Sri Lankan woman faces beheading on witchcraft charge

Accused of witchcraft: A Sri Lankan woman faces being beheaded after allegedly casting a spell on a 13-year-old girl during a shopping trip in Saudi Arabia (file picture)

 Mail Online, April 19-Accused of witchcraft: A Sri Lankan woman faces being beheaded after allegedly casting a spell on a 13-year-old girl during a shopping trip in Saudi Arabia

A Sri Lankan woman has been arrested on suspicion of casting a spell on a 13-year-old girl on a shopping trip in Saudi Arabia.

She may face the death penalty as the Middle Eastern country is known to behead convicted sorcerers.

Police spokesman Mesfir al-Juayed confirmed yesterday that details of the woman’s arrest published in local media were correct.

The daily Okaz reported that a Saudi man had complained his daughter had ‘suddenly started acting in an abnormal way and that happened after she came close to the Sri Lankan woman’ in a large shopping mall in the port city of Jeddah.

‘He reported her to the security forces, asking for her arrest and the specialised units dealt with the situation swiftly and succeeded in arresting her,’ Okaz said.

Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, is an absolute monarchy that has no written criminal code and where court rulings are based on judges’ interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

‘The punishment is always beheading for anyone found guilty of witchcraft,’ a Saudi lawyer and human rights activist, Waleed Abu al-Khair said.
Condemned: An executioner lines up his sword as he prepares to behead Abdul Hamid Bin Hussain Bin Moustafa al-Fakki for being a 'sorcerer' last yearCondemned: An executioner lines up his sword as he prepares to behead Abdul Hamid Bin Hussain Bin Moustafa al-Fakki for being a ‘sorcerer’ last year

In December, Amnesty International condemned the beheading of a woman in Saudi Arabia convicted on charges of ‘sorcery and witchcraft’ saying it underlined the urgent need to end executions in the kingdom.

Amnesty said the execution was the second of its kind last year.

A Sudanese national was beheaded in the Saudi city of Medina in September after being convicted on sorcery charges, according to the London-based group.

And now, rape as political witch-hunt. The stories of 7 women

Tripura is the CPM’s last bastion. But its crude attempts to smother rivals is leaving the party red-faced, says Ratnadip Choudhury

ON 20 MARCH, two tribal girls in their early 20s were allegedly tortured and gang-raped by a group of tribal men in Takka Tulsi, a remote hamlet in southern Tripura. The incident hardly found a mention in the national media. Even in the Northeast, the media failed to read between the lines of what this incident tells about the tiny state that boasts of a high literacy rate, rural development and political consciousness. But the pain and trauma of the victims can be felt and heard in almost every tribal belt in Tripura, the last bastion of the Left Front in India.

Indeed, women have been at the receiving end of the Left Front’s 19-year rule in the state. They have been tortured, gangraped and even murdered at will. Kangaroo courts have been used to brand tribal women as witches, and their moral character questioned, all for ulterior political designs.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Tripura had India’s worst crime rate against women: 46.5 per lakh population in 2010. Between April 2010 and March 2011, the Tripura Commission for Women (TCW) received 913 cases of crime against women, out of which 62 were against tribals.

So, why this spurt in rapes against tribal women in Tripura? Historically, the Left Front had reigned supreme in the tribal areas but its support base has started eroding. Every day, tribals are deserting the CPM and joining regional parties because they believe that CPM leaders share benefits of government schemes only with their relatives and cadres. Rattled by the desertion and its debacle in West Bengal, the CPM cadres are trying every trick in the trade to retain power in next year’s Assembly polls. But for now, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and the TCW have some explaining to do about these shocking crime figures.

“The high rate of crime against women in Tripura is a concern,” says CPM state secretary Bijan Dhar, adding, “I agree that since we have been in power for 19 years, a section of our people got inclined towards power and at times ideology takes a back seat.”

The magnitude of the political pressure is so intense that the watchdog TCW is almost parroting the state government’s tune. “Politics on a sensitive issue like rape is not desirable. We are alarmed by the increase in rape cases and we have been taking action but it is not like that the government is not sensitive,” says TCW chairperson Dr Tapati Chakraborty.

But the Congress is in no mood to desist from politicking on the issue. “It is the tribal vote bank that has kept the Left in power for so long; they have done nothing for them,” says Leader of the Opposition and Congress MLA Ratan Lal Nath. “The CPM cadres have done heinous crimes against women and got away with it, but we will fight against this menace.”

