• stumble
  • youtube
  • linkedin

Archives for : October2017

UP- Woman found dead ahead of Rape hearing involving BJP worker #Vaw

Harveer Dabas| TNN | 

Bijnor: A 36-year-old woman who had filed a complaint in court against a local BJP leader for attempting to rape her was found dead under mysterious circumstances on Tuesday. The woman, living alone with her five kids after her husband moved to Delhi last year for work, had told police she was being constantly harassed. After seeing the police’s reluctance to take action in the matter, she had later approached the chief judicial magistrate’s court for intervention. The first hearing was to come up next week.

The woman, a Dalit, suddenly went missing on Monday. On Tuesday morning, her body was found 250 metres away from the village in a sugarcane field. There were strangulation marks on her neck.

According to former village head Guru Sevak, she had written to several district officials after police failed to register her complaint of the alleged rape attempt by Badarpur (rural) BJP president Vijay Singh.

When contacted, Singh said, “Guru Sevek wanted to grab a piece of land belonging to a poor man. When I opposed him, he used the woman to trap me in a fake case. She used to live with him. I have nothing to do with this case.”

However, in a complaint also given to administrative officials on ‘tehsil divas’ on September 1, the victim had written: “When BJP came to power in UP, I approached Vijay Singh for construction of my house under a government scheme. He assured help and took me to a senior leader’s house on June 26. On our way back, Singh along with one of his companions started molesting me. I somehow escaped. When I approached cops later, they refused to register an FIR.”

Tehsil divas is a specific day every month when senior administrative officials gather to take complaints from local residents on a variety of issues.

Badarpur station house officer Raj Kumar Sharma said, “We are questioning both Guru Sevak and Vijay Singh.” On Tuesday evening, police also filed a case against Sevak. “Police have filed a case against him based on the complaint of one Shaunath Singh, who alleged that just before her death Sevek had telephoned the woman.”

Related posts

BJP MP says Chhattisgarh girls becoming ‘tan-a-tan’: Politicians who made sexist remarks #Vaw

A video showed a BJP MP saying Chhattisgarh girls are becoming “tan-a-tan”, triggering outrage on social media websites.

HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BJP MP Bansilal Mahto said Chhattisgarh women were becoming ‘tan-a-tan’.
BJP MP Bansilal Mahto said Chhattisgarh women were becoming ‘tan-a-tan’. (ANI Photo)

A video circulating online showed a BJP MP saying Chhattisgarh girls are becoming “tan-a-tan”, triggering outrage on social media websites.
Twitter user Anshul Saxena said: “BJP MP says Chhattisgarh girls are now becoming “tan-a-tan”. And we are expecting Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao from BJP leaders. Shame on him.”

But sexism and misogyny are rampant among the political class. Here are some of the shamefully sexist remarks made by Indian politicians in the past few years:




Sharad Yadav

Ahead of assembly elections in five states earlier this year, Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav had made a bizarre analogy between the ‘izzat’ or honour of a vote and a woman. “Honour of vote is bigger and important than honour of daughter,” Yadav said at a function in Patna.

This was not the first time that Yadav has made controversial remarks that demean women. In 2015, he said in the Rajya Sabha, “The body of women from south is as good as beautiful they are. They (women) in our region are not that good as those (in south) know dancing.”

Giriraj Singh

In 2015, the BJP MP targeted Congress president Sonia Gandhi in a racist and sexist remark , questioning whether the party would have accepted her as its chief if the colour of her skin had not been white.

“If Rajiv Gandhi had married a Nigerian and if she wasn’t white , would Congress accept her as a leader?” the BJP MP from Bihar had said.

Digvijaya Singh

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was widely panned in 2013 for referring to Lok Sabha MP Meenakshi Natarajan as ‘100% tunch maal’. The colloquial ‘tunch maal’ is widely used in the Hindi heartland to commodify women as a ‘sexy item’. Singh argued that what he meant was an alternate, but rarely used, meaning of ‘tunch’ – pure and solid.

