South Asia Citizens Wire | 3 September, 2003
[1.] Bangladesh: The Ugly Head of Fanaticism (edit, Bangladesh Observer)
+ background material on Bangladesh High Court's anti-Fatwa
judgement + on illegal fatwas in Bangladesh
[2.] Sri Lanka: What happened to the Domestic Violence Bill?
[3.] Indian bomb blasts: the end product of communal politics (Sarath Kumara)
[4.] India: Journalists Union condemns VHP, police for harassing
Gilani, asks to arrest guilty
[5.] India: Extracts from the report submitted by the ASI on the
excavation carried out in Ayodhya
[6.] India: Interview with Farooque Shaikh ; "That's what the Third
Reich was all about"
[7.] India: Please stop branding us terrorists: Muslim areas in
Ahmedabad shut down, silently
[8.] India: Dalits, Vote Bank, Violence (I.K.Shukla)
[9.] India: World Social Forum - Gujarat
[10.]Invitation to Bombay Workshop on reform of the Criminal Justice System
And release of Justice H. Suresh's Book "Fundamental Rights as Human Rights"
[11.] The 'Hinduising' Secular India Show: Coming soon in your neighborhood !:
- Ganesha does what politics couldn't
- VHP to educate people about designs of terrorists
- VHP prepares kar seva kit for Saurashtra
- Sangh outfits suggest WTO alternatives
The Bangladesh Observer, September 3, 2003
The Ugly Head Of Fanaticism
The recent reactionary statement given by Mufti Fazlul Huq Aminee,
MP, against Dr Kamal Hossain's previously-made speech bears a host of
significant ramifications. The MP termed the contents of the speech
anti-Islamic that has hurt the sentiments of the country's 130
million Muslims. And then he escalated to-and this is a shameful
trait in the average Bangladeshi-bringing in extraneous negative
appendages to bolster his verbal assault on the lawyer-politician.
Therefore, Bangladeshis were reminded that Kamal Hossain was in
favour of the High Court's anti-Fatwa judgement, and were supplied
the information that purports him, with all his Western degrees, to
be God-less. The Mufti also moved from the personal indictment to
matters political. And, in this context, he made the point that none
could form a national government without the support of the Islamic
parties. Furthermore, he contemptuously dismissed the left-leaning
parties as existing without any popular sup-port, but which are
propped up by a few urban intellectuals. Aminee has accused them as
being agents of some Indian plan to turn Bangladesh into one of its
federated states. Even allowing for the rhetoric that routinely
ac-companies public political speech, the MP's statement has worrying
aspects that are at odds with the very ideas of individual freedom
and secular democracy.
The very fact that Hossain has been accused of making an anti-Islamic
speech, not to mention the tasteless and random portrayal of him as
being God-less, when the lawyer had only highlighted the deleterious
effects of Islamic fanaticism only emphasizes the validity of
Hossain's contention. The rigid intolerance of criticism against
fanaticism and political parties adhering to the narrowest and
shallowest interpretation of a great religion translates to damaging
name-calling and character assassination. As a very natural
corollary, supporting a High Court decision becomes a crime only
because it does not agree with the views of the strictly
religion-based parties and fanatical individuals. Those are fascistic
sentiments coming from political organizations functioning in a
liberal democracy (however flawed), but which exhibit (and profess) a
contempt for liberal democratic viewpoints. Aminee may be on the
money in describing the left-leaning parties as organizations with
little public support, but labeling them and their urban intellectual
backers as Indian agents out to sell their country equally invites
this legitimate question: then, with their fundamentalist agenda,
just whose interests are the religion-based parties serving? And do
not say the cause of Islam, because they often do great disservice to
a noble religion and its vast multitude of devout, tolerant and
secular adherents. Furthermore, their accusation belittles the
overwhelming majority of Bangladeshis who would sacrifice a lot
before becoming a part of another country.
The most troubling aspect of Aminee's tirade, how-ever, is his
assertion that none can form a national government without the
backing of the Islamic parties. This is dangerous thinking because it
is palpably faulty and yet draws the mainstream parties into negative
and defensive posture. As the recent local level elections will show,
the unofficial party affiliations of the winners depict a
statistically insignificant return for the Islamic parties. When
juxtaposed with the surveys conducted on the voting pattern of the
last parliamentary elections, the picture that clearly emerges is one
of the religion-based parties being in a firm minority. They are only
creating an illusion of weightage. They are numerical featherweights,
but project the appearance of heavyweights to the major parties who,
including the current main opposition, seem mesmerized into
soliciting their help come election time. The major parties are at
fault in anointing the minor religion-based parties with an aura of
grave majority. These minors can, and should, be shunned if secular
liberal democracy is to establish itself as a polity in Bangladesh.
