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Hitler, Mussolini were products of democracy: BJP’s Ram Madhav

At the Raisina Dialogue he implied that the Opposition was involved in violence as it had lost in the democratic process

18 Jan 2020

Ram Madhav

Participating in a panel discussion in the Raisina Dialogue, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav claimed that German dictator Adolf Hitler and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini were the “products of democracy”

Taking a dig at the Opposition parties over their agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he said that those who lost in the “democratic process” converted the “streets into the democratic platform” and engaged in violence.

Without naming anyone and taking a jibe at the protesters he said, “When someone loses in the democratic process and makes roads into the democratic platform, involves in violence and say the government is not listening, that is not the democratic spirit.”

Saying that the CAA was passed in the “most democratic manner”, he added, “The government is duty-bound to respond to criticism without violence. Some are getting depressed and claiming that Indian democracy is going to the dogs, that you have to keep aside. In India, governments are changed very easily. Nobody is going to sustain in a democracy for a long time,” further saying, “Or else you give democracy to a given country, take it from me, Osama Bin Laden posthumously can become the President. You need to nurture a value system in that society.”

He also said that the new CAA rules were “non-discriminatory” and allowed outsiders to become citizens after migrating from different years of stay here. On being asked by a member of the audience whether India was moving towards an “undemocratic democracy”, he said that India has a vibrant Constitution and “we are all wedded to it.”

Madhav further said, “Where is democracy in India actually progressing? The very fact that this question is being raised proves that Indian democracy remains vibrant, it has its own checks and balances.” It was then that he spoke of Hitler and Mussolini saying, “From then to today, there are liberal democracies in the world. Democracies mature over time.”

Speaking about India has always promoted democratic values in the region, Madhav said that democracy should not be used as a “political stick or political weapon” against any other country.

However, this isn’t the first time Hitler and Mussolini have become part of the political party slugfest. In January last year, Rahul Gandhi had addressed PM Modi as “Fuhrer” attacking him over rising levels of unemployment; while the BJP retorted saying that the Gandhi scion had “inherited Mussolini’s short-sightedness” for he had a myopic understanding of issues.

Even American actor John Cusack in a tweet mentioned the BJP’s ties to fascism after Cass Sunstein, the former administrator of the White House Information and Regulatory affairs congratulated BJP for its work in India, asking Sunstein admired – demonetization, dehumanization or violence and terror.

 

 

Also, ever since the CAA has come into force, it is being compared to Hitler’s Nuremberg Race Laws, an Indian version of fascism, set out to create a hierarchical society and the alleged formation of a “Hindu Rashtra” to single out the minorities and the marginalized.


Related:

Modi’s India & Hitler’s Third Reich: a look at the Nuremberg laws
Amit Shah’s defence of CAB shames even Goebbels!
A Legislative Bill for Faith-based Citizenship: How India Has Reached This Point of Disaster?

Hitler, Mussolini were products of democracy: BJP’s Ram Madhav

At the Raisina Dialogue he implied that the Opposition was involved in violence as it had lost in the democratic process

Ram Madhav

Participating in a panel discussion in the Raisina Dialogue, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav claimed that German dictator Adolf Hitler and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini were the “products of democracy”

Taking a dig at the Opposition parties over their agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he said that those who lost in the “democratic process” converted the “streets into the democratic platform” and engaged in violence.

Without naming anyone and taking a jibe at the protesters he said, “When someone loses in the democratic process and makes roads into the democratic platform, involves in violence and say the government is not listening, that is not the democratic spirit.”

Saying that the CAA was passed in the “most democratic manner”, he added, “The government is duty-bound to respond to criticism without violence. Some are getting depressed and claiming that Indian democracy is going to the dogs, that you have to keep aside. In India, governments are changed very easily. Nobody is going to sustain in a democracy for a long time,” further saying, “Or else you give democracy to a given country, take it from me, Osama Bin Laden posthumously can become the President. You need to nurture a value system in that society.”

He also said that the new CAA rules were “non-discriminatory” and allowed outsiders to become citizens after migrating from different years of stay here. On being asked by a member of the audience whether India was moving towards an “undemocratic democracy”, he said that India has a vibrant Constitution and “we are all wedded to it.”

Madhav further said, “Where is democracy in India actually progressing? The very fact that this question is being raised proves that Indian democracy remains vibrant, it has its own checks and balances.” It was then that he spoke of Hitler and Mussolini saying, “From then to today, there are liberal democracies in the world. Democracies mature over time.”

Speaking about India has always promoted democratic values in the region, Madhav said that democracy should not be used as a “political stick or political weapon” against any other country.

However, this isn’t the first time Hitler and Mussolini have become part of the political party slugfest. In January last year, Rahul Gandhi had addressed PM Modi as “Fuhrer” attacking him over rising levels of unemployment; while the BJP retorted saying that the Gandhi scion had “inherited Mussolini’s short-sightedness” for he had a myopic understanding of issues.

Even American actor John Cusack in a tweet mentioned the BJP’s ties to fascism after Cass Sunstein, the former administrator of the White House Information and Regulatory affairs congratulated BJP for its work in India, asking Sunstein admired – demonetization, dehumanization or violence and terror.

 

 

Also, ever since the CAA has come into force, it is being compared to Hitler’s Nuremberg Race Laws, an Indian version of fascism, set out to create a hierarchical society and the alleged formation of a “Hindu Rashtra” to single out the minorities and the marginalized.


Related:

Modi’s India & Hitler’s Third Reich: a look at the Nuremberg laws
Amit Shah’s defence of CAB shames even Goebbels!
A Legislative Bill for Faith-based Citizenship: How India Has Reached This Point of Disaster?

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BJP’s Dilip Ghosh calls intellectuals “Spineless devils”, “parasites”

Sabrangindia 18 Jan 2020

West Bengal BJP State President can’t seem to give it a rest. After dubbing Gorkhas as anti-social elements and saying that the anti-CAA protestors were shot like dogs in Assam and Uttar Pradesh, now in a new abusive attack he likened individuals and members of the civil society protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to ‘creatures’, ‘spineless devils’ and ‘parasites’ at a rally in Howrah.

Referring to a march taken out by theater personalities while addressing the crowd, he said, “Some creatures called intellectuals have come out on the streets of Kolkata. These parasitic intellectuals, who live and enjoy out of others’ pockets, where were they when our predecessors were tortured in Bangladesh?”

He also called them “devils who live on our food and oppose us,” further saying, “They did not know who their parents are” and “That’s the reason they say they can’t show the birth certificate of their parents.”

He also said that West Bengal was emerging as a “hub of anti-nationals” under the rule of the Trinamool Congress.

While his statements have shocked people, it seems like the Bharatiya Janata Party sees him capable of leading the party in the state. Ghosh was unanimously re-elected as BJP Unit President for three years, which only went to show that the BJP backed him despite his controversial statements.



