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Archives for : Kractivism

UP- Acid Attack on two teen sisters #Vaw #WTFnews

Piyush Rai| TNN | 

Representative imageRepresentative image
BAREILLY: Even as the gory incident of the last week that saw two sisters being set ablaze and succumbing to their injuries was yet to be wiped out from public memory, unidentified persons attacked two teenage sisters with acid in their sleep on the intervening night of August 21-22 at Tanda Saadat village under Nawabganj police station of the district.

Both sisters — Sabina, 17, and Rabina, 15 — were rushed to a primary health centre in Nawabganj with 65% and 40% burn injuries, respectively. In the morning, however, they were shifted to the burns ward of the district hospital. But, with their condition deteriorating and both are said to be critical, they are now being shifted to the Lucknow civil hospital.

Their two brothers — Abdul Hasan and Yakub — were also injured in the incident as they tried to save them.

According to the victims’ father Mohammed Nabi, all family members woke up hearing their scream for help. Their brothers, who were sleeping in the adjacent room, too, ran for their help and got themselves injured in the course, he said.

Senior police officials, including senior superintendent of police (SSP) Jogendra Kumar, SP (crime) Ramesh Bhartiya and SP (rural) reached the spot in the morning to take stock of the situation.

Following Nabi’s complaint, an FIR was lodged against unidentified accused under sections 326 A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid etc), 336 (act endangering life and public safety of others), 307 (attempt to murder) and 452 (house trespass after preparation of hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Nawabganj police station.

The SSP told TOI, “Police are investigating the case. The victims’ father has raised suspicion on a couple of neighbours, following which we have detained some of them.” The motive behind the incident was yet to be ascertained, he added.

The family has, however, categorically denied that the incident was a consequence of some personal issues of either of the sisters. “Both sisters used to stay indoors and they never complained of any harassment,” Nabi, a daily-waged labourer, told TOI.

The incident took place days after two sisters, Gulshan and Fiza, were set ablaze in their sleep in Devraniya Jagir village of Bareilly on August 10. Both sisters succumbed to their injuries on August 13 and 15, respectively. Two stalkers, who used to harass the younger sister, were arrested and sent to jail.

The horrific incident triggered outrage with members of civil society across party lines joining a sit-in, Azadi Satyagraha, to protest gruesome incidents of crime against women, including the sensational murder of Ballia teen Ragini Dubey by her stalkers recently.

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Rape case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim of Dera Sacha Sauda and threats by followers #Vaw

Dera Sacha Sauda Cult Followers Issue Threats

Against India On Eve Of CBI Court Judgement Of

Their Guru In Rape Case

In Panipat, the godman’s followers even issued threats, on camera, to attack the country if anything happened to their godman.
Dera Sacha Sauda Cult Followers Issue Threats Against India On Eve Of CBI Court Judgement Of Their Guru In Rape Case

 

Followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda religious cult have issued violent threats against the country while footage of followers in Panipat show them armed with batons. Police of two states and a UT are on high alert.

 

A special CBI court in Panchkula district (adjoining Chandigarh) has been conducting a trial of the self-styled godman, Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh ‘Insaan’, on charges of rape of a woman follower. After a decade of proceedings, the judgement was reserved last week for pronouncement on August 25, when the godman has been asked to be present in court. Gurmeet Ram Raheem is the third and current spiritual leader of the 69-year-old religious cult.

 

Followers of the cult have threatened to go berserk if the judgement goes against the godman. In Panipat, the godman’s followers even issued threats, on camera, to attack the country if anything happened to their godman.

 

Haryana

 

On Tuesday, hundreds of followers of the godman started arriving in Panchkula and camping not far from the courthouse where the judgement will be pronounced.

 

The Panchkula town administration has decided to cut off traffic through several parts of the town on the date of the judgement so as to keep a control of the law and order in the town. They have also asked petrol pump owners to ensure that open sale of fuel is not permitted to prevent any form of arson.

 

On Tuesday, personnel of the Haryana Police conducted a ‘flag march’ in Sirsa along with personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, Rapid Action Force and Sashastra Seema Bal.

