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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Condemning the deaths due to firing by security forces in Shaida Gool village as "unacceptable", Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

    Immediately after the incident, Abdullah spoke to union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who ordered a probe into the incident and assured that any use of excessive force or irresponsible action will be dealt with strictly, an official statement issued here said.

    The state government has also ordered a magisterial enquiry to determine the exact sequence of events. On Abdullah's instructions, a high-level team which includes Minister of State for Revenue and Relief Ajaz Ahmed Khan, Minister for State for Home Sajad Ahmed Kichloo, and state police chief Ashok Prasad is camping at the spot

    The district magistrate of Ramban has also been shifted and ordered to report to the general administration department for further duties.

    Condemning this incident, Abdullah said: "It is unfortunate that in spite of costly lessons learnt in 2008 and 2010, some amongst us are determined to repeat past mistakes and use force against unarmed protesters. Such incidents risk throwing the entire peaceful atmosphere in jeopardy.

    "It is highly unacceptable to shoot at unarmed protesters just because they were reportedly protesting manhandling of an Imam of their area," he said. "There is no justification or rationalization of this deplorable act. This shocking act warrants and demands the severest of condemnation in the strongest possible terms.

    "Justice will be done and those involved in the ghastly incident will be brought to book," assured Abdullah, and appealed to people to maintain communal harmony and not to be carried away by emotions.

    According to official figures, four people were killed in the firing incident at Shaida Gool village while 43 others were injured. of the injured, 25 were admitted to Ramban district hospital, two were admitted in SMHS hospital in Srinagar and 16 in Government Medical College hospital in Jammu.

    Among the injured, seven, including a BSF trooper, sustained bullet injuries in the incident.

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    By IANS,

    Kolkata : Describing Congress and BJP's likely prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as "brothers" and "two faces of the same coin", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said the two parties have joined hands with the CPI-M to defeat her in the panchayat polls.

    Addressing election meetings at Nadia and Murshidabad districts, where the Congress has a good base, Banerjee tore into the party saying it raised the issue of the Gujarat riots whenever elections approach.

    "Narendra Modi and Congress are brothers and two faces of the same coin," she said at Debagram in Nadia.

    Coming down heavily on the Congress, she said it is trying to draw votes in election time by warning people that if they do not vote for it then "Modi will come to power".

    "The Gujarat riots took place over 10 years back. But still the Congress raises the issue whenever elections are round the corner.

    In another election rally at Baharampur in Murhisdabad, Banerjee alleged that the Congress has managed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in the past for its political gains.

    "But you cannot manage us. I always play with a straight bat. You all have joined hands to defeat us in the panchayat polls. But those who have conspired against me will be exposed in the near future," she said.

    Addressing an election rally at Berhampore in the State's Murshidabad district later in the day, she said that the fate of the state Congress leaders who are serving as ministers in the party-led United Progressive Alliance central government is sealed.

    Banerjee ridiculed the union ministers from the congress in the state, saying they got the berths only because Trinamool withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance government September last.

    "They have become ministers only for our kindness," she quipped, adding they are sure to lose the next general elections.

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  • 07/18/13--10:36: Ramadan 1434: Book-seller
  • By Swastik Pal,

    College Street in Kolkata is one of Asia's largest wholesale book market. Arif who has been fasting is waiting for customers at "Ideal Book Store" which he runs along with his brother Rais. They stay in a village which is far from Kolkata called "Bamungachi."

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    By TCN News,

    Bahraich,UP: A meeting of prominent alumni’s of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) of the city was held today to discuss the prospects of opening of a special off campus centre of AMU in the region. Presiding the meeting senior AMU alumnus and social worker Syed Abdul Jalil said that AMU is an epitome of Muslim education, but majority of people are unable to study here. He lauded the efforts of those people by whose tireless initiatives AMU’S two off campus branches/centers have been established and running successfully in Kerala and West Bengal and one is planned to be opened in Bihar. He added that these centers will go a long way in ensuring easy access of education for the Muslim masses. He also said that a similar centre/branch can be established in eastern part of UP.

    President of Sir Syed foundation and AMU alumnus Mohd Farrukh khan said that Bahraich could be an ideal location for the purpose of establishment of AMU’s special centre as it can easily cater to the educational needs of Terai, Awadh and Purvanchal regions where a sizeable Muslim population resides. Also a huge property of AMU is situated here in Meghala village of Fakhrpur pargana at Kaiserganj Tehsil which was donated by Chowdhary Sant Ram to AMU by a registered gift deed which can ideally be used for the establishment of the centre.

    Mohd Yasir Siddiqui , former cabinet member of AMU students union and vice president of Sir Syed foundation said that AMU has been endowed with the responsibility for the educational and cultural advancement of Muslims of India under sec 5(2)(C) of AMU act,1981 and this responsibility can be achieved by spreading AMU and taking it beyond the four walls of Aligarh.

    A resolution was passed at the meeting regarding the establishment of AMU off campus centre in Bahraich and for the retention of AMU’s existing off campus centers in different parts of the country with AMU only.

    The meeting was attended by a large number of AMU alumnis and students.

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    By Abdul Gani,,

    Guwahati: This Ramadan the people of Guwahati is having a taste of Awadhi cuisine all the way from Lucknow in the heart of the city. All thanks to Imtiaz Ahmed and his brothers for setting up a ‘Mini Lucknow’ in Guwahati for food in the form of Madina Sweet House at Machkhowa.

    Even if you are not a die-hard foodie, the mesmerizing smell and the colour of the items will definitely enforce your way towards Madina Sweet House. For Younis Ali, a local, it’s an opportunity to grab the mouth watering taste of Lucknow dishes during the Ramadan. “It’s a blessing for me to have such kind of taste here at my home town. My parents too like it a lot,” said Ali who often collect the food for Iftar at his home.

    The menu includes the famed Mughlai Paratha, Chiken Biriyani, various types of Halwa, kheer, Gulabjamun and plenty others. Imtiaz and his six other relatives have landed in Guwahati on the eve of Ramadan to serve the people of Guwahati or rather northeast with royal food from the city of the Nawabs.

    “We are also enjoying here seeing the interest of the people here for our food. The demand is very high especially for non-vegetable items. Besides, halwa and paratha are also most sought after food items. We also feel bad for failing to meet the ever increasing demand of the food items which happens very often,” Imtiaz who hails from Aminabad in Lucknow said as customers throng his stall on Thursday evening.

    It was Aftab Ahmed, Imtiaz’s father started his venture in Guwahati five years back though they have been travelling in various parts of the states with their makeshift stalls at religious programmes or others. The Ahmed family which have a stall – Sweet House in Lucknow carry spices for biriyani, mewa for kheer and food colours form their native town.

    Even the hike in the essential commodities has not deterred people from visiting their stall. And for the outsides especially who are from Utter Pradesh it’s a great opportunity to feel home far away from home. “This is really nice. I also enjoy the local food. But there is vast difference in the way the food is prepared. We people use more oil than Assamese people,” said Javed Alam, a native of Kanpur who has been living in Guwahati for quite some time.


    TCN Ramadan series:

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    By TCN News,

    Patna:The delegates of Sir Syed Minority Foundation of India (SSMFI) lead by its General Secretary Md Perwez Siddiqui met Lok Janshakti Party supremo and former union minister Ramvilash Paswan on 17 July in Patna and discussed the matter relating to minority status of the Aligarh Muslim University.

    Former union minister has promised to raise the issue of restoration of minority character of AMU. Mr.Perwez told that Former union minister has always supported this issue and had also previously raised the issue for development of medical college of AMU.

    The President of SSMFI Shamsul Rahman discussed with the former union minister regarding the 1981 AMU Act.

    Ramvilash paswan after the meeting retrieated that AMU is a minority institution and assured to raise the issue in monsoon session in the parliament.

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    By Faraz Ahmad for

    The latest Supreme court verdict ostensibly to block the entry of the corrupt and criminal elements into Parliament and state legislatures is guided by the fear of the deluge of the OBCs and Dalits in Parliament and state legislatures.

