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Archives for : April2018

Durga Vahini member claims that killing #Shudras (any SC/ST/OBC) is a virtuous duty #WTFnews

This RSS women’s wing Durga Vahini member, Sanjiwani Mishra claims that killing #Shudras (any SC/ST/OBC) is a virtuous duty.

 

Sowmen Mitter

This RSS women’s wing Durga Vahini member, Sanjiwani Mishra claims that killing  #Shudras (any SC/ST/OBC) is a virtuous duty. She further says that killing five Shudras is equivalent to the virtue obtained by performing one Ashwamedh Yagya. Just think of the kind of indoctrination and brainwashing these people are nade to undergo, the end result of which is the production of such rabidly murderous and bigoted minds such as hers. Is it any different from the Islamic jihadists?

[Here is the link to the original post <https://www.facebook.com/sanjiwani.mishra…/…/184209925706254> which was later found to have been deleted, possibly because of the adverse reaction and backlash it generated. The person concerned has changed her profile pic as well, presumably to hide her identity and prevent detection, as the post went viral.]

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“Tomorrow May Say Give Blood Sample”: Supreme Court Judge On Aadhaar Body Powers

During Wednesday’s hearing, judges of the Supreme Court questioned the government about “excessive delegation of powers” to the UIDAI.

All India | Reported by A Vaidyanathan, Edited by Aloke Tikku | 

'Tomorrow May Say Give Blood Sample': Supreme Court Judge On Aadhaar Body Powers

Centre told Supreme Court not to intervene with its Aadhaar law, saying it would slow down development

NEW DELHI:  The UIDAI, which runs the Aadhaar identification programme, has been given wide powers and could tomorrow ask people to give their blood samples too, a Supreme Court judge asked on Wednesday, expressing concern at the extent of powers that the 2016 Aadhaar law had given to the UIDAI, or the Unique Identification Authority of India. “Is this not an excessive delegation of power and violation of right to privacy,” Justice DY Chandrachud observed during the five-judge bench’s hearing today on a batch of petitions that challenge the programme.

Justice Chandrachud was pointing to provisions in the Aadhaar law that empowers the UIDAI to enrol, apart from fingerprints and Iris scan, “any other biological attributes” of an individual.

It is too open-ended, he remarked.

“Tomorrow, UIDAI may even say give your blood sample for doing DNA test,” the judge asked.

The centre’s top lawyer KK Venugopal said he couldn’t say about tomorrow.

“It is possible that blood, urine or saliva samples are collected. As and when it happens there are several NGOs who will challenge the same and this court can examine it at that stage,” Mr Venugopal told the constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

To Mr Venugopal’s assertion that collection of biometric and demographic data including fingerprints for Aadhaar did not violate privacy, Justice Chandrachud said “pervasive use” of fingerprints beyond a specific purpose appeared to be a problem and breaches proportionality. It isn’t a problem when it is used at a limited level like in the case of prisoner identification.

The centre, however, insisted that finger printing was no more considered a stigma and used for various purposes.

The court, which has held about 25 day-long hearings since it took up the petition for a final decision in January, also heard the government’s top lawyer insisting that the court should steer clear of intervening in policy decisions taken by the government.

“If there is judicial review of every administrative action, then development will slow down,” Mr Venugopal said, underlining that the court should not interfere if the legislation is in national interest. He went on to describe Aadhaar as a critical step towards access to benefits by marginalised sections of society and for promoting inclusiveness.

Aadhaar was launched by the previous UPA in 2009-10 to reduce the government’s subsidy bill and improve the delivery of services.Campaigners and experts have raised concerns about privacy and the safety of the data, the susceptibility of biometrics to failure, and the misuse of data for profiling or increased surveillance.

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When Indian women negotiate with local authorities to improve their lives in a slum

Women presenting their demands to the elected ward of their district. UHRC

_Shabnam Verma, Neeraj Verma, Kanupriya Kothiwal, Shrey Goel are team members and volunteers of the Urban Health Resource Centre_Their work has been funded by the project “AXA Outlook Knowledge and Action Bridge towards risk assessment and resilience building”.


