The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

August 30, 2011

Hindu terrorists convicted for bomb blasts in Thane, Mumbai: Court sentences Sanatan Sanstha members to 10 years' jail term

A sessions court in Mumbai on Monday held two right-wing militants guilty for the bomb blast at a theatre in Thane that had occurred in 2008.

The court convicted Ramesh Gadkari and Vikram Bhave for planting bombs and causing blasts at Thane, Panvel and Vashi in Maharashtra.

Four other members of the same right-wing group who were charged with the same crime were however let off for lack of sufficient evidence. Those acquitted included Mangesh Nikkam, Santosh Angre, Hemant and Hari Divekar.

Though activists associated with Hindutva groups have been charged for terror strikes in Ajmer Dargah, Mecca Masjid blast at Hyderabad, Samjhauta Express and Modasa blast, this is one of the first such cases in which the court has convicted those accused of bomb blasts.

Justice NV Nhavkar will announce the quantum of sentence on Wednesday. Seven persons were injured when bomb exploded on June 4, 2008 in Gadkari Rangayatan theatre at Thane which falls in Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation area.

Another bomb explosion had occurred at a theatre in Vashi in Navi Mumbai on May 31 the same year. A bomb was also planted in Panvel in Raigad. The investigators had zeroed in on the role of right-wing Hindu extremists' group Sanatan Sanstha.

The bomb blast at Panvel cinema hall was to protest the screening of the Bollywood movie Jodhaa Akbar which was deemed as denigrating the Rajputs and Hindu culture. Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai had played lead roles in the film.

Similarly, plays were targeted. The fanatic members had objected to certain plays depicting Hindu gods, which they considered objectionable. The case has serious implications as it was initially considered a terrorist strike.

It also highlights that right-wing groups have been involved in terrorism in the country. Later reports suggest that the two 'terrorists' viz. Ramesh Gadkari and Vikram Bhave have been sentenced to ten years or rigorous imprisonment each.

TIH Bureau

August 25, 2011

Udit Raj emerges as symbol of Dalit, OBC, Muslim resistance after grand rally in Delhi

Dr Udit Raj
With his huge rally to protest the exclusion of Dalits, Tribal, OBCs and Muslims apart from other minorities in the Anna Hazare's movement, Dr Udit Raj has emerged as the rallying point of the vast majority of citizens who oppose the current version of Jan Lok bill.

Dr Udit Raj's rally at India Gate on Wednesday that drew members from other groups also, has brought to fore the simmering discontent among the sections of society who felt that Hazare's movement was backed by casteist forces, urban elite and right-wing groups.

Political observers say that the demonstration and the march towards Jantar Mantar has send signals to the polity that Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Muslims, Other Backward Castes (OBCs) and sections of poor and weaker sections are suspicious of the anti-corruption movement.

They feel that the drive for Jan Lok Pal bill was not in the interests of the majority of Indians and was aimed at subverting the authority of the constitution. The fact that Hindutva leaders and spiritual gurus like Baba Ramdev,  Bhayyu Maharaj and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have been part of the Anna agitation has already alarmed Muslims and Dalits.

The slogans at the Ramlila Ground were also jingoistic and more in sync with Hindutva groups. "Media coverage of the agitation gave an impression as if the majority population supported Hazare whose movement to undermine parliament can have disastrous consequences", said an analyst.

"What is civil society? What mandate they have? If they are civil, are we uncivil?". "The truth is that the silent majority is strongly opposed to the bill but their voice is not aired by Upper Caste controlled media which is heavily biased in favour of Hazare".

"The Dalit-OBC-Minority led Save Constitution rally was not given adequate space in media but it has shaken power corridors and sent a powerful signal to everybody including politicians and society". "Had the rally not affected traffic, it might have been totally ignored by mainstream media".

Udit Raj, the president of Indian Justice Party, has been leading the agitation against Anna Hazare. He has said that a bill that will be in the interest of the Bahujans (majority Indians including SC/ST/OBC/Minorities) would be proposed soon.

Dalit activists feel that while Mayawati's stand on the issue has been ambiguous, Udit Raj has taken a lead and his campaign to mobilise the youths and forge a grand Dalit-Muslim alliance, which showed up in Delhi on Wednesday, have brought the real issues surrounding Anna movement to the fore.

Anna Hazare is on a fast at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi for over a week. Though he commands respect for his agitations and fasts against corruption, the current agitation organised by Team Anna which comprises Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi has alarmed large sections of society.

Kejriwal has been a supporter of Youth for Equality, a movement against caste based reservations in jobs and education. There has been no Dalit, Muslim or Tribal in the team though Saffron forces including RSS influence is clearly visible on the participants at the Ramlila Ground.