TEHELKA travelled to some of the remotest villages to understand why the tribal women are at peril. The driver who took us around, gave us a primer. “Tripura has adequate power and good roads, even in remote areas. It has been the best state in the implementation of MGNREGA,” he says. “But the truth is that one can enjoy the fruits of development only if he/she supports the ruling party. Political rivals are boycotted economically and socially, mentally harassed and assaulted by CPM cadres.”

There are numerous cases of violence against tribals that paint a shoddy picture of the state of affairs in Tripura, where the Left Front won 19 of the 20 seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes in the 60-member Assembly in 2008. However, it’s not just the tribals who are bearing the brunt. The TCW records between April 2010 and March 2011 show that 28.37 percent of the crimes were against SCs, 13.14 percent against Muslims and 20.37 percent against OBCs. These numbers are enough for the Left Front to realise that its final bastion is in big trouble.

Ratnadip Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent with Tehelka

1 AND 2 ‘We were warned of dire consequences if we mingled with Congress members’ Pinky Tripura, 22 & Rakhimala Tripura, 22 Takka Tulsi, South Tripura District
3..CPM cadres threatened her, asked her to withdraw her nomination’ Nilima Debbarma, 27 Shikaribari, Khowai District
4…They paraded me naked from door to door’ Ratna Debbarma, 31 Jayanti Bazar, Dhalai District
5..They forced me to have sex with my sister-in-law’ Kamalasri Tripura, 48 & Dharmasri Tripura, 60 Siki Chandra Para, South Tripura District
6…Look what the CPM is doing to its own people’ Mangalaxmi Debbarma, 50 Maharam Sardar Para, West Tripura District
7…‘The CPM is trying to create a fear factor among the tribals’ Jyotila Rupini, 5 Bordowal, West Tripura District

Vatican orders crackdown on ‘radical’ nuns in the US

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious ( LCWR )

Source: BBC

The Vatican has ordered a crackdown on a group of American nuns that it considers too radical.

It says the group is undermining Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality and is promoting “feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith“.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is the largest organisation of Catholic nuns in the US.

An archbishop has been appointed to oversee its reform to ensure that it conforms to Catholic prayer and ritual.

The Leadership Conference, which is based in Maryland, represents about 57,000 nuns and offers a wide range of services, from leadership training for women’s religious orders to advocacy on social justice issues.
Vatican concerns
“Working for a more just and peaceful world is an integral component of LCWR’s vision and goals.”

But its activities have clearly worried the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the nuns’ organisation faced a “grave” doctrinal crisis.

It said issues of “crucial importance” to the church, such as abortion and euthanasia, had been ignored.

Vatican officials also castigated the group for making some public statements that “disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops”, who are the church’s “authentic teachers of faith and morals.”

The review will include an examination of ties between the Leadership Conference and Network, a Catholic social justice lobby.

Network played a key role in supporting the Obama administration’s health care overhaul despite the bishops’ objections that the bill would provide government funding for abortion.

The Leadership Conference disagreed with the bishops’ analysis of the law and also supported President Barack Obama’s plan.

A Vatican report into the group suggested that they

“Collectively take a position not in agreement with the church’s teaching on human sexuality.”

In its presentations investigators noted “a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The investigation also found that the group has been

“Silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States“.

Video: why the IT Rules are a threat to your Internet as you know it

At the Internet Democracy Project, we believe that the Internet is changing democracy just as irrevocably as it is changing dictatorships. But if that is the case, what does that mean for our struggles and visions for social change in the democratic world?

This video raises questions about a set of rules notified under the Indian IT Act, which allow anyone who is offended by any online content to ask the intermediaries to remove it. But someone, somewhere may always be offended…. so these amendments inevitably encourage not just the government but the public themselves to turn censor.

What does this mean for freedom of expression?

Member of Parliament Shri P. Rajeeve has called for the annulment of the IT Rules in Parliament. But what exactly is the problem with these rules? And how could they affect you? Watch the video to know more. and check

Immediate Release- NWMI Condemns violent abuse of Meena Kandasamy on Twitter


The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), strongly condemns the violent and sexist abuse unleashed on poet, writer, activist and translator Meena Kandasamy, presumably in response to her posts on Twitter about the beef-eating festival at Osmania University, Hyderabad, on 15 April 2012 and the ensuing clashes between groups of students.

After her comments on Twitter, she was threatened with various forms of violence, including gang rape and acid attacks. Some placed a price on her head. Others threatened her freedom of speech, saying that she would not be allowed to speak anywhere, and called for her prosecution for allegedly outraging religious feelings under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code. In over a hundred tweets, she was called a whore, characterless, a terrorist and a bitch. One of the most objectionable comments was that she should be raped on live television, this barbaric idea was put out by one Siddharth Shankar who followed it up with more vicious filth.

Meena Kandasamy has become the target of a vicious abuse campaign on twitter and other sites for her support to the festival during which she and other students had to be escorted to a safe place under police escort. Protestors even stoned the van they were travelling in. It is highly condemnable that her support of a food festival should lead to demands for her prosecution and a bounty on her head.

As a professional network of women journalists, the NWMI is firmly committed to freedom of expression and, indeed, supports ongoing efforts to ensure that the Internet remains a free space and is not subjected to censorship. However, freedom comes with responsibility and all those who
value free speech must, at the very least, censure hate speech.

Everyone in a democracy has a right to hold and express their opinions on current events and issues. Similarly, everyone has a right to disagree with and argue against the opinions of others. Debate – not abuse and threats – is the democratic means to deal with conflicting views on contentious topics: in this case, the right to choose what to eat and not eat.

It appears that Meena Kandasamy has been singled out for abuse at least partly because she is a bold and outspoken woman who expresses her opinions freely in the public sphere. The fact that she is a Dalit, especially one whose work focuses on caste annihilation, linguistic identity and feminism, clearly makes her even more of a target.

We call upon all those who value freedom of expression to join us in condemning the online attack on Meena Kandasamy and to explore ways to ensure that everyone has a right to express their opinion – on the Internet as well as elsewhere – without being subjected to hateful abuse.

The Network of Women in Media, India

60-yr-old law shrouds Paoli poster ‘skin show’ in Bengal #censorship


Saibal Sen & Priyanka DasguptaSaibal Sen & Priyanka Dasgupta, TNN | Apr 20, 2012,

KOLKATA: The Bengal governmentcontinues to play moral guardian with an obsolete tool of the Seventies, guiding people on what posters to see and what they should not.The state has been debating ‘obscenity’ since the days of celebrated Bengali writer Buddhadeb Bose‘s novel ‘Raat Bhor Brishti’ that went to press in 1968. Author Samaresh Basuhad to face the same censorship and went through a protracted legal battle till the Supreme Court lifted the ban on his novel ‘Projapati’ in 1985.The debate still continues – this time it’s over two posters of Vikram Bhatt‘s ‘Hate Story’, releasing on Friday. One has its main protagonist Paoli Dam sowing her “bare back” and another in a “compromising position with a man.” A ban has been imposed on these two posters under the West Bengal (Compulsory Censorship of Film Publicity Materials) Act, 1974 (only Tamil Nadu has a similar law). The West Bengal Board of Censorship allowed six posters only after Paoli’s bare back was covered up in blue paint.

The Act was passed nearly 60 years ago in the Bengal assembly for primarily two expressed reasons – and another unsaid. The Cinematography Act 1952 does not directly cover “obscene” posters and hence a local law was required. The other was to stop the seemingly obscene B-grade film posters flooding Kolkata in the ’70s. The unsaid reason, many believe, was to give the government control over what posters can be “shown in public places” and what not.

The then information and cultural affairs minister Subrata Mukherjee doesn’t recollect the precise reason why he brought in this law, but stresses that all talk of it being an Emergency-era law is wrong, “Emergency was imposed in June 26, 1975, much later,” he said. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee looks after the department now, with Mukherjee a key member of her cabinet.

People have changed over time, but not the law. Celebrated filmmaker Mrinal Sen says: “It is childish and should be considered in context of all that is happening now. There is censorship in every form. I feel this is insulting and should be rejected outright.”

“The law has no relevance now. How many films bank only on posters for promotion? Television, audio channels and internet now rule film promotions,” says Jadavpur University’s professor of film studies, Sanjay Mukhopadhyay.

Debananda Sengupta, I&CA deputy director and the state’s censor officer, argues, “In the pre-1974 phase there was a voluntary form of censorship. But with more films being produced there was felt a need for control. The law is only applicable to film posters and publicity material which are displayed in pubic places. Within the confines of a cinema hall, people can watch the film in its entirety. When it is in a public place, everyone watches it.”

Sudhasatta Banerjee, who had moved Calcutta high court on behalf of the ‘Hate Story’ producers, pleading that this law be termed unconstitutional, says: “Once a film is cleared under the Act any part of it can’t be deemed obscene if displayed publicly. The posters are part of movie stills. Second, the state’s 1974 Act doesn’t specify what is obscene – it is left to the discretion of a few officers. This is arbitrary.” The court has asked the state to file a reply to his petition and the case will come up for hearing again, said Bhattacharya.

Director Mahesh Bhatt, whose ‘Murder 2’ posters had met with a similar fate said: “While I have no problems with cultural sensitivity, I wonder what’s happening to Bengal that has been an epicenter of all kinds of subversive thoughts. How can the state support a repressive philosophy? We are living in the 21st century where gay relationships are getting recognised by the apex court, where men are into sperm donations and women are open to surrogate motherhood. How can a bare back of a woman offend sensibilities?”

Pritam Jalan, the distributor of “Hate Story”, says: “The government should consider abolishing this archaic law. I can distribute the posters in Ranchi but not in Kolkata. Isn’t that strange?” Producer Vikram Bhatt said: “I am not opposed to the government’s views but it’s important to have a holistic view. If you can allow a sexual deodorant, contraceptive or lingerie ad, how can you have problems with a movie poster? Won’t kids ask what a condom is when they see an ad? Going by this logic, the Bengal government must ban YouTube and all Internet porn sites.”

Wall of “untouchability’ demolished

SALEM,April 20, 2012

Special Correspondent, The Hindu

The “untouchability Wall” was demolished in Narasothipatti in Salem on Thursday. Photo: E.Lakshmi Narayanan

It prevented 300 Arundathiar families from using a road laid by Corporation

The wall that separated Dalits of Senkodan Nagar in Narasothipatti in Ward 3 here from others was demolished on Thursday.

On instructions from Collector K. Maharabushanam, a team of officials from Revenue and Police Departments and Salem Municipal Corporation visited the spot and assessed the situation after The Hindu carried a report on the 10-feet-long and 5-feet high “wall of untouchability” that was erected right across the tar-topped 20-feet road in Meenakshi Nagar, where caste Hindus live.

The wall had prevented 300 Arundathiar families living in Senkodan Nagar next to Meenakshi Nagar, from using the road that was laid by Salem Corporation some 30 years ago. RDO S. Prasanna Ramasamy told The Hindu that the wall should not have been erected across the road. “Our Collector personally supervised the whole issue and wanted us to sort it out as per law,” he said.

A team of officials from Salem Corporation led by Executive Engineer A. Asokan pasted a warning notice on the wall at 11 am on Thursday telling those who erected the wall to demolish it before 4 p.m. “Otherwise, the Corporation will demolish it and collect demolition charge from the persons concerned,” it warned.

But till 4 p.m., nobody had turned up to demolish the wall. Therefore, the civic body under Section 256 of the Salem Municipal Corporation Act 1994 pulled it down with the help of earthmover.

Meanwhile, tension mounted in the locality with members of the Salem unit of the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Committee, Bahajun Samaj Party and other Dalit outfits demanding immediate demolition of the wall. They warned that they would take up the task of demolishing the wall if the Corporation failed to do so. Heavy police pickets were posted at the site to prevent any untoward incident.

S. Palanisamy, who took up the wall issue, said that more than 300 Arundathiar Dalit families of Senkodan Nagar had been using the road for the past three decades. “But the controversial wall came up all in a sudden and prevented us from using it,” he said.

Modi’s Gujarat: Propaganda masks below-average growth

By Neena Vyas, April 20, 2012, DH

‘Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.’ —Joseph Goebbels.

‘Gujarat is poised to lead national reconstruction…promoting growth and development and excellence in all walks of life.’ —

The celebrations have begun. On April 10, it was officially disclosed in court that the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team has recommended closure of the Gulberg Society massacre case finding no actionable evidence to prosecute Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. Immediately, political pundits started predicting Modi’s ascent to the national political stage. The last hurdle in Modi’s path had been crossed. He could now get on with the task of doing for India what he has already done for Gujarat: make it shine.

Modi has been anxious to leave behind the 2002 pogrom and metamorphose into the ‘development man.’

One could be forgiven for mistaking Modi’s new mask to be his real face, for had not ‘Time’ magazine’s Asian edition cover story on Modi last month endorsed him as the new ‘vikas purush.’ Indian media institutions have made it a habit to praise Modi for efficient governance, as have corporate honchos, who hail him as the most investor-friendly of all chief ministers. Modi was the winner of ‘best chief minister’ title in a recent Mood of the Nation survey by India Today-Nielson. He was declared the favourite for the prime ministerial position in 2014. Click to read the long list of awards and accolades he has won over a decade.

If in 2005 Advani tried unsuccessfully to play the ‘I love Jinnah, therefore I am secular’ role in the hope the country would forget his support to 1992 Talibanesque act of razing to the ground the Babri Masjid, Modi has been desperately trying to emerge as the ‘development man,’ putting behind him the 2002 carnage, even as he repeatedly trips over the many skeletons of ‘encounter’ killings that pop out of his state cupboard.

The question is: has he made Gujarat shine? Is Gujarat shining more than Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana or Karnataka? Has Gujarat under Modi achieved something that no other state has?

The hard fact is Gujarat has not been able to bag top position for even one of several key socio-economic indicators: life expectancy, infant mortality, nutrition, literacy and investment – although in 2001 when Modi took charge, Gujarat was already a well developed state, holding 4th state rank for per capita net state domestic product in mid-1996. Currently Haryana holds top rank, while Gujarat is at 6th position as it has mostly been since 1970s.

Last year, the National Council of Applied Economic Research reached the disturbing conclusion that hunger and malnourishment levels in Gujarat were higher than in Uttar Pradesh. The 61st National Sample Survey established that 44.6 per cent children in Gujarat were malnourished and 66 per cent in 0 to 5 age group were anaemic. A larger percentage of children went to bed hungry in Gujarat than in Uttar Pradesh.

Low life expectancy

Life expectancy is a good indicator of nutrition and health services. In Gujarat it was two years shorter than the all-India average of 66.1 in 2006-10 (Registrar General of India). The average Gujarati dies two years earlier than the average Indian and ten years before a Keralite, where at 73.9 years, life expectancy is the highest. Several states, including Maharashtra, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, have bettered the national average.
In Modi’s ‘garvi Gujarat,’ infant mortality rate fell 10 points from 60 to 50 from 2001-08, when the national average IMR fell 13 points from 66 to 53. States that ought to be compared to Gujarat performed better: Maharashtra IMR down 12 points from 45 to 33; Tamil Nadu lower by 18 points to 31 and Karnataka down 13 points to 45.

The sample registration system showed mothers in Gujarat fared no better than their newborns. Between 2004 and 2009 maternal mortality rate in Gujarat fell by 12 points from 160 to 148. Many states did out-shine Gujarat: in Kerala MMR was down 14 points from 95 to 81; Tamil Nadu lowered it by 14 points to 97 and Maharashtra 26 points from 130 to 104. The national average came down by 40 points from 254 to 212. These statistics are a telling beam of light that dissipate the fog of Modi’s propaganda.

Take literacy. The latest census figures showed Gujarat dropping one state rank over the decade: from 17th in 2001 to 18th in 2011, a far cry from Modi’s 2001 ‘vision’ of a 100 per cent literate Gujarat by 2010.

Truth has been the principal casualty of the hyper-active Gujarat state publicity departments.Surely the prize for the most bombastic claims must go to the This site would have us believe billions of dollars worth of foreign direct investment have flowed into Gujarat creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and wiping out hunger and poverty.

In the first three Vibrant Gujarat summits: 2003, 2005 and 2007, a total of $186 billion was garnered as MoUs for FDI, the official website claimed. Of these, 84 per cent proposals ‘had been implemented or were under implementation,’ it said. In the next two biannual events, MoUs worth $240 billion and $450 billion were signed taking the total to a staggering $ 876 billion!

If 60 per cent MoUs had materialised — not 84 per cent as claimed – Gujarat would have matched China’s FDI inflows of $600 billion plus!

Such extravagant claims were punctured by the Reserve Bank of India: a total of $7.3 billion was all that flowed into Gujarat in this period, a mere 5 per cent of total India’s total FDI. As against this, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka cornered 6 per cent of the national pie, while neighbouring Maharashtra garnered a massive 35 per cent.

The Modi PR machine is skilled at blowing its own trumpet to the orchestral accompaniment of a thrusting Gujarati diaspora.

(The writer is a Delhi-based senior journalist)

UID brings serious discrimination concerns

Published: Friday, Apr 20, 2012, 9:00 IST

By Yogesh Pawar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Professor Edgar Whitley
Shraddha Bhargava | DNA

A major facilitating factor in this nationwide campaign was the release of a London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) report that demonstrated the futility of nationwide biometric-basedidentity schemes, showing that they were slated to become endless exercises of ever-increasing expenditure, bringing in their wake serious risks like identity theft.The lead author of this study Professor Edgar Whitley – Reader in Information Systems at the Information Systems and Innovation Group in the LSE was in Mumbai for a talk on :’The Challenge of Effective Identity Policies: Lessons from Around the World.’ Excerpts of an interview byYogesh Pawar:

Was the UK government’s decision in 2004 to bring in an identity card project born of only security concerns or was there a development angle too as it is being done by Indian authorities? 
(Laughs) We are still trying to figure that one out. The idea of identity cards has often been bandied. In 2002, it began with a discussion about entitlement cards and slowly gave way to identity cards. From improving access to public services, to national security concerns and even the enabling of young people, who did not necessarily have a documents for transactions like opening bank accounts or getting a mobile number. Sometimes it was even suggested that the ID card could be used to travel freely across Europe without passports.

The claims and responses kept changing. If the idea of having a centralised database was to address questions of identity fraud, so that people would not have more than one identity card, then there were other ways in which you do that without centralising personal information. So when some aspects of the project found less favour, other claims were made and so on.

There are both kinds of views. Some feel such an ID card would increase discrimination while others felt it would help reduce it. Your comment 
If a surgeon is checking for entitlement, and I, as a white middle-class male, come along and say, “I don’t have my card. But can I book a doctor’s appointment?”Will I be treated the same way as another fellow national who is not white and speaks English with an accent? The latter might face morechecks despite their entitlement being same as mine. So concerns of discrimination are very serious.

What were some of the concerns raised by the LSE report?
We argued that the ID card system could offer serve some basic public interest and commercial sector benefits. There were however six key areas of concern. First, there was clear lack of specific focus in purpose. Secondly, there was concern over whether the technology would work since smaller and less ambitious schemes had encountered huge technological and operational problems. The use of biometrics was of particular concern since it had never been used on such a scale. Thirdly there were legal issues over privacy and discrimination. Fourthly, we felt that the National Data Register was likely to create a very large data pool in one place that could be an enhanced security risk for hacking or other malfunctions. Fifthly, a system well accepted by citizens is likely to be more successful in use than a controversial one that raises privacy concerns.

Finally, compliance with the new system would mean that even small firms would have to pay for smartcard readers and other requirements, which would have added to their burden.

Your report says “the scheme should be regarded as a potential danger to public interest and legal rights of individuals”. Please elaborate.
You see there was a genuine concern about the audit trail. If you produce your ID card for every transaction and the system keeps a record, this can check forgery. On the other hand, this provides details of every transaction, which can be seen by anyone with access.

It also goes beyond that. If you went to a sexual health clinic and used your card and fingerprint for verification, the audit trail would show you were there on a number of occasions. It might be reasonable to infer things about your lifestyle you may not want to disclose. This may not be done purposely but this danger is there in the design.

The other concern was the biometrics. If someone breaks into your e-mail account, you can always reset your password. But if the biometric is stolen, the possibility of revoking it is almost impossible.

Give us a sense of how the average Briton reacted to the identity project? What built the momentum enough for the project to be finally shelved in 2010?
It was scrapped because parties that came to power were opposed to it. A lobby group -NO2ID- got the message out about concerns with this process. Many activists across the political spectrum got involved. They were just explaining the project and some of the dangers it was fraught with. They worked closely with the media which also showed considerable interest and the result is there for everyone to see.

India is in the thick of the debate on the unique ID  scheme.

What are the resonances in the scrapped British identity project.
I know you are looking at me giving you a headline point but I do not want to be (Laughs) the imperialist who takes the top down view of things. On the whole it will be in the interest of India and her people to look very closely at some of the questions raised in the debate in the UK. The sooner it is done the better.

Vedanta- “Creating Happiness “results declared ” Chori Chori Chupke Chupke “




The twitter doe snot say it –!/planethappiness, no tweet after 19th March

The  Facebook page does not say it – no post after 30th March

The website does not say it-

But the results of ‘  Creating Happiness’ have been declared in a hush hush  manner as compared to its thundering Launch with the binoo ad in March this year. The Binoo ad also disappeared from channels now why was that I wonder ?

The ‘  Faking Happiness”- Team has got this EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS  😉


1.Pehchaan NIFT, Delhi

2. Company Thilidukoalal Christ University, Bangalore

3.Kamala ki Kahaani,NIFT, Delhi NIFT Delhi 

Lookout  for more updates 🙂

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