They are as detrimental to Bangladesh as are the minority
religion-based organizations that are engaged in vilifying the image
of the vastly tolerant Bangladesh people.
o o o
[Related Background Material that might interest readers:
(i) Bangladesh: Landmark High Court ruling against fatwas
Amnesty International (INDEX: ASA 13/001/2001 5 January 2001)
Fatwas Against Women in Bangladesh
WLUML (Published: 1996)
The Island [Sri Lanka] 3 Sept. 2003
What happened to the Domestic Violence Bill?
Time and time and time again we are informed by NGOs working with
victims of domestic violence, or by statistics available at the
Police Department, the Samatha Mandalayas (Mediation Boards) or by
research studies that there is a high prevalence of domestic violence
in Sri Lanka. There is indeed a possibility that the reportage of
domestic violence has increased in recent times, but there is no
escaping the fact that it is one of the most frequently committed
offences in the home and the least dealt with seriously.
Sri Lanka has at present, no single law that deals specifically with
domestic violence. Criminal law can be invoked in cases of domestic
violence, but this very rarely happens in practice. As the incidence
of domestic violence keeps rising in the country, the debate about
what legal mechanisms should be used to deal with it has also been
waxing and waning.
Two approaches to a solution have been discussed over the years. One
suggested amendments to existing criminal law arguing that
enforcement will be taken more seriously if domestic violence is
articulated as a Penal Code offence. The second favoured a separate
law which would combine both criminal and civil remedies. While both
women and men are victims of domestic violence and there is no age,
class, caste, creed or ethnic barrier to the committing of the
offence it is also a fact that women suffer the brunt of violence in
the home and in intimate relationships. Many women victims felt that
both civil and criminal remedies should be available to deal with the
problem. (Surprising as it may be to some, not all women wanted their
abusive men folk imprisoned).
As the discussions went back and forth women's groups together with
other concerned groups and individuals proposed the enactment of
separate legislation to deal with domestic violence. The Women and
Media Collective facilitated this process and introduced a draft for
public discussion in early 2000. This draft (the women's draft)
incorporated elements from similar legislation available
internationally especially South Africa and Malaysia and the Lawyers
Collective Bill from India. It was also based on the framework for
domestic violence legislation proposed by the UN Special Rapporteur
on Violence Against Women.
Discussion of draft
The women's draft went through many rounds of discussions and
amendments with the participation of women's groups working at
community level, human rights activists, lawyers, doctors, medical
professionals, the media, etc. and other concerned individuals.
Over the two years, it was also considered by the Ministry of Justice
and the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Sri Lanka. In May 2002 the
Ministry of Justice unveiled its own draft Bill on Domestic Violence.
This draft Bill (the MoJ draft) sought to deal with just one aspect
of a remedy. As stated in the draft it was for the 'making of
protection orders in instances of domestic violence and for matters
connected therewith or incidental thereto'.
The MoJ draft incorporates some of the elements in the women's draft,
deletes some and adds others. Women's groups discussed this new draft
in the limited time available to them before it was sent up to
cabinet and made a series of recommendations for amendment. The
Ministry of Women's Affairs also found the MoJ draft insufficient in
some aspects and made their own recommendations seeking to strengthen
it. The last we heard was that the MoJ draft was considered by a
Cabinet sub-committee and returned to the Ministry of Justice for
The women's draft took two years of consultative discussions, mostly
with persons directly affected by domestic violence and persons
dealing with the issue of domestic violence, to draw up and fine
tune. The Ministry of Justice, we understand, had the elements of a
draft ready from before that which were finally incorporated into a
Bill in 2002. We have two comprehensive documents in hand, both of
which obviously took much thought and effort to put together. Why
then have we not seen a final draft Bill? Why has an amended draft
not been circulated as yet for discussion? Why waste the years of
work that has gone into thinking about a suitable legal remedy? What
is the problem? Where in the process is the draft stuck at?
When the women's draft was being prepared and discussed among women
affected by domestic violence, one of the pleas was that civil
remedies be included together with criminal action. Most women sought
a means to be protected from violence at home and most sought a space
of refuge when violence could not be prevented.
The women's draft therefore incorporated both civil and criminal
remedies. It recognized that women, men and children have the right
to be free from all forms of domestic violence. It sought to
carefully define the meaning and the location of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence was seen to encompass all forms of physical,
sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal and economic abuse
perpetrated in a domestic setting.
Emotional abuse was defined to include degrading or humiliating
conduct, including repeated threats to cause pain to a person or a
relative. Economic abuse was defined to include the unreasonable
deprivation of economic or financial resources that a person
requires, including access to bank accounts and the right to dispose
The MoJ draft however sought not to define domestic violence but
linked it to offenses in the penal code. It did in addition introduce
the concept of emotional abuse.
