Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang

Multipurpose National Identity Card, recall from 2003

MNIC was started in 2003, then integrated into Aadhaar and now the government is looking to revive it; so what was MNIC in the first place and what role will it play if brought in today?

25 Jan 2020

AadharImage Courtesy: economictimes

Last year, much before the CAA-NPR-NRC mayhem was unleashed, Amit Shah at a public event had touted the idea of “one card” which would get rid of excessive ID cards like Aadhaar, voter card and such others. He had said that if the Census (he made no mention of NPR back then) was done properly and in the right format, it was possible that there could be just one single card in which all the other cards could reside. This idea of his resembles MNIC to a great extent and hence it is important to understand the background of MNIC and the idea behind it.

What is MNIC?

Multipurpose National Identity Card (MNIC) was first suggested by a 2001 report prepared by an empowered Group of Ministers (eGOM) titled, “Reforming the National Security System”.  This GOM was formed as a response to the K Subramanyam-led Kargil Review Committee which was instituted after the Kargil conflict of 1999.

The GOM report had suggested MNIC to counter the growing threat of illegal migration in India. The eGOM held 27 meetings in all. In order to facilitate its work, it had set up 4 Task Forces one each on Intelligence Apparatus, Internal Security, Border Management and Management of Defence. The report had proposed, among other things, MNIC “commencing with all border districts”.

Kargil Review Committee (KRC)

KRC report highlighted the deficiencies in India’s security management system particularly in the areas of Intelligence, Border Management, and Defence Management.

KRC had urged a thorough and expeditious review of the national security system in its entirety.  It further contended that the proposed review should not be undertaken by an ‘over-burdened bureaucracy’ but by an independent body of credible experts, whether a national commission or one or more task forces or otherwise, as expedient.

Reforming the National Security System – the GOM report

Here are some relevant excerpts from the report:

The report, in order to tackle the issue of illegal immigration which was seen as a major threat to national security, suggested compulsory registration of citizens as well as non-citizens in India. This was to be followed by giving the citizens MNIC and to issue identity cards of a different colour and design to non-citizens.

The report also stated that many people from neighbouring countries were tempted to cross over to India in search of better job opportunities and to prevent this in the future there was a suggestion to introduce “work permit for foreigners”.

For effective action against the illegal migrants, Residence Records of villages in the border districts should be prepared and regularly updated.  This will allow easy identification and detection of illegal immigrants, until such time as the scheme of registration of all nationals and non-nationals is introduced.

The report also spoke about grant of citizenship to children of illegal immigrants, “Children born to illegal immigrants living in India are entitled to claim Indian citizenship by virtue of their birth on Indian soil.  Therefore, in principle, Indian Citizenship Act should be amended prohibiting acquisition of citizenship rights by the children of illegal migrants born in India before 1 August 1987.  This would also meet the stipulations of the Assam Accord.  However, as per the advice of the Ministry of Law, the provision can only be introduced with prospective effect.  The MHA should take necessary action.”

There were also talks of enacting a refugee law in India in consultation with other Ministries which would then pave the way for enacting a law for compulsory registration of all Indian national and non-nationals staying in India, should be enacted.  The report said, “This would help in preparing the National Register of Indian Citizens.”

The report does not explain what does category such as, ’citizen’ or ’non citizen’ exactly entail. Nor does it shed any light on, as to Why a national identity card for all ’citizens’ would solve all the problem of ’illegal immigration’. MNIC  underlines the idea of national membership through one identity, stabilized by one National Identification Number, something which has been historically contested by the dwellers of land, in a variety of ways. The proposal of introduction of MNIC as long back as 2003 indicates the technologically driven desire to stabilize the idea of land and its people and is marked  by a historical anxiety of the rulers to not only know about but also to have a documentary record of the ruled.

Hence, this idea of having an identity card for citizens has been BJP’s agenda since Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s leadership.

MNIC

MNIC is viewed as the government’s first national identity initiative. Pilot locations for the roll-out of the MNIC were prioritised based on factors such as their proximity to India’s borders and the availability of local civil registration data (such as birth and death registration). During enrollment, individuals were required to register their biometrics (photograph and fingerprint scans) and provide extensive personal details such as their marital status, permanent address, visible identification marks, education and a history of family migration. Each MNIC application was physically reviewed and verified by a registration officer before a sixteen-digit National Identity Number (NIN) and an MNIC card could be issued.

The project was initiated in April 2003 in 20 districts of 12 States and 1 Union Territory viz., Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Puducherry covering a population of 30.96 lakh (28.62 lakh, excluding Assam).  The first set of MNIC Cards was issued to residents of Pooth Kurd, Narela on May 26, 2007.

By 2007, the MNIC project was still struggling to reach scale, and was only being piloted in twelve of India’s twenty-nine states. The enrolment and verification process had proven to be inefficient and costly, but more importantly there were concerns that the process was (unintentionally) discriminatory; for a significant portion of the population – especially low-income families and those living in rural areas – providing documents that could prove their identity and citizenship was difficult, if not impossible. In one documented case, four hundred Iranian immigrants that had been settled in West Bengal for at least eighty years (well before the formation of the independent Indian nation-state) were denied citizenship on the basis that they could not provide acceptable documentation that would, in the view of the verification team, sufficiently validate the personal details they provided.

A report prepared by GSM Association titled ‘Aadhaar: Inclusive by Design- a look at India’s National Identity Programme and its role in the JAM Trinity’, had even raised some concerns about NPR (National Population Register) pertaining to privacy, exclusion  (rightful citizens being denied citizenship status) and wrongful inclusion (non-genuine citizens being granted citizenship status). The report also observed that Identity programmes that seek to confer one’s citizenship or eligibility status are inherently less inclusive.

The system gathered personal data of Indian citizens—including gender, age, marital status, permanent address, etc.  MNIC project was then integrated with the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) project or Aadhaar project.

MNIC was also issued to people living along the coastal line in order to improve coastal security in about 3,331 coastal villages. As per a 2007 news report some senior government officials had spoken about the issues faced in determining citizenship, citing “weak document base” for determining citizenship status of individuals in rural areas , especially for agricultural laborers, landless laborers, married females, and individuals not present at their place of residence at the time of enumeration due to reasons like internal migration.

MNIC and NPR

Now this MNIC project which was integrated with Aadhaar is now set to be revived. Union Home Minister has touted the idea of another MNIC like project. The former MNIC was done with the intention of giving out resident identity cards to citizens who get included in the NRC and “different colored cards” to non-citizens. the MNIC proposed now is also to be issued to people determined as citizens.

While NPR will include citizens as well as non-citizens, there will be a “social vetting” that will be carried at the Gram Sabha and Ward Committee level to verify the information declared by the residents. This list will then be made publicly available to invite objections and claims. These objections/claims will be entertained by local registrars and objections can also be raised by law enforcement agencies or the Registrars suo moto (themselves).

All of this information have been released by the Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time in the Lok Sabha as part of answers to parliamentary questions.

Related:

CAA-NPR-NRC means of harassing specific communities: Teesta Setalvad
George Soros calls out Modi on Kashmir, Hindutva
The Economist turns up the heat on Modi
India plummets 10 place on Global Democracy Index

Multipurpose National Identity Card, recall from 2003

MNIC was started in 2003, then integrated into Aadhaar and now the government is looking to revive it; so what was MNIC in the first place and what role will it play if brought in today?

