Translated from the Portuguese version by Lisa Karpova – Pravda.Ru
[FF Editorial: This article will shock many people. It is a glimpse, only a glimpse of the Deep State and you can be assured that no one get elected to any political office without their say. It is as simple as that. Call it what you want, “conspiracy theory” etc. But when the financial power of the world is controlled by the “Big Four” as explained in this article, one would be naïve to think otherwise. Please read the accompanying article, “Everything Is Rigged” before dismissing this article as another conspiracy theory.]
Some people have started realizing that there are large financial groups that dominate the world. Forget the political intrigues, conflicts, revolutions and wars. It is not pure chance. Everything has been planned for a long time.
Some call it “conspiracy theories” or New World Order. Anyway, the key to understanding the current political and economic event is a restricted core of families who have accumulated more wealth and power.
We are speaking of 6, 8 or maybe 12 families who truly dominate the world. Know that it is a mystery difficult to unravel.
We will not be far from the truth by citing Goldman Sachs, Rockefellers, Loebs Kuhn and Lehmans in New York, the Rothschilds of Paris and London, the Warburgs of Hamburg, Paris and Lazards Israel Moses Seifs, Rome.
Many people have heard of the Bilderberg Group, Illuminati or the Trilateral Commission. But what are the names of the families who run the world and have control of states and international organizations like the UN, NATO or the IMF?
To try to answer this question, we can start with the easiest: inventory, the world’s largest banks, and see who the shareholders are and who make the decisions.
The world’s largest companies are now: Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Let us now review who their shareholders are.
Bank of America: State Street Corporation, Vanguard Group, BlackRock, FMR (Fidelity), Paulson, JP Morgan, T. Rowe, Capital World Investors, AXA, Bank of NY, Mellon.
JP Morgan: State Street Corp., Vanguard Group, FMR, BlackRock, T. Rowe, AXA, Capital World Investor, Capital Research Global Investor, Northern Trust Corp. and Bank of Mellon.
Citigroup: State Street Corporation, Vanguard Group, BlackRock, Paulson, FMR, Capital World Investor, JP Morgan, Northern Trust Corporation, Fairhome Capital Mgmt and Bank of NY Mellon.
Wells Fargo: Berkshire Hathaway, FMR, State Street, Vanguard Group, Capital World Investors, BlackRock, Wellington Mgmt, AXA, T. Rowe and Davis Selected Advisers.
We can see that now there appears to be a nucleus present in all banks: State Street Corporation, Vanguard Group, BlackRock and FMR (Fidelity). To avoid repeating them, we will now call them the “big four”
Goldman Sachs:“The big four,” Wellington, Capital World Investors, AXA, Massachusetts Financial Service and T. Rowe.
Morgan Stanley: “The big four,” Mitsubishi UFJ, Franklin Resources, AXA, T. Rowe, Bank of NY Mellon e Jennison Associates. Rowe, Bank of NY Mellon and Jennison Associates.
We can just about always verify the names of major shareholders. To go further, we can now try to find out the shareholders of these companies and shareholders of major banks worldwide.
Bank of NY Mellon: Davis Selected, Massachusetts Financial Services, Capital Research Global Investor, Dodge, Cox, Southeatern Asset Mgmt. and … “The big four.”
State Street Corporation (one of the “big four”): Massachusetts Financial Services, Capital Research Global Investor, Barrow Hanley, GE, Putnam Investment and … The “big four” (shareholders themselves!).
BlackRock (another of the “big four”): PNC, Barclays e CIC.
Who is behind the PNC? FMR (Fidelity), BlackRock, State Street, etc. And behind Barclays?
And we could go on for hours, passing by tax havens in the Cayman Islands, Monaco or the legal domicile of Shell companies in Liechtenstein. A network where companies are always the same, but never a name of a family.
In short, the eight largest U.S. financial companies (JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, U.S. Bancorp, Bank of New York Mellon and Morgan Stanley) are 100% controlled by ten shareholders and we have four companies always present in all decisions: BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard and Fidelity.
In addition, the Federal Reserve is comprised of 12 banks, represented by a board of seven people, which comprises representatives of the “big four,” which in turn are present in all other entities.
In short, the Federal Reserve is controlled by four large private companies: BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard and Fidelity.
These companies control U.S. monetary policy (and world) without any control or “democratic” choice. These companies launched and participated in the current worldwide economic crisis and managed to become even more enriched.
To finish, a look at some of the companies controlled by this “big four” group
Altria Group Inc.
American International Group Inc.
DuPont & Co.
Exxon Mobil Corp.
General Electric Co.
General Motors Corporation
Home Depot Inc.
Honeywell International Inc.
International Business Machines Corp
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Merck & Co. Inc.
Procter & Gamble Co.
United Technologies Corp.
Verizon Communications Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.,
The same “big four” control the vast majority of European companies counted on the stock exchange. In addition, all these people run the large financial institutions, such as the IMF, the European Central Bank or the World Bank, and were “trained” and remain “employees” of the “big four” that formed them.
The names of the families that control the “big four”
(WOMENSENEWS)—”Hey sweetie, how was your day?” she asked.
“It was really good,” I said. “I had a little setback when my friend offered me a cookie.”
“A cookie?” she replied, one eyebrow quizzically raised, her small, thin lips pursed, knowing I was on a diet.
At that moment there was nothing I wanted more than to kick her straight in the nose. Unfortunately, the only reason this was actually an option was that she was kneeling in front of me, washing my genitals.
Even though I’m a teen with a disability my life is like any other teenage girl — I have crushes, want to be liked by my peers and have aspirations in life, like going to college. And like my friends, I have a love-hate relationship with my mother. She is an amazing woman who does so much for me, but hormones and teenage rebellion can also make me resent her sometimes. When I have these feelings towards her though I can’t stomp out of the room yelling, “I HATE YOU,” like other girls do. I always have to swallow my feelings, since I’m never in a situation where I don’t need something from her.
It’s normal for teen girls to act out at home during puberty, said Annie Harris-Meachem, a disability rights advocate and psychologist.
“Puberty is, without doubt, the most emotionally volatile time in the life of a teenage girl,” she said. “A disability, visible or invisible, exacerbates and makes it much more difficult to answer the many questions about becoming a woman and sexuality.”
Harris-Meachem, author of “It’s Easier to Dance: Living Beyond Boundaries,” supported my observations that the daughter’s urge to rebel and the stresses of high school social dynamics make for a pressure cooker of emotions that swing from sweet to devil in a matter of moments. Add in an incessant splash of teen girl insecurities and you’ve got chaos at home.
Mother-daughter bonds are never simple, but when the daughter is disabled it is especially complicated. My mother assists me when getting dressed, showering, using the restroom and preparing meals. She is also my driver and main support system. Needing her help for all these things doesn’t leave much room for rebellion or teenage angst. How am I supposed to sneak out and party with my friends when I need her to physically get me in my bed?
My need for my mom to constantly be around means I haven’t gotten to party with my friends, get drunk on the weekends or even try to understand my sexuality. Though my mom tries to give me the space I need, some things are out of her control. It takes a toll on our relationship. This shows up in passive aggressive comments or moments when I explode, after holding my anger in too long.