    There is such a glee and rejoice in the self righteous Brahmanical establishment of our country at the blow Justice S J Mukhopadhayaya and Justice A K Patnaik dealt to the “corrupt and criminal” politicians of the nation by ordaining that MPs and MLAs shall stand disqualified the day they are convicted for any offence which entails a penalty of more than two years’ imprisonment and simultaneously disallowing those in jail from contesting elections.

    Is the movement against corruption an attempt to control the political ascendancy of Dalits and OBCs?

    In two successive days this two judge bench first overturned a judgment of a larger five judge bench of the same court and struck down Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) that allowed legislators and members of Parliament, convicted by any court, to retain their membership if they appealed against the judgment within 90 days in a higher court and succeeded in securing a stay from that higher court, based on the sound principle of our Constitution that a person shall be presumed innocent unless pronounced guilty and has been held to be so by the highest court of the country.

    Justice Mukhopadhyaya and Patnaik pronounced no, the disqualification of a MLA or MP will come into effect immediately on the pronouncement of any adverse judgment even by a magistrate, never mind if at some later date that is overturned and held void by a higher court. The next day the same bench of Justices Mukhopadhyaya and Patnaik reinforced their resolve against the unwashed masses by pronouncing that any politician in jail, except held in preventive detention will henceforth not be entitled to file his nominations papers for any election. What a great judgment! What an earnest desire to cleanse body politic and ensure that only the deserving clean people get elected to our portals of democracy! How noble and lofty are the ideals of our Justice!

    Manish, a Research Scholar at National Law University explained in the Firstpost yesterday that, “Questions involving substantial interpretation of the Constitution, under Article 145, are to be heard by a bench of five judges or more, called Constitution Bench. Under internally evolved rules of judicial discipline, the conclusions in any judgment delivered by a bench are binding on all future benches of the same or lesser strength, and can only be set aside (or ‘overruled’) by a larger bench. The present case was heard by a Bench of two judges,” he observed, pointing out that in effect the honourable justices had overreached their jurisdiction.

    But the common theme of the Firstpost itself and The Times of India and even the normally sober The Hindu which carried the photographs of the usual suspects, Lalu Prasad and Kanimozhi was one of self-righteous vindication that now they will be able to close the doors of Parliament and legislatures to this “corrupt and criminal” lot which started entering the legislatures in a big way since the implementation of Mandal Commission report, though to date there is no reservation for the OBCs to enter Parliament and state legislatures.

    Curiously the judgment of the two honourable justices was delivered on a petition filed by a Supreme Court lawyer Lily Thomas, an activist lawyer of the Supreme Court who normally takes up women’s issues, and Lok Prahari Foundation, a Lucknow based non-governmental organization (see It has 20 members, of which almost all are retired bureaucrats, except two, one a retired judge of Allahabad High Court and the sole OBC on the panel is a retired judge of a district court. The only lady member is a retired professor of Lucknow University. An engineer and a journalist, who while enjoying the comfort of government officers’ colony at Kaiserbagh in Lucknow, is filing PILs against corruption in society, are also Lok Prahari members. The case composition of this score is 10 Brahmins. For display purposes, they also have an OBC, perhaps a Dalit, the lady member appears to be from the Sikh community and one Muslim who is obviously upper caste and the six others are all savarnas.

    Thus it is now clear that those concerned to save our great nation from these unwashed, unclean, dark-skinned dalits and backwards belong predominantly to the Brahmin Mahasabha. And it is equally interesting to note that the two judge bench which in its wisdom has overturned the verdict of a constitution bench, comprised of one Brahmin and one Kayastha. Patnaiks are not even two per cent of Odisha’s populace but are ruling that state almost since independence, save a Mahtab here or a Satpathy there.

    But more interesting is the history of Justice Mukhopadhayaya. He is a Brahmin from Bihar who was a member of the two judge bench comprising of him and Justice S N Jha another Brahmin who not just conducted the trial of Lalu Prasad but virtually supervised the investigations into the fodder scam in which Lalu was an accused and had to resign his chief ministership in 1997. After the creation of Jharkhand, Justice Mukhopadhayaya carried on his inquisition of Lalu Yadav from Ranchi and Lalu never got any relief in any of the cases that went to Justice Mukhopadhyaya. Every time he had to run to the Supreme Court to secure a relief. Now, Lalu might be guilty of corruption but this has to be established through fair trial and criminal jurisprudence clearly underlines that justice should not only be done but seen to be done. Therefore his guilt cannot be a matter of conjecture, based on the propaganda campaign of his political and urban upper caste detractors. No one, not even Justices Mukhopadhyaya or Jha had a right to carry on a political vendetta just because they could not stand a rustic “buffoon” leading the state of Bihar. Lalu has in fact become the symbol of whatever our Safrronised Urban Savarnas find wrong with the political class. This resonated so loudly in the rallies of Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and later in the refrains of Arvind Kejariwal.

    But it mainly smacks of a desire to disenfranchise the unwashed masses. In Pakistan, General Parvez Musharraf had ordained that no non-graduate could contest elections. Of course you could graduate from a madrasa and were eligible to sit in the national or provincial assembly but a non-graduate is still forbidden to enter the portals of Pakistan National Assembly or state legislatures.

    It is worth recalling that during the 2000 election of George W Bush which he won in a controversial contest against Al Gore, it was widely reported how a great number of African-Americans were disenfranchised by issuing traffic tickets to an unusually large number of young men and women for wrongful parking mainly in two states, Texas where he was the Governor and Florida governed by his brother Jeb. Back in India, before that there was a movement by some prominent citizens of Mumbai to save the beaches from the ‘uncivilised, uncouth Bhaiyas and Biharis’ defecating at those pristine beaches reserved only for the morning and evening walks of our proud Mumbaikars. The hoi polloi of Juhu and South Bombay had come together to join this campaign and eventually came to the conclusion that since the politicians tend to patronize these migrants all the time to win their elections, resulting in the daily multiplication of their numbers, the best way out was to disenfranchise this scum of the earth.

    Actually Justice Mukhopadhayaya belongs to that club of judges led by the very distinguished honourable former chief justice of India R C Lahoti who chaired a three judge bench of the Supreme Court which struck down in 2005 the Illegal Migrants (Determinants Tribunal) (IMDT)Act, 1983 ultra vires of the Constitution on the ground that it has proved to be ineffective in deporting illegal migrants (read Muslims) from Assam, in effect attempting to change the demography of Assam and disenfranchise a whole lot of Muslims. Of course the UPA Government did not heed to the Supreme Court diktat but it got a tongue lashing from L K Advani’s in the Lok Sabha on that score.

    Justice Lahoti ought to be remembered for very many things. For one, at a time when there was a general hue and cry against corruption all around including judiciary, Justice Lahoti pronounced that the judiciary was clean, giving a bit of shock to everyone. Then almost at the end of his tenure on September 29, 2005 he transferred out the Chief Justice of Guwahati High Court B K Roy to Sikkim High Court, whom noted jurist Fali Nariman described a “Man of high integrity” and called Justice Lahoti’s action as punitive (The Tribune, September 30, 2005). Soon after his retirement Justice Lahoti was seen sitting along with the students of AIIMS protesting against the April 2006 decision of the UPA government to effect 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in Government institutes of higher learning like the IITs, the IIMs, AIIMS and all central universities. His son appeared as the counsel for the anti-reservation students in a PIL in the Supreme Court which eventually upheld reservation for the OBCs.

    But Justice Lahoti is best remembered for his notable judgment in Punjab and Haryana High Court when he held that nobody having more than two children would be eligible to contest the local bodies’ elections, thus disqualifying the predominant population in any village in India and most certainly the poorer subaltern classes. Eventually the whole brouhaha about corruption and criminalization in politics is raised by the urban upper caste upwardly mobile section of our society, numerically small but more articulate and visible on all the TV channels. Since Mandal Report has come, and the OBCs seem to be taking the reins of power in their hands this camera-savvy crowd feels a desperate need to turn back the wheel of time and return to the glorious 1960s when only the cultured and civilized people sat in Parliament to make laws naturally in consonance with the needs of their class. Now that they see democracy passing into the hands of the subalterns they are devising all kinds of means to block those “undesirable elements” from entering legislatures and Parliament. They tried Anna Hazare who seemed to be succeeding briefly but couldn’t go too far; they tried Baba Ramdev but he has limitations as well. Arvind Kejriwal is a brave man and is trying hard. But so obviously he too cannot prevent a Lalu or Mayawati from ruling this country so the best option is to run to the venerated judges and see if they can hold back this deluge for a while.