AadharImage Courtesy: economictimes

Last year, much before the CAA-NPR-NRC mayhem was unleashed, Amit Shah at a public event had touted the idea of “one card” which would get rid of excessive ID cards like Aadhaar, voter card and such others. He had said that if the Census (he made no mention of NPR back then) was done properly and in the right format, it was possible that there could be just one single card in which all the other cards could reside. This idea of his resembles MNIC to a great extent and hence it is important to understand the background of MNIC and the idea behind it.

What is MNIC?

Multipurpose National Identity Card (MNIC) was first suggested by a 2001 report prepared by an empowered Group of Ministers (eGOM) titled, “Reforming the National Security System”.  This GOM was formed as a response to the K Subramanyam-led Kargil Review Committee which was instituted after the Kargil conflict of 1999.

The GOM report had suggested MNIC to counter the growing threat of illegal migration in India. The eGOM held 27 meetings in all. In order to facilitate its work, it had set up 4 Task Forces one each on Intelligence Apparatus, Internal Security, Border Management and Management of Defence. The report had proposed, among other things, MNIC “commencing with all border districts”.

Kargil Review Committee (KRC)

KRC report highlighted the deficiencies in India’s security management system particularly in the areas of Intelligence, Border Management, and Defence Management.

KRC had urged a thorough and expeditious review of the national security system in its entirety.  It further contended that the proposed review should not be undertaken by an ‘over-burdened bureaucracy’ but by an independent body of credible experts, whether a national commission or one or more task forces or otherwise, as expedient.

Reforming the National Security System – the GOM report

Here are some relevant excerpts from the report:

The report, in order to tackle the issue of illegal immigration which was seen as a major threat to national security, suggested compulsory registration of citizens as well as non-citizens in India. This was to be followed by giving the citizens MNIC and to issue identity cards of a different colour and design to non-citizens.

The report also stated that many people from neighbouring countries were tempted to cross over to India in search of better job opportunities and to prevent this in the future there was a suggestion to introduce “work permit for foreigners”.

For effective action against the illegal migrants, Residence Records of villages in the border districts should be prepared and regularly updated.  This will allow easy identification and detection of illegal immigrants, until such time as the scheme of registration of all nationals and non-nationals is introduced.

The report also spoke about grant of citizenship to children of illegal immigrants, “Children born to illegal immigrants living in India are entitled to claim Indian citizenship by virtue of their birth on Indian soil.  Therefore, in principle, Indian Citizenship Act should be amended prohibiting acquisition of citizenship rights by the children of illegal migrants born in India before 1 August 1987.  This would also meet the stipulations of the Assam Accord.  However, as per the advice of the Ministry of Law, the provision can only be introduced with prospective effect.  The MHA should take necessary action.”

There were also talks of enacting a refugee law in India in consultation with other Ministries which would then pave the way for enacting a law for compulsory registration of all Indian national and non-nationals staying in India, should be enacted.  The report said, “This would help in preparing the National Register of Indian Citizens.”

The report does not explain what does category such as, ’citizen’ or ’non citizen’ exactly entail. Nor does it shed any light on, as to Why a national identity card for all ’citizens’ would solve all the problem of ’illegal immigration’. MNIC  underlines the idea of national membership through one identity, stabilized by one National Identification Number, something which has been historically contested by the dwellers of land, in a variety of ways. The proposal of introduction of MNIC as long back as 2003 indicates the technologically driven desire to stabilize the idea of land and its people and is marked  by a historical anxiety of the rulers to not only know about but also to have a documentary record of the ruled.

Hence, this idea of having an identity card for citizens has been BJP’s agenda since Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s leadership.

MNIC

MNIC is viewed as the government’s first national identity initiative. Pilot locations for the roll-out of the MNIC were prioritised based on factors such as their proximity to India’s borders and the availability of local civil registration data (such as birth and death registration). During enrollment, individuals were required to register their biometrics (photograph and fingerprint scans) and provide extensive personal details such as their marital status, permanent address, visible identification marks, education and a history of family migration. Each MNIC application was physically reviewed and verified by a registration officer before a sixteen-digit National Identity Number (NIN) and an MNIC card could be issued.

The project was initiated in April 2003 in 20 districts of 12 States and 1 Union Territory viz., Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Puducherry covering a population of 30.96 lakh (28.62 lakh, excluding Assam).  The first set of MNIC Cards was issued to residents of Pooth Kurd, Narela on May 26, 2007.

By 2007, the MNIC project was still struggling to reach scale, and was only being piloted in twelve of India’s twenty-nine states. The enrolment and verification process had proven to be inefficient and costly, but more importantly there were concerns that the process was (unintentionally) discriminatory; for a significant portion of the population – especially low-income families and those living in rural areas – providing documents that could prove their identity and citizenship was difficult, if not impossible. In one documented case, four hundred Iranian immigrants that had been settled in West Bengal for at least eighty years (well before the formation of the independent Indian nation-state) were denied citizenship on the basis that they could not provide acceptable documentation that would, in the view of the verification team, sufficiently validate the personal details they provided.

A report prepared by GSM Association titled ‘Aadhaar: Inclusive by Design- a look at India’s National Identity Programme and its role in the JAM Trinity’, had even raised some concerns about NPR (National Population Register) pertaining to privacy, exclusion  (rightful citizens being denied citizenship status) and wrongful inclusion (non-genuine citizens being granted citizenship status). The report also observed that Identity programmes that seek to confer one’s citizenship or eligibility status are inherently less inclusive.

The system gathered personal data of Indian citizens—including gender, age, marital status, permanent address, etc.  MNIC project was then integrated with the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) project or Aadhaar project.

MNIC was also issued to people living along the coastal line in order to improve coastal security in about 3,331 coastal villages. As per a 2007 news report some senior government officials had spoken about the issues faced in determining citizenship, citing “weak document base” for determining citizenship status of individuals in rural areas , especially for agricultural laborers, landless laborers, married females, and individuals not present at their place of residence at the time of enumeration due to reasons like internal migration.

MNIC and NPR

Now this MNIC project which was integrated with Aadhaar is now set to be revived. Union Home Minister has touted the idea of another MNIC like project. The former MNIC was done with the intention of giving out resident identity cards to citizens who get included in the NRC and “different colored cards” to non-citizens. the MNIC proposed now is also to be issued to people determined as citizens.

While NPR will include citizens as well as non-citizens, there will be a “social vetting” that will be carried at the Gram Sabha and Ward Committee level to verify the information declared by the residents. This list will then be made publicly available to invite objections and claims. These objections/claims will be entertained by local registrars and objections can also be raised by law enforcement agencies or the Registrars suo moto (themselves).

All of this information have been released by the Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time in the Lok Sabha as part of answers to parliamentary questions.

Related:

CAA-NPR-NRC means of harassing specific communities: Teesta Setalvad
George Soros calls out Modi on Kashmir, Hindutva
The Economist turns up the heat on Modi
India plummets 10 place on Global Democracy Index

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Twitter makes BJP leader eat humble Poha!

Kailash Vijayvargiya trolled after he claims people who eat poha are Bangladeshi

25 Jan 2020

Kailash VijayvargiyaImage Courtesy: indiatoday.in

BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya became the laughing stock of the nation when he remarked that he suspected some of the labourers conducting repair work in his house were Bangladeshi because they ate poha, a snack made from puffed rice.

NDTV quoted Vijayvargiya saying, "There is some construction work going on at home. Outside, I saw some six-seven labourers sitting with one thali piled up with a huge amount of poha -- maybe 10 plates -- and eating. I asked, why are you eating poha? They did not answer because they could not speak Hindi. Then one man said they are Bengalis. I suspected something. I asked why they had been hired here. The answer was, they are cheap labour."