“Gandhivadi hain, saral hain, imandar hain. Sabke paas jaati hain, gaon gaon jaati hain. Rajneetigyon ko thodi si baat me pata chal jaata hai ki kaun farzi hai, kaun sahi hai. Main purana jauhri hoon, ye 100% tunch maal hai. (Natrajan is a Gandhian. She meets everyone, visits villages. She is genuine. I am a veteran goldsmith and I know she is ‘100% tunch maal’),” Singh said, with Natrajan on the podium.

Abhijit Mukherjee

Abhijit Mukherjee, a Congress MP and son of President Pranab Mukherjee, shocked the nation in December 2012 when he labelled women protesting against the Delhi gang rape as “highly dented-painted”.

“What’s basically happening in Delhi is somewhat like Egypt or elsewhere, where there was something called the Spring Revolution, which has very little connection with ground realities. In India, staging candle-light marches, going to discotheques – we did all this during our student life too, we were students too – I know very well what kind of character students should have,” Mukherjee said.

“Those who claim to be students – I can see many beautiful women among them they were highly dented-painted – they’re giving interviews on TV, they’ve brought their children to show them the scenes,” Mukherjee said. He later apologised for the off-colour remark.

Abu Azmi

After the recent allegations of mass molestation in Bengaluru, Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra unit chief Abu Azmi’s made an appalling remark, blaming women in “half dress” for the reported incident that happened on December 31, 2016.

“When few women in half dress come out on streets at late night with their friends, such incidents do occur… Ladies hailing from well-to-do families, be it from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan or UP, they come out in decent attire and mostly with their family members,” he had said.

Police, however, later said no such incident ever took place.

Mulayam Singh Yadav

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in 2014 said it was unfair to award death penalty to rapists for their ‘mistakes’. “Rape ke liye phaansi dena ghalat hai, ladkon se ghalti ho jaati hai, hum satta mein aaye to kanoon mein badlav karenge (Handing death sentence for rape is not fair… boys make mistakes… there will be changes in the law if we come to power).”

He added boys and girls fall in love but part ways due to differences. “When their friendship ends, the girl complains she has been raped,” said Yadav.

Laxmikant Parsekar

Former Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar in 2015 allegedly advised protesting nurses not to stage a hunger strike under the hot sun as it could darken their complexion and affect their marital prospects, joining a growing list of ministers from the state who have drawn criticism for their public comments.

Vinay Katiyar

BJP leader Vinay Katiyar made a sexist comment on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s election campaigningin Uttar Pradesh in January. “There are many beautiful star campaigners. There are many heroines and artistes who are more beautiful,” he said.

(A version of this article was published in January 2017)

Related posts

Gujarat- BJP Neta tied to tree , beaten up over slum demolition

Hasmukh Patel, a BJP councillor in Vadodara, was tied to a tree and thrashed by a group of residents of Bapod area on Tuesday.Around 118 families living near Bapod lake were displaced in a demolition drive in May and given alternative housing nearby.When Patel went there to clear vegetation overgrowth, the angry mob vented their anger over displacement
Corporator Tied To Tree, Beaten Up By Angry Mob
In an unprecedented display of public wrath, a group of citizens tied a sitting corporator of ruling BJP in the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) to a tree and thrashed him in Bapod area on the city’s outskirts on Monday .Hasmukh Patel (60), corporator and member of VMC’s standing committee, had to face the anger of people who were displaced from their houses near Bapod lake five months ago in a razing drive for beautification of the water body . The group not only subjected him to the humiliating treatment but also shot the video of his plight, which went viral on social media.

Patel and VMC executive engineer Amrut Makwana had reached Bapod to look into some civic complaints. The ousted from the slums got to know that Patel was present there and rushed to the spot. They picked up an argument with Patel and star ted manhandling him. When Makwana intervened, they dragged Patel away . Makwana called the police but before they could arrive, the mob tied him with a tree and started thrashing him. Patel’s son Suketu who had rushed to the spot when Patel’s driver informed him about the incident was also beaten up by the mob.

The mob kept asking him why were houses that were constructed under the Indira Aavas Yojana razed by the civic body? Members of the mob are also seen asking him why were no notices issued by the VMC for the razing drive? One of the residents also alleged that Patel had not handed them over the notices about razing their houses.

