#India- Narendra Modi is not a PRIME MINISTER candidate #mustshare


 

Achilles Rasquinha

June 1, 2013 by thejalebichronicles

em>Machiavellian Ministrations:- Political views and opinions

Namo

Snow-white stubble, saffron pride, jaguar style. Narendra Modi never fails to be the most controversial man since the Big Bang. His Vibrant Gujarat propaganda has been rubbed over every face of other ruling states as his chest continues to inflate with blissful air. His smile is similar to that of Lincoln, and Lincoln never smiled. BJP’s unshaken hope and Hindu-nationalists’ new demigod: Shri Narendra Modi remains an icon in the eyes of every saffron soul in India. But wait before you put your faith into what has been called ‘Prime Minister’ material, there is more that remains hidden than open.

Myth 1: “Modi’s Gujaratonomics!”
The debunking myth revolving around the so-called “Gujaratonomics” that Modi boasts all about is that he hasn’t raised the stakes high at all. Why do people fail to decipherer this myth?

The GDP of a state could be considered the most primary indicator to denote whether a sector is healthy in terms of its economy or not. Let us consider the GDP of Gujarat and 4 other states over the past three decades.

State

1980-1990

1991-1998

2002-2012

Gujarat

5.08

9.57

10.28

Maharashtra

6.02

8.01

9.90

Tamil Nadu

5.38

6.22

8.92

Karnataka

5.29

5.29

8.39

Andhra Pradesh

5.65

5.03

8.23

Analyse the rate of gross GDP over the three decades. During 1991-1998, the rate of gross GDP of Gujarat reaches impressively and is almost two times more than that with respect to the previous decade. However, during 2002-2012 (Modi regime), there isn’t much difference with respect to its past performance or at the same time in comparison with the other states.

The reason for a radical change during the decade pre-Modi regime is due to a master strategist, Chimanbhai Patel who served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 1990-91 and 1993-1994. Chimanbhai Patel is considered as the “Father of Modern Industrial Gujarat” which came into existence due to his industrialization master plan. So Growth of Gujarat pre-dates Modi.

Here is more. During Chimanbhai Patel’s reign, the Net Domestic Product (NDP) of the state was 16.75% per annum, not to forget that India wasn’t a massive growth engine as it is today. On the other hand, during Modi’s tenure, the NDP of the state remains 16.25% per annum, comparatively less to that what Chimanbhai has achieved. One must also consider that Modi has served as the Chielf Minister of the state for almost a decade while Chimanbhai served comparatively less than half of Modi’s tenure. Modi may have sustained the growth rate but he is surely not the “messiah” for Gujarat’s economic growth, something we all fail to decipher.

There is no doubt about Modi’s Gujarat reaching the top five states in terms of GDP. Today, Maharashtra, UP, AP and Tamil Nadu too reach the top five chart.

So Mr. Modi, why all the hype and boast?

Myth 2: “The Modi Operandi: Potential? I think not.”
Modi isn’t the only one who boasts all about Gujarat’s urbanized development and at the same time, who fails to meet the needs of the weaker sections of the society. History repeats itself and here is why.

A man of name Nara Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh served as the Chief Minister of the state until from 1995 to 2004, almost a 10 year regime and impressively similar to Modi’s tenure. Chandrababu Naidu provided an enormous boon in the urban areas of Hyderabad in terms of development in the IT sector, technology, healthcare facilities, infrastructure, etc. Emphasizing on urbanization was his core agenda. He would often chant slogans saying “Bye-Bye Bangalore, Hello Hyderabad!” However, Chandrababu lost the 2004 elections and a reason to this was his weak propaganda for the rural sections of the state who succumbed to ill-fate due to drought in the state and which also led many farmers to commit suicide.

Here is a similar scenario. Modi has been rubbing his ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ propaganda all over and over every face of the other ruling states. But the same Modi government fails to sustain Gujarat’s greatest life line, something more controversial than the man himself: the Narmada Dam Project.

Why?

In the year 2007, the Modi government promised the state that the project will be completed by 2010. But the same government extends the deadline to 2014. Here’s more. The Modi government also stated that the project will channelize 75,000 km of canals for irrigation and agricultural needs and for drinking water. But during his 10 year regime, Modi failed to complete err…not even 10,000 km of canals, almost 70% of the work yet to be done. And this is what the sensational Gujarat is all about.

The complete project expects to irrigate more than 75% of Gujarat’s drought-prone areas consisting 1.845 million hectors and would raise the agricultural growth by 6%. But the current scenario tells another tale.

In Modi’s Gujarat, water from the Narmada which is meant for irrigation and drinking, is being supplied to industries, thus neglecting the people of drought prone areas. Thought Modi’s Gujarat is pro-societal on all levels? Think again. In Modi’s Gujarat, no Narmada water for dalits. Farmers who have put their faith on his flawed promises still await today for the waters from the Narmada to reach their fields.



“It’s been 20 years since I have been farming and have been waiting for the Narmada water to reach my field. But unfortunately, the canals have not been laid so there is no water and I cannot irrigate my farm. I am still waiting.” – 
Khumansinh Jadeja from Dhangadhra town, Saurashtra

Alas, there has been a plague of suicides committed by farmers in Gujarat who’ve failed to pay their debts due to the drought-hit, a death toll reaching more than 135 in the past five years. Has Modi got to say anything to this? But no. Modi unashamedly blames the Central government (who plays no role in the project), or in his words, “anti-Gujarati forces” for the non-completion of this project. Instead of playing a blame-game, why has Modi blatantly failed to understand the potentiality of this massive project?

Myth 3: “When I glanced through 2001 census in 2004, it gave me goose bumps!”– Narendra Modi at the FICCI Ladies Meet, 2013.

There is no doubt that Mr. Modi never ‘glanced through the 2011 census in 2013’. If he did, he would have fainted! Let’s compare Gujarat’s goose-bumping 2001 census with 2011.

Untitled

Sex Ratio drops from 921 to 918 while the Child Sex Ratio drops with a heavy downfall of 964 to 886. This hasn’t been a case in almost every state, something Modi is unable to boast about.

One might say that this is a clear understanding of what takes place in the rural niches of Gujarat. The case reveals itself in a large part in the urbanized cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, etc; almost 2.5 lakh girls are missing during 2004 to 2011. Why?

– Wide-spread use of sex-selective abortions.
– No penal code against the misuse of the PNDT Act which bans
sex-selection testing.
– Failure to track down pregnancies during registration and delivery.

Pfft! And this is what the Governance in Gujarat is all about.

