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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

महिलाओं ने वन माफियाओं को दबोचा


महिलाओं ने वन माफियाओं को दबोचा



रेंज कार्यालय के लोग रात भर महिलाओं को समझाने में लगे रहे कि वह लकड़ी चोरों को छोड़ दें, लेकिन महिलाए टस से मस नहीं हुईं और जंगल काटने वालों के खिलाफ कार्रवाही न होने पर धरने पर बैठ गयीं...
विजय विनीत
उत्तर प्रदेश के सोनभद्र जिले के रेनुकूट वन प्रभाग के झौली गांव में 18 मई की रात कई महिलाओं ने लकड़ी माफियाओं के ट्रैक्टर को घेर कर अपने कब्जे में ले लिया. अँधेरा होने के कारण ट्रैक्टर पर सवार लोग भागने में सफल रहे. मगर ट्रैक्टर को लेकर महिलायें दुद्धी वन रेन्ज कार्यालय जा पहुंची. वन विभाग के लोग पहले लकड़ी काटने वालों को बचाने में लगे रहे लेकिन महिलाओं के तेवर देख न सिर्फ उनके उपर प्राथमिकी दर्ज की गयी बल्कि डीएफओ ने लकड़ी लदे ट्रैक्टर को राष्ट्रीय संम्पति घोषित करने की कार्यवाही शुरू कर दी है। ट्रैक्टर पर महँगी लकड़ी साखु लड़ी हुई थी. 
सोनभद्र के विंढ़मगंज थाना क्षेत्र के मझौली गांव के आस पास के जंगल में स्थानीय वन कर्मियों की मिली भगत से लम्बें अरसे से कीमती लकडियों की कटान हो रही थी । इसे वहां की आदिवासीय महिलाएं  लगातार रोकने के लिए वन विभाग का चक्कर लगाती थीं । लेकिन उनकी बातें हमेशा अनसुनी की जाती रहीं । इस पर राष्ट्रीय वन जन श्रम जीवि मंच से जुड़ी महिलाए सुकालो,विनीता,ने गांव की अन्य महिलाओं व पुरूषों से मिलकर इसे स्वयं रोकने की रणनीति बनाई।अन्ततः इनकी मेहनत रंग लाई और ग्रामीणों ने वन काटने वालों को सबक सिखाने का मन बना लिया। 
शुक्रवार की रात आधा दर्जन लोंगों ने जंगल में घुसकर लकड़ी काटना शुरू किया। यह देख कई ग्रामीण महिलाओं  व पुरुषों ने उन्हें चारों तरफ से घेर लिया। जैसे ही लकड़ी का बोटा ट्रैक्टर-ट्रॉली पर लादकर चलने की तैयारी हुई महिलाओं ने सभी को दबोच लिया । रात अन्धेरी होने से किसी तरह सभी भाग निकले । इसके बाद महिलाएं  ग्राम प्रधान गोविन्द व विनोद के माध्यम से रात में ही ट्रेक्टर लेकर दुद्धी वन रेन्ज कार्यालय जा पहुंची। 
रेंज कार्यालय के लोग रात भर महिलाओं को समझाने में लगे रहे कि वह लकड़ी चोरों को छोड़ दें, लेकिन महिलाए टस से मस नहीं हुईं और जंगल काटने वालों के खिलाफ कार्रवाही न होने पर धरने पर बैठ गयीं। इसकी जानकारी होते ही प्रभागीय वनाधिकारी  ने रेंज कर्मियों को फटकार लगाते हुए कीमती लकड़ी काटने वालों के खिलाफ सख्त कार्रवाही करने का निर्देश दिया। डीएफओ का तेवर देख रेंज कर्मियों ने तत्काल प्राथमिकी दर्ज कर फरार लोगों की गिरफ्तारी के लिए एक टीम रवाना कर दिये । 
डीएफओ ने बताया कि जिस ट्रैक्टर पर लकड़ी लदी थी, उसे राष्ट्रीय संपत्ति घोषित करने की कार्रवाही भी शुरू कर दी गयी है। जनपद में यह पहली कार्यवाही है जब किसी वाहन को राष्ट्रीय संपत्ति घोषित करने की पहल शुरू की गयी है। इस मुद्दे पर राष्ट्रीय वन जन श्रम जीवी मंच की संयोजक रोमा ने कहा है कि जिन महिलाओं ने यह साहस का काम किया है, उन्हें पर्यावरण दिवस पर सम्मानित किया जाएगा। महिलाओं के इस कार्य की क्षेत्र में प्रसंशा हो रही है।


मोदी के पक्ष में है देश का मूड


http://visfot.com/home/index.php/permalink/6459.html

मोदी के पक्ष में है देश का मूड

By visfot news network 21 hours 49 minutes ago
मोदी के पक्ष में है देश का मूड
मनमोहन सिंह के नेतृत्व वाली संयुक्त प्रगतिशील गठबंधन यानी यूपीए सरकार निश्चित तौर पर अपनी ज़मीन खोती जा रही है. यूपीए के सत्ता में तीन साल तक बने रहने के मौके पर एबीपी न्यूज़-नीलसन के सर्वे तो यही चुग़ली कर रही है. देश के 28 शहरों में 9000 लोगों पर किये गये एक सर्वे के आधार पर एबीपी-निल्सन का कहना है कि देश राहुल गांधी की बजाय नरेन्द्र मोदी को प्रधानमंत्री के बतौर देखना चाहता है और अबकी चुनाव में यूपीए की पराजय तय है.
सर्वे का कहना है कि अगर लोकसभा के चुनाव अभी कराए जाएं तो देश की 28 फीसदी जनता बीजेपी की झोली में अपना मत डाल देंगे, जबकि कांग्रेस महज़ 21 फीसदी वोट ही हासिल कर पाने में कामयाब रह पाएगी. यानी यूपीए के तीन साल के सफर में मतदाताओं का रुझान जहां कांग्रेस से खिसक रहा है, वहीं बीजेपी देश की सबसे पसंदीदा पार्टी के तौर पर सामने आती दिख रही है.

सर्वे ने दिलचस्प रहस्योद्धाटन यह भी किया है कि साल 2009 के लोकसभा चुनाव में जिन मतदाताओं ने कांग्रेस में विश्वास जाहिर किया था उनमें से 69 फीसदी ही ऐसे हैं जो अब भी कांग्रेस के साथ खड़े हैं यानी अगर आज चुनाव हुए तो कांग्रेस का हाथ थमाने वालों में 31 फीसदी की गिरावट आ जाएगी.

कांग्रेस के लिए परेशानी की बात यह है कि उनके जो 31 फीसदी वोटर नाराज़ हैं, उनमें से 12 फीसदी बीजेपी के कमल को खिलाने का मन बना चुके हैं. जबकि साल 2009 में जिन मतदाताओं ने कमल पर अपना बटन दबाया था उनमें 84 फीसदी आज भी कमल के साथ खड़े हैं. जो 16 फीसदी बीजेपी के दूर हो रहे हैं उनमें सिर्फ दो फीसदी कांग्रेस का हाथ थामना चाहते हैं.
 
