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Archives for : November2017

Uttar Pradesh -Vasectomy done without consent

A case of uninformed Vasectomy during the “Vasectomy Fortnight” being observed across the country.

A man who required a hydrocele operation was made to sign on the form for vasectomy by the ASHA worker without his knowledge.

After the operation the doctor informed him that he would never be able to father a child which came as a shock to him. He tried to check with the doctor by telling him that he had wanted a hydrocele operation but the doctor told him that he had signed on a consent form for vasectomy form and therefore that has been done.

मरीज हाइड्रोसील का, करने जा रहे थे नसबंदी

मरीज हाइड्रोसील का, करने जा रहे थे नसबंदी
demo picPC: अमर उजाला
संतकबीरनगर। संयुक्त जिला अस्पताल में भर्ती एक मरीज ने आशा कार्यकर्ता पर गलत तरीके से फार्म भरवाने का आरोप लगाया है। मरीज का आरोप है कि आशा कार्यकर्ता ने उससे हाइड्रोसील का ऑपरेशन कह कर जिला अस्पताल में भर्ती कराया। ऑपरेशन थियेटर में जब चिकित्सक ने उनसे कहा कि ऑपरेशन के बाद वह कभी पिता नहीं बना पाएगा तो मरीज ने बताया कि वह तो हाइड्रोसील का ऑपरेशन कराने आया है। इसपर चिकित्सक ने बताया कि उसने नसबंदी के लिए फार्म भरा है। मरीज का आरोप था कि आशा कार्यकर्ता ने उसको बिना बताए और उसकी बिना रजामंदी के नसबंदी का फार्म भरवा दिया और हस्ताक्षर भी करा लिया, जबकि उसने हाइड्रोसील का फार्म समझ कर हस्ताक्षर किया था। मरीज ने सीएमओ को पत्र देकर आशा पर कार्रवाई की मांग की है। सीएमओ डॉक्टर अभय चंद श्रीवास्तव ने बताया कि मामले की जांच अपर सीएमओ को दी गई है। रिपोर्ट आने के बाद आगे की कार्रवाई की जाएगी।

http://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/sant-kabir-nagar/151511459529-sant-kabir-nagar-news

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Chhattisgarh sees most suicides among security forces this year in more than a decade

The suicides by members of the state police force and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel posted in the state is almost three-times the previous high of 13 in 2009

INDIA Updated: Nov 27, 2017 23:22 IST

Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Bodies of security forces being taken away in Tongpal in March 2014 after Maoist rebels ambushed police and killed 16. Security forces have killed at least 69 Maoists (their bodies were recovered) so far this year, but lost 59 of their own during encounters.
Bodies of security forces being taken away in Tongpal in March 2014 after Maoist rebels ambushed police and killed 16. Security forces have killed at least 69 Maoists (their bodies were recovered) so far this year, but lost 59 of their own during encounters.(HT File Photo)

Suicides by security personnel posted in Maoist-hit areas of Chattisgarh have touched 36 till September 30 this year, the highest in a decade, prompting an official inquiry by the security forces, which are also figuring out possible ways to prevent suicides in their ranks. There were only 12 suicides last year.

The suicides by members of the state police force and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel posted in the state is almost three-times the previous high of 13 in 2009. Data is available only since 2007. According to the data, which is complied by the Chattisgarh police department, there have been 115 suicides by security personnel posted in Maoist-hit areas in the state since 2007 (till September 30). This year’s suicides account for almost a third of that.

According to an official posted in the state most suicides are caused by depression, difficulty in getting leave sanctioned, and homesickness. The records broadly categorise 50% of the suicides as having been caused by personal/family reasons, 11% on account of illness, 8% as work-related, and 13% under other reasons. The remaining 18% are under investigation.

The numbers have rattled the security establishment and there has been talk of going in for so-called psychological autopsies, to figure out the reason for the suicides.

DM Awasthi, special director general (Naxal operations), Chhattisgarh, told HT that the rise in suicides is “worrying.”

“A superintendent of police-level officer will be appointed to examine the causes for the suicides. We will focus on the figures of 2015 (6), 2016 (12) and 2017 to chalk out a plan for preventing suicides. We will also take the help of psychologists, if needed,” Awasthi added.

The state police personnel posted in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-hit regions include the special task force and district reserve guard, while the CAPF personnel are from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Border Security Force (BSF).