Poha is a beloved snack in different parts of India including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

Shockingly, Vijayvargiya made the statement in Indore, a city known for its Poha pride. Twitter swung into action to educate the ignorant politician. Hashtags like #PohaTwitter and #PohaOnMyPlate started trending. Sample this salvo by proud poha-loving Indoris:

https://twitter.com/Banoliyaa/status/1220786992553709568

https://twitter.com/madhavmantri/status/1220708817689882626  

And here’s more:

https://twitter.com/reshma_alam9/status/1220666939241947137  

https://twitter.com/GDnarbhakshi/status/1220733083823099905

https://twitter.com/TXingh/status/1220771305777057792

https://twitter.com/Devil1nDetail/status/1220898082084159488

Vijayvargiya may have been lampooned by poha-loving Indians, but his anti-Bangladeshi stand cannot be ignored in the present political climate. With the burgeoning movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Population Register (NPR) and the recently concluded National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, there is a strong united voice emerging against divisive forces of the ruling regime.

However, of late, there has been an increase in instances of people being harassed after being accused of being Bangladeshi. Recently, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike demolished huts of alleged Bangladeshi immigrants in the Kariyammana Agrahara area. The residents of the impoverished shanty-town were mostly daily wage earners. Social media videos had claimed that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were sheltered in the settlement. The video of the demolition was also shared on Twitter by Mahadevpura’s BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali where he too reiterated the stance alleging that the residents were illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

But, upon investigation, it was revealed that most residents of the settlement were from different parts of the country, including Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and even north Karnataka. The High Court has stayed the demolition for now, though many residents have been forced to go back to their home states.

Earlier in October 2019, 29 men, 22 women and nine girls were picked up during a raid in Marathahalli, Bellandur and Ramamurthy Nagar areas of Bangalore. The people detained were mostly daily wage workers earning their living as construction labourers, garbage collectors and doing menial jobs under contractors. Some of them are also employed by the contractors of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). In November, 59 of them were transported to West Bengal for eventual repatriation with Bangladesh.

Twitter makes BJP leader eat humble Poha!

Kailash Vijayvargiya trolled after he claims people who eat poha are Bangladeshi

Kailash VijayvargiyaImage Courtesy: indiatoday.in

BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya became the laughing stock of the nation when he remarked that he suspected some of the labourers conducting repair work in his house were Bangladeshi because they ate poha, a snack made from puffed rice.

NDTV quoted Vijayvargiya saying, "There is some construction work going on at home. Outside, I saw some six-seven labourers sitting with one thali piled up with a huge amount of poha -- maybe 10 plates -- and eating. I asked, why are you eating poha? They did not answer because they could not speak Hindi. Then one man said they are Bengalis. I suspected something. I asked why they had been hired here. The answer was, they are cheap labour."

Poha is a beloved snack in different parts of India including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

Shockingly, Vijayvargiya made the statement in Indore, a city known for its Poha pride. Twitter swung into action to educate the ignorant politician. Hashtags like #PohaTwitter and #PohaOnMyPlate started trending. Sample this salvo by proud poha-loving Indoris:

https://twitter.com/Banoliyaa/status/1220786992553709568

https://twitter.com/madhavmantri/status/1220708817689882626  

And here’s more:

https://twitter.com/reshma_alam9/status/1220666939241947137  

https://twitter.com/GDnarbhakshi/status/1220733083823099905

https://twitter.com/TXingh/status/1220771305777057792

https://twitter.com/Devil1nDetail/status/1220898082084159488

Vijayvargiya may have been lampooned by poha-loving Indians, but his anti-Bangladeshi stand cannot be ignored in the present political climate. With the burgeoning movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Population Register (NPR) and the recently concluded National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, there is a strong united voice emerging against divisive forces of the ruling regime.

However, of late, there has been an increase in instances of people being harassed after being accused of being Bangladeshi. Recently, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike demolished huts of alleged Bangladeshi immigrants in the Kariyammana Agrahara area. The residents of the impoverished shanty-town were mostly daily wage earners. Social media videos had claimed that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were sheltered in the settlement. The video of the demolition was also shared on Twitter by Mahadevpura’s BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali where he too reiterated the stance alleging that the residents were illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

But, upon investigation, it was revealed that most residents of the settlement were from different parts of the country, including Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and even north Karnataka. The High Court has stayed the demolition for now, though many residents have been forced to go back to their home states.

Earlier in October 2019, 29 men, 22 women and nine girls were picked up during a raid in Marathahalli, Bellandur and Ramamurthy Nagar areas of Bangalore. The people detained were mostly daily wage workers earning their living as construction labourers, garbage collectors and doing menial jobs under contractors. Some of them are also employed by the contractors of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). In November, 59 of them were transported to West Bengal for eventual repatriation with Bangladesh.

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Gandhi’s favourite hymn still in the Republic Day playlist?

Band continues to practice “Abide with me”, Vande Mataram an addition, not replacement

25 Jan 2020

GandhiImage Courtesy: indiatoday.in

The Christian Hymn “Abide with me” that was previously believed to have been dropped from the Republic Day playlist may still be on. India Today reports that the band has been practicing the melody during rehearsals.   

The hymn was written by Scottish poet Henry Francis Lyte in the nineteenth century and composed by William Henry Monk. Since 1950, this is the only western piece of music played at the Beating Retreat every year during Republic Day celebrations.

Over the years, more traditional Indian compositions have made it into the playlist. But Abide with Me, said to be a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi, has always been the last piece to be played by the military band during the Beating Retreat ceremony. The song is played to remember and honour fallen heroes. 

Earlier there were reports that the song had been dropped amidst rumours that more Indian compositions were being encouraged. The Print had quoted two sources who shed light on the reason behind the supposed omission.

“There is an increased focus on more and more Indian tunes,” said the first source to The Print. “Beating the Retreat has gradually been ‘Indianised’ by the infusion of certain non-military instrumental displays such as sitar as well as Indian tunes. Not everyone in the military is happy about this meddling as it is supposed to be a military ceremony with military bands,” the second source added.

This led to speculation if Christians and Christianity were seen an un-Indian. But retaining the hymn sends out the message that Indian steadfastly remains committed to diversity and respects people of all faiths. 

The Beating Retreat ceremony will be held on January 29.

Gandhi’s favourite hymn still in the Republic Day playlist?

Band continues to practice “Abide with me”, Vande Mataram an addition, not replacement

GandhiImage Courtesy: indiatoday.in

The Christian Hymn “Abide with me” that was previously believed to have been dropped from the Republic Day playlist may still be on. India Today reports that the band has been practicing the melody during rehearsals.   

The hymn was written by Scottish poet Henry Francis Lyte in the nineteenth century and composed by William Henry Monk. Since 1950, this is the only western piece of music played at the Beating Retreat every year during Republic Day celebrations.

Over the years, more traditional Indian compositions have made it into the playlist. But Abide with Me, said to be a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi, has always been the last piece to be played by the military band during the Beating Retreat ceremony. The song is played to remember and honour fallen heroes. 

Earlier there were reports that the song had been dropped amidst rumours that more Indian compositions were being encouraged. The Print had quoted two sources who shed light on the reason behind the supposed omission.

“There is an increased focus on more and more Indian tunes,” said the first source to The Print. “Beating the Retreat has gradually been ‘Indianised’ by the infusion of certain non-military instrumental displays such as sitar as well as Indian tunes. Not everyone in the military is happy about this meddling as it is supposed to be a military ceremony with military bands,” the second source added.

This led to speculation if Christians and Christianity were seen an un-Indian. But retaining the hymn sends out the message that Indian steadfastly remains committed to diversity and respects people of all faiths. 

