Monday, December 31, 2018

Yet another lynching bid in Alwar, Sagheer survives: Will Congress government in Rajasthan rein in the cow vigilantes?

Once again, a lynching bid in Rajasthan.

And once again, it's Alwar, the most notorious place as far as cow vigilantes' terror is concerned.

It's here that Rakbar Khan was set afire when the accused' kin shot a video.

It was in Alwar that Pahlu Khan was beaten and he died.

And, it is the same place where Umardeen was shot dead. Cow vigilantes' terror continues in the region. So what if the regime has changed!

Self-styled 'cow vigilantes' have the power to stop and thrash anyone without any fear of police. Mohammad Sagheer was suspected of involvement in cattle trade.

Hence, he was beaten up brutally. This incident occurred in Bagherikhurd in the district. Sagheer is admitted in the hospital. Police sources said that his condition is serious but improving.

Under BJP rule, Rajasthan witnessed series of lynchings and cow vigilantes' lawlessness. Rajasthan's reputation was hit as a result of these killings and terror. Now, Congress is in the power. Will it bring the law-and-order in control?

It is the Congress' responsibility now.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Administration stops Namaz in park, companies make provision for Muslim employees in premises: Communal Harmony Project-44

After the administration forcibly stopped Namaz in parks in Noida, several companies have showed a great gesture.

They have made provision that Namaz can be held on Friday in the premises of these companies [or factories].

Hindus largely supported Muslims, realising that the community members pray on Friday in congregation and due to lack of mosques in the area, often find a place where they can pray.

There was condemnation of the order. Worse, local officials ordered to pour water on the ground where Namaz is held so that people couldn't pray.

In such a situation, Hindu community decided to take a stand. Many officials said that they would ensure that the Muslim employees don't face the problem.

Ironically, the news about this gesture didn't get much coverage in the newspapers and Hindi dailies printed single column news. The owners said that Muslims have been allotted space.

At some places on premises on the ground, at other places on the rooftop. They have also said that they would ensure arrangement of Imam. This is a story that needs to be told. When people care for each other, it helps in building a strong nation.


[Harmony exists all around us but is often ignored. Instead, stories of hate, discord and communalism get spread easily.

There are a million examples in our daily lives across India but they don't get promoted, hence, news of hate and discord gets heard more. Let's change it, now.

This is a small attempt to change it through Communal Harmony Project]

For reading similar reports on this blog, Click the link HERE and also find out more about Communal Harmony Project]

#Communalharmony #Communalharmonyproject #India

TRAGIC: Yet another policeman killed in UP, but nothing shocks anymore, all forgotten within a day

Yet another police personnel has been killed in Uttar Pradesh.

Suresh Vats was attacked in Ghazipur, and he succumbed to the injuries.

The attackers wanted to go to Prime Minister's rally and were stopped on way.

Vats who was in security duty, was returning when he was targeted and got a fatal injury. This resulted in his death.

The Nishad Sena members were allegedly involved in the incident that occurred in Ghazipur. Vats was posted in Karimuddinpur police station, but hailed from Pratapgarh.

This is the second incident of a policeman killed in UP, recently. Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, was killed in a violent attack by right-wing radicals in Bulandshahr. In that case, all the accused are yet to be arrested.


Unfortunately, such incidents create short outrage and are forgotten, soon. Most of the incidents have a 'news value' of barely a day or even a few hours--6 hrs or 12 hrs.

So much is happening regularly that it seems no one is now shocked anymore. There is condemnation, then demands for compensation or job for kin. If there is no strong protest, it is all forgotten affair after headlines in the morning paper.

Why I avoid Facebook fights, Twitter arguments: No I am not silent but there is a reason to not fall into this trap on social media

I no longer argue, in fact, I totally avoid Twitter debates or long Facebook arguments.

Issues remain the same even as years have passed, discussing them over and over again.

During 1990s, I remember how much I kept explaining & debating. Then for over a decade on this blog, I kept arguing & answering [issues remain same], eventually realised the futility.

Such was the hate pouring in that I had to shut the comments section in order to keep myself sane.

Now, this doesn't mean that we are going to get silent or not expose. But no point in arguing with anybody and the same issues that keep popping up after every few months.

One must speak, explain the position but certain things are so engrained & people don't want to accept. Those who argue, those who have the patience, must do it. I am not interested now, no urge left, feel too much energy is spent over it.

Ten yrs from now too, there'll be same debates over Vande Matram or Yoga, Bharat Mata or Saraswati Vandana. Sometimes it feels that this is a strategy, a trap too.

The moment you are in explanatory mode, you are on back foot and you explain things sincerely, the other guy would be ready with his list--now what about this!

Of course, it is important to speak on issues, understanding the importance of narrative building and speaking our mind freely, contradicting the false narrative. But not these arguments, engaging with anybody  who start questioning, has to gall to make any charge-allegation. NO.

