March 25, 2019

India - Rajasthan: No justice yet for Pehlu Khan who was beaten to death by a lynch mob | Tavleen Singh

No justice yet for Pehlu Khan
by Tavleen Singh | March 24, 2019

Last week I went to Behror. Pehlu Khan was beaten to death here two years ago. I wanted to see what had happened to the men who lynched him.

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What is truly troubling is that there is a Congress government in Rajasthan now and it has done nothing to help Pehlu Khan’s family get justice. They were promised a compensation of Rs 5 lakh that everyone seems to have forgotten about.

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India: increasing number of locally-born Kashmiris getting drawn to violent organisations of the Muslim right

The making of militants in India's 'paradise on earth'

KULGAM, India (Reuters) - Kashmiri farmer Yusuf Malik learned that his son Owais, a 22-year old arts student and apple picker, had become an armed militant via a Facebook post.
Sister of Owais Malik, a suspected militant, displays her phone with the picture of Malik, at her home in south Kashmir's Kulgam district February 16, 2019. REUTERS/Zeba Siddiqui
Days after Owais disappeared from his home in this picturesque valley below the Himalayan ranges, his picture appeared on the social network, posted by a user the family said they did not recognize. The short, thin, curly-haired young man in casual jeans and a T-shirt stared resolutely at the camera, both hands clutching an AK-47 rifle.
In blood red font on the photo was scribbled his new allegiance: the Hizbul Mujahideen, or ‘The Party of Warriors’, the largest of the militant groups fighting to free the mostly-Muslim Kashmir from Indian rule.
“He was a responsible kid who cared about his studies,” said Yusuf, 49, staring down at the carpeted floor of his brick home where he sat on a recent winter morning, clasping his folded hands inside his traditional pheran cloak.
The family said it has not heard from Owais since.
Owais is one of a rising number of local militants fighting for independence of Kashmir - an insurgency being spread on social media amid India’s sustained, iron-fisted rule of the region.
Hundreds of thousands of Indian troops and armed police are stationed in this lush region at the foot of the Himalayas. India and rival Pakistan have always disputed the area and in the past three decades, an uprising against New Delhi’s rule has killed nearly 50,000 civilians, militants and soldiers, by official count.
Historically, that insurrection has largely been led by militants from Pakistan, who have infiltrated into the valley.
But now, an increasing number of locally-born Kashmiris are picking up arms, according to Indian officials. About 400 local Kashmiris have been recruited by militants since the start of 2016, nearly double the number in the previous six years, according to government data. India says Pakistani groups continue to provide training and arms - a claim Islamabad rejects. 
Just a month before Owais Malik showed up on Facebook, another young man, Adil Ahmad Dar, left his home in a nearby part of Kashmir to join a militant group. This February, his suicide attack on a paramilitary convoy killed 40 Indian policemen, and took India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
After Dar’s attack, Indian security forces launched a major crackdown, searching Kashmiri homes and detaining hundreds of supporters, sympathizers and family members of those in armed groups. At least half a dozen gunbattles broke out between Indian police and militants.
The families of Dar and other young militants, as well as some local leaders and political experts, say run-ins between locals and security forces are one of the main reasons for anger and radicalization. After the recent crackdown, they expect more young people to take up arms.


Outside the narrow lane that leads to the Malik family home in Kulgam in southern Kashmir, children walk to school past shuttered shopfronts and walls spray-painted with the word “azadi”, the local word for “freedom”. The graveyard at the end of the lane has an area for militants, who are remembered as “martyrs”.
Dar’s family claims he’d been radicalized in 2016 after being beaten up by Indian troops on his way back from school for pelting stones at them.
“Since then, he wanted to join the militants,” said his father Ghulam Hassan Dar, a farmer.
India’s home and foreign ministries did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
In news conferences since the suicide bombing, Lt. Gen. K.J.S. Dhillon, India’s top military commander in Kashmir, has dismissed allegations of harassment and rights abuses by Indian troops as “propaganda”. He said the recent crackdown by security forces has resulted in the killing of the masterminds of the attack, and militant recruitment has dipped in recent months.
Syed Ata Hasnain, a retired army general who has served in Kashmir for over 20 years, said the rise in homegrown fighters does not surprise him. 
“Those who were born in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the conflict started, have now come of age,” he said. “This is a generation that has only seen the jackboot. The alienation of this generation is higher than the alienation of the previous generation.”
A 17th century Mughal emperor called Kashmir “paradise on earth”. But violence has ebbed and flowed in the valley since the subcontinent was divided into predominantly Hindu India and Islamic Pakistan after independence from Britain in 1947.
The question of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, was never resolved, and it has been the catalyst for two wars and several violent clashes between the countries.
Tensions have risen after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in New Delhi in 2014. Modi promised a tougher approach to Pakistan and gave security forces the license to retaliate forcefully against the insurgency.


Around that time, many young Kashmiris started rallying around Burhan Wani, who had left home at the age of 15 to join the insurgency. Wani had a large following on social media, where he appeared in videos dressed in military fatigues and armed with an assault rifle, calling for an uprising against Indian rule. 
He and his brother were beaten by security forces when they were teenagers, his family told local media. Wani was 22 when he was killed by security forces in 2016 and thousands attended his funeral despite restrictions on the movement of people and traffic.
The United Nations said in a report last year that in trying to quell mass protests in Kashmir since 2016, Indian security forces used excessive force that led to between 130 and 145 killings, according to civil society estimates.
Thousands were injured, including around 700 who sustained eye injuries from the use of pellet guns by security forces, it said. Thousands of people had simply disappeared since the insurgency began, it said.
The Indian government has rejected the report as false. Indian forces have long been accused of rights abuses and torture in custody in Kashmir, but officials routinely deny the charges.
Instead, India points the finger at Pakistan. Officials say the rebellion in Kashmir is being funded and organized by Pakistan and if they cut off those resources, the insurgency will weaken and it can then focus on building Kashmir’s economy. The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group claimed responsibility for the latest attack, which was the deadliest in the insurgency.
Pakistan says it only provides moral support to the Kashmiri right to self-determination.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Muslim spiritual leader of Kashmir who is considered a moderate separatist, contests that India has true plans to engage politically with the people of Kashmir.
“In the past five years we have seen that the government of India has only spoken to Kashmiris through the barrel of the gun, that’s it. There is no political approach,” he said.
“Nobody is dying in Kashmir for lack of roads, electricity and water.” 


A few miles south of Owais Malik’s home in Kulgam lives Masuma Begum, who said her son and brother had been called in to an army camp two days after the latest bombing and have been held since then.
A military spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Behind the glass panes of a wall shelf above her were photos of a smiling young man, an assault rifle slung on his shoulder.
“That’s my other son, Tausif,” Masuma Begum said. The 24-year-old had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen in 2013 and been killed by the army the same year, she said. “I don’t want to lose another son.”

Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui and Fayaz Bukhari in KULGAM; Editing by Martin Howell and Raju Gopalakrishnan

New Zealand Massacre:

