirit of our Constitution”, adding, “The Gujarat model, sold as the panacea to the whole country, stands exposed today after four years of the rule in Centre. We have travelled through Gujarat and everywhere the sort of despair and hardship for farmers and all we can say that Gujarat model is anti-farmer and anti-worker model.”
Those who participated in the yatra in Gujarat, apart from Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyaan, Odisha, included Suhas Kolhekar (NAPM, Maharashtra), BR Patil (Karnataka), Dr Sunilam (Kisaan Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh), and Nita Mahadev (Gujarat Lok Samiti, Gujarat).
Nita Mahadev said, “Whether it is Gujarat or any other state, everywhere environmental laws and democratic rights of the people are being changed or diluted for corporates. Farmers cultivating for the entire country, workers engaged in development of the country, Adivasis protecting the natural environment and forests, everyone is getting marginalized.”
Before reaching Ahmedabad, where the yatra participants held a press conference, it reached Bavla, 30 km away from Ahmedabad city, where the Ahmedabad Jilah Kisan Sangharsh Samiti has been fighting for irrigation water from Dharoi dam, something, its leaders said, they are not getting “in absence of canal networks.”
Addressing media, Anand Mazgaonkar of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara, said, “Gujarat is being tore apart by various projects in the name of development, caste and communal violence. This is the Gujarat model being imposed in the whole country. Mob lynching, communal riots, and loot of resources in all over the country are face of it.”
Gandhian intellectual Prakash Shah asked, “Where is the ‘Independence’ for that we fought for? What we are seeing today is a total opposite of our constitution and moving towards weakening, diluting the basis of our democracy.”
The Yatra travelling through Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Bharuch, Surat and other districts, hearing what people had to say about the bullet train, industrial corridor, riverfront development, Bhadbhut barrage, special economic zones, special investment regions, and water diversion from the Narmada command area to corporate houses.

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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".

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.”