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Showing posts from August, 2017

Hail Indian judiciary! Recent judgments are shot in the arm for democracy, augur well for pluralistic, secular fabric

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By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
The Indian Judiciary (at least a good section of it) seems to come of age: objective, faithful to the letter and spirit of the law and unmindful of the consequences, the threats and intimidations of their political bosses or the violent mobs! The last week in India has been a vibrant one in the history of India –with several landmark judgements being delivered. These judgements have come as a shot in the arm for democracy in India, for the pluralistic and secular fabric of the country and above all, they augur well for the future of India.
On August 25th, CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh, held Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda guilty of rape and criminal intimidation of the two female disciples in 2002. On August 28th, Gurmeet Singh was sentenced to ten years in prison (many, including his victims, feel that he should have been given a life term) by the same judge. Given his mass following and the fact that Gurmeet Singh has the sup…

Anonymous letter by sadhvi which led to conviction of Ram Rahim 15 years after CBI began investigation

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Ram Rahim has been found guilty of raping two sadhvis at Dera. A sadhvi wrote an anonymous letter that led to CBI probe. It exposes the wrongdoings of Ram Rahim and his Dera. Fifteen years after the letter was written, addressed to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been convicted by a CBI court. Ram Rahim is currently lodged in the Rohtak jail in Haryana. Full text of the letter:
I am a girl hailing from Punjab and I have been serving as a sadhvi at Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa (Haryana) for the last five years. There are hundreds of other girls, who serve for 16-18 hours a day at the Dera. We are being physically exploited here. Dera Maharaj Gurmeet Singh rapes girls at the Dera. I am a graduate girl. My family members are blind followers of Maharaj (Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh). I became a sadhvi at my family's bidding.
Two years after I became a sadhvi, Maharaj Gurmeet Singh's close woman-disciple Gurjot told me one night around 10 pm that I had been …

Incredible India: When rape accused isn't arrested we burn candles, march; when rape accused is arrested we burn the city

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By Anand Mazgaonkar*
We should all be extremely grateful to Baba Ram Rahim and Dera Sachcha Sauda for not formally announcing a coup and official takeover of the State of Haryana yesterday. That would indeed have been the first coup within a country and without military, or “outside” support. Actually, they did not need outside support because, in line with swadeshi philosophy, they had enough “inside” support.

Need to ponder why non-Muslim electorate get united, victory of BJP candidate means the utter neglect of Muslim areas

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By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
The ghost of the ex-Vice President, Hamid Ansari rant will follow the Muslim community for a long time. The biggest tragedy for Indian Muslims is that they have lost their faith in their leadership. At the time of leaving the Vice Presidential post, the way, Hamid Ansari let down not only the Muslim community but the entire Diaspora of Indian ecumenism and equanimity, it was appalling and awful for all those who cater to the voice of sanity.
The way Ansari toed the tone of intolerance and the tenure of the rudderless Muslim leadership, he lost his credibility with all those toeing the voices of reason.
Uttering such venomous views will be harmful for the already beleaguered Muslim community. Truth is that this kind of Muslim leadership has lost both its voice and utility. Indian Muslims have been victim to an irresponsible leadership which is bent on keeping the community in subjugation by concentrating on emotionally sensitive issues as was done by Ansari.
Rudde…

Purohit was 'caught in political crossfire'? Why was he fully ensconced with organizations like Abhinav Bharat?

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Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association statement on the Supreme Court granting bail to Lt Col Purohir:
The Malegaon accused Lt. Colonel Shrikant Purohit has been granted bail by the Supreme Court.
We know that bail in terror cases, especially those involving bomb blasts, is rare, if not altogether impossible to secure.

Followers of those who sabotaged the freedom movement, decorated in different colours, striking at the root of India's integrity

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The All-India Radio and Doordarshan have refused to broadcast the Independence Day speech of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who heads the Left Front government in the state. The speech was recorded on August 12, and was informed on August 14 that it would not be broadcast unless he agreed to “reshape the content making it suitable to the solemnity of the occasion and sentiment of the people”.

Time to break-up the fiction: The destinies of the people of Jammu and Ladakh have to be delinked from Kashmir

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By Mohan Guruswamy*
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of South Asia. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The name Kashmir derives from the Sanskrit Kashyapmeru. The Greeks knew it as Kaspeiria.

