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Archives for : November2017

Farmers leaders denied access to meet Akhil gogai in Dibrugadh jail #WTFnews

Akhil Bharatiya Kishan sangrash samanwaye samiti deamnds immediate  Release  of Akhil gogai. The   Farmers leaders denied access to meet Akhil gogai in Dibrugadh jail. Assamese Farmers loose 5500 cr every season in paddy purchase only  4700 farmers committed suicide in Assam in last 10years .
President of swabhimani shetkari  sangathan and member of Parliament Raju shetty and  former Member of Legislative Assembly (Madhya Pradesh), Convernor of All india Nasha Mukth Andolan , Samajwadi samagam,  Dr. Sunilam reached  Dibrugarh  today , to meet Akhil Gogoi leader of krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) but they were denied meeting  by District commissioner of Dibrugadh . When they talk to home  Secretary , chief secretary assam  they said that it’s discretion of Dm . After denied access they tried to meet Cheif minister of Assam at his residence in Dibrugadh  but security officials said he is sleeping although it was 4pm evening , afterwards  police officials said that he will not meet you
 Raju setty, talking to   media persons outside of the jail said that it was t first time in his lifetime that he was denied access to meet a undertrail. He said that meeting cannot be denied according to jail manual but due to political pressure even the jail manual is set aside . It is simply murder of democracy which will not be tolerated by Akhil Bharatiya Kishan sangrash samanya samiti. He said that he will write a letter to the Chief minister. He said that its breach of priveledge so he will raise this issue  in the Parliament.
 He also said that after Independence it is for  the 1st time that 184 farmers organization with  Green and red  flags have come together .Mr raju shetty  said that farmers struggle  under Akhil Gogois  leadership Farmers loans will be waived off in Assam and total paddy will be procured  . He said on coming 20thNov farmers will reach Delhi in huge nos and pass bill in kisan sansad which  I will but forward in  Parliament .
        Dr. Sunilam  from Madhya Pradesh told  media persons that  application for meeting Akhil gogai in jail was  given on  8th nov  to the DC but no decision was taken on the application ,yesterday Executive Magistrate told us  that it’s decision of   judiciary  ,afterwards DC asked  us on phone to send us our details  through SMS , afterwards she said that as police verification will be done in ur state and we have   2days holiday so yu should contact us after 2 days  .After that I talked with home Secretary and Cheif secretary but they said that they will not interfere as it’s discretion of DM .
Dr Sunilam said that  Akhil is politically  victimized as he raised voice against  APSC scam,Drinking water scam , Big Dam s and asked Govt to publicize agreement regarding land transfer with Nagaland terrorists .
       Dr Sunilam said farmers are not getting rumerative price for their crops in Assam .5400 cr  is looted from farmers as 70 % of paddy is Market surplus   Dr sunilam  said in last 10 years 4700 farmers have committed  suicide in Assam. He also shared the the information about kisan mukti yatra carried out by  Akhil Bharatiya Kishan sangrash samanwaye samiti which travelled  ,ten thousand kms in 18 states doing  500 public making contact with more than 50 lakh farmers .He informed that tomm  on 12 th  Nov ,kisan mukti rally is organised at  Gawhati by 5 farmers organizatiins ,he said that  release Akhil Gogoi  committees will be formed at   National level . Dr Sunilam has made appeal to assam farmers to attend  kisan sansad at Delhi  in  big  numbers.

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Bhopal: NLIU students demand director’s resignation for sexist remark against colleague and other issues

Students of the National Law Institute University in Bhopal have been boycotting classes for the past 3 days, demanding resignation of the institute’s director SS Singh for passing a sexist remark against their colleague.

Protesting National Law Institute University in Bhopal.Protesting National Law Institute University in Bhopal.

Students of the National Law Institute University in Bhopal have been boycotting classes for the past 3 days, demanding resignation of the institute’s director SS Singh.

The students have alleged that the director is behaving like a dictator and that a curfew-like situation is existing on the campus. “There is a curfew-like situation. We are okay with the 9 pm deadline for entering the campus. But at least allow us to move around the premises,” a student on strike told India Today on the condition of anonymity.

Another student said that while there were many issues on the campus, the immediate trigger for the agitation was a sexist remark by the director against a student.