This lack of a clear definition is seen as a major drawback by
women's groups. The link to the penal code is also seen as
detrimental. The fundamental concern of the MoJ draft is to enable
persons affected by domestic violence to secure an immediate interim
protection order. If there is no clear definition of the act of
domestic violence written into the law, it is feared that Magistrates
may miss some of the more sensitive aspects of domestic violence.
Women in particular are extremely conscious of the strong
socialization that prevails in our society among both men and women
that is biased in favour of patriarchal notions of women's status and
place in society, especially in the home. This leads often to women
being blamed for the crimes being committed against them, found fault
with and called upon to comply with 'social norms' and 'obligations'
to prevent the crime. A raped woman is often accused of having 'asked
for it' by being out at night or in 'inappropriate' places; or having
dressed provocatively; or having a 'questionable past', etc. This in
most people's minds gives the rapist the license to rape. (when
making this argument, women note that it is also conveniently
forgotten that babies and toddlers as well as girl children and
grandmothers, who never wore a slit skirt or frequented a nightclub,
in their life, get raped).
Domestic violence a private affair?
Similarly with domestic violence, the most common reaction is that it
is a private affair; that a man is entitled to beat some discipline
into his wife; that a woman is bound to be dutiful and obedient and
that publicizing domestic violence would lead to 'family breakdown'.
Another often used excuse is poverty and alcoholism. It is a myth
that rich men don't beat women and it is an equal myth that men beat
others only when they are drunk. While alcoholism is a problem that
has to be dealt with separately if cannot be used as an excuse for
domestic violence. (As a woman victim said to us, responding to the
question of alcoholism, my husband beats me and the children when he
is drunk, but he doesn't beat our neighbour or his wife). So the
bottom line is that women should just get raped and beaten quietly so
that the status quo is not disturbed, especially the status quo
within the family. This is precisely the reason why we ask that to be
realistically implementable any legislation on domestic violence must
incorporate an inclusive definition of the offence.
Who can make a complaint?
The women's draft also called for provision to enable the victim or a
person on behalf of a victim to make a complaint of domestic violence
before a magistrate. We think this is a provision that should be
allowed, of course with the requisite safeguards to prevent misuse.
Many studies indicate that part of the cycle of violence against
victims of domestic violence is the reluctance to talk about the
offence for fear of retaliation. This is the very fear that keeps the
cycle going and allows for no protection of the victim, particularly
victims of repeated violence who may finally die at the hands of the
Services for victims
Another very important element that needs to be incorporated into
legislation on domestic violence is the most essential remedy that
seeks to provide services to the victim. This is the true measure of
political willingness to deal with the issue of domestic violence.
The law has therefore to also demand the provision of services such
as shelters, legal assistance and counseling to victims of violence.
There must also be provisions made to sensitize law enforcement and
medico-legal personnel dealing with domestic violence on the gravity
of the offence and the gender imperatives of the offence of domestic
violence. The law and its effective enforcement can be one of the
most crucial measures to bring about much needed attitudinal change
on the issue of domestic violence. When justice is seen to be done
and the offence vindicated, it is only then that public attitudes
about violence (all forms of violence) and particularly domestic
violence will be taken seriously. This will be the first step that
will bring real protection to victims, begin the process of
attitudinal change and finally ensure prevention.
The Domestic Violence Bill is one piece of legislation that has been
drafted through discussion. As we noted earlier the MoJ draft took in
elements from the Women's Draft which itself was discussed in many
parts of the country, with different ethnic communities, class and
religious communities and legal and medical professionals. The final
version of the government draft is in the process of revision. Can we
ask the Ministry of Justice to make this process of revision a
consultative one as well? A member of the South African Women's
Commission visiting Sri Lanka recently spoke of how the South African
draft Bill on Domestic Violence went through an extensive process of
discussion up and down the country before it was passed into law. She
highlighted the merits of getting 'good law' into the Statute books
and said that the best route to go was through an open process of
discussion and inclusion. As with South Africa, Sri Lanka too is
going through a period of transformation. But unlike South Africa we
have an excellent Women's Charter to base our work on and we have
national machinery dealing with women's affairs as well as
gender-aware and concerned staff at the Ministry of Justice. So let
us bring out the draft Domestic Violence Bill and shape it to be a
model and enabling piece of legislation to deal effectively with
wsws.org | 1 September 2003
Indian bomb blasts: the end product of communal politics
By Sarath Kumara
Two devastating bomb blasts in Bombay, India's financial centre, last
week claimed the lives of at least 52 people and injured more than
150. One exploded at the Zaveri Bazaar, the city's jewelry district,
near the Hindu Mumbadevi temple. The other blast took place near one
of the city's main tourist attractions-the Gateway of India-a British
monument built during the colonial rule of India.