“Suicides within the ranks demoralise security personnel, who are also greatly affected by deaths of colleagues during encounters with Maoists,” said a senior police officer posted in Bastar who did not want to be named.

Security forces have killed at least 69 Maoists so far this year, but lost 59 of their own during encounters.

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Samsung Workers on the Line

 Unique Report Reveals the Lives of Vietnamese Women Workers Making the Samsung Smart Phones in Your Pocket

Korean News Network, JTBC, covers report on Samsung workers in Vietnam. Click this link for a translation of the story: http://ipen.org/site/korean-news-jtbc-covers-report-samsung-vietnam

READ FULL REPORT (English / 한국어)

(Göteborg, Sweden) In an unprecedented study on the experiences of women working at two Samsung factories in Vietnam, a report released this week documents health and workplace violations by the electronics industry giant. The workers’ experiences of frequent fainting, dizziness, miscarriages, standing for eight-to-twelve hours, and alternating day/night shift work are documented in a report released this week by the Hanoi-based Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) and IPEN, a global network of environment and health NGOs working to reduce harmful chemicals.

Samsung dominates the global phone market as well as the electronics sector and economy of Vietnam, where 50% of its smart phones are produced. The electronics sector is a significant area of growth for Vietnam, as electronics exports outpace other exports. However, Vietnam has no labor codes specifically protecting the health of electronics industry workers, who are overwhelmingly women.

The study combines industrial sector research and qualitative narratives of 45 workers, and is the first of its kind in Vietnam to shed light on the experiences of the predominantly female electronics industry workers. Because Samsung is notoriously secretive, it offers a rare glimpse into life on the Samsung factory floor.

Key Findings:

  • All workers reported extreme fatigue, fainting and dizziness at work.
  • Workers reported that miscarriages are extremely common—even expected.
  • Workers must stand throughout their 8-to-12-hour shifts and many are kept on alternating day and night shift schedules, regardless of weekends.
  • Pregnant workers usually stand for the entire shift to avoid having the company deduct money from their wages for taking breaks.
  • More than half of the interviewed women have children, but they are separated from them. The children live with their grandparents in another town or city.
  • Workers reported problems with eyesight, nose bleeds, and stomach aches, as well as bone, joint, and leg pain.
  • Workers’ lives are controlled inside and outside of work. Breaks are short and limited, and workers must request special passes to use the restroom. Workers are restricted from speaking about work because of fear of reprisals.
  • The need for further research regarding chemical exposure is necessary. Despite the fact that workers are stationed in open factory settings where other workers use a variety of substances, they did not consider assembly line work a chemical risk.

The study, says the Hanoi-based research group that conducted the research, is a rare opportunity for consumers and policy makers to learn about the harsh working conditions that the female workers making the ubiquitous phones must endure.

“We hope that people buying smart-phones will be more aware of the workers on the assembly lines making their phones,” said Ms. Pham Thi Minh Hang from CGFED. “The women we interviewed endure ongoing labor code violations, workplace dangers and health hazards. All the women reported dizziness or fainting at work. This is not normal. They reported inhumane overtime and intense production demands. Workers are often prevented from speaking out about their working conditions by company rules that claim all expressions about life inside the factory constitute trade secrets. We hope that the information in this report will bring about better protections for workers, and that consumers will demand decent working conditions for workers who make the electronics in their homes and pockets.”

The report underscores the need for better protections for Vietnam’s large and growing electronics work force, and the need for transparency around industrial chemicals used throughout electronics production.

“This study is important because the lives and rights of workers in the electronics industry in Vietnam have been neglected in research and policy,” said Joe DiGangi, PhD., IPEN Senior Science and Technical Advisor. “Companies make a lot of money in Vietnam, but their profit rests on the tired shoulders of the female-majority workforce. Comprehensive regulations should be developed and enforced to ensure worker safety in the electronics industry. Economic development must be concerned not just with GDP, but equally consider impacts on the health of workers and communities in developing and transition country economies where the electronics industry is rapidly expanding.”

###

Founded in 1993, the Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) has been carrying out social scientific research and intervention activities, targeting at women’s development and gender equity. As one among the first Vietnamese non-governmental organizations (NGO), CGFED is proud of its work building the foundation and the development of a young NGO community among member of the Vietnamese civil society.