Talking to India Today, the student against whom these remarks were allegedly passed said, “I was called inside the director’s room. I didn’t even know why I was called. There were four other faculty members inside the room, but no lady teacher when the director cast aspersions on my character.”

Director SS Singh has denied all the charges levelled by students against him. “I have served this institute for over 9 years. Students are levelling these charges at the behest of someone who wants me to go. As far as their genuine demands are concerned, we are ready to talk”, he said.

The agitating students are not willing to call off their agitation until the director leaves.

As a routine activity, when students approach the director with any grievances, they are turned down and termed baseless.

In furtherance of the above, we would like to highlight some of such instances:

A.       Academic Grievances

1.         Delay in the release of results

As has been stated in the updated academic policy dated 07.04.2016, the results of the previous trimester will be declared in the first 14 days of the commencement of the next trimester. However, the declaration of results has been delayed across batches. For instance, all results of the previous trimester barring the XII trimester were declared one and a half months into this trimester.

Not only has the policy not been implemented, the results have been declared merely 10 days before the commencement of the repeat/re-repeat/improvement examinations. It is to be noted that this is not the first instance of such delay. Even prior to the release of this notification, it has been the practice of the administration to declare results inordinately late.

The delay with respect to the results of repeats/re-repeats/improvement/re-evaluation examinations is even graver. There have been multiple instances of these results being declared at least a year after students appeared for the same.

For example:

  1. The repeat/re-repeat/improvement result for the VII trimester (September 2016) of the Batch of 2019 was released during their XI trimester (November 2017), over a year later.
  2. The result of the re-evaluation application filed for a paper appeared for in the V trimester (Sociology of Law) was declared in the XII trimester. Such delays render the re-evaluation process futile because students are required to sit for repeat/re-repeat examinations in the interim.

2.         Accountability of Professors

Standard Curriculum and Modules

Students have expressed their grievances with regard to the professors’ failures to complete the subject syllabus before the examination. For instance, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) course was left mid-way for the Batch of 2019 with students having to answers questions on concepts and cases that were not taught in class in their examination.

Furthermore, there have been multiple instances of different teachers following varied curricula while teaching the same subject. The discrepancies in the teaching methods consequently lead to uncertain curricula and out-of- syllabus questions in the repeat and re-repeat examinations.

Marking Scheme and absence of Model Answer Sheets

Contrary to accepted practice in other Universities, teachers do not prepare model answers or a standardized marking scheme before correcting papers. In light of the continuous revisions to the paper pattern and the total marks awarded per answer/paper, it is imperative for the teachers to take into considerations such changes in order to avoid erroneous correction.

Of particular mention is the correction of the CrPC-I papers of the Batch of 2019. Not only were several students arbitrarily failed in the examination, but the concerned Professor was unable to justify the reason for his manner of marking.

Reevaluating decoded answer sheets

Teachers have been found increasing marks under influence of, or due to personal bias for, some students, which is completely arbitrary and unfair to other students.

3.         Re-Evaluation Process

Reevaluation is done by the same teacher who evaluated the copy in the first instance. This completely negates the purpose of reevaluation, as the students are not provided an independent evaluation of their answer sheets.

Further, the change in the re-evaluation policy which requires a 10% increase in the marks scored for a change in result was applied retrospectively and without due notice to the students. The re-evaluation policy permits students to only submit two papers per trimester.

This is inadequate in light of the fact that the teachers are reluctant to revise correction errors themselves and insist on the students applying for re-evaluation in case of any grievance. Further, the re-evaluation fee of Rs. 1000 per subject is exorbitant.

4.         Library timing

As per the present schedule, the University library is open till only 9 PM. This restriction on the accessibility of essential resources to students act as a major hindrance in their preparation for various co-curricular activities.

As had been prevalent in various other National Law Universities, the library is kept open for long hours so as to enable the students to effectively use the resources.

Further, during Saturday/Sunday, the library is open only till 6 PM, which is not only against students’ interest, but is also unreasonable.

B.       Attendance Grievance

Several students have faced lack of cooperation from the administration while requesting for academic leave for strictly medical purposes, even in special and extreme circumstances. There is absolutely no provision for addressing genuine medical situations of students.