The Beating Retreat ceremony will be held on January 29.

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Two women assaulted by locals in Kota and WB over fears of collecting NRC data

They were collecting data for the economic census and a rural initiative for women, Internet Saathi, respectively

24 Jan 2020

KotaImage Courtesy: TOI

There is no fear of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) – this is what the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been saying over and over again. But, the fear of CAA and NRC has so gripped the country that two women mistaken by the public for conducting surveys for the CAA and NRC were attacked in Rajasthan and West Bengal, reported The Times of India.

In Kota, Nazeeran Bano, a surveyor from the National Economic Census department collecting data for the National Economic Census 2019 – 2020 in Brijdham area was allowed to leave only after she finally managed to convince the crowd that she too was a Muslim like them.

In West Bengal’s Birbhum district, 20-year-old Chamki Khatun who was collecting data for Internet Saathi, a digital literacy initiative for rural women by Google India and the Tata Trust was targeted as local villagers thought she was collecting data for the NRC.

Nazeeran Bano’s mobile phone was snatched from her and all the data she had collected for the economic census for over 1000 families was deleted from her phone. The crowd asked to prove that she was a Muslim by reciting a verse from the Quran. Only after she showed them an “Ayat-al-Kursi” (The Throne verse) card which was in her wallet, was the crowd pacified.

Bano told reporters that initially, people from the Brijdham area provided her all the data, but four to five families called her back and asked her to delete the information given saying they didn’t want the data to be shared with anyone. She said, “I explained to them that the data that was collected was related to the economic census and had been uploaded on the portal, and there was nothing wrong in it. But they were not convinced and started misbehaving with me.”

Chamki Khatun had to suffer a worse fate as the locals did not believe her claims. They did not heed the administration’s pleas either and her house in Gourbazar village was burned down. She, along with her family was then forced to take refuge at a police station.

However, the police has denied a link to the NRC reported The Quint. Rampurhat’s sub-divisional officer Soumajit Barua said, “We didn’t find any link to the NRC. The incident happened over some village matter. We have initiated an investigation, the situation is now under control.”

Related:

George Soros calls out Modi on Kashmir, Hindutva
The Economist turns up the heat on Modi

India plummets 10 place on Global Democracy Index

Two women assaulted by locals in Kota and WB over fears of collecting NRC data

They were collecting data for the economic census and a rural initiative for women, Internet Saathi, respectively

KotaImage Courtesy: TOI

There is no fear of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) – this is what the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been saying over and over again. But, the fear of CAA and NRC has so gripped the country that two women mistaken by the public for conducting surveys for the CAA and NRC were attacked in Rajasthan and West Bengal, reported The Times of India.

In Kota, Nazeeran Bano, a surveyor from the National Economic Census department collecting data for the National Economic Census 2019 – 2020 in Brijdham area was allowed to leave only after she finally managed to convince the crowd that she too was a Muslim like them.

In West Bengal’s Birbhum district, 20-year-old Chamki Khatun who was collecting data for Internet Saathi, a digital literacy initiative for rural women by Google India and the Tata Trust was targeted as local villagers thought she was collecting data for the NRC.

Nazeeran Bano’s mobile phone was snatched from her and all the data she had collected for the economic census for over 1000 families was deleted from her phone. The crowd asked to prove that she was a Muslim by reciting a verse from the Quran. Only after she showed them an “Ayat-al-Kursi” (The Throne verse) card which was in her wallet, was the crowd pacified.

Bano told reporters that initially, people from the Brijdham area provided her all the data, but four to five families called her back and asked her to delete the information given saying they didn’t want the data to be shared with anyone. She said, “I explained to them that the data that was collected was related to the economic census and had been uploaded on the portal, and there was nothing wrong in it. But they were not convinced and started misbehaving with me.”

Chamki Khatun had to suffer a worse fate as the locals did not believe her claims. They did not heed the administration’s pleas either and her house in Gourbazar village was burned down. She, along with her family was then forced to take refuge at a police station.

However, the police has denied a link to the NRC reported The Quint. Rampurhat’s sub-divisional officer Soumajit Barua said, “We didn’t find any link to the NRC. The incident happened over some village matter. We have initiated an investigation, the situation is now under control.”

Related:

George Soros calls out Modi on Kashmir, Hindutva
The Economist turns up the heat on Modi

India plummets 10 place on Global Democracy Index

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Punjab CM sends ‘Mein Kampf’ copy to SAD Chief to show implications of CAA

Amarinder Singh said that the Centre was trying to replicate “Hitler’s agenda” in India

24 Jan 2020

amrinder

Punjab chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, sent a copy of Hitler’s autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’ to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to enlighten him about the dangerous implications of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The book ‘Mein Kampf’ (meaning My Struggle) is an autobiographical account of Hitler's journey to developing his political ideology, his anti-semetism and future plans for Germany.

Amarinder Singh said that the Centre was trying to replicate “Hitler’s agenda” in India and that SAD leaders should read the book before giving “irrational reactions” on the CAA. He further said that the SAD leader's recent statement reflects their ignorance on the issue asked Badal to read the book to decide whether country comes first or “political expediency”.https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Singh wrote a letter to Badal saying, "Supporting the bill in both houses of Parliament and in the Vidhan Sabha and opposing it on other platforms is unbecoming of a political leader".

In his letter Singh explained Hitler’s modus operandi which led to persecution of the intellectuals, and finally to the extermination of the Jews. "Read the book, as one always learns from history. The world has changed and our television and other media are powerful, and certainly different to that of Germany in the thirties under Joseph Goebbels. Nevertheless, the talk of camps and a national register to eliminate the Muslim and Jewish communities is ominous," Amarinder Singh further wrote.

In turn, Badal took a jibe at the CM and said he would soon be sending him a bundle of books written by prominent Sikh scholars detailing how the Congress party and its first family had "planned and engineered" attack on 'Harmandar Sahib' as well as the "mass killing" of Sikhs in Delhi and other parts of the country. "This gift of books could also force you to have a change of mind and forsake servility towards the Gandhi family and make you more sensitive towards the suffering of your own community," added Badal.

 

Related:

George Soros calls out Modi on Kashmir, Hindutva
CAA-NPR-NRC means of harassing specific communities: Teesta Setalvad
The Economist turns up the heat on Modi
India plummets 10 place on Global Democracy Index

Punjab CM sends ‘Mein Kampf’ copy to SAD Chief to show implications of CAA

Amarinder Singh said that the Centre was trying to replicate “Hitler’s agenda” in India

amrinder

Punjab chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, sent a copy of Hitler’s autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’ to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to enlighten him about the dangerous implications of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The book ‘Mein Kampf’ (meaning My Struggle) is an autobiographical account of Hitler's journey to developing his political ideology, his anti-semetism and future plans for Germany.

Amarinder Singh said that the Centre was trying to replicate “Hitler’s agenda” in India and that SAD leaders should read the book before giving “irrational reactions” on the CAA. He further said that the SAD leader's recent statement reflects their ignorance on the issue asked Badal to read the book to decide whether country comes first or “political expediency”.https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Singh wrote a letter to Badal saying, "Supporting the bill in both houses of Parliament and in the Vidhan Sabha and opposing it on other platforms is unbecoming of a political leader".

In his letter Singh explained Hitler’s modus operandi which led to persecution of the intellectuals, and finally to the extermination of the Jews. "Read the book, as one always learns from history. The world has changed and our television and other media are powerful, and certainly different to that of Germany in the thirties under Joseph Goebbels. Nevertheless, the talk of camps and a national register to eliminate the Muslim and Jewish communities is ominous," Amarinder Singh further wrote.

