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Archives for : Human Rights

Why Indian Workplaces Are Losing Women

Namita Bhandare



In the first four months of 2017, a nugget of information went by unnoticed: While jobs for men increased by 0.9 million, 2.4 million women fell off the employment map, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a think tank.


“Only women suffer when there’s an employment problem,” said Mahesh Vyas, CMIE managing director and CEO.


The trend for this year points to a continuing story of Indian women increasingly clocking out of the workplace.


It might not seem like it at first glance. You see women employed everywhere, in ad agencies and start-ups, on construction sites and in fields, in shops and restaurants, in schools and anganwadis, flying airplanes and driving taxis.


Yet, if the number of women who quit jobs in India between 2004-05 and 2011-12 (the last year for which census data is available), was a city, it would, at 19.6 million, be the third-most populated in the world, after Shanghai and Beijing.


Only 27% Indian women are currently in the labour force. Among G-20 countries, only Saudi Arabia is worse, IndiaSpend reported on April 9, 2016. Within South Asia in 2013, India had the lowest rate of female employment after Pakistan. In over two decades preceding  2013, female labour force participation in India fell from 34.8% to 27%, according to an April 2017 World Bank report.


Source: World Bank (2015)


India’s female labour force participation (FLFP) rate is highest among illiterates and college graduates in both rural and urban areas, according to this March 2017 World Bank report, which analysed government data from 2004-05 to 2011-12. These two groups, illiterates and those with college education, are also the groups that experienced the largest drops in FLFP rates over this period.


There are no indications that it’s getting better.


Much of this slide has come in the post liberalization years, when you would imagine that a growing economy would fling open doors of opportunity. At roughly the same time that women were quitting jobs, an additional 24.3 million men went to work, according to an April 2017 World Bank report, Precarious Drop: Reassessing Patterns of Female Labour Force Participation in India.


Even more inexplicably, women went missing from the workplace at precisely the same time that girls were making massive advances in education. The enrolment rate of girls in elementary education is nearly 100%. In higher education, it’s nudged up from just 7.5% in 2002-03 to 20% in 2012-13.


Over the next few months IndiaSpend will track declining female labour force participation through on-the-ground reports that seek to understand the various constraints that inhibit their employment and participation in the workforce.


Education should lead to jobs, but that’s not happening in India


The logical link that education should lead to jobs is broken in India. In rural India, 67% of girls who are graduates do not work. In towns and cities, 68.3% of women who graduate don’t have paid jobs, says a 2015 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Women’s Voices, Employment and Entrepreneurship in India.  


“More girls are being educated than boys,” said Pronab Sen, country head for the International Growth Centre’s (IGC) India Central Programme and the country’s first chief statistician. “You have to ask, ‘where are they going and what are they doing’?”


Why should we care?


If women participated in the economy at par with men, India could increase GDP by up to 60%, or $2.9 trillion, by 2025, according to a 2015 study by the McKinsey Global Institute, a think tank. At present, women contribute a mere 17% to the country’s GDP, well below the global average of 37%.


Economy Improving, Enrolment Rising But Women Dropping Off Labour Force

Source: World BankLabour Bureau- Employment Unemployment SurveyAll India Survey on Higher Education


Women’s earnings are also linked to their personal well-being. Quite simply, a woman who brings money into the house is likely to have greater clout and status in that family. Improved labour market prospects for daughters and daughters-in-law could lead to greater investment in their education and health.


But perhaps, most important, it matters because women want paid jobs. The 2011 National Sample Survey found that over a third of women in urban India and half in rural areas who engage mainly in housework want a paying job.


So, if women want jobs, why are they quitting? What’s holding them back?


The power of choice, the shame of a working wife: Complex reasons


Ongoing research and IndiaSpend’s own on-the-ground reporting suggests a complex web of constraints that keep women away from the workplace.


Chief amongst these is the issue of women’s agency.


A man is expected to have a paid job.  When he seeks one, he needs nobody’s permission. Girls and women, on the other hand, almost without exception must have the permission of their fathers, brothers, husbands and in some cases even village panchayats in order to work or even learn skills that will make them employable.


In Haryana’s Jhajjar district, Jyoti Kadian, currently employed in a steel factory, will be getting married in November to a navy man who has told her he has no objections to her working – but only in a government job. “I’m trying to get one, but it’s not easy,” said Kadian, conscious that time is running out.


In Mumbai, Naseema Sheikh, the daughter of a plumber, joined a four-month beauty training course after completing 12th grade in school. When she received a job offer from a beauty salon, her brother said there was no need for her to work. “He says, ‘I am providing for you so what need is there for you to go so far to work?’” she said.


In an Aurangabad slum, a truck driver tells me why he refused permission to let his 19-year-old daughter work in a restaurant after she completed a two-month hospitality course with Pratham Institute. “Next thing you know, she will be running off to have a love marriage, and I will not be able to show my face anywhere,” he said. In the small one-room house where he lives with five daughters and a son, his wife said not a word. Asked what she felt about a working daughter, she shrugged her shoulders and then got up to make tea.


When her husband got transferred to Mizoram, patent attorney Priyadarshini Gauri found herself without a job after working for nine years. “I would have liked some remote working opportunities in my field but there were none,” she said. While she waits for his three-year posting to end, she has had a baby, enrolled in a masters in history and is learning to play the guitar.


“I miss those good old days when you know you’ve done terrific work,” she said in an email interview. “Being employed gives you a validation that no amount of ‘home-making’ can.”


Patriarchy, cultural and social attitudes exist all over India. But in many states in the north, there’s a feeling of ‘shame’ if a man’s wife works, said Pronab Sen. Unsurprisingly, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab report the lowest rates of female labour force participation, whereas hill states such as Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh where men have historically migrated out for work, leaving women in charge of village economies, female labour force participation or FLFP to use a brief acronym for a distressing trend, is high


Family and responsibility for household work are other serious constraints. Women either don’t accept jobs, or quit because of ‘family reasons’ found a 2016 study of young, single women by Evidence for Policy Design, a team of Harvard faculty researchers from the Harvard Kennedy School.


‘In the end, it’s difficult to find a job if you can’t leave home alone’


Social norms about appropriate behavior for women and the enforcement of these norms by parents, in-laws and husbands dictates their ability to seek employment. The 2011 Indian Human Development Survey finds that a sizeable number of women need to take permission from a family member to even go to the market or health centre, said Rohini Pande of Harvard Kennedy School. “In the end, it’s pretty difficult to look for a job if you can’t leave the house alone,” she said.