एबीपी न्यूज़- नीलसन के इस ताज़ा सर्वे में जो मतदाता शामिल हुए हैं, साल 2009 में उनके 28 फीसदी ने कांग्रेस के पक्ष में वोट दिया था, जबकि 27 फीसदी ने बीजेपी का साथ दिया था. यानी ताज़ा सर्वे में कांग्रेस को आठ फीसदी का नुकसान हो रहा है, लेकिन बीजेपी को महज़ एक फीसदा का फायदा हो रहा है. यानी कांग्रेस से खिसकने वाला सात फीसदी वोट स्थानीय पार्टियों की झोली में जाता दिख रहा है. साल 2009 के लोकसभा चुनावों में कांग्रेस ने 207 सीटों पर अपना क़ब्ज़ा जमाया था, जबकि बीजेपी के खाते में 116 सीटें गई थीं.
दूसरी ओर कांग्रेस महासचिव राहुल गांधी और प्रधानमंत्री मनमोहन सिंह को पीछे छोड़ते हुए गुजरात के मुख्‍यमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी प्रधानमंत्री पद के लिए देश की जनता की 'पहली पंसद' बन गए हैं. एबीपी न्यूज़ -नीसलन सर्वे के मुताबिक प्रधानमंत्री पद के लिए मोदी 17 फीसदी जनता के पंसदीदा हैं तो मनमोहन सिंह को 16 फीसदी लोग पसंद कर रहे हैं, वहीं राहुल गांधी को बतौर प्रधानमंत्री 13 फीसदी जनता अपना समर्थन दे रही है.


Mamata non-committal on Pranab as President


Mamata non-committal on Pranab as President

New Delhi, May 21 (PTI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday remained non-committal on backing Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee as President saying her party would strongly support Speaker Meira Kumar for the post.
"No, I didn't say but if ( the country) allows him who am I to oppose it? It depends on the majority. It is a democratic country. He (Mukherjee) is finance minister...for Pranab Mukherjee I am very much sincere. About this I am very much serious. It 's Congress party's decision (as to) who will be the candidate. We cannot say. I cannot interfere in Congress party's business."
"But if you ask my party's choice or the personal choice, then I'll say, I love Miera Kumar. She is a soft-spoken lady from the scheduled caste background," she told CNN-IBN.
She was replying to questions about her party's stand on the coming Presidential election and why Mukherjee's name is not on her wishlist for the post of President.
Banerjee also favoured former Governor Gopalakrishna Gandhi or former President A P J Abdul Kalam. "These three names are better, I think so," she said, according to the transcript of the interview issued by the channel.
Asked about Pranab Mukherjee, Banerjee, chief of Trinamul Congress, which runs a coalition government with the Congress in West Bengal, said, "Is he the son of Bengal? He may the son of world....I don't think so but it is his choice. I don't know."