READ: Right-wing trolls' strategy, how to avoid the trap

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Distorting History: Controversial script on Rani Kamla Pati-Nawab Dost Mohammad Khan play angers Bhopal residents

A controversial play that was written by Indira Dangi angered residents of Bhopal.

It not only ignored history and mocked at the cultural heritage of the region, but it also targeted the sacred bond of 'Rakhi'.

The play was written on the era when Rani Kamlapati, the Gond queen, sought help of Nawab Dost Mohammad Khan.

Strangely, all historical sources were ignored and a false narrative was brought.

Upset, residents objected. Strangely, Swaraj Sansthan didn't even pay attention to script and had bypassed norms, leading to this situation.

As per historical records, after Rani Kamlapati's husband was poisoned by deceit (the Gond king's own relatives were responsibl), she sought Sardar Dost Mohammad Khan's help.

She had sent a 'rakhi' to him. He attacked her enemies and took revenge.

During her life, he respected her and treat at part with her mother.

However, in a play written by Indira Dangi, effort was made to distort history.

When confronted, she claimed that it was all imaginary and fiction.

But if it was fiction, how original names were used and the sacred bond of 'rakhi' was discredited.

Historians are aghast at the manner in which facts were twisted and brazenly the story was given a new colour.

Eminent writer Shyam Munshi objects and says that it seems to be a conspiracy.

Though director later accepted that changes would be made, Indira Dangi remained tried to defend her script.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Police stopping Muslims from Namaz in Parks: Give permission to build mosques, no one wants to pray in parks

Nobody wants to go to park for offering Namaz.

The problem is that cities are expanding & permission is not easily given to build mosques these days.

Even in a city like Bhopal, effort going on for years to construct mosque in Kolar, that too on Waqf land. But that is being denied for yrs.

In Madhya Pradesh, a Digvijaya Singh era rule is often cited for lack of permission---that stops construction of new places of worship. However, in practice, it didn't stop all places of worship but construction of mosques became immensely difficult.

The Kolar suburb in Bhopal has a population of nearly 1 lakh now. Imagine, when land prices too high, already its difficult to construction & here an influential BJP leader is dead against mosque on waqf land. For local journalists, it is no story.

Even rulers in princely states freely gave land to all communities. Today, the situation is such that locals oppose, administration hinders, governments stop. In Mumbai, they once didn't give permission to build top floors in mosque & used to say Muslims pray on roads.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

WhatsApp Wakes up: After lynching incidents, sets off ad campaign to 'spread happiness, not falsehoods'

WhatsApp has finally woken up from its slumber.

It has begun a campaign--Khushiyaan baantiye, Afwaahein nahin.

If translated from Urdu to English, it says--spread happiness, not falsehoods.

After rumours and false propaganda was spread on this platform for long, it has apparently bowed to pressure.

Government of India had also asked it to contain the spread of hate and rumours that resulted in incidents of lynchings.

The rumours about cow or gangs on the prowl to abduct kids, had led to attacks, lynchings and even deaths.

A techie was killed in Karnataka. In fact, many other such serious incidents of law-and-order failure took place because of WhatsApp and the rumours spread through the platform.

Inside WhatsApp groups, people share content with like minded people or friends-families. Apart from Facebook, it is another major platform that can let any content go viral within a few hours.

Hence, there is need for more responsibility on part of WhatsApp. It has taken it years for the social media giant to run such an advertisement campaign. Now it is on TV and is also visible at other places.

Quite late. Had they been vigilant earlier, it may have saved lives. If people are aware that they may be caught, they are more cautious. In fact, WhatsApp need to do even more and be strict with people who spread false messages and share fake news.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Middle-class' anger over loan waiver to farmers and 'we pay taxes' syndrome

'Our tax money' or 'We pay taxes' is the line heard so much that it is almost sickening now in India.

Everybody who earns a few lakhs or even crores, feel they are all middle-class and are doing a great favour to the country by paying taxes.

And, when there is a farm waiver, just see the anger, as if it is our money that is being misused.

If agriculture sector is in crisis or there is a major drought, government will have to act, just like it does in case of failing industry.

But when industry fails after getting land at throw away prices and rebates without even generation too many jobs or a public sector undertaking needs bailout package, there is no such anger.

Those 'thousands of crores' aren't visible to you? Or the thousands of crores gifted to foreign countries like Maldives or Mauritius. Is it because people managing them and those who fail them, are 'like us'--the urban people, not the rural folk!

I am going to start it from the very basic. Just look at this photograph. Almost everybody in my Facebook friendlist is lucky not to be born in such a poor family.

Who'll correct this injustice that you were born in a well-to-do family, rather than being born in a shanty? No one can. It was not our effort but pure luck that we started well in life early.

