Peace, Pluralism and Justice
In this issue of IAMC News Digest
Opinions & Editorials
Case filed against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Bihar over army remarks (Feb 14, 2018, New Indian Express)
A case was filed against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in a court in Bihar's Muzaffarpur on Tuesday for insulting the Indian Army, a lawyer said.
M Raju Nayiar, a resident of Muzaffarpur town, has filed the case in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate.…
Nayiar, in his complaint, said that RSS chief has not only hurt people but insulted Indian Army when he said in Muzaffarpur on last Sunday that the army will take six months time to fully get ready to fight but the RSS has the capacity to form an army within three days to fight against the enemy on the border.…
RSS wants to turn India into Hitler's Germany or Mussolini's Italy, says Kerala CM (Feb 12, 2018, Deccan Herald)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the RSS was trying to turn India into "Hitler's Germany or Mussolini's Italy". He was responding to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's statement that the Sangh was capable of preparing an "army" and be battle-ready in three days.
Pointing out that the RSS was influenced by Mussolini in its organisational structure and by the Nazis in its ferocity, Vijayan sought to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi his stand on Bhagwat's statement which belittled the Indian Army.
"The parallel army he is talking about is what we have always warned against: Hindu Terror. Running down the army amounts to treason. The RSS chief must apologise to the people of India for this treacherous remark," he said.…
A Pattern Emerging, All Those Who Investigated Amit Shah Are Being Hounded: Kejriwal (Feb 11, 2018, Outlook)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has alleged that a pattern has been emerging as to all those who investigated BJP president Amit Shah anytime in the past are being hounded.… In his report, Khetan, also the Vice Chairperson of the Dialogue and Development Commission of the Delhi government, said, "For the last three years, the former investigating officer (IO) of the Sohrabuddin-Kauser Bi, Tulsiram Prajapati killing cases, is facing multiple criminal investigations at the hands of his own agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Evidence has emerged suggesting that the CBI is possibly trying to frame its former IO by manufacturing false evidence against him. The officer in question is Sandeep Tamgadge, a 2001 batch IPS officer belonging to the Nagaland cadre.… Two independent witnesses have given statements before a Nagpur court and the Maharashtra police that the CBI was forcing them to give false statements to implicate Tamgadge in a corruption-related case."
"Tamgadge had twice interrogated Shah in connection with his alleged role in these multiple killings - once in January 2012 in connection with the Prajapati murder case and again in October 2013 to probe Shah's alleged role in the Ishrat Jahan killing. Again, it was Tamgadge who had filed the chargesheet in the Prajapati case, naming Shah as the prime accused," the report adds.
…Kasganj has no record of communal polarisation or violence, except after the Babri Masjid demolition. People here have lived in peace and harmony for decades. Kasganj has also elected candidates from across the political spectrum, though Rajvir Singh, son of former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, is the current BJP MP. Kasganj witnessed communal violence and tension on the 26th of January 2018, which continued for at least 5 days thereafter. A joint fact-finding team from Lucknow and Delhi visited Kasganj on February 2, 2017, under the platform, United Against Hate. The names of the members are listed at the end of this report.
In our visit, after talking extensively to local people of both the communities, it became clear that the situation in Kasganj was not any spontaneous clash between two communities, but was a carefully planned attack. None of the political parties have played any decisive role in either diffusing the situation, restoring peace and normalcy, or in seeking justice for the people who have been directly affected by the violence which started on the morning of January 26, 2018, Republic Day, and continued thereafter.
Rather the police and administration, as testified by locals and ground evidence, played a partisan role, and allowed the mob led by Sankalp Foundation and ABVP to run amok and indulge in organized violence, specifically targeting Muslim-owned shops and property, including two mosques. The role played by the BJP MP Rajvir singh has been utterly partisan and prejudiced, almost inflammatory, and this has been recorded in the media.…
Muzaffarnagar DM, SSP Oppose Yogi's Attempt to Drop Riot Cases Against BJP Politicians (Feb 12, 2018, The Wire)
District authorities here are not in favour of withdrawal of the cases, mostly against political leaders, related to the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 in which over 60 people were killed and over 40,000 rendered homeless, official sources said here on Saturday.
The district authorities, in response to two letters from the Uttar Pradesh department of justice, have advocated against the withdrawal of 10 such cases as the court has already taken cognisance against the accused after charge sheets were filed by the police and the special investigation team (SIT) probing the riots cases, the sources said.
Some of the cases were filed against UP minister Suresh Rana, former Union minister Sanjiv Balyan, MP Bhartendu Singh, MLA Umesh Malik and BJP leader Sadhvi Prachi. In two letters to the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate, the Uttar Pradesh department of justice had sought information on 13 points, including whether the cases could be withdrawn in public interest. The district authorities have opposed the proposal in the interest of justice, on the recommendation of the district prosecution department, the sources said.…
While Communal Violence is on a Rise, BJP MP Wants Muslims Ousted from the Country (Feb 7, 2018, News Click)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Vinay Katiyar on Wednesday said that Muslims should not stay in India as the 'community divided the country on the basis of population'.