IPEN is a network of non-governmental organizations working in more than 100 countries to reduce and eliminate the harm to human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.

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Statement on Hadiya’s Case

RESPONSE TO THE COURT PROCEEDINGS IN HADIYA’S CASE YESTERDAY: A STATEMENT BY PINJRA TOD 
 



 
Yesterday’s hearing on the Hadiya case began with two whole hours of going back and forth in the court-room, where Hadiya’s ‘state of mind’ was thoroughly questioned and examined in the most invasive ways right in front of her. A diverse range of old and new tropes- of ‘indoctrination’, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘psychological kidnapping’, ‘programming’ ‘luring,’ ‘communal tension/threats’ were discussed to plead for for a ‘closed-door’ and not a ‘public’ testimony. Hadiya was finally heard in ‘open’ court yesterday afternoon for about half an hour. Hadiya, yet again, insisted on her autonomy in the most powerful, calm and clear manner possible, ‘I want my freedom’, she said right in the face of all the patriarchal and Islamophobic forces that have been desperate but unable to crush her spirit, faith and defiance. 
 
Asserting that she has been kept in ‘unlawful custody for 11 months’, where she endured tremendous ‘mental harassment’, Hadiya expressed her wish to continue her education, to practice her faith and to go back to her husband. In an interim order, the court took the welcome step of releasing Hadiya from her house-arrest and custody of her father. It also directed that she “be taken to Salem so as to enable her to pursue her internship/housemanship”, where she is to stay in the hostel “guided by the hostel rules”, while NIA investigation continues “in accordance with law” — a decision that even Hadiya’s father has expressed being ‘happy’ about. Of course, this calls for cheer since it has offered immediate relief to Hadiya, the discussion has shifted from the more direct manifestation of control, restriction and prohibition that the ‘parental custody’ effectively imposed on Hadiya with State’s sanction. 
 
 
EDUCATION AS AN ‘EXCUSE’ TO RESIST FULL FREEDOM FOR HADIYA
 
Hadiya’s demand for regaining her full subjectivity and agency have yet not been met in its entirety. The apex court, even as it claimed that its order is in accordance with what was “desired by her,” what it effectively did was to invoke education as an empty bait to dissuade her from talking about the questionable NIA probe, the extra-judicial annulment of her marriage on a habeas corpus petition. etc. The court is now masking its true intentions with a language that appropriates the successive battles that women have fought for their right to education. While Hadiya’s wish for continuing her education is palatable for the court to fit its narrative of her ‘becoming’ a ‘good citizen’, the court bench was not yet ready to ‘grant’ her ‘other’ choices of religion and partner, which is only a violation of her basic democratic rights, observing that it would require more ‘investigation’, more ‘deliberation’.  Education  when invoked as categories by the Court in this case, is not reflective of any genuine concern to facilitate and enable economic independence. Rather, it becomes an empty bait to win more time, and to dissuade Hadiya from demanding clarity on her marital status and freedom to live with her husband. The court deliberately deployed classic hermeneutical tactics to re-interpret freedom for Hadiya in a way that is palatable to it’s own interest, without a genuine regard for or engagement with feminist debates, only selectively dropping feminist lingua to further their own agenda. The court bench in its order states that “the range of questions that we posed basically pertained to her qualifications, interests in studies, perception of life and what she intends to do in future” — in these rather patronising questions and sermons about “the ability to stand on your feet”, the SC was not even ready to acknowledge her assertion as a Muslim woman and the reality of her conversion and marriage, the ‘circumstances’ around which has been opened up for national scrutiny.
 
 
HOW ‘THE HOSTEL’ REINFORCES STRUCTURES OF CONTROL AND SURVEILLANCE
 
The hostel, where “the husband cannot stay” and whose “rules” the judges found necessary to direct that Hadiya must abide by,  provides an ideal space in the interim, for the judiciary to come across as ‘granting’ her ‘freedom’, while ensuring that various mechanisms and regulations of control and surveillance over her life continue to function with legal sanction. Just as it does over all women across universities and colleges in this country. Its absolutely incredulous that such a significant part of the court’s interaction with Hadiya yesterday was centred around who is to be her ‘local guardian’ while she stays in the hostel, in a context where her father no longer retains her custody. This is what it came down to, the apex court spending its precious time, deliberating on how discriminatory hostel rules can be rightfully adhered to. During the hearing, there was to be no imagination of a young woman’s democratic rights and agency, beyond the extremely patriarchal and patronising discourse of ‘guardianship’ and institutional control by family/marriage/state/judiciary/university. Even though it did not appoint a ‘guardian’ per se, this ‘progressive’ all male bench finally decided to appoint the dean of the college (possibly another male figure) with the power to intervene in “any problem” and the State of Tamil Nadu for addressing “security problems”. We continue to be sceptical of what this rhetoric of safety and concern may entail for Hadiya.
 
