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Archives for : September2017

#GauriLankeshMurder- Karnataka government announces Rs 10 lakh reward for anyone providing clues  

File photo of protests against the killing of Gauri Lankesh.File photo of protests against the killing of Gauri Lankesh.
BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Friday announced Rs 10 lakh reward to anyone who provides clues about the killing of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh.

The announcement was made by Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, a day after the city police asked public to share any information that they may have in connection with the case through a specific phone number and e-mail id.

“Chief Minister (Siddaramaiah) has given instructions to intensify the investigation and nab the culprits as soon as possible. We have given enough officials to the SIT, if they need additional officers we are ready to give,” Reddy said.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Siddaramaiah, he said, “We will give Rs 10 lakh reward to anybody who gives clues about the culprits.”

Siddaramaiah on Friday held a meeting with the SIT on the investigation that is in progress in connection with the case.

Reddy, along with SIT chief BK Singh, Director General of Police RK Dutta and Intelligence DG AM Prasad were present at the meeting.

The state government had on Wednesday announced the formation of a 21-member SIT team+ headed by IGP (Intelligence) B K Singh to probe the killing that has led to a wave of country-wide protests and condemnation across the political spectrum.

Gauri Lankesh, known to be an anti-establishment voice with strident anti-right wing views+ , was shot dead at close range+ by unknown assailants at her home here on the night of September 5.

When informed about Gauri’s family expressing concern about the possibility of a delay in nabbing the culprits, citing the delay in solving rationalist MM Kalburgi murder case, Reddy said the SIT had been formed with the intention to nab the culprits at the earliest.

“The government’s intention is to solve the case as quickly as possible… that’s the reason we have given so many officials to this case particularly. If more officials are required, we are ready to give,” he added.

Reddy also said he had asked the SIT to find out from BJP MLA Jeevaraj on his statement about Gauri’s killing that has elicited strong reactions from various quarters.

“Jeevaraj had made a statement yesterday. I have asked the SIT to call him and find out with what intention he made the statement or did he say it casually. SIT will find out about it.”

“I don’t know whether there is any background to the statement he made. But when Gauri Lankesh died no BJP leaders came to her house or Ravindra Kalakshetra or the burial ground to pay last respects. I don’t know what is the reason,” he added.

Jeevaraj, a BJP MLA from Sringeri while flagging off a bike rally organised by the party in Koppa yesterday against killings of “Hindu activists” in the state, had reportedly said that “had Gauri Lankesh condemned the killing of BJP activists and criticised Siddaramaiah, do you think she would have been murdered today?”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/gauri-lankeshs-murder-karnataka-government-announces-rs-10-lakh-reward-for-anyone-providing-clues/articleshow/60424560.cms

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Chaitanya Mallapur,  #mustread" data-image-description="<div> <h1>The Questions We Should Be Asking Frequently About the Land Acquisition Act</h1> <h2>And answers from an expert</h2> <p><img title="" src="https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BXuFBJdWXbf0wuHurLJsJrjAWllVxjzfppldbw04JwzCS9acgrwWo1UKwAYqaP4NBZhNttDL0SWG8CbL3jjgeXDJ5lkVL-Cg9MPvIvW3Q7FzPt_zpbF5Ci5PyfRxVHlMGtpBHN1I0ziw6x3LHgQrW06l0osaTbueNr_HnbB4MVkFkk4m4pUHJTCIAxPSS6kNousBSMA5jjwW22mD8dY6SNv_HGsp8O3J3R4lkBi98ziCsaloTqnqJYmVwWcO5Z80_R57YW70TMgyEKtXTxETlrOjwt2VhltFyNDQ78TZCvqkKGb4CR8ZDJD22A=s0-d-e1-ft#https://s.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/YO6oiONoytyTeCIMMhyztw--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9Zml0O2g9Mjg-/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/news/2013-08-27/db87ecd1-5f08-4441-b161-de283a15098f_Grist-Media-horizontal-logo.jpg" alt="Grist Media" /><cite>By Usha Ramanathan | Grist Media – <abbr title="2015-01-30T06:08:19Z">Fri 30 Jan, 2015</abbr></cite></div> <div></div> <div><img title="AFP" src="https://ci3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/wks-j3tsShT2g6ezMnwMkDnoHEPc1kInw0sc-9fa3MBvyn_a2kgwinBh-oDwhDDEf0SnbhHXzeatm0k8PokjLL3B3jmYra7biKxtK6LV9IOgCcWVgTojrm6mMQATyUjcLRF5NFt993l49kJW-N1PSYytKuikzPJXFZoone2zADufRAITzdrmJx98VGDzymicZdwmQ1lFYzoUQpLxAMhGP2TTu21gE9ncqiBLj1YE5AUuKQgooUC75wsiwoaOSg2P799KPGXSYcByV4uUiwEin1JEhelMGARwh6Ry6gBic2u9e0w=s0-d-e1-ft#https://s3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/NByBLFveN_F.JHFYRYx5yw--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA--/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/news/2015-01-30/594b1f30-a846-11e4-8b19-83edf819c684_farmer-protest-630.jpg" alt="AFP" width="630" />AFP</div> <p>In the course of my work as part of a team set up to look into the socio-economic status of Adivasi communities, there were several things I learned about the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and the amendments to it. Here are some important questions about land and the Act that we should be asking:</p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">What is the State’s relationship to land and its citizens? </span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">This a key question – and one that remains unanswered. Is the State a landlord? Is it a trustee? Is it a super-landlord? Is it an owner? A super-owner? Is it above the law? </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">We cannot defer these questions any longer. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">It was in 2003 that the </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rishabhdara.com%2Fsc%2Fview.php%3Fcase%3D19131&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGxCRw0SgVdVTLQaAe8VeQsjUJ4PA" target="_blank">Supreme Court</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> reintroduced the idea of citizens as ‘subjects’. It said: “So long as the public purpose subsists the exercise of the power by the State to acquire the land of its subjects without regard to the wishes or willingness of the owner or person interested in the land cannot be questioned.” But surely we have moved way beyond the idea of subject-hood. There are citizens in this country, and the State is bound by the law. This needs to be reasserted.</span></p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">Is the present government’s approach to the land and the environment any different from the previous Congress government? </span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Like the Manmohan Singh government before it, the Modi government sees forests, air, water and the protection of tribal interests instrumentally, in the context of its plans for the economy. Where it is a hurdle to the objectives that the government has set for itself, it uses its authority to sideline environmental and tribal interests. While the earlier government sidestepped the law if it came in the way of implementing its projects, the present government seems to be looking at the ordinance route to derive temporary legality, in the confidence that it can find a way to propel the law through Parliament. In the process, the reason why laws were made to safeguard the environment, acknowledge and address situations of mass displacement, and to care for tribal interests, is getting lost.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Take, for example, the Cabinet Committee on Investment that the Manmohan Singh government set up in January 2013. Under the law, the government cannot take over land or make decisions about environmental and forest clearance without following the process that was set in place to ensure that the environment and local populations do not pay too heavy a price when development projects are being implemented. The Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006, under which the rights of the forest dwelling and forest-dependent communities were “recognized”, had to be implemented before any project could be happen in those areas. What the Committee did under the UPA was to decide that, for projects worth Rs 1,000 crore or more, there would be no need to worry about laws, whether they had to do with forest rights, or with pollution or with land acquisition. The Modi government now seeks to dilute these laws and to leave the final decision about whether a project should go ahead or not with the government. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Take another example: when it comes to forests, particularly </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Flawmin.nic.in%2Folwing%2Fcoi%2Fcoi-english%2FConst.Pock%25202Pg.Rom8Fsss%252833%2529.pdf&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNEzW3tIcPD-lAYFSwcbTlEBiQwwHg" target="_blank">Fifth Schedule Areas</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> populated by people from the Scheduled Tribes, there are restrictions on land transfer and land </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FAlienated_land&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGneeC8CyQMIXP-_Xs1x2qvuEYsNQ" target="_blank">alienation</a></span><span lang="EN-IN">, and the State has been given the responsibility of safeguarding the interests of Adivasis and their relationship with the land. As this is seen as standing in the way of a number of projects that were a priority for the Manmohan Singh government, an exception was made to the </span><span lang="EN-IN">Forest Rights’ Act</span><span lang="EN-IN"> and </span><span lang="EN-IN">Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA),1996</span><span lang="EN-IN">, bypassing public hearings and consent when it came to linear projects (roads, canals, highways, broadband, electricity etc). The present government is demonstrably impatient about the idea of consultation with affected communities, and with getting consent from tribal communities when planning on locating a project in their midst.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">In May 2014, the</span><span lang="EN-IN"> Ministry of Environment and Forests was </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Farticles.economictimes.indiatimes.com%2F2014-05-28%2Fnews%2F50149634_1_climate-change-navroz-dubash-climate-action-network&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFAe4tQlyRsMxValARJ2JYQP1VanA" target="_blank">renamed</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in May 2014, but there is nothing to indicate what this is supposed to mean. Especially when the Minister for Environment says he will not let environment be an </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehindu.com%2Fopinion%2Fop-ed%2Fagainst-developmental-fundamentalism%2Farticle6062596.ece&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNG5NRfpxLX6Amm5OQDIBvre73mzPQ" target="_blank">impediment to development</a></span><span lang="EN-IN">.</span></p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">Has Parliament approved the new changes to the Land Acquisition Act?</span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The </span><span lang="EN-IN">Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act</span><span lang="EN-IN">, 2013 is being </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehindu.com%2Fnews%2Fnational%2Fcabinet-approvesordinanceto-amend-land-acquisition-act%2Farticle6735783.ece&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFeKibEGCZk077YO3-1TjAm_gl6XQ" target="_blank">amended</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> through an ordinance. When a government with a solid majority in one of the houses of Parliament feels that it has to take the ordinance route, there is a serious problem. And we have a senior minister like Arun Jaitley </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dayandnightnews.com%2F2015%2F01%2Ffdi-in-insurance-through-life-of-ordinance-irreversible-jaitley%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFyDHolOuaUwnlYQeS-a2BD3OlACA" target="_blank">declaring</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> that</span><span lang="EN-IN"> whatever happens while an ordinance is in force becomes irreversible, even if Parliament were not to pass the ordinance into law. This means he can push through the changes while the ordinance is in force, and worry later about whether the law gets passed or not.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Some believe it’s all right to have an ordinance, because once it’s issued or promulgated, it has to be passed within six weeks once Parliament meets, or it ceases to be effective. It may then be re-promulgated. But, as the Supreme Court </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Findiankanoon.org%2Fdoc%2F504006%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFG3Gx9qPolZzBdrI71392F6YmP3Q" target="_blank">said</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> in the 1986 case of DC Wadhwa, re-promulgation of ordinances would amount to a fraud against the Constitution.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The ordinances they have brought in now threatens to bring matters to a point where changes on the ground can be wrought through executive fiat.</span><span lang="EN-IN">Ordinances are meant for emergencies, and there is no emergency now that can justify changing land acquisition laws without debate in public and in Parliament. </span></p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">What changes does the current government want to make in its amendment-by-ordinance to the Land Acquisition Act, 2013?</span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Under the previous Land Acquisition Act of 1894, once land was acquired by the State and compensation was paid, the land belonged to the State. If the State did not go ahead with the project they were meant to and the land lay fallow, it would not be returned to the person from whom it was acquired – it remained State property. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">In two instances where people challenged this in court, the court ruled that the land could not be returned to the original owner, and ought not to be. For, the specious argument went, if it were auctioned in the open market, it would fetch the treasury more money. So, returning the land to the original owner would amount to cheating the treasury!</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">When the 2013 law was being negotiated, a clause was introduced which said that if the land acquired for a certain public purpose remained unutilized for a certain period, it would have to return the land to the original owners. Initially, when the 2013 Act was being debated, it was proposed that that period would be five years. By the time the law was passed, there were changes made to this clause – it was decided that if the land remained unutilized for a period of five years it may either be returned, or put into a land bank. The land would then continue to vest with the State through the creation of land banks. Even though it was, in a sense, acquired illegally because it was not used for the public purpose for which it was meant. The present ordinance says that if land acquired remains unutilized for five years or any other period that may be specified, whichever comes later, that clause will come into play. This unspecified period could mean anything – five years or even 25. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">On one hand, it is said that there must be a </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Ftimesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Findia%2FGovt-approves-ordinance-to-ease-Land-Acquisition-Act-to-push-reforms%2Farticleshow%2F45678103.cms&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNEh_9ImNqWeYqdVI_oSLRevorUQNw" target="_blank">shrinking of all procedures</a></span><span lang="EN-IN">: no need for assessment of displacement or of families that will be affected by the project; no requirement of consent; no need to assess impact on food security. </span><span lang="EN-IN">Then, the ordinance is brought in to say that the land may lie unutilized for even longer than five years. There’s a fundamental contradiction here. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The amendment is expansive about the exceptions from social impact assessment and from the requirement of consent for projects in defence and defence production, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and social infrastructure projects, including public-private partnerships, where ownership rests with the government.<br /> </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The government believes </span><span lang="EN-IN">social impact assessment is time consuming and disruptive. Under the 1894 Act, it was the Collector’s role to listen to all objections and report to the State on whether the acquisition should go ahead. The 2013 Act introduced professionalized social impact assessments. That was an aspect that certainly needed more debate: for, contemporary history is replete with experience about what happens when private firms such as </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fin.reuters.com%2Farticle%2F2009%2F01%2F08%2Fsatyam-accounting-idINHKG30879120090108&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFyGzTR4-wwpE5PI5lo2slQWBYs6g" target="_blank">Pricewaterhouse Coopers</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> or </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.telegraph.co.uk%2Ffinance%2Fnewsbysector%2Fbanksandfinance%2F11069713%2FArthur-Andersen-returns-12-years-after-Enron-scandal.html&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHbqhU8nPHWxjsnfRDnwtbapolvig" target="_blank">Arthur Andersen</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> are left to audit and report on how projects are run, and of their implications. Under the amendment, it is not just social impact assessment that will be done away with, but the very idea that the affected people and the consequences of the project on their lives matter. The 2013 law required consent from 80 percent of affected people before land was acquired. This will be rendered otiose. </span></p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">What is ‘strategic importance’?