I’m not the only one who struggles with these issues. Izzie Penston, 15, said “parents (of able-bodied teens) don’t hover around them nearly as much.” Penston, from Alameda, California, has Friedreich’s Ataxia, a disability that affects her nervous system.
Penston tries to avoid her parents when she doesn’t feel like she can control her emotions. Her mom, Zoe Penston, acknowledges the situation isn’t easy. “We don’t really have the ability to give each other the silent treatment or a lot of space,” she said.
My relationship with my mom is hard on her too. She doesn’t get to see friends or go on dates. I asked her about this recently. She was unwilling to admit it but I know it’s true: Her life would be a lot easier if I wasn’t disabled. I live with this guilt every day.
In two years I will hopefully be heading to a four year college and move away from home. This would be my first real opportunity to get a glimpse of “typical” teenage life. But it also terrifies me. While I want to be ready to spread my wings, without my mom I fear it will feel as though I have lost a limb.http://womensenews.org/2017/04/disability-complicates-mother-daughter-relationship/
RAIPUR: Tribal people, farmers and women from 15 villages of Chhattisgarh marched Friday opposing a government order that coerces them into giving consent to coal mining in forest land in Tamnar block of Raigarh district.
The official circular directs these 15 village panchayats to hold gram sabhas and get villagers to sign on the dotted line. That will allow the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Mahagenco) to set up the Gare Palma sector-2 coal mine in forest land in Tamnar.
The circular was issued by the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Tamnar.
While the gram sabha is a mandatory condition to secure the consent of villagers, the people say it virtually asks them to write away their claims and entitlements to individual and community rights vested in them by the Forest Rights Act (FRA).
They alleged that there is pressure from the administration to leave their habitats to make room for Mahagenco.
The sarpanch of Kunjemura village, Umesh Singh Kedar told New Indian Express that the official notification has an attached printed proforma that has to be signed by the villagers. It speaks only of giving consent and does not spell out the terms. “It is misleading,” said Kedar.
The form, accessed by New Indian Express, requires the gram panchayat to ccertify that no tribals live on the land in question. “In the proposed forest land to be diverted, no tribal and non-traditional forest dwellers are living, (or are) engaged in agriculture or other traditional activities. There is no entitlement of any individual or community rights distributed under the FRA in the given area.” Or else, the panchayat is told to “Submit the names of those who have acquired land deeds under the FRA.”
Activist Rinchin, who is fighting for the villagers’ rights in Raigarh, said the administration is being “deliberately ambiguous”. “The format demands for consent without giving any scope for dissent or objection,” she said.
However sub-divisional magistrate S Jayvardhan said the administration has not interfered with the rights of the gram sabha. “I believe there is some miscommunication. Yes, we have asked them to convene gram sabhas but didn’t issue any directive to pursue a particular line of action. They are free to take a decision,” he said.
The villagers are nevertheless unconvinced. “We have asserted our rights under the FRA, Panchayats (extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) and submitted our memorandum to the Ministry of Coal, the governor, the chief minister and the collector. We have registered our protest against the proposed project as the region is already bearing the brunt of other ongoing coal mining activities,” said Shivpal Bhagat, the sarpanch of Kodampalli panchayat.http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/apr/14/sign-here-chhattisgarh-villagers-see-sly-move-to-acquire-forest-land-for-coal-mining-project-1593638.html
‘The Censor Board is bound by archaic laws which need to change according to the current times,’ reacted Raveena Tandon
She further went on to say that a film like ‘Maatr’ needs to be told without sugarcoating the content. Raveena also added that if we don’t show the reality, then the audience will remain indifferent to brutality and rape will still remain a taboo.
Raveena’s Maatr rejected by CBFC? Board member claims screening is on Monday
The board members walked out of a screening of the film earlier this week and after watching the film on Saturday, they have rejected the film – practically banning it for the time.
Raveena Tandon in a still from Maatr.
Raveena Tandon-starrer Maatr has run into trouble with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) over the use of expletives in the film.
The board members reportedly walked out of a screening of the film earlier this week and after watching the film on Saturday, they have rejected the film – practically banning it for the time.
A report in Quint quoted a source as saying, “Maatr has graphic and gruesome violence against women. The film is carpeted with maa-bahen expletives. We can’t even recommend that the abuses be beeped as they run through the course of the film in an ongoing rush of profanity.”
However, a censor board member told Hindustan Times that the report is incorrect. “The film’s producer informed us that the film is being screened for the Certification Board on Monday. So how can we say that certification has been refused?” the member said.
“Rape sequences are always tricky. We never know when they stop becoming shocking and get into the voyeuristic/titillating zone. In Maatr, the women’s violation is subject to allegations of excessive elaboration. Though the film is well-intended and hard-hitting, we cannot take the risk of incurring the wrath of organizations devoted to prevention of violation against women,” the source further said.
CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani told the website, “We have done our best to accommodate this film’s requirements. We even opened the CBFC office on Saturday, a non-working-day, to re-view the film.”
The makers of Maatr have the option of approaching the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT)
Raveena Tandon plays the titular role in Maatr. Written by Michael Pellico and directed by Ashtar Sayed, Maatr is scheduled to hit theatres on April 21. Maatr also features Madhur Mittal and Divya Jagdale in significant roles.
If the government approves this monstrous mine it will be committing environmental treason against every Australian who values our farmers, our coasts, our bush and our way of life
In an almost unbroken line from Monkey Mia, down across the Bight and then all the way up the other side to Mackay, the Australian coast is etched in various shades of brown. This is the historical precipitation map. Annual rainfall has dropped, it shows, across this enormous stretch of coastline, by as much as 100 millilitres since 1951.
In another map, concentric rings of increasingly angry red emanate from the centre of the continent. This one shows that, assuming we keep going as we are, the temperature in our country will increase by as much as 5C by the end of the century. Eight, if we’re unlucky.
This, by the way, is not the marketing material of some lefty environmental organisation. This is the product of thousands of the world’s top climate scientists, using some of the most sophisticated computer models ever built, to generate projections so fine-grained they simulate even the amount of moisture in every parcel of soil on the planet, and in the poles, the thickness of every chunk of sea ice.
This is the Australia we are creating. Even more, it is the Australia we will have to accept if the Adani mine is approved.
Research published last year by four Oxford economists and scientists concluded that to keep climate change to below 2C, no new coal plants can be built after 2017 unless they have zero emissions. That means perfectly efficient carbon capture and storage would have to be deployed on every coal plant in the world – an absurd fantasy.
This points to a stark lose-lose equation for potential new mines like Adani’s: either we burn their coal and induce dangerous climate change, or we don’t and waste billions of dollars.
Unless, of course, we take the third option: don’t build the thing. This is not, then, just another coalmine. It is a turning point. If we build Adani, we commit to irreparably harming Australia’s precious environment. If we don’t, we might still have a chance to save it. This is where we as a nation decide if we will be Asia’s rockpit for another 50 years, or a prosperous nation for the next 500.
