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Showing posts from April, 2019

India's 99 river water projects completed? Modi "misled" nation, Parliament in Feb

By Our Representative
Wondering whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi misled Parliament and the nation on February 7, 2019, well-known environmentalist Himanshu Thakkar of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has said that in his reply to the debate on President of India’s address to the joint session of Parliament, the PM said India has done the work of "completing" 99 river water projects through expenditure of thousands of crores of rupees.

Pointing out that Modi mentions the figure 99 in that 28 second interval at least four times, Thakkar says, “Interestingly, the PM claims completion of these 99 projects was a means of empowerment of the farmers.” Calling it “highly questionable”, Thakkar insists, “As the farmers feel totally slave to the operators of the irrigation projects, in whose decision making, implementation or operation, farmers have no role.”
“And yet”, according to Thakkar, BJP’s manifesto, published with PM’s letter dated April 8, 2019…

India fourth largest spender on military, defence expenditure rose by 29% since 2009: SIPRI

By Our Representative
A new report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says that the five biggest spenders on military in 2018 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France, which together accounted for 60 per cent of global military spending. It adds, at $66.5 billion, India was the fourth-largest spender in 2018.
The report says, adding, “Military spending in Asia and Oceania was $507 billion in 2018 and accounted for 28 per cent of global military spending. Five of the top 15 global spenders in 2018 are in this region: China (rank 2), India (rank 4), Japan (rank 9), South Korea (rank 10) and Australia (rank 13).”
Pointing out that “India’s military spending rose in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year, and was 3.1 per cent higher than in 2017”, the report says, “At $66.5 billion, India’s spending was 29 per cent higher than in 2009.”
“Despite this rise”, the report says, “India’s military burden in 2018 was at one of its lowest levels since th…

Indian industry's 40% mergers caste-based, create lower value than caste-distant deals

By Rajiv Shah
Suggesting that India’s business class is still not out of its feudal culture, a recent study on merger and acquisition (M&A) deals of top Indian business houses, carried out jointly by scholars of the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, and Pomona College, Claremont, California, United States, has found that the “observed percentage of same-varna mergers” is 40.11%, which is at least “twice as high as” (15.47% to 20.34%) as M&A carried out with firms that do not have the same varna.

Mental stress causes higher farmers' suicide rate in "better off" Gujarat, West Bengal

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Farmer suicides always catch the fancy of politicians who see votes in death. Few of them seem to understand the reality that has overtaken farming in India. With almost 60% of the population still dependent on it, Agriculture’s share of the GDP has declined to just 13% and declining fast. Very simply it means that farming only ensures greater relative poverty.

Gujarat CM queried: Where has 24.81 acre feet of water disappeared from Narmada dam?

By Our Representative
Releasing month-wise data provided by the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), well-known Gujarat farmers’ rights leader Sagar Rabari, in a letter to chief minister Vijay Rupani has said that, citing low rainfall, the state government has stopped providing irrigation water starting with February 15, even though there has been enough water in the Narmada dam’s reservoir.
The letter says, as of today, out of 90 lakh acre feet of water from Narmada, Gujarat has received 63.38 lakh acre feet of water. Further, the level of water in the reservoir is constantly going up, reaching 119.50 meters, as the inflow from Madhya Pradesh is continuing. On the other hand, as against 17.92 lakh hectares (ha) of the Narmada command area, only 6.40 lakh hectares, which is just about a third of the command area, is being irrigated.
Rabari continues, of the 90 lakh acre feet of water, if we set aside 10 lakh acre feet for drinking water and industry, we are entitled to get 80 lakh acre …

"Threat" to 14 centuries long Kerala ethos from pseudo-Hinduism, pan-Islamism

By RB Sreekumar*
Fathomless antiquity of Indian history and civilization generated amazing diversity not only in the evolution of various facets of human activity but in the nature and character of engagement with outsiders landed in India also, as traders, sanctuary seekers, immigrants and invaders.

