July 17, 2018

India: Swami Agnivesh assaulted by BJP workers in Jharkhand

Swami Agnivesh assaulted by BJP workers in Jharkhand
Swami Agnivesh assaulted: The assaulters were reportedly upset with Swami Agnivesh's recent statement defending consumption of beef.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 17, 2018

Social activist Swami Agnivesh was assaulted allegedly by BJP workers in Jharkhand’s Pakur area on Tuesday.


Google Map on Mob Violence in India [Since Jan 2017 to-date, at least 74 such mob attacks were reported in which 36 have been killed]

source: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1D6-3M17zyvaFgvdcmacOFhKmS7nQom5o&ll=24.081955381110827%2C78.52471196875001&z=3

July 16, 2018

India : A detailed report on 4 years of Modi govt released

see news report at: http://caravandaily.com/portal/modi-govt-turned-country-into-republic-of-hate-pushed-it-towards-economic-crises-report/

India: Elderly Muslim man who survived Hapur lynching recounts the terror, seeks a fair investigation | report in scroll.in

Elderly Muslim man who survived Hapur lynching recounts the terror, seeks a fair investigation


FIFA World Cup: Croatia Team Represents the Rot in Its Society as Much as Football Excellence | Priyansh

The Wire

FIFA World Cup: Croatia Team Represents the Rot in Its Society as Much as Football Excellence

If Croatia wins the World Cup, this pungent reality will probably dig its heels in further, and it might just be the national team’s long-term legacy.

[by] Priyansh

This article is part of a series from Russia that analyses the sociopolitical issues surrounding the World Cup. With a combination of perspectives and reporting from the ground, overlooked and underplayed themes in football will be carried to the surface on The Wire.

Moscow: “We still talk about that game.” Coach Zlatko Dalić spoke for a lot of Croatians on Wednesday after confirming his country’s spot in the final against France here. Twenty years ago, Dalic was away training with his club but his mind was fixed on the proceedings in a suburb of Paris, Saint-Denis.

Just seven years after formal independence, Croatia had stunned the world by reaching its first-ever World Cup semifinal. The shock only grew in magnitude when the Vatreni took the lead against France in the last-four clash. The host, led by current manager Didier Deschamps, did recover eventually to script its own history but the Croatian upsurge would not be forgotten.

Now, as the two countries meet again in a contest of even greater significance, it is time for upending of past narratives even as new designs appear. For Croatia, football is an ever-present palimpsest. As the country’s first president, Franjo Tuđman, said, “Football victories shape a nation’s identity as much as wars do.” His oft-quoted words carried a more hopeful resonance when the Croatian War of Independence was fresh in public memory. Two decades on, the questions of football are still politically vexed but less sanguine.

The shadow of Croatian politics has been acutely felt while the national team has broken new ground in Russia. Earlier this year, skipper Luka Modrić was charged with perjury for his role in protecting Zdravko Mamić, arguably the most influential figure in the country’s football circles. Defender Dejan Lovren has been accused of the same. The dark clouds appeared in full view when, 10 days before Croatia started its World Cup campaign, Mamić was handed a six-and-half year prison sentence for illegally profiting from players’ transfers.

If the case was not complicated enough, Mamić’s close relationship with the Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović muddied the waters. The football administrator funded Grabar-Kitarović’s campaign for the 2015 presidential elections, and their public association continued following her victory. To her chagrin, the president later learnt that their private meetings were not secret as the investigation into Mamić’s corruption had put him under state surveillance.

Grabar-Kitarovic has had a better time in Russia, attending Croatia’s games in the team’s chequered red and white jersey. She is keen to make the most of this opportunity. After Croatia edged past Russia on penalties in the quarterfinals, the president turned up in the dressing room to celebrate with the players.

The celebrations, however, got out of hand as defender Domagoj Vida and assistant coach Ognjen Vukojević shot an Instagram video with chants of “Glory to Ukraine!” That obviously did not go down very well in Russia. Croatia moved in haste to sack Vukojević but Vida escaped censure. This was not the first time, though, that a chant had landed Croatia in trouble at this World Cup.

After their group stage win over Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod, Croat footballers were the subject of public disapproval for bellowing a song with the words “Za dom – spremni ” (“ready for home”). The phrase carries an indelible association with the fascist Ustaše movement, which had shared close links with the Nazis. It was banned in erstwhile Yugoslavia but the salute has experienced a slow resurgence since Croatia’s independence. It is not uncommon to hear the phrase at the national team’s football matches now.

