Skip to main content

Indian diaspora watch, discuss banned BBC docu-film in Canada on Gauri Lankesh b'day

By Our Representative 

While it remains banned in India, with those showing it being detained in Delhi University, an Indian diaspora group in Canada based in Surrey, British Columbia, organized free screening of the BBC documentary on Gujarat riots, "India: The Modi Question",  which has created sensation in India. The occasion was slain activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh’s birthday, which fell on Sunday, January 29.
It was pointed out at the event that the two episodes of "India: The Modi Question" remain out of bounds in the world’s so-called largest democracy. Not only the right wing Hindu nationalist BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has restricted its screening in India, dozens have been detained for making an attempt to show it in public  in different parts of India.
Surrey-based editor of the weekly "Chardikala" Gurpreet Singh Sahota, told the audience which had gathered for the event, "The documentary takes a critical look at the functioning of Modi under whose rule, attacks on religious minorities, especially Muslims have grown ever since he was elected as the leader of India in 2014."
The Indian establishment got riled up following the relay of the first episode by BBC for exposing Modi’s complicity in the 2002 Muslim massacre in Gujarat, it was pointed out, recalling, Modi had previously served as the Chief Minister of the coastal state where about 1,000 Muslims were murdered after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, leaving 58 passengers dead. Modi had blamed the incident on Muslims and allegedly instigated violence against the minority community.
"While the Indian government declared the documentary as propaganda, its officials tried to muzzle the voices of those who promoted it on social media", Sahota, who was served a notice by Twitter at the behest of the Indian government for a tweet on the documentary, asserted.
While Indian government declared documentary as propaganda, officials tried to muzzle the voice of those who promoted it on social media
One of the aim of the event  for screening was to show solidarity with Sahota and others who are facing intimidation in India.
Gauri Lankesh, who was allegedly murdered by Hindu extremists for opposing the BJP in 2017, is known to have translated a book on Gujarat violence authored by journalist Rana Ayyub in Kannada. An investigative journalist, Rana's book, "Gujarat Files", is based on sting operation of Gujarat officials and politicians she carried out as a "Tehelka" reporter. "Tehelka" refused to publish stories based on the sting.
Punjabi poet Amrit Diwana read a poem dedicated to Lankesh at the beginning of the programme that was started with a moment of silence in memory of the six worshippers who were killed in a hate crime in Quebec on January 29, 2017.
A participating speaker regretted, while the Canadian politicians, particularly of the Indian heritage, are paying tributes to the victims of Quebec violence, they have remained silent to the actions of an "Islamophobic government” in New Delhi.
The screening was followed by speeches and Question and Answer session. Those who spoke on the occasion included anti-racism activist Imtiaz Popat, a Muslim of Gujarati heritage, beside anti-racism educator Annie Ohana, human rights activist Sunil Kumar and a freelance writer Kanwal Gill.



Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).