“I tried to intervene, but they dragged him away . I then called the police who rescued him,“ he said. He added that Patel had sought for an excavator to remove vegetation overgrowth in the area.

Patel is seen defending himself stating that the process of the razing drive was an administrative one and the notices were issued by officials.He even said that he was merely a corporator of a ward and did not know what was happening at the city-level.

Some of those who were ousted from the slum near the pond said that they were given houses in a housing scheme for the urban poor, but it lacked basic amenities. Many believed that Patel had come to the spot to raze some shanties that were erected there by those who had returned from the housing scheme. Patel was beaten with pipes and sticks due to which his leg fractured and he was admitted at a private hospital in Panigate area.

Mayor Bharat Dangar said that the razing drive was conducted several months back and all 118 beneficiaries were given houses at a nearby site in Bapod itself. “No grievances were made to us so far. The extreme nature of the incident of tying Patel to a tree and beating him up mercilessly reflects that civic issues may not be the reason. The motives could even be political,“ said Dangar.

Deputy commissioner of police Sajjansinh Parmar said that around 70 persons including both men and women had been detained by the police. He those detained had rushed to the Bapod police station to make representations. An offence lodged at the Bapod police station states that Patel was beaten by a mob of around 100 persons. Eight accused have been named in the FIR.

Related posts

Gujarat is not a model state for the Dalits

No moustache, no sunglasses, no watching garba… next is what?In less than 10 days, at least six attacks have taken place on Dalits from across the State. In a fresh attack on Tuesday, a Dalit teen from Kalol was slashed with a blade. He is the cousin of the 24-yr-old who was thrashed for daring to sport a moustache

The spate of attacks on Dalits continues unabated in Gu jarat. In a fresh incident on Tuesday, a Dalit teenager from Limbodhara village in Kalol was left bloodied after being slashed with a blade while returning from school. Victim Digant Maheria, 17, was returning home after taking an exam when he was attacked by two unidenti MIRR AGAI fied men. The attackers stopped him on the way and told him HATE C that they had been paid to kill him before slashing his back with a blade.The boy is the cousin of 24-year-old Dalit Piyush Parmar who was beaten up on September 25 by the Darbars from his village for daring to sport a moustache. On that day, too, Digant, who was accompanying his cousin, was assaulted.

Tuesday’s incident took place around 4 pm. The bike borne men, with their faces covOR ered, came up to Digant. While NST one of them held him, the other slashed his back.RIME They also told him that they had been paid to kill him. Shocked, the teen fell unconscious. “He was bleeding when his friends got him home. We immediately called 108 and rushed him to Gandhinagar Civil Hospital. He has received 13 stitches. I do not know when this hatred will end,“ said his mother Chandrika Maheria. The family is furious and want the culprits to be caught and put behind bars without any delay.

“Just 10 days ago, they attacked Piyush (Digant’s cousin) and now they have gone after my brother. The three Darbars against whom a complaint was registered under atrocities act are out on bail. They were granted bail by Kalol court on Tuesday itself when my brother was attacked. We are scared for our lives,“ said victim’s sister Kajal, 18. This is the third attack on Dalits in Limbodhara village in less than two weeks. On September 25, Piyush was beaten up by three Darbars when he along with Digant was returning home after watching garba. The trio hurled casteist slurs at them before thrashing Piyush repeatedly. Kalol police had then lodged a complaint under the atrocities act against the trio from the same village, identified as Mayursinh Vaghela, Rahul Vikramsinh Serathia and Ajitsinh Vaghela. The accused were granted bail by Kalol court on Tuesday. “These anti-social elements harass the Dalits in the village for sporting a moustache and beard and wearing sunglasses. This has been going on for years now,“ said Bharat Parmar, the victim’s lawyer.

On September 29, Krunal Maheria, a Dalit law student from the same village was attacked for daring to sport a moustache. Accused in this case, Bharatsinh Vaghela, is the uncle of one of the accused in the attack on Piyush. Maheria was visiting his friend when Vaghela and others intercepted him and began abusing him verbally.Vaghela allegedly told Maheria that he could not become a Rajput by simply sporting a moustache. When the victim ignored him, he beat him up with a stick. Maheria returned home on Sunday after he was discharged from Gandhinagar Civil Hospital while Vaghela was released on bail by a Kalol court on Tuesday.

In the past 10 days, at least six attacks have taken place on Dalits across the State. The Dalits of Limbodhara village are planning to hold a protest outside Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday.

On Sunday, a 21-year-old Dalit from Bhadraniya village of Anand was beaten to death after he defended his cousin who was being abused by the Patels for watching garba. The same day, in Ahmedabad, a Dalit boy from Ahmedabad was thrashed by the family of a girl he was in love with.

On Saturday, Khema Parmar, a Dalit from Patan, lodged a complaint stating that he and three of his family had been thrashed by some members of the Patel community on the last day of Navratri in Ganget village.

Parmar said his attackers were angered by the presence of a few Dalit women at a village garba event, two days earlier.

Related posts

MP police force farmers to strip, sit in underwear in station after protest #WTFnews

Local Congress leaders who backed the agitation say they will approach the human rights commission

Anupam Pateriya
Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Sagar
Farmers who were made to take off their clothes, at a police station in Tikamgarh.
Farmers who were made to take off their clothes, at a police station in Tikamgarh.(HT photo)

Police in a Madhya Pradesh town allegedly rounded up a group of farmers and forced them to disrobe after a protest demonstration, according to leaders of the Congress backing the agitation, who have decided to approach the country’s human rights watchdog.

Dozens of farmers gathered in front of the collectorate in Bundelkhand’s Tikamgarh on Tuesday afternoon to present a list of demands to the district administration. The protest turned aggressive, prompting police to use teargas, water cannons and sticks on the people to disperse them.

Bundelkhand is one of the most distressed farm regions in Madhya Pradesh, which saw violent protests in June over the issue of loan waivers. Five farmers were killed in police firing at the time.

Local Congress leader Yadvendra Singh said the protesters became angry after the district collector did not meet them.

“Due to this protesters started losing their cool. The police used force and between 25 to 30 farmers were injured. When I reached home, I received information that around 30-40 farmers have been detained by police at Dehat police station. I went there and found they had been beaten up. They were made to sit just in their underwear,” Singh said.

“ It is a clear violation of human rights and I will file a complaint with video and photos to NHRC and State Human Rights Commission. Tomorrow we have called for Tikamgarh bandh on this issue”, he said on Tuesday.

The protest was led by leader of opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh.

Tikamgarh superintendent of police Kumar Prateek told HT that force was used after the crowd started throwing rocks. He said eight cops and one protester were injured in the scuffle.

He said he was unaware of the protesters being made to strip and said police were only interrogating the detainees.

Photographs provided to HT showed the men inside the police station only in their underwear.

They were freed after Yadvendra Singh reached the police station.

Falling yield, mounting debt and increasingly costly raw materials are seen as factors pushing farmers in several parts of the country to commit suicide.

Farmers in Madhya Pradesh have demanded the government make arrangements to procure crops on time or intervened to ensure a reasonable price.

Between February 2016 and mid-February 2017, 1,982 farmers and farm labourers reportedly committed suicide, which was one-fifth of the total suicides in the state. In the last 16 years, 21,000 farmers have taken their lives.

Related posts

Why I will not be celebrating Diwali this year: something broke when I heard of the attack on Junaid

As a child, the two most important events in my calendar were my birthday and Diwali.

Weeks before Diwali my mother would go to the Blind School fair and buy candles. My sister and i would both get new clothes for each of our birthdays and for Diwali. I recall how we hovered over our mother as she mapped out the cloth on a newspaper, cut and stitched it on her Singer machine.

For us, what mattered most on Diwali was not the crackers and the evening lights, but the mornings. One would have to wake up at 4am, and have an oil bath. My mother would arrange our new clothes with a lamp, rice and a coin on a silver tray. We would scramble to find textbooks to place on the tray for the Saraswati puja.