If the world in 2077 is still burning as much coal as we are today, and the financial model of the Adani assumes it will, Australia as we know it – our wheatbelts, our reefs, our cities, and our lifestyles – will cease to exist.
Our government, sworn to protect the nation, should be doing everything it can to avert this looming crisis, not be falling over themselves to pay for the executioner’s bullet. If the government approves this monstrous mine, and the banks fund it, it will be committing environmental treason against every Australian who values our farmers, our coasts, our bush, and our way of life. We are about to choose Adani or Australia.
The argument against Adani achieves that rare distinction of finding purchase among all parts of society: patriots and cosmopolitans, environmentalists and economists, parochialists and internationalists, the job-hungry regions and the growth-hungry cities. We must all stop this affront to our nation. We must choose Australia.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/17/adani-is-not-just-another-coalmine-it-is-a-turning-point-for-the-nation
The Supreme Court today asked Bombay High Court’s official liquidator to sell the Rs 34,000 crore worth of properties of the Aamby Valley owned by the Sahara Group and directed its chief Subrata Roy to personally appear before it on April 28.
“Enough is enough. You cannot say something today and resile tomorrow,” a bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, said, taking strong note of non- submission of over Rs 5,000 crore by the Sahara group.
The bench also cautioned Roy from playing with the court’s order and said non-compliance of its order would invite the wrath of the law and ultimately he will be at his own peril.
The bench asked the official liquidator, attached with the Bombay High Court, to auction the Aamby Valley properties, estimated to be worth Rs 34,000 crore, and directly report to it.
The bench also directed Roy and his group as well as SEBI to provide all necessary details relating to the properties to the official liquidator within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the top court restrained one Prakash Swamy, who has filed an affidavit with regard to the sale of Sahara hotels in the USA, from leaving India and asked him to deposit Rs 10 crore as fine with the market regulator SEBI.
Swamy will also have to appear in person in the apex court on April 28.
The Supreme Court had on April 6 warned the Sahara Group that if it failed to deposit Rs 5092.6 crore in SEBI-Sahara refund account by April 17 in pursuance of its order, it will be “compelled” to auction its property at the Aamby Valley in Pune.
The top court had told the group that no extension of time would be granted for depositing the amount.
The observation had come when the lawyer mentioned an interim plea seeking extension of time for depositing the money in the SEBI-Sahara refund account.
The court had also observed that it had clearly told the group that a “substantial amount” must come in the refund account.
“Whatever you do, we had told you that a substantial amount must come. Otherwise we will be compelled to put up Aamby Valley for auction,” the bench had said, noting “What matters is the money coming in the kitty.” The apex court had on February 28 said “in case, the substantial amount is deposited, this court may think of extending the time, otherwise appropriate direction shall be issued”.
The court had last month ordered an international real estate firm, which had shown willingness to buy Sahara’s stake in New York-based Plaza Hotel for USD 550 million, to deposit Rs 750 crore in the SEBI-Sahara refund account, instead of the apex court registry to show its bonafide.
The top court had earlier directed attachment of Sahara Group’s prime property for realisation of money to be paid to its investors.
It had also asked the group to provide it within two weeks the list of “unencumbered properties” which can be put up for public auction to realise the remaining over Rs 14,000 crore of the principal amount of around Rs 24,000 crore that has to be deposited in the SEBI-Sahara account for refunding the investors.
The court had on November 28 last year asked Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 600 crore more by February 6 in the refund account to remain out of jail and warned that failure to do so would result in his return to prison.
It had on May 6, 2016 granted a four-week parole to Roy to attend the funeral of his mother. His parole has been extended by the court ever since. Roy was sent to Tihar jail on March 4, 2014.
Besides Roy, two other directors — Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary — were arrested for failure of the group’s two companies — Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) — to comply with the court’s August 31, 2012 order to return Rs 24,000 crore to their investors.
However, director Vandana Bhargava was not taken into custody.
The reality in Kashmir has always been crazily complex: this isn’t some good guys versus bad guys spaghetti western where the guys with the guns are good, those with stones are evil. The water-lines in the Dal lake have long since been bloodied and blurred and we don’t really know where hope lies in the darkness. ‘Misguided’ youth who won’t think twice before standing in front of an army jeep, separatists who won’t test their support in an election but will take orders from a dangerous neighbour across the border, army men who see the locals as ‘subjects’ not citizens, politicians who fiddle while a valley burns, a bureaucracy which is status quoist, a media which is frighteningly polarising, those waving the flag of hate in the name of nationalism , those who do a head count of civilians killed in encounters but not of jawans, terrorists who treat death as a game: is there anyone in and outside Kashmir today who can hold their head high with a clean conscience?
A moral and political vacuum stares at us and yet the gravity of the situation or the urgent need for imaginative solutions is escaping us. Resume the political dialogue, Omar Abdullah tells me on a tv show. Right, but a dialogue with whom, I ask? Can a dialogue be had with a gun pointing to the head? Or with separatists who will simply echo Pakistan’s line? Choose between tourism and terrorism the prime minister tells us. Is is really that simple a binary, Mr Modi? Will the end of terror offer a political resolution to a dispute that has a seventy year bloody history? We want to give good governance, Mehbooba Mufti tells me. Of course you do, but it’s your government so where is the healing touch that your father spoke of? We are losing Kashmir, warns Farooq Abdullah, the stone pelters are fighting for resolution of the problem. Yes, Dr Abdullah, but why are we losing Kashmir I ask: isn’t it because for the many years that you were in power, you did little to resolve the issue. Hey, weren’t you the guy who collaborated with the Congress in the rigging of the 1987 election that started it all? Kashmir is the ‘core’ issue screams Pakistan: so It is, but how do you address a core issue: surely not by pumping in more guns and terrorists in the name of religion? How can you be a victim of terror on one border of your country and a perpetrator of terror on the other? Containment hasn’t worked, it’s now time for an all out war, a retired general tells me. Really sir? War with whom, your own citizens in the valley, or with a nuclearised neighbour? We are living in a concentration camp for two decades, a Kashmiri intellectual tells me. Right you are sir: but how many Kashmiris have spoken out against the culture of violence that has forced civil society into a prison zone? Don’t forget us Kashmiri Pandits and our plight, a familiar voice tells me. No, we must never, but do we forget that a vast majority of those innocents killed in the violence are local Kashmiri Muslims? This is a ‘holy war’ says a jihadist video: what ‘holy’ war kills innocents in the name of Allah the merciful, I ask ?
