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Saffron raising red flags since 2014?

A look at how India’s economic, social and political fabric has taken a hit since BJP came to power since 2014

31 Jan 2020

BJP
Image Courtesy: annnews.in
 

It has been 6 years since BJP has been in power at the Centre. While many of nominal schemes like ‘Make in India’, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (Clean India Mission), Krishi Kalyan have been popular, the outcomes of the same are however questionable.

Let us have a look at some of the parameters that determine the efficacy of the BJP government. Some of these parameters being economy, environmental health, employment, women safety, farmers’ issues, soldiers’ deaths, militancy and so on.
 

Unemployment at 4 decade high:

The National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) job survey for 2017-18 which was released in May 2019 showed that unemployment in the country has been at a four-decade-high. Unemployment was pegged at 6.1 percent, highest in last 45 years, unemployment being higher in urban areas (7.8%) than in rural areas (5.3%).


Air pollution

Greenpeace carried out an air analysis study which concluded that world’s 30 worst cities for air pollution are in India. Delhi was ranked the world’s most populated capital city and Gurugram, the most polluted city in the world. The report is based on 2018 air quality data from public monitoring sources, such as government monitoring networks, supplemented with validated data from outdoor IQAir AirVisual monitors operated by private individuals and organisations.

BJP

Soldiers are dying

As per data collected and compared by South Asia Terrorism Portal, death of jawans in terror attacks has risen 106 percent in Jammu and Kashmir between 2014 and 2018.

rising trend was also observed in the number of people who were killed in terrorism-related activities in Jammu & Kashmir in these five years. A total of 1,315 people were killed in the state between 2014 and 2018 due to terrorism.

BJP

(Image Courtesy: Moneycontrol)

Kashmir worsened

In early 2019 it was reported Army officials in Jammu and Kashmir, 191 Kashmiri youths had joined militancy in 2018, a marked increase from 2017 figures when 126 locals had joined militancy. The figure was even lower in 2016 when 88 youths had joined militancy in Kashmir.

With the amendment of Article 370 and reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir which led to it losing it anonymous status, the government also imposed severe communication blockade on the state which continues to some degree. This has only made matter worse in the state which saw the longest running internet blockade in a democracy.

No country for women

global perception poll carried out by Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2018 surveyed 558 experts on women’s issues in order to assess nations on overall safety for women. The same poll carried out in 2011 had put India at fourth place and the same poll carried out in 2018 put India at first place. India had surpassed war-torn Afghanistan (2nd), Syria (3rd) as well as Somalia, a country that ranks significantly lower on human development indices.


Farmers’ woes

As per government data, Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data for December 2018 the WPI sub-component for primary food articles was in the negative since July 2018. WPI is a good indicator of farm-gate prices as farmers sell their products in wholesale rather than retail markets. This data meant that farmers suffered deterioration in terms of their trade and 2018-19 turned out to be a year of agrarian crisis for India; also proving to be the worst year for farm incomes in almost two decades. Doubling farm incomes was one of biggest promises of the Narendra Modi government after it assumed office in 2014.


Mob lynching

While National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) did not contain any data on deaths due to mob lynching, IndiaSpend conducted a content analysis of English news media in 2017 and found that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centered on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents. More than half (52%) of these attacks were based on rumours.

As many of 97% of these attacks were reported after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence – 32 of 63 cases – were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).


Income disparity

India is the third largest by purchasing power parity in the world, after China and USA; however, this growth is not uniformly distributed amongst its population. According to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Report of 2016, the top 1% of India’s population owns nearly 60% of its wealth, trailing Russia, where the top 1% owns 74%.

In India, the upper classes were the main beneficiary of the nation’s surging economic development and poverty rates are also significantly lower among the upper caste Hindus rather than the Hindu other backward classes, the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, and Muslims. One third of Muslim and Hindu scheduled castes and tribes are in poverty compared to 10% of the upper castes Hindu. Altogether, 28% or around 360 million Indians are living in conditions of severe poverty.

According to the latest data from Credit Suisse and Oxfam, the richest 10% of Indians own 80% of the country’s wealth. At the other end, the poorer half jostles for a mere 4.1% of national wealth. 


The Rupee slump

As per a report of Bloomberg Quint, in August 2019, Indian Rupee became Asia’s worst performing currency as it battled an unresolved global trade war between USA and China and fleeing foreign funds.

BJP

Source: Bloomberg

Environmental health

The Environmental Performance Index, 2017 released by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum ranked India at number 177 out of 180 countries, slipping 36 places down from its previous rank at 141 in the year 2016.


When the Supreme Court split for the first time ever

In early 2018, four senior most judges of the highest court of the land, held a press conference to bring to light the fact that the administration of Supreme Court was not in order. One of the judges, Justice Chelameswar said that unless the Supreme Court is not preserved, democracy will not survive. Justice Chelameswar was accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph. Such press conference was unprecedented and the judges themselves called it an extra-ordinary event. They had said that the democracy is at stake, which holds true even today.


Religious intolerance

In 2017, Pew Research Centre analysed data of 198 countries and ranked India as fourth worst in the world for religious intolerance. Pew analyzed cases that involved hate crimes, mob violence, communal violence, religion-related terror, the use of force to prevent religious practice, the harassment of women for not conforming to religious dress codes, and violence over conversion or proselytizing.

BJP

Media freedom under threat

An article carried by Deutsche Welle (DW), a German broadcaster, analysed how India media had been losing its independence and is constantly under political pressure. It cited various incidents like the resignation of two prominent journalists from ABP news channel after the channel ran a story  about a villager in the central state of Chhattisgarh who claimed that she was told by a government official to lie to media that she had benefitted from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rural schemes.

In another incident, ABP's news anchor Abhisar Sharma was taken off air for over a fortnight after he reportedly defied instructions from the management that he must not criticize PM Modi's policies.

Journalists have claimed “self-censorship” has increased in news media after BJP has come to power at the Centre since 2014. The main reason being the growing string nexus between political parties and government officials and the media.


A starving India

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) report of 2019 revealed that India slipped to 102 rank from its position at 95 in 2018. The GHI examined 117 countries and India’s rank was lower than its neighbouring countries, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe termed the level of hunger in India “serious”. The GHI score is calculated on four indicators -- undernourishment; child wasting, the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting, children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition; and child mortality, the mortality rate of children under the age of five.


Assortment of maladies

Indians, apart from being hungry, living in an environment of religious intolerance, living in unemployment and farmer crisis, have been surrounded by various other maladies, brought on to them under the aegis of the BJP government. While many international reports have proved the degrading state of affairs in India, even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), raised its suspicion on India’s tax revenue estimates and GDP growth target.

That is not all India even deviated from the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDSS) prescribed by IMF as it caused delays in the release of it economic and financial data.

Even the Election Commission, one of the pillars of India’s democratic fabric, has been seemingly compromised. In PILs filed before the Supreme Court it has come to light that there were serious discrepancies between the number of voters in different constituencies, that is the voter turnout data collated and provided by the EC and the number of votes counted. discrepancies ranged from 1 vote to 1,01,323 votes, which is equal to 10.49 per cent of the total votes. The plea further said there were six seats where the discrepancy in votes was higher than the winning margin. The case is pending before the apex court.

India’s drastic fall in the World Happiness Index since BJP has come to power is reflected in India’s current state of affairs. In 2013, India ranked at 117 which came down to 140 in 2019 and which is very likely to plummet further in 2020 considering the ongoing protests against the divisive policies of the government and the highhandedness of BJP ruled states on these protesters.

India even fared poorly in Global Democracy Index, 2019. Its position fell 10 places compared to the previous year and for the first time ever, it scored lower than 7 in a range of 0 to 10.

Clearly, it is no coincidence that India has fared poorly on all of these numerous parameters which are pertinent to overall growth and development of the country which was what was promised to Indians (“Acche din” – Good days) before they voted BJP to power. With the economy slumping, international matter making it worse, the government has still not gone into the damage control mode which it should have by now and is instead employing its resources for futile exercises like NPR and eventually the NRC and using divisive tactics to create a communal divide to erode the secular fabric of the nation. While protesters and opposition parties are persistent, only time will tell how much more downhill can this party drive our country.

Saffron raising red flags since 2014?

A look at how India’s economic, social and political fabric has taken a hit since BJP came to power since 2014

BJP
Image Courtesy: annnews.in
 

It has been 6 years since BJP has been in power at the Centre. While many of nominal schemes like ‘Make in India’, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (Clean India Mission), Krishi Kalyan have been popular, the outcomes of the same are however questionable.

Let us have a look at some of the parameters that determine the efficacy of the BJP government. Some of these parameters being economy, environmental health, employment, women safety, farmers’ issues, soldiers’ deaths, militancy and so on.
 

Unemployment at 4 decade high:

The National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) job survey for 2017-18 which was released in May 2019 showed that unemployment in the country has been at a four-decade-high. Unemployment was pegged at 6.1 percent, highest in last 45 years, unemployment being higher in urban areas (7.8%) than in rural areas (5.3%).


Air pollution

Greenpeace carried out an air analysis study which concluded that world’s 30 worst cities for air pollution are in India. Delhi was ranked the world’s most populated capital city and Gurugram, the most polluted city in the world. The report is based on 2018 air quality data from public monitoring sources, such as government monitoring networks, supplemented with validated data from outdoor IQAir AirVisual monitors operated by private individuals and organisations.

BJP

Soldiers are dying

As per data collected and compared by South Asia Terrorism Portal, death of jawans in terror attacks has risen 106 percent in Jammu and Kashmir between 2014 and 2018.

rising trend was also observed in the number of people who were killed in terrorism-related activities in Jammu & Kashmir in these five years. A total of 1,315 people were killed in the state between 2014 and 2018 due to terrorism.

