Deep Divisions Mark India's Independence Day 2018

The rise of Hindutva forces is tearing India apart along caste and religious lines as the country celebrates 71 years of independence from the British colonial rule.  Hindu mobs are lynching Muslims and Dalits. A recent  Pew Research report confirms that the level of hostility against religious minorities in India is "very high", giving India a score of 9.5 on a scale from 0 to 10. Pakistan's score on this scale is 7 while Bangladesh's is 7.5.

Chart Courtesy of Bloomberg
Will India Break Up? 

In recently published "The Raisina Model",  British-Indian author Lord Meghnad Desai asks: "A country of many nations, will India break up?" The Hindu Nationalists who are blamed for deepening divisions are themselves divided on the key questions of caste, religion and trade.  Professor Walter Anderson, co-author of "The RSS: The View to the Inside" raises the specter of "a battle between Hindutva and Hinduism".




The Raisina Model:

In "The Raisina Model", Lord Meghand Desai says that India's breakup can not be ruled out. Specifically, he points to three issues that could lead to it:

1.  Cow protection squads are killing Muslims and jeopardizing their livelihoods.  The current agitation about beef eating and gau raksha is in the Hindi belt just an excuse for attacking Muslims blatantly. As most slaughterhouses in UP are Muslim-owned, owners and employees of these places are prime targets.

2. India has still not fashioned a narrative about its nationhood which can satisfy all. The two rival narratives—secular and Hindu nation—are both centred in the Hindi belt extending to Gujarat and Maharashtra at the most. This area comprises 51% of the total population and around 45% of the Muslims in India.

3. India has avoided equal treatment of unequal units. Representation in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) is proportional to population size. If anything, it is the smaller states that may complain about being marginalized, though so far none has. The larger states thus dominate both Houses of Parliament. It would be difficult for small states to object, much less initiate reform. In future, small states could unite to present their case for better treatment. Except for Punjab and Nagaland, there has been no attempt to challenge the status quo.

Hindutva vs Hinduism:

In  "The RSS: The View to the Inside", the author Walter Anderson brings out several areas which could lead to a split within the Hindu Nationalists. These disagreements have to do with low caste Hindus, Muslims and  foreign trade and investment policies.

1. The leadership of the the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is drawn entirely from the upper caste Brahmins. The RSS founder Golwalkar never spoke against the caste system. The RSS opposes affirmative action, called reservations, to benefit low caste Hindus. At the same time, they want to integrate Dalits and OBCs (Other backward classes of which Prime Minister Modi is a member) into the organization to promote Hindu unity.

Anderson believes that it will be extremely difficult to reconcile Hindutva embrace of lower castes with the entrenched Hindu caste system. He says the following:

"..there will eventually be a battle between Hindutva and Hinduism. Hindutva emphasizes the oneness of Hindus, whereas ground realities are very different. Let me give an example. Following the egalitarian ideology, Tarun Vijay, an RSS ideologue and former editor of Panchjanya and Organiser, once led some Dalits into a temple in central India, where they had not been before. He was beaten up, but few in the RSS family vocally supported him. They kept mostly quiet. As one important RSS functionary put it to me, the key question is: how do we keep our organisation intact if we do move towards an egalitarian Hindu society?"

2. When RSS leader MD Deoras invited Indian Muslims to join the RSS, he argued that Muslims were mostly India-born, and therefore Indian. But he made the Muslim entry into the RSS conditional upon accepting India’s “historic culture”.  RSS leaders argue that South Indian Muslims, or Indonesian Muslims are ideal Muslims. South Indian Muslims speak the regional languages; and Indonesia, a primarily Muslim country, has the Ramayana as its national epic.

3. Many RSS ideologues oppose Prime Minister Modi's policies of promoting foreign trade and investment. They view Modi's economic policies with great skepticism.

Summary:

The rise of RSS and its affiliates in India is deepening divisions in the country along multiple fault lines, the most important being caste and religion. The RSS leadership itself is not unified on how to deal with the divisions they have created and promoted. This situation has raised the social hostilities in India to very high levels. Pew scores social hostilities against minorities in India at 9.5 on a scale from 0 to 10.  Professor Walter Anderson, co-author of "The RSS: The View to the Inside" has raised the specter of "a battle between Hindutva and Hinduism". And it has caused Lord Meghnad Desai, author of The Raisina Model, to ask the question: Will India break up?

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
India's Wrong Step
The death of a former prime minister highlights the moment when the country lost its race with China.


https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-18/atal-bihari-vajpayee-lost-india-s-race-with-china

India’s political divides increasingly look unbridgeable. Yet, when former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died last Thursday, he was mourned even by those who had been his opponents in life, whether within or outside his Bharatiya Janata Party. His successor, Manmohan Singh, compared his vision to that of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru – the highest compliment a member of the Congress Party can give. And Narendra Modi, whom Vajpayee tried to sack in 2002 as chief minister of Gujarat after thousands died in riots there, walked behind his cortege as it rolled through quiet Delhi streets.

As the first Indian prime minister not from the Congress Party to complete a full term, Vajpayee’s place in history is assured. Behind the mourning was a certain nostalgia; many remember his time in office as an enchanted moment, the high-water mark of confidence in India’s future. The country declared itself a nuclear power and survived the sanctions that followed. It was opening itself to investment and seemed to have weathered the Asian crisis of the late 1990s. It seemed reasonable, then, to put India and China in the same basket as rising powers.

Today, a decade and a half after Vajpayee was voted out, that optimism is a thing of the past. India has moved too slowly and let too many people down too often; many here now wonder if it has missed its moment entirely. You could blame Modi for this situation, or Singh. But, in fact, the foundations for this failure were laid during Vajpayee’s administration – and by his defeat in the polls.

This isn’t to say that Vajpayee’s government wasn’t reformist: It had more market-friendly ministers than any government since. It opened up the telecommunications sector, invested in roads and highways, and defused the fiscal time bomb that India’s state pensions were becoming.

But, the one moment you can point to as emblematic of the opportunities that India missed came in early 2001. Vajpayee’s finance minister, Yashwant Sinha – now a trenchant critic of Modi – had proposed that India’s draconian labor laws be relaxed. Criticism was widespread, including from within his own party. Eventually, Vajpayee backed off and the promise to amend labor law went unkept.

Vajpayee’s decisive turn away from reform of the world’s most restrictive market for labor – not to mention land and capital – is the biggest reason India went on to lose to China the race to become the world’s manufacturing hub. In the years since 2001, world trade in goods exploded, even as India continued to de-industrialize. It was just too difficult to run a decent-sized factory in India.

Larger companies needed government permission to fire even one worker. India became an IT services superpower; trade and telecom fired up its growth rate. But the country signally failed to create the manufacturing jobs that became the foundation of the Chinese miracle. Under Vajpayee, India backed away from the only path that leads to prosperity.

At the time, this was hard to see: As I said, we all felt optimistic. Vajpayee tried to distill that energy into a single two-word slogan in his 2004 reelection campaign: “India Shining.” When he lost, many assumed it was because of a backlash to that reform-friendly rhetoric.


That was never really an accurate explanation; indeed, Vajpayee himself said after the loss that the Gujarat riots were responsible. Yet the fear that economic reforms would be electoral poison has haunted Indian politicians ever since. Even Modi, with more political capital than Vajpayee ever had, has been overly cautious. One crack from his opponents that he was running a “suit-boot” government, too close to rich businessmen, was enough for him to turn into a red-blooded economic populist.
Riaz Haq said…
Muslims in Sanskrit texts
Kuldeep Kumar


https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/muslims-in-sanskrit-texts/article24763856.ece/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

A study of the works of historians Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya and Audrey Trushke suggests that the Muslim ‘other’ was really not so much ‘other’


Romila Thapar, the pre-eminent historian of early India, drew attention in her various lectures and articles to the schema of periodisation suggested by James Mill in the early nineteenth century that saw Indian society emerging out of three periods –Hindu, Muslim and British. While he divided the pre-British history on the basis of religion, he did not term the British period as Christian and set the colonial paradigm of viewing the period of Muslim’s arrival in India as one of permanent struggle between the native Hindus and the invader Muslims. Unfortunately, this colonial paradigm continues to be followed by the Hindu nationalists even till this day.

Seminal research

While acknowledging the pioneering work done by Thapar, who wrote in 1971 on the image of barbarian in early India, and by Aloka Parasher who wrote on a monograph on the category of people called Mlechchhas and about the way Indians looked at the outsiders up to 600 AD, Chattopadhyaya devotes his research to the period that falls between the eighth and the fourteenth centuries.

It is a noteworthy fact that the Sanskrit texts and inscriptions of these six centuries rarely referred to the Muslims in religious terms. Instead, ethnic or regional terms were generally employed to refer to them.

They included terms such as Turushka, Tajika, Mlechchha, Parasika, Yavana, Hammira, Gori, Turaka, Matanga and Garjanaka. Only in Veraval inscription of the time of Vaghela Arjunadeva, issued in the year 1264, one finds the term Musalmaana used to denote the Muslims.