Related:

Dilip Ghosh’s Gorkha comment angers GJM
Bengal BJP chief unfazed by 2 FIRs
“Shot like dogs in Assam and UP”: Dilip Ghosh says police was right for opening fire

BJP’s Dilip Ghosh calls intellectuals “Spineless devils”, “parasites”

In another diatribe he said people opposing the CAA & NRC did not know who their parents were

West Bengal BJP State President can’t seem to give it a rest. After dubbing Gorkhas as anti-social elements and saying that the anti-CAA protestors were shot like dogs in Assam and Uttar Pradesh, now in a new abusive attack he likened individuals and members of the civil society protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to ‘creatures’, ‘spineless devils’ and ‘parasites’ at a rally in Howrah.

Referring to a march taken out by theater personalities while addressing the crowd, he said, “Some creatures called intellectuals have come out on the streets of Kolkata. These parasitic intellectuals, who live and enjoy out of others’ pockets, where were they when our predecessors were tortured in Bangladesh?”

He also called them “devils who live on our food and oppose us,” further saying, “They did not know who their parents are” and “That’s the reason they say they can’t show the birth certificate of their parents.”

He also said that West Bengal was emerging as a “hub of anti-nationals” under the rule of the Trinamool Congress.

While his statements have shocked people, it seems like the Bharatiya Janata Party sees him capable of leading the party in the state. Ghosh was unanimously re-elected as BJP Unit President for three years, which only went to show that the BJP backed him despite his controversial statements.



Related:

Dilip Ghosh’s Gorkha comment angers GJM
Bengal BJP chief unfazed by 2 FIRs
“Shot like dogs in Assam and UP”: Dilip Ghosh says police was right for opening fire

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Performer stopped midway for dancing to “Qawwali”

The incident took place in Manjari Chaturvedi’s hometown where she was invited to perform by the UP government

17 Jan 2020

Manjari Chaturvedi

At an event that took place in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, famous Sufi-kathak dancer, Manjari Chaturvedi, was invited by the UP government to perform. It came as a rude shock to her when she was allegedly forced to stop her performance midway. The reason being, it was a qawwali act.

Manjari, whose career spans 2 decades, alleged that while she was performing, the music was stopped and an announcement was made for the next act. The danseuse told News18, "I thought it was a technical glitch but then the next act was announced. It was clear that this was not an error. When I enquired, I was told 'qawwali nahi chalegi yahan' (qawaali cannot happen here)."   She said this was the first time in her career that her performance was stopped for being a qawwali. She further said, “"I have performed across the world. I am shocked that this happened to me in Lucknow, my hometown."

The UP government has however denied the allegations and cited ‘some issue’ between the organisers and the performer. The government said that the act had to be completed before the arrival of Yogi Adityanath as a dinner was arranged with the chief minister. Since, the programme was running late, it had to be trimmed. An official gave clarification that they wanted to keep space for performance of other artists and hence they had to cut short Manjari’s performance. He also added that her performance was 'appreciated and enjoyed by all', including UP Assembly speaker.

Even the organisers gave a statement that the performance was interrupted due to "organisational compulsions and not due to any religious or linguistic basis".

 

Related:

Intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent in UP: People's Tribunal
Muzaffarnagar arrests go kaput: 19 get bail due to lack of evidence
Rihai Manch President finally walks out of jail
UP claims Pilibhit houses majority of the 32,000 ‘identified’ refugees
"As if Jama Masjid is in Pak", Delhi Judge rebukes cops in Bhim Army Case

Performer stopped midway for dancing to “Qawwali”

The incident took place in Manjari Chaturvedi’s hometown where she was invited to perform by the UP government

Manjari Chaturvedi

At an event that took place in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, famous Sufi-kathak dancer, Manjari Chaturvedi, was invited by the UP government to perform. It came as a rude shock to her when she was allegedly forced to stop her performance midway. The reason being, it was a qawwali act.

Manjari, whose career spans 2 decades, alleged that while she was performing, the music was stopped and an announcement was made for the next act. The danseuse told News18, "I thought it was a technical glitch but then the next act was announced. It was clear that this was not an error. When I enquired, I was told 'qawwali nahi chalegi yahan' (qawaali cannot happen here)."   She said this was the first time in her career that her performance was stopped for being a qawwali. She further said, “"I have performed across the world. I am shocked that this happened to me in Lucknow, my hometown."

The UP government has however denied the allegations and cited ‘some issue’ between the organisers and the performer. The government said that the act had to be completed before the arrival of Yogi Adityanath as a dinner was arranged with the chief minister. Since, the programme was running late, it had to be trimmed. An official gave clarification that they wanted to keep space for performance of other artists and hence they had to cut short Manjari’s performance. He also added that her performance was 'appreciated and enjoyed by all', including UP Assembly speaker.

Even the organisers gave a statement that the performance was interrupted due to "organisational compulsions and not due to any religious or linguistic basis".

 

Related:

Intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent in UP: People's Tribunal
Muzaffarnagar arrests go kaput: 19 get bail due to lack of evidence
Rihai Manch President finally walks out of jail
UP claims Pilibhit houses majority of the 32,000 ‘identified’ refugees
"As if Jama Masjid is in Pak", Delhi Judge rebukes cops in Bhim Army Case

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Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home

The perpetrators threw a paper containing words like ‘refugee’ and ‘hindutva’ in her balcony

17 Jan 2020

Anti Muslims

Right-wing supremacist groups have been fanning the flames of Hindu-Muslim hate in India despite a history of coexistence for generations. With the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) looking to single out minorities, the Muslims have found themselves concerned about their future as citizens of India especially if the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise is implemented through the country. For if this happens, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Catholics left out of the NRC list may stand to get citizenship under the CAA, and the people from Muslim community who cannot provide proof of their citizenship will not stand to benefit from the CAA either.

With the announcement of the CAA-NPR-NRC, India witnessed widespread protests from the marginalized communities and students who took it upon themselves to get the government to repeal the CAA. Then came the pro-CAA supporters, who have seemingly gone on a rampage trying to get their point across – threatening the anti-CAA protesters with deadly consequences and indulging in hate speech against them.

While such public threats were bad enough, the hatred has now crept into people’s homes, with one such example being below.

This sinister move by whoever carried it out just goes to show hate has seeped in and how! A veiled threat as this is only another psychological torture mechanism of minorities who are not even involved in the politics of hate.

One Twitterati who commented on the post rightly asked, “What chance does she have of a fair hearing in NRC with such attitudes?”

Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home

The perpetrators threw a paper containing words like ‘refugee’ and ‘hindutva’ in her balcony

Anti Muslims

Right-wing supremacist groups have been fanning the flames of Hindu-Muslim hate in India despite a history of coexistence for generations. With the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) looking to single out minorities, the Muslims have found themselves concerned about their future as citizens of India especially if the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise is implemented through the country. For if this happens, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Catholics left out of the NRC list may stand to get citizenship under the CAA, and the people from Muslim community who cannot provide proof of their citizenship will not stand to benefit from the CAA either.

With the announcement of the CAA-NPR-NRC, India witnessed widespread protests from the marginalized communities and students who took it upon themselves to get the government to repeal the CAA. Then came the pro-CAA supporters, who have seemingly gone on a rampage trying to get their point across – threatening the anti-CAA protesters with deadly consequences and indulging in hate speech against them.

