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Archives for : March2017

Muzaffarnagar School Warden Stripped 70 Students ‘To Check For Menstrual Blood’ #WTFnews

Power Minister Shrikant Sharma has asked concerned officials to take action against those responsible, according to ANI.

 

The warden, who was suspended, said she only wanted to check if the girls were alright, as many young women hesitate to discuss menstruation, still a taboo subject in India.

Muzaffarnagar: Warden humiliates, strips 70 girls naked Written by: Anusha Ravi

The warden of a residential school in Muzaffarnagar allegedly stripped 70 girls naked to ‘check for menstrual blood‘ sparking outrage. The girls and their families have accused the warden of subjecting the students to humiliation. The families have now demanded action against the woman warden.

Students of Kasturba Gandhi Girls Residential School told the media that the warden rounded them up and ordered them to strip. They also claimed that she threatened to thrash them if they disobeyed.

The girls and their families have accused the warden of subjecting the students to humiliation. The families have now demanded action against the woman warden. Students of Kasturba Gandhi Girls Residential School told the media that the warden rounded them up and ordered them to strip. They also claimed that she threatened to thrash them if they disobeyed.

“Some blood was found in the bathroom. The warden ordered us to remove our clothes. It was very humiliating for all of us. We want action against her,” said one of the students. Following the protests by the students and their families, the warden was suspended.

The woman, however, denied the incident and said that her actions stemmed out of concern. “What the students are alleging never happened. Some blood was found on the floor and wall of the bathroom.

I only wanted to check if everything was all right with the girls. Such young girls are sometimes unable to express what problems they are facing and I only asked them if anything was wrong,” she said.

The warden also alleged that her strict nature made the students dislike her and they were being provoked by other staff to make allegations against her. The education department officials have ordered an inquiry into the matter.
Read more at: http://www.oneindia.com/india/muzaffarnagar-warden-humiliates-strips-70-girls-naked-2390066.html

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Government admits your #Aadhaar data has been leaked

By Yatish Yadav  |

Aadhaar – a unique 12-digit number is assigned to about 99 per cent of adult Indian residents. | File Photo

CHENNAI: If you have an Aadhaar Card and if your bank accounts and other sensitive information are linked to it, chances are that your data is no longer secure.

For the first time, the Modi government has officially acknowledged that personal identity of individuals, including Aadhaar number and other sensitive information, has been leaked to the public domain.

The government, in the recent past, had ignored all warnings and criticisms about the UID data being sensitive and has been aggressively pushing for its adoption across services and platforms.


A letter written by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, accessed by Express, confirms the data, which the government has been cautiously guarding, has been leaked online.

“There have been instances wherein personal identity or information of residents, including Aadhaar number and demographic information and other sensitive personal data such as bank account details etc. collected by various Ministries/Departments… has been reportedly published online and is accessible through an easy online search,” Archana Dureja, a scientist in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, wrote on March 25.
The official went on to add that the leak of data was a serious and punishable offence.

“Publishing information like Aadhaar number along with name, date of birth, address etc. is a clear contravention of provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years,” the letter said.

 

“The offending parties are liable to pay damages in the form of compensation to persons affected.” The official, through her letter, also directed ministries and states to discontinue any such content with immediate effect.

Ironically, the same Ministry of Electronics and IT issued a statement on March 5, assuring that personal data of individuals held by UIDAI is fully safe and secure. Issuing a clarification on ‘misinformation in some news items’ alleging breach of the UID data, misuse of biometrics, breach of privacy, and creation of parallel databases, UIDAI had said that it had gone through all the reports and emphasised that there was no leak of data.

Read: Government cannot make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes: Supreme Court

Incidentally, questions regarding the preparedness of the government in handling such a data leak was raised in Parliament on Wednesday by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. “How do you propose to protect the privacy of individuals after transactions are linked to Aadhaar?” he asked.

Giving a celebrity touch to concerns regarding invasion of privacy, just days ago, cricketer MS Dhoni’s wife Sakshi Dhoni wrote on social media how her husband’s Aadhaar details were made public. The government, on the back foot, promised action against the agency tasked by UIDAI to generate Dhoni’s Aadhaar number.

The government had termed it as an isolated case while announcing that the agency concerned was blacklisted for 10 years. The letter, however, makes it clear that the leak could have been widespread.

Adding to the concern is the government’s aggression in pushing for inclusion of the UID across platforms, from filing I-T returns to obtaining PAN cards, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s assertion when asked if the scheme was being forced on people, saying “Yes, we are.”

 http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/mar/31/government-admits-your-aadhaar-data-has-been-leaked-1588027–1.html

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Can Narendra Modi get off the tiger he is riding on?

