Tag Archives: Amit Shah

एन आर सी और उससे जुड़े चंद सवाल : सबीहा फ़रहत

Guest post by SABIHA FARHAT

[भारतीय-हिन्दू मिथकों और परम्परा पर लंबे समय से लिखते आ रहे  बुद्धिजीवी श्री देवदत्त  पट्टनायक  अपनी एक ट्वीट में  एक लाजवाब  बात  कही . उनहोंने कहा कि जहाँ हिन्दू धर्मं  का मतलब  वसुधैव  कुटुम्बकम है , उसके  लिए  अगर  समूची वसुधा , सारी एक कुनबा  है , वहीँ  हिंदुत्व  का मतलब  सिर्फ़  एन आर सी  (यानी नागरिकों की राष्हैट्रीय फेहरिश्त ) है. बिलकुल दो शब्दों में  , बड़ी खूबसूरती  से पट्टनायक साहब ने इन दोनों  फलसफों के बीच का फर्क़ खोल कर सामने रख दिया  है. इस  संक्षिप्त लेख में   डाक्यूमेंट्री  फ़िल्मकार  और पत्रकार  सबीहा फ़रहत  उसी एन आर सी  से पैदा हुए  चंद सवाल उठा रही हैं.]

आजकल अमित शाह केवल एनआरसी पर स्टेटमेंट दे रहे हैं। “घुसपैठियों ” को बाहर फेंक देंगे और हिन्दू, सिख, बौद्ध, जैन, ईसाई, पारसी को नागरिकता दे देंगें। फिर चाहे उसके लिये संविधान को तक पर रख  कर सिटीज़नशिप ऐक्ट ही क्यों ना बदलना पड़े!

उनकी इस बात से साफ़ ज़ाहिर है कि देश के 16 करोड़ मुसलमान ही “घुसपैठिये” हैं। “दीमक” हैं और उन्हें देश से बाहर खदेड़ने की ज़रूरत है। लेकिन सिर्फ़ मुसलमान से इतनी नफ़रत क्यों? मुसलमान ने इस देश का क्या बिगाड़ा है? क्या उसने किसी की रोटी छीनी, किसी की नौकरी छीनी, किसी का बिज़नेस हड़प लिया। नहीं! क्योंकि अगर वो ऐसा करता तो आर्थिक तौर पर सबसे ज़्यादा कमज़ोर नहीं होता।

Continue reading एन आर सी और उससे जुड़े चंद सवाल : सबीहा फ़रहत

Bharatiya Janata Party or Bharatiya Jumla Party !

Review of ‘Truth in Fetters : Broken Promises and Shattered Unity’

Image result for media house ram puniyani truth in fetters

“Change is in the air”!

A retired academic who had his last assignment as Vice Chancellor of a leading university said to me the other day, while we were discussing the contemporary political scenario. Frankly admitting that he had supported Modi’s candidature then and had even discreetly campaigned for him, during 2014 elections, he said that what a ‘disaster’ it has been these last four and half years to our polity with him at the helm of affairs.

What surprised me more was that he was from Eastern UP and belonged to one of the dominant upper castes in the region. Continue reading Bharatiya Janata Party or Bharatiya Jumla Party !

Statement Condemning the Persecution of Lawyers Collective and Indira Jaising and Anand Grover by Home Ministry, GoI

We, the undersigned, unequivocally condemn the efforts of the Ministry of Home Affairs to persecute the Lawyers Collective (LC), Indira Jaising and Anand Grover in order to obstruct the legal and human rights work being carried out by them.

We condemn the suspension of the FCRA registration of LC, as well as the mala fide and motivated manner in which the Ministry of Home Affairs, in a blatant violation of law, leaked the suspension notice to the press even before providing LC with a copy of the same.

There has been a systematic campaign and abuse of the legal process by the Central Government to malign Indira Jaising and Anand Grover as well as LC over the past six months. The suspension of LC’s FCRA registration is nothing but an escalation of the Government’s campaign to crush dissent and criminalise any person or organisation that questions or opposes the violation of fundamental rights and human rights by the State and its agencies.

The motivated campaign and actions against LC fit neatly into the present Government’s concerted campaign against marginalised and oppressed sections of society and any person, whether students, activists, academics or individuals who question the policies, actions and the abuse of power by the government.

Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover have an exceptional profile of public service, probity and personal and professional integrity as lawyers and as human rights activists. Their work has received global recognition.

Ms. Indira Jaising, has made an unparalleled contribution to law and jurisprudence on gender discrimination, whether relating to women’s right to property, sexual harassment at the workplace, domestic violence etc. She has also been a member of the CEDAW Committee. Anand Grover held the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Health between 2008 to 2014. He has made a tremendous contribution to the legal campaign against the criminalisation of homosexuality; rights of persons living with HIV; and access to medicine and healthcare. Ms. Jaising and Mr. Grover, through LC have and continue to advance the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of society, thereby upholding constitutional values. Instead of recognizing their invaluable contribution to the county and its people, the Government is making all efforts to obstruct their work.

Through the persecution and harassment of LC and Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, the present Government is sending a clear and chilling message to the citizens of this country that the inevitable consequence of questioning or criticising the present Government’s policies is repression and criminalisation.

LC has specifically and repeatedly countered and justified each of the bald allegations regarding misuse of funds that have been levelled by the MHA. However, the MHA has displayed an unusual vindictiveness by ignoring the official responses sent by LC and proceeding to suspend their FCRA registration. Continue reading Statement Condemning the Persecution of Lawyers Collective and Indira Jaising and Anand Grover by Home Ministry, GoI

Really Mr Jaitley, so you’ve won the first round of the nationalism debate?

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Saturday said the BJP has won the “first round of the nationalism debate” in the country as, according to him, “people who raised anti-India slogans till now have been forced to say Jai Hind, if not Bharat Mata ki Jai” – See full report in the Indian Express here.

Nationalism in Action, image courtesy Rahman Abbas
Nationalism in Action, image courtesy Rahman Abbas

So, Mr Jaitley,what exactly have you won or lost? Let’s take count.

(a) First, there has been no ‘debate”, for a debate is conducted in a free environment, not with threats of sedition charges, arrests, killings and lynch mobs on the rampage. So, here is an open challenge for round  two: Join any of us in an open debate – without any of your repressive props. Field literally anyone, the best you can produce on your side, including your party president who thinks the medieval Ahomiya king, Sukapha defeated the Mughals “satrah satrah baar” when Sukapha died in 1268 and Mughal rule was established only in 1526.  Watch Amit Shah in action here:

Continue reading Really Mr Jaitley, so you’ve won the first round of the nationalism debate?

We, or our Nationhood, Redefined.

A couple of weeks ago, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan was invited by the Editors’ Guild to deliver its annual lecture. Patwardhan’s speech, titled We or our Nationhood Redefined, was marked by his characteristically cool tone, systematically reassembling facts that have a tricky habit of leaking from national memory. Facts like the twentieth century’s worst genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler and his programme of racial cleansing has a respectable and massive following in India in the form of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. That the RSS has at least 50,000 branches across the country with over 40 million members, and runs a network of 18,000 schools across India. That one such child, recruited from the age of 8 from a relatively poor family, is Prime Minister Modi; and another is Party Chief Amit Shah. That just before the recent reshuffle, 5 Chief Ministers and 17 of the 23 Cabinet-level senior ministers were current or former RSS members. That the assassins of Gandhi are really the RSS, not the lone lunatic Godse who merely carried out what others dreamed about. That RSS’s poisonous communal agenda was roundly condemned by Sardar Patel, of whom PM Modi has promised to build the world’s tallest statue. Or more obscure but equally revealing facts, like the letter written by RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras from jail during Emergency, praising Indira Gandhi and especially her programme of sterilisation of Muslims. And those truly mind-boggling-in-their-irony facts, like the widespread involvement of the RSS in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, when the BJP cynically says “1984” every time somebody says “2002”.

On a day when the Nanavati Commission has termed the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat as a purely communal reaction to Godhra, and cleared then Chief Minister Modi’s government of any wrongdoing, or even inaction, it is critical we re-read Patwardhan’s speech, to remind ourselves exactly what we are up against if we believe in a non-communal, non-divided, heterogenous India. As Patwardhan put it, given the history of the RSS in this subcontinent, if a Modi didn’t exist, he would have to be invented. Read more.

Rape and Rakhi – Patriarchal-Communal Narratives: Kavita Krishnan

Guest Post by KAVITA KRISHNAN

Even as the communal cauldron in UP is kept on the boil, there is news that the RSS has launched a campaign to tie Rakhis to lakhs of Hindu men, asking them to pledge to protect their sisters from Muslim men and “love jehad.” The VHP has been running a helpline urging Hindus to approach them “if your daughter is being harassed by Muslim boys.” And a khap panchayat in Muzaffarnagar has imposed a ban on mobile phones and jeans for girls, claiming that these result in ‘eve-teasing’.

Woven into the above events is an old, familiar theme – that of patriarchal restrictions packaged as ‘protection’. In the wake of the anti-rape movement that followed December 16 2012, the streets of Delhi and many other parts of India had resounded with the voices of women declaring ‘Don’t take away our freedoms in the name of ‘protection’ – protect our right to fearless, fullest freedom instead’. Those women had raised their voice demanding freedom from sexual violence – and also freedom from rape culture that advices women to dress decently to avoid rape; and freedom from the khap panchayats, freedom even from the restrictions imposed by one’s own fathers and brothers.

Continue reading Rape and Rakhi – Patriarchal-Communal Narratives: Kavita Krishnan

A Stolen Verdict: Nirmalangshu Mukherji

Guest Post by NIRMALANGSHU MUKHERJI

The Bharatiya Janata Party secured about 19% votes in the general elections of 2009 to win 116 seats in the Parliament. With this most impressive conversion ratio, they had more or less exhausted their possibilities in their ‘safe’ states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, and the like. They were still 157 seats away from a simple majority in the Loksabha. Even assuming the impressive conversion ratio, they needed at least 26% more of the vote share, that is 45% in all, to form a government.

When the elections for 2014 were announced, it was hard to see where the BJP would get these additional votes from. Moreover, unlike the NDA of 1999-2004, they had rather modest support from other parties with most of the big parties like AIADMK, TMC, JDU, BJD, and the like staying away. Hence, even if we factor in some rise in number of seats in ‘safe’ states, plus handsome gains in Rajasthan, Maharashtra etc., their ability to reach anywhere near the 272+ mark looked rather dim.

Continue reading A Stolen Verdict: Nirmalangshu Mukherji