Kamayani aka kractivist
SUDIPTO MONDAL, The Hindu, April20, 2013
The Loksatta Party, which is set to make its debut in the Karnataka Assembly elections promising “clean” politics, has run into trouble with three of its candidates taking positions that appear to run counter to its stated ideological vision and standpoint.
Phanisai Bhardwaj, candidate in Bangalore South, has said on his facebook page: “Apolish [abolish] reservation for particular community in education as well as jobs.” The comment was on a digitally altered photograph posted by him showing two lanes of a road. One is clogged with traffic, while the other is completely free. The empty road has one man, identified as “SC/ST” walking past stationary vehicles on the other road. The road clogged with traffic is titled “general.”
Mr. Bhardwaj is also part of a group, ‘Centre for Men’s Rights,’ which believes that men are the oppressed sex and fights against Section 498 (a) of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises cruelty to a woman by her husband or his relatives.
Rupa Rani, candidate in Rajajinagar here, has shared a photograph titled “Save the Holy Cow” posted by her facebook friend “Saffron.” The photograph shows the seer of the Ramchandrapura Math and Sangh Parivar ideologue Raghaveshwara Bharathi petting a cow.
Meenakshi Bharath, candidate in Malleshwaram, has posted a photograph showing Muslim men showering rose petals on a troop of RSS workers clad in khaki knickers and wielding lathis. She posted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s speech also on her facebook profile.
Party sources, who wished anonymity, said Ms. Bharath’s repeated public endorsement of leaders such as Modi caused embarrassment to the Loksatta in the past as well.
Founder Jayprakash Narayan said Mr. Bhardwaj’s position on women was “unacceptable.” He said: “He is not talking Loksatta language or ideology.” He was asked to withdraw his nomination soon after.
On Ms. Rani’s post, Mr. Narayan said there were already laws against cow slaughter across the country. “But if you are going to make anti-cow slaughter and vegetarianism cultural symbols, then it is wrong,”
On Ms. Bharath, he said: “I don’t think Mr. Modi is an untouchable. The Loksatta Party doesn’t embrace any political party or individual, nor does it see them as untouchables.”
Party spokesperson Anand Yadwad said Ms. Rani and Ms. Bharath were asked to remove the offensive posts. “We have told them that they cannot take such anti-party stand.”
Elsewhere on the blogsphere, online activists are posting and re-posting the Facebook posts of the three Loksatta candidates as part of a campaign titled “Expose Loksatta Party — Anti-Women, Anti- SC/ST, shaking hands with Hindutva forces.”
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, who started the online campaign, said: “What kind of scrutiny does the party put its candidates through?” Activist Manohar Elavarathi, who first discovered these controversial Facebook posts, said: “Progressive political movements are built from the bottom up by accounting for inequalities arising out of caste, class, gender and communalism. I don’t know how a middle-class oriented party like the Loksatta can achieve that.”
Manmeet Kaur the bubbly , lively , woman rapper , a Japaite , set the stage on fire at the program ON 26TH jAN 2013, at Ambedkar bhavan bhavan in Mumbai. The program on freedom of expression ‘ bOl ke lab azaad hain tere”. T he program in support of freedom of speech and expression in Indian Constitution, A crusade for creativity – speak, your lips are free, had a plethora creative and artistic presentations in form of skits, songs, and dance .
No Indian can keep quiet, when the freedom of his country is for sale.
While the most lethal epidemic is spreading in the world, only a few humans stand resolute against the enemy of humanity and are determined to remain altruistic. At any given point of time, such people are only a small handful. Dictators consider them as a major threat, hence they first try to woo them to join the thieves’ guild and be one of them. If all fails, they are offered a high post in the governmental machinery, a position of power or even monetary funds, in order to silence their noble quest for ever. If these measures fail, they construct new prisons for these humane persons and try to crucify them.
What is going on today? There is a constitution in this country, albeit without a soul. All pillars of democracy are dilapidated. Only those who have financial capital, rule the media and can brag and pontificate on anything. The supporters of Brahmanism and under-belly of capitalism keep blabbering nonsense incessantly. Those who are misleading the society by screaming utter lies have been given freedom of expression; and those, who write and speak the truth are forcefully silenced either by means of the police power or by the side-kick fascist organisations. But these moves are no more a secret.
In video below Manmeet gives a very apt reply to Yo Yo Honey Singh and his rap music .
JOIN US FOR MUSICAL ACTIVISM HERE JUSTICE AND PEACE FOR ALL
BLOCK FEB 14TH, FOR ONE BILLION RISING MUMBAI, Manmeet and more performnces hip hop, rap, belly dancing, flash dance
Here is manmeeet singh, rapping on Yo Yo Honey Singh
Dear Ben Rattray
You started change.org ,to change the world, you did made an impact on social change in last five years,in US. In the developing world especially in India , there was mutli-fold increase in petitions, in last one year. So what was different about change, which made it so popular? The fact it was a business model, which was entering social change with a very transparent and accountable agenda . You are not a non profit organisation claiming anything, true, but you were representing a progressive community fighting for social justice and change, fighting for human rights of people across the globe. You were using the power of business for social good. Also the fact that each petition was checked and there was a coordination between offline protest , campaigns and the online petition.
