Showing posts from May, 2017

IIT Madras students protest against assault on PhD scholar who participated in beef fest

Around 80 IIT Madras students staged a protest outside the dean’s office on Wednesday demanding the expulsion of students accused of beating up PhD scholar, R Sooraj, for participating in a beef festival. The accused students, believed to be members of a right-wing group, have a history of violent behaviour and are “a threat to campus safety”, one of the protest organisers told . The beef festival was held on Sunday evening by a group of 70-80 students in protest against the Centre’s  directive  banning the sale of cattle at animal markets for slaughter. Many say the directive violates personal rights and will hurt India’s cattle traders, who are largely Muslims. Students associated with two other groups – Revolutionary Students Youth Front and Democratic Youth Federation of India – also participated in the protest outside the campus on Wednesday. Police detained some of the agitating students while they were staging a rasta roko demonstration…  read more:  https://s

PAVAN KULKARNI - Savarkar, a Staunch Supporter of British Colonialism / How Savarkar Escaped Conviction For Gandhi’s Assassination

How Did Savarkar, a Staunch Supporter of British Colonialism, Come to Be Known as ‘Veer’? Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966) – mythologised in popular imagination as ‘Veer Savarkar’ – not only refrained from participating in the freedom struggle after the British released him from prison on account of his relentless pleas for mercy, but also actively collaborated with the English rulers to whom he had declared his loyalty. At the time when Subhas Chandra Bose was raising his Indian National Army to confront the British in India, Savarkar helped the colonial government recruit lakhs of Indians into its armed forces. He further destabilised the freedom movement by pushing his Hindutva ideology, which deepened the communal divide at a time when a united front against colonial rule was needed. Post independence, Savarkar was also implicated in Mahatma Gandhi’s murder.  Such is the man who was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be “the true son of Mother India and inspirati

Dalai Lama: "I am fully committed to the oneness of humanity"

Prayer doesn’t bring a peaceful world. We can pray for a thousand years and nothing will happen I am a Buddhist, I have a daily practice of prayer but I do not believe prayer brings a peaceful world. We can keep praying for a thousand years and nothing will happen. We should be realistic. If you have the opportunity to meet the Buddha or Jesus Christ, ask them to bring peace to this world and they will certainly ask you, who creates violence? If god created violence, then yes, it’s relevant to appeal to god. I am certain that Buddha and Jesus Christ would tell us, you have created the problem, so it’s your responsibility to solve it. We are all social animals and compassion, care and concern for others brings us together. Animals may be violent but only human beings make war. However, this may be changing. In the early part of the 20th century, when one nation declared war on the other, every citizen joined the war effort, without asking questions. This has no longer been the ca

Great Barrier Reef can no longer be saved, Australian experts concede

The Great Barrier Reef – a canary in the coal mine for global warming – can no longer be saved in its present form partly because of the “extraordinary rapidity” of climate change, experts have conceded. Instead, action should be taken to maintain the  World Heritage Site 's 'ecological function' as its ecological health declines, they reportedly recommended.  Like coral across the world, the reef has been severely damaged by the warming of the oceans with up to 95 per cent of areas surveyed in 2016 found to have been bleached. Bleaching is not always fatal but a study last year found the “ largest die-off of corals ever recorded ” with about 67 per cent of shallow water coral found dead in a survey of a 700km stretch. Second mass bleaching in 12 months devastates Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef 'can only survive if global warming is curbed' Great Barrier Reef ecosystem under threat as corals continue to die New pictures show

Joshua Wong, the student who risked the wrath of Beijing: By Tania Branigan

Cometh the hour, cometh the boy. Very much a boy: 17 and looking even younger behind his black-rimmed spectacles, with baggy shorts accentuating his skinniness and shaggy hair in need of a trim. Bright, well-mannered and slightly geeky, everyone’s son was about to become an international celebrity. In September 2014, an unprecedented  wave of civil disobedience swept Hong Kong , with tens of thousands of people pouring on to the streets to call for democratic reforms. The shock wasn’t just seeing riot police deployed in the heart of a city regarded as apolitical, money-focused and essentially conservative. It was the numbers and sheer youth of these peaceful demonstrators, umbrellas held aloft to ward off teargas and pepper spray, as they confronted – peacefully, tidily and very, very politely – the wrath of Beijing. The Face of Protest,  in the words of Time’s cover , was teenager Joshua Wong. Fortune named him  one of the world’s greatest leaders . It was the detention of Wong

Isis: The Origins of Violence – a brave documentary that will start many a fight. By Mark Lawson

One of the peculiarities of this week’s Bafta TV awards was the BBC  receiving more prizes than Channel 4 by a ratio of 19 to 1 . This may have been because of voters punishing the network for poaching The Great British Bake Off. But the results were unrepresentative of the state of television, because there is a sort of programme that only Channel 4, among British broadcasters, would and could make – and Isis: The Origins of Violence is a stark example. Presenting foreign documentaries is often thought of as a glamorous profession – free air travel and hotel accommodation in hot places in exchange for a few pensive walking-talking shots – but this invitation to historian Tom Holland promised an explosion on his Twitter feed, and possibly one under his feet. While visiting sites of Isis atrocities that have not yet been made safe, he was required to address the philosophical question of whether Islamic doctrine contains a strain of thought that can be used to justify extreme viole

Mukul Kesavan - Lynch mob republic // Jharkhand lynching: NHRC asks DGP to file report within 4 weeks

A nation of vigilantes  - Lynch mob republic These three years have seen the State fuse with the street to create a vigilante nation. If India's first national movement was a mobilization against foreign rulers, the new nationalism, the principal style of which is vigilantism, is directed at the enemy within. 'Vigilantism' used in this way needs an explanation. Vigilantes are ordinarily defined as people who take the law into their own hands. For example, Amitabh Bachchan (with the aid of Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra) dominated the box office in the Seventies and Eighties as the vigilante hero who tried to set an irredeemably corrupt world to rights. Films like  Zanjeer , Deewaar and  Coolie  defined a new genre in Hindi cinema. Plain vanilla vigilantism of the Bachchan sort is different from vigilante nationalism in two ways. First, it's a form of individual heroism whereas contemporary Indian vigilantism is organized and collective. Secondly, the  filmi  

Joshua Robertson - Australian convict pirates in Japan: evidence of 1830 voyage unearthed

An amateur historian has unearthed compelling evidence that the first Australian maritime foray into Japanese waters was by convict pirates on an audacious escape from Tasmania almost two centuries ago. Fresh translations of samurai accounts of a “barbarian” ship in 1830 give startling corroboration to a story modern scholars had long dismissed as convict fantasy: that a ragtag crew of criminals encountered a forbidden  Japan  at the height of its feudal isolation. The brig Cyprus was hijacked by convicts bound from Hobart to Macquarie Harbour in 1829, in a mutiny that took them all the way to China. Its maverick skipper was William Swallow, a onetime British cargo ship apprentice and naval conscript in the Napoleonic wars, who in a piracy trial in London the following year told of a samurai cannonball in Japan knocking a telescope from his hand. Swallow’s fellow mutineers, two of whom were the last men hanged for piracy in Britain, backed his account of having been to Japan

Amitabha Pande - Political expediency cannot trump justice

NEVER before in its history has the Indian Administrative Service witnessed a perversion of justice as terrifying as that evidenced in the conviction of HC Gupta (former Coal Secretary) for his role in the alleged coal scam. Gupta is not just another retired senior civil servant but an icon who represents the gold standard for rectitude and probity in public service. When such an officer is made a scapegoat, we realise how deep the rot has gone into the entrails of our government and body politic.What really is the case against HC Gupta? The charge is that Gupta, as Chairman of the Screening Committee for coal block allocations, conspired to ignore a deliberate misrepresentation of facts by the applicant relating to his company's net worth and existing capacity to secure an allocation despite his ineligibility under the Ministry guidelines. Though the final decision was taken by the Ministers and the Secretary Coal was only making a recommendation, this negligence on the part of G

Violent Thoughts About Slavoj Zizek by Simon Critchley

Slavoj Zizek has been telling lies about me. He attacked a recent book of mine,  Infinitely Demanding , in the  London Review of Books . Since then, things have gone from bad to worse, but I will spare the reader the grisly details. What I would like to do here is to use this debate as a lever for trying to think about the difficult question of the nature and plausibility of a politics of non-violence and try and explore what I see as the complex dialectic of violence and non-violence. Those with an eye for detail might notice that the following represents both a clarification and a shift in the position on violence and non-violence presented in  Infinitely Demanding. I would like to begin by discussing Zizek’s recently published book  Violence  and then expand and deepen my focus by way of a reading of Walter Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’. This will lead to a thinking through of the idea of divine violence and an interpretation of the Biblical commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill

Before Yogi Adityanath’s visit, Dalit villagers got shampoo, soap to ‘clean themselves’ // GST’s Cultural Statement: Sindoor Is Pure, Blood Is Dirty

NB: No amount of soap can cleanse the minds of patriarchs and racists - DS A DAY before Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit on Thursday, the 100-odd Musahar Dalit families of Mainpur Deenapatti village in Kushinagar district received two bars of soap, ‘Lifebuoy’ and ‘Ghari’, a sachet of shampoo, and instructions to “clean themselves” before attending the public meeting. “I got the soaps from the Anganwadi women. I didn’t get the shampoo, but others did. I was told to take a bath with the soap before going for the meeting. We already use soap which we buy from the local shop. What’s going to change with just two bars of soap,” said Keshri, a villager in her sixties. The village, mainly consisting of thatched huts, saw a lot of activity in the week leading to Adityanath’s visit. Villagers pointed out the new pavement made of cement and bricks, about a dozen freshly-dug pits for construction of toilets, repaired hand-pumps and posters of Swachh Bharat Mission. “About two yea

The CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

The CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan: Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski ,  President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser  Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998  Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter, Dies at 89 Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct? Brzezinski : Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of

Sikhs And Hindus In A Punjab Village Joined Hands To Build A Mosque Ahead Of Ramzan

In a shining instance of communal harmony and the spirit of brotherhood, members of the Sikh and Hindu communities came together to build a mosque for their Muslim brethren in a village in Punjab. A report in the  Times Of India  mentioned that in the village of Ghalib Ran Singh Waal, which is dominated by Sikhs and Hindus, a mosque was inaugurated just as the month of Ramzan is going to begin. Earlier, the Muslim community had to visit nearby villages for their namaaz. The TOI report quoted Liaqat Ali, a resident of the village, as saying that their long cherished demand has been fulfilled and that the beautiful Hazrat Abu Bakar mosque is an Eid gift for them. The village of Ghalib Ran Singh Waal has a population of 1,300, out of which around 700 are Sikhs, 200 Hindus, and 150 are Muslims. The Muslims had mostly settled in the village after the partition. The Shahi Imam of Punjab, Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Saani Ludhianvi, said that it is a big gesture of brotherhood on part

Book review: How the Nazis Made Art Fascist

Benjamin Martin: The Nazi-Fascist New Order for European Culture Reviewed by IAN BEACOCK Keystone/Getty Imagges Cary Grant was there. So was the distinguished silent film star Mary Pickford. Tyrone Power, handsome swashbuckler of stage and screen, showed up with his new wife, the glamorous French actress Annabella. As they did every summer, the world’s rich and famous had descended upon Venice to toss back flutes of prosecco at the Biennale and step out at the Film Festival. In August 1939, however, the guest of honor was Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s chief propagandist and the cultural czar of the Third Reich. Goebbels made a dramatic entrance by gondola, gliding down the Grand Canal as swastika flags rippled from bridges and windowsills.  Italian newsreels  show the propaganda minister sunning himself aboard a sailboat and leading a nighttime rally in the Piazza San Marco. Within weeks of Goebbels’ Venetian tour, German tanks thundered into Poland. Europe was once again at war.

PATRICK BLANCHFIELD: Mirror Stage President

No amount of coverage seems to be enough, and wha t coverage there is always falls short Can we diagnose the omnipresent? It might be more productive to read Trump as a symptom. The vector of contagion - those screens - leaps out. Trump, of course, isn’t just at home on screen - he is personally at home with them, surrounded by them. In some respects, this is typical: just another 70-year-old white man who begins his mornings with television, monitors television throughout the day, and retires, fairly early, to watch more television at night. Like many such men, he’s said to occasionally respond to the television by talking at it angrily, and, also like many such men, he is particularly fond of Fox News. What sets Trump apart from the stereotype is that what he primarily watches on TV is himself. What for us is a screen is for Trump a mirror, and he gets to have mirrors everywhere… It’s here that a little bit of psychoanalysis can help SIGMUND FREUD  only made one trip to the Un


The camp is the end of the liberal order, the end of the post-WW II world, the end of human rights. “My friend,” TZEZHS4XS01082016 says when a new man—young, well-fed, bored—appears on the other side of the wiring. “Please. My name. I haven’t heard it.” THE BOY DIDN’T SLEEP IN THE TENT  last night. He has someplace he goes. In the city maybe. It’s better, there’s more space when he’s gone. But TZEZHS4XS01082016 can’t help but feel jealous. TZEZHS4XS01082016 hasn’t been able to leave the camp for months. He could leave if he wanted, but what if they called his name while he was out? He lifts his wrist up, clicks on the light on his watch. 07:31. Why even check the time? It annoys him every time he does it. It’s best to forget the time. What do you need to know the time for? He checks under his pillow for the plastic, the paper within. He worries that he’ll unfold and fold it so many times that it will tear, that some crucial letter will become illegible. But he still needs to check

What Orwell Saw - and what he missed - about today’s world By THOMAS E. RICKS

While spending the last three years immersed in the works of George Orwell for a book I was researching and writing, I often was struck by how often his writing speaks to the problems of today. That’s especially impressive, given that he died in 1950. The dystopian future Orwell portrays in  1984  helps illuminate our post-9/11 world. In the novel, the government of “Big Brother” carries on a perpetual war that, as in American life today, “involves very small numbers of people, mostly highly trained specialists, and causes comparatively few casualties. The fighting, when there is any, takes place on the vague frontiers whose whereabouts the average man can only guess at.” And just as young Americans today have lived with that anti-terror campaign all their lives, so too  1984 ’s hero, “Winston,” “could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war.”  Orwell would not be surprised that the U.S. government, prosecuting such a war, officially endorsed the use of

Fascist, Go Home! After Bombing, Manchester Residents Shut Down Anti-Muslim Demo

In the aftermath of Monday’s tragic bombing, the people of Manchester showed little patience with the racist opportunists of the extreme right English Defence League, quickly confronting EDL attempts at provoking a xenophobic and anti-Muslim backlash. The immigrant-scapegoating EDL picketed outside of the Arndale Mall Tuesday, spewing Islamophobic slurs and hoisting the Union Jack. The demonstration followed shortly after the panicked evacuation of the shopping center. However, the far-right horde was quickly outnumbered by counter-protesters. One man, filmed by Reuters, strongly denounced the EDL fascists while onlookers clapped and nodded. The Bombing at a Manchester Ariana Grande Show Was an Attack on Girls and Women “The people of Manchester don’t stand with your xenophobia and racism,” he said, adding, “The people of Manchester are going to stick together, no matter what religion you follow, no matter what the color of your skin is. “We’re not going to stand with peop

International Hawkers' Day: Sustainable Consumption, Sustainability in Value Chain and Hawkers. By T. Vijayendra

International Hawkers' Day May 26 Sustainable Consumption, Sustainability in Value Chain and Hawkers T. Vijayendra Life on earth can be divided in two parts – plant life and animal life. The difference between the two is that plants produce their own food whereas animals, humans included, live directly or indirectly on food produced by plants. To sustain themselves, humans consume goods and services not only from plant sources but also from inanimate sources such as minerals. These are called renewable and non-renewable resources respectively. Non-renewable resources are finite in nature by definition; in other words, the more we use them, the scarcer they get. Renewable sources, like plants, trees and agriculture, are by definition renewed in nature; both by natural processes and helped by human efforts. Now, a rough definition of sustainability is that we consume resources in such a way the same level of resources we enjoyed is available to succeeding generations

The large heart of the working class: the small town in America's Deep South that welcomes 1,500 refugees a year. By Katy Long

Clarkston, a small town in  Georgia , has received over 40,000 refugees over the past 25 years. They come from every corner of the globe. This year there are more Congolese than Syrians; past waves of refugee resettlement have brought Bhutanese, Eritreans, Ethiopians, Somalis, Sudanese, Liberians, Vietnamese. All have landed in an otherwise unremarkable city in the Deep South, pop: 13,000.  Hekmatullah, an Afghan refugee, pours chai as his wife Waheeda watches on.  Hekmatullah worked as a journalist for 25 years before coming to America.  Photograph: Jessie Parks for the Guardian Look beyond the 1970s strip malls, apartment complexes and parking lots, and there are sights rarely seen elsewhere in America. Beige storefronts are topped by signs in Amharic and Nepali scripts, with evocative English translations: Balageru Food Mart, African Cultural and Injera Grocers, Numsok Oriental Grocers. Women gather nearby wearing bright African headscarves, and others cross the street in t

Nick Hopkins - How Facebook flouts Holocaust denial laws except where it fears being sued

Facebook’s policies on  Holocaust  denial will come under fresh scrutiny following the leak of documents that show moderators are being told not to remove this content in most of the countries where it is illegal. The files explain that moderators should take down Holocaust denial material in only four of the 14 countries where it is outlawed, if reported. One document says the company “does not welcome local law that stands as an obstacle to an open and connected world” and will only consider blocking or hiding Holocaust denial messages and photographs if “we face the risk of getting blocked in a country or a legal risk”. A picture of a concentration camp with the caption “Never again Believe the Lies” was permissible if posted anywhere other than the four countries in which Facebook fears legal action, one document explains.  Facebook  contested the figures but declined to elaborate. The social media service has also decided that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers should be

‘Nature’s Grandchildren’

‘Nature’s Grandchildren’  Aseem Shrivastava's essay for a new website on Radical Ecological Democracy Can we be human in the absence of nature, asked Rabindranath. To Civilization Give back the wilderness, take away the city Embrace if you will your steel, brick and stone walls O newfangled civilization! Cruel all-consuming one,  Return all sylvan, secluded, shaded and sacred spots And traditions of innocence. Come back evenings When herds returned suffused in evening light, Serene hymns were sung, paddy accepted as alms And bark-clothes worn. Rapt in devotion, One meditated on eternal truths then single-mindedly. No more stone-hearted security or food fit for kings - We’d rather breathe freely and discourse openly! We’d rather get back the strength that we had, Burst through all barriers that hem us in and feel This boundless Universe’s pulsating heartbeat! (Rabindranath Tagore,  Sabhyatar-Prati , from  Chaitali , 1896, Translated by Fa

World is plundering Africa's wealth for 'billions of dollars a year'

More wealth leaves  Africa  every year than enters it – by more than $40bn (£31bn) – according to research that challenges “misleading” perceptions of foreign aid. Analysis by a coalition of UK and African equality and development campaigners including Global Justice Now, published on Wednesday, claims the rest of the world is profiting more than most African citizens from the continent’s wealth. It said African countries received $162bn in 2015, mainly in loans, aid and personal remittances. But in the same year, $203bn was taken from the continent, either directly through multinationals repatriating profits and illegally moving money into tax havens, or by costs imposed by the rest of the world through climate change adaptation and mitigation. Global public sector corruption fuels rise of populist politicians, report says This led to an annual financial deficit of $41.3bn from the 47 African countries where many people remain trapped in poverty, according to the report, Ho

Is this the most perfect love story

The time was June 1975, and I was hitchhiking around Switzerland and France the summer before grad school in Chicago. I had ended up in Neuchâtel that day by chance; the ride I caught was going there. The youth hostel was somewhere up the hill, but I was hot and thirsty, so I plopped down on the terrace of Café Pam-Pam. Finally I spoke to her, asking as best I could in French if she’d like to play, pointing at the chessboard. She responded in French, “ Pardon? ” I tried to carefully repeat my question. She responded in English, “Perhaps we should speak English.” Maïf, short for Marie-France, was 19 and had lived in Neuchâtel all her life. She was at the cafe, her regular after-school hangout, for a coffee, cigarette and game of pinball. She’d just finished a day of Baccalaureate exams to graduate from high school. Over the next two days, Maïf showed me her town. We walked along cobblestone streets up to the 12th-Century castle where she’d played as a young girl with her German s

The Bombing at a Manchester Ariana Grande Show Was an Attack on Girls and Women

The victims of Monday’s bombing will almost certainly be mostly girls and women. The Grande fan demographic also includes a number of older millennial women, gay men, and general lovers of pop music, of course, but her live concerts are largely populated by tween and teenage girls and their moms. By staging the attack at a Grande show, the perpetrator or perpetrators chose to target children who may or may not have had an adult around to help them through an emergency situation. And they targeted fans of an artist whose global brand is one of blissful, unsubdued feminine sexuality. Grande has long been the target of sexist rhetoric that has deemed her culpable for any sexual objectification or animosity that’s come her way. Her songs and wardrobe are sexy, yet she’s maintained a coy, youthful persona; the combination has led some haters to argue that she’s made her fortune by making people want to have sex with her, so whatever related harm befalls her is  entirely her fault .

Against Discouragement By Howard Zinn

In 1963, historian Howard Zinn was fired from Spelman College, where he was chair of the History Department, because of his civil rights activities. In 2005, he was invited to give the commencement address. Here is the text of that speech, given on May 15, 2005. So all of you, settle into your chairs, take off your hats, feel the comforting heat of that sun beating down, and consider the words of Howard Zinn as he urges the students of Spelman College not to be discouraged, not to despair, but to enter the world with their heads held high, imagining what each of them might do for him or herself -- and for the rest of us.  Tom I am deeply honored to be invited back to Spelman after forty-two years. I would like to thank the faculty and trustees who voted to invite me, and especially your president, Dr. Beverly Tatum. And it is a special privilege to be here with Diahann Carroll and Virginia Davis Floyd. But this is your day -- the students graduating today. It's a happ

Saharanpur violence: Dalits defy Delhi Police ban to protest at Jantar Mantar

The capital’s favourite protest venue - Jantar Mantar – turned blue on Sunday as thousands of Dalits led by the Bhim Army, an organisation fighting for the community’s rights, staged a demonstration against the recent violence in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Despite being denied permission by Delhi Police to hold a rally, protesters dressed in blue gathered on the call of Bhim Army Ekta Mission, led by 30-year-old lawyer Chandrashekhar to fight against “oppression” by upper castes. Cries of Jai Bhim rent the air at Jantar Mantar as several smaller organisations such as Dalit Sangarsh Morcha, Yuva Shakti Dal and youths from different parts of Western UP and Delhi also showed up to lend their support. The protest comes after the recent violence involving Dalits and Thakurs in Saharanpur during the birth anniversary celebrations of Maharana Pratap. The skirmish took place on May 5, when a mob, allegedly from the Thakur community, ransacked and burned down 25 houses belonging to Dal

Two Turkish teachers on 75-day hunger strike detained by police / Turkey: 'Professional annihilation'of 100,000 public sector workers in purge

Two Turkish teachers who are on their 75th day of a hunger strike have been detained by police in Ankara. Nuriye Gülmen, a professor of literature, and Semih Özakça, a primary school teacher, have been on strike for more than 10 weeks after losing their jobs following  the failed coup  against the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, last July. Surviving on a liquid diet of lemon and saltwater and sugar solutions, the pair have lost significant amounts of weight and doctors said this month that their health was deteriorating. A source close to the strikers said their muscles had atrophied. Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça on Sunday. Photograph: Altan Gocher/Barcroft Images Police are concerned the strike will become a “death fast” rather than a hunger strike. The detention appears to have been motivated by fears that the strike could be taken up as a cause celebre and evolve into a larger movement like  the Gezi park protests in 2013 , when hundreds of thousands of people protested