Work stopped in Jindal plant as per Govt order but 2nd laborer die in a week



Rajesh Tripathi from Jan Chetna in Raigarh is telling us that one
laborer died yesterday in Jindal power plant in Raigarh when a part of
the chimney fell on him. This is second death in a week and 3rd in
last 2 months. Govt had ordered work to be stopped on request from a
Govt company CMDC who said the plant is coming up on their land. Green
tribunal is also hearing the case. He demands a CBI enquiry on how
laborers are dying in a clsoed factory. For more Rajesh ji can be
reached at 09424183510

 

Listen to him click link below

http://www.cgnetswara.org/index.php?id=14305

#India-Journalists report the police version of crime: Seema Azad


|October 21, 2012

Do journalists question enough, asks Seema Azad, ‘Dastak’ editor who was charged under the UAPA in this interview with SHOBHA S V [Courtesy: THE HOOT]

Seema Azad

37-year old Seema Azad’s calm demeanour belies the trauma that she’s had to undergo. Azad, editor of ‘Dastak’ magazine and organising secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) was arrested in February 2010 in Allahabad along with her husband Vishwa Vijayon charges of sedition and UAPA. Vishwavijay has been a student union leader and activist of Inquilabi Chhaatra Morcha.

The duo were arrested shortly after Seema wrote against Ganga Expressway Plan, a project that would have displaced many farmers and also highlighted arbitrary arrests of Muslim youth by the Special Task Force in Azamgarh.

After a prolonged fight that stretched for two and a half years, the Allahabad High Court finally granted bail to the duo on 5thAugust, 2012. They have appealed against the conviction. Azad and her husband were in Mumbai recently to speak in a public meeting demanding for release of social activist SudhirDhawale, who has been in jail on charges of sedition.

Seema spoke out strongly against sedition and laws that curbed dissent and deplored the failure of mainstream media to question police charges against fellow journalists and activists. She also said the publication of ‘Dastak’ was suspended when she and her husband were in jail, but it will come out again from January, 2013.

Can you tell us what happened when you were picked up in February 2010?

I was coming back from Delhi after attending the National Book fair and a group of plainclothesmen literally grabbed my husband and me and put us in a vehicle. I wouldn’t say we were arrested. We were kidnapped. There was no warrant issued at all.

Why do you think you were arrested?

During questioning, the police kept asking us about my articles in my magazine ‘Dastak’ including Operation Green Hunt, Ganga Expressway Plan that would have affected many farmers’ livelihood and about my article on Muslim youth in Azamgarh who were being harassed by the police. I was branded a Maoist because I wrote against the Government on these issues.

Can you describe your experience in the jail?

It was very depressing initially. For the first day or two, I couldn’t talk to anyone. I slowly started opening up. Resistance builds up only gradually. My experience in prison made me open my eyes to a reality that I would never have had an opportunity to experience otherwise. Prisoners also have rights, which are consistently violated all the time. I remember wanting to read a newspaper every day. It seems like a simple thing except that it was not. I had to fight for it with the superintendent, jailor, warden and may others. Finally, when the Chief Judicial Magistrate had come for a programme in the prison, I insisted very strongly that I need a newspaper. It was only after his intervention that they started giving newspapers to read. My family really helped me during this time. Whenever they would come to meet me, they would bring along with them, a big set of newspapers, magazines and some books for me to catch up with my reading. I also found that the jail library is in a very bad shape. I could hardly use it. In my prison, I was the first woman who was accused of being a Maoist.

Since I was an under-trial, physical work was not mandatory for me. However, they kept asking me for bribes. I resolutely refused to pay them anything. I received feelers that I should either pay up or I should work. I clearly told them that I wouldn’t mind working but refused to pay bribes. However, they did not bother me after that. I think it was because I was educated, that things were relatively better for me than someone who is non literate.

The jail officials would ask for money in order to facilitate meeting with my family members. I ended up spending lot of time with the children of the female prisoners. I also taught two women how to read.

What kind of support did you receive from the journalist community?

Mainstream media kept writing from the point of view of the police. When I was arrested, I did not get any support from mainstream media and journalists at all. I have been working as a journalist for the past eight years now. Apart from bringing out a bi-monthly magazine, I have also written for a mainstream publication, Sahara Samay for three years now. Yet, when I was arrested, there was not a single word from any mainstream media journalist. It was very disappointing.

What do you think ails journalism today?

Journalists only end up writing the police version of any crime. The accused person’s version is seldom published. Rarely is any attempt made to contact the accused person’s lawyer or family for their statement. This is a very sorry state of affairs. The level of ignorance amongst journalists about laws is appalling. When I finally got bail two months ago, we had arranged for a press conference about black laws. So many journalists did not know about Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) or Unlawful Activities Prevention Act(UAPA). I had to explain what AFSPA is all about. However, just as corporate media in India is spreading everywhere, I also see many instances of independent media. There are many small publications which are doing good work. I also see hope in online media. When I was arrested, I remember my brother pointing out to many websites, blogs writing about me and the black laws that exist in our country.

Now that you are out on bail, what how do you plan to continue your fight?
I am very happy going around different parts of the country talking about black laws like sedition and UAPA. I am also working on bringing out my magazine ‘Dastak’ once again. It was stopped when I was in jail. The next edition will come out in January 2013.

I express my solidarity with the people of Koodankulam. 7000 people have been slapped with sedition! Section 124 (sedition) has become a joke. The prevailing atmosphere is such that the state wants to intimidate everyone who wants to critique and challenge government policies of development. If the government thinks that they will frighten people in this way, I can tell you from my experience that they are sorely mistaken. I have become even more rebellious after my arrest and subsequent stay in jail. I am going to continue my fight for what I believe in.

 

24 Oct: International Solidarity Day in support of Koodankulam anti-Nuclear struggle #mustshare


Reassert the power of the people!

The people of Koodankulam have been holding fort through ingenious methods of struggle for more than sixteen months now. In spite of all provocations, threats, intimidation, shooting, fabricating false cases, slapping sedition charges, vandalising their homes, desecrating their prayer halls and religious shrines, their will to struggle forward has been exemplary and the methods are impeccably democratic.

Though not expressed, there is a feeling that they have been left to fend for themselves. The corporate media and the capitalist politicians of all colours are using this passivity and have a field day in spreading canards about the Kudankulam struggle and deriding its leadership.

