Showing posts from February, 2016

'Patently false': JNU faculty rips into the Bar Council report justifying the Patiala House attack

Full text of the statement by the Jawaharal Nehru University faculty In a shockingly partisan statement that blatantly misrepresents events, the Bar Council of India has issued a  report  that justifies the well documented attacks by a mob of lawyers on Jawaharlal Nehru University students, teachers and media at Patiala House Courts over two days (February 15 and 17, 2016) as “a reaction to the incidents, which are grave in nature and very dangerous for the country”. The Bar Council of India Joint Secretary Ashok Kumar Pandey claimed that a large number of JNU teachers and students and others had arrived at the court in three to four buses and raised slogans and used “provocative words”. This led to the untoward incident in which “both the sides took part,” said the report, adding that “any true citizen or a lawyer of India” was supposed to react strongly to the “anti-India” slogans. We, the undersigned faculty members of Jawaharlal Nehru University, wish to set the record

Haryana police at work: 'Cops told us to be quiet for sake of honour': Survivors of Murthal describe their gangrape ordeal

Murthal (Sonepat):  Amid continuous police denial, two victims came forward and described the ordeal they suffered on the Murthal highway on the evening of 22 February when Jat protesters — who were agitating to press the government to accept their demand for reservation in government jobs — allegedly assaulted them sexually along with several others. They also disclosed the conspiracy of silence hatched by the cops, who allegedly discouraged them from reporting the matter 'for the sake of their honour'. Keeping in view the safety and privacy of the victims (as per their request), their locations have been withheld. “Along with my husband, I was on way back to home from Delhi when our bus was stopped by the rioters a kilometre away from Sukhdev Dhaba (a famous eatery). My husband and I, along with several others were dragged out and taken to a lonely roadside field, where I was gangraped till the time I lost consciousness. The other women in the bus met the same fate. 

Offer truth and hope, not drama: Teachers

The following is an open letter written by the SC/ST Teachers' Forum & Concerned Faculty, University of Hyderabad, to Union HRD minister Smriti Irani: Dear Ms Irani, Thanks to your stunning performance, we, many faculty members from the University of Hyderabad, are compelled to do what we should have done in the last one month or so, but could not bring ourselves to - write, write about Rohith, write about our other students, write about the state of academics, write about ourselves and write about society at large. Our first acknowledgement to this therefore goes to you for revealing yourself and for bringing us back from grief, from reflection, from teaching and from various other mundane things we do as part of our job.  As we watched you in disbelief on our TV screens on 24th February 2016, you, in a voice choked with emotion, again and again referred to the "child" whose death has been used as a political weapon. We were left bewildered. At what pr

ABVP: In the footsteps of Pakistan’s Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba - by Javed Anand

The unfolding Modi-BJP-RSS-ABVP nexus in India is but a replay of the Zia ul Haq-Jamaat e Islami-Islami Jamiat e Talaba axis in Pakistan in the 1970s Ideologically speaking, the ‘Hindu nationalist’ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with its  Hindu Rashtra  agenda is the mirror image of the Abu Ala Maududi’s Jamaat-e-Islami with Islamic state and  Shariah  law as its goal. It should not be surprising then that the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – the student body floated by the RSS – is beginning to look more and more, and ominously so, like the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) – the student wing floated by Maududi in Pakistan. “If you want to change a country, change its students,” noted American writer and journalism,  Dan Brooks  in an article, ‘Know your theocrats: Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba’, which he wrote in 2011. The RSS wants to “change India” just as the Jamaat-e-Islami is trying to “change Pakistan”. If the ABVP is the former’s instrument for ‘changing students’ in

Muslims warned of ‘final battle’ at Sangh meet, Union Minister Katheria talks of revenge

NB : If this meeting yesterday has been correctly reported here, a central government minister and a BJP MP openly talked of revenge killings ( khoon ka badla khoon ), mass violence and their contempt for the law. Maybe the Prime Minister believes that this too is justified by his mandate. And maybe the courts will take suo moto notice of these bloodthirsty speeches. But maybe not. DS Muslims warned of ‘final battle’ at Sangh meet, MoS Katheria says ‘we’ve to show our strength’ Muslims were equated to “demons” and “descendants of Ravana”, and warned of a “final battle”, as the Sangh Parivar Sunday held a condolence meeting here for VHP worker Arun Mahaur, who was killed last week by some Muslim youths. Among those present on the dais were Union Minister of State, HRD, and  BJP  Agra MP Ram Shankar Katheria as well as the BJP’s Fatehpur Sikri MP Babu Lal, apart from other party local leaders, who joined in the threats to Muslims. Speaker after speaker urged Hindus to “corner M

Mubashir Mir - Between Sanghi & Separatists: an alternate perspective from Kashmir

The last two weeks have been.. eventful. Popular support for Kashmiris' demand for justice in the rest of India has long been overdue. However, in opposing the Sangh and its brand of violent fascist nationalism, the liberal left must take care not to, unwittingly, join hands with the very monster it is fighting, albeit in a different avatar.     The typical Kashmiri separatist is not very different from the Sanghi. He doesn't tolerate any criticism of his Supreme Leader, or an ideology that doesn't fall in line with his own when it comes to the affairs of J&K. Like the Sanghi, he comes up with the most brilliantly innovative insults for those who dare to disagree with him (Endian Dog being the most popular), and he always has the nicest things to say about your female relatives. As far as minority affairs are concerned, I daresay he has surpassed his Sanghi counterparts, as he completely denies the tragedies of Kashmiri Pandits who suffered at the hands of his hero

Uday Bhaskar - Why Involving Ex-Servicemen in the JNU Controversy is Potentially Toxic

The Indian fauj by its apolitical nature remains the last bastion.  Maintaining this equipoise is imperative The controversy triggered by anti-national sloganeering on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on February 9 – attributed by campus residents to an outsider group – has snowballed into a bitter and emotive national debate outside and inside parliament. JNU has become a no-holds barred/no-quarter given, zero-sum battle over what constitutes ‘nationalism’ and how supposed transgressions from the ‘norm’ must be dealt with. Many institutions have joined this charged debate and some among them stand compromised or tainted. Here the conduct of the Delhi Police and the lawyers who resorted to vigilantism in Patiala House and attacked JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar are a case in point. Some media houses have also been guilty of the most deplorable lowering of professional standards. By unfortunate happenstance, the JNU controversy erupted around the time w

Atul Dev - The attack on Soni Sori follows her attempts at holding the police in Bastar accountable

On 20 February, Saturday, Soni Sori, the tribal rights activist and leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Dantewada at south Bastar in Chhattisgarh, left Jagdalpur at 9 pm and headed home to Geedam. Her friends Shalini Gera and Isha Khandelwal, who had  moved to Jagdalpur in 2013 and founded the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group  (JagLAG), had been served an  eviction notice on Thursday , following the questioning of their landlord by the local police. On Saturday, they held a press conference about the police intimidation that had forced them out of Jagdalpur.  Sori had come for the presser, and had stayed back to bid Gera and Khandelwal goodbye. “She wanted to stay back longer, but it was getting late,” Khandelwal told me, when I spoke to her on Sunday. Sori sat on the passenger seat of a motorcycle, behind her long-time friend, Rinki Thakur. It was a 70 kilometre journey westward on the national highway number 16. “She was scared,” said Khandelwal. “We had received information tha

स्मृति ईरानी को एक जे-एन-यू के छात्र की चिट्ठि: अनन्त प्रकाश नारायण

आपकी सरकार आर एस एस के सांस्कृतिक राष्ट्रवाद, जिसे कॉर्पोरेट समर्थन मिला हुआ है, के एजेंडे को लागू करने के लिए पूरी तरह प्रतिबद्ध है. और उसके लिए यह ज़रूरी है की समाज से सोचने और तर्क करने की क्षमता को खत्म कर दिया जाय. चूँकि विश्वविद्यालय तर्क और वैज्ञानिकता की जगह होते है, इसीलिए स्वाभाविक निशाने पर हम आए... सेवा में, श्रीमती स्मृति ईरानी जी “राष्ट्रभक्त” मानव संसाधन विकास मंत्री, भारत सरकार संसद में दिए गए आपके भाषण को सुना . इससे पहले की मै अपनी बात रखूँ , यह स्पष्ट कर दूं की यह पत्र किसी “बच्चे” का किसी “ममतामयी” मंत्री के नाम नहीं है बल्कि यह पत्र एक खास विचारधारा की राजनीति करने वाले व्यक्ति का पत्र दूसरे राजनैतिक व्यक्ति को है. सबसे पहले मै यह स्पष्ट कर दूं कि मै किसी भी व्यक्ति की योग्यता का आकलन उसकी शैक्षणिक योग्यता के आधार पर नहीं करता हूँ बल्कि साफ़ साफ़ कहूं तो मै “योग्यता”(मेरिट) के पूरे कांसेप्ट को खारिज करता हूँ. मानव संसाधन मंत्रालय का पद भार लेने के साथ ही यह अपेक्षा की जाती है कि आप इस देश के केंद्रीय विश्वविद्यालयों में उनकी ऑटोनोमी का सम्मान करते हुए