Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Delhi, the Rape Capital!!

A 23 year old girl is brutally raped by 6 hooligans in a private bus she boarded with her friend from Select City Walk, one of the most posh malls of Delhi! Her male friend is stripped and beaten by an iron rod. The rod is shoved INSIDE the unfortunate girl and her intestines rupture! Both of them are stripped and thrown off the Mahipalpur Highway to die in the bitter cold!

Are you still able to breathe properly??

The Delhi Police have revealed in a report that a woman is raped every 18 hours or molested every 14 hours in the Capital. If that's not shocking enough, most of the attackers fall under the below 25 age bracket!!The latest rape statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has once again put Delhi on top of the shame table. 

According to a Times Of India report, Delhi registered 568 cases of rape, compared to 218 in Mumbai in 2011 according to NCRB records. In the 2007-2011 period, Delhi topped the chart, followed by Mumbai, Bhopal, Pune and Jaipur. 

Protest Update 1
The seething outrage over the case spilled on to the Rajpath on Saturday as a large number of youth, in different groups, descended to protest in front of the Rashtrapati Bhavan seeking justice for the victim. 

Around 8 a.m. the youth started converging at India Gate demanding death penalty for the rapists. As the crowd swelled, it began moving up on Rajpath towards Rashtrapati Bhavan. Overshooting police anticipation, students and young professionals — who primarily relied on social media and SMS communication to muster support — began screaming their lungs out against what they described was utter complacency and lip service by the government and the police in the matter. 

Delhi Women on streets protesting against the Rape Culture

The police, however, blocked the path of the protesters with barricades and buses parked at the footsteps of Raisina Hill and as new groups kept merging with the protesting crowds, their FIRST FACE-OFF with the police happened around 11 a.m. To disperse them, the police trained a water-cannon on them and lobbed a volley of tear-gas shells. 

 Police high-handedness at fore again in Delhi!

What followed was a brief spell of violence by some protesters who targeted police buses, accusing the police of unnecessarily using force on unarmed protesters who included girls and women. On at least six occasions, the police resorted to caning the young protesters, who hurled stones, shoes and water bottles at them in retaliation.

Around 5.30 p.m. when hassled senior police officers were busy negotiating with a group to defuse the prevailing situation and manage the leader-less crowd, the LATHI-WEILDING security personnel in riot-gears AGAIN CHARGED at the protesters driving them away. The aggressive response from Delhi Police, left 125 tear-gas shells lobbed and at least 35 protesters injured!

Shame on Delhi Police!

The protesters tried to reorganise at the nearby Vijay Chowk where they were attacked again, this time from all the directions!

Several of them sustained injuries but they decided to stay put with YOUNG GIRLS FORMING A CHAIN AROUND THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS to stall the police advance. Hats off to the brave girls of Delhi! Also kudos to the men who came out in large numbers to support their female friends and brave Govt. high-handedness to reclaim their rights.

A defiant India reclaiming its rights

Leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party, including Gopal Rai, Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas, who also participated along their supporters, addressed the crowd later in the evening. The day culminated in a meeting of one of the groups with Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who assured them of fast-tracking the trial in the case and a “sea-change” in policing through implementation of long-term reforms.

Protest Update 2

This morning while Sheila Dikshit was condemning the force with which Delhi police acted yesterday, its lackeys were busy dragging protesters and pushing them into buses to take them away from India Gate!

The buses took away the protesters and dumped them at far-off places so that they would not be able to reach India Gate again! EIGHT METRO STATIONS ARE SHUT to prevent people from reaching the venue! Where the hell are our FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS?? Where the hell is DEMOCRACY?

Empty words yet again

Later, Baba Ramdev was arrested and Arvind Kejriwal picked up from Hyderabad House where he was protesting. After clamping down Section 144 on the city today, the Govt. again resorted to lathicharge and water cannons.. The manhandling of girls, old ladies and even old men has left people dumbfounded! Many people including some constables got injured but this time public anger seems difficult to control.

These are the people who are supposed to protect us!
 Shame on this manhandling by Delhi Police

Shame on Delhi's Security Agencies which let such incidents keep repeating! Instead of hitting the protesters and turning them more violent, they should do THEIR JOBS better and grab hold of criminals and culprits! You don't need to be a woman to realize how unsafe Delhi and NCR has become for its citizens. And sadly, a similar trend is visible right from Assam to Tamil Nadu and Bihar to Mumbai! 

