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അഴിക്കാനും ആടാനും തുനിഞ്ഞിറങ്ങിയവർ തന്നെ നാം : തെരുവിൽചുംബനസമരക്കാർക്ക് ഒരു സന്ദേശം

November 28, 2014

സുഹൃത്തുക്കളെ,

 

കിസ് ഒഫ് ലൌ സമരങ്ങളുടെ രാഷ്ട്രീയത്തെക്കുറിച്ച് പലതരം ആശങ്കകൾ കേട്ടുതുടങ്ങിയിരിക്കുന്നു.

അത് ആഗോളീകരണ അഴിഞ്ഞാട്ടമാണെന്നും,

അതല്ല, മദ്ധ്യവർഗ്ഗ സന്തതികളുടെ എടുത്തുചാട്ടമാണെന്നും,

അതുമല്ല, അതിനു രാഷ്ട്രീയമേ ഇല്ലെന്നു വരെയും, കേരളത്തിലെ ബദൽരാഷ്ട്രീയങ്ങളിലെ പ്രമുഖവ്യക്തിത്വങ്ങൾ അടക്കമുള്ള പലരും മുറുമുറുക്കുന്നു.

Read more…

3 lakh bogus voters found in Modi’s Varanasi seat?

November 27, 2014

It appears that the Election Commission has so far traced 3,11,057 fake voters who cast their votes in Varanasi in the Lok Sabha election earlier this year. The district administration is expecting the number of fake voters to reach around 6,47,085 by the end of the examination process.

Remember – Narendra Modi ‘won’ this seat by 3 lakh 71 thousand 784 votes.

This news was first reported in Navbharat Times on November 25, 2014:

जिस वाराणासी संसदीय सीट से नरेंद्र मोदी ने 371784 वोटों से जीत हासिल की है, वहां 311057 फर्जी वोटर मिले हैं। अभी गिनती जारी है और जिला प्रशासन का अनुमान है कि फर्जी वोटरों की संख्या 647085 जा सकती है। इतनी बड़ी संख्या में फर्जी वोटर पहली बार वाराणसी में सामने आए हैं। लाखों की तादाद में मिले फर्जी वोटरों का खुलासा तब हुआ जब भारत निर्वाचन आयोग के निर्देश पर जिला प्रशासन ने मतदाता सूची का पुनरीक्षण अभियान शुरू किया। जिले के सभी पोलिंग सेंटर पर तैनात बूथ लेवल ऑफिसर से घर-घर जाकर मतदाताओं का सत्यापन करवाने के बाद इन बोगस वोटरों का खुलासा हुआ है।

Aaj Tak reported it on November 26, 2014:

प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी और उनकी पार्टी बीजेपी के लिए मुश्किलें बढ़ाने वाली खबर है. खबरों के मुताबिक, नरेंद्र मोदी के संसदीय क्षेत्र वाराणसी में 3 लाख 11 हजार 57 फर्जी वोटर मिले हैं. याद रहे कि यहां मोदी ने 3,71,784 वोटों से आम आदमी पार्टी के अरविंद केजरीवाल को हराया था.

बताया जा रहा है कि फर्जी वोटरों की गिनती अभी जारी है और जिला प्रशासन का अनुमान है कि फर्जी वोटरों की संख्या 6 लाख 47 हजार से ज्यादा जा सकती है. इतनी बड़ी संख्या में फर्जी वोटर वाराणसी में पहली बार सामने आए हैं. ये वे लोग हैं जिन्होंने दो या उससे ज्यादा विधानसभा क्षेत्र की मतदाता सूची में अपना नाम लिखवा रखा है. इसी के साथ सोशल मीडिया पर AAP समर्थक नरेंद्र मोदी पर फर्जी मतों से जीत हासिल करने का आरोप लगाने लगे हैं. गौरतलब है कि आम आदमी पार्टी पहले भी बीजेपी पर फर्जी वोट डलवाने का आरोप लगाती रही है.

According to Shubhanshu Sharma:
If we go by district administration’s claims, they are expecting to find around 1,12,160 bogus voters in Pindra, 1,01,456 in Ajgara, 87,140 in Shivpur, 84,757 in Rohania, 65,989 in Cantt, and 90,942 in Sewapuri regions. 
Kohram News had claimed soon after results were declared in May 2014 that the calculation of votes in the Varanasi seat was anomalous:
Calculation is not exact in Varanasi Votes?
Kohram News had also publicized the news of the EVM found in the home of Ankit Gaurav Srivastava, an engineer in Varanasi, the night before the elections.  This news had circulated widely, including on Kafila.
If this is true, what next? As I understand it, according to Article 329 of the Constituion of India, for an election to be set aside, an election petition must be presented “to such authority and in such manner as may be provided for by or under any law made by the appropriate Legislature.”

The Election Commission later recommended that trial of election petitions should be entrusted to the High Courts instead of election tribunals. Parliament thus enacted Section 80-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 providing that the High Court shall be the authority for presentment of election petitions under Article 329 (b) of the Constitution. This was incorporated by an amendment in the year 1966 (Act 47 of 1966).

The last time the election of a sitting Prime Minister was set aside for corrupt electoral practices, on June 12, 1975, Indira Gandhi (for it was she), declared a state of emergency.

We can expect no less from a Prime Minister who watches benignly over the continuous and growing humiliation of minorities and murderous attacks  on them; and who carefully supervises the wholesale handing over of the country to the biggest and most corrupt corporate bidders.

There is a lot at stake for Modi and his corporate bosses. And now they have the full backing of state power.

Nevertheless, if the news of bogus voters in Varanasi is true, Modi’s election should be set aside through due process.

The deadly land policies planned by Modi’s advisers and the links to Ukraine and Honduras: Aditya Velivelli

November 24, 2014

This is a guest post by ADITYA VELIVELLI

One year after the Land Acquisition Act was passed in Parliament with bipartisan support, commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that changes will be made to the Act during the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament.

The earliest indication that this would happen, came from of all people, a first-time MP and microfinance lobbyist Jayant Sinha. Sinha had mentioned in a CNBC interview right after BJP’s win that land acquisition policy was the first priority. For those wondering why CNBC interviewed Sinha and allowed Sinha to lay out the new Government’s priorities, and why Sinha has been appointed junior finance minister, they should refer – Who is guiding Modi’s economic thinking and what is their background? Read more…

‘Law of the land’ on Kissing in Public: Sanjay Palshikar

November 23, 2014

SANJAY PALSHIKAR, Professor, Political Science department, University of Hyderabad, clarifies the ‘law of the land’ on kissing in public, to the Committee set up by the Vice-Chancellor to ‘look into the matter of the incident of November 2, 2014.’

Respected Members,

At the centre of the incidents of November 2, 2014, is the alleged act by some students to display demonstratively mutual affection in the form of kissing. Without going into the factual correctness of the charge, let me share with you what I have learnt from legal scholars and activists. I do so in the hope that this will help the Committee “ascertain” “the position of the law of the land” regarding kissing in public.

  1. Indian judiciary at the higher levels has not universally treated kissing in public as illegal. In appropriate context, spelt out variously by the relevant judgments, it has been seen as an expression of love, expression of love and compassion, and its artistic representation as defensible. Absent in all theses cases is the tendency to presume that every kiss is an act of sexual expression and that indulging in this act in public is always obscene. (A & B vs State Thr. N.C.T. of Delhi 2009; Friday vs K.J. Sebastian 2001).
  1. The Supreme Court has observed that the Indian Penal Code “does not define the word obscene and this delicate task has to be performed by courts….” If the Apex Court considers it a delicate task, how much more challenging it would be for university teachers and police officers to say if an act is obscene! (Udeshi vs State of Maharashtra 1965).

Read more…

Statement by Forum for Democratic Rights in EFLU on the present state of affairs

November 23, 2014

We, concerned citizens and members of women’s organizations, civil rights, students and minority rights forums, have come together to form the “Forum for Democratic Rights in EFL University” to  demand an immediate and thorough enquiry into the incident of gang rape and the suppression of democratic rights in EFL University. We wish to bring the following matter to your notice.

A recent horrific incident of the gang rape of a girl student took place in the EFLU men’s (Basheer) hostel on the night of 31st October 2014. The victim contacted the University authorities and was directed to the police who then arrested two accused on 2nd November 2014.  While this case of sexual assault on the university campus has deeply shocked the campus community, students, faculty and staff, even more shocking and worrying has been the attitude adopted by the university administration in its aftermath. Instead of seeking to undertake measures to make the campus free of violence and assault and promoting gender-sensitivity, the administration has resorted to several measures that are nothing short of severe repression of all democratic rights of the campus community as a whole.

Immediately after the incident, there were some reports with speculations about the victim’s presence in the men’s hostel. Aided by selective leaks by the University and the police, these reports amounted to character assassination and victim blaming, and divulged crucial information regarding the complainant’s identity. This pernicious reasoning amounts to nothing but a justification of the crime. From the well-known case of Rameeza Bee to the recent Nirbhaya Act, it has been repeatedly asserted that the act of sexual assault or gang rape cannot be justified citing the previous history of the victim.  We strongly condemn the propaganda to malign the victim and underplay the gravity of the rape. The complainant must be provided with adequate and competent legal counsel, her psychological and emotional well-being must be taken care of, and her safety must be ensured.   Read more…

‘Sant Rampal’ – Farmer’s Son Challenges Hegemony of Arya Samaj, RSS Ally In Haryana : Jaspal Singh Sidhu

November 21, 2014

Jaspal Singh Sidhu looks at the genesis of Sant Rampal and ‘Satlok Ashram’ the religious centre he established.

The arrest of former public servant -turned-godman 63-year-old Rampal from his Barwala (Hissar) ashram seems to have ended the two-week long much publicized drama enacted by the Haryana police, but it has, rather, widened social and religious gulf among the people of the area . The police operation took life of five women and a child, injuring of many others including two dozen media persons covering the event. Technically, Rampal’s arrest was sought by the Punjab and Haryana high court in a case of ‘criminal contempt of court’ following his persistent in refusal to appear before the court.

The Barwala event signals much more than what one gathers from the media. Rampal’s abortive defiance appears to be (consciously or unconsciously) challenging the hegemony of the Sangh Privar ideology based on Aryans and non- Aryans divide which uses the Vedic literature as manifestation of the Aryan race. The media story, invariably, only covers the present happenings. And, it is meant for the consumption of general public only interested in the day-to-day developments. For obvious reasons, such reporting suits both the government of the day and the media outlets. By and large, the media (newspapers and TV channels) reels out largely that information (official version) which police and official machinery serves them with punctuation of a little-bit material on the root cause of the controversy which has climaxed to the dramatic custody of Rampal by the police.

Read the rest of the article here.

We, or our Nationhood, Redefined.

November 20, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan was invited by the Editors’ Guild to deliver its annual lecture. Patwardhan’s speech, titled We or our Nationhood Redefined, was marked by his characteristically cool tone, systematically reassembling facts that have a tricky habit of leaking from national memory. Facts like the twentieth century’s worst genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler and his programme of racial cleansing has a respectable and massive following in India in the form of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. That the RSS has at least 50,000 branches across the country with over 40 million members, and runs a network of 18,000 schools across India. That one such child, recruited from the age of 8 from a relatively poor family, is Prime Minister Modi; and another is Party Chief Amit Shah. That just before the recent reshuffle, 5 Chief Ministers and 17 of the 23 Cabinet-level senior ministers were current or former RSS members. That the assassins of Gandhi are really the RSS, not the lone lunatic Godse who merely carried out what others dreamed about. That RSS’s poisonous communal agenda was roundly condemned by Sardar Patel, of whom PM Modi has promised to build the world’s tallest statue. Or more obscure but equally revealing facts, like the letter written by RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras from jail during Emergency, praising Indira Gandhi and especially her programme of sterilisation of Muslims. And those truly mind-boggling-in-their-irony facts, like the widespread involvement of the RSS in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, when the BJP cynically says “1984” every time somebody says “2002”.

On a day when the Nanavati Commission has termed the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat as a purely communal reaction to Godhra, and cleared then Chief Minister Modi’s government of any wrongdoing, or even inaction, it is critical we re-read Patwardhan’s speech, to remind ourselves exactly what we are up against if we believe in a non-communal, non-divided, heterogenous India. As Patwardhan put it, given the history of the RSS in this subcontinent, if a Modi didn’t exist, he would have to be invented. Read more.

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