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Narmada is still a lifeline for millions in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. It has survived exploitation, but for how long?

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A Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) analysis based on recent developments in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh around Narmada: In the middle a drought-like crisis that has gripped regions depending on the Narmada, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani recently sparked off a fresh controversy by inaugurating a water-park! The Chief Minister opened the Rs 1,100 crore water-park in Anand district of central Gujarat on April 8 amidst massive agitations by farmers of neighbouring villages. This water park is a tourism project among the many MoUs signed during one of the Vibrant Gujarat investors’ meet started during the tenure of the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and continued thereafter by his successors.
Gujarat’s tourism plans went a notch ahead as Gujarat’s forest department proposed setting up a new ‘lion safari’ 25 km away near Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) city in Gandhinagar, and a tiger safari near Kevadia in Narmada district, and a new leopard safari in Mandvi taluka of Su…

Season of acquittals has come: Why can't terrorists be defined as saffron? Is radicalisation only confined to Muslims?

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By Adv Masood Peshimam Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said that guilty would not be spared but the ground reality is different in our country. The way the accused are set free in the Mecca Masjid blast case, the setting free of Maya Kodnani, an erstwhile minister in Modi cabinet in Gujarat, and the earlier bailing out of Sadhvi Pragya, Colonel Prohit and others in Malegaon blast give the impression that the season of acquittals has come.
The prospect of certain set of accused walking free has brightened with the Modi government at the Centre. They cannot be defined as saffron terrorists as if the radicalisation and terrorism are only confined to Muslims. Only Muslim terrorists are acceptable in day-to-day parlance. The concept of terrorists other than Muslim is not only discarded but treated as offensive.
Eleven years after a bomb ripped through Mecca Masjid, killing nine people, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court acquitted all the five accused in a much-awaite…

Odisha rights activists protest against growing atrocities against women and girl children in the country

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Text of the note by Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD) Moderator, Odisha Odisha activists working on different rights based issues in the State protested against growing atrocities against women and girl children in the country at Lower PMG, Bhubaneswar on 18th April 2018.  Raising serious concern over the very recent two cases happened in last two weeks i.e., one the rape of a minor girl of Unnao and murder of her father in police custody who came to file complaint to seek justice and second, the gang rape and murder of an 8 year old minor girl belongs to a Muslim nomadic tribes, they said “This is a severe and unspeakable brutality which has shaken the morale and humanity of the entire nation.”
The protestors alleged that most shamelessly, by sacrificing all the rationale and morale into astray, in two of these incidents, the Ruling BJP with political patronage and support of Hindu Ekta Manch is involved in both the States”.
Condemning the protest by Jammu lawyers against the inv…

Fake news is dirty politics, not journalism: PM used it against Manmohan Singh during Gujarat polls

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By Anand K Sahay Fake news” (FN), much heard about lately, is not news at all and is not part of any form of journalism. Typically, it is a part of the dirty tricks aspect of right-wing politics in many countries, as well as of intelligence outfits. The CIA has practised this dark art with consummate skill across the globe to outflank America’s opponents.
Journalism casts light. It seeks to spread credible information, analysis and views without which we will flounder in today’s complex and rapidly changing world. FN, on the other hand, spreads darkness. Its purpose is to confuse, spread falsehood and manipulate the unsuspecting minds of newspaper readers, television viewers and radio listeners, in order to disrupt the tempo and ethos of democratic politics.
In fact, the word “news” in its name is misleading. It should plainly be called what it is — “false information”.
“False information” is related to the pursuit of retaining power or making a lunge for power in deceitful ways — by …

It is pathetic that support is given to murderers and rapists by organisations, politicians and lawyers

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By Sheshu Babu* Atrocities on women including rapes and murders have been discussed and debated at length. Also, violence on girls and girl- child have been highlighted many times. But, these days, girls below teen age are not only raped and tortured for days but also killed in a most grotesque way. Any word, whether ' terrible ' or ' horrific ' sounds euphemistic in describing these cold-blooded murders. Even more pathetic is the support given to these murderers by organisations, politicians and lawyers making police system, which is already inefficient, ineffective.
Kathua and after Even as Asifa case has gained prominence and demands to punish culprits are on the rise, there are reports of a brutally raped and tortured body of a minor girl aged about 10 was found in Surat, Gujarat (April 14, 2018, kracktivist.org) . Another girl aged about 9 or 10 was mutilated and the body was found near Rohtak, Haryana (April 16, 2018, timesofindia.indiatimes.com) . These are fe…

Prime Minister, given your supremacy in the party and govt, you have to be held responsible for the terrifying state of affairs

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Text of the open letter 49 retired civil servants, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to the families of the Kathua and Unnao rape victims to “seek their forgiveness”: We are a group of retired civil servants who came together last year to express our concern at the decline in the secular, democratic, and liberal values enshrined in our constitution. We did so to join other voices of protest against the frightening climate of hate, fear and viciousness that the ruling establishment had insidiously induced. We spoke then as we do now: as citizens who have no affiliations with any political party nor adherence to any political ideology other than the values enshrined in our Constitution. We had hoped that as someone sworn to upholding the Constitution, the government that you head and the party to which you belong would wake up to this alarming decline, take the lead in stemming the rot and reassure everyone, especially the minorities and vulnerable sections …

Blinkered vision? BJP's communal logic in Unnao and Kathua rape cases is like pot calling the kettle black

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By Adv Masood Peshimam Our country does not run on the sense of justice, fair play and equity. The winds start blowing in the right direction under some sort of pressure. Without pressure nothing works. Pressure has political implications not only nationwide but also internationally. It is the weight of pressure which has impacted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence and speak up on most gruesome gang rape incidents in Kathua in Jammu and Unnao in UP. It is said that he was possibly provoked into making a statement by Congress President Rahul Gandhi who had urged PM to speak. Gandhi said “India is waiting for the watchman” to speak, a veiled reference to Modi’s own analogy that he would be the Chowkidar of the nation.
Relenting in the face of the national outrage and media outcry over inaction in Kathua and Unnao gang rape Modi has said both these incidents challenge the concept of social justice and that the guilty won’t be spared. He also said that events that have been…