    Faraz Ahmad is a Freelance journalist with past association with several national dailies.

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    Dr Shamsul Islam expresses ‘shock’ on Narednra Modi hailing himself as Hindu Nationalist’, despite sitting on a Constituional post of CM.

    Full text of the letter:

    An open letter to the 'Hindu Nationalist', Narendra Damodardas Modi Ji, Chief Minister of Gujarat


    I hope you are fine. While talking to two Reuters journalists, Ross Colvin and Sruthi Gottipati, on July 12, 2013, you identified yourself as a ‘Hindu Nationalist’ and credited the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for instilling in you, spirit “(to be a) patriot. Whatever work you do, you think are you doing this for the good of the nation? That's the basic training. The other basic training is discipline. Your life should be disciplined.”[1]

    The news agency declared that it was a ‘rare interview’ of yours taken at your official Gandhinagar residence. It shocked me immensely as you were not talking as an ordinary Indian citizen but as the chief minister of Gujarat, a constitutional position under the democratic-secular constitution of India. I am taking the liberty of writing this letter to you in the hope that you, who claim to be believer in transparency, will respond to the issues I raise.

    Narendra Modi

    As a seasoned RSS pracharak or whole-timer you know about your roots better than me. Still I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the term ‘Hindu Nationalist’ originated in a specific historical context during India’s Freedom Struggle against the British colonial masters. This Freedom Struggle was mainly led by the Congress, which stood for an all-inclusive democratic-secular free India. The ‘Muslim Nationalists’, under the banner of the Muslim League, and the 'Hindu Nationalists', under the banners of the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS, opposed it, claiming that Hindus and Muslims were two different nations. These Hindu and Muslim ‘Nationalists’ joined hands with the colonial masters in order to thwart the Freedom Struggle so that they could have theocratic states of their choice, ‘Hindusthan’ or Hindu Rashtra and Pakistan or Islamic state respectively.

    The politics of the Muslim League and its role in dividing India are well known but I need to refresh your memory about the nefarious role that ‘Hindu Nationalists’ played in India before and after Independence. I am relying exclusively on documents of the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha in order to put across reality.

    ‘Hindu Nationalists’ believe in the two-nation theory like the Muslim League

    Narendra ji! I would like to draw your attention to the fact that both the originator of Hindutva, V.D. Savarkar and RSS, had unequivocal faith in the two-nation theory: that Hindus and Muslims are two different nations. While the Muslim League under the leadership of Mohammed Ali Jinnah resolved to have a separate homeland for Muslims of India in the form of Pakistan in 1940, Savarkar propagated as early as 1937 that Hindus and Muslims were two different nations. While delivering the presidential address to the 19th Hindu Mahasabha session at Ahmedabad, ‘Veer’ Savarkar declared,

    As it is, there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India, several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so. These were well meaning but unthinking friends take their dreams for realities. That is why they are impatient of communal tangles and attribute them to communal organizations. But the solid fact is that the so-called communal questions are but a legacy handed down to us by centuries of cultural, religious and national antagonism between the Hindus and Moslems...Let us bravely face unpleasant facts as they are. India cannot be assumed today to be a unitarian [sic] and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main: the Hindus and the Moslems [sic], in India.[2]

    Sir! The RSS, following in the foot-steps of ‘Veer’ Savarkar, always rejected the idea that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians together constituted a nation. Its English organ, Organizer, on the very eve of Independence (August 14, 1947), editorially (titled ‘Whither’) underlined its belief in the two-nation theory once again in the following words:

    Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of the mental confusion and the present and future troubles can be removed by the ready recognition of the simple fact that in Hindusthan only the Hindus form the nation and the national structure must be built on that safe and sound foundation…the nation itself must be built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations.

    Your claim, 'My secularism is, India first' is problematic as you do not regard yourself as an Indian nationalist but as a ‘Hindu nationalist.’ If you are a Hindu nationalist then there will be, naturally, ‘Muslim nationalists’, ‘Sikh nationalists’, ‘Christian nationalists’, and so on. Thus you set the ball rolling for a divided India. This is surely a corollary of your organizational faith in the two-nation theory.

    Hindu Nationalists decry and denigrate the Indian national flag

    Modi Sir, as a senior and prominent whole-timer of the RSS you must know that on the eve of Independence the above mentioned RSS organ used the following language against the Tri-colour, the new National Flag of India:

    The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never [sic] be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.[3]

    Hindu nationalists ran coalition governments with the Muslim League in 1942-43

    1942 was a critical year in the history of India’s Freedom Struggle. In a nation-wide call the British rulers were asked to ‘Quit India’. The rulers responded by turning the country into a hell: armed squads killed common Indians completely disregarding the rule of law, millions were arrested and thousands suffered unparalleled repression. The Congress governments which were ruling different Provinces of British India were dismissed. The only political organizations allowed to work were the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League. These two organizations united to serve the rulers and formed coalition governments. It was corroborated by the mentor of RSS. ‘Veer’ Savarkar in his presidential address to the 24th session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Kanpur in 1942 declared,

    In practical politics also the Mahasabha knows that we must advance through reasonable compromises. Witness the fact that only recently in Sind, the Sind-Hindu-Sabha on invitation had taken the responsibility of joining hands with the League itself in running coalition Government. The case of Bengal is well known. Wild Leaguers whom even the Congress with all its submissiveness could not placate grew quite reasonably compromising and socialable as soon as they came in contact with the HM and the Coalition Government, under the premiership of Mr. Fazlul Huq and the able lead of our esteemed Mahasabha leader Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerji, functioned successfully for a year or so to the benefit of both the communities.[4]

    When Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was trying to liberate India, the Hindu nationalists were helping to strengthen the British rule and its armed forces

    Sir, you must be familiar with the name of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who tried to liberate India militarily with the help of Germany and Japan. However, during this period ‘Hindu Nationalists’, instead of helping him, were hand in glove with the British masters in defeating Netaji’s liberation struggle (in which former succeeded). Hindu Mahasabha under ‘Veer’ Savarkar’s leadership organized recruitment camps for British armed forces. The Hindutva camp’s surrender to the colonial masters was total, as we see in the following utterances of ‘Veer’ Savarkar:

    So far as India’s defence is concerned, Hindudom must ally unhesitatingly, in a spirit of responsive co-operation with the war effort of the Indian government in so far as it is consistent with the Hindu interests, by joining the Army, Navy and the Aerial forces in as large a number as possible and by securing an entry into all ordnance, ammunition and war craft factories…Again it must be noted that Japan’s entry into the war has exposed us directly and immediately to the attack by Britain’s enemies. Consequently, whether we like it or not, we shall have to defend our own hearth and home against the ravages of the war and this can only be done by intensifying the government’s war effort to defend India. Hindu Mahasabhaites must, therefore, rouse Hindus especially in the provinces of Bengal and Assam as effectively as possible to enter the military forces of all arms without losing a single minute.[5]

    What RSS instills in cadres?

    Sir, in your interview you claimed that RSS instills in cadres the spirit of patriotism, working for the good of the nation and discipline. Since RSS stands for Hindu Rashtra or nation, one can understand the fate of democratic-secular India in the hands of RSS cadres. You should have shared what the most prominent ideologue of the RSS, Golwalkar, expected from RSS members. While addressing a gathering of top ranking RSS on March 16, 1954, at Sindi, Wardha, he said:

    If we say that we are part of the organization and accept its discipline then selectiveness has no place in life. Do what is told. If told to play kabaddi, play kabaddi; told to hold meeting then meeting….For instance some of our friends were told to go and work for politics that does not mean that they have great interest or inspiration for it. They don’t die for politics like fish without water. If they are told to withdraw from politics then also there is no objection. Their discretion is just not required.[6]

    This second statement of 'Guru' Golwalkar is also significant.