137 workers died at Gujarat construction sites in 2018: RTI reply

By Our Representative
Right to Information (RTI) replies to the Bandhkam Mazdoor Sangathan (BMS) has revealed that, in 2018, as many as 144 construction work-related accidents took place in Gujarat. Obtained by filling RTI pleas to police stations across the state, the replies show that 137 workers died in these accidents last year.
In statement issued on the occasion of the World Workers' Memorial Day, which falls on April 28, BMS leader Vipul Pandya said, as many as 990 construction workers in Gujarat lost their lives over the last 11 years. Most of accidents took place in top Gujarat metros, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara, mainly involving migrant workers from Dahod and Panchmahal districts, he added.
Pandya further said that for the safety and health of the construction workers, the Government of India has enacted the Building and Other Construction Works (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1996, and the state government formulated rules for the Act i…

Demand to decommission polluting habitats, industries along Ganga, rehabilitate sufferers

Counterview Desk
An Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) and Indian Indsitute of Management (Kolkata) alumni, Chandra Vikash, convener, Global Academy for Indigenous Activism (GAIA), has in an open letter to Union Minister for River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari sought urgent intervention to save "Mother Ganga and people's livelihoods from the greedy and criminal polluter class", insisting, there should be a "decommissioning of all polluting habitats, industries, and infrastructure in a scientific and phased out manner."

Proposed monuments of Hindu icons to "transform" secular India, unnerve minorities

By Indulata Prasad*
Statues – big statues, the largest in the world – are being built all across India. Like many public monuments, they attempt to convey history in a concrete form. But India’s new statues convey something else, too: the power and vision of one dominant group – and the vulnerability of others.That’s because India’s biggest new public monuments all pay tribute to Hindu gods and leaders.

Bhopal poll to decide if Sangh would succeed in "undermining" religious freedom in India

Counterview Desk
An unusual commentary published by the Mukesh Ambani-run Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)-controlled think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has said that a “bitter and nasty no-holds barred battle” in the Lok Sabha polls between BJP’s Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a terror accused, and Congress veteran Digvijay Singh in Bhopal will determine whether the Sangh policy makers would be able to embark upon the path to "undermine" the Constitution that guarantees religious freedom and right to life along with freedom of expression.

Kanhaiya Kumar "represents" Communists' Aryan Jatitva, not Dalits or Muslims

Counterview Desk
With just two days to go for polls (April 29), controversial Communist candidate from Begusarai, Kanhaiya Kumar, has come in for virulent attack from a section of the Left-of-the-centre ideologues, saying, he represents "caste arrogance" of India's organised Left, which is allegedly "neither free from the Aryan Jatitva nor it has understood Aryan Jatitva as the supremacist ideology that defines Indian fascism."

PepsiCo tells Gujarat potato farmers: Enter into purchase agreement, or don't use "registered" variety

By Our Representative
The legal suits initiated by PepsiCo India Holdings against four farmers of North Gujarat has been scheduled for hearing on June 12, 2019. This follows a hearing on Friday in the Commercial Court in Ahmedabad, where senior advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik filed his appearance and vakalatnama on behalf of the farmers in the four suits
PepsiCo submitted to the Commercial Court that it wants to settle the dispute with the farmers. The plaintiff has been quoted as suggesting that either farmers give an undertaking that they shall not use registered variety or they should enter into an agreement with PepsiCo to purchase seeds from it and thereafter sell produce also to it on terms and conditions which PepsiCo has been offering to the farmers of Gujarat.  To the suggestion of settlement, Yagnik submitted to the court that a proposal be put to farmers and a reply would be sent to PepsiCo based on what the farmers want to do.

Delhi govt adopting "lackadaisical approach" on subsidized grains to 50% urban residents

Counterview Desk
The Delhi High Court has said that the Delhi government’s affidavit filed on rules for grievance redress under the National Food Security Act is “wholly unsatisfactory”. In its verdict on Friday, it has directed the presence of concerned official in the next hearing. It was hearing the contempt petition filed by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan against the state government for its “failure” to comply with the court order of September 1, 2017, requiring it to put in place the requisite grievance redress and accountability framework under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

In manic hurry to grow in stature, Modi "appropriates" available greatness symbols

Counterview Desk
An anonymous commentary received by writer and commentator Sonali Ranade, and published in her blog site, is being cited as providing "crucial insights" into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's character. Pointing out that she doesn't know who the author is, Ranade asserts, Akaar Patel, who heads Amnesty International office in India, "had once offered a similar insight but he appears to have lost his voice these days."

WhatsApp misinformation: India "follows" Brazil, which elected extreme rightist

By Our Representative
A Harvard University scholar has raised the alarm that "on the heels of a Brazilian electoral process that was marked by outrageous disinformation campaigns", India, where elections for the Lok Sabha are on, "may be witnessing the world’s next WhatsApp election."

