Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Increasing IIT fee is a condemnable act, must not be allowed: Would be more than triple the existing annual fee

The decision to increase the annual fee of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country, is a condemnable move.

The move is to raise the existing fee of Rs 90,000 per year to 3 lakh, which is more than trebling the fee [233% hike].

This unjust and totally wrong decision, which will affect the students coming from the poor and under-privileged families.

The standing committee of the IIT council (SCIC) has accepted the expert panel's proposal of raising the fee.

The SCIC is a sub-committee of the IIT council, which is the decision making body of 22 premier engineering colleges.

But, the final decision will be taken by Smriti Z Irani, the former TV star-turn-HRD minister who has been in the eye of a storm after her controversial role in the death of Hyderabad Central University student Rohith Vemula.

Communist Party of India (CPI) has criticised the move and has said that it is a retrograde step that will affect families with poor economic condition. It has said that the decision would be opposed tooth and nail.

IITs are India's premier institutions and many of its students leave the country after graduation. This has been a cause of concern. Though IITs haven't come up with major or pathbreaking innovations, its alumni has achieved success in diverse spheres and has created the image of Indian engineers as efficient software engineers and nerds, in the West.

Representative photo, IIT, courtesy The Mint

Monday, March 28, 2016

Shocking: Havells' insensitive advertisement against constitutional provision of reservation for SC/ST/Backward communities in government jobs

Havells India Limited, a company that manufactures electrical goods including fans, has come up with a advertisement that attacks the reservation policy in India.

The ad is shocking because it is plain insensitive and reveals their absolute lack of awareness regarding Indian society.

The advertisement shows as if 'quota' is a privilege and ignores the fact that it is constitutional provision.

The lines used in the ad that term 'quota' as a short-cut 'seedhi' or ladder that gives 'privilege' which needs to be rejected by the new generation, is objectionable. On whose behalf, on which India's behalf, it [Havells] claims to speak? [LINK TO THE CONTROVERSIAL ADVERTISEMENT]


Aarakshan: Why reservation is necessary in jobs in India

The job quotas are a means to provide equal representation to sections of society that have remained under-privileged for centuries, who were denied education and who have faced biases of extreme kind for ages.

Either it is plain stupidity or height of biased attitude that Havells comes up with this advertisement. The section of Indian society that have been systematically denied any share in power, were given reservation after independence.

Even today, reservation is not properly implemented. Dalits, Tribals and Backward castes that number more than 75%, don't get representation in government jobs as per their numerical strength despite the reservations.

The policy is not implemented in many sectors and different ways have been found to block appointments, especially, through delaying recruitment and giving jobs on contract basis
in government institutions and universities.

Affirmative action required for justice, due representation

Doesn't Havells India Limited officials have any idea about the need for affirmative action and corrective measures that are taken in Western countries to ensure that there is equality and justice in the society--for example affirmative action to ensure participation for African-Americans in jobs.

The advertisement slyly and insensitively mocks at the disadvantaged sections of our society. The fact is there is extreme over-representation of Upper castes in top jobs, in government, in corporates and media.

Even among Muslims, the Upper Caste or Ashraaf, dominate the politics and are over-represented in jobs. The advertisement needs to be condemned. Already, people have begun writing to the company and have approached various fora to express their outrage over this 'Main pankha hoon: Hava badlegi' ad.

LINK TO THE CONTROVERSIAL ADVERTISEMENT

आरक्षण क्यूँ ज़रूरी है ?
आरक्षण की व्यवस्था संवैधानिक है, जिसका मक़सद पिछड़े तबकों को उनकी आबादी के हिसाब से नौकरी और सत्ता में भागीदारी देना है. ये समाजिक न्याय के लिये ज़रूरी है, ख़ास तौर पर उस मुल्क में जहां दलित, आदिवासी और पिछड़े सदियों से न सिर्फ तालीम से दूर रखे गए बल्कि उनको जातिगत भेदभाव भी झेलना पड़ा. सामाजिक तौर पर तो वह पिछड़े हैं ही. इसलिए रिज़र्वेशन कोई एहसान नहीं है, ये समाज की विषमता को ख़त्म करने के लिए ज़रूरी है. पश्चिमी देशों में भी 'अफरमेटिव एक्शन' लिया जाता है, निजी क्षेत्र में भी ध्यान रख जाता है कि किसी समूह का रिप्रेजेंटेशन सही नहीं है तो उसे बढ़ाया जाये.
ریزرویشن ہندوستانی سماج میں صدیوں سے چھوا چھوت جھیل رہے عوام کو انکا  حق اور مقام دینے کا آیینی راستہ ہے۔ یہ ضروری ہے اس ملک میں جہاں ہزاروں سال تک ان طبقات کو تعلیم سے بھی دور رکھا گیا۔

RSS volunteers' twitter handle wants Hindus to avoid chicken at Karim's, stop business with Muslim: Hindutva Fascists' economic boycott plan for minorities!