Even when women are ‘allowed’ to work, there are conditions that must be met.  Is the job close to home? Are there fixed working hours that will allow her to be back in time to cook the dinner and put the kids to bed? Is safe and inexpensive public transportation available?


Safety is emerging as a key concern, said Farzana Afridi, associate professor with the Indian Statistical Institute. Public spaces are dominated by men. Moreover, there’s a dire shortage of infrastructure that would enable women’s participation in the workplace – hostels for working women and crèches for their children, for instance.


“Managements will often tell you how women make for very reliable employees with low absenteeism and attrition rates,” said Afridi. “But not many are prepared to provide the infrastructure that would enable their fuller participation.”


Medha Uniyal, programme director of the Pratham Institute was more blunt: “When you have women on the payroll, you are legally required to provide facilities like a crèche. So, a lot of employers have a clear mandate of not hiring women.”


The role of companies in nurturing gender diversity certainly calls for scrutiny. After women manage to convince their families to allow them work, they often encounter yet another hurdle: companies that don’t want to hire them.  “There is a clear case of discrimination by companies that give women a raw deal,” said CMIE’s Mahesh Vyas.


Finally, women themselves seem inclined to choose trades that are traditionally ‘women oriented’: beauty and healthcare for instance. “Social norms and a lack of information often limit women’s opportunities to so-called “traditional” jobs, closely linked to typical ideas of what women can and cannot do,” said Clement Chauvet, chief of skills and business development, UNDP.


Sectors with fastest growth, most jobs are dominated by men


Unfortunately, sectors with the fastest growth and maximum hiring – telecom, banking and the core sectors — are dominated by men. In telecom, 83.84% of all employees are men; 78.79% in banking, financial services and insurance and 74.75% in core sectors like oil and gas, power, steel and minerals, according to the India Skills Report 2017. Women themselves show a clear preference for trades that are traditionally ‘women oriented’: beauty and healthcare for instance, said Clement Chauvet, UNDP’s chief of skills and development.


An obvious solution is skilling. The prime minister’s Skill India Mission is targeted to train over 400 million people by 2022.


But there’s a mismatch between vocational skills programmes, aspiration and the job market. “It’s important that we make sure we skill young people to meet what industry demands,” said Chauvet.


Moreover, existing skilling programmes are simply too small to count, said IGC’s Sen. The bulk of skilling programmes take place as apprenticeships with ustads or in small-scale industries that are male dominated and where fathers and husbands do not like sending their girls and wives.


Another solution would be to make it incumbent upon companies to disclose gender diversity in hiring employees. “I’m not suggesting there should be reservation. But companies that function on shareholder money and bank loans should be made to disclose the gender breakup of their employees,” said Vyas.

All women work. Much of it – fetching firewood and water, cooking and cleaning, taking care of children and the elderly in India — is unpaid and unrecognized.


Very often, women seek employment when there is poverty and they must contribute to the household income just to survive. But when household incomes increase, they might consider the option of quitting paid work.  Typically, when economies expand and the services sector grows, they get back into the workforce.


This upswing of what economists call the ‘U-curve’ hasn’t happened yet. When it will – or even if — is the big question.

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Bihar -NREGA Sangharsh Morcha Condemns arrest of Activist, Sanjay Sahni


NREGA Sangharsh Morcha strongly condemns the arrest of Sanjay Sahni in Muzaffarpur, Bihar on 21 August and the police lathi charge on other members on Samaj Parivartan Shakti Sanghathan (SPSS) who were protesting outside the office of the district’s Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC). Sudha Devi of the Sangathan was badly injured on the head. Other Sangathan members who were hit include Indu Devi, Yoshoda Devi, Gulab Devi and Girija Devi.

SPSS (also known as MGNREGA Watch) is a collective of about 10,000 rural workers of Muzaffarpur. The Sangathan has been facing continuous harassment at the hands of the local administration because of their fight against corruption in government programmes. The harassment has taken the form of threats, violence and false FIRs against members of the Sanghthan.

Seven false FIRs have been lodged against various members of the Sangathan. The charges include holding government officials captive, “maar-pitai”, confiscating government documents, creating obstacles in routine government work. In February 2017 an FIR was lodged against Sanjay Sahni, the founder of the Sangathan under The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The most ludicrous FIR is the one filed on 31 March 2017 in which Sanjay Sahni has been accused of attempting to murder Shambhunath Singh, the Panchayat Rozgar Sewak of Ratnauli Gram Panchayat in Kurhani block. Sanjay Sahni was actually in Ranchi that day.

An independent team had conducted a fact finding mission about the FIRs and presented incontrovertible evidence of the false nature of the 31 March FIR. The others stand on very weak ground, with the incongruent testimonies of a small set of government officials weighed against consistent accounts of a large number of SPSS workers and other local actors. The local bureaucracy routinely employs FIRs as a strategic tool to quash and silence people’s voices and struggles for justice and are unabashed about being involved in such acts. The fact finding report was handed in person to the DGP, Bihar, in Patna in July 2017 who had issued a written directive to the DIG Muzaffarpur to follow up.

NREGA Sangharsh Morcha stands in solidarity with SPSS and strongly condemns the harassment of its members. It demands the immediate release of Sanjay Sahni, compensation for SPSS members lathi charged by the police and legal action against persons responsible for the harassment.

For more information, please contact Indu Devi (9576114607) or Manjushree Devi (9708901940) or write at [email protected] Contact numbers of Muzaffarpur police: 94318 22336 and 9431277673.

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Aadhaar to be mandatory for open school examinations #WTFnews


Following the HRD ministry’s approval, the National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS) has decided to make Aadhaar mandatory for candidates appearing for the next exam
The NIOS has decided to make Aadhaar mandatory for those appearing for open school exams to ensure there are no proxy candidates appearing on others’ behalf.

The NIOS has decided to make Aadhaar mandatory for those appearing for open school exams to ensure there are no proxy candidates appearing on others’ behalf.

New Delhi: Aadhaar will now be mandatory for those appearing for open school exams to ensure there are no proxy candidates appearing on others’ behalf.