While such public threats were bad enough, the hatred has now crept into people’s homes, with one such example being below.

This sinister move by whoever carried it out just goes to show hate has seeped in and how! A veiled threat as this is only another psychological torture mechanism of minorities who are not even involved in the politics of hate.

One Twitterati who commented on the post rightly asked, “What chance does she have of a fair hearing in NRC with such attitudes?”

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Sangh issues K’taka govt ultimatum over proposed statue of Christ

Objections raised to proposed construction of 114-foot statue of Jesus Christ in Ramanagara district

17 Jan 2020

rally against Christ Statue

Right-wing organisations led by Hindu Jagaran Vedike marched on Monday to protest the Karnataka government’s decision to allot land for the construction of a 114-foot statue at Kapalbetta in Kanakpura taluka of Ramanagara district. The protesters chanted ‘Jai Sriram’ and ‘Rakta Kottevu, Kapalabetta kodalla’ (We will give our blood, but not Kapalabetta)’ during the march.

Now, the Sangh parivar has issued an ultimatum to the state government to withdraw the land grant by January 25. Newsclick quoted the resolution passed by the Sangh to say, “If you (state government) don’t act by January 25, we will step out to protest and won’t stop till we succeed.” They have also demanded that cases be filed against officials who granted the permission, and also that a strong anti-conversion law be brought about in the state.

Meanwhile 800 families have donated Rs 1,00,000/- for construction of the statue. Harobele village, where the statue is expected to be installed is located in the constituency of Congress leader DK Shivakumar who had used his own funds to purchase 10 acres of land from the government for the project. He laid the foundation stone on December 25 last year.

At the protest rally right-wing leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat was quoted by the Times of India as saying that while he wasn’t against Christ, he was against forced conversions. He also questioned the Congress leader’s intentions and threatened him saying, “You want to sell the country once again to the foreigners? We’re warning you; we’ll drown you in the Arkavathy reservoir.”

Meanwhile News 18 reported that the village is home to 3,500 Christian families. Locan Christians claim this has been their home for over 350 years, with earliest Christian settlements dating back to 1662. Hindus in the area also have no objection to the construction of the statue. There have also not been any conversions as alleged by the Sangh.

Given the current regime's proximity to groups that have been associated with serious instances of extreme violence against Christians such as the Kandhamal riots or the murder of Graham Staines and his two sons in Odisha, it remains to be seen if Karnataka will become a flash-point for anti-minority violence.

Sangh issues K’taka govt ultimatum over proposed statue of Christ

Objections raised to proposed construction of 114-foot statue of Jesus Christ in Ramanagara district

rally against Christ Statue

Right-wing organisations led by Hindu Jagaran Vedike marched on Monday to protest the Karnataka government’s decision to allot land for the construction of a 114-foot statue at Kapalbetta in Kanakpura taluka of Ramanagara district. The protesters chanted ‘Jai Sriram’ and ‘Rakta Kottevu, Kapalabetta kodalla’ (We will give our blood, but not Kapalabetta)’ during the march.

Now, the Sangh parivar has issued an ultimatum to the state government to withdraw the land grant by January 25. Newsclick quoted the resolution passed by the Sangh to say, “If you (state government) don’t act by January 25, we will step out to protest and won’t stop till we succeed.” They have also demanded that cases be filed against officials who granted the permission, and also that a strong anti-conversion law be brought about in the state.

Meanwhile 800 families have donated Rs 1,00,000/- for construction of the statue. Harobele village, where the statue is expected to be installed is located in the constituency of Congress leader DK Shivakumar who had used his own funds to purchase 10 acres of land from the government for the project. He laid the foundation stone on December 25 last year.

At the protest rally right-wing leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat was quoted by the Times of India as saying that while he wasn’t against Christ, he was against forced conversions. He also questioned the Congress leader’s intentions and threatened him saying, “You want to sell the country once again to the foreigners? We’re warning you; we’ll drown you in the Arkavathy reservoir.”

Meanwhile News 18 reported that the village is home to 3,500 Christian families. Locan Christians claim this has been their home for over 350 years, with earliest Christian settlements dating back to 1662. Hindus in the area also have no objection to the construction of the statue. There have also not been any conversions as alleged by the Sangh.

Given the current regime's proximity to groups that have been associated with serious instances of extreme violence against Christians such as the Kandhamal riots or the murder of Graham Staines and his two sons in Odisha, it remains to be seen if Karnataka will become a flash-point for anti-minority violence.

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Rohith Vemula March: The Caste Turn for Student Delhites?

16 Jan 2020

First published on February 23, 2016



Rohith Vemula gives them the perfect point of departure

 
Delhi is a city that has naturalised caste: a gardener believes he is born to be a gardener; a maid believes she was born to be a maid. Its so called efficiency has something to do with this aspect. Even among academics and students, the understanding and discussions of caste stay at their abstract best. Most of them are well meaning to be concerned about the "upliftment of Dalits" but in the busy-ness of their own professional lives, they really couldn't do much. The city kept running on the shoulders of the Dalits. Caste was a matter to be encountered only in reservation debates and that was a sort polemics only the political class could go through with.
 
But Rohith Vemula's one-note altered the caste debates in the country, from asking, "How can discrimination against Dalits be stopped?" or, "How can Dalits be uplifted" to, "Why is our society so inhumanly casteist?" or, "When will upper castes improve?", making every one ask the question, "Why are we like this?". The fact that his suicide note did not have a single word about caste discrimination, it only spoke about the need to travel from "shadows to stars" and the impossibility of it, struck a code with Delhi's students. Now they knew it was not about Dalits alone; it was more about them. Or the impossibility of being themselves ethically in this system. Now the onus was on the academic community: to make sure that Rohith is the absolute last to be orphaned to death.
 
The huge march in solidarity with JNU (against the trending #ShutdownJNU) on February 18 had many posters of Rohith Vemula and slogans such as, "JNU to bahana hai, Rohith ka mudda dabana hai" (JNU is an excuse to distract from Rohith's issue) prominently demonstrated such a change. The straight-line from FTII through HCU and OccupyUGC to JNU that students kept drawing was quite in place: the central government doesn't seem to understand the ways in which students work or think.
 
The Narendra Modi government might be good at attacking known political or social formations but students are an evolving social category and it clearly doesn't have the tools. If FTII was a clear case of trying to show "we can, so we will", OccupyUGC was an unnecessary provocation and HCU was MHRD's flexing its muscles gone terribly awry and JNU its hurried conclusions riding on hyper sensationalist jingoism. The mass media debates on national/anti-national, continued on social media, made students realise their common sense and regular discussions were stuff that could be termed "anti-national" and they found themselves in a strange situation where they had to explain their very existence to friends and family in the "tax payer entitlement" narrative. Students who were not part of any existing political formation also felt alienated and they kept telling themselves and others: students have to fight as students. In fact, they found a student issue with a cosmic objective to fight for.
 
The "Chalo Dilli" march on April 23rd and its clarion call "Delhi for Rohith Vemula" became exciting not just because more than 5,000 people walked a kilometre together from Ambedkar Bhawan to Jantar Mantar, or because there was a representation from all parties other than the BJP for the rally, but because the students had found a new icon in Rohith Vemula. It was difficult to dispute him or reject him if you didn't have party obligations or social interests.

The speciality of this icon was in its social content: caste was becoming an issue of political debate in student lives. Some Delhi students whose encounter with caste as a political issue was rather new also kept shouting "Jai Bheem" in an event primarily organised by Dalit organisations. 
 
One of the limitations of the Indian student movements has been their being floated and managed by students who socially belong to the ruling elite of the country. This is quite different from the Western situation where student movements have been political, academic and cultural manifestations of social changes. The chemical change of thinking in the 1960s was a result of socio-economic changes that ushered in women, African Americans, refugees, third world students and homosexuals into academe in huge numbers.
 
In India, such a turn hasn't happened. Nationalism and universal class wars were the concerns of student politics in earlier decades. But now the organising principle of Indian society is their problem as students. It might be the caste turn for student discourses. 
 
Surely, unlike in the University of Hyderabad, where the number of Dalit students is huge and the discourse of caste is very strong, Delhi still doesn't have such a situation. But it must now emerge to address the huge blind spot they have now realised. And Rohith Vemula gives them the perfect point of departure. 
 

Rohith Vemula March: The Caste Turn for Student Delhites?

First published on February 23, 2016



Rohith Vemula gives them the perfect point of departure

 
Delhi is a city that has naturalised caste: a gardener believes he is born to be a gardener; a maid believes she was born to be a maid. Its so called efficiency has something to do with this aspect. Even among academics and students, the understanding and discussions of caste stay at their abstract best. Most of them are well meaning to be concerned about the "upliftment of Dalits" but in the busy-ness of their own professional lives, they really couldn't do much. The city kept running on the shoulders of the Dalits. Caste was a matter to be encountered only in reservation debates and that was a sort polemics only the political class could go through with.
 
But Rohith Vemula's one-note altered the caste debates in the country, from asking, "How can discrimination against Dalits be stopped?" or, "How can Dalits be uplifted" to, "Why is our society so inhumanly casteist?" or, "When will upper castes improve?", making every one ask the question, "Why are we like this?". The fact that his suicide note did not have a single word about caste discrimination, it only spoke about the need to travel from "shadows to stars" and the impossibility of it, struck a code with Delhi's students. Now they knew it was not about Dalits alone; it was more about them. Or the impossibility of being themselves ethically in this system. Now the onus was on the academic community: to make sure that Rohith is the absolute last to be orphaned to death.
 
The huge march in solidarity with JNU (against the trending #ShutdownJNU) on February 18 had many posters of Rohith Vemula and slogans such as, "JNU to bahana hai, Rohith ka mudda dabana hai" (JNU is an excuse to distract from Rohith's issue) prominently demonstrated such a change. The straight-line from FTII through HCU and OccupyUGC to JNU that students kept drawing was quite in place: the central government doesn't seem to understand the ways in which students work or think.
 
The Narendra Modi government might be good at attacking known political or social formations but students are an evolving social category and it clearly doesn't have the tools. If FTII was a clear case of trying to show "we can, so we will", OccupyUGC was an unnecessary provocation and HCU was MHRD's flexing its muscles gone terribly awry and JNU its hurried conclusions riding on hyper sensationalist jingoism. The mass media debates on national/anti-national, continued on social media, made students realise their common sense and regular discussions were stuff that could be termed "anti-national" and they found themselves in a strange situation where they had to explain their very existence to friends and family in the "tax payer entitlement" narrative. Students who were not part of any existing political formation also felt alienated and they kept telling themselves and others: students have to fight as students. In fact, they found a student issue with a cosmic objective to fight for.
 
The "Chalo Dilli" march on April 23rd and its clarion call "Delhi for Rohith Vemula" became exciting not just because more than 5,000 people walked a kilometre together from Ambedkar Bhawan to Jantar Mantar, or because there was a representation from all parties other than the BJP for the rally, but because the students had found a new icon in Rohith Vemula. It was difficult to dispute him or reject him if you didn't have party obligations or social interests.

The speciality of this icon was in its social content: caste was becoming an issue of political debate in student lives. Some Delhi students whose encounter with caste as a political issue was rather new also kept shouting "Jai Bheem" in an event primarily organised by Dalit organisations. 
 
One of the limitations of the Indian student movements has been their being floated and managed by students who socially belong to the ruling elite of the country. This is quite different from the Western situation where student movements have been political, academic and cultural manifestations of social changes. The chemical change of thinking in the 1960s was a result of socio-economic changes that ushered in women, African Americans, refugees, third world students and homosexuals into academe in huge numbers.
 
In India, such a turn hasn't happened. Nationalism and universal class wars were the concerns of student politics in earlier decades. But now the organising principle of Indian society is their problem as students. It might be the caste turn for student discourses. 
 
Surely, unlike in the University of Hyderabad, where the number of Dalit students is huge and the discourse of caste is very strong, Delhi still doesn't have such a situation. But it must now emerge to address the huge blind spot they have now realised. And Rohith Vemula gives them the perfect point of departure. 
 

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Rohith’s death: We are all to blame

16 Jan 2020

First published on January 19, 2016


 
Supply Sodium Cynanide and a Rope to every Dalit student-Rohit to the VC a month before he took his life

 
This letter, dated December 18, 2015 has not been so widely quoted nor has it gone viral. It is a comment on all of us, especially those of us in the media, that we failed to read the warnings or feel the anguish.  After all it is since August 2015 that the social boycott and ostracizing of Dalit students, including Rohith was systematically afoot. That is close to five months ago.
 
Nearly a month to the day that he tragically gave up the struggle to live and took his own life, on December 18, 2015, a hand-written letter from Rohith Vemula to Vice Chancellor Appa Rao says it all. Taunting and tragic, the note will now be read as a precursor of what was to come. In a hand-written scrawl that hints at acute desperation, he says, “Your Excellency (addressed to the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao) “make preparations for the EUTHANASIA for students like me from the Ambedkarite movement…and may your campus rest in peace forever.”
 
The letter traces the officially sanctioned “social boycott” of Dalit students after they took on a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for his derogatory remarks to the Dalit students. “Donald Trump will be a Lilliput in front of you,” Rohith tells Appa Rao then offering a piece of chilling advice. “Please serve 10 miligram of Sodium Azide to all the Dalit students at the time of admission…Supply a nice rope to the rooms of all Dalits students..”The text of the letter can be read here and a scanned hand written copy seen here.

   


Now we know, and fret over the fact that his Rs 25,000 per month stipend (as of all his other suspended colleagues) was stopped after suspension and he had to borrow money, even from home, to survive the struggle. Now that he is dead we listen to the plight and anguish of his family. Why did we not listen before? As the isolation and anguish built up to make Rohith take a step so final that it signalled no return? Yes, we are all to blame.