In turn, Badal took a jibe at the CM and said he would soon be sending him a bundle of books written by prominent Sikh scholars detailing how the Congress party and its first family had "planned and engineered" attack on 'Harmandar Sahib' as well as the "mass killing" of Sikhs in Delhi and other parts of the country. "This gift of books could also force you to have a change of mind and forsake servility towards the Gandhi family and make you more sensitive towards the suffering of your own community," added Badal.

 

Related:

George Soros calls out Modi on Kashmir, Hindutva
CAA-NPR-NRC means of harassing specific communities: Teesta Setalvad
The Economist turns up the heat on Modi
India plummets 10 place on Global Democracy Index

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

India plummets 10 place on Global Democracy Index

For the first time it scored below 7 in a range of 0 to 10

23 Jan 2020

IndexImage Courtesy: bankexamstoday.com

India has plummeted 10 places down in global democracy index, released by The Economist Group. This global index which was launched in 2006 has been drawn out by the Economist Intelligence Unit of The Economist Group, which is a sister company of The Economist newspaper.

India ranks lower than South Africa, Malaysia and Columbia as well. The survey rates the state of democracy across 167 countries based on five measures—electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties—finds that democracy has been eroded around the world in the past year. 

As per the Index India comes under the category of “flawed democracy”. India has always been regarded as a flawed democracy in this index. Flawed democracies are countries which have free and fair elections and basic civil liberties but where there are significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including governance, political culture and participation. This is although the first time India’s score has fallen below 7 out of 10.

 
Democracies

India is among the 11 countries which saw regressions in 2019, the other 10 countries being Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Comoros, Egypt, Guyana, Singapore, Mali and Zambia.

The report stated, ““The biggest democracy in the world, India, dropped ten places in the Democracy Index’s global ranking to 51st place. India’s overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in 2019. The primary cause of the democratic regression was an erosion of civil liberties in the country.” India’s highest score has been 7.92, in 2014.

The report attributed the fall in ranking of India on the index to the repeal of provisions giving autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam NRC, CAA and protests. It also makes note of the criticism that the BJP is trying to target Muslims to change the demographics of India. India was graded in electoral process and pluralism (8.67), government functioning (6.79), political participation (6.67), political culture (5.63) and civil liberties (6.76).

The total score of some 68 countries declined from 2018, but almost as many (65) recorded an improvement. 

Related:

BJP alienating Urdu to alienate Muslim culture?
Bengaluru migrants’ residences demolished; people return to home states
West Bengal Assembly next in line to pass resolution against CAA
Adityanath spews sexist venom, declares “azaadi” slogan as treason in UP
India drop 10 ranks to 51st position in Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index
India falls on democracy index

India plummets 10 place on Global Democracy Index

For the first time it scored below 7 in a range of 0 to 10

IndexImage Courtesy: bankexamstoday.com

India has plummeted 10 places down in global democracy index, released by The Economist Group. This global index which was launched in 2006 has been drawn out by the Economist Intelligence Unit of The Economist Group, which is a sister company of The Economist newspaper.

India ranks lower than South Africa, Malaysia and Columbia as well. The survey rates the state of democracy across 167 countries based on five measures—electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties—finds that democracy has been eroded around the world in the past year. 

As per the Index India comes under the category of “flawed democracy”. India has always been regarded as a flawed democracy in this index. Flawed democracies are countries which have free and fair elections and basic civil liberties but where there are significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including governance, political culture and participation. This is although the first time India’s score has fallen below 7 out of 10.

 
Democracies

India is among the 11 countries which saw regressions in 2019, the other 10 countries being Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Comoros, Egypt, Guyana, Singapore, Mali and Zambia.

The report stated, ““The biggest democracy in the world, India, dropped ten places in the Democracy Index’s global ranking to 51st place. India’s overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in 2019. The primary cause of the democratic regression was an erosion of civil liberties in the country.” India’s highest score has been 7.92, in 2014.

The report attributed the fall in ranking of India on the index to the repeal of provisions giving autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam NRC, CAA and protests. It also makes note of the criticism that the BJP is trying to target Muslims to change the demographics of India. India was graded in electoral process and pluralism (8.67), government functioning (6.79), political participation (6.67), political culture (5.63) and civil liberties (6.76).

The total score of some 68 countries declined from 2018, but almost as many (65) recorded an improvement. 

Related:

BJP alienating Urdu to alienate Muslim culture?
Bengaluru migrants’ residences demolished; people return to home states
West Bengal Assembly next in line to pass resolution against CAA
Adityanath spews sexist venom, declares “azaadi” slogan as treason in UP
India drop 10 ranks to 51st position in Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index
India falls on democracy index

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

HD Kumaraswamy aims guns at BJP; says Mangaluru bomb disposal mock exercise

The ex-CM incident was a controversy to create rift between two communities

23 Jan 2020

BombImage Courtesy: newindianexpress.com

Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy told reporters on Tuesday that the entire Mangaluru bomb incident was just a “farce and the entire episode of defusing the bomb seems like a mock exercise.”

Speaking about the bag found at the Mangaluru International Airport on Monday he said, “The bag contained powder used for the manufacture of crackers. It was not a live bomb.”

He further lashed out at the government saying that incident was doctored to appease some organizations. He said, “I would like to ask the government the fact about yesterday’s bomb incident. There is no truth in it. There was no live bomb in it. It was a conspiracy to create a rift between two communities. Looking at the way the police tried to defuse the bomb, I feel like taking a decision in future to honor them duly. I have not woven stories, but I’ve been quoting the stories appearing in the media.”

“Ten kilograms of live bomb has made the people of the state panic. An iron box in the bag contained cracker powder and wire pieces in it and there were no detonators to explode it. A large container has been brought to shift the bag and defuse it. Defusing takes place only when a bomb is found. It seems like a mock exercise. Don’t try to breach the trust of people in the state. This is not a government of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or RSS. Don’t create rift between religions,” he added.

Kumaraswamy also mentioned that the incident was suspicious especially because it took place during the unrest due to the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens protests in the state. He said, “We have been witnessing developments that create a tension in the minds of the people. Mangaluru and coastal region were peaceful during the 14 months of the coalition government. Due to the central government’s decisions with regards to the CAA and NRC, we have been witnessing protests across the nation. The December 19 violence in Mangaluru has created an atmosphere where people lost trust. The government has forgotten its responsibility to solve major issues before the nation when the nation is witnessing protests and campaigns related to CAA and NRC.”

Suspecting foul play he asked, “While the Chief Minister is in Davos wooing investors, the BJP’s actions are portraying Mangaluru as a communal city. How will this help attract investments? Media reports state that the accused is an engineer and was trying to secure a job at the Mangaluru airport. Today, unemployment is a huge problem. I want to highlight this point to the attention of both the Home Minister and the Prime Minister of this country.”

Aiming his guns at the BJP, Kumaraswamy had earlier said, “That Muslims become terrorists is not the case anymore. They have given rise to a situation where even those from the Hindu community can become terrorists. Because it is Rao, no one is saying anything. Maybe, the BJP bhakts are unhappy. If it were a Muslim, they would have cashed in on it.”  

Aditya Rao, the main suspect in the case had surrendered to the Bengaluru police. The incident triggered a political slugfest thereon. Acting state Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao on Wednesday said, “The BJP may not be happy with this news. They would have preferred it a surname other than Rao.”

Meanwhile Mangaluru city police commissioner tweeted saying that his meeting with the ex CM was nothing more than a security visit for he too was a protectee. He also said that the city police was investigating the suspected explosive material found at the Mangaluru International Airport and had made progress on available leads. He also appealed to all the leaders of society to take a responsible stand with regards to the matter.