Following approval from the human resource development (HRD) ministry, the National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS) has decided to make Aadhaar mandatory for candidates appearing for the next examination, a senior NIOS official said.

“During the exams held in March, the inspection teams had found proxy candidates who were appearing on other students’ behalf. To check this practice, Aadhaar has been made mandatory.

“There will also be scanner machines at examination centres and only those students whose thumb prints match with the existing data be allowed to give exams,” the official said.

NIOS, which was set up in 1989, is providing a number of vocational, life enrichment and community-oriented courses besides general and academic courses at secondary and senior secondary levels.

It also offers elementary-level courses through its open basic education (OBE) programmes.

The NIOS has also decided that those schools where CCTV facility is not available will not be made examination centres.

“This has been decided to ensure that videography of the entire examination process is possible and the footage can be checked in future if need be,” the official added.

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Bihar – NREGA activist Sanjay Sahni arrested and Cops Lathi Charge protesting workers #WTFnews

NREGA activist Sanjay Sahni’s arrest in Bihar: Cops lathi charge NREGA workers protesting against “false” FIRs

Sanjay Sahni leading NREGA workers’ march, Muzaffarnagar

The arrest of Sanjay Sahni, a young social worker who has established a Muzaffarnagar-wide movement in Bihar in order to empower people to access public services under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), public distribution system (PDS) and pension, is all set to snowball into a major controversy.


Sahni was arrested on August 21, the police lathi charged members of the Samaj Sangharsh Morcha (SPSS), a civil rights organization he has founded, for protesting against the police action outside the Muzaffarnagar district’s deputy development commissioner’s office.
In the melee, say eye-witnesses, Sudha Devi, an activist attached with the SPSS, was badly injured on the head, and other members who were hit include Indu Devi, Yoshoda Devi, Gulab Devi and Girija Devi.
Sahni, 36 leads SPSS, which is popularly known as NREGA Watch.

A collective of about 10,000 rural workers of Muzaffarpur who take up NREGA work for their livelihood, its office bearers say, the organization has been facing “continuous harassment” at the hands of the local administration because of their fight against corruption in government programmes.
An electrician in Janakpuri in Delhi and educated up to class seven, activists say, Sahni’s is a “a remarkable and rare story” of a person who “overcame a series of hurdles to fight corruption, mobilize -violent, non-partisan means.”

“The image of him firing workers and establish a Muzaffarpur-wide movement to empower people to access public services using non up a laptop in his mud-and-brick one-room hut by a cook-stove is both enduring and emblematic of a movement that has embraced technology like few others”, a civil society source insists.

“The harassment has taken the form of threats, violence and false FIRs against members of the NREGA Watch”, the organization insists in a statement following the arrest of Sahni and the lathi charge on its protesting workers.
So, far, seven FIRs, termed “false” by NREGA Watch, have been lodged against various members of the SPSS. The charges include holding government officials captive, “maar-pitai” (beating), confiscating government documents, creating obstacles in routine government work, and so on.

In February 2017 FIR was lodged against Sahni, under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. “The most ludicrous FIR is the one filed on March 31, 2017 in which Sanjay Sahni has been accused of attempting to murder Shambhunath Singh, Panchayat Rozgar Sewak of Ratnauli Gram Panchayat in Kurhani block.Sanjay Sahni was actually in Ranchi that day”, says NREGA Watch.

According to NREGA Watch, an independent team has already conducted a fact-finding mission about the FIRs, presenting “incontrovertible evidence of the false nature of March 31 FIR”, adding, “The others stand on very weak ground, with the incongruent testimonies of a small set of government officials weighed against consistent accounts of a large number of SPSS workers and other local actors.”

Claims NREGA Watch, “The local bureaucracy routinely employs FIRs as a strategic tool to quash and silence people’s voices and struggles for justice and is unabashed about being involved in such acts. The fact finding report was handed in person to the DGP, Bihar, in Patna in July 2017 who had issued a written directive to the DIG Muzaffarpur to follow up.”

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Australia court dismisses appeal against Adani coal mine project

The coal mine project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the iconic Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which will then be disposed off on land.

Environmental activists voice their opposition to Indian miner Adani's proposed Carmichael coal mine, outside Parliament House in Brisbane, Australia on May 25, 2017.
Environmental activists voice their opposition to Indian miner Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine, outside Parliament House in Brisbane, Australia on May 25, 2017.(AP File Photo)


Indian mining giant Adani Group’s 16.5 billion dollar controversy-hit coal mine project in Australia has cleared another hurdle with Brisbane Supreme Court dismissing an appeal filed by indigenous group against the project.

Traditional owners have faced another legal setback in their quest to block Indian giant Adani’s proposed megamine in central Queensland.

A small group of Wangan and Jagalingou people, who have a native title claim over the proposed site of the coal mine in the Galilee basin, on Tuesday  lost an appeal against an earlier Brisbane Supreme Court ruling that the granting of leases in the area were lawful.

Lawyers for the group argued in the Queensland Court of Appeal in May that issuing the leases to Adani was unlawful because they had not been given adequate opportunity to address the state government on native title issues relating to the proposed Carmichael site.

But Adani and the Queensland government argued the traditional owners had never made a proper objection to the mine under the terms set out by the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

Carmichael coal mine project, one of the world’s largest, will start construction this year after being given the green light by the federal and Queensland state governments.

The project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the iconic Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which will then be disposed off on land.

Despite being targeted by several political and environmental groups from time to time, the Adani group has reaffirmed its commitment for the project and promised to create economic prosperity, including creating thousands of jobs for the people in Queensland.

In May this year, the lawyers of Wangan and Jagalingou group, who have a native title claim over the proposed site of the mine in the Galilee basin, argued in the court that the issuing of the mining leases to Adani were unlawful as they had not been given adequate opportunity to address the state government on native title issues relating to the proposed Carmichael site.

This is the latest in a string of failed legal challenges in various courts from these traditional owners against the $16 billion coal mine, set to be the biggest in the southern hemisphere.

The controversial project has drawn the ire of green groups, who say it will be catastrophically damaging to the environment, while economists have branded investment in it risky because of the uncertainty of coal prices.

However, Adani and the state government argued that the traditional owners had never made a proper objection to the mine under the terms set out by the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

Responding to today’s decision, senior spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, said “where there is mining there is no justice for Traditional Owners. We are not done yet. We will exhaust all legal avenues in our fight to for our rights and to protect our country”.