“After the stipend was stopped, his family was struggling to support him. He borrowed Rs 40,000 from a friend and was living frugally. Almost every day, he used to say that his money was stuck,’’ said Velmula Sankanna, a fellow PhD scholar and one of the other five students who were suspended. “In December, Rohith wrote an angry letter to the V-C, sarcastically asking him to provide euthanasia facilities for Dalit students. Since then, he was scared to go to the administration building and ask about his stipend. He became silent and withdrawn. He said that he was falling into depression because he was being defeated by the system at every turn. He blamed himself, his caste, and the circumstances around him. He did not take much interest in anything except studies,’’ added Sankanna, a close friend.

We did not rise to feel, see or appreciate the seriousness implicit in the warnings. In August 2015, a questionable mode of ‘suspension’ of five singled out students of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) followed by the arbitrary stopping of their scholarship stipend, further followed by their being locked out of their rooms from January 4, 2016. Yet they fought on, sleeping out near the shopping complex in the cold. Awaiting fair hearing, democratic space for protest(s) and justice.

From the night of January 4, 2016 until today the sleep out protests continue.
 
After the tragic and unnecessary loss of the life of a budding science scholar, a proud Ambedkarite, will justice and fair hearing happen? Yesterday in a fully articulated representation to PL Punia, Chairperson of the National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Commission, the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, University of Hyderabad (UoH) has demanded:
 

  • Punish the Culprits under the SC/ST Atrocities Act:
  • Banadaru Dattareya, Union Cabinet Minister of State for Labour and Employment 
  • P Appa Rao, Vice Chancellor
  • Professor Alok Pandey, Chief Proctor
  • Susheel Kumar, ABVP President
  • Ramchandra Rao, MLC 
  • Remove P Appa Rao from the post of Vice Chancellor
  • Employ a family member of Rohith Vemula at the University of Hyderabad and give his family Rs 50 lahs in compensation
  • Drop the fabricated cases against five Dalit Research Scholars immediately and unconditionally
  • Revoke the suspension of Students immediately and unconditionally 

 
The Anger Spreads; Demands for resignation of Vice Chancellor Appa Rao
 
Anger and grief are potent combinations and both were visible in plenty at the mortuary of the Osmania Hospital on Monday, January 18 where Rohith Velumal lay, a day after he tragically ended his own life. His mother’s anguished cry says it all, ““I used to proudly tell everyone in my village that my son was doing PhD at Hyderabad University. Today, I have come to collect his dead body.’’ The family is from Gurazala near Guntur, his mother a tailor and father, Manikumar a security guard at the Hyderabad University. Rohith has two siblings, an elder sister and a younger brother.
 
Over 1200 students of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) participated in a rally on Monday evening and have resolved to protest on Tuesday, January 19 and not allow the university to function until the current Vice Chancellor, Appa Rao steps down. Before the rally, his close friends and colleagues, along with his family were present at the cremation of Rohith in Hyderabad. (see Image story)
 
Simultaneous and spontaneous protests continued through the day yesterday at Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai and Delhi. The road outside Shastri Bhavan, the office of Smriti Irani, the Ministry for Human Resources Development (MHRD) was cordoned off akin to a war zone (see pictures). In Hyderabad, a visit from the chairperson of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes Commission allayed feelings somewhat.
 
Though it is Rohith is the one who has made the most recent and most tragic sacrifice, the question is whether it will still open India’s eyes and hearts?

We read every other day not just of the social boycott of Dalit children in the mid day meal schemes. In ‘Dravidian’ politics ruled Tamil Nadu colour bands on Dalit students brand them with their caste. There is little political, social or cultural outrage. The television channels, packed as they are with ‘journalists’ most of whom sport a myopic caste consciousness of the elite Indian that simply excludes any mention of discrimination or exclusion while badgering home ‘the banner of tolerance’, rarely flag anti-Dalit atrocities as an institutional ill to be faced squarely then remedied.
In ‘progressive’ west India the discrimination takes similar forms, and examples abound. In Phugana, three young Dalit children, one a baby was burnt alive in a burst of Rajput rage.

Just like the Blacks fought (and have barely won) the Civil Rights battle in the West – last year’s incidents at Fergusson are evidence of how thinly layered this success is –it is privileged India, caste Hindus who need to hang their heads in acknowledgement, first, and the, shame.
 
We need to internalize what Dalit students experience when they enter schools, colleges and universities and break the glass ceiling and enter India’s famed institutions of higher learning, the IITs, the IIMs and Universities.
 
Not only is the percentage of Dalit students who enter higher educational institutions small. They are subject to insidious caste practices and exclusion that batters the hard earned self-esteem. A dangerous argument of ‘meritocracy’ cloaks well organized money and caste induced privilege.

This everyday institutional and societal exclusion and othering needs to be acknowledged squarely by each and one of us.
 
It is time we ask difficult ourselves some hard and uncomfortable questions.
 
What kind of history do we teach? Who are our heroines and heroes?
How many Dalits are there in the media, print and television?
How many Dalits in Institutions of power and governance?
 
The Dalit experience says that entering the corridors of elite educational institutions like Indian Institute of Technologies (IIT) and Indian Institute of Managements and Central Universities for scores of Dalit students is like walking into a living hell, where the fear of being shamed and humiliated hangs heavy on the heart and soul of every student.
 
Before Rohit, we lost Senthil Kumar and Nagaralu Koppalas, also in the Central University of Hyderabad. Have these earlier losses, deaths of young men in their prime been internalized and taught the UoH any lessons worth learning? The recent and continuing unfair suspension of Dalit scholars would appear to suggest that no lessons have yet been learned.
 
Is India willing ready and able to accept her Not So Hidden Apartheid?

Rohith’s death: We are all to blame

First published on January 19, 2016


 
Supply Sodium Cynanide and a Rope to every Dalit student-Rohit to the VC a month before he took his life

 
This letter, dated December 18, 2015 has not been so widely quoted nor has it gone viral. It is a comment on all of us, especially those of us in the media, that we failed to read the warnings or feel the anguish.  After all it is since August 2015 that the social boycott and ostracizing of Dalit students, including Rohith was systematically afoot. That is close to five months ago.
 
Nearly a month to the day that he tragically gave up the struggle to live and took his own life, on December 18, 2015, a hand-written letter from Rohith Vemula to Vice Chancellor Appa Rao says it all. Taunting and tragic, the note will now be read as a precursor of what was to come. In a hand-written scrawl that hints at acute desperation, he says, “Your Excellency (addressed to the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao) “make preparations for the EUTHANASIA for students like me from the Ambedkarite movement…and may your campus rest in peace forever.”
 
The letter traces the officially sanctioned “social boycott” of Dalit students after they took on a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for his derogatory remarks to the Dalit students. “Donald Trump will be a Lilliput in front of you,” Rohith tells Appa Rao then offering a piece of chilling advice. “Please serve 10 miligram of Sodium Azide to all the Dalit students at the time of admission…Supply a nice rope to the rooms of all Dalits students..”The text of the letter can be read here and a scanned hand written copy seen here.

   


Now we know, and fret over the fact that his Rs 25,000 per month stipend (as of all his other suspended colleagues) was stopped after suspension and he had to borrow money, even from home, to survive the struggle. Now that he is dead we listen to the plight and anguish of his family. Why did we not listen before? As the isolation and anguish built up to make Rohith take a step so final that it signalled no return? Yes, we are all to blame.