Israel in Arab Palestine



AnalysisShare This PageIsrael in Arab Palestine
by K. Gajendra Singh
" ... sympathies are all with the Jews, who as a people were subjected to inhuman treatment and persecution for a long time. But, my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and in the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after their return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood?" -  Mahatma Gandhi
At the end is a very well and passionately written powerful piece from Al Akhbar by Sharmine Narwani (published here with permission) on the state of Israel and injustices to the longsuffering people of Palestine, many expelled to neighboring Arab states in refugee camps, whose home land the 'foreigner' has usurped.
Roots and History of the Problem
The Israeli-Arab problem is as old as time, beginning from the days of the Trojan wars, the struggle between the West and the East. Or the expulsion* and dispersal of Jews from Palestine. Or from the differences between the Prophet Mohammed and the Jews in Medina after the Hijra. Or the Christian Crusades to recover the religious sites in the Holy Land, except that the Crusaders had treated Jews as brutally as the Muslims. Or even the Orthodox Christians at Constantinople. And now, in the blunt words of US Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz, to control and exploit the petroleum reserves under Arab lands. ...
"In the evolutionary ladder of governance, societies have moved up from the tribal model when the warrior chief, sometimes the head priest too, was the ruler. Security of the tribe and wars was their major preoccupation. Israel is the first Jewish state in history after two millennia. It is barely 50 years old. Based on its history of persecution leading to the Holocaust, inputs of messianic religious fervor, labor (kibbutz) ideals and other ideas brought by its ruling elite, mostly from the European states, the warrior-king construct dominates Israel's state philosophy and the political system, situated as it is among almost implacably hostile Arabs (tribes). "The hundreds of ex-generals who man most of the key posts in [the Israeli] government and society are not only a group of veterans sharing common memories. The partnership goes much deeper. Dozens of years of service in the regular army form a certain outlook on life, apolitical world view, ways of thinking and even language.
"For example, the decision to kill senior Hamas official Abdel-Azizal-Rantissi, who escaped, could have very grave consequences. The decision was made by five generals: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a retired two-star general; Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz, a retired three-star general; Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon, a serving three-star general; Mossad chief Me'ir Dagan, a former one-star general; and Security Service chief Avi Dichter, with a rank equivalent to a three-star general.
"Unfortunately, policies and plans of Israel's political generals have now become intertwined into the views of US neo-conservatives such as Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and others. In the name of the fight against terrorism, more terror is being rained by Israel, where stability, security and peace remain elusive."
* But even historians in Israel have questioned the authenticity of the so called Jewish nation and their dispersal.
The Invention of the Jewish People
Sholome Sand, professor of history at Tel Aviv University in his book 'The Invention of the Jewish People', originally published in Hebrew in 2008 as Matai ve'eich humtsa ha'am hayehudi? (When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?) based on historical and archeological research questions the myth about Jewish homeland and their dispersal .The book was very popular in Israel itself. It was translated into English the following year created a furor among Zionists. Reviewing it in 'Haaretz' Ofri Ilani said that the book attempts "to prove that the Jewish people never existed as a 'nation-race' with a common origin, but rather is a colorful mix of groups that at various stages in history adopted the Jewish religion. He argues that for a number of Zionist ideologues, the mythical perception of the Jews as an ancient people led to truly racist thinking.
Sand's argument is that the people who were the original Jews living in Israel, were not exiled following the Bar Kokhba revolt. He contends that much of the present day world Jewish population is individuals, and groups, who converted to Judaism at later periods. The story of the exile was a myth promoted by early Christians to recruit Jews to the new faith. Sand states that "Christians wanted later generations of Jews to believe that their ancestors had been exiled as a punishment from God." Sand argues that most of the Jews were not exiled by the Romans, and were permitted to remain in the country. He puts the number of those exiled at tens of thousands at most. He further argues that many of the Jews converted to Islam following the Arab conquest, and were assimilated among the conquerors. He concludes that the progenitors of the Palestinian Arabs were Jews.
About the creation of the myth of a Jewish people as a group with a common ethnic origin, Sand stated that "at a certain stage in the 19th century intellectuals of Jewish origin in Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, took upon themselves the task of inventing a people "retrospectively," out of a thirst to create a modern Jewish people. It is believed that the Jews who inhabited central Europe were actually Khazars, a Turkic people who inhabited north of Caspian Sea region and had converted to Judaism. It is these Jews who migrated to Europe and who now rule Israel. Incidentally in the republic of Turkey, the people of central Asian origin, mostly Turkmen tribes are no more than 15% and most of them are Alevis and maltreated from time to time. The myths about nations have been created by rulers to control and manage people.
The Victor's Law
Unfortunately many people have always done so in history i.e. invent history. As for US policies with their belief in 'manifest destiny'and 'exceptionalism', what would you expect from its elite after genocide of the Red Indians and subjugation of the Afro-Americans brought over as slaves from Africa. English are still in occupation of N Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Some months ago US sarkari 'government' historian Fareed Zakeria while talking to Neocon Paul Wolfowitz stated that after nearly two centuries of domination by the West, Arabs would be finally be free. No, they will end up under the Mullahs and Saudi finance, all controlled from Washington at least in the in short term.
But then look at it dispassionately. When would the poor Nubians, Tuaregs, Berbers, Kabilies and other native tribes of north Africa be free of the domination of Arab's language, religion and culture. Persians have done the same in past and 50% Persians now control the whole country, which has Azeris, Arabs, Turkmens, Baluchis etc. with their own languages and cultures etc.
Appended below is an article by Sharmine Narwani from the Sandbox from English Al Akhbar. Published here with permission
Excuse Me, but Israel Has No Right to Exist
by Sharmine Narwani - Thu, 2012-05-17 - The Sandbox from English Al Akhbar
The phrase "right to exist" entered my consciousness in the 1990s just as the concept of the two-state solution became part of our collective lexicon. In any debate at university, when a Zionist was out of arguments, those three magic words were invoked to shut down the conversation with an outraged, "are you saying Israel doesn't have the right to exist?"
Of course you couldn't challenge Israel's right to exist – that was like saying you were negating a fundamental Jewish right to have…rights, with all manner of Holocaust guilt thrown in for effect.
Except of course the Holocaust is not my fault – or that of Palestinians. The cold-blooded program of ethnically cleansing Europe of its Jewish population has been so callously and opportunistically utilized to justify the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arab nation that it leaves me utterly unmoved. I have even caught myself – shock - rolling my eyes when I hear Holocaust and Israel in the same sentence.
What moves me instead in this post-two-state era is the sheer audacity of Israel even existing.
What a fantastical idea, this notion that a bunch of rank outsiders from another continent could appropriate an existing, populated nation for themselves – and convince the "global community" that it was the moral thing to do. I'd laugh at the chutzpah if this wasn't so serious.
Even more brazen is the mass ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population by persecuted Jews, newly arrived from their own experience of being ethnically cleansed.
But what is truly frightening is the psychological manipulation of the masses into believing that Palestinians are somehow dangerous – "terrorists" intent on "driving Jews into the sea." As someone who makes a living through words, I find the use of language in creating perceptions to be intriguing. This practice – often termed "public diplomacy" has become an essential tool in the world of geopolitics. Words, after all, are the building blocks of our psychology.
Take, for example, the way we have come to view the Palestinian-Israeli "dispute" and any resolution of this enduring conflict. And here I borrow liberally from a previous article of mine…
The United States and Israel have created the global discourse on this issue, setting stringent parameters that grow increasingly narrow regarding the content and direction of this debate. Anything discussed outside the set parameters has, until recently, widely been viewed as unrealistic, unproductive and even subversive.
Participation in the debate is limited only to those who prescribe to its main tenets: the acceptance of Israel, its regional hegemony and its qualitative military edge, acceptance of the shaky logic upon which the Jewish state's claim to Palestine is based, and acceptance of the inclusion and exclusion of certain regional parties, movements and governments in any solution to the conflict.
Words like dove, hawk, militant, extremist, moderates, terrorists, Islamo-fascists, rejectionists, existential threat, holocaust-denier, mad mullah determine the participation of solution partners - and are capable of instantly excluding others.
Then there is the language that preserves "Israel's Right to Exist" unquestioningly: anything that invokes the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and the myths about historic Jewish rights to the land bequeathed to them by the Almighty – as though God was in the real-estate business. This language seeks not only to ensure that a Jewish connection to Palestine remains unquestioned, but importantly, seeks to punish and marginalize those who tackle the legitimacy of this modern colonial-settler experiment.
But this group-think has led us nowhere. It has obfuscated, distracted, deflected, ducked, and diminished, and we are no closer to a satisfactory conclusion…because the premise is wrong.
There is no fixing this problem. This is the kind of crisis in which you cut your losses, realize the error of your ways and reverse course. Israel is the problem. It is the last modern-day colonial-settler experiment, conducted at a time when these projects were being unraveled globally.
 
There is no "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" – that suggests some sort of equality in power, suffering, and negotiable tangibles, and there is no symmetry whatsoever in this equation. Israel is the Occupier and Oppressor; Palestinians are the Occupied and Oppressed. What is there to negotiate? Israel holds all the chips. They can give back some land, property, rights, but even that is an absurdity –what about everything else? What about ALL the land, property and rights? Why do they get to keep anything – how is the appropriation of land and property prior to 1948 fundamentally different from the appropriation of land and property on this arbitrary 1967 date?
 