A few incidents are highlighted below, along with the administrative responses

1.         Denial of Leave despite Vertebral Column Injury

A student had injured her vertebral column, and the injury was so severe that she was advised immediate and complete bedrest for a minimum of 3 months, or run the risk of paralysis.

Her parents approached the administration with MRI reports and doctors’ statements to this effect, with a request to be granted the minimum threshold of attendance required to be able to sit for the exams, so that she would not have to repeat the whole year.

The parents faced outright rejection and dismissal of their requests from the administration, with reasons like ‘these reports could be fake’ and ‘bar council rules require this much attendance’ being given, apart from several inappropriate remarks being made.

Their next request of allowing a stretcher in the classroom on which the student could lie down and attend classes was denied on the grounds that it would ‘distract the teachers’.

The next request of shifting the classroom downstairs or being allowed to use the elevator already installed in the Academic Block – II was also denied, first by the Registrar, then by the Proctor. Ultimately the student had to attend all the classes half-sitting, half-standing, and write both mid-terms and end-terms the same way.

2.         Denial of Leave despite Multiple Fractures and Dislocations

A student who had suffered from multiple facial fractures, three fractures and a wrist dislocation had to face immense hostility from the University administration. His application for medical leave was rejected. Even though doctors had advised strict bed rest, he had to attend several days of classes just to ensure that his attendance crosses the 70% threshold failing which the threat of repeating the whole year loomed over him. Apart from having to attend these classes in a heavily sedated state, he also had to endure several traumatic taunts such as ‘students have attended classes in wheelchairs and would do so even on stretchers’.

3.         Denial of Leave despite Student falling from a Height of Two Floors

A student who had fallen from 2 floors above the ground and sustained numerous back injuries which left him bedridden for weeks. Despite this, he had to attend classes with a walking assistance machine.

In spite of the doctors advising him a month of strict bed rest, he had to still attend classes in excruciating pain, again just to ensure that the threshold of 70% attendance requirement would be crossed. Such unwanted exertions also led to a very prolonged recovery period, as his request for medical leave was dismissed.

The University administration has been consistently refusing the suggestion of the student body that genuine medical grievances should be considered for attendance purposes on the ground that the Bar Council Rules for legal education do not permit such a policy. However, Bar Council Rules do not prohibit any such policy, since several other law universities, who also fall under its purview, have a simple and effective policy of medical leave.

The students believe that a Medical Board, comprising of professionals of the University’s choice be set up, who can review and check the authenticity of requests for medical leave for every individual on a case-by-case basis. Only valid cases should be granted such academic leave.

As a law university, it is even more imperative for the University to ensure that the incidents of the nature being alleged are dealt with in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with law and not swept under the carpet. We also understand that despite several protests in the past by the student community demanding accountability of the administration and safety inside the campus, effective steps have not been taken to address these issues apart from setting up committees.

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1 in 3 Indians thinks shrinks are mentally ill, says survey  

Ekatha Ann John| TNN | 

Image for representation onlyImage for representation only
CHENNAI: When a few psychiatrists handed out questionnaires to 900 people in five Indian cities to explore public attitude towards them, the response made them cringe: At least one in every three said doctors treating psychiatric patients were mentally ill themselves, while one in five couldn’t decide.

The study published recently in the peer-reviewed Indian Journal of Psychiatry shows that despite greater awareness on mental healthissues, a majority of the respondents who had deep religious beliefs or had less than higher secondary school level education still viewed psychiatrists with suspicion

The survey covered people aged between 18 and 65 years in Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Mumbai.

Researchers found that public attitude towards the subject was correlated to religion, gender, education level and access to healthcare. “Based on the response received, on a median scale of one to five, we arrived at a mean score of around three – one being positive perception and five, negative,” said neuro-psychiatrist Dr A K Tandon of AKT Neuropsychiatric Centre, Allahabad, who conducted the survey with 11 other psychiatrists and psychotherapists, including from Germany and Austria.

Even for the educated, the study found, psychiatrists are the first call for help for less than 10% of the people. The rest first go to general practitioners, faith healers, astrologers and alternative medicine practitioners before finally approaching a qualified shrink.

