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SACW Dispatch | 2-3 Nov. 00

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    South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch 2-3 November 2000 ________________________________ #1. Sri Lanka: Ethnic Violence Escalates #2. India: The Hindutva offensive
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2000
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      South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch
      2-3 November 2000

      ________________________________

      #1. Sri Lanka: Ethnic Violence Escalates
      #2. India: The Hindutva offensive
      #3. India: Truth & Raparations for victims of Bombay riots
      #4. India: Hindu Right opposes compulsory iodization of salt
      #5. New Book 'on Minorities Under Threat in India'
      ________________________________

      #1.

      SRI LANKA: ETHNIC VIOLENCE ESCALATES

      (New York, November 1, 2000) Human Rights Watch said today that ethnic
      violence in Sri Lanka would continue to escalate without decisive
      government action against those responsible for a prison massacre last
      week. The international monitoring group also called on all groups
      involved, including the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), to
      refrain from retaliatory attacks.

      On October 25, twenty-five Tamils in a detention facility in Bandarawela
      were killed by a Sinhalese mob. Many of those killed had been detained
      on suspicion of links to the LTTE. Following the massacre, President
      Kumaratunga ordered two high-level police probes into the incident.

      "We welcome President Kumaratunga's swift action to set up high-level
      inquiries. We hope the investigations will proceed equally swiftly,"
      said Sidney Jones, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. "It's critical
      that the government impartially investigate allegations that police
      personnel stationed at the camp were complicit in the attacks, and look
      into reports of incitement of violence by political parties preceding
      and following the massacre. With ethnic tension already so high, failure
      to address these highly-charged issues could be explosive."

      A sharp rise in communal tensions has followed the attack, with some Sri
      Lankans describing the situation as worse than at any time in the last
      twenty years.

      Ethnic clashes and large-scale riots erupted in Sri Lanka's central
      hill districts following the Tamil-led protests against the massacre. As
      many as four people were killed and many were injured in rioting from
      October 28 to 30 in the towns of Talawakale, Ginigathena and
      Nuwara Eliya.

      In Talawakale, demonstrators set fire to Sinhalese shops after a drunken
      Sinhalese man reportedly abused the demonstrators. Sinhalese mobs
      retaliated, burning and looting Tamil shops. In Ginigathena, hundreds
      were driven from their homes after mobs set fire to local shops. Rioters
      also stoned vehicles on the main highway to Nuwara Eliya.

      After the massacre, police briefly detained more than 250 suspects from
      the majority Sinhalese community. Several police officers who guarded
      the camp were also reportedly arrested. Curfews have been imposed and
      security has been stepped up in hill district towns to quell further
      protests and rioting. The unrest marks the first time in recent history
      that communal riots have broken out in tea estate areas where most of
      the 140,000 Tamils of Indian origin live.

      Human Rights Watch also emphasized that the government must address the
      underlying causes of the uprising at the detention center, including
      prolonged detention without trial. Ahead of the massacre, inmates at the
      facilityómany of whom may have been held without trial under the
      Prevention of Terrorism Act and other security lawsóhad been protesting
      conditions of their detention and allegedly took at least one security
      guard hostage. As news of an attempted inmate takeover spread, Sinhalese
      residents reportedly began amassing outside the camp and on the morning
      of October 25 stormed the facility.

      For more information, please see:

      Sri Lanka: Donors Should Demand Protection for Civilians (HRW Press
      Release, May 19, 2000) at
      http://www.hrw.org/press/2000/05/slanka0519.htm


      ______

      #2.

      Frontline, November 10, 2000
      Frontline Column: Beyond the Obvious

      THE HINDUTVA OFFENSIVE

      by Praful Bidwai

      As RSS chief Sudarshan launches a vicious new attack on Christians, BJP
      minister Jagmohan is about to transform whole urban landscapes along
      Hindutva lines. These plans must be stoutly opposed.