Why are the colonial-settlers prior to1948 any different from those who colonized and settled after 1967?
Let me correct myself. Palestinians do hold one chip that Israel salivates over – the one big demand at the negotiating table that seems to hold up everything else. Israel craves recognition of its "right to exist."
But you do exist - don't you, Israel?
Israel fears "de-legitimization" more than anything else. Behind the velvet curtains lies a state built on myths and narratives, protected only by a military behemoth, billions of dollars in US assistance and a lone UN Security Council veto. Nothing else stands between the state and its dismantlement. Without these three things, Israelis would not live in an entity that has come to be known as the "least safe place for Jews in the world."
Strip away the spin and the gloss, and you quickly realize that Israel doesn't even have the basics of a normal state. After 64 years, it doesn't have borders. After six decades, it has never been more isolated. Over half a century later, and it needs a gargantuan military just to stop Palestinians from walking home.
Israel is a failed experiment. It is on life-support – pull those three plugs and it is a cadaver, living only in the minds of some seriously deluded foreigners who thought they could pull off the heist of the century.
The most important thing we can do as we hover on the horizon of One State is to shed the old language rapidly. None of it was real anyway – it was just the parlance of that particular "game." Grow a new vocabulary of possibilities – the new state will be the dawn of humanity's great reconciliation. Muslims, Christians and Jews living together in Palestine as they once did.
Naysayers can take a hike. Our patience is wearing thinner than the walls of the hovels that Palestinian refugees have called "home" for three generations in their purgatory camps.
These universally exploited refugees are entitled to the nice apartments – the ones that have pools downstairs and a grove of palm trees outside the lobby. Because the kind of compensation owed for this failed western experiment will never be enough.
And no, nobody hates Jews. That is the fallback argument screeched in our ears – the one "firewall" remaining to protect this Israeli Frankenstein. I don't even care enough to insert the caveats that are supposed to prove I don't hate Jews. It is not a provable point, and frankly, it is a straw man of an argument. If Jews who didn't live through the Holocaust still feel the pain of it, then take that up with the Germans. Demand a sizeable plot of land in Germany – and good luck to you.
For anti-Semites salivating over an article that slams Israel, ply your trade elsewhere – you are part of the reason this problem exists.
Israelis who don't want to share Palestine as equal citizens with the indigenous Palestinian population – the ones who don't want to relinquish that which they demanded Palestinians relinquish 64 years ago - they can take their second passports and go back home. Those remaining had better find a positive attitude –Palestinians have shown themselves to be a forgiving lot. The amount of carnage they have experienced at the hands of their oppressors – without proportional response – shows remarkable restraint and faith.
This is less the death of a Jewish state than it is the demise of the last remnants of modern-day colonialism. It is a rite of passage – we will get through it just fine. At this particular precipice in the 21st century, we are all, universally, Palestinian – undoing this wrong is a test of our collective humanity, and nobody has the right to sit this one out.
Israel has no right to exist. Break that mental barrier and just say it: "Israel has no right to exist." Roll it around your tongue, tweet it, post it as your Face book status update – do it before you think twice. De-legitimization is here – have no fear. Palestine will be less painful than Israel ever was.
Sharmine Narwani is a commentary writer and political analyst covering the Middle East. She is Senior Associate at St. Antony's College, Oxford University and has a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in both journalism and Mideast studies. You can follow Sharmine on twitter@snarwani.  
  
18-May-2012 Views: 133
Article Comment Unexceptionable though Sharmine Narwani's arguments against 'Israel's right to exist', 'might' had always been 'right' and would forever remain so. If not for the 'then' might of the Muslim marauders, 'now' the religious ethos and the national character of the Egyptians, Iranians, Iraqis at al, not to speak of the Palestinians would not have been Islamic. The 'weak of the time' could be morally 'strong' but it's the 'mighty of the time' that have their way regardless, and that's the unreasonableness of this unfair world.
BS Murthy
05/19/2012

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THE MUSLIM PERSONAL LAW BOARD – THE OLD GAME CONTINUES Asghar Ali Engineer



THE MUSLIM PERSONAL LAW BOARD – THE OLD GAME CONTINUES
Asghar Ali Engineer
It was huge gathering on the last day of Muslim Personal Law Board (MPLB) in Mumbai on 22nd April 2012. It was three day conference from 20-22 April and lot of efforts was made through announcements in the mosques, local processions and individual efforts to mobilize Muslims in support of MPLB and to prove its clout. As usual emotional speeches were made to warn government against interference in Muslim Personal law called shari'at-e-mutahhira (holy shari'at). It is interesting to note that this time the work 'holy' was added to what is usually called shari'at probably to emphasise its divine character,
Maulana Rabi' Hasan Nadwi, President of the MPLB made highly emotional speech and said that Muslims will lay down their lives if Government interfered in the holy shari'at and that even if whole Islamic world makes changes in shari'at law Indian Muslims will not allow any change in it and will continue to embrace as it is without any change. Of course this emotional rhetoric greatly appeals to the masses who hardly know anything about the way shari'at law came into existence and for them the words of Ulama are like 'divine' words.
Today shari'at law in India as it is practiced unregulated is causing lot of suffering to Muslim women who are also part of Muslim ummah. Today the shari'at law is biased in favour of men as if women are not part of Muslim ummah. That is why almost all Muslim countries have made necessary changes to remove this male bias and make it more just towards women. The cent6raql principle of Islam is justice and it is divine will to do justice to all including women.
If the Maulana sahib considers shari'at law as evolved in 8th and 9th centuries more central than justice (the holy Qur'an says 'do justice, it is closest to piety') it is for him to decide. In fact shari'at is nothing but human approach to the divine injunctions and human approach is influenced by the circumstances and the context in which the law is developed.  As human circum stances and context were involved there is nothing wrong in reformulating these laws and regulating them within theframe-work of Qur'an and sunnah (the holy Prophet's words and deeds) and that is precisely what Muslim countries have done. These Muslim countries also have great ulama and Islamic thinkers who care as much for Qur'an and sunnah as India's MPLB does.
Why talk of other Muslim countries the Fiqh Academy, New Delhi recently held an international  conference in Mhow and decided in presence of ulama and eminent Islamic jurists that Muslim women are entitle to khula', if they insist on it, without permission from their husband. Also a few days ago a fatwa from Darul 'Ulum Deoband advised the person who asked whether he could take another wife while first wife he is married to, is alive as far as possible. Generally polygamy is considered in India as man's privilege. These changes are taking place and must take place in the changed circumstances.
A great 'Alim (theologian and jurist) from Qatar Allama Yusuf Qardawi has published a book in which he says that fatwas can and must be changed with the change of place and circumstances and has give 10 different grounds in which these fatwas can be changed. He pleads that one should not simply consult books written in the past and issue fatwa but should deeply reflect on changes of place and circumstances before issuing any fatwa. Allama Qardawi is highly respected 'alim of the Islamic world.  Does Yusuf Qardawi not know that shari'at is divine? Shari'at is divine as much as it is based on Qur'an and sunnah but it is also human as much as it is also based on human inte3rpretations of these divine sources. And to that extent it must change, with the change in places and circumstances, as Allama Yusuf Qardawi insists.
Our Institute of Islamic Studies. Mumbai has also tried, in consultation with prominent ulama, Muslim lawyers, women activists belonging to Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and other women activists to codify the Muslim Personal Law strictly within the frame work of Qur'an and sunnah to make it more just for women who suffer mainly because of triple divorce and polygamy. A representative of Fiqh Academy also attended the consultation along with some teachers of Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia and each and every provision of codified law was discussed thoroughly in the light of Qur'an and sunnah before it was incorporated.
I must point out here that the Shari'at law as it is today is much more empowering for women than any other religious law but it also must be accepted that it has male bias and to that extent it must be corrected in 21st century by excersising ijtihad(creative re-interpretation), a principle which the Prophet (PBUH) himself propounded while sending Ma'ad bin Jabal as governor of Yemen anticipating that he might encounter new situation there.  Ijtihad makes enough space available for necessary changes in law with change of place and time. The Prophet (PNUH) gives clear approval for such change to Ma'adh bin Jabal and patted his back when he said that I will exert my brain for appropriate changes in law to meet new situation.  The principle of ijtihad is an appropriate tool to bring about necessary changes. However, the Indian 'Ulama, for reasons best known to them, have failed to rise to the occasion and make shari'ah law more gender just.
The male bias is so inbuilt that though in Islam women have share in landed property, it was abolished by the British at the instance of Jagirdars (feudal lords) but Ulama never protested and now under constant pressure from women Jami'at-yl-Ulama-i-Hind (Mahmud Madani group) have passed a resolution in its convention of Madrasa teachers that women's right to landed property be restored. But Ulama are protesting against government move to give half the property in marital house at the time of divorce.
The Ulama, if they care for the security of the community, could have raised the question of communal and targeted violence bill in such huge gathering which has been thrown into cold storage by the UPA Government. However, the MPLB failed to do that. This Bill is much more relevant in the present circumstances than anything else.
------------------------------------------------
Institute of Islamic Studies,
Mumbai.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Washington's Blog: The Truth About JP Morgan's $2 Billion Loss


The Truth About JP Morgan's $2 Billion Loss

By Washington's Blog

Global Research, May 16, 2012
Washington's Blog

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30859

Before we can understand what's really going on with JP Morgan's loss (which will probably end up being a lot more than $2 billion), we need a little background.

