#India-Caste discrimination in German Dept, English and Foreign Languages University


German department in English and Foreign Languages University practices castism in Class. Dalit Students are forced to drop out, they should not speak anything. They should accept what Prof. Meenakshi Reddy, tells. She tells that dalits should not do education, and they dont have any knowledge. Hence she would always tell the students openly. And also will challenge them. She and her department also dont want any students talking this in public. And dalit students should not involve in any activism. The VC in the past and present dont have any king right or courage to address the issue. If VC says something in writing Reddy will not accept. This has been happening since the past. Two students tried committing suicide, and at present no sc/st students are present. B. Ravichandran  took the interview thinking someone can do justice to the case.You can contact him  Phone: 09849900785

Video: 4th Nov 2012,
Language: English, EFLU

 

#India-“Twitter Arrest”-why Indians should be afraid of IT Act’s sweeping Sec 66A


Why was an Indian man held for sending a tweet?

By Prasanto K RoyTechnology writer,

Ravi Srinivasan Ravi Srinivasan has refused to apologise for his tweet
  • 6 November 2012, BBC news

How can a virtually unknown Indian boost his Twitter following a hundred-fold overnight?

Ravi Srinivasan did it by becoming the first person in India to be arrested for a tweet. The 46-year-old runs a packaging business in the southern Indian city of Pondicherry.

On 20 October, he posted a tweet to his 16 followers saying that Karti Chidambaram, a politician belonging to India’s ruling Congress party and son of Finance Minister P Chidambaram, had “amassed more wealth than Vadra”.

He was alluding to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, who was at the centre of a political row after allegations over his links with a top Indian property firm. Mr Vadra denies the charges.

Karti Chidambaram (@KartiPC) did not take the tweet in good humour and filed a police complaint on 29 October.

He later tweeted: “Free speech is subject to reasonable restrictions. I have a right to seek constitutional/legal remedies over defamatory/scurrilous tweets.”

Explosion of support

The police in Pondicherry acted with unusual speed.

They arrested Mr Srinivasan early next morning, charged him under Section 66A of India’s Information Technology [IT] Act, and demanded 15 days of police custody. Pondicherry’s chief judicial magistrate declined remand and granted bail.

There was an explosion of support for Mr Srinivasan, who refused to apologise. He became a hero on prime-time television. His Twitter following (@ravi_the_indian) grew from 16 to 2,300 in 48 hours.

Anti-corruption campaigners have questioned the motive of the police and the Congress party: Mr Srinivasan is a volunteer campaigner himself.

Karti ChidambaramKarti Chidambaram said ‘free speech is subject to reasonable restrictions’

Mr Srinivasan did make an unverified allegation. Mr Chidambaram could have used the libel and defamation laws. But India’s libel laws are complex. You have to prove that you were defamed.

The police action triggered concern about India’s increasing use of Section 66A of the IT Act of 2000, amended in 2008.

Section 66A is sweeping in its powers.

It can send you to jail for three years for sending an email or other electronic message that “causes annoyance or inconvenience”.

On the face of it, this protects citizens against online harassment.

In reality, the law is more often used by the state as a weapon against dissent. In each such case, police action has been swift and harsh.

In April, the West Bengal government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee used Section 66A against a teacher who had emailed to friends a cartoon that was mildly critical of her.

Police arrested the professor and his septuagenarian neighbour at midnight on 12 April, and kept them in “protective custody” for days.

In August, West Bengal’s Human Rights Commission asked the state government to take action against two police officers and pay compensation to the professor and his neighbour.

The arrest in Calcutta had triggered outrage in social media, and a wave of Mamata Banerjee jokes with an #arrestmenow tag on Twitter.

The arbitrariness of Section 66A was evident again – it didn’t matter if a cartoon had been published before, or who drew it. If you emailed it to friends, you could be charged under Section 66A and thrown into jail.

Sweeping powers

And there were other cases across India.

In the north Indian city of Chandigarh, 22-year-old Henna Bakshi’s SUV was stolen in August.