The rest first go to general practitioners, faith healers, astrologers and alternative medicine practitioners before finally approaching a qualified shrink. Dr Tandon said a previous survey by the team to explore public perception in Chennai and Kolkata furnished similar results: Close to 40% said psychiatrists choose the profession as they have personal problems; one in three doubted if psychiatrists were genuinely interested in patients’ well-being, while 60% felt the medicines prescribed are to calm and not heal. The study attributes such perceptions to media which portrays psychiatrists in poor light, while faith healers are shown as having the power to heal. Mental ailments are linked to the supernatural.

The team found misconceptions are more prevalent among Hindus and Muslims, attributing the trend to their attitude which considers non-biomedical therapies more effective. “Many respondents believed prayer alone is sufficient treatment for psychiatric disorders,” said Dr Tandon. Two-thirds of psychiatric patients attributed their symptoms of schizophrenia to religious causes. “If this is the state in metros, in rural areas, the situation could be much worse,” he said. Psychiatrists say they don’t discourage magico-religious modes of treatment as long as patients receive simultaneous help from qualified doctors.

“Religion is a way of life. Many of my patients follow both simultaneously with positive results,” said Dr R Tara, director of Chennai-based Schizophrenia Research Foundation. National Institute of Mental Health Neuro Sciences director B N Gangadhar, said he now had patients who introduce him to their guests as their psychiatrist. “This was unthinkable a decade ago,” Gangadhar said.

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CJI’s action on bribery charge is SC’s biggest-ever crisis, and it comes from within

Supreme Court and Chief Justice of India
Supreme Court of India (Left), Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra (Right) | Source: Wikimedia Commons, PTI

CJI has the power to decide who will hear a case. But he is still expected to exercise it fairly, especially when there is an obvious conflict of interest.

The Chief Justice of India, for the first time, has violated the most basic norm of any decision-making authority — that no one shall be a judge in his or her own case.

It’s a monumental farce. The brazenness with which the CJI has ridden roughshod over not only all norms of judicial propriety and judicial conduct, but also his own colleague, and in the process, has damaged the Supreme Court as an institution.

This is something that is not expected of any judge anywhere — whether he is the CJI or a munsif in a small court. And for the CJI to do this in such a public manner brings down the credibility of judiciary as a whole; that too in an instance where the allegation related to corruption on the part of judges, and potentially involved Justice Dipak Misra himself.

The first information report filed by the CBI does not name him explicitly, but the fact that he was presiding over the bench which was handling medical educational institution cases in the Supreme Court when the alleged bribery took place, cannot be lost sight of.

It required a fair and impartial probe by a body which was not susceptible to any outside influence or pressure. This is just what was thought by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, and Kamini Jaiswal.

It also highlights the weaknesses within the institution in handling a delicate situation such as this. What Justice Jasti Chelameswar did was to take a call to figure out how the situation could be addressed in a fair and impartial manner, even though procedurally, there may be some basis to suggest that he should not have directly referred the matter to a Constitution Bench.

If Justice Dipak Misra had simply allowed this to continue and, if eventually there was no action required to be taken, the minor procedural irregularity could have been condoned. However, by acting in the manner that he did Friday, he has really undermined the credibility of the Supreme Court and the office of the CJI.

If nothing else, this is only going to increase the doubts about his culpability in the offence in the eyes of a neutral and impartial observer.

It is true that as master of the rolls, the CJI has the power to decide who will hear a case in court. But he is still expected to exercise this power in a fair and judicious manner. More so, when there is a clear and obvious conflict of interest. By recalling the order of Justice Chelameswar, the CJI has exercised his power in a manner that amounts to its abuse, and has interfered in the course of justice in this case.

In my view, it is no different from what President Richard Nixon tried to do in the Watergate scandal or what President Trump could legitimately be accused of doing when he fired FBI chief James Comey in the context of Russia scandal.

It remains to be seen how the other judges of the Supreme Court will address or respond to these events – how the larger Supreme Court bar, senior advocates not present in court today, and other stakeholders in the institution – will respond to this conduct.

Make no mistake, this is the biggest crisis that the Supreme Court has faced in its history, simply because the threat to its credibility and its integrity has come from within.