Photo by Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images 

BJP supporters and workers celebrating after landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly elections at BJP office in Lucknow on March 11, 2017

by – An Opinionated Observer

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is now fully out of the closet and calling the shots. Some observers believe it marks the end of Modi as the undisputed leader

In my beginning is my end”

…..

“In my end is my beginning “

(TS Eliot, The Four Quartets, East Coker)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a handsome tribute to the RSS rank and file when he said on March 12, 2017 at the BJP headquarters in a speech beamed live across the length and breadth of India, and later played on loop by all news channels for nearly 24 hours, these momentous words:

Chunaao jeetna ek baat hai, lekin BJP ki Sanskriti ko desh ke kone-kone mein pahunchaana, doosri baat hai. Chaar peeddheeyaan Khap gayeen iss karya mein, tab jaakar aaj ye sapna saakaar hua hai

(Winning Elections is one thing but to take BJP’s culture to every corner of the country is quite another thing altogether. Four generations have been used up before this dream could be fulfilled today “)

The glowing words clearly referred to the contribution made by several generations of dedicated RSS workers. But mere words evidently did not satisfy the RSS, which had already waited in the wings for three quarters of a century for this very hour, and which has painstakingly but swiftly ” normalised” its role as the real power behind the ruling dispensation in Delhi over the past two and a half years.

It would have seemed an alarming, ominous, and even a menacing extra- Constitutional control over an elected Government even as recently as in 2015.

The people’s mandate for development, the corporate mandate for “economic reforms”, and perhaps in some cases for a soft Hindutva, was taken over by RSS’s Hardcore Hindutva agenda of the Hindu Rashtra.

Through a raucous media helping to mould “public opinion” into what appeared to be a consensus, the RSS through its suddenly violently aggressive student wing, the ABVP, through its loosely-affiliated vigilante groups of Gau Rakshaks and often even armed senas (one of which the Hindu Yuva Vahini was formed by Mahant Yogi Adityanath) or even the saffron “revolutionary terrorist” outfits inherited from pre- independence days, such as the infamous ‘Abhinav Bharat’, now openly patronised by the Central Government, and by BJP-ruled states, has taken over the dominant narrative in the popular psyche. And intensified it to a point of no return.

BJP, and by extension Narendra Modi, are now riding a tiger. The virulent forms of harder and harder Hindutva, more and more fanatic, more and more violent, less and less concerned about any adverse consequences, foul-mouthed, reckless, impatient, completely entitled and completely uncivilised, groups like the Shiv Sena, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, and now the Yogi’s own ‘Senas’ have snatched the initiative from a relatively cautious and mature Modi.

Narendra Modi clearly prides himself on being a man of the world, the darling of the NRIs and PIOs, and fancies himself as a jet-setting global diplomat, lionised as he is by the corporates, especially his cronies, hungry to exploit his powerful leadership for personal profit, and ready to invest heavily into his all-conquering Ashwamedha Yagna Yatra across the length and breadth of the country.

Unfortunately, in an Ashwamedha Yagna it is the brave, free-running sacred horse itself, after its signal conquests , has to be offered up as sacrifice in the sacred fire.

Modi, well-versed in the arts and crafts of his parent “cultural organisation” and well aware of the cold ruthlessness for an ‘over- weening collective cause’ that characterises its celibate patriarchs, would have felt the icy tap on his shoulders. “Sangatthan se badaa koi nahin” (No individual, however great, is greater than the organisation (read the RSS for organisation and its sacred cause of the Hindu Rashtra).

After all, a man cannot serve his ‘Nagpur Masters’ and the ‘Delhi Meddlers’ at the same time, even though he may dodge the Lok Sabha and ignore the Rajya Sabha, and in fact treat the Parliament with the contempt he thinks it deserves.

To come back to Modi’s hour of glory on March 12, 2017 after the declaration of the UP and Uttarakhand poll results, and power in Goa and Manipur was very much within reach of money power and masterly manipulation, it was literally “Roses Roses all the way, with ne’er a spray of Yew” for BJP’s Rock Star and its undisputed single biggest vote catcher, crowd puller, demagogue and election winner in the entire history of the saffron party.

But alas, earthly fame is always fickle, public memory is notoriously short, all good things must come to an end, and into each life some rain must fall.