Journalists Union condemns VHP, police for harassing Gilani, asks to
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Union of Journalists on Saturday criticised the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Delhi police for harassing Kashmir
Times Delhi bureau chief Iftikhar Gilani while covering a VHP rally
on Wednessday and demanded action against culprits.
Gilani was beaten up by VHP ''goons'' while covering the rally at
Jantar Manter and thereafter the police instead of arresting the
culprits chose to detain him for ''daring to cover a VHP function,''
DUJ president S K Pande said.
Though an assistant commissioner of police subsequently apologised
and let off Gilani, DUJ has demanded an inquiry into the illegal
detention for an hour despite showing his PIB accreditation card to
prove that he was a bonafide journalist. Pande also demanded the
arrest of those who assaulted Gilani.
DUJ urged the Government to provide protection to journalists in
performing their duty fearlessly and ensure that incidents like the
assault on Gilani was not repeated.
''why the police was vindictive with Gilani who was earlier also
falsely implicated in an official secrets act case resulting in his
detention in Tihar jail for seven months?'' DUJ wondered and pointed
out that the charges had subesquently could not stand scrutiny.
''How long will I continue to be harassed?'' Geelani asked when contacted.
The DUJ president also condemned the VHP for first inviting the media
for coverage of its activists and then assualting selected
journalists. He warned that the media would boycott the coverage of
VHP if such incidents were repeated in future.
"The VHP has a history of inviting journalists for coverage and then
assaulting them as it happened in 1992 in Ayodhya when the press
cards issued by the VHP came handy to identify and beat up the
journalists. Those who did not carry their cards could escape for
want of identification,'' DUJ pointed out.
What lies beneath disputed structure
Extracts from the 574-page report submitted by the ASI on the
excavation carried out in Ayodhya
The Times of India, September 2. 2003
At a crowded meeting in Mumbai last week, the city's Muslim
intellectuals spoke about the community's disapproval of terrorist
acts. But film, stage and TV actor Farooque Shaikh questioned the
necessity for Muslims as a community to condemn every act of
terrorism. Shaikh, who's active in citizens' peace initiatives, spoke
to Jyoti Punwani about his irritation at his community's tendency to
proclaim ''what should be taken as given'':
Your speech at the meeting raised quite a few eyebrows. What exactly
did you say?
All I said was we are wasting our time and energy stating the
obvious every time. I would have preferred us spending time in
helping those who suffered in the blasts by either raising funds or
organising a blood donation drive.
Condemnation of such incidents has come to be expected of Muslims.
But how many times must we do so? Every time something happens, must
we undergo this trial by fire? Should it become part of our social
psyche? I think the fact that we do condemn terrorism has been shown
enough. After all, aren't we equally affected? If you are an average
Muslim, living in the vitiated climate generated by such blasts,
you're doubly affected. When a bomb goes off, it does not
discriminate who it's going to strike. In the recent incidents, as
many Muslims were hurt as Hindus. An average Muslim also suffers the
ignominy of the perpetrator being spread to the whole community. That
makes him twice as vulnerable as the next citizen. It's common sense
that he would condemn it.
In the context of the 1993 serial blasts, it was assumed that many
Muslims approved of them...
Much water has flown under the bridge since then. The total picture
of those times is known to everybody. If anyone still doesn't know,
he should just pick up a copy of the Srikrishna Commission report.
The blasts were a consequence of the '92-'93 riots. If you give
people the ground to sow poisonous seeds, that's what's going to
grow, and it takes time to weed them out.
That could be taken as a justification of the blasts.
It is not. Consider this: A mass movement has been going on against
the police all over the country for decades. Police stations have
been blown up. There's been insurgency in the north-east for five
decades now. Should we allocate blame to whole communities involved
in these movements? Only the mischievous and ill-informed would do so.
What do you make of the participation of Muslim areas in the Shiv
Sena bandh after the Ghatkopar blasts? Muslims said had they not
participated, they would have been accused of not sharing in the
Exactly, that's the kind of psyche we are generating. That bandh was
totally uncalled for. If the Ghatkopar blast cost us a few lakhs, the
bandh cost us Rs 150 crore. The bandh amounted to saying: 'You
chopped off my nail, so I'll chop off my entire foot'.
But the participation of Muslims in the bandh was as widely hailed as
their clapping for India in the World Cup tie against Pakistan.
That's such a childish attitude. Those who rejoice at such things are
either lacking in information or have a deep political interest in
spreading misinformation. Wherever India plays, local Indians come
out to cheer the team. Should the host country turn against them and
ask them to leave the country? As one living in a family of
practising Muslims, I cannot count six persons who cheer when
Pakistan wins. Which world are we living in when we rejoice at
Muslims clapping for India? This time too, headlines were made out
of the fact that Muslims had helped the victims and donated blood, as
if this was an extraordinary happening. The whole thing should've
been reported without singling out any particular community.
