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A case for perjury? Claim in petition before Madras HC: RSS did not hate Muslims, Islam

By Shamsul Islam*
This dossier is in continuation to my request to friends in Tamil Nadu that democratic-secular organizations/individuals must intervene in this case so that anti-national RSS fails to manipulate/use higher judiciary for hiding its toxic communal agenda. I have reproduced original RSS documents (except one by Rajeshwar Dayal ICS who was the first home secretary of UP after independence) for use in the court. The original documents can be provided on demand.

Instead of providing security, Jagmohan 'engineered' relocation of Kashmiri Pandits

By Praveen Kabthiyal*
There is a need to do some reading on Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) and why they fled from the valley. Between 1990 and 2007 the number of KPs killed in the valley was 399, out of which around half were killed in the first year.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

AIIB's water strategy contradicts itself, 'allows' privatisation of essential commodity

Counterview Desk
China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) recently came up with a draft Water Sector Strategy in order to play what it calls "unique and catalytic role" in improving the efficiency of the water sector through the application of innovative technologies. However, an analysis by Gaurav Dwivedi for the civil rights organization, Centre for Financial Analysis (CFA), says that AIIB contradicts itself when it says that water is a basic necessity and can also be treated as an economic good.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

CAA-NPR-NRC: Vengeful state repression, esp in BJP-ruled states, 'deeply' concerning

Counterview Desk
Faculty, post doctoral researchers and members of the Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, in a statement against allegedly undemocratic practices in the wake of "vengeful" state repression against peaceful protestors, have asked the Government of India (GoI) to set up an independent body to impartially look into recent cases of campus violence.

Modi's love for Christians in India's neighours amidst 'persecution' within country

By Shamsul Islam*
No ruling elite on this earth can beat Hindutva rulers of India in hypocrisy and demagogue. Under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 the persecuted Christians in the neighbouring countries would be awarded Indian citizenship; a fine gesture. This love for persecuted Christians in the neighbourhood is to be evaluated not with a pinch of salt but a fistful of salt.

Protests return: Resurgence of far-right in US, Brazil, India hasn't gone unchallenged

By Feyzi Ismail*
The first two decades of the 21st century saw the return of mass movements to streets around the world. Partly a product of sinking confidence in mainstream politics, mass mobilisation has had a huge impact on both official politics and wider society, and protest has become the form of political expression to which millions of people turn.

JNU VC 'should learn' from Aishe Ghosh: Every stick, rod to be countered with debate

By Sandeep Pandey*
Educational Institutions are meant to be places of learning and authorities managing them are expected to provide a liberal space where diversity of ideas can exist. Of course, this ideal is present at very few places but Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), before the Modi government came to power was one such place of international standing in India. It was comparable to the best institutions in the West in terms of their academic freedom, rigour and diversity.

Central RTI watchdog headless again: Pendency 34,500 up from 27,400 in a year

By Anjali Bhardwaj, Amrita Johri*
The Central Information Commission (CIC) is without a Chief Information Commissioner once again. Chief Information Commissioner of the CIC, Sudhir Bhargava, retired on January 11, 2020. It was a routine retirement and his date of retirement was known from the time Bhargava took over as Chief. Despite this, the government failed to appoint the next Chief Information Commissioner in a timely manner and has allowed the CIC to become headless.

Right-wing ideologues' new assertion: There's 'nothing Indian' about Constitution

By Rajiv Shah
There was a time when we used to reject the Indian Constitution as "bourgeois". Those were the student days of early 1970s. Vigorous, youthful, though controversial. At that time, I used to be part of the Students Federation of India (SFI), CPI-M's student wing. We were told to believe by Delhi University party ideologues that the Constitution served the bourgeois-landlord state, led by the big bourgeoisie, which was in alliance with the imperialists.

Condemn CAA, NRC, police brutality: US South Asia lawyers to American counterparts

Counterview Desk
Several human and civil rights lawyers of South Asian descent, expressing "grave concern" about alleged legal abuses and human rights atrocities in India, have said that “the crisis unfolding in India today is rooted in a long history of impunity and failed democratic institutions.”