CJI’s action on bribery charge is SC’s biggest-ever crisis, and it comes from within

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As Delhi Air Quality Plunged, 30 Alerts That Were Never Issued


Alison Saldanha,


Vehicles ply in reduced visibility in south Delhi as smog enveloped the city with a spike in particulate pollution. Over the last one month, residents of the national capital territory of Delhi should have received an alert every day, warning them that air quality readings were breaching acceptable levels.


An emergency air-quality warning system created in 2016 for the national capital territory of Delhi has failed its sole purpose: To warn citizens of hazardous levels of air pollution.


Over eight days to October 16, 2017, as Delhi’s air quality worsened, reaching 10-12 times above safe limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO), the government ignored its own plan, which also included a clean-up of the air. Officials should have, among other things, enforced pollution controls on thermal power plants, sprinkled water on roads to curb dust and curbed traffic jams.


Over the last one month, Delhi residents should have received an alert every day, warning them that air quality index (AQI) readings were breaching danger levels. Since October 8, 2017, air-quality levels crossed  “poor” eight times, “very poor to severe” 21 times and “emergency” once, as they have for 48 hours to November 8, 2017, according to data from the government’s own alert system, the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).


“The Government had enough time to implement GRAP and systematically issue health advisories as per the action plan guidelines,” said independent researcher Aishwarya Madineni, who analysed the Central Pollution Control Board’s AQI readings. “However, the effort to create public awareness and alert the citizens to safeguard their health only happened after reaching an emergency situation.”


View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Emergency meeting on Pollution with @ArvindKejriwal. Measures approved include ban on entry of trucks(except carrying essentials), ban on civil construction, school holidays till Week end, hike in parking fees & higher frequency of metro & buses.

A plan ready to be implemented–except it was not


After Delhi witnessed its worst smog in 17 years in 2016, the CPCB, under directions from the Supreme Court, submitted the GRAP to address the air-pollution crisis gripping the national capital region, particularly in winter.


While the ministry of environment, forests and climate change cleared the GRAP on January 12, 2017, the plan received approval from the nodal Environment Pollution Control Authority on October 18, 2017–10 months later.


Based on national air-quality index (AQI) readings generated by CPCB air-quality monitors, the GRAP system categorises pollution levels as “good” (AQI reading of 0-50), “satisfactory” (50-100),  “moderate” (100-200), “poor” (200-300), “very poor” (300-400), and “severe” (400-500). Each grade of pollution involves curbs to prevent escalation. This is how it is supposed to work:


Graded Response Action Plan, By AQI Level
Poor (200-300 AQI) Very Poor (300-400 AQI) Severe (400-500 AQI) Emergency (500+ AQI)
1. Cap emissions from thermal power plants;
2. Sprinkling of water;
3. Fine visibly polluting vehicles;
4. Ensure smooth traffic movement;
5. Implement Supreme Court’s ban on fireworks and entry of trucks registered post-2005.
1. Ban diesel gensets;
2. Increase parking fee;
3. Increase metro service and fleet of buses;
4. Ban open burning of firewood and coal for heating and cooking;
5. Health advisory alert for vulnerable populations.
1. Shutdown Bardarpur power plant;
2. Cap emissions from power plants in NCR;
3. Close brick kilns, stone crushers and other polluting industries in NCR.
1. Stop entry of trucks into Delhi;
2. Alert the task force for shutting down of schools and halt all outdoor activities for children.


An AQI reading of over 500 is considered to an “emergency” and involves a shutdown of most outdoor activities. These measures are not new to authorities–they were recommended by a Indian Institute of Kanpur (IIT)-Kanpur report submitted to the Delhi government in January 2016, as IndiaSpend reported on November 10, 2016.


What the government should have done but did not


Air quality in Delhi began to dip from “moderate” to “poor” in the first week of October 2017 and proceeded to worsen.


Apart from curbing traffic, enforcing pollution standards on power plants and sprinkling water to curb dust, the government also should have made citizens aware of pollution levels using social media and mobile apps.


With the start of Diwali, air quality considerably worsened. From October 17 to November 6, 2017, the region recorded “very poor” air quality, 12-15 times above WHO limits, as we said.


On Diwali day, October 20, 2017, CPCB monitors in the national capital region recorded “severe” levels of pollution with an AQI reading of 403–16 times above WHO limits, suggesting poor implementation of the SC ban on firecrackers.