      If Union urban development minister Jagmohan has his way, the banks of the
      Yamuna in Delhi will soon turn saffron with kitschy calendar-art
      recreations of episodes from Hindu mythology. Jagmohan's latest brainwave
      is a spectacular Mahabharata theme park, or rather, "theme village".
      Ideologically charged by the archaeologically dubious folklore "theory"
      that the city of Indraprastha once existed somewhere near today's Purana
      Qila (Old Fort), the worthy minister wants to create larger-than-life
      Disneyland-type structures which "show" where and how the five Pandavas
      lived. The "home" pavilion of each Pandava will be a characteristic design:
      for instance, Bhima's will be an akhara (wrestling ring), elaborately
      decorated with mythological artifacts associated with him. The project
      could stretch all the way from Nigambodh Ghat to Kalindi along the Ring
      Road, spanning hundreds of hectares.

      The function of these "Pandava" pavilions, Jagmohan told senior Delhi
      Development Authority officials in the second week of September, is to
      inculcate the right "values" and samskaras especially among children. He is
      allotting a hefty Rs. 5 crores as seed money for a preliminary feasibility
      study alone. The costs of the project proper could run into hundreds of
      times the seed money. Add to this plans for showcasing other facets of
      Indian (read, Hindutva) culture, including birth and death rituals, and you
      have a gigantic, almost violent, transformation of the Yamuna. Already, the
      river's left bank is dotted with temples and ghats, including political
      samadhis. A humongous Swaminarayan temple, run by a remarkably rich cult
      based in Gujarat, is coming up too.

      Projects like these spell something special, even singular: the
      transformation of a "neutral" or "secular" public space potentially
      accessible to all citizens into a religious, sectarian, or communal entity
      relevant only to some people--a conscious, planned, engineered
      transformation. Perhaps in no other society has such a retrograde
      re-engineering of the urban landscape taken place in recent history.
      (Perhaps Saudi Arabia is an exception. But even there, the re-landscaping
      has occurred around the existing monuments of Mecca and Medina--under a
      self-confessed ultra-conservative "Islamic" regime. This is evidently the
      BJP's model.)

      British colonialism created the Eighth City of Delhi--a new Imperial
      capital with the Viceregal Lodge and the Princes' Park at its center--over
      and above the older Seven Cities. Now Jagmohan is proceeding to establish
      the Ninth City, Hindu Delhi, in a unique amalgam of myth and modern
      technology, petty prejudice and power-driven grand ambition, money and
      mumbo-jumbo, Hindutva hubris and half-digested notions of urban planning.
      This is an assault on anything approaching a civilised, open-minded,
      liberal, urbane, sensibility, not to speak of a secular one. What the
      BJP-led dispensation at the Centre, with just one year in office, will
      leave for succeeding generations is a series of monuments to its sectarian
      prejudices which could prove hard to dismantle--like the makeshift Ram
      "temple" at Ayodhya.

      Jagmohan must not be allowed to proceed with his ill-conceived plan. It
      must be scupperred right now. The whole idea is just as unbalanced as his
      trade-mark "demolition" activity, which ends up bulldozing the homes of the
      poor, while "regularising" the patently illegal and aesthetically gross
      mansions of the affluent as in Sainik Farms: money thus "legally" covers up
      grave breaches of decency and legitimacy. Jagmohan's latest "achievement"
      is the demolition of a colony of people with amputated limbs just outside
      Nehru Stadium, who had dared to put plastic sheets over their heads. A
      similarly horrendous, discriminatory, attitude informs his Yamuna plan. It
      favours just one group of people (Hindus) and celebrates their religious
      legends as the authentic culture of all of India.