</span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">It is the </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehindu.com%2Fnews%2Fnational%2Fhigh-level-committee-urges-caution-on-genetically-modified-food-crops%2Farticle6648794.ece&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGA9z4CilKqWx0ZG65rlSCHxZSGiA" target="_blank">Subramanian Committee Report</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> that created this category – projects of ‘strategic importance’. What ‘strategic importance’ means is anybody’s guess. We know now that phrases such as ‘national interest’ and ‘anti-national’ have acquired meanings that attack whatever is inconvenient to the government. So, if for the project in </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.greenpeace.org%2Findia%2Fen%2FWhat-We-Do%2FQuit-Coal%2Fsave-mahan%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFh7cEz83Jg6uuMCOh0X3A7w2mlNA" target="_blank">Mahan</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> forests in Madhya Pradesh, there was actually fraud practiced in procuring the consent of the villagers, that is not the problem; it is the fraud getting exposed and getting talked about that becomes the anti-national activity. This is a cynical use of power that pretends to derive its legitimacy from the law.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">In the 2013 Act, after much debate, it was decided that multi-crop agricultural land was not to be diverted for purposes that are non-agricultural, in order to protect food security. Now, in the amendment-by-ordinance, they want to change this. </span><span lang="EN-IN">Under the ordinance, multi-cropping agricultural land can now be acquired for certain projects in the interests of national security and defence. </span></p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">Can’t we have some sort of compromise? </span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The 2013 Act was spurred by the multiple sites of conflicts where people had been pushed to the wall when threatened with dispossession. One of the problems with the 2013 Act is that it tries to do something for everybody: for industry, for the farmer, for the State, for the Adivasi, for those concerned with food security. It also aimed to address the conflict and distrust caused by these projects. The extent of displacement without rehabilitation has been enormous. So, any law that aims to reduce distrust and conflict has to work to achieve that effect. Instead, what we see in the ordinance is the executive government giving short shrift to those affected by the project, going back to the idea that such people are merely obstacles to growth. Where in this is there room for compromise? </span></p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">Was the 2013 Act ideal to start with?</span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The 2013 Act was brought in to deal with the pitched battles around the country contesting mass displacement. The </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FNarmada_Bachao_Andolan&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFD43UWWzxW3PQVJh-piBPA0cumSg" target="_blank">Narmada Bachao Andolan</a></span><span lang="EN-IN">, although a key example of this, was neither the first, nor will it be the last. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The 2013 law provides for compensation to people whose land is to be acquired. But to the extent that this was based on the understanding that those who resist displacement are always holding out for more money in compensation, it was deeply fallacious. There are people in multiple sites who do not want acquisition because they </span><span lang="EN-IN">see the project as destroying their lives. This is a very different perspective from that which may have prevailed in Noida, for instance, when many were asking for </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Ftimesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Fcity%2Fnoida%2FFarmers-win-much-more-than-compensation%2Farticleshow%2F42575211.cms&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNEEdM1YDB5bdsbC-psTWUAaLq435Q" target="_blank">enhanced compensation</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> and a chance to get jobs in enterprises that may be set up on the land acquired. The introduction of consent was an important element that revealed a glimmer of understanding of what ails forced acquisition and mass displacement. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">In tribal and scheduled areas, the fundamental thing is for the State to ensure that land is not transferred away from Adivasi communities. So, for a long time, the only entity that could take such land for a public purpose was the State. Now, the government is revealing a changed understanding of its role in relation to tribal communities and their land: if the law works for the government, then the law may stay. If the law does not support the government’s objectives, there is the route of executive ordinances. And then there is brute force.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The 2013 Act is an improvement on the 1894 Act in terms of recognizing affected families beyond land owners and speaking the language of rehabilitation. But it legalizes the taking of land from people whose land ownership has been recognized under the FRA. Consent is required from 80 percent of people, which leaves 20 percent amenable to forcible acquisition. In the Tribal Committee Report we prepared, we’ve had to acknowledge that consent can be manufactured, sometimes by fraud, sometimes by coercion and duress, sometimes by misinformation. We also often hear it said that there can be no acquisition for a project until the FRA process of settling rights is completed, and this is often understood as being only about individual rights. The understanding of traditional and customary rights in the forest, community rights and access to resources – which staves off the vulnerability of tribal communities – is still very sketchy. The FRA was enacted in recognition of the historical injustice done to forest-dwelling and forest-dependent communities – they had had to lead shadowy existences as they were rendered illegal and cast as encroachers by forest laws until the Act was passed in 2006. To suggest that all that is required before they can have the land taken from them is that the rights should have been settled, and that this is about individual rights, is extremely cynical and overly pragmatic. Now, of course, the ordinance wants to dilute even that. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The 2013 law also does not require the company acquiring land for a project to rehabilitate those displaced – it only has to bear the cost for the State to rehabilitate them. Where they get this confidence that the State can perform this task is baffling – how will a State that has never delivered on this do it now? Under the 2013 law, if rehabilitation is not certified to be complete, there cannot be change of land use. The amendment ordinance leaves this intact. But there’s an important question here – who is going to do the certification? </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Moreover, according to the </span><span lang="EN-IN">Vijay Kelkar Committee</span><span lang="EN-IN"> report on fiscal deficit, in 2012, excess land acquired by government agencies – for ports, or public sector corporations, for instance – can be sold to help deal with the fiscal deficit. Much of this land was originally purchased coercively under land acquisition proceedings. Dealing with fiscal deficit was never the purpose of the Land Acquisition Act, and it points to a worrying trend – that there’s been over-acquisition of land which, the Kelkar committee suggests, may be auctioned off. In November 2014, the Comptroller and Auditor General submitted a report to Parliament which found that much of the land acquired for Special Economic Zones invoking the ‘public purpose’ clause was later </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Ftimesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Findia%2FLand-acquired-for-SEZs-sold-off-put-to-other-uses-CAG%2Farticleshow%2F45355150.cms&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHy40sBb2Nd3ogLRl29HShT47-Qbg" target="_blank">sold or used for other purposes</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> by corporations in the private sector such as Pepsico and Cadbury. According to its audit, “</span><span lang="EN-IN">Out of 45,635.63 ha of land notified in the country for SEZ purposes, operations commenced in only 28,488.49 ha (62.42 percent) of land.”</span></p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">Is the relationship between the State and private companies too close for comfort?</span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Another continuing trend from the old government to the new has been the State becoming a contracting party with corporations. In the course of our work in Orissa and Chhattisgarh, for instance, we found MoUs being signed in large numbers. Chhattisgarh has 168 MoUs for various kinds of projects, and sometimes multiple MoUs are with the same company. This MoU culture talks very little of what the companies have to deliver. It talks a great deal about what the State has to deliver to the companies.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The State makes environmental laws, and then finds that the law is a bother. So it signs an MoU with a company promising to expedite environmental and forest clearance. Increasingly, we’ve found that in the MoUs, the State has also started promising to help in the maintenance of law and order in the project area, which is basically about taking sides in conflicts between local populations and corporations.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">And, of course, we are hearing more and more voices speaking from the State about how the changes in law and policy will make industry happy, as though that is what should be the State’s primary concern. </span></p> <p><b><span lang="EN-IN">Can government officials be held accountable for misuse of the Land Acquisition Act? </span></b></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Several legislations include a ‘good faith’ clause – words to the effect that anything done by any official acting under the law will be presumed to have been in good faith. If you want to challenge what they have done or prosecute someone under that law, you have to be able to establish that it was not done in good faith. The Land Acquisition Act has a bizarre and extreme provision: </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Findiankanoon.org%2Fdoc%2F12704%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFzWKNEsYcMrRd6VcrLXBSKqRN7PA" target="_blank">Section 197 of the CrPC</a></span><span lang="EN-IN">, a provision that is severely contested for the impunity it produces, which says that no public servant may be prosecuted without the sanction for prosecution being given by the government. To my knowledge, this is the first time that Section 197 has been placed in an administrative law. It has so far been part of the criminal law apparatus and ‘public order’ laws, where the use of force is sanctioned by law. It is no secret that the State does not give sanction for prosecution often, for this provision is most often used to protect officials – who act at the behest of the State – from prosecution.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">There is a certain logic that underlay the good faith clause. It was to meet the apprehension that administrators’ work would get stalled if they were susceptible to being challenged for their acts, at least those done in good faith. Ironically, this is not dissimilar to the experience that activists have accumulated over the years, when case after case is foisted on them, dragging them into the courtroom for dissenting or resisting the actions of the State or of corporations.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">The sanction power has been challenged for some years now, especially where wrongdoers are seen as being shielded by it. The </span><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prsindia.org%2Fuploads%2Fmedia%2FTorture%2Fprevention%2520of%2520torture%2520bill%25202010.pdf&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNE51iO8KO0HphDqwl2OoA4V26ADCw" target="_blank">Prevention of Torture Bill</a></span><span lang="EN-IN"> (2010) made major strides when the Parliamentary Standing Committee endorsed the recommendation that the law be changed to say that requests for sanction must be dealt with by the State within a period of three months. It also recommended that rejections be accompanied by reasons, and the rejections should be subject to judicial challenge. So, while we have been battling to tame this provision and to do away with impunity, it is now being introduced in the Land Acquisition Act. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-IN">Basically, this gives officials a free hand and promises them the protection of the State when they commit a wrong within the law!</span></p> <p><i><span lang="EN-IN">Usha Ramanathan works on the jurisprudence of law and poverty. She was a member of the High Level Committee set up in August 2013 to report on the socio-economic status of tribal communities. The report was submitted to the government in May-June 2014 and can be found </span></i><span lang="EN-IN"><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ruralindiaonline.org%2Fresources%2Freport-of-the-high-level-committee-on-socio-economic-health-and-educational-status-of-the-tribals-of-india%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNEkaSvdhA-6loX_ZL-N0dVI3ogrYQ" target="_blank"><i>here</i></a></span><i><span lang="EN-IN">.</span></i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-48721" src="http://www.indiaspend.com/wp-content/uploads/journo_6203.jpg" alt="journo_620" width="620" height="399" />