 
APPROPRIATING THE STRUGGLE FOR WOMEN’S ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE
 
The apex court’s ‘offer’ for the Kerala state to meet the expenses for Hadiya’s education if necessary, rings hollow and is yet another attempt to assert its guardianship over her, which of course Hadiya refused, not wishing to submit to the particularised control that would bring after the violence she has faced under their ‘jurisdiction’ over the last several months. The judiciary and state’s sudden and apparent concern for Hadiya’s education as an individual reeks of hypocrisy in a context where there is a concentrated attack on women’s access to education through privatisation and rising fees, and withdrawal of mechanisms that enable women in resisting economic dependence and control vis a vis their family and male relatives. 
 
Faced with an imposed framework, when Hadiya mentioned Shafin as her choice of local guardian, the court masked its refusal to meet her demand, by once again, appropriating the language of women’s autonomy. Justice Chandrachud observed, “A husband cannot be a guardian of his wife. Wife is not a chattel. She has her own identity in life and society.” The economic and social dependence of women on their male kin has been central to our historic subservience and oppression but having appropriated that language to further its Islamophobia, the court has infact taken away that language from us. It couches the freedom of women in the basket of Islamophobia. The dichotomous choice then is between apparently ‘rejecting’ self-dependence by choosing to embrace the husband over the State/family or uncritically embracing the economic independence bait for the purpose of the State speaking in a voice of the Hindu right-wing. 
 
 
WHAT UNDERLIES THE ANXIETY OF ‘INDOCTRINATION’: ISLAMOPHOBIA RIDING ON THE BACK OF PATRIARCHY
 
It needs to be emphasized here that underlying the apex court’s refusal to squash the NIA investigation with immediate effect and its willingness to entertain the possibility that Hadiya may have been ‘indoctrinated’ by a “well-oiled organisational apparatus that converts young women”, is the deeply Islamophobic agenda of the Hindu right that has been given uncontested legal sanction and legitimacy with the full force of the state and judiciary, using the veil of ‘secularism’, for further religious polarisation and communalisation.
 
A full reading of the earlier order by Kerala High court makes this pretty clear, that what is at issue in the present case is in fact quite evidently not the well-being of Hadiya or any other women that the court assumes a parens patriae jurisdiction over. Instead, the context of “the widespread allegations of forcible conversion that were coming up and the national interest that is at stake” seems to be dictating the investigation and the decision of the said case, with the freedom and agency of women becoming easy collateral in the bargain. If the apex court at all seeks to address the  “the very highly communally charged atmosphere in Kerala” that Ashokan’s lawyer kept insisting on, to uphold a secular constitutional mandate, it absolutely cannot do so by adopting/reinforcing a communalised ‘definaiion’ of ‘national interest’ and ‘general public’, especially in the  current context of rapid escalation in the viciousness, impunity and public assertion of violence against the Muslim community and the permeation of Hindu fundamentalism into the state structure and society. In such a circumstance, it is dangerous for the courts to evoke the framework of a ‘larger conspiracy and potential terror links’ in the context of Hadiya and Shafin, in a backdrop of many Muslim youth accused in terror charges being acquitted after spending years in jail, be it the accused of Akshardham or the Malegaon blasts. It has made allegations of terror in the wake of many encounter deaths of innocent Muslim youth from the Hashimpura massacres, the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and others in Gujarat and the Batla House encounters to the gunning down of five Muslim youth by the Telangana police to mention very few; while images from the terrifying instances of mob lynching of Muslims across the country remain fresh in the memories of all those who care to remember. 
 