A twitter handle @Rss_Org that claims to be an 'independent initiative of RSS swayamsevaks' has appealed to Hindus to avoid business with Muslims.

The handle that has more than 100,000 followers [1.05 lakh] on Twitter, said that Hindus must ask religion of every vendor even if it is about a mere Rupee 5 transaction.

It further said that Hindus should not eat chicken [meat!] at Karim's as they have alternatives--outlets run by the Hinduts.

The inflammatory tweets in a way appeal for economic boycott of Muslims. Also, it aims at creating divide between Hindus and Muslims, promoting religious enmity between them. But is this the RSS' vision?

The handle is run by 'RSS swayamsevaks'. In the past when a similar issue cropped up, RSS dissociated itself, saying it is not the 'official handle', but didn't condemn or seem action for communal tweets.

However, the fact that it is run by self-proclaimed RSS volunteers, reveals the mindset and thought process of the Sangh brigade.  It can't be dismissed as it also runs a website RSS.org. And, it is clear hate-speech.

The economic boycott idea is anti-national and divisive to say the least. Read the series of tweets:

*...Can you plz start boycotting Bangl(adeshi)/Muslim maids, rickshaw, auto, Kabadi wala, Barber etc?
*And please stop being orgasmic about "Karim's chicken. Rajinder's chicken is also there...satisfy your taste buds there.
*Stop funding ur death! Everytime u do any business, or take any service pls ask the name of vendor before transaction of even 5 rupees.

Isn't that serious? The reactions ranged from outrage to scorn. Some made fun of the Sangh-walas' love for chicken that they had to eat it anywhere, if not Muslim, then at a Hindu eatery. Others made fun of the 'regressive mentality'.

Many called it clearly, 'anti-national'. In the past, VHP leader Pravin Togadia, has made similar speech. Clearly, this is not something that is alien to the RSS. Togadia's speech had been reported in the media too. It can't be dismissed as childish or fantastic, as this is hate-filled Fascist agenda that is being put forward.

It will lead to further ghettoisation, if Hindus do business with Hindus, and Muslims deal with Muslims. This will further change complexion of Indian cities. If, such thought process is on, and people are working on it, then it is dangerous for the Indian society.

Already, there are such enclaves and if it grows, the gulf between the two major communities of India, will increase. Practically, it is not possible cent percent to divide Hindus and Muslims on the street, but such communal propaganda can hurt the country, in a big way, in the long run.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Virat Kohli's march towards greatness, better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar in handling pressure: Steely nerves, dominance reminds of Viv Richards

It was sheer joy to watch Virat Kohli take India to victory against Australia in the quarter final of the T20 world cup.

Kohli was in complete command in the match and there was no way he could be stopped.

The era when Indian batsmen buckled under pressure is long gone but the manner in which Kohli dominated the scene today, was taking it to yet another level.

Match after match, Kohli has emerged as a match-winner but today he was in absolute control a as he steered India into the semi-final.

The asking rate, the bowler(s), the odds, nothing seemed to bother him.

The swashbuckling shots, the confidence and the command, reminded me of the great Viv Richards in his prime, who instilled fear in the minds of bowlers. When Viv was on the fields, one 

Just when it seemed that the asking rate was too high, Virat pulverized Faulkner. 19 runs in the over, changed the complexion of the match. Virat was now in full flow.

Isn't Virat Kohli better than Sachin Tendulkar in run-chase, handling pressure?

Nathan Counter-Nile got a taste of the belligerent batsman in his next over, as he conceded 16. Suddenly, the match was in India's favour.

Boundaries were coming effortlessly. The frustrated look on the faces of the bowlers said it all. They had no clue how to contain him.

India won with five bowls to remain. Kohli had hit 82 out of 51 balls and what once looked to be an uphill task, seemed so easy. Indians erupted in joy and came out on the streets to celebrate the victory.

Having seen the Gavsakar era, the Tendulkar age, the Dhoni era and now Virat's times, one can see clearly how Indian cricket has evolved. We were never short on talent but it was 'nerves' where we used to get beaten. 

Today, Indian cricket has reached the stage where our players have the confidence to achieve anything and now they have the nerves of steel to snatch victory, even in the toughest circumstances.

Virat Kohli heralds the dawn of this new era in Indian cricket.

Sachin was definitely the greatest batsman in terms of runs scored in Tests and ODIs but when it comes to handling pressure, chasing runs, Virat Kohli is surely better. Emotions aside, that's the truth.