A protester displays a placard during a protest rally against the killing of Gauri Lankesh, an Indian journalist, in New Delhi, India, September 6, 2017.

 

As Bengaluru editor Gauri Lankesh was murdered on September 5, 2017, 142 attacks against  journalists for “grievous hurt” were registered nationwide over two years to 2015, according to the latest available National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

 

As many 70 journalists were killed in India over 24 years to 2016, according to the Committee To Protect Journalists, a nonprofit.

 

As many 73 people were arrested for the 142 attacks, revealed in NCRB data quoted in this reply to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament) by Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, minister of state for home, on July 26, 2017.

 

Lankesh was killed on September 5, 2017, after attackers fired seven shots at her. Four missed and two hit Lankesh in her chest and one on the forehead, India Today reported on September 6, 2017.

 

Lankesh was the editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike a Kannada tabloid and a critic of Hindu right-wing ideologies and organisations.

 

The NCRB started collecting data on attack on journalists since 2014, the minister said in his reply. Cases were registered for “grievous hurt” under sections 325, 326, 326A & 326B of the Indian Penal Code.

 

Of 142 cases registered, 114 were reported in 2014 and 28 in 2015.

 

Uttar Pradesh (UP) registered the most cases (64) over two years but only four persons have been arrested. UP was followed by Madhya Pradesh (26) and Bihar (22). The three states accounted for 79% of all cases registered across the country. Madhya Pradesh reported the most arrests (42): 10 in 2014 and 32 in 2015.

 

Source: Rajya Sabha NOTE: No cases were registered or persons arrested in other states/union territories. Data for West Bengal was not received.

 

As many as 70 journalists were killed in India between 1992 and 2016, according to the Committee To Protect Journalists, a nonprofit.

 

The motives behind killing 40 journalists are confirmed: 27 were murdered and 13 were killed on dangerous assignments.

 

Of 180 countries, India ranked 136 on 2017 press freedom index: https://rsf.org/en/india  

Since 1992, 55% journalists who were murdered in India covered politics: https://cpj.org/killed/asia/india/murder.php  

In an incident similar to the shooting of Lankesh, a Mumbai- based journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was killed in June 2011 by men on motorcycles firing several shots. Dey, who covered the underworld, succumbed to five bullet injuries between his chest and head. The trial is still underway.

 

India was ranked 136 of 180 countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RWB), an advocacy.

 

“Journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals….journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence by soldiers acting with the central government’s tacit consent,” RWB said in the report.

 

“The sources of RWB in India are ambiguous, and the sampling is quite random in nature which does not portray a proper and comprehensive picture of freedom of the press in India,” Ahir said in his reply to Rajya Sabha.

 

(Mallapur is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

http://www.indiaspend.com/cover-story/142-attacks-on-journalists-reported-over-two-years-91901

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  Hall of shame – Serial abusers, sexist bigots, rumour mongers followed by PM Modi on Twitter

There was uproar on social media after it came to light that Prime Minister Modi follows the person who called the murdered journalist, Gouri Lankesh a ‘Bitch who died a dog’s death’. The Prime Minister’s twitter handle following an abusive troll? Those who have been around on twitter long enough will know that this is not the first time that this issue is being highlighted. The outrage builds up every few months yet the twitter handle of Mr. Modi continues to follow many serial abusers and rumor-mongers.

As of date Mr Modi has 33.8 million followers and he follows 1779 people. Of the ones he follows, many are government handles, ministers, Heads of States, senior journalists and other such profiles you would expect the Prime Minister of a country to follow. However, a handful of the 1779 are profiles that will make you squirm. Serial abusers, rumor-mongers, misogynists, handles brimming with communal venom… you will find them all there.

Let us take a look at some of these tweets of the people the Prime Minister of our country has handpicked to follow. Please bear with us, the list is long. It is a hall of shame.

Sexist tweets / abuse directed at women

For all that the “proud” nationalists may say about “sanskar” and rich traditions, when we review the handles followed by the Prime Minister, sexist tweets directed at women stands out as a prominent feature. The attack is always personal and the targets are often journalists who are seen as critical of the government like Barkha Dutt, Rana Ayyub and Sagarika Ghose.

Here are a few examples:

actindia abusing barkha dutt

https://i2.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/nice_indian-abuse-anjana-om-kashyap.jpg?resize=640%2C373

Here are some lewd jokes of Samir Varier, yet another person followed by Mr. Modi.

#UID #Aaadhaar #Nandan Nilekani</a> (kractivist.wordpress.com)</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/growing-mistrust-of-indias-biometric-id-scheme/" target="_blank">Growing Mistrust of India’s Biometric ID Scheme</a> (kractivist.wordpress.com)</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/aadhaar-round-up-uid-vs-resident-id-uid-in-jharkhand-and-delhi-more/" target="_blank">Aadhaar Round-Up: UID Vs Resident ID; UID In Jharkhand and Delhi &amp; More</a> (kractivist.wordpress.com)</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/seven-booked-in-aadhaar-fraud-uid-nandan-nilekani/" target="_blank">Seven booked in Aadhaar fraud #UID #Nandan Nilekani</a> (kractivist.wordpress.com)</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/chidambaram-vs-nilekani-new-round-in-turf-war-over-biometrics-228487" target="_blank">Chidambaram vs Nilekani: New round in turf war over biometrics</a> (ndtv.com)</li> </ul> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="wp-image-5434" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/https-pbs-twimg-com-media-c3uyifuueaautlc-jpg-4.jpeg?w=640" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/https-pbs-twimg-com-media-c3uyifuueaautlc-jpg-4.jpeg?w=750&ssl=1 750w, https://i1.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/https-pbs-twimg-com-media-c3uyifuueaautlc-jpg-4.jpeg?resize=300%2C188&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/https-pbs-twimg-com-media-c3uyifuueaautlc-jpg-4.jpeg?resize=696%2C437&ssl=1 696w, https://i1.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/https-pbs-twimg-com-media-c3uyifuueaautlc-jpg-4.jpeg?resize=669%2C420&ssl=1 669w" alt="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3uyIfUUEAAUTlc.jpg" width="696" height="26" />