Feminists oppose death verdict to rape convicts: 'Politicians capitalising on pain'

Counterview Desk
Following dismissal of the curative petitions filed by two convicts in the December 2012 case, feminists from across the country issued a statement to appeal to the President of India to stop the execution of all four persons convicted in the case. The signatories included organisations working on women and children’s rights as well as queer and trans rights, disability, environment and other people’s movements.

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.

China justifies Modi's whopping 4,200 hrs internet shutdown: Economic loss $1.3 billion

By Rajiv Shah
India appears to be competing with terrorist-stricken north-central African nation, Chad, in the number of internet shutdowns. In 2019, says a recent report, released by the UK-based top10vpn.com, which provides services meant to protect online privacy, India experienced 4,196 hours of internet shutdown, next only to Chad, with 4,728 hours of internet shutdown.

Guided, shaped from above? India's complex, lethal 'counter-revolutionary' process

By Anand K Sahay*
The architect of the Russian Revolution, its master strategist and grand thinker, Vladimir Lenin, whose genius brought about a cataclysmic shift for the better part of a century in the affairs of most parts of the world, once observed that life was more “cunning” than any theory or plan we may devise.

JNU attack: Deepika Padukone's 'silent protest' inspires us all, says Raghuram Rajan

Counterview Desk
Writing on the masked attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students on January 5, former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan has said in a blog on his LinkedIn timeline that there is no point in blaming leaders, because, after all, “it was the citizenry” that put them into office, and “acquiesced in their divisive manifesto, which they have taken as their marching orders.”

Meerut, Muzaffarnagar: Bullets, lathis 'hit' Muslims, houses looted, Hindus also angry

By Vimal Bhai*
"Bring my son back". In a small room, Aalim's mother was crying. Next to her, Aalim's brother Salauddin said, "We want justice for everyone with whom something like this has happened." Municipal councilor Haji Noor Alam added, "The police was not giving the corpse back. We as well as the MLA had assured the police that we would bury the corpse in a small burial ground next to the house of a relative nearby. But they were reluctant."

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Gujarat Dalits meet on Republic Day eve to 'examine': What's Indian Constitution about?

By Our Representative
Martin Macwan, founder, Navsarjan Trust, Gujarat's premier Dalit rights organisation, has declared to hold a unique public programme at the Dalit Shakti Kendra, village Nani Devti, Sanand-Bavla Road, Sanand taluka, Ahmedabad district on January 25 at 11.30 AM: To release a toy-house which seeks to answer the simple question bogging large sections of people today, "What is the Indian Constitution about?"

SBI denies information under RTI regarding names of purchasers of electoral bonds

Anjali Bhardwaj, Amrita Johri*
In November 2019, information accessed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act had revealed how the government pushed through the anonymous Electoral Bonds (EB) Scheme, ignoring warnings of the Election Commission of India and RBI, which termed anonymous funding via Electoral Bonds "a retrograde step" for transparency and highlighted that they would lead to money laundering and more black money in the system.

Just 7% poor Gujarat kids 'admitted' in private schools under RTE: Who all are left out?

By Rajiv Shah
The other day, I went to attend an NGO event in Ahmedabad. It was called "Policies of Inclusion: Education and Wealth". Organised at the Ahmedabad Management Association by an NGO which claims to be working with governments in 22 states, including that of Gujarat, I attended the event during the second half, and my job seemed limited to answering a couple of queries on the role of media in helping usher in inclusive policies though development journalism.

Orchestrated conspiracy was unleashed on JNU campus by rightwing 'hoodlums'

Counterview Desk
The People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), in a statement on the January 5 attack on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has said that it was an “orchestrated conspiracy”, stating, it is “sufficiently clear” that the attack was one sided. “The street lights were turned off, entry was closed, the campus security let a murderous mob enter and even doctors and ambulances were attacked – all under the watch of Delhi Police that stood by as a mute spectator”. the statement, signed by PUDR secretaries Radhika Chitkara and Vikas Kumar, said.