*The author is a retired bureaucrat with an abiding interest in politics

http://www.nationalheraldindia.com/news/2017/03/31/can-narendra-modi-get-off-the-tiger-he-is-riding-on

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Impact of #AntiRomeo squads- Application to take wife out for anniversary dinner

APPLICATION TO TAKE WIFE OUT FOR ANNIVERSARY DINNER
To
The SHO
Police Thana Hazartganz
Respected Sir,
I am a common man of this country , I have been married for 24 years and my 25th anniversary is coming up shortly . I had planned to take my wife out for a special anniversary dinner, all these years she has been complaining that I am not a very romantic person so I wanted to take her out for a candle light dinner where I plan to have champagne ,  hold her hands , look into her eyes , present her with a rose and a diamond ring , subsequently I plan to order some mutton with rice eat my dinner in peace and come back home.
Sir , of late I have been reading in the newspapers that some Anti Romeo Squads have been made to catch rowdy elements who tease girls , Sir I think this is a very good idea and there should be no compromise on the safety and security of our girls , I have also read that just by the look in the eyes these policemen can make out who these Romeos are , and recently they caught a brother and sister sitting together and took them to the Police Station.
Sir , even though I am not a very romantic person but just for one day I wanted to get that romantic look in my eyes to impress my wife , but Sir am scared that just by that look the Police may think I am a Romeo and arrest me . I assure you Sir that look will all be made up only for a few hours and will become normal after that .
As far as mutton is concerned I will order Paneer if that is permitted and think that I am eating mutton .
I am a law abiding , tax paying citizen of the country and hence Sir would request you to grant me permission to take my wife out for this dinner .
Copy of my Aadhaar card , PAN card , driving licence , Passport , Identity card are enclosed for your verification please .
Looking forward to an early reply from you Sir .
With warm regards yours sincerely
××××××××

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Why mining and violence are inextricably linked

Jasper Finkeldey

The South African government is currently embarking on streamlining decision-making processes in mining. To many this sounds like more top-down decision-making at the expense of those communities that will have to host mines and paves the way for more violent conflict, warns JASPER FINKELDEY

Environmental justice activists are putting themselves in the frontlines of a global battle that Naomi Klein calls “Blockadia”

Last year South Africa’s bountiful Wild Coast saw the assassination of Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, activist against proposed dune mining on his homeland. The commemoration of Rhadebe who went by the name Bozooka coincided with this year’s Human Rights day. At least 500 people came to stand together in solidarity to call for an end to violence under the glaring sun of the Wild Coast far off the tarred national roads.

Saluting the deceased Rhadebe, leader of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, gun shots were fired in the air giving a vivid demonstration of the sound of death that was heard on the Wild Coast a year ago. Mark Caruso, CEO of the company that applied for a permit for titanium mining on the Wild Coast had (according to local media) previously bragged in an internal email: “I am enlivened by [the] opportunity to grind all resistance to my presence.”

Violence and mining do not meet spontaneously – they are uncanny bedfellows.

Acclaimed mining scholar Anthony Bebbington calls the choice communities are facing when mining companies approach “Faustian in the extreme”. Companies offer compensation (mostly money) for multiple forms of dispossessions; namely dispossession of “land, territory, landscape and natural resources”. According to Bebbington no matter if mining is to go ahead or not it will irrevocably divide communities over the question. Defying the notion of win-win situations invoked by mining companies’ global examples show that mine-affected communities typically lose while a class of investors, CEOs and some local managers wine and dine on the generous revenues.

Blockadia in the making?

But as the Wild Coast people testify quite a number of activists are not shying away to take on mining Goliaths. Environmental justice activists are putting themselves in the frontlines of a global battle that Naomi Klein calls “Blockadia” – a new conflict zone “cropping up with increasing frequency and intensity wherever extractive projects are attempting to dig and drill, whether for open-pit mines, or gas fracking, or tar sands oil pipelines.” The struggle of Standing Rock is a case in point where indigenous activists faced the heavily armoured police.

But media attention to extractive struggles is rarely that persistent. And even in cases in which the media reports diligently from these conflict zones, time seems to be on the side of mining companies and oil firms. If extractive operations face resistance the nature of mineral resources allows companies to change strategies and come back when resistance is at its weakest.

Death toll of mining

The imbalance of resource also plays to the hands of companies as they have the means to bring delinquents on their side. In an academic paper entitled Conflict and Astroturfing in Niyamgiri, which is very instructive beyond the confines of academia, Romy Kraemer and others tell the story of a young tribal activist who received global attention for his fight against bauxide mining in India. In the cause of the struggle however the company manages to buy the activist out and provide him with a scholarship away from his native land. This is a rather peaceful case if one considers how many violent conflicts are reported around extraction worldwide. Ken Saro-Wiwa who died in the struggle against Shell as well as environmental justice activist Berta Cáceres from Honduras paid with their lives for their vocal oppositions. Their names, just as much as Sikhosiphi Rhadebe’s, echo in the struggles against exploitative extractivism of today.