Please start a peaceful protest in your city today. DO NOT get into violent mode and DO NOT destroy public property. Spread this for your Nation and participate to make INDIA a better place for all irrespective of religion/caste/gender/language! This time, let's not rest until we CHANGE our destiny.

May the Force be with Us All! 
Jai Hind! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Satire or Sedition???

So finally the high profile drama over the arrest of a political cartoonist comes to an end. Aseem Trivedi accepted the bail and was finaly released from Arthur jail earlier in the day while the charges of sedition against him are still being mulled over

Aseem Trivedi, a political cartoonist charged with sedition

The entire episode smacked of unusual high-handedness of the Govt. followed by a change of stance as soon as outrage registered from domestic as well as international intelligentsia. Typical behavior one might say based on similar episodes we have observed in the past couple of years.

Trivedi was arrested on Saturday for a series of cartoons lampooning politicians and the Parliament. He refused to apply for bail at Monday's hearing declaring that if telling the truth made him a traitor, he was happy to be described as one.

And the truth is out for everyone to see - from the shoddy handling of Kashmir protests, to the  Commonwealth Games scandal to the massive looting of food stocks to the latest Coalgate, there has been a string of scams in the past few years, each bigger than the other and ALL of them involving one or the other departments of Govt.!!!

 Aseem's cartoons

Enough has been said FOR and AGAINST the contentious cartoons so we won’t venture into that territory here. But what came to fore yet again was the really really low threshold our Govt. has for criticism of any form. It was visible in the demeanor of the police who, after the order, roughed Aseem up and literally pushed him into the van as if he is a dangerous criminal!

Swati Deshpande of TOI succinctly summarizes, ‘Intolerance has become Infectious’ in our country. The week long police custody for the cartoonist is the latest in the long line of crackdown seen this year on any form of criticism of the establishment.

Mahesh Jethmalani, the criminal lawyer, adds, “Trivedi is not dishonoring anything, he is expressing his ideologies and viewpoints through his cartoons. Only people of low intellect don’t understand that. His arrest is a complete curb on freedom of expression,” Several cartoons get printed everyday lampooning the government and top ministers, but they do not attract legal cases because most sane people understand that a cartoon is a humorous comment on a political event or situation, and is not meant for causing serious offense.

However, this is not the first time a cartoonist has been dragged to court on alleged defamation charges.In the 70s, Cho S. Ramaswamy a political commentator was charged with similar cases (but not sedition) in the Indira Gandhi era. In his own words -   

“One unforgettable episode relates to the Thuglak cartoon on the Kuo oil scam in 1976, when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister. I made a cartoon showing Mrs Gandhi picking up a can of tar with ‘Kuo Oil’ written on it and throwing the contents on the national flag, blackening it. The idea was to show that the Prime Minister had shamed the nation, bringing it disrepute. But a Tamil Nadu Congressman filed defamation cases against me and I was forced to go to the magistrate’s court repeatedly for hearings till they decided to discontinue the case."

It would be prudent to point out that the only time emergency was declared in our country with all constitutional rights outlawed was during the reign of Mrs. Gandhi. The Milwaukee Journal even came out with a cartoon depicting the state of affairs in the country which seems eerily similar to where we are headed right now!

Newspaper headlines the day Emergency was declared
Milwaukee Journal Cartoon on Indira Gandhi

Not surprisingly, the opposition BJP has accused the authorities of imposing "an undeclared emergency in the country". The media also weighed in, with the Indian Express newspaper describing the moves against Trivedi as like using "an H-bomb to slay a rabbit".

Rama Lakshmi of the Washington Post writes - "Trivedi’s arrest is the latest in a series of clampdowns against dissenters across India in recent years, as an increasingly nervous government battles rising public anger over corruption and what many perceive as misrule."

Earlier public outcry against corruption 

Senior counsel Yusuf Muchala, however says, "No writer or cartoonist can consider themselves to be above the law. If they have insulted the national emblem as alleged, they must face the law but it is not that grave an offense that requires arrest and custody." In the same vein, he also points out quite pertinently that there are cases where someone making hate speech have not faced the law!

Indeed the recent riots in Mumbai were incited by hate speeches that resulted in hooligans snatching rifles from cops and breaking the Amar Jawan Jyoti {Check the previous post - From Assam to Azad maidan} Have any of those speakers or those rioters that broke the Amar Jyoti at Flora Fountain been charged with sedition???

 Mobs attacked National monuments as well as police personnel

Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director of Human Rights Watch says,“Instead of trying to silence dissent by wrongly accusing people of sedition, the authorities would do far better addressing the reasons causing concern among citizens.”