JP Morgan:

Is the world's largest publicly-traded company
Is the largest bank in the U.S. ... the biggest of the too big to fail banks which are killing the American economy
Is the largest derivatives dealer in the world (and see this), and derivatives are inherently destabilizing for the economy
Essentially wrote the faux "reform" legislation for derivatives, which did nothing to decrease risk, and killed any chance of real reform
Is the creator of credit default swaps – which caused the 2008 financial crisis, and is the asset class which blew up and caused the loss
Has had large potential exposures to credit default swap losses for years
Has replaced the chief investment officer who made the risky bets with a trader who worked at Long Term Capital Management ... which committed suicide by making risky bets
Went completely insolvent in the 1980s
... and again in 2007  ( and was saved both times by the government at taxpayer expense)
Heads – with Goldman Sachs – the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, which helps set government financial policy
Has a reputation of being the most risk-averse of the big Wall Street players
Was kept alive by a huge government bailout ... but used the money to invest in India and other projects which won't really help Americans
Has made a killing by kicking companies (and see this) and governments (and here) when they are down, engaging in various types of fraud (update), allegedly manipulating the silver market, and profiting on misery by acting as the largest processor of food stamps in America
In addition, JPM's CEO Jamie Dimon:

Is a Class A Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is the chief bank regulator for Wall Street (including JPM).  Indeed, Dimon served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the same time that his bank received emergency loans from the Fed and was used by the Fed as a clearing bank for the Fed's emergency lending programs. In 2008, the Fed provided JP Morgan Chase with $29 billion in financing to acquire Bear Stearns.  At the time, Dimon persuaded the Fed to provide JP Morgan Chase with an 18-month exemption from risk-based leverage and capital requirements. He also convinced the Fed to take risky mortgage-related assets off of Bear Stearns balance sheet before JP Morgan Chase acquired this troubled investment bank
Has a reputation of being the "golden boy" and smartest guy on Wall Street
Has been the chief spokesman and advocate for deregulation of banks, and has lectured, scolded and cajoled everyone who has questioned his banking practices
Jokes about a new financial crisis happening "every five to seven years"
What Does It Mean?
Pundits and consumers alike are reacting to JP Morgan's loss like a startled herd of sheep.

They somehow believed that the "best of the breed" bank and CEO – the biggest boy on the block – was immune from losses.  Especially since JPM has been so favored by the Feds, and Dimon was so favored that he was being groomed for Secretary of Treasury.

And the fact that the head cheerleader for letting banks police themselves has egg on his face is making a lot of people nervous.

And that the biggest of the too big to fails could conceivably fail.

The government says its launching a criminal probe into JPM's trades.

Ratings services have downgraded JPM's credit, and many commentators have noted that other banks may be downgraded as well.

Elizabeth Warren is calling for Dimon to resign from the New York Fed:





Even CNBC is now calling for Glass-Steagall to be put back in place.
Banking expert Chris Whalen writes:

Someone at the Fed should have at least secondary accountability for the JPM losses if the VaR model/process was faulty. Is there any accountability for incompetent, badly managed federal bank regulators? As our colleague Janet Tavakoli wrote in the Huffington Post: "The U.S. can count on JPMorgan to continue both long and short market manipulation and take its winnings and losses from blind gambles. Shareholders, taxpayers, and consumers will foot the bill for any unpleasant global consequences."

We think that the loss by JPM is ultimately yet another legacy of the era of "laissez-faire" regulation and even overt Fed advocacy for the use of OTC derivatives by US banks. Fed officials such as Pat Parkinson, who retired as head of the Fed's division of supervision and regulation in January, were effectively lobbyists for the large banks and their derivatives activities. It seems a little ridiculous for the same Fed officials who caused the problem over the years to now be tasked with investigating JPM, much less regulation of large bank dealings in OTC instruments.

And Reuters correctly notes:

JP Morgan Chase's loss is the perhaps inevitable result of the interaction of two policies: too big to fail and zero interest rates.

***

Too big to fail, the de facto insurance provided by the U.S. to financial institutions so big their failure would be disastrous, provides JP Morgan and its peers with a material advantage in funding and as counterparties. Depositors see it as an advantage, as do bondholders and other lenders. That leaves TBTF banks flush with cash.

At the same time, ultra-low interest rates make the traditional business of banks less attractive, naturally leading to a push to make money elsewhere. [See this.] With interest rates virtually nothing at the short end but not terribly higher three, five or even 10 years out, net interest margins, once the lifeblood of large money center banks, are disappointingly thin. Given that investors are rightly dubious about the quality of bank earnings, and thus unwilling to attach large equity market multiples to them, this puts even more pressure on managers to look elsewhere for profits.

Investors believe, rightly, that the largest banks won't be allowed to fail; what they also appear to believe is that they very well may not be able to prosper and that to the extent they do shareholders won't fairly participate.

What would you do if you had a built-in funding advantage but little demand for your services as a traditional lender, i.e., one which borrows short and lends long? If you are anything like JP Morgan Chase appears to be you will put some of that lovely liquidity to work in financial markets, hoping to turn a built-in advantage into revenue.

JP Morgan stoutly maintains that the purpose of the trades was to hedge exposure elsewhere, as opposed to being proprietary trading intended to generate profits. That's contradicted by a report from Bloomberg citing current and former employees of the chief executive office, including its former head of credit trading. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-14/dimon-fortress-breached-as-push-from-hedging-to-betting-blows-up.html

The Volcker Rule, now being shaped, is intended to stop such speculative trades, though in practice debating what is a hedge and what isn't is a sort of angels-dancing-on-the-heads-of-pins argument which makes effective regulation almost impossible.

***

The keys are motive, opportunity and ability. Profits – and the investment office is reported to have made considerable ones in the past – provide a more believable motive than simple hedging. Opportunity is afforded by the combination of a privileged funding cost combined with poor alternative places to put money to work elsewhere in the banking business. While there may be some active borrowers, and TBTF banks enjoy an unfair advantage in serving their needs, the trans-Atlantic balance-sheet recession means households and businesses are showing a preference for paying back loans rather than taking them out.