The silent resurrection of West Bengal against the backdrop of continued smear campaign, often bordering on abuse

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By Shantanu Basu*
In the past few months, there has been an unseemly smear campaign, often bordering on the abusive, against the state of West Bengal (WB) and Bengalis, not based on hard facts but on amnesiac recollection and horror storytelling. I therefore recount in the following paragraphs the silent resurrection of WB, entirely based upon Govt. of India’s official statistics.

With Infant Mortality Rate of 62 per 1,000 child births, at 62.90 and 64.60 Zambia and South Sudan give competition to Gorakhpur

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By Mitra Ranjan*
As we are celebrating 70th Independence Day, the death of more than 60 children over 5 days in the Baba Raghav Das College in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh is an extremely heart-breaking, inhuman and unfortunate incident. It is not only a matter of negligence but deliberate killing of Children who were suffering from symptoms of encephalitis. Thirty eight children died over 48 hours due to no oxygen in the hospital.

Madhya Pradesh police busy in naming NBA activists, including Medha Patkar, and displaced persons in false cases

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Medha Patkar, Dhurji Bhai, Vijay Bhai and Santu Bhai, leaders of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), will be spending the Independence Day in jail, it has taken strong exception to the Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Modi governments for maintaining stoic silence on the displacement in Narmada valley, status of rehabilitation sites and adverse social and environmental impacts. Statement by NBA:

Make in India drive? How workers work in an environment of extreme insecurity in a Chinese smartphone MNC

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By Cijo Joy and Anushka Singh*
The ‘Make in India’ drive and its claim of generating employment by getting multi-national companies to manufacture in India is characterized by appalling and inhuman work ‘opportunities’ of which the Vivo India Pvt Ltd is a glaring example. Vivo Company is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer that entered the Indian markets in December 2015 under the ‘Make in India’ initiative and was also the sponsor of the Indian Premier League 2017.

Crossroads@70: Definite efforts are being made today to plunge India into abysmal depths

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By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
The recent elections to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, is a glaring example of how corruption has been blatantly mainstreamed by the current political dispensation; the son of the BJP chief of Haryana, literally thinks that he can get away for stalking a girl, due to his political clout; Medha Patkar arrested in the midst of her hunger strike on behalf of the oustees of the Narmada Dam; India’s new President and Vice-President steeped in the ideology of the RSS.
These are but a few examples in recent weeks, which illustrate, as India celebrates its 70th anniversary of independence, there are definite efforts being made today to plunge the country into abysmal depths.
There is indeed much to be grateful for (thanks to the efforts of millions of Indians these past years). Over the years, India and her people have attained many heights!
The 75th anniversary of the ‘Quit India Movement’ on August 9th brought to mind the selfless sacrifices of Mahatma Gandhi and the…

Do not forcibly evict Narmada dam oustees till rehabilitation sites are prepared: Letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Eighteen members of Parliament, include Sarad Yadav (JD-U) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) write letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to intervene in the Narmada dam controversy following the indefinite fast undertaken by Narmada Bachao Andolan. Text of the letter: 
We are sending this appeal to you in extraordinary circumstances when 40,000 families in 192 villages of Madhya Pradesh are on verge of facing submergence this Monsoon.

An unsolicited advice: Hindus and Muslims should realise that centuries old tolerance is the creation of Hindu sages in ancient times

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By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
O MUSLIMS!
O Muslims! You have every right to believe in the superiority of your religion but do not be arrogant to be the best or denigrate (Zakir Naik style) other faiths or hurt the sentiments of the majority community as has been done by the likes of the Owaisis, Azam Khans and Imam Barkatis. Stop cribbing and complaining. Stop playing the crying baby and victim card. That Islam is the best religion must not be proved by mere lip service but by following the path of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). You are doing everything that He disliked!

If any Indian company buys up Air-India, a discourteous deadwood, it would be subjected to heavy pressure from politicians

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By Gaurav Tyagi
The ‘disinvestment’ decision of the government regarding Air-India is a long overdue, welcome step. This airline is a ‘white elephant’ and presently has a total debt of approximately more than Rs. 52,000 Crores.
Congress party initiated a vicious cycle of turning profit making industries into loss making units by nationalizing them.