“Adani cannot move on the critical infrastructure for the mine until they can get us out of the way,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Adani group welcomed the court’s decision and said, “it represents yet another independent judicial decision upholding nearly eight years of development planning and rigorous approvals, and dismisses activist claims to the contrary”.

It is also another legal rebuff to activists’ use of the courts to seek to delay a project, the company said claiming that the project will inject 22 billion dollars in royalties and charges into the State coffers to be reinvested back into the community.

The company is expected to kick off the pre-construction work in September quarter of this year following Adani chairman Gautam Adani announcing the signing off on the project.

Meanwhile, members from the Stop Adani group held a sit-in at the mining company’s Townsville office on Tuesday to protest against the mine, with one arrested and charged for refusing to move on.


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Why Sundar Pichai finds his conscience in America, but Google searches for it in India

Screenshot 2017-08-20 10.54.44

The stand-out aspect of the ongoing bigotry and hatred of the white supremacists in America is the response of its thought leaders: in the arts and in business in particular, but also in academics and the media.

When President Donald Trump appeared less than forthcoming in condemning last week’s outrage in Charlottesville, the corporate czars he had appointed to his advisory councils resigned, prompting them to be disbanded.

Jeff Immelt, chairman of General Electric, minced no words: “The President’s statements were deeply troubling…. GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry, racism, and the white supremacist extremism that the country witnessed in Charlottesville.”


Screenshot 2017-08-20 10.58.39

On an earlier occasion, the chiefs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Dell, all put their signatures against proposed legislation in Texas that was rooted in discrimination.

Even Google’s super-safe Sundar Pichai joined in.


In contrast, Indian corporates, industrial and business houses have been happy to silently watch the lynchings of Muslims, the attacks on Dalits, the stifling of student dissent, the legitimisation of discrimination, the infringements of citizens’ rights, the rewriting of our history, under Narendra Modi‘s watch.

Even on an issue like demonetisation or the economy, which directly impact them, they have not had the cojones to speak up and speak their mind.

For every Anu Agha and Rajeev Bajaj, who valiantly stepped out of the line on Gujarat 2002 and Demonetisation 2016, there are scores of Adanis, Ambanis and Mahindras, ready to break bread with the bigots and hate-mongers, and write big fat cheques while singing paeans in praise of The Supreme Leader.


In the likes of Rajeev Chandrasekhar and T.V. Mohandas Pai, they have fully paid-up drumbeaters and trolls ready and willing to shout down all who come in the way.

It is not difficult to guess why.

Everybody loves a winner. Chamchagiri is the gift that doesn’t stop giving. There are deals to be made. There are tax concessions to be obtained, NPA to be written off, dark secrets no one wants brought up.

When venom and vengeance are the dominant currencies in the public discourse, it is best to play safe.


Harish Khare writes in The Tribune:

“The reason is simple: our corporate houses have never practised clean businesses nor acquired an ethical voice that would enable them to stand up to the politician.

“Even the best of our so-called entrepreneurs are aware of their vulnerabilities — and, these vulnerabilities are self-inflicted because of their greed, dishonesty, and illegalities. Perhaps each Indian corporate leader is content to prefer expediency over ethics.

“No society can achieve genuine progress, peace or national glory if its business community does not become a site and a source for good moral conduct.

“The American corporate leaders are quick to realise that if the demagogues are allowed to have a run of the place, they would end up reopening the settled equations and arguments which underwrite the society’s compact and cohesion.

“Any genuine business leader in India ought to feel that he and his company have a stake in the rule of law, a lawful society, and a just and fair social order. And, that he has an obligation to stand up to any demagogue who threatens to introduce violence and venom in our society.”

Any attempt to show anything called a conscience is quickly quashed in India in the name of “shareholder value”. Nothing matters, apparently, as long as corporates and business houses are doing all they can do increase EPS: earnings per share.

Are we to believe that American companies aren’t so bothered with that?

Read the full article: Our missing corporate conscience 

Why Sundar Pichai finds his conscience in America, but Google searches for it in India

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Col. Purohit: Aryavarta’s soldier, not a mere mole

Image result for col purohit

Statement by Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association

The Malegaon accused Col. Purohit has been granted bail by the Supreme Court. We know that bail in terror cases, especially those involving bomb blasts, is rare, if not altogether impossible to secure. Take fore example, the following cases. Mohd. Aamir Khan’s bail application was repeatedly turned down even when his lawyer furnished medical certificates vouching that his old mother has suffered a paralytic stroke. This, when he had spent over 12 years in jail, and had been acquitted in over dozen of the 19 cases he was implicated in. The reason was that the case was too ‘sensitive’. Abdul Wahid Shaikh spent 11 years as an undertrial in the Mumbai suburban train blasts case, during which he developed an eye ailment following custodial torture but his bail application on medical grounds was rejected consistently. Even where absolutely NO violence was alleged, as in the Kabir Kala Manch case, Sachin Mali, Sagar Ghorke and Ramesh Ghaichor could secure bail only from the apex court five years into their incarceration. We hope the ‘justice’ shown to Lt. Col. Purohit can be extended to all terror-accused.

From our experience of working on terror trials, we know that evidence in these cases is often flimsy — with investigators relying largely on confessions, and exaggerated hope that the judges will overlook the lack of evidence and defer to the ‘sensitive’ nature of these cases. So it is not unusual for terror accused to spend protracted years in jail before being acquitted. However, the Malegaon case is no run of the mill terror case. There are strong grounds for suspecting that evidence is being rendered flimsy deliberately by the prosecution. Rohini Salian’s revelations earlier gave credence to it. NIA’s clean chit to Sadhvi Pragya – despite very crucial material evidence in the form of her motorcycle that was used to mount the explosives – was a clear indication of the agency’s complicity and interest in the destruction of the entire case. It was only a matter of time that other key accused would also be let off. Bail may be the first step in that direction.

What is however most fascinating in the entire Col. Purohit saga is his defence that he was merely a mole for military intelligence on whose behalf, he claimed he had infiltrated these Right wing organizations. Purohit’s lawyer argued in court that he was duly reporting on the conspiracies being hatched by the organisation to the MI. We are told that even his intercepted telephonic conversations with other co-accused, and conversations of the meetings recovered from the laptop of Swami Amrutanand where Col. Purohit is heard sharing the political vision of ‘Aryavarta’ with co-accused, should be seen in context of the covert military operation where he was trying to generate counter intelligence. In short, the claim seems to be that Col. Purohit was carrying out his professional duties by infiltrating and spying on these organizations which the MI thought constituted a potential threat to national security.