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3uyIfbUoAEzYWa.jpg

The abuse is often unprovoked. In this case, it is not sexist but this gentleman, whom Mr. Modi follows, doesn’t think twice before calling Rana Ayyub a terrorist and suicide bomber because she said her flight was running late.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C63z3j6XUAEl256.jpg

Mahaveer who is also followed by Mr. Modi posted this picture of journalist Neha Dixit and her husband Nakul Sawhney asking whether payment was made in “cash or kind”.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Co8I-bSWEAAavQR.jpg:large

Sonia Gandhi is also often a target of hateful misogynistic tweets

MRVChennai 1 cong leader demands 2 know Modijis clients when he sold tea. Can he ask a similar question of Soniaji? CLIENTS may be impolite but

This is an old tweet of Alok Bhat, dating before 2014. Mr. Modi chooses to follow him as well.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C05T3t0UsAAVEYL.jpg

Abusive Tweets

Former Vice President Hamid Ansari was following the flag code when he was called an “asshole” and a “bastard” by Rahul Kaushik.

https://i1.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rahul-kaushik-abuse-hamid-ansari-modi-pmo.jpg?resize=640%2C280

Here is Nikunj Sahu of BJP IT cell abusing Arvind Kejriwal

nikunj-sahu-abuse-arvind-kejriwal

Here is another example of a twitter handle that is humbled to be followed by Narendra Modi

It is not just politicians of rival parties who are target of abuse but other twitter users as well. Here are a few examples:

indiantweeter-ankit-jain-abuse-modi-raghu-ram

suresh-nakhua-met-pm-modi-abuse-gsurya

When Mahaveer’s account was deactivated for abuse by twitter, it was BJP’s Giriraj Singh who stood by him to get his account reactivated.

Giriraj singh I stand with Mahaveer

Rumor-mongering and tweets spreading communal tension

Amitesh Singh who projected himself as a BJP youth leader and claimed to be related to a BJP politician was followed by PM Modi. He tweeted a call to “kill 3000 Muslims” in response to a rumor that was doing rounds on the internet. What followed was his arrest and a denial from BJP that he was associated with them. If he was not associated with BJP, why did Mr. Modi follow this 19 year-old? That is a question we never got an answer to.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3usrgKVYAAGV2m.jpg

The rumor which led Amitesh to tweet the threat was started by a handle that was also followed by Mr. Modi. The handle has been suspended by Twitter.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3vkvlhUcAIP0xI.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3vkvlkVYAAEZa3.jpg

Who spread the rumor of doctor lynched by a Muslim mob? Handles followed by Mr. Modi. Every tweet in the picture below is from people followed by Mr. Modi.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CeeaN42XIAA7-01.jpg

The rumor that the murder of Swati in Chennai was started by Ramki. His claims were later proven to be fake but there was no retraction or apology.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3vvx51VcAE-FBY.jpg

This handle followed by Mr. Modi called for a boycott of Muslim businesses.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3vI2bSVMAEVF1x.jpg

In this case UP government had to tweet to bust the communal rumor being spread by Ritu Rathaur, another profile followed by Mr. Modi. The police filed a case against her for “attempting to disturb communal harmony by spreading sensational and controversial posts on social media”.

#Sunday Reading</a> (kractivist.wordpress.com)</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/immediate-release-medha-patkar-and-seven-others-arrested-while-opposing-evictions/" target="_blank">Immediate Release-Medha Patkar and Seven Others Arrested While Opposing Evictions</a> (kractivist.wordpress.com)</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="http://kabirkalamanch.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/celebrating-14th-marriage-anniversary-of-deepak-dengle/" target="_blank">Celebrating 14th Marriage Anniversary of Deepak Dengle</a> (kabirkalamanch.wordpress.com)</li> </ul> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="wp-image-5453" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/https-pbs-twimg-com-media-c3ulo3ixaaaz-ej-jpg-1.jpeg?w=640" sizes="(max-width: 628px) 100vw, 628px" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/https-pbs-twimg-com-media-c3ulo3ixaaaz-ej-jpg-1.jpeg?w=628&ssl=1 628w, https://i0.wp.com/www.altnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/https-pbs-twimg-com-media-c3ulo3ixaaaz-ej-jpg-1.jpeg?resize=300%2C157&ssl=1 300w" alt="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3ulo3IXAAAz-eJ.jpg" width="696" height="26" />

Even funerals are not spared when it comes to spreading fake news. No national flag for MP E Ahamed’s funeral, asked Kiran Kumar. A screenshot of TV footage said otherwisehttps://t.co/jKlNRbU0aC .

kiran-ks-e-ahamed-funeral

Here is another rumor spread by Rishi Bagree

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3UwPDhWQAAcFSi.jpg

In this case an attempt to malign a UAE based business was led by Mahesh Vikram Hegde, one of the select few followed by the PM. The company filed a police case and the pictures were found to be photoshopped. Hegde is the founder of postcard news, a website that routinely spreads fake news.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C68TR9AWwAAX7IE.jpg

Meena Das Narayan raised the ‘Hindus under attack’ alarm after the Kollam temple fire. She knew “for sure”. The fire was caused by pyrotechnics display that was held despite a ban on the same.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CfsPnKjW8AA2HEW.jpg

So why does the Prime Minister of India follow such people? Is it possible that his social media team is behind this and Mr. Modi is not really aware that his handle follows such profiles? In response to a RTI, PMO confirmed that “PM Modi himself tweets and posts content on his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts”. Mr. Modi is social media savvy and we have no reason to doubt the response of the PMO (:-P).

The other possible reason could be that these are like-minded individuals who are part of his core supporter group. He has personally met many of these individuals in specially organized events. All of them flaunt the selfie with him, stating, “proud to be followed by Narendra Modi”. This also makes it very difficult for him to unfollow them. A tweet by RS Prasad condemning the celebratory tweets on the murder of Gauri Lankesh had upset some of them. Imagine the backlash from his supporters if PM Modi was ever to un-follow any of them. They are already running a hashtag #IStandwithNikhil in support of the person who called Gauri Lankesh a ‘kutiya”.

I strongly condemn & deplore the messages on social media expressing happiness on the dastardly murder of .

Bowed down to media, secular and liberal bullies? We work for you tirelessly, selflessly. This is the reward? https://twitter.com/rsprasad/status/905448758544023553 

It is not that Mr. Modi has never un-followed anyone. After a massive outrage in 2014, he unfollowed a handle that had tweeted a morphed photograph of Gul Panag.

More recently he un-followed Jwala Gurunath after she had a spat with BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga.

Welcome to @narendramodi s  .I get unfollowed by PM instead of getting justice.He makes molester spokie n unfollows victim

How can Narendra Modi be responsible for the tweets of people he follows?”  ask many of his supporters. None of us are responsible for the tweets of our followers. But hey, he is the Prime Minister of the country and he has handpicked this select group to follow. Moreover, this issue has been reported many times, tons of people have raised it on social media and there is no way PM Modi is not aware of this issue.

Who are you to tell the Prime Minister who to follow?” ask his supporters. Sure, it is his choice. He is free to follow anyone he likes, be they serial abusers tweeting lewd and sexist tweets, or rumor mongers and riot instigators. Including the person who described Gauri Lankesh’s murder as “A bitch died a dog’s death”. And the world shall know that this is his choice.

Hall of shame – Serial abusers, sexist bigots, rumour mongers followed by PM Modi on Twitter

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Letter to ‘You’ From A Citizen: You Think With Murder You Can Silence Us, You Are Mistaken!