Mumbai's Muslims were the only ones to agitate against Kargil as a community.
That's the kind of psyche I was talking about at the meeting. I think
such demons-trations are a waste of time. I've been an Indian and a
Muslim all my life and that's what I hope to be for the rest of my
life. I don't see any less Indianness in me than in any non-Muslim
and that's the truth I see in Muslims around me.
Does the assumption that these blasts are the handiwork of Muslims offend you?
A criminal is a criminal whatever label he operates under. It doesn't
matter to me whether he's found to be a Muslim or a Martian. He must
be tried and punished. Does the burden of being involved in
insurgency haunt the non-Muslim psyche? Is anybody exploding against
all those who bear the name Veerappan?... Fact is, people are
becoming aware that most of the ill-will is created by vested
interests. This time, Mumbai has sent two clear messages. One was to
those diabolical minds who perpetra-ted these blasts: 'You can hurt
us, but you won't defeat us'. The second was to the politicians: 'We
know you are going to fish in troubled waters but we won't be taken
in'. The more we send these kinds of messages, the more we defeat
those who want to divide us.
Do you think your community will heed your advice at the meeting?
Till Muslims feel their security lies in making such statements, they
will continue to do so. Politicians whip up this kind of emotion and
because we are not well-informed, we get taken in. That's what the
Third Reich was all about.
The Indian Express, September 03, 2003
Please stop branding us terrorists: Muslim areas in Ahmedabad shut
No one knows who called bandh but response is near total
Express News Service
Ahmedabad, September 2: For the first time in this city since the
riots last year, a bandh was observed without any political
affiliation-and exclusively in areas dominated by Muslims.
The bandh was unique in other aspects as well: there were no
statements or appeals by any organisation, no one came out to enforce
the bandh and yet virtually every one complied, shops remained closed
and people stayed indoors. And by evening there was no one claiming
success for the near-total bandh.
The bandh was provoked by an anonymous leaflet circulated in Muslim
neighbourhoods. This leaflet claimed that the entire Muslim community
is being branded as terrorists and that innocents were being
targeted, a reference, police said, to the five local residents
arrested in connection with the Akshardham strike.
''The tone and language of the leaflet was not at all crude; In fact,
it was quite well-written. The tone was not inflammatory, it just
made a bandh appeal,'' said a senior police officer.
''I don't know who called for the bandh but by participating, I am
doing what little I can do to help those who are trying to raise the
government from its slumber. I certainly feel that the government is
just not bothered about us,'' said Hanif Sheikh, who owns a provision
shop in Dhabgarwad.
The news of the leaflet spread last evening prompting the police to
make security arrangements in the Muslim-dominated areas of Dariapur,
Kalupur, Shahpur, Mirzapur, Teen Darwaja, Dhabgarwad, Karanj and
''We did not want to take any chance when we heard of the anonymous
leaflet. The bandh was peaceful and there was no untoward incident.
No one was arrested,'' Joint Commissioner of Police (Sector I) P C
Thakur told The Indian Express.
Though no one knew who issued the leaflet, word spread like wild fire
this morning that all residents of Muslim areas are observing a bandh
in protest against the arrests.
By afternoon, even shops in markets which were open in the morning
downed their shutters. Shops and business establishments in areas
like Jamalpur, Raikhad, Gaekwad Haveli and Khamasa which had opened
this morning closed down by afternoon learning that shopkeepers in
other Muslim areas in the city were observing a complete bandh.
Interestingly, a row of shops owned by Hindus in Teen Darwaja also
In the afternoon, residents of Kalupur and Dariapur, mostly women and
children, assembled near Relief Road to take out a rally to protest
against the arrests. However, after an appeal by Thakur, they
The women who gathered to take out the rally too did not know who had
given the bandh call. ''All I know is that the bandh is in protest
against the arrest our religious leaders and others who have been
wrongfully detained by the Crime Branch in the Akshardham case. I
joined in to show my solidarity,'' said Nafissabanu of Dariyapur.
''This kind of arrests have been going on for quite sometime and I
believe that many of those arrested are innocent,'' said Roshanbibi,
As all the shops in these areas remained closed throughout the day,
supply of essential commodities was hit. ''I had learned about the
bandh call last night and knew things will not be available today so
I stocked up milk for my little daugther yesterday night itself,''
said Mohammed Zuber. ''And even if we had to undergo some
inconvenience, it's okay because the protest was against the illegal
acts of the government and the police.''
