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Showing posts from June, 2017

Reputation of heavenly abode of peace, love is falsified to the extent that it creates an air of prejudice about Kashmir

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By Manjot Singh Kohli
I have seen roads turning, dawn breaking, mountains trimming, and opinions changing. A wanderer myself, however, I never wanted to return from this paradise! The black shade of the moon is so much blared about and condemned that its glow and charm is ignored like it never existed! Meeting people of every opinion for sure broadened my perspective of what they call hell streets, and what I call heaven lanes.
There was a time when Kashmir was the last place I wanted to travel in the world. The image was of savagery and mortality. Not that everything thing is flowery now, but for sure it’s less thorny than it is portrayed.

Narmada valley calls out "democratic" forces to raise voice on "injustice" against a river, a valley and its people

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By Medha Patkar*
The situation at one of the oldest sites of human civilizations – the Narmada valley of Madhya Pradesh – is today worse than a battlefield where the humble, hard working farmers, fisher folk, potters and labourers are struggling day in and day out to simply survive against the onslaught of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the Narmada river in Gujarat.

Govt of India is seeking to "undermine" Make in India, is all set to drop anti-dumping duty on soda ash

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By Shaktisinh Gohil*
The BJP government, which talks big on Make in India, is seeking to adopt a policy that would ruin Indian industry and murder ‘Make in India’! The Congress-led UPA government came up with the Anti-Dumping Notification No 34/2012 on July 3, 2012 for five years in order to protect the labour-intensive household soda ash industry from China, Pakistan, European Union, Kenya, Ukraine, Iran and USA which seek to dump the commodity in India.

BJP "caught" in double talk: Having supported smaller states, it now seeks way out of the commitment

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By Sadhan Mukherjee*
The pent-up demands for separate statehood by people in different parts of India are now bursting forth since the Gorkhaland demand has grown in dimension and effect. Last Saturday New Delhi was the venue where some of these new statehood demand protagonists met. This means that in the coming days, the demand is going to intensify, not die down.

Ask Modi to "actively" promote rights of minorities and "speak out" against violence of Hindu extremist groups

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Open letter by Gerard Oonk, director, India Committee of the Netherlands, to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches the country on his first official visit on June 27:
On June 27, Prime Minister Modi of India will pay his first official visit to the Netherlands. Reasons for this visit are the 70 years diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands and the fact that the Netherlands is one of the largest investors in India.

Junaid's lynching: Politics of RSS and its political outfit BJP "directly responsible" for outburst of hatred

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National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) associates Medha Patkar of Narmada Bachao Andolan! Aruna Roy of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Prafulla Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyan; Binayak Sen of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties; and Sandeep Pandey of the Socialist Party, among others, have signed the following statement on lynching Junaid:

Why is India evading ratification of UN Convention against torture, other cruel, inhuman treatments

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By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
June 26th is designated by the UN General Assembly as the ‘International Day in Support of Victims of Torture’, with a view ‘to the total eradication of torture and for the effective functioning of the ‘Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’(UNCAT).

Modi "must persuade" US president Donald Trump to reconsider America's negative stance on Paris Agreement

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Mahesh Pandya of NGO Paryavaran Mitra, Ahmedabad, has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to pursue President Donald Trump to reconsider America’s stand on Paris Agreement during his forthcoming visit to the US. Text:

Joint meeting fizzles out: Can Mamata oppose if Central govt agrees to set up another state of Gorkhaland?

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By Sadhan Mukherjee* As apprehended the joint meeting called by the West Bengal government in Siliguri has on Thursday become infructuous because of its truncated nature. The main players were absent. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other Hill parties and groups had already announced they would boycott it.

Republic TV "desperate" to raise TRP, telecasting "slanderous" reports, spreading "canards" through social media

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Renowned anti-nuclear and peace activist Dr. SP Udayakumar has filed a complaint with the Press Council of India against "harassment" meted out to him and his family by Republic TV, which is under attack for openly supporting Modi government. Text:

Make in India is "empty slogan" sans Safe in India: Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from work-related accident or disease

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By Aakash A Shah and HP Mishra*
Health and safety of the employees is an important aspect of a company's smooth and successful functioning. It is a decisive factor in organizational effectiveness. It ensures an accident-free industrial environment. Companies must attach the same importance towards achieving high OH&S performance as they do to the other key objectives of their business activities.

Sardar Sarovar gate closure without resettlement is "inhuman, unjust" decision: Will SC intervene?

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Statement by South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People:
On June 17, 2017, a PIB Press Release from Union Ministry of Water Resources announced, “Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has cleared the final raising of Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) in Gujarat by lowering of gates and impounding of water in the reservoir upto its Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of EL 138.68 mts.

Caught in political cleft over Gorkhaland, Trinamool, BJP should know: Nepalese consider Darjeeling theirs

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By Sadhan Mukherjee*
Both the TMC and BJP seem to be caught in a political cleft over Gorkhaland. Only a sincere dialogue among the three parties together – BJP, Trinamool and GJM -- can bring a solution to the vexed issue that has grown beyond the control of any one party.