New Zealand Massacre: ‘Clash of Civilizations’ thesis Stalks the World! Ram Puniyani The horrific massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15th March, Friday 2019 has shaken the World. The killer, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, is an Australian citizen. Nearly 50 People died in the attack as two mosques were attacked. Those killed include nine from India. Tarrant had fixed the camera on his head so as to live stream the massacre. What prompted him to undertake this violence was his ideology which holds that today Europe is facing the threat of Muslim immigration and violence. The Christchurch terrorist was consumed by intense racism and hatred of Muslims. He posted a long statement, “manifesto” on ‘white nationalism’ before undertaking the dastardly act. All over the World there were diverse reactions to this horrific act. New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern, who at 38 years of age is also among the youngest heads of government in the world, declared that the victims, many of whom may be migrants or refugees, “are us” and the shooter “is not”. The overriding theme of the Prime Minister’s statements was that her country represents “diversity, compassion and refuge”. “I want to assure people… that all our agencies are responding in the most appropriate way that includes at our borders.” The Pope in a very touching speech said, “In these days, in addition to the pain of wars and conflicts that do not cease to afflict humanity, there have been the victims of the horrible attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand… I am close to our Muslim brothers and all that community… ” Interestingly as in India the Islam-Muslim phobia is founded on the narrow version of history. This phobia against Muslims in the World began more so after 9/11 twin tower attack. This phobia has by now constructed the ‘History’ which gives details of the Muslim invaders. This as we see in India is again selective. In Europe there have been all types of invasions, but what is highlighted in this version is the Ottoman invasion only which came from a Muslim ruler. Tarrant’s note though sounds very base and hateful will have agreement from many such believing in sectarian notion of politics and history. Interestingly again taking revenge of past is one of the dimensions of the agenda governing these ideologues “To take revenge on the invaders for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history.” Again the radicalization of the likes of Tarrant is due to current rabid propaganda in the Western media where Muslims are presented in the negative light. Many of newspapers and media groups like the Daily Mail in the UK and Fox News in the US are in the lead of this spreading of negative perceptions against Muslims. Such propaganda along with many a anti-immigrant and xenophobic websites are spreading hatred against Muslims which in turn is the foundation of the attacks on Muslims. Muslims are also being demonized by portraying them as them as less than trustworthy, lesser citizens and inferior humans. Many more such biases and myths are prevalent in India also. In Western mode of propaganda Muslims are now being portrayed as people whose wearing of the hijab is sufficient proof that they are against the norms of the West, are against the US Constitution, for example One recalls the Norwegian Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik at this point of time. Brevik had killed 69 youth with his machine gun. He also had issued a manifesto. His primary goal was to remove Muslims from Europe. He also called for cooperation with Jewish groups in Israel, Buddhists in China, and Hindu nationalist groups in India to contain Islam. He wrote “It is essential that the European and Indian resistance movements learn from each other and cooperate as much as possible. Our goals are more or less identical.” What is noteworthy is that there is strong parallels between Breivik’s manifesto and ideology of Hindu nationalism – or Hindutva – on the question of nature of Islam—Muslims and coexistence with Muslims. Much like European mainstream rightwing parties BJP in India does condemn the violence for name sake but does not condemn the underlying ideology which is based on Islam phobia. This despicable politics in a way is the outcome of the ideology of ‘Clash of Civilizations’ propounded by Samuel Huntington. At the end of cold war, with collapse of Soviet Russia, Fukuyama stated that now with the demise of Soviet Union the Western Liberal democracy will be the final form of political system. Building on this Huntington stated that now the primary conflict will be around civilizations and cultures. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world Affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between Nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future." As per this Western civilization is faced with the challenge from the backward Islamic civilization. This provided the base for American policy of attack on many Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Iraq among others. To counter this thesis United Nation undertook the initiative for ‘Alliance of Civilizations’, when Kofi Annan was the Secretary General. The high level committee appointed by him gave a report, Alliance of civilizations ((http://www.unaoc.org/repository/report.htm), which argues that all the progress in the world has been due to the alliance between different cultures and civilizations. Today we are facing the times where American politics of control over oil wells led to the formations like Al Qaeda and after 9/11 twin tower attacks; US media popularized the phrase Islamic terrorism. What we are witnessing today is the fall out of the policy which has been pursued to control oil wealth. The aftermath of this has been the White Nationalism which has resulted in Islam-Muslim phobia, which needs to be countered ideologically by promoting the inherent global tendency of alliance between diverse cultures.

India: In Uttar Pradesh, law is misused to target minorities | Christophe Jaffrelot, Syed H A Rizvi

In Uttar Pradesh, law is misused to target minorities

An everyday communalism has settled down. The sense of impunity was reinforced by Yogi Adityanath’s decision to withdraw all the complaints that the state had filed against him and his associates since the 1990s.

Written by Christophe Jaffrelot, Syed H A Rizvi | Updated: March 25, 2019



India: BJP perverting Hinduism for electoral victory

BJP perverting Hinduism for electoral victory

The Hindutva policy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has been debauching the Hindu religion to attract votes from the Hindu population as the world’s largest functioning democracy is set to hold a general election for the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) in seven phases from April 11 to May 19.

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How Hindu nationalists built on the roots of majoritarianism in India and normalised public violence


How Hindu nationalists built on the roots of majoritarianism in India and normalised public violence

Since the 1980s Hindutva discourse increasingly adopted a style of forceful anger that foregrounded hurt sentiments or the theme of Hindu pride.

Majoritarianism commonly refers to the idea that pre-existing ethnic, racial or religious majorities have a natural right to dominate a certain political entity. But in reflecting on how this sentiment became acceptable to so many Indians, it may be worth probing a bit deeper into how the very idea of a majority became the ultimate arbiter of political right, might and legitimacy.
Postcolonial India inherited a rich repertoire of political actions and rituals from the nationalist movement. At the heart of this new political vernacular was the notion that the people are always right and that every effective political action must stage this “people” or a community in significant numbers to make a point.
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Violent white nationalists increasingly resemble the jihadists they hate | The Economist

 The Economist, Mar 21st 2019

White nationalism after Christchurch The new face of terror, much like the old

Violent white nationalists increasingly resemble the jihadists they hate

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