German nuclear exit delivers economic, environmental benefits-Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


November 1st, 2012 in Technology / Energy & Green Tech

Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, the German government took the nation’s eight oldest reactors offline immediately and passed legislation that will close the last nuclear power plant by 2022. This nuclear phase-out had overwhelming political support in Germany. Elsewhere, many saw it as “panic politics,” and the online business magazine Forbes.com went as far as to ask, in a headline, whether the decision was “Insane—or Just Plain Stupid.”

But a special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE, “The German Nuclear Exit,” shows that the nuclear shutdown and an accompanying move toward renewable energy are already yielding measurable economic and environmental benefits, with one top expert calling the German phase-out a probable game-changer for the nuclear industry worldwide.

In his overview article, “From Brokdorf to Fukushima: The long journey to nuclear phase-out,” Princeton researcher Alexander Glaser puts the German nuclear exit in its historical context, which includes massive, civil war-like confrontations between antinuclear demonstrators and police. Because of longstanding public opposition to nuclear power, by the 1990s few in German political life seriously entertained the idea of new reactor construction. And, Glaser notes, Germany’s decision last year to pursue a nuclear phase-out was anything but precipitous; serious planning to shutter the nuclear industry and greatly expand alternative energy production began more than a decade ago. “Germany’s nuclear phase-out could provide a proof-of-concept, demonstrating the political and technical feasibility of abandoning a controversial high-risk technology. Germany’s nuclear phase-out, successful or not, is likely to become a game changer for nuclear energy worldwide,” Glaser concludes.

Also in the Bulletin’s special issue on “The German Nuclear Exit”: Freie Universität Berlin politics professor Miranda Schreurs says the nuclear phase-out and accompanying shift to renewable energy have brought financial benefits to farmers, investors, and small business; Felix Matthes of the Institute for Applied Ecology in Berlin concludes the phase-out will have only small and temporary effects on electricity prices and the German economy; University of Kassel legal experts Alexander Rossnagel and Anja Hentschel explain why electric utilities are unlikely to succeed in suing the government over the shutdown; and Lutz Mez, co-founder of Freie Universitӓt Berlin’s Environmental Policy Research Center, presents what may be the most startling finding of all. The shift to alternative energy sources being pursued in parallel with the German nuclear exit has reached a climate change milestone, Mez writes: “It has actually decoupled energy from economic growth, with the country’s energy supply and carbon-dioxide emissions dropping from 1990 to 2011, even as its gross domestic product rose by 36 percent.”

More information: “The German Nuclear Exit” by John Mecklin published 01November 2012 in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

“From Brokdorf to Fukushima: The long journey to nuclear phase-out”, by Alexander Glaser published 01November 2012 in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Provided by SAGE Publications

“Bulletin: German nuclear exit delivers economic, environmental benefits.” November 1st, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-bulletin-german-nuclear-exit-economic.html

 

#India- Life sentence for stealing #Dalit Students Scholarship


As India rises against corruption a Uttar Pradesh court hands out a life term for stealing Dalit students’ scholarship

Piyush Srivastava   |   MAIL TODAY  |   Lucknow, November 2, 2012

The court also awarded 10 years of imprisonment to Satish Rawat, manager of the school
The court also awarded 10 years of imprisonment to Satish Rawat, manager of the school.
A court in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh has awarded life term to the principal of a school for pocketing the scholarships ofScheduled Caste students .Barabanki’s Special Additional Session Judge Kalpana Mishra put the case of Madhuri Sinha, principal of the Bishun Memorial Bal Shiksha Mandir on Dewa Road, in the category of one of the most atrocious crimes and awarded her a life term.The court also awarded 10 years of imprisonment to Satish Rawat, manager of the school. Besides this, the court also imposed a fine ofRs.14000 and Rs.16000, respectively on them.

They had filched Rs.61,920, which was meant as scholarship to the students in 1996-97, by maintaining a register of ghost students in a non-existent school.

The case came to light in 2000 when someone anonymously filed a complaint with the then district social welfare officer Gautam Kumar. After an initial inquiry, he lodged an FIR against the principal and manager of the school for corruption in Dalit students’ scholarship distribution.

Special public prosecutor Ajit Kumar Singh said it is one of the commonest cases of corruption in which the court has sent a very strong message to dishonest people, who line their pockets with public money meant for the poorest section of the society.

“It is a historic judgment which proves that the law is not tooth-less and the dishonest people should be prepared to face such harsh consequences. The timing is also very apt because the fight for an honest system is gaining ground in the country,” Singh told Mail Today.

“The anonymous complaint was received in 2000. In the due course of inquiry, it came to light that the school existed in 1976-77. The school became non-existent after 1977, though a board displaying its name remained. Although there was no student or teacher on its rolls, the principal and manager of the school showed in their records that there were 430 students, all of them belonging to SC. On the basis of this claim, the government releasedRs.61,920 as each dalit student was entitled to a scholarship of Rs.144,” he said.

“Later on, the investigators traced a State Bank of India account in Barabanki which was in the name of Savita. The subsequent inquiry revealed that it was a fictitious name and the account was actually operated by Madhuri Sinha. Satish Rawat was hand in glove with her. So the cases were registered under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC for cheating and forgery and Section 325 of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Now poetic justice has been done with the principal being awarded life term the manager getting 10 years in jail,” Singh added.

Enforced disappearances: UN expert body to study more than 400 cases from over 30 countries


GENEVA (1st November 2012) – The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances* started reviewing more than 400 cases of enforced disappearances. These include a number of cases under its urgent action procedure and information on newly-submitted cases, previously accepted ones and other communications concerning over 30 countries.

The independent experts will meet with Government delegations and civil society representatives, including family members of those who have disappeared, to exchange information and views on individual cases under consideration and on the phenomenon of enforced disappearances in general. The Working Group will also meet with the Committee on Enforced Disappearances.

The Working Group will, in addition, examine allegations received regarding obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The members will hold discussions on two draft general comments in relation to women and children respectively, its methods of work, and forthcoming and potential country visits. The human rights experts will also discuss and adopt its annual report.

The current Working Group’s 98th session is taking place from 31 October to 9 November in room IX of the Palais des Nations, in Geneva. All meetings are held in private. A press release will be issued at the end of the session, on 9 November 2012.