There are probably no answers to many of the above questions. Maybe we don’t want to seek answers any longer for fear that it will expose our individual and collective hypocrisies. Maybe we want to take polarised positions because we find comfort in black and white portraits rather than shades of grey, in being caricatured as liberals and nationalists rather than as truth seekers? Besides, in this age of noise and studio warriors, who wants a dialogue when a harangue gets TRPs and twitter trends? So, a video on army jawans being targeted by civilians leads to a chorus of voices standing by our brave army men. Hardly any of them will criticise the army for tieing up a Kashmiri to a jeep and parading him around like a human shield. Remember those old Hindi films where the villain would drag villagers with a rope? Then, we would wince. Now, we will cheer: hey, it’s the Indian army after all out there, and we can’t question the men in khaki. And will we also have high decibel discussions when a Kashmiri provides water to a jawan or helps them during an accident, or when jawans rescue Kashmiris stuck in floods? The state vs citizen narrative is so dominating that all else is pushed to the margins. Liberal voices plead for justice through the prism of Kashmiri ‘victimhood’ , the ‘nationalists’ call for a ‘cleansing’ in the name of India First. Both seem to be unwilling to find any space for a meaningful conversation that goes beyond frozen positions, forget a long term resolution.
Yes, I also believe in India First. But my concept of India First doesn’t involve treating a nation as a piece of land defined by geographical boundaries alone, or by looking at every problem as a law and order issue. My India First involves putting Indians first, be it Kashmiris or jawans, or any law abiding citizen. The gun cannot resolve a vexed political conflict or deliver some romanticised notion of ‘azaadi’. A solution is achieved when you win the hearts and minds of people, ‘insaniyat’ as former prime minister Vajpayee put it, must be the touchstone for any future resolution. But “insaniyat’ involves taking risks, like Vajpayee did with his Lahore bus yatra, or Manmohan Singh did with the Srinagar-Muzaffarbad bus service. Prime minister Modi also took a risk when he tied up with the PDP but since then has pulled back. Why doesn’t the prime minister withdraw, for example, AFSPA from parts of the valley, as his ally is suggesting, as a major confidence building measure and then build on his promise of good governance? You can’t win hearts and minds with military force, just as Pakistan can’t use cross border terror to seize Kashmir.
Last night, when I poured my angst on Kashmir on tv and then social media, I was hounded by the pseudo-nationalist armies in cyberspace. For a moment, I almost felt like an ‘anti national’ speaking for Jewish rights in Hitler’s Germany. Kashmiris are Indians, not insects to be crushed or driven out. Jawans and citizens both have their rights which must be protected but we can’t do so without reducing the trust deficit first. We must fight terror and its symptoms, we cannot fight fellow Indians. A pellet gun for a stone will breed a cycle of hate and violence that will strip us of all humanity. Mahatma Gandhi would have stood between the stone pelter and the pellet gun: do we have anyone with similar moral courage?
Post-script: depressed on a Friday night by the war over viral videos, I turned to a video of my own. A You tube video of the film Kashmir Ki Kali and one of my all time favourite numbers: deewana hua badal. Watching Shammi Kapoor woo Sharmila Tagore was soothing: will Kashmir ever again hum to a similar tune?
The article was fisrt publsihed here http://www.rajdeepsardesai.net/blog-views/kashmir-putting-indians-first
“Pahila mala chambharin bolvayche, ata maanane taai bolavtat
(First they used to call me chambharin, now they call me taai)”
A young Dalit widow with two children, Asha Kamble was harassed by a Vanjari man when she refused his advances. Now in her mid-thirties, Asha
established herself as a tailor after her husband’s death 10 years ago. She went to the police four times to complain; every time, she was turned away. Once the man had, in a drunken state, knocked on her door at midnight and tried to force his way in. Asha didn’t let him in. She tied his hands to the door knob instead.
In March 2013, Asha was summoned by a 10-member village committee (the Vanjari man was present as well) which accused her 13-year-old daughter, Saloni, of theft and demanded that she either pay Rs. 20,000 or leave the village. Asha knew her daughter admitted to the crime under pressure, so she offered only Rs. 1,000 as penalty. Khadaki is dominated by Vanjaris and Marathas. Only a handful of houses belong to Buddhist-Dalits and Maangs.
“I told them that I couldn’t afford to pay, nor could I afford to leave the village. The next day they went to the cops to register a complaint against my daughter. The cops told me as she was a minor they wouldn’t register it,” says Asha.
Angered by police inaction, the wife of Bansi Chole (one of the accused) asked Asha’s landlord to evict her. She asked for 15 days to wrap up her business, but they demanded that she leave within two. When she refused, they got a few villagers to throw her belongings out of the house, she said.
“As they were doing this, I took my kids and went to the police station. Initially the cops didn’t entertain me. Later they noted the complaint but didn’t give me the receipt,” says Asha.
“After seven days, when police visited the village for the panchnama, I told them some of my belongings were missing. But they didn’t bother to note that,” says Asha.
Later police and relatives of the accused requested Asha to withdraw the case. One even offered to return her belongings and give her money. She says even the local MLA met her in this connection.
“They offered me Rs. 5 lakh and even said the house I stayed in would be transferred to my name free of cost. But I didn’t budge,” says Asha.
The police, Asha claims, fabricated statements from witnesses in a way that suggested that the case should be closed. Although they registered the case under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, a court dismissed the case. She has challenged the order.
THE KHURSANE BROTHERS
“Tyana raag alay ani ghabarayla jhalay amchi chalwal baghun” (They are angry and are threatened by our growing activism)
“Dalit aspirations are a breach of peace,” B.R. Ambedkar said in his 1936 speech “Annihilation of Caste”. On December 7, 2016, around 7.30 p.m., 22-year-old Ajay Khurasane was beaten up by a group of upper caste people in the village square of Pohegaon in Ahmednagar district. When Ajay’s 20-year-old brother Ashok confronted them, they assaulted both with weapons, causing severe injuries. A long vertical scar marks the left side of Ajay’s face.
Although the Khurasane brothers are farm labourers, they were part of a tribal organisation working for the community, in a village dominated by Marathas, followed by Joshis, Maangs, Dhangars and Gondhalis. The upper caste communities in Pohegaon, which has 500-600 families, feel threatened by the tribals fighting for their rights.
Dalit activist Kiran Thakarey explains: “When we founded the organisation, the gram panchayat didn’t give us permission. We went to the police station and then we got permission. Founding it has boosted the confidence of women and the elderly, who have wanted it for the past 10 years but were scared of the bullying.”
As Ajay narrates the incident sitting in front of his house, Ashok, their mother Chandrakala and other villagers gather around. “I went to the village square from the market. My friend and I were chatting when one of the accused passed us. He thought we were talking about him. He got angry and gathered 20-odd people and thrashed me and threatened to burn my house down,” Ajay said.
Ashok came to the spot in an effort to make peace. “When we went to the accused’s place, instead of a dialogue, he and a few others started hitting us with a gupti (dagger),” said Ajay.
The brothers went to Shirdi police station. “We reached at 10 p.m. but our complaint was lodged only at 3 a.m. They deliberately delayed the process. The police told us that the situation could be blown out of proportion, so we should withdraw the case.”
The accused were arrested but released the following day. A day after that, they told the brothers, “The police cannot harm us. We have done the internal setting.” They are now out on bail. More than 15 people assaulted them, but the FIR named only six. “So far, police haven’t applied the Atrocities Act. We are waiting,” says Kiran. This was the first time someone had spoken up aginst the dominant family of the village.