Thursday, March 24, 2016

Historic struggle of students in Hyderabad Central University: HCU students targeted for taking on establishment, resisting Saffron takeover

The students of Hyderabad Central University (HCU) have been a thorn in the flesh of the current dispensation.

The HRD ministry, the Secunderabad MP, the Vice-chancellor, were all against the students who raised voice against Saffron take over in the HCU.

It resulted in the death of Rohith Vemula, which roused the anger of students and citizens across the country.

But, the focus was shifted to Delhi, after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row. Meanwhile, Appa Rao, the controversial VC was again brought back.

The tainted man who hid crucial documents and who has been booked in the case of Rohith Vemula's death--in fact, an institutional murder, is again in the saddle.

And, the students who protested his return even when inquiry is on, were chased and beaten up brutally by scores of policemen.

The sight of students being dragged, hit with batons and girl students allegedly threatened of rape, shows the vengeance with which the entire dispensation is acting against the students.

Reports say that University has been sealed, food supply to hostels stopped and even water connection cut off. Many students are in hospital.

Others who were taken away by police are yet to be traced. Their condition and whereabouts are not known. The situation in the University campus later was described as 'war zone' and 'prison' in different reports.

Political parties indifferent to students' cause!

For, the Ambedkarite students, there is no major outfit to support them.

In fact, the agitating HCU students don't have any political support.

Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana, a state ruled by TRS. BJP has hardly any presence in the state.

But, it seems that BJP is virtually running the show. Unfortunately, other political parties have also not expressed as much solidarity, as was needed.

Dalit, Bahujan students', resolve is truly inspirational.The local government is nowhere in picture.

It seems the show is being controlled directly from Delhi--Smriti Irani, the Union HRD minister.

Local parties have hardly bothered to intervene or come to the succour of students. There were few voices of support.

Media ignored police brutality on students

While students were being beaten, dragged and taken away by police, 'national media' looked askance.

The India-Bangladesh match was their priority. Power was cut, food was not allowed and even internet was shut so that students couldn't contact with fellow students outside.

Read this report, 'No food or water, Trapped Hyderabad students narrate campus ordeal', in Huffington Post, to understand the situation.


The police action was extremely brutal and many students were seriously injured.

Despite the nature of the police lathi-charge, media remained indifferent.

However, on social media, there was palpable anger over the excessive police violence.

Students, activists, academicians and youths from different sections, were outraged.

The bid to Saffronize the Universities was first resisted in HCU. And once again it is this University that has taken on the establishment.

Either it is Fergusson College or Allahabad University, the right-wing is aiming at a takeover everywhere. The nexus of BJP leaders, the servile VCs and the ABVP are together in this ploy all over the country.

But HCU students have shown the way.

Read the earlier report on this blog about the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula.Clearly, University of Hyderabad students have shown great resilience and have taken on the might of the establishment. CLICK TO READ

It is a historic fight and a truly memorable one.

LINKS:

1. Rohith Vemula's death is institutional murder: Discrination with Dalits, Casteism on Campus
2. An undeclared emergency at the Hyderabad central university
2. What happened in University of Hyderabad yesterday

Monday, March 21, 2016

Muslims raise 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' slogan, write it with their blood in Gwalior

MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi's speech and later former MP Javed Akhtar's response to it, had led to a heated debate over chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' recently.

Muslims in Gwalior gathered at the Phool Bagh chauraha, and wrote Bharat Mata ki Jai, with their blood.

They said that Owaisi can't be allowed to hijack the Muslim voice and he can't speak for Indian Muslims.

Local Muslims from different sections including activists, those associated with religious organisation, mosques, dargahs, waqf bodies trusts and political parties including Congress were present.

The organisers said that love towards motherland is an intrinsic part of Islamic belief and no one can take away this right from them.

They raised patriotic slogans including 'Madr-e-watan zindabad' [Long live the motherland] and Hindustan Zindabad. There were speeches also on the occasion.

Ironically, Vande Mataram or Bharat Mata Ki Jai are used as 'tests of patriotism'.

The fact is that millions of Muslims, schoolchildren, daily chant the slogan.

For everyone who refuses to chant the slogan when forced to say it, there are innumerable Muslims who chant it voluntarily.

The expression of patriotism is through deeds, not through sloganeering alone.

Unfortunately, Indian Muslims are made to go through these tests time and again, which upsets them.

So this is also another side of the picture. The report published in a local Hindi newspaper is also put up here.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fascism in India, right-wing replicates Nazis: Innocent Muslims being killed all over the country, attacked over false rumours on beef

Two Muslims including a minor who were herding buffaloes were killed in Latehar in Jharkhand. The bodies were found hanging by the tree.

The policemen suspect that right-wing radicals killed them. The legislator and local population also say that they were apparently killed just because they were Muslim.