How does this then square with the fact that these very organizations, which were being apparently spied upon by Col. Purohit have adopted him to the extent of offering him legal aid. Today’s newspapers report that Himani Savarakar (who passed away in 2015) provided legal support to Purohit. Her son, Satyaki savarkar, has told the Indian Express that “Lt. Col. Purohit is a brave army officer. It was our duty to support him and his family by all means”. (IE, 22 Aug 2017). His claim that he has been ‘caught in political crossfire’ does not stand up to scrutiny, when it is clear that he is fully ensconced with organizations like Abhinav Bharat.

The Sanatan Sanstha has demanded that all police officers who frame innocents should be punished. (IE 22 August, 2017). For once we would agree with them. We will be only too happy to send a list of such innocents whose lives have been ruined by false charges and extended incarceration. Start with Mohd. Nisaruddin who spent 23 years in jail before being acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2016.

Released by JTSA on 22 August 2017.

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वीवो इण्डिया में मज़दूरों का शोषण और उत्पीड़न

पीपल्स यूनियन फॉर डेमोक्रेटिक राइट्स (पीयूडीआर)


‘मेक इन इण्डिया’ अभियान और बहुराष्ट्रीय कम्पनियों को भारत में निर्माण करने के लिए न्यौता देने से रोज़गार पैदा होने के इसके दावे को काम के भयावह और अमानवीय ‘अवसरों’ के रूप में देखा गया है जिसका प्रत्यक्ष उदाहरण वीवो इण्डिया प्राइवेट लिमिटेड है। वीवो कम्पनी एक चीनी स्मार्टफ़ोन निर्माता कम्पनी है जिसका भारतीय बाज़ार में प्रवेश दिसम्बर 2015 में ‘मेक इन इण्डिया’ कार्यक्रम के तहत हुआ था और यह इण्डियन प्रीमियर लीग 2017 की प्रायोजक भी थी। उत्तर प्रदेश के ग्रेटर नोएडा में स्थित इसकी निर्माण इकाई उस समय सुर्खियों में आयी, जब कम्पनी ने पिछले महीने आईपीएल सत्र के समापन पर अपने एक हज़ार कर्मचारियों को नौकरी से बर्ख़ास्त कर दिया और इससे नाराज़ कर्मचारियों ने 25 जुलाई 2017 को इसका प्रतिकार करते हुए फै़क्टरी में तोड़फोड़ की। हालाँकि पीयूडीआर की जाँच में यह पता चला कि 25 जुलाई की घटना कम्पनी की नीतियों और अपने कर्मचारियों के साथ कम्पनी के व्यवहार का परिणाम थी।

मज़दूरों की छँटनी – कम्पनी में इस समय 6000 से ज़्यादा मज़दूर हैं और सभी ठेके पर हैं। कम्पनी केवल आईटीआई पास लोगों को नौकरी देती है, इसलिए सभी मज़दूर कुशल श्रमिक की श्रेणी में आते हैं। मज़दूरों का दावा है कि मई 2017 में आईपीएल सत्र के अन्त में कम्पनी में लगभग 24,000 मज़दूर ठेके पर काम करते थे, जिन्हें दो महीने की अवधि में बिना किसी पूर्व नोटिस के एक-एक करके कम्पनी से बाहर निकाल दिया गया। इस इकाई में मुख्य रूप से काम चीन से आयातित पुर्जों को जोड़कर स्मार्टफ़ोन बनाना होता है, जहाँ लगभग 70 मज़दूर एक साथ असेम्बली लाइन में काम करते हैं। पिछले दो महीने से कम्पनी लगातार विभिन्न असेम्बली लाइनों से जुड़े मज़दूरों को बाहर का रास्ता दिखा रही है।

काम की परि‍स्थि‍तयॉं – मज़दूर अलग.अलग शिफ़्ट में काम करते हैं | नियमित शिफ़्ट 9 घण्टे की होती है जबकि दो अन्य शिफ़्टें 8-8 घण्टे की होती हैं। मज़दूरों को बिना किसी छुट्टी के पूरे 30 दिन काम करना पड़ता है, जिसके एवज़ में उन्हें प्रतिमाह 9300 रुपये मिलते हैं। पीएफ़ और इएसआई काटने के बाद, प्रत्येक मज़दूर को तीस दिन के काम के लिए महज़ लगभग 7100 रुपये मिलते हैं। इसके अलावा, कम्पनी मज़दूरों को फै़क्टरी लाने और ले जाने के लिए बस की सुविधा और कैण्टीन से भोजन की सुविधा मुफ़्त मुहैया कराती है। मज़दूरों का कहना है कि कैण्टीन का खाना बहुत ही घटिया कि़स्म का होता है। कम्पनी की नीति के तहत काम से एक दिन ग़ैर-हाज़िर रहने पर वेतन से 2000 रुपये काट लिए जाते हैं और यदि उपस्थिति पूरी रही, तो वेतन में अतिरिक्त 2000 रुपये जोड़ दिये जाते हैं। यह पुरस्कार वास्तव में दिया नहीं जाता बल्कि महज़ एक दिन ग़ैर-हाज़िर रहने पर वेतन से इस पुरस्कार राशि से 20 प्रतिशत अधिक की कटौती हो जाती है। पूरे दिन काम के दौरान, मज़दूरों को आधे घण्टे की छुट्टी खाने के लिए और 10 मिनट की छुट्टी चाय पीने के लिए मिलती है। इन छुट्टियों के अलावा, यदि कोई मज़दूर यहाँ तक कि बाथरूम जाने के लिए भी असेम्बली लाइन छोड़ता है तो उसे दण्डित किया जाता है। मज़दूर सुपरवाइज़रों द्वारा नियमित रूप से उत्पीड़न और दुर्व्यवहार किये जाने की शिकायत भी करते हैं। मज़दूर प्रति घण्टे 160 फ़ोन असेम्बल करने के लक्ष्य के साथ काम करते हैं। लक्ष्य पूरा नहीं करने पर मज़दूरों की पूरी लाइन को सेवाओं से बर्ख़ास्तकर दिया जाता है। मज़दूर द्वारा पीएफ़ की राशि का दावा छह महीने की सेवा के बाद ही किया जा सकता है, लेकिन कम्पनी पाँच महीने से ज़्यादा किसी मज़दूर को काम पर नहीं रखती। पिछले कुछ महीनों में कम्पनी से निकाले गये सभी मज़दूरों को पीएफ़ की राशि नहीं मिली। हाल के महीनों में मज़दूरों को यहाँ तक कि नियत 7100 रुपये भी नहीं मिल रहे हैं। कुल मिलाकर, मज़दूर बेहद असुरक्षा के माहौल में रहते और काम करते हैं। उन्हें अपनी शिफ़्ट के लिए फै़क्टरी में प्रवेश करने पर महज़ इतना कहकर कि वे अब “लेफ्ट” श्रेणी में हैं, निकाला जा सकता है। “लेफ्ट” शब्द नौकरी से बर्ख़ास्तगी का प्रतीक है, कोई वजह नहीं बतायी जाती।