    We know this also that some of our Swayamsevaks work in politics. There they have to organize according to the needs of work public meetings, processions etc., have to raise slogans. All these things have no place in our work. However, like the character in a play whatever role has been assigned should be portrayed with best of capability. But sometimes Swayamsevaks go beyond the role assigned to a performer (nat) as they develop over-zealousness in their hearts, to the extent that they become useless for this work. This is not good.[7]

    Modi Sir, we find here 'Guru' Golwalkar referring to the Swayamsevaks loaned to the political satellite as ‘nat’, performers, who are meant to dance to the tune of the RSS. It should be noted here that Golwalkar’s above design of controlling the political arm was elaborated in March 1960, almost nine years after the establishment of the Jana Sangh (the forerunner of the BJP) in 1951. What I would like to know from you is whether you are serving the democratic-secular polity of India or are a mere ‘nat’, a tool in the hands of the RSS for turning India into a theocratic state. Fact is that RSS makes its cadres spineless.

    Betrayal by RSS in India’s Freedom Struggle

    Sir, your claim that the RSS taught you patriotism is suspect, given the history of that organization as seen in its documents. I shall present some relevant documents for your kind perusal.

    The Non-cooperation Movement and the Quit India Movement were two great milestones in the history of the Indian Freedom Movement, and here is the great thesis of the great Golwalkar on these two great happenings:

    Definitely there are bound to be bad results of struggle. The boys became unruly after the 1920-21 movement. It is not an attempt to throw mud at the leaders. But these are inevitable products after the struggle. The matter is that we could not properly control these results. After 1942, people often started thinking that there was no need to think of the law.[8]

    Thus 'Guru' Golwalkar wanted the Indians to respect the draconian and repressive laws of the inhuman British rulers! After the 1942 Movement he further admitted,

    In 1942 also there was a strong sentiment in the hearts of many. At that time too the routine work of Sangh continued. Sangh vowed not to do anything directly. However, upheaval (uthal-puthal) in the minds of Sangh volunteers continued. Sangh is an organization of inactive persons, their talks are useless, not only outsiders but also many of our volunteers did talk like this. They were greatly disgusted too.[9]

    Sir, we have been told that the RSS did nothing directly. However, there is not a single publication or document of the RSS which throws light on what the RSS did indirectly for the Quit India Movement. During this period, in fact, its mentor, ‘Veer’ Savarkar, ran coalition governments with the Muslim League. I must conclude that because the RSS did nothing, directly or indirectly, for the Quit India Movement, and indeed acted against it, that titanic movement was, for you and your forebears, the opposite of patriotic.

    RSS denigrates martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle

    Modi Sir, I would like to know your views on the statements of 'Guruji' decrying and denigrating martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan. Here is a passage from the chapter, ‘Martyr, Great But Not Ideal’ from Bunch Of Thoughts, a veritable Geeta for RSS cadres such as yourself.

    There is no doubt that such men who embrace martyrdom are great heroes and their philosophy too is pre-eminently manly. They are far above the average men who meekly submit to fate and remain in fear and inaction. All the same, such persons are not held up as ideals in our society. We have not looked upon their martyrdom as the highest point of greatness to which men should aspire. For, after all, they failed in achieving their ideal, and failure implies some fatal flaw in them.[10]

    Sir, can there be a statement more insulting to the martyrs than this? The founder of the RSS, Dr. Hedgewar, went one step further:

    Patriotism is not only going to prison. It is not correct to be carried away by such superficial patriotism.[11]

    Don’t you feel, Sir, that if martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Ashfaqullah, Chandrashekhar Azad had come in contact with the then RSS leadership, they could have been saved from giving their lives for ‘superficial patriotism’? This also must be the reason why RSS leaders or cadres did not face repression during British rule and the RSS did not produce any martyr during the Freedom Movement. Finally, Sir, are we to regard as noble patriotism the cringing letters that 'Veer' Savarkar wrote to the Angrez Sarkar?

    RSS’ hatred for democracy

    Modi ji, as Chief Minister of Gujarat and a prominent leader of the BJP, you are supposed to function within the Democratic-Secular polity of India. What is your take on the following decree ordained by 'Guru' Golwalkar while addressing a group of 1,350 top level cadres of the RSS in 1940?

    RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in each and every corner of this great land.[12]

    I would like to bring it to your notice that this decree of ‘one flag, one leader and one ideology’ was also the battle cry of Fascist and Nazi parties of Europe in the first half of 20th century. What they did to democracy is well-known to this world.

    Against federalism

    The RSS is also dead against the federal structure given in the Constitution, again a basic feature of the Indian polity. This is clear from the following communication of M.S. Golwalkar to the first session of the National Integration Council in 1961:

    Today’s federal form of government not only gives birth but also nourishes the feelings of separatism, in a way refuses to recognize the fact of one nation and destroys it. It must be completely uprooted, constitution purified and unitary form of government be established.[13]

    ‘Hindu Nationalists’ stand for Casteism and anti-women Polity

    Sir, if you peep into the archives of the RSS and its brother organizations who want the rule of Hindutva in India, it will be immediately clear that all of them hated the Constitution of India, which was drafted under the guidance of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. When the Constituent Assembly of India had finalized the Constitution of India the RSS was not happy. Its organ, Organizer, in an editorial on November 30, 1949, complained:

    But in our constitution there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.

    In fact, RSS had been following the ideology laid down by ‘Veer’ Savarkar. It may not be a secret to you, Sir, that ‘Veer’ Savarkar remained a great proponent of Casteism and worshipper of Manusmriti throughout his life. According to this apostle of Hindu Nationalism:

    Manusmriti is that scripture which is most worshipable [sic] after Vedas for our Hindu Nation and which from ancient times has become the basis of our culture-customs, thought and practice. This book for centuries has codified the spiritual and divine march of our nation. Even today the rules which are followed by crores of Hindus in their lives and practice are based on Manusmriti. Today Manusmriti is Hindu Law.[14]

    Sir, as a great flag-bearer of Hindutva politics you must know what kind of society ‘Hindu Nationalists’ like you want to usher in. Since you are very busy, I am reproducing from the Code of Manu his prescriptions for Dalits/Untouchables and women. These dehumanizing and degenerate laws, which are presented here, are self-explanatory.

    Laws of Manu concerning Dalits/Untouchables:

    (1) For the sake of the prosperity of the worlds (the divine one) caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arm, his thighs and his feet.

    (2) One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudras, to serve meekly even these (other) three castes.

    (3) Once-born man (a Sudra), who insults a twice-born man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin.

    (4) If he mentions the names and castes (gati) of the (twice-born) with contumely, an iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth.

    (5) If he arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be poured into his mouth and into his ears.

    (6) With whatever limb a man of a low caste does hurt to (a man of the three) highest (castes), even that limb shall be cut off; that is the teaching of Manu.

    (7) He who raises his hand or a stick, shall have his hand cut off; he who in anger kicks with his foot, shall have his foot cut off.

    (8) A low-caste man who tries to place himself on the same seat with a man of a high caste, shall be branded on his hip and be banished, or (the king) shall cause his buttock to be gashed.

    (9) Let him never slay a Brahmana, though he have committed all (possible) crimes; let him banish such an (offender), leaving all his property (to him) and (his body) unhurt.

    Laws of Manu concerning Women:

    1. Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families), and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control.

    2. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.

    3. Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however trifling (they may appear); for, if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on two families.

    4. Considering that the highest duty of all castes, even weak husbands (must) strive to guard their wives.

    5. No man can completely guard women by force; but they can be guarded by the employment of the (following) expedients:

    6. Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection and expenditure of his wealth, in keeping (everything) clean, in (the fulfillment of) religious duties, in the preparation of his food, and in looking after the household utensils.

    7. Women, confined in the house under trustworthy and obedient servants, are not (well) guarded; but those who of their own accord keep guard over themselves, are well guarded.

    8. Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; (thinking), ‘(It is enough that) he is a man,’ they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly.

    9. Through their passion for men, through their mutable temper, through their natural heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, however carefully they may be guarded in this (world).

    10. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.

    11. For women no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred texts, thus the law is settled; women (who are) destitute of strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic texts, (are as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule.

    I would like to remind you that a copy of Manusmriti was burnt as a protest in the presence of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar during historic Mahad agitation in December, 1927.

    For RSS Casteism is synonymous with Hindu Nation

    Sir, as a loyal, disciplined and committed cadre of the RSS, you must be familiar with the fact that Casteism is the essence of Hindu Nationalism. 'Guru' Golwalkar went to the extent of declaring that Casteism was synonymous with the Hindu Nation. According to him, the Hindu people are none else but,

    The Virat Purusha, the Almighty manifesting himself […] [according to purusha sukta] sun and moon are his eyes, the stars and the skies are created from his nabhi [navel] and Brahmin is the head, Kshatriya the hands, Vaishya the thighs and Shudra the feet. This means that the people who have this fourfold arrangement, i.e., the Hindu People, is [sic] our God. This supreme vision of Godhead is the very core of our concept of ‘nation’ and has permeated our thinking and given rise to various unique concepts of our cultural heritage.[15]

    Sir, please tell me whether you stand with the RSS and 'Guruji' or with the Democratic-Secular Polity that has given you your power. This concerns common Hindus and specially women.

    I am sorry that my letter is getting long. You will forgive me as I have no other choice as your Reuter interview and other utterances and actions cover a very large canvas. You will appreciate that I am not raising the issue of the 2002 Gujarat Carnage as many other individuals and organizations have been doing. I strongly feel that I must raise those issues which generally are skipped: what is your agenda for the Hindus of this country and for the existing Democratic-Secular polity.

    I will end by raising two more issues, Sir.

    ‘Hindu Nationalists’ celebrate assassination of Gandhi

    Nathuram Godse and others who conspired to kill M.K. Gandhi, claimed to be ‘Hindu Nationalists’. They described killing as something ordained by God. RSS celebrated his killing by distributing sweets. Are they not revered by the Hindutva camp? Aren’t you one of them? When you were in Goa in June 2013 for the BJP executive committee meeting, you sent a message to the ‘All India Hindu Convention for Establishment of Hindu Nation’ organised by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS). Your message read: “Even though every Hindu conducts himself with love, compassion and intimacy with god, giving precedence to non-violence, truth and “satvikta”, repelling demoniacal tendencies is in our destiny. It is our tradition to remain alert and raise a voice against persecution…Only by protecting our culture, can the flag of “dharma” and unity be kept intact. Organisations inspired by nationalism, patriotism and devotion for the Nation are true manifestations of people's power.”[16]

    You must have sent this intimate fraternal message to the HJS knowing them well. Shockingly, from the same dais in this convention from where your felicitation message was read, one of the prominent speakers, K.V. Sitaramiah, declared that Gandhi was 'terrible, wicked and most sinful'. Rejoicing the killing of M.K. Gandhi, he went on to declare, “As Bhagwan Shri Krishna said in the Gita, Paritranaya Sadhunam Vinashaya Cha Dushkritam/ Dharamasansthapnaya Sambhavami Yuge-Yuge (For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of righteousness, I am born in every age) On…30th January 1948 evening, Shriram came in the form of Nathuram Godse and ended the life of Gandhi.”[17]

    Let me add that K.V. Sitaramaiah has also authored a book titled ‘Gandhi was Dharma Drohi and Desa Drohi’ in which the back cover matter, quoting from the epic Mahabharat, demands ‘Dharma Drohis must be killed’, ‘Not killing the deserved to be killed is great sin’ and ‘where the members of Parliament seeing clearly allow to kill Dharma & truth as untruth, those members will be called dead’.

    Sir, please say if this is not an open call to annihilate those members of Parliament who do not subscribe to author’s definition of Dharma.

    Neo-Nazi mass murderer of Norway, Breivik, glorified ‘Hindu Nationalists’ [18]

    Last of all; kindly tell me how you respond to Norwegian mass killer Neo-Nazi, Anders Behring Breivik, who hailed India's ‘Hindu Nationalist’ movement as a key ally in a global struggle to bring down democratic regimes across the world. Just before he went to massacre a large number of people in Norway he released a 'manifesto' of 1,518 pages, of which 102 pages dealt with the Hindutva movement of India. It declared support to 'Sanatana Dharma movements and Indian nationalists in general.' This manifesto also laid down a plan of co-operation between Neo-Nazi movements of Europe and ‘Hindu Nationalist’ organizations of India. It said that it was essential that these two 'learn from each other and cooperate as much as possible' as 'Our goals are more or less identical.' This manifesto specially mentioned the names of Hindutva organizations like RSS, BJP, ABVP & VHP in this regard. Importantly, the manifesto pledged military support 'to the nationalists in the Indian civil war and in the deportation of all Muslims from India' as part of a larger campaign to 'overthrow of all western European multiculturalist governments.' I am requesting your response on a matter which, in fact, should have been raised by the Reuter journalists.

    I shall be eagerly looking forward to your response. I am sure that with the vast resources available to you, nationally and internationally, it will not cause much inconvenience to your Highness.

    Thanking you.


    Shamsul Islam

    Delhi, 17-07-2013

    (Shamsul Islam is a Political Science faculty at the University of Delhi and author of several books.)


    [2] V. D. Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p. 296.

    [3] Organizer, August 14, 1947.

    [4] V. D. Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, pp. 479-80

    [5] V. D. Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p. 460. V. D. Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, pp. 479-80.

    [6] SGSD, vol. iii, p. 32.

    [7] SGSD, vol. iv, pp. 4-5.

    [8]SGSD, volume IV, p. 41.

    [9] SGSD, Volume IV, p. 40.

    [10] MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p. 283.

    [11] CP Bhishikar, Sanghavariksh Ke Beej: Dr. Keshavrao Hedgewar, Suruchi, 1994, p. 21.

    [12] Golwalkar, M. S., Shri guruji Samagar Darshan (Collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Vol. I (Nagpur: Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, nd), p. 11.

    [13] MS Golwalkar, Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan (collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, nd., volume iii, p. 128. Hereafter referred as SGSD.

    [14] Savarkar, V. D., ‘Women in Manusmriti’ in Savarkar Samagar, Vol. 4 [Collection of Savarkar’s Writings in Hindi] (New Delhi: Prabhat), 416.

    [15]Golwalkar, M. S., We or Our Nationhood Defined, (Nagpur:Bharat Publications, 1939), p.36.




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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Curfew was Friday imposed in Srinagar, many towns of the Valley and areas in Ramban district of Jammu while the Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed in the wake of protests after four people died in BSF firing Thursday in Gool village of Ramban district.

    A senior police officer said: "Curfew has been imposed in entire Srinagar, Badgam, Ganderbal and Bandipora districts Friday. It has also come into force in Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag, Sopore and Bijbehara towns.

    "There will be restrictions under section 144 in some other places Friday."

    Kashmir University has cancelled all examinations scheduled Friday.

    Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who have called for three- and two-day shutdowns, respectively, to protest the killings, have been placed under house arrest in Srinagar.

    Pro-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik has called a protest march in Srinagar Friday. Malik and other JKLF activists were arrested in Srinagar Thursday.

    Of the injured in Thursday's incident, 25 people are being treated at Ramban district hospital, two at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar and 17 at Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu.

    A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper also sustained a bullet injury.

    Trouble erupted in Gool village Thursday when villagers, alleging desecration of a mosque and beating up of the local imam by BSF personnel, stormed a BSF camp.

    BSF inspector general (Frontier Jammu) Rajeev Krishna told reporters the BSF guards at the camp had opened fire to prevent looting of arms and ammunition.

    Locals have dismissed the BSF explanation as 'fabrication' saying that the troopers had opened fire at peaceful protesters.

    Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also dismissed the explanation, saying the firing was "unacceptable and those involved will be brought to justice".

    Thursday, Omar spoke to union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who ordered special DG BSF to conduct a probe into the firing incident.

    Meanwhile, the Amarnath Yatra-bound batch of pilgrims was not allowed to move towards the Valley from Jammu because of the closure of the national highway.

