Skip to main content

Attempt to curb minorities, Dalits may further escalate tension: Lesson from 2018

Chadrashekhar Azad 'Ravan'
By Sheshu Babu*
As the New Year draws closer, there is an increase of tensions on caste and communal lines. The Naseeruddin Shah affair has not yet subsided, and another instance of repression took place in Mumbai. The dashing dalit leader Chandrasekhar Azad 'Ravan', who was invited to address a rally on December 29, wanted to use the opportunity to visit Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial in Mumbai at Chaitanya Bhoomi.
But his maiden visit was turned into a nightmare by unconstitutional detention at his hotel followed by a ride in the city in a police van! After a three hour ride, he along with some north Indian colleagues was deposited at Malad East hotel. According to a report, several Bhim Army colleagues, including Ashok Kamble, were detained/arrested by the police. This reflects the Hindutva forces and their supportive authorities continued measures of repression.
Meanwhile, the Pune Bhim Army chief Datta Pol said that all preparations are done for the Bhim Army Chief Chandrasekhar Azad alias Ravan's rally in Mumbai pending permission. He said that stage is ready on ground, banners and advertisements are ready. People have faith that this rally will happen as planned, he said. Chandrasekhar Azad is planning to hold a rally in SSPMS Ground in Pune on December 30.

Rise in violence

Caste- and religion-related hate crimes are rising alarmingly. The polarisation has risen especially in UP which leads in communal violence related incidents. In the Vinod Dua Show Episode 11, discussing trends of violence, he exposes the apathy of rulers in states like UP, Karnataka and Gujarat quoting the figures provided by government in Lok Sabha.
In the year 2015, 751 incidents of communal violence took place killing 97 persons and injuring 2264. In 2016, 706 incidents with 86 dead and 2321 injured and in 2017, 822 killed and 2384 injured. A report released by Amnesty International, a London-based NGO, reveals the number of crimes committed against marginalised sections in India.
The data from 2015 to 2018 were documented. According to the report, in 2015, 240 cases of mob lynching were recorded. In 2017, the number was 212 and in 2018 till July, 98 cases have been reported. 9 cases of cow violence, 66 cases of caste related and 26 cases of religion related crimes, 34 cases of gender related violence and three cases of honor killing were reported in 2018 till July.

Atmosphere of anger, fear

Therefore, anguish and anger about present atmosphere is justified to a large extent. The attempt to curb minorities, especially Muslims, and Dalits from expressing their dissent is very dangerous as it further escalates tensions between upper castes and lower castes. The marginalised Dalits, backward castes and Muslims are being forced to live in perpetual fear of being lynched at any time. This trend may continue well into the next year.
It is very likely that coming days and months would witness one of the worst forms of polarisation. People should not let things go out of control. They should try to combat communalism and religious bigotry through active discussions. Otherwise, the country may witness chaotic conditions.
The first part of next year might be crucial as the country braces for elections. Hate spreading politicians should be kept under check. Rumours should not be believed and false information should be detected quickly and effectively.
Awareness of communal harmony is crucial for peaceful atmosphere. Activists must hold meetings and seminars on the importance of tolerance, liberation from oppression, stress on secularism, socialism and ways to counter hate mongers and their divisive tactics for selfish gains.
Next year is going to be a litmus test for the people in upholding the constitutional value and democratic rights.
---
*The writer from everywhere and anywhere, hopes for better days ahead

Comments

TRENDING

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Bullet train impact report Japan agency property: Govt of India tells Gujarat NGO

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has told Gujarat-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) that the detailed report of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives on their visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra assess the impact of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on farmers is not its property, but that of JICA.

NHSRCL letter to PSS, signed by activists Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant and Swati Desai, comes following the latter’s request to it on June 10 for the report. PSS was one of the NGOs that represented JICA on the project, saying, if implemented, it would adversely impact farmers, even as pointing towards the fact that the project itself is unviable and Indian Railways needs to invest, instead, more on upgrading the present railway infrastructure.
Following the NHSRCL reply, PSS has shot a second letter to JICA, insisting that the latter should share a copy of the report, even as providing details of the …

Report on "torture" in Kashmir jails: 44% detainees stripped naked, 29% electrocuted

Counterview Desk
A recent report titled “Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir”, published by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), has claimed to build “on the body of human rights documentation on torture” in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) through an examination of 432 case studies. It seeks to focus on "the trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, contexts and impact of torture" in the state.

Karma tribal festival an occasional to campaign for tribal rights: IPMSDL

By Our Representative
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), in a solidarity statement has suggested that the current Karam festival of Central India -- which seeks to promote sisterhood, friendship, cultural unity, and closer link to nature -- should be the occasion to campaign against alleged efforts to violently drive away forest dwelling communities from their forest homes.
"Millions are threatened to lose lands and livelihood under the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006", the statement States, adding, "As corporate interests continues to enter tribal territories and extract profit from its natural resources, indigenous people are pushed to further marginalization and discrimination."
Asserting that indigenous movement in India "remains steadfast in keeping their culture, deeply linked to their lands alive by carrying out their heritage and struggles", IPMSDL, even as extending "…

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Amidst Modi celebrations, thousands protest 'massive' submergence in Narmada Valley

By Our Representative
Thousands of women and men gathered on at the Shaheed Stambh in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, to raise their voice against what they called "the destruction of the Narmada Valley", protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat BJP rulers for celebrating the Sardar Sarovar dam being filled up to the full reservoir level (FRL) on September 17, which also happens to be Modi's birthday.
Calling it a black day for the people of the Valley, whose villages and farms got submerged because of highest-ever water level having been achieved in the dam, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which organised the parallel rally across the border with Gujarat, regretted in a statement that Modi's celebration at the dam took place amidst " martyrdom of the Valley".
The demonstration in Badwani was preceded by a vehicles rally, which took rounds of the city streets. They were joined by people from several villages of Dhar district. They gather…

Narmada valley: SC notice to Gujarat, MP, M'rashtra on submergence sans rehabilitation

By Our Representative
Thr Supreme Court has issued notice to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments following a Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)-backed petition seeking the explanation as to whether large areas of Narmada Valley have gone into submergence by filling up the Sardar Sarovar dam up to the full reservoir level (FRL) without rehabilitating the project affected families (PAFs).

Kandla Port Trust activities 'destroyed' mangroves, affecting rare camel species: NGT

By Rajiv Shah
Taking serious note of large-scale destruction of mangroves on about 750 acres in Bhachau taluka of Kutch district, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Delhi, has “directed” the Gujarat government, its forest department, and the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GSZMA), to “jointly inspect the area” and fix responsibility as to who is “responsible for obstruction of the creeks” next to the Kandla Port Trust (KPT), leading to the damage to the plantations in the area.