25 जुलाई की घटना – कुछ समय से मज़दूर नियमित रूप से निकाले जा रहे थ | जब यह घटना दोहरायी गयी और पूरी असेम्बली लाइन को निकाल बाहर किया गया तो मज़दूरों ने प्रतिकार किया। इसके जवाब में ठेकेदारों और प्रबन्धन के अन्य सदस्यों ने मज़दूरों से दुर्व्यवहार और मारपीट की। दुर्व्यवहार से मज़दूर और भड़क गये और लगभग 400 मज़दूरों ने अपने शारीरिक बल का प्रयोग करते हुए कुछ सम्पत्तियों को नुक़सान पहुँचाया और प्रबन्धन के कुछ सदस्यों को पीट दिया। मज़दूरों के अनुसार, प्रबन्धन ने पुलिस बुला ली और पुलिस ने लगभग 30 से 35 लोगों को गिरफ़्तार किया।

पुलि‍स कारवार्इ – गौतम बुद्ध नगर के इकोटेक जोन पुलिस स्टेशन जहाँ पर शिकायत दर्ज की गयी थी, के एसएचओ के अनुसार पुलिस ने मज़दूरों को शान्त कराया और हिंसा में शामिल सात मज़दूरों को गिरफ़्तार किया। पुलिस का दावा है कि वहाँ से छूटने पर रास्ते में मज़दूरों ने स्मार्टफ़ोन से लदे एक ट्रक को लूट लिया और लगभग 150 हैण्डसेट उसमें से ग़ायब थे। पुलिस ने 7 मज़दूरों और लगभग 250 अज्ञात लोगों के खि़लाफ़ धारा 147 (दंगा करना), 148 (घातक हथियार लेकर दंगा करना), 149 (ग़ैर-क़ानूनी रूप से इकट्ठा होना), 379 (चोरीद) और 427 (उपद्रव करना और नुक़सान पहुँचाना) के तहत प्राथमिकी दर्ज की। मज़दूरों ने ट्रक लूटने से इनकार किया है। यह भी स्पष्ट नहीं हुआ कि मज़दूरों के खि़लाफ़ घातक हथियारों के साथ हिंसा करने के आरोप कैसे लगे, जबकि उन्हें कम्पनी परिसर में घुसने या वहाँ से निकलने से पहले तीन स्तरीय सुरक्षा जाँच से गुज़रना पड़ता है और ऐसी स्थिति में उनके लिए कोई सामान साथ ले जाना असम्भव होता है। पुलिस की कार्रवाई निश्चित तौर पर एकतरफ़ा है क्योंकि मज़दूरों के उत्पीड़नए दुर्व्यवहार और उनके साथ हाथापाई करने के लिए उसने प्रबन्धन और उसके कर्मचारियों के खि़लाफ़ कोई कार्रवाई नहीं की।

प्रबन्धन की चुप्पी – प्रबन्धन ने तो पीयूडीआर से बात करने से इनकार कर दिया, लेकिन पुलिस ने उनका पक्ष रखा। कम्पनी के अनुसार बेहतर नौकरी पाने के कारण लगभग 300 से 400 मज़दूर हर महीने नौकरी छोड़ते हैं और यह कि कम्पनी ने किसी को भी नहीं निकाला। 25 जुलाई को मज़दूरों ने 150 फ़ोन चुराये जिनकी क़ीमत 20 लाख रुपये थी और 10 लाख की सम्पत्ति को नुक़सान पहुँचाया। कम्पनी ने केवल उन्हीं मज़दूरों को काम पर लेने से इनकार किया जो हिंसा में शामिल थे।

उत्पीड़न – 25 जुलाई की घटना और मज़दूरों को निकाले जाने सम्बन्धी ख़बर 4 अगस्त को मीडिया में आने के बावजूद कम्पनी ने वही तौर-तरीक़ा अपनाया। 2000 रुपये का उपस्थिति पुरस्कार ख़त्म कर दिया गया और कुछ मज़दूरों को उनका जुलाई का वेतन 4000 रुपये से कम मिला। मज़दूरों ने प्रबन्धन से इस बारे में पूछा और उनके खि़लाफ़ नारेबाज़ी की, जिसके बाद कई मज़दूरों को फिर निकाल दिया गया। मज़दूर आशंकित थे कि आने वाले दिनों में इस तरहकी और बर्ख़ास्तगी होगी।

कम्पनी जहाँ पर स्थित है, वह ज़मीन जगनपुर गाँव की है, लेकिन वहाँ गाँव के मुश्किल से दस युवाओं को नौकरी मिली है। कम्पनी की नीति है कि मज़दूरों को दूर-दराज के क्षेत्रों से लिया जाये ताकि उनकी यूनियन नहीं बने। इससे मज़दूर आसपास के गाँवों में कमरे लेने के लिए मजबूर होते हैं, जहाँ दो लोगों के रहने के लिए एक कमरे का किराया कम-से-कम 2200 रुपये प्रतिमाह होता है। अक्सर उन्हें किसी तीसरे व्यक्ति को रखने के लिए अतिरिक्त पैसा देना पड़ता है। ज़ाहिर है कि ज़्यादातर मज़दूरों के लिए नोएडा में अपने परिवार रख पाना असम्भव होता है। वास्तव में, कुछ मज़दूर अपने परिवार के साथ रहने और घर लौटकर खेती बाड़ी करने के मक़सद से बहुत दूर से आते हैं। जिनके पास गाँव में अपनी ज़मीन नहीं होती, उनकी ज़िन्दगी कम पगार और अत्यधिक अनिश्चितता के कारण बहुत ही अस्थिर हो जाती है।