    Devotees were, however, allowed to proceed towards the holy cave from the two base camps of Baltal in the north and Nunwan (Pahalgam) in the south.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Mission Bhartiyam, a city based youth organization is organizing a demonstration on Sunday, July 21 to protest against the Ramban Massacre by BSF that claimed 6 lives and injured 44 others. This is a call by the voluntary organization for equal democratic rights for the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

    The BSF had opened fired on a mob that was protesting against the alleged manhandling by BSF personnel of a local imam, followed by the reported desecration of the Holy Quran the previous night. It’s alleged that the mob attacked a BSF post in Gool in Ramban district Thursday morning that led to the massacre.

    “This shameful incident of Ramban massacre is not a sudden reaction to the protest. There is every reason to believe that the security personals had sufficient capability to face the protestors but decided to open fire on them as if they were mentally-prepared to take such action,” Mission Bhartiyam said in a press statement.

    It added, “The Ramban incident is a prima facie case of coercive method adopted by the security personals and highlights the highhanded attitude of the security forces that they have acquired over a period time due to their absolute powers and the impunity granted to them.”

    “There is every reason to believe that like other similar incidents before, there will be no action taken by the government against security personals in Ramban massacre too. In such situation the only option left for the secular democratic forces to raise voice against such injustices”, it further added.

    ‘The organization feels that it is high time that the secular democratic forces in the country must raise voice against injustice’ happening in J&K, said Ravi Nitesh of Mission Bhartiyan.

    Mission Bhartiyan has demanded the repealing of AFSPA, to investigate all crimes committed under it, prosecuting the guilty persons and demilitarization as the primary and just initiatives that must be taken to improve the situation in J&K. It is in this context organizing a protest in New Delhi on Sunday, 11 AM at Jantar Mantar and has appealed to all progressive groups, individuals and organizations to join the demonstration.

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    By IANS,

    Kolkata : Accusing the Trinamool Congress of rigging the third phase of the West Bengal panchayat polls, CPI-M leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah Friday called for restructuring of his own party's leadership.

    "There is total rigging. I have been hearing bombings since early morning. I don't think there was rigging during my time but there were instances of proxy votes," Mollah told a TV channel while voting in Canning in South 24-Parganas here.

    Three neighbouring districts of Kolkata - North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Howrah - will Friday elect some 13,000 representatives to the village councils, the third tier of India's electoral democracy.

    Nearly one crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 12,656 booths in round three of the five-phase polls in the state.

    Asked about the absence of CPI-M cadres and the red flags that are symbolic of the party, Mollah called for re-organisation and restructuring of the party if it had to return to power.

    "The leadership needs to to be re-organised and restructured, then only can the party turn its tides," said Mollah.

    Mollah, the land reforms minister in the erstwhile Left Front regime, is known as a loose cannon in political circles for his out-of-turn attacks against a section of the party leadership, especially former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and ex-industries minister Nirupam Sen.

    During his tenure as minister, Mollah openly protested against the land acquisition procedure followed in Singur in Hooghly district for the Nano car plant of Tata Motors.

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    By IANS,

    Mumbai : A sessions court here Friday adjourned till July 24 further hearing in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving Bollywood actor Salman Khan.

    The actor along with some of his family members attended the hearing in person as per the court's earlier directives.

    The court, which last month held that a case was made out to invoke the stringent Indian Penal Code Section 304 (III) against the actor, is expected to deliver its ruling in conducting a retrial.

    The fresh charge under IPC Section 304 (III), which pertains to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, could attract a 10-year jail term.

    Earlier, Salman Khan had been tried by a metropolitan magistrate under the less severe charges of IPC 304A, relating to rash and negligent driving which stipulated a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

    However, the metropolitan magistrate, after examining 17 witnesses in the case, had invoked the more serious charge under Section 304 (III) of the IPC against the actor.

    The court has two options before it: either to conduct a fresh trial or continue the existing case with the additional stringent charges. The court is expected to give its ruling on this at the next hearing.

    During Friday's hearing, Salman Khan was sitting in the visitors' area, but was later summoned to stand in the box meant for accused.

    One person was killed and four others were injured when a Land Cruiser allegedly driven by Salman Khan in an inebriated state ran over a group of footpath dwellers in Mumbai's Bandra suburb in the early hours of Sep 28, 2002.

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    By IANS,

    Kolkata : Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday said her party would never support Narendra Modi, likely to be projected by the BJP as its prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 general elections.

    "We have never supported Narendra Modi. We will never support him," Banerjee said while addressing a panchayat poll rally at Rampurhat in Birbhum district.

    Training her guns on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, she said: "They have been ruling for 10 years. During this time they never talked about Narendra Modi. Now with elections round the corner, they are telling people that if you don't vote for us, Modi will become prime minister."

    She accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of failing to play the role of a responsible opposition in Parliament. "They are not playing the role of a responsible opposition. Actually there is no enmity between the Congress and the BJP."

    Alleging that the BJP believed in the politics of dividing people into Hindus and Muslims, she said: "But actually, they care for the interests of neither Hindus nor Muslims."

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    By Human Rights Features

    Much has been said recently about national interest requiring turning a blind eye towards the extra-judicial killings of Indian citizens allegedly with the connivance of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and its uniformed police accomplices. To hear some commentators, all that stands between India and imminent destruction is the capacity of an unaccountable body to Parliament to execute whomever, wherever, and whenever they like.

    Stripped of the immunity to murder at whim, the IB would be allegedly forced to fight suspected terrorists with both hands tied behind its back.

    Or would it?

    Members of Rihai Manch burn the effigy of IB and Delhi Police Crime Branch, in Lucknow on March 24, 2013.

    No nation can be expected to stand by while the lives of its citizens are threatened. The doctrine of self-defence permits the use of lethal force in such circumstances. But it is not an unequivocal doctrine. Self-defence is qualified by consideration of the imminence of the threat and the proportionality of the response.

    In an era of unpredictable threats, what qualifies as imminent and proportional will inevitably be stretched. But must it be stretched to cover the extra-judicial execution of four suspects who were apparently in illegal custody and could not possibly pose a threat to security in their custodial condition?

    In any civilized society, who does and does not have the power to kill is carefully regulated to protect its own citizens from arbitrariness and abuse. Such societies intentionally place a firewall between those 2 organizations that are permitted to act clandestinely, and those empowered to use lethal force on that society’s citizens. The reason for this is self-evident. The permission to use lethal force is an extraordinary power which automatically infringes the most basic constitutional rights of all to their own life, except according to procedure established by law. Granting this extraordinary power to clandestine organizations in the form of blanket immunity from prosecution for crimes committed domestically destroys our most fundamental right and leaves us all less secure.

    And for what? So the IB and its police cohorts reportedly can take four illegally held young people out and shoot them at point blank range? What good does this do?

    We don’t even know whether or not Ishrat Jehan really was a terrorist, as alleged by media quoting unnamed sources. In fact, we’ll probably never know for sure. Why? Because the so called custodians of the law killed, rather than having arrested her got her to stand trial. This fact alone should raise deep suspicions about the usefulness of alleged extrajudicial killings by the IB and its police cohorts. Trials are one of the best means we have for ascertaining truth. Not shadowy or uniformed lynch gang killings which short-circuit the judicial process and leave us with nothing but corpses, questions, and the gnawing fear that our own freedoms are melting away.

    Granting the IB blanket immunity against prosecution would also make them an anomaly among intelligence services in the democratic world. No other intelligence service claims an uninhibited right to execute its country’s citizens.

    MI-6, Britain’s secret intelligence service, is given immunity for crimes committed outside of Great Britain if authorized by the Secretary of State. They are not, however, immune from crimes committed within the United Kingdom and what immunity they do enjoy is conditional on the Secretary of State, one of Britain’s mostly highly placed executive officials.

    MI-5, Britain’s domestic intelligence service, is also not immune from criminal investigation and prosecution. British Metropolitan Police investigated whether MI-5 was complicit in the torture of a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay.

    In addition, both MI-5 and MI-6 are under the constant scrutiny of the Independent Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee which has the power to demand documents and initiate investigations.

    The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States is currently engaged in targeted killings using drone strikes around the world which have included, in four instances, its own citizens. This has sparked a great deal of debate in the country and culminated in the current efforts of two US Senators to introduce legislation that makes it clear that the US Government may not kill a US citizen on US soil if that citizen does not pose an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. In response to this, the US government is now moving the drone program from the hand of the CIA to the department of defence.

