Slimes Group Vice-Chairman Ameer Jain accused of molesting SOI employee Aaj Faker Shah? Breaking Faking News: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid

Mar 21, Delhi: In a shocking revelation that has triggered panic amongst the media fraternity, renowned media tycoon, Ameer Jain, who is Vice-Chairman of the prestigious Parrot, Caveman & Co. Ltd, has been accused of sexual harassment by an employee of The Slimes of India newspaper, namely Aaj Faker Shah. Parrot, Caveman & Co. Ltd. (PCCL) is the group that owns Slimes of India, Slimes Now, Economic Slimes, Radio Tirchi, Movies Now and Then, Dhoom, Navbharat Slimes, Mumbai Broken Mirror and numerous other media outlets.

After the sexual harassment case filed by an employee of a major news magazine against its high profile editor some years ago, this is the most high-profile case of sexual harassment at the workplace in the media fraternity and is likely to result in a public spectacle, as the complainant, Aaj Faker Shah, has taken to Twitter to publicly make serious accusations of sexual assault against Jain. Normally, in cases of sexual harassment, the complainant must be accorded due anonymity. However, Shah reasons that he was forced to take this extreme step because the Slimes Group, in total violation of the norms prescribed by the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act (2013), sat on his complaint, victimised him for speaking out against Jain and even threatened to sack him. This reflects the state of implementation of the Workplace Harassment Law, rules for which were notified in 2014.
After his accusations went viral, with Twitter users taking positions for and against Ameer Jain, the complainant, Aaj Faker Shah, a young employee, has now ‘protected’ his tweets. Attempts to reach either the complainant or the accused failed.

However, the Delhi Police has registered a case suo moto, and has started to investigate the matter, after instructions from the National Commission for Women. As part of preliminary investigation, the Delhi Police has requested Google and YouTube to furnish the search history of Mr. Ameer Jain, the defendant in the case. Highly placed sources in the Delhi Police have said that Jain’s search history hinted toward a dangerous tilt of mind, as his search history included a lot of content related to non-consensual sexual acts, child pornography, etc. This has led to tremendous embarrassment for the Slimes Group. The fact that the Slimes Group owns a disproportionate number of media outlets means that this issue is being completely blacked out from mainstream media. No electronic or print outlet owned by the PCCL is reporting the issue. The issue is, however, being reported by rival media groups that have now begun to see an opportunity to cause commercial damage to PCCL.

Besides all the embarrassing search items found in Ameer Jain’s Google and YouTube history, it is submitted by the Delhi Police in the High Court that the night when Aaj Faker Shah walked into Jain’s room and was sexually assaulted, the latter had been watching videos related to non-consensual sexual activity on YouTube.
Ameer Jain’s wife and daughter were confronted by mediapersons at the Delhi High Court where the case is being heard. Visibly devastated, Mrs. Jain refused to comment on the incident and asked mediapersons to show some sensitivity toward their family whose reputation is now being destroyed by the “careless attitude of opportunist media houses which thrive on sensationalism.” His daughter, Ms. Jain who is an artist said that “media must introspect before publishing sensationalist news that can harm the reputation of their family.” She was clearly disturbed, as the news of the case has led to a social boycott of the Jain family, as sexual harassment is an issue that our society takes very seriously, not to mention the stigma around cases of sexual harassment.
However, inside the Delhi High Court, the case took a strange turn. The defence lawyer accused Aaj Faker Shah of lying and called him “mentally disturbed”, a claim that the complainant’s lawyer completely denied. However, Ameer Jain’s lawyer produced medical bills that Aaj Faker Shah had submitted to his employer, SOI, in order to avail of medical reimbursement available to all SOI staffers. However, Aaj Faker Shah’s lawyer objected to the complainant’s medical history being raked up. Aaj Faker Shah is being represented by powerful Delhi-based lawyer, John Doe, who passionately argued that “unnecessary references to my client’s medical history is an attempt to divert the case from the fact that Ameer Jain has inflicted physical, sexual, mental and psychological violence on Aaj Faker Shah. What should be the subject of discussion is the violence against my client, and not his medical history. Also, it is totally unethical on part of Slimes Group to provide the details of my client’s medical bills to the defendant. Ameer Jain is abusing his position as Vice-Chairman of the group to divert the focus of the case from the treatment meted out to Mr. Shah, a young reporter who is struggling to make a life for himself in the National Capital, leaving behind his poor family in Bihar.”
Ameer Jain’s lawyer said that Shah had been on anti-depressants for a long time. He had been prescribed Flunil (20 mg) and Zolfresh (5 mg) on August 27, 2016. The first is used to treat depression and OCD while the latter is used to induce sleep. ‪On September 9‬, he was prescribed Lonazep that’s used to treat fits, panic attacks and agoraphobia (fear of public places). Shah had also claimed reimbursement for a drug called Pari 10, an anti-depressant.

Times look bad for the Slimes Group, but we hope that justice will be done.

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What you have just read is neither false, nor true, but a work of fiction and satire. 

But what if I had one million followers on Facebook and I were to write, without any proof or basis, that an employee of a major news daily, has accused the Vice-Chairman of the Corporation that owns the daily of molesting him? What if I were to write, further, without any proof or basis, that the Vice-Chairman’s Google search history has revealed that he looked up a lot of non-consensual pornography on the Internet? Also, what if I were to add another imaginary detail- that, on the night when The employee entered the Vice-Chairman’s room and was subsequently molested, he (the Vice-Chairman) had been watching child pornography on the Internet ? Obviously, such a news would create panic amongst the Vice-Chairman’s family members and cause loss of reputation to them. More importantly, what if Delhi Police were to clarify that the news is false? What if the police were to clarify that they never sought any data pertaining to the Vice Chairman’s search history from Google or YouTube, in the first place? This would clearly establish that my Facebook post, read by millions and shared by lakhs, was false, baseless, defamatory and malicious. The least that I would be required to do after such an expose is, apologise unconditionally and admit my mistake. However, if, instead of apologising or making up for the mistake, what if I go around cockily saying that, “If Delhi Police doesn’t have the Vice-Chairman’s search history, how do we know that he did not watch non-consent or child porn videos?”
Well, this is exactly what Times of India- India’s largest English daily- did. TOI published a fake news on its front page, insinuating that the missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed was inspired by ISIS and was eager to join ISIS, based on a fictional ‘search history’. When the Delhi Police refuted the story as baseless, as Delhi Police had never sought Najeeb’s search history from Google, Raj Shekhar Jha – the TOI reporter who filed the story- took to Twitter to defend his story with the ‘reasoning’ that precisely because Najeeb’s search history was unavailable, how could we say with certainty that he did not watch ISIS videos! It does not occur to Jha that he should apologise for spreading misinformation at such a massive scale and defaming a young student who is missing for over five months.
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Also, the TOI story included a lot of unnecessary references to Najeeb’s sleep disorder and it went on to list the various ‘indications’ for some medicines, falsely insinuating that Najeeb was depressed, suffering from agoraphobia, OCD, fits, etc. whereas he was on medication simply for insomnia. In our little fictional piece above, the references to Aaj Faker Shah’s mental state as a ploy to divert attention from the issue of violence against him alludes to the attempts by Raj Shekhar Jha, in real life, to portray Najeeb as mentally disturbed and, thus, divert attention from ABVP’s role in the incident and the group violence against Najeeb by ABVP members.

To reiterate, the molestation story is fictional and is only a satire on the manner in which TOI has played with the reputation of Najeeb and his family, rendering them vulnerable to social boycott, stigma and even violence. The Times of India has produced exactly such a fiction and attempted, unlike me, to pass it off as fact. TOI must own up to this disaster and make up for it by prominently publishing an apology and taking all other necessary steps to compensate for the damage that it has caused. Najeeb Ahmed, his family and the readers of the Times of India, deserve nothing less than this.
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Shehla Rashid is a research scholar at JNU, a student activist with All India Students’ Association (AISA) and is actively involved with the #BringBackNajeeb Campaign. She is a former Vice-President of the Jawahalal Nehru University Students Union

Free the Maruti Workers: Maruti Suzuki Workers Union

 

Guest Post by Maruti Suzuki Workers’ Union

[This is a statement and an appeal by the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union condemning the unjust handing down of a life sentence to 13 workers of the Maruti Suzuki Manesar Factory for a ‘murder’ (of an HR Manager) that the prosecution could not prove that they had committed. Here too, the prosecution, and the judgement, relies on a chimera, ‘the reputation of make-in-india’ to justify a harsh punishment. Those who have watched this space will recognize that this recourse to figures of speech in the absence of evidence is a familiar move. It has happened before – to satisfy the hunger of a ‘collective conscience’ when a so-called ‘temple of democracy’ was attacked. This time it has been invoked to defend the ‘fake-in-India temple that houses the deity of a rising GDP’, which would of course otherwise be besieged by insurgent workers.

This text contains a hyperlink to a detailed reading and rebuttal of the prosecution’s arguments, which demonstrates how money and muscle power can always be an adequate replacement for legal acumen in the State of Haryana. Please do follow that link. For the further edification of our readers, we append a short video interview by Aman Sethi of the Hindustan Times of the special public prosecutor, which spins some imaginative legal theory and also radically updates our sense of class struggle. Please do have the patience to view that video. We promise that this will be rewarded. – Kafila Admin.]

Continue reading “Free the Maruti Workers: Maruti Suzuki Workers Union”

Deendayal in Government Schools : Neglecting Education, Indoctrinating Exclusion

चित्र परिणाम

(Photo courtesy : livehindustan.com, From left to right – Golwalkar, Deendayal Upadhyay and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, . Photo taken in Mathura during Goraksha/Cow Protection movement, 1965)

“DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA is to the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] what Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was to Congress” opined R. Balashankar, former editor of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s (RSS) organ Organiser and now a member of the BJP’s central committee, on Prasikhshan Maha Abhiyan

(The Indian Express,; September 24, 2016).

Cows inhale, exhale oxygen, says Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani

(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/cows-inhale-exhale-oxygen-says-rajasthan-education-minister-vasudev-devnani/articleshow/56612529.cms)

Rajaram (name changed) Principal of a school near Jaipur, Rajasthan is a worried man.

An honest teacher all his life, is not able to comprehend the rationale behind the recent order by the state education ministry asking every secondary and senior secondary school to purchase collected works of Deendayal Upadhyay Continue reading “Deendayal in Government Schools : Neglecting Education, Indoctrinating Exclusion”

UAPA – A Video Dossier: Media Collective, Arun Ferreira &Vernon Gonsalves

Video by Media Collective, Article by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Fernandes

Fifty Years of Unreasonable Restrictions

Arun Ferreira & Vernon Gonsalves 

Soon after its adoption, the Constitution of India was amended in 1951. At the time several progressive judgements[i] by the Judiciary held that laws which curb fundamental rights are essentially unconstitutional and fundamental freedoms could only be curbed in the most extreme of cases. The First Amendment, countered this by amending Article 19 to add the word ‘reasonable’ before restrictions and to add ‘public order’ as being one more ground for abridging Fundamental Rights.

The evolution of UAPA[ii] has to be seen in the background of this gradual but steady constriction of Article 19 which guarantees the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, association, etc. Continue reading “UAPA – A Video Dossier: Media Collective, Arun Ferreira &Vernon Gonsalves”

Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto

radhika vemula के लिए चित्र परिणाम

(Photo Courtesy : indiatoday.intoday.in, Photo Illustration by Saurabh Singh)

..The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote.  To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust.  In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.

..My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.

(Excerpts from Rohith Vemula’s suicide note)

 

The middle of this month would witness a different type of Yatra on the streets of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Neither it would be led by high profile leaders – who have the aura of Z plus security with them – nor it would be undertaken in an ultramodern bus – fitted with latest facilities and which could even be used as podium for a public meeting.

It would be taken out on a blue pickup truck renamed Bhim Auto and would be led by a fifty year old woman Radhika Vemula  along with her son Raja demanding justice for her elder son Rohith. During this Yatra Radhika intends to visit one Velivada ( Dalit hamlet) after other in these two states to tell people how castiest forces are hell bent upon denying dalits their due rights and how justice is still being denied to her son who committed suicide because of the machinations of such people. (http://nsi-delhi.blogspot.in/search/?q=rohith+vemula). She would also communicate to them that not only the ruling dispensation at the centre led by BJP but the state governments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been callous towards the plight of the Dalits and have joined hands to deny justice to her son. Not some time ago the government of Andhra Pradesh had made outrageous statements about Rohith not being dalit and earlier in February had demanded that Radhika ‘prove’ that she is Dalit in 15 days. Continue reading “Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto”

Looking ‘Right’, Talking ‘Liberal’ – The Twists and Turns of Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya

Guest Post by ANIRBAN BHATTACHARYA

[This missive to Makarand Paranjape, who is a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, comes in response to his recent op-ed piece in the Indian Express where he comments on the events at Ramjas College, Delhi University on the 21st of February and in their wake, in Delhi University, on the 22nd of February]

Mr. Makarand Paranjape. In your analysis of the post-Ramjas fallout in Delhi University in Indian Express on the 4th of March, one can see that you have donned a “liberal” cloak. But there were way too many holes in that cloak to go without a counter and hence this response.

Continue reading “Looking ‘Right’, Talking ‘Liberal’ – The Twists and Turns of Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya”

Sterilization Death Camps in Bilaspur: An Open Letter to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister by Concerned Citizens

[ This is a letter addressed to Raman Singh, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh by several concerned individuals and organizations regarding the impunity with which medical guidelines are put aside by professionals who enjoy the patronage and protection of the state government.]

We, the 138 undersigned individuals and organizations working across the country on health and women’s rights are shocked and dismayed that the case against surgeon Dr. R. K. Gupta has been dismissed by the Hon’ble High Court on grounds that “the alleged act committed by the petitioner was while acting in discharge of his official duty and admittedly no previous sanction was obtained before initiating prosecution case against him”.

The Anita Jha Judicial Enquiry Commission report has clearly pointed out that “It is evident from the facts that in the camps organized on 8.11.2014 and 10.11.2014 there was a breach in the important necessities hence the standard operating procedure were not followed. As a result of which the symptoms of infections were found in post operative female beneficiaries“. It further states that “On the background of deliberation of investigation point number 1 to 3, investigation committee has found following persons Guilty/responsible, functionary, during 08 and 10 November, 2014:- 4.1 For not following standard procedures and for medical negligence by immediate functionary Block Medical Officer, Takhatpur…………….and surgeon who conducted surgery in tubectomy camp at Sakri and Gaurella ( Surgeries were completed by the same surgeon in the both camps)”.

Continue reading “Sterilization Death Camps in Bilaspur: An Open Letter to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister by Concerned Citizens”