The Working Group was established by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and whereabouts of disappeared relatives. It endeavours to establish a channel of communication between the families and the Governments concerned, to ensure that individual cases are investigated, with the objective of clarifying the whereabouts of persons who, having disappeared, are placed outside the protection of the law. In view of the Working Group’s humanitarian mandate, clarification occurs when the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person are clearly established. The Working Group continues to address cases of disappearances until they are resolved. It also provides assistance in the implementation by States of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

(*) The Working Group is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France) and the other members are Mr. Ariel Dulitzky (Argentina), Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mr. Osman El-Hajjé (Lebanon), and Mr. Jeremy Sarkin (South Africa).

For more information on the Working Group, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disappearances/Pages/DisappearancesIndex.aspx

How to submit cases to the Working Group?: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/disappear/docs/Communication_form_E.doc

Read the Working Group’s 2011 report to the UN Human Rights Councilhttp://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/A-HRC-19-58-Rev1_en.pdf

For more information and media requests, please contact Mr. Ugo Cedrangolo or Ms. Michelle Erazo (wgeid@ohchr.org)

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Girish Karnad- Why is #Naipaul being Honoured ? #Mumbai Literature Festival


At the Mumbai Literature Festival this year, Landmark and Literature Alive have jointly given the Lifetime’s Achievement Award to Sir Vidia Naipaul. The award ceremony held on the 31st of October at the National Centre of the Performing Arts coyly failed to mention that Naipaul was not an Indian and has never claimed to be one.  But at no point was the question raised, and the words Shashi Deshpande,the novelist, had used to describe the Neemrana Festival conducted by the ICCR in 2002 perfectly fitted the present event: ‘it was a celebration of a Nobel Laureate …whom  India, hopefully, even sycophantically, considered an Indian.’

Apart from his novels, only two of which take place in India and are abysmal,  Naipaul has written three books on India and  the books are brilliantly written—he is certainly among the great  English writers of our generation. They have been hailed as a continued exploration of India’s journey into modernity, but what strikes one from the very first book, A Wounded Civilization, is their rabid antipathy to the Indian Muslim.The ‘wound’ in the title is the one inflicted on India by Babur’s invasion. Since then Naipaul has never missed a chance to weigh in against the ‘invaders’, accusing them of having savaged India for five centuries, of having brought, among other dreadful things, poverty into it and  destroyed the glorious ancient Hindu culture .

A point that strikes one immediately about these books is that there is not a single word in any of them on Indian music. And I believe  that if you cannot respond to music, you cannot understand India. Music is the defining art form of the Indian identity. Naipaul’s silence on the subject  when he is exploring the whole of modern Indian culture suggests to me that he is tone deaf —which in turn explains his insensitivity to the intricate interweaving of  Hindu and Muslim creativities, through the Bhakti and Sufi movements, that gave us this extraordinary  heritage, alive in the heart of every Indian home.

What Naipaul’s virulence against Indian Islam conceals , however, is that he has borrowed his model of the history of Indian culture from the  British musicologists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, like William Jones. These scholars were acquainted with many other ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptian , the Greek and the Roman. But they were mystified by the fact that while the musical traditions of these civilizations were entirely lost, the Indian musical tradition was  alive and thriving. They decided that this once pure-and-glorious music must have been, at some point during the course of its long history, corrupted and mauled —-and they found the villain in the invading Muslim. So, according to them, once upon a time there was a pristine Indian musical culture, which the Muslims had disfigured. They therefore ignored the music that was being perfomed around them and went in search of the true Hindu music.

In his analysis of Indian culture Naipaul simply borrows this line of argument and reemploys it— as his original perception. And not for the first time.

Naipaul accuses R.K. Narayan of being indifferent to the  destruction and death symbolized by the ruins of Vijayanagar , which to him was a bastion of Hindu culture destroyed by the maurauding Muslims. But again he gets this interpretation of the history of Vijayanagar readymade from a book by Robert Sewell called, A Forgotten Empire, published in 1900. Naipaul, as always in awe of his colonial sources, simply accepts this picture as the unadorned truth and recycles it wholesale as his own. That historians and archaeologists working on the site during the last century have proved the situation to be much more complex and have shown that religion had little role to play in the conflict is irrelevant to him.

Of the Taj, probably the most beloved of the monuments  in  Indian, Naipaul writes, ‘The Taj is so wasteful so decadent and in the end so cruel that it is painful to be there for very long. This is an extravagance that speaks of the blood of the people.’ He brushes off  historian Romila Thapar’s argument that the Mughal era saw a rich efflorescence of the mixture of Hindu and Muslim styles, by attributing her judgment to her Marxist bias  and says, ‘The correct truth is the way the invaders look at their actions, They were conquering. They were subjugating.’  To Naipaul , the Indian Muslim remains an invader for ever, forever condemned to be condemned, because some of them had invaders for their ancestors. It is a usage would yield some strange results if applied to the USA.

As for Naipaul’s journalistic exploration of modern India,  mainly in the form of a series of interviews conducted  with Indians right across the board, one must confess they are supremely well written and that he is a master in drawing sharp and precise visuals of the people he talks to and of the places he visits. What begins to bother one after a while  however is that he invariably seems to meet brilliant interviewees whose answers to his questions are expressed with a wit and elegance that  match his own mastery of the language . Even half-literate interviewees suffer from no diffidence in their expression.

How reliable are the conversations he records? In a well-known essay Naipaul describes his  visit to the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad , where he stayed with his friend, Ashoke Chatterjee, the Director of the Institute. In a recent email to me, Mr Chatterjee said, that Naipaul’s essay was ‘ a scenario that could have been but was not what he actually saw. Fragments of reality, selected and put together, into a collage of pure fantasy.’ Chatterjee’s friendship with Naipaul came to an abrupt end when Chatterjee told Naipaul that his book, A Wounded Civilization, should be classified as fiction.

In a recent book, Naipaul takes up for examination the autobiography of Munshi Rahman Khan, who emigrated to Suriname at the end of the nineteenth  century, and contrasts it with Gandhi’s .  Sanjay Subramaniam, the historian, has reviewed the essay in the London Review of Books and it doesn’t take him much effort to establish that Naipaul could only have read a third-hand, truncated translation of the text. ‘It is as if a reader in Gorakhpur was reading Naipaul in Maithili after the text had passed through a Japanese translation.’ That doesn’t prevent Naipaul from commenting even on the style and linguistic usage of Rahman Khan.

The question surely is by giving him the Lifetime Achievement Award, what statement is being made by the Award-givers.  As a journalist what he writes about India is his business. No one can question his right to be ignorant or to prevaricate

But the Nobel Prize has given him a sudden authority and his use of it needs to be looked at.

One of the first things Naipaul did on receiving the Nobel Prize was to visit the office of the BJP in Delhi. He who had earlier declared that he was not political, ‘that to have a political view is to be programmed’, now declared that he was happy to be politically ‘appropriated’. It was then that he made his most infamous remark: ‘Ayodhya’, he said,’ is a sort of passion. Any passion is creative. Passion leads to creativity.’

Salman Rushdie’s response was that Naipaul was behaving like ‘ a fellow-traveller of Fascism and [that he] disgraces the Noble Prize.’

In the wake of Ayodhya close to 1500 Muslims were slaughtered in the streets of Bombay alone. I was attending a Film Festival in New Delhi when the riots broke out and received anguished calls from my friends in Bombay to say Muslims were being pulled out of their homes or stopped in the streets to be killed. I rang my Muslim editor to say he and his family could use my flat, in a predominantly Parsee building, until the situation became safe. The great Marathi actress, Fayyaz, whom I finally located after a week in a corner in Pune where she had fled in distress from Mumbai, described how Shiv Sainiks had thrown fire bombs into Muslim slums and  how, when the inmates of the houses rushed out in terror, they were shot down by the Police as trouble-makers.

Seven years later, in cold blood, Naipaul was glamorizing  these events as ‘passion’, as ‘ a creative act’.

It is significant that this part of Naipaul’s sociologizing was not mentioned in the citation of the Award, or by Farouq Dhondy, who while interviewing him, mentioned the book, ‘Among the Believers’ and then quickly moved to a long-winded account of how he had helped Sir Vidia adopt a cat which thirteen years later was put to sleep lying on his lap—giving Naipaul another chance to burst into sentimental tears. Presumably Dhondy was trying to prove how ‘human’ Naipaul was.

But Landmark and Literature Alive who have announced this Award have a responsibility to explain to us where exactly they stand with regard to these Naipaul’s remarks. Naipaul is a foreigner and can make pronouncements as he wishes. But do they mean to valorize Naipaul’s stand that Indian Muslims are raiders and marauders? Are they supporting his continued insistence on Muslim buildings in India being monuments to rape and loot? Or  are they by their silence suggesting that these views do not matter?

  The Award givers have much to answer for.     ——       Girish Karnad,   1 Nov 2012       Mumbai

 

#India- Ending the silence- 1984 anti-Sikh Riots


HISTORY

Ending the silence

VIKRAM KAPUR, Frontline

Many questions still remain unanswered about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. Unless we face them squarely to give the event a sense of an ending, its ghosts will continue to haunt us.

BEDI/ AFP 

NOVEMBER 2, 1984: A building belonging to Sikhs burning in Daryaganj.

WHY do you write so much on Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the anti-Sikh riots it spawned, I am often asked. Sometimes the question comes with the admonishment: What can such writing possibly do except open old wounds? After all, 28 years have passed. Punjab is peaceful and, moreover, the country has a Sikh Prime Minister. So why don’t you simply move on like everyone else and let all that be? At other times, the question comes accompanied by a genuine concern for my literary well-being. There is nothing to gain by writing about the events of 1984, I am told. No one remembers them outside India; so the chances of finding a foreign publisher are remote. Even in India, 1984 accounts for little more than a historical footnote. Certainly, it is nowhere near as prominent as the destruction of the Babri Masjid or the 26/11 attack on Mumbai. So why write about it?

Over the years, I have put the same question to myself. I am not a Sikh. No one I knew was ever targeted in those riots. The mob came nowhere near my home in South Delhi. All I saw of the actual devastation was a burnt vehicle that had not been removed from the road and a razed gurdwara awaiting kar seva. That too, after the riots abated. My abiding memory of the day of the assassination is a flag I saw flying at half mast in a foreign consulate (I cannot recall which one) while walking home from school. At the time, I had no idea what could possibly make a flag fly at half mast in a foreign consulate. Yet, I distinctly remember my chest tightening with the thought that something was not right. My abiding memory of the three days of rioting that followed is a TV screen showing dignitaries shuffling past the Prime Minister’s body lying in state, the propriety manifest in the scene contrasting sharply with the mayhem playing out elsewhere.

The most telling anecdote I have from those days that involved someone I knew occurred more than a month after the riots subsided. A school friend who happened to be a Sikh visited me at home. After he had left, our chowkidar, an ex-Army havildar from Haryana, told me, “These days you should keep your distance from Sikhs, baba. They are no longer good people.” Those words brought home the extent to which the world can change in a few days. I had known that friend for years. We sat next to each other in school. Now, a wall that we had no role in constructing threatened to come between us.

Yet, despite not being touched by it, it is in that madness that I have found a groundswell of creative inspiration. Writers do not select their material. Their material selects them. Thus goes the old adage. As the Israeli writer Etgar Keret reminds us, stories that matter are those that come from somewhere inside the writer. Anyone can pluck something out of thin air. But for something to have value, it has to come from something. On the basis of that, I can only conclude that even though my involvement was no more than that of a bystander, somehow those events became as much a part of me as my DNA.

Terrible cost

Two thousand seven hundred and thirty-three men, women and children were killed in the three days of rioting, according to official estimates. A sitting Prime Minister was assassinated for the first time in Indian history. There was incalculable damage to property and other assets. Furthermore, the riots served to radicalise thousands of Sikhs who otherwise would not have had anything to do with the Khalistan movement, and paved the way for an insurgency that not only terrorised Punjab for most of the next decade but cast a shadow that reached all the way to Delhi. There were also instances of members of a ruling party actively participating in the bloodletting of a section of the citizenry while the government, the police and the administrative machinery sat about doing nothing. Rather, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi attempted to explain away the riots with the now infamous statement: “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes.”

All these years later, however, it is not what happened in 1984 that rankles. It is the fact that the “corpse” of 1984 continues to show enough signs of life to play out, to the letter, what the American novelist William Faulkner said about the past. (Faulkner, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for 1949, said, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.”) The recent stabbing of Lieutenant General Brar, who led Operation Bluestar which brought about the Prime Minister’s assassination, is merely the latest indication that 1984 is still alive and kicking.

RAVEENDRAN/ AFP 

THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RIOTS, in which over 2,700 men, women and children were killed, have still not been brought to book. A Sikh woman widowed by the riots, during a protest near Parliament House in New Delhi on October 31, 2002.

A journalist engages with history as it happens. A historian deals with it in retrospect. A biographer concerns himself with the actions of its principal actors. For all three, facts form, or should form, their major stock-in-trade. A literary writer, on the other hand, is more concerned with the heart beating at the core of the body of facts. Like Salman Rushdie in Midnight’s Children, he or she is willing to compromise on accuracy to get at the essence of things by giving that passage of events a recognisable face. Hence, Partition has its Saleem Sinai, the Russian Revolution its Dr Zhivago, the First World War its Paul Baumer, the Victorian age its Pip….

For me, the most compelling face of the 1984 riots emerged more than 20 years after they transpired. In 2005, following a lecture at a Delhi college, I met a 20-year-old Sikh man who would later become the inspiration for a short story. As part of the lecture, I had read an excerpt from my first novel that deals with the 1984 riots. Maybe that was what made the young man come over at the end of the lecture and ask if he could have a word. He waited patiently until I had finished with everyone else. Then we walked over to the college canteen. Over a cup of tea, he shared his story.

Confronting the truth

He said he had been told by his mother that his father was working in the Gulf while he was growing up. As he grew older, he started to wonder why his father never phoned. Then he wondered why his mother was always scrounging to make ends meet. Other families where fathers worked in the Gulf never seemed to want for anything. Finally, one day he brought matters to a head with his mother and demanded to know what had actually happened to his father. His mother broke down in the face of incessant questioning and told him that his father had been murdered in the 1984 riots. She had concocted the story about him working in the Gulf to spare him the heartbreak.

After he had finished, I did not know what to say. Everything he had told me was as far away from my childhood as you could possibly get. For me, Dad had been a given while growing up; it was inconceivable to imagine growing up without him. For that young man, his father had existed in a lie. In order to sustain the lie, his mother would have concocted other lies. She would have authored letters and told him they came from his father. She would have bought presents and passed them off the same way. She would have built expectation by conjuring dates when the father was due to come home only to dash it later by saying he could not for some reason…. For the ruse to work for any length of time, members of the extended family had to be in on it. Were so many people participating in a lie in order to save their little one from heartbreak? Or was it part of their own desire to keep their loved one alive, if only in fiction?

Whatever else it did, such a childhood had clearly marked him. If he had not told me he was 20, I would have put his age closer to 30. I was reminded of the passage in the German author Erich Maria Remarque’s First World War classic All Quiet on the Western Front where the battle-scarred narrator, Paul Baumer, says about himself and his mates: “Young? None of us is more than twenty. But young? Young men? That was a long time ago. We are old now.”

In the end, I asked him how finding out the truth about his father felt. He told me it was hard at first. While he had sensed his mother was lying to him, he was unprepared for the brutal nature of the truth. (His father was set on fire and burned to death.) With the passage of time, however, he had come to terms with it. The truth helped give the matter closure. He no longer had to live wondering about his father.

THE HINDU ARCHIVES 

A SIKH MAN who cut his hair and shaved his beard to hide his religious identity during the riots shows his identity card.

Closure is what the events of 1984 have lacked. Following the stabbing of Lieutenant General Brar, the airwaves have been rife with speculation about the ghosts of 1984 rising. Recently, a cache of arms was seized in Punjab. There have been claims that money is being collected in gurdwaras abroad to create mayhem in India, and jobless Sikh youth are being radicalised through incendiary rhetoric and doctored films. An Operation Bluestar memorial, which has raised the hackles of a number of Army veterans, is planned in Amritsar.

Will the ghosts of 1984 rise? I sincerely hope not. However, at the moment, that entire period resembles an erratic narrative meandering in the absence of inspiration. There is no telling where something so rudderless might go. If civil society and people of conscience continue to relinquish its stewardship, then its authorship may very well fall into the hands of those who wish to push it into retro mode, and we could find ourselves facing a tragic déjà vu.

As a nation, we prefer to use silence to deal with our historical mistakes. Hence, our ghosts hang around. In the immediate aftermath, silence has its uses. Then memories are too raw and wounds too fresh for a constructive dialogue. After a suitable amount of time has passed, however, silence is counterproductive. By letting the unresolved linger, silence allows resentment to fester. The events of 1984 have lacked the kind of rigorous reflection and self-examination that would give them closure. Many of the questions remain to be answered. Responsibility has not been affixed for the crimes. The decisions taken at the time have not been dissected in any great detail for their veracity. For instance, how and why were things allowed to deteriorate to the point where it became necessary for the army to enter the Golden Temple? That was, after all, the event that set the whole tragic cycle in motion. It demands to be placed under a microscope.

Political expediency

In part, all of that is the direct result of political expediency. Just like the Gujarat riots of 2002, what happened in 1984 was politically motivated and the political fraternity is understandably hesitant to examine or prosecute itself. The Bharatiya Janata Party has dragged its feet over the Gujarat riots. In the same way, the Congress has been reluctant to revisit 1984. It was 2010 before the Central Bureau of Investigation framed charges against the senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for his role in organising the riots. There are others who have escaped prosecution altogether.

When it comes to righting historical mistakes, we would do well to take our cue from others. The fact that there is no chance that the Holocaust will ever be reprised is not because what happened then is shrouded in secrecy. Rather, it is because it has been shouted so loudly from the rooftops that we are sick to the gut. By the same token, one big reason why Germany has been able to move on from the monstrosity that was Nazism and the crimes of the Holocaust is that it was willing to stare them in the face. (The Germans had no wish to repeat their mistake following the First World War, where they refused to take responsibility for their defeat and opened the way for Hitler to seduce them by blaming the entire debacle on the Jewish minority.) Hence, guilt was fixed where it needed to be fixed. In a number of cases, it was admitted with genuine remorse. Those guilty of the most heinous crimes were punished. The necessary apologies were made….

South Africa has attempted to do something similar with apartheid. While it has not been entirely successful, it has managed to emerge as a functioning multiracial democracy, a far cry from its troubled neighbour Zimbabwe. Even our much-maligned neighbour Pakistan came clean by making the Justice Hamoodur Rehman Commission of Inquiry report into their military failure of 1971 public. The same, however, cannot be said about the Henderson Brooks report dealing with our military failure in the 1962 India-China war. Even though 50 years have passed since the event, it remains classified.

The silence surrounding the events of 1984 has guaranteed that they have generated little reflection and practically no self-examination. A lot happened in 1984. Just the fact that a sitting Prime Minister was assassinated for the first time in Indian history is enough cause for discussion. President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, President Lincoln almost a hundred years earlier. To this day, the American press and intelligentsia debate those events. By comparison, the focus on Indira Gandhi’s assassination has been minuscule. In fact, the entire epoch seems to have leapfrogged the stage of reflection and stock-taking altogether and looks ready to enter the realm of contested history. The religious leadership of the Sikhs is hell-bent on declaring those who died for the Khalistan cause martyrs. Others view such attempts with a mixture of revulsion and shock.

After the beginning, possibly the most important thing in a story is its ending. A satisfying ending can salvage a mediocre story by making it memorable. If anything, the recent rumblings in Punjab should tell us the last thing we need with regard to the events of 1984 is more silence. By steadfastly remaining topical, that passage of history continues to prove how insufficient the sense of an ending we have provided for it is. Like the young Sikh man I met in 2005, it needs the kind of irrevocable closure that cannot be supplied by silence. The sooner we realise that and move to resolve the things that keep it topical, the earlier we will put it to rest.

Vikram Kapur is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. His website is www.vikramkapur.com






WHIPLASH: 2 paise as the worth of one’s privacy


By SUSHMA PRASAD

PUBLISHED: 20:28 GMT, 1 November 2012 | UPDATED: 21:56 GMT, 1 November 2012

Union Minister Kapil Sibal leaves after attending a meeting Union Minister Kapil Sibal leaves after attending a meeting

Two paise may not have any significance for the financial institutions guiding our economy, but it wields tremendous influence on the lives of ordinary citizens.

Two paise is the price at which a human being goes on auction in the information market.

From your name and age to gender, profession, salary and of course mobile number nearly everything can be bought for 2 paise from a phone number broker.

Incidentally, 2 paise is also what Hindi speakers use to take a reality check on life.

Haven’t you heard of the phrase do paise ki aukaat (stature worth 2 paise)? Crude as it may sound, the phrase holds a literal meaning in the virtual world.

The ease with which brokers put up our personal information – bank account, car details, loan amount etc – on sale for companies, makes it clear that the privacy we so vehemently protect is nothing but a sham.

And no matter how much we fool ourselves with the security claims of the government, we are exposed to threats of all kind for a price of 2 paise.

Talking of Hindi phrases, consider do paise ki akal nahin hai (mind not even worth 2 paise).

It perhaps explains the authorities’ ineptitude in dealing with phone brokers and bulk SMS providers.

The government will do well to apply do paise ki akal and use the database of the brokers for its various population registration programmes such as census, UID and NPR.

The brokers seem to have more accurate data than government agencies. As for our harried telecom minister Kapil Sibal, here’s some muft ki rai (free advice): Please don’t waste your time reporting pesky SMS texts to TRAI‘s ‘do not disturb’ facility.

An SMS forwarded to 1909 will only start a new series of texts – No keyword found. The pesky messages are any day more interesting than such replies.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2226448/2-paise-worth-ones-privacy.html#ixzz2B6jWtpTC

#India- #Irom Sharmila : An Inspiration For Students


By Zaheeb Ajmal
01 November, 2012
Countercurrents.org
Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign is observing 12 Article series to reflect 12 years of suppression of Irom Sharmila’s fast. Irom Sharmila is completing her 12 years of fast on 5th November. This is the 8th in the series. This article is dedicated to Irom by a group of students from Patna
Irom Chanu Sharmila, the crusader against AFSPA, who has been on hunger strike since 4th November 2011, is still unknown to the major part of India. On 5th May 2011, the day when we got to know about the Iron Lady of Manipur through a play, “Le Mashale”, performed by Ojas SV, we were in deep shock. It was an eye opener of the unexplored land of India. We have never been told about the problems and the torture the people of Manipur face each and every day. The play was heart touching and moved us so much that it instigated us to gather more knowledge about it and this consequently resulted in us joining the fight of the Iron Lady.
We decided to campaign in and around Patna and let people know about the North east and its problems. We slowly and steadily came to know about the hardcore realities. The draconian law has been imposed in the northeast since 1958, but it is shameful that very few among us knew about her. The media which is termed as the “fourth pillar of the democracy” has been partial in the case of Manipur. We had rarely seen any news channel reporting or any print media reporting about the protest going on in Manipur every day. We were stopped and questioned by senior countrymen, why are we bothering about Manipur? Are we from Manipur? We were advised to worry about our city and state problems. Some were worried and lost their enthusiasm but it was Irom’s struggle that refilled the enthusiasm. They came back with more passion and dedication. These kids are from those groups who generally “don’t care” about the society and its worries. They proved us wrong and work day and night for the campaign because they think that the fight we have joined has to be fought till end and they think that AFSPA should be diluted.
After watching the play, Le Mashale, these students formed a group, named “Le Mashale” and organized an event on 1st July 2011 to aware the people of their city about the atrocities faced by people of Manipur. The number of people who attended it was unbelievable. It drew attention of media, activists of Patna. When asked about how they managed it, they said it is Irom struggle which gave us inspiration. They added, Why has society became so insensitive, where you care about a person who in 12 day fast but not even pay any heed to a person who is on 12 year hunger strike. Why we discriminate our brothers and sister from Northeast .They also said that everyone should about her struggle and the government should listen to her. These students also joined the “SAVE SHARMILA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN”, which they coordinated in Bihar. At the last, Irom’s struggle has ignited a passion in our soul, we salute the lady and we are in support for her till the battle against AFSPA is won.
This article has been written by Zaheeb Ajmal on behalf of the students. He is the patna co-ordinator of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign. He is also a member of Samar and of the students’ group for Irom, Le Mashale. He can be mailed at zaheebajmal@gmail.com

 

#India-Fact Finding Report on the #Rapes in #Haryana #Vaw #torture


 

A team of leaders and activists of AIPWA and AISA visited Haryana on 12-13 October, to investigate the alarming spate of rape cases in the state. The team comprised of AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan, JNU Students’ Union Councillor Anubhuti Bara, and AISA activists from Delhi University, Prerna and Saurabh Naruka. The team was accompanied by Comrade Prem Singh Gehlawat, in-charge of the CPI(ML) for Haryana.

 

Findings and observations of the team are as follows:

 

Dabra Case

Reshma (name changed), aged 16 years, belonging to Dalit community (Chamar) was gangraped by 8 persons on September 9, 2012 near Dabra village in Hisar district.

 

Rape and Resistance – A Survivor’s Account

“On September 9, I was on the way to my grandmother’s (and maternal uncle’s) home in Hisar town, around 3 pm, when I was dragged into a car in which there were 8 men, and taken to a deserted place near a tube-well. They made phone calls after which four more arrived on bikes. They (12 in all) all raped me, and filmed the act. They also threatened me that they would kill me and attack my family if I said anything. They forced me to swallow a pill, after which I became drowsy. When I came to, I came to the main road, hitched a lift on a passing bike and returned home.

I said nothing for nearly 10 days. My mother and I went to stay at my grandmother’s place on 11th. On 18th, my father came there and my parents both began asking me what the matter was. They had noticed that I was silent and depressed. Eventually I broke down and told them. My father then wanted to take me to the thana to file a complaint, but for some reason – hesitation or some pressure, I don’t know why – did not do that.

He left the house and went with my mother to the house of Randeep Surjewala’s mother-in-law (Surjewala is a Congress MLA and Industries Minister in the Haryana Govt), where he (my father) worked as a gardener. I heard that her security guard (associated with Punjab Police) showed my father the video of my rape. My father then sent my mother back to my grandmother’s home. And he then took poison and committed suicide.

On the same day, we went and filed an FIR. Dalit leaders with the help of villagers held a candle light protest, demanding action by the police. We said that we will hold a dharna and refuse to accept my father’s body for last rites, till the police arrests the accused. The dharna began on 19th. One of the accused is the nephew of the former MLA (elected from INLD), Puran Singh, who stays in the same village. Eventually we called off the dharna on 23rd, after the police made the first arrest.

I was shown photographs, and I made a positive identification of one of the rapists, and was unsure about another. But the police took the latter into remand, and beat that poor chap up badly, but did not take the one I had positively identified, into remand, though they did keep him in custody. Now, however, 8 of the accused have been arrested. The Test Identification Parade has not yet taken place, so I cannot say whether these 8 are indeed the culprits.

Since most of the accused are from the Jat community, the Sarpanch and other influential Jats in the village are protecting them. They even tried, through someone, to try to offer me Rs 2 crore to withdraw the case.

The accused live in the same village, in the area where the Jats live. Many of the accused have a criminal background. One of them is accused of killing a Jay boy, and a Chamar (Dalit) boy. Other rapes have occurred, many of them with Dalit girls, at the same spot. But Dalits work under Jats, and so are scared or reluctant to speak out.

The family of the Chamar boy who was brutally murdered have come forward to help us.

Where Jats are accused of rape, there are many powerful people to protect them. When Dalits rape someone from the Jat community, the entire Dalit community would be attacked. In our own village, a Dalit youth who fell in love with a Jat girl was killed. The girl was told to invite him home since her family had agreed to the marriage; they packed the girl off somewhere and killed the Dalit youth.

Sonia Gandhi came to Haryana to visit the family of a rape victim. The media kept asking me that day – why didn’t she come here? How can I answer that – would she phone me to let me know the reason?! The fact is that she won’t come here for fear of antagonising the Jat vote for the Congress.

The Government has promised my brother a job – but they are offering him a job that is not permanent.

I would like to go to school – but I feel I can’t go to the same school. I guess I will join a school that is further away.

 

Persistent Fear

Pushpa Barad and her daughter Sunita Barad (Reshma’s neighbours), told us that there are only three lanes in the village where Chamars live. There are about 500 Jat households, and 300 Dalit households(including Chamar, Dhanak and other Dalit communities.)

So the Chamars and other Dalits feel very vulnerable. Since the gang-rape, Sunita said she has stopped attending the training classes (towards a job) that she had enrolled for. The reason is that her brother was threatened by Jat men that his sister would not be safe as long as Reshma persisted in her case. Other Dalit girls too are scared to go to school.

There is a 24-hour police watch around Reshma’s house – but the rest of the Dalit community also seek police protection.

Pushpa told us that the former MLA Puran Singh family is quite influential locally, and the daughter of OmPrakash Chautala has also been married in their family.

Local Congress MLA Ram Niwas visited the victim family but showed his helplessness when he said that he can’t do much as he is still only ‘under training’!

Arrests of the Accused

Baljit, one of the accused, was arrested on September 23. We were told that this arrest took place when a girl student from the Jat community spotted him on a bus and tipped off the police. The police too confirmed this.

Several others among the accused were picked up from Ranikhet, Uttarakhand. The 8 now arrested have been apprehended with the help of villagers, some of them Jats.

 

The Sarpanch

The Sarpanch of the village is Mayawati Kaliravana, a woman, but her husband Inder is the one who goes by the title of Sarpanch. She (Mayawati) says she visited the rape survivor, but Inder admitted that while he had met her relatives, he had not actually met the survivor.

Inder denied that any help or protection was being given to the accused. He said that the accused were criminals, and had misbehaved with Jat girls just as well.

 

Involvement of Non-Jat Accused

 

Not all the accused in the case are from the Jat community. Many we spoke to suggested that the rape survivor had gone to the spot of the rape, of her own accord, with a man on a two-wheeler. This man, they said, is from the ‘Chhippi’ (tailor) community and is married and has children. The Sarpanch’s husband Inder said this man has a mobile phone shop, and helped make the MMS.

We must stress, though, that none we spoke to denied that the gang-rape occurred or that the Jat boys were responsible for the gang-rape.

The SP, however, said that this man from the Chippi community was a chemist, and had given the girl a contraceptive pill. When he and the girl emerged from the shack at the tube-well, they were surrounded by the Jat boys who had spotted them, roughed up the girl’s companion and raped her. According to the police, the accused had taken photographs of the girl at the time of the incident, but had not made or circulated an MMS. These photographs, though deleted from the phones of the accused, had been recovered through technology. They showed the girl weeping, and the faces of several of the accused, and were therefore valuable evidence. The man from the Chippi community too has been arrested.

 

Was this, then, a caste crime?

 

The police seem to believe, based on the above version, that the gang-rape was of an opportunist rather than a pre-planned nature. Therefore, they seem to assume that the gang-rape should not be seen as a crime against Dalits.

It is true that a girl of any other community in the same situation, too might be vulnerable to rape. But what cannot be ignored is that these were Jat youth from the same village – who recognised Reshma as a Dalit girl from their village. Was this not a factor in emboldening them to rape, confident of their impunity as members of the dominant community. Their confidence that they could terrorise her into silence, surely arose not only from the gendered and patriarchal notion of ‘shame’ imposed on her, but also on the fact that she was a Dalit who would think many times before daring to take on Jats.

Moreover, the fear and insecurity of the Dalit community following the gang-rape is palpable.

What if it is true that a married man from the backward Chippi community took Reshma along to the deserted spot with her consent? If true, this fact would in no way take away from the horrific crime of gang-rape that was committed by the other men – all Jats.

Hence, the SC/ST Act must be invoked in this case.

 

Conflicting Versions?

We hold that there is no substantial conflict in the versions of the incident regarding the actual gang-rape.

If (as has been suggested by some) the rape survivor has been reluctant to admit that she voluntarily accompanied a man to the spot, that is all too understandable. She would fear the social consequences of such an admission; the speculations about her morality that would follow; she would fear that her allegations of gang-rape would be questioned; and she might also not want to implicate the man with whom she had been friendly.

Can one blame her? She has seen the ruling party (Congress) spokesperson from her district say that 90% rape cases are consensual. Women in our society are told that if you agree to sex or even friendships with men before or outside marriage, why do you object to rape?

Social inhibitions of the rape survivor regarding admitting to a relationship, must not be made a pretext to undermine the credibility of her allegation of gang-rape.

Pressures on the Survivor?

 

We learnt that the rape survivor had named some of the accused in the FIR, but in her statement before a magistrate, she failed to name any of the accused.

There are indications of pressures on the survivor, not only from influential members of the dominant community as well as vested political interests from her own community. Some accounts suggested that the latter too were attempting to make political capital from the incident, while tacitly weakening the case by misguiding the survivor.

 

Our demands:

 

  1. 1.     The rape survivor is especially courageous and brave. All efforts must be made to ensure that the Government backs her aspirations for education, and also ensures a job for her, not just for her brother.
  2. 2.     Every effort must be made by the authorities to ensure protection and support for the rape survivor, to ensure that she does not come under any pressure, inducement, or advice by vested interests to ‘compromise’.
  3. 3.     The case must be fast-tracked, since the more time passes, the more scope there is for the accused to bring pressure on the victim.
  4. 4.     Rehabilitation for the family and schooling and higher education for the survivor be arranged as per their wishes

 

 

Banwasa Case

 

Naveena (name changed), a girl belonging to landless ‘Dhanak’ (Dalit Community) was gang raped by four persons on Sep 26, 2012. She was 18 years old and had been married just three months back.

Her father Karmaji is a ‘rajmistri’ with five siblings-3 sisters and 2 brothers. At the time of the incident, she was at her paternal house in Banwasa village of Gohana tehsil of Sonipat district.

The incident

Naveena was alone at her parental home when she received a message from her cousin Rambatheri that her husband is waiting for her at Gohana bus. Rambatheri apparently passed on the message given on phone by Shravan (one of the accused). Naveena’s brother, in the course of the conversation, later said that the call had in fact been made to Naveena’s bhabhi Malti.

Falling in the trap she left for Gohana around 10 am on September 26, not to return for next two days. Her brother Gurmit Singh returned from his school at 2 pm when he found that Sunila was not at home after which he spread the word. The worried family made calls to relatives enquiring about her, including to her husband Sunil, staying at Adiyana village of Panipat district, who said she had not returned to his home.

They were not able to trace Naveena on September 27 and 28, after which they informed the police on September 29. In the meantime, Naveena was abducted in a car in broad daylight from Gohana bus stand by the four accused. They took her to Hartadi in Panipat district where she was gangraped for two days.

The Village Sarpanch who belongs to same community as Naveena assisted the family in tracking her. The police, taking the lead from Shravan’s mobile number, nabbed the culprits on September 29.

Three of the accused belongs to same ‘Dhanak’ community. The fourth accused of Sikandara Manjara village belongs to Brahmin community.

We had gone in the daytime, so Naveena was away working in the fields. We were unable to meet her in spite of our efforts, so many unanswered questions remain about the incident.

 

Our Demands:

Protection to the rape survivor, speedy trial, and punishment for those identified by the survivor as the rapists.

 

Sachhakheda case

Sharmila, aged 16 years, committed suicide after being raped by Pradeep and Naveen in broad day light on Oct 6, 2012. The accused were assisted in the crime by Manoj, Meenu (Manoj’s wife) and Sanjeev.

The victim as well as the accused belongs to same Balmiki community.

The Incident

While Sharmila was returning home she was dragged into Manoj’s house, near her own house, by one of the accused, Pradeep. While she was being raped Manoj, Meenu and Sanjeev kept guard.

After the incident the girl later went to her uncle house nearby, poured kerosene on her body and immolated herself. On hearing her screams, the neighbours rushed to the spot and informed the police.

She was taken to Narwana Hospital in police van and was referred to Rohtak hospital. Her statement was recorded by the Magistrate only after much persuasion and delay, before she succumbed to her injuries at the emergency ward of the hospital.

One of the accused Manoj is related to the sitting MLA Prithvi Singh of INLD of Narwana constituency. After the initial lapse the police was able to nab all the accused in the next two days. However, Sharmila’s family was apprehensive that Manoj might escape punishment.

The Sarpanch of Saccha Kheda village, Nirmala, was initially reluctant to discuss the case, leaving it to her husband Ram Bhagat to do the talking. Eventually they both adopted the refrain, “The guilty should be punished but the innocent should not face unjust action,” indicating that in their view Manoj and Meenu are being unjustly accused. But they could not explain what motive Sharmila’s family had to level false accusations on anyone. The Sarpanch’s home had several large photographs and displays dedicated to the Chautala family and the INLD.

As per some news reports the accused have also made advances earlier on Sharmila which was duly informed to the police but no action was taken.

 

Our Demands

  1. 1.     The rapists, as well as those who enabled the rape by preventing the victim’s escape, must be punished severely. 
  2. 2.     Measures must be taken to prevent any of the accused from taking refuge behind political protection. 

 

General Observations and Conclusions

  

The spate of rape cases in Haryana is cause enough for concern. The CM, Bhoopinder Hooda, has said there is nothing alarming about these incidents since they are not unique to Haryana. Sonia Gandhi too has said that the Haryana Government cannot be held responsible for the rapes.

 

However, it is impossible to deny that the Government, as well as the entire ruling establishment including the ruling party and the main Opposition party, are deeply culpable for the rising instances of rapes and other crimes against women.

 

Dharmveer Goyat, one of the spokespersons for the ruling Congress, has declared that 90% of rapes are consensual. In other words, most rape complainants are liars, in his view.

Phool Chand Mulana, Chief of Haryana’s ruling party, the Congress, declared that the rapes are a conspiracy against the Government.

Khap panchayat leaders and former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala proposed child marriage as a solution to prevent rape. ‘Child marriage’ – i.e marriage before the age of 16 – is something the khap panchayats have long been demanding. Because marriage in childhood can help achieve their objective of preventing self-choice marriages – that they otherwise seek to achieve through threats of violence and ‘honour’ killings. When Haryana DGP R S Dalal said parents need to keep an eye on the activities of their children, he too is advocating greater surveillance – mainly on the mobility of young girls.

Rape itself is one way of maintaining patriarchal and caste domination through terror. And these reactionary ‘solutions’ for rape only seek to strengthen the patriarchal stranglehold on women.

The fact is that casteist and patriarchal forces are feeling emboldened because they feel that the Haryana Government and the police are with them. The Government and police have time and again protected the perpetrators of ‘honour crimes’ and atrocities against dalits be it at Bhagana, Mirchhpur, or Gohana. And this is undoubtedly a factor in the increasing rapes and other forms of violence on women.

We hear praise from some quarters nowadays for the Haryana Government’s efforts to campaign against sex-selective abortion by roping in the khap panchayats. The khap panchayats have also offered their services in preventing and punishing rape – suggesting that social boycott of rapists would be a deterrent. We believe that such initiatives are dishonest and misleading. Violence against women – be it rape, ‘honour’ crimes or sex-selective abortion – can be resisted and curbed only by measures that safeguard and promote women’s equality and rights and by struggles against patriarchal forces, attitudes, and structures. The solution to crimes against women cannot come from those very patriarchal forces that are the bulwark of sexist and misogynist attitudes.

Rather than claiming to rope in khap panchayats to fight crimes on women, the Haryana Government ought rather to heed the demands of women’s groups, act firmly against the anti-constitutional activities of khap panchayats; and come down hard on any instances of collusion between police forces and khap panchayats or others accused of crimes against women and Dalits.

d’bi.young anitafrika: We women are warriors #Mustwatch #Inktalks


d’bi.young anitafrika, affectionately know as d’bi. is an internationally celebrated Jamaican dubpoet, monodramatist and educator whose socially-conscious performance art works have made an indelible mark upon the global psyche. After moving from Kingston Jamaica in 1993, she exploded onto the Canadian theatre scene in 2001 as the unbelievable storyteller in ‘da kink in my hair’ which played at London’s Hackney Empire Theatre in 2006 and has toured globally.


Since then d’bi. has written 8 plays: solitary, yagayah (published), androgyne (excerpt published), she, domestic and the sankofa trilogy, featuring the award winning monodramas blood.claat, benu, and word! sound! powah! Her groundbreaking Biomyth Sorplusi Method assists artists worldwide with developing their personal integrity in art-making and is being practiced in over 8 countries. Ms. young’s work has been produced at Canadian theatres: Passe Muraille, Buddies in Bad Times, GCTC, Firehall and internationally at London’s Free Word Centre, Barcelona’s CCCB, Havana’s Teatro Nacional, Cape Town’s City Hall, India’s Counter Culture, Belfast’s Metropolitan Arts Centre, Kingston Jamaica’s Edna Manley College and Barbados’s Queen’s Park

Storyteller d’bi.young anitafrika uses the art of dub poetry to weave a story of childhood sexual abuse and HIV in this beautifully intense performance.  She performe din Pune in last week of October,a s part of inktalks. INKtalks are personal narratives that get straight to the heart of issues in 18 minutes or less. We are committed to capturing and sharing breakthrough ideas, inspiring stories and surprising perspectives–for free!

Watch an INKtalk and meet the people who are designing the future–now.
http://INKtalks.com

#India-Illegal ads on #Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT


To

Corporate communication

Google, India

2 November 2012

Complaint—Regarding illegal ads on Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT

The Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act has banned the promotion or advertisement of services that allows one to choose the sex of one’s baby. Yet, Google is carrying advertisements of  the link of IVF that leads to websites that offer these services. Each time a person clicks on the ad, these companies makes money.

The Indian law against sex selection is comprehensive.   Section 22 defines advertisement and Section 26 states the penalties for violation by Companies.  They are given below:

Section 22:  Prohibition of advertisement relating to pre-natal determination of sex and punishment for contravention.

1.    No person, organization, Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic, including clinic, laboratory or centre having ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or any other technology capable of undertaking determination of sex of foetus or sex selection shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement, in any form, including Internet, regarding facilities of pre-natal determination of sex or sex selection before conception available at such centre, laboratory, clinic or at any other place.
2.    No person or organization including Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement in any manner regarding pre-natal determination or preconception selection of sex by any means whatsoever, scientific or otherwise.
3.    Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “advertisement” includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or any other document including advertisement through Internet or any other media in electronic or print form and also includes any visible representation made by means of any hoarding, wall-painting, signal, light, sound, smoke or gas.

26. Offences by companies.

(1) Where any offence, punishable under this Act has been committed  by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence punishable under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,– (a) “company” means anybody corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals, and

(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

The Indian Parliament enacted a special law because the medical community was not self-regulating these serious violations of medical ethics. The practice of sex selection is prohibited while foetal sex determination is regulated.

The PCPNDT Act applies to advertisements and content that advertises sex selection or foetal sex determination  methods/procedures/techniques.  Any form of advertising in India that promotes techniques, products or procedures of sex selection, sex determination is a violation of the law.

In 2008, theSupreme Court of India had served notices to you,  yet  violations of the law continue with impunity and  in response Google had issued a statement saying  “The Google advertising program is managed by a set of policies which we develop based on several factors, including legal requirements and user experience. In India, we do not allow ads for the promotion of prenatal gender determination or preconception sex selection. We take local laws extremely seriously and will review the petition carefully.”

But once again sex selection ads are mushrooming in your search engine in India  and the   continued violation in the Indian Internet space by  your company is  shocking.

Although the google policy when you click here http://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=176072

India

Product Allowed? Details
Dowry requests  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote dowry requests or the offering or sale of dowry. “Dowry” means any property or valuable security given by the bride to the groom for marriage.
Doctor, lawyer, or accountant services  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads for services offered by doctors, lawyers, or accountants.
Gender or sex selection  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote the pre-natal determination of the gender of a child, or pre-conception selection of sex.
Infant food, milk substitutes, feeding bottles  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote or encourage the use of infant food, milk substitutes, or feeding bottles.

When  you  search of gender selection or sex selection on your search engine  you  get a sponsored ad

and when you  click the link you get
and further page says
There are more sites on google search as well violating the law like genselect.com
wherein you can also order the gender selection kit online

I demand you immediately remove gender /sex selection ads from  google search engine in India

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, for Forum against Sex Selection (FASS) Mumbai

Mumbai

cc-  1) Director, PNDT Division, New Delhi

2) Cybercrime cell,  Mumbai