"Mohammad Mazloom and Azad were beaten up, the bodies strung up with their hands tied behind their backs and mouths stuffed with cloth", say reports. Such brutality no longer shakes the nation.

The reason is that it is the new 'normal'. Mass media, including many TV channels, are part of thsi propaganda to demonise Muslims. Either it is defaming Muslims, terming them as anti-nationals, forcing new definition of nationalism or putting minorities under patritotism test, TV channels are pandering to the Hindutva Nazis.

Across India, Muslims are being attacked, killed, beaten up and threatened, for no reason. Nothing is needed, not even a false rumour now, to attack Muslims, as this incident shows. READ

FEW RECENT EXAMPLES:

1. Elderly Muslim couple beaten up on train in Harda, on suspicion that they had beef in the food. Later, the self-styed Gau Raksha force leader threatened the superintendent of police (SP).

2. A youth, Noman, who hailed from Saharanpur (UP) was killed in Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur by cow vigilantes. The victim was a cattle trader and hence he became a 'cow smuggler' in the country where life of a cow is sacred and kiling a human being amounts to nothing.

3. Zahir Ahmad, who hailed from Kashmir, was killed in similar incident in Udhampur over rumours of 'cow slaughter'.

4. Kashmiri youths arrested after false rumour that they had cooked and eaten beef in their hostel room in Rajasthan.

5. Mohammad Akhlaq, father of a severing armyman, killed in his house over 'suspicion that there was beef in his house'. Loudspeaker from a temple announced this and Akhlaq was lynched in Dadri, UP. Later, meat was sent for forensic examination and it was found that it was not beef.

FASCISM IS MAINSTREAM IN INDIA:

The Hindutva lumpens have the audacity to attack and butcher anyone. The police are mostly swift in arresting minorities, even if it is a case pertaining to sharing a Facebook post, but killers in such cases are given a long-rope.

There is a huge army of people involved in propaganda, spreading hatred towards Muslims. Many call centres have been set up to further the right-wing agenda and under the garb of political propaganda, they propagate falsehoods and Muslims are demonised round the clock.

CONGRESS' CARELESSNESS RESULTED IN THE SITUATION

While right-wing was infiltrating every institution including courts, @INCIndia cared little. RSS leaders involved in terror, weren't booked. Forget slapping UAPA on them, they were not even quizzed.

Like SIMI, organisations like Bajrang Dal should've been banned years ago. But this didn't happen. Every right-wing organisation linked to Sangh, got immune from the law.

After right-wing terror accused were arrested, there was no major crackdown on RSS, a strange NGO, that had been banned several times in the past. Congress-led UPA was in power for ten years, but it remained soft.

Result is mob rule, institutions have been weakened, courts letting off genocide accused like Maya Kodnani on bail @INCIndia. Most certainly, blame goes to @INCIndia for not reining in lumpens for decades.

[All the incidents mentioned above have been reported well in the past. You can search online. Dadri, Harda, Himachal Pradesh, Udhampur, Rajasthan]

Photo Credit LINK

Friday, March 18, 2016

Morphed images lead to arrest of two youths in Madhya Pradesh: Is law same for everyone in India?

Is law same for everyone in India? This question is asked quite often. 

Just now, two youths have been arrested in Madhya Pradesh for 'sharing morphed pictures'. It is not a holy person whose photo was morphed. 


But yes, Mohan Bhagwat, heads RSS that is the boss of the BJP which is ruling party in India. Morphing images is not a great idea.


However, that's something which has become quite common. It has become like cartoons. A politician not working efficiently and you put tortoise photograph in place of the torso.


Some morphing case are less innocent. However, it has acquired a sort of social sanction. The two youths were arrested and sent to jail. Now that's not so quick in general case. 


You're in trouble for sharing such content on Facebook or Twitter, if you're not with the right party. 


If you're with the 'right party' even complaint may not lead to FIR. Even if FIR registered you won't be arrested. 

And if you are really unlucky and arrested, you will get immediately bail and won't have to go to jail. Law is same for all, just application is different. So, there are factors that influence a lot. 

ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS

Courts may be independent but the first agency that puts onus or responsibility of committing an offence, making you an accused, is the police

1. And, the policemen always see who the person is? Is he well-connected, has an organisation or party behind or is influential in other ways.

2. The decision to whether just take an application and put it in abeyance or register FIR and the kind of sections that are to be applied, depends on these above mentioned factors. 

3. Further, if you are from certain unprivileged groups of the society, the cops would be prompt in taking action and more harsh. 

It all begins from here. And those who understand law and judiciary, can inform you better. Those who go through, will know it, themselves. No need for me to elaborate on it further. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Great Game of Right-wing: Testing patriotism of Indian Muslims, keeping them under constant attack, fascism getting mainstream in India

Congress and BJP came together to get legislator Waris Pathan expelled from Assembly.