Bruce Lee, chief credit officer of Fifth Third Bancorp, which isn't TBTF, was frank about this recently, saying that the value of deposit funding was now at its lowest in his career.

Finally there is ability, and like common sense all bankers believe they have the ability to trade successfully despite the wealth of historical evidence to the contrary.

While events show clearly that JP Morgan wasn't able to adequately manage its own business, an attack on it engaging in speculation doesn't actually hinge on that.

There is clearly a public policy outrage here because should JP Morgan find itself in difficulties due to speculation the taxpayer will end up paying the freight. That's probably not even the worst of it. All of the profits that TBTF banks make through speculation have been subsidized and enabled by the taxpayer. It is obvious that managers and employees have an incentive to take risks because, after all, TBTF may not be forever but they will capture 35 or 40 percent of the inflated takings so long as it lasts. Even if JP Morgan never blew up speculative trades, we should still oppose them so long as they are made possible and profitable by government policy.

Raising interest rates in order to remove an incentive to speculation probably wouldn't work; low rates are the result of too much debt as well as a palliative for that disease.

The Volcker Rule won't be effective; it is impossible to distinguish hedges from speculation and either can blow up banks.

The better alternative is to end the policy of too big to fail, preferably while at the same time forcing all banks out of the business of market speculation through a revival of the kind of Glass-Steagall-like policy which encouraged a small and useful financial sector for decades, forcing those that want government insurance to act like utilities, taking deposits, processing payments and making simple loans.

Let the investment banks take their risks, take their chances and suffer their losses – as separate entities.










ईरान पर हमले के दस बहाने


ईरान पर हमले के दस बहाने



जब हमने ईरान से तेल नहीं खरीदने की धमकी दी तो ईरान ने हमें तेल नहीं देने की धमकी दी,जो बिल्कुल भी बर्दाश्त से बाहर है. हम उस तेल के बिना क्या कर पायेंगे? और यदि वह बेचने पर राजी ही हो जाये, तो खरीदने से क्या फायदा...
डेविड स्वांसन 
ईरान पर अमेरिकी-इजराइली हमले के दस बहाने  
  1. अगर ईरान पर हमला किया गया तो वह जबाबी कार्रवाई करेगा, जो कि एक युद्ध अपराध होगा. और युद्ध अपराध के लिए सजा देना जरुरी है.iran-attack
  2. मेरे टेलीविजन ने कहा है कि ईरान के पास नाभिकीय हथियार हैं. मुझे पूरा यकीन है कि इस बार तो यह बात सही है ही. यही बात उत्तरी कोरिया के मामले में भी सही है. हम केवल उन्ही देशों पर बमबारी करते हैं जिनके पास या तो सचमुच में नाभिकीय हथियार होते हैं या वे बुराई की धुरी होते हैं. केवल इराक को छोड़कर, उसकी बात कुछ और थी.
  3. इराक की हालत बहुत बुरी नहीं है. अगर इस बात को ध्यान में रखा जाए कि वहाँ की सरकार कितनी घटिया है, तो बहुत सारे लोगों के मरने या देश छोड़कर चले जाने के बाद वहाँ की स्थिति काफी बेहतर हो गयी है. यह सब नहीं हो पाता अगर हमने योजना के अनुसार काम न किया होता .
  4. 4. जब हमने ईरान से तेल नहीं खरीदने की धमकी दी तो ईरान ने हमें तेल नहीं देने की धमकी दी,जो बिल्कुल भी बर्दाश्त से बाहर है. हम उस तेल के बिना क्या कर पायेंगे? और यदि वह बेचने पर राजी ही हो जाये, तो खरीदने से क्या फायदा?
  5.  9/11 की घटना में ईरान का गुप्त रूप से हाथ था. मैंने इसे ऑनलाइन पढ़ा है. और अगर उसका हाथ नहीं था तो यह और भी बुरी बात है. ईरान ने सदियों से किसी दूसरे देश पर हमला नहीं किया, इसका मतलब ही है कि वह जल्द ही हमला करेगा.
  6.  अमरीकियों और इजरायलियों से भिन्न ईरानी कट्टर धर्मिक होते हैं . ज्यादातर इजरायली ईरान पर हमला नहीं चाहते. पर वहाँ की पवित्र सरकार हमला चाहती है. इस फैसले का विरोध करना ईश्वर के विरूद्ध पाप है.
  7.  (अ) ईरानी इतने मूर्ख हैं कि जब हमने उसके वैज्ञानिकों की हत्या की तो उन्होंने टैक्सास में भाडे़ पर एक कार डीलर किया, ताकि मैक्सिको में भाडे़ पर एक नशीले पदार्थ की तस्करी करने वाले गिरोह को रखे, ताकि वाशिंगटन स्थित सउदी अरब के राजदूत की हत्या करें,  और उन्होंने किया भी नहीं-- इतना कुछ इसलिए कि हम उनको पकडें और हमारी बदनामी हो.  (ब) ओह! इन मूर्खों पर तो बमबारी कर देना चाहिये. वे सभ्य नहीं है.
  8.  युद्ध अमरीका की अर्थव्यवस्था के लिये फायदेमन्द है और ईरान के लिए भी. ईरान में मौजूद अमरीकी फौजी वहाँ का सामान खरीदेंगे. और जो महिलाएँ युद्ध के बाद जिंदा बचेंगी उनको ज्यादाअधिकार होंगे. जैसा वर्जीनिया में हुआ था. 1953 की उस छोटी सी दुर्घटना (अमरीका द्वारा ईरानकी चुनी हुई मोशद्दक सरकार की तख्ता-पलट) के बाद. हम ईरान के शुक्रगुजार हैं.
  9.  इस पूरे क्षेत्र को एकजुट करने का बस यही एक तरीका है. या तो हम ईरान पर बमबारी करें और वह हमारे प्रति शाश्वत प्रेम की शपथ ले. या अगर जरूरी हो तो ईरान की मुक्ति के लिये हम उस पर कब्जा कर लें, जैसे हमने उसके पडोसी देश के साथ किया. इसमें ज्यादा समय नहीं लगेगा. देखिए तो सही, अपफगानिस्तान की हालत कितनी अच्छी है.
  10.  वे हमारा ड्रोन वापस नहीं दे रहे हैं. अब बहुत हुआ.
    devid-swansanडेविड स्वांसन कई युद्ध-विरोधी पुस्तकों के लेखक और सक्रिय कार्यकर्ता हैं. यह लेख काउंटरपंच वेबसाइट से 'विकल्प ब्लॉग' ने हिंदी में अनुदित किया है. 


