Bajrang Dal man smears dung on professor’s face in Bangalore


By M Raghuram | Place: Mangalore | Agency: DNA

After making international headlines for moral policing and attacking pubs and churches, the vigilante groups in Mangalore have now started targeting academicians for expressing a broader social outlook.

In a bid to humiliate an academician, a vigilante group member smeared cow dung on a Mangalore University professor’s face in broad daylight. Prof Somayaji had come to a restaurant near Mahaveer Circle for lunch. A youth, who was holding fresh cow dung, approached his table. “At first, I did not suspect anything. The man just smeared the dung on my face, abused me and, even before I knew what was happening, he left,” said the professor.

The lecturer has filed a complaint with Kankanady police. “Mangalore has become a hotbed for vigilantism. We do not have the freedom to express our views in public. Even those in power are not doing anything about it,” he said. Bajrang Dal owned responsibility of carrying out the operation. “It was our activist Bharat, who smeared cow dung on the professor’s face. Somayaji has been making inflammatory speeches on platforms provided to him by political outfits like Popular Front of India. This has hurt the sentiments of many on several occasions,” alleged Sharan Pumpwell, district general secretary of Bajrang Dal. “Our workers had been tracking him. He had also been supporting the cause of Naxals. What irked us more was that he was a government employee and an assistant professor in the University College. He should resign from his job if he wanted to sympathise with the Naxals,” Pumpwell said.It could be recalled that, in 2010, Somayaji made a speech in a rally organised by the Popular Front of India resulting in the rustication of some students. The university officials, however, were tight-lipped about the incident.

Villager protesting power plant: Will give life but not land


Adivasi woman and child, Chhattisgarh, India. ...

Adivasi woman and child, Chhattisgarh, India. Français : Femme et enfant adivasis, Chhattisgarh, Inde. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear friends,

Bhan Sahu is in Sakreli village in Janjgir district in Chhattisgarh with Jan Chetna Yatra where people are sitting on protest from more than 2 months saying they will not give their land for upcoming power plant. She speaks to one of the protestors Dayaram Rathor who says we are worried about the future of our next generation so we will not give our ancestralv land at any cost. We will be happy to give our lives but not the land. Forvmore Bhan ji can be reached at 08962646922

Listen here http://www.cgnetswara.org/index.php?id=10516

100,000 women undergo genital mutilation in Britain and some are 10 -year-olds


London, April 23 2012,  by Pamela Owen, Dalily Mail

As many as 100,000 women in Britain have undergone female genital mutilations with medics in the UK offering to carry out the illegal procedure on girls as young as 10, it has been reported.

Investigators from The Sunday Times said they secretly filmed a doctor, dentist and alternative medicine practitioner who were allegedly willing to perform circumcisions or arrange for the operation to be carried out.

The doctor and dentist deny any wrongdoing.

The practice, which involves the surgical removal of external genitalia and in some cases the stitching of the vaginal opening, is illegal in Britain and carries up to a 14 year prison sentence.

It is also against the law to arrange FGM.

Cases of Female Genital Mutilation are increasing across the UK but not one person has been prosecuted for any offencesCases of Female Genital Mutilation are increasing across the UK but not one person has been prosecuted for any offences

Known as ‘cutting’, the procedure is traditionally carried out for cultural reasons and in Africa and with large numbers of immigration from countries like Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia it is becoming more common in the UK.

It is believed to be proof of a girl’s ‘purity’ for when she marries, but victims often suffer in silence and are rarely given anaesthetic.

They frequently suffer long-term damage and pain and often struggle to stand or walk properly.

Supermodel turned UN ambassador Waris Dirie was mutilated aged 5Supermodel turned UN ambassador Waris Dirie was mutilated aged 5

Research suggests that every year up to 6,000 girls in London are at risk of the potentially fatal procedure, and more than 22,000 in the UK as a whole.

The Metropolitan Police said since 2008, it had received 166 reports of people who fear they are at risk of FGM but it has failed to bring forward a single perpetrator.

It is the same for all 43 forces across England and Wales with no convictions for the offence ever taking place.

Only two doctors have ever been struck off by The General Medical Council since 1980.

The Sunday Times uncovered a respected dentist who was prepared to circumcise two girls, aged 10 and 13 and a GP who referred an undercover reporter to the dentist.

They also spoke to a supplier who deals in alternative medicine who offered to circumcise a 10 year-old girl for £750.

A midwife in Birmingham also said she had seen the number of mutilations in the area treble since 2002.

Alison Byrne, a specialist midwife at the Birmingham’s Heartlands hospital who has helped pioneer treatment for women suffering from the condition said she has had patients aged between 16 and 40.

She said she had some women who had been left with an opening the size of a matchstick through which to pass urine and menstrual blood.

Ms Byrne added that as a result many of the women developed severe infections and can continuously bleed for days on end.

Most pregnancy-related deaths occur in transit’


A map of the world showing country-level mater...

A map of the world showing country-level maternal mortality rates. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AARTI DHAR, The Hindu

Maternal Death Reviews reveals many facilities show mothers the door soon after delivery

According to a study conducted on pregnancy-related deaths, a large number of women die during transit to a health facility or returning home after a delivery. ‘Maternal Death Reviews — Implications for Quality of Care,’ (MDR) a review of maternal deaths done by the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) in Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts of Rajasthan between November 2010 and March 2012 has revealed that 90 per cent of these deaths had occurred during transit to a higher health centre.

The study, conducted on 819 deaths of a total of 1,065 probably maternal deaths reported in Madhya Pradesh between April 2011 and January 2012, suggests 132 women died on their way home or to a health facility. A similar analysis done in 69 health facilities in Karnataka has revealed that 20 per cent women die during transit.

Experts believe such deaths could possibly have increased because of an emphasis on institutional deliveries and a lack of corresponding clinical infrastructure — the Janani Suraksha Yojana gives women financial incentives for delivering at a health facility, but are often taken to the health facility as a mere formality and often asked to go home immediately after delivery because of lack of infrastructure to deal with the heavy patient load, which puts the life of the child and mother at huge risk.

This reality came across during a daylong conference to mark the Safe Motherhood Day last week, where participants from several States shared their experiences and progress on maternal death reviews.

The MDR was rolled out in 2010 under the Reproductive and Child Health programme as an important strategy to improve the quality of obstetric care and to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.

It provides detailed information on various factors at the facility, district, community, regional and national levels that need to be addressed to reduce maternal deaths. Analysis of these deaths can identify the delays that contribute to maternal deaths at various levels and the information can be used to adopt measures to fill the gaps in service.

While haemorrhage, sepsis, abortion, obstructed labour and hypertensive disorders are the major medical causes of maternal deaths in the country, delay in initiating treatment, substandard care in hospital, lack of blood, equipment and drugs in hospitals coupled with lack of staff at health facility are other factors that often lead to the death of a young woman.

At the community level, absence of ante-natal check ups, delay in seeking care, referral, getting transport, mobilising funds and not reaching the appropriate facility in time are some other factors of maternal deaths, besides prevailing beliefs and customs that prevent women from going to a health facility at the appropriate time.

In a presentation on maternal death reviews in Madhya Pradesh, Apurva Chaturvedi, State Consultant, National Rural Health Mission, and Archana Mishra, Deputy Director (NRHM), explained that 32 per cent of the reviewed deaths had occurred in district hospitals, 25 per cent in maternity centres, 13 per cent in sub-centres and 6 per cent in private facilities. “Only 17.7 per cent of the expected maternal deaths are being reported and analysed while the remaining go unreported. Worse, in 37 per cent of the cases the cause of maternal deaths is registered as ‘other’,” they said.

“Maternal death review is a good thing and not some kind of a blame game. It aims to look into where and how maternal deaths are happening and how these cane be prevented,” says Aparajita Gogoi of the White Ribbon Alliance, working in the field of maternal health and rights.

“The government has given cash incentives to promote institutional deliveries but the communities should also be able to identify signs of emergency and understand the importance of regular ante-natal and post-natal check-ups for safe delivery. The focus should also be on the quality of care,” she said.

According to T.P. Jayanthi, Department of Community Medicine at Kilpauk Medical College (Chennai), in addition to medical causes, maternal death reviews also help us to identify the various contributory factors leading to maternal deaths. It is an important quality indicator to identify our system gaps and community barriers, including some problems that are area specific.

In her analysis of maternal death review process in 10 States between April and December 2011, Himachal Pradesh had reviewed 92 per cent of the reported maternal deaths, Uttar Pradesh 90 per cent, Orissa (79 per cent), Rajasthan (69 per cent), Assam (56 per cent), Uttarakhand (53 per cent), Bihar (38 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (39 per cent) and Chhattisgarh only 18 per cent.

In Tamil Nadu, all the 18 government medical college hospitals are being reviewed under the facility-based MDR programme. The review is being conducted by the Mission Director, State Health society through videoconferencing on the fourth Thursday of every month.

The MDR, even deaths occurring in other departments like Medicine, and Intensive Care Unit which would come under the criteria of maternal deaths are discussed along with the concerned specialist.

 


  • Communities should identify signs of emergency to make use of State incentives: NRHM official
  • MDR came out in 2010 to improve quality of obstetric care, reduce maternal mortality, morbidity

Three Women Prisoners assaulted in Mumbai Jail for raising issues


‘Published: Monday, Apr 23, 2012, 8:30 IST

By Dilnaz Boga | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Three suspected women Maoists sympathisers lodged in Mumbai District Women’s Prison in Byculla have alleged that the jail authorities had assaulted them for highlighting the prison’s problems. They have filed a complaint in the sessions court at Sewri.

Angela Sontakey, 42, Sushma Ramteke, 22, and Jyoti Chorghe, 19, were arrested by the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) in April last year under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The three have pleaded for a thorough investigation into the assault incident of April 2. They want their statement to be recorded and the police register an FIR.

They have alleged that in a bid to alienate them the jail authorities directed the volunteers of the NGOs not to talk to them and they were denied admission to computer classes run by an NGO. The trio alleged that the authorities even confiscated Mahatma

Gandhi’s biography and a jail manual they had brought with them to share with other prisoners about prison rights.

On March 31, the trio saw some inmates being beaten by the authorities. When they tried to intervene, they were attacked by the jail employees, the complaint stated. The three were accused of instigating inmates. The inmates protested by refusing food and demanded an apology from the administration.

Two days later, Sontakey, Ramteke and Chorghe were sent to solitary confinement. “No complaint was registered before punishing us. No doctor came. No medical tests were done before the confinement and after,” the application said.

The trio then went on a hunger strike for six days. The complainants claim that they had been targeted by the authorities. “We had always raised our voice against the corrupt practices of the jail. Bribe is taken for giving requisition for your guards, for getting things, to go to JJ Hospital and for making false medical record.”

The three complained that the jail inmates are so “terrorised” by the jail’s Reform and Rehabilitation Centre that they fear to seek help. The other inmates approach them for writing applications and counselling. “This has alarmed the authorities as they feel that their importance is diminishing,” says the complaint.

“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should be not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones,” the complaint quotes from South African leader Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

IG Prisons Surender Kumar said, “There are three or four people from that group who have been creating trouble in the jail by demanding different things. We had complained about them to the judge. I’m not aware about the assault incident but I don’t think our officers would have resorted to such tactics.”

A Cowed-Down Nation


ILLUSTRATION BY SORIT
OPINION
A Cowed-Down Nation
Why kill over a people’s dietary preference for beef?
MEENA KANDASAMY in The Outlook
 “The university and all teaching systems that appear simply to disseminate knowledge are made to maintain a certain social class in power, and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class…. The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them.”

Michel Foucault, debate with Noam Chomsky, 1971

It looks like Foucault’s “real political task” is what the organisers of the recent beef-eating festival at Osmania University set out to do: they fought the “food fascism” that kept beef out of the menu, reminded the secular state that a university hostel mess was not Sankara math, and criticised the imposition of caste-Hindu dietary diktats on Dalits from within the confines of a seemingly neutral educational institution. When they rapped “Beef is the secret of my energy” with all the soul of an outlaw anthem, it sounded like the secret heartbeat of an anti-caste cultural revolution.

But the stone-pelting, vehicle-torching ABVP hooliganism and the OU vice-chancellor S. Satyanarayana’s statement that beef would not be served in hostels unmasked a pattern of political violence. Tucking into beef biriyani behind the smokescreen of the teargas firing at OU, one could imagine the rage of a caste-Hindu mob that lynched five Dalits in Jhajjar, Haryana, in 2002 for skinning a dead cow. A week earlier, Hindu extremists had triggered communal disturbances in Hyderabad’s Old City area by hurling beef in the Hanuman temple at Kurmaguda. Both these incidents highlight the ideological framework of Hindutva mobilisation using a certain female quadruped political player who is capable of igniting riots, whose dead flesh could cause a city to disintegrate into communal violence.

Instead of acknowledging the beef-fest as an act of Dalit assertion, right-wing commentators said it was a ploy to dent the Telangana struggle. They propped up pork to silence other minorities and cast this as a Hindu-Muslim stand-off when it was actually about untouchability. Dr Ambedkar had theorised that broken men (and women) rebelling against caste became untouchables because they were Buddhists and beef-eaters. Beef, being a Dalit food, was kept away from caste-Hindus and stigmatised. To enforce the strict regimentation of caste codes, beef-eating was prohibited for Hindus. And not just in the Manusmriti.

Because India is a Hindu state at heart despite all apparitions to the contrary, Article 48 of the Constitution requires the State to take steps to prohibit the slaughter of cows. Anti-cow slaughter laws in most states promise prison terms. In implementing Hindutva, nobody outdoes Narendra Modi. He sparked off the state-aided slaughter of Muslims a decade ago, but now tries to balance his karma by conducting dental and cataract surgeries for cows. Note: Hinduism only asks of a ruler to protect cows from slaughter. While Muslim victims of the Gujarat riots still languish in relief camps, Modi gloats that no cow has to travel more than three kilometres to reach a health camp. In this animal farm, Her Holiness Mother Cow is a first-class citizen with health insurance and a pension plan. Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians, being beef-eating minorities, cannot press for similar privileges.

She hasn’t always been treated with motherly respect, though: D.N. Jha’s book The Myth of the Holy Cow documented the problematic (and under-appreciated) history of Brahmin/Hindu beef-eating in ancient India, before the taboos evolved, while Manish Jha’s film Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women depicted the sexual abuse of a cow by sex-starved men. Perhaps that’s why when the BJP was in power, the National Cow Commission (2002) suggested forming a Central Cattle Protection Rapid Task Police Force and wanted amendments to pota to enable detention of those smuggling cows.

There is no point getting offended if someone enjoys beef in all its juicy glory. Since nobody is being force-fed, tolerance means digesting the idea that just as cows are meant to be milked, cows are also meant to be meat. There cannot be a shred of doubt that in a racist nation which advertises vaginal skin-lightening creams, the large, naive eyes and flawless complexion make the cow an attractive mother. Men take pride in being mummy’s boys, but it is high time Hindutva organisations and secular, state-run universities stop being swayed by bovine sex appeal, step out of their Oedipus complex and remind themselves that cows, at least the fertile ones, are only mothers of calves. Why kill for a cow, when you aren’t born of one?

Man held for throwing acid on wife


Express News Service
23 Apr 2012

BANGALORE: Kumar, 50, suspecting the fidelity of his wife Gowramma, threw acid on her in Dubasipalya opposite to R V College of Engineering on Saturday.

According to the police, unable to bear Kumar’s harassment, Gowramma had parted ways with him. The couple were living separately for four years and she was working at a garment factory. On Saturday around 8.30 am, Kumar allegedly waited for Gowramma to finish her work, and he claimed he had reformed and wanted to start a new life with her.

Later, he took her to Dubasipalya on the pretext of house hunting, where he threw acid on her and escaped. Passersby noticed her screaming for help and shifted her to a hospital. Soon, Kumar was arrested.

“The acid used in the crime is used for polishing tiles and he had purchased 200 ml of acid from a hardware shop. During interrogation, Kumar revealed that he attacked his wife as she allegedly had an illicit affair. Also, he was upset with her for denying to stay with him. However, investigation has to reveal more about his allegations. He has been booked under attempt to murder, dowry harassment and other cases,” police added. Kengeri police registered a case in this connection and are further investigating.

‘He waited for three days to attack me’

Meanwhile, Gowramma alleged that her husband was trying to attack her since last Wednesday.

“I had seen him waiting for me near the factory since Wednesday. But I had managed to escape from him. But on Saturday, he approached me and told that he had reformed now, and claimed he wanted to start a new life with me. I trusted him. Later, he said he had seen some houses for rent and he wanted me to finalise them. But when I went along with him, he took out a bottle and poured acid on me,” she said. The couple had married 17 years ago and have four children.

“Earlier, we used to stay at Devagere near Kumbalgodu. Though everything was fine initially, after some years Kumar had started to suspect my fidelity. He was addicted to alcohol and depended on my money to buy alcohol. Earlier, I used to work as a domestic maid and he used to harass me in an inebriated condition. He also used to sell household articles to buy alcohol. He had started assaulting me and then I decided to desert him and started living along with my sons in Sun City. He had traced the house and frequently used to visit us and harass. So, I had moved out from that area and started living with one my colleagues at her house in Muthurayanapalya,” she said.

Due to poverty, Gowramma has admitted her three sons to an ‘ashram.’

Immediate Release- Indefinite Hunger Strike on May Day at Idinthakarai


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                                     April 23, 2012
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
PMANE Announces Indefinite Hunger Strike from May 1, 2012 at Idinthakarai
 
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) plans to resume indefinite hunger strike from May 1, 2012, International Workers’ Day. When we concluded our earlier hunger strike on March 27, 2012 at the behest of the Madurai Archbishop Most Rev. Peter Fernando and Mr. Arimavalavan’s negotiations with the Tirunelveli district officials at Radhapuram, the authorities had agreed to
·       <> release all our comrades from prisons unconditionally;
·       <> withdraw all the false and foisted cases against tens of thousands of our people including sedition charges;
·       <>  institute an independent national committee to study the hydrology, geology and oceanography issues;
·       <> conduct disaster management and evacuation exercises to all the people in 30 km radius from the KKNPP;
·       <>  share a copy of the secret IGA between the governments of India and Russia in 2008 on liability;
·       <> divulge all the relevant info about the KKNPP nuclear waste and their management; and
·       <>  respect the democratic rights of our people to continue to oppose the KKNPP peacefully and nonviolently.
Almost a month has passed after this negotiation, but no promise has been fulfilled so far. Mugilan and Sathish are still languishing in prison and more cases are said to have been filed against them. More than 56,000 people have been charged with false cases until December 31, 2011 including some 6,000 sedition cases. If we tally the cases that have been filed in the first quarter of 2012, the number must be way too high. This only proves how big our struggle is and how undemocratic and anti-people our governments are.
Even those who have been released on bail are made to sign every day at distant police stations like dangerous criminals and are prevented from going to work. They are all living in poverty and misery.
No step has been taken to withdraw all the false cases that are foisted on us; instead, fresh murder charges are framed against the leaders of the PMANE falsely.
Besides the hydrology, geology, oceanography issues of the KKNPP, we have now to deal with the seismology issue also as the entire state of Tamil Nadu and the eastern coast of India were rocked by powerful tremors and temblors on April 11, 2012. Following the massive earthquake and the aftershocks on that day, there has been another major earthquake in Indonesia on April 20, 2012 night. These issues have to be researched thoroughly and truthfully before opening a major and controversial nuclear project such as the KKNPP in the affected area.
The government authorities and the KKNPP officials are trying to scuttle the whole process of disaster training and evacuation exercises by roping in the cooperation of the local Panchayat presidents and by creating falsified records that such exercises had been done in these Panchayats. The KKNPP administration that never respected the local people and their leaders before are now trying to please these Panchayat presidents with the promised Rs. 500-crore package. Given the recent repeated earthquakes in Indonesia, even people beyond 30-km radius must be given disaster training.
We hear recurrent rumors that there are serious problems in the reactor pressure vessel, and that there is a perennial water spring near the reactor building that plague the KKNPP project and that is why some 18 Russian scientists have been invited urgently to work on the project. The KKNPP officials must tell the people the whole truth about the problems involved in the delay of the project, present a White Paper on the total cost of the project and explain how much public money has been spent on all these recent visits of Russians and other PR exercises.
We earnestly hope that the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu will resume the negotiations with us, fulfill their commitments and avoid the planned indefinite hunger strike. We still hope that these governments work not just for the rich and powerful but are also interested in the wellbeing of the ordinary and unlettered citizens of India.
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)