By dawn, however, we would all be bathed and ready. Then, as on all Sundays (also the weekly hair wash day), we would breakfast on dosas with MS Subalakshmi’s Bhaja Govindam and Vishnu Sahsranam playing in the background.

A round of visits followed. Since neither of my parents are originally from Delhi, there were few family members around. But my father’s uncle, K Swaminathan, lived in Naoroji Nagar, from where he edited the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi.

He and his wife, Vishala Patti, were the first stop, and we always got a banana each as we left. And then there were visits to various Tamil colleagues of my father’s, whose sons and daughters were much older, or at any rate, always much better read than us. Completely intimidated, we would come home with relief to our Diwali lunch, which was usually pooran poli and srikhand or masale bhat – the only indication that we were actually half Marathi.

In the evening, my mother would do a simple Lakshmi puja and make little feet of rice flour which showed Lakshmi heading straight into our house. Like most girls of our time we disliked noisy bombs, held phuljadis with care, and exclaimed at all the anars and chakras blossoming around us. But most of all we loved the snakes which coiled out of a little black pill.

As i grew older and was left to my own devices, pre-dawn awakenings gave way to holiday sleep-ins. With no children to teach ritual to, i lapsed completely. My mother’s dainty Lakshmi feet have become in my clumsy hands manifestations of a yeti arrival. It’s been decades since i ignited crackers. But my husband and i still like lighting our house, and Diwali is still a special day in my calendar, despite the noise, despite the spiking air pollution – a day of visiting parents and eating too much.

This year, when i heard of the attack on Junaid in a suburban train, something broke. Here were young boys, on their way back from shopping for new clothes for Eid. What they were doing was what every child in this country does, look forward with excitement to an upcoming festival.

How can i be happy at Diwali, when Junaid’s family – and that of many others who have suffered the corrosive hate of a communal attack – have not been able to celebrate their Eid? When some people take pleasure in the death of a Gauri Lankesh, how does one have the heart to celebrate anything at all? The small black snakes of my childhood have become Kaliyas, but there is no Krishna in sight to subdue them.

I don’t know which prescient educator prescribed these texts, but the two stories that have stayed with me from school are Premchand’s Idgah and Tagore’s Kabuliwalah. For years, i could not narrate these stories to others without crying. In both, there are characters whose festivals (Eid and a daughter’s wedding) were made happier through the happiness of others. If our sense of our selves expands when we share our happiness, it also expands when we share the sadness of others.

For me it is more important to be human than merely to be Hindu. This year, my house will be dark on Diwali, but at least my heart will be lighter

Related posts

Sangh Parivar’s view of nationhood based on Faith and Fear

Sangh Parivar’s view of nationhood, citizenship and entitlements is based on narrow definitions of faith, and the purveying of fear.

Mohan Bhagwat, RSS, Rohingya, Rohingya muslims, Hindus from Myanmar, Rohingya muslims in india, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, VHP, RSS, RSS chief Golwalkar, Hindu Mahasabha, Muslim League, Narendra Dabholkar, Narendra Dabholkar murder, Govind Pansare, Govind Pansare murder, MM Kalburgi, Kalburgi murder, Gauri Lankesh, Gauri Lankesh murder, mohan bhagwat, indian nationalism, nationalism, indian express, express column

It’s a worldview that is at odds with the modernity and republicanism crafted in the Constitution. A fundamental belief, indoctrinated through skewed “history” lessons in the shakha, that religion and faith systems draw the faultlines of entitlement, rights and citizenship. It governs the officialdom today, and tells us, quite unashamedly, that the Rohingya (never mind that they are poor and distraught) are a security threat simply because they are Muslim. The Chakmas are not, the Hindus from Myanmar are not, but the Rohingya are a threat because of their faith.

Who is Indian? A draft legislation proposed by this regime says that only non-Muslims — Hindus, of course, and “Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan… shall not be treated as illegal migrants”. The proposed law signals the institutionalisation of discriminatory citizenship. Back in 1991, this writer, then with Business India, was gifted a “map of Ahmedabad” by a then far more tentative Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The VHP was born in 1964 when the then RSS chief, M.S. Golwalkar, met a select group of sanyasi heads of religious organisations in Mumbai with the aim of launching a new organisation to unite all Hindu religious sects and tribals under a single umbrella and a homogenised version of religion.