BJP

(Image Courtesy: Moneycontrol)

Kashmir worsened

In early 2019 it was reported Army officials in Jammu and Kashmir, 191 Kashmiri youths had joined militancy in 2018, a marked increase from 2017 figures when 126 locals had joined militancy. The figure was even lower in 2016 when 88 youths had joined militancy in Kashmir.

With the amendment of Article 370 and reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir which led to it losing it anonymous status, the government also imposed severe communication blockade on the state which continues to some degree. This has only made matter worse in the state which saw the longest running internet blockade in a democracy.

No country for women

global perception poll carried out by Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2018 surveyed 558 experts on women’s issues in order to assess nations on overall safety for women. The same poll carried out in 2011 had put India at fourth place and the same poll carried out in 2018 put India at first place. India had surpassed war-torn Afghanistan (2nd), Syria (3rd) as well as Somalia, a country that ranks significantly lower on human development indices.


Farmers’ woes

As per government data, Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data for December 2018 the WPI sub-component for primary food articles was in the negative since July 2018. WPI is a good indicator of farm-gate prices as farmers sell their products in wholesale rather than retail markets. This data meant that farmers suffered deterioration in terms of their trade and 2018-19 turned out to be a year of agrarian crisis for India; also proving to be the worst year for farm incomes in almost two decades. Doubling farm incomes was one of biggest promises of the Narendra Modi government after it assumed office in 2014.


Mob lynching

While National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) did not contain any data on deaths due to mob lynching, IndiaSpend conducted a content analysis of English news media in 2017 and found that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centered on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents. More than half (52%) of these attacks were based on rumours.

As many of 97% of these attacks were reported after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence – 32 of 63 cases – were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).


Income disparity

India is the third largest by purchasing power parity in the world, after China and USA; however, this growth is not uniformly distributed amongst its population. According to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Report of 2016, the top 1% of India’s population owns nearly 60% of its wealth, trailing Russia, where the top 1% owns 74%.

In India, the upper classes were the main beneficiary of the nation’s surging economic development and poverty rates are also significantly lower among the upper caste Hindus rather than the Hindu other backward classes, the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, and Muslims. One third of Muslim and Hindu scheduled castes and tribes are in poverty compared to 10% of the upper castes Hindu. Altogether, 28% or around 360 million Indians are living in conditions of severe poverty.

According to the latest data from Credit Suisse and Oxfam, the richest 10% of Indians own 80% of the country’s wealth. At the other end, the poorer half jostles for a mere 4.1% of national wealth. 


The Rupee slump

As per a report of Bloomberg Quint, in August 2019, Indian Rupee became Asia’s worst performing currency as it battled an unresolved global trade war between USA and China and fleeing foreign funds.

BJP

Source: Bloomberg

Environmental health

The Environmental Performance Index, 2017 released by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum ranked India at number 177 out of 180 countries, slipping 36 places down from its previous rank at 141 in the year 2016.


When the Supreme Court split for the first time ever

In early 2018, four senior most judges of the highest court of the land, held a press conference to bring to light the fact that the administration of Supreme Court was not in order. One of the judges, Justice Chelameswar said that unless the Supreme Court is not preserved, democracy will not survive. Justice Chelameswar was accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph. Such press conference was unprecedented and the judges themselves called it an extra-ordinary event. They had said that the democracy is at stake, which holds true even today.


Religious intolerance

In 2017, Pew Research Centre analysed data of 198 countries and ranked India as fourth worst in the world for religious intolerance. Pew analyzed cases that involved hate crimes, mob violence, communal violence, religion-related terror, the use of force to prevent religious practice, the harassment of women for not conforming to religious dress codes, and violence over conversion or proselytizing.

BJP

Media freedom under threat

An article carried by Deutsche Welle (DW), a German broadcaster, analysed how India media had been losing its independence and is constantly under political pressure. It cited various incidents like the resignation of two prominent journalists from ABP news channel after the channel ran a story  about a villager in the central state of Chhattisgarh who claimed that she was told by a government official to lie to media that she had benefitted from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rural schemes.

In another incident, ABP's news anchor Abhisar Sharma was taken off air for over a fortnight after he reportedly defied instructions from the management that he must not criticize PM Modi's policies.

Journalists have claimed “self-censorship” has increased in news media after BJP has come to power at the Centre since 2014. The main reason being the growing string nexus between political parties and government officials and the media.


A starving India

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) report of 2019 revealed that India slipped to 102 rank from its position at 95 in 2018. The GHI examined 117 countries and India’s rank was lower than its neighbouring countries, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe termed the level of hunger in India “serious”. The GHI score is calculated on four indicators -- undernourishment; child wasting, the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting, children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition; and child mortality, the mortality rate of children under the age of five.


Assortment of maladies

Indians, apart from being hungry, living in an environment of religious intolerance, living in unemployment and farmer crisis, have been surrounded by various other maladies, brought on to them under the aegis of the BJP government. While many international reports have proved the degrading state of affairs in India, even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), raised its suspicion on India’s tax revenue estimates and GDP growth target.

That is not all India even deviated from the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDSS) prescribed by IMF as it caused delays in the release of it economic and financial data.

Even the Election Commission, one of the pillars of India’s democratic fabric, has been seemingly compromised. In PILs filed before the Supreme Court it has come to light that there were serious discrepancies between the number of voters in different constituencies, that is the voter turnout data collated and provided by the EC and the number of votes counted. discrepancies ranged from 1 vote to 1,01,323 votes, which is equal to 10.49 per cent of the total votes. The plea further said there were six seats where the discrepancy in votes was higher than the winning margin. The case is pending before the apex court.

India’s drastic fall in the World Happiness Index since BJP has come to power is reflected in India’s current state of affairs. In 2013, India ranked at 117 which came down to 140 in 2019 and which is very likely to plummet further in 2020 considering the ongoing protests against the divisive policies of the government and the highhandedness of BJP ruled states on these protesters.

India even fared poorly in Global Democracy Index, 2019. Its position fell 10 places compared to the previous year and for the first time ever, it scored lower than 7 in a range of 0 to 10.

Clearly, it is no coincidence that India has fared poorly on all of these numerous parameters which are pertinent to overall growth and development of the country which was what was promised to Indians (“Acche din” – Good days) before they voted BJP to power. With the economy slumping, international matter making it worse, the government has still not gone into the damage control mode which it should have by now and is instead employing its resources for futile exercises like NPR and eventually the NRC and using divisive tactics to create a communal divide to erode the secular fabric of the nation. While protesters and opposition parties are persistent, only time will tell how much more downhill can this party drive our country.

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Kunal Kamra trolls Arnab Goswami on a plane

Gets barred from flying on two airlines!

29 Jan 2020

Kunal Kamra

Comedian Kunal Kamra recently had an interesting encounter with Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami on an IndiGo flight where he mercilessly trolled the anchor. Kamra shot a video of the encounter and shared it on social media where it quickly went viral.

The clip may be viewed here:
 

Kamra claimed he gave Goswami a taste of his own brand of journalism for his reportage on the institutional murder of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. In a statement released online Kamra said, “I don’t regret it. I’m not sorry for it. Kamra’s entire statement may be read here:
 

 

Shortly afterwards, IndiGo Airlines suspended Kamra from flying with them for a period of six months. In a statement released online, the airline said, “In light of the recent incident on board 6E 5317 from Mumbai to Lucknow, we wish to inform that we are suspending Mr. Kunal Kamra from flying with IndiGo for a period of six months, as his conduct onboard was unacceptable behaviour.” They added, “Hereby, we wish to advise our passengers to refrain from indulging in personal slander whilst onboard, as this can potentially compromise the safety of fellow passengers.”

Air India followed suit, barring Kamra from flying with them indefinitely. Their statement said, “In view of the incident onboard @IndiGo6E , Air India wishes to inform that conduct of Person concerned is unacceptable.With a view to discourage such behavior onboard flts, Mr Kunal Kamra is suspended from flying on any Air India flt until further notice.”

This suspension from Air India is curious given how Kamra wasn’t even flying using their airline. But given how Air India is still a public owned national carrier, it is clear that by picking a fight with Goswami, Kamra has made it into the bad books of government officials.

Meanwhile, Kamra has received both bouquets and brickbats for his mid-air encounter with Goswami. Some of the responses may be read here:

 

 

Kunal Kamra trolls Arnab Goswami on a plane

Gets barred from flying on two airlines!

Kunal Kamra

Comedian Kunal Kamra recently had an interesting encounter with Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami on an IndiGo flight where he mercilessly trolled the anchor. Kamra shot a video of the encounter and shared it on social media where it quickly went viral.

The clip may be viewed here:
 

Kamra claimed he gave Goswami a taste of his own brand of journalism for his reportage on the institutional murder of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. In a statement released online Kamra said, “I don’t regret it. I’m not sorry for it. Kamra’s entire statement may be read here:
 

 

Shortly afterwards, IndiGo Airlines suspended Kamra from flying with them for a period of six months. In a statement released online, the airline said, “In light of the recent incident on board 6E 5317 from Mumbai to Lucknow, we wish to inform that we are suspending Mr. Kunal Kamra from flying with IndiGo for a period of six months, as his conduct onboard was unacceptable behaviour.” They added, “Hereby, we wish to advise our passengers to refrain from indulging in personal slander whilst onboard, as this can potentially compromise the safety of fellow passengers.”

Air India followed suit, barring Kamra from flying with them indefinitely. Their statement said, “In view of the incident onboard @IndiGo6E , Air India wishes to inform that conduct of Person concerned is unacceptable.With a view to discourage such behavior onboard flts, Mr Kunal Kamra is suspended from flying on any Air India flt until further notice.”

This suspension from Air India is curious given how Kamra wasn’t even flying using their airline. But given how Air India is still a public owned national carrier, it is clear that by picking a fight with Goswami, Kamra has made it into the bad books of government officials.

Meanwhile, Kamra has received both bouquets and brickbats for his mid-air encounter with Goswami. Some of the responses may be read here:

 

 

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Calling Smriti Irani's Bluff: Twisted Truths in Parliament

16 Jan 2020

First published on February 25, 2016



Goebbels was an interesting and effective man. Held responsible for many of the worst and most supremacist and violent ideas that guided Fuhrer Hitler’s reign, he is recalled in history, more as a frequently used adjective-term, to connote a particular kind of pernicious government propaganda based on lies, or at best half-truths (he headed the Propaganda Ministry of the Nazi government).

Goebbelsian propaganda has been the forte of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and was palpably evident in Minister, MHRD, Smriti Irani’s speech in the Lok Sabha yesterday, February 24,2016.

The broader issues raised in the speech by the Union Minister for Human Resources Development (MHRD) have already been effectively countered in The Telegraph : A [1]Fact Check on what HRD minister Smruti Irani said in Parliament [2] including countering systematic efforts at vilification and name calling.[3]

Here we put some Questions countering the Goebbelsian untruths surrounding the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula


Did or did not the central minister of the BJP, Bandaru Dattatreya write to Irani on August 17, 2015, a letter in which he clearly calls the activities and vision of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) as casteist and anti-national?  Letter can be seen here.

Was or was not Rohith Vemula’s Research Fellowship stopped (illegally) for seven months severely constraining and humiliating him?

Did or did not, on five occasions, bureaucrats of the MHRD under Irani write directly to the Vice Chancellor (VC) Hyderabad Central University (HCU) on the matter showing an unseemly interest in the case ?

(The letters are dated September 3, 2015 from the Under Secretary referring to comments by Bandaru Dattatreya, MOS, for Labour and Employment; another dated September 24, 2015, sent as reminder, signed by Deputy Secretary to the GOI; letter dated October 20, 2015, signed by Joint Secretary, MHRD; letter dated November 19, 2015, signed by Under Secretary to the GOI). Letters can be seen here.

Do or do not these letters show an obsessive interest by the Minister, MHRD that was, in effect, putting extraordinary pressure on the VC?

Is it or is it not true that a fellow student at HCU called the Health Centre immediately after learning of Rohith being hanged and within five minutes the CMO Health Centre, Dr P Rajashree reached the spot, felt his pulse and declared him dead nullifying the Goebellian lie to the nation in Parliament that no doctor or police were allowed to see Rohith till the next day? 
[The doctor certified Rohith's death at 7.30 pm: UoH medical officer counters Smriti Irani's statement - http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/doctor-certified-rohiths-death-730-pm-uoh-medical-officer-counters-smriti-iranis-statement#sthash.tdp9MlM4.dpuf]

Is it not true that Rohith Vemula was quietly cremated without family or friends as the authorities did not want to face up to the palpable anger on campus and outside?
 
Did or did not the newly appointed Vice Chancellor, Appa Rao receive a chilling letter from Rohith Vemula on December 18, 2015 –a month before his death --that clearly indicated a warning: that by the systematic exclusion and humiliation Rohith was being pushed, and reaching, the end of his tether?

[Rohith allegedly sarcastically said in the letter that every VC of HCU should “10 mg of sodium azide to all the Dalit students at the time of admission… [and] a nice rope to the rooms of all Dalit students.” This handwritten letter should have been read as a precursor to what was coming. In the letter, Rohith allegedly goes on to say, “I request your highness to make preparations for the facility [of] ‘euthanasia’ for students like me. And I wish you and the campus rest in peace forever.” ]

Does or does this communication not squarely put the blame on the university authorities and, first and foremost, on the vice chancellor ?
[The letter traces the officially sanctioned “social boycott” of Dalit students after they took on a member of the ABVP for making derogatory remarks about Dalits. “Donald Trump will be a lilliput in front of you..”]




Did or does the VC feel at all disturbed by this communication? Does the GOI? Was there any communication between the VC, HCU authorities and Rohith and the other four research scholars between December 18, 2015 and January 17, 2016?

Were or were not the five Dalit Research scholars locked out of their rooms from January 4, 2016 onwards, compelling them to start a protest and sleep out, on the street, rubbing salt on wounds so to speak: since their research fellowship stipends had been illegally cut off from July 2015 onwards?

Were or were not the five Dalit scholars ostracised on campus and asked not even to visit the library for research, further humiliating them?

Is it or is it not true that senior functionaries of the GOI, including two central ministers (both women) have questioned the authenticity of Dalit identity of Rohith? link[4] (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rohith-Vemula-was-not-a-dalit-Sushma-Swaraj-says/articleshow/50788780.cms)

After January 17, 2016 and the tragic step that Rohith Vemula took, did or did not the GOI appoint Ajit Duval, National security Advisor the Task to investigate the real caste of Rohith Vemula?  (See Certificates)
[http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ajit-Doval-gets-report-saying-Rohith-Vemula-was-not-a-dalit/articleshow/50749810.cms; also see http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/was-rohith-vemula-dalit-or-not-and-does-it-matter-explained-37936]

Did the trail not begin politically: with the Vice President, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Hyderabad,  Nandanam Diwakar writing to Central minister Dattareya, (August 10, 2015), seven days before the latter writes to Irani, a letter in which wrong and exaggerated accounts of ABVP student, Susheel Kumar’s injuries are given as well as a litany of political opposition to Ambedkarites listed? Here is the letter.





Is it not true that the claim that the University’s Investigation Team had a Dalit is untrue (Irani’s claim); there were no Dalits in the team and it was in fact headed by a Brahmin?

Is it or is it not true that all claims that ABVP student leader, Susheel Kumar “was beaten up by Rohith”, made repeatedly are actually, are untrue; HCU registrar and others have rejected Susheel Kumar’s story on violence relying on medical reports show that he was admitted to hospital for appendicitis?

 Is it not true that the executive council of HCU only decided to suspend the students, that too from their hostels (Irani said they were expelled by the EC!) and that the trigger was a falsified account of a physical struggle between the RSS-affiliated ABVP and the ASA; with the former screaming “assault” and the hospital records suggesting an examination for a prior medical condition?


While Irani was giving what some have termed as a star performance in the Lok Sabha– even India’s prime minister tweeted his jubiliation at her speech-- Rohith Vemula's mother, Radhika, was at a candlelight vigil at India Gate demanding justice for her  26-year-old son. Radhika Vemula was picked up and taken to a police station in the heart of the capital when Smriti Irani was telling Parliament how condemnable it was that a "child was being used as a political tool".



Close to a month before, in a similar act the MHRD minister, Irani had, in a press conference, claimed that Rohith’s death had nothing to do with his being a Dalit.

Then Radhika Vemula had countered and I today recall those words, "I want to meet Smriti Irani and ask her 'On what basis did you declare my son to be anti-national? Your Ministry had written that my Rohith and other Dalit students were anti-national extremists. You said that he is not a Dalit. You accused him of getting a false certificate. Should I say it is because you got false certificates for your educational qualifications that you think others do so too? You stopped my son's stipend, you got him suspended from the university. You are the Minister for HRD, but you have no value for education. You can never understand how difficult it is for a Dalit to reach the stage of doing his PhD. You can never imagine the hardship, the struggle, the tears and sacrifice to reach that position. In three months, you destroyed what it had taken me 26 years to build. I am talking about my Rohith, he died at the age of 26.'"

Goebbelsian as the propaganda machine is, I do not really expect answers. There are two parallel streams at work here, one asserting, the other challenging the Indian Constitution. The war between truth, reality and propaganda is well and truly on.
 


[1] http://www.abplive.in/india-news/a-fact-check-on-what-smriti-irani-said-in-parliament-295872
[2] For the record, the writer of this article was mentioned by the Hon’ble Minister in her speech leading to several calls from the media: there were falsifications, probably deliberate here too: the Supplemenatry materials for teachers of the Don Bosco schools were prepared by me (the author of this article) in 2001; not when Kapil Sibal was a Minister; it was the Shiv Sena that had then taken objections to the manner in which Shivaji's Coronation was dealt with in the manuals.the author of the manuals has an adjudication in her favour from the State Human Rights Commission.
[4] http://www.firstpost.com/india/after-widespread-outrage-smriti-irani-claims-rohith-suicide-not-dalit-vs-non-dalit-matter-2591830.html; http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/smriti-irani-spoke-of-this-child-his-mother-wants-answers-1281036

Calling Smriti Irani's Bluff: Twisted Truths in Parliament

First published on February 25, 2016



Goebbels was an interesting and effective man. Held responsible for many of the worst and most supremacist and violent ideas that guided Fuhrer Hitler’s reign, he is recalled in history, more as a frequently used adjective-term, to connote a particular kind of pernicious government propaganda based on lies, or at best half-truths (he headed the Propaganda Ministry of the Nazi government).

Goebbelsian propaganda has been the forte of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and was palpably evident in Minister, MHRD, Smriti Irani’s speech in the Lok Sabha yesterday, February 24,2016.

The broader issues raised in the speech by the Union Minister for Human Resources Development (MHRD) have already been effectively countered in The Telegraph : A [1]Fact Check on what HRD minister Smruti Irani said in Parliament [2] including countering systematic efforts at vilification and name calling.[3]

Here we put some Questions countering the Goebbelsian untruths surrounding the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula


Did or did not the central minister of the BJP, Bandaru Dattatreya write to Irani on August 17, 2015, a letter in which he clearly calls the activities and vision of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) as casteist and anti-national?  Letter can be seen here.

Was or was not Rohith Vemula’s Research Fellowship stopped (illegally) for seven months severely constraining and humiliating him?

Did or did not, on five occasions, bureaucrats of the MHRD under Irani write directly to the Vice Chancellor (VC) Hyderabad Central University (HCU) on the matter showing an unseemly interest in the case ?

(The letters are dated September 3, 2015 from the Under Secretary referring to comments by Bandaru Dattatreya, MOS, for Labour and Employment; another dated September 24, 2015, sent as reminder, signed by Deputy Secretary to the GOI; letter dated October 20, 2015, signed by Joint Secretary, MHRD; letter dated November 19, 2015, signed by Under Secretary to the GOI). Letters can be seen here.