Myth 4: “Faith in Faith, restored?”

Now here is a reason why one must fear if the BJP comes into power. In the year 2003 (during the Modi regime), the Hindu nationalist political party passed an anti-conversion law in the state of Gujarat. This means that even by freedom of choice, Hindus in the state of Gujarat are prohibited from converting to Christianity. According to the rules implemented in 2008, anyone willing to convert will have to go through herculean procedures until permission for conversion has been granted by the governmentFail to do so, and the person may be imprisoned for a year and sanctioned with a fine.

Gujarat is among the five states who have adopted the anti-conversion law. But unlike other states which merely provide  intimation of conversions, the state of Gujarat grants permission for conversions and considers it as a criminal offence on failing to abide by the law. Now why one must fear?

Article 25 of our constitution clearly states “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.” It also mentions that the state mustn’t intervene in any case of free and voluntary conversion from one religion to another but however, it does. So the anti-conversion rules violates the basic Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion.

Why has Modi’s BJP passed this unconstitutional law? According to the party, the answer is ’forced conversions’ which are taking place in Gujarat. But in 2008, leader of the All India Christian Council (AICC), Samson Christian disclosed the truth regarding the so-called ‘forced conversions’ occurring in Gujarat under the Right to Information Act 2005. After the law had been passed and till today, only one two complaints alleging ‘forcible’ conversions has taken place in the state. I guess the Hindu nationalists require a stronger justification as to why they have passed this unconstitutional law. Let’s not forget about the constant harassment on Christian workers by Hindu nationalists.

The point isn’t about enchanting “Jai Shri Ram” in the niches of the country or illegally pasting ‘Jesus loves you’ over every wall, but why curb the basic Fundamental Right which remains secular in the eyes of all? Wasn’t Hinduism a liberal religion anyway?

Mr. Modi is just one talking sock-puppet on Sesame Street. He fails to open his eyes to poverty and only looks to prosperity. The face of Hinduvta rage is burning in him; one can expect the rise of communalism if this man comes to power. Moreover, Modi unashamedly takes undue credit, be it in regards to Gujarat’s growth or even women’s empowerment to which he has no hand in; also considering the increased number of farmer suicides across Gujarat, malnutrition prevailing in the state and much more. Urbanization has been his core agenda but it has only increased a potential divide among societies within the state, thus neglecting the social suppression taking place in the rural niches of Gujarat. Economical facts about the state are surely noteworthy but yet again, why has Modi fail to uproot grass-root problems and instead, works on covering them up with questionable development which was not his idea in the first place?

Overall, call him a ‘Mollusionist!’ as he mesmerises his targets with his charming oratorical skills, private investment propagandas, claims and much more flawed claims. Never consider Mr. Modi to be the ‘only option left’ for he is a one you neither can love nor hate, but you cannot ignore him.

 

 

 

#India -an Appeal From Tribal Activist Himanshu Kumar: On Atrocities, Self Reflection


An Appeal From Tribal Activist Himanshu Kumar: On Atrocities, Self Reflection And More

Posted on: June 2, 2013
-Youth ki Awaaz

Translated from Hindi by Akhil Kumar

Self-Reflection Fast: How should India Behave With Its Tribal Population

Dear friends,

A large number of army troops are being sent to the tribal areas to establish peace.

Whereas past experience tells us that the entry of the army troops in tribal territory has never decreased unrest but escalated it instead.

For a long time now, the tribal people have faced oppression from the government. And if any one of them asks for justice against this oppression, they are branded as Naxalites and tortured again. The government has thus closed all doors of Justice for them.

Soni Sori, Linga Kodopi and Binayak Sen were a victim of government tyranny because they raised their voice against this injustice. We know that the educated and prosperous urban class of India does not see anything wrong with sending the army in large numbers to tribal areas in order to occupy the resources of the indigenous people.

Also, there are talks of using force to suppress the dissatisfaction caused by displacement due to this plunder of resources. But if India keeps killing its citizens like this, it will result in the moral degradation of the Indian community that holds power.

India will have to think, as a nation, on how should it behave with its native inhabitants.

Do we approve of occupying the lands of the tribal community on gun point? Do we believe that we can bring peace to the country after burning their villages, driving them out of their homes and occupying their land?

If once we get habituated to doing injustice to our own citizen, wouldn’t it make way for us to do it to everyone else tomorrow? Today, we will attack the tribals, then we’ll kill Dalits and go on to kill our villagers and then, one day, we will find ourselves surrounded by enemies that we created ourselves.

Hence, we need to review our behavior towards the tribal people as soon as possible.

It is my humble effort that we use this opportunity to ponder on this issue that how should the tribal people of this country be treated. To self introspect on this issue, I am sitting on an indefinite hunger strike from 1st June and I hope that you, wherever you are, will also introspect on it.

This is not just a question of the tribals but a question for all those who want to build a better society, where everyone gets justice because it is impossible to even think of peace without justice.

Please do visit Jantar Mantar if possible, we will be pleased.

Yours
Himanshu kumar
Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

09013893955
vcadantewada@gmail.com

 

PRESS RELEASE – Death of sand mining laborers: NBA demands inquiry


For Immediate Release
2nd June, 2013 *

**

*Two workers die in illegal sand mine in the Narmada Valley: Two more
serious *

**

*NBA demands comprehensive inquiry: Complete halt to the illegal activity**
** *

*Badwani:* In another shocking incident, two young wage labourers Bhanu S/o
Fathu and Jeevan S/o Vishram succumbed today on the spot in the illegal
sand mines in village Pendra, Tehsil and Dist Badwani, after being crushed
under the huge sand boulders. Two other labourers, Mendubai, widow of
Rajendra and Girdhari are hospitalized and are in a critical condition in
the ICU, after getting seriously wounded when the sandy hillocks and
eroding adjacent land slided, sinking the labourers for more than half an
hour.

The inquiry into the deaths by the police administration is obviously not
smooth while the illegal mining mafia is trying hook and crook to hush–hush
the matter and push the incident under the carpet. As per the brave and
candid statement of Mendu bai, not less than 300 to 400 workers were
working at the bottom of the huge mining pit, 40 feet deep, at the time of
the incident. The rains had made the sand walls brittle on all the four
sides and suddenly there was a massive slide. She and three others from her
own village, Raswa, Tehsil Kasravad, Dist Khargone, couldn’t run away while
others did and came under the heavy sand, resulting in the mishap. They
could be removed only after half an hour during which the death and wounds
occurred. Reportedly, the main contractor, Mr. Suresh Patel and his two
sons from village Kundia, had paid lakhs of rupees to Raju Jalal for
excavation of the land for sand. Earlier in the day, Medha Patkar and a few
activists visited the labourers admitted at the hospital and also the spot
at Village Pendra where the incident had occurred.

