Skip to main content

Allahabad police 'blocks' women activists' move to commemorate anti-British Rani

By Our Representative 
In an unusual move, the Allahabad police on March 17 blocked commemoration of 200 years of courageous resistance against British imperialism by Rani Chennamma of Kittur, Karnataka, whose valour is compared with Rani Lakshmibhai of Jhansi.
The programme, part of the national campaign I Too Am Rani Chennamma was to take place on 17th March from 11am-3pm, Dharna Sthal, Civil Lines, Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) to celebrate the legacy of Rani Chennamma.
The organisers were informed late on 16th March by the police that they will not allow them to do the programme. Despite reaching out to senior police officers and knocking at the doors of the District Magistrate late night, “no logic worked with the UP Police”, alleged a senior activist.
The chowki in charge sitting at the Dharna Sthal told the organisers, “You cannot display this exhibition here”, after he was shown the panels containing stories of women who fought against the Britishers and those who were part of writing the Constitution of India.
A media communique from the organisers of the programme alleged, “It was obvious that such women had no place in present Uttar Pradesh… Over 600 women were expected to participate in the programme from various backgrounds”, adding, “Before Allahabad the programme has been organised in more than 10 places across India.” The campaign was launched at Kittur Fort, Karnataka on February 21 in the presence of 3,500 women.
“We strongly condemn this act of the UP police and register our protest against the autocratic regime in power. The arbitrary unfairness at the eleventh hour and refusal of permission to peace loving women, decision to block the commemoration programme by the police violates our fundamental right to speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a), & to assemble peaceably under Article 19(1)(b)”, the communique said.
The idea to commemorate 200 years of Rani Chennamma’s revolt was initiated by Delhi-based human rights group, Anhad. Several women's groups and independent citizens from across India joined hands in the campaign in memory of the Rani’s struggleagainst oppression and to it carry forward.
Kittur's Rani Chennamma was one of the first women to lead a revolt against British rule in India. A fearless warrior, she stands tall as a symbol of resistance, embodying a love for freedom and self-respect, against the British rule.This year 2024 marks 200 of her revolt against British imperialism.
The UP police’s decision to block the campaign in Prayagraj effectively banned the display of the exhibition containing stories of valour and fearlessness of Rani Chennamma, Rani of Jhansi , Uda Devi Pasi, Begum Hazratmahal, Capt Luxmi Sahgal, Rani Avantibai Lodhi, Jhalkari Bai, Kamla Chaoudhary, Savitribai Phule , Fatima Shaikh, Sarojini Naidu, Aruna Asif Ali and others.
Shabnam Hashmi
“The Model Code of Conduct is being misused across India by those in power to crush all democratic activities. Those sitting in positions of power deliberately mislead people into believing that it means automatic implementation of section 144 which is absolutely wrong”, the communique insisted.
“Model Code of Conduct is meant for political parties and there are certain norms to be followed. It does not mean shutting down of all democratic activities”, it added.
In a statement, Anhad founder Shabnam Hashmi said, "The level of misinformation is so much that even activists, academics, politicians themselves believe that once Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is announced, you cannot do public programmes. This is absolute misinformation and a tool to curb dissent and democratic voices ."
Stating that there is "also no connection between MCC and section 144 CrPC", she underscored, "Section 144 CrPC does not automatically become applicable unless  specially announced for a particular area/ areas." 
Hashmi insisted, activists should not "give in to false propaganda by the police and administration. MCC is applicable to political parties and politicians. It is a set of rules to be followed while organising programs. Please read".



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.

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. 

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?’

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.

Mark Lee: A spiritual leader who thought conventional religions are barrier to liberation

  By Harsh Thakor*  The Krishnamurti Foundation of America (KFA) lost Roger Edwin Mark Lee, who was a devoted disciple of Jiddu Krishnamurti, one of the greatest and most self realised spiritual philosophers of our time. Mark passed away due to pneumonia complications on April 6, 2024, at he Ventura Community Memorial Hospital in California. His exit was an irreparable loss to the spiritual world.