यह सच है कि मेक इन इण्डिया ने प्रस्तावित लाभ हासिल करने के उद्देश्य से बहुत से स्मार्टफ़ोन निर्माताओं को आकर्षित किया। इस पहल ने स्थानीय निर्मित हैण्डसेट पर कर आयातित पूरी तरह से निर्मित हैण्डसेट पर12.5 प्रतिशत शुल्क की तुलना में 2 प्रतिशत कम कर दिया। यह सुविधा देने और भारत में बड़े बाज़ार की सम्भावना के कारण भारत में हैण्डसेट का निर्माण लाभदायक हो गया। भारत ने पिछले साल 37 मोबाइल निर्माताओं से निवेश आकर्षित किया जिनमें से छह से अधिक कम्पनियाँ चीनी हैण्डसेट निर्माता थीं। इनमें चीन की सबसे बड़ी टेलीकॉम कम्पनियों में से एक हुआवेई शामिल है। जियाओमी, जियोनी, लिइको, ओप्पो, वीवो, मीजु, वनप्लस, और कूलपैडजैसे ब्राण्ड या तो अपने संयन्त्र स्थापित कर चुके हैं या संयन्त्र स्थापित करने की घोषणा कर चुके हैं।

बहरहाल, वीवो में काम की स्थिति‍ बताती है कि यहाँ बनायी जा रही रोज़गार की प्रकृति बहुत ही हत्प्रभ करने वाली है। काम की भयानक स्थिति, प्रबन्धन द्वारा दुर्व्यवहार, बहुत ही कम वेतन, महीनों काम करने के बावजूद शून्य वेतन वृद्धि वीवो कम्पनी द्वारा प्रस्तावित नौकरी का स्वरुप बताती है। यह मज़दूरी दासता की व्यवस्था को प्रतिबिम्बित करती हैए जिसमें लोगों को अपनी इच्छा पर रखा और निकाला जाता है। यह भयानक रूप से फ़ॉक्सकॉन कम्पनी (शेनजेन, चीन) की याद दिलाती है जो सन 2010 में अपने कर्मचारियों द्वारा आत्महत्या किये जाने के लिए बदनाम हुई थी।

पीयूडीआर की माँगे –

  1. मज़दूरों के खि़लाफ़ एफ़आईआर  तत्काल वापस ली जाये
  2. श्रम क़ानूनों का उल्लंघन करने के लिए कम्पनी के खि़लाफ़ कार्रवाई की जाये और काम की उचित स्थिति सुनिश्चित की जाये
  3. निकाले गये मज़दूरों को वापस लिया जाये
  4. मज़दूरी की दरें वैधानिक क़ानूनों के अनुसार संशोधित की जायें।

सिजो जॉय और अनुष्का  सिंह

सचिव, पीयूडीआर

22 अगस्त 2017

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Can the ongoing devaluation of language and undermining of democracy be reversed?

The outgoing Vice President, M. Hamid Ansari, was subjected to one of the strangest send-offs in Parliament in the history of independent India. A distinguished and well-spoken diplomat, scholar, author and the country’s Vice President for two terms (2007-17), he was made to sound, in the Prime Minister’s speech, like nothing more than an insecure Muslim. The Ansari brothers of his grandfather’s generation, in the first half of the 20th century, were close comrades of Mahatma Gandhi, supporters of the Khilafat Movement, and founders of the Jamia Millia University. His own association with the Aligarh Muslim University as Professor and Vice Chancellor, his stints as ambassador of India in many capitals of West Asia — all these, in his humiliating farewell, were summarily reduced to being functions of his individual religious identity.

Unfairly denigrated

In a convocation address at the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru, as well as an interview to Rajya Sabha TV just days before he stepped down, Mr. Ansari spoke about the growing feelings of insecurity and marginalisation among India’s minorities, especially Muslims, given the atmosphere of religious nationalism and cultural chauvinism that currently prevails. For expressing his legitimate concern as a holder of one of the highest offices in the country, Mr. Ansari was rudely demoted from the status of an Indian citizen, patriot and public official to a narrowly defined and ideologically confined member of, as they used to say in press reportage of communal riots until quite recently, “a certain community”.

The opposition’s candidate for the vice presidency, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, had by this time already lost the election by a wide margin. Mr. Gandhi, a grandson of the Mahatma and himself a diplomat, scholar, author and former Governor, also well-spoken, erudite and distinguished, though not a Muslim, was similarly made out to be unfit for the job on account of his lineage and political associations, whether historical or personal, with the Congress party. Both men were denigrated as tokens of a ‘secular’ type, their valuable contributions to public life dismissed as mere reflexes of an accident of birth, their entire careers collapsed into their respective surnames, their personae and participation diminished as parochial and unworthy of our respect.

Hardly a few weeks earlier, the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Amit Shah, had casually and deprecatingly referred to Mahatma Gandhi as a chatur baniya (“wily trader”). After a public outcry, a few days later, speaking at the Sabarmati Ashram, Mr. Modi recalled one of the best-known songs from Gandhi’s multireligious ashram prayer book, “Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye” by the medieval Gujarati poet, Narsi Mehta. While the refrain of this celebrated bhajan means, “Call such a one a true Hindu, who empathises with another’s pain”, Mr. Modi suggested that the words vaishnav jan (meaning “a devout Hindu” or “a truly pious person”) be replaced by “public representative” — jan pratinidhi — so that the line would become: “Call such a one a public representative, who empathises with another’s pain”.

The implications were bizarre, to say the least: one, that a natural equivalence stands to be posited between pious Hindus (vaishnav jan) and public representatives (jan pratinidhi) in contemporary India; and two, that Gandhi’s profoundly moral message of empathy as a political virtue can be scrambled and appropriated in the most banal way, to stand for what are at best bureaucratic aspirations, from efficiency to governance to accountability. In fact, this powerful piece of public poetry, written in Gujarati but a part of the Indian nationalist lexicon for close to a century, is here made to signify anything other than what the Mahatma actually meant. This was that genuine piety is the capacity to relate to and share in the suffering of others, whatever our differences with them, including, crucially, religious differences.