Most conspicuously, the courts’ commitment to investigate “forced conversion” to Islam needs to be contrasted with the situation where Hindu right-wing forces such as the RSS and its other fraternal organisations have enjoyed full impunity in their campaign around “Bahu Lao Beti Bachao” and “Ghar Wapasi”. That there has been no substantial legal action against forced Hindu re-conversion centres in the state of Kerala that claim to stop “anti-national conversions” and where women like Swetha Haridasan and Sruthi Meledath who were in interfaith relationships, were subject to ‘corrective’ therapies of mental and physical torture is striking. How does the judiciary serve the cause of secularism when it speaks so, in the language of right-wing campaigns, when it observes different standards for those involving the majority community despite the existence of strong evidence? Shall we not assume that this will only exacerbate the sense of insecurity and vulnerability already being inspired in the Muslim community by the current political regime? 
 
 
 
This tremendously invasive process of making a ‘spectacle’ of Hadiya and her life choices has to end, the submission of her agency and being to ‘other’ ‘larger’ interests has to stop. Women’s bodies have across history been made into battle fields for such ‘other’ ‘larger’ battles, those of cultural hegemony, religious and political domination, the formation and dissolution of nations and not least the establishment and demolition of (a country/ community/ family/ lover’s) honour. The current approach of the courts takes us back to the point where a woman was at best the property of her male kin and her body the repository of the ‘honour/interest’ of the country/community. 
 
We stand humbled by Hadiya’s courage, her steadfast and unwavering strength in the face of the tremendous power of the forces that seek to control her, IT is a source of massive inspiration in this battle ahead.

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Saab’s tie up with Adani to sell Gripen fighters may cause bigger scandal than Rafale

 

Over the last couple of weeks, the joint venture of Dassault Aviation and Anil Ambani’s Reliance has created quite a storm in India after the Congress party made allegations of a huge scam in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to purchase 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in flyaway condition.

Gripen fighters

As originally reported by Janta Ka Reporter (Part 1 and Part 2), Anil Ambani’s newly formed Reliance Defence had struck a joint venture with Dassault Aviation that sold Rafale within 10 days of Modi announcing the deal. It looks like Gautam Adani, another close friend of Modi, too is keenly following in the footsteps of Anil Ambani in benefiting from the prime minister’s shopping spree in the defence sector.

A newly created alliance between a Swedish arms manufacturer and Adani Group is aiming for a much bigger pie while India is planning to spend a whopping $250 billion to modernise its armed forces.

Sweden’s defence firm, Saab, tied up with India’s Adani Group as recently as September this year. But considering the past records of these two companies, there is a strong possibility that their aggressive pursuit to sell arms to the Indian armed forces might create another big corruption scandal soon.

Saab, with the help of the collaboration with Adani is aiming to win its bid against Lockheed Martin to sell more than one hundred Gripen fighters to the Indian air force. In October 2016, the Indian Air Force had issued a request for information (RFI) from the major fighter jet manufacturers to send in their offers to sell warplanes worth $25 billion, which is thrice a bigger deal than what India had agreed to spend on purchasing 126 Rafale jets.

After scrutiny, India’s defence ministry narrowed down the competition to Saab’s Gripen E and Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70. To satisfy Indian demand, Saab has reduced its offer price and even offered to build these single engine fighter aircrafts in India. Moreover, to outsmart its competitor Lockheed Martin, Saab has created a joint venture with Adani Group. Saab, after getting Adani on board, is so confident of getting this deal that it brought all its international partners and suppliers to Delhi on 31 October this year for a two-day Gripen Indian Partnership Summit 2017 to connect with selected Indian industries. Besides, eyeing for this major deal, Saab in collaboration with Adani Group has also announced its intention to sell UAVs and helicopters to the Indian military.

Saab’s questionable past

Since early 1940s, Saab has been selling military aircrafts, so there is nothing unusual about the bid by the Linköping-based group for the billion dollar arms deal in India. However, Saab has been involved in a number of scandals as it sold fighter jets to other countries. Its sale of 29 Gripens in 1999 to South Africa has been scandalous due to allegation of payment of huge bribes. The sale of 24 of the same fighter jets to the Czech Republic in the last decade has also come under suspicion of corruption. Its deal with Hungary too came under the scanner of potential corruption.

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The recent purchase of Gripen fighters by Brazil in the middle of its economic crisis also smacked of ulterior motives other than the official reasons of technology transfer in defence sector. Thus, controversy-prone Saab’s decision to partner with India’s equally controversial Adani Group raises a number of pertinent questions about the methods it may adopt to procure the contracts to sell military hardware to India worth billions of dollars.