The adjacent land of Champalal Awasya and his brothers (Raju’s cousins),
other lands belonging to Mohan, Bherusing and his father Rukhadiya have
also been sold, while they are either yet to get land or have been
entangled in the fake registry scam. However, some of such land owner
oustees, along with the politician-bureaucrat-contractors nexus have earned
lakhs of ruppes in this illegal mine game, that is going on in village
after village in the Narmada valley, in the very lands that have been
acquired for or are adjacent to the lands acquired for the Sardar Sarovar
Project by the Narmada Valley Development Authority.

The Rehabilitation Officer, SSP, Badwani, has clearly stated in his letter
dated 14-05-2013 that the NVDA has never given a No-Objection Certificate
to the sand mining on the lands acquired for the SSP. The entire mining
activity is illegal since it violates the provisions of the Narmada Water
Disputes Tribunal Award that stipulate that the lands acquired can be used
only for the purposes of submergence and not otherwise. In spite of the
fact that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has categorically directed that no sand
mining leases or renewal of leases can be given without approval of the
Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Badwani Collector has given
an illegal three – month extension from the sand mines, from April, 2013.

Little action has been taken to arrest this illegal activity despite dozens
of complaints from numerous villages. NBA demands a complete halt to the
illegal sand mining as also the auction and lease process, and demands a
comprehensive inquiry into all such incidents that have been occurring time
and again, as also a detailed environmental impact assessment of the
activity that has been undertake thus far.

*Meera Mukesh
Kamla Yadav *

*Ph: *09826811982

The Candidate- Why Narendra Modi defends the undefendable


MODI1

Aakar Patel, Asian Age

Should ministers who murder their citizens not be pun ished? There is no answer from Gujarat’s chief minister Narendra Modi to this question.

 

A court has convicted his minister for women and child welfare Maya Kodnani to 28 years for rioting. She is currently in jail serving this sentence.

She supervised the murder of 98 Gujaratis in Ahmedabad, including three dozen children and women. The victims of the violence have specifically said after her conviction that they do not want her to be hanged, and that the 28 year sentence is enough.

 

However, the special investigating team that gathered evidence against the minister recommended to the state government that it should seek Kodnani’s hanging.

 

Last month, for some reason of its own, the state government first accepted that Kodnani would be hanged. And on May 14, Mr Modi decided this was a mistake and took back the state government’s recommendation of the death penalty. It was reported that the government is relooking at the matter, but what is clear is that a decision earlier taken is now again being thought over.

 

So what does Mr Modi want?

The fact is that Mr Modi has not even accepted Kodnani’s guilt, leave alone wanting the quantum of her punishment to be increased. When asked by reporters to comment, he says he cannot because the matter is subjudice (because Kodnani has appealed her conviction) though the truth is that he is wrong, since the case has already been adjudicated.

 

In fact, quite shamefully, he has made no statement on her at all. This is despite the fact that he gave her a ticket and then made her a minister while very serious allegations confronted her.

 

One problem he has is that in the 18 years that the BJP has ruled Gujarat, the state has become aggressively Hindutva-minded.

Large parts of the population and the entire group of the Sangh Parivar rejects the idea that any Hindus should be punished merely for retaliating against what they see as Muslim provocation.

 

There is enormous pressure on the government in this matter from these quarters. They are aghast that a Hindu minister should be held accountable.

 

The other aspect is that Mr Modi himself feels this way. He is, after all, a lifetime Sangh man. And believes, in my opinion wrongly, that the rest of the country is going to see it from his perspective.

The media will actually not let go of this Kodnani issue and only negatives can accrue to Mr Modi from this mistake. In an earlier column I noted that Mr Modi has been able to successfully keep separate his mismanagement of the riots from his agenda of development. He has done this well and because of it can deflect the negative attention that his antiMuslim and communal views bring. Such mistakes as he is making in the Kodnani issue bring his nasty side to the fore.

He will pay a price politically every time he fumbles on this.

 

The second person that Mr Modi thinks should not be punished is the thuggish Babu Bajrangi. From the Patel caste that is the BJP’s votebank and which dominates Gujarat’s Cabinet, Bajrangi is a man Mr Modi doesn’t want to alienate.

 

So keen is Mr Modi to appease the Patels that four out of nine ministers in his previous Cabinet and three out of seven in the current one are Patels.

 

Bajrangi became famous for forcibly undoing the marriages of Muslim boys with Hindu girls. He actively participated in the riots and was also convicted along with Kodnani. He represents the worst sort of Hindutva -crude, vulgar and violent -and it is a shame that even such people are being given a free pass by Mr Modi.

 

As I have said, the victims have specifically said they do not want the death penalty. This game is one that Mr Modi is playing against nobody in particular, and it is one that will damage him.

 

#India- There is a credibility crisis at all levels of government- Aruna Roy


, TNN | Jun 2, 2013, 05.58 AM IST

This week activist Aruna Roy walked out of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC), complaining about this government’s ideological bias and obsession with growth. She talks to Padmaparna Ghosh about the dilution of the social sector focus.This is the second time that you have resigned from the NAC. What brought you back in 2010?

My decisions to join or leave the NAC have been taken collectively by the organization I work with – the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS). I left in 2008 because at that time the NAC didn’t have a chairperson and was not playing the role it was supposed to. I returned in 2010 because there were many issues (such as the demand for a Right to Food bill) that needed a stronger policy framework and I felt it would be useful to channel the input that comes from many campaigns. The NAC has sent many important recommendations to the government. The recent NAC recommendations on the pre-legislative process if implemented immediately will provide all citizens an opportunity to participate in the making of laws. The need is to ensure that at least some of these recommendations are enacted and implemented.

How tough was it to find common ground between civil society and the government?

The agenda of the NAC is set by the government’s political commitments. Within that pre-deter mined agenda, the NAC has worked to incorporate civil society opinion to advise the government on how to take its agenda forward. NAC II has evolved detailed procedures such as the formation of working groups, which has allowed a broader consultative process. The NAC has maintained a focus on issues of significance to the poor and the social sector such as the MGNREGA and the Right to Food, and has taken up specific issues such as nomadic tribals and bonded labourers. One of the NAC’s important contributions has been to build the understanding that delivery systems and democratic governance are crucial to the effective implementation of any social sector initiative. Therefore, the RTI, and other transparency and accountability initiatives such as the social audit and recommendations for a pre-legislative process have been taken up.