Millions of Muslims including schoolchildren daily chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'. 

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen [MIM] leader had said that he won't say 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'.

But who gives someone a right to decide that they are more patriot and to put others to this patriotism test.

How many other countries have such tests for their own country men? Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata ki Jay, and at times, Saraswati Vandana?

Both parties are two sides of same coin, no difference. Everyone is free to say, 'Jai Hind', 'Jai Bharat' or 'Hindustan Zindabad'.

Right-wing strategy to keep Muslims cornered, defensive

Great RSS' game. Raise an issue, someone in a huge country will react. If Muslims react its trouble.--they'll be blamed, termed 'less patriot' If don't react, then threshold affected for later, as something of a higher degree will be forced because the precedent is there that earlier it was enforced and none one had any problem. 

Being silent is no option either because you are pushed to wall further.

Today, Bharat Mata. Then, a month later, 'Desh mein rahna hoga, Vande Matram kahna hoga'. A month later it'll be 'Suya Namaskar'. Then, beef issue will be raised. Subsequently, 'bhojan mantra' in angan-wadis, then 'Saraswati Vandana' in school, then Yoga, then Gita lessons in school, then something else. 

Defaming Muslims is part of permanent, continuous strategy towards Hindu Rashtra

Throughout the year, this continues and the result is Muslims are DEFAMED, this creates image of 'the other, anti-national, bad apples'. Defaming hurts most, it leads to heightened communalism in society, trouble in getting jobs, houses.

This defamation and constant attacks, affect Muslims psychologically. It breaks them. It hurts confidence. That's the aim too. RSS projects are on all round, in every sector. Socially, politically, everywhere Muslim has to be targeted, weakened.

How to get out of this cycle? RSS, its innumerable arms, branches, have no dearth of ideas and ways to create controversies, keep up this pressure on the community. It’s so easy, for them.

Someone may say, 'Bharat mata ki Jai', but coercion is not tolerable. Patriotism test can't be forced on anyone.

No one has this right, sorry.

Why RSS' Bharat Mata doesn't have national flag in hand?

Journalist and former India Today managing editor, Dilip C Mandal, has asked why the Bharat Mata portrayed in photographs on all the RSS websites doesn't have the national flag in her hand?

"Why she is holding the Saffron flag?", he asks in his Facebook posts. Mandal says that this patriotism is suspect as there is no tricolour and the Ashok Chakra is also missing.



Sectarianism among Indian Muslims: Deobandi-Barelvi schism widesn, ugly trend of not attending marriages and refusal to bury dead in graveyard

Sectarianism among Muslims in India has been growing lately. The differences between Barelvis and Deobandis are growing.

Lately, it has become a new trend to see wedding cards, having the clear message that 'people belonging to particular sects' shouldn't attend.

This card, which I just saw, is about a Muslim marriage in Madhya Pradesh. The aim is that if someone who has got the card 'mistakenly' and he/she belongs to other sect, they need not attend the event.

But, is it because you don't know the person [well enough and their ideological bent] and still send invitation? They claim that sometimes the person's sect is not known clearly and hence it is better to let them know, clearly that they aren't welcome.

Will attending the event, make your function unholy? This contrary to Islamic teachings. In fact, tis is height of bigotry.

The line in the card, "Deobandi, Wahabi, Sulah-e-Kul(i) hazraat ka aana sakht manaa hai". It further reads, "jinko ye bura lage, woh bhi na aayein".

This means that if you have got the card and though you share the same sect but you are offended and don't like this message printed despite being of 'own sect', please be away and don't grace the occasion. Isn't it madness!

In some places, the sectarianism is not as strong or is overlooked but in certain regions this has become a major issue. Another sad news came from Rajasthan. The notice on the boundary wall of a grave yard, says it clearly, "this qabristan belongs to Sunnis, Wahabis-Deobandis won't be buried here".

Now, that's condemnable. Even if there are differences, to disallow a dead person from getting burial, is shocking and shows mental bankruptcy. There is no way you can stop someone belonging to a different theological school, from attending events, let alone stopping the burial--extremely inhuman and insensitive act.

Worse, even if they consider Deobandis as different, not considering the latter as Sunni, is bizarre.
In fact, Muslims of all sects, have been getting buried in the same grave yards across the country, for centuries.

Earlier, there were isolated pockets where one heard of diktats from adherents of one sect, to avoid interaction with the other sect.

The incident came to fore after an old man, Mohammad Yusuf, 88, died.

As he didn't identify himself with any particular sect, the body was exhumed. The body had to be taken to Mandsaur in MP, for burial.