Related:

Mangaluru: Fact-finding report unearths the reality of police brutality at anti-CAA protests
Yediyurappa reneges on compensation promise to anti-CAA protesters?
“Made to sit on the bus floor like criminals”: Detained Kerala journalists

HD Kumaraswamy aims guns at BJP; says Mangaluru bomb disposal mock exercise

The ex-CM incident was a controversy to create rift between two communities

BombImage Courtesy: newindianexpress.com

Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy told reporters on Tuesday that the entire Mangaluru bomb incident was just a “farce and the entire episode of defusing the bomb seems like a mock exercise.”

Speaking about the bag found at the Mangaluru International Airport on Monday he said, “The bag contained powder used for the manufacture of crackers. It was not a live bomb.”

He further lashed out at the government saying that incident was doctored to appease some organizations. He said, “I would like to ask the government the fact about yesterday’s bomb incident. There is no truth in it. There was no live bomb in it. It was a conspiracy to create a rift between two communities. Looking at the way the police tried to defuse the bomb, I feel like taking a decision in future to honor them duly. I have not woven stories, but I’ve been quoting the stories appearing in the media.”

“Ten kilograms of live bomb has made the people of the state panic. An iron box in the bag contained cracker powder and wire pieces in it and there were no detonators to explode it. A large container has been brought to shift the bag and defuse it. Defusing takes place only when a bomb is found. It seems like a mock exercise. Don’t try to breach the trust of people in the state. This is not a government of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or RSS. Don’t create rift between religions,” he added.

Kumaraswamy also mentioned that the incident was suspicious especially because it took place during the unrest due to the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens protests in the state. He said, “We have been witnessing developments that create a tension in the minds of the people. Mangaluru and coastal region were peaceful during the 14 months of the coalition government. Due to the central government’s decisions with regards to the CAA and NRC, we have been witnessing protests across the nation. The December 19 violence in Mangaluru has created an atmosphere where people lost trust. The government has forgotten its responsibility to solve major issues before the nation when the nation is witnessing protests and campaigns related to CAA and NRC.”

Suspecting foul play he asked, “While the Chief Minister is in Davos wooing investors, the BJP’s actions are portraying Mangaluru as a communal city. How will this help attract investments? Media reports state that the accused is an engineer and was trying to secure a job at the Mangaluru airport. Today, unemployment is a huge problem. I want to highlight this point to the attention of both the Home Minister and the Prime Minister of this country.”

Aiming his guns at the BJP, Kumaraswamy had earlier said, “That Muslims become terrorists is not the case anymore. They have given rise to a situation where even those from the Hindu community can become terrorists. Because it is Rao, no one is saying anything. Maybe, the BJP bhakts are unhappy. If it were a Muslim, they would have cashed in on it.”  

Aditya Rao, the main suspect in the case had surrendered to the Bengaluru police. The incident triggered a political slugfest thereon. Acting state Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao on Wednesday said, “The BJP may not be happy with this news. They would have preferred it a surname other than Rao.”

Meanwhile Mangaluru city police commissioner tweeted saying that his meeting with the ex CM was nothing more than a security visit for he too was a protectee. He also said that the city police was investigating the suspected explosive material found at the Mangaluru International Airport and had made progress on available leads. He also appealed to all the leaders of society to take a responsible stand with regards to the matter.

Related:

Mangaluru: Fact-finding report unearths the reality of police brutality at anti-CAA protests
Yediyurappa reneges on compensation promise to anti-CAA protesters?
“Made to sit on the bus floor like criminals”: Detained Kerala journalists

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Karnataka Congress MLA Haris hurt in minor blast at event

Police say the blast was due to a firecracker; son suspects foul play

23 Jan 2020

Congress

A minor explosion at a private event in Bengaluru’s Viveknagar area left Congress MLA Nalapad Ahmed Haris and four others injured, reported The News Minute. The incident took place at around 8:30 P.M. on Wednesday, January 22nd and all the injured have been admitted to the Philomena Hospital in Bengaluru.

The MLA was attending an MGR birth anniversary celebration in Viveknagar’s Vannarpet area, when something near him on the stage exploded. The police told TNM that the explosive was a firecracker and that further investigations in the matter were underway. Bhaskar Rao, Bengaluru Police Commissioner said, “There was a cracker show. Immediately after the cracker show, there was a minor blast. Our officials including the ACP and DCP have reached the spot. Everyone has confirmed it was a cracker blast. The area has been sanitized,” adding that forensic experts had reached the spot to investigate the explosion.

However, MLA Haris’ son, Mohammed Nalapad suspected foul play in the matter. He told reporters that something was placed under his father’s chair. "There was something under the chair that my father sat on. It exploded. My father has injuries on his leg, his friend hurt his hand. We're shocked something like this has happened in our constituency. Don't know who did it,” he said.

“Such an incident has never happened to us. We were very scared. He has sustained burn injuries in his right leg. This seems like a deliberate act too but I am sure police will investigate into this,” Mohammed Nalapad added.

He also said that his father never had any rivals and did not have any gunmen with him for protection.

Dr. Shankar Prasad, Medical Director, St. Philomena’s Hospital said that none of the injured have any open cut injuries and are being examined further. Talking about Haris he said that he had a minor blood clot in his left leg which was possibly due to him being hit by a hard object. He said, “We have taken an X-ray and are examining further. At the look of it, seems like a very minor injury,” reported the Deccan Herald.

Related:

Kapil Sibal calls out 9 "lies" of the BJP government
Bengaluru migrants’ residences demolished; people return to home states

Karnataka Congress MLA Haris hurt in minor blast at event

Police say the blast was due to a firecracker; son suspects foul play

Congress

A minor explosion at a private event in Bengaluru’s Viveknagar area left Congress MLA Nalapad Ahmed Haris and four others injured, reported The News Minute. The incident took place at around 8:30 P.M. on Wednesday, January 22nd and all the injured have been admitted to the Philomena Hospital in Bengaluru.

The MLA was attending an MGR birth anniversary celebration in Viveknagar’s Vannarpet area, when something near him on the stage exploded. The police told TNM that the explosive was a firecracker and that further investigations in the matter were underway. Bhaskar Rao, Bengaluru Police Commissioner said, “There was a cracker show. Immediately after the cracker show, there was a minor blast. Our officials including the ACP and DCP have reached the spot. Everyone has confirmed it was a cracker blast. The area has been sanitized,” adding that forensic experts had reached the spot to investigate the explosion.

However, MLA Haris’ son, Mohammed Nalapad suspected foul play in the matter. He told reporters that something was placed under his father’s chair. "There was something under the chair that my father sat on. It exploded. My father has injuries on his leg, his friend hurt his hand. We're shocked something like this has happened in our constituency. Don't know who did it,” he said.

“Such an incident has never happened to us. We were very scared. He has sustained burn injuries in his right leg. This seems like a deliberate act too but I am sure police will investigate into this,” Mohammed Nalapad added.

He also said that his father never had any rivals and did not have any gunmen with him for protection.

Dr. Shankar Prasad, Medical Director, St. Philomena’s Hospital said that none of the injured have any open cut injuries and are being examined further. Talking about Haris he said that he had a minor blood clot in his left leg which was possibly due to him being hit by a hard object. He said, “We have taken an X-ray and are examining further. At the look of it, seems like a very minor injury,” reported the Deccan Herald.

Related:

Kapil Sibal calls out 9 "lies" of the BJP government
Bengaluru migrants’ residences demolished; people return to home states

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

BJP alienating Urdu to alienate Muslim culture?

