#India -Culture of deceit #UID #Afzalguru


 

DC | Antara Dev Sen | 19th Feb 2013
We live in a robust culture of deceit. We routinely lie, cheat, deceive, steal, rob and act in bad faith, in the public domain. When lied to, we don’t even raise an eyebrow.
Last week, I went to register for the National Population Register (NPR). The booth, im­pr­e­ssively flashing assorted gadgets to collect biometric data, appeared — even more impressively — to be multi-tasking. To some it offered NPR, to others it promised the UID (Unique Identity number) or Aadhaar card. This pleased ma­ny, who had no clue abo­ut NPR but were convinced that Aadhaar was a compulsory magic wand. “They won’t let us stay in Delhi without it,” said my maid, a mig­rant from another state. “This is our work permit for Delhi,” expla­i­ned another kindly. “We won’t be given gas cylinders without this,” said someone else. “They will give us money if we show this”, beamed yet another. The confusion over Aadhaar was as­tounding. But some of us had reservations about Aadhaar and did not want it, which we told the officers. This was not Aadhaar, they assu­red us. The form asks whether you want to share this data, and you can tick “no,” Relieved, we did just that. And we were immediately iss­ued an Aadhaar receipt with the NPR registration. Seeing our shock at this discovery one kind officer said, “Never mi­nd, you have done your duty. The rest is not in your hands.” So true. Clearly, the Bhagavad Gita was written with 21st-century babudom in mind.
The government never lets truth come in the way of a good proclamation. So we were first told that enrolling for the UID or Aadhaar was entirely voluntary, not mandatory. Then they linked it to several government schemes and made it impossible for citizens to access their rights and benefits without it. It was not mandatory, like it is not mandatory to wear a parachute. But you “opt” for the parachute if you are to be pushed out of an airplane.
We have, through generations, perfected the art of public deception. We don’t even flinch when we see enormous lies being paraded as the truth in public. Rece­n­tly, Afzal Guru was sec­r­etly executed in jail. The state knew fully well that the prisoner had a constitutional right to meet his family one last time. That he had a constitutional right to judicial review of the President’s rejection of his mercy petition. The state knew that it would be wrong to kill the man before the due process of law had been completed. It knew that it would be wrong to kill the man without allowing his mother, his wife and his little son to meet him one last time. The state knew but did not care. And once it was over, the state lied to us all.
Home minister Sushil­kumar Shinde brazenly declared: “I have information that the family has been intimated.” The letter informing Afzal’s wife Tabassum that the President had rejected her mercy petition reached her on February 11, two days after her husband was hanged. Dated February 6, it was sent by Speed-post from New Delhi to remote Sopore in Kashmir on February 8, the day before Afzal’s execution. Shinde found nothing wrong in that: “The letter was sent by jail officials as per rules.” It informed her that the mercy petition had been rejected and that at 8 am on February 9, Afzal would be executed. It ended with: “This is for your information and further action.” The authorities knew that Tabassum would not get it in time for any “further action.” It was a meaningless sen­tence. It was “just a formality.”
You know that phrase, right? “Sign here, ple­a­se, no need to read it. It’s just a formality.” This is the marginalisation of rules, where rules that were supposed to gro­und us in truth and make justice more acce­ssible are made irrelevant by cle­ver disrespect. Slowly, the dema­nds of truth and justice, the ideas of fairness, equality and freedom are all reduced to “just a formality.”
For centuries, we have known that statements in bad faith, even if technically true, are untru­ths. In the battlefield of Mahabharata, Yu­dhis­thira, who never lied, was asked by Drona whether his son Ash­wathama had indeed been killed. “Ashwa­tha­ma hata (Ashwathama is dead),” declared Yu­dhisthira as planned, and muttered “iti gaja (the elephant, that is)”. (Also known as “naro va kunjaro va,” that is “ei­ther the man or the elephant.”) This was Yu­dhis­thira’s lie. The Mahabharata makes it ab­solutely clear that Yudhisthira had cheated, that this was deception even though his statem­ent was technically true. So why do we allow our ministers to cheat us?
Deception is a pillar of Indian politics. Election promises are an elaborate exercise in deceit. We proudly flaunt lies. Like Mamata Banerjee, then railway minister, taking out newspaper advertisements posing as a Muslim woman. In a make-believe namaaz shot, wearing the hijab, she announced a new railway line and a nursing college as Id gifts. She used the public ex­chequer to promote herself by misrepresenting facts — portraying herself as a Muslim and pa­rading development projects as her gifts to Muslims. As a reward, we made her the queen of Bengal.
What was once unthinkable is acceptable today. Like the idea that Narendra Modi, widely believed to be the architect of the 2002 Gujarat massacre of Muslims, can be elected PM in our liberal democracy. But why not? We take the mockery of justice in our stride. Bal Thackeray, believed to have orchestrated the Bombay riots of 1992-93, lived like a king and got a state funeral. Leaders and ministers responsible for the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi were grandly rewarded. L.K. Advani, as Union home minister, supervised the probe on his own role in the Babri Masjid demolition.
A culture of deceit breeds a culture of im­p­unity that has enormous cos­ts. It changes us irrevocably. Truth becomes ir­relevant as we float bet­ween several manufactured realities. Our idea of public reasoning is to create an echo chamber for our more powerful voices. Dissenters are welcome to bark from the fringes, of course, since we are a democracy that promises free speech. But for how long?
Like in everyday life, in public life, too, truth and justice have been replaced by the hollow PR mannerisms. We are grateful to leaders who, having failed to deliver on all fronts, announce: “We understand your concern. Have a nice day.” We do not expect the truth. But unlike banks and mutual funds that also make trick promises, our politicians do not offer legal warnings in fine print. While nurturing this  deep-seated culture of deceit, can we really tell our children not to lie?

 

Karnataka woman sold for Rs 1 lakh, raped in New Delhi #Vaw #WTFnews


New Delhi, Jan 14, 2013, DHNS:

 

A 20-year-old woman from Karnataka was allegedly sold to a man for Rs one lakh, who raped her several times at a house in capital’s Ghazipur area, police said on Monday.

The victim, however, managed to escape and approached the Delhi police. Three persons, including two women, have been arrested after a case was registered with Ghazipur police station in East district.

According to police, the victim is married and used to stay in Bangalore with her husband. She came in contact with a human trafficking gang after leaving her home following a minor altercation with her husband on January 1. The gang members allegedly lured her on the pretext of providing a job in Delhi and sold her to a man named Zakir for Rs one lakh.

After the deal was fixed, a female member of the gang brought the victim to Delhi. “They had taken a train from Bangalore and arrived at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station on January 6. Zakir, along with his accomplice, identified as Geeta, was already present to receive her,” a police official said.

It is alleged that after the victim was handed over to Zakir and Geeta, the female gang member returned to Bangalore. The duo then took her to a house in Mulla Colony at Ghazipur, where she was held captive.

The police official said that Zakir allegedly drugged the woman — while she was in his custody — and raped her several times. When she tried to resist, he told her that he had bought her for Rs one lakh and hence, she had to obey his orders. Geeta used to keep a watch on the woman in the house.

Soon after this, Zakir and Geeta contacted clients in Mumbai and Pune to sell off the woman, but she managed to flee on January 9. The duo was arrested after police probe on January 11.

On sustained interrogation, Zakir told police that he was part of a human trafficking gang and on previous occasion, even sold a woman at a brothel at central Delhi’s GB Road.
The brothel owner, a woman named Mumtaz, was arrested on January 12. “Probe is on to unearth the entire gang,” the official said.

 

#India- 15- year- old set on fire after failed rape attempt, is critical #Vaw #Wtfnews


CHILDRAPE

By IANS – LUCKNOW

07th January 2013

A 16-year-old in Uttar Pradesh‘s Allahabad town is battling for life with 70 percent burns after she was set on fire allegedly by her neighbour who attempted to rape her. When she fought off his attempts, he returned with his parents and doused her with kerosene, police said Monday.

The incident took place Saturday in Shankargarh locality in Allahabad, about 230 km from here, Saturday. Police swung into action late Sunday after women’s groups protested inaction.

Mohit Agarwal, senior superintendent of police in Allahabad, said teams were looking for the alleged attacker, 20-year-old Gyan Patel, and his parents.

The girl, who is battling death with more than 70 percent burns, has been admitted to a city medical facility, an official said.

Police have lodged a first information report (FIR) and are conducting raids to arrest the assailant and his parents, who allegedly connived in the crime. An official said the girl has three sisters and is a Class 10 student at a local inter college. Her father is a vegetable vendor.

Giving details of the crime, an official said the teenager was alone at home when Patel barged into the hutment and tried to force himself on her. The girl fought him back bravely and managed to foil the rape bid.

Patel then fled the scene, only to return with his father Santosh Patel and mother Geeta. They then doused the unsuspecting girl in kerosene and set her on fire, police said.

Her sisters, who had gone to bring water from a nearby well, saw smoke coming out from their house and rushed back to see their younger sister was burning. They managed to douse the flames but not before the girl was severely burnt.

Neighbours called in an ambulance, which rushed her to a hospital where her condition is stated to be serious. Senior police officials swung into action only after local social worker Manju Pathak intervened Sunday afternoon.

Superintendent of Police (Crime) Arun Pandey went to the hospital and recorded the statement of the girl who narrated the horrifying act of the neighbour.

She also said Patel warned her against going to the police, saying he would contest the case by selling off his agriculture land and tractor whereas she would lose the case.

 

जैसे मेरे पास भी एक योनि है…सोनी सोरी


Listen to the poem on Soni Sori here
जज साहब,
मेरे साल तेंतीस होने को आये लेकिन,
मैंने कभी कारतूस नहीं देखी है !
सिर्फ बचपन में फोड़े दीपावली के पटाखों की कसम,
आज तक कभी छुआ भी नहीं है बन्दुक को !
हा, घर में मटन-चिकन काटने इस्तेमाल होता,
थोडा सा बड़ा चाकू चलाने का महावरा है मुझे !
लेकिन मैंने कभी तलवार नहीं उठाई है हाथ में !
में तो कब्बडी भी मुश्किल से खेल पानेवाला बंदा हूँ,
मल्ल युद्द्द या फिर कलैरीपट्टू की तो बात कहा ?
प्राचीन या आधुनिक कोई मार्शल आर्ट नहीं आती है मुझे !
में तो शष्त्र और शाष्त्र दोनों के ज्ञान से विमुख हूं !
यह तक की लकड़ी काटने की कुल्हाड़ी भी पड़ोसी से मांगता हूँ !

लेकिन मेरे पास दो हाथ है जज साहब,
महनत से खुरदुरे बने ये दोनों हाथ मेरे अपने है !
पता नहीं क्यों लेकिन जब से मैंने यह सुना है,
मेरे दोनों हाथो में आ रही है बहुत खुजली !
खुजला खुजला के लाल कर दिए है मेने हाथ अपने !

और मेरे पास दो पैर है जज साहब !
बिना चप्पल के काँटों पे चल जाये और आंच भी न आये
एसे ये दोनों पैर, मेरे अपने है जज साहब !
और जब से मेंने सुना है
की दंतेवाडा कि आदिवासी शिक्षक सोनी सोरी की योनि में
पुलिसियों ने पत्थर भरे थे,
पता नहीं क्यों में बार बार उछाल रहा हु अपने पैर हवा में !
और खींच रहा हूं सर के बाल अपने !
जैसे मेरे पास भी एक योनि है और कुछ पैदा ही रहा हो उस से !

हा, मेरा एक सर भी है जज साहब,
हर १५ अगस्त और २६ जनवरी के दिन,
बड़े गर्व और प्यार दुलार से तिरंगे को झुकनेवाला
यह सर मेरा अपना है जज साहब !
गाँधी के गुजरात से हूं इसलिए
बचपन से ही शांति प्रिय सर है मेरा !
और सच कहू तो में चाहता भी हूं कि वो शांति प्रिय रहे !
लेकिन सिर्फ चाहने से क्या होता है ?

क्या छत्तीसगढ़ का हर आदिवासी,
पैदा होते हर बच्चे को नक्सली बनाना चाहता है ?
नहीं ना ? पर उसके चाहने से क्या होता है ?
में तो यह कहता हु की उसके ना चाहने से भी क्या होता है ?
जैसे की आज में नहीं चाहता हु फिर भी …
मेरा सर पृथ्वी की गति से भी ज्यादा जोर से घूम रहा है !
सर हो रहा है सरफिरा जज साहब,
इससे पहले की सर मेरा फट जाये बारूद बनकर,
इससे पहले की मेरा खुद का सर निगल ले हाथ पैर मेरे ,
इससे पहले की सोनी की योनि से निकले पत्थर लोहा बन जाए,
और ठोक दे लोकतंत्र के पिछवाड़े में कोई ओर कील बड़ी,
आप इस चक्रव्यूह को तोड़ दो जज साहब !
रोक लो आप इसे !
इस बिखरते आदिवासी मोती को पिरो लो अपनी सभ्यता के धागे में !
वेसे मेरे साल तेंतीस होने को आये लेकिन,
मैंने कभी कारतूस नहीं देखी !
कभी नहीं छुआ है बन्दुक को ,
नहीं चलाई है तलवार कभी !
और ना ही खुद में पाया है
कोई जुनून सरफरोशी का कभी !
– मेहुल मकवाना, अहमदाबाद, गुजरात
94276 32132 and 84012 93496

 

URGENT: Villagers Protest Against vedanta Red Mud Pond


Activist Satyabadi Naik’s shocking video of police crackdown on a peaceful protest by women of Rengopalli and other villages against Vedanta’s toxic Red Mud Pond in Lanjigarh. This video was recorded on 23 Jan 2012.