How do you respond to those that call MGNREGA “demand-driven distress employment” and, therefore, ineligible for minimum wage?

The Minimum Wage Act came into effect in 1948 and has remained the bedrock for workers’ rights. Therefore the importance of payment of minimum wages to MGNREGA workers extends beyond the MGNREGA itself. If the Government refuses to pay minimum wages to workers on its own programme, it can never enforce the law for the millions of unorganised workers in the agricultural and industrial sectors. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that no one can even opt to work for less than the minimum wage, no employer can use a lack of resources as an excuse and any labour that is paid less should be considered forced.

The argument that the government does not have to pay minimum wages to people in distress only proves the SC’s point. In fact this issue goes straight to the core of the battle around MGNREGA. People who have been profiting from exploitation through payment of distress wages are now reacting because the MGNREGA has given workers the capacity to fight for minimum wages even outside the programme. By violating the Minimum Wages Act, the government is threatening to destroy the most significant labour protection measure in India.

How do you intend to press for its implementation from outside NAC?

The NAC is an advisory body. That is why I feel it necessary to concentrate on advocating in the public domain for the acceptance and implementation of these recommendations. I do not believe that a democratic government can keep refusing to respect the constitutional entitlement of a minimum wage. Public pressure needs to be built up around this issue, as we close in on elections.

What do you believe you have accomplished during your tenure at the NAC?

The NAC gave me an opportunity to raise multiple issues of concern to people’s movements and campaigns. It played a very important role in the passage of landmark legislations such as the RTI and MGNREGA. It was because of the NAC that experience from people’s campaigns was processed into powerful and effective draft laws. Even though this was often whittled down by the bureaucracy it served as a standard. My association with the NAC helped strengthen causes of the poor and marginalized I have been associated with over the last few years.

UPA-2’s credibility has been damaged in the recent past. Would you vote them back in 2014?

The crisis in credibility today is at all levels of government. Effective implementation is as important as the legislations themselves. Our solutions do not lie in thoughts between one election and another but in addressing the lack of transparency and accountability in governance structures. My politics has always been to enhance the participation of people within the democratic frameworks so that their voices are heard not just once in five years but every day

 

The convenience of labels: Who are the Maoists really?


 Sunday Guardian
Tanushree Bhasin  1st Jun 2013

Stills from the film At the Crossroads

he real terrorist in our country is the state. The Indian state needs to be put behind bars, not ordinary people,” said a visibly moved audience member at the screening of Deba Ranjan’s documentary about the oppressed tribals of South Orissa and their struggles with the state, At the Crossroads, at IHC recently. Focussing on this area specifically, Ranjan traced the journey of hapless adivasis and dalits who are caught in the crossfire between the state and the Maoists, rendering their existence completely unstable and miserable.

The Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh that killed Mahendra Karma and 27 others last week turned the media’s gaze back to the Maoist affected areas, filling news pages and screen time with uninterrupted talk about the Maoists and the threat they pose to the Indian state. And yet, one felt a certain gap in their analysis, or lack of it, of the situation in the red belt. Watching At the Crossroads seemed to bridge these gaps, offering an exceptionally critical and in-depth examination of the different realities that exist in these areas.

There is no dearth of information on how the state perceives the inhabitants of the mineral rich states of Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The mainstream media takes care of that, insisting that the adivasis protesting against the entry of private and foreign companies in the area are anti-national and anti-development and in their support for Maoist sensibilities, they also pose a grave threat to the safety and sovereignty of the Indian state. Alternative perspectives come by only rarely. Like Sanjay Kak‘s latest film Red Ant Dream, Ranjan’s film too seeks to understand the motivations of those who join the Maoist cadres but also those who don’t — ordinary tribals whose protests are not articulated through the gun.

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What emerges clearly through the film is how the state uses the labels of ‘Maoist’ or ‘Naxal’ to oppress entire populations so as to silence protests against neo-liberal policies.

What emerges clearly through the film is how the state uses the labels of ‘Maoist’ or ‘Naxal’ to oppress entire populations so as to silence protests against neo-liberal policies. “Just being inhabitants of these hills makes us Naxalites for the state,” characters often say. “By branding them Naxals, the state lets loose police and paramilitary forces who in collusion with local administrative officers and money lenders arrest anyone who raises his voice against unlawful land grab or corruption. Their only agenda is to hand over this land to corporates,” explained Ranjan after the screening.

Ranjan also traces how the idea of taking up arms on the one hand and selling off their land to ‘The Company’ on the other, started to appear attractive to different people. “When the state began inflicting such indiscriminate terror and violence on people, the youth particularly started joining the Maoists. Similarly, feeling cornered as a result of state pressure and lack of relief facilities, many ordinary adivasis began selling their lands in lue of paltry compensation,” said Ranjan.

The film also takes on the prevalent but problematic mindset that argues that tribals need to be accommodated in the mainstream which, it is believed, can only be done through industrialisation, even at the cost of destroying indigenous cultures and selling off minerals to foreign companies. “Most people believe that ‘The Company’ is absolutely essential for tribal development. As a result, guns are trained at those on the very margins in the name of this so called development. In Orissa, anyone who demands his/ her rights is a Maoist,” said Ranjan.

Such indiscriminate labelling affects those caught in the middle of this battle between the Indian state and the Maoists the most. When everyone living in a region is deemed a Maoist, it begs the important question — who are the Maoists really? The film seems to be saying, they are not as frightening as the government would have you believe; they are actually those disenfranchised and dispossessed citizens who were promised a very different future by the Constitution of our country, a text that no longer seems to hold any value to anyone.

 

The Terror After The Event – Himayat Baig’s Death Sentence


Date: 1 June 2013
Subject: The Terror After The Event | Ashish Khetan in Outlook

Indian Express Archive
18th victim? Baig leaves a Pune court after the verdict, Apr 18
opinion: terror probes
The Terror After The Event
The Maharashtra ATS’s investigations into terror cases has been dubious at best. Himayat Baig’s death sentence is the latest travesty.
Ashish Khetan

I was quite settled in my career when a court in Pune sentenced Mirza Himayat Baig, a terror suspect, to death in April this year. I was working with a TV station, drawing a decent salary and covering, among other beats, internal security. A source in the Maharashtra ATS—the same organisation that prosecuted Baig for the Pune German Bakery blast—had told me soon after the arrest that Baig was innocent but was being fixed by some senior ATS officers. The latter apparently felt that their prospects for future lucrative postings would be dented if the case remained unsolved. The blast happened in February 2010, Baig was arrested in September.