The salute’s renewed popularity owes much to the rise of right-wing forces in Croatian society, but the use of fascist symbols in public life is not new. As historian Florian Bieber wrote a few years ago, it was the Tuđman regime that “began the ambiguous use of fascist symbols and references that brought it to the mainstream.”

But the motivations behind their usage can’t be painted with the same brush. The reappearance of such symbols is a result of changes in 21st century Croatian society. In 1998, with Croatia still taking baby steps as a nation, there was much optimism for the country’s future. The exploits of the football team at that summer’s World Cup were symptomatic of the bounteous hope and the achievement only fed the feel-good factor.

But in the two decades since, much of that goodwill has been spent as economic and political concerns have become more apparent. The national football team’s success is now seen by many commentators as a distraction from the problems that beset life in Croatia. Citizens who feel neglected by the state have used chants and symbols of the Ustaše to attract attention, even though it remains a misguided endeavour.

The upsurge of extreme right voices and symbols in public life has a resonance with football, too. The Croatian national side’s popularity has often been used to play the politics of patriotism. Grabar-Kitarović’s public association with the World Cup squad is a function of this impulse. But this agenda also seeks to paint critical voices as unpatriotic.

Croatian football’s overt link with right-wing politics, however, has caused plenty of problems for the national team over the last decade or so. From a point deduction for the ‘human swastika’ in Livorno to a stadium ban for violence in the stands of Milan, to the 10-game suspension for Josip Šimunić after he chanted “Za dom – spremni” in Zagreb following Croatia’s qualification to the 2014 World Cup – politics has exacted a heavy cost on the football pitch.

These incidents, along with the scandals of privatised interests in Croatian football, are not forgotten. In fact, they still feed resentment and the historic success of the national side has not swept away polarising opinions. Interestingly, this World Cup has seen the coming together of fans who proactively despise the Vatreni and its icons and those who swear by them. The team itself reflects the ills of Croatian football as it is full of Mamić loyalists and also a player, Andrej Kramarić, whose career somehow survived the machinations of the convicted administrator.

As Croatia prepares to play France in an era-defining World Cup match again, the political tussle will be shaded into the background for once. But if Zlatko Dalić and his players lift the hallowed trophy at the Luzhniki Stadium here on Sunday, they will not just shake up the world of football. Croatian politics and society will feel its aftershocks as well.

Just like 20 years ago, Croatia’s run to the final has already given an impetus to a nationalist drive in public discourse. There might be temptations to say that not much has changed in this time. Croatia, after all, is still an underdog and that is why its success is being celebrated with gusto.

But the frames through which the national team is seen have undergone a sea change. Now, the Croatian side represents the rot in its society as much as it stands for football excellence. The former thrives in the company of the latter. If Croatia wins the World Cup, this pungent reality will probably dig its heels further. And that might just be the national team’s long-term legacy.

Priyansh is an independent writer based in New Delhi. He tweets @GarrulousBoy.

India: Google engineer latest victim of mob lynchings fueled by WhatsApp rumors

DW - 15 July 2018

India: Google engineer latest victim of mob lynchings fueled by WhatsApp rumors

At least 25 people have been killed since May in incidents of mob violence triggered by rumors circulated on WhatsApp. The authorities are clueless as to who is behind the hoax messages.

A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the mob lynchings in the India

A 32-year-old Google engineer was beaten to death and three others were severely injured in the southern Indian state of Karnataka on Friday in the latest incident of mob violence fueled by fake social media messages.

The victims were assaulted after one of them reportedly offered imported chocolates to school children, according to local media reports. The assailants assumed the group were trying to kidnap the children — the attack bore terrifying similarity to a string of mob lynchings in recent weeks.

Police arrested 25 people on Sunday.

Since May, at least 25 people have become victims of vigilante justice triggered by fake warnings of kidnappers or organ harvesters circulated on the Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp.

The perpetrators in most cases are villagers, many of them first time smartphone users unable to discern between real and fake videos sent via the platform.

Technology-driven menace

An explosion in smartphone use is widely regarded as a major cause of the problem.