Muslim leaders have been skeptic as Anna had praised Narendra Modi. Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari had said that Muslims would consider supporting him if he condemns the massacre of Muslims during Gujarat riots and dissociate himself from his earlier stand. 

TIH Bureau

Against Anna: Hundreds of Dalits, OBCs demonstrate against Hazare's movement at India Gate

Hundreds of Dalits and members of Other Backward Castes (OBCs) staged a demonstration at the India Gate on Wednesday to express their opposition to the Anna Hazare's movement for Lok Pal bill.

The protesters who marched towards Jantar Mantar expressed outrage at the manner in which Team Anna was trying to subvert the authority of the constitution and place a body above the Chief Justice of Supreme Court as well as Prime Minister.

Holding placards and banners, the protesters raised slogans that expressed their resolve to save Indian constitution. Indian Justice Party chief Udit Raj is leading the movement and organised the 'Save Constitution' rally.

Raising slogans like 'Halla Bol', 'Inquilab Zindabad' and 'Samvidhan se chhed chhaad nahi chalegi', the protesters marched. "Anna Hazare's team doesn't have the mandate and it is against SC/STs and minorities", said a woman who yelled, 'Fight corruption but within the constitutional framework'.

Various Dalit, OBC and SC/ST groups supported the rally. Several Muslims were also seen in today's protest march. "We won't let anyone downplay the authority of the constitution, which is supreme", said another person in the demonstration.

Large chunks of Dalits, OBCs, Tribal and Muslims oppose the movement which they call an effort of upper caste forces propelled by right-wing forces to undermine the parliament. Those in rally alleged that Anna's movement was appropriated and hijacked by communal forces (read RSS).

Udit Raj, who is also Chairman of All India Confederation of SC/ST organisations, has said that a Bahujan Lokpal Bill would be put forward now. Many of his supporters suspect that Anna's team has members who have been against caste based reservations in the past.

Raj has said that 85% Indians that include Dalits, Muslims, OBCs, Tribals and other weaker sections were not in support of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption fast at Ram Lila Ground, which has attracted attention in urban India.

It is alleged that the pro-BJP/RSS urban elite is driving the Anna movement with the help of newspapers and channels, which also protect the interests of the particular classes. Muslim leaders including Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari have already expressed reservations about the integrity of Team Anna and sought to clarify Hazare's stand on Gujarat riots.

TIH Bureau

August 24, 2011

Muslims support Anna Hazare but clerics & community leaders less convinced of the movement

While large section of Muslim masses openly support Anna Hazare's anti-corruption drive, several Muslim clerics, community leaders and intellectuals have expressed reservation about the nature of movement.

The first to openly voice his dissatisfaction with Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari who questioned the association of right-wing forces in the movement.

Bukhari had also criticized the open chanting of jingoistic slogans like Vande Mataram.After Team Anna met him, Bukhari said that he could reconsider his position if Hazare clarifies his stand over the latter's praise of Gujarat's chief minister Narendra Modi.

But the Imam is not alone in voicing his concern over fears of RSS infiltration in the drive for Lok Pal bill.
Social activist Shabnam Hashmi on Tuesday questioned where Hazare was when North Indians were attacked in Maharashtra, when Christians were burnt in Orissa-Karnataka, Muslims persecuted in Gujarat and fake encounter staged in Batla House.

She said that those who are raising Gandhian slogans were missing then from the scene. Hashmi said that a vast majority of those present in the agitation have no clue about Lokpal or the implications of having such an ombudsman in the country.

The president of All India Muslim Youths Anti-Terrorism Front Shakil Saifi said that Hazare was never heard when Mumbai burnt in communal flames or when Muslims were killed in communal riots in Gujarat. Saifi said that Anna imitates Gandhi but unlike the Mahatma, Anna's team has no Muslim.

On the other hand, hundreds of Muslims under the banner of All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, burnt effigies of Ahmad Bukhari, to protest his statement. Clerics and Imams in different parts of the country have supported the agitation and said that any step against corruption is sanctioned by Islam and thus Anna must be supported.

TIH Bureau

August 20, 2011

Is Anna Hazare's movement against Dalits, Tribals, Minorities?

Is Anna anti-reservation?
The murmurs that Anna Hazare's agitation is elitist and against the interests of the Dalits, OBCs and Tribals are getting stronger by the day.

Prominent personalities, intellectuals and organisations representing Dalits, OBCs and Muslims have now openly begun criticising Hazare's team and its 'arrogance'. They claim that a section of elite and upwardly mobile middle class that mostly comprises Upper Castes is supporting the movement.

Dalit writer Chandrabhan Prasad has termed it a dangerous sign that a non-elected person is leading a movement which is driven by upper castes. He feels that the agitation is against the spirit of the Indian constitution.

