June 19, 2019

India: Modi Victory Emboldens Right-wing Goons

Peoples Democracy, June 16, 2019

HATE, THREAT & VIOLENCE: Modi Victory Emboldens Right-wing Goons

SOON after the Narendra Modi-led BJP secured an emphatic victory in the parliamentary election, reports about targeting of Muslims and dalits started trickling in from various parts of the country. The second consecutive win for the BJP, riding on a narrative built around communal nationalist jingoism, has emboldened right-wing goons and vigilantes.

Mohammed Barkat Alam experienced it first-hand in Gurgaon. On May 25, two days after the Lok Sabha election results were declared, a group of men accosted Alam when he was returning from a mosque after evening prayers. He was assaulted and asked to remove his skull cap and chant Jai Shri Ram. Hailing from Begusarai in Bihar, Alam worked as a tailor in Gurgaon.

Narrating the incident to the media, Alam said, “Four men on a motorcycle and two pedestrians intercepted me. One of the pedestrians hit me with a stick and told me that I was not allowed to wear a skullcap in the area. He told me to take it off. I told him that I was returning from the mosque. When I refused, he hit me and forcibly took the cap off. He said that if I resisted too much, he would make me chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’.”

In Bihar, a man was shot at after he revealed his “Muslim name”. 28 year-old Mohd Qasim, a detergent salesman, was shot at in Begusarai on May 26 after the assailant asked him his name.

A video of an injured Qasim speaking about the incident has gone viral on social media. “I was stopped by Rajiv Yadav and he asked for my name… when I told him, he fired on me, saying ‘What are you doing here? You should go to Pakistan’,” he says in the video. “Rajiv Yadav was drunk and when he started loading another cartridge in his pistol, I pushed him and fled leaving my motorcycle.”

Qasim said none of the bystanders came to his rescue at first. However, when Yadav left the spot after firing in the air, some villagers took him to the local police station and the police then admitted him to the local government hospital.

Not just physical assaults, the BJP-RSS has unleashed a large number of trolls to target artists, academicians and celebrities who are critical of the Modi dispensation on social media. Here is one such example. An Instagram user celebrated the BJP's election win with a rape threat to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s daughter. The troll, whose Instagram handle has 'chowkidar' before his name, sent a vitriol-filled message to Kashyap's daughter on Instagram while also abusing the director. Tagging the prime minister's official Twitter handle, Kashyap wrote on May 23, "Dear @narendramodi sir. Congratulations on your victory and thank you for the message of inclusiveness. Sir please also tell us how do we deal with these followers of yours who celebrate your victory by threatening my daughter with messages like this for me being your dissenter.”

Persecution of Muslims by law enforcement agencies was again reported from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, which hit the headlines after Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death by a mob following rumours that he and his family stored and consumed beef in 2015, a year after the Modi government began its first term in office.

On May 24, a day after the parliamentary poll results, police arrested two Muslim men – Zahid and Yakub – after what they called seizure of “gaumaas (cow meat)” from their homes. According to the FIR, police seized “20 kg gaumaas (cow meat)” from Zahid’s fridge, another 10 kg from a “tasla (vessel)”, a weighing scale, and a chopping board from Zahid and Yakub’s homes. A police officer told the media that “the local police was tipped off by a source…Yakub was at Zahid’s home when the police arrived. The two men were carving and weighing the meat. It has been sent to the forensic laboratory at the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry in Mathura.”

In the period between polling and election results in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat, a dalit couple was attacked by a mob of 200-300 upper caste men. The incident took place in Vadodara district on May 19 and was reported to police on May 23. The couple was attacked after the husband posted on social media that the government does not allow their village temple to be used for dalit marriages. The police, instead of acting against the mob, registered a case against the husband and charged him with promoting enmity between different groups.

Such incidents of intimidation of Muslims and dalits have become a hallmark of the Modi dispensation.

Religious sloganeering in Parliament

Negative Start: Religious sloganeering in Parliament not conducive for government-opposition coordination on important issues
June 19, 2019, 12:29 pm IST Quick Edit in TOI Editorials | India, politics | TOI

For the second day in a row, newly elected Lok Sabha members raised religious slogans during their oath-taking. While BJP MPs shouted “Jai Shri Ram”, MPs of the Trinamool Congress countered with “Jai Hind”, “Jai Bengal” and “Jai Ma Durga”. Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi chanted “Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Takbeer Allahu Akbar, Jai Hind”. Clearly, the political polarisation on religious grounds that was part of the Lok Sabha campaign has found its way to Parliament.

This is unfortunate as Parliament is supposed to reflect the secular ethos of the country as it is the highest seat of Indian democracy. Some may argue that there’s nothing wrong with MPs invoking religious slogans during oath-taking because the Indian Constitution gives equal space to all religions. But what is happening in Parliament today is religious sloganeering with a clear political motive. The MPs not only want to send a signal to their respective constituencies but are also trying to browbeat their political rivals. This cannot be condoned.


June 14, 2019

English-Striving for Peace in Kashmir

Kashmir Today: Striving for Peace Ram Puniyani After the massive mandate in 2019 General Elections, Narendra Modi Government is in the firm saddle. Now Mr. Amit Shah, who seems to be the most powerful person after Modi is the Home Minster. It is expected that he will pay special attention to the nagging Kashmir issue. Different social groups, the victims of the turmoil in Kashmir, are also looking up for initiatives which can restore peace and sanity in the area. There are reports that Mr. Shah is proposing delimitation in Kashmir. We know Kashmir itself is multi ethnic, multi-religious. In Kashmir valley Muslim are the dominant social group while In Jammu it is Hindus. Other components of population are Buddhists and tribes. Now delimitation should serve for better representation of the area, it should involve the exercise of taking popular opinion into consideration also. One just hopes that aspirations of people of Kashmir are taken into account while doing this exercise; it should not just be for political agenda of garnering more seats for a particular party. Other things which have been on the manifesto of BJP times and over again, are abolition of Articles 370 and 35 A. Article 370, which is part of the Indian Constitution has been there in the background of the clauses of treaty of accession, as per which Kashmir will have autonomy in all matters barring defense, communication, currency and external affairs. While article 35 A relates to buying of property by non Kashmiris in the area. Both these had to be there as Kashmir acceded with India under special circumstances. It was in the wake of aggression by Pakistan supported tribal groups-plainclothes army men that Raja Harisingh, the Sovereign of Kashmir, asked for help from Indian state to quell the aggression. Harisingh earlier had decided to keep Kashmir as an independent state. In the face of this aggression, the negotiations with Indian state led to this treaty after which Indian army could go to quell the attack from Pakistan side. The final merger of Kashmir with India was to take place with the opinion of people of Kashmir, the referendum, which never took place. Shaikh Abdullah, Lion of Kashmir, had a major role in accession of Kashmir to India. He did become Prime Minster of Kashmir. The rise of communalism in India in the form of murder of Gandhi and demand of instant merger of Kashmir into India, from likes of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee of Hindu Mahasabha, unsettled Sheikh Abdullah. His responses to overtures from Pakistan, US and China led to his being jailed for 17 long years. This is where the process of alienation of people of Kashmir begins. This alienation is the root of the problems of Kashmir. The militancy in Kashmir was initially on the ground of Kashmiriyat. Kashmiriyat is a unique synthesis of Vedanta, Buddhism and Sufi traditions, best exemplified in Nooruddin Noorani (Nund Rishi) and Lal Dedh. The festival of Kheer Bhavani, jointly celebrated in Kashmir is one manifestation of the deep bonding, which transcended religious boundaries and incorporated the people of both major religions in Kashmir. The communalization of the militancy due to coming in of Al Qaeda type elements has been a big bane, especially for Kahmiri as a whole and Hindus, Pundits in particular. The selective targeting of Pundits has sent wrong signals to the detriment of inclusive traditions of Kashmir. The militancy in its extreme forms has led to the exodus of over 3.5 Lakh Pundits and also of large number of Muslims from Kashmir. Not much has been done for the Pundits despite different governments ruling at center. The plight of Pundits, needs a fresh look when today we are talking of articles 370 and 35 A. During Modi I regime (2014) there was talk of rehabilitating pundits in separate enclosure but nothing seems to have come of it. While BJP talks of abolition of these articles, it had no hesitation in joining hands with Mahbooba Mufti who has been appreciating the separatists. During the PDP-BJP alliance and during the previous Modi regime the process of dialogue has been given a go by. The militancy, separatism went up during last few years. The victims of pellet guns have gone up in number. The process of alienation has not been addressed at all. Why so many of young boys and now girls have come to throw stones despite the knowledge that it will lead to dire consequences. Can we quell the dissidence-alienation by bullets is the question. If we take a bird’s eye view of the situation in Kashmir, it is clear that the muscular nationalist polices have led to bigger damage of the social fabric, to the possibility of winning over the hearts and minds of Kashmiri people. Today, the Modi II Government is in a unique position with its massive mandate. The issues to be addressed are to undo the alienation of Kashmiri people which is the root of the problem. The people of Kashmir have been the victims of different types of violence. A healing touch is the need of the hour. The democratic processes and concept of Human rights have to be the guiding principles of our policy. These were very well articulated by Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he gave the framework of Kashmiriyat, Jamhooiriyat (Democracy) and Insaniyat (Humanism) to deal with the issue of Kashmir. To take further Mr. Vajpayee’s formulation seems to be the best option for us even today. A jumbo size majority in parliament can give the license to the ruling party to unfold its program, but one hope this program will take into consideration strengthening the process of dialogue and deepening the process of democracy. The groups, whose hurt is to be assuaged are the ones’ who have suffered violence from different quarters, the half widows, the Pundits and the average person in Kashmir who has borne the brunt of militancy and presence of army in civilian area for long years. The report of Interlocutors (Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and MM Ansari) also needs a relook if we wish to bring peace and amity in the region.

Hindi Article-Striving for Peace In Kashmir

कश्मीर: शांति की जुस्तजू -राम पुनियानी हालिया लोकसभा चुनाव में जबरदस्त बहुमत हासिल करने के बाद, मोदी सरकार मजबूती से देश पर शासन करने की स्थिति में है. ऐसा लगता है कि मोदी के बाद, सरकार में सबसे शक्तिशाली व्यक्ति गृहमंत्री अमित शाह हैं. ऐसा अपेक्षित है कि वे लम्बे समय से चली आ रही कश्मीर समस्या पर विशेष ध्यान देंगे. कश्मीर के विभिन्न सामाजिक समुदाय, जिनमें वहां व्याप्त अशांति और तनाव से पीड़ित व्यक्ति शामिल हैं, को उम्मीद है कि ऐसी कोई पहल की जाएगी, जिससे ‘धरती पर यह स्वर्ग’ सचमुच स्वर्ग बन सके. ऐसी खबरें हैं कि शाह कश्मीर में परिसीमन करवाना चाहते हैं. हम सब जानते हैं कि कश्मीर एक बहु-नस्लीय और बहु-धार्मिक राज्य है. घाटी में मुसलमानों का बहुमत है तो जम्मू में हिन्दुओं का. इनके अलावा, राज्य में बौद्धों और आदिवासियों की भी खासी आबादी है. अगर परिसीमन का उद्देश्य राज्य के निवासियों को बेहतर प्रतिनिधित्व उपलब्ध करवाना है तो इसके पहले, आमजनों की इस मुद्दे पर राय जाननी होगी. हमें आशा है कि परिसीमन की कवायद में कश्मीर के लोगों की इच्छा को अपेक्षित महत्व दिया जायेगा. परिसीमन का उद्देश्य किसी राजनैतिक दल विशेष को अधिक सीटें दिलवाना नहीं होना चाहिए. भाजपा के एजेंडे में संविधान के अनुच्छेद 370 और 35ए को रद्द करना शामिल है. अनुच्छेद 370 को कश्मीर के भारत में विलय के संधि के समय जोड़ा गया था. इस संधि के अनुसार, कश्मीर को रक्षा, संचार, मुद्रा और विदेशी मामलों को छोड़कर, अन्य सभी विषयों में पूर्ण स्वायत्तता दी जानी थी. अनुच्छेद 35ए, कश्मीर में गैर-कश्मीरियों के संपत्ति खरीदने के अधिकार से सम्बंधित है. ये दोनों अनुच्छेद, संविधान का भाग इसलिए बने क्योंकि कश्मीर, कुछ विशिष्ट परिस्थितियों में भारत का हिस्सा बना था. कश्मीर पर कबायलियों के भेष में पाकिस्तानी सैनिकों के आक्रमण के बाद, वहां के शासक राजा हरिसिंह ने भारत से मदद मांगी. इसके पहले तक, हरीसिंह कश्मीर को एक स्वतंत्र देश बनाये रखने के पक्षधर थे. हमले के बाद, भारत के साथ हुई वार्ता के नतीजे में विलय की संधि हुई, जिसके बाद भारत की सेना ने पाकिस्तानी हमलावरों से मुकाबला करने के लिए मोर्चा सम्हाला. कश्मीर का भारत में अंतिम विलय, जनमत संग्रह द्वारा वहां के लोगों की राय जानने के बाद होना था. यह जनमत संग्रह कभी नहीं हुआ. शेर-ए-कश्मीर शेख अब्दुल्ला ने भारत में कश्मीर के विलय में महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभायी. वे कश्मीर के प्रधानमंत्री बने. भारत में साम्प्रदायिकता के उभार के संकेतों - जिनमें महात्मा गाँधी की हत्या और हिन्दू महासभा के नेता श्यामाप्रसाद मुख़र्जी की कश्मीर के भारत में तुरंत पूर्ण विलय की मांग शामिल थी - से शेख अब्दुल्ला व्यग्र और चिंतित हो गए. पाकिस्तान, अमरीका और चीन ने उनके साथ वार्ता के पहल कीं और उन पर उनकी प्रतिक्रिया के कारण, उन्हें 17 साल जेल में बिताने पड़े. यहीं से कश्मीर के लोगों का भारत से अलगाव शुरू हुआ. और यही अलगाव, कश्मीर समस्या की जड़ में है. शुरुआत में, कश्मीर में अतिवाद का आधार थी कश्मीरियत, जो कि वेदांत, बौद्ध और सूफी परम्पराओं का अद्भुत मिश्रण है. नूरुद्दीन नूरानी (नन्द ऋषि) और लाल देह, कश्मीरियत के प्रतिनिधि थे. कश्मीर में मनाया जाने वाला खीर भवानी उत्सव, जिसे सभी समुदाय मिलकर मनाते हैं, वहां के लोगों के परस्पर प्रेम को प्रतिबिंबित करता है. यह उत्सव, धार्मिक समुदायों से ऊपर उठकर मनाया जाता है. अल कायदा जैसे तत्वों की घुसपैठ के चलते, कश्मीरी अतिवादियों का साम्प्रदायिकीकरण हो गया. और यह सभी कश्मीरियों - विशेषकर पंडितों - के लिए एक बहुत बड़ी मुसीबत बन गया. पंडितों के निशाने पर आने से, कश्मीर की समावेशी परम्पराओं को गहरी चोट पहुंची. अतिवाद के कारण, 3.5 लाख पंडितों सहित बड़ी संख्या में मुसलमान भी घाटी से पलायन करने पर मजबूर हो गए. केंद्र में सरकारें बदलती रहीं परन्तु किसी ने भी पंडितों के लिए कुछ नहीं किया. जब हम अनुच्छेद 370 और 35ए की बात कर रहे हैं, तब हमें पंडितों की स्थिति पर भी बात करनी होगी. मोदी जी की पिछली सरकार ने कहा था कि पंडितों को घाटी में एक अलग क्षेत्र बनाकर पुनर्वसित किया जायेगा. परन्तु इस दिशा में कुछ भी नहीं किया गया. भाजपा इन दोनों अनुच्छेदों को हटाने की बात तो करती है परन्तु उसे महबूबा मुफ़्ती से हाथ मिलाने में कोई संकोच नहीं हुआ, जबकि यह सर्वज्ञात है कि महबूबा मुफ़्ती, अलगाववादियों की समर्थक हैं. राज्य में पीडीपी-भाजपा गठबंधन के शासन के दौरान, संवाद की कोई बात ही नहीं हुई. पिछले कुछ वर्षों में घाटी में अतिवाद और अलगाववाद बढ़ा है. पेलेट से घायल होने वालों की तादाद बढ़ी है. कश्मीरियों में व्याप्त अलगाव के भाव को कम करने के लिए कोई कदम नहीं उठाये गए. इस बात पर कोई विचार नहीं किया गया कि सैकड़ों युवक और युवतियां आखिर क्यों सड़कों पर उतर कर पत्थर फ़ेंक रहे हैं, जब कि उन्हें ऐसा करने के खतरनाक परिणामों की जानकारी है. क्या हम असंतोष और अलगाव को बन्दूक के गोलियों से समाप्त कर सकते हैं? अगर हम कश्मीर की स्थिति को उसकी समग्रता में देखें तो यह साफ़ हो जायेगा कि पहलवाननुमा राष्ट्रवादी नीतियों ने कश्मीर के सामाजिक तानेबाने को गहरी चोट पहुंचाई है और कश्मीरियों का दिल जीतना और मुश्किल हो गया है. नई मोदी सरकार को व्यापक जनादेश मिला है. वह इस समस्या को जड़ से मिटाने में सक्षम है. सबसे ज़रूरी है कश्मीरियों में अलगाव के भाव को समाप्त करना, जो इस समस्या का मूल है. कश्मीर के लोग कई तरह की हिंसा के शिकार रहे हैं. उनके घावों पर मरहम लगाना सबसे ज़रूरी है. हमें प्रजातान्त्रिक प्रक्रिया अपनानी होगी और मानवाधिकारों की रक्षा करनी होगी. श्री अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी ने बिलकुल ठीक कहा था कि कश्मीर मुद्दे को सुलझाने के लिए कश्मीरियत, जम्हूरियत और इंसानियत का उपयोग किया जाना चाहिए. आज भी, यही सही रास्ता है. संसद में जबरदस्त बहुमत के चलते, सत्ताधारी दल को अपने कार्यक्रम लागू करने का पूर्ण अधिकार है परन्तु हम केवल आशा कर सकते हैं कि सरकार संवाद और प्रजातान्त्रिक प्रक्रिया के महत्व और उपादेयता को ध्यान में रखेगी. जिन लोगों को हमें राहत पहुंचानी हैं उनमें शामिल हैं वे लोग जिन्हें हिंसा का सामना करना पड़ा है, उनमें शामिल हैं कश्मीर की अर्द्ध-विधवाएं और उनमें शामिल हैं राज्य के वे आम नागरिक, जिन्हें नागरिक इलाकों में सेना की लम्बी और भारी मौजूदगी के कारण परेशानियाँ भोगनी पडीं हैं. अगर हमें कश्मीर घाटी में शांति और सद्भाव की पुनर्स्थापना करनी है तो हमें वार्ताकारों (दिलीप दिलीप पड़गांवकर, राधा कुमार और एमएम अंसारी) के रपट पर भी फिर से ध्यान देना होगा. (अंग्रेजी से हिन्दी रूपांतरण अमरीश हरदेनिया)