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Modi's statement on N-weapon button mindless, disturbing: CNDP

By Our Representative
The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) has said that it is with "shock and dismay" that one takes note of the Indian Prime Minister's "public nuclear sabre-rattling" on April 21, 2019 in Barmer in Rajasthan, when he "mindlessly and sarcastically" declared that India’s nuclear weapons were not for celebrating ‘Diwali’.
Signd by Anil Chaudhury, ND Jayprakash, Sukla Sen, Lalita Ramdas and Achin Vanaik, a CNDP statement said, "To speak so casually about the possible use of nuclear weapons and that too for the purposes of winning votes through arousal of hatred and by promoting an ugly, masculinist militarism, is deeply disturbing."
It added, "The very least that is demanded from nuclear armed governments is that their leaders should display some sense of responsibility and sobriety in what they say and do. That Prime Minister Modi has disregarded all this only goes to reinforce the view that South Asia…

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

State stands convicted: Gujarat riots gang-rape victim Bilkis Bano on "historic" SC verdict

Counterview Desk
In what is being described as a “historic day for women’s rights and state accountability”, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the Gujarat government should give Bilkis Bano, a gang rape victim during the 2002 communal riots, should be given exemplary compensation of Rs 50 lakh, a job and a house for she suffered.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Media turmoil following allegation of Assam editors' support to "anti-national" elements

By Nava Thakuria*
Reporting turmoil and conflicts was order of the day for most of the Assam-(also northeast India) based scribes as the region was overshadowed by separatist militants with their disruptive activities till few years back. Media persons then faced two edged swords. Reporting would bring brickbats from government agencies, and aloofness could invite wrath from the armed rebels.

India's "learning crisis": Result of household food insecurity among 47% of 12-year-olds

Counterview Desk
In their just-released study, “Inequalities in adolescent learning: Does the timing and persistence of food insecurity at home matter?”, Jasmine Fledderjohann, lecturer in sociology and social work, Lancaster University; Elisabetta Aurino, lecturer, Imperial College London; and Sukumar Vellakkal, Assistant professor, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, have sought to investigate inequalities in learning achievements caused by food insecurity by taking the sample of 1,911 Indian children ages 5, 8 and 12 years.

Sadhvi Pragya's statement on Karkare unfortunate, despicable: Ex-DGPs

By Our Representative
Seven ex-DGPs -- Julio Ribeiro,Prakash Singh, PKH Tharakan, Kamal Kumar, Jacob Punoose, Sanjeev Dayal, Jayanto N. Choudhury, and N Ramachandran -- have in a statement said that the remarks of Sadhvi Pragya, a contestant from the Bhopal constituency, on late Hemant Karkare, Indian Police Service, Chief of ATS, Mumbai Police, are "unfortunate", and though she has retracted, the fact is "Karkare fell to terrorist bullets on 26/11 in the line of duty while defending his country."
Ex-DGPs say, Karkare "would probably be alive today had he not volunteered to return to the Maharashtra cadre from a plum posting at the Centre with the specific intention of working with the Anti-Terror Squad to prevent and investigate the activities of terrorists so that the rest of us could sleep safe in our beds. The country owes him a huge debt of gratitude. Anything that detracts from this is worthy of strong condemnation."
The statement continues, "…

Disinterested in politics, Punjab's 93% women farm workers "ignorant" who is India's PM

By Rajiv Shah
Even as political parties are fighting a pitched battle during the Lok Sabha elections, a recent study, 'Socio-Economic Conditions and Political Participation of Rural Women Labourers in Punjab', has made the stark revelation that “a very large majority of the rural woman labourers, i.e., 95.28 per cent have no interest in politics”, even as pointing out, “They do not read, listen and watch news.”

Hold credible inquiry into sexual harassment complaint against CJI: Civil rights leaders

By Our Representative
Thirty civil rights leaders have expressed “extremely concern” following the complaint of sexual harassment and victimisation made by a woman employee of the Supreme Court against the Chief Justice of India. “The charges are prima facie serious enough to warrant an independent inquiry by a high level independent committee”, they have said in a statement.
Those who have signed the statement include Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Aruna Roy, Bezwada Wilson, Yogendra Yadav, Harsh Mander, Syeda Hameed, P Sainath, Anjali Bhardwaj, Aakar Patel, Shabnam Hashmi, Amitabh Behar, Maj Gen SG Vombatkere, Kavita Srivastava, and Meera Sanghamitra.
The statement says, “The complaint has alleged arbitrary actions taken against the complainant, resulting in unprecedented victimisation that she and her family have been put through and continue to suffer after she rejected the alleged sexual advances, including the unjust termination of the services of the complainant, the suspension…

On fast for six months, Atmabodhanand warns: Will up water for clean Ganga if govt doesn't listen