“After the stipend was stopped, his family was struggling to support him. He borrowed Rs 40,000 from a friend and was living frugally. Almost every day, he used to say that his money was stuck,’’ said Velmula Sankanna, a fellow PhD scholar and one of the other five students who were suspended. “In December, Rohith wrote an angry letter to the V-C, sarcastically asking him to provide euthanasia facilities for Dalit students. Since then, he was scared to go to the administration building and ask about his stipend. He became silent and withdrawn. He said that he was falling into depression because he was being defeated by the system at every turn. He blamed himself, his caste, and the circumstances around him. He did not take much interest in anything except studies,’’ added Sankanna, a close friend.

We did not rise to feel, see or appreciate the seriousness implicit in the warnings. In August 2015, a questionable mode of ‘suspension’ of five singled out students of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) followed by the arbitrary stopping of their scholarship stipend, further followed by their being locked out of their rooms from January 4, 2016. Yet they fought on, sleeping out near the shopping complex in the cold. Awaiting fair hearing, democratic space for protest(s) and justice.

From the night of January 4, 2016 until today the sleep out protests continue.
 
After the tragic and unnecessary loss of the life of a budding science scholar, a proud Ambedkarite, will justice and fair hearing happen? Yesterday in a fully articulated representation to PL Punia, Chairperson of the National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Commission, the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, University of Hyderabad (UoH) has demanded:
 

  • Punish the Culprits under the SC/ST Atrocities Act:
  • Banadaru Dattareya, Union Cabinet Minister of State for Labour and Employment 
  • P Appa Rao, Vice Chancellor
  • Professor Alok Pandey, Chief Proctor
  • Susheel Kumar, ABVP President
  • Ramchandra Rao, MLC 
  • Remove P Appa Rao from the post of Vice Chancellor
  • Employ a family member of Rohith Vemula at the University of Hyderabad and give his family Rs 50 lahs in compensation
  • Drop the fabricated cases against five Dalit Research Scholars immediately and unconditionally
  • Revoke the suspension of Students immediately and unconditionally 

 
The Anger Spreads; Demands for resignation of Vice Chancellor Appa Rao
 
Anger and grief are potent combinations and both were visible in plenty at the mortuary of the Osmania Hospital on Monday, January 18 where Rohith Velumal lay, a day after he tragically ended his own life. His mother’s anguished cry says it all, ““I used to proudly tell everyone in my village that my son was doing PhD at Hyderabad University. Today, I have come to collect his dead body.’’ The family is from Gurazala near Guntur, his mother a tailor and father, Manikumar a security guard at the Hyderabad University. Rohith has two siblings, an elder sister and a younger brother.
 
Over 1200 students of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) participated in a rally on Monday evening and have resolved to protest on Tuesday, January 19 and not allow the university to function until the current Vice Chancellor, Appa Rao steps down. Before the rally, his close friends and colleagues, along with his family were present at the cremation of Rohith in Hyderabad. (see Image story)
 
Simultaneous and spontaneous protests continued through the day yesterday at Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai and Delhi. The road outside Shastri Bhavan, the office of Smriti Irani, the Ministry for Human Resources Development (MHRD) was cordoned off akin to a war zone (see pictures). In Hyderabad, a visit from the chairperson of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes Commission allayed feelings somewhat.
 
Though it is Rohith is the one who has made the most recent and most tragic sacrifice, the question is whether it will still open India’s eyes and hearts?

We read every other day not just of the social boycott of Dalit children in the mid day meal schemes. In ‘Dravidian’ politics ruled Tamil Nadu colour bands on Dalit students brand them with their caste. There is little political, social or cultural outrage. The television channels, packed as they are with ‘journalists’ most of whom sport a myopic caste consciousness of the elite Indian that simply excludes any mention of discrimination or exclusion while badgering home ‘the banner of tolerance’, rarely flag anti-Dalit atrocities as an institutional ill to be faced squarely then remedied.
In ‘progressive’ west India the discrimination takes similar forms, and examples abound. In Phugana, three young Dalit children, one a baby was burnt alive in a burst of Rajput rage.

Just like the Blacks fought (and have barely won) the Civil Rights battle in the West – last year’s incidents at Fergusson are evidence of how thinly layered this success is –it is privileged India, caste Hindus who need to hang their heads in acknowledgement, first, and the, shame.
 
We need to internalize what Dalit students experience when they enter schools, colleges and universities and break the glass ceiling and enter India’s famed institutions of higher learning, the IITs, the IIMs and Universities.
 
Not only is the percentage of Dalit students who enter higher educational institutions small. They are subject to insidious caste practices and exclusion that batters the hard earned self-esteem. A dangerous argument of ‘meritocracy’ cloaks well organized money and caste induced privilege.

This everyday institutional and societal exclusion and othering needs to be acknowledged squarely by each and one of us.
 
It is time we ask difficult ourselves some hard and uncomfortable questions.
 
What kind of history do we teach? Who are our heroines and heroes?
How many Dalits are there in the media, print and television?
How many Dalits in Institutions of power and governance?
 
The Dalit experience says that entering the corridors of elite educational institutions like Indian Institute of Technologies (IIT) and Indian Institute of Managements and Central Universities for scores of Dalit students is like walking into a living hell, where the fear of being shamed and humiliated hangs heavy on the heart and soul of every student.
 
Before Rohit, we lost Senthil Kumar and Nagaralu Koppalas, also in the Central University of Hyderabad. Have these earlier losses, deaths of young men in their prime been internalized and taught the UoH any lessons worth learning? The recent and continuing unfair suspension of Dalit scholars would appear to suggest that no lessons have yet been learned.
 
Is India willing ready and able to accept her Not So Hidden Apartheid?

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Muzaffarnagar arrests go kaput: 19 get bail due to lack of evidence

Police unable to prove grievous crimes like rioting and attempt to murder against CAA protestors

16 Jan 2020

protest against CAA

It has been around a month since Uttar Pradesh police's alleged excess during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) led to 20 deaths and hundreds of people getting arrested and booked for allegedly causing violence. Muzaffarnagar was one of the 9 districts majorly affected by these alleged state sponsored acts of violence, high handedness and misuse of law. In Muzaffarnagar, 3,000 unidentified persons were booked along with 262 identified persons and 72 people were also arrested on charges of violence. Out of these, 107 persons were arrested on charges of rioting and attempt to murder in connection with the protests.

However, courts demand evidence and that's when the police have to present evidence even if it is prima facie evidence to show the District Court judge why the accused ought not to be granted bail.

So far, 19 people have been released on bail by the court either on account of lack of evidence or after the charges of grievous offences were dropped. In one case, 5 people were let off the police themselves under the powers granted by CrPC under section 169 which is invoked when “evidence is deficient”. In some cases, the police were unable to prove that the accused were involved in rioting or attempt to murder and were only able to say that the accused violated prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC.

The Sessions Judge had given an order to release 15 people all of whom were students of a local madrasa. The Judge based his decision, among other things, on the failure of the police to provide CCTV footage of the incident. The bail was granted as no prima facie was made.

The FIR, on the other hand, had mentioned that the accused had engaged in arson and rioting, created an atmosphere of terror and destroyed public property. 

