Malicious Reporting on Ishrat Jahan Case #HT


 

To,

The Editor,

Hindustan Times

 

On the day the CBI is set to file its chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case,Hindustan Times has chosen to report about it in a manner that is malicious, prejudicial and intended to manipulate public opinion. The report, “ ‘Ishrat Jahan had links with Kashmir Separatists’: CBI” by Mahesh Langa and Abhishek Sharan in the Delhi/ Ahmedabad edition of the newspaper is nothing short of defamatory. The headline attributes this ‘information’ to the CBI whereas in the text of the report, it is said that two of those killed along with Ishrat “were associated with secessionist groups in Kahsmir”. Clearly, the CBI is not saying that Ishrat had any links with any group. This is a deliberate misrepresentation and a cheap trick to make connections where none exist in order to tarnish the reputation of a deceased girl who is no longer present to defend herself.

We are in possession of the original article written by HT Correspondent Mahesh Langa, which was also carried in the Ahmedabad edition of Hindustan Times as “Ishrat case: What the Chargesheet is Likely to reveal” which does not attempt to make any such a spurious connection.

 

From where then did this headline emerge in the Delhi edition? Why this attempt to taint her with the ‘terror’ tag through false and sensationalist headlines, especially on a day when the battle for justice enters a crucial phase with the CBI expected to file its chargesheet. It can hardly be seen as an innocent oversight given the fact that a concerted campaign to malign Ishrat’s reputation has been central to those trying to obstruct justice and the process of law.

 

The Hindustan Times needs to issue an unconditional apology to the family of Ishrat Jahan, printed in the same large and bold font as the headline of the report today. Such sensationalism violates all codes and ethics of reporting and journalism and is liable to invite action by Press Council and other statutory bodies as well as criminal liability

Vrinda Grover

Lawyer for Shamima Kauser

(Mother of deceased Ishrat Jehan)
Vrinda Grover
Advocate

N14A, Saket
New Delhi 110017
91 9810806181

 

#India – Torture Victims of atrocities narrate sordid saga


PLATFORM FOR THE DEPRIVED International Day in Support of Victims of Torture brings the ordeal of the innocent to light during a PVCHR programme

LUCKNOW: Holding her daughter tightly in her lap, Anjum of Tanda cannot forget the night of March 3, when she had to spend an entire night in hiding, to save herself from a mob baying for her blood to avenge the death of a local leader. When she returned home, none of her belongings were left.

In another case, Bhonu of Varanasi had to spend 26 months in jail for a murder he did not commit, all because he was poor and illiterate.

Anjum and Bhonu are just a couple of examples of torture victims, who have to go through atrocities for no fault of their own. Several such sufferers came on one platform for a programme organised by People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on Wednesday. Narrating their tales of woes, the victims explained threadbare how gullible people are trapped in false cases and subjected to torture.

“There was a murder in my locality Aliganj in Tanda district but how was I or my family related to it? The mob conducted loot inside my house in the night while I was scampering for safety. Cops chose to stay away until morning. Those who should protect us, were not seen during the entire loot,” said Anjum, who stayed underneath a tin shade behind some sacks to hide herself and her children when the mob set ablaze several houses in the locality.

Says Niaz Ahmad of Tanda, “Communal tension never allowed me to live peacefully. My children too could never attend school regularly.”

Bhonu says all his life’s savings, which he had collected while working in a band, along with household objects were sold off to fight his case.

“Cops beat me up for the entire night and booked me in a case that I was not even aware of. Though my innocence was proved in the court, all my money and my wife’s jewellery was gone by then,” says Bhonu.

At the event, several other people narrated their ordeal before the panel of experts, including first counselor of European Union Dr Hans Van Villet, chairperson of Shram Salahkar Samiti Vidyawati Rajbhar and national secretary Rastriya Lok Dal Anil Dubey.

Commenting upon atrocities on the suppressed class, Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi of PVCHR said, “Committing atrocities on suppressed people has turned into a practice of sorts. Therefore, the mindset of people, especially those in decisive posts, needs to be changed.”

Other experts addressing the meeting included Prof Ramesh Dixit, Shruti Nagvanshi, Shabana Khan and Anoop Srivastava. They demanded that the bill against torture should be implemented so that cases of police atrocity can be checked.

 

Delhi University’s caste counters spark outrage


 

Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 07, 2013

 First Published: 01:10 IST(7/6/2013)

“I feel I live in South Africa of the apartheid era.” The segregation is not along racial lines but at Delhi University‘s form counters, the caste divide is too evident and “humiliating” – as is obvious from the statement of a student who belongs to one of the reserved categories and doesn’t wish to be identified.

The university has segregated the sale counters on the basis of caste, a move antithetical to principles of social justice and inclusion.

On Thursday, at the faculty of arts, the busiest centre for sale of forms, paper slips in bold letters above the sale windows indicated the category of students the counters were meant for.

While two of the windows were marked general/OBC (other backward classes) forms, the remaining two had SC/ST/PWD (persons with disabilities) written on them.

Students, understandably, are not happy.

 

“I came here with a group of friends. While they are standing in the line for the general category, I have to stand in a different line,” said a student, who did not want to be named.

The university said they realised the mistake and assimilated the centres on Wednesday, the first day forms went on sale.

“It was decided in a meeting of the centre heads that no such distinction was to be made. We have informed everyone about the decision,” JM Khurana, dean, students’ welfare, said.

“It seems the change was not made at the faculty of arts. We will ensure that the notes are removed.”

 

Vulgar Song Case: FIR Filed Against Punjabi Rapper Honey Singh


 

 IBTimes Staff Reporter | May 17, 2013 =

Just days after High Court questioned the inaction by Punjab police against Honey Singh, a First Investigation Report (FIR) has been booked against the pop singer on Friday.

A case has been filed with the Nawanshahr police against Honey Singh, accusing him of singing vulgar songs laden with sexual violent content directed at women.

The singer was booked under Section 294 (singing obscene songs at public place to the annoyance of others) of Indian Penal Code and the song “Main Hoon Balatkari” (I Am rapist) with its lyrics has been included in the complaint.

Based on the section of crime, a person can be put behind bars for three months maximum, fined or be subjected to both.

Confirming the case, Nawanshahr senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dhanpreet Kaur told Hindustan Times, “We have registered a case against Honey Singh and started further investigations.”

The complaint was filed on behalf of Nawanshahr based NGO, Human Empowerment League of Punjab (HELP), by its general secretary Parvinder Singh Kittna for prohibiting songs laden with lewd contents. Honey Singh’s name was mentioned among others in the petition.

The Punjab and Harayana High Court had rapped the Punjab police for not taking steps against the rapper on 15 May asking, “Why the Punjab government has not taken cognizance of “Main hoon Balatkari” song sung by Honey Singh, even though it attracts the provisions of Section 294 IPC, which is a cognizable offence?”

The rapper was in a fix just when the Nirbhaya gang rape protests rocked the nation. Honey Singh was condemned for his songs which carried derogatory content.

The High Court also questioned as to why the song was still available to the public via YouTube when a song of such stature should have been banned at the earliest.

The court has fixed the next hearing for the case on 4 July.

To contact the editor, e-mail: editor@ibtimes.com

 

Australia – The identity of Indian student who fell to his death revealed


Indian student identified in Pelham St death

Posted by Karen Poh on April 24, 2013

THE man who fell to his death from the balcony of a Pelham St accommodation in Carlton has been identified as 20-year-old international student from India Anubhav Singh Gahlot. Karen Poh reports. 

Anubhav-Singh-Gahlot

Anubhav Singh Gahlot. Source: Facebook

The dead body found outside a Pelham St student accommodation in Carlton last Saturday April 20 has been identified as Indian international student Anubhav Singh Gahlot.

While police have not released any details, it is believed the 20-year-old from RMIT University fell from the balcony of his Micasa8 apartment and died on the spot.

A reader, Ben, who left a comment on Meld’s websiteafter the news first broke, said he was there when the incident happened.

“The fall happened around 1:28 pm unfortunately. I was hoping the guy made it because I couldn’t stay back for long,” he wrote.

According to the Hindustan Times, the Bachelor of Business Studies student is the son of reputed developer Dayanand Singh Gahlot in Gurgaon, India. The Gahlot family owns Ambience Mall and Ambience Lagoon Apartments in Gurgaon.

RMIT University Dean of Students Professor Owen Hughes said the university was “giving authorities every assistance with their enquiries into this incident”.

“The RMIT University community is shocked and saddened by the death of Anubhav Singh Gahlot. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” Prof Hughes said.

“Students and staff members affected by the tragedy are being offered counselling.”

source- http://www.meldmagazine.com.au/2013/04/indian-student-identified-pelham-st-death/

 

Himachal BJP MLA says Nagas and Gorkhas should eat monkeys to maintain ecological balance #WTFnews


Gorkhas protest HP BJP MLA’s monkey-eating remark

Naresh K Thakur , Hindustan Times   Dharamsala, April 08, 2013

Perturbed over the statement of former minister and BJP legislator Ravinder Singh Ravi on Gorkhas, the community demanded the suspension of the saffron party leader from the state assembly here on Monday.

Moving a resolution in the assembly on the menace of stray animals, Ravi on April 5 had offered an “unusual” solution to tackle the menace of monkeys and stray dogs — deploying Naga and Gorkha regiments in the state from time to time as both the animals are their delicacies.

Holding a protest in Dharamsala and other parts of the state, the Gorkha community also demanded an unconditional public apology from Ravi.

 Raising their war cry, “Jai Mahakali Aayo Gorkhali”, the protesters also burnt an effigy of Ravi.

The representatives of the community also submitted a memorandum to governor of Himachal Pradesh Urmila Singh, chief minister Virbhadra Singh, speaker of the state assembly BB Butail, BJP national chief Rajnath Singh and state party president Satpal Singh Satti, demanding an action against the MLA.

“If the Gorkha or the Naga regiment is posted in different cantonments of the state from time to time, the population of monkeys would decline with passage of time,” Ravi was quoted as saying in media reports, adding that it would also help in maintaining the ecological balance.

The former irrigation and public health minister went on to say that some of the delicacies from the region to which these contingents belong were made from the meat of these animals.

“In the past, a regiment was posted in Holta (near Palampur town) and stayed there for three years and there was significant drop in the population of monkeys,” he had said and even urged the government to take up the matter with the defence ministry for the posting of these regiments in the state.

Meanwhile, expressing shock and pain and terming the statement as racist jibe against the Gorkhas, president of the Himachal and Punjab Gorkha Association Bhupinder Singh Gurung said it had not only hurt the sentiments of the Gorkha community, but also was inhuman and against animals.

Gurung said Ravi’s illegal suggestion was tantamount to contempt of court’s verdict and demanded Ravi’s disqualification from the Himachal assembly and requested the assembly speaker to expunge the remarks from the proceedings of the house.

“Apologise before the Gorkha community publically and in the Himachal assembly before the closure of the budget session on April 9 or be ready to face the music,” Gurung warned Ravi.
Terming Ravi’s statement as derogatory and defamatory, another Gorkha leader, Col RS Karki (retd) said such remarks by a seasoned politician tantamount to casting aspersions on the finest fighting force of the Indian Army affecting their moral as well.

He said the Gorkhas worship dogs on Diwali as a mark of reverence and worship monkeys considering them as God Hanumana.

 

#India- Ragging case- Student beaten up in Gurgaon, fights for Life in ICU #WTFnews


Another victim of ragging. Image courtesy CNN-IBN

In a suspected case of ragging, a first-year student of a private engineering college was allegedly assaulted and abandoned at a Bilaspur park in an unconscious state on Tuesday.
The park is just a stone’s throw away from Gurgaon College of Engineering, where the victim is pursuing
his mechanical engineering course. 

According to Tularam Gautam’s relatives, his seniors assaulted and forced him to consume liquor. The 20-year-old is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Gurgaon. He is a resident of Vijay Enclave in Delhi.

However, the college management dismissed the claims of the family. Dr Yateendra Tiwari, director of the college, said, “We have formed an inquiry committee to probe the matter. Ragging is not possible during exams.”

Pradeep Singh, a relative of the victim, said, “A group of senior students forced Gautam to consume liquor. There are injury marks all over his body. The incident took place during lunch break after the exam was over. It must be the handiwork of the seniors as there was no outsider on the campus.” The victim’s relatives claimed that his mobile phone and wallet were also missing.

Rahul Sharma, DCP (south), said, “Although the victim has regained consciousness, we are yet to record his statement.”

Koodankulam – The coast is not clear


Nityanand Jayaraman, Hindustan Times
March 10, 2013

Two years ago, on this day, an earthquake and tsunami wiped out a fair section of Fukushima prefecture. The independent commission appointed by the Japanese parliament to investigate the accident observed that while natural disasters may have triggered the nuclear events, the meltdown itself was    “profoundly
man-made”.

The commission concluded that “the accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties.”

The regulatory and governance deficit is all the more true for India. Take Kudankulam, for instance. Minister of state in the PMO V Narayanasamy has assured us at least 16 times in the last 18 months that the plant will be commissioned within 15 days, after the final nod from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). But the PMO’s statements ignore a crucial fact. Kudankulam plants 1 and 2 do not have valid Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances.

Last November, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) grudgingly admitted to the Supreme Court that the desalination plant was an afterthought, and that it was constructed without the mandatory prior environmental clearance. No clearance was obtained for the already constructed dyke and seawall either.

The missing references in the PMO’s statements to the absent CRZ clearance exposes the scant regard that the nation’s highest office has for our environmental laws. Unmindful of the supersession of the 1991 CRZ Notification by the 2011 Notification, NPCIL has applied post-facto for a prior clearance under the defunct 1991 rules. The application is legally untenable.

CRZ clearance is not a mere technical formality. The Notification is supposed to protect the sensitive coastal region by prohibiting some activities and permitting others, subject to conditions derived from a scientific scrutiny of the impacts of the proposed works. India’s east coast is characterised by the massive movement of sediment up and down the shoreline.

A September 2005 study for NPCIL estimates that there is a net transport of 420,000 cubic metres of sediment towards east at the project site. This littoral drift is what nourishes beaches and maintains the coastline in equilibrium.

Hard engineering structures, especially those like the dyke and seawall, that are constructed without studying and providing for management of impacts, can cause severe beach erosion. Idinthakarai’s disappearing beaches are proof of this. The Pollution Control Board’s Consent to Operate is to environmental due diligence what AERB’s final nod is to radiological aspects. Legally speaking, a company can get this consent only after obtaining all other clearances.

But the lack of CRZ clearance has not stopped the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) from issuing consents for units 1 and 2. Legally speaking, the TNPCB should have revoked the Consent to Operate, and the PMO should have stated that the plant will be commissioned only after all clearances, including CRZ, are obtained.

But nobody is keen to make any pronouncements on Kudankulam’s legality. Perhaps, they are praying that AERB will give its final nod.  After that, all those who are “legally speaking” can deal with the fait accompli of a radioactive reactor.

Nityanand Jayaraman is a Chennai-based writer and volunteer with the Chennai Solidarity Group for Kudankulam Struggle. The views expressed by the author are personal.

 

No means no: without consent, sex is rape #womenrights #Vaw


On consent for sex, the woman’s word will be the last one.   Once the prosecution is able to prove that there was sexual intercourse in a wide-range of cases, the new sexual assault law requires the court to presume that the victim did not consent as claimed by the

 

The law defines consent as an “unequivocal voluntary agreement” when the person by words, gestures or non-verbal communication communicates willingness. That the victim did not physically resist rape shall not be regarded as consenting to the sexual activity.

Besides police officers, hospital staff and remand home officials, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance has widened this safeguard to presume absence of consent for victims where the alleged rapist was a relative, guardian, teacher, a person in a position of trust or authority or who had “economic or social dominance”.

 

Please Don’t Blame #Imphal: My journey of protest and #music #poetry #mustread


by Akhu Chingangbam

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
It was sometime in 2007 in Delhi when Ashley Tellis, a friend, called me up and asked me to sing a few songs at a protest event at Swami Vivekananda Statue, Arts Faculty, Delhi University. The event was organised by People’s Union for Democratic Rights and they were demanding the immediate release of Dr Binayak Sen who had been arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police without citing any reason. I was broke as usual but i managed to take an autorickshaw to the protest venue. All the performers at the event were performing in Hindi. They were singing songs of Safdar Hashmi and many other protest songs. I carried a few printed copies of my own poems that I had written for Dantewada after reading an editorial column of Hindustan Times. I should call it a collage of images of Dantewada rather than poetry because I had translated the imagery directly from the newspaper.

 

That day I sang three songs, two of my poems and Dylan’s “I shall be released”. No other songs could suit the situation better than “I shall be released”. This was how I started to sing at protest events.

 

These days, more than music, poetry has given me the space to express myself and my existence in this violence-driven undemocratic country. Not only was I addicted to creating my own poetry, I started to search for poetry that match and reflect my hunger and anger. And then one day I stumbled upon the page of Thangjam Ibopishak’s poetry collection “Apaiba Thawai”. The restlessness and anxiety in Ibopishak’s early work during the late sixties was just like that of my generation today. What is different is that my generation is not expressive; perhaps we are timid. And the tragedy doesn’t end here, many youngsters don’t even realise the existence of such poets.

 

When it comes to my poetry and lyrics, I can hardly trace the dividing line. I can always sing my poetry in my own style. Admittedly many may not like my singing style but I have the freedom to do so.

 

By 2008, I had written and composed several songs and I was restless to record them. It was sort of a burning desire that I could not suppress. So in the summer, along with Sachin and my sister, Riki, I recorded eight songs which collectively formed the album ‘Tidim Road’. We named ourselves “Imphal Talkies N The Howlers”. Many friends helped me in recording the songs, both financially and physically. Many thanks to them! The recording session was fun. We were nervous. The idea of playing music in a studio really frightened us. On the first of the days that we booked the recording studio, we couldn’t record. We were very much shaken by that dark sound proof room. But what actually scared us most was the cost of the recording.

 

With every tick of the clock, our bill was mounting and we were not able to play anything other than stuff just enough to make the cue tracks! But finally we did it and it took us nine days to record the whole album.

 

Subsequently, with help from e-pao.net, we released the album in Delhi in February 2009.

 

Around this time something very tragic happened. Dr Thingnam Kishan and his two subordinates, Rajen and Token, were murdered by NSCN (IM). This incident left many shocked. Kishan was someone our generation looked up to for his uprightness. That uprightness cost him his life. Manipur went up in flames with protests engulfing every nook and corner of the state. With a lot of help from the Manipuri Diaspora, NGOs, student organisations, Manipuris in Delhi organised a candle light vigil at Jantar Mantar.

 

At Jamia, I was pasting posters for the vigil when I received a call from a guy named Raju Athokpam saying he would like to perform a few protest songs of Tapta at the vigil. On the day of the vigil, Raju and I met. We played a few songs together and my sister, Riki, sang some new songs. The vigil was successful, with many people from different communities of Manipur turning up for Kishan, Rajen and Token.

 

The last time I met Kishan was exactly one year ago from the month of his death. We met in Delhi and had argued over Manipuri poets. He opined, “Manipuri poets are visionless, they can write of only blood and death. They should look forward to a future beyond this current turmoil.” I countered as I felt there would be the right time for a new crop of poets who would feel the need of a new form of literature.

 

One night after the vigil, I called up Raju to ask if he was interested in recording a song for Kishan as a tribute to the great man. He said, “let’s do it”. Then we went on to record a song named “Ballad of Kishan” at some music school in North campus which incidentally did not have a proper recording studio. The track lacked quality. Raju played everything – bass, lead, rhythm. I was there just to boost his energy and to do the vocal part. The song was criticised by many people for my voice being out of tune. Later I realised I was indeed very much out of tune. In my defence, we recorded the song in just one day. We took three days to compose it and we were not professionals. Our main concern was to show that we cared for Da Kishan. We would not leave any stone unturned in our effort to do so. And we felt the urge to initiate a movement despite our rather insignificant existence as amateur musicians.

 

Thus Raju joined my bandwagon and became a member of the Imphal Talkies N The Howlers. The time that followed never lacked in incidents to inspire us to write new protest songs.

 

Soon after, the incident of July 23, 2009 fake encounter at BT road took place. Once again me and Raju set out to record a song called “Rise” and we recorded it at the same studio. It was not even sound proof, yet we tried our best. It was 1am by the time we were done with the recording. Later the same night, we dissolved our worries in a bottle of whiskey till the wee hours of the morning.

 

In November 2009, New Socialist Initiatives observed the beginning of the tenth year of Irom Sharmila’s struggle to repeal the draconian AFSPA. They organised the event at the same Swami Vivekananda Statue, Arts Faculty, DU, where I had performed for Dr Binayak Sen. Just before the performance, I got a phone call from a friend from Imphal informing that one of my closest friends passed away that morning in a road accident. I didn’t know how to react. All I could think of doing and did was to call my father and ask to go to see my deceased friend’s parents. I cried for a few minutes in a loo as his face suddenly appeared in my mind. He used to be the one who would come to my home in the early morning and wake me up just to talk to him. I still remember the day I blacked out and collapsed on the road sitting on my Honda Activa at his Thongal after consuming half a bottle of Old Monk rum. He helped me up and I waved good bye. That was how we departed. I never knew that would be the final goodbye. What surprises me is that I can’t even compose a poem in his memory. I have tried but in vain.

 

But I had to perform that day, leaving aside his memories. Because I know life is that way. I’m going to meet death too and being a Manipuri, death can come easily to me with guns and bombs.

 

I reached Arts Faculty along with Bomcha (Nila) and Sanjeev Thingnam. That was the first day I peformed with Sanjeev Thingnam. We sang a song called “India, I see blood in your hands”, a poem I had written some months back. We performed it impromptu at the spot. The song started with the line “India, have you ever crawled down enough to smell the soil of Kashmir?” And Jilangamba, a friend, insisted me to sing a Manipuri song, so I sang “Lainingthou lairembigi manairensa Kumsi di Army yam lakka ni hairiye”. Even today wherever we perform, I feel like singing these songs. We then performed: “When the home is burning” and another called “Freedom” written by Sanjeev.

 

That day after the event, we were asked to perform at Miranda House. And we did perform. We added a few new songs to our repertoire, such as “Ghost of Machang Lalung”. Machang Lalung was from Assam. He spent 54 years in prison without any trial. The maximum sentence he should get was ten years in prison. He was even dumped in a mental asylum. Sometime in 2006, a few Assamese activists managed to get him released. But the tragedy was that no one remembered him in his own village, let alone other places and he didn’t even recognise his home. It is almost unimaginably tragic. When I heard his story, I could not help pour out my feelings into a song.

 

Soon after the Miranda House programme, the Progressive Students Union organised an event on the same theme for Irom Sharmila at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Imphal Talkies N the Howlers was the main performer of that evening. There, the three of us – Raju, Sanjeev and me – performed together for the first time. Raju started as a thrash/metal music fan, Sanjeev as a bluesy guy and me addicted to the likes of Dylan and Cohen. We were very different musically. What bonded us together is our shared love for original music that speaks for our bullet-riddled Manipur.

 

Later in early 2010, we performed the same repertoire of songs at Kirori Mal College and National School of Drama, Delhi. Where ever we performed, Sharmila has been our focus. We didn’t plan it but her spirit and this nation’s deafness was already there in many of our songs. Through these small events, I gained many valuable friends.

 

And in the middle of 2010, the spectre of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) loomed like a giant monster, evicting beggars from the streets and students from university hostels. But people didn’t just give up easily. Many organisations protested against such injustice done to poor people and students. University Community for Democray (UCD) was one such organisation formed particularly to protest against the CWG. Many of my friends were in this organisation. I wrote a song in collaboration with Tara Basumatry of Kirori Mal College, on this issue. It goes like “Heart shaped balloon in traffic jam, fade away as they bring their dirty games, they wanna hide the beggars from the streets, cos they are the real indians…”.

 

Sometime later, I sang the song again at Swami Vivekananda Statue, Arts Fauclty, DU. By this time, I was convinced that this Vivekananda Statue would be able to pick me out even if I were standing in the middle of a Chandni Chowk crowd.

 

A few days later, I attended a one-day relay hunger strike accompanied by my songs, again organised by UCD. The next protest event took place at Jantar Mantar for Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims. I went with a friend (Venus) who ended up being my mic stand. From such events, I learnt an important lesson – there is no race or religion for the suffering ones, they will always be together. And me being someone who spent half of his school days in the streets of Imphal, holding placards, shouting slogans, I know how it feels to be at the receiving end. But what comforts me is that the world seems to be dominated by the suffering ones. Just look around!

 

This song is originally by Delhi-based band Imphal Talkies N The Howlers. I love the song — written by Delhi-based PhD student and Imphal Talkies frontman Ronid Chingangbam — so much that I just had to record it! Please check the Imphal Talkies page atwww.reverbnation.com/imphaltalkiesnthehowlers

lyrics

Lyrics, melody: Ronid Chingangbam. Please check his page at

http://www.reverbnation.com/imphaltalkiesnthehowlers

India, have you ever crawled down enough to smell the soil of Kashmir?
India, have you ever heard of a lady named Sharmila?
India, can you explain to me what happened in the land of Gandhi, in Gujarat?
India, what are the charges against Dr Binayak Sen?

India, I see blood in your hands
India I see blood in your flag

India, are you waiting for the stone pelters to become suicide bombers?
India, Why are your farmers so suicidal?
India, why the Poets in South are mourning for the Tamils killed in Sri Lanka?
India, why did you let Narendra Modi walk free preaching genocide?
India, what have you done to the villagers after salwa judum?

Is there a dream that we share from north to south?
Is there a song that echoes from east to west?

credits

released 20 December 2011
Irom Sharmila’s photograph by Chitra Ahanthem

12-string guitar, blues harp, keyboards, vocals, arrangement: Sumit Bhattacharya

 

 

[]