I invested my time at change.org by creating many human rights and petitions on change.org in past one year. There have been small victories Paypal apologises. There have been some big victories ,Family Matters taken away from Justice Bhaktavatsala, Amnesty International intervenes to Free Waqar, The Kashmiri Youth, Freedom for Arun Ferreira behind bars for 4 years under draconian laws , and some still continue to create impact like the petition for a To Save Soni Sori and Punish Chhattisgarh Police & has had impact for international mobilization .
I have closely worked with change.org team on many petitions, and also guided them time and again on some other petitions as well, as I strongly believed ,in the fact, that they had taken a stand for social justice and human rights. Change.org, meant business, yes business to take stand for human rights . I used to laugh at some of the inane petitions, which were totally ridiculous e.g. homophobic, anti abortion petition, as I was sure change.org will not give any support, neither a push and the petition will die its own death. But your decision to change your advertising policy in the name of openness, democracy and empowerment is nothing more than a facade. There was a certain element of trust which has been broken by the new changes in your advertising policy. Change.org built its reputation on arming Davids to take on the Goliaths, now it seems that you think David and Goliath should be on the same team.
After reading the leaked documents, I was very disturbed and angry and asked the change.org team in India about it and I got the following email, by country head of change.org in India on Oct 25th 2012
as you are one of our most active users I wanted to reach out to you to clarify things in light of the Huffington Post and other pieces regarding our advertising guidelines.
Change.org’s mission is to empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see. Our vision is a world in which no one is powerless and making change is a part of daily life.
We believe the best way to achieve this is to have a platform that is truly open (like a true democracy) to all points of view as long as they don’t violate our terms of service – eg: hateful, violent, fraudulent etc. (full details here http://www.change.org/en-IN/about/terms-of-service).
We’re also extending this to our advertisers as long as they do not violate advertising guidelines http://www.change.org/en-IN/about/advertising-guidelines
This is the same yardstick that every tech platform uses – from FB and Google to Huffington Post itself.
Finally, I would encourage you to read the leaked document as it serves as it clearly explains our position on a number of questions that people might have. It is not as dramatic as the HuffPo article :)
I hope that clarifies. Please let me know if you have further questions.
I have read all internal documents word by word, the fact remains you did not plan to reach to me and many other progressive users about the change you were going to embark upon. What these leaked documents revealed goes much beyond that, inclusive of embracing those who want to work against those very causes. This part of internal document which I produce below proves how your are turning from left to right . How will you justify while accepting paid promotions from conservative organizations. After all, conservatives don’t want change. That’s a progressive value. Conservatives want things to remain the same. Corporations don’t have to run successful campaigns on Change.org in order to defeat the good that’s been done. All they have to do is pay to run so many petitions that current users dislike to get those users to go away or simply stop opening e-mails about petitions.
The full internal Faqs are available here-rebrand-internalfaqs-change.pdf
Your Article in HuffiiPost on Oct 25 also has nothing new to add to the understanding at all . In the name of openness now you say YES to-Republican campaigns, soon I will find a campaign to endorse a legitimate rape , Astroturfing campaigns, Corporations. About Hate groups – you say If a large organization like the The Southern Poverty Law Center( SPLC )says they’re a hate group its a NO , but otherwise yes. For change.org –Anti-abortion, Pro-gun, Union-busting, Animal cruelty is Yes. and you say “We are open to organizations that represent all points of view, including those with which we personally (and strongly) disagree.”
Your advertising policy shift demonstrates the potential perils of for-profit companies founded on progressive values, and shows the power of money . You have literally betrayed all the active users of change.org, including me and taken advantage of our issues and petitions for increasing your own database. As a business and a company you have every right to pivot and change your brand positioning. However, under the garb of ‘ you are actually helping further the work of those who we are working to organize against. For eg – with this new Change.org openness, now anyone is eligible to advertise with you for profit. So after I sign a petition for gay rights, women’s rights and all of the other human rights issues, I might find a link to a sponsored petition that I wasn’t expecting. Stop Gay Marriages ! Give Legal recognition to Khap Panchayats ! Legalise ‘ Legitimate Rape ” ! Women should stop wearing skirts !
Its a big thanks to the Whistle -blower who leaked the documents for opening our eyes, and you fire him from work, Wow, that’s very Ethical, and you do not mention this at all in your article . Is it change.org’s policy not to discuss internal matters even if they are public . I must say, and the fact we are having a debate, is because of him or her , and my eternal gratitude to the concerned person .
