At least a rape victim get some justice

He was in some way a celebrity. As a co-director of a popular political satirical film from Bollywood he was regarded highly. Fortunately that did not prevent him from being convicted of raping a research scholar who came to him for help in her research.

A special fast track court on Saturday convicted filmmaker Mahmood Farooqui of raping a research scholar from the United States in Delhi last year. Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain found Farooqui — who had been on bail — guilty under IPC Section 376 (punishment for rape), and ordered that he be taken into judicial custody.
The court will hear arguments on sentencing on August 2. The offence of rape entails a minimum punishment of seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and a maximum punishment of imprisonment for life. As of Saturday evening, the detailed conviction order was still awaited.
Farooqui, co-director of the 2010 satirical comedy Peepli (Live), and an exponent of the centuries’ old art of Urdu storytelling called Dastangoi, was accused of raping the 30-year-old research scholar from Columbia University at his home in south Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar on March 28, 2015.


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An unique activist writer is no more

A few streets away from where I live, one of the doughtiest fighters I knew has just fought her last battle. This is the thought that shadows me as I attempt to pay a just tribute – to Mahasweta Devi, one of the most remarkable writers and activists this country (India) has seen.

If you haven’t heard that name, or are unsure of who she is – Google her. You’ll learn that she’s ninety years old, that she’s variously described as a social activist and a novelist, that she’s won just about every award for literature that this nation has to bestow, plus the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award for journalism, literature and social activism, that she is one of the most respected cultural figures in Bengal, and the author of a large number of novels and short stories, many of which have been translated into multiple Indian languages.

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5000 years old tradition ? So what ? Is it legal ?

The Jallikattu may be 5,000 years old, but whether the controversial bull fighting sport can continue will be decided legally, the Supreme Court (of India) told Tamil Nadu (state government) in sharp remarks today (July 26).

Rubbishing the state’s plea that Jallikattu should be allowed because it is a centuries old tradition, the court said, “In 1899, tens of thousands of girls below 12 years of age were married. Should we allow it today because it was a tradition at that time?”

The court said that it was a “constitutional and statutory issue” and that it would examine whether such a sport was permissible in law or not.

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Hazaras massacred for not being true Muslims

One after another, the bodies arrived on the steep hill in western Kabul.

For much of Sunday afternoon, an excavator was flattening the dusty area as men with shovels and pickaxes dug graves — four rows of 20 or so, packed so close that if the dead could stretch out their arms, they would touch those next to them.

ethnic Hazara man cries next to empty caskets on Sunday during burial ceremonies at a cemetery in the Omid-e-Sabz Township near Kabul, Afghanistan. Credit Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

The ethnic Hazara man cries next to empty caskets on Sunday during burial ceremonies at a cemetery in the Omid-e-Sabz Township near Kabul, Afghanistan. Credit Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

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Islamist extremists assault an upcoming writer

An upcoming writer was brutally assaulted in Kerala, India yesterday. It happened near my place around 40 miles from here. Twenty six years old P Jimshar was waiting for bus at the bus stop in Kootanad. An unknown person started a pleasant conversation with him. Few others joined and suddenly they began beating him. Luckily they did not had any weapons. Though severely beaten he survived without any critical injuries.

Jimshar.P (from Facebook)

Jimshar.P (from Facebook)

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Hindu temple to accept stock market shares as donations

Most Hindus are very superstitious, especially the business class. So when they invest in shares or a project they usually give a part of it to temples as donations believing foolishly that it will bring them luck. Until now they were giving such donations as cash. Now the most famous Hindu temple in India’s commercial capital Mumbai is having something new to offer. Instead of cash they have started accepting equity shares of companies as donations. The temple authorities hope to cash in on the superstition of Indian investors and there by get several blue chip shares.

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Dalits in Gujarat won’t take it lying down any more

Dalit Organisations have called for state wide protest shut down on Wednesday in Gujarat, India. They have decided not to take it lying down anymore.

The inhumane violence on them, clearly depicted by a video which had gone viral in which a group of upper caste Hindutva goons were seen thrashing Dalit youths mercilessly in full public view in the town of Una was perhaps the breaking point.

Image credit - NDTV

Image credit – NDTV

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Moral policing by Court

Two college students,studying in the same class, 20 years of age, fall in love. They decide to live together. They leave the college hostel and live in a rented room. The college authorities come to know about it. A five member committee of senior faculty members is formed for a detailed enquiry. The students are summoned. They admit before the committee that they are living together. The committee decides to take disciplinary action against the couple. Both are expelled from the college.

The girl approaches the court asking to quash the expulsion order.

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Diphtheria deaths in Malaysia and Vietnam too

Diphtheria is coming back with vengeance  in parts of Asia where it had been well controlled. Malaysia and Vietnam has reported several cases of Diphtheria in last two months along with Kerala state in south India. There has been 5 deaths in Malaysia, 3 in Vietnam and 2 in Kerala. Both in Kerala and Malaysia, adults some as old as 65, are among suspected cases.

All three areas had similarly good control of Diphtheria for several years now , with only a handful of cases yearly and no deaths. In Malaysia and Kerala, religion based superstitions about vaccinations was found to be a major driving factor for poor vaccination coverage and there by reemergence of the disease. In Vietnam too, the propagation of myths about vaccines has reduced its acceptance.

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