The usual suspects (always members of SIMI or some other radical Muslim outfit) being falsely implicated in terror cases by our investigating agencies is not a new phenomenon. We have only to check the trajectory of the series of terror cases that have ended in acquittals over the past 10 years. Mostly, after such acquittals there is the usual criticism from civil society and journalists, but that’s par for the course for our investigation agencies. After a few critical op-eds and commentaries, all is forgotten.

For over a year, I researched several terror investigations, including the 7/11 train blasts (2006) and collected material evidence—internal documents of the agencies themselves—that showed how they were peddling different versions of the same, integral terror plot before different courts of law. It was apparent that, for our agencies, the truth had multiple versions for multiple purposes. There was one version for internal consumption of the agencies, another for the courts. Within the courts, there was one version for a court in UP, another for a court in Gujarat and yet another for a court in Mumbai. Interrogation reports of terror sus­pects were tailored in different and often contradictory ways by different agencies to suit their respective cases. I was intending to use this material to write a book. The idea of using it to intervene in a judicial process never crossed my mind then.

After Baig’s sentence was pronounced, I got in touch with my ATS source again and asked how Baig, if he wasn’t involved in the blasts, had got the death sentence? He lau­ghed and replied: “That’s the beauty of our criminal justice system. All you need to show is the recovery of some exp­losives and arms and a few tutored witnesses.”

The same day Qateel was to be brought back to Delhi, he was mysteriously found murdered in Pune’s Yerawada Jail. The man who could have testified to Baig’s innocence was now gone.

Baig was a poor Muslim who with great difficulty had completed his graduation and done a teacher’s course. In 2006, misfortune struck. Some of his acquaintances were arrested in a controversial Aurangabad Arms Haul case in May that year and he got dragged in too. (This is one of the most mysterious of terror cases. It took five years for the ATS to frame charges against the arrested accused. The last one heard, only two police witnesses had been examined).
Baig spent the next five years (till he was arrested) trying to earn an honest living. He did a diploma qualifying him to become a teacher in this period, besides various odd jobs including teaching at a private coaching class. On April 17, when the judge in Pune pronounced the death verdict, Baig broke down. “In the German Bakery blast, 17 innocent people were killed. I am the 18th victim of the blast,” Baig told the court. Barring the Indian Express, no other mainstream English newspaper reported at that time on Baig’s protestations in the court.

Six months before Baig was handed the death sentence, a terror suspect named Qateel Siddiqui, 28, was killed in mysterious circumstances in the high-security ‘anda cell’ of the Pune Yerawada jail. My source told me that Qateel’s death and Himayat’s innocence were linked. He gave me two interrogation reports of Qateel prepared by an ATS inspector. Qateel was arrested about a year after Himayat’s arrest. But there was a catch. He wasn’t arrested by the Maharashtra ATS but by the Delhi Special Cell. My source asked me to access Qateel’s interrogations reports by the Delhi Police and other agencies and compare it with the ones prepared by the Maharashtra ATS.

I spent the next few weeks procuring the material on Qateel available with other agencies. Finally, I had detailed interrogation reports prepared by not just the Delhi Special Cell but also the Bangalore police. As per these rep­orts, Qateel was not only involved in the Bangalore Chinnasw­amy Stadium blasts of 2010 but also the Pune German Bakery blast. More importantly, these reports completely contradicted the ATS theory of Baig being involved in the blast.

As per both these IRs, it was Qateel and Ahmed Siddibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal who had come together to plant a bomb at two different places in Pune. While Qateel was supposed to plant the bomb at the Dagduseth Halwai Ganesh temple, Yasin took it upon himself to plant the bomb at the German Bakery. Also, as per these IRs, Yasin and Qateel were toget­her until 2:30 PM on February 13 in a room they had rented in Katraj locality of Pune. Qateel was given the bomb by Yasin on the afternoon of February 13. Both bombs were supposed to go off around the same time, that is, between 6:45 pm and 7 pm.

But the Maharashtra ATS theory (that had already been presented in the form of a chargesheet against Baig by the time Qateel was arrested) was that Yasin was with Himayat Baig the entire day on the 13th and that the two had gone to plant the bomb at the Pune German Bakery. On the other hand, the Delhi and Bangalore Police reports had no reference to Himayat Baig whatsoever.

To smooth out these blatant contradictions, the ATS sent an officer named Dinesh Kadam to interrogate Qateel while he was in the custody of the Delhi police. In his report, Kadam made one crucial change from those by the Delhi and Bangalore Police. He twisted those portions of Qateel’s confession in which he spoke about his continued presence with Yasin on February 13. Now, according to Kadam, Qateel had told him that Yasin gave him the bomb on February 11. This was done to justify Yasin Bhatkal’s presence with Baig on the 13th. So February 13 was pre-dated to February 11 by Inspector Kadam, as the ATS had already spun a story around Baig and Yasin for February 13 and the same theory had already been presented before a Pune court in the form of a chargesheet.

On all other counts, Kadam accepted and confirmed Qat­eel’s revelations made before the Delhi and Bangalore police. Kadam also accepted the claim that Qateel eventually could not plant the bomb at the Ganesh temple and instead dismantled it and threw it away.

So Feb 13 was predated to Feb 11 by Inpector Kadam as the ATS had already spun a story around Baig and Yasin Bhatkal for Feb 13, the same which was made a chargesheet before Pune court.

Now, after interrogating Qateel, Kadam went back to Pune and filed a separate case against Qateel in a Pune court and charged him with attempting to bomb the Ganesh temple. The Maharashtra ATS took police custody of Qateel in this new case on 2.05.2012 and took him to Maharashtra. On 28.05.2012, a Pune court sent him to judicial custody and Qateel was lodged in a high security cell at Yerawada Jail in Pune.
On 8.06.2012, Qateel was mysteriously found murdered in the high security cell—the same day he was supposed to be brought back to the capital to be produced before a Delhi court in connection with the case registered against him by the Delhi Special Cell. The Maharashtra police claimed that two other inmates had killed Qateel after an angry exchange of words. According to them, he was str­an­gulated with a Bermuda pant cord. But the same couldn’t be recovered because it had apparently been burnt by the accused.

The man who could have testified to Baig’s innocence was now gone. Meanwhile, the trial against Baig continued. Qateel’s story, as recorded by the Delhi and Bangalore police, was never brought before the Pune court trying Baig. On April 18, 2013, the court sentenced Baig to capital punishment primarily on the basis of an eye-witness account of an auto driver who claimed he had ferried both Baig and Yasin Bhatkal on the day of the blast and had dropped them close to the blast site.

When the judge handed him the death sentence, Baig started crying. As per the Indian Express he told the judge, “I come from a poor family. I wanted to do something for my community, which is backward in every way. I had come to Pune on January 31, 2010, for a rally seeking reservations for Muslims. I was not on the run, as the ATS says.”

These words kept ringing in my mind. I proposed the story to the network I was working with. But they didn’t show any interest. The handing of a death sentence to a poor, innocent Muslim is not much of a story for the mainstream media. This, in many, ways was also a turning point for me. I quit the channel and with a capital of a few lakhs founded a portal dedicated to investigative journalism. Anuja Chauhan, who’s spent many years in the advertising world and is now a well-known author, gave the portal its name, Gulail (slingshot), the weapon of the dispossessed.

Another late realisation has been that mere reporting is not going to change much. In today’s disaggregated media and social networking sites, for every one fact that gets reported there are hundreds, if not thousands, of blatant lies that go viral, blunting and distorting the truth. The fight for justice and truth must thus be fought primarily in the courts of law. To this end, on May 17, a letter petition was filed with the Bombay High Court annexing dozens of original interrogation reports of terror suspects sourced from over half a dozen anti-terror agencies.

Besides laying out a case for how the Maharashtra ATS conspired to destroy the evidence of Himayat Baig’s innocence, around 10 interrogation reports of another terror suspect, Sadiq Shaikh, recorded by several anti-terror agencies, was also put before the court. These reports show that while in the internal records of all other agencies in the country (including Mumbai Crime Branch) Shaikh was responsible for the 7/11 train blasts, the Maharashtra ATS tailored those parts of Sadiq’s revelations that pertained to the narration of the 7/11 conspiracy.

There is a dangerous modus operandi in the ATS’s methods that repeats itself in every terror probe done by the agency­—and the ‘usual suspects’ mostly bear the brunt of it. If it was alleged SIMI members being implicated in the 7/11 train blasts, in the Malegaon 2006 blasts it was the followers of Ahle Hadith and through them, again, the SIMI, who were held responsible.

Before filing the petition, I decided to meet the 13 train blasts accused who have been in jail for the past seven years. All of them are young Muslims. And almost all of them are devout. The fact that they wore skull caps, kept a long beard, offered namaaz five times a day and followed other religious precepts in their daily lives were seen by the ATS as a sure sign of extremism. In police custody, the ATS officers castigated them for printing religious books, for propagating their religion and for wearing religious marks on their person.

Two months after the 7/11 blasts, when four synchronised bombs went off inside a mosque at Malegaon—all those killed were Muslims—the Maharashtra ATS had again arrested nine Muslim youth who were said to be followers of either the Ahle Hadith or SIMI. Two of the accused were kept common between the 7/11 and Malegaon cases and were shown as the suppliers of the explosives for both sets of blasts. And like in the 7/11 probe, the ATS also managed to extract confessions from these Malegaon Muslims. Indeed, in Malegaon they went a step further. They even had an approver who told the court that he was not only willing to implicate himself but also his co-accused. Under pressure from Muslim groups, the Maharashtra government finally transferred the Malegaon investigation to the CBI. But the 7/11 case continues to be with the ATS.

In the Malegaon case, the NIA filed a chargesheet last week (the probe was transferred from the CBI to the NIA) where it has named a bunch of RSS members as accused. But bizarrely, even then the NIA has not asked the court for the discharge of the original set of accused. Nor has it addressed the role of the Maharashtra ATS that had not only arrested innocent Muslims but had also shown recoveries of explosives, extracted confessions, found eye-witnesses etc.

These are not mere issues of legalities. When law enforcement agencies show absolute contempt for law, justice and truth, when innocent members of a community are falsely implicated in case after case and when the system turns a blind eye and fails to take correctives, it’s not just the idea of justice but the very idea of India that is at risk.

My petition before the Bombay High Court has asked that an independent commission of inquiry be ordered into the conduct of the ATS and direct punitive action be taken against the police officers found responsible. Part of the decision lies with the court, the rest with the people of India.

(The author is the founder of http://www.gulail.com)

India Court allows Sterlite smelter to resume production #WTFnews


Read more on: INDIA | STERLITE | SMELTER | Court | Delhi | Imports | Sterlite Industries | New Delhi

By Krishna N Das

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s largest copper smelter is likely to restart within a week, after a court on Friday gave a conditional go-ahead, ending a two-month-long shutdown that has squeezed domestic supply and boosted imports.

The smelter run by Sterlite Industries , a unit of London-listed Vedanta , can resume operations overseen by a court-appointed panel, Justice Swatanter Kumar of a fast-track court, the National Green Tribunal, said.

“A balance has to be struck between environmental interests and sustainable economic development,” the judge said, adding that the panel would determine if the smelter required additional anti-pollution equipment.

The court will issue a final order after July 10, he added, to follow Friday‘s interim order.

Sterlite’s smelter is expected to resume production in about a week, a company statement said. Earlier, the head of its copper business P. Ramnath had suggested a restart in two weeks, with supply to customers commencing in another week.

The smelter, which uses imported concentrates, produces 30,000 tonnes of refined copper a month, or more than half of India’s total production. Nearly half its output goes to China.

Its closure had made available to the market an extra 3,000 tonnes of copper concentrates each day.

“If the closure had been prolonged for some more time it would have led to a steep increase for premiums,” said a physical trader based in Singapore, who has Indian clients. “Already we had started getting copper cathode enquiries.”

Most of India’s exports of copper go to China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, which used around 9 million tonnes last year, well in excess of India’s annual consumption of around 600,000 tonnes.

“The restart will ease the tight supply situation across Asia, but particularly in India, where the domestic market has been suffering because of a shortage in cathode,” said another metals trader based in Singapore.

The shutdown of the Sterlite smelter helped drive up copper premiums, which rose in Shanghai to a high of $140 a tonne over cash London Metal Exchange copper, the trader added.

A long-arranged shutdown of Hindalco Industries Ltd’s Birla smelter on May 7 also cut tonnage to the market. That smelter, which produces around 30,000 tonnes a month, will reopen early in June, the company has said.

India’s cable makers faced a severe shortage of copper and potential manufacturing delays after the closure of the country’s two biggest copper smelters.

Sterlite, whose parent Vedanta is controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, has been waiting for government clearances to double the capacity of its smelter to 800,000 tonnes a year.

Its smelter, in the coastal town of Tuticorin near the southern tip of India, was shut on March 30 after residents complained of emissions that led to breathing problems.

Environmental issues and other concerns, including land acquisition, have enmeshed several global companies’ plans for big-ticket investments in India, ranging from South Korea’s POSCO to units of Vedanta.

Sterlite’s smelter has long been the target of protesters and politicians who call it a risk to local fisheries.

Several cases have been filed against the company since the plant started in 1996. In a different case, India’s top court last month fined Sterlite about $18 million for breaking environmental laws at the smelter.

(Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. and Melanie Burton in SINGAPORE; editing by Clarence Fernandez and Keiron Henderson)

#India – Stifling Dissent in the name of Public Interest #WTF


Date: 1 June 2013
Subject: Whose public interest? | Jayati Ghosh in Frontline

Preoccupations
Whose public interest?

The government of India has taken the stifling of dissent in the name of public interest to great lengths without encountering any resistance.
IN the United States, the Barack Obama administration is facing a lot of heat in a scandal that his Republican opponents say is “as big as Watergate”. This is not so, but clearly the issue has been taken seriously enough by the U.S. government to cause some heads to roll almost immediately.

So what exactly happened? In 2010, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifted government limits on independent political donations by corporations and labour unions in federal elections. This enabled a surge of political spending, which, as it happened, went mostly to conservative groups as they tended to be better supported by big business.

The task of one department of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS, the tax administration agency of the U.S. government) was to determine whether applicants observed the political activity limits and deserved tax-exempt status. It is alleged that between 2010 and 2012, this agency subjected conservative groups to special scrutiny, especially those associated with the right-wing “Tea Party” movement that wants lower taxes, smaller government and generally opposes Obama.

There is no evidence that tax-free status was actually denied to any of the organisations in question. Nor was there any question of otherwise inhibiting their functioning by placing restrictions on their activities. What this adverse targeting essentially did was prolong the period of time involved in reviewing the application for tax-free status and therefore delay the eventual recognition. (Incidentally, since such recognition gets granted with retrospective effect, the financial implications are also not so severe.)

Even in this relatively minor negative light on those with differing political opinions, the resulting public outcry has been loud and vociferous, and the response of Democrats and the administration has been immediate penitence. The IRS expressed regret, the criteria for scrutinising applications were immediately changed to make them more “neutral”, Obama announced how angry he was and promptly fired the head of the IRS, Steven Miller, while the person in charge of the offending department announced his early retirement.

These measures have failed to quell the anger and outrage. A Tea Party group based in California has sued the IRS, in the first of what may be several lawsuits against the agency’s supposed targeting of opposition elements. Some argue that by targeting it the IRS has brought the Tea Party back from the dead—the “intimidation” by the state has become a rallying cry for several public protests led by conservatives. The Obama administration continues to be on the back foot on this despite its relatively quick measures to undo the damage.

Indian situation Contrast this with what is happening in India at the moment. The Central government has blatantly used the recently amended Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act and other instruments available to it not only to target political opponents but, more worryingly, to target and suppress any forms of democratic dissent, especially those trying to bring out the voices of the people against the excesses of corporate power. And it is doing so with little opposition and almost no public outrage.

The most recent and egregious example of this relates to the INSAF Trust, a coalition of more than 700 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across India mostly engaged in grass-roots activities and people’s struggles. According to its website, INSAF was formed soon after the demolition of the Babri Masjid primarily to promote and defend the interests of the people, and is devoted to resisting corporate-centred globalisation, combating communalism and defending democracy.

The organisations that are part of INSAF generally see themselves as facilitators of struggles oriented towards ensuring the human rights of citizens in India, not instigators of such actions.

On April 30, the Home Ministry issued an order summarily freezing the bank accounts of INSAF and suspending its official clearance to receive foreign funds. The terse order simply states that “acceptance of the foreign contribution by the said association is likely to prejudicially affect the public interest”.

That such a charge can be levelled arbitrarily against an association of organisations devoted to defending the democratic rights of deprived groups in particular, and strengthening the secular fabric of the polity and society, is really of grave concern. But the more appalling thing may be that such a draconian measure on the basis of this laconic and unsubstantiated charge is now completely legal under the revised Act that regulates foreign contributions in India.

The rules of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, came into force on May 1, 2011 (ironically, on May Day, the day that is supposed to celebrate workers’ struggles). Rule 3 states that the Central government “may specify any organisation as organisation of political nature on one or more of the following grounds:

(i) organisation having avowed political objectives in its Memorandum of Association or bylaws;

(ii) any trade union whose objectives include activities for promoting political goals;

(iii) any voluntary action group with objectives of a political nature or which participates in political activities;

(iv) front or mass organisations like students’ unions, workers’ unions, youth forums and women’s wing of a political party;

(v) organisation of farmers, workers, students, youth based on caste, community, religion, language or otherwise, which is not directly aligned to any political party, but whose objectives, as stated in the Memorandum of Association or activities gathered through other material evidence, include steps towards advancement of political interests of such groups;

(vi) any organisation, by whatever name called, which habitually engages itself in or employs common methods of political action like ‘bandh’ or ‘hartal’, ‘rasta roko’, ‘rail roko’ or jail bharo’ in support of public causes.”

There are several aspects of this rule that should be of great concern to every citizen. First, it is up to the government to decide which organisations fit this bill. Second, it contains an extraordinarily and even dangerously wide-ranging definition of undesirable political activity by an NGO. According to this new FCRA, any organisation that seeks to defend the interests of workers and peasants in any situation can be proscribed for being “political” even if it is not aligned with any political party. Third, even non-violent means of protest such as strikes and jail bharo (which were the lifeblood of the national movement, for example) are not to be tolerated.

Sweeping coverage This sweeping coverage effectively prevents most forms of democratic dissent and opposition from being expressed. It allows the government of the day to pick on any group it dislikes for whatever reason and just stop it from functioning. It stifles dissent generally, of course, but can also muzzle in particular those who attempt to raise their voices on behalf of the marginalised in society and those who are adversely affected by economic policies and processes that do not recognise their basic rights as citizens. This is especially the case because such people typically do not have access to the increasingly corporatised media or any other ways of working through the system.

In classic Orwellian doublespeak, therefore, such an order can really serve as a means of destroying those who are genuinely working in the public interest. It is worrying that this law was passed with so little discussion and open debate and so little apparent concern about how it could be misused by a government. Maybe one of the reasons that INSAF is unpopular with the government of the day is that it actually brought a case against this law on the grounds that it denies the rights of Indian citizens—a matter that is pending in the Supreme Court.