Gujarat BJP rulers using state assembly for political ends: Former BJP chief minister

By Our Representative
Former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta has accused the Gujarat government of "misusing" the state assembly for political ends. Referring to the decision to call one-day state assembly session on January 10, he told media in Ahmedabad that it has been called "without any agenda", adding, "MLAs have been kept in the dark about why the session has been summoned, yet the governor has issued notification for it."

Left youth bodies call JNU attack 'planned', SAARC varsity faculty is 'outraged'

By Our Representative
Several Left-wing youth, students' and civil rights organisations condemning the violence "planned and meted out by groups of violent goons allegedly from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)" on students and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on last Sunday, saying, all the while Delhi Police, present there, refused to prevent the goons from entering the campus, and remained "mute spectators in this entire ordeal."

Repression on anti-CAA, NRC protesters: Are 'notable' figures silent? Not any more

By Rajiv Shah
In an amusing opinion piece in “Washington Post” (WP), former "Tehelka" journalist Rana Ayyub  – whose book on Gujarat riots, “Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up”, based on her undercover operations with government officials as a documentary filmmaker, made her famous – has blamed three Bollywood Khans, but most notably Saif Ali Khan, for playing an “off-screen role, enabling the worst impulses of the government.”

Gujarat Congress MLA 'siding with attackers' of Dalit RTI activist: Civil society team

By Our Representative
A civil society fact-finding team has taken strong exception to a Dalit MLA belonging to the Congress, Pravin Maru, for pressurizing the local administration in Botad district to take back the police complaint concerning brutal attack on Dalit rights and Right to Information (RTI) activist Amit Parmar, belonging to Khopala village. Instead of helping Parmar, the Congress MLA is siding of the attackers, Parmar’s family members alleged while talking with the team.

Delhi elections: People talk of long wait for ration card, aadhaar issues, starvation deaths

By Our Representative
An interaction with representatives of political parties organised by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan in order to put forward demands ahead of the upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections has seen people pointing out how large number of people were being deprived of ration cards.

Supreme Court's 'interim' order: Children shouldn't be sent to Assam detention centres

By Our Representative
In what is considered a big win for the human rights organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), the Supreme Court has asked the Assam government to ensure that no children of parents, whose names have been included in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list, be sent to detention centres or be separated from their parents.

JNU attack 'desperate' BJP bid to divert attention from anti-CAA protests, Delhi polls

Counterview Desk
The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), India's premier civil society network, in a solidarity statement has said that attack attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students on Sunday leading to"grievous injury" to 20 students and teachers, was in line with "the continued attack on the country's universities by right wing and Hindutva forces."

UP violence: Modus operandi is to make victims the accused, seize property

By Sandeep Pandey*, Anandi Pandey** 
At New Delhi's Jamia Millia University if one visits the library it may appear as if a pitched battle was fought here. Almost all glasses have been broken by tear gas shells or stun grenades and furniture has been vandalised. And this was in response to some peaceful protests outside the library.

Modi told: Reach out to Muslims, dispel fear they won't be sent to detention camps

By Our Representative
Firoz Bakht Ahmed, chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad, has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that "Muslims of India need a reassurance from you that they are not going to be deposed or stuffed into detention camps with the deprivation of their assets."

Mangaluru 'violence': Police fired teargas in hospital compound, proceeded to storm in

Counterview Desk
A team of human rights and civil liberty activists from Karnataka, Kerala and Delhi conducted a fact-finding exercise in Mangaluru, Karnataka, where two people were killed in police firing after protests turned violent, scores were injured, and properties were damaged.

Privatisation of healthcare no solution, learn from Delhi's Mohalla Clinics: Niti Aayog told

By Our Representative
Well-known social and political activist Dr Sandeep Pandey, taking strong exception to the Niti Aayog plan to hand over district government hospitals to private players, has said that it should remember that "some of the best, most efficient and inclusive healthcare systems in the world are government-run."