Do or do not these letters show an obsessive interest by the Minister, MHRD that was, in effect, putting extraordinary pressure on the VC?

Is it or is it not true that a fellow student at HCU called the Health Centre immediately after learning of Rohith being hanged and within five minutes the CMO Health Centre, Dr P Rajashree reached the spot, felt his pulse and declared him dead nullifying the Goebellian lie to the nation in Parliament that no doctor or police were allowed to see Rohith till the next day? 
[The doctor certified Rohith's death at 7.30 pm: UoH medical officer counters Smriti Irani's statement - http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/doctor-certified-rohiths-death-730-pm-uoh-medical-officer-counters-smriti-iranis-statement#sthash.tdp9MlM4.dpuf]

Is it not true that Rohith Vemula was quietly cremated without family or friends as the authorities did not want to face up to the palpable anger on campus and outside?
 
Did or did not the newly appointed Vice Chancellor, Appa Rao receive a chilling letter from Rohith Vemula on December 18, 2015 –a month before his death --that clearly indicated a warning: that by the systematic exclusion and humiliation Rohith was being pushed, and reaching, the end of his tether?

[Rohith allegedly sarcastically said in the letter that every VC of HCU should “10 mg of sodium azide to all the Dalit students at the time of admission… [and] a nice rope to the rooms of all Dalit students.” This handwritten letter should have been read as a precursor to what was coming. In the letter, Rohith allegedly goes on to say, “I request your highness to make preparations for the facility [of] ‘euthanasia’ for students like me. And I wish you and the campus rest in peace forever.” ]

Does or does this communication not squarely put the blame on the university authorities and, first and foremost, on the vice chancellor ?
[The letter traces the officially sanctioned “social boycott” of Dalit students after they took on a member of the ABVP for making derogatory remarks about Dalits. “Donald Trump will be a lilliput in front of you..”]




Did or does the VC feel at all disturbed by this communication? Does the GOI? Was there any communication between the VC, HCU authorities and Rohith and the other four research scholars between December 18, 2015 and January 17, 2016?

Were or were not the five Dalit Research scholars locked out of their rooms from January 4, 2016 onwards, compelling them to start a protest and sleep out, on the street, rubbing salt on wounds so to speak: since their research fellowship stipends had been illegally cut off from July 2015 onwards?

Were or were not the five Dalit scholars ostracised on campus and asked not even to visit the library for research, further humiliating them?

Is it or is it not true that senior functionaries of the GOI, including two central ministers (both women) have questioned the authenticity of Dalit identity of Rohith? link[4] (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rohith-Vemula-was-not-a-dalit-Sushma-Swaraj-says/articleshow/50788780.cms)

After January 17, 2016 and the tragic step that Rohith Vemula took, did or did not the GOI appoint Ajit Duval, National security Advisor the Task to investigate the real caste of Rohith Vemula?  (See Certificates)
[http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ajit-Doval-gets-report-saying-Rohith-Vemula-was-not-a-dalit/articleshow/50749810.cms; also see http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/was-rohith-vemula-dalit-or-not-and-does-it-matter-explained-37936]

Did the trail not begin politically: with the Vice President, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Hyderabad,  Nandanam Diwakar writing to Central minister Dattareya, (August 10, 2015), seven days before the latter writes to Irani, a letter in which wrong and exaggerated accounts of ABVP student, Susheel Kumar’s injuries are given as well as a litany of political opposition to Ambedkarites listed? Here is the letter.





Is it not true that the claim that the University’s Investigation Team had a Dalit is untrue (Irani’s claim); there were no Dalits in the team and it was in fact headed by a Brahmin?

Is it or is it not true that all claims that ABVP student leader, Susheel Kumar “was beaten up by Rohith”, made repeatedly are actually, are untrue; HCU registrar and others have rejected Susheel Kumar’s story on violence relying on medical reports show that he was admitted to hospital for appendicitis?

 Is it not true that the executive council of HCU only decided to suspend the students, that too from their hostels (Irani said they were expelled by the EC!) and that the trigger was a falsified account of a physical struggle between the RSS-affiliated ABVP and the ASA; with the former screaming “assault” and the hospital records suggesting an examination for a prior medical condition?


While Irani was giving what some have termed as a star performance in the Lok Sabha– even India’s prime minister tweeted his jubiliation at her speech-- Rohith Vemula's mother, Radhika, was at a candlelight vigil at India Gate demanding justice for her  26-year-old son. Radhika Vemula was picked up and taken to a police station in the heart of the capital when Smriti Irani was telling Parliament how condemnable it was that a "child was being used as a political tool".



Close to a month before, in a similar act the MHRD minister, Irani had, in a press conference, claimed that Rohith’s death had nothing to do with his being a Dalit.

Then Radhika Vemula had countered and I today recall those words, "I want to meet Smriti Irani and ask her 'On what basis did you declare my son to be anti-national? Your Ministry had written that my Rohith and other Dalit students were anti-national extremists. You said that he is not a Dalit. You accused him of getting a false certificate. Should I say it is because you got false certificates for your educational qualifications that you think others do so too? You stopped my son's stipend, you got him suspended from the university. You are the Minister for HRD, but you have no value for education. You can never understand how difficult it is for a Dalit to reach the stage of doing his PhD. You can never imagine the hardship, the struggle, the tears and sacrifice to reach that position. In three months, you destroyed what it had taken me 26 years to build. I am talking about my Rohith, he died at the age of 26.'"

Goebbelsian as the propaganda machine is, I do not really expect answers. There are two parallel streams at work here, one asserting, the other challenging the Indian Constitution. The war between truth, reality and propaganda is well and truly on.
 


[1] http://www.abplive.in/india-news/a-fact-check-on-what-smriti-irani-said-in-parliament-295872
[2] For the record, the writer of this article was mentioned by the Hon’ble Minister in her speech leading to several calls from the media: there were falsifications, probably deliberate here too: the Supplemenatry materials for teachers of the Don Bosco schools were prepared by me (the author of this article) in 2001; not when Kapil Sibal was a Minister; it was the Shiv Sena that had then taken objections to the manner in which Shivaji's Coronation was dealt with in the manuals.the author of the manuals has an adjudication in her favour from the State Human Rights Commission.
[4] http://www.firstpost.com/india/after-widespread-outrage-smriti-irani-claims-rohith-suicide-not-dalit-vs-non-dalit-matter-2591830.html; http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/smriti-irani-spoke-of-this-child-his-mother-wants-answers-1281036

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Express yourself without fear: Faculty to IIT Kanpur students

They wrote in support of students reciting Faiz’s poem “Hum Dekhenge” during anti-CAA protest

06 Jan 2020

KanpurImage Courtesy: gdpi.hitbullseye.com

“Hum Dekhenge, Laazim Hai ki Hum Bhi Dekhenge” after these words by poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz became the new song of dissent starting with it resounding among the walls of IIT Kanpur, the administration of the University issued an inquiry alleging that the poem provoked “anti-Hindu” sentiments.

The poem was written by Faiz in 1979 chastising General Zia-ul-Haq recounting the Prophet’s conquest of Mecca. The complaint was filed by IIT Kanpur professor Vashi Mant Sharma and 16 others including teachers and students saying that some words of the poem could hurt the sentiments of Hindus.  

https://twitter.com/IITKanpur/status/1213136442534187008

A committee was set up to probe the matter which alleged that after the poem was read, inflammatory social media posts were put up and IIT Kanpur Deputy Director Manindra Agrawal intervened to stop the unrest from being escalated. He had also clarified that the committee was not set up to look into the contents of the poem itself, but to address the complaints of violence and communally insensitive posts. “Both sides are our own students — we’re viewing this as an in-house issue and trying to understand both sides’ perspectives and hoping to calm things down,” Agrawal told The Telegraph.

The move to set up a committee was highly condemned by opinion makers, calling the same to be “ridiculous” and “shameful”.

https://twitter.com/IITKanpur/status/1213142234972844032

Today, The Telegraph reported that sections of the faculty have come out in support of the students’ right to “fearlessly express” their opinions. Members from multiple departments have written a letter urging the students to learn to voice their opinions in a manner that engages the community, even amid disagreements, underscoring the space for contrarian views in a democracy, the paper reported.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2805122029519904&id=100000664038694

Their letter read, “We as teachers would like to remind ourselves and our students, to whom we are primarily accountable, that the duties of a public-funded university in a democratic country include critically examining every issue, curricular and extra-curricular, that concerns the society we live in and also to be tolerant to contrarian views.”

Offering encouragement to the students, through their letter the faculty members said, ““We stand by your right to discuss, debate and dissent on issues that you feel are important and as teachers we will strive to create an atmosphere in our campus where you can fearlessly express your opinion in any form, responsibly and conscientiously.”

Agrawal who was aware of the letter, but not a signatory expressed his assent to the ideas mentioned in the letter, saying that it should never be the case that the students feel that their voices were getting suppressed. He said, “We would like our students to be responsible and introspect about damage that posting on social media can do. Social media posts have this potential to amplify distances between different points of view — that can make the atmosphere worse.”

Amid this rancour that was being spewed at a brilliant work of art, India Today reached out to Saleema Hashmi, Faiz’s daughter who resides in Pakistan asking for her view on the matter. She told the channel, “I must say I am having a good laugh over people who are making suggestions to a dead poet that he can make his vocabulary more secular'. Sorry guys, he can’t hear you! If you can rewrite the poem good luck to you!"

Mentioning that poetry and poets are friends of social movements Hashmi said, “Poem is an instrument of focussing the fervour and passion of young people - leading them towards an understanding of how they must move forward - very upsetting for the powerful who can sense the fragility of their position, once people’s energies are unleashed. Thus poets, writers, singers and indeed all creative people have been the natural enemies of dictators."