Nearly one in three Indians own a smartphone. Last year, 134 million smartphones were sold in India, which is the world’s second-biggest market, after China.

The smartphone revolution has changed the way people access information. Political parties, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, are increasingly harnessing the new medium to garner support — in many cases through incendiary content.

Read more: India's Dalits outraged at increase in caste-motivated attacks

Earlier this month, a mob killed five men in the western state of Maharashtra after videos circulated on WhatsApp warning about the presence of organ harvesters. The videos were fake, with one showing children who died from a nerve-gas attack in Syria.

On July 6, the army had to be called in the eastern state of Assam to rescue three priests who were under attack from a mob, incensed by hoax messages about child kidnappers carried on WhatsApp.

In June, two young men were lynched in the state on similar suspicions.

Alarmed by the string of lynchings, the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry has called on WhatsApp to remain "accountable, responsible and vigilant" and act immediately to curb the spread of false information.

"WhatsApp needs to recognize India offers a huge market for them. They are making good money out of India operations," Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said earlier this month. "Therefore, they must focus on the security-related aspects of people of India."

Read more: Attacks on Africans expose India's racist inclinations
An Indian newspaper vendor reading a newspaper with a full back page advertisement from WhatsApp intended to counter fake information

WhatsApp published full-page advertisements in leading Indian newspapers

WhatsApp media blitz

Earlier this week, WhatsApp, which counts India as its biggest market, with more than 200 million users, published full-page advertisements in leading newspapers offering tips to users on how to identify false information.

"We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumors," a WhatsApp spokesman said in a statement. "Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages. We will build on these efforts."

WhatsApp also launched a new feature that will label forwarded messages as such, informing receivers that the sender is not the creator of the message.

"It's a good beginning," Altaf Halde, cybersecurity global business head at the cybersecurity consulting firm Network Intelligence, told DW. "We need a mix of technology and people awareness to deal with the problem. More education is needed, but it will not happen overnight."

Unlike its parent company, Facebook, messages on WhatsApp are difficult to monitor, as they are encrypted. This makes it hard for law enforcement agencies to trace the creators of the false content.

Tagging forwarded messages with the originating number is not an option, experts warn.

"That's going to pose serious privacy-related questions," Saket Modi, the chief executive of online cyber security firm Lucideus, told DW. "I don't want my number to be flashed every time my message is forwarded."

Saket Modi also feels awareness is key as the majority of WhatsApp users in the country are first-time smartphone users.