Later, a case was registered against the grave yard management. The Barelvis have been opposing Deobandis' burial in the graveyards in Chhattisgarh, for long. But this has been spreading to other regions.

Of late, it has become a trend to print it on wedding invitation cards that 'people from other sects should not even attend even if the card has reached them mistakenly'.

Stopping fellow Muslims from entering mosques is quite common in parts of MP, UP, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Now, we hear it from Rajasthan too. SEE LINK

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Kanshi Ram: Revolutionary leader of Dalits-Bahujans who changed power equilibrium, transformed Indian politics

A decade has passed since Kanshi Ram passed away, but the leader of the Bahujan movement, is increasingly remembered, not just by his followers and admirers but also by the opponents.

After all, Kanshi Ram, the leader of the Bahujans--Dalits, backward and oppressed classes, in North India, changed the face of Indian politics. It was a lifelong struggle for him. 

Having vowed at an early age to bring a transformation in Indian society and change the equilibrium of power in the country, Kanshi Ram, travelled across the country on bicycle to spread awakening and take the message of his leader, Dr BR Ambedkar to the Dalits, in order to bring about a social-political revolution. 

Kanshi Ram founded DS4, BAMCEF and later his most successful project--the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which headed by his protege Mayawati turned the caste wheel back, after many millennia, in Uttar Pradesh.

[Birth Anniversary: March 15, 1934]

Though born in Punjab, Kanshi Ram, realised that it was Uttar Pradesh, where his politics could succeed. Kanshi Ram was unlike Dalit leaders who played second fiddle in Congress or the other political parties.

"I will never get married, never acquire property, never visit my home, devote and dedicate my life to achieve the goals of Phule-Ambedkar movement', that was his pledge, which he had taken earlier in his life.

There was an inherent aggression in him, the anger over injustice, oppression with millions of Dalits [Scheduled Castes (SCs)] over centuries.

The slogans like 'Tilak, Tarazu aur Talwar, inko maro joote chaar', irked the Upper Castes [Savarnas].

But Kashi Ram was unperturbed. He turned the BSP into a major force in the country.

First, alliance with SP, and later forcing Congress to be a junior partner in elections in UP, BSP emerged as the party of Dalits. A section of Muslims voted for BSP, enthusiastically.

The fact that BSP couldn't capitalize on Muslim anger with Congress, completely is another story. When BSP came to power, Dalits felt empowered in UP, a state where casteism is rampant and casteist discrimination remains an order of life. 

Kashi Ram was born in a Ramdasia family in Punjab on March, 15 1934. He passed away in 2006. 
By then, he had ensured that Dalits had acquired power in UP, and Mayawati had been chief minister twice by then. Unfortunately, Mayawati failed to expand the party further.

Though she has managed to hold reins of power and kept BSP united, Behenji hasn't allowed a secondary, junior leadership to emerge in the party. However, Kanshi Ram's success, in acquiring power and in awakening the Dalits, is unparalleled.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Caste killings in Southern India: Dalit man butchered for marrying Upper caste girl in Tamil Nadu

In a horrific incident, a man was killed in Tamil Nadu, as he had married an Upper caste girl.

The victim--Sankar, 21, was attacked with knives on the street, in broad daylight. He succumbed to the injuries.

Sankar had married Kausalya, 19, nearly eight months ago. He belonged to Pallar caste, and came from a poor family.

However, the girl's family was upset with the wedding, as they belonged to 'Upper Caste'. On Sunday, assailants came riding motorcycles and attacked the couple.

Both of them were injured in the attack. However, Sankar was brutally attacked and he died because of the injuries. His wife is undergoing treatment.

The incident occurred in full public view. However, no one could dare intervene or stop the attackers, who killed Shankar and then sped off.

The deceased's kin told journalists that Sankar had been receiving threats from the girl's kin as they were not happy with the marriage. It was a love marriage.

Even fifteen days ago, he had reportedly been threatened. Kausalya had refused to go back to her parents.

The couple had gone for shopping today when they were attacked. The police have begun investigation and hunt is on for the killers.

Inter-caste marriages often lead to violence and killings as Upper Caste families resent such marriages.

Though North India, particularly, Western UP and Haryana are notorious for casteist killings including honour killings, such incidents are often reported from Southern India too.

Photo courtesy: Hindustan Times
Link and photo: TheNewsMinute

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Caste discrimination, untouchability in India: Dalit boy not allowed water from school hand pump, goes out to well, falls and dies

In a horrific incident that reveals the extent of caste-based discrimination in India, a school boy died due to 'untouchability' practiced in his school.

The Dalit boy was not allowed to take water from the hand pump in the school.

Hence, he went out to the well. Being a kid, he couldn't fetch the water alone, and slipped into the well.

The child got drowned. Still, it took a long time before teachers could come out and try to rescue him. The body was recovered later.


The boy--Viren, was a student of IIIrd standard. The small boy had to go out of school to quench his thirst because scheduled caste (SC) students still face casteist discrimation.

He couldn't get water from the well as he was all alone then, accidentally falling into the well.
The heart-rending incident has occurred in Bundelkhand region in Madhya Pradesh.

Now, the entire school staff has been suspended by the authorities. But can the boy's life be brought back? No. Damoh is among the districts that are notorious for casteism and apartheid with lower castes.



[Representative image, photo courtesy: http://www.adpulp.com/no-place-is-safe-from-corporatization]

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

International Women's Day special photo from India: Woman wrestler Roshni's win in wrestling bout with male wrestler
























The photograph shows a girl defeating a male wrestler in a wrestling bout. Roshni defeated the other Pahalwan [wrestler]. This bout took place sometime ago [not recent].

But I liked this photo. I have found that the photographer is Gabbu Jain. The wrestling contest took place in Madhya Pradesh. It was held at a school ground near Mhow, close to Indore.

The male wrestler Paras Solanki had to bite the dust. Roshni won within 3 minutes. I think it is quite a good picture, a representative photograph to share on International Women's Day.

#internationalwomensday

Telegraph front page redefines newspapers, anti-establishment journalism in India: Who says print media is dying?

Telegraph, the Calcutta-based English newspaper, has redefined the front pages of newspapers.

Creative, catchy and often shocking headlines, apart from unique presentation has brought this Kolkata based paper in discussions everywhere.

For decades, Telegraph has been a major English paper in India, but was confined to Eastern part of the country.

However, its sharp and attacking headlines, have now brought it popularity across the country.

Take for instance the front page on the left. 'The Nashun', on how govt shunned its responsibility.

Bold, anti-establishment line

Major Delhi-based newspapers  aren't too attacking [against government] in their approach.

Though there is an exception--Indian Express. But, Telegraph has no problem in taking a clear, strong anti-establishment line.

Whether against TMC-led Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal or BJP government at the Centre.

After a big event, people now wait to see how Telegraph carries the story. Because, they are sure it would be different and unique.




Headlines to shock the readers

The paper has a circulation of over a million but it has never been serious about its online presence.

It does have a website. However, website or not, people click photograph of the Telegraph.

The images of the front page are circulated through Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter.

It is not always that the headlines are shocking, sometimes they are simple too.

Bizarre headlines test your brain

And, at times, the headlines are bizarre. An example is the screenshot of the paper when symbols were published in the headline on the front page.

An effort is made to create a unique front page everyday. Sometimes you may need to put an effort to understand and you have to read the news to understand.

Redefining the rules in print media

Yes, in an era, when it was said that everything has to be straight as reader doesn't have time, Telegraph redefines the rules.

The stories are long. They aren't finished in 300-400 words. The reports are exhaustive.

And yet, Telegraph is read, liked and its popularity is growing. Telegraph was established in 1982.

MJ Akbar was the editor, initially. Owned by Anand Bazar group, its current editor is Aveek Sarkar.

Once, The Statesman was the leading English paper in Kolkata then. Over the years, Telegraph became the most popular paper in the region. The group seems content with its reach. and hasn't started Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai editions till now.

This post shows TEN FRONT PAGES of The Telegraph.

See some of the most talked about front pages of the Telegraph, with this post.




Monday, March 07, 2016

Caste discrimination lead to religious conversion in Pakistan: Dalit Hindu converts to Sikhism to escape oppression, says BBC report



Shocking it may seem but caste discrimination exists among Hindus in Pakistan.

The extent is such that people are forced to covert to other faiths.

Tharpakar district in Pakistan has a large Hindu population.

Here, Dalits claim that they face discrimination and are forced to lead their lives like second class citizens.

They allege that measures for uplift of Hindus mostly end up helping the Upper Castes.

The lower castes don't have equal rights and face misbehaviour--not allowed to enter temples with Upper Caste Hindus and can't eat with them. Nukhbat Malik has reported it for BBC from Pakistan.

"Hasanand was a Dalit who converted to Sikhism along with his family to escape the brutal casteist apartheid. He has now taken a new name, Jagjit Singh", says BBC report.

"I don't want to leave this place and want to live like a rebel here. My children are sastisfied that they would not have to suffer insults and though I am termed son of Meghwal caste, they would be known as son of Sardar", he says.

Dalit activists also say that the situation is bad for the community as Dalits are socially backward and economically weak. An activist is quoted as saying that the threat to them is not from Muslims but from Upper Castes.

[Photo courtesy BBC.com] Read the report in Hindi on BBC website. READ

READ: Tharpakar, Hindu majority district in Pakistan

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Thousands sign petition for action against Zee News for airing biased, misleading news: Ministry urged to ban TV channel over doctored videos, wrong report

A petition urging authorities to take action against Zee News channel for airing allegedly biased and misleading news stories, has got a huge support.