Today, the core message of Hum Dekhenge has leapt above the walls of IIT Kanpur and spread through the corners of India to become a rallying cry that is set to reverberate through all protests and agitations for the freedom of the masses from oppression and injustice.

Related:

Bengal: Matuas and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha march against CAA on same day
Streets around Jamia coloured live with protest art
Mumbai comes in to ‘Occupy Gateway’ in solidarity with JNU students

Express yourself without fear: Faculty to IIT Kanpur students

They wrote in support of students reciting Faiz’s poem “Hum Dekhenge” during anti-CAA protest

KanpurImage Courtesy: gdpi.hitbullseye.com

“Hum Dekhenge, Laazim Hai ki Hum Bhi Dekhenge” after these words by poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz became the new song of dissent starting with it resounding among the walls of IIT Kanpur, the administration of the University issued an inquiry alleging that the poem provoked “anti-Hindu” sentiments.

The poem was written by Faiz in 1979 chastising General Zia-ul-Haq recounting the Prophet’s conquest of Mecca. The complaint was filed by IIT Kanpur professor Vashi Mant Sharma and 16 others including teachers and students saying that some words of the poem could hurt the sentiments of Hindus.  

https://twitter.com/IITKanpur/status/1213136442534187008

A committee was set up to probe the matter which alleged that after the poem was read, inflammatory social media posts were put up and IIT Kanpur Deputy Director Manindra Agrawal intervened to stop the unrest from being escalated. He had also clarified that the committee was not set up to look into the contents of the poem itself, but to address the complaints of violence and communally insensitive posts. “Both sides are our own students — we’re viewing this as an in-house issue and trying to understand both sides’ perspectives and hoping to calm things down,” Agrawal told The Telegraph.

The move to set up a committee was highly condemned by opinion makers, calling the same to be “ridiculous” and “shameful”.

https://twitter.com/IITKanpur/status/1213142234972844032

Today, The Telegraph reported that sections of the faculty have come out in support of the students’ right to “fearlessly express” their opinions. Members from multiple departments have written a letter urging the students to learn to voice their opinions in a manner that engages the community, even amid disagreements, underscoring the space for contrarian views in a democracy, the paper reported.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2805122029519904&id=100000664038694

Their letter read, “We as teachers would like to remind ourselves and our students, to whom we are primarily accountable, that the duties of a public-funded university in a democratic country include critically examining every issue, curricular and extra-curricular, that concerns the society we live in and also to be tolerant to contrarian views.”

Offering encouragement to the students, through their letter the faculty members said, ““We stand by your right to discuss, debate and dissent on issues that you feel are important and as teachers we will strive to create an atmosphere in our campus where you can fearlessly express your opinion in any form, responsibly and conscientiously.”

Agrawal who was aware of the letter, but not a signatory expressed his assent to the ideas mentioned in the letter, saying that it should never be the case that the students feel that their voices were getting suppressed. He said, “We would like our students to be responsible and introspect about damage that posting on social media can do. Social media posts have this potential to amplify distances between different points of view — that can make the atmosphere worse.”

Amid this rancour that was being spewed at a brilliant work of art, India Today reached out to Saleema Hashmi, Faiz’s daughter who resides in Pakistan asking for her view on the matter. She told the channel, “I must say I am having a good laugh over people who are making suggestions to a dead poet that he can make his vocabulary more secular'. Sorry guys, he can’t hear you! If you can rewrite the poem good luck to you!"

Mentioning that poetry and poets are friends of social movements Hashmi said, “Poem is an instrument of focussing the fervour and passion of young people - leading them towards an understanding of how they must move forward - very upsetting for the powerful who can sense the fragility of their position, once people’s energies are unleashed. Thus poets, writers, singers and indeed all creative people have been the natural enemies of dictators."

Today, the core message of Hum Dekhenge has leapt above the walls of IIT Kanpur and spread through the corners of India to become a rallying cry that is set to reverberate through all protests and agitations for the freedom of the masses from oppression and injustice.

Related:

Bengal: Matuas and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha march against CAA on same day
Streets around Jamia coloured live with protest art
Mumbai comes in to ‘Occupy Gateway’ in solidarity with JNU students

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BJP trends CCA instead of CAA leaving Twitterati in splits

The party’s IT Cell used the hashtag #IndiaSupportsCCA which trended on no. 1 with more than 40k tweets

31 Dec 2019

#CCAImage Courtesy: thelallantop.com

In a blunder that will haunt the Bharatiya Janata Party for a long time to come, its famed IT cell head Amit Malviya appears to have delivered yet another dud. Just days after his own twitter poll failed to get him the validation he sought; his team of trolls have produced an epic gaffe!

Instead of tweets supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA as it is now widely known, the supporters have gone ahead to trend a hashtag with a completely wrong name. It says - #IndiaSupportsCCA.

Not only has this hashtag been used by BJP supporters without any verification, but also BJP leaders who have gone ahead to blindly tweet in favour of the CAA using the same.

Amit Malviya, the man himself.

https://twitter.com/amitmalviya/status/1211526824322318337

Jagdish Vishwakarma, BJP President, Ahmedabad who also literally copy pasted Malviya’s tweet.

https://twitter.com/MLAJagdish/status/1211533014020308992  

Ashwani Mahajan, National Co-Convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an affiliate of the RSS.

https://twitter.com/ashwani_mahajan/status/1211954915058208768

Needless to say, this effort by BJP supporters and party members drew a lot of criticism and trolling by people who caught the obvious error.

https://twitter.com/Sowmyareddyr/status/1211989483274395648

https://twitter.com/_garrywalia/status/1211935720002195456

https://twitter.com/tinucherian/status/1211984757308850176

https://twitter.com/srivatsayb/status/1211907130791301123

https://twitter.com/aaqibrk/status/1211915294102323200

https://twitter.com/free_thinker/status/1211957678315958275

The jury is still out on whether it was intellectual deficiency or lack of attention to detail that led to the faux pas. It looks like the BJP is perfecting its ‘foot in mouth’ technique, first with PM Modi denying that there was ever a discussion about the National Register of Citizens (NRC) during his tenure, saying that there were no detention camps in India when there were already 6 functioning in Assam and now this!

We think that if the BJP is not keen on listening to the citizens that voted it to power, it could at least consult within itself about who says what to the people of India and proofread their work before they put it out. Else, the citizens will be forced to conclude that the entire BJP hierarchy is clueless about its own agenda.

BJP trends CCA instead of CAA leaving Twitterati in splits

The party’s IT Cell used the hashtag #IndiaSupportsCCA which trended on no. 1 with more than 40k tweets

#CCAImage Courtesy: thelallantop.com

In a blunder that will haunt the Bharatiya Janata Party for a long time to come, its famed IT cell head Amit Malviya appears to have delivered yet another dud. Just days after his own twitter poll failed to get him the validation he sought; his team of trolls have produced an epic gaffe!

Instead of tweets supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA as it is now widely known, the supporters have gone ahead to trend a hashtag with a completely wrong name. It says - #IndiaSupportsCCA.

Not only has this hashtag been used by BJP supporters without any verification, but also BJP leaders who have gone ahead to blindly tweet in favour of the CAA using the same.

Amit Malviya, the man himself.

https://twitter.com/amitmalviya/status/1211526824322318337

Jagdish Vishwakarma, BJP President, Ahmedabad who also literally copy pasted Malviya’s tweet.

https://twitter.com/MLAJagdish/status/1211533014020308992  

Ashwani Mahajan, National Co-Convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an affiliate of the RSS.

https://twitter.com/ashwani_mahajan/status/1211954915058208768

Needless to say, this effort by BJP supporters and party members drew a lot of criticism and trolling by people who caught the obvious error.

https://twitter.com/Sowmyareddyr/status/1211989483274395648

https://twitter.com/_garrywalia/status/1211935720002195456

https://twitter.com/tinucherian/status/1211984757308850176

https://twitter.com/srivatsayb/status/1211907130791301123

https://twitter.com/aaqibrk/status/1211915294102323200

https://twitter.com/free_thinker/status/1211957678315958275

The jury is still out on whether it was intellectual deficiency or lack of attention to detail that led to the faux pas. It looks like the BJP is perfecting its ‘foot in mouth’ technique, first with PM Modi denying that there was ever a discussion about the National Register of Citizens (NRC) during his tenure, saying that there were no detention camps in India when there were already 6 functioning in Assam and now this!

We think that if the BJP is not keen on listening to the citizens that voted it to power, it could at least consult within itself about who says what to the people of India and proofread their work before they put it out. Else, the citizens will be forced to conclude that the entire BJP hierarchy is clueless about its own agenda.

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‘Godi’ media digital polls don’t get validation; deleted

Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation too deletes a poll after people do not vote in CAA’s favour

31 Dec 2019

paid news

Amid the ongoing protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), various individuals and organizations have come to gauge the public sentiment with regard to the matter.

https://twitter.com/saikatd/status/1211622911234019328

The Isha Foundation deleted its tweet on the poll about the CAA-NRC after 63% said that the protests were justified. The foundation had earlier posted a video of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev supporting the CAA, justifying why the Act was needed and asking protesting students to just “read the damn Act”, even after claiming that he himself had not read it “fully”.

The Editor-in-Chief of Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary had also put out a poll on December 24 asking people whether they supported the CAA. While on Twitter, the number of those supporting the CAA has gone up to 51.7% from 47.7% and the number of people not supporting it has come down to 48.3%; the results of the same poll on Facebook look quite different with 64% not supporting the CAA and only 36% supporting it.

Twitter:

Facebook:

Dainik Jagran too conducted a poll asking people whether they thought that the CAA protests were politically motivated. The result? 51.8% said the protests weren’t politically motivated, 46.4% believed they were backed by political outfits and 1.9% didn’t have any idea regarding the same.

https://twitter.com/JagranNews/status/1211623474289987584

A poll by another news channel CNBC Awaaz was also deleted after users did not vote in favour of the ruling government.