India's sedition laws date back to the Raj, and were used for imprisoning Mahatma Gandhi, along with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and other freedom fighters. Our first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, called the same law "objectionable and obnoxious". The use of the law occurs despite a 1962 Supreme Court ruling that states that prosecution under this law requires evidence of incitement to violence and there is no evidence that Aseem Trivedi’s drawings have led to any violence. 

Yet such laws have survived for years. Why? 

The simplest reason is that these laws allow the government to gag any sort of opposition without going to the trouble of preparing a proper case! A very dangerous trend for the so called the biggest Democracy and a sure shot way of turning it into a Despotic Dictatorship!!

Kavitha Rao of the Guardian rightly points out - Trivedi is no Gandhi. But his fight, and our right to free speech, is Gandhian. He may have ridiculed national symbols but those in power have done far worse. To illustrate her point, let us look at another image of the national symbol that has surfaced on the net because of the current furor.

Should this be tried for sedition now?

A clear case of double speak by the party concerned. In the face of all such criticism, Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil finally declared there were no grounds for the police to arrest the cartoonist. "The police investigation was complete. There was no need to seek police custody. I am looking into the matter. We will say so in court," Patil said.

Too little too late??? There already are more cartoons out in the cyberspace that take a potshot at this entire episode and we can expect more to come.

For those who still don't understand the imagery and the inherent message in Aseem's cartoons, there is a need for a refresher course in the symbolism of Art! A popular tweeter Ramesh Srivats sums up the attitude with: "{We want to) screw the nation, cherish the symbols."

Jai Hind! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

From Assam to Azad Maidan

Its been a week now that a rally to protest the killing of ethnic minorities in Assam and Myanmar went out of hand and held Mumbai to ransom on Saturday afternoon. 

The rally at Azad Maidan, held jointly by three Muslim organizations had attracted a crowd of nearly 20,000 people. Raza Academy was the chief organizer while the Awami Vikas Party (AVP), a political outfit floated by former police officer Shamsher Khan Pathan, also took part in the protest.

There is nothing wrong with organizing a peaceful protest against alleged outrages of a humanitarian nature. But, what is defintiely NOT RIGHT is the arson and stone pelting and molestation of women that happened under the garb of this protest!

Arup Patnaik, commissioner of police, Mumbai said, “Around 2.30 pm, some men pulled out provocative pictures of people being killed in Assam”. The protesters suddenly turned unruly and set afire vehicles, damaged buses and pelted stones. Police opened fire in the air and resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob, said a policeman deployed at the Azad Maidan.

As per official reports, Maulana Gulam Abdul Kadri has been named the main Culprit for Mumbai menace on 11/8 Mumbai riots, whose inflammatory speech changed the situation so virulent. During his speech, a mob became agitated and came out of the Azad Maidan with banners, flags and bamboos in their hands and raised slogans. They were joined by a group of 1,000 young men who came out of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station. They raised slogans, used abusive language, and soon turned violent despite the police’s appeals for peace, the report stated. 

In the 45-minute violence, two persons died, over 65 were injured — 56 of them policemen — and vehicles were torched. Three media OB vans, three police vehicles, two motor -cycles and a public transport bus were set on fire. Forty BEST (civic) buses, two four-wheelers and five two-wheelers were damaged in stone pelting.

The camera footage also shows the mob molested women, including cops. Three police weapons - two rifles and a pistol - were stolen at the time of the clashes. The mob stole two self-loading rifles and a pistol from the police along with 160 rounds of ammunition. While the two SLRs were found in damaged condition, the pistol is yet to be recovered.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Press Club, quoting eyewitnesses, said the trouble started when a cleric criticised the media for not adequately highlighting "atrocities" in Assam and Myanmar. This angered some in the crowd who turned against TV crews and photographers present in and around Azad Maidan. 

The crime branch, which is investigating the incident, has recovered a country-made firearm (katta) from the spot. Where did all these weapons come from?? How was the police caught so unawares??? The same police, that sometimes goes overboard in controlling peaceful crowds couldn't really handle an armed crowd when needed!

Perhaps, the most shameful act was the DESECRATION of the Amar Jawan Memorial dedicated to the martyrs at CST station!

What were these protests against though?? Why would people who are fasting for the Holy month of Ramzan suddenly turn out on the streets armed with swords and knives and thrones and in one instance even a hand-made revolver!