 

Related:

UP claims Pilibhit houses majority of the 32,000 ‘identified’ refugees
ABVP loses top posts in Varanasi’s Sanskrit University student union elections
‘Killing Dissent’ – How the government has been silencing opposing ideas and voices
Sadaf Jafar speaks to Sabrang India about her nightmarish experience in jail
After silencing protests by violence, UP starts implementing CAA
How true is the UP Police's claim of 57 cops being shot at during protests?

Muzaffarnagar arrests go kaput: 19 get bail due to lack of evidence

Police unable to prove grievous crimes like rioting and attempt to murder against CAA protestors

protest against CAA

It has been around a month since Uttar Pradesh police's alleged excess during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) led to 20 deaths and hundreds of people getting arrested and booked for allegedly causing violence. Muzaffarnagar was one of the 9 districts majorly affected by these alleged state sponsored acts of violence, high handedness and misuse of law. In Muzaffarnagar, 3,000 unidentified persons were booked along with 262 identified persons and 72 people were also arrested on charges of violence. Out of these, 107 persons were arrested on charges of rioting and attempt to murder in connection with the protests.

However, courts demand evidence and that's when the police have to present evidence even if it is prima facie evidence to show the District Court judge why the accused ought not to be granted bail.

So far, 19 people have been released on bail by the court either on account of lack of evidence or after the charges of grievous offences were dropped. In one case, 5 people were let off the police themselves under the powers granted by CrPC under section 169 which is invoked when “evidence is deficient”. In some cases, the police were unable to prove that the accused were involved in rioting or attempt to murder and were only able to say that the accused violated prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC.

The Sessions Judge had given an order to release 15 people all of whom were students of a local madrasa. The Judge based his decision, among other things, on the failure of the police to provide CCTV footage of the incident. The bail was granted as no prima facie was made.

The FIR, on the other hand, had mentioned that the accused had engaged in arson and rioting, created an atmosphere of terror and destroyed public property. 

 

Related:

UP claims Pilibhit houses majority of the 32,000 ‘identified’ refugees
ABVP loses top posts in Varanasi’s Sanskrit University student union elections
‘Killing Dissent’ – How the government has been silencing opposing ideas and voices
Sadaf Jafar speaks to Sabrang India about her nightmarish experience in jail
After silencing protests by violence, UP starts implementing CAA
How true is the UP Police's claim of 57 cops being shot at during protests?

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‘Don’t forget Gujarat’: Pro-CAA supporters warn protestors at a BJP rally in Kerala

The pro-CAA supporters shouted provocative slogans as they marched at a ‘Save the Country’ public meet by the BJP

15 Jan 2020

screenshot

“Don’t forget Gujarat. Remember before taking us on, you dogs,” a rally of men screamed as they marched through the town of Kuttiady in Kozhikode, Kerala in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

 

 

Armed with saffron flags, the protestors did not chant pro-CAA slogans and were instead heard raising violent threats to the Muslims, The News Minute reported. The slogan ‘Don’t forget Gujarat’ was to remind those protesting against the CAA of the genocide of over 1900 Muslims in Gujarat when Prime Minister Narendra Modi served as Chief Minister there in 2002.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had organized a ‘Save the Country’ public meeting in Kozhikode in protest of which most of the shopkeepers pulled down their shutters and boycotted the attempt of the BJP to gain support for the CAA and NRC.

The meeting that was supposed to begin at 5 P.M. saw no attendance of the people from the towns it was held in. Shops shut at around 3 P.M. before the BJP General Secretary M.T. Ramesh was to address the public.

Ramesh had faced similar embarrassment in the town of Valanjavazhi where a total shutdown took place before his public meeting.

The same scenario was repeated at Narikkuni reported Deccan Herald where BJP state vice president A.P. Abdullakutty was to address a pro-CAA meeting.

According to DH, the shutdown took place under the aegis of the Constitution Protection Council, the secular democratic spearhead of the anti-CAA protests that alerted people with WhatsApp messages asking them to stay away from town and not be onlookers at their programme.

TNM said that the protest took a communal turn after the ferried supporters of the BJP faced such opposition from the town locals and the same was confirmed to the publication by the Chief Inspector of Kuttiady police station.

Following the incident, the Kuttiady police registered a case against the participants in the rally under Sections 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) of the IPC.

"The case has been registered against the entire rally. We are yet to identify the persons involved in the incident and arrest them," an officer from the Kuttiady Police Station told TNM.

Responding to the incident, Thomas Isaac, Kerala’s Finance Minister put out a statement on Facebook saying, “Nobody has forgotten Gujarat. We don’t intend to forget it and we will constantly remind people about it. That memory is out greatest weapon to destroy the BJP’s communal agenda.”

“"I am not surprised by the slogans raised by the BJP workers in Kuttiyadi. It is the Islamophobia that has seeped into the blood of Narendra Modi and a common BJP supporter that was on display there. How long can they camouflage this? On the one hand, BJP is holding door-to-door campaigns and public rallies in the name of comforting Muslims, on the other they issue threats to Muslims asking them if they remember Gujarat,” he added.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has stood in staunch opposition against the BJP over its decision to implement the CAA-NPR-NRC in the country. The Kerala Legislative Assembly was the first to pass a resolution against the CAA calling it unconstitutional, asking the Centre to scrap the same.

However, since the country has erupted in protests against the BJP’s decision for the CAA and NRC, there has been a big jump in hate speech with the first coming from the Prime Minister himself when he said one could identify protestors from the “clothes they wear” targeting a minority community.

Since then everyone from a Bajrang Dal leader to BJP State President for Kolkata Dilip Ghosh have been booked for threatening to kill and beat up anti-CAA protestors. UP BJP MLA threatened of burying alive all those who protested against the CAA and CT Ravi, a Karnataka BJP leader also warning protestors of a ‘Godhra-like’ situation.


Related:

Bajrang Dal leader booked for threatening to kill CAA protestors
“Shot like dogs in Assam and UP”: Dilip Ghosh says police was right for opening fire
Decoding Hate: UP BJP MLA threatens to “bury alive” protesters
K'taka BJP leader warns anti-CAA protesters of ‘Godhra-like’ situation

‘Don’t forget Gujarat’: Pro-CAA supporters warn protestors at a BJP rally in Kerala

The pro-CAA supporters shouted provocative slogans as they marched at a ‘Save the Country’ public meet by the BJP

screenshot

“Don’t forget Gujarat. Remember before taking us on, you dogs,” a rally of men screamed as they marched through the town of Kuttiady in Kozhikode, Kerala in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

 

 

Armed with saffron flags, the protestors did not chant pro-CAA slogans and were instead heard raising violent threats to the Muslims, The News Minute reported. The slogan ‘Don’t forget Gujarat’ was to remind those protesting against the CAA of the genocide of over 1900 Muslims in Gujarat when Prime Minister Narendra Modi served as Chief Minister there in 2002.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had organized a ‘Save the Country’ public meeting in Kozhikode in protest of which most of the shopkeepers pulled down their shutters and boycotted the attempt of the BJP to gain support for the CAA and NRC.