“Maharana lai maaj aalay. Dakhavto tumhala tumchi aukaat, asa amhala mhanale”
[These Mahars are trying to be over smart, we will show you your place—this is what they told us]
The Udage family in Pune’s Chikali area has been living under threat and 24-hour police protection ever since Manik, the 25-year-old sole breadwinner, was hacked to death for celebrating Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on April 14, 2014.
In 2014, Manik, a local contractor and founder of Samvidhan Pratistha—an organisation established to promote Dalit cultural events—was beaten with a steel rod and stoned to death by four men from upper caste families. The provocation was his decision to organise an event in Morya vasti where the upper caste communities are dominant.
Besides, the four men who killed him, were local contractors threatened by Manik’s growing popularity. They used to ridicule Manik by saying that he should “remember that he is a Mahar”. But Manik was defiant.
One night the four men came to his hut dragged him out in his sleep, and took him away. “After two days of frantic searching we found Manik’s mutilated body,” says Shravan (in picture), Manik’s 22-year-old brother, who is fighting the case.
The Udage family’s struggles continue. Even though the accused are in jail, Shravan says trhey felt they were always being watched. Whenever Shravan passes Morya vasti, he is subjected to cold stares from the relatives of the accused who has been denied bail several times.
It was not easy for the family to get 24-hour police protection.
“Majha tondavar thukla ani tyacha gharchyansamor majha blouse fadla”
(He spat on my face and tore my blouse in front of his family)
From death over a land dispute to charges of murder, the Hathagle family of Anandwadi village in Beed district has seen it all in the past couple of years. Anandwadi is a small village with a Maratha majority. There are only 30-35 Maang houses. Manisha Khupse, a member of a Maang family which is not getting money due under the state’s Gharkul Yojana, confronted the upper caste political leader on the matter. The reply was a volley of abuse, she says.
The Hathagle family’s problems began when they got embroiled in a land dispute. The land, says Manisha—who goes by her married name—was bought by her father and uncle in 1983. Theirs was the first family from the lower castes to own a flour mill in an upper caste dominated village. The counter claim is that they encroached on the land. The dispute claimed her uncle’s life in 2013. One person was booked for murder. The environment in the village is tense.
Manisha, a 29-year-old widow with two children, has been fighting the cases since the dispute began. Things have started heading south for the Hathagle family ever since. The other party in the land dispute is Mirabai Baburao Chavan. “She has not only targeted our house, but lodged a complaint against 13 people stating that we encroached on village land, whereas everyone legally bought it and built pukka houses under Gharkul Yojana,” says Manisha. Mirabai’s son is the accused.
The verdict went in their favour and the accused was released after one year. Manisha claims Mirabai hired goons to harass the community. A few months after her uncle was killed, Manisha and nine family members were booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder) in a case she claims is false. “We were falsely booked on charges of attempting to murder Mirabai’s husband.” The family had to stay out of the village till the situation calmed down. The investigation, however, turned out to be a relief as the witnesses spoke in their favour.
Manohar Chalak, 40, and his family insist Manisha and her family don’t belong to the village and the land is not owned by them. Besides, Chalak claims Manisha got her caste certificate by filing fake documents. This claim has deterred police from lodging a case under the Atrocities Act.
Manisha says that when she confronted Chalak about the harassment he “abused me, spat on my face, tore my blouse in full view of the Georai court. He also said that I (a woman from the Maang community) should be raped in public, only then I will understand their power.”
“Majha mulicha jiv shulak karanamule gela”
(My daughter died for no reason)
Ten-year-old Rajashree would have been alive today if the Dalit basti of Bagh Pimpalgaon village in Beed district had got enough water last year, says her father Namdev Kamble.
Namdev holds the sarpanch and gram sevak responsible for his daughter’s death, as they did not release water to the basti for 10-15 days at a stretch. In February 2016, says Namdev, if there had been water in the house, Rajashree wouldn’t have gone to the well where she tripped and injured her head severely. She succumbed to the injury because Namdev, a farm labourer, could not afford the cost of treatment.
“We had to change three hospitals before Ghati government hospital in Aurangabad admitted her as we couldn’t afford the expense,” Namdev says.
Discrimination on the grounds of caste is commonplace in Bagh Pimpalgaon. The incident occurred when the drought in Marathwada had affected water supply. But the sarpanch, claims Namdev, would release water to the village twice a day, with the exception of the Dalit basti, which got it only once in 10-15 days. Despite his repeated requests, the basti was deprived of water.
Although police took note of Namdev’s complaint, no FIR has been filed and no action taken. “We didn’t receive any compensation from the government. I even visited Mantralaya in Mumbai, they said they would look into it. It’s been four months, but nothing has happened.”
Highlighting the lack of drinking water in zilla parishad schools, Dalit activist Kadudas Kambale says, “The schools should have adequate water for the children. After all, they provide them with mid-day meals, so they should obviously look at providing water.”
Rajashree, a fourth grader in the school, was a bright student and active in cultural events. She had eaten her mid-day meal in the school on the day of the incident but was thirsty. Reaching home, she found no water in the house and went to the well.
“This incident could have been avoided if we had got enough water for storage. This is not just a case of death by accident, but also a case of atrocity as the basti was denied water,” adds Kadudas.
Namdev and Kamble tried several times to file a formal FIR against the sarpanch and gram sevak. But “strong political backing” has shielded them.
“Porga kay sairat navta”
(Our son was not of loose character or in love)
The day before his 19th birthday, Rohan Kakade, a Mahar boy from Satara, was murdered by five Maratha men. One of them believed his sister was having an affair with Rohan. They beheaded Rohan, burnt his body and dumped it near Jadhavvadi waterfall.
Rohan’s father Satyavan and the young woman’s father Sunil were good friends. On April 30, 2009, Rohan didn’t return home after dropping his sister off at a medical store. The parents started a search when his phone was not reachable. It was late evening when they finally located Ashok, one of the accused, who said Rohan was last seen with Swapnil (main accused) and his friends headed for a swim.
The parents knew Rohan couldn’t swim so they took Ashok and went to the police station. Upon his confession, they found Rohan’s body. His mother Chandrabhaga stayed at the police station the whole night while his father returned with the body the following day.
Rohan was good at studies and the young woman, a family friend, would call him for help with school work. Rohan’s mother once saw a call from the young woman on Rohan’s phone after 1 a.m. Rohan told his parents that Sunil’s daughter called him occasionally.
But the young woman’s family said Rohan talked to her so they suspected an affair was brewing.
“We even showed them the telecom company’s records. This was our evidence that she was the one who called Rohan after 1 a.m. I told them if they thought my son is committing a crime, they could have gone to the police. Why did they kill him? She is Maratha and he is Mahar, this is the reason they killed him,” Rohan’s mother said.
In court proceedings, the defence lawyer argued that Rohan’s father worked as a bonded labourer in the house of the accused and that they were not friends.
“We made a lot of noise against this injustice but I don’t see any results,” says Chandrabhaga. “We even got media attention, but what’s the use when there’s no outcome?”