Panel to fight targeting of Dalit youth



Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 19.05.12
 
 
Panel to fight targeting of Dalit youth- DNA
Drunk men set 14-yr-old Dalit ablaze in Vidisha- The Times Of India
MPs' protest against cartoon is vote-bank politics: Dalit activists - The Hindu
Dalits use cameras to record stories of discrimination- NDTV
1 lakh cases of SC/ST atrocities pending: Govt - The Hindu
State to encourage Dalit entrepreneurs - The Hindu
Dalit leader inaugurates Yeddyurappa's public contact office at Malleswaram- The Hindu
 
 
 
DNA

Panel to fight targeting of Dalit youth

 
A group of activists announced the formation of a defence committee to work towards securing the release of a jailed activist and others who have labelled Naxalites at the Mumbai Press Club on Friday. The youth belong to Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), a Pune-based cultural organisation.
Kabir Kala Manch is a Dalit organisation whose youth perform songs and plays on varied social topics - from workers rights to environmental issues, women's liberation to farmers' suicide, urban displacement and corruption.
 
While noted documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan pledged to donate the Rs51,000 award money for his film Jai Bhim Comrade towards the newly-formed committee, other members of the civil society who showed their solidarity with KKM were actor Ratna Pathak Shah, Prakash Reddy of CPI, Dr BR Ambedkar's grandson Anandraj Ambedkar, former IPS officer Sudhakar Suradkar, Com. Prakash Reddy, advocate PA Sebastian and Dalit poet JV Pawar.
 
Stating that the civil society should support jailed musician-poet Deepak Dengle, also part of his movie, Patwardhan said, "KKM members are against class and caste atrocities. If we don't give people that space, then we will be responsible for militancy."
 
While Dengle is in prison, many other members, including lead singer-poets Sheetal Sathe, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Sachin Mali of Jai Bhim Comrade fame have gone underground after the police charged them with being Naxalites, said a press release.
Actor Ratna Pathak Shah said, "The voice that speaks against injustice must not fall silent. Their art is born out of their firsthand experience and that has validity in a world where everything is second-hand. The state cannot stop this voice."
 
The Times Of India

Drunk men set 14-yr-old Dalit ablaze in Vidisha

 
BHOPAL: Three men apparently under the influence of liquor, set a 14-year-old Dalit boy afire after dousing him with country liquor in Vidisha town, 60 kms away from here.
 
The boy's fault was that he refused to fetch glass tumblers for the three. The boy, Rajesh Ahirwar, sustained 40% burns and is hospitalized at the district hospital.
 
At 10 pm Vijay Jadon, Prem Pal Singh Gadariya and Sanju Ahirwar reportedly queued-up outside a liquor shop in Kararia Chouraha on the outskirts of Vidisha. They already had several rounds of country made liquor but wanted to continue with their binge.
 
The boy, Rajesh, had hardly thought that ignoring the order of the accused would cost him his life. They purchased more country liquor from a nearby shop and were walking towards an open space to consume it when they realised they needed glass tumblers.
 
The drunken men spotted a young boy sitting on a bench near a roadside 'paan' stall. The teenaged boy, a student of class VII, was playing with a stick. The trio approached Rajesh and asked him to fetch three glass tumblers from his home. The boy refused and got busy with his play.
 
Before Rajesh could understand what happened, one of the accused allegedly doused him with the country liquor left in his bottle and the other walked over to paan' shop.
 
They snatched a lantern from the shop and threw it at the boy. People rushed to inform the boy's family after which Ahirwar rushed his son to the hospital. "There was no electricity and it was warm inside the house hence my son had gone out to play in the cool breeze,'' said the victim's father Ram Pravesh Ahirwar.
 
The incident occurred less than 25 feet from the local Kararia police station. Father of the victim alleged that his son was set on fire by hoodlums and no one from the police station came to help or take the boy to the hospital.
 
DGP Nandan Dubey ordered an inquiry into the incident by inspector general of police Vijay Yadav. Police said a case has been registered against the three under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 294 (obscenity), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and relevant sections of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
 
The Hindu

MPs' protest against cartoon is vote-bank politics: Dalit activists

 
Activists and Dalit intellectuals have expressed concern over the move to carry out changes in NCERT textbooks, in the wake of the recent controversy over an Ambedkar cartoon. What happened in Parliament, where a section of members raised the issue of the 1949 cartoon by Shankar Pillai published in a Standard XI Political Science textbook, was a brazen attempt at wooing the Dalit vote bank, they charged at a meeting here. The NCERT books were well-produced and of high quality, they asserted.
 
The People's Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan; the Centre for Dalit Rights, the Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, the Bharatiya Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS) and Idara termed the controversy "uncalled for." The groups have decided to organise meetings to read out contents from all banned textbooks, including "300 Ramayanas," and hold exhibitions of the banned cartoons.
 
"What is extremely disturbing is the manner in which Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal apologised in Parliament, and conceded the demands for removal of the cartoons and stopping of distribution of books," said a statement issued by the groups.
 
"We are certain that there's nothing objectionable in the Nehru-Ambedkar cartoon by itself, and the text accompanying it. In fact, it is highly appreciative of the hard work by the Constituent Assembly under the leadership of Dr. B. R Ambedkar."
 
Leading Dalit activist and Centre for Dalit Rights chairman P. L. Mimrot said, "In fact, it appeared to me, that it was for the first time, Baba Saheb received this kind of prominence in an NCERT book."
 
Describing as "cowardly" the attack on Suhas Palsikar, who has since submitted his resignation as Chief Adviser to the NCERT (Political Science), Dalit activist and editor of Diamond India Bhanwar Meghwanshi, said: "If the caption is read with the cartoon, no one can find fault with it."
 
"Fascist tendencies'
Rajeev Gupta, Professor of Sociology in Rajasthan University, termed the whole episode an affront to freedom of expression and attack on Ambedkar himself.
 
"The whole attitude reeks of fascist tendencies. The Minister ordered the removal of the cartoons, even without referring the matter to an academic committee."
 
It was pointed out that out of the 32 cartoons in NCERT books, 16 pertained to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
 
'Education implies openness'
"In the past also, texts have been deleted, and books have been tampered with, and people have had cases filed against them, merely in the name of upsetting public opinion.
 
"It is important to know that the endeavour of education isn't to indoctrinate the minds of the young, or teach them any one ideology… Education essentially implies having openness towards all points of view.
 
"The young must know that there are many dimensions to any issue," said the statement signed by Prem Krishna Sharma, Kavita Srivastava and Radha Kant Saxena of the PUCL, Rajasthan; M. Hasan of Idara; Komal Srivastava of the BGVS; and academicians and activists Prakash Chaturvedi, Vishwambhar, Rajeev Gupta, Rajendra Saiwal, Govind Beniwal and Shiv Singh.
 
NDTV

Dalits use cameras to record stories of discrimination

 
Mumbai:  One video shows police beating protesters with sticks. Another shows two lifeless, dirty bodies dragged from their workplace in the sewers. In a third, a man explains why his hand was slashed.

The disturbing clips and personal stories have a common thread: all the victims are "untouchables", now known as Dalits, who are at the bottom of India's rigid Hindu caste hierarchy.

The Dalit with the cut hand says he was harmed for drinking from a pot meant for higher castes, while filthy and dangerous sewer work is a profession reserved for families of the lowest caste.
Such everyday discrimination is nothing new, but it is rarely documented with such intimacy and insider knowledge in India's mainstream domestic news media.