It is needless to say that the struggle against the Kudankulam nuclear plant is not just the struggle of the people of the surrounding areas or even the people of Tamil Nadu itself. To day it exemplifies the struggle to defend democracy which is being hijacked, it is a struggle to reclaim democracy from the rich millionaires to the millions of commoners.

The fighters of Kudankulam can not and should not be left alone. The Kudankulam struggle needs more support and solidarity across the cities-towns and villages of India as the fight against Nuclear Power is the struggle to reassert the power of the people to make this democracy once again work for the majority of ordinary working people and not to coat tail the whims and fancies of the capitalist bigwigs.

We invite all of you to attend a solidarity demo in support of the ongoing anti-nuclear struggle in Kudankulam and other places, where people locally have been fighting valiantly against armed police to defend their land, coast, life and livelihood.

Join us on 24th October @ Townhall, Bangalore, 5 to 6.30pm.

(This International Solidarity Day is simultaneously being organised in Chennai, Pune, London, Berlin, Antwerp, Kaulalampur ,Colombo and many other places)

Organised by: Campaign to Reclaim Democracy, May 17 Movement, Tamil Solidarity, New Socialist Alternative(CWI-India) and many progressives.

contact:9448394365 -Jagadish, 9448296071-Vishwa, 9886634001-Arun, 9980627609 -Narasimha Murthy

 

#India #Bollywood –Creatively challenged #sundayreading


Anvar Alikhan | October , 2012, Times Crest Edition

Frankly, I blame Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He’s the one who started it all, with his Black and its themes of sensory disability and Alzheimer’s. Then came Aamir Khan with his Taare Zameen Par and dyslexia. And thanks to its success, the ‘disability’ genre seems to have become a bandwagon that everybody in Bollywood who’s anybody must climb upon briefly, to prove their talent and sensitivity, before they can move on to other things. Amitabh gave us progeria in Paa;Shahrukh gave us Asperger’s Syndrome in My Name is Khan;Hrithik had, of course, already paid his dues with arrested development in Koi Mil Gaya. Even Shahid Kapoor felt he had to do speech impediments in Kaminey. And now we have Ranbir doing mutism in Barfi. The question now is, oh God, what next?

What distressing condition is Saif Ali Khan thinking up for his next film, for example? Parkinson’s disease? Muscular dystrophy? Prostate problems, perhaps? And then there’s the female of the species. After Rani Mukherji’s sensory disability and Priyanka Chopra’s autism, who’s next? Kareena, with her famous size zero, could probably give anorexia a shot. Preity Zinta, meanwhile, might want to try bulimia.

But let’s get serious. The thing is, Barfi, for all its hype and slick marketing, is a tiresome film, with a phony ‘smile-with-a-lump-in-your-throat ‘ quality about it (at least in the first half, which I saw before walking out). The larger point, however, is that I believe – at the risk of being called politically incorrect – that this whole new genre of disability films that Bollywood has been churning out is in bad taste. It’s exploitative, self-serving and cynical. For one thing it becomes a great vehicle for the star to show off how far he can stretch his talent in mimicking the affliction in question (something like advertising agencies cynically doing public-service ads because they’re an easy way to win awards for creativity). But, that apart, these films are often one part emotional manipulation;one part an insidious attempt to make us feel guilty for our own wellbeing;and one part an opportunity to affect an air of sanctimoniousness for supposedly “supporting the cause”. Just compare today’s new genre of sacharine-y disability films with the simple, shining honesty of Sai Paranjpe‘s classic Sparsh, or even Gulzar’s Koshish, and you’ll know what I mean.

The formula, nevertheless, is a powerful one. In fact, it’s a formula that Hollywood has long exploited, in its own way, beginning perhaps with Ronald Reagan’s transcendentally awful King’s Row, where he plays the wealthy young man who comes out of anaesthesia after an operation, looks down and asks, “Hey, doc, wh-wh-where’s the rest of me?” Hollywood has gone on to inflict various disability movies on us over the years, very effectively and profitably. In the 1980s alone we had three major productions: Elephant Man (John Hurt and gross deformity), Rain Man (Dustin Hoffman and autism) and My Left Foot (Daniel Day Lewis and cerebral palsy) – which managed to reap various Oscars between them, including two for Best Actor and one for Best Picture.

The high point (or low point) of Hollywood’s disability trip, however, was in 1969, when there was actually a neck-and-neck race for the Best Actor award between two disability roles: Alan Arkin in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Cliff Robertson in Charly. Arkin played the role of a mute, but despite his masterly performance, he was beaten by Robertson, playing the intellectually challenged Charlie, who undergoes experimental brain surgery to cure his problem – a procedure that goes tragically wrong.

If audiences are emotionally vulnerable to disability movies, juries are probably even more so, because of the moral halo these films sport. And when juries tip in favour of a rival offering, controversies are often not far behind – as when, in 2002, Russell Crowe’s clunky performance as a schizophrenic mathematician in A Beautiful Mind, lost outto Denzel Washington’s bad cop in Training Day. Maybe this is the reason why Barfi won out over the savagely brilliant Gangs of Wasseypur as India’s official entry to the Oscars;I really can’t think of any other conceivable reason.

Some disability groups have begun to see through the phoniness of this genre of cinema. They ask, for example, why we must have abled actors to play disabled roles, and present the analogy of black roles in the movies. Like Othello, for example, where the most recent remake had an actual black actor, Laurence Fishburne, playing the role, instead of merely Laurence Olivier, wearing blackface, as in one famous earlier version. And before we offer any excuses, let’s not forget the hearing-impaired Marlee Maitlin’s Oscar award-winning performance in Children of a Lesser God, and the double amputee, Harold Russell’s Best Supporting Actor award-winning performance in The Best Years of Our Lives.

The question is how much longer will Bollywood’s phony new disability trip continue? And how many more awful afflictions will we be subjected to, which will manipulate our emotions and our sense of guilt, in equal measure? Be aware: even as you read this, Salman Khan might be at work, practicing on some rare and disturbing syndrome – physical, mental or emotional – for our supposed moral improvement.

The author is a Hyderabad-based advertising professional and columnist.

#India-Police harassment and slow judicial proceedings leading to suicidal tendency among terror accused


 

By Tariq Abdul Muhaimin10/20/12

 

Two different cases of alleged police harassment in relation to terror accused, one languishing in jail and another released on bail, have sparked a sense of frustration and distrust in the Muslim community.

The Jamia Teacher’s Solidarity Association (JTSA) recently released a report ‘Framed, Damned, Acquitted: Dossiers of a Very Special Cell’ highlighting the plight of 16 Muslim youth who were arrested on various terror charges by the Delhi Special Cell and later acquitted by the court due to lack of evidence. Simultaneously, the tales of two other terror accused have aggravated this sense of anxiety within the community.

The tale of Abdul Razzaq alias Masood:

Abdul Razzaq alias Masood, one of the accused in Dilsukhnagar Sai Baba temple blast case, committed suicide at his house in Mehdipatnam on 10th October 2012. Being a native of Malapally, Nizamabad district, he was residing at Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad after being released on bail in 2007. In the suicide note which was found at the spot, he cited police harassment and slow proceedings as the reason behind his decision.

Speaking to Newzfirst, Khalid Saifullah, one of the defence counsels in the Sai Baba temple blast case said “I reached the spot immediately after the suicide took place. Although I did not get a chance to read the suicide note myself, the person (neighbour) who read the note to the police spoke to me and told me what was written in it”.

Recollecting the exact words told by the neighbour, he said “In the suicide note it was written – ‘I am undergoing intense police harassment since I have been released on bail… For more than 3 years I was in jail and since the last 4 years I am outside with many restrictions imposed, but my case is not moving towards any conclusion… The state police and the intelligence agencies are all harassing me; I want to make this known to everyone… I am innocent and have stayed in Jail; I don’t want to go again… I am also being implicated for Mumbai blasts… I advise all the youths who are booked under false cases to never surrender to the police… I want to make this known to everyone, so I am committing suicide…”

While his father said “My son can never commit suicide”, the post-mortem report is eagerly awaited.

“There is no question of him committing suicide. Only the police knows how he died, but he cannot commit suicide; this much I know and I can say,” said Muqeet (brother of Abdul Razzaq) who is also a corporator in Nizamabad, while speaking to Newzfirst.

“The police have carried out many fake encounters till now. The Batla house encounter is the best example for you; it not difficult for them to finish him off in this manner,” Muqeet said in frustration.

“It is not the question of one person committing suicide, there may be many others in peril. The question is – why does a person end up taking this decision even when his religion strictly prohibits it. It is a strategy of the police to implicate one person with so many cases that even if he is acquitted in one of them, he is still under immense pressure because of the other pending cases. The law and order situation in this country continues to fail us,” said Khalid Saifullah.

Abdul Razzaq’s case 835/2002 was registered at Saroor Nagar police station and investigation was carried out by Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Dated 21 November 2002, the charge sheet filed against him includes charges under sections 302, 307, 153A and 120B of Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections 3, 4 and 5 of Explosive Substances Act (ESA) and section 3 (3) of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

“During the blast in 2002, my brother was in Dubai. He did not even know that he was accused in the case. When he went to renew his passport in Dubai, they said that there is a case against his name and he will have to go to the Indian Embassy in Delhi. So he came here to surrender and get his passport renewed. When he arrived here, the police arrested him from the airport but they said that he was found with explosives at a house in Delhi,” Muqeet said.

“Out of the ten accused in this case, two have died in alleged fake encounters by the police,” said advocate Khalid.

Disheartened over the slow and unresponsive criminal justice system in India, when asked whether the family was planning any further legal action, Muqeet said “We are planning to take a legal action but I am not too hopeful. Even if we go to court and demand an investigation into the matter, the court will hand over the charge to police which will never probe impartially against itself”.

The tale of Tariq Qasmi:

On 1st October, Tariq Qasmi, a terror accused languishing in Lucknow jail, had written a letter to his counsel saying that he and other inmates have no option other than committing suicide.

“I am also a human and an innocent patriotic citizen, who has been falsely accused of terrorism under some nefarious conspiracies. Frustrated with unspeakable torture, at times we even mull committing suicide. After inhuman atrocities that we have been subjected to by jail officials, suicide appears as the only way out,” Qasmiwrote in the letter.

Tariq Qasmi is implicated in three different cases – one in Barabanki (crime no. 1891/2007), another in Lucknow (crime no. 547/2007) and a third one in Faizabad (crime no. 3398/2007). In all the three cases, apart from charges under different sections of IPC, he has been charged under sections 16, 18, 20 and 23 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Explosive Substances Act (ESA).

“On 17th Dec 2007, reports in the media claimed that he was picked up from Rani Ki Sarai in Azamgarh on 12th December. However, his arrest was shown on 22nd December after Chowdhary Chand Pal Singh, a National Loktantrik Party (NLP) leader, threatened to immolate himself if Qasmi is not produced before 22nd Dec,” saidMohammad Shoaib, Qasmi’s advocate, while speaking to Newzfirst.

“When he went missing for 2 days, Qasmi’s grandfather Azhar Ali, filed a missing complaint on 14th Dec at the Rani Ki Sarai police station. He had also sent applications to the NHRC, state government, CM and Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court on the same day,” Shoaib added.

Due to massive protests by the people of Uttar Pradesh against his arrest, the then Mayawati government had formed a Commission to probe the arrests. Though the Commission has submitted its report to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on 3rd September 2012, the Government is yet to make the findings public.

“In a high security jail of Lucknow, they only get to see sunlight for 1 hour out of the 24 hours. In the night, the Jailer and deputy jailer come in a drunken state and hurl all kinds of abuses against the prisoners. It is a joke towards the Jail Manual. The letter which Qasmi wrote was on behalf of the other prisoners who asked him if there is a provision in Islam for committing suicide in such cases, and if there is why don’t we embrace it,” said Shoaib in disappointment.

Abdul Razzaq’s suicide note and Tariq Qasmi’s letter are indicative to the torture and mental pressure which most of the accused, especially in terror cases, are experiencing. It is a sad reflection on the Criminal Justice system that prevails.

“It is a strategy of the police that they implicate a person in so many cases that all your life you end up in jail because you are tried for different cases one after the other, which in turn go on for several years because the prosecution keeps extending the trial citing more time to produce witnesses,” a human rights activist belonging to the Forum advocating the release of innocents arrested in the name of terror, told Newzfirst on Anonymity.

 

The agenda behind the #anti-corruption agenda #kejriwal #anna #IAC


Date: 20 October 2012
DNA – G sampath

Earlier this week at a public meeting in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal urged his supporters to celebrate Dussehra by burning the effigies not of the mythical demons, but of today’s demons – corrupt politicians. “I leave it to you to select which corrupt politician will be your Ravana, and which ones your Kumbhakarna and your Meghnad,” he told a cheering audience.

This facile personification of an abstraction (corruption) and its emotive linkage to a religious symbol (burning the effigies of the righteousRama’s enemies) encapsulates the essential character of the anti-corruption movement that now aspires to be a “political alternative.”

Arvind Kejriwal and his band of activists are going to launch a political party. But is anti-corruption enough of a platform to launch a whole new political party? What constituency do they really represent? How does one understand Team Kejriwal’s leap into parliamentary politics? While I do not question their individual good intentions, their singular obsession with corruption and their reluctance to engage with the structural issues that make corruption widespread, if not necessary, are worth pondering.

Who does Team Kejriwal represent?
The past 20 years of liberalisation have put more money into the hands of India’s middle classes. Their economic empowerment has given them a new sense of political entitlement, but not political empowerment.

Unlike the economy, Indian politics has continued on its pre-liberalisation track. A small dynastic coterie calls the shots in all the mainstream parties. The pre-modern institutions of caste, religion and family still count for more than capability or integrity or leadership. As a result, the onward (and upward) economic march of the middle classes has been held to ransom by the regressive feudal politics of a tiny elite that has basically gamed the system.

From a Marxist perspective, the rise of the anti-corruption brigade can be read as a manifestation of the power struggle between two different factions of the ruling class – the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie. The former are in command now, their financial power having secured them political control over the state machinery and party functionaries, from the PMO downward. Vedanta’s grip over the state administration in Orissa is a telling example.

The petty bourgeoisie, or the educated urban middle classes, possess social and cultural capital but not enough of financial capital for deployment to produce surplus value – not in the prevailing political system. The present system is ‘corrupt’ and needs an overhaul precisely because it does not accord enough value to their social and cultural capital – encapsulated in the word ‘merit’.

Slaying the Corruption Dragon
Enter Team Anna/Kejriwal. Never before in independent India has the urban, literate middle class — cutting across the traditional divides of caste, religion or ethnicity — coalesced into an electorate by itself. But twenty years of consumerist prosperity has made this imminent.

This grouping of urbanised middle class Indians has tasted the fruits of western modernity. They are disgusted by the feudalism of the political class. They are even more disgusted by the impunity with which a tiny cabal of businessmen and politicians are sucking the country dry. But they are most disgusted at being left out of the banquet.

Clearly, the ‘system’ isn’t working. Not for them. Their sense of political entitlement is violently at odds with their political impotence. The BJP, which was supposed to look out for the entrepreneurial, meritorious, middle class Hindus, has long since betrayed its core constituency. It is less an opposition in Parliament than an envious but sporting rival. It is the political vacuum created by the BJP’sabnegation of its oppositional role that the anti-corruption brigade led by Team Anna/Kejriwal has exploited, and hopes to fill.

Hence the constant confusion about their relationship with the BJP: Are these guys with the BJP or not? They seem to be, with their borderline Hindutva symbolisms and rhetoric, but they are also anxious to distance themselves from the BJP, tainted as it is by the rot in the prevailing system. They want the BJP’s constituency but not its burdensome political legacy. So they walk the tightrope, leaning now on the side of jingoism and Hindutva, now tilting the other way to fire a few quick salvos against the ‘corrupt’ BJP.

For all its dangerous ideology, the BJP still has a political vision – of a Hindu rashtra. But the newly empowered middle classes, despite their recent political awakening, have no political vision as such. They may take pride in their Hindu identity, but they don’t care one way or the other about a Hindu rashtra, which explains the BJP’s ongoing existential crisis. Nor are they animated by a sense of social responsibility towards those less fortunate than themselves. Rather than calling them the middle class, it would be more accurate to refer to them as the ‘consumer class’.

Their very idea of citizenship is mixed up with that of the consumer. Their overarching political anxiety is: How do I secure the goods and services for which I’m paying by way of taxes? They cannot entertain the idea that the state may have responsibilities even to those who cannot pay taxes because they don’t earn or consume enough to do so. Their idea of a functioning political system is one that can quietly lay out a smooth expressway to consumerist paradise: Good infrastructure, parking, no slums, and law and order so they can walk around in branded clothes without getting mugged. And, oh yes, affordable education, hospitals, etc.

What’s preventing this consumerist paradise from materialising? Corruption, of course! The Solution? Kill this dragon of corruption. The knights of the Anna round table will hunt down the Corruption Dragon and slay it. Then all Indians can live happily ever after. This is the fairy tale that the anti-corruption brigade is peddling. But that is all it is: A fairy tale.

The uses of corruption
To make sense of the Kejriwal phenomenon, and to understand why the corporate media (itself hardly a paragon of probity), which has little time for issues of deprivation and social justice, is so invested in this campaign against corruption, we need to ask some basic questions: What is corruption exactly? And what purpose is served by the high decibel discourse of corruption?

The most obvious rhetorical use of ‘corruption’ is as a diagnosis of what is ailing modern India. It presents us with an easy, identifiable, enemy: The corrupt. Where there is corruption, there are bound to be corrupt people, the Ravanas. Identify the corrupt, punish them, and cleanse the state of the corrupt, and India will be pristine once again, all set to fulfill her destiny of 10 per cent growth year after year for eternity.

Really? In fact, the syphoning of public funds into private pockets, or demanding bribes for doing a job (or not doing it) are symptoms of a malaise that runs deeper: a fundamental power inequality that comes into play soon as you erect an apparatus known as the state.

Power, as we all know, corrupts. Corruption is born at the same instant a bureaucrat is born – there is no existential gap that separates an ‘honest’ bureaucrat from a corrupt one, for the simple reason that every bureaucracy is nothing but an ejaculate of democracy getting shagged by power.

A politician holding an executive post is but another cog in the bureaucratic apparatus of the state, though a prestigious one. He is different from the bureaucrat in only one respect: he is elected by the ‘people’, while the bureaucrat is selected through an exam or nominated by an elite. But his job is essentially one with that of the state: To serve the power elite.

Indeed, there is nothing about the quality of power wielded by a Lokpal that would make this bureaucrat immune to the fundamental logic of power.

The discourse of corruption serves four key purposes. Firstly, it crowds inequality and social justice off the mainstream agenda. The two issues are linked: Social justice will not be a major concern (as it isn’t for the anti-corruption brigade; their primary concern is ‘governance’) unless there is an uncompromising respect for political equality. But nobody would argue that India’s middle classes believe in egalitarianism. Apparently, ‘merit’ somehow confers on them a distinction that exempts them from the logic of political and social equality.

Secondly, corruption, like ‘human rights’ or ‘terrorism’, is a term emptied of context and history. The exclusive focus on corruption as the prime failing of the state obfuscates the fact that a nation-state’s primary job has always been to organise the protection of ruling class interests. The history of independent India is an abiding testament to this simple political truth. But the bogey of corruption deflects attention from the repressive nature of the state’s relationship with the overwhelming majority of its subjects, and the exploitative economic structures it enforces. Ever wondered why the benevolent Indian state still needs the colonial IPC? And POTA? And MCOCA? And AFSPA? And UAPA? And the sedition law? They’re not for meant for corrupt politicians, by the way.

Thirdly, the hyper-focus on corruption serves to blunt the sharpening political consciousness of the ‘under-class’ by offering them a simplistic discourse containing good guys and bad guys. The corrupt politician is Ravana, while the honest ones, like Kejriwal or AshokKhemka, are like Rama. And if you know your Ramayana, you’d vote for Rama and the allies of Rama.

The ‘us-pure’ versus ‘them-corrupt’
Lastly, an exclusive focus on state corruption furthers the neo-liberal agenda of a leaner but meaner state. This has been pointed out by many commentators, including, most expansively, by the eminent economist Prabhat Patnaik.

This is how it works: By repeatedly associating state initiatives and programmes with corruption, you make a strong case for privatisation, for the handing over of public assets held in trust by the state (such as PSUs) into private hands. Simultaneously, because governmental corruption (and consequent inefficiency) is anyway sucking up all tax revenues, you make another strong case — for lower taxation.

But when you lower taxes, government revenues will go down, which means government expenditure has to go down too – so the government has to shrink. But since the defence budget (no matter how obscenely large for a poor country) cannot be cut, it is the social welfare schemes that have to go – so, Down with Subsidies! Down with NREGA! Down with PDS!

Since the state cannot tax its richest citizens, ie the corporations (it could spoil the investment climate), it will never have enough in its coffers to invest in public projects. So to raise the money, it has to call in foreign investors, who won’t come unless they can take out from the country far more than what they put in (that’s just capitalism, nothing personal). So you woo them with more tax sops. Thus presiding over the draining of public assets into private hands, the state cannot but abdicate its responsibility towards the vast majority. This abdication, then, is presented to the aam admi in the form of a simplistic, depoliticised narrative – the narrative of political corruption. And the cycle begins all over again .

This, in a nutshell, is the agenda behind the anti-corruption agenda. This is not to say that all IAC activists are going about their job with a cynical awareness of what they’re really up to. But many of them are fairly sophisticated intellectuals who ought to know which side of the class bread their one-dimensional crusade will butter.

If it weren’t for the comforting binary of ‘us-pure’ versus ‘them-corrupt’, the working classes and the peasantry — whose very real and legitimate anger against the political class the anti-corruption movement is tapping into — might well pose a serious threat to the prevailing order. The land of a million mutinies might even cobble together a revolution, if not splinter into a dozen fragments.

By turning into a political party, Team Kejriwal will only serve the ruling class agenda of funneling the growing anger of the mango people into the same old democratic channels that are hard-wired to betray them. Thanks to the mythical beast known as Corruption, the nation under siege has a common enemy that millions can unite against in hateful rage. So let’s go burn those effigies. HappyDussehra!

G Sampath is an independent writer based in Delhi. He is reachable at sampath4office@gmail.com.

#India’s tuberculosis challenge #health


R. PRASAD, The Hindu, Oct 21, 2012

The epidemic is running amok. And the government is finally waking up to the reality.

Tuberculosis was declared a global health emergency in 1993, but it has been growing unchecked. Today, TB is causing millions of deaths every year globally. Like any infectious disease, TB is prevalent even in developed countries. But it is a more serious problem in the developing and populous countries.

India and China together account for nearly 40 per cent of the global burden. The World Health Organisation’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2012 reveals the magnitude in the two countries, and why India has the most number of patients . In India, the prevalence is 3.1 million at best and 4.3 million at high. In China, the figures are 1.4 million and 1.6 million respectively. Even in prevalence rate (per one lakh population a year), India is 249 at best and 346 at high. China fares better: 104 at best and 119 at high.

In 2011, India again topped the list for incidence (the number of new cases detected in a year). It had 2 million to 2.5 million, compared with China’s 0.9 million to 1.1 million. If global incidence during 2011 was 8.3 million to 9 million, “India and China accounted for 26 per cent and 12 per cent respectively,” the WHO report notes. Mortality is also high in India. About three lakh people will die this year.

There are other differences between China and India. The percentage of TB patients who are also HIV positive is 6.5 in India; China’s figure is 2.3 per cent. This could be because only 23 per cent of TB patients were tested for HIV in China compared with India’s 45 per cent.

There is a significant, but apparent, reduction in prevalence and mortality when compared with 1990 levels. Increases in treatment success percentages have been registered for new cases — from 25 per cent in 1995 to 88 per cent in 2010.

According to the WHO report, the detection rate for new and relapse cases is almost the same in 1995 and 2011 — 58 in 1995 and 59 in 2011. But it was 71 per cent in 2011 among new sputum positive (NSP) patients alone, notes a May 2012 paper in the Indian Journal of Medical Research .“TB case-finding has stalled,” warns the draft executive summary of the Joint Monitoring Mission.

More than one lakh patients are put on treatment each month. The case detection, incidence, prevalence and treatment success figures are based on data drawn from the Revised National Tuberculosis Control programme (RNTCP). “…Early and effective TB treatment and control is difficult in India with its current tools and systems,” notes an editorial in IJMR (March 2012).

According to the May 2012 IJMR paper, only 30,000 private practitioners and 15 corporate health facilities are providing RNTCP services. Continuing the programme without the participation of all private practitioners has been its weakness. This despite the fact that the government is aware of the reality — private practitioners are the first point of contact for a majority of patients.

But private doctors are ill-equipped to track and follow up all patients and ensure treatment adherence. Resorting to unreliable tests, particularly serological (blood) tests based on antibody response to diagnose active TB, and some doctors relying exclusively on X-rays, have added to the challenge. Finally, the Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) is a passive system: it does not seek out patients but waits for them to walk in and get tested. Delayed diagnosis, faulty treatment, lack of follow-up, use of wrong diagnostic tools by doctors, and giving up on treatment mid-way often result in patients infecting others and developing resistance to drugs.

According to a recently published paper in the journal Health Policy and Planning, drug resistance surveillance surveys undertaken in Gujarat and Chennai indicate that there are “1-3 per cent MDR-TB [multi-drug resistant-TB] among fresh pulmonary cases… and 13-17 per cent among previously treated cases.” If detecting and treating all TB patients who are not drug resistant is challenging enough, detecting and treating drug-resistant TB is riddled with problems.

The government has woken up. After it took some dramatic and bold initiatives over the last one year, TB detection and management is no longer the same. In June 2012, the government banned serological tests. There are plans to go out and test certain target groups. But the landmark decision was making TB a notifiable disease. This has made it mandatory for laboratories, hospitals, nursing homes and doctors, both in the public and private sector, to report every TB case detected. The government system would kick in once a case is notified to ensure correct diagnosis and complete adherence to treatment during the entire duration of treatment. Two important panels have made recommendations to engage the private sector in multiple ways to rein in TB.

The government dragged its feet for too long and remained in a state of denial till the spectre of multi-drug resistant TB, high prevalence and missing out of a huge number of patients made it too difficult to avoid making it a notifiable disease.

As most patients first approach the private sector for treatment, the true incidence and prevalence levels are never known. Evidently the government delayed the decision principally because once TB is made notifiable, and when the requirement is fully and effectively implemented, the true incidence and prevalence of all forms of TB will come to light. As the executive summary notes, “approximately one million TB cases per year are unreported.”

This is where the approaches that India and China adopted to fighting TB diverged. Of the 37 notifiable diseases in China, TB ranks No. 1. It pulled out all the stops by 2000. “The concept of acceptance of the problem, identifying its requirement and the political will of TB eradication has set China on a progressive path,” notes a paper published in the journal Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases.

Notification and treatment will not have a significant impact until the TB control programme starts using new WHO-approved diagnostic tests. Smear microscopy used for sputum sample study is a 125-year-old method. Aside from its low sensitivity (50 per cent), it cannot determine drug resistance. Xpert MTB/RIF, on the other hand, has 72 per cent sensitivity with one test, and 90 per cent with three tests in the case of smear-negative patients. The sensitivity goes up to 98 per cent in the case of smear-positive and culture-positive patients. Xpert MTB/RIF has 99 per cent specificity. It can turn in results in less than two hours compared with four to six weeks in the case of the culture process.

But the most important advantage is its ability to diagnose rifampicin drug resistance. Rifampicin resistance is a brilliant marker of MDR-TB. Most patients who are resistant to rifampicin are also resistant to isoniazid. Resistance to at least rifampicin and isoniazid are required to classify a person as an MDR-TB patient.

Widespread use of such diagnostic tools that provide quick and accurate results and also indicate drug resistance will go a long way in battling the epidemic.

The diagnostic tool is being used in a couple of pilot test centres. The TB control programme should quickly evaluate its performance and use it more widely after bargaining for a cheaper price. Strengthening the programme to treat more number of drug-resistant patients should go hand in hand with that strategy.

But there is way to go before the challenge is surmounted credibly and effectively.

 

#Yash Chopra, Bollywood’s ‘king of romance’ passes away #RIP


New Delhi: Veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra, who was known as Hindi cinema‘s ‘king of romance’ for making some of Bollywood’s most memorably intense romantic dramas, passed away in Mumbai on Sunday. He was suffering from dengue.

Chopra had celebrated his 80th birthday on September 27. ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, starring Shah Rukh Khan was his final film as director. Regarded as the country’s king of celluloid romance, Chopra has also proved his mettle with intensely emotional and tragic movies, many of which went on to become box-office blockbusters.

Chopra has been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai with an attack of dengue, a spokesperson for his company said. Chopra attended actor Amitabh Bachchan‘s 70th birthday party with wife Pamela on October 11.

Yash Chopra, Bollywood's 'king of romance' passes away

Born in 1932 in Lahore, now in Pakistan, the film-maker was favoured by leading Indian actors with his movies seen as a sure-fire way to become a hit with audiences.

Chopra recently reminisced about a Bollywood career that spanned five decades, narrating how he came to Mumbai with 200 rupees in his pocket, hoping to make it as a film director.

Chopra’s disclosure, made at an event marking his 80th birthday with actor Shah Rukh Khan by his side, took the Indian film industry by surprise.

“I think I’ve had enough, Shah Rukh,” Chopra replied when Khan asked him about his next project. “I have always lived according to what my heart tells me,” he said. “I won’t make any film after Jab Tak Hai Jaan.”

Since then, Chopra has made some of Indian cinema’s most memorable films — such as ‘Deewar’, ‘Kabhi Kabhie‘, ‘Silsila’ and ‘Chandni’. His flamboyant style of film-making, movies filmed in exotic locales and mellifluous music became a hallmark, endearing him to filmgoers.

Chiffon sarees and the Swiss Alps are so synonymous with Chopra’s style of film-making that Switzerland Tourism even offered visitors a guided tour of the places where the director filmed some of his most famous songs and scenes.

Riding on his success, Chopra established Yash Raj Films, one of Bollywood’s biggest production houses, churning out at least three movies a year. In November, the film studio announced its foray into Hollywood, signing on actors such as Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman for its overseas productions.

Chopra also produced Indian cinema’s longest-running blockbuster, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge‘ (1995), which marked the debut of his son Aditya as director.

Minister for I&B, Smt Ambika Soni has condoled the death of veteran director and producer, Shri Yash Chopra. In her condolence message she said, “Today Indian cinema has lost one of its iconic personalities and a creative genius. Through films, Yashji connected generations together. His idea of portraying love as the essence of life and relationships will fondly be remembered by all movie lovers. His untimely death is a void which will be difficult to fill.”

Here’s what celebrities had to say about Yash Chopra

Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) tweets: Heartbreaking news Yash Chopra passes away.

Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) says, “I am in shock. Yash Chopra jee passed away ? What a man. What a loss .. can never forget his warmth, encouragement and humility..”

Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan): “Yash Chopra passes away .. Just now a hour ago.” (Inputs from Reuters)

 

Dhinkia Gram Sabha Unanimously Resolves NOT to Divert Forest Land for #POSCO


Dear Friends,

On 18th of October 2012 , more than 2000 people participated in the Dhinkia Gram Sabha ( Panchayat level assembly of adult members) meeting and passed unanimous resolution stating their refusal to grant consent to the proposed diversion of land for POSCO for its 12million steel plant covering 4004 acres of land under the rights provided to the Gam Sabha under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. It may be recalled here that Gram Sabha happens to be most fundamental unit of decision making in India’s grass root democracy guaranteed by the constitution.

The resolution that was read and resolved contained the following:

“The Gram Sabha of Dhinkia panchayat in its meeting on dated 18th October 2012hereby decides and resolves on the following matters relating to the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and its implementation the village. This has reference to the letter (No. TD 11 (FRA)-06/2011) issued by the ST & SC Development Department. on 7th September 2012 had instructing Collectors to ensure discussion and planning on the pending claims under the Forest Rights Act and to ensure consolidation of list of claims for further monitoring and disposal.

• The villages under this Panchayat have rights over forest lands and have initiated process of claims on rights under Forest Rights Act. Claims on the forest lands approved and recommended by the Palli Sabhas of villages (Dhinkia, Govindpur…) are still pending for recognition and no step has been taken to recognize and vest the rights. No information and training on Forest Rights Act have been provided to the villages, forms and necessary records have been supplied by the government to support claim making process, all contrary to its obligations under the Rules. In this regard the Gram Sabha directs the District Level Committee to ensure completion the process for recognition of individual and community rights as per claims submitted by the Forest Rights Committee/Palli Sabha of the concerned villages which are still pending. In this regard Gram Sabha asks the SDLC and DLC to provide the status of claims to the Palli Sabhas and FRCs of the villages.

• The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Amendment Rules, 2012 have been notified on 6th September 2012. As required under the amendment rules the Palli Sabha shall initiate the process for claiming community forest resources rights under Section 3 (1)(i) of the Forest Rights Act. In accordance with the amendment rules of the FRA, the Gram Sabha calls upon the District Level Committee to ensure recognition of the community forest resource rights in the villages coming under this Panchayat as required in the amendment Rule 12 (B)(3).

• The Gram Sabha calls upon the government and district administration to comply to decisions of the Palli Sabhas with regard to use and management of the community forest resources in accordance with Section 5 of the Forest Rights Act. The gram sabha reiterates the decision of the palli sabhas of Dhinkia and Govindpur to protect forests, biodiversity and all livelihood resources in the boundary of this panchayat.

• The Gram Sabha in particular endorses the resolution passed by Palli Sabha of village Dhinkia on 3rd October, 2012 and asks the SDLC and DLC to complete the process of recognition of rights under FRA and to desist from any proposed diversion of forest land as the recognition of rights is not complete and Palli Sabha of the village has not given consent. Any such diversion will be a criminal offence under section 7 of the FRA.

• The Gram Sabha takes note of the disruption of the Palli Sabha meeting of village Govidnpur on 4th October, 2012 which was not allowed to pass resolution on the decisions taken on claims under FRA and on the diversion of forest land. Obstruction of the proceeding of the Palli Sabha amounts to obstruction of the process of recognition of rights and violation of the authority of Palli Sabha under Section 6 of FRA. This Gram Sabha considers this as violation of FRA and an offence under Section 7 of FRA and issues notice to the State Level Monitoring Committee to proceed against the DLC and officials involved. Gram Sabha also takes the decision to hold Palli Sabha again in village Govindpur and directs the authorities to provide necessary support.

• The Gram Sabha endorse decision taken by the Palli Sabhas to not give consent to the diversion of forest lands under its customary use and boundary for the purpose of the POSCO steel plant project, or for any other purpose, and directs the District Level Committee and the State government to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, the guideline issued by Ministry of Environment & Forests on 30.07.2009 and the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on 12th July 2012 in this regard. Diversion of forest land without compliance to the Forest Rights Act and the above mentioned guidelines is a violation of the Forest Rights Act and a criminal offence.”

It may be recalled here that, on 3rd October 2012, the villagers of Dhinkia Gram Panchayat organized Palli sabha (Village level Assembly of adult persons) and Passed resolution not to divert the forest land to POSCO. Under the Forest Right Act 2006 , no forest land can be diverted until all the rights of the people in the area are recognised and their consent of the concerned gram sabha is obtained for the diversion. This is a statutory requirement under FRA, mandated further by a Ministry of Environment Ministry’s order of August 3, 2009.

The inhabitants of Govindpur village had organized Palli Sabha on 4th of October and passed a similar resolution stating their refusal to grant consent to the proposed diversion of land for POSCO. However, sponsored goons of the company and the state agencies, created disruption and forcibly took away the resolution paper in a pre-planned startegy. Against this, the PPSS members held a one day protest at Erasama block office. In the end, villagers of Govindpur received their resolution copies.

People’s resolution sent a strong message to the Government that people are against illegal diversion of forest land for the project and gave a befitting reply to the recent declaration of Mr. Yong Won Yoon CMD of POSCO to start the project soon. This resolution has also exposed the government and POSCO’s earlier claim that people are in support of the POSCO project.

The POSCO and the state government are repeatedly announcing that there will be no forcible land acquisition. This Gram sabha resolution has given a strong message that majority of people are against the project. Hence they should respect the decision of people and cancel the POSCO project outright.

Kindly circulate this mail widely.

In Solidarity,
Prashant Paikary
Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti
Mobile no-09437571547
E-Mail – prashantpaikary@gmail.com

 

Uruguay OKs Abortion; Sex Assault Rampant in Haiti #womenrights #goodnews


By WeNews staff

Saturday, October 20, 2012

An elderly woman at a camp of makeshift tents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
An elderly woman at a camp of makeshift tents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Credit: UN Photo/Sophia Paris.

(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

The Uruguayan Senate voted 17-14 to legalize all first-trimester abortions in a groundbreaking step in Latin America, Boston.com reported Oct. 17. Cuba is the only other country in the region where all women currently have access to first-trimester abortions.

The legislation establishes that the public health care system must guarantee every woman the freedom to decide without pressure whether to have an abortion. Recent polls have suggested that a majority of Uruguay‘s 3.3 million people favor decriminalizing abortion, as this law accomplishes.

More News to Cheer This Week:

The Retail Action Project (RAP) joined other groups Oct. 17 to support Bintou Kamara, a RAP member and Abercrombie and Fitch cashier who started a petition on Change.org to end “on-call” shifts. “On-call” scheduling leaves workers waiting by the phone to find out if they will work that day, sometimes an hour before the shift is to begin, leaving them unable to plan for child care, school or second jobs, RAP said, but they often have little choice because workers are guaranteed only one day a week of work.

Thousands of people across the country, as well as prominent New Yorkers, such as Helen Rosenthal, candidate for City Council on the Upper West Side, stood behind the Sustainable Scheduling Campaign, to address the underemployment crisis caused by corporate retailers’ unpredictable, part-time scheduling practices.

“I am here today because worker’s rights are women’s rights,” said Rosenthal. “It’s the women who at the end of the day are the glue to the family. Often they’re the economic engines not just of their families but of the community; and the only way they can hold their families together and their communities together is by having stable jobs. By having on-call schedules, it leaves [mothers] totally at risk for losing their jobs and losing the ability to support their families. We need the private sector, like these big companies, to step up and lead the way, not just for women but for all workers to have sustainable jobs.” –Maggie Freleng, WeNews correspondent

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai stood for the first time after being shot Oct. 9 and is “communicating very freely,” according to the director of the British hospital where she is undergoing treatment, CNNreported Oct. 19. Yousufzai was shot in the northwestern district of Pakistan last week after she defied the Taliban by insisting on the right of girls to go to school. Authorities are investigating the attack and say they have made a number of arrests.

Afghanistan has overcome the biggest obstacles of any country in its efforts to educate girls, according to a new global education report released Oct. 16 by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,Reuters reported. Seventy-nine percent of girls were enrolled in school in 2010 compared to 4 percent in 1999.

The girls basketball team of Franklin County High School in Indiana will be again playing in primetime slots (Fridays and Saturdays) after the school filed a consent decree in court, The National Women’s Law Center said in a press statement Oct. 16. In the past the women had been forced to play on weeknights, when attendance is lower and making it more difficult to find the time to complete their homework.

Female lawyers in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to plead cases in court for the first time beginning next month, according to a justice ministry directive published Oct. 16, The Independent Online reported. The ruling will apply to all women who have a law degree and who have spent at least three years working in a law office.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be the first South African woman to take a top leadership position in the African Union, the Associated Press reported Oct. 15. She will be in charge of peace and security functions and keeping track of the political and economic affairs of the continent.

Up to one billion women are expected to enter the workplace in the next decade, according to the latest survey from Booz and Co. on women in the workplace, CNBC reported Oct. 15. The report says the surge in female employees, employers, producers and entrepreneurs in the next 10 years will improve not only gender equality, but global economic growth.

Inspired by the Pompidou Center in Paris, which for nearly two years removed all the men’s art from their modern galleries, the Seattle Art Museum is inviting women to take over its downtown building this fall,Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported Oct. 15. The museum will show the contribution of women to photography, video, painting and sculpture from this past century.

Women’s eNews writer Molly Ginty, editor in chief Rita Henley Jensen and editor Corinna Barnard received the Casey Award for Meritorious Journalism Oct. 18 in Washington, D.C., alongside the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Los Angeles Times, ABC and NPR. The Women’s eNews team won their award for “Infant Formula Companies Milk US Food Program,” with support from the Nation Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Jeers

Reports of rape and sexual violence have been too common after the January 2010 earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people and displaced almost 25 percent of the population in Haiti, CNN reported Oct. 18. Seventy percent of households surveyed in a recent study said they were now more worried about sexual violence and 14 percent of households reported that at least one member of the household had been a victim of sexual violence since the earthquake.

High numbers of adolescent girls are also engaging in what they call “transactional sex” for shelter and food. Many of those interviewed claimed they had never sold sex before, but the earthquake had left them no option.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Nearly 38 percent of lesbians polled in a national survey said they were not routinely screened for cervical cancer, putting them at risk of developing a highly preventable cancer, according to a University of Maryland School of Medicine study, an Oct. 17 press statement said. The percentage of lesbians not being screened as recommended is higher than for women overall.

Sexual violence against girls in Zambia is rampant, according to a report released Oct. 18 by Cornell Law School’s Avon Center for Women and Justice. Eighty-four percent of students interviewed reported that they had personally experienced such abuse or knew of classmates who had experienced it. Read more in “Zambian Schoolgirls Face Rampant Sexual Violence.”

When asked his opinion on pay equality for women in the Oct. 16 debate, Mitt Romney misstated his role saying when he was the incoming governor of Massachusetts he asked women’s groups to find him qualified women to be members of his cabinet. According to senior political writer of The Phoenix, David Bernstein, Romney’s claim that he asked for such a study is false. The statement gained extensive criticism and lead to the “binders full of women” media phenomenon. Read more in “Romney’s ‘Binders of Women’ Offer Ammo to Obama.”

Police at Miami University of Ohio are investigating a flier titled “Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape” posted on the bathroom wall of one of its residence halls, ABC news reported Oct. 15. The tips included such graphic advice as encouraging men to have sex with unconscious women because it “doesn’t count,” drugging women with “roofies” and slitting women’s throats if they recognize their attackers.

Janis Lane, a female Tea Party leader of the Central Mississippi, came out against women having the right to vote in an interview with the Jackson Free PressAlternet reported Oct. 16. Questioned about men getting involved in the reproductive decisions of women, Lane’s response was, “Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how [they] can skewer a person….double-minded, you never can trust them.”

Sexist stereotypes, humiliating photographs of women and male bylines dominate the front pages of British newspapers, according to research carried out by Women in Journalism, The Guardian reported Oct. 14. Male journalists wrote 78 percent of all front-page articles and men accounted for 84 percent of those mentioned or quoted in lead pieces, according to analysis of nine national newspapers over the course of four weeks.

Noted:

Prominent women’s advocate, Kim Gandy, has been selected as president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the organization said in a press statement. The national network is a membership and advocacy organization dedicated to creating a social, political and economic environment in which violence against women no longer exists.

Actresses Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johansson and Kerry Washington star in a new ad that highlights Mitt Romney’s positions on women’s health issues and criticizes the Republican Party for pushing legislation to “redefine” rape and force women to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds, The Huffington Post reported Oct. 15.

Ann Romney reached out to female voters Oct. 15 in central Pennsylvania, urging them to persuade their undecided friends to support her husband, Philly.com reported Oct. 16. “My message is this for women: Do you want a brighter economic future? If you do, vote for Mitt,” she said.