Two and half years after the murder, Rohan’s father died. His mother continues to fight the case.
“Fakta Babasahebanchi ringtone thevli mhanun maarla majha porala” (Because my son had a ringtone praising Babasaheb, they killed him.)”
Sagar Shejwal, a 24-year-old nursing student, was killed in May 2015 near Shirdi by a group of nine intoxicated Maratha men because they objected to the phone ringtone. The ringtone had a song in praise of Ambedkar. Shejwal was a Mahar-Buddhist.
In May 2015, Sagar had gone to Shirdi to attend a friend’s wedding. During the celebrations, he and two of his cousins visited a local beer shop where his phone rang a few times. Nine heavily-inebriated men were sitting outside. They confronted Sagar about his ringtone: “Tumhi karaare kitihi halla, lai mazbut Bhimacha quilla (You can shout as much as you want but Bhim’s fortress always stays strong)”. They demanded that he change the ringtone. Sagar refused. A verbal spat snowballed into a fight. Sagar and his cousins were thrashed. Although the cousins managed to run away, the nine men took Sagar to a forest near the Manmad highway. His naked mutilated body was found here.
Ashwini, Sagar’s older sister, said: “We all thought he had gone to the wedding, but we had no clue where he was at that moment as his phone was not reachable. We were looking for him everywhere. When our relatives went o the police station, the cops said they would not head out in the heat. They needed an air-conditioned car. So the relatives arranged for an air-conditioned car. However, they (police) were still not able to locate Sagar.”
The body was finally found when one of Sagar’s friends was able to identify one of the accused. When interrogated, the man gave away the location.
All the nine accused have admitted to their crime and are behind bars. The social welfare department compensated the family with Rs. 1,75,000.
A huge portrait of Sagar hangs on the wall along with that of Ambedkar and other smaller pictures from the family album in the hall of their one-room kitchen house at Rahata Phata colony. Anita Shejwal, Sagar’s mother, said: “The main accused was from Maratha community. Why do they have so much anger against us?”
“Doctorani janavarala lavtaat tase taake lavle tyana”
(Doctors treated him worse than an animal while stitching his wounds)
Sadashiv Salave (better known as Salave Guruji), a 69-year-old retired primary school teacher, and his son and nephew were beaten up by upper caste mob with sticks, swords and iron rods when Guruji intervened in a dispute between the two castes in Bagh Pimpalgaon, Beed district in 2009. Digambar Salave, Guruji’s other son who now looks after their farm, sat on a sofa recalling the incident.
It started with a small fight on June 24, 2009, says Digambar. “My nephew Ravichandra Salave had gone to deliver the afternoon tiffin to my father who was working in the field. It was there the perpetrator, belonging to Dhangar caste, started abusing Ravi and threw stones at him,” Digambar says. An injured Ravi then went to hospital to get himself treated. The police, claims Digambar, didn’t take any action against the accused when a complaint was lodged.
The following day (25th June 2009), Ravi’s father, Bhikachand, went to the man’s house to confront him for beating his son. The man and the main accused, Gangaram Vazir, called his men—belonging to Maratha, Dhangar, and other upper caste communities in the village—and started beating Bhikachand using sticks, weapons and swords. They followed him home and started abusing the Salave family. Hearing the commotion, Guruji came out of the house to resolve the conflict. The mob then dragged him and assaulted him with swords and iron rods.
“The mob was very violent. No one was ready to listen. Even Pravin, who went to help Guruji, was injured severely. Nobody reached out to help when they started thrashing us,” says Guruji’s wife, Satvasheela. The police stopped the Salave family from going to the hospital and insisted on recording the statements first. Later when they were taken to a government hospital, the injured were not treated properly, claims Guruji’s wife. “Then we moved Guruji to another hospital in Beed. Even there we were denied proper treatment. The doctors didn’t pay attention while stitching the wounds and treated him worse than an animal.”
Guruji died of suffocation. Of the 18 accused, nine were sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment, the rest were acquitted. They have now appealed against the acquittal of some of the accused.
“Ti matimanda ahe mhanun tila sodla nahi tar marun takla asta”
(She was ‘spared’ because of her handicap else they would have killed her.)
“The 18-year-old deaf and dumb, mentally-challenged girl was not murdered only because her handicap would not allow her to talk about how she was gang-raped or beaten” This is how Dalit activist and National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) president Harish Kakade described what happened to a girl from Phaltan block of Satara district in March 2015, when she went missing. Her parents were at work and her sisters in school. Only her younger brother and grandmother were at home. She had stepped out during the day, but had not returned by late evening. After a fruitless search, the family went to the police station. They were asked to wait for 24 hours as they suspected the girl had run away. They didn’t take the fact of her mental illness seriously.
In desperation, the family shared her photo and details on WhatsApp and social media. The next day, someone from the Wadgaon police station called to say a girl in a bad state had been brought there. When their nephew Ganesh brought her back, she told her mother using sign language what had happened.
Two men from the Kunchikorave (nomadic) community had taken her on their bike to a field a few kilometres from her home. There they raped her and took her to another nearby field to confuse her so that she would not be able to identify the location. They were thrashing her when a labourer there spotted them. The men had fled. The man called nearby villagers in an effort to identify the girl. Unable to understand what she was saying, they took her to Wadgaon police station. Eventually, they traced her with WhatsApp.
Her mother said doctors at the government hospital initially thought the blood was from her period, but finally intervened to ensure the cops lodged the complaint. The victim identified the accused in the identification parade.
The Kunchikorave community is influential in the village, Kakade says. One of the accused got a life term, but the other was acquitted. The girl’s family says the police didn’t show her the second accused during the identification parade.
“Savarna lokanchyaach baajune jasta karun nyaay dila jaata”
(The discretionary power of the judiciary normally works in
favour of the privileged caste)
“On April 26, 2007, Madhukar Ghadage, a 48-year-old Dalit-Buddhist farmer of Kulakajai village in Satara district, was digging a well near a percolation tank. The land near the tank—which he had bought—is prized for its high water table. It is shared with four upper caste families who have their own wells here.
“We bought the land under Jawahar Vihir (well) Yojana and even obtained a no-objection certificate from the gram sabha,” says Tushar Ghadage, Madhukar’s son. “They [upper caste families] were not happy, but we were determined to dig it because we were doing nothing illegal.
“We decided to speed up the digging using machines. Around 7 p.m., my cousin Vaibhav and I returned home to get food and water for the rest.” Returning to the site Tushar saw some men throwing stones at the diggers. The workers abandoned Madhukar and fled. Tushar and Vaibhav ran to the rescue, but they too were assaulted. By the time they got him out, Madhukar was unconscious from loss of blood.
“We had to carry my father on a bike for almost 21 km because we didn’t get any assistance from the villagers,” said Tushar. When they reached hospital, Madhukar was declared brought dead.
In 2010, a sessions court acquitted all 12 accused, citing lack of evidence. Tushar challenged the judgment in the Bombay High Court in August 2010. “When the bench saw this case, they were shocked at the judgment,” he said. The case is now pending at the high court.
The Ghadage family is a pioneer of the Dalit Buddhist movement of 1956. Madhukar’s grandfather Abaji was the first Dalit in the village to get a job in the Railways. The family is relatively affluent and progressive, with many members working in government.
“One of my brothers completed a Masters in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS),” says Tushar, who has an M.A. from the same institution. “One cousin is a civil engineer, another has an M.Sc. in microbiology and another an M. Sc. in Zoology. None of the upper caste families can match the Ghadages. This is a reason of contention and jealousy.”
Tushar says the well-digging only triggered a deep-seated grudge. “If we submit, they win,” Tushar says.
“Majha porala vedya kutrayala jasa martaat tasa marla”
(My son was killed like one would kill a mad dog on the loose)
He was 17 when he died, hanged from a tree in Kharda village near Ahmednagar district’s Jamkhed town for talking to a girl from an upper caste community. Three men, including the girl’s brother, suspected the Mahar boy of having an affair and constantly harassed him in school.
Nitin was a Class XI student who worked part-time in a motorcycle garage. He was good at studies. On April 28, 2014, the day of his death, he had appeared for the Std XII preparatory exam from Government English Medium school in Kharda village.
According to his father Raju Aage, Nitin was beaten up in school. Neither the teachers nor the principal intervened. Instead they were told to take it outside. “They paraded him naked in front of the village, but no one stopped the atrocity. Most of the onlookers were Marathas. My son was killed like one would kill a mad dog,” says Raju.
Narrating eyewitness accounts, Raju said the three men broke Nitin’s arms, legs and threw him on the floor. Then they ran a motorcycle over his unconscious body several times. They dragged him to a brick kiln and inserted hot iron rods into his private parts. Later they hanged him from a small lime tree to make it look like suicide.
Nitin’s parents searched frantically for several hours before they found him hanging from the tree. “We took him to Jamkhed Hospital where his post mortem was done,” Raju said.
The family of the girl in question said Nitin was only beaten and not murdered. A relative was quoted in The Hindu as saying Nitin was harassing the girl, and was thrashed when her brother found out. “It was meant to be a warning. Nitin must have felt insulted and committed suicide.”
“The teachers are to be blamed. They are Marathas. Why didn’t they stop them? If they had intervened, my son wouldn’t have died,” says Raju Aage.
Although more than 10 people were involved in Nitin’s murder, police registered complaints only against three, including the girl’s brother. Later the others were arrested too. Of 13 accused, three juveniles were released, and three granted bail.
Three years later, the case is still going on. Sudharak Olwe has been a Mumbai-based photojournalist since 1988. He has worked as a press photographer with some of the leading newspapers in India. In 2016, Sudharak was conferred the Padma Shri.
Helena Schätzle is an award-winning photographer who works as an independent photojournalist with the German media.
On November 7th, 2015, a march was taken out to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to counter the protests by writers and artists who had returned their awards to the Government as a protest against the rising intolerance in the country. This Award-Wapsi by writers and artists was triggered by the brutal mob-lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri on September 28th, 2015. Anupam Kher led what was called a ‘March for India’ to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and he suggested that those who returned their awards had vested interests and that there’s no intolerance in India. Anupam Kher’s comrades in this march were people like Ashoke Pandit who is a member of the Film Certification Board, singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya, filmmaker Madhukar Bhandarkar and more. After the march, a troupe of people who participated in the march met Prime Minister Modi in the PMO.
Fast forward to 2017, a video went viral on social media in which a Kashmiri man, who had come to cast his vote, was tied to the front of the jeep and paraded through several villages by the Indian army. By the time, Farooq Ahmad Dar got back home in the evening, he had a broken arm and was completely traumatised. Criticising this incident, retired Lieutenant General Harcharanjit Singh Panag posted a tweet on his Twitter timeline (@rwac48). Lt General Panag is the former Commanding officer of the Northen Command and Central Command of the Indian Army, is the only three-star General from the Mechanised Infantry and has won multiple awards.
Many people responded to this tweet, some with a lot of appreciation, and others expressing disagreement. However, the debate was not always civilised and the very gang who took out the ‘March For India’ to the Prime Minister’s office hurled the most shameful abuses at Lt General Panag. Leading the gang was Ashoke Pandit who has been appointed as a member of the Central Board for Film Certification by Modi Govt.
Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya, who was also an important member of the March For India, was the other celebrity who wanted Lt General HS Panag to be kicked, beaten-up and humiliated.
Besides the not very tolerant ‘March For India’ gang, as always, there were people whom Mr Modi personally follows on Twitter who spewed venom against Lt General HS Panag. Here are a few of them.
And then there were other not so prominent social media warriors with allegiance to BJP.
The General did not hold back his punches and did not hesitate to give a piece of his mind to those who were trolling him.
If you like our stories, do follow Alt News on Facebook.
What this episode proves yet again is that the right-wing’s love for the army is only until the point they don’t speak out. Every time, anybody in the army has spoken out, they have been given all sorts of labels. This happened with the army men who were not happy with the Government’s OROP offering and is now happening with one of the most respected Generals.whttps://www.altnews.in/retired-lieutenant-general-hs-panag-abused-modi-supporters-ant-kicked-beaten-humiliated/
BusinessLineThe big gap: While about 13 million people will join the workforce every year, not even a million jobs are being created – Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised one crore jobs during the 2014 elections. At the present rate of job creation, this will take 30 years. Muthukumar K and Seetharaman R report on the employment crisis
Raj Abraham (name changed on request), a first-year student at a leading management institute in Chennai, is a bit anxious these days. Ask him how his seniors are faring in campus placement and the 22-year-old says: “The placement scenario has worsened over the last three years.” He is hopeful of a turnaround by the time his turn comes.
Raj will be among the 13 million youngsters who will join the Indian workforce next year. Over the next 10 years, 130 million more will — giving the economy an opportunity to reap the ‘demographic dividend.’ An expanding workforce will fuel the economy.
Well, yes, in theory.
The ground situation is different. Since the UPA-II Government, job creation has taken a beating. And it has worsened in the current regime, as indicated by the the quarterly survey (for eight industries) of the Ministry of Labour & Employment’s Labour Bureau. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 3.4 lakh jobs are being created a year, half of the rate in the UPA-II rule in 2009-2014. In the NDA Government’s three years in office, it seems it has achieved what UPA-II did in one year.
While textiles and IT & BPO sectors have fared better in the last three years, job creation in six other sectors – leather, automobile, gems and jewellery, transport, mining, and handloom and powerloom — was higher in the UPA-II years. Moreover, after the initial pick up in 2015, jobs in textiles are disappearing fast.
During the 2013 election rally in Agra, Modi had promised one crore jobs if elected to power. The BJP manifesto, while taking pot-shot at the 10 years of jobless growth (there was no increase in employment during the National Sample Survey Office period 1999-2000 and 2009-10) of the UPA regime, promised to plug the job deficit through development of labour-intensive manufacturing and promoting entrepreneurship.
Global economic meltdown, however, played spoilsport. Monthly exports have been down in 22 of the 33 months on year-on-year basis. Employment-intensive sectors of footwear and apparels have lost share in the international market over the last three years.
“We are losing orders to leather manufacturers in Pakistan and Bangladesh, who have abundant supply of good-quality hides and with their currencies quoting at a cheaper rate,” said Habib Hussain, a small-scale manufacturer based in Ambur, Tamil Nadu. While cow-slaughter is banned in most of the Indian states, hides of buffaloes are not a substitute for producing fine leather products like ladies bag or jackets.
“A cow’s skin texture is smooth and thin, making it ideal for fine leather articles,” says NR Jagannathan, an independent consultant in the leather industry. However, skin taken from emaciated dead cows is of poor quality, he says. Buffalo skin being thick, is typically used to make harder leather products like saddle covers.
In leading leather clusters like Kanpur, many tanneries are closing down after pressure from RSS and BJP karyakartas. Much of the impact has been on Dalits, who make up for most of the workers. in tanneries. According to 2011 Census data, unemployment rate among the Scheduled Castes was 18 per cent, as compared to 14 per cent for the general population.
Economic Survey 2016-17, an annual document released by the Ministry of Finance, recently highlighted the importance of leather and textiles sectors that provide plenty of jobs to low, and unskilled workers. With China exiting these sectors – due to increasing labour wages– India could grab the opportunity. However, the ugly truth is that the space vacated by China is being taken over by Bangladesh and Vietnam in case of apparels, and Vietnam and Indonesia in leather and footwear. “In both apparel and footwear sectors, tax and tariff policies are creating distortions that impede India gaining export competitiveness,” said the report.
Globally apparel is moving from cotton to synthetic (for instance, polyester). However, there is higher tariff (10 per cent) on yarn and fibre, which is man-made than that produced from cotton (6 per cent). Also, the Government has allocated just ₹1 lakh for the export promotion scheme (leather, accessories and footwear) in 2017-18, as compared with ₹25 crore in 2016-17 and ₹110 crore in 2015-16. The scheme helped promoting relevant technology and skilling the industry workforce.
Big is beautiful
Moreover, the common complaint is that the small manufacturers’ concerns are being given a short-shrift. Take for instance, the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY), which was introduced in 2016 for textile (apparel) units to encourage recruitment. To give incentives to employers registered with EPFO for generating new employment, the Government of India was to pay 8.33 per cent of EPS contribution along with 3.67 percent of EPF contribution on behalf of the employer.
However, the Government is yet to keepits promise. “As on date, 160 units in Tirupur cluster have submitted the applications and the total number of employees recruited was 28,267,” says Raja M Shanmugham, President of Tirupur Exporters (of textiles) Association in the website of the industry body. These units are yet to get the reimbursement.
With global economy doing badly, the Centre looked inward to boost consumption and investment. And in Modi’s strategy, the private sector, especially the bigger companies, plays a crucial role.
“The model focussed on the large companies to kick-start investments (and generate employment) while those of the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium enterprises) were ignored,” says Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University. This is despite the fact that MSMEs account for 45 per cent of the manufacturing output; and employs about 69 million people.
To be fair, the MSME financing – especially that of micro units – did get a leg up with the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana in 2015. While in 2015-16, it exceeded targeted disbursements of ₹1,22,000 crore, most of the disbursement was done by micro-finance institutions (MFIs), instead of the banks. With NPA and balance sheet concerns looming large, says MS Sriram, visiting faculty, Centre for Public Policy, IIM Bangalore, banks might be more keen to work with bigger clients to keep a check on costs.
In November last year, demonetisation dealt a big blow to the MSME sector. “It’s a miracle that some of these units are still surviving,” says Jayati. Besides providing access to technology, credit and cheaper inputs to MSMEs, the Government has a role to play in establishing market linkages, improving product quality and innovation. Not much has been done, say industry players.
Low investment rates
While big industry houses in various investor summits promised mega investments, few have fructified. Since taking over from UPA-II (when the investment rate, calculated as gross domestic capital formation as a percentage of GDP, was 35.2 per cent) investment rate has been languishing at around 35 per cent in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Not surprisingly, job creation has suffered.
Though economists such as Jayati Ghosh have questioned the success of the PPP model, there is a reason why Modi wants to join hands with the private sector. The Government doesn’t have the wherewithal, given the falling tax-to-GDP ratio and the pressure to keep fiscal deficit in check.
The Government is banking on initiatives like Smart Cities and Start-up India to stimulate investment in urban markets, which are expected to create 70 per cent of the new jobs by 2030. But “raising private funds will also be a challenge for projects like ‘Smart Cities,’” says Shubhranshu Pani, Managing Director of Infrastructure Services at JLL India, a real estate consultant.
While many cities are floating special purpose vehicles, can a private company monetise a sewerage line or a local pavement? Unlike national highways, where regular traffic promises toll revenues, in projects such as sewerage lines there is little money to be made.
Start-up India, launched in 2015, had an initial allocation of ₹10,000 crore. The Government is expecting further investments of ₹60,000 crore in equity, and twice that through debt. By 2015, says a Nasscom report, funding in Indian start-ups stood at $5 billion (about ₹32,000 crore). Also, while the initiative aims to generate 1.8 million jobs by 2025 — or 1.8 lakh a year — presently just 48,000 positions are being created annually.
Another concern is that in order to keep up with fiscal marksmanship, the Government is compromising on spends in social sectors of health and education. In 2016-17, the expected spend on health and education was 0.68 per cent of GDP, as against 0.74 per cent in 2015-16. Social spends create employment in the service sectors, especially for women. But with large budgets allocated for infrastructure – ₹3,96,000 crore comprising 2.3 per cent of GDP in 2017-18 – social sector took a beating. While infrastructure development creates jobs, they are mostly one-off.
“Manufacturing by itself cannot plug the job deficit. We also need to focus on services that will complement modern (as well as traditional) manufacturing,” says CP Chandrasekhar, Professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Health sector for one has huge potential to create jobs, given the shortage of nurses and health care workers such as lab technicians and surgical assistants. According to KPMG, it has potential to provide direct jobs to 7.5 million people by 2022, as against 5.1 million existing as of today. While the Government laudably formulated the National Health Policy 2017 after a gap of 14 years, it again expects private sector investment to fill the critical gaps in the sector.
Moreover, universal health care and public spends of up to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025 seem a far-fetched goal. Currently, the Centre and the state governments put together are spending only half of that.
Many have questioned the employment data put out by Labour Bureau. “While not a robust metric, given its (Labour Bureau) limited coverage and sample size as compared to that quinquennial NSSO surveys, it’s the best information we currently have to gauge job creation scenario,” says Chandrasekhar.
Last year, to broad base the study, the Bureau added labour-intensive sectors such as manufacturing and construction. Again the figures were not encouraging.
During the September quarter of 2016, only 77,000 jobs were created. While about 13 million people will join the workforce every year, not even a million jobs are being created.
With just two more years left, can Modi make a difference? Raj Abraham will be hoping that he does.