In other words, a sincere public representative in the Gandhian sense would first and foremost empathise with beleaguered minorities in a majoritarian political context — ironically, quite the opposite of the BJP’s attitude to weaker sections, especially Muslims. It would be pertinent here to recall Gandhi’s commitment to establish reconciliation and non-violence in the midst of the most intense communal conflict preceding and during Partition in 1946-47. So also we should acknowledge Mr. Ansari’s empathetic efforts, as chairman of the National Minorities Commission (2006-07), to secure justice, relief and rehabilitation for victims of sectarian carnage in both Delhi 1984 (where Sikhs were affected) and Gujarat 2002 (where Muslims were affected).

Manipulation of language

What is going on in all of these instances of sophistry, silence and insinuation used so masterfully by the Prime Minister and others who hold important positions in his party, cabinet and government? How are identities imposed, implied and then targeted in this sort of discourse that is as damaging as it is oblique, as insulting as it is ambiguous? How is language misused to render those perceived as political opponents in the worst possible light? Collective memory is degraded in the age of instant gratification, fake news and social media, but we need to recall over the past 40 months extremely problematic phrases that were tossed out into the mainstream national conversation just long enough to hurt, but not long enough to invite consequences. “Ramzaade ya Haraamzaade” was one such. “Love Jihad”, another. “Kuttey ka baccha”. “Pink Revolution”. The list can go on.

It is important to recognise that the manipulation of language, the deployment of silence, the disparagement of individuals, the erasure of historical memories, the marginalisation of minorities and women, the crushing of institutions — these are all strategies on a continuum, designed to effect the tectonic shift of a plural and diverse India into a Hindu Rashtra.

It is part of the same push then, when the incoming President, Ram Nath Kovind, in his inaugural address to the nation, simply did not mention India’s principal freedom fighter and first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), or when the Nehru Pavilion and Hall of Nations, iconic modernist buildings in Delhi, located on Pragati Maidan, were demolished overnight despite the matter of their future continuation, use, re-purposing or demolition still being debated in court.

People, places or events — anything can be made to vanish from the historical record. If we do not acknowledge their past existence, or if we remove all present traces of their existence, it’s as if they never were. The world’s greatest apostle of non-violence can disappear overnight — the author of Hind Swaraj, the architect of our freedom, the father of our nation — and in his place, as if by magic, a chatur baniya, scheming, selfish, stingy, sectarian, is installed by a slip of the tongue. We cannot help notice acts of terrible bodily harm, like lynching and rape, routinely enacted against minorities — Muslims, Dalits, Christians, tribals. Do we also pay attention to the violent use of words, or to the equally dangerous failure to speak, the omission of facts, the denial of empathy, the refusal of respect that have all become par for the course in the reign of Hindutva?

The larger question of course is, whether the devaluation of language, the distortion of truth and the undermining of democracy we are witnessing right now, are one-way processes, irreversible, now that they have begun.

Ananya Vajpeyi is a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi sophistry and silence

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Unconstitutional, unconstitutional, unconstitutional: SC strikes down Triple Talaq by 3:2 majority

Referring to the abolition of the triple talaq practice in Islamic countries, the court questioned, “Why can’t independent India get rid of it?”

Triple Talaq Illegal, Says Supreme Court In Landmark Judgement: 10 Points

Supreme Court for the first time reviewed whether triple talaq is fundamental to Islam

NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court today banned the controversial Islamic practice that allows men to leave their wives immediately by stating “talaq” (divorce) three times. The verdict vindicates the stand of the government, which had said triple talaq violates fundamental rights of women. Several Muslim women who have been divorced because of it, including on Skype and on WhatsApp, had appealed to the top court to end the practice.
  1. Triple Talaq

    In a landmark verdict, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today held that the practice of Triple Talaq is unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14 and 15.

    The decision was rendered by a Bench of Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, along with Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Uday Umesh Lalit and Abdul Nazeer.

    While Justices Nariman and Lalit held that Triple Talaq is unconstitutional and violative of Article 14, Justice Joseph struck down the practice on the ground that it goes against Shariat and the basic tenets of the Quran.

    Here is a brief summary of the judgment rendered by Justices Nariman and Lalit:

    • 1937 Act recognises and enforces Triple Talaq and is law in force
    • Triple Talaq does not fall within the confines of Article 25.
    • Triple Talaq is manifestly arbitrary and the 1937 Act insofar as it recognises the same, is unconstitutional and consequently struck down
    • The judgment in State of Andhra Pradesh v. Mcdowell is per incuriam.

    Below is a summary of Justice Joseph’s ruling:

    • Triple Talaq against basic tenets of Quran and violates Sharia.
    • Not an integral part of the religion.
    • Purpose of 1937 Act is to declare Shariat as the only law governing Muslims.
    • Since Triple Talaq is bad in Sharia, it is bad in law.
    • Dissents with Nariman on the aspect that Shariat is law in force under Constitution.

    Chief Justice Khehar and Justice Nazeer dissented, holding that the practice cannot be struck down on the ground of being violative of Article 14, since there is no state action.

    They, therefore, directed the Central government to frame a law to govern the field.

    Here is a summary of the dissenting judgment:

    • Triple Talaq integral to Islam in India and part of personal law
    • It is a practice which had prevailed for a long time.
    • Triple Talaq does not violate Articles 14, 15 and 21 which are sanctions against state action.
    • Practice is, however, not present even in theocratic Muslim States.
    • Directs Union of India to frame appropriate law in this regard.
    • Injuncts Muslims from exercising triple talaq for six months.

    The case involved a batch of petitions filed by various parties challenging the constitutionality of Triple Talaq.

    The petitioners had also challenged the Constitutionality of Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 in so far as it seeks to recognise and validate Triple Talaq.

    The lead petition was by one Shayara Bano. The matter also involved a suo motu case initiated by the Supreme Court in this regard.

    A battery of Senior Counsel had appeared in the matter including Kapil SibalRam Jethmalani, Salman Khurshid, Anand Grover, Indira Jaising and Amit Singh Chadha.

    The Central government was represented by then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

    The Court had heard the matter for six days before reserving its verdict on May 18 this year.

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