The VHP’s map of Ahmedabad had clearly defined zones — the green and the bhagwa/saffron. The old city was coded green (read Muslims). The message to its cadres was clear. Use any means, fair or foul, to limit the “Muslim” spread to the rest of Ahmedabad. One particularly bloody incident during the Rath Yatra violence in 1991, which I reported, haunts me. Two Gujarati woman shoved off a middle-aged Muslim professional from his second-floor home in Narangpura, seen as a posh “ours, not theirs”part of the go-getter city. He fell to a bloody death. This was only one among increasing instances of women engaging physically in acts of neighbourhood terror. The messaging was against integration, and for confining and segregating Muslims to ghettos. This pair of Gujarati behens were felicitated during the Navrati of 1991, revealing more about the militarised, exclusivist “Hinduism” of the RSS and the VHP.

B.S. Moonje’s Diary No 6-17, 1946, written en route to Islampur in Bihar, makes for fascinating, if chilling reading. This RSS ideologue, who after a visit to Benito Mussolini’s camps in 1931 started first the Rifle Association in Nagpur and then established Bhonsala Military Academy in Nashik and then Dehradun in 1936, was touring districts affected by pre-Partition riots. Sixty Muslims of Junair, Patna, had been converted to Hinduism “of their own accord” by some Arya Samajists. Moonje recounts, in almost gloating terms, the “power of the fear of death” among battered Muslims, signalling that — ideologically and organisationally — this was the way to go.

Addressing a meeting in Delhi, Moonje said: “I found the Moslems were so frightened from their experience in the Bihar disturbances that they came to me and said with folded hands, ‘Huzoor, Babuji, hum Hindu hokar rahengay…’ This was the first experience of its kind in my life. Fear of death is great. Concluding my speech, I said, this is how people are to be coverted to a new Religion of conscience and propaganda are of no use. They only cause waste of money with practically no result whatsoever (my emphasis).”

The fear of death after the use of targeted violence to achieve a political objective makes for an unbeatable combination. It has been nurtured since 1946, and evident in bouts of orchestrated and targeted violence. These have transformed into full-blown pogroms post Independence.

At the core of this instrumental use of a militarised form of faith is the transformation — through a climate and fear of violence and death — of India as articulated during the Independence movement and exemplified in the republic’s founding document, the Constitution. Theocracy, or religion-based nationhood, was unequivocally rejected by India’s Constituent Assembly. It was exclusivist outfits who were one in their worldview, the RSS (and Hindu Mahasabha) and the Muslim League, which successfully projected that Muslims could not be part of a composite nation with Hindus.

Today, this worldview that unashamedly articulates nationhood, citizenship and entitlements based on narrow definitions of faith, dominates the Indian Parliament and rules 12 states (another five in alliance). No wonder that people like Mohan Bhagwat now call for a paradigm shift away from India’s Constitution to one based on the “ethos of our society”. Is the ethos that the RSS speaks of the one that Moonje so accurately described after the blood-letting of 1946? An ethos of violence crafted around the fear of death?

For any dispensation in the 21st century, in a country of 1.3 billion people, a good 15 per cent of whom are Muslim, 2-3 per cent Christian, 27 per cent Dalit, a physical ethnic cleansing of those “not Hindu” may not be easy or practical. But periodic and brute lynchings by the brainwashed and armed cadres of these hydra organisations are useful to build such an ethos, based on the fear of death. As Moonje believed, the fear of death is the tool to keep Muslims in line and Christians sufficiently fearful. Top this with bullets, aimed at sane, courageous dissenting voices who question the very construct of the homogenised Hindu, and who assert — Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh — that our ethos has been one of resistance to any homogeneity, assertion of dissent and difference, the stranglehold on our freedoms is near complete.

Which ethos does Ambedkar belong to? The Sangh claims him as its own, but arguably, Ambedkar, with his sharp and biting articulations — for instance, Annihilation of Caste — alive, would also been a target of elimination.

Faith and fear

Related posts