The number of casualties in operating mines should not be forgotten either. In a single accident in the Turkish coal mine in Soma in 2014, at least 301 miners died in an underground fire. Even in the absence of major accidents miners are pressured to take ever higher risks in anticipation of the ever greater emphasis on production.

Increasingly struggles over mining are fought under environmental banners. The Environmental Atlas mapping of the social and environmental impacts of mining and other invasive developmental projects counts 158 conflicts over coal as well as 105 reported escalations over natural gas – the list is far too long to complete it. To get an overview it is certainly worthwhile to have a look at the globe full of colourful dots marking conflicts in virtually every region of the planet.

Consent or choice?

Is this just another case of the resource curse thesis suggesting that countries with large amounts of mineral endowment are worse off than their resource-poor counterparts? The answer is not that straightforward. In an ideal world communities could decide freely on whether or not they opt for mining in their community. In cases in which they opt in favour of mining communities should benefit from operation at every stage which would require the involvement of local entrepreneurs and schemes to upskill locals (I am still talking about an ideal world). Initiatives such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples demand free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). This might not go far enough as critics argue that “consent” should be replaced by “choice”. This seems easier said than done in the face of cosy relationships between mining capital and elite politicians.

South Africa’s impasse

Let me go back to South Africa where I currently do research on popular mobilization around the extractive industries. According to Corruption Watch, South Africa’s mining industry is at high risk of corrupt practices. Evidence certainly suggests that companies and governing African National Congress (ANC) politicians are working together quite closely.

President Jacob Zuma‘s son is heavily and controversially involved in mining ventures. Vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa held large shares of the mining company which saw 34 of its miners shot down in 2012. It is because of these conflicting interests that political economy professor Patrick Bond does not trust South Africa’s decision-makers to oversee mining relations. He likens them to a drunk nephew who “finds the key to the cupboard containing the family jewels, and he takes them all away, then finds a sleazy foreign buyer on the street corner who pays him a small portion of the value of the jewels, at which point the nephew goes to the bottle store and gets the most vile booze available, swigs it down and comes home to the same house, and vomits it all up, passing out and leaving the Auntie to clean up the mess.”

So the challenge will be to become sober about how to manage mining relations in a country in which close to 10 percent GDP comes from mining operations and where countless other sectors are connected to mining. Under the current fast-tracking methodology Phakisa, the South African government is currently embarking on streamlining decision-making processes in mining. To many this sounds like more top-down decision-making at the expense of communities that will have to host mines.

The T-shirts on Human Rights day on the Wild Coast read: “No mining on our land”.

We will see more of those where people’s freedom of choice becomes violated.

This Author

Jasper Finkeldey is a PhD researcher at the University of Essex studying social and environmental impacts of mining in South Africa. He is currently based at the Centre for Civil Society in Durban

 

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2988805/ecologist_special_report_why_mining_and_violence_are_inextricably_linked.html

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India Wake-Up – #Aadhaar is a national security threat

 PL SIGN AND SHARE PETITION TO CJI

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Chife_Justice_of_India_Stop_Mandatory_Aadhaar_for_services/share/?new

‘The government that is talking all the time about national security and national interests should be concerned.’
‘When national interests are jeopardised by their own project, they should pause and listen.’
‘Whether it is the BJP or the Congress, they all want control over the people.’
‘They don’t give a damn if anything happens to the people of the country; they are only interested in what they can get out of the data.’
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

Dr Usha Ramanathan, an independent legal researcher, has been writing, campaigning and debating the social, legal and economic aspects of the Aadhar card project from 2009 onwards.

Dr Ramanathan, below, left, tells Rediff.com‘s Shobha Warrier why Aadhar is not going to help India or its people in any way, rather how it is a security threat.

You have been a strong critic of the Aadhar card from the time it was introduced by the Manmohan Singh government. The way the Narendra Modi government is making it an all-encompassing identity card, do the people of India have to be worried?

You have to remember that this is not just a project of the government; it is a project of corporate interests which is working with and through the government.

Increasingly, it has become clear that this isn’t just about India, the Indian government and the Indian State.

We now know that the curiosity of the American establishment is very high in what is happening in various parts of the world.

We also know that with the kind of economic development that is happening, there are many countries that are interested in India, interested in the various kinds of data points which would help them decide where they want to intervene and where they don’t want to.

From what’s happening around the world, we know that the curiosity is more than we can tolerate.