July 12, 2018

Hindi Article-Promoting Peace in India-Today

आज के भारत में हम शांति को बढ़ावा कैसे दें? -राम पुनियानी इन दिनों हम एक ऐसे दौर से गुजर रहे हैं, जिसमें समाज के कमजोर वर्गों और धार्मिक अल्पसंख्यकों के विरूद्ध घृणा का भाव दिन दूनी, रात चौगुनी गति से बढ़ रहा है। हाल में ऐसी कई घटनाएं सामने आई हैं जिनमें बच्चों के अपहर्ता होने के शक में लोगों को पीट-पीटकर मार दिया गया। इसके पहले, गौमांस के मुद्दे पर कई लोगों की जान ले ली गई और बड़ी संख्या में दलितों को उनके पारंपरिक काम करने के लिए हिंसा का शिकार बनाया गया। ऐसा लगता है कि खून की प्यासी भीडों को यह पता है कि सत्ताधारी उनके साथ हैं। महेश शर्मा जैसे कुछ केन्द्रीय मंत्रियों ने दादरी कांड के एक आरोपी के अंतिम संस्कार में भाग लिया। अभी हाल में केन्द्रीय मंत्री जयंत सिन्हा ने उन लोगों का हार-फूल से स्वागत किया, जिन्हें अलीमुद्दीन को पीट-पीटकर मारने के आरोप मे सजा मिलने के बाद, उच्च न्यायालय द्वारा जमानत दी गई थी। अब तो हालात यहां तक पहुंच गए हैं कि बलात्कार की घटनाओं को भी साम्प्रदायिक रंग दिया जा रहा है। यह शर्मनाक है कि कठुआ बलात्कार प्रकरण में हुई गिरफ्तारियों के विरूद्ध हिंदू एकता मंच द्वारा आयोजित विरोध प्रदर्शन में जम्मू-कश्मीर सरकार के तत्कालीन मंत्रियों चौधरी लालसिंह और चन्दरप्रकाश ने भाग लिया था। अब मध्यप्रदेश के मंदसौर में हुई सामूहिक बलात्कार की घटना का इस्तेमाल एक समुदाय विशेष को बदनाम करने के लिए किया जा रहा है। इस घटना के दोनों आरोपी मुसलमान हैं। कई मुस्लिम संगठनों ने सार्वजनिक रूप से यह मांग की कि आरोपियों को फांसी की सजा दी जानी चाहिए। कांग्रेस सांसद ज्योतिरादित्य सिंधिया ने भी एक मोमबत्ती जुलूस का नेतृत्व करते हुए यह मांग उठाई कि इस जघन्य अपराध के दोषी व्यक्तियों को मौत के घाट उतारा जाना चाहिए। सोशल मीडिया में इस प्रदर्शन को इस रूप में प्रस्तुत किया गया मानो सिंधिया, आरोपियों की रिहाई की मांग कर रहे थे। इस जुलूस के छायाचित्रों को मॉर्फ कर मुसलमानों को बदनाम करने का प्रयास किया गया। सोशल मीडिया पर यह प्रचारित किया गया कि मुसलमानों ने मंदसौर में एक जुलूस निकालकर यह मांग की कि आरोपियों को रिहा किया जाना चाहिए क्योंकि कुरान यह कहती है कि गैर-मुसलमान महिलाओं के साथ बलात्कार जायज है। मंदसौर मे जो जुलूस निकाला गया, उसमें प्रदर्शनकारी जो तख्तियां लेकर चल रहे थे, उनमें लिखा था कि ‘‘हम अपनी बच्चियों पर इस तरह के हमले सहन नहीं करेंगे। इस क्रूरता को रोका जाए‘‘। एक ट्वीट में कहा गया कि ‘‘एनसीआरबी (राष्ट्रीय अपराध अभिलेख ब्यूरो) की एक रपट के अनुसार, भारत, महिलाओं के लिए सबसे असुरक्षित देश है। भारत में बलात्कार के 95 प्रतिशत मामलों में आरोपी मुसलमान होते हैं। देश में बलात्कार की कुल 84,734 घटनाओं में से 81,000 में आरोपी मुसलमान हैं और 96 प्रतिशत पीड़ित, गैर-मुस्लिम हैं। मुसलमानों की आबादी में वृद्धि के साथ बलात्कार भी बढ़ेंगे‘‘। यह ट्वीट शुद्ध बकवास है। एनसीआरबी अपने अभिलेखों में न तो पीड़ितों और ना ही आरोपियों के धर्म का विवरण देता है। इस ट्वीट, और ज्योतिरादित्य सिंधिया के बारे में प्रकशित सामग्री का खंडन ‘आल्टन्यूज‘ नामक एक पोर्टल ने किया। यह पोर्टल झूठी खबरों की जड़ में जाकर, अल्पसंख्यकों का दानवीकरण करने के कुत्सित प्रयासों को बेनकाब करता रहा है। हम सबको याद है कि उत्तरप्रदेश के मुजफ्फरनगर में हिंसा भड़काने के लिए एक ऐसे वीडियो का इस्तेमाल किया गया था, जिसमें मुसलमान-जैसे दिख रहे कुछ लोग, दो युवकों को पीट रहे थे। यह कहा गया कि यह वीडियो मुसलमानों द्वारा दो हिन्दू लड़कों की पिटाई का है। बाद में यह सामने आया कि यह वीडियो पाकिस्तान में दो कथित चोरों की पिटाई का था। हाल में कैराना लोकसभा उपचुनाव में महागठबंधन की उम्मीदवार तब्बसुम हसन ने विजय हासिल की। अपनी जीत के बाद जारी एक बयान में उन्होंने कहा कि, ‘‘यह सत्य और महागठबंधन की जीत, और भाजपा की केन्द्र और राज्य सरकार की हार है। सभी लोगों ने आगे बढ़कर हमारा साथ दिया। मैं उन सबको धन्यवाद देती हूं।