    However, even the director of the CIA never claimed an unqualified right to use lethal force. John Brennan, supported by the Department of Justice, specified that such killings are only permissible in circumstances where there is an imminent threat of violent attack and capture is impossible. This account very much differs from the circumstances which led to the summary execution of Ishrat Jahan.

    Moreover, on the specific question of the CIA killing American citizens on American soil who posed no imminent threat, the Attorney General, Eric Holder, gave an unequivocal no. If the CIA was to engage in such actions, they would be subject to the full force of the law of the United States.

    Even our own Supreme Court has come down extremely hard on the use of encounter killings by police. In the Court’s decision to deny bail to police officers in Prakash Kadam vs.Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta & Anr, it likened an officer’s agreement to carry out a fake encounter to the Nazi complicity in war crimes. The court is unequivocal that encounter killings are murder. As they state, “The ‘encounter’ philosophy is a criminal philosophy…Trigger happy policemen who think they can kill people in the name of ‘encounter’ and get away with it should know that the gallows await them.” If this is the case for police officers, ostensibly granted a monopoly on force in our country, how much more so should it be for an intelligence agency with no legislative right to force at all?

    Invoking the high principles of the constitution and the rules regarding intelligence services around the globe ought to compel most Indians to realize the follies of granting the IB blanket immunity. But there will still be a chorus crying out ‘But what about the consequences?’

    Well, what about them? We have a police force for carrying out arrests and a military for extraordinary circumstances. We have a legislature capable of changing the law to respond to emergencies and one of the finest judiciaries in the world. Why do we want to create a clandestine hit squad agency operating above and in contradiction to all our laws?

    If we want to speak of consequences, consider the fact that of the IB’s 26 directors, only 5 are reportedly dedicated to working on terrorism. Most focus on political intelligence. If the IB or any other police agency is given a blanket immunity to execute whomever they wish, how long will it be until they will be tempted to use it on political opponents? At the end of the day we must ask ourselves, ‘who should hold the power of life and death?’ Should it be an unaccountable body of spooks in whom we blindly place our faith? Or as Juvenal put it in the first century AD, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” "Who watches the watchmen?”
    Human Rights Features is a service of the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre.

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    By Md. Mudassir Alam,

    Kishanganj, a Muslim dominated in north-eastern part of Bihar is widely known for being India’s least female literate district. Not only female literacy, the male literacy rate of this district is among is very less and comes among India’s least literate areas. Call it divine blessing or hard-work of the students of this part of India as they are making the mark in the field of education. Setting aside the tag of less literacy the Muslim youths of this district and adjoining areas are doing exceptional in the field of education. Be it the premier IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Join Entrance Examination or combined Medical (M.B.B.S) entrance test in the recent time every year students from this part of India clears the test and get admission.

    Like the past this year too the students from Kishanganj and adjoining areas have cracked IIT and M.B.B.S entrance tests. The major highlight among the successful students are five students who have cracked the M.B.B. S entrance test conducted by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh. Razi Anwer, Sharique Enam, Mazhar Saba, Nauris Quamar and Athar Maswood have secured five seats out of 145 seats in M.B.B.S course of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College & Hospital (JNMCH) in AMU, Aligarh. By clearing the AMU M.B.B.S entrance, the five champions from Kishanganj has surprised all and receiving plaudits. Most importantly, all the successful candidates belong to average income families, but education has high value for them. With utter dedication and focused approach these five have certainly brought this area into notice of nation and those from Indian origin residing in Gulf countries.

    “The success of Razi and others in M.B.B.S entrance of AMU is a big achievement, which is widely appreciated. They have emerged out as role model for coming generations of this area,” said Mohammad Mudassir Alam from Kishanganj and also an AMU alumni currently working with a media organization. Further he added, “along with Kishanganj these five have set an example for the areas where education is not given much importance.” “Development of any area, state or country is highly dependent on education, I am sure with the examples like Razi, Sharique, Mazhar, Nauris and Athar the literacy would improve in this part of India. I request the parents to encourage and push ahead the girl children as well for higher studies. With proper education among boys and girls, a society can be prosperous,” mentioned Mudassir.

    When talked with family members of five champs one thing was common, which is their consistent good performance in the class from school level to senior secondary level. Next, all had passed their 10+2 examination from Aligarh Muslim University and cracked M.B.B.S with high score in overall cut-off list of the entrance. One more thing is common among these five, all of them have cracked NEET (UG) conducted for admission in M.B.B.S course by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Social activist Anna Hazare Friday said he had never said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was not communal.

    "I didn't say that Modi is not communal. I said that I can't I don't have any evidence. I have never praised him," Hazare said at a press conference here.

    "He is leading a party (Bharatiya Janata Party) (in the next general elections) which is communal so that makes him communal too," Hazare said.

    He added that Modi, who is the chairman of BJP's election campaign panel for next Lok Sabha polls, never condemned the Godhra riots in harsh words.

    On a question regarding the next prime minister, he said it would be decided by the public in the next general elections.

    The anti-graft crusader also made it clear that he would not support any political party or leader. "Arvind Kejriwal formed a party. So there is no question of supporting him," Hazare said.

    He added that the country needed the Lokpal Bill and not communalism as it would divide the society.

    The veteran activist visited Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh during his 'Jantantra Yatra' to push for a strong Lokpal Bill.

    "I will be visiting Bihar and other states in the second phase of the yatra, which starts from July 23," he said.

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    By Saeed Naqvi, IANS,

    When the monsoon session of parliament opened in August 2010, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited opposition leaders for dinner. The BJP declined because central agencies were proceeding against Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah. This stand instilled great fear in the ranks of the treasury benches. Note how the BJP rallied behind Narendra Modi, the rising star.

    Such was the state of funk in the ruling party that the monsoon session passed without Amit Shah’s name being mentioned even once. For this act of grace, there was repayment in kind. Foreign Policy, Palestine, Economy, Nuclear Liability, forward trading in food grains, Kashmir, even Pakistan - all these issues remained uncontested.

    That was then. Last week, there was something of a dejavu. Outlook magazine had a bold cover story: “UPA’s Rs.54,500 crore Gas Rip-off”. That was not all. The three deck headline rested on another line in bold fonts: “And the BJP’s Shocking Silence”.

    How “shocking” BJP’s silence is on this and other issues - for instance, the list on which Foreign Direct Investment has been most generously allowed - will become clear in the coming monsoon session.

    Today Modi is not just a rising, but a risen star. If coordination between major parties is the name of the game, it would be appropriate to understand the level of coordination for all round benefit. All round benefit means benefit to India Inc headquartered in Mumbai, Congress, BJP and the multinationals who have gauged India as a trillion dollar market which could be utilized for global economic recovery, after which we may have time to consider the Indian People too.

    It is elementary that Modi is no coalition builder. Since only a coalition, a UPA-III or an NDA-II, are possible after the 2014 general elections, why is Modi being projected? And what is he being projected as? There is an Urdu expression, “mubham” or “vague” which does not quite convey the meaning. French drivers have a vivid expression for dusk, “neither wolf nor dog”.

    The BJP has not announced Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. He is the chief of the party’s campaign panel, a position earlier held by Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitley. And yet, there he goes flying, higher and higher, on the winged horse called the media.

    Shikar or hunting is out of fashion in India but the sport offers an interesting insight on current politics. The easiest bird to shoot is the one in flight. Place Modi in that analogy, and he makes for an easy target for all the party leaders who threw a ginger fit at his elevation in the Goa conclave. Gaining height prematurely is risky politics.

    It is also something of a puzzle, though, that all the leaders who had trooped into L.K. Advani’s Prithviraj Road residence, imploring him not to resign and who established instant contact with RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat to intervene and restore the balance away from Modi, have, one by one, fallen in line with the elevation given to the Gujarat strongman.

    Have they fallen in line with the Goa decision because they have realized that Modi is not the party’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014? A serious candidate for the top job will have to be a coalition builder, one who can deliver NDA-II. This Modi certainly is not.