The recent spate of name changes from Urdu to Sanskrit and other incidents just go to show the ruling party’s crafty agenda

23 Jan 2020

Urdu

In another move on what secular forces see as an attack on Muslim cultural heritage, the ruling government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided that in the state of Uttarakhand the names of railway stations written in the Urdu language on platforms will be replaced with Sanskrit.

The state with a population of 10 million, adopted Sanskrit as its second official language in 2010. According to the 2011 census, the exact number of Sanskrit speakers in the state is 386, out of which 282 are males and 104 are females. The number of Urdu speakers are more than four percent at 425,752 persons.

Citing the reason of Sanskrit being the second official language, railway officials announced that signboards of all railway platforms which have names of stations written in Hindi, English and Urdu, will now be written in Hindi, English and Sanskrit.

The opposition parties have condemned the decision of the government and termed it “unfortunate”.

In October 2018, the BJP renamed the cities of Allahabad and Faizabad in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to Prayagraj and Ayodhya respectively, saying that it was “correcting wrongs” made in the medieval period by the Mughal rulers.

It had also changed the name of the iconic Mughalsarai railway station near Varanasi to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya station. The BJP had also moved a proposal to change the name of the capital of Gujarat, Ahmedabad to Karnavati. Not just this, there had been calls by the CM of UP, Yogi Adityanath to change the name of Agra to Agravan.

Nayantara Sahgal, eminent writer and niece of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, said that she wasn’t surprised by the decision of the ruling regime. “Why should we surprised? Everything they are doing matches their policy. Such things are happening everywhere in every aspect. From this ruling regime we cannot expect anything else,” she told the New Indian Express.

A Delhi based historian Swapna Liddle too has questioned the move and signed a petition that has been launched online to oppose the move. She says, "I think that this move is less about including Sanskrit (because seriously, the name of the place written in Hindi and Sanskrit would be identical), and more about removing Urdu. This panders to the common misconception that Urdu is somehow a 'foreign' language that we should be less proud of.”

She added, “Its script, while derived from the Perso-Arabic, was heavily modified to include the sounds that are not to be found in those languages, e.g. sounds of ,,, and many more. It was a script that was widely used in many parts of the country till some decades ago. The reason it has become less popular is exactly because of this kind of apathy and in fact deliberate exclusion.”

The war against Urdu

Writers and historians have noted that the war against Urdu or the concept of gharwaapsi had begun long ago by the Hindu Supremacist groups like the Hindu Jagran Morcha.

Writing for The Diplomat, Shahzaman Haque, co-director of the Department of South Asia and Himalaya at Institut des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO), Paris, says, Urdu evolved from the Khari Boli language as a variety of Sanskrit. It was earlier known as Hindoostani, Dehlavi and Rekhta among other names.

He says its lineage to Sanskrit is proudly recalled, but the embellishment of the Perso-Arabic script have born the taint of Islam and since then there has been an attempt to Hinduize the language. Urdu then became the face of linguistic segregation and was radicalized with Muslims being made sole owners of the language.

When Urdu was made the second official language of Uttar Pradesh in 1989, which it still is; it was opposed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as an act of “Muslim appeasement.”

More recently, when the BJP came to power in Rajasthan in 2013, it merged the Urdu-medium schools to the benefit of the Hindi-medium schools, following which the recruitment of Urdu teachers was postponed and exam question papers were no longer made available in that language.

On October 30, 2019, just a day before Jammu and Kashmir was declared to be a Union Territory, BJP’s national secretary Tarun Chugh said, “The best thing is that now Urdu will no longer be the first and official language of the state. Hindi will be the first and official language of the state.”

This was seen as another attempt to dilute the cultural fabric of the region and an attack on the religious rights of Muslims in Kashmir. It is also seen as the first step to change the names of famous places in the region and an attempt to manipulate land and revenue records said human rights activist Lubna Sayed Qadri to The Logical Indian.

“Invading your language is a political tool in conflict, for instance, Urdu is the language of land and revenue records, changing it to an alien language like Hindi will leave people baffled. It will be used as a weapon to manipulate our land and revenue records,” she said adding that it will weaken the grip of the language in the Valley especially when religious scriptures are written in Urdu and all official records land, revenue, courts, and even FIRs are scripted in the language.

In recent times, the accusation of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ being anti-Hindu and the opposition to the appointment of a Muslim man as a professor of Sanskrit at the Benaras Hindu University are other examples of the ruling government’s Hindutva agenda that has seeped into the minds of the people.https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

The exclusivist attitude of Hindu nationalists towards Urdu is unfortunate. Their argument that Urdu be brought back to its Sanskrit roots is not based in reality given the evolution of the language which has resulted in a completely different written code than Sanskrit.

Urdu represents the composite culture of India. Confining it to a faith or religion to further selfish political agendas is reflective of the BJP’s myopic view and its crafty attempt to suppress and alienate Muslim culture as a whole from India.

The petition to request the railways to not remove Urdu names from the railway station signboards in Uttarakhand may be signed here.


Related:

Nehtaur, Aligarh, Jamia - how Qurratulain Hyder's Aag ka Darya imagines India

Danish Husain: The only way to fight Modi’s grammar of deception is that you continue to be relevant

 

 

BJP alienating Urdu to alienate Muslim culture?

The recent spate of name changes from Urdu to Sanskrit and other incidents just go to show the ruling party’s crafty agenda

Urdu

In another move on what secular forces see as an attack on Muslim cultural heritage, the ruling government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided that in the state of Uttarakhand the names of railway stations written in the Urdu language on platforms will be replaced with Sanskrit.

The state with a population of 10 million, adopted Sanskrit as its second official language in 2010. According to the 2011 census, the exact number of Sanskrit speakers in the state is 386, out of which 282 are males and 104 are females. The number of Urdu speakers are more than four percent at 425,752 persons.

Citing the reason of Sanskrit being the second official language, railway officials announced that signboards of all railway platforms which have names of stations written in Hindi, English and Urdu, will now be written in Hindi, English and Sanskrit.

The opposition parties have condemned the decision of the government and termed it “unfortunate”.

In October 2018, the BJP renamed the cities of Allahabad and Faizabad in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to Prayagraj and Ayodhya respectively, saying that it was “correcting wrongs” made in the medieval period by the Mughal rulers.

It had also changed the name of the iconic Mughalsarai railway station near Varanasi to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya station. The BJP had also moved a proposal to change the name of the capital of Gujarat, Ahmedabad to Karnavati. Not just this, there had been calls by the CM of UP, Yogi Adityanath to change the name of Agra to Agravan.

Nayantara Sahgal, eminent writer and niece of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, said that she wasn’t surprised by the decision of the ruling regime. “Why should we surprised? Everything they are doing matches their policy. Such things are happening everywhere in every aspect. From this ruling regime we cannot expect anything else,” she told the New Indian Express.

A Delhi based historian Swapna Liddle too has questioned the move and signed a petition that has been launched online to oppose the move. She says, "I think that this move is less about including Sanskrit (because seriously, the name of the place written in Hindi and Sanskrit would be identical), and more about removing Urdu. This panders to the common misconception that Urdu is somehow a 'foreign' language that we should be less proud of.”

She added, “Its script, while derived from the Perso-Arabic, was heavily modified to include the sounds that are not to be found in those languages, e.g. sounds of ,,, and many more. It was a script that was widely used in many parts of the country till some decades ago. The reason it has become less popular is exactly because of this kind of apathy and in fact deliberate exclusion.”