We also know that the UPA (Dr Singh’s United Progressive Alliance) government wanted us to believe that they were at least dealing with terrorism.

We have been saying from the beginning that when you are creating a data base of this kind of the entire population, it is a national security threat.

I don’t understand how the government does not see it.

We had breaches happening to data bases all over the place.

The craziness of the data base is that they say you put the number in every data base, which is what the corporates want.

They want to make data out of all of us.

‘Data is the new oil and corporates want to be in total control of the whole pipeline of data.’

They are asking us to put three numbers everywhere: Bank account number, UID number and mobile number.

These are the ways you identify yourself in various places and now you make that completely insecure because it’s all over the place.

Now they want to put biometrics also everywhere. So, it’s a system without a system.

Nandan Nilekani, then the chairman of the Unique Identity Authority of India, had said it was an identity platform, but now it has become an identity itself…

It was never meant to be an identity. It was meant to be an identity platform and he doesn’t care what happens to the identity of the person.

He just wants numbers that can track various kinds of data which they are interested in.

That’s why Nilekani says privacy is not an issue, surveillance is not an issue, and India, from being a data poor country is becoming a data rich country.

What he says will happen because everybody will have to leave their digital footprints in different places for different service providers, and that’s his plan.

His is a complete corporate plan where data is the new oil and he wants to be in total control of the whole pipeline of the data.

When Aadhar was first introduced Nilekani had said that biometric data would not be given to anybody. Now, even a private telephone company is using the same biometrics to identify you.
How dangerous is it going to be?

First of all, you have to understand that Nilekani has been misinforming throughout.

‘If you are a woman rescued from prostitution and rehabilitated, they ask her to give her UID number which is completely contradictory because the first thing such a rehabilitation needs is anonymity.’

For instance, he says UIDAI does not give biometric information as it does not have much information, so it’s not unsafe.

Yes, UIDAI might not give biometric information, but in the process of accessing their authentication service, they are handing over to people whatever is in their data base.

Now they are using biometrics to be the authenticator by all kinds of people which means you have no control over it.

There is no monitoring system to verify that they are not retaining the biometric, there is no monitoring system to ensure that the consent is being got. Nothing.

The only conclusion I can draw is that they don’t give a damn if anything happens to the people of the country; they are only interested in what they can get out of the data.

Is it necessary for every citizen of a country to have a unique ID number?

If you look at the various uses for which they are going to put it, we see two kinds of users.

One is, private companies want to use it so that they KYC will become simpler.

By creating such a data base with so much resources, putting all people at risk so that your KYC becomes simpler is completely disproportionate to my mind.

Then they say the government will be able to deliver services, but if you see, so far they have used it only to cut people out of services and not to deliver services.

If you look at all the notifications that are coming now, it is impossible to understand what possible purpose there can be.

For example, if you are going to have a toilet in your house and they are going to give money for that, you have to give your UID number before you get the money.

If you are a Bhopal gas victim from 1984 and for rehabilitation, today you have to give your UID number, or else, you get dis-entitled for rehabilitation.

If you are a woman rescued from prostitution and rehabilitated, they ask her to give her UID number which is completely contradictory because the first thing such a rehabilitation needs is anonymity.

When a manual scavenger is rehabilitated, he doesn’t want to carry the identity with him. But it appears nobody cares.

They only want you to have a UID number and put it on every data base.

It’s one way of coercing people to enrol for this. That’s contrary to the orders of the court, but it appears the government doesn’t give a damn what the court is saying or anybody’s saying or what even their own lawyers are saying.

Even the law says only two kinds of use is possible; one is authentication which means you give a fingerprint, but nobody can retain the data but that’s not what is happening.

‘The HRD ministry says they can give the data of children to employers later.
Are they going to give information to an employer what a child went through on his way to adulthood?’

The second thing is, they have added e-KYC, an app created on the platform to give information which is against what they said when it was created.

The most important thing is, they are asking us to put the number in every database.

Show me the provision in the law that allows them to do so.

The law says you cannot retain the information. They don’t have a provision which says you can ask for the number anywhere.

Actually it is contrary to the law the government itself has made in a hurried way calling it a Money Bill.

Forget about the court, they are breaking their own law.

Dr Usha Ramanathan

Is it not in a way intruding into the lives of people?

Obviously. If you are a Bhopal gas victim, or a prostitute or a manual scavenger, you are able to track them and this is something that intrudes into the lives of people.

The HRD ministry said they are going to put the UID number with the school from the time the child enters school till he leaves.

Sociologically this is the age they pass through many conflicts and problems in life and emerge into adulthood.