Thousands of people have signed the petition that has been initiated by Neelesh Purohit, urging the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) to ban Zee News for its 'unethical and immoral' journalism.

The petition mentions that Zee News has aired doctored and unverified audio clips during the JNU row and that it is not the first time when the channel has been found involved in such enthical journalistic practices.

It urges the government to take action in order to ensure that media, the fourth pillar of democracy, remains neutral and doesn't act irresponsibly. Citing example of allegedly biased coverage during Gajendra Chauhan's suicide case.

Further, it says that Zee News' anchors viz. Sudhir Chaudhary, Rohit Sardana and Rubika Liyakat have been acting as 'undeclared spokespersons of the BJP'. The petition is available at the website, Change.org. It has already got more than 5,000 signatures.

Zee News has been facing flak for one-sided and biased coverage which has led to polarisation in the society. Its anchors are accused of running a campaign to defame people and groups by using fake and doctored evidence.

A Zee news producer Vishwadeep had recently submitted his resignation as he was disgusted with the manner in which the TV channel was twisting facts and was misreporting events during the recent row over the JNU issue in Delhi.

LINK TO THE PETITION: CLICK HERE

Opinion poll suggests Mamata Banerjee's TMC to win in West Bengal again, LDF comeback in Kerala, Jayalalitha victory in Tamil Nadu but setback for Congress

Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced schedule for the forthcoming assembly elections in four states.

With dates announced, already opinion polls are being commissioned to gauge the public mood in these states.

So who will win the election? That's a matter of speculation, however, C Voter is the first to come with a survey. It suggests that Congress may face setback, as it is likely to lose two states viz. Assam and Kerala, where it is in power.

The four states that are going to polls include West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Kerala. BJP is not very strong in these states.

However, it has a significant vote in Assam, and its alliance with the BJP may bring it to power in the State. It is not a power to reckon with in West Bengal even now, but party leaders are hopeful of a good show.

In WB, the main fight is between Trinamool Congress and CPI (M) in West Bengal. In Assam, the contest is between Congress and BJP-AGP alliance though Badruddin Ajmal's AIUDF may corner enough seats to emerge as kingmaker after the election.

In Tamil Nadu, it is the traditional AIADMK against DMK fight. In Kerala, the Communist front--Left Democratic Front (LDF) is likely to make a comeback.


OPINION POLL [INDIA TV-C VOTER]

WEST BENGAL: Mamata seems set to form government, Communists may improve their tally but Congress to lose more seats compared to last election, unless there is a tie-up between Congress and Left.

TMC 156 
CPI-M 114
Congress 13
BJP 4
Others 7

KERALA: The Communists could return to power again. Congress-led UDF may lose. BJP is not going to do very well and the state remains polarised between Congress and Left coalitions.

LDF 89 
UDF 49
NDA 1
Others 1

ASSAM: In Assam, BJP-AGP alliance is doing better as per the opinion poll. Tarun Gogoi-led Congress may get less number of seats. However, Badruddin Ajmal's AIUDF can have a tie-up with Congress, post-polls. Congress looks down but is not out of the race.

BJP alliance 57 
Congress 44
AIUDF 19
Others 6

TAMIL NADU: Tamil Nadu has always been a tough state for pollsters and predictions have gone horribly wrong here in the past. However, it seems despite anti-incumbency, J Jayalalitha's AIADMK is performing better than DMK. But a slight vote swing can change the results dramatically.

AIADMK 116 
DMK 101
Others 17



Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ishrat Jahan's killing was premeditated murder and IB had no previous input about her, says Indian Express report on fake encounter

Just when the allegedly fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan is making news, Indian Express has come up with the report, "SIT officer breaks silence".

The front page report quotes IPS officer Satish Verma, as saying that Ishrat's killing was a premeditated murder.

Ishrat Jahan was not a terrorist or fidayeen, says the report. It further quotes him that, "There was no input on Ishrat".

"These people were kept in illegal custody and then shot dead", Verma told The Indian Express.

"The bogey of nationalism and security is being raised to discredit a poor and innocent girl", he added. "..she was away from her home and family for only about 10 days after she came into conact with Javed Sheikh....It takes a long time to train ...even properly firing a 303 rifle takes 15 days..", he is further quoted in the IE report.

"Our investigation has found that Ishrat along with three others had been picked up by IB (Intelligence Bureau) days before the encounter".

"In fact, there was no intelligence input with the IB that a woman would be accompanying the alleged terrorists", Verma told The Indian Express. Of late, there have been claims and counter claims about the case.

READ the report AT THIS LINK