A month later, the police had still not registered a complaint. Frustrated, Ms Bakshi posted a strongly-worded note on the city police’s Facebook page in September.

The police slapped a case under section 66A on Ms Bakshi who, as a 10-year-old, had incidentally received a bravery award from India’s prime minister for fighting robbers and helping bust a gang.

The message to Indian citizens, say activists, is: Be afraid. Be very afraid of Section 66A of the IT Act: it can send you to jail for a careless comment.

Trinamool Congress party leader Mamata Banerjee Ms Banerjee’s government used the law against a teacher who emailed cartoons

The law is convenient, sweeping, and certain of hitting just about any target as long as there is authoritative backing.

There are very few examples of Section 66A being used fairly, to the end of justice.

One was the case of popular Tamil singer and entrepreneur Chinmayi Sripada, 28, who ignored years of “trolling” or online harassment.

Finally, on 18 October, she filed a police complaint following vulgar tweets.

The Chennai police registered a case under Section 66A, and Tamil Nadu’s Prevention of Harassment of Women law. An associate professor in a private fashion institute and a government employee were arrested.

Ms Chinmayi’s celebrity status helped. It is less likely that an ordinary citizen who is harassed online could persuade the police to file a case so easily.

On a TV news channel, Ravi Srinivasan said that a close relative who had his motorbike stolen a year ago was still trying to get the Pondicherry police to register a report.

And, interestingly, Section 66A has never been used against politicians.

Senior politician and Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy made stronger corruption allegations against Karti Chidambaram twice this year.

But no action was taken against Mr Swamy, who has now offered to help with Mr Srinivasan’s legal defence.

India needs to make Section 66A far more specific and transparent.

As long as this law remains so very loosely worded and sweeping in its powers, many fear it will remain a powerful weapon to manage dissent by the Indian state.

Prasanto K Roy (Twitter @prasanto) is editorial advisor at CyberMedia, a leading technology publishing group in India.

A call for Action: toward a nuclear free world #mustshare


Introduction:

The AEPF9 Final Declaration calls the ASEM governments to build a nuclear free world. On “Sustainable Energy Production and Use”, the 5th  “Key Recommendation” states:  “Commit to progressing, with urgency, to a nuclear power free world. This will require decommissioning existing nuclear power stations, stopping the development of planned power stations and taking forward alternatives.”

During Vientiane AEPF9, an “AEPF No-Nuke Circle” was launched to act on this issue. Workshop participants came from nine Asian and European countries. Representatives of networks from other countries supported this initiative, even if they could not be present at the workshop because of simultaneously held meetings.

The following statement – the « Call for Action » – explains why we engage ourselves in the fight for a nuclear free word.

This statement can be endorsed by organizations, networks and individuals.

For endorsement, please write to: prousset68@gmail.com

—————————————-

At a time when the some of the advanced industrialized countries of North America, Europe and Japan have decided to phase out completely their nuclear energy programmes or reduce their dependence on nuclear energy for electricity production, the main markets for North American, European, Russian and Japanese suppliers of nuclear equipment are in Asia. China and India are the two countries with the most ambitious plans for expanding nuclear power generation. Many other countries are reconsidering or abandoning their plans to start nuclear power production.

To bring about an end to nuclear energy programmes in Asia and Europe more than ever do we need a coordinated campaign among civil society activists and groups not only in the different countries of Asia but also similar alliances with civil society counterparts in Europe where popular disillusionment and opposition to nuclear energy has sometimes been successful in making governments change their nuclear power policies.

The AEPF therefore is an ideal venue for developing such a coordinated campaign. What follows is a statement of basic arguments for opposing nuclear energy in favour of environmentally appropriate use of renewable energy sources.

Our Stand

The promise’’ of nuclear energy in the 1950s which led to the development of civilian nuclear programmes for electricity generation in numerous countries around the world has been completely belied. Indeed, in the eyes of one expert Amory Lovins, the performance worldwide of civilian nuclear energy programmes has revealed it to be perhaps the single greatest failure of the industrial age! After over 60 years of experience the case against nuclear energy especially given its safety record is now overwhelming. The main arguments can be summed up under six basic categories – too little, too late, too secretive, too centralised, too expensive, too dangerous.

 

Too Little

Nuclear energy constitutes an ever declining proportion of world electricity generation whether measured in terms of capacity or output. It now accounts for less than 12% of world output. Of the world’s 430 odd existing reactors, even as some old reactors are having their life spans dangerously extended, considerably more reactors will be shut down over the next two decades than will be built. The proportion of electricity generated by nuclear power will go down even further. In 2009 the installed capacity in energy generation with “new” renewable sources (excluding large hydropower) worldwide surpassed nuclear power capacity for the first time. Since then the gap has got increasingly wider. Nuclear power is not the energy of the future! The claims made of a nuclear renaissance are false.

Too Late

The most recent and popular argument being made to promote the nuclear power industry is that it is a clean energy source and crucial for addressing the problem of global warming. However, nuclear power is not and cannot be clean given the long lasting and highly dangerous radioactive wastes it generates for which there is no long term safe storage process and for which short term storage processes cannot but carry some level of risk of unforeseeable and possible leakages  due to circumstances/events/developments beyond control.

While it is true that nuclear reactors do not directly generate carbon emissions, the whole “nuclear fuel cycle”—from uranium mining to fuel fabrication to building, running and maintaining reactors, and managing and storing/reprocessing their  wastes — produces a substantial amount of carbon dioxide. Therefore the eventual saving or carbon abatement from nuclear power is much less than from most renewable sources although it is more than from fossil fuel burning. However, even such a saving does not make it worthwhile to go in for nuclear power plants since the opportunity costs are so huge and the period of construction (usually 10 to 13 years)  is so long that if the same amount of money was spent for establishing renewable energy sources, the amount of carbon emissions saved would not only be much greater but – and this is very important – the savings would take place much more quickly. Some expert studies conclude that for nuclear energy to make a significant dent in carbon emissions we would need to build close to one plant every fortnight for the next ten years!

Too Secretive

Given both its inherent dual-use character, i.e., its military potential in terms of generating fissile materials for bomb-making and the risks of leakages at various points in the construction and running of plants and in waste disposal, all civilian nuclear programmes are unavoidably far more secretive than is the case in other industries. All industries are subject to what organisation theorist Charles Perrow calls “normal accidents”. The nuclear industry is no exception. Full transparency about such events would undoubtedly raise great concerns and opposition among the population at large and be highly detrimental to the credibility of all those involved in preserving the nuclear programme – suppliers, operators, governments. The very nature of the industry demands that it must institutionalise deeply undemocratic mechanisms of non-transparency and non-accountability with respect to the wider public.

Too Centralised

Nuclear power only makes some sense if its role is connected to a highly centralised system of electricity generation and distribution and use which also means significant distribution and transmission losses, i.e accepted inefficiencies. For most developing and developed countries the only sensible approach is to develop a strongly decentralised system of energy production and use alongside existing grid systems since such a decentralised approach is both cheaper and far more compatible with the use of renewable energy sources and local surpluses in electricity generation can be fed into a network of local and regional grids and even into the national grid. Thus, renewable energies are creating many more jobs than nuclear.

Too Expensive

The full costs of nuclear power generation and distribution from the beginning of the fuel cycle to the end of waste disposal and storage are never properly calculated. Indeed, governments from France to Japan to others have always provided open or hidden subsidies of one kind or the other. Among the costs usually excluded in part or full from “levellised costs” or the cost per kilowatt hour produced by nuclear power plants, are the following: a) the cost of decommissioning the plant when its life span is over which is maybe one-third to one-half of the cost of construction itself. b) Not adding the costs, howsoever discounted over a prolonged period, of waste management and storage. c) The ‘real’ financing cost including interest payments made on borrowed capital and other charges associated with long construction periods. d) Costs are fast rising with new security requirements – and if they were not, it would mean that security is traded off against profits. c) The cost of insurance against accidents (including huge premium costs) if liability is absolute (as it should be) and of creating contingency funds for accidents causing economic, ecological and health damage.

Yet despite the partial or total exclusion of these elements, the costs stated by industry and publicised by the media are everywhere still higher than all other forms of energy production by fossil fuels and with most renewables. Even the most expensive of alternative energy sources today, namely solar energy, is already lower than the levellised costs of nuclear power in many scenarios and steady technical and scientific improvements are making solar energy progressively cheaper over time compared to nuclear power. The opportunity costs of nuclear energy are prohibitively uneconomical. This is the single most important reason why the private sector will not go in for nuclear power without assured subsidies and liability caps guaranteed by governments.

Too Dangerous

There are five kinds of dangers actual or potential.

1)      The release of ionising radiation and dangerous isotopes bound up with each step of the nuclear fuel cycle, endangering people in various countries from uranium mining to waste storage. These are invisible poisons, which produce cancers and genetic damage and against which there is no defence or cure.

2)      There is the insoluble problem of waste disposal. Present problems and dangers of waste disposal are partly rationalised by the pro-nuclear lobby as the other side of the coin of present benefits and services. But for future generations there are only the problems and dangers and no presumed benefits and services. Nuclear power is poisoning the earth.

3)      Accidents are normal in all industries. Consequences small or big always follow. But nuclear power is the sole mode of energy generation in the world, which is vulnerable to catastrophic accidents with enormous and unacceptable consequences. The health and environmental effects of nuclear accidents are of such a nature that they must be deemed unacceptable, although the scale of incidence can vary from small to big. Even if as claimed the probability of a major accident is low it is never zero and no one can give a precise measure of how low. But the consequences of a major accident are beyond measure and simply incalculable. Even absolute liability only means that the culprits behind the accidents will lose money while the actual victims of such accidents are innocent others who have to pay with their health and lives!

4)      Nuclear plants are potential targets for conventional assaults by state or non-state actors, and vulnerable to sabotage with huge consequences.

5)      The actual or potential military-related dual-use possibilities of civilian programmes means that if the world is serious about wanting to move towards complete disarmament of nuclear weapons then this must require the complete elimination of all civilian nuclear power programmes as well. As long as civilian nuclear power programmes exist, the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation exists.

The countries of Asia and Europe must give up on all or any civilian nuclear power programmes. Where such plants and fuel cycle activities exist, they should be phased out as quickly as possible never to be revived. Nuclear plants can be reconverted wherever possible into other environmentally friendly facilities for productive and employment generating activities.

AEPF initiative on nuclear industry will be articulated with ongoing campaigns for nuclear disarmament and for an overall socially and environmentally appropriate policy on energy.

AEPF “No-Nuke” Circle

For endorsement by organizations, networks and individuals, please write to: prousset68@gmail.com

Tata Steel to make representation to Orissa


The company has received notices for a sum of Rs.6,000-7,000 cr as a fine for excessive production
Ruchira Singh Mail Me, livemint.com

First Published: Tue, Nov 06 2012. 12 24 AM IST

http://www.livemint.com/rf/Image-621×414/LiveMint/Period1/2012/11/06/Photos/Tata%20Steel_3C–621×414.jpg” />
A file photo of Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur plant.
Updated: Tue, Nov 06 2012. 12 26 AM IST
New Delhi: Tata Steel Ltd will make a representation to Orissa to ask for cancelling a fine demanded by the state government for the company’s iron ore mining in the state, an industry official said on Monday, as the state tightened its mining rules in the wake of continuing scrutiny on illegal mining.
Tata Steel, which has mines in Joda, Sukinda and Khondbond in Orissa all of which supply iron ore to its Jamshedpur steel plant, has received notices issued from Joda asking for a sum of Rs.6,000-7,000 crore as a fine for excessive production, the official said.
An official statement from the company said it had not broken any law.
“Tata Steel has received notice from the government and we will revert to the government with our submission. We reiterate our contention that we have always undertaken mining in Orissa and also in other states where we operate with strict conformity with the existing laws,” the official statement from the company said. “Government of India has recently brought out a notification defining irregularity in mining operations and illegal mining. This distinction is an important aspect of the whole issue of the demand put forth by the state government.”
Orissa’s director of mines Deepak Kumar Mohanty did not answer his phone when called for comments.

First Published: Tue, Nov 06 2012. 12 24 AM IST

 

#Gujarat- Memorial to a Genocide- Memory as Resistance #NarendraModi


: Memory as Resistance

Many more public memorials to the dead are required. These may serve as constant reminders to us, heirs to a century of massacres, and spinners of dreams for a better world

Mukul Mangalik

I feel honoured to have been asked to speak on this solemn and rare occasion, the Jamia moment, as it were, in the historic initiative underway at the behest of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), to create a public memorial to the dead, murdered, brutalised and dispossessed children, women and men from Gujarat 2002, a memorial equally to the dogged fighters for justice from that time on.

I feel doubly honoured to be speaking at an event inaugurated by Prof Romila Thapar. She taught me at JNU during the 1970s. Her example continues to inform my own teaching while her academic rigour and passion for history, her willingness to stand up and be counted, to speak her mind with lucidity and grace on issues that matter and the values that she holds dear, continue to inspire many of us, especially in trying times.

I would like to begin by reading out a passage from an article I had written after a group of students from Delhi University and I returned from Gujarat in May 2002.

“No matter how much we may already know about the systematic savaging of the lives of Muslim citizens in Gujarat, it is when you step into the theatres of destruction, into the worlds of victims and survivors, most with nothing but their lives left to protect, the sun screaming murder, no water to drink, flies and the stench of urine and shit all around, it is then the hugeness of the tragedy that Narendra Modi, the RSS, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal have wrought in Gujarat, blows a hole in the solar plexus and hell into your being.”

I chose to read out these lines today to remind ourselves of the barbarism that engulfed Gujarat in 2002, the full horror and implications of which may never have come home to many students and me but for our close encounters with people and places in Gujarat during the fateful summer of that year. This tragedy must never be forgotten. It must be remembered and understood for it to never happen again, for justice to be done and for the living to breathe in freedom and peace.

I understood instinctively for the first time why Theodor Adorno, in 1949, might have felt compelled to reflect on whether there could be poetry after Auschwitz. As time passed, however, almost unnoticed by me, a poem made its way into, became part of, and sharply impacted my memories of Gujarat. ‘Nanhi Pujaran’ written by Majaz way back in 1936, had nothing to do with Gujarat 2002, but, to me, perhaps because it spoke of such innocence and vulnerable beauty, it has ended up getting intertwined with its macabre, threatening opposite, rendering my memories of 2002 more unbearable and Gujarat even more impossible to forget. The ways of remembering, and through the act of remembering, resisting, are many. I can no longer read ‘Nanhi Pujaran’ without thinking of the killing fields of Gujarat and vice versa, and this invariably brings a lump to my throat.

 I understood instinctively for the first time why Adorno, in 1949, might have felt compelled to reflect on whether there could be poetry after Auschwitz

The mass murder of Muslims in Gujarat was bad enough in itself. It was bone-chilling that this happened in an orgy and celebration of bloodletting, and dangerous like hell for having been equally an assault on secularism, democracy and modern republican citizenship, for having been, as Thomas Mann wrote on March 27, 1933, two months after Hitler had become German Chancellor, “against everything nobler, better, decent, against freedom, truth and justice”.

Gujarat did not happen — it bears repeating ad nauseum — because Hindus and Muslims were living side by side and this was never meant to be. It happened because religion was successfully used to construct an exclusivist nationalism that we, in South Asia, refer to as communalism and which readily lends itself to the politics of hate, murder and authoritarianism. This could not have come to pass without the deadly totalising role of the Sangh Parivar. Nor could it have happened without the unforgivable criminal complicity of the State. Above all, however, it would be well to remember — and this is what makes Gujarat 2002 fascistic and extraordinarily terrifying — that the targeted mass killing of Muslims happened due to, and amid widespread popular acclaim and participation, manipulated maybe, but mass communal enthusiasm nonetheless.

‘Nanhi Pujaran’ by Majaz in 1936 had nothing to do with Gujarat 2002, but, to me, perhaps because it spoke of such innocence and vulnerable beauty, it has ended up getting intertwined with its macabre, threatening opposite…

Add to this the enormous spread and historical depth of communal and related forms of narrow identity politics, each feeding into the other in majority and minority incarnations on a world scale, not to mention the practice of other kinds of murderous politics and wars waged in the name of either development and nation or even revolution, and the mind boggles.

From the  Hardnews :

NOVEMBER 2012

 

#Gujarat- Memorial to a Genocide: Citizenship of Junk #NarendraModi


We built a monument here, to the witness as storyteller, to the activist as historian. And to the spectator as a citizen who will not be allowed to forget

Shiv Visvanathan

I’ll begin personally. I’m a sociologist and I have served as a kind of assistant munshi to Teesta Setalvad and RB Sreekumar (former Director General of Police, Gujarat) during the 10 years during which these riots were studied. I want to begin very practically. Romila Thapar put it beautifully. Genocide — and here I want to distort it a bit — like Hinduism, is a way of life. And when it’s a way of life, how does the
survivor remember?

This question came in a very pragmatic way when I was tailing the photographer who shot many of the pictures that you see here today: Binita Desai. And the first question she asked was, What are we building?

It cannot be a monument, because, we felt, and she agreed, that a monument is a tribute to forgetting. We want to remember. She said it can’t be a museum because a museum is a tribute to erasure and we need to remember. Mukul Mangalik said it beautifully (when he asked), How is philosophy possible after the genocide?

I think comedy is possible after a genocide because the most tragic comic figure in Gujarat is Narendra Modi. And if I had to build a museum today I would do a Madame Tussaud’s on Narendra Modi… It is very interesting that Modi’s range of colours are a semiotic delight. He uses speech because he somehow thinks speech can exonerate a genocide.

The other point that I want to emphasise is how to remember when a society is desperate to forget and when a society thinks development is the art of forgetting? When these photographs were being shot, an old man came to us just as we were moving out to the car; he stopped and he said, I want to just tell you a story. He said, My son was arrested at the age of 15, he is 25 today. They put him in jail in Calcutta. I don’t have the money to go and see him. Can you send him a message?

I think comedy is possible after a genocide because the most tragic comic figure in Gujarat is Narendra Modi. And if I had to build a museum today I would do a Madame Tussaud’s on Narendra Modi

It is this struggle of memory against erasure that we want to capture here. Because what we want to build here is a memorial… because what we watched after the riot was how a citizenship of memory was constructed between a group of activists and a group of survivors. It’s an invitation to story-telling and why  storytelling is important?

The biggest monument that Narendra Modi as a fascist administrator built to the riots was a waste dump. When the riots began it was exactly two-and-a-half feet high. Today, it’s seven storeys high, higher than Humayun’s Tomb and it is a tribute to the survivor. Because today the survivor realises he is treated by the Gujarat government as a piece of junk and junk needs to remember. Junk refuses to be erased, junk demands that its role in history be told and retold.

And this memorial is the tribute to the survivor, to the witness. And I want to just begin with one last story which captures for me the craftiness of this whole process. One of the journalists who went to Godhra came back and said the BJP is moving towards an electoral plan for Godhra — the social contract they offered captures what I call the evil of this project. Because they went to each of the Muslim families and said, If you vote for us we might release some of the sons arrested over the last 10 years. That is the kind of evil we have to confront and to do that we built a monument here, to the witness as storyteller, to the activist as historian. And to the spectator as a citizen who will not be allowed to forget.

Shiv Visvanathan is a social scientist and commentator.

From the  Hardnews :

NOVEMBER 2012

#Gujarat -Memorial to a Genocide: Insist on justice #NarendraModi


Would those who encouraged the victimisers to kill in Gujarat be willing to apologise or make a conciliatory gesture to the victims? That would be a confession of guilt and guilt is what Narendra Modi is constantly denying

Romila Thapar

In 1947, Partition was accompanied by massacres so gruesome that many said they would not allow this to happen again. But we have been through three genocides since then and the perpetrators of the violence continue to be powerful members of our society. The three I am referring to are the anti-Sikh genocide in Delhi in 1984, the anti-Muslim in Gujarat in 2002, and more recently, the anti-Christian Dalit in Orissa. Genocide seems to follow a pattern in India post-1947. In each case it is the majority Hindu community that targets and kills those of a minority community of a specific and different religion, and in numbers far larger than are killed in communal riots. The justification for the killings is said to be some action on the part of the non-Hindus that is said to have angered the Hindus who then seek revenge. But, apart from the accusation being true or not, does any such action justify genocide? The actual motive often lies in the politics of the region. Religious antagonism or conciliation is what gets discussed in the aftermath, while the political and economic motives get brushed aside.

This raises many questions. These are not irrelevant and we need to have clear answers.

Does this have to do with religion or with the way religion is mobilised politically with religious organisations becoming the agencies of political ideologies? Are Hindus by nature more given to killing, despite all the hype about belonging to a non-violent and tolerant culture? Or, why is it that the agencies of law and order — the police and administration — seem not to protect those attacked when they are members of a religious minority, or Dalits or women? Are they so infiltrated by religious extremist influence — Hindus in the main — that they do not bother to defend those attacked?

Or, does nationalism define ‘Indian’ now to mean ‘Hindu’, and therefore the Hindu has primacy as citizen? Does this make non-Hindus dispensable? One wonders what has happened to the earlier concept of being Indian, a category inclusive of all communities; a concept that my generation of Indians stood by? If the violence is spontaneous, and in the name of a religion, then it is a blot on the religion of the community that perpetrates the violence, be it Hindu, Muslim or Sikh. If it is orchestrated by the State, then a State resorting to genocide can hardly claim to be a well-administered State. Only an incompetent government is unable to control what turns into genocide. This negates claims of good governance.

Given the scale and type of violence, there is little doubt that in Gujarat the police and administration were ineffective, to say the least. These are agencies which, now, all over the country, see themselves not as those whose duty it is to protect citizens, but rather as primarily having to be subservient to political authority, their function being to carry out the orders of those governing. There are a few, but unfortunately too few, who still see themselves as protectors of citizens and defenders of the rights of citizens. Among these few, there have been some police officers and administrators who have suggested that the violence in Gujarat was orchestrated by those governing. Their views cannot be easily dismissed.

If the administration in Gujarat is as efficient as is projected by Modi and his supporters, then some questions still remain to be answered. Even on the specific issues linked to the genocide, there are gross inefficiencies. 

The assault on women is particularly vicious. Women are the most devastated victims because the attack on them cuts both ways 

Of those accused of setting fire to the coaches at Godhra, I am told that 84 are still awaiting judgement. Ten years is a long time for there to be no judgement on what is held to be a simple case of arson. Is it a simple case of arson? Why is it that almost 50 per cent of the persons said to be missing — over 200 persons — cannot be traced, and records are missing? As is usual in such incidents, the paying of full compensation has been delayed. This smacks of normal corruption in the administration from which the Gujarat administration is obviously not free.

Going beyond 2002, there is a need to understand why there was a genocide, particularly in Gujarat. The anti-Sikh and anti-Christian Dalit killings were concentrated in limited areas, but, in Gujarat, the killings were widespread. If Gujarat is a well-administered, prosperous state, where was the need for the killings?

The patedars lived off the rich income from their lands, there was money pouring in from Gujarati NRIs living in the West, and the corporates were investing in Gujarat. What is it that the rich Hindus feared and fear? Is it that there would be a loss of subordinated Muslim labour, employed by thepatedars, if the standard of living of the labourer improves? The import of unskilled labour from UP and Bihar seems to point to a problem with local labour. Is there a competition for employment, making it necessary to destroy skilled Muslim artisans? Is there a fear of the upward mobility of Muslim OBCs and Dalits, also asking for quotas? Why is the Gujarat government unable to bring water to parched areas to relieve the desperation of farmers?

From the print issue of Hardnews :

NOVEMBER 2012