      This communal plan puts Jagmohan in the same category as K.S. Sudarshan who
      demands that the Church in India must go swadeshi by freeing itself from
      "foreign" influences. Sudarshan's demand is doubly offensive. First, it is
      impertinent. He is poking his nose into the affairs of another religious
      community, although it is doubtful if he represents any religious
      sensibility, as distinct from a politicised religious identity. Worse, he
      casts aspersions upon the integrity of millions of Indian citizens and
      their right to participate in our political community because they are, to
      him, lesser Indians, being non-Hindus. This morally repugnant and
      politically obnoxious statement is a form of hate speech involving abuse of
      the freedom of expression. Free expression doesn't mean you scream "fire"
      in a crowded cinema hall without cause. Even less does it mean you malign
      people by questioning their loyalty, their Indianness, their citizenship
      rights; or that you demand they "admit" that their ancestors were Rama and
      Krishna.

      It won't do to plead that Hindus are more Indian by virtue of location. As
      argued often in this column, historically, this proposition is dangerously
      false. Christianity and Islam are as indigenous to India, indeed older in
      this country, than Hinduism in its varna form. But even if this were not
      the case, even if the cultural or religious identity of a group could be
      traced to ancient India, that would be no reason for politically negating
      their inalienable democratic rights as citizens, or for socially depriving
      them of dignity and stature as authentic Indians. Indeed, no one class,
      community, ethnic or linguistic group can claim to be more or less
      "authentic". By maligning Indian Christians, Sudarshan is spreading venom.
      His attempt at a cover-up--a "majority of Christians in the country are
      patriotic, but foreign missionaries have wreaked havoc with India's unity
      and integrity"--is even shabbier. So is his call to Muslims to "Indianise"
      Islam and join "the national mainstream."

      This is precisely the kind of anti-Jewish hate speech that Germany's
      "indigenists" and Aryan nationalists perfected before Hitler's rise to
      power. (Classic texts like those of Gramsci, Thalheimer, Bauer, Carsten,
      Barrington Moore, Nolte, and Reich document the tremendous corrosion of the
      intelligentsia's sensibilities and the growth of majoritarianism that
      underlay the fascists' rise to power.) Once Hindus (Christians or "proper"
      Germans) alone are declared to constitute the mainstream, "others" are
      marginalised, cornered and isolated.

      Top BJP leaders like L.K. Advani, J.P. Mathur, Jana Krishnamurthy and
      Narendra Modi have heartily supported Sudarshan's statement, paraphrasing
      him and underscoring the BJP-RSS link. On this issue, even Bangaru Laxman
      can't be demarcated from the hardcore RSS viewpoint. He told U.S.
      ambassador Richard Celeste that his party is committed to religious
      freedom, but opposes "forced conversions, and support to insurgent groups
      by Christian groups, particularly in the North-East." (The Hindustan Times,
      Oct 12).

      We are back to the rhetoric of all non-Hindus being suspect. Those who
      thought that the BJP's first Dalit president would really reach out to the
      religious minorities should think again. What unites and integrates various
      leaders and ideologues of the BJP, VHP or RSS and their 180-plus front
      organisations is a malign majoritarianism. The only difference is the
      vigour with which they push it, the form in which they do it. Laxman might
      do it less harshly than Murli Manohar Joshi, but their agenda is the same.
      That agenda lays claim to a superior "Hindu" identity by falsely rooting
      Aryans in Harappan civilisation, or by grossly exaggerating the scientific,
      cultural and intellectual achievements of Vedic Indians.

      This claim to "superiority" is then used to demand parochial privileges for
      a particular group. And its numerical strength is cited to construct a
      dangerous argument apparently cloaked in "democracy", defined as the rule
      of the majority. But majoritarianism is the opposite of democracy.
      Democracy is based not on a permanent, unchanging, majority defined by
      ethnicity or religion, but on political majorities which change from time
      to time. The communalists' procedure is the same as that used by fascist
      ideologues and religious fundamentalists of all hues.

      Hindutva ideologues are now busy conjuring up historical or archaeological
      "evidence" for their Aryan-Hindu primacy and "superiority" claims. The
      latest instance is the "Piltdown Horse." (Frontline, October 13) It is of
      such stuff-voodoo archaeology, distortion of evidence and manipulation of
      images--that Hindutva's national "greatness" agenda is made.

