Skip to main content

Month long NGO campaign launched against frenzy of organized communalism in India

By Jag Jivan 
A month-long campaign of a multitude of online and offline events  called Jana Gana Mana Abhiyan has been launched in an effort to re-vitalize citizens who take pride in India’s rich, diverse, plural cultural heritage and work towards a society based on constitutional values. 
Organised by a civil society platform, Bharat Jodo Abhiyan, which spans numerous people’s organizations across 15 states of India, its objective is to protect India’s multi-hued social fabric, highlight issues of social, economic, political justice and strive for equality and fraternity of all citizens, so that India’s democratic institutions are defended and constitutional values are preserved.
Organised with Lok Sabha elections in mind, Jana Gana Mana Abhiyan is rooted in the conviction that the present plan of organized communal frenzy must not be allowed to overshadow our civilizational heritage of co-living and the constitutional design of India's democratic, secular republic. The Abhiyan believes that an overwhelming silent majority of Indians desire peaceful and harmonious co-living but in the present climate they are denied an opportunity to express their convictions. Hence, in this critical year for our nation’s destiny, this campaign attempts to connect all such citizens so that the public sphere is reclaimed.
The campaign is from 3rd to 30th January 2024. It includes events and activities to celebrate a) iconic founders like Swami Vivekanand, Savitribai Phule, ,Babasaheb Ambedkar, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Mahatma Gandhi, b) festivals that are celebrated across communities like Lohri and Sankranti and c) events that recall our common struggles for equality, fraternity  liberty and justice for all. 
The activities planned for the campaign include videos, posters, challenges, on-line and face-to-face local events which will help revive discussions around the ideals of the community we had imagined and re-kindle aspirations towards realizing our cherished values.  
Overwhelming silent majority desires peaceful and harmonious co-living but in the present climate they are denied the opportunity
The entire campaign has a national missed call number of 7877722353 in addition to state level and local numbers that like-minded citizens can dial to join the movement. 
“The country is witnessing a frenzy of organized communalism which has got nothing to do with maryaada or aastha or dharma but is a brazen attempt to polarize voters on religious lines in the run up to the critical 2024 national elections. At this fork-on-the-road, civil society, represented by Bharat Jodo Abhiyan (BJA) would like to remind Indian citizens and society of the nation’s strengths and assets: its immortal founders, incomparable heritage, diverse peoples and their varied cultures. We invite all like-minded citizens who take pride in our progressive, inclusive civilization and are committed to our constitutional values of fraternity, liberty, equality and justice to give us a missed call on 7877722353. We invite them to become co-travellers in this mission of unity and progress, for a healthy – inclusive, truth-seeking, forward-looking, and compassionate - society. We call upon them to join this vital mission to reclaim the republic”, said BJA in a press release.
Among those who are leading the campaign are Yogendra Yadav and Vijay Mahajan, convenors of the Bharat Jodo Abhiyan, Kavitha Kuruganti, national secretary, and Kamayani Swami, national working group member.



'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

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. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.