By Our Representative
An open warning young saint Atmabodhand, on fast in Haridwar for ensuring clean Ganga for the last about six months, has said that he would give up even water if by March 25 the Government of India does not concede to his demands. Bringing this to light, Matu Jansangathan, an Uttarakhand-based civil rights organization, has regretted, quoting the saint, that no representative of the government has come to talk to him so far.
In a statement, Matu Jansangathan said, the government “has neglected his demands for the past six months”, it is “not talking to him nor is replying to him in writing”, adding, “In a democracy this is a shameful act seeking to circumvent constitutional and moral force of non-violent movements.”
Recalling that on October 11, 2018, Swami Sanand wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi before he died in a government hospital in Rishikesh, the civil rights body said, Modi never cared to send a reply. “The government has not taken any con…

Gujarat's first transgender candidate for Lok Sabha was "compelled" to register as male

By Tanushree Gangopadhyay*
Gujarat’s first transgender candidate in the electoral fray, Jaysawal Naresh Babulal, will contest from the labour area of Ahmedabad East, but couldn’t claim her gender identity. Ironically, this vibrant constituency has fielded the largest number of crorepatis, numbering seven.

Obnoxious generalisations "rampant" for rejecting Kanhaiya Kumar in Begusarai

By Nalini Taneja*
From the vociferous political discourse in the media – both social media and channels – it seems Begusarai results will decide the fate of the nation, or at least the fate of social justice in this country. And, by this logic, if Kanhaiya Kumar somehow wins, it's the victory for upper castes and defeat of all marginalised, including the Muslims who constitute a sizeable section of the population in Begusarai.

Bangladesh's anti-terrorism "policy" leads to forced disappeance of 500 people: Paris report

By Our Representative
The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in a new report on "enforced disappearances in Bangladesh" has said that country's government has used these "to silence members of the political opposition and dissenting voices." The report is based on 30 interviews with victims of enforced disappearances that occurred between 2012 and 2018, their family members, eyewitnesses, and information from other civil society organisations.
According to the report, “Vanished Without a Trace: The Enforced Disappearance of Opposition and Dissent in Bangladesh,” state actors, including military and police, "worked in tandem to make people disappear. Some returned home, alive but silenced. Some were found dead, supposedly killed in crossfire. Others never came back."
The report believe, "There is a clear pattern of Bangladeshi authorities using enforced disappearances to silence political dissidents, especially since 20…

New phenomenon? Communal violence "being taken to" Gujarat villages, small towns

By Our Representative
A "fact-finding" report by a Gujarat-based minority civil rights organization, Alpsankhyak Adhikar Manch (AAM), involving 13 communal incidents in 2018, has suggested how, following the 2002 Gujarat riots, in which more than 1,000 persons, majority of them Muslims, died, the saffron brigade has allegedly changed its tactic by seeking to spread of communal hatred and violence in rural areas and smaller towns.

NGO releases videos showing workers entering into gutter in Ahmedabad without safety equipment

By Our Representative
A Gujarat-based grassroots organization, Manav Garima Trust (MGT), has taken strong exception to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) failing to implement the law prohibiting manual scavenging, saying, AMC has continued to use workers to clean up underground gutters without providing any safety equipment.
Releasing two videos and several photographs taken between January and April 2019, MGT director Parsottam Vaghela said, this is a mockery of Swacch Bharat Mission and the Supreme Court judgment of 2014, adding, these workers, employed by contractors hired by AMC, are sought to forced descend into gutter lines in the middle of night, though the law prohibits this after 6 pm.
One of the videos shows a worker entering into a sewerage line at 1.00 am in Bapunagar in February (on the top), and another one is of Vejalpur (the second one) taken a fortnight ago this month. Vaghela says, despite the death of two gutter workers in Bawla in Ahmedabad district, AMC …

Despite "higher" water storage in Narmada dam, Kutch, Saurashtra, North Gujarat go dry

Counterview Desk
Well-known environmentalist Himanshu Thakkar of the top advocacy group, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has wondered as why, despite Gujarat having so much Narmada water this year, it is refusing to share it with drought hit and thirsty parts of the state. Analysing figures mainly provided by the Narmada Control Authority, Thakkar says, while water in enough quantity is being released from the upstream dams, Kutch, Saurashtra and North Gujarat are being starved for unknown reasons.