‘‘ सोशल मीडिया व टीवी पर होने वाली बहसों में यह बताया गया कि उन्होंने कहा कि यह ‘‘अल्लाह की जीत और राम की हार है।‘‘ यह झूठा उद्धरण फेसबुक के कई भाजपा-समर्थक एकाउंटों में पोस्ट किया गया। ‘योगी आदित्यनाथ-ट्रू इंडियन‘ फेसबुक पेज पर यह झूठा उद्धरण एक जून को पोस्ट किया गया और इसे भारी संख्या में शेयर किया गया। भाजपा ने हजारों ट्रोलों को भर्ती किया है जो सोशल मीडिया पर झूठ और फरेब का जाल बुनने में जुटे हुए हैं। स्वाति चतुर्वेदी का ‘आई एम ए ट्रोल‘ इस तथ्य को बेनकाब करता है। पहले से ही मुसलमान शासकों का दानवीकरण किया जा रहा है। यह कहा जा रहा है कि मध्यकाल में उन्होंने बड़ी संख्या में हिन्दू मंदिरों को ध्वस्त किया और तलवार की नोंक पर हिन्दुओं को मुसलमान बनाया। यह दुष्प्रचार भी आम है कि मुसलमान दर्जनों बच्चे पैदा करते हैं, उनकी कई पत्नियां होती हैं और वे आतंकी हैं। अब साम्प्रदायिक विचारधारा के प्रति प्रतिबद्ध लोगों ने सोशल मीडिया पर मोर्चा संभाल लिया है और वे निहायत बेशर्मी से तथ्यों को तोड़-मरोड़कर प्रस्तुत कर रहे हैं। ऐसा बताया जाता है कि भाजपा ने यह तय किया है कि वह अगले चुनाव के पहले, अपने लाखों कार्यकर्ताओं को सोशल मीडिया के जरिए पार्टी को चुनाव में लाभ दिलवाने के तरीके में प्रशिक्षित करेगी। घृणा का यह दानव दिन-ब-दिन बड़ा होता जा रहा है और जल्द ही हम सबके नियंत्रण से बाहर हो जाएगा। क्या केवल सोशल मीडिया को घृणा फैलाने के लिए दोषी ठहराया जा सकता है? क्या हम सबका यह कर्तव्य नहीं है कि हम सोशल मीडिया पर कही जा रही बातों की पुष्टि करने, उनका सच पता लगाने, का प्रयास करें? यह एक अच्छी खबर है कि ट्विटर ने सात करोड़ जाली अकाउंटों को निलंबित करने का फैसला लिया है। इसके साथ ही, यह भी ज़रूरी है कि हम सोशल मीडिया पर किए जा रहे दुष्प्रचार और फैलाई जा रही घृणा का मुकाबला सड़कों पर करें। हम यह सुनिश्चित करें कि आम लोग यह जानें कि सच क्या है। हमारे पास फैसला खान जैसे कार्यकर्ता हैं, जो ‘खुदाई खिदमतगार‘ नामक अपने संगठन के झंडे तले शांतिमार्च निकालते हैं। हर्षमंदर का ‘पैगाम-ए-मोहब्बत‘ भी इस दिशा में महत्वपूर्ण कार्य कर रहा है। इसके सदस्य भीड़ के हाथों पीट-पीटकर मारे गए लोगों के परिवारों से मिलकर सद्भाव का वातावरण बनाने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं। अयोध्या के एक महंत युगल किशोर शरण शास्त्री अपने शांति मार्चों के जरिए सहिष्णुता व सद्भाव का संदेश लोगों तक पहुंचा रहे हैं, यद्यपि उनके प्रयासों को अत्यंत कम प्रचार मिल रहा है। इस तरह के शांति योद्धाओं को हमें प्रोत्साहित करना होगा व उन्हें हर तरह से बढ़ावा देना होगा। महात्मा गांधी ने हिंसा और घृणा से मुकाबला करने और सद्भाव का प्रचार करने को अपना केन्द्रीय मिशन बनाया था। इन दिनों नकली समाचार (फेक न्यूज) देशवासियों के बीच बंधुत्व के भाव को गंभीर नुकसान पहुंचा रहे हैं। यह ज़रूरी है कि हम सद्भाव और सहिष्णुता के उन मूल्यों को पुनर्जीवित करें जो हमारे स्वाधीनता संग्राम के अविभाज्य अंग थे और जिन्हें हमारे संविधान में महत्वपूर्ण स्थान प्राप्त है। (अंग्रेजी से हिन्दी रूपांतरण अमरीश हरदेनिया)