(Image Courtesy – The Quint)

A Twitter handle that went by RepublicPoll also sought to understand the people’s view on CAA. They gave a clear mandate.

https://twitter.com/RepublicPoll/status/1211577183082184704

The poll trend had started after Amit Malviya, the in-charge of the BJP’s IT cell started a poll purportedly against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.

https://twitter.com/amitmalviya/status/1210431198197112832

Most believe that ‘Godi’ media, the term coined for media channels that openly favour the ruling party, and who aim to polarize viewers, had to face embarrassment after Indians on Twitter called them out for their divisive agenda.

This digital poll exercise comes after the BJP is facing major flak from Indians for its decision to impose the contentious CAA and NRC through the country, even though it is set to allegedly widen religious divides and put the minorities and marginalized through the wringer, leaving them poorer and pushing them farther away from an inclusive democracy.

Related:

Up in Arms: A look at protests that rocked India in 2019
10 worst hate speeches of 2019
Withering Lotus: BJP’s most embarrassing electoral debacles of 2019

‘Godi’ media digital polls don’t get validation; deleted

Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation too deletes a poll after people do not vote in CAA’s favour

paid news

Amid the ongoing protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), various individuals and organizations have come to gauge the public sentiment with regard to the matter.

https://twitter.com/saikatd/status/1211622911234019328

The Isha Foundation deleted its tweet on the poll about the CAA-NRC after 63% said that the protests were justified. The foundation had earlier posted a video of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev supporting the CAA, justifying why the Act was needed and asking protesting students to just “read the damn Act”, even after claiming that he himself had not read it “fully”.

The Editor-in-Chief of Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary had also put out a poll on December 24 asking people whether they supported the CAA. While on Twitter, the number of those supporting the CAA has gone up to 51.7% from 47.7% and the number of people not supporting it has come down to 48.3%; the results of the same poll on Facebook look quite different with 64% not supporting the CAA and only 36% supporting it.

Twitter:

Facebook:

Dainik Jagran too conducted a poll asking people whether they thought that the CAA protests were politically motivated. The result? 51.8% said the protests weren’t politically motivated, 46.4% believed they were backed by political outfits and 1.9% didn’t have any idea regarding the same.

https://twitter.com/JagranNews/status/1211623474289987584

A poll by another news channel CNBC Awaaz was also deleted after users did not vote in favour of the ruling government.

(Image Courtesy – The Quint)

A Twitter handle that went by RepublicPoll also sought to understand the people’s view on CAA. They gave a clear mandate.

https://twitter.com/RepublicPoll/status/1211577183082184704

The poll trend had started after Amit Malviya, the in-charge of the BJP’s IT cell started a poll purportedly against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.

https://twitter.com/amitmalviya/status/1210431198197112832

Most believe that ‘Godi’ media, the term coined for media channels that openly favour the ruling party, and who aim to polarize viewers, had to face embarrassment after Indians on Twitter called them out for their divisive agenda.

This digital poll exercise comes after the BJP is facing major flak from Indians for its decision to impose the contentious CAA and NRC through the country, even though it is set to allegedly widen religious divides and put the minorities and marginalized through the wringer, leaving them poorer and pushing them farther away from an inclusive democracy.

Related:

Up in Arms: A look at protests that rocked India in 2019
10 worst hate speeches of 2019
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Gauhati HC checks legality of ED summons to Assam newspaper

The petitioner stated that the ED was trying to stop the true facts of the Assam agitation against CAA from being disseminated to the public

27 Dec 2019

Asomiya Pratidin

The Gauhati High Court on Friday, December 20, made a decision to look into the legality of the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to the newspaper Asomiya Pratidin that allegedly prevent the petitioner, Jayant Baruah from presenting the true facts of the agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Assam.

The petitioner is the proprietor of the daily newspaper ‘Asomiya Pratidin’ and also of the news channel ‘Pratidin Time’, both of which have the highest readership and viewership in the state of Assam.

Live Law reported that the petitioner had been summoned by the ED under Sections 50(2), 50(3) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, allegedly in connection with cases registered in the years 2014 and 2015.

Jayant Baruah had expressed his apprehension that in the garb of these cases, the ED was trying to prevent him from broadcasting true and correct facts of agitation against the CAA in Assam. He had earlier resisted two summons issued to him by the CBI stating that they did not indicate what information was sought from him and in what context, but claimed that the CBI’s sister organization, the ED cornered him and served him the summons.

In his petition he had stated, “It has been pleaded that a vast majority of population of the State have been agitating throughout the State of Assam against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (for short ‘CAB’). The newspaper and the news channel run by the petitioner being impartial have been publishing the correct picture of such agitations against the Government. It has been pleaded that the Government of Assam, besides taking coercive measures against the agitating population, including by way of using force by virtue of which three persons have already lost their lives, is trying to put pressure on the press and media not to publish the correct factual picture.”

The petitioner accused the actions of the respondents were curbing his freedom of press. Not only was he being pressurized into not broadcasting information by the ED, he alleged that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry was also trying to create hurdles in the broadcasting on the news channel. He said that the settings with the satellite connections had been altered and the live broadcast of the news channel was being interfered with.

“By mentioning the requirement of production of certain documents, the respondent no. 6 has issued the summons, but the reason behind the same is to secure the personal appearance of the petitioner somehow, after having failed to secure the same in two earlier attempts made by a sister investigating agency,” he wrote in his petition.

He also lay emphasis on the fact that the court could not ignore the timings of the summons issued by the CBI and ED, especially because they were issued in close proximity to each other, pointing out that the last summon with regards to the matter brought up by the ED was issued in 2015.

Justice Manish Chaudhary who was hearing the case in his judgment said, “Noticeably, the two offices wherefrom the notices dated 12.12.2019, 14.12.2019 and the summons dated 16.12.2019 have been issued, are located in the same complex. Having taken note of the preceding events prior to the passing of the order dated 16.12.2019 and the subsequent events after passing of the order dated 16.12.2019, I am of the prima facie view that the matter of issuance of the notices and the summons, under reference, requires a further examination in view of the close proximity in time of their issuance and as regards the process which have gone into by the respondent Directorate before deciding to issue the summons on 16.12.2019 and to serve the same on the petitioner at 06-00 p.m. on 16.12.2019 and the petitioner is entitled to interim protection as like the order dated 16.12.2019.”

The judge concluded his statement saying that the ED shall not insist on the personal appearance of the petitioner, any documents that need to be furnished can be submitted by an authorised representative and no coercive action can be taken against the petitioner till the next hearing on January 3, 2020.


Related:

NIA raids human rights defender Akhil Gogoi’s home in Assam
India’s 200 million Muslims could be affected by CAA-NRC: US report
The self-respect of Assamese people can’t be defeated: Lurinjyoti Gogoi, AASU #antiCAA

Gauhati HC checks legality of ED summons to Assam newspaper

The petitioner stated that the ED was trying to stop the true facts of the Assam agitation against CAA from being disseminated to the public

Asomiya Pratidin

The Gauhati High Court on Friday, December 20, made a decision to look into the legality of the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to the newspaper Asomiya Pratidin that allegedly prevent the petitioner, Jayant Baruah from presenting the true facts of the agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Assam.

The petitioner is the proprietor of the daily newspaper ‘Asomiya Pratidin’ and also of the news channel ‘Pratidin Time’, both of which have the highest readership and viewership in the state of Assam.

Live Law reported that the petitioner had been summoned by the ED under Sections 50(2), 50(3) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, allegedly in connection with cases registered in the years 2014 and 2015.

Jayant Baruah had expressed his apprehension that in the garb of these cases, the ED was trying to prevent him from broadcasting true and correct facts of agitation against the CAA in Assam. He had earlier resisted two summons issued to him by the CBI stating that they did not indicate what information was sought from him and in what context, but claimed that the CBI’s sister organization, the ED cornered him and served him the summons.

In his petition he had stated, “It has been pleaded that a vast majority of population of the State have been agitating throughout the State of Assam against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (for short ‘CAB’). The newspaper and the news channel run by the petitioner being impartial have been publishing the correct picture of such agitations against the Government. It has been pleaded that the Government of Assam, besides taking coercive measures against the agitating population, including by way of using force by virtue of which three persons have already lost their lives, is trying to put pressure on the press and media not to publish the correct factual picture.”

The petitioner accused the actions of the respondents were curbing his freedom of press. Not only was he being pressurized into not broadcasting information by the ED, he alleged that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry was also trying to create hurdles in the broadcasting on the news channel. He said that the settings with the satellite connections had been altered and the live broadcast of the news channel was being interfered with.

“By mentioning the requirement of production of certain documents, the respondent no. 6 has issued the summons, but the reason behind the same is to secure the personal appearance of the petitioner somehow, after having failed to secure the same in two earlier attempts made by a sister investigating agency,” he wrote in his petition.

He also lay emphasis on the fact that the court could not ignore the timings of the summons issued by the CBI and ED, especially because they were issued in close proximity to each other, pointing out that the last summon with regards to the matter brought up by the ED was issued in 2015.

Justice Manish Chaudhary who was hearing the case in his judgment said, “Noticeably, the two offices wherefrom the notices dated 12.12.2019, 14.12.2019 and the summons dated 16.12.2019 have been issued, are located in the same complex. Having taken note of the preceding events prior to the passing of the order dated 16.12.2019 and the subsequent events after passing of the order dated 16.12.2019, I am of the prima facie view that the matter of issuance of the notices and the summons, under reference, requires a further examination in view of the close proximity in time of their issuance and as regards the process which have gone into by the respondent Directorate before deciding to issue the summons on 16.12.2019 and to serve the same on the petitioner at 06-00 p.m. on 16.12.2019 and the petitioner is entitled to interim protection as like the order dated 16.12.2019.”

The judge concluded his statement saying that the ED shall not insist on the personal appearance of the petitioner, any documents that need to be furnished can be submitted by an authorised representative and no coercive action can be taken against the petitioner till the next hearing on January 3, 2020.