    What is he then? A Mahatma in the making because he is indifferent to power? That would be the implication if he is indifferent to coalitions. A leader of ideological purity, one who calls a spade a spade, who does not obsequiously discard the puppy image when referring to Muslims, whose larger than life posters in Mumbai proudly proclaim him as a “Hindu Nationalist”?

    Since 2007, just before the assembly elections, Modi’s Public Relations has been globally managed by APCO Worldwide which boasts of former US ambassador to New Delhi, Timothy Roemer, as a hands on manager with offices in Mumbai and New Delhi. APCO has an impressive record of servicing dictators like Sani Abacha in Nigeria, for instance.

    APCO’s extraordinary projection of Modi could well polarize the national mood and yet augment the UPA’s vote share in the short run. By this logic, UPA-III seems to be the emerging outcome in 2014. Which will be fine for the corporates and their multinational links provided key enabling legislations are pushed through parliament by the two parties.

    Another reason why Modi’s support team have been able to impose a fait accompli on the BJP is because of an acute fear that Modi and his Sancho Panza will, sooner or later, trip up in the course of investigations under way in Gujarat. Modi’s fall will then be the BJP’s fall too. But if Modi is allowed to fly high on a platform of Hindu nationalism, his being grounded will be blamed on intrigue by the forces of “pseudo secularism”. This pits Modi as an embodiment of an idea shaded in dark saffron, projected in Presidential style, against the secular formations, pale and wan, poised precariously on a rickety Parliamentary platform.

    The real battle, then, is not being envisaged for 2014 but more like 2016.

    (A senior commentator on political and diplomatic affairs, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Sporadic clashes between agitating mobs and security forces despite curfew restrictions marred life across the Valley Friday. Three districts of Chenab Valley in the Jammu region were also affected.

    Two protesters sustained pellet injuries during protests in Kruhama village in north Kashmir Ganderbal district.

    Both the injured people were removed to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura (SKIMS) in Srinagar city, where doctors said they were out of danger.

    Protesters also defied curfew restrictions in Beehama, Duderhama and Fatehpora areas of Ganderbal district, where security forces intervened with batons and tear gas canisters to disperse unruly mobs.

    Protests also erupted in Shopian and Dooru towns in south Kashmir, where people clashed with security forces.

    Clashes erupted at many places in old city areas of Srinagar despite the imposition of curfew by the authorities.

    Two security men were injured in a stone pelting incident in Nowshera area of the city, and were shifted to hospital for treatment.

    After persuasion from the authorities, the locals Friday morning buried the bodies of four people killed in firing by Border Security Force personnel in Gool area of Ramban Thursday, while people protested the alleged desecration of a place of worship.

    Authorities had imposed curfew in Srinagar, Badgam, Ganderbal and Bandipora districts and many other sensitive towns in the Valley to maintain law and order Friday.

    The state cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, sanctioned an ex-gratia cash relief of Rs.5 lakh for the next of kin of those slain in the Ramban clashes.

    The cabinet also decided Friday that one member of each bereaved family would be given a government job.

    The state cabinet has condemned the "use of excessive force by security men" during Thursday's protests in Ramban.

    The Border Security Force (BSF) camp in the area was removed by the authorities and personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police were posted at the camp in Gool village.

    A complete shutdown was observed in Kishtwar, Bhaderwah and Doda towns of Jammu region Friday. These hilly districts are together known as the Chenab Valley districts.

    Traffic on the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway was suspended by the authorities because of tensions in Batote, Chanderkote, Bannihal, Qazigund and some other towns throug which the over 300-kilometre highway passes.

    No Amarnath-bound pilgrim was allowed to leave Jammu for the Valley Friday, but authorities said the pilgrims were allowed to proceed towards the cave shrine from both north Kashmir Baltal and south Kashmir Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camps.

    A senior police officer said the law and order situation remained peaceful, by and large, in the state Friday.

    "The situation would be reviewed in the evening to take a final call on the curfew that was imposed in many areas today", the officer said.

    Separatists have asked people to continue the protest shutdown Saturday as well.

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    By IANS,

    Mumbai : Five accused in the 2006 Malegaon blast case Friday demanded an inquiry against the Maharashtra Police and Anti-Terrorist Squad officers who had falsely implicated nine Muslim youth in the case, an activist said.

    The accused also sought compensation from the state government as they were falsely implicated in the case and spent a long period behind bars, said Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra legal adviser Sharif Shaikh.

    The five accused - Noorulhuda Samsodhoha, Shabbir Ahmed Masiullah, Raiss Ahmed Rajjab Ali Mansuri, Mohammed Zahid Abdul Majid and Abrar Ahmed Gulam Ahmed - made the demands in an application seeking discharge from the case after contradictions in the charge-sheets filed by various probe agencies.

    The Jamiat moved their discharge application in the designated Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) special court.

    The five argued that not only were they falsely implicated in the case, but also their alleged confessional statement which was used as a vital piece of evidence against them was discarded by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which subsequently took over the probe from the Maharashtra Police and the ATS.

    The applications contended that the NIA had concluded that the confessionals were not voluntary and obtained under duress from the accused.

    The court has posted the matter for further hearing July 22.

    Last month, two others - Mohamed Ali Shaikh and Asif Bashir Shaikh, accused in the same case had moved a discharge plea though they are currently in custody as they are accused in the July 7, 2005 Mumbai serial blasts in trains.

    "Soon, we shall file similar discharge appeals for the remaining two accused who are currently enlarged on bail," Shaikh said.

    The MCOCA court had granted bail to seven of the total nine accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case after the NIA investigated it and submitted a preliminary report in November 2011.

    The Sep 8, 2006 blasts in the powerloom town in Nashik district of north Maharashtra had left 35 people dead.

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    By Abdul Gani,,

    Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has appreciated the Indian envoy in the United Nations for his concern and appeal to the international community on the security of journalists working in the conflict zones across the globe.

    The northeast India based media persons’ organization has however claimed that India in general and trouble-torn Assam in particular is recognized as one of the most dangerous places for the working journalists, where the country itself cannot claim a better image.

    It is worth mentioning here is that India’s permanent UN representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji on Wednesday argued that as the journalists play a crucial role in ensuring citizens’ right for constitutionally guaranteed personal liberty, freedom of speech and expression in reality, every country and its government should take the responsibility to protect the journalists in all situations.

    “As the world's most populous democracy, India is committed to the protection of these rights for all its citizens, including journalists,” Mukerji has reportedly pointed out in an UN Security Council debate on protection of journalists in conflict situations.

    The JFA, while questioning the sincerity of the Indian machineries on the protection of working journalists across the country, also alleges that the journalists and their families remain victim of circumstances in Assam and northeast India without justice for decades.

    “Assam has lost over 20 correspondents, journalists and editors in the last two decades and shockingly not a single culprit has been punished till date. In most cases, the police and authority have made it a habit to ignore useful facts while presenting the cases in the respected courts, giving ample scope for the culprits to go free,” said a statement issued by the JFA.

    Signed by its president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria, the JFA statement alleged that even after huge public resentments against the murder of some reputed media persons in Assam namely Kamala Saikia, who was brutally killed by Ulfa militants in 1991 and Parag Kumar Das, assassinated by surrendered militants in 1997, the authority is yet to make anybody accountable for the crimes.

    There recent killing of three newspaper employees namely Sujit Bhattcharjee, Ranjit Chaudhary and Balaram Ghosh in Tripura, when they were working in the office of Dainik Ganadoot, an Agartala based Bengali newspaper, speaks a volume about the sense of vulnerability for media persons in northeast India. Manipur, an insurgency stricken
    State of the region has lost at least 6 editor-journalists to miscreants in the last 20 years and similarly Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh also often witness the atrocities on media persons.

    “In reality, the media persons of the region, most of them are lowly paid and out of insurance coverage remain susceptible to numerous threats from insurgents, surrendered militants and even the anti-insurgent security agencies,” asserted the statement. The JFA believes that while appealing to the international community for the protection of the journalists, the Indian authority should reorganize its various machineries to ensure safety and security for its own journalists and other media employees, such that they can continue performing their duties without fear and trepidation.

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