"The mainstream media just report on the superficial events but they don't have depth," said Amol Lalzare, a Dalit and one of the "community correspondents" working for Video Volunteers, a media and human rights group.

"I stay here, I know what's going on, and I also want to give solutions through my news clips," added Mr Lalzare, who makes videos in the Mumbai slums with a camera not much larger than a mobile phone.

The 27-year-old documents a range of issues affecting the poor, from water shortages and poor sanitation to corruption and sexual harassment in the slums, where more than half of the city's residents live.

In their recently-launched campaign against caste discrimination, including a petition to properly end the illegal practice, Video Volunteers from across India have released footage to show the problem is still entrenched.

They captured Dalit women who take their sandals off to walk past the "big people's houses", a barber admitting Dalits don't come to his shop, and a school where Dalit children eat separately.

"It makes me nothing but angry," vented one female interviewee.

Kumar Ketkar, editor of the Dainik Divya Marathi newspaper in Mumbai, agreed that marginalised communities rarely draw attention from mainstream news outlets.

"Their normal everyday life does not get adequate coverage," he said, blaming the problem on the media's need for revenues from advertisers, who target a middle-class audience with "consumer potential".

Mr Lalzare and his colleagues earn 1,500 rupees (29 dollars) for each report and 5,000 rupees (95 dollars) for an "impact" video, showing some kind of change as a result of their work.

They number about 60 nationwide and contribute to the Video Volunteers' "IndiaUnheard" news service, which since 2010 has published regular clips online and sometimes at screenings for the communities concerned.

Topics broadcast so far include gender inequality in farm workers' wages and child marriage -- one interviewee was a 12-year-old cattle grazer married off three years earlier.

The project was set up to focus on "specific places where the media wasn't functioning," said American founder Jessica Mayberry, who is based in the southwestern holiday state of Goa.

She said the problem was more extreme in rural communities, giving the example of eastern Jharkhand state, home to a largely tribal population but without a single journalist of tribal origin in the regular press.

"It's a question of representation. Seventy per cent of this country, the poor, is coming through this filter of the outsider who doesn't live there," she told AFP.

The income for Video Volunteers is currently about two-thirds donations -- from social entrepreneurship foundations and individuals -- and one third revenue from selling content and training.

The service is among various projects that have sprung up in recent years harnessing technology to give a voice to hundreds of millions of marginalised Indians who feel ignored by the media and the political class.

Bangalore-based website www.ipaidabribe.com offers a place for users to vent their anger and share experiences of corruption across the country, where bribes and kickbacks are routine.
PN Vasanti, director of the Centre for Media Studies in New Delhi, said the mainstream news channels were still dominated by politics, crime, sport and entertainment, but she thought social issues were gradually gaining ground.

"It's an evolution of news media and evolution of the audience. They are learning to demand what they want," she told AFP.
 
The Hindu

1 lakh cases of SC/ST atrocities pending: Govt

 
With over one lakh cases of atrocities against SCs and STs pending, the government is considering amendments in the existing law to fast-track trial, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.
 
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik said during Question Hour that a concept note was sent to state governments for comments on amending the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
 
He said that out of over one lakh cases of atrocities pending at the end of 2010, the highest number of 19,939 cases were pending in Uttar Pradesh, followed by 13,590 cases in Madhya Pradesh.
 
Rajasthan had 11,524 cases pending at the end of 2010, Gujarat - 9,437, Odisha - 8,826, Bihar - 7,776 and Karnataka -6,044, he said.
 
Wasnik, who did not specify the proposed amendments, said six states had not yet given their opinion.
He said states were being impressed upon to set up special courts to try cases of atrocities on SCs and STs in places where conviction rate is low, pendency is high or registration of cases are high.
 
He also said public prosecutors would be denotified if they did not perform their job well.
 
The Hindu

State to encourage Dalit entrepreneurs

 
The State government is committed to promote entrepreneurship among Dalits and will consider setting up a separate cell in the State Financial Corporation, Minister for Major Industries and Sugar J. Geetha Reddy said.
Addressing a seminar on opportunities and obstacles for SC/ST entrepreneurs, organised by Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI), here on Friday, she called on Dalit entrepreneurs to focus on the training of employees.
 
The government has been proactive and has taken a number of steps to remove the barriers for promoting Dalit businesses like scrapping the 'ineligible' list of industries, she added.
 

Venture capital fund

Congress MP G. Vivekanand said that a Dalit venture capital fund would be ready next year. He urged the government to rope in the CII to identify the projects that Dalits would be able to take up and allocate funds to promote entrepreneurship among them.
 
He said timely repayment of loans would increase the standing of Dalit entrepreneurs among banks.
Welcoming the slow and silent transformation of Dalits from docile job seekers to aggressive entrepreneurs, Commissioner of Industries R Karikal Valaven said economic uplift is the first step to development of the community.
 
He cautioned the Dalits against falling prey to private non-bank financial companies.
 

Appreciation

President of DICCI N Ravi Kumar said the quality of products of enterprises owned by Dalits had won appreciation of leading industrialists such as Ratan Tata and Adi Godrej who had decided to source 25 per cent of their purchases from them. Minister for Small Scale Industries G Prasad Kumar also addressed the gathering.
 
The Hindu

Dalit leader inaugurates Yeddyurappa's public contact office at Malleswaram

 
The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Friday opened his Public Contact Office on the premises of the BJP's old office on 17th Cross, Malleswaram, here.
 
According to sources in the BJP, Mr. Yeddyurappa opted for a new office here as the place is considered lucky for the occupant. Mr. Yeddyurappa conducted religious ceremonies in the office, attended by his followers.
The attendees included Cabinet Ministers, Umesh Katti, Shobha Karandlaje, V. Somanna, C.M. Udasi,
Basavaraj Bommai, legislators Suresh Gowda, C.C. Patil, Sashil Namoshi, B.P. Harish, S.R. Vishwanath.
It is significant that barring the photo of the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, no other BJP's leaders' photos were visible in the office. A Dalit leader from the Mysore region Siddaiah inaugurated the office.
 
After deciding to vacate his residence on Race Course Road, where he lived as Opposition Leader, Deputy Chief Minister and the Chief Minister for eight years, he was searching for a place to meet people coming to seek his help.
 
"I will be available to people for four hours a day here, during my stay in Bangalore. This office will serve the people irrespective of their party affiliation," he said.
 
However, the former Chief Minister refused to attach any political significance to his decision.
 
"I have decided to open the office to meet the public, as it would be difficult to have a space in the BJP headquarters for myself, in the absence of a responsible position in the party," he added.
 
People from all walks of life could meet him and he would take up their issues with the Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and the Ministers concerned, he said.
 
He denied that the new office would become a parallel power centre.
 
His role would be to act as a mediator between the Vidhana Soudha and "Krishna" (official residence of the Chief Minister) and the people. "In fact, I do not want to topple the Government," he maintained.

-- 
.Arun Khote
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
...................................................................
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and  intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.