June 12, 2019

India: Right-wing organisations call for boycott Muslim artistes in Dehradun

Right-wing groups to boycott Muslim artistes

Prashant Jha | TNN | Updated: Jun 7, 2019

DEHRADUN: Doon-based right-wing organisations which include Bajrang Dal, Hindu Yuva Vahini and Vishwa Hindu Parishad have decided to hold jagrans in the city to discuss issues they think “are a threat to Hindu religion.

The organisations, in a press release said, that “all Muslim artistes will be boycotted from Hindu religious functions and devotees attending the jagrans must have a tilak on their foreheads.” [ . . . ]

Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/69681990.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst ..

June 11, 2019

Jawaharlal Nehru: "there is very much a tone of the Hindi speaking area being the centre of things in India, the centre of gravity, and others being just the fringes of India"

Nehru’s warning to the constituent assembly may well be recalled even today.In “some speeches I have listened (to) here," he said, “there is very much a tone of the Hindi speaking area being the centre of things in India, the centre of gravity, and others being just the fringes of India."

source: https://www.livemint.com/mint-lounge/features/speaking-in-many-tongues-1560252990853.html

India: communal politics over dead children

India is witnessing a new pattern of communal politics over dead children. Could anything be worse?

Hindutva supporters are drawing a false equivalence between the Aligarh and Kathua cases.