Source: Central Pollution Control Board


Over the last three weeks, government authorities, as per their own plan, should have also issued health advisory alerts for vulnerable populations or young children and senior citizens, banned use of diesel-run generators, raised parking fees, increased public transport services, and banned the use of firewood and coal.


Why GRAP cannot work unless various agencies work together


To be successful, most components of the GRAP require concerted and coordinated efforts from various agencies and bodies spread across the national capital region (NCR) and neighbouring states.


“GRAP has an ambitious set of measures under each category of alerts to be issued with action extending to Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh,” said Madineni. “Yet, the system does not mention a proper mitigation plan for addressing crop fires across the NCR states, to which the evidence clearly attributes a 25% rise in the pollution levels. The fireworks ban for Diwali was also a complete eyewash with little or no implementation bringing us to the emergency situation we are in today.”


(Saldanha is an assistant editor with IndiaSpend. Data inputs by Aishwarya Patil, an intern with IndiaSpend.)

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‘One Stop Centres for rape survivors set up hastily, failed in intent’ #Vaw

As on August 2017, a total of 151 One Stop Centres are set up across India under the Nirbhaya fund to provide integrated services for surivors of sexual violence.

One Stop Centres, set up across the country in the wake of the December 2012 Delhi gangrape, have failed to serve survivors of gender-based violence (Representational Image)

One Stop Centres, set up across the country in the wake of the December 2012 Delhi gangrape, have failed to serve survivors of gender-based violence effectively, states a report released by Human Right Watch. The One Stop Centres under the Nirbhaya fund were meant to provide integrated services including police assistance, legal aid, medical care and counselling in one place for surivors of sexual violence. These centres were also meant to serve the purpose of collecting of forensic evidence.

The report ‘Everyone Blames Me: Barriers to Justice and Support Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in India’, points out that the scheme fails in its intent as the centres were “set up hastily” without meaningful consultations with local rights groups and NGOs already running crisis-intervention centres before the Centre launched its scheme.

As on August 2017, a total of 151 centres had been set up across the country through the scheme. According to the report, the centres couldn’t maximise their reach to victims of gender-based violence due to lack of coordination between government departments, inadequate resources such as counsellors, and failure to link these centres with helplines. The report is based on field research in Haryana, UP, MP and Rajasthan.

Jayshree Bajoria, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said, “…as linkages are missing, it is not able to provide integrated services… the way it was envisioned,” she said. The report points out that rape survivors are often subjected to the “two-finger” tests and police refuse to register complaints, especially for victims from marginalised communities.

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Woman Alleges Sexual Harassment By AirAsia Crew

AirAsia India, however, said in a statement that the passenger verbally abused a senior cabin crew member after she was asked to switch off her mobile phone.

Woman Alleges Sexual Harassment By AirAsia Crew, Airline Contends Charge

AirAsia India has denied the charge and said it dealt with the incident as per laid down procedure.

BENGALURU A woman who travelled by an AirAsia India flight has alleged that she was sexually harassed by three crew members, days after the airline filed a complaint with the police and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) against her for being a “disruptive passenger”.

AirAsia India has denied the charge and said it dealt with the incident as per laid down procedure.

The woman in an FIR with the police alleged that a flight steward made “unwelcome physical advances” onboard and spoke rudely to her after she complained about an unclean washroom in the plane while travelling from Ranchi to Bengaluru via Hyderabad on November 3.

AirAsia India, however, said in a statement that the passenger verbally abused a senior cabin crew after she was asked to switch off her mobile phone and filed a complaint with the Airport Police against her when the plane landed in Bengaluru as well as informed the DGCA as per “standard operating procedures followed for disruptive passengers”.

“He was trying to be touchy while there was no one around near the washroom. I found that awkward but did not say much as I was not sure about his behaviour,” she said in the FIR.

She claimed that the crew insulted her verbally while serving her coffee and told her to switch off her phone rudely.

The police have registered a case under IPC sections related to wrongful restraint, assault or use criminal force on woman to outrage her modesty and other charges on the basis of the passenger’s complaint.

The woman also alleged that after arriving in Bengaluru, a ground staff personnel stopped her from getting into the terminal bus and held her with four more staff on the runway against her will.

