The Gates of Vaikuntam?

When Hadiya Shafin shouted to the crowd that she converted voluntarily, that Shafin was her chosen husband, and that she wished to spend her life with him, some leading rationalist liberal feminists in Kerala sniggered at her: be grateful for the Indian Constitution which allows you to make a choice. This statement hid a despicable insult to her choice of Islam, slyly implying that it would not permit her any choices.

Goodness knows where these puerile, vain, indurate minds live their everyday lives.  Maybe they are either still able to insulate themselves somehow from the onslaught of Hindutva violence, or find it useful to use the arms of this Hindutva hegemonised thuggish state to their narrow, shamefully narrow, ends.

Whatever, I could see no trace of the protective presence of the Indian Constitution when the Supreme Court heard Hadiya. I could see not the highest court of Justice of a vibrant democracy but I got a sense of how the Gates of Celestial Vaikuntam may look like:

Read more at : https://thewire.in/200701/hadiya-supreme-court-nia/

 

 

 

Hadiya’s Safety is the Kerala Government’s Responsibility: Rajathi Salma writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala

[This is the text of the open letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala from the celebrated Tamil poet Rajathi Salma, a leading literary and activist voice from South India whose writing has often revealed the pain and poignancy of women’s unfreedoms and the denial of a creative life of choice to them. This is about the never-ending agony that the confinement of a young woman, Hadiya, by her father, has become. Hadiya is to be heard by the Supreme Court of India on 27 November 2017, but the Kerala government refuses to take responsibility for her safe travel to Delhi, after many many pleas from civil society] Continue reading “Hadiya’s Safety is the Kerala Government’s Responsibility: Rajathi Salma writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala”

Revoke NSA Charges against Chandrashekhar of Bhim Army: Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army

The Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army has released the following statement against framing of Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ under NSA

Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army

 

#StandWithChandrashekharAzad

 

PRESS RELEASE

4 November 2017

The Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army (CDBA) expresses it shock at the act of the Uttar Pradesh government and the Saharanpur district administration in slapping charges under the National Security Act on Bhim Army founder President Chandrashekhar.

It is telling that the NSA was slapped against Chandrashekhar after the Allahabad High Court gave him bail on 2 November after a long legal battle. The High Court had observed while granting bail to Chandrashekhar and three other Bhim Army activists that the charges were politically motivated.

It appears that the decision of the district administration to book Chandrashekhar under NSA was taken a long time back and the government and local administration were keeping their options open about when exactly to move in this direction. Around 6-7 September, Chandrashekhar had already written about this in a hand-written letter from prison, addressed to his comrades, friends and well wishers of the Bhim Army. He had mentioned that he had learnt from sources in the jail that the administration (and state government) did not want him to fight for his bail, and if he did, they would book him under NSA. This information and Chandrashekhar’s letter was shared by the CDBA in its press conference held in Press Club, in New Delhi on 12 September 2017.

The decision to invoke the NSA now, immediately after Chandrashekhar and others were granted bail by the High Court proves that the information put out by Chandrashekhar in early September was correct and that the decision is mala fide.

We consider that the UP government and the district administration is invoking the NSA to delay, if not actually circumvent the judicial process and thus keep Chandrashekhar in prison as long as possible – even though they know that these charges cannot be sustained in the court of law.

This step by the Yogi Adityanath government, we believe, is in keeping with its consistently anti-Dalit attitude and its attempts to keep its upper caste support intact. The increasing attacks on Dalits with complete impunity has, in fact, now become a hallmark of BJP governments everywhere in the country.

The Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army calls upon all democratic forces to raise their voice against this monstrous decision to frame Chandrashekhar. The attack on Bhim Army and Chandrashekhar and his comrades is an attack on the very principles of democracy and the rule of law and it is of utmost importance that voices across the board join in opposing this act of the UP government and its Saharanpur district administration.

 

Sanjeev Mathur                                Pradeep Narwal                    Praveen Verma

Coordinators, Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army

Say NO to Aadhar – sign the petition

Sign the petition here.

Text of the petition

I’m Saying NO to Aadhaar

We the undersigned wish to place on record our opposition to the Aadhaar scheme which is being aggressively pushed by the government in complete violation of norms, procedures and Supreme Court orders. 

Many of us have resisted enrolment. Many of us are already enrolled. But today, we stand together to say NO To Aadhaar. 

We oppose Aadhaar because it violates our Constitutional rights and freedoms as citizens. 

We oppose Aadhaar because it undermines the foundations of our democracy, disempowering us as citizens while giving government the means to control every aspect of our lives. 

The mess created by Aadhaar is not a matter of poor implementation or “teething troubles” as claimed by the government.  Aadhaar cannot be fixed with some tweaking and tinkering. It is fundamentally flawed and  must be scrapped.      

We say NO to Aadhaar because  Continue reading “Say NO to Aadhar – sign the petition”

Taj Mahal as Tej Mahal – Once again “There is a Bee in the Bonnet”

It was probably late sixties or early seventies – when a gentleman called P N Oak started appearing in Marathi magazines peddling his weird theories about well known monuments in and outside India. An article which made lot of news then was centred around Taj Mahal where it was claimed that it was ‘Tejo Maha Aalay’ or hindu god Shiva’s abode. It tried to establish through various ‘explanations’ that a Shiva Temple was destroyed to build Taj Mahal and if we dig deep we can find ‘remnants’ of the earlier structure. Mr Vinay Katiyar’s latest advice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that he “should go into the Taj Mahal and see the Hindu signs inside it” reminded one of P N Oak. Continue reading “Taj Mahal as Tej Mahal – Once again “There is a Bee in the Bonnet””

Deendayal Upadhyaya : BJP’s ‘Gandhi’ !

( This article would appear in the coming issue of ‘Think India Quarterly’)

(Photo Courtesy : jansatta)

 

 ..Kovind acknowledged that “the key to India’s success is its diversity” and “our diversity is the core that makes us so unique” and ended his speech with a call to build an egalitarian society as “envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deendayal Upadhyayaji”… The Congress took umbrage at the way Kovind mentioned Upadhyaya in the same breath as the Mahatma. “The President should remember that he is not a BJP candidate any more. He is the President of India. He has to… rise above and think beyond party politics,” Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

(https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170726/jsp/frontpage/story_163934.jsp)

1.

In Search of an Icon

Fighters for Hindu Rashtra who have reached topmost echleons of power in this part of South Asia and are expected to extend and deepen their influence in coming times – if secular and democratic and left forces do not act together now – find themselves in a typical quandary. Continue reading “Deendayal Upadhyaya : BJP’s ‘Gandhi’ !”

The Bharatiya Janta Party has issues with Rohingyas – Indians don’t: Nabanipa Bhattacharjee

Guest post by Nabanipa Bhattacharjee

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Image by Dan Kitwood / Getty

On 13 September 2017 the Union Home Ministry, following the 2015 order of the Supreme Court, decided to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees. Victims of religious persecution in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, the predominantly Buddhist Chakmas and Hindu Hajongs began immigrating to the north eastern region of India 1960s onwards. The then central government, eventually, moved a large number of these refugees to Arunachal Pradesh; while Arunachal Pradesh is their zone of concentration, a considerable number of Chakmas and Hajongs live in Mizoram and Meghalaya too. The decision of the Home Ministry, however, did not go down well with the indigenous tribal population of Arunachal Pradesh; the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union protested against the move citing threats to life and livelihood of the native inhabitants of the state. On 14 September 2017 the Union government assured the protesters that a middle-ground – between honouring the law and commitment towards protecting the rights of the people of Arunachal Pradesh – would be found.

Continue reading “The Bharatiya Janta Party has issues with Rohingyas – Indians don’t: Nabanipa Bhattacharjee”