Between fifteenth and seventeenth centuries too, Yavana, Shaka and Turushka were used but new words like Pathana, Mugil, Sultana and Patrishaha also made their appearance. Interestingly, Allavadina (Alauddin Khilji) was referred to as Dillishwar and Yavana and his soldiers were called Turushka. There are ample references in the Sanskrit texts of this period to the forging of political alliances between Yavana rulers and local or regional rulers who too were described not as Hindus but by their family names like Kakatiyas or Pandyas.

In fact, in the circa 1330 AD inscription of Vilasa (Pithapuram, East Godavari district) grant of Prolaya Nayaka, the Delhi Sultan – often Sultan was Sanskritised as Suratran – who brought calamity to the Andhradesha, was viewed as somebody who was carrying on the tradition of Parashurama in his role as the destroyer of the kshatriyas!

A meticulous and erudite scholar, Chattopadhyaya after discussing a great many Sanskrit sources in detail arrives at the conclusion that they “do not project the image of the Muslims as an undifferentiated ‘other’.” It is also significant that they do not represent them as a religious group and choose to identify them on the basis of their ethnic or spatial origins. Indian society was not unfamiliar with ‘otherness’ as there were so many ‘others’ like the tribals and lower castes that were outside the pale of the Brahmanical order and whose moral world was incompatible with the caste-based varnashrama dharma. Therefore, if one believes the contemporary Sanskrit sources, the engagement between the Muslims and the indigenous people took place at various levels. “A situation of unmitigated hostility and conflict through centuries would not have produced the kind of evidence that we have cited,” writes Chattopadhyaya.
Riaz Haq said…
#Hindu lynch mobs killing #Muslims without fear in #Modi’s #India


https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/asia_pacific/we-dont-have-any-fear-indias-angry-young-men-and-its-lynch-mob-crisis/2018/08/26/9a0a247a-a0aa-11e8-a3dd-2a1991f075d5_story.html?noredirect=on&__twitter_impression=true

‘We don’t have any fear’: India’s angry young men and its lynch mob crisis
By Annie GowenAugust 27, 2018 at 6:37 AM

Hindu activist Ram Kumar leads a march in honor of India’s Independence Day near Agra, India. (Ram Kumar/)
GOVARDHAN, India —The two young men at the leadership camp were soft-spoken yet assured, from well-off families, wearing aviator sunglasses and flip-flops.

The right-wing activists say they have beaten men they suspected of violating core Hindu beliefs and threatened interfaith couples because they fear Muslims are stealing their women. They say they’re ready to kill for their faith if necessary.

“Even if a life is lost, we don’t care,” said Ram Kumar, 23.

It’s been a summer of rage in India. Dozens have been killed by lynch mobs, and extremist Hindus continue to assault and kill others, many of them Muslims. In the latest viral video, religious pilgrims angered over a minor traffic incident used sticks to demolish a car as police looked on.

Much blame has been cast on India’s governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with critics charging that they have encouraged violence by Hindu extremists. But India’s problem of male rage has roots beyond the strident Hindu nationalism embraced by the current government.

India has more than 600 million people under age 25, and they have greater access to technology and education than ever before. Yet millions have little hope of finding decent jobs, and a “bachelor bomb” of more than 37 million surplus men — a legacy of generations of a preference for sons and aborting female fetuses — threatens social stability for decades.


Ram Kumar, left, and Gaurav Sharma, right, at a leadership camp for Hindu activists in Govardhan, India, in June. (Annie Gowen/The Washington Post)
“People are frustrated that they are not being able to get jobs,” a leader from Modi’s party, Vasundhara Raje, told the channel CNN-News18. “There is angst which is spreading across communities and people. . . . It’s a reaction to their circumstances.”

More than 1 million job seekers enter the labor market each month, many with poor English and inadequate job skills, but the country generated only 1.8 million additional jobs last year, according to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, a research firm. Modi says the number of new jobs last year was closer to 7 million.

Without solid prospects, many young men are gravitating to India’s growing right-wing nationalist organizations, where they find a sense of purpose.

Over time, a stereotype of a right-wing troll has emerged: keyboard jockeys with too much time on their hands, sitting in their childhood bedrooms furiously tweeting about every perceived slight to Hinduism and Modi.

This summer, Kumar attended a leadership camp sponsored by the Hindu nationalist World Hindu Council, where he learned to protect cows, which Hindus regard as sacred, protect women’s modesty and prevent outsiders from converting Hindus to other faiths. The youths did military drills in the baking heat, slept in the spartan concrete dorm rooms, and ate lentils and rice.

Hindu activists do military marching drills at a leadership camp in Govardhan, India, in June. (Annie Gowen/The Washington Post)
Kumar, a college graduate who runs a tent rental company, and Gaurav Sharma, 22, a law student, grew up in Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal, which they see not as an ethereal white monument but as a reminder of the Mughal invaders who subjugated India’s Hindus.

Kumar said that as a boy he was shy, but after joining the Hindu nationalist movement, “I have a strange sense of confidence now. The group has taught us what is right, what we need to do for society.”
Riaz Haq said…
Indian constitution framer Ambedkar: “Democracy in #India is only a top dressing in an Indian soil which is essentially undemocratic.” It is a sham #democracy unless it wages war on #caste and #gender discrimination that is rampant. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/when-ambedkar-and-lohia-meet-samajwad-akhilesh-yadav-5312503/

Citizens are of paramount importance in democracies and institutions are established to protect their rights. Today, each pillar of our democracy is under attack. Our administrative structure is unable to operate impartially, the state of the judiciary is such that judges of the Supreme Court have said that democracy itself is in danger and we all know the state of the media. When the institutional pillars of a democracy lose their impartiality and transparency, the country becomes a victim of partisan politics. A former judge of the Supreme Court has said that “a society not vigilant shall lose its liberties”. Therefore, it is not enough for people to vote but it is equally important to hold the government to account. As long as these institutional pillars are independent, not only will democracy be secure but the country will also prosper. Public servants in institutions are striving to do their duty despite being constantly hindered. The Opposition is the conscience-keeper of the government. It’s unfortunate that it’s being described as a daldal, or a quagmire.

There is lot of noise in the media and social media and we seem to have forgotten how to talk to each other. The nine o’clock news has become the noise o’clock news. We seem to have forgotten what the relationship between citizens, the media and a government should be. We have forgotten what the goals and responsibilities of governments are. Our country is the largest democracy in the world and its unique constitutional framework was decided by our great founding fathers, including B R Ambedkar. The Constitution placed limits on democracy precisely because, without limits, a democracy can very easily slide into anarchy and even tyranny.

A democracy must also allow for and promote different political opinions within its polity. Therein lies its beauty. However, today differences of opinion lead to being labeled anti-national. Fingers are even pointed at those who who have been honoured with the Nobel Prize. I would like to draw attention to the Bhagawat Gita. In the 32nd verse of the 6th chapter, Lord Krishna tells Arjun that the sign of a true Yogi is one who treats everyone with equality and who finds his own happiness in the happiness of others and feels pain in their pain. Indeed, Ram Manohar Lohia wrote that seeking to establish equality is as important a goal as searching for the truth. However, today people are being divided on the basis of religion, caste, gender, region and language and the seeds of animosity are being sowed amongst them. Women must play a pivotal role in the development of any society but the state has failed to ensure even basic security for them. Lohia wrote that any war on poverty is a sham unless it is also a war on caste and gender discrimination. In other words, equality, not only before the law but within society, is of paramount importance.
Riaz Haq said…
#RamMandir will be built at any cost: #Hindu Nationalist RSS chief. “Even opposition parties (in #India) cannot openly oppose a Ram temple in Ayodhya as they are aware the deity is revered by a majority of Indian" #Ayodhya #Modi #BJP http://toi.in/7jkj_b/a24gk via @timesofindia
Riaz Haq said…
Vicious reaction to #NaseeruddinShah underscores shrinking space for minorities. Shah Rukh Khan was compared to Hafiz Saeed by the #BJP’s Adityanath for speaking about #India’s climate of “extreme intolerance”. #Modi #Hindutva #Islamophobia https://scroll.in/article/906792/the-daily-fix-the-vicious-reaction-to-naseeruddin-shah-underscores-shrinking-space-for-minorities via @scroll_in

“The death of a cow has more significance than that of a police officer,” said actor Naseeruddin Shah in an interview released on December 17. He was referring to the December 3 tumult in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, in which violence by cow vigilantes from the Bajrang Dal left a policeman dead. Shah highlighted these events as an example of India’s fraught communal climate and the impunity enjoyed by people who commit such acts of violence.

To all reasonable people, there was nothing wrong in what Shah said. It is alarming that the Uttar Pradesh administration decided to prioritise the investigation into the alleged killing of cows that triggered the violence instead trying to detain the men who murdered the police officer. After all, even Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had described the inspector’s shooting as an accident. Yet, for stating this simple fact, Shah was called a “Pakistani agent” by the Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party chief and accused of treason by Ramdev, the yoga guru-turned-consumer goods magnate who is perceived to be close to the BJP. Most alarming, after protests raised fears of violence, the organisers of the Ajmer Literature Festival on Friday cancelled a session that Shah was to address.


These vicious reactions have less to do with the substance of Shah’s statements and much more to do with his identity as a Muslim. This is not the first time a Muslim actor has been criticised for expressing his views on society and politics. In 2015, Shah Rukh Khan was compared to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed by the BJP’s Adityanath for speaking about India’s climate of “extreme intolerance”. The next year, much the same thing happened with Aamir Khan: he was attacked for appearing to criticise growing intolerance. The actor even lost a major advertising contract as a result.

The fact that even Muslim celebrities are now expected to keep their political views to themselves sharply illustrates a core aspect of Hindutva: making minorities politically irrelevant. The BJP has made it a point of pride to ignore Muslims during election campaigns, choosing to build a purely Hindu consensus in places such as Uttar Pradesh. Other parties that court Muslims are derided as minority appeasers.

This strategy has been quite successful politically. In many cases, even politicians who want Muslim votes are wary of raising issues that affect the community. Political representation has seen a sharp drop. The number of Muslims in the current Lok Sabha is at an all-time low. There are only 22 Muslim MPs in the 545-strong House – less than a third of what it should have been were the Lok Sabha to mirror India’s demographic composition.

Being involved in the political life of their country is a basic right for any Indian citizen. India’s 170 million Muslims must not be shut out of political affairs.
Riaz Haq said…
Mystery of #India's 'missing' #Muslim politicians: #BJP has just 7 Muslim candidates among 437 seats it is contesting. In 2014, It had fielded the same 7 candidates in 2014 but none won. #Congress is fielding 32 Muslims among its 432 candidates. #Hindu https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-47315852

The governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded just seven Muslim candidates in the ongoing general election - it's contesting 437 seats in the 545-member lower house of parliament. It had fielded the same seven candidates in 2014 too, but none of them won. It was the first time in India's history that the government had no Muslim members of parliament.

In the 2014 election, Congress contested 464 seats but fielded just 31 Muslim candidates - of those, only seven won. Much hasn't changed in this election - only 32 of the party's 423 candidates are Muslim.

The Congress' decision not to field Mr Ahmad - a senior party spokesperson - was surprising. He is no ordinary candidate. He had served as the party's general secretary and as a junior minister when Congress was in power; his father and grandfather were both Congress leaders and lawmakers in Bihar's state assembly.

"Shakeel Ahmad, who has been such a big Congress leader, has to beg for his own seat. He is being brave now but he should have left long ago. Only Muslims can make Congress win," said Maulana Anisur Rahman Quasmi, secretary of Imarat Shariah, a socio-religious Islamic organisation in Bihar. "This is a conspiracy against us. You [Congress] tell Muslims to vote for you but you don't give them tickets."

Congress has long pitched itself as a secular party that represents the interests of minorities - and is therefore distinct from the Hindu nationalist BJP. But this courtship of Muslim voters has not translated into tickets for Muslim candidates. Of the more than 120 candidates contesting in Bihar, only eight are Muslims.

Last month, senior Muslim Congress leaders in Delhi - Shoaib Iqbal, Martin Ahmed, Hasan Ahmed and Asif Mohd Khan - warned party president Rahul Gandhi in a letter that people resented the fact that no Muslim candidates were contesting in Delhi. They urged him to allocate at least one seat to a Muslim.

"Keeping in view the number of Muslim votes, the contribution and track record of winning elections by Muslim leaders, one ticket must be given to a Muslim leader either from Chandni Chowk or North-East Delhi parliamentary seat," the letter said.

But Mr Gandhi ignored their plea. The party's list of candidates in Delhi does not include any Muslims.

Congress has defended its ticket allocations - the party's national media coordinator, Sanjeev Singh, told the BBC, "We have done what we could and given tickets wherever it was possible to give. In fact we have given [one] more ticket than we did in the 2014 election. But we are also constrained by coalition politics."
Riaz Haq said…
The Indian Dalit man killed for sitting on a chair eating in front of upper-caste men

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-48265387

A helpless anger pervades the Dalit community in the remote Indian village of Kot.

Last month, a group of upper-caste men allegedly beat up a 21-year-old Dalit resident, named Jitendra, so badly that he died nine days later.

His alleged crime: he sat on a chair and ate in their presence at a wedding.

Not even one of the hundreds of guests who attended the wedding celebration - also of a young Dalit man - will go on record to describe what happened to Jitendra on 26 April.

Afraid of a backlash, they will only admit to being at a large ground where the wedding feast was being held.

Only the police have publicly said what happened.

The wedding food had been cooked by upper-caste residents because many people in remote regions don't touch any food prepared by Dalits, who are the bottom of the rigid Hindu caste hierarchy.

"The scuffle happened when food was being served. The controversy erupted over who was sitting on the chair," police officer Ashok Kumar said.

The incident has been registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) - a law meant to protect historically oppressed communities.

Dalits, formerly known as untouchables, have suffered public shaming for generations at the hands of upper-caste Hindus.

Dalits continue to face widespread atrocities across the country and any attempts at upward social mobility are violently put down.

For example, four wedding processions of Dalits were attacked in the western state of Gujarat within a week in May.

It is still common to see reports of Dalits being threatened, beaten and killed for seemingly mundane reasons.

The culture that pervades their community is visible everywhere - including in Kot, which is in the hilly northern state of Uttarakhand.

Local residents from the Dalit community allege that Jitendra was beaten and humiliated at the wedding.

They say he left the event in tears, but was ambushed again a short distance away and attacked again - this time more brutally.

Jitendra's mother, Geeta Devi, found him injured outside their dilapidated house early the next morning.

"He had been perhaps lying there the entire night," she said, pointing to where she found him. "He had bruises and injury marks all over his body. He tried to speak but couldn't."

She does not know who left her son outside their home. He died nine days later in hospital.

Jitendra's death is a double tragedy for his mother - nearly five years ago her husband also died.

This meant that Jitendra, who was a carpenter, became the family's only breadwinner and had to drop out of school to start working.

Family and friends describe him as a private man who spoke very little.

Loved ones have been demanding justice for his death, but have found little support among the community.

"There is fear. The family lives in a remote area. They have no land and are financially fragile," Dalit activist Jabar Singh Verma said. "In surrounding villages too, the Dalits are outnumbered by families from higher castes."

Of the 50 families in Jitendra's village, only some 12 or 13 are Dalits.

Dalits comprise almost 19% of Uttarakhand's population and the state has a history of atrocities committed against them.

Police have arrested seven men in connection with Jitendra's death, but all of them deny any involvement.
Riaz Haq said…
#Tamil #Dravidian #DMK Leader Stalin : Will Support Formation of Separate Country if #Southern States Want to Break Away From #India #Modi #BJP | India News,https://www.india.com/news/india/will-support-formation-of-separate-country-if-southern-state-want-to-break-away-from-india-dmk-leader-mk-stalin-2949689/


Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president MK Stalin on Saturday said that he would support if the southern states demand the formation of a separate country ‘Dravida Nadu’. He said that he would welcome any situation in which the southern states demand to break away from India.

“If such a situation comes, it would be welcome. We hope that such a situation arises,” Stalin said in Erode,” he said, The Hindu reported.

Dismissing Stalin’s comments, RK Nagar MLA and ousted AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran said that the route DMK leader has taken, will lead him nowhere. “First let him focus on Cauvery issue, what has he done in all these years when he was in power? He should use his influence to solve the matter, he is taking a route which leads nowhere,” he said.


P Maniarasan, the leader of the Tamil Desiya Periyakkam, said, “If he is really serious about creating Dravidanadu, let him visit the neighbouring states and muster support,” adding, “s he ready to include the proposal in the election manifesto of his party? Is he ready to convene a special general council of the DMK to propagate the idea?” The Hindu reported.

Stalin later said that he didn’t mean that he would start a campaign for the formation of Dravida Nadu but was merely answering a question. “Yes I had made remarks on Dravida Nadu but it was only after I was asked a question on it, but this does not mean that I am undertaking campaign for Dravida Nadu,” Stalin said.

Stalin’s comment has come merely a week after two southern Chief Ministers complained that southern states contribute more to the taxes than it gets in return.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian #Adivasi #Dalit doctor commits #suicide in #Mumbai after being harassed. She shared a room with Dr Hema Ahuja and Dr Bhakti Mehar. The two doctors would go to the toilet and wipe their feet on her mattress and litter it. #JusticeForDrPayal https://gn24.ae/8158ba2f767a000

The suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi, a Mumbai-based doctor and postgraduate student has created a furore online, after it was reported that the death was a result of caste-based harassment.

Twenty six-year-old Dr Payal Tadvi was a second-year resident doctor at the BYL Nair Hospital located in Mumbai Central.

The harassment
Her husband, Dr Salman Tadvi, was quoted in the Indian newspaper The Hindu: “When she came to Nair Hospital for her postgraduation, she was asked to temporarily share a room with Dr Hema Ahuja and Dr Bhakti Mehar. The two began harassing her soon.... The two doctors would go to the toilet and wipe their feet on her mattress and litter it. When she would be away, they would taunt her that she was spending time with her husband.”

According to Mumbai Mirror, the two doctors, along with another doctor, allegedly made fun of her caste and posted derogatory messages on a Whatsapp group. Tadvi had joined the college on a reservation quota.

Historically disadvantaged castes and tribes receive a quota for minimum representation in schools, universities and government jobs, as per the Indian Constitution. This is termed as ‘reservation’.

Her mother, Abeda Tadvi, had filed a written complaint to the head of the department in the hospital but she alleged that no steps were taken. Dr Tadvi committed suicide on May 22.

“Whenever she used to speak to me on the phone, she would say that these three people torture her as she belongs to a tribal community, use casteist slurs on her. We want justice for her,” Dr Tadvi’s mother told the news agency ANI.

According to a report in the Indian newspaper Mid-day, she said: “Had the authorities acted swiftly and shown sensitivity, my daughter would have been alive today.”

Action taken
The report also stated that hours before she died, Dr Tadvi told her mother that she was unable to bear the torment from the three doctors, who have been absconding since they learned about her suicide.

The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors has cancelled the memberships of the three accused, according to news agency ANI. In their response, the accused urged the association to conduct a fair investigation, referring to their heavy workload in letter: “You all are aware of the workload in residency and do you all really believe burdened with the workload is ragging?”

According to a report by the Hindustan Times, the Agripada police have registered a case against the three accused under section 306 (abetment for suicide) of the Indian penal code (IPC), sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Act, Anti-Ragging Act and Information Technology Act, 2000.

What is an Adivasi?
Dr Payal Tadvi belonged to the Adivasi Tadvi Bhil community, a Scheduled Tribe - which is designated by the Indian Constitution as being historically disadvantaged.

Riaz Haq said…
How Tulsi Gabbard Unites Bloodstained Hindu Nationalists, the Genocidal Assad and the U.S. Far Right

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-how-tulsi-gabbard-unites-bloodstained-modi-genocidal-assad-and-the-u-s-far-right-1.6870890

On the one hand, she condemns the Saudi-U.S. led coalition as complicit in a genocidal war, but she welcomes India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been called the "man with a massacre on his hands" with open arms.

Some background: In 2002, Modi was chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat when fire broke out in a train full of Hindu pilgrims. This is how The Guardian’s Aditya Chakrabortty describes what followed:

"Within hours and without a shred of evidence, Modi declared that the Pakistani secret services had been to blame; he then had the charred bodies paraded in the main city of Ahmedabad; and let his own party support a state-wide strike for three days.

-----------------------


Tulsi Gabbard has an exceptional appreciation for Modi.

Hers is a very personal rapport. She presented him with her own copy of the Bhagavad-Gita, on which she took her Congressional oath of office, when he visited the U.S. Modi sent her with "a beautiful message of Krishna" for her wedding. Gabbard then presented him with a CD of music from her wedding.

Upon Mr Modi’s invitation, she took a trip to India where she was widely regarded as the "darling of the BJP and the RSS" – the RSS (a right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organization) being the BJP’s ideological "parent." Both groups, which wield enormous power in India, take pride in a narrow, chauvinistic view of India as a Hindu country where Muslims and other minorities should be considered second-class citizens.

Such was her affinity that Tulsi opposed House Resolution 417 - "Praising India’s rich religious diversity and commitment to tolerance and equality, and reaffirming the need to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities" - that was seen as a veiled criticism of Modi. She even tried to brush away the Gujarat pogrom by saying, "There was a lot of misinformation that surrounded the event in 2002."

When it comes to Modi, Gabbard seems to have no pangs of conscience about "destruction, death and suffering" and comfortably wipes the blood off the hands of those complicit in murder.

Why would Tulsi Gabbard damn what she sees as America’s complicity in Yemen but embrace an authoritarian foreign leader with blood on his hands? Why does she openly support and endorse Modi’s poor track record on human rights? What distinction does Gabbard draw between the thousands of Muslims massacred in Gujarat and the thousands of Muslims who died in Yemen? Why isn’t she making a similarly passionate plea to Prime Minister Modi to stop the ongoing mob lynchings and rapes in India?

One obvious reason she won’t do that is the financial and electoral benefits she accrues from openly supporting Modi. By displaying her carefully cultivated public support for Modi, she has won the support of many Indian Americans - particularly those with links to the RSS - by flaunting her 'loyal' Hindu identity.

Riaz Haq said…
The rise of #Hindutva forces is tearing #India apart along caste, religious and linguistic lines. The country has many religions and castes. And 22 official languages. https://www.riazhaq.com/2018/08/deep-divisions-mark-indias-independence.html

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10162362220330584&set=a.10151443201680584&type=3&av=867450583&eav=AfYE_KZdCMiCP-i7gSv9rsCTtq2WvucAmA7YfFQvDpf5ka_8a9mHAETlxOuh8oyKxIg&eid=ARCRwVUvsYa5FNT5iBnWIJj9fbJ3trTH2FNGN2cRlbYF6eRYddcWAO0i-_qkuKynum8CJPaIuX8mvHL-
Riaz Haq said…
#Hindi evolved at a time, when #Urdu – another form of #Hindustani since the 1800s – underwent significant #Persian influence and acquired prestige. Hindi was devised by #Scottish linguists of East India Co – how can it be #India’s National Language? https://thebengalstory.com/english/hindi-was-devised-by-a-scottish-linguist-of-the-east-india-company-it-can-never-be-indias-national-language/?fbclid=IwAR0ABUH6yqJs48NbrB88XCvuELbRfT2a388YANXFS2NOdVYNRr7eROdY0Xc

24 Sep 2019Devdan Chaudhuri
If the Anglophone Indians are derided as ‘Macaulay’s children’, then the Hindi speaking Indians can also be called ‘Gilchrist’s children’.

My late maternal grandmother – who had studied philosophy and biology in the 1940s Calcutta – had told me once during my boyhood, that Calcutta was the birthplace of the modern Hindi language: it was ‘invented’ by the British in Fort William, Calcutta.

I remembered my grandmother’s words when I read the news reports about the recently concluded ‘Hindi Divas’ day when the Union Home Minister Amit Shah pitched for Hindi as the national language of India.

This prompted me to consider and figure out why my maternal grandmother said what she did. I wanted to know about the ‘suppressed truths’ and understand the ‘secret history’ of Hindi.

Now I wish to share with you what I found; and have to begin by recalling few essential facts about the languages of India.

Linguistic Diversity of India

Papua New Guinea – with a population of just over seven million – has world’s highest number of languages: 852 (840 are spoken and 12 are extinct). It tops the Linguistic Diversity Index (Source: UNESCO 2009) with 0.990. India comes at #9 with a score of 0.930.

But if we measure linguistic diversity by total population, India with 1.3 billion people (#2 by population) is much ahead of the rest, including China (1), United States of America (3), Indonesia (4) and Brazil (5). And hence, one can say, India is the ‘most populated linguistic diverse country in the world’.

Census of India of 2001 said that India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. It recorded 30 languages which were spoken by more than a million native speakers and 122 which were spoken by more than 10,000 people.

There are 22 scheduled languages of India – Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithali, Malayalam, Marathi, Meitei (Manipuri), Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu – and two official languages of the Union Government: Hindi and English.

In addition to the above, the Government of India has awarded the distinction of classical language to 6 languages which have a ‘rich heritage and independent nature’: Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu.

Tamil is also one of the oldest living languages in the world and this Dravidian language predates even Sanskrit (a part of the Indo-Aryan family of Indic languages).

Contrary to the perceptions formed by boisterous disinformation campaigns, Hindi is not the national language of India. India has no national language.

As per the 2011 census, only 26.6% of the Indians identify Hindi as their mother tongue.

Hindi Language

Modern Hindi – one of the youngest Indian languages – is based on the Khariboli dialect (vernacular of Delhi and the surrounding region) and its literary tradition evolved towards the end of the 18th century.

Khariboli itself had evolved to replace earlier dialects such as Awadhi – the sweet-sounding language of the commoners in which Tulsidas’ Ramcharitamanas was composed in the early 17th century. The Awadhi bhakti poem popularized Lord Rama all over North India; that in turn is influencing the politics of modern India.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indians not #racist, we accept South Indians, says #BJP's Tarun Vijay. In a debate on Al Jazeera TV over the issue of attack on some #Nigerians in Greater Noida #Delhi, Tarun Vijay said it was wrong to say that Indians are racist. #Tamil https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/tarun-vijay-south-indians-racism-remark-nigerians-attack-greater-noida-970084-2017-04-07?fbclid=IwAR3dP5S2GJlSMl5z_hA_j8cT_i17qQBnl-MidEmFAejt3uK28coD8lIwWY0 via @indiatoday

Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP has come out with an apology for hurting sentiments after making a bizarre statement hinting that Indians can not be considered racist as they live with 'black' South Indians.

Participating in a debate on Al Jazeera TV over the issue of attack on some Nigerians in Greater Noida, Vijay said it was wrong to say that Indians are racist.

"If we were racist, why would we have the entire south (India)? Why do we live with them (if we are racist)? We hae blacks, black people around us," Vijay said.

The BJP leader, however, apologised for his statement while admitting that his choice of words may have been wrong.

"I feel the entire statement sas this - we have fought racism and we have people with different colour and culture still never had any racism," Vijay said.

"My words perhaps were not enough to convey this. Feel bad,really feel sorry, my apologies to those who feel I said different than what I meant," he added.

I feel the entire statement sas this- we have fought racism and we have people with different colour and culture still never had any racism.

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