Arousing Partition-like passions, setting stage for 'collision' between state and citizens

By Shantanu Basu*
In 2010, I recall the NPR enumerator, a middle school teacher, visiting our Delhi home. He carried two sets of forms - one for Census, the other for National Population Register (NPR). My Dad and I helped the man to fill in both forms, including for the domestic helps. No documents were sought nor any information on place of birth of parents, etc. was asked. We obliged the enumerator with all the info.

Paying with lives: 21 journalists killed during 2014-19, 30 since 2010, just 3 convictions

Counterview Desk
A new study, “Getting Away with Murder: A study of the Killings of and Attacks on Journalists in India, 2014-19, and Justice Delivery in These Cases" by Geeta Seshu and Urvashi Sarkar, pointing out that there were 40 killings of journalists and documenting 198 serious attacks on journalists in between 2014-19, including 36 in 2019, has said that journalism has become a dangerous profession in India.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

UP 'retaliation': Clampdown on peaceful protests to create climate of fear, polarization

Counterview Desk
India’s premier human rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), in a fact-finding report, ‘Resistance, Repression and Revenge’, has stated that “extraordinary emergency situation in the state of Uttar Pradesh” has come about in the wake of “wide-spread” protests against the new citizenship law.

Central Gujarat industrial units discharge polluted wastewater, harming farms: CPCB

By Our Representative
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Government of India's anti-pollution watchdog, has taken strong exception to the Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL), responsible for disposal of treated waste water of hundreds of industrial units in and around Vadodara, for virtually discharging  effluents into the estuarine zone of Mahi river, Gulf of Khambhat.

Officialspeak? Urban Naxal, tukde-tukde gang, badla: India’s new ‘vindictive’ lexicon

By Ananda Maitreya*
"CAA [Citizenship Amendment Act] is not for any citizen of this country. There has been misinformation about NRC [National Register of Citizens] . Congress and its allies, living in cities, urban naxals, are spreading rumour" --  Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently in his speech.
It's time to teach Delhi's tukde-tukde gang a lesson -- Home Minister Amit Shah in an address recently
.

Religion can't be marker for availing banking services: Financial advocacy group

Counterview Desk
Well-known advocacy group Financial Accountability Network India (FAN India) has taken strong exception to the reported move by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asking banks to introduce a new column in ‘know your customer’ (KYC) forms for their depositors and clients -- mention of religion.

Listed as minorities in Bangladesh, 900,000 tribals miss Amit Shah's citizenship 'grace'

Counterview Desk
Well-known linguist, writer, literary critic and cultural activist, better known for the People's Linguistic Survey of India, Ganesh N Devy, in an open letter to Union home minister Amit Shah, has wondered what would the government's attitude towards tribal population of Bangladesh belonging to communities such as Mro, Meitei, Tripura, Marma, Tanchangya, Barua, Khasi, Santhals, Chakma, Garo, Oraons, Mundas, Marmas, and Tripperas, listed as in Bangladesh as ‘minorities’.

Hague protesters fear 'normalization' of rights violations against Hindutva opponents

Counterview Desk
A statement following one of the series of protests held in the Netherlands against the Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) by the Indian diaspora in front of the International Court of Justice ( ICJ), based in The Hague, has sharply criticized “the Indian Government’s purported discrimination amongst its citizens under the garb of providing citizenship to ‘illegal immigrants’.”

India's lost decade? Struggling for $3 trillion, 'long wait' for Modi's $5 trillion rendezvous

By Mohan Guruswamy*
When India’s economic history is written in some future date, and when a serious examination is done of when India lost its way to its ‘tryst with destiny’, the decade of 2010-20 will be highlighted. Facts speak for themselves.

Gandhi's grandson, Khudai Khidmatgar chief among advisers to US Hindu rights group

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), a US-wide advocacy organization claiming to be committed to the "ideals of multi-religious pluralism in the United States, India and beyond", advocate peace, justice and human rights of all communities from a Hindu perspective, has declared it has appointed a group of advisors, including Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi.