If there is terror, it has to be a Muslim. If he is a Muslim, he has to be from the IM #minorityrights


Nothing Learnt
If there is terror, it has to be a Muslim. If he is a Muslim, he has to be from the IM. If it is the IM, it must have acted at the instance of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
B. RAMAN, outlook
It is less than 48 hours since the two blasts in the Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad on the evening of February 21, 2013, resulted in the death of 16 innocent civilians.
The police and the intelligence agencies are still in the preliminary stages of the investigation. They have not yet done a reconstruction of the act of terrorism. The collection and examination of the forensic evidence have not yet been completed .No arrests and interrogation have been made yet.

Instead of waiting till the investigation makes substantial progress, the police and the agencies, with the help of sensation-hungry media, have already started pointing the finger at the Muslim community, the Indian Mujahideen and Pakistan.

If there is terror, it has to be a Muslim. If he is a Muslim, he has to be from the IM. If it is the IM, it must have acted at the instance of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). That seems to be the thinking reflex of the police and the agencies.

In October last, according to the Delhi Police, a Muslim suspect belonging to the IM told them during his interrogation that the IM had recced the Dilsukhnagar area as a possible target. From this, one could have reasonable suspicion that the IM might have carried out the attack. To strengthen the suspicion, one must have additional evidence which has not been forthcoming till now. Despite this, the police and the agencies in their mind have already  turned the suspicion into certainty. Almost the entire investigation is now focused on the IM, overlooking other possibilities.

One cannot think of a more unprofessional way of dealing with terrorism. Very often, our initial hasty conclusions remain unproved or uncorroborated. That is why the investigation of so many of our terrorism cases  has reached a dead end. Many of the cases  remain undetected or unprosecuted or unsuccessful even if prosecuted.

After every few months, we are taken by surprise by a new act of terrorism because we didn’t investigate professionally the previous acts of terrorism. Our track record has been one of hurtling from one hasty conclusion to another.

Instead of learning lessons from the past, we continue repeating the same mistakes. Imprecise intelligence, alerts not followed up by ground action to strengthen physical security, lack of beat patrolling by the police despite our talking about it for years, absence of professional reconstruction of an act of terrorism to determine how the terrorists managed to succeed, cover-up of the sins of commission and omission of our police and agencies–that has been our track record. Unless we get out of this unprofessional rut, terrorists will continue to strike with impunity and innocent civilians will continue to die.

B. Raman is Additional Secretary (Retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies


Md Ryeesuddin arrested by Hyderabad Police for Questioning in Dilshuk Nagar Twin Blast.

Feb 24, 2013
Mohammed Rayeesuddin S/o Md Sayeeduddin R/o hashimabad, Chandrayanguta
(Age-35 years) was arrested by Police (plainclothes men) while he was
going on Chandrayangutta road at around 9:30 AM today and is missing
since then when inquired by the senior Police Officials  they denied
that he was picked up by any team of Hyderabad Police.

This is the same Md Rayees Uddin who was picked up post
Mecca Masjid Blast in 2007 and was kept in Illegal Coustody,
Tourchered and shown as culprit in two Crime No: 100/2007 & Crime No:
107/2007 (Hussainialam Police Station) cases and was in Jail for 8
months, After attending Court for 22 months he was set free by Honble
Courts. After the Confection of Swami Aseemanand about the involvement
of Abhinav Bharat a sister Organization of RSS involvement in
different Blasts in India including Mecca Masjid Blast the Andhra
Pradesh Police gave a Good Conduct Certificate to Md Rayeesuddin and
was also listed for Rs/ 2.0 lakhs compensation. He could not get the
sanctioned compensation as one case was pending against him.Md Rayees
Uddin is a key witness in a case against the Gujarat Police booked in
Saifabad Police Station which was booked when Mujahid Saleem Islahi
S/o Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi was shot dead by Mr. Narender Kumar
Amin (ACP Gujarat Police) during the arrest of Maulana Naseeruddin at
DGP, Office Lakdi Ka Pull. The Andhra Pradesh Police time and again
arrest and files fake cases against Md Rayeesuddin to put pressure on
him to get himself withdrawn as a witness from the case against
Gujarat Police who is wanted in Mujahid Saleem Islahi Case.Narender
Kumar Amin (ACP) is in Judicial Custody in Sabarmati Jail,Gujrath in
Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. The Andhra Pradesh Police did not
bother once o bring the accused that are in Judicial custody in
Gujarat by producing warrant and produce them in Andhra Pradesh Court.
Mr. Amjed Ullah Khan (Corporator) & Youth leader MBT visited the house
of Md Rayeesuddin and met his family member Mrs. Zahida Begum (mother)
Mrs. Salwa Begum (Wife) and said that all legal help will be provided
to Md Rayeesuddin by MBT party. He said that he will represent the
matter to Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Sri Kiran Kumar Reddy and
Dinesh Reddy (IPS) Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh

Corporator 35-Azampura Div
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
HNo:16-3-527 Chanchalguda


Arc of Justice: What’s in a name?


Mirroring the contradictory discourses at play in Dalit discourse.
Ananya VajpeyiMirroring the contradictory discourses at play in Dalit discourse.

Ambedkar’s Buddhism suggests ways to tackle both the politics and metaphysics of identity.

A conference on “Phule-Ambedkar Ideology” and its influence on literature took me to Nasik, Maharashtra, in late January 2013. Hosted at a small local college, the conference drew speakers mostly from universities within Maharashtra, but also a few outsiders like me. Besides a number of academics from the region, poets Vaharu Sonawane and Lakshman Gaekwad, and politicians Udit Raj and Raja Dhale also attended, and made impassioned speeches. The focus was supposed to be on literature — autobiographies, biographies, novels, plays, poetry, literary criticism and aesthetic theories — but perhaps inevitably the discussion, proceeding mostly in Marathi, included all aspects of Dalit life, politics, history and writing. Outside in the college courtyard, a book display included not just a sample of literary works in Marathi and Hindi by Dalit writers, but also an assortment of books by or to do with Gautama Buddha, Kabir, Mahatma Phule, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Vinayak Savarkar, Chatrapati Shivaji, and, oddly, Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama. Some pamphlets on reservations policy, human rights and constitutional law were also on sale. Radical and reactionary works sat side-by-side on tables laid out in the winter sun; the uncomfortable assemblage mirrored quite precisely the contradictory tendencies at play in Dalit discourse in Maharashtra today.

Later, whilst speaking with some of the conference participants as well as with activists outside the academy who happened to be living in Nasik, I discovered for the first time that among groups that self-identify as Ambedkarite Buddhist or Neo-Buddhist, the term “Dalit” is no longer favoured.

Why is this? I asked. Because it connotes humiliation, was one reply, and because it is still tied to the Hindu caste system. But isn’t the humiliation productive of righteous anger and defiant energy, and hadn’t the Hindu caste system been left behind through the outright rejection of terms like “Untouchable”, “Mahar”, “antyaja”, “panchama” and even the Gandhian “Harijan”? My informants disagreed. “We are Buddhists,” they said, “and we are followers of Babasaheb. These terminologies are now redundant. We have nothing to do with Hinduism or its hierarchies.”

But how do you build solidarities with other followers of Ambedkar who are not Buddhists (like in north India or south India), and who do use names like “Dalit” or “Dalit-Bahujan” to describe their socio-political identity? I did not receive any clear response to this question, despite posing it in myriad ways. Perhaps there is a genuine impasse in the building of an all-India Dalit movement precisely for this reason; that at a fundamental level different segments do not have similar ways of constructing identity or of situating evolving identities with regard to either recent or deep history.

Economically and educationally advancing Maharashtrian Buddhists, whom I encountered in Nasik, expressed their discomfort not just with “Dalit” but also with “Scheduled Caste” as an appellation. They regarded “SC/ST” certificates as useful instruments in terms of accessing certain forms of social justice and political representation, but also seemed resentful of the connotations of inequality and lack of ability, the smell of being “undeserving” of a rightful place alongside others that sneak in along with the Trojan horse of reservation. Buddhism seemed then to be a provisional solution to the problem of identity. It makes a clear break from the Hindu caste system, but also brackets the subtly humiliating baggage of modern forms of compensatory discrimination. Not that the actual problems go away if we do not take their name, but at least Buddhism provides some sort of breathing room away from the entire dynamic of caste and the annihilation of caste in which generations of people have been trapped for nearly three quarters of a century now.

More recently at my place of work, in a special meeting to mark 30 years of Ranajit Guha’s foundational work of Subaltern Studies, Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India(1983), poet and scholar Professor Badri Narayan, associated with the G.B. Pant Social Science Institute in Allahabad, spoke about Dalit politics in Uttar Pradesh. Not only did he use terms like “Dalit” and “Dalit-Bahujan”, he also described how particular jatis like the Chamars — because of the direct patronage of leaders like the late Kanshi Ram and former UP Chief Minister Mayawati — seemed to enjoy prominence and privileges far in excess of well over 60 other Dalit groups in the state. This has created new inequalities and imbalances within the Dalit community, adding to the already existing distortions in the relations between upper castes and backward castes, the majority community and the minority Muslims, and other problems of UP’s social landscape with which we are all familiar.

Professor Narayan suggested that elements like widespread education, the formation of an elite class, the activities of intellectuals, the awareness of caste histories and their availability in written form — all of these provide value and visibility to the Chamars, while other communities lag behind. He too reported that the increasing use of Buddhist imagery, concepts and vocabulary when addressing the most backward of the Dalit groups in UP was proving to be a somewhat effective antidote to persistent feelings of low status, lack of self-worth and self-confidence, and the sense of being stuck in a centuries-old rut inside traditional caste politics.

Badri Narayan did not develop this point extensively, but there might be a way in which it is not just the overt politics of Buddhist identification that proves to be empowering (Buddhists are not Hindus), but also the very nature of Buddhist epistemology that could be emancipatory (managing and overcoming perceptions in order to grasp reality, the negation of appearances in order to approach actuality). As Neo-Buddhists and non-Buddhist Dalits evolve various strategies of self, sovereignty and empowerment, and figure out the common goals of their distinct practices of identity-formation, B.R. Ambedkar’s far-sightedness in embracing Buddhism will surely become more clear to us than it might be today.


Shot Dalit activist told police about threat to life on January 18

 Pune, IE, FEb 25, 2013

Dalit human rights activist Chandrakant Jaywant Gaikwad (30) shot dead on Tuesday had filed a complaint at Walchandnagar police station hardly a month ago stating a threat to his life and activists have now sought action against the police for not acting on the complaint, which they said could have prevented the killing.

The same people Gaikwad suspected were allegedly behind his murder.

Pune rural police have intensified a search for the suspects including notorious goon Satpal Mahadev Rupnavar (22) of Jamb, his aide Santosh alias Lubya Chandalkar and three others.

Gaikwad, shot dead at Jamb village of Indapur taluka in Pune district, had on January 18, 2013, reportedly hinted at a plot by them to murder him. Activists allege his murder even after his complaint is the result of police failure in taking prompt action.

Superintendent of police Manoj Lohiya, however, said they had followed up on Gaikwad’s complaint but had been misled.

“Following Gaikwad’s application, the assistant inspector at Walchandnagar police station did question a man who had reportedly given information to Gaikwad about threats to him from the suspects. But the man denied having given such information.”

CCTV footage shows double-murder suspect was miles away from crime spot

A sessions court has granted bail to a 22-year-old engineering student in a double-murder case after CCTV footage was shown as proof to show he was at Tuljapur Temple, about 250 km away from the scene of crime, on the day of the incident, December 2011.

The student, Kiran Sidhram Jadhav of Chinchwadgaon was one of the suspects arrested in the case. Additional sessions judge S D Tekale granted Jadhav bail on the condition of co-operating with police and a personal bond of Rs 50,000. Milind Pawar and Sachin Hingekar were the defendant’s lawyers. On the night of December 8, 2011, Raju Chaudhary (30), a worker at SR Traders at Borate Vasti, and Baadshah Siddiqui (26), brother-in-law of the owner of SR Traders Salim Siddiqui, were beaten to death inside a godown.



What Does the Oscars Have Against Women? #oscarwomen

It’s time for a serious national conversation on male bias in the film industry.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

February 20, 2013  |

Stop the presses! Hollywood is still a man’s world. If you have any doubt, consider this: last year, six entire Academy Awards categories were completely free of female nominations. It’s even worse this year, up to seven. The roster of 2013 nominees includes 140 men and a paltry 35 women. Getting nominated is a huge factor in career success for every aspect of the film business, from acting and directing to editing and production.

So what’s up with the man bias?

Might have something to do with the fact that a bunch of older white dudes hold the cards when it comes time to pick winners. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the brainchild of Louis B. Mayer, the legendary head of MGM, comprises mostly working professionals in film and television. Its membership is highly secretive, and includes only people who have been nominated for an Oscar, recommended by at least two current members, or endorsed by the branch’s membership committee or the academy staff.

Sound kind of like a frat? It is. According to a 2012 study by the L.A. Times, 77 percent of Oscar voters are male. They also have a median age of 62. The study found that some of the academy’s 15 branches are nearly all white and male. “Men compose more than 90% of five branches,” noted the Times, “including cinematography and visual effects. Of the academy’s 43-member board of governors, six are women; public relations executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs is the sole person of color.”

That is a sorry state of affairs. As Julie Barton, president of the Women’s Media Center, recently put it: “In a film industry where 78% of the top-grossing 250 films of 2012 had no female writers, and 89% of them had no female directors, the Hollywood boys’ club needs to start admitting women.”

Academy leaders say they have been trying to diversify, but they face a daunting problem: the entire industry lacks diversity. Fewer than one in five screenwriters is female, and women directors make up less than 10 percent of the total. A vicious, self-reinforcing cylce exists in which guys pick the winners, winners get the jobs, and then these same folks go on to join the boys club.

There are very few signs that the circle will be broken any time soon, despite the recent success of women like Kathryn Bigelow, whose film The Hurt Lockerlanded her a Best Director award in 2009. (Her most recent film, Zero Dark Thirty, is up for several awards this year, including Best Actress, though Bigelow was not nominated for Best Director this time around.) Unfortunately, Bigelow is the exception that proves the rule in a business where sexism pervades every aspect. Consider pay scales: in 2009, the median annual pay in film was about $76,500 for men, compared with just $62,500 for women.

Predictably, movies made by men are also made for men. The Bechdel test, invented by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, tests movies for gender bias. The test is based on three questions: Does a movie contain two or more female characters who have names? Do those characters talk to each other? If so, do they discuss something besides men? The test demonstrates that movies in which women act as the handmaidens to male adventures are still the norm, and even in films with female characters, the interactions between the women are primarily concerned with what the male characters are doing.

Looking at recent movies, Zero Dark Thirtypasses the Bechdel test, because even though the women in the film talk to each other about Bin Laden, he’s certainly not a love interest, and their conversations have a political context and often concern the planning of strategy. Gangster Squad, on the other hand (one of the most stupifyingly tedious films I have ever seen, and that’s saying a lot) flunks the Bechdel. There are two named female characters, but they don’t have anything to say to each other, and they probably couldn’t hear each other if they did, for all the pointless shooting.

Americans are patting themselves on the backs right now for Oscar-nominated films like Lincoln and Django Unchained that purportedly further the conversation on race. But there’s a deafening silence on how the film industry remains stuck in testosterone-soaked aspic when it comes to sexism.

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of ‘Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.’ She received her Ph.d in English and Cultural Theory from NYU, where she has taught essay writing and semiotics. She is the Director of AlterNet’s New Economic Dialogue Project. Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.


Oscar-Nominated ‘Invisible War’ Reveals Hidden Rape Crisis in the Military #Vaw

By Ely Brown, abcnews

Feb 22, 2013 1:41pm

Women have reached some of the highest echelons in the military.  They command fighter pilot wings and fly the president on Marine One. They have earned silver stars for courage fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a general’s four stars.

But while they may be succeeding on the front lines, there is an invisible battle that is taking its toll.  According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, some 30 percent of women have been raped or sexually assaulted while serving their country,  and in total numbers, more men than women are victims of sexual assault.

Shining a light on this hidden epidemic is “The Invisible War,” an Oscar-nominated documentary by filmmaker Kirby Dick.

FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2013 Awards

“I was just astounded by the statistics,” Dick told “Nightline” anchor Cynthia McFadden.  “Nineteen thousand men and women are being sexually assaulted each year in the United States military.”

The film unveils not just the high prevalence of attacks, but also focuses on the military’s response.

“We interviewed more than 50 survivors on camera,” Dick said.  “You keep hearing the same stories over again and again.  Three times we heard a story, a woman who was single, raped by a married man.  Yet, she was charged with or threatened to be charged with adultery.”

Jessica Hinves is one of the many survivors who shared their stories with the filmmakers.  Hinves comes from a military family and joined the Air Force, rising through the ranks to become a crew chief for an F-15.

“I was always taught that it’s every citizen’s duty to join the military,” Hinves said.  “I looked forward to retiring in the military. Unfortunately I was medically retired with PTSD from being raped.”

It happened in 2009.

“I went to go to sleep and this guy was in an adjoining room and he broke in through my bathroom and raped me.  [He] walked back out to the adjoining room, grabbed his book bag, didn’t say anything to anybody and left. I went and got a rape kit and because the girl in the next room reported it, the case was opened.”

ht jessica hinves jef 130222 wblog Oscar Nominated Invisible War Reveals Hidden Rape Crisis in the Military Credit: Jessica Hinves

Hinves’ case was investigated, but in the meantime she was forced to transfer to another base.  Her attacker claimed that he stopped when she said no, but a court date was set to try the case.

Just days before, however, the chain of command weighed in and stopped the case from proceeding.  In the military, the decision to investigate rape and sexual assault cases belongs not to law enforcement, but to the commanders.  Only 8 percent of assault cases are prosecuted.

“I felt like this is a threat to justice and this is so wrong,” Hinves said.

Attorney Susan Burke agrees.  “It is fully controlled by the chain of command,” Burke said. “It is not an impartial judicial system the way we expect as Americans. So from my perspective what we have is the very people who are the bravest among us, most willing to get out there and sacrifice to defend the nation [and] they don’t enjoy the same justice that we as Americans take for granted.”

Burke represents Hinves and about a dozen of other servicemen and women in a lawsuit against the military.  The case was recently dismissed.

“There is a judicial doctrine that basically insulates, immunizes the military from any kind of lawsuit from civilian court. If the activity is – the buzz phrase is incident to service – so it’s an occupational hazard.”

Burke is appealing the decision.

As for the military, rather than criticize the film, the filmmakers say it has been used in sexual assault training programs.

“We estimate that in 2012 alone ten percent of the military saw the film,” Dick said.  “We hope that changes culture.  But again the most important change has to come.”

And that may be happening.  Days after screening the film, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta underscored that sexual assault has no place in military service and offered changes in how military assault cases are investigated and prosecuted.

But Susan Burke wants to see a change in the law.  “If Congress doesn’t step forward and fix it we have made our troops second class citizens in our own nation.”

It is a fixable problem.  “It doesn’t need to take another 20 years or even a year or two,” Hinves said.  “This can be done immediately and effectively.”




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February 2013
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