HOSUR, TAMIL NADU: You – who think that bravery means shooting an unaccompanied 55 year old courageous woman ruthlessly and disappearing into the dark.

You – who think that power means poisoning your countrymen’s minds with narrow thoughts of fragmentation and ruling in that chaos.

You – who think that control means filling people with fear and numbing their thinking, questioning minds

You – who think that culture means letting no fresh ideas enter into the stinking stagnation of dead dogmas

You – who think that patriotism means holding up a certain flag and shouting a certain slogan on a certain stipulated day.

You – who are trying to feed these misleading ideas to the millions in this country, sometimes subtly and covertly – bit by bit and at other times with loud sounds and big pomp and show.

This is to let you know that I am NOT BUYING IT. I, who am just another citizen of this country, can see what you are trying to do to the country and it is making me very unhappy and angry (not scared).

It is very evident to me that a force that steps out stealthily in the dark to kill someone to silence them cannot belong to any one religion or caste or ideology. That force forms a separate religion of its own – a religion of hatred, a religion that doesn’t honour any God, a religion that has no principles or morals other than their own vested interests, which are mostly insidious.

I can very clearly read between the lines when you are making a big hue or cry and disrupt normal life due to some ‘objectionable’ scenes in a movie, some youngsters in a park, some religious idiosyncracy (the list goes on) while thousands of our countrymen are starving/unemployed/threatened. I know that a group like yours doesn’t have the best interests of anybody in your mind except the people who fund such mindless violence for their own games of greed.

I want to tell you that if you think that by disrupting life in a few places you can scare me, that by murdering courageous revolutionaries, you can silence the voices of truth that are rising within me – YOU ARE MISTAKEN!

For me, you are neither cultured nor patriotic. You have neither power nor control and you are far from being courageous. I don’t idolize you, I don’t think you are heroic and I don’t think you are fighting for any noble cause.

For me, the symbol of courage is that woman you gunned down two days back who inspite of your threats wasn’t scared to walk by herself in the night and live alone in the city. She is the one who inspires me. She is the one I will follow!

For me, power is the voices of dissent and outrage that still speak fearlessly against you without fear of either defeat or death. Those voices that span across the country throught different age groups, professions and social classes. The voice of the civil servant who is fighting against the corrupt practices. The voice of the journalist who has, for years, spoken loudly and clearly about the suffering farmers of the country. The armed forces veteran who inspite of all the hatred, violence and corruption he has witnessed still propagates non violence and faith in the constitution. The ordinary citizen who refuses to bribe inspite of the inconveniences. These are the voices I believe in!

For me, control is the vote that the constitution has put into my hands. I know that you can’t do such things blatantly without some kind of sanction from some authority. I want you to know that if I feel threatened because of you, I can demand a change!

For me, patriotism is believing, with every fibre of my being, that we are a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic!! And this is the core of this country!!

Don’t mess with the core and foundations of my country, I might not be a mute onlooker everytime!

Asha Mathew

(Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu)

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A R Rahman – ‘This is not my India on #GauriLankeshMurder

“I want my India to be progressive and kind.”

Music maestro AR Rahman, known for his powerful rendition of Vande Mataram and Maa tujhe salaam, says if incidents like journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh’s murder keep happening, it’s not his India.

Rahman attended the premiere of his upcoming film One Heart: The AR Rahman Concert Film on Thursday in Mumbai.

Asked to comment on Lankesh’s killing in Bengaluru, Rahman said: “I am so so sad about that. I hope these things don’t happen in India. If these things happen in India, then it is not my India. I want my India to be progressive and kind.”

“One Heart… is based on Rahman’s his concert tour across 14 North American cities. It also includes video interviews of Rahman and his band members and rehearsal sessions, giving a sneak peek into the lesser known world of Rahman as a person.”

“It is probably the first concert movie in India. We wanted to give an alternate kind of movie to the audience because people have seen action, romance comedy and everything but a musical movie which have great quality and sound is something to look out for.”

“All the numbers have been tested and people are liking all the numbers a lot. ‘One Heart…’ as a film supports One Heart Foundation and profits from this film will go to foundation for elder musicians and educational cause,” Rahman said.

Is there any possibility of a biopic being made on him?

“I am still young. May be somebody will make it after I am gone,” said Rahman.

His long-time associate Ranjit Barot, a music arranger for most of Rahman’s concerts, said: “I can guarantee that people haven’t seen a film like this. I am not saying this because I am featuring in it or AR is responsible for it. No matter how much you are prepared for it, you are going to be surprised with this film.”

The film will release on Friday in Hindi, English and Tamil.

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After Gauri Shankar, Now Hindu Nationalists want to Kill Journalist Ravish Kumar #WTFnews

Now, Journalist Ravish Kumar, Gets Death Threat

After Gauri Lankesh’s killing, threat calls to journalist and activists have increased, an Indian human right activist also got threat call

 

Barely a few days after the assassination of Gauri Lankesh, the Banglore based editor of Lankesh Patrike, senior journalist and anchor of NDTV’s Prime Time show Ravish Kumar is getting death threats on his phone.

On Friday morning, Ravish wrote about receiving phone calls, where the callers threatened him with dire consequence, on his Facebook Page. For a journalist like him, who has made a mark as pro-people journalism, and rational writer, has been constantly abused by the trolls on social media. The rise of the army of trolls has increase moreover, in these four years. However, calls, cannot be ignored, especially after the assassination of Lankesh. She too had been getting such calls, till she was killed.

“I am consulting my well-wishers, and as they will suggest, I will be finally taking a call on whether, I should report the threat,”Ravish said, while speaking to eNewsroom.

Ravish is among the few journalists in India, who has been continuously reinventing his show, often highlighting the issues that still plagues India and if required is even critical of the government and its policies.

These days, he is also active on social media and even after getting abusive comments, he replies to several’s comments on his Facebook page.

After Gauri’s murder, death threats are being issued not just to journalists, but also to rationalists and activists, who are critics of right-wing ideology, on the social media. Samar Anarya, who is a coordinator in Asian Human Rights Commission, and a Jawarhar Lal Nehru University (JNU) pass out, is very active on social media and writes in both English and Hindi languages. He too has received a threat call.

Samar Anarya Death threat

Significantly, Samar, a native of Uttar Pradesh is based in Hong Kong. And he was threatened on his international number.

“My number is available in public domain, so anyone can get it. But getting a threat call on my Hong Kong number, highlights the extent to which these people can go. I know, these cowards, have a list ready. Earlier, too, I had got such threat calls,” Samar told eNewsroom.

Senior journalist P Sainath has also mentioned the same, in his recent article published in The Wire.

Sainath in his write up, has explained the modus operandi of Lankesh’s murder is the message to all those not following the diktat. Guari, an open critic of the saffron brigade, has been warned to not voice her thoughts, following which she was shot point blank, right in front of her house. Investigations, have now revealed, that the pistol used for killing her, was of the same kind used to silence rationalists MM Kulbargi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. In fact, a Mumbai High Court observation, had even mentioned that format in which these killings are carried out are very well planned.

“The forces behind the assassination of Guari have a list, and they want us to know that they will pursue it,” Sainath wrote in the article.

eNewsroom in its earlier story has mentioned that a report published by the New York –based Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ), Indian exposing corruption often pay with their lives. As per CPJ data, 28 Indian journalists (including Lankesh) have been murdered since 1992. And so far conviction has happened in only one case.

International newspaper Washington Post had its September 6 edition’s headline screaming – Who is next? Whatever be the answer to this question posed, but one thing is evident it is – where the world’s largest democracy is heading to by trying to gag its fourth pillar.