How do you convince your local municipality officer that yes, you have every right to access clean water, walk on paved streets or have streetlights at night so you can feel safe? And how do you do that when you are not only living in an Indian slum, but you’re also a woman with no formal education?

This is exactly the case we studied in Indore, the most populous city of Madhya Pradesh, a western-central state of India. According to the census of India, the population of Indore was 2 million in 2011 and has since increased to 2.8 million inhabitants in 2018. About 30% of that population lives in slums, which are growing rapidly.

Informal households

According to the latest census, there are about 13.7 million slum households in all of India, of which 4.9 million are neither recognised nor notified. Considered as informal, such settlements are often deemed illegal by authorities, especially when newly formed. This supposed “illegality” presents challenges to the residents, adding housing instability and fear of displacement to their struggle of finding livelihood while trying to settle down in a new city.

At the same time, several government policies such as the National Urban Health Mission mandate the inclusion of listed and unlisted slums as well as vulnerable populations for services pertaining to living environment such as water supply, sewage, electricity and streets, all of which impact health.

The Indian government does not formally designate any human habitation as “illegal” in policies. However, officials and elected municipal representatives often consider slums de facto “illegal”. At the same time, slum dwellers being recognised as voters with a basti (slum) address on voter cards shows that the illegality can be overcome.

Service provision can be quite slow for many segments of the population and often exclude weaker and vulnerable sections of the society. Consequently, continuous proactive efforts are necessary to “pull” services from the government so that they reach the vulnerable habitations.

An attractive strip of land

The north-eastern peri-urban part of the city of Indore has attracted a population of poor migrants from Rewa and Khargaon districts in Madhya Pradesh and from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (northern Indian states). Initially about 20 to 30 families moved and developed a settlement in 2014. Previously consisting of a fairly small strip of land and a brick kiln, it served as a site for open defecation and garbage dump for residents of other slums in the vicinity.

It was only when the land was purchased by a real estate broker, who cleared and levelled the site, that this until then unnamed-area started gaining the attention of migrants. The newly emerging settlement presented the possibility of lower-cost housing relative to other slums in Indore and the opportunity to earn livelihood working in nearby factories, construction sites and market places.

Unpaved pathway. UHRC

Migrants started settling in the area amid unpaved paths, with no electricity or running water. Unpaved streets hampered the movement of residents to and from the settlement and were a hazard for children playing outside. The lack of electricity and water forced residents to travel long distances to fetch water, and left them with no fans in Indore’s 40° or 45° Celsius peak heat-waves and no lights in the dark.

Women standing for their rights

How would the new residents face up to these challenges? Often, civic authorities dismiss their demands by saying “there is no scheme presently” and “there are no orders right now”.

Women of the emerging settlement learned about the activities of our organisation, the Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC), which mentored and trained women’s groups with 12 to 15 members in neighbouring slums to help them access various services.

UHRC social workers visited the new settlement and listened to the challenges of the residents. Through regular meetings and participatory discussions, two groups were formed: Sakhi Saheli Mahila Samooh (Friends and Sisters Women’s Group) and Nai Kiran Mahila Samooh (New Light Women’s Group) in the end of 2014.

In early 2015 members of these newly formed women’s groups discussed with more established groups in the neighbouring bastis as to what actions they had undertaken to obtain municipal services. They learned that gentle, perseverant negotiation was the best way forward.

Women meeting social workers to discuss strategies. UHRCAuthor provided

Gaining confidence

Through UHRC’s training and with the help of women from other, more established groups, residents of the new area acquired knowledge and skills about writing petitions in the local language, Hindi, and submitting them to the ward councillor, the municipal corporation and at the district public hearing. At the top of the list were improvements such as paving streets and running water. When the ward councillor rejected their application, saying their basti was “illegal”, the women asserted their rights as citizens and highlighted the value of their votes in elections.