      That agenda is now receiving the imprimatur of prime social science
      research institutions as these are taken over by sangh parivar ideologues
      such as B.R. Grover and M.L. Sondhi. Grover in September boorishly
      disrupted an academic seminar addressed by K.N. Panikker in Canada for
      questioning Hindutva-style nationalism. Earlier, Hindu communalists had
      targeted a secular SAHMAT exhibition in Canada depicting protests against
      nuclear weapons. To his shame, the Indian High Commissioner forced an
      academic institution in Canada to dissociate itself from the exhibition.

      The saffron agenda is gathering momentum at both ends of the education
      spectrum. Under the guise of promoting morality and samskaras, the National
      Council of Educational Research and Training is setting up a resource
      centre for "value education," which is to be made mandatory for
      schoolchildren. In a note in circulation, it lists 83 "values"--a confused
      compendium of ideas, some of them mutually incompatible. This is a
      euphemism for promoting rabid Hindutva nationalism and false pride in a
      glorified past. It is designed to teach the child that if there is anything
      commendable in any civilisation or culture, it must be Indian, or rather,
      Hindu.

      In universities and engineering colleges, too, students will compulsorily
      study "value education". On October 10, Union education secretary M.K. Kaw
      announced that IIT Delhi would be the centre for "value education" for all
      engineering colleges. Also in the pipeline is a "centre for consciousness
      and leadership" at IIM-Lucknow. According to The Indian Express, the "value
      education" course is likely to include the teachings not just of
      Vivekananda and Chinmayananda, but also of the controversial Sri Sathya Sai
      Baba, even the Brahmakumaris and Sadhu Vasvani Mission. Kaw holds the
      prejudiced view that "in India, secularism has meant absence of any
      religion, but true secularism is respect and knowledge of all religions..."
      This is a shopworn communal cliché. That a senior bureaucrat in a sensitive
      ministry touts it is deeply deplorable.

      At this rate, value education will collapse into religious instruction.
      We'll soon have Creationism-style "revealed" wisdom competing with
      Darwinian science. Kaw's notion of "values" includes something as broad and
      vague as "spirituality, meditation, yoga and ways to manage the self and
      consciousness", besides "loyalty" towards India. Now, one can talk about
      the "value" of being truthful or diligent. It makes no sense to talk of
      yoga or meditation as "values".

      These are dangerous ideas. Such half-digested, semi-literate notions about
      what values are and how they should be inculcated will produce incoherent
      syllabi bound only by a fierce, intolerant and arrogant nationalism, and by
      emphasis on Hinduness and "family values". This last term, part of the
      favoured lexicon of the Hard Right in America's Bible Belt, is being
      imported wholesale into India by, among others, Information and
      Broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj.

      "Family values" may sound as innocuous as mother's milk. But it is a
      disciplinarian notion of the family, which worships hierarchy and
      authority, and restricts freedom and individuality. "Family values" is
      deeply anti-feminist and perpetuates sexual inequality as well as
      stereotypes about the assigned roles of the father, mother, son and
      daughter within the patriarchal family. It is precisely on such illiberal,
      hate-based, foundations that the ideological edifice of fascism was erected
      in Europe in the 1920s.

      The sangh parivar is busy building those very foundations in India today.
      Going by the pusillanimous reactions of the BJP's NDA allies to LK Advani's
      disgraceful identification with the RSS as the government's "guiding
      force", and his emphatic assertion of the unbreakable nature of the RSS-BJP
      link (Oct 17), it is meeting with little resistance from within the ruling
      coalition. Advani now speaks with full authority as Vajpayee's anointed
      successor as Prime Minister. The BJP may not last long in power. But the
      poison it is infusing will continue to work in our system for a long
      time--unless we stop the parivar in its tracks right now.--end--

      ______


      #3.

      http://www.timesofindia.com/271000/27edit2.htm
      The Times of India,
      27 October 2000
      Editorial


      TRUTH AND REPARATION

      It would be fitting for the Vilasrao Deshmukh
      government to mark the completion of its first year in
      office by fulfilling a key electoral promise made to
      the people of Maharashtra implementing the
      recommendations of the Srikrishna commission report on
      Mumbai's communal riots of 1992-93.