Now, journalist Ravish Kumar, gets death threat

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NEET is social injustice: TN teacher who resigned from govt job to spread awareness

Sabrimala Jayakanthan wants to spread awareness about the education system and speak up for students in rural areas.

For this 35-year-old woman from Villupuram district, teaching was never her dream job. But today, she feels teachers are the ones who need to protest against the school syllabus for the state board students in Tamil Nadu.

Sabarimala Jayakanthan resigned as the primary school teacher from the Panchayat Union School in Vairapuram on Thursday to protest against NEET examination and the current state syllabus.

She has been a teacher for the last 17 years and hails from Tindivanam. “I also wanted to be a doctor, but unfortunately when I was in Class XII, I fell sick and could not write my Class XII examination properly. My parents asked me to go and become a teacher, but I was not very interested in it,” says Sabarimala.

Things, however, started changing once Sabarimala started teaching students in villages. “I could see how the students did not have any proper facility in the schools. Then, I was on a mission to teach my students well and make them achieve their dreams. I have been very vocal about the education system and the outdated syllabus,” she says.

After the death of medical aspirant Anitha on September 2, she was sure it was time to stand up and fight for all the students studying in rural areas. “In the current scenario where there is no social justice, I kept questioning myself that how can I go back to school and teach students the same syllabus and create more Anitha’s. Moreover, while working as a teacher in a government school, I could not go out and protest against the syllabus and the system. The job would have become a hindrance, so I decided to resign,” she says.

“I have been telling all my students to become like APJ Abdul Kalam and have been showing them big dreams which will transform their lives, but when they reach Class XII and face an exam like NEET, what will I tell them? NEET is a social injustice,” Sabarimala adds.

She believes that there should be one syllabus for all. “When they decided to keep one examination for medical seats, then why did they not think of giving the same textbooks to all the students? Without giving the same syllabus to all, how can they give the same examination to all? Some are studying state syllabus, others CBSE and few others ICSE, then how can they have the same NEET examination? All should study the same syllabus and from the same textbooks.”

She feels that if she did not resign now, she will be wronging herself and her students. “I had an awakening after Anitha’s death, so I could not stay in the same job anymore. I could not bring a change staying in the same job,” she says.

When asked about what she plans to do next, she says, “I will go to all the villages, speak to children and spread awareness about the syllabus and education system. I want to make students understand that they will be able to achieve their goals even though there are many hurdles like NEET. I will speak in schools and also speak up for the students studying in rural areas. I believe if there was someone to speak to Anitha, I’m sure she would not have committed suicide.”

http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/neet-social-injustice-tn-teacher-who-resigned-govt-job-spread-awareness-68112

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Newly sworn Minister Anantkumar Hegde’s Twitter account gives a peek into his mindset

Case 1: Fakery

Anantkumar Hegde probably jnu is the only university which accomodates such intimacy between teacher & studentAnantkumar Hegde probably jnu is the only university which accomodates such intimacy between teacher & student

Anantkumar Hegde probably jnu is the only university which accomodates such intimacy between teacher & student

In the image above, not only is the Minister pushing a fake narrative, he seems to have an issue with a man and a woman having a friendly relationship. Report by ABP News on this issue states, “We found that the woman in photograph was not a teacher but a research scholar named Somya Mani Tripathi. The woman had shared the picture on her Facebook profile, in which Kanhaiya and she were sharing a friendly laughter. She had uploaded the pictures on March 5. Some miscreants took out the picture and shared the derogatory post. She later clarified on her Facebook post that she didn’t find laughing with her friend wrong.

He’s tweeted multiple times attacking JNU. He also retweeted a tweet which said, “Bring in Army and Crush these A**holes” while referring to students of Ramjas college. So, we now have a Union Minister who wants to ‘crush’ rebellious students with the Army.

Case 2: Views on Islam, Christianity and Buddhism

Islam needs to be held by its hornChurch is just a commercially operated Religious conversion platform, and if not for Buddhism, Akhand Bharat could have been realized – These are his views on religion in a multi-cultural, multi-religious country like India of which he is a Central Minister now.

Here are his views on Ayodhya.

anantkumar hegde Its time for<span class= #Muslims to decide having either #Peace or rake upon #Moghul ancestry against #Hindu unity towards #newindia #Ayodhya" width="640" height="319" />

Further, in a press conference, he had stated, “Till the time Islam exists in the world, no one can stop terrorism. If we want to keep a place like Bhatkal peaceful, then we should throw Islam away from this world and we should shut Islam.

Case 3: Loves the word “Presstitute”

Presstitute is a derogatory term which is essential a combination of Press+Prostitute. The Minister uses it routinely on his Twitter timeline.

Anantkumar hegde only a true presstitute like bdutt can term Kashmir as Indian Kashmir.

Photo captions are usually added by editors based on feedback from photographers. Here the Minister holds Barkha Dutt responsible for a photo caption while referring to her as presstitute.

In another tweet, he was found outraging about a fake news report about Dawood Ibrahim being killed and suggesting that “presstitutes and bollywood actresses” would feel tremendous loss. Why attack only actresses and not actors even if you are livid about Bollywood’s connection with Dawood?

Anantkumar hedge sure many presstitutes & bollywood actress would feel tremendous loss

He also wants journalist Rana Ayyub under surveillance for her ‘anti-national’ misdeeds. This tweet came a few days after Rana Ayyub’s book Gujarat Files was released.

Anantkumar hegde ranaayyub should be under surveillance for anti-national misdeeds

Case 4: Indira Gandhi is Maimuna Begum

In this tweet, Mr Hegde refers to Indira Gandhi as Maimuna Begaum, a name that fake news sites like PostCard News often use for Indira Gandhi.

Anantkumar Hegde: No mention of Nehru Maimunabegum & their buffoons in inaugural speech of rashtrapatibhavan & thus heralds a new tradition.

Associating a Muslim name to political leader is not limited to Indira Gandhi. In another tweet, he refers to Mamta Banerjee as Mumtaz.

No Hindu is safe in Mumtaz's Bengal

Addressing Indira Gandhi as Maimuna Begaum and Mamta Banerjee as Mumtaz is what trolls on Twitter do. Here we have a Union Minister doing the same. Also, it yet again shows his mindset towards Muslims since he thinks that addressing a person with a Muslim name brings down his/her character.

In real life too, Mr Hegde’s career hasn’t been short of controversies. Recently, he was caught on camera thrashing a Doctor at Karnataka Hospital as reported by NewsMinute.

It is shocking that a person with so much apparent hate for various religions has been chosen to be a minister in a multi-cultural country like ours. It is shocking that a man who retweets tweets wanting to ‘crush’ students and thinks that a woman laughing with a man is to be looked down upon has chosen to be a minister. Out of 280 BJP MPs, is this the talent that PM Modi has ‘thoughtfully’ chosen to be the Minister of Skill Development?

Newly sworn Minister Anantkumar Hegde’s Twitter account gives a peek into his mindset

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365,000 sign petition to strip Suu Kyi of her Nobel Prize

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s global image is in tatters over her stubborn refusal to protect the Rohingya. Photo: Getty1
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s global image is in tatters over her stubborn refusal to protect the Rohingya. Photo: Getty

Thousands of people have signed an online petition calling for the Nobel committee to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi’s peace prize over the Myanmar government’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslims.

But the Norwegian Nobel committee has ruled out any such move, saying only that the work that led to the awarding of the prize was taken into account.

The Change.Org petition had gathered more than 365,000 signatures as of yesterday, reflecting growing outrage over a massive security sweep in Rakhine state by Myanmar forces after a series of deadly ambushes by Rohingya militants.