The women’s repeated efforts resulted in the construction of bore-well in one of the areas of neighbourhood and the paving of road in the slum lanes. As of October 2016, 30% of the pathway had been paved. The efforts for the construction of another bore-well and the paving of the remaining pathway are ongoing.

Women showing their joy as the streets are getting paved. UHRCAuthor provided

A petition was submitted in December 2016 followed by several in-person representations to the ward councillor in the next six months and several written reminders. In November 2017, when the ward councillor visited the neighbourhood, the residents gently urged him to have the bore-wells installed. As a temporary measure, the community informally accessed water by paying families of the adjacent older slums (who had their private bore-wells) at a monthly rate of INR 100 per family.

Informal solidarity works

The mentoring role of previously established groups is analogous to the emergence of informal solidarity networks in Greece when the government introduced austerity measures owing to an economic collapse beginning 2009-10.

Writing petitions together. UHRC

These informal solidarity networks played a crucial role in helping people overcome difficulties caused by austerity measures and economic instability. The support and guidance of more established community groups helped UHRC learn that the presence of stronger groups has a “ripple” effect on neighbouring settlements. We also learned that soft skills such as tact and a no confrontational approach toward authorities, negotiations through community requests sustained over a long period of time can bring services to informal settlements and help overcome the notion of “illegality” held by officials.

The strategies in place eventually successfully “pulled” services from the municipal corporation and benefited a population of 1,575.

https://theconversation.com/when-indian-women-negotiate-with-local-authorities-to-improve-their-lives-in-a-slum-89890

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ICDR Condemns Police Brutality against Peaceful Demonstrations of Dalits in India

Condemns Police Brutality against Peaceful Demonstrations of Dalits in India

Washington, DC, April 4, 2018–  International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR), a global policy advocacy organization, along with hundreds of its associates strongly condemns police brutality against peaceful demonstrations collectively organized by Dalit Organizations, Schedule Castes/Schedule Tribes (SC/STs) and Other Backward Communities (OBCs) around India on Monday, April 2, 2018. The purpose of the demonstrations was to protest against a recent ruling on the SC/ST Act, known as the Anti-Atrocities Law, and other pending matters that violate constitutional obligations, in order to ensure inclusive governance, equality, dignity and social justice.

ICDR President and human rights advocate DB Sagar expressed his frustration over the use of ‘exclusive force’ against the peaceful demonstrations by the police and government of India. He noted that ICDR is speaking out in solidarity with the Dalit Rights Movement of India and stated that ‘the government of India should address the demands of the organizers and resolve them through constitutional procedures.” He also urged the government to undertake an independent investigation of police brutality and provide justice for victims and their families.

Dalit Rights leader Ashok Bharti said, “There has been no action from the government to curb atrocities against Dalits and tribals. On the contrary, some issues are unresolved and new issues are arising because of government inaction and the judiciary’s unfair role, resulting in the breach of constitutional rights.” Mr. Bharti demanded, “We want the complete overhaul of the judiciary so that it is as representative as Indian society. A minimum percentage of SCs, STs, OBCs and women must be established for representation in the higher courts.” “Courts must call upon the National Commissions for SCs and STs for cases related to SCs and STs,” he said, adding that “Parliament should also take note of the fact that the judiciary is often overstepping its role in matters of legislation and creating new laws that breach constitutional rights.”

According to ICDR representatives, police used exclusive force in many states during the demonstrations, which have resulted in at least ten deaths. ICDR is concerned about the safely of Dalit Rights leaders who have been facing security threats.   (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hIGB4NxtGg)

ICDR commends the government for filing a review petition in the Supreme Court against its attack on the SC/ST Act. ICDR supports the plans of Dalits and tribals to hold a “Million Leaders March” in Delhi in September 2018, if the government fails to resolve these matters.

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