 

“We conducted a ‘show of force’ to ensure people of their safety. Security has also been beefed up around the courthouse and there will be heavy deployment of forces on August 25,” said, AS Chawla, the inspector general of Haryana police (law & order).

 

Since the date of the judgement was announced, parts of Punjab, Haryana and their common capital in the union territory of Chandigarh has been under tension. Police of both states and the UT have increased force deployment, including personnel from the central armed police forces. On Saturday, the central government had deployed 35 companies of central armed forces to Haryana with a promise of additional deployments in the coming days.

 

Police have increased their vigil in at least 20 spots that they have identified in Sirsa. Sources in the state government said that the administration is considering imposing a curfew in pockets of the state where the cult has an influence. According to police sources, this includes the districts of Panipat, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Jind, Hansi, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Hisar.

 

It is believed that the administration have considered keeping a tab on crowds and sensitive spots using drones. A state police officer said that a large number of additional intelligence personnel had also been deployed in the state to keep a tab on trouble brewing anywhere. Security has also been beefed up around the residences of VIPs and near government offices.

 

Haryana government is also mulling curbs on social media and internet data usage so as to prevent coordinated mob violence.

 

Rape Trial

 

The proceedings against the godman have been going on since 2007, following rape charges levied by a former female follower of the godman’s sect.

 

The allegations had been made in an anonymous letter to then PM Atal Behari Vajpayee and the then chief justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court. The letter had said that Gurmeet Singh had raped a woman follower multiple times in the dera’s ashram on the outskirts of Sirsa town in Haryana.

 

During the course of the probe, the godman had claimed that he was not physically capable of having sex.

 

Punjab

 

In Punjab, there was a protest rally in Ludhiana district, apart from which the godman also has influence in pockets Moga and Bathinda districts.

 

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh reportedly said that 75 companies of forces had been deployed in Punjab.

 

Meanwhile, pro-Khalistan group, Dal Khalsa, issued a warning to the people of Punjab to be prepared to protect themselves from hooliganism in case of an adverse verdict.

 

“We all know how the state has been protecting him, providing him Z-plus security cover despite his being facing the criminal cases of heinous nature”, spokesperson for the Dal Khalsa said at a press conference in Hoshiarpur.

 

“Similarly, we would see whether the state administration would protect the mob or its citizens.”

 

Expressing concern over the build-up hysteria, they said large scale mobilization of forces, prevailing mob mentality throughout India and threatening tone and tenor of the so-called premis for bloodbath was aimed to influence the judiciary. “It’s a orchestrated design to prevent the courts from delivering justice to the victim. “

 

In 2008, it was hostilities from the Sikh camp that led to the Z+ category security of the godman. Gurmeet Singh had clothed and styled himself in a way that seemed as if he had taken on the appearance of the Sikh spiritual leader, Guru Gobind Singh.

 

Angered by his trying to appear as a Sikh guru, radical elements amongst the pro-Khalistan groups had made an assassination attempt. Following this, the threat perception had been reviewed and the Z+ security status accorded to the godman.

 

The godman, who himself is a frequent user of social media apps, has been mum on the platforms about the hysteria amongst his followers.

 

The dera chief has also been implicated in a murder case. A former manager of the cult, Faqir Chand, had disappeared in 1991, two years after the controversial succession of Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

 

Ram Kumar Bishnoi another follower and friend of Faqir Chand, had approached the police with allegations against the godman for the murder of the missing dera manager.

 

In 2007, a former driver of Gurmeet Ram Raheem had told the media that the godman had allegedly ordered Faqir Chand’s murder. The CBI had given a clean chit to Gurmeet Ram Raheem in 2010. Following the quashing of charges against the godman, Bishnoi approached the Punjab & Haryana High Court yet again for a re-investigation into the disappearance of the dera manager.

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/dera-sacha-sauda-cult-followers-issue-threats-against-india-on-eve-of-cbi-court-/300654

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Why Indian Workplaces Are Losing Women

Namita Bhandare

FLFP_620

 

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
legend-D

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.

http://www.indiaspend.com/cover-story/why-indian-workplaces-are-losing-women-our-nationwide-investigation-begins-53927

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

MGNREGA

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.