“The de facto ruler of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, has done virtually nothing to stop this crime against humanity in her country,” the petition says.

Ms Suu Kyi was awarded the prize in 1991 while under house arrest at the hands of Myanmar’s military junta, from which she was released in 2010.

She then went on to lead her party through the country’s first credible elections since its independence.

But her government has faced international condemnation for the army’s response to the crisis as refugees arrive in Bangladesh with stories of murder, rape and burned villages at the hands of soldiers.

The United Nations said yesterday that about 164,000 mostly Rohingya refugees had escaped to Bangladesh in the past two weeks, meaning more than a 250,000 have fled since fighting broke out in October.

Ms Suu Kyi lashed out this week at what she called “a huge iceberg of misinformation” over the crisis, “with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists”.

In Oslo, Olav Njolstad, head of the Nobel Institute, said it was impossible to strip a Nobel laureate of an award once it has been bestowed.

“Neither Alfred Nobel’s will nor the statutes of the Nobel Foundation provide for the possibility that a Nobel Prize – whether for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature or peace – can be revoked,” he told AFP.

“Only the efforts made by a laureate before the attribution of a prize are evaluated by the Nobel committee,” he said, and would not be affected by any subsequent actions.

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‘Gauri Lankesh received 3 bullets in her body and died. I got 7 bullets, but survived’- Hamid Mir

I know who is behind my death

Gauri Lankesh received three bullets in her body and died. I got seven bullets, but survived. I know I’m really lucky to be alive. Gauri’s terrible death made me search for other similarities — perhaps, I want her friends and family, my readers, anyone, someone, to know that I understand the pain and the grief and the anger, all twisted into one emotion, that follows when Death comes calling.

by Hamid Mir | Published:September 7, 2017 5:21 pm

gauri lankesh, gauri lankesh murder, journalist gauri lankesh murder, bengaluru journalist, kannada journalist murderJournalists pay tributes to journalist Gauri Lankesh, in Mumbai on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Journalist Gauri Lankesh was very much aware that her days were numbered but she never named her killers. She knew her enemies did not belong to a particular group or party but to a mindset and ideology. Her brutal murder on September 5 in Bangalore has sounded an alarm bell for journalists all over the globe, that journalism is becoming a most dangerous profession — that too in the world’s largest democracy.

I never knew her personally. Some of my colleagues and friends asked me, ‘Who killed her?’ The question reminded me of the last editorial of the late Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge who was assassinated in Colombo in 2009. He was the editor of the ‘Sunday Leader ‘newspaper and a thorn in the flesh of then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse ,who was furious over his criticism of the human rights violations committed by Sri Lankan security forces against Tamil civilians in the war against the LTTE.

Lasantha was threatened many times but he refused to accept dictation from the powerful establishment. Some pro-establishment colleagues sometimes called him a “traitor”. That’s when he wrote the editorial which said that “when finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me”.

This editorial was published after his murder. Eight years have passed. Mahinda Rajapakse is no more President of Sri Lanka but Wickrematunge’s family is still waiting for justice.

The same was the case of Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya. The Russians weren’t happy with her reporting from Chechnya. I met her in Chechnya in 2004 when I was detained by the Russian Army and she tried to help me. She was shot near her home in Moscow in 2006. She received four bullets. It was not a secret that Anna Politkovskaya was a prime target of the Russian establishment. President Vladimir Putin was hauled over the coals for some time over her death, but nothing happened to him. Three suspects were arrested but later acquitted by the courts.

I also named three people as my possible killers only a few days before an attempt was made on my life in Karachi in 2014. I received six bullets in my shoulder, stomach and legs. The seventh bullet grazed my lower back. Two bullets  remain in my body. An Inquiry Commission was set up to investigate the assassination attempt. I was told not to appear before the commission but I decided to speak my mind. I believed it was my right to do so.

So I recorded my statement in front of three Supreme Court judges, not once but twice and produced the best available evidence. Instead of providing me justice the democratically elected government of Nawaz Sharif filed a treason reference against my TV channel, Geo News, because Geo pointed an accusatory finger towards powerful elements within Pakistani establishment, including the ISI.

Gauri Lankesh received three bullets in her body and died. I got seven bullets, but survived. I know I’m really lucky to be alive. Gauri’s terrible death made me search for other similarities — perhaps, I want her friends and family, my readers, anyone, someone, to know that I understand the pain and the grief and the anger, all twisted into one emotion, that follows when Death comes calling.

Gauri Lankesh’s father was a journalist. My father was a columnist and a teacher of journalism in Punjab University, Lahore. She was declared anti-establishment, by her establishment, and a traitor. I also faced the same allegations.

There is one big difference. I can’t claim that democracy and media is very strong in Pakistan but Gauri Lankesh lived and worked and was a citizen of the biggest democracy of the world. So what happened? How did “they” dare target her? Don’t “they” care what Gauri’s colleagues and friends in the world’s largest democracy will say? Aren’t “they” worried that “they” will be exposed? And what about the collective democratic conscience and pride of the Indian media? How do they deal with this direct challenge to their credibility?

It’s not difficult to determine that who is behind the assassination of Gauri Lankesh. Just read her article published in ‘The Wire’ in May 2017. She pointed out that “Karnataka has a long history of attacks on the freedom of press”. She criticized several Congress, BJP and Janata Dal MLAs who had joined hands to suppress media freedom.

She fought against the double standards of the powerful ruling elite. She never spared her own community. She wrote, “with the number of Kannada news channels increasing, things are becoming murkier…They are just as aggressive in shouting down participants with a different point of view, even more patriotic than self-proclaimed nationalist(s) and are prone to exaggeration while breaking news every minute of the day”.

According to noted Kannada writer K.Marulisdappa, who knew Gauri Lankesh from her childhood “she was taking a bold stand against the Sangh Parivar here”. He added that “the same people who killed Dabholkar,Pansare and Kulburgi have now killed Gauri Lankesh”.It is also important to note that Gauri Lankesh was held guilty of defamation in 2016 for an article she wrote in 2008 about the alleged corruption of two BJP leaders.

Karnataka’s chief minister Siddaramaiah condemned Lankesh’s murder as “an assassination of democracy”, but continues to face a hatred campaign on social media even after losing her life. Some people tried to link her death with that of Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani. Ashish Singh, who is followed by prime minister Narendra Modi on Twitter, tweeted, “After Burhan Wani, Gauri Lankesh also killed, how sad”.

Gauri Lankesh’s brutal death is a sad day in the life of the Indian media as well as the media across South Asia. I, a Pakistani journalist, am deeply saddened and angry about the ultimate sacrifice that a fellow journalist from India has paid. She was fighting against religious extremism as we are. This ideology is a common enemy of journalists all over the world. According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Pakistan and India are among the world’s ten most dangerous countries in which to work as a journalist.

This is a matter of shame for both countries. Impunity is becoming a dangerous way of unannounced censorship in South Asia. Impunity will generate more corruption in our countries. If we want to get rid of corruption and extremism we have to support all those journalists who raise their voices against these evils. That is why the killers of Gauri Lankesh need to be exposed. When they are, no establishment in any part of the world will dare kill journalists like Wickrematunge and Politkovskaya who named their killers when they were alive.

Gauri’s last writings and tweets tell us, “I know who is behind my death.” Whether or not her killers are convicted, it is our collective responsibility to find them and name and shame them.

Stop this culture of impunity against the media. Salute Gauri Lankesh.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/journalist-gauri-lankesh-murder-i-know-who-is-behind-my-death-karnataka-bengaluru-4833096/

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