The meeting that was supposed to begin at 5 P.M. saw no attendance of the people from the towns it was held in. Shops shut at around 3 P.M. before the BJP General Secretary M.T. Ramesh was to address the public.

Ramesh had faced similar embarrassment in the town of Valanjavazhi where a total shutdown took place before his public meeting.

The same scenario was repeated at Narikkuni reported Deccan Herald where BJP state vice president A.P. Abdullakutty was to address a pro-CAA meeting.

According to DH, the shutdown took place under the aegis of the Constitution Protection Council, the secular democratic spearhead of the anti-CAA protests that alerted people with WhatsApp messages asking them to stay away from town and not be onlookers at their programme.

TNM said that the protest took a communal turn after the ferried supporters of the BJP faced such opposition from the town locals and the same was confirmed to the publication by the Chief Inspector of Kuttiady police station.

Following the incident, the Kuttiady police registered a case against the participants in the rally under Sections 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) of the IPC.

"The case has been registered against the entire rally. We are yet to identify the persons involved in the incident and arrest them," an officer from the Kuttiady Police Station told TNM.

Responding to the incident, Thomas Isaac, Kerala’s Finance Minister put out a statement on Facebook saying, “Nobody has forgotten Gujarat. We don’t intend to forget it and we will constantly remind people about it. That memory is out greatest weapon to destroy the BJP’s communal agenda.”

“"I am not surprised by the slogans raised by the BJP workers in Kuttiyadi. It is the Islamophobia that has seeped into the blood of Narendra Modi and a common BJP supporter that was on display there. How long can they camouflage this? On the one hand, BJP is holding door-to-door campaigns and public rallies in the name of comforting Muslims, on the other they issue threats to Muslims asking them if they remember Gujarat,” he added.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has stood in staunch opposition against the BJP over its decision to implement the CAA-NPR-NRC in the country. The Kerala Legislative Assembly was the first to pass a resolution against the CAA calling it unconstitutional, asking the Centre to scrap the same.

However, since the country has erupted in protests against the BJP’s decision for the CAA and NRC, there has been a big jump in hate speech with the first coming from the Prime Minister himself when he said one could identify protestors from the “clothes they wear” targeting a minority community.

Since then everyone from a Bajrang Dal leader to BJP State President for Kolkata Dilip Ghosh have been booked for threatening to kill and beat up anti-CAA protestors. UP BJP MLA threatened of burying alive all those who protested against the CAA and CT Ravi, a Karnataka BJP leader also warning protestors of a ‘Godhra-like’ situation.


Related:

Bajrang Dal leader booked for threatening to kill CAA protestors
“Shot like dogs in Assam and UP”: Dilip Ghosh says police was right for opening fire
Decoding Hate: UP BJP MLA threatens to “bury alive” protesters
K'taka BJP leader warns anti-CAA protesters of ‘Godhra-like’ situation

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Bengal BJP chief unfazed by 2 FIRs

Dilip Ghosh booked under charges of hate speech on complaints by TMC leaders

15 Jan 2020

Dilip Ghosh

Dilip Ghosh, the notorious BJP leader of West Bengal has been booked on two counts of hate speech in Bengal. His recent statement about death of anti-CAA protestors “they were shot like dogs” has not missed the public eye and has not gone down well with the government in the state. Two TMC leaders in Nadia’s Ranaghat and North 24-Parganas’ Habra filed FIRs against this insensitive statement of his.

At a public meeting in West Bengal’s Nadia district speaking about public property being destroyed in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, he said, “Who do they think the public property that they are destroying belongs to? Their father? Public property belongs to the taxpayers. You (Mamata) do not say anything because they are your voters. In Assam and Uttar Pradesh, our government has shot these people like dogs.”

Ghosh, however, remains unperturbed, ready to make another hate speech on another occasion. “They file dozens of FIRs against me every month. FIRs are filed from places I was not even present in. These things do not matter,” said the unfazed offender. He also said, “Slogans of ‘Pakistan zindabad’ are heard instead of Vande Mataram and Jai Hind, in Bengal now… ‘Hindustan tere tukde hongey hazaar…’ they say. Bengal is now a fortress of deshdrohis,” while also saying that he stands by his remarks and will make them in the future when need arises.

The Telegraph reported that police sources in Ranaghat said Ghosh was likely to be summoned soon to explain himself. An officer has said that based on the video footage of his speech, Dilip Ghosh’s offence is cognizable. Ghosh was booked under charges of criminal intimidation, promoting enmity and hatred between religious groups and intention to cause injury.

Ghosh has made several controversial statements in the past. He has asked beef eaters to eat dog meat and also said cow’s milk contains gold. He has also said that encounter killings are necessary tool of governance and called Jadavpur University girls “shameless” saying they lean on boys and complain of molestation.


Related:

Shot like dogs in Assam and UP”: Dilip Ghosh says police was right for opening fire
Bengal BJP president calls encounter killings ‘governance tools’
BJP leader attacks beef eaters in bizarre remarks; calls desi cow milk, golden milk

 

Bengal BJP chief unfazed by 2 FIRs

Dilip Ghosh booked under charges of hate speech on complaints by TMC leaders

Dilip Ghosh

Dilip Ghosh, the notorious BJP leader of West Bengal has been booked on two counts of hate speech in Bengal. His recent statement about death of anti-CAA protestors “they were shot like dogs” has not missed the public eye and has not gone down well with the government in the state. Two TMC leaders in Nadia’s Ranaghat and North 24-Parganas’ Habra filed FIRs against this insensitive statement of his.

At a public meeting in West Bengal’s Nadia district speaking about public property being destroyed in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, he said, “Who do they think the public property that they are destroying belongs to? Their father? Public property belongs to the taxpayers. You (Mamata) do not say anything because they are your voters. In Assam and Uttar Pradesh, our government has shot these people like dogs.”

Ghosh, however, remains unperturbed, ready to make another hate speech on another occasion. “They file dozens of FIRs against me every month. FIRs are filed from places I was not even present in. These things do not matter,” said the unfazed offender. He also said, “Slogans of ‘Pakistan zindabad’ are heard instead of Vande Mataram and Jai Hind, in Bengal now… ‘Hindustan tere tukde hongey hazaar…’ they say. Bengal is now a fortress of deshdrohis,” while also saying that he stands by his remarks and will make them in the future when need arises.

The Telegraph reported that police sources in Ranaghat said Ghosh was likely to be summoned soon to explain himself. An officer has said that based on the video footage of his speech, Dilip Ghosh’s offence is cognizable. Ghosh was booked under charges of criminal intimidation, promoting enmity and hatred between religious groups and intention to cause injury.

Ghosh has made several controversial statements in the past. He has asked beef eaters to eat dog meat and also said cow’s milk contains gold. He has also said that encounter killings are necessary tool of governance and called Jadavpur University girls “shameless” saying they lean on boys and complain of molestation.


Related:

Shot like dogs in Assam and UP”: Dilip Ghosh says police was right for opening fire
Bengal BJP president calls encounter killings ‘governance tools’
BJP leader attacks beef eaters in bizarre remarks; calls desi cow milk, golden milk

 

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