India: Rights & Liberties
Human rights and civil liberties in India. Dec 4
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After every terror strike India's Muslim youth are fearful -- of encounters, illegal detention and torture. How long must Muslims live under suspicion of being terrorists or supporting terrorism? The sense of insecurity has become part of our lives, says Mahtab Alam “Serial bomb blasts in Delhi.
By Tom Wright A rare video of Indian border guards allegedly torturing a Bangladeshi man surfaced because the perpetrators of the crime made a cell-phone recording of the incident, which they later turned into CDs for distribution in an apparent effort to create fear among local people. The 11-minute video, obtained by Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, or MASUM, a Kolkata-based non-governmental group, allegedly shows Border Security Force soldiers stripping a man naked before trussing him to a stick and beating him repeatedly. The video surfaced on Jan. 18 and aired on Indian media, but many channels blurred the troubling images and questioned the video’s authenticity. Attention soon moved elsewhere.
The IT Act 2000 is the sole cyber law of India that has become an instrumentality of oppression, censorship and surveillance. For instance, the recent Internet intermediary guidelines issued by Indian government are considered so offensive by all concerned that a motion to annul the same is currently pending before the Parliament of India. However, even if the Internet intermediary guidelines are annulled, the draconian IT Act 2000 would keep on haunting Indian stakeholders. Internet intermediary were recently asked to pre screen contents before posting. Members of Association for Progressive Communications (APC) can themselves analyse the vagueness and absurdity of any such demand.
On an average, the Union Home Ministry orders 250-300 telephone interceptions every day. In response to an RTI application by The Indian Express, the Home Ministry has stated: "On an average, between 7,500 and 9,000 orders for interception of telephones are issued by the Central government per month." According to the Indian Telegraph Rules, the Union Home Secretary is the authority to grant approval for interception of telephones. Under Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, telephonic conversations can be intercepted/monitored inter alia on grounds of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to commission of an offence. Once cleared, the interceptions can be continued for two months and may be renewed twice.
India: freedom of speech, information & media
India: workers' issues
India: women's issues
Viewing cable 07KOLKATA152, YOUNG BOYS AND MEN SUFFER SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AS TRADITIONAL Understanding cables Every cable message consists of three parts: The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was. The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject. The bottom box presents the body of the cable.
"We really need to get everybody educated. That's the equalizer in the world." India houses almost 20% of the world's entire population. Without an education, a child has little hope of competing in that job market, let alone rising from their caste to do something more. Asha for Education is a 100% volunteer organization providing education to underprivileged children in India.
Farmers in New Delhi feel cheated. Over a decade ago, they were compensated just $1 per square metre for land the state government now says is worth $200 per square metre. The farmers are now staging protests and demanding justice, saying they were swindled by local authorities and unscrupulous buyers. The government is tabling a new land bill to be debated in parliament soon, but critics say it will not go far enough. Nilanjan Chowdry reports from a suburb of New Delhi, India. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
By Vandana Shiva Deccan Chronicle Seed sovereignty is the foundation of food sovereignty. Seed freedom is the foundation of food freedom. The seed, the source of life, the embodiment of our biological and cultural diversity, the link between the past and the future of evolution, the common property of past, present and future generations of farming communities who have been seed breeders, is today being stolen from the farmers and being sold back to us as “propriety seed” owned by corporations like the US-headquartered Monsanto. Under pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office, various state governments are signing MoUs (memorandums of understanding) with seed corporations to privatise our rich and diverse genetic heritage.
US pharmaceutical companies have moved their operations overseas over the course of the past decade. Instead of testing trial medicines on Americans, more and more of these tests are being carried out on poor people in faraway places. Russia, China, Brazil, Poland, Uganda and Romania are all hot spots for what is called clinical research or clinical trials.
After charging Hindu nationalist Swami Aseemanand and several others for their alleged involvement in the 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express linking New Delhi with Lahore, India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) set to charge top Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar a supplementary filing, India's Daily News & Analysis (DNA) newpaper reports . The paper cited sources in the NIA as saying the agency is gathering evidences against some RSS leaders including Indresh Kumar, a top most member of the RSS’s central working committee for the past five years. Kumar's name has also surfaced during the investigation of the Ajmer Dargah blast, in which he was charged by the Rajasthan Anti Terrorist Squad. “We are gathering evidences against Indresh, as he played a key role in arranging finances for terror attack on Samjhuata Express.
Simon de Trey-White/Eyevine The son of a hangman, Mammu Singh, in his house in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, was one of India's last official hangmen until his death in May. Usually, India would not need one, given the rarity of executions.
At a dark moment in postcolonial history, when many US-backed despots seemed indestructible, the great Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz , whose centenary falls this year, wrote: "We shall witness [the day] when the enormous mountains of tyranny blow away like cotton". That miraculous day promised by the poet finally came in Egypt and Tunisia this spring. We have since witnessed many of the world's acknowledged legislators scrambling to get on the right side of history. Addressing – yet again – the "Muslim world" last month, Barack Obama hailed "the moral force of non-violence", through which "the people of the region have achieved more change in six months than terrorists have accomplished in decades".