Now, they are saying they would add the number to everything.

The HRD ministry says they can give the data (of children) to employers later. Are they going to give information to an employer what a child went through on his way to adulthood? Who is this employer?

Like you said earlier, is it like the corporates and the market matter more than the individuals?

For people like Nilekani, they are only interested in the market as they want to have more start-ups and they want to outsource. This is the only agenda they know.

For the government, they have found a convenient tool to put people under surveillance and tracking people across time and activities.

Why is the Bill Gates Foundation coming and sitting with the RBI every day asking them to make everything cashless?

And they have not tested any of these systems and wherever they have tested, the system has failed. But they are refusing to say what the tests have shown.

To me, there seems to be concerted plan to attack our various systems and one of the central systems is the monetary system.

We see a lot of irresponsibility here.

Nilekani and his people create whatever apps they want and they say they evangelise them to the government.

The government is not listening to other people, calling us anti-UIDAI.

This is not about anti-UIDAI; this is a stupid system.

In 2010, we had said, please pause before you carry on. Get the feasibility report done as this is what we anticipate.

Now what we had anticipated has happened; coercion, illegality and exclusion.

When you give it to companies of all kinds, it becomes a national security threat too.

The government that is talking all the time about national security and national interests should be concerned.

Who is Paytm? Why do we have to reveal everything, all our financial transactions to Paytm?

‘You created multiple electronic data bases. Do you think other countries are not going to dig into this?’

The idea that people are irrelevant and relevant only as data points will lead us down to very dangerous paths.

How is it useful for the government to expose every single person?

What does the government want?

If the government wants to administer, this is not the way to do it.

If the government wants to track and profile people, this can, to quite an extent, be a good surveillance.

But the government has to be concerned about national security and national interests.

When national interests are jeopardised by their own project, they should pause and listen.

You have created multiple electronic data bases now. Do you think other countries are not going to dig into this? How can they be so naïve?

They said UIDAI numbers were issued to 80 crore people and 8 crore enrolments were rejected, which is 10 per cent of the enrolment.

When we asked why they were rejected, they said there were duplicates. But they do not know how many were duplicates and for what other reasons they were rejected.

They were not bothered to go back and check.

‘There is no comparison between the US social security number and Aadhar.’
‘In the US, the social security number is linked to social security, but here this ID is linked to all and sundry; from the mid-day meal scheme to everything.’

You ask the biometric experts, they would say it won’t take much time to create fake numbers. The enrolment is done by some agency, not even monitored well.

Creating multiple fake identities is so easy in this process.

What is the value of something when 30 per cent people in Rajasthan cannot get ration because their fingerprints are not there?

I can understand Nilekani being irresponsible because for him, he only wants to control this as it is a corporate interest. But how can the government be doing this?

The supporters of the unique number say that in countries like the US, there is a unique ID number for everyone and they ask, why is it that in India people want to criticise it…

First of all, what the US has is a social security number and there is no comparison between the US social security number and this (the way the government want to use the Aadhar ID).

In the US, the social security number is linked to social security, but here this ID is linked to all and sundry; from the mid-day meal scheme to everything.

‘If you look at the past 15 years, where have all the scams happened? Within the government and between the governments and corporates. But they want to check us and see whether we are corrupt or not.’

Here, the State is saying, ‘if I give you something, if I pay you a salary, you are the beneficiary of the State, and therefore, you have to be subservient to the State.’

It’s demeaning for a population.

In the US, they will allow it to be used only for limited purposes and they advise you not to use it everywhere.

They have the privacy law, the non-discrimination law and they have a system by which you can complain if you have a problem. And it’s not based on biometrics.

Now that the government plans to connect all the details of a person like income tax, driving license, etc to the Aadhar card, do you feel it’s going to be like Big Brother watching us all?

Obviously. What does the government say? All of you are corrupt unless you prove otherwise.

They even say they will cancel you PAN card if you don’t have an Aadhar card. How absurd is that?

‘There is an ambition in the government that everyone should be in every data base to be completely visible to the State.
That is the biggest threat to the democracy you can have.’

If you look at the past 15 years, where have all the scams happened? Within the government and between the governments and corporates. But they want to check us and see whether we are corrupt or not.

This has nothing to do with corruption, efficiency, inclusiveness, etc. All these myths are busted by now.

Why do you have a Constitution?

Because you want to recognise your rights and you want the State to be restrained.

It’s not about making the State all powerful; it’s about controlling the power of the State.

Now the State says, I am above the law and I will do whatever I want.

If you want to be recognised as a human being in this territory, you better do what I ask you to do.

They have the power to disable and omit any number.