      Not only had the reigning Democratic Front alliance
      assured voters in its election manifesto last year
      that it would implement the report, but it had also
      pledged to do so in toto in August. Instead, the
      recent decision by the DF government to absolve 12
      policemen indicted by the commission has come as a
      shock to riot victims and activist groups who have
      looked upon the Congress-led alliance as their only
      hope for justice. From 1993, when the commissions
      hearings first began, its inquiry into those traumatic
      months has been a long and rocky journey.

      First, in what was seen as an attempt to dilute the
      investigation, the then Shiv Sena-BJP government had
      extended the commissions purview to include the bomb
      blasts of March 1993. Then, in 1996, the saffron
      alliance scrapped the commission altogether,
      reinstating it the same year under pressure from Mr
      Atal Behari Vajpayee. Not surprisingly, when the
      report was finally submitted in 1998, the Sena-BJP
      government summarily rejected its findings as biased
      and one-sided. The commission had held the Sena
      responsible for whipping up communal frenzy and had
      named several of its leaders, including Mr Bal
      Thackeray. It had also accused the police of playing a
      partisan role in the riots, indicting 31 policemen,
      none of whom have been prosecuted so far. The only
      action the Democratic Front government has taken has
      been the arrest, albeit token, of Mr Thackeray in
      August.

      ittle wonder, then, that the riot victims who had
      counted on this government to implement the report now
      feel a sense of betrayal. As some of them pointed out
      at a public meeting in Mumbai recently, seven years is
      a long time to wait for justice. One survivor, who
      said he had been made to recount his story over and
      over again, asked despairingly, How many more public
      meetings? How many more halls? How many years? Some
      citizens have expressed the fear that the process of
      retribution may reopen old wounds. But the experience
      of the survivors suggests that their wounds are likely
      to continue to fester until justice is done.

      The Srikrishna commission has been likened to the
      Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Committee
      investigating the crimes of apartheid in South Africa.
      There, too, the idea was not to bury the harrowing
      decades of racial injustice and violence, but by
      painstakingly drawing out the reality of what
      happened, to begin the process of reconciliation.
      That, precisely, was what the Srikrishna hearings
      accomplished. However, if justice is to be seen to be
      done, the next step must lie in reparationpunishing
      the guilty and compensating victims. The government
      can re-establish its bona fides by initiating
      prosecution in those cases where there is sufficient
      evidence, and making good its promise to rehabilitate
      those whose lives were devastated by the riots. The
      police, on its part, will have to work towards
      retraining a section of the force in order to restore
      its secular credentials and win back the trust of
      Mumbais citizenry.

      ______

      #4.

      New York Times
      November 2, 2000

      GANDHI'S SPIRIT HOVERS AS INDIA DEBATES IODIZED SALT


      By CELIA W. DUGGER

      Barry Bearak/ The New York Times Thakurdas Bang opposes
      compulsory iodization of salt, disputing its worth in fighting iodine
      deficiency.

      NEW DELHI, Nov. 1 India has made tremendous progress in eradicating the
      ancient scourge of iodine deficiency — the single most preventable cause of
      mental retardation — by making cheap, iodized salt available to most of its
      billion people. But a recent government decision has jeopardized these
      advances, medical researchers say.

      Indeed, India's entire scientific establishment, including the Indian
      Medical Association and the Indian National Science Academy, seems aghast
      that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and his Health Ministry lifted a
      two-year-old ban on the sale of noniodized salt in September. In doing so,
      the government bowed to a lobbying campaign by Hindu nationalists,
      Gandhians and small- scale salt producers.

      "It is a great tragedy for India to have found a solution, to have come
      such a long way and now, this has happened," said V. Ramalingaswami, who at
      age 80 is regarded as one of India's eminent medical researchers. His field
      studies more than 30 years ago helped establish that the simple addition of
      iodized salt to the diet radically reduced the incidence of goiter, an
      unsightly swelling of the thyroid gland on the neck that is the most
      visible sign of this insidious deficiency.