Ex-PM Manmohan Singh praises NYAY for its "Keynesian effect"

By Our Representative
“Endorsing” NYAY – Nyuntam Aay Yojana – announced by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called it “a powerful idea with dual objectives – to wipe out the last remnants of poverty and to restart stalled economic activity in our nation.” Under NYAY, the poorest 20% of Indian families will be given an annual income support of a uniform amount of ₹72000 for each family.
Singh in a statement said, “By providing direct income support, NYAY will empower our poor with economic freedom and choice” and it will “usher in an era of a minimum income guarantee and help create a new social contract for a new welfare state.” He added, “NYAY will also help restart our economic engine that has come to a stop today.”
According to Singh, who is known as a keen supporter of free market economics, “Money in the hands of the needy will stimulate demand in the economy which can then lead to increased economic activity and job creation, referred to…

As Gujarat goes to polls on April 23, Narmada is "forgotten", is on nobody's agenda

By Mayank Aggarwal*
Sanjaybhai Machhi, 33, a resident of Bharuch in Gujarat, was a fisherman until a few years ago. He would earn enough from fishing in the Narmada river, to sustain his family. But now things have taken a turn for the worse and Sanjaybhai has had to switch professions to earn a living. With heavy pollution, seawater ingress and lack of release of water from the Sardar Sarovar dam, fishing in the Narmada is no longer a lucrative occupation. Sanjaybhai is now an auto rickshaw driver and his wife works as domestic help.

Amit Shah earns just Rs 56 lakh annually, owns Rs 40 crore assets, faces four serious charges: Affidavit

By Our Representative
BJP's  high-profile candidate from Gandhinagar, Amit Shah, who also happens to be the party's national president, has claimed that his annual income is just about Rs 56 lakh, and his main sources of income are agriculture, rent and share market. Shah has also declared that he owns 40.32 crore of assets -- 23.55 crore movable and Rs 16.77 crore immovable.
In his self-declared affidavit, Shah has also said that he faces four serious cases, related to "mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc." (IPC Section-436); "promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony" (IPC Section-153A); "imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration" (IPC Section-153B); and "criminal intimidation" (IPC Section-506).
Releasing these figures, advocacy groups Gujarat Election Wa…

Over-dependence on groundwater usage for irrigation: Gujarat average 72%, national 62%

By Persis Ginwalla, Sagar Rabari*
Over the three agriculture census periods (15 years), one can see that there has been an increase in overall holdings and the area under irrigation, and a net decrease in the unirrigated holdings and area in Gujarat. Increase in the irrigation cover in Gujarat is certainly significant, and is rightly attributed as one of the major reasons for the agricultural growth of Gujarat.

Pragya Thakur's outlook is in "sync" with Modi's: Swami Agnivesh

By Our Representative
Well-known saint-activist Swami Agnivesh has said in a statement that BJP Bhopal candidate, Pragya Thakur, has "maligned" the cherished memory of Hemant Karkare, the martyr in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, adding, it "deserves to be condemned by all Indians, irrespective of party affiliations."
He said, "To claim that it was her curse that led to the untimely death of a brave police officer, who laid down his life in the line of duty, and for which he had been given highest civilian award (Ashok Chakra) in 2009" proves that "the lady may have the vestments of a sadhvi, but is wholly devoid of any spiritual sensitivity."
According to Agnivesh, "BJP did not choose Pragya for her spiritual finesse or political maturity, both of which lacks utterly. She has been chosen because of her ability to communalise the election. "Commenting on BJP seeking to "tactically distance" itself from Pragya’s statement, he…

Rafale deal: How successive Prime Ministers turned Make in India into Made for India

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after making all that hoopla about Make in India, tied up one of the biggest arms deals in the world in recent times by placing an order to buy 36 Rafale fighters from France. We are still to be officially told about how much this will cost us. From the break-up available in media some questions need to be asked.

In 3rd phase, 27% BJP, 24% Congress Lok Sabha candidates declare criminal cases on themselves

By Our Representative
An analysis by the National Election Watch (NEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) of the self-sworn affidavits of candidates fighting Lok Sabha elections in the third phase (April 23) suggests, among the major political parties, and 40 (44%) out of 90 candidates from Congress, 38 (39%) out of 97 candidates from BJP have declared criminal cases against themselves.
As for serious criminal cases, 26 (27%) out of 97 candidates from BJP and 24 (27%) out of 90 candidates from Congress have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
In all, 1,594 candidates' affidavits analysed by NEW and ADR suggests that 340 or 21% candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, and 230 or 14% have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
Further, 14 candidates have declared convicted cases against themselves, 13 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section -302) against themselves, and 30 candidates have declared …

Two lakh India's poor forcibly displaced in 2018, 11.3 lakh face eviction threat: Study

Counterview Desk
A new publication by a civil rights organization, Housing and Land Rights Network India (HLRN), "Forced Evictions in India in 2018: An Unabating National Crisis", has discussed different dimensions of India’s eviction and displacement crisis, even as highlighting violations of the human rights to adequate housing, work, health, education, and life, as a result of the demolition of homes by Central and state government agencies.

Modi supporters blamed for attack on journos, as India slips in press freedom index

By Our Representative
In what may prove to be a major embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a time when he is seeking a second term in office from India's electorate, the latest rankings released by the high-profile Reporters Without Borders (RWB), based in Paris, shows that India has slipped by two points from 138 in a year to 140 out of 180 countries in World Press Freedom Index, worst since 2015.

Why was Hardik Patel's plea to suspend his conviction in a 2015 rioting case rejected?

By RK Misra*
While the Apex Court gave relief to a Gujarat Congress MLA regarding his disqualification, it denied urgent hearing of a plea from Hardik Patel of the same party, bringing into question his ability to contest the polls. In the space of just 24 hours, two leaders from Gujarat who looked for succour from the Supreme Court were left with different expectations.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Clean fuel? Modi's Ujjwala fails: Poor households 2.5 times "less likely" to use LPG

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India's (GoI) Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, launched in 2016 in order to promote the use of clean cooking fuel to villagers by subsidizing liquid petroleum gas (LPG) connections, and thus reduce exposure to "harmful" indoor air pollution, has mainly helped the rural elite, a recent study, titled "Persistence of solid fuel use despite increases in LPG ownership: New survey evidence from rural north India", has said.

Sir Syed's contribution recalled at Jamia Urdu's 80th Foundation Day

By Our Representative
Speaking on the 80th Foundation Day of Jamia Urdu, Aligarh, several Urdu enthusiasts, includind MM Ansari, former member, Universities Grants Commission (UGC), Firoz Bakht Ahmed, chairman, Academic Council, Jamia Urdu, and Dr Jasim Mohammed, director, Jamia Urdu, suggested how Urdu became the language of composite culture, paving the way for communal amity among communities.
While Kuldeep Agarwal, former director, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), stated that that the purpose of all the Indian and international languages is to achieve the spirit of fraternal ambiance and ecumenism, Musaid Kidwai, an academic, said that Jamia Urdu’s research wing’s purpose was to define the problem sectors in the field of Urdu language not only within the country but also internationally as well.
A coffee table book, “A Journey of Urdu” was released along with a compilation of Sir Syed’s writings, “Mazamin-e-Sir Syed”, authored by Farhat Ali Khan. Attended by student…

60% urban men aged 20-24 unemployed, 50 lakh lost jobs in India since 2016: Study

Counterview Desk
In a new report, "State of Working India", prepared by the Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University, Bangalore, even as taking strong exception to the Government of India discontinuing employment and unemployment survey, has quoted independent surveys to say that a whopping five million able bodied men lost their jobs between 2016 and 2018, adding, the situation is extremely grim among the relatively less educated youth.

How Modi's Margdarshak Mandal became parking place for discarded, elderly egos

By RK Misra*
Political epitaphs have a way of returning to reclaim the hand that buried them. If the present prime minister of India spares no effort to berate Jawaharlal Nehru for perceived injustice to his deputy Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, how would Narendra Modi be rated when posterity evaluates him for putting to pasture two of his own party patriarchs -- LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi? Lot less flatteringly then he desires.

Book on seven interconnected "political" murders, including Haren Pandya, Justice Loya, released

By Our Representative
A controversial new book in Hindi, ‘Satta ki Suli’, with an account on CBI judge BH Loya’s death case, released in Ahmedabad, has sought to cover not only the alleged murder of the judge but also a series of seven other "political murders".
The book, authored by Mahendra Mishra, Pradeep Singh and Upendra Chowdhary, starts with the murder of ex-Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya and gangster Sohrabuddin and his wife Kasuar Bi, witness Tusliram Prajapti, followed by that of judge Loya and two others, advocate Shrikant Khandalkar and retired judge Prakash Thrombay.
Earlier released in Delhi, speaking during a similar ceremony in Ahmedabad, Mishra, who is editor of the web portal "Jan Chowk", said that it was remarkable, the book was being released at a time when freedom of expression was under threat. Criticising "Caravan", the e-magazine which first broke Loya's death, Mishra said, it failed to continue with required follow-ups…

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