Related:

NIA raids human rights defender Akhil Gogoi’s home in Assam
India’s 200 million Muslims could be affected by CAA-NRC: US report
The self-respect of Assamese people can’t be defeated: Lurinjyoti Gogoi, AASU #antiCAA

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‘Zee TV misleads people’, journalist resigns over channel’s coverage of Jamia protest

Nasir Azmi was the head of video content at Zee Media. In a poor defence, the company has, post facto, claimed that he was an ‘under performer’.

26 Dec 2019

Zee news

On December 16, a day after the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, carrying on for a week outside Jamia Millia Islamia University, Zee News editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary twisted coverage, yet again, on his show, Daily News Analysis. “Protesting democratically is our right,” Chaudhary told viewers. “But what is happening right now in this country is that under the garb of protest, protesters are propagating violence.” He accused the students of burning vehicles, harassing the public, and “creating chaos”.

Chaudhary’s show was cited by Nasir Azmi, former head of video content at Zee Media, as an example of the channel’s “one-sided reporting”. In a letter to Zee Group’s chairman, Subhash Chandra, Nasir resigned from his position, pointing to the conflict between the organisation’s stance and its editorial decisions. Nasir told the media, the media,  “Sudhir has become very powerful now. Nothing happens without him knowing. It is him and a few others who control the organisation right now.” 

In his letter to Chandra, Azmi wrote: “Now I feel Zee Media has failed its responsibilities of journalism, especially Zee News which I have given my golden time of life. Zee News failed…whether it was the matter of JNU and Kanhaiya Kumar, and recently AMU and Jamia Millia incident. The channel has tried to mislead the nation and its people, especially on Jamia, where students were beaten brutally after protesting against CAA and upcoming NRC. Therefore I have decided to discontinue my services on moral grounds, in the interest of the nation, and to save journalism.”
 

Not the first time reporters desert Zee

In 2016, Vishwa Deepak, a Zee News reporter, today resigned from the channel stating that he should have taken this decision earlier, but if he doesn't take it now, he won't be able to forgive himself . Deepak accused the channel of 'biased coverage' of JNU protest against the sedition charges slapped on JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.

Deepak, a producer at Zee News, was upset with the way the channel had played up the JNU issue. "Dear Zee News, after 1 year four months and four days, the time has come that I should part ways with you. I should have taken this decision earlier, but if I don't do it now, I won't  be able to forgive myself," Deepak said in his four-paged resignation letter.

In the letter, addressed to the Zee News anchor and editor Rohit Sardana, Deepak admitted that while there has been a "communalisation" of newsrooms since 2014, situation is more alarming in Zee News.  
 

2019

Now, Nasir has gone on record with the media saying that Zee would present issues “out of context” to mislead its audience. “Look at the JNU matter,” he said, referring to a 2016 protest at Jawaharlal Nehru University against the hanging of Afzal Guru. “The ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogan was never said by them. I haven’t been fighting for a day or two; it’s been two years since I started raising my concerns about the future of the organisation.”

Zee’s clip on students shouting “Pakistan zindabad” was mischievously edited to claim the students were shouting “anti-India” slogans. One of the channel’s employees later resigned over Zee’s coverage of the JNU protest.

Nasir brought up a  recent video that did the rounds, claiming students at Aligarh Muslim University had shouted “Hinduon se azadi”. The students had actually shouted “In dono se azadi”. “But a lot of media houses, including Zee, used the video. The problem here is that when these videos are analysed in forensic labs and the truth comes out, media organisations like Zee never come out explaining that side.”

After the police brutality at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15, Zee  broadcast an “exclusive” on how locals burned buses and the police retaliated only to “control” them. On his show DNA, Chaudhary said, “Everyone knows of certain areas where a particular community lives and that area will not have any law prevailing. Students across several colleges are creating a similar environment in universities.”

Nasir claimed Zee News chose not to cover the police violence against Jamia students. “We have a WhatsApp group for editors. I was constantly forwarding the brutalities by the Delhi police against students. You won’t believe it: there was not a single comment or reply. In the next edit meet, it was decided that sides will not be taken and we will only say that violence took place.” 

Interestingly, Zee Media sent Nasir a letter on December 4, saying his performance was “below average” and that he was being put on a “Performance Improvement Plan” for a month. Nasir alleged it was a consequence of his “constant questioning”. “I had raised my concerns regarding our team being understaffed,” he said. “Another matter I was targeted for was the contents I shared on Facebook. I have got calls from my employers asking me to not share such things.” 

Nasir insisted that he wasn’t an underperformer. “They shifted me to a Cluster 2-level team three months ago. Instead of handling one channel, I was in charge of about seven or eight regional channels. In three months, suddenly they have issues with my performance.” 

Nasir wrote that there was a “nexus” of four or five people, including Chaudhary, who take all important decisions in Zee. An ex-employee of Zee Media confirmed this. “The moment the organisation decides they don’t need you, they start pointing out every mistake possible,” the former employee said. “There is a nexus for sure, but I guess this is how media works in general.” 

‘Zee TV misleads people’, journalist resigns over channel’s coverage of Jamia protest

Nasir Azmi was the head of video content at Zee Media. In a poor defence, the company has, post facto, claimed that he was an ‘under performer’.

Zee news

On December 16, a day after the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, carrying on for a week outside Jamia Millia Islamia University, Zee News editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary twisted coverage, yet again, on his show, Daily News Analysis. “Protesting democratically is our right,” Chaudhary told viewers. “But what is happening right now in this country is that under the garb of protest, protesters are propagating violence.” He accused the students of burning vehicles, harassing the public, and “creating chaos”.

Chaudhary’s show was cited by Nasir Azmi, former head of video content at Zee Media, as an example of the channel’s “one-sided reporting”. In a letter to Zee Group’s chairman, Subhash Chandra, Nasir resigned from his position, pointing to the conflict between the organisation’s stance and its editorial decisions. Nasir told the media, the media,  “Sudhir has become very powerful now. Nothing happens without him knowing. It is him and a few others who control the organisation right now.” 

In his letter to Chandra, Azmi wrote: “Now I feel Zee Media has failed its responsibilities of journalism, especially Zee News which I have given my golden time of life. Zee News failed…whether it was the matter of JNU and Kanhaiya Kumar, and recently AMU and Jamia Millia incident. The channel has tried to mislead the nation and its people, especially on Jamia, where students were beaten brutally after protesting against CAA and upcoming NRC. Therefore I have decided to discontinue my services on moral grounds, in the interest of the nation, and to save journalism.”
 

Not the first time reporters desert Zee

In 2016, Vishwa Deepak, a Zee News reporter, today resigned from the channel stating that he should have taken this decision earlier, but if he doesn't take it now, he won't be able to forgive himself . Deepak accused the channel of 'biased coverage' of JNU protest against the sedition charges slapped on JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.

Deepak, a producer at Zee News, was upset with the way the channel had played up the JNU issue. "Dear Zee News, after 1 year four months and four days, the time has come that I should part ways with you. I should have taken this decision earlier, but if I don't do it now, I won't  be able to forgive myself," Deepak said in his four-paged resignation letter.

In the letter, addressed to the Zee News anchor and editor Rohit Sardana, Deepak admitted that while there has been a "communalisation" of newsrooms since 2014, situation is more alarming in Zee News.  
 

2019

Now, Nasir has gone on record with the media saying that Zee would present issues “out of context” to mislead its audience. “Look at the JNU matter,” he said, referring to a 2016 protest at Jawaharlal Nehru University against the hanging of Afzal Guru. “The ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogan was never said by them. I haven’t been fighting for a day or two; it’s been two years since I started raising my concerns about the future of the organisation.”

Zee’s clip on students shouting “Pakistan zindabad” was mischievously edited to claim the students were shouting “anti-India” slogans. One of the channel’s employees later resigned over Zee’s coverage of the JNU protest.

Nasir brought up a  recent video that did the rounds, claiming students at Aligarh Muslim University had shouted “Hinduon se azadi”. The students had actually shouted “In dono se azadi”. “But a lot of media houses, including Zee, used the video. The problem here is that when these videos are analysed in forensic labs and the truth comes out, media organisations like Zee never come out explaining that side.”

After the police brutality at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15, Zee  broadcast an “exclusive” on how locals burned buses and the police retaliated only to “control” them. On his show DNA, Chaudhary said, “Everyone knows of certain areas where a particular community lives and that area will not have any law prevailing. Students across several colleges are creating a similar environment in universities.”

Nasir claimed Zee News chose not to cover the police violence against Jamia students. “We have a WhatsApp group for editors. I was constantly forwarding the brutalities by the Delhi police against students. You won’t believe it: there was not a single comment or reply. In the next edit meet, it was decided that sides will not be taken and we will only say that violence took place.” 

Interestingly, Zee Media sent Nasir a letter on December 4, saying his performance was “below average” and that he was being put on a “Performance Improvement Plan” for a month. Nasir alleged it was a consequence of his “constant questioning”. “I had raised my concerns regarding our team being understaffed,” he said. “Another matter I was targeted for was the contents I shared on Facebook. I have got calls from my employers asking me to not share such things.” 

Nasir insisted that he wasn’t an underperformer. “They shifted me to a Cluster 2-level team three months ago. Instead of handling one channel, I was in charge of about seven or eight regional channels. In three months, suddenly they have issues with my performance.” 

Nasir wrote that there was a “nexus” of four or five people, including Chaudhary, who take all important decisions in Zee. An ex-employee of Zee Media confirmed this. “The moment the organisation decides they don’t need you, they start pointing out every mistake possible,” the former employee said. “There is a nexus for sure, but I guess this is how media works in general.” 

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No post mortem report, media coverage for the dead in Meerut

Five people had been arbitrarily shot by the police in the wake of anti-CAA clashes in UP

26 Dec 2019

meerutHeavy police deployment at Ghanta Ghar market in Meerut | Photo: Praveen Jain | The Print


Five people lost their lives due to police firing during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Meerut on December 19, 2019. The deceased have been identified as Mohsin, Aasif, Zaheer, Aleem, residents of Meerut, Asif from Delhi.

After December 19, the team of Chal Chitra Abhiyaan met the families of Aleem, 24, Zaheer, 45 and Aasif, 20 about the incident.


“When a lone Muslim raises his voice, he gets shot” – Mohammed Salauddin, Aleem’s brother.

Mohammed Salauddin, Aleem’s brother said, “One of my relatives called me to tell me that Aleem had been shot. I couldn’t confirm what had happened as nobody knew of the details of the incident. My family was very tensed. Someone told me that Aleem’s shop had been shut by the police. Aleem was returning home from Hapur Adda where he had gone to take some stuff and on his way back home, he was shot. He was shot in the head and his head was blown off.”

Speaking of the post mortem report, Burran, Aleem’s nephew said, “We haven’t received the post-mortem report yet. We will get it after a few days.”

Responding to interviewer from Chal Chitra AAbhiyaan asked Burran about reports doing the round that a case was filed on Aleem instead of the police, Burran said, “We had spoken to the media about the same. But the media did not even print one true word about the matter. Due to the pressure from the police, they wrote in favour of the force and did not put forth what we said.”

A sobbing Salauddin told Chal Chitra Abhiyaan, “When a lone Muslim raises his voice, he gets shot. I had requested for a home under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, but that was not accepted. What did I get instead? My brother’s dead body and bullets. To top that, they have filed an FIR against us and are planning to take us to court.”

“My father doesn’t have any proof of age / citizenship. Where will get documents from to save his children? I was born in 1984, I don’t have a birth certificate, I have an Aadhaar and Voter ID card. Where will I get proof from to show to the government?” he further questioned.
 

“His dead body lay on the spot till 6:30 PM” – Id-ul-Hassan, Aasif’s father.

“Aasif was 20 years old. He used to drive an auto rickshaw. He was returning home from work when he was shot in his chest. His body lay at the spot he was shot till 6:30 PM. We haven’t received the post mortem report, nor the Aadhaar card that we’d submitted. They were not letting us take him home. Only when the MLAs like Adil Chaudhary and Rafiq Ansari among others pressured the officials, they handed over Aasif’s body to us” said Id-ul-Hassan, Aasif’s father.

Nasreen, Aasif’s mother told ChalChitra Abhiyaan that the police was pressuring people and entering homes trying to take their children away. Her child was gone and that there was no happiness there anymore.
 

“The bullet hit him in his head and he died on the spot” – Shahid, Zaheer’s brother.

“Zaheer was a labourer. He had returned home from work and was sitting in the verandah. He left home for a haircut as there was a wedding in the family the next day. He was sitting at the shop, smoking, when someone fired shots. There were some short men in yellow uniforms with the police. The bullet hit him in his head and he died on the spot. He was 45 years old. He has a wife and a 22-year-old daughter. The police is saying it was the rioters who did it, but it is not ready to reveal who was rioting. The police broke down all the CCTV cameras on the road, so how will they identify the culprits. They have deleted the evidence and are now targeting us and beating us up for something we haven’t done. We haven’t even received the post-mortem report yet,” said Shahid, Zaheer’s brother.

A shopkeeper from whom Zaheer had bought cigarettes that fateful night said, “He took a pack of cigarettes from me and sat next to my shop. The police came two hundred meters in and shot him. The bullet pierced his temple and he fell and died on the spot. We took him to the hospital, but the doctors had declared him dead.”

Other witnesses confirmed the incident saying that the police was entering lanes and killing people. They weren’t firing from the main road. When the interviewer asked them, was it the police or someone else, they only had one thing to say, “It was the police. Who else could it be?”

It has been reported that around 18 people, including an 8-year-old boy have lost their lives in the state of Uttar Pradesh in the anti-CAA and NRC protests. More than 5,000 people have been taken into custody and around 705 people have been sent to jail. Many police officials have also been injured in the agitation and the force has now set out to seize properties of ‘identified rioters’.


Related:
Seizure of Properties in UP: Who paid for destruction of property in Gujarat Violence of 2002?
UP Protesters shot dead: Subhashini Ali speaks after meeting families
PTI reports Rs. 8,500 cr approved for NPR, PIB retracts figure to Rs. 3,941.35 cr

 

No post mortem report, media coverage for the dead in Meerut

Five people had been arbitrarily shot by the police in the wake of anti-CAA clashes in UP

meerutHeavy police deployment at Ghanta Ghar market in Meerut | Photo: Praveen Jain | The Print


Five people lost their lives due to police firing during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Meerut on December 19, 2019. The deceased have been identified as Mohsin, Aasif, Zaheer, Aleem, residents of Meerut, Asif from Delhi.

After December 19, the team of Chal Chitra Abhiyaan met the families of Aleem, 24, Zaheer, 45 and Aasif, 20 about the incident.


“When a lone Muslim raises his voice, he gets shot” – Mohammed Salauddin, Aleem’s brother.

Mohammed Salauddin, Aleem’s brother said, “One of my relatives called me to tell me that Aleem had been shot. I couldn’t confirm what had happened as nobody knew of the details of the incident. My family was very tensed. Someone told me that Aleem’s shop had been shut by the police. Aleem was returning home from Hapur Adda where he had gone to take some stuff and on his way back home, he was shot. He was shot in the head and his head was blown off.”

Speaking of the post mortem report, Burran, Aleem’s nephew said, “We haven’t received the post-mortem report yet. We will get it after a few days.”

Responding to interviewer from Chal Chitra AAbhiyaan asked Burran about reports doing the round that a case was filed on Aleem instead of the police, Burran said, “We had spoken to the media about the same. But the media did not even print one true word about the matter. Due to the pressure from the police, they wrote in favour of the force and did not put forth what we said.”

A sobbing Salauddin told Chal Chitra Abhiyaan, “When a lone Muslim raises his voice, he gets shot. I had requested for a home under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, but that was not accepted. What did I get instead? My brother’s dead body and bullets. To top that, they have filed an FIR against us and are planning to take us to court.”

“My father doesn’t have any proof of age / citizenship. Where will get documents from to save his children? I was born in 1984, I don’t have a birth certificate, I have an Aadhaar and Voter ID card. Where will I get proof from to show to the government?” he further questioned.
 

“His dead body lay on the spot till 6:30 PM” – Id-ul-Hassan, Aasif’s father.

“Aasif was 20 years old. He used to drive an auto rickshaw. He was returning home from work when he was shot in his chest. His body lay at the spot he was shot till 6:30 PM. We haven’t received the post mortem report, nor the Aadhaar card that we’d submitted. They were not letting us take him home. Only when the MLAs like Adil Chaudhary and Rafiq Ansari among others pressured the officials, they handed over Aasif’s body to us” said Id-ul-Hassan, Aasif’s father.

Nasreen, Aasif’s mother told ChalChitra Abhiyaan that the police was pressuring people and entering homes trying to take their children away. Her child was gone and that there was no happiness there anymore.
 

“The bullet hit him in his head and he died on the spot” – Shahid, Zaheer’s brother.

“Zaheer was a labourer. He had returned home from work and was sitting in the verandah. He left home for a haircut as there was a wedding in the family the next day. He was sitting at the shop, smoking, when someone fired shots. There were some short men in yellow uniforms with the police. The bullet hit him in his head and he died on the spot. He was 45 years old. He has a wife and a 22-year-old daughter. The police is saying it was the rioters who did it, but it is not ready to reveal who was rioting. The police broke down all the CCTV cameras on the road, so how will they identify the culprits. They have deleted the evidence and are now targeting us and beating us up for something we haven’t done. We haven’t even received the post-mortem report yet,” said Shahid, Zaheer’s brother.

A shopkeeper from whom Zaheer had bought cigarettes that fateful night said, “He took a pack of cigarettes from me and sat next to my shop. The police came two hundred meters in and shot him. The bullet pierced his temple and he fell and died on the spot. We took him to the hospital, but the doctors had declared him dead.”

Other witnesses confirmed the incident saying that the police was entering lanes and killing people. They weren’t firing from the main road. When the interviewer asked them, was it the police or someone else, they only had one thing to say, “It was the police. Who else could it be?”

It has been reported that around 18 people, including an 8-year-old boy have lost their lives in the state of Uttar Pradesh in the anti-CAA and NRC protests. More than 5,000 people have been taken into custody and around 705 people have been sent to jail. Many police officials have also been injured in the agitation and the force has now set out to seize properties of ‘identified rioters’.


Related:
Seizure of Properties in UP: Who paid for destruction of property in Gujarat Violence of 2002?
UP Protesters shot dead: Subhashini Ali speaks after meeting families
PTI reports Rs. 8,500 cr approved for NPR, PIB retracts figure to Rs. 3,941.35 cr

 

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Don’t show anti-national content: I&B Ministry

12 Dec 2019

On the day that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an interesting advisory to private satellite television channels forbidding them from broadcasting “anti-national” content.

The advisory says, “…all TV channels are advised to be particularly cautious with regard to any content which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitudes.”

Given that the term “anti-national” is open to interpretation, it is curious that it was used in official government communication in the first place. The letter therefore appears more like an indirect and rather devious attempt at censorship, rather than a professionally drafted official advisory. The entire advisory may be read here:

TV

Don’t show anti-national content: I&B Ministry

On the day that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an interesting advisory to private satellite television channels forbidding them from broadcasting “anti-national” content.

The advisory says, “…all TV channels are advised to be particularly cautious with regard to any content which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitudes.”

Given that the term “anti-national” is open to interpretation, it is curious that it was used in official government communication in the first place. The letter therefore appears more like an indirect and rather devious attempt at censorship, rather than a professionally drafted official advisory. The entire advisory may be read here:

TV

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