The Manmohan Singh government started it with the intention of cutting down on subsidies because the World Bank was asking them to cut it down to the maximum.

This government which in Opposition wanted the project to be dropped because it was insecure, is going on with it.

‘The court has to understand that people depend upon the court to protect them from the absolute power of the State.’
‘If the court abandons that role, people will have to find other means which is not a good thing.’

They said the first thing they would do when they come to power would be to scrap the project.

After they came to power, they want power over people.

It’s tragic that two governments that follow different ideologies, are doing the same.

This is like keeping the RTI upside down.

RTI was about the State visible to people, but this is about making people visible to the State.

There is an ambition in the government that everyone should be in every data base to be completely visible to the State.

That is the biggest threat to the democracy you can have.

That is Big Brother watching…

Yes, Big Brother watching.

The State has the power and not the people.

People have to worry about the State having too much power.

This is a clear case of moving towards absolute power with the State.

The State wants each individual to come and prove at regular intervals that s/he is not corrupt.

It is like, I as the State need to see you whenever I want to.

When in power, whether it is the BJP or the Congress, they all want control over the people.

It is the job of the court to see that they don’t get the control over people.

Because this is not an anarchic country; the government is taking advantage of it.

The court also has to realise that the State is not the protector of civil liberties; it is the court.

Our fundamental rights are not protected by the State, but by the court.

The court has to understand that people depend upon the court to protect them from the absolute power of the State.

If the court abandons that role, people will have to find other means which is not a good thing.

http://www.rediff.com/news/interview/aadhar-is-a-national-security-threat/20170331.htm?sc_cid=fbshare

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I am a vegan but I’m against forcibly shutting down meat shops

This move is clearly not for the animals, it is for people and their hunger for power.

VICHITRA AMARNATHAN

@vichitraamar

Being vegan can sometimes be a load. And I don’t mean that you miss cheese or chicken. You really don’t. The problem is that like any other label, it comes with its own assumptions and people quickly typecast you into either a turn-the-other-cheek “kind-hearted” person or a loud-mouthed, salad-eating fanatic who is out to brainwash unsuspecting people and proselytise them.

The truth is one is neither.

Being vegan has nothing to do with kindness. It is plain and simple — animals are sentient beings just like humans and vegans avoid anything that abuses animals just as people would avoid anything that abuses people. That’s hardly kindness. That’s the bare minimum. If you choose not to beat someone up, it doesn’t mean you are a kind-hearted person. It means you are a regular person.

And then everybody asks me if I am happy with Yogi Adityanath‘s decision to shut illegal meat shops and the Shiv Sena‘s forced shutting of outlets and meat shops during navratri. I should be because that’s what I want to do, right? Proselytise the nation? Well, no. I am against these actions.

Like many vegans, I was once a non-vegan — not something I’m proud of, but we all have our journey. I went through a process of understanding and arriving at what I considered was right. I weighed my options. I took the time to research and read about how animal agriculture contributes to over 51 per cent of carbon emissions and how cruel the dairy industry is.

vegan_033017122203.jpg
At the heart of veganism is the thought that no group is greater than or superior to the other. (Credit: Reuters photo)

I made my choice after knowing and believing. Nothing was imposed on me.

Everybody has the right to make up their own mind and go through that process of change.

I do talk about veganism and its importance but I also believe that real change cannot come unless there is an internal change. Imposing a decision definitely counts for nothing. People will simply resent it and become even more wary of veganism if vegans were to align themselves with despotic moves.

Not for the animals

The second and most important reason why I oppose the shutting down of illegal meat shops is because it has a strong communal angle to it. As a vegan, I believe in the acceptance and celebration of differences, whether they are differences in species, sexuality, religion, caste, race or abilities. That is the essence of veganism.

This move is clearly not for the animals, it is for people and their hunger for power. While some people may say the end goal is what is important, I think the end is as important as the means. Unless decisions are made for the right reasons, they cannot bring lasting change. And when the goal is to establish Hindu hegemony, then that will be the only outcome. Not the liberation of animals. These animals will continue to be slaughtered elsewhere or abused and tortured for milk on the pretext of “Gai hamari maata hai” (the cow is our mother).

As a vegan, I have a massive issue with sidelining and discriminating against a certain segment of our population. A lot of people would raise the issue of Jallikattu and say that asking for the ban on Jallikattu was discriminatory to certain cultures. I don’t think so. Bull fighting was banned by the Supreme Court across the country and no particular group was singled out. But here, clearly the Muslims are being singled out.