"Muslims should not stay in India. They divided the nation on the basis of population. So, what's the need of them staying here (in India)? They have been given lands. (They) should go to Bangladesh or Pakistan," Katiyar said to ANI.
Katiyar's statement came after a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday revealed that communal violence has been steadily rising in the country. It seems that the communal rhetoric being played out by the people in power and the corporate media houses is taking toll on the country.…
Renuka Chowdhury to file privilege notice against Narendra Modi over PM's remarks on her laughter (Feb 9, 2018, First Post)
Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury whom prime minister Narendra Modi made fun of on Wednesday for her loud laughter in the Rajya Sabha during his reply to the President's address, said on Thursday that she would move privilege notice against him.
Addressing reporters after Congress women members' delegation met Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu over the prime minister's jibe at Chowdhury, the Congress MP said she would take a final call on the privilege motion after discussing the issue with the party leadership.
The women delegation demanded that the prime minister should tender an apology as it was anti-women. "I have decided to move privilege notice against prime minister on this issue. I will speak to my party and then decide how to move forward. I am mother of two daughters and a wife. The prime minister has denigrated the status of women."…
News of BJP leader Ram Madhav getting caught with women disappears after party rebuttal (Feb 12, 2018, Siasat)
An online news portal carried sensational news on national BJP leader North East in-charge Ram Madhav being circulated in the social media platforms. The report by media portal "Newsjoint" is now unavailable had reported that the senior BJP functionary was caught red handed with two Naga women in a hotel by the NSCN.
The news portal claimed that the 'NSCN literally caught Ram Madhav with his pants down in Nagaland; has threatened to make video public if Nagaland elections not cancelled.'
The report disappears from web after Nagaland State BJP has vehemently denounced it as "fictitious report". But the website link and the screenshot was widely shared by social media users.…
We are treating Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi matter as land dispute, no third party at this stage: SC (Feb 9, 2018, Indian Express)
Making clear it was treating appeals against the Allahabad High Court order on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya as a land dispute and that it did not intend to allow any third party intervention at this stage, the Supreme Court Thursday asked parties to the dispute to file English translation of documents exhibited by them. The matter will be heard next on March 14.
When a lawyer sought the court's permission to intervene in the matter saying it involved the faith of crores of Hindus, the bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said: "We can't address these kind of arguments. We are treating it as a land dispute. There are appeals and cross-appeals."
To another lawyer, who was representing 32 activists and wanted to implead in the matter since they were "very concerned about the outcome of the case", the bench said "applications for impleadment and intervention shall be considered at the appropriate time".…
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speeches in both the Houses of Indian Parliament on February 7, 2017 while defending Motion of Thanks on President Ram Nath Kovind's address belied hope which some political analysts carried that Modi after becoming PM would mature and overcome Hindutva traits of double-speak, rabble rousing and resort to lies which he learnt in the RSS shakhas. While replying Modi showed that he remains a Hindu nationalist which he claimed, while talking to Reuters in 2013 as chief minister of Gujarat, is his identity. He resorted to lies, half-truths and demagogy as a seasoned Hindu nationalist.…
The Hindutva rulers know that despite 'vadh' of Gandhi by the Hindutva terrorists and death of Nehru long back, Idea of India propounded and practised by these two continues to cause shiver amongst the Hindutva adversaries. Gandhi and Nehru may be killed every day but it is an undeniable fact that it is due to versatility of their Idea of India that India is the only country which survives as a democratic-secular polity out of 35 countries which were born after World War II.
PM Modi's intolerant speech made it clear once again that Nehru remains the greatest stumbling block in the path of taking India on the path of Pakistan; 71 years later on the path which destroyed Pakistan. For PM Modi poverty, farmers' suicides, unemployment, Hindutva terrorism, rapes, violence against working class are no problems but Nehru is the biggest problem!
Opinions and Editorials
WHO KILLED ANKIT SAXENA - a new pattern of Hindutva terror? - By Amaresh Misra (Feb 7, 2018, Milli Gazette)
The people who murdered Ankit Saxena are supposed to live in West Delhi's Raghubir Nagar B Block. Some newspapers give even the exact number of the house. This is where parents of Shehzadi, the woman supposedly in love with Ankit, lived along with their daughter. Her mother ran a beauty parlour while her father was a driver.…
A cursory check in the area reveals that THERE IS NO MUSLIM HOUSEHOLD IN THE ENTIRE RAGHUBIR NAGAR B BLOCK AREA! Its not as if there WAS a household and members fled after the gory incident! People of that area do not recall a Muslim family in B Block for the last twenty years!
Deepak, Ankit's friend, lives in B Block. He says Ankit used to visit him regularly; but he was not in love with 'the' woman! Deepak does not mention Shahzadi - he talks, generally, of 'some' women! When pressed further, BAJRANG DAL members stop him!… No Muslim family in the Raghubir Nagar area has a woman named Shahzadi living in their precincts. Also, there is no Muslim family that runs a beauty parlour.… Was Ankit linked with Bajrang Dal? Perhaps, not directly - but Deepak, Ankit's friend, is known as a Bajrang Dal member.…
"They justified the killing of Hindus!" "They ask - how dare the tricolour yatra be taken out without permission; why raise incendiary slogans like Bharat Mata ki Jai in the first place…"
These are the kind of intemperate posts that are being published about Pankaj Jha and me in a Facebook page titled 'Dainik Bharat', which is in the business of spreading rumours and inciting riots. The rumour machine is working overtime and an indiscriminate public is under its sway. The state of affairs is such that journalists who are bringing you the facts are being threatened with death. So much so that even their families are not being spared.
Pankaj Jha travelled to Kasganj and produced a report on the incident that had transpired there - without any hype and without blaming anybody in particular. The results of that are there for you to see. Read what he has posted on his Twitter account:…
The threat we failed to see in RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's Army remark - By Panini Anand (Feb 13, 2018, Dailyo.in)
…Bhagwat making the three days versus 6-to-7 months distinction calls into question the functioning of an entire system and the capabilities of the country, although the RSS has since been at pains to clarify that this was not what he meant.…
Bhagwat, through his remarks, has made two key things clear. His first claim is that he can raise an army in three days. The point here is not whether he can actually mobilise a fighting-fit force in three days. The question that needs to be asked is – why exactly has the Sangh been training an "army"? What have its shakhas, camps and lectures been teaching that can be useful in organised warfare? In a democracy, is any organisation or ideology permitted to raise an army? Who gave the Sangh the permission to impart military training, and can such a militia ever be in the country's best interests?…
The second important bit is Bhagwat talking of the "Constitution permitting" the creation of such an army. The RSS's fond dream is a Hindu Rashtra based on its brand of Hindutva. Bhagwat knows that is not possible unless it has absolute control over the country's government. He is also aware that for such total, lasting control, the Constitution needs to be altered. Changing the Constitution in a manner that can further the saffron agenda is among the Sangh's dearest ambitions.…
Modi's Exam Warriors: It's all about politics, stupid! - By Rajgopal Singh (Feb 13, 2018, The Print)
At a time when crores of students across the country prepare for the dreaded Board exams, the biggest antidote to stress is coming from one person: Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the charged and polarising atmosphere that we inhabit, Modi has chosen the most non-divisive issue to tackle in his book.
Widely associated with anxiety and suicides, the Board exams have now become part of a new political strategy. The 200-page book, with 25 chapters, tells you how to deal with the exam stress and the importance of focussing on the larger goal of life. The colourful book is less like a text book and more like an exercise book, where you sit with a pen or pencil and jot down your thoughts. In addition, it has 38 pages dedicated to the practice of yoga.
After penning the book 'Exam Warriors', Modi will meet thousands of students from about 2,000 school and colleges at Talkatora Stadium in Delhi on 16 February, along with teachers and principals. It is not a political event. But it has a very clearly carved political undertone to it.…
For three days, Abdul Gaffar's cow stood tied at Nauchandi police station. Then, hearing about it, police say, a man came from Saharanpur, 120 km away, and took it. Police assure they will bring his animal back anytime Gaffar wants it. The 48-year-old, who says he is still to be officially told what happened to the cow he had lovingly named Anamika, isn't sure that day will come.
A BSP corporator from Ward No. 73 in Meerut city's Nauchandi area, Gaffar says he left the cow at the police station on January 16 for fear of gau rakshaks, after an incident a day earlier. On January 15, Anas, from Meerut's Zakir Nagar Colony, had been allegedly harassed and beaten up by cow vigilantes after he bought two cows from a Hindu, Manu Singh Rana. Rana was reportedly forced to take back his cows and return the Rs 31,500.…
While SP Meerut City MLA Rafiq Ansari sees nothing but a "cheap publicity gimmick" in Gaffar leaving his cow at the police station, he too adds, "There is no doubt that there has been a rise in incidents of so-called cow vigilantism. Thank God we still haven't reached a situation where these Hindu groups can come to our houses and do anything. The cow does not belong to Hindus. It is an animal loved by Muslims and Hindus."
As Elections Draw Nearer, a Rattled Sangh Parivar Plays the Polarisation Game to Recover Lost Ground - By Sidharth Bhatia (Feb 12, 2018, The Wire)
There is no mistaking a new sense of urgency in the BJP and the larger Sangh parivar. The results in the Gujarat elections and Rajasthan bypolls point to rising popular dissatisfaction with the party.
Eight state-level elections, including in Rajasthan and Karnataka, are on the way and by May next year, perhaps earlier, the general elections will be held. Current wisdom holds that the BJP will not get the 282 seats it got in 2014 and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could either be leading a shaky coalition or worse, not even return as prime minister, since coalition partners may want someone who is more accommodative to their concerns.
As its many close allies are getting restless and expressing their unhappiness at the way they are being treated by the BJP, they will be even more vocal and obstructive in a proper coalition. And what if the party does poorly and an opposition coalition comes to power? It is not such a wild thought - the shock of 2004 is still fresh in everyone's mind. It is a thought that worries the parivar but most of all Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. A rattled party has reverted to what it knows best-polarisation, fuelled by turbo charged Hindutva.…