“I was the only woman on the runway. Everybody else had left,” she claimed.

She said she filed the complaint with Bengaluru police on November 7 against three crew members for “molestation, misbehaviour, threatening and rowdyism”.

The AirAsia India said that it dealt with the incident as per laid down procedure.

“The airline filed a complaint with the Airport Police (on Nov 3) and reported the matter to the DGCA the next day, following all laid down civil aviation requirement by the regulator,” it said.

The airline said that it was the passenger who was abusing the crew member.

“The senior cabin crew who was operating the flight, following the pre-take off safety and security procedures, noticed the lady passenger seated in seat 17F speaking on the phone and requested her to switch off her mobile phone as this is against prescribed safety procedures… The passenger resorted to verbal abuse against the senior cabin crew,” the statement added.

The airline said that once the plane arrived in Bengaluru the “disruptive passenger” was escorted in a crew coach along with a security staff of the airline to the passenger arrival hall and then to the airport police station with the airline s lady security staff and two CISF personnel.

As per the rules framed the DGCA in September, a passenger can face a flying ban from three months to lifetime for an act misbehaviour onboard a flight.

DGCA rules say that the pilot-in-command of an aeroplane can report an incident involving an unruly passenger to the airline and the matter will be investigated by its internal committee within a period of 30 days.

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India’s prime minister Modi focuses too much on appearances

The consequences are beginning to catch up with him

THE change in mood is remarkable. Earlier this year Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, had an air of invincibility. His government, although more than halfway into its five-year term, seemed more popular than ever. In March his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the most lopsided electoral victory since the 1970s in the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. In July he launched a reform that had eluded his predecessors for decades: a national goods-and-services tax (GST). Later that month he persuaded an ally of the main opposition party, Congress, to defect to the BJP’s camp, securing control of yet another state government.

Until recently another landslide at the next national election in 2019 seemed inevitable. The BJP is still likely to win, but Mr Modi is losing his sheen—and for that, he has only himself to blame (see article). All governments have their ups and downs. Mr Modi’s recent setbacks, however, stem in large part from his preoccupation with presentation over substance.

The shambolic implementation of the GST is likely to make matters worse. The government convened a midnight session of parliament to herald its adoption—something that had previously been staged only to mark India’s independence and associated anniversaries. Mr Modi triumphantly declared the GST a “good and simple tax”. But he did not listen to his own advisers’ suggestions on how to make it so. He plumped for six rates instead of three, burying small businesses in paperwork and allowing politics to seep into the rules (the government recently cut the rate on khakras, a popular snack from his home state of Gujarat, from 12% to 5%). He is now suffering the consequences, as businessmen across India howl at the complexity.

Unfunny business

It does not help that the government bridles at criticism and harries its critics. Media firms are anxious not to offend it; journalists who take it on often lose their jobs. The press has been asking awkward questions about the finances of a firm owned by the son of Amit Shah, the BJP’s number two; they were greeted with rebukes from ministers and a lawsuit. Even comedians who imitate Mr Modi have mysteriously disappeared from the airwaves. The resulting culture of adulation means that the government’s proposals seldom receive the sort of scrutiny and debate that might improve them.

In fact, the BJP is not that interested in policy. It offers voters mainly distraction. The new government in Uttar Pradesh, for example, has painted buildings and buses saffron—a shade associated with Hinduism—and picked fights with Muslims, leaving the Taj Mahal (built by a Muslim emperor) off a list of the state’s main attractions.

The party’s overriding focus is extending its own authority. Earlier this year the defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, resigned to become chief minister of the tiny state of Goa. The BJP had lost ground there in recent state elections, and the allies it needed to form a government insisted they would join it only if Mr Parrikar, a former chief minister, returned. The finance minister, for whom making the GST work was apparently not a full-time job, took on the role of defence minister as well for the next six months—a period of tension with both China and Pakistan. In other words, a government that prides itself on its muscular nationalism left defence policy rudderless amid rows with its main military rivals, simply to retain power in a state with just 0.1% of the population.

Politically, relentless electioneering has served Mr Modi well. The BJP and its allies control 18 of India’s 29 states; just one big one is left with Congress. But the drawbacks, in terms of inept and inconsistent policymaking, are beginning to tell. There is even talk that the party may have a fight on its hands in elections in December in Gujarat. If Mr Modi wants to keep winning votes, he must concentrate not just on campaigns; he must also show that he knows how to run the country. Sooner or later, voters will tire of grandstanding.

This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “Modi blues”

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Anasuya Sarabhai: Who was India’s first female union leader and why was she so pioneering?

Her Google Doodle was created by Maria Qamar, a Pakistani-Canadian artist


google-doodle-anasuya-sarabhai.jpgAnasuya Sarabhai’s 132nd Birthday is celebrated in a Google Doodle Google

A pioneer of the women’s labour movement in IndiaAnasuya Sarabhai, features on today’s Google Doodle.

she is known as ‘Motaben’, Gujarati for ‘elder sister’, she was born in 1885 into the affluent Sarabhai family of Ahmedabad.

She was forced into marriage at the age of 13, before escaping to England with the help of her brother in 1912 to take a medical degree but switched to the London School of Economics when she realised the animal dissection involved in obtaining a medical degree, was in violation of her Jain beliefs.

In 1912, Anasuya left for England to continue her studies and it was there the turnaround in her life came. During this time she came in contact with Fabianists like George Bernard Shaw and Sydney Webb, who rejected the revolutionary doctrines of Marxism, recommending instead a gradual transition to a socialist society. From here Anasuya’s journey started to serve the cause of social equality and the next year she returned to India and started working with the marginal and disempowered communities.

She began by opening a school for poor students of all castes and creches and toilets for women. The seeds of her plunge into the labour movement were sown during an incident that is best described by her own words. “One morning, I was sitting outside in the compound combing out the children’s hair when I saw a group of 15 workers passing by as if in a trance. I called out to them, even though I did not know them well, and asked them, “What’s the matter? Why do you look so listless?’

They said, “Behen, we have just finished 36 straight hours of work. We have worked for two nights and a day without a break, and now we are on our way home.” These words filled me with horror. This was no different than the kind of slavery women faced!”

Anasuya took up the task to change the situation. When epidemic hit Ahmedabad in 1914, the condition of the mill workers deteriorated further and they approached Anasuya to take up their cause. She gave an ultimatum to the mill owners and even went against her brother, Ambalal, who was the then-president of the Mill Owners’ Association, demanding better wages and working ambience for the labourers. Her endeavour was successful and the trade union movement in India took its baby steps.

She was supported in her work by Mahatma Gandhi and in 1918, Anasuya managed mill owners to accede to the demand of Ahmedabad weavers for a 35% wage hike. Tens of thousands of workers participated in the protest, laying the foundation for Gujarat’s oldest labour union, Majoor Mahajan Sangh (Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association or TLA), that was established on February 25, 1920. However, Anasuya ensued that the relationship between the mill owners and the union always remained harmonious and any differences were nipped in the bud.

The name of Ela Bhatt is synonymous with Anasuya. It was in the 1950s that she came in contact with Motaben and she became one of her closest aides and their relationship became the backbone of the formation of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) in 1972. However, only months later Anasuya passed away.


While in England she was influenced by the Fabian Society and new ideas concerning equality and became involved with the Suffragette struggle.

Back home in India, she worked with disempowered women, taking on the cause of local mill workers after learning of their 36-hour work shifts.

In 1914 she helped Ahmedabad’s weavers successfully organise their first strike for higher wages. In the years that followed, she went on to become their most vocal supporter, negotiating with mill owners – including her brother – for better working conditions. She was affectionately called “Motaben”, Gujarati for “elder sister”, by those she helped.

She was supported in her work by Mahatma Gandhi, with whom she set up Gujarat’s oldest labour union, which later paved the way for the founding of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA).

The Google Doodle was created by Maria Qamar, a Pakistani-Canadian artist and author of the book Trust No Aunty.

“Anasuya’s dedication to justice and equality is something I can relate to,” Ms Qamar said.

In drawing the activist, she took inspiration from the Indian textile industry. “I portrayed delicate fabrics and traditional patterns found in our homes and our closets,” she said.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to share Anasuya’s legacy with the world.”

Google Doodle on Anasuya Sarabhai throws light on little known labour movement

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