The war against Urdu

Writers and historians have noted that the war against Urdu or the concept of gharwaapsi had begun long ago by the Hindu Supremacist groups like the Hindu Jagran Morcha.

Writing for The Diplomat, Shahzaman Haque, co-director of the Department of South Asia and Himalaya at Institut des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO), Paris, says, Urdu evolved from the Khari Boli language as a variety of Sanskrit. It was earlier known as Hindoostani, Dehlavi and Rekhta among other names.

He says its lineage to Sanskrit is proudly recalled, but the embellishment of the Perso-Arabic script have born the taint of Islam and since then there has been an attempt to Hinduize the language. Urdu then became the face of linguistic segregation and was radicalized with Muslims being made sole owners of the language.

When Urdu was made the second official language of Uttar Pradesh in 1989, which it still is; it was opposed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as an act of “Muslim appeasement.”

More recently, when the BJP came to power in Rajasthan in 2013, it merged the Urdu-medium schools to the benefit of the Hindi-medium schools, following which the recruitment of Urdu teachers was postponed and exam question papers were no longer made available in that language.

On October 30, 2019, just a day before Jammu and Kashmir was declared to be a Union Territory, BJP’s national secretary Tarun Chugh said, “The best thing is that now Urdu will no longer be the first and official language of the state. Hindi will be the first and official language of the state.”

This was seen as another attempt to dilute the cultural fabric of the region and an attack on the religious rights of Muslims in Kashmir. It is also seen as the first step to change the names of famous places in the region and an attempt to manipulate land and revenue records said human rights activist Lubna Sayed Qadri to The Logical Indian.

“Invading your language is a political tool in conflict, for instance, Urdu is the language of land and revenue records, changing it to an alien language like Hindi will leave people baffled. It will be used as a weapon to manipulate our land and revenue records,” she said adding that it will weaken the grip of the language in the Valley especially when religious scriptures are written in Urdu and all official records land, revenue, courts, and even FIRs are scripted in the language.

In recent times, the accusation of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ being anti-Hindu and the opposition to the appointment of a Muslim man as a professor of Sanskrit at the Benaras Hindu University are other examples of the ruling government’s Hindutva agenda that has seeped into the minds of the people.https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

The exclusivist attitude of Hindu nationalists towards Urdu is unfortunate. Their argument that Urdu be brought back to its Sanskrit roots is not based in reality given the evolution of the language which has resulted in a completely different written code than Sanskrit.

Urdu represents the composite culture of India. Confining it to a faith or religion to further selfish political agendas is reflective of the BJP’s myopic view and its crafty attempt to suppress and alienate Muslim culture as a whole from India.

The petition to request the railways to not remove Urdu names from the railway station signboards in Uttarakhand may be signed here.


Related:

Nehtaur, Aligarh, Jamia - how Qurratulain Hyder's Aag ka Darya imagines India

Danish Husain: The only way to fight Modi’s grammar of deception is that you continue to be relevant

 

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Adityanath spews sexist venom, declares “azaadi” slogan as treason in UP

UP CM says it was shameful of opposition parties to put women at the forefront of protests when they don’t even understand anything about CAA

23 Jan 2020

Yogi

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has sunk to a new low in his criticism of people protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in his state. Using extremely derogatory language unbecoming of someone who holds an office such as his, Adityanath has questioned the masculinity of men who are sitting at home “while women and children are going out to protest.” He further said that if anybody in his state raises slogans of “Azaadi” it will be considered as treason and will be booked accordingly.

Adityanath, on the last occasion had said that the anti-CAA protests were being sponsored by the Congress and Samajwadi party. Lucknow is currently witnessing a Shaheen Bagh inspired sit-in protest by about 5,000 women at Ghanta Ghar who had invited Union Home Minster, Amit Shah to come and clarify their ‘misconceptions’ about CAA. Shah did not pay heed to the request and instead deflected by inviting Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and the likes to come and debate with him on CAA.

Adityanath once again hit out at Congress and SP assuming women protesters know nothing CAA, making a shockingly sexist remark. “How shameful is this for the Congress, SP and Left to do politics putting the country at stake and adopting such methods of protest where women are put in the front, who do not even know about CAA,” he said. He further said that the opposition does not care about Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis. He also insinuated and alleged that the opposition has said that “the protests will continue against the CAA until the ISI agents are given entry into India.”

He made these statement while addressing a BJP rally in support of CAA in Kanpur. He questioned the men assuming that women know nothing about CAA and are just out on the streets because the men have asked them to. He said, “These people do not have the courage to participate in the protests on their own. They know if they indulge in vandalism, their properties will be attached. Now, they have started making women and children of their house sit on roads. Itna bada apradh ki purush ghar mein so raha hai rajai odh ke, aur mahilaon ko aage karke chaurahe-chaurahe baithaya ja raha hai (It’s such a crime that the men are sleeping under quilts and women are made to sit on street corners.)

He also claimed that if you asked the women who are protesting the reason for their protest, they would say that the men of their homes told them to as they failed to do anything and asked the women to sit on the roads instead.


Related:

Kapil Sibal calls out 9 "lies" of the BJP government
Kerala mosque opens doors for Hindu wedding
Indians in US to observe Republic Day as “Day of Action”
Sycophancy in Action: Comparing Modi to Shivaji
Intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent in UP: People's Tribunal

 

Adityanath spews sexist venom, declares “azaadi” slogan as treason in UP

UP CM says it was shameful of opposition parties to put women at the forefront of protests when they don’t even understand anything about CAA

Yogi

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has sunk to a new low in his criticism of people protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in his state. Using extremely derogatory language unbecoming of someone who holds an office such as his, Adityanath has questioned the masculinity of men who are sitting at home “while women and children are going out to protest.” He further said that if anybody in his state raises slogans of “Azaadi” it will be considered as treason and will be booked accordingly.

Adityanath, on the last occasion had said that the anti-CAA protests were being sponsored by the Congress and Samajwadi party. Lucknow is currently witnessing a Shaheen Bagh inspired sit-in protest by about 5,000 women at Ghanta Ghar who had invited Union Home Minster, Amit Shah to come and clarify their ‘misconceptions’ about CAA. Shah did not pay heed to the request and instead deflected by inviting Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and the likes to come and debate with him on CAA.

Adityanath once again hit out at Congress and SP assuming women protesters know nothing CAA, making a shockingly sexist remark. “How shameful is this for the Congress, SP and Left to do politics putting the country at stake and adopting such methods of protest where women are put in the front, who do not even know about CAA,” he said. He further said that the opposition does not care about Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis. He also insinuated and alleged that the opposition has said that “the protests will continue against the CAA until the ISI agents are given entry into India.”

He made these statement while addressing a BJP rally in support of CAA in Kanpur. He questioned the men assuming that women know nothing about CAA and are just out on the streets because the men have asked them to. He said, “These people do not have the courage to participate in the protests on their own. They know if they indulge in vandalism, their properties will be attached. Now, they have started making women and children of their house sit on roads. Itna bada apradh ki purush ghar mein so raha hai rajai odh ke, aur mahilaon ko aage karke chaurahe-chaurahe baithaya ja raha hai (It’s such a crime that the men are sleeping under quilts and women are made to sit on street corners.)

He also claimed that if you asked the women who are protesting the reason for their protest, they would say that the men of their homes told them to as they failed to do anything and asked the women to sit on the roads instead.


Related:

Kapil Sibal calls out 9 "lies" of the BJP government
Kerala mosque opens doors for Hindu wedding
Indians in US to observe Republic Day as “Day of Action”
Sycophancy in Action: Comparing Modi to Shivaji
Intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent in UP: People's Tribunal

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Subscribe to India