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/yDQBFHfwpxpihAOGZs9aYJ/Aadhaar-to-be-mandatory-for-open-school-examinations.html

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Tips on how to avoid circulating fake news #mustshare

 

Fake news: Time we started thinking of consequences of our actions online

Traditional media would check and recheck facts, hold stories till a version could be attained, but now editorial judgement is limited to hitting publish or share.

By:  |  FE
Fake news, actions online, online actions, thinking of consequences, consequences of our actions online, air crash, whatsapp groupJust as I started writing this piece, a friend posted a video of a supposed air crash on our WhatsApp group. (Image: Reuters)

Just as I started writing this piece, a friend posted a video of a supposed air crash on our WhatsApp group. He had shared a video and a note as if it was something he vouched for, although even he would have realised at second glance that it had to be false. But these days we don’t really care about what we share. Gone are the days when our inbox would be flooded with jokes and GIFs that would bring the server down every now and then. Now, it is all about getting likes and shares on anything you post, so the idea is to create stuff that you know will get shared. Those who have read Irving Wallace’s Almighty will get a better idea of what I am implying. As almost everyone with a smartphone claims to be a journalist, or a content creator, it has become a free for all when it comes to news and information. While traditional media would check and recheck facts, hold stories till a version could be attained, now all editorial judgement is limited to hitting publish or share. What most us don’t realise is that, in this rat race to get more emojis on our posts, we are unwittingly helping promote certain agendas, often extending the reach of the posts, despite something, somewhere telling us that it can’t really be right.

It is time we started thinking about the consequences of our actions online. That funny political meme that just came in on one of your WhatsApp groups might be unwittingly helping bring down a government or prop up an unworthy candidate. After all, over the past year or so, the impact of our virtual choices has started making themselves felt in our real lives. The risk is not confined to the episodes of Black Mirror, it is very much here … in every click you make. That’s why maybe you should read my dos and don’ts for internet readers in India.

-Play the editor. Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of one source, read different viewpoints and voices.

-Of course, you love to read about Salman Khan, but read some boring, but good, journalism too. If you read less of the good stuff, publishers will start investing less in it. Remember, Salman won’t come to your rescue when the world you are used to starts to crumble, but good journalism might.

-Even if you are pretty sure of the source, don’t trust it blindly. Validate/verify it with another source that you believe. Yes, times are such.

-Don’t become a slave of the algorithm, make it your slave. If you keep reading the same stuff, the algorithm will keep pushing more of it. So, make sure you follow and read sources that you might not really like. Doing so will ensure your timeline is not skewed in favour of a person, an ideology or party. The balance that newsrooms used to strive for is something you the reader will now have to take charge of.

-Anybody can post on WhatsApp and anything can go viral, so don’t give it more credibility than you would a wall poster on a dusty street. Use good sources to verify that outlandish claim you just read on a messaging platform. Forward only if you are convinced about its veracity.

-Don’t trust the videos either. Anything that can be faked, will be. People just have so much time or are paid to fake it. From CCTV to archival footage, everything has the potential to go viral with a little bit of tweaking. You have the power to discern, don’t surrender it.

-Do your own research if you are in doubt. But do go deeper than Wikipedia or wiki anything, those can be changed—and often are—to suit a certain agenda or narrative.

-Internet is all about search and find, but don’t fall for content that is made to be found. Ask yourself, is this the best I can get? It often won’t be.

-Trolls don’t matter. The best way to put them down is by not responding to their 140-character grammar-challenged vitriol. Nothing frustrates them more than a target who refuses to engage. That said, do indulge yourself by slaying a troll or two once in awhile.

-Trust no one, no single source. Remember, the reader is no longer the king, the traffic is. So more of what you are reading will be created instead of what you should be reading. The internet will only be as good as you are.

There’s a deluge of fake news on social media and some TV news channels, leading to the spread of dangerous disinformation. But there are websites such as AltNews, Boomlive and SMHoaxslayer which regularly call out such lies

An informative video by Pratik Sinha of Altnews

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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)

Melbourne

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.

AAP

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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.”

***

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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.

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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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