In any case, this issue is far too important to be ignored, as INSAF is just the current victim and there may be others next in the firing line. It portends a really disastrous and undemocratic trend towards authoritarianism, which is in any case a system that large capital is generally far more comfortable with. There have already been some straws in the wind in this direction. The current government’s intolerance towards anyone who openly disagrees with its own policies and narrow interpretation of national interest (particularly when such arguments conflict with the interests of national and international—indeed, “foreign”—capital) was evident in its handling of the protesters against the Kudankulam nuclear plant and the blatant citing of “the foreign hand” even when the protests were dominantly of the locally affected population. But now the net is being cast even wider, and apparently even without any particular need to cite either evidence or acceptable reasons for such aggressive state action.

So this treatment of INSAF may even be a test case—if the government in India gets away with this blatant abuse of power and undemocratic use of legislation to stifle dissenting voices, it may get further emboldened to adopt even more openly dictatorial methods. It is in our collective interest to assert the true significance of “the public interest” and show that it cannot be appropriated for its own purposes by whatever government is in power.

 

Nandini Sundar on – Media’s Need for Whipping Boys


Saturday, June 1, 2013

On the Media‘s Need for Whipping Boys

I am sick to death of TV panel discussions which ask whether human rights activists are soft on the Maoists, romanticise the Maoists and so on. Why doesn’t someone ask if our honourable politicians and security experts are soft on police torture and extra judicial killings?
Television is not interested in a serious discussion – all they want are whipping boys. The sight of Arnab Goswami mocking Prof. Haragopal for giving an “academic analysis” was especially nauseating, compounded by his showing off about “Emily Durkheim” (sic!). Why bother to have a panel at all, if only hysterical calls for the army to be sent in to wipe out the Maoists count as ‘analysis’, and every other viewpoint is seen as biased?
The media’s vocabulary is also very limited. I remember a particular excruciating interview with Binayak Sen where he said he “decried” violence and the anchor repeatedly asked him if he “condemned” it. As far as I know, the two words mean roughly the same thing. Nowadays, even before the media asks me, I start shouting “I condemn, I condemn.” I wake up in my sleep shouting “I condemn.” I am scared to use other words to describe complex emotions, because the media is unable to understand anything else.
The only reason why I agree to participate in any television discussions at all or give interviews to the media, is because I have such limited space to express my views. Most of the time the media is completely unconcerned about what happens in places like Bastar, and when there are large scale deaths of civilians, no-one runs non-stop news or panel discussions. Perforce “human rights activists” have to speak in unfavourable circumstances, because that’s the only time when the media is interested in our views; and that too, not because they want to hear us, but because they need a “big fight” to raise their ratings. That’s what is called ‘balance’. One can almost see visible disappointment on the anchor’s part when panelists who should disagree actually agree on many issues.
Since May 25th I have been inundated with calls from journalists asking for my views. But when I want to write, there is little space. A leading national newspaper refused to publish me on the killing of Mahendra Karma, till they had enough pieces which promoted a paramilitary approach. Even when I do get published it is under strict word constraints. I wrote the first opinion piece ever written in the national media on the Salwa Judum in 2006, but was given 800 words, under the fold. In the first year of Salwa Judum, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of articles on Salwa Judum. I personally met several editors and showed them photographic evidence; and begged TV editors for panel discussions, but no-one was interested. If they had been interested then, perhaps things would not have come to such a pass.
I am unable to write my own book on Salwa Judum because of the court case and all that it takes. I have been wanting to write on it since 2005 because I am, above all, an anthropologist. In any case, my mental space is so clogged by the media noise and the strain of being confined to “opinion pieces” that keep saying the same things because no one is listening, that I can’t write. I am almost glad the IPL has taken over again, and we can all forget about Bastar and the Maoists till the next major attack.
I reproduce below an extract from my article, Emotional Wars, on the public reactions to the death of the 76 CRPF men in April 2010. This was published in Third World Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2012, pp 1-17:
“Government anger was directed not just at the Maoists but at their alleged ‘sympathizers in civil society’, whose verbal and written criticism of government for violations of the Constitution and fundamental rights, was morally equated with the Maoist act of killing in retaliation for those policies.[i] Within minutes then, given the government’s role as the primary definer of news,[ii] whether the alleged sympathizers had adequately condemned and expiated for the attack, became as critical to the framing of the news as the attack itself.
The largely one-sided government and media outrage – the targeted killings or rapes of ordinary adivasis rarely, if ever, invite direct calls upon the Home Minister to condemn each such incident – easily summon to mind Herman and Chomsky’s distinction between “worthy and unworthy victims” as part of what they call the media ‘propaganda model’.[iii] While news coverage of the worthy is replete with detail, evokes indignation and shock, and invites a follow-up; unworthy victims get limited news space, are referred to in generic terms, and there is little attempt to fix responsibility or trace culpability to the top echelons of the establishment.[iv]…..
…………..In times of civil war, the emotions performed by the state range from the inculcation of fear to a calculated display of indifference to the exhibition of injured feelings, as if it was citizens and not the state who were violating the social contract, and that the social contract consisted of the state’s right to impunity.

1. For example, after a Maoist attack in which 4 men of the Central Industrial Security Force were killed, the Home Ministry put out a statement asking “What is the message that the CPI (Maoist) intends to convey? These are questions that we would like to put not only to the CPI (Maoist) but also to those who speak on their behalf and chastise the government…We think that it is time for all right-thinking citizens who believe in democracy and development to condemn the acts of violence perpetrated by the CPI (Maoist).” Chidambaram slams Maoist sympathizers, Times Now, October 26, 2009, http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-10-26/india/28067149_1_maoist-sympathisers-cisf-jawans-chhattisgarh, accessed 12 November 2011
[ii] Hall, S. et al., Policing the Crises: Mugging, the State and Law and Order, London: Macmillan Education Ltd, 1978; Gans, HJ. Deciding What’s News, Northwestern University Press, 2004 (1979).
[iii] Herman, E. S. and Chomsky, N. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Mass Media, Pantheon Books, 2002, pp 37-86)
[iv] An enquiry was immediately ordered into the Tadmetla attack headed by a former Director General of the Border Security Force, EN Rammohan. He found several lapses in the leadership and functioning of the CRPF, including their failure to adhere to standard operating procedures. However, the commander responsible for this debacle, DIG Nalin Prabhat, while initially transferred, was given a gallantry medal a year later in 2011. Further, the government itself takes no responsibility for orchestrating this mindless war on its own people.

 

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