You used to call the non-profits who have spent millions to support you succeed “partners”, and now you call them “advertisers”. Nice attempt to make it sound like these were simply commercial transactions. You make it sound like selling names to the radical right is a grand vision for ’empowerment'”. Since when is suppressing the rights of women, ’empowerment’? That’s not a grand vision for good. That’s a grand vision for greed. It’s genius, but let’s be clear. It’s not change. It’s just doubling-down on conflict—clickable, lucrative, conflict-mongering—and calling it a business model. Isn’t selling opt- ins (a user opts in with an email addresses when they sign a petition) to anti-women or anti-gay organizations a corrupt act no matter how you sugar coat it? With a very liberal base of users on your sight. Your claim that you’ve simply grown too big to devote the necessary time to check out each petition is a betrayal of your origin, which was based on making this a voice for the voiceless, for those who couldn’t make themselves heard elsewhere over the money. What’s changed ? You seem to have eliminated change in favor of more of the usual. You may not think that you’re selling out, but at you’ve made a Faustian deal.
Its time to bid good bye, and I do so with by my last petition addressed to you only, to reinstate the Whistle- Blower and come out . I will not be participating in change.org petitions from now, but I will definitely will be watching you , as you say in your article
“If it’s still not clear to you which version is accurate, I’d ask you consider suspending final judgment until you see the impact of our actions once the heat of the rhetoric subsides. Because while the impact that Change.org users have had around the world has been growing rapidly, we’re just getting started. And we’d love to work together to change the world.”
It’s very clear to me where you are heading, and there is no confusion , now you are not a business for a social cause but like any for profit , you are making money on our database .
Was a change.org petitioner organizer in India
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai
28TH October, 2012
By- Paul Mutter -The National reports that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has “issued a fatwa against Twitter, demanding that ‘real Muslims’ avoid it, calling it a ‘platform for trading accusations and for promoting lies’.”
The pretext for this condemnation of social media is the case of the Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari, who was extradited from Malaysia to the Kingdom after tweeting about the Prophet Muhammad in a manner that the religious authorities deemed blasphemous. If the Saudis wish to make an example, he will be facing blasphemy charges, and possibly death, rather than a lesser (though still absurd) sentencing that would end in him paying a fine. There’s also talk of taking action against anyone who retweeted his messages.
But considering that thousands of Twitter users called attention to Kashgari’s tweets, literally demanding his head, it’s ironic that the Grand Mufti says Muslims should stay off Twitter, since clearly, many salafis are using, and policing it.
And, as The National notes, it’s even more ironic that the Grand Mufti’s issuing a ban since Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the King’s nephew and reputedly the richest man in Saudi Arabia, purchased 3.6% of Twitter’s stock for US$300 million this past December.
The fact that the Grand Mufti wants Twitter gone while a prince wants to buy its shares up nicely illustrates the uneasy dual monarchy that has defined clerical-royal relationship since the 18th century. The monarchy set up in 1923 is actually a dual monarchy because the royal family must maintain the approval of the Wahhabi ulema to rule, and there are those who question this “right” – one of the first crises of the Saudi state occured when the monarchy and ulema, fearing the Ikhwan tribal militias who had won control of the Hejaz for them, turned on the militiamen. The House of Saud procured the British machine guns, the clergy produced a justificatory edict for the crackdown.
As Toby C. Jones notes, “the ulema’s support for the regime is not unconditional. They remain controversial, provocative and confrontational.” Oil wealth and investment portfolios allow Saudi princes to study at Sandhurst and hobnob with French socialites, but they also subsidize the religious-dominated educational system and the social welfare net, which the Saudis have been working to expand in the wake of the Arab Spring, that help hold society together on the al-Sauds’ behalf. “The rebel in you” Kashgari refers to with respect to the Prophet Muhammad is precisely the sort of Islamic value that the Saudi status quo cannot handle — hence the sharp responses from the government against anyone urging reform, including Salafis and secularists. The Sahwas — former Islamist radicals who have become “partners” of the establishment — are the closest thing to a political opposition Saudi Arabia has, their presence is limited by the government and they must be careful not to push too far in the Islamist direction that Osama bin Laden fell in with. One promiment Sahwa spiritual leader has argued in the past that “sovereignty belongs to God alone,” which is indeed “a challenge both to the idea that Saudi citizens should enjoy more participation in governance as well as to the royal family itself.”
Hamza Kashgari’s case is one of free speech. The religious establishment, wanting to remain the arbiter of social norms in the Kingdom and hold onto the power it has accrued, is hoping to denigrate a medium that they fear because of its prominent — though exaggerated — role in the “Arab Spring.” They can’t reconcile themselves to globe-spanning electronic mediums that might lead their congregations to start thinking thought crimes. A chilling message has been sent already through the extradition from Malaysia; it will depend on the royal family if the intended message stops with a fine, or with Kashgari’s execution.