India is one of the few democracies that is not a signatory to both the Refugee Convention and the Protocol

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By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, ‘everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution’. In keeping with the letter and spirit of this Right, more than 145 countries of the world have signed the United Nations ‘1951 Refugee Convention’ and the ‘Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees 1967’.

Kerala Police "brutally" came down and lathicharged Puthuvypeen residents, "unlawfully" detaining children

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A National Alliance of People’s Movement’s (NAPM’s) letter to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking urgent intervention in the matter of police action against peaceful protestors of Puthuvypeen, Kochi:
We are writing to you in the context of the serious repression by your Government on the people of Puthuvypeen, near Kochi who have been peacefully protesting against the LPG Import Terminal Project of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for the past 108 days.

Mining is known to cause widespread social, cultural, environmental upheaval, yet its impact on children is overlooked

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A note on Gujarat-level consultation on Children in Mining Areas, District Mineral Fund (DMF), and Pandhayats (Extension in Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA):  
One Day State Level Consultation was organized by Samata with the collaboration of SETU: Centre for Social knowledge And Action, Ahmedabad, Adivasi Ekata Parishad and Mandvi Taluka Sarpanch Association with a special focus on children in mining areas, DMF and PESA on 11th June 2017 at JFM Community Hall, Mandvi, Surat district, Gujarat.

Govt of India "dismantling" eco-protection laws, dubbing those opposing development projects as "anti-national"

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By V Suresh*
June 5 is celebrated globally as World Environment Day, a day to remind everyone about the fragility of the environment caused by human agency, to sensitise people about the urgency of citizen action to counter environmental degradation and to get all of to rededicate ourselves to preserving nature and wildlife, protecting environment, safeguarding natural resources and persuade and push governments globally to halt environmentally destructive, polluting and hazardous industries, development projects and uncontrolled urbanization.

Saharanpur violence result of RSS "cultivating" weaker castes among Dalits, OBCs, weakening solidarity

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By Battini Rao*
Fifty five Dalit houses were burnt down during the afternoon of May 5 in Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur in northern UP. Attackers belonged to the dominant Rajput community of the area. They were armed with swords, spears, and lathis, and numbered about three thousand. Several other houses were looted, and fifteen motorcycles were burnt. Twelve Dalits received serious injuries. One young Rajput man died of asphyxiation according to post mortem. The attack continued for five hours.

Demand for Gorkhaland based on historical arguments, people’s voice should be dispassionately heard

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By Sadhan Mukherjee*
Thousands of tourists are stuck in Darjeeling as all routes to that tourist spot including the Toy Train are closed. Special flights are being arranged but how to reach the nearest airport at Bagdogra when all roads are closed? From today (12 June) an indefinite bandh of government offices has been called. Quite a big number of forces have been deployed by the state government. But violence has already begun in some places like in Bijonbari and Sukna.

Gujarat connection of India's farmers unrest: How an individual helped show, the emperor has no clothes

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By RK Misra* The volcanic eruption of farmers' unrest in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra which also threatens to engulf poll-bound Gujarat had been simmering for long. The Narendra Modi government, however, chose to remain in a state of denial to their miserable plight reflected in the rising tide of farmers suicides,countrywide. That is until a single individual from his home state, Gujarat, decided to take it upon himself to point out that the emperor had no clothes. And with resounding success.

Gujarat govt filing false affidavits before court to show: Best rehabilitation of Narmada dam oustees achieved

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Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) statement in the wake of arrest of Gujarat of activists, participating in Rally for the Valley campaign for the rehabilitation of the Narmada dam oustees: The statement issued by the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Nitin Patel, followed the totally undemocratic and unexpected arrest and attack on the children participating in the peaceful rally of Sardar Sarovar oustees with supporters from across the country, on the border of MP and Gujarat (on 7th June 2017).

Bishops and the lay leadership of the Church are "bending backwards" to please BJP and Sangh Parivar

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By Prasad Chacko*
Last week the leadership (lay as well as clergy) of the Kerala Churches, and their political agents across parties, were seen crawling to be in the good books of the government at the Centre during the visit of Amit Shah. According to Church circles they met the National President of the BJP because he had expressed his wish to meet them. After the meeting they said that there was no political agenda to the meeting, and that they did not discuss any political issues.

Police firing in Madhya Pradesh: It’s not just "conspiracy" against agriculture, it’s "open war" against farmers

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By Jayesh Patel and Sagar Rabari* 
The news of police firing on agitating farmers in Madhya Pradesh has shocked all of us. In an act of defiance the police, acting on political orders, have unleashed violence against farmers agitating about their perilous condition and neglect by the government of their long-standing demands. Their action has resulted in the death of 6 farmers, as per news reports of various national dailies.

Ram Kathakar Murari Bapu forgets Nayi Azadi secured in 1977 is being snatched away once more

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Gautam Thaker, General Secretary, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Gujarat, has shot an open letter to Morari Babu, well known story teller on Lord Ram. Text:
Due to your certain statements during religious discourses - Ram Katha - Manas Shankar, held last month at Kedar Nath, I felt surprised and shocked. Of course as a citizen of India, you have a right to say what you want to.

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