Middlemen replaced by crony capitalists?

Arms deals have been contentious in India because of the Indian law forbidding any payment to middlemen. However, the reality is that it is simply not easy for foreign arms manufacturers to be able to sell something in India without paying bribes to generals, bureaucrats and politicians. It appears that after coming to power, the Narendra Modi government has attempted to accord a somewhat official sanction to these ‘middlemen’ by encouraging its favorite business houses in India to create their own arms manufacturing units in the name of ‘Make in India’.

This policy has seen the Ambanis and Adanis to formally enter into the arms market without having any previous experience in this sector. It can’t be a mere coincidence that Adani decided to enter the defence sector barely few months after Anil Ambani formed his defence company and little over a year before the Modi government made the RFI worth $25 billion public. Adani Aerospace Defence Sytem was incorporated in March 2015, just three months after Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence came into being.

Ambani’s joint venture with Rafale is already under the cloud of a potential corruption scandal. Moreover, the Bofors scandal of 1980s, for the alleged payment of kickbacks when Sweden in its biggest arms deal ever sold 410 field howitzer guns is still politically volatile in India. If Saab manages to get the contract with the help of Adani, this deal no doubt will give rise to suspicion for what could to be the mother of all corruption scandals related to India’s armed forces purchases.

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Adani Group’s own questionable pedigree

Gautam Adani led $12 billion Adani Group is one of the India’s largest conglomerate with business ranging from oil and gas to real estate, from ports to logistics but it is also a very new player in the arms sector. The Adani Defense Systems & Technologies Ltd, with which Saab is collaborating has been officially registered as recently as in March 2015. Group Chairman Gautam Adani’s closeness to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is well known and the rise of his business empire is closely connected to Modi’s political rise. While Modi was Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat from 2002 to 2014, Adani has allegedly been his primary backer and main financier. His fleet of private planes and helicopters were used extensively by Modi to campaign in the last Parliament election. The relationship has bonded further after Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. Adani is the only businessman who regularly accompanies Prime Minister Modi on his foreign visits.

Adani’s rag to riches story also has a huge share of controversies. Adani Group has been accused of money laundering and tax avoidance by Indian authorities, but his political connections have allegedly protected him from actions being taken. The Adani family is also named in the Panama Papers leak. Adani Group’s massive $16.4 billion proposed coal mine project in Queensland, Australia for export to India’s power stations has led to one of the biggest and sustained mass protest movement under the banner of ‘Stop Adani Alliance’ in Australia. On 7 October 2017, nearly 16000 protesters had gathered in 45 locations in Australia gathered to oppose this project on the grounds of environmental concerns and planned government subsidy. A poll claims that more than half of Australians oppose Adani’s mining project.

Stop Adani protest in Australia

Saab’s partner Adani Group is not only politically tainted in India but also internationally despised. Moreover, its short history in the business of arms manufacturing has been deeply controversial. In one of the South Africa’s worst political scandals, the leaked emails from Gupta business empire, which is close to President Jacob Zuma, suggest that Adani had made a deal with Indian origin Guptas to grab a big portion of intellectual property of South African state arms manufacturer Denel in spite of the opposition from the South African national treasury. In 2016 subsidiaries like Denel Asia and Denel India were created to bypass the South African law, but the media expose stopped the Adani’s from carrying out this daring plan.

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Adani Group has also formed a joint venture with Israel’s Elbit-ISTAR to produce drones, which Indian military is trying to procure to use it in its insurgency affected areas from Kashmir to Northeast and even in its Red Corridor. Moreover, Adani Group is also reported to have business links with the Italian arms manufacturing company Elettronica, whose name too featured in ‘Panama Papers’ leak for allegedly paying commission in India.

Undoubtedly Adani Group has a very short and extremely controversial profile in the arms business. In this context, questions are bound to be asked if Saab, which too has been linked to several arms-deal corruption scandals all over the world, selected Adani as partner for its arms manufacturing projects in India purely on the basis of its business record or technological merit. Or is it because Saab wants to make use of Adani’s close proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in order to influence the Indian political class and arms procuring agencies to beat competitors in the game?

Even after three decades, Sweden’s bilateral relations with India still have not recovered from the Bofors scandal. Swedish authorities, instead of learning from past experiences, are doing whatever they can to push for the sale of the Gripen fighters.

A number of reciprocal visits of high level ministerial delegations have taken place in recent months to push this agenda. It was in 2008 that a Swedish diplomat together with his Danish counterpart had reached out to Modi defying the unofficial EU travel ban on him for his alleged role in 2002 riots.

Swedish PM Stefan Löfven with Modi during his visit to Mumbai last year

Last year, in the ‘Make in India’ industrial fair in Mumbai, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven had taken part as a special guest. Sweden is hoping that with the Adani connection it will be able to sell its Gripen fighters to India. But, considering the past records of Saab and Adani Group in arms market, even if their bid succeeds, India and Sweden are bound to get entangled in another huge corruption scandal.

(We contacted Adani Group for the reaction, but they’ve not replied to our questions yet. The company’s PR team have promised to send the response. We will update the story as and when we hear from Adani Group.)

(The writer is professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, Sweden.)

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In UP, 8 donkeys put in jail for four days

Crime: Destroying Swachh Mission Plants

Kanpur: In a bizarre case, eight donkeys were lodged in Orai jail for four days in UP’s Jalaun district for destroying some “expensive plants”, planted in the jail’s residential block under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. The animals were ‘released’ on Monday after the intervention of a local BJP leader.

Authorities said the donkeys belonging to a man, Kamlesh, devoured costly saplings and other crops on November 24. Following instructions of jail authorities, the eight donkeys were rounded up and put behind bars.

“These donkeys ate and damaged some very expensive plants worth Rs 60,000. Kamlesh, despite repeated warnings, let them loose. On November 24, following instructions of our seniors, we lodged the donkeys into the jail,” said R K Mishra, a head constable posted at the jail. When Kamlesh began a search for the animals, he was told they were in jail on the charge of destroying saplings. He met senior officers, jail superintendent Sita Ram Sharma pleading they be let out, but was refused. Kamlesh then requested a local BJP leader’s interven- following which the animals were “released”.

Sharma said, “There is no such law wherein we can arrest donkeys. They were confined for four days to teach their owner a lesson. They were allowed to go on Monday only after Kamlesh gave us a written affidavit that he would not allow his animals to roam in residential areas or places of public importance.” The donkeys had, on many occasions, also caused road mishaps in the area, Sharma added.

 

The animals were ‘released’ after a local BJP leader intervened

http://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/#

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Students in Madhya Pradesh asked to answer roll call with ‘Jai Hind’  #WTFnews

HIGHLIGHTS

  • State education minister Vijay Shah said that students will not answer roll call with “yes sir” and “no sir”
  • Earlier, a similar suggestion was proposed for the schools in the city of Satna
  • Last year in December, Shah made singing the national anthem and hoisting the tricolour mandatory in schools all over Madhya Pradesh

NEW DELHI: The students of Madhya Pradesh schools will answer the roll call with “Jai Hind“, instead of “yes sir” or “yes madam”, announced state education minister Vijay Shah on Monday.

Shah believes that the new order will help instil a sense of national pride within the students.

“From now in government schools during attendance call, students will reply with “Jai Hind” instead of “Yes sir” or “Yes Madam”. This will instil a sense of patriotism among the youth. I don’t think anyone will have an objection to it,” he said, according to ANI reports.

The latest announcement came after a similar proposal was suggested for the city of Satna in September. The minister had hinted that if the initiative receives a positive response it will be implemented in the entire state.

“For now, this is just a suggestion (for private schools in Satna); we hope they’ll adhere to it since it relates to patriotism. Will take permission from CM (chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan) if experiment turns successful, and would like to implement it in entire MP,” Shah told ANI.

Of late, the BJP-led state government has been trying to introduce measures to promote nationalism in various state institutes.

In October, the municipal corporation of the state capital, Bhopal Municipal Corporation, taking a cue from the civic body in Jaipur, had suggested playing the national anthem at the start of every day and the national song in the evening at its headquarters.

We welcome the initiative taken by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC). We will positively think in this direction after discussing the issue with the Mayor-in-Council and General Council,” Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma told PTI.

On October 31, the JMC started the practise of playing the national anthem at the start of the day and the national song in the evening, which all officials will have to attend.

Last year in December, Shah made singing the national anthem and hoisting the tricolour mandatory in schools all over Madhya Pradesh.

“Non-compliance would lead to a reprimand and also could result in schools’ recognition being cancelled or suspended,” he had directed.

TOI

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