Section of Muslims echo the same sentiment. Urdu poet Manzar Bhopali says that Anna Hazare talks of a revolution but it can't be compared at all to 'freedom movement'. 'Innumerable people gave sacrifices for independence. This is not such a movement'.

Manzar Bhopali says that Anna Hazare's movement is exclusivist and has no place for Muslims. "Where are Muslim faces. Have they been taken along? There are 200 million or 20 crore Muslims in India and they have been bypassed", he further says.

Questions are being raised about the lack of any Muslim, Dalit, Tribal or OBC in his team. But the Other Backward Castes (OBCs), an increasingly assertive section, that comprises one of the biggest chunks of Indian populace is now restless. The  feel that 'manuvadi' and 'hindutva-vadis' are supporting this movement that represents injustice.

"The Upper Castes particularly Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Kayasthas and Vaishyas who constitute less than 10% of India's population had control over 90% seats in jobs and educational institutions but when reservations for SCs/STs changed the situation, they were upset. Now they see another chance to gain power by subverting Indian democracy", says a prominent writer. 

"They want to hijack power which slipped from their hands after the great social revolution in India during VP Singh's era. But OBCs, minorities, tribal populace and Dalit bahujans won't let this media manufactured movement to take over the nation and sabotage the struggle of the real majority".

Says Dilip Mandal, "Anna's movement that is driven by casteist forces, moneyed elitists and corporate world is against constitution and is in conflict with the interests of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes other than OBCs. So can a movement be pro-poor and yet against interests of Dalits, Tribal, Muslims, who comprise majority of the poor in India.

Thinkers, activists and writers representing these sections are increasingly getting worried by the RSS penetration in the movement. They feel that while Jan Lokpal bill will hardly do any good to the society, it has raised false expectations that corruption would be eliminated in India. 

It is felt that Hindutva groups are supporting the movement to get mileage over Congress and to turn the tide in favour of BJP and Sangh Parivar. There are allegations that TV is giving unprecedented coverage to the demonstrations just because the vocal middle class upper caste is supporting it while those opposing it are not being spoken to and their protests are not visible.

TIH Bureau

August 15, 2011

Jain PU college Mangalore discriminates against Muslim girl student!

If a Hindu girl can wear bindi or mangal sutra and a Christian can have a cross dangling by neck, can't a Muslim student cover her head?

This debate has been triggered by the strange and autocratic decision of the management of Jain Pre-University College Moodbidri in Karnataka's Mangalore that bars a Muslim girl from attending classes.

The student, Hadiya, wears headscarf but the 'minority' institute doesn't allow her to step into the classroom wearing the hijab. The authorities have even asked her to stop stepping into the college premises. The principal in the conservative Jain-run college didn't come to her succour either.

Surprisingly, the district administration also appeared indifferent. But Hadiya says that she will fight for her rights. Government officials have been urged to take action but Dakshin Kannada commissioner hasn't issued any specific order in this regard.

Once known for its communal harmony and the Hindu-Muslim-Christian common culture, Mangalore has seen the rise of right-wing fundamentalist forces. Earlier also a girl Ayesha Amin had to face similar diktat by another college for wearing the veil.

Muslim organisations have decided to take up the issue strongly and get government to frame laws that should protect fundamental rights of citizens. Unfortunately, the row has erupted in a college run by a minority religious group's college.

TIH Bureau

August 11, 2011

Prakash Jha's 'anti-Dalit' movie Aarakshan banned in UP

In a major setback to filmmaker Prakash Jha, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday said that his movie Aarakshan would not be screened in the state.

The Mayawati government declared that dialogues in the Bollywood movie were provocative and could lead to violence and hence it was not appropriate to allow the release.

UP is India's biggest state in terms of population and home to largest number of Urdu and Hindi speakers. Jha had landed in controversy after his twitter message recently.

He had also tweeted a joke, which he himself called 'politically incorrect' as it allegedly made fun of those who get reservation under SC/ST or OBC category vis-a-vis others or general (Upper Caste) category persons.

Later he had deleted the tweet. SC/ST panel chief PL Punia had also said that the film was anti-Dalit. Prakash Jha has however maintained that  his movie was not against Dalits or students/aspirants belonging to the sections of society that get job quota under Mandal commission report.

 He said that the movie had been cleared by censor board and it should be seen before labelling it as anti-Dalit. Amitabh Bachchan and Saif Ali Khan play the lead roles in the film, which is scheduled for nationwide release on August 12. TIH Bureau

Popular stories

Contact us

For complaints and suggestions write to us at the email: theindianherald@gmail.com

Search our Archives

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP