S.O.S – eVoice For Justice – e-news weekly
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Editor: Nagaraj.M.R.. vol.6.issue.35. …28/08/2010
SOS Appeal to SUPREME COURT of INDIA
Editorial : REPEAL ARMED FORCES SPECIAL POWERS ACT in Manipur – An Appeal to H.E.Honourable President of India
I am writing to express solidarity to the ten-year-long fast of Ms. Irom Sharmila Chanu, the Iron Lady of Manipur and her cause.
I am informed that Sharmila has started the fast on 5 November 2000, protesting against the violence committed by state and non-state actors in Manipur. I am aware that the protest also demands an immediate end of impunity in the state, for which the withdrawal of the martial law, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA), from Manipur is a prerequisite.
I am worried about the sufferings of the ordinary people of Manipur at the hands of the underground militant organisations as well as the state agencies.
I am aware that the AFSPA is enforced in Manipur to support government actions in the state in countering secessionist activities and underground militant acts. Yet, it is now certain that the AFSPA has not helped in countering militancy in Manipur, but in fact has enraged it.
I am informed that the climate of impunity is one of the reasons why conflict continues in Manipur.
The AFSPA, as far I understand is an addition to the overall impunity framework that has contributed to the deterioration of the state of rule of law in Manipur. My opinion is also shared by national bodies including Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee; the Second Administrative Reforms Commission; and the Prime Minister’s Working Group on Confidence-Building Measures in Jammu and Kashmir. I am informed that these eminent bodies have recommended the government to withdraw AFSPA from operation since they are of the informed opinion that a law like the AFSPA will only facilitate violence and not prevent it.
I am convinced that under the current circumstances in Manipur the withdrawal of AFSPA will not in itself solve the Manipur crisis.
Yet, it could be a bold and open step by the government to show that it is determined to find solution to an armed conflict that has haunted an entire generation in the state. The withdrawal of AFSPA from Manipur will be recognition to the sufferings of the state’s people and an expression of respect and acknowledgment of their rights.
Additionally, withdrawing AFSPA from Manipur will be a catalyst to end the climate of impunity in the state. Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.
Your’s sincerely ,
India: Authorities in Tamil Nadu must release five activists campaigning against torture and drop false charges against them
Authorities in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu must release five arrested human rights defenders, drop the false charges against them and hold the state police accountable for harassment and intimidation, Amnesty International said today.
The five human rights defenders – Bharathi Pillai, Niharga Priya, Sudha, Gnana Diraviam and Anandan – who were part of a human rights training programme conducted by People’s Watch, Madurai, were arrested on the night of 15 August on false charges. They had gone to Veeravanallur police station for a fact-finding exercise as part of the field training programme to inquire about the lack of investigation in the torture of a Dalit youth, Suresh, allegedly by a police officer there. Earlier, they were detained at the police station for six hours.
The five activists have been charged with section 170 of the Indian Penal Code (impersonating a public servant), section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his or her duty), section 416 (cheating by impersonation) and section 506 (criminal intimidation) and lodged in prison. The police also declared Henri Tiphagne, Director of People’s Watch, Madurai, as an “absconding offender” in the case. This was on the basis of a complaint from one of the police officials that the five activists, claiming to be public officials, had apparently tried to threaten them.
Fact-finding exercises are commonly held globally and in India, as a way of probing allegations of human rights violations and seeking accountability. There was no attempt by the fact-finding team to impersonate public officials and the team had informed the Veeravanallur police in advance about the purpose of its visit.
Amnesty International is concerned that the arrests and the filing of charges appear to be politically motivated, as a result of their work as defenders of human rights raising issues of torture and impunity. The police charges of impersonation against Henri Tiphagne and the five arrested human rights defenders appear to be an attempt to silence the victims of police torture by criminalizing a legitimate form of protest by human rights defenders.
Amnesty International calls on the Tamil Nadu government to:
- drop the false charges against the six human rights defenders and immediately release the five persons.
- hold the State police accountable for such harassment and intimidation and ensure an independent investigation into the allegations of torture by the police of the Dalit youth.
The Tamil Nadu authorities should also create an enabling environment and ensure respect for the rights of individuals in Tamil Nadu engaged in the peaceful promotion of respect for human rights, including the right to seek, obtain, receive and hold information about respect for human rights.
Corruption Grips India
By MuraleeDharan Raghavan
India’s former prime minister late Indira Gandhi, once said: “Corruption is everywhere. It is global”. Yes. Her, words came true at least in the case of India.
Is our society on a growth path or is it sliding? The question agitates the mind. Also, if it is growing could the growth be sustained? True, liberal economic rules have ensured breaking away from past morbidity. But the nation has yet to recover its health and if symptoms persist may slide once again.
The Supreme Court had recently commented that the fair price shops were totally bogged down in corruption. The district administration makes its allotment. For a long period, the petty leaders of the ruling party have a say in running of these shops. Then they pass on these shops to private people on rent who start exploiting the gullible PDS card-holders. Their co-operative stores too have become akin to the Housing Co-op societies where the land sharks prevailed over the affairs of the societies and they looted the common man at will. In the name of co-operation, the ration shops too have met the same fate.
The foodgrains are being sold by adulterating them. Sugar and kerosene are being given away to the hotels and petrol pumps. Both the Centre and the States are accusing one another with the Centre saying that the states fail to lift the allotted quota of foodgrains and their distribution system is far from satisfactory. At the same time the states charge the centre with not making full supply of the PDS commodities.
The Madhya Pradesh government has taken a decision to set up the ration shops through Co-operative committees. The government has plans to open 8000 PDS shops in the rural areas. Today the number of these shops stands at 15,000. Due to lack of proper roads, transport facility and no inspections, irregularities in the PDS shops becomes a regular feature. Foodgrains meant for PDS shops get sold in the market. Now, the government plans to run a pilot project for Antodaya card holders in tribal areas. Also, there would be review of prices to lift the Co-operative committees from the red. After this exercise, the ration shops would open everyday. Every shop would have a salesman and no permission would be given to start any other venture from the ration shop premises.
Take the case of Maharashtra. Most of the PDS shops are co-owned by the retail shop owners in the vicinity and the commodity meant for public distribution never reach the fair shops, instead diverted into the godown of the owner, then re-sold through the owners’ private shop at a higher rate. Long ques in front of the ration shops are a common view in the metropolis, which the politicians and builders’ lobby claim to be converted into a Singapore or Shanghai .
The Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit dreams of making Delhi a world-class city was “finally coming true” as the city has witnessed rapid development in the last decade. “When I became the chief minister in 1998, I had one dream-to make Delhi a world-class city. Today that dream is coming true,” she said, claiming that the city witnessed rapid development in almost all sectors in the last decade. However, she conceded that there was still need to focus on upliftment of economically weaker sections. “The government will also finalise its policy of allotment of low-cost houses, which will go a long way in making Delhi a slum-free city. Around 8000 low-cost houses have already been constructed, ” adding that the social sector will receive the priority once the Commonwealth Games concludes, which is gripped by corruption at each level. While the capital is going through a tough phase in every field, Ms Dikshit said Delhi would become a power-surplus state soon with the opening of three more plants in the next two months. “The city now boosts the world’s 6th largest airport, metro connectivity, flyovers, strong hospitality sector and so on,” she said.
Yes. They are utterly converting the metropolis into Singapore and world class cities, by building unwanted over bridges, constructing high raise towers – by destroying commonman’s livelihood.
The ‘ommission’ stem has become common. For example, if you go to a government office to get a genuine job done, the official doesn’t have ‘time’ to hear your petition. However, entrust the to a man (dalal) who is well conversant with the official ‘formalities’ – agent or broker, you will get it done within hours.
The common man in the city (read India) is so disturbed and as we say, there is a limit for everything. The day will soon come, when people throw ‘shoes’ on politicians, bureaucrats. Before, that the politicians should better reach the people and try to understand their problem, instead of debating about the poor in five star hotels accompanied by multi-national company executives and land-sharks!
The nation has not got any compensation from many scams fodder, Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parek scams, UTI scam, judges Provident Fund scandal, Koda scam, IPL cricket scandal, amassing of wealth by UP politicians and many others and now the Commonwealth Games’ scam.
The country needs to frame its financial rules and introduce auditing even before the money is spent. On monetary matters scrutiny by the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) is more a matter of academic interest. Nobody knows if someone has been punished, any monies been recovered from him?
The nation urgently needs a stringent pre-audit of expenses so that the corrupt cannot thrive. Else, the nation instead of progressing should expect a repeat of the Greek – even Mohammad bin Tughlaq built a new city at a very high cost and paid an astronomical price: liquidation of his Kingdom. Are we excelling Tughlaq? If so, we should remain prepared for the consequences also. Tuglaq – tragedy here in its amphitheatres!
Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children
By jay janson
US media have never called millions killed in their own homes, by US military during invasions and occupations since Korea through Iraq, mass murder. Likewise, the annually legislated starvation of millions of Indians in the ‘largest democracy in the world’, is never called mass murder. India buys WMD, with money saved, seeks to use the market to solve the problem. NY Times fields a question, “Should Food be a Right?
CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post have never called the millions killed by U.S. military in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, along with the thousands in the Dominican Republic, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the hundreds in Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Grenada, Somalia and Yemen, mass-murder. The monolithic, Pentagon-fed, conglomerate owned U.S. media has presented each one of these invasions as just, and, as a way of excusing the killing, reminded us that ‘war is war.’
However, war was never declared during any of these death bringing activities. They were called “police actions,” ‘peace keeping’ or ‘protective’ military interventions. In every case, initially, Congress carefully avoided calling any of these invasions a war.
Shooting people dead in their very own country, more often than not, in their very own residences is simply mass-murder, whether justified as anti-communism, anti-terrorism or the protection of capital investments. One doesn’t have to be Einstein himself to see this clearly.
Likewise, U.S. corporate commercial mass-media, would never call India’s consistent, year after year, intentional allowing of millions of its citizens to die of starvation, mass-murder. India is always described as the world’s largest democracy, and media and U.S. politicians make a show of proudly promoting support for democracy. everywhere. So, no criticism of India, corporate ally of U.S. imperialism and globalization – certainly no charge of homicidal crime for its annual starvation of millions of its citizens.
But, in jurisprudence, when a parent is arraigned in court for having intentionally caused the starvation death of a child, the charge is murder. If a homicidal crime is judged to have been caused by unpremeditated neglect, the charge will be reduced from murder to manslaughter. In the case of India, the officials of the Indian government have witnessed millions of its citizens dying of year after year in photographs, video, testimony and detailed written material from annual government investigations, as they approved legislation that assured its continuance.
UN statistics over decades have shown no improvement in reducing this horrendous and painful death toll, and often, even recently, a worsening of the amount of its citizens dying for having been denied food has been documented. Yet year after year this mass death goes on being legislated.
The half-billion Indians who are nourished, and the millions that are over-nourished go about their lives and occupations in full knowledge and awareness of this mass death, though distracted by India’s commercial media’s entertainments, advertising to consume, dramatization of religious conflict and promoted fear of neighboring nations.
UN statistics show death by starvation or from malnutrition caused diseases for two million of India’s children under the age of five every year. How many millions more over the age of five and how many of their parents perish is perhaps best illustrated by this month’s UN report that one third of the world’s starving ‘live’ in India. (India’s population is 1,150,000, 000, billion, one third would be 38,000,000.)
That same New York Times that regularly nicknames India ‘the world’s largest democracy’ got around to feature a horrific side of India’s particular type of formal democracy with pathetic photo of a mother sitting next to her starving child on the front page of its August 8, 2010 edition.
India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? by Lynsey Addario
“JHABUA, India — Inside the drab district hospital, where dogs patter down the corridors, sniffing for food, Ratan Bhuria’s children are curled together in the malnutrition ward, hovering at the edge of starvation. His daughter, Nani, is 4 and weighs 20 pounds. His son, Jogdiya, is 2 and weighs only eight.
Jogdiya, 2, lay with an intravenous drip in the Jhabua District Government Hospital as his father, Ratan Bhuria, looked after him and his 4-year-old sister. [More Photos]
Landless and illiterate, drowned by debt, Mr. Bhuria and his ailing children have staggered into the hospital ward after falling through India’s social safety net. They should receive subsidized government food and cooking fuel. They do not. The older children should be enrolled in school and receiving a free daily lunch. They are not. And they are hardly alone: India’s eight poorest states have more people in poverty — an estimated 421 million — than Africa’s 26 poorest nations, one study recently reported.”
The best part of the article is where the talk turns to making money from feeding the starving as an incentive. (Financial gain being a preferred motive if not common provision within capitalist economics,)
“The question is whether there is a role for the market in the delivery of social programs,” said Bharat Ramaswami, a rural economist at the Indian Statistical Institute. “This is a big issue: Can you harness the market?”
There follows shocking and massive incriminating evidence of simple cruel murder of the poor, victims of the controlling private investment banking and its police enforcement inherent in a government of, by and for conscienceless free enterprise:
“India vanquished food shortages during the 1960s with the Green Revolution, which introduced high-yield grains and fertilizers and expanded irrigation, and the country has had one of the world’s fastest-growing economies during the past decade. But its poverty and hunger indexes remain dismal, with roughly 42 percent of all Indian children under the age of 5 being underweight.”
The New York Times and all U.S. media, while didactically supporting parliamentary democracy in capitalist economies while excusing the amoral byproducts of business priorities and exploitation of class division, have always jumped to designate as mass murder any loss of life caused in revolutions against the world ruling imperial system, caused precisely by desperation to feed hungry children.