Yes, you've huge privilege if you pay tax. You claim to love your country, you are a patriot. Okay, you are privileged, so you feel paying tax is also an 'ehsan' [favour] on your country?

Think again, this is patriotism? This is the love for your own people--the countrymen? No outrage on malnutrition deaths, children dying because of hunger but angry over Tax. Sense of entitlement!

When people are patriots or humane, they're indebted to country,  pay back to the nation, help the poor overcome the divide. Here, the same class that controls everything, f**ks up industry, business, then supports bailout packages or free land or loans, gets upset over farm loan waiver

No, we'll selfishly cry despite our privileges. You spend as much on dinner in a hotel that is sufficient for these families to run the household for month. Yet, fat-bellied class feels the pinch, most. Yes there is corruption, all funds don't reach but what is not flawed around?

Kis pe ehsaan kar rahe ho be, tax de kar? Apne desh pe?

If 10,000 farmers commit suicide in a year, and a loan waiver saves a few thousand lives out of them--a few thousand human beings saved, even then it is something huge that you attain for the nation.

And, please don't bring BJP-Congress argument in it. Just that we should keep our morals, be sensitive, less selfish and try to understand the woes of the farmer. Remember, the grains we all need to fill our bellies don't come out of software. They are the result of farmers' hard labour.

So be kind and less arrogant---SRA.


Eminent author Ashok Kumar Pandey says that the middle-class takes great pride in paying taxes, feels that it's their tax money that runs the country.

"Major part of tax incomes are spent on infrastructure building in cities where the middle-class lives. It is this class that uses the roads, parks, metro, power, library, universities, sanitation,the most. So either it is the engines that run on heavily subsidised fuels or the money paid on his security."

"Farmer lives in villages that have bad roads, no sanitation, lack of drinking water, poor health services, hardly any security, even has no role in fixing the prices of crops that he grows", writes Pandey in a long Facebook post.

"No one wants to take loan, farmer doesn't get right amount for his crop, even insurance schemes are flawed, he is forced into a competition with subsidized international market and if in this situation, he is suffers and gets some relief in the form of loan waiver, it is his right", he further mentions. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

SHAME: Who is Yoga guru Ramdev to ask Naseeruddin Shah to leave the country?

As veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah expressed his fears--how life of a cow has become more important that that of a human being, it seemed all hell broke loose.

Once again, the chorus--leave the country, began. Yoga guru Swami Ramdev was among the first to react on TV--advising Naseeruddin Shah to leave the country.

Isn't it extraordinary arrogance and objectionable? Who gives them the authority to make such announcements?

Only recently, a right-wing extremist mob attacked a police station, killed an inspector in cold-blood and the assailants are yet to be arrested. Worse, UP politicians tried to give it a spin and the local police first claimed arresting those responsible for animal slaughter.

Later, police again accepted that they had made wrong arrests. Those who were caught, were in fact innocent people. So some other people were arrested. This is despite suspicion of conspiracy that it was all staged because there was a plan to create communal tension during the Ijtima in Bulandshahr.

Now, in such a situation when even killers of police officials are scot-free and release their videos, an actor expresses concern. But he is targeted and told to leave the country and go to another place! Isn't this disgusting!

Who won't be worried? Louts are calling the shots. Naseeruddin Shah is not a commoner but on the ground right-wingers are issuing threats--take out rally in Delhi threatening to pull down Jama Masjid (and no one arrested), or attacking policemen.

You switch on the TV & the debates you watch, the reactions of right-wingers, who won't get paranoid? And you ask people to leave? If someone in your family says he or she is scared, will you comfort them or thrown them out? 

Clearly, your definition of house or family is wrong. May be because you don't have a family or you don't consider your countrymen as your own. And you're not an ascetic but a Saffron-robed businessman who is plain arrogant and seems to have little concern for his country-men.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

IAS officer shows that sycophancy, servility is the way to become powerful bureaucrat in India

What's the sure-shot way to get 'success' as a bureaucrat, if the definition of success is money and power and your sole aim is to call the shots in administration!

Those who have been in Madhya Pradesh, are well aware of how it can happen.

After all, the most powerful bureaucrat in the state, has just now lost his 'power'.

Though he had retired long back, he remained powerful and was appointed on contract.

This is quite a long story, tells how section of bureaucracy works.Years ago, during election, an officer sat at a powerful politician's feet, in full public view. This brought him bad press and also earned EC ire for a while.

But that was nothing compared to the benefits that were to come in later years. He went on to become most powerful IAS officer in Madhya Pradesh. So much that his word became the law. Anyone may be principal secretary or head of another department, the real power was with this guy.

So how's that--isn't such show of loyalty worth it? This has an impact on young officers who see and learn that the way to attaining power & success, fast, is to be someone's guy, throw rule book out and just do all the malpractices--servility and sycophancy, closing eyes to corruption, rather than toiling hard & live your life with idealism.

So even after retirement, got reappointed on the post on contract, remained till last day of the regime. I haven't named anyone as yet. Have I? Those who have interest in understanding this aspect of bureaucracy, can read veteran journalist's account here LINK

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Dainik Bhaskar group fails journalists again, closing its English daily DB Post

Yet another sad news from Central India.

Especially, for journalists and English media, the readers and writers.

Dainik Bhaskar group is closing down its English daily newspaper, DB Post.

Dozens of journalists' set to lose jobs as a big group takes decision but no Journalist association in Bhopal or MP will speak for them.

Is it because they feel it will jeopardize their job prospects in future if they need job in the group's Hindi daily. Print is still viable in these regions. They've own issues but hurt the entire industry and journalists.

I have no personal reason to raise the issue but as a journalist and as a reader, I want everyone to speak up when this is happening--for the sake of other journalists and for the print media. Speaking for others is important.

This happens every time. What courage, if you can't speak for own people? Can't condemn or pass even a resolution, the most basic step. The worst is that they do it again and again & this sends wrong signal that the print is not viable--though it's not the reason

The modus operandi is the same. Those who have been told will not speak up, as they are right now worried about finding new job. Management guys know tricks, how to ensure that they don't oppose, condemn, file case in labour court or other measures, by keeping some hope alive.

So the promise to absorb some and a few months' salaries for rest. Let's see how it goes. After Hindustan Times closing down its editions and the closure of Telegraph-HT editions in Bihar, it's another jolt to print media.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Right-wing Hindu groups' warning on Jama Masjid needs to be taken seriously

Extremists chanting slogans against Jama Masjid--'Ek Dhakka Aur Do, Jama Masjid Tod Do' walked on the streets of India's national capital. 

It means, 'One more push, Demolish the Jama Masjid'. Clearly, it is not just about Babri Masjid, but the hate and madness has now reached Delhi.

This militant march was taken out just a day after 'Dharm Sansad', ironically, that means 'Religious Parliament'. Most of the participants in this strange rally, were those who had come to attend the event. 

Does religion teach this? Doesn't it terrorise Muslims, who are already feeling besieged, as Hindu groups announce plans to build Ram Temple in Ayodhya, though Supreme Court is yet to announce a verdict and the case is still sub-judice. 

This is happening when we are witnessing lynchings in the name of cow, people being beaten on streets, even policemen attacked and an officer killed by militant right-wing extremists in Bulandshahr. 

How far will this go? When will the state, the police take action? It is not just affecting India's composite culture, it is also damaging India's reputation across the world. Many people expressed their outrage after the incident. 

This is not the first such incident. Recently, a BJP leader had ambushed into the historic mosque and forcibly unfurled the national flag. Earlier this year, swords were brandished and saffron flags waved in rally taken out in front of several mosques in Delhi. 

Senior journalist Vinod Kapri tweeted and termed it 'adharma' (anti-religious act). A few links below about the incident that alarmed the citizens about the level of righ-wing radicalization and indoctrination in India. 

* Hindu nationalists demand demolition of mosque. LINK [The Independent, UK]

*A day after VHP’s belligerent rally, Muslims i say they won’t be provoked. LINK [Scroll]

*Ek dhakka aur do, Jama Masjid tod do: VHP rally in Delhi. LINK

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Bajrang Dal's Terror: Police station attacked, inspector among two killed in Bulandshahr, four arrested

In a shocking incident, an armed mob attacked a police station and killed two persons including a police official.

The attackers were led by right-wing extremist militia Bajrang Dal leaders. The main accused, Yogesh Raj, has been charged with engineering the mob violence.

This incident occurred in Bulandshahar district. First, it was rumour-mongering over carcass of a dead animal. This was used to mobilize the people. Hundreds came from outside and demanded action.

When the mob turned violent, police tried to control them. But there was attack, firing and two persons including the police official, Subodh Kumar Singh, were killed.

Singh was shot in the head. A youth, Sumit, 21, also died in the brutal attack.

Such was the situation that the mob chased and attacked the police personnel who were present at the spot.

Some had to break the wall of the police outpost in order to escape and save themselves from the killers.

In fact, Subodh Kumar Singh was being taken to hospital when he was attacked, again. He later succumbed to the injuries.

This incident has led to shockwaves across the country. Bajrang Dal members, VHP cadre and BJP leaders have been found involved in inciting the mob.

Yogesh Raj's Facebook and Twitter posts suggest how radicalised, he was. His social media handles reflect the intense hatred and give an indication about his plans. Yet, there has been little focus on this aspect. Most newspapers have ignored these inflammatory posts (some posts have been deleted, it appears, just now).

LINK: Bajrang Dal radicals arrested for attack, killing police official in Bulandshahr