You would be surprised to know, that the protest wasn't against any injustice to Muslims in India or the desecration or insult of Islam in any way.. it was staged against the alleged killings and riots against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (who are the illegal Muslim populations in Myanmar migrated from Bangladesh) and the Bangladeshi Muslims in Kokrajhar, Assam!

One might wonder, what the protesters in Mumbai had to do with these groups??? The answer is manifold and has deep layers to it:
  • One, there is a huge chunk of ILLEGAL Bangladeshi migrants throughout India and the protesters more likely than not had representatives from the same group amongst them. 
  • Secondly, there has been a continuous bombardment of social media with MORPHED images and clips showing alleged violence against these populations especially in Myanmar.
  • Thirdly, the ethnic issue has been given the garb of RELIGION and the conflict has been turned into a war between Muslims against Hindus/Christians in Assam and Buddhists in Myanmar while the truth is that it is an issue of illegal immigration!

In this connection the riot situations have already taken place in Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh)! Roused by the same sentiment, a frenzied mob attacked vehicles, shops and public life in Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi on 10th August, just a day before the Mumbai riots. In Bareilly the clash happened over a Janmashtami  procession on 11th August where according to the eye-witnesses, speakers started provocation with the reference of Myanmar and Assam incidents.


Mr. Patnaik was on the spot within minutes of the situation turning violent. He addressed the crowd from the dais of the rally and appealed for calm, reminding people of the incidents during the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition. The police chief told them he did not want any repetition of those ghastly memories, thus calming down the crowds.

Asked why force was not used earlier to control the rioters, he said the police showed utmost restraint. “Should I have fired, I don’t know. Would you have wanted to see 500 bodies? I was more afraid of the situation when 500 jawans were ready to fire, with hands on the triggers. I had to control them first, then turn to the protesters,”

Perhaps, the explanation he gives is right.. Teesta Setalvad, from an NGO called  Citizens for Justice and Peace also congratulated the Police Commissioner, for his mature handling of a potentially explosive situation on Saturday did ensure that matters were brought under control.

Muslim leaders apologized to the Commissioner on Monday and expressed their desire to help the injured police personnel. “All the Ulema had come to apologize. That is because they know that the police acted with equity and fair play,” he said.

In an effort to help the police, CJP has brought to their notice certain “morphed” images of “atrocities” on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar which were allegedly used to garner public support for the August 11 protest which turned riotous at the city’s Azad Maidan.

In the letter to Mr. Patnaik, the CJP has annexed a copy of the blog written by a Pakistani writer Faraz Ahmed on July 19, 2012, with the heading ‘Social media is lying to you about Burma’s Muslim cleansing'. I am attaching the link on the PAKISTANI DEFENCE Forum to show what is really happening!!! 

This is how Muslims in Kashmir were instigated to protest against Indian forces and the same strategy is taking shape again in different parts of India!! All the evidence points to a planned campaign, though its unclear who exactly is orchestrating it.

What is even more intriguing is that there are bloody riots in Assam, which in turn triggers violence at a rally in Mumbai, followed by attacks on students in Pune and stabbing in Mysore. The chain of events triggers a panicked stampede in Bangalore?

There seems to be a systematic campaign to create fear, using social media, SMSes, and regional media to spread rumors of attacks. It seems like a planned Jihad is underway with some covert organizations probably with foreign support seeking to destabilize the current harmony.

There are rumors of a planned “reprisal” from the Muslim community, as reported in the Indian Express: “Some employees referred to direct threats of violence after Ramzan being made to them, others referred to an alleged video of a brutal attack in Assam being circulated among Muslims for which reprisals are being planned, while still others referred to alleged warnings from the police itself.”

Is this the making of a NEW conflict where Muslims from the rest of the country are being pitted against the people from NORTH-EASTERN states????

The police have finally decided to charge the arrested persons with murder and 23 people have been booked on the basis of the video and camera footage. The man who snatched a police rifle has also been arrested and is a 23 year old salesman at an electronic store.

We wonder what direction these people want to give to their lives.. if there was a genuine grievance of ill treatment of Indian Muslims within India, the protest could have been justified.. but protesting and damaging national property and resorting to violence on an issue happening across the border can not be condoned!

The question that the protesters need to ask themselves is whether it is correct to hold your OWN Govt. and the PUBLIC at ransom based on half-baked HALF-TRUTHS about events happening in some OTHER country which in the first place, are a result of ILLEGAL immigration by the so called victims!! Unless these youth themselves understand the consequences of their actions, the police would have little success in limiting such protests in the future..

Hoping that Peace and Good judgement prevail
Jai Hind!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pakistani Minorities in Distress

The TOI Headline a few days back read - 

Gujarat Massacre: 23 Killed, 23 Convicted and 23 Acquitted. 

Ignoring the play of numbers, would thank the Judicial system of our country to have finally punished the perpetrators of such heinous crimes. With the punishment given to Hindu rioters in Gujarat for killing Muslims Indian Judiciary has taken a step forward.. 

But what is the condition in our neighboring state which keeps alleging Human Rights violations by India on its minorities? What is their own record in this respect??

Hindu and Christian representatives say forced conversions to Islam have become the latest weapon of Islamic extremists in what they call a growing campaign against Pakistan’s religious minorities, on top of assassinations and mob intimidation of houses of worship. The groups are increasingly wondering if they still have a place in Pakistan.

Minorities protesting in Pakistan against Forced Conversions

19-year-old Rinkal Kumari disappeared from her home in Pakistan’s Sindh province at 4 am. When her parents awoke they found only her slippers and a scarf outside the door. A few hours later her father got a call telling him his daughter had converted to Islam to marry a Muslim boy.

Rinkal Kumari clad in Burqa after conversion

Only days later, Seema Bibi, a Christian woman from Pakistani Punjab, was kidnapped along with her four children after her husband couldn’t repay a loan to a large landlord. Within hours, her husband was told his wife had converted to Islam and wouldn’t be coming home.

Mercifully for her, Seema Bibi escaped, fled the village and has gone underground with her husband and children.

In the last four months, Amar Lal, the lawyer representing Kumari in the Supreme Court said, 51 Hindu girls have been forcibly converted to Islam in southern Sindh province, where most of Pakistan’s minority Hindu population lives. The video I am sharing here opens up a Pandora's Box and brings to fore the True state of affairs in the Islamic State of Pakistan.

Pakistan not protecting the rights of its minorities

“Christian and Hindu girls are targeted more and more,” says Father Emmanuel Yousaf, who heads the National Commission for Justice and Peace, an organization born out of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference.

“In Pakistan one’s religious faith, or lack of one, has become sufficient to warrant execution and murder,” Pervez Hoodbhoy, a physicist and peace activist wrote in a column earlier this month. “The killers do their job fearlessly and frequently.”

There are dozens of cases of minorities being accused of insulting Islam under the country’s controversial blasphemy laws. Often the cases are rooted in disputes with Muslim neighbors or as coercion to convert, and judges often feel intimidated by extremists into convicting accused blasphemers, said Yousaf. “They know where you live and where your children go to school,” he said.

A report released last week by Yousaf’s justice and peace commission laid out a series of grim statistics about minority women in Pakistan.  

The study surveyed 1,000 women, a staggering 75% of whom said they had been sexually harassed at the workplace because of their religion, discriminated against in schools or pressed by teachers to convert to Islam.!!!

Pakistani Christians subjected to threats and intimidation

The violence has cowed Pakistan’s liberals and frightens even Muslims.“Extremism is a problem that is not just targeting the minorities. It is now a general problem in our society,” said Ijaz Haider, whose Jinnah Institute’s website carries an Extremism Watch documenting cases of attacks and intimidation by militants. “The liberal mindset has had a severe setback and the government has no strategy. It tries to do damage control, and damage control is to placate these groups.”

The purpose here is not to blame a particular religion or country but to bring to light the duplicity within certain states which have been harboring and promoting terrorism and fundamentalism of the Worst kind since their inception.They are indeed the so called children of Satan who do not respect the teachings of Love and Humanity within their OWN religious faith.

Here are some links for those interested in knowing more about the Rinkel Kumari case:



Perhaps more than the religious hatred, it is a matter of Justice. 

Is the Pakistani judiciary capable of sentencing the perpetrators of these crimes? Indian courts have awarded death sentence to 18 people from the majority community for hurting the minorities, in the worst riots in the country. The Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, the messiah of madness, has been given more than a fair trial in Indian courts and is YET to be hanged!

But can we expect the same to happen in Pakistan?? It is sad to see people celebrating by a show of strength and firing bullets in the air when a 19 year old Hindu girl is abducted and converted forcibly in Pakistan.

It is sad that even today, RELIGION holds such sway over people that they lose control of their HUMANITY. Wondering what Life has to offer to these families.. Sign the petition below by Pakistani Hindu Post to protest against these injustices meted out to innocent women and children.