For example, the killing during the bloody civil war in Russia created by the invasion of armed forces from fourteen nations and the immense starvation in its aftermath are attributed to communism. Allied invasions (two American armies among them) were meant to overthrow the Bolshevik led fledgling Soviet Union, a new popular government come to power peacefully by consensus in the bloodless October Revolution. (“Bolshevik’ means ‘majority’). But the invader nations are not accussed of mass murdering.
Many of the various efforts of the Mao Zetong led revolution to prevent the starvation of millions under the foreign banking backed government of Chiang Kai-shek are still characterized in capitalist media as mass murder. In other words, starvation is only murder if it happens under communist and anti-imperialist rule. The earlier horrendous starvation that precipitated revolution is never referred to as mass murder.
U.S. media can have it anyway they want it, but millions dying of starvation, as they have been for so many years, under the formal (or pseudo) democracy of huge India cannot be excused as unintended, or accidental or attributed to merciless forces of Nature. No! Nature has provided the wherewithal in resources for there to be no starving. These resources have been stolen from these people, to make money and buy things other than food, as indicated in the OEN published article August of last:
Should Indian Leaders Who Spend Billions on Submarines While Others Starve Go Unpunished?
“While 2 million children die of malnutrition and starvation, India builds and buys submarines at the cost of this pathetic death and the stunted development of over 40% of its children who along with their parents suffer hunger. Lets help bring public awareness to bear on this homicidal horror of misplaced values by India’s political leaders. We speak up to save the children.”
In New York, when Prime Manmohan Singh was to address the UN General Assembly, a petition was circulated by the The Riverside Church Global Justice and Peace Ministry and the All Souls Unitarian Church Peace Task Force:
“Riverside Global Justice and Peace Ministries Endorsed Event
India Prime Minister Mammohan Singh Please!
SAVE MILLIONS OF CHILDREN DYING OF STARVATION & ALNUTRITION while
$BILLIONS for NUCLEAR SUBMARINES are being spent
Indian Prime Minister Mammohan Singh launched a 3 billion dollar nuclear submarine. A sub that can carry Russian built missiles equipped to deliver India’s Atomic bombs. A submarine made at the cost of taking bread from the mouths and life from the chests of Prime Minister Singh’s fellow citizens. Both the cost of building nuclear submarines, and the purchasing of others, are paid for with funds drawn on the treasury of a “democracy’ that does not feed its children.
Singh’s India is a gigantic torture chamber for the 47% of its children under five who suffer malnutrition. [47% is a World Bank estimate] Malnutrition makes children prone to illness and stunts their physical and intellectual growth for a lifetime, with dire consequences for mobility and mortality. Its also torture for the parents who watch in agony as 2.1 million of their kids die before their fifth birthday from malnutrition and preventable illnesses. [UN estimate from Malnutrition in India, Wikipedia]
As Indian Growth Soars, Child Hunger Persists by Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 3/12/2009
“NEW DELHI “Small, sick, listless children have long been India’s scourge “a national shame,” in the words of its prime minister, Manmohan Singh. after a decade of galloping economic growth, child malnutrition rates are worse …” Seems by the Prime Minister’s own admission, his wife breaking the bottle of champagne on the bow of this incredible investment last month becomes a hideous spectacle of death over life.
Akshay Mangla in Delhi complains that the pathetic state of child health and education in India should be seen as no less than a total failure of its democracy, public institutions and civil society.
Malnutrition getting worse in India by Damian Grammaticas, BBC News, Madhya Pradesh
“About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished. Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child. Her limbs wasted, her stomach bloated, her hair thinning and falling out. She stares, wide-eyed, blankly at the ceiling. Roshni is six months old. She should weigh 4.5kg. But when she is placed on a set of scales they settle at just 2.9kg.
BBC News, 7/26/09 India launches nuclear submarine. “… a second one is due to be constructed shortly. Pravda, Russia, 20.08.2008 “India places two-billion-dollar order for Russian missiles ” made for submarines of the Indian Navy. The nearest order is seven submarines.” Manasi Kakatkar, ForeignPolicyBlogs.com, “”India getting two Akula class nuclear powered attack submarines from Russia, and six Scorpene submarines from France”
With its attention getting front page article India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? featuring a photo unbearable to look at, the New York Times has broadened responsibility for this ultimate inhumanity to include its readers outside India.”
Starvation on a planet where obesity is a growing problem is grotesque commentary on the indifferent heartlessness of otherwise decent people in the desperate, and sometimes savage, commodified and commercialized society most of us have accepted as necessary. But when staring at the photo of one dying child among millions, few of us escape seeing something of ourselves or our own children in that expiring life pictured in the newspaper.
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