      But those who opposed the ban apparently convinced the prime minister that
      people should be allowed to choose whether to buy iodized salt or common
      salt, which is slightly cheaper. They dispute the view of scientists who
      maintain that the most effective way to combat iodine deficiency, which is
      endemic throughout the subcontinent, is to ensure that all salt is iodized.
      It is especially important in a developing country like India, where about
      40 percent of the population is illiterate.

      The ghost of Gandhi the independence leader and the symbolism of salt,
      that most humble of condiments, hover over this debate. In 1930, Gandhi led
      a march to the sea to protest a tax on salt levied by India's British
      rulers.

      Those on both sides of iodization claim to be the true inheritors of
      Gandhi's legacy. The scientists say Gandhi would be happy that salt has
      become a way to ensure that even India's poorest children do not have their
      intelligence dulled by a lack of iodine, while some followers of Gandhi
      contend that he would object to the compulsory iodization of salt.

      Thakurdas Bang, the 83-year-old leader of Sarvodaya, a Gandhian group,
      said he told the prime minister when they met: "Mahatma Gandhi made this
      simple commodity a medium of our liberation. It's now being used as a
      medium of exploitation."

      Since the mid-1980's, salt has increasingly become a medium for combating
      iodine deficiency in India and all across the developing world. Unicef and
      the World Health Organization have spearheaded global efforts to iodize
      salt as the simplest and most effective way to make up for iodine
      deficiencies in an estimated one billion people at risk worldwide.

      Though all but three Indian states have banned the sale of noniodized
      salt, iodized salt is still not universally available. Salt is iodized by
      adding the chemical potassium iodate to it. India's salt commissioner, R.
      Prakash, said iodization adds only a small fraction of a penny to the cost
      of a pound of salt. Each Indian consumes, on average, 10 pounds of salt a
      year.

      A 1999 government-financed study found that 70 percent of Indian
      households use adequately iodized salt. Unicef and other experts here
      estimate that 200 million of India's billion people are at risk of iodine
      deficiency disorders — and that 70 million have goiter.

      Two years ago, the central government imposed a national ban on the sale
      of noniodized salt, extending it to all the states.

      But India's health minister, C. P. Thakur, who is a medical doctor and an
      impassioned advocate of iodized salt, said opponents of the ban convinced
      the government that the ban on the sale of common salt was "a little
      coercive."

      The prime minister's spokesman, H. K. Dua, declined to comment on the
      reasons that Mr. Vajpayee, agreed to lift the ban, saying only, "The
      government's decision is also his decision."

      Scientists say that lifting the ban means that common salt can again be
      sold legally in three states and may leak across their borders to markets
      in neighboring states. The reversal of the central government policy also
      sends a signal that may encourage lax enforcement of state bans, they say.

      In India, where most salt is sold loose out of gunny sacks, "if you have
      both iodized and noniodized salt, people will never know which is which and
      we will slip back," said N. Kochupillai, who is the chairman of the
      department of endocrinology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

      Among those who personally lobbied the prime minister to lift the ban were
      leaders of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch ' or National Awakening Front ' part
      of the same Hindu nationalist family of organizations as the Bharatiya
      Janata Party, which leads India's coalition government.

      In recent interviews, Murli Dhar Rao, the group's organizing secretary, and
      Mahesh Sharma, a member of Parliament who is on the group's central
      steering committee, made a series of factual assertions that India's
      experts on iodine deficiency disorders called baseless and unscientific.

      Both men said that iodized salt loses its effectiveness when used in
      cooking dal and other Indian dishes at high heat — an assertion the
      scientists said was false.

      Mr. Rao also asserted that iodine deficiency is largely confined to the
      country's hilly regions. "People in the plains don't need to consume
      iodized salt," he said. Scientists and government officials replied that
      his view is a myth. Surveys have documented that the problem is widespread
      throughout the subcontinent, including the plains regions, where chronic
      flooding has leached iodine from the soil.

      During an interview at his office here, Mr. Sharma called attention to an
      article about iodized salt in a recent issue of Manthan, a magazine he
      edits. It charged that the potassium iodate added to make iodized salt is
      poisonous, that iodized salt is part of a "well-hatched conspiracy" by
      multinational corporations to capture the Indian salt market, and that
      excessive use of iodized salt makes people vulnerable "to TB, diabetes,
      cancer and peevishness."

      Doctors were taken aback when they heard these allegations. Dr.
      Kochupillai, whose research helped document the devastating effects of
      iodine deficiency on the brains of babies, said, "This reflects an
      unscientific outlook on life and its issues by our leadership."

      This May, Dr. Kochupillai went back to the remote villages he had studied
      in the state of Uttar Pradesh in the 1980's — places where mentally
      retarded children were commonplace. Sitting in his office, surrounded by
      huge mounds of paper, he first pulled out photographs of village children
      taken in the 1980's. Their eyes were dull and their height stunted. Then he
      showed off snapshots of the bright-eyed, normal-looking boys and girls he
      saw this spring.

      "Before iodization, the children were so dull they couldn't even tell us
      their names," he said. "Now, the children are so smart that they even told
      us their birthdays."

      Dr. Kochupillai said he would go back to the same villages at regular
      intervals over the next two years to see whether noniodized salt makes a
      comeback along with cretinism and mental retardation.

      Meanwhile, Mr. Rao, of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, said his group would
      take its fight against bans on the sale of common salt to the states. "The
      center has no role now," he said. "This is a regional problem."

      ______

      #5.

      BOOK PUBLICATION ANNOUNCEMENT

      Media House, Delhi, is happy to announce the publication of book of
      topical relevance

      Title - The Other Cheek: Minorities Under Threat
      By Ram Puniyani

      This well researched and documented book is a compilation of articles,
      essays and papers by Dr. Ram Puniyani on the topics related to onslaught
      of communal politics. The secular, democratic fabric of India has been
      under severe threat. Sangh Parivar is on the rampage destroying one
      after the other values and ehtos of secularism and democracy. The
      articles in this compilation cover the different themes around this
      politics.

      Ram Puniyani is an independepent writer, and columnist, associated with
      EKTA( Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai, and also is a professor at
      IT, Mumbai.

      Table of Contents:

      Section A- Democracy Secularism and State

      1.Religion Secularism and State—From One India One People
      2.Feedom of Expression in a democratic society
      3. Liberal Ethos on Firing Line
      4. Pillars of Faith
      5. Conversions in History
      6. To be or Not to Be
      7. Threats to Indian Constitution

      Section B. Gandhian Values Today

      8. Major Transition
      9. Appropriating Gandhian Mantle

      Section C. Dalit Issues

      10. Purity Pollution and Quest for Social Justice
      11.Law Equality and Social Justice
      12 Legal Provisions and Reality
      13. Poverty Caste and Violence
      14. Status Quo or Change for Social Justice

      Section D. Minorities under Threat

      15. March of Hate Ideology
      16. In the Name of Religion , Truth Behind Forced Conversions and Anti
      Christian Violence
      17.Minority Demographics
      18. Comfort The Afflicted
      19. Harmony In History
      20.The Other Cheek

      Section E. Sangh Parivar and Women’s Rights

      21-Communal Ideology and Violence Against Women
      22. Hindu Right And Women

      Section F. The Politics of Sangh Parivar

      23. Political Wine in a Cultural Bottle.
      24 An Appraisal of Hindutva.
      25. Looming Saffron Threat and Electoral Choices
      26 Guns or Butter
      27. Hindutva’s Subjugation of Small Traditions
      28. Sikhism: Religion or Sect

      Section G Miscelleneous

      29 Remebering a Revolutionary : Bhagat Singh

      30 Sterling Patriot: Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar

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