If this government really cared even a bit about farm animals or the environment, it wouldn’t be celebrating becoming the largest producer of milk. It would be working to spread awareness, perhaps take measures like imposing taxes on non-veg food to protect the environment and encourage healthy, cruelty-free practices and make changes within the government first.

At the heart of veganism is the thought that no group is greater than or superior to the other. Here, the objective is very different and at loggerheads with what veganism stands for.http://www.dailyo.in/voices/slaughterhouse-ban-being-vegan-uttar-pradesh/story/1/16435.html

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Maharashtra govt took action against 8 Mumbai hospitals for stent overcharging

State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Girish Bapat said that action had been taken against eight hospitals – Fortis, Breach Candy, Lilavati, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani, Asian Heart Institute, Global, L H Hiranandani and Sir H N Hospital.


By PTI  |  Updated On : March 30, 2017 07:13 PM
Mumbai hospital - Representative image (Getty)

Mumbai hospital – Representative image (Getty)

Mumbai :  The Maharashtra government informed the Legislative Council on Thursday that it had taken action against eight leading hospitals in Mumbai, which were found overcharging medical devices like stents.

State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Girish Bapat said since January 2017, the government has been using provisions of the Legal Metrology Act to crack down on such hospitals.

Bapat was speaking during a debate after a Calling Attention Notice was moved by Congress legislator Sanjay Dutt and others. “Eighteen medical devices are included in the list, which have to be sold at the MRP (maximum retail price) only. Action was taken against eight hospitals – Fortis, Breach Candy, Lilavati, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani, Asian Heart Institute, Global, L H Hiranandani and Sir H N Hospital,” Bapat said.

“These hospitals were found to have been charging stents in the range of Rs 1.05 lakh to Rs 1.90 lakh although they had procured the same from importers at Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000,” the minister said.

According to him, the government has filed cases under the Consumer Protection Act, which has provision up to seven years jail term. Admitting that the FDA faces staff crunch in enforcing the law, Bapat added that the government is taking help from retired officers and NGOs to ensure its implementation.

On the action against the eight hospitals, Bapat said the government is also checking the bills of patients, who had taken treatment at these medical establishments six months ago.

He said the government has put up notice boards at all the hospitals and provided Legal Metrology Department’s phone number, e-mail ID and WhatsApp number, so that people can register their complaints.

Raising a supplementary query, Dutt urged the government to take note of the attempts by hospitals to inflate bills by including fees charged by doctors andservices provided by the hospitals.

Bapat admitted that sample medicines meant for doctors were found to have been sold to patients. “The government shall convene a meeting to discuss the issues,” Bapat said. http://www.newsnation.in/cities/mumbai-news/maharashtra-govt-took-action-against-8-mumbai-hospitals-for-stent-overcharging-article-166414.html

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Life Term For Cow Slaughter In Gujarat, Assembly Clears Tougher Law #WTFnews

 

In Gujarat, cow slaughter is now punishable with life in jail

cow slaughter

The amendments to the 2011 law include a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh and permanent confiscation of the vehicle used for transportation(HT file photo)

The Gujarat assembly on Friday passed a bill enhancing punishment for cow slaughter from the present seven-year jail term to life imprisonment.

The amendments — which give Gujarat the harshest law in the country to protect cattle — include a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh and permanent confiscation of the vehicle used for transportation. The offence is also likely to be made cognizable and non-bailable

The issue has been central theme of chief minister Vijay Rupani’s public speeches amid speculation that the party will push for an early state election.

Buoyed by the BJP’s landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, the party believes that enacting a stricter cow protection law will help consolidate votes in the elections to be held in the backdrop of Patidar agitations for reservation in government jobs and colleges.

We had fought a case in the Supreme Court to bring a law in Gujarat to save cows. Now, we want to make this law stricter. We will introduce a bill in the ongoing budget session of the assembly,” Rupani had said on March 12 in Junagadh at a function organised by Swaminarayan Sect. A significant number of Patidars, or Patels – a crucial vote bank of the BJP – are followers of this religious sect.

In 2011, when Narendra Modi was chief minister, the state government had imposed a complete ban on slaughtering and transportation of cow and progeny by amending the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954.

Under the act, offenders faced imprisonment up to seven years and fine up to Rs 50,000. Besides, police could seize the vehicle used for transportation for six months.

In the past six years, even though 1,000 cases were registered every year, a long-drawn legal process and provision for bail had reduced the law to a mere lip service as not a single case had seen conviction so far.

 http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/cow-slaughter-now-punishable-with-life-in-jail-as-gujarat-assembly-passes-amendments/story-w6HhvEAqTU86dsLJC0NhOM.html

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