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003
DALITS, VOTE BANK, VIOLENCE
In view not only of what happened in Gujarat but is threatening to
happen on a continual basis in the electoral culture of Hindu fascism
it is necessary to look a little closely into the Dalit question.
It is supposed that only Dalits should speak on issues pertaining to
them. If Kanshi Ram and Mayawati exemplify the kind of spokesmen that
Dalits have, it must be admitted that they inspire no confidence and
that they did much disservice to the Dalit cause.
Kanshi Ram and Mayawati visited Gujarat to stump for Modi and his
communal-fascist gangsters. They endorsed and encouraged thus the
project of India becoming a Hindu Rashtra a la Gujarat under the
bloody brutes of HinduTaliban, who have nothing in common with
Hinduism except their accidentally Hindu-sounding names .
Political contingencies and exigencies certainly must be factored in
which would involve adaptation and adjustment to circumstances
unforeseen or unimagined. Unimagined? Politics is the game
imaginatively to provide for solutions in the event of unpredictable
variables. But a party, ideologicaly committed, need not court
disaster and disgrace time and again by its lurch into unprincipled
UP saw the spectacle of Mayawati's illusionist antics thrice and the
Dalit cause was not edified or empowered by it unless we confuse the
leap in the personal fortunes of the leaders with that of their
constituency, the destitue and deprived mass of people, called a
minority by some demograhic sleight of hand.
Have these leaders been able to instil fearlessness and a sense of
security and solidarity in the hearts and minds of the oppressed?
Wishful thinking and bursts of ceremonial sloganeering apart, the
answer, in tangible terms, would be NO, if facts of life are to be
Have these leaders made common cause with other oppressed sections
of the citizenry, the other reviled and ravaged "minorities" like say
Christians, Muslims, and Adivasis? Again, the answer is a resounding
No. It would seem, they do not think it necessary to bond with the
other exploited Indians
in order to defeat the monster of social iniquity of the ages, or the
statist enforcement of the same by means devious and deplorable.
Self-delusion could not be more fatal.
What these "leaders" have really succeeded in doing is their
projection of the Dalits as a viable vote bank. Just a vote bank. A
vote bank on the auction block. A vote bank open to the lure of the
lucre. A vote bank susceptible to fraud and force by anyone. A vote
bank amenable to an anti-social spree. A vote bank available for hire
to commit crimes against humanity in exchange for drink, drugs, dope,
and dollops of money. It is another matter that the big money goes to
the honchos among them, not to the poverty-pulverized plebeians.
How formidably and ferally Dalits have been used as killers,
arsonists, rapists, and brigands in Gujarat, the laboratory of Ram
Rajya aka as Hindutwa (Hindu Fascism), points the way they would be
used in all the planned pogroms against various segments of society
henceforward, be they dissenters, independents, democrats,
secularists, or just members of a minority community. This is an ugly
and prospectively ubiquitous prospect, horrifically violent and
Dalits to be used as slaughterers and scavengers, decimating other
minorities, for the well being of Hindutwa cabal, for the
perpetuation of ancient wrongs and modern crimes, for prolonging the
tyranny of those parasites and predators who are charged with treason
and who have been found committed to moral turpitude as a matter of
principle and to their founding dogma of ethnic cleansing (genocide)
of the minorities.
The forthcoming elections in four states and Lok Sabha may spell the
doomsday for our minorties.
Dalits desecrating democracy, and destroying it, at the behest and in
the interests of their tormentors, the staus quoist tyrants, the
redoubtable saffronazis, the inveterate enemies of India. Dalis
helping India become Gujarat?
Could Dr Ambedkar have foreseen this? Could even Gandhi have
visualised it? END.
World Social Forum - Gujarat
A forum against all forms of Imperialist Globalization, Patriarchy,
Militarism, Communalism (religious sectarianism, and fundamentalism),
Casteism and Racism (oppression, exclusion and discrimination based
on descent and work) and discrimination based on gender and Sexual
Invitation to participate in the preparatory meeting to conceive and
construct alternatives to imperialist globalization.
As you are aware, people's movements across the world have realized
that the imperialist led neo-liberal globalization does not provide
any solution to toiling masses and people suffering from poverty and
hunger. The sustainable economic development and social and economic
justice lies in alternative models for people centered and
In an attempt to search alternative models, people across the world
came together in 2001, 2002 and 2003 at Porto Alegre in Brazil under
the umbrella of World Social Forum process to explore and propose
such alternatives and there by to question the very legitimacy of the
World Economic Forum which imposes a single economic order across the
globe. The people believe that ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE.
The World Social Forum Moves to India
Since its inception in 2001, the WSF has been hosted in Porto Alegre,
Brazil. About 20,000 people participated in the first WSF in 2001,
55000 in 2002 and with well over one lakh delegates in WSF 2003, the
Forum came to symbolize the strength of anti-globalization movement
and became a rallying point for the worldwide protest against war in
At the WSF 2002, it was proposed to host the Forum out side Brazil.
This shift represents the need felt by the WSF process to reach out
in a larger way to the African - Asian region where the two-third of
the humanity lives. The cultural, linguistic, agro-climatic and
demographic plurality and the diverse social movements of the country
makes India an appropriate venue for the coming Forum.
The Asian Social Forum held in Hydrabad, India in January 2003, and
other regional and thematic forums deepened the WSF process around
the world. WSF 2004 to be held in India will address Afro-Asian
concerns, while retaining its international perspective.
The WSF - India process aims to be widespread and inclusive by
allowing a space for workers, peasants, indigenous people, dalits,
women, minorities, immigrants, youth, human right groups, social
activists, academicians, artisans, the media, parliamentarians,
sympathetic bureaucrats, and all other concerned sections of civil
society. WSF 2004 will consolidate the coming together of social
movements, mass organizations, NGOs, and other sectors that were
brought together on one platform for the first time in the recent
Indian history at ASF 2003.
The principle focus adopted for WSF India:
· Imperialist Globalization
· Militarism and Peace
· Communalism (religious sectarianism and fundamentalism)
· Casteism and Racism ( oppression, exclusion and discrimination
based on descent and work)
GUJARAT SOCIAL FORUM:
Gujarat has been a focus of international attention in recent times -
from the wide spread social response to devastating earthquake to
extreme sectarian violence of unprecedented scale. It represents the
contradiction of a traditional society drawn into the vortex of the
twin processes namely; globalization and nation building taking place
simultaneously. At this juncture the Gujarati society is seeking to
redefine its identity and clarify its interests. For this to happen,
social and civil society movements need a space for dialogue and
negotiation so that the best of Gujarat's tradition and liberal
spirit gets translated into a modern identity, ethos and values of a
democratic, secular and socially just human fabric.
We intend to make the context of WSF 2004 in January, to initiate a
process of inquiry, sharing and clarifying that is informed by the
experience and reflection of international struggle against
imperialistic globalization, militarism, exploitation and oppression.
In this connection likeminded individuals, organizations and social
movements have decided to discuss the process of WSF in general and
Gujarat Social Forum in particular.
We take this opportunity to invite you for the Preparatory Meeting to
discuss the modalities to launch GSF and to make preparation for the
WSF at Mumbai from 16-21 January 2004.
THIS IS A PREPARATORY MEETING. ALL FRIENDS, INCLUDING THOSE WHOM OUR
COMMUNICATION HAS NOT REACHED ARE WELCOME. FRIENDS WHO RECEIVE THIS
INVITATION MUST INFORM OTHERS TO ENSURE MAXIMUM INCLUSIVENESS.
Date : Monday, 8 September 2003
Time : 10.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m
Venue: Chhipa Community Centre
Next to Anjuman High School
Near State Bank Of India
Astodia Road, Gol Limbda
OVER 100 activists from Gujarat
You are invited to a workshop on
MALIMATH COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS: ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVE
And release of Justice H. Suresh's Book "Fundamental Rights as Human Rights"
The workshop is aimed at an analysis of the proposals and
recommendations of the Justice Malimath Committee for the reform of
the Criminal Justice System.
It is felt that the recommendations of the committee are aimed not at
achieving justice, but at simply making it easier for the State to
get convictions in Criminal trials. The recommendations, if
accepted, would stand in the way of natural justice and fairness.
This workshop, is one of a series of meetings, that will take place
all over the country, to make people aware of this negative side of
the recommendations and how it could affect us. We therefore call
upon you to attend the workshop and participate actively in it.
"FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AS HUMAN RIGHTS" by Justice H. Suresh, (Retd).
and published by Sabrang Publications will be released on the day.
AGENDA FOR THE WORKSHOP
Inaugural Session :- "Overview of the Malimath Committee Report"
Release of "Fundamental Rights as Human Rights"
9:30AM - 10:00AM
Speaker : Justice H. Suresh (Retd.)
Javed Anand, Sabrang Communications,
Release by Adv. P. A. Sebastian
First Session:- "Rights of Accused"
10.00AM - 11:30PM
Chairperson: Justice H. Suresh (Retd.)
Speakers: Adv. Lalit Chari
Adv. Monica Sakhrani
Second Session :- "Investigation"
11:45PM - 01:00PM
Chairperson: Mr. S.S. Puri, Former Director General of
Anticorruption Bureau & Director Public Prosecution, M.S.
Speakers: Adv. Dhairyasheel Patil,
Adv. Nitin Pradhan
Third Session :- "Women's Issues"
2:00PM - 2:45PM
Chairperson: Ms. Asha Bajpai
Speaker: Adv. Veena Gowda
Fourth Session- "Prosecution and Punishment"
2:45PM - 3:45PM
Chairperson: Justice R.G. Sindhkar (Retd.)
Speakers: Adv.Majeed Memon
Mr. Vijay Raghavan
Fifth Session- " Crime , Communalism and Terrorism"
3:45PM - 5:00PM
Chairperson: Adv. P.A. Sebastian
Speakers: Adv. Mihir Desai
Adv. Surendra Gadling
Every session will be followed by a discussion on the issue.
Venue: YMCA, Opposite Regal Cinema, N Parekh Marg, Colaba, Mumbai.
Time: 9:00am to 5:00pm Date: 6th September 2003
For registration contact: Lalit Khandare at Tel: 23439651/ 23436692
HINDUTVA AT WORK Series:
Ganesha does what politics couldn't
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 02, 2003 03:17:50 PM ]
AHMEDABAD: People of Vadodara are out on a pilgrimmage tour, having
vowed to take the blessings of Lord Ganesha installed at every pandal
this festival. But what is hard to miss is Narendra Modi sharing the
limelight with Lord Ganesha in major pandals in the city.
If Modi makes a guest appearance in a wedding sequence in one of the
pandals, he is sharing the dais with Prime Minister Vajpayee, even as
both watch Lord Ganesha 'punish' Pakistani president Pervez
Musharraf. At another traffic island, Lord Ganesha descends to give
'darshan' to Modi amidst chanting of Ganesha Stotra.
Adorning the colourful, decorated pandals are political leaders and
monuments like Akshardham. If mythological and philosophical themes
are a rage, politics seems to be carving its niche in festivities too.
At Bajawada Chakaniya Pol, there is a pandal housing a gigantic idol
of Lord Ganesha flanked by Modi and Vajpayee on either side. Ganesha
is depicted holding Pervez Musharraf by his neck.
A khaki clad Vajpayee and a saffron clad Modi are already drawing
huge crowds, while banners which read 'Aatankvadiyon ka sardar,
Musharraf ka naash karenge Shree Ganesh' (Leader of the terrorists-
Musharraf, will be destroyed by Lord Ganesh), gives a political
ambience to the pandal.
At a traffic junction overlooking Sursagar, Ganesha descending to
Earth has been a major attraction, which is also leading to chaos and
traffic jam. Even as the traffic police helplessly try to clear the
bulging crowd, Lord Ganesha appears before Modi 'chanting' Ganesha
The list of political figures includes Sonia, Vajpayee and Modi, who
are shown as part of a 'baraat' (wedding party). If Lord Ganesha is
perceived as an omnipresent god, with depiction of 'Ashta Vinayak',
he is also personified as other Gods - Shreeji and Lord Shiva. At a
majority of pandals, the backdrop has a narration of mythological
Surprisingly, a few pandals have a backdrop of Akshardham. The
speciality of this pandal at Bagikhana, housing a giant replica of
Akshardham is that, artists from Mumbai were specially invited to
In Ahmedabad, sculptors say they had received orders to do sculptures
of politicians, but could not take up the orders fearing police
harassment. "We had thought about doing a tableau with a political
theme. However, post riots, the police have prohibited us from
working on displays that could inflame passions and threatened us
with dire consequences. So none of us have been able work on these
themes," said a Moreshwar Pitade, a sculptor. [...].
o o o
The Times of India
VHP to educate people about designs of terrorists
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2003 12:52:09 AM ]
AHMEDABAD: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has plans to set up its own
network to create awareness among masses about sinister designs of
terrorists who are bent on creating disturbances like the twin Mumbai
blasts which claimed 52 lives last week.
VHP international general secretary Pravin Togadia discussed the
fresh initiative on the proposed campaign with senior functionaries
during his two-day stay in the city.He told TNN that the VHP would
soon constitute a separate wing comprising retired police and Army
officials who would give training to VHP activists in big cities and
towns on precautionary and remedial measures to be taken to foil the
designs of terrorists.
o o o
The Indian Express, 02 Sep 2003
VHP prepares kar seva kit for Saurashtra
HIRAL DAVE RAJKOT, SEPTEMBER 1: Saurashtra unit of the VHP, buoyed by
the recent ASI report [...].
The Indian Express, September 03, 2003
Sangh outfits suggest WTO alternatives (Pradeep Kaushal)
Buzz on the perils of fundamentalist politics, on matters of peace
and democratisation in South Asia. SACW is an independent &
non-profit citizens wire service run since 1998 by South Asia
Citizens Web (www.mnet.fr/aiindex).
The complete SACW archive